Hundreds bid farewell to proud Letterkenny man Raymond Blake

first_imgLetterkenny publican Raymond Blake has been remembered as a big-hearted man who lived for his family, friends and his love of sport.The 56-year-old businessman was laid to rest at Conwal Cemetary this afternoon following his funeral mass at St Eunan’s Cathedral.Hundreds of mourners packed into the church to say a final farewell to the larger-than-life character who touched the lives of so many. Among the many people who attended Raymond’s funeral was figures from the world of sport, politics and business as well as members of the Letterkenny public whom Raymond was very much part of.His beloved St Eunan’s GAA club formed a guard of honour as Raymond was taken the short distance up Church Lane from his home on the town’s Main Street.Chief celebrant Fr Damien Nejad recalled Raymond’s love of sport including St Eunan’s but also his beloved Manchester Utd.He told on one occasion in 1999 when Manchester Utd took on Bayern Munich in Barcelona. With no direct flights to Barcelona, Raymond instead booked a flight via Lourdes but had to stop off to say some prayers as his late dad Harry would never have forgiven him if he didn’t make an effort!Among the chief mourners at the funeral was Raymond’s brothers Joe, Kevin and David and sister Ita.Local musician Declan Nee provided the moving music.As Raymond was led out of the church, a spontaneous burst of applause rang out from mourners which rippled down Market Square.Members of St Eunan’s again gave Raymond a guard of honour down the Main Street of the town he loved so well while other members of the club stood silently outside O’Donnell Park as the tricolour flew at half-mast. He was laid to rest a short time ago at Conwal Cemetary, a short distance out the road from the beloved GAA club he was so much a part of.Rest in peace Raymond.Hundreds bid farewell to proud Letterkenny man Raymond Blake was last modified: March 21st, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:funeralletterkennyRaymond Blakelast_img read more

Eichin, Carr lead Mack to wins over Fortuna

first_imgThe McKinleyville High baseball team, behind dominant pitching performances from starters Corbin Eichin and Kyler Carr, handed visiting Fortuna a pair of losses, 11-0 (5) in game one and 6-1 in game two, to sweep the season series between the two Big 5 Conference teams, Saturday afternoon at McKinleyville High.Eichin, the game one starter, tossed a 1-hitter en route to the shutout victory. The sophomore is 2-0 in his last two starts including an April 6 win against Arcata, and has allowed just …last_img read more

