Second victory for Kilburn’s Higgins

first_imgAlan Higgins’ second professional bout ended in another quick victory, with the Kilburn middleweight stopping Richard Hadju in the second round.The fight took place in Seinäjoki, Finland, as Higgins’ trainer CJ Hussein also works with Finnish cruiserweight Juho Haapoja, who was in action on the same bill.Higgins enjoyed an impressive debut, stopping Emmanuel Moussinga in the first round at Bethnal Green’s York Hall in July.See also:Perfect start for Kilburn boxer HigginsHiggins wins on professional debutHiggins eyeing victory number three Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Willie McCovey takes special items to the grave

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO–At a public celebration of life for Willie McCovey last week, his closest teammates revealed their admiration not just for the way the Hall of Fame first baseman carried himself on the field, but how he handled himself off of it.“What he did on the field, everybody knows,” fellow Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda said. “But as a human being, Willie McCovey was very special. He was very quiet, he didn’t say much, but he had a big heart.”In a ceremony held at AT&T Park, McCovey was …last_img

Cycads to be saved by DNA

first_imgCycads growing wild in the forest ofthe Rain Queen Modjadji.(Image: South Africa Tourism) MEDIA CONTACTS • Philip RousseauUJ Dept of Botany and Plant Biotechnology+27 11 559 3477 or +27 73 545 7056• Herman EsterhuizenUJ media relations+27 11 559 6653 or + 27 72 129 0777Janine ErasmusSouth Africa’s rare and sought-after cycads are to be protected by a new DNA barcoding initiative that will help clamp down on illicit trade in the endangered plants.Botany masters student Philip Rousseau, under the guidance of Professor Michelle van der Bank of the Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), initiated the project in January 2010. His aim is to preserve the ancient plants, which are often sold illegally to eager collectors in the US and Far East.The database will focus specifically on plants from the Encephalartos genus, as these are native to Africa, with 39 species occurring in South Africa alone. The country also is home to one species from the genus Stangeria, S. eriopus.The name Encephalartos comes from the Greek words en (within), kephali (head), and artos (bread). This refers to the traditional use of the pith of the stem as a starchy food, a practice reflected in the Afrikaans name broodboom (“bread tree”).“This project forms part of a global initiative, known as TreeBOL, to DNA barcode all the trees of the world within the next five years,” said Van der Bank. “UJ will generate a library of reference barcoding sequences for all cycad species, which will enable researchers and custom officials to identify specimens.”UJ is driving the African section of TreeBOL.According to the regulations South Africans need a permit to own a cycad, with one permit issued for every plant. Although the country’s laws are among the tightest in the world where cycads are concerned, officials have a difficult time with smugglers transporting valuable plants under the name of a less endangered species.In great demandNow modern technology is set to stop thieves in their tracks. The barcode library will deter illegal trade in cycads by preventing unscrupulous dealers and buyers from presenting rare plants as more common species. As visual identification is almost impossible once the leaves have been stripped for transport purposes, DNA will provide conservation officials with a foolproof way of identifying seized cycads.Plants are regularly stolen from protected areas and botanical gardens or simply dug out of their natural areas. In one such case, in January 2008, 103 extremely rare specimens with a value of US$1.3-million (R10-million), were plucked from the Lillie floral reserve in Limpopo province.Ruthless buyers, who are willing to pay $13 500 (R100 000) or more for cycads, ignore the fact that the plants take up to 800 years to grow tall stems, and that they are endangered in their native habitats because of excessive demand.Encephalartos cerinus, for example, was only described in 1989, but subsequent demand and poaching of the plant led to it tottering on the brink of extinction mere months after its discovery. Other species may have been wiped out before they were even discovered.Several cycad species are now extinct in the wild, while the numbers of others have dwindled alarmingly. In South Africa three of the 38 indigenous species are extinct in the wild – they are Encephalartos woodii, E. brevifoliolatus and E. nubimontanus. The cycad specialist group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified 12 more as critically endangered, and a further 13 as threatened.According to Dr John Donaldson of the IUCN cycad specialist group, South Africa has a disproportionately high number of critically endangered cycads. “We certainly are on the cusp of extinctions. We have a lot of rare plants that are down to less than 100 individuals in the wild,” he said.In recent years botanists have implanted microchips, which can only be read with a scanner, into rare cycads. This enables authorities to identify stolen plants and trace their rightful owners. The technology has proved effective on a number of occasions, although some canny thieves try to extract and get rid of the transponders. The DNA technology will overcome this hurdle.Plants of myth and legendThe palm-like cycads are the oldest seed plants on earth, with fossils dating back to the Early Permian period, about 280-million years ago. This puts the leafy specimens on the scene even before the Jurassic period when dinosaurs flourished.Just over 300 species have been described to date, falling into 10–12 genera and two or three families (the number of genera and families varies according to the taxonomic viewpoint).Cycads are found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, America and Australasia. They have given rise to many myths and intriguing stories, and whole cultures have developed around them.One of the most famous is that of Ga-Modjadji, a rural community of over 150 villages near Tzaneen in Limpopo province, ruled by the Rain Queen Modjadji of the Lobedu people.The Modjadji dynasty is some 400 years old, but since the sixth Rain Queen, Makobo, died in 2005 at the age of 27, no heir has been chosen. The Rain Queen is always succeeded by her eldest daughter and Makobo did give birth to a daughter, now almost four years old, but as her father was a commoner it is said to be unlikely that the Royal Council will accept her as the next queen.The Rain Queen is believed to have special powers, including the ability to control clouds and rain. Farmers in the area are particularly respectful of her abilities. The annual rainmaking ceremony takes place at the royal compound in Khetlhakone village in November each year, at the start of the rainy season.The Modjadji cycad forest is a well-known tourist attraction which has been tended by the Balobedu for centuries. Here the Modjadji cycad, Encephalartos transvenosus, grows in abundance. The then-reigning queen passed stewardship of the 305ha forest to the South African government, who subsequently proclaimed it as a protected area in 1979.last_img read more

