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first_img “I want to apologise to the fans and the Red Bulls II Organisation, as well as Karl Ouimette, for what transpired at the game last night,” Shallenberger stated in an interview with the Washington Post. “Romeo’s actions are not representative of what our organisation and its academy stand for in regards to helping promote and grow this sport in not only the Greater Allegheny area, but also nationwide. “We understand the severity of this situation and made it a point to respond as quickly as possible within our power.” Pittsburgh’s head coach, Mark Steffens, reflected Shallenberger’s sentiments. “As I stated last night, this is an unfortunate situation and one that was embarrassing for not only myself, but also the staff and the organisation.” Steffens said. “The discipline being handed out is one that we, as a staff, consider to be fair and completely justified. The actions were not representative of what this team stands for as a whole.” Parkes tweeted an apology yesterday. “To the fans, my teams, the city of PGH, NY Red Bulls 2 and the USL, I recognised that my action was wrong and inappropriate and I sincerely apologise and regret my actions,” he said. “Despite the continuous altercation throughout the game, my further action after I was carded was unwarranted and I ask for my fans, the league and my teammates, as well as the New York Red Bulls to accept my sincere apology.” The 26-year-old Parkes scored five goals in six appearances for Pittsburgh Riverhounds since joining three months ago. He had spent the previous two years with A D Isidro Metap·n in El Salvador. In 2014, Parkes helped the team win the Apertura Championship and reach the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champion League. He also represented St George’s FC, Highgate United, Tivoli Gardens FC, and Boys’ Town FC locally. He was part of the Jamaica team at the Copa AmÈrica tournament in Chile last year and was named in a 40-man provisional squad for the historic Copa Centennial, which takes place in the United States from June 3-26. APOLOGIES TO ALL The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have terminated the contract of Romeo Parkes as he stomped an opponent after being shown the red card, in Saturday’s United Soccer League (USL) football match against the New York Red Bulls II. Parkes kicked Red Bulls defender Karl Ouimette in the back late in the second half as frustrations boiled over as the Hounds were poised for another loss at home, with the score 1-3. Parked had scored the lone goal for his team, while his Jamaican counterpart, Junior Flemmings, provided an assist for New York Red Bulls. The ugly reaction to a red card left Ouimette on a stretcher and Parkes facing a lengthy ban and possibly even more. Yesterday, the team decision was announced by owner Tuffy Shallenberger, who cited conduct detrimental to the team and the USL.last_img read more

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first_img(Visited 48 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Science Magazine claimed the Mexican crater named Chicxulub is the smoking gun of the dinosaurs’ demise, and the media fell in line.  Are there reasons to doubt the story?The media responses to Science’s two evolution-promoting papers (Chicxulub date, and earliest mammal ancestor) were swift and uncritical (see 2/07/13 entry).  Yet a look at the original papers reveals problems, and some thought recalls old questions:  Why would an impact (or volcanism for that matter) eliminate all the dinosaurs of all sizes, but not many other more delicate species that survived unharmed?The new evidence is mostly circumstantial, primarily the date of the impact at 66.038 million years, very close to when evolutionists believe dinosaurs went extinct, corresponding to the the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, dated at 66.048 million years ago.  To achieve the alleged five-significant-figure resolution, some uncooperative argon-argon dates had to be brought into agreement with uranium-lead (U-Pb) dates.  “Recent studies have shown why the argon isotope method always yielded slightly younger ages than the U/Pb method,” Heiko Pälike wrote for a Perspective piece in Science about the main paper by Paul Renne et al.  Pälike used this alleged agreement (whether forced or not) to calibrate another dating method, orbital eccentricity changes.  How this could be linked to a dinosaur extinction event, or to a meteor’s choice of when to hit the earth, was not explained.Pälike left the question of the cause of the dinosaur extinction still unanswered:Does this study finally close the debate about the cause of the demise of the dinosaurs? Not quite yet. Renne et al. suggest that brief cold snaps in the late Cretaceous were stressful to an ecology adapted to the long-lived preceding hothouse climate, and that the Chicxulub impact delivered a final coup de grâce to ecosystems, shifting the planet permanently into a new state. The next task will be to use the improved dating methodologies to precisely date the largest individual magmatic events during Deccan flood basalt formation. These dates will help to evaluate the role volcanism played in the initial onset of environmental and biotic change prior to the K-Pg boundary.At the outset, it does seem a bit strange to invoke disasters to advance evolution, but that’s what Renne’s team claimed:  “Mass extinctions manifest in Earth’s geologic record were turning points in biotic evolution.”  