December 18

North Bay Shore Crash Leaves Bicyclist Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 63-year-old bicyclist from Brentwood was fatally struck by a vehicle in North Bay Shore on Friday afternoon.Suffolk County police said Jose Benitez was riding his bicycle southbound on 5th Avenue, when he changed lanes and was hit by a Hyundai at 3:15 p.m.Benitez was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was pronounced dead shortly later.The driver, 22-year-old Danny Hernandez of Bay Shore, was not injured.Third Squad detectives impounded the vehicle, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information to call them at 631-854-8352.last_img read more

November 18

Avian flu claims another Indonesian life

first_imgNov 12, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A 31-year-old Indonesian man recently died of H5N1 avian influenza, pushing the country’s death toll from the disease to 91, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today.The man, from Riau province on Sumatra, got sick on Oct 31 and was hospitalized 3 days later, the WHO report said. He died at an avian flu referral hospital on Nov 6. His death raises the number of H5N1 cases in Indonesia to 113. The country has had 38 cases this year, 33 of them fatal.The source of the man’s infection is under investigation, and authorities are looking into the possibility of a link with a large swallow farm near his house, the WHO reported.Azizman Daad, an official from the state general hospital in Riau, said teams from Indonesia’s agriculture ministry who visited the area after the man’s death did not find any sick or dead chickens, according to an Agence France-Presse report.The man was a hospital administrator at Permata Hati Hospital in Riau province’s Duri district and was treated at the hospital before he was transferred, according to a Nov 8 report in the Jakarta Post that was published before the man’s avian flu results were known. The article did not say if the hospital where the man worked had recently treated any H5N1 case-patients.The case raises the WHO’s global H5N1 count to 335 cases with 206 deaths.See also:Nov 12 WHO statementlast_img read more

October 18

Arsenal squad suspect Unai Emery rigged club captaincy vote in Mesut Ozil’s favour

first_imgArsenal squad suspect Unai Emery rigged club captaincy vote in Mesut Ozil’s favour Mesut Ozil was named as one of five Arsenal captains (Picture: Getty)Mesut Ozil’s inclusion as one of five new captains at the club has raised eyebrows among the Arsenal squad.Granit Xhaka was named club captain after a secret vote was conducted at the end of September.The Gunners have been without a permanent skipper since the departure of Laurent Koscielny, while the club also lost experienced stalwarts such as Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal and Petr Cech last summer.Emery avoided naming a new captain throughout pre-season and instead insisted on holding a secret ballot that would help decide a new skipper and a ‘leadership group’ behind him.ADVERTISEMENTPierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin and Ozil were named as Xhaka’s four deputies following the vote, but the inclusion of the German has raised suspicion in the squad, according to the Sun.AdvertisementAdvertisementEmery made the announcements to the squad but did not reveal the exact details of the ballot results, instead preferring to list the qualities that are needed to captain the club. Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 1 Oct 2019 11:10 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.9kShares Xhaka wore the armband for the first time as permanent captain against United (Picture: Getty)And it’s claimed that the squad are sceptical that Ozil was actually successful in the vote.The German is the only remaining member of last season’s ‘leadership group’ and many of the players feel Emery kept Ozil part of this season’s to make life easier for himself.Ozil has barely featured for the Gunners this term and was left out of their squad to face Manchester United on Monday night.The attacking midfielder is a quiet member of the squad and not thought of as a senior member, despite his pedigree.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 ArsenalIt was made clear that Ozil is the fifth captain and he’s not expected to wear the armband except for matches in the Europa League.The playmaker is expected to return to the matchday squad for Thursday’s clash against Standard Liege.MORE: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson announces return for WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown Commentlast_img read more

August 12

Steelers hear ‘the voice’

