Premier seeks answers on sudden Labrador flooding No doubt people are fearful

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Premier Dwight Ball says he wants answers about what happened last week when people had to be swiftly airlifted out of Mud Lake, N.L., as the Churchill River suddenly rose downstream from the massive new Muskrat Falls hydro development.Many of the 70 residents are asking whether operations at the megaproject are to blame for conditions never seen by people who’ve lived there for decades, Ball said in an interview Wednesday.“There’s no doubt people are fearful and wondering if this could happen again. We’ve got to make sure that we … get an independent assessment done so that we relieve this fear.“People need answers.”The mostly seasonal Labrador community was swamped May 17 after ice jammed nearby where the Churchill River meets Lake Melville.Ball said the province is now seeking independent consultants to review water flow records, along with traditional knowledge from elders of the region.“They’re very gentle people,” Ball said of residents he met during a tour of the area Monday. “They’re not really pointing fingers at anyone at this point, they’re just saying: ‘I was raised there. I was born there. I’ve never seen this before.’”Nor could they remember their parents ever describing such rapid and severe flooding, Ball said. The difference this year, many residents told him, is the Muskrat Falls development upstream.The $11.7-billion project now under construction near Happy Valley-Goose Bay has bloated in cost by more than $4 billion from original estimates and is well behind schedule. Spillway gates at Muskrat Falls that control reservoir levels are functional. Ball said Crown corporation Nalcor Energy will be asked about any water manipulations as part of the assessment.“Nalcor will be directed to participate about anything that they would have done in recent months that could have potentially contributed to this.”Ball said no timeline has been confirmed but a public report will be released as soon as possible.As of Wednesday, 48 structures at Mud Lake had been inspected and 31 were approved to have power turned back on, he said. Insurance adjusters have begun estimating damages and the provincial government is accepting applications for disaster relief.Some displaced residents are being housed at the 5-Wing Goose Bay military base, Ball said.In an emailed statement, Nalcor said it will co-operate with the assessment.“Nalcor will fully support all ongoing efforts and analysis to determine if its operations contributed to this event.”The statement stressed that gates at the Muskrat Falls spillway have been moving up and down for several months “as part of regular operations to maintain a consistent water level.”“As a result of the spring melt, more water flows into the reservoir and therefore our gates open to allow that naturally occurring inflow to pass through the spillway. By maintaining a constant water level, we did not contribute to any additional water downstream beyond that which is naturally occurring.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.last_img read more

Why Brownridge Stepped Aside

first_imgYesterday, Kent Brownridge—the former Wenner Media executive who, along with Quadrangle Partners, formed Alpha Media last year after acquiring Dennis Publishing’s U.S. assets (Maxim, Stuff and Blender, though not The Week) for $240 million—announced he was stepping down as CEO. The company named a pair of co-CEOs to take his place, with Brownridge retaining the title of chairman.This was a curious move, because Brownridge, a notorious workaholic, became known for his hands-on management style at Wenner Media, where he spent 21 years as Jann Wenner’s consigliore. And despite the curious timing—both Blender and Maxim, like most consumer titles, have struggled to sell ads in 2008—it appears that Brownridge’s departure is truly a case of a 68-year-old publishing executive wanting to spend more time away from the office, cut the 100-hour workweeks in half and, perhaps for the first time in his career, take a “summer Friday” or two.“I have a new wife who’s not liking this very much. And while my health is very good, I want it to stay that way,” Brownridge told Portfolio. “I plan to get home at six instead of 10. Also, we have summer Fridays here, so I might even do that.” Brownridge sounded more confident that he would, in fact, take them when he spoke to WWD: “I’m going to take summer Fridays, not go into the office every day, and I’m not going to stay past 5 p.m.” He admitted that his post-Wenner “retirement” didn’t work, which is why he plans to be an “active” chairman while spending less time fielding a “steady flow of e-mails at all hours to [his] BlackBerry.” The sources I spoke with yesterday seemed to buy Brownridge’s version, and refuted the notion that there was pressure from Quadrangle to move Brownridge out, although that’s always a possibility.For now, though, he can rest his BlackBerry thumb, and take that summer Friday.last_img read more

