The Five Silliest Hacks Ever

first_imgGrowing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid lauren orsini How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Not all software is going to be the most efficient use of time and resources, that much is certain. Some, however, go a step further to achieve maximum silliness.Think of them as jokes with programming as the medium to deliver the punch line. Like what iFart did for the first iPhone, these hacks justify their existence with nothing more than humor. There are dozens of hacks out there that do little more than make us chuckle. Here are just a few that are way sillier than they are helpful. Usefulness aside, many of these have gone full on viral, so you’ve likely heard of some of these. This is by no means an extensive list, so be sure to share your favorite silly hacks in the comments. DoloForget your universal friend finders. What if you need to find a friend in the 14-acre area of San Francisco that is Dolores Park? Dolo provides exactly that tiny scope that you weren’t looking for. I can’t help but wonder if it’d be easier, even for San Franciscans, to just use Foursquare to check in to the park instead of downloading a new app exclusively for that purpose. Does this kind of thing exist in other towns, too?Let Me Google That For You Why You Love Online Quizzes 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts Tags:#humor Perhaps one of the most famous silly hacks, Let Me Google That For You makes itself useful simply through the exercise in smugness that it allows its user. It’s the perfect one-click response to a friend or commenter asking out into the void something like, “Is avocado a fruit?” LMGTFY puts the questioner in their place while making you feel superior. Is It Christmas?Christmas isn’t one of those crazy holidays that move around confusingly from year to year (I’m looking at you, Thanksgiving and Easter). It’s always on December 25. Which is why there’s really no reason for Is It Christmas?, which was created solely to answer in the negative 364 days of the year. See also another similarly useless hack: Has the Large Hadron Collider Destroyed the World Yet?@PentametronThe iambic pentameter Twitter bot @Pentametron is silly, but it isn’t stupid. When I interviewed the coder behind the bot last year, he told me it scans “400 to 500 tweets a second” in its scavenging for rhyming couplets. Like misheard conversations, Twitter users’ banalities find a second life as poems. It’s a surreal bot that gives meaning to the meaningless. Twitter in particular is a huge resource for entertaining programs. From @YourMomBot to @YesYoureRacist, humor bots are practically a silly hack sub genre. Hipster IpsumRemember Lorem Ipsum, the absurd but essential Latin gibberish designers use to mimic finished text in page mockups? Hipster Ipsum is a modern take on the same idea. Instead of a hodge podge of Latin words, fill your text boxes with “PBR” and “Brooklyn.” Hungry for more? There’s Bluth Ipsum and Cupcake Ipsum, just to name a few.Image courtesy of Dolo. last_img read more

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Three children from Mangalore meet watery grave in Goa

first_imgThree children,including a 12-year-old girl drowned while swimming in a temple water tank at Nagueshi village of Ponda taluk in South Goa late on Thursday, police said. The names of the deceased are Aditi Bhat (12), Bhuvaneshvar Bhat (8) and Shravan Hola (7), all natives of Mangalore district in Karnataka.The children were on a pilgrimage to Goa along with their parents.“The children had gone for a swim while their parents were offering prayers to the deity at Nageushi temple. All three bodies have been extracted from the tank and have been sent for post mortem,” a spokesperson of Ponda police said.last_img

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No Bank of Maharashtra loans for drought-hit farmers

first_imgIn an unusual move, a state-run lender, Bank of Maharashtra, has decided not to extend loans in eight zones in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh that include Aurangabad, Latur, Akola, and Amravati, which are hit by drought.The bank cited high bad loans from agricultural advances in the branches of these zones for the decision. The other zones are Solapur and Jalgaon in Maharashtra and Bhopal and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.“The present condition of agriculture is pathetic, wherein gross NPAs under agriculture stood at 18.36%,” the bank said in a circular to the branches. A copy of the circular has been reviewed by The Hindu. The bank had seen fresh slippages of ₹1,300 crore during 2018-19 from agriculture loans.“It is observed that eight zones/its branches are having high % [percentage] of agri NPAs which are identified for curative action on NPA management,” the circular said. Remedial actionThe remedial action, as suggested by the ‘top management’, says, “Branches having NPAs > 15% shall not sanction new/enhancement proposals under agriculture.” The bank has said genuine cases of existing borrowers with good track record or new clients should be tapped by these branches and recommended to the next authority for sanctioning. Furthermore, zonal managers of these eight zones have been asked to identify ‘chronic/stagnant’ branches, and should report the same to the planning department in the head office for merger or closure. The bank has asked all the zones to carry out a detailed analysis of NPA accounts and ascertain various measures for default. Among the eight zones, Aurangabad has the highest percentage of NPAs — almost 25% of advances — followed by Bhopal (21.4%), Solapur (19.1%), and Akola (16.5%).Advances to the agricultural sector come under priority sector lending.last_img read more

