Wednesday’s round-up: Sessegnon commits to Fulham

first_imgRyan Sessegnon has committed his future to Fulham by signing a three-year contract.The Roehampton-born 17-year-old’s new deal – his first professional contract – comes after months of speculation that he could leave Craven Cottage this summer.He was linked with several Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, but opted to stay with the Whites.“I’m excited to see what’s in front of me at this club. Hopefully we can all push on now,” he told Fulham’s website.Sessegnon, who can play at left-back or further forward, has been at Fulham since 2008, as has his twin brother Steven.He made his senior debut in August last year and has made a total of 30 first-team appearances, scoring seven goals.Fulham’s vice-chairman and director of football operations Tony Khan said: “Ryan’s debut season with the first team was spectacular and we are so proud of this very special young man.” Parker announces retirementScott Parker has decided to end his playing career.The 36-year-old, whose Fulham contract expires at the end of this week, announced his retirement on Wednesday afternoon.Parker, who spent four years at Craven Cottage, captained England during a 19-year career that included an 18-month spell at Chelsea.He also played for Tottenham, Newcastle, West Ham and Charlton.A statement issued by Parker explained: “The decision to retire has not been an easy one for me but having thought long and hard over it, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career.” Gladwin leaves QPRBen Gladwin has completed his move from QPR to Blackburn for an undisclosed fee.West London Sport recently revealed that Blackburn wanted to sign the midfielder and subsequently also revealed that the move was set to go through.Gladwin, 25, has signed a two-year contract at Ewood Park. Doughty likely to go as wellEmbed from Getty ImagesQPR are ready to let Michael Doughty leave for Peterborough.West London Sport revealed in May that Posh are hoping to sign the midfielder, who has a year remaining on his contract at Loftus Road.Following talks between the two clubs, Rangers have told the League One outfit they can sign Doughty if they are able to agree personal terms with him.Rangers boss Ian Holloway recalled Doughty from a season-long loan at Swindon Town in January, insisting he rated the 24-year-old highly and wanted to give him a chance in the first team.However, Doughty started just two matches under Holloway – and has made just 12 first-team appearances for Rangers in total, nine of them as a substitute. No enquiries about SmithiesQPR have so far received no enquiries about Alex Smithies despite speculation over the goalkeeper’s future.Smithies, who signed a new contract in February, was outstanding for the R’s last season.His former club Huddersfield’s recent promotion to the Premier League prompted reports that he could rejoin them this summer.He was previously linked with a number of other clubs, but there has so far been no sign of any interest in the 27-year-old. Mackrell to face Hillsborough chargeEmbed from Getty ImagesA former QPR employee is among six people who will be prosecuted over the Hillsborough disaster.Graham Mackrell will be accused of breaching Health and Safety and Safety at Sports Ground legislation in relation to the tragedy at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground in May 1989.Mackrell was Wednesday’s club secretary and safety officer at the time.He was given the role of chief operating officer at QPR by the then club chairman Gianni Paladini in August 2006, but left just three months later.Last year, new inquests into the disaster at the Liverpool v Nottingham Forest FA Cup semi-final concluded the 96 fans who died had been unlawfully killed. Kerschbaumer loan moveEmbed from Getty ImagesBrentford midfielder Konstantin Kerschbaumer has joined German second-tier side DSC Arminia Bielefelda on a season-long loan.Kerschbaumer, who turns 25 this week, moved to Griffin Park from FC Admira Wacker Mödling for an undisclosed fee two years ago.The Bees have inserted a clause in his contract, which expires in 2019, giving the club the option of extending it to 2020.A similar deal led to Brentford recently extending Jota’s contract by a year. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Ex-49ers safety Eric Reid on NFL drug testing: It just doesn’t add up

first_imgClick here if you’re having trouble viewing the videos below on a mobile device.No sooner had former 49ers safety Eric Reid found a taker for his services this season than he began to complain he was being targeted by the NFL’s drug-testing gendarmes.By Reid’s count, he was tested seven times in 11 weeks. “That has to be statistically impossible,” he said. “I’m not a mathematician, but there’s no way that’s right.” (The NFL tests for banned drugs because it has never been able to otherwise …last_img read more

Veteran DC-8’s new lease on life!

