Toronto Comicon 2019 welcomes fans with celebrities, creativity, cosplay

Friday, March 29, 2019

Toronto Comicon 2019 returned to its titular city from March 15 to 17, as one of the largest pop culture events in Canada. The popular event featured celebrity guests like actors Dan Fogler, Ron Perlman, John De Lancie, John Rhys-Davies, and Jaleel White, as well as comic artists, authors, and professional cosplayers. The event included a large show floor with hundreds of retailers and artists promoting their creations. Wikinews’ Nicholas Moreau attended the event, taking photos of the various sights.

John Rhys-Davies broke news when he revealed that a Sliders reboot is being considered. “Jerry [O’Connell] and I are talking to NBC at the moment. The basic problem is that no one knows who owns the rights”. Their legal department had apparently been looking into the matter for two months, as of the convention weekend. Emma Caufield talked of being cast in an NBC television pilot while a recurring guest actor on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Faced with loosing the character of Anya Jenkins, the producers finally committed to making her a regular. “It was a good day,” she recalls.

Special effects costumer Ian Campbell, whose screen credits include Star Trek: Discovery, had a booth at the convention displaying his prop replicas and cosplay items. Amidst the bustle of activity, Campbell was working on a Thanos helmet sculpt. After the convention, he told Wikinews that “it can be tough to maintain focus with so many people streaming past and along questions, but sculpting in front of a crowd at conventions is great because it allows people to see the process that goes into what I do […] it also can serve as inspiration to other to pursue their own artistic endeavors.”

Lisa Mancini has been cosplaying for two years, her “passion” for the hobby “stemmed through my love for Halloween.” She typically chooses “to portray beloved characters from childhood or strong females. I also enjoy a good gender bent cosplay to ensure a touch of uniqueness!”

Mancini told Wikinews after the event that the best part of cosplay is “bringing a character to life.” One of the characters she took on this year was Squirrel Girl, a Marvel Comics character. Mancini has been described by the Daily Hive as a “squirrel whisperer”, for the close affinity some of the animals have for her.

Stephanie Chapman has knit a variety of knit outfits, an uncommon technique for cosplay. Prompted by Ron Perlman’s visit, she wore a costume based on Hellboy character Abe Sapien, which lacks the eyeholes of her normal masks. With “Abe, I wanted to go for accuracy over comfort,” Chapman told Wikinews, a choice leaving her largely helpless without a handler. The costume “is very warm […] so I have to stay hydrated and try to keep as calm as possible. It’s just really hard to stay calm when I meet someone like Ron Perlman”. With the combination of excitement and “the stress I’m putting on my body”, she shared that she was prone to meltdown in suit.

Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

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Man charged in £26.5m robbery

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Belfast – An Irish construction worker accused of a record breaking £26.5 million (US$45 million) bank robbery committed in December 2004 was formally charged in a court in Belfast on Friday. Dominic McEvoy was charged with possession of a firearm and false imprisonment in connection with the case.

On December 20, 2004, McEvoy allegedly held an assistant bank manager’s family hostage while the manager and a colleague were forced to admit thieves to a branch of the Northern Bank in Belfast. The thieves then emptied the vault. Police have blamed the robbery on the IRA which has repeatedly denied any connection to the theft. Sinn Féin, a political party linked with the Provisional IRA, has protested the arrests, accusing police of targeting IRA sympathizers and supporters in their investigation.

The Northern Bank heist is one of the largest in Europe since the theft of more than US$65 million from a London bank in 1987.

Egypt protests: Army say they will not use force on demonstrators as Mubarak announces cabinet

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The president of Egypt has suffered a “devastating blow” after the country’s army announced they would not use force against their own people, who continue to protest against the government tonight. The news came hours after six journalists who reported on the protests were released from custody.

Hosni Mubarak yesterday announced a new cabinet, which does not include several figures who protesters largely do not approve of. Analysts have, however, suggested little had changed within the government; many positions, they say, are filled with military figures.

To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people … have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.

In a statement broadcast on state media in Egypt, the army said: “To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people … have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people.” A BBC correspondent in Cairo said the announcement meant it “now seems increasingly likely that the 30-year rule of Mr Mubarak is drawing to a close.”

“The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing. The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people,” the statement added. “Your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody.”

Earlier today, six journalists from the independent news network Al-Jazeera were released from custody after being detained by police. The U.S. State Department criticized the arrests; equipment was reportedly confiscated from the journalists.

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Egyptian officials yesterday ordered the satellite channel to stop broadcasting in the country. Al-Jazeera said they were “appalled” by the government’s decision to close its Egyptian offices, which they described as the “latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt.”

In a statement, the news agency added: “Al-Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists. In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people.”

On Friday, Wikinews reported the government had shut off practically all Internet traffic both out of and into the nation, as well as disrupting cellphone usage. A spokesperson for the social networking website Facebook said “limiting Internet access for millions of people is a matter of concern for the global community.”

