Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations

One of the most successful and respected actors in Hollywood has now turned into the most resented following multiple sexual harassment allegations. The star of the popular Netflix series House of cards, Kevin Spacey, has been dropped by his publicist, talent agency, and some of his biggest roles.

Anthony Rapp, an American actor known for originating the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway musical Rent, released a statement last month accusing Spacey of sexually harassing him in 1986, when Rapp was 14. Spacey’s response described the event as “deeply inappropriate drunken behavior”. Rapp’s statement was followed by many more accusations, including multiple young men from the not-for-profit London theatre where Spacey was artistic director for more than 10 years. “It seems the only requirement was to be a male under the age of 30 for Mr Spacey to feel free to touch us” wrote Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos, who often starred in plays at the theatre. “There are a lot of us that have a ‘Kevin Spacey story’.”

American film maker Tony Montana claims he was left with PTSD for 6 months after Spacey forcefully grabbed his crotch at an LA bar, and later followed him to the men’s washroom. British barman Daniel Beal has accused Spacey of flashing him 

 

outside of a hotel in Sussex when Beal was 19, and later giving him a £5000 watch to try to silence him.

Following these allegations, Spacey’s successful career has been shattered. The sixth season of House of cards has been suspended until further notice, and Spacey has been dropped as the recipient of the unique International Emmy Founders Award.

Successful Hollywood producer and former film executive Harvey Weinstein has also begun to witness the end of his career after sexual harassment and rape allegations from numerous women. In a recent New York times article, it was revealed that Weinstein has been paying off victims of his harassment and abuse for decades.

This has sparked over 70 women to share their stories of Weinstein’s misconduct towards them, including actresses Lupita Nyong’o, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Cara Delevigne. As stated by the New York Times: “Accounts of Mr. Weinstein’s conduct seem to follow a common narrative; women reported to a hotel for what they thought were work reasons, only to discover that Mr. Weinstein, who has been married for most of three decades, sometimes seemed to have different interests”.  

Harvey Weinstein has been fired by the board of his production company, The Weinstein Company, and the company itself has been dropped as a producer of many upcoming films.

 

Thankfully we live in a time when we are beginning to shed light on serious issues in our society, and hopefully moving towards better lives for everyone.

B.C man runs for Zimbabwe’s presidential race

[above] Richard Kanyangu

Zimbabwe a country full of many prized natural resources, is one of the worst performing countries out there. Mainly because of it’s corrupt, inefficient government. Which is why B.C man Richard Kanyangu has decided to take this into his own hands. He left Zimbabwe in 1995 to study in the UK, now he is in Kamloops, and working as a nurse and pastor. He says that he spent too much time waiting for change and that “We’ve stood on the sidelines for too long hoping for the situation to change itself, but after 20 years of doing that, I’ve come to the realization that that is going to take someone like me to get involved in the process if we’re going to see anything good come out of the country.”

Richard’s competitor is none other than Mugabe, being the leader of the nation since its recognition in 1980. His policies have led to the 2009 hyperinflation that basically broke down the economy. Bring a promising nation towards nothing. Kanyangu believes it’s time for the rest of the world to get involved and help the people, quoting “We require and hope that out of this, the international community will put a mandate on whoever becomes the next president …  to actually allow international observers at the next elections,” and to  “make sure that at the end of the day the elections are free and fair and that whoever is in power is in power because of the mandate given to them by the people, democratically.”

He hopes to spread word of himself to millions of people, however the chances of that are very slight, as he has limited money and as Mugabe controls all media the hopes to appear there are also gone. However he states “We have people on the ground with us who are hoping to mobilize and get the word around”. He will be leaving for Zimbabwe in June, and staying there during the run-up to the election. Will he complete his quest to unseat Mugabe, or will he fail due to lack of resources, we can only wait to know.

World Barista Championship 2017 (WBC)

This past weekend (Saturday November 11, Sunday November 12), over 60 competitors from 58 nations all over the world competed in the World Barista Championship in Seoul, Korea. An international competition for those who make coffee their passion, this was none of your typical Starbucks coffee. These professionals can work up to 60 hour weeks leading to a competition, where participants have 15 minutes to prepare four espressos, four cappuccinos/milk drinks, and four signature drinks for judges.

