QPR did not bid for striker, says boss

first_imgBlackburn manager Steve Kean has confirmed that QPR did not make a bid for Yakubu last month.The Rovers striker was one of a host of forwards Rangers enquired about prior to Neil Warnock’s sacking as manager.And ahead of QPR’s match at Blackburn on Saturday, Yakubu claimed he had rejected a move to Loftus Road.But Kean said: “We had no bid from QPR for Yakubu. There was always going to be plenty of interest. There were many clubs that showed an interest.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Read More
Ramaphosa in South Sudan for mediation

first_img5 March 2014 Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), is in South Sudan to start mediation efforts aimed at finding a lasting political solution to the conflict in the war-torn country in northeastern Africa. Ramaphosa, who is also the deputy chairperson of South Africa’s National Planning Commission, was named the country’s special envoy to South Sudan during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address last month. He will also visit some countries belonging to the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, an organisation of six eastern African countries focused on drought control and development initiatives. The grouping comprises Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. He is expected to be back in South Africa by next week Thursday. Ramaphosa’s appointment to the post came at the request of President Salva Kiir Mayardit for assistance in bringing about peace and reconciliation in South Sudan. Since fighting broke out in December between the forces of President Kiir and former Deputy President Riek Machar, thousands of people are believed to have been killed and some 870 000 others have fled their homes – 145 000 of them to neighbouring countries and 75 000 to United Nations bases within the country. South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011. Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, South Africa has been actively supporting the African Union’s (AU’s) post-conflict reconstruction and development projects in Sudan, under the umbrella of an AU ministerial committee which South Africa currently chairs. To date, South Africa has trained more than 1 600 officials from the government of South Sudan in areas such as policing, diplomacy, public service, justice, education, mineral affairs and correctional services. Last year, South Africa and Sudan signed an agreement establishing bilateral relations between the two countries. They have also upgraded their diplomatic missions to ambassadorial level. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Read More
A Better Way to Encourage Efficient New Homes

first_imgDavid Goldstein is co-director of the energy program at the NRDC. This post originally appeared at the NRDC Blog. We hope to find out soonThe Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) — an organization of North American utilities and other efficiency program administrators that supports their members’ work to advance energy efficiency by developing common specifications for efficiency — adopted a specification for efficiency in new homes on January 16, 2018.This spec is based on the Energy Rating Index (ERI), a generic form of the HERS Index. The ERI provides a consistent signal to home builders about the level(s) of higher efficiency that utilities want. It also allows tangential market actors, such as lenders and appraisers, to compare homes’ overall energy performance against each other.Manufacturers are more inclined to make higher efficiency products when they know in advance that utilities throughout the North American market will all be promoting the same level of efficiency. By providing a binational market signal, CEE members can cause manufacturers to offer products at higher levels of efficiency than they could justify otherwise. This dynamic applies to new homes, too: last year just 19 companies built 35% of all single-family homes in America.Housing accounts for one fifth of climate-change-causing emissions, and residential energy accounts for about 4% of household expenditures (almost $2,500 a year, or $75,000 over the life of a mortgage). The CEE specification offers participating utilities the choice of incentivizing one or several levels of efficiency. The mid-range level represents a reduction in energy use of about 40% compared to the energy use of a typical new home that barely meets the state energy code. It could easily save the consumer $500 to $1,000 in annual utility bills.HERS ratings lead to competition between builders for who can build to the lowest score; however this competition is still restrained by the fact that increased energy efficiency often costs more, and the lending system does not yet recognize the value in determining whether a family qualifies for a mortgage. Utilities frequently address this barrier by offering the builder or buyer a cash incentive for efficiency that compensates for the cost increase. (This approach was also used extremely effectively in federal tax incentives for energy-efficient home construction that were in effect from 2005 to 2012.)By setting a specification that includes several very ambitious tiers of HERS/ERI scores, as well as more modest options that can work in areas where efficiency is a new idea, CEE is leading the way in harnessing market forces to work in coordination with energy codes to promote continual improvement in home energy efficiency. The cornerstone of these methods is the HERS Index, a home energy inspection and rating method developed by RESNET, a nonprofit standard-setting organization that NRDC has supported since its inception. Markets in energy efficiency can only work if buyers and sellers have the information needed to evaluate energy efficiency in dollars. Long-term transformation of efficient construction practices relies on allowing stakeholders across the new construction industry to compete for overall home performance, not just incremental improvements in individual technologies.The HERS Index is similar to a miles-per-gallon sticker on a car: it projects energy use compared to a baseline. The baseline score of 100 is based on a house that barely meets the 2006 energy code, while a score of 0 means zero energy use, on net.More than 20% of new homes were rated in 2017, with an average score of 62, which is impressive considering that few entities provide incentives for such ratings. A score of 62 is some 15% better than the requirements of the most advanced model energy code in America. How much better could we do with financial incentives for the lowest scores? RELATED ARTICLES center_img How Is a Home’s HERS Index Calculated?More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About the HERS IndexStates are Amending, then Adopting, the 2015 IECC Why Is the HERS Reference Home Based on an Outdated Energy Code? Study Finds Huge Variation in California HERS Rating ResultsDrainwater Heat Recovery Can Lower Your HERS Score Building a more energy-efficient home can employ many different approaches. The builder can use more insulation and better windows, install ductless heating and cooling systems, orient the house to collect sunshine through the windows in winter and shade them in summer, seal leaks in the walls and ceilings, and assure healthy indoor air 24/7 by providing reliable mechanical ventilation with energy recovery. They can use cool roofs. The list goes on…Traditional building energy codes and efficiency incentives have focused on promoting one or several of these technologies in an inflexible package, requiring specified amounts of insulation in the floor, walls, and roofs, specified heating and cooling efficiency, and a specified maximum air leakage rate. This prescriptive approach succeeds at improving efficiency at low cost, but does not give credit for energy savings from comprehensive or holistic design strategies. Furthermore, the specific measures promoted within codes and incentive programs change over time, causing uncertainty in the industry.Builders therefore tend to resist the prescriptive approach because it reduces their flexibility and is more expensive than it needs to be for any given energy efficiency target.For example, perhaps one of the specified criteria is very expensive to meet for a particular house while another technology that might cost much less could save even more energy.The Natural Resources Defense Council has been working with builders and building efficiency suppliers, as well as with nonprofit efficiency advocates, to introduce the combination of more ambitious energy goals and more flexible ways of meeting them into building energy codes and other market-based programs.last_img read more