The Artwork Behind Building Recommendation Engines with Big Data

first_imgAI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… We live in a “long tail” world. That means that mass-market products are no longer able to satisfy consumers who ask for tailor-made solutions. This trend has emerged from online retail, specifically Jeff Bezos’ idea of having a million different shops for a million different consumers. In essence, it all boils down to building the perfect recommendation engine. There are various methods to create such a tool, which we will discuss shortly, but all of them have a common denominator: big data.“Hey, you can have any color you want — as long as it’s black.” –Henry FordThe days of Henry Ford and “any color you want as long as it is black” are long gone. Other things that are going out of fashion fast are website filters and asking questions to narrow down options. Modern customers hope to get exactly what they dream about presented to them as soon as they open a website. On the home page slider, if possible.This trend is also evident in the home entertainment sector. Just imagine if you would have to sort through thousands of movies before finding the one you like. Not the most successful business model, isn’t, it? Yet, a movie recommendation engine, like the one powering Netflix and other similar streaming services, can take hints from what you have previously selected and suggest what you might want to watch next.How are “they” making a selection for you?There are three ways to build a great recommendation engine, each with a different approach to solve the same problem.Clustering recommendation engines.To understand the way clustering recommendation engines work, you should think about product packages or product layouts on the shelves. Clustering takes into consideration their functionality and recommends items that are complementary. For example, a clustering engine would show you a toothpaste if you have already added a toothbrush to your cart.These engines don’t consider your customers’ particular preferences or what other users have bought, so you could build an engine like this even without the help of big data, just using logic and common sense in addition to simple out-of-the-box tools. The only problem with building a recommendation engine in this manner is that it becomes almost unmanageable if you have hundreds or thousands of products.In these cases of many thousands of products, clustering them would be too effort-intensive, so an algorithm should come in handy. Big data can help by making the necessary associations automatically.Content-based recommendation engines.The next way to get an active recommendation engine is to start with what customers already like. Coming back to the Netflix example, if they have already watched two Lord of The Rings movies, most likely they would be interested in the third as well.Here, big data is more useful, as the algorithm gathers numerous data points and computes the relevance between them. For example, it looks at the movie genre, the actors, the director, the soundtrack and even filming locations. Next, it scans the database to find items which are similar to the information discovered. This type of recommendation engines takes into consideration a customer’s personal history of interacting with the service and makes truly contextual suggestions.Collaborative recommendation engines.What if you have just installed Netflix or are on the Amazon page for the first time? Your recommendation feed is not empty. In fact, you might see some good ideas right from the beginning. These are offered based on the preferences of existing users.Once you start using the platform and the algorithm learns more about you, the recommendations will get better because you are automatically assigned to a cluster with similar customers.The advantage of collaborative engines is that it can be used for predictions based on customers’ real-life preferences. The downside is that it works on the assumption that if similar users liked similar things in the past, they would continue to do the same in the future, which is a bit unrealistic.Steps to build a recommendation engine.Before you can select any of the previously discussed methods, you need data to feed the algorithm. Since any big data endeavor is a problem of ‘garbage in garbage out,’ you also need to make sure that the data you have is high-quality and genuine.The first step is to collect the right data. The challenge here is that the most useful information is implicit, coming from a user’s behavior. Although collecting data in online logs is straightforward, filtering just the right information is almost art. The difficulty here is to assign proper importance to each item. For example, in the case of a movie recommendation engine, is the genre or the main actor more critical? Depending on the viewer, answers might be very different.Next, you need to make sure you store the data in a way that allows you to access it fast and the algorithm to learn from it continuously. A NoSQL database offers the necessary flexibility and scalability for such projects which usually grow exponentially. Such a way of storage is possible by spreading the data over hundreds of distributed servers in the cloud.The advantage of a NoSQL database is that it offers the opportunity to store any data, including unstructured ones like comments, reviews, and opinions. Most of the times, these are far more valuable than ratings by numbers since you get an insight into more subtle preferences.To create a great recommendation engine, the most critical step is to analyze data and identify patterns. Some of the best-performing systems work in real time or almost in real time, refreshing every few seconds. The least performant but still usable solution is a batch analysis, which is mostly used in retail for looking at daily or weekly sales.Future trends.We can expect that recommendation engines will become so high performing that they will eliminate the need for search, entirely. The danger and downside of this approach is that each customer will live in a comfortable bubble, enjoying the same kind of content with little chance of discovering something beyond that. We are already witnessing this phenomenon happening on our social media feeds — much to our personal and collective danger — and we also see our very own bubbles happening in the automatically generated playlists on YouTube. Sophia Brooke Follow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Sophia Brooke is a Project Manager with over 10 years’ experience and a proven track record in project management and delivery for a variety of industry sectors: Retail, Software, Construction, Education and Financial services. Tags:#Big Data#big data recommendations#build a recommendation engine#content-based recommendations#marketing#Recommendation Engines#sales Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…last_img read more

Resource Discovery| Empathy and ACEs & Dr. Claudia Gold

first_imgWitten By: Caitlyn BrownThe MFLN Family Development’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Webinar is right around the corner. In preparation, we wanted to highlight a useful resource on empathy and listening in association with ACEs. Dr. Claudia M. Gold has been working in the childhood mental health field for over 25 years. Dr. Gold has written a handful of books based on her professional experiences and recently sat down with the ACEs Connection for an interview regarding the long term ripple effect that ACEs can have on an individual. Dr. Gold highlights the neurological changes that can stem from a trauma and how environmental experiences can have a significant influence on an individual. According to Dr. Gold, empathy is one of the cornerstones of clinical care and she also has a few key points of advice for professionals working with different family members. When working with parents, professionals should aim to help mitigate stress and encourage parents to develop their own confidence when it comes to raising children. If you can empathize with the parent, you can lead them to empathizing with their child. It is more support that parents need rather than advice or guidance on parenting.When working with teens and young adults,  professionals should be aware of the impact that ACEs can have on the health of an individual.  Another important note that Dr. Gold highlights is that the vocabulary that professionals use when working with teens and other family members can have a significant impact on the individual’s own perspective. Professionals should work on empowering young adults (and other family members). As we have noted before, the impact that Adverse Childhood Experiences can have is so much more significant than is commonly known. We can’t overlook its impact.  If you would like to read about Gold’s interview with ACEs connection, click here. You can also find information on her other books: Keeping Your Child in MindThe Silenced ChildThe Developmental Science of Early ChildhoodIf you would like to know more about the ACEs study or what your ACEs score is, check out our other resources and tune in for our upcoming webinar on August 17th at 11am Eastern.This post was written by  Caitlyn Brown of the  MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.last_img read more

