Ferrer blocking Murray’s path to first Australian Open title

first_imgBy Shravanth VijayakumarWorld number two Andy Murray, four times a losing finalist, will continue his pursuit of a first Australian Open title against eighth seed David Ferrer in a quarter-final match on Wednesday.In the women’s draw, seventh seed Angelique Kerber from Poland, making her first appearance in the quarter-finals, faces two-times champion Victoria Azarenka, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament.Murray has won his last five matches against the 33-year-old Ferrer, but the Spaniard is in dominant form in Melbourne and is the only player in the men’s draw to reach the last eight without dropping a set.Murray, who is five years younger than Ferrer, said age would make no difference in the match.“He’s in good shape. He fights so hard in every single match. He’s been rewarded for that with an unbelievably consistent career at the top of the game,” Murray said.Kerber will be looking to improve her record against Azarenka, who she has not beaten in six attempts, but the Pole is determined not to let history weigh on her mind.“You know, I had tough matches against her in the past. I will be looking forward when I play against her to really take my chances. It’s a new one, it starts from zero, and I know what’s coming from her,” Kerber said.Meanwhile, 23rd seed Gael Monfils takes on 13th seed Milos Raonic, who knocked out world number four Stan Wawrinka in the previous round. At stake for both players is a first semifinal appearance at the tournament.Monfils has come out on top in both of their two previous matches, but big-serving Canadian Raonic has backed himself to prevail this time around.“I just have to take the game to him. I have to make him feel uncomfortable. Not let him get into his sort of playing comfort. If I can sort of keep up with the efficiency moving forward, I’ll have definitely some opportunities,” Raonic said.The only two unseeded players left in the tournament, Britain’s Johanna Konta and China’s Zhang Shuai, will battle it out in Wednesday’s second match at the Rod Laver Arena.Konta’s quarter-final appearance means that Britain has male and female representation in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 1977.By Shravanth Vijayakumarlast_img read more

Harden scores 42, Rockets rout Bulls

first_imgTaal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing down 400 evacuees from Taal eruption take refuge in Mt. Banahaw “That’s the confidence I have,” he said. “That’s the confidence that I’ve built off of the work I put in. It’s more of a mindset.”Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer, entered the game averaging 36.5 points on 38.7% shooting, including 27% on 3-pointers. Houston Rockets guard James Harden, left, drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky (31) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)CHICAGO — For James Harden, a missed shot simply means the odds of him making the next one improve.That attitude served the All-Star guard well Saturday night as he rebounded from a slow start to put up big numbers again.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lionel Messi’s dead-ball hat-trick puts Barca back on top Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:05SEA Games: Agatha Wong defends wushu title, scores 2nd gold for PH03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown01:54MMDA deploys rescue team to Batangas following Taal eruption No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist “I feel like a broken record sometimes, but he’s a master of getting what he wants,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said of Harden. “I think sometimes he might get bored in the game and tries different stuff.”Russell Westbrook scored 26 points as the Rockets won their third straight.Wendell Carter Jr. had 13 points and 16 rebounds for Chicago, which has dropped six of eight.The Bulls were a woeful 4-for-32 shooting from 3-point range.“I know how well we can shoot and tonight we just didn’t make them,” Chicago forward Lauri Markkanen said.ADVERTISEMENT Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study DSWD Bicol donates P1.5M worth of food packs for Taal eruption evacuees ‘People evacuated on their own’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Harden narrowly missed his first triple-double of the season, finishing with 42 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Houston Rockets pulled away in the second half and beat the Chicago Bulls 117-94.After going 2 for 7 (including 1 for 5 on 3-pointers) in the first quarter, he went 10 for 20 the rest of the game, including 8 for 14 on 3′s.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4 MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee Chicago led 27-20 after one quarter behind eight points from Markkanen and eight Houston turnovers.The Bulls led by nine points (31-22) early in the second before the Rockets used a 24-7 run to take control and open a 46-38 lead with four minutes left in the first half. Harden had nine points during the run.Chicago closed within 50-49 at halftime on a 3-pointer by Zach LaVine. That was the Bulls second make in 17 first-half attempts from long range. Houston quickly reclaimed control with a 30-9 run in the opening 9:41 of the third, taking an 80-58 advantage.The Rockets had an 86-67 lead entering the fourth, helped by 7-for-14 shooting from 3-pointers range in the third. Harden led the way with 11 points in the quarter.The Bulls couldn’t get closer than 14 points in the fourth quarter.“I think we did really good in the first half; they just broke it open in the third quarter,” LaVine said. “We played a good first half and a bad second half.”Harden, who has 35 regular-season triple-doubles in his career, had several minutes of garbage time in the fourth quarter to get additional assists, but was unsuccessful before leaving with a little more than three minutes remaining.“I didn’t even know I was one assist away,” he said. “I’m happy we won, though.”NUMBERS GAMEHouston went 19 for 44 (43.2 on 3-pointers to clearly outclass the Bulls from behind the arc. View comments 2 village execs nabbed in Bohol buy-bust “They made 19 threes, we made four, so we lost the 3-point line by 45 points,” Chicago coach Jim Boylen said. “It’s hard to win a game.”DEFENSEWestbrook believes the Rockets had a lot to do with the Bulls’ poor shooting.“If you’re gonna win in this league, you’ve got to defend,” he said. “There are no nights off. You’ve got to defend every single night against some tough teams.”TIP-INSRockets: G Eric Gordon (left hamstring) returned after sitting out Wednesday against Golden State. He had nine points and 21 minutes off the bench. … Houston has won the last seven games against Chicago, including the last four at the United Center.Bulls: F Otto Porter sat out with a left foot sprain. Porter was walking Saturday without the aid of crutches for the first time since suffering the injury Wednesday in Atlanta. There is still no timetable for his return.UP NEXTRockets: At New Orleans on Monday nightBulls: Host New York on Tuesday night.last_img read more

