Illicit Drug Production Destroys Colombian, Peruvian Ecosystems

first_imgBy Gustavo Arias Retana/Diálogo June 16, 2020 Crop cultivation and the chemicals used to produce drugs have a direct impact on the hemisphere’s flora, soils, fauna, and rivers. Countries like Colombia and Peru are rapidly losing their natural resources and ecosystems due to narcotrafficking, which clears forests to grow marijuana, as well as coca to produce cocaine and poppy for heroin.Toxic waste from chemicals used to extract narcotics lacks proper management and is discarded into bodies of water, polluting groundwater resources and killing thousands of species.The Colombian National Police’s (PNC, in Spanish) report Coca: Deforestation, Pollution, and Poverty indicates that “drug production destroys an average of 40,531 hectares of forest annually in the country, about 111 hectares per day, where 80 percent of the reported tree species only exist in that biome.” Deforestation also entails destroying the habitat of endemic species that are unable to migrate. “In terms of fauna, the figures are: 600 birds, 170 reptiles, 100 amphibians, and more than 600 fish species,” the report says.According to the report Colombia – Survey of Territories Affected by Illicit Crops 2018 from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “47 percent of [drug] crops are located in national natural parks, indigenous reserves, or black communities […].” The total area damaged by coca crops exceeds 225,000 hectares, the PNC adds.Germán Márquez, professor at the National University of Colombia and researcher at the Institute of Environmental Studies, told Diálogo that the country is among the most affected by logging due to drug production. “Deforestation has been the most direct impact since marijuana crops began in the 1960s and 1970s, and then coca leaf, and to some extent the occupation of many forest areas,” added Marquez.Eliseo Talancha, head of the Peruvian Institute of Environmental Law and Cultural Heritage, told Diálogo that his country is experiencing similar damage to that of Colombia, especially in the Amazon area.“Narcotrafficking is a local and regional environmental problem, mainly located [in the country] in the Peruvian Amazon, in the high and low jungles. It affects resources such as water, and the use of pesticides and chemicals leads to soil erosion,” Talancha added. “Cocaine base paste production causes serious damage in terms of river pollution and loss of fauna.”“We can summarize the main effects as such: interference in strategic ecosystems; thinning of vegetation coverage; extinction of endemic species; reduction of natural areas; deterioration of water sources and decreased capacity to regulate them; decline in water quality due to physical, chemical, or biological degradation; rain cycle alterations; and increased carbon dioxide,” the PNC report says.Some of the chemicals released into the region’s rivers due to cocaine production are kerosene, sulfuric acid, quicklime, carbide, acetone, and toluene, experts say. The production of 1 kilogram of coca base paste requires about 400 to 600 grams of chemicals, which are directly deposited into the region’s water sources.Other drug processing practices that are harmful for ecosystems, the PNC says, are open-air waste accumulation and incineration, as well as river pollution.“Many garbage dumps potentially generate dioxins, furans, and tar, which in some cases have higher toxicity levels than the initial substance [due to decomposition]. The accumulation of open-air and untreated waste generates leachates [toxic waste liquids] that pollute the soil. Waste enters the environment in high concentrations and ends up in bodies of water, merged with soil particles and, in the worst-case scenario, is accumulated and magnified. At this point, the pressure on the habitat is not limited to the crop area alone, but gets exported to the entire ecosystem,” the PNC emphasizes in the report.last_img read more

Betgenius: The sound of silence… What impact does an empty stadium have on trading?

