zoom RentOcean, a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Oceanteam Shipping ASA, has been awarded a contract by WIND BV to supply a certified 1500t modular carousel system and a 10t tensioner for a 90-day project.IllustrationThe carousel and additional equipment will be used to transport cables for the Safaniya oil field for McDermott. The transport will take place in summer 2014. RentOcean is currently upgrading its already existing 1250t modular carousel to support 1500t of cables.The new patented carousel series is designed for flexibility and quick mobilisation on standard PSV/CSV with limited deck load. Fully loaded, the carousels have a maximum deck load of 8t m2, eliminating the need for under-deck reinforcement. The modular systems are delivered to the mobilisation site in 40ft containers. All system components are ‘plug and play’ and interchangeable.As a result of this new philosophy, the equipment is sea- and road transportable, and can be mobilized in a cost effective manner to all ports globally. “We are excited that, with this contract award, we can further serve the Oil&Gas market with our equipment. It proves the multifunctional and competitive design of our modular carousels,” says Managing Director of RentOcean, Lex van Doorn.RentOcean, May 5, 2014
FOR BROADCAST: Nova Scotia’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated its success today (July 21st). Grand Pré was recognized on June 29th by UNESCO for its agricultural and cultural importance. Education Minister Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra, joined federal representatives, members of Nomination Grand Pré and the local community to commemorate, with a plaque, the designation of the landscape at Grand Pré. Grand Pré is Nova Scotia’s third World Heritage Site and the designation recognizes the agricultural value of the dykelands along with its sympbolic importance to Acadian culture. The designation followed more than five years of work by all levels of government and the local community . -30- Nova Scotia’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated its success today, July 21. Grand Pré was recognized on June 29 by UNESCO for its agricultural and cultural importance. Education Minister Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra, joined federal representatives, members of Nomination Grand Pré and the local community to commemorate with a plaque the designation of the landscape at Grand Pré. “This is a very special place for the Acadians, the people of the Annapolis Valley and all Nova Scotians,” said Ms. Jennex. “The UNESCO designation encourages people from all over the world to experience Grand Pré’s history and culture first hand and learn more about the people who developed the potential of this land.” The designation followed more than five years of work by all levels of government and the local community through Nomination Grand Pré to advance its nomination to UNESCO. It recognizes the agricultural value of the dykelands and the symbolic importance of the landscape to Acadians. “Acadians want to share their culture and heritage with the whole world,” said Acadian Affairs Minister David Wilson. “This recognition is not only important for Grand Pré but for Acadians in every part of the globe.” “Canada’s 43 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas are a cornerstone of the federal government’s conservation strategy,” said Environment Minister Peter Kent. “They preserve and protect Canada’s natural history, drive our economy through tourism, and bring Canadians together from coast-to-coast-to-coast. “Celebrating this great achievement is particularly fitting on Parks Day 2012, and I encourage all Canadians to take today to celebrate our country’s beautiful natural spaces, and important historical sites, especially this, Canada’s newest World Heritage Site.” Grand Pré is the third World Heritage Site to be designated in Nova Scotia. Lunenburg was added to the list in 1995 and the Joggins fossil cliffs in 2008. UNESCO approved two biosphere reserves for Nova Scotia in the past decade. Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve was recognized in 2001 and Bras d’Or Lakes Biosphere Reserve in 2011. “The history of three distinct peoples, the Mi’kmaq, the Acadians and the New England Planters, echo through this land by the sea,” said Nomination Grand Pré co-chair Gérald Boudreau. “The stories imbedded in this remarkable landscape will now become part of the common heritage of humanity,” said Nomination Grand Pré co-chair Peter Herbin. With the UNESCO designation now in place, the province will act on its commitment to provide a $2.5-million investment to a trust to support the work of a stewardship board that will be responsible to protect the site. Trustees will be announced soon. More information about the Grand Pre World Heritage site is available at http://landscapeofgrandpre.ca.
