first_imgShare with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedA Geocaching Life in Pictures – Farogdatter – Celebrating 15 Years of Geocaching in 15 PicturesMay 28, 2015In “Community”Chronicle Your Road Trip with #Geocaching15 Photos!June 4, 2015In “15 Years”You’re Days Away from a Brand New Souvenir! #Geocaching15April 27, 2015In “Community”last_img


first_imgA new analysis of data collected from coal-fired power plants shows that groundwater contamination from coal ash dumps is nearly universal. The Guardian writes that of the 265 coal power plants in the U.S. that monitor groundwater, 242 of them report unsafe levels of at least one pollutant. Contaminants include arsenic, a known carcinogen, as well as cobalt, cadmium, and lithium. The study, led by Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) attorney Abel Russ, is based on data that became available to the public for the first time in 2018, three years after new federal coal ash regulations were issued. EIP and Earthjustice, which also took part in the study, said stronger regulations are needed to protect drinking water from contaminants.RELATED ARTICLESCoal Production Hits 35-Year LowCoal Is No Boon for U.S. Treasury, Report SaysA Cloudy Future for CoalCan Solar Power Solve the Coal Problem? Data was collected from more than 4,600 monitoring wells around ash dumps at the 265 coal-fired plants, about three-quarters of the total number of coal-fired plants operating in the U.S. The remainder of the plants were not required to meet the federal monitoring rules because they had closed their ash dumps before the rule went into effect, or because they were eligible for an extension, EIP said. Although groundwater extracted from the monitoring wells showed widespread contamination, the safety of drinking water in nearby wells is not known because power companies are not required to test private wells. The report’s authors said U.S. coal plants produce about 100 million tons of coal ash annually. For much of the last century, they said, the ash has gone into unlined landfills and waste ponds that were vulnerable to leaks. The majority of the coal plants report unsafe levels of at least four toxic constituents of coal ash, according to the report. “Many of the coal ash waste ponds are poorly and unsafely designed, with less than 5% having waterproof liners to prevent contaminants from leaking into the groundwater, and 59% built beneath the water table or within 5 feet of it,” the statement said. In addition, the report notes, the federal Coal Ash Rule does not cover coal ash dumps that have been closed, even though they, too, are polluting groundwater. The report says there are hundreds of these ash dumps across the country. A trade group representing the coal ash industry contested the findings and said EIP’s interpretation of the monitoring data was faulty. The top polluter is in Texas The list of the 10 sites where groundwater pollution was worst included power plants in Texas, North Carolina, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Maryland, Utah, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Heading the list is the San Miguel Power Plant in Christine, Texas, about an hour south of San Antonio along Interstate 37. The report notes that groundwater near the plant is contaminated with at least 10 pollutants that are leaking from coal ash dumps. They include cadmium and lithium at concentrations more than 100 times what are considered safe. The 400 MW plant is owned by the San Miguel Electric Cooperative, a member-owned mining and power generating cooperative. The cooperative’s website devotes several pages to the benefits of coal ash. “Coal ash is king in Texas,” the website says. In a section titled “Coal Ash: Beneficial for Everyday Life,” the cooperative says coal ash has a variety of uses in construction, manufacturing, and environmental remediation. Fly ash, another byproduct of burning coal, is useful for road construction and for making concrete. The website asserts that the Environmental Protection Agency has classified coal combustion products (CCPs) as non-hazardous. “The agency made that determination after more than 20 years of study,” the website says. “In fact, it and other federal agencies encourage the use of CCPs and other recycled materials in construction.” According to the website Ashtracker, the San Miguel plant has 26 groundwater monitoring wells, all of which have been polluted above federal advisory levels. Groundwater contains unsafe levels of lithium, sulfate, boron, beryllium, cobalt, cadmium, thallium, arsenic, selenium, radium, fluoride, mercury, molybdenum, and antimony. The second and third most polluting plants are, respectively, Duke Energy’s Allen Stream Station in Belmont, North Carolina, and PacifiCorp’s Jim Bridger power plant in Wyoming. San Miguel responds Nothing new here, the San Miguel Electric Cooperative said in a written statement to Green Building Advisor. The cooperative said that data the Environmental Integrity Project used in its analysis had already been cited in an earlier report on groundwater contamination. “As was the case with that report, San Miguel is well aware of the situation, as the data was collected and reported by San Miguel and is posted on San Miguel’s own CCR website,” the statement says. The cooperative took issue with the report’s  ranking system because it does not recognize that groundwater could be “previously impacted by naturally occurring levels of constituents making it unfit to drink,” as is the case at San Miguel. “Never in the EIP report does it disclose, recognize or explain that there is no evidence of risk to human health at San Miguel given that the groundwater alleged to be contaminated by CCR units is not used for drinking,” the cooperative said. The statement adds, “This appears to be an intentional omission, indicating EIP’s clear purpose of triggering fear and suspicion, as opposed to presenting a balanced view of the facts.” San Miguel said it was conducting all required investigations and that it would take any corrective actions required by law. The industry says it is fixing the problem Tom Adams, the executive director of the American Coal Ash Association, a trade group that promotes the recycling of CCPs, said he had not seen the EIP report. He said his organization is focused on recycling, not managing coal ash in landfills and ponds. He referred questions on that issue to another industry group, the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group. Jim Roewer, its executive director, said in a telephone call that the EIP report overstates the extent of the problem. The report’s authors interpreted the data differently than the procedure outlined in the federal coal ash rule. “The evaluation of the data that EIP took is overstating the extent of violation of groundwater protection standards,” Roewer said. “In some cases, they’re pointing to constituents that there aren’t groundwater protection standards for and saying that’s a violation. Well, no, it’s not, under the rule.” He also said that results of groundwater monitoring don’t necessarily mean that anyone’s drinking water is contaminated. Roewer said some companies have already started looking at corrective measures, as outlined in the federal rules. “There are impacts out there,” he said. “Those impacts are being addressed by the industry… Any impacts we’re having on groundwater that have been identified as a result of our monitoring program will be addressed as required by the rule.”last_img read more


