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first_imgAPTN National News SARNIA, Ont.–A rail blockade launched by Aamjiwnaang First Nation members on a CN line in Sarnia, Ont., is expected to end Thursday at midnight.Ron Plain, the spokesman for the blockade, said the blockade was ended in a negotiated settlement with Sarnia police after an Ontario judge ordered it shut down.Plain called it “a huge community victory” and the first victory of the Idle No More movement.He said the blockade, which began Dec. 21, 2012, had proven its point and didn’t need to continue. Plain said they were already negotiating to have the blockade end on Saturday.The blockade was originally launched in support of hunger-striking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s demand for a treaty meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Gov. Gen. David Johnston and First Nations leaders.Plain was found in contempt Wednesday of a court injunction ordering an end to the blockade. He was ordered by the court not to go near the site of the blockade unless it involved negotiating its end.The ending to the Aamjiwnaang blockade leaves only the Mi’kmaq from Listuguj First Nation still holding a rail blockade. The Mi’kmaq there have been blocking the railway at Pointe-a-la-Croix in Quebec since Dec. 28, 2012.More rail and highway blockades, however, are expected in the coming days and weeks.First Nations chiefs are planning to hold a national day of action on Jan. 16 which could see the beginning of indefinite blockades across the country.last_img read more

141610.20 132040.80 That kind of normalcy is not why we tune in to the tournament! Annoyed that I watched 12 consecutive hours of basketball with so little chaos to show for it, I started to wonder whether we have overblown expectations of unpredictability in March Madness. Are most days actually like Thursday, but we only remember the last-second shots and the scrappy Cinderellas?No — Thursday really was different. The first day of March Madness was anything but mad. Better-seeded teams went 14-2 on the day, and even the “surprises” were relatively easy to see coming: The higher-seeded teams’ two losses came at the hands of Middle Tennessee State (the South’s No. 12 seed) and Xavier (No. 11 in the West), both of which were among the most popular upset picks of the first round. (Our March Madness predictions had each game as a toss-up.) All told, the NCAA hadn’t seen a chalkier opening day since 2000, when the superior seeds went 15-1 after the tournament launched.VIDEO: A No. 16 seed will win, but don’t bet on it SEEDEXPECTED UPSET RATEGAMESEXPECTED UPSETSACTUAL UPSETS 15610.10 16020.00 123641.41 Expected upset rates are based on winning percentage in all first-round games for each seed from 1985-2016.Source: Sports-Reference.com 103910.40 OPENING DAY 2017 950%21.00 Total164.22 March Madness tipped off with a dose of sanity 113610.41 This year featured 2.2 fewer upsets than expected, which makes it second only to 2000 in terms of uneventful opening days during the tournament’s 64-team era. To get those numbers, I looked at the historical upset rates for each seed,1Starting in 1985, when the NCAA tournament expanded to a 64-team bracket, and going through 2016. taking into account which games were played on Thursday.But despite their disappointing record, underdogs kept the score relatively close in 2017’s opening-day games. In terms of average scoring margin, this year tied for the ninth-most-respectable showing by worse-seeded teams on an opening day of the tournament — on par with days where fans saw six or seven upsets.In other words, a lucky bounce here or there could have made all the difference for Thursday’s long shots. Maybe that means good, old-fashioned madness will be restored to its rightful place on Day 2 of the tourney. Then again, analyzing other second-day games using the same method as above suggests that Friday should be less upset-y (3.9 expected upsets) than Thursday was supposed to be. Somebody free us from this prison of predictability! read more

first_imgAccording to the company, the SLDK will enable lighting manufacturers to add “visible light communications” to their products. The kit is designed to enable rapid implementation of VLC technology using standard lighting fixtures.Haas last year performed the first public demonstration of visible light communications live at TED Global, where he showed an angle poise lamp fitted with an LED bulb transmitting high definition video displayed onto a massive screen. When he interrupted the light with his hand the video froze and it was then restored when he removed his hand. © 2012 Phys.org Explore further Credit: pureVLC Ltd Citation: Li-Fi: Edinburgh prof seeds LEDs for communication (2012, October 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-li-fi-edinburgh-prof-seeds.html PureVLC has in mind an alternative communications path that could hit 1Gbps wireless speeds. Harald Haas, the company CTO, has said his company is relying on the potential of the use of LEDs for transmitting wireless data, Rather than complex radio schemes at increasingly higher frequencies, “the performance of VLC looks very favorable,” said the company. PureVLC intends to commercialize