The other Science paper claims that mammalian diversity exploded after this catastrophe.Renne et al., however, only dated the impact to a claimed resolution of plus or minus 32,000 years, still leaving some room for dispute about the cause.  Science Daily and the BBC News quoted Renne claiming the two events (impact and extinction) are “within a gnat’s eyebrow” of being contemporaneous.  The main paper is mostly a story built on the claimed high-resolution date of the Chicxulub impact:Perturbation of the atmospheric carbon cycle at the boundary likely lasted less than 5000 years, exhibiting a recovery time scale two to three orders of magnitude shorter than that of the major ocean basins. Low-diversity mammalian fauna in the western Williston Basin persisted for as little as 20,000 years after the impact. The Chicxulub impact likely triggered a state shift of ecosystems already under near-critical stress. [Abstract]….We suggest that the brief cold snaps in the latest Cretaceous, though not necessarily of extraordinary magnitude, were particularly stressful to a global ecosystem that was well adapted to the long-lived preceding Cretaceous hothouse climate.  [Conclusion]It would seem, though, that the stress would have applied just as much to other ecosystems as to those of dinosaurs.  Moreover, Renne et al. seem to forget that some dinosaurs lived in the polar regions; they occupied a wide range of ecosystems from deserts to the poles (see 1/10/2012 about titanosaurs in the antarctic).  Despite the claimed high-resolution dates, all the other criticisms of the impact hypothesis still apply (e.g., 1/21/2008 #9, 1/29/2009 #1, 3/29/2006).On Live Science, the son of impact-theory-founder Luis Alvarez turned his father’s apparent vindication into a rebuke of Lyellian geology and a stubborn scientific community unwilling to think outside the paradigm:“It flew in the face of the position that geologists and paleontologists at the time had for gradual explanations for everything that happened in the Earth’s past, a position that went by the name of uniformitarianism,” said Walter Alvarez. “The notion that this mass extinction was caused by an impact, or even the notion that there was a sudden mass extinction, raised a lot of dispute at the time, and people strongly challenged the idea.“Renne himself admitted to being a skeptic at first.  It remains to be seen what skeptic Gerta Keller will say, since she had gone on record claiming the impact was too late after the extinction by 300,000 years (10/12/2006, 4/29/2009).  And Alvarez himself admitted that the impact may not have been the sole cause of the extinction, Live Science noted.  He believes, though, that uniformitarianism is done; “we now have a completely different view of how the Earth works in terms of gradual changes versus catastrophic changes.”  That fact would seem to have a wider “impact” on science than a meteor on earth.  National Geographic liked the impact theory, but reserved a larger role for the Indian volcanoes (the Deccan Traps) than other articles.In short, then, the whole impact-extinction scenario is based on alleged higher-resolution radiometric dates of two events: the Chicxulub impact and the KT boundary.  “Considering the statistical errors in the two analyses, the impact and the dino die-offs may have occurred at the same time, or they may have occurred no more than 32,000 years apart, Science NOW said.  With that in mind, it may be premature to have headlined the article, “Big Smash, Dead Dinos.”More weight is being put on this claim than it can bear.  Just because scientists, by force of motivation, can bring one flawed, assumption-laden dating method into conformity with another flawed, assumption-laden dating method does not mean an impact actually killed the dinosaurs.  It is just as valid to assert (using their own assumptions and error bars) that the dinosaurs died out 32,000 years before the impact, or vice versa.Philosophically, it is a poor argument to claim that an impact killed the dinosaurs, “although other factors may have played an important role.”  OK, what other factors?  What roles did they play–major roles, cameo appearances or bit parts?  Did the combination of other roles overpower the impactor’s role?None of these confident storytellers is explaining why an impact selectively killed off all dinosaurs but not mammals, birds, and insects, much less how catastrophes generated elephants, giraffes and whales out of shrews.  It may be a shrew’d myth, but not a fact of science (since no scientist was there to watch).  Is this a new tale of the taming of the shrew, or the shaming of the true?last_img read more