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SlutWalk in Delhi will be called ‘Besharmi Morcha’

first_imgThe slutwalk will be Indianised, now. The desi version of the walk will now be called ‘SlutWalk 2011 arthart Besharmi Morcha’. Nineteen-year-old Umang Sabharwal, who is organising the walk in Delhi, told Mail Today that the name had been changed to make the SlutWalk-event more inclusive.”We changed the name after a group meeting. Not all people in Delhi will understand the meaning of ‘slut’. So after a lot of debate and discussion, we have finally zeroed in on Besharmi Morcha. This way, more people in India will understand the real concept,” Sabharwal, a student of Kamla Nehru College, said.The walk, which was originally scheduled for June 25, has been postponed to the last week of July.”We are yet to finalise the date and the venue,” Sabharwal said. The organisers are expecting more participation as the colleges will re-open by the end of July.The Facebook page for the event – SLUT WALK DELHI – will soon be updated with the new name and the exact date of the event. Till now, about 17,000 people have confirmed their participation.This walk, the organisers hope, can bring about a change in the patriarchal mindset of the people in Delhi.The SlutWalk was originally started by a group of women in Toronto in reaction to a Toronto Police-constable’s statement: “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.” The movement spread like wildfire to the rest of the world and now Delhi is gearing up for the same.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.advertisementlast_img read more

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Abhinav Mukund half century steers India A fightback after early wickets in warm-up game against England

first_imgOpener Abhinav Mukund scored an attacking half century after an unconvincing start to pilot India A to 113 for three at lunch on Day One of their three-day match against England here on Tuesday.The left-handed opener played a few streaky shots, including a boundary through the slip cordon off the first ball of the match from James Anderson, before growing in confidence as the Brabourne Stadium wicket eased out a bit.After the initial sluggishness, Mukund dished out more authentic shots before getting out on the stroke of lunch to Graeme Swann for 73 that included 16 hits to the fence.The other two batsmen out in the pre-lunch session were Murali Vijay for seven and one-drop Ajinkya Rahane for four. Both faced 19 balls apiece. Vijay was run out going for a sharp single while Rahane was dismissed by a short, rising ball to his rib cage.At lunch Yuvraj Singh, lucky to be dropped off the first ball he faced, was not out on 27 off 28 balls. He had struck five fours, most of them to the straight field, and a six over long off off Samit Patel just before the break.Mukund, who had survived a confident shout for leg before off Anderson in the first over, was out in the last over before the break when he flicked off spinner Swann off the back foot only to find Ian Bell at short-leg who took a smart catch.Opting to bat after skipper Suresh Raina won the toss, India A lost Vijay (7 in 19 balls) early, paying the penalty for trying to steal a run right under the nose of Tim Bresnan. The opening pair put on 25 runs against the three-pronged English pace attack of Anderson, Steven Finn and Bresnan.advertisementAfter Vijay’s departure, Mukund was joined by Rahane, who too was circumspect. Rahane struck an off-driven four off Bresnan, who got his revenge on the batsman in the next over with a short ball which the batsman fended to the slip cordon, where Kevin Pietersen ran backwards a few steps to take the dolly.Prior to Rahane’s dismissal, Mukund slashed the tall Finn for successive fours and then on-drove the bowler for another boundary in the same over.After Yuvraj Singh joined Mukund, the opener clipped Bresnan off his toes for two fours in successive balls and then drove him to the straight boundary on the third. Yuvraj had off driven the bowler for a four before Mukund’s all-out attack that also helped the batsman reach his 50 in 57 balls with 12 hits to the fence.Anderson was used in three spells while Finn bowled two before the interval. Off spinner Graeme Swann, expected to play a major role for his side in the series, bowled 4.5 overs after coming on to bowl in the second hour of play and got rid off Mukund.Just before lunch, left-arm spinner Patel was brought on but conceded two fours to Yuvraj in his first two balls and then a six off the last.last_img read more

