Taking a closer look at energy generation investment on the farm

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With steadily increasing energy costs and an ever-uncertain future, it makes sound economic sense to take a look at improving the energy portfolio on Ohio farms.“Regardless of the strides we have made in energy efficiency, it will not offset the increasing global demand for energy. On average the U.S. represents around 4% of the world’s population, yet consumes just over 18% of world’s total energy. Furthermore, Ohio is a large energy consumption state, ranking 7th in 2013” said Eric Romich, OSU Extension energy development specialist. “Ohio is also home to ageing energy generation facilities. Accelerated retirements of electricity generation capacity will likely result in continued price increases for electricity.”Whether it is solar or wind energy investment, there are a number of issues to consider when making decisions about conservation and generation of energy on-farm. It is best to start with a broad look at the energy use and goals for the farm.“Farmers are looking at options to invest in technologies that will lower future energy cost allowing their farm to become more energy efficient. When you get down to it in terms of investing in energy, I believe in the energy pyramid which starts with an assessment of energy use, then implementing conservation practices, investing in energy efficiency technologies, and ultimately considering alternative methods of generation,” Romich said. “It starts with an assessment of usage to understand what the issues are on your farm and energy costs. Is there unnecessary use of energy? Find it and use simple efficiency measures to address it. On average, your payback for an investment on an energy efficiency project is going to be quicker than investments in renewable energy generation.”Once energy conservation and efficiency measures are in place, then on-site energy generation options can be more properly considered.“When we talk about trends in energy, right now it is solar. There is photovoltaic (PV) solar, which is most of what we are seeing in Ohio. This is directly converting sunlight into electricity,” Romich said. “We don’t see a lot of small scale wind right now. There is also solar thermal and there are applications for that on dairy farms. Some are closed loops and some are open. Egg production facilities, for example, can use solar thermal to heat water for washing the eggs. If you need a lot of hot water for something, solar thermal can pay.”Due to improving technology and efficiency, PV solar also has potential to pay off in the right farm situations.“There are a couple of things driving interest with PV solar in the agricultural community right now. There is a 30% federal investment tax credit for the equipment and installation cost and it is scheduled to sunset Dec. 31 of 2016. To be clear, this is not upfront money, but a tax credit.” he said. “Also, the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants through USDA can cover up to 25% of the project. While the REAP is a great program, it is a competitive program and it is not a guarantee that you’ll get funded. However, if you receive the REAP grant and you stack all of these benefits together, it can make for an attractive project.”An investment in PV solar can be particularly beneficial for larger livestock operations“On those kinds of farms, it is fairly easy to calculate your year-after-year energy usage. It can be much harder to estimate energy costs on a grain farm where drying grain can be very different from year to year,” Romich said. “With net metering you want to work with your utility to match your system with your energy needs and the utility’s existing infrastructure. We are seeing systems going in for grain dryers too, but you need to analyze a larger sample of your usage rather than just looking at last year’s bill. Regardless of the type of farm you have, you should contact your electric utility provider to review a proposed project before signing any paperwork with a developer. Your energy provider needs to be viewed as a partner on this.”Take a look at factors including meter charges, demand charges for offsetting energy use during periods of peak demand, the need for three-phase electric, costs associated with insuring the systems, and long term energy use.“Get some quotes. You’re not going to go buy the first tractor you see. You’re going to look around. Do the same thing with solar. It can be hard when you are looking at proposals to really understand the cost of the materials and labor to make decisions. Having multiple quotes helps you to see that and determine what you like and what you don’t,” Romich said. “Details can make a big impact. What factors are you using to calculate energy savings? Have escalation rates been applied to energy costs, and if so at what rate? Insurance cost is rarely accounted for, but if you are putting a $100,000 solar system on your barn and a wind storm comes through, you want to make sure you’re in a situation to get it up and running again.”Another important — but often confusing — factor in making the decision for solar is the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs).“SRECs were created by policy as a means of tracking the generation of renewable energy. If you have a solar system certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, an SREC will be created for every megawatt hour of electricity produced by your solar system. An electronic database tracks the amount of electricity generated by your system and the related creation of renewable energy credits,” Romich said. “There are a number of different ways a system owner can sell their SRECs. You may choose to personally manage the sale of your SRECs as they are generated via a web-based exchange program, enter into an agreement to sell your SRECs to an aggregator or broker, or sell your SRECs directly to the developer who built their system.”Ohio’s alternative energy portfolio standards require Ohio’s electric distribution utilities or electric services companies to diversify their electricity generation to include 12.5% renewable energy by 2027. Basically, utilities can purchase SRECs from other certified systems to comply with the requirement, creating a demand for SRECs in Ohio. However, the passage of SB 310 in 2014 put a two-year freeze on Ohio’s alternative energy portfolio standards.“That hurt the value of SRECs in Ohio. There is no assigned value to an SREC, as the prices are influenced by renewable energy policy, supply and demand,” Romich said. “In Ohio the solar weighted average price per certificate on the PJM Generation Attribute Tracking System reached a high price of $471 in 2010 and a low price of $85 in 2015.”This unpredictability of SRECs can make it hard to use them in making decisions about whether to invest in solar or not. John Lindner, from Clark County, for example owns SRECs produced by the solar panels on his farm (see the related story on page 29) but because they are undependable, Lindner did not factor SRECs into the payback time for his investment. The sale of his SRECs will just be extra.“John owns those and they are his to sell or he can hold them and see if the price goes back up,” Romich said. “Some solar proposals will try to oversimplify the transaction of SRECs by calling it a discount, rebate, payment, allowance or refund. Regardless of what you call an SREC agreement, the value of these agreements can be significant, and the terms can extend for 20 years or more. In addition, the sale of an SREC is a taxable transaction and the sale proceeds will be taxed as ordinary income. If a system owner agrees to receive money upfront for the rights to their SRECs, there will typically be a contract associated with the agreement. The complexity of the agreements can vary significantly and in some cases you may want to have an attorney representing your best interest look at the contract before signing any paperwork.”There are also many factors to consider with the specifics of the farm site for solar, said Chad Martin, the renewable energy Extension specialist at Purdue University.“Look at ground mounted versus rooftops. It is easier to adjust them according to the time of year when they are on the ground compared to on the roof,” Martin said. “We saw one guy who wanted to use them for shade in his cattle pasture. Is there space on the ground? Is there enough space for roof mounting? What warranties are out there for ground or roof? Talk to other farmers who have put them in, that can really help too.”Once the myriad of variables has been considered, they need to be tallied to find the length of time required to pay back, and benefit financially from, the significant initial investment.“If you can hit 10 years or less on the payback I think it has some merit. Panels are typically warrantied for 20 to 25 years and the warranty is 10 to 15 years on inverters that transfer direct current from the solar to alternating current. You need to look at this from a long-term perspective. This is a long-term investment and you need to look at it this way,” Martin said. “You also need to look at what your main motivation is. It is economic or environmental? There is security in knowing you can produce a percentage of your farm’s electrical needs and you can really reduce your variable costs that continue to rise. In 1990 we were at 5.4 cents per kilowatt-hour and in March of this year it was 9.83 cents. There has been a steady increase and our facilities are aging. When you look at that, some farms are concerned about the rising costs and getting the energy they need in the future. Solar energy can help address that challenge.”last_img read more

