Solar microgrids light up remote Jharkhand villages

first_imgWhen the lights went on in Birgaon for the first time on a chilly winter evening late last December, it allowed the government to announce in April this year that every village in India now had electricity. Every home in Birgaon actually has power, thanks to a solar microgrid set up in the village centre and wired into every home.By official definition, a village is electrified if 10% of its homes have a power connection. This means that while all its villages are officially electrified, 42% of Jharkhand households — the highest in the country — do not have power, yet. Now, the State government is mulling a new policy, encouraging solar microgrids, even in villages that are already connected to the traditional grid.Powering changeBirgaon is proof of change. This tiny tribal hamlet — home to about 100 people in 20 households — lies in the hilly Gumla District of Jharkhand. It is one of the 249 remote villages which got solar microgrids last year, thanks to a ₹110-crore project by the Jharkhand Renewable Energy Agency (JREDA), as part of the Centre’s Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana. Private solar provider Azure Power won the bid to build and maintain microgrids in 11 villages in Gumla and Hazaribagh districts.The 20 photovoltaic panels glint in the sun, out of place amid the old mud houses of Birgaon. Power lines snake out of a shed which stores the batteries and inverter. “We are on the elephant route to the Basa river and they rampage through the village, mostly before harvest,” says Srisai Kawar, the villager who donated the land on which the microgrid stands. A few street lights dot the common areas of the village, while each home has three LED bulbs and two power sockets. “We haven’t had any elephant attacks since the light came,” he adds.For most of the 25 children at the local primary school the arrival of electricity means they can occasionally watch films on the village’s only television. For Dahari Kawal, a Class 6 student, it allows her to study at night, leaving the day for other chores. She hopes to continue her education at a high school in a bigger village five km. away. “I want to become a teacher,” she says.With free power villagers save ₹200 to ₹300 per month otherwise spent on kerosene. They are willing to pay the nominal tariff of ₹30 per month. Only wayWhen Azure Power’s deputy manager Bikash Kumar first reached Birgaon after a 200-km journey from Ranchi, he was appalled by the last stretch. “I wasn’t sure how we would get the components of the grid over that bumpy track,” he says. To exacerbate, to reach Hisir, another project village, Azure was forced to build a five-km road through dense jungles and across three rivers. “These kinds of villages will be almost impossible to reach with regular transmission lines. Microgrids are the only way,” he says.JREDA director Niranjan Kumar has bigger plans. “We are coming out with a new solar microgrid policy in a month. People want quality, 24/7 power. If a microgrid can provide that, they are willing to pay,” Mr. Kumar adds. He cites a pilot project where 10 villages are paying up to ₹10 per unit for solar microgrids that power small enterprises: rice hullers, oil extractors, wheat mills and poultry farms.“When the government says that all villages are electrified, it’s not really true,” says Gabriel Pujur, pradhan of Galu, another electrified village. He points to Pakartoli, a village on the government’s “electrified” list, where only 21 out of the 114 households actually have power according to government data.last_img read more

Ambati Rayudu slaps and abuses man who objected to cricketer’s rash driving

first_imgIndian cricketer Ambati Rayudu in a shocking incident has been reported to be involved in a scuffle wherein he abused and slapped a person, who reportedly objected to his rash driving in Hyderabad.The unpleasant incident took place on Thursday morning, when the person was out for a walk and Rayudu was on his way to the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, located in Uppal, Hyderabad.It is reported that the cricketer was driving his SUV rashly and was very close to the morning walkers near the stadium.When the person advised Rayudu to drive slow, the latter got angry, got down from his car and started shouting at him.Following this, there was an altercation between the two. Many fellow walkers came in support of the senior citizen and tried to Rayudu. But the 31-year-old cricketer kept on abusing the person and later on slapped him.The whole incident was captured by one of the fellow walkers on his mobile phone.However, no police complaint has been lodged into the incident.#WATCH: Cricketer Ambati Rayudu seen in scuffle with a man allegedly after argument over rash driving in Hyderabad (Unverified video source) ANI (@ANI) August 31, 2017last_img read more

Preview: Oklahoma State-Iowa State

first_imgAfter last week’s impressive victory over TCU, the Cowboys look to extend their winning streak to 12 (dating back to Bedlam) as they travel to Iowa State.The Cyclones come into this game with a 2-4 Big 12 record and are 3-6 overall. The only wins Iowa State has over FBS opponents are a 38-13 victory over Kansas and a 24-0 rout of Texas.The one thing all of the Cyclones wins have in common is that they all came at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State has lost all four of its road competitions, but it is 3-2 playing in front of the Cyclone-faithful.Iowa State OffenseHead coach Paul Rhoads benched senior quarterback Sam Richardson in favor of sophomore Joel Lanning during the loss at Baylor. Lanning’s first start came in the shutout victory over Texas. The Iowa-native played somewhat of a game-manager role as the defense dominated. Lanning completed 19 of 37 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 64 yards on 13 attempts.The Cyclones aired the ball out a bit more in last week’s loss 52-16 loss to Oklahoma with Lanning going 26 for 51 with 260 yards through the air and another 37 on the ground.The Sooners were effectively able to limit Lanning’s rushing ability, which at this point is his best attribute. OSU will be able to defend Lanning in a similar way. Linebacker Trace Clark stepped in admirably for Jimmy Bean in last week’s win and I expect that he and the defensive will force Lanning to make poor decisions similar to Trevone Boykin.Freshman running back Mike Warren has been the Cyclones most consistent source of offense this year. Warren burst onto the scene in week 3 against Toledo with 21 carries for 126 yards in his first bit of extended action. On the season, Warren has 997 yards, the third most in the conference.However, Warren struggled against the Sooners, only managing 43 yards on 18 carries. If OSU can force the Cyclones to play catch up in this game by scoring early, it could neutralize Warren’s running ability.Iowa State defenseIowa State’s defense was on a streak of three straight games allowing 45+ points before shocking the entire conference with a shutout win over Texas. Overall, the team gives up an average of 32 points per game. That rises to 36 against conference opponents. The Cyclones defense has only four interceptions on the year and has been gashed by every top quarterback in the conference.OSU OffenseOn the Oklahoma State side of the ball, the Rudolph-to-Washington connection has accounted for 384 yards and 5 touchdowns in the last two weeks. The potential is there for another explosive week against a secondary that has struggled.The Cyclones have had trouble defending No. 1 receivers this year. TCU’s Josh Doctson had an easy 102 yards and a touchdown, while Texas Tech’s Jakeem Grant had 166 yards and 2 TDs against Iowa State. Corey Coleman only had 85 yards in Baylor’s victory, but still made an impact with two touchdowns of his own.I’ve said all year that the Cowboys are due to break out on the ground at some point, but honestly the way the offense has been working lately I don’t think they need to.Mike Yurcich deserves a lot of credit for the way the offense has been playing the two weeks. For a guy that is under constant criticism Yurcich has been very creative with his play calling.Just like in 2011, an undefeated OSU team will travel to Ames to play a far inferior opponent. This matchup has huge “trap game” potential, and, while the Cowboys are far superior, focus will be the key to victory for the Cowboys.The easiest way to get upset on the road is turn the ball over and I don’t think Iowa State has the defense to force multiple turnovers. Rudolph has been in a groove lately and I don’t think the Cyclones defense is talented enough to knock him out of it.Prediction: OSU 48, ISU 20If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Dembele: I had to go on strike to get Barca move

