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New Staph Vaccine Shows Promise in Rabbits

first_imgStaph infections pose one of the most serious microbial threats to people. Yet efforts to prevent them with vaccines have consistently failed, even as the bacterium responsible becomes increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Now, an experimental vaccine with novel ingredients has proven highly protective in rabbits against staph pneumonia, one of the most dangerous outcomes of the bacterial infection. The inventor hopes to take it into human studies soon.Staphylococcus aureus is thought to colonize the noses of about one-third of humans at any given time, but it also causes about half a million hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths each year in the United States. Strains of the bacterium that are resistant to most antibiotics, particularly varieties dubbed MRSA (methicillin-resistant S. aureus), have become a major danger, highlighting the need for a vaccine against the microbe.However, a series of vaccines has suffered dramatic failures in the past few years. A candidate from NABI Biopharmaceuticals of Rockville, Maryland, flopped in two trials among dialysis patients in the United States, and a Merck vaccine was abandoned in 2012 after millions of dollars were spent testing it.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Microbiologist Patrick Schlievert of the University of Iowa in Iowa City believes that pharmaceutical companies have been going about a vaccine the wrong way. Previous staph vaccines attempted to offer protection by including proteins or carbohydrates contained in the natural capsule that surrounds the staph bacterium’s cell wall and enables it to elude the immune system. This approach succeeded for vaccines against other bacteria like Haemophilus influenzae type B and Streptococcus pneumoniae, but did not work with S. aureus. Other vaccines that failed included single proteins from the cell wall of the S. aureus bacterium.In an article published online this month in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Schlievert and colleagues took a new approach. The strategy involves an entirely different class of substances taken from the S. aureus bacterium. These included so-called superantigens and cytolysins—proteins that are produced by S. aureus’s internal structures and play major roles in the illnesses caused by the bacterium. The researchers vaccinated 88 rabbits, split into several groups, with different combinations of the substances. All but two of the animals survived when S. aureus organisms were sprayed into their lungs. Of 88 unvaccinated rabbits exposed to the same bacteria, only one survived.In another experiment, the researchers found evidence that typical vaccines may actually make those immunized more vulnerable to a staph infection. They vaccinated five rabbits with neutralized proteins from the cell surface of S. aureus—the type of substances used in most previous and current vaccine candidates. All five of those animals died within 6 hours of exposure to a common MRSA strain; in contrast, five nonvaccinated animals survived at least 4 days postexposure.The studies’ counterintuitive findings are in agreement with prior research by Schlievert indicating that cell-surface antigens, which are frequently used to create bacterial vaccines, are a poor choice for preventives aimed at S. aureus because of the organism’s particular way of causing disease, he says.“One of the ways staph works is by creating aggregations of bacteria that block blood vessels and airways,” Schlievert says. Consequently, vaccines that stimulate the creation of antibodies to cell-surface antigens may be more dangerous than no vaccine at all, he says, because in binding with those antigens, they create molecular complexes that intensify the clumping phenomenon.Schlievert also believes that his results are more relevant to humans than other animal studies with staph vaccines. While other researchers have tested S. aureus vaccines in mice and nonhuman primates, he contends that the immune system of the rabbit is more similar to that of humans, at least when it comes to how it responds to this bacterium. Staph researchers say that Schlievert’s new study is provocative but not entirely convincing. “He shows that superantigens are more protective than surface antigens—in rabbits undergoing experimental infection,” says Robert Daum, pediatrician and microbiologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois. It remains to be seen whether the same holds true in humans, he says. “Lots of people have been using surface antigens [in vaccines] for a long time. It hasn’t been a great success story, but there are few data that suggest the vaccines make it worse.”Daum considers the suggestion that rabbits were better than mice as experimental animals to be intriguing. It is true that mice are not especially good models in S. aureus, he says, but on the other hand the rodents are inexpensive and well-studied. “If he’s right that rabbits are a better model, it will roil the field, because they are much more expensive and difficult to work with. To my mind, rabbits haven’t been studied enough yet to conclude that they are better.” Most of the data to this effect comes from Schlievert’s group.Daum argues that failures in previous vaccines have shown that defeating S. aureus requires more basic science before new vaccine antigens are trotted out. Too little is understood about the human immune response to S. aureus, which can cause deadly infections, yet often lives in and on us without causing disease at all. “We don’t want to eliminate all staph. We want to eliminate the nasty ones that cause disease. So we need to understand the immunology, and we’re not there yet,” Daum says.Schlievert says that unpublished data from his group show that his superantigen-based vaccines also prevent skin infections in rabbits. He next plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration to allow him to conduct basic human safety studies of the vaccine.last_img read more

