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first_imgKINGSTON:Olympian and track superstar Veronica Campbell-Brown is lending her star power as an ambassador for the fourth staging of the annual Kingston City Run.The annual event has seen participation from thousands of locals, including out-of-towners from all over the island and international racers from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Trinidad, Cayman, Barbados, Canada, and the United States – from states such as New York and Florida.”We are truly overwhelmed by the all-round, positive support we have received from our participants, volunteers and sponsors,” said Christopher Jarrett, co-chair, Kingston City Run Organising Committee.”We are especially honoured for the support being given by Veronica to not only promote the event, but raise the awareness of the plight on many of our most vulnerable citizens,” he explains.The Kingston City Run focuses on supporting charitable organisations that focus on eliminating the plight of homelessness through skills training, development, offering temporary housing, meals, and general care.AT-RISKYOUTHOur charities also work with youth at risk of taking the wrong path that could one day lead to homelessness.”When asked to lend my support to this cause, I did not hesitate,” stated Veronica Campbell-Brown. “No matter how strong we are, how much we have accomplished, we must always remember to help the least of us in times of need.””I fully support the work of the Kingston City Run organisation team for taking the bold steps for such a worthy cause. Last, but by no means least, having ventured into the run/walk arena myself, I fully believe in the [Kingston City Run’s] cause of promoting health and well-being,” she added.In addition to positioning Kingston as an attractive tourist destination, KCR organisers are looking to continue to make a big impact at home.As it has in the past, the event has once again partnered with a number of local charities in a bid to help the country’s homeless population. As a result of its various fundraising initiatives, Kingston City Run will be making contributions to the Marie Atkins Night Shelter, Open Arms Drop In Centre, Food For The Poor, Missionaries of the Poor, and the Alpha Institute (formerly Alpha Boys’ Home).last_img read more

first_imgChelsea Ladies have signed England winger Gemma Davison from WSL champions Liverpool Ladies.The 27-year-old will officially link up with the Blues on New Year’s Day, having agreed a two-year deal.Davison, who won her second England cap in March, helped Liverpool clinch the title on goal difference ahead of Chelsea last season, and contributed the joint most assists in the league.She won multiple honours with Arsenal, including a spell when current Chelsea boss Emma Hayes was the Gunners’ assistant manager.Barnet-born Davison also boasts experience of the Women’s Professional Soccer League in the United States, where she represented New York Magic and Buffalo Flash among others before returning to England.Davison said: “It’s unbelievable to join this club. It’s a big club and the ladies team have really improved and nearly won the league last season.“There are some great players here and a great coaching staff that I’m looking forward to working with.“Emma Hayes has been brilliant throughout my career, always supporting me and I’ve always wanted to work with her again, she’s a great coach.”Hayes added: “Gemma’s one-on-one ability is as good as anyone in the world and she is now ready to become a top player for Chelsea and England.“Our goal is that Gemma becomes a regular for the national team because on her day she is unplayable.“I want more goals from Gemma and I look forward to working with her again on the training pitch.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

first_imgIn this epic video tutorial, learn how to do 5 different special effects shots using these free action compositing elements.Creating action compositing and special effects is definitely not for the faint of heart. You can stare at something for hours and decide that it still doesn’t look quite right, and no matter how much you play around with glow settings, timing, or color correction, without the right elements, it might never look the way you want it to.However, if you’re lucky — and a bit industrious — over time, you can create an impressive library of action compositing elements that will help you build any type of scene you might need. Luckily enough, our friends over at RocketStock have created an extensive library for just such occasions.In the following tutorial (a somewhat epically long one, jam-packed with info) learn how to build an explosion scene from the ground up using these elements.Want to follow along? Download the raw footage from the short film and try it yourself!DOWNLOAD NOWThere are quite a few free elements mentioned in this video, but the main one