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Win A Framed Photograph Signed By Sir Ringo Starr

first_imgHere is your chance to win a signed and framed photograph taken by Ringo Starr.signed framed photo from Ringo StarrAll you have to do to enter to win this fab prize is donate to WaterAid.The PHOTOGRAPH Portfolio 2018 showcases Ringo’s camera work in a series of museum-quality prints, reproduced from the negative for the first time. Created in small artist editions of only 25 numbered copies, each print is signed by Ringo Starr.A certificate of authenticity accompanies the final framed artwork. “Greece” was taken in 1967 when the Beatles travelled to Greece and almost bought a Greek Island. The framed print is number 2 of 25.“All donations given to win this print will help WaterAid bring clean water to people around the world, and the best part is that if you’re living in the UK your money will be doubled by the UK Government,” said Ringo Starr.Want to get your hands on this limited edition prize? Check out the full draw terms and conditions here.last_img read more

Tunisian Woman Earns Doctorate at Age 85

Casablanca – A Tunisian woman aged 85 years old has obtained a doctorate degree, with distinction, in French Literature after successfully defending her thesis last April. Munira Hamza is the only Tunisian and Arab woman to have attained such an achievement at such an advanced age. Munira is currently working on a series of stories to be entered into a literary contest in France.In an interview with the Huffington Post Arabic, Munira said, “I believe that God created people to work and to achieve things, and as long as I am alive and well, I will continue to be ambitious about my academic goals.” Focussing on such goals, she adds, is not limited to youth. Munira, who was honored by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, was born on March 11, 1930, and spent 40 years as a French language teacher. When she retired, she “could not stand the void and emptiness” of retirement and decided to continue working in private schools. Then, she considered earning a doctorate in French literature.Munira’s doctoral thesis was about the French novelist Nathalie Sarraute whom she was “familiar with” by dint of her “immense love of the French novelists.Sarraute devoted her life to research and writing and was dubbed “The leader of the modern novel.” She was highly praised by many critics such as the famous French Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.Munira told The Huffington Post Arabic that her husband and four married daughters had found it difficult to fathom her decision, especially because “the subject of the thesis is not an easy one.” However, her passion to earn the doctorate helped her resist many setbacks, including occasional health problems.As to the secret of her never-fading passion, Munira said that she is committed to sports, healthy diets, and attending conferences and literary salons.“I would love to serve as a model for youngsters,” concluded Munira, and to inspire young Tunisians with academic aspirations to remain hopeful and optimistic despite the dire political and economic hardship that Tunisia has faced. read more

Colombo port city to compete against Dubai and Singapore

However he said the new Government has decided to do away with night racing and casinos and make the port city an economic hub in the region. He said that the former Government was to use the port city to promote night racing and casinos. The Colombo port city, once completed, will compete against Dubai and Singapore as an economic hub, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today.Speaking at the UNP May Day rally in Colombo today, the UNP leader said that the agreement on the port city project has been amended. Wickremesinghe also said that the former regime had given port city land deeds but the new Government amended that clause in the agreement and gave the land on a 99 year lease. (Colombo Gazette) read more

UNP ready to work with the JVP and other political parties

The United National Party (UNP) is ready to work with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and other political parties to rebuild the country, Prime Minister and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said.Speaking in Badulla today, the Prime Minister said that the UNP wants to take the country forward. He said that several countries have now come forward to offer assistance to Sri Lanka and to work with the cohabitation Government. He said that Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama will visit India soon to finalise the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ECTA). He also said that China and agreed to invest heavily in Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister also said that jobs will be provided to the youth in Sri Lanka no matter what political party they support.He said that several projects, including the Mattala airport, will be made more profitable to the country. (Colombo Gazette) read more