first_imgby Barry WilnerAP Pro Football Writer LATROBE, Pa. (AP)—Jerricho Cotchery hears “the voice.” Troy Polamalu senses the “phantom leadership.”It’s all part of the Steelers Way.Few organizations boast the stability and winning tradition of the Steelers. Try just three coaches in 43 years. Try the same family in charge—the Rooneys. It’s gone from the Chief, Art Rooney, to his son Dan, to his grandson, Art II, the current team president.In the Super Bowl era, they have gone home with the Lombardi Trophy a record six times in eight appearances. If you want consistency on and off the field in the NFL, look at Pittsburgh.Yet, there is a sense of transition in the Steel City this year. Gone are some key leaders, particularly all-time leading receiver Hines Ward, now retired, and stalwart linebacker James Farrior. The powerful running game that for years— decades—was emblematic of the Steelers’ offense could be in disarray.There also seems to be transition within the AFC North that Pittsburgh has owned pretty much since the NFL went to its current format in 2002. Baltimore edged the Steelers for the division title last year and is considered the favorite to repeat. Cincinnati is regarded as a team on the rise. And there are many questions surrounding these Steelers.Not to worry, star safety Polamalu says.“You could say there is a transition after every season because the team won’t be exactly the same from year to year,” says the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year. “But I would answer the same way as I did the last nine years: The new challenge is exciting. I think it will be an exciting season. It’s going to be exciting to see how the players fit in, especially in the secondary, and how healthy we are.“You either survive and you push on, or you adjust the best you can.”The Steelers (No. 7 in the AP Pro32) have an edge in making the adjustments, too.“What’s also unique is what I would call the ‘phantom leadership’ that is in the tradition of the Steelers,” he adds with a smile. “It’s the way we do things around here and the way they have always done things, a certain way that works. It dates back to Joe Greene and those days. It’s something that is real.“So there’s that tradition that we have that sort of ‘phantom leadership’ out of the past.“We don’t need the rah-rah guy or the guy who is the ‘face of the franchise.’ We’re not pushing people to be out front. Be yourself, lead in your own way.”Leadership rarely has been an issue in the Steel City. And it might not be now with Polamalu, James Harrison, Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark, Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller still around. Just the fact it is being mentioned, though, is different.Although Pittsburgh went 12-4 last season, when neither Ward, Farrior nor now-retired defensive end Aaron Smith made much impact, it was not an impressive 12-4, if you can imagine that. The Steelers looked old, slow and not especially resourceful in their wild-card loss to Denver in the playoffs.Seven months later, Roethlisberger—as much a key to these Steelers as Terry Bradshaw was in the latter years of the Steel Curtain dynasty of the 1970s—is banged up (left ankle, rotator cuff). They are searching for a running game with starting tailback Rashard Mendenhall healing from a severe knee injury, and need to discover some continuity on the offensive line.And with deep threat Mike Wallace holding out, the receiving corps is missing an important element, although it remains a strength with Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Miller and Cotchery.Plus, the defense probably will have seven starters over 30: Polamalu, Taylor, Clark, Harrison, Brett Keisel, Larry Foote and Casey Hampton.Despite all those questions, the one topic that doesn’t seem to concern anyone is a loss of leadership.“We’ve been through this before,” 10th-year cornerback Taylor says. “When Joey Porter left, James Farrior stepped in. Our team never is without leaders.”Or voices in the locker room.“What I learned from the older guys when I got here was you have got to pass it on,” Foote adds. “Leadership is something I’’ve learned from being in the league for 11 years, and that there are all kinds of (leaders). There were a lot of personalities on this team, guys who have been here the last decade, and now they are gone. So others step up. It’s a changing of the guard.”Change can be good in pro football, even for a franchise so steeped in tradition; some might say so set in its ways. Rarely have the Steelers been potentially so dynamic in the passing game, and certainly not since Bradshaw, Lynn Swann and John Stallworth left.They tend to excel at developing their draft choices, with Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Miller and Hampton prime examples. Brown and young center Maurkice Pouncey are following that trend.Several important pieces are in their prime, including linebacker LaMarr Woodley, possibly their most dynamic defender, and Roethlisberger.Cotchery, an outsider who joined the Steelers last year as a free agent, was drawn to Pittsburgh not only by what he saw on the roster, but by something a bit more nebulous.The voice.“This organization is unique,” says Cotchery, who was with the Jets before heading to Pittsburgh. “It has a certain way of doing things over a long period that works, and they stick to it. And the result: six Super Bowls. And working on more.“I appreciate the tradition and the history of this organization and the way they have carried themselves. That drew me to the organization; they are loyal to their guys.“To me, the voice is kept here. No one else comes in with a different voice and no one talks over this voice. It’s the Steelers voice.”last_img read more

