Insights from Pro Colorist Rob Bessette

first_imgWhat does it take to break into the big leagues? Are there advantages to working freelance versus taking a job at a big color house? Gain real-world insight from professional colorist Rob Bessette.Rob Bessette is a senior colorist working at the Boston post house Finish Post. Bessette has worked with a range of commercial clients, including Coca-Cola, Toyota, Chili’s, and recently, a promo for Epix’s “Road to the NHL.”Watch Bessette’s color montage:Talk about how you became a colorist.Out of college I landed an internship and learned how to handle film, patch decks, and use Smoke and Flame. I eventually got hired as a nighttime assistant where I did all the tape dubbing, archiving and prep for the next day. I did that for about a year. One day they needed an assistant in the color suite. Everything used to be linear, so assistants would need to change all of the film reels, make sure all the selects were colored and then lay everything off to tape at the end.I did double-duty with both jobs. I sat with the colorist with 20 years experience under his belt and apprenticed with him, learned what he was doing and how he worked with clients. I started prepping his projects and working with 35mm footage, which sometimes for coloring just getting good footage to work with is half the battle. It’s hard to make bad footage look good, especially when you’re talking about footage acquired with DSLRs and mini DV and stuff like that.After a year of doing both jobs, I was getting burned out and told my bosses I wanted to graduate to color and came on to assist color full-time. Eventually I got some requests from clients and after a few years the colorist I apprenticed with went somewhere else and I got a shot at getting some work with paying clients. That was about 10 years ago now.What’s your color grading software of choice? Any specific reason for that platform?I’ve been on DaVinci before it became Resolve. I learned on the Davinci 2k Plus back in 2004 or 2005. Those were the days of 16 and 35mm transfers and digibeta tape. Since I learned on Davinci, Resolve was an easy transition. Back in the day I also tinkered with Apple Color, Quantel and Avid Symphony. I’ve never toyed with Baselight or Nucoda which are next on my list.What Resolve features have been game-changers for you? Any secret tricks that’ve changed your workflow?As I’ve gotten more experience, getting into those mid-high relationships and mid-low relationships in the Log tab are really big for me. I’ve also really enjoyed working with the Hue vs. Saturation curves. The tracking is obviously huge. When I saw Resolve for the first time and saw the tracker, I knew we had to get it. That was a no-brainer.Yeah, I mean it pretty much goes real time, or even faster.Faster than real time! The ease of the node-based workflow or even feeling your way around the panel just feels really natural and smooth. There’s no clunkiness. It does whatever I want it to do. The great thing with Blackmagic is that they listen to the feedback. I emailed them a while back and asked if there was a feature of turning a circular power window into a custom bezier window. One release later, that was in there. Clearly I wasn’t the only one who requested it. They have all these big movies being made on the software. I have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that they give it away for free.When Blackmagic Design released its Davinci Resolve software for free, there was an explosion of new colorists on the scene. The big color houses felt the pinch of the 2008 recession and started taking every job possible. Do you find it difficult to find work in this climate with these factors?Budgets definitely run the gamut. We see a lot of high-end broadcast work, but there’s a lot of web content too. People are pushing a lot of social media work now. Instagram is blowing up with video content and advertising. Whereas Instagram used to contain more user-sourced content, there’s a lot more commercial content on there now.Right – Instagram users can now upload up to 60 seconds of video, up from 15 seconds, which enables advertising companies to tell more engaging stories.Yeah. That said, budgets are shrinking across the board. Some ad agencies keep work in house to save money on smaller jobs, but they’ll work with us when they need more professional work. We definitely feel a little bit of the budget pinch, but a lot of people are still putting out great work.Is there ever a point where you don’t take the job on? Color jobs tend to run for a couple of hours to a day, so I wondered if any job is too small or if you always try to accommodate.There’s definitely jobs that I’ve personally turned down, but if I do, I offer them to a junior guy. But in general, we try to work with the ad agencies. We have an hourly rate and a day rate that they know going in, but sometimes they have a budget cap in mind, and as long as it’s within a decent range, we tend to play ball. It gets hairy when someone has a 90-minute feature. We end up extending the timeline to a month or five weeks to work on it during our downtime so we can still prioritize full-rate work. As long as the filmmaker understands that, we’ll work with them to make it happen.It’s the old good/fast/cheap paradigm — pick two. You’re obviously good, so if it’s cheap it can’t be fast. In editorial, low-budget music videos are a several-week commitment. Coloring that same music video might only take half a day, so it’s easier to fit in, and it can be great for exposure and creativity. A feature can really suck up the time and resources.If we’re working on a commercial, there’s typically a bigger budget, because it’s actually selling something. There’s money to be had at the back end. A music video or a movie, maybe it’ll make money, maybe it won’t. Indie movies are a toss-up. Our bread and butter is generally commercials, but we don’t tend to turn down work.Are you finding there’s a lot of competition in Boston?The Boston color world is very small. Most of our competition on the East Coast is in New York City. The big color houses also have remote connections where agencies can sit in Boston and remotely supervise the session in New York.Being based in New York, I’ve seen the upsurge of freelance colorists emerging, even though there are only a handful of big companies. It’s been interesting to see those freelancers taking work from the bigger houses.Finish Post is in a middle ground. It still has a boutique vibe. Freelancers make their money on being cheaper than a facility. I take only a fraction of my rate, but what I gain is infrastructure. I have an assistant and a producer, client services and the latest and greatest equipment. I know some freelancers that go from facility to facility and bounce around with whatever’s thrown at them. What colorists do is the same no matter what program we’re on.What’s the most