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Found 10 results

  1. MintChip There is a prize to be won, $50,000 worth of gold. Best of luck.
  2. October 13, 2009, 2:53pm WASHINGTON, October 12, 2009 (AFP) - Cash-rich US researchers have again dominated this year's Nobel awards, but it seems identifying the nationality of laureates is not an exact science, and change may be on the way. On the face of things, the United States would top an Olympic-style medals table of Nobel prize wins. Eleven of this year's 13 laureates are citizens of the United States, winning five of the six Nobel awards up for grabs. Even President Barack Obama pocketed a medal. Since the end of World War II, the United States has scooped up 89 Nobel awards for medicine, 74 for physics, 58 for chemistry and dozens more for economics, peace and literature, beating its closest contenders in Britain, France and Germany. Unsurprisingly then, the rest of the world is left to ask how the United States does it. The answer may be, in part, "It doesn't." A look at the curricula vitae of this year's Nobel science winners -- which make up four of the six awards -- shows a complex patchwork of academics criss-crossing the globe to reach the top their profession. "You have to ask where they studied," said Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, an American who has written a book profiling female Nobel laureates. "Many of our scientists have done their post-docs in Europe," she said, pointing to high migration levels among top scientists. This year's crop of laureates shows just how difficult it is to determine the nationality of globe-trotting laureates, especially based on Nobel citations which use citizenship at the time of award. Charles Kao who shared the 2009 prize for physics for his work in developing fiber optics is a US citizen, but he was born in Shanghai, educated in London and now lives in Hong Kong. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who shared the prize for chemistry, was born in India, works in Britain, but has US citizenship. Australian-born Elizabeth Blackburn is also a US citizen, but studied at the universities of Melbourne and Cambridge before a post doctoral degree at Yale. Willard Boyle, who won also shared the physics prize for his work on semiconductors, is Canadian and studied at Montreal's McGill University, but now has American citizenship. Obama -- despite claims by his most vociferous critics -- is among the most unquestionably American of the laureates. According to research from Britain's University of Warwick, published last January, scientific migration is common, and vastly beneficial to the United States. "Nearly half of the world's most-cited physicists work outside their country of birth," the study said. A survey of 158 of the most highly cited physicists showed systematic migration to nations with large research and development spending, most notably the United States. "At birth, 29.7 percent of physicists are in the USA. This increases to 43.4 percent at first degree, to 55.1 percent at PhD, and to 67.1 percent presently," the report said. "In 1987-2006, for example, five out of fourteen of all UK-educated laureates had moved to the USA by the time they won the Nobel prize." Still, the United States can claim to have forged the institutes and universities that attract top-flight researchers for award-winning research. According to State Department figures, every year the United States issues over 35,000 visas for exceptional scientists and others who flock to well-funded institutes. But the real key to US Nobel dominance, according to Roger Geiger, a professor of education at Pennsylvania State University, is cash -- particularly the massive influx of cash to the US education system after World War II. "We were funding research when others were not, or when others could not," he said pointing to post-war Europe's economic malaise. That advantage has stuck. Today, Harvard University's endowment alone is worth around $27 billion, roughly equal to Costa Rica's gross domestic product. Still, Harvard's nest egg has shrunk by $10 billion since the start of the fiscal year thanks to a financial crisis that Geiger says will erode American universities' attraction. "The crisis has been longer and more deeply felt in the United States, that will have an impact," he said. At the same time, European and Asian universities are increasing the type of innovative research that wins awards. "Other countries have recognized the importance of this type of competition," said Geiger who sees change already taking place. "The rest of the world is competing, the law of numbers says they will catch up. If you look at publication and citation counts, Nobel prizes are a lagging indicator." In some disciplines, the playing field has already been leveled and could provide a glimpse of the competition if other regions match US funding levels. Europeans still dominate the Fields Medal for mathematics or the Pritzker Prize for architecture, both areas which can require less research funding. An American has not won the Nobel Prize for Literature since Toni Morrison's award 16 years ago. As one Nobel judge tersely put it Americans "don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature." But in the sciences at least, Americans are not only part of the dialogue, but still have the last word, even if the word is spoken with a foreign lilt. http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/224495/us-nobel-sweep-points-brain-drain
