first_imgNew Delhi: The government will continue to take steps for further simplification of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), President Ram Nath Kovind said Thursday. Addressing the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, the president said the indirect tax system is being made simple and effective. “With the implementation of GST, the concept of ‘One country, One tax, One market’ has become a reality. Efforts to further simplify the GST will continue,” he said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe GST, which subsumed over a dozen local taxes, was rolled out on July 1, 2017. He said that keeping in mind the interest of traders, accident insurance of up to Rs 10 lakh will also be provided to all traders registered under GST. Kovind also said for small traders, the government will soon constitute the National Traders Welfare Board and formulate a National Retail Trade Policy to promote retail business. The taxation regime, he noted, plays an important role in accelerating economic development. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs”Along with continuous reform, simplification of taxation system is also being emphasised. Exemption to persons earning up to Rs 5 lakh from payment of income tax is an important step in this direction,” he added. Terming infrastructure as pivotal in propelling prosperity and growth, President Ram Nath Kovind Thursday said the government’s endeavour is to build 35,000 km of highways, besides expressways, by 2022 and to lay a strong foundation for urban infrastructure that will encourage employment generation. Addressing the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, the President said massive work to create infrastructure is underway, and electric vehicles (EVs) are being promoted to reduce pollution. “Under the ‘Bharatmala Project’, construction or upgradation of about 35,000 kilometres of national highways is to be undertaken by 2022. In addition, under the the ‘Sagarmala Project’, a network of good-quality roads is being constructed in coastal areas and areas adjoining ports,” he said. Along with the highways, the government is also working extensively in areas such as railways, airways and inland waterways. Under the Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme, air connectivity to smaller towns is being expanded rapidly, he said. “On this path of a New India, infrastructure for the 21st century will be built and all resources for creation of a powerful India will be mobilised… Infrastructure will play an important role in ushering in a prosperous India,” he said. The President said the current government’s continuous endeavour has been to build infrastructure in an eco-friendly manner. Along with concrete, greenery has been made an integral part of the highway and expressway projects. For supply of electricity, optimal utilisation of solar energy is being stressed, he said adding that household and industrial wastes are also being used in road construction. The President said that in the 21st-century economy, the pace and spread of urbanisation will continue to increase and there is need to develop urban infrastructure. He said urban transport infrastructure is being created to cater to the current and future requirements.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: State-owned Union Bank of India Tuesday said its net loss widened to Rs 3,370 crore in the fourth quarter of 2018-19, mainly on account of higher provisioning. The company had registered a net loss of Rs 2,583.38 crore in the same quarter of the preceding fiscal. However, the bank had posted a net profit of Rs 153.21 crore in the third quarter of 2018-19. Total income in three months to March grew to Rs 9,621.01 crore, as against Rs 9,596.86 crore in the same period of 2017-18. For entire 2018-19, the bank reported a net loss of Rs 2,922.35 crore on a consolidated basis, as against Rs 5,212.47 crore loss in 2017-18. Income during the year stood at Rs 39,355.38 crore, up from Rs 38,413.65 crore a year earlier. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThe asset quality of the bank remained poor with the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) standing at 14.98 per cent of gross advances at March-end 2019 against 15.73 per cent as of March 31, 2018. Net NPAs came down to 6.85 per cent from 8.42 per cent. The high level of bad asset ratio compelled the bank to make higher provisioning of Rs 5,783.09 crore for March quarter, compared to Rs 5,638.57 crore in the year-ago period. The bank’s provision coverage ratio as on March 31, 2019 stood at 66.24 per cent, as against 57.16 per cent a year ago. As part of the risk based supervision as per RBI directive, the bank has reported divergence in gross NPAs of Rs 867 crore in 2017-18; divergence in net NPA of (-) Rs 1,414 crore and divergence in provisioning stood at Rs 2,281 crore.last_img read more

27 March 2008The Azerbaijani composer and pianist Franghiz Ali-Zadeh has become the latest performer to be nominated to represent the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Koïchiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO, announced yesterday that Ms. Ali-Zadeh will be formally designated to the post of Artist for Peace for the next two years at a ceremony in Paris, headquarters of the UN agency, on 3 April.The designation will focus on Ms. Ali-Zadeh’s efforts “to raise public awareness on musical education for orphans and children in need, her contribution to spreading UNESCO’s message of peace and tolerance and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.”A trained pianist, Ms. Ali-Zadeh composes works that combine the traditional music of her country – especially a genre known as the mugham – with modern music, and her compositions have been played at concerts and festivals worldwide.Earlier this month the Portuguese actress and film director Maria de Medeiros was nominated as a UNESCO Artist for Peace in recognition of her commitment to arts education and to furthering the ideals of the UN agency.The Indonesian actress and producer Christine Hakim was named a Goodwill Ambassador by UNESCO at a separate ceremony in Bali earlier this month, with the nomination citing her efforts to raise awareness about the plight of teachers in Indonesia.Other UNESCO Artists for Peace include the Korean soprano Sumi Jo, the Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil, the Venezuelan actress Patricia Velasquez and the Russian conductor Valery Guerguiev. The agency’s ranks of Goodwill Ambassadors include the former South African president Nelson Mandela, the actress Claudia Cardinale and Princess Firyal of Jordan. read more

