It’s Generosity Day – Say Yes and Give

first_imgOn Valentine’s Day, rather than telling you something, I’m asking something. I’m asking you to participate in Generosity Day. It’s a day when you seek to be selfless and see what happens when generosity becomes your default.1. For all of February 14, pledge to be generous. Say yes to every request for help, every opportunity to do a kindness, and – yes – every car edging front of you in traffic. 2. Ask others to do the same by blogging, emailing, Tweeting – face-to-face asking!3. Post your experiences on Facebook (here) or on Twitter with the hashtag #generosityday. Share what you do and what you witness.I am a true believer in the concept that being generous is the key to inspiring generosity in others. Let’s see what’s possible if we all participate. Thanks to Sasha Dichter for starting it! (He did it for a whole month, I fall at his feet for that.) And read the whole story behind this at Fast Company.My whole family (including my three kids) is in – can’t wait to see what happens on the playground and around the country.last_img read more

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How to turn your customers and clients into loyal followers

first_imgWhat is true luxury?Andy Hayes, a creative entrepreneur and founder of Plum Deluxe, has built a loyal, engaged community founded on the simple belief that true luxury is “a mindset, not a pricetag.” Richness is about connecting with other people, Andy has found. (He sounds like a Quiet Revolutionary!)Building a community is challenging, but in little over a year, Plum Deluxe has gained over 10,000 Facebook followers and his newsletter has thousands of subscribers. Andy is also a web producer who coaches other brands on creating meaningful connections with customers.So what are his secrets? Andy gave us 4 steps for creating online communities:Step 1: Realize you are on a journeyAccording to Andy, “building a community requires both a strong understanding of your customer’s journey, but knowing that you’re on a journey of your own.” Before developing your community strategy, he recommends sharing your personal story. Ask yourself the following questions:Do you know what you want your business or community to achieve?Does your community of customers and followers have a story that reflects your world view?From there, you can begin building a vibrant community or following where people understand your mission, feel invested and find value from their involvement.Step 2: Identify your audienceIt’s important to understand what your community members or your customers look like. Andy recommends, writing out a very detailed profile of what kind of people you are targeting.“Make it so detailed that it feels almost uncomfortable. One way I like to think of it is like a personal ad.” Here’s an example of what someone might profile about a Plum Deluxe community member:“Busy professional woman seeks help in finding ways to enjoy more quality time with friends and close family. Loves food, wine, tea, is fairly organized but not a neat freak. No aspirations to be Martha Stewart, though often has pangs of jealousy for high end kitchen appliances and top shelf interior design styles.”This description draws a much clearer picture than a “30-40 something women, married no children, lives in urban areas in the United States.”Once you have a clear picture of who you’re targeting, you’ll be much better able to determine what products or articles or social media posts would resonate with your audience.Step 3: Select the best the best social channels to promote your communityWhen you’re building a community, you have to get active on social media in your niche, but Andy recommends picking your top 3 social networks and spending your time wisely. For instance, instead of just sitting on your Twitter page watching random tweets roll in, use Twitter search to see who is posting about your company or follow a hashtag that is relevant to your niche. Consider the following statements:Decide what your various platforms are trying to accomplish.Determine the goal of each platform before you choose your tools.Know who your audience. What topics are interesting to them?Monitor to find patterns and trends on social media.For example, almost 75% Plum Deluxe’s new readers come from Pinterest, so they dedicate a lot of time curating beautifully detailed boards.Step 4: Start a blogBlogging is an excellent way to use your website to build relationships. Write posts that fit your business and appeal to your target audience.The key here is providing real value to your customers that connects with them emotionally. Ask people to share their stories, experiences or thoughts on your topics. Make sure to respond to the comments and use them to further the conversation. Sharing how-to features, member stories, and tips allow for great engagement.Of course, interesting content will also be shared by your customers with their followers, and nothing travels farther than quality content!Freelancers, how do you go beyond “marketing” to customers to create a loyal community?last_img read more

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Not just iPhone X and 4K TV, Apple could also unveil a new iPod Touch today

first_imgApple is expected to launch a bunch of products today at an event held at the Steve Jobs Theatre in Apple’s brand new Apple Park campus. The previous leaks suggest that the company could launch three new iPhones today along with a 4K Apple TV, Apple Watch 3 and New AirPods, now a credit card company called Discover has hinted that the company could also unveil a new 7th generation iPod Touch today at the event.According to 9to5mac , Discover has listed some new yet-to-be announced Apple products on its website under the Deals section. The section includes iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Apple Watch 3,  Apple 4K TV and a 7th generation iPod Touch. Though the company has taken down the page but 9to5mac has managed to get a screenshot which shows iPod Touch along with array of other Apple products coming tonight.According to rumours, coming from famous tipster Benjamin Geskin, the USP of the upcoming iPod Touch could be the Face ID unlocking upgrade. Apple last updated its music player in 2015 when it released an iPod Touch with Apple A8 processor inside. The previous models were launched in 2010 and 2012.Also Read: iPhone X, iPhone 8, Watch 3 and more: Everything to expect from today’s Apple eventApple’s highly anticipated event is going to take place today at 10am DT (10:30PM for India). The event will be held at the Steve Jobs Theatre in Apple Park. The company will launch an anniversary edition iPhone to mark its tenth anniversary celebration. Alongside, there are two more new iPhones expected to launch tonight. This will be the first time that Apple will launch three iPhones at the same time.advertisementThe new anniversary edition iPhone which as per the current rumours, could be called as iPhone X is expected to see major overhauls. The phone expected to sport a full-vision display, an all glass back, a polished stainless steel metal frame and a vertical dual camera setup at the back. The company could ditch its iconic home button and instead introduce a feature called Function area which will be placed at the bottom of the display. Apple is also planning to drop the IPS LCD panels this time. The iPhone 8 is expected to sport an OLED display. The new iPhone will see some radical changes like ditching the Touch ID and bringing 3D face recognition feature. There are talks that the Face ID is so powerful that it could unlock the phone in a millionth of second by merely looking at it. The iPhone 8 and 8Plus are expected to be an updated version of the iPhone 7 and 7Plus.last_img read more

