Fanfare greets furry foursome Giant panda family makes its Calgary Zoo debut

first_imgCALGARY – Two giant panda cubs were in a playful mood Monday as the Calgary Zoo introduced them and their parents to the general public.Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue — meaning Canadian Hope and Canadian Joy — could be seen wrestling and rolling about their nearly 2,000 square-metre, indoor-outdoor habitat. After ambling over rocks by a small waterfall, one of the youngsters went inside to curl up by the glass and take a snooze.Their father Da Mao, or First of Mao, was in the indoor part of the Panda Passage exhibit lazily lounging on a log and munching on a stalk of bamboo. Their mother Er Shun, or Double Smoothness, was out of view.Dozens of people were lined up around midday just as the exhibit opened its doors.The furry foursome was shipped to Calgary from Toronto earlier this spring and spent about a month in quarantine.The two adults are on loan from China to Canadian zoos as part of a 10-year deal signed in 2012. The cubs were born in Toronto in 2015.The price tag to have them in Calgary was around $30 million, including $14.4 million for the exhibit itself. Expanded parking lots, washrooms and restaurants were also required to accommodate more visitors.Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016 asking for federal funding. He said Monday he’s happy everything worked out, even though Ottawa didn’t chip in.“In the end, private sponsors plus the government of Alberta and the City of Calgary were able to make this happen and we know the economic impact will be huge.”Nenshi said he’s expecting the zoo to have its best year ever in 2018.“But it’s also a great opportunity for Calgarians to unite about something that just makes us all feel good,” he said. “After a tough couple of years, it’s important to have some feel-good things going on.”Each of the critters eats 40 kilograms of bamboo a day, which is shipped twice weekly from China through a partnership between the zoo and Hainan Airlines.Zoo president and CEO Clement Lanthier said he’s hopeful Er Shun may have more cubs while in Calgary. Female pandas are only receptive to breeding two days a year and the zoo is looking at artificially inseminating her. Er Shun has been trained to present her front leg so that blood samples can be taken to monitor her hormone levels.“Stay tuned. We will monitor everything but I think our chances are fairly good,” said Lanthier. “The science of breeding pandas has been evolving dramatically in the past 10 years and that is the reason why they changed the status of the panda from endangered to vulnerable, because of the success of the captive breeding program.”The adult pandas are to remain in Calgary for the next five years, while the cubs are to return to China in the next 18 months or so.Lanthier said he hopes people drawn to the zoo by the high-profile visitors will end up learning something about species closer to home that are in trouble, such as the whooping crane, sage grouse and black-footed ferret.“We’re planning to use the rock-star status of the panda to attract people in a conversation to talk about the less charismatic endangered species of Western Canada, mostly.”last_img read more

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2019-10-17

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Tinypass Gets Bigger With Swishu Acquisition

first_imgTinypass, a Web monetization solution provider, is expanding into the fulfillment space by acquiring startup Swishu. Tinypass was founded in 2011, and its clients include Hearst Magazine brands, Esquire and Cosmopolitan, as well as independent sites like Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish. The company offers a slew of commerce and digital content solutions; but CEO, Trevor Kaufman, says there was a clear demand for paid content and digital fulfillment services.”It’s something our clients have been asking for,” he says. “Most publishers we talk to are frustrated with their ability to solve their print subscriber base, that’s not the problem we’re looking to solve. We’re much more focused on the fact that banner ads alone are not going to sustain premium publishing. But if we’re just focusing on the website we are potentially leaving them [publishers] with a headache for managing their legacy subscriber base.”Managing that subscriber base is where Swishu comes in. The startup offers paywall solutions for publishers, radio stations and bloggers, plus extras like subscriber database integrations and real-time analytics. In addition to the technology, Kaufman says human capital was an important factor in the acquisition. While he would not disclose specifics, he indicates the transaction included cash and equity, plus Tinypass is bringing in the entire Swishu team of five, including its founder, Nathan Goulding, who will now serve as vice president of product engineering.Tinypass and Swishu will be maintained as two separate products for now, but Kaufman contends that the plan is to bring them together as quickly as possible. “We are maintaining the code bases separately so we don’t disrupt our clients,” he says. “The Swishu staff will be focused on how to bring the code base together so we have one product.” Kaufman also suggests that the company is working on several other innovations that go beyond the current suite of monetization tools publishers have at their disposal.”Right now there is a tremendous amount of activity in display and not much after that,” he quips. “What we’re focused on is being a one-stop shop for publishers. We are trying to develop a way to reward readers. There’s a rich functionality in that vision, and we think that’s going to put a lot of money in publishers’ pockets.”Kaufman is referring to an exchange system where readers can be rewarded for social shares, registrations, ad views and other standard practices in content consumption. It’s currently in development. “This a frontier that not a lot of publishers have been able to experiment with, there’s so much opportunity we’re seeing on the publisher side,” Kaufman says.last_img read more