difficult part of dealing with clients? It’s difficult for many clients to articulate their color feedback.I’ve gotten all sorts of adjectives to describe color from clients: dirty, funky, murky, sweet, romantic. I get all these weird words that I’m supposed to interpret as meaning warmer or cooler or more green or whatever. I have to associate those words with doing something with the highlights or shadows, or maybe I need less contrast or saturation to get that look. Being able to think about what those adjectives mean is really the driving force. I always ask for references, whether it’s a menu for a cheeseburger or if it’s a source of inspiration. Those go a long way to hone down a look you’re going for. Managing client expectations is a whole other aspect of the job that’s really one of the untold arts – being able to get them what they want without them exactly knowing what they want.Do you run into clients saying that images look different on other monitors still? Nowadays I’ve played cuts back full screen on the computer monitor to make sure clients are happy with it there. It makes them feel better about approvals. I’m not a stickler about the single calibrated monitor any more.The days of saying ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’ in the color suite are gone. You can offer up your opinion and you can listen to theirs and explore, but no client wants to hear ‘you’re not right.’ If there’s a reason to have a collaboration, you talk it out and see what various things look like, to try what people said. If you tried something that doesn’t work, the client sees they weren’t right anyway. Sometimes something they suggested does work! You didn’t expect it but you got a better product in the long run.As far as monitoring goes, that’s the bane of my existence. ‘I looked at the cut on the phone on the train while it was rainy out, and it looked weird.’ It’s going to happen pretty much no matter what you do. In an electronics store with 50 TVs in front of you, every single one looks different. How do you compensate for that? You can’t. I’ve walked the slippery slope of making various versions, and it just gets you into trouble, because everyone sees things a little differently. It’s probably the most common conversation that I have in the suite, and it’s one that I don’t necessarily enjoy having.There’s an app called Shady on the Mac that can artificially darken the computer screen. I sometimes use this while in session with clients who get hung up on different displays. No one thinks a darker monitor looks better, so instinctively they look at the brighter one.Regarding “right” or “wrong” in a color context, it would be even worse to point to the scopes and say that you’ve scientifically matched the shots, that it’s correct because the equipment says so. When you cut from a wide to a close-up, the client might perceive a person as being more saturated just because they’re closer to the camera. At a certain point, you have to be willing to abandon the scopes in favor of the client’s eyes.You can’t tell someone they’re wrong because the equipment says so. From their perspective, they’re saying they’re right because their eyes are telling them so. That’s what it looks like to them. They don’t care what the machine says. I see it all the time with wides and close-ups with 4k footage. For projects delivering in HD you can blow up the footage quite a bit, but even with the same exact dailies cut together, shots feel different when you zoom.It’s pretty crazy how the eyes work like that. Let’s say you’re coloring a :30 with a :15 cutdown. Shots are perceived differently because of the shots that come before or after it.It all depends on context. One of our biggest jobs is to make sure that everything’s consistent. It’s not the most glamorous part of the job by any means, but if your work is consistent and the common person doesn’t notice your work, you’ve done a good job.It’s one of those invisible art forms, like editing. Most of the work is done in making the job consistent. When it’s time to impose a look on the job, that’s really where the client comes in. Is that similar to your process?That’s kind of how I work as well. When I start, I take an initial look at the footage so I know what to expect, what might work and what might not. Then I offer up some ideas and explain why. I’m not throwing looks at them just to throw looks at them. When we arrive at a style, they kind of let me do my thing. When I get about 80% of the way there, then we sit down for the fine-tuning. So my client involvement is very involved in the beginning in coming up with a look and the direction, then I do most of the work in the middle, and at the end everyone comes together to put the final polish on it.What’s the dynamic in working with DPs? Cinematographers often speak in very technical terms as opposed to more emotional terms of what the shots are doing for them. Does this ever get in the way?I’ve had that happen a couple of times. The first few times I was a little annoyed by it, but I’ve learned to roll with it now. They’re not trying to do the work for me, that’s just how they talk. If we can get on the same page, ultimately that leads to a better image and everyone’s happy, and that’s what it’s all about. I could see how it could get taken the wrong way, but with clients you just have to be able to roll with the punches. You can’t let anyone push you around, and you have to stand up for your vision, but you have to also be willing to hear other ideas as well. The worst thing you can do is run forward stubborn and bullheaded with an ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ attitude. No one wants to work with that guy.Any advice for people just starting out in color correction?Get as much real-world experience as you can. One thing that everybody has now that they didn’t have before was accessibility to the software. When I started out it was this kind of black art nobody knew about. The only people who had access to it were people who worked at big post houses or film processing labs. Now, I have it on my laptop that I can carry around.What differentiates you now is how you handle yourself and your creative looks and styles, being able to come up with ideas on the spot and using the software really as an extension of your mind. You shouldn’t be looking around the software for where each button is. You should be able to instantly think with instinctual reactions, and that really comes with practice and muscle memory and learning how footage reacts to certain environments. The only way to do that is with practice, and as much as you might begin by practicing on footage downloaded from tutorial sites, there’s nothing like a real job where pressure is on you to learn it right.Stay tuned for our continuing conversation series with colorists or read past interviews with Patrick Inhofer and Alexis van Hurkman.last_img read more