The Brock community is being offered during the month of May.The Shaw promotion lets faculty and staff purchase $39 tickets for all May performances of Major Barbara, Our Betters, Lady Windermere’s Fan, or Peace In Our Time: A Comedy. Seats for the musical Guys and Dolls are $49 each. Prices do not include HST. Normal prices range from $50 to $75.Each ticket includes a free wine-tasting voucher for Peller Estates and Trius Winery at Hillebrand, a $28 value per couple.Some conditions apply. For full information or to book tickets, call 1-800-511-7429 and quote code 13247. View the flyer.

Launching a report entitled “Hoping and Coping: The Capacity Challenge of HIV/AIDS in Least Developed Countries,” the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), Anwarul K. Chowdhury, called for urgent, immediate action against the continuing threat to “human resource, which has been devastated by this pandemic.”“To challenge the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS in Least Developed Countries, three factors must be dealt with: the issue of debt burden, which is as high as 30 per cent and has become unsustainable, leadership in tangibly dealing with the disease, and the active participation of people at the community level,” he said.The report on the 50 least developed countries (LDCs) was prepared by UN-OHRLLS and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). It focused primarily on the LDCs because the international community have largely marginalized them as they face multi-faceted challenges and constraints, Mr. Chowdhury said. The problems posed by having 11 million people living with HIV and AIDS in the LDCs have been magnified by because of natural disasters and the economic fragility of these countries, UNDP Associate Administrator Zéphirin Diabré said.According to the report, the life expectancy in the LDCs, which had been increasing, has now dropped as low as 39 years in some countries. read more

first_imgSBS is conducting public consultation on the criteria proposed for its Radio Services Review with intention to help guide language programming.Running until 11 December, audiences, communities and stakeholders will have the chance to offer input on the audio and language content; a process expected to receive broad community feedback.SBS has committed to reviewing and updating its radio schedule every five years and is currently supporting up to 74 languages.The selection criteria is due to be finalised in March 2017, with the new schedule to launch before the end of 2017. Said criteria are going to be used with the 2016 census data to be released next year to determine which languages are provided by SBS Radio Services.Content manager Mark Cummins says programming must evolve to ensure SBS reflects the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities across the country.“Because SBS is often the gateway for many of the new communities to engage with Australian society, it has to be reflective and at the forefront of communicating with those communities. And particularly if it wants to communicate with young people, who constitute, really, the largest proportion of new arrivals, as in young under-30, under-40, you have to be utilising digital platforms as well,” he said.Emphasising SBS’ role as a well-recognised vehicle to help with integration, Cumming argued that reaching a broader audience, including younger listeners, is pivotal in helping the broader community move into the Australian society while at the same time preserving cultural identities. SBS will run both English and translated recorded notifications to inform audiences of the SBS Radio Services Review and the public-consultation process.Feedback can be left via Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

first_img we said take away the mechs and you gave us ZOMBIES !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??????!?!?— gfuel | colbeyyy (@colbeyyy) August 14, 2019 VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE VAULT BRUTE— The Fortnite Guy (@The_FortniteGuy) August 14, 2019 Tags Originally published on Aug. 14.Update, Aug. 16: Adds Epic’s response.  Gaming Share your voice Literally no one asked for this. We said to vault the mechs and you added zombies LOL— FaZe Thiefs (@Thiefs) August 14, 2019 Comment Fortnite 1 The Fortnite Brute is still around, and players aren’t happy.  Epic Games It seems some Fortnite fans are still brutalizing the Brute. Developer Epic Games released an update to Fortnite on Wednesday, hoping to address complaints about the recently introduced “mech,” or robot, that some Fortniters say is way too powerful. But critics say that the changes aren’t enough and that they won’t be satisfied until the Brute goes bye-bye. Epic responded to calls to #RemoveTheMech, saying the mech is meant for players who may not have the skill to win a game. In a Thursday post titled “Fortnite and the Brute,” Epic explained its philosophy for the battle royale game, saying that it’s for players of all skill levels. Adding the giant robot in Fortnite season 10 gave players who were struggling a “shot at that first elimination or Victory Royale,” Epic said. The developer said it’s happy with the changes it made to the mech and that Brute eliminations make up a small number of the total eliminations in a match. However, Epic’s response hasn’t stopped some Fortnite players from continuing to call for the removal for the mech. One point brought up multiple times is that the Brute should be removed from competitive matches. With the Fortnite Champion Series starting Saturday, it’s likely the mech will play a big role in the tournament. Wednesday’s update to season 10 equipped the Brute with a targeting laser — first touted last week — that gives players a heads-up when the robot is preparing to fire at them with its devastating missile launcher. It also changed the Brute’s spawn rates: The chance for the mech to spawn will now decline significantly throughout the match, meaning there’ll be fewer robots for players to find. And Epic fixed various exploits that made the Brute move faster than intended. Still, some players remain unsatisfied, and they took to social media to air their thoughts about the update.The v10.10 thread on Reddit contained hundreds of comments criticizing the decision to not “vault” the mech — or remove it entirely. The top comment simply says, “My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined.”Twitter users had a similar sentiment. Prominent Fortnite players criticized Epic for adding new foes in v10.10 — the zombie-like Fiends — instead of getting rid of the Brute. last_img read more