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The Audaciousness of Hope: Reasons for Optimism at the Ceres Conference 2012

first_imgRoadmaps and racesThe flagship report of the conference was The Road to 2020: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability. This report evaluates how 600 large publicly traded companies are progressing along the Ceres sustainability roadmap. If you’ve seen the report’s headlines, “businesses failing,” “businesses falling short,” and “disappointing results,” you might be wondering where my ray of hope is in all this.Well, here is the deal. By tracking and publicly reporting companies’ progress along the roadmap, Ceres have created a powerful tool to drive corporate progress in the race to sustainability. Imagine if their more than 100 investors use it to inform how they invest $10 trillion dollars, or if the 130 civil society organizations in the Ceres coalition use it to focus their advocacy and campaign efforts? The roadmap also provides much needed guideposts to companies currently wandering in the dark as they seek a more sustainable path forward.Tools for the journeyDuring the conference, participants discussed a number of practical tools to facilitate corporate sustainability efforts. Ceres and WRI teamed up to showcase how our respective tools, Aqua Gauge and Aqueduct, can provide an integrated approach to assessing and managing water risk. The WRI Aqueduct tool maps indicators of geographic water risks, complementing the Ceres Aqua Gauge framework for assessing companies’ response to water risk. Together they enable investors to compare water risks across geographic regions and companies.Another promising tool, especially for those skeptics who believe people are only motivated by money, is linking executive pay to sustainability performance. While this is still a rarity, several companies are blazing a trail on this dimension of good governance, including: Intel, Excel Energy and Campbell Soup.Of course tools are just means to ends. But they can both speed up the achievement of the ends and generate more effective results. The greenhouse gas accounting standards and tools developed by GHG Protocol over the past decade is a case in point. We have progressed from companies unaware of their emissions to companies reporting on their emissions, on to companies setting reduction targets and more recently companies expanding their reduction ambitions to their value chains and products. Which brings me to my next ray of hope…Venturing outside the corporate fence lineTen years ago, it was rare for companies to focus their sustainability efforts beyond their own direct operations. Today, it is increasingly accepted that corporate responsibility does not stop at the factory gate. One way WRI is helping companies look beyond their direct impacts is the release of two new GHG Protocol standards to measure value chain (scope 3) and product-level greenhouse gas emissions.For many companies, it turns out that the majority of sustainability risks and opportunities reside in their value chains. Levi Strauss & Co., for example, released a white paper at the conference on its efforts to improve the health and well-being of workers in factories in its supply chain. And Levi’s is just one example; a session on building sustainable supply chains overflowed with corporate representatives sharing their experiences at the Ceres conference.Ultimately we need all companies, not just the leaders, to make sustainability part of their corporate fabric. That will require changing the rules of the game. This is where governments must play a key role, ensuring that policies and incentives are aligned with driving more sustainable business action. Leadership companies should add their voices to those advocating for more progressive environmental and social policies. Such policies will also benefit them because they are better positioned to compete under new rules than the laggards.Now if that happens, we really will have something to be hopeful about. Let me ‘fess up. The state of the environment sometimes gets me down. But to be fair, Earth’s vital signs would drive any respectable emergency room doctor into a state of utter panic. Globally, two thirds of ecosystem services, such as freshwater, pollination, natural hazard regulation, have been degraded in the past 50 years. Annual rates of growth in yields of many basic crops have declined over the past 20 years. The effects of global climate change are already being felt around the world.But attending the Ceres annual conference this week gave me a refreshing dose of optimism. Ceres, a coalition of investors, environmental organizations, and other public interest groups, drew together hundreds of businesses, investors, and non-profits to share innovative approaches for corporate sustainability. Here are three rays of hope from the conference.Watch Janet Ranganathan discuss corporate sustainability at the Ceres 2012 conference:last_img read more

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Receiver Reps Breakdown: Sergeant Stoner Big in Return

first_imgStarting last season, it was apparent how much Mike Gundy loved Dillon Stoner.It culminated with a fourth quarter touchdown pass to James Washington against Central Michigan. It was stunning and confusing and beautiful.Then he suffered a season-ending injury and had surgery. He made his return Thursday against Tulsa and showed out in Oklahoma State’s 59-24 victory against Tulsa at Boone Pickens Stadium. During the postgame show, Carson Cunningham dubbed him “Sergeant Stoner” to replace General Walsh as the guy most likely to get his troops on the same page before, during and after a game.Stoner took 29 snaps while Mason Rudolph was in at quarterback. That was more than Tyron Johnson and Chris Lacy and almost as many as Marcell Ateman. And he wasn’t just out there to be out there. Rudolph targeted Stoner four times, which was more than anyone except James Washington and Ateman. And he caught all four balls that went his direction, which tied him for second on the team. He thrived (and will continue to thrive) in this offense.It was unclear the role freshman Tylan Wallace will play in dividing Jalen McCleskey and Stoner’s reps, but Wallace didn’t take a single snap while Rudolph was in.The rest of the reps at receiver fell into place as expected with Washington and McCleskey taking the most, Ateman and Lacy splitting, and Johnson making the most of his chances behind The President. OSU Receiver Reps Tylan Wallace0 James Washington37 Tyron Johnson13 Chris Lacy21 Dillon Stoner29center_img Marcell Ateman31 Jalen McCleskey37 Stoner came in mostly as a replacement for the Cowboy Back, when used, and spread the field nicely. He was effective in the short screen game, catching and blocking, and was fairly solid working the middle of the field, catching one and drawing a pass interference call on another.McCleskey had a rough night in all facets. He fudged a punt return that turned into a Tulsa touchdown and caught only one ball for a negative total yardage on the night.Otherwise, the production mostly followed the number of reps each receiver got. Johnson might have only had one catch in those 13 snaps, but he made it worth it for a 44-yard score. And Washington was just flat-out phenomenal, per every other time he has played the sport of American football.Lost in the mix, as I honestly suspected, was Lacy. McCleskey just had an off night, but Lacy’s performance was quiet enough to make you realize that there’s always going to be at least one odd man out this year: He had one catch for 13 yards. His 21 reps were obviously 10 fewer than Ateman received, but for some reason, they felt like 15-20 less. Lacy was targeted three times, but one of the incompletions was a weak underthrow as Rudolph tried to throw across his momentum, and the other was an early drop on a screen pass.None of that matters, most likely, as almost everyone has classified this group of receivers as “selfless.” Still, it must sting at times, and Gundy said he knows how it is.“We’re gonna have a lot of good players that don’t get to touch the ball a lot because we don’t have enough footballs to go around,” Gundy said in the postgame.I suspect Gundy’s allocation of reps Thursday night was a template for what to expect. Wallace won’t redshirt. He is too talented to be forced to sit, but as long as everyone is healthy, he likely won’t see more than 20 reps in any meaningful action this season.It will be interesting to follow the progression here at WR as the season wears on and all of these guys vie to be on the field in big spots for big games. It’s a good problem to have if you’re the Cowboys, and one I’m sure will not be easy to solve for opposing defenses.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! ReceiverPlayslast_img read more

