Around four years ago, then-radio announcer Brad Riter decided to take a chance. As a man with over 20 years of experience in Buffalo sports radio, Riter decided to make a game that people from his hometown in upstate New York would enjoy. The whole point behind the game was to put something together that “would bring back nostalgia” for his hometown, he said. This game, which became “You Gotta Know Buffalo Sports,” involved hundreds of trivia questions about Buffalo sports and was first released for sale in 2014.While designing his first game, Riter was cautiously optimistic that his company would grow to expand into further cities. “I remember while I was working on the first game that I could envision a world in which I was in charge of a staff of writers that could crank out games for people in their own communities,” Riter said. “I had a hunch this would become my life, but you had to have some success before expanding to more markets.”After his first game was successful, Riter’s newly founded company, “You Gotta Know Games,” began to expand its reach. Since then, the company has released 21 additional trivia games, each focusing on a unique city — including South Bend.Early on, expansion was primarily focused on cities with multiple professional sports teams, such as Philadelphia, New York City and Pittsburgh. However, Riter said, as time progressed, the company decided to expand into cities with major college sports teams. “Our first foray into college sports was ‘You Gotta Know Columbus,’” he said. “It was our first attempt to reach outside of a pro city. We were trying to connect with the Ohio State Buckeyes fans. We knew it was going to be a challenge and that it was going to be different. I’m a Buckeyes fan, so it made sense that it would be the first market we would do.”After the release of the trivia game targeting Columbus, Riter decided to expand his company’s markets to include what he saw as the two most feasible audiences — Michigan fans and Notre Dame fans, noting that they were both incredibly passionate fanbases. In particular, Riter described Notre Dame’s national influence as a reason to release “You Gotta Know South Bend Sports.”“There’s not a city in America where you can’t find a core of Notre Dame fans,” Riter said. “There’s a sort of ‘America’s Team’ sense around Notre Dame.”“You Gotta Know South Bend Sports” is available through the company’s website and is available on Amazon Prime for $19.95. Riter noted those who play the game should not feel limited by the rules included on the box, as the intention of the game is to provide fun trivia.“We have a set of rules on the back of the box,” Riter said. “The rules on the back state that you race to 21 — there’s no dice, no board, nothing like that, there’s only the information that’s in the box. People buy the game, don’t read the rules, and start digging into it as if it is a book. Make your own rules — have fun. Ask your questions to your friends. It’s a conversation starter, really. Delve into it, do what you want and bring up what’s already on your hearts and minds. It’s about nostalgia and camaraderie that comes along with being a fan.”Tags: Band of the Fighting Irish, Brad Riter, South Bend sports, sports trivia, You Gotta Know Games, You Gotta Know South Bend Sports
– former Army official takes chargeHead of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), James Singh has been sent on leave, while retired Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Major General Michael Atherly has been appointed to act in his absence.Government, through Minister of State, Joseph Harmon made the announcement on Wednesday, but Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan told Guyana Times that the CANU Head needed to take his accumulated annual leave. “He’s on his annual leave and just like the Commissioner is on his annual leave. He is entitled to about two months’ leave and we are asking people to take their leave,” Ramjattan told this newspaper.Atherly, who is head of the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA), will also be heading CANU during the period. Ramjattan said there was a deputy at CANU who would also help in the administration of the Unit in the absence of Singh.Minister Harmon on Wednesday said that in line with Government’s policy to ensure that officers did not accumulate annual leave and in turn request pay in lieu, Singh has been asked to proceed on leave effective March 1.“This is the practice that we have embraced since we came into office and, therefore, Mr Singh, who had some leave accumulated, has been asked to go on leave with effect from today and Major General Michael Atherly will be heading CANU,” Harmon said in a release.He said this has been communicated to the Public Security Ministry, under whose remit CANU fell.According to Harmon, public officers have always been encouraged to take their leave and “we want to discourage this practice of accumulating large amounts of leave and then asking for payment in lieu. So we are trying to ensure that all public officers get their leave during that year,” Minister Harmon said.Major General (ret’d) Atherly was responsible for leading the review of the National Drug Strategy Master Plan 2014-2018. This review led to the development of the National Drug Strategy Master Plan 2016-2020, which was launched last December.