Immunologist Takes Scalpel to Merck R&D

first_imgImmunologist Roger Perlmutter is shaking things up again at Merck. After eliminating a corps of managers in June, the newly anointed Merck R&D chief is now following through on the “major surgery” that he promised in an interview in The Wall Street Journal last month. The drug giant will cut 8500 more jobs as part of its ongoing overhaul. The layoffs, amounting to roughly 20% of the workforce, are intended to cut operating expenses by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015, the company announced today in a press release.Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier explained today in The Wall Street Journal that the firm aims to rebound from recent failures and devote more resources to the company’s most promising efforts, including cancer immunotherapy and diabetes research.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Biado credits pool legends Bata, Django for gold medal win

first_imgCarlo Biado of the Philippines competes against Duong Quoc Hoang of Vietnam in the finals of men’s 9-ball singles event of the 29th Southeast Asian Games billiards competition at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. Biado prevailed, 9-5, to clinch the gold medal.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES MEDIA POOLKUALA LUMPUR — Carlo Biado knew his angles after he used to be a golf caddy.The 33-year-old Biado, who also worked a pool house hand, has come a long way after winning the gold medal in the men’s 9-ball individual title in the Southeast Asian Games here Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Their teachings, according to Biado, enabled him to be very confident facing anybody on the pool table.Indeed, he came here on the crest of his World Games triumph last July in Poland.He will also see action for the Philippines in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games this September in Turkmenistan.It was his first SEAG individual gold but second if you count the doubles victory he had with Dennis Orcollo in the 2015 SEA Games.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next LATEST STORIEScenter_img Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Orella falters in rhythmic gymnastics View comments READ: Carlo Biado wins PH’s 2nd gold in pool“I feel that I have my confidence,” said Biado, who has high praise for his coaches, Hall-of-Famer Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe said he learned a lot of things from the legends of world pool.“They taught me a lot of shots in training. They know a lot of shots that I can use in the competitions,” said Biado in Filipino. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chieflast_img read more

New-look Saina Nehwal primed for Rio success: Prakash Padukone

first_imgSaina Nehwal is better equipped to win a medal in Rio in August than the Indian shuttler was when she claimed a bronze at the London Olympics four years ago, former All England champion Prakash Padukone told Reuters.Hopes that the former world number one can turn bronze into a first Olympic gold medal in the sport for her country were raised when Nehwal won the Australian Superseries title.Rio will mark a third Olympics for Nehwal, who beat former world champions Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and Wang Yihan before overpowering China’s Sun Yu in the final in Sydney.’MORE VARIETY'”Saina has a lot more variety now,” former men’s world number one Padukone said in an interview. (Honest toiler Saina Nehwal senses golden Rio opportunity)”I think she plays a lot more at the net now. Earlier her game was more or less predictable. She had a few strokes, she used to keep playing them and there were not many variations.”Now she has developed a lot more strokes, specially at the net. She is much more confident and that has made a big difference.”The victory in Australia came at just the right time for Nehwal, who had failed to reach a World Superseries final since last November in China and was returning from an Achilles injury she sustained at the end of last year. (Saina Nehwal wants to emulate Virat Kohli’s aggression)’SAINA NEEDS A BIT OF POLISHING’ Padukone, who won the All England title in 1980 long before badminton was admitted to the Olympics in 1992, said the 26-year-old’s game just needed a bit of tweaking.advertisement”Tactically she can do a little bit more. Maybe a plan A and plan B, which I’m sure she already has,” said Padukone, who will be a panellist for broadcaster Star Sports during the 2016 Games. “Maybe if something doesn’t work, then she has to have a different plan.”It’s just the question of a little bit of polishing. She definitely has everything otherwise she wouldn’t have been where she is.”CHINESE DOMINANCE China has long been the dominant force in the sport, sweeping all five titles at London four years ago, but their shuttlers no longer top the world rankings heading to Rio.While Malaysian Lee Chong Wei tops the men’s singles rankings, Carolina Marin of Spain leads the women’s list with Nehwal in sixth place.World Badminton has also limited each nation to two singles entrants in each event – down from the three at London and previous Games – and Padukone feels that makes a Chinese sweep of badminton gold in Rio less likely.”They are no longer the dominating force going by the results we have seen in the last 12 to 24 months,” Padukone said. “Earlier when the draw used to come, everybody used to hope there are no Chinese.”That’s no longer the case, that fear is not there anymore. That’s good for the game. For the Indians, though they wouldn’t say it, but it used to be a mind-block.”India’s best chance of medals will come in the women’s singles, Padukone said, where as well as Nehwal they have PV Sindhu ranked 10th in the world.Padukone said the most important thing for the Indian shuttlers was to peak during the Aug. 11-20 Rio competition.”When you go there it doesn’t matter if in the last two months you have beaten all the top players and you have been the world number one,” Padukone said.”It’s important that you reach the peak and play your best during that particular week. That’s what will count ultimately and will be the key.”last_img read more

Pakistan recall Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali for Champions Trophy

first_imgPakistan have recalled former captain Azhar Ali and Umar Akmal in the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy in England.Both batsmen were dropped for the one-day international series against the West Indies after Pakistan lost 4-1 in Australia this year. Azhar also quit the limited-overs captaincy and Sarfraz Ahmed was made the skipper.Akmal couldn’t pass the fitness test for the ODI series in the Caribbean, but chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said the middle-order batsman has improved his fitness.Akmal had also impressed in the ongoing Pakistan Cup, Inzamam said in a statement.Azhar, who has batted at a strike rate of 75 in ODIs and scored 1,605 runs in 45 matches, will likely open with Ahmed Shehzad.Pakistan’s new spin sensation Shadab Khan, has also been selected ahead of Yasir Shah after the legspinner’s impressive Twenty20 and ODI series against the West Indies.Pakistan are in Group B of the Champions Trophy and will open against defending champions India on June 4.South Africa and Sri Lanka are the others in the group, with the top two going to the semifinals.Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Faheem Ashraf.last_img read more

