Branded for success | Opinion

first_imgBranded for success | OpinionGame Dragons’ Philip Oliver offers advice on how to licence IP, and how to identify IP that is now in the public domainPhilip OliverThursday 18th April 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareAndrew and I have been making games for over 35 years, and over a third of the games we’ve made have been based on popular brands.Through our first company Blitz Games, we produced games based on Mickey Mouse, Action Man, Puss In Boots, Chicken Run, Pac-Man, Burger King, Frogger, SpongeBob, Bratz, Barbie, The Mummy Returns, War Games, and many more. It’s probably fair to say that there’s unlikely to be another developer in the games industry with more experience of working with brands, so we know what we’re talking about.Familiarity sellsOur first experience of working on a branded game was as far back as 1989 when we created GhostBusters 2 for the Spectrum and Amstrad. It was no surprise at all that it became a bestseller — that’s the power of brands, though obviously it was a good game too.”Never attempt to use a brand without licensing it — you’re likely to end up in court” But even before we could actually license existing brands, we knew the power of recognisable names and images — so we based a game on Robin Hood. Super Robin Hood was released in 1986 and became our first UK No.1 bestseller. We’d go on to use other ‘free’ brands, i.e. those that have fallen out of copyright or were simply myths or legends. In the UK, Europe and the United States, the general rule is that copyright lasts for the lifetime of the artist plus 70 years after their death. It used to be shorter, so you can assume anything created before 1908 is now in the public domain, but you should always check.Recently, just as a hobby, we designed a new Dizzy game based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, called Wonderful Dizzy. Since this was written in 1900, it’s well out of copyright and therefore can be used freely without a licence. But a word of warning — new intellectual property rights can be created by new material based on the original.The classic case here is Disney’s Snow White and Seven Dwarfs. While the underlying story is in the public domain — first published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812 — and can be freely used, Disney’s version contains many new elements which it fiercely protects. The look of Snow White, the dwarfs and their names, were created by Disney for its 1937 film.The number one rule, though, is that you do a proper legal check before starting work on anything based on an existing property, regardless of its age.While a story may have fallen out of copyright, check you aren’t infringing on aspects from more modern adaptationsWarning: License it or leave itNever attempt to use a brand without licensing it — you’re likely to end up in court. Even if you just use signs in your game carrying a company’s products or logos the brand holder can object. Remember that even the look of a product has copyright, so if you put an obvious picture or 3D model of a particular Ferrari in your game, even if you remove its badge you’re still in breach of copyright. Likewise, there are plenty of geographical landmarks that are copyrighted (such as the Hollywood sign), so you need to do your research on that front as well.Understanding brand valuesAll brands have different values to consumers and different target audiences. Gucci is an extremely valuable brand, but it has little value in the games space. Whereas EA was rumoured to have guaranteed $50 million for exclusive rights to Harry Potter back in 2000, because it’s perfect material for games and gamers.”A smart developer will create a game that really pushes the scope of a franchise, evolving and expanding it as they do” It’s important to consider what audience you are targeting and therefore what brands will be attractive. There are many casual brands that would work well on mobile but have no synergy with PC gamers, so platform choice is also important.What’s the deal?There are a number of different ways you might end up working with a brand. In all cases the brand holder will want final approval and sign off of all materials. That includes the game itself and all the supporting marketing and advertising materials, too. The licences contain the rules and terms that have been negotiated, including platforms, number of titles, and the period of time the games can be sold over.Most brand holders also have a brand bible, which catalogues all the known rules of their brand. These are largely visual, but may also contain character biographies, backgrounds and motivations. Often there will be descriptions of the tone and feel of the ‘universe’ of the brand. It’s very important to get your hands on the brand bible as soon as possible — maybe even prior to your pitch if you can.Work for HireIn this scenario, you are approached to bid on developing a game of a brand, either by a games publisher or the brand holder themselves. This is often referred to as an RFP (request for proposal), and