August 4

Tinton Falls Could Be Asked To Contribute Solutions To Landfill Odor…

first_img“And I understand it is our landfill,” Burry said. “But I think it’s reached a point where we need to work together. I think to consider us two separate entities is not serving anybody’s good.” By Philip Sean Curran “At the end of this stage, we will have installed the permanent gas collection system; the permanent leachate collection system as well as the new vacuum lines to continue to improve the collection of gas and control of the odors,” he wrote. Freeholder Lillian G. Burrysaid it’s costing the county “bigmoney” to correct the problem atthe landfill. The landfill, spanning some 900acres, has been in use since 1976.Last year it received 398,730 tonsof waste, according to the county. As of Wednesday, 105 people have signed an online petition at seeking, among other things, greater transparency about the new agreement between Tinton Falls and the county and a public comment hearing before the Tinton Falls governing body votes on the new host agreement for the reclamation center. The petition was started this week by a group that calls itself “MCCEHS.” “I think it would be a good, sound gesture on their part to agree to help defray some of thecosts involved here,” she said ofTinton Falls. “I would like to seethem more directly involved withdefraying some of the expenses.” “Our homes and our neighborhoods play host to the MCRC (Monmouth County Reclamation Center),” the petition read in part. “It is our right to know what goes into the host agreement, not just a select few.” She noted that the county paysthe municipality a “substantialamount of money” for being thehost community of the landfill.Last year that contribution wasaround $2.7 million. “I think we’re looking for them to step up and help be a part of the solution,” said Freeholder Gerry P. Scharfenberger. “I think we’re looking for them to be a partner, because it is within their jurisdiction.” As part of weekly updates he has been issuing by email, Thomas A. Arnone, freeholder director, wrote April 18 that the county intended to install an interim system to collect methane gas that comes from the decomposing garbage and then a permanent system that would take four to six weeks to complete and involve more than 17,000 linear feet of pipe. TINTON FALLS – Some Monmouth County freeholders said this week that they are looking to municipal officials in Tinton Falls, home of the county landfill, to shoulder some of the responsibility for abating the odor coming from the facility on Asbury Avenue. center_img “With that money, wouldn’t it make a lot of good sense to take a portion of that and either help defray the taxes of the residents, because they’re the ones being directly affected by this, or to reduce what the county is responsible for?” Burry asked. “We’re trying our best to do whatever we possibly can to remediate this problem,” Arnone said at last week’s freeholder meeting. “But there’s no excuse for it.” One woman who signed, Barbara Maggs, wrote on the site that she was “tired being left in the dark and being lied to for years about the dump.” Earlier this year the county said the “recent odors” at the landfill were attributable to methane gas, landfill leachate seeps, a large amount of rain in 2018 and a repair project at the landfill where the facility’s gas collection system was disconnected. Officials have been working to address the problem, with freeholders voting earlier this year to authorize spending $7.55 million in projects at the landfill, known formally as the Monmouth County Reclamation Center. Scharfenberger said the support he had in mind does not only have to be monetary, but could take other forms, like the county working with staff in the Tinton Falls public works department to share ideas, knowledge and expertise. Yet as the county faces this challenge, legal hurdles await. Some residents of Tinton Falls who have complained about the odor affecting their quality of life, plan to sue the county later this year, potentially seeking $233 million in damages. A torts claim notice was filed with the county in April. Tinton Falls Mayor Vito Perillocould not be reached for commentthis week. Arnone, speaking at the April 18 freeholders meeting, suggested possibly structuring the Tinton Falls allocation to “best fit the residents that are affected by the landfill.” He did not elaborate. She said freeholders historically have worked well with officials in Tinton Falls and that she saw no change in that relationship. The town and the county are negotiating a new host community agreement, as their old deal expired at the end of 2017. “We’re required to give six months’ notice of the filing of a lawsuit,” said Kevin S. Riechelson, attorney for the residents. “I can’t assume what the county’s going to do. But assuming that nothing happens between now and…by the beginning of October, I anticipate that a lawsuit will be filed sometime in the beginning of October with the class representatives that we’ve selected.”last_img read more

August 3

Swim teams flock to Heritage City for Kootenay Regional Meet

first_imgThe Nelson Neptunes are ready to use home pool advantage to defend their Kootenay Regional Title this weekend at the Nelson and District Aquatic Centre.The meet begins Saturday morning before concluding Sunday afternoon. The top swimmers in each event have an opportunity to represent the zone at the BC Provincial Summer Swim Association Championships August 17-20 in Kamloops.Teams from Castlegar, Trail, Grand Forks, Creston, Kimberley and Colville, Wash., are expected to attend the meet.last_img read more

