Titled, ‘JA KIDS: The Jamaican Birth Cohort Study 2011’, the study included all the children born in the 14 parishes across Jamaica from July 1 to September 30, 2011. A seven-year birth cohort study conducted by a team of University of the West Indies (UWI) researchers has been presented at a two-day conference, beginning today (May 31), at the Sir Kenneth Standard Lecture Theatre.It aims to improve the health and well-being of Jamaica’s children by providing valuable data on the relationships among a wide range of family, school, community, environmental and individual variables.It will also contribute to greater understanding of the various factors that influence health and disease, as well as social and emotional development in young children.Titled, ‘JA KIDS: The Jamaican Birth Cohort Study 2011’, the study included all the children born in the 14 parishes across Jamaica from July 1 to September 30, 2011.Approximately 11,124 children were born in Jamaica during this period. Participants were recruited while pregnant during March to September 2011. Subsequently, contact was made with families when their children were 9-12 months, 18-22 months and 48 – to 54 months.At each contact, participants were asked questions about their health and well-being, their child’s growth and development, the child’s environment, nutrition and parental practices.In her address at the opening ceremony for the conference on Wednesday (May 30), at the venue, Patron of the JA KIDS conference and wife of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, said the initiative will assist in laying the foundation for a prosperous Jamaica.“The foundations are our children. They represent the hopes and dreams of our nation. It is investing in them as well as investigating their needs, their strengths and their vulnerabilities that we will enable and be better prepared to appropriately cater to their social needs, physical needs and their economic infrastructure, which will undoubtedly ensure that Jamaica will be established as a place where we can comfortably live, work raise our families, do business and retire in prosperous peace,” she said.Noting that fatherhood remains an issue in Jamaica, Mrs. Holness called on men to assume their rightful place in the lives of their children.She emphasised that this would lead to a balanced adulthood for these children, as “an environment of sharing and equality is crucial to a well prepared and conditioned adult.”In his address, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, commended the research team for the important work they have been doing to assist in improving the development outcomes of the nation’s children.“The Ministry recognises that in establishing our policies and programmes, we will be focusing on early interventions, child development and academic achievement, and our efforts must be underpinned by indepth research,” the Minister said.“Evidence is crucial in supporting these initiatives. Armed with information, we are better able to allocate both financial and human resources for each sector that supports the development of our children,” he added.Principal Investigator, JA KIDS, and Professor of Child Health, Development and Behaviour, Maureen Samms-Vaughan is quoted in a UWI Mona press release as saying: “We expect the findings from the JA KIDS study to benefit Jamaica by providing the health, education, social and academic sectors with information from which to develop national policies and programmes to ensure the best possible outcomes for our children and families.”Representative from international funding agency, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Chief of Operations, Adriana Lavalley, said the Bank was pleased to assist in improving the lives of Jamaica’s children.“As a knowledge-focused institution, the Bank welcomes the ways in which JA KIDS will deepen our understanding of the various factors that influence health, growth and development in young children and importantly, how it will enable the design and implementation of public policies, interventions and programmes that are evidence- based,” she noted. Story Highlights A seven-year birth cohort study conducted by a team of University of the West Indies (UWI) researchers have been presented at a two-day conference, beginning today (May 31), at the Sir Kenneth Standard Lecture Theatre. It aims to improve the health and well-being of Jamaica’s children by providing valuable data on the relationships among a wide range of family, school, community, environmental and individual variables.
