Real stupid questions about artificial intelligence

first_imgReal stupid questions about artificial intelligenceSpirit AI’s Emily Short says it’s more important than ever for the press and public to understand what AI is, and what it can do Brendan SinclairManaging EditorWednesday 21st March 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareThe Game Developers Conference AI Summit concluded Tuesday evening with a rant session, a rapid-fire series of nine quick talks from various AI experts given a few minutes each to rail against whatever bugged them about the current state of the field.The rants ranged from practical advice (iterate, show don’t tell) to wish lists (games that took advantage of Internet of Things devices, more descriptive labels for jobs in the increasingly diverse and fractured AI space), but arguably the most topical rant was that of Spirit AI character engine product manager Emily Short.Short’s rant was focused on “Stupid Questions About AI”. She works on interactive characters with modelled knowledge and feelings, she said, so she finds herself in lots of conversations with members of the public, players, and press that start “from a difficult, or possibly even stupid, space.””I get questions like, ‘Does the AI really understand me?’ Well, you tell me how you think human understanding works, and then I’ll tell you if I think the AI does that. ‘Can I hurt the AI’s feelings?’ Well, your interactions could trigger a mode representing sadness, so does that count? ‘Does the AI ever do something you didn’t expect?’ The answer of course is yes, because it could have bugs, and they’re never cool with that answer!”But the big question that Short focused on for most of her rant was ‘Can the NPC catch you in a lie?’ The answer is yes, she said, considering there are simple branching narrative games where NPCs respond to a specific deceptive dialog choice by calling the player out on it.”But that’s clearly not what the asker meant at all,” Short said. “What they mean is something more like this.””We should really push back on bad questions from journalists however we can, because now more than ever, it’s important for the general public to understand better what AI is actually for, and what it can actually do” Short then detailed the necessary underpinnings a game would need to create the scenario they’re asking about. It would need model states of the world, so there’s a certain objective truth to things. Then it would need an NPC knowledge model of the world, then an NPC model of what other NPCs and the player character know of the world, an NPC model of conversation and how their statements relate to the NPC’s knowledge of the truth and its model of the player’s model, an inference engine to determine the implications of all those models, a narrative model to discard the 99.9% of the instances where the NPC catches you in a lie that’s too boring to argue about, and a social engine to model when and how the NPC should confront you about your lie.”Now, make all of that authorable. And make it run on any machine, ever,” Short said, adding, “Somewhere between those two things is the good version of this system. But ‘Can NPCs detect lies?’ is a lazy question, and it leads to lazy formulations of systems. Because even if you did somehow build the hard version of this, and optimize it, and write an authoring tool for it, it would still not actually be good enough to write a good game with.”Even if someone rigorously conceived a system complex enough to capture all of that, whoever is supposed to be making content would that would be having to learn how to use it. A good AI system is an instrument on which developers create art, Short said, but the people making content on any complex system are having to learn it as if they were musicians handed a newly-invented instrument.So “Can the NPC catch you in a lie?” is a lazy question. And that’s fine, Short said, coming from a random person at a cocktail party who’s just trying to make small talk and understand what it is an AI developer does.”It’s a little bit less fine if you’re being asked questions of this general nature by journalists,” Short said. “And in my opinion, we should really push back on bad questions from journalists however we can, because now more than ever, it’s important for the general public to understand better what AI is actually for, and what it can actually do. But there are lots of ways we actually do this to ourselves.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games The producer version of the same question is, “How soon can we have NPCs with procedural backstory?” It’s tough to answer that precisely because that could actually be any of a million things, Short said, and there need to be more details conveyed before a proper answer can be given. A better approach for producers would be to center the questions around the player, because that’s where the complexity is. In the case of the question about catching players in a lie, the player-centric question may be, “Can the player manipulate knowledge to produce different responses?””It sounds like a question about game design and knowledge systems, because it is,” Short admitted. “But those are also the questions that will lead us to a well-engineered piece of AI that supports the kind of experience we want to have the player to have.”Short concluded her talk with the suggestion that developers should ask, and insist on answering, better questions about AI.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesAdopt Me developers unveil new studio, Uplift GamesTeam behind hit Roblox game has grown to over 40 employeesBy Danielle Partis 12 hours agoDeveloper wins against Grand Theft Auto DMCA takedownTake-Two loses claim to reversed-engineered source made by fansBy Danielle Partis 16 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