The Power of the Tableau Shot

first_imgPainterly staging and framing of a tableau shot can give your movie a striking visual quality. Let’s look at some examples. Top Image: Fantastic Mr. Fox via Twentieth Century FoxA tableau can be simply defined as a picture, but more specifically, and for the purposes of this article, tableau will be used to refer to the arrangement of people and objects within the confines of your cinematic frame. Now you might be thinking… doesn’t that just refer to any shot? Sure. If every frame is a painting, then every shot is a form of tableau.But the kinds of tableau shots I’ll be talking about in this article require a mastery of composition and staging that point back to a time in history before our current inundation with moving pictures, when theater and paintings were reigned. A well-done tableau shot is the type of artful image that you wouldn’t mind framing and hanging on your living room wall.The Grand Budapest Hotel via Fox SearchlightWes AndersonMuch has been written of Wes Anderson’s symmetrical perfectionism and center-point framing in which characters often face the camera head on. These elements of composition, along with an obsession for every possible visual detail, are important for developing a striking tableau style.The origins of Wes Anderson’s framing inclinations owe a debt to the theatrical tradition of tableau vivant, a form of staging in which an assortment of actors would stand frozen in a picturesque pose in front of an audience. The overall effect of any given tableau vivant would end up looking like a three-dimensional painting. In fact, tableau vivants would often be used to recreate classical paintings.Nightwatching via ContentFilm internationalPeter GreenawayPeter Greenaway is an important, modern practitioner of the tableau vivant and makes clear use of the technique in Nightwatching, a film in which Greenaway staged an analysis of Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Night Watch, in an effort to uncover a murderer.This interesting film isn’t Greenaway’s first foray into the tableau shot. He has used tableau shots throughout his career in striking films such as A Zed & Two Noughts and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover.The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover via AllartsIn watching the films of Peter Greenaway and Wes Anderson, one will immediately find an aesthetic affinity between the two filmmakers. While it is likely that Greenaway influenced Anderson, it is perhaps safer to say that both filmmakers undeniably share a mutual respect for the painterly, theatrical origins of the tableau vivant and have sought to express their own cinematic variations that sometimes employ a moving camera.A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence via Roy Andersson Filmproduktion ABRoy AnderssonTableau shots with camera movement are great to watch, but it is even more impressive when a filmmaker manages to create feature films comprised almost entirely of static tableau shots, as the Swedish director Roy Andersson has done with last three films. These meticulously crafted films include Songs From the Second Floor, You, the Living, and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.With these films, Andersson has created filmic paintings with a remarkable attention to practical craft, a technique which can often get overlooked in a media world filled with digital effects. Andersson has an awareness of blocking, depth, color, and stillness that is truly astounding. Andersson does almost all of his effects in camera and treats each of his characters and sets as if it were an element of an elaborately composed painting.From Anderson, Greenaway, and Andersson we can get a sense of the tableau shot as it has been put to powerful use over the last thirty years. However, these filmmakers are not alone in their mastery of the tableau shot.The tradition of the masterful tableau shot goes back through cinematic history with important voices ranging from Chantal Akerman to Sergei Parajanov. The tableau shot can even be tracked to the earliest days of cinema itself with the Lumiere brothers and their one shot, one-minute long, actuality films.Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay 1080 Brussels via The Criterion CollectionSetting up Your Own Tableau ShotLet’s break down some considerations when you are setting up your own tableau shot.1. LocationSelect a location that will enable a complex and interesting arrangement of your characters. When it comes to the tableau shot, the set is your stage and will play heavily upon the impressiveness of your tableau shot.The Color of Pomegranates via Kino Video2. Avoid HandheldThis does not mean that a tableau shot cannot be achieved through the use of handheld camera work, but a masterful tableau shot requires precision. The filmmakers mentioned above have an obsession with symmetry and precise composition as achieved through the use of a supportive camera apparatus (tripod, dolly, jib).Rembrandt’s J’Accuse via ContentFilm International3. ArrangePosition your characters in the frame while keeping foreground and background elements in mind. Remember that you are working in the X, Y, and Z-axes. If you are stumped or need inspiration on how to block your characters, look at old paintings.The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting via Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA)4. ComposeSet up a shot that includes as much visual information as possible without overloading your viewer. There is a fine line between a “busy” or “over-crowded” frame and a truly masterful tableau shot. Consider the amount of time it takes to “read” the visual information in your image.A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence via Roy Andersson Filmproduktion AB5. MovementWhen the information within your frame overfloweth, it may be time to move your camera to accommodate. Depending on your stylistic inclinations, use a tracking, dolly, tilt, or panning shot to convey the visual information of your tableau shot to your viewers.Wes Anderson on the set of Fantastic Mr. Fox  via TheTrackingBoardTo conclude, make sure that a tableau shot fits within the overall stylistic approach of your movie. In this article, I’ve focused on ways that the tableau shot can visually dazzle the viewer, but it is important to note that if used carelessly or inconsistently, the tableau shot can actually distract and distance the viewer from the emotion of your story.Keep this in mind as you plan out your movie. May the power of the tableau shot be with you.What are your favorite examples of the tableau shot? Share in the comments below!last_img read more

