Vulgar imposition of parking meters in Georgetown

first_imgDear Editor,There is no dispute – the Parking Meter Contract is opposed by a vast majority of the citizens of Georgetown and of Guyana as a whole. The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) is responsible for this fiasco. While it is City Hall in Georgetown which is implementing this horrendous contract, APNU/AFC is making it possible. I suspect Guyanese citizens will come out in force to protest and reject the parking meters. It is an obligation of the political parties and their leasers to state unequivocally what their position is. I am calling, therefore, for each political party to state their unequivocal position on parking meters and the newly amended Parking Meter Contract and By-laws.The toxic Parking Meter Contract, unfortunately, is back, auspices of APNU/AFC. The People’s National Congress (PNC) threat, as expressed by Oscar Clarke, that the parking meters cannot be stopped is vulgar and insulting. The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Councillors have expressed their opposition and, as far as I know, their position reflects the position of the PPP. The PPP, like their Councillors at City Hall, is opposed to the parking meters, at least as far as I am aware of. Clearly, given the position of the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and Oscar Clarke, we know that the PNC, and their creature, APNU, not only support parking meters, they want an imposition regardless of what the citizens feel. But what is the official position of the AFC and the Working People’s Alliance (WPA)? Are these political parties political opportunists, waiting to see which way the wind blows?The AFC, which has seen its autonomy usurped by the PNC (APNU), has a unique opportunity to demonstrate some guts and to show that they can stand up for the right thing. I know that certain Councillors with AFC labels, example Councillor Duncan, have expressed their dissatisfaction about parking meters for Georgetown. But I would like to hear the official position of the AFC, as well as the WPA, now.Make no mistake the Oscar Clarke edict that nothing can stop the parking meters comes out of the belly of the PNC. While there might be a spattering of opposition within their ranks from certain Councillors, the APNU/AFC machinery will ensure that they force the parking meters on the people. Will the AFC be a willing poodle or will they demonstrate spine and object now?The City Council has made it clear that parking meters will become a part of daily living, no matter what citizens think. Oscar Clarke arrogantly declared that citizens can huff and puff, but they cannot stop the parking meters from being introduced now. In his own way, he made it known that no matter how many people protest and no matter how much noise in the world they make, nothing can stop City Hall from imposing parking meters. The PNC has spoken and they fully expect that the APNU/AFC machinery must follow the edict fully.Clarke’s blunt, if vulgar, warning to the citizens of Georgetown and of Guyana is not shocking. He sits as a Councillor at City Hall to ensure that the PNC-hegemony is unchallenged; his position reflects the position of Congress Place. He acts totally within the ambit of the PNC and in accordance with the PNC’s dictatorial DNA. In the PNC-world, City Hall is a creature of the PNC and must act accordingly. Thus, when Mayor Chase Greene and Deputy Mayor Peter, together with the City Clerk Royston King, act as if there is a divine right to impose parking meters, it is because they envisage those divine rights to have emanated from Congress Place and delivered by Clarke, as if he is Moses.While some Councillors did succeed in forcing a deferment on the vote for the amended parking meter By-laws, this is just a temporary set-back and one can expect that the By-laws would be passed and introduced very shortly. The AFC will permit a couple of their Councillors to express dismay, while the AFC executive standby, like spineless poodles, waiting to see what happens. If the public protest threatens to derail the parking meters again, the AFC Executive will claim that the Councillors who have stood up against the parking meters were reflecting the AFC position all along. This is what they did before. Well, this time we want to know from the AFC, the WPA and others what are their positions.In the end, this fiasco is wholly the making of APNU/AFC. It might be driven by Congress Place and the PNC, but the fiasco cannot be disowned by APNU/AFC. They must carry this albatross forever.Yours truly,Dr Leslie Ramsammylast_img read more

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Liberia Out of All- Africa Games