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Confirmed: Some raindrops fall faster than they should

first_imgFive years ago, scientists reported that raindrops, especially small ones, often fall through the air much faster than they should. Some researchers have suggested that these “super-terminal” raindrops (ones traveling more than 30% faster than their terminal velocity, at which air resistance prevents further acceleration due to gravity) were fragments of larger drops that had splattered off the team’s instruments, with the smaller bits retaining the speed the larger drop had before it struck the instrument. But new research hints that the speedier-than-expected drops are the result of natural processes—and that, moreover, they make up a substantial fraction of rainfall. In the new study, scientists used 22 instruments typically used to monitor precipitation to measure the falling speeds of more than 1.5 million raindrops during six different storms at a site near Charleston, South Carolina, over a 5-month period. Whereas all drops 0.8 millimeters and larger fell at expected speeds, between 30% and 60% of those measuring 0.3 mm dropped at super-terminal speeds, the researchers report online ahead of print in Geophysical Research Letters. It’s not yet clear why these drops are falling faster than expected, the researchers say. But according to one notion, the speedy drops are fragments of larger drops that have broken apart in midair but have yet to slow down. If that is indeed the case, the researchers note, then raindrop disintegration happens normally in the atmosphere and more often than previously presumed—possibly when drops collide midair or become unstable as they fall through the atmosphere. Further study could improve estimates of the total amount of rainfall a storm will produce or the amount of erosion that it can generate.last_img read more

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Dhoni a “bomb about to explode” before World Cup final: Yuvraj

first_imgAfter failing to score big in the run-up to the World Cup summit clash against Sri Lanka in Mumbai, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni resembled a “bomb about to explode” ahead of the final, teammate and Man of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh said.”He (Dhoni) was not getting big scores in the tournament, but he kept working hard, and did not miss a single practice session. Watching him in the nets gave one the impression that he was a ‘bomb about to explode’,” Yuvraj wrote in the Cricket Board’s latest quarterly newsletter dedicated to India’s World Cup triumph.”Looking back, I am glad he ‘exploded’ in the final, and not earlier! He went in ahead of me in that game, but that was purely to keep the left-right combination going in the middle.”He had a point to prove and he played an innings of a lifetime,” the left-handed big-hitter said.Dhoni went in ahead of man-in-form Yuvraj when the final was on a knife-edge at the Wankhede Stadium with India at 114 for 3 in the 22nd over chasing a target of 275.The Indian skipper, in the company of left-handed opener Gautam Gambhir (96) first and then Yuvraj (21 not out), smashed an unconquered 91 off only 79 balls with eight fours and two sixes – including the winning hit off Nuwan Kulasekara – to power India to victory.Yuvraj wrote in the article that the Ranchi-born captain takes to “pressure like a fish to water” and that he was lucky to “have the best view of the captain’s winning hit”. — With PTI inputsadvertisementlast_img read more

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Hockey India names 33 players for womens national camp

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 25 (PTI) Hockey India today named 33 players for the Indian womens national camp to begin in Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru from November 26.The players will report to Indian womens hockey teams chief coach Harendra Singh and will train together till December 23.The womens team recently created history by winning the Asia Cup 2017 after beating China in the final.Their exuberant performance not only won them the qualification for womens World Cup to be played in London next year but it also helped them climb up the FIH World Ranking to a commendable 10th position.”2018 is a very crucial year for Indian hockey. Through our performance in Asia Cup we climbed the world ranking but Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cup are big tournaments and our training is focused on doing well in these events,” chief coach Harendra said.The teams aim will be to finish on the podium in at least the Commonwealth Games or the Asian Games.”Our aim is to finish in the final of the Commonwealth Games and also qualify for the 2020 Olympics by winning the Asian Games. The coaching staff has identified the teams shortcomings during Asia Cup and we will work on improving in those areas.”Another important aspect will be improving our speed and strength during this month-long camp. We will also be testing a few junior players and see how they keep up with the demands of senior womens hockey,” Harendra said.Campers:Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajani Etimarpu, SwatiDefenders: Deep Grace Ekka, P Sushila Chanu, Sunita Lakra, Gurjit Kaur, Hnialum Lal Ruat Feli, Navdeep Kaur, Rashmita Minz, Neelu DadiyaadvertisementMidfielders: Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Deepika, Karishma Yadav, Renuka Yadav, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Udita, M Lily Chanu, Nilanjali RaiForwards: Rani Rampal, Vandana Katariya, Preeti Dubey, Reena Khokhar, Anupa Barla, Sonika, Lalremsiami, Poonam Rani, Navneet Kaur, Navpreet Kaur. PTI SSC SSClast_img read more

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Oppo Reno to have 93.1 per cent screen-to-body ratio, no punch-hole display

