On Earnings Calls, U.S. Utility Execs Talk Now of Transition FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享SNL:When power generators talked about coal on second-quarter earnings calls, many were talking about moving away from the fuel, an S&P Global Market Intelligence review of recent earnings reports found.While the coal sector has enjoyed a lift from improvements in international demand for metallurgical coal, U.S. producers have historically played a somewhat limited role as a swing supplier to global markets. Without new coal power units, mining companies could be left competing over a reduced pool of customers as plants retire due to age or other factors.On earnings calls, power executives can often be found touting a transition to other forms of energy as a positive economic and environmental shift. More: ($) Power executives talk coal transition; several seem excited to continue
Follow Yasmeen on Twitter @YasmeenSerhan Ranked No. 23, USC and crosstown rival UCLA tied on the 2014 U.S. News and World Report National University Rankings released Monday night, according to the Los Angeles Times. Both schools increased one spot higher from last year, sharing the ranking with Carnegie Mellon, the University of Virginia and Wake Forest University. Last year, both Los Angeles schools shared the No. 24 ranking with the University of Virginia.Rankings are determined using multiple criteria, including acceptance rates, graduation rates, faculty and freshmen retention. However, U.S. News and World Report said their methodology for determining this year’s rankings has changed, putting less emphasis on freshmen academics and adding more emphasis to factors such as graduation rate performance and incoming freshmen SAT and ACT exam scores.Overall, the magazine said these changes have had a minimal effect on the top 50 rankings.
Smash.gg, the site that facilitates esports tournament creation, has raised $11 million (£8.31m) in Series A capital, it was announced yesterday.Smash.gg provides a platform which enables organised esports tournaments to be created by fans and players. The founders started in February 2015 after they grew frustrated with waiting for game publishers or tournament organisers to host events. They forged that frustration into an opportunity, and in making Smash.gg they enabled local organizers to create events.Shantanu Talapatra, CEO of Smash.gg, said in an interview with GamesBeat that they were keen to “create a ramp” for people who wanted to get involved with esports. “It is like YouTube providing a ramp for people who want to create video.”It all started with the creation of events for the Nintendo Game Cube’s Super Smash Bros. Melee, a game which is infamous in the fighting game community for a perceived lack of esports support from manufacturers Nintendo – despite the longevity of the scene.They have since gone on to have the platform utilised for competitions from a plethora of game titles, both on console and PC, and held both online and at live events. They now see over 2,000 tournaments a month hosted through the site. They previously raised $3 million (£2.27m) investment in a seed round in April 2016.Among the tasks the platform can handle are payment processing and fundraising, and promotion for the most important events can be aided by the community and company itself.“We are trying to facilitate transactions and communications in the industry,” Shantanu said.The latest run of funding was led by Nabeel Hyatt, partner at Spark Capital. Accel Partners and Horizon Ventures also invested, and were joined by a number of seed investors including Caffeinated Capital and Lowercase Capital.Amit Kumar, an esports-focused investor at Accel, described the attraction of Smash.gg’s “unique ability” to reach and empower gaming communities. “The platform that Shan and his team have created is poised to become critical infrastructure for an industry that’s fast reaching an inflection point, and we’re very excited to partner with them on the opportunities ahead.”Esports Insider says: Having used the site myself, I can attest to the brilliant way Smash.gg facilitates grassroots esports and provides a platform for those considering finding a career in the industry. Having now received considerable funding, where will the focus lie for development?