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Selena Gomez Announces Third Annual Charity Concert For UNICEF

first_imgActress, multiplatinum recording artist, and fashion designer Selena Gomez will host an exclusive one-night-only concert benefiting the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on the evening of Saturday, January 19 at Best Buy Theater in New York City (1515 Broadway at 44th Street).The concert marks the third annual Acoustic Charity Concert for Ms. Gomez, a UNICEF Ambassador and avid supporter of UNICEF programs that provide nutrition, clean water, medicine, education, and more to children worldwide.“Nothing is more important than helping children in need around the globe. I’m thankful that I can use my voice to bring awareness and much-needed funds to UNICEF so they can continue their critical work. Together, with my fans, we can save lives,” said Selena.Gomez was appointed a UNICEF Ambassador in September 2009, and she has enthusiastically used her talents to advocate for the world’s most vulnerable children. In January 2012, she performed her second annual Acoustic Charity Concert, raising more than $200,000 for UNICEF programs worldwide.An active Ambassador, Ms. Gomez recently attended the annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball in New York City where she auctioned off two backstage packages to the highest bidders, raising $40,000 for UNICEF.Individual tickets to the Selena Gomez Acoustic Charity Concert are $100 and will go on sale Friday, December 21 at 10:00 a.m. ET at Ticketmaster.com. Fan Club members may purchase meet and greet packages beginning Wednesday, December 19 at 10:00 a.m. ET at SelenaGomez.com.last_img read more

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John Stamos To Lead PBS Independence Day Celebration

first_imgThis July 4th, America’s national Independence Day celebration kicks off our country’s 242nd birthday, as A CAPITOL FOURTH on PBS welcomes back Emmy Award-nominated actor and producer John Stamos (FULLER HOUSE, SCREAM QUEENS) to host the festivities.Broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, this time-honored 38 year-tradition puts viewers front and center for America’s biggest birthday party with the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation lighting up the iconic D.C. skyline.The country’s longest-running live national July 4 TV tradition will feature all-star musical performances by: multi-platinum selling music legend Jimmy Buffett with the Broadway cast of the new musical ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, making their first stop after Broadway at the U.S. Capitol before launching a national tour; ’America’s Band,” the iconic multi-platinum selling music legends The Beach Boys; three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling artist Pentatonix; legendary Motown stars The Temptations; acclaimed multi-platinum country music singer-songwriter and winner of the iHeartRadio Music Award for Best New Country Artist Luke Combs; country music star and AMERICAN IDOL alum Lauren Alaina; 12-time Grammy Award-winner and gospel legend CeCe Winans; and internationally acclaimed Grammy award winning violinist Joshua Bell; with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly (additional performers to be announced).“You can’t get more patriotic than this!” said Stamos. “I’m excited to carry on this July 4th TV tradition for the American people and especially proud to honor our veterans. You don’t want to miss it!”As we come together as one family of Americans to celebrate our freedom and independence, the concert will pay special tribute to our men and women in uniform by world-renowned four-time Grammy Award-winning soprano superstar Renee Fleming, who will perform “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to honor them. The inspiring moment will be dedicated to our troops serving around the world, their families, and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, fighting for our freedom. The concert will also feature a special tribute to The Beach Boys who will be honored for their extraordinary musical career as the fifth-ever recipients of A CAPITOL FOURTH’s National Artistic Achievement Award. Past honorees include Gloria Estefan, Stevie Wonder, Reba McEntire and John Williams. Stamos, a longtime Beach Boys friend and frequent collaborator will present the prestigious award to the group.The 38th annual broadcast of A CAPITOL FOURTH airs on PBS Wednesday, July 4, 2018 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. The program can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide. The concert will also be live-streamed on PBS, You Tube, Facebook and www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth and available as Video on Demand for a limited time only, July 4 to July 18, 2018.The top-rated, award-winning program will be capped off with a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” complete with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery, an audience favorite and A CAPITOL FOURTH tradition.Also participating in the event will be the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, Members of the Armed Forces carrying the State and Territorial Flags and the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.The program is a co-production of Michael Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA, Washington, D.C. Executive producer Michael Colbert has assembled an award-winning production team that features the top Hollywood talent behind some of television’s most prestigious entertainment shows including the GRAMMY AWARDS, COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, TONY AWARDS, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and more.last_img read more