first_imgLast week, 14 educators from around the state met at Sitka High School to learn how to make shop and engineering classes more engaging. Supported by a grant from the Alaska Department of Education, the group had a few days to build and wire their very own electric guitars.Download AudioCasey Evens is a sophomore at Petersburg High School.Right now I’m just cutting out the head of my guitar into the shape that I want, or the basic shape that I want then I’m going to go in and sand it down to make it exactly how it’s supposed to turn out,” Evens said.Evens is joined by teachers in learning how to make an electric guitar from scratch.Evens is fascinated by computer aided design software. His teacher sent him to Sitka for the workshop so he could bring these skills back to the classroom.Before Casey started taking industrial arts classes, he thought he would go into a field where he could use his hands, like diesel mechanics, he says.But digital fabrication introduced him to other possible careers.“It kind of opened the possibilities to engineering or design or manufacturing or stuff like that,” said Evens.The classes are hands – and brains —on.Retired Sitka High School career and technical education coordinator Randy Hughey secured the state grant, which funded the professional development course. Teachers from the Lower 48, one whose class helped design a custom Seahwaks guitar for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, flew up to teach it.Hughey says in CAD classes 20 years ago, students used technology to draft blueprints of houses.  His students were mostly disinterested because it was something intangible to them.Only when he started having his classes design their own logos for stickers did his students become more engaged.“My enrollment tripled in one year because they were suddenly doing something that was tactile and they were interested in having,” Hughey said.Expanding on that idea, Hughey thought students would be excited to apply design concepts to building their own electric guitars. But before they could get into the fab lab,  teachers needed to learn how to do it first. Karl Jordan is the woodshop teacher at Blatchely Middle School.“We’re doing electrical, we’re soldering stuff,” said Jordan. “There’s a bunch of parts and pieces that I don’t even know what they’re called because I’m learning how to do it as we go. It goes from simple to complicated in one project.”He says the students also learn about tools, wood properties, electromagnetism, basic safety skills and other manufacturing ideas with the project.Sitka High shop teacher Mike Vieira uses his class as just the runway for design ideas and the electric guitar is one he hopes that will take off.“I’ve got students who are making keepsake wood prom tickets on the razor cutter,” Vieira said.Josh Arnold, who works at Mt. Edgecumbe High School, was as pumped as a teenager would be about his guitar, which he tricked out with a laser-cut logo of a Brave, the school’s mascot. He hopes to eventually paint it the school’s colors of cardinal and yellow.“We get excited about anything that we can show the kids,” said Arnold. “Hey if you can think it we can design it on a computer with CAD , with computer aided design and then the equipment exists in the world for you to make a real model, in this case we’re going to end up with a guitar that really plays.”In the end, after some trial and error, the group had fully functional instruments that they were excited to bring back to their classrooms. Now they just need to learn how to play them.last_img read more

first_imgISLAMABAD: A leading Pakistani news channel was abruptly stopped from airing an interview of jailed former president Asif Ali Zardari, triggering widespread condemnation by journalists who accused the Imran Khan government of suppressing the press freedom. Zardari, 63, who is in the custody of the anti-corruption body National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for corruption cases, gave the interview to senior journalist Hamid Mir of Geo News while being allowed to attend Parliament session by the National Assembly Secretariat. Also Read – EAM Jaishankar calls on European Parliament President David Sassoli Advertise With Us On Monday night, Mir was hosting his daily eight o’clock Capital Talk show and the channel started airing Zardari’s interview. However, the interview was abruptly pulled off air within five minutes and the channel started showing other news. Later, the channel announced that the interview was not being shown. Mir expressed anguish and outrage on Twitter where the opinion was divided on the issue. Also Read – This is why Denmark, Sweden and Germany are considering a meat tax Advertise With Us “I can only say sorry to my viewers that an interview was started and stopped on Geo New[s] I will share the details soon but it’s easy to understand who stopped it? We are not living in a free country,” he wrote. “I am getting calls from all over the world people asking what happened? State of Pakistan giving bad name to this country we don’t need enemies,” Mir said in another tweet. Advertise With Us However, Mir was also criticised for resorting to interview Zardari who is in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau and was allowed to attend the session of Parliament where he gave interview to Mir. “No offences please but nowhere a top accused of money laundering, frauds and fake accounts is allowed one hour air time to justify his crimes. It only happens in Pakistan where an accused in custody of the NAB on physical remand, appears on tv to give us lecture on democracy and transparency,” journalist Rauf Klasra tweeted. Others supported Mir and termed the stopping of interview mid-air as censorship. “Stopping Hamid Mir’s interview with former President Asif Zardari is shameful manifestation of the fact that we live in quasi martial law with no feeedom of press. The figleaf of democracy is burnt and the real face of #Selected #ShamDemocracy is revealed,” journalist Murtza Solangi wrote on Twitter. Media watchdogs condemned the press censorship. The Asia Desk of the Committee to Protect Journalists said it was an “outrageous infringement on freedom of the press!” The government has not responded and it was not clear who ordered to take the interview off air. Normally, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority is empowered to take such actions. The co-chairman of the Opposition Pakistan Peoples Party and husband of the country’s first woman prime minister Benazir Bhutto, is in the NAB custody till July 2 in a multi-million dollar money laundering case along with his sister Faryal Talpur. Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur were arrested last month and both have denied the charges.last_img read more