Audio Masterclass: How to Be a Better Sound Designer

first_imgImprove the quality of your sound recording, design and mix with these free masterclasses!Getting good audio is critical to producing a high quality film that audiences can not only hear properly, but engage with fully. All too often (especially in low-budget filmmaking) the sound isn’t thought of until something goes wrong with it and then it’s all too little too late. Fortunately there are plenty of great sound recordists, designers and mixers out there who are willing to share their knowledge with the rest of us.In the ‘mini-masterclass’ above, production sound mixer Simon Hayes describes the intricacies of how a whole team of people work together in concert within the sound department to create perfectly recorded production audio. It’s a great insight into how each role works in tandem with the rest and how critical a great boom-operator is on your shoot.In this behind the scenes featurette from Baz Lurhman’s Australia, you can see all of the individual crew members of the production sound department in action on set, which really helps to see how each role works in practice:Sound Mixing MasterclassesIn this three short clips from the Sight Sound & Story: Soundshow NY you can hear the sound team from Life of Pi discussing how they created the final mix for a few of the of the most memorable sequences in the film. If you want to go far more in-depth with the team from Life of Pi, then this Dolby masterclass focusing on the Dolby Atmos mix of Life of Pi, with a distinguished panel of post production sound professionals will give you an hour of great insight. Skip to about 8 minutes in if you want to just hear the discussion:The CallSheet.co.uk has a fantastic interview with Sound Mixer Chris Munro, who won both an Oscar and a BAFTA for his work on Gravity. The whole interview is well worth a read, but here is a choice quote:“Black Hawk Down” was another of those very technical films. Ridley Scott is an amazing director and one of the few that can use multiple cameras so effectively. I think that at times we had up to 14 cameras including aerial shots. Not many people were using multitrack recorders at that time and we were recording to digital multitracks. It was a challenge, but very satisfying This was also the first time I had been able to use live ammo for sound FX recording, which gave some great results and sounds very different to some of the gun FX in libraries. I have since done this on many subsequent films with results that I have been very happy with.Another Dolby panel discussion that is worth a watch is this hour long conversation from Sundance in 2013, featuring some of the most legendary men in film post production sound alive today, including Ben Burtt and Randy Thom. Jump to 15 minutes in to skip all the introductions and hear Ben Burtt describing how he created some of the original sound design for Star Wars.Lastly, if you’re after a comprehensive set of sound editing tutorials then check out this post featuring a huge collection of tutorials from dialogue editor John Purcell.Got your own sound design tips to share?Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Former Olympic hockey star Prithipal Singh murder sends shock waves throughout India