E3 2018: Watch the Ubisoft press conference here

first_imgE3 2018: Watch the Ubisoft press conference hereWe can expect Beyond Good & Evil 2 and The Division 2, but will the rumoured Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey make its debut? Find out at 13:00 PST / 21:00 BSTMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefMonday 11th June 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleUbisoftIt may be that the big surprise of Ubisoft’s E3 press briefing has already been revealed. Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games The French publisher has confirmed that Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 will be a focus of the event, and a deeper dive into Beyond Good & Evil 2 is to be expected following last year’s unveiling, but a new Assassin’s Creed would seem unlikely just a year on from the excellent Origins – and only a few years on from Ubisoft admitting that an annual release schedule had put strain on the IP’s appeal. However, some very credible rumours strongly suggest that there will be a new entry in the franchise, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and that it will be one of the cornerstones of the press briefing. Beyond that, Ubisoft will showcase more from For Honor, Skull and Bones and the ongoing success story of Rainbow Six Siege. The action kicks off today at 13:00 PST / 16:00 EST / 21:00 BST / 06:00 AEST (Tuesday).TwitchCelebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesUbisoft posts record sales yet again, delays Skull & Bones yet againPublisher moves away from target of 3-4 premium AAA titles a year, wants to build free-to-play “to be trending toward AAA ambitions over the long term”By Brendan Sinclair 7 hours agoFirst-party Ubisoft titles will now be branded as ”Ubisoft Originals”Change was made alongside the announcement of new Tom Clancy titleBy Danielle Partis 2 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