is a freebie pack put out by RocketStock called Action Pack Lite. This is a pack of free samples from each of the various action packs that RocketStock has released. This way you can give all of the packs a try and figure out which ones you think you might need for your next project. Check them out! Shot 1: Muzzle FlashThe first shot is a very quick shot wherein the gun falls off of the barrel and hits the ground (causing the gun to misfire), and a muzzle flash explodes out from the gun — leaving some smoke behind.To achieve this, we have multiple muzzle flash options to choose from (but nowhere near as many as what’s available in the full Ricochet pack). We also have the option to add some smoke underneath the muzzle flash. I like to have muzzle flashes on screen for a two frame fade-out. This feels more natural, in my opinion.After we’ve thrown our muzzle flash in, we can go ahead and track the quick scene. Even though there isn’t a ton of motion, it will still help the shot feel more natural, due to the slight movement to the camera.Now, duplicate one of your muzzle flash layers, scale it up to fill almost the entire frame, and add feathered masks to areas that appear reflective. Move this layer one frame back from the others, to provide the feel of an aftershock. Add some subtle glow to the entire scene to bring it all together.Shot 2: Spark FallYet another quick shot. This one is very easy, using some more free elements from RocketStock.In this shot, we’re going to use the Spark pack. This pack includes 65 completely organically shot spark and ricochet elements. These were created by shooting zirconium-filled paintballs at a black wall — this way you can add them quickly on top of your footage, using the add or screen transfer modes.First, track the shot. It’s another really quick track, but you still want to add that slight bit of motion to all of your elements.From there, all you need to do is add your choice of ricochet elements from the spark onto an area that looks metallic enough to spark. Add some glow to your spark elements, and parent them to your tracked null.The last task here is to animate a single spark falling to the bottom of the frame. To do this, isolate a single spark from one of your spark elements, and draw a quick mask around it to single it out. Then go to Layer > Time > Freeze Frame. This will allow you to animate the spark using position keyframes.Shot 3: Gas IgnitionNow we’re getting into the nitty gritty. Although, with elements like these, it’s much easier than usual.One unique aspect of the Ignite pack from RocketStock is that there is such a big selection of elements to choose from that they even include quite a few elements that appear to be reflecting off of water. This is perfect for this scene wherein we need to create fire on top of a puddle of gasoline.First, we’ll need to track the scene again. Just get used to that.From there, you need to animate the single spark from the previous scene to fall into the gasoline puddle. Follow the position of the female character’s eyes through the scene and try to match the timing of the spark’s fall accordingly. Once the spark hits the puddle, just use some scale keyframes to make it disappear.Now you can start adding some fire elements to the scene, starting with the initial flames. Using mask path animation, animate the fire growing quickly and consuming the entire scene. Use as many fire elements as you need to make this convincing.Shot 4: The ExplosionContrary to what you might believe, this shot is actually one of the easier ones. Using just a few elements, I was able to just fill the scene as quickly as I could. With some glow, it really only took a few elements.Just start by placing some fire around the scene and find ways to make it all blend. This will take plenty of masking and color correction, but with some fine-tuning, the scene will quickly start to take shape.Finish the scene with three big explosion elements — with plenty of glow on each. Stagger them frame by frame so that they appear to be one explosion growing larger.This scene required some post-camera shake. In order to make the compositing much easier, we decided to shoot this one locked off on a tripod.Lucky for you, PremiumBeat has a pack of 15 Free Camera Shake Presets that we used to pull that organic looking post-production handheld camera motion.Shot 5: The Last ShotThis final scene is one where you can really go as crazy as you want with the compositing elements.To start, I darkened the entire scene considerably to create the vibe of soot and ash, giving the set a dark layer of grunge. All you can do from here is experiment. Start placing fire elements around the scene, adding glow and color correction to each one as needed. It may be necessary to duplicate and flip (and blur) to create the feel of a reflection.You also need to add some embers to the air. For this, we’ll use some free dust