Stranger Things Star Noah Schnapp Joins Neil Gaiman VR Adaptation Wolves in

first_img Popular on Variety Noah Schnapp of “Stranger Things” fame has joined the voice cast of “Wolves in the Walls,” an animated VR series based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same title. Schnapp will be voicing the brother of Lucy, the main character of “Wolves,” in the second chapter of the series, which is scheduled to premiere in April. “We believe that Noah Schnapp brings a special quality to the brother role,” said “Wolves” director Pete Billington. “As soon as he read his first line, we were smitten. We love him in ‘Stranger Things’ and can’t wait for audiences to hear his performance in ‘Wolves in the Walls.’” Fable, the immersive entertainment company behind “Wolves in the Walls,” shared the casting news exclusively with Variety ahead of Sundance. The company is also using the film festival to announce a new focus on what it calls virtual beings — characters that are powered by artificial intelligence and can respond to and interact with their audience. CREDIT: Courtesy of Fable ×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 Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15center_img Fable plans to premiere “Whispers in the Night” this coming summer, when the company is also going to hold a virtual beings conference in San Francisco. But even with that new focus on virtual beings, Fable plans to continue to work on “Wolves in the Walls,” which the company wants to release to consumers once it has finished all 3 parts, likely in 2020.This week, Saatchi, Billington and Shamash argued that virtual beings powered by artificial intelligence can ultimately make such VR stories more meaningful, even if they may exist on multiple screens. Most consumers would not watch VR movies for longer than a couple of minutes, said Saatchi.However, smart displays and phones might provide an opportunity to interact with virtual characters far more often, and for longer periods of time — which could ultimately lead to characters inviting viewers to join them in VR again. “I don’t think it cannibalizes VR at all,” he said.And some of that artificial intelligence-based interactivity may even find its way back into “Wolves in the Walls,” suggested Shamash: “‘Wolves’ will be this living, breathing thing.” CREDIT: Courtesy of Fable “We are changing the make-up of our team radically to add machine learning folks,” said Fable co-founder and executive producer Edward Saatchi.Fable’s first foray into this new area of interactive story-telling with virtual beings is called “Whispers in the Night,” which is a kind of spin-off of “Wolves in the Walls.” In the piece, viewers get to interact with Lucy, the main character of “Wolves in the Walls,” and even have conversations with her. “‘Whispers is a natural language processing project where you can talk to a character,” said Saatchi.Much like “Wolves in the Walls,” “Whispers in the Night” is also a VR experience, but Saatchi said that the company was working on quickly bringing the character to other mediums as well, including smart displays like Facebook’s Portal and Amazon’s Echo Show.Fable wants to tie those different types of screens together by making Lucy a character that is not only able to respond to her audience, but actually remember things. “With ‘Whispers,’ we are exploring this idea of memory,” said the piece’s creative director Jessica Shamash. “She doesn’t reset and forget everything,” added Billington. And by remembering things that people tell her, Lucy is going to personalize the experience for each and every viewer.last_img read more