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first_imgReaders of this column have heard me argue in the past that resilience can be a motivation for taking actions that will not only make us and our families safer, but also help to mitigate climate change. Let me lay out that basic argument again.I wrote last week that climate change deniers seek to seed doubt about the realities of anthropogenic causes of climate change — and whether global warming is even happening. As the title of the 2008 book on this tactic, Doubt is Their Product, points out, if these industry-funded “experts” can convince enough people that the causes of a particular problem (whether climate change or hazards of tobacco or toxicity of flame retardants) are in doubt, policy makers can be convinced to hold off on imposing regulations that will cost industry money to implement.They have succeeded admirably in that tactic with climate change: a large percentage of the public and the majority of legislators from a certain political party believe that the jury is still out.With decision-making based on science seemingly impossible and new extraction technologies enabling us to extract ever-harder-to-reach oil and gas, what should we do to slow our greenhouse gas emissions? How can we convince people to take action? The case for resilienceAs defined by the Resilient Design Institute, “Resilience is the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance.  It is the capacity to bounce back after a disturbance or interruption of some sort.”Designing houses and apartment buildings to achieve resilience will keep people safer in the event of a disaster of some sort — whether a hurricane that might be more intense because of a warmer ocean, an earthquake that has nothing to do with climate change, or a power outage caused by terrorists hacking into our power grid controls.You don’t have to believe in climate change to want to create safer homes for your family. It’s not a Blue State argument or one that is owned by Democrats. Indeed, I’ve observed that Tea Party libertarians are sometimes the most receptive to the resilience argument. They want to be free from the tyranny of big government, but some of them also want to be less dependent on those systems that are controlled by government — like electricity distribution and national transportation networks. Low-energy buildings are more resilientNearly nine years ago, following Hurricane Katrina, I began advancing the idea of passive survivability: ensuring that buildings will provide livable conditions in the event of extended loss of power or interruptions in heating fuel. That remains a key tenet of resilience and what I have been advancing through the Resilient Design Institute.To create a building that will maintain livable (or habitable) temperatures if it loses power or suddenly finds itself without heating fuel requires an extremely well-insulated building envelope. The house that my wife and I recently renovated — with R-45 walls, an R-60 roof, and really good windows, along with some passive solar gain through south-facing windows — will probably not drop much below 50°F even if there’s an extended power outage in the middle of winter, and keeping a fire going in our small wood stove during a power outage will be enough to keep us fully comfortable.In hot climates — whether or not one believes that all climates will be getting warmer — the same argument applies. Energy efficiency measures help to keep homes and apartments from getting too hot if they lose power and air conditioning can’t be used. Overheating in passively operated buildings is admittedly a bigger challenge than keeping them reasonably warm in the winter, but passive survivability in hot climates relies on such strategies as keeping direct sunlight out (especially on the east and west), reflecting sunlight off the roof, and slowing conductive heat gain through the walls and roof. Safer buildings that mitigate climate changeThe same strategies that keep us safe during power outages or interruptions in heating fuel result in dramatically lower energy consumption during normal operation. Our house in Dummerston is heated with a single 18,000 BTU/hour air-source heat pump — a small enough power draw that we can provide that electricity, on an annual basis, with a modest solar electric system.We can build or retrofit to these passive survivability or resilience standards for safety reasons and, in doing so, we’re doing a great deal to mitigate climate change — but you can disregard that last benefit if you don’t believe that climate change is happening.Resilience makes sense whether or not climate change mitigation is a goal. I’ve often said that it will be a huge success of the Resilient Design Institute if our arguments are touted by Rush Limbaugh in his radio program — probably unlikely, but not out of the question. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.last_img read more