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Sri Lanka resorts face uncertain future after suicide blasts

first_imgColombo: The cancellations started before the dust had settled on the hotels and churches hit by suicide bombers in Sri Lanka as tourists and operators pressed the panic button. Sanath Ukwatte, chairman of the colonial-era Mount Lavinia hotel in Colombo, said he lost about 30 percent of his bookings within days of the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 253 people. Many holidaymakers got the first plane out of Colombo after the blasts — at least 40 foreigners were among the dead — raising fears for a tourism industry that had managed to move on from the shadows of a decades-long civil war. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe United States, Britain, Australia, India and Israel have all warned their nationals against visiting, while the Netherlands is organising a special flight to evacuate hundreds of Dutch tourists. On Friday, European travel giant TUI announced it had stopped taking bookings for the South Asian country. And the crisis could get worse before it gets better for the island nation, whose palm-fringed beaches and mountain tea plantations were recently named the best place to visit in 2019 by the Lonely Planet guide. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsSri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had hoped tourism would earn a record 5.0 billion this year, up from 4.4 billion in 2018. He thinks the attacks could now see the country lose up to one third of that. Tourism accounts for about five percent of the economy, with Britain, India and China the main markets. Official figures show tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year jumped 4.6 percent to 740,600 from 2018. But with armed guards now a fixture in some Colombo hotels and cancellations flooding in after the carnage unleashed by coordinated suicide attacks, Samaraweera must work out a rescue plan for establishments now facing ruin. “We expect a 30 percent drop in arrivals and that means a loss of about 1.5 billion in foreign exchange,” he said on Friday. Ruchir Desai, a senior investment analyst with Asia Frontier Capital in Hong Kong, said the next year will be a tough one for Sri Lanka. “Given the scale of the attack I still think you would see a negative impact on the industry,” Desai said. “It should recover,” he added, “obviously it depends on the steps the government takes to improve stability.” Ukwatte, who is also president of the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, hopes Sri Lanka can “bounce back”. Sri Lanka’s tourism is heading into its low season, and Ukwatte believes if confidence can be restored by October or November, “then we will be able to revive the industry with European winter travellers.” Finance Minister Samaraweera highlighted how other countries hit by Islamic State-inspired attacks rebuilt their image and convinced tourists to come back. “Typically, countries that suffer isolated IS-style attacks see tourism recovering within one-to-two years, as long as root causes are addressed and security measures taken are well communicated,” the minister said. He pointed to tourist industries in Belgium, France, Spain and Tunisia as countries which had all managed to bounce back after suffering indiscriminate terror attacks. Much will depend on how the government gets its message across, observers said. Canadian adventure tourism promoter Wade Campbell criticised the government’s communications after the attacks, particularly a top defence ministry official — who has since resigned — who said Sri Lankan hotels should have arranged their own security to avoid being hit. Danger is “a perception thing,” said Campbell, who is now looking at redirecting bookings to rival destinations like Nepal. Italians Donatella Papi and her husband Maurizio Fantappie were on a 25-day holiday in eastern Sri Lanka when the bombers struck. “My husband wanted to leave after the bombings, he suggested going to Thailand. But I wasn’t too scared then, I thought it would settle down,” said Papi. “I think Sri Lanka tourism will fall — we are very sad about it. This year is the anniversary of the end of the war — it was supposed to be a celebration,” she said.last_img read more

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UN agency gives laptops to youth at technology conference

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is handing out the laptops at the opening of the Youth Forum, a branch of its ITU Telecom Asia 2008 conference, as part of its effort to increase access to cheap information and communications technology across the world. Some 100 XO laptops are being donated by One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), the non-profit organization which developed and manufactured the machines, continuing its long-standing partnership with the ITU in the “Connect the World” initiative. “ITU is committed to connecting the world,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré. “And to achieve this goal, affordable devices have to be made available for people everywhere to access the benefits of a knowledge-based information society,” Dr. Touré added. The low-cost and child-friendly XO computer, designed to inspire the cognitive development of children, has environmental safeguards as well as an innovative security system that protects children from cyber threats and the laptop from theft. At the launch of the prototype OLPC at the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan lauded the initiative as a “truly moving expression of global solidarity,” adding the laptop could unlock the “magic within each child, within each scientist, scholar or plain citizen-in-the-making.” 28 August 2008The United Nations technology agency announced today that it will give away free laptops to each of the young participants attending its Asia conference in Bangkok this weekend. read more

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Younger gens have fewer housing options as Toronto seniors stay in homes