first_imgIt took a fusillade of bullets to gun down police chief A.S. Atwal outside Amritsar’s Golden Temple and destroy any immediate hopes of an agreement between the Centre and the Akali leadership over the latter’s uncompromising demands. Last fortnight, another deadly hail of bullets killed a much-loved sportsman and revealed,It took a fusillade of bullets to gun down police chief A.S. Atwal outside Amritsar’s Golden Temple and destroy any immediate hopes of an agreement between the Centre and the Akali leadership over the latter’s uncompromising demands. Last fortnight, another deadly hail of bullets killed a much-loved sportsman and revealed the extent to which the law of the gun rules the troubled state.Though unconnected with the Akali problem, the brutal murder of former Olympic hockey star Prithipal Singh, 51, in broad daylight in the sprawling campus of the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana, sent shock waves throughout the country.If Atwal’s murder showed the militant extremism of the Akali hard core, the killing of Prithipal finally brought home to the rest of the country the brutal fact that Punjab’s problems are not confined to a mere question of river water and shifting of state capitals.Widespread Condemnation: Perhaps if Prithipal had not been the international figure he was the slaying would have just been another statistic in Punjab’s mounting death toll. An Arjuna Award winner, a Padma Shri who thrice represented India in the Olympics as the best short-corner specialist in the game, Prithipal was obviously the tragic victim of campus politics. Arriving at the PAU campus, where he was director of the student welfare programme,Prithipal Singh: Victim of campus politicsPrithipal had barely parked his motorcycle outside his office when two youths pulled out revolvers and pumped four shots into his head and chest in full view of over a dozen university officials. It was 8.20 a.m. and despite the fact that the university was stirring to life, the assailants calmly strolled to a waiting motorcycle and sped away.Though Prithipal’s slaying received widespread condemnation, it was certainly not the first on the faction-ridden campus. A decade-old political brawl between warring unions, and intense rivalry at personal levels, has so far claimed at least half a dozen lives on the campus, the latest being on April 21 when Piara Singh, another sportsman, was killed in a gun-fight with Ashok Kaushik who also distinguished himself on the sports field.Another victim has been P.S. Randhawa, general secretary of the Punjab Students Union (PSU), a front organisation for the T. Nagi Reddy group of Marxists. Since then, incidents of violence have become a regular feature at the university and Prithipal Singh, as the man in charge of student welfare and discipline, was sucked into the conflict though not with the kind of finality he imagined.advertisement In fact, at the time the sports star was killed, a commission of inquiry was being conducted to examine the causes of the campus violence.Disciplinarian: University sources say that Prithipal’s strict disciplinarian methods and his crusade to clean the campus of toughs and trouble-makers brought him inevitably into a head-on clash with the PSU elements. It was he who urged the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sukhdev Singh, to take immediate measures to stop the violence.It was largely as a result of his efforts that a senior Punjab government official, B.B. Mahajan, was appointed to conduct the commission of inquiry. “We were keen to put an end to the trouble,” says Sukhdev Singh, “but the steps we had taken like banning liquor and turning out bad elements were obviously not enough.”However, there were ample warnings that Prithipal was singled out for retaliatory action. He had been publicly warned by PSU leaders and blood red posters on campus walls had warned: “Khoon ka badla khoon” (blood for blood) a reference to their charge that Prithipal was shielding their rivals.The police were concerned enough to post a police picket at the university and even assigned an armed guard to Prithipal. Unfortunately, the ex-Olympian was too proud and considered an armed guard a sign of cowardice.In the face of strong protests from his brother-in-law, former state finance minister Balwant Singh, he brusquely told the police to remove the guard and make better use of him elsewhere.So far, police have arrested over two dozen PSU activists and express confidence that Prithipal’s killers will be caught soon. But that will not be easy considering the manner in which violence and gun battles in the university have been allowed to escalate unchecked. It would be Prithipal’s finest obituary if the wave of revulsion at his death succeeds in bringing back some semblance of discipline to the campus – an objective he was unable to achieve in life.last_img read more

