X Marks the Spot a Second Time

first_imgThe ‘X-Men’ comic books and cartoon series have attracted a fierce loyalty from fans since its genesis in the 60s. The first X-Men was fervently anticipated by fans, anxious to see how Usual Suspects Director Bryan Singer would adapt their beloved story to screen. Singer did a sterling job, directing a dark, millennial tale that faithfully captured the civil rights sympathies that inspired the original comic series. In the recent DVD, Singer described the first movie as merely a trailer for X2Beginning with an assassination attempt on the US President by a mutant, X2 has both factions of mutants, those led by Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellan), joining forces to defend themselves against the hostile human government. The vanguard of this campaign is led by a maniacal apotheosis of the military-industrial complex, Stryker (the superb Brian Cox), a figure from Wolverine’s mysterious past who is hell-bent on wiping out what he sees as the mutant threat. Stryker kidnaps Professor X and attempts mutant genocide by abusing X’s telekinetic powers.X-Men’s strength and versatility lies in its limitless number of characters and issues, which has enabled the stories to evolve over the decades and through different mediums. The problem that Singer faces in translating X-Men to screen is juggling the number of X-Men and the rest of the mutants, and the audience’s ability to keep track of what’s going on. Both are compromised. There is still no Gambit or Beast; two of the best X-Men; and towards the end of the film the strands of the film tangle. Despite so many characters clamouring for attention, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine stands out, stealing scenes with the raw energy of a young Clint Eastwood. The kids are very good, with Anna Paquin returning as Rogue and Aaron Stanford playing an intense, rebellious Pyro to whom Magneto counsels, “You are a god among insects. Never let anyone tell you any different.”X2 taps into American fears about terrorist attacks, and the strike on Professor X’s school is particularly well-staged. Singer notes well the various analogies between mutation and more prosaic political and cultural concerns. When Iceman ‘comes out’ as a mutant to his parents, his mother asks him, “have you ever tried not being a mutant?” There’s much made of military experimentation and Wolverine’s history, of the really sinister interface between mutants and human technology.People who haven’t read the comics or watched the cartoons will be nonplussed by X2, but fans should enjoy it. Expect lots more.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

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Press release: Operation Stack listening exercise enters final week

first_img The response to the listening exercise has been very positive, and we have spoken to many people with lots of interesting ideas. It is important to note that no sites or locations have yet been decided, and this exercise has enabled us to take a completely fresh look at what a permanent solution to Operation Stack could be. With less than one week to go, I encourage anyone with an interest to get involved. This aim of the exercise has been to invite feedback on ways to manage lorries when there is extraordinary cross-Channel disruption. The solution could be on or off-road, at one site or a number of sites. No sites or solutions have been chosen yet. Views are also welcomed on the possible provision of cross-channel border facilities for lorries and 24-hour lorry parking facilities for everyday use by lorry drivers, which could help with lorry parking problems in Kent.Seven public information exhibitions have been held across Kent over the last five weeks, in Maidstone, Dover, Ashford, Canterbury and Folkestone. This week, members of the project team are visiting motorway service areas and truck stops in Kent to meet the public. People wanting to have their say can also do so on the website, or via the questionnaire, which can be picked up at over 30 locations across Kent.Highways England project director John Kerner said: The next step when the listening exercise has finished is for Highways England to analyse responses. If a scheme is progressed, Highways England will consult on more detailed options and proposals this winter. Any scheme that is taken forward will involve extensive public consultation and will require a full environmental impact assessments.When extraordinary levels of disruption occur, Operation Stack is activated to queue lorries on the M20 until they can catch their ferry or train. In summer 2015, Operation Stack was in place for over 30 days. As a result, the Government asked Highways England to investigate options for management and handling of lorries caught up heading to Dover.Without action, existing and likely future issues will continue to put pressure on the roads and motorways in Kent. With traffic levels due to increase, this would likely mean Operation Stack being activated more frequently.The listening exercise started on 11 June and runs until 22 July 2018. While drop in sessions have now finished, information will be available at 30 locations countywide until 22 July.Anyone interested in the scheme can sign up to receive updates via the project page on the Highways England website.General enquiriesMembers of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.Media enquiriesJournalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.last_img read more