The Nova Scotia “Come to life” initiative continues to gain the support of private-sector companies across Nova Scotia. Today, Oct. 18, in Sydney, 15 organizations joined the effort to educate the world about Nova Scotia and its many attributes. The Nova Scotia “Come to life” initiative was launched three years ago to generate economic growth in the province by telling the story of the province’s successes, its people, its educated workforce and business opportunities. “I am proud to stand beside these new charter members today,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “They are all making major impressions in their respective sectors, so imagine the impact we’ll all have standing together, government and private sector, coming together as one voice, telling the world the Nova Scotia story,” said the premier. The new members signed the Nova Scotia “Come to life” charter at a signing ceremony at the Delta Sydney. They are: AG Research; Lakewind Sound Studio; Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority; Laurentian Energy; Protocase; Icon Communications and Research; Polysteel Atlantic Limited; Cape Breton University; Sydney Area Chamber of Commerce; Techlink; Coastal Community Radio Co-op Ltd.; Maritime Environmental Training Institute; Sydney Downtown Development Association; Destination Cape Breton Association; and Advanced Glazings. “We’re very pleased to be a part of the ‘Come to life’ initiative because it’s so well aligned with everything we stand for at Advanced Glazings,” said Doug Milburn, company founder and CEO. “Not only are we able to offer our employees fulfilling, challenging and meaningful work opportunities, but we have the advantage of doing it here in Nova Scotia where quality of life and beautiful surroundings are second to none.” With today’s additions, the Nova Scotia “Come to life” initiative is now supported by 63 charter members. The Sydney event is the first of three planned for this fall. An Antigonish event is scheduled for Oct. 26 and a Dartmouth event will be held Oct. 31. The charter document formalizes the involvement of public- and private-sector organizations. The two sectors are coming together to promote Nova Scotia to business leaders, immigrants, visitors and students. As a charter member, each organization agrees to help develop and support those goals. A list of all charter members of the Nova Scotia “Come to life” initiative can be found at www.novascotialife.com/chartermembers
28 November 2008The 18 United Nations peacekeeping operations worldwide are carrying out their work well under circumstances that are often extremely difficult and in areas where no other major organizations or countries are prepared to be involved, the head of the world body’s missions says. “We are going where others do not want to go,” Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy says in an extended interview with the UN News Centre to mark the first of its Newsmaker profile series. “Sometimes we are easy scapegoats. [But] on the contrary, on my field visits I see missions that in the vast majority of cases are being executed well.”Mr. Le Roy, who took up his post in August, last month visited the Darfur region of western Sudan – now home to the joint UN-African Union mission known as UNAMID – and then this month travelled to the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the UN mission known as MONUC is responding to fierce recent fighting that has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.In the interview he notes the scale of the task facing UN peacekeeping missions, which collectively have about 110,000 personnel and a budget of more than $7 billion.“That is huge. There has been a very great increase in our engagements in recent years. Some think that we have perhaps reached the limits. Of course, it is the Security Council that decides on the missions and troop levels it gives us.”Mr. Le Roy says the recent decision by the Security Council to boost MONUC’s numbers by another 3,000 troops and police officers “is clearly very important to help us fulfil our mandate,” especially in North Kivu province, the scene of much of the recent fighting.But he adds that the mission’s current total of blue helmets – about 17,000 – is comparatively small given the sheer size of the DRC, one of Africa’s largest countries.In Darfur, the Under-Secretary-General says the administrative problems experienced by UNAMID, which replaced an under-resourced AU-only monitoring mission at the start of the year, are in the process of being resolved.“On the other hand, the logistical aspect remains extremely complicated: the region is 2,500 kilometres from its nearest port and there are very few access roads.”He adds that the mission is still waiting on 18 transport helicopters and six attack helicopters from Member States, despite earlier authorization for the craft from the Security Council.“The States we have asked say they don’t have any available. It’s very damaging because that diminishes the effectiveness of the force. We sincerely hope that certain countries will supply us with these helicopters.”
