March 2

If You Turned This New Audio System To Maximum Volume, It Would Literally Kill You

first_imgDance music is facing a renaissance. As the EDM movement has grown and grown, the artistic nature of music and dj-ing has slowly become a thing of the past. With epic productions that include huge LED screens, lasers, smoke, confetti, and more being launched from massive festival stages, what used to be the music of club culture has evolved into somewhat of an ugly beast. Fans go to shows and spend most of their time facing in one direction, elevating the DJ as an almost god-like figure, with everyone in the audience attracted to the stage in packed clusters.Well, fear not, as Despacio is here to save the day. The brainchild of James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, brothers David and Stephen Dewaele of 2ManyDJs, and famed audio engineer John Klett, the point of the project is to provide extremely high quality audio while basically placing the DJs behind a wall at the back of the room. The goal is to de-emphasize the DJ, and re-emphasize the music, the quality of the audio, and the experience itself. There is also an emphasis on slowing things down (despacio means slow in Spanish), to create a more funky and naturally danceable vibe. The DJs make sure to pick recognizable songs by Talking Heads, Queen, and Kraftwerk while mixing in deeper-cut dance tracks.James Murphy uses an interesting analogy to describe the intent behind this, explaining:“If you are in a restaurant, the chef isn’t at the front of the room throwing food at you. He’s in the kitchen and when the food comes out you are with the food and not with the chef.”Despacio itself is not your typical sound system. The speaker cabinets surround the dance floor, instead of being located at the front of the room. The huge speaker towers themselves are absolutely beautiful, having been designed using natural wood casings by McIntosh, the same company that built the Grateful Dead‘s famous “Wall of Sound” in the 1970s. Vinyl is the only medium that can be used with this system, giving the sound a throwback feel and a more natural vibe, as all of the crackles and pops of the vinyl shine through for an extremely clear presentation of the music.Despacio is certainly powerful. As the Dead’s “Wall of Sound” required 30,000-watts to run, this huge audio system requires 50,000-watts. David Dewaele touches on the ridiculous power of the system, saying that it “runs at 20 percent. If we ran the system at its full capacity, people would die. People’s ears would literally be bleeding.” How ridiculous!To be honest, the best way to experience Despacio would be in-person. Since the project’s debut in Manchester, England in 2013, fans have been dying to experience the unique dance party, but due to the large size of the sound system, the project’s appearances have been few and far between. After 2014 appearance at Barcelona’s tech-forward Sonár Festival in Barcelona and a two-week residency at this year’s Coachella, Despacio will be making its grand arrival on Murphy’s home turf here in New York City at the upcoming Panorama Festival. Murphy and the Dewaele brothers will perform a six hour, vinyl-only set on all three days of the festival, from 3pm-9pm each day.Learn all about Despacio from this interview with Murphy and 2ManyDJs below, and also check out videos of “Despacio” in action from Sonár and Coachella festivals.James Murphy and 2ManyDJs talk Despacio, courtesy of The Vinyl FactoryDespacio at Sonár 2014, courtesy of YouTube user wiky79Despacio at Coachella 2016, Weekend 2, courtesy of YouTube user kenton k.[quotes from Murphy and Dewaele taken from their 2013 interview with Wired]last_img read more

September 19

Saeedwar and Sheriffa Ali to represent Guyana at CAC Chess Championship

first_imgSaeedwar AliGUYANA will be represented at the prestigious Central American and Caribbean Under-20 Chess Championship in Barbados, according to the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF).Junior Chess Champion Saeedwar Ali and Sheriffa Ali, the top male and female players,respectively, in Guyana, will match skills with their counterparts from Suriname, Trinidad, Belize and Barbados from June 22 – 29 in the Land of the Flying Fish.Their participation was made possible with sponsorship from the National Sports Commission and GCF President, James Bond.Before departing Guyana, Saeed and Sheriffa paid a courtesy call on the Director of Sport, Mr. Christopher Jones, who congratulated them on their participation and challenged them to bring home gold.last_img read more