Premier Stephen McNeil offered his congratulations today, Sept. 15, to the Nova Scotians who will be invested into the Order of Nova Scotia next month. “The Order of Nova Scotia is the highest honour awarded in the province. I take great pleasure in recognizing and honouring these extraordinary individuals,” said Premier McNeil. “On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I congratulate the recipients and sincerely thank them for their contributions to our province. We can all be proud of the dedication and commitment they’ve shown in making Nova Scotia a better place to live.” The 2016 Order of Nova Scotia recipients are: Françoise Elvina Baylis, Freeman Douglas Knockwood, Arthur Bruce McDonald, James Leonard Morrow and Donald R. Reid. The recipients will be recognized at the 15th investiture ceremony on Oct. 12, at Province House. -30-
Kolkata: A day after the Lokenath temple tragedy killed five persons and injured 20, local residents in Kachua on Saturday blamed the local administration and the temple committee officials for poor handling of the crowd.The people in the area accused police for poor crowd control and lack of planning. They alleged that the temple committee and local police administration did not chalk out any alternative route to clear the crowd in case of any untoward incident. “The tragedy happened due to lack of proper planning,” said Montu Biswas, a local resident. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHe also alleged that the approach road to the temple is very narrow and the situation turns dire whenever there is a surge of devotees during any occasion. It was also alleged by the villagers that the police had refused to open the six drop gates leading to the temple. There were very few police officials to manage the crowd. The number of devotees surpassed all records this year, giving anxious hours to the district administration. The devotees had taken shelter under a shed close the temple as it was raining heavily on the day of the incident. When it stopped raining, the devotees started rushing into the temple, leading to a stampede-like situation. Some of them fell down and suffered severe injuries. The injured persons were rushed to various hospitals in the city and the districts. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee soon announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh for grievously injured persons and Rs 50,000 for those who suffered minor injuries.
Kenneth Jackson APTN National News After being hit with a hunger strike before Christmas the Regina Correctional Centre is about to be hit with another. Inmates on the remand wing of the prison have organized a hunger strike to begin Thursday at 8 a.m.Kenneth Morrison from the Muscowpetung First Nation in Saskatchewan said he can no longer stomach the food.“We’re going to send our food back,” said Morrison, 27, in a telephone interview from the jail with APTN National News Tuesday. “We’re going to start sending all the trays back … the meat is either uncooked or smells.”He said he and about 100 other inmates have signed a petition to join the strike and many are Aboriginal peoples. Morrison, who is on Unit 1C awaiting trial on assault, possession of stolen property and breaches, said the food is prepared by an outside company and delivered to the inmates on trays with a cart, which he is in charge of.He said the cart is dirty and “smells like a garbage truck.”It’s not the first time the RCC has been hit with an inmate hunger strike.Inmates from another wing of RCC organized a strike Dec. 19 lasting a few days after the province said they spoke to the company hired to supply the food – Compass Group – beginning in November. Concerns about the food have had raised by inmates after Compass took over and a petition with a list of demands was submitted to prison management on Nov. 18. “I just think that this is inhumane what they’re serving us. I wouldn’t serve this to my dog and what they’re doing is wrong and enough is enough,” Forrest Pelletier, an inmate serving time for break and enter and possession of a weapon, said at the time.Justice Department spokesman Drew Wilby said in December officials were looking into the matter.“We are about six weeks into that (new contract) now and we expected some challenges of course, with any transition like that there will be some challenges,” Wilby said.