Widdecombe to host quiz show

first_imgAnn Widdecombe is to host a brand new quiz show titled ‘Cleverdicks’. An alumnus of Lady Margaret Hall, Widdecombe is aiming to make viewers smarter and teach them a thing or two.Widdecombe retired from politics in 2010, having been a prominent Conservative Member of Parliament since 1987; after retiring, she gained showbiz fame with her unusual performance in Strictly Come Dancing.The quiz show will feature contestants of “Mastermind level” but apparently will not be as hard as University Challenge. They will play for a money prize and compete for the title of ‘Cleverdick’.Widdecombe, who has two degrees in Latin in PPE, will ask questions such as, “Which city was invaded and occupied by Italy on 20 September 1870?” and “In medicine, what does a ‘sphygmomanometer’ measure?” (Rome and blood pressure, respectively).On Widdecombe’s new role as a quiz show host, one LMH student commented, “What a good idea, Ann is just full of them.”Other notable LMH alumni include Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan, and Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education.last_img read more

Cinema upgrades technology

first_imgDue to a technology upgrade in the Browning Cinema, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center can now screen digital cinema packages (DCPs), the high-quality digital format used to film most movies today. Ted Barron, senior associate director of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, said this recent transformation would ensure the theater stays current with changing film industry standards. “Because of the investment the University made, we are at the cutting edge of current technology,” Barron said.  The noteworthy installation of a server and projector to play DCPs allows for higher definition image and improved audio, he said. In addition, a move to only one panel of projection room glass helps maximize image quality and brightness.  “The quality is a world of difference from what we had before,” Barron said. “It really benefits everyone.” Barron said movie theaters across the country have undergone similar transformations to the user-friendly DCP technology as the industry moves away from 35-millimeter film. “This is a huge change within the film industry,” he said.  This digital capability also ensures much easier transportation and projection of films, Barron said. Before, only 35-millimeter films could be shown, which involve manual threading of projectors and multiple bulky film reels for each film, which are much more difficult to handle than the DVD-box-sized DCP that simply needs to be uploaded to the cinema’s server. Barron said he was grateful the Chicago-based film projection specialist Full Aperture Systems could install the upgrade because the company employs experts in the field. Browning Cinema used to not be able to project student films in the high digital quality in which they were recorded, so Film, Television and Theater (FTT) students will now benefit from the technology upgrade, Barron said. “It better reflects and showcases what the students are doing for FTT students who are making films,” he said. “The technology they’ve been using was incompatible with the projection capabilities we had.”  Barron said the project fits in with Notre Dame’s mission of leadership and excellence. “Professors are awestruck about the quality of the presentation they have,” he said. “This is a huge benefit to their academic mission. “Faculty can now make the best use of their resources in a way they have not before.”  This University-funded project, largely completed in June, marks the first major upgrade to the Browning Cinema since its 2004 opening, Barron said.  “This is the biggest change we’ve done to the cinema to ensure that it is around for years to come,” he said.last_img read more

