Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pop culture event Toronto ComiCon continued to grow this year, the sixth year since its restructuring as a three day program. Beginning on Friday evening, it continued through to Sunday. Organized by the same company as Fan Expo Canada, the event offered exhibitors, retailers, an artist’s alley, and panels.

Cast members from Canadian teen show Degrassi Junior High were among the featured guests at the convention. While the current series in the franchise, best known as Degrassi: The Next Generation, has spawned Broadway star Jake Epstein, rapper Drake, and others, the earlier show including Stacie Mistysyn and Stefan Brogren remains popular, particularly in Canada. Brogren told industry publication Kidscreen: “A part of me thought we would do it for five years and maybe get recognized for a couple of years afterwards and then that would be it. I had no idea it would turn out to be such an important thing in so many people?s lives and not just in Canada, but around the world.”

The current program is now distributed by Netflix, and Brogen remains a cast member as school principal, in addition to being a producer and director.

It was the first time the cast did a convention event. The cast also plan to tour to other conventions in Canada this year.

Also appearing were Robert Picardo, the holographic doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, and Ray Park, Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Panels at the convention focused on topics like steampunk costuming, wig styling, recently rebooted comic Captain Canuck, toy collecting, and the history of comic books in Canada over the decades, in conjunction with Canada’s sesquicentennial year. Cast members from The Sean Ward Show appeared at the event, meeting guests to the convention and hosting a panel about the superhero comedy YouTube channel which has more than 600 million views.

Contents

  • 1 Cosplay highlights
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links




Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The British Royal Air Force gave the all clear at the Lyneham air base in Wiltshire, England after an earlier bomb scare.

It had earlier been reported that an improvised explosive device (IED) was found inside a vehicle by a bomb sniffing dog. According to BBC News, the vehicle was parked outside the air base’s fence. Officials would not elaborate on what was inside the vehicle, but BBC reports that the vehicle was possibly military and that bomb residue was found on the vehicle.

A Royal Air Force spokesman said a bomb squad was called to the location to investigate the find. “An EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] team are on site and currently working to make the area safe. It is too early to speculate at this stage.” Officials say the reaction was routine and situations like this are treated as if a device had been found. Anytime a dog is alerted to possible explosives, the proper teams are called in to investigate.

RAF Lyneham is one of the UK’s largest air bases, and is home to the RAF’s fleet of C-130 Hercules aircraft. Many bodies of the soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan are brought to the base from the country.



Sunday, September 17, 2006

Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Pervez Musharraf, who are currently attending the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Havana issued a joint statement confirming that the peace process between India and Pakistan was back on track. The two leaders spoke for over an hour in private to sort out their issues and work out a plan to recommence peace-talks, which were stalled for some time in the aftermath of the 11/7 bombings in Mumbai.

“These talks are happening in the aftermath of the Mumbai blasts. The two countries have decided to condemn terrorism in all its forms,” Indian Prime Minister Singh said, while the President hailed his country’s relations with India saying Mohabbat Zindabad (long live goodwill). The Foreign Secretaries of the two nations will now meet to discuss such issues as the demilitarisation of the Siachen glacier and Sir Creek and also the status of confidence building measures such as the Lahore-Amritsar bus service and the Thar Express.

The two countries have decided to form an Indian-Pakistani institution to fight and identify terrorism. The possibility of the intelligence agencies from both countries sharing information with each other is also being explored.

President Musharraf stated that “all outstanding issues including the key Kashmir factor” needed to be resolved. He also invited Dr. Singh to visit Islamabad.



Saturday, May 7, 2005

Testing began on a chemical reactor at the Newport Chemical Depot near Terre Haute, Indiana on Friday morning. If successful, the reactor will be put to use destroying the large VX nerve gas stockpiles stored at the facility over the course of the next two years. After the disposal project experienced several delays, the facility announced it would begin pumping VX into a completed disposal unit for testing. The unit consists of a chemical reactor in which the VX will be mixed with water and sodium hydroxide, heated to 194°F while mixed with paddles. The resulting chemical, called hydrolysate, is chemically similar to commercial drain cleaners and has similar properties. If the test is successfully completed , the unit will continue processing the VX until the entire stockpile has been neutralized, a process projected to take two years. Administrators expect to complete testing on May 10, 2005.

