New track up and running at GC Foster

first_imgDelivered under budget and within schedule, the new track at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport is expected to continue the institution’s rich heritage of sporting education. But, it was not an easy fix.One of the region’s premier sports education institution was yesterday presented with a newly constructed $170 million IAAF Level Two certified synthetic running track, two years after it was closed for safety concerns.And as the who’s who of the island’s sporting administration turned out yesterday afternoon at the Angels, St Catherine-based institution to get a close-up view of the eight-lane facility – which was entirely funded by the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) and laid by German company BSW Regupol – the German company’s point man on the project wore one of the brightest smiles.Decades of useExport Director Peter Breuer shared that the project was a rather difficult one, but noted that the new surface can serve the institution for more than 30 years if properly maintained.Breuer, who first saw a badly deteriorated G.C. Foster College track in 2007 during a site visit, explained that the original track, which was laid in 1998 by the MONDO system, was built on unstable soil and was uneven at several spots.”I’m very happy with it; it came out beautifully,” he beamed. “We had to overcome a lot of problems with the ground, but everything is perfect. We were four weeks ahead of time, within the budget, and everybody is happy.”He added: “The soil was very unstable, particularly along the back straight. The track had deformed up to one metre in spots, so it was like sitting on chewing gum. That ground is still under here, so we had to ensure that the new track is stable and will not deform, and it will not deform because we have put a lot of measures in place.”Breuer noted that he expects a 30-year lifespan if properly maintained. BSW Regupol also built the current tracks at the National Stadium and the University of the West Indies.Driving sportMinister with responsibility for sport, Natalie Neita-Headley, who was speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, said: “This institution has become a national catalyst for great things in sport.”The achievement of this college goes way beyond merely handing out degrees and diplomas in physical education and coaching. It has been the main driving force behind a new culture of sport in Jamaica.”This culture has emphasised the importance of study, preparation, practice and training, and the immense value of well informed motivation and a highly educated cadre of coaches across all sporting disciplines,” added Neita-Headley.Simpson Miller is recovering from laryngitis.Meanwhile, Principal Dr Joyce Graham Royal, who spoke to the college’s expanded offerings and plans going forward, was clearly thrilled.”With the provision of this new track we can continue to move full speed ahead with the honing of the many athletes that we have in the G.C. Foster family,” she said.last_img read more

Outrage as HSE fails to fund community hospital projects in Donegal

first_imgThe government and Health Service Executive (HSE) have been slammed over what has been described as their ‘throwing good money after bad’.Pearse Doherty was commenting after it was confirmed over the weekend that the HSE has still not received formal approval for the capital funding required to redevelop both St Joseph’s and Ramelton Community Hospitals.It is now understood that hundreds of thousands of euro will now be spent carrying out minor refurbishments and upgrades in order to ensure that both facilities can comply with HIQA standards for older person services. “At a meeting of elected representatives and the HSE held on Friday last, it was confirmed that the necessary formal approvals required in order to proceed with the long-awaited St Joseph’s and Ramelton Community Hospitals projects have still not been given,” Doherty said.“This means that, in the absence of the capital funding needed to finance both these builds, then it is highly unlikely that construction will commence in the short term.“Instead, the HSE will now spend some hundreds of thousands of euro on minor upgrades and refurbishment works at both units in order to bring them up to an acceptable standard and to deal with compliance issues concerning HIQA standards, including constructing en-suite rooms and other measures to ensure greater privacy and dignity of patients.“This is yet another example of government throwing good money after bad on sticking plaster solutions instead of doing what they should have done long ago which is making the capital funding available to deliver these badly needed projects at both hospitals,” he added. “This ridiculous situation comes despite repeated assurances from the Government that they are fully committed to the retention of long term residential care at St Joseph’s and Ramelton Community Hospitals, yet their inaction tells a different story.“Instead, patients and their loved ones, as well as hospital staff and the wider communities of Stranorlar and Ramelton have been strung along and lied to by Fine Gael Ministers time and time again,” Doherty said.“This is simply not good enough and I fully intend on raising the issue of both hospitals with the Minister this week in the Dáil before the summer recess because clearly, this government is still failing to see the serious consequences their indifference is having on all those who depend on these vital services.”Outrage as HSE fails to fund community hospital projects in Donegal was last modified: July 1st, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