“Access to Gaza is a significant challenge under normal circumstances,” the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said in a news release on its activities in Gaza, where the population of 1.6 million – half of them children – continues to face an Israeli blockade imposed in 2007.“WFP is concerned about access to people in the territory if conflict escalates and humanitarian needs increase,” it added.The latest wave of violence between Israel and Gaza began on 14 November and has included rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza, and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.As part of its regular monthly programme to help feed 285,000 vulnerable people throughout the Gaza Strip, WFP said it began on Tuesday to deliver food to 30,000 people at six sites in Gaza. It is also supplying wheat flour to bakeries so that free bread can be given to people who have seen their homes destroyed.“On Tuesday, four trucks with WFP food stocks attempted to enter via the Karem Shalom crossing, but had to turn back due to rocket fire,” WFP said of a crossing on the Gaza Strip-Israel-Egypt border.“The trucks were carrying 120 metric tons of food, enough to feed 5,600 people for a month,” the agency added, saying it was “critical to ensure this access point is open for humanitarian food and other supplies in the coming days.”On the question of food distribution, WFP said it has sufficient supplies pre-positioned inside and outside Gaza to cover the needs of its usual caseload of 285,000 people for more than three months, according to its news release.In addition, free bread baked with WFP-supplied wheat, as well as canned goods, will be given as emergency food assistance to some 350 families throughout Gaza – comprising around 2,100 people – in the coming days, for an “initial period” of 10 days, WFP said. Under its regular operations, WFP uses food vouchers, school meals and food rations to poor and food-insecure households who are affected by the on-going blockade, the agency said.From its Geneva headquarters, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) today issued an appeal for $10 million to help restock medical supplies in Gaza, with the agency noting that the latest wave of violence had killed 132 people there, including 30 children and 11 women. Of 1,090 people injured, there are 381 children, 186 women and 83 seniors.“The problem with the hospitals is not staff, (but) the shortage of supplies and drugs,” Dr. Mahmoud Daher, of the WHO office in Gaza, said in an interview with UN Radio. He added, “More than 50 per cent of the essential drugs list is below one month consumption rate and, in such conditions, coping with (an) increasing number of casualties will be problematic, as has been seen in the past couple of days.”At least one major health facility has been directly hit by a mortar shell, according to WHO, which also cited reports of damage to other treatment centres, as well as to ambulances.“The Jordanian field hospital sustained damage in the medical wards as a missile penetrated the two roofs of the hospital,” said Dr. Daher. He also noted that more than 50 per cent of the violence-affected children were below the age of five.Other UN agencies speaking out on Wednesday included the Paris-based UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Its chief condemned the killing of three Palestinian journalists in air strikes on 20 November, and voiced alarm over reports the violence had resulted in schools being hit both in Gaza and southern Israel.“I am deeply concerned about the reported targeting of media facilities and personnel that have left three Palestinian journalists dead: Mahmoud Al-Komi, Hossam Salameh Mohammed and Abu Eisha,” said UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, according to a news release from the agency, which is mandated to defend press freedom and promote education, “The civilian status of journalists and their right to carry out their professional duties should be respected,” she added.Ms. Bokova said she was “equally alarmed” by the strikes on schools, saying they should “offer a safe environment for children,” and that “attacks against them (were) a denial of the right to education and should be firmly condemned.”The UNESCO chief said she added her voice to that of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said on Tuesday, following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, that his “paramount immediate concern” was for the safety and well-being of all civilians.Mr. Ban, who was in Ramallah in the West Bank today to meet with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has been at the head of a cavalcade of UN officials appealing for an end to the current violence, and strongly urging the parties to achieve an immediate ceasefire.
According to published reports at least seven people were killed and 25 wounded in front of a Sunni Muslim mosque, as worshippers were leaving after Friday prayers in the town of Kanaan in Diyala where a surge of attacks by Sunni Islamists have targeted Shi’ite Muslims in growing sectarian confrontation.“These brutal acts of violence, particularly in such sensitive areas, will not undermine the true and deep belief in peaceful coexistence among the people of Diyala,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Iraq Martin Kobler said in a statement. He extended his deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery for the wounded.