first_imgOppo Reno to have 93.1 per cent screen-to-body ratio, no punch-hole displayThe Oppo VP has confirmed that the upcoming Oppo Reno phone will bring a high screen-to-body ratio, thin bezels and no punch-hole display. The Oppo Reno is set to go official on April 10 in China.advertisement Sanket Vijayasarathy New DelhiMarch 18, 2019UPDATED: March 19, 2019 09:58 IST HIGHLIGHTSOppo VP has confirmed a 93.1 per cent screen-to-body ratio for Oppo Reno.The Oppo Reno will not come with a punch-hole display.The Oppo Reno is expected to come with a 10x lossless zoom technology.Oppo Reno is gearing up to be a highly anticipated smartphone from the Oppo. This is the first phone to launch under the Reno brand and Oppo will unveil the device on April 10 in China. Ahead of its launch, some leaks and teasers have told us that the Oppo Reno will offer a 10x lossless zoom camera and a Dynamic AMOLED display courtesy Samsung. Now, the company’s VP Shen Yiren Brian has revealed that the phone will offer a high screen-to-body ratio and no holes.In addition to sporting Samsung’s new display panel, the Oppo Reno is confirmed to come with a 91.3 per cent screen-to-body ratio, which sounds quite impressive. The VP adds that the width of the bezel around the display is thin, allowing for more screen real estate. He also confirms that there will be no holes in the display, which pretty much confirms that the Oppo Reno will not sport a hole-punch display like the Galaxy S10.This could mean that the Oppo Reno will either sport a waterdrop-style notch display or a notch-less display with a pop-up selfie camera like the Oppo Find X. The renders so far have only revealed the back of the Oppo Reno, so it’s hard to say what kind of display we are looking at right now. Speaking of the back, the Oppo VP also mentions that there will be no holes on the back, but it’s unclear what he means by this.The Based on the renders we have seen, the rear panel of the Oppo Reno is likely made up of glass and will be offered in a few attractive colours that includes an Aurora Green colour. The Oppo Reno will sport a triple camera setup vertically placed on the centre of the panel with a LED flash just below. The triple camera setup will include a 10x zoom technology with a possible periscope design that was shown off at MWC 2019.advertisementRecent renders also seem to confirm an in-display fingerprint sensor for the Oppo Reno. This is said to be a flagship smartphone from Oppo, so you can expect a Snapdragon 855 chipset running the show along with a 4,065mAh battery.ALSO READ | Oppo Reno leaked render suggests Aurora Green colour, triple camerasALSO READ | Oppo announces new sub-brand Reno, first Reno phone to launch on April 10Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanket Vijayasarathy Tags :Follow OppoFollow Renolast_img read more

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COSCO Shipping Chooses Valmet Scrubbers for 10 Boxships

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Valmet China’s COSCO Shipping Lines has selected Finnish company Valmet to supply scrubbers for ten COSCO containerships.As informed, the exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCSs) will be installed on board the company’s existing vessels in China in 2019.The project is implemented in cooperation with Health Lead Development.The value of the order has not been disclosed.“The scrubber systems can be installed to a single-island container vessel without losing any cargo capacity,” Shijie Wang, Senior Sales Manager, Pulp and Energy business line, Marine Scrubber Systems, Valmet, said.He added that the systems will be installed before the upcoming International Maritime Organization (IMO) sulphur cap, scheduled to enter into force in January 2020.The scrubbers “will enable the use of higher sulphur oil, which is cheaper compared to using lower sulphur oil,” Wang explained.Specifically, the scrubber system delivery for COSCO will include an open loop scrubber system for main engine and generator engines including auxiliary systems and automation.According to Valmet, the exhaust gas is washed with seawater in open loop mode. All emissions are continuously monitored, and the complete exhaust gas scrubber system is controlled with Valmet’s marine automation, Valmet DNA.Based in Espoo, Finland, Valmet is a developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries.COSCO Shipping Lines, part of COSCO Shipping Group, is engaged in domestic and international maritime container transport services and related business. At the end of 2018, the company had a total of 376 container vessels, with a total capacity of 2.1 million TEUs.last_img read more

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Provinces Join Forces to Improve Cancer Care for Patients

first_imgNova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador will work together to better understand the impact of cancer and improve care for patients. The three provinces have been awarded $1 million, over three years, from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC), through Health Canada, for the project. “Atlantic Canada has many similarities, including delivery of health services, populations that are a mix of rural, remote and urban, as well as having a greater percentage of adults over the age of 65 than other provinces,” said Dr. Janice Howes, project lead and psychosocial oncology clinical lead for Cancer Care Nova Scotia. “Over the next three years, we will engage clinical leaders, administrators, health care providers and patients in our respective provinces to identify, measure and treat patient distress.” Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will build on the Screening for Distress Program. It includes a patient questionnaire about psychosocial, practical and physical concerns, and a conversation with health professionals. The patient will be asked about their health in four areas: anxiety; depression; fatigue; and pain. After identifying potential problem areas, the team will develop education sessions to help patients address concerns. The Screening for Distress Program in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will expand to re-screen patients after their cancer treatment. This time has long been recognized as a period of transition and uncertainty. Newfoundland and Labrador will develop a Screening for Distress Program, which will include tracking whether patients receive the recommended treatment for distress. Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will help develop and implement the program. “Our goal is to work with health system partners, patients and families to find ways to improve the experience of patients in the cancer control system in Canada,” said Dr. Heather Bryant, vice-president of cancer control at Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. “We believe Cancer Care Nova Scotia and cancer programs in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador will play a crucial role in improving patient lives by engaging patients and families and aligning the needs and experiences of patients with how and where their health care is provided.” The project will focus on the Cape Breton Cancer Centre in Sydney, the Capital Health Cancer Care Program in Halifax, the Prince Edward Island Cancer Treatment Centre and satellite clinic, and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Cancer Care Program Eastern Health. Cancer Care Nova Scotia, a program of the Department of Health and Wellness, was created in 1998 to facilitate quality cancer prevention and care for all Nova Scotians. It supports health professionals in providing patients with high quality care. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, a federally-funded agency, works in partnership with Canada’s cancer community to reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians.last_img read more

