TUM robots Kinect to sandwiches and popcorn

first_img Explore further The robots, James and Rosie, can respond to orders like “make me a sandwich” with the use of visual-detection systems from an Xbox Kinect. They also use perception algorithms to assess surroundings, and to make inferences about what they see, in order to execute their tasks. Robotic Roommates Making Pancakes The robots are kitted out with reasoning mechanisms all along the way that make them capable of decisions, rather than decisions that are pre-programmed. According to the Munich team, these robots can be more flexible and more reliable than robots using control programs without cognitive strengths.According to TUM, CRAM “grounds symbolic expressions in the knowledge representation into the perception and actuation routines, and into the essential data structures of the control programs.” The CRAM kernel consists of the CPL plan language and the KnowRob knowledge processing system. Both are coupled to perception and actuation components. The project notes also say that CRAM is designed to be highly modular; plug-ins can provide further cognitive capabilities.James and Rosie belong to a family of four robot platforms in the lab: There are TUM-James (PR2), TUM Rosie, iCub and Bender. The PR2 is a standard research platform for mobile manipulation by Willow Garage. The PR2 Beta has a mobile base, two arms for manipulation, a sensor suite, and sixteen CPU cores for computation. Each PR2 Beta comes with the open source ROS robotics framework. TUM Rosie was built around the KUKA-omnidirectional base and KUKA-lightweight LWR-4 arms. Meantime, one might see further corners turned by robotics researchers at TUM. Their research will continue to explore how robots can perform everyday tasks such as setting tables, emptying dishwashers, and preparing meals. James and Rosie Preparing Popcorn and Sandwiches (Full Version) Citation: TUM robots ‘Kinect’ to sandwiches and popcorn (2011, December 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-tum-robots-kinect-sandwiches-popcorn.html (PhysOrg.com) — A robotics team from the Technical University of Munich are now able to show an audience how their cuisine robots James and Rosie have graduated from a previously famous repertoire of sausages and pancakes to making salami and cheese sandwiches and stovetop popcorn. The robots do so with an impressive measure of dexterity and precision in turning on a stove and the other tasks. More information: ias.cs.tum.edu/research/pr2betavia IEEE University of Ulster celebrates acquisition of PR2 robot by having it solve Rubik’s cube © 2011 PhysOrg.com 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. James and Rosie Preparing Popcorn and Sandwiches (short version) The make-me-a-sandwich goal of a toasted-bread salami and cheese sandwich with sandwich spread, for example, consists of complex actions. The team’s goal is developing robots that don’t need instructions for each and every step.The video shows James and Rosie performing their tasks with precision. Moving around the pots, pouring popcorn neatly into a bowl, placing bread slices in the toaster, forking up items for the sandwich, all indicate the TUM team is making progress in developing “autonomous” robots that can perform everyday activities.James and Rosie are part of the school’s CRAM project. CRAM stands for Cognitive Robot Abstract Machine. CRAM is a set of software tools to design and deploy robots that use cognition to manipulate items.last_img read more

Comet ISON shaping up to be a spectacular display

first_img Explore further (Phys.org)—Excitement is mounting for astronomers and star gazers the world over as word spreads that Comet ISON may go down in the history books as one of the flashiest ever. First discovered in September of last year by Russian astronomers, Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok, Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) has been drawing attention ever since. © 2013 Phys.org New ‘Sun-skirting’ comet could provide dazzling display in 2013 Citation: Comet ISON shaping up to be a spectacular display (2013, January 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-comet-ison-spectacular.htmlcenter_img Image of comet ISON as seen on 22 September 2012 through a 0.25-m reflector by the Team of observers of Remanzacco Observatory. Credit: Remanzacco Observatory Comets, as most are well aware, are balls of ice and rock that move though space – when they get close enough to the sun, they sprout tails giving rise to poetic descriptions of beauty by some and claims of mystical phenomenon by others. Comet ISON is expected to be at its brightest in late November of this year, leading some to link it with the Star of Bethlehem which the Bible says led the three wise men to the newborn baby Jesus. Its perihelion – closest approach to the sun – is expected to occur on November 28 and the comet will likely be best viewed in the northern hemisphere.Of course, projecting the brilliance of a comet or its tail length is an iffy proposition to be sure. It could just break apart when it nears the sun (it’s expected to come as close as 32,000 miles), leaving us here on Earth less than impressed with the results, (see Comet Kohoutek – 1973.) More optimistically, because of its size and orientation, it might just present us with the brightest comet show ever seen.Right now Comet ISON is in Jupiter’s orbit, hurtling towards a rendezvous with the sun. As it approaches, bits of it will be vaporized, leading to the creation of a tail. Once it arrives, it will whip around the sun at approximately 425,000 mph and then head back into space passing our planet on its way, allowing us to see it in all its finery.The best viewing time for the comet is expected to be early in the morning before the sun comes up, as it approaches, and then at both pre-dawn and just after the sun sets as the comet is leaving. When it’s approaching, its tail will follow behind it, but as it’s leaving, due to solar wind, it will be following its own tail. Estimates on Comet ISON’s brightness vary – some suggest it might be equal in luminescence to the planet Mars, while others hint that it might be as bright as the moon, which means it would be visible even during daylight hours. 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.last_img read more