first_imgEkta KapoorPR HandoutAfter capturing the attention of the Indian households with the family drama genre and then divulging into youth drama followed by socially driven subjects, there is no screen that is untouched and unconquered by the content queen Ekta Kapoor who has spread her wings with diverse range of genres.One of the first ever women to have entered a space that was largely dominated by men, Ekta has been mastering multiple mediums at the same time dominating the silver screen, television as well as the digital medium simultaneously and bringing a flurry of content for the audiences.Breaking stereotypes in the entertainment world, Ekta carved a niche for her own, creating new content for the audience.Currently, With 124 TV serials, 39 Films and 25 web shows to her credit, Ekta is ready to splash into as many content genres as possible and bring something promising, as always.Ekta bagged as many as three awards within the span of a week for her contribution and achievement in the entertainment industry at Jagran Cinema Summit, Icon of Excellence award at Forbes India’s Tycoons of Tomorrow and Outlook India’s Speakout Awards for Woman Achievers.Ekta has been ruling over all platforms with content like Home and XXX in digital space, with films like Veere dI Wedding, Jabariya Jodi and her very famous TV show Kasautii Zindagii Kay.Ekta is currently mastering various mediums as she basks in the glory of her web series Home, gears up for the much loved and anticipated reboot of Kasautii Zindagii Kay and also is busy with her upcoming feature films ‘Mental Hai Kya’ and ‘Jabariya Jodi’.last_img read more

first_imgABC, CBS, and NBC — preempting their usual daytime TV lineups — will air live reports as Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. The highly anticipated event, which is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, Sept. 27, will also be covered by live cable news networks and live-streamed on the internet.Kavanaugh has now been accused by three women of sexual misconduct. Ford was the first to come forward, saying that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a high school party in 1982. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the accusations, and told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum in an interview Monday that he was a virgin “in high school or for many years thereafter.”Some Republican senators including Susan Collins (R.-Maine) have remained undecided about whether to vote to confirm Kavanaugh, and Thursday’s hearing may determine the outcome of his nomination by President Donald Trump. Trump has defended Kavanaugh and questioned the motives of the female accusers. ×White House Correspondents talk being Press during the Trump eraVolume 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 Up’Blanco en Blanco’ Trailer01:52 twitter facebook reddit Link EmbedCopiedLive00:0002:0602:06More Videos01:52’Blanco en Blanco’ Trailer02:15Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney Princesses05:35The Best of Star Wars at D2314:13’It: Chapter Two’ Stars Jessica Chastain and Sophia Lillis Describe Swimming in Fake Blood01:48Kellyanne Conway Belittles Taylor Swift, Fans Over Equality Act Support09:50’It: Chapter Two’ Director Andy Muschietti Explains the Meaning Behind PennywiseClose As with former FBI director James Comey’s Senate testimony in 2017, the broadcast networks’ decision to break into daytime programming reflects the national attention Kavanaugh’s case has garnered. Critics have dismissed the claims by the women accusing Kavanaugh of misconduct and their timing, while activists have protested the GOP push to get Kavanaugh confirmed and have promoted hashtags like #WhyIDidntReport on social media.Here’s how to watch the Kavanaugh and Ford hearing on TV and online:ABC News: The network will air a live report as the two testify, beginning at 10 a.m. ET. Chief anchor George Stephanopoulos will lead network coverage of the hearing, and “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir will anchor coverage from Capitol Hill, where ABC News senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce will provide live updates. Chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran will report from the Supreme Court with additional reporting. ABC News coverage of the testimony will be available on ABC TV,, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as ABC News Live (at, the network’s 24-hour breaking news and live events channel.CBS News: “CBS This Morning” and “CBS Evening News With Jeff Glor” will originate from Washington, D.C. Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell, John Dickerson, and Jeff Glor will anchor coverage from Washington and lead the network’s special coverage beginning at 10 a.m. ET on the CBS Television Network with additional coverage on the CBSN streaming news service (at and its Facebook page. “CBS This Morning” will begin the day with coverage ahead of the hearings and will also offer an optional additional hour for select stations at 9 a.m. ET.NBC News: Coverage starts at 9:30 a.m. ET led by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt, NBC News chief legal correspondent and “Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, moderator of “Meet the Press” and NBC News political director Chuck Todd, Megyn Kelly, and NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell. On MSNBC, coverage begins at 9:50 a.m. ET with Stephanie Ruhle who will be joined by Brian Williams, host of “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams,” leading up to the hearings. Beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET, special coverage will stream live on,, the NBC News app, YouTube, and other platforms.Fox News Channel: Fox News will live-stream the hearing and related coverage for pay-TV subscribers on and on Fox News apps. “Special Report” host Bret Baier and “The Story” anchor Martha MacCallum will co-anchor, with additional contributions by Fox News contributors and analysts.CNN: The network will livestream the testimony on and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, with no log-in required. CNN’s coverage will start at 8:30 a.m. ET, anchored by Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper. The livestream can also be viewed on its Facebook page, CNNgo on desktop (at, and smartphone and iPad apps.PBS: “PBS NewsHour” will carry live coverage, led by anchor Judy Woodruff with correspondent Lisa Desjardins, on local member TV stations as well as at and on its on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts.Univision: “Univison Noticias” will stream live coverage of the hearing on its website (at this link), UnivisionNow apps for mobile and connected-TV devices, on its Facebook page, via Twitter’s Periscope and on its YouTube channel.Telemundo: Telemundo News coverage is scheduled to start at 9:50 a.m. ET and will stream in Spanish at and across social channels.C-SPAN: C-SPAN 3 will offer a free livestream of the Kavanaugh-Ford hearing on its website (at ON VARIETY: last_img read more