LED systems. The team hopes the technology can be integrated into mobile devices.Haas is professor of mobile communications at the University of Edinburgh. His team have developed their wireless networking system to handle data transfer using light instead of radio waves. They have been able to transmit and download streamed video using the visible light method, according to a Professional Engineering report published earlier this week. The report looks at this work so far.The approach is called “Li-Fi,” where LEDs are used to transmit data to photo-sensor receivers by making changes in the intensity of light so fast the eye cannot see. The pattern of this flashing light can project the data in the form of 0s and 1s at very high speeds. The data is encoded in the light and transmitted from the light source. He commented that it is not really a case of switching the light on and off but of changing the intensity in a subtle and specific way.Haas also told Professional Engineering that the company was developing a smart lighting development kit (SLDK) that can enable lighting systems that are already in place to transmit and receive data, reaching network speeds of up to 50 megabits per second. (The SLDK will be capable of downloading and uploading data at speeds of between 15 and 50Mb/s.)center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: purevlc.com/profeng.com/features/dawn-of-the-age-of-li-fi Li-Fi: Inventor hailed for light bulb wi-fi (Phys.org)—”We believe wireless communications should be as reliable as lighting.” That is a company motto of startup PureVLC (Visible Light Communication), which aims to connect the two—communications and light. They have an approach that could be an alternative to radiofrequency spectrum, as there are worries about “running out of gas” because demand grows for space. “We talk about the Internet of Things where every device is interconnected, but without more bandwidth it will be impossible to provide reliable communications to all of these ‘things,'” say company sources.last_img read more

first_imgTowel or bear? You decide. The budget-conscious are no doubt drawn to the fact that so many attractions are free of charge once you’re at Butlins. You don’t have to count your pennies or say no to just another ride when you’re at the vintage-style fairground complete with waltzers, dodgems and carousel. A few rides and attractions carry an addition charge, but the vast majority are free and queues are virtually non-existent. My daughter was keen to visit the fairground as often as possible, as well as the neighbouring games arcade with its tuppenny push machines. It was well worth paying a small extra fee to hire a three-seater bike and spend a happy half hour exploring corners we hadn’t seen on foot. We also paid just a few pounds for a round of crazy golf. Read More’Only seeing your parents at mealtimes, Butlin’s was a children’s paradise’   Study your site map well, as there are hidden treasures waiting to be uncovered. We enjoyed seeing snakes and other critters in the Discovery Studio and played endless games of Cluedo after stumbling across a board games lending library in a quiet corner. Search for them and you’ll find some nostalgic remnants of early Butlin’s, including carriages from a monorail and old-fashioned chalets. Anyone for ice cream? But once we stepped inside the accommodation it had Butlin’s written through it like a stick of rock. From the Skegness cushions on the primary coloured sofas to the wooden pin the tail on the donkey game on the wall, the decoration was inspired, retro and a brilliant reminder of the heritage of the brand. There are numerous different types of accommodation at Butlin’s, with numerous different prices. Ours was spacious, well-appointed and spotlessly clean. The big stage shows are so popular that some people start queueing hours in advance. There’s really no need to leave the site at all, and we didn’t touch our car until it was time to go home. We did walk off site to paddle in the sea and build sandcastles, before a bracing stroll along the prom to get the full British holiday resort experience. You don’t even need to do that though, as Butlin’s has created a mini beach inside the resort complete with outsized seaside accessories for the full selfie experience. Like so many other aspects of Butlin’s, the food experience is what you make it. I’m sure some families arrive with their weekly shop, or buy ingredients from the two small supermarkets. But if you want to eat out there’s a varied selection of cuisines to tempt you. Billy the Butlin’s bear. We spent four nights at Butlin’s Skegness, staying in a two bedroomed Seaside Apartment. Among the more exclusive accommodation on the site, at first glance it looked a world apart from the old Butlin’s stereotype. If anything it looked more like a rival holiday resort, the one renowned for being middle class and located in wooded areas. 