first_imgThe Secretary General of the Liberia National Olympics Committee (LNOC) Joseph Willie has confirmed that Liberia would not participate in the 11th All-Africa Games, scheduled for September 4–19, in Brazzaville, Congo which also marks the 50th anniversary of the Games, as well as their return to Brazzaville, which hosted the first edition in 1965.Mr. Willie said Liberia’s failure to participate is owing to a letter from the Ministry of Youth and Sports over financial constrain as it relates to the non-passage of the 2015/2016 Fiscal Budget.The LNOC chief scribe told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview via mobile phone yesterday that Liberia was to join 53 countries and participate in two of 22 separate sports, which have been announced for the 2015 African Games, excluding the two additional disability sports, athletics and swimming.“I have just received a communication from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, about the government’s inability to support our representatives to the Games due to financial constrains,” Mr. Willie said.Mr. Willie said the LNOC has submitted a budget of about US$80,000 to the Ministry for the sponsorship of the Athletics and Boxing Associations. Athletes that should have represented Liberia are boxers Freddy Jackson and James Yanken Ralley, while in athletics two locals and three foreign based Liberians – Anis Faraj and Abraham Harris (local), Kou Lougon, Phobay Akoi, Wellington Zaza and Udaya (US based).However, the LNOC Secretary General clarified that the All-Africa Games is one of the qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympics, therefore Liberia could still be qualified if the two associations liaise with their international bodies about subsequent qualifying tournaments.The All-Africa Games are held every four years, and organized by the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa. The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) will take over the organization of the games after a meeting of the African Union (AU) Conference of Sports Ministers recommended the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA).All of the competing nations are from the African continent.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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From Monaco to PSG, the meteoric rise of Mbappe

first_imgBorn and raised in the Paris suburb of Bondy, where his father Wilfried was a coach, Mbappe returns to the French capital after embarking on a path previously trodden by former French hero Thierry Henry, another graduate of Monaco’s academy.As a supremely gifted youngster, a glorious future for Mbappe was predicted since his early years.He played in his home town until he was 14, splitting his time between the national training centre at Clairefontaine and school in a nearby village.Even at this premature stage the precocious Mbappe was courting interest from Europe’s elite, but it was Monaco, in 2013, who convinced his family that the principality was the best place to continue his development.It wasn’t easy initially as Mbappe struggled to adapt to the demands of such a lifestyle, but he quickly changed, radically overhauling his behaviour to allow his talent to shine.In 2014, Real Madrid invited Mbappe to Madrid at the request of Zinedine Zidane, and the 15-year-old found himself pictured alongside the club’s Portuguese talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.But Mbappe’s route to stardom was back in Monaco, where the blistering speed and fluid style of an attacker accustomed to playing on the left wing quickly seduced Leonardo Jardim. At the advice of the club’s youth coaches, he integrated Mbappe into the first team.He made his Ligue 1 debut against Caen aged just 16. A few weeks later, Mbappe scored his first goal and was rewarded with a first professional contract through to 2019.In the summer of 2016, after scoring twice to help Monaco’s under-19s beat Lens in the Coupe Gambardella final, he was called up for France at the European Under-19 Championship. Les Bleuets dominated the tournament as Mbappe struck five goals in as many games en route to the title.– Breakout displays –Monaco rebuffed advances from Europe’s top clubs, notably turning down an offer of 40 million euros from Manchester City, who were tortured by Mbappe in last season’s Champions League.Monaco promised Mbappe regular playing time ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, but a concussion suffered on the opening weekend in a 2-2 draw with Guingamp forced him onto the sidelines.Careful with nursing their young star, not yet legally an adult, back to full health, Mbappe’s father grew impatient with Monaco’s approach but Jardim turned a deaf ear to any unrest.Mbappe was made to wait, but he was eventually handed his chance in January and grew in influence with each appearance as he provided vital contributions to Monaco’s title chase.Thrust into the spotlight, his fearlessness and redoubtable skills helped him shatter records set by a teenage Henry on the Mediterranean coast two decades earlier.By the end of the season he was Monaco’s star attraction. Mbappe scored 26 goals in all competitions as the club ended a 17-year wait for the French title while reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.Despite a hatful of missed chances in the last four against Juventus and a heavy defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in the League Cup final where he was subdued by Thiago Silva, Didier Deschamps selected Mbappe for his France senior debut in March.Since then, and despite the efforts of many in the principality — including Prince Albert — to keep Mbappe at Monaco, it became evidently clear his future lay elsewhere.The offer of a new contract and a six-fold increase in salary as the face of a new-look Monaco side a year out from the World Cup in Russia couldn’t convince him to stay.After the likes of Premier League recruits Benjamin Mendy, Bernando Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko, Mbappe is the latest protagonist in Monaco’s title-winning team to depart.With the sale of Mbappe, Monaco will have raked in over 350 million euros since pipping PSG to the championship, but their depleted team is starting to resemble a field of ruins.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000France’s forward Kylian Mbappe looks on prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying football match against the Netherlands at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on August 31, 2017 © AFP / FRANCK FIFEPARIS, France, Aug 31 – Kylian Mbappe, at just 18 years old, is destined for greatness after joining Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday following a whirlwind first full season at Monaco.The teen sensation arrives at PSG initially on loan with an option to buy in a deal reportedly worth up to 180 million euros ($214 million), catapulting him into second in the all-time most expensive player list behind new teammate Neymar.last_img read more