10 months agoMan Utd fullback Luke Shaw: Jose won three trophies here

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd fullback Luke Shaw: Jose won three trophies hereby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United fullback Luke Shaw paid tribute to Jose Mourinho after victory at Cardiff City.Shaw, who had a turbulent time under Mourinho, also insisted the outgoing manager deserved more respect what he achieved at United.He said: “It’s not very nice when something as big as that happens at the club but we all as players and as a team need to show respect.”People might be quick to forget what Jose did for United, with the three trophies. He did a lot.“One of the trophies (Europa League) was one we hadn’t won before. He took us to three trophies in sort of one season.”So people need to respect him and remember what he did, not only for us as a team to win those trophies but for the fans as well.” last_img read more

Four of top10 cos lose Rs 84433 cr in mcap HDFC twins

first_imgNew Delhi: Four of the 10 most valued domestic companies together witnessed an erosion of Rs 84,432.8 crore in market capitalisation last week, with HDFC twins taking the biggest hit.RIL and SBI were the other frontline companies that suffered a drop in their market capitalisation (m-cap) for the week ended Friday, while Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HUL, Infosys, ITC, Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank finished with gains. However, the cumulative gain of these firms at Rs 22,058.3 crore was less than the total loss suffered by the four companies. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe m-cap of HDFC Bank plunged Rs 26,900.6 crore to Rs 6,22,401.90 crore, making it the top loser among the top-10 firms. It was followed by HDFC, whose valuation tumbled Rs 23,360.6 crore to Rs 3,74,131.53 crore.Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) lost Rs 22,123.4 crore in m-cap to stand at Rs 7,69,627.33 crore, while SBI’s valuation dropped Rs 12,048.2 crore to Rs 3,05,667.95 crore.In contrast, the market cap of TCS jumped Rs 11,951.35 crore to Rs 7,91,302.89 crore and that of ICICI Bank zoomed Rs 3,484.66 crore to Rs 2,68,125.39 crore. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostITC added Rs 2,487.11 crore to its valuation to reach Rs 3,31,749.04 crore and Kotak Mahindra Bank gained Rs 2,138.61 crore to Rs 2,88,522.40 crore.The valuation of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) climbed by Rs 1,266.41 crore to Rs 3,74,651.29 crore and that of Infosys rose Rs 730.16 crore to Rs 3,38,148.69 crore.In the ranking of top-10 firms, TCS closed the week with number one ranking, followed by RIL, HDFC Bank, HUL, HDFC, Infosys, ITC, SBI, Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank.TCS on Thursday went past Reliance Industries Limited to become the country’s most valued firm by market valuation yet again.During the last week, the Sensex lost 454.22 points or 1.18 per cent to close at 37,882.79 on Friday.last_img read more