first_imgMuch of a movie’s tone, narrative, and look are decided long before scheduling shooting, and often before writing the script — but not always.From Disney to Pixar, Warner Brothers and beyond, the demonstrable value of storyboards and previs efforts in production is undeniable. The most dynamic alterations that shape a franchise can sometimes happen in post-production — in the midst of creative collaboration, with multiple minds at work in a video review session. Speaking with users of the video review tool, cineSync, we’ve collected some of the most unexpected, impactful post-production moments that changed the direction for the world’s biggest blockbusters.Jon Favreau – Iron ManImage via Iron Man (Marvel).Video review tools were indirectly responsible for the very first character crossover in what later became the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). During post-production for Iron Man, an ILM artist added Captain America’s shield into a scene — a little joke for Jon Favreau. From there, the crossover grew exponentially. Favreau told MTV News the following:We introduced Captain America’s shield briefly in one shot in the last film. An ILM artist put it in there as a joke to us for our cineSync sessions, when we’re approving visual effects. They got a laugh out of it, and I said, ‘Leave it in, that’s pretty cool — let’s see if anybody sees it.’ Of course, everybody saw it — so now it really was in his room, so we had to figure out how to deal with the reality that the shield was in his workshop.The MCU now encompasses twenty films, with twelve more in various stages of production. It’s the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having grossed over $17.5 billion at the global box office.Peter Chiang – Exodus: Gods and KingsImage via Exodus: Gods and Kings (Chernin Entertainment).Ridley Scott‘s retelling of Moses leading the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, Exodus: Gods and Kings, stands out as a movie for which video review was invaluable. The pipeline led Ridley Scott to pick up a Wacom Cintiq tablet and annotate directly on set images from anywhere in the world. This was especially important as shooting took Scott from Mexico, to Morocco, and even to Fuerteventura. Peter Chiang, the film’s VFX supervisor, recalls the following:Ridley Scott draws brilliantly. We would draw several versions of a scene in cineSync to accurately meet his vision, saving a lot of time in post-production, even when Ridley Scott was traveling abroad.Ridley’s annotations pushed the quality of scenes to a new level — sometimes with minor refinements, and sometimes into an entirely new direction — allowing for full creative exploration so the VFX team could find the best solution to the shot. Chiang continues:The plague and Red Sea sequences went through a series of particularly dynamic changes.Swarms of locusts and parting oceans aside, the main VFX work on Exodus: Gods and Kings involved accurately portraying Egypt in 1300 BC, with all its grand architecture and magnificent environmental assets. All scenes in the movie passed under the artistic eye of Ridley Scott.We researched the time period early on in production, taking photos of existing temples and Egyptian monuments in Luxor. But, we had to imagine what those structures originally looked like without centuries of decay, and then introduce textures to hit what the audience understands as 1300 BC architecture. The sheer scale of the film relied heavily on a digital extension to Arthur Max’s sets, and plenty of work went on behind the scenes in post-production that changed the direction of the end look.Jake Morrison – Thor: RagnarokImage via Thor: Ragnarok (Marvel).From superpowers to capes and tights, every comic book hero has their own iconic look. Color plays an important part in creating that look within the Marvel Universe. Besides adding a bit of personality, a standout color scheme for each character can help audiences keep track of what’s happening in the midst of a heated battle royale.So, how does Marvel cycle through infinite shades of red, blue, yellow, green, and everything in between? Video review helped filmmakers isolate almost any color within a shot using a combination of contrast, saturation, and the hue wheel in cineSync.For example, in the last few weeks of production on Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel and Image Engine teamed up to create an interdimensional portal introducing the film’s main antagonist, Hela. The result was a rolling mass of energy called a “curly crackle,” almost like a three-dimensional lava lamp crafted through particle simulations. But something in the scene still didn’t look quite right. Jake Morrison, Marvel’s VFX Supervisor, explains:We grabbed hold of the color wheel, then and there, with all decision-makers present — the director, the executive producer, everyone — and we just started spinning through all possibilities for the portal. Then, we got to Hela’s signature green.Best of all, the team didn’t have to go back and do another fifty rounds of particle simulation to pinpoint Hela’s one, iconic color. Her character quickly developed into a different style than originally proposed.Cover image via Iron Man (Marvel).Looking for more insights into the film and video industry? Check these out.“The Lucas Effect”: When Filmmaking Creativity Goes UncheckedE3 2019: How Video Games Are Changing Cinematic Storytelling10k Vs 100k Vs 500k: Feature Film Budgets ComparedThe Cameras and Lenses Behind the Marvel Cinematic UniverseThe Cameras Behind Netflix Originals: Films and Serieslast_img read more


