Tinejdad, Morocco – A Miami mosque opened its doors to non-Muslims to share with Muslims their celebration and festivities during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.According to the Associated Press, the Masjid AnNoor in Miami, Florida, held “a fifth annual open house to coincide with Ramadan.”The mosque hosted people from different faiths who joined to learn about Muslim customs. According to the same source, the chair of the Islamic School of Miami said “the event is designed to bridge gaps, open doors and show people what goes on inside mosques.”Built in 1999, Masjid An-Noor is a Sunni dominated mosque that provides its many services to the Muslim community.Lead by the Imam Zakaria Badat, the mosque host about 40-60 Muslims for daily prayers and About 400-500 Muslims usually come to Jum’ah prayer on Friday.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
5 May 2011A new regional report by the United Nations finds that developing countries in Asia and the Pacific will continue driving the global economy in 2011, while warning that high food and fuel prices as well as volatile capital inflows pose fresh challenges. The annual flagship report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) projects a strong economic growth rate of 7.3 per cent after last year’s 8.8 per cent. At the same time, the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2011 says the regional outlook for this year is subject to downside risks, notably from the return of high food and fuel prices, sluggish recovery in rich nations and a deluge of volatile capital inflows.The after-effects of natural disasters will pose risks, although the regional economic impact of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March will be less severe than initially expected.“The Asia-Pacific region emerged from the global financial crisis as a growth driver and anchor of stability of the global economy,” said the Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Noeleen Heyzer. “It now has the historic opportunity to rebalance its economic structure in favour of itself to sustain its dynamism with strengthened connectivity and balanced regional development and make the 21st century a truly Asia-Pacific century,” she added.She added that the immediate challenge is to address rising food prices that are threatening to seriously undermine efforts aimed at reducing poverty. The report estimates that rising food and oil prices could lead to 42 million additional people in poverty, joining the 19 million already affected in 2010 – with negative repercussions for achieving the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in some countries in the region. ESCAP urges the Group of 20 (G20) major economies to act decisively to moderate the volatility of oil and food prices, including through regulating commodity markets to reduce speculation, and negotiating a benchmark “fair” price of oil with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). It also urges protecting poor and vulnerable households through strengthening of public food distribution systems, food vouchers, school feeding programmes and other targeted subsidies. Priority must also be given to enhancing support for agriculture. Noting that the region has over 950 million people living on less than $1.25 a day, ESCAP cites the need to improve quality job opportunities, expand social security programmes and promote agriculture and rural development. Bridging the region’s huge infrastructure gaps using its equally huge savings can boost jobs and incomes, it adds.The report also highlights the benefits of boosting intra-regional trade and strengthening connectivity in the areas of transport, information and communications technologies (ICT), energy and financial cooperation.
“Once that is done he will meet the President. That meeting should take place over the next few days,” Maulana said. Maulana said that Chandrakanthan is currently meeting his supporters in the eastern province who had voted for him at the election. Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Pillayan) is to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa this week to discuss the outcome of the elections in the eastern province.Chandrakanthan’s spokesman Azad Maulana told the Colombo Gazette that the meeting will focus on the governing administration to be formed in the east. The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal (TMP) which is headed by Chandrakanthan, is meanwhile confident that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) will back the government to govern the eastern province, Maulana said.He said that the SLMC should be aware of the development work undertaken by the government in the eastern province after the LTTE was defeated and so supporting the government will be the right option. Report by Jamila Najmuddin
At a press briefing in Geneva, UNF President Timothy Wirth said the five-year joint venture was the largest and longest corporate partnership ever organized by the UN Foundation. Vodafone will provide 10 million British pounds and the Foundation will provide the remainder.Vodafone has previously supported the UN’s anti-measles initiatives, but the new partnership is an expansion of those programmes. About 1.75 million extra children should now be vaccinated against measles this year. The joint venture will also fund the piloting of a rapid-reaction programme by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to help preserve world heritage sites in danger. Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the UN Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), which facilitates UN joint ventures with the corporate world, hailed today’s announcement. “It is these kinds of public-private partnerships that could actually make a difference,” he said. Set up seven years ago to distribute the $1 billion contribution from Ted Turner, the founder of Cable News Network (CNN), the UN Foundation targets projects that otherwise would not have enough funds.
Mr. Ramos-Horta succeeds Joseph Mutaboba of Rwanda as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS). Mr. Mutaboba completes his assignment at the end of this month. “The Secretary-General is grateful for his leadership of UNIOGBIS for the past four years, often under difficult political and security conditions, and for his tireless efforts to ensure international attention to the challenges of Guinea-Bissau and for working on practical solutions to address them,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s office. Mr. Ramos-Horta brings with him more than three decades of a diplomatic and political career in the service of peace and stability in Timor-Leste and beyond. Working closely with the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), he helped to bring about the peaceful elections of the country’s Parliament and President in 2001 and 2002, respectively. As the President of Timor-Leste, most recently from 2007 to 2012, Mr. Ramos-Horta contributed to “heal the wounds and stabilize the situation in the country following the crisis in 2006,” the statement noted. He has also served as his country’s Foreign Minister and as Prime Minister. UNIOGBIS was established by the Security Council in 2009 and tasked with promoting stability in the West African nation, which has been beset by coups and political instability since it became independent in the early 1970s. Most recently, rogue soldiers seized power in a military take-over on 12 April 2012 – just days ahead of the presidential run-off election – prompting calls from the international community for the return to civilian rule and the restoration of constitutional order. Recent incidents include an attack on a military base in October, which reportedly resulted in numerous deaths.