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Messi has chance to break Chelsea hoodoo

first_imgUEFA Champions League Messi handed opportunity to break Chelsea hoodoo and worst goal drought Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 20:16 12/11/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Lionel Messi Barcelona 27092017 Getty UEFA Champions League Lionel Messi Barcelona Chelsea Primera División Premier League The mercurial Argentine has faced the Blues on eight occasions with Barcelona, but he has never been able to find the target Barcelona are to face Chelsea in the Champions League last 16, handing Lionel Messi the chance to snap the worst scoring record of his career.The mercurial Argentine has netted at a remarkable rate down the years, with his efforts helping him to five Ballon d’Or awards and countless records.He has, however, faced something of a Chelsea hoodoo over the course of his continental endeavours. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Messi has faced the Blues on eight previous occasions, but has never troubled the scorers to post the longest drought of a goal-laden spell at Camp Nou.0 – Lionel Messi has faced Chelsea eight times without scoring a single goal from 29 shots; his worst record against a single club during his career. Hex. #UCLDraw pic.twitter.com/PDe4GOndTQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 11, 2017Messi first faced Chelsea back in 2006, as Barcelona secured a 3-1 aggregate victory over the Blues in the last-16.The two sides then met again in the group stage the following season, with Barca suffering a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge and being held to a 2-2 draw on home soil.Chelsea then suffered an agonising away goals defeat in the semi-finals of the 2008-09 competition, with Andres Iniesta firing home a last-gasp effort in west London.Messi’s best opportunity to net against the Blues then presented itself during another semi-final showdown in 2012, but he crashed a penalty against the crossbar as Chelsea progressed 3-2 on aggregate.He will need no reminding of that night when the two teams meet again, with that contest representing the only blot on Barca’s knockout copybook against Premier League foes.6 – Barcelona have progressed from six of their last seven Champions League knockout ties against English opposition – the exception was against Chelsea in the semi-final in 2011/12. History. #UCLDraw— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 11, 2017In this season’s last 16, Chelsea will welcome Barca to England for the first leg of their continental showdown before heading to Catalunya for the return date.last_img read more

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Liverpool and Spurs face off for a priceless route past the velvet rope

first_imgOn that basis alone Liverpool have to be regarded as the more likely winners, especially when they have lost only once in their previous 14 matches with Spurs. Too much is made of Klopp being beaten in each of his last six cup finals – or, as he preferred to put it, his world-record at winning semi-finals. Those defeats should not have any relevance here and the stark facts are that Liverpool have shown, repeatedly, they are the stronger team.If Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané click, if Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson start flying up and down the wings, and Virgil van Dijk and all the others play as they have all season, it is a safer bet that next week’s open-top bus parade will take place on the streets of Merseyside rather than north London.Sometimes, though, in football it is not that straightforward and the three-week gap since either team last played might have suited Spurs now that Kane’s twanged ankle ligaments have healed sufficiently for him to play. If, that is, you believe it is right to put Kane straight back into the team at the expense of Lucas Moura, who scored a hat-trick and played so heroically against Ajax he could be forgiven for feeling aggrieved that he is regarded as the most likely player to drop out. “It’s so painful,” Pochettino said when asked about the dilemma. ‘Rebellion and spirit’: Pochettino, by those who know him best features Read more Share on WhatsApp Champions League Read more Share on Messenger We will be judged on trophies, admits Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp Tottenham Hotspur Topics Pinterest ‘I was really upset’: the Spurs fan who for eight hours thought they were out On the streets outside Puerta de Atocha, with the throngs pouring off the trains from Madrid’s main railway station, it was possible to make out a couple of Liverpool fans who had been presumptuous enough to have “6 Times” emblazoned across the back of those familiar red shirts.A little too presumptuous, you might think, on the eve of the final, even if it was true that Tottenham Hotspur’s opponents at the Wanda Metropolitano accumulated 26 more points, lost 12 fewer games and beat them home and away in last season’s Premier League. Share on Pinterestcenter_img Pochettino talked about his players already having shown they can chop more fancied opponents down to size. He spoke about how they had grown with the competition, in a way that felt completely at odds with the old “Spursy” cliché. And he was right: his team could have patented the “Never give up” message that can be seen on the T-shirts of many Liverpool supporters here in the Spanish capital, copying Salah’s look from that night of all nights at Anfield when a 3-0 deficit against Barcelona turned into a 4-3 feast.Spurs have not always made it easy for themselves and there is a remarkable statistic that a quarter of the goals they have conceded in this season’s competition have come inside the opening seven minutes of their matches. But equally they know these occasions can also be settled after the 90-minute mark. “We are so ready,” Pochettino said. “We are ready to run, to compete, to enjoy. And to win. If we want to write our history in the game we know we have to win.” Share on Twitter Twitter Read more Share on Facebook Liverpool It is certainly easy to imagine a team-talk in which Klopp reminds his players of that shattering disappointment in Kiev last year and asks if they want to avoid a similar ordeal this time. It also helps that they have Allison in goal, rather than Loris Karius, and their supporters must be encouraged by the fact Spurs have lost 19 times over the season, including more than a third of their Premier League matches. Indeed, if one were to put together a form table from the last 15 league fixtures, Spurs would be 10th. They lost seven of them, taking 23 points – not only a long way back from Liverpool and Manchester City but worse off than Crystal Palace and Newcastle among others. Share via Email Or perhaps you might have seen the pictures of a banner, in the same shade of red, proclaiming that the supporters from Anfield were on a five-star trip to Madrid and intending to upgrade to six stars for the return journey – six, in this case, meaning Liverpool would leapfrog Bayern Munich and Barcelona, five-times winners of the European Cup, into third in the all-time list. That would be still a few behind Real Madrid, with 13, but only one short of Milan – or, with apologies to Nottingham Forest, more than the rest of the Premier League put together and twice the number of Manchester United, the club Liverpool always tend to compare themselves with.For Spurs, the landscape is very different, shaping up for a potentially seminal night courtesy of a 95th-minute winner against Ajax in the semi-final, a 94th-minute VAR decision to harpoon Manchester City in the quarters and not forgetting Harry Kane’s 89th-minute goal against PSV Eindhoven in the group stage when, three games in, Mauricio Pochettino’s team had strayed dangerously close to elimination.Spurs have, after all, never been in this position before. Winning would change everything: a chance to bury the preconception, once and for all, that the club do not belong to the elite, that it is a team where all the best players feel they have to move on one day. The prize money, £16.8m, for winning the final is one part. But what price the prestige? What price – to use the word with which Spurs love to associate themselves – the glory?For Liverpool the opportunity is there to remind the football world they are one of the giants of the sport. It is not quite the same for Spurs, 58 years since they were last champions of England. But the club’s position would change irrevocably if Pochettino and his players can add the smudge of their fingerprints to that shiny old pot.What they lack, perhaps, is the knowhow that led Jürgen Klopp to reflect that Real Madrid were too streetwise for Liverpool in last season’s final. Madrid, Klopp said, had “more natural quality, not potential but quality, and were experienced like hell. That was a different level. This time the level is much more equal. That is why we feel different but we don’t feel halfway through. We only feel positive, let me say it like this.” Facebook Share on LinkedIn Alisson has been a key player for Liverpool since his arrival from Roma. Photograph: Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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CAT chief decides to not hear whistleblowers cases cites unfortunate developments