According to the controversial plan, the finished waste product would be shipped to New Jersey for final reprocessing. The inert chemical would then be emptied into the Delaware River where natural attenuation would occur.

Residents near the proposed river disposal site in New Jersey oppose this idea. The contractor for the final component of this disposal would be the DuPont Corporation.

NCD is a bulk chemical storage and destruction facility in west central Indiana, thirty miles north of Terre Haute. Originally founded during World War II to produce RDX, a conventional explosive, it later became a site for chemical weapons manufacturing during the Cold War. It is now used to securely store and gradually neutralize part of the US stockpile of VX.

VX was manufactured by the U.S. in the 1950s and 60’s as a deterrent to possible Soviet Union use. It was never deployed, and the manufacture was halted in 1969 after an order signed by then-president Richard Nixon.

In 1999, the Army announced it awarded a disposal contract to Parsons Infrastructure & Technology, Inc., a business unit of Parsons Corporation. Some 220 civilian Parsons employees work at the facility, which is supervised by an Army officer reporting to the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, and a board of civilian government overseers called the Indiana Citizens’ Advisory Commission, some of whose members are appointed by the state governor.

Security at the facility is controversial. A private security service, supplemented by a complement of Indiana National Guard soldiers, guarded the facility until April 14, 2005, when the soldiers were withdrawn. An Indianapolis television station has questioned security measures in some of its special reports.



Monday, August 29, 2016

On Friday, French capital football club Paris Saint-Getmain announced they loaned Italian goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu to Spanish club Sevilla F.C. till the season end.

29-year-old Sirigu started his career in Italy and joined the Parisians five years ago, in 2011. After playing 60 Serie A matches from 2009 to 2011, Sirigu became the first-choice goalkeeper at PSG for four years, playing 145 matches.

In five seasons at Parc des Princes, Sirigu has won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles, three Trophée des Champions, three Coupe de la Ligue, and two Coupe de France. Sirigu has played seventeen international matches, debuting in 2010.

Last season, German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp joined PSG and became their first-choice keeper. Lacking playing time with PSG, Sirigu signed the contract with Sevilla on Friday, after passing the medical tests hours before.

Per the agreement between the clubs, PSG has not included an option for Sevilla to buy the player.



Sunday, December 4, 2005

The US commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq said that he had no knowledge of the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq document released by the US President. This, along with speculation that the document was chiefly authored by a public opinion analyst recruited by the White House have led to some critics claiming that the drafted ‘strategy’ is targeting US public opinion, not the Iraqi insurgency.

The military, political and economic strategy for Iraq, outlined last week by President Bush in a speech at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was based by a 35-page document titled the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq. A metadata tag on the document posted on the White House website identified its author as a computer user ‘feaver_p’. It is believed to refer to Dr. Peter D. Feaver, a special advisor to the National Security Council staff.

A political scientist at Duke University, Dr. Feaver analyzed public opinion polls about the Iraq war and attitudes towards war casualties. Dr. Feaver found that US public opinion will support military engagement abroad, despite growing casualties, provided that the public believed that the war was being fought for a worthy cause and that victory was achievable.

Dr. Feaver was one of the people who helped “conceive and draft” the document, according to a White House staffer, who said that Meghan L. O’Sullivan, the deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan, and her staff played a larger role. White House officials confirmed to the New York Times that the document’s “creation and presentation strongly reflected the public opinion research”.

The document “reflects the broad interagency effort under way in Iraq” according to an NSC spokesman Frederick Jones and had received major contributions from the Departments of Defense, State, Treasury and Homeland Security, as well as the director of National Intelligence.