India vs England: Broad ready for challenging and exciting Test series

first_imgEngland pacer Stuart Broad has said India have some world-class players in their side and the upcoming five-match Test series will be an exciting one. The much-talked about Test series will start at Edgbaston from August 1.”India are a stand out side in world cricket and they have got some wonderful players, who have adjusted to conditions to all around world,” Broad was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.Broad said the team that adapts to the conditions quickly will come out on top.”It’s going to be a hard-fought series. What I really enjoy is a five-Test series. Generally, your best players win you five-match series. Let’s hope, we come out on top. It is nice to have longevity to the series. Generally, the team that adapts and plays best cricket has longevity through the series will win it,” Broad said.England 2014 to England 2018: India make big strides in Test cricketBroad also said even the ground staff won’t be able to predict how the 22-yard strip would behave during the first Test.”It will be a really exciting series as both teams don’t know what the pitch will do neither the groundsmen really know because probably they haven’t experienced this sort of weather in England for a long time. The lack of moisture that has been around, players will have to adapt,” he said.Zaheer Khan backs India to dominate England in Test seriesFor Broad, every ground from Trent Bridge (Nottingham) to the Lord’s will pose different challenges, and the bowling unit that adapts quickly will have the upper hand.advertisement”The bowling side that can quickly adapt will have more success. (Need to) realize what’s the threat. Is it spin, reverse swing, or knee roll seam? We will be discussing all the way through.”Each ground will be different. Trent Bridge might be very different to Lord’s. Lord’s (track) traditionally in last couple of years have spun quite a lot. Bowlers like Yasir Shah, Moeen Ali have got 10-fors. At Trent Bridge, it doesn’t turn that much. So we need to use different skills for different grounds for sure,” said the 32-year-old, who has 417 wickets from 117 Tests.Dinesh Karthik nervous yet excited ahead of 1st Test in England after 11 yearsBroad however refused to predict as to how the series will pan out.”It’s impossible to tell how the series will go. If the pitches are spin-friendly, the spinners will take a lot of workload. Seam bowlers would not have many overs through them but that will be a wrong mind set to go in thinking that ‘I would just want to play five Test matches’. You want to go in there fit and firing in each and every Test match every time,” said Broad.After the first Test at Edgbaston, India and England will play Test matches at Lord’s (August 9 to August 13), Trent Bridge (August 18 to August 22), The Rose Bowl (August 30 to September 3) and Kennington Oval (September 7 to September 11).(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

‘Stones the best because he has the X Factor’

first_imgManchester City ‘Stones has the X Factor’ – Man City defender considered ‘the best’ by Lescott Chris Burton Last updated 2 years ago 00:17 11/10/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) John Stones Manchester Cit Getty Manchester City Premier League The England international has been hailed for bringing together all of the attributes required to be a top performer in the modern era Manchester City’s John Stones is “the best” because he offers “something extra” to most defenders, says Joleon Lescott.The 23-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks, with his career path having taken him from Barnsley to the Etihad Stadium and England recognition via Everton and a record-breaking £47.5 million transfer.Man City win to nil v Leicester 11/8 Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player He has faced criticism at times for over-playing, with a desire to play out of the back getting him into trouble at times.Stones has, however, continued on his upward curve in 2017-18 as part of an in-form City team and Lescott believes that the talented centre-half now boasts all of the attributes required to sit alongside the likes of team-mate Vincent Kompany and the finest performers on the planet.The ex-City and England defender told the Blues’ official website: “Stones can obviously defend but not everyone is a Vincent Kompany and there aren’t many defenders who will be as good as Vinny in one-on-ones, in the air and so on.“Vinny has his own style – I had a different style when I played alongside him, hence the reason we probably worked so well together.“So, while John isn’t that style of defender, he can defend as well as most and then he has that little bit of something extra.”John Stones Manchester CityLescott, who tasted two Premier League title triumphs along with FA Cup and League success during his time with City, added: “John can do things most defenders can’t – a little feign here and there, maybe a turn to get out of trouble when he needs to – and that’s what is going to set him apart from others – the ability to things others can’t.“He’ll do his job and defend well, but there will be moments when he does something special and you’ll just go ‘ah, that’s why he’s regarded as the best.’“He doesn’t seem to get fazed by anything and always seems calm and he never hides – he’s got everything and he’ll get to wherever he wants to get because we have to remember he’s still only 23.“I’ve been really impressed by him, especially this season where he seems to be going from strength to strength.”Stones has been an ever-present for City in 2017-18, taking in 17 appearances across all competitions as Pep Guardiola’s side have starred in the Premier League, Carabao Cup and Champions League.last_img read more

NMDC eyes new iron ore deposits via auction and Govt dispensation route

first_imgHyderabad: NMDC Ltd plans to pursue allocation of new iron ore deposits both by participation in auctions and the Government dispensation route, even as it seeks to expand its brownfield mines to increase its production target to 67 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). During its 61st Annual General Meeting, NMDC unveiled plans to increase its production capacity to 67 mtpa. The development of a greenfield mine has been planned through a joint venture with Chhattisgarh State Mineral Development Corporation, for which it has appointed a mining developer. This will add 10 MTPA of capacity in the next four-five years. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAddressing the AGM, N Baijendra Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director of NMDC, said it is proposed to raise the company’s current mining capacity of 43 MTPA to 67 MTPA with the aim of meeting the domestic iron and steel sector’s requirement. The company registered a good performance in the first quarter of this fiscal in spite of problems with the Donimalai lease. It is hopeful of resolving the issue. The company closed the last fiscal with a profit of Rs 4,642 crore and a networth of Rs 25,952 crore as of March 31, 2019. Progress on construction of the 3 mtpa steel plant at Nagarnar, Chhattisgarh, during 2018-19 has been noticeable and various packages are under construction and nearing completion. Cold trial of individual equipment under various packages is in progress. The steel plant is scheduled to be commissioned in three phases and is expected to be operational by the third quarter of FY 2020-2021. To increase the evacuation capacity from the Bailadilla sector, NMDC has taken up doubling of the Kirandul-Jagdalpur railway line, which will reduce the total turnaround time for rakes. The slurry pipeline from Bailadila to Jagdalpur and further to Visakhapatnam, with a capacity of 15 MTPA, will add to the ease of evacuation.last_img read more