elements from the 16 Free Volumetric Light Overlays pack from RocketStock.With these dust elements, you can quickly add a curves adjustment effect and add a bit of green and red. Follow that up with a strong glow effect, and voilà — you have burning hot embers floating through the scene.Add some camera shake again using the camera shake presets, and finish the whole scene out with a bit of glow to bring it all together.Looking for more video tutorials? Check these out.Video Tutorial: Create a DIY Wireless China Ball LightMinimize Your Lighting Setups For Narrative ShootsCreate An Animated Website Presentation Using After EffectsESCAPE ROOM (Short Film) — How To Composite Your Own StuntsVideo Tutorial: Camera Tips for Stabilizing a Shot in Postlast_img read more

first_imgThe charity campaign that aims to give one lucky fan the chance to hang out with Darren Criss in LA raised $100,000 in its first week – and it’s still going strong.One lucky winner and a guest will receive round trip airfare to Los Angeles, stay in a luxury hotel for two nights, enjoy the sunshine, and, best of all, hang out with Darren! You can have lunch, grab coffee, or visit some of his favorite places… and with Darren as your host, you never know where you might end up! Find out more here.Currently starring as Blaine on the Emmy-Award winning Fox television series Glee, singer/songwriter Darren Criss first participated in Musicians on Call’s Bedside Performance Program last fall at Mattel Children’s Hospital, UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Darren was accompanied on guitar during this visit by his friend Tom Poleman, Chairperson Emeritus of Musicians On Call’s Board of Directors and Clear Channel Media+ Entertainments President of National Programming Platforms. Although Darren had many other commitments that day, he ended up staying for hours to play for the young patients and their families, and immediately asked how soon he could come back to do it again.“I enjoy Musicians On Call because it strips down the performing aspect of music to its most basic function – to share, to heal, to inspire,” says Darren. “It’s just you and another person sharing an intimate moment that is actually bigger than the both of you.”Darren started off the new year with another visit to the same hospital, spending several more hours with the kids. Then he became a man on a mission, determined to share the healing power of music with as many people as possible! Next up, he’s generously lending his advocacy to Musicians On Call through an outdoor advertising campaign that began running in NYC on February 10.And he wanted to do even more than that, so through his Prizeo Birthday Campaign, he’s encouraging his fans to help Musicians On Call raise funds to expand the number of facilities and patients it is able to serve every week.Go to www.prizeo.com/darren and check out Darren’s Birthday campaign.last_img read more

first_imgBest Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is pleased to announce that the 18th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, presented by Pepsi-Cola, Shaw’s Foundation and Star Market Foundation, will take place June 2-3.More than 2,500 people are expected to participate in the Challenge – a charity walk, run and ride to benefit Best Buddies International.Tom Brady, New England Patriots Quarterback and Best Buddies Global Ambassador, will serve as Honorary Co-Chair, along with Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III. During the Challenge, Event Chair Ted English, Executive Chairman of Bob’s Discount Furniture, will help honor Retired CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management John Hailer with the Spirit of Friendship award for the incredible work he has done to promote Best Buddies’ mission of friendship and inclusion.“Best Buddies is a fantastic organization with a great message to spread, and I am so proud to support their work,” said Best Buddies Global Ambassador Tom Brady. “I hope my role as Honorary Co-Chair will continue to bring attention to the organization’s mission of friendship and inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the world.”“We are delighted to be returning to Massachusetts for our 18th Annual Hyannis Port Challenge and we are thrilled that Tom Brady, Guy Fieri and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy, III will join us as Honorary Chairmen of this event,” said Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. “We are also honored to have Pepsi-Cola, Shaw’s Foundation and Star Market Foundation as this year’s Presenting Sponsors. Their dedication to the Best Buddies mission of inclusion – along with that of all Challenge participants – has helped bring an even greater awareness to the infinite abilities people with intellectual and developmental disabilities possess.”Several New England Patriots players, past and present including Julian