August 2


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2017)–Unique Bella demolished four rivals in taking Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita by 7 ½ lengths under Mike Smith.  Assuming command three furlongs from home, Unique Bella’s only race from that point to the wire was with the clock, which stopped at 1:22.21 for seven furlongs.  A rousing 10 ¼ length maiden winner in her second start on Nov. 26 at Del Mar, she provided trainer Jerry Hollendorfer with his second consecutive win in the Santa Ynez and she already has fans and media alike wondering if she could be as good as her 4-year-old stablemate, superstar filly Songbird.“I’m just blessed, that’s all I can say,” said Smith when asked if he thought Unique Bella might be as good as soon-to-be two time Eclipse Champion Songbird.  “Now, it’s more reasonable to compare her (to Songbird).  Again, she’s very, very talented but with room to grow.  Hopefully with each step, she’ll get smarter about certain things.“When I saw everyone else send, I thought it was a good time to take a hold of her and see what happens.  It didn’t seem to bother her.  When we hit the far turn, it was like she was breathing different air.  The decisions I make are quick, but you have to make it all seem casual…”Although she had been odds-on throughout the post parade, Unique Bella ended up going off at even money in the short field of 3-year-old fillies, as a massive amount of money to win came in on eventual third place finisher Shane’s Girlfriend.  As a result, Unique Bella paid $4.00, $2.60 and $2.10.Owned by Don Alberto Stable, Unique Bella, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapit, from the Unbridled’s Song mare Unrivaled Belle, is now two for three and with the winner’s share of $120,000, has earnings of $162,400.“Today, she showed that she’s brilliant,” said Hollendorfer.  “We thought she’d jump out of there a little better.  I thought she would be close to the lead.  Mike used his judgement, got behind and then got to the outside, so it worked out well…We purposely waited this long with her and pointed towards this race.  I don’t know if we’ve seen all there is to Unique Bella, but I’ll ask Mike.”Also trained by Hollendorfer and a 10-length maiden special weight winner in her second start on Dec. 18 at Los Alamitos, It Tiz Well made a good run through the lane to be second, 2 ½ lengths in front of Shane’s Girlfriend.Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, It Tiz Well was off at 12-1 and paid $5.80 and $2.60.Trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by Flavien Prat, Shane’s Girlfriend was shortening up off a 13 ¼ length win in the one mile Grade III Delta Downs Princess Stakes on Nov. 19, but was never a threat to the winner today.  Off at 4-5, she finished 2 ½ lengths in front of Princess Karen and paid $2.10 to show.Fractions on the race, which was run on a main track that had been upgraded to fast, were 22.33, 44.58 and 1:09.28.Santa Anita will open for a five-day week on Thursday with first post time at 1 p.m.  Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.last_img read more

December 21

Donegal school principal who swindled €200k to have appeal heard today

first_imgA Donegal school principal who stole €200,000 by cutting school meals for disadvantaged pupils could face jail after State prosecutors appealed his “unduly lenient” sentence.Finbar Boyle, 39, who now lives in Ballybofey, spent the money on leading a lavish lifestyle. He went on Spanish golfing trips, weekend city breaks, his mortgage and clothes – but walked away from court with a suspended term.The dad of four was head of a primary school for children from disadvantaged communities in Co Cavan.The school receives gets extra State supports under its DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) designation.He could have faced up to a decade behind bars but in March last year, a judge decided to spare him jail because he’d managed to pay back €25,000 and shown “remorse”.Judge John Aylmer showed leniency after Boyle’s lawyers argued to the court that his “significant fall from grace” was affecting his efforts to find a new job. Now, Director of Public Prosecutions Claire Loftus has taken action against the suspended sentence.Today, the DPP’s lawyers will ask appeal judges to review the case and consider sending him to jail.Boyle, of Annalee Manor, Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, had no prior convictions.The Donegal man was principal of St Patrick’s National School in Kilnaleck, Co Cavan, between 2005 and 2013.In 2008, he cancelled school meals for kids at the small rural mixed primary, claiming a grant from the Department of Social Protection had been stopped.In fact, the school was still receiving the grant – and Boyle was keeping the money for himself.Gardai eventually caught up with him, arresting him in March 2015 following a two-year police probe. It later transpired Boyle had embezzled a total of €204,118 from State and also school funds.At court, he pleaded guilty to five sample charges – including theft of €73,320 from the Department of Social Protection between November 2009 and February 2011.One court sitting heard he spent €66,000 on the school credit card alone.His ill-gotten gains were splashed on golfing trips as well as weekend breaks in London, Dublin and Galway, Cavan Circuit Court heard.He purchased clothes as well as golf equipment and lessons, it was heard.And he put some of the cash towards his mortgage and household bills.However, Judge John Aylmer indicated in 2017 a non-custodial sentence would be “considered” if Boyle could repay €25,000 to the school.“He said: “I am not going to make any promises, but I am currently minded that it may be open to me to take a non-custodial approach.”The judge gave him 12 months to cough up – and with the help of family and friends, Boyle raised the cash ahead of his final sentencing hearing in March last year.During that hearing, his briefs revealed he’d endured a bitter divorce and had since suffered a breakdown.Boyle was on €193-a-week social welfare and had to travel in order to spend time with his young children, his defence team pleaded.His lawyers also claimed he’d suffered with “underlying and undiagnosed” psychological issues from a young age.It was also heard he was living in Ballybofey and had a new partner with whom he was expecting a child.Judge Aylmer remarked on the “significant breach of trust” and that the €25,000 paid back was a “fraction” of what was taken.But he noted Boyle’s many character references and lack of prior convictions – and handed him two-year suspended prison terms on each count.This morning, three top judges – Court of Appeal president George Birmingham, sitting with Judges Isobel Kennedy and John Edwards – will begin hearing the DPP’s appeal.Donegal school principal who swindled €200k to have appeal heard today was last modified: May 14th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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) Tags:BallybofeyFinbar Boyleprincipaltheftlast_img read more