Add Beautiful Light to Your Scenes With a China Ball

first_imgChina balls are one of the cheapest and most effective ways to add beautiful light to your scenes. Here are just three of the many ways you can use them on set.Top image from Leafhouse FilmsThe china ball is one of my favorite tools to work with on set. The quality of light from a china ball can be absolutely beautiful; it’s very soft, forgiving, and can really wrap around your talent’s face. That said, to make the most out of china balls means that you’ll need to know each and every way you can use them. Below are just three examples of the most effective ways to utilize them.1. Ambient Room LightingImage from The Kreen of the CropInterior scenes will often call for the base light level in a room to get brought up. Say for instance you’re working with a nice three point lighting setup on your actor, but the lights aren’t spilling into your background enough, and the ambient level of the room is too low. By placing a china ball or two up high near the ceiling, you can easily brighten the room without having to further soften the light. This is a very fast and foolproof way to add ambience without eating up more time on set.2. Softbox-styleImage from No Film SchoolIf you don’t have a softbox on set and there’s no time to set up c-stands, flags, and silks to diffuse your standard film lights, china balls are an excellent alternative. The light quality from a china ball is nearly identical to that of a high-quality softbox and requires very little set-up time. You’ll usually want to clip some black duvetyne to the back of the china ball to avoid having it spill all over the room. This will allow you to hit just the talent’s face with light (much like a sofbox would), effectively keeping the background light levels in check.3. On a Boom PoleImage from Comet Tale ProductionsOne of the most difficult types of setups to light (especially if you’re on a budget) is a long tracking shot. Tracking shots float through various spaces on your set, which means you need to light a much bigger area — unless, of course, you’re using a china ball.An excellent alternative to rigging up countless lights across your set is to simply put the china ball on a boom pole and have a crew member walk with it. Doing this will allow your actors to move freely throughout the set, and can save you precious time while still delivering beautiful results.Obviously this list is just the tip of the china ball iceberg. Here’s a little bonus video from Film Riot where Ryan Connolly teaches you how to build a china ball/dimmer switch combo.Ever used a china ball on set? Got any footage to share? Show us what you’ve got in the comments below!last_img read more