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Top goalkeeper rules out replacing De Gea at Man United

first_img1 Manchester United target Jasper Cillessen has no intention of leaving Ajax this summer.The goalkeeper has long been earmarked as a replacement for David De Gea, who is doing his best to force through a move to Real Madrid.However, the Dutchman says he and his agent have had no contact from anyone inside Old Trafford and he only has eyes for another campaign in the Netherlands.“As far as I know it has never been a thing,” he told NOS. “I, the club, or my agent have never heard anything. As for me, this season begins and ends at Ajax.” Jasper Cillessen last_img read more

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Revealed! Top 10 biggest rivalries between clubs from different cities

first_img 2. Newcastle v Sunderland – Click the right arrow for more fierce rivalries – This clash prompts so much ire from both sides that in 2013 a Magpies fan decided to take out his anger by punching a horse. Say no more. 6. Swansea City v Cardiff City – Click the right arrow for more fierce rivalries – The South Wales derby has become slightly tamer since the sides’ rise to prominence in recent years, but the two clubs still foster a lot of hate. In the late 80s and early 90s, Swansea fans chased their opposite number into the sea and threw seats at Ninian Park. Vandalism still occurs when the two teams meet but it’s nowhere near as fierce as it once was. 10 5. Ipswich v Norwich – Click the right arrow for more fierce rivalries – Countryside and farms separate these two sides in the east of England, which some believe makes this rivalry even fiercer. It’s rare to have any of your mates supporting the rivals, no matter which side you are on. 10 10 8. Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Brom – Click the right arrow for more fierce rivalries – The Black Country rivals often create an atmosphere like no other. The police presence around matches tends to be extensive after 500 Wolves fans rioted following an FA Cup meeting in January 2007. Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-1 at Old Trafford in talkSPORT’s live Premier League game at the weekend, as two of football’s biggest foes met once again.Their battles across the years have created a huge rivalry that looks unlikely to fade in the years to come, but while it’s a reasonably local affair, with both clubs being based in the north west of England, it’s not a derby in the traditional, same city/town sense.While geography does play a key role in the needle between the reds of Manchester and Liverpool, it’s not the main fuel for the fire, unlike the Merseyside derby or the North London clash between Arsenal and Tottenham.So what are the other fiercest non-local rivalries* in football? Check out our top 10 ranking, above.Disagree? Comment below.*By ‘non-local’ we mean two clubs not in the same city or town. 10 10 10 10 4. Southampton v Portsmouth – The South Coast rivalry has maritime origins, particularly after Portsmouth sailors took the place of their Southampton counterparts following the Titanic disaster. In footballing terms, Pompey’s devoted fan base ensures an uneasy atmosphere for Saints players on any trip to Fratton Park. The rarity of their meetings, especially now they are at opposite ends of the football league pyramid, amplifies the hostility when they do play. 10. Manchester United v Leeds – To find out which rivalries make up the top 10, click the arrow above – A rivalry born out of the War of the Roses, United and Leeds went head to head in several title tilts before the Premier League years when the Yorkshire club were in their pomp. Eric Cantona’s acrimonious transfer across the Pennines to the Red Devils caused more than a stir, as did Alan Smith’s identical move just over a decade later. 10 10 3. Derby County v Nottingham Forest – Click the right arrow for more fierce rivalries – The two sides really dislike each other but players and managers often star and coach for both teams. Brian Clough and Billy Davies are two high profile names to have led both sides. You won’t see Stuart Pearce with the Rams though. He once said: “even if they were only club around, I’d rather go on the dole.” 9. Burnley v Blackburn – Click the right arrow for more fierce rivalries – It’s the oldest derby in English football, and an early grumble between the two outfits was reportedly Blackburn’s belief Burnley had played an illegal number of Scotsmen in the 1890s. Since then the two sets having taken to pranking each other rather than fighting. Planes with messages have been flown, statues dressed incorrectly, banners hung above motorways and Owen Coyle masks. 10 7. Liverpool v Chelsea – Click the right arrow for more fierce rivalries – Mourinho v Benitez, Gerrard v Lampard. There were plenty of personal duels within this intense rivalry that first really gathered momentum in 2004, before the two faced off an amazing 25 times in just five seasons. Luis Garcia’s Champions League ghost goal still irks Chelsea fans to the core. Fact. 1. Manchester United v Liverpool – The two most successful clubs in England also happen to have a huge rivalry. Born from the already simmering feud between the two cities, when Manchester built a canal so goods could be transported straight into the city instead of heading to Liverpool, which led to less income and job losses on Merseyside. Now, though, the rivalry is played out on grass and currently the Red Devils are coming out on top having won 78 encounters to Liverpool’s 64, while there have also been 51 draws.last_img read more