first_imgTransfers What else should I have done? Dembele defends Dortmund strike Dom Farrell 19:13 3/2/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) OusmaneDembele - cropped Getty Images Transfers Barcelona Borussia Dortmund Primera División Bundesliga Ousmane Dembélé The France international winger says he could not stand to see his dream potentially go up in dust Ousmane Dembele has defended his decision to go on strike in a bid to force through a mega-money move from Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona.France winger Dembele completed a €105 million switch to Barca after refusing to train during his final days with the Bundesliga club.The 20-year-old’s actions drew widespread criticism but, back in Ernesto Valverde’s first-team plans and attempting to salvage an injury-plagued debut season at Camp Nou, Dembele asked critics to put themselves in his shoes. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “What else should I have done? If Barcelona cancelled their interest for the second time that would have been impossible for me,” he told Onze Mondial, referencing Barcelona’s initial interest during his breakthrough campaign at Rennes.”I’d like to know how the people who criticise me would have behaved if they had been in my position.”I had the impression that I would miss the fulfilment of my dream, which is why I behaved like that. That’s what I stand for.”Dembele made his seventh La Liga appearance on Thursday when he came off the bench for the last 15 minutes of Barcelona’s 1-1 draw at Las Palmas.Much of his first season in Spain has been troubled by a hamstring injury, which saw him miss almost the entire calendar until Christmas. Thereafter, he suffered a further muscular injury that prevented him playing for a month, and it is from that problem that he is currently being eased back into regular action.last_img read more

10 months agoReal Betis coach Setien responds to Barcelona rumours

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Betis coach Setien responds to Barcelona rumoursby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveQuique Setien insists he’s happy in his job at Real Betis.Setien has been linked with Barcelona.”I have a contract with Beris, I’m doing really well here and we keep working hard with enthusiasm,” he said. “[Barca links] flatter me but I would be flattered to be linked with any other team, because I am very respectful of every side.” Setien has a contract with the Seville-based club until 2020. last_img

USWNT depth shines as Ellis plan works to perfection

first_imgAlex Morgan tied a World Cup record by scoring five goals in the United States’ 13-0 tournament-opening win over Thailand.In the team’s second game, Morgan didn’t play a single minute. And she was fine with it.For head coach Jill Ellis, heavy squad rotation at this World Cup was all part of her grand plan. Against Chile, it worked. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “It’s been this big-picture plan for a few months now,” Ellis said after her team defeated Chile 3-0 in Paris, a game in which she made seven changes to her team from the Thailand match and still got the result needed to send the U.S. into the World Cup last 16.In addition to Morgan, the other two members of the USWNT’s deadly front trio, Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe, were also rested. So were starting midfielder Rose Lavelle and first-choice full-backs Kelley O’Hara and Crystal Dunn.Of course, Ellis’s plan was made possible by the deep bench full of world-class talent she has to call upon. When she started her reserves, it wasn’t as if she made Chile the favorite. Far from it. “The bench that we have is ridiculous,” Rapinoe said, “It’s by far the deepest that we’ve ever had.”Indeed, if the U.S. were to field a second-choice team at this World Cup, it would likely be a contender to lift the crown. What other country can bring the likes of two-time world player of the year Carli Lloyd – who scored twice against Chile – off the bench?“We knew going into this that it takes all 23 players,” Lloyd said. “It takes the entire roster to ultimately lift this trophy.”Remarkably, the U.S. has now used almost that entire roster in the first two games of the tournament. All 20 field players have seen the field, with only the team’s two backup goalkeepers yet to play.“This team has incredible depth and when [Ellis] chooses who goes on during a game and who starts, there’s no explanation needed,” Morgan said. “We trust in her and it was pretty incredible we were able to get all [20 field] players on the pitch in the first two games.”Morgan didn’t seem perturbed at all about being benched right after her incredible five-goal performance. It was a testament to how the entire team has bought into Ellis’s philosophy.Jill Ellis USWNT 2019Rather than ride the hot hand, Ellis’s thinking goes, the U.S. wants to create as many hot hands as possible by giving every player a chance at minutes.“Every single one of them has got butterflies out of the way,” Ellis said.“They know that trust is there and that’s a huge part for a coach to show that trust in terms of playing players in the biggest stage of their careers.”Naturally, not every coach has the same luxury as Ellis. Most teams at the World Cup must select their top-choice lineup every game.But the U.S. is different.“We know how deep we are, we know how competitive it is in training, how hard it is to get a spot on the field,” Christen Press said.Press joined Lloyd and Mallory Pugh in a remade front three that caused Chile plenty of problems and would have generated several more goals were it not for the heroics of Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler.That attacking trio might all return to the bench against Sweden in the team’s group-stage finale on Thursday. But Ellis has now given them all a start in the World Cup, and knows she’ll be able to call upon them and all their teammates should they be needed.“We need them in a good place,” Ellis said. “And if they can have minutes and the butterflies are kind of out of the way, I think it helps us down the line.”last_img read more