  3. Regarder vers devant nous fait du bien. En voici un premier exemple. Trouvé sur le blog de Marc Gauthier http://www.marcgauthier.com/blog_en/category/architecture/ In January of 2008, the History Channel proposed a contest to architects based in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and San Francisco. The purpose: to imagine what their metropolis might look like in 100 years. They had a week to come up with a concept and three hours to build a scale model. San Francisco firm IwamotoScott Architecture won the $10,000 grand prize for its entry. Their concept buried the network of infrastructures to create more surface for buildings. Furthermore, the city’s energy came from algae fields that generate hydrogen. The site of the tv channel has all the information on the contest. The winning firm posted their images on their Flickr account. http://www.history.com/minisites/cityofthefuture
  4. Montreal’s cash-strapped universities have a wealth of notable and famous alumni who got their start at one of our local universities before leaving their mark on this province and beyond. Across the fields of business, science, politics and the arts, there are countless examples of notable alumni who earned a degree at a Montreal university before making it big. The list from Université de Montréal reads like a veritable Who’s Who of Quebec leaders, while McGill University has an embarrassment of riches, with bragging rights to the longest list of notables across all fields and by far the most prestigious prize winners. Here are some examples of those famous alumni (with apologies to the many accomplished graduates we didn’t have space to include). We have also included Nobel Prize winners and the number of Rhodes Scholars to round out the list of distinguished alumni. Montreal universities have bragging rights to many famous alumni | Montreal Gazette
  5. For the third year in a row, and the 7th overall, Canada was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language category, for Rebelle. Monsieur Lazhar was nominated in 2011 and Incendies was nominated in 2010. It has no shot at winning though, Austria's Amour will take the Oscar (Amour was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Picture) Still, Quebec cinema is on fire! http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2013/01/10/rebelle-nabs-oscar-nomination-for-best-foreign-language-film/
  6. Why is this forest floating 1000 feet above Taiwan's skyline, apparently sitting on a blue glow of anti-gravity beams? It's the Taiwan Tower, a giant steel superstructure that may become the most surreal piece of engineering I've ever seen. The renderings give you an idea of how weird and wonderful this thing will be. It really blows my mind to think that they are actually going to build this ethereal steel column labyrinth, which would be as tall as the Eiffel Tower. The banyan tree-like design, which was created by Tokyo-based architect Sou Fujimoto, just won the first prize in the Taiwan Tower International Competition. It would be made entirely of steel, with perimeter columns, inner columns, intermediate columns, spiral beams and roof beams all of them circular, 800 millimeters in diameter and hollow. It will be surrounded by parks. In fact, it will look as if someone cut a wedge of the terrain and pushed up in the air. [Sou Fujimoto viaArchdaily] Republished from http://gizmodo.com
  7. November 09, 2010 8:43 AM by Staff & Wire Reports http://www.gamingtoday.com/articles/...SOP_main_event Canadian poker professional Jonathan Duhamel won the World Series of Poker main event title and $8.94 million on Monday night after keeping a stranglehold on his chips and pressuring his opponent. Duhamel took the last of Florida pro John Racener's chips in the no-limit Texas Hold 'em tournament with an ace high after 43 hands where Racener was no better than a 4-1 underdog in chips. Duhamel pushed Racener all-in and the Floridian called with a suited king-eight of diamonds. But Duhamel had an unsuited ace-jack for the lead. A flop of two fours and a nine helped neither player; and Racener didn't improve with a six on the turn and a five on the river. "It's a dream come true right now," Duhamel told the crowd at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino as confetti fell from a theater