Newsies Director Jeff Calhoun on the ‘One-Off’ Musical That Became a Hit

first_imgAbout the author: Disney’s Newsies will close on August 24 after more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. But while “fansies” are distraught by this news, director Jeff Calhoun isn’t mourning loss of the hit musical—he’s celebrating. The adaptation of the 1992 movie was initially intended to play a limited engagement at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, but after being extended due to popular demand, the loveable newsboys headed to Broadway to carry the banner in New York. What was initially intended to be a 12-week engagement has turned into a two-year journey at the Nederlander Theatre, where more than 30 young actors have made their Broadway debuts to date. In a First Person essay for Broadway.com, Calhoun recounts his extraordinary journey with the Newsies company, from their humble beginnings in New Jersey to the bright lights of New York City. It began as a regional production at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Disney simply wanted to create a show that could be licensed to stock and amateur theaters. That was it—a “one-off,” as we say in the business. Nobody had anticipated what was about to happen. We opened to positive reviews, the audiences were enthusiastic and tickets were difficult to come by. The next thing we knew, we were heading to Broadway for a 12-week limited run. Tom Schumacher, our producer, explained that those 12 weeks would help brand the title and increase demand for stock and amateur rights. View Comments There is also a very special club at Newsies that I want to single out for their unbelievable devotion and loyalty. A well-deserved THANK YOU to 15 actors and three stage managers who have been with the show from opening to closing: John Dossett, Ben Fankhauser, Andy Richardson, Aaron Albano, Mark Aldrich, Tommy Bracco, John Brady, Caitlyn Caughell, Tim Eaker, Michael Fatica, Becky Fleming, Thom Gates, Evan Kasprzak, Stuart Marland, Jack Scott, Brendon Stimson, Nick Sullivan and Stuart Zagnit. I will always remember the pure joy and adrenaline that permeated every rehearsal back at New 42nd Street Studios. Each day was filled with an infectious longing for discovery and creativity. There was an innocence and generosity of heart that directly reflected the youth of the cast. I noticed something beautiful and profound was happening. Our boys, like the Newsies they were portraying, were responsibly representing their generation and diligently working to help make the world a better place. Just to put into perspective exactly how young some of our Newsies are, in the spring of 2013, four of them celebrated their high school graduation with an onstage diploma presentation in front of the matinee audience! Since opening on Broadway on March 29, 2012, we have had 62 actors in the cast. I can tell you that in those two-and-a-half years, not one of them has been anything but dedicated, conscientious, collaborative and every inch a professional. There isn’t a single person who I wouldn’t be proud to work with again. In addition, one of Newsies’ lasting legacies will be that it gave 32 deserving young actors their Broadway debuts—literally introducing the world of theater to the next generation of elite Broadway dancers. The cast, crew, designers and creative team didn’t care how long or why we were booked, we were all just thrilled to be there. It soon became clear that the enthusiasm we experienced at Paper Mill was no fluke. Thanks to more good reviews and our fiercely devoted fans, lovingly referred to as “fansies,” our advertised run of 101 performances was about to become open-ended! It is the genius of composer Alan Menken, lyricist Jack Feldman, book writer Harvey Fierstein and choreographer Chris Gattelli, expertly supported and nurtured by Tom Schumacher and everyone at Disney, that is responsible for helping create this musical that exceeded, by anyone’s analysis, all expectations. A lion’s share of the credit also goes to our impeccable design team. However, as easy and justified as it would be to continue to talk about this first-class pedigree of collaborators, I feel compelled to talk about another group of artists who, long after the creative team departed the theater, return through the stage door six days a week: The cast of Newsies. Newsies Before Newsies takes its final bow on Broadway, I would like to reflect upon some of the improbable legacies of a regional production that nobody predicted would become a bona fide Broadway hit! A Broadway hit only happens when a confluence of disparate talents miraculously and inexplicably synthesize their best efforts into one cohesive thing that, against all odds, actually works. Newsies is no exception. I believe people are remembered by what we leave behind in the hearts of others. If the same can be said of a show, then Newsies will leave a lifetime of memories in many of our hearts. Now that’s “Something to Believe In.” One thing that every show has in common is that they close (except perhaps The Phantom of The Opera). Even Cats’ “now and forever” turned out to have an expiration date. I think this ephemeral quality is one reason we cherish the theater so much. It only resides in our elusive memories and can’t be stored on a shelf or hard drive. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 24, 2014last_img read more

Business owners to share post-disaster survivor tips during free webinar Sept 28

first_imgAny crisis in a disaster situation, from a server malfunction to a flooded basement, could force a business to close its doors, reducing productivity and profits and possibly resulting in a permanent shut-down.  Next week, in the fourth of four weekly webinars during National Preparedness Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery Solutions three business owners who faced losses of property and income after a disaster will share their experiences and what they learned about preparing for the next disaster.On Wednesday, Sept. 28, bank vice president Scott Jenkins, insurance company president Terry Flood, and Joel Simpson, vice president of a plastics and glass supplier, will described how their companies recovered from losses caused, respectively, by a tornado, water damages from a burst pipe, and flooding.  The three will also offer tips on how to protect themselves and their bottom line, based on their own experiences.SBA has partnered with Agility to offer business continuity strategies via their ‘PrepareMyBusiness’ website.  Visit www.preparemybusiness.org(link is external) to access past webinars and get additional preparedness tips.The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/disaster(link is external).WHO:    Scott Jenkins, Senior VP, Worthington Federal Bank, Huntsville, Ala.Terry Flood, President, The Flood Group, Long Island, NYJoel Simpson, VP Sales & Marketing, The O. Berk Company, Union,NJWHAT:   ‘Survivor Panel’Real World Lessons Learned’ will be presented by Jenkins, Flood and Simpson.  A question and answer session will follow. WHEN:    Wednesday, September 28 ‘ 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT HOW:            Space is limited. Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/660249057(link is external)last_img read more