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2019-09-14

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It Chapter 2 trailer a bloody scary way to start ComicCon

first_img 0 It Chapter 2 is the second part of 2017’s blockbuster movie It based on Stephen King’s 1986 best-seller. “[The film is] still about that friendship those kids in chapter one developed and how they really became each other’s best friends to fight this evil,” Mustafa told CNET. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s horrifying, but it’s still touching.” postercropped Warner Bros. A new poster also hit Wednesday, showing a pair of ominous yellow clown eyes staring out from a face covered in white makeup. Those crimson-red slashes definitely can’t mean anything good. Chastain has said the film features one of the bloodiest scenes of any horror film, ever.  62 Photos Rick and Morty Comic-Con exclusive toy unboxing It Chapter 2 opens on Sept. 5 in Australia and on Sept. 6 in the US and UK.   6:21 Share your voice Originally published July 18, 1:42 a.m. PT. Update, 9:22 a.m. PT: Adds link to new trailer that just appeared online.  The new trailer for It Chapter 2 debuted to audiences at Comic-Con a day before it posted online. New Line Cinema Pennywise the evil clown is back, and creepy as ever. A trailer for It Chapter 2 debuted Wednesday night at San Diego Comic-Con ahead of its debut online Thursday, and if murderous clowns make you nervous, this footage won’t do anything to ease your terror. The It Chapter 2 trailer quickly reveals that 27 years after the first movie, most of the members of the Losers’ Club have somehow forgotten their horrific experiences after moving out of Derry, Maine, as adults.”Something happens to you when you leave this town,” Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) says. But since he didn’t leave, he remembers everything. The final clip appears to take place later in the film, and as such I won’t be revealing much about it. The Losers return to the old house seen at the end of the 2017 It film. Muschietti told the audience before airing the clip that the house is only visible to children, and apparently the Losers’ Club. This sequence leads to a horrifying reveal. Now playing: Watch this: Stephen King gave Isaiah Mustafa a new take on life … and death Everything you need to know about horror film It Chapter 2 It Chapter 2 Comic-Con trailer reveals what the Losers… No clowning around here. @jes_chastain was in a “kiddie pool filled with blood” on the set of #ITChapter2. #SDCC pic.twitter.com/sZ8eaFdfiV— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) July 18, 2019 The Losers know how to make an entrance. #ItChapter2 is taking over #SDCC. 🤡 pic.twitter.com/OgxLK8UE6j— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) July 18, 2019 Now playing: Watch this: Comic-Con Mike tells his friends — including Bill (James McAvoy), Beverly (Jessica Chastain), Richie (Bill Hader), Ben (Jay Ryan) and Eddie (James Ransone) — that Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård) wasn’t stopped back when the friends with Stanley (Andy Bean) last battled it.In the trailer, McAvoy runs through a funhouse to rescue a child who’s encountered the bloodthirsty clown. We also see sewers and lots of red balloons, which Pennywise clutches while flying through the air. We also see the reappearance of Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) who is seen telling Beverly, “I died.”In addition to dealing with creepy kids, Beverly will also be covered in fake blood for at least a part of the film. So much blood Chastain said that she was thrilled to learn about the sequence from director Andy Muschietti. “Let’s make Carrie on steroids,” was her reaction, she told the audience at the Warner Bros. ScareDiego event where the trailer and three clips were shown. Tags The very best cosplay we saw at Comic-Con 2019 Audiences were shown three clips from It Chapter 2, which I’ll only lightly describe to avoid getting too into spoilers. The first two expand on sequences seen in the trailer.The first of the clips showed the reunion of the Losers’ Club as adults. It’s clear many of the friends haven’t stayed in close touch, zinging each other over who may or may not have gotten married. As the sequence continues, each character begins to remember their childhood, including the horrors of Pennywise.The second clip shows Bill running through a carnival in search of an unnamed child who is apparently being hunted by It.  Post a comment TV and Movies 2:28 More It Chapter 2last_img read more

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2019-09-10

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How to make Amazon Prime Day a publishing success story