Understanding Algae As An Alternative Fuel Source Will The Real Algae X

first_imgEnormous breakthroughs occur ed in narrowing down the nearly 3,000 species of algae to a core 300 species for research and development during the DOE´s funding period of 1978-1995. Important field research was conducted in New Mexico, Utah, California and Hawaii which produced patented technologies. More importantly, scientists were able to move lab experiments to the field and determined that lab results were not borne out in the field. By virtue of the combined efforts of lab scientists and tests in the field new strains of algae were produced which increases the lipid content necessary for oil production and increased the all ready rapid growth of algae. Initially the focus was to use algae to produce hydrogen. In the early 1980s the focus turned to using algae as a substitute for bio-diesel. In 1995, under pressure by budget constraints, nearly all funding was lost for the algae-related ongoing projects. Instead the DOE refocused its small alternative fuel funds in bio-ethanol projects. Even during the height of the program´s boom years of 1985 and 1986 this ahead of it´s time wing of government only received $2.75-million annually. Most years the algae program received less than $2-million. Parenthetically, in the early 1990s funding shrunk to $500,000 or less. It was during this time in which the algae research began to show great dividends for meeting it´s original mission to develop a low cost, high in oil, fast growing algae ideal for alternative fuel sources. A wind-up report was published recently outlining the origin and evolution of the Department of Energy´s algae work. Click to see.Necessity Is The Mother of Invention:When the likes of Boone Pickens a lifetime oil man expresses concerns about supply and demand shortages in fossil fuels and consumers begin feeling the pain at the gas pump and record high heating oil prices, something happens. That something is dusting off the research of the past 50-years and beginning an earnest examination of alternatives to fossil fuels. In recent years, a huge algae project is underway in the State of Texas. The National Algae Foundation is located in Texas. The University of Virginia has launched three-algae to fuel research projects. In the private sector, Ceres, Solazyme, PetroSun and others are in full speed with research and development of algae-to-fuel projects. Japan, Argentina, Australia and Ireland are involved in the research and development of varying types of algae for use as bio-fuel. International oil companies and airlines have joined in the algae band wagon over the past year by allocating resources and funding. In a perfect world, the call of scientists would have avoided what has turned out to be inevitable. Courtesy UC Berkeley The technology will be utilized in the development and creation of various algae species targeted to high yield per acre and high levels of usable alternative oil for heating and fuel. All algae is not equal in terms of creating an alternative to fossil fuels or reliance on foreign oil supplies. Algae X meets the threshold criteria and goes one better. It appears to have no adverse effect on food supply economics and it does not increase green house gas emissions. According to the AXI LLC web site, Professor Cattolico´s technology is the basis for the licensing agreement with the University of Washington and she will will play a major role in AXI. In a press release, Professor Cattolico states: ” Our proprietary methodology for developing specific growth and productivity traits will help in any algai production system improve its output of inexpensive, oil-rich algae as the raw material for the generation of biofuel.” An important note is the current concern of corn-based ethanol impacting the cost of livestock, poultry feed and basic food production. Algae can be grown in the terrain unsuitable for grain, corn or soybeans. In addition, algae production will not impact the cost of feed or food production. Current estimates by experts in the Bio-fuel industry and the Department of Energy report that algae fuel can yield up to 30-times more energy per-acre than land crops such as soybeans. The estimates reported in Bio-fuel Digest show Algae can produce 1,800 to 9,000 gallons of bio-fuel per acre (GPA) compared to Tallow, Chinese at 970-GPA, Palm Oil at 508-GPA, Coconut at 230-GPA and Soybean at a maximum of 98.6-GPA. Algae has the additional benefit of absorbing SOx and NOx two compounds which cause acid rain. The adaptability of the thousands of types of algae to a range of world-wide land/water masses is another major benefit. Standing on The Shoulders of Others:The idea that algae could be used as an alternative fuel source began in the 1950s. President Carter in 1978 initiated the Solar Energy Research Center in Golden Colorado in response to the energy crises of the 1970s. He consolidated all energy related departments into what we know today as the DOE or Department of Energy. A sub-part of the Solar Energy Research Center was founded the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Studies and research into the uses of plant life as a source of biofuels began in this period. Particularly relevant to the discussion of algae as a biofuel began in the Carter Administration and reached its mecca for funding under the Reagan administration. Explore further The recent creation of AXI, LLC is an alliance between Allied Minds, Inc. a seed investment company and the University of Washington. The alliance came about because of Professor Rose Ann Cattolico PhD, an algae-to-fuel expert. Professor Cattolico has been on the faculty and conducting algae research since 1975. Her research includes, chloroplast genome architecture and gene function in non-chlorophy b containing algae and functional genetic diversity within stramenopile population. Professor Cattolico has discovered a unique patented technology, she calls Algae X.center_img 5 moon landing innovations that changed life on Earth Citation: Understanding Algae As An Alternative Fuel Source: Will The Real Algae X Please Stand Up (2008, September 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-algae-alternative-fuel-source-real.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Choose your own chocolate

first_imgThis festive season give in to your most sinful desire, as carnival chocolates brings one of the best gifting indulgences in town. Ideator Imoon Mathur launched the enterprise in 2007 and since then have managed to rope in big names.’The chocolates are available in different shapes, sizes, flavours and packing. Butterscotch and almond are among the favourites this season. And just in case you can’t make up your mind – assorted chocolates are your best pick,’ said Imoon. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’A major highlight of the enterprise is its one on one interaction for personalisation of your gifts.’Choose from the right chocolate we have in stock to assist us in creating your own unique recipe, unlike any other chocolate in the world. You can even select your desired flavor and filler content for your personal batch. You will suggest us to make your chocolate. We will make your gift and pack it in wood boxes personalised with your logo and an insert explaining the uniqueness of this gift,’ he explained.So if you are on a look out for the best this season head to Carnival Chocolates. More information available on www.carnivalchocolates1.webs.com. read more