first_imgIn her prime in the late 1960s and 1970s she plied the North Atlantic for Alitalia hauling the rich and famous along with holiday makers.Today – 45 years later – she is still working as an atmosphere testing vehicle for her new owner and carer the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).Where once there were luxurious seats with passengers being served champagne and caviar today she is crammed with scientific equipment.NASA’s Douglas DC-8, the most rugged commercial aircraft ever built, can be found wherever there are extremes of weather in the Arctic, Antarctic, Iceland and Australia during the cyclone season or just around the US flying through thunderstorms and hurricanes.Read: I am having an affair.During the month of August, NASA’s DC-8 completed flights in Florida aimed at collecting data on high-altitude crystals for the High Ice Water Content (HIWC) mission.High ice water content can be found within large convective storms and can result in aircraft engines losing power or not functioning properly. Researchers will use the data to develop technology that can be used on-board commercial aircraft to avoid high ice water content conditions and provide a safer flight for passengers.The video gives an inside look at the HIWC mission, including research done in and around Hurricane Danny, as well as a look at the instruments being used on-board the research aircraft.Researchers and pilots on-board worked with satellite information from the ground to find regions of high ice water content within the convective systems.The month before in July the DC-8 was based in Kansas City to chase thunderstorms and Alan Bavley and photographer Allison Long from the Kansas City Star went along for a ride.Alan Bavley reported thus; “The radar screens in the jetliner show massive storm systems around Wichita and Dodge City growing and beginning to merge.Any commercial aircraft in the area have already diverted. But this DC-8 heads right between the storms. Then it flies circles around them.“Everybody is trying to get away. We’re going towards it,” flight navigator Walter Klein says. “They’re thinking, ‘What’s wrong with these guys?’”No thrill-seekers here. These storm chasers are on a scientific mission. They’re trying to figure out how to better predict a little-examined peculiarity of summer weather on the Great Plains: its enormous, and often ferocious, night-time thunderstorms.The voluminous data they’re gathering — information that may take years to analyse — will be used to improve computer models to better foretell where night-time storms will occur and how much rain will fall. More precise predictions would better warn the public about flooding and could help farmers decide when to plant or harvest.“There’s a lot of uncertainty about when these storms are going to form, if these storms will form and where they will form,” said Richard Ferrare, NASA’s chief scientist on the mission.Right now, the bull’s-eye for a storm prediction may be the entire state of Kansas.“We want to shrink that,” he said. Read Alan’s full story here.last_img read more

SA to US travellers: What’s Your BIG 5?

first_img16 April 2013 South African Tourism North America will unveil its ground-breaking new advertising campaign, “What’s Your BIG 5?” on NBC’s hit series “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” on Sunday 21 April. A year in the making, the multi-faceted “What’s Your BIG 5?” campaign aims to increase awareness and travel to South Africa by taking prospective travellers through the spectrum of distinct experiences offered by South Africa – including but not limited to the iconic safari. “Sunday’s episode will bring to life the vibrant culture of South Africa to an astounding six-million viewers,” South African Tourism said in a statement on Monday. “South Africa has become a highly sought-after travel destination, breaking tourism records with double-digit growth in the past three years,” said Sthu Zungu, president of South African Tourism North America. “High-profile partnerships like All-Star Celebrity Apprentice are one of the many driving forces catapulting our destination into mainstream consciousness, fuelling conversations and travel to South Africa like never before.” “South Africa is an amazing destination,” said Donald Trump, executive producer and star of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. “This Sunday’s episode will highlight the magnificence of the country, and I will be going to South Africa soon – it’s one of my favorite places.” “The Big Five” refers to the best-known of Africa’s famous safari animals, namely the elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo. “With this campaign, South African Tourism aims to re-define “BIG 5″ to underscore the broad range of authentic and distinct experiences South Africa has to offer travellers of all ages,” South African Tourism said. The campaign launches on Sunday with a “360-degree platform” including advertising, year-round public relations, trade marketing, and consumer-driven events throughout the year. After Sunday’s airing, at 11pm EST, viewers will be able to catch a bonus video of one of the Celebrity Apprentic All-Stars living the episode’s electrifying task first-hand in South Africa on www.southafrica.net. Viewers will also be able to learn more about South Africa’s culture, diversity and friendly people on the website, while booking their own “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice & What’s Your BIG 5?” travel package. “Additionally, one lucky viewer participating in the show’s launch of What’s Your BIG 5? campaign via Visit South Africa on Facebook or @SouthAfrica on Twitter, will win a trip to New York City on May 19th and two VIP tickets for the live finale taping,” South African Tourism announced. “The winner and a guest will also be invited to rub elbows with Mr Trump and the All-Star cast and crew at the exclusive finale after-party. Sweepstakes start on April 21st and end on April 29th; visit www.facebook.com/VisitSouthAfrica for more details.” For more information, visit www.southafrica.net, follow @SouthAfrica on Twitter or like Visit South Africa on Facebook. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Public works programmes ‘have benefited 3.5m people’

first_img21 February 2014 South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) has been a success story which has benefited more than 3.5-million people since it was introduced in 2004, President Jacob Zuma said in Cape Town on Thursday. Replying to the debate on the State of the Nation address in Parliament, Zuma dismissed the criticism of some members of the opposition, who had said that the EPWP was not a solution to unemployment in South Africa. Zuma said the formal economy could not absorb all work seekers, adding: “The fact is this innovation has made a massive impact in the lives of the poor.” Working for Water and similar programes that set people working to tackle waste and fire hazards and support the country’s wetlands, together with the Environmental Youth Services Programme, had created about 750 000 work opportunities and more than 200 000 full-time equivalent jobs since 2009. More than half of the beneficiaries of these programmes were young people, Zuma said, noting that the majority of South Africa’s unemployed were reportedly between the ages of and 24 and 30. Meanwhile, Zuma said that social grants remained the most effective poverty alleviation tool in addressing the legacy of apartheid. More than 16-million people in South Africa are beneficiaries of social grants. For more than 22% of households in the country, social grants are the main source of income. “It must also be noted that the majority of beneficiaries of social grants, 11-million specifically, are vulnerable children,” Zuma said. “The rest of the beneficiaries are older persons receiving the old age pension, persons with disability, military veterans and other vulnerable persons.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