1950s advert for Butlins One thing we did struggle with was figuring out where to start with the entertainment. There’s so much going on, so many varied things happening at the same time, you almost want to clone yourself to take it all in. We visited during the school holidays with my eight-year-old daughter, and discovered a packed programme designed to provide something for adults and children of all ages. Helpfully, guests are given printed guides to exactly what is on when and where plus details of the age ranges it is most suited to. You can also download an app with everything from interactive maps to restaurant opening times and menus. center_img Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailButlin’s is all poolside knobbly knee competitions and poky chalets the size of the average garden shed, isn’t it? Come on, climb out of the 1950s. If it’s been some time since you last visited the original British holiday camp then you may be surprised to discover it’s undergone something of a renaissance since Gladys Pugh last said Good Morning Campers. Rather like a bag of pick n’ mix sweets, a short break to Butlin’s can contain whatever you choose to put into it. If you’re content with nothing but fizzy cola bottles then they’re there for the taking, but you can opt for mint humbugs or luxury toffee as well. A game of crazy golf whiles away a happy hour. We saw Titan the Robot, live wrestling by men in tiny, shiny pants, a puppet show and were encourage to exercise by giant Mr Men. But that was just the tip of the big show iceberg with other offerings including a circus, magic acts, a Sleeping Beauty panto, Paddington Bear and much more. The shows were so popular that some people started queuing hours in advance just to get a seat near the front. And if you consider the ticket price to see similar calibre acts at theatres elsewhere, you can easily see why lots of Butlin’s guests pack their holiday with as many of them as possible. Splash Waterworld ranked near the top of our Butlin’s highlights list. We enjoyed it so much that we spent hours moving between the different pools and water features, two days in a row. The outdoor rapids were a favourite – so much so that we stayed outdoors in our swimsuits even when it rained. A Butlin’s full English. There was so much to choose from in the Scoop ice cream parlour that it took quite some time to make a decision, then of course we had to visit again the next day to try a flavour we’d missed. I can confirm that bubblegum flavour ice cream does indeed turn your tongue blue. We had a premium dining package, which included breakfast and evening meal each day at either The Deck Restaurant or The Yacht Club. We hadn’t expected so much choice, so much fresh food and the lack of queues. It’s self-service, with much of the food cooked in front of diners, and there are no limits on what you can have or how many times you can top your plate up. Over the four days we had roast dinners, poached Salmon, rainbow-coloured vegetable stir fries and thick wedges of cheesecake. You could have burger and chips for every meal or you could have four courses rounded off with cheese and crackers if you wanted. Pin the tail on the Butlin’s donkey. Butlin’s is much more than that 1950s cliché. It’s a well-rounded family resort that can be exceptionally good value if you want it to be, or a more luxurious escape if that is what your heart desires. And there isn’t a Gladys Pugh in sight.last_img read more

first_imgMicrosoft researcher Lester Mackey and his teammates along with grad students, Jessica Hwang, and Paulo Orenstein have come out with a new machine learning based forecasting model along with a comprehensive dataset, called SubseasonalRodeo, for training the subseasonal forecasting models. Subseasonal forecasting models are systems that are capable of predicting the temperature or precipitation 2-6 weeks in advance in the western contiguous United States. The SubseasonalRhodeo dataset can be found at the Harvard Dataverse. Researchers have presented the details about their work in the paper titled “Improving Subseasonal Forecasting in the Western U.S. with Machine Learning”. “What has perhaps prevented computer scientists and statisticians from aggressively pursuing this problem is that there hasn’t been a nice, neat, tidy dataset for someone to just download ..and use, so we hope that by releasing this dataset, other machine learning researchers.. will just run with it,” says Hwang. Microsoft team states that a large amount of high-quality historical weather data along with the existing computational power makes the process of statistical forecast modeling worthwhile. Also, clubbing together the physics-based and statistics-based approaches lead to better predictions. The team’s machine learning based forecasting system combines the two regression models that are trained on its SubseasonalRodeo dataset. The dataset consists of different weather measurements dating as far back as 1948. These weather measurements include temperature, precipitation, sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, and relative humidity and pressure. This data is consolidated from sources like the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. First of the two models created by the team is a local linear regression with multitask model selection, or MultiLLR. Data used by the team was limited to an eight-week span in any year around the day for which the prediction was being made. There was also a selection process which made use of a customized backward