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro February launch: Waterdrop notch, Snapdragon 675, 48MP camera and all we know so far

first_img Sneha Saha New DelhiJanuary 17, 2019UPDATED: January 18, 2019 09:46 IST HIGHLIGHTSXiaomi itself has confirmed that it is working on the Redmi Note 7 Pro.Redmi Note 7 Pro could be launching in another month, that is in February.Rumours suggest that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be powered by Qualcomm’s recently announced Snapdragon 675 processor.Xiaomi just launched the Redmi Note 7 and looks like the company is already planning to launch the Pro version of it. In fact, Xiaomi itself has confirmed that it is working on the Redmi Note 7 Pro. A new report coming from a Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site, user suggests that the Redmi Note 7 Pro could be launching in another month, that is in February. Xiaomi seemingly planning to launch two more phones — Mi Mix 3 5G and Mi 9 — in February during the Mobile World Congress.Coming back to the Redmi Note 7 Pro, the phone is expected to look almost like the Redmi Note 7. The Note 7 Pro is said to come with the same Waterdrop notch display with slimmer bezels. On the back panel, the Xiaomi phone could user gradient finish like in the Redmi Note 7. This means that as far as the overall design is concerned the Pro version will be similar to the Redmi Note 7. The only possible difference between the two Redmi phones could be in the hardware and camera department. Some rumours suggest that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be more powerful than the Redmi Note 7 and will also sport more capable cameras. Ahead of the launch, a lot has been revealed about the Redmi Note 7 Pro, let’s take a quick look at them.–First the design. As far as the overall design of the phone is concerned, the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be similar to the Redmi Note 7. The phone is expected to come with gradient finish like Note 7 and also be available in funky colours. The Redmi Note 7 retails in various colours — red, pink, blue, purple, black, among others. The Note 7 Pro will sport a 2D glass on the back panel and waterdrop notch on the front which will equip the selfie camera, we expect there could be one front shooter but considering the Note 6 Pro comes with two Xiami might considering two on the Note 7 Pro as well. There’s no clarity on the same as of now. The bezels on all sides on the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be slimmer when compared to the Redmi Note 6 Pro.advertisement–The screen of the Redmi Note 7 Pro could be similar to the Redmi Note 7, but Xiaomi might use AMOLED display in this phone. The Redmi Note 7 comes packed with a 6.3-inch full-HD+ LTPS display with screen resolution of 1080×2340 pixels and aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The display of the Redmi Note 7 is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5.–Performance is said to be one area where the Redmi Note 7 Pro will see improvements compared to the Redmi Note 7. Notably, the Redmi Note 7 is powered by 2.2GHz Snapdragon 660 octa-core SoC coupled with Adreno 512 GPU. Rumours suggest that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be powered by Qualcomm’s recently announced Snapdragon 675 processor. The Snapdragon 675 chipset is said to be much powerful than even the Snapdragon 710 which powers the Mi 8 SE. But, considering the Note 7 Pro is going to be an affordable phone Qualcomm may incorporate a slower GPU, less capable ISP, and cost-effective 11nm manufacturing process for the Xiaomi phone.–The Redmi Note 7 was launched in three variants — 3GB RAM/32GB storage, 4GB RAM/64GB storage, and 6GB RAM/64GB storage that can be expanded further up to 256GB via microSD card. We expect the Redmi Note 7 Pro to come with the same variants. Furthermore, the Redmi Note 7 Pro could come with the same battery setup as the Redmi Note 7. The Note 7 packs a 4,000mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 4.–Besides the overall performance, the Redmi Note 7 could be better and improved as far as the camera setup is concerned. A new leak suggests that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will also come with a 48MP main camera but will use Sony IMX 586 sensor, unlike the Note 7. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with a 48MP main rear camera paired with Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 sensor and f/1.8 aperture. For the second sensor on the back the Note 7 Pro could in line with the Note 7 which features a secondary camera of 5MP for capturing depth shots. On the front, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is expected to include a 13-megapixel camera like the Note 7 until Xiaomi plans to add a second camera.–We expect the Redmi Note 7 Pro to come with Android 9 Pie based on MIUI 10 unlike the Note 7. Sadly, the Redmi Note 7 runs MIUI 9 based on Android Oreo.–As far as the pricing is concerned, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is said to be slightly expensive than the Redmi Note 7 due to the extras that it will be offering. A new leak suggests that the Redmi Note 7 Pro could be priced between CNY 1,399 – 1,499, which translates to Rs 14,600 – 15,700. This could be the price of the base model of the phone. Meanwhile, the Redmi Note 7 has been launched at a starting price of 999 yuan, which roughly translates to Rs 10,500.advertisementALSO READ | Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro key specs and price revealed, launch likely in FebruaryALSO READ | Redmi Note 7 teardown video reveals surprising details about Xiaomi phoneALSO READ | Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 with 48MP camera and Snapdragon 660 launched, India price could be around Rs 10,500Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySneha Saha Tags :Follow XiaomiFollow Redmi Note 7 ProFollow Redmi Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro February launch: Waterdrop notch, Snapdragon 675, 48MP camera and all we know so farThe Redmi Note 7 Pro will be more powerful than the Redmi Note 7 and will also sport more capable cameras.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