Edelman, James White, Dion Lewis, Jimmy Garoppollo, Chris Hogan, Rob Ninkovich, Scott Zolak, Christian Fauria, and Dan Koppen are expected to attend the Tom Brady Football Challenge at Harvard Stadium.Other celebrities, professional athletes and special guests expected to participate in the Challenge weekend, includes: Olympian and Best Buddies Global Ambassador Carl Lewis, Actors Olivia Culpo, Jason Lewis and Charlotte McKinney; Miss USA 2017 Kára McCullough, Miss Teen USA 2016 Karlie Hay, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker, and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.Guests can expect to be entertained once again this year as Foxwoods Resort Casino returns to deliver adrenaline-pumping excitement during the Tom Brady Football Challenge halftime show. Foxwoods President and CEO Felix Rappaport and Chairman Rodney Butler of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation will be joined by five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady to help announce the initial phase of a significant, unparalleled new development this summer at Foxwoods – at 60 miles per hour!Also returning this year is the Guy Cooking with Best Buddies Celebrity Chef Food and Wine Festival, presented by Pepsi-Cola, Shaw’s Foundation and Star Market Foundation. This culinary festival will feature over 30 chefs from top local restaurants providing delectable food tastings and a variety of complimentary wine and beer options, all for a great cause. Steve DiFillippo, founder of the renowned Davio’s Restaurant Group and inductee to the Massachusetts Restaurant Hall of Fame, and Chef Allen Campbell will serve as the Special Chef Vice-Chairs of the event.On Saturday, June 3, hundreds of cyclists, including professional cyclists George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde – will take the starting line at Santander Bank on Columbia Point in Dorchester for the picturesque 100-mile ride portion of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, from Boston to Hyannis Port. The Challenge is open to participants of all ages and abilities and is designed to showcase the Best Buddies mission in action. It also features alternative 50 and 20-mile cycling routes, as well as the Carl Lewis Challenge, a 5K run or walk.The Challenge will be capped off by a New England-style clambake and private concert by the legendary Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, which all participants and special guests are invited to attend.This year’s Challenge sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors Pepsi-Cola, The Official Beverage of the Best Buddies Challenges, and Shaw’s Foundation and Star Market Foundation; Hyannis Port Club Sponsors Bob’s Discount Furniture, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Greenberg Traurig, Hublot, Seyfarth Shaw, Santander Bank, The TJX Companies, Inc; Cape Club Sponsors Chobani, CVS Health, The GEO Group Foundation, John Hancock, Klingman & Associates, Natixis Global Asset Management; Craigville Beach Club Sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, BNY Mellon, Celebrity Cruises, Cold Stone Creamery, Cooking with Kids Foundation, Crescent Capital Group, Eaton Vance Management, Makarov Foundation, Mark Edward Partners, MidState Auto, Pilot Freight Services, RAI Services Company, Joe Shay, Jr., Teddie Peanut Butter, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Volvo, Wells Fargo, BMC, and Media Sponsors Boston Business Journal, CBS Radio/98.5 The Sports Hub, WHDH/Channel 7 and 90.9 WBUR.last_img read more

first_imgOriginally the promoter had encouraged fans to hold onto their tickets for a rescheduled show.The cancellation deals another disappointment to about 10,000 fans who were blindsided when Cher cancelled her Winnipeg show last month — nearly an hour after her opening act had finished their set.Concertgoers were told the 73-year-old singer was stricken by a “sudden short-term illness” that prevented her from performing.Cher tweeted an apology to fans the following night saying she was “literally (heartbroken),” using a brokenheart emoji.“It truly hurts me to disappoint fans who are excited about coming to see my show,” she added in the tweet.Cher pushed onwards with her tour in the days after her illness, playing four other western Canadian cities.Live Nation says tickets purchased online and by phone will be refunded automatically while other tickets can be refunded at the point of purchase.By The Canadian Press LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment WINNIPEG — Cher won’t be turning back time to play Winnipeg after all.Several weeks after a sudden illness left the pop diva’s fans hanging inside the venue, organizers say plans to reschedule her concert have been scrapped.Live Nation blames “scheduling difficulties” for making a new date for Here We Go Again at Bell MTS Place impossible. Facebook In this July 6, 2011 file photo is Cher in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Chris Pizzello, file) Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