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Fans loved the subtle tribute to Lionel Messi from adidas, but did you notice it?

first_imgLoving the #adidas advertising boards saying GOAT #leomessi— Luke Robinson (@whakataneluke) June 16, 2018 Btw we all saw the GOAT ad for adidas during the game right? Hope someone in stadium got a good picture of it— Allison (@Allison) June 16, 2018 1 the adidas goat ad singlehandedly cheering me up, thank u— quel (@ofcutthroatilk) June 16, 2018 The Adidas GOAT animation around the side of the pitch, SO GOOD.— Scott (@_scottwittmann) June 16, 2018 Football fans loved adidas’ subtle tribute to Argentina star Lionel Messi during the Group C game with Iceland.The Barcelona star is often described as the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ (GOAT) and popular American magazine Paper even referenced in a recent photo shoot.And adidas, who sponsor Messi, made sure to remind fans just who they consider the GOAT to be.The electronic hoardings surrounding the pitch showed animated goats running around the pitch during the game at random intervals.To hammer home their point, they made the goats disappear and simply replaced them with the phrase, ‘Greatest Of All Time’. We gotta talk about adidas’ 🔥🔥 sideboard ad with “G.O.A.T.” and emoji goats for Messi pic.twitter.com/SfHhabjzIn— Ryan Rosenblatt (@RyanRosenblatt) June 16, 2018center_img Did someone notice that Adidas Goat Ad at the #ARGISL #FIFAWorldCup 🔥🔥🔥— Freshoutthebad 🔥 (@HumphreyWins) June 16, 2018 Fans across the globe are divided over who is better, with Ronaldo potentially firing shots at his Argentinean counterpart on Friday night Loving the subtle Adidas GOAT advertisement.— Rahul W (@rahulw_) June 16, 2018 After Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible performance for Portugal during their 3-3 draw with Spain on Friday night, fans have been at loggerheads trying to determine just who is the better player.In fact, there was intense speculation Ronaldo’s celebration after the first of his three goals was actually a message to his Barcelona and Ballon d’Or rival.With adidas keen to fire back a message of their own, the animation was spotted by several watching fans, who found it ‘adorable’ and ‘satisfying’ in equal measure.Check out the best reaction below! Seeing the Adidas GOAT ads on the sideboards while Messi plays is satisfying AF— Hopeson Sel (@TruElectro) June 16, 2018last_img read more

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Mines, headgear and the mind