Police Investigate weekend Robberies

first_img Related Items:#BlueHillsrobberies, #helpstopcrimeinTCI, #weekendrobberiesinProvo Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, March 15, 2017 – Providenciales – Detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are investigating a number of Robberies that occurred over the weekend in the Blue Hills area of Providenciales.Around 5:08am on Sunday 3rd March 2017, a complainant reported that he heard rambling from his neighbor’s apartment as if someone was burglarizing it.   Police responded to the scene located on Bay Road where the victim was met.   He told officers that he had just arrived home when two men (one short and the other tall) with firearms approached him demanding money. He gave them a small amount of cash.   The culprits took him to his room where they assaulted him, took his cell phone and another sum of money.Another male reported that while at the same location, as he was about to exit his vehicle an unknown masked man approached him with a gun and demanded money.  The gunman ordered him to lay on the ground as he searched the victim.   A black Samsung cellphone was stolen.  Checks were made in the area for persons fitting the descriptions given but no one was found.  Investigation are ongoing in both matters.If anyone has information relating to this incident contact the police at Chalk Sound Police Station at 338-5901 or contact Crime stoppers at 1-800-8477.   The information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence.   We remind you not to report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter page.Press Release: RTCIPF#BlueHillsrobberies#weekendrobberiesinProvo#helpstopcrimeinTCI Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Civilian Ambassadors Forge Links between Grand Forks AFB Community

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR A group of civilian ambassadors appointed by the wing commander of Grand Forks Air Force Base has been staying busy, keeping the Grand Forks community in eastern North Dakota up to date about activities at the installation, organizing military appreciation day events and traveling to Washington to meet with Pentagon officials.“Having a close relationship between the community and the base is very important. We always want the community to know what we’re doing out here, so we’re not a mystery,” said Wing Commander Col. Paul Bauman, who has been at the installation for about two years.The ambassadors are briefed on Air Force and air base activities during at least one event annually, and are invited to attend events planned for visiting high-ranking military leaders and other important visitors, reported the Grand Forks Herald. There currently are eight base ambassadors.The base ambassador program is an outgrowth of the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee, and the ambassadors typically work with the committee on military appreciation day events. But Bauman drew a distinction with the community support groups that are active in most defense communities.“It’s unique,” he said. “One of the things that’s been interesting is feeling the closeness of the community to the base.”The tight connection between the installation and the community likely stems from the series of crises the two have been forced to cope with, including earlier BRAC rounds when the base was targeted for closure and the devastating flooding of the Red River in 1997.“A lot of that has forged close ties between the base and the community,” Bauman said. “Not every community has gone through that degree of trauma, so that adds to the uniqueness.”last_img read more

Focus on Fourth Estate Reforms Is Not Going Away Experts Say

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Washington, D.C. — An initiative to streamline DOD’s support agencies by cutting duplicative activities and reorganizing others led by House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) likely will take several years to complete, although it still is not clear what ultimately will be achieved through the effort, a panel of Washington-based experts said Wednesday at the 2018 Defense Communities National Summit. “I think it will be a big issue for some time,” said Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “[But] I don’t think there’s a lot of agreement” as to the initiative’s precise goals, he said.Mackenzie Eaglen, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, echoed Harrison’s comments: “This is not going to be a one-year effort … but the details are wildly up in the air.” After troop levels dropped following the height of the armed forces’ buildup in Iraq and Afghanistan, the fourth estate — civilian-dominated agencies that fall outside the military departments — was perceived as an overdue area for reform, she said.There’s also the question as to whether an internal review of defense agencies led by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chief Management Officer (CMO) John Gibson II will result in the kind of changes and level of savings Thornberry is looking for. If so, Congress may not seek to intervene further, Eaglen said.Thornberry’s initiative, part of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill passed by the House, calls for the CMO to reduce or eliminate duplicative cross-enterprise functions across all defense agencies and field activities related to civilian resource, services contracting, logistics and real estate management. The provision also directs the CMO to certify that the department has achieved at least 25 percent savings from those functions by Jan. 1, 2021. A separate section calls for the CMO to report to Congress on any recommendations to eliminate an agency or activity, or transfer some or all of its functions to another entity, following a review of the efficiency and effectiveness of defense agencies and field activities. Thornberry’s plan is subject to change, or possibly could be stripped out of the final version of the defense policy bill, as the Senate version does not contain similar language.“I think there are too many eyes on fourth estate for nothing to happen,” said Frederico Bartels, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.last_img read more