The clang of garbage cans will still probably wake people way too early in the morning. But in Santa Rosa, California, at least, the roaring diesel engine will be quiet, replaced by a silent, electric motor.The electric garbage trucks scheduled to begin rolling there this summer may be less alluring than the sporty vehicles that engineer Ian Wright helped design as co-founder of Tesla Motors. But Wright, who left the high-end electric car company to start Wrightspeed, maker of electric powertrains for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, is on a campaign to force large, carbon-belching engines off the road.“The dream right now is to completely eliminate the nasty, smelly, noisy diesel engines from garbage trucks in five years,” Wright says.In today’s hyperkinetic world, moving people and things is the planet’s fastest-growing energy-based source of greenhouse gases, with some projections saying that transport emissions could nearly double by mid-century as developing nations industrialize. Climate scientists and policymakers say replacing petroleum-burning engines with alternatives like electric motors is critical to meeting the greenhouse gas-reduction goals set by the international community in Paris last December.But while the adoption of electric cars has been hindered by high prices, limited range, a lack of charging stations, and competition from cheap gasoline, heavier-duty models are undergoing rapid innovation for applications like battery-powered city buses, delivery trucks, freight loaders, and ferries. Experts say that these electric workhorses can play an important role in decarbonizing transport, and could spin off technologies that benefit electric cars, a far larger — and, from a carbon perspective, more important — market. Motors are getting betterNew designs for industrial motors are overcoming the lack of horsepower that irks many electric car drivers today. Colorado-based UQM Technologies recently developed an electric motor with lighter materials and a new process for controlling the internal magnets that make it rotate — boosting power enough to haul a loaded bus up a steep hill, according to the company’s vice-president of engineering, Josh Ley. The company makes motors for the U.S. electric bus maker Proterra, as well as “beyond-road” applications such as tugboats, yachts, and even a record-setting electric racing airplane.An electric hybrid bus developed for the London market, the Enviro 400H. [Photo credit: 4cryingoutloud / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr]Marine transport is one of the areas that’s “electrifying at a startling pace,” says Harrop. Huge container ships, for instance, can use side-pointing electric propellers to dock, and electric motors power a variety of pleasure boats. Electric motors currently can’t produce the sustained power needed by the global fleet of nearly 50,000 large shipping vessels while at sea, but they can provide many smaller fuel-saving gains in port.“Increasingly, what was not electric is starting to become electric,” says Harrop, whose firm estimates the electric marine market, now valued at $500 million to $1 billion, will grow to $34 billion within 10 years.But despite this fast-paced technical evolution, the near-term outlook for electric transportation is as mixed for commercial vehicles as it is for cars. Range limits, lengthy charging downtime, and hefty batteries make electric drives impractical for long-distance transport like aircraft, big rig tractor-trailers, and cargo ships. Although it’s cheaper to drive on electricity than gasoline mile-per-mile, the high price of batteries continues to make electric vehicles considerably more expensive than conventional vehicles. Increasing production could lower manufacturing costs, but could also drive battery prices up if growing demand creates shortages of essential battery ingredients like lithium salts. One key concern is the source of the electricityAnd then there is the crucial issue of whether the electricity is being produced by fossil fuels or renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. Overall, the electric grid is growing greener, according to latest International Energy Agency report, which states that around 90 percent of new electricity production in 2015 came from renewable energy sources. Even China has cut its coal use by more than 10 percent since 2011. Still, nearly 70 percent of that country’s electricity is produced from coal. So, while electric vehicles generally have significantly lower emissions than conventional vehicles in places with relatively clean grids, like much of Europe, that is not the case in areas still generating electricity primarily from coal, like China, India, and Australia.“If we’re going to decarbonize the transit system through electrification,” says James Sallee, a transportation economist at the University of California-Berkeley, “then you’re going to have to figure out how to clean up the electric grid substantially.”Even with these choke points, analysts say, electric transportation still holds promise for reining in greenhouse emissions, and humble vehicles like garbage trucks could help lead the way.