The Playoff Implications Of Every Game For Every NFL Team

“Playoff Implications” is a phrase you usually don’t hear until the final weeks of the NFL regular season, but almost every regular season game has playoff implications. In the early going, however, it can be difficult to figure out just what those implications are, and how much is riding on each game.Most other major sports leagues play a greater number of regular season games, and thus the playoff picture in those sports evolves in a more incremental fashion. The pace can seem glacial at times for MLB, and inevitable and foregone when it comes to the NBA. But with just 16 regular season games, the NFL’s playoff landscape can change dramatically over the course of a single Sunday afternoon. And these tectonic shifts take place throughout the season, not just in those final weeks of December.With a week or two left in the season, the “eye test” usually suffices for judging which games will shape the playoff picture. But in mid-October there are far too many possibilities for the unassisted human mind to make sense of. We can only speak in general terms. For example, we know the playoff chances for the New Orleans Saints will improve with a victory this Sunday over the Detroit Lions. But by how much? And how far would they drop with a loss? Expanding our focus, what other teams have a vested interest in the outcome of this game? One would expect Carolina’s playoff chances to improve with a Saints loss, given that the Saints are their division rival. But once again, by how much?To answer these questions, we’ve created a weekly feature that measures the playoff implications of each game. To do this, you need to be able to simulate the remainder of the season multiple times and analyze the results. And in order to simulate the season, you need a way to rank all 32 teams, and use that ranking to create outcome probabilities for future games. We’ve been doing just that with FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rankings. But the Elo ratings, simple and beautiful, aren’t the only word on NFL rankings. For this feature we’re going to turn to the wisdom of the crowd instead, and use a ranking system one of the authors developed based on betting markets. In stock market terms, think of it as technical analysis in lieu of fundamental analysis.We’ll get into the methodology in a moment but first the results. Think of each interactive table below as a playoff implications “cheat sheet” for this week’s upcoming games.1The table is initially sorted by game importance, where we define importance by its cumulative impact on the playoff picture. Where you see blank cells on the table corresponds to games and teams in which there was not a statistically significant difference in playoff odds. (If you hover over a colored square, you’ll see details for that game.)UPDATE (Oct. 17, 12:30 p.m.): The interactive tables above have been updated to include Thursday night’s game, which now shows no playoff implications because its result is included in the playoff chances (the text of the article has not been updated).Reading the table across tells you which teams are affected by any particular game.2Notice that we don’t restrict ourselves to just the two teams competing in each game. As we alluded to above, teams benefit when they win games, but they also benefit when division rivals (and other competitors for playoff seeding) lose games. The Panthers, for example, would see their playoff chances rise by 11 percent with a Saints loss to the Lions. Reading the table down tells you which games matter most to any given team. For example, if you’re a Texans fan, what games should you care about this week, how much should you care about them, and who do you want to win? The column headers are sortable, so clicking on the “HOU” column tells you to care about HOU @ PIT, ATL @ BAL, CIN @ IND, NYJ @ NE, CLE @ JAC, and KC @ SD — in that order. And you want the Texans, Falcons, Bengals, Jets, Jaguars and Chiefs to win.My rankings start from the assumption that the NFL gambling market is efficient, and then attempts to determine how that efficient market ranks each of the 32 NFL teams. Unfortunately, Vegas doesn’t actually share its rankings with the general public, but with a little reverse-engineering, we can arrive at a pretty good guess at what they are. We start with the point spread. For Thursday night’s game, the New England Patriots are a 9.5-point favorite at home against the New York Jets. Since home field advantage is worth about 2.5 points, the market thinks the Patriots are 7 points better than the Jets when playing on a neutral field.Armed with this interpretation, we then take the point spreads from each game and for multiple weeks and run a simple linear