Finau brothers back in Utah for Nationwide event

first_imgSANDY — Since we last checked in with them, the Finau brothers have been traveling the world, wowing crowds in Europe with their prodigious driving skills.Now they’re back home hoping to show they can not only hit it long but also score well on the Nationwide Tour’s Utah EnergySolutions Championship at Willow Creek Country Club. The $500,000 72-hole tournament begins Thursday and runs through Sunday.The 17-year-old brothers — Tony turns 18 next week, Gipper turned 17 two weeks ago — are among the 156-player field that includes several other local golfers. Because the Finaus both turned professional earlier this summer, they have a chance to win the $90,000 first prize.The brothers, who live in Rose Park, got into the Scandinavian Masters thanks to Jesper Parnevik, who was so impressed with them when Tony played in the U.S. Bank tournament in Milwaukee that he arranged sponsor’s exemptions for them.As soon as they got to Sweden, Parnevik had them do some clinics on the driving range, mostly to show off their driving prowess.”People love to see the long ball,” said Tony.In one clinic, a large net was set up at the end of the range about 280 yards out, to keep balls from hitting houses beyond. The boys said John Daly, who also played in the tournament, wasn’t able to hit over the net.”Jesper made a pretty big deal out of us,” Tony said. “We hit a few balls and Jesper said, ‘All right guys, pull out the driver.”‘Gipper smacked his first drive over the net into the houses much to the delight of the crowd.”I hit one and — boom — it hit a house and then Tony hit one and — boom — it hit a house,” Gipper said.”After we hit the houses three or four times, people started coming out and Jesper said, ‘I told you these guys could hit the houses.’ It was pretty funny.”Apparently the houses were OK as the boys reported hearing no glass breaking or anyone calling the police on them.Both brothers missed the cut in Sweden that week and Tony was given an exemption to the KLM tournament in the Netherlands the following week. After starting with a 68, he shot a 77 to miss the cut. Despite not making money, the trip was worthwhile.”We learned a lot out there,” said Tony. “It’s a different game with different styles of shots. There are some key things we need to work on. It was definitely an eye-opener.”Both of the Finaus said their pro experience has been good so far and has helped them get past the intimidation factor. In fact, their fellow pros have been quite impressed with the Finaus’ game.”We used to watch players on the tour hit balls on the range,” said Gipper. “Now they stop to watch us on the range. So we started looking at it like, ‘Hey, maybe we can play with these guys.”‘Last year Gipper became the youngest player to make the cut at a Nationwide Tour event and the second youngest at a PGA Tour-sponsored event when he finished in a tie for 58th place.Gipper has gone back to West High, where he will finish up his senior year. Because he will be traveling also, he’ll have to do some of the work online.”My expectations are a little higher this year,” Gipper said. “Last year it was more like, ‘Wow I made the cut, this is fun.’ This year being a pro, it’s my job, so I want to do well.”This will be Tony’s first Nationwide event and he’s also hoping to do more than make the cut.”I’m hitting the ball well right now,” he said. “I’ll come out here and definitely try to win it.” After this week, the Finaus hope to play in more Nationwide events this year or perhaps some PGA Tour events later this month or in October. QUALIFIERS: Bad weather kept both qualifiers at Wingpointe Golf Course in Salt Lake and Glen Eagle Golf Course in Syracuse from finishing Tuesday.About 40 golfers must finish at Glen Eagle this morning while nine players are left at Wingpointe.Gary Woodland had the best score at Glen Eagle, a 9-under-par 63, while John Hayes and Michael Nicoletti both shot 65. Former Southern Utah golfer Kenny Ebalo shot 66, while former Utah State golfer Brett Black was in a group at 67.At Wingpointe, Will Dottley and Mike Sposa both shot 65, while Utah Open runnerup Ryan Ellis was in a group at 66. Utah Open champion Clay Ogden shot a 1-under 71 at Glen Eagle to miss qualifying. E-mail: sor@desnews.comlast_img read more