Nagamootoo has totally betrayed sugar workers

first_imgDear Editor,Moses Nagamootoo this past week demanded that sugar workers should be grateful that the APNU/AFC has “raided” the treasury on their behalf. I wonder what he thinks about the annual electricity subvention of billion to Linden. Is this also “raiding” the treasury? Should Lindeners bow in gratitude to APNU/AFC? In 2012, Nagamootoo and his APNU/AFC colleagues, in inciting the people of Linden, proclaimed the electricity subvention as an obligation of the government and something the country owes to Linden. A subvention to GuySuCo is raiding of the treasury; the subvention to Linden is an obligation.Nagamootoo does not go to the sugar belt communities to address sugar workers anymore because he knows that they know he has totally betrayed them. He presented himself as the champion of sugar workers, promising them before the 2015 election that sugar in Guyana will always be number 1 and he will ensure sugar workers get an annual pay increase of 20 per cent, doubling their wages in a single APNU/AFC term. Today he is busy working with the APNU/AFC to end sugar in Guyana.Even as APNU/AFC/GuySuCo denied sugar workers any increase in 2015 and 2016, Nagamootoo is quiet as a mouse, not a sound from him. Zero pay increase for two successive years and Nagamootoo has amnesia, forgetting that he and his colleagues promised 20 per cent annual increases to sugar workers. Indeed, before the 2015 elections, I heard him assure sugar workers, with his usual pomposity and bombast, that the APNU/AFC’s 20 per cent proposal for sugar workers was not a promise, but a contract. Today, the “contract” with sugar workers has been disavowed. He has now completely acquiesced to the mistreatment of the sugar workers by the APNU/AFC. His silence is adding salt to grievous open wounds.APNU/AFC for two successive years has imposed a zero wage increase for sugar workers, joining the PNC, which after nationalisation in 1976 imposed a zero wage increase for workers in 1979, 1982 and 1983. The PPP between 1992 and 2014, always granted a wage increase, even when times were not good and even if sugar workers thought they deserved more. In its first two years in charge, APNU/AFC has joined its founding party, the PNC, as the only entity to hold sugar workers at ransom and imposed a wage freeze on them.The workers gambled and Nagamootoo and APNU/AFC now reward them with silence, arrogance and abandonment and call them ungrateful.APNU/AFC, as Nagamootoo contends, has raided the public treasury in an unprecedented manner, greedily and recklessly, but definitely not on behalf of sugar workers. They have raided the public treasury, on themselves. While denying sugar workers a wage increase, they raided the public treasury to give themselves (the Cabinet) a hefty pay increase of about 50 to 75 per cent over 2015 and 2016.Not only is he silent on the zero wage increase, Nagamootoo is silent on the shutting down of Wales and LBI by the end of 2016. He has not said a world about the plans to close Skeldon, Rose Hall and Enmore before 2018. When he dares open his mouth in the plush comfort of his office in Georgetown, he justifies APNU/AFC’s plan to close sugar and calls sugar workers ungrateful. He has totally betrayed the sugar workers. In the meantime, Khemraj Ramjattan has been similarly silent. Their silence is the ultimate betrayal of sugar workers. Sugar workers will not forget.Sincerely,Dr Leslie RamsammyFormer AgricultureMinisterlast_img read more