first_imgAn otherwordly image of a mine dump in the town of Welkom, from Natasha Christopher’s photographic exhibition “Mine”. A work from Jeanette Unite’s “Headgear”. RELATED ARTICLES • South African art• Dulux Pierneef wins Sasol prize• Art for all at Joburg Fair• Key economic sectors: mining MEDIA CONTACTS • Jeanette Unite +27 82 925 1834 +27 21 465 3781 junite@unite.co.za • Sue Isaac Standard Bank Gallery + 27 11 6311889 sue.isaac@standardbank.co.za • Gold of Africa Museum +27 21 405 1540 museum@goldofafrica.comChris ThurmanFor better or worse, South African history over the last 120 years has been closely tied to its mineral wealth – more specifically, to the extraction of that wealth by a combination of entrepreneurial energy and worker exploitation.The mining industry has iconic images: the hard-hatted miner operating by torchlight, the lift carrying workers thousands of metres underground, gleaming gold bars emerging from a furnace. Yet each of these is an ambiguous symbol, suggesting both a proud heritage of engineering feats and economic growth, and a shameful history linked to race- and class-based oppression.The visual arts offer one way of exploring such ambiguities, as recent and current exhibitions by two South African artists demonstrate.First, at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg, there is Natasha Christopher’s “Mine” (running concurrently with a retrospective of Ephraim Ngatane’s paintings). The title of the exhibition is suggestive – it refers not only to the literal mines that dominate life in the town of Welkom, where Christopher grew up, but also to her sense of belonging in the place: to her, it is “my home town”. Each return there, she says, is “a foraging, an extracting, a catharsis”; by taking photographs of sites from her childhood, she engages in a metaphorical mining of her memory.In these photographs, we see not only the public side of mining life on the outskirts of Welkom but also the private, domestic spaces within the town. What is documented seems to be a crumbling, desolate space. It is strangely empty of people, and the only signs of recent human activity or occupation are an abandoned toy bicycle and a lonely cat. (This is in stark contrast to the vibrant, populated township scenes in Ngatane’s oils and watercolours.) Close-up shots of interior furnishing in the houses reveal a style of décor that seems stuck in the 1970s and 80s.The photographs are supplemented by other installations and audio cues: a stained mattress hangs in a glass case, offsetting the clean and bright gold leaf that covers another display case. A soundtrack of birds chirping and gentle suburban background noise introduces a note of tranquillity despite the heavy industry – and a number of the photographs, showing different forms of foliage, prove that nature is resilient.Nevertheless, mine dumps and tailings dams feature prominently; they, too, have ambiguous associations. In one sense, they are signs of pollution. At other times, however – when a pattern is left by the water at the edge of a dam, or when a mine dump looks like a complex geological formation, or when the late afternoon light catches it at a certain angle and it glows with a halcyon light – they can be aesthetically pleasing, even beautiful.Certainly, our sense of the aesthetic tends to function through the application of opposing and mutually exclusive categories: attractive/unattractive, beautiful/ugly, pretty/unsightly. Something is either visually appealing or it isn’t. But these categories are not fixed. Apart from the obvious point that individual tastes differ, collective definitions of what is aesthetically pleasing are social constructs, artificially imposed according to certain cultural prescriptions.HeadgearSo another of the tasks of the artist is to challenge assumptions about what constitutes beauty and ugliness. Perhaps it is even to collapse such binaries altogether. A second recent exhibition, Jeannette Unite’s “Headgear”, does precisely that – in ways that are likely to leave many viewers uncomfortable.The title of the exhibition, which has been displayed at the Gold of Africa Museum in Cape Town after a stint in Johannesburg, refers to the monumental metal structures that sit above mine shafts, also known as winding gear, mine heads or shaft heads. Unite sees some resonance between these icons of industry and the axis mundi, an archetypal vertical form that links earth and sky – also manifested in human constructions such as spires, pillars, towers and skyscrapers, or natural formations such as mountains and trees.In contrast to the photo-realism of Christopher’s work, Unite’s drawings vivify her subjects. The columns of headgear represented seem to shimmer and shake, their edges blurred and softened. Monolithic structures are “tamed” – they remain enormous and implacable, but are simultaneously unstable and even fragile. Unite revels in geometric shapes, and seems to share what she calls “the delight that engineers have in creating idiosyncratic structures”.For those of us who typically assume that industrialisation, and mining in particular, can be equated with avarice and irreparable environmental damage, the living and dynamic quality given to these cold steel machines produces an unexpected effect. They are rendered somehow humble and weak, and even elicit sympathy – a response that is heightened by Unite’s elegiac descriptions of “disappearing” industrial landscapes.But hang on. In an era of climate change, water pollution, habitat destruction and species extinction, isn’t it a truism that the environmental harm caused by heavy industry is regrettable? And if this is the case, can we really experience what Unite calls “nostalgia” for the mining infrastructure that “has shaped our cultural and social heritage”? Moreover, hasn’t mining capital gone hand-in-hand with South Africa’s political ills over the last century?Unite is not unaware of these problematic associations. It should be noted that her first mining-related artwork project, exhibited under the title “Earthscars”, was a critique of the “ravaged landscape” caused by alluvial diamond diggings on the West Coast. Indeed, Unite’s earlier work has been perceived by some as a form of “environmentally conscious art production” through “eco-alchemy”. She uses recycled industrial substances extensively, creating her own pastel colours using goldmine dust, metal oxides and tailings. In doing so, she not only explores the idea of “beauty from waste” but also highlights the complicity of many artists in industrial processes as end users of manufactured products.Unite acknowledges that mining “is a source of servitude”, one “peppered with a contentious and uncomfortable early history” and linked directly to “legislated racial and social inequalities”. Nevertheless, she affirms that “mineral resource extraction is also about tremendous wealth and value” and feels strongly that, because mining is “an area in which we excel” globally – “South Africans mine deeper and are extremely innovative” – we should “celebrate what we are good at and endorse mining, which is the backbone of our social economy”.There’s no doubt that mining occupies an uneasy place in the South African national psyche. It’s not just the early history of mining that is contentious; both the conditions under which miners continue to work and the environmental harm mining continues to cause are problematic. Yet mineral resources and engineering marvels are sources of patriotic pride and, undoubtedly, the stronger of South Africa’s dual economies has its foundation in the mines.This kind of conflict has been the source of contradicting artistic and literary impulses since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the West. The Romantic English poets, for example, vehemently opposed the “satanic mills” of industry, yet across the Atlantic 19th-century American writers like Walt Whitman celebrated mechanical ingenuity and commercial verve.The difficulty with the works exhibited in “Headgear” is that they take for granted a viewer’s familiarity with this intricate web. There is a hint of regret in Unite’s comment: “I don’t feel I come near to representing the complexity of our dependence and greed” when it comes to mining. Yet she insists that ultimately “once an artwork is out there in the public domain, it is the property of anyone who cares to view it; every person’s interpretation is valid”.The explanatory notes accompanying the drawings do, however, guide viewers towards particular takes on the aesthetics of mining and industry. So, for instance, one is encouraged to recognise how “the metal oxidation on winding gear adds to the rustic industrial nostalgia of a disappearing landscape” or how equipment such as trammels and sieves and other surface engineering works “present abstract qualities that are rich inspiration for drawings and paintings”. In similar vein, there are commentaries that idealise the “African industrial revolution”.We are left to ponder whether these positive glosses have something to do with Unite’s exhibition spaces. After all, Cape Town’s Gold of Africa Museum was established by AngloGold Ashanti (and Unite’s work was previously exhibited at the company’s Johannesburg headquarters in the refurbished Turbine Hall in Newtown), one of various commercial and industrial giants that have commissioned work from her.The artist is not troubled by the alliance of art and nouveau capital, in which “new artworks and new buildings” are commissioned in order to “define and validate a new wealthy class”. To her patrons’ credit, they have not censored or interfered with Unite’s work. But one can’t help feeling that corporate interests have an impact on the production, promotion and reception of her work.Still, in a country where sponsorship of the arts is a role that most companies avoid, no corporate patronage is unwelcome. This is particularly the case with Unite’s work; “Headgear” is, after all, carefully researched, astutely conceived, nuanced in its technical execution and – undoubtedly – visually striking.last_img read more