Fuelfree nanomotor is powered by ultrasound and magnetic fields

first_imgThe magneto-acoustic hybrid nanomotor has dual propulsion modes: an acoustic field (ultrasound) operates on the nanomotor’s gold nanorod segment, while a magnetic field operates on the nanomotor’s helical segment. Credit: Li, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Society The researchers, led by Professor Joseph Wang at the University of California, San Diego, have published a paper on the new class of nanomotors in a recent issue of Nano Letters. As magnetic and acoustic fields are biocompatible and commonly used in medicine, the fuel-free nanomotors could be especially useful for biomedical applications.The nanomotor can respond to both types of fields due to its bisegmented design: the gold nanorod segment responds to ultrasound, and the nanohelical magnetic segment responds to magnetic fields. The entire device is approximately 3000 nm (3 µm) long.As the researchers explain, using different fields to power a single device offers the potential for rapid reconfiguration of the device’s operation. For example, switching between the two different fields rapidly changes the direction of motion because the fields act on opposite ends of the device. In addition, tuning the amplitude of the ultrasound waves or the frequency of the magnetic field enables rapid speed regulation, while applying a rotational magnetic field induces a torque that results in corkscrew motion.Using fields instead of fuel for power also gives the nanomotor the advantage of being able to operate in highly ionic environments, such as seawater and blood. These media typically interfere with the propulsion mechanisms of chemically powered nanomotors, which often rely on the electric-field-induced motion of electrophoresis. Explore further Citation: Fuel-free nanomotor is powered by ultrasound and magnetic fields (2015, June 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-fuel-free-nanomotor-powered-ultrasound-magnetic.html Play Nanomotors can rapidly change direction and speed under different strengths of magnetic and acoustic fields. Credit: Li, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Society When several of the new nanomotors are placed in close proximity, the researchers found that they exhibit swarming behavior similar to the collective behavior seen in some biological systems, such as schools of fish. The researchers observed three different states of switchable collective behavior, depending on the applied field: stable aggregation with ultrasound only, directional swarm motion with magnetic fields only, and a swirling swarm vortex with both fields. In the future, the broad scope of operations offered by the magnetic and acoustic actuations could lead to an even more intriguing possibility: smart nanovehicles that autonomously reconfigure themselves in response to changes in the environment or their own performance in order to achieve a predetermined mission. This ability could prove especially useful for biomedical applications, such as imaging, drug delivery, and diagnosis. Other applications may include nanoscale manipulation and assembly in the wider field of artificial nanomachines. Journal information: Nano Letters More information: Jinxing Li, et al. “Magneto-Acoustic Hybrid Nanomotor.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b01945center_img © 2015 Phys.org PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen New study shows the dynamics of active swarms in alternating fields (Phys.org)—Nanoscale motors, like their macroscale counterparts, can be built to run on a variety of chemical fuels, such as hydrogen peroxide and others. But unlike macroscale motors, some nanomotors can also run without fuel, instead being powered by either magnetic or acoustic fields. In a new paper, researchers for the first time have demonstrated a nanomotor that can run on both magnetic and acoustic fields, making it the first magneto-acoustic hybrid fuel-free nanomotor. 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.last_img read more

A new way to recycle polycarbonates that prevents BPA leaching

first_img Explore further Most people would not think of IBM as a place for chemists working with plastics, but the Almaden facility was designed to conduct research into a wide variety of applications, ranging from food safety, to medical imaging, nanomedicine, services science and atomic scale storage. Solving the problem of an ever building supply of polycarbonate waste actually fits well with IBM’s research efforts because so many of the company’s products use it as a base component.Polycarbonates are a hard type of plastic, they are used to make CDs, DVDs, phone screens and a host of other hard plastic products, and as the researchers note, the material is extremely popular—approximately 2.7 million tons of it is produced annually around the world. But unlike soda bottles, polycarbonates are not easily recycled for reuse which means they generally wind up in landfills and dumps. Also they are a type of plastic that release small amounts of BPA when used and large amounts as they break down, allowing the chemical to leach into landfills, very likely leading to massive problems in the future. In this new effort, the team at IBM has found a way to convert polycarbonate material into another type of plastic called polyaryl ether sulfone (PSU) that can be used in applications such as medical equipment, fiber optics and purifying water.The process involves heating the plastic along with carbonate salts (akin to baking powder) and a fluoride reactant, which causes a cascading reaction to occur—first decomposing the material into a monomer and then condensing the result to a PSU. The resulting plastic is harder than typical polycarbonates, which makes it ideal for other applications and easier on the environment because it will not leach BPA into the ground once it makes its way to a landfill. 3D chemical structure of bisphenol A. Credit: Edgar181 via Wikimedia Commons 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. © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at IBM’s Research facility in Almaden, San Jose (the same site where Watson was developed) has developed a one-step process for recycling polycarbonates into another type of plastic—one that does not release bisphenol A (BPA) into the environment when it is used or dumped into a landfill. They have published a paper describing their new technique in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.center_img A new way to degrade plastics that turns them into fuel Citation: A new way to recycle polycarbonates that prevents BPA leaching (2016, June 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-06-recycle-polycarbonates-bpa-leaching.html More information: Computational and experimental investigations of one-step conversion of poly(carbonate)s into value-added poly(aryl ether sulfone)s, PNAS, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1600924113AbstractIt is estimated that ∼2.7 million tons poly(carbonate)s (PCs) are produced annually worldwide. In 2008, retailers pulled products from store shelves after reports of bisphenol A (BPA) leaching from baby bottles, reusable drink bottles, and other retail products. Since PCs are not typically recycled, a need for the repurposing of the PC waste has arisen. We report the one-step synthesis of poly(aryl ether sulfone)s (PSUs) from the depolymerization of PCs and in situ polycondensation with bis(aryl fluorides) in the presence of carbonate salts. PSUs are high-performance engineering thermoplastics that are commonly used for reverse osmosis and water purification membranes, medical equipment, as well as high temperature applications. PSUs generated through this cascade approach were isolated in high purity and yield with the expected thermal properties and represent a procedure for direct conversion of one class of polymer to another in a single step. Computational investigations performed with density functional theory predict that the carbonate salt plays two important catalytic roles in this reaction: it decomposes the PCs by nucleophilic attack, and in the subsequent polyether formation process, it promotes the reaction of phenolate dimers formed in situ with the aryl fluorides present. We envision repurposing poly(BPA carbonate) for the production of value-added polymers. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceslast_img read more

Male mice found able to bias gender ratios of offspring

first_img Explore further New technique overcomes genetic cause of infertility An international team of researchers has discovered that contrary to conventional views, a male mammal was found able to exert inadvertent gender bias ratios in his offspring. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes a study they carried out with inbred mice and what they found. Citation: Male mice found able to bias gender ratios of offspring (2017, August 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-08-male-mice-bias-gender-ratios.html The traditional view among scientists is that only female mammals are able to exert influence on the male-to-female ratio of offspring—for instance, by exerting influence over which sperm fertilize their eggs or by aborting to get rid of undesired offspring. While it is true that the male provides the X or Y chromosome that ultimately determines gender, it has been shown that they do so in ways they cannot control—male mice naturally produce slightly more Y chromosome-laden sperm, for example. But now, it appears that they are able to exert influence in another way—by changing the ratio of X and Y chromosome sperm cells they produce.To find out if male mice could influence the gender ratio of their offspring, they paired 58 normal, healthy white-footed female mice with 58 males for mating. But some of the males came with a genetic disadvantage induced by inbreeding. Such inbreeding, prior research has shown, generally tends to result in males that produce more daughters. The researchers also studied sperm cells taken directly from the testes, making note of X and Y chromosome counts. Those males that had been inbred tended to produce more X chromosome-carrying sperm cells than normal male mice (which normally produce more sperm with Y chromosomes). The difference in the chromosome count ratios was also reflected in the genders of the mice that were born to the pairs, favoring female mice. This, the researchers claim, suggests that the males were exerting some degree of control over the gender of their offspring.The findings suggest that male mammals in general might be able to influence offspring gender ratios, which would mean biologists would have to revise reproductive theories. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society Bcenter_img Human chromosomes during metaphase. Credit: Steffen Dietzel/Wikipedia © 2017 Phys.org More information: “A father effect explains sex-ratio bias,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1159 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.last_img read more