Read More
From Pre to Post: Watch the Creative Process Unfold

first_imgThe creative process can be an absolute grind when trying to develop a film or video project. Let these production videos stoke your creative fires!Top image: Quentin Tarantino via HypeBeastThe production process, no matter if it’s film or video, starts with development and pre-production then ends with post-production and distribution. However, getting from A to Z is an incredibly involved process and it can test your patience and resolve. Because of this there may be times where your creativity is stymied and your inspiration is low. Well, never fear. There’s plenty of inspiration out there for you — if you know where to look.We’ve rounded up our favorite inspirational spots on the web for each phase of production. Sit back and relax and watch the creative process come to life.DevelopmentDeveloping your idea is the most important step of the process. You’ve got to get your idea locked down, or as an intellectual property lawyer would say, get it fixed in a tangible medium of expression. During this early development process, you’ll write a treatment and then write a script. You’ll also want to file your work with the USPTO, then develop your proposal for your pitch.Let’s start with Quentin Tarantino as he discusses below that you always start with the script and the individual pages of that script. Then we’ll listen to great advice from Martin Scorsese, J.J. Abrams and Dax Shepard.Quentin Tarantino on Focusing on the PageVideo via Script MailerMartin Scorsese on Plot vs StoryVideo via SigmaEchoJJ Abrams on the Mystery of StoryVideo via TED Dax Shepard on the Art of the PitchVideo via American ExpressPre-ProductionOnce you have a well-developed story, you’ll want to start the planning and design process, which is the art of pre-production. This is where you’ll build your film before you ever call “action” on set. Elements of this process include storyboarding, concept design, scouting, and set design. This part of the process can be incredibly fun, as you can really be creative and discover exactly how your film or video will look when it’s done.Storyboarding the Pixar WayVideo via Daniel GarciaWish I Was Here Concept ArtVideo via WishIWasHereMovieThe Live of a Location ScoutVideo via CBS NewsTop 10 Movie Sets Ever BuiltVideo via CineFixProductionWhen you’ve developed the script and planned your shots, you’re ready to go right into production. Just remember, filmmaking is an incredible process. You wont master it overnight. It’ll take years to find your way — and that’s okay. The process of actually capturing your film or video project can be daunting. It can feel like an uphill climb. With this in mind, let’s get inspired by a few master filmmakers.Martin ScorseseVideo via BAFTA GuruJoss WhedonVideo via BAFTA GuruRon HowardVideo via BAFTA GuruJ.J. AbramsVideo via BAFTA GuruPost-ProductionSo you’ve shot your film or video and now you’re ready to actually put the project together. The act of post-production entails editing the project, color grading the project, adding music to the project, as well as visual effects.This process can take as long or longer than the other sections of the entire process combined. During post-production your resolve may begin to wane. You’ll need to remain positive and enthusiastic in order to push yourself toward the finish line, as the following videos will show.Editing the AvengersVideo via AvidIndustrial Light & Magic Animation Magic of Pirates of the Caribbean 3Video via ILMVisualFXColor Grading O Brother, Where Art Thou?Video via Chris FrancisAre you pumped? Are you inspired? Are you ready to rule the world? Got any additional sources of video inspiration? Share them with us in the comments below.last_img read more

