Bollywood actor Sunny Leone could be working as a junior engineer for the Bihar government.If the list of candidates who had applied for about 200 posts, uploaded on the website of the Public Health Engineering Departments website, is to be believed the name of the Canadian-born film actor figures as the top ranker with 98.50 points.Bollywood actor Sunny Leone has topped the merit list released by the Bihar Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) for the post of junior engineers with 98.50 points. The actress said in her tweet that she was glad that the “other” her has scored so well.Earlier between January 15-31’ 2019 the Bihar PHED had invited online application for the post of 214 junior engineers (civil) based on marks of their diploma in engineering. As many as 17, 911 candidates applied for exam and out of them 642 were short listed for the next round of scrutiny. Sunny Leone with 98.50 points — 73.50 points on her academic record and 25 points on her experience — topped the list released on Tuesday at phed.bih.nic.in, official website of the PHED. Her father’s name is registered as Leona Leona. The other candidate named, “bvcxzbnnb” with his father’s name as “mggvghhnnnn” with 92.89 points have come on third rank in the list. He comes from the Extremely Backward Class (EBC) category while, Sunny Leone is registered in General category.The Bollywood actor, meanwhile, tweeted to say she was glad that the “Other” her has scored so well. “Hahaha, I’m so glad that the OTHER me has scored so well !!!!!lol…”, tweeted Sunny Leone.But, the PHED official Ashok Kumar told journalists that “someone must have done a mischief and we’ll find it out in scrutiny of the list”. “It’s a provisional list based on the online data received by the candidates…no data has been entered by the department…we’ll scrutiny the list and find out the mischief”, he said. The PHED minister Vinod Narayan Jha too said that it was not the result but a provisional list. “When we’ll ask the candidate to come with their documents to prove their authenticity such mischief will be rectified”, he said. Meanwhile, the department has given a window to candidates to correct the information given in their application till February 24, 2019.
Malcolm Glazer, a reclusive self-made billionaire and patriarch of the family that owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Manchester United soccer club, died on Wednesday, the teams said. He was 85.Glazer, who as a teenager sold watch parts from a suitcase before building a wide-ranging business empire, bought the Buccaneers in 1995 for a then-NFL record of $192 million. He later persevered with the purchase of Manchester United, one of England’s most-storied soccer teams in 2005, a deal that fueled controversy because of its debt-driven financing.However, Glazer was largely sidelined in recent years from both the teams’ business dealings by a series of strokes.After his purchase of the Buccaneers, he led what had traditionally been one of the weakest teams in the National Football League to its first Super Bowl championship in 2003.”A dynamic business leader, Glazer helped mold the Buccaneers into a model franchise and one respected league-wide,” the Buccaneers said in a statement on their website.His supporters credited him with spending big to hire players and a coaching staff to turn around a team in one of the NFL’s smallest markets.While the team has struggled on the field recently, Glazer’s investment has proved profitable and the business magazine Forbes estimates it is now worth more than $1 billion.His death is unlikely to lead to any ownership change, according to a statement by the Buccaneers. The family’s “long established estate succession plan” means the team “will remain with the Glazer family for generations to come,” the team said.advertisementManchester United takeoverGlazer raised his profile in 2005 with an aggressive debt-driven $1.47 billion takeover of Manchester United that was widely opposed by many of the club’s fans.Fans, under the banner “loveUnitedhateGlazer,” argued the debt built up in the deal would hurt the club and force supporters to pay higher ticket prices.Glazer went on, however, to preside over one of the most successful eras in the club’s storied history.”The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United are with the family tonight,” the team said in a statement.Under Glazer’s ownership, the team won five Premier League titles in England as well as the 2008 UEFA Champions League championship.Manchester United is widely considered one of the world’s most valuable sports teams, though it recently ended the season in 7th place in the Premier League, the club’s lowest finish in two decades.Glazer no longer had any day-to-day connection to the club and the ownership is in the hands of Glazer’s children, led by the club’s co-chairs, Avram and Joel Glazer.The family retains a 90 percent stake in the club that is split evenly among Glazer’s six children. The remaining 10 percent is listed on the New York Stock ExchangeGlazer, the fifth of seven children born to Jewish Lithuanian immigrants, turned to sports after a successful business career.As a young man, Glazer used the profits from a family watch-parts business he inherited at the age of 15 to make investments in a range of real estate ventures, including mobile homes and nursing homes, many of them in Florida during the 1970s.He first came to prominence in the 1980s when he built up stakes in two big brand names – kitchen surfaces company Formica and motorcycle maker Harley Davidson – before cashing in. He later launched a series of failed bids, including a $7.6 billion attempt to buy the bankrupt freight rail company Conrail.Glazer also founded First Allied, a holding company for the family’s business, which includes dozens of malls and shopping centers in the United States.A decade later, the Glazer family gained a controlling stake in the oil company Zapata, which was founded by former President George H.W. Bush.Forbes estimates the net worth of Glazer and his family at $4 billion.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. New Delhi: Indian sports legend and three times Olympic Champion Major Dhyan Chand’s Olympian son Ashok Kumar said that political considerations in selection of nominees for the Bharat Ratna has evaded his father and he has missed being decorated with the country’s highest civilian award.Ashok Kumar, former Indian Hockey captain, World Champion and Olympic medalist, said: “Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had signed on the files and subsequently we were informed by the then Sports Minister that Dada (Dhyan Chand) would be conferred with Bharat Ratna. “However, the decision was later deferred. By doing so, the government did not humiliate us … it humiliated a national icon.”Speaking to the IANS, on the National Sports Day, celebrated on Dhyan Chand’s birth anniversary on August 29, the ace hockey forward said: “Awards are not sought. Awards are not desired. Awards are not begged….Awards are conferred by the government to those who deserve them.”It is now for the government to decide and judge, whether they feel that Dhyan Chand deserves a Bharat Ratna.”Ashok Kumar, regarded as world’s best dribbler in hockey, post independence, and son of an unbeatable athlete in modern sports history, said that the country should not forget Dhyan Chand’s ultra-nationalistic character.”Despite the British rule, he (Dhyan Chand) had the courage to take a tri-colour flag in his suitcase to Berlin Oympics, held in 1936.”When India beat Germany in the finals, in front of Hitler, Dada unfurled the tricolour flag (consisting of a charkha instead of Chakra, and three stripes) at the Olympic games village in Berlin.”He was the first Indian to unfurl the tricolour abroad. Fortunately enough, the date was August 15, when India won the gold medal. Besides my father, my uncle Roop Singh, a member of the team was witness to this historic event,” said Ashok Kumar.Speaking about the simplicity of Dhyan Chand, his son recalled an event. “It was in the mid seventies when Dada was invited as a chief guest in a function held at Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh). When organisers delayed in sending a vehicle to pick him up, Dada requested his neighbour to drop him to the venue.”The neighbour had an old bicycle and Dada as a pillion rider reached the venue on time. The organisers felt guilty to see my father arriving as a chief guest on a bicycle. But there was more shock in store for them.”Dada requested the organisers that as he arrived with his friend on a bicycle, he will return home on the same vehicle. This incident explains how simple