you’re unlikely to be the only developer that has been sent the brief. They will already most likely know the formats and genre of the games they’re looking for, and will want you to show your creative flair and your technical abilities to create great games that complement the other media and merchandise in the brand.”It’s not a sell-out to work on a licensed product — it’s a privilege” ReactiveThere are times when brand holders reach out to sell the interactive license to one of their properties. Sometimes they use licensing agents for this, as happened with us when when we bought the interactive rights for the Chicken Run franchise back in 1999.In that case, you’re bidding against others and must convince the brand holder that you understand their property and its audience, that you can create a game or games that will not only increase the reputation and value of their brand, but will be commercially successful too. And you’ll need to back that confidence up with forecasts, a fair royalty back to them, with a minimum guarantee, and demonstrate you have a route to market.Sometimes you might spot a brand that’s not yet been exploited in games, and you can approach the licensors to see if they’d be interested in doing a deal. Again, you’ll need to present a creative and business proposal for them to consider, and then negotiate terms.Quality beats quantityBack in the ’90s, the charts were dominated by the game of the film, toy, or cartoon series. As time went on, these games gained a reputation for being poor experiences as publishers began slapping a license on very basic games, relying on the franchise to sell them.You see less of this now, though, since gamers are more demanding and development budgets have increased. The big publishers now pick and choose which brands to license, and balance them with their own growing gaming franchises, while the mobile market is still fertile ground for branded games to thrive.Check the small printWith licensing contracts, you need to be very careful about what they do and don’t contain. You’ll need to know the boundaries, but also where you can potentially introduce new ideas. Don’t expect to own any of those expansions, though — they’ll become part of the brand itself if they’re successful. We created additional characters for Frogger 2 in 2000, which all went on to be part of the brand and used in later games and even in a cartoon series.However, sometimes licenses don’t include everything you’d hope and expect. We once created a game for an action movie where we discovered part way through production that the publisher’s license didn’t include the movie’s music, storyline, or the likenesses of actors. They did have the name, logo and poster art, so effectively we made the game of the poster — but because of production timings, we only saw this after we’d completed most of the game.Creative freedomYou’ll obviously have existing rules to follow when working in an established universe, but a smart developer will create a game that really pushes the scope of a franchise, evolving and expanding it as they do. Licensors don’t want games that add nothing of value to the brand, so you should see it as a creative challenge and not a restriction.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Sometimes games can be used purely as a promotional tool, with game sales taking second place to general brand awareness. We produced a series of games for fast food giant Burger King in 2006. They went on to sell over three million units, but more importantly for the brand holders, they drove a lot of people into Burger King outlets and garnered press attention and several advertising awards.Similarly, we also worked with Coca-Cola on their 2012 Super Bowl campaign, creating a real-time interactive experience that allowed the Coca-Cola polar bears to react to the game online as it played out. It’s not always about creating a standard gaming experience.Brands can bring a powerful marketing pull to a game, especially if your title lines up with a major new movie or toy launch — but with great exposure comes great responsibility. Choose the right brand, get inside the heads of its fans, treat it with respect, and use your creativity to add value to the universe you’re playing in. It’s not a sell-out to work on a licensed product — it’s a privilege.Philip Oliver is co-founder of new consultancy firm Game Dragons and one half of the veteran Oliver Twins. This is the first in a series of columns from Game Dragons offering advice to developers on growing their business. You can read the rest here.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEA leans on Apex Legends and live services in fourth quarterQ4 and full year revenues close to flat and profits take a tumble, but publisher’s bookings still up double-digitsBy Brendan Sinclair 2 hours agoEA Play Live set for July 22Formerly E3-adjacent event moves to take place a month and half after the ESA’s showBy Jeffrey Rousseau 4 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Quiet, eco-friendly energy supply comes to Kruger National Park