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Students get to rally on Capitol Hill for the RFS

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Renewable Fuels Standard has been a top priority for corn farmers in Ohio and around the nation. And, along with farmers with a vested interest in pushing for the RFS, 10 Ohio college students accompanied more than 300 ethanol supporters at a recent rally on Capitol Hill calling attention to the issue.“It was a very eye-opening and exciting experience for me and everyone else I would say. Everyone out there, for the most part, came from small town America where the week before they were in boots and then the next week they were all in suits letting their voices be heard in our nation’s capital. It was a very humbling event for me to see so many farmers standing up for their farms and families and doing their best to make a difference for the ag Industry,” said Amanda Bush from Morrow County, a student at The Ohio State University who went on the trip with the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association. “Actions speak much louder than words, and to have that many farmers willing to leave their home farms for a week to fight for their heritage had to make a difference. I am so glad I was able to be a part of it, because it showed me just how important this industry is to not only the farmers, but everyone.”The students got to spend time with board members from the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association and the Ohio Corn Marketing Program on the trip to advocate for their policy making priorities, visit U.S. Department of Agriculture and learn about trade with the U.S. Grains Council. Other students in attendance included: Sydney Snider, Grant Price and Mary Siekman, from The Ohio State University; Micaela Wright, Lindsey Overmyer, Connor Headings, and Taylor Dill from Wilmington College; and Greggory Hahn and Bethany Carlson from Northwest State Community College.The key event on the trip was the rally over the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal cutting the RFS for corn ethanol by 3.75 billion gallons through 2016, which represents nearly 1.5 billion bushels in lost corn demand. The students joined farmers from Ohio and around the nation at the event.“Our message to the EPA is clear and unequivocal: Don’t mess with the RFS,” said Martin Barbre, NCGA Chairman. “We are gathered here today because we all understand what’s at stake.”Rally attendees heard from Senator Mark Kirk, Representative Tammy Duckworth, farmers, and ethanol industry leaders on the importance of ethanol to strengthening rural economies and protecting our environment and national security. Following the rally, corn farmers visited their congressional offices to drive home the importance of ethanol and the RFS.last_img read more

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Nokia/Microsoft Deal Confirmed: 5 Key Questions Answered