“The best way to get carbon out of the transportation system as a whole would be to get these sorts of slivers out of light duty, medium duty, heavy duty, rail and so on,” says Knittel. “There’s no silver bullet here, but there’s a bunch of silver pellets.” Cheryl Katz is an independent science writer covering climate change, energy, earth sciences and environmental health. This column originally appeared at Yale Environment 360. FedEx and UPS both adopt electric trucksThe new electric drives are particularly suited to medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that make frequent stops, and they are gaining use in short-haul cargo trucks, tractor-tractors, and delivery vans, including more than 800 electric trucks now being used by FedEx and UPS. The technology is even making its way to sea, including hybrid electric tugboats escorting freighters in the port of Los Angeles, and all-electric ferries that have just started plying the Norwegian fjords.As a means of limiting global warming, however, electrifying commercial transport can’t compensate for the lag in the consumer market, analysts say. Light-duty passenger cars and trucks produce the bulk of carbon dioxide output from transportation today — around 60 percent in the U.S. — and ambitious climate goals, such as the Obama administration’s plan to get 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by the end of last year, have been coming up short. About 1.3 million electric cars are on roads worldwide today, and with the current deluge of cheap gasoline, sales of new electric cars actually fell in 2015.Wrightspeed workers build the base frame of the world’s first fully electric garbage truck. (Photo: Wrightspeed)Still, the medium- and heavy-duty commercial rolling stock responsible for roughly a quarter of transportation emissions presents a significant target for cutting greenhouse gases.Wright’s California-based company is targeting stop-and-go trucks in classes 4 to 8, weighing from around 7 tons to more than 15 tons. Electric powertrains outperform standard engines in delivering high torque at low speeds, which best suits the work demands on these types of vehicles.Wrightspeed has developed a range-extended electric powertrain with regenerative braking on all drive wheels so the frequent hard stops made by vehicles like garbage trucks keep the batteries charged. While the system also includes a range-extending generator that still requires fuel, the electric powertrain — installed as a retrofit to a standard diesel garbage truck — more than doubles the mileage and reduces emissions up to 68 percent.“We do garbage trucks because a single truck burns 14,000 gallons a year,” says Wright. The company is also producing electric delivery trucks for FedEx, and has had inquiries for a variety of other applications, including mining trucks, trains, and coastal patrol boats.He acknowledges that the overall climate benefits are limited by the fairly small niche markets for vehicles like garbage trucks. “On an individual basis, it makes enormous amounts of sense,” says Wright. “However, there are only 150,000 garbage trucks in the country.” Still, Wright says he expects that 90 percent of those will use electric drives within five years. Making deep inroads on carbon emissionsChristopher Knittel, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says the development of heavier-duty electric motors, batteries, and vehicle technologies could potentially help cut commercial and municipal transport’s carbon emissions by 25% to 50% in the coming decades.The industrial sector may be quicker than personal car buyers to adopt pricey new technologies because costs can be amortized and benefits such as fuel savings will multiply across equipment fleets, says Peter Harrop, chairman of the tech market analysis firm IDTechEx. Commercial and industrial electric vehicle sales will outpace the consumer market at least until the middle of the next decade, according to Harrop.Moreover, the new technologies being developed for heavier-duty applications could also potentially boost range and performance for electric cars.“We are driving down the component costs, and driving up the system efficiencies, and we have a very cost-effective architecture,” says Wright. “And that all helps get it into lighter vehicles.”Electrically propelled commercial conveyances are nothing new. Small, battery-powered trucks like forklifts have toiled inside warehouses for decades. Electric cables or rails have long powered trams and trains.But the emergence of industrial-strength electric battery and motor technology is freeing public transit from route-restricting wires and enabling trucks to haul weightier loads over longer distances. Analysts say that the greatest emissions impact outside the personal vehicle market will probably come from electrifying public transit. Large, battery-powered city buses can now travel their entire daily route (generally up to around 150 miles) on a single charge. China, the world leader in manufacture and export of electric buses, is also the biggest electric-bus user, with around 80,000 currently on the road and thousands more set to come. Shanghai alone announced plans to add 1,400 electric buses a year beginning in 2015.An electric powertrain developed by California-based Wrightspeed can be installed as a retrofit in a standard diesel-powered garbage truck, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 68%. (Photo: Josh Hittleman)Electric buses are also gaining ground in the United States and Europe. Dozens are already rolling in places such as Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley, Nashville, and San Antonio, and several cities are considering adding more than 200 additional electric buses nationwide over the next few years. Even London’s iconic double-deckers are going electric, with the first five being put into service this spring. IDTechEx projects that global electric bus sales will near 60,000 in 2017, and top 250,000 by 2025. RELATED ARTICLES After Lithium-Ion, What?Beyond Sprawl: The Solar Suburbs of the FutureRunning Our House on Prius PowerCan We Power Our Car With the Sun?New Life for Old Electric Vehicle BatteriesElectric Vehicles Hit a Pothole in CaliforniaMinnesota OKs Special Rates for Electric Vehicles A California Utility Looks for New Answers in Solar Integration PuzzlePlan for California Vehicle Charging Stations on Hold