Antelope Valley Calendar

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Co-Dependents Anonymous Step Study will meet, 6-7 p.m. at Antelope Valley Hospital, multipurpose meeting room, second floor, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 944-4927. 12-Step Recovery Groups for alcohol and drug addiction, co-dependency, relationship addiction, overeating, fear and anxiety issues, will meet, 7 p.m. at Desert Vineyard Christian Fellowship, 1011 E. Ave. I, Lancaster. Call (661) 945-2777. The Palmdale Elks Lodge, 2705 E. Ave. Q, Palmdale will host bingo, 5:30 p.m. The grill will be open. Call (661) 947-2027. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 6-7 p.m. at Lancaster United Methodist Church, 918 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 722-0393. Co-Dependents Anonymous will host a 12-step recovery program, 7:30-9 p.m., at Antelope Valley Hospital, multipurpose meeting room, second floor, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 944-4927 or (661) 946-5846. Grief Recovery Outreach Group will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700 or visit www.frf.av.org. Adult Anger Management Group will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700. The Highs and Lows, a support group for those diagnosed with manic depression or related disorders, will meet, 7-9 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Master, 725 E. Ave. J, Lancaster. Al-Anon will have a discussion, 7 p.m. at 51st Street West and Avenue K, Lancaster. Child care provided. Call (661) 274-9353 or (800) 344-2666. Take Off Pounds Sensibly Chapter 572 will meet, 9-11 a.m. at the Mayflower Gardens chapel, 6570 W. Ave. L-12, Quartz Hill. Call (661) 943-3089. Early bird bingo games will begin at 6 p.m. with regular games beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Elks Lodge, 2705 E. Ave. Q, Palmdale. Call (661) 947-2027. Early bird bingo games will begin at 6:30 p.m. with regular games beginning at 7 p.m. at Paraclete High School, 42145 30th St. W., Lancaster. Call (661) 943-3255, Monday evenings: (661) 943-1017. Billiard Gang for seniors will meet, 9:15 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Flex and stretch, a workout for seniors, 8-9 a.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Parent support group will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 1529 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite 203, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700. Compulsive Eaters Anonymous – HOW Concept will meet, 6 p.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38530 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 273-1016. Expectant parents can tour the Antelope Valley Hospital obstetrics department, 1600 W. Ave. J in Lancaster, at sessions starting at 6 p.m. TUESDAY Lupus International Support Group meets, 6:30-8 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month in Palmdale. Call (888) 532-2322, Ext. 4. Business Network International B2 Bombers chapter will meet, 12:15 p.m. at Eduardo’s restaurant, 819 W. Palmdale Blvd., Palmdale. Call (661) 609-1288. Prostate Cancer Support Group meets, 12:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at Lutheran Church of the Master, 725 E. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call Susan Baker at (661) 273-2200.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TODAY Beyond the Light, a socialization and support group for young adults, ages 17 to 25, with mental health issues, will meet, noon-1 p.m. at Transitional Youth Services, 104 E. Ave. K-4, Lancaster. Call Bill Slocum at (661) 947-1595. Jazzercise classes, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at George Lane Park, 5520 W. Ave. L-8, Quartz Hill. Call (661) 722-7780.Dance Groove will give ballroom and Latin dance lessons, 6-8:30 p.m. Dance Groove Studio, 43631 10th St. W., Lancaster. Cost: $5 per person. Call (661) 948-9101. Take Off Pounds Sensibly will meet, 9-10:30 a.m. Call (661) 272-0207 or (661) 947-7672. last_img read more

Why Public Image are a cut above the rest!

