Beauty’s Beast

first_imgIndian women are being exhorted to live up to Western beauty standards.Ironically, while we have more educated and financially independent Indian women than ever before, regressive images of women permeate throughout the Indian entertainment industry.  I wonder whether Pulitzer Prize-winning author Susan Faludi’s theory of “backlash” against feminism in North America is playing out in Indian society. Lata Mangeshkar, after all, never had to expose herself the way V.J. Sophiya has to get attention from a song video. What happened?Rewind to the 1980s and 1990 and take note of the body types of Bollywood actresses and models then. Sreedevi was plump. At 5 feet 8 inches, actresses like Rekha and Zeenat Aman were aberrations in height. Juhi Chawla and Meenakshi Seshadri, both 5 feet 3 1/2 inches, were former Miss Indias and models. Madhuri Dixit was big breasted with rounded hips, like so many other actresses of her era.Fast forward to 1992. Madhu Sapre becomes runner up for Miss Universe. She’s the first Miss India after several years to even come close. Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai follow soon after and are crowned Miss Universe and Miss World respectively in 1994. Incidentally, both are 5 feet 9 inches and their bodies are also straighter, compared to the typical curves many Indian women have. This, oddly enough, is in synch with the Western trends of the time.During the same period, India opened up its economy, drawing an onslaught of multinational corporations. A demand had to be created for Indian consumers to buy their products and Suzanne Sommers wasn’t going to cut it.This is similar to what occurred in North America after the rise of the women’s movements in the 1970s. The sales of cosmetics and clothing began to decline precipitously in the early 1980s. So the industry began to pitch its products at impressionable teenagers and young women. Eventually, a generation of women was groomed to feel bad about themselves to the point that they would buy products designed to give them the waif-like Kate Moss-Calvin Klein look.What worked in the West is now at play in India, with Sheetal Malhar simply substituting for Cindy Crawford on Revlon products, for instance.Pageant Backgrounds The Miss Universe Pageant founded in 1952 by a California clothing company to showcase its swimwear, was acquired by Donald Trump with television rights owned by NBC. Miss World is U.K.-based with a lot of commercial clout. Making Indians their mascots was of great commercial interest to both organizations.During all the years that India’s economy was closed, no Miss Indias hovered even close to the Miss Universe title and only one won a Miss World title in 1966. Once the country opened up, Indians began to dominate beauty pageants. Four Indians have won the Miss World crown in the last decade. In 1994 and 2000 Indian women won both the Miss World and Miss Universe titles.After Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai were crowned Miss Universe and Miss World respectively in 1994, the Miss India contest saw a surge in applicants. Many of these women are aspiring architects, engineers, etc., as beauty contests are an indulgence that only the middle or upper class can afford in India. The same is also true for Bollywood. Where the Indian film industry attracted primarily women with low educational attainment, many of the new actresses are highly educated. It is not that Indian models suddenly became more beautiful; the rise of Indians in the beauty pageant scene was driven by a consumer feeding frenzy. It has worked, as parents exhort daughters to dress to impress and to have “fit” figures. The dream of international success is now the middle class Indian woman’s fantasy.It is a fantasy. While many famous Indian models have indeed done stints abroad, none have acquired enduring international stature even after winning the Miss Universe or Miss World titles. Even Aishwarya Rai, whose forceful self-promotion won her considerable exposure in the American media, has discovered that the recognition has been fleeting. She lingers mostly in the memories of desis living here rather than the mainstream. MTV and Hindi FilmsThe advent of Westernization and consumerism also introduced Indians to MTV and Channel V. Many spheres of the entertainment world intersect here. English-speaking Western faces gracing these channels weren’t working. So Ruby Bhatia and Kamal Sidhu, both Canadian Indians, were recruited to bridge the Indian and Western worlds. Hindi music videos began to emulate Madonna and Western video practices. In the West, music videos often employ shock value as a marketing gimmick to “attract” male viewers. In India, it was no different.  In the face of public criticism of vulgarity, however, several song and video producers changed their tunes. They began remixing obscure old song, oftentimes sensationalizing the videos by depicting women in dehumanizing ways. Such was the level of dehumanization that girls used in “Chadti Jawani” in their white-laced lingerie were based on a child’s angel doll set. Ironically, while women were expected to shed their clothes, men could find themselves in turtlenecks and even be overweight. Adnan Sami and Daler Mehndi are two cases in points.Sadly, if women don’t shed their clothes, they don’t get noticed or at least that’s what producers will have you believe anyway. Or, as is the case with Ila Arun, if you don’t want to do it yourself, hire models who will.I Want To Be Miss India“The winner has to be able to represent the country and have a good combination of everything – not only beauty,” commented Bipasha Basu, model and actress.Besides posturing as a person who probably doesn’t exist, Basu conforms to questionable Western modeling standards. Genetically, Indian women are structured differently and as is the case with any civilization, they come in different physical forms, so their media portrayals should be more reflective.Although last year’s winner of Miss India Universe was the dusky Tanushree Dutta, she’s also 5 feet 7 inches. Ever since Indian beauty queens captured the international spotlight, height has become an important factor in beauty pageants. Now even to make it in the film industry, it seems height and winning Miss India contests are prerequisites for entry. Although Kajol, who is relatively shorter, stumpier and dark, has beat the odds, she is a rarity. The ethnic factor within the context of the Indian race is often overlooked. People from certain regions and castes tend to have features the entertainment industry favors. In some instances, there is a mixing of genotype. While one may appreciate the beauty of Katrina Kaif and Lisa Ray, who are half-Indian and half-English and Polish respectively, those with only Indian genes cannot hope to replicate their physical appearance. Indian women are being exhorted to live up to Western beauty standards in a fool’s paradise. It’s not that people don’t have a right to create a name for themselves in these arenas, but they should do it by being themselves and not by masquerading to some false standard.For too long women have been made to feel that they are not good enough as themselves. It’s time for them to realize that we’re not just good, we’re great. Let’s be real.   Related Itemslast_img read more