first_img “Hey everybody! What’s the MOST relevant possible use of our time and resources in terms of a political message-movie for 2019? Y’know, since nobody really goes to SEE movies like that in numbers that would make them profitable or part of the actual zeitgeist to any degree; so the ONLY reason to do one is if we’ve got something super relevant and pressing we just NEED to get on record about?”“How about… ‘Dick Cheney was NOT a very good person!”?“…BOLD.”At one point, I honestly thought that the one bright side to the current horror show in Washington was that I might, at long last, be done watching otherwise-talented, liberal movie stars throw themselves into earnest and well-intentioned but eye-rollingly bad projects built around re-litigating the Bush Administration. But yeah, this is what we got: Adam McKay got really good notices for the ambitious and uneven but overall (at least I thought so) pretty interesting and solid comedy/drama/biography/history-lesson/polemic hybrid The Big Short a few years back; so now he’s apparently decided “90s Oliver Stone doing 2000s Chuck Lorre sitcom jokes” is his new wheelhouse.Now in Vice, McKay aims to go both go big and go home with the definitive docu-come-dramedy takedown of the major political scandals of three whole Spider-Man reboots ago; pivoting around a janky biography of eventual Vice President Dick Cheney as embodied by Christian Bale under 40 pounds of makeup (and 40 TONS of “Christian Bale-ness”) that spends an exhaustive amount of time meticulously recreating the man’s life in exacting detail all to say not much more than “Dick Cheney: That Person Definitely Existed.”The film does admittedly get off exactly one extremely well-aimed structural joke; playing its entire first two-thirds of running time as a rigidly-structured conventional three-act “Complicated Life Well-Lived” politician biopic of Cheney’s original run through the American political gauntlet, beginning with his ne’er-do-well college schmuck origins up through his education and self-advancement as an increasingly-ruthless player in the Nixon and Ford administrations under the tutelage of Steve Carrell’s unctuous Donald Rumsfeld; up to and including the humanizing touches of his frail heart condition, ahead-of-his-time unquestioning embrace of his daughter’s coming out as a lesbian, and a general sense of non-ideological monotone self-interest; ultimately ending with a Hallmark-hazy sunset retirement complete with ending credits crawl… only to (of course) cut it short with the surprise phone call from George W. Bush asking him to be Vice President for the 2000 campaign that begins the story we actually came to see and signals an abrupt shift in tone.It’s an admittedly terrific joke from one of our best modern comedy filmmakers… but it’s also the sort of one-off “gotcha!” that better befits a surface-level comedy sketch without much else to offer other than “Yeah, that happened!” and without much deeper meaning underpinning any of the subsequent meta-textual gimmickry: Guantanamo torture techniques being presented by Alfred Molina as a sommelier with a literal wine list? QUIRKY! What does it mean? …quirky? The one main overriding idea — that the affectless head-down businesslike approach to every issue and seemingly lack of a broader ideological slant outside self-protection/advancement that initially made Cheney a “powerful but unremarkable” Washington player were actually the red flags of a dangerous psychopath who never should’ve been near power — is certainly argued to the hilt, but also to a resounding:“…And?”Most of the performances are pitched at that same “Solid, but what’s the point of this?” level: Bale is definitely intense, but by now isn’t everyone onto the fact that “super intense and kind of smug about it” is about the only note this particular actor seems interested in hitting anymore? Even under all the makeup, it wouldn’t seem out of character for his take on Cheney to throw on the Bat-suit or bust out some gun-kata — Bale is to glowers and seething in a guttural register as Tom Cruise is to “running.”Carrel is occasionally a lot of fun as Rumsfeld, but only in the moments where Vice is otherwise at its most self-indulgently comedic, and you remember how perfect he was at playing the obvious-caricature versions of this sort of guy on The Daily Show or as Brick in Anchorman — when he’s meant to be legitimately “sinister” here you almost wish you were watching Welcome to Marwen again instead (I said almost.) In a similar vein, sure — it’s “amusing” to see Sam Rockwell play George W. Bush, but it was actually funny when he did it as an affect for Zaphod Beeblebrox in the Hitchhiker’s Guide movie. At least they fare better than most of the others, who’re so underwritten that you feel like their dialogue might as well have been: “Hey! I’m Tyler Perry playing Colin Powell! Isn’t that funny!?” “Hey guys! I’m Amy Adams! Don’t you think it’s hilarious I’m Lynne