ceiling. "It's like the most beautiful day of my life." "Come join the party," he said, flanked by some 200 friends and family who rooted him on while wearing Montreal Canadiens jerseys. Duhamel, an online cash game player who said poker has been his primary income for about two years, had his third cash at this year's series. But the money he won Monday night dwarfs the $43,000 he won after entering 17 earlier tournaments at the 57-event series this year. "I love playing poker so much, so I mean I'm going to be playing all those big tournaments and try to make other big scores," he said. "I'll be there next year in the World Series and try to do my best again." Duhamel, a French and English speaker who left the Universite du Quebec a Montreal during his second year studying finance, worked a series of odd jobs before playing poker full-time. He said he played for $5 and $10 minimums before the series. Now he plans to play in the world's biggest tournaments -- and buy Canadiens season tickets. "I didn't expect that at all," he said. Racener won $5.55 million for second place, never finding real traction in the biggest heads-up card match of his life. Racener said his only good hand was pocket queens and he didn't pick up anything besides that better than an ace-deuce. "I could never get anything going," said Racener, 24, of Port Richey, Fla. "It was unfortunate and he played it well." Duhamel came into the heads-up match with a significant chip lead and kept Racener from gaining much ground in a session that lasted just over an hour. Duhamel had nearly 90 percent of all the chips in play when players took a 10-minute break after 36 hands. The Boucherville, Quebec native intensified the pressure after that, pushing all in on three straight hands and dropping Racener's stack to just above 16 million chips. When Duhamel pushed again, Racener unsuccessfully tried to make a stand. Racener doubled his chips 10 hands into the session, after Duhamel had whittled his stack early on. An 11-1 underdog in chips, Racener called Duhamel's all-in wager with pocket queens and they held against Duhamel's king-four. The hand came just after minimum bets rose and gave Racener 36.9 million chips -- but he was back to his original stack less than 20 hands later. Racener began the session a 6-1 underdog in chips, with just 26 big blinds in his stack at 30.75 million. He spent most of the final table that started Saturday on the sidelines, watching as his opponents aggressively ate at each other's chip stacks. He didn't risk all his chips until he called a bluff by Filippo Candio with three queens, and doubled up twice more before watching as Duhamel withstood a high-pressure challenge from third-place finisher Joseph Cheong. The hand brought Duhamel back where he started the final table -- with a big chip lead. Chips have no monetary value in the tournament, and Racener had to lose all his chips to be eliminated. The tournament started in July with 7,319 players paying $10,000 each to enter.
  8. How Pepsi won the Quebec Cola Wars By René Bruemmer, The GazetteJuly 11, 2009 MONTREAL - Pepsi had a major problem. More specifically, Pepsi had a major Quebec problem. After decades of protracted Cola Wars, the perennial challenger was finally making some headway on Coke in 1984, which outsold Pepsi four-to-one in Canada in the early ’70s. Waves of successful marketing campaigns, including the long-running “Take the Pepsi Challenge” taste test, helped bring Pepsi up to parity with Coke in English food stores in Canada by 1980. Except in Quebec, which was jarring because the province had long been associated with a fondness for Pepsi – so much so the corporation’s first bottling plant outside of the U.S. opened in Montreal in 1934. Yet the corporation’s latest rebranding campaign, “The Choice of a New Generation,” backed by global superstars Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Madonna, was falling flat in Quebec. In 1984, according to a report compiled by the Canadian Congress of Advertising, Pepsi had stalled at 87 per cent of Coca-Cola’s share in a province that imbibed 25 to 30 per cent of all the soft drinks in Canada. Marketers decided to embark on a risky, expensive and unorthodox scheme: abandon Michael Jackson and develop an advertising strategy that would reflect the distinct society’s cultural differences, sensibilities and sense of humour. Riskier still because while Pepsi had been adopted as a self-effacing term by some Quebecers, it was also a derogatory slur used by non-francophones to describe them. If the marketing plan was seen as offensive, Pepsi could become a pariah. Being No. 2 had its advantages, however, noted University of Ottawa marketing professor Luc Dupont. “As the constant David, Pepsi was condemned to take risks, which made it more inventive, forced it to rely more on its intelligence,” he said. Pepsi would stake its multimillion-dollar