first_imgTottenham boss Pochettino admits he’s ‘suffering’by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admits he’s been “suffering” during their poor start to the season.Poch, 47, took Spurs to the Champions League final last season and is on the radar of both Manchester United and Real Madrid.But asked if Spurs can still match his ambition, he said: “I hope, yes. That is my wish.”“You can be frustrated and disappointed sometimes but the challenge is to get back to where we were.” He added: “In football, I have suffered only two big disappointments.“One, when I was a player and there was the penalty at the World Cup.“The second was in the Champions League final. I so much want to win a trophy with Tottenham.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more


first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona midfielder Busquets relieved with Slavia Prague winby Carlos Volcano2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets admitted relief after their Champions League win over Slavia Prague.Busquets admitted they were made to suffer in the Czech capital. “It’s an important victory,” Busquets said after the win. “We knew we had back-to-back games coming up against them (in Europe) and winning away is always important. It’s really complicated and even group. These three points give us an advantage at the top and we hope to be able to take advantage of that at home in the next game. “(The final minutes) were difficult. We knew they would take risks, put lots of players forward and if we didn’t press it was going to be tough. We had chances but we also suffered quite a bit. They had the game lost and were throwing bodies forward. We had the numbers on the break but we suffered until the end.” On the missed chances, he said: “Sometimes the ball doesn’t want to go in. Our second goal wasn’t the best but it still counts. We have to keep on going.” And on Lionel Messi, who scored the opener, Busquets added: “He’s had a tough start to the season because of injuries. He’s fundamental to the way we play and a lot goes through him. He’s getting his rhythm back but it won’t take him long because he’s the best in the world.” last_img read more


first_imgAPTN National NewsThree guards at the Winnipeg remand centre were fired last month after allegedly beating up an inmate.Now there is an internal investigation into how prisoners are being treated while behind bars.APTN National News reporter Ntawnis Piapot caught up with a former remand centre employee who said she raised concerns, but was ignored and faced retribution.last_img