“We have addressed some of those concerns with Compass Group and continue to do so and we’re confident that we will be able to find a solution and make sure those high quality meals are being provided across the province.” Wilby told APTN Tuesday the department can’t comment on what may happen but is confident Compass can address food quality challenges, as with any transition period there is going to be bumps. He said Compass is responsible for eight institutions and there have been complaints from others as well.The Saskatchewan NDP jumped on the issue at the time accusing the SaskParty government of “risking public safety in order to pursue privatization.” “Saskatchewan families also don’t want to see a flood of inmates needing medical care as a result of spoiled or raw food,” NDP central services critic Warren McCall said in December.The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union warned there would be issues with privatizing food services in prisons. “These trays of food are being sent back and new trays being brought forward,” union president Bob Bymoen said. “Who’s billing for the new trays, is the government paying for the additional trays of food? In the contract, if they order additional trays of food they have to pay for it, so are we paying twice to feed the same people?” Bymoen said he hoped the government rethinks its decision. “With Compass they have a chance to review this and own up to their mistakes and get out of this contract in a year and they should seriously be looking at that.,” he said. Wilby said the government has no intention of reversing its decision and will honour the five-year contract signed with Compass in November as it will save the province an estimated $12 million over life of the contract.A spokeswoman for Compass said they are “investigating and addressing all comments regarding our operations” at RCC.That includes daily meetings with its operations teams to reinforce proper cooking and food handling said Saira Husain, manager of communications.“We are in contact with our client on an ongoing basis to ensure that we can resolve this situation as quickly as possible,” said Husain. Morrison said the inmates on his wing are demanding to go back to the old system before Compass was hired.“It’s constantly getting worse,” said Morrison. “They were sending lettuce that was brown. Nothing has been digestible.”On Tuesday, Morrison and the other inmates on his wing were given macaroni.“The macaroni was cold. I could cut cubes out of it with my fork,” he said, adding most of the guys sent the food back without eating it. A call to the director of RCC hasn’t been returned. firstname.lastname@example.org@afixedaddress— with files from The Canadian Press
LONDON — The U.S. ambassador to Britain has attacked what he described as a “smear” campaign against American agriculture by interests with a protectionist agenda.Woody Johnson said in an article published in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday that U.S. food products are safe, and that scare stories about “chlorine-washed chicken” and “hormone-pumped beef” are being used to mislead the public. The comments come as Britain prepares to negotiate its own trade deals with the U.S. and other countries after Brexit.Johnson says American producers use “scientific” and “technological” tools to feed a growing global population in contrast to the European Union’s “Museum of Agriculture.”The U.K.’s National Farmers Union has raised concerns about U.S. practices, saying trade deals shouldn’t allow imports produced “to lower standards than those required of British farmers.”The Associated Press
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPPP to take GECOM issues int’l; distances self from Ramsammy’s oil accusationsMay 22, 2015In “Politics”Ramotar questions integrity of Int’l Observers; wants recount of 22 ballot boxesMay 15, 2015In “Politics”PPP to protest GECOM offices; says internal changes being madeMay 20, 2015In “Politics” With the passage of the no confidence motion and general and regional elections being expected as a result of that, calls are being made for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to cover all its bases.It is against this backdrop that former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Kwame Gilbert is calling for a larger presence of international observers for the next elections.Dr Kwame Gilbert“The stakes are the highest they have ever been. Compounded by the deterioration of trust, it is even more imperative to have a wider body of international observers,” he said.Dr Gilbert, a former Presidential Advisor on Social Policy, told this media group that he would also call on the parliamentary parties to jointly agree for that level of electoral oversight.His call comes after GECOM reported last October leading to Local Government Elections that there was a shortfall in applications for election observers.Following that update, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union submitted their applications to become observers. Their applications were approved.Dr Gilbert also pointed to the need for more groups and countries to join in observing the next elections, which by all suspicions could be another historic one.