Pattaya Sports Round up – Friday July 22 – July…

first_img8:00 a.m. Diving with Mermaid’s Dive School.  Contact Mermaid’s Dive Center, tel. 038 232 219 – 20, email: mermaids@loxinfo.co.th8:00 a.m. – noon & 2 – 6 p.m. (Sat & Sun – Also Monday to Friday) Horseback riding at the Horseshoe Point Riding Academy, the biggest equestrian center in South-East Asia.  Show jumping, hacking, trail, dressage and classical dressage.  Training courses from beginners to advanced riders with English speaking instructors.  Leisure trail riding, group and private classes.  All levels of riders welcome.  Over 100 horses and ponies available.  Located on 1,500 acres of beautiful tropical garden land just outside Pattaya.  Free shuttle service available.  For more information: phone (+66) 3873 – 5050 (ext. 4016-18), fax (+66) 3873 – 4973 or email: ridingschool@thehorseshoepoint.com8:30 am. -10:00 am. International Players Academy meets every Sat. morning for Jr. Intermediate level Tennis at Ambassador City Tennis Courts. Visitors are welcome, just bring your tennis racket, ages range from 10-16. For more details call CJ on 086 086 2121Indoor Lawn Bowls Free at Coco Club every Saturday for school or college aged children from 11.00am – 2.00pm, with Male – English and Female Thai tutors.  Parents can sit at the bar and watch.  New champions needed!  Call Sue on 087 135 8357 or pop in to the club at Baan Amphur – signposted behind Phoenix Golf.12:30 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Softball plays slow pitch recreational pick-ups games every Saturday at the soccer stadium right behind the National Indoor Stadium on Chayapreuk 2 Road.  New players always welcome regardless of skill level, experience, age or time away from the game.  For more information and directions see the softball page at the Pattaya Sports Club website www.pattayasports.org or contact Dirk Brijs at dirk_brijs@yahoo.com  or 088-218-8148SundayBadminton players are invited to play 3 mornings a week at Mama Badminton Club on Soi Khao Noi, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday from 10am-12 noon. For more information, visit www.pattayasports.org/sports/badminton .The Amazing Sunday Golfers are a friendly group of average index who welcome new players.  Each Sunday they have friendly games on different courses with a meeting point at the course.  Contact Philippe at 082 546 0770 or email 2012tasg@gmail.com to be updated each week for the upcoming game.8:00 a.m. Diving with Mermaid’s Dive School.  Contact Mermaid’s Dive Center, tel. 038 232 219 – 20, email: mermaids@loxinfo.co.th3:00 p.m. Pattaya Jungle H3 meets every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month and departure is from the Lek Hotel on 2nd Rd at 3pm.  For more info please call Kai on 01 863 5095.Monday3.15 p.m. Pattaya Hash House Harriers: The club for drinking people with a running problem meets every Monday at 3:15 p.m. in Pattaya Third Road, in front of the Buffalo Bar close to soi Lengkee, and just down the road from the Boxing Roo. We depart at 3:30 p.m. sharp. More info at: www.pattayah3.com.TuesdayChess and Scrabble Club: every Tuesday 12pm – 5pm at Hoek-Van-Holland in Jomtien. Take Thappraya Road to intersection with Beach Road. Dong Tan Police sub-station is right there. Walk back towards Pattaya 10 meters along walking path. Hoek-Van-Holland is on the right, before the parking lot. Bring your own chess set and/or scrabble board. For more information please see website www.hoek-van-holland.com  – Everyone welcome.The Pattaya Chess Club meets every Tuesday evening from 6:30 p.m. onwards at Brauhaus on 2nd Road between Soi 7 and Soi 8. Learners and anybody who would like to play chess are most welcome. Boards and clocks are provided.Pattaya Ladies Netball Club: 7.30 pm every Tuesday at Fairtex Sports Club.  All ages and abilities are welcome.  100 baht per person.  Please email pattayanetballclub@gmail.com  to confirm or find us on Facebook – ‘Pattaya Ladies Tuesday Night Netball’Wednesday4.00 pm – Club Petanque Thailand plays Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.  The court is open for groups every day. New and bigger surface. Very good drainage as well as better lighting.  No membership fee. Find us at Soi Nernplabwan 100/2 Moo7, next to Sutawas Temple and small Banglamung Police station. Contact: 085 280 7182, fax 038 248 067, email: petanque.Th@gmail.com   (English, French, German, Scandinavian); (Thai & Chinese: 080 618 2831.)Thursday4.00 p.m. Pattaya Cricket Club practice nets at Thai Polo Club. All ages and abilities welcome. Please contact Simon at chairman@pattayacricketclub.com or visit the club website for more information and ground location: www.pattayacricketclub.com.7:00 p.m.  Pattaya Panthers Rugby training every Thursday night at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. New players are always welcome – we are a very sociable team! Please contact Damian McCoy on Telephone 086 111 2816, Adrien Simon 095 705 0822 or send email to info@pattayapanthers.com. FridayDFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya: Visitors using the group fitness membership can avail of the THB 2,000 offer for five visits to the gym after their membership has expired.  The offer includes unlimited use of DFiT facilities including tennis courts.  For more information, call 038-425611 ext. DFiT.2:00 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Bowling at PS Bowl on the top floor of Tops Supermarket at the junction of Central and Second Roads. Contact La at PS after 1:30 p.m.SaturdayPattaya Archery Club meets between 10am and 12 midday every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at our dedicated shooting range within easy reach of Pattaya, near the new railway road.  Beginners of all ages are welcome, and equipment and coaching are free.  For more information call Eric, the club President , on 089 535 1193 or visit www.pattayaarcheryclub.comOcean Marina Yacht Club invites experienced sailors and learners for racing weekends and funsail/training weekends.  The club has 5 star clubhouse facilities and a fleet of 25′ racing yachts available. www.omycsailing.com,  phone Kev Scott 087 825 0011.last_img read more