Kevin Durant on James Harden: He’s ‘clever’ but not cheater

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “He’s always been clever at getting to the paint and using his strength to bump guys off,” Durant said of the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player Harden. “I think it’s, more so than anything, putting pressure on the defense.“I think that’s what he’s always been doing. I wouldn’t say tht he has an advantage. I think everybody, once they get into the lane, they use little tricks to try to get their shots off.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“He may bump guys off going to the rim, but everybody does that.”The Rockets were angered by the officiating in their 104-100 game-one loss to the Warriors, Harden himself suggesting refs had not given Houston a “fair chance” in the defeat as he cited several non-calls on his three-point attempts. Kevin Durant leads way again as Warriors clip Rockets for 2-0 lead Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles View comments MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Philippine Arena Interchange inauguratedcenter_img LATEST STORIES Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting But their complaints put Harden’s style of play in the spotlight with some suggesting that he manipulated his body in a bid to provoke foul calls on defenders.“I just think that he has a style of play, and it might not be what everybody might like to see, but it’s been effective and I don’t think he’s been cheating the game at all,” Durant said.“I think he plays inside the game, plays within the rules of the game. Referees aren’t going to be perfect all game, just like players aren’t.”ADVERTISEMENT James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets has his shot blocked by Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 30, 2019 in Oakland, California. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/AFPMANILA, Philippines–Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant says Rockets rival James Harden makes clever use of NBA rules but does not cheat the game.Durant, speaking to reporters on Tuesday before the Warriors took on the Rockets in game two of their Western Conference second-round playoff series, said Houston’s prolific scorer Harden has developed an effective way to pressure opposing defenses.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausslast_img read more

CONVERGYS TO CLOSE SGT. BLUFF CENTER IN APRIL

first_imgCOMPANY OFFICIALS HAVE ANNOUNCED THAT THE CONVERGYS CALL CENTER LOCATED IN SGT. BLUFF WILL CLOSE PERMANENTLY ON APRIL 14TH.WORKERS AT THE FACILITY WERE GIVEN THE NEWS TUESDAY AND ARE BEING OFFERED THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPLY FOR TRANSFER TO OTHER COMPANY LOCATIONS.COMPANY OFFICIALS SAY A FEW MAY BE ABLE TO WORK OUT OF THEIR HOMES.A TOTAL OF 178 EMPLOYEES ARE AFFECTED BY THE MOVE.THE COMPANY SAYS THE DECISION TO CLOSE THE SGT. BLUFF CENTER IS A BUSINESS ONE TO CONSOLIDATE FACILITIES, AND THAT WORK WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO OTHER CONVERGYS LOCATIONS.last_img read more

Guardiola backs Neymar & Griezmann for Barca

first_imgBarcelona have been backed in their rumoured pursuit of Neymar and Antoine Griezmann by former boss Pep Guardiola.Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has been tipped to return to Camp Nou ahead of next season, just two years after departing in a world-record deal.Griezmann revealed last month he is keen on a move away from Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, with Barcelona previously close to signing him. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And Guardiola, who spent four years as Barcelona head coach before joining Bayern Munich and then his current side Manchester City, thinks both players would suit the La Liga champions.”It all depends on the idea you have in mind with the sporting director and the coach,” Guardiola told reporters at a presentation in Barcelona.”The good [players] are always welcome in any team. Those two are very good.”Guardiola coached Neymar during his time at Barcelona, but he refused to get too caught up in the speculation.”I’m not going to say anything, it does not belong to me,” he said. “This belongs to Barcelona. ​​I’ve lived in this club for a long time and I do not want any opinion to be misinterpreted.”Pep Guardiola Manchester CityGuardiola won the Champions League twice and La Liga three times during his time in charge of the Catalan giants, but the 48-year-old has no intention of returning in a boardroom position.”I will return to Barcelona sooner or later. But as president, forget about it,” he said. “To be president, you have to know [what you’re doing] and be prepared; to have knowledge that I don’t have.”I’m trying to be a good coach; that hasn’t gone too badly in this decade. I will return to Barcelona to live, sooner or later.”While rivals Real Madrid have set about dramatically restructuring their team, Barcelona’s transfer window has been a little more frustrating so far.It had seemed inevitable that Griezmann would me backing the move to Camp Nou, but his transfer appears to have stalled in recent weeks with other clubs linked with the as yet stranded wantaway Atletico man.But, with his transfer release clause dropping on July 1 – from €200 million (£179m/$227m) to €120 million (£107m/$136m) – the move could accelerate at the turn of the month.last_img read more

Nova Scotians Reduce Air Pollution Together

first_imgReducing air pollution is a big job and significant progress is being made through the efforts of Nova Scotians across the province. “The expression ‘many hands make light work’ applies very well to reducing air pollution,” said Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash. “When we all burn less fuel in our cars and homes, and use less electricity, we succeed in lowering emissions.” Individual Nova Scotians, like Diana Saunders, are helping reduce air pollution. She is a co-ordinator with the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation based in Mahone Bay. The group started an education and awareness program to encourage people not to leave their vehicles idling. “Letting a vehicle idle for 10 seconds uses more fuel than turning the vehicle off and restarting the engine,” said Ms. Saunders. “Avoiding idling not only reduces emissions, but it also wastes less fuel and saves drivers money.” The group posted signs and established eight idle-free zones in parking lots of schools, a day care, the town hall and other businesses and organizations. “We’ve had a great response from citizens with very positive feedback,” said Ms. Saunders. “I think people realize that reducing idling is good for the health of our community.” In Pictou County, Steve Harder is working to reduce emissions from lawn mowers. As co-ordinator of the Pictou Airshed Management Project, he helped organize a lawnmower exchange from May 14 to 28. Area residents were invited to turn in their old mowers to be recycled and get newer models. “Operating an old gas lawnmower for an hour can result in the same emissions as running 40 new cars for the same length of time,” said Mr. Harder. “Using a more energy-efficient mower can reduce emissions significantly, and push mowers produce no emissions at all — and very little noise.” Nova Scotians can make many choices in their daily lives to reduce air pollution: walk, bike, car pool or use public transit when possible choose a fuel-efficient vehicle if one is required maintain vehicles properly to reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent. Coal-fired electricity generation is the largest source of air emissions in the province. Mr. Harder noted that all Nova Scotians can help reduce emissions by using less electricity. “The less power we use, the less emissions there are,” he said. To use less power, Nova Scotians can: The province is doing its part, too. The Department of Environment and Labour put new air quality regulations in place this year to cut sulphur dioxide emissions in half by 2010. The department is also adding more air monitoring equipment around the province. The department aims to practice what it preaches. Staff car pool anytime they travel by car. The department owns a bicycle that metro employees can use to go to meetings. Staff can also buy Metro Transit tickets in the Halifax office and park bicycles on a rack in the building’s garage. Another bicycle rack is outside for visitors. These and other successes are reasons to celebrate during Environment Week from June 5 to 11, and on Clean Air Day, Wednesday, June 8. For more information on keeping Nova Scotia’s environment clean, visit www.gov.ns.ca/enla/envirowk . -30- use compact flourescent light bulbs let dishes air dry in the dishwasher air dry laundry when possible choose energy efficient appliances keep heating and cooling systems in good working order turn off lights and electronics when not in use seal windows, doors, and baseboards with caulking or weather-stripping.last_img read more