first_imgThe diesel generator has a power output of 150kVA and can be remotely controlled. Real-time monitoring and remote grid maintenance occur via VPN using a SCADA system. Additionally, the UPP offers access to historical data via the DHYBRID web portal. UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development Both components are housed in an air-conditioned 20-foot ocean container, which was designed and built by the off-grid suppliers in accordance with international standards. TAGSBattery storageclean powermini-gridoff-gridSouth Africa Previous articleOp-Ed: How to become an energy efficiency warriorNext articleTotal acquires a stake of Anadarko’s shareholding in Mozambique LNG Nicolette Pombo-van ZylAs the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention. AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Read moreNews on carbon emissions In addition to the new and quiet energy supply, the lodge uses custom-engineered electric vehicles for its safaris. A separate greywater recycling system, as well as a sewage treatment plant, have been installed on the property to minimise water consumption and environmental impact. A diesel generator, integrated with the microgrid, is available for use during low irradiation periods to support the storage system. DHYBRID’s Universal Power Platform (UPP) monitors and controls all the components in the system and therefore ensures a reliable energy supply at any time. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA Technical specifications of the installation The grid-forming, bi-directional battery inverter with a power output of 250kW is supplied by the lithium-ion storage system, which comprises Samsung SDI cells and offers a capacity of 1,027kWh. Now readPower Devices: The Tiny, Eco-Friendly Key to Our Low-Carbon Society Dreams? The new electricity supplyoffers a three-phase power output and comprises three solar installations witha total capacity of 300kWp; comprising a 160kWp rooftop installation, 100kWpmounted on carports, and 40kWp on dual-axis trackers. Smart control of the on-site eco-friendly power grid Cheetah Plains’ proprietor, Japie van Niekerk, said: “We have partnered with some of the world’s pre-eminent minds in the renewable energy field to provide clean energy solutions that drive both our hospitality and safari experiences here at Cheetah Plains.” In the interest of modernisation,the lodge has been equipped with a microgrid – its own on-site power grid –which is capable of reliably supplying electricity even to large three-phaseenergy consumers such as cooling systems or motors. This makes the entire system noticeably more efficient, meaning that the diesel generator only needs to be switched on when energy consumption is unusually high or in periods of bad weather. Energy generators used simultaneouslycenter_img Eco-friendly off-grid system in Kruger National Park. Source: DHYBRID Sign up for the ESI Africa newsletter This reduces fuel consumption, noise pollution, and the impact on the environment while extending the generator’s lifespan. For many kinds of technical equipment, good grid quality is indispensable; for others, it extends their lifespan. This quality is reflected in the stable line voltage and frequency, which the UPP guarantees. The system continuously monitors all the important grid parameters and facilitates automated operation. A total of six 60kW stringinverters is used in the installation. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR In order to reduceoperating costs along with carbon emissions, the system controls the connectedenergy generators and energy storage in a way to maximise the use of renewableenergy. Additionally, the UPP guarantees high security of supply withoutdisruptions. Read moreOff-grid news and reviews Unlike traditionalindependent microgrids where either the diesel generator or the solarinstallation can be used, the UPP can control different energy generatorssimultaneously. Off-grid suppliers, DHYBRID and Blockpower, have implementedan environmentally friendly, independent renewable energy supply for theCheetah Plains Lodge, located in the world-famous Kruger National Park in SouthAfrica. Finance and Policy “The new energy systemdoesn’t just increase security of supply; it also ensures grid quality.Moreover, carbon emissions and noise pollution are both decreased,” DHYBRID’sCEO Benedikt Böhm reports. Generation The system comprises three solar plants with 895 photovoltaic (PV) modules in total and a one-megawatt hour lithium-ion battery storage system. BRICS The available peak power capacity for the lodge has been increased by four times to 250kW since it switched over to the microgrid from its previous energy supplier, state-owned power utility Eskom. last_img read more