A SHOWCASE OF ‘found’ footage rescued from old videotapes is back in Dublin this month – and an Irish video is on the programme.Nick Prueher (Late Show with David Letterman) and Joe Pickett (The Onion) are bringing their celebration of video snippets taken from bargain bins, charity shops and homemade archives to the Sugar Club on 18 March.The show, which will be fresh from a sold-out 50-state tour of the USA, will feature one snippet which the guys found on a video in Ireland when they visited the country last year. It’s an exercise tape, called ‘Jig Don’t Jog’. Featuring this guy at the Rock of Cashel:via FoundFootageFestThe pair have also just revealed that they were behind the Kenny Strasser yo-yo pranks which hit US news stations in 2010. ‘Strasser’ was a character who appeared on a number of US news shows, purporting to be a ‘yo-yo professional’ but giving a thoroughly unprofessional performance with the toy, to the bemusement and embarrassment of his hosts.Prueher told TheJournal.ie earlier this week: “After we sent out press releases for this fictional yo-yo expert, we asked our friend Mark, who had just been laid off from his job at a bank, to join us on tour and play Kenny. He came through big time.”This is the kind of thing that happened when Strasser appeared on these shows:via Craig Wiroll/YoutubeOther highlights expected from the 2013 Found Footage fest include a new collection of exercise tapes, including one called ‘The Sexy Treadmill Workout’; a home movie from a drunken spring break trip in 1985; a 1996 video manual on how to care for your ferret.Tickets for the 18 March show at Dublin’s Sugar Club are €10 – more info here.These, by the way, are the guys who rooted out possibly our favourite dating video hunk of all time: “David seeks Goddess”. Thanks for that.via Found Footage/Youtube
Updated at 11.15amAROUND 100 PROTESTERS from the ‘Land League’ organisation forced the cancellation of an auction at a hotel in west Dublin yesterday.The group, accompanied by independent TD Mattie McGrath, entered the Bewley’s Hotel at Newlands Cross carrying banners as the sale was due to go ahead.The protest group was set up earlier this year with the aim of preventing the eviction of residents from their homes.A video shot in the hotel and posted online by the group shows Jerry Beades, one of their main organisers, telling supporters the auction had been cancelled due to health and safety concerns.Gardaí also responded to the scene.The group claims some of the lots due to be sold in the auction were repossessed homes and farms.McGrath told the protesters “We have to stand together on these issues. If we don’t we’ll go nowhere”.Beades, a former member of Fianna Fail’s ard chomhairle and a well known developer, has also led protests at a number of other auctions recently — most notably last summer when he succeeded in having an Allsop event at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel called off.Yesterday’s auction, organised by Ganly Walters, is yet to be rescheduled.“We’re taking instructions from our clients,” Managing Director Robert Ganley told TheJournal.ie.Regarding the protest group’s claims, he said they were “completely untrue”.There were no family homes and no family farms for sale.He said he would be happy to meet with McGrath to discuss the group’s concerns, and said a previous meeting that had been mooted hadn’t gone ahead because one of the firm’s partners had been away.“The hotel are reviewing the incident on CCTV and we’ll have further discussions before deciding on the way forward,” Ganley said.First posted at 9.40am.Read: Developer being pursued by Ulster Bank among protest group that halted Allsop auctionRead: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’ – Meath man protests auction of family business
Mar 4th 2019, 4:18 PM By Cónal Thomas 24 Comments Share8 Tweet Email 13,549 Views Monday 4 Mar 2019, 4:18 PM Floral tributes to 17-year-old Jodie Chesney Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesPOLICE IN LONDON have said that tackling knife crime remains a “top priority” following a “tragic ten days” of violence in the capital. Two 17-year-olds were killed in separate stabbing incidents this weekend in London and Manchester.Jodie Chesney was killed on Friday evening in a park in East London. Yousef Makki was killed in the village of Hale Barns on Saturday evening.Their deaths – as well as several more deaths resulting from knife crime over the past few weeks – have sparked renewed calls for a dedicated office to tackle a rise in youth violence in the UK with West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson calling knife crime a “national emergency”.Speaking today, the Met’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty said that “one incident, one injury, one death is one too many” and that the police force has been “working day and night to make progress” in tackling knife crime in the capital. More officers from the Met’s Violent Crime Taskforce have been put on duty, McNulty said, with extended shifts aimed at increasing visibility throughout London. Over the last three days, police officers have conducted over 2,500 stop-and searches. “To give some idea of the scale of our activity around tackling knife crime, in the last 12 months we have seized thousands of weapons by utilising stop and search,” McNulty said today, in response to the recent violence. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty Source: Metropolitan Police“However, we are not complacent and I would appeal to the public to contact police if they are aware of anyone carrying a knife”. Chesney’s death on Friday comes after David Lopez-Fernandez (38) died from stab wounds in Tower Hamlets in London on 25 February. Che Morrison (20) was stabbed to death in Ilford in London the following day. McNulty has encouraged people who are not comfortable with contacting police to still act and to report knife possession. “If you are not comfortable about speaking directly to police, please do contact Crimestoppers where you can provide information anonymously. By doing this, you could save a life.” Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL ‘A tragic ten days’: London police step up efforts to tackle knife crime following recent deaths Two 17-year-olds were killed in separate stabbing incidents this weekend in London and Manchester. https://jrnl.ie/4523386
Homeserve, GSK, NHS Business Services Authority, NIIT Technologies and the Post Office are among the organisations recognised at the 2017 UK and European Employee Engagement Awards.The Employee Engagement Awards aim to recognise and celebrate organisations that put employee engagement at the centre of its business strategy.The winners were announced during a ceremony at Wembley Stadium, London, on Thursday 25 January 2018.Computer support and services organisation NIIT Technologies won the Reward and recognition award, demonstrating how it linked its reward and recognition strategy to business objectives, and worked to engage employees beyond transaction benefits, such as salary.NHS Business Service Authority was awarded for its approach to wellbeing, in recognition of how it uses wellness initiatives to better engage employees with business goals and to improve productivity. Meanwhile, Post Office was awarded for its approach to Inclusion and diversity award.Homeserve and Southamption Football Club were jointly awarded the Employee Engagement company of the year award, Involvement Packaging took home the Internal communications award and pharmaceutical organisation GSK won the Social responsibility award.The full list of winners is:Employee engagement company of the year award: Homeserve, Southampton Football Club. Highly commended: IG Design Group.People Insight enterprise award: The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.Highly commended: Marks and Spencer, Boehringer Ingelheim.Employee engagement SMB [Small and medium-sized business] company of the year award: Lawn Tennis Association.Highly commended: Involvement Packaging.Wellbeing award: NHS Business Services Authority.Highly commended: The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.Reward and recognition award: NIIT Technologies.Highly commended: Plusnet, Tata Consultancy Services.Inclusion and diversity award: Post Office.Highly commended: FanDuel.Unsung hero award: Mike Boyle, First Bus.Highly commended: Shona Sullivan, Capita.Employer brand award: Arrow Business Communications.Highly commended: Southampton Football Club.Internal communications award: Involvement Packaging.Highly commended: Centrica, Inspired Thinking Group.Social responsibility award: GSK.Highly commended: RB.Leadership award: Time.Highly commended: PPL.Employee engagement non-profit/charity company of the year award: Livin.Highly commended: Cancer Research UK.Employee engagement public sector organisation of the year award: University of Lincoln. Highly commended: Ministry of Justice.Customer engagement award: Fitness First.Highly commended: PPL.Best use of technology award: Nissan.Highly commended: Marks and Spencer.Consultancy of the year award: H&H.Highly commended: Dragonfish, Instinctif Partners.Vendor of the year award: Benefex.Highly commended: Peakon, LifeWorks.Amber Kelly, engagement, talent and learning director at Post Office (pictured), said: “Diversity and inclusion is at the very heart of our business. We are committed to promoting a working environment where everyone feels comfortable to bring their true selves to work and it’s wonderful that this commitment has been recognised through this award.“2017 was a wonderful year for diversity and inclusion at the Post Office. We were recognised as a disability confident leader and a Times’ Top 50 employer for women. And this award is a great start to what promises to be another exciting year for diversity and inclusion at the Post Office.”Matt Manners, founder and chief executive office at The Employee Engagement Awards, added: “This year, the entries really have proven the transformational value that focusing on the employee experience can deliver. Not only do engaged employees help develop a clear competitive advantage but [they] will also help their organisation to navigate a world facing continuous change.”
DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) – Vote-by-mail ballots are already being mailed out in South Florida.The Miami-Dade elections department in Doral began sending out more than 200,000 ballots, Tuesday, to absentee voters ahead of the primary election on Aug. 30.“It’s never been easier,” said Supervisor of Elections for Miami-Dade County Christine White. “There is no reason to get in your car and wait in line for early voting or election day, you can vote from the comfort of you own home, so as people become aware of how easy it is, I’m sure the number will continue to grow and be around 300,000 for the presidential.”Still want your ballet, but forgot to request one?Don’t worry, the department said they will continue to send them to any voter who makes a request by the deadline, Wednesday, Aug. 24.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MIAMI (WSVN) – Police are searching for two thieves caught on camera breaking into a home in Miami.The burglary occurred in the area of Southwest 27th Avenue and Second Street on Nov. 8.Surveillance cameras captured two men walking back and forth outside of the home. They both wore their shirts over their heads.The homeowner said he was sleeping when the crooks took off with his wallet.If you have any information on this home burglary, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Creative CommonsWith the revamp in the Companies Act, thousands of shell companies now can face criminal action for depositing unexplained high-value notes during demonetisation or for operating bank accounts after their names were blacklisted.According to the Times of India, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is planning to invoke provisions of section 447 of the new Companies Act against 2 lakh de-registered companies.If found guilty, the firm owners can get imprisonment of three to 10 years for fraud. Moreover, a penalty can be levied on the fraudulent firm, which is equal to the value of the offence.Sources told TOI that the registrar of companies will do a thorough investigation of the de-registered companies to find out the source of funds.Earlier, the ministry had disqualified two lakh directors for holding posts in the companies that have defaulted loans and have failed to file their financial returns for last three years. The government has also frozen their bank accounts to check any siphoning off of funds.Sources said that the revenue department and MCA are jointly working to act against “shell companies”. The revenue department also believes that many of these companies simply exist to launder funds by routing money through a web of companies.Earlier this month, the government had announced that it has received ‘vital information’ from 13 banks on suspicious transactions post-demonetisation. The data provided by banks reveal that suspicious transactions were carried out by 2,09,032 companies, which were already blacklisted by the Registrar of Companies earlier this year.Quoting sources, the newspaper reported that preliminary data accessed by the tax department revealed that Rs 4,600 crore were routed through bank accounts of less than 6,000 companies.”While it is not illegal to have several bank accounts, we need to establish that the funds were beyond the known sources of income,” a tax officer explained.
×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 “As VR and AR applications increasingly expand to full-body, spatial experiences, tactile sensation must expand with them,” the researchers write in an abstract about the project. “Even in the real world, very few experiences are conveyed by vibration alone.”The researchers created three different prototype VR applications to test with the Force Jacket: a snowball flight application, in which people participated in a snowball fight with a virtual character where they could throw snowballs and feel the impact of a snowball via haptic cues; the aforementioned snake-crawling-around-your-torso-and-chest experience; and a VR application that used Kinect and Vive controllers to dynamically change the haptic feedback according to users’ actions and “explore the effects of changing the perceived muscularity of the body.”“Beyond our prototype applications, the jacket also has a strong potential for remote communication applications, like a hug delivered from afar,” the researchers write.More detail on the Force Jacket is available in a research paper (available at this link) published by Disney and the other researchers.Other recent Disney Research projects have included Magic Bench, a mixed-reality system that lets multiple users interact with animated characters and other CGI elements together with headsets or handheld devices, and Project Cardinal, designed to turn natural-language scripts into VR pre-visualizations.Watch a video describing Disney’s Force Jacket: Popular on Variety Can you feel The Force?You might soon be able to actually feel full-body physical sensations in conjunction with virtual-reality or augmented-reality experiences, thanks to a new research project from Disney and researchers from MIT and MIT and Carnegie Mellon University.The team developed a prototype for the wearable Force Jacket, which is designed to let someone experience physical sensations — like getting punched, hugged, or, in a somewhat unsettling VR application the researchers created, feeling a “snake moving across the body.”The Force Jacket uses an array of 26 pneumatically-actuated airbags and force sensors to provide precisely directed force and high-frequency vibrations to the wearer’s upper body. The Disney Research-led team noted that existing haptic-feedback technologies largely have been limited to vibrations, like smartphones buzzing in your hand.