first_imgNew Delhi: CAT chairman L Narasimha Reddy has decided to not hear cases involving whistleblower bureaucrat Sanjiv Chaturvedi, citing most unfortunate developments and other reasons.Chaturvedi, a 2002-batch Indian Forest Service officer, has been contesting cases against the central government over adverse entries made in his appraisal report of 2015-16 by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, and other related matters since 2016. In August 2016, Chaturvedi joined his parent cadre of Uttarakhand after completion of his four-year tenure as chief vigilance officer who acts as a distant arm of the Central Vigilance Commission during 2012 and 2016. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’In July 2017, Chaturvedi moved Nainital bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal, challenging entries into his appraisal report of 2015-16. The Nainital bench then issued notices to central government and AIIMS. In November 2017, he filed application before the CAT chairman for transfer of his three other pending petitions (filed on different service related matters) from Delhi bench to Nainital. However, the very next month, the AIIMS administration filed a transfer petition before the CAT chief for transfer of his pending case of appraisal report from Nainital bench to Delhi. All these four transfer petitions were being heard jointly by CAT chief Reddy. In an order late last month, Reddy said with each passing day, one complication or the other, related to these transfer petitions, was arising. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe situation virtually reached the peak when it led to initiation of contempt proceedings against the counsel, and as a counterblast, filing of a contempt case by the petitioner against the chairman by name, before the Uttarakhand High Court, he said. This is a rare case in which most unfortunate developments have taken place. The very stature of the office of the chairman is put to test. Persons may come and persons may go, but the stature of the office of the chairman cannot be permitted to suffer any dent. At the same time, the right of a citizen to get fair adjudication cannot be defeated, he said in the order dated March 29. Reddy said law does provide for invocation of the doctrine of necessity, to meet eventualities of this nature.last_img read more

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Lanka appreciates world support to defeat LTTE

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka appreciates the support given by the international community to defeat the LTTE.Addressing the nation at the victory day celebrations at Galle Face today, the President also said that recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) which are acceptable to the government are now being implemented. He also said that army camps in the north, like in other parts of the country, will remain and will not be removed despite pressure to do so. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his speech, also noted that all illegal armed groups in the north and east have been disarmed and normalcy has returned to the country, three years after the end of the war.Members of the opposition United National Party (UNP) also attended the victory day celebrations. “The report was to be used to reconcile communities. It should not be used to create divisions among the communities,” the President added. At the celebrations special accolades were also presented to the families of 15 members of the security forces killed during the war. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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EU housing project to benefit more than 300 000

The initiative aims to construct houses for almost 16 000 conflict-affected persons, in cooperation with World Vision Lanka. To minimise debt, vulnerable families will receive supplements for loan disaster preparedness and construction trainings. To provide more holistic development support and increase livelihood opportunities, Habitat for Humanity will provide vocational and skills development training to households, persons active in the trade sector and youth in construction related services. This project will also follow a “homeowner driven process” of construction, whereby the selected families will contribute through their own labour towards the reconstruction efforts. The project also provides support to the domestic economy by sourcing all building material locally. The project also aims to safeguard women’s rights by ensuring their participation in community consultation meetings and decision making process. With a financial envelope of €14 million, more than 300, 000 people are expected to benefit from the support provided by the European Union to build houses and improve community infrastructure for internally displaced people and returnees. The activities will be implemented from 2016-2018 in nine selected divisions of the Killinochchi, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa districts by Habitat for Humanity. This initiative dovetails on the earlier housing programmes for which the European Union contributed with €50 million in the districts of Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya and Batticaloa.Speaking during the signing of the project, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, David Daly said, “The project contributes to a sustainable solution for returnee families with the specific objective of improving the living conditions and social cohesion of displaced people, returnees and their host communities. This is not just an infrastructure project, but an initiative that will contribute to livelihood support through skills development and loan facilities to help people build towards a more hopeful future”. “At Habitat for Humanity, we believe that housing is not a product but a process. It is not enough to build houses, we need to turn them into homes and empower homeowners to transition from poverty and dependency to independence and self-sufficiency,” says Greg Foster, Area Vice President for Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa. “This is exactly what we hope to do for the war affected communities in Sri Lanka. We want to show them a way out of poverty and unlock their entrepreneurship.” (Courtesy Thomson Reuters Foundation) read more