Instructor – 6th-12th Grade Choral & Performing Arts Instructor (70652)

first_imgA cover letter or letter of applicationA complete resume or curriculum vitae (include links topreviously directed student productions)Three letters of recommendation providing evidence of effectiveteaching experience and ongoing collaboration with teachingcolleagues Preferred Qualification3+ years of K-12 choral teaching experienceInterested applicants must apply online at and include: Direct teaching of assigned students.Administer and analyze formative assessments to monitor studentprogress and plan instructional shifts to increase achievement andsuccess for all students.Design appropriate curriculum, instructional, and assessmentaccommodations to support academic success for a diverse group ofstudents including both striving and advanced learners.Incorporate effective and innovative uses of technology tosupport teaching, learning, and collaboration in a 1:1 learningenvironment.Maintain regular parent communication (virtually,face-to-face).Engage in annual cycles of professional learning.Participate in practitioner inquiry (research) to supportprofessional learning and inform continuous programimprovement.Analyze the impact of teaching practice and implementedcurriculum on student learning.Select developmentally appropriate, yet challenging, music andmaterials for assigned courses and annual concerts/productionsProgram and prepare students for competitions, extracurricular,and/or community performancesLead and supervise rehearsals for special programsAssume responsibility, plan (i.e., registration,transportation, lodging, meals, chaperones), and accompany studentsto school-sponsored performances and competitions; monitor andmanage student behaviorCommunicate effectively with administrators, parents, andteaching colleagues regarding scheduling, rehearsals, upcomingperformances, and students’ academic progressManage assignment and care of performance costumes, props, andequipment in the performing arts facility Final candidate will be required to provide official transcript tothe hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not beconsidered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” isvisible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside ofthe United States are required to be evaluated by a professionalcredentialing service provider approved by National Association ofCredential Evaluation Services (NACES), which can be found at .The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institutiondedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty andstaff.The University of Florida is An Equal Employment OpportunityInstitution. If an accommodation due to a disability is needed toapply for this position, please call 352/392-2477 or the FloridaRelay System at 800/955-8771 (TDD). Hiring is contingent uponeligibility to work in the US. Searches are conducted in accordancewith Florida’s Sunshine Law.#Category=26The University of Florida is committed to non-discrimination withrespect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex,sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status,national origin, political opinions or affiliations, geneticinformation and veteran status in all aspects of employmentincluding recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline,terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, andtraining. For more details about UF benefits, please learn more about P.K. Yonge, please you are interested in being a part of this dedicated team ofprofessionals, we invite you to submit your curriculum vitae orresume and application.The successful candidate should possess the following skills andqualifications:Minimum Requirements University of FloridaBenefitsDisclosure of CampusSecurity Policy and Campus Crime StatisticsAccessibility at UF Review of applications will begin immediately and continue untilthe position is filled.If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for thisposition, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at800-955-8771 (TDD). Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to workin the US. Searches are conducted in accordance with Florida’sSunshine Law.The University of Florida is committed to nondiscrimination withrespect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex,sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status,national origin, political opinions or affiliations, geneticinformation, and veteran status in all aspects of employmentincluding recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline,terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, andtraining.Resources A Master’s degree; candidates with Bachelor’s degree will beconsidered, but will be required to obtain a Master’s degree withinthree years of hire; See UF’s Employee Education tuition benefitFlorida teaching certification (or Certificate ofEligibility)Excellent oral and written communication skillsDemonstrated commitment to diversity and effective strategiesfor motivating and teaching students with differing skill levelsfrom a variety of backgrounds You belong at a K-12 teaching and learning environment that’sleading the way!About P.K. YongeP.K. Yonge DevelopmentalResearch School (DRS) is a public school established in 1934with the mission to design, test, and disseminate innovations inK-12 education through serving a student population representativeof Florida’s economic, racial, gender, and academic diversity. P.K.Yonge seeks to attract a faculty that reflects the diversity of ourstudent population. Affiliated with the College of Education at theUniversity of Florida, P.K. Yonge faculty may partner with membersof the college to develop, and test teaching solutions grounded inour shared values of inclusivity, accessibility, equity, andstudent agency while educating approximately 1250 students oncampus.P.K. Yonge | Best SchoolEVER!P.K. Yonge: Re-imaginingSchool – Opening the Secondary BuildingP.K. Yonge boasts a small community-like atmosphere that fostersdeep and impactful relationships with students and families fromall walks of life over many years. P.K. Yonge is committed tocreating an equitable and inclusive environment for all as we seekto generate new ideas for advancing equity and inclusion at P.K.Yonge and beyond through research, teaching, and/or service.Teachers work closely in a collaborative environment thatcultivates diversity of thought, perspectives, and ideas on mattersthat impact K-12 schools. As practitioner-researchers, P.K. Yongefaculty are constantly working to bridge theory and practice. P.K.Yonge attributes our successes to the contributions of teachersfrom all backgrounds and nationalities who find teaching, research,and investigation inspiring, who value the opportunity to reachoutside the bounds of the classroom, and who are open to sharing ona broader scale.P.K. Yonge teachers enjoy greater professional autonomy. P.K. Yongefaculty engage in professional learning opportunities each yearthough webinars, workshops, learning communities, and teacherresearch aimed at increasing knowledge of diversity and equity ininclusive learning environments. Teachers are fully supported toexplore and learn within their subject areas; encouraged to presentand attend national conferences; and inspired to refine and improvetheir current practices.P.K. Yonge | About OurSchool | Faculty VoicesLearn moreabout the Gainesville communityThe Opportunity and Job DescriptionP.K. Yonge Developmental Research School (DRS) is seeking to hirean experienced 6th-12th Grade Choral & Performing ArtsInstructor. P.K. Yonge’s 6th-12th Grade Performing Arts Programincludes both audition-based and open-enrollment courses asfollows: chorus, drama, show choir, band, jazz band, andinstrumental ensemble. The ideal candidate would have chorusteaching and musical theater/performance choir experience with 6-12students from diverse backgrounds, including experience as adirector/producer. The 6th-12th Choral and Performing ArtsInstructor will be responsible for the artistic integrity andquality of assigned performance groups, as well as directing andproducing choral concerts and productions. Specificresponsibilities and expectations for contributing to the P.K.Yonge Performing Arts Program are as follows:last_img read more