8 Great ‘Proof of Concept’ Films That Got Picked Up by Hollywood

first_imgWant to land that big deal with a studio? Well, here are some proof of concept films that did just that.While some people might call these extended trailers, that’s not exactly what a proof of concept is. In reality a proof of concept is more like a short film developed on a very limited budget that’s created to show studios what that production team can accomplish. Sometimes these proof of concept films go on to become big budget films such as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, 300, Sin City and District 9.In just the last few months, we’ve seen a lot of proof of concept films get studio backing. Let’s take a look at some of the proof of concept films that have recently been optioned by major studios.SUNDAYSTo say this film was ambitious is an understatement. Award-winning commercial director Mischa Rozema and his crew at PostPanic Pictures explore a nightmarish future where the world is on the brink of ending, and our protagonist is completely unsure that this future is truly his. Widely support by the international film and creative community, Sundays was able to secure over 50k through crowd sourced funding to complete the live action sequences in Mexico City. After the film was released, a bidding war began between the major studios and once the dust settled from the auction, Warner Brothers was the only one left standing.Mischa Rozema is currently working with WB now to secure writers and begin the pre-production process on the feature-length film.THE LEVIATHANAnother ambitious project is The Leviathan from Ruairi Robinson, who is known for his Academy Award nominated animated short film Fifty Percent Grey, as well as directing the 2013 sci-fi horror The Last Days on Mars. Joining him on this project is Jim Uhls, the screenwriter of films such as Fight Club and Jumper.The film is set in the distant future where humans have colonized multiple worlds and faster-than-light-speed travel is a reality. But in order to achieve this feat, mankind began harvesting the eggs and the matter from the largest creatures they have ever seen. The film was released online earlier this year and instantly gained a huge online following. This prompted 20th Century Fox to option the project and give the green light, with Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class & Sherlock Holmes) and Neill Blomkamp (District 9 & Elysium) attached as producers.The Leviathan is currently in pre-production at 20th Century Fox with Ruairi Robinson & Jim Uhls both slated to return for the feature film. No release date has been set as of yet.CONTROLLERAnother film optioned by 20th Century Fox is Controller, directed by Saman Kesh, which originally released in 2013 as part of the Machinima Interactive Film Festival. Controller is the story of a young woman prisoner who can control everything with an interface connected to her helmet. She uses this helmet to control her boyfriend’s body in order to expedite her escape from captivity.Controller is currently with 20th Century Fox and Saman Kesh is slated to return to the director’s chair. No release date has been set as of yet.REALMIn the same mold as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Realm tells the story of a young woman (played by Adelaide Kane) who can enter into a person who is possessed and battle the demon inside for the safety of their soul. The story and characters also represent a potential franchise, which is why Relativity Media jumped on the film very early on. Originally developed by John Swetnam and Scott Speer, the final short film spec script was written by The Vampire Diaries Producer Rebecca Sonnenshine. Swetnam and Speer are known for Into the Storm, Step Up All In & Spinback.Realm is currently in pre-production with Relativity Media with Scott Speer attached to direct. Again, no release date has been set.PAST PROOF OF CONCEPT FILMSSKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROWSky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was a true proof of concept created by Kerry Conran in the late 1990s. He eventually gained the ear of producer Jon Avnet and the two began developing what would be the final film. This is the original proof of concept.Shot almost entirely on blue screens, Conran and his crew really pushed the envelope and developed a 24 minute film that they then took to the studios. Paramount would eventually green light the project and the final film was released.“DIE FREE” – 300 SHORTZach Snyder was hot off the heels of the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead when he had worked his way into directing 300, the adaptation of the Frank Miller comic. In order to give the studios an idea of the look and style of the film, and to also prove to himself he could do it, this proof of concept was developed.THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT – “SIN CITY”The Customer is Always Right is a short proof of concept film shot by Robert Rodriguez to sell the idea of a feature to the studios.In the end, Dimension Films backed the project with The Customer is Always Right opening the film. You can see a difference in the quality of the image and sound between the two versions.ALIVE IN JOBURG “DISTRICT 9”Probably one of the best proof of concept films of all time is Alive in Joburg by Neill Blomkamp, who is slated to produce the above-mentioned Leviathan. Upon release, the film turned a lot of heads, including that of Peter Jackson, who jumped on to produce the film.In the end, Alive in Joburg didn’t just spawn the feature film District 9, but also Elysium. Want more content awesome independent film productions? Check out these articles from PremiumBeat.How to Land Big Name Talent in Your Indie FilmThe 3 Cornerstones of Indie Film MarketingThe Filmmaker’s Guide to Indie Festivals & OrganizationsAre you excited for any of these proof of concept films? Do you think any of them with stack up to past proof of concepts? Sound off in the comments below.last_img read more