The Art of the Storyboard

first_imgIn the world of digital previsualization, the good old analog storyboard is still an art form in its own right. In this post we share interesting storyboard examples from famous films and directors.Recently a freelance storyboard artist sent me a link to some of her work (see below) and I was struck by the way in which she managed to combine three distinct styles, each conveying such different emotional connotations.This got me thinking about how in the world of digital pre-vis and animatics we might be losing the art of the storyboard in favor of digital means, although I hope we’re not.   In this post, I’ll share three great examples from the long history of the art and craft of the film storyboard.The YardsThe following video is a great behind-the-scenes featurette in which director James Gray (The Yards, We Own The Night) talks through several of his ‘water colour storyboards’ and how they connect to the sequences in the film. Its also a great opportunity to see director of photography Harris Savides’ lighting tests and how they correlate with Gray’s storyboards and the final film.RidleygramsOne of the most famous directors for doodles is Ridley Scott, who started out as a production designer.  He often draws extensive storyboards in all stages of production. In this fascinating vintage (1982) behind the scenes film for Blade Runner you not only get to hear Douglas Trumbull explain the complexities of early optical composites but at about 9:30 minutes in you get to see plenty of Ridley’s famous ‘Ridleygrams’. If you’re curious to see more check out this blog post full of Alien Ridleygrams.Hitchcock – 13 filmsIn this fantastically long blog post, the folks at Filmmaker IQ have collected together some of the storyboard art from 13 of Alfred Hitchcock’s films. It is interesting to see the variety of styles and the level of detail in each of the storyboards. It is also amazing to think that he made 67 films in his career!  Here are a few of my personal favorites:last_img read more

NGT seeks response on sand mining in Yamuna

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal has sought response from the Divisional Commissioner, Allahabad, after a committee headed by the officer failed to submit a report on the alleged illegal sand mining in the area.A Bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, said, “The committee was to furnish a report which has not been furnished. Issue notice to the Divisional Commissioner, Allahabad, as to why penal action be not taken for non-compliance of orders of this Tribunal.”The officer has been directed to be present before the Tribunal on January 22.In September last year, the green panel had directed constitution of a committee to be headed by the officer and sought a report on the allegations of illegal mining. Petitioner Atul Singh Chauhan had challenged the ongoing sand mining in the Yamuna riverbed in Allahabad without the requisite environmental clearance.last_img read more

CM distributes smartphones to 10000 Anganwadi workers

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Delhi government will develop the Anganwadis like the high-end playschools, asserted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday. The Chief Minister also launched a programme for the distribution of smartphones for around 10,000 Anganwadi workers. “There is a perception that Anganwadis are merely centres for providing food to children. Children would come, they will be given food and sent back. Now an Early Childhood Care Curriculum is being introduced so that Anganwadis provide the kind of care and education that is provided at the expensive playschools. Even the poor will have access to the facilities that the rich do. Anganwadis will now be developed into playschools,” said the Delhi Chief Minister. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe smartphones being provided are aimed at reducing the administrative burden of Anganwadi workers and improving the efficiency of the department. According to the officials, this step will also help to maintain a real-time monitoring mechanism of the status of all centres. This will be a major step towards enhancing the quality of Anganwadis in the city. “Whenever governments have to provide electronic appliances to people on a large scale, ordinarily they provide substandard products. But we are providing you high-end phones, ones that ministers, IAS officers use. You don’t have to worry about the data charges either, the government will take care of it. Earlier you would have to maintain 11 or 12 registers monthly at each Anganwadi. Now using this smartphone, you will be able to enter everything into our database and the government will directly have access to that information. This is a digitisation of the entire Anganwadi sector that will not only benefit you but also the department” said CM Kejriwal. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsStressing on his government’s commitment to the welfare of Anganwadi workers, the chief minister said, “I recall that many of you had come to us with the low salary problem. We could have hiked your salary then as per the norm by 10 percent to 20 percent, which was also what you had demanded. Instead, we had hiked your wages by 100 percent. Delhi’s Anganwadi workers may now be the highest-paid in the country.” The Cheif Minister said that whenever someone talks about electricity, water, schools, hospitals, Mohalla clinics, people across the country vouch for the work being done in Delhi. It is my dream that soon Delhi should also be known as the state where Anganwadis are the best. The same system was running for the last 70 years and had run government schools to the ground. “But over the last five years, it was the same set of individuals who turned around the schools of Delhi. We didn’t replace the teachers or Principals, we just gave them a better environment to work in. Now the same 10,000 Anganwadi workers who were neglected by earlier governments will turnaround the Anganwadis of Delhi,” said the Chief Minister.last_img read more