Lack of exercise, poor diet, obesity, smoking and high blood pressure are some of the known factors that lead to heart attacks down the road. But does a toxic childhood environment lead to heart disease?With Project Grant funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced this week, a Brock University-led research team is studying the relationship between early indicators of cardiovascular disease in young adults and adverse childhood experiences such as maltreatment, dysfunctional family life, severe bullying and other traumas.Professor of Health Sciences Terrance Wade says his six-member group is breaking new ground.“We’re finding that traditional factors for cardiovascular disease, such as lifestyle and behaviours, are not explaining this relationship,” says Wade. “We’re thinking it’s more of a link between young adults’ psychosocial mechanisms and their physiologies.”The research builds on earlier studies that measured blood pressure, heart rate and other heart-related indicators in a group of 552 children aged 10 to 14 years old. Researchers also gathered information on the children’s lifestyles, behaviours and other psychosocial measures.To date, 76 of these participants have had their heart health re-measured in the last year now that they are 18 years of age and older.Preliminary results showed that young people who experienced more adverse childhood events had arteries that were more rigid and less able to react to blood pressure changes than young people whose childhoods were more stable.The results also showed increased markers of inflammation in the blood of young adults who had adverse childhoods.This latest CIHR award will enable the researchers to expand the number of participants from the pilot study to take a close look at how both inflammation and psychosocial factors such as self-esteem, resilience, depression, anxiety and others lay the groundwork for pre-clinical indicators of heart disease.“We’re looking at whether chronic inflammation states might be induced by adverse experiences early in life and how that might set the stage for the kinds of physiological changes that can result in cardiovascular-related problems,” says team member Adam MacNeil, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences.“The findings from this research will provide valuable information as to the detrimental impact that adverse childhood experiences have on cardiovascular health,” says Professor of Health Sciences Deborah O’Leary, who is co-leading the study and will be measuring blood pressure, blood flow and other aspects of the cardiovascular system.Associate Professor of Child and Youth Studies Danielle Sirianni Molnar says she is excited that the transdisciplinary group will “use multiple methods and draw on expertise from diverse fields of study that reflects the biopsychosocial model of health.”Other team members include John Cairney from the University of Toronto and Jennifer McGrath from Concordia University.The team’s research, “How Do Negative Childhood Experiences Influence Cardiovascular Health Among Young Adults?” is one of two initiatives CIHR awarded to Brock University for a total of $960,076 in funding.Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Karen Patte also received Project Grant funding for her work on youth mental health.“CIHR’s investment in these two research projects shows how Brock researchers are making a difference in the world around them,” says Brock Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon. “Brock research team leaders and members, along with their colleagues at other institutions, are providing insight into some of the most urgent and profound health challenges confronting our youth.”With a previous CIHR grant, Patte and her team developed and tested mental health tools for a larger project, the COMPASS system, headed by Scott Leatherdale at the University of Waterloo. The tools were incorporated into the COMPASS study in the 2017-18 school year, collecting mental health data from more than 70,000 Grade 9 through 12 students in 100 secondary schools in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia and Nunavut.In the newly funded project titled “Addressing Youth Mental Health in the COMPASS System,” Patte and the research team will continue to follow students and schools for three additional years, providing data on youth mental health and relevant school programs, policies and resources.“Despite greater attention, we still know little about what works for the prevention of mental illness and the promotion of mental health and resiliency, nor how different contexts impact the effectiveness of interventions” Patte says.By embedding the tools within COMPASS, the team will also be able to study how mental health relates to students’ substance use, physical activity, screen time, diet, bullying, academic achievement and the other areas addressed in the larger project.“We then feed this information back into schools for the continual improvement of youth mental health and schools’ ability to support their students,” says Patte.CIHR’s Project Grant program is designed to capture ideas with the greatest potential to advance health-related fundamental or applied knowledge, health research, healthcare, health systems and health outcomes.
Ball was convicted of indecent assault and misconduct in public office after the case was reopened in 2012. He was released from prison at the start of last year. Following the report’s publication the former Archbishop apologised to Ball’s victims and said: “I believed Peter Ball’s protestations and gave too little credence to the vulnerable young men and boys behind these allegations.”He stood down after being asked to “consider his position” by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. In a statement the diocese of Oxford said: “In the wake of Dame Moira Gibb’s review, Lord Carey stood down from the role of Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford in June 2017, and withdrew from public ministry for a season. Lord Carey accepted the criticisms made of him at the time and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “In February 2018 Lord Carey contacted the Diocese of Oxford to request PTO (permission to officiate). This was granted by the Bishop of Oxford later the same month.“The granting of PTO enabled Lord Carey to preach and preside in the church where he worships, a church where his ministry is much valued. The granting of a PTO does not indicate a planned return to the role of Assistant Bishop.” Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey has been given back permission to preach by the Church of England, it has emerged. The news comes just two weeks before the child abuse inquiry is set examine allegations that Lord Carey was among senior church figures who “colluded” with disgraced bishop Peter Ball, who was convicted in 2015 of sexually abusing vulnerable young men and boys. The former Archbishop lost the right to preside over church services after standing down from his role as as honorary assistant bishop in the diocese last June, following the publication of a damning independent report criticising the Church’s handling of the case. He was granted “permission to officiate” in February after approaching the Bishop of Oxford, Dr Steven Croft, to ask to be allowed to minister. The diocese said the decision did not mean Lord Carey, 82, would return to his previous role as a bishop. Permission to officiate is usually granted by a diocesan bishop to retired bishops and clergy to allow them to act as a minster in the diocese. It can be withdrawn by the bishop at any time. The Gibb review, published last year, concluded that Lord Carey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 until 2002, had “set the tone” for the Church’s reaction to Peter Ball, formerly bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester. I believed Peter Ball’s protestations and gave too little credence to the vulnerable young men and boys behind these allegations.Lord Carey, speaking in 2017 The damning report criticised the Church for allowing Ball to continue to minister after he accepted a caution for gross indecency in 1993 and stepped down as bishop of Gloucester. Dame Moira Gibb concluded that Lord Carey “played the lead role” in letting Ball preside over services including baptisms and confirmations, as well as speaking at 17 public schools, until as late as 2007. Senior church figures, including Lord Carey, “colluded” with Ball to help him avoid criminal charges, her 18-month investigation found.
Cath Kidston has withdrawn a controversial plan to trade mark the name of a 1970’s squat for a range of flowery bags, clothes and umbrellas.The company sparked outrage from the founders of ‘Frestonia’ who claimed it had no right to try to own the name of the commune set up in North Kensington, West London, in 1977.The Telegraph revealed how artists, writers, musicians and the comedian Alexei Sayle who either lived or performed at the squat had condemned the home furnishing company for trying to “commercialise” the name.Cath Kidston, created in 1993 by the English fashion designer Catherine Kidston, moved its headquarters to Freston Road in 2010. It is now owned by Baring Private Equity Asia, an investment company based in Hong Kong.A Cath Kidston spokesperson last night said it had dropped the application because it “recognised the importance of being a good neighbour” to the West London community where its headquarters are based.“After taking on board the views of local people, we decided to withdraw our application to trademark the name Frestonia.“The name was inspired by Freston Road, where our head office is based, and was never intended to cause offence.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