On Friday, Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, whose Multinational Security Transition Command is responsible for building Iraq’s security forces, told reporters that he had seen the strategy document for the first time when it was released to the public. The White House had said that not all senior officers in Iraq had necessarily seen the document and Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that he had read and critiqued the document on several occasions.

Earlier, replying to questions about the President’s strategy, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said that the document was an “inter-agency document” and an “unclassified version” of the administrations “strategy for victory in Iraq” published for the public to view.

Christopher F. Gelpi, of Duke University, who co-authored Dr. Feaver’s work titled Casualty Sensitivity and the War in Iraq, stated, “The Pentagon doesn’t need the president to give a speech and post a document on the White House Web site to know how to fight the insurgents. The document is clearly targeted at American public opinion.” In their work together, Gelpi, Feaver and Reifler found that the most important factor which determines the US public’s tolerance for US military deaths in a war is the public’s beliefs about the likelihood of success, and a secondary, but still important, factor, was found to be the public’s belief in the rightness of a war.



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Canadian media company CHUM Limited has announced that it has agreed to be acquired by larger rival Bell Globemedia Inc. for $1.7 billion CAD cash, bringing the CTV and Citytv broadcast-television networks and such specialty channels as MuchMusic, TSN and Bravo! under the same corporate umbrella.

Shareholders will receive $52.50 per common share of CHUM and $47.25 per Class B (non-voting) share. The estate of the late Allan Waters, who died late last year, has agreed to tender all its shares to the bid, netting the Waters family nearly $450 million.

In a joint statement, CHUM’s chairman, Jim Waters, said, “In Bell Globemedia’s offer, we not only found value for shareholders, but confidence that we would be placing CHUM in the hands of an owner with the financial resources and track record to continue to grow and build on our collective legacy.”

Globemedia CEO Ivan Fecan added, “We are able to make this premium offer because Bell Globemedia is clearly the most logical buyer of CHUM. There is a unique strategic fit to our operations that can make the united company a stronger national champion in broadcasting. We intend to maintain and build the valuable CHUM brands and develop more opportunities for Canadian programming.” He added that CTV and Citytv will remain separate networks and “will maintain separate and independent news divisions in order to ensure a continued diversity and competition in news coverage.”

In a separate release, CHUM announced it would be cutting 281 jobs at its stations across the country, particularly at its Citytv stations in western Canada. Effectively immediately, evening newscasts at CKVU-TV Vancouver, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CHMI-TV in the Winnipeg market are being eliminated, with plans for a new newsmagazine tentatively titled In Your City at the three Prairie stations, and more resources being put into each station’s local version of Breakfast Television. Less drastic changes are planned for its A-Channel stations in smaller markets. The company said these changes will result “in a significant reduction in staffing and operating costs.”

The companies said that they expect to sell CHUM’s A-Channel stations, as well as Alberta educational broadcaster Access, to third parties, despite CTV’s historical ties to several of them. Many of the A-Channel stations were originally acquired by CHUM from Baton Broadcasting, the predecessor of Bell Globemedia, in 1997, as part of a trade that sent CHUM’s ATV and ASN assets in Atlantic Canada to Baton and allowed Baton to acquire the CTV network itself.

Despite CHUM’s ownership of MuchMusic and CTV’s recent launch of MTV Canada, the companies claim their specialty channels are “complementary” and did not indicate any sale plans.

Bell Globemedia is currently majority-owned by BCE Inc. but is awaiting regulatory approval for a restructuring involving the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Torstar Corp., and the Thomson family. In the interim, the takeover offer will be made by a new company owned by the proposed new shareholder structure.



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Nine firefighters were killed on Monday while battling a massive fire at a furniture warehouse in Charleston, South Carolina.