Clubs get an upgrade

first_imgBy Alana Mitchelson PAKENHAM and Berwick sport clubs have secured State Government funding to upgrade equipment in the latest round…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

‘Already better than Walcott and Sterling!’ – Arsenal fans LOVE Alex Iwobi

first_imgArsenal’s pre-season preparations ended in perfect style, beating Premier League rivals Manchester City 3-2 in Gothenburg.Dominating the play with some impressive attacking moves, the Gunners went behind against the run of play – Sergio Aguero scoring once again for the Citizens.However, a second-half fight-back started when Alex Iwobi scored an excellent equaliser. Theo Walcott, with his shooting boots on, netted the second after a lovely one-two, before Chuba Akpom rounded off the victory in the final five minutes by putting the ball in the empty net after Joe Hart had spilled a routine collection.Kelechi Iheanacho scored moments later to narrow the lead, but City were unable to fight back for the draw.It was a positive performance from Arsene Wenger’s men, and Iwobi really stood out. After a breakthrough season last term, fans want to see him feature more and more this year, and they were all impressed by the youngster on Sunday.We have collected some of the best reactions to Iwobi’s performance below… Alex Iwobi impressed against Manchester City 1last_img read more

New hockey rules in place

first_imgVALENCIA – USA Hockey’s newly implemented officiating rules, which emphasize changes designed to reduce physical contact and encourage skill, are expected to dramatically change the future course of the sport. But the changes will likely take some getting used to, and if last weekend’s Ice Station Valencia Labor Day tournament is any indication, that could take time. The most immediate impact of the rule changes is a dramatic increase in penalties, mostly for hooking and interference. At the Labor Day tournament, games averaged between 30 and 40 penalties, nearly twice as many as in typical games, Ice Station director of hockey operations Larry Bruyere said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los Angeles“It was tough on the eyes,” Bruyere said. “There were a lot of stoppages, and a lot of the games ran long.” The rules changes are outlined in an instructional video USA Hockey released titled “Points of Emphasis,” which highlights the new standards of play and rule enforcement guidelines. In the video, USA Hockey President Ron DeGregorio said the changes reflect enforcement of existing rules designed to reduce illegal impediments to skill and speed that officials have in past years had a relaxed attitude toward. DeGregorio said hard checking remains legal, but only when a player is properly positioned to issue such contact. “A greater emphasis will be placed on skating, puck possession and proper use of the body to establish proper position and a competitive advantage,” DeGregorio said in the video. Bruyere said officials at the tournament were quick to whistle players for illegal use of their sticks to impede a player’s progress, penalties that were simply not called in previous years. The new rules emphasis has coaches throughout the country scrambling to adjust. Bruyere, who coaches the Valencia Vipers Junior B 20-and-under amateur hockey team, said he’s spending extra time in practices working on killing and executing power plays in anticipation of penalty box overcrowding. “It’s a culture change,” Bruyere said. “It’s happening all over the country.” The USA Hockey video can be viewed online by searching “USA Hockey Points of Emphasis” at video.google.com. Champions: The Valencia Express Mites (8-and-under) B-team was among four Ice Station-based Labor Day tournament champions. Tournament MVP Garrett Foster scored the game-winning goal for the Express in a 3-2 victory over Aliso Viejo at the KHS tourney in Anaheim. Other Express standouts included defenseman Otto Endrezs and goalie Brandon McDonald. The Lady Vipers 14-and-under team, the Squirt (10-and-under) B team and the Midget (16-and-under) A team won their respective divisions at the Valencia tournament. gideon.rubin@dailynews.com (661) 267-7802160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Premier League gameweek 15: How the top flight table could change