Personalised registration laws change

first_imgOperators who have personalised registrations on their coaches, buses or minibuses are promised lower fees and a better service, thanks to changes to the law this month.The law has changed to reduce the fee to retain a personalised registration from 105 to 80. This will apply to both paper and online transactions.This change sees the removal of the 25 fee currently in place to renew the retention of a vehicle registration number on an annual basis.The renewal period is also extended to 10 years. There is another added benefit: The fee is being removed to add or change nominee details.Says the DVLA: “Customers will see a significant reduction in turnaround times following the introduction of this service.“DVLA systems will be updated in real time and the service will provide instant confirmation that the application has been successful.”In future, the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) with the replacement registration number and retention certificate will be issued by post to the registered keeper on DVLA’s records. There will no longer be a replacement MOT certificate issued to the keeper, as the original remains valid.Also, the DVLA has launched its online ‘Take a Registration Number off a Vehicle’ service, which allows keepers and dealers to apply to retain a number online.The new online service went live on Monday (23 March).Visit: read more

A summit of two halves

first_imgBut all was transformed by the soccer, as the Danes beat the Germans in the final of the European Championships. That night Uffe made an unforgettable entrance into the summit dinner, complete with a supporter’s scarf around his shoulders, declaring: “If you can’t join them, beat them.”Then there was the Irish summit during the World Cup a few years ago. Everyone, from the security men at Dublin Castle to the diplomats, were glued to television sets. Only the poor Union leaders were locked in talks, discussing affairs of state.But then, as the game against Romania went Ireland’s way, word was sent into summit host Charles Haughey, the then Irish Prime Minister, who had asked to be kept informed.The tension was too much. No one was in any mood for negotiation. Haughey ordered a television set to be wheeled in so that the EU’s political rulers could concentrate on the real issues affecting the everyday lives of the citizens. It came as no surprise that UK Prime Minister John Major left the Florence needle match last week declaring victory for England on two fronts.But it was a close-run thing – a penalty shoot-out decision in Major’s favour after a sustained attack by the opposition took the clash into extra time. But as the cheers went up and the victors headed for home, it was by no means certain that the celebrations about the Florence result would be anything but short-lived. And that, as they say, was just the beef.It was not the first time a summit had been over-run by sport. Few can forget the chutzpah of Denmark’s Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, whose country won the European Championship weeks after the Danes had shocked the world, or at least some parts of Europe, by rejecting the Maastricht Treaty in a referendum. It was wretched for Ellemann-Jensen, an outcast at the Lisbon summit.last_img read more