Online sales interactive displays as lottery agencies vie for customers

first_imgWINNIPEG — Like many millennials, Sarah Rogalsky doesn’t go out of her way to buy lottery tickets.The 32-year-old is part of an office pool and chips in $2 a week at her Winnipeg workplace, primarily for the social aspect of playing with others.“I’ve never bought a lottery ticket on my own.”She is part of a countrywide trend that lottery agencies are trying to reverse. By upgrading technology and making gambling more readily available, they are hoping to attract and retain more young adults — a generation that has grown up with seemingly infinite entertainment options available at the click of a mouse or a swipe of the finger.There are many ways to be entertained, Rogalsky said, and the long odds of scoring big in a lottery are not enticing.“For example, my parents would buy lottery tickets because they thought there was a chance they would win, whereas someone like me, I know how low those chances literally are.”In 2014, the Interprovincial Lottery Corp., which represents all provincial and territorial lottery agencies, issued a request for proposals for a new lottery game that would be similar to Lotto 6-49 and appeal to adults under 35. The number of young adults buying national lottery tickets was declining at “historic” levels, the document said.The Western Canada Lottery Corp., which represents the prairie provinces and three northern territories, reported a $150-million drop in lottery revenues in 2017 from the previous year. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. cited a “diminishing core player base” in its most recent annual report.In recent years, lottery agencies have moved to make gambling more tech-friendly and easier for people to gain access. More provinces have opened online gambling sites, on which players can engage in casino-style games or buy lottery tickets. Lottery terminals at corner stores are going high-tech and interactive.Last September, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. introduced a new instant lottery ticket that combines the traditional scratch requirement with an animated spinning wheel that appears on the lottery terminal display screen. The agency is also making some products available at grocery store checkout lanes.The corporation is “improving the customer experience and ensuring it is responsive to changing customer expectations by investing in digital technology and product solutions,” spokesman Tony Bitonti wrote in an email.It’s a tough battle to attract younger adults who have grown up with a vast array of entertainment options, said Prof. Kelley Main, head of the marketing department at the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba.From immersive video games at home to fast-action apps on mobile devices, millennials are used to having their senses fully engaged, she said.“Our expectations about how quickly things happen have changed, and … our expectations about how interactive these games are have also changed,” Main said.“The traditional paper format (of lottery tickets) doesn’t engage our sense the same way as technology could allow some of the other options.”Steve Lambert, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Ontario wont meet 2020 electric vehicle target analysts say

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario is envisioning a future in which millions of electric vehicles are on the roads, but analysts predict consumer uptake will remain far off the government target for 2020, despite tens of millions of dollars in subsidies.The Liberal government has been encouraging electric vehicle sales by doling out $75 million in rebates to vehicle owners, offering various other incentives and programs, installing a network of charging stations and spending $1 million to open an electric vehicle education centre.But that so far hasn’t translated into vast numbers of vehicles. The official data for 2017 isn’t yet available, but at the end of last year, electric vehicles represented less than one per cent of all passenger vehicle sales in Ontario.In just two years, by 2020, the government hopes to see that number increase to five per cent.It can’t be done, analysts say.“The chances of meeting it aren’t low, they’re zero,” said auto industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers. “In the auto sector all roads lead to electric, it just happens to be that the road to serious acceptance of them is probably at least 2030 and more likely 2040, 2050.”Tony Faria, an auto industry analyst at the University of Windsor, agrees that Ontario won’t meet its goal by 2020.“We will almost assuredly get to five per cent electric vehicles purchased or on the road at some point in time, it’s just not going to be in the next couple of years,” he said. “We’re really wedded to our gasoline-driven vehicles because of the flexibility they give us distance wise, amazing availability of where you can fill up and so on.”Range anxiety — a fear that an electric vehicle would run out of charge somewhere far from a charging station — is cited by analysts, the industry and government as one of the main reasons more people haven’t yet switched to electric vehicles.The government announced in July 2016 that it would spend $20 million to build a network of 500 public charging stations along highways and at public places across the province by March 31, 2017.But now, more than eight months after that self-imposed deadline, just two-thirds of the stations are in use.Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said that timeline was “ambitious” and there have been challenges around the locations of some of the chargers, permits and construction delays, but he still believes the target can be met.“We see what the numbers are currently, but again when you look at not only the demand we’ve seen over the last few months, but the forecasted demand for the next three or four years we do see and certainly do predict fairly sharp increases in people’s appetite for (electric) vehicles,” he said.It takes time to get people to change their behaviours, Del Duca said.“People get very comfortable in their patterns, both as commuters and when they’re making their product selections when they’re looking at cars,” he said. “I think there was always going to be the need for some time for a cultural shift.”FleetCarma, a company that promotes electric vehicles, reports on quarterly sales numbers and found that in Ontario those numbers are up 96 per cent year-over-year for the first nine months of 2017.In the second quarter, they reported electric vehicle sales represented about 0.7 per cent of the market.“While these numbers may seem small compared to the total number of auto sales the thing to take note of here is the trajectory of the numbers,” they wrote.The president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association said those numbers bode well and he believes there is a good chance of hitting the five per cent target in 2020. The industry itself is doing a lot to encourage sales, but for now the market demand is still very small and manufacturers are losing money on their production, said Mark Nantais.“There’s a good deal of literature out there by independent parties to suggest that at this point in time vehicle manufacturers are losing anywhere from $10,000 to $14,000 per vehicle,” he said.That will change over time as demand increases, he said.“Sometimes we proceed with costly technologies that — while we might be losing money on them — we ultimately think that the market will improve, that the number of vehicles will increase, that the cost of the technology will come down,” Nantais said.To increase sales, the government offers rebates of up to $14,000 for electric vehicles that cost up to $150,000.In order to encourage customers to choose electric vehicles, auto dealers will often give buyers the rebate out of their own funds, but that has left some out hundreds of thousands of dollars, they say.Frank Notte, with the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, said many dealers are waiting up to five or six months for the government to reimburse them. One dealer is owed more than $400,000, he said, and GM dealers in the Greater Toronto Area alone are owed about $2.3 million.The Ministry of Transportation wouldn’t confirm those numbers, but said it is working to streamline the process so dealers can get reimbursed more quickly.The province has also put $1 million toward the Plug’n Drive Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre in northern Toronto, where people can learn about and test drive electric vehicles. The centre said it has seen 1,600 test drives with more than 4,000 visitors since it opened this spring.last_img read more