TORONTO — A new study suggests seniors living in Toronto are more likely to stay longer in their family sized homes than they were a decade ago.The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has released a report tracking home ownership trends among Toronto residents 65 or older.It says seniors accounted for 25 per cent of home owners in 2016, up five percentage points from levels recorded in 2006.The corporation attributes the increase to the fact that seniors are working longer and enjoying better health, enabling them to hang on to homes longer before downsizing.But they say the trend also points to a potential shortage for younger generations.The report says defering downsizing plans limits the number of larger homes on the market available to prospective buyers, noting the trend is likely to continue as Toronto’s population continues to age.The Canadian Press read more

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Forensic experts begin examining mass graves in Sierra Leone UN reports

UNAMSIL is facilitating the work of the Argentinian Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to applying forensic anthropology to the investigation of human rights violations. The team’s work is also being funded by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.As part of their work, experts will map the sites of mass graves, assess the amount of the forensic expertise needed for further investigations, and give advice on preserving evidence. The team will also advise the Government and the human rights community on the application of forensic anthropology to the Sierra Leone context. The three-member team, which arrived on 17 June, is expected to complete its work within four weeks, according to UNAMSIL. Its report will propose guidelines for carrying out future investigations in support of the activities of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, both of which are charged with matters related to human rights.At a briefing held yesterday at UNAMSIL Headquarters in Freetown, the Chief of the Human Rights Section, Rodolfo Mattarollo, said the team would spend the first week holding consultations with government officials as well as representatives from the UN and NGOs. The following two weeks will be devoted to fieldwork, while a workshop will be organized during the team’s fourth and final week in Sierra Leone. read more

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UN envoy certifies Kosovo election results with call to heed Serb minority

“They have some very real concerns, they also expect better living conditions, better security, freedom of movement and return of the displaced,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative Søren Jessen-Petersen said at the ceremony in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, whose population is mainly Albanian.”We, the international community, must redouble our efforts. We most work even harder with the legitimate representatives of all communities in order to build a better future for all citizens of Kosovo,” he added.Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999 when NATO forced the withdrawal of Yugoslav troops following fighting between Albanians and Serbs. Under its mandate the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is seeking to promote the establishment of substantial autonomy and self-government and to facilitate a political process to determine the province’s future status.Mr. Jessen-Petersen called for the prompt formation of a new government following the 23 October elections to the 120-member Assembly. Election turnout among Kosovo Serbs was low. read more

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CAE bets more airlines will follow with outsourcing pilot training

by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 12, 2014 3:02 pm MDT MONTREAL – CAE anticipates that its recent joint venture with Japan Airlines pilots will help to convince other carriers to outsource their own simulator training.“It says a pretty strong statement to other airlines,” CEO Marc Parent said Wednesday during a conference call.The Montreal-based company formed a joint venture with the Asian carrier in October to provide flight crew training for the airline and other customers across northeast Asia starting in April using 12 simulators.Japan Airlines has been a CAE customer for 30 years and last year outsourced its pilot cadet trading to CAE.“I don’t see a sea change in behaviour of airlines so far but there’s definitely more interest and certainly in the next year or two I certainly see one or two of these a year coming up,” Parent told analysts.The company (TSX:CAE) said its net profit attributable to shareholders increased 12 per cent to $42.9 million in the second quarter of its fiscal year on improved results in all of its operating segments, which provide flight simulators and training services to military and commercial customers around the world.Revenues increased 11 per cent to $529.4 million from $478.2 million a year earlier.CAE said its continuing operations earned $41.6 million or 16 cents per share during for the period ended Sept. 30. That compared to $38.1 million or 15 cents per share a year earlier.It was expected to earn 16 cents per share on $508.9 million of revenues in the quarter, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.Parent said the results were in line with its expectations as the civil aerospace and healthcare sectors grew and defence was resilient thanks in part to contract extensions.The company continues to expect a stronger second half for its 2014-15 fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2015.“We remain highly encouraged by the civil aviation market and our opportunities for growth. Market fundamentals remain robust with commercial OEM aircraft backlogs and delivery rates at historical levels and global passenger traffic continuing to grow at a healthy pace,” he said.Parent added the business aviation market is showing signs of a broad recovery with the number of business jet flights increasing three per cent over the last year in the U.S., including a 5.7 per cent increase in September.Although CAE only sold two simulators during the quarter and 13 year-to-date, it continues to forecast about 40 sales during the fiscal year.In civil simulation and training, operating profits increased 16.4 per cent to $45.4 million as revenues grew to $296 million from $269.3 million a year earlier despite the seasonally slow second quarter. Its civil backlog was $2.4 billion, before the joint venture with Japan Airlines.The company also expects a stronger second half in defence, which earned $25.6 million, up two per cent from the prior year. Segment revenues grew nine per cent to $209.1 million.“We have a solid backlog and a robust bid pipeline which gives us the confidence to maintain our view that defence will remain resilient for the year overall,” he said.Healthcare revenues grew 37 per cent to $24.3 million compared with $17.8 million in the second quarter of last year, pushing operating income to $1.8 million compared to $400,000 in the year-ago period.CAE says it hopes to sell its mining segment, which employs about 200 workers including more than 50 in Montreal, by the end of the fiscal year after receiving some expressions of interest from potential buyers.Benoit Poirier of Desjardins Capital Markets described the results as “decent” but slightly negative due to a weaker civil margin and lower than expected free cash flow.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, CAE’s shares closed up five cents to $14.53 in Wednesday trading.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter CAE bets more airlines will follow with outsourcing pilot training AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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In phone call with Egyptian foreign minister Ban urges launch of reconciliation