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Business Highlights

___States led by Texas target Google in new antitrust probeWASHINGTON (AP) — Fifty U.S. states and territories, led by Texas, announced an investigation into whether Google has gotten too big and effective at stomping or acquiring rivals. The announcement comes just days after a separate group of states disclosed an investigation into Facebook’s market dominance.___UK’s Johnson to suspend Parliament as his Brexit plans stallLONDON (AP) — British lawmakers demanded Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government release officials’ correspondence about plans for Brexit, as the government prepared to suspend Parliament and send rebellious lawmakers home until two weeks before the country is supposed to leave the EU. Lawmakers used the hours before the suspension to deliver new blows to Johnson’s teetering authority.___Elliott invests $3.2B in AT&T, seeks changesNEW YORK (AP) — Activist hedge fund manager Elliott Management is making a new $3.2B investment in AT&T and says the company could be valued at more than $60 a share by 2021’s end. Elliott wants changes at AT&T, including the possible divestment of DirecTV.___Volkswagen bets big on electric. Will consumers buy in?FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A rising wave of new all-electric car models is about to hit the European auto market, the result of billions of euros worth of investment in battery technology and new factories. But it’s not at all clear if consumers will want to buy them.___Juul warned over claims e-cigarette safer than smokingWASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health authorities say vaping giant Juul Labs illegally promoted its electronic cigarettes as a safer option to smoking. The Food and Drug Administration issued a stern warning letter to the company Monday, flagging various claims by Juul, including that its products are “much safer than cigarettes.” The FDA has been investigating Juul for months but had not previously warned the company.___How much do Trump tweets swing the market? Check “Volfefe”NEW YORK (AP) — Financial markets have become so in thrall to President Donald Trump’s tweets that J.P. Morgan has created an index to help identify how much volatility they’re creating. Strategists at the bank say they created the “Volfefe” index by measuring which of Trump’s tweets triggered big movements in yields for Treasurys, one of the most widely followed markets in the world. They say the index shows Trump’s tweets explain a “measureable fraction” of volatility in the market for shorter-term rates.___Looking to hire 30,000, Amazon plans nationwide job fairsNEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is going on a hiring spree. The online shopping giant is holding job fairs across the country next week, aiming to hire more than 30,000 people by early next year. The jobs range from highly-paid software engineers to warehouse workers who make at least $15 an hour to pack and ship online orders. The job fairs will take place Sept. 17 in six U.S. cities: Arlington, Virginia; Boston; Chicago; Dallas, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and Seattle.___Broken Columbia River barge lock means commerce chokeholdPORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A critical boat lock on the Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River is shut down for repairs, meaning barges that transport millions of tons of wheat, wood and other goods from the inland Pacific Northwest to Pacific Ocean export terminals can’t move. A crack in the concrete sill of the lock was discovered late last week but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has no firm date for the completion of repairs. The closure comes during wheat harvest and could be devastating for farmers who ship to Asia.___Uber adding 2,000 jobs in Chicago, mostly in Freight unitCHICAGO (AP) — Uber plans to open a new office in Chicago and add 2,000 people to its workforce in the area over the next three years. The office will officially house the company’s freight business and a related engineering hub. Uber Freight already has a significant presence in the city. The company has about 1,300 workers there, some with the ride-hailing unit but most working on Freight.___S&P 500 finishes flat; smaller company stocks notch gainsNEW YORK (AP) — Major U.S. stock indexes ended mixed as large companies gave up early gains and smaller companies closed broadly higher. The S&P 500 index ended virtually flat as losses in technology and health care stocks outweighed gains in banks and other sectors. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks, which has lagged the S&P 500 this year, outpaced the rest of the market. Investors hope smaller-company stocks will be better shielded from the U.S.-China trade war than large multinationals.___The S&P 500 inched 0.28 points lower, or less than 0.1%, to 2,978.43. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.05 points, or 0.1%, to 26,835.51. The Nasdaq fell 15.64 points, or 0.2%, to 8,087.44. The Russell 2000 of smaller-company stocks climbed 19.06 points, or 1.3%, to 1,524.23.The Associated Press read more

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How Wide Receivers Are Like College Football Teams

One of my absolute favorite early “sabermetric” football studies was conducted in early 2005 by Doug Drinen, the founder of Pro-Football-Reference.com. At the time, Drinen was spending a week guest-writing football posts at the blog of a fellow professor, the economist J.C. Bradbury, and was performing innovative statistical research using the first iteration of the Pro-Football-Reference database. In those days, digitized historical football data was very difficult to come by, and Drinen’s collection — mind you, a small fraction of the current PFR database’s size — was the best on the web.As one of his experiments, Drinen made an unorthodox attempt to rank modern wide receivers relative to one another. (For what it’s worth, the conundrum of how best to rate receivers is still a problem nine years later.) His unique twist? The method he used treated receivers the same way he would, elsewhere, treat college football teams in a power-rating system such as the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) used.Drinen’s rationale was as follows:Wide Receiver is the only position where even small groups of players are actually competing against each other under nearly identical circumstances… [Two receivers] are working in the same system with the same quarterback, the same offensive line, even the same game conditions. Raw numbers probably are a good way to determine to what extent [one is better than the other]… Every season, every team has a group of 3 to 5 guys that can, for the most part, be rank-ordered by their numbers. This situation is unique to wide receivers.But how does this help us compare [receivers]? Think college football. USC didn’t play Auburn [in 2004]. So who was better? Well, you know USC was good because, among other reasons, they crushed Oklahoma, who we suspect was pretty good; they beat Texas, for example. We know Auburn was good, in part, because they beat Tennessee, Georgia, and LSU, all solid teams. While there is unfortunately no direct evidence to help us settle the Auburn/USC debate, there are piles and piles of indirect evidence. Every game played by either team, or the opponents of either team, or the opponents of those teams, serves as a tiny sliver of indirect evidence about how good USC and Auburn were. And many very intelligent people have devoted lots of their time and talent to convincing computers to assimilate all this information.So why not put this technology to work ranking wide receivers?Drinen went on to describe his system. In it, each receiver competes against his fellow teammates for receiving yardage; the degree to which one beats the other is how much he outgains him statistically (after adjusting for aging effects). When receivers change teams, they face different matchups against a different set of opponents, which help tell us about not only the receiver’s own quality, but also the relative quality of his old and new teammates. Do this for every season in NFL history, and we have a rough way to gauge how much each receiver would outgain (or be outgained by) the average NFL pass-catcher, adjusted for his strength of schedule (teammates).While doing research for my article about receiving stats and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I replicated Drinen’s “BCS rating” — right down to the aging curve — but applied it to True Receiving Yards per game (Drinen used total yards). Here were the leaders among pass catchers who started their careers in 1950 or later:You can find the full results for this rating alongside each player’s career True Receiving Yards and With or Without You (WOWY) scores, as well as the data for the TRY per game aging curve, on GitHub. read more