Spanish regional cable operator Euskaltel saw its

first_imgSpanish regional cable operator Euskaltel saw its first quarter revenues and EBITDA fall year-on-year, but reported strong free cash-flow and solid operational progress.Euskaltel posted sales of €139.5 million for the quarter, down 1.6%, and EBITDA of €68 million, down 1.5%. The decline was attributed by the company to the loss of a contract to supply services to the Basque regional government.Operating cash-flow rose by 5.2% relative to the previous quarter to €44.8 million.Euskaltel, which operates the cable network in the Basque Country, and Galician subsidiary R saw their revenue-generating user base rise by 3.7% to reach 1.9 million.The group gained 53,000 mobile lines over the year to March, up 7.4% to 774,000, representing what Euskaltel characterised as a record penetration rate of 78.6% of its residential customer base, up from 74% a year ago.Euskaltel added 4,100 pay TV customers, taking its total to 275,000 – a penetration rate of 58.5%.Broadband penetration meanwhile reached 84.5% after Euskaltel signed up an additional 5,000 customers to take its total to 396,000.CEO Francisco Arteche said that the record penetration of mobile, pay TV and broadband services was the result of its successful convergence strategy and highlighted the company’s forthcoming launch of a new Android set-top box and the modernisation of its broadband network.Ardeche said that the company’s objective was to position itself to realize “a major increase in value” and confirmed the company’s guidance for the current year.Euskaltel’s continued growth is however likely to be dependent on the success of its planned acquisition of Asturias region operator Telecable, which would give the company a significant boost in scale and help position it for growth outside its regional base in northern Spain.last_img read more

The worlds top 50 pay TV operators account for tw

first_imgThe world’s top 50 pay TV operators account for two thirds of pay TV customers globally, with 15 operators having over 10 million subscribers apiece, according to new research.According to Digital TV Research’s Global Pay TV Operator Databook, China Radio & TV – the post-consolidation Chinese cable and pay TV giant – is the world’s biggest pay TV operator by a large margin, with 226.5 million subscribers. It is followed by two other Chinese operators, China Telecom, with 52 million subscribers, and BesTV, another IPTV player with 26 million customers.The remainder of the top 10 operators is made up of US and Indian firms, with AT&T, Comcast and Charter taking fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively. India’s Dish TV, Hathway and Den Networks take the next three spots, followed by US satellite pay TV operator DISH Network.According to the Global Pay TV Operator Databook, 522 leading operators had 839 million subscribers at the end of last year, accounting for 87% of the world’s 959 million pay TV subscribers.Subscription and pay TV revenues for the 522 operators amounted to US$185 billion (€162 billion) last year, with 30 operators earning in excess of US$1 billion each. The share of global TV revenue for the top 10 amounted to 55%, while the top 50 operators took three quarters of total revenues.While Asian operators led on subscriber numbers, they feature less prominently in the subscription and PPV revenue rankings, with US companies accounting for six of the top 10 by revenue.Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “China’s and India’s dominance of the top pay TV operator rankings is increasing, partly as their subs bases climb but also due to US operators losing subscribers.”last_img read more