Online Toolkit Supports Small Businesses

first_imgNova Scotia small businesses now have a place to learn about online technologies that can help them be more productive and grow. Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson officially launched the e-Business Toolkit today, Oct. 29, to encourage entrepreneurs and startups to become more involved with e-commerce. “We know there are a lot of Nova Scotia businesses with a handful of employees, or no employees, that just don’t have time to look into all the new tools available today,” said Mr. Samson. “This toolkit simplifies the process and shows business people they can reach customers half a world away, with the click of a mouse.” Several Nova Scotia businesses are already using the toolkit, including Brook Ridge Farm in Antigonish, which produces and sells wool products. “I didn’t realize this kind of technology could help a small, farm-based business such as mine, and it’s very exciting,” said owner Rhonda McCarron. “Through the toolkit, I plan to create an even stronger online presence using social media and an online shopping tool.” The Soap Company of Nova Scotia opened its doors in Sherbrooke in July. It makes natural, handcrafted, small-batch home and personal-care products. “The e-Business Toolkit provides a great checklist of all the things to consider,” said owner Leigh McFarlane. “It works for both established businesses and startups by identifying gaps and providing possible resources to fill those gaps.” The toolkit is available at http://ebusiness.novascotia.ca .last_img read more

Lufthansa to raise capacity in Biz Class in flights from city

first_imgChennai: German airline Lufthansa Group Wednesday said it has lined up plans to increase capacity in business class on its flights operating from the city. The move by the airliner comes in the backdrop of the 50 per cent expected growth of international passengers in the country by 2020, a press release said. The Lufthansa Group recently celebrated 25 years of service in Chennai. Having commenced the regional operations in 1994 with bi-weekly flights from city, the airliner currently operates daily flights from Chennai to Frankfurt. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal “In the 25 years since Lufthansa commenced its operations in Chennai, the city has become a flourishing global hub for IT and heavy industries”, Lufthansa Group Airlines South Asia, Senior Director Sales, George Ettiyil said. “We at Lufthansa are proud of the role that we have played in enabling this growth”, he said. Ettiyil said that over the next five years, Lufthansa aims to strengthen its presence in the city to capitalise the growth opportunity. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost “The airline has already announced its plans to increase the capacity in the Business Class on its flights from Chennai summer 2020 with a different seat configuration”, the airliner said. Ettiyil said Chennai and the larger Tamil Nadu region remain key markets for Lufthansa. “We plan to build on the success that we have earned here by facilitating more premium offerings and experiences for Lufthansa customers from Chennai”, he said.last_img read more

AP Interview Argentine leader sees tough road ahead

first_imgBUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina’s president is celebrating the successful hosting of the G-20 summit, but he says he’s ready for tough times ahead as the country confronts an economic crisis.Macri told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that Argentina struck about $8 billion in investment deals with other nations on the sidelines of the summit — most focused on energy and infrastructure.Argentina earlier obtained a record $56 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.But Macri said that Argentina has a long way to go in dealing with its economic crisis following a sharp depreciation of the Argentine currency that he called a “disaster.”The peso has depreciated by about half this year and the country suffers one of the world’s highest inflation rates.Luis Andres Henao And Almudena Calatrava, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Moroccos RCAR Buys Over 16 Million of Maroc Telecom Shares

Rabat – The Collective Retirement Benefit Scheme (RCAR) announced the acquisition of 16,229,447 shares from the Moroccan telecommunications company, Maroc Telecom.RCAR announced the acquisition on June 17, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.RCAR exceeded the threshold of 5% stake in Maroc Telecom. The buyer, managed by Morocco’s Caisse de Depot and Gestion (CDG), now owns 51,060,810 shares (5.81%)  in the operator’s capital.Read Also: Morocco Would Gain MAD 8.87 Billion After Sale of 8% Shares in Maroc TelecomRCAR also plans to continue to purchase more shares within a year of meeting the threshold.Morocco’s government has been looking for local investors to buy shares from the company since the sale of 8 % of the company’s shares would inject MAD 8.87 billion in the government’s budget.The government’s ownership would drop to 22% from 33 % following the sale of 8 % of the shares.The company is one of the most influential communication firms as it owns subsidiaries in a number of African countries, including the  Central African Republic, Niger, and Mali.The sale is part of Morocco’s privatization program to slash the budget deficit by 0.6 %.Morocco’s government also seeks to sell their holdings in La Mamounia hotel in Marrakech as well as the Tahaddart power plant in northern Morocco. read more

Nasdaq closes at record high TSX rallies

TORONTO — Energy and mining stocks led a solid advance on the Toronto stock market, while the Nasdaq finished the day at a record high.The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 87.58 points at 15,392.35 after dropping 41.67 points Wednesday.Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar gained 0.55 of a U.S. cent to 82.33 cents.In New York, the Nasdaq rose 20.89 points to 5,056.06, beating its previous record high close of 5,048.61 set in March 2000. The Dow gained 20.42 points to 18,058.69 and the S&P 500 advanced 4.97 points to 2,112.93.On the commodity markets, the June gold contract rose $7.40 to US$1,194.30 an ounce after plunging more than $16 on Wednesday.Meanwhile, oil rose $1.58 to $57.74 a barrel and May copper advanced 2.9 cents to US$2.69 a pound. read more