Speaking with Egypt’s foreign minister today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to end all violence and urged the country’s leaders to launch a genuine and credible reconciliation process.Mr. Ban stressed in his phone call with Nabil Fahmy that an inclusive and peaceful political process is the only viable way forward in Egypt.The country has been undergoing a democratic transition following the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak two years ago in the wake of mass protests similar to those seen in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa as part of the “Arab Spring.”Last month, widespread protests – in which dozens of people were killed and wounded – led to the Egyptian military deposing President Mohamed Morsy. The Constitution was then suspended and an interim government set up.During the phone call, Mr. Ban appealed for an end to all violence and urged the interim authorities to ensure the protection of the fundamental human rights of all Egyptians, including freedom of speech and assembly. He also reiterated his call for the release of Mr. Morsy and reminded Egypt’s leaders of their responsibility to determine the direction of their country’s future. read more

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Brock grad to cook up storm on MasterChef Canada

The Brock community may recognize a familiar face when tuning into the Season 5 premiere of MasterChef Canada next week.Alumnus Michael Griffiths (BSc ’16, BEd ’16) has used his culinary prowess to secure a spot as one of 21 finalists in the televised national cooking competition, which kicks off Tuesday, April 3 on CTV.While Griffiths’ focus was on Mathematics and Concurrent Education during his time at Brock, the 24-year-old Richmond Hill native has always had a passion for food.Brock alumnus Michael Griffiths was chosen to compete among 21 home cooks in the MasterChef Canada finals.As a child, he was frequently found in the kitchen helping his mother prepare the family’s meals, and later on in his university years, he often impressed his roommates with his culinary skills.It was during his time on campus that Griffiths learned to balance the many interests — math and food among them — that contended for his time.“I was always very engaged. I played rugby, worked as a senior supervisor at the recreation services desk and worked with a number of mathematics and outreach programs,” he said. “Brock was the kickstarter for a lot of my different adventures.”With a wide variety of interests still on his plate, Griffiths decided to pursue his dream of being on MasterChef, all while simultaneously working to earn his Master of Mathematics at the University of Guelph.At first glance, there may seem to be little overlap between mathematics and culinary arts, but Griffiths said that is not the case.He believes his math background gives him an edge in the kitchen.“I know how to think critically. I know how to think logistically,” he said. “If I’m having a party for 50 people, I know how to work out what I need to do in order to put forward an amazing dish that everyone can enjoy.”Griffiths knew the timing was right to attempt to claim the coveted MasterChef Canada title.“With the support of friends and family, I took the leap,” he said.He applied for the show online last summer, submitting a video of himself whipping up a dinner party for a group of close friends and talking about the role his family has played in his love affair with food.He then attended an open audition in Toronto, presenting a homemade sausage dish that impressed a judging panel made up of local chefs and sent him on to the next round.Sworn to secrecy until details of his MasterChef Canada journey are revealed on air, Griffiths was unable to say much about his on-screen experience, but did reflect on the surreal feeling of stepping onto set for the first time.MasterChef Canada judges, from left, Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio April. (Photo: CTV)“As one of the final 21 home cooks, you walk into the MasterChef kitchen and that’s when you get to meet the judges for the first time,” Griffiths said of his encounter with renowned chefs Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio Aprile.“That’s when I felt like a 12-year-old boy. I was in my element, in my dream. Then we were given a schedule to prepare our meals for the judges.”Griffiths urged the Brock community to “stay tuned” for what comes next.“I really hope you like what you see.”He is thankful for the encouragement he has received from the Brock community, which has “hit home in such an incredible way.”“This is another example of the outstanding support the Brock community has always provided for me.”Griffiths hopes to inspire his fellow Badgers to continue to work hard and follow their passions, even if it takes them down an unconventional path.“Follow your heart and realize that what you’re working hard on may not be your end goal passion, but I guarantee there’s a connection to your future there,” he said.MasterChef Canada premieres Tuesday, April 3 at 9 p.m. on CTV. read more

