DDTV: WOW! PARAGLIDING OVER THE FINGER FINGER STRAND

first_imgDDTV: We probably don’t have the stomach for it – but what a view you can get…paragliding over the Five Finger Strand in Inishowen. The boys from CloudSurfIreland certainly know how to get their kicks.And you can see how they get on without getting a single hair blown out of place by playing the video. DDTV: WOW! PARAGLIDING OVER THE FINGER FINGER STRAND was last modified: January 9th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalfive finger strandlast_img read more

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Reftract House: A 2009 Solar Decathlon Contender

first_imgIt would be understandable if participants in the Solar Decathlon feel the pressure of rising expectations – pressure to outdo the work of previous teams of faculty and students who have already put enormous energy and analysis into the 800-sq.-ft. net-zero-energy dwellings that became their Decathlon entries.The Santa Clara University undergraduates who make up one of the 20 teams competing in the 2009 Solar Decathlon, for example, might even feel a little extra pressure to measure up to SCU’s performance in the 2007 Decathlon, where the team entered the competition as an underdog but ended up winning third place overall.The good news is that, competitive as it is, the Decathlon also is an excellent teaching tool whose past entries can be analyzed, and improved upon, by current contestants.To that end, SCU, located in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Santa Clara, has been developing its entry for the 2009 Decathlon in collaboration with design, art, and architecture students at the nearby California College of the Arts.The SCU/CCA team aims to produce a “bold and luxurious home that demonstrates green living does not require a compromise in lifestyle,” the team says in its mission statement about the project.Called Refract House, the project derives it name from the notion that the SCU/CCA team is attempting to alter the path of net-zero-energy home design for the better, an idea that’s represented visually by the building’s bent-tube layout and technically by the way its layout controls the entry of light into the home as it wraps around a central courtyard.Ramping up for OctoberConstruction of the house is well underway, and the team has been busy not only overseeing the process but escorting visitors on tours of the building site, which is on the SCU campus. (Tour hours are noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; call (845) 323-8029 for information.)Of course, the Refract House’s big moment will be at the Solar Decathlon, scheduled for October 8 through 18 in Washington, D.C., where the home will be reconstructed on the National Mall, along with 19 other fully operational contest entries, for viewing by visitors and judges.Each Solar Decathlon team competes in 10 areas: architecture (for a maximum of 100 points), market viability (100 points), engineering (100 points), lighting design (75 points), communications (75 points), comfort zone (100 points), hot water (100 points), appliances (100 points), home entertainment (100 points), and the newest category, net metering (150 points).The 2009 field of competitors includes 16 teams from schools in the U.S., two from Canadian universities, and two from European universities.A biennial event sponsored by the Department of Energy, the Decathlon attracted a record 200,000 visitors in 2007. The house built for that contest by SCU, which doesn’t have an architecture school, did not do well in the architecture category. But it did land perfect scores in the hot water and energy balance categories, and ended up with a total of 979.959 points out of a possible 1,200 (the first-place winner, the team representing Technische Universität Darmstadt, scored 1,024.855 points).Decathlon teams play with their hearts as well as their heads. The DOE’s Decathlon website points out that SCU’s 2007 entry almost didn’t make it to the National Mall when the truck transporting the house broke an axle on its way to Washington. The house’s arrival was delayed by three days, but the SCU persevered.last_img read more

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Financials give TSX a minor boost loonie down amid flat GDP numbers