Facebook still hosting NZ shooting footage Report

first_imgSan Francisco: Despite Facebook’s claim that the livestreaming video of the March 15 Christchurch shooting that killed 50 people was removed from its platforms, sections of the raw footage are still available for users to watch, the media reported. According to a report in Motherboard on Friday, certain videos on Facebook and Instagram show sections of the raw attack footage. “The world’s biggest and most well-resourced social media network is still hosting copies of the violent attack video on its own platform as well as Instagram,” the report claimed. Some of the videos are slices of the original 17-minute clip — trimmed down to one minute or so — and are open to be viewed by anyone. In one instance, instead of removing the video, which shows the terrorist shooting and murdering innocent civilians from a first-person perspective, Facebook has simply marked the clip as potentially containing “violent or graphic content”. One of the clips shows the terrorist walking up to the first mosque he targeted, and opening fire. The video does not show the full attack, and stops at the 01:15 mark. A Facebook spokesperson, however, said “the video did violate our policies and has been removed”. The Facebook livestreaming of the New Zealand terror attack sparked global outrage. The video was viewed over 4,000 times before it was removed. The video was later shared in millions on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube. Facing flak, the social media giant is now exploring restrictions on who can use its “Facebook Live” feature. Earlier this month, New Zealand’s privacy commissioner John Edwards labelled Facebook as “morally bankrupt pathological liars” after the social media platform’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to play down the Facebook livestreaming of Christchurch shooting.last_img read more

Three UNAfrican Union peacekeepers killed in ambush in Darfur

11 October 2011Three blue helmets serving with the joint United Nations-African Union force (UNAMID) in Sudan’s Darfur region were killed last night in an ambush at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs), the mission confirmed today. The soldiers were part of a regular night patrol that was ambushed by a group of unidentified armed men about 8:15 p.m. in Zam Zam, a large IDP camp just beyond the outskirts of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state.The names and nationalities of the slain peacekeepers have not yet been released, but UNAMID said two were soldiers and one was a police adviser. Six other peacekeepers were injured in the ambush, three of them seriously, while one of the assailants was also killed.Ibrahim Gambari, the head of UNAMID, strongly condemned last night’s attack, noting that the peacekeepers had been trying to ensure security at Zam Zam. He called on Sudanese authorities to launch an immediate investigation to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.“An attack on international peacekeepers is a war crime and we will ensure that justice will be served,” he said. “This deplorable incident will not deter UNAMID’s strong commitment to its mission to protect the people of Darfur.”In a separate statement issued by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the killings and offered his sympathies to the families of those killed.Security Council members also voiced outrage, with Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu of Nigeria, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, reading out a press statement in which the 15-member panel “stressed that there must be an end to impunity for those that attack peacekeepers.”Yesterday’s attack occurred only two months after another UNAMID peacekeeper was slain, that time following an ambush in South Darfur. Thirty-three personnel from the mission have died as a result of hostile actions since it took over from an earlier AU peace force at the start of 2008, and many humanitarian workers have also been targeted in attacks by bandits or armed groups.Darfur has been wracked with conflict since 2003, pitting Government forces and allied militiamen against rebel groups. Millions of civilians have been either internally displaced or forced to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. read more

On The NCAA Bubble Heres The Number To Watch

Kansas State6041324561.9 Clemson6333354915.7 TEAMRPIBPIKENPOMSTRENGTH OF RECORDCHANCE OF MAKING TOURNEY Syracuse7931445312.2 Bubble teams are drawn from Joe Lunardi’s bracketology classifications.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group, Wake Forest34303033>99.9% Illinois586368581.5 USC3958614376.4 Rhode Island4239515458.1 Marquette5529284188.6 California565255692.8 Illinois State3160494685.7 Indiana8132465719.1 College basketball season is in its final sprint toward Selection Sunday, and that means it’s panic time for teams on the men’s NCAA Tournament bubble. But not all bubble teams are created equal. For instance, Wake Forest, which ranks 30th in ESPN’s BPI power rankings, ought to feel relatively good about its tourney chances, while Syracuse, which ranks 31st, should be in a state of full-blown terror. Why the difference? It all comes down to how each school did in a metric that best predicts the NCAA selection committee’s picking tendencies.The selection committee has struggled for a while with how to pick the teams for the NCAA tournament. Should they be the best teams? Or simply the most deserving teams? The former may not have the best record, while the latter may not have the best talent. (In January, the NCAA even met with several analytics experts to help sort out this quandary.)Stats, too, have to figure out which of these two questions they’re trying to answer. ESPN’s BPI and’s ratings are examples of predictive rating systems, meant to tell fans who the “best” teams are. Other rating systems such as ESPN’s new Strength of Record (SOR) are meant to rank “deserving” teams, grading a team’s resume according to how hard its record was to achieve. The two approaches can yield very different results, and my research shows that Strength of Record aligns more closely with what the committee looks for in a tournament team.As the man behind updating ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index (BPI) before this season, I studied the Selection Committee’s historical behavior, to help build a system that assigns each team a probability of making the NCAA Tournament. I looked at many variables, including resume rankings such as Strength of Record and the NCAA’s official Ratings Percentage Index, predictive rankings such as BPI and KenPom, and simpler measures such as a team’s win-loss record.1Including its overall record and its record in conference and nonconference play.Most of these variables are highly correlated with each other, and in many cases they tell the same story about a school’s season. But Strength of Record has the highest correlation, and using it alone to select teams would help you agree with the committee 90 percent of the time. Plugging Strength of Record into a model (which includes other metrics, but weights them less2Specifically, here’s how the model works: We use BPI to simulate the rest of the season (including conference tournaments) 10,000 times, and in each simulation both automatic and at-large bids are selected. For the latter, we use a data-augmentation Bayesian Probit Regression model that includes SOR, RPI, BPI and an estimation of ratings to rank each team by its likelihood of grabbing one of the tourney’s 36 available at-large slots. A team’s chance to make the tournament, then, is a combination of their chance of winning their conference’s tournament and their chance of being selected as an at-large team if they don’t win the conference tournament.), we can assign tournament probabilities to teams considered “on the bubble” by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. Because of differences in resume quality (as measured by SOR), some bubble teams are quite likely to be favored by the committee, while some should be worried if they fail to win their conference tournaments. CURRENT RANKING AMONG D-I TEAMS Xavier3336433799.9 Providence5255534063.0 Houston5035415917.2 Iowa727767640.5 Chance of bubble teams making the NCAA Tournament, according to ESPN Stats & Information’s model Vanderbilt4449405665.6 So if your team is sweating things out on the bubble Sunday, keep an eye on its Strength of Record — not its RPI or its predictive ratings. read more