first_imgIt’s the most wonderful time of the year when football is on almost every day for the month of December, so we’re back at it again in the Premier League.We’ve got 10 games to cast our eyes over and they could really shake up the table. Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move 7 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Arsenal players passionately celebrated Lucas Torreira’s goal against Spurs 7 MONEY Arsenal players passionately celebrated Lucas Torreira’s goal against Spurs Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury 7 Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars With several teams in the relegation battle getting vital wins in recent weeks, any positive results could really alter the outlook in the bottom half of the division.Meanwhile, it’s a similar story at the top with not only Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham swapping places regularly but the likes of Everton, Manchester United, Watford, Leicester City, and Bournemouth, too. 16. Cardiff CityHighest possible position – 14thLowest possible position – 20th15. Newcastle UnitedHighest possible position – 13thLowest possible position – 19th ADVICE Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card getty images – getty Leicester City stars Jamie Vardy and James Maddison celebrate scoring against Watford shining 7 huge blow 10. WatfordHighest possible position – 6thLowest possible position – 11th9. BournemouthHighest possible position – 6thLowest possible position – 11th8. Leicester CityHighest possible position – 6thLowest possible position – 11th 7 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions REPLY center_img Florin Andone nets the winner for Brighton Latest Football Stories But how can the Premier League table look at the end of gameweek 15? Using data from Sportsvisualized.com, talkSPORT.com reveals the highest and lowest potential position for each team at the end of this round of fixtures.You can see the results, below…20. FulhamHighest possible position – 16thLowest possible position – 20th19. BurnleyHighest possible position – 14thLowest possible position – 20th18. SouthamptonHighest possible position – 14thLowest possible position – 20th17. Huddersfield TownHighest possible position – 14thLowest possible position – 20th Brighton came from behind to beat 10-man Huddersfield 2-1 on Saturday Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ West Ham ended Newcastle’s good run 14. Crystal PalaceHighest possible position – 13thLowest possible position – 19th13. West HamHighest possible position – 11thLowest possible position – 15th12. Wolverhampton WanderersHighest possible position – 11thLowest possible position – 13th11. Brighton and Hove AlbionHighest possible position – 8thLowest possible position – 13th REVEALED 7. Manchester UnitedHighest possible position – 6thLowest possible position – 10th6. EvertonHighest possible position – 6thLowest possible position – 10th 5. TottenhamHighest possible position – 3rdLowest possible position – 5th4. ArsenalHighest possible position – 3rdLowest possible position – 5th 7 BEST OF no dice Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Gylfi Sigurdsson has been in fine form for Everton this season REVEALED RANKED 3. Chelsea Highest possible position – 3rdLowest possible position – 5th2. LiverpoolHighest possible position – 1stLowest possible position – 2nd 7 7 Liverpool players celebrate with match-winner Divock Origi 1. Manchester CityHighest possible position – 1stLowest possible position – 2ndlast_img read more

SATURDAY SIX THANKSGIVING SPECIAL: Six Reasons for Theme Park Fans to Give Thanks in 2019