 

During this time, they are judged intensively in many different categories, such as their confidence, style and ease, as well as how they explain their drinks to the judges and if they finish under the allotted time or not. A tiny spill, or not enough of an explanation on a drink served? Points docked. Stumble with a few words, or presentation a few seconds more than 15 minutes? More points docked. Not to mention the quality of the drinks themselves. Certain taste notes, flavor profiles, and aromas are critical, and even the slightest mistake in anything can result in disaster (point wise). If the participant doesn’t explain to the judges how he/she wants them to drink the presented coffee, guiding them through the experience, he/she can lose many valuable points. They are even judged on what music they play in the background and what they wear. Presentation is everything.

 

This year, Canadian Ben Put came in fourth overall, this being his fourth WBC. Put introduced a geisha flavour profile based presentation, exploring the concepts of processing and how it changes the coffee.

 

The World Barista 2017 Champion is Dale Harris from the United Kingdom. He did his presentation on the aromatic compounds of coffee, and how they affect the ways we see coffee.

 

If you want to watch some of the competitors and their presentations, you can check out this link:

 

 

Sources:

Japan Launches the 4th Michibiki satellite

On October 10, Japan has launched its 4th Michibiki satellite as part of the QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System). The satellites loop over Japan and Australia, allowing uninterrupted coverage of the area, and engineers plan to switch to this system in April. The new Japanese GPS can locate devices with a very high accuracy (within a few centimeters), while the commonly used U.S. GPS has an accuracy of a few metres.

 

The QZSS project uses multiple satellites placed around the zenith of Japan, allowing them to pinpoint location much more accurately in urban or mountainous areas. Four GPS satellites are needed to determine a position, and because of skyscrapers and mountains, the signals can receive some interference. This causes some issues with the navigation system, which is not only used for cars, but also air traffic, monitoring, weather forecasting and earthquake detection (very necessary in Japan). This will also improve the range of GPS tracking and navigation.

 

The satellites will orbit in a figure-8 pattern, and upon the project’s completion, it is estimated that 8 satellites will be available at any time when combining the new satellites with the previous GPS system. Now with 4 Michibiki satellites operational, the QZSS “constellation” will have reached its operating capacity, and will become operational in 2018. In the future, further plans will include a total of 7 satellites being placed by 2023.

Hong Kong Activist Sentenced For Throwing Sandwich At Former Leader

On Tuesday October 31st, Hong Kong politician and activist Avery Ng Man-yuen of the League of Social Democrats was found guilty in court for throwing a tuna fish sandwich at former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying. The incident occurred at a polling station on the legislative election day, September 2016, when Ng, on his way to vote, attempted to throw what he described as a “smelly fish sandwich” at Leung, although he missed and instead hit a police officer, officer Lau Wing-kwan, who later noted that it left brown stains on his vest.

Ng had brought two sandwiches to the polling station, one for his breakfast, and one what he called a reminder to Leung that the poor of the city couldn’t even afford such a meal some days. He claimed that he’d planned to hand Leung the sandwich, but when blocked by police, he’d decided to throw it, expecting Leung to catch it. He also added that Leung’s “very smug expression” had invited him to “bring it on” and hurl the sandwich. Leung testified that he felt panic when the sandwich was being thrown.

Ng has been sentenced three weeks in prison, but was released on bail pending an appeal. Judge So Wai-tak said the sentence was to discourage the use of violent means to protest against government policies, but that he acknowledged the fact that as the weapon was a sandwich, it justified a shorter sentence.

Expressing outrage over the three week sentence, Ng’s colleague Leung Kwok-hung told reporters that he was hoping to do an experiment and “buy 1,000 sandwiches to see how much they will hurt when thrown at a person.”