South Africa’s women football team, Banyana Banyana made history in Ghana last week when they qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.After a nail-biting tournament, Banyana Banyana reached the final of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, and for the first time ever, earned a spot in the all-important FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place as of 7 June 2019 in France.As preparations commence for kick-off, we share some quick facts about the team that is flying the country’s flag high and inspiring the nation through excellence in sports.1. Banyana Banyana was formed in 1993 and had their first official match on 30 May 1993 against Swaziland.2. Sasol has been a proud sponsor of Banyana Banyana and women’s football for the last 10 years.3. Desiree Ellis, the superwoman leading the squad to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, was named head coach of the team in February this year, after helping out on interim basis following Dutch coach Vera Pauw’s resignation in 2016.4. Ellis, a retired midfielder, is the only person to win the COSAFA Cup as both player and coach. During her term as acting coach, Banyana Banyana was voted the 2017 CAF African Women’s Team of the Year.5. Banyana Banyana legend and former player, Portia Modise started playing for the team in 2000 at the age of 16.6. Modise is also the top goal scorer for the team, and was honoured by (SAFA) after scoring her 100th goal during the African Women’s Championship (AWC) in Namibia in 2014.7. Banyana Banyana means ‘The Girls’.8. In September 2018, Banyana Banyana was ranked 4th place on the African continent, preceded by Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon consecutively.9. Banyana Banyana Captain, Janine van Wyk plays as a defender for the team. In 2012, she founded the JVW Girls Football Development Program, giving young girls the opportunity to play football in a structured and competitive environment.10. The team’s blood, sweat and tears have not gone unnoticed! The South African Football Association (SAFA) awarded the team a R2.4 million bonus for their exceptional performance at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) and qualifying for FIFA’Women’s World Cup.Sources: SAHistory, Goal.com, Wikipedia, GSport.co.za, Sport24
The founding of Botswana by King Khama III; the bravery of Bilal Ibn Rabah; the quest of Adama in a foreign, war-torn land – Africa’s stories are being retold in a modern format, from an African perspective, to an audience who may not know them. I Am Khama is an animated biopic of King Khama III, the Tswana monarch who fought to protect his country, present day Botswana, from Britain. The film is one of three animated features to be released in the future dealing with Africa’s history. (Images: Homecoming Revolution) Shamin ChibbaAfrican history is about to get a reboot in one of the unlikeliest forms – animation. I Am Khama, Bilal and Adama will be told from the perspective of those who were oppressed, rather than that of the European colonisers.According to OkayAfrica.com, I Am Khama is based on King Khama III’s 1895 campaign to protect Bechuanaland (now Botswana) from continued plunder by British imperialist Cecil John Rhodes. The film follows the Tswana monarch as he visits Britain to lobby against the proposed annexation of his land by Rhodes.Director Mark Macauley called it “the tale of the true founding of Botswana”. Colin Salmon of Law & Order UK voices the king and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) is Rhodes.Though it is still in post-production and is scheduled for a 2018 release, Dynamic Africa said stories like I Am Khama were an important part of rewriting history from the perspective of those whose lives and experiences were erased and marginalised, rather than that of the oppressors. “Accounts like these may be well known in countries like Botswana, but for many of people in the UK, they are unknown.”Bilal is a 3D-animated adventure about Bilal Ibn Rabah, a freed slave of Ethiopian descent who converted to Islam and became a trusted companion of the Prophet Muhammad after he gained his freedom. The story follows Bilal as a seven-year-old who dreamed of becoming a great warrior. He is abducted and thrown into a world of greed and injustice, where he later finds the courage to raise his voice and make a change.Set in 1914, Adama tells the story of the 12-year-old title character from a remote village in West Africa. When his older brother, Samba, vanishes, Adama goes in search of him in Europe, which is at war with itself. “Adama is set in a specific historical context, but it is not a period piece,” the film’s creators told Torino Film Lab. “What matters to us is how Adama’s adventure resonates with contemporary issues.”The French-language film is set for release on 21 October.