Electric cars are not maintenancefree

first_img More From Roadshow 0 How to maintain your electric car 4:17 My recent video lambasting car engine head gaskets got a few of you electric car haters to remind me that EVs aren’t exactly maintenance-free. Fair enough. So this week, I give you my list of the top 5 things that need tending to underneath an electric car hood, or wherever it is they hide these parts.  2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Roadshow Now playing: Watch this: Cooley On Carscenter_img 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 5. Tire rotation I put this at the bottom because it’s common to all cars (and you don’t do it anyway), but it’s extra important on an EV because they have a heavy footing with that big battery and exert a lot of torque on the driven wheels. Wouldn’t it be a shame if you were saving the environment with electric power only to be polluting it excessively by tossing out tires more often than you need to? 4. Brake fluid serviceEven though electric cars do most of their everyday stopping via regenerative braking, where the mechanical brakes aren’t used, they all have normal brake discs and pads. Those are pressed together via the same hydraulic fluid found in a conventional car, and that fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it likes to absorb water from the air and will corrode your brake system unless you flush it regularly. Tesla says 80 percent of the service its cars need can be done by a mobile service tech who arrives in a Tesla with a cool stripe. Tesla 3. Coolant service Battery electric cars have no engine but they still have coolant keep that big battery from doing what it naturally wants to do: catch fire. Coolant system-flush intervals vary widely, from every four years or 50,000 miles for a Tesla Model 3, to every 150,000 miles for a Chevy Bolt. 2. Brake service Separate from brake fluid are the brake pads and discs. How often an EV needs them serviced depends on how much you drive, how hard you drive, what regeneration settings you use and the terrain in your area. The best EV pilots read the traffic ahead and try never to use their brakes, and the lesser ones mash the brake pedal frequently and will be facing brake jobs. leaf-motorThe unseen battery is where a huge amount of cost and residual value resides. Take care of that battery with a new set of habits you never needed on your old car. CNET 1. Battery care Your electric car’s battery, not its motor, is more analogous to a regular car’s engine in terms of cost and value. It’s the heaviest assembly, the most expensive and a big factor in the car’s future residual value. Take care of it like you would an engine by knowing that it can suffer when it’s sitting in overly hot or cold temps for too long, allowed to go totally dead, or charged too much or too often. The details of those parameters are in the owner’s manual and if you read nothing else of it, at least read that section. Share your voice 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Post a comment Tags Chevrolet Nissan Teslalast_img read more

NASAs Curiosity rover sees a solar eclipse on Mars after sunset

first_img 0 If you take the 9 frames roughly in the middle and animate them – you get this…. the bit of each file name before EDR is the time in seconds – so these are about 8 seconds apart….80 or so seconds in this gif. pic.twitter.com/jh6d3L2yIH— Doug Ellison (@doug_ellison) March 27, 2019 Share your voice Mars is kept company by two cratered moons — an inner moon named Phobos and an outer moon named Deimos. NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/Univ. of Arizona A key component of a solar eclipse is, well… the sun. But images from the Curiosity rover on Mars show delightfully nerdy evidence of Martian moon Phobos passing in front of our star after the sun had already called it a day (or rather, a sol) and dipped below the horizon. A user on the unmannedspaceflight.com forums first flagged the images from Curiosity, and then NASA’s Doug Ellison, who helps coordinate the rovers’ photo-taking, took to Twitter to break down the unusual celestial sight. What’s that? Phobos illumination goes to 0, and the Sun-Phobos-Observer angle peaks at 179+ degrees for two minutes. That’s……AN ECLIPSE. The same UTC time as the middle of that block of images!!! pic.twitter.com/tD1Ep0xCwR— Doug Ellison (@doug_ellison) March 27, 2019 Sci-Tech Actually spotting the over-the-horizon eclipse took some involved image analysis. Basically, the dusk light the sun projects upward after setting briefly dimmed over the course of a few minutes. Ellison shared the above GIF animation, which is essentially a time-lapse of the event. When sped up this way, the projected eclipse can clearly be seen.  Ellison also cross-referenced the photos with NASA’s Horizons database tracking the orbits of thousands of solar system objects to verify it was in fact Phobos passing in front of the sun that caused the effect.  “I think this might be the first time an eclipse has been observed on Mars in some way…..AFTER sunset,” Ellison wrote. Tags Post a comment Solar eclipse Mars rovers NASA Spacelast_img read more