offensive on a local comedian and his coterie of bizarre characters. In exchange, Quebec would become, and remain, one of the few places in the world where Pepsi has conquered the king of pop. *** Pepsi is celebrating its 75th anniversary in Quebec this year, in conjunction with the opening of the Montreal plant in 1934. It’s rolling out a new logo and ad campaign, one of more than a dozen branding changes over a history that dates back to 1898. It’s also putting $40 million into its Montreal bottling facilities, one of several plants in the province employing a total of 1,200 people. That investment, along with large amounts of money spent sponsoring sports and culture (among them the Colisée Pepsi arena in Quebec City, and the Pepsi Forum in Montreal) is another key to its success, says Éric Blais of Toronto-based Headspace Marketing, which advises companies on how to reach the Quebec market. “They have become part of the cultural landscape, both through marketing and direct involvement in the province,” Blais said. Despite the fact it was created only 12 years after Coke, Pepsi remained a constant second, staking its market share largely on the fact it was distributed in larger, reused beer bottles and offered more fizz for the buck (actually a nickel for a 12-ounce bottle in the Depression era). But being the underdog allowed it to take chances. In the 1940s it became one of the first corporations to use a realistic black family in its ads (as opposed to Aunt Jemima), and hired a black manager for all-black sales teams that would target the huge niche market of African Americans, despite virulent opposition from within and outside of the company, including the Ku Klux Klan. But in the 1980s the New Generation offensive – meant to lure young drinkers who would make Pepsi their habit – was tanking here. Standard marketing practice would have been to tweak the campaign by translating it into French and using some of Quebec’s many popular rock stars. Instead, the J. Walter Thompson company relied on qualitative research and decided go with a different selling point – comedy. “Young Quebecers in the 1980s ... were crowning their own celebrities and creating their own made-in-Quebec lifestyle,” wrote the J. Walter Thompson company in a submission to the Cassies, the Canadian Advertising Awards. “Research revealed an inner confidence among Quebec target groups. ... “Since Quebec was culturally unique, it had developed its own entertainment system complete with its own stars,” especially in the comedy milieu. “It was a style of comedy that used typical Quebecois stereotypes to redefine the emerging new ‘street-smart’ culture of young, urban Quebecers.” Claude Meunier, famous for his absurdist humour on Ding et Dong television skits, was chosen. The theme of Meunier’s ads remained an intractable joie de vivre and an undying love of Pepsi. His brief, 30-second spots debuting in 1985 and featuring a variety of characters and a humour only Quebecers could appreciate became an instant hit. Pepsi came almost neck and neck with Coke the same year. By 1986, David had surpassed Goliath and continued to thrive, despite the fact Coke fought back, outspending Pepsi two-to-one on six media campaigns between 1985 and 1993. “Quebecers had the sentiment that a multinational corporation finally took the trouble to try and understand them, using the same language, with the same accents,” Dupont said. A nation moored in a sea of English could empathize with company fighting for purchase in an ocean of Coke. “Subconsciously, Quebecers identify with products that are No. 2,” Dupont said. “In addition to the absurd humour and joy of life, they like to say, ‘We’re different here. We changed things.’ ” The Meunier campaign would last 18 years, aided by the fact Meunier became the star of La Petite Vie, an early ’90s Quebec sitcom watched by 4 million out of a possible 6 million viewers every Monday night. The Meunier Pepsi campaign won the 1993 CASSIE Best of Show advertising award. *** Today, Coke dominates the global market with 51 per cent of the total sales compared with Pepsi’s 22 per cent, according to John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest. But in Quebec, the Pepsi stable of soft drinks owns 61 per cent of the market to Coke’s 20, said Manon Lavallée, market development manager for PepsiCo Canada. It’s a dominance unseen anywhere else in North America, although Pepsi does nudge out Coke by a slight margin in the Atlantic provinces and a few states. (Coke officials told The Globe and Mail recently the gap is not that large in Quebec when restaurant, hotel and sporting events sales are factored in, but did not give specific numbers.) Twenty-five years after Meunier started with Pepsi, he’s still there, although in a lesser role, shifting to Diet Pepsi. Pepsi opted for a new campaign to speak to a new, multicultural generation of Quebecers in 2003, featuring