first_img3. What’s to Become of Qt? Nokia’s work at making its development environment Qt easier to use – efforts which were seeing moderate success, Nokia said in November – will no longer matter in the company’s new strategy. That’s because going forward, developers will use Microsoft’s tools for Windows Phone. Specifically, they will have access to Visual Studio 2010, Expression, Silverlight and the XNA Framework. Qt will be phased out, like Symbian.In a letter to developers, Nokia spelled out details of the changes, again downplaying the change by touting how Nokia still plans to sell “around 150 million more Symbian devices.” The company also noted that the MeeGo project will use Qt.In addition, Nokia boasted of Ovi Store numbers in the letter: 190 countries, with local specific content in 90 of those, 4 million downloads a day, 300,000 users signing up daily and 400,000 developers.As a part of the company’s organizational changes, its Services and Developer Experiences (SDX) unit will be responsible for Nokia’s global service portfolio, developer offering, developer community relations, and integration of partner service offering, the company said. That also includes Forum Nokia, which will continue to support developers for Symbian smartphones and Series 40 mobile phones.4. What’s Happening on the Organizational Level?Both Nokia itself and its management structure has be reorganized based on the new strategy. However, the rumors had gotten this part wrong – Elop isn’t dismissing its top execs, just moving them around.As of April 1, Nokia will have a new company structure, which features two distinct business units: Smart Devices and Mobile Phones.Smart Devices will be responsible for creating the Windows Phone portfolio and will also house the sub-units of Symbian smartphones, MeeGo Computers and Strategic Business Operations. Jo Harlow will lead this group.Mobile Phones will “leverage its innovation and strength in growth markets to connect the next billion people and bring them affordable access to the Internet and applications,” said Nokia. Mary McDowell will lead Mobile Phones.Niklas Savendar will run Markets, which is responsible for “selling products, executing compelling marketing and communications, creating a competitive local ecosystem, sourcing, customer care, manufacturing, IT and logistics across all Nokia products.”Tero Ojanpera will lead the Services and Developer Experience unit which is responsible for Nokia’s global services portfolio, developer offering, developer relations and integration of partner service offerings.Design, responsible for Nokia product and user experience design, will be led by Marko Ahtisaari.Rich Green will be CTO.Timo Ihamuotila is CFO.Corporate Development, responsible for driving implementation of Nokia’s ecosystem strategy and strategic partnerships, will be headed by Kai Oistamo.Corporate Relations & Responsibility, responsible for Nokia’s government and public affairs, sustainable development and social responsibility, will be led by Esko Aho.Human Resources will be led by Juha Akras.Alberto Torres, the EVP of MeeGo, has stepped down from the management team, effective February 10 to “pursue other interests.” Nokia says Symbian will become a “franchise platform, leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value,” but tried to downplay its death by touting sheer numbers:“This strategy recognizes the opportunity to retain and transition the installed base of 200 million Symbian owners. Nokia expects to sell approximately 150 million more Symbian devices in the years to come.”2. What’s Going on with MeeGo?MeeGo, a joint OS project built from Nokia’s Maemo platform and Intel’s Mobiln OS was, at one time, going to be Nokia’s means of competing in the smartphone market. Now, it will become an “open-source, mobile operating system project,” says Nokia. “MeeGo will place increased emphasis on longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices, platforms and user experiences. Nokia still plans to ship a MeeGo-related product later this year.”What does that mean, exactly?It means that Elop didn’t think that Nokia could build a smartphone ecosystem around MeeGo quickly enough to compete on the new, and rapidly changing smartphone market. Now, says Elop, MeeGo will serve, “not as part of another broad smarpthone platform strategy, but as an opportunity to learn.”Only one MeeGo-based device will ship this year, probably because it’s so late into the process, Nokia sees no reason not to. However, after that phone ships, the MeeGo team will change focus to work on “exploration of future platforms, future devices and future user experiences.”Intel, which was a partner in Nokia’s earlier plans for MeeGo, has this to say: “While we are disappointed with Nokia’s decision, Intel is not blinking on MeeGo. We remain committed and welcome Nokia’s continued contribution to MeeGo open source.” As expected, Nokia and Microsoft announced a new partnership deal ahead of Nokia’s Capital Markets Day which will align the two companies to compete together in the mobile economy. As part of the strategy, Nokia will begin using Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system on its mobile devices as its primary smartphone platform, and Nokia’s current mobile platform Symbian will eventually be phased out. Nokia’s original plan to use its MeeGo operating system on high-end smartphones also takes a backseat under the new deal – MeeGo will become an open-source “project” with just one device launching this year. Both companies will collaborate on development, marketing and their mobile roadmap, they said.Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Bing search engine and related services and its adCenter search advertising services will come Nokia devices.Nokia Putting Out Fire on its “Burning Platform”New Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft exec who took the helm last fall, has moved quickly to bring change to the Finnish company whose market share has been steadily dropping in the face of increased competition from Google and Apple. He recently sent a memo to employees, rallying the company to change. “I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times,” he wrote. “We had a series of misses. We haven’t been delivering innovation fast enough. We’re not collaborating internally. Nokia, our platform is burning.”With a deal of this magnitude, casual observers may have several questions. What does this mean for Symbian? What of Qt, Nokia’s development platform? What’s to become of MeeGo? Who’s in charge of what at Nokia?We’ll attempt to answer those questions below.1. What Will Happen to Symbian? (And When?)With Nokia’s new mobile strategy, Windows Phone 7 will displace Symbian…eventually. In a slide presented by Elop and Nokia CFO Timo Ihamuotila, it’s clear that Symbian will be wholly replaced by Windows Phone 7. However, the slide was not meant to be a forecast as to when that transition will complete. That said, Symbian will certainly begin to spiral downwards in terms of developer interest almost immediately – few parties will want to build apps for a dying platform with no future. Tags:#Microsoft#mobile#news#NYT#web Image credits: Engadget Additionally, Nokia will be cutting thousands of jobs in Finland and elsewhere in the world. Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks employed some 132,000 people at the end of last year, and of those 19,800 were in Finland.5. Does this Mean Nokia/Microsoft Will Have a New Tablet Strategy?Although nothing specific to tablets was laid out by either company, Elop did confirm that Nokia had tablet plans in the works.“When it comes to this platform, we reserve the right to introduce tablets on other platforms, he said. “Whether that be internal projects or we could take advantage of what Microsoft is innovating with, we’ve nothing to announce on that today.”However, the tablet will not run MeeGo, Elop said. When asked what would be the point of launching a tablet with a dead OS, Elop said “you’ve answered your own question there.”Nokia Press Release & VideoBelow is Nokia’s official statement:Today in London, our two companies announced plans for a broad strategic partnership that combines the respective strengths of our companies and builds a new global mobile ecosystem. The partnership increases our scale, which will result in significant benefits for consumers, developers, mobile operators and businesses around the world. We both are incredibly excited about the journey we are on together.While the specific details of the deal are being worked out, here’s a quick summary of what we are working towards:•Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.•Nokia will help drive and define the future of Windows Phone. Nokia will contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.•Nokia and Microsoft will closely collaborate on development, joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.•Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter will provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.•Nokia Maps will be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience.•Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements will make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.•Microsoft development tools will be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.•Microsoft will continue to invest in the development of Windows Phone and cloud services so customers can do more with their phone, across their work and personal lives.•Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.We each bring incredible assets to the table. Nokia’s history of innovation in the hardware space, global hardware scale, strong history of intellectual property creation and navigation assets are second to none. Microsoft is a leader in software and services; the company’s incredible expertise in platform creation forms the opportunity for its billions of customers and millions of partners to get more out of their devices.Together, we have some of the world’s most admired brands, including Windows, Office, Bing, Xbox Live, NAVTEQ and Nokia. We also have a shared understanding of what it takes to build and sustain a mobile ecosystem, which includes the entire experience from the device to the software to the applications, services and the marketplace.Today, the battle is moving from one of mobile devices to one of mobile ecosystems, and our strengths here are complementary. Ecosystems thrive when they reach scale, when they are fueled by energy and innovation and when they provide benefits and value to each person or company who participates. This is what we are creating; this is our vision; this is the work we are driving from this day forward.There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them.There will be challenges. We will overcome them.Success requires speed. We will be swift.Together, we see the opportunity, and we have the will, the resources and the drive to succeed. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement sarah perez The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