America on 70mm

first_imgThe American Center, the US Commercial Service and the Consular Section of the US Embassy in association with Cinedarbaar are celebrating the World Tourism Day with a two day seminar and film festival. The seminar will be followed by a film fest which will include tourist fair, quizzes, workshops, discussions interactive maps of the USA. The opening film of the festival is Seeking a Friend for the End of the World by Lorene Scafaria. The United Nations World Tourism Organization celebrated the first World Tourism Day on 27 September, 1980 to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The two-day long festival will feature road films that give the flavor of some of America’s greatest cities. The film fest will feature 6 films from celebrating road movies of America. The mating of the road and the movies is as enduring as any of Hollywood’s famous couples, and seemingly just as inevitable. The road has always been a persistent theme of American culture and the film festival will explore the American landscape through films like Easy Rider, Broken Flowers, The straight story, Two lane Blacktop and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. All films will follow interactive sessions to explore the themes and styles of different auteurs.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe participants will also have an opportunity to have fun with DIY activities such as Interactive Map that will bring together cartography, cinema and genres in which visitors can participate and add layers to the map that will grow every day. It also includes information on the films, trivia, selected clips and insights on how films influenced the image of America’s cities. They can also make their travelogue through a collage with materials provided at the venue. WHERE: The American Center, KG MargWHEN: 27 – 29 Septemberlast_img read more

Hills welcome Mamata with arms wide open

first_imgDarjeeling: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived to a warm welcome at Darjeeling Hills on Monday night. Despite the late hours, people lined up along the way to welcome her.Welcome gates were constructed along the route from Siliguri to Darjeeling. At around 8:45 pm the Chief Minister’s cavalcade rolled into Darjeeling. Braving the drizzle, a large crowd awaited her in front of the Governor’s House near Darjeeling Chowrasta.The convoy stopped on the way as the Chief Minister exchanged greetings from inside the vehicle. Members of the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre staged a traditional welcome dance on the road and handed Khadas (traditional scarves) to the Chief Minister. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe convoy then headed straight for the Richmond Government Guest House, where the Chief Minister will be staying. On Tuesday, the Chief Minister will hold an administrative review meeting with Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) top brass in Richmond at 3pm.”We will discuss the projects undertaken by the GTA and will also draw up future projects. Stress will be on road connectivity and bridges, drinking water, health, education, beautification of urban sectors, finance, tourism and follow up of private investments that have started coming in following the Hill Business Summit organised by the state government and GTA in Darjeeling in March this year. The Chief Minister had attended the summit,” stated Binay Tamang, chairman, Board of Administrators, GTA.On September 5, the Chief Minister will attend a government programme at Darjeeling Chowrasta at 3 pm. She will lay the foundation stone for the “Darjeeling University” that will be coming up at Mungpoo at the programme.last_img read more

Celebrating Indian Mythology

first_imgTo showcase the best of dance forms and abhinaya, Shriram Kala Kendra is organising the 13th edition of ‘Festival of Ballets’ at Kamani Auditorium in the national Capital. There will be four enthralling performances within a duration of two weeks. The festival which begins on May 6 will have performances that focus on the lives of mythological characters such as Meera, Durga, Karna and Abhimanyu. On Friday, May 6 ‘Meera’ will be performed showcasing her struggle. Her glory lies in her ability to articulate through poetry, the turbulence that transpired in her life.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Her life seems to be a metaphor for most women, where centuries later, Meera’s still name lives on. Wherever Meera went, she spread the message of liberation and urged an inner awakening, through the effervescence of her poetry. Produced and directed by Shobha Deepak Singh the performance will be followed by another ballet, titled-‘Shree Durga’, the next day. Shree Durga’s persona resonates even in today’s context, where everyone reads daily about the atrocities on women. This ballet depicts how gods evoke Stree Shakti when they fall into their own habit of giving boons. The perfrmance shows alternatives to vanquish demons in society, demonstrating that female power conquers over them. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixOn Friday, May 13, a performance on the life of ‘Karna’ will be held. His persona in Mahabharata will be showcased where circumstances remain consistently hostile. His life and times frozen in entirety and his misfortunes into a perpetual predicament. This ballet is dedicated to all the Karnas, who are denied the rightful place in the social milieu, seen in its correct perspective. Karna’s life was repetitively unfair, eliciting sympathy. His life in the epic is complete with magnificent misadventures and acts of valour. On Saturday, May 14, a performance on the life of ‘Abhimanyu’ will be held, whose story of youthful enthusiasm and selfless valour, torn apart by vested interests and vicious hostilities, is the root of an injustice that we all feel acutely, but in different ways. ‘Abhimanyu’ leaves his mortal remains and ascends the celestial path. He imparts the lesson that violence is useless in resolving any dispute. There are no winners in a battle — the spoils of war being not riches — but senseless death and desolation.last_img read more