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Clean eating is dangerous and unhealthy TVs Dr Christian claims

first_imgThe “clean eating” fad is more dangerous for children than fizzy drinks, a health guru has claimed. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow's website Goop promotes clean eating Dr Christian Jessen said that such doctrines, promoted by celebrities such as the actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s website Goop, are “absolute rubbish”.  However, they do not realise the dangers of “wellness” promoting brands – and may even follow the clean… He said that the wellness industry is particularly “insidious” because it masquerades as promoting a healthy lifestyle when in fact it does the opposite. center_img Credit: Ian West/PA Wire Dr Jessen, who is best known for presenting the television shows Embarrassing Bodies and Supersize vs Superskinny, said that parents at least know fizzy drinks, chocolate and sweets are unhealthy. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s website Goop promotes clean eatinglast_img read more

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Dissinger back for Kadetten faces Barcelona again

← Previous Story Champions League (M) begins today! Next Story → Vive Kielce wins against Kwidzyn in 10 minutes! Christian Dissinger, one of the most prosperous German players, had misfortune right after signing for Kadetten last season. In the match against Barcelona he slipped, got injured, and had to be out for about nine months. Now he is finally back after recovering, and already played some minutes in the Swiss Championship match against Kriens, and is now waiting for the Champions League opener against the team he had the misfortune – FC Barcelona. BarcelonadissingerkadettenSchaffhausen read more

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Heres how the UK front pages reacted to the new Brexit Halloween

first_img Apr 11th 2019, 8:17 AM Thursday 11 Apr 2019, 8:17 AM By Gráinne Ní Aodha Short URL Share59 Tweet Email The Guardian reports that Europe listened to May – “and said no”.It reports: .@bobscartoons on May’s EU #Brexit talks https://t.co/HARdLRkIWC pic.twitter.com/b2dbOCmvXt— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) April 10, 2019 Matt Cartoon April 11th #brexit pic.twitter.com/lR6q96aoRO— Matt Cartoons (@MattCartoonist) April 10, 2019 26,617 Views Here’s how the UK front pages reacted to the new Brexit Halloween deadline Four of the tabloids didn’t choose the Brexit extension as their front page story at all. Macron had sought to maintain the pressure on Britain to act with an “enhanced duty of sincere cooperation” during the extra period of membership following the threats from Brexiteers, including Jacob Rees-Mogg, that the UK could seek to disrupt the bloc from within. It also reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel argued for a flexible extension until 31 December, and that the threat of the Uk taking part in European elections would encourage some to vote for Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.The Times and the Metro draw a comparison to the black hole photo – someone had to do it. NO ONE IS surprised that Brexit isn’t happening this Friday, though the 31 October deadline may have raised a few eyebrows.Early this morning, it was confirmed that the UK would be given a flexible extension up until the 31 October, meaning the UK could leave the EU before then if it approves British Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal.Although the arrangement avoids a no-deal Brexit in less than 48 hours from now, it wasn’t quite what Theresa May wanted – she had asked for an extension until 30 June.European Council President Tusk also didn’t quite get what he wanted, as he had intended that there be a flexible extension of up to a year. But French President Emmanuel Macron, tired of talking about Brexit, and eager to avoid a Brussels summit every two weeks to discuss an extension, pushed to narrow the time being given.The extension also means that the UK will have to prepare for the European elections, with the intention that none of the candidates who are elected will take their seats for long.So how is all this being perceived in the UK press?Starting with The Telegraph, its front page says that Tories “plan to move against PM after elections as she ‘begs’ Europe for help” – but how many times have we heard of Tories planning a leadership challenge at this stage? As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: Source: The Telegraph/Twitter 12 Comments Source: The Daily TelegraphEven more interesting than their front page, is the Telegraph’s political cartoons… https://jrnl.ie/4586792 The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Star and The Mirror all ran with something other than Brexit as their main story; the Daily Mail and the Star didn’t mention Brexit on their front pages at all. Source: Matt Cartoons/Twitter The Metro says that “the EU appears as far, far away as this black hole”, and begins its story with: “It’s a gaping void that sucks in energy with an irresistible force”. Fitting.The Times reports that Theresa May has pledged to stay on as Prime Minister during this year’s extension, despite telling her MPs previously that she wouldn’t fight the next general election.  Source: The TimesSome papers, meanwhile, didn’t even mention Brexit as their front-page story, or mention it at all. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Double Down on the Anime Mistake in the Best Way Possible With