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2019-09-10

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Google acquires Diane Greenes Bebop makes her head of cloud business

first_imgGoogle has taken over enterprise development platform startup “Bebop” and made its founder Diane Greene the head of Google’s enterprise cloud business, CEO Sundar Pichai, announced in his blog post on Thursday, 19 November.Greene is no stranger to Google, being on the company’s Board of Directors for three years. She is also the founder and former CEO of VMWare.”Bebop is a new development platform that makes it easy to build and maintain enterprise applications. We think this will help many more businesses find great applications, and reap the benefits of cloud computing,” Pichai wrote.He said that over 60% of the Fortune 500 relies on Google cloud penetration. In fact, apart from their own businesses that operate on cloud infrastructure too, “Google has significantly larger data centre capacity than any other public cloud provider – part of what makes it possible for customers to receive the best price and performance for compute and storage services,” he wrote in the blog post.However, Pichai cautioned that as of now only a little fraction of the world’s data uses cloud penetration while majority of the businesses and applications aren’t cloud-based yet.”This is an important and fast-growing area for Google and we’re investing for the future,” he added.Regardless of being one of the first cloud companies that even made great advancement in gaining popularity among its consumers, Google has struggled to keep up with Microsoft, IBM and Amazon Web Services.To catch up, Google had tried to promote the work versions of its cloud services – Google Docs, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Play, as well. However, earlier in July the company received a major blow when Google Apps customer General Electric (GE) chose Microsoft Office 365 over Google for its whopping 300,000 employees, TechCrunch reported.Greene will direct a new team looking after Google’s cloud businesses, including Google for Work, Cloud Platform, and Google Apps.Upon the close of acquisition, both Bebop and Greene will join Google’s cloud business platform.last_img read more

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2019-09-05

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Infosys new CEO Salil Parekh will be earning just 25 of Vishal

first_imgSalil Parekh took charge as managing director and chief executive of IT major Infosys.Twitter InfosysThe newly inducted Infosys chief executive officer (CEO), Salil Parekh will earn only a quarter (25 percent) of the salary package given to his predecessor Vishal Sikka. Parekh will be receiving Rs 16.2 crore annually, according to the company postal ballot filed in Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).Parekh’s salary is way short of what Vishal Sikka drew in fiscal 2017. In the last one year Sikka earned Rs 45.1 crore before he quit in August after a yearlong battle between co-founders and management.The company has also given the details of severance pay terms; as severance pay, Parekh will be getting half his compensation of the previous 12 months and vesting of outstanding stock options till that period.This is in line with the fundamental ideas set forth by the co-founders of the IT major. N R Narayana Murthy had flagged the issue of higher salaries the top executives were getting.Another co-founder, now the non-executive chairman, Nandan Nilekani had also said earlier that he would like see a low profile senior executive to execute a vision of focused delivery for customers.According to the company’s postal ballot, Parekh will get an annual fixed salary of Rs 65 lakh and variable pay of Rs 97.5 lakh that would be compensated based on achieving metrics set by the company. The Bengaluru-based IT exporter has also offered stock options worth Rs 97.5 lakh that would be vested over two years.With Parekh taking over as the head of India’s second largest software exporter, interim CEO Pravin Rao has been redesignated as chief operating officer (COO).On January 2, Parekh was inducted in a low-key manner with hardly any of the top executives or founders present in company’s Bengaluru headquarter.Speaking to employees in video call, the new CEO said that he is delighted to lead the company and excited to lead the company at a time when technology is changing at a fast and disruptive pace.last_img read more

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2019-09-05

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RAB cordons off militant den in Savar gunshots heard

first_imgMembers of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) cordoned off a house in Chourabali area in Ashulia of Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, since early hours of Sunday suspecting it to be a militant den.RAB media and legal wing director Mufti Mahmood Khan told reporters on Sunday morning that the elite force men have fenced off the house since 1:00am on Sunday.The suspected militants started firing and threw explosives after the RAB men had asked them to surrender, he added.The RAB media and legal wing director further said, “The area has been evacuated. We will begin a drive shortly.”last_img read more

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2019-09-03

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NHRC not performing duties HC

first_imgExpressing its resentment at the role of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the High Court on Wednesday said the state agency is not performing the duties bestowed upon it as per the law, reports UNB.”We’re saddened that the commission hasn’t moved the higher court for a single time although its orders were repeatedly violated,” the bench of justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and justice Rajik-Al-Jalil said while hearing a writ petition over the torture of domestic help Khadija in Mirpur.The court said the NHRC only files reports whereas human rights are violated. “This is not its job. The commission might move the High Court if its orders are not implemented. But they haven’t come to the High Court till today. This is a serious violation of the law. We’re very shocked that the human rights commission is not performing its duties.”It said issuing orders one after another without taking any effective step over the torture of the domestic help manifests human rights commission’s irresponsibility.On 9 January last, the High Court issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain as to why the failure of the NHRC to provide appropriate remedy for incidents of human rights violations should not be declared illegal.The court had also directed the home secretary to submit a report within 30 days explaining why no action was taken about the torture of domestic help Khadija on 9 December 2013.Children Charity Foundation sent a letter to the NHRC to take necessary legal steps against the torture on Khadija.During investigation, the NHRC found that the domestic help was tortured after being confined to her employer’s house and she was made to starve. However, police hid all the information and did not record any case in this regard.Later in 2014, the National Human Rights Commission sent a letter to the home secretary to take action in this regard after investigating the allegation brought against police.Although it wrote 18 times till 2018, no action was taken till the date, Halim said, adding that although the NHRC can identify the cases of human rights violations, it cannot provide any remedy to this end.last_img read more