Tsoulis awarded for her work with migrants

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Eugenia Tsoulis won the outstanding achievement award at the Governor’s Multicultural Awards at Government House this week for her work with migrants. When the primary school teacher first migrated to Adelaide from Greece, she automatically began work on helping other Greek migrants settle in Australia. “I learnt English very fast because I had great support from the school system,” Ms Tsoulis told the City Messenger. “Once a week, it was usually on a Monday, I would take a group of young men to Holden or Actil or Clipsal down on Port Rd, and come back and attend school at Hindmarsh Primary School.“They needed a job as soon as they got here because there were no social services and I was the only one who could speak to the bus conductor and tell him where to go.” Ms Tsoulis arrived in Australia in the 1950’s aged eight. She said her parents “different type of reception” to how migrants are welcomed to the country today. “In those days, one was on their own trying to work through settlement,” Ms Tsoulis says. “We were very well looked after at school but there were no support systems and very little English tuition. In half a century, so much has changed in Australia. “When I came to the Migrant Resource Centre, it was one small office on Henley Beach Rd,” she says. “We now settle around 1500 new arrivals a year and have over 300 volunteers from over 80 ethnic and language groups. I feel very privileged to work with the people I work with.”last_img read more

OrigamiInspired Artificial Muscles Are Here to Pump Robots Up

first_img Evan Rachel Wood Just As Disturbed by Humanoid Sophia As Everyone ElseMIT’s Thread-Like Robot Slides Through Blood Vessels In the Brain Stay on target In order to defeat the human race and take over the world, robots require dexterity as well as strength.Increased flexibility, however, often means reduced durability; softer materials just aren’t as resilient as hard ones.Researchers at MIT CSAIL and Harvard’s Wyss Institute have created origami-inspired artificial muscles that allow soft robots to lift objects up to 1,000 times their own weight.One of the team’s 2.6-gram muscles, for instance, can lift a 3-kilogram item. That’s the equivalent of a duck lifting a car (and no, its ducklings are not trapped underneath).“We were very surprised by how strong the muscles were,” CSAIL director Daniela Rus said in a statement. “We expected they’d have a higher maximum functional weight than ordinary soft robots, but we didn’t expect a thousand-fold increase. It’s like giving these robots superpowers.”Now that’s just cool (via MIT CSAIL/Harvard Wyss Institute)Even more impressive, individual muscles can be constructed in about 10 minutes using materials that cost less than $1.Each bundle of faux tissue consists of an inner compressible “skeleton,” surrounded by air or water and sealed inside a bag of “skin” made from various materials (like thermoplastic polyurethane, silicone rubber, or nylon fabric—not human flesh).Now, imagine placing a spoon (the skeleton) inside an inflated balloon (the skin), and sucking all the air out of the balloon until you’re left with only a latex-covered utensil. That’s basically what happens when the artificial muscle contracts.No power source or human input is required; movement is determined entirely by the shape and composition of the skeleton.“One of the key aspects of these muscles is that they’re programmable, in the sense that designing how the skeleton folds defines how the whole structure moves,” MIT postdoc and paper lead Shuguang Li explained. “You essentially get that motion for free, without the need for a control system.”This allows scientists to shrink artificial muscles to an appropriate size for use in mobile or body-mounted systems.Early models were constructed using materials ranging from metal springs to packing foam to sheets of plastic. The team experimented with different skeletal shapes to create muscles that contract to 10 percent of their original size, and complete tasks like lifting a delicate flower or twisting into a coil.“In addition to their muscle-like properties, these soft actuators are highly scalable” Robert Wood, professor of engineering and applied sciences at Harvard, said. “We have built them at sizes ranging from a few millimeters up to a meter, and their performance holds up across the board.”Future applications include everything from minimally invasive surgery and transformable architecture to deep-sea research and space exploration (via MIT CSAIL/Harvard Wyss Institute)Researchers are already eyeing the muscles’ use in future applications, such as minimally invasive surgery, transformable architecture, deep-sea research, and space exploration.The use of water-soluble polymer PVA, meanwhile, opens even more possibilities. Just think, one day we might swallow tiny robots that can navigate through the body and dissolve to release a drug.“The possibilities really are limitless,” Rus said. “But the very next thing I would like to build with these muscles is an elephant robot with a trunk that can manipulate the world in ways that are as flexible and powerful as you see in real elephants.”Dream big.Read more about the study, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.last_img read more

Fire damages Felida home

first_imgNo cause had been determined Friday night for a fire that left the home of a Felida family uninhabitable.Sandra Scovil, who was the only person at home Friday afternoon, left for 20 minutes, said Dawn Johnson, spokeswoman for Clark County Fire District 6. When she returned home from the store at about 2 p.m., she found the house filled with smoke.Scovil went to a neighbor’s house to call 911, Johnson said.The first unit from Fire District 6 that arrived found the house at 3405 N.W. 122nd St. filled with smoke.“The smoke alarms were sounding when they arrived,” Johnson said.“It started in the living room,” Johnson said. “That’s where the fire damage was. There was heavy smoke damage throughout the house. They won’t be able to get back in right away.”The house was occupied by Scovil, her husband, Eddie, and their daughter. Firefighters also rescued a pet gecko from the house, Johnson said.Northwest 36th Avenue was shut down as the firefighters worked in the split-level home in a cul-de-sac about two blocks west of Thomas Jefferson Middle School.Fire District 6 was assisted by units from Clark County Fire & Rescue and the Vancouver Fire Department.The family is being assisted by the American Red Cross, Johnson said.A damage estimate was not available Friday night.last_img read more