first_imgSubscribe now to CrunchyrollView as: One Page Slides1/201. So many streaming TV services to choose from. Where do you start?2. Netflix is still arguably the biggest name in streaming TV.3. Although it no longer has a free option, Hulu is a great streaming TV service that is worth paying for.4. From buying to renting to subscribing to individual channels, Amazon offers a bevy of streaming TV options.5. YouTube Red subscribers can watch original shows from streaming stars, but YouTube TV lets you watch actual live TV.6. Hook up a Slingbox and watch the cable and live TV you’re already paying for anywhere.7. You have to buy channels in bulk and still deal with commercials, but with DirecTV Now you get the real live TV experience delivered through streaming.8. Crunchyroll is the best anime streaming service if you’re all about subtitles.9. If dubs are more your thing, Funimation Now is the anime streaming service for you.10. If you want to stream shows and documentaries that actually teach you something, go with CuriosityStream.11. AMC Premiere just focuses on current AMC shows, but for Walking Dead super fans that might be enough.12. With Boomerang, tons of retro cartoons, from Looney Tunes to Scooby-Doo, can all come back to you13. FuboTV may be the escape from cable that sports fans are looking for. It’s pricey, but being able to easily stream live sports and more from dozens of channels with only one subscription might very well be worth it.14. Brown Sugar has all of the classic Blaxploitation movies you could want and then some. It’s niche, but it’s one of the most impressive niche libraries we’ve seen. 15. For the true cinephile, FilmStruck has a large collection of classic films from all eras and countries, including movies from the Criterion Collection.16. CollegeHumor’s Dropout provides premium streaming online laughs.17. DC Universe offers live-action adaptations of less familiar superheroes, like Doom Patrol.18. Along with presenting streaming services like Netflix and Sling through one box, Dish AirTV also lets you watch local over-the-air channels with an additional installation.19. Get a streaming media device to enjoy these services on your TV. Our favorite is the Amazon Fire Stick.20. “Anime was a mistake. It’s nothing but trash.” This is (sort of) a real quote from Hayao Miyazaki in the documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. As the genius creative force behind phenomenal films like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbor Totoro, Miyazaki knows a thing or two about anime and whether or not it’s a mistake.But it’s a mistake people keep insist on making, so if you must consume this trash, at least consume it in the best way possible. Cord-cutting competitors like Netflix and Amazon have tipped their toes in the anime water, but Crunchyroll is the premier anime streaming TV service. As I feared, just like the WWE app, Crunchyroll is a great way to cut the cord and still watch this questionable content.For $6.95 per month Crunchyroll gives you access to over 200 anime to watch across a variety of streaming media devices. If you’re interested in keeping up with certain shows like One Piece or Naruto or Death Note or whatever, you can create a queue and track your watch history. For most of my two-week free trial, though, I rolled the dice with the random button, an ingenious feature that serves up the first episode of an unknown show. For an anime outsider like me, it was like watching an algorithm generate a cartoon on the fly. Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up Episode 1 – Flame 1: It’s the 70s! It’s Enma! Demons Unite! Sure! Or how about this? Servant x Service Episode 1 – Be Careful About How You Refer to Someone and Why.The streaming itself is totally functional, even though it’s a Flash player and not HTML5. Some shows are dubbed, such as Digimon (an anime I actually watched as a child), but most are subbed. That’s how episodes appear mere hours after they air in Japan. There are multiple language options as well as video quality settings. So if you’re watching something like The Sekko Boys, you can really appreciate the AESTHETIC of the marble bust main characters. Crunchyroll also streams live video over platforms like Twitch and Facebook, turning itself into a legal anime TV channel for its over 700,000 subscribers.Anime streaming is the point of Crunchyroll, but it has other supplemental features to keep its passionate fanbase engaged. You can buy toys and games and cosplay props in the store. You can interact with other fans in the forums. The editorial team writes anime news and features. Plus, there are other videos to watch beyond anime. You can stream live-action dramas or shows made by fans like review podcasts and convention reports. You can even watch some shows without a paid subscription.There are also music videos by Japanese bands like Babymetal and Puffy AmiYumi. It made me wish the service just had a straight-up “Spotify for anime songs” music streaming component. Beyond adding to the value of the service, these features help make up for outlier gaps in the otherwise substantial streaming catalog. You can’t watch One-Punch Man or Pokémon or the original (nonwhite) Ghost in the Shell, or Studio Ghibli movies, but at least can bankrupt yourself buying merchandise of famous cybernetic singer Hatsune Miku.Thanks to recent partnership with fellow anime peddler Funimation, Crunchyroll has become an even more definitive source of anime streaming. The two services now share shows across their libraries. You can finally watch Dragon Ball Super on Crunchyroll, for example. But going forward Crunchyroll will focus on fast subs of the Japanese versions while Funimation will provide English dubs. For hardcore anime fans, the choice is clear.So yeah, it’s really easy to get your money’s worth from Crunchyroll if you enjoy anime. But oh man, it’s still anime. I have a reputation in the Ziff Davis office for being an anime hater, and I admittedly play it up for comedic effect. I don’t hate the artform. You can’t be into global video game culture without building up an anime tolerance. I like Akira and Summer Wars and Afro Samurai and the aforementioned Miyazaki joints. But when think about the things I like about anime, there’s almost always something else that undercuts it.I appreciate the serialized, finite story of most anime, especially compared to endless American comics constantly resetting to status quo, but there’s also so much filler in anime. I appreciate the beautiful animation anime is capable of, but so much anime also looks so cheap. I appreciate anime as a powerful cultural export from a place other than America. Japan’s a cool place, even if I spent two years in college ultimately failing to learn the language.But no culture is flawless. So, the gender and racial issues that pop up in some anime weird me out. Although, I must stress gender and racial issues are in no way exclusive to Japan. And like with most things, my problem with anime isn’t necessarily anime itself, but the people who are way too into anime. After all, fandom is broken. It’s funny, but my favorite “anime” is probably Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show created by Americans.Now that I’ve said my piece, and made my peace, I think I’ll dive back into the Crunchyroll anime streaming hole. I suggest you all join me. It’s kawaii down here. President Obama agrees. Stay on targetcenter_img Watch: Bill Gates Reveals His Worst Fear in Netflix Docuseries TrailerPlex Enters The Streaming Service Wars With Cable-Style Bundle last_img read more

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Workplace should promote mental wellbeing

first_imgMore than four-fifths (85%) of respondents believe they have a significant responsibility to provide staff with a working environment that promotes mental wellbeing, according to research by Buck Consultants at Xerox.Its survey of more than 400 employers across 31 countries also revealed that 28% of UK employers rate stress levels in their organisation as being either high or very high.The research also found that:12% of UK respondents say the stress levels in their workplace are low or very low.More than half (51%) of respondents rate their organisation as very or extremely supportive of employees’ mental wellbeing.67% believe that this support for the mental wellbeing of staff stems from the culture of the organisation.Anne-Marie Ayre (pictured), head of health and productivity at Buck Consultants at Xerox, said: “Employee wellness can be a challenging proposition for employers to think about, but it’s encouraging to see so many acknowledging and addressing the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace.“A good employee programme will not only address the more obvious physical wellbeing, but tackle a wide range of issues, including the perhaps less obvious areas, such as mental health and financial wellbeing.“The benefits of having a successful wellness programme are felt throughout any business, because once the wellbeing of employees is being cared for, they can effectively fulfil their duties and drive the [organisation] forward.”last_img read more

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Australian pastry shop invents doughnut that glows in the dark

first_img(WSVN) – A doughnut makes for a great late-night treat, but imagine if they were glow-in-the-dark.Well, imagine no longer because a pastry shop in Australia has developed the “Glownut,” a doughnut that has glow-in-the-dark icing.Although they may look radioactive, the icing gets its glow from a form of vitamin B, which is commonly used in glow-in-the-dark foods.The doughnut reportedly has no unnatural dyes or additives, making the doughnut completely natural.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Holey Artisan Bakery thrives a year on