first_img# 5 –  Epcot ForeverEpcot Forever is a jukebox musical for fans of classic Epcot, with music clips representing the park’s attractions from the years 1982 – 2005. Like most Disney nighttime shows, the soundtrack is combined with fireworks and other visual effects, all staged above Epcot’s World Showcase lagoon.If you have fond memories of this era of Epcot attractions, Epcot Forever is a mostly pleasant trip back in time. The soundtrack includes samples of everything from the original Epcot entrance music, Spaceship Earth’s Tomorrow’s Child, and the Tapestry of Nations parade. On the other hand, first-time Epcot guests might wonder what the song “Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit” has to do with anything they saw in today’s Epcot. (There’s enough of a connection to the Living with the Land boat ride to make sense, although that’s not where the song originated.)The music is accompanied by a good selection of colorful fireworks and lasers. A new visual effect uses illuminated kites, pulled by jet skis around the lagoon, to enhance the show. The kites change colors as the music changes, and even spout fireworks at one point. If you’re looking at online video of the show, note that this effect looks much better in person.The show has its faults: The use of child narrators infantilizes Epcot’s original purpose of celebrating imagination, enterprise, science, and technology. And the inclusion of “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin is the kind of corporate shilling that the original Epcot Center specifically resisted. Still, as a temporary show, and one that’s replacing the classic IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, Epcot Forever‘s visual effects alone make the show worth staying for.Epcot Forever as seen from the Japan Pavilion. (photo by Tom Bricker of the Disney Tourist Blog)Epcot Forever. (photo by @schmoofy)E-Ticket KITES. (photo by Blog Mickey) # 1 – Star Wars: Galaxy’s EdgeWhether it was the jaw-dropping moment of seeing the Millenium Falcon in person, the intimate experience of building your own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop, listening to DJ-Rex at Oga’s Cantina, or getting the coolest looking Coke bottle ever made, the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge brought a smile to the face of many Star Wars fans. The planet of Batuu rock work is among the best Disney has ever done, giving a sense of true awe when walking around the land. Ronto Wraps immediately became one of our favorite food items in all of WDW, while the dining experience at Docking Bay 7 reminded us of the great Satu’li Canteen in Pandora: The World of Avatar.We are mere days away from Rise of the Resistance opening in Florida. The addition of this game changing attraction will help make Galaxy’s Edge one of the most memorable lands in all of Walt Disney World.The Millenium Falcon. (photo by Rikki Niblett)“Chewie, we’re home.”SAT SIX editor in chief Megan Stump enjoys the Falcon with a half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder.Flying the Falcon is a dream come true for many guests. (photo by Daniel Germain)Kylo Ren’s ship. (photo by Megan Stump)Walk around character Rey. (photo by Megan Stump)DJ-Rex at Oga’s Cantina. (photo by Megan Stump)The Ronto Wrap is E-Ticket.Photos in Galaxy’s Edge at night can seem otherworldly. (photo by DisFlix killer The Schmoof) # 4 – Dark Arts at Hogwarts CastleA brief projection show similar to The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts show, this one is focused on the darker side of magic. Death Eaters are joined by evil creatures like Dementors and misunderstood ones like Thestrals, punctuated, of course, by the Dark Lord himself, Voldemort. While it’s always good to see a little attention paid towards “the bad guys,” the Dark Arts show’s biggest strength is the introduction of walk around Death Eaters to the Universal Orlando Resort. Before each Dark Arts showing, Death Eaters would terrorize Hogsmeade Village with a mini-show before interacting with Muggles.Death Eaters prepare to take over Hogsmeade, but the true villain in this photo is the guest on the right taking a video in portrait. (photo by Joe Matt)A Death Eater roams Hogsmeade Village. (photo by Seth Kubersky of The Unofficial Guides)The SATURDAY SIX’s own Megan Stump gets a photo with a Death Eater.The opening night of Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle. (photo by @bioreconstruct)Knockturn Alley’s Borgin and Burkes store gets a segment during Dark Arts. (photo by @bioreconstruct)Death Eater mask. (photo by @bioreconstruct)Fire from a dragon. (photo by @bioreconstruct)A shot of Dark Arts pyro as seen from Port of Entry. (photo by @bioreconstruct)# 3 – Sesame Street at SeaWorldSeaWorld Orlando was already a great park for kids, but the addition of Sesame Street was brilliant. There are plenty of rides themed to Sesame Street characters, a new parade, and a whole bunch of interactive elements to keep the young ones in your family busy. Adults young at heart will appreciate the great jokes throughout the land and a chance to take a picture with the characters we grew up with. Like the Dsiney Skyliner, we were also BLOWN AWAY with the overall quality of Sesame Street merchandise available as well!Sesame Street facades at SeaWorld. (photo by @bioreconstruct)Great details throughout the land. (photo by Megan Stump)Cookie Monster float in the parade. (photo by Megan Stump)Big Bird themed ride. (photo by Megan Stump)Cookie Monster merchandise. (photo by Megan Stump)Cookies!! (photo by Megan Stump)Photo op with Cooke Monster. (photo by Megan Stump)Big Bird. Double Secret Honorable Mention The Restaurants!2019 was ::chef’s kiss::Bigfire (Universal CityWalk)Bigfire in Universal CityWalk. (photo by Michael Carelli)Bigfire. (photo by Michael Carelli)Bigfire burger.(photo by Megan Stump)THEMED ICE. (photo by Megan Stump)Now THAT’S a S’mores dessert. (photo by Megan Stump)Outlets and hooks for purses at the bar. (photo by Megan Stump)Three Bridges (Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort)Three Bridges. (photo by Brandon Glover)You have our attention when using comic book pages in your restaurant’s theming. (photo by Brandon Glover)Tacos. (photo by Brandon Glover)Chicken biscuits. (photo by Brandon Glover)Churros. (photo by Brandon Glover)Takumi Tei (Epcot Japan Pavilion)Table setting for the kaiseki meal. (photo by Tessa Koten)Tea at Takumi Tei. (photo by Tessa Koten)Takumi Gyuniku, artisan beef. (photo by Tessa Koten) Share This!This week’s SATURDAY SIX is our annual Thanksgiving Special and takes a look at Six Reasons for Theme Park Fans to Give Thanks. 2019 was another “transition” year in the Florida theme park Universe, with Disney still lining up pegs for Magic Kingdom’s 50th anniversary in 2021, and Universal prepares for its third official theme park.  