Bombardier workers rally in solidarity ahead of US trade spat decision

first_imgAn unusual scene took place Wednesday as unionized workers left their posts at Bombardier’s plant in north Toronto — not to protest stalled labour negotiations but to express solidarity with the company in its battle against U.S.-based aerospace giant Boeing Co.“We’re in it together,” said Mike Vorberg, one of the Bombardier employees at the rally.“We had management here, upper management here, and they want to bring awareness to what’s happening here, and we’re hoping that this fight will be favourable for us in Canada.”Boeing has accused Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) of selling its CSeries passenger jets to American-based Delta at an unfairly low price with help from government subsidies.“We understand the anger of our employees and their passion,” said Bombardier spokesman Simon Letendre in an interview from Montreal.“They see that Boeing is attacking directly this industry so they are out to protect their jobs and to protect the aircraft they have been working on.”The action was held the same day the Montreal-based aircraft and railway manufacturer said it’s looking beyond next week’s U.S. Department of Commerce decision about preliminary duties against its CSeries aircraft.The U.S. Commerce Department confirmed Wednesday that its decision on Boeing’s request for preliminary countervailing duties of more than 79 per cent will be announced Tuesday, a day later than it previously indicated.A preliminary anti-dumping determination is currently scheduled to be announced Oct. 5, but can be extended. The department will make final determinations on duties before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issues its final injury determination.But Bombardier spokesman Bryan Tucker said the United States still has to rule on the critical question of whether Boeing suffered any harm.“Boeing acknowledges it did not compete in the Delta competition, and it abandoned this aircraft segment more than a decade ago, so it’s really hard to see how they are harmed,” he wrote in an email.Tucker said that the outcome from the preliminary findings is hard to predict because U.S. trade laws weren’t designed to address large, complex and highly engineered products such as aircraft.“At the end of the process, and given that the CSeries will contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy and lower travel costs for the American public, we’re confident the ITC will reach the right conclusion.”Industry analysts expect preliminary countervailing duties will be imposed, although they wouldn’t begin to be collected until the first Delta Air Lines planes are delivered next year.The Toronto protest came a week after workers in Montreal marched in front of Boeing’s downtown office and the U.S. consulate.Cheers erupted through the crowd outside the Toronto aerospace plant as Unifor president Jerry Dias vowed to stand up to U.S. protectionism and fight for Canadian aerospace jobs. The union head met with Boeing officials last week in Washington, D.C., where he encouraged the company to drop the complaint.“The reality is, Canada doesn’t have the deep pockets that they do in the United States and they do in the European consortium,” he told the workers.“This is about a Canadian market, this is about a Canadian plane, this is about Canadian technology, this is about Canadian innovation, this is about Canadian jobs, and we’re not going to let anybody take it away from us!”Dias used the aerospace trade dispute to highlight some of the issues he has been vocal about amid the ongoing NAFTA renegotations and called on the Canadian government to continue its fight against the U.S.“We’re sick and tired of losing our jobs to right-to-work states in the United States, we’re sick and tired of losing our jobs to Mexico where minimum wage is 65 cents an hour,” he said.The Canadian government is putting pressure on Boeing to drop its complaint, threatening to cancel plans to buy 18 Boeing Super Hornet fighter jets.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has received support from his British counterpart, Theresa May, who wants to protect jobs in Northern Ireland, where the plane’s wings are assembled.Analyst Seth Seifman of J.P. Morgan said Boeing was emphatic during an investor conference on Monday that it won’t back down despite the prospect of losing business with Canada and CSeries customer Delta.“Management has concluded that a subsidized Airbus was one reason why McDonnell Douglas’s commercial aircraft businesses died and it is determined to foreclose the possibility of a repeat with Bombardier,” Seifman wrote in a report.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version stated that Bombardier’s CEO was at the rally.last_img read more