LONDON – Britain’s anti-doping agency has banned former athletics coach George Skafidas for life from sports for nine rule violations.The Greek’s ban relates to his conduct coaching British sprinter Bernice Wilson.Wilson was banned from athletics for four years after testing positive in 2011 from an in-competition test for testosterone and clenbuterol, which U.K. Anti-Doping says Skafidas administered.Before Wilson returned to athletics, Skafidas administered further prohibited substances and she tested positive for clomiphene in February 2015.UKAD says Skafidas subverted the doping control process by removing and concealing the charge notice sent to Wilson, while providing a false account.UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead says “this case is not only incredibly disturbing but sad,” adding that Skafidas abused a position of trust and “categorically destroyed” Wilson’s career.TweetPinShare0 Shares
zoom The Port of Oakland said that up to six 366-foot-tall cranes will soon be raised 27-feet higher as the port gets ready to welcome megaships with containers stacked high above deck.The project will see the port invest from USD 14 million to USD 21 million in its largest marine terminal starting in April to make it easier to load and unload megaships.“We’re already working the largest ships to call in North America,” John Driscoll, Port of Oakland Maritime Director, said, adding that by raising the height of ship-to-shore cranes, “we make certain that we’re ready as more megaships head our way.”Approved on February 23, the crane plan calls for installing longer legs on four-to-six cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal, which handles 70 percent of Oakland’s cargo.The Port of Oakland will finance the project, which is scheduled to be finalized in the second quarter of 2018, while the terminal operator, SSA, will repay the port over the life of its Oakland lease.The port said it will take about nine weeks to raise each crane. Jacking equipment is already en route to Oakland.
New Delhi: In a setback for the mining industry, the government is set to reject a proposal to extend non-captive mining leases of companies that are expiring after completing 50 year period in March, 2020. The move will impact about 334 mines belonging to companies such as Tata Steel, Vedanta Limited, Essel Mining, V.M. Salgaocar and Rungta Mines in 10 states that are facing expiry of lease and closure by March next year under current regulations. Of these 46 working mining leases have a significant contribution to the production of iron ore, manganese ore and chromite ore in the country. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal Sources said a high level committee (HLC) set upon by Niti Aayog to identify key challenges of the sector and negate their impact has recommended that all existing mining lease of companies that have completed 50 years of operation will expire on March 31, 2020 and these would then be allocated through an auction process to be conducted in the January-March. Government is set to implement these recommendations, sources said. “The committee took note of the fact that these mines have known reserves and their period of lease will come to an end on 31-03-2020 as per MMDR (Amendment) Act, 2015 was also known. The legislature had already given a time of 5 years to ward off any situation causing disruption in supplies to local industry. Therefore, extension of time for continued operation of these mines is not desirable,” the committee has said in its report. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost The mining industry had sought extension of leases of all operational non-captive mines for a period of of 10 years beyond 2020 with another 20 years extension to be considered beyond this period. This, they felt, was necessary to prevent disruption in production while allowing full exploitation of resource available in a mine. “Non-extension of lease of non-captive mines is a setback for the industry that is already facing a slowdown in demand and lower prices. This would also disrupt existing mining operations and put jobs of lakhs of workers under risk,” said an executive of a private sector miner asking not to be named. While disallowing extension of mining leases, the HLC has said that post auction new leaseholders could continue operating on approved mining plan of previous leaseholders and environment clearance (EC) for an initial period of 2 years. This will help in preventing disruption in mineral production during the period of transition from one leaseholder to other. Moreover, this would provide time to new leaseholder to apply for fresh environment and forestry clearance without facing delays. The government is studying the recommendations of the HLC and will soon come up with an action plan including further amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act. The HLC is chaired by Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar and consists of the cabinet secretary and secretaries of mines, steel, coal, revenue and finance. The committee was set up in April on mines, minerals and coal sectors to identify key challenges and negate their impact. It has given its report to the Centre.