and undemanding he was,” Ashok Kumar said.Reminiscing the fond memories of his father, the former hockey captain said that Dhyan Chand’s game was closely followed by the Bollywood stars of the time which includes Hindi film industry’s first superstar K.L. Saigal, Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Ashok Kumar and several others.”In late 1930s, may be in 1937, my father, then considered the second best known Indian in Europe after Gandhi, was participating in Bombay Gold Cup tournament. He represented his famous club Jhansi Heroes. In one of the matches, Prithviraj Kapoor (the great-grandfather of Ranbir Kapoor) and K.L. Saigal were seated in the stadium.”During half time, Saigal asked my father that his team Jhansi Heroes was not playing up to the mark and had been trailing by 1-2 in the game. Saigal then asked Dada that he would sing one song for every goal scored by him. In the next 35 minutes, Dada scored 9 goals.”Next day Saigal sent his car to the place where Dada was staying and invited the entire team for a dinner party. After the dinner, Saigal gifted a precious wristwatch to Dada, as token of his love. The watch was sported by my father on his wrist for his entire life,” said Ashok Kumar.Ashok Kumar, 69, who scored the lone goal against Pakistan to win the World Cup for India in 1975, now teaches his classic skills to youngsters.He said that after retiring from Indian airlines, he frequently tours different part of the country and continue to interact with young hockey players of the future. On 114th birth anniversary of his father, Kumar was attending a sports function in Betul, a district in southern Madhya Pradesh. bharat ratnabirth anniveraryDhyan ChandIndia First Published: August 29, 2019, 5:18 PM IST
Oppo is gearing to launch the F9 Pro in India on August 21. That phone, Oppo has confirmed, will come with a water-drop notch display like the one we first saw in the Essential Phone. Now live images of a Vivo phone, said to be the Vivo V11, have surfaced hinting that the phone would also come with a similar style notch on the front. Also, it would come with dual rear cameras. Along side the design, hardware specifics of the alleged Vivo V11 have also leaked giving a closer look at the phone in question.The Vivo V11 will likely be successor to the Vivo V9 which was launched earlier in the year. The phone, according to the renders, would look a lot like the Vivo V9 from the behind. It would differ from the front though since it would come with a minimal notch and minimal chin, much like the Oppo F9 Pro. As far as hardware specs are concerned, the Vivo V11 is said to come with a 6.41-inch FHD+ AMOLED display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor under the hood. It is further said to come with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage which would be expandable.On the optics front, the Vivo V11 is said to sport a dual camera system on the rear consisting of one 12MP sensor and another 5MP sensor for depth sensing. On the front, the phone is said to come with a 25MP camera.Moving on, the Vivo V11 will reportedly run Android 8.1 Oreo based Funtouch OS which is Vivo’s custom skin. The phone would be backed by a 3,400mAh battery.advertisementVivo is also working on the Vivo X23, successor to the Vivo X21, that will reportedly come with advanced 3D face recognition and a next-generation in-display fingerprint scanner.Vivo has been working on a new 3D sensing technology that would allow users to face unlock their future phones from up to three meter, among other things. The company showcased its new Time of Flight (TOF) 3D Sensing technology at MWC Shanghai 2018 claiming to offer a “paradigm shift in imaging, AR and human-machine interaction, which will elevate consumer lifestyles with new levels of immersion and smart capability.” The company, in fact, claimed that the technology has moved beyond a proof of concept, and is ready for prime time use.Vivo’s TOF 3D Sensing technology uses 300,000 sensor points, which Vivo says, is 10 times the number of existing Structured Light technology. This enables 3D mapping at up to three meters from the phone while having a smaller baseline than Structured Light.It is possible that the Vivo X23 may pack this technology. This won’t be the first time that Vivo would commercialize a concept so quickly. It did something similar with the Nex, announcing it as a concept at MWC in February 2018 only to commercialize it in the days to come. The Nex S, that is based on that concept, is already available for buying in India.ALSO READ: Vivo’s new 3D sensing technology can apparently help you face unlock your phone from up to 3 meters
Pat Jones (via YouTube)Pat Jones has become, if not the “oh he’ll say anything pretty much” grandpa of Oklahoma State, then at least that grandpa’s closely related uncle.He was interviewed recently in the Tulsa Voice (wearing a Southern Hills pullover, by the way) and was asked if OSU would be foolish to run Mike Gundy out of Stillwater.[1. This question was more relevant than it seems because they were discussing a what if on OSU not winning Bedlam.]“I think so. Not that you shouldn’t ever make any kind of coaching change, but no one knows the road map over there better than Mike Gundy,” said Jones.[1. Something Gundy himself said recently.]“I think some of this situation is wearing on him. You know, it’s hard enough to beat the people you gotta beat on the field, but when you also have to beat your own administration, that’s tough.”“That’s the strain that’s on Gundy. That’s what people are seeing in him. This stuff with the media, that wasn’t a front that he was putting up, or some mastermind move to get his guys prepared to play the University of Oklahoma.”So…yeah. Now I’m willing to be the interview was conducted before Gundy said a bunch of positive things about his administration but that’s still interesting.Also Jones talked pretty candidly about what it was like to coach when high schools were being integrated.“I can remember addressing a roomful of kids, half of them black, half of them white, in 1970. I was 22 years old, and they sent me to talk to the squad. I told them, “That football field out there is 100 [yards] by 52 [yards]—for everybody in this f****** room.”“But you’re here and we care about you, and when you set foot on that football field, it doesn’t matter whether you’re from the east end of town, or Little Rock Country Club, or who your parents are or anything else. That’s the beauty of competitive athletics.”Go read the entire article, it’s excellent.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Transfers Former Newcastle star Dyer reveals he earned more than one Tottenham ace gets now… back in 2002! Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 20:26 12/16/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Tottenham Hotspur Newcastle United Premier League The former England international claims he took home more at the Magpies than a leading performer currently working under Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham’s wage structure is leaving them vulnerable, with Kieron Dyer revealing that he earned more in 2002 than a current international star.Spurs have been able to piece together a squad capable of competing with the Premier League elite, with title challenges mounted in each of the last two seasons.They have also been able to tie key men to fresh terms on a regular basis, with those working under Mauricio Pochettino buying into the long-term project in north London. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player There is, however, a strict budget in place and Kyle Walker has already left for Manchester City while Danny Rose continues to be heavily linked with Manchester United.Harry Kane’s exploits have also seen him spark transfer talk, and former England star Dyer feels there will be further exits unless Spurs start to match the financial rewards on offer elsewhere.He told Radio 5 Live : “I spoke to a Tottenham player towards the end of last season. He’s a full international, regular for his country and regular for his team.“He told me what he was on wages wise and I was on more money than him at Newcastle in 2002.“This is a player now at Tottenham, who came second in the league, who is a full international in 2017 and he isn’t on what I was on at Newcastle in 2002.”It’s a massive problem.”England star Kane and Spurs captain Hugo Lloris are reported to be the top earners within Pochettino’s squad.There are, however, plenty of other international stars within the ranks that Tottenham will need to keep happy on and off the field if the club are to build on the progress made over recent years and challenge for top honours.