TN fishermen call for statewide shutdown over Sri Lanka

Fishermen protests in Tamil Nadu’s Rameshwaram continue on the third consecutive day. The protest is being organised demanding compensation for 22-year-old fisherman K Britso who was allegedly shot by a Sri Lankan navy officer, India Today reported.Fishermen in Tamil Nadu have threatened a state-wide agitation if action is not taken against Sri Lankan navy officer. AIADMK raised the issue in the House on Thursday, while DMK leader Kanimozhi spoke on the issue in the Parliament demanding Centre’s intervention into the matter. So far Sri Lankan government is treading carefully and even assured that they have initiated a detailed probe into the matter. In a goodwill gesture, the Sri Lankan government has also announced to release the Indian Fishermen in their custody. The fishermen community has refused the state government’s compensation saying that the Sri Lankan government pay damages to the deceased fisherman’s family. The community even demanded the removal of the Navy officer who shot Britso. India today said that it expects Sri Lanka to expedite the investigation in the killing of one of its fishermen given the ‘gravity and seriousness’ of the issue.Sri Lanka has informed the Indian High Commission in Colombo that it will release all 85 Indian fishermen in their custody, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.The Lankan Navy has denied the allegation, saying it does not open fire at poaching fishermen and only arrests them. Sri Lanka has said it ordered an investigation into the incident and wanted to ensure that such incidents would not hamper the good relations between the two countries. Meanwhile, on Thursday two Sri Lankan fishermen were arrested by India Coast Guard for allegedly fishing off the Vedarayam coast.Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan claimed that nearly 900 Indian fishermen were killed in the last 25 years and urged the Centre to take steps to protect the rights of fishermen. read more

President suspends Withholding Tax imposed on sale of teledramas

President Maithripala Sirisena has suspended the Withholding Tax imposed on the sale of teledramas.The President’s media division said that President Maithripala Sirisena had advised Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to withdraw the tax and inform the relevant institutions. The President further said that, if there is any obstacles for the progress of the field of art, including the local cinema industry and the field of the tele dramas due to the new Tax policy, he will take action to provide relief to those issues after consulting the relevant institutions. He made these remarks during a meeting held with the representatives of the Associations of cinema and tele dramas, at the Presidential Secretariat. The representatives apprised the President in detail regarding the issues faced by them due to the Government’s new tax policy.Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Wijeydasa Rajapaksha, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiywanna, Secretary of Ministry of Higher Education  J.J.Rathnasiri, and other officials and Somaratne Dissanayake, Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Nalan Mendis, Attorney – at – Law Douglas Siriwardana, Deepani Silva, Chandani Seneviratne, Inoka Sathyangani, and other veteran artistes were present at the talks. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Canada side deal with US on illicit trade emerges with release of

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted to read the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal before passing judgment on it — and now he’ll have his chance.The text of the agreement finalized Oct. 5 between a dozen Pacific Rim countries has been posted on the website of the New Zealand Foreign Ministry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ho OTTAWA – Canada has signed almost two dozen side letters with its trading partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including an agreement with the United States to combat illicit trade.Canada also has a side agreement with Japan that appears to protect the exports of British Columbia logs, a key sticking point between the two countries.The letters were released as the text of the broader TPP agreement, finalized Oct. 5 by a dozen Pacific Rim countries, was released Thursday by the New Zealand government.Several watchdog groups expressed a wide range of criticism of the deal, saying it would hurt workers in poor countries and deprive poor people of access to cheaper medicine.Canada plans to release its own copy of the text once it is translated into French, said Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland.She said the government will solicit public comments on its website and is committed to a full parliamentary debate. But the consultation wouldn’t happen overnight, in part because she just had her first briefing and the text is 6,000 pages.“A real leitmotif of the Trudeau government is going to be openness and consultation,” she said.“I’m going to take that seriously. I’m going to review it.”The complex deal covers a vast range of goods and services and encompasses 40 per cent of the global economy.Canada released a series of side letters that cover bilateral issues with specific countries spanning several sectors.Canada and the U.S. traded a letter on border enforcement and information sharing, to “address illicit trade in counterfeit trademark and pirated copyright goods.”The letter says Canada and the U.S. are committed to “using appropriate risk management, as determined by each government, to address the challenges that this illicit trade poses at their respective borders.”They pledge to share information on goods that infringe copyright and trademarks in an attempt to target the “organizations engaged in this illicit activity” and “target future illicit shipments and to investigate trade in counterfeit trademark and pirated copyright goods.”Another letter between Canada and Japan appears to confirm that the current Canadian regime on the export of B.C. logs remains in place. The export of logs is heavily controlled by the federal and provincial governments, similar to the protections afforded to Canada’s dairy farmers under the supply management system.Timber had become a sticking point between Canada and Japan. Canadian government documents previously obtained by The Canadian Press said Japan was pushing Canada to eliminate or modify the export controls.“For greater certainty, Japan and Canada confirm that nothing in this letter shall have any other implications with respect to Canada’s existing practices and procedures relating to its existing measures concerning the export of logs of all species,” the new side letter states.“In respect of the export of logs, Japan and Canada maintain their rights and obligations under the WTO Agreement and any dispute regarding a matter relating to the export of logs shall be settled under the WTO.”The letter between Canada and Japan also formalizes the creation of a bilateral committee on forest products to help settle disagreements.“Either Japan or Canada may raise a matter relating to the understandings set out in this letter to the committee and the committee shall seek to resolve that matter,” the letter states.Several groups renewed their criticism Thursday of the secrecy surrounding the negotiation of the deal.The Council of Canadians urged the government to ask the parliamentary budget officer to review the deal.The Trade Justice Network called on the government to make changes to a deal it said would compromise the sovereignty of Canadian Crown corporations and exploit low-paid workers in south Asia.Doctors Without Borders said the TPP text confirms that millions will be deprived of affordable medicines because it extends patent protections to pharmaceutical companies, which delays access to lower-priced generic drugs.NDP trade critic Don Davies said Trudeau should not accept a bad deal negotiated by the previous Conservative government.“Prime Minister Trudeau can’t promise open consultations here and then tell others behind closed doors that he’ll be able to push the deal through,” Davies said in a statement, referring to a conversations Trudeau has had with U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Canada side deal with U.S. on illicit trade emerges with release of TPP text by Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 5, 2015 3:50 am MDT Last Updated Nov 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Dalhousies longtime leader to become Brocks interim president