Man uses plastic water bottle wrapping as disguise to burglarize store

first_imgA burglary suspect who police called a “craftily disguised gent” was captured after he was caught on surveillance video wearing plastic wrap on his head, officials said.Kerry Hammond, 22, is accused of robbing a GameStop in St. Mary’s, Georgia, while wearing a clear plastic bottled water wrapper as a mask.“DID YOU EVER give any thought to what your disguise was going to be when you decided the life of crime was your bag of water? Well this guy did! And YES he used a plastic bag used to package bottle water. This puts new meaning to the term WaterHead!” police said in a Facebook post. “You can help us catch him, once you stop laughing.”It didn’t take long for police to track Hammond down, since the unique disguise was completely see through. It did little to hide his identity.Hammon is charged with burglary and criminal damage to property. He has since been released on bond. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Tello is doubling its data plans free for 6 months

first_imgSign up for Tello within the next few days and get double the regular amount of LTE data for the next six months. Tello One of my missions in this Cheapskate life is to encourage folks to look beyond the Big Four phone carriers. Why? Simple: You can save big by switching to an MVNO — a smaller carrier that leases the same cell towers used by the big ones.I’m talking Cricket, Mint Mobile, Ting and Tello, to name just a few. In fact, Tello just kicked off a promotion that’s worth a look: Double the data for six months.See it at TelloAvailable for new subscribers only, this applies to all of the carrier’s current plans — but I’ll focus mainly on the unlimited ones. These start at $14 per month, a price that would normally get you unlimited talk, text and data, with 1GB of high-speed data. With the promotion, you’ll get double that: 2GB of high-speed data per month for the next six months.Likewise, at $19 per month you’d normally get 2GB, but here you’ll get 4GB. I think the sweet spot here, for many people, is the 3GB plan at $24: You’ll get 6GB for that first six months.What happens after that? According to a Tello rep, it’s back to the regular data allotments — though I wouldn’t be surprised if those numbers increased permanently by then. Maybe not double, but higher. (That’s entirely a guess on my part, but industry-wide, it seems like high-speed data allotments continue to increase while prices remain steady.) Phones Mobile Accessories Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: 2:00 12 awesome cheap phones you can buy right now tzumi-steadygo Tzumi Bonus deal: I’ve written before about smartphone gimbals, which help you shoot much steadier video, especially when you’re moving around. Usually a good three-axis gimbal runs at least $100.Not today. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the Tzumi SteadyGo three-axis gimbal for $34.99 shipped when you apply promo code CHPSKTGIMBAL at checkout. Cheapskate exclusive!See it at Daily StealsWhy is this model so much less than others? Most likely because the body is made of plastic, not metal. That means it’s lighter (which strikes me as a good thing), but also less durable. If you happen to drop it, well, it could be game over.Indeed, I’ll note that the very mixed user reviews on Amazon give me pause. But the smattering of ratings I found elsewhere were much more positive, and this YouTube review helps you get a real feel for how the device performs.My take: If you’ve been wanting something like this but just couldn’t swing a $100-or-more price tag, it’s definitely worth a look.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! Either way, that’s July’s problem. The beauty of the unlocked phone (which you’ll need to take advantage of this) and the no-contract service is that you can easily jump around to whatever carrier is offering the best deal.Because Tello is a Sprint-based MVNO, you’ll need to have an unlocked Sprint-compatible phone. Check the FAQ page to see what models (including those from other carriers) will work. Tello supports tethering at no extra charge, and also allows free calls to Canada, Mexico and China.If you’re already a Tello user (or you were in the past), hit the comments and let your fellow cheapskates know what to expect from the service. The Cheapskate 3 ways to save money using your phone Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. 14 Photos Tags Comments 13last_img read more