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first_imgWe take a look behind the scenes at how a Sundance Award-winning filmmaker shoots dynamic, one-take short films.All images via Jim Cummings.We sat down and chatted with the talented and funny Jim Cummings, whose short film “Thunder Road” won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival (as well as jury awards at SXSW and several other festivals around the world) and has been called one of the greatest short films of all time.Cummings, along with Dustin Hahn and several other collaborators, has spent the last several years perfecting the art of the one-shot, one-take short film with ten different award-winning iterations.In addition to talking about Cummings’s upcoming journey to turn Thunder Road into a feature film (check out their Kickstarter), we asked for some actionable production advice on how to film festival-friendly, one-take short films. Here are some practical tips for filming dynamic and creative one-take shorts.Book a Full DayFor Thunder Road, we did six takes – two of them we had to stop because people laughed – which is about standard. Others we’d do as many as 12 or 18 because they were longer. We found it worked best when we’d shoot several takes in the morning, find our best one and review it over lunch – then spend the rest of the day trying to see if we could top it.While it may seem easier to film one-take shorts (or at least edit them), it certainly takes a great deal of time, resources, and talent to execute. For Cummings and his teams, filming even the shortest one-take film would typically require one full day of production.Marks for Cameras and Actors Are KeyMarks are key for one-take sequences. We’d start making marks and blocking out actions early in the writing process. Not only do you need them for your actors and actions, but also for your camera moves so that you can set lighting and focus.When you watch Cummings’s films, you’ll likely notice a lot of movement and action. These aren’t arbitrary — his films are tightly scripted and choreographed for both the actors and the camera. A feeling of controlled chaos comes across as you watch characters in the throes of mental breakdowns, life-changing moments, and personal revelations.If a Cup Falls, Pick It UpWhile we had a tight script and carefully laid out blocking, we also told actors that if, in the scene, a cup dropped to pick it up. Don’t assume we’re going to cut for anything. Which was really helpful for cast and crew to stay in the moment and be ready at every second for every take.Cummings is quick to point out how each film lets the actors bring it to life. In shorts like It’s Alright, It’s OK (which you can watch here) and The Robbery (which you can watch here), the camera very intently focuses in on the actors, who seem to organically stumble through the scene, running into people and knocking them over — all while engrossed in their characters.It Takes All Types of Audio Recording TricksOn Thunder Road, we had a boom mic overhead for recording audio. However, because the film starts so wide, we also had to hide a lav mic in my tie which is what recorded the majority of the audio for the first 6 minutes until the shot could get tight enough for the boom to come in.Even in a quiet indoor setting with subtle camera moves, capturing audio in a one-take short can be extremely difficult and require several different approaches, as Cummings reveals for Thunder Road. Along with adding echo to the lav mic audio and mixing it with the boom, Cummings also had to record DIY-ADR using a Zoom H2 while dancing around his apartment to match the energy and movements.Get Creative with LightingOne of the most fun films we did was called The Stop, which had us rig up a whole car set-up in the desert for some characters about to begin a drug-induced hallucinatory trip. We had to get very creative with some of the effects like cop car lights, to self-lighting lamps and even a glowing dragon.Lighting is an issue on all sets, but it is especially problematic when you can’t stop and move your lights around. One-take sequences, like you see in The Stop (which you can watch here on Fullscreen), are a good example of how to find ways to make creative use of light panels, ultra-violet lights, and paints to keep the lighting compelling.last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: Two arms rackets were busted on Sunday night at Joynagar in South 24-Parganas and Berhampore. According to sources, police recently came to know about an illegal arms factory functioning somewhere in the Joynagar area. Working on the information, the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Baruipur Police came to know that one Abdul Bari Mondal has been operating the factory at his residence at Batra village in Joynagar.On Sunday night, SOG members and police personnel from Joynagar police station raided the house and Mondal was caught red-handed. During search, sleuths recovered three finished firearms, several bullets and apparatus for manufacturing the firearms. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseApproximately a month ago, police had nabbed two persons and seized several firearms, along with bullets. It is suspected that Mondal is connected with a big arms dealing racket, which might be operated from Bihar. Seeing this, police have stepped up vigil across the district. Meanwhile, in another incident, SOG of Murshidabad Police recovered 140 rounds of bullet for 9 mm pistols and arrested three persons, including a woman. Sleuths came to know that the bullets were coming from Munger in Bihar and were about to be circulated within the Murshidabad district. It is suspected that a big racket has been operating behind the arms dealing. Sleuths are conducting a probe to trace those who are the prospective buyers of the bullets.last_img read more

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