first_imgTORONTO – The Toronto stock index posted a minor gain Friday, while the Canadian dollar fell amid the latest GDP numbers released by Statistics Canada.The S&P/TSX composite index advanced 16.69 points to 15,634.94, led mainly by financials.The country’s eight-month march of monthly growth in the economy came to an end in July after Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product was essentially unchanged at zero per cent growth in July compared with June. The development could head off more rate hikes this year and put downward pressure on the Canadian dollar.The loonie was trading at an average price of 80.13 cents US, down 0.19 of a U.S. cent.“The Canadian dollar softened as this GDP report reduced the odds of a third rate hike by the Bank of Canada this year, especially when you combine it with governor Stephen Poloz’s recent speech which gave more of a cautionary tone to the bank’s approach going forward,” said Todd Mattina, a chief economist at Mackenzie Investments.The Bank of Canada raised rates twice over the summer following the economy’s surprisingly powerful start to the year, but Poloz said during a speech Wednesday that he has no prearranged route for further interest-rate hikes.On the corporate front, shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:VRX) were up 79 cents, or 4.62 per cent, to $17.88 at the close of markets amid the company’s announcement that it has completed the sale of its iNova Pharmaceuticals business for $930 million in cash.Quebec-based Valeant says it will use net proceeds of about $920 million from the sale to reduce its debt, as it continues to simplify its portfolio and focus on its core businesses. The company’s shares have plunged since questions about its business model first emerged two years ago, when they traded for more than $300 per share.South of the border, U.S. stocks pushed further into record territory on Wall Street.The S&P 500 index edged up 9.30 points to 2,519.36 and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 42.51 points to 6,495.96 — new highs for both indices. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones industrial average added 23.89 points to 22,405.09.In U.S. economic news, a Commerce Department report released Friday showed consumer spending inched up 0.1 per cent in August, and wages and salaries were unchanged. That could be a hint third-quarter economic growth will be weaker.In commodities, the November crude contract was up 11 cents to US$51.67 per barrel while the November natural gas contract lost a penny to US$3.01 per mmBTU.The December gold contract gave back $3.90 to US$1,284.80 an ounce and the December copper contract retreated three cents to US$2.96 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

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Broad decline weighs on Toronto market as trade war worries hit US

first_imgNorth American markets saw broad declines Friday after President Donald Trump proposed more tariffs on Chinese goods.The announcement late Thursday that Trump was considering duties on an additional $100 billion in goods imported from China marked a shift in tone from U.S. officials earlier in the week that the U.S. was looking to negotiate a resolution to the trade dispute.The latest potential tariffs come on top of the tariffs the U.S. has proposed on US$50 billion worth Chinese goods, which China promised to match earlier this week, and an earlier back-and-forth after the U.S. imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum.The day-to-day shifts in trade sentiments are now dictating markets more than the underlying health of the economy, said Jamie Robertson, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.“Rhetoric is supplanting fundamentals at this particular point. The economic data both in the U.S. and Canada continues to show the economies are doing well…but clearly the market’s completely preoccupied with the spectre of a trade war between the U.S. and China.”“You flip and flop around when you get into these periods of volatility we’re into now,” he said.The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 148.64 points at 15,207.41, to leave the index down 1.04 per cent for the week.U.S. indexes saw declines of more than two per cent on Friday as trade concerns hit the U.S. more than other markets, said Robertson.The Dow Jones industrial average was down 572.46 points at 23,932.76. The S&P 500 index was down 58.37 points at 2,604.47 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 161.44 points at 6,915.11.Despite the market retreat, Robertson said he still believes the tariff threats are more of a negotiation tactic.“I think the market believes there may be some fire to this smoke, but I think it’s still negotiating tactics at this particular point. We saw this with NAFTA and we’re clearly going to see it with China as well.”The Canadian dollar averaged 78.35 cents US, up 0.08 of a US cent as Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate stayed at 5.8 per cent for a second consecutive month to match its lowest level since the agency started measuring the indicator in 1976.The dollar climbed despite a drop in oil prices that saw the May crude contract end down $1.48 at US$62.06 per barrel, though it was still well within its recent range, said Robertson.“Oil at this particular point is pretty well contained sort of between US$58 and US$68 and when you get in some of these situations where you get concerns for risk assets, I think that oil should move to the lower end of that range.”The May natural gas contract was up three cents at US$2.70 per mmBTU.The June gold contract was up US$7.60 at US$1,336.10 an ounce and the May copper contract was down one cent at US$3.06 a pound.last_img read more

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Chinas music streaming leader Tencent to go public in US

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – The owner of China’s largest music streaming services is looking to strike it rich in the U.S. stock market.Tencent Music Entertainment plans to sell its stock in the U.S. as part of an initial public offering. The IPO documents filed Tuesday propose raising $1 billion, but that preliminary figure often ends up being substantially higher.Investor demand is likely to be high, given the rising popularity of music streaming and Tencent’s success so far.Tencent says its services have more than 800 million users, including 23.3 million subscribers who pay to listen to its music library.It’s also profitable, having earned $199 million on revenue of $1.66 billion last year.Tencent’s major shareholders include the leading music streaming service Spotify, which went public earlier this year.last_img read more

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ICBC launches telematics pilot for new drivers