first_img Share Share Betgenius expands virtual sports range with Kiron August 20, 2020 StumbleUpon Spotlight ups matchday commentary reach and capacity for new EPL Season  August 21, 2020 Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 Submit Related Articles As football leagues around the world prepare to return behind closed doors, Betgenius’ Head of Trading Dmitri Agapov assesses what a lack of fans means for both pre-match and live pricing.In normal times, tonight’s match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich at Signal Iduna Park would have harvested one of the best atmospheres in European football.Watching this top of the table clash play out in eerie silence will be an altogether different experience – but one we must all get accustomed to. With leagues worldwide set to return behind closed doors in the coming weeks, fans and sportsbook operators alike must adjust to the new status quo.For football traders, empty stadiums present a unique set of pricing conundrums across dozens of market types. The weighting given to home advantage is among the most obvious but what about the prospect of neutral venues, and how do things differ between leagues?Fortunately, we have some of the best and most experienced trading brains in the business in our team. So here’s what you need to know….Levelling the playing fieldIn the weeks ahead, a reduction in unintentional home team referee bias and a fall in crowd motivation will be the factors that affect home win prices most.Primarily because they are free from crowd pressure, history shows us that when football is played behind closed doors, match officials tend to give more marginal calls the way of away teams than usual. This impacts everything from fouls to cards, penalties and added time.By way of example, in the 24 Italian Serie A and Serie B matches played without fans in 2006/07, referees awarded on average 2.6 fewer fouls and 1.16 fewer bookings per match against away sides, along with 1.7 more fouls against hosts (Pettersson-Libdom and Priks, 2007).Meanwhile, without fans in stadia, away sides will often play with greater freedom while home performance levels drop. Although extremely difficult to quantify, how many times has the Anfield faithful played its part in memorable Liverpool European victories?It’s also important to note that these weightings will differ significantly between teams and leagues.Our research shows that home advantage is more prevalent in higher tier leagues with larger stadia, where loud and hostile atmospheres impose greater influence on away team players and of course the match officials. We’ll be making sure we embed this thinking so that the same adjustments aren’t applied to the Bundesliga compared to, say, the Costa Rican Primera Division.As a general rule – and it will vary between matches – Betgenius is advising its partners that home match result prices will on average lengthen by 4% to 5%.Less bookings on the cardsMatch result is by no means the only market affected by football moving behind closed doors. Traders should also prepare for away team card expectancies to fall and the chance of an away team winning a penalty to increase.To a lesser degree, home sides will receive fewer cards, too. Without a noisy loyal following behind them and the intensity it creates, home players tend to see less bookings in empty stadia. This is backed up by a wide range of research including the same Pettersson-Libdom and Priks study which suggests hosts commit more fouls.Furthermore, the likelihood of late away team goals and comebacks marginally increase when games are played behind closed doors.Over a strong sample, reduced referee bias means greater added time is awarded when visitors are trailing. The reverse is the case for trailing home sides, who tend to benefit from favourable added time in normal circumstances. This is an interesting prospect that our live football traders are keeping a close eye on.With crowd variables largely levelled out, home advantage behind closed doors hinges on psychological factors such as familiarity with pre-match build-up and pitch size. Measuring this is not an exact science but it’s value will certainly be well down on the 0.4 goals we measure it at normally.Either way, if the English Premier League does opt to complete the rest of the 2019/20 campaign in neutral venues, home advantage will diminish completely. We’d effectively price these fixtures like an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.So, as dozens of leagues return over the coming month, we’ll be working hard to give our sportsbook partners the edge and boost their margins on this crucial content.Over time, we and the rest of the industry will gain more information when it comes to pricing fixtures played behind closed doors. Starting with tonight’s heavyweight Bundesliga clash, I’m excited to watch it all unfold.last_img read more

Fishing the North Coast: Tuna fever hits Humboldt

first_imgTuna fever is spreading quickly amongst Humboldt County saltwater fishermen. There’s warm water sitting off the coast of Eureka, and there are patches lined up all the way to Charleston, Oregon, giving anglers a few different options. A small three-day weather window opened up for Eureka on Wednesday and a few boats made the 27-mile run due west to the where the water turned 60 degrees. Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing was one of the boats to venture out and boxed 11 albacore in the …last_img