A reported 50,000 campaigners, who are demanding the long-time leader step down and complaining of poverty, corruption, and oppression, filled Tahrir Square in Cairo today, chanting “We will stay until the coward leaves.” It is thought 100 people have so far died in the demonstrations. Today there have been protests in Suez, Mansoura, Damanhour, and Alexandria.

Speaking to news media in the area, many protesters said the new cabinet did little to quell their anger. “We want a complete change of government, with a civilian authority,” one said. Another added: “This is not a new government. This is the same regime—this is the same bluff. [Mubarak] has been bluffing us for 30 years.”

In Tahrir Square today, protesters played music as strings of barbed wire and army tanks stood nearby. Demonstrators scaled light poles, hanging Egyptian flags and calling for an end to Mubarak’s rule. “One poster featured Mubarak’s face plastered with a Hitler mustache, a sign of the deep resentment toward the 82-year-old leader they blame for widespread poverty, inflation and official indifference and brutality during his 30 years in power,” one journalist in the square reported this evening.

Common Uses Of Pressure Sensor Devices

bytimothyharvard

Most people don’t stop to think about how electronics, equipment, and machinery operates, especially when everything happens automatically. This is true for just about any type of control system built into a device, including temperature and pressure sensor components used in many applications used on a daily basis.

Operation

Any pressure sensor operates on the same basic principle. It is designed to measure the pressure in a gas or liquid. Through the ability to detect changes in the pressure of the liquid or the gas, the sensor creates an electric signal that is then read by a receiver and converted into a readable measurement or a specific action.

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Depending on how the pressure sensor works, it may also be called a pressure switch. A pressure switch strictly works on an off/ system, and these are often used to turn an electrical circuit on or off based on the application of pressure or the removal of pressure.

Uses

There are many different options in pressure sensor models depending on their use. Knowing the application where the sensor will be used is essential in choosing the right design and type for the specific system.

For home use or commercial use in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems the most common option is a gauge pressure sensor. It is also common to see various types of pressure sensors used in automobile engines in oil and coolants systems as well as in brake systems. They are the reason an anti-lock braking system can operate.

In daily life, people rely on a pressure sensor when they use their touch screen phone, tablet or computer. When even the slightest pressure is detected, the screen pressure detectors determine the location of the pressure and activate the required signal to bring about the required display or action.

A pressure sensor, or various sensors, are used when you are flying on a plane to keep the cabin correctly pressurized and also to allow controls to function in a consistent basis at any altitude.

Different applications for a pressure sensor may require greater sensitivity and response of the sensor than others. With the wide variety of different models, designs, and options you can find just the sensor to do the job you need and provide you with the level of response to changes in pressure required.

Gopher Electronics Company sells a range of pressure sensor models for all basic and advanced types of applications. To learn more about our inventory see us online at www.gopherelectronics.com.

Seeds placed in Norwegian vault as agricultural ‘insurance policy’

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a vault containing millions of seeds from all over the world, saw its first deposits on Tuesday. Located 800 kilometers from the North Pole on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, the vault has been referred to by European Commission president José Manuel Barroso as a “frozen Garden of Eden“. It is intended to preserve crop supplies and secure biological diversity in the event of a worldwide disaster.

“The opening of the seed vault marks a historic turning point in safeguarding the world’s crop diversity,” said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust which is in charge of collecting the seed samples. The Norwegian government, who owns the bank, built it at a cost of $9.1 million.

At the opening ceremony, 100 million seeds from 268,000 samples were placed inside the vault, where there is room for over 2 billion seeds. Each of the samples originated from a different farm or field, in order to best ensure biological diversity. These crop seeds included such staples as rice, potatoes, barley, lettuce, maize, sorghum, and wheat. No genetically modified crops were included. (Beyond politics they are generally sterile so of no use.)

It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks.

Constructed deep inside a mountain and protected by concrete walls, the “doomsday vault” is designed to withstand earthquakes, nuclear warfare, and floods resulting from global warming. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called it an “insurance policy” against such threats.

With air-conditioned temperatures of -18 degrees Celsius, experts say the seeds could last for an entire millennium. Some crops will be able to last longer, like sorghum, which the Global Crop Diversity Trust says can last almost 20 millenniums. Even if the refrigeration system fails, the vaults are expected to stay frozen for 200 years.

The Prime Minister said, “With climate change and other forces threatening the diversity of life that sustains our planet, Norway is proud to be playing a central role in creating a facility capable of protecting what are not just seeds, but the fundamental building blocks of human civilization.” Stoltenberg, along with Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, made the first deposit of rice to the vault.

“It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks,” Maathai said. The vault will operate as a bank, allowing countries to use their deposited seeds free of charge. It will also serve as a backup to the thousands of other seed banks around the world.

“Crop diversity will soon prove to be our most potent and indispensable resource for addressing climate change, water and energy supply constraints and for meeting the food needs of a growing population,” Cary Fowler said.

Japan Airlines to file for bankruptcy

Monday, January 18, 2010

Japan Airlines (JAL), Asia’s largest airline, is expected to file for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, bringing an end to months of speculation about the airline’s financial future, riddled by debt.