regression to arrive at a consensus ranking. The process is akin to drawing a map of the United States but nobody tells you a city’s location. Instead, they only tell you how far away each city is from another city (e.g. Los Angeles is 1,700 miles away from Chicago, Chicago is 165 miles from Indianapolis, and so on). To further complicate matters, our map “moves” over time, making earlier “distance” measurements less reliable. For example, the Steelers opened the season as a 6-point favorite at home against the Browns. If the market were to set that point spread today, Pittsburgh would most likely drop to just a 2.5-point favorite, as the Steelers have fallen short of preseason expectations, and the Browns have exceeded them. So, the ranking methodology gives more weight to recent point spread data in an attempt to get the most up-to-date market evaluation of each team.Now that we have a ranking system that assigns a probability to each future regular season game outcome, the next step is to simulate the season multiple times (50,000 times to be exact). After simulating win/loss records, we apply the NFL playoff seeding rules (plus tiebreakers) and summarize the results. There are already several sites that do these types of simulations for the purpose of producing team playoff odds (including FiveThirtyEight). For this feature, we’re going to go a bit deeper than that.Instead of focusing on each team’s overall playoff odds, let’s instead focus on each game. We’ll use the New Orleans-Detroit game as an example. Of the 50,000 simulation runs, there were precisely 30,180 (or about 60 percent) that resulted in a Lions victory, and 19,820 that resulted in a Saints victory. Let’s now focus on those two samples in isolation. Of the 30,180 simulations in which the Saints lost, they made the playoffs 8,273 times, or 27 percent. Of the 19,820 simulations in which the Saints won, they made the playoffs 9,172 times, or 46 percent. Put simply, the Saints playoff odds could swing by a not-insignificant 19 percent as a result of their game against the Lions. (The games with the most cumulative influence on the overall playoff picture (“leverage”) are listed at left).We can repeat this calculation for every game and every team. The result: A measure of how much every game matters to every team. read more

Klopp pleased with his 5 or 6 midfield options at Liverpool

first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp discussed his midfield options ahead of their Premier League showdown with Manchester United on Sunday.The Reds were the last team to inflict a league defeat on United in what was Jose Mourinho’s final game in charge in December at Anfield in a 3-1 win.Now Liverpool will be looking for a similar result in order to return to the top of the Premier League table in what will be the first of three fixtures in the space of seven days.Therefore, rotations will be expected in the Liverpool team over the course of next week with Klopp able to count on plenty of options in his midfield.“I expect that the players just understand it. It’s a typical thing,” said Klopp on the club website.“I will not explain to everyone why they don’t start because they will all start games.“We don’t have to talk about Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] at the moment because he needs a bit of time. He looks so good in training but we need to make him resistant for all the things that are coming up.“For all the others I expect them to understand it. You cannot always have three players in midfield and they play and I have to wrap them in cotton wool – ‘Oh come on please, don’t do this step and this step’ or ‘Oh you feel something, come off training.’“Now we have five or six players for midfield and that’s exactly how it should be.“Of course they cannot start all the time. If somebody makes a story of that, I’m not interested.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“If somebody is not happy with that, I’m OK but you have to be ready for the next game and the next game is coming on Wednesday. That’s just how it should be.“All credit to the boys because they always deal with it. I’m not in doubt that they will deal with that situation as well. Make yourself ready because we need to have these different options.”As for Sunday’s match, Virgil van Dijk will make a welcome return to the Reds line-up at Old Trafford after being suspended from Tuesday’s 0-0 Champions League draw against Bayern Munich.Dejan Lovren remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, but Xherdan Shaqiri could feature after making some progress in his recovery from a minor abdominal strain.The match between United and Liverpool will begin at 3:05 PM (CET) on Sunday.I M P A C T 🙌A sublime double from @XS_11official when we hosted @ManUtd earlier this season. 😍 pic.twitter.com/gZzyBwwMeI— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 22, 2019last_img read more