Fords 2020 Shelby GT500 is a 760horsepower trackready certified thicc boi

first_img Tags Ford 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a friendlier brawler More From Roadshow 2020 Ford Mustang GT500: See and hear the 700+ hp track-ready… 3 98 Photos Share your voice 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 first drive: A more approachable track star 1:28 Now playing: Watch this: Ford Comments 2016 Ford Explorer review: Go road-tripping in Ford’s updated, EcoBoost-powered SUV 2019 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Convertible review: A topless thrill ride Enlarge ImageThe forthcoming 2020 GT500 is by far the most powerful thing Ford has produced for public consumption, but with great power apparently comes great weight. Ford We’ve known for a little while that the 2020 Ford Shelby GT500 was going to make big power, but we’re just now finding out — thanks to a leaked Ford sales document published on Wednesday by the Mustang6g forum and picked up on by Autoblog — that its horsepower number isn’t the only big thing about it.What do we mean? Well, according to Ford’s internal eSourceBook (PDF), a document intended to educate sales staff on new models, we now know that the GT500 will tip the scales at 4,225 pounds. Just for comparison, that’s a little less than two Mazda MX-5 Miatas, and only around 211 pounds lighter than the notoriously “chonky” Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye. Where does all that weight come from? Lots of places, but as you’d suspect, that big ol’ 5.2-liter V8 engine and its massive supercharger account for a lot of it. Add in all of the extra cooling necessary on a vehicle that makes 760 horsepower — that includes engine cooling, transmission cooling, differential cooling, etc. — and that hefty curb weight makes more sense.Curb weight is also measured with the car full of fluids, which might not sound significant, but the eSourceBook tells us that the 5.2-liter engine holds 11 quarts of oil and almost 18 quarts of coolant. The GT500 is bound to be a thirsty car, so of course, it has a decently sized fuel tank — 16 gallons to be exact — and since gasoline weighs around 6.15 lbs per gallon (depending on temperature), that works out to 98.4 lbs if the tank is full.One glimmer of hope is that Ford’s eSourceBook lists the 4,225 lbs figure as “base” so maybe the options list will help us save a few pounds. We know that there will be a carbon track package that will include the Shelby GT350R’s featherweight carbon fiber wheels, which should net a decent amount of weight savings over the standard forged aluminum units.Still, at the end of the day, the GT500 makes enough power and torque to tow a small celestial body out of orbit, so you’re probably not going to notice or feel like complaining about how heavy it is when your foot is all the way to the floor and you’re holding on for dear life, now, are you?Ford didn’t immediately respond to Roadshow’s request for comment. Performance Cars Car Industrylast_img read more

Digital security law to guillotine democratic dissent CSOs

first_imgDigital security law to guillotine democratic dissent. Prothom Alo File PhotoIn Bangladesh’s current political climate of narrow avenues for free debate and legitimate democratic dissent, the proposed ‘Digital Security Bill 2018’, if passed as law, will severely undermine freedom of expression and freedom of the press.Ten international civil society organisations engaged on human rights and sustainable development issues in Bangladesh expressed the concern in an “Open letter on Digital Media Security Bill” to president Abdul Hamid and chairman of the National Human Rights Commission Kazi Reazul Hoque.The proposed law, especially article 32 that equates certain journalistic pursuits with spying, has drawn widespread criticism from media activists and rights groups at home and abroad.The 10 organisations pointed out that the proposed bill “fails to protect the right of the media, civil society and members of the general public to freely express their opinions on policies and actions of decision makers.”The signatories are Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Asian Human Rights Commission, CIVICUS, FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Odhikar, People’s Watch, Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).They observed that the digital security bill’s provisions would affect the people’s constitutional rights and Bangladesh’s commitments under international law. “In the present situation we recommend that the bill’s provisions are carefully considered from a constitutional and international law standpoint,” they added.The organisations referred to UN ‘Special Rapporteur on Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression’ David Kaye for his extensive work on the exercise of the freedom of expression in the digital age.”We believe that the government would greatly benefit from engagement with Mr. Kaye, who could advise on the permissible limits on the freedom of expression under international law,” they said.The rights organisations also have called for Dhaka’s constructive engagement with UN human rights experts for strengthening the country’s “democracy and commitment to human rights and sustainable development” “in the interests of the people of Bangladesh”.In this context, the signatories regretted that an official visit to Bangladesh by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid bin Ra’ad Al Hussein has been postponed. They also requested authorities to facilitate such a visit at the earliest opportunity.last_img read more