As is our tradition in this fine blog series, this Thanksgiving we are going to take a quick break from all the turkey, football games, and Black Friday pre-planning to count our blessings and thank the parks and resorts that we love so much. So, for one day only, we ask that all Disney and Universal fans put aside their differences and spend a brief moment appreciating all the wonderful things that we can share together, starting with…# 6 – The Disney SkylinerOne accident unexpected downtime aside, the Disney Skyliner is a wonderful addition to Walt Disney World. People love staying at the “monorail resorts,” and now we have “Skyliner resorts” with Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, and Art of Animation. Kids are going to love the fun wraps on many of the Skyliner gondolas, featuring a wide variety of Disney characters and brands. Adults are going to enjoy the birds-eye look at Disney property.It’s truly amazing the wide variety of transportation options guests have to experience when at the Vacation Kingdom. Monorails, boats, buses, Minnie vans, the Skyliner, and even horse-drawn carriage rides at some resorts! One nice surprise for us Disneyana collectors was the amount of really good Skyliner merchandise that arrived with the gondolas. Outside of the awesome monorail toy set, merchandise for Disney transportation vehicles is pretty weak. However the Skyliner came with a great selection of items; with t-shirts, buttons, and toys, including a Funko Pop.Disney Skyliner passes by Pop Century. (photo by Brandon Glover)Disney Skyliner looks at at the Disney Swan and Dolphin resorts. (photo by Brandon Glover)Disney Skyliner in action. (photo by Brandon Glover)Disney Skyliner passes by Art of Animation. (photo by Brandon Glover)Skyliner buttons. (photo by Erin Foster)center_img Honorable Mention – The new hotels!Disney went BIG when it came to hotels this year, literally. Gran Destino Tower is almost shocking to see when you turn into Coronado Springs for the first time. The good news is that Gran Destino is loaded with amenities, including a roof top bar and a club level lounge with incredible views of Walt Disney World property.Gran Destino Tower. (photo by Brandon Glover)View from Chronos Lounge at Destino with a million dollar view of Disney property. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Dahlia Lounge is a rooftop bar with an incredible look at a non descript coaster themed to India or whatever. (photo by Brandon Glover)You had me at Mickey shaped sugar cubes. (photo by Brandon Glover)While Disney used Gran Destino to cater to the high rollers in the convention crowd, Universal went the other way with the introduction of it’s first true “value” resort with Surfside Inn and Suites. Part of the Endless Summer Resort, Surfside will be joined by Dockside Inn and Suites in 2020. Surfside brings the option of staying at a Universal hotel to guests who before would stay at hotels on I-Drive to save money. Just minutes away from CityWalk via a dedicated bus, Surfside offers the early access to Universal parks (including Volcano Bay) that can be a huge asset when touring. Come for the affordable rooms, stay for the onsite Starbucks and fitness center… at a value resort!!!Surfside Inn and Suites. (photo by Michael Carelli)Surfside lobby. (photo by Michael Carelli)Surfside food court. (photo by Michael Carelli)Starbucks! (photo by Michael Carelli) # 2 – Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike AdventureIn years past, one big difference between Universal and Disney was how well themed WDW was within lands while Uni was more a “collection of stuff.” In the past few years alone Universal has made major strides in making their parks more cohesive, whether it be Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon in the New York section at Universal Studios Florida, or Hagrid’s in Hogsmeade Village. As good as a ride as it was, Dragon Challenge stood out like a sore thumb in Hogsmeade. Hagrid’s fixes that in a major way and possibly makes Hogsmeade pound for pound the best overall land in any Florida theme park, and that includes WDW.Now, for the attraction itself. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a high-speed roller coaster ride through the Forbidden Forest. Guests will experience a twisty, turvey coaster experience that replicates the motions of a flying motorbike. The ride elements and sensations are unlike any coaster in Orlando.Guests are students in the Care of Magical Creatures class, taught by the friendly Hogwarts Keeper of Keys, Rubeus Hagrid. Hagrid commandeered the forgotten buildings of Hogwarts for the breeding and storage of his magical creatures. Here Hagrid experiments to create a new beast, the blast-ended skrewt, and wants to take us on a field trip to observe them.During the preshow we find Hagrid also roped in Arthur Weasley to assist us with travel. Arthur gives the iconic Sirius Black motorbike a full Pimp My Ride treatment. Full repairs? Check. Dragon breath boost? Check. Geminio spell to make dozens of copies? Check. After market DVD play and plasma TV? Ok, not that much. After a quick spell by Hagrid we are soon on our way.On the way to board, guests see fairy nests, laboratories, and an assortment of magical eggs. Thankfully Universal reworked large portions of the old Dragon Challenge queue, significantly shortening a half-marathon length queue. Like Forbidden Journey and Hollywood Rip Ride Rock-It guests board the ride vehicles on a moving walkway. Guests riding the motorbike stand on the right-hand side while boarding and the guests in the side-car on the left.Once strapped in Hagrid quickly puts the pedal to the metal, blasting out of the thestrals stables and into our first launch. What differentiates this coaster from others is how the ride sensation feels like guests are actually riding a flying motorbike. The ride vehicle bucks, drops, and turns like its driven by a lead-footed teen learning how to drive a manual transmission. Yet unlike a driving instructor you will be thrilled as you experience what coaster-heads call lateral forces and negative g-forces (airtime).While on your class trip guests will fly through ancient ruins, past the giant three-headed dog Fluffy, and stall mid-air before falling backwards. While trying to recover from stalling out guests find themselves in the Forbidden Forest where devil snare entangles their bikes. A quick spell loosens the plant’s grip and guests free-fall 17 feet to safety. If you feel like a confundus charm was cast on you after this description, it means guests should hold on and experience the wildest ride in Scotland.Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure is a dragon-breath blast of a ride from start to finish, and is the most unique rollercoaster in Orlando. The ride sensations of flying through a forest combined with amazing set pieces make this a top five ride at Universal, and possibly THE best ride for many.Hagrid. (photo courtesy of the Universal Orlando Resort)Fun details in the queue include this post it note with an important question from Arthur Weasley. (photo by Hunter Underwood)Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure. (photo by Michael Carelli)Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure. (photo by Michael Carelli)Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure. (photo by Michael Carelli)Aerial view of Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure. (photo by @bioreconstruct)The opening few weeks and months of Hagrid’s motorbike were filled with challenges, but thankfully the ride was so incredible that everyone who rode it could forgive the problems. So there you have it: Six Reasons Theme Park Fans Should Be Thankful in 2019! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).Remember when the tails were taken off Slinky Dog Dash? The SAT 6 remembers…(art by Brian Cooper)last_img read more