The NASCAR Foundation wins big with poker tourney

first_imgREAD: Daytona Duel 150-mile qualifying race lineup DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2014) – The NASCAR Foundation held its third annual poker event, “High Speed Hold ’Em,” on Wednesday night, a charitable and celebratory lead-in to Sunday’s Daytona 500 (1 p.m. ET on FOX, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).Championed by event co-chairs Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick, the evening featured a fun-filled poker tournament with players including NASCAR drivers Regan Smith, Alex Bowman, Dakoda Armstrong, Jamie Dick, Jimmy Weller, John Wes Townley and IMSA driver James Gue. The evening culminated with a $150,000 check presentation to the Speediatrics unit at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.”In just three years, with many in our community and industry working together, we have made the High Speed Hold ‘Em event a fun, engaging and, most importantly, charitable part of NASCAR’s season-launch celebration,” said Betty Jane France, chairwoman of The NASCAR Foundation. “This event has become very important to the Daytona Beach community, providing another round of support for The NASCAR Foundation’s Speediatrics children’s unit at Halifax Health Medical Center.”The NASCAR Foundation’s Speediatrics units were created based on the vision of France, whose passion for children has ensured that kids receive the medical care they need in order to live, learn and play in their communities. With locations in Daytona Beach and at Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Fla., Speediatrics provides medical treatment to nearly 27,000 children annually.”So many children benefit from the facilities, resources and talented medical staff at Speediatrics,” said Jeff Feasel, President/CEO Halifax Health. “High Speed Hold ’Em provides a great opportunity to catch up with some of the stars of NASCAR, along with highlighting the only pediatric program in the area. This is just another example of how The NASCAR Foundation and our community comes together to support our kids.”Fittingly, 2003 World Series of Poker celebrity player Chris Moneymaker won first place in the tournament, while attendees Michael Munier and Sherry Gailey took the second and third place spots, respectively.Photo from left to right: Jeff Feasel (President and CEO Halifax Health), Glenn Ritchey (The NASCAR Foundation board member), Harold Goodemote (The NASCAR Foundation board member), Lorene King (The NASCAR Foundation exec director), Joe Petrock (Halifax Health Foundation) and Alex Bowman (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver – made the Daytona 500 after his finish in the first Budweiser Duel on Thursdau)MORE: READ: Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 pole READ: How to qualify for the Daytona 500center_img WATCH: Massive wreck in Sprint Unlimited $150K donation presented to Speediatrics Unitat Halifax Health Medical Centerlast_img read more

Review: Alligator Cable’s Ultra Smooth 31-Strand Stainless Steel Shift Cables

first_imgThe 31 individual strands of the Alligator cable (left) are thinner than the 19 strands from a standard cable (right). This makes the entire cable much more supple so it bends more easily in tight spaces. For frames (like the original Jet9 RDO) that have tight corners or multiple short bends in the cable runs, it helps everything run smoother. When I flexed and wiggled the 31-strand and a standard cable, the Alligator was noticeably more pliable.It’s also light at just 15g for a full length cable with both shifter nubs still intact. Notice how small the coil is and how few wraps I had to do with the end to keep it all together? It’s just one small example of how flexible the cable is.I’ve had these on the bike now for two months and ridden in rain, heavy (heavy!!!) humidity and dry dirt and had no problems. The bike’s even been on the back of a car through some highway rain, and it’s still running smooth as the day it was installed. Granted, the new Jet9 RDO’s running full length housing, but water will get anywhere and often one crud-filled ride can gunk up shifting. Also, I’ve only had to make a couple small twists to the shifter’s barrel adjuster during that time, so cable stretch has been minimal. It’s a little thing, but sometimes little things make all the difference.Check ’em out at Normally, when we’re talking about Alligator, we’re showing you some wild brake parts (here and here) or showcasing an insane project bike. Their 31-Strand Slick Stainless Steel cables are a bit more tame, but still worth a look.Aftermarket cables are a weird sort of afterthought these days, most often being a purchase of last minute need with choice being made by whatever your local bike shop has in stock. Alligator cables might not be the first name you’ll find hanging on the wall pegs, but they bring quite a few options to the table.These eschew any outer coating but use thinner cable strands to pack more into the same space, then smooth the outer edges to make them slick. Since there are no special coatings to wear off, and they’re stainless, they should maintain their luster and performance for a long time.These made their way onto my bike build for the TS Epic, connecting the XX1 group (reviewed here) along the Niner Jet9 RDO’s frame. Route past the break to see what makes them special…last_img read more