Myanmar top Buddhist body bans hardline group

first_imgPolice have arrested five people this month after a fight broke out in a Muslim neighbourhood of Yangon when dozens of hardliners raided a house believed to be hiding Rohingyas.hardline Myanmar has been gripped by deepening religious tensions that have repeatedly spilled into violence, partially attributed to anti-Muslim rhetoric spread by nationalist groups like Ma Ba Tha.The Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, Myanmar’s highest Buddhist authority, sent a letter to government ministries on Tuesday ordering the group to cease all activities by mid-July or face prosecution.“People, either as individuals or as a group, cannot take any actions under the name of Ma Ba Tha,” said the letter, which was seen by AFP and carried the signature of several monks including senior figures from Ma Ba Tha.“Ma Ba Tha signboards across the country are to be taken down completely by July 15 at the latest,” the Sangha committee added, warning any infractions would be punished under both Buddhist and civil law.But Ottama, a Ma Ba Tha monk in Yangon, said the group still planned to hold its annual meeting this weekend despite the ban.“The most certain thing is that we will hold the Ma Ba Tha conference on the 27 and 28 of this month,” he told AFP.A statement from the group said the official conference would be cancelled, but there would now be a meeting to discuss the Sangha committee’s decision instead.The Sangha’s sanction comes just weeks after the same committee, which represents the upper echelons of the clergy, banned the country’s most notorious monk Wirathu from preaching for a year.Once dubbed “the face of Buddhist terror,” the Mandalay-based monk has led calls for restrictions on the country’s Muslim minority and frequently spews vitriol online warning of an Islamic takeover.Wirathu has since made several public appearances with his mouth taped shut to symbolise how he has been silenced by the authorities, and this month made a provocative visit to the north of Rakhine State.Religious tensions have soared since a group of Rohingya Muslims attacked police posts on the border with Bangladesh last October, sparking a bloody military crackdown that has drawn widespread international condemnation.Since then nationalists in Yangon have held protests, stopped Islamic religious ceremonies and most recently forced two schools to shut their doors over accusations they were illegally doubling as mosques. Myanmar’s top Buddhist body has banned hardline group Ma Ba Tha, according to a document sent out on Tuesday, a move aimed at curbing the movement’s influence amid rising Islamophobia.last_img read more

Luxembourg joins nerve attack row recalls ambassador to Moscow

first_imgBags containing protective clothing are seen after Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons left after visiting the scene of the nerve agent attack on former Russian agent Sergei Skripal, in Salisbury. ReutersLuxembourg is recalling its ambassador to Moscow for consultations in the latest show of solidarity from EU states to Britain over the poisoning of an ex-spy, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.The move comes just a day after the tiny but wealthy grand duchy said it would not follow the lead of 18 other EU states that have so far expelled Russian diplomats over the nerve agent attack in the English city of Salisbury.“In the context of the Salisbury attack, the government of Luxembourg stands in full solidarity with Britain, faced by this grave challenge to our common security,” said a foreign ministry statement.Noting that Luxembourg shared Britain’s assessment that it was highly likely Russia was responsible, it added that “Foreign and European affairs minister Jean Asselborn has decided to recall Luxembourg’s ambassador to Moscow for consultations”.Asselborn had been quoted by broadcaster RTL on Tuesday as saying that Luxembourg would not expel any Russian diplomats.“As far as Luxembourg is concerned, we have a very limited number of Russian diplomats here and, despite all our efforts, we have been unable to prove that any spy or person is working against Luxembourg’s interests,” he said at the time.Luxembourg is one of the EU’s smallest states but is disproportionately influential due to its status as one of the union’s founding countries and the site of several of its key institutions.Bulgaria, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, has taken a similar step by saying it will recall its ambassador for consultations but not expel any Russian diplomats.Austria is one of the key states that has said it will not take any action, saying it wants to be a bridge between east and west.Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Slovakia and Portugal have also not taken any action so far.last_img read more

Man killed in Natore road crash

first_imgRoad accident illustration by Prothom AloA man was killed and two others injured after a bus hit a rickshaw van at Bonpara in Boraigram upazila of Natore on Tuesday morning, reports UNB.The deceased was Sripad Das, 55, resident of Kalikapur village in the upazila.Police said that the accident took place around 10:30am when the passenger bus hit the battery-run rickshaw van in front of Bonpara police camp, leaving the three injured.Among the injured, Sripad died on the way to hospital.last_img