Firefighters were called to the scene of a massive blaze at the Sofa Super Store in Charleston, S.C. at around 6:30 p.m. EST. At around 7 p.m., nine firefighters were sent inside the inferno to rescue people who were trapped inside the building. They rescued two before the ceiling collapsed on top of them. All nine firefighters who were inside the warehouse died. They are:

  • Capt. William Hutchinson, 48
  • Capt. Mike Benke, 49
  • Capt. Louis Mulkey, 34
  • FF Mark Kelsey, 40
  • FF Bradford Baity, 37
  • FF Michael French, 27
  • FF James “Earl” Drayton, 56
  • FF Brandon Thompson, 27
  • FF Melven Champaign, 46

The disaster recalls Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire that killed six firefighters on Dec. 3, 1999, in Worcester, Massachusetts. The chief of the Worcester Fire Department flew down to South Carolina for the memorial service.



Thursday, February 8, 2007

This Sunday, the International Animated Film Association (Association International du Film d’Animation) or ASIFA will hand out the Annie Awards in Glendale, California. As animation’s highest honor, the crowd is always a who’s who of direction, art design, character design, layout, visual effects, and voice artists.

There are 23 award categories in the Annies, sorted into Individual Achievement and Production categories.

Perhaps the most competitive category is “Best Animated Feature”, which will be a fight between Cars (Pixar Animation Studios), Happy Feet (Warner Bros. Pictures/Village Roadshow Pictures/Kennedy Miller Production/Animal Logic Film), Monster House (Columbia Pictures/ImageMovers/Amblin), Open Season (Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures) and Over The Hedge (DreamWorks Animation).

Cars, Happy Feet, and Monster House are all nominated in the Academy Awards for the same category, perhaps signifying an edge up in the competition.

Direct-to-DVD releases are eligible for the “Best Home Entertainment Production”. Included are Bambi II (DisneyToon Studios), The Adventures of Brer Rabbit (Universal Animation Studios), and Winnie the Pooh: Shapes & Sizes (DisneyToon Studios).

Charlie and Lola, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, King of the Hill, The Fairly OddParents, and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! are all up for “Best Animated Television Production”.

“Best Animated Video Game” will be awarded to either Flushed Away The Game (D3 Publisher of America, Inc.), Monster House (THQ, Inc.), and SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature From the Krusty Krab (THQ, Inc.); the category was just created last year.

Adventure Time (Nickelodeon), Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot (Thunderbean Animation), No Time For Nuts (Blue Sky Studios), and Weird Al Yankovic Don’t Download This Song (Acme Filmworks) are all up for “Best Animated Short Subject”. Only No Time for Nuts is up for an Oscar, which has significantly different rules. “Best Animated Television Commercial” will go to either an advertisement for Candy Factory, ESPN, Hilton, St. Louis Zoo, and United Airlines.

Notably, no non-US films or productions have been nominated for any of the awards.

ASIFA is a non-profit worldwide organization dedicated to preserving and promoting animation, which maintains national branches in 55 countries, as far away as UlanBaatar, Mongolia and Tehran. The Annies are awarded by its California chapter ASIFA-Hollywood.

The awards were started in 1972, after voice actress June Foray noticed the industry lacked a formal way to acknowledge its achievements. Performing in over 202 productions, Foray’s most known characters are Rocket J. Squirrel (Rocky and Bullwinkle) and Granny (Looney Tunes).

ASIFA also hands out “Juried Awards” to various notable figures in animation. Bill Plympton, Genndy Tartakovsky, and Andreas Deja will each win the Winsor McCay Award, in recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation. Bill Matthews, Michael Fallik, Marc Deckter, and Eric Graf will each win a Certificate of Merit. The June Foray Award will go to Stephen Worth, for his “significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.” The Ub Iwerks Award and Special Achievement award will not be handed out.

Professional photographer John Mueller will attend the ceremony on behalf of Wikinews, taking photos of nominees and the rest of America’s animation elite. Mueller was selected from a wide pool of professionals offering their services. The photos from the event will be released under the Creative Commons By Attribution license, which allows them to be used by anyone for any purpose.



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