Hurricane Season in the Atlantic

This storm season in the atlantic ocean was one of the worst ever recorded in history. It has claimed the lives of over 250 people, and has caused over 200 billion dollars in damage. This hurricane season, we have had one tropical depression (<62km/h), eight tropical storms (63-117km/h), one category 1 (118-153km/h), two category 2s (154-177km/h), one category 3 (178-208 km/h), two category 4s (209-251km/h), and two category 5s (>252km/h). Out of all of these storms, the one with the highest death toll of 132 was class five hurricane Irma, with most of the deaths in Florida. The storm with the highest damage was class five hurricane Maria causing over 91 billions dollars in damage.

The hurricane season started in late April which was must earlier than was predicted. It was not to “really” start (class four+ hurricanes)  until class four hurricane Harvey hit Texas in late August, blowing up all over the news. This was immediately preceded by class five hurricane Irma, class four Jose, and class five Maria to top off all the major storms this season. Irma was the largest this year, and has been the largest storm ever to form over the atlantic since the infamous hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

There is good news however. With the coming need for resources organizations and charities have come together to donate everyday needs to help all those affected by this treacherous hurricane season. Also, more early hurricane detection technologies are being produced to help protect more people from these deadly storms. We can only hope that next year won’t be as bad.

Black Death plague in Madagascar

Nearly every year, Madagascar has a plague outbreak. This year’s is said to be more concerning than normal, as there are more infections than normal. This outbreak is a strain of the Black Death, which has killed 25 million people in Europe during the 14th century. There have been around 680 infections, and 57 deaths.

The black death is a disease that is spread by a bacteria called Yersinia Pestis. This could be spread through air, or through infected rat and flea bites. Both of these are very common, so the disease could spread quickly.

There have been more than 1300 people dead in Africa, where 9 countries nearest Madagascar have warnings.

This relates to our science classes right now, since we talked about the Black Death and played a game related to it.

Sources:

https://www.infoplease.com/world/2017-current-events/october-2017-current-events-world-news

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2017/10/black-death-plague-emerges-in-madagascar-kills-124.html

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4765804/plague-black-death-spread-madagascar-warning-nine-british/

http://www.history.com/topics/black-death

 

Whitecaps 0-0 Sounders

After thumping the San Jose Earthquakes five to nothing the Vancouver Whitecaps got to go play the Seattle Sounders in a play-off match using aggregate. Which is when both teams get to play a home game and whoever is leading after those totals of the games are added up advances if the total of the goals between the two games are equal then whoever scores the most away goals advances. I was pretty excited to go to this game because the Whitecaps game against San Jose was the Whitecaps first playoff win ever. The fans were super excited and the atmosphere was great. It was funny the fact that the visitors supporting section was quarantined off, the seats around it were covered in tarps.

The reason that there was no goals scored by the Vancouver Whitecaps was obvious the fact just was they weren’t aggressive enough and they didn’t press as much as they should have. Admitted this was their home game so maybe they were just trying to not concede away goals, because after all if they draw on November Second with a score that is not 0-0 they will advance to the conference finals against the winner of  the Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo. I personally noticed some things that I think that the Whitecaps should work on. First off our only striker was five foot seven, every single time we sent the ball up the Sounders defender would jump up and head the ball away. Every single time that Vancouver had the ball they made a lob pass, but their striker just couldn’t get it because of his height. Next Number 20 on the Whitecaps Brek Shea could not make a single play including one in the fortieth minute when he should have knocked one in from a yard away but ended up firing his shot away from goal. He kept giving up possession and blew a few more chances after that, my brother and I counted he made two completed passes, which is horrendous for a midfielder.

I do hope that they do better on Thursday because Seattle was not as good as they could have been and are easily beatable. They don’t have the strongest attack (admitted our defense is not great either) but now that we won’t hold back or play safe to prevent them from scoring I think we will do well. If we make the changes that are necessary we can destroy the sounders.

Alas one thing that might lead to our downfall would be the fact that the Whitecaps won’t have their home crowd behind them yelling: “you fat bastard,” (during the other team’s goal kick), “who are you?” (when the commentator reads out the names of the players on the opposition), and let’s not forget my personal favourite “ref you suck,” (when the referee makes a bad call or just a call they don’t like). Though this can be reversed if some of the Southsiders come in and cheer on our ‘Caps hopefully to Conference and maybe to even Cup glory.