Toronto councillor apologizes for saying city planner should stick to the knitting

first_imgTORONTO – Toronto’s deputy mayor is apologizing for comments he made about the city’s outgoing chief planner after backlash from critics who called his words sexist.Denzil Minnan-Wong told the Toronto Sun last week that Jennifer Keesmaat “should stick to the knitting,” meaning city planning, rather than weighing in on other matters.Keesmaat fired back on CBC’s Metro Morning today, saying she found the comment deeply offensive.Minnan-Wong says his comments were taken out of context, but added he nonetheless believes the city’s next chief planner should focus on planning.Keesmaat plans on leaving the role next month after five years on the job during which she has often been an outspoken advocate on accessibility, transit and public space issues.Several local councillors, from Mary-Margaret McMahon to Mike Layton to Joe Cressy, called out Minnan-Wong for his comments.“First of all, I’m not going to mince words, he might as well have told me to go back to the kitchen,” Keesmaat told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway.“Just so you know, I’ve never been there — I’m not a very good cook — I think it’s a deeply offensive comment.”last_img read more

The five best spots for celebrity spotting at TIFF 2016

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Twitter Toronto’s Thompson Hotel is a magnet for celebrities Chasing celebrities as they filter through town during the Toronto International Film Festival is a popular local pastime. But before plunking down a camera-toting keister at just any hotel bar hoping to win the fan photo lottery, some advance research can certainly up the odds of success and Instagram fame.Much of the action at TIFF has moved south from Yorkville to King West at the Bell Lightbox and the surrounding area. Here is where the best opportunities lie for red carpet shots.American film stars tend to look to the familiar — the Shangri-La Hotel for example. Restaurants such as Momofuku are also good bets, though the timing is tricky. One can only sip soup for just so long. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementlast_img read more

Canadian director enjoying ridiculously extravagant response to Game of Thrones

first_img“It’s really exciting. I knew going in it was going to be a big deal, now that the [episodes] have aired; now it belongs to the world. Now I’m reminded there are going to be 300 million people watching it and the fans have so much invested and they are really vocal about what they think.”READ MORE This article contains spoilers about the Game of Thrones season 7 finale entitled: The Dragon and the Wolf.The Night King breached the Wall, Jon and Dany become more than strategic allies and Littlefinger is finally punished at the hands of the Stark sisters. A lot happened in the season finale of HBO’s blockbuster series and Canadian director Jeremy Podeswa orchestrated every minute.“I love the scripts … it’s a great and collaborative process. It’s awesome, but it’s also an awesome responsibility,” said Podeswa in an interview with CBC News from his California home. Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Conservative leader Stephen Harper clinches majority

first_imgAPTN National NewsConservative leader Stephen Harper seized his coveted majority Monday night after a tumultuous election campaign that propelled the NDP into previously uncharted popularity and left the once-powerful Liberal party in tatters.Harper’s Conservative party finally managed a breakthrough that seemed increasingly elusive despite failing to substantially increase their popular vote.The Tories gained seats in Ontario and has benefited in part from the NDP’s historic results, turning Jack Layton into the party’s first leader to become Opposition Leader in its history.The Liberal party was left in a decimated third place, hitting a historic low.The battled for second place between the surging NDP and the collapsing Liberals appears to have allowed Conservative candidates to come up the middle. It mirrors what former Prime Minister Jean Chretien managed in the vote split between the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Party.The Liberals were not the only party to suffer from a crippling blow.The Bloc Quebecois faced major losses in Quebec, a province it once dominated federally, at the hands of the NDP which triggered an orange wave sweeping up the majority of ridings.last_img read more