Alan Cumming & Daniel Radcliffe to Star in Samuel Beckett Double Bill at London’s Old Vic

first_img Stage veterans Alan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe will team up for a pair of plays by Samuel Beckett at London’s Old Vic as part of the company’s 2019-2020 season. The newly announced docket of productions will also include a mounting of Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs starring The Crown’s Claire Foy and Matt Smith.Kicking off the new slate of works is A Very Expensive Poison, a world premiere play by Lucy Prebble (Enron) based on the book by Luke Harding. Directed by John Crowley, previews will begin on August 19, 2019 ahead of a September 5 opening night. The play is described as an exposé of the events behind the notorious death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.Next up will be Macmillan’s Lungs, headlined by Emmy winner Foy and Emmy nominee Smith in their Old Vic debuts. Matthew Warchus will direct the play, which follows a couple wrestling with the planet’s biggest dilemmas. Dates for the production are to be announced.Over the holiday season, The Old Vic will present a new immersive staging of A Christmas Carol adapted by Tony winner Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). Warchus will direct the production, set to begin previews on November 23, 2019 and open on December 4.The Beckett double bill—which will include Endgame (the follow-up to Waiting for Godot) and the rarely seen Rough for Theatre II—starring Cumming and Radcliffe, will be directed by Richard Jones. Previews will kick off on January 27, 2020 in advance of a February 4 opening night.Closing out the mainstage season is the previously announced London debut of the musical Local Hero—based on the acclaimed film—featuring a book by Bill Forsyth and David Greig, music and lyrics by Mark Knopfler and direction by John Crowley. Previews will begin on June 18, 2020 ahead of a June 30 opening night.For a look at the Old Vic’s full season, click here. Alan Cumming & Daniel Radcliffe(Photos: Emilio Madrid-Kuser for View Commentslast_img read more

NAMI Report: State Medicaid expansions will strengthen mental health care

first_imgUp to 30 percent of currently insured adults who would receive health care coverage through state Medicaid expansions are individuals living with mental illness, the National Alliance on Mental Illness ( NAMI ), a national advocacy organization, reported today. Vermont is one of several states that is expanding its Medicaid program.See report: is external) .”Today more than ever before, Americans recognize that the mental health care system is in crisis,” said NAMI Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick.”Unfortunately, despite increased public concern for greater mental health care, 14 states have shut the door this year to helping this vulnerable population by rejecting Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.””Besides abandoning people in need, states that reject Medicaid expansion lose an opportunity for federal funds that would help strengthen the overall mental health care system.  States that are still considering expansion need to carefully focus on mental health implications for everyone.””When mental illness isn’t treated, major costs get shifted elsewhere — to emergency rooms, police, jails and broken families,” Fitzpatrick said.Nationwide, 2.7 million currently uninsured individuals living with mental illness would become eligible for health care under Medicaid expansion.In the report Medicaid Expansion and Mental Health Care , NAMI lists 21 states in which the proportion of uninsured persons who would benefit from Medicaid expansion and are living with mental illness totals 20 to 30 percent.Of those 21 states, seven have approved Medicaid expansion: Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Vermont. Five have rejected it: Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.In both Minnesota and Nebraska, 30 percent of currently uninsured persons live with mental illness and would benefit from Medicaid expansion. Minnesota has adopted expansion, but Nebraska has rejected it.Within the 20 percent range, states in which Medicaid expansion is still — at least technically — an open question:Ohio — 24 percent *Indiana — 23 percentVirginia — 22 percentWest Virginia — 22 percentMaine — 21 percentSouth Carolina — 21 percentTennessee — 20 percentUtah — 20 percentMichigan — 20 percentOf the remaining 29 states and the District of Columbia, the proportion ranges from 10 to 19 percent, with the exception of Maryland (8 percent) and Massachusetts (6 percent).  In that range, 15 states have approved Medicaid expansion.  Eight have rejected it.Five states in the lower tier have the following proportions of currently uninsured adults living with mental illness who would benefit from expansion:Montana — 17 percentNew Hampshire — 15 percentKansas — 13 percentArizona — 12 percent*Texas — 11 percentOver 10 years from 2013 through 2022, states in which Medicaid expansion is still pending stand to lose a total of $255 billion in federal funds if they reject itTexas, Ohio and Tennessee stand to lose the most.Texas —  $66 billionOhio — $53 billionTennessee — $23 billionMichigan — $18 billionIndiana — $17 billionSouth Carolina — $16 billionVirginia — $15 billionArizona — $10 billionWest Virginia — $9 billionKansas — $5 billionUtah — $5 billionMaine — $3 billionMontana — $2 billionNew Hampshire — $2 billion* As NAMI prepared to release the report on May 30, 2013, legislative votes on Medicaid expansion were considered imminent in Arizona and Ohio. Because of publication deadlines, late developments may not be reflected in the report. For example, Iowa is listed as “pending” in Appendix V of the report, but has since adopted expansionAbout NAMINAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of ARLINGTON, Va., May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — National Alliance on Mental Illnesslast_img read more