Kuş Evi / Bird House (GC4W8G4) — Geocache of the Week

first_imgShare with your Friends:More Intrepid geocachers in an attempt to disguise themselves as monkeys. The cache itself. The puzzle box that contains the cache. The making of the cache. Geocache Name:Left: | Right:ş Evi / Bird House (GC4W8G4) — by haoralLocation:Üsküdar, TurkeyN 41° 02.075 E 029° 01.926Difficulty/Terrain Rating:D3.5/T3.5Why this is Geocache of the Week:This week, we’re recognizing a creative geocache in a country that just got its first souvenir: Turkey!Birdhouses, or Kuş Evleri in Turkish, are literally built into much of the Ottoman architecture in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey. This geocache was placed in tribute to those birdhouses.“Kuş Evi / Bird House”  is a tree-climbing cache, the first of its kind in Turkey, in fact. Finding it qualifies you to add a special banner to your profile. Starting this week, you’ll also earn the brand-new Turkey souvenir for finding this, or any other geocache, in Turkey.What geocachers have to say about it:“This cache was my main target this afternoon: I like tree-climbing and I like banners . This one combined both. At least after I had found it! There were quite a few people around, thus I had to look carefully. After a looooong while I found a short trail and the tree. Getting to the cache was no problem but then there was the locking system that needed to be overcome. It wasn’t too difficult but something new to me! I really liked it! This whole cache is definitely worth a favourite point! Greetings to the owner! TFTC!” –kinderarzt“I wanted this one to be my 300. cache, so i saved itaccordingly during our Kuzguncuk tour. I have bern listening to the praises of this cache for months. I found some bird house caches in Europe before but i encounter one with a puzzle for the first time. Initially, my wife went up the tree. But when she had some difficulties with opening the lock, we switched places. I also could not open it immediately. The numbers must be aligned precisely to open it. I didn’t have a magnet with me but a swiss army knife. The rest eas not so difficult. And for sure, it deserves a fav point.” –blastrulaWhat the Cache Owner has to say about it:Tell us a little bit about why you decided to hide this cache?“There were not many handcrafted caches in Turkey or Istanbul. I saw a lot of nice, maker caches in the web and want to make one myself. It should be not to difficult but should have some field puzzle elements in it. And it should be a example of handcrafted caches for the growing community in Istanbul.”There don’t seem to be many tree caches in Turkey. Do you know if yours was the first?“I am very sure it is. It is a tree cache where searchers have not to use technical equipment, but have to climb nearly 3 meters high. Today there are more caches in Turkey like this.”Do you think this cache requires more maintenance that your other geocaches?“No the place is more secure than the other caches in the city. Also it is chained to the tree, so Muggles are less a problem.”Do you have anything in particular you’d like to say to the geocaching community?“I produced this and some other caches in Istanbul to show the community that nice crafted caches are more fun than simple ones.”Photos: View from the cache.Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form. The littlest geocachers may need some help finding this one. SharePrint RelatedThe Director’s Travel Bug Hotel (GC3MFAD) — Geocache of the WeekOctober 15, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”Rubik’s Cache (GC5YGFM) – Geocache of the WeekJuly 30, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”Reach new geocaching heights!March 15, 2016In “Community”last_img read more