Airbus profits crash on A380 scrapping German arms freeze to Saudi

first_imgParis: European aerospace giant Airbus on Tuesday reported a slump in first-quarter net profit, hit by Germany’s freeze on weapons exports to Saudi Arabia and its own decision to stop building the loss-making A380 super-jumbo. It said profits were down 86 per cent from the same period in 2018 at 40 million euros ($45 million). It blamed “adjustments” including “a negative 190 million euros as a consequence of the prolonged suspension of defence export licences to Saudi Arabia by the German government”. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraGermany in late March extended by six months an embargo on weapons exports to Riyadh. It had instituted the ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other countries involved in the Yemen war last October in response to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But Berlin has since faced protests by EU partners because the ban has impacted joint defence projects such as the Eurofighter and Tornado jets. Airbus is affected by the freeze under a contract for “border security” equipment, the group’s chief financial officer, Dominik Asam, told a press conference Tuesday. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 days”We now have to watch what is happening in the political environment and how we deal with the customer”, he said. Airbus on Tuesday also blamed falling profits on “83 million euros relating to the dollar pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation” and “a negative 61 million euros related to A380 programme cost”. Airbus announced in February that it would stop building the A380, a double-decker jet which earned plaudits from passengers but failed to win over enough airlines to justify its massive costs. The programme’s future had been in doubt for years as Airbus slowed production, and the company acknowledged last year that the A380 would be scrapped if no new orders came in. Consolidated revenues increased 24 percent to 12.5 billion euros “reflecting the higher commercial aircraft deliveries as the production ramp-up continued”, it said in a statement. “The first quarter underlying financials mainly reflect our commercial aircraft ramp-up and delivery phasing,” said CEO Guillaume Faury. “The commercial aircraft market remains robust and we continue to see good prospects in the helicopters and defence and space businesses. The new management team is in place and focused on delivering on our commitments.” Faury took over earlier this month, replacing Tom Enders, who stepped down after five years. Earnings before interest (EBIT) were down nine percent at 181 million euros. In the first quarter, Airbus recorded 62 gross commercial aircraft orders compared with 68 during the same period in 2018. These included 38 A350 XWBs, the latest of its large aircraft. Airbus said it plans to deliver between 880 and 890 commercial aircraft in 2019. It added that it is ramping up production of its A320 planes, which are a direct competitor to the 737 MAX planes made by Airbus’s rival aerospace giant Boeing. The 737 MAX planes have been grounded worldwide as Boeing comes under huge scrutiny after a total of 346 passengers and crew were killed when two of the jets crashed. When asked at a press conference about the troubles of Airbus’s American rival, Faury said that the company had not yet seen any change in its supply chain.last_img read more

Amazoncom reports lower 1stquarter earnings but beats analysts expectations reports lower 1st-quarter earnings but beats analysts’ expectations by Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press Posted Apr 25, 2013 4:33 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Inc.’s net income declined in the first three months of the year even though revenue increased 22 per cent, as the online retailer continued to spend heavily on order fulfilment and rights to digital content.The world’s largest online retailer, which also sells the Kindle devices and services, said Thursday that it earned $82 million, or 18 cents per share, in the first quarter. That’s down 37 per cent from $130 million, or 28 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. But it’s higher than the 7 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.Revenue rose 22 per cent to $16.07 billion, from $13.19 billion. Analysts expected $16.14 billion.Amazon’s operating expenses rose 22 per cent to $15.9 billion, from $13 billion. The company has been investing a lot of its income in enhancing its distribution network, its shopping website and its Kindle business as part of a long-term growth plan. Because of that, and deep discounts it offers customers, Amazon’s profit margins have been thin.For the current quarter, Amazon expects revenue of $14.5 billion to $16.2 billion. The midpoint of the range is lower than the $15.92 billion that analysts had expected, but the company typically gives a conservative forecast.Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said that a measure called paid unit growth — 30 per cent — was a bit slower than expected. This figure refers to the physical and digital goods that Amazon and its third-party sellers sell on its sites worldwide, excluding returns and cancellations.Currency fluctuations, especially a weak yen, are also weighing on Amazon’s results, as has been the case for other technology companies. A weak yen translates to fewer dollars on sales in Japan. Excluding the effects of currency rate changes, revenue would have increased 24 per cent rather than 22 per cent in the first quarter.Amazon is stretching well beyond online retailing. The Seattle-based company soon plans to debut original TV programming. Amazon is running introductory pilots for 14 TV shows on its website for anyone in the U.S., U.K. and Germany to watch. Viewers will get to help decide which shows get additional episodes.“The pilots are out in the open where everyone can have a say,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “I have my personal picks and so do members of the Amazon Studios team, but the exciting thing about our approach is that our opinions don’t matter. Our customers will determine what goes into full-season production.”Amazon’s stock slid $6, or 2.2 per cent, to $268.70 in extended trading after the results came out. The stock had closed up $5.92, or 2.2 per cent, at $274.70. read more

New UN data tool shows mismatch between government aid and places modern

The release of Modern Slavery Data Stories, a series of easily understandable animated graphics, provides detailed pictures of the ways that factors related to modern slavery have changed over time, and comes during a period when over 40 million people are living in slavery, more than ever before in human history.UN-led research shows that half of those enslaved are victims of forced labour in industries such as farming, mining and domestic service, while the rest are victims of sex slavery, forced marriage slavery and child slavery. According to the latest Global Slavery Index, published by the Walk Free Foundation, the three countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery are North Korea, Eritrea and Burundi. One of the ways to get there, says Dr. Cockayne, is to break down this complex phenomenon and present it in ways that influential non-experts can comprehend. Because data on these subjects has been so patchy, he says, this story has been difficult to tell, so Delta 8.7 built a machine-learning algorithm, which scoured official aid programme descriptions to figure out which countries committed how much, to tackle which forms of exploitation, when and where. Modern slavery is a product of the way our global political and economic system works. It is a feature, not a bug. Dr. James Cockayne, Director, United Nations University Centre for Policy ResearchThis is how his team discovered the mismatch between where modern slavery occurs, and where governments are spending resources to address it: “That kind of insight, made obvious through these powerful visuals, can have a real impact on policy debates.”Slavery: a feature of global societyFor Dr. Cockayne, the key thing that has been learned from analysis of the data, has been that modern slavery is actually a product of the way the global political and economic system works: “it is a feature, not a bug.”As the Global Slavery Index shows, many of the products we take for granted, including mobile phones, computers and cars; as well as clothes, cosmetics and even food, are produced using raw materials extracted by people living in a state of slavery.Solutions, therefore, will have to be system-wide, involving all elements of society, from the technology industry to the global financial sector. “Partnerships are key.” And modern slavery victims, he says, must form a part of the process, because “Without their voices informing research, programming and strategy, we risk not only being ineffective, but actually doing further harm.”Sustainable Development Goal 8: decent work for allThe ambition to eradicate modern slavery by 2030 forms part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, a pathway to eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development, which was adopted by all the UN Member States in 2015. Goal 8 calls for the “promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all,” and it contains several targets and indicators, one of which, Target 8.7, is to take “immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.”Looking forward, as the data and evidence gathered through Delta 8.7 helps to build up an informed understanding of what is working, the project will feed research into an upcoming report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Ms. Urmila Bhoola, which will be delivered to the Human Rights Council later this year. United Nations University, Centre for Policy ResearchDelta 8.7, UN Interactive Data Visualization tool. Infographic of modern day slavery.Breaking down the complex story of modern slaveryModern Slavery Data Stories are developed by Delta 8.7, an innovative project from the United Nations University’s Centre for Policy Research, in collaboration with technologists from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University in the US, to help policy-makers understand and use data , in order to create effective legislation.In an exclusive interview with UN News, Dr. James Cockayne, Director of the Centre for Policy Research, and head of Delta 8.7, says that eradicating slavery by 2030 would require freeing around 9,000 people every day, a rate far higher than that currently being achieved.United Nations University, Centre for Policy Research read more