SA’s budding biotech industry

first_img5 January 2004By international standards, South Africa’s budding biotechnology industry is small. But a national audit has found that the industry has “enormous potential” for growth and investment.The audit, funded by the department of science and technology and the Egoli BIO Life Sciences Incubator, indicates that South Africa has a “pipeline of potential new products and processes in the research and development stage”.It identifies 106 companies participating in biotechnology activities, 47 of which are classified as “core” biotechnology companies solely involved in biotech enterprises.“The fact that there are already 47 biotech companies that have established themselves with very little support gives SA the basis on which to build a much bigger industry”, Bioventures chief executive Heather Sherwin told Business Day newspaper. Bioventures is South Africa’s only biotechnology venture capital fund.The audit found that total spending on biotechnology research and development exceeded R290-million during 2002, while revenues for 48% of products and services in the local biotechnology industry came to R368-million during the same period.A global audit by Ernst & Young found that there were about 600 publicly traded biotechnology companies worldwide at the end of 2002, with a research and development expenditure of US$22-billion. The firms reported revenues of $41.3-billion.Sherwin says it is likely to be some time before local biotech firms start listing on the AltX exchange – SA’s new parallel market for small- and medium-sized companies – let alone on the JSE Securities Exchange main board. According to Sherwin, biotech companies need to have an operating profit greater than R8-million before they can list on AltX. She says only 20% of SA biotech firms have revenue in excess of R10-million.One successful biotech venture is Cape Town-based Synexa Life Sciences. The company specialises in the production of complex “molecular tools that help elucidate the cellular mechanisms that cause disease, enabling the development of new therapeutics.”Synexa chief executive Justin Devine says the creation of a successful biotech company is driven by passion, planned convergence of a world-class team, and products/services that hold a sustainable competitive advantage. “In the right combination, these factors will attract funding at the right time”, he says.Paul Abrahams, chief executive of eGoli BIO, says early stage financing opportunities for local biotech companies are available but are extremely limited because biotechnology is “one of the most difficult industries to understand and therefore perhaps the riskiest”.South Africa also does not currently have a network of “angel investors” – like in the United States – who have deep pockets and are prepared for high-risk and potentially high returns.The challenge, according to the audit, is to take advantage of the opportunities for the development of niche markets in which South African stakeholders can compete on a global scale.This can be facilitated by creating an “enabling environment” that allows stakeholders to maximise the benefit derived from the potential of biotechnology, while minimising the possible risks to the environment and human health.Abrahams advises biotech start-ups to:Understand the perceptions of seed capitalists.Be prepared for scepticism – SA investors are conservative.Explain the biotechnology venture fully to potential investors.Have outstanding management capabilities within the company – not only as scientists.Secure a large and growing market.Have products/services that can be bought to market to generate some income.Have technological backup to give the project a sustainable competitive advantage.Protect intellectual property.BiopadSouth Africa’s bid to commercialise biotechnology recently received a shot in the arm when the government allocated R250-million over two years towards the Biotechnology Partnership for Africa’s Development (Biopad).In addition, the department of science and technology allocated R400-million for the establishment of three regional Biopad biotechnology innovation centres, in accordance with its national biotechnology strategy. The first centre was launched in Johannesburg in March this year. The others will be in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.Biopad was initiated earlier this year as a collective response, by a community of biotechnologists and other professionals, to the challenges posed by the varied needs of the region and the continent.According to the Biopad website, the aim of the initiative is to put South Africa among the world leaders in the application of biotechnology, in so doing “stimulating economic development, contributing to job creation, and building world-class skills and technology platforms to sustain and continue development”.Through a close relationship created between the eGoli BIO incubator, small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) are nurtured and prepared for commercialisation. External professionals with expertise in finances, marketing, management and business are used to assist the SMMEs.The centres will serve as nuclei for the development of biotechnology platforms, from which a range of businesses offering new products and services can be developed. The centres will promote research and development, entrepreneurial services, technology, intellectual property management and business incubation.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Used for Fraudulent Activities