first_imgPublic Image in Ballybofey are a well-established hair salon on the main street since 1994. For more than 20 years Martin and his ever growing team have been setting trends, breaking boundaries and creating masterpieces, but most of all, they have touched the lives of many.When you walk through the doors of Public Image you’re greeted with a smile, a stylist who truly wants to make you feel good about yourself and cares about your needs. Through continued intense training the stylists in Public Image advance rapidly in each area of hairdressing and some choose to specialise in their favourite part of the job so you will find many colour technicians and cutting experts each with their own unique qualities and personalities.Let’s introduce you to the team:MartinMartin – with a career in hairdressing spanning over 30 years Martin has cut his way to many hairdressing awards, travelled across the world and has become a household name throughout Donegal and bordering counties. Martin built his business along with his wife Linda and have worked endlessly to make it the success it is today.Linda​Linda – jet setting from a young age, Linda has had an exciting career in hairdressing long before joining Public Image. From training in London with world famous hair salons to beautiful Spanish Islands Linda has coloured hair around the world with clients in all corners of the globe. AvrilAvril – Avril has been with public image for over 13 years and has become one of the most respected stylists in the county with many awards and certificates Avril has almost a full client list and you will often find her booked up weeks in advance.JuneJune – June has been with Public Image from the day our doors opened. She is a creative and extremely talented stylist who enjoying every course and is constantly on trend. Our junior stylists have loved learning a lot from June and will often turn to her for advice and inspiration.ShaunaShauna – Shauna has been hairdressing over 6 years and is with the salon over 3 years now. Shauna fast tracked her way to a senior stylist position through hard work and training and excels in every aspect of hairdressing. Shauna’s passion is cutting and is taking major cutting courses in the Dublin based academies to advance her skills all the time.MajellaMajella – Majella is our resident fashion queen here at the salon who is often found sporting the most daring trends which we love as she is not afraid to stand out. Majella is currently in college training to be an educator in hairdressing and is also one of our leading make up artists Majella is renowned for her make up skills in our salon and has created some beautiful and funky looks which can be seen on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/publicimagehairDenise – Hailing from County Roscommon, Denise has travelled the world on cruise ships and lived and worked in some amazing salons throughout Canada and Australia. She has build a name for herself in Public Image as a stylist and a Make Up artist which is her passion. Denise has completed make up courses with academies in London, Dublin and many more and is always on trend with the styles of the moment. With her certificate in beauty Denise finds this an advantage as working with your skin she knows what it needs to look and feel flawless. AlisonAlison – Coming to us all the way from County Mayo, Alison has worked with Denise on the cruise ships and also throughout Ireland with a nationally recognised hair salon. Alison is very creative in her work and has become very popular in the salon for her boho blow-dry! She loves taking on dramatic changes and make overs as she love a challenge and we love her passion and creativity in the salon.KristinaKristina – Our international stylist, Kristina is the newest member of the team and is originally from Croatia, and has worked in salons throughout Europe. Kristina spent time as an educator for a world renowned internationally recognised salon brand and has now decided to bring her wealth of knowledge, expertise and creativity to us here in Public Image and we are so excited to have her here!MichelleMichelle – Michelle is a senior stylist with  us here for over ten years and has continued to advance through the years to one of our top colouring experts and has been training our new stylists and juniors for many years in all areas of hairdressing all our juniors look up to michelle and value her teachings. Michelle is currently off on maternity leave as she welcomed her beautiful son Michael into the world in February.Now you have met the family, why not come on over and see our work for yourself. Check us out on Facebook, email us or call us to book your appointment today. With a combined 100 years of hairdressing experience let us take care of your Public Image. You can contact us on email publicimagehair@gmail.comCheck out our www.facebook.com/publicimagehair or call us 074 9132056Why Public Image are a cut above the rest! was last modified: March 14th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