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – ICBC is launching into telematics research with a new pilot, this time inviting as many as 7,000 drivers with less than five years of experience to see how telematics technology can improve their driving and make B.C. roads safer.ICBC says its rates are under considerable pressure in part from a significant increase in crashes.According to the Provincial Insurance Company, new drivers are 5.6 times more at risk of getting into a crash and for that crash to be severe than those with 20 years of driving experience. “Starting September 2019, inexperienced drivers will be paying more to better reflect this risk as part of the recent changes to rate fairness. This pilot is an opportunity to assess if telematics can measurably improve driver behaviour and help offset that impact in the future by decreasing the demographic’s risk of being in a crash.”ICBC says results from the first telematics pilot earlier this year that focused on the technology’s usability found that over 40 percent of participants saw improvements in their driving by using the technology, and nearly three-quarters recommended that ICBC explore its use further, particularly for inexperienced drivers.In early 2019, ICBC will confirm a vendor that will provide the technology for the pilot through a Negotiated Request for Proposal process, and participant sign-up will begin in the spring. The pilot will launch in the summer with incentives for drivers while collecting driver feedback and driving behaviour data for one year.ICBC is looking for participants in the Novice Stage of the Graduated Licensing Program or with less than five years of experience as a fully licensed driver from across B.C.If you are interested in participating in this pilot program, you can visit icbc.com/driverpilotlast_img read more

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Cross Canada corridor concept getting dusted off ahead of election

first_img“Those regulations are definitely there for a reason, but we were trying to come up with a better model,” he said.Dedicated infrastructure corridors have had success in other jurisdictions, including Europe and Australia, Fellows said.Pipelines are very good at generating economic benefits at both ends of the line, and not so much in the middle _ but roads, rail, electricity and telecom can help people all along the route, Fellows said.“You might not make everyone 100-per-cent happy, but the goal is to try to make everyone a little bit happier than they are now,” said Fellows, who co-wrote the paper with Andrei Sulzenko. OTTAWA, O.N. – The notion of a pan-Canadian corridor dedicated to rail, power lines and pipelines has been around for at least half a century but it looks like it’s about to get a big publicity boost.Last week, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer used a major pre-election policy speech to dust off a similar idea. Scheer promised, if he wins October’s election, that he would to work towards establishing a cross-country “energy corridor.”He said planning for the route would be done up front, in consultation with provinces and Indigenous communities. A right-of-way would make it easier to lower environmental assessment costs, improve certainty for investors and increase the chances more projects will be built, Scheer said. Interest in a coast-to-coast corridor has picked up in recent years. Energy infrastructure proposals have failed to secure approval due to tough regulatory processes and community concerns over environmental impacts.For instance, the shortage of pipeline capacity out of oil-rich Alberta has created a bottleneck that’s harmed both the provincial and national economies. Sellers have had to sell at deep discounts because there simply isn’t the transportation capacity to get oil to willing buyers.In the last few years, a few academics and senators have recommended the federal government give the corridor concept a serious look, even though making it happen would be a big, multi-jurisdictional undertaking.Scheer’s pitch appears to have drawn inspiration from a 2016 University of Calgary paper that offered possible solutions through a northern corridor for transportation and infrastructure.G. Kent Fellows, who co-authored the report, said the right-of-way could be used for roads, rail, pipelines, electricity transmission lines and telecommunications. The study’s proposed 7,000-kilometre corridor would also serve communities well north of the existing east-west routes that run closer to the U.S. border. In concept, a main line and offshoots would connect ports in northern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories to Churchill, Man., eastern Quebec and Labrador.The hurdles of consultations and regulatory oversight for new projects are significant, Fellows said.center_img The creation of a corridor could take decades, or even half a century, and a “back of the envelope” calculation estimates it could cost something like $100 billion, Fellows said.The study caught the attention of a Senate committee, which took a closer look at the concept in 2016 and 2017.In a 2017 report of its own, the committee called the corridor idea a “visionary, future-oriented infrastructure initiative” that would create significant economic opportunities for Canada and help develop northern regions.“Because an initiative of this scale and scope would likely take decades to complete, the federal government _ on a priority basis _ should ensure that a feasibility study on the proposed northern corridor is undertaken,” said the committee report.Senators recommended the government dedicate up to $5 million to the University of Calgary to support further research into the corridor.The committee report noted how a 1971 report by Richard Rohmer _ an air-force veteran of D-Day who became a prominent land-use lawyer with the ear of governor general Roland Michener _ proposed the development of a “mid-Canada” corridor, recommending federal, provincial and territorial governments make it an urgent priority. Rohmer imagined a massive transportation network for goods and people could turn communities such as Flin Flon, Whitehorse and High Level into major new urban centres.The report was presented then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau but the committee said his government never moved forward on the idea.Christopher Ragan, a McGill University professor, said he recalls the University of Calgary corridor study and he thinks it’s “quite a striking idea” that makes a lot of sense.Ragan, who served on federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s economic advisory panel, said he’s glad Scheer has taken up the concept of a corridor and bringing it to the public’s attention as a serious idea.On climate change, Ragan said the country will want to find ways to get through tough approval processes to run more east-west energy grids. For example, he said clean electricity could move from British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba into Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of Ontario to help displace fossil-fuel generation.Ragan is also head of the Ecofiscal Commission, a group of academics focused on economic and environmental solutions.“I don’t frankly care whether it’s an old idea or a new idea _ but it is a new idea in terms of a real-world, policy practical discussion … It’s good that you actually have politicians starting to talk about this.”last_img read more