first_imgAs the chatter of customers and the smell of warm bread fill the Holey Artisan Bakery it is easy to forget the scenes of horror that unfolded at the upscale Dhaka cafe. But a year on the impact of the deadly siege is still being felt.Five young men armed with guns and knives stormed the cafe on 1 July, taking dozens hostage and killing 22 people. Most of the victims were foreigners, and many were brutally hacked to death.A year later the bakery, which has reopened in a new location, throngs with customers hungry for its famous breads, cookies and pastries.”It’s great to have this place back. Reopening the cafe was a great act of courage,” said Laura Jenkins, a US citizen who has lived in Bangladesh for five years, as she picked at a freshly baked croissant.Cafe owner Sadat Mehdi said his decision to reopen had paid off, with loyal clients — a mix of expatriates and well-heeled Bangladeshis living mostly in the diplomatic zone — returning in droves.”Their responses are the biggest encouragement for us,” he told AFP on a recent visit.Many of those caught up in the siege — one of the worst militant attacks in Bangladesh’s history — were foreigners working in the country’s $30 billion garment industry, a mainstay of the country’s economy.Government crackdownThe Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, but Bangladesh insists it was the work of a local extremist group blamed for a series of earlier killings.It followed a series of gruesome murders targeting foreigners and religious minorities in Bangladesh and caused many to flee to Bangkok.As fears grew over the impact on the lucrative sector, government forces launched an unprecedented crackdown on Islamist extremists.Over the past year they have killed nearly 70 suspected extremists, including a Bangladeshi-origin Canadian alleged to have been the mastermind of the attack, and arrested many more.Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told AFP the Bangladeshi people had taken a “firm stance against militancy”.”They (militants) don’t have much strength left. Gradually we have managed to finish all of it,” he said.But not everyone agrees.Critics accuse prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s secular government of using the attacks to demonise her domestic opponents.”Any sustainable counter-terrorism effort requires democratic responses, which is essentially a cross-party participation in the process,” said Shahab Enam Khan, an expert on security and terrorism at Bangladesh’s Jahangirnagar University.”Otherwise the extremists’ narrative will always cash in on the long-running political feuds existing in the country.”Armed guardsMost of the foreigners who left in the wake of the attack have now returned, reassured by an improvement in the security situation and a marked increase in the presence of government forces on the streets.Many upscale restaurants and expat clubs have armed guards and sandbag barriers at their entrances to deter attacks.Expatriates told AFP the measures had brought a degree of comfort — at a cost.”Not the best scene to watch a man with automatic rifle behind a bunker while sipping on your morning tea,” said Briton Andy Froud.”But at least I know he’s just trying to ensure my safety.”The heavily armed police patrolling outside the Holey cafe provide a constant reminder of the night of 1 July.Survivor Shahriar Ahmed, the cafe’s sales manager, says he is still haunted by the memories of that night.”It comes back as nightmares very often. But I want to forget it,” he said.”We help each other to overcome those traumatic memories. We are trying our best to live normal lives.”last_img read more

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Nintendo is Doomed in There Will Be Brawl

first_img Review: ‘Fantasy Strike’ Is A Fighting Game That Understands…Game of the Year: Jordan Minor’s Best Video Games of 2018 Stay on target For too long the definition of “Game of the Year” has been unfairly narrow. How boring is it to see every website shower the same stale AAA games with praise at the end of each holiday season? So at Geek.com, we’re doing what we can to put a stop to this in Game of the Year, a new column celebrating worthy alternative picks for the year’s greatest game regardless of genre, platform, year of release, or even quality. Here, any game can be Game of the Year!I’m no big fan of fan films. Maybe it’s because I saw too many friends at film school waste their talent on them but too many fan films come across as either #brand-worshipping fan fiction with a budget or just technical demo reels for desperate folks in L.A. But a big exception for me is the 2009-2010 Nintendo-themed web series There Will Be Brawl. And although the series is shockingly cinematic, being based on a game qualifies it for Game of the Year.At first, There Will Be Brawl’s premise sounds about as insufferable as any other fan film. A dark, gritty, sexual reworking of Nintendo’s cuddly mascots? Remove the live-action element and every other video on Newgrounds is an edgy parody like this, especially during the height of Super Smash Bros. Brawl hype the show was operating in. Why not throw in Batman and Predator while you’re at it?Fortunately, across its ten episodes ranging from 12 to 35 minutes, There Will Be Brawl avoids the lazy, hacky pitfalls it could have easily stumbled into by fully committing to itself. There are gags, but its smart writing treats its characters and storylines completely seriously, which is maybe the funniest joke of all. I personally find it very inspiring for my own creative endeavors.The urban Mushroom Kingdom, which has since annexed other Nintendo locales like Zelda’s Hyrule and Kirby’s Dream Land, is in decline. Princess Peach, here acting more like a politician, has gone missing. With the perpetually angry, violent, and impotent Mario no use to anyone, it’s up to the world-weary Luigi to unravel the mystery and atone for his old sins. Meanwhile, monster cannibal Kirby lurks in the shadows. Despite the Paul Thomas Anderson joke in the title, the overall storyline is more of a riff on Silence of the Lambs, especially by the crazy finale.While the drama itself is decently tense, the real joy is in seeing dozens of depressing reimaginings of Nintendo characters and concepts. There are the old Mafia dons like Bowser and Ganondorf. Sword-wielders like Link and Marth make up the corrupt police force. Solid Snake is a homeless man living in a box next to spacey drug-dealer Captain Olimar, and a hooker with a heart of gold Samus does her best to shield innocent Pokemon Trainer/musician Red from the dangers of the real world. The performances and character depth go a long way towards getting you to see past the cosplay-level production value, but honestly seeing Diddy Kong as a cheap gorilla suit with a realistic gun has its own bootleg charm as well.There Will Be Brawl was created by Zach Grafton and Matt Mercer. Mercer also acts in the series, and you may recognize him as the voice Overwatch’s McCree, Leon S. Kennedy in recent Resident Evil games, Chrom in Fire Emblem Awakening, and a bunch of anime roles. After the show, the two collaborated on a Game of Thrones parody called School of Thrones as well as violent fairy tale princess farce Muzzled the Musical.It’s tough to describe just how excited I was for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It’s still the only game I’ve ever camped out for. My all-consuming hype for the series, along with my Wii love, is what first got me into There Will Be Brawl. But I’m glad I stuck around because the dark and ambitious little web series, the Game of the Year, is totally a rewarding watch in its own right. I would love to see a follow-up. Imagine what the team could do with new Smash Bros. characters like Duck Hunt Dog, Bayonetta, and Ice-T.Check back next week to read about the next Game of the Year!View as: One Page Slides1/51. There Will Be Brawl is a dark fan film reimagining of Nintendo’s cuddly mascots.2. The show mostly follows a world-weary Luigi.3. Mario is angry, violent, impotent, and of no use to anyone.4. Princess Peach is more like a politician in this urban Mushroom Kingdom.5. Wario isn’t all that different in the grand scheme of things.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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