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Classic British Cakes – Justine Spalding

first_imgThis edition we are looking at British cakes. Hmmmm, what cakes are traditionally British? Fruit cake, sponge, it seems that the cakes that spring to mind are the traditional basics.Nothing too fancy, we’re not talking gateaux or entremets. These basics are the sweet treats that got parents and grandparents through Wars, financial crises, coronations and birthdays.Their simplicity is a reflection of Britain’s socio-economic conditions and spirit; whilst France’s over the top gateaux’s are a reflection of the excesses that characterise their history.As an Australian my baking is heavily influenced by anything and everything, but it’s the British basics that I started off with and, it’s variations of traditional British Cakes that can be found at most of the bakery chains across Australia. Date and walnut loaves, Chelsea buns, carrot cake, and Welsh cakes are all common.It’s how we change and modernise these to suit are modern palates and lifestyles that interests me the most. A few years ago my grandmother gave me her prized recipe book. In it are the recipes that my great grandmother cooked and passed onto her, as well as my grandmother’s own favourites. I was beyond excited. We all hear about secret recipes passed down the chain that are jaw-droppingly good, I couldn’t wait to see what gems she’d saved. As I’m mad for Christmas I started there, fruit cake, mince pies and Christmas pudding. All made according to her recipes. All were terrible. Actually, not terrible, but not amazing. What had happened? My grandmother tried them, they were as she remembered them, but we’ve changed. We use now use fancy sugars, (hello, glucose syrup), fruits, herbs and spices that our grandparents or great-grandparents had never heard of let alone tasted.We’re all into gilding the lilly, what can be done to make something even better? The resurgence of the Battenberg cake is something I’m incredibly excited about. Although technically German, I think of it as a British cake (as does wikipedia!) It really couldn’t be simpler, two cakes cut into long even lengths and stacked onto (and beside) each other. There are some great tutorials online, but I’m a bit partial to Mandy Mortimer’s tutorial as she used Mary Berry’s recipe and the accompanying step-by-step photos are very pretty.But what happens once you’ve mastered the Battenberg? Modern Art Desserts, Surprise inside cakes, and Bake it Like You Mean It are all on my must buy and try list. Or stick with the original design but switch up the flavour combinations, orange and chocolate, lime and white chocolate, or pineapple and coconut are all combinations I’d love to try.So next time you’re thinking what to bake, why not look to the past and give it a tweak.About Justine SpaldingJustine runs Australian website and newsletter The Sweet Source.   >> Visit Justine’s websitelast_img read more

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University to release report detailing student voter registration, turnout information

first_imgAs voters across America go to the polls for numerous local elections, the Notre Dame student body will have the opportunity to learn about its own voter registration and participation rates. In the coming week, the University will release a report detailing the voting data of Notre Dame students starting with the 2016 elections.“The data will be broken down very specifically for Notre Dame, including by age, gender and major,” said senior Sheila Gregory, a co-chair of the NDVotes Initiative.NDVotes, a nonpartisan student group within the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) that aims to promote voter education and registration, will use the report to better target their programs and increase student civic participation.The report will help NDVotes “work on ways to engage the University basically from the top-down, to see how we can help the CSC but also the President’s Office and any interested departments,” Gregory said.“It is really what has been missing for us, since it will help us see whether efforts like TurboVote and emails are actually having an effect,” she said.The University plans to publish a press release next week about the report and how to access it, Gregory said, and the report will also be available through the CSC website. This type of data has never been available for the Notre Dame student body before, and it will provide a valuable resource to students and academic departments for future research and program implementation, she said.The report was compiled by the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE), a non-partisan service that aggregates student registration and turnout data, run by Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) in national elections. Launched in 2013, NSLVE boasts over 10 million college student voting records in federal elections since 2012.Notre Dame’s data, along with data from over 1,000 other colleges participating in the NSLVE program, will also help inform national studies of college student voter turnout and political participation. According to the NSLVE website, “studying the voting rates of students provides an important measure that can catalyze improvements in academic programs and co-curricular experiences.”NSLVE works with the National Student Clearinghouse to match publicly available voter registration and turnout data with enrollment records at participating universities. The report anonymizes the data, and NSLVE never learns the names, party affiliations or individual votes of students. The report on Notre Dame’s specific data also aims to draw students’ attentions to the issue of voter turnout in the run-up to a presidential election year. While Notre Dame’s participation rates have been respectable, Gregory said she thinks they can continue to improve.“At Notre Dame, we always strive to be excellent,” she said. “So why should voting be excluded from that?”Nancy Thomas, director of IDHE at Tufts University, will be visiting Notre Dame’s campus Wednesday through Friday to participate in several events with students and faculty. Thomas will be speaking at a “Pizza, Pop and Politics” event Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the Geddes Hall Coffee House regarding the importance of the youth vote. Gregory encourages all interested students to attend.“It is important for students to see that we are committed to getting an engaged student body, but also that it starts with them,” Gregory said.Tags: Center for Social Concerns, CSC, National Study of Learning, NDVotes, NSLVE, Tufts University, Voting and Engagementlast_img read more