first_imgOTTAWA – New research shows Export Development Canada provides 12 times as much financial backing to oil and gas companies as it did to clean technology companies over the last five years.The findings by lobby group Oil Change International show that the federal government’s export financing agency provided $62 billion to oil and gas companies between 2012 and 2017, compared to the $5 billion offered to the cleantech sector.Patrick Derochie, climate and energy program manager at Environmental Defence, says Canada cannot claim to be a climate leader when it is funnelling billions of dollars to keep spewing carbon and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The United Nations World Meteorological Association says the amount of carbon and other climate-changing gases trapped in the earth’s atmosphere hit new records in 2017.The federal Liberals repeatedly say clean technology is a $26-trillion opportunity that Canada is taking advantage of but environment groups believe Canada is working against itself by spending more money to encourage pumping oil out of the ground.The report comes the day after Ottawa extended new tax credits to companies who invest in new equipment and machinery, including clean tech equipment, all while admitting that some of that investment will encourage the production of more emissions.last_img read more


first_imgLast month, the City received an application for “Starbuds,” a Non-Medical Cannabis Retail Store Licence, that will be located in the Dawson Mall.Anyone wishing to voice their concerns is asked to write to:Cindy Fisher, Deputy Corporate OfficerCity of Dawson CreekP.O. Box 150, 10105 12A StreetDawson Creek, BC V1G 4G4 DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The City of Dawson Creek has received an application for a non-medical cannabis retail store.In a release, the City says a store under the proposed establishment name of “Northern Cannabis” has made an application for a Non-Medical Cannabis Retail Store Licence. The location of the proposed store is at 10112 10th Street, in Dawson Creek.The City says anyone who feels that they may be affected by this application is asked to submit their written comments no later than 4:30 p.m. on December 7, 2018.last_img read more


first_imgFORT NELSON, BC – Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM) recognizes emergency preparedness procedures are an important part of their communities safety and has introduced an alert system to keep residents and visitors informed in the case of a critical incident.The multi-purpose communication service Voyent Alert will be a way to send alerts to residents, businesses and visitors during critical events like fires or floods. In the NRRM, the system will be used to alert to hazards such as wildfires, although the platform has the ability to be used for other public messaging as well.The NRRM shares that residents receiving an emergency alert, it’s important to take action safely. Stop what you are doing when it is safe to do so and read the emergency alert. Information could include but is not limited to;limit unnecessary travelevacuate the areaseek shelter etc.The NRRM reminds residents to seek credible information from official sources in your community and to not contact emergency services for information related to an alert unless a life is at risk.“The Northern Rockies has a great new tool to inform people in the case of an emergency – in this connected age, the municipality is able to convey information at a critical point in time, using the most popular communication methods available,” said Mayor Gary Foster of the new alert notification system. For more information; CLICK HERElast_img read more


first_imgOne of India’s most-read authors, Ruskin Bond has said that he tries to strike a positive note when writing for children and feels a certain responsibility as an author. The Landour-based writer, when asked what he felt about his vast readership, said that since he writes so much for young readers, he tries to strike a positive chord. “For adults, it doesn’t matter, you can strike a negative note, because by the time they’ve grown up, they lose their innocence,” the 84-year-old Padma Bhushan recipient said at an event. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainSharing nuggets from his own childhood, the author of ‘The Blue Umbrella’ (also cinematically adapted by the same name), said that he shares a deep connection with the hills. “I belong to the hills. Surroundings change, the place changes a bit, but my relationship remains more or less the same, my feelings for the hills and for the people of the hills,” the author said. “It goes back 50 years or more. I don’t like to see too much change, in the sense that I don’t like too much building, but it’s inevitable,” he further added. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardNow, in an upcoming compilation of 14 holiday stories for children – ‘The Puffin Book Of Holiday Stories’ – Bond’s young readers will be treated to one of his another literary gems. His latest children’s story is published in the just-launched fun anthology of adventure, humour, ghosts, mysteries, friends, mangoes, family dramas and little boys and girls. If the list of authors is nothing short of illustrious – Rabindranath Tagore, Sudha Murty, Paro Anand, Khyrunnisa A, Subhadra Sen Gupta, Nandini Nayar, Prashant Pinge, Himanjali Sankar, Nayanika Mahtani, Shabnam Minwalla, Manjula Padmanbhan – the children’s book comes with an introduction by Bond. “In India, not enough importance is given to writing for children. And what could be more important than the enrichment of young minds with great literature? “This is when we discover ourselves, our own potential, and, more often than not, we’ll do it through what we read and write,” reads his short introduction to the paperback. Advising his young friends to take a bag full of books wherever they go, he said: “Holidays can become tedious without something to read.”last_img read more