Cheney!!??”Again and again, minute after minute, obvious characters turn up to walk us through painfully earnest, miserably unfunny takes (which, to be clear, are mostly meant to be either funny or “darkly humorous”) on events that no one old enough to even think about watching this kind of dreary sub-Newsroom pablum actually needs any reminder of. Part of what made this schtick work in The Big Short is that McKay’s didactic “You peasants are too stupid to understand what happened here, let me walk you through it with celebrities and funny graphics” gimmickry is that the 2008 financial crash actually was pretty wonky and hard for most people to get their heads around. Everything here, on the other hand, is both extremely well-documented and was already being lambasted in exactly this tone weekly by every political comedian on the planet for a decade; and Vice‘s idea of going “higher brow” on that front is to do a fourth-wall-break about how it’s too bad biopics aren’t as free to engage in historical conjecture as Shakespeare’s history plays were… before cutting to an imaginary scene of Bale and Adams having a Macbeth-esque exchange in iambic pentameter. Zounds!As such, all this condescending (if sincerely-felt) rage comes off as less as righteous fury and more like a petulant tantrum that while people might be angry they aren’t angry enough about what THIS movie thinks they should be angry about. It’s the feature film version of being lectured about political pop-culture by an oozing hipster who’s very proud of himself for recognizing that Aaron Sorkin and The West Wing probably had a net-negative effect on how a generation of would-be progressives views U.S. politics… but then sighs wistfully about how HE, on the other hand, knows everything he needs to because he never misses an episode of Chapo.Nevermind the fact that the rest of it is never once as clever or insightful as it clearly thinks it is — unless you sincerely think that calling the movie about a guy famous for being Vice President “VICE” (as in “bad things”) qualifies as a clever gag, or that punctuating Cheney’s various lapses in moral conviction with his recurring episodes of heart failure (he has failings of heart… during his failings to act with HEART — get it!!!???) are an insightful metaphor (and just wait until you see what the bizarre narration gimmick is building up to — yeesh!)There isn’t a joke being told or a point being made you won’t see a better version of by just pulling the identical corresponding SNL sketches from the same era, save for the smattering of gestures toward the present day in which Vice insists that we can’t understand the Trump Era until we understand everything McKay is trying to reveal about Dick Cheney. I’m not entirely convinced of that thesis, but it does go a long way to understanding why the film turned out like it did: It feels like nothing so much as the end result of McKay and his collaborators feeling frustrated at spending A LOT of time putting together a really swell Power Point presentation about how bad the last Republican Presidency was… and now nobody really cares because the current one feels SO MUCH WORSE — but they’re gonna SHOW YOU how it’s all connected so you’re gonna sit there and listen, mister!Not that that’s a terrible idea either for a political polemic or just a movie, but at a certain point “righteous indignation” just turns into “pissy” and Vice gets from zero-to-”pissy” extremely quick and never quite decelerates. I’m not one to say that a movie should never operate from a place of contempt for its audience (I mean, one of my favorite movies is Starship Troopers) but the level of smug, self-satisfied rage on display here is something to behold; with a pair of ending “stingers” that not only go for the most pretentious version possible of the “villain talks to the audience” setup but also shockingly tone-deaf beat that effectively accuses the audience of “letting things get this bad” specifically by going to see the wrong kinds of movies — i.e. big stupid blockbusters instead of (one must assume) important and informative works like Vice.Even if you do find a sliver of validity in that notion (I’d offer regardless, at least, that the specific choice of movie name-checked as the opiate of the masses and the audience made to vocalize its praises raise some… interesting questions, at least, about who McKay thinks is most responsible for the epidemic of ignorance) I’m not really sure it’s a point that sits all that well coming from the writer/director of Anchorman and The Nice Guys — especially since (ironically!) both of those movies had more interesting things to say about American society, culture and politics and in funnier ways than Vice does.More MovieBob Reviews on Reviews: ‘Aquaman’MovieBob Reviews: ‘Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse’MovieBob’s Top 10 Movies of 2018 MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Stay on targetlast_img read more