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Football Dwayne Haskins pays no attention to Heisman talk

There’s no doubt anymore that Dwayne Haskins is in the Heisman Trophy conversation.After being three yards shy of the school’s record for passing yards, tallying 455 yards and six touchdowns in Ohio State’s 49-26 win over Indiana on Saturday, the redshirt sophomore quarterback not only cemented his name in contention: he launched it to the top, with only Alabama sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa really standing in his way.In Wednesday’s interviews, Haskins said he tries not to make the award talk his top focus.“I don’t think I’m paying attention to it, I’m aware of it, more so, but it’s not like my main focus right now,” Haskins said. “It’s just a blessing to be considered with those guys, those are great quarterbacks and we’re all pretty cool with each other, so we’re competing every week.”Tagovailoa is one of those players Haskins is cool with.“We talk every week,” Haskins said. “We sent each other scriptures before the game on Saturday, just, you know, sent out blessings to each other, so he did a great job last week.”Both Haskins and Tagovailoa have their teams to 6-0 records, and both have stats that jump off the page.Haskins is completing 71.7 percent of his passes for 1,919 yards, with 26 touchdowns and four interceptions. Tagovailoa is throwing for a modest 1,495 yards, but on only 101 attempts, and is up to 20 total touchdowns without an interception.Though the two could be battling for the NCAA’s top prize, Haskins said it isn’t a competition between the two.“No competition, I was like ‘how did you go 10-for-13 for 300 yards?,” Haskins said. “He’s like ‘I don’t know,’ but I mean that’s pretty cool, I wish I could do that one of these games this year.”Wide receivers don’t like the new touchback ruleRedshirt senior wide receivers Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon interviewed together on Wednesday, and the main topic of conversation did not involve the offense.Instead, both Dixon and Campbell discussed their distaste for a new touchback rule, allowing returners to call for a fair catch anywhere inside the 25-yard line to be ruled as a touchback, placing the ball at the 25..Dixon said he did not want to change his game plan on returns.“Not mine, but the coaches, I want to return everything,” Dixon said.Before Dixon could finish, Campbell interjected, saying the new return rule “sucks.” And Dixon agreed.“Yeah, it sucks so bad,” Dixon said. “Right now it’s like if you back up a little bit, just fair catch it … that rule is crazy.”Moving to their role in the passing game, Dixon and Campbell were also asked about how much former Ohio State and current New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas has been an inspiration for them.Thomas broke the NFL record for most receptions through the first two games of a season with 28 catches, and is No. 2 in the league for receptions at 46 in his first five games.Dixon said he seems him as an idol, but that his inspiration comes elsewhere. “My inspiration comes from things bigger than just a person, mostly my family, my daughter who’s on the way,” Dixon said. “He inspired a lot of people because he came from here and he’s doing it at a high level right now, but inspiration goes deeper than that for me.”But Dixon said one of the receivers, junior Austin Mack, may not hold that same opinion.“Austin loves him,” Dixons said. “Austin’s probably his biggest fan.”Jonathon Cooper likely to be out against MinnesotaRedshirt junior defensive tackle Davon Hamilton gave an update on the status of junior defensive end Jonathon Cooper, who was seen leaving the game on a cart in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against the Hoosiers.When asked about Cooper, Hamilton said “he will not be out there this week” for practice leading up to the matchup against Minnesota.Cooper has eight tackles this season, three of which are for a loss, including a sack against then-No. 15 TCU.On Monday, head coach Urban Meyer said Cooper and junior linebacker Malik Harrison, who was also taken off the field on the same cart, were making strong progress.“Much better today,” Meyer said on the status of Cooper and Harrison. “Probably know more today or later tomorrow, but much better.”There have been no official updates on the type of injury sustained by either Cooper or Harrison. read more