Serious traction: dual purpose market share has grown from 4.5% in 2000 to 11.% in 2013 Dual Purpose vehicles, more commonly known as SUVs or crossovers, are becoming ever-more popular with UK motorists. Nearly 250,000 Dual Purpose cars were registered in 2013, making it the third most popular segment in the UK.Looking back to the turn of the 21st century, however, the Dual Purpose segment was one of the smaller markets. Fewer than 100,000 SUVs were registered in 2000, accounting for just 4.5% of new car registrations.There were just 38 SUV models available in the dual purpose segment in 2000, with only five of those produced by luxury or premium manufacturers. However, manufacturers that were more commonly associated with producing executive saloons were starting to see the potential of the dual purpose segment. Packaging an executive car’s levels of refinement and equipment into an SUV bodystyle enabled traditional executive saloon buyers to enjoy added versatility and a higher driving position.In 2001, premium and luxury manufacturers occupied four spaces in the top ten Dual Purpose vehicles registered. In the same year, Dual Purpose overtook the Executive segment in popularity, with a market share of 4.9% compared to 4.5%.Inspired by a new generation of executive SUVs, motorists demanded Dual Purpose alternatives to suit all budgets. By 2005, there were 45 models available in the segment, accounting for 7.7% of all new car registrations.Inevitably, the recession led to a slight drop in demand for Dual Purpose vehicles as cash-strapped consumers chose small A- and B-segment Minis and Superminis – in many cases to stretch their scrappage scheme grant as far as possible.However, since the resurgence of the UK new car market, the Dual Purpose segment has thrived. In 2013, there were 52 models in the segment, ranging from B-, C-and D-segment-sized ‘crossovers’, such as the Mazda CX-5, to luxury SUVs in a range of sizes. There are even performance-focused SUVs such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. Such variety helped the segment’s market share overtake that of the Upper Medium segment last year, accounting for 11% of new car sales.Despite their larger dimensions, vehicle manufacturers have also made great advances to ensure that SUVs are as efficient as possible. In 2000, the average new Dual Purpose vehicle emitted 260g/km of CO2. Thanks to intelligent technologies such as Mazda’s Skyactiv, this was reduced to 167g/km in 2013.To highlight the success of the dual purpose segment, SMMT is displaying a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and Mazda CX-5 at in an exhibition at its Westminster headquarters.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
Members of the OSU men’s hockey team line up on the ice before a game against Michigan State on Nov. 20 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 3-1. Credit: Kelly Roderick / For The LanternLate in the third period of Thursday’s game, Ohio State men’s hockey junior forward Tyler Lundey hopped over the boards and onto the ice.The Buckeyes’ extra attacker cut his team’s deficit to 3-1 with 2:33 remaining, but the goal did little more than prove OSU’s ever-apparent inconsistency.“I certainly see some mistakes that are becoming too much of an every game appearance for us,” OSU coach Steve Rohlik said. “It’s not an X’s and O thing, it’s a matter of understanding.”Following a flurry of offensive activity, the Buckeyes (3-7-1, 0-1-0) lost, 3-1, at home against Michigan State in its first Big Ten matchup of the season.OSU’s desperation play revealed that its non-desperation play, which lasted for the greater portion of the third period, was a factor in the loss.“I think the attitude of playing desperate has to be there from the start,” Rohlik said. “That’s something you can control and that’s something that our guys have a build on.”OSU opened the game with a quick few shifts, but fell into a familiar hole at the 12:03 mark of the first period when Michigan State freshman defenseman Carson Gatt’s shot from the left wing boards yielded a rebound between the faceoff circles for sophomore forward Villiam Haag.Haag’s goal marked the eighth time this season OSU allowed the first goal of the game and was the Spartans’ first of two clean scoring opportunities of the opening period.Michigan State’s next opportunity came later in the period when the Spartans’ top line forced OSU sophomore goalie Matt Tomkins to make a couple consecutive sprawling saves.MSU carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, but couldn’t find an equalizer in the second period. The Buckeyes, as would be the theme in the game, had trouble managing second-chance scoring opportunities.“We got in there and their goaltender made the saves,” Rohlik said. “Its up to our guys to create second and third chances and if you’re not willing to pay the price…you’re probably going to have that chance.”Following Buckeye sophomore defenseman Josh Healey’s hooking penalty about five minutes into the second, Michigan State capitalized on the first power play of the game.Spartan senior forward Matt Berry’s wrist shot from the left faceoff circle beat Tomkins on the glove side and made it 2-0.The Buckeyes’ response was promising as they outshot the Spartans 13-8 in the period and took a 19-16 shot advantage in the game going into the final period.“I think we knew we were capable of coming back into the game,” sophomore defenseman Drew Brevig said. “It just didn’t work out for us tonight.”Part of OSU’s improved play was a result of their defensive adjustments that prevented Michigan State from connecting rink-wide passes across the Buckeyes’ goal.OSU also made substantial improvements to their team-discipline as they took only four penalty minutes compared to the 14 penalty minutes they took last Saturday against Bowling Green.The third period zapped any post intermission energy OSU had accumulated. Michigan State’s goal early in the third period put the Buckeyes down 3-0 and seemed to flatline the team with only one win in seven home games.“We’re trying to stay positive,” OSU senior forward Darik Angeli said. “We’re going to turn our season around.”The Buckeyes are set to face the Spartans on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.Loose PucksOSU freshman forward Matt Weis (upper-body) did not play on Friday. Rohlik said he was day-to-day after the game.The Buckeyes led 31-23 in the faceoff circle.Correction: A previous version of this story stated that OSU led 1-0 after the first intermission when in fact it was MSU that lead after the first period.