European Central Bank cuts rates offers new loans to banks to rescue

by By David McHugh, The Associated Press Posted Jun 5, 2014 5:57 am MDT European Central Bank cuts rates, offers new loans to banks to rescue eurozone from deflation FRANKFURT – The European Central Bank ventured into uncharted territory Thursday with a raft of unusual measures meant to revive the eurozone economy by getting credit flowing to companies and preventing a debilitating bout of deflation.The ECB was spurred into action by evidence that growth in the 18-country eurozone is too weak to keep consumer price inflation at a healthy level. The fear is the low inflation will last or, worse still, become an outright drop in prices that, if sustained, can snuff out what little growth Europe has.Expectations were high for the central bank to show it would finally act to prevent such a scenario after months of hesitation in which the inflation rate kept falling. The last measure, for May, showed inflation was only 0.5 per cent, far below the bank’s goal of 2 per cent.The ECB’s 24-member governing council finally struck on Thursday, announcing a package of measures that included interest rate cuts, including lowering one rate into negative territory for the first time. On top of that, it promised billions in cheap loans for banks on condition they lend more, and announced a new program to use financial markets to round up more cash for companies.Here’s a brief look at what the ECB did and why.Q: What’s the ECB worried about? Why all the drama?A: Low inflation, and the danger that it becomes a habit. People might start postponing purchases because they think the prices of goods will fall. That’s deflation, a trap that is hard to get out of. Japan is still struggling to get out of a deflationary trap that started in the 1990s.Draghi says the eurozone is “strongly determined” to keep that from happening.Q: What is the ECB trying to do, in a nutshell?A: The ECB is aiming to get banks to loan more money at affordable rates, especially to companies in the countries, such as Spain and Portugal, which were hit hardest by the recent economic and financial crisis. Without those loans, companies can’t invest and create jobs and consumers can’t borrow to buy homes and other goods.Q: So what did the ECB do today to achieve that?A: First, it cut its benchmark interest rate, the rate at which it loans to banks. In theory, banks pass that rate on to companies and consumers by making their loans cheaper. The rate was already at a record low of 0.25 per cent, and lowering it to 0.15 per cent will only help a little bit.So the bank did more. It cut its deposit rate to minus 0.1 per cent, a very unusual and untried step. In effect, banks will pay a penalty — negative interest — if they leave money at the ECB. It’s an incentive for them to lend it out instead. No one’s sure it will work. It was tried in Sweden and Denmark but has not been used in an economy as big as the eurozone.Q: Is that all?A: The ECB will also offer targeted, ultra-cheap loans to banks on condition they lend to businesses. That means the more the banks lend, the more cheap cash they can scoop up from the ECB. The banks would have a secure source of cheap cash to do business with — on the condition that they risk some of that money as loans. The size of the program was not determined Thursday, but it is likely to be significant — some 400 million euros ($543 million).Q: That’s it?A: There’s more. The ECB will stop taking weekly deposits from banks in connection with an earlier stimulus program of bond purchases. It’s a bit technical, but the bottom line is that it will leave an extra 175 billion euros ($237 billion) in the financial system. It is also going to do “preparatory work” on buying packages of bank loans to small business in the form of bonds. The idea is to encourage banks and financial institutions to create such bonds — for which, of course, they need to make loans.Q: Did the ECB do enough? Will it raise inflation?A: Markets greeted the measures with a burst of euphoria — Germany’s DAX blue chip index broke 10,000 for the first time in its history. But the immediate market impact faded quickly. Some investors want more details on these programs to understand how effective they will be.Many economists also note the ECB did not do what would have been most effective — buy large amounts of financial assets such as bonds to pump newly created money into the financial system. The move is called quantitative easing. Other central banks such as the U.S. Federal Reserve have done that, but it is more complicated in a currency union with 18 members.Draghi appeared to leave such action as a possibility, saying “if need be, within our mandate, we aren’t finished here.”Analyst Richard Barwell at Royal Bank of Scotland said comments like that mean “expectations of a broad-based asset purchase program will rapidly start to build.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

UK vehicle production – May 2006

Total vehicles Source:Cars Commercial Vehicles Vehicle production – May 2006 6.3%0.0%-4.0%6.6%4.6%0.7% 0.2%-6.3%-14.0%-3.0%-1.5%-6.0% -18.2%-22.1%-29.7%-18.1%-20.2%-21.5% Export105,435502,00910,30859,834115,743561,843 SMMT LtdMay-06YTD 2006May-06YTD 2006May-06YTD 2006 Home26,858158,1604,78729,24331,645187,403 % of total79.7%76.0%68.3%67.2%78.5%75.0% Total132,293660,16915,09589,077147,388749,246 % of total20.3%24.0%31.7%32.8%21.5%25.0%‘Car production comparisons no longer reflect the loss of Longbridge output lastyear’, commented SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan.’May’s figures showed a slight improvement on last year, boosted by greater volumes at Toyota, Land Rover and MINI. It is a fact that export markets continue to play a dominant role in the landscape with nearly eight out of 10 cars made in the UK destined for export. This isa trend mirrored in commercial vehicle operations. ‘With heavy CV production very closely linked to orders and registrations, it is no surprise that manufacturing levels have eased,’ said Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive. ‘Operators rushed to beat the digitach deadline in May, so orders slowed dramatically and with them, production levels. We hope they will pick up again as we enter the second half of the year.’ * Please see attached for full details * May’s special focus is the Ford Transit plant at SouthamptonDownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Lavender earns sixth doubledouble en route to win over South Carolina Upstate