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Indian jailed for molesting boy in Dubai

first_imgDubai: An Indian man has been sentenced to six months in jail to be followed by deportation for sexually abusing a five-year-old boy in a shared accommodation. The unidentified 33-year-old electrician was seen hugging the boy from behind and touching him inappropriately in a villa in Bur Dubai, said the child’s uncle. The incident happened in June this year, according to official records. The Indian boy told the prosecution that he was playing inside the villa when the accused called him and touched him inappropriately, Gulf News reported. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US “My uncle came and pushed him (the accused) away from me,” the boy said, according to Gulf News. The uncle testified before the Dubai Court of First Instances that his sister asked him to summon the boy who was playing with his siblings on the villa’s ground floor. But the boy asked for more time to play. “I was busy on the phone. But when I got free and looked at him, I saw the defendant hugging him from behind and touching him while recording it on his mobile phone. I alerted the boy’s father and the defendant escaped from the villa. We alerted Dubai Police and searched for the defendant until we found him near a mosque,” the uncle said. The accused was charged with sexually abusing the boy. The verdict will be subject to appeal within 15 days.last_img read more

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Lawrence ODonnells KIND Fund Reaches More Than 105 Million In Donations

first_imgThe K.I.N.D. fund, which provides students in Malawi with desks and scholarships, has topped more than $10.5 million in donations, it was announced last week by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.Created in 2010, K.I.N.D. (Kids In Need of Desks) is the result of a partnership between UNICEF and O’Donnell and is featured during the holiday season on the MSNBC primetime show “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” This past 2015 season, show viewers provided an outpouring of support, bringing the total funds raised since its inception to more than $10.5 million dollars.“Ten million dollars was beyond my wildest dream when I started K.I.N.D. with UNICEF. I am in awe of the generosity of our audience. There are hundreds of thousands of students sitting at desks instead of on the floor today thanks entirely to our audience. There are girls in high school today thanks entirely to our audience. This is proof that small acts of kindness can make a big difference in our world.”Since 2010, K.I.N.D has placed more than 148,755 desks in 575 primary schools in Malawi, providing actual workspaces to nearly half a million students who would otherwise be sitting on the floor. The fund has also provided over 718 scholarships to girls to complete all four years of high school. K.I.N.D. continues to benefit the Malawian community beyond the walls of the classroom as the desks are manufactured locally, resulting in numerous jobs created for residents over the past 5 years.A very personal project for O’Donnell, the idea to create the fund was sparked after a 2010 visit to the country when he learned firsthand that the number one item that Malawian school teachers said would best improve the lives of the students was desks. During that trip, O’Donnell connected with UNICEF and a Malawi woodworking shop and paid for them to make 30 student desks. With three kids to every desk that first delivery enabled 90 students – a full classroom – to move from classroom and dirt floors to desks, and in turn began the K.I.N.D. movement.To donate or learn more, please visit www.unicefusa.org/kind or call 1-800-4-UNICEF.“The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” airs M-Th at 10:00 PM ET on MSNBC. Drawing upon his experience as a former chief of staff on the Senate Finance Committee and as an Emmy-winning executive producer and writer of “The West Wing,” O’Donnell and his venerable guests give the “last word” and discuss the most compelling stories of the day.last_img read more

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Transformers earns almost as much in China as in US after record

by By Louise Watt, The Associated Press Posted Jul 6, 2014 2:37 am MDT ‘Transformers’ earns almost as much in China as in US after record number of screenings AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email BEIJING, China – The latest “Transformers” movie, which features Chinese locations, actors and products, has so far earned almost as much in China as in the United States, driven by a record number of screenings for a foreign movie.“Transformers: Age of Extinction” has made an estimated $149 million in the U.S. and $134 million in China, the world’s biggest and second-biggest movie markets, respectively, according to figures from box office tracking website Box Office Mojo.Director Michael Bay’s film, which was released June 27 in both markets, heavily courted the Chinese audience by employing Chinese stars, basing part of the action in cities in China and showing Chinese products such as liquor and milk. A reality TV show to choose four people to play roles in the film helped to drum up publicity.Observers say “Transformers” is on course to beat “Avatar” as the biggest earner at the fast-growing Chinese box office. “Avatar” earned $218 million in China in 2010.More than half of China’s more than 20,000 screens showed the fourth in the “Transformers” blockbuster franchise.Hou Tao, vice-president of leading entertainment consultancy EntGroup, said Sunday that on average 55 per cent of screens were set aside for the movie at the start, which had dropped to 46-48 per cent in the last few days. He said that it was a record for foreign movies, which would normally be lucky to be shown on 40 per cent of screens.Whether any other foreign movie will receive such a favourable screening “just depends on the movie itself, whether it’s popular, whether it’s competitive enough, and whether at the time there is no other movie to compete with it,” Hou said.He said “Transformers” had done well in China because of its Chinese elements and it hadn’t had to compete with any other big movies. Also, advertisers who had arranged for their products to be shown in the movie promoted the film by offering free tickets, Hou said.___Associated Press researcher Henry Hou contributed to this report. read more