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Are you throwing your money away?

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Ryan BaileyDespite advances in the financial services industry, managing money today isn’t easy. New services and technologies like payment-to-payment systems are being developed on a regular basis, but they aren’t replacing old ones like cash checking services. With an excess of money management tools to choose from, it can be difficult for consumers to know which will make their lives easiest while being the most cost effective.In fact, many people today are managing their money in ways that are unnecessarily costing them. Recent research from TD Bank found that nearly one-quarter of Americans with a bank account have used alternative banking products such as check cashing services (12 percent), money transfer agents (11 percent) and payday loans (4 percent). When they were asked why they used these products, 16 percent said they did not have a particular reason.Making decisions like this could add needless cost to your monthly budget. Here are some ways consumers can ensure they’re banking properly and not throwing their money away:Have conversations with your banker It’s your banker’s job to stay on top of all of the latest money management tools. So if you’re ever unsure whether or not you’re properly managing your money, call or stop by your local store to sort it out. This is especially important if you are paying for services such as payday loans. Your bank could offer a similar service at a less expensive rate – and merging the two services under one roof could be more convenient for you. Consider scheduling regular check-ins with your banker throughout the year. That way, you won’t miss out on any new tools or services – or, any relationship benefits you might qualify for if you use more than one product or service at your bank. continue reading »last_img read more

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Credit unions report strong 2Q: NCUA

first_img 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Federally insured credit unions recorded another strong performance in the second quarter or 2015, according to data released Thursday by the National Credit Union Administration.“Across America, there’s a growing recognition that credit unions offer solid value to their members,” said NCUA Chair Debbie Matz. “More people see credit unions as an affordable financial services alternative. Credit unions continue to increase lending while taking steps to shed certain investments that would pose risk when interest rates inevitably begin to rise. All these trends are signs of a robust system.”Total memberships in federally insured credit unions rose to 101.1 million as of June 30, up by 1.1 % during the quarter and 3.2% over the previous 12 months.Growth was strong in several credit union categories. For instance, assets were up to $1.17 trillion, 0.8% above last quarter and 5.9% above the second quarter of 2014. Credit unions’ earnings (return on assets) rose modestly from 78 basis points in the first quarter to 84 basis in the second; and these earnings, combined with modest asset growth, raised the credit union overall net worth ratio from 10.81% in March to 10.92% in June. continue reading »last_img read more

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Local knowledge

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Firefighters make headway in California wine country, ‘gigafire’ reaches 1 million acres