New technical models set to reduce costs of power generation, distribution…

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR TAGSEskomIEEE Standards Associationpower generationPOWER-GEN & DistribuTECH AfricaPOWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa 2018 Previous articleGood governance needed to secure Eskom’s futureNext articleEight trends impacting solar and storage industry Babalwa BunganeBabalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa – Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Featured image: Stock Innovative new technologies and architectures set to reduce the costs of power generation and distribution will be presented at the upcoming POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa conference and expo.Speaking ahead of Africa’s premier power sector summit, experts outlined a number of new technologies and approaches that will be presented to reduce maintenance costs, improve performance and lower risk in power generation and distribution across Africa.Bringing VCBs to larger generation plantsOne area presenting promise for power plants in Africa is new applications of vacuum generator circuit breakers (VCBs), says Dr. Karthik Reddy Venna, technical expert – vacuum switching applications within Siemens AG’s energy management division. “New applications of this existing technology for power plants up to 450MW promise to bring lower cost, simpler, more reliable and more environmentally friendly circuit breakers to the African market,” he says.Vacuum circuit breaker technology has proved reliable and effective in the medium voltage space, he says, but advances in interrupting capability have made this technology appropriate for larger generators. VCBs are also able to switch off low frequency currents, which traditional technologies are not able to do.“VCBs also offer a significant advantage in that they offer low environmental impact, which is particularly relevant for governments across Africa, who are trying to bring down the levels of harmful emissions,” he adds.Dr. Venna will present a paper on VCBs at the conference, including case studies and a real life example of a situation in which VCBs could have reduced damage during a failure.HSIL innovation for improved reliability, lower environmental impactThe implementation of High Surge Impedance Loading (HSIL) methods on long (line lengths that are greater than 200km) power transmission lines can reduce or eliminate the need for series compensation, says engineer Lebo Maphumulo, corporate specialist: group technology at Eskom’s lines engineering services department.Maphumulo’s research has found that HSIL configurations are not appropriate for varying loads, as a result “The criteria used to select a line for the application of HSIL methods is crucial,” she says. “In cases where HSIL lines are applicable, they significantly reduce the capital and maintenance cost of a new power line and the system reliability is also enhanced because the need for ongoing outages to do maintenance on the series capacitors is eliminated. An added benefit is the reduction in the environmental impact.”The application of HSIL methods is highly relevant for power line design engineers, system planning engineers and transmission companies across Africa, says Maphumulo, who will present a paper entitled ‘Application and Advantages of Utilising HSIL Methods to Improve the System Performance (Impedance Matching)’ at the summit.Standardising cooling tower fill assessmentReplacing obsolete asbestos-based cooling tower fills is a lengthy and costly process, and ensuring that the replacement solutions deliver the expected performance can be challenging, says Ockert Augustyn turbine engineer at Eskom. “Despite what various suppliers claim and the data they publish, our tests indicate that in many instances, the performance of the various solutions differs widely when assessed in a standardised way,” he says.Proposing a model for standardised testing, which would be applicable for utilities across Africa, Augustyn will speak at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa on ‘Thermal Performance of Cooling Tower Fills – Experimental Investigation’ and will seek input from stakeholders on the testing methods.New storage methods for RIP bushingsAs power generation technologies evolve, power producers have moved to adopt Resin Impregnated Paper (RIP) Bushings, but this move has brought new challenges with it, says engineer Khayakazi Dioka of the high voltage plant engineering department within Eskom.“Because RIP bushings are hydrophobic, it is recommended that they be stored in tanks filled with oil, which can become costly, and many facilities are not equipped with long term bulk storage tanks. This is a problem facing utilities and end users,” Dioka says.Dioka’s department investigated solutions to the challenge, and developed a model using repurposed systems to slash to cost of storage and simplify implementation.At the summit, Dioka will deliver a case study on the Development of Alternative Economical and Environmentally Safe Long Term Storage of Resin Impregnated Paper (RIP) Bushings.Flexible operation for combined cycle gas turbinesAs renewable generation picks up, the integration of renewables into conventional power plants is set to challenge power plant operations and potentially drive up maintenance costs, says Dr. Ahmed Shibli, practicing metallurgist and managing director of ‎European Technology Development Ltd (ETD).“This is a challenge affecting power plants across Europe, Asia and the US as they increasingly integrate renewables, and it is an issue African utilities need to address,” he says.“Renewables are quite temperamental – as wind and solar can literally stop within minutes which means the backup power needs to be started up very quickly. Taking it to full load rapidly can cause damage, particularly in older fossil plants that were never built to handle cyclic operations,” says Shibli.ETD, a UK-based consulting and R&D organisation, produces international review reports on the cyclic operation of CCGTs/HRSGs and conventional fossil power plants, covering design, materials, operation, inspection and maintenance and has also developed special expertise in cost modelling, the effect of cold, warm and hot starts and cost mitigation by making the design improvements or materials changes in the existing and new plants.“Southern African stakeholders need to be aware of the changing demands on the infrastructure, building new plants to address new needs and making older plants more compatible with renewables,” he says.Dr. Shibli will brief engineers, utilities, plant designers and manufacturers on considerations when using existing plants as backup plants, flexible operating modes, and reduced failure rates in his presentation ‘Flexible Operation of Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) CCGTs/heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) HRSGs and Conventional Power Plants – Technical & Cost Issues’ at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa.New CFB technology for maximum fuel flexibilityCirculating fluidized bed (CFB) technology, now making its mark in countries looking to increase their share of renewable energies, have significant potential for Africa, says Damian Goral, product management CFB at Doosan Lentjes GmbH.Goral, who will speak at the conference on ‘Highly Efficient CFB Technology Featuring Maximum Fuel Flexibility and Environmental Standards’, says CFB technology moved from the chemical industry in the 1970s to the power sector in the 1980s, and is becoming increasingly relevant as utilities seek long-term reserve margin security and increased renewable integration.CFB technologies are cost effective, overcome challenges associated with lower quality fuels, and control emissions. “A key advantage of these technologies is they support a relatively easy switch to alternative fuels, from biomass and agricultural byproducts to industrial and municipal waste,” he underlines.New standards align with changing technologiesAs technologies change, new standards are also emerging to align with the evolving environment. Sri Chandra, senior director of standards and technology India at the IEEE Standards Association, and Norman Shaw, director of product and business development at IEEE, note that new standards are becoming particularly important as the power sector moves toward smart grids, distributed generation and interoperable systems.IEEE, with over 13,000 active standards, focuses heavily on the energy space, and is currently introducing its revised 1547 standard.The IEEE standard 1547-2018 for Interconnection and Interoperability of Distributed Energy Resources with Associated Electric Power Systems Interfaces is highly relevant as African operators look to interconnection and start leveraging communications standards within their environment, says Shaw.As with all its standards, IEEE is now supporting the standards documentation by developing a handbook, e-learning tools, multimedia and mobile content to help engineers and legislators apply the 1547 standard, says Shaw.Sri Chandra will present to engineers, utilities and legislators at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa on the standards that drive safety, emerging technologies and interoperability. UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development Generation Finance and Policy BRICSlast_img read more