#NGODigitalSpaces workshops in South Africa taught people in the non-profit sector about using social media to gain the trust of potential donors and supporters. By using the .ngo domain, donors will know that the organisation has been verified.Jeri Curry, Enset CEO, says the non-profit provider is using the #NGODigitalSpaces workshops to teach people in the non-profit sector how they can use digital platforms to gain the trust of potential donors and supporters. (Image: YouTube, Enset.ngo)Melissa JavanSeveral workshops, called #NGODigitalSpaces, were held in South Africa this month to teach people in the non-profit sector about why they should use social media to gain the trust of supporters and donors.Around the world, there are low levels of public trust and individual and institutional donors, both internationally and locally, want more information and reassurances about how funds are used. Social media, the workshops posited, could help to build this trust.What is #NGODigitalSpaces?The #NGODigitalSpaces workshops are hosted by Enset, a non-profit provider. It was set up in 2015 to understand and address the digital needs of global non- profits and to help improve the online effectiveness of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) through education, training and the use of the .ngo domain.Other stakeholders at the #NGODigitalSpaces workshops included international alliance Civicus, the grassroots grantmaker Global Fund for Community Foundations, the freedom of expression and access to information movement Right2Know, and the non-governmental organisation Corruption Watch South Africa.The aim of the workshopsJeri Curry, Enset CEO, said the goal in hosting #NGODigitalSpaces was to bring together civil society to discuss how the .ngo domain, digital efforts and the internet could be used to amplify the voice of a non-profit.Discussions were to help NPOs increase their reach, advance their mission and drive solidarity within the civil society sector for NGOs.“We believe that the internet needs to be open and accessible and that non- profits need to have their ‘digital house in order’ to effectively use the power of the internet for their non-profit,” said Curry.Watch Jeri Curry talk about how people in the non-profit sector can use their voice:The Enset events were held this year in San Paolo, Brazil; Nairobi, Kenya; Bogota, Colombia; and Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. “We are also planning to be part of the Digital Forum at the upcoming IFC (International Fundraising Congress) event hosted by the Resource Alliance in the Netherlands on 20 October,” said Curry.“We work with local partners in each location to reach non-profit organisations in the community to invite them to the events.”Watch Zawadi Nyong’o, a Kenyan social media expert, explain why social media should be used by non-profit organisations:The South African workshops#NGODigitalSpaces were held in the Western Cape and Gauteng, the last one on 7 October 2016 in Johannesburg. Curry said there were many local organisations represented, ranging in size from small community-based to large international NGOs.”There were about 40 people who joined the conversation we held in partnership with Civicus in Johannesburg, 60 who attended the Cape Town Woodstock Enset and 50 who participated in the Bandwidth Barn Khayelitsha digital workshop attended primarily by local community-based non-profits,” she explained.Participants shared their thoughts on Twitter:Kavisha Pillay @Kavs_Pillay speaking of importance of online security, use of encryption and privacy in @Corruption_SA #NGOdigitalspaces— LRC South Africa (@LRC_SouthAfrica) October 7, 2016“Technology is about trying things, falling down and trying again.” @AdiFrost #ngodigitalspaces— shaguftapasta (@shaguftapasta) October 7, 2016It doesn’t take an army to build your digital presence. The content you put out is important. – Jeri Curry/ @enset #NGOdigitalspaces— Bizcommunity.com (@Bizcommunity) October 4, 2016“Digital makes the way you work far more efficient & your communication far more effective.” -Colin Habberton @relatomics #NGOdigitalspaces— Enset (@enset) October 4, 2016Legitimacy through social mediaCurry said that around the world, non-profit sectors were confronted with low levels of public trust. “At the same time, in many countries the space for civic engagement is also shrinking, with increased scrutiny from both individual and institutional donors and regulatory policies that are constantly changing.”Now more than ever, both international and local funders want more information and reassurance as to how funds are used, where they are allocated and the kinds of impacts they are having on the ground,” she said.”As NGOs start to use .ngo there is a movement of solidarity within the sector to protect the civil society digital space.”She believes this is why NPOs should get their digital house in order. “Legitimacy for NGOs is incredibly important for both the stakeholders they serve and for their donors,” she explained.”Donors want to donate to organisations that are transparent and legitimate and by utilising the .ngo domain, donors will know that your organisation has been verified… Credibility with donors and stakeholders is important as the work that NGOs do is serving a community and trust is key to establishing a relationship with that community.”The futureEnset planned to hold four to five sessions globally next year, said Curry. “We are working on the possibility of a virtual event so we can expand our reach and support more NGOs, particularly those in the global south and developing countries.“We are fortunate to have partnerships with many in civil society who have helped us in creating both the content and platforms for the events. As of now we are looking at bringing #NGODigitalSpaces to London, the United Kingdom, the Asia Pacific Region, Latin America, Bangkok, Thailand, and India in 2017.”She added: “We will also be returning to South Africa and Kenya to host future events.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material