TORONTO – A proposed Canadian class action that alleged secret cost-saving design changes made to a highway safety guardrail had in fact turned the barrier into a potentially lethal spear has been settled, court documents show.This week’s settlement of the $500-million action filed by the city of Stratford, Ont., in February 2015 will see Trinity Industries pay $400,000 — without any admission it did anything wrong.“Neither this agreement nor anything in it shall be interpreted as a concession or admission of wrongdoing or liability by (Trinity),” the settlement agreement states. “In fact, the defendants continue to vigorously dispute and contest the allegations made in the action.”About $131,000 of the settlement money will go to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, $15,000 will go to the city as an honorarium, and the rest will cover disbursements incurred by its law firm, McKenzie Lake Lawyers.The money being paid to the institute for the blind will be earmarked for enhanced road safety nationally by allowing the organization to offer municipalities funding to install audible pedestrian signals in places where they otherwise might not have been.The proposed class action related to Trinity’s guardrail end unit, ET-Plus, a system installed on highways across the U.S. and Canada. The unit is supposed to absorb impact and guide the rail so a crashing vehicle doesn’t slam into the rigid steel end, but lawyer Matt Baer alleged on behalf of Stratford that those changes had in fact made the barriers dangerous.The Stratford settlement approved by Ontario Superior Court Ian Leach on Thursday follows an American Appeal Court ruling in favour of Dallas-based Trinity last September. The U.S. court said it had found no evidence Trinity had made secret cost-saving design changes to the ET Plus.In that ruling, the U.S. Appeal Court in New Orleans overturned a US$663-million judgment against Trinity that a Texas jury had awarded to Joshua Harman, a self-styled whistleblower and failed Trinity competitor.The original jury finding in his favour prompted dozens of states and some provinces to stop installing the ET Plus. It also prompted American highway authorities to order new tests, which found no issues with the rails.In a strongly worded decision, the U.S. court found the jury’s liability finding could not stand because the American government, aware for years of Harman’s allegations, had nevertheless rejected them and had continued to pay for installation of the guardrails.A notice by Stratford on Friday announcing the settlement references the U.S. court ruling.“A recent decision of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals noted that the Federal Highway Administration has consistently reaffirmed the ET-Plus end terminal system meets all applicable safety performance standards and has maintained an ‘unbroken chain’ of governmental approval from 2005 to the present,” the notice states.Dozens of U.S. states and several Canadian provinces stopped installing the units amid the various legal actions after Harman blamed at least 200 deaths and injuries in the U.S. on the ET Plus. American highway authorities subsequently ordered rigorous retesting of the units and found no defects.Trinity had consistently maintained its products behaved as intended and approved, and that various lawsuits related to ET Plus were without any merit.
WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says an Opposition call for buffer zones around abortion clinics and hospitals would be a slippery slope toward taking away some freedoms.NDP house leader Nahanni Fontaine has introduced a private member’s bill proposing a ban on protesters within up to 150 metres of facilities where abortions take place.The bill would forbid protesters from “attempting to inform” anyone about issues related to abortion services within the zones.The Ontario government introduced similar legislation last year following cases of harassment and Alberta has passed a similar law.Pallister says people have the right to protest.He added that existing laws can be enforced if anyone is being blocked or harassed on any issue.Most private member’s bills fail to become law because they need the support of the government, but Fontaine says the Progressive Conservatives should put aside politics and pass her bill.The Canadian Press
Last Thursday, court also heard from a detective who conducted forensic examinations on a computer seized from Overby’s home.Jason Joseph testified he was able to go through the computer’s hard drive and forwarded the information to homicide investigators.He said one image was found and investigators asked him to locate other similar images.Three photos showing Wood and Overby together in his home were entered into evidence earlier this week.In a police video shown on the opening day of the trial, Overby denied knowing Wood when police questioned him about her.Joseph located the three photos but testified the originals were not found on the computer.“I suspect it was deleted… it is my opinion it was deleted off the original device,” said Joseph.(Christine Wood and Brett Overby. Court Exhibit)Court has previously heard crown prosecutors believe Wood used Overby’s cellphone on the night she disappeared.That particular device has never been found.Joseph testified forensic evidence proved the pictures were taken on a cellphone but he could not confirm when they were taken.The photos are undated and information about where they came from has yet to be disclosed. Court exhibit)It appears the clothing Wood is wearing is the same clothing her parents last saw her in.Both Melinda and George Wood testified Christine bought a green bandeau top, a navy lacy top and dark denim shorts on the day she disappeared.The trial is expected to run until May email@example.com@aptnnews-with files from The Canadian Press The house in Winnipeg where police believe Christine Wood was killed. Court exhibitAPTN NewsThe man accused of killing Christine Wood in Manitoba says he blacked out before realizing she was dead on his basement floor.Brett Overby, 32, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Wood.Wood had travelled to Winnipeg from Oxford House First Nation in northern Manitoba in the summer of 2016.She was staying with her parents in a hotel and Crown prosecutors argue Wood met Overby through the online dating site PlentyofFish.Her body was found nearly a year later in a ditch outside the city.Overby has testified that Wood was pressuring him to have sex without a condom and came at him with a knife.He told a jury that she somehow ended up in a pool of blood on the floor and he never intended to hurt or kill her.Court previously heard that two messages sent from Wood’s Facebook account led them to Overby’s home in January 2017.Thomas Guenther, one of the detectives assigned to Wood’s case, testified on Wednesday police were eventually able to determine only one device, believed to be Overby’s cellphone, was connected to his WIFI on the night in question.Police were able to trace the IP address used as one belonging to Overby.(Christine Wood in an undated photo)The former common-law partner of the man accused of killing Christine Wood told a Winnipeg courtroom last week he asked her to lie to police for him.Shirley Houle says she received text messages from Overby asking her to say she didn’t know anything about his online dating account.Houle was questioned by police on Feb. 1, 2017, shortly after Overby became a person of interest in the case.In one part Houle wrote, “Gotta go in tomorrow morning for a video statement.”Overby responded, “Oh shit really?? Wtf? Wonder why. Im actually really nervous about this whole situation. Im getting like anxiety and shit about it..I don’t even know her.”Later in the conversation Overby wrote, “Do me a favour, u don’t know about anything i do anymore k? I DIDN’T do anything, its just im really nervous and would like them to stop bugging me.”He went on to write, “U don’t know about POF either k.”Read the complete court record of text messages: Houle Overby interactionHoule says the couple were together almost 10 years before they broke up in March 2016.The Crown argued Wood went to Overby’s home on Aug. 19, 2016 and that was the last place she was alive.Wood was visiting Winnipeg from her home community of Bunibonibee Cree Nation when she went missing.Her parents last saw her at a hotel. She told them she was going to meet up with friends.Two days later they filed a missing persons report with Winnipeg police.Police executed a search of Overby’s house on Mar. 22, 2017 where he was arrested. He was later charged on Apr. 7.