December 19

Heart surgery’s unsung hero

first_imgHamilton Naki worked with Professor Chris Barnard in developing open heart surgical techniques. (Image: Hidden Heart)Nicky RehbockFind out more about using materialWhen South African cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard stunned the world by performing the first human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital on 3 December 1967, little was known or said about Hamilton Naki, an unassuming lab assistant who was often at Barnard’s side.Despite Naki’s surgical achievements, which helped make the first human heart transplant possible, he lived in obscurity for many years, eking out a living on a gardener’s pension.During the height of apartheid in South Africa there was no reason to believe that a largely uneducated black assistant was anything more that a labourer.Naki once told a BBC interviewer, “Those days you had to accept what they said, as there was no other way you could go, because it was the law of the land.”But after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, Naki’s contribution to open heart surgery came to the fore, allowing for his remarkable story to be told.Humble beginningsNaki was born on 26 June 1926 in the former homeland of Transkei in the Eastern Cape province. He attended school until age 14, when famine and poverty forced him to hitch-hike across provinces to Cape Town, in search of work.As a youth Naki was hired by the University of Cape Town (UCT) to maintain the tennis lawns. He remained in the city for the rest of his life, sending most of his wages home to support an extended family of 11.In 1954, Robert Goetz, the university’s professor of surgery, asked him to lend a hand in the laboratory to hold down a giraffe he was operating on. Goetz wanted to find out why the animals did not faint when they lowered their heads to drink.Naki impressed the professor so much that he invited him to work in the lab. Although first designated to clean out the animals’ cages in the research lab, he soon became adept at performing a wide range of surgical procedures and he was given special permission to continue research work in the labs. He also took over the postoperative care of the animals.Blessed with profound intelligence and memory, Naki learned by watching other surgeons and was soon able to carry out a liver transplant on a pig virtually unaided.There was little the qualified surgeons could do that Naki couldn’t.When Goetz left for America and Chris Barnard arrived at UCT, Naki’s abilities were recognised by the pioneering doctor. Barnard first used him as his anaesthetist and later as his principal surgical assistant.‘A skilled craftsman’Naki worked with Barnard as he was developing open heart surgical techniques experimentally.Barnard told the Associated Press in 1993 that “if Hamilton had the opportunity to perform, he would have probably become a brilliant surgeon”.In an interview shortly before his death in 2001, Barnard said Naki was “one of the greatest researchers of all time in the field of heart transplants”, adding that he “was a better craftsman than me, especially when it came to stitching”.It is said that Naki played a major role in training 3 000 heart surgeons who studied under Barnard.Doctors who observed Naki’s work described how he managed to join tiny blood vessels with amazing dexterity and was able to skilfully finish the medical students’ surgeries in the animal lab.Professor Ralph Kirsch, director of the Liver Research Centre, describes him as “one of those remarkable men who really come around once in a long time”.“As a man without any education, he mastered surgical techniques at the highest level and passed them on to young doctors. I don’t think that happens very often anywhere in the world,” Kirsch said.Naki recalled how medical students often consulted with him for guidance. “That’s why they called me a surgical father,” he said, according to an Associated Press article in 2005.Making a differenceAlthough he lived in a tiny room in Langa, an impoverished township in the underprivileged area known as the Cape Flats, with no electricity or running water, Naki would set out to work every morning in a hat, suit, tie and polished shoes.Even after his retirement, Naki continued to make a difference by raising money for a mobile clinic in his rural hometown in the Eastern Cape. He also called on surgeons – who were once his trainees – to donate money for a school in his home province.RecognitionIn 2002 then president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki gave Naki the country’s highest order, the National Order of Mapungubwe, for his years of service.The following year Graça Machel, UCT’s vice chancellor and wife of former president Nelson Mandela, gave Naki an honorary degree in medicine in recognition of his work in the field of surgery.On 29 May 2005 Naki died of a heart attack but his life and work, alongside the achievements of Barnard, have been captured in a documentary, Hidden Heart, which is currently on circuit in South African cinemas.The Swiss, German and South African production, from directors Cristina Karrer and Werner Schweizer, gives an intimate look at the relationship between the two medical pioneers and finally gives due credit to one of South Africa’s most unlikely “surgical fathers”.Do you have any queries or comments about this article? Email Nicky Rehbock at [email protected] linksHidden HeartSouth African History Online: Hamilton NakiHamilton Naki: Unsung hero of the world’s first heart transplantBBC Newslast_img read more