September 17

Barca Furious About Dembele’s Attitude

first_imgBarcelona are livid with Ousmane Dembele after the winger didn’t turn up for a medical to assess the extent of the injury he suffered in the defeat by Athletic Bilbao.Dembele played the entirety of the 1-0 defeat in La Liga’s opening fixture on Friday night, but appeared to be in discomfort as he left the pitch after the game.As reported by Marca, Barcelona expected Dembele to attend an appointment on Saturday morning to assess the muscle problem, but the winger didn’t arrive until Monday. Barcelona extremely frustrated by DembeleOn Friday night, Ousmane Dembele ended the game against Athletic Club at the San Mames with muscle problems whic…When he was eventually assessed, it was revealed that Dembele had suffered a tear to his left hamstring, which may see him out of action for five weeks.There were concerns over the 22-year-old’s attitude last season, with those doubts having now resurfaced.Dembele’s injury leaves Barcelona short of attacking options, especially with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez also sidelined.That means there will be much focus on Antoine Griezmann, who made his Barcelona debut against Bilbao following his summer switch from Atletico Madrid.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

December 27

LETTERKENNY RUGBY CLUB AGM

first_imgLetterkenny Rugby Club AGM is being held at the Orchard Inn at 7.30 on Wednesday, May 30 next. All members welcome. LETTERKENNY RUGBY CLUB AGM was last modified: May 19th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

November 28

Amitabh Bachchan stars in R. Balki’s Shamitabh

first_imgMegastar Amitabh Bachchan’s new film with R. Balki has a peculiar title. While the film has been creating a buzz ever since it was launched, Balki has now announced it will be called Shamitabh.Balki and Big B have worked together in films such as Paa and Cheeni Kum earlier, so Shamitabh should be a film worth watching. The film also features Rajinikanth’s son- in- law Dhanush, and marks the debut of Kamal Haasan’s younger daughter Akshara Haasan.” We are happy to announce that the film is titled Shamitabh. The title has SH before Amitabh. We are half way through the shoot of the film. Will finish ( the shoot) and talk more about it. Right now, I’m enjoying watching the lethal combo of the intensity of Amitabh Bachchan, the intelligence of Dhanush… and the innocence of Akshara… in action daily The film casts Amitabh Bachchan and Dhanush ( sic),” said Balki, about his forthcoming project.The film details have been kept under wraps so far. Bachchan, however, could not hide his excitement about the unique title of the film. ” Shall be disclosing name of R Balki film do log in it is quite unique and different!! ( sic),” he tweeted on Wednesday.last_img read more

October 28

15 days agoEx-Stoke boss Rowett, Cahill in Millwall frame

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Ex-Stoke boss Rowett, Cahill in Millwall frameby Ansser Sadiq15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Stoke City, Birmingham and Derby County boss Gary Rowett is on the shortlist to replace Neil Harris at Millwall.Harris left the post earlier this week with the Lions towards the bottom of the Championship.Sky Sports says former Everton and Millwall striker Tim Cahill is also in contention.The South-East London club are keen to appoint a new manager before their next fixture against Brentford on October 19. last_img read more