Police arrest suspect for string of burglaries in Malibu and Calabasas

first_imgABC News(MALIBU, Calif.) —  A man has been arrested in connection with a string of burglaries around Malibu and Calabasas in California.Anthony Rauda, 42, is being held without bail on an active parole violation after officials said they found him armed with a rifle in a steep ravine, matching the description of the suspect in a rash of recent burglaries.The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said yesterday they are working on linking Rauda to five burglaries committed since July, as well as possibly linking him to three similar unsolved burglaries from the past two years. Sheriff Jim McDonnell said each of the burglaries included stolen food items and happened between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Officials released a photo of Rauda being taken into custody, but blurred his face in an effort to “preserve the integrity of the investigation,” saying they may ask witnesses to identify him in the future.A massive search for the suspect began last week after an office in the Santa Monica mountains was burglarized and a witness reported seeing a man with a gun, according to ABC affiliate KABC-TV. “The plan included a coordinated, comprehensive search of a vast area located in the heart of Malibu canyon,” Sheriff McDonnell said.After hours of investigation, deputies say they had a stand off with the suspect until he decided to surrender, and was then taken into custody without incident. Aside from the burglaries, investigators also want to know if Rauda was involved in the murder of Tristan Beaudette who was shot while camping with his two young daughters in Malibu Creek State Park in June. Sheriff McDonnell cautioned that police cannot say for sure if Rauda is linked to the murder, saying that it’s very early in the investigation, and that there is more work to be done. “We’ve got a weapon in custody, ballistics tests will be performed on that among many other scientific tests to be able to tie the individual to crimes or to eliminate him from other crimes,” McDonnell said. The Sheriff’s department said Rauda has a history of weapon violations and burglaries. He added that people in Malibu and Calabasas should remain vigilant, and report any suspicious activity. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Family of Amazon employee who died of COVID-19: ‘We want answers’