Tandem Cycling

first_imgYes, it may look strange, but they could be the fastest way to marital bliss…or divorce.Here’s the trouble with the tandem bicycle: It just looks funny. Like circus funny. Two adults stuck together on a conjoined bike, you expect the riders to be wearing red clown noses. The fact that tandems simply aren’t common in the U.S. doesn’t help that first impression. Tandem manufacturers are tight-lipped about participation numbers, but how often do you see a tandem roll up to the start line at the races you enter? It’s a seemingly-bizarre niche sport that many people put in the same category as the nude 5K. As in, “It looks kind of fun. Maybe, if the opportunity presented itself, I’d try it, but I certainly wouldn’t make a habit out of it.” Get past the awkwardness of the sport—two people should rarely be that close to each other while wearing lycra and sweating—and what you have is one of the finest examples of teamwork in the world of athletics. Think synchronized swimming. Riding a tandem successfully on the road, or dare we say it, on singletrack, may look a little strange, but it’s a thing of beauty and courage. And only the strongest couples need apply.Yes, when I say “couple,” I mean of the romantically involved variety. Spouses. Partners. Lovers. In the U.S. the vast majority of tandem riders are bound together by law.“Just about all of the tandem teams we see are couples,” says Roger Strauss, an Atlanta-based cyclist who organizes the annual Georgia Tandem Rally with his wife and cycling partner Evo Kofsky. Of the 120 teams that show up annually for the rally, most if not all are husband/wife duos with the guy up front (the “pilot”) and the woman in the back (the “stoker”).“Every now and then, you’ll see a couple of guys trying to break the land speed record on a tandem, but the majority of tandem teams are couples,” Strauss says.That’s not the case in Europe, where tandem cycling enjoys more mainstream acceptance. The Roc d’ Zur in France is probably the largest off road tandem race in the world, pulling more than 200 teams every year, the majority of whom are guy/guy combos. Occasionally in the U.S. you’ll see two dudes enter a bike race on a tandem (the Shenandoah Mountain 100 and Cohutta 100 saw tandem teams this year), but for the most part, all of those Y chromosomes on one bike is an anomaly on this side of the Atlantic.Because tandem teams are usually couples and because tandem cycling can seem like such an extreme pastime for a couple to enjoy, bike shop guys like to call the double bikes “divorce missiles.”“Every couple that sees my wife and me riding wonders the same thing: could we do that? Would we enjoy it, or would it kill our marriage?” Straus says. For him, riding a tandem is a no brainer. “It takes the weaker rider and brings him or her up to the level of the stronger cyclist. Before riding tandems, when I rode with my wife, I’d get to the turn and wait. Then get to the rest stop and wait. She was three to four miles slower than I was. On a tandem, we ride at the same speed as on my single bike, but I know where she is all the time.”You can imagine the hesitation of some couples though. Imagine driving a car, but your spouse gets to control the gas and help turn the vehicle. You can see where problems might arise in that scenario.Alex Nutt builds mountain bike tandems for teams all across the country. He started riding tandems for the exact same reason most people start riding tandems: so he could spend time with his wife and so his wife could enjoy the same kind of mountain bike experience he enjoyed. “The first ride we took on a tandem, we had a ball,” Nutt says. “But a lot of first tandem rides suck. You’re introducing a new set of sensations on the bike. It’s a big, unwieldy, uncontrollable machine that you have to work together to control. It’s not easy to get used to. I’d say whatever direction the relationship is going, if you get on a tandem, it’s going there faster.”Andy Applegate is a cyclist with 11 national championships under his belt. Twelve years ago, his parents gave him and his wife, Cara, a wedding present: money for a tandem bicycle.