October 16

A Little Inspiration From Melissa Joan Hart

first_imgMelissa Joan Hart is supporting STOMP Out Bullying this holiday season, and wants to inspire others to do the same.“At this time of year, we choose which charities are worthy of receiving our year-end, tax deductible donation to continue and/or expand their good work,” she wrote in an email to supporters of the charity. “As a long time STOMP Out Bullying Global Ambassador, I ask that you consider donating to them and to donate at a level equal with your belief that all kids and teens should be able to:“Attend school in a safe and tolerant environment free of violence, hatred and racism.Grow friendly digital relationships without being harassed, threatened or violated.Pursue their dreams and NEVER contemplate suicide because of the pain they endure caused by another person.- 1 in 4 students are bullied for many reasons. Sometimes it’s for no reason at all.- Digital harassment is a 24/7 problem because it is anonymous – 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment- Over 11 suicides this year have been linked due to being a victim of cyberbullying“STOMP Out Bullying has helped over 5 million students resolve bullying and cyberbullying situations. Our HelpChat Line has helped over a hundred thousand students and saved the lives of over 2,000. In fact, through our various support networks, we’ve saved a total of 6,000 lives. These numbers increase daily.“I ask that you consider giving a gift this holiday season to help us get a head start on all the work we plan to do in 2018.“A tax-deductible donation will help STOMP Out Bullying provide students with more resources and information, solutions on how to change the culture so that our children learn in a “kind” and “empathetic” enviroment free from violence and bullying.“Donations can be given throughout the holiday season in your name, or in honor of a friend or family member. And if your company has a corporate matching program, your gift can be doubled.“There’s just a little over two weeks left! You have until midnight, December 31st, 2017 to claim your tax-deduction for 2017.”To make a donation, click here.Find out more about STOMP Out Bullying here.last_img read more

October 13

Australian leader says cybersecurity laws urgently needed

first_imgMELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s prime minister says new Australian cybersecurity laws that force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to help police by unscrambling encrypted messages sent by extremists and other criminals were urgently needed to safeguard the nation.The legislation was passed by the Senate late Thursday, the last day the Parliament sat in 2018.The opposition Labor Party agreed to support the legislation as an emergency measure because extremists are expected to target Christmas-New Year crowds. But Labor Party lawmakers have said they want amendments passed when Parliament resumes.Prime Minister Scott Morrison described Labor’s decision to support the laws as a concession.Morrison told Nine Network television on Friday: “This was very important legislation to give police and security agencies the ability to get into encrypted communications.”The Associated Presslast_img read more

October 12

AAP responds to EC directive for removing CM’s image from hoardings

first_imgNEW DELHI: Claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pictures are widely in use under various pretexts, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday in its response to the Election Commission’s order said that a “level playing field” should be ensured for free and fair elections. In its order, the EC had directed removal or covering of pictures especially of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the words ‘aam aadmi’, citing deference to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsReplying to the order, AAP national spokesperson and Lok Sabha candidate Raghav Chadha has argued that Modi’s pictures are plastered all over the city under various governmental/non-governmental pretexts and must be subject to the same standards and regulations as are being imposed on the Delhi Chief Minister. In his written reply to EC, Chadha said: “It is essential that if a level playing field is ensured, the directions ought to be issued across the board, to all parties. It is pertinent to point out that directions ought to be issued only in such a manner, to ensure free and fair elections.” Earlier on March 12, hoardings and banners containing Modi’s photographs were removed from petrol pumps in the national capital following the enforcement of MCC.last_img read more

October 12

On the favourable track?