The Investigation of the Betrayal of Anne Frank

While everybody may be focusing on the breaking news story of the devastating Las Vegas shooting or the deaths of certain famous singers, there is another news story that you may not have heard about.

A retired FBI agent has recently opened up a new investigation into the betrayal of Anne Frank. Even after 73 years, Vince Pankoke is determined to solve the case. He launched a cold case investigation along with over a dozen other forensic experts and historians to dive deeper into the unexplained question of who betrayed Anne Frank’s hiding place?

Pankoke states that he’s not trying to point fingers or make an arrest; it’s simply just a fact-finding mission.

The investigation is being backed by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which has granted Pankoke’s team access to its archives.

The researchers will use modern investigative technology and techniques to analyze data and establish new leads. The team has already recreated the scene on the day of the Franks’ arrest, using actors.

The team will also work with historians along with some law enforcement, including behavioral analysis and criminal profiling.

This investigation will be filmed throughout its many stages. Pankoke was originally commissioned to review the cold case by Thjis Bayens, a Dutch filmmaker, and Pieter Van Twisk, a Dutch journalist.

Anne and her family went into hiding in the attic of her father Otto’s company Opteka on June 12, 1942. Two days after that and onward to August 1, 1944, anne Frank would chronicle life inside the attic in her diary, which would become one of the most complete first-hand accounts of a Holocaust victim.

The original occupants of the attic were Anne, her older sister Margot, and their parents, Otto and Edith. Three members of the van Pels family – Hermann, Auguste, and their son Peter – and Fritz Pfeffer, a German dentist, moved into the attic later in 1942.

On August 4, 1944, a group of police and security officers entered the attic and arrested all the occupants. Out of the seven occupants, only Otto survived.

After the war ended, Otto devoted a lot of his life to the publication of his daughter’s diary. He also wanted an investigation into his family’s betrayal.

Otto believed that his family was betrayed by Wilhelm van Maaren, an Opteka worker. But there was no convincing evidence against van Maaren and he was dismissed after a second police investigation in 1963.

The German security services known as the Sicherheitsdienst, kept detailed accounts of the arrests made but it had been believed that the accounts of the Franks’ arrest were destroyed in a British bombing raid in 1944.

Pankoke stated that he had found some documents he was told didn’t exist. Some of them are fire-damaged or water-damaged and are in technical military German so it will take a while to decipher. But they have found lists of names of Jews that were arrested after being betrayed

Throughout the decades, there have been multiple theories about the Franks’ betrayal. Nearly 30 suspects have been named during previous investigations.

The Dutch Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies stated in 2003 that there was no irrefutable evidence against the four most important suspects on the list.

Another theory in 2016 hypothesized that the arrest could have been less betrayal and more coincidence. The Anne Frank house even published the findings of a two-year study, which implied that the raiding party may have been looking for something else when they stumbled upon the attic’s occupants.

Pankoke and his team will follow these leads to get to the bottom of this case. He hopes to crack the case by August 4, 2019, 75 years to the day of Anne Frank’s betrayal and arrest.

Sources

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Retired-FBI-agent-opens-new-investigation-into-Anne-Franks-betrayal-506610

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/oct/02/ex-fbi-agent-opens-cold-case-review-into-who-betrayed-anne-frank

Neighbours sued for copying house design

A couple in Toronto designed their home, and some neighbours have allegedly copied the design, and the owners of the first house became very, very, very upset.

They said that it was an attempt to devalue the original property, and to increase value of the new building. The only reasonable option was obviously to sue over a building that resembles your own. The first person to make a lean-to or a tent probably wouldn’t have sued for copyright, but you know.

The owners of the first building, located on Strathearn Rd  have sued the offending house owners for $2.5 million, with an additional $20,000 for copyright.

Their neighbours located on Vesta Dr have said that their home was created based off tudor stone cottages, and said those had been around for awhile, were not copyrightable, and that they did nothing wrong. The court couldn’t prove either case, so they have settled outside of court, one would hope.

Source↴

http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2017/10/05/couple-sued-neighbours-house-renovated-to-look-like-theirs.html