first_img © 2011 Image credit: Tech-On Sony calls the lenticular sheet the VGP-FL3D15A glasses-free 3-D panel. The 3mm-thick device can be attached to the front side of the notebook’s LCD panel. This no-glasses 3-D sheet from Sony is supported by face-tracking technology, so that the viewer can get an optimized 3-D image with pixels shifted around behind the lens. The Vaio viewing process with this sheet will use face detection to track the position of the viewer’s head via built-in web camera; images will be adjusted for clarity to make sure the viewer gets and maintains the 3-D experience.The Vaio S series will debut in Europe next month and the price is expected to be about $1,000. The price of the sheet accessory is said to be $183.The 3-D option via lenticular sheet is just one of several 3-D products that Sony announced. The Sony Vaio L Series all-in-one 3-D touchscreen multimedia PC, the 3-D-capable Sony SMP-N200 Network Media Player, and the Sony VPL-VW95ES 3-D projector were part of the company’s showcase.As a number of correspondents covering the show are saying, 3-D bells and whistles on viewer devices, on projectors, on televisions, and on computers, are all being promoted by consumer electronics kingpins as the way to get to consumers’ hearts in the hope that enhanced viewing experiences will help products move.Meanwhile, the news portal Tech-On! points out that a lenticular-system sheet to make visuals appear in 3-D made a June debut, with the announcement by Global Wave of its lenticular system sheet called Pic3D. This product from Global Wave is a lenticular lens film that one can add to a smartphone, tablet or laptop screen to turn it into a glasses-free 3-D display. Global Wave says that the product was announced last year but is now improved. Sony makes eco-friendly mini laptop Citation: Sony presents optional 3-D sheet as new laptop accessory (2011, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further 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. ( — Sony has come out with a sheet for a notebook PC where the viewer can see 3-D images without having to wear special glasses. Sony displayed the sheet at IFA 2011 in Berlin, Europe’s showcase of consumer electronics, which runs from September 2 to September 7. The sheet is targeted for Sony’s Vaio S series, as an optional accessory for models that are equipped with a Blu-Ray drive. The screen attaches to the computer’s LCD screen. last_img read more