first_imgTraditionally, the power sector has been seized by a plethora of problems. Low per capita power consumption at a third of China, substantial T&D losses, Discoms bleeding due to tariff subsidisation disabling purchase of power from gencos, low PLF of thermal plants affecting the capacity to service bank debts and shortage of fossil fuel affecting power generation, were the major pain points. Concerted efforts initiated at policy formulation and implementation to tackle these issues in recent times seem to be yielding an encouraging outcome. Also Read – A special kind of bondRegarding fossil fuel, the power plants are largely coal-based except for around 14 GW gas-based capacity mainly built on the indicated potential of the KGD6 basin. These became stranded as the gas production from the basin fell off dramatically to a tenth of its peak level seen in 2010. Reportedly, the deep sea gas in High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) conditions were unviable to at the general price of domestic gas. Besides, technological challenges were substantial. Efforts at reviving these gas fields through an infusion of appropriate technology and allowing special price commensurate with complexities have been initiated. However, the power generated from such high-cost gas may find a challenge of distribution under the Merit Order system. Hence, even if availability improves, the possibility of the stranded gas-based capacity coming into operation may remain a question mark. Also Read – Insider threat managementFor the coal-based power plants, the problem initially was an acute shortage of coal. Over 200 coal blocks allocated earlier to end users for mining were cancelled by orders of the apex court in 2014, effective 1st April 2015. Collectively the production from this segment was around 45 Mtpa in 2014-15 – the last year before cancellation. This production dropped to NIL from April 1, 2015. A transparent auction-based process for allocation of these blocks was promptly brought in place. However, the new allottees had to face quite a few hurdles before coal production could recommence. Inexperience was also a hurdle in some cases. Finally, in 2018-19, the aggregate coal production from this segment regained the pre-cancellation level of 2014-15. This segment is expected to be on a medium growth trajectory now, particularly with companies like NTPC commencing mining operations with plans to grow fast. The dominant coal supplier, namely Coal India Ltd (CIL), stopped growing from 2010-11, largely due to the imposition of a blanket ban by MOEF on all projects in critically polluted industrial zones. The zones were identified based on an evaluation of the Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index (CEPI) developed by IIT Delhi. This was based on measures of air, sound and water pollution. Industrial clusters with CEPI higher than 70 were classified as critically polluted. Most coal projects were located in such clusters and hence suffered the ban. Incidentally, coal mining does not release toxic waste into water. A quick measurement of CEPI in coal mines yielded scores of less than 50. In other words, coal mining per se was not found responsible for the clusters being critically polluted. Demand for sub-cluster analysis to identify industries responsible for critical pollution were made. The outcome in terms of lifting the ban was painfully slow. As a result, after a phase of 6 per cent plus CAGR during 2007-2010, when coal production increased from 361 to 431 Mtpa, the CAGR in the next 3 years, 2011-2014, plummeted to 2.33 per cent – production rising from 431 to 462 Mtpa during this period. Ironically, the capacity addition in the coal-based power generation picked up substantially onwards 2007. This coupled with muted growth in coal supply resulted in thermal coal imports rising exponentially. The higher cost of imported coal led to a higher tariff on one hand and, at times compelled the power plants to operate at reduced PLF. The situation became acute by 2014. The reversal of the situation demanded a warlike multi-pronged approach. The Ministry of Coal and CIL acted in unison to debottleneck each constraint. Intense interactions with concerned Ministries in the government, namely MOEF, Railways and Power were carried out to build a high degree of collaborative approach and maintain coordination at the highest level. The approach was extended to the coal-producing state governments for support in securing faster environment and forest clearance of various projects as well as the acquisition of land. Previous records of the quantum of land acquired were beaten convincingly. The outcome was indeed encouraging! The growth in coal production moved up to around 7 per cent in 2014-15, increasing from 462 to 494 Mtpa. In 2015-16, the growth reached a record level of 8.5 per cent rising to 536 Mtpa. Ironically, contrary to expectations, the growth in coal consumption during 2015-16 was muted and a significant portion of the increased coal production landed up in coal stocks at pithead as well as power stations. Beginning from April 2016, the coal offtake became even more sluggish. Chasing the targetted growth in coal production became a nightmare for CIL as it led to unmanageable addition to coal stocks with the associated risk of coal catching fire. Paradoxically, the average PLF of power plants witnessed a falling trend