stepwise procedure where two to 13 of the most relevant predictors were consolidated to make a forecast. The second model created by the team was a multitask k-nearest neighbor autoregression, or AutoKNN. This model incorporates the historical data of only the measurement being predicted such as either the temperature or the precipitation. Researchers state that although each model performed better on its own as compared to the competition’s baseline models, namely, a debiased version of the operational U.S. Climate Forecasting System (CFSv2) and a damped persistence model, they deal with different parts of the challenges associated with the subseasonal forecasting. For instance, the first model created by the researchers makes use of only the recent history to make its predictions while the second model doesn’t account for other factors. So the team’s final forecasting model was a combination of the two models. The team will be further expanding its work to the Western United States and will continue its collaboration with the Bureau of Reclamation and other agencies. “I think that subseasonal forecasting is fertile ground for machine learning development, and we’ve just scratched the surface,” mentions Mackey. For more information, check out the official Microsoft blog. Read Next Italian researchers conduct an experiment to prove that quantum communication is possible on a global scale Stanford researchers introduce DeepSolar, a deep learning framework that mapped every solar panel in the US Researchers unveil a new algorithm that allows analyzing high-dimensional data sets more effectively, at NeurIPS conferencelast_img read more

first_imgTags: Commission, Strike, WestJet << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Friday, June 1, 2018 WestJet says thank you to travel agents with 4% commission incentivecenter_img CALGARY — Travel agents stepped up to help WestJet passengers through the airline’s recent labour woes. With the potential labour action now resolved, WestJet is putting its money where its mouth is with a big ‘thank you’ to its loyal agent partners, and 4% commission on all domestic Econo fares.Commission can now be earned on all Econo fares for new air-only bookings made June 1 – 30 for travel within Canada from June 1 – July 31.WestJet says it wants to thank its partners for their support.“We know the potential labour action caused frustration for you and your travellers, and we want to extend a sincere thank you to all our travel trade partners for your patience,” says Lyell Farquharson, Vice-President, Sales and Distribution.“With the recent agreement to a settlement process, you and your clients can once again book with confidence. We are offering commission on additional Econo fares to recognize all our partners for your continued support over the last few weeks.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Some restrictions apply. Full offer details are available at westjettravelagents.com.The news comes as WestJet launches its first continental Europe flights, with its inaugural flight to Paris CDG taking off from Halifax last night. The flight landed in France at 10 a.m. local time.“This is a historic day for WestJet as we touch down on the European mainland for the first time,” said Tim Croyle, WestJet Interim Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “This new service reinforces our confidence in Atlantic Canada and our ongoing support of Nova Scotia’s tourism and economic development objectives outlined in its Atlantic Gateway initiative. Paris is the latest milestone chapter in WestJet’s drive to become a truly global airline, bringing Canada to the world and the world to Canada.”WestJet’s daily nonstop flights between Halifax and Paris are operated on the B737 MAX and have been timed to connect with WestJet flights across Canada and with codeshare partner, Air France-KLM in Paris.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe addition of Paris to the WestJet network brings the airline’s overall reach to 106 cities in 22 countries across Canada, the U.S., Caribbean, Mexico and Europe. Posted by Travelweek Group last_img read more

first_img Friday, April 5, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Kensington revamps Turkey tours as destination makes a comeback Share Travelweek Group center_img Tags: Kensington Tours, Turkey Posted by TORONTO — Kensington Tours has introduced a fully revamped product line for Turkey.Four new itineraries – Istanbul & Cappadocia Discovery; Turkey Signature; Turkey Exclusive and Turkey and Greek Islands Honeymoon – highlight the destination’s best and outline the operator’s expertise in private-guided tours, says the company.Itineraries include evening culinary walking tours of Taksim Square, Turkish marbling classes, calligraphy lessons, cooking classes at a local Turkish home, behind-the-scenes exploration of the troglodyte dwellings of Cavusin, experiencing the sunrise onboard a hot air balloon, aroma massages in a private spa suite and sailing along the Turkish coast on a private yacht.“Each of our tours – in all destinations – are led by private guides who have deep local knowledge and exclusive connections,” says Marc Sison, Product Director.“As one of the few North American tour operators offering custom trips in Turkey, Kensington Tours prides itself on delivering the best experiences, going above and beyond for our clients, anticipating their needs and catering to their interests.”More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsThe new itineraries will take travellers through Turkey’s most popular cities including Istanbul and Cappadocia, and expose them to less-familiar destinations like Izmir. The Greek Islands extension offers lavish experiences in Istanbul, Bodrum, Athens and Santorini, adds Sison.last_img read more