With regard to the One Laptop per Teacher (OPLT) programme, the President was informed that some students were not able to benefit from the initiative. He assured that the programme will continue with the aim of ensuring that every educator is equipped with a laptop, which is now a vital teaching tool in the classroom. -as outreach to institutions in the education sector continuesPresident David Granger, on Wednesday, met with students and staff of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) as he continues his outreach to educational institutions in what he calls fact finding missions to hear from the administrators and beneficiaries directly even as Government zeroes in on modernising and reforming the educational sector.According to the Ministry of the Presidency, the Head of State explained to students and instructors at the college that his administration recognises the importance of these consultations.Joined by the Minister of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry, during the visit, the President said that he acknowledges that much more needs to be done to ensure that the CPCE is better equipped to effectively train the nation’s teachers but the input of qualified stakeholders in the reform process is needed. “From what I can hear this afternoon, there must be more conversations; there must be more deliberations among the people, who are in the system. It is not a boardroom decision; it is not an academic decision that we can just sit in an office and make rules,” he said.President Granger also said that he will make the results of the recently completed report on the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the education sector available to the institution so that it can study its findings and add to its content, the MoTP said.The forum was highly interactive as it allowed for both staff and students of the institution to speak freely on issues that are affecting them.CPCE’s Vice-Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, Ms. Paula Monforte said that as the Ministry of Education works to reform the sector, they should seek the knowledge, expertise and buy-in of people, who are specialists in the system. After the meeting, the President walked around to various sections of the College to get a better idea of the needs of the institution. He was accompanied Minister Henry, Chief Education Officer, Mr. Marcel Hutson and CPCE’s Principal, Ms. Viola Rowe. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSTEAM takes focus as 468 graduate from CPCEDecember 15, 2017In “latest news”President hands over $1M to CPCE for emphasis on STEMDecember 15, 2016In “latest news”MoE receives USD$86,000 second tranche grant from Chinese Govt for CPCE science improvementDecember 3, 2018In “latest news”
[Show thumbnails] Openning matches of the knock-out stage in magnificent “Kombank Arena” in Belgrade brought a lot of emotions. From one side euphoria and smiles, from the other tears. Look our photo story from the matche played on Monday… ← Previous Story Poland at TOP 8, Rasmussen: Big moment for Polish handball Next Story → Serbian madness in front of 12.000 fans – Brasil, Hungary and Norway to TOP 8! handball photo
Security researchers at Barracuda Networks have spotted a handful of malicious Chrome extensions lurking in the Web Store that shared a common M.O. All of them were designed to track a user’s browsing activity, and all were disguised as Facebook mods that could revert the site from Timeline to its traditional layout. In total, around 90,000 Chrome users had been tricked into installing the three extensions spotted by Barracuda.Beyond tracking their users, the extensions also pushed bogus surveys and urge users into joining fake Facebook events. That part of the scam is what attracts new users to scammy extensions like this in the first place. In the Web Store, it’s hard for them to stand out when other legitimate extensions are already established and offer a long list of reviews and good ratings that prove their utility. In order to lure their marks into the van, the extension authors push it on Facebook — where frustrated users are more likely to jump on the first thing they see that promises to undo the Timeline view.Fortunately for Chrome users, Google has already caught on to the scam, too. As of this morning, all three of the extensions flagged by Barracuda as malicious have been removed from the Web Store.Now that Chrome is the most-used web browser in the world, Google’s going to need to remain vigilant. It should be a bit easier to keep malicious extensions at bay now, what with the company’s acquisition of the web-based malware scanning service VirusTotal going down last week.More at Barracuda Networks
A health lobby group is calling for a total ban on junk food advertising during peak children’s television viewing times. According to the Herald Sun this follows from the Obesity Policy Coalition releasing research that found 84 per cent of consumers believe children should be protected from unhealthy food advertising. The coalition’s strategy is the most comprehensive produced in Australia to limit big businesses from bombarding children with junk food advertising. It proposes unhealthy food ads on TV be banned on weekdays from 6am to 9am and 4pm to 9pm, and weekends and school holidays from 6am to noon and 4pm to 9pm. An OPC senior policy adviser, Jane Martin, said childhood obesity rates were of great concern. “We have a runaway train, and we need to slow this juggernaut, we need to slow it down and turn it around,” Ms Martin said. Compared to previous generations, young people are likely to suffer a decline in life expectancy because of obesity, Ms Martin said. “Children are very vulnerable and they can’t detect the difference between advertising and entertainment when they are very young, so it’s not really ethical to be targeting them in this way,” she said. Voluntary codes developed by the food industry in 2009, which purported to ensure food advertising directed at children represented healthier choices, was not working, she went on to say. “Our analysis indicates the current self-regulation system is utterly ineffective in protecting children from being the target of junk food advertisers. It is now time for the Government to step in and cease the pervasive promotion of junk food to children on TV, via the internet and through direct marketing.” This system was allowing junk-food companies to advertise during the highest rating children’s TV programs, and through Facebook, free toy offers, competitions and sports sponsorship. The group’s research found nearly 60 per cent of more than 1500 adults surveyed nominated TV advertising or toy giveaways as having the biggest impact on their children when asking for unhealthy food. The Obesity Coalition includes the Cancer Council, VicHealth, Diabetes Australia, Deakin University’s WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, and is backed by the AMA and a host of public health organisations. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Wednesday is New Comic Book Day, which means that it is also the best day of the week. A lot of great comics came out today, but this column is meant to focus on the best of the best, the must have books that should be in everyone’s stack for the week. This week, that book is Shade, The Changing Girl #3 by writer Cecil Castellucci, with art by Marley Zarcone, and a backup story was written by Tini Howard and drawn by Sanya Anwar.SHADE, THE CHANGING GIRL #3(W) Cecil Castellucci, Tini Howard (A) Marley Zarcone, Sanya Anwar (CA) Becky CloonanTrying to settle into her new life as an Earth girl, Shade finds the body she has taken over doesn’t have the same skills as it did when its previous inhabitant was in charge. It’s bad enough that her swim team hates her, but now she can’t perform in the water at all. Can Shade find anyone she can trust to give her guidance before the madness takes over and exposes her as an alien to the entire school?DC Comic’s Young Animal imprint, curated by writer Gerard Way (yes, the guy from My Chemical Romance), is defying expectations with its fresh and bold series, including Doom Patrol, Mother Panic, Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye, and my personal favorite, Shade, The Changing Girl. Written by Cecil Castellucci and drawn by Marley Zarcone, Shade has been the series that felt like everything the Young Animal imprint promised since its initial announcement. The perfect blend of a genuine, human story, along with a healthy dose of insane visuals and chaotic concepts, this series has worn its heart on its sleeve since the first issue, which had a killer last page that hooked me. Never dull, but never weird for weird’s sake, this book is still going strong with issue three, cementing itself as one of the best new series of the year.Marley Zarcone’s art, with colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick, keep this book on track. A simple, even clean style combined with a good sense of characters keeps this booking looking less sloppy and more fluid, which would be an easy mistake to make given the subject matter. There are plenty of opportunities for this series to go off the rails, but Castellucci’s script paired with Zarcone’s visuals keeps it walking that high wire with grace. It is a comic that makes me excited about comic books, even just by writing about it. A genuinely fun, smart book, Shade, The Changing Girl should be on everyone’s radar, even if just to try it. It might not be for everyone, but its quality is impossible to deny. A pleasant surprise of a series, Shade is still going strong in its third issue, which also features a backup story by writer Tini Howard, who writes The Skeptics for Black Mask Studios, and artist Sanya Anwar. The backup pairs perfectly with the main story, just showing how dedicated everyone is to a book with such a unique voice.Shade, The Changing Girl is available for download from Comixology or in print from Things From Another World.Other great new releases for 12/07/16: The Wicked + The Divine #24 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson. Avengers #2 by Mark Waid and Michael Del Mundo. Reggie and Me #1 by Tom DeFalco, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Sandy Jarrell and Jack Morelli. The 11 Weirdest ‘Scooby-Doo’ Guest Stars’Joker’ Gets Eight-Minute Standing Ovation at World Premiere Stay on target
Cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has promoted Ben Lamont from talent and diversity director for Europe to HR director, UK and Ireland.In his new role, Lamont, who has nine years of HR experience, will lead Kellogg’s people agenda for its UK and Ireland business, focusing on recruitment, talent management, leadership development and organisational development.Lamont also specialises in business partnering, facilitation, mediation and negotiation, resourcing, e-learning and people management.At Kellogg’s, Lamont has held numerous roles, including European recruitment and diversity manager and HR manager, European organisation effectiveness. Prior to this, Lamont worked at PepsiCo, holding positions that included talent acquisition manager, national account manager and business development manager.