despite coal being available – a phenomenon not witnessed earlier. It turned out that the problem essentially is with the Discoms facing financial stress due to tariff subsidisation for supply to the agricultural sector. Besides, the evacuation of upcoming renewable power was assigned a higher priority. Compelling the Discoms to bear the subsidy burden disabled them financially to buy all the power that gencos could generate. Without the issue being addressed, the prospects of evacuating the power that could be generated appeared dim. The Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) was conceived at this time to address the issue. The scheme required, on one hand, the states to progressively take over an increasing share of losses of the Discoms and, on the other hand, focus on reduction of cost as well as T&D losses. It is a time-bound program with constant monitoring and a hard stop for linking Discom losses to state budgets in a gradual manner. Some of the other measures to work in tandem were savings in interest cost, reduction of imported coal by increasing supply of domestic coal, freight rationalisation through a swap of supply sources, reduction of T&D losses and most importantly, demand-side management by emphasising the use of LED bulbs and low power consuming efficient appliances. While the projected savings accruing from a full-scale implementation of UDAY across all states was estimated at a staggering Rs 2052 billion, the savings required for the Discoms to break even was assessed at Rs 639 billion till 2020-21 (as per CLSA Report of Jan 2019). In other words, even 32 per cent of the projected benefits were sufficient to make the Discoms turnaround. This was expected to trigger sustainable demand recovery, improve capacity utilisation and eventually drive capex recovery. The unfolding of events subsequently goes to establish the fructification of the plan to some extent 2018 onwards. The sluggish coal demand witnessed in 2016-17, continued partially during 2017-18 leading to muted growth in coal production by CIL from 536 to 567 Mtpa over the two year period, translating into a low CAGR of 2.78 per cent. However, the position witnessed a reversal from early 2018. The rise in purchasing power of Discoms led to faster growth in demand for coal. The pithead stocks of coal depleted and the stock at powerhouse end became alarmingly low. CIL initiated efforts to gear up and got its act together November 2018 onwards. Stock depletion at pithead was arrested and despatches to powerhouse stepped up. Once again the collaborative style of functioning prevailed across all concerned agencies. By March 2019, CIL registered an impressive growth from 567 to 607 Mtpa in coal production (7 per cent) with coal offtake reaching a level of 608 Mtpa. The coal stock at powerhouse end reached a comfortable level of 18 days. The stocks at the pithead in CIL has also risen to a comfortable level of 54 Million tonnes. Going forward as the benefits of UDAY seep in, the Discoms are expected to further enhance purchasing power. This will lead to a rise in the PLF of existing power plants. The scope for such rise is substantial as currently, the PLF is at a low of 60 per cent. The best seen PLF in 2007-08 was 79 per cent. Since then, the new capacities built have embraced better technologies. Also, some inefficient capacities have been phased out. As such the highest PLF attainable is expected to be higher than the best seen so far. Even considering a peak PLF of 80 per cent, the additional coal demand works out to around 200 Mtpa. Besides, there are 40 GW stranded inoperative coal-based power capacity. With IBC brought into play, most of these capacities may become operational in course of time through NCLT proceedings or otherwise. This will further add 200 Mtpa to the coal demand. The current import of coal is over 200 Mtpa, of which over 100 Mtpa is metallurgical coal for steel-making and thermal coal for select coastal power plants. These cannot be substituted by domestic coal in the near term. However, the residual import for non-coastal power plants and other consumers are replaceable by increasing domestic coal production by another 100 Mtpa. The resultant demand growth on the above accounts aggregating to 500 Mtpa may materialise over the next five years, if not earlier. CIL may grow consistently at the 2018-19 rate of 7 per cent, taking its production five years from now to 850 Mtpa. This leaves a gap of 257 (607+500-850) Mtpa to be met from other sources. This does not take into account any coal demand for use as feedstock for the production of Ammonia or Urea or chemicals on which the country is currently import-dependent. Considering that China is successfully using at least 500 Mtpa of coal as feedstock to produce fertilisers and chemicals economically, India can also move in this direction. This may add to coal demand further. The coal production from captive blocks assigned to end users is expected to grow to the extent of meeting the end-use requirement primarily. Therefore, induction of commercial miners, for which the legal enablers are in place since 2015, needs to happen at the earliest to ensure that the painstaking reforms carried out in securing sufficiency of the power supply is not derailed due to paucity of coal. (The author is former Chairman, Coal India Ltd. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more