“We bought a used road tandem. After the first ride, we thought we’d sell it and never get on a tandem again. It was tough just getting the bike around a turn,” Applegate says. “But we gave it another shot. Two rides later, we were in love with it.”Tandems are slow to climb, but fast on flats and monsters on downhills. In the right conditions with the right team, a tandem is considerably faster than a single bike. It has two engines instead of one, and weighs twice as much. Weight is everything when you’re building momentum, and momentum is everything when you’re bombing downhill.On singletrack, mountain bike tandems are surprisingly agile. Not every trail is meant for a tandem, but flow trails become flowier because of the momentum created on the bigger bike.Moab tandem biking“There’s not much that we can’t ride on a tandem,” Applegate says. “Some of the more technical trails in Pisgah might be tough, but we’d get through them. Generally speaking, the only thing that’s really difficult on a tandem is a tight switchback. But it’s a trade-off. Because the tandem is so big and burly, you can point it at any obstacle and just cruise over it.”What makes riding a tandem so tough is that the drivetrain is locked together. If the pilot is pedaling, the stoker has to be pedaling at the same cadence. Getting a tandem around a corner can feel a lot like driving an RV through a mountain pass. The pilot steers, shifts, and brakes, but both riders have to work together to create momentum and get the bike where you want it to go.“The stoker has a surprising amount of influence over what the bike does,” Alex Nutt says. “My wife weighs half as much as I do, but if she leans out to the right, the bike will go to the right. If she rides with stiff arms, or stands up, that affects the bike. I can feel it.”And the stoker can’t see a thing except for the back of the pilot, which means the pilot has to narrate the ride ahead, particularly on a mountain bike tandem.“The amount of communication differs with each team,” Nutt says. “Some teams call out every shift. All pilots have to call out roots, rocks, and drops that are coming up. When you approach a log or rock, the pilot has to set the pedals up so the stoker’s pedal can clear the obstacle too. My wife and I only have one code phrase: ‘Oh crap.’ I say that and my wife knows we’re getting off the bike.”In addition to riding tandem with his wife, Andy Applegate has piloted a blind biker in the Paralympic tandem trials, and piloted another fellow biker in the Masters Road Championships. After riding with friends, he’s not surprised that the best tandem teams tend to be husband/wife duos.“The better you know someone, the better you’ll ride. Cara knows me. She knows when I’m going to coast. She knows when I’m going to put my foot down to rest, and which foot I’m going to put down. She knows my cadence and can match it. Riders have to be compatible.”Think about trying to do a track stand on your bike. Every tiny movement counts. Squeezing your toes affects the bike. Shifting your head moves the bike. Now think about trying to do a track stand on a tandem with a partner attached to the same bike. If you’re not in sync, it’s a disaster. But if you’re in tune with your teammate, you can balance each other. Make up for each other’s tiny mistakes. That’s when tandem teams are at their best.The Applegates are one of the best tandem teams in the business. They won the Elite National Championship tandem in 2010 and own the tandem category of the Leadville 100, winning three years in a row. They were also the first tandem team to finish Leadville in under nine hours, which is no small feat. To Applegate, the true benefit of riding a tandem is the fact that you’re so entwined with your partner for the duration of the ride, which ironically, is the one thing that keeps most from trying it.“One of my goals in life is to get more people to ride tandem. It’s a different experience than riding alone. It’s actually a different sport altogether,” Applegate says. “You have to think for two, which can be difficult, but is also really rewarding. You get to share every victory or defeat as a team, pedal stroke for pedal stroke. Of the 11 national championships I have, the one I remember the most is the first tandem road race that we won. You literally did it together, and you have that person to share it with.” •See the hijinksCheck out the Tandem Freeride InvitationalCan you tandem?“There are some couples that shouldn’t ride tandems,” says Alex Nutt, who sees his fair share of teams that succeed and fail. “It takes a huge amount of trust from both people, but especially the stoker.”Here’s a quick relationship quiz to see if you and your partner are compatible enough to successfully ride a tandem. Answer yes to any of these questions, and you may want to think twice about going tandem.1. Does your spouse constantly press the imaginary break in the floorboard when riding shotgun with you in the car? Does he/she reach over and put your blinker on for you? One person has to relinquish a considerable amount of control. The stoker can’t be a backseat driver.2. Do you fight over the best route to the grocery store? Most tandem arguments center around directions, as in, “you should’ve taken a left back there.”3. Did you hide the real cost of your latest bike from your spouse, telling him/her that you “got a great deal” without actually divulging the price tag? At a minimum, tandems are twice as expensive as a single bike. Usually, you’re looking at tripling your cost.last_img read more