Why People Are Protesting Hong Kong’s Controversial Extradition Bill IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/2:48Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-2:47?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Local residents hold banners during the “Safeguard Hong Kong” rally at Tamar Park in south China’s Hong Kong, July 20, 2019.IANSAround 49 people were arrested and 16 were injured after protestors and police clashed in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, the police said on Monday.The arrests were made for taking part in an unauthorised rally and possession of offensive weapons on Sunday, according to a statement released by Hong Kong police. The suspects can be punishable with a three to a five-year prison sentence as well as hefty fines.Four injured persons were discharged from hospital while the remaining 12 are said to be stable, hospital officials told local media.The recent demonstration defied police ban to march to Beijing’s liaison office from Chater Garden to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park in the city’s downtown area. Millions of Hong Kong citizens have protested for the past few months to demand the contentious extradition bill that would allow the communist regime to pursue their political targets residing in Hong Kong. Close The protest turned violent after police force tried to clear the roads occupied by protestors stretching more than six kilometres. Demonstrators clashed with the police for hours at Connaught Road and Des Voeux Road – the two main thoroughfares in Central and Western district reported South China Morning Post.The police statement said the protestors attacked the police with “bricks, glass bottles, paint bombs; pouring suspected corrosive liquids; and shooting metal marbles with a crossbow.” A trolley filled with cardboard was also set on fire and hurled towards officers.The police responded by firing tear gas and beanbag rounds. The officials have condemned the recent violence and said the protestors vandalised government property, committed arson and attacked officers with lethal weapons.The recent violence followed the protests that took place in Yeun Long on Saturday where police fired tear gas to disperse crowds of protestors.China said State Council Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) will hold a media conference on Monday, “to “brief its stance and views on Hong Kong’s current situation,” on Monday.It will be the first press conference by China’s Hong Kong office since the uproar over the extradition bill began.
US Vice President Mike Pence ® shakes hands with Mike Pompeo after swearing him in as CIA director in the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office at the Eisonhower Executive Office Building. Photo: AFPThe US Senate on Monday confirmed Mike Pompeo as CIA director and advanced the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state, taking key steps toward filling President Donald Trump’s cabinet.Pompeo, a Republican congressman on the House Intelligence Committee, becomes only the third member of Trump’s cabinet to take his post, as the president’s Republican Party has pushed hard to speed up confirmation of his nominees.Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly were sworn in Friday, Inauguration Day.The Republican-led Senate confirmed Pompeo, a 53-year-old US Army veteran, by a vote of 66 to 32, with significant support from Democrats.“He will be an excellent CIA director,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, who tweeted his congratulations to his House colleague.While Pompeo faced some Democratic pushback, many in the opposition party acknowledged his keen understanding of intelligence issues, especially the cyber threat facing the nation.Pompeo “has committed to following the law regarding torture (and) promised to provide objective analysis of Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement,” said veteran Senator Dianne Feinstein.Republicans had hoped to confirm Pompeo on Friday but Democrats balked, arguing that a CIA director has never been put in place on Inauguration Day.The delay drew criticism from Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer, who charged that Democrats, led by Senator Chuck Schumer, were “playing politics with national security.”Schumer voted in favor of Pompeo on Monday.‘Demonstrated business orientation’Meanwhile, a Senate panel greenlighted Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil chief whose nomination has been a source of controversy in large part because of his lack of government or diplomatic experience. The move cleared the way for a confirmation vote by the full chamber.The vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was 11 to 10, along strict party lines, setting up a period of debate and subsequent vote on an as-yet-undetermined day in the Republican-controlled Senate.Tillerson received a major boost when Senator Marco Rubio, one of three Republicans who had expressed doubts about him, announced he will support Tillerson for the post despite serious reservations.Rubio said he still had concerns about Tillerson’s positions on human rights.But he stressed that given the “uncertainty” about the direction of US foreign policy, “it would be against our national interests to have this confirmation unnecessarily delayed or embroiled in controversy.”Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, the other Republicans who had expressed reservations about Tillerson’s past dealings with Russia, gave their blessing on Sunday.Republicans hold 52 seats in the 100-seat Senate. A simple majority is required for confirmation of cabinet positions.The committee’s Democrats voted in unison against Tillerson.“I believe Mr Tillerson’s demonstrated business orientation… could compromise his ability as secretary of state to forcefully promote the values and ideals that have defined our country and our leading role in the world for more than 200 years,” Senator Ben Cardin said in a statement.Democrats have also blocked nomination votes by arguing that ethics reviews and other vetting of key nominees had been insufficient.Former president Barack Obama had seven nominees approved on his first day as president in 2009.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News Sunday that despite the delays by Democrats, “we will be able to confirm the entire cabinet.”Republicans were also hoping to get Trump’s pick for US attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, installed swiftly.The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Sessions on Tuesday, the same day that the Foreign Relations Committee votes on South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s nomination to be US ambassador to the United Nations.
To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /07:21 Listen David J. Phillip/APHurricane Harvey dropped record rainfall on Houston neighborhoods like this one, near Addicks Reservoir. A new report says a significant number of Texans are still struggling the recover nearly a year after Harvey.The Episcopal Health Foundation and Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed 1,600 residents from two dozen of the hardest-hit Texas counties for this latest snapshot of how counties are faring.In the audio above, Elena Marks, president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation, joins Houston Matters host Craig Cohen to discuss the findings. Share
Sony’s PSN outage just seems to be getting worse and worse for the company. Not only has the Playstation 3’s online store and multiplayer network been down for over a week now, but now we’ve learned that hackers say they have credit card data.This comes days after Sony admitted that user data had been stolen by hackers. The delays between PSN going down and Sony admitting it was hacked and then from that point to when they admitted user data was taken have angered users and compounded an already troubling situation. Now, according to the New York Times, we learn that credit card data may have been stolen as well.Up until this report came out, the protection of users’ card data seemed like the one point left in Sony’s favor. In the company’s PSN FAQ they prominently noted that credit card data was encrypted and that there was no indication that card data was stolen, but right after this they hedged their otherwise reassuring statement, saying card numbers and expirations dates may have been obtained. Even if they were though, Sony never stored security codes (CVC/CSC). The language wasn’t clear, but it seemed to indicate that credit card data was safe.Now the NYT tells us that hackers claimed to have stolen up to 2.2 million card numbers and they are trying to sell them for up to $100,000. Sony has denied knowledge of the hackers attempting to sell the stolen data back to the company and stated that they have found no evidence that the data could have been unencrypted. An expert from iSEC Partners disagrees, saying that forum goers (these hacks always seem to lead to security/hacker forums) had information about Sony’s servers and could very well have gotten far enough into Sony’s systems that the card data was available to them.The NY Times did not mention or link to the forum in question.Read more at the NYT Bits blog.