Recovering from its first loss of the season, the No. 10 Ohio State women’s basketball team dominated in the paint, landing itself an 87-55 victory over South Carolina Upstate on Tuesday night at the Schottenstein Center.Before the game, Upstate Spartans coach Tammy George said she planned to “make (OSU) beat us from the outside.”But George’s strategy didn’t go as according to plan, as the Buckeyes (8-1) had no trouble racking up points in the paint. Freshman Ashley Adams and seniors Sarah Schulze and Jantel Lavender helped lead the Buckeyes to a 58-28 scoring advantage. Lavender scored a game-high 33 points and earned her sixth double-double of the year.Lavender is “a great player,” George said. “Ohio State is very good. They lived up to their billing.”OSU held the lead from the opening tipoff until the final buzzer. All 12 players on the Buckeyes’ roster played in the game, and nearly every one of them earned the team points.“It’s great as we head down the road,” said OSU coach Jim Foster, referring to every Buckeye getting playing time in the game. “We have some versatility.”The win over Upstate was sandwiched between the loss to unranked Syracuse on Dec. 11 and the highly anticipated matchup against No. 1 University of Connecticut on Dec. 19 at Madison Square Garden.Though the Buckeyes have a tough match ahead of them, Foster said the team’s focus is always on the match at hand.“Winning is always important,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who’s next.”Schulze agreed.“It’s easy to stay focused,” she said. UCONN “is just another team on the schedule.” read more

Academy chiefs who misuse public money should face tougher sanctions Government spending

Sir Greg Martin is due a £850,000 payoutCredit:Andrew Crowley Such episodes have been “costly to the taxpayer and damaging to children’s education”, it added.Britain’s 3,054 academy trusts are funded by the Government, but operate free from local authority oversight and can set their own curriculum. They are responsible for nearly half of all state-funded schoolchildren.In a report analysing the current system, the Public Accounts Committee raised concerns about a lack of transparency over how public money was spent, excessive pay packets for staff and the prevalence of so-called related-party transactions.Nearly a quarter of academies have still not provided information on the extent of asbestos in school buildings and how risks are being managed, the paper added.The committee called for the Department for Education’s oversight to become “more rigorous” and said governance needed to be “strengthened.”The National Education Union also criticised the Government, saying: “From executive pay packets to related-party transactions, they are failing to prevent abuse”.However, the Department for Education hit back, accusing the NAO of a “negative characterisation” of academies and insisting unacceptable standards were found in “the small minority of cases”.A spokesman said:  “Academies are subject to higher levels of accountability and transparency than local authority schools. Academies must publish their annual accounts and this year we added new requirements on related party transactions.“We have also taken steps to increase accountability by publishing lists of trusts who do not return accounts on time; and by challenging trusts who pay high executive salaries.” Sir Greg Martin is due a £850,000 payout Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Academy chiefs who misuse public money should face tougher punishment, a report has warned after one headteacher received an £850,000 payout despite his “catastrophic failure of governance”.The Public Accounts Committee, which oversees Government expenditure, called for more measures to “deter, punish and prevent malpractice” at academy trusts where serious failings have been discovered.This could potentially include former headmasters being disqualified from holding company directorships, a form of recourse being explored by the Charity Commission and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, which finances schools.A report by the select committee said Sir Greg Martin, the former head of Durand Academy in Stockwell, south London, received a “shocking reward for failure” after a contract to manage accommodation and leisure facilities on school grounds was given to one of his companies.He found himself entitled to £850,000 in liabilities once the contract was terminated, brought down from an initial £1.8 million lump sum after the Charity Commission intervened.Most of the Durand Academy Trust’s income from its assets – around £400,000 a year – was therefore being used to fund his payout, according to the report. read more

TAKRAF sizes up competition with RMU Banovici order

first_imgBosnia-Herzegovina-based RMU Banovici is expanding the overburden handling capacity of one of its mines by installing two semi-mobile crushing plants, each containing one TAKRAF sizer model 12.24 with a capacity of 3,000 t/h.The order, which TAKRAF received from a consortium of Bosnian companies, comprises the supply of the sizers and basic engineering for the plant including the structure, apron feeder and discharge conveyor. The consortium will execute detailed engineering and fabrication as well as engineering and supply of the electrics locally.The high level of involvement of local industry was a key success factor in receiving this award, formalised at a signing ceremony in Tuzla on September 11, 2018 and reported live on Bosnian TV, according to TAKRAF.Matthias Gnilke, MD Manufacturing & Services for TAKRAF, said: “These two sizers represent another important milestone in the production of TAKRAF sizers from the TAKRAF Lauchhammer production facility and are scheduled to leave the fabrication works in mid-2019.“A key differentiating factor of our sizers is the fact that special focus was directed towards attributes such as ease of maintenance, reduced downtime and long equipment service life already during the sizer’s initial development. As a result, our sizers offer unparalleled levels of maintenance efficiency and service life.”last_img read more