Good work ethics

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E-money transactions in Indonesia skyrocket 173% in January

first_imgElectronic money (e-money) transactions in Indonesia’s retail market skyrocketed by 173 percent in January from a year earlier, with nonbank fintech dominating the scene as the country works its way toward a cashless society, the central bank says.Bank Indonesia (BI) senior deputy governor Destry Damayanti said that the growth of e-money in retail transactions had especially picked up in the past two years, as consumers shifted to the ease of noncash options. “Last January, the growth of e-money was 173 percent year-on-year. So, it is growing in dominance,” Destry said during a panel discussion on CNBC Indonesia’s Economic Outlook 2020 in Jakarta on Wednesday.  In addition to that, the number of electronic platforms has grown steadily in the past couple of years. The latest data from BI recorded 41 licensed e-money platforms as of February 2020, up from 38 last year.This shows that a growing number of players is trying to benefit from e-wallet transactions, which were already valued at $1.5 billion in 2018, according to the joint study. Indonesia’s consumers are the driving force behind this growth. Between 2017 and 2018, digital consumers in Indonesia grew from 64 million to 102 million, 53 percent of the total population in Indonesia, according to a recent study done by Facebook in collaboration with Bain & Company. With the growth of digital consumers, online shopping is predicted to increase 3.7 times from $13.1 billion in transactions in 2017 to $48.3 billion in 2025, the study says. A JP Morgan report on Indonesia’s e-commerce insights in 2019 explains that the e-commerce market growth in Indonesia will be driven by its youthful population, where the average age of the country’s population is just 30.5 years. “Indeed, half of all Indonesians are aged under 30, and there is a rising middle class,” the report stated. Out of the total 264 million population, internet penetration amounted to 32.3 percent and 40 percent for smartphone penetration, another contributing factor in the growing adoption of digital payments.The developments bode well for Indonesia’s move toward a cashless society, which started many years ago. In 2014, the central bank initiated the national noncash movement (GNNT) as Indonesia eyed becoming Southeast Asia’s digital hub. (ydp)Topics : E-money transactions reached Rp 15.8 trillion (US$1.1 billion) in January this year, close to tripling last year’s Rp 5.8 trillion transactions, according to BI data.“The possibility, if we look [ahead], is that the players change, from banks to nonbanks for the retail [market],” Destry added, explaining how Indonesia’s consumers were moving away from ATM and debit cards as payment options. The top-five e-wallet mobile applications in Indonesia based on the number of monthly active users between 2017 until 2019 were Gojek, OVO, DANA, LinkAja and Jenius, according to a joint study between iPrice Group and App Annie. Most of them are nonbank players.Read also: Fintech payments triumph as GoPay, OVO dominate scenelast_img read more

BLOG: The Line At Your Driver License Center Just Got Shorter (Thanks, GO-TIME)