When you think “video game,” it’s highly possible that a pixelated protagonist running from left to right and jumping on their foes to squash them is one of the images that comes to mind. The platform game — or “platformer” — has been inextricably linked to the medium for decades, as one of the genres that you can’t really simulate in any other way. At its peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as many as 1/3 of all console games released were platformers. That ratio has changed, but they still command attention both commercial and critical.The platform game has changed a lot from the early days of Jumpman to modern 3D extravaganzas. Let’s take a trip through the digital archives to examine how this ultra-popular genre came to be and examine the most important examples from the last 37 years or so. Each game’s name is linked to video of gameplay so you can see them for yourself.A Humble PlumberIt shouldn’t surprise you that the company most associated with platform games created the original title that would establish the genre’s parameters. Donkey Kong, released in arcades in 1981, introduced the dedicated jump button that allowed protagonist Mario to leap oncoming barrels, traverse gaps, and grab hammers hanging in the air. It’s widely regarded as the first “true” platform game, but there were a few others that preceded it that flirted with the concept.Probably the first game that could be technically called a platformer is Universal’s 1980 Space Panic, which starred a player-controlled astronaut who could climb and descend ladders as well as dig pits for enemies to fall into. The basic concept would extend to 1983’s Lode Runner franchise. The “no jumping” platformer would prove popular in the mid-1980s with games like Burger Time refining the basic concept: navigate a multi-layered playfield while avoiding enemies and collecting items.But it was Donkey Kong‘s incredible success that opened the floodgates. Within a year, just about every company had a side-view action game with a jump button. The first to hit arcades was Alpha Denshi’s Jump Bug, which featured screens that scrolled horizontally and vertically. 1981 also saw Kaos, developed by American firm GamePlan. It was quickly followed by 1982’s Kangaroo, which dispensed with the jump button to add a melee attack; Sigma’s Ponpoko, and many others.Of course, Donkey Kong saw a horde of clones including 1982’s Logger, which literally copied each screen’s layout and mechanics and made them clunkier and more primitive.These basic platformers laid the groundwork, but it wouldn’t be long before the genre matured in some interesting ways.The Second WaveThe early years of a genre can be fascinating, as before tropes get codified creatives have the freedom to experiment with ideas that may or may not work. The post-Donkey Kong platformers saw tons of interesting experiments as the games found their legs. 1983’s Congo Bongo from Sega put the running and jumping action into a pseudo-3D isometric perspective, as did Atari’s Pac-Man-inspired Crystal Castles the same year, the latter game controlling with a trackball.1984’s Pac-Land is a fascinating game for a number of reasons and has been a little unfairly overlooked by video game historians. It was a gamble for Namco to take Pac-Man out of his familiar maze gameplay, but the end result was a very forward-thinking platformer that had the round hero exploring side-scrolling worlds populated with enemies and hazards. That same year saw Namco also release Dragon Buster, a curious clumsy platformer/dungeion crawler hybrid that introduced the ability to “double jump” – pressing the jump button again in the air allowed your hero to tack on another arc.Through the 80s, Taito would become one of the most consistently innovative platform game developers in the world. They first dipped their toes in with 1983’s Elevator Action, but that same year would also see Chack’n Pop, widely considered the touchstone that their best games would draw on. Their most famous and influential is 1986’s Bubble Bobble, which offered two-player cooperative action across 100 stages with tons of hidden secrets. They’d refine this style of game through titles like Rainbow Islands and The NewZealand Story.1987 also saw Taito’s Contra released in arcades, which would meld platforming and shooting action in a way that would prove incredibly influential. The “run and gun” style, which combined death-defying jumps with blasting enemies and collecting power-ups, started its own branch of the genre that would flower over the next decade.Coming HomeThe primitive architecture of the first generation of home game consoles was a tough fit for platform games, which depended on relatively detailed (for the time) graphics and fluid animation. There were a few exceptions, though, mostly courtesy of pioneering software developers Activision who were well known for pushing the Atari 2600 to its absolute limits.The most notable 2600 platformer was David Crane’s 1982 Pitfall, which cast players as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer traversing a massive jungle that scrolled horizontally in both directions. Pitfall Harry could walk and jump along the surface as well as climb ladders down into an underground tunnel. 1984’s Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns came out as the 2600 was losing steam in the marketplace but offered vertical scrolling and even more complexity.That same year, Parker Brothers would release Montezuma’s Revenge, which put players in a 99-room underground pyramid that stretched 9 floors deep and featured locked doors that required keys to open and a variety of enemies. Platformers were already starting to be about lots of content that the player could explore and navigate.Also in 1984, H.E.R.O. from Activision equipped the player with a helicopter backpack and allowed for a tremendous amount of horizontal and vertical exploration. Lacking a jump button, it demonstrated a different approach to the genre that would be sporadically probed in the future.Home computers also saw some influential early platformers. Epyx’s 1983 Jumpman blew reviewers away for having 30 different levels – ten times what Donkey Kong offered. That same year saw Manic Miner for a number of home platforms. One of the most ambitious and influential platformers in Europe was that game’s sequel, Jet Set Willy, which tasked players with collecting objects throughout the title character’s mansion after a huge party. Composed of interconnecting screens, it inspired dozens of imitators like Chuckie Egg and Technician Ted.Some oddball side ideas also saw publication, most notably 1983’s B.C.s Quest for Tires, which featured simpler screens with large, detailed character sprites, and Smurf: Rescue In Gargamel’s Castle for the Colecovision (notable for a glitch that would make Smurfette appear to remove her clothes).8-Bit InnovationJust four years after Donkey Kong, Nintendo would release the most important game in the company’s history, one that would set the blueprint for platform games for decades to come. Super Mario Bros. was released in 1985 for the Famicon and as a launch title for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the United States.Super Mario Bros. was a brilliant fusion of the genre’s successes. It wasn’t just about precision jumping and reflexes – the world was also full of secrets like invisible blocks and hidden warps that could only be discovered through exploration and experimentation. The addition of a timer to complete each level added tension, forcing players to balance rushing to the finish line against finding all the goodies. And the amount of content – 32 individual scrolling levels, each one unique and many introducing mechanics like swimming or auto-scrolling – kept the experience feeling fresh.It wasn’t long before platformers were one of the most popular genres on the NES. It’s virtually impossible to list them all in the space we have available, so I’ll just touch on a few that were influential or worth playing.Nintendo’s other massively influential NES platformer was 1986’s Metroid, produced by the iconoclastic Gunpei Yokoi. Set on an alien planet populated by threatening creatures, players controlled bounty hunter Samus Aran as she explored in a side-scrolling platformer environment of linked screens and areas, gaining new abilities to open up previously forbidden areas.Konami took platform adventure in a Gothic direction with 1986’s Castlevania. Although hero Simon Belmont had to make some tricky jumps, the core of the action was in the whip-based combat. As opposed to Mario’s exuberant movement, Simon was heavy and almost leaden, befitting its more serious atmosphere. Castlevania would inspire a tremendous franchise that, along