first_imgShare2Rice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsNEWS RELEASEB.J. Almond713-348-6770balmond@rice.eduRice recruits cancer researcher from Harvard with CPRIT grantHOUSTON — (May 26, 2015) — A cancer researcher from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital will join the Rice University faculty in August as the result of a $2 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).The CPRIT grant was awarded to Rice to recruit Natasha Kirienko to Texas. She is currently a research fellow in genetics at Harvard Medical School and an assistant in molecular biology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.“Natasha Kirienko will be an outstanding addition to the faculty in the Department of BioSciences at Rice,” said Mary C. Farach-Carson, vice provost for translational bioscience and scientific director of the BioScience Research Collaborative. “Her work bridges two disciplines, resistance to infection and cancer, which we increasingly understand to be highly interrelated. She uses the worm as a model system and has proposed a novel way to use this creature to help us identify new means to find targets for treatment-resistant cancers.”Originally from Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Kirienko received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Russia’s Southern Federal University and performed her master’s research at the Institute of Protein Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences. She received a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Wyoming. Kirienko has been doing research at Harvard since 2010.As a graduate student, Kirienko investigated the retinoblastoma protein, which functions to suppress tumors by regulating cell division. When this protein is dysfunctional, it can cause numerous types of cancer. “Retinoblastoma pathway members are misregulated in over 90 percent of tumors,” Kirienko said. Part of her work focused on identifying new potential cell cycle genes in a nematode, or roundworm, that are regulated by the retinoblastoma protein.During her postdoctoral training, Kirienko studied Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a drug-resistant pathogen that is a leading cause of death in patients with cystic fibrosis and that frequently infects patients with cancer. She found that this infection can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which relates to the work she will be doing in Houston.At Rice, Kirienko will focus on learning more about the role of mitochondria, structures often called the “powerhouse of the cell” because they generate chemical energy. Excessive damage to mitochondria can lead to programmed cell suicide, or apoptosis.A better understanding of mitochondria may enable researchers to develop new medicines to turn on recently discovered cellular pathways that can cause cancer cells to kill themselves. These pathways may be easier to activate in tumor cells. Kirienko hopes to identify the conditions that trigger cancer cell death while minimizing toxicity to normal cells and also look for new drugs and treatments that may be better at activating these pathways in cancer cells.“We want to find a drug that could cause excessive mitochondrially triggered cell death in cancer cells but not damage normal cells,” Kirienko said. “Lots of tumors are resistant to conventional therapies. Inducing apoptosis due to mitochondrial damage could be a way to make tumor cells die.”Kirienko also said she hopes to take advantage of some of the “excellent facilities” available at the Texas Medical Center.“We are delighted that CPRIT has chosen to assist with Natasha’s recruitment as a first-time, tenure-track faculty member,” Farach-Carson said. “Without CPRIT support, we would not have been able to recruit this highly talented scientist to Rice.”About 40,000 Texans die of cancer per year. CPRIT was approved by statetaxpayers in a 2007 ballot initiative to provide $3 billion to support cancer research in Texas, where cancer is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 85. Beginning operations in 2009, CPRIT has awarded $1.33 billion in grants to Texas researchers, institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention and product development research programs.# # #High-resolution IMAGE is available for download:http://tinyurl.com/kjkvfqrCAPTION: Natasha KirienkoLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,888 undergraduates and 2,610 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked among some of the top schools for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceU.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005 AddThislast_img read more