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2019-09-03

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Doctors Worry As Texas Lawmakers OK Vaccine Restrictions

first_imgTexas would restrict emergency immunizations given to children removed from troubled homes under legislation that worries doctors and is a victory for vaccination opponents.The bill passed Friday in the Texas House comes as more families statewide are not vaccinating their children. More than 44,000 parents in Texas filed personal-belief exemptions last school year, a nearly twentyfold jump from 2003.The new law would ban emergency vaccinations other than tetanus for children taken into state custody. Doctors say there are real implications.Dr. Anu Partap is director of the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence at Children’s Health in Dallas. She says she gave pertussis vaccines to new foster children last year following a North Texas outbreak.She says the new law wouldn’t let her do the same again. Sharelast_img read more

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2019-09-02

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Ballot over bullet

first_imgWhat/who inspired you to write the book? Please quote personal instances, if any. Parliament of India has almost an infinite canvas to work on, domestically and internationally. While, what it does within its magnificent red stone building always gets much talked about, little is known of its performance in the international arena. Many people do not know that our Parliament, which is the nerve centre of the largest democracy in the world, is highly admired by other Parliaments. I have personal experience of many speakers, including those of advanced countries, coming to me to enquire what stand I was taking on a particular issue or who I was voting for so that they could do the same. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Although, our Parliamentary system is based on the Westminster model of U.K, yet over the years it has evolved so much that speakers of several Commonwealth counties have told me that in a difficult situation they invariably study the rulings given by the Indian speakers to find a solution. Such is the stature of our Speaker and our Parliament. Needless-to-say, a great deal of hard work goes into achieving and maintaining this position of eminence. I therefore felt the need to write this book and give a glimpse of how it is done. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHow do you define Parliamentary diplomacy? What role does it play in improving foreign relations?Parliamentary diplomacy is the fine art of a parliament engaging fruitfully with other parliaments. It has come of age the world over. In India too it is increasingly becoming an effective instrument of state craft. It is conducted by the Speaker who represents our Parliament in bilateral and multilateral forums, accompanied by members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The discussions are not only on parliamentary affairs but also, in fact and more, on bilateral, regional and global issues. It is a parallel function of the Speaker to strengthen our relationship with the world. The foreign policy pronouncements of our Speaker are the same as that of the Prime Minister, but the style and channels used are different. Parliamentary diplomacy, on its own, has the potential to generate abundant international goodwill. Do you think our Parliamentarian have broader understating of global concerns?Yes. The Constitution of India has empowered our Parliament to enact laws regarding our relation with any foreign country. Our parliamentarians therefore, have to be aware all the time, of international developments.  Personally, I find that many of our members have a sound knowledge of the intricacies of foreign affairs.The decorum in the Indian Parliament is generally questioned by many. As a former speaker, don’t you think there needs to be some sort of moral conduct while discussing important issues like terrorism, internal security etc?There are rules in this regard but rules cannot always be effective. Member of Lok Sabha are elected representatives and, I am sure, most of them would want to get re-elected. Since the proceedings of the House are directly telecast, it is most likely that the members would do what their voters want.  In my view, the demand for decorum, to be effective, should also come from the voters.Shouldn’t there be healthy meeting of minds when it comes to dealing with such important issues?Parliament of India has many beautiful traditions. One of them is that the political parties or independent members in both the Houses of Parliament never ever differ on foreign policy.  This key institution of our polity firmly projects its view of the world in one voice.As the first women speaker of India and as an ex- IFS, how do you think India fares globally?As the first women Speaker of India I attended the 6th conference of the women speakers of the world in Berne and hosted the 7th conference in our Parliament. My interactions in a forum where my predecessors could not participate had its benefits. However, the fact remains that the work of a speaker is gender neutral. As a former foreign service officer who has worked at many levels to formulate the foreign policy, I think India commands respect globally and the Parliament is definitely looked up to.Beyond being an avenue for discussion, such networks can have a long-term impact on the avoidance of conflict. Do you agree?Certainly. Democracy and democratic temper always help in minimising conflict. Power of the ballot is far more than that of the bullet. Our commitment, tenacity and enduring faith in the sublime process of democracy contribute in no small measure to conflict avoidance and world peace.last_img read more

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2019-08-31

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