Mohamed Mokrani finds new team after seven years

algeria handballMohamed Mokrani ← Previous Story THW Kiel sign Brazilian wunderkind Ferreira! Next Story → Twelve teams want “Wild-Card” for EHF Champions League 2015/2016! Algerian NT captain Mohamed Mokrani (34) ended his part of the career in the former French champion US Dunkerque. The new team of the experienced line-player will be US Creteil, the team from the capital who had a good season after they got back to the LNH last summer.Mokrani was a member of Algerian squad at Qatar 2015, but the reigning African champions had poor performance in Doha, finishing competition on the last 24th place. read more

How poitín went from illegal moonshine to being sold in Tesco

first_imgA few people have said that real poitín has to be illegal, but we’ve been trying to them how it’s distilled and properly made. HERE ARE THREE things you may not have known about poitín.One: It is one of the most strongly alcoholic drinks on the planet.  Homemade poitín can be anywhere between 50 and 90 per cent alcohol by volume (just to put that in context, an average beer is around 4 to 6 per cent and whiskey is roughly 40 per cent). Two: The first record of it is from the 6th century but it was illegal in Ireland for 300 years and was only legalised in 1997.And three: purists may not like it but poitín is shedding its reputation as illegal moonshine and is for sale (legally) in shops and pubs around the country, where it is becoming increasingly popular with a whole new generation of drinkers.“Everyone has a story about poitín. Everybody does” says Gary Gartland of Coomara Irish Spirits.For a lot of people, poitín has certain connotations. Homemade. Kept on a shelf in a house to be taken out occasionally. Highly, highly alcoholic, and maybe even possibly illness-inducing, depending on what exactly was in it – poitín was generally made out of whatever materials were plentiful, so everything from potatoes to crab apples to barley has been used.However as lots of other once old-fashioned Irish products have already made something of a comeback during the recession, poitín is having a little moment itself.The comebackThere are at least five companies in Ireland now selling poitín which can be bought in pubs and off-licences, while London cocktail bar Shebeen is selling eight different types of poitín, including one version made from potatoes in San Francisco. Irish company Coomara Irish Spirits recently made the biggest ever legal shipment of poitín to supermarket chain Tesco, which began stocking the spirit earlier this year.“What we’ve seen in the past few months since we started selling it is that people are curious and that’s why they’re ordering it,” says Paddy, the bar manager at popular pub Against the Grain on Dublin’s Wexford Street. Illegal poitín is, of course, still popular but the scale of it is difficult to estimate. Just over two weeks ago Revenue Commissioner officials seized a fully operational mini-distillery – including 900 empty bottles – in Cavan.Love/Hate’s Fran, a big fan of the less-than-legal poitínPopularityPoitín is one of the small number of Irish food and drink products which have been granted Geographical Indicative Status by the EU, meaning that in the same way that champagne has to come from a certain area of France and Parmesan cheese can only come from a particular part of Italy, poitín can only come from Ireland.There are many, many myths around the drink – including that St Patrick somehow brewed up the first batch after running out of wine while saying Mass – but the reality is more straightforward.Many of the batches for sale now are around 40 per cent alcohol by volume, and can now even come in different flavours.Coomara poitín is flavoured with wild berries and orchard fruits which, Gary Gartland explains, follows on from the tradition of poitín which years ago would have been made with hedgerow berries to soften the harsh taste. “We’ve refined the taste and taken the alcohol level down,” says Gartland. The drink can be drunk straight or, more commonly, used as a mixer for cocktails or as a long drink.You’d get some purists saying 40 per cent [alcohol] volume is not real poitín but you never know what you were drinking before. At 80 per cent or more, I’d argue that it was paintstripper and you wouldn’t know what it was. We brought it down to the level of vodka and gin, which means people can drink it.He describes the drink as ‘part of Irish culture’.It’s something to be very proud of, especially for a country that’s been down on its knees. We’ve had success with Jameson, Guinness, craft beers, but poitín is where it all started.One of the big reasons why people are curious to try it is because with the danger element gone, they can find out what it actually tastes like.“The homemade version can be nearly pure alcohol, so it can be dangerous,” says Gartland. “I tried it once at a party when I was 17 and lost hours”.Read: Poitín distillery discovered in Cavan >last_img read more