first_img400tmax/iStockBy CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) — As Amazon faces increased calls for transparency over how many employees have tested positive for COVID-19, the company confirmed to ABC News on Friday that another warehouse worker in New York has died amid the pandemic.George Leigh, who worked at a facility in Long Island, died of complications from coronavirus on April 9, his niece Jasmine Leigh told ABC News. She added that George’s family was in the middle of planning a surprise party for his upcoming 60th birthday at the end of summer.“He was always loving, caring and bright,” Jasmine Leigh said of her uncle. “He was really close to his mom and all his siblings. He would call his mom every day.”“We just want to get answers from Amazon,” she added. “We just want to get his story out there because we don’t think that Amazon is doing enough to protect their workers. … We also want for Amazon to be more aware of their workers. Their workers aren’t just a number.”Amazon did not respond to an ABC News inquiry over how many employees so far have died from COVID-19, but pressure appears to be building on the company as more deaths are reported in the media.“We are saddened by the loss of an associate who had worked at our site in Bethpage, New York. His family and loved ones are in our thoughts,” Rachael Lighty, an Amazon spokesperson, told ABC News in a statement.He was last at work March 28, according to Amazon, which also said it’s notified all associates within the building of their colleague’s death.Earlier this week, a coalition of 13 attorneys general led by Maura Healey of Massachusetts sent a letter to Amazon pressing for stronger measures to protect the health and safety of workers amid the pandemic, and requesting information on how many workers have been infected and how many have died.“We have requested but not received information on how many of the Companies’ workers have been infected with COVID-19, and how many have died from it. Please provide a state-by-state breakdown for each Company with this information,” the letter stated.The letter added that the attorneys general were “dismayed to have heard multiple reports of Amazon warehouses with inadequate PPE and hand sanitizer, inability to practice social distancing, limited opportunity to wash hands, and other deficiencies that put employees at risk.”Healey’s office said in a statement that the state attorneys general are “alarmed by recent media reports” that allege “insufficient data about infections and deaths” among Amazon workers.In an interview that aired Sunday with CBS, Amazon’s head of operations, Dave Clark, didn’t answer when asked how many workers had tested positive for COVID-19.“The actual … total number of cases isn’t particularly useful because it’s relative to the size of the building and then the overall community infection rate,” Clark told CBS.“We know,” he added, when pressed for the figure. “I don’t have the number right on me at this moment because it’s not a particularly useful number.”Lighty told ABC News ensuring the health and safety of employees is a “top concern” for Amazon, adding that they “expect to invest approximately $4 billion from April to June on COVID-related initiatives to get products to customers and keep employees safe.”“We are going to great lengths to keep the buildings extremely clean and help employees practice important precautions such as social distancing and other measures,” Lighty said in the statement, adding that Amazon directly alerts, via text message, every person at a site anytime there’s a confirmed diagnosis, including information on when that individual was last in the building.Jasmine Leigh said that she and her family would like to see even more information from Amazon when a worker tests positive for COVID-19, noting that George Leigh came in contact with so many people at work every day and that they don’t know how he was exposed to the virus.“He trained a lot of people, so who knows how many people he got in contact with?” Jasmine Leigh said. “Them not saying anything is not helping anyone.”Jasmine Leigh said that she wants her uncle to be remembered by “how many people loved him.”“Even with him dying, we’ve got a lot of people, his coworkers reaching out to us and saying, ‘Oh, he was a very funny guy, he would come to work every day with a smile on his face and everybody would be so happy to see him,’” she said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reservedlast_img read more

Romney heckled in airport in another show of GOP divisions

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Supporters of President Donald Trump have heckled Republican U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah in an airport. It illustrates divisions in the Republican Party between Trump loyalists and those ready to accept the results of the presidential election. Romney has been considered Trump’s sharpest GOP critic and is among a group of senators who called for an end to an effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Video of the airport confrontation posted online Tuesday night came as Trump backers around the U.S. traveled to Washington, D.C., for demonstrations as Congress meets to accept the Electoral College vote.last_img

Pollex, Truex, drivers create magical evening for children at annual Catwalk for a Cause