OTTAWA — The Trudeau government will take steps in Tuesday’s federal budget to make home-buying more affordable with changes affecting supply, demand and regulation, The Canadian Press has learned.Finance Minister Bill Morneau has promised the budget will focus on ways to help improve housing affordability for Canadians, and particularly for millennials, who are now in their mid-20s to late-30s.The changes, along with expected measures on adult skills training, pharmacare and supporting seniors, will be included in the Liberals’ fourth and final budget before the October federal election.The budget’s housing measures could grab a lot of attention. Polls have suggested affordable home ownership is a key concern for millennials and could be a vote winner with the increasingly critical demographic.Morneau has heard housing-policy recommendations from numerous sources, including academic, real estate and mortgage experts, on how best to help more people buy homes.The budget will respond to issues in the housing-related areas of supply, demand and regulation, says a government source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the plan ahead of its release. They declined to provide specifics on the measures.The government, however, faces a delicate task of introducing changes that avoid destabilizing housing markets, driving up prices or enabling already overstretched households to pile on more debt.Internal briefing documents show Morneau was warned in November that Canadians’ heavy debt loads are a key risk that have made abrupt shocks to incomes, house prices or interest rates a “significant concern.” The memo was obtained by The Canadian Press through access-to-information law.Morneau has been feeling pressure to act on housing.On the demand side, the real estate, mortgage and home-building industries have urged Ottawa to ease or eliminate stress tests that have tightened mortgage qualification rules and, as a result, cooled once-scorching markets in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.The federal changes, combined with provincial and municipal guidelines, were brought in to improve the quality of mortgage debt and to lower risks to the broader economy.Morneau has insisted the stress tests were needed as a way to keep prices in some markets from rising at an unsustainable clip. He’s shown no signs that he’s prepared to dial them back.There have also been industry calls for the reintroduction of insurance on 30-year amortization mortgages as a targeted way to help people at the lower end.But Paul Kershaw, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, said many experts, himself included, have discouraged the government from weakening the stress tests or extending amortization out of fear such moves would only encourage people to borrow more.Kershaw is the founder of Generation Squeeze, a group dedicated to informing policy decisions about the socioeconomic challenges of younger Canadians.He wants policies that keep home prices from growing faster than earnings.“We’ve tolerated — not only that, we’ve celebrated — home prices rising a lot over the last decade,” Kershaw said.“And we need a government that says, ‘Nope, henceforth we want housing to be for homes first, investments second.’ ”He recommends Ottawa change “outdated” tax policy that shelters principal residences from taxation, thus exacerbating demand, limiting supply and pushing up prices.On regulation and enforcement, Ottawa could take steps to crack down on people who falsely claim a home is their primary residence as a way to dodge capital gains taxes.Morneau recently vowed to do more to enforce laws in another area that’s been directly connected to housing: money laundering.Last year, reports from an international anti-money-laundering organization and the RCMP warned that organized crime groups had bought luxury home sales in the Vancouver area to launder and hide their money.On supply, Kershaw said the federal government could create incentives to encourage more cities to raise their housing density targets. Ottawa could offer a larger share of infrastructure transfers — like those for transit — to municipalities that agree to allow the construction of more homes to be built per plot of land.To increase demand, Kershaw said the government could bump up the maximum, one-time withdrawal limit of $25,000 under the home buyer’s plan, which enables Canadians to borrow once from their own registered retirement savings plan to buy a home.Ottawa could also increase the non-refundable, $5,000 first time home buyers tax credit, which offers up to $750 in tax relief, he said.—Follow @AndyBlatchford on TwitterAndy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The NBA will begin putting sponsorship logos on player uniforms in 2017-18, a move that could generate at least $100 million annually and a step that the NFL, Major League Baseball and NHL have yet to take.The three-year trial was approved Friday by NBA owners and will take effect when the league’s contract with Nike begins. The patches will appear on the front left of the jersey, opposite Nike’s logo, and measure about 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches.Logos appear on international and MLS soccer jerseys, and many athletes in individual sports wear their sponsors’ attire in competition.Commissioner Adam Silver had said going with logos was inevitable because of the potential to add revenue. WNBA and NBA Development League teams already have logos, and NBA clubs were wearing them on practice jerseys.Silver called the plan an “experiment” and said it was hard to estimate how much revenue it would generate because teams would be responsible for their own sales, and some could decide not to participate. But he said it could be $100 million annually.“I think the greatest impact will be on sort of this amplifying effect of a company choosing to associate directly with a team’s jersey, then going out and promoting that relationship in the larger market,” Silver said. “I think that will lead to greater engagement of our fans with these teams.”Owners also discussed a North Carolina law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people. Silver called it “problematic” for the league, but there was no decision on moving next year’s All-Star Game out of Charlotte.“The league believes that these groups need to be protected, but again, I think the right way to work to the proper resolution here is for the league to remain engaged in the conversation, rather than setting ultimatums or announcing we’re not going to play our All-Star Game in Charlotte,” Silver said.There was also a presentation from Evan Wasch, the league’s head of analytics, about ways the NBA could become more sophisticated about next season’s scheduling to find further rest opportunities for players.So the main business completed was the jersey sponsorships vote.Besides the financial implications, Silver believes the sales can expand the league’s growth oversees by drawing companies who want to be involved. He understands that fans who favour the traditional look might not like the logos, but will eventually see them as a way to improve the game.“But there’s a reason this is a pilot program,” he added. “I mean, we listen very closely to our fans, and so we’ll see what the reaction is.”Major League Soccer teams began selling jersey sponsorships in 2007, and they generate more than $6 million annually in revenues.Adidas enters the final year of his contract as the NBA’s official outfitter next season. When Nike takes over, its logo will become the first on league’s jerseys — except for those of the Charlotte Hornets, who are owned by Michael Jordan.The logo of his Jordan Brand, a subsidiary of Nike, could be on the Hornets’ instead.The sponsor patch will be adjusted to fit the dimensions of each sponsor’s logo. It won’t appear in retail versions of the jerseys, but clubs can sell jerseys with sponsor patches in their team stores. NBA to begin selling jersey sponsorships in 2017-18 FILE – In this March 22, 2016 file photo, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gestures during a news conference in Los Angeles. The NBA will begin selling jersey sponsorships in 2017-18, becoming the first major North American sport to put partners’ logos on players’ uniforms. Commissioner Adam Silver had said this step was inevitable as an additional revenue generator. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File) by Brian Mahoney, The Associated Press Posted Apr 15, 2016 3:30 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 15, 2016 at 4:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Applications for US unemployment benefits fall to 262,000 by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Aug 18, 2016 6:35 am MDT Last Updated Aug 18, 2016 at 10:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that layoffs are scarce and employers are likely hiring at a solid clip.THE NUMBERS: Weekly applications for unemployment aid slipped 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 262,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, typically a less volatile measure, rose 3,000 to 265,250.The number of people receiving benefits ticked up 15,000 to 2.18 million. That’s nearly 4 per cent lower than a year earlier.THE TAKEAWAY: Applications are a proxy for layoffs. They have remained below 300,000 for 76 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1970. The low readings are more impressive given the growth in the U.S. population since then.While layoffs have fallen, hiring has improved. Employers added 255,000 jobs in July, after a strong 292,000 in June, the most in eight months. More Americans earning paychecks should boost growth in the coming months.KEY DRIVERS: The economy expanded at a sluggish pace in the first six months of this year, growing at a tepid 1 per cent annual rate. Some of that weakness occurred because companies cleared out stockpiles of goods in their warehouses and on store shelves, and therefore ordered fewer new products.With inventories lower and Americans still se, most economists now forecast growth will rebound in the July-September quarter to about a 2.5 per cent annual pace.Still, solid hiring amid slow growth is a cause for concern. It indicates that the economy is less productive, with more workers needed to produce the same or slightly more output. Productivity, or the amount of output per hour, has expanded just 0.6 per cent a year for the past five years. That’s the slowest five-year pace since the early 1980s.Tepid productivity growth could hobble the U.S. economy and keep a lid on pay gains. Greater productivity allows companies to boost workers’ pay without raising prices. FILE – This April 22, 2014, file photo shows an employment application form on a table during a job fair at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
T. Taylor (BUF)38-0.5544-0.23450.42-0.37 SHORT%Z-SCORESHORT%Z-SCORESHORT%Z-SCORETOT. PASS THROWNATTEMPTSCOMP%YPATD%INT%CONV. RATE C. Wentz (PHI)35-0.9239-0.9534-1.06-2.93 D. Brees (NO)52%1.3854%1.1053%1.393.87 M. Ryan (ATL)34-0.9745-0.1041-0.09-1.17 J. Goff (LAR)40-0.1841-0.69440.26-0.60 T. Siemian (DEN)34-0.9742-0.59460.50-1.05 J. McCown (NYJ)490.97470.20460.521.69 J. Brissett (IND)460.48531.0342-0.061.45 A. Smith (KC)480.82551.32460.542.68 J. Cutler (MIA)420.02510.66561.772.45 M. Stafford (DET)40-0.22500.5437-0.70-0.38 FIRST DOWNSECOND DOWNTHIRD DOWN J. Winston (TB)30-1.6232-1.9522-2.54-6.10 Short of the sticks67273.2%6.61.2%2.4%12.5% C. Beathard (SF)501.07470.19551.652.91 B. Hundley (GB)511.24480.25470.562.05 B. Bortles (JAC)501.12480.35480.702.17 D. Prescott (DAL)36-0.8132-1.9642-0.05-2.82 C. Keenum (MIN)501.07460.02460.501.59 M. Trubisky (CHI)29-1.64531.01490.900.28 A. Dalton (CIN)39-0.43581.6636-0.760.46 E. Manning (NYG)430.12551.3440-0.221.25 C. Newton (CAR)501.0738-1.1039-0.37-0.40 C. Palmer (ARI)29-1.6346-0.0340-0.33-1.98 D. Carr (OAK)430.1145-0.12450.330.32 R. Wilson (SEA)36-0.7337-1.2738-0.52-2.52 Picture this common scene on a Sunday afternoon. Your team could really use a scoring drive to turn the tide. On a 3rd-and-10, before the quarterback is even pressured, he quickly throws a 2-yard pass, and the receiver is tackled a few yards later to bring up fourth down. The crowd grumbles, the offense casually jogs off the field and the punting unit comes on. Better luck next time.Sure, once in a blue moon the offense may throw a bubble screen on 3rd-and-33 and end up with a 52-yard touchdown, like the Rams did with Robert Woods against the Giants in Week 9 this season. But that is the rarest of exceptions.Generally, safe passes like that don’t accomplish much, and we have the data to back that up. How does that 2-yard pass on 3rd-and-10 work out? According to the ESPN Stats & Information Group, quarterback passes thrown no more than 2 yards beyond the line of scrimmage on third down with at least 10 yards to go have been converted only 10.9 percent of the time this season. On throws that travel at least 10 yards, quarterbacks have converted 38.6 percent of the time. So an offense can more than triple its conversion rate just by doing the most obvious thing when trying to move the chains: throwing the ball past the imaginary yellow line on your TV screen.And yet despite this, NFL teams are leaning on the short pass more than ever. The same league that transformed into a passing league over the past 10 years is slowing morphing into something else: the dump-off league.There are some risks with throwing deeper, of course, such as a higher interception rate. And in some special situations, getting a first down isn’t the primary goal of a drive, especially when facing third-and-long. Sometimes teams are just trying to get enough yards to make a field-goal attempt shorter. Or with a big lead in the second half, they’re hoping for an easy completion that will run some clock and gain field position.But when an offense really needs to score points, playing it safe and throwing short of the sticks on third down is often the inferior strategy. We looked at the data from ESPN Stats & Info for passes on 3rd-and-10 or longer for Weeks 1 to 13. We divided the passes between those thrown short of the sticks and those thrown at or beyond the sticks:1For reference, a 12-yard pass on 3rd-and-13 would be considered short of the sticks. Which quarterbacks are the most conservative passers?Which quarterbacks throw short of a “successful” pass distance the most relative to their peers (as measured by the z-scores — the standard deviations above/below the mean — of the Short%* for each down added together), minimum 200 dropbacks through Week 13 of the 2017 season A. Rodgers (GB)602.38520.8924-2.280.99 D. Kizer (CLE)37-0.6842-0.52440.28-0.91 D. Watson (HOU)30-1.5331-2.1340-0.26-3.92 The completion rate for short throws is more than 30 percentage points higher than the rate for longer passes and yet the conversation rate is more than 30 points lower. This is not surprising because defenses are playing to prevent the first down and are willing to concede a fraction of the yardage. However, this positioning make it very difficult for a team to throw short and run after the catch to convert.So far we have only talked about third downs, the crucial down for maintaining offensive success. However, analyzing aggressive and conservative passing on first and second down is also important. A bubble screen that loses a few yards to bring up 2nd-and-13 is also putting the offense in a position to fail.Football Outsiders’ key efficiency metrics, including Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (explained here), are built around the concept of successful plays and are adjusted for factors like the down and distance. For instance, a 5-yard pass on 3rd-and-3 is more valuable than a 5-yard pass on 2nd-and-17. For a pass to be considered a successful play, it must gain at least 45 percent of the needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth. A completion that does not meet those standards is considered a failed completion. Joe Flacco of the Ravens set the failed completion record last season, with 144, and he leads all quarterbacks in 2017 with 95 through Week 13.It’s not just Flacco. The ineffective dump-off is happening across the NFL. Leaguewide, 26.1 percent of all completions this season qualify as failed completions. That’s the highest rate for a season in the Football Outsiders database, which goes back to 1989, and if the 2017 rate stays at that level, it will break the current high bar set in 2015 (25.1 percent).This is not to say that the short pass doesn’t have value in the NFL playbook or that every quarterback should begin slinging the ball 25 yards downfield each time he takes a snap. There is no one right way to run an NFL offense, and some teams have been able to use the short pass to devastating effect. To get a better sense of this, let’s look at which quarterbacks throw short most often using air yards stats.2This includes passes that drew a defensive pass interference flag but excludes passes that were intentionally thrown away or became intentional grounding penalties.Football Outsiders has a stat called “Short%” to denote the percentage of attempts that a quarterback threw short of the minimum yards needed for a successful play, as defined above. So if 45 percent of needed yards are required on first downs, then anything shorter than a 5-yard throw on first-and-10 would be considered a short pass here. The league average for Short% in 2017 is 41.6 percent on first down, 45.5 percent on second down, and 42.5 percent on third down. It’s not until fourth down that most quarterbacks realize the importance of needing to convert with a big throw. Short% on fourth down is 26.2 percent (although that is only on a sample of 214 plays).We looked at Short% on first, second and third downs for quarterbacks who have had a minimum of 200 dropbacks this season. For the 35 quarterbacks, we took the z-score (standard deviations above or below average) of each percentage and added them up, to make sure we were accurately capturing quarterbacks who threw short on all of their downs relative to the league. The quarterback with the largest summed z-score in the table below is the most conservative, as a higher percentage of his passes were short of being a successful play. J. Flacco (BAL)480.79551.28511.123.19 B. Hoyer (SF/NE)450.42551.27490.902.59 B. Roethlisberger (PIT)470.6838-1.1136-0.75-1.19 Short passes become puntsKey outcomes for passes on 3rd-and-10 or longer, Weeks 1-13 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group P. Rivers (LAC)440.30510.67450.321.29 T. Savage (HOU)38-0.4742-0.5530-1.57-2.59 T. Brady (NE)36-0.7942-0.5434-1.06-2.40 K. Cousins (WAS)470.70460.03501.051.78 M. Mariota (TEN)37-0.64460.0433-1.10-1.70 At or beyond the sticks39042.89.64.43.842.6 Higher z-scores mean a quarterback throws short more often.