first_imgChildren globally now communicate, play and access adult content via internet less than they did a year ago and search for websites with information about drugs, alcohol and tobacco more, a new report said on Monday.According to Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, children opened communication websites such as social media, messengers or emails in 61 per cent of cases, compared to 67 per cent in the previous 12 months (May 2015 to April 2016). Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Games have fallen to nine per cent from 11 per cent and adult websites now account for 1.2 per cent instead of 1.5 per cent,” the report found.Meanwhile, visits to pages containing information about drugs, alcohol and tobacco now account for 14 per cent of detections, though the figure was only nine per cent during the previous reporting period.Children now only use computers to visit websites that have no mobile app equivalent or that are easier to view on larger screens.”This may explain why the share of communication websites opened on computers is falling while the proportion of pages with ‘Alcohol, tobacco, narcotics’ content is growing,” said Anna Larkina, Web-content Analysis Expert at Kaspersky Lab.last_img read more

first_imgIn 1963, the official “Beatlemania” took hold and all of a sudden, four unknown guys from Liverpool became international pop stars, filling up stadiums and rocking the media with their liberal opinions on long hair, while opening a new surge of British bands into the vast American market. Even though the band’s success was growing with each new release, in 1965 their audience experienced a significant change in both their sound and their appearance.The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Kennedy Airport.In December 1965, the Beatles released an album titled Rubber Soul, which was referred by Lennon as the band’s “pot album,” due to its more introspective lyrics and mesmerizing guitars, as well as reflecting the band’s use of cannabis.Having been introduced to the drug by Bob Dylan, the Beatles were becoming a true voice of the generation regarding issues such as the emerging hippie counterculture and the Vietnam War.Dylan performing in the Feyenoord Football Club Stadium, Rotterdam, June 23, 1978. Photo by Chris Hakkens CC BY-SA 2.0Even though Rubber Soul represented a significant step in the band’s development, it was not until one fateful night that their careers would take an unexpected turn.It was at a friendly dinner to which John Lennon and George Harrison were invited together with their then-spouses. The event was hosted by a respectable London dentist John Riley and his girlfriend, Cyndy Bury.John Lennon (left) and Paul McCartney (right) in 1964.After their meal, Riley insisted that the guests stay for a cup of coffee. Little did they know that the coffee was actually spiked with LSD ― a powerful hallucinogen which was becoming more and more popular among hippie youth, sworn to experiment with any mind-altering substance they could get their hands on.When Riley announced that they had ingested LSD, George, John and their wives, Patty and Cynthia, protested against his decision to slip them the drug without prior notice. What followed was an episode of LSD-induced paranoia, which would change the two Beatles forever.George Harrison in 1964. Photo by Nationaal Archief CC BY-SA 3.0Lennon later recalled the incident, describing a scene at Harrison’s Esher residence, just outside London:“God, it was just terrifying, but it was fantastic. George’s house seemed to be just like a big submarine… It seemed to float above his wall, which was 18 foot, and I was driving it. I did some drawings at the time, of four faces saying, ‘We all agree with you.’ I was pretty stoned for a month or two.”According to later interviews, George wasn’t far off from John’s point of view. The two agreed that they had to repeat the experience with the rest of the band, despite both having mixed feelings about the effects that the drug had on them.Harrison, McCartney, and Lennon with George Martin at EMI Studios in the mid-1960s.Now it was time to take their music one step further, and during the 1960s it apparently meant consuming a more powerful drug. What would result from this experiment was something that changed music history forever ― the Beatles’ seventh studio album, titled Revolver.However, the band wasn’t exactly unanimous in this decision. Ringo Starr agreed to partake, but Paul McCartney considered LSD too much of an influence:“It alters your life and you never think the same again. John was rather excited by that prospect. I was rather frightened by that prospect. . . never get back home again. I was seen to sort of stall. . . because there was a lot of peer pressure.”Swinging London, Carnaby Street, c. 1966. The album’s creation coincided with international recognition of London’s role as a cultural capital. According to Philip Norman, Revolver captured the confidence of summer 1966: “It was hot pavements, open windows, King’s Road bistros and England soccer stripes. It was the British accent, once again all-conquering.”Without McCartney aboard the Yellow Submarine, the band felt incomplete. It wasn’t until later on that the Beatles bass player and vocalist would try LSD, but even without experiencing it first hand, he quickly came to realize that transferring the effects of acid into music was an experiment worth making.McCartney was at the time the only Beatle who wasn’t married and living in the suburbs. He was an important part of London nightlife and the underground art scene, with his ear constantly on the ground, listening for what might be the next big thing.McCartney, Harrison, Swedish pop singer Lill-Babs, and Lennon on the set of the Swedish television show Drop-In, October 30, 1963.Therefore, the band’s fusion of newly-induced ideas such as Indian and Tibetan religious philosophies with McCartney’s influence by experimental composers of the likes of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio, and Edgard Varèse was bound to bring up surprising results and new techniques of recording once the group hit the studio at Abbey Road.George Martin, who was the band’s regular collaborator and the legendary producer behind Revolver was this time tasked with a slightly different approach. At one point, Lennon told Martin that he needed a sound of “thousands of monks chanting” for the album’s final track, “Tomorrow Never Knows”.Abbey Road Studios (formerly known as EMI Studios) is a recording studio located at 3 Abbey Road, St John’s Wood, City of Westminster, London, England.Of course, even for the almighty Beatles, the summoning of one thousand monks was out of the question, but the producer together with McCartney came up with a compromise that sounded even better. The track features Lennon’s vocals which were amplified through a rotating speaker, achieving a never-before-heard chilling effect.A number of other musical experiments were conducted on the record, and a number of them were refused as everyone agreed that they were just too crazy. For example, Lennon proposed at one point that he should sing while hanging from the ceiling of the studio.The group with disc jockey Jim Stagg during their U.S. tour in August 1966.Needless to say, not all of Lennon’s ideas made it into the final cut, but still, this was one of the most radical albums in terms of recording of its time.Harrison, on the other hand, added the mystical Indian vibe, by introducing traditional Indian instruments such as the tamboura and sitar into the recordings, creating an other-worldly experience they had strived for.McCartney, who was more interested in the technical aspect of the process, was inspired by Stockhausen’s experiments with early electronic music. One day he brought along a number of tape loops which he had prepared the night before. The loops included sounds of guitar tuning and various shrieks and unnerving sounds of unknown origin.The loops were then played forward and backward, eventually resulting in the rather unique soundscape that is the Revolver.Read another story from us: Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s Feud Over Beatles Song RightsA new chapter in music was opened, making way to bands such as The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Doors, and Pink Floyd ― all of whom owe so much to the Beatles, who set the bar for making what was by then called Psychedelic music. Strangely enough, like many stories regarding historical moments, it all started around a dinner table.last_img read more

first_imgTwo of the fake identification cards presented were from the current Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE), while the other two were from the former Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE). Cancun, Q.R. –Four people who tried to board a flight at the Cancun International Airport were arrested by police when they presented false identification. All four were arrested and made available for the General Prosecutor of the Republic. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)center_img The two men and two women of Salvadoran nationality, presented voter cards as identification to board a flight bound for Tijuana. The airport’s Federal Police immediately noticed flaws in the cards, noting that they were fake documents. last_img read more

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Shopping is a ‘chore’ and at Christmas time, queuing to pay for your purchases can make you feel like a Grinch.Well, Amazon hopes to end shopping queues forever and de-Grinchify you.The ‘how’ is very simple: they have created a prototype store (Amazon Go) in the US that you can walk in, grab what you want and walk out. The store electronically records your purchases and as you leave, it bills your smart device.If you currently work as a cashier in a South African supermarket, fear not, as this technology is unlikely to reach SA anytime soon.In fact, only one store in America is expected to officially open with the technology next year… But as companies look towards cutting costs and people demand more convenience, expect stores similar to the Amazon Go store to spread.DID YOU KNOW? Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook andTwitter. Join us there!last_img read more

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