Android 40 coming to Nexus S Nexus One and most Gingerbread phones

first_imgLast night Samsung did a big reveal of the Galaxy Nexus, while Google also used the event to roll out the next version of the Android OS codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, and from this day forward known as Android 4.0.The Nexus line of phones always heralds a new version of Android, but it also means existing Android phone users have to ask the question, “will my device get the update?” In the case of Android 4.0, Google has been very quick to respond in a positive way.Both Gabe Cohen, Android Product Manager, and Android User Experience Director Matias Duarte, have confirmed that the Nexus S and Nexus One will definitely be getting an update to Android 4.0. Even better news for wider, existing community of Android phone users is the fact that Google expects most Gingerbread devices to get the update too. Of course, that depends on the phone you have and the manufacturer/network in control of rolling out that update. It could take weeks, but it could just as easily take months.For now, it’s probably safe to assume that if you have a phone from the most recent round of hardware releases, then Android 4.0 is coming your way soon. Other, older Gingerbread handsets will likely be waiting a little longer, but should still get it eventually.We’ll have coverage of all the goodies on offer in Android 4.0 up on the site later today, just to make the wait for the update that little bit more frustrating. If your Android device doesn’t currently run Gingerbread, then hopefully your contract is nearly up and you can go and pick up a Galaxy Nexus rather than waiting for an update.via Engadgetlast_img read more

Is it too hot yet We hit the streets to ask

first_img http://jrnl.ie/4096599 Share2 Tweet Email 14,115 Views Thursday 28 Jun 2018, 12:05 PM Short URL 7 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Subscribe for more videos By Nicky Ryan TEMPERATURES IN SOME parts of the country reached above 30 degrees yesterday as Ireland continues to bask in a heatwave.We’re not too familiar with heat like this in Ireland, but most people seem more than willing to embrace it.We took to the streets of Dublin yesterday to ask a simple question: Is it too hot?Watch the full video above. Reporting by Cliódhna Russell. Video by Nicky Ryan. Jun 28th 2018, 12:05 PM Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube Is it too hot yet? We hit the streets to ask Are you melting? Are you sweltering? Is the heat just too much for you?last_img read more

Annual Prophet Elias dinner dance spins into town

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The annual Prophet Elias Dinner dance will this year showcase live music, Greek dancing and an abundance of Greek food a drink. On Saturday July 14, expect performances from Trio Zorba, new and traditional Greek dances by the Hellenic dance group, Norwood (featuring dances from the Greek islands) and the Prophet Elias Greek Schools dancing group. The dance will take place at the hall of Prophet Elias Church, 87 Beulah Road, Adelaide, South Australia. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for children under 15 and free for under 5s. Tickets can be purchased on the night or pre-purchased by calling the office on (08) 83624139.last_img read more