with Metroid, would help pioneer the “Metroidvania” subgenre of action games.Capcom fused platforming action with shooting with their Mega Man series, starting in 1987. The titular blue robot ran, jumped and shot through themed worlds, beating bosses at the end of each and gaining their powers. Many, many sequels would follow.Capcom also had success with their Disney licensed platformers like Duck Tales and Rescue Rangers.The NES also saw a number of experimental platformers, like Rare’s isometric Snake, Rattle & Roll and Solstice. Pitfall‘s David Crane returned to the genre with A Boy And His Blob. 1988’s Blaster Master was one of the best-remembered, combing a deep adventure with challenging platforming. Nintendo even added platforming elements to The Legend Of Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link.Nintendo’s competitor Sega didn’t have as much luck with the genre – despite the system’s better graphical capabilities, they never managed to develop a compelling platformer. They tried with the Alex Kidd series, Psycho Fox and others. Probably their biggest successes came with a pair of licensed Disney titles — Castle of Illusion and The Lucky Dime Caper.DOS DynamiteAs the number of competitors in the home computer era eventually winnowed down to two – Microsoft and Apple — enterprising programmers tried to bring platformers to PC users as well, with varying levels of success. The success of Super Mario Bros. inspired a wide field of knock-offs and imitators. Some were blatant — Time Warp Productions’ 1987 Great Giana Sisters was a near-exact clone, with a first level so exactly copied that Nintendo pressured stores to take it off the shelves.Other designers started using the increasing power of home computers to create variations on the platform genre. Jordan Meichner dispensed with the cartoony physics and animations for his 1989 Prince of Persia, instead photographing his brother and tracing the images digitally to create the sprites for the Prince and his foes. This came to be known as a “cinematic platformer,” with Éric Chahi’s 1991 Another World the paragon of the genre.British developers Psygnosis released a number of platform games with a more Heavy Metal aesthetic, starting with 1987’s Barbarian. They’d refine their approach over the next few years, perfecting it with 1989’s Shadow Of The Beast on the Commodore Amiga.Before they became famous for Doom, iD Software made bank with the Commander Keen series in 1990 and 1991. Programmer John Carmack devised a software technique that enabled DOS machines to do the smooth scrolling seen in games like Super Mario as opposed to the stuttering, tile-at-a-time method previously seen. That would open the gates for other shops to release their own games in that style.Apogee was the most prolific platform developer for PCs, and their flagship title was 1991’s Duke Nukem. Yes, before he was a FPS hero, the Duke hopped and bopped his way through side-scrolling environments. Apogee would pump out numerous other similar games over the next few years, including 1993’s Monster Bash.Epic Megagames released ambitious platformer Jill of the Jungle in 1992 and followed it up with 1993’s Xargon.The Macintosh had at least one influential platform game with Silicon Beach’s 1986 Dark Castle, which used the keyboard to steer your hero and the mouse to throw rocks in 360 degrees. That control scheme would be seen later in Crack Dot Com’s 1995 game Abuse.On The RunAlthough portable systems had limited resolution, they still managed to feature some interesting platformers. Nintendo obviously led the way with the Mario franchise — 1989’s Super Mario Land was a launch title for the monochrome system, although the plumber’s sprite was drastically downsized and some odd mechanical choices were made. The Game Boy’s smaller screen made platformers a hard sell on the system, but it did see a solid Metroid title, Sunsoft’s very good Batman and Capcom’s unique RPG hybrid Gargoyle’s Quest. One little-known cult classic is Monster Max for the original Game Boy, an isometric British-style platform exploration game.The Game Boy would also see the introduction of an iconic platformer hero with Kirby’s Dream Land. HAL Labs’ pink puffball used a new method of attacking, inhaling foes and spitting them back at each other. In the sequel, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, he gained the ability to swallow enemies and absorb their powers as well. Finally, the Game Boy would also see the introduction of Mario’s nasty mirror image Wario in Super Mario Land 2, and the villain would go on to anchor his own series of platformers that toyed with his indestructible nature and voracious thirst for gold.Sega had a portable system too, and aside from Sonic The Hedgehog, who we’re about to get to, and ports of the Master System Disney games, there weren’t many platformers of note on the Game Gear. Some exceptions are the surprisingly good Ronald McDonald In Magical World and Coca Cola Kid.Atari’s ill-fated Lynx had a few arcade ports and a handful of original platformers like Scrapyard Dog, Gordo 106 and Fat Bobby.The 16 Bit EraNintendo once again kept the torch for platformers lit with the selection of Super Mario World as a launch title for the Super Nintendo. Taking the overworld map from Super Mario 3, it expanded on the themes of exploration by offering multiple paths through a huge game world and dozens of new secrets to discover. This was a game to get lost in, and it was a massive success.However, Nintendo wasn’t the only force in home gaming, and their biggest competitor had a secret weapon that would show platform games another way forward. The release of Sonic The Hedgehog in 1991 was a tremendous event — in contrast to the tubby, uncool Mario, Sonic was an edgy, fast-moving character way more suited to the new decade. Instead of poking around and exploring, Sonic tore through levels at breakneck speeds, zipping through loop-de-loops and bouncing around like a pinball.The success of Sonic would usher in the “mascot platformer” era, where seemingly every publisher was looking for their own anthrompomorphic animal character to make the big bucks. Some notable ones included Bubsy, Awesome Possum, Jazz Jackrabbit (an early title from Epic Megagames, who would go on to create Fortnite) and Earthworm Jim.The Genesis also featured a number of platformers that stretched the boundaries of the genre. Kid Chameleon took a Europe-inspired approach with a high level of difficulty and lots of hidden routes. Gunstar Heroes was developer Treasure’s take on the Contra concept, with massive bosses and wildly imaginative level design.The SNES had some unusual platformers as well, including strategy/God sim hybrid ActRaiser, visually stunning Donkey Kong Country and quirky Plok. Nintendo followed up Super Mario World with an offbeat sequel that tasked friendly dinosaur Yoshi with protecting a baby Mario in Yoshi’s Island. Super Metroid took the premise of the NES original and expanded it into a massive, exploratory adventure with tons of hidden secrets.The third and least-remembered console of the 16 bit era, the Turbo-Grafx 16, had is own platforming mascot in caveman Bonk, who starred in Bonk’s Adventure and a few sequels. The system also hosted the deeply weird J.J. and Jeff, combat-centered Keith Courage In Alpha Zones and Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu.Finally, Atari’s doomed Jaguar system was home to at least one important platform milestone with the 1995 release of Michel Ancel’s Rayman. The limbless hero would prove to be one of the genre’s most durable protagonists, with games released for decades to follow.The Third DimensionOnce again it was up to Nintendo to take the genre and make it work with a new generation of hardware. The Nintendo 64’s launch in 1996 came with Super Mario 64, which would take platformers boldly into the third dimension.3D platformers weren’t completely unheard of — 1984’s arcade title I, Robot was one of the first polygonal arcade games, casting the player as a robot jumping across platforms to change their colors. 