first_imgTags:#Features#Trends#web Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has fallen prey to social media spammers and it is now full of requests to spam bookmarking services for pennies per link. Although these HITs may stop short of being “fraud” in the legal sense of the word, they are certainly dishonest and unsavory. In addition to these spam bookmarking requests, we’re also seeing HITs for Diggs, Stumbles, Slashdots, etc. of spammers’ web pages and web sites.In case you’re unfamiliar, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourced marketplace for tasks. A person needing work done can set up a HIT (human intelligence task) – the small job they need done. Others come along to perform the HITs, earning micro payments along the way. In this way, businesses, developers, and other individuals have access to an affordable, scalable workforceThe Dark Side to Mechanical TurkUnfortunately, it appears that the convenience of the Turk marketplace has some appeal to social media spammers, who are now using the site to earn Diggs, bookmarks, and other social recommendations they do not deserve. Here’s an example: Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts sarah perez A search for “bookmark” on MT today displays 48 results (at the time of writing) where spammers are requesting social bookmarking of their web site. Search for “digg” and you’ll find people paying for Diggs. Of course, whenever there is a system in place (like social media) that can help drive traffic to a web site, there will be those people who use it to generate traffic for their spam sites. But why are they able to use Amazon Mechanical Turk to do so? Shouldn’t Amazon police the Turk to shut down these spam accounts? Mechanical Turk Still Has Promise, Despite SpammersHowever, this doesn’t mean that Mechanical Turk doesn’t hold any value – it’s still an innovative and useful tool for many. In fact, members of the HCI community (Human Computer Interaction) have begun to use Turk for userresearch studies with great success. This work has inspired others like open source advocate, Chris Messina, to do the same. He plans to use Turk for usability studies on OpenID and OAuth. Since the HITs are spread out among many, the cost of performing these studies is greatly reduced. Being able to crowdsource research is a great way that MT can be used today, and one that will have a big impact on the future, too. Thanks to Brynn Evans, a graduate student in the Department of Cognitive Science at University of California, San Diego for discovering this and thanks to open source advocate Chris Messina for sending it along to us.center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Photo courtesy of Brynn EvansAnyone who uses Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has no doubt come across similar HITs posted by spammers. For example, this guy is requesting someone create 29 social bookmark accounts from 29 sites: A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Facebook Confirms Hiring Famous iPhone and Sony Hacker, GeoHot (George Hotz)

first_imgRelated Posts sarah perez George Hotz, also known as “GeoHot” on the Internet, is now working at Facebook, the company confirms. Hotz is best known for both his iPhone hacking skills and as the person who jailbroke and reverse engineered Sony’s PlayStation 3, leading to legal battles. In April, Sony announced it reached a settlement with Hotz, with Hotz agreeing to a permanent injunction against publishing any further code.The following month, Hotz was hired at Facebook. Hacker’s New Day JobReportedly, Hotz began work at Facebook as a software engineer in May 2011 and his first day was May 9.  A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed the hire but did not provide any other details regarding Hotz’ position or duties.The news was reported by TechUnwrapped and others over the weekend, citing an interview with Chronic-Dev Team member Joshua Hill (aka “P0sixninja on Twitter). The Chronic-Dev Team, for those unaware, is a group of developers who work to release software for jailbreaking iPhones and other iOS devices.In a video interview (see embed below), Hill discussed the upcoming jailbreakers’ convention known as MyGreatFest, During the chat, Hill also mentioned that he recently challenged Hotz to find an exploit for the iPad 2, but Hotz turned him down due to his current employment at Facebook, as well as his desire to escape the limelight after his legal troubles with Sony.Additional confirmation came from Gabe Rivera, founder of the tech news aggregator Techmeme. He did a little sleuthing of his own and discovered that Hotz had announced his employment at Facebook via his Facebook profile. According to this post (viewable by Hotz’ Facebook friends and network only), he began in May and revealed the news to friends in June. Facebook has yet to officially confirm Hotz’ role with the company, only his hire, but speculation has it that he may be involved with Facebook’s mobile efforts, specifically its upcoming iPad app. The New York Times reported earlier this month that the iPad app, in development for nearly a year, may only be weeks away from release. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img Tags:#Facebook#news#NYT#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more