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A dark day in a bleak year for children UNICEF condemns attack

According to media reports, a school bus carrying the 15 school girls was hit by a car bomb as it passed a checkpoint in the Yemeni province of Al Bayda, south of the country’s capital of Sana’a. The deaths come on a day already marked the mass killing of children in a school in Peshawar, Pakistan where 132 children were murdered by Taliban militants earlier this morning. “There can be no justification for such unspeakable savagery against children as they go about the simple act of going to school, or against teachers as they work to educate them,” UNICEF declared in a statement. “Each life taken in Peshawar and Al Bayda is a future lost forever.”The UN agency pointed out that in 2014 schools had repeatedly become the targets of violence with students, teachers, and school staff caught in the crosshairs and “paying a terrible price.” In addition, the statement said, children had been affected as never before in recent memory by violence and extreme hatred, with some 230 million children living in countries affected by conflict. Just last week, UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, lamented that 2014 had been “a devastating year” for the world’s children and that protracted crises in countries like Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, and Yemen, continued to claim “even more young lives and futures” without any indication of stopping. “These tragedies underscore why 2015 must be the year when protecting our children against violence of every kind, whether in conflict or in peace, whether in school or at home, and in every circumstance, becomes a global priority,” the statement concluded. read more

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Ohio State mens soccer falls to Wisconsin 20 in regular season finale

The Ohio State men’s soccer team (5-7-5, 1-3-2) earned the sixth seed in the Big Ten Tournament after falling, 2-0, to No. 16 Wisconsin in the team’s regular season finale Friday. The loss on the Badgers’ senior night snapped a five-game unbeaten streak for the Buckeyes, who finished the regular season winning three of their last four matches.Buckeye coach John Bluem said he hopes the team learned that it needs to match the physical intensity of its opponents if it wants to play and get a win.“They physically dominated us, they were more aggressive than we were and they played harder than we played,” he said. “In most of the games this year, especially when we started playing better, it’s when we started matching the other team’s physical aggressiveness.”Although the Buckeyes began the match aggressive, taking the first shot and forcing the first three corner kick opportunities, a first-half goal by the Badgers (13-3-2, 4-2-0) halted Buckeye redshirt-junior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov’s four-game, 445-minute spell of not allowing a goal. The goal came in the 23rd minute of play when Wisconsin redshirt-senior midfielder Tomislav Zadro scored off a diving header from the far post, after connecting with Badger sophomore midfielder Drew Connor. The goal was Zadro’s fourth of the season.The Buckeyes tried to fight back, firing two shots of their own in the following six minutes, but were unable to find the back of the net. At the half, the Badgers had outshot the Buckeyes, 6-5.The Badgers added to their lead with a second-half goal midway through the 71st minute. Badger senior forward Nick Janus finished off a knockdown from an OSU defender, squeaking it past Ivanov into the right side of the net. The goal gave the Badgers a 2-0 cushion, eventually leading to the victory.Despite leaving Madison, Wis., with a loss, Ivanov said the team was able to learn some last-minute things about itself before heading into the conference tournament.“I think we learned that obviously, when we’re sharper than that, we usually play a lot better than we did,” Ivanov said. “We didn’t have that extra fiery edge that we usually do, and we all know collectively that we’re better than the performance we had.”Buckeye senior defender Sage Gardner said the way the team prepared for Wisconsin proves to him that the team can play at the same level of play as any team in the conference.“I think Wisconsin was a little fluke for us — we definitely got out-hustled and out-muscled playing up at Wisconsin for their senior night,” he said. “I think it was kind of a tough situation for us and I don’t think we responded well, but I think the way we’ve been ending the season the way we’re moving upwards is a positive.”Wisconsin finished the match outshooting OSU, 14-7, but Ivanov was able to gather six saves, propelling him into seventh place for single-season saves in OSU history with 101 on the season.Up next, the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on No. 18 Michigan State in the first round of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The teams met earlier in the season, playing to a 1-1 tie in double overtime. read more

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Tom Bradys Statistical Place In The Pantheon Of NFL QBs