*Short% is the share of passes that fall short of a successful play’s distance (at least 45 percent of the needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third)Source: Football Outsiders Some of the names at the top of the list are predictable, including Flacco and infamous short pass maestro Alex Smith. Jay Cutler has been very dink-and-dunk oriented with Adam Gase in Miami this season, while San Francisco’s first two quarterbacks this season (Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard) made the top five.The real surprise here is the name at the very top: Drew Brees. Not only does he rank as the most conservative passer, but he has consistently stuck to this strategy no matter what the down is. To his credit, Brees has made it work — the Saints rank No. 1 in offensive DVOA and No. 6 in passing. Perhaps more accurately, the running backs are making this offense work. Through Week 13, rookie Alvin Kamara ranked as the best receiving running back while teammate Mark Ingram ranks as Football Outsiders’ top rusher. With two RBs capable of big gains on any play, it’s no surprise that Brees is throwing short early and often. We’ll see if this strategy can sustain itself — the Saints have failed to score 21 points in all four of their losses this season (each was to a playoff contender, including last night’s loss to Atlanta).At the bottom, seven quarterbacks had a combined z-score below 2.0 standard deviations. That includes the trio of favorites for the MVP race in Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz, whose aggressive styles this year have been a positive for their offenses. Similar things could have been said about Deshaun Watson before Houston’s standout rookie tore his ACL.But being aggressive is not a magic formula for success as the list plainly shows. Watson’s backup, Tom Savage, has tried to emulate Watson’s aggressive style, but without anywhere near the same success. Likewise, Jameis Winston of the Buccaneers is routinely one of the leaders in air yards per attempt, but his lack of consistency remains a problem for Tampa Bay. In Dallas, Dak Prescott is throwing aggressively, but his receivers are getting the fewest yards per carry after the catch in the league.Like with any stat, Short% is only one piece of the puzzle, and every quarterback has his own set of circumstances. As we see with Brees, a quarterback can get away with passive play if he’s extremely efficient and the team is still winning.Few quarterbacks have this type of arsenal or this type of ability, so they would be better served trusting the numbers and resisting the easy dump-off.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
Updated: 08:16TWO PEOPLE HAVE been killed in separate road collisions in the last 24-hours in Westmeath and Clare.A 36-year-old motorcyclist was killed in a crash on the old N6 at Gaulstown, Rochfortbridge between 7.45pm and 8pm yesterday evening. Gardaí said the man was travelling on the road when his motorcycle struck a fence and a stone pillar.His body has been taken to Midlands regional Hospital, Tullamore, where a full post mortem examination will take place.In a separate incident, a man in his 20s was fatally injured when his car collided with a wall at 4.30am today on the Sixmilebridge Road to Shannon in Clare. His body has been removed to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick where a post mortem will take place later today.Anyone with information about these crashes is asked to contact gardaí.Read: Gardaí urge drivers to slow down as road deaths rise>Read: Road deaths up by 23% compared to the same time last year>
Turquie : un séisme de magnitude 7,2 fait au moins 217 mortsDimanche après-midi, à 12H41 heure locale, un puissant séisme de magnitude 7,2 a secoué l’est de la Turquie dans la province de Van, causant l’effondrement de nombreuses habitations et immeubles. Suivi de plusieurs répliques, le phénomène a fait plus de 217 morts. La terre a fortement tremblé dimanche en Turquie, surprenant des milliers d’habitants en pleine journée. Hier, à 13H41 heure locale (10H41 GMT), un puissant séisme de magnitude évaluée à 7,2 est survenu dans l’est du pays, dans la province de Van, ville où les quelque 380.000 habitants ont particulièrement ressenti le phénomène. Selon le centre sismologique américain (USGS), l’épicentre du séisme se trouvait à 19 kilomètres au nord-est de Van, non loin de la frontière iranienne, et très proche de la surface à seulement 7,2 kilomètres de profondeur. À lire aussiMésanges, poumons et record de température, les 8 actus science que vous devez connaitre ce 5 aoûtSous la violence du tremblement, des dizaines de maisons et bâtiment se sont effondrés, créant un véritable mouvement de panique parmi les habitants. Les premières images diffusées montraient ainsi des habitants en train de fuir dans le désordre leurs habitations et au moins deux bâtiments de plusieurs étages détruits. Des dégâts qui pourraient s’avérer d’autant plus considérables que beaucoup d’habitations situées dans les villages reculés n’ont pas été construites pour résister à de tels phénomènes. Moins d’une heure après la secousse suivie d’une réplique de magnitude 5,6 puis d’une vingtaine d’autres, les autorités recensaient déjà de nombreux blessés ainsi que des personnes ensevelies sous les décombres. Une cinquantaine d’habitants étaient même déjà en route pour l’hôpital. Selon le dernier bilan, 217 morts sont aujourd’hui recensés mais le centre sismologique national a estimé que, vu la violence du séisme, entre 500 et 1.000 personnes pourraient avoir trouvé la mort. Bekir Kaya, le maire de la ville de Van située à environ 1.200 kilomètres de la capitale Ankara, a également confié sur NTV que le réseau téléphonique avait été gravement endommagé. Pour venir en aide aux sinistrés, le Croissant Rouge s’est rapidement mobilisé et a commencé à envoyer des tentes et des secouristes dans la zone sinistrée, tandis que l’armée a dépêché des secouristes sur place. Le 24 octobre 2011 à 09:11 • Maxime Lambert
Holtzbrinck, whose portfolio includes Nature and Scientific American, will hold 53 percent of the new joint company. The newly combined group will have a valuation of more than €5 billion ($5.81 billion USD). Springer Science CEO Derk Haank tells Reuters that the merger will create economies of scale that will enable the group to invest in product. Not included in the merger are Holtzbrinck’s IT, software and consumer books divisions. Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, owners of Macmillan Science and Education, and BC Partners, owners and fund advisors of Springer Science+Business, have reached a merger agreement to join the two groups. The transaction is still pending approval from various competition authorities, which should conclude in the first half of 2015.
Bharti Singh and Harsh Limbachiyaa in Khatron Ke Khiladi 9instagramThe stunt-based reality show, Khatron Ke Khiladi, is set to return with the 10th season and fans are super excited to witness a new array of dare-devil tasks performed by a new set of contestants.The shooting of the Rohit Shetty-hosted-show is currently going on in Bulgaria and the contestants – Shivin Narang, Karishma Tanna, Yeh Hai Mohabbatein actor Karan Patel, RJ Malishka, Tejasswi Prakash, Amruta Khanvilkar, comedian and host Balraj Sayal – recently flew down to the beautiful country. Khatron Ke Khiladi 10 will also see Naagin actress Adaa Khan, Dharmesh Yelande and Bhojpuri queen Rani Chatterjee.And now, joining the gang is another couple – Bharti Singh and Harsh Limbachiyaa. The comedian and her husband, who participated in the previous season of Khatron Ke Khiladi, had entertained the audience with their fun antics and also received a lot of love.In fact, post the show, Bharti and Harsh went on to start a new prank-based stunt show Khatra Khatra Khatra, which too is garnering love from viewers. Hence, it looks like the makers of Khatron Ke Khiladi 10 have invited them once again to cash in on their popularity.According to a SpotboyE report, viewers will see the couple performing some stunts along with the other contestants and when there’s Bharti, one can expect loads of laughter.Although the Bulgaria shoot schedule is likely to last for 45 days, the show will be aired in the beginning of next year after Bigg Boss 13 concludes.Last year, choreographer Punit J Pathak had won the trophy defeating Aditya Narayan. Khatron Ke Khiladi has always managed to top the TRP charts leaving behind other popular TV show, including The Kapil Sharma Show. Khatron Ke Khiladi 10Twitter