Film News Roundup Disney Developing Flora and Ulysses for Streaming Service EXCLUSIVE

first_imgIn today’s film news roundup, Disney is developing “Flora and Ulysses” for its streaming service, Luke Wilson’s “The S—heads” gets distribution and Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” rounds out its cast.FAMILY DRAMADisney is in early development of a family drama based on Kate DiCamillo’s novel “Flora and Ulysses” for its upcoming Disney DTC (direct-to-consumer) service, Variety has learned exclusively.“Flora and Ulysses” centers on a cynical girl who spends her time reading comic books and a squirrel who is run over by the neighbor’s vacuum cleaner. The squirrel’s brush with death causes him to develop superpowers.The book won the John Newbery Medal from the Association for Library Service to Children. Gil Netter is producing and Lena Khan will direct from a Brad Copeland adapted script. Sam Dickerman is the Disney exec. Popular on Variety The Disney-branded DTC streaming service will launch in the latter part of 2019, streaming the latest Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars feature films. The studio will produce four to five feature films a year exclusively for the service.Disney is also planning to produce a number of original series for the new service, including a series based on Pixar’s Monsters franchise, a “High School Musical” series, a series from Marvel Television, and a live-action “Star Wars” series that Jon Favreau will executive produce.DISTRIBUTION DEALSlate Entertainment Group has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Macon Blair’s road comedy “The S—heads,” starring Luke Wilson and Ron Funches, for its blockchain video on demand platform Binge.Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, and Jody Hill’s Rough House Pictures, Alex Orr, and Filmscience will produce alongside Jeremy Saulnier, Blair’s Bonneville Films and XYZ Films. SEG is fully financing the project with production to commence at the beginning of 2019.Although it’s a global streaming platform, SEG said Thursday that it is committed to supporting the theatrical experience and will give selected films on the Binge platform theatrical windows.Blair is directing from his own script, which follows a pair of deeply unqualified bozos who’ve been hired to transport a troubled teenage millionaire to rehab. XYZ Films, an SEG strategic partner, will oversee production on behalf of SEG and brokered the deal with CAA Media Finance, which also packaged and arranged financing for the film.PRODUCTION STARTFox Searchlight Pictures has launched production on the satire “Jojo Rabbit” in the Czech Republic with “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi helming.Previously announced cast include Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson. The studio announced Thursday that New Zealand actress Thomasin McKenzie (“Leave No Trace”) has joined the movie along with newcomer Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo. Producers are Waititi, Carthew Neal and Chelsea Winstanley with Kevan Van Thompson serving as executive producer.“I’m stoked to begin shooting my anti-war satire,” Waititi said. “We’ve assembled an incredible cast and I couldn’t be more excited to finally ridicule Nazis and their beliefs. This film is going to piss off a lot of racists and that makes me very happy.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 The story follows an awkward young German boy, played by Griffin, raised by a single mother (Johansson). His only ally is his imaginary friend Hitler, played by Waititi. His naïve patriotism is tested when he meets a young girl, played by McKenzie, who upends his world views.last_img read more

This Puja Park Street to come alive in all its glory

first_imgKolkata: The only street in the world renamed after ‘St Teresa of Calcutta’ has been decorated during Durga Puja.It may be mentioned that during the Puja, lakhs of people throng Mother Teresa Sarani, popularly known as Park Street, because of the famous eateries and the ambience.The place happens to be one of the favourite destinations of people in midst of pandal hopping. Park Street becomes the first choice of many while eating out during the puja days with their near and dear ones. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeFor the first time ever in the city’s history, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had taken the step to decorate Park Street during different festivals. During Christmas, the place gets illuminated in resplendent shades.Similarly, during Durga Puja as well, initiative has been taken to decorate the place and lights have been put up across the street.There are permanent iron structures across the road on which lighting arrangements are put up, giving a new look to Park Street. It may be mentioned that the state government has taken several steps to attract foreign tourists to Bengal and thousands of foreign tourists, who visit Kolkata, like to go to Park Street at least once for its never-endingstreet food collection. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe state government also organises Durga Puja immersion carnival every year and it takes place on Red Road, situated close to Park Street. The immersion carnival attracts tourists from different parts of the country and abroad as well. This year, the carnival will be held on October 23 in which Durga idols of famous Pujas in the city and its outskirts will be passing one after the other on decorated tableaus.Thousands of people gather along Red Road to get a glimpse of the extravagant carnival and people from different parts of the world too visit Red Road for the same.last_img read more