Nitish takes a dig at Modi over neglect of Ganga

first_imgTaking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement made before the 2014 Lok Sabha poll in Varanasi that he had come there on the invitation of (river) Ganga mata, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said “Ganga maiya” now has been asking where was her son.Mr Kumar also said the condition of the river had become so deplorable that “he gets emotional over it.”“When I visited Varanasi recently people there were saying river Ganga has been asking for her son who earlier had declared that he had come there only on the invitation of Ganga mata…why he (PM Modi) has stopped saying so…the condition of river Ganga has become so deplorable that I get emotional seeing it,” the Chief Minister said while addressing an international conference on “Incessant Ganga” here.“Close Farraka”Mr Kumar said he had demanded the closure of the Farakka barrage in West Bengal “as it has been the root cause of siltation causing floods every year in Bihar.”“Several river experts have expressed a similar opinion but nothing has been done yet,” he said.“It is because of the Farakka barrage that Bihar gets flooded every year…there is a danger to Bihar due to the barrage,” Magsaysay award winner and water conservationist Rajendra Singh said.He said the Central government project of Namami Gange has been benefiting only contractors.Another river expert and economist, Bharat Jhunjhunwala, said the Central government raises the issue of cows but not of Ganga.Problem of silt depositBihar Water Resources Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh said the conference would discuss in detail the problem of siltation in the river bed.The experts and delegates would look into all aspects of human intervention, including the proposed construction of barrage for inland waterways, which have resulted in the deterioration of the Ganga, an official of the state Water Resource Department said.last_img read more

Defence Ministry dismisses reports of Army jawan’s abduction by militants in Kashmir

first_imgThe Defence Ministry on Saturday denied reports of an Army jawan being abducted by militants from his home in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, saying he is “safe”.The family of Mohammad Yaseen, who is posted with the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regiment, had on Friday informed the police that some people came to their house at Qazipora Chadoora in Budgam and took him away.Mr. Yaseen was on leave. However, a Defence spokesperson on Saturday said the reports of the abduction of the jawan were incorrect.“Clarification. Media reports of the abduction of a serving Army soldier on leave from Qazipora, Chadoora, Budgam are incorrect. Individual is safe. Speculations may please be avoided,” the spokesperson said in a tweet.An Army official said they are trying to ascertain where the jawan had been on Friday night which prompted his family to approach the police.last_img read more

New IPL rules a bit confusing, says KKR owner Shahrukh Khan

first_imgThe new rules of Indian Premier League which will be applied from next year have left Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan “a bit confused” and the Bollywood superstar said it would have been “fair for everyone” if all the players are put up for auction in November.”New IPL rules a bit confusing. Two new teams added (good). All players should go into pool to make it fair for everyone. Simple & straight,” Shah Rukh wrote on his twitter page.With the inclusion of two new teams in the IPL — Sahara Pune Warriors and Kochi team, the IPL Governing Council proposed a revised structure but it has not gone down too well with some of the franchise owners voicing their concerns publicly.The new rules state that the 10 teams will be divided into two groups and there would be 74 matches in the next three IPL seasons.The eight original franchises will be allowed to retain four players, including a foreigner. Besides the four players, the rest of the squad would be selected through open bidding.It has also been made mandatory for the players retained to be amongst the registered players for the 2010 season. The fee of the players retained would be decided after mutual agreement between the stakeholders.The salary cap of the franchisees has also been raised to USD 9 million. But if any franchisee retains all the four players, it will have USD 4.5 million per year to spend on other players.The new rules have limited the number of players to be 30 for a squad.advertisementlast_img read more