first_imgSTATESVILLE, N.C. – For one night, the small Statesville Airport hangar transformed into a whimsical “Midsummer Night’s Dream”-themed wonderland for Wednesday’s ninth annual Catwalk for a Cause event. Drivers and industry personnel from different teams and companies came together to raise money and support for childhood and ovarian cancer through the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.And for one magical, twinkly light-filled night, racing and points weren’t the focus among these drivers. Rather, it was the young cancer patients walking down the runway.“When we first started there were 50 people and we raised $7,000. And it was small – we had no idea it was ever going to get this big,” said Sherry Pollex, longtime girlfriend of Martin Truex Jr., co-founder of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and ovarian cancer survivor. “There’s not anything else like this in the NASCAR community, where we have drivers that come together as a community and walk with the kids and people see where their money is going while they’re sitting in the audience. I think it’s important for the donors to be a part of that and this event is just all about the kids and it’s their night to show and it’s incredible to see it grow.”MORE: Social media roundup from eventSeveral drivers and their wives walked — in some cases, danced — with current and former childhood cancer patients down the runway, as country singer Cassadee Pope opened and closed the show. There was first-time runway walker Kyle Busch with his enthusiastic dancing, Noah Gragson rocking a flower crown during the “Coachella” set, and Clint Bowyer and wife, Lorra, with a choreographed finger-pointing move upon exiting the stage. Aric Almirola, Darrell Wallace Jr., Todd Gilliland and Ty Dillon also walked the catwalk with patients.At the end of the show, the children — called Catwalk heroes — took the now-darkened runway once more wearing glowing wings and head pieces. The crowd stood in applause as the patients held up signs depicting their dreams and aspirations, with “Won’t Back Down” playing in the background.The moments were sweet, rousing and impactful, especially for drivers like Bowyer with children of their own.“If you have a family and you have kids and you see and you meet these kids … that’s just when it really rings home,” he said. “You meet their parents, siblings … and you’re just like, ‘My gosh, this is reality, this could happen, this does happen.’ And then you come to an event like this and you see the awareness, you see the money that it generates, to support the cause, to support the families, to support the education, to support the research, the development, all those things that go toward not having those kids on that stage anymore. That’s the reason that this thing just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger.“It’ll tug at your heartstrings. … To see them enjoying their moment and shining on the stage and enjoying it and embracing it — the pride and excitement in their eyes, that’s the coolest thing about this event.”After the show concluded, Truex Jr. and Pollex came back onstage again to present Novant Health with a $1.2 million check that will go toward the formation of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Children’s Emergency Department in Huntersville, North Carolina, and the SherryStrong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina. Pollex received her own cancer treatment through Novant, so it’s a donation that is especially personal for the couple, Truex said.“I get chills when I think about it,” Truex said of the donation. “To be able to help the community here right in North Carolina where we live, to see the impact that it’s going to have. The emergency unit for the kids is going to be amazing. And then the integrative clinic in Charlotte that Sherry’s really leading up is going to be great because that was such a big part of her treatment and what she does to help herself heal. It’s such a big part of what’s made her healthy and being able to live life since she’s gotten diagnosed with cancer. That’s really, really near and dear to her heart.“For both of us, these are the things that really matter to us and it’s awesome that we’ve been able to raise enough money to make an impact this big and we’re very, very proud of it.”At one point during the announcement with Novant, Truex looked at Pollex and said of Novant, “You saved Sherry’s life.”RELATED: Martin and Sherry through the years“That’s where I had all my cancer treatments, that’s where my doctor is, my oncologist and my nurses are all there,” Pollex said. “So they’ve been an integral part of my whole cancer journey. … I can’t believe my name is going to be on a cancer clinic. But it’s just so cool to be a part of that and know that I can help teach other cancer patients all the integrative therapies that I used while I was going through my treatment because they helped me tremendously get through my treatment and have helped with life after cancer.”Life after cancer for Pollex this year has been one of much-needed self-care. And she feels great, she said.“I’m on a new maintenance drug that I started a couple months ago,” she said. “So far, I haven’t had any crazy side effects or anything, I feel great. I just have taken a little time for myself and to spend time with my family, so I haven’t been traveling as much. … I’ve been on the road for 17 years so it’s really nice to just take a break and be able to enjoy my life. The fans all think I’m not there because I’m not feeling well, but I actually feel great, so it’s been really nice.”The time away from the track has allowed her to focus on the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation — and work to make the impact on the community even bigger.“I’ve been putting a lot of my efforts toward the new integrative cancer clinic and toward the pediatric emergency center,” she said. “I’ve also been working with (Levine Cancer Institute) doing some things with the gynecological support system that they have there for patients like myself that have been diagnosed with ovarian or cervical cancer. …“We’ve kind of got our hands in a little bit of everything in the community and it’s allowed me to have more time to spend on that.”last_img read more