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Public Schools’ Back to School Supply Swap will be held Thursday, Aug. 15, from 7:30 to 11 a.m. in the cafeteria at Oak Middle School, 45 Oak St. Support local families by donating unused and/or gently used school supplies. If you do not have supplies to donate, stop by and take what you need. The following is a sample list of needed supplies: markers, crayons, colored pencils, highlighters, dry erase marker, wide- and college-lined filler paper, wide- and college-lined notebooks, pencils and pens, three-hole punched pocket folders, notebook dividers, three-ring binders , pencil erasers, pencil cases, graph paper, shopping totes or comparable canvas bag, scissors, glue sticks, rulers, hand-held pencil sharpeners, tissues and paper towels.Any supplies that remain following the swap will be donated to the Grafton Elementary School in Worcester.If you have questions, contact Administrative Assistant Blake Stewart at 508-841-8400.
The President of the United States says he does not believe that Hurricane Maria and its aftermath killed 2,975 people—an estimate generated by researchers at George Washington University and accepted as the rough official death toll by the government of Puerto Rico. On Twitter, President Trump said the death toll was somewhere between six and 18, and that the bigger number was part of a politically-motivated attack on him and his presidency.That’s preposterous, of course. And it’s worse than a lie. The core triumph of humanity is that science—observation, hypothesis, data, analysis—can yield an actionable understanding of the universe. We can learn stuff and change things. A full accounting of what went wrong in advance of and during Hurricane Harvey in Houston or Maria in Puerto Rico is supposed to keep people safe when a Florence comes ashore in the Carolinas. But that only works if you look that accounting in the eye. Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg/Getty ImagesIt’s true that some policymakers have long expressed skepticism over the causes and consequences of, for example, climate change or vaccines, in similar anti-scientific ways. Even the president has disregarded that science. But in dismissing the conclusions of well-conducted research on the toll in Puerto Rico, the president is doing more than insulting the memories of the dead. He risks breaking a connection forged during the Enlightenment, at the foundation of democracy: the link between governance and knowledge. Those Harvard researchers reported that they were being conservative in their estimate, and they acknowledged that their count might not have included people who weren’t dead but had left Puerto Rico after Maria.So in late August researchers at George Washington University released another, even more in-depth study at the behest of the Puerto Rico government. The GWU methods were a little different. That team built a mathematical model of expected deaths and migration based on numbers from 2010 to 2017, and then compared that to the actual death counts for the six months after Maria. They estimated that 2,975 people died as a result of the storm, with significantly higher risk of death for the elderly and the poor.I’m not laying those two studies out to re-report their conclusions but to indicate that claims have to be delivered with evidence and methods. That’s how scientists talk to each other and give policymakers tools to make decisions. In this case, both studies also contained information and recommendations of what could be improved the next time a hurricane comes to Puerto Rico—which could be any week now.But in dismissing those findings, in suggesting incompetence or malfeasance on the part of the researchers who delivered them and the politicians who accepted them as true, the president is literally putting politics above people’s lives. Teams of researchers from two of the most respected universities in the United States went to Puerto Rico to do this statistical and epidemiological work and found, in part, that the government hadn’t done its job in the first place. It didn’t give American citizens in Puerto Rico a robust, resilient power grid and disaster preparedness infrastructure. It didn’t help people evacuate. It didn’t provide shelter and care after the hurricane. And it couldn’t even count the dead.By asserting that there was nothing more government could have done, that US efforts in Puerto Rico were an “unsung success,” that corruption in Puerto Rico was the real obstacle and that assertions to the contrary are political attacks—the executive