1990’s abstract home computer title Alpha Waves and Japanese oddity Geograph Seal would also flirt with the concept, but the technology wasn’t up to delivering the graphically lush character-based experiences people wanted from platformers.Super Mario 64 would dispense with the time limit that had been a constant of the genre, realizing that the free exploration of a 3D space was much easier to get lost in. It also required additional control options to position the game’s camera, giving it both an AI system to try and get the best angle as well as letting the player manually adjust it. The addition of an analog stick to the console’s controller was the missing ingredient, and soon other developers would follow suit. British house Rare would become one of the most notable names in the space with Banjo-Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day, the latter rife with adult humor. Scottish developers DMA Design produced the cult hit Space Station Silicon Valley, where the player controlled a robot with the ability to take over the bodies of animals.Sony’s PlayStation knew that they needed to compete in every genre to establish a beachhead in the gaming industry, so they commissioned a variety of different takes on the platformer. One of the most innovative was 1999’s Ape Escape, which required a then-new Dual Shock controller with its two analog sticks to play. The most successful was the Crash Bandicoot series from developer Naughty Dog, which transplanted the basic “extreme animal mascot” concept into the third dimension while introducing new elements like stages in which Crash ran “towards” the screen while being pursued by a giant rolling boulder, Indiana Jones-style. Insominac’s Spyro the Dragon was more exploratory in nature, with huge environments full of stuff to collect. More traditional 2D games included Tomba!, Pandemonium and the Oddworld series. The PS1 also had one of the most influential early Metroidvanias with Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night.Sega’s short-lived Saturn had a handful of platformers of its own, but while Nintendo innovated with Mario, Sega backslid with Sonic — instead of being in full immersive 3D, Sonic 3D Blast was presented from a top-down isometric perspective as a Genesis port! The company was working on a full 3D Sonic game but it was cancelled. Treasure’s Silhouette Mirage was fun, if insanely difficult, and Clockwork Knight 2 had beautiful graphics and gameplay that didn’t live up to it. Probably the only real notable platformer on the system was Sonic Team’s NIGHTS Into Dreams, which leaned more heavily on flying sequences that felt like a slow-paced Sonic without visible ground.Years In The DesertThe 64-bit era of consoles saw platformers start to fade from popularity. New genres like first-person shooters dominated both home and console platforms. That’s not to say that the concept died out entirely, just that the overload of mascot platformers slowed to a trickle with only a few successful series weathering the test of time.Nintendo’s GameCube didn’t launch with a Mario platformer, instead leading with the oddball exploratory adventure Luigi’s Mansion. When they did release a mainline Mario title, it was the unusual Super Mario Sunshine, which transplanted the plumber to a tropical isle and had him using a water-squirting backpack to clean up environmental sludge. Other platformers on the system were equally strange – Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat eschewed the traditional controller to make the player control the giant ape with a pair of bongo drums, and Sega’s Billy Hatcher And The Giant Egg centered around guiding a big egg around its levels.Speaking of Sega, the Dreamcast was their last effort at a home console, and they wisely launched with a new Sonic game right off. Sonic Adventure transplanted the blue rodent to full 3D for the first time, ably capturing the speedy gameplay that made him famous, but it also slowed things down with the addition of multiple new characters with their own gimmicks. Jet Set Radio had you guiding rollerblading graffiti artists around a city tagging walls and dodging cops, blending platform navigation with skate tricks and open world navigation.Sony’s PlayStation 2 had one of the most diverse software libraries of any generation, and that would definitely include platformers. Naughty Dog would helm the more combat-centric Jak and Daxter series. Insomniac weighed in with the Ratchet and Clank games, and Sucker Punch created the stealth-based Sly Cooper franchise. We also saw more Spyro, more Crash, et al. Other standouts include cult hit Klonoa 2 and DoubleFine’s adventure hybrid Psychonauts.Microsoft’s foray into console gaming wasn’t terribly successful early on, and the original Xbox was pretty dire when it came to platformers, with the notable exception of Blinx: The Time Sweeper, which starred a cat armed with a high-tech vacuum that could affect the flow of time. Most of the rest of the lineup was ports from other systems with a few bad exclusives like Voodoo Vince.A Return To TraditionPlatform games waned in popularity through the early 21st century, but once again it was Nintendo who revitalized them. The commercial success of the Wii console with its quirky motion-sensing controls made people forget that there were plenty of solid, traditional games on it as well. New Super Mario Bros. Wii didn’t reinvent the wheel, but instead polished and explored the series’ side-scrolling roots while adding cooperative play. It proved wildly successful, capturing a nostalgic audience and inspiring several sequels.Other companies took notice. Sega returned to 2D with Sonic 4, with less positive results (they’d later figure it out with the excellent Sonic Colors). ‘Splosion Man took a spin on the concept by replacing jumping with detonating a portion of your character’s body to propel him into the air.The Wii U also boasted one of the most interesting twists on the Mario franchise with the 2015 release of Super Mario Maker. For the first time, players had access to all of Nintendo’s toolkit to create their own 2D levels for others to play.As for the other major consoles, they’d still see a few 3D platformers every year, mostly movie licenses or installments in existing franchises. Original IP was rare on the ground from the big names, but innovation flourished in the indies. Ex-Rare employees crowdfunded Yooka-Laylee, promising a candy-colored collectathon in their classic style. A Hat In Time took a similar tack. Retro-looking offerings like Shovel Knight andThinking Man’s PlatformersPlatform games had been toying with puzzle elements since the genre’s beginning, but in the 2000s the genre flourished in a totally new way. A generation of players had grown up on Super Mario and the like, and had internalized the gameplay to a degree that let experimental designers push boundaries in very interesting ways.Probably the most important modern game in this subgenre is 2008’s Braid, the wildly successful indie title created by Jonathan Blow. Braid takes the essential hop and bop gameplay that’s remained unchanged since Super Mario Bros. and adds a potent twist: the ability for the protagonist to manipulate time in a variety of ways, from rewinding the world to creating duplicates of himself.Other games took the traditions of platformers and tweaked them. Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV replaced the familiar jump with an inversion of gravity, allowing the player to flip between floor and ceiling to navigate its Commodore 64-inspired rooms full of spikes and enemies. Spelunky mixed classic platforming action with roguelike level generation, making each game different from the last. Rain World puts you into a post-apocalyptic world full of malevolent beasts and tasks you with staying full and taking cover from the coming storm.Hurt MeMany early platformers were quite difficult — the Japan-only Super Mario 2 started a tradition of assuming that players knew the mechanics of the game so it was fair to screw with them mercilessly. But in the early 2000s a new genre of platformer debuted that set out to blatantly punish players with unfair deaths, pixel-perfect jumping and absurd challenges. It would soon be dubbed “masocore.”The first game to bear that flag was Michael “Kayin” O’Reilly’s 2007 freeware release I Wanna Be The Guy. In it, the protagonist “Kid” navigates multiple stages inspired by a number of NES classics, but instead of a smooth difficulty curve that let gamers acclimate to the game’s challenges and controls, they faced a near-insurmountable wall of death from every direction.The success of IWBTG inspired a host of imitators and fangames, which were posted on sites like Kongregate and Newgrounds. Some of the most notable include I Wanna Be The Boshy, Super Meat Boy and N++. One recent title that takes the Contra-styled run-and-gun approach and blends it with an irresistible 1930s visual style is Cuphead.Masocore platformers have a few common threads. While they’re insanely hard, they’re also fair: if you memorize the dangers and train yourself to pass them, the game won’t cheat you by changing things up. They’re very popular among hardcore gamers and speedrunners for that reason.Run ForeverAs mobile gaming became a large slice of the market, publishers worked to develop takes on popular genres that could work on a touchscreen. The platformer, which typically requires exact controls, seemed like a tough sell. But the runaway success of a Flash game inspired a subgenre that became hugely popular.Canabalt was released in 2009 and immediately captivated with its deceptively simple gameplay. A businessman runs from left to right across a scrolling urban landscape, jumping from rooftop to rooftop as chaos roils behind him. He must time his leaps to clear gaps and obstacles of varying heights. But what made Canablt unique was two factors. First, the game only used one control: a mouse click or keystroke made the man jump, and that was it. No control over his speed or direction is ever passed to the player. And second, there is no endgame: the player runs until he fails, earning points all the while. And thus, the “endless runner” was born.Canabalt was quickly imitated, but it took a shift in perspective to really make it a mobile success. 