Wellness guide to quit smoking drinking

first_imgMost lifestyle advice tells you to give that glass of wine or cigarette a miss. Serving as a reminder, a new book on healthy living reiterates the advice we know too well, topped off with practical tips that finally help you say ‘No. ‘Live Well To 101’, a wellness guide by doctor and television presenter Dawn Harper, lists useful tips to quit smoking and drinking: Cigarettes don’t contain just nicotine but a range of toxic, carcinogenic chemicals you wouldn’t want near your body. Next time you reach for a cigarette that looks quite appealing, imagine yourself licking tarmac or chewing on rubber cement. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIf you get the opportunity to talk to a smoker who has developed diseases as a result of smoking, knowing their stories might help put off your habit. To quit, go public! Telling everyone will keep you motivated. Also put aside cigarette money for something special. It’s easier never to start than it is to quit. Spread the message. Don’t wait for warning signs. They may not come. Be honest with yourself about your consumption and start putting in dry days in your diary. Recognise your triggers and work on them. For instance, if you reach for the bottle when your kids are asleep, find ways to keep yourself occupied and not be tempted.last_img read more

TV viewers in the UK now watch 26 minutes less per

first_imgTV viewers in the UK now watch 26 minutes less per day than they did in 2010 and there is a “widening generational gap” in viewing habits, according to Ofcom.The UK broadcast regulator’s ‘Public Service Broadcasting Annual Report 2016’ claims that people under 25 are watching around 25% less broadcast TV than in 2010, while the average viewing of those aged 55-64 has declined by 5%.Those aged 16-24 have “particularly embraced on-demand services”, with live TV accounting for just 36% of daily viewing, a 14 percentage-point decrease in two years.“TV viewing on TV sets has fallen substantially in the last five years, with a widening gap between the viewing habits of the youngest and oldest audiences,” said Ofcom.“Among all those who have a TV set in the home, lower proportions of people under 35 watch TV in a typical week, compared to older age groups.”On average, people in the UK watched 3 hours 36 minutes of measured broadcast TV in a typical day in 2015, compared to 4 hours and 02 minutes in 2010.Ofcom said that taking a ten-year view, daily viewing looks resilient, but this is because the oldest viewer groups have propelled viewing figures, while there are “marked declines” in viewing among all other age groups, including children.The average weekly reach of total broadcast TV is 82% among those aged 16-24, compared to 97% for adults aged 65 and older.“One of the potential reasons for the decrease in viewing among younger age groups is the increase in popularity of on-demand services. Around six in ten adults now use on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer, All 4, Netflix or Amazon, with reach rising to around seven in ten among 15-24s and 25-34 year olds,” according to the report.Ofcom said that the main five public service channels provided by public service broadcasters (PBSs) reached 84% of the TV population in a typical week, and accounted for 51% of all broadcast TV viewing in 2015.This share is similar to the last three years, but represents a decline from ten years ago when PSBs held a 70% share of viewing.The PSBs spent £2.50bn on new UK programmes on their public service channels in 2015, a 2% increase since 2013; the most recent comparable year due to the absence of major sporting events.Some 73% of viewers said they were satisfied with PSB public service broadcasting overall, while 7% were dissatisfied.“Our research shows that UK audiences still watch and value public service broadcasting. But there are significant differences in the viewing habits of older and younger audiences,” said Jane Rumble, Director of market intelligence at Ofcom.“As media and technology continue to evolve, it is important that broadcasters respond to these changes, so they can keep meeting the needs and expectations of viewers.”Separately, Ofcom chief executive Sharon White said that the BBC should “reflect the nation in all its diversity” once its new charter comes into effect in 2017, in an interview published today by the Guardian.last_img read more

Cindy Rose Mixed reality MR will be one of the t

first_imgCindy RoseMixed reality (MR) will be one of the technologies that will help spur a “fourth industrial revolution,” according to Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK.Speaking at the Microsoft Future Decoded conference in London this week, Rose spoke about new capabilities that will help Microsoft take its customers, partners and its own business “into a new era”.“The capabilities that have made us successful in the past are not necessarily the capabilities that will make us successful in the future,” said Rose. “At Microsoft we believe that cloud services, AI, mixed reality and in due course quantum computing form the bedrock of the fourth industrial revolution.“We believe that these technology shifts will really reshape our lives, our businesses, our organisations, markets, [and] society, and we believe that these technology shifts will deliver incredible benefits.”At the Future Decoded event expo, Microsoft and its partners demonstrated how augmented and virtual reality technologies are already being deployed across both business and entertainment.Demos for Microsoft’s Hololens AR headset showed how the technology can be used in industry, for instance in the auto manufacturing. Windows powered VR headsets from partners like Acer also showed the potential for VR gaming and entertainment experiences.HoloLens is currently available in 10 markets, including the UK. At Future Decoded, Microsoft announced it will roll it out to another 29 countries across Europe.The new markets are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.last_img read more