One of Canada’s most experienced higher education leaders has been named as Interim President and Vice-Chancellor at Brock University.Tom Traves served for 18 years as President of Dalhousie University, stepping down in 2013 after helping grow the institution’s stature as Atlantic Canada’s flagship research and medical university.On Thursday (Sept 29) he was unanimously approved by Brock’s Board of Trustees as the person who will lead Brock for the next year while it conducts an executive search for a full-time President. The appointment takes effect Oct.1.It was also announced that Traves will appoint Tom Dunk, currently Brock’s Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, to be Interim Provost and Vice-President Academic. A replacement for Dunk in Social Sciences is to be announced in the coming days.Thomas DunkTraves (pronounced ‘Travis’) takes over as Interim President from Brian Hutchings, who has served that role for the past three months and now returns to his senior role as Vice-President Administration.Traves said he is honoured to get the opportunity at Brock.“The idea that I can make a positive contribution in the short term is inspiring,” he said. “I’m familiar with the challenges facing the post-secondary education sector, and I know how to negotiate with government. I see Brock as an essential component to the strength and vitality of the Niagara region.”Traves says he will not be making major changes in Brock’s direction, however he does want to identify two or three goals for the coming year and do them well, to ensure that Brock is set up for future success. But in his first days and weeks, Traves wants to learn about his new institution by listening to faculty, staff and students.“I plan to spend a lot of time talking to people,” he said. “Leaders have to earn their position every day by being trustworthy and building relationships.”During Traves’ presidency at Dalhousie, the Halifax institution experienced record growth in enrolment, increases in research funding and the establishment of several new faculties.In 2014 Traves was named as a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to post-secondary education in Atlantic Canada, and was recognized for building stronger networks between Dalhousie, its students and the residents of Halifax, and for his leadership of local arts and business organizations.Brock’s Board Chair John Suk said trustees had received input from Brock’s Senate and other University stakeholders, then established a shortlist of external and internal candidates. In the final analysis, they favoured the candidate with the deepest background to help Brock meet its strategic challenges in the next year.“Dr. Traves is one of the most experienced university presidents in the country,” said Suk. “He has been a strong leader, has managed many different situations and helped his former institution become stronger and better resourced.”Suk said this will be a busy year for Brock, with several major initiatives on the immediate horizon, particularly in working with the Province.“Universities face significant issues and opportunities,” said Suk. “Brock needs to have the most experienced leader possible. Dr. Traves provides that experience, with an accomplished track record as a university president and a proven ability to work effectively with all stakeholders.“Brock will be led by an exceptional senior team with a strong mix of strategic, operational and academic expertise.”Suk expressed the Board’s heartfelt appreciation to Hutchings, who carried two senior portfolios for several months after agreeing to serve as Acting President when Jack Lightstone concluded his term on June 30.Hutchings said “The over-riding objective during the transition period was to ensure the exceptional Brock student experience was not impacted in any way, and we accomplished that.”“Dr. Traves now brings a record of success to what is already a great institution, and I expect the Brock and Niagara communities will look forward to working with him.”Scott Henderson, Brock’s Chair of Senate and an associate professor in Popular Culture, said Traves “brings a fresh set of eyes that will help Brock as we develop our new Strategic Mandate Agreement and future strategic plans.”“His understanding of the higher education landscape in Canada will help him quickly assume the responsibilities of Interim President at Brock. The combination of his experience, with the ability to see us anew, is a tremendous opportunity.”Henderson said the addition of Dunk as Interim Provost gives Brock a strong academic leadership team.“Dr. Dunk’s tenure as Dean of Brock’s largest faculty has been exemplary. His knowledge of the inner workings of Brock, and of the immediate challenges we face, will be indispensable as we move forward. This pairing of an experienced Interim President with a veteran internal appointment as Interim Provost ensures that the academic direction of the University is in good hands.”Dunk, an anthropologist, joined Brock in 2008 when he was appointed Dean of Social Sciences.“I’m looking forward to working with Dr. Traves and all of our colleagues to get us focused and moving forward on the many things we have to celebrate and need to accomplish at Brock in the next year,” Dunk said.Backgrounders Tom Traves, Interim President and Vice-ChancellorBorn in Winnipeg, Tom Traves earned a BA from the University of Manitoba before receiving an MA and PhD from York University. He taught at York and served as Chairman of Social Science and then Dean of the Faculty of Arts there before moving to the University of New Brunswick as Vice-President, Academic.Traves was appointed as Dalhousie University’s 10th president in 1995, and served in that office for 18 years before retiring in 2013.Over the course of his career, Traves has been a member of or served on the boards of many associations, companies, non-profits and agencies, including serving as Chair of the Board of Universities Canada, the national association of Canadian universities and colleges. In 2014 he was named as a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to post-secondary education in Atlantic Canada, and on three different occasions was named to the Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada. He was also awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Golden Jubilee commemorative medals.Traves also holds honorary degrees from University of King’s College, York University and Umeå University in Sweden.Thomas Dunk, Interim Provost and Vice-President, AcademicThomas Dunk joined Brock University in July 2008, when he was appointed to his first term as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. He was appointed to a second term on July 1, 2014.Before coming to Brock, Dunk was at Lakehead University where he had been Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities and, earlier, Chair of the Department of Sociology.He holds a BA from the University of Alberta and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from McGill University. Prior to Lakehead, he taught at Concordia University, McMaster University and the University of Toronto. read more