Samsung Slate, une tablette très…PC !Loin de sa tablette média, la Galaxy Tab, le Slate PC de Samsung pourrait bien détrôner votre PC de bureau… Équipé de Windows 7, l’appareil, à mi-chemin entre la tablette et le PC, s’annonce comme une révolution pour les professionnels.Car elle est aussi puissante qu’un ordinateur de bureau grâce à un processeur Intel Core i5, avec l’avantage de pouvoir être transportée un peu partout où vous allez.Une réunion à l’extérieur ? Grâce à sa dalle tactile et son écran 11,6 pouces (30 cm), la Slate vous permet d’emmener toutes les informations avec vous. Alors que la Galaxy Tab est a été développée avant tout pour les applications, les jeux, la consultation des mails…, la Slate s’adresse avant tout aux professionnels.Marion Candau-Tilh, responsable produits Notebook B2B chez Samsung, explique que “la cible de prédilection de la Slate, c’est les commerciaux. Ils sont toute la journée à l’extérieur avec leur tablette et lorsqu’ils reviennent au bureau, ils connectent la Slate sur sa station d’accueil, la transformant ainsi en ordinateur de bureau classique. Ils n’ont plus besoin de transférer leurs informations de leur tablette à leur PC. Du coup, le gain de temps et de productivité est incroyable”.L’éducation, le médical… bientôt sous Windows 8Pourtant, avec un prix de vente tournant autour de 1.000 euros, la Slate n’est pas accessible à tous. “Nous souhaitons la développer pour tous les secteurs professionnels. Cela signifie aussi le médical et l’éducation. Ce sont des marchés sur lesquels Samsung cherche à s’implanter de plus en plus. Pour l’instant, nous ne sommes pas au niveau d’Apple en ce qui concerne l’éducation, mais nous y arrivons petit à petit”, ajoute Marion Candau-Tilh.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?En effet, au-delà des produits, Samsung cherche de plus en plus à s’implanter sur le marché de l’éducation, notamment via le programme Smart School, similaire à Acer for School, présenté dans notre dossier concernant l’école du futur.Pour l’instant, Windows 7 nest pas parfaitement adapté à la Slate, de par son ergonomie. “Cela reste tout de même largement utilisable”, précise Marion Candau-Tilh. Mais avec Windows 8, tout devrait changer. L’interface, spécialement conçue pour les tablettes, devrait rendre l’utilisation de la Slate beaucoup plus intuitive.”Grâce à notre partenariat avec Microsoft, Windows 8 devrait équiper rapidement la Slate et permettre une utilisation optimale”, affirme-t-elle.Et pour vraiment compléter cet aspect ordinateur, la Slate est livrée avec son stylet, sa station d’accueil et son clavier sans fil. La station d’accueil est d’ailleurs équipée de ports USB, Ethernet, HDMI… pour pouvoir connecter la tablette facilement. Le 27 mars 2012 à 15:00 • Maxime Lambert
‘Star Trek: Picard’ Teases Troubled Patrick StewartHow Designers Achieved the Sci-Fi Sound Magic of ‘The Orville’ Stay on target A few weeks ago all of us here at the Geek.com office lived out our nerd dreams when astrophysicist, game developer, cartoon, BoB nemesis, and beloved celebrity smart guy Neil deGrasse Tyson stopped by. Watch the lengthy discussion we had with him on our sister site PCMag.com. But once our official cameras stopped rolling, the conversation kept going. And since the heir to Carl Sagan is an authority on all things space, naturally we talked about Star Trek (after we got him to sign our phasers). Tyson even shared an amusing anecdote about his favorite Trek captain, and fortunately, we recorded it.Check it out!Sorry TNG fans. We don’t know when we’ll be able to get Tyson to talk Trek again, but in the meantime why not tune into the Geek.com Gifted and Talented Program on December 12 for more Star Trek discussion and a whole lot of other insanity.