The Power of Sound: Using the Shepard Tone In Filmmaking

first_imgThe Shepard Tone creates the illusion of continuously swelling sound, which can build tension or suspense. Find out how it works in this breakdown.Cover via Warner Bros.The Shepard Tone. If you’ve never heard of this term, I can almost guarantee you’ve heard the tone itself. The term refers to an auditory illusion of a sound that continually ascends (or descends) in pitch.The tone is a sound that comprises multiple sine waves separated by an octave and layered on top of each other. In essence, there is a high-pitched tone, a middle-pitched tone, and a low-pitched tone that all rise in pitch until they loop back to the start. By the end of the track, the highest-pitched tone has become quiet, the middle-pitched tone stays loud, and the low-pitched tone has become louder. Because you can always hear two tones rising in pitch, your brain skips the loop and believes the tone is infinitely ascending.Image via Vox.In Vsauce’s video below, he explains another way to think about how the Shepard Tone works. Think of the three tones working in alternating roles. For example, the highest-pitched tone will drop down an octave and become the lowest-pitched tone, but since we can still hear the other two tones rise, we think the sound is ascending infinitely.In recent years, one of the most famous uses of the Shepard Tone was Batman’s Bat-Pod in The Dark Knight (see 4:46)Richard King, the sound designer behind The Dark Knight, said that “Chris [Nolan] had the idea that it should never shift, that it should keep ascending in pitch like an unstoppable force, we had an idea to use a concept called The Shepard Tone.” The team later captured the sounds from electric race cars and Tesla models to find the base pitch to create the Bat-Pod’s Shepard Tone.Creating TensionThe sound illusion is ideal for film and game sound effects, but what about using the concept to create tension in a movie score? Christopher Nolan demonstrates this in the recently released action thriller Dunkirk, and thankfully we have a video essay breaking down the technique. Surprisingly, the video essay was produced by Vox, an organization that usually produces videos on news and international subjects. The top commenter has playfully said, “Not sure if I’m watching Vox or Nerdwriter1” because the essay is as well-produced as many other film theorists’ works on YouTube. The video breaks down how composer Hans Zimmer has incorporated the Shepard Tone into the score, which creates an everlasting sense of tension throughout the film.In an interview with Business Insider, Nolan said the following:There’s an audio illusion, if you will, in music called a ‘Shepard tone’ and with my composer David Julyan on The Prestige we explored that, and based a lot of the score around that. It’s an illusion where there’s a continuing ascension of tone. It’s a corkscrew effect. It’s always going up and up and up, but it never goes outside of its range … And I wrote the [Dunkirk] script according to that principle. I interwove the three timelines in such a way that there’s a continual feeling of intensity. Increasing intensity. I wanted to build the music on similar mathematical principals. So there’s a fusion of music and sound effects and picture that we’ve never been able to achieve before.Nolan has certainly mastered several cinematic techniques (such as nonlinear storytelling), and I think it would be a safe bet to add The Shepard Tone to that list.What are your thoughts on the Shepard Tone? Let us know in the comments.If you need a Shepard Tone for your next project, you can always find one in the PremiumBeat SFX library.last_img read more

Ashes 2017: Joe Root reacts to Ricky Ponting calling him ‘little boy’

first_imgJoe Root hit back at former Australian captain Ricky Ponting for calling him a “little boy” after England succumbed to a humiliating Ashes defeat against Australia after the first three Tests of the series.England were no match to Australia and failed to put up any substantial fight as Australia trounced by an innings and 41 runs in the third Test in Perth to claim back the urn.England will now be playing for pride as Australia look to inflict further pain upon their rivals in the form of a series whitewash when they take on each other in the fourth Test in Melbourne , starting December 26.”He’s entitled to his opinion, but he doesn’t spend any time in our dressing room or around the squad,” Root was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.”I’m obviously going to disagree with that — I’m sure if you asked any of the guys in the camp, the coaches or support staff or players, they would back me up on that,” Root added.Ricky Ponting called Root “soft and a “little boy” after England’s loss in the Perth Test.”The way he answered a lot of the questions after the game last week seemed almost like a little boy,” said Ponting.”You need to be more than that as a leader, especially when things aren’t going well. It just looks like it has been a little bit soft.”The right-handed batsman, who has scored 5,499 runs for England in Test cricket at an average of 52.37, also said the “little boy” tag does not go with him and he knows what he can do on the field.advertisement”I don’t think I go about things as a ‘little boy’, for sure,” he added. “I have my own way of doing things — I think it’s important you don’t try to be something you’re not,” the top-order batsman said.”I know there are occasions where you might have to be quite strong in front of the group. I may not appear to do that out on the field but there are certainly times when I know that I can do that, and I have done that,” Root added.(With inputs from IANS)last_img read more

10 days agoWatford reject Fluminense request for Joao Pedro

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Watford reject Fluminense request for Joao Pedroby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford have rejected a request from Fluminense for Joao Pedro to remain with them until mid-2020.The player has been the subject of booing from home supporters in recent weeks, after an eight game spell without a win and a public appearance at a music festival two days before a game, reports the Watford Observer. Despite his falling out with supporters, reports in Brazil claim the team have asked Watford if they can hold onto the teenager until a later date, but the Hornets are not interested in allowing him to stay in South America after his originally-agreed arrival date of January 2020. The 18-year-old has scored ten goals for Fluminense so far this season, but drew criticism for appearing at Rock In Rio festival last month. last_img read more