branch (and the legislative branch supporting it through its silence) has done worse than engage in a fight over Puerto Rico. They’ve undermined confidence in federal disaster response efforts overall. Those arguments imply to Americans that science can’t help them—that no fundamental truths can be understood in such a way that the conditions of their lives might be improved. Was it a hurricane, really? Or Zeus throwing a temper tantrum? We’ll see what happens.That is a hell of a thing to say with another hurricane hammering the Carolinas, and two more stacked behind it. It’s the kind of know-nothingness that gets people killed. How do people know things are true? One way is to understand the derivation of an answer, which is to say, if a person telling you something can also explain how he or she arrived at that conclusion, you can determine how confident you can be in the conclusion itself.In July, researchers at Harvard University published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine asserting that at least 4,645 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. Because death records were so bad, the researchers conducted a survey; they interviewed people in 3,299 households across the island and asked if anyone they knew had died, and from that determined that the death rate there had gone up 62 percent over the same period from the prior (hurricane-free) year, from September 20 to New Year’s Day.Their criteria covered not just deaths from, say, drowning in floodwaters or being hit by wind-blown debris but also knock-on effects from power outages and lack of food, water, and medicine. That’s kosher—the CDC says figuring out accurate death counts in the aftermath of disasters is critical for future planning, but difficult because of chaos and confusion, and because it’s sometimes hard to tell if the disaster itself caused a death. “Directly related” and “indirectly related” deaths both count, the CDC concludes. 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The AWS team announced updates to the face detection, analysis, and recognition features in its deep learning-based service, Amazon Rekognition, yesterday, which makes it easy to add images and video analysis to your applications. These updates are now available in Rekognition at no extra cost. Moreover, there is no machine learning experience required. These updates will provide customers with an enhanced ability to detect more faces from the images (even the difficult ones), perform more accurate face matches, as well as obtain the improved age, gender, and emotion attributes for the faces in images. Amazon Rekognition can now detect 40% more faces, and the face recognition feature produces 30% more correct best matches. The rate of false detections has also dropped down by 50%. Additionally, face matches now have more consistent similarity scores that vary across lighting, pose, and appearance, letting the customers use higher confidence thresholds, avoid false matches and reduce human review in identity verification applications. Face detection algorithms usually suffer difficulty when it comes to detecting faces in images with challenging aspects. These challenging aspects include pose variations (caused by head movement or camera movements, difficult lighting (low contrast and shadows, washed out faces), and a blur or occlusion (faces covered by hat, hair, or hands). Pose variation issue is generally encountered in faces that have been captured from acute camera angles (shots taken from above or below a face), shots with a side-on view of a face, or when the subject is looking away. This particular issue is typically seen in social media photos, selfies, or fashion photoshoots. Lighting issue is common in stock photography and at event venues where there isn’t enough contrast between facial features and the background in low lighting. Occlusion is seen in photos with artistic effects (selfies or fashion photos, video motion blur), fashion photography or photos taken from identity documents. With the latest update, Rekognition has become very efficient at handling all the different aspects of challenging images that have been captured in unconstrained environments, announces AWS. For more information, check out the official blog post. Read Next “We can sell dangerous surveillance systems to police or we can stand up for what’s right. We can’t do both,” says a protesting Amazon employee AWS makes Amazon Rekognition, its image recognition AI, available for Asia-Pacific developers Amazon Rekognition can now ‘recognize’ faces in a crowd at real-time