19Bob Griese+356439Matt Ryan+1865 1Joe Montana+20768021Mark Rypien+39538 6Troy Aikman+11564826Jeff Hostetler+33862 Why? Under the leverage-weighted scheme, playoff games are given an incredible amount of emphasis. Wild card games are worth about 26 times as much as the average regular season game; that multiplier becomes 51 for the divisional round, 102 for the conference championship games and a whopping 205 for the Super Bowl (you can read more about this math at the end of the post).Because of the extreme weighting given to playoff games, Brady loses ground to Montana, whose three best Super Bowls were each at least 47 adjusted yards of value better than any of Brady’s Super Bowls. (Montana’s worst Super Bowl was also better than three of Brady’s Super Bowls.) Warner also gets a massive boost from his Super Bowl performances in 2000 and 2009 — the latter of which ranks as the single-best passing game of the Super Bowl era after adjusting for the strength of opponent and the leverage of the game — in addition to big games at lower rungs of the playoff ladder. Adding in the postseason hurts Brady.So, is Brady the best all of time? At his regular-season peak, he might very well be. And if he has a few more great seasons, he could pass Manning on career value over average. But for now, Montana reigns supreme among Super Bowl-era QBs when playoff performance is included in the calculations.Here’s how the math works out: The average regular-season game moves a team’s chances of winning the Super Bowl by about 0.24 percentage points. That’s because every team starts out with a 1 in 32 chance of winning it all, which inevitably moves to either zero (for the 20 teams who miss the playoffs) or 1 in 12 ( for playoff teams) once all 16 games are played. Meanwhile, the Super Bowl swings each team’s chances by 50 percent — either up from 50-50 to 100 percent, or down to zero. 19Daryle Lamonica+4287939Bob Griese+19743 13Roger Staubach+530333Phil Simms+2161 4Joe Montana+795124Daryle Lamonica+3008 6Aaron Rodgers+754526Jim Kelly+2669 18Boomer Esiason+394438Mark Brunell+1935 11Ben Roethlisberger+561531Joe Namath+2371 7Fran Tarkenton+742127Carson Palmer+2620 7Brett Favre+10093527Jim McMahon+32416 13Aaron Rodgers+6203133Donovan McNabb+23794 15Roger Staubach+5680335Joe Theismann+23474 QUARTERBACKWEIGHTED VALUEQUARTERBACKWEIGHTED VALUE QUARTERBACKREG. SEASON VALUEQUARTERBACKREG. SEASON VALUE 20Dan Marino+4023640Joe Namath+19573 17Jake Delhomme+4812337Matt Hasselbeck+22607 17John Elway+430037Daunte Culpepper+1936 2Kurt Warner+14377922Phil Simms+38564 9Drew Brees+686329Jeff Garcia+2442 8Ken Anderson+712628Roman Gabriel+2564 Of course, any good ranking of quarterbacks should also give credit for performance in the playoffs, and Brady’s trump card over Manning has always been the postseason. But here’s where the twist comes in: After crediting playoff passing value over average (according to the same formula described above) with weight given to each game according to how much it changes a team’s probability of winning the Super Bowl relative to the average regular season game — a form of leverage index for the importance of football games — Brady passes Manning but is surpassed by two others: Joe Montana and our old friend Kurt Warner: 14Bart Starr+6197034Dan Fouts+23589 18Russell Wilson+4311838Randall Cunningham+20142 16Joe Flacco+5043836Erik Kramer+23353 3Tom Brady+13135523Eli Manning+38401 4Terry Bradshaw+12641024Ken Anderson+37520 14Philip Rivers+520434Bart Starr+2155 15Brett Favre+502035Troy Aikman+2071 10Dan Fouts+686330Matt Schaub+2379 8Drew Brees+8710528Doug Williams+29832 10John Elway+7059330Mark Sanchez+28016 9Steve Young+7104529Len Dawson+28991 12Ken Stabler+6337232Philip Rivers+24280 11Jim Plunkett+6547731Bernie Kosar+25207 3Dan Marino+1035423John Hadl+3094 A vast amount of column space was spent this week debating whether Tom Brady had finally ascended to No. 1 in the all-time pantheon of quarterbacking greatness. (Many of the articles argued that, yes, Brady is now the best ever.)These assessments leaned heavily on the fact that Brady is tied with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the most Super Bowl victories of any quarterback. But even Patriots fans have to acknowledge that “count the rings” isn’t the most nuanced argument in the world. So, what do the numbers say about Brady’s legacy?The common narrative is that early-career Brady wasn’t a statistical monster, to the point that his playoff wins over Peyton Manning in 2003 and 2004 were held up as victories for clutch, gritty winners everywhere. But the truth is that, in addition to his gaudy record as a postseason starter, Brady was one of the league’s top five to 10 regular-season quarterbacks statistically even before his transformation into a passing efficiency god in 2007.In other words, the “clutch game manager” phase of Brady’s career was never as game manager-y as his detractors made it out to be. And ever since, he’s been as efficient a regular-season QB as any in NFL history.To measure QB performance, I used Chase Stuart’s formula for passing value, which compares a quarterback’s adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A) to the league average after adjusting for home-field advantage, weather effects and strength of schedule. By that metric, the late-career version of Brady owns practically every stretch of the best consecutive peak passing regular seasons in the Super Bowl era:Now, some of that is due to sheer passing volume; while shorter schedules have been prorated to 16 games, today’s passers drop back so much more often per game than their predecessors did that they have more chances to add value. Even so, Brady’s stats have risen far above those of his peers (including Manning) during the peak of his career once all the aforementioned adjustments are made.In terms of total career regular season value, however, Brady does not rank No. 1 among Super Bowl era quarterbacks — his 11,921 adjusted yards of value over average ranks second to Manning’s 13,791-yard mark: 12Tony Romo+540632Jim Hart+2303 20Len Dawson+354640Bert Jones+1852 5Steve Young+785425Donovan McNabb+2837 16Kurt Warner+434436John Brodie+1978 1Peyton Manning+1379121Trent Green+3512 5Peyton Manning+12247425Colin Kaepernick+35337 2Tom Brady+1192122Sonny Jurgensen+3145 read more