I don’t think anyone can deny that the idea behind the Valve game Portal is a very clever one that translated well into video game form. If you’d asked me if it could be improved upon before today I’d have ummd and ahhed. But now I believe it can, or at least, there’s a more clever version in development.Game designer and artist Arthur Lee, otherwise known as Mr Podunkian, has put together a proof of concept that takes the idea of Portal‘s portals, but ties it together with taking a snapshot like you do with a camera.The result is very cool and makes my mind boggle as to the gameplay possibilities it presents. Thankfully there’s a video to help explain exactly what Lee has done, which you can watch below:Lee hasn’t thought of a name for the game yet, but admits he has basically done a “rip off [of] Portal and Snapshot.” I’d suggest that although it may rip off those games, it does so in a way few others would have thought to do so, which makes it unique.The proof of concept was created using the game development tool Unity which is free to download and use. I for one hope Lee takes this past just proof of concept stage and turns it into a fully-fledged game. There’s certainly a lot of fun to be had with the possibilities the game mechanic presents. I don’t doubt there’s people at Valve looking over this video with interest, too.via Rock, Paper Shotgun
Stay on target 11 Other Old-School Nick Shows That Should Get Netflix MoviesWatch These Movies Before ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’ Growing up in the late eighties and early nineties in America, a cable channel devoted to kids was right up my ally. I enjoyed Halloween and all things spooky a bit too much, but my parents were not about to show me R-Rated horror just yet. Luckily Nickelodeon answered the call to all the creepy kids out there and aired some of the best Halloween specials I’d ever seen. From the “Zeke the Plumber” episode of Salute Your Shorts; to the (then) banned Ren & Stimpy episode entitled “Haunted House.” But once Halloween was over, the channel went right back to its normal programming. Luckily the Canadian television station YTV was pitching its “kids only spooky campfire anthology series” to networks in other countries including America, thus Are You Afraid of the Dark? was born!The series aired from 1990 to 2000 and went through quite a few stories and different Midnight Society members. The series even made a come back in 2014 bringing back story teller Tucker and eventually his brother Gary to round out the series.I revisit the series every so often. Especially now that it’s available to purchase/rent both on DVD and digitally. Here are my picks for the most hair-raising episodes…seriously they still give me chills.THE TALE OF THE DEAD MANS FLOATVol. 1, Episode 7This is one of those tales that struck fear in a lot of adolescence hearts when it aired. The fear of swimming is something that lurks deep within a lot of us. Luckily for our water fearing hero Zeke, he manages to gain a little help from Clorice, the swim team captain who is lousy at Chemistry. The two make a pact to help each other out. Zeke takes Clorice to a forgotten pool on the school campus, not knowing about the burial ground the pool was built on. Because of course! In this episode, we get to see one of the most terrifying creatures in the series. A red skeleton of sorts with hair and skin hanging from his body. It was a vision I could not get out of my head for some time. This episode echoes the final scene of the original Friday the 13th where Jason pulls Alice into Camp Crystal Lake. Zeke in the beginning was petrified of being splashed. Now he’s being pulled into the pool by an undead spirit (this kid is never getting back in the water!) With quick thinking and the power of science, Clorice and Zeke defeat the ghoul, and all is right with the school. I’d just like to know who has been keeping up with the maintenance all these years? That pool looked immaculate for being abandoned decades.Midnight Society Bookend: Tucker tries to get his friend into The Midnight Society. After telling the pretty decent Dead Mans Float tale, TMS deny his request due to being greasy and overweight. What a bunch of purists!Purchase the episode here.THE TALE OF LAUGHING IN THE DARKVol. 1, Episode 1A common Are You Afraid of the Dark trope is redheads are pegged to be asses. From the start of this episode, we are already trained to hate our lead, Josh. He is not afraid of anything! Give him any challenge, and he will sail through. But since Josh is the jerky kid that he is, he always has a bet to wager. In this tale, it’s going to an amusement park’s haunted house and stealing the red nose off a dummy clown named Zeebo.Side Note: I’d just like to take this moment and point out that this haunted house includes a dragon that blows fire across the hallway. This is an afterthought in the episode, but it completely baffles me that we’re supposed to be afraid of Zeebo the dummy clown when there is a legit safety hazard.With the clown nose in hand, Josh now makes his friend wear the stolen item the next day at school to prove he lost the bet. Before the hazing occurs, Josh is called late at night and on the other end the faint words “Give it baaaack….Give it baaack” are echoed. You see, Zeebo used the old haunted house to hide out in after robbing the carnival. The clumsy clown ended up burning himself alive with a lit cigar. Needless to say, the red clown nose Josh stole is indeed haunted by Zeebo. Josh gets the clown nose back to its owner, and he is safe for another day.Midnight Society Bookend: Kristen is deathly afraid of clowns. The second Zeebo is mentioned she is OUT! But is quickly persuaded to stay and listen to the tale. She makes it all the way through before David (who has a crush on her) breaks out a clown mask and makes her run for the hills screaming. Why ya gotta be so mean David?Purchase the episode here.THE TALE OF THE NIGHT SHIFTVol. 2, Episode 7There are a few vampire tales within the decade of the show’s existence. Night Shift definitely sticks out as one of the more spooky vampiric episodes. The story follows Amanda, an honors student who is looking to get all the credits she can before going off to college. She decides to help out at the local hospital and gets stuck working the graveyard shift. Her co-worker Felix, who is on maintenance duties, sadly is lured away by an attractive woman in the basement only to be quickly turned into a vamp himself along with most of the night staff. Meanwhile, a candy corn obsessed classmate of Amanda’s checked himself into the hospital to get his tonsils looked at. But really he just wants to hang with Amanda, (not creepy at all.)The two later stumble across the head vampire. Who by the way, is beyond frightening looking! Most head vampires resemble Vlad the Impaler or Dracula. This head vampires wet green skin, stark white hair and blood red eyes are indeed nightmare fuel for any child under the age of twelve watching.The two teens discover the vampire’s coffin and learn that if destroyed, everyone in the hospital will go back to normal. In a chase that leads to the hospital roof the head vampire holds Amanda over the roof and proclaims “I should drop you and lick up what’s left!” This stuck with me for years, making vampires truly haunting in my opinion. In classic AYAotD fashion, the young teens reign triumphant by burning the coffin and saving Amanda.Midnight Society Bookend: Gary finally made some moves and has a possible date. Good for you Gary!Purchase the episode here.THE TALE OF THE GHASTLY GRINNERVol. 4, Episode 5This is easily my favorite episode of the series. The story follows Ethan, a young aspiring comic artist. He sends his work out to all the major publishers, only to receive nothing but rejection letters. I found this pretty impressive due to Ethan only being in middle school. Within his pile of rejection letters, he finds an invite to a new comic book store opening in his area. He attends and meets a woman named Frankie. She reveals to Ethan that her father is Sylvester Unkus, a famed comic artist who created one of the creepiest comic characters of all time, The Ghastly Grinner. Only one issue was ever made after the creator (Frankie’s father) disappeared shortly after its release. Anyone watching this episode today can tell that The Ghastly Grinner is easily a knock-off of DC Comics The Joker. He renders his victims powerless by having them laugh uncontrollably until their ultimate demise. Still, a pretty creepy horror villain if you ask me. The ill-fated Unkus’s art resembles Ethan’s; this is why Frankie contacts him in the first place and wants him to check out the issue.This episode is like lightning in a bottle for 90’s comic book fans. Walking through the store is like a trip down memory lane. We see past AYAotD cut outs, Superman next to Wolverine before copyright laws. To me, this episode holds something special. I don’t want to go too much into the episode, but we are introduced to Ethan’s classmate, Hooper Picalarro (think Tina from Bob’s Burgers.) The two teens try and work together in defeating the Ghastly Grinner and freeing Sylvester Unkus. Spookiness is afoot all over this episode, especially the scene involving a bus that resembles Nightmare on Elm Street II with a little Exorcist thrown in. The Ghastly Grinner is a formidable foe and one for the books.Midnight Society Bookend: Betty Ann sees comics as “Guide books to other dimensions”… She’s not wrong.Purchase the episode here.I hope you enjoyed these four entries of spine tingling terror and this look back at one of Nickelodeon’s most ambitious ventures into scaring children into…well and adults still. The series has many duds, but these four are strong entries for a dark and stormy night. I promise you’ll have a great time with them. Unpleasant dreams.