Nemecheks to make NASCAR history at ISM Raceway

first_imgDouble the Nemechek. Triple the fun.For the first time in NASCAR history, a father-son duo will race in all three of the national series in one weekend. John Hunter Nemechek and his dad, Joe, are set to run the tripleheader at ISM Raceway.“It’s pretty cool to be able to compete against my dad at the top level of this sport,” John Hunter said last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. “I feel like there’s not many other sports that fathers and sons can say that. … Being able to make history together and run all three together is pretty special.”RELATED: Full schedule for ISM RacewayThe Nemecheks will be in Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1/Fox Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, Saturday’s Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for the Xfinity Series and Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, MRN) for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.Joe and John Hunter have competed against each other before including several times in both the Xfinity and Gander Trucks Series. Texas was their first time in a Cup Series event together.“This is what my ultimate goal was when I started racing,” the elder Nemecheck said. “And since he started racing, this is what his goal was. He wants to get into Cup.”Said the younger Nemechek: “I didn’t know when I would be going to the Cup Series. But with dad, I knew that he wasn’t going to retire any time soon, so I knew he was going to be around for a while.”John Hunter finished 21st in his first career start, taking over the No. 36 Front Row Motorsports Ford as Matt Tifft is sidelined for the rest of the season due to medical reasons. Joe was further back in 29th, driving the No. 15 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet as a substitute.This weekend, John Hunter will be in the same car and Joe will be in Premium Motorsports’ No. 27 instead.The last time a father and son race together in NASCAR’s premier series was 2005, when Bobby and Bobby Hamilton Jr. placed 30th and 39th, respectively, at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The best a pair has even done was Bobby and Davey Allison in the 1988 Daytona 500 or Lee and Richard Petty at Lakewood Speedway in June 1959 and at Heidelberg Speedway in July 1960 – both families crossing first and second in order of names.“He could care less where I’m at,” Joe said. “Our spotters all keep up with that.”Joe has been in the sport for 31 years now. He started in the Xfinity Series in 1989, had his first Cup Series showing in 1993 and then did Gander Trucks Series in 1996. Anything he does now is part time. Joe is actually three starts away from tying Richard Petty’s all-time 1,185 record, meaning he’ll do so once the Cup Series race goes green.John Hunter had his Gander Trucks Series debut in 2013, went to the Xfinity Series in 2018, and made his Cup Series debut this year.Now, here they are, racing in all three together.“I’m sure it was a dream he had,” John Hunter said. “It’s not something that I’ve necessarily dreamt about. But looking at the scenario right now, it’s history for our sport, so it’s pretty amazing.”last_img read more

Big Move: Chicago Schools To Buy Antibiotic-Free Chicken

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreBig news this week on several fronts: against the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture and for healthier food for school children. The Chicago Public Schools announced that its main food-service company, Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality, will begin buying and serving chicken drumsticks from birds raised in the local area without antibiotics. The deal will bring 1.2 million pounds of chicken to 473 schools per year.The third-largest school district in the country will purchase meat from a company where birds were raised without routine use of antibiotics in their feed. The drugs normally make it possible for animals to survive in crowded conditions, but also breed vast amounts of bacteria that is highly antibiotic-resistant as a consequence.(READ the full story in Wired)Photo: Flickr/HermitsMoores/CCAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Signature Theatre Announces Resident Playwrights’ Productions for 2020-2021 Season

first_imgDominique Morisseau (Photo by Caitlin McNaney for Broadway.com) Signature Theatre has announced plans for its upcoming 2021-2022 season. Tony nominee Dominique Morisseau’s Confederates will make its New York premiere and Anna Deavere Smith will continue her residency with Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, which was originally scheduled to play this past season prior to the Broadway shutdown. The theater will also present three world premieres: Annie Baker’s On the Uses of Pain for Life, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Grass and Samuel D. Hunter’s A Case for the Existence of God. Dates will be announced later.Morisseau (Ain’t Too Proud) brings Confederates to the New York stage with Kamilah Forbes directing. Leaping through time in order to trace the identities of two Black American women, this new work follows Sarah, a savvy slave turned Union spy, and Sandra, a brilliant professor in a modern-day private university, and how they’re facing similar struggles even though they live over a century apart.Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 will be directed by Taibi Magar and follows what happened after the police officers’ acquittal in Rodney King’s police brutality case in 1992. Having interviewed over 350 Los Angelinos, Smith dives deep into the historical moment and its cultural impact.On the Uses of Pain for Life, which tackles the eros of illness, marks the third and final play of writer and director Baker’s residency at Signature.Grass, written and directed by Jacobs–Jenkins, tells the story of how an eviction notice leaves an out-of-work actor no choice but to move in with his father and the hilarity that ensues.Tony winner David Cromer (The Band’s Visit) will direct Hunter’s A Case for the Existence of God, which tells the story of two men struggling to balance the confounding terms on a loan through the lense of human resilience.Signature Theatre also announced continued commitment to SigSpace, which is virtual programming created in 2020 in responnse to the pandemic. Resident writers Jacobs-Jenkins, Morisseau and Hunter along with Quiara Alegría Hudes, The Mad Ones and Lynn Nottage are set to participate in the upcoming season. These events will offer virtual access as well as physical distancing at The Pershing Square Signature Center. View Commentslast_img read more