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Wii U Dragon Quest X expected spring 2013

first_imgIn order for any games console to succeed it needs a range of titles that are classed as “system sellers” — those games that people want to play so badly they will purchase a console to get them. Microsoft has Halo, Sony has Gran Turismo and Uncharted, and Nintendo has Mario and Zelda. But there are a whole host of other game series that fall into this category.The Wii U doesn’t have any system sellers at launch, but it does have a few in the pipeline. One of those is Monster Hunter and the other is Dragon Quest, in particular Dragon Quest X. The only problem is, Square Enix hasn’t confirmed when it will see a release.In Japan, Dragon Quest is a huge deal and when it gets released for Wii U it should be accompanied by a massive spike in console sales for Nintendo. And the good news for Nintendo is they probably don’t have to wait that long for DQX. Yuuji Horii, the creator of Dragon Quest, has stated during the Tokyo Game Show that the development team is working towards a Spring 2013 release. Whether they hit it or not is anyone’s guess.An early 2013 launch would certainly help the Wii U in its home territory. The only concern is that DQX isn’t actually a new game as it has already seen a release on the Wii. Will that kill interest in the game? Unlikely, but Square Enix needs to incorporate some sort of transfer system for those gamers playing it on the Wii and wanting to make the switch. As for a release in the West, nothing is confirmed but with a marketing push behind it the game could sell well over here.DQX was released in Japan at the beginning of August and made headlines at the time due to its 70 minute install on the Wii. Hopefully that can be minimized in time for the Wii U launch.via Kotakulast_img read more

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Andrew Jackomos Australias First Commissioner For Aboriginal Kids steps down

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greek-Aboriginal Andrew Jackomos has announced that he is preparing to step down from his role as the first ever Australian Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, after five monumental years. The farewell ceremony takes place tonight at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.During his tenure, Mr Jackomos has made a significant contribution in improving the lives of Aboriginal children and young people through his advocacy for the Aboriginal Children’s Forum, the Aboriginal Justice Forum and Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Forum.“Andrew has been tireless in his work as Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, highlighting significant issues and forging a path for improved outcomes for young people for many years to come,” Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said.“Andrew’s work will continue to benefit Aboriginal Victorians and the broader community – we thank him for his dedication and continued service to Aboriginal people.”Mr Jackomos is also responsible for the establishment of the Victorian Young People Alliance and the development of a state-wide Aboriginal Children’s Agreement which he will continue to oversee as the Special Adviser for Self-Determination, within the Department of Premier and Cabinet.He will conclude his time in his current role on January 31 but the Labor Government will continue to work towards implementing his recommendations into the child protection system’s application of the Aboriginal child placement principle and the task-force that examined circumstances of approximately 1,000 Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care.In addition to his work as Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People he has also played an important role in the implementation of the Labor Government’s Roadmap for Reform, helping to give Aboriginal people responsibility for the care and decision-making of Aboriginal children and families while he has established the Walda Blow Award to recognise the contribution of Aboriginal people in Victoria to the safety and well-being of Aboriginal children and young people.last_img read more

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Helicopter crashes into pub roof in Glasgow

first_imgLONDON — A police helicopter crashed into the roof of a crowded Glasgow pub, causing “numerous” casualties and leaving people trapped in the unstable building, officials said early Saturday.Authorities said they had made contact with people still inside The Clutha pub in the city center. They said some people had been taken to hospitals but that it was too soon to give a number of injured. Witnesses spoke of people streaming out of the building covered in blood, with gashes and other injuries.“Given an incident of this scale we must all prepare ourselves for the likelihood of fatalities,” Scotland’s leader, Alex Salmond, said on his official Twitter account.Television images showed what appeared to be the helicopter’s propeller sticking out of the popular one-story pub’s roof.The crash Friday at around 10:30 p.m. local time sent dozens of patrons fleeing through a cloud of dust.It was unclear how many people were still inside, Asst. Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said. He said teams — including 125 firefighters on the scene — were working to stabilize the building and “get people out.”A crew of three — two police officers and a civilian pilot — were aboard the Eurocopter EC135 T2, according to Scottish police. Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said it was too early to offer details on why the helicopter came down.last_img read more

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Soldotna Library Receives Donation Of 3100

first_imgThe donation will be spent as follows:$200.00 to purchase new toys for the children’s area.$500.00 to support the Library’s One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten program which enhances pre literacy education at our library.$1,000.00 to support library programs year round.$1,400.00 to be spent on promotional and other materials for the Summer Reading Program 2019. In a letter to the Soldotna City Council from City Librarian Rachel Nash: “Library staff are very grateful for the hard work and support of the Soldotna Library Friends, and for the contributions of our community donors.” The purpose of the Soldotna Library Friends is to support the mission of the Joyce K. Carver Memorial Library through fundraising, advocacy and promotion. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Joyce K. Carver Memorial Soldotna Public Library received a donation in the amount of $3,100 from the Soldotna Library Friends. An ordinance to appropriate the donation was introduced at the Soldotna City Council meeting on Wednesday. A public hearing will be held on May 8.last_img read more