If you’re a gamer, then you know the title everyone’s currently talking about is God of War. Like I said in my review, this is easily one of the best releases of 2018. It comes as no surprise God of War would get spotlighted during this year’s Tribeca Games Festival, where the game’s director and cast spoke about its development and shared behind-the-scenes stories in front of a live audience.After the panel, I interviewed director Cory Barlog, and actors Christopher Judge (Kratos), Danielle Bisutti (Freya), and Jeremy Davies (Balder). Given the spirit of the event (a celebration of story-driven media), I focused on how the actors brought their respective characters to life and how wearing motion-capture equipment impacted their performances. I also asked the director about how this entry honors the legacy of the series and if he believes they were successful on that end.What was it about Christopher Judge that made him an ideal actor to play Kratos? Was it due to his natural speaking voice?Cory Barlog: The power he had as a performer was the thing that really drew it. I mean, I also was a gigantic Stargate fan, so I entertained the idea early on but because of a lack of confidence, didn’t know if we should approach him. It took a little while but then it came back around and everything kind of fused together.First and foremost we were looking for the physicality in the voice, but that was such a small part of it. There was so much of the performance that had to come through on the set with all the actors because I needed to do it all in one take. Everybody had to hit their sort of emotional range all the time. He was, without a doubt, just so incredibly powerful, even in the first audition. It’s wonderful.Jeremy Davies: I want to credit Chris as well. I have met a number of individuals who were just born with this gift. They can roll out of bed and sound like god. I’ve seen folks rely on that. But what you get when you’re this close to him is that you really sense this powerful presence. He isn’t relying on his god-given voice. He’s got a lot to back it up. He is a dangerously gifted guy.What was the motion capture process like? Was it difficult to act while having all of that motion-capture equipment on you? Without a traditional set, how much of your imagination did you need to use?Judge: Stargate kind of came out right at the beginning of CGI. So, very often, our reactions to stuff didn’t match what was there. I learned that when someone says “it’s immense, it’s the world” it’s believable. Every time Cory would say “so, this is going to [be huge],” I took him at his word. Thank god that I did because all of the set pieces were just mind-blowing. I was watching my son play, and I remember thinking to myself: “My reaction, it almost wasn’t big enough.”Davies: I found it interesting. The whole apparatus, the camera, these massive hard drives right over your heart. But the phenomenon with having a camera right in your face, I found really surprisingly helpful. When you’re shooting film, the cameras use these long lenses; you kind of feel this tendency, if it’s wide especially, to push it. With the camera so close, it can be reassuring to know that when they see it, they’re not going to miss anything. You don’t have to redo it. I found that really, really helpful. It helped me get over the fact you got these suits on.Judge: You really articulated something that I felt but I never thought about. When you do film or television, you generally do a lot of takes. You always get a break, you’re off camera. But sometimes when you do something that is surprising and it’s in the wide, then you have to re-create it.Judge: Every time we did discover something [during this shoot], it was documented.Davies: That’s right. From every conceivable angle.Bisutti: A lot of times in the theater, you’re in a black box. It’s black box theater. There’s no set. You create these imaginary sets and circumstances and you can see it. So, as we were there, we had the privilege of sometimes watching the rehearsals or sometimes seeing the scenes and the animation that was happening so we can kind of get a sense of the world. Of course, then actually watching it when it all came together was like, oh my god, that is a big scope, the world we’re living in.Davies: Because you’re surrounded by all these computers, computer power from every single angle, you could imagine a director just having an attitude of a robot like we talked about [during the panel]. An attitude of “we will fix your performance.” But it was like, as I said, equal to the best experience I’ve had. It’s a human being working with human beings.Chris, was it intimidating to know you were portraying such a beloved character that people have high expectations for?Judge: I… sometimes got a little performance anxiety [laughs]. Especially in the beginning, when we were discussing what he should sound like. I worked with a voice coach but we quickly moved away from that from the first day.Barlog: That was the fantastic sort of miscommunication on that one. We had talked to the voice coach but somehow there was a misinterpretation. I said we need to look at the previous Kratos’ performance since there is a sense of the speech pattern that can act as the foundation. The interpretation was more “this is the time period” so you [Chris] had more of an English accent at some point. That was was totally my fault. So we went through the whole thing. You trained with all that stuff. You came on the set with a little bit of this English accent and we’re like “what the fuck?”Judge: Cory walked up to me and he was like: “Was that a British accent?” I thought you wanted just a hint of that [laughs].Thank you for getting rid of that. That’s just weird. Kratos with an English accent? No way.Bisutti: Especially in Norse mythology. You see those films in Roman times and they speak with a British accent. That’s not quite right [laughs].Danielle and Jeremy, did you discuss your characters off-set? Your relationship with one another was very natural. How were you able to make that authentic?Bisutti: Well, I just fell in love with him the second I met him. I was already a fan of his work. I mean, Lost was for me one of the best shows ever created. But of course, I’d known him prior. I just have this approach of just opening my heart as an actor, opening my heart to these imaginary circumstances and believing them as real. We actually didn’t discuss very much, did we? A little bit. But we kind of just brought it in the moment and riffed off each other.Davies: It was instantaneous. The first day you got on set, everybody kind of warmly welcomed each other. It felt like the momentum, this sort of kinetic energy, was instant. We were going from zero to one hundred right away. I just felt like we were all family from a long time ago. It never felt like we had to work on it or force any of it. That was just incredibly lucky. I was thankful every single day that it just came naturally.Judge: You said something very interesting. Acting is supposed to be the recreation of the natural. But what you’re asked to do is something very unnatural. To walk into spaces where you don’t know people with an open heart and an open mind, which is very unnatural and can be very, very painful. We keep saying over and over again about the safe space that it was. That’s why it always happened. The ground was watered and fertilized and lovingly cultivated so that it was a space for these relationships to grow at a very unnatural speed.Cory, in a lot of ways, this is a soft reboot of the franchise. You’re introducing a lot of new mechanics, storylines, locales and so on. At the same time, you still have this giant legacy behind it. Was it a challenge to balance everything people know about God of War with all of the new elements you wanted to incorporate?Yeah, it was something that I was conscious of at all times. To not just respect the work that we had done, but to honor it. To know that we made every choice that we made to create this world very specifically. The continuation of this growth, the evolution needed to be built on that foundation. While you can blur your eyes and see something differently, the clarity shows you very clearly, that the DNA, that the molecular level of what we were doing, was so incredibly inspired by what we started with. It’s easy, very easy, to lose sight of that.We’re blessed to have such good, smart people like Richard Gaubert and Matt Sophos, our writers, being on set every day. They were the honesty that I needed. That gut-check, that mirror that I needed to look at. To say “Alright where are we going with this?” Because, I would just throw things in on the day of like “Hey, something came to me last night. Let’s try this.” And they were the sounding-board to go “I don’t know about that,” and I had to defend it. If I couldn’t defend it, it was something I realized, okay that’s not what we need to do.It was constant discussion, constant evaluation of “is this Kratos?” He can evolve and change, but does he go in a direction that is antithetical to where he began? There were a lot of times where we had to course-correct to ensure the evolution felt correct. I think the response that people are having says that we did hit a few of those notes right to resonate, to connect in the right way. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target ‘God of War’ Documentary ‘Raising Kratos’ Explores 2018’s Top Video GamePS4 Hits Turn Tabletop With ‘God of War,’ ‘Bloodborne&…