Stupendous attendance in past 3 weeks at Kolkatas allnew hanging restaurant

first_imgKolkata: Around 1,800 guests have visited the country’s first hanging restaurant which has come up as a major joint in Kolkata in the past three weeks.Firhad Hakim, Mayor of Kolkata and the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister, inaugurated the restaurant in New Town on February 9. It is a part of the Biswa Bangla Gate which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from the dais of the 43rd Kolkata International Book Fair on January 31. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThere are 72 seats in the restaurant. The fine dining restaurant will be kept open from 7 pm to 10 pm after entry to the Biswa Bangla Gate is closed for the public. The viewing gallery will remain open from 12 noon to 5 pm and visitors will have to buy entry tickets online. They will be allowed to stay there for an hour. Around 4,800 people have visited the viewing gallery since February 1. The waiters will come to the tables and take the order on Ipads. A copy of the order will go to the kitchen which is housed on the ground floor while the other will go for billing. There is a service lift to carry the food to the restaurant as well. Special lightings have been made to give a different feel. Battery-powered candles are there to give a candlelight dinner ambience. Wi-fi connection is free. A garden will be set up to increase the green cover in areas surrounding the Biswa Bangla Gate. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe visitors’ gallery is around 25 metres above the ground. Visitors can use the lifts on one side of the gate to reach the gallery and the cafeteria. The visitors’ gallery along with the cafeteria is surrounded by glass, which will be part of the wall. The construction of the Gate has involved around 70 tonne of steel. The idea of the gallery has been conceived from the Eiffel Tower in Paris, while the cafeteria has been inspired by the hanging cafeteria of Malaysia.last_img read more

Perimenopausal Osteoporosis on rise says doctor

first_imgKolkata: Perimenopausal Osteoporosis is a disease prevalent among many women in the state, said a city-based doctor on Sunday.The doctor said the disease is on the rise among the women and if not rightly checked more women would be affected with the disease. People are not aware about the disease and hence it is further contributing to the rise in the number of victims. Women can lose up to 20% of their bone density in the five to seven years around the menopause. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOsteoporosis is not often discovered until weakened bones cause painful fractures usually in the back or hips. Unfortunately, once you have a broken bone due to osteoporosis, you are at high risk of having another. Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones, increasing the risk of sudden and unexpected fractures. Osteoporosis results in an increased loss of bone mass and strength. The disease often progresses without any symptoms or pain, the doctor said. A woman’s chances of getting the bone-thinning disease Osteoporosis go up with age, especially after menopause. Women commonly get affected with the disease before menopause, hence it is called Perimenopausal Osteoporosis or bone loss. As bones become thinner with osteoporosis, they break more easily. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateDr C S Dhar, consultant, department of orthopedics and joint replacements at a city hospital, advised that the women should adopt a healthier, bone-friendly lifestyle around the time of menopause. One can have osteoporosis at any age and be aware of it for there are often no symptoms. For many women, the first sign that they have the condition is a broken bone. Osteoporosis tends to affect the specific bones like the spine, wrists, shoulders, pelvis, and hips as they are in active use. These fractures can change the shape of the body, especially when they affect the spine. People having a family history of osteoporosis or fracture are more prone to the disease. A history of eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia can contribute to the disease. If the patients suffer from other diseases, including kidney, thyroid disease, and connective tissue disorders they can have osteoporosis as well. If periods become irregular for a woman over the course of more than 12 months except during pregnancy, she must visit to a doctor. Lack of exercise for a long time and smoking for a prolonged period of time may also lead to the disease. “To reduce the risk of osteoporosis, eat a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D and do regular exercise. It is not just Calcium which helps in getting a strong bone, but Vitamin D plays a vital role in getting a healthy bone. Vitamin D enables the body to absorb calcium, and calcium is necessary for maintaining the bone density. Women around the time of menopause may be prescribed a vitamin D derivative and calcium supplements,” Dr Dhar maintained.last_img read more

The SelfDestruction of Buster Keaton – Factors Which led to his Institutionalization

first_imgThroughout the 1920s, Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton was a comedic force of nature on the big screen. Then, as the decade drew to a close, his influential brand of extreme slapstick and stunt work hit a bump in the road. The result was a descent into alcoholism and depression that became so bad it led to Keaton being institutionalized. But how had it come to this? Buster blazed a trail through silent Hollywood, and seemed to have it all. Why did it fall to pieces, and how did he wind up in an institution…?Buster Keaton in Photoplay, December 1924.It has been speculated that his early life played a role in the eventual collapse. He was raised in vaudeville, where father Joe would throw him through the air like a football. As mentioned in his entry for Biography.com, Keaton was “Working with his parents in an act that prided itself on being as rough as it was funny.”Six-year-old Buster Keaton with his parents Myra and Joe Keaton during a vaudeville act.This roughness extended beyond the boards to the accident which gave rise to his legendary nickname. It supposedly came from Harry Houdini, who picked up young Joseph after the boy had fallen down a flight of stairs and, according to Biography, exclaimed: “That was a real buster!”Buster Keaton in comedy Out-West (1918).Keaton Sr. was reportedly a heavy drinker. The 1995 book Buster Keaton: Cut To The Chase by Marion Meade highlighted the comedian’s background in an attempt to shed light on the performer’s demons. A review on Publishers Weekly says that Joe “beat him at the first sign of fear” and that “Keaton left his uncaring parents and began acting in silents.”Buster Keaton in Hard Luck (1921).In response to a review in the New York Times, Bruce Levinson of Damfinos (the International Buster Keaton Society) took issue with this characterization. He claims “Ms. Meade’s view that Keaton’s on-screen character was a direct manifestation of alleged brutality by his father does not withstand scrutiny… Subjecting great artists to child psychology almost 90 years after the fact is a risky endeavor.”Virginia Fox and Buster Keaton prop each other up in The Electric House, 1922.Levinson points to a lack of evidence, alongside no indication from Keaton that his younger years were troubled. As for the on-stage violence, “knock-about comedy was far from unusual. Chaplin and Lloyd were often assaulted in their films.”Buster Keaton and Phyllis Haver in The Balloonatic (1923) – publicity still.While it’s debatable Keaton’s family life was the root of his deterioration, one factor that certainly bothered him was his marriage. The seemingly indestructible man married actress Natalie Talmadge in 1921, though wedded bliss did not last long.Informal portrait of Buster Keaton and Natalie Talmadge standing with their baby, Joseph Keaton, on the platform of a train station with a bridge in the background in Chicago, Illinois.It’s said Talmadge wanted a separate bedroom following the birth of their two sons. Then there was the question of finances, with Mrs Keaton not averse to spending large portions of her husband’s salary.With his home life fracturing, Buster suffered another blow, this time in the form of artistic differences.Actor Buster Keaton autographing photographs, on page 48 of the January 1921 Film Fun.He’d been working with total control up until 1926, but then he made a picture that hit the aforementioned bump… The General. A 2014 article in The Telegraph described the expensive Civil War-set comedy as having “suffered from great expectations, following a run of crowd-pleasers… reviewers struggled with the ironic treatment of North vs. South, and the film lost money.”By getting political, Keaton had cooked his creative goose. The relative failure of the film, combined with the onset of “talkies” in 1927, took the star to MGM, where in 1928 he signed a deal that reduced his creative input. The contract was terminated in 1934.Buster Keaton and Ernest Torrence in Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) – cropped screenshot.These pressures certainly set Keaton on a self-destructive path. His drinking was out of control, and he famously married nurse Mae Scriven in 1933. He was so inebriated at the ceremony that he later claimed not to remember it.So it’s little wonder that, no matter how much one particular factor may have contributed, he found himself confined to a place of safety. The show didn’t end there however.Read another story from us: “Stone Face” Buster Keaton – King of Early Stunts who Broke his Neck without even KnowingIn the So Funny It Hurt documentary for TCM, it was revealed he channeled Harry Houdini to slip out of a straitjacket. Buster Keaton was arguably at his lowest ebb, yet despite this he remained a master of trickery, and consummate professional.last_img read more