South Africans go to the polls

first_imgMillions are expected to cast their votestomorrow during South Africa’s fourthdemocratic elections.(Image: Britannica) In their election campaigns, politicalparties encouraged voters to use theirvotes to effect change in the country.(Image: Polity.org.za)Khanyi Magubane With less than 24 hours to go before South Africans cast their votes, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced that it expects the largest turnout since 1994.Briefing the media on the expected voter turnout, the IEC’s chairperson Dr Brigalia Bam said that more than 80% of the registered voters were expected to cast their vote on 22 April.“We feel very confident this time around. We have never experienced such a high enthusiasm amongst South Africans,” she said.Statistics for this year’s elections include 200 000 election officials who will be working in 19 726 voting stations across the country. The number of registered voters captured on the voters’ roll stands at 23 181 997.Bam said she’s especially encouraged by the high number of youths who have registered. According to Bam, the number is significantly higher than recorded in previous years. Nearly 800 000 are between 18 and 19 years of age, and five-million are between 20 and 29.In total, 40 political parties will be participating in the national and provincial elections. Of these, 26 will participate nationally, while 14 parties will contest the elections at a provincial level.Bam said the election campaigns ran by political parties had been vigorous, which she expects will boost voter numbers.“We have never had so many political parties all over the country so involved … persuading people to vote for them,” said the chairperson. “We will be disappointed if we don’t get the 80% turnout. The effort we have put in preparing for these elections will not be good enough if we get only a 50% voter turnout.”It’s voting day, now what?For many first time voters tomorrow’s experience may be a daunting one but the IEC has gone to great lengths to explain the process, as even those who have voted before, may have forgotten how the process works.In order to facilitate the smooth running of the voting process, a few key actions have been put in place. Firstly, voting station officials will check a potential voter’s ID to verify that the ID number appears on the voters’ roll.Secondly, an official will check that the picture in the ID matches with the person standing in front of them.Once the official is satisfied that the person is indeed eligible to vote, the voter’s hands will be checked to ensure that they have already cast their ballot for the day.Inedible ink will then be used to mark the left thumbThe voter will then be issued with two ballot papers – one for national and another for provincial.Officials will then direct the voter to a booth, where they will be able to cast their vote for their political party of choice, after which they will insert their ballot papers inside a secured ballot box.For the first time since the 1994 elections, the IEC has now introduced the Braille ballot paper, which will enable visually impaired South Africans to vote independently.South Africa is the second country after Japan to offer the Braille sheet to blind voters. Each voting station will be issued with a national and provincial Braille ballot paper.Observing free and fair electionsIn order for the elections to be recognised internationally as free and fair, a group of independent election observers will be present to monitor the voting process.Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo is leading the election observers team consisting of 4 900 domestic observers, 355 international observers and 358 diplomats from 61 embassies.On 17 April IEC Chief Executive Officer Pansy Tlakula addressed the observers to discuss the state of readiness for the elections.Tlakula stressed that the IEC has spent the past year and a half in preparation for the elections. The process started with the registration of political parties who intended on running in this year’s poll.She also explained to the observers that new technologically advanced systems would be used during the voting. She introduced observers to the “Zip-Zip”, a small hand-held device already loaded with the details of all the voters.The “Zip-Zip” system will capture statistics on voting day including the number of voters, the age group, gender, as well as the time at which every vote is cast.After voting closes at 9pm, all the ballot papers will be transported to the National Results Operation Centre. The state-of-the-art building will serve as an anchor to coordinate all the election activities at one central point.The media will also be privy to the results as they trickle in via a digital board mounted inside the centre.Regular press briefings will be held inside the centre, where journalists will be updated with the latest developments from the various voting centres across the country.Members of various political parties will be provided with some access to the workings of the operations centre, though they will not be allowed to interfere with the work of the officials.Duties of election observers include attending the ballot paper counting session in a bid to ensure that the final results are accurate and are a true reflection of the votes.According to the electoral law, the final results can only be released 48-hours after the elections. This will give political parties a chance to contest interim results if they have any objections.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.com Related articlesThe bell that rings when the vote is called SA expats vote abroad Guide on reporting on elections Which way, SA? Expats allowed to vote overseas Laugh until you cry with Evita Useful linksIndependent Electoral CommissionElectoral institute of Southern Africalast_img read more

#Nextchat RECAP: One Recruitment Platform to Rule Them All

first_imgOn March 27, @shrmnextchat chatted with Speaker and Co-Host of The Chad and Cheese podcast, @Chad_Sowash about the ever-changing field of recruitment platforms in “The Recruitment Platform to Rule Them All.” If you missed this amazing chat filled with great tips and advice, you can read all the tweets here or below:last_img