Taking steps to reduce riskHigher levels of phthalates or flame retardants in indoor dust may be linked to the presence of particular products (like vinyl flooring for phthalates or baby products for flame retardants) and/or particular building characteristics, like the ventilation rate.It’s also important to note that our comparison only considers the amount of chemical in dust in the home, but in reality, exposures are almost certainly higher because we come into contact with these chemicals from many other sources, including the food we eat, products we use, and other places we spend time.Products with these chemicals don’t belong in our homes; hazardous chemicals linked to adverse health effects should be removed and replaced with safer alternatives. With recent reforms to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, the EPA finally has the opportunity to start protecting the public from toxic chemicals. We’re working hard to stand up to the chemical industry and ensure strong implementation of the new law.In the meantime, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your families from toxic dust, including:Remove dust from your hands. Wash your hands and your children’s hands frequently, and always before eating. Use plain soap and water, avoiding fragranced and antibacterial soaps.Keep household dust to a minimum. Dust with a damp cloth, regularly go over floors with a wet mop, and use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.Use the Silent Spring Detox Me app. This free smartphone app walks you through simple, research-based tips on how to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals where you live and work, and it keeps track of your progress.And please take action now on phthalates. Urge the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to protect kids and families from the dangers of phthalates by banning these hazardous chemicals from food, toys, and other children’s products. Indoor Microbes and Human HealthVentilation Rates and Human HealthAll About Indoor Air QualityStudy Linking Autism to Vinyl Flooring Stokes Phthalate DebateRecycled PVC Raises Health ConcernsCalifornia Law Addresses Fire Retardants in HomesMaking Healthier, Greener Foam InsulationThe EPA’s Indoor AirPlus ProgramHelping People With Multiple Chemical Sensitivity What our study foundWe looked at each chemical in household dust from three different angles: how much is in the dust, how much gets into us, and what the health hazards are. But no matter which way we looked at it, phthalate and flame-retardant chemicals stood out as top offenders. They’re found at higher levels, have higher estimated intakes for kids, and are linked to multiple health hazards.Phthalates are used in numerous plastic and vinyl materials, as well as personal care products and cleaning products. Flame retardants are chemicals found in furniture, electronics, and building insulation. These products all shed phthalates and flame retardants into dust.To better understand how risky these chemicals in dust might be, we completed an additional analysis separately from the published study. Unfortunately there are no standards established for chemicals in household dust, so we looked for something else we could compare to. Because exposure to dust is a lot like exposure to soil, we used soil-screening levels established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for sites contaminated with chemicals as a comparison.These soil-screening numbers reflect the levels at which a chemical might pose health risks to people, and thus require further investigation. The EPA calculates two different numbers, one for cancer health risks and another for non-cancer health risks, such as developmental or reproductive toxicity. Note that many chemicals in our study do not have soil-screening levels established, but we did the comparison for the ones that did.The graphs show the average dust concentration we calculated in our study by pooling data from individual studies (circle), the highest (maximum) level of the chemical found in each individual study (triangle), and the EPA screening level (black line). Shockingly, the levels of some phthalates and flame retardants in U.S. house dust exceeded the EPA’s screening numbers (shown in red).The levels of some chemicals in house dust exceed EPA’s soil screening levels.For the phthalate DEHP, average levels in dust exceeded EPA screening levels — for both cancer and non-cancer effects. DEHP is also ubiquitous in U.S. homes, as studies that tested for it found it in 100% of dust samples. This means that if an EPA site manager tested the dust in a typical living room, they would be concerned about the level of DEHP found there!For the phthalate BBP and the flame retardants TDCIPP, TCIPP, and TCEP, the average level in dust does not exceed the soil-screening level (though it comes close for TDCIPP cancer risks). But as the “highest concentration in dust” data points show, levels in some homes are much higher than the average, sometimes by an order of magnitude or more. The dust in U.S. homes is chock-full of hazardous chemicals from our products — phthalates, flame retardants, and other toxic chemicals are unwelcome visitors in each and every one of our homes. Even worse, the chemicals don’t stop there: They can waltz right into our bodies when we breathe contaminated air or dust, touch contaminated dust, and accidentally get dust in our mouths from our hands. These chemicals pose health hazards including cancer, hormone disruption, and toxicity to the reproductive system. Veena Singla is a staff scientist in the Health & Environment program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. This post originally appeared at NRDC’s website. RELATED ARTICLES By VEENA SINGLAAs I was frantically cleaning my apartment last month in preparation for a visit from my parents, I paused for a moment to stare at the dark smudge on the damp cloth I was dusting with. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that little dust smudge contains a whole universe of toxic chemicals — chemicals that pollute the globe and build up in wildlife and humans, that can cause cancer, or are linked to birth defects in babies.Never, that is, until I collaborated on a new study to put together all the data we have on chemicals in U.S. indoor dust with scientists from George Washington University, Silent Spring Institute, Harvard University, and University of California–San Francisco. Dust is the common congregation place for all kinds of chemicals that migrate out of everyday products in our homes — flooring, furniture, personal care products, cleaning products, and myriad others. So our idea was that by looking at dust, as well as the individual chemicals in dust, we could reveal the bigger picture of chemical contamination in the home — just like individual dots in an Impressionist painting create a larger image. And what we found paints a disturbing picture of what’s really inside home sweet home across America.