MIAMI (WSVN) – A father charged for the death of his 6-month-old baby who choked on a lollipop has been found not guilty.Warnisha Davis, the child’s mother, told 7News last June that Marcell Jermaine Levy hit her and took off with their son.Police said Levy was homeless and did not have baby formula at the time, so he gave his son a lollipop.A Miami-Dade jury decided the baby’s death was an accident and not the result of reckless behavior.Levy was acquitted on manslaughter and kidnapping charges.However, Levy was convicted of misdemeanor battery for punching Davis.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The lease sales continue to include terms and conditions to promote exploration and development of Alaska’s oil and gas resources. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Department of Natural Resources announced that the state has received eight total bids in the Cook Inlet lease sale. The preliminary sale results will be posted later today at www.dog.dnr.alaska.gov. The division did not receive bids in the annual Alaska Peninsula oil and gas lease sale. Chantal Walsh, director of the Division of Oil and Gas: “The State of Alaska’s oil and gas leasing program is critical for the responsible development of our world-class resources and for our economic well-being. Through our lease sales, we seek investors to explore and develop on state lands for the benefit of all Alaskans.” The Division of Oil and Gas received a total of eight bids encompassing 16,636 acres and totaling approximately $298,800 in bonus bids from Hilcorp Alaska LLC, according to preliminary results from today’s annual Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sale.
Vape the crab 2011. 1) A ghostly, tendril-covered orb kidnaps children it tricks into thinking it’s a toy1/10Dark Souls or Pokémon? Pokémon. Meet Drifloon, the ghost/flying type Balloon Pokémon. Its Pokédex entry from Pokémon Y says, “These Pokémon are called the ‘Signpost for Wandering Spirits.’ Children holding them sometimes vanish.”<><> If you’re one of those insane people who see’s a world made up of various crab textures and asks why, we propose a different line of thinking: why not?Dark Souls III may be as tough as a forsaken god-king impaling you on a shape-shifting, living spear, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. The kind of fun that re-textures literally every single thing in the game to look like crabs. Buildings? Crabs. Clouds? Crabs. Your character? Crabs. The technical fortitude required to replace every texture with this simple yet intricate crab design is irrelevant when the outcome is this important to the growth of the video game medium.Look at the sky, in all its crabby beauty. Look at the character’s cape, representing YouTuber “Limit Breakers’” loyalty to the legendary crab and all that it stands for. This is what they meant by next-gen – this is what they meant by the future.It gets even better when “Limit Breakers” visits the actual giant crab enemies in the game, re-textured with even more crabs. An implosion of awesome crab power was surely being kept at bay by some unholy offering as we witness the epitome of meta-crab obsession. Hidetaka Miyazaki has surely contacted this player by now and offered him a job at From Software on the creative team, or at the very least, offered him the title of crab consultant.We’re eagerly awaiting the first “Crab Souls III Speed Run” video from the speed run community, followed by “Twitch Plays Crab Souls III.”
Stay on target For too long the definition of “Game of the Year” has been unfairly narrow. How boring is it to see every website shower the same stale AAA games with praise at the end of each holiday season? So at Geek.com we’re doing what we can to put a stop to this in Game of the Year, a new column celebrating worthy alternative picks for the year’s greatest game regardless of genre, platform, year of release, or even quality. Here, any game can be Game of the Year!Recently I was shocked when I learned that cult classic dog-rapping game PaRappa the Rapper is, in fact, the first rhythm game. I always assumed the game, with its talking flowers and onion masters, was a purposefully strange reaction to more traditional older rhythm games. But unless you count toys like Simon, the 1996 PlayStation 1 game is considered the first modern rhythm video game.The history of rhythm games is rooted in the weirdness of games like PaRappa and Elite Beat Agents and more esoteric editions of Dance Dance Revolution, not more mainstream hits like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Thumper, this week’s Game of the Year and a great game that actually came out this year, comes from former Rock Band developers at Drool. After years of plastic guitars and Top 40 hits, Thumper feels like the team communing with the rhythm game genre’s bizarre beating heart, and the game is all the better for it.Thumper’s spooky vibe would’ve made it a great fit for a Halloween game of the year. Drool was smart enough to drop it in October. But if The Simpsons can do Halloween episodes in early November so can we. Thumper’s gameplay isn’t too far from a standard, Amplitude-style rhythm game, but it immediately sets itself apart with its oppressive tone. Music games are