A $5 billion solar project in Nevada with a planned capacity of 740 megawatts has been shelved because there were no buyers for the electricity, a California public television station reports.KCET said the ENN Mojave Energy project was to have been built on 9,000 acres of county land near Laughlin, Nevada, which is near the California state line. When the plant was proposed in 2011, backers assumed that California utilities under pressure of a renewable energy law would be eager to buy the electricity.But it turned out utilities could meet their obligations with in-state power, and despite “heated demands” by Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada’s largest utility didn’t want the power, either, because it had already met its renewable energy goal.With no willing buyers, the deal collapsed. In addition to the solar power station, the project would have included a million-square-foot solar panel factory, KCET said.
It’s a refrain almost as common as “Merry Christmas” this time of year: There are too many bowl games. While hardcore college football fans don’t mind watching, say, the Miami Beach Bowl on a Monday afternoon a full 10 days before the traditional bowlfest of New Year’s Day (guilty!), there’s also the sense that the bloated bowl season has taken away much of the meaning that used to be associated with playing in college football’s postseason.How much expansion has there been? This season will see a record 39 bowl games played, from the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl to the College Football Playoff National Championship. Compare that to 1968, when there were 11 bowls, or even 1984, when there were 18 — a total that would remain more or less static for more than a decade. But in the late 1990s (perhaps not coincidentally, when the Bowl Championship Series began), the bowl field began expanding rapidly, reaching 20 games in 1997, 25 in 2000 and 32 in 2006.In the chart below you can see the proliferation of the bowl field since 1982, the year cable television money and the departure of the Ivy League from Division I-A ushered in college football’s truly modern era:Some of the bloat is associated with an increase in the number of Division I-A (now known as the Football Bowl Subdivision, or FBS) football teams, to 128 this season from 113 in 1982. (A chunk of these new additions have come in just the past few seasons, as part of what FiveThirtyEight contributor David Goldenberg calls a “recent trend of universities starting football programs from scratch with the plan to get to Division I as soon as possible, and reap the PR and financial benefits that come with a major football program.”)But the growth of the FBS only explains a small portion of the bowl explosion. Even as a percentage of all FBS schools, almost twice as many teams will go bowling this season as did in 1996:Economically, there are pros and cons to the inflated bowl field. And these games do matter football-wise, especially to a certain subset of mid-major programs looking for exposure any way they can find it. But, as a natural byproduct of expansion, the caliber of teams in bowls has plummeted over the past three decades.Using an Elo-like estimated version of ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) pre-bowl ratings, here is the progression of the average, worst, and 25th-percentile teams in the bowl field for each season since 1982:The average rating for bowl-bound teams is barely lower now than it was in 1982, and the fact that it crested in 1996 — right before the bowl boom — suggests that there were enough good teams to support some type of expansion in the late 1990s. (Why this change took place is up for debate, though it could point to the origins of today’s ongoing trend of reduced parity between college football’s haves and have-nots.)However, the trend lines describing the dregs of the bowl field (the minimum and 25th-percentile ratings) show how much the bar for bowl entry has been lowered since that time. Bad teams occasionally made their way into bowls before 1997, but that’s now commonplace, particularly since the number of bowl entrants has grown by 39 percent since 2005.Monday