The lure of John McPhees Coming into the Country 40 years later

first_imgJohn McPhee watches as Pat Pourchot patches their kayak so they could continue down the Salmon River. McPhee traveled to Alaska in the late 1970s for a series of articles that eventually became the book “Coming into the Country.” (Photo: Pat Pourchot)“Coming into the Country,” John McPhee’s book about Alaska, was published in 1977, introducing readers across the country to a wild place, less than 20 years into its statehood. The book quickly became a best-seller and is still popular with tourists and Alaska residents alike.Listen nowBetween 1975 and ‘77, a writer from Princeton, New Jersey, made four long trips to Alaska for a story that would eventually become “Coming into the Country.” John McPhee had been writing for the New Yorker magazine for about ten years. He was the master of a new literary genre that most modern readers are very familiar with: creative nonfiction.The book is written in three parts, every word published first in the pages of the New Yorker before coming together for the book’s publication late in 1977. The book describes an Alaska both wild and settled, sometimes contentiously so.“It is about what McPhee came to believe was the real Alaska and part of the reason for the book’s’ continued popularity is that many Alaskans also feel that that’s the real Alaska,” Eric Heyne said. Heyne an English professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who has been teaching “Coming into the Country” since the late 1980s.The real Alaska described in the book is a place sparsely populated by trappers, prospectors and squatters, living very much off the land and off the grid in the area around the Yukon River.Heyne specializes in Alaskan literature, and so it makes sense to him that the profile of these characters is inherently relateable to so many Alaskans, then and now.“A lot of people still have an image in their heads of that Alaska being what they identify  with,” Heyne said, “Mining. Trapping. Dog mushing. Canoeing. Homesteading.”John McPhee camping on a gravel bar below the Charley River. (Photo: Brad Snow & Lilly Allen Collection, Alaska and Polar Regions Collections, University of Alaska Fairbanks)For Alaskans, “Coming into the Country” is familiar, but Alan Weltzein at the University of Western Montana said there’s also an exoticism to the book that appeals to readers outside the state .“A lot of people still in the 1970s didn’t know anything about Alaska,” Weltzein said. “Part of what McPhee’s trying to capture is its lure and there’s nothing more American than that. The lure is always to go west and find bigger space. I think ‘Coming into the Country’ an invitation for some Americans — maybe just an imaginative invitation more than actual for most — probably to the relief of a lot of Alaskans.”Eric Heyne agreed that the book is alluring to outsiders as well as requisite reading for anyone already living in the state.“I absolutely recommend it as the first book to read if you’re coming to Alaska,” Heyne said. “It remains the best blend of comprehensive, accurate, and well written. McPhee’s a fabulous writer.  There’s no question about that. But also it’s remained remarkably accurate to today’s Alaska.”The question of accuracy and relevancy comes up again and again when talking to people about “Coming into the Country”. For one, it was written 40 years ago. Hasn’t Alaska changed since then? Also, the guy who wrote it is from Princeton, New Jersey. How could Alaskans possible identify with that?“I distinctly remember feeling like I was having a love affair when I was reading ‘Coming into the Country’ in the late 1970s,” Alan Weltzein said. Weltzein hadn’t even made it as far west as Montana when he read the book for the first time. “I had this kind of trust in his representation, so I could ride along with him when he defined what the country means if you live in Alaska.”It’s an old American tradition: the self-sufficient, independent individual. It’s a myth we’re all familiar with, but for as much as it reads like one, “Coming into the Country” isn’t a novel. The characters are real — many of them still living in Alaska, some of them still in cabins they built with their own hands.Cable television is littered with reality shows about modern-day Alaskans living in the bush, but Eric Heyne would rather go with McPhee’s portrayal from 40 years ago.“What you get in the reality shows these days are sort of cartoonish portraits of the kind of people who live off the road system, who have small mines, who run traplines,” Heyne said. “What we get in McPhee’s book are deeper portraits of the actual people.”At the end of the book, on his last trip to Alaska, John McPhee talks to one of the young prospectors on the Yukon, confirming his understanding of what Alaska represents and what this lifestyle means.“In the society as a whole,” he writes “there is an elemental need for a frontier outlet, for a pioneer place to go. People are mentioning outer space as, in this respect, all we have left. All we have left is Alaska.”In some ways, all we have left is this book as a snapshot from 1977 of a vastly unknown but very real place.last_img read more

Singles Day Alibaba sales may surpass last years 93 billion by 50

first_imgChinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd said on Wednesday the value of merchandise it has sold so far during the Singles’ Day online shopping extravaganza had surpassed last year’s total of $9.3 billion.The company, which six years ago turned November 11 into China’s equivalent of U.S. shopping event Cyber Monday, could see this year’s sales rise to as much as $13.8 billion, a growth of almost 50 percent from last year’s total, according to research firm IDC.JD.com Inc, China’s second largest e-commerce firm and Alibaba’s chief rival, also said it broke past last year’s full-day total just before noon China time (11.00 p.m. ET on Tuesday). JD.com does not give specific sales figures on the day.”Alibaba is positioned as the number one player in the Chinese e-commerce market, so it has to be seen to be maintaining, or gaining ground really,” said Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based tech consultancy BDA.Singles’ Day, originally a mock celebration for people not in relationships, features steep discounts and other promotions aimed at attracting droves of customers online. Alibaba’s sales data have been closely watched as a gauge of Chinese consumption as economic growth slows.Alibaba’s numbers this year will get a boost from sales by affiliates including brick-and-mortar retailer Suning Commerce Group Co, in which it bought a 20 percent stake in August. Suning’s in-store sales will count towards Alibaba’s total gross merchandise volume, as long as they go through final processing online, an Alibaba spokesman said.Alibaba has stressed its focus on international e-commerce this Singles’ Day. “Within the next five years, we expect China will become the world’s largest e-commerce market for imported products,” President Michael Evans told reporters.Alibaba has by and large dominated Singles’ Day sales, which has raised the ire of rivals. This month, JD.com lodged a complaint with Chinese regulators saying Alibaba was “forcing merchants” to exclusively choose its site for promotional activities, a fact Alibaba denies.JD.com later said the SAIC had formally accepted the complaint.last_img read more