A Literal Piece of History The BloodStained Garment from Lincolns Assassination

first_imgOf all the historical artifacts from the Lincoln Assassination — and there are quite a few, from the bullet that struck down the President to a newspaper announcing a $100,000 reward for the capture of John Wilkes Booth — perhaps nothing is more poignant than the blood-stained pieces of fabric, cut from the dress worn by Laura Keene, the leading lady who performed for President Lincoln that fateful night. So who was this woman — one of the last people to see Lincoln alive? Actually, Laura Keene was a stage name for the woman born Mary Frances Moss in Winchester, England. Her journey to the theater came very much by chance. Keene got hitched to a British Army officer, Henry Wellington Taylor, at age 18, and the couple had two daughters.Painting depicting Lincoln’s assassinationUpon being discharged from the army, Taylor opened a tavern. That’s when Keene’s life took a nightmarish turn. Taylor was arrested in 1850 (for reasons unknown) and sent to a penal colony in Australia.That left Keene in a most precarious position — raising two children, with very little money. It was her aunt, an actress, who suggested performing. It was a risky proposition. For a woman with children and no husband to speak of, a career in the theater just wasn’t done back in the day. Thus, Mary Frances Moss became Laura Keene.Laura KeeneKeene’s career kicked off in 1851. A gritty mix of talent and ambition, she found herself performing on some of the biggest stages in London. Her success as a leading lady solidified, Keene traveled across the pond in 1852, hooking up with a theatre company in New York City, then moving to Baltimore.It was there that Keene took on a dual role — not only acting but becoming a theatre manager as well. She would return to New York, and for the next several years was a major theatrical producer, as well as actress, touring in such far-flung places as California and Australia.Related Video: Last surviving witness of Lincoln assassination talks about it in a 1950s game showKeene’s most memorable performance would be in Our American Cousin, on April 14, 1865, at Ford’s Theatre. When the company arrived in the nation’s capital, celebrations were erupting all around the city: General Robert E. Lee and his troops had surrendered at Appomattox, effectively bringing the four-year Civil War to a close. Word had spread that President Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, would be in attendance, and the theater was filled to capacity.An account of Lincoln’s assassination given by Laura Keene in the New York Herald a couple of days laterWhat happened that fateful night is etched in history. Actor John Wilkes Booth fatally shot Lincoln, while the President watched the play from the presidential box, then leaped to the stage and fled the scene. Keene was in the wings, about to go onstage, when the shooting occurred.Amid the chaos, she fought her way through the stunned crowd of theater-goers and reached the presidential box. Seeing the wounded President laying on the floor, Keene knelt down, cradling his head in her lap. Blood poured onto her dress, staining its floral pattern.The blood-stained sleeve cuff belonging to Keene on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.Unlike Jacqueline Kennedy, whose blood-splattered Chanel suit, from her husband’s assassination, was quickly wrapped and given to her mother to be stored in her attic (it now resides at the National Archives), Keene would hold onto her dress from that horrific night.Indeed, it’s believed that she modeled the blood-stained costume at social gatherings, fascinating onlookers anxious to get a glimpse of the macabre garment. Eventually, Keene would entrust the dress to her family.British actress Laura Keene (1826-1873) as Florence Trenchard (from Our American Cousin). TS 939.5.3, Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard UniversityIt would disappear in the decades that followed, but five pieces, with faded blood stains, were cut from the cloth — literal pieces of history. One was later donated to the National Museum of American History.Though various witnesses, including Dr. Charles Leale, the first physician to attend to Lincoln after he was shot, have confirmed Keene’s presence in the President’s box, some have cast doubt on her story.Charles LealeIn 1966, author Billy J. Harbin would write in the Educational Theatre Journal: “One would like to believe Laura’s touching story,” but goes on to note that many people created stories, exaggerating their role in this momentous event. Couldn’t Keene, with her immense flair for the dramatic, have been one of them?Read another story from us: The misfortune that haunted the couple by Abraham Lincoln’s side on the fateful nightIn any case, Keene did not disappear afterward. She continued as manager and star of a touring company for next several years, retiring from the theater world in 1870. Keene would die of tuberculosis at age 47, in Montclair, New Jersey.last_img read more

Remember Draw Something Its Founder Is Now Writing Something A Screenplay

first_imgJanuary 13, 2014 The creator of Draw Something is longing to write something.Charles Forman, 33, who founded the video game company OMGPop and struck gold with its Pictionary-like Draw Something app in 2012, is pursuing a different sort of dream these days: screenwriting.After Forman sold his company to Zynga (of FarmVille fame) last March for a reported $180 million, he found himself asking the very question that any triumphant entrepreneur might ponder after effectively cashing in: What’s next?In an email to Valleywag, Forman explained that he’s completed a film treatment about the unintended consequences of civilian drones. Stranger, though, is that he has offered to send the script to just about anybody on the Internet and given out his phone number so people can share their thoughts. “If you are at all interested,” Forman writes in his blog, “email me at: charles@setpixel.com, and I’ll send it to you. You can even call me with your feedback: 917-696-5465.””Good feedback reinforces that my idea is great, and that I made the right choice to make this seminal movie,” he explained.That’s not to say that the writing process didn’t come without its own laundry list of setbacks. In the blog post, Forman details the varied and extravagant diversions that his writers’ block triggered, including: cleaning his entire apartment, planning a month-long trip to Bangkok (where he didn’t write a single word), having all of his wisdom teeth removed and contemplating the inadequacies of screenwriting software.”If I suck at screenwriting,” he concluded, “at least I can fall back on writing a book about screenwriting.”Related: Why Zynga Burst OMGPOP’s Balloon 2 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowcenter_img Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more