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Column Ireland needs to reexamine the legal gender of intersex children

first_imgTHIS MORNING IT was reported that the law on birth registration in Germany is to be amended to permit ‘Indeterminate’ to be recorded as the gender of a child born with an intersex condition. This is a very welcome development.Intersex is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions where a person is born with a body which combines biological traits of males and females or does not conform to expected biological norms for either gender. Given the number of conditions which can be considered intersex, it is difficult to determine precisely its frequency.That said, in 2000, Melanie Blackless and colleagues in Brown University crunched the numbers for incidence of the various intersex conditions and arrived at the conclusion that approximately 1.7 per cent of all live births do not conform to gender norms for male or female bodies.Due to the complexity of the conditions intersex can manifest at various stages throughout life: birth, puberty, in adulthood or on autopsy. Where intersex becomes apparent at birth or in childhood, it is not unusual for the child with the intersex condition to undergo medical treatment, either hormonal or surgical, to attempt to recreate a body that appears more male or female.The importance of legal recognitionIt is important to note that most intersex conditions are not life threatening. Whether or not the person undergoes treatment, it is not certain that the individual with an intersex condition will identify with the gender assigned at birth and consequently recorded on the birth certificate. This can cause difficulties when official documentation does not correspond with the individual’s gender identity. A good practical example of this is seen in a case, now (for the most part) overruled, which came before the Australian High Court in 1979.In the marriage of C and D (Falsely called C) concerned the validity of a marriage between a biologically born woman and her husband who was born with an intersex condition. Marriage was defined as the union of one man and one woman. The Australian Court held that as Mr C was neither man nor woman, he was incapable of marrying anyone. Thus the importance of legal recognition of one’s preferred gender identity is obvious.Where the law cannot recognise a person’s preferred gender that person may be excluded from the exercise of normal legal rights he might otherwise expect to enjoy.Being ‘locked in’ to a legal genderAgainst this backdrop, the development in Germany which ensures that babies born with ambiguous genitalia are not ‘locked in’ to a legal gender within weeks of birth is to be welcomed, particularly if it operates as intended to take pressure away from parents in deciding whether to intervene to treat their child’s body.However, as reported, the consequences of this ‘indeterminate’ gender designation are not yet clear. Will ‘indeterminate’ people be able to re-register themselves as either male or female once they have a firm gender identity? If they choose to remain ‘indeterminate’ will this, as in the case of Mr C in Australia, stop them accessing certain legal rights? For a third gender designation to be truly meaningful, there will need to be root and branch reworking of laws based on a binary understanding of gender so that ‘indeterminate’ people are not left outside the law’s privileges and protection.This German development comes at an interesting time in terms of Ireland’s consideration of the question of legal gender recognition. On Jul 17th this year, Minister Burton published the General Scheme of the Gender Recognition Bill 2013. This bill was introduced to address the gap identified in the law in the Foy case where it was held that the inability of Irish law to recognise the preferred gender identity of a transgender woman was in violation of her right to respect for her private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.At the launch of the Bill Minister Burton stated that the Bill would facilitate applications from people with intersex conditions to change their gender of legal recognition. However, as the rights contained in the proposed Bill are confined to those aged 18 years or older, it is of no use for children with intersex conditions or their families.The rights of intersex and trans childrenLast week, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Social Protection spent two days hearing evidence from community groups and experts on the question of legal gender recognition. One of the themes to emerge from these hearings was the need to consider the rights of intersex and trans children and young people when drafting any gender recognition legislation.Failure to include a mechanism which accounts for those under 18, may well be in contravention the newly inserted Article 42A of the Constitution on children’s rights. It might also breach Article 42 rights of families to make decisions, including the gender with which their child will be registered, on behalf of their children.The German gender innovation might be useful to our legislators when considering how to accommodate intersex and trans youth in Gender Recognition Legislation. Perhaps it could operate to enable such children to interact as either male or female, depending on their gender identity development, until they were in a position to elect to be recognised legally as of their preferred gender.Such a situation is not unfamiliar to the law. Writing in the 1600s Lord Coke stated that: ‘Every heire is either a male, or female, or an hermaphrodite … . And an hermaphrodite … shall be heire, as either male or female, according to that kind of sexe which doth prevaile.’In other words intersex people told the law what gender they wished to be legally recognised as, and the law complied with that decision. Resurrecting such a flexible approach to the question of the legal gender of intersex children would be sensible solution to a challenging conundrum.Dr Tanya Ní Mhuirthile is a Senior Lecturer at the Law faculty in Griffith College. She is also a legal advisor to Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and IntersexUK.Read: Germany to allow new babies be neither male nor femaleRead: Trans community has “waited long enough” for gender recognitionlast_img read more

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