Check out these video tutorials to get started in Assimilate Scratch 8 and MyAssimilate.If you’re after Pro Res encoding on a Windows machine, or 4k for the price of 2k, then Assimilate Scratch 8 might have the solution that you need. In the short interview above Steve Bannerman describes what Scratch can do and his take on the future of the 4k, 6k, 8k (and more) race, to Josh Apter from MEW and AOTG.Assimilate Scratch 8 and Scratch LAB are the two main products from Assimilate Inc. and if you’ve ever wondered what the differences are between them, then this quote will set you straight.“SCRATCH Lab is designed for production and VFX dailies review & comment, conform, primary colour correction, set looks, create LUTs and output multiple simultaneous deliverables. SCRATCH is a full end to end DI system that starts with dailies, and adds full secondary color correction, compositing, finishing and mastering features. It is a full DI house in a box.” – AssimilateWith 90-day free trial’s available of both systems t’s worth it to give Scratch a whirl for yourself. They’ve also recently announced MyAssimilate which is their collaborative cloud based solution, to allow greater flexibility for freelance artists to work remotely. Check out the brief animation below to understand how it all fits together.Scratch 8 Video TutorialsIn this fast-paced series of video tutorials, Laura Castelli,walks you through how to get started with the essential basics of Scratch 8:In this 5 minute tutorial you can learn how to create Apple certified Pro Res exports in Scratch 8 and Scratch LAB, a unique feature.In this last quick tutorial you can learn how to create a three-stripe colour grading process (similar to the Technicolor 3-stripe process) with Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, as well as getting to grips with the blending modes in Scratch 8.MyAssimilate Collaborative SolutionMy Assimilate works in conjunction with Scratch 8 and Scratch LAB to allow you to collaborate remotely with clients or other artists and consists of four elements: Remote, Project Repository, Scratch Web and the Gallery. Find out all about how they work in the short intro videos and tutorials below!Other PremiumBeat Posts on ScratchThere’s so much happening on the PremiumBeat these days, it can be hard to keep up. Check out these two previous posts for even more Scratch 8 related resources and to check out Scratch Play – the free universal media player.Scratch 8 Workflows and Webinars | Download Scratch Play for Free
If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! I decided to fire up the pilot episode of Friday Night Lights as a proper way to kick off the football season. I completely forgot about Mack’s cameo as a random player’s father harassing Coach Taylor at a pep rally. According to this ESPN column, there was no script for this scene. Mack’s choice of words are pretty hilarious given the Horns’ recent seasons.
APTN National NewsOTTAWA—Betty Ann Lavallee, the national chief of the Congress of Aboriginals Peoples (CAP), is leaving her post, according to a statement.Lavallee will officially leave the position of national chief in September, according to the statement from the Aboriginal Affairs Coalition of Saskatchewan.Lavallee said the health of her parents and husband convinced her it was time to step aside, said the statement.Lavallee had previously refused to resign from the position after several members of the CAP board expressed non-confidence in her leadership during a conference call on March 31.The statement said Lavallee’s leadership has been opposed by Kim Beaudin, president of the Aboriginal Affairs Coalition of Saskatchewan, Brendan Sheppard, from the Qalipu first Nation, Robert Bertrand, from the Native Alliance of Quebec, Wendy Wetteland, from the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council, Brad Maggrah, from the Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal Peoples, Ron Swain, a national CAP vice-chief, and Jessica Bolduc, the national youth [email protected]@APTNNews