Quantifying the That Guy Is Still in the Major Leagues Phenomenon

While watching Tuesday’s spring training game between the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves, some of us in the FiveThirtyEight office were surprised to see Tigers shortstop Alex Gonzalez. Didn’t Gonzalez retire years ago?He was Atlanta’s everyday shortstop in 2011, but over the past two seasons, Gonzalez was thoroughly forgettable, playing just 65 games for the Milwaukee Brewers (hitting .211 and producing -0.8 wins above replacement). If you go back to 2009, when Gonzalez was 32, he seemed particularly unlikely to be in the majors five years later.This got us thinking: Could we quantify the “Wait … he’s still playing?” question. Our idea was to use a player’s age and WAR to predict whether he would be an active major leaguer a half-decade later. To that end, we plugged every player from the designated hitter era (1973-present) into a logistic regression model. The result will tell us the likelihood of a given player being in the league five seasons later. For example, here’s the arc of a generic Major League Baseball player who peaks as an All-Star (5 WAR) at age 27:So for players in MLB this season (a list taken from Fangraphs’ depth charts), we looked at the odds at the end of the 2009 season that they’d still be playing today. Here are the most unlikely major leaguers:Gonzalez is not the most improbable player in the game. That honor belongs to catcher Henry Blanco, who was 37 in 2009 and had been hovering around replacement level for the previous three seasons. All else being equal, a player of that profile would have just a 3 percent chance of still being in the majors five years later, and yet Blanco is slated to be in the mix for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ backup catching role this season.Blanco underscores one of the themes of the list. The probabilities listed above don’t take into account the player’s position (beyond the positional adjustments in WAR) — just his age and performance. For most players, that’s enough, but backup catchers are a different breed. No other position is so well-represented among the “I can’t believe he’s still playing” set.One reason for this is that WAR, for all of its strengths, doesn’t incorporate a catcher’s receiving skills. Recent research suggests that elite pitch-framers such as the Tampa Bay Rays’ Jose Molina have a startlingly large impact on the game, far beyond what was originally believed in the sabermetric community.Another explanation, though, is that on-field performance isn’t necessarily the first thing managers look for in their reserve backstops. Instead, managers may place more value on intangibles such as clubhouse presence and leadership. How else to explain how backup catching became what Sports Illustrated once called “the cushiest job in baseball”? read more

Rise of get a man in to do chores and jobs families

first_imgFor many families, mowing the lawn or hanging out the washing is a way of helping out while saving everyone money. But their numbers may be declining as busy lives mean fewer families do household chores for each other – and increasingly “get a man in” instead. ONS figures show that a smaller proportion of family members do jobs for one another such as helping with household chores, childcare and shopping. The proportion of parents who regularly receive help from their grown-up children fell from 42.2 per cent to 37.7 per cent.Fewer parents offered such help to their children, too, with 58.5 per cent saying they helped out in the most recent figures compared to 62.8 per cent in the previous statistics. The figures suggest that families who live apart are helping each other less. Dr Lydia Martens, a senior lecturer in sociology at Keele University, said the decline could be down to time-pressed younger generations being more comfortable with paying for services. She said that a “declining resistance to buying in services may be one factor to explain a reduction in intergenerational exchange”.”People now say they have no time – if mum and dad need something doing, it’s much easier to pay someone to do it than to do it yourself.”The generation who were young in the 1950s were the last who would have been less comfortable paying for something they could do themselves. Values are changing,” she added.The trend was started by baby boomers who were more “materialistic” and happier to spend, she said, and would be more likely to pay for someone to do chores around their homes.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. She also said new technology such as online shopping had made it easier for children to help parents remotely.The rise of sites such as Gumtree, Mopp and TaskRabbit has also made it easier for householders to access workers who can quickly do individual jobs. Consumer studies have shown that baby boomers are more enthusiastic spenders than their parents were.Last year a report by Government agency Innovate UK found that baby boomers “have the money and desire to commission bespoke new products and services that extend their enjoyment of life for longer”. it added: “Where their parents, brought up in war-time shortage or post-war austerity, might passively consume what they were allowed, Boomers actively seek out what they want.”ONS figures also show that spending on services such as cleaning and gardening has increased to its highest-ever levels. The most recent statistics show that spending on services grew to £10,416 per head in 2016, the largest number ever recorded. The figure has risen almost ten-fold since 1997, when the figure was £1,070 on average. The ONS analysis also suggested that families and friendships had become less close. The report said there had been a “deterioration” in close family relationships. There was a fall in the number of people who said they had a reliable spouse, family member or friend to help if they had a serious problem, from 86 per cent to 84 per cent. last_img read more