The bankruptcy filing, should it go ahead, is to be followed by a restructuring program, backed by the government, intended to trim down the airline, firing a third of its employees, and removing some routes from its schedule.

JAL stock has fallen by over ninety percent in the last few days, due to the financial uncertainty of the airline. Shares for JAL were trading as low as US$0.05 earlier today at the Tokyo stock exchange. The carrier’s estimated value is now $150 million, about the price of a single Boeing 787 jet.

Disposal of fracking wastewater poses potential environmental problems

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A recent study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) shows that the oil and gas industry are creating earthquakes. New information from the Midwest region of the United States points out that these man-made earthquakes are happening more frequently than expected. While more frequent earthquakes are less of a problem for regions like the Midwest, a geology professor from the University of Southern Indiana, Dr. Paul K. Doss, believes the disposal of wastewater from the hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) process used in extracting oil and gas has the possibility to pose potential problems for groundwater.

“We are taking this fluid that has a whole host of chemicals in it that are useful for fracking and putting it back into the Earth,” Doss said. “From a purely seismic perspective these are not big earthquakes that are going to cause damage or initiate, as far as we know, any larger kinds of earthquakes activity for Midwest. [The issue] is a water quality issue in terms of the ground water resources that we use.”

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique used by the oil and gas industries which inject highly pressurized water down into the Earth’s crust to break rock and extract natural gas. Most of the fluids used for fracking are proprietary, so information about what chemicals are used in the various fluids are unknown to the public and to create a competitive edge.

Last Monday four researchers from the University of New Brunswick released an editorial that sheds light on the potential risks that the current wastewater disposal system could have on the province’s water resources. The researchers share the concern that Dr. Doss has and have come out to say that they believe fracking should be stopped in the province until there is an environ­mentally safe way to dispose the waste wastewater.

“If groundwater becomes contamin­ated, it takes years to decades to try to clean up an aquifer system,” University of New Brunswick professor Tom Al said.

While the USGS group which conducted the study says it is unclear how the earthquake rates may be related to oil and gas production, they’ve made the correlation between the disposal of wastewater used in fracking and the recent upsurge in earthquakes. Because of the recent information surfacing that shows this connection between the disposal process and earthquakes, individual states in the United States are now passing laws regarding disposal wells.

The problem is that we have never, as a human society, engineered a hole to go four miles down in the Earth’s crust that we have complete confidence that it won’t leak.

“The problem is that we have never, as a human society, engineered a hole to go four miles down in the Earth’s crust that we have complete confidence that it won’t leak,” Doss said. “A perfect case-in-point is the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, that oil was being drilled at 18,000 feet but leaked at the surface. And that’s the concern because there’s no assurance that some of these unknown chemical cocktails won’t escape before it gets down to where they are trying to get rid of them.”

It was said in the study released by the New Brunswick University professors that if fracking wastewater would contaminate groundwater, that current conventional water treatment would not be sufficient enough to remove the high concentration of chemicals used in fracking. The researchers did find that the wastewater could be recycled, can also be disposed of at proper sites or even pumped further underground into saline aquifers.

The New Brunswick professors have come to the conclusion that current fracking methods used by companies, which use the water, should be replaced with carbon diox­ide or liquefied propane gas.

“You eliminate all the water-related issues that we’re raising, and that peo­ple have raised in general across North America,” Al said.

In New Brunswick liquefied propane gas has been used successfully in fracking some wells, but according to water specialist with the province’s Natural Resources De­partment Annie Daigle, it may not be the go-to solution for New Brunswick due its geological makeup.

“It has been used successfully by Corridor Resources here in New Bruns­wick for lower volume hydraulic frac­turing operations, but it is still a fairly new technology,” Daigle said.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with U.S. states to come up with guidelines to manage seismic risks due to wastewater. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA is the organization that also deals with the policies for wells.

Oil wells, which are under regulation, pump out salt water known as brine, and after brine is pumped out of the ground it’s disposed of by being pumped back into the ground. The difference between pumping brine and the high pressurized fracking fluid back in the ground is the volume that it is disposed of.

“Brine has never caused this kind of earthquake activity,” Doss said. “[The whole oil and gas industry] has developed around the removal of natural gas by fracking techniques and has outpaced regulatory development. The regulation is tied to the ‘the run-of-the-mill’ disposal of waste, in other words the rush to produce this gas has occurred before regulatory agencies have had the opportunity to respond.”

According to the USGS study, the increase in injecting wastewater into the ground may explain the sixfold increase of earthquakes in the central part of the United States from 2000 – 2011. USGS researchers also found that in decades prior to 2000 seismic events that happened in the midsection of the U.S. averaged 21 annually, in 2009 it spiked to 50 and in 2011 seismic events hit 134.

“The incredible volumes and intense disposal of fracking fluids in concentrated areas is what’s new,” Doss said. “There is not a body of regulation in place to manage the how these fluids are disposed of.”

The study by the USGS was presented at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America on April 18, 2012.