December 15

Amazon Prime Stalks Netflix, Hulu With Zombieland Pilot

first_imgRelated Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout dan rowinski 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe Appcenter_img Tags:#Amazon#Internet TV 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… The time to cut the cord on cable television has never been better. Between Netflix and Hulu Plus, consumers are treated to a variety of original programming financed and produced not by mega studios but by digital content companies that have little interest of seeding their content to cable channels. Netflix’s House of Cards has been a critical success and Hulu has some sleeper hits like Battleground.With the investment in original content from its top competitors, Amazon will not be left behind.Amazon today announced that it is picking up the pilot to Zombieland, a television series adaption from the movie staring Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg. The move to pick up Zombieland is part of a larger original content play from Amazon as the company has promised to produce 13 series from a variety of pilots. Amazon is specifically focusing on comedy and children’s programming for its original content.Zombieland and other pilots from Amazon will be featured on its Prime Instant Video streaming service. Amazon will pick the 13 series from its array of pilots based on user feedback.The Zombieland series will be produced by the movie’s original creative team including writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The roles occupied by the likes of Harrelson and Stone have been recast to Kirk Ward and Maiara Walsh, respectively.Zombies are all the rage right now. The Walking Dead is killing it on cable. The adaptation of Max Brook’s novel World War Z is coming to the big screen in June with Brad Pitt.Content Marketing At Its BestPeople started scratching their heads a few years ago when companies like Netflix and Hulu started bidding on original series from prominent production companies. Why would Netflix spend millions of dollars to obtain House of Cards? Or make one final season of Arrested Development? This was not the business model we had come to expect from these companies. Netflix traditionally licensed content from the archives of major studios for its streaming service, not created its own. As the original programming has come to the screen, the play has made a lot more sense. House of Cards has a lot of people talking and the only way to see it is to have a Netflix streaming account. Users will have to get a Amazon Prime account to see the likes of Zombieland. Essentially, these original programs are giant marketing ploys. When it comes down to it, the point of marketing is to get people talking about your product. When people talk about your product, there is a chance they will actually spend money to use it. House of Cards certainly has people talking. If Zombieland the series is as good as Zombieland the movie, Amazon could see an uptick in Prime customers.HBO has been doing this for years, from Oz to the Sopranos to Game Of Thrones. The difference now is that you do not need a cable subscription to get great exclusive programming.Great For Cord CuttersFor consumers, the original content wars are the best thing to happen to television since the cable wars erupted in the 1980s. For the first time, television watchers are able to get true a la carte viewing options, choosing from here or there for what they want to watch as opposed to choosing various “bundles” of channels from the cable companies. Consumers that want to rid themselves of the monthly cable bill will have plenty of content to choose from and not just the shows that aired years before. In the end, everybody wins (except for, maybe, the cable companies). Lead image courtesy Shutterstock.last_img read more