New research increases options for kidney transplant patients with blood type B

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 1 2019Kidney transplant recipients are now benefiting from donor organs that do not match their blood type but are compatible and just as safe, according to a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.The study’s finding is significant because roughly 15 percent of the population has blood type B, which is more common in African-Americans, and those patients have historically been transplanted at lower rates due to a lack of available organs.The Vanderbilt study shows that blood type B patients can receive blood type A2 kidneys with similar outcomes.Lead author David Shaffer, MD, professor of Surgery and Chief of Kidney and Pancreas Transplant, said more than 400 of the roughly 1,000 patients on the Vanderbilt waitlist for a kidney are African-Americans.Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryArtificial intelligence can help accurately predict acute kidney injury in burn patientsOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell research”This is a significant move at Vanderbilt and our region as over 40 percent of our patients are African-Americans,” Shaffer said. “It should improve access to transplants for our patient population.”The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has allowed centers to use blood group A2 kidneys for B recipients since December 2014 without obtaining a waiver, seeking to make more organs available to B patients while reducing disparities in wait times. Vanderbilt’s study sought to determine the results of the policy change.”Our study shows that the UNOS policy to increase access to kidney transplantation for minorities works,” Shaffer said. “This is a significant option for centers to adopt to reduce the disparity and increase access to kidney transplants for blood group B recipients who are principally ethnic minorities.”The study analyzed outcomes at Vanderbilt from December 2014 through December 2017, including patient and graft survival, transplant wait time, serum creatinine and eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate), hospital costs, post-transplant anti-A titers, and their change relative to pre-transplant.Even with the new availability, the study notes a recent UNOS analysis showed only 4.5 percent of waitlisted B recipients were registered as eligible for A2 donor kidneys, the result of issues with titers thresholds, patient eligibility and increased costs.Transplant programs, regulators and payors will need to weigh improved access for minorities with the increased costs involved, study authors said.Pre-transplant anti-A titer screening added total costs of $76,550 over the three-year study period, excluding additional coordinator time costs.A2 to B had significantly higher mean transplant total hospital costs ($114,638 vs $91,697 for B to B transplantation) and mean hospital costs net organ acquisition costs ($42,356 vs $20,983).last_img read more

Talks still on for Weinstein Company deal source

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 AFP The deal, led by former Obama administration official and businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet to buy The Weinstein Company for a reported $500 million, was widely reported to have been imminent before the state attorney general filed a lawsuit Sunday.Prosecutors accuse Weinstein, the company and his brother of failing to protect employees from his alleged sexual misconduct despite multiple complaints to human resources.New York’s attorney general said he acted out of fear that the imminent sale could leave victims without adequate redress.The Wall Street Journal said the deal fell apart because the lawsuit introduced too much uncertainty and that the company would now likely enter bankruptcy reorganization.But a source close to the talks insisted to AFP that negotiations were still on. “The attorney general’s comments have shed a new perspective to the deal,” the source admitted, calling discussions “very fluid.””I hope that this deal does not go away for these people’s jobs because then there will be nobody monitoring anything,” Bob Weinstein was quoted as saying by the Journal.The bid from the group of investors led by Contreras-Sweet reportedly included a fund to compensate victims and plans to appoint a majority-woman board.Weinstein’s career went into free fall last October after allegations surfaced that he had sexually harassed, assaulted and even raped women going back 40 years. The accusations now come from more than 100 women.The twice-married father of five is being investigated by British and US police, but has not been charged with any crime. He denies having non-consensual sex and is reportedly in treatment for sex addiction. Citation: Talks still on for Weinstein Company deal: source (2018, February 12) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Talks were still on Monday between a group of investors and the troubled Weinstein Company, despite New York prosecutors throwing a spanner in the works by filing a lawsuit against the movie studio, source said Monday. New York state has filed a lawsuit against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein for “egregious violations” of civil rights Explore further Twitter steps up fight against sexual harassment read more