One Of The Most Elaborate Alternate Reality Games Ever Is Launching In 2015

first_img4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Editor’s Note: This was originally published by our partners at Kill Screen. The day of your mission has finally come. You wake up, brush your teeth, pack your bags, go through security, and board your plane. You touch down at your destination, gather your things, and board a shuttle to the nearest train station—only to be arrested by “military personnel” and escorted away cuffed to a mysterious metal briefcase.But you’re a member of the notorious paramilitary group The Black Watchmen … these kind of things are to be expected.For more stories about video games and culture, follow@killscreen on Twitter.No this isn’t reality—it’s alternate reality. The Black Watchmen is one of the latest and more promising entries into this particularly 21st century genre of game: Alternate Reality Games, or ARGs as they’re commonly called.ARGs began to emerge at the turn of the millenium, defined by their use of transmedia storytelling—think late night text messages, creepy packages at your front door, cryptic videos, and so on—for creating a novel and often highly emotional game experience.Throughout the game, both creators and players collaborate to suspend disbelief in the name of creating a convincing alternate reality, an aesthetic that’s been termed This Is Not A Game by ARG enthusiasts.See also: The Year Video Games Got Funny AgainTo get an idea of what an ARG is like, and the potentially profound impact it can have on its players, look no further than the mind-bending 2013 documentary The Institute, which told the story of San Francisco based ARG The Jejune Institute. Made by avant-garde artist Jeff Hull, the game lasted for three years and included more than 10,000 participants. Players were first sent down the metaphorical “rabbit-hole” to the game via suspicious flyers that led potential participants to a cult-like induction ceremony hidden in the backroom of a downtown skyscraper.From there, the story evolved into a five-chapter saga that featured live events such as a 250-person faux-protest against the Jejune Institute through downtown San Francisco, intensive puzzles that led players into the darkest and deepest reaches of the city, and a final “Socio-Engineering Seminar” in 2011 that took place in a corporate hotel event space.Throughout the documentary, the ex-participants interviewed look back on the project with a palpable nostalgia—not to mention confusion over what was in fact real or an artificial part of the experience. One participant even tattooed one of the concepts from the project on her wrist to serve as a constant reminder of her experience.Enter The Black WatchmenBesides The Jejune Institute and a few smaller projects, most ARGs have been limited to being sophisticated but one-off marketing gimmicks. And it’s not hard to understand why: ARGs’ inherent unpredictability and complexity make them nearly impossible to fund for any extended period of time without a corporate sponsor. Yet after a decade of being stuck in a cycle of corporate dependency, crowdfunding via Kickstarter has helped to spawn The Black Watchmen, one of the first major persistent and stand-alone ARGs in the genre’s short history.Made by Alice & Smith, one of the most respected names in the ARG community, The Black Watchmen is an independent but loosely connected spin-off of their previous promotional ARGs for the online game The Secret World.See also: The Year In Video Game MapsAs a player, you’ll become a member of the eponymous group, a shadowy paramilitary organization that is hired by global secret societies to help solve the unexplainable. Andrea Doyon, the so-called “Puppet Master” of the project, says they’ve drawn from TV shows such as The X-Files and Hannibal and the works of HP Lovecraft for creative inspiration in crafting the setting and story.There’s an obvious connecting theme between each work—that powerful blurring of lines between the real and the fantastic that is ideal for ARGs hoping to create the This Is Not A Game aesthetic.As a member of The Black Watchmen, you’ll be tasked with solving challenging puzzles that often require real-world knowledge, sharp investigative skills, and extensive community cooperation.This will largely be done over an online, browser-based hub that allows players to connect with one another across the globe to share clues and pool knowledge. Large-scale missions that can sometimes require thousands of players will also appear on the map, allowing for the kind of communal problem-solving that’s difficult to find anywhere else except in an ARG.The kind of puzzle solving and experiences so far teased by the team vary wildly, and largely depend on the amount of involvement that a player has decided to dedicate themselves to. Examples so far include finding hidden codes in promotional material,simpler and more traditional puzzles done over the online hub, and that real-world mission that ended in a player being arrested by “military personnel” in Montreal.Doyon hopes that The Black Watchmen will help bring the genre to a wider critical and popular audience through this more varied and approachable system of player involvement.In this regard, The Black Watchmen features four core levels of engagement—red, orange, yellow, and green—that tells the developer just how much you want the game to reach out to you.“If you’re a red that means you control the game; we’re not going to invade your reality,” says Doyon. “But the people who keep coming… these people are in for much more than the red level.”The red level, for example, is done purely through e-mail and the online hub system. For players hoping for a much more demanding and emotional experience, the kind who “keep coming” as Doyon says, yellow and green feature intense interaction between the fantasy of the game and a player’s reality. Real-time phone calls by actors and suspicious packages arriving at your door are par for the course, while the green level even requires the signing of a medical waiver.Doyon explains that he wants players to “explore the world and try to discover ‘is this part of the game or is this not part of the game? And where’s the line?’”Leveling UpIn part this push for player exploration is achieved through a storytelling approach that emphasizes hidden clues over explicit narration, as well as a substantial level of agency from the players themselves. The storyline is highly malleable—over 50% of the content will be player-driven—and failure is always an option. “You cannot save the nurse,” promises Doyon in reference to a hypothetical character, “and she will die.” There are no restarts or quick saves in an ARG.This player agency requires extensive flexibility on the part of the creators—they must be ready to rewrite the story on the fly depending on whether players succeed or fail in their missions. This is especially true for The Black Watchmen, considering the unconventional and potentially momentous persistent structuring of the game.The Black Watchmen plans to have multiple seasons, depending on crowd-funding, while also making the experience accessible to anyone at any time through permanently available missions—based on the constantly evolving history of the game—to help new players catch up and learn. Both are important innovations that have yet to be implemented in almost all previous ARGs.See also: Twitch Plays Pokemon And The Year In CrowdplayingThis persistent, approachable structure is a crucial step forward, Doyon explains. “Often if you don’t start at the beginning of the ARG you feel lost. It’s really hard for someone to jump into the middle of an ARG and have a good experience or get something really profound out of it.”The Black Watchmen’s persistent and player-malleable structure means that the project will be constantly evolving over time into something neither player nor creator can predict. Just as the line between game and reality is purposely blurred with the This Is Not A Game aesthetic, so too is the line between author and consumer.But let’s not get too caught up in all these juicy postmodern implications—at the end of the day, The Black Watchmen’s accessible and persistent reimagining of a still nascent but promising genre is exciting enough.The Black Watchmen will begin in Q1 of 2015. If you’re interested in joining The Black Watchmen’s ranks, visit its Kickstarter for more information.More From Kill ScreenKill Screen’s Year In IdeasWe Played Lindsay Lohan’s Videogame So You Wouldn’t Have ToWe Are Slaves To DestinyFor more stories about video games and culture, follow@killscreen on Twitter.Lead image courtesy of Induction Center Key via Flickr Related Posts center_img dillon baker 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Tags:#Alice & Smith#alternate reality#ARG#Black Watchmen#cult#Kill Screen#killscreen#Predict#video games last_img read more