first_imgBLOG: The Line At Your Driver License Center Just Got Shorter (Thanks, GO-TIME) Efficiency,  GO-TIME,  Government That Works,  The Blog When it’s time to take your driver’s test, get your license renewed, or do anything else that requires an in-person visit to your local PennDOT Driver License Center, it’s usually a good idea to leave yourself some time. After all, you never know how many others will be waiting alongside you on their lunch break, or even a Saturday morning. But thanks to Governor Wolf’s GO-TIME initiative — where the governor asked state agencies to find new ways to modernize, innovate, or transform in order to operate more efficiently — PennDOT has found a way to ease congestion at some of its busiest facilities.Through a software upgrade, PennDOT staff can now monitor wait times at 27 Driver License Centers around the state — in real time — and deploy additional resources in response.Already, a new camera has been added to one of the state’s busiest centers in Malvern, Chester County because of data analyzed through the new system, called ‘Orchestra.’ PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards says this has cut the average wait time in Malvern from 90 to 30 minutes!Due to the positive results seen so far, PennDOT is installing Orchestra in nearly two dozen more high-volume centers. It’s one of several GO-TIME projects PennDOT has launched since January, and is a prime example of how simple upgrades can transform operations to better serve Pennsylvanians — one of Governor Wolf’s main priorities for a “Government That Works.” December 07, 2015 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf By: Megan Healey, Deputy Press Secretarylast_img read more

Wigan take Albrighton on loan

first_img Latics have moved to bolster their wide options with Scotland international Shaun Maloney facing an extend spell out as he remains troubled by a hip injury. “Marc has shown what an outstanding player he is time and again in the Premier League, and he is someone I have tried to sign in the past, so I’m delighted to bring him on board to strengthen our squad,” boss Owen Coyle told Wigan’s official website. “He’s at a young age with the potential and scope to get even better; he’s quick, dangerous and pleasing on the eye and I feel he’s going to really enhance the attacking options we have at Wigan Athletic, particularly in light of Shaun Maloney’s absence.” The 23-year-old has featured just once for the Barclays Premier League club this season and has found his first-team opportunities limited ever since Paul Lambert was appointed manager last summer. Albrighton shot to prominence during Gerard Houllier’s sole season in charge at Villa Park, scoring six times in 33 appearances and was called up to the England Under-21 squad in September 2010. Wigan have confirmed the signing of Aston Villa winger Marc Albrighton on a 28-day loan.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Barty party underway as Ashleigh triumphs in Paris

first_imgBy Ossian ShinePARIS, France (Reuters) – Ashleigh Barty, the Australian who ditched tennis to play professional cricket for a year, smashed Marketa Vondrousova for six yesterday to lift the French Open crown at Roland Garros.Boasting a bewildering array of shots and spins, the eighth seed crushed her Czech teenage opponent 6-1, 6-3 to win her first Grand Slam title, and Australia’s first French women’s singles crown in more than four decades.“It’s unbelievable … I played the perfect match today. I am so proud of myself and my whole team … it has been a crazy two weeks,” said Barty, the ninth different female champion in the last 10 grand slams.“This is a special place for Australian players … it has been a magical two weeks.” Not since Margaret Court’s triumph in Paris in 1973 has an Australian won the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen but this victory was in very little doubt from the moment the final began.In a match-up where guile and artistry always trumped power, Barty was simply smarter throughout.Producing angles so sharp they might have come with a health warning, the 23-year-old carved apart Vondrousova in the opening set, clinching it in half an hour.While the match was no classic, those fans who had taken a break after the conclusion of the Dominic Thiem-Novak Djokovic men’s semi-final, which had caused the women’s final to run more than an hour late, missed some of the more thoughtful tennis played on the Roland Garros clay this past fortnight. Vondrousova, who herself has bamboozled a succession of opponents here, repeatedly found herself outfoxed by Barty, whose doubles excellence was always on display with her net-play and cleverly angled serving.Barty, who returned to tennis in 2016 after a successful stint with the Brisbane Heat in Australian cricket’s Women’s Big Bash League, took nary a backward step, breaking instantly in the second set to deprive her 19-year-old opponent any foothold.Cracking a stiff-armed, two-handed backhand, in the manner of Jim Courier, Barty was able to counter Vondrousova’s attempts to pull her wide with her loopy left-handed backhand, and the Czech rapidly ran out of ideas. Vondrousova turned to ever riskier strategies – her drop shots became finer, her drives more firmly struck – and she earned a little breathing space, holding serve three times after that early break.But the irrevocable damage had been done and when Barty slammed a short smash high into the stands it was all over and she raised her arms in triumph.The victory lacked drama but lifts Barty to number two in the world – a feat last accomplished by an Australian woman in 1976 by Evonne Goolagong.last_img read more