Baseball Jalen Washingtons transition to shortstop to benefit team

OSU senior Jalen Washington, who is transitioning from catcher to shortstop, bats during the Scarlet and Gray in late-October. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsIn January, things do not seem to be too busy around Bill Davis Stadium, home of the Ohio State baseball team. With the first game of the season not until Feb. 17, when the Buckeyes face off against Kansas State in Osceola, Florida, the players are still participating in the occasional workout and batting cage session. However, with every crack of the bat and smack of the catcher’s mitt, OSU is in the middle of one of the most integral parts of any season: creating a team identity.Senior and returning captain Jalen Washington is familiar with having to help build a team chemistry. Now as he moves from behind the plate to the shortstop, the leadership aspect of his game does not seem to be going anywhere.Ever since Washington first stepped foot onto the OSU campus, he felt he had something to prove.“Like freshman or sophomore year, I wasn’t as much of a vocal leader,” Washington said. “I was one that was always pushing the envelope trying to prove myself, trying to make a name for myself and lead by example — working my butt off on the field and off the field.”With work came reward for Washington who was named as a captain of the team heading into his junior season and even before he had played on a regular basis.“He had never been a starter before,” OSU coach Greg Beals said. “That says an awful lot about what his teammates think about him and says an awful lot about his work ethic and what he does.”This was not the only thing that made Washington stand out to his teammates and the coaching staff. It was also his ability to play all over the diamond if needed to.“Pretty much in summer ball and in high school, they used to put me at different positions every year,” Washington said. “I feel like it has always been a tool that I have had and being able to show it off on this big a stage is a pretty cool thing.”Washington’s versatility is what caused Beals to put him behind the plate to see what he could do as a catcher.“I was really intrigued by the possibility, being a catching guy myself, of working with someone of that athleticism, somebody that really hadn’t done a lot of catching before, but was a good athlete, and see if we can teach him the skills of catching,” Beals said. “I also believe that the catching position is becoming more of an athletic, a quicker, lower to the ground type of guy as opposed to the bigger, big, sturdy, strong catchers that used to be the prototype.”Washington started to perfect the art of being a leader behind the plate out of necessity.“Being a catcher is more that just catching and throwing the ball,” Washington said. “You’re the leader of the team. Everyone is looking at you.”Without ever starting a game at catcher going into the 2016 season, Washington had a .992 fielding percentage  and threw out 27 percent of potential base stealers, while also being named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list, just the fifth time a OSU catcher has been named to this list. However, his offensive approach did not match the normal stereotypical catcher.“The skill set of being an athlete is different because in that skill set, it also allows him to be a bunt guy and a run guy on the offensive side,” Beals said. “That’s very different than your normal catching prospect.”Going into the 2017 season, Beals had a different idea for how to maximize Washington’s ability for this team. He will move to shortstop with sophomore catchers Jacob Barnwell and Andrew Fishel taking the reps behind the plate, something that is not a very common move in baseball.“To go from catcher to shortstop, you don’t hear that very often,” Beals said. “It speaks volumes to Jalen’s athletic ability, his versatility as an athlete.”Washington is very proud of his flexibility on the baseball field. His work around the diamond sets him apart from many other players at the college level.“I think that it shows that I have more tools than the other guys do and I’m a little bit more versatile,” Washington said. “Being a catcher, you can show your hands and your feet, but being at shortstop, I can show more athleticism.”With the move to the infield, Washington moves from having to lead the pitcher through his outing to leading the infield. Redshirt junior pitcher Adam Niemeyer said he believes Washington’s knowledge of the game will create a smooth transition.“Last year, he did a great job controlling the game behind the plate,” Niemeyer said. “You know, being in sync with a pitcher is being on the same page. This year, moving to shortstop, really just shows how intelligent he is at the game of baseball and how he can kind of handle doing two totally different positions and do them both very well.”Moving out of the crouch, Washington can now extend his offensive ability, especially on the bases. Last season, he stole 14 bases on 19 opportunities. With the move to shortstop, Washington feels as though that his base running ability will increase dramatically.“When you are catching three, four games a weekend, your legs are pretty worn out,” Washington said. “I see myself as a base stealer, so I feel like I’ll be able to steal more bases, put our offense in better positions to have success.”No matter where Washington will be playing for this OSU team, Beals said he believes Washington will be an integral part of where the Buckeyes will end up at the end of the 2017 season and why.“Our cultural blueprint that we have for our team, one of the last sentences on it is, ‘work to earn trust every day,’ and Jalen Washington does that,” Beals said. “He works extremely hard and he has earned the trust of his teammates.” read more

Researchers develop new wearable soft energy generators

first_imgA team of researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand are working on wearable, flexible generators that can harvest energy from the body’s movements and use it to power devices. The generators themselves are nothing new, but the engineers have managed to make the devices smaller, cheaper, and more flexible than before, although they note they’re still several years from conventional applications of the technology.The generators, called “dielectric elastomer generators,” use motion in flexible materials to build up a charge between a pair of electrodes embedded inside. The material has to be non-conductive so the charge builds up between the electrodes instead of just moving from one to the other (creating charge versus creating current.) The team also wanted to replace the traditionally bulky and heavy components of a generator with something lighter and more wearable that could be embedded into an individual’s clothes or shoes.AdChoices广告The end result has been a new breed of dielectric elastomer generators – commonly referred to as “artificial muscles” – that are smaller and lighter than their larger, more massive cousins that are often used to harvest power from wave energy and tidal forces.Dielectric elastomer generators also differ from other, more commonly seen motion-based generator systems. Piezoelectric generators – the type that many other research institutions are working with – generally harvest the most energy from rapid, sharp movements in any given direction. The University of Auckland team noted that their technology prefers slower, wider motions, and can be used to harvest energy from a person walking or rowing as opposed to running, jumping, or doing aerobic exercise, for example.The team has submitted their findings to Applied Physics Letters in a paper that goes on to describe the possible uses and implications of the technology. The team describes in the paper how they managed to create a 10 milliwatt generator using a 110 millimeter-wide generator. Their hope is for small, lightweight, and low-cost generators that can harvest electricity from environmental sources and natural movements to eventually provide accessory power to any manner of device.Read more at IT News and The NZ Herald.last_img read more

This is the HTC Rezound

first_imgHTC has been in the Android game since day one. They experienced the smartphone market in its infancy, and have been able to watch closely as it evolved. Looking at the line of Android phones that HTC has released, it’s pretty clear that the company has managed to evolve right alongside the smartphone. They entered the Android ecosystem led by Google, building devices based on their suggestions. When the competition began to rise, HTC quickly decided that it was important to brand their handset experience. As HTC evolved so did their brand, becoming a lifestyle choice, until we arrive in New York City today as HTC took the stage to unveil the Rezound.The HardwareVerizon Wireless customers who have long since enjoyed the HTC Incredible will be coming off contracts soon, to be greeted by the Incredible’s mature, sexier friend. As the Incredible was released as an obvious competitor to the Nexus One, so too it seems the Rezound is the answer to the Galaxy Nexus. Packing a 720p display just like the Galaxy Nexus, but at a smaller 4.3-inch form factor means a greater pixel density than any other phone out there. 1.5Ghz dual core processor and 1GB of RAM will give most Honeycomb tablets a run for their money, with LTE on board for that extra speed when surfing. The 8MP camera supports HDR photos as well as instant capture and panorama built in (where have we heard this before?). 16GB of onboard storage vs 16 GB of removable storage is pretty standard fare for most HTC devices right now, though the ability to drop a 32GB microSD card in there is still a feature many users still hold dear.This is mostly conjecture, but it was rumored that HTC, Samsung, and maybe one or two others sent devices to Google as their “bid” to be the next Nexus device. We know now that Samsung was the winner of that bid. The similarities when it comes to hardware are far too close together to be a coincidence, especially considering none of HTC or Samsung’s competitors have devices that even come close. I would not be surprised to discover that the HTC Rezound was, in a past life, a Nexus hopeful. The Rezound was announced to be “Ice Cream Sandwich ready”, meaning the update will come out early next year once the HTC engineers have shoehorned Sense overtop of it.The BrandWith the partnership of Beats by Dre, HTC phones became more than just phones. HTC possessed a complete package of software, hardware, and now the “X Factor” that only one other smartphone maker has. By distinguishing themselves as a lifestyle choice and not “just a phone”, HTC created the only Android handset that can actually compete with the iPhone’s personality. HTC isn’t selling phones anymore, they are selling personalized personal electronics. The end result for all of this is to turn the Rezound into a status symbol, much like the iPhone.During the press conference today, more time was spent talking about the brand than anything else. CEO Peter Chou noted that HTC had gone from being a niche device manufacturer to the inventor of personal devices. HTC is the first Taiwanese company ever to be named one of the top 100 global brands, and they are still an extremely young company compared to many of the other names on that list. Bringing Beats into the equation allowed them the opportunity to give the device a soul. Interscope Records CEO and Beats partner Jimmy Iovine took the stage and told this compelling story about how the only way to keep the music industry alive was to convince the technology companies that they needed each other.With Beats, they are able to wield their many years in the music industry as a resume behind the notion that $0.99 headphones included with your smartphone destroy music. The Rezound was described several times on stage today as having “Music at its heart and soul”, a notion I am sure will travel into commercials and advertisements when the phone comes out.Final ThoughtsThe Rezound is a great device in the hand. It’s lighter than HTC’s last LTE device by orders of magnitude. It’s got an undeniable sexiness from its curves all the way down to its unique red glowing soft keys. HTC assures us that the device is Ice Cream Sandwich ready, and to expect the phone to be updated early next year. In the mean time, the phone will hit shelves at $299.99 on November 14th, a couple of weeks before the Galaxy Nexus is rumored to be hitting the states. Without a doubt, the Rezound will be a contended for Verizon’s holiday lineup.last_img read more