11-year-old Indian-American Genius Graduates From College

first_imgAn Indian-American home-schooled boy has surprised one and all by graduating from a US college at the age of 11 with three associate degrees in maths, science and foreign language studies. Related Itemslast_img

Watch these tissue-engineered spinal disks mimic the real thing

first_img By Frankie SchembriNov. 21, 2018 , 2:00 PM Watch these tissue-engineered spinal disks mimic the real thing Everyone has a backstory. Chances are it’s also a back pain story, because estimates say about two-thirds of adults in the United States will suffer from back or neck pain during their lifetimes. Many instances of back pain are caused by damage or degeneration of the intervertebral disks—the squishy little hockey pucks that sit between vertebrae, helping our spinal columns move and absorb shocks.Severe intervertebral disk degeneration is often treated with spinal fusion surgery, in which a damaged disk is removed and the adjacent vertebrae are welded together to form one solid bone. This leads to some loss of flexibility in the spine and increases the risk of other disks degenerating from compensating for the lost disk. Researchers have used tissue engineering to grow healthy disklike structures in the lab, but few studies have actually tested how these replacement disks perform over time when they’re implanted in living organisms.So in a new study, scientists injected cow stem cells into cylinders of polymer gel and sandwiched the cylinders between two foam end-plates to simulate the mechanics and biochemistry of intervertebral disks. Then, they implanted the disks into the tail spines of 14 rats, and larger versions into the necks of seven goats. They observed the animals’ movement and health postsurgery for several weeks, then euthanized the animals and examined how the engineered disks held their shape while being subjected to compressing forces compared to the animals’ native disks.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Not only did the disks become stable and well-integrated into the native tissue of the animals’ spinal columns several weeks postsurgery, they were able to withstand stress forces just as effectively as the animals’ native disks, the team reports today in Science Translation Medicine. Although the researchers say there is still considerable work to be done before tests begin in humans, the fact that large animals like goats responded well to the treatment is a step forward for backs everywhere.last_img read more