COCHRANE, Alta. – The case of a 16-year-old charged in a southern Alberta highway shooting that left a German tourist with serious injuries has been delayed for a week.The teen appeared in Cochrane provincial court via a video link and was granted a week’s delay while he tries to secure a lawyer.The youth, who is from the nearby Stoney Nakoda First Nation west of Calgary, can’t be named because of his age.He is facing 14 charges, including attempted murder and possession of a prohibited firearm.The 60-year-old tourist was driving in a black Dodge Durango with his family near Morley, Alta., on Aug. 2, when the shooting happened.Police have said the suspect vehicle was passing the Durango when a shot was fired from the passenger window and into the tourist’s SUV.The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre on Stoney Nakoda land.Three family members who were passengers weren’t seriously injured.The driver survived but was flown back to Germany where surgeons removed the bullet which will be sent to RCMP for forensic analysis. He can’t talk or move his right side as a result of the injury.Police say although there were others in the car with the accused, no other charges are pending and investigators aren’t searching for any other suspects.
David Lynch and Russell Brand joined forces to help bring Transcendental Meditation to 1,000,000 at-risk youth at the U.S. premiere of Meditation Creativity Peace at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 2.Russell Brand and David LynchCredit/Copyright: Amy Graves via The TASC GroupThe premiere marked the launch of the “Meditation in Education” global outreach campaign.“Proceeds from the global distribution of the documentary will be used to help students in the United States and across the world overcome traumatic stress, improve learning ability and raise performance through Transcendental Meditation,” said Lynch.Russell Brand and David Lynch On StageCredit/Copyright: Amy Graves via The TASC GroupMeditation Creativity Peace is scheduled to premiere in London, Paris, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Toronto and other global cities during May and June. The film will also be screened at the Palm Beach International Film Festival in West Palm Beach, FL on Saturday, April 6.The documentary chronicles Lynch’s 16-country tour of European and Middle Eastern film schools in 2007, when he addressed tens of thousands of students about his creative processes, filmmaking and his 40-year practice of Transcendental Meditation.The Billy Wilder Theater holds nearly 300 people, but more than 1,000 people unexpectedly showed up at the box office. The additional film buffs were able to view the documentary in an overflow hall at the museum and on large outdoor screens mounted in the museum courtyard.Russell Brand, a four-year meditator, said that TM had helped him overcome his decades-long addiction to drugs and alcohol. “I have become a better human being through meditation,” Brand said.Lynch and Brand were joined onstage after the film by Bob Roth, executive director of the David Lynch Foundation, for a 20-minute Q&A. Roth said the David Lynch Foundation has provided scholarships for over 250,000 at-risk youth to meditate worldwide and is expanding its work to support veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress and women who have survived domestic abuse.The David Lynch Foundation (DLF), a nonprofit charity, brings Transcendental Meditation to underserved populations including inner-city youth, women and teens who have been victims of violence, veterans with post-traumatic stress, homeless adults and teens and incarcerated adults and juveniles. The Foundation has received public support from Hollywood luminaries such as Dr. Mehmet Oz, Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry, Hugh Jackman, Martin Scorsese, Naomi Watts and Laura Dern.The benefits of meditation have been studied and found effective by the Harvard School of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association. Meditation has been proven to reduce acute and chronic stress and stress-related disorders, decrease anxiety and depression, help individuals overcome addictions and simultaneously develop the brain and creative potential of the individual for a healthy, productive and self-sufficient life.