Xenophon grave misgivings on new antiterror laws

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Legislation introduced by the Abbott government to overhaul Australia’s national security was debated in the Senate this week, with Independent Senator Nick Xenophon declaring his support in general for the new provisions – but with caveats.The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill, introduced by Attorney General George Brandis in July, is seeking to improve the legislative framework governing ASIO, ASIS and other agencies, “to keep pace with the evolving security environment”.The bill’s debate came as tensions increased dramatically over reported Islamic State (IS)-related terrorist activity in Australia, following arrests in Sydney and Brisbane, and the death of an 18-year-old supporter of IS in Melbourne.During the debate on Wednesday, Senator Xenophon said that it was “axiomatic” that a key role of the state was “to protect the public from terrorist acts” and that to do so, it was a necessity for Australia’s intelligence agencies “to operate in secret and have adequate powers and resources to do their jobs”.But he warned that such powers “must never be an alibi for abuse of power”, before going on to say that he had “grave misgivings” about some of the changes proposed in the bill, including “harsh penalties for disclosure of intelligence information, with no consideration given to a public-interest exemption”. The senator cited the case of Indian national Dr Mohamed Haneef, who was arrested in Brisbane in 2007 in connection with a failed Glasgow bomb plot. The case – bungled by the AFP according to the official inquiry that found Haneef was wrongly charged – stood out as an example of what could go wrong, said Mr Xenophon.“If this operation … had been a special intelligence operation … the details could not have been reported unless the reporter was willing to risk up to 10 years in prison.” “It should not be left to prosecutorial discretion whether a reporter should be tried in such a case. There must be a public interest exemption or, at the very least … public interest matters must be considered in the course of fixing a penalty.”Senator Xenophon added that ASIO’s powers to infiltrate innocent people’s computers to obtain covert access to targets, along with other cybersecurity issues, was an area that needed further safeguards and clarification.He also called for the establishment of a committee, independent from the executive arm of government, to oversee Australia’s intelligence services.In comparison to the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, Mr Xenophon said that Australia has the weakest oversight mechanisms – a situation that had evolved over a number years and was “almost a cultural issue”.last_img read more

Supervised injecting facilities save lives

first_imgIn what is certainly a significant change of position, the Victorian government announced on Tuesday the start of a two-year trial program to introduce a safe injecting room in North Richmond, as an attempt to halt the ‘epidemic’ of heroin-related deaths in the area. The initiative was announced by Premier Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Minister for Housing and Mental Health, Martin Foley. The facility will be based at the North Richmond Community Health Centre, which has been trying to get a program of this kind running for several years, building on a successful methadone program and a needle exchange that has run for two decades now. Neos Kosmos reached the CEO of North Richmond Community Health, Demos Krouskos, who offered valuable insight on the program and the potential benefits for the community.How did the North Richmond Community Health Supervised Injecting Facility come to be? This historic development is the result of decades of committed work from activists and organisations across the alcohol and drug sector. The North Richmond Community Health medically supervised injecting facility would not be happening if it weren’t for the hundreds of people across the years who have advocated for this change. As the organisation at the heart of North Richmond, we see the devastating impact of overdose every day. We see the trauma and grief it inflicts on family members, friends, and the entire community. In the past few years, it became obvious that this is a problem that is getting worse, not better. We knew a change was needed, urgently.We have worked with many people to pursue this change, including the Yarra Drug Health Forum, local residents, the state government, and organisations across Australia and internationally. What are the benefits of such a facility in regards to public health, safety, or even crime? Supervised injecting facilities save lives. We have the opportunity to combat the terrible overdose crisis that our community is experiencing. The facility is also expected to improve amenity and the environment for the local community, by moving drug use from outdoors into a controlled, medically supervised environment. After other medically supervised injecting facilities have opened, residents have reported a decrease in discarded needles. In Sydney, ambulance call-outs decreased by 80 per cent after the medically supervised injecting facility opened. Bringing drug use into a supervised environment will also reduce the potential trauma experienced by the local community, who may witness public drug use and overdose.What kind of preparation did you have to do to be able to go through with this project? Our staff have researched supervised injecting facilities intensively, travelling to Canada and Europe to observe other supervised injecting facilities and to determine the best possible model for our facility. We have committed a lot of time to research, partnerships, and advocacy, and will continue to do so over the coming months. What is the main challenge you expect to face? Our main challenge will be continuing to cope with North Richmond’s overdose crisis in the coming months, before the facility is launched. Tragically, we will continue to see overdoses and deaths in the community until the facility is opened. What has the experience with the methadone program and the syringe exchange program been? Our Alcohol and drug program is nationally recognised as the leading harm reduction program in Australia. We have strong relationships with the community here in North Richmond, coupled with excellence in medical practice and a holistic, non-judgemental approach to care. Our methadone and syringe exchange programs are fully integrated into our health centre, proving that we can support the full range of people who live in our diverse community. What goals have you set for the safe injecting facility? We aim to create a facility which not only saves lives, but improves safety and well-being for the entire community. Our goal is to create a service where people do not just inject, but where they can also access health services, and a pathway towards treatment and rehabilitation.Why is North Richmond the best suited area to host the first program of its kind in Melbourne? North Richmond has the highest level of need for a medically supervised injecting facility of any area in Melbourne. Richmond experiences the highest number of overdose deaths of any area in Victoria, with the majority of those deaths occurring in North Richmond. The level of public need is tremendous. North Richmond Community Health is the best suited place to host the facility for two main reasons: Firstly, it is located in close proximity to Richmond’s drug market. To get as many people off the street and into the facility as possible, it’s important that the facility is located where people already buy and use drugs. Secondly, we have proven that it is possible to integrate health services. Our model at North Richmond Community Health is about taking care of many different elements of a person’s mental and physical health, no matter what their circumstances are. What would you say to people fearing that such programs ‘normalise’ drug use? We understand people’s concerns. However, there is no evidence that medically supervised injecting facilities promote drug use, or are associated with an increase in drug use at all. In fact, we hope to provide people who currently use drugs with a pathway to treatment and rehabilitation.What is your response to the government changing their stance on this issue? We commend the government for listening to the community, and responding to their needs.How did you form your personal opinion on this issue? I have been lucky enough to be a part of the North Richmond community for many years. I have seen the resilience and optimism of this community, and I have seen the tragic loss of life which has become too common here. It has affected me profoundly, as it has affected everyone in this community. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