typically party games, and they help bring people together with cheery visuals. Thumper is a strictly single-player affair, and it’s as harsh and isolating as watching a grindhouse movie alone.In fact, Thumper would probably make a good grindhouse movie. The woozy psychedelic colors and filthy subtle film grain overlay look like you’re racing through 1970s logos and movie trailer content warnings. It’s truly a beautiful series of deaths. Meanwhile, the premise totally sounds like some vaguely Lovecraftian horror schlock Quentin Tarantino would’ve referenced by now. Players control a chrome scarab beetle zooming through grungy neon hell blasting floating heads in the sky while keeping pace with industrial music.Thumper’s Butthole Surfers-esque noise rock soundtrack isn’t exactly my jam. I’m not even entirely confident that comparison is accurate, so feel free to snobbishly correct me in the comments. But I do admire how the game commits to that specific musical stylistic choice and lets it inform every aspect of this “rhythm violence game.”Beyond pairing spectacularly with the nightmare visuals, the way you hit the notes makes sense for this soundscape. In most rhythm games crisply matching beats on time provides a pleasant steady stream of synesthesia. But in Thumper plowing through sticks, scraping against walls, and performing the various other crunchy, gnarly ways you hit beats always add a little pain to that simple pleasure. It’s rhythm game sadomasochism, especially if you play with PlayStation VR.That pain isn’t always for the best, though. Besides being very difficult, the songs are so arrhythmic that often I felt I was just matching visuals cues instead of falling into a groove. I get that discomfort is the point… but it’s still discomfort. Fortunately, the game’s nine lengthy levels/songs are chopped into manageable sections you can easily repeat. Thumper does have a heart, however shriveled.Along with being a Game of the Year, Thumper is also now a Nintendo Switch Game That Isn’t Zelda, and the port has gotten me to revisit the game in a big way. I prefer playing PC games in long stretches, but playing Thumper like that frequently led to stressful quitting. That problem evaporates on Switch where I can play the game portably in short bursts, providing just the right amount of tension without making me want to kill myself. It runs great on the system and HD Rumble is the perfect feature for a game all about feeling rhythm as violently as possible.If I wanted to go full-on video game journalist cliche, I would call Thumper the Dark Souls of rhythm games. But that’s not even accurate. Dark Souls is bad. Thumper is the Game of the Year.Check back next week to read about the next Game of the Year! Review: ‘Fantasy Strike’ Is A Fighting Game That Understands…Game of the Year: Jordan Minor’s Best Video Games of 2018
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J With up to five months left until New Zealand will turn into ‘go to’ destination for worldwide football lovers, Auckland is well on its way to completing last minute constructions along the waterfront.The new developments will add “a new dynamic” to the city according to Waterfront Auckland chief executive John Dalzell, with projects offering visitors open spaces, business and commercial centres, dining regions as well as places to work, relax and play.Among the constructions includes an NZ$9.8 million ‘party central’ section called ‘The Cloud’.The venue will literally be in the shape of a long white cloud, running up to 178.5 metres long with capacity to hold up to 6000 people. “The facilities on the wharf will not only enable the public to enjoy the games in a unique atmosphere, but offer live events and a great venue to showcase the best of New Zealand,” NZ Prime Minister John Keys explained. Bars, restaurants and shopping will fill the Britomart precinct as former warehouses, trading centres, police and customs buildings are transformed into stylish pubs, cafes and clubs. After a bite to eat, visitors in the Britomart precinct can stop off at the Britomart Country Club and admire the renovation of two 19th century warehouses into a “popular” club, according to Tourism New Zealand. “Linked at the ground level, the beautifully restored buildings have boutique office space upstairs and upmarket ground floor bars and eating places which include 1885 Britomart bar, the Vietnamese restaurant Café Hanoi and a new outlet of Shaky Isles Coffee company,” Tourism NZ described. Further along Auckland’s waterfront, the city has transformed what was formerly used as an industrial wasteland into a new suburb that will become the entertainment hub known as the Wynyard Quarter.Meanwhile the North Wharf will host up to ten eateries with an old 1930s Auckland Harbour Board restored into the Old Red Shed to act as the Wharf’s centrepiece. Directly on the other side of the North Wharf, Jellicoe Street will be the centre of events, activities and entertainment during RWC 2011, but will also serve as a walk or cycle way for people to enjoy the waterfront view. Finally, the Tramway in making a comeback in the next five months, with tracks being laid in a 1.5 kilometre loop around Jellicoe Street, Halsey and Gaunt streets, and along Daldy Street.