five young men extolling the unique elements of Quebec (poutine, potholes, moving day and here we say “icitte," not “ici”) under the banner “Ici, c’est Pepsi.” In the rest of the world, it’s Coke. Which is remarkably similar to Molson Canadian’s I Am Canadian ad campaign that focused on Canada’s uniqueness vis-a-vis the U.S. “Pepsi’s ad campaign allowed us to feed that image of ourselves as different," Dupont said. “Even though in fact, we are not so different.” The Pepsi Meunier campaign is taught in textbooks now, Dupont said, a lesson in how to adapt to your market, and change with the time. In its submission for a Cassie award, members of the BBDO Canada marketing firm responsible for the Ici campaign wrote: “The driving force behind Pepsi’s Quebec success was Claude (Meunier’s) unique ability to show that Pepsi is a natural companion to Quebecers.” For the Ici c’est Pepsi campaign, consumers in test market groups “told us Pepsi is part of the fabric of Quebec life and they should be damn proud of it.” The Ici spots, said Chris Hamilton of Pepsi in Strategy Magazine, tested in the top two per cent of all ads ever tested in Quebec. The campaign won a 2005 Cassie. “The ads gave a sense of belonging, the pride in being distinctive,” Blais said. “They tapped into that sentiment of being proud of being the only place in the world where Pepsi is No. 1. “It said ‘We stand on our own, we are distinct.’ ” [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  9. Michael Jackson dies leaving legacy of award-winning music Michael Jackson, who died today at age 50, ruled the music world throughout the 1980s, selling millions of records and concert tickets and dubbing himself the "King of Pop." And while Michael Jackson won multiple times at such popularity contests as the American Music Awards and the MTV Awards, he also earned the respect of his peers in the music industry with his 13 Grammy Awards. Michael Jackson Grammy Awards Thriller Death News 1357986 After striking out on his own from the Jackson Five, Jackson won his first Grammy in 1980 for best R&B male vocal performance ("Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"). That track from his chart-topping "Off the Wall" album also contended for best disco recording. "Thriller" – his second solo effort as an adult – was released in November 1982 and spent a record 37 weeks at No. 1, producing an unparalleled seven Top 10 singles. In March 1983, Jackson debuted his moonwalk dance to "Billie Jean" on the TV special "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever." Michael Jackson earned an Emmy nod for best performance in a variety or music program. He lost to opera diva Leontyne Price for her concert with the New York Philharmonic on "Live From Lincoln Center." At the Grammys in February 1984, Jackson shared in seven of the eight awards won by the album (the exception was for best engineered recording). Michael Jackson shared the wins for album of the year and producer of the year (non-classical) with "Thriller" collaborator Quincy Jones, who also produced his Grammy-winning children's recording "E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial." For the three chart-topping singles off the album, Jackson won Grammy Awards for male vocal performance in an unprecedented three genres – R&B ("Billie Jean"), rock ("Beat It") and pop ("Thriller"). He shared in the record of the year win for "Beat It" with the production team. And as the songwriter, he picked up a Grammy for penning the best R&B tune ("Billie Jean"). However, Sting's "Every Breath You Take" edged out two Jackson compositions – "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" – for song of the year. Jackson's total of eight Grammy wins in one night broke the record set in 1965 by Roger Miller, who'd won six awards, most for the country hit "King of the Road." And the eight Grammys awarded to "Thriller" was another record haul as well. Both of these achievements were tied by Santana and the album "Supernatural" in 1999. Michael Jackson won another Grammy the following year in the category of best video album for the film that documented the making of the landmark "Thriller" video. That $500,000, 14-minute video, directed by John Landis, told the story of a boy (Jackson) and girl enjoying a date until he turns into a singing, dancing werewolf. In 1986, Jackson and Lionel Richie won the song of the year Grammy for the charity single "We Are the World," which also took home record of the year. As Jackson was one of the pioneers of the music video, it seems appropriate that the last two Grammys he won were for that medium. In 1989 he and his team won the short form video award for "Leave Me Alone" off his follow-up album "Bad." And in 1995 he and his sister Janet Jackson shared in the short form winning "Scream" from his double album "HIStory." Photo: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times