Hunters asked to submit deer elk and moose heads to monitor for

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Hunters in the B.C. Peace Region are being encouraged to part with the heads of any deer, elk, or moose they manage to bag this hunting season to allow for a post-mortem examination for signs of a deadly – and incurable – disease.Biologist Brian Patterson has been subcontracted by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to run its program that monitors for signs of chronic wasting disease in cervids in Northeast B.C.He said that chronic wasting disease is a form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy that affects deer, elk and moose. Other TSE’s include mad cow disease, which affects bovines, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease which affects humans. A biopsy of a tonsil showing prion protein immunostaining. Wikipedia photo.TSE’s are caused by misfolded proteins called prions, which cause cells in the brain and neural tissue to die, giving the brain a ‘spongy’ appearance.Prions diseases are always fatal, and no cure has yet been discovered. Chronic wasting disease has been reported in wild animals in 23 U.S. states, as well as in Alberta and Saskatchewan.A map showing locations where chronic wasting disease has been reported. Photo by U.S. Geological Survey.Between 2002 and 2016, biologists examined 805 heads of cervids that were hunted in the B.C. Peace Region, however, the number of submitted heads has decreased in the last few years from a high 221 in 2008 to less than 50 every year since.Patterson said that to help as an incentive, the provincial government has partnered with sporting good stores, including Backcountry in Fort St. John to launch a Chronic Wasting Disease Awareness Program. Hunters can bring in a freshly-killed deer, elk, or moose head and keep the antlers and skull plate intact at either specified depot in North Peace area: the North Peace Rod & Gun Club and the FrontCounterBC office inside the Beaton Building in Fort St. John.The depots will then give hunters a voucher to enter for a draw to win a Tikka Hunting package. There’s no limit to the number of entries, provided each animal was legally hunted and entries are submitted before December 10th.For more information, contact Backcountry in Fort St. John or the local FrontCounterBC office.last_img read more

Back to zero Canadas premiers gather in Saskatoon but none are women

first_imgMoe and Kenney kicked off the week together at the Calgary Stampede, where they met with their conservative counterparts from Ontario and New Brunswick, along with the premier from the consensus-based government of the Northwest Territories.They discussed hurdles in getting Canadian resources to market, as well as their opposition to federal bills overhauling resource reviews and banning oil tankers from the northern B.C. coast, and their common causing in fighting against the federal carbon tax.Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are all challenging Ottawa’s carbon levy in court.Bashevkin said she doesn’t think an absence of women at the Saskatoon meeting will affect the content and tone of discussions.There are assumptions that women tend to be less confrontational and seek consensus more than men, she said, but it’s not necessarily true.“We could ask right now … are the relations between British Columbia and Alberta any better than they were when we had two women premiers?“The answer’s probably not,” she said, adding that pipelines were still front and centre under Notley and former B.C. premier Christy Clark.Stephanie Taylor and Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press SASKATOON — Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial leaders are in Saskatchewan this week, but for the first time in years, the annual gathering won’t have women at the table.“Symbolically, it’s very significant that there is no woman premier,” said Sylvia Bashevkin, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, who researches women in politics and recently edited a book on the effect of women in the premier’s office.She said the last time Canada was without any woman as premier was between November 2002, when Pat Duncan left her post in the Yukon, and in November 2008, when Eva Aariak was sworn in as premier of Nunavut. By early 2014, more than half of Canadians lived in a jurisdiction governed by a woman. Rachel Notley was the last one standing until her government was defeated in Alberta three months ago.Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have never had a woman as premier.The Council of the Federation conference, running Tuesday through Thursday, should serve as a reminder of the under representation of women at the premier’s table, Bashevkin said.It may also cause people to question whether gender diversity in Canada was really improving, she added.“It’s not just that things have stalled, but they’ve measurably gone backwards,” Bashevkin said.“We have to come back to the picture that’s going to come out of this premiers’ meeting and ask ourselves … what does it mean when we felt we’ve made all these breakthroughs and then we can go back to zero?”center_img The Council of the Federation conference starts at Big River First Nation, where the premiers are to meet with leaders of national Indigenous organizations, including the Assembly of First Nations.The gathering then shifts to Saskatoon, where premiers will participate in two-days of closed-door meetings at a downtown hotel.Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who is hosting the event, said health care, reducing trade barriers and increasing economic competitiveness are all topics on his agenda.Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said that in addition to trade and the need to further develop the energy sector, he’ll be pushing for jurisdictions to mutually recognize professional credentials so workers can more easily move between provinces for work.last_img read more