The Best Marvel Mobile Games for Hours of Heroic Fun

first_imgStay on target The Most Addictive Mobile Clicker GamesSimple Geek’s Guide to…Streaming Services It feels like all the Marvel mobile games are heading to space with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 storming its way through theaters this season. I’m not saying that most of these games were not already fun when they first released, but when the like of Rocket, Groot and Mantis show up; you know it’s going to be a party.Here is a look at some of the most fun to play Marvel games to hit your favorite mobile devices.Photo courtesy of ComicgamersassembleMARVEL: Puzzle QuestA few of you may remember the original Puzzle Quest that released on the PSP back in 2007. It blended your run of the mill Bejeweled bar game with RPG elements. This was a pretty cool concept at the time. Marvel was smart enough to use these elements to their advantage and combined their classic stories and characters with the match-three game type. The game is simple enough to follow: collect classic comic covers and characters. It’s a real treat! It’s not all Iron Mans and Storms either. For instance, I just unlocked Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur then added them to my roster. Adding these types of characters makes the experience much more rewarding and encourages players to learn more about the Marvel universe while playing a simple bar game. There are two main modes, story and multiplayer, where you fight against other players teams controlled by AI. Beating your friends as never been this rewarding! (iTunes – Google Play) Photo courtesy of ApkdlmodMARVEL: Future FightThis is the ultimate Marvel beat em up game fans have been asking for. Move around many different levels and tap enemies to pummel. Your character has a list of special abilities and moves he can use that recharge over time. But you are not alone in this fight. Up to three heroes can go on a mission at a time, and the more you use each character, the more you can level up their star rating. Attaching gear and claiming gifts will give your heroes major advantages for leveling. Skill sets and attacks are fun to perform, and there is a mediocre story to tie it all together. Luckily, Marvel has been supporting this one a bit more and has been giving Future Fight updates with each release of the studio’s films, supplying many more adventures. I don’t see this one going anywhere for a while. (iTunes – Google Play) Photo courtesy of AndroidcentralSpider-Man UnlimitedGameloft presents Marvel’s answer to killing off Temple Run. Join Spider-Man as he swings through the cell shaded streets of New York batting off the members of the Sinister Six. This is your typical Temple Run-style game with a few more punches. That’s right. In the middle of all your running and dodging, you can punch, kick and web up enemies to keep your combo going. As simplistic as this game is, it’s still a lot of mindless fun, and the cell shading is a nice touch. You’ll meet some fellow heroes along the way that will aid Spider-Man in his journey. Of course, Peter finds time to crack wise with each member he finds and is actually pretty humorous. (iTunes – Google Play) Photo courtesy of VulcanpostMARVEL: Tsum TsumDon’t count out the adorably cute and fuzzy Tsum-Tsum brand just yet! There awkward looking bodies stack up well in puzzle type games such as this one. Marvel Tsum Tsum is almost a connect the dots type game of sorts. Many different Marvel characters fall into a pod of sorts, and it is up to you to drag your finger over the ones creating in a row. It sounds simple enough, but when there is a single War Machine in the way of your Hulk streak, it can drive one to Hulk smash! This is the perfect mobile Marvel game for players who don’t want all the weight that comes with games like Puzzle Quest and just want to jump in toss fuzzy characters around for a bit. (iTunes – Google Play) Photo courtesy of Marvel Entertainment LLC.MARVEL: Zen PinballPinball games are some of my absolute favorites. Especially when your balls represent different Marvel characters! Play on animated boards such as the S.H.I.E.L.D. carrier, Avengers Tower and so much more. This was the one game that did cost actual currency. That is because each board you collect will run you a buck. Not bad if all you like to do is beat high scores in pinball all day. The purchasable boards range from Ghost Rider to Moon Knight. There are special challenges throughout each board and the animations included with them are a lot of fun to see activated. If only we could get real pinball machines based on these concepts! (iTunes – Google Play)Photo courtesy of Marvel Entertainment LLC.MARVEL: Contest of ChampionsThe Collector is on another mission to add the galaxies mightiest heroes to his ultimate collection. This time around it’s to have them battle it out in a contest of champions. You the player have been chosen to represent earth during this mighty battle. The concept behind Champions is pretty simple. Win and you shall be granted unlimited power. Loose and you’ll become part of the Collectors…well you know. This game is Marvels answer to Injustice’s mobile game. A tap away “beat em up” for the ages. With every fight you come closer and closer to unlocking more crystals that contain characters. Pulling off moves is a cinch. Tap for light attacks, hold and wait for the right moment to pull off heavy attacks. The game flows nicely on current mobile devices and has been getting updates regularly with new Marvel characters. Time to head to the Battlerealm to catch ’em all! (iTunes – Google Play)last_img read more