Have You Considered Using Blockchain as Part of Your Marketing

first_img Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. The digital age is upon us, and it is unsparing in its reach. Every aspect of a company needs innovating in order for the organization as a whole to stay ahead of the competition.Related: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Embrace the Next Phase of Digital Maturity, ‘Cognitive Transformation’In this world of demanding consumers, then, catching their attention via effective messaging is vital to begin any relationship, and only continued — and excellent — marketing will sustain a loyal customer base in a time of constant disruption.Here are five ways to build a better marketing strategy using innovative technology, and to stay ahead of the game in the digital age.1. Use blockchain as a tool to reach consumers.Today’s web ecosystem is one of interconnected subcommunities. The vast scope and nuances of these communities can make it hard to segment them into distinct, targetable groups. It also makes it harder to reach these distinct communities without an intermediary. However, technology like the blockchain is making it easier than ever to reach out directly to these types of groups.Related: When It Comes to Innovation, Go Big or Go HomeThe potential of a marketing tool to be able to reach a global community in a hyper-targeted, peer-to-peer fashion is on the horizon. If the disruption blockchain is capable of is any indication, this tech should be keeping status quo web marketers up at night.2. Target connected channels.Web channels and forums are based on interests, but are completely sustained by the free flow of information, relationships and exchange among their members. While some tend to be static or exclusive, many are constantly growing, sharing and adapting organisms. Finding and targeting these communities should be a key plank in any effective marketing strategy.For example, blockchain content platforms like DAC are global, decentralized and absolutely dependent on the constant communication and exchange of information among their members. For DAC, this means using blockchain technology to incentivize audio content creators and their fans to build and develop a robust content community..The blockchain-based audio-content website model aims to create and foster a sense of community among music fans across the world. In today’s web, messaging to one of these members is a way to message to his or her entire network — which should have any savvy CMO champing at the bit.3. Incentivize a community of supporters.The digital age has created many new channels for companies to reach their target audience, but many established digital marketing techniques have become less effective in recent years. Instead of solely advertising a message to your audience, you can achieve more impactful outcomes by incentivizing that audience with benefits that turn its members into active supporters of your company.Blockchain startup Agora, which offers end-to-end verifiable voting technology, has incentivized an audience through its token bounty program as well as the company’s core product. Agora has engaged its community by offering rewards to those who share its message on social media and other channels.Agora has also built reward mechanisms into its own voting platform. Through one such mechanism, governments can reward voters, using Agora’s tokens, for casting a ballot, which may ultimately serve to increase global political participation.4. AI has already arrived, and it’s smarter than you.Once the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence has recently exploded in scale and practicality. It is showing tremendous promise as a tool for marketing and messaging. As companies like Google develop efficient and effective marketing AI, incorporating this tech into future marketing plans will be crucial for any company that wishes to survive.Self-taught AI will be able to create more efficient algorithms than any human is capable of programming, meaning that customers will be reached more precisely and effectively than ever before.AI could even be responsible for creating marketing content, instantly adjusting its messaging according to user response. Anyone expecting to keep up with the growing number of platforms and segmentations that will define the digital age must begin to understand and embrace artificial intelligence as the uber-tool it will become.5. Big data is only getting bigger — so, use it.The current juggernaut technology in online advertising is the aptly named Big Data. Collected from the web habits of billions of users, this data is used by advertisers to classify and predict the habits of its consumers. Big Data will only get more important as the internet continues to grow and influence more aspects of our lives.Related: How Blockchain Is Creating a New Future for Digital MarketingThe internet of things (IoT) will be the interconnected network of all appliances and machines in one’s life. For example, sensors detecting the temperature will be able to communicate and adjust every appliance in the household to the ideal setting. This expanded network will create increased amounts of data, all of it useful for marketing purposes and targeting. The company that successfully models this IoT data will be able to conquer the future of marketing.How do you think technology can influence the future of marketing? March 15, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more