2011’s Temple Run moved the camera behind the player character and added a little more control – now they ran into the screen in 3D perspective and could change horizontal position into one of three “lanes,” along with being able to jump and slide under objects. This wasn’t a totally new way to look at the genre – Crash Bandicoot and other 3D platformers did similar – but combined with never-ending play areas it was a huge hit. Myriad clones followed, including Subway Surfers and Alto’s Adventure. Even Nintendo got into the space with Super Mario Run, one of their first games ever published on non-Nintendo hardware.Even with ebbs and flows in popularity, platform games are here to stay. They’ve moved from the second dimension to the third, and even to the fourth. Who knows where they’ll go from here, but you better strap on your jumping shoes.More on Geek.com:Why ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ is the Best Sonic GameBest GBA GamesBest N64 Games Stay on target Trade In Your Nintendo Switch For a Better Battery (With a Catch)Get Used to ‘Fortnite’s’ Powerful Mech Suits
Videos | Cardiac Imaging | July 30, 2019 VIDEOS | EP LAB | JULY 26, 2019 VIDEO: What Electrophysiologists Need From CT Imaging Prior to AF and VT Ablations Mark Ibrahim, M.D., F read more Videos | Radiation Therapy | July 30, 2019 VIDEO: Use of Radiotherapy to Noninvasively Ablate Ventricular Tachycardia Pierre Qian, MBBS, read more The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. Videos | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 07, 2019 VIDEO: Walk Around of a Siemens Go.Top Dedicated Cardiac Scanner This is a quick walk around of the new Siemens Somatom Go.top cardiovascular edition compact computed tomography (CT) read more Related Content Video Player is loading.Arthur Agatston explains the history of CT calcium scoring Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 9:54Loaded: 1.67%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -9:54 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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News | Artificial Intelligence | August 05, 2019 Montefiore Nyack Hospital Uses Aidoc AI to Spot Urgent Conditions Faster Montefiore Nyack Hospital, an acute care hospital in Rockland County, N.Y., announced it is utilizing artificial… read more News | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 06, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Improves Heart Attack Risk Assessment When used with a common heart scan, machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence (AI), does better than… read more Video Player is loading.GE Cardiographe cardiac CT scanner at SCCT19Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:38Loaded: 26.15%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:38 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Videos | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 07, 2019 VIDEO: Walk Around of a GE Cardiographe Dedicated Cardiac CT Scanner This is a quick walk around of the GE Healthcare Cardiographe dedicated cardiac CT system on display at the… read more Video Player is loading.Mark Ibrahim explains what EPs need from CT imagingPlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 5:23Loaded: 3.08%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -5:23 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more Shimadzu FluoroSpeed X1 Walkaround AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:25Loaded: 11.42%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:25 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Video Player is loading.Siemens Go.Top CT scanner at SCCT19Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:05Loaded: 15.14%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:05 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Technology | September 09, 2011 Carestream Launches CS 9300 for ENT and Dental Imaging Video Player is loading.Pierre Qian explains radiotherapy to ablate VTPlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:34Loaded: 2.19%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:34 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Technology | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 Shimadzu Medical Systems Receives FDA 510(k) for FluoroSpeed X1 RF System Shimadzu Medical Systems USA, a subsidiary of Shimadzu Corp., announced they have received U.S. Food and Drug… read more September 9, 2011 — Carestream Health has received United States market clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the CS 9300 System. It is a high-quality cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and true panoramic imaging system for otolaryngology (ENT) and dental indications. An optional cephalometric module will be available later in 2011.The CS 9300 can be used for a variety of ENT and dental applications – including sinus and temporal bone; maxillofacial; dental implantology; oral surgery; orthodontics; periodontics; and endodontics. The system also offers a cost-effective way to offload ENT and dental CT exams from capacity-constrained, conventional CT units.The system offers seven selectable CBCT fields of view ranging from 5 cm x 5 cm to 17 cm x 13.5 cm, limiting radiation exposure to the precise region of interest. It delivers up to 94 percent less radiation dose than conventional CT units and up to 84 percent less radiation dose than low-dose CT units; this enables practitioners to adhere to the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principle. This is an especially important consideration for pediatric patients and adult patients requiring multiple scans.With its range of CBCT image resolutions (0.09 to 0.5 mm isotropic voxels), the maximum resolution is much higher than conventional CT; this makes it ideal for visualizing fine bony structures in the middle ear and radicular structures. Additionally, the system’s fast scan times (as low as 12 seconds) – as well as ear, chin and forehead positioners – promote optimal image quality and lower the risk of retakes due to patient movement.The system delivers high-quality, panoramic images due to its variable focal trough technology that adapts to different patient morphologies. The optional, one-shot cephalometric module captures images in less than a second and delivers high image quality, a 30 cm x 30 cm full skull exam and automatic cephalometric landmarking software.It also eliminates film processing and cassette handling associated with analog and CR panoramic and cephalometric systems.In terms of aesthetics, the system features an upright, compact design allowing easy integration, and the open system makes exams comfortable for patients. With both standing and seated options available, it is versatile and can accommodate patients of all sizes and those who use wheelchairs. Users will also appreciate the multiple, pre-set programs minimizing operator time needed to prepare for an exam.The system supports DICOM 3.0 protocols, ensuring compatibility with picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), radiology information systems (RIS) and printing systems. Radiologists can use the included configurable viewing software or continue to use their preferred software.The CS 9300 is also compatible with most image-guided surgery systems. Certification is pending with NobelGuide, Simplant and SureSmile dental imaging programs. For more information: www.carestream.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Videos | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 VIDEO: Demonstration of the Shimadzu FluoroSpeed X1 Radiographic Fluoroscopy System Shimadzu displayed the FluoroSpeed X1 conventional radiographic fluoroscopy (RF) system at the Association for Medica read more Videos | Cardiac Imaging | July 30, 2019 VIDEO: The History of CT Calcium Scoring Arthur Agatston, M.D., clinical pro read more