Keep A Child Alive Black Ball REDUX Raises 29 Million

first_imgKeep A Child Alive CEO Peter Twyman has announced that the Black Ball REDUX, held last week at “Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theater,” raised over $2.9 million – funds that will go to providing lifesaving HIV treatment, care and support to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.The event honored the incomparable Oprah Winfrey and Grammy Award-winning Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist Angelique Kidjo for their philanthropic contributions in Africa and worldwide and was emceed by Whoopi Goldberg.With performances by Alicia Keys, Angelique Kidjo, Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Hudson and Brittany Howard of the band Alabama Shakes, the event evoked the dynamism of Modern Africa, paying tribute to the empowerment of women and the promise of an AIDS-free Africa.“The phrase ‘the show must go on’ was proven last night at the Black Ball REDUX,” said Alicia Keys. “I’m thrilled by the outpouring of support for Keep a Child Alive despite the recent tragedies in my hometown of New York from Hurricane Sandy. We must never forget to take care of others, near or far, and I’m grateful the show went on, allowing us to continue supporting life-saving programs in Africa and India.”Following the cancellation of the annual Black Ball due to Hurricane Sandy, the Black Ball Redux captured the essence, vitality and spirit of the legendary benefit event, uniting celebrity with philanthropy to raise awareness and urgently needed funds for children and families affected by HIV in Africa and India. The Black Ball has generated over $18 million since 2004.Among the evening’s generous donations was that of Stewart Rahr who contributed $1 million to Keep a Child Alive. Mr. Rahr, listed as #298 on the Forbes 400 according to Forbes Magazine, sold his pharmaceutical distribution company for over $1 billion and put aside $100 million to establish the Rahr Foundation. Rahr gives generously to many charities including those focused on medical issues, education and healthcare and now Keep a Child Alive.“I’m so grateful to my husband for introducing Stewie to Keep a Child Alive. He’s become an amazing supporter of the organization and his unwavering dedication in our fight to help children and families affected by HIV is incredible,” said Alicia Keys.Along with performances, guests at the Black Ball Redux enjoyed a live auction, an elegant cocktail reception featuring hors d’oeuvres designed by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, owner of Red Rooster Harlem and New York Times Best-Selling Author of Yes, Chef, and spirits generously donated by Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits, a premier Upper East Side fixture for over 75 years.Founded in 2003, KCA provides lifesaving HIV treatment, care and support to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. Proceeds from the event will help KCA fund clinical and orphan projects in India, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa. To date, KCA has served over 300,000 people.
The Black Ball REDUX was a once-in-a-lifetime fundraising event that took place at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater on December 6th, 2012.Inspired by Keep a Child Alive’s iconic Black Ball gala, the Black Ball Redux joined celebrity with philanthropy to raise awareness and urgently needed funds to help children and families affected by HIV in Africa and India. In years past, Alicia Keys has shared the Black Ball stage with Jay-Z, Bono, Annie Lennox, David Bowie, Chris Martin, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Adele, Sade, Lenny Kravitz, Angelique Kidjo, Norah Jones,, Janelle Monae, Femi Kuti, Damian Marley, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, and John Mayer amongst others. The Black Ball has raised nearly $18 million since 2004.The Black Ball Redux, like the Black Ball, honored humanitarians who have used their power, fame, and courage to make a difference in the world. Previously, Keep a Child Alive has had the pleasure of honoring President Bill Clinton for his immeasurable achievements through the William J. Clinton Foundation and The Clinton Global Initiative; Sir Richard Branson who has cultivated sustainable change worldwide with Virgin Unite; Simon Fuller for spearheading the Idol Gives Back phenomenon on American Idol; Bono, rock star and campaigner for Africa, Co-founder of ONE; George Harrison for his musical, spiritual and philanthropic contributions to our world; and Stephen Lewis of The Stephen Lewis Foundation, Co-Founder of AIDS Free World and author of Race Against Time.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more