first_imgDespite its colossal size, the August Complex fire has burned in remote, sparsely populated areas, keeping property losses relatively low – about 160 buildings destroyed – though a contract firefighter was killed by the blaze.By comparison, no serious injuries have been reported in the much smaller Glass Fire, but nearly 1,500 homes and other buildings have been reduced to ruins in Napa and neighboring Sonoma County, including at least two wineries.The fire broke out in the midst of the region’s grape harvest after a spate of other large blazes during the summer, putting some of Napa-Sonoma’s 2020 vintage into question.Since January, wildfires across California have burned well over 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares), or 6,250 square miles, nearly the combined land mass of Connecticut and Delaware, and more than twice California’s previous annual record from 2018.The bulk of that acreage was incinerated amid an unprecedented outbreak of wildfires across the entire Western United States this summer, stoked by frequent, prolonged bouts of extreme heat, high winds and dry lightning storms.Scientists have pointed to the region’s incendiary weather, along with supercharged fuel beds overgrown with tinder dry grass and scrub, as consequences of climate change.California wildfires since January have claimed a total of 31 lives and destroyed nearly 8,700 structures.The August Complex alone, sparked by lightning on Aug. 17 and now 54 percent contained, has burned twice as much landscape as the next largest California wildfire on record – the 460,000-acre Mendocino Complex of July 2018.Nearly 2,400 personnel are on the front lines of the monster blaze, including National Guard troops and firefighters from as far away as Texas and New Jersey.Five of California’s 20 largest wildfires on record have occurred in 2020, according to Cal Fire.Topics : Firefighters aided by calmer winds made significant strides on Monday against flames wreaking havoc in northern California wine country, as a separate blaze – already the largest in state history – grew to over 1 million acres burned.In Napa Valley’s wine-growing region, diminishing gusts late on Sunday and early on Monday helped crews gain some ground over the Glass Fire, after heavy gusts and scorching weather kept firefighters on the defensive over the weekend.”We’re cautiously optimistic we’re going to get this thing under wraps pretty soon,” Cal Fire spokesman Dave Lauchner said of the Glass Fire, which erupted Sept. 27 near the Napa resort town of Calistoga, some 75 miles (120 km) north of San Francisco. The 2020 wildfire season has shattered records, with scientists and state officials putting much of the blame on global warming.The August Complex fire burning in and around the Mendocino National Forest between Napa and the Oregon border surpassed 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) on Monday, leaving a footprint greater than all California fires from 1932 to 1999 combined.”If that’s not proof-point testament to climate change, I don’t know what is,” California Governor Gavin Newsom told a Monday news conference.The 1-million-acre milestone marks California’s first “gigafire,” a term coined by academics to describe the growing presence and scope of massive wildfires in the US West.last_img read more

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Freddie Ljungberg reveals how his Arsenal side will differ to Unai Emery’s

first_imgFreddie Ljungberg reveals how his Arsenal side will differ to Unai Emery’s Advertisement Comment Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 30 Nov 2019 12:37 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link470Shares Emery defends Arsenal team’s performance after Frankfurt lossTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 6:03FullscreenEmery defends Arsenal team’s performance after Frankfurt losshttps://metro.co.uk/video/emery-defends-arsenal-teams-performance-frankfurt-loss-2059112/This 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.Both looked distraught and disinterested marooned on the bench and Ljungberg admits he needs to find a way to energise his squad in order to unlock its full potential.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I’ve been at Arsenal for a long, long time I like entertaining football, he told Arsenal’s official website.‘Of course, at the same time you can’t conceded goals that’s the tricky balance to find.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘For me happy footballers play the best football. That’s what I learned as a player. There is a time to work hard but at the same we must enjoy what we are doing.‘Often if the players we have they enjoy playing offensive football it will make them more happy.’Who should be Unai Emery’s permanent replacement at Arsenal?Freddie Ljungberg0%Mauricio Pochettino0%Mikel Arteta0%Carlo Ancelotti0%Nuno Espirito Santo0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Granit Xhaka accused of lying to Arsenal boss Unai Emery about injuryMORE: Granit Xhaka accused of lying to Arsenal boss Unai Emery about injury Freddie Ljungberg insists his Arsenal team will play attacking, progressive football (Picture: Arsenal FC)Freddie Ljungberg insists his Arsenal side will committed to playing attacking, progressive football.The club legend will take charge of his first match since being appointed as interim manager at Norwich on Sunday following the sacking of Unai Emery.Arsenal’s board gave Emery his marching orders on Friday following a shambolic defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday with the Gunners having won just once in their last nine matches.While results were deemed unacceptable, Arsenal fans had also grown tired of the Spaniard’s negative tactics, constant tinkering and baffling team selections.ADVERTISEMENTRecord signing Nicolas Pepe and star striker Alexandre Lacazette were both left on the bench on Thursday with Arsenal desperately searching for an equalsier. Advertisementlast_img read more

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