Petrol prices to rise on holidays and school run in plan to

first_imgMotorists will be forced to pay more for petrol on bank holidays and while doing the school run, under a secret pricing revolution being drawn up by supermarkets.Artificial intelligence capable of charging drivers extra at busy times has arrived in the UK for the first time, and is expected to result in the biggest shake-up of fuel prices in nearly half a century.The Daily Telegraph can reveal that major British supermarkets are in late-stage talks with Denmark-based a2i Systems, the firm which sells the computer algorithm, and could install it within months. Drivers could see petrol prices move several times over the course of a day, with the cost rising or falling by up to 2p a litre, or around £1 per tank. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A car being filled up with a pump at a petrol station in London Jason Lloyd, managing director at said the technology was a “holy grail” which would revolutionize petrol pricing and give retailers a competitive edge. He said: “The petrol industry in the UK hasn’t changed at all for about 40 years meaning it is very behind the times compared to other countries. But pumps have been manually raising prices at weekends but this will let them flex their prices on a real time basis, which is somewhat of a holy grail for them.”Martin McTague, director at a3c, the UK arm of a2i, said “This way of petrol pricing is completely new to the UK. Currently petrol pumps’ prices are very competitor focussed rather than being focussed on the behaviour of customers. This will change that as pumps will make prices based on data just for their own customers. They will know when price sensitive customers are coming, and when customers don’t mind so much what they pay.”It comes after the Government piloted electronic fuel pricing signs along the M5 motorway between Bristol and Exeter, in a move designed to encourage competition on pump prices.But one year on it appears the signs may not have had the desired effect, as some pump prices are higher at stations with e-signs compared to nearby pumps without the signs. For example on Friday last week petrol prices at Bridgewater and Sedgemoor were around 130p per litre, while the price was 112p per litre at nearby Cullompton.Do you have a story about fuel or cars? Email A car being filled up with a pump at a petrol station in LondonCredit:Yui Mok/PA Wire Luke Bosdet, a fuel analyst at the AA, said: “This represents a huge change which would be most unfair on commuters and families visiting relatives during the holidays. It will wind them up no end as they will become wise to the fact that retailers can exploit price movements.” The technology is already being used at thousands of companies across the US and Europe, where it is common for fuel prices to move between four and ten times a day.It uses an algorithm, which is modeled on the human brain, to scour huge databases of customer information to predict how consumers and competitors will behave.For example if the computer detects that supermarkets are having a quiet spell it could drop petrol prices to attract shoppers through the doors.Alternatively if a higher than normal volume of customers are filling up their tanks, such as on a sunny day or on the school run, it could raise the price.Last night experts warned the introduction of new real-time fuel pricing would anger drivers, who they predicted would quickly clock that they were paying more during peak times.last_img read more

CONSOL reducing methane emissions using regenerative thermal oxidation

first_imgCONSOL Energy has joined with Verdeo Group to develop the first project to destroy ventilation air methane (VAM) emissions at an active West Virginia coal mine. The project, which will be located at CONSOL’s McElroy mine in Marshall County, will demonstrate significant reductions of emissions of methane in a safe and proven manner, and without any impact on mine operations or production. It will use regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO) technology, which has been successfully deployed in industrial process applications for many decades.It will be the first time the technology will be deployed at an active coal mine in West Virginia, and among the largest such projects of its kind in the US to date. To date, several technology installations have been employed in the US at facilities, including a coal mine, that fall under the jurisdiction of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.“Companies will require a wide range of tools and incentives to effectively reduce GHG emissions,” said Steve Winberg, CONSOL’s Vice President of Research and Development. “CONSOL Energy has committed to utilise as much of its coal mine methane resources as possible. This project will allow us to abate a dilute source of methane that has no commercial value and would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere.”Methane gas is inherent in coal seams and is liberated during the mining process. Coal mines control underground methane emissions through the use of ventilation systems, which circulate large quantities of fresh air through the mine to dilute the methane, and then exhaust the VAM to the surface of the mine and to the atmosphere. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, VAM represents the largest source of GHG emissions from US coal mines.“Verdeo is pleased to have the opportunity to finance and co-develop this project with CONSOL,” said Jeff Liebert, Managing Director for Verdeo. “Through this collaboration, CONSOL continues to be on the cutting edge of research and new technology development, and is demonstrating its leadership in the effort to proactively reduce GHG emissions,” he added.“This project is a stepping stone to utilising this commercially available equipment on our other mines, reducing our overall methane emissions and potentially creating carbon offset credits,” Winberg added.As a result of the emergence of trading markets for GHG emission reductions, voluntary initiatives like the McElroy VAM project can generate revenue from the sale of carbon offset credits. The value of these credits enables mine operators such as CONSOL to secure capital from companies like Verdeo to pay for the RTO technology. The carbon offset credits generated from the VAM oxidation project at the McElroy mine will be registered with the Climate Action Reserve, a leading pre-compliance certification program in the US that approved a protocol for coal mine methane projects in 2009.Development efforts between CONSOL and Verdeo are actively underway. The project is expected to become operational in the second quarter of 2011. Verdeo Group is a leading developer of projects that reduce methane emissions in the mining, oil and gas sectors.last_img read more