Firsttime cosplay is terrifying complicated and exhilarating

first_img Adam Savage, Jim Lee and more insiders on how to have your best con yet SDCC at nearly 50: The biggest convention ever had a very small start Stan Lee sang to me: 10 crazy Comic-Con moments I’ll never forget Share your voice See the best cosplay from Disney’s D23 Expo 41 Photos 62 Photos 1 The coiffureOn a Saturday afternoon, I meet up with my friend Hannah Stoppel to chat about cosplay and down a couple of desserts from a local bakery. cosplay2.jpgAbout 20 bobby pins are digging into my scalp.  Erin Carson/CNET I’m unbelievably lucky to have Hannah as a pal, for many reasons, including that she 1) studied costuming in college 2) works at a wig-making company 3) can seemingly sew anything, from Regency-era clothing to Daenerys Targaryen’s dress from when she arrived at Dragonstone Landing. Hannah even made her own wedding dress. We talk about how she learned to costume, and what to look for in wigs. We start perusing websites looking for something blond, medium-length, wavy and roughly $30.But when I find a wig from a company Hannah doesn’t know,  I turn to the ORCs’ Facebook group in search of the amped-up cosplay community spirit I keep hearing about. The ORCs don’t disappoint. They freely give and receive help with everything from props to makeup and more. So when I ask if anyone knows anything about Big Epic Cosplay wigs, multiple people chime in. One person tells me she’s bought several from the company. Another actually has the exact model I’m looking into and tells me I might have to trim it a bit for Sabrina. When the wig arrives a week later, I slide it out of its mailing envelope — this soft blond thing, tucked in a ziplock and nestled in netting. I handle it like someone who’s never picked up a cat before. It sits on my coffee table for a few days until Hannah can tell me what to do with it.  Now playing: Watch this: The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguises More Comic-Con 2019 3:00center_img Comic-Con The very best cosplay we saw at Comic-Con 2019 When Hannah comes over, she shows me how to gather my hair atop my head with pin curls and braids. She demonstrates how to don the net wig cap, which involves putting the whole thing over the top half of my face for a moment, like I’m about to rob a bank, and then taming flyaway hairs using a pen to prod. Finally, we actually put on the wig, starting at the back. Somehow, my mass of wavy hair all fits beneath this groovy new artificial coif. I breathe a sigh of relief and think about the 20-some-odd bobby pins digging into my scalp. The coutureWeeks before I make the three-hour trek home to Nashville so my mom (maker of all my childhood Halloween costumes) can help me sew my dress, I descend into a black hole of dress patterns and lace collars and cuffs. Though you can find generic-ish patterns specifically for cosplay — I’m looking at you, medieval fur cape — there’s not an existing, available pattern for Sabrina’s red dress. What I have to go on are some screen shots from the show, and a dim sense from childhood of how my mom and I used to adapt patterns to fit our purposes. After two afternoons of searching, I find a pattern for a dress with long sleeves and a crew neck. The seams aren’t exactly where I need them, but I remind myself I’m not going for screen-accurate, I’m going for good enough, given it’s my first time cosplaying. Finding the collar and cuffs is a similar challenge. Etsy fails me. And even if I can find a collar, I can’t find matching cuffs. I just can’t seem to find anything that works. But then my mom, being a problem-solver extraordinaire, texts me a photo — she’s diced up a paper doily to fit around the crew neck of a T-shirt. For a first-timer, good enough basically means perfect. So, I hop on Amazon and order a six-pack of white, 10-inch crocheted doilies.  And … the catIt essentially takes from Wednesday night to Friday morning (with breaks and brunches in between) to cut out the pattern, pin the pieces together, sew them, sew the zipper, adjust the hem, attach the collar and cuffs and sew on buttons. Overall, it goes well.  cosplay3The product of many days of hard work. Erin Carson/CNET Except for the presence of our cat Piper, a creature who’s been described on multiple occasions as a “threat to humanity.”From the get-go, Piper tries to nap on the fabric, launches herself onto the dining room table where we’ve got the pieces laid out, steals one of the pattern pieces and nearly shreds it, claws at the box for the sewing machine. Crafting with Piper in the house is like sitting on a raft while a shark circles in the water.Despite Piper’s best efforts, we finish the dress. My mom and I are gleeful.When I get back to Louisville, my neighbor greets me as I’m getting the dress and my luggage out of the car: “Hey, Sabrina!”Here’s the full breakdown:Wig: $32.99.Wig cap: Donation from Hannah.Fabric: $22.48 for 2.5 yards.Thread: $5.99.Buttons: $1.99 x 2.Zipper: $4.99.Doilies: $16.99.Black tights: I already own.Black shoes: I already own.Lipstick: $4.99.Originally published July 13. Update, Aug. 29: Adds reference to Dragon Con, taking place this weekend.  No, that’s not me in my cosplay outfit. It’s Piper. She’s a menace.  Erin Carson/CNET It’s 8:30 p.m. on a summer Wednesday, and my mom and I are walking through the fabric aisle of a Joann craft store, looking for a bolt in a specific shade of red. It’s not fire engine red, or candy apple red or even ruby red. We’re looking for blood red. With minutes to go before the store closes, we walk out with a few yards of fabric, thread, a 22-inch zipper and an urgency to get home and start cutting out a pattern for a dress that’s going to be my first attempt at cosplaying at none other than San Diego Comic-Con. At this point, you’ve probably heard about cosplay. Folks dress up as characters from TV, movies, comics, anime or even as characters from their own imaginations. Some outfits are more elaborate than others. You’ll often find cosplayers showing off their latest creations at conventions around the world, like SDCC, Disney’s D23 and Dragon Con, which takes place this weekend in Atlanta.  Comment Though people have always dressed up in costume for one reason or another, the word “cosplay” is relatively new. The University of Montana traces the word back to 1984, as an anglicized version of the Japanese word “Kosupure” and a fusion of the words “costume” and “play.”Cosplaying has grown in popularity over the years, in much the same way there’s been a boom in geek culture and a burgeoning of conventions on everything from comics to sci-fi to horror.After attending SDCC for the first time last year, (and watching members of two different groups of Justice League heroes come face-to-face in the convention center, and receive each other with glee) I decided maybe it was something I wanted to try. Tags The characterEarlier in the summer, I’m sitting in one of our office conference rooms, on the phone with Yaya Han. One of the best-known cosplayers out there, Han’s a 17-year cosplay veteran who’s dressed up as everyone from Catwoman to Jessica Rabbit. I ask her for the advice she’d give to a cosplay newbie. Han, who’s expanding her brand into the creation side of cosplay by making patterns, resources and tools for cosplayers, gives me a starting point: “The first thing is to choose a character you connect with,” she tells me. This ends up being the easiest part of the whole process. I’m going to be Sabrina Spellman, from Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. It’s a reboot of the ’90s ABC comedy starring Melissa Joan Hart, based on Archie Comics’ Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I’m mostly anti-reboot these days, but I loved Sabrina as a kid and even read the comics for a few years. Netflix’s version is vastly different, with about 3,000% more Satan than the original, drawing from a dark update to the comics from 2015. 1Sabrina is all about red.  Diyah Pera/Netflix Sabrina, now played by Kiernan Shipka, still speaks to me. Modern-day Sabrina isn’t just trying to make it to the dance on time, she’s questioning the unquestioned gender roles of her belief system, raising the dead and taking on the Devil himself. May every teenage girl have that kind of confidence. The communitySo, I have an idea, but where do I start?After work, I meet up with Ryan Gatsinger and Kim Baker Taylor, who run the Ohio River Valley Cosplayers and Prop Builders group (or ORCs, for short.) Gatsinger founded ORCs in 2015, and it boasts about 2,800 members, including people from well outside the Ohio River Valley.”Make a list. What does that character wear? Or what are the pieces you have to create?” Gatsinger advises. He and Taylor, who each make about 10 costumes a year, tell me about their planning processes and why they bother with the foam,  wigs, makeup, props and whatever else. “I like the psychology of the character, and I like to take and translate that character visually,” Taylor tells me, describing past projects, such as a rockabilly Harley Quinn and Lily Munster. About that list, though. Here’s how I break it down:Blond wig.Long sleeve red dress with lace collar and cuffs.Black headband.Black tights.Black shoes. Comicslast_img read more