What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away The Arizona Cardinals, who got off to a notoriously slow 1-6 start last season, have home field advantage in the early portion of the 2012 campaign. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt marveled at the prospect of hitting the ground running and reversing his team’s fortunes this year.“The first thing that stood out to me was having a lot of home games early,” Whisenhunt told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Tuesday. “We haven’t had that in the time that I’ve been here so to get three out of the first four at home was something that was different and I think as a team that we want to build off the momentum that we finished with last season and I think that gives us a chance to do that.” Top Stories Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation 0 Comments Share Instead of focusing on his competition, Whisenhunt will turn his attention towards managing the challenges that are associated with a potentially grueling travel schedule.“I think it’s more important to us about how we play, that’s the number one thing, and what it’s going to mean to us as far as travel goes because it’s so difficult for us to win on the road,” Whisenhunt stated.While Whisenhunt doesn’t know what the schedule or the season will hold for the Cardinals, he is confident in his troops’ ability to build upon last season’s strong finish.“I think our players are excited on trying to carry the momentum on how we finished last season,” Whisenhunt said. “I really think that we got a lot of young players that recognize that going 7-2 in our last nine games was pretty important for us. I think they recognize what they had to do in order to accomplish that. I think it helps us going forward because they want that to continue.” Whisenhunt credits the tremendous support from Cardinals fans who have contributed to the team’s 63 straight home sellouts.“With the way our fans have been, let’s face it, they’ve been fantastic for us,” Whisenhunt stated. “It’s created home field advantage and I think early in the season to have that should be something that’s good for us.”The Cardinals also have two prime-time games and both are against divisional foes. The first of which is in Week 5, a Thursday night game, when the Cardinals travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams. The second takes place in Week 8, a Sunday night game, at home against the 49ers. Whisenhunt said his players relish the opportunity to play in the national spotlight.“Our players like the national games; they want to be on that stage,” Whisenhunt said.While Whisenhunt is excited that his troops will have a chance to showcase their talents in front of a national audience, he is concerned about preparing for a short week afterwards. But, one area of the schedule that is not of concern to the Cardinals’ head coach is the quality of opponents his team will face.“I think that we’re playing some good football teams, you know that coming in just because the NFC North has some good football teams and the AFC East has got some teams that have played some good football so you know that’s going to impact you,” Whisenhunt said.
Washington, D.C. – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineThe St. Regis Washington, D.C. is offering a new, once-in-a-lifetime experience through their Aficionado program that’s sure to delight dance enthusiasts. To celebrate the company’s spring 2011 performance of Carmen, opening on May 19th, the hotel has teamed with The Washington Ballet to offer face time with Artistic Director Septime Webre and an exclusive viewing of a dress rehearsal, in addition to luxe accommodations in one of the city’s top properties.The Washington Ballet Aficionado Experience is available from May 17 through May 21 and includes:• Transportation and access to a private afternoon dress rehearsal, which will offer a sneak peek of the opening night performance • Limousine service to and from the Harman Center for the Performing Arts on opening night • Tickets to the opening night showing of Carmen, with an exclusive backstage tour led by Septime Webre himself during intermission • An invitation to the opening night party, attended by company dancers, VIPs and board members • Lunch at Adour at The St. Regis Washington, D.C. with Septime Webre to discuss his latest work • Accommodations for four nights in an opulent St. Regis suite • Spanish wine and light tapas waiting for guests in-room upon arrival • A signed copy of the ballet’s Wonderland coffee table book, offering dramatic glimpses of life backstage and photos of the dancers in landmark Washington locations • Access to signature St. Regis Butler Service throughout the stayThe package is priced at $5,000, with 20 percent of proceeds from bookings going towards The Washington Ballet.Visit www.stregiswashingtondc.com.
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