Read More
Amit Shah meets RSS leaders in Nagpur

first_imgBJP president Amit Shah visited the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters here on Wednesday and held a closed-door meeting with the outfit’s top brass and senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders.“Mr. Shah arrived at the Nagpur airport around noon, along with the RSS Sah-Sarkaryawaha [deputy general secretary] Krishnagopal. He directly went to the RSS headquarters in Mahal and met Mohan Bhagwat [RSS chief] and Bhaiyyaji Joshi [RSS general secretary],” said Chandan Goswami, in-charge of the BJP’s publicity wing in the city.According to sources, the newly appointed president of the VHP, Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje, some other VHP leaders, and Union Minister Uma Bharati were present at the meeting.It was not clear what discussions the BJP president had with the top RSS and VHP leaders, However, RSS sources said the Karnataka Assembly elections and outbursts of former VHP working president Pravin Togadia could have been discussed.“The Karnataka election is crucial for everyone. The outcome of this election will decide if the Lok Sabha election will take place as scheduled or earlier. Also, it is a difficult election for the BJP. The BJP president may have briefed the RSS bosses about the situation there,” an RSS member from Nagpur said on condition of anonymity.Mr. Shah came out of the RSS headquarters around 4.30 p.m. and left by an evening flight. Ms. Bharati had, however, left the meeting at 1 p.m.last_img read more

Read More
PM Narendra Modi in Kedarnath: 5 things he said about temple shrine in past

first_imgA day after completing the election campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited the Kedarnath temple in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. The temple, which is an integral part of the famous Char Dham Yatra, was opened for devotees earlier this month.During his visit to Kedarnath, Prime Minister paid obeisance at the historic temple. In a tweet he said he also reviewed the development work that is being carried out in Kedarnath, a town that was destroyed in 2013 due to heavy rain and massive floods.ALSO READ | PM Narendra Modi offers prayers at Kedarnath shrine, plans to meditate in cavePM Modi also tweeted some photographs of snow-covered mountains and the lesser Himalayas in Uttarakhand en-route to the temple shrine.However this is not the first time when PM Modi has been Kedarnath.Here are five things he has said about Kedarnath in the past:1) In November 2018, PM Modi revisited Kedarnath temple. Describing his visit he said he feels honoured to be able to visit the temple. In a tweet on his visit, Modi said, “On the banks of the pristine Bhagirathi river, praying to Maa Bhagirathi. Felt extremely blessed.”2) In October 2017, PM Narendra Modi visited Kedarnath temple a day after Diwali. He said, “The Himalayas have so much to offer–for spiritual pursuits, for the nature lover, for those interested in adventure, water sports. I invite everyone to come and explore the Himalayas.” In the same visit, Modi said the government is building “quality infrastructure” in Kedarnath. “It will be modern but the traditional ethos will be preserved.”advertisement3) In his October 2017 visit, PM Modi also said that the blessings from Kedarnath will lead his government to “fulfil the aspirations of every Indian citizen in 2022”.Kedarnath will become a model Teertha Kshetra.’ We are creating proper facilities for pilgrims and ensuring welfare of the priests. pic.twitter.com/F9zYO2SFjmChowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 20, 20174) In May 2017, writing about Kedarnath temple, Modi tweeted, “I can say it confidently, we will not ignore or forget the heritage that we have been historically proud of.”5) A year after the 2013 Kedarnath tragedy, when the doors of the temple were opened for pilgrims, Modi tweeted: “I am very happy that the doors of the holy Kedarnath temple have once again opened for pilgrims. My best wishes to the pilgrims!”ALSO READ | Majestic mountains! PM Modi shares photos on his way to KedarnathALSO READ | Why Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand is famousALSO WATCH | PM Modi offers prayers at Kedarnath templelast_img read more

Read More
Courtois Cristiano Ronaldo is irreplaceable

first_imgReal Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois admits Cristiano Ronaldo simply cannot be replaced, but challenged his teammates anyway to help compensate for the loss of his goalsThe Portuguese superstar call time on his glorious nine-year spell with Real in favour of a €112m summer move to Juventus and has since excelled over in Italy.But, while Ronaldo impresses in the Serie A, Real have struggled in his absence by having their worst start to a new campaign in 17 years.However, under new manager Santiago Solari, things have improved for Los Blancos with seven wins in the Argentine’s nine matches in charge.And Solari won his first piece of silverware at the club on Saturday in their 4-1 win over Al Ain in the Club World Cup final.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.Despite that though, Courtois believes Real still have to step up and find a way to compensate for the loss of Ronaldo’s goals.“Cristiano Ronaldo is irreplaceable, you cannot forget what he did,” said Courtois, according to Yahoo.“But he is not here anymore, so it’s time for other players, like Bale did in the semi-finals [of the Club World Cup], to score the goals he [Ronaldo] used to score.“If we are able to do so, it’ll be fine.”Currently, Karim Benzema (11) and Gareth Bale (10) are Real’s leading scorers this season.last_img read more

Read More
Khaledas adviser Taimur arrested

first_imgTaimur Alam KhandakerTaimur Alam Khandaker, adviser to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, was arrested in Narayanganj on Tuesday in an explosives case.Narayanganj police arrested Taimur from Chandmari area of the district around 11:15am.Motiar Rahman, additional police superintendent of Naraynganj, said a case against Taimur had been filed with Narayanganj Model Police Station on 5 January 2015 for his involvement in a bomb blast and vandalisation.An arrest warrant was issued against him long ago, Motiar added.Taimur was the former president of district Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).last_img read more

Read More