Go Big or Go Home Apple Officially Unveils iPhone 6 With Larger

first_imgSeptember 9, 2014 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Ask and ye shall receive, Apple fanboys and girls.Though Apple has sold roughly 500 million iPhones since the device’s introduction in 2007, people have long clamored for a larger screen display — particularly given the comparative expanses of competing Android and Windows devices.Today, those calls have been answered. Apple announced its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which feature screens measuring 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively. For reference, the iPhone 5s measures 4 inches, while the iPad mini clocks in at 7.9 inches.Related: Denny’s Just Capitalized on Apple’s Tech Glitch in a Genius Marketing MoveThe iPhone 6 is priced at $199 for 16 GB, $299 for 64 GB and $399 for 128GB. Meanwhile, the iPhone 6 Plus is $100 more at every tier. The phones will ship on September 19, and arrive equipped with iOS 8, which will be available for everyone on September 17. The same three colors will be available as with the fifth generation iPhones: gold, silver and space grey.While Apple has historically avoided larger screen sizes in order to make its devices more wieldy in-hand, the sixth-generation iPhones will feature new “one-handed” and “landscape” modes for easier use.Related: With the Apple Watch, It’s Time for Smartwatches to Get SeriousSo, big screen and easy-to-use interfaces, all in one new package. They are also the slimmest iPhones yet: the iPhone 6 measures .27 inches wide while the iPhone 6 Plus measures .28 inches.Perhaps most notably, the devices will ship with a mobile payments feature called Apple Pay, which enables users to complete retail transactions with a simple touch of a smartphone. Incorporating NFC (near field communication) technology, users simply hold their finger onto the Touch ID home button and hold the device near a contactless reader, whereupon a secure payment is instantly transacted, Apple said.Other features include a new “Retina HD” display with curved edges, increased battery life, faster processing speeds and a revamped camera for capturing slo-mo and time-lapse videos.Related: Should You Buy an iPhone 5S Now or Wait For the iPhone 6?center_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 2 min readlast_img read more

Does Ending a Text with a Period Make You a Cold Unfeeling

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 2 min read We all know it’s a slippery slope when you — on your own or with a little help from your friends — start parsing texts for hidden meaning. Not only is it tough to gauge tone through text, you can ascribe all sorts of nuance to emojis too. But it turns out that one of the most offending things you can send via text message is perhaps the most unlikely of them all – the unassuming period.A study conducted by Celia Klin, an associate professor of psychology and associate dean at Binghamton University, which was recently published in Computers in Human Behavior, found that subjects perceived a message to be more insincere when a period was used.Related: 4 Communication Habits That Will Make You and Others Feel GoodKlin and her research team asked 126 undergrads — 91 women and 35 men — at the college to look at the same conversations as both text conversations and handwritten notes. Sixteen of the exchanges were questions and the reply was one word — “Okay,” “Sure,” “Yeah” or “Yup.”The students were given two different responses, one that ended with a period and one without. They were then asked to rank the response’s sincerity. The text message replies that ended with a period were rated as less sincere than the ones that did not. However, that wasn’t the case when the message was written out.Related: The 10 Communication Skills Every Entrepreneur Must MasterIn a statement from the university, the professor noted that short of being able to read body language and inflection like you would in an IRL conversation, it seems that punctuation and well-placed emoji’s are the best we’ve got to understand nuance when it comes to texting.”Punctuation is used and understood by texters to convey emotions and other social and pragmatic information,” Klin says. “It’s not surprising that as texting evolves, people are finding ways to convey the same types of information.”We want to hear from you: Are you put off when a text message response ends with a period?— Entrepreneur (@Entrepreneur) December 11, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalscenter_img December 11, 2015 Register Now »last_img read more

Mobile Crane Market – Industry Outlook Size Share Growth Prospects Key

first_imgMobile Crane Market is expected to grow US$ 9.82 billion by 2025 from US$ 8.32 billion in 2016.The constantly growing population has resulted in increased investments in the infrastructure and construction sector of various economies. Also, government initiatives for up gradation of existing infrastructure of the developed economies has resulted in increased demand for heavy construction machinery.Mobile cranes are extensively used in various applications including construction, oil & gas, shipping, etc. Furthermore, increased investments in the construction of power plants has also influenced the market growth particularly, in developing nations.Get Sample Copy of this Report @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-sample/3206732?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=NileshThe use of mobile cranes in construction sector is predicted to account for the highest share during the forecast period. The construction sector of all the regions are experiencing a huge growth particularly, in the emerging economies worldwide.Also, the governments of developed nations are investing in renovation of their ageing infrastructure. For instance, the US president announced an initiative named as ‘Rebuild America’ to reconstruct the old infrastructure including roads, airports, rails and ports.Mobile Crane market by crane type is segmented into All-Terrain Cranes, Crawler Cranes, Truck Cranes, Rough Terrain Cranes and others. On the basis of applications, the mobile crane market is segmented into construction, oil & gas, power & utilities, shipping & port building and others.The mining industry utilizes this massive equipment for the extraction of raw materials in an open cast mining environment. Despite of the sluggish growth of this industry in past few years, it is predicted to showcase some growth in its development in the following years. The growth in mining industry is highly influenced by the collaborations and partnerships initiated in this industry.The overall market size has been derived using both primary and secondary source. The research process begins with an exhaustive secondary research using internal and external sources to obtain qualitative and quantitative information related to the market. Also, primary interview was conducted with industry participants and commentators in order to validate data and analysis.The participants who typically take part in such a process include industry expert such as VPs, business development managers, market intelligence managers and national sales managers, and external consultant such as valuation experts, research analysts and key opinion leaders specializing in the Mobile Crane industry.Get 10% Discount on corporate user license @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-for-discount/3206732?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=NileshAbout Us:Big Market Research has a range of research reports from various publishers across the world. Our database of reports of various market categories and sub-categories would help to find the exact report you may be looking for.Contact Us:Mr. Abhishek PaliwalBig Market Research5933 NE Win Sivers Drive, #205, Portland,OR 97220 United StatesDirect: +1-971-202-1575Toll Free: +1-800-910-6452Email: help@bigmarketresearch.comlast_img read more