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NZ allows intrusive spy ops after mosque attack

first_imgWellington: New Zealand’s intelligence minister said Wednesday he was allowing spy agencies to carry out “intrusive” activities following the Christchurch mosque shootings that claimed 50 lives. The government this week ordered a judicial inquiry into whether the South Pacific nation’s intelligence services could have prevented the March 15 attack amid criticism the white supremacist gunman went unnoticed as they were too focused on Muslim extremists. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USAndrew Little — the minister responsible for the GCSB and SIS intelligence services — said he had signed powerful surveillance warrants as information gathering continued in the wake of the attack. “I have given authority to the agencies to do intrusive activities under warrant, the number of those (warrants) I’m not at liberty to disclose,” he told Radio New Zealand. Little said intelligence services typically monitored 30-40 people but that number had now increased, although he was unwilling to reveal by how much. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHe said a warrant permitted anything from physical surveillance to the monitoring of telecommunications activity. “The whole gambit of what would otherwise be described as intrusive activity,” he told the New Zealand Herald. “The purpose of a warrant is to authorise and effectively make lawful what would otherwise be unlawful activity.” Little denied New Zealand had proved a “soft target” for the accused gunman, an Australian with apparent links to right-wing groups who reportedly moved to the country with the intention of carrying out an attack. Little said he maintained confidence in the intelligence services and until the inquiry into their actions was complete it was “premature” to say they had failed. “Until there’s a very microscopic look at what the agencies have been doing and whether they’ve missed anything, I can’t say for certain,” he told RNZ. “It’s important for me, the agencies, but ultimately for public confidence that we let that commission of inquiry do its job and reach its conclusions.” Meanwhile, police remained tight-lipped about two raids conducted by armed officers in Christchurch overnight. The raids took place at opposite ends of the city centre, the first at 8:00 pm (0700 GMT) Tuesday and the second around 1:00 am Wednesday.last_img read more

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TMC registers complaint against Arjun

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress leaders from North 24-Parganas have registered a complaint with the District Election Officer (DEO) against Arjun Singh, who is contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections from the Barrackpore constituency on BJP’s ticket.A separate complaint was also lodged at the Titagarh police station in this regard. The district Trinamool Congress leaders have alleged that Singh had called up a Trinamool Congress leader in Barrackpore and threatened him with dire consequences. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThey also termed the incident as a desperation move after Singh was removed from the post of chairman of Bhatpara Municipality through secret ballot on Monday. The district TMC leaders are also of the view that Singh is making threat calls after apprehending defeat in the upcoming elections. It may be mentioned here that Singh has recently joined BJP from Trinamool Congress. After he joined BJP, the Trinamool Congress leaders decided to issue a no-confidence motion in the 34-member Bhatpara Municipality in North 24-Parganas. The no-confidence motion was passed against Singh through a secret ballot, where he lost 21-11. The DEO of North 24-Parganas, who also happens to be the District Magistrate, will carry out a probe into the alleged threat call and may submit a report to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in the state. The CEO’s office had also sought a report from the DEO on Monday, after a BJP party office was allegedly ransacked in Bhatpara.last_img read more

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