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Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Friday April 15

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uA review of some of the top news stories of the week, directly from the pages of the AFRO, with managing editor Kamau High. Plus, The Mod Squad, Taya Graham and Stephen Janis report on law enforcement and politics, including thoughts on early voting in Baltimore and new attention from the State’s Attorney’s office for the police brutality death of Tyrone West. Also…this week is WEAA’s Spring Membership Drive, please call and make your pledge of support to WEAA and AFRO First Edition, with Sean Yoes! 410.319.8888 !These stories and more coming up this evening on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes.last_img

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Man Spent 36Plus Hours Painting in VR to Break Guinness World Record

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Everyone has goals. Jack McNee’s was to earn the Guinness World Record for longest videogame marathon on a virtual reality game system.Congratulations, Jack.On April 2, McNee broke the world record (and then some) during a 36-hour stint inside the virtual world of Tilt Brush.(via VR Designers/YouTube)The 3D painting program from Google lets users paint life-size, three-dimensional masterpieces using the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.Holed up at Sydney-based arcade VR Corner, McNee strapped on a virtual reality headset and proceeded to spend the next day and a half drawing everything from the famed Simpsons couch gag and Wilson the volleyball to Adventure Time and Pokemon characters.(It is unclear whether his bill—which, according to the online price list, should have totaled $2,448—was waived for the event.)Jack live-streamed the whole event (via VR Designers/YouTube)One of the requirements for the record is to use a single VR app: McNee wisely chose Tilt Brush for its freedom; during the event’s live-stream, he was able to play rounds of Hangman and Pictionary with viewers.Aside from a few quick bathroom breaks, gameplay continued for a whopping 36 hours, two minutes, and 16 seconds; dedicated friends and volunteers hand-fed McNee pizza and other food while he composed in thin air.The brains behind YouTube account LPVR, McNee handily stole the Guinness title from UK tech journalist Georgie Barrat, who previously held the record of 25 hours, 24 minutes, and 18 seconds.McNee beat her by roughly 11 hours. Because why not?36 hours later… (via VR Designers/YouTube)Aside from breaking a world record, a secondary goal of collecting donations for local youth non-profit The Reach Foundation resulted in A$400 (US$305).It’s going to be hard to beat McNee’s impressive (if not completely bonkers) maximum. But Guinness has plenty of untested titles: Why not try for the largest virtual reality cave tour? Or, if you’re a real go-getter, you can attempt to outdo Facebook for the most expensive VR acquisition. Stay on targetcenter_img British Airways Tests VR Entertainment on Select First-Class Flights’Doctor Who’ Returns This Fall With Interactive VR Game last_img read more

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Apocalyptic Fallout 76 Beta Bug Raises Our Morbid Curiosity

first_img The Fallout franchise is about things being broken. A post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland is a broken world. A constant social clash between mutants, neo-minutemen militia, synthetic people, amoral science groups, and dudes in powered armored is a broken system. You pay for scrap metal in bottle caps.But even outside the in-game lore Fallout is about being broken, especially since Bethesda took over in 2008. Realizing these huge, intricate clockwork worlds requires technology that’s equally impressive and unstable. Modern Fallout has always featured glitches and bugs ranging from gamebreaking crashes to hilarious mashups of fierce combat behind casual dialogue sequences. And the upcoming Fallout 76 looks to continue this broken legacy as a particularly nasty bug in the ongoing PC beta has us morbidly curious for the final November 14 release. Play ‘Fallout 76’ Nuclear Winter Battle Royale as Long as Yo…Fallout 76’s Bags Are Broken, Too The Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. (Break-it Early Test Application) has been recently rolling out on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It’s coming to PC, too. But hours before launch Bethesda gave players a seasonally appropriate spooky warning not to press any buttons at all while the client downloaded. The help forums were down but over on the Fallout 76 Reddit you can learn that a clicking a button while downloading could accidentally delete the entire 50GB file before even playing. This bug could break the game literally before you even start it. The upside is, Bethesda is extending the length of the beta so tech issues don’t cheat players out of their hands-on time.I guess we should have seen this coming. Fallout games were broken enough when they were strictly single-player affairs. But Fallout 76’s main hook is giving players a connected online multiplayer wasteland world to survive in. Testing that is much more complex, which was why this beta was even needed in the first place. And before the beta began Bethesda practically begged fans not to get too upset about the “spectacular” bugs and performance issues they would surely encounter.But man, Fallout 76 is only two weeks away. If we’re seeing bugs like this now, the most entertaining part about this game might not be playing it while it works but witnessing just what could happen when it doesn’t. For more on Fallout check out the Vault Dweller’s cookbook and the best Fallout Funko Pops.center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more