The ShapeShifting Robot That Evolves by Falling Down

first_img“Give me a perfect gait, and I can make you a robot in a week,” says Nygaard. But an evolving robot like Dyret can only move because it tries bad gaits. It has to take a spill or two, or gallop with a single leg while dragging the three others. “It has to be able to do all this really bad stuff that you wouldn’t do on a traditional robot platform,” Nygaard adds. Like a toddler learning to walk, Dyret has to spend some time embarrassing itself.“The big question is: Why would evolution be useful?” asks Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam computer scientist Agoston Eiben, who wasn’t involved in the work. “There are two answers. One, we know it works.” Evolution produced you and me and everyone else, after all. “And the other one is sometimes the problem is too hard for the conventional approaches, and that means it’s the only thing that works.”To get robots to negotiate a world as incredibly varied as our own, there’s just no way we can code them to handle every situation we throw at them. We can’t say, here’s how to handle ice, here’s how to handle kinda slushier ice, here’s how to clamber over rocks and traipse through pebbles. Nor can we teach them to grasp every object out there. They’ll have to teach themselves by evolving, not remaining static.Would you trust Dyret to transport anything but pillows and marshmallows? Nope, but its descendants may be up to the task. Getting a non-biological machine to evolve like organisms would out in nature means following the rules of natural selection. Organisms evolve in part because of mutations, which—if they’re beneficial—may give an individual something like better coloration to fit its environment. This helps the individual survive to sire more offspring, thus propagating the genes that code for fitness. By way of death, natural selection kicks the less-than-ideal genes out of the population.With Dyret, researchers begin by generating eight random ways, or “solutions,” for the robot to walk, which includes varying leg lengths. Generally speaking, these solutions are mediocre at best. “You combine several of them and then you get new solutions, a new generation,” says Tønnes Nygaard, a roboticist with the Engineering Predictability With Embodied Cognition project at University of Oslo. Think of it like parents giving birth to new children. The code that powers Dyret takes solutions and slightly modifies them, “which is the mutation you have in nature,” Nygaard adds.Take a look at the GIF below. The system is trying different ways to walk, as motion-capture equipment tracks how far it went and how fast. On top of that, a sensor in the robot itself calculates how stable each gait is. Good “solutions” get good scores. “There’s a higher chance of selecting the ones that are more stable or faster,” says Nygaard. Thus the robot can improve, generation after generation, like a species adapting to an environment. Don’t even worry about Dyret the robot. At first glance, the scrawny quadruped looks pathetic, as it struggles to walk without collapsing. But keep watching, and you’ll see it start to improve—walking slowly, yet ever more proficiently. Dyret the robot is teaching itself to walk. Or even, according to a new class of robotics researchers, evolving.Machines like Cassie the biped or SpotMini the robot dog are quickly mastering locomotion, thanks to line after line of meticulous code. But Dyret is different—it learns to walk on a certain surface, say carpet or ice, through trial and error. It adapts to its environment, not with lots of explicitly coded instructions like in traditional robots, but with special algorithms and limbs that automatically shorten and lengthen to adjust the robot’s center of gravity. It’s called evolutionary robotics, and it’s a potentially powerful way to get machines to master novel terrain on their own, no hand-holding required. Which means if you plop Dyret in a new environment, you don’t have to explicitly code to make it more comfortable with, say, a slippery surface—it just adapts its gait. “The robot doesn’t know that now we’ve changed its surface,” says Nygaard. “It’s simply trying to walk as quick and stable as possible given the situation it’s in.”center_img To do that, it’s not only modifying its behavior, but its body: Each of its four legs can elongate by about five inches. So when Nygaard took the robot out in the snow, it learned to shorten its legs to optimize for a gait that was both stable and not unbearably slow. “That’s because if it had the longer legs, the force became too much, and also the stability went down because the mass center was higher,” says Nygaard. Back indoors, where the carpet provides more friction, Dyret could afford to elongate its legs and take longer, more forceful strides.The system even adapts to changes in the robot’s own body. “We also tried changing the available torque of the motors, which would happen naturally when you have a battery that’s depleting,” says Nygaard. “We see that when it has a lot of power to use, then it has longer legs.” Again, that affords it more forceful strides. “When the power goes down, it will then shorten the legs but try to increase the speed instead.”So, putting it all together, Dyret is a machine that can evolve to not only adapt to new environments, but to change its behavior and morphology when something internally is going awry, like a battery running low. Sure, it looks a bit goofy at the moment, but what it’s actually doing is turning weakness into strength. More Great WIRED StoriesThe teens who hacked Microsoft’s Xbox empire—and went too farKetamine offers hope—and stirs up controversy—as a depression drugPHOTO ESSAY: Want to hunt aliens? Go to West Virginia’s low-tech ‘quiet zone’How red-pill culture jumped the fence and got to Kanye WestWaymo’s self-driving car crash revives hard questionslast_img read more