Gophers down Cardinal Stritch in exhibition

first_imgGophers down Cardinal Stritch in exhibitionMinnesota won 79-57 in its first action of the season. Jace FrederickNovember 1, 2013Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThe Gophers offense was fast, fluid and efficient in the first half of their season opening 79-57 exhibition win over Cardinal Stritch. Minnesota’s defense attacked and forced numerous turnovers that led to easy buckets in head coach Richard Pitino’s unofficial debut.The second half? Eh, not so much.After dominating the first half, Minnesota was outscored 38-33 in the second half by the Wolves.“We’ve got a lot of things to work on,” senior guard Austin Hollins said. “I think we did a good job tonight, but we’re going to keep on improving.”The Gophers’ fast start was sparked by a relentless full-court press. Minnesota forced 17 turnovers on the night.“I liked our press early better than late,” head coach Richard Pitino said. “I thought we did some good things on defense — 11 steals is pretty good.”Sophomore forward Joey King was a key cog in the Gophers press, using his length to make it difficult for smaller guards to find open teammates.The defense sparked opportunities in transition for Minnesota, including a ferocious one-handed slam from Hollins early in the first half. Hollins added a second impressive flush in the half-court set later for good measure. He finished with 17 points to lead the team.“I just try to bring energy,” Hollins said. “Getting steals, forcing turnovers, that’s what we’re trying to do.”Minnesota took care of the ball on Friday night — something it struggled to do last season. Pitino said the Gophers 23-to-7 assist-to-turnover rate was a positive. DeAndre Mathieu was efficient leading the break and finished with seven points, nine assists and zero turnovers in 21 minutes.“He’s an extremely fast guard  and he fits the way that we want to play,” Pitino said. “[His assists-to-turnover ratio] is really good.”The Gophers intensity seemed to dip in the final 20 minutes, but the junior guard Andre Hollins didn’t think it stemmed from fatigue. No player played more than 24 minutes Friday.“We’ve got to keep our focus and intensity up the entire game,” Andre Hollins said. “We want to be one of the hardest working teams in America.”That drop in intensity showed in the rebounds category — where the Gophers were beat 40-34.“We’ve got to work on that,” junior center Elliott Eliason said. “We need to be a better rebounding team if we’re going to compete.”Another glaring weakness came in the free-throw department, where the Gophers shot a meager 11-for-30. But Pitino wasn’t concerned with the struggles from the charity stripe.“We’re a good free-throw shooting team. We’re a good shooting team,” he said. “That’s why you play these exhibition games — to get the nerves out. That’s probably one of the least of my concerns to be honest.”Minnesota takes on Concordia-St. Paul in its final exhibition battle Monday night. The Gophers face Lehigh in its true season opener on Friday.“It wasn’t great, but it was good,” Andre Hollins said of the win. “It wasn’t a huge leap, but we did pretty good overall.”last_img read more