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Kashmir’s papier mache art: Pulp fiction

first_imgThe credit goes to the Shia community of Kashmir for keeping alive papier mache art — colourful, exquisite, highly decorative and delicate — in the Valley since the 14th century. “This wealth has been handed down to me by my father who inherited it from my grandfather and so on. The colours and the shapes we carve from paper is what adds meaning to our lives,” says Zahid Rizvi, 40, a papier-mache artisan at Zadibal in Srinagar.Over the centuries, the Shia community, now forming about 14% of the Valley’s population, has been perfecting the art. Historians believe that papier mache became popular as an art in the 15th century. Legend has it that a Kashmiri prince was sent to a jail in Samarkand in Central Asia, where he acquired the fine art, which is often equated with patience and endurance. The Muslim rulers of India, particularly Mughal kings, were fond of this art and were its patrons.The process begins with soaking waste paper in water for days till it disintegrates and then mixing it with cloth, paddy straw and copper sulphate to form pulp. The pulp is put into moulds and given shape and form. Once it dries, the shape is cut away from the mould into two halves and then glued together. It is polished smooth with stone or baked clay and pasted with layers of tissue paper. Now, it is completely the baby of an artisan. After applying a base colour, the artisan draws a design. The object is then sandpapered or burnished and is finally painted with several coats of lacquer. The art got a major boost from the government in 2016, when the Nawakadal girls’ college in Srinagar introduced it in the craft curriculum. Saleem Beg, who heads the Kashmir chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, believes the future of papier mache lies in elaborate murals.(Text by Peerzada Ashiq and photos by Nissar Ahmad)last_img read more

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