Travel Tales Beaux Banks

first_imgBeaux Banks is known for his work with gay porn studios Cockyboys and Men.com, but he got his start in the entertainment industry as a dancer in the gay bars of Washington D.C.I caught up with Beaux Banks to swap travel stories and get some insights into his life on stage and screen. Is modelling and porn something that came from your work as a dancer, or were they all opportunities that you’ve been exploring at the same time?As a dancer, I had a lot of opportunities to work in the entertainment industry and that’s how I got involved in modelling, when I was about 20. Porn didn’t come along until I was 23 years old.I pursued porn because it was something I thought about at 21, but I told myself to wait, to make sure it was something I really wanted to do. So two years later the thought was still there, so I decided to pursue a career in the adult entertainment industry.I wanted to be a positive change and influence in our community, to inspire confidence in others, and to entertain. All of which I knew I could do on a bigger scale with the platform that porn would give me.Have you seen the recent Saturday Night Live skit where they reference Cockyboys?I did hear about it but I didn’t actually watch the skit, I’m not much of an SNL fan. There was a similar sketch show called MADtv that I loved! Hands down my favourite sketch show.What does it mean to you, to be a member of the Haus of Banks?It’s such a honour. I’ve always looked up to Boomer — not for the obvious appearance and physical reasons, but because of how he’s carried himself throughout his career, which is why I think he’s been so successful in all of his endeavours.Having his support and guidance is so special to me, and I’m forever grateful to have the relation I have with him and the rest of the Banks fam — Calvin, Ziggy, and Boy Banks.What are some of the projects that you’re currently working on?I’m working on something really cool that I can’t talk about because I had to sign an NDA, but I’m super-excited and honoured to be part of that upcoming project.I’m also in the middle of planning my Pride Tour: Over The RainBeaux, which is something I’ve been looking forward to all year, and this year it’ll be bigger than ever!Any vacation plans?I’m such a workaholic. I hate taking breaks and vacations, but I’ve been super-blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Madrid later this year through a gay travel agency called Queer Plans. It’s a really cool opportunity that allows people to travel with there favourite social media influencers like myself and other amazing people. I’m really excited for that because I love to travel.Do you prefer to travel by yourself or with others?I just love to travel — it doesn’t matter if I’m alone, or with a group of people, I’m going to find a way to have a good time! I have a very adventurous spirit.What are some of your plans for 2018?Keep working hard, and keep seeing the results of that hard work.Read more from Gareth JohnsonGot a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Have you always lived in Washington D.C.?One of the coolest things about D.C. is that it’s right in the middle of Maryland and Virginia — it sort of intersects in between those two states, and us locals call it the DMV. I’m actually originally from Annapolis in Maryland, so I live about 30 Minutes outside of D.C.What’s the gay scene like in D.C.?It’s a beautiful thing — there’s a little bit of everything for everybody. We have a very inclusive community that’s very out and proud and accepted by the public at large, including government and businesses.What are some tips that you’d give to someone who was visiting D.C.? I love the bars and clubs, but before you have a crazy fun night with your people, I always recommend you visit the sites. We have such rich culture ready to be experienced here in D.C., and the majority of it is free.We’re the nation’s capital, so there’s a lot of our nation’s political history here. Visit the national mall, it’s filled with monuments — my favourite is the Lincoln Memorial — as well as federal government buildings. There’s also a lot of museums that are dedicated to the history and cultures of various nations, not just American culture.My favourite restaurant in D.C. is Founding Farmers. My favourite club and bar is of course Town Danceboutique, which is my home base.Any tips on where to go for brunch in D.C.?I have to be honest, I’ve never quite grasped the concept of brunch. The idea of waking up early to get food and more drinks after a night of drinking with friends or working, sounds so painful to me. I love sleeping in — it’s my favourite hobby.When did you start to dance?My mother put me in dance classes at the age of three, and boy did my little gay self love twirling! I loved it so much that I stuck with it through college — I trained in jazz, tap, modern, contemporary, hip hop, African movement, and ballet. My least favourite was ballet, because it was so structured. My favourite was tap.Fast forward to today, I get to dance all around the country and I bring my classical training to the club world, fusing it into the club scene.Not all of my dance training has been classical or formal — I learnt how to twerk from a YouTube tutorial.What’s currently your favourite track to dance and perform to?Honestly it changes every five seconds because I’ll dance to anything — I have such a great love for all types of music. I’ve somehow found myself twerking to Adele, and even classical music sometimes. GAYSTARNEWS- Gay man, 26, found stabbed to death in his Maryland apartmentPride Month: How is LGBTQ tourism doing these days?Meet the gay Spaniard who dated 7 men in 7 cities and made it into a vid seriesRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/beaux-banks/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading…last_img read more

Government reports 375 new businesses in Playa del Carmen

first_imgPlaya del Carmen, Q.R. — The government of Playa del Carmen reports 375 new companies have opened already this year creating hundreds of new jobs.The government of Solidaridad reports that due to the decrease in waiting times, a total of 375 new small and medium sized businesses opened during the first quarter of the year. The opening of the new businesses generated millions of peso for the city through licenses as well as 891 new jobs.Current acting municipal president, Samaria Angulo Sala, reported that new small and medium businesses are able to have licenses and paperwork completed for operation within 72 business hours. This has resulted in an increase in entrepreneurship in Playa del Carmen.Belia Aguilera, the Secretary of the Council and Director General of Economic Development, says 4.2 billion peso was invested into Solidaridad through these new business prospects adding that 3.6 billion were from low risk businesses.“These figures reflect the confidence of investors in the municipality as they continue to create these opportunities,” she said.She explained that the majority of the new businesses were low-risk grocery stores, snack bars, offices, hairdressers, travel agencies, clinics and car rental companies. While the main high-risk start-ups were hotels, banks, restaurants with alcohol sales and laundry services.Beltrán Aguilera pointed out that in Solidaridad, the opening of low risk companies only require four documents to start which include the operating license, land use license, Civil Protection safety and the sanitary / health license.The new start-up format was put into place at the beginning of the year when the System of Quick Opening of Companies (SARE) was implemented with extended hours to help new companies begin operating more quickly.Last year, city officials reported the opening of 80 new restaurants throughout Playa del Carmen.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 WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Again Profeco suspends Playa del Carmen Augakan offices

first_imgPlaya del Carmen, Q.R. — Personnel from Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (Profeco) have again, placed suspension stamps at the Aguakan offices throughout Playa del Carmen.According to René Medrano, General Director of Legal Affairs of the Solidarity City Council, “We received bills from the concessionaire for about 69 services or accounts throughout the city from places such as schools, clinics, the Youth Institute, sports units, etc.“Inside the bills we found excessive and unjustified charges as well as citizens complaints about the rates, so we presented a complaint to Profeco to investigate.”He said that “In the investigations it was found that Aguakan uses 12 lots of the municipal government for its facilities such as water treatment, which have a registered value of more than 60 million peso, properties that the concessionaire occupies and which are properties of the municipal government.“Now regarding the payment of the property, Aguakan owes 62 million peso, because as a historical fact, this company has never paid this tax.“I am surprised that the company has not approached the city to talk about these issues, that is, they send us bills about the collection of the water that the municipal government uses. Aguakan must pay what they owe,” he explained.He added that the city could proceed by “first, requiring the payment of the property tax and the second with respect to the lots that the concessionaire it’s using, in which case those properties can be auctioned in a public tender for the commercial value.”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 WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more