Reliance Industries ICICI Prudential Lakshmi Vilas Bank Bombay Dyeing hit new 52week

first_imgBrokers trade at their computer terminals at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai January 6, 2015 (representational image).Reuters fileStock markets are trading a bit quiet on Tuesday after a 216-point rally the previous day catapulted the BSE Sensex to a two-year closing high of 29,048, apparently on expectations of a BJP win in Uttar Pradesh. Select stocks that hit a new 52-week high on Tuesday included ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), Bombay Dyeing and Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB).The respective new 52-week highs for the stocks were: RIL at Rs 1,326.90, LVB Rs 170.85, Bombay Dyeing Rs 63.85 and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Rs 372.50. At around 10.55 pm, the BSE Sensex was down 50 points to 28,998 after rising to the day’s high of 29,098, while the NSE Nifty was trading 20 points lower at 8,944.The seventh and last phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held for 40 seats in seven districts, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Varanasi constituency on Wednesday.The rupee opened 5 paise higher at 66.67 to the US dollar.Tech Mahindra acquisitionThe company announced that it will be buying US-based CJS Solutions for $110 million. It will in two stages, an upfront payment of $89 million to acquire 84.7 percent stake and the subsequent portion to be acquired over three years. The stock was off from its day’s high of Rs 509 and was trading at Rs 503, a gain of 0.74 percent. Bharti Financial Inclusion slumps on Q4 guidanceShares of the microfinance institution fell 5.9 percent in early trade to Rs 754 apiece after the company issued mid-quarter guidance. The stock later recovered and was trading at Rs 787 at around 11.05 am.”Dues unpaid for more than eight weeks and accounts registering non-repayment over the past two weeks stood at 4.5% of the loan book, and 60% of it relates to dues from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Maharashtra where collections have been impacted on account of waiver hopes based on political considerations,” brokerage Nirmal Bang Institutional Equities said in a note on Tuesday.FII/DII buying pattern on MondayForeign institutional investors (FIIs/FPIs) were net buyers of Indian equities worth Rs 561 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers of stocks worth Rs 482 crore on Monday, according to provisional data released by the National Stock Exchange (NSE).last_img read more

Nazruls 42nd death anniv being observed

first_imgKazi Nazrul IslamThe 42nd death anniversary of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam is being observed on Monday, reports UNB.Nazrul, revered as Bidrohi Kobi (a rebel poet) for his activism for political and social justice, breathed his last in Dhaka on 12th Bhadro of Bangla calendar year 1383 (29 August 1976) at the age of 77. He was buried with full state honours beside the Dhaka University Central Mosque.Kazi Nazrul IslamNazrul produced a large body of poetry and music with themes that included religious devotion and spiritual rebellion against all sorts of oppression.Different socio-cultural and political organizations have already chalked out elaborate programmes to mark the occasion. Television channels will air special programmes on his works and life to observe the day.Kazi Nazrul IslamThe programmes started with Qurankhwani after Fajr prayers at Dhaka University (DU) Central Mosque by different organizations while a discussion will also be held at the campus.Later, teachers and students of the Dhaka University and other political and socio-cultural organisations placed wreaths at the grave of the national poet in the morning.Bangla Academy will organise a lecture session followed by a cultural show at its Poet Shamsur Rahman auditorium at 4:00pm on 30 August.Vishmo Deb Chowdhury, teacher of Dhaka University, will deliver the key speech while National Professor Rafiqul Islam will preside over the session. Many other organisations will also arrange special programmes featuring discussion and musical events across the country.’Nazrul Padak 2017′ conferred by Nazrul Institute will be given on the day in a programme to be held at National Museum with information minister Hasanul Haq Inu scheduled to attend as the chief guest.Kazi Nazrul Islam was born on 24 May in 1899 at Churulia village in Asansol subdivision of Burdwan district of West Bengal, India.last_img read more

SCHAFT team tops scores at DARPA Robotics Challenge

first_imgThe company has its roots in the University of Tokyo’s JSK Laboratory. Interestingly, earlier this year IEEE Spectrum called attention to SCHAFT as a Japanese startup that had announced a breakthrough in motor technology that may bypass the limitations of existing systems. The April article said the company had developed a kind of actuator that may make robotic muscles much stronger. IEEE Spectrum also remarked that the DARPA challenge “will be a great opportunity for SCHAFT to show off its innovative motors. A good performance at the competition would compel the next generation of humanoid robots, in Japan and elsewhere, to adopt the technology.” © 2013 Phys.org (Phys.org) —For those wondering who of 16 competing teams would walk away as top performers in the two-day DARPA Robotics Challenge in Florida over the weekend, the suspense is over. SCHAFT, a Japanese company newly acquired by Google, won the most points, 27 out of a possible 32. SCHAFT outscored some formidable big-name contenders such as MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and NASA. IHMC Robotics placed second. Third place went to Tartan Rescue, from Carnegie Mellon University, and fourth place was awarded to a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The fifth-place went to RoboSimian, designed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. All in all, there were eight top scorers. Team TRACLabs, WRECS (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and Team TROOPER (Lockheed Martin) were the next three. The eight teams now have the opportunity to continue their work with the help of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funding and are to compete in the finals event where one team will net the $2 million prize at the end of 2014. The Finals will require robots to attempt a circuit of consecutive physical tasks with degraded communications between the robots and their operators.DARPA said that the 16 teams at this year’s challenge in Miami represented a mix of government, academic and commercial backgrounds. They were not only from the United States, but also from South Korea and Japan. SCHAFT’s high scores were impressive as the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), established to advance state of the art in humanoid robot competition, is considered as a baseline on the current state of robotics. The event is a marker for assessing the evolution of robots in hazardous first-responder environments, a demonstration of what is so far possible in pushing technologies closer to the point where robots will help out in a range of rescue tasks quickly, efficiently and with minimal human interaction.The robots in the latest challenge had to complete eight tasks including climbing up-and-down a ladder, and removing obstacles and debris. Narito Suzuki, COO at SCHAFT, in a video showing the entry, pointed out their bipedal robot’s strength and stability in navigating its way around. More information: www.theroboticschallenge.org/ Atlas teams head for DARPA Robotics Challenge Citation: SCHAFT team tops scores at DARPA Robotics Challenge (2013, December 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-schaft-team-tops-scores-darpa.htmllast_img read more

Graphenebased ink may lead to printable energy storage devices

first_img(Top) The salt-templated process of synthesizing graphene nanosheets into ink. (Bottom) The ink and printed demonstration. Credit: Wei et al. ©2019 American Chemical Society Journal information: ACS Nano The researchers, led by Jingyu Sun and Zhongfan Liu at Soochow University and the Beijing Graphene Institute, and Ya-yun Li at Shenzhen University, have published a paper on their work in a recent issue of ACS Nano.”Our work realizes the scalable and green synthesis of nitrogen-doped graphene nanosheets on a salt template by direct chemical vapor deposition,” Sun told Phys.org. “This allows us to further explore thus-derived inks in the field of printable energy storage.”As the scientists explain, a key goal in graphene research is the mass production of graphene with high quality and at low cost. Energy-storage applications typically require graphene in powder form, but so far production methods have resulted in powders with a large number of structural defects and chemical impurities, as well as nonuniform layer thickness. This has made it difficult to prepare high-quality graphene inks.In the new paper, the researchers have demonstrated a new method for preparing graphene inks that overcomes these challenges. The method involves growing nitrogen-doped graphene nanosheets over NaCl crystals using direct chemical vapor deposition, which causes molecular fragments of nitrogen and carbon to diffuse on the surface of the NaCl crystals. The researchers chose NaCl due to its natural abundance and low cost, as well as its water solubility. To remove the NaCl, the coated crystals are submerged in water, which causes the NaCl to dissolve and leave behind pure nitrogen-doped graphene cages. In the final step, treating the cages with ultrasound transforms the cages into 2-D nanosheets, each about 5-7 graphite layers thick.The resulting nitrogen-doped graphene nanosheets have relatively few defects and an ideal size (about 5 micrometers in side length) for printing, as larger flakes can block the nozzle. To demonstrate the nanosheets’ effectiveness, the researchers printed a wide variety of 3-D structures using inks based on the graphene sheets. Among their demonstrations, the researchers used the ink as a conductive additive for an electrode material (vanadium nitride) and used the composite ink to print flexible electrodes for supercapacitors with high power density and good cyclic stability. In a second demonstration, the researchers created a composite ink made of the graphene sheets along with binder material (polypropylene) for printing interlayers for Li−S batteries. Compared to batteries with separators made only of the conventional material, those made with the composite material exhibited enhanced conductivity, leading to an overall improvement in battery performance.”In the future, we plan to exploit the direct chemical vapor deposition technique for the mass production of high-quality graphene powders toward emerging printable energy storage applications,” Sun said. Citation: Graphene-based ink may lead to printable energy storage devices (2019, June 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-graphene-based-ink-printable-energy-storage.html Research team develops cost-effective technique for mass production of high-quality graphene © 2019 Science X Networkcenter_img Explore further More information: Nan Wei et al. “Scalable Salt-Templated Synthesis of Nitrogen-Doped Graphene Nanosheets toward Printable Energy Storage.” ACS Nano. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.9b03157 Researchers have created an ink made of graphene nanosheets, and demonstrated that the ink can be used to print 3-D structures. As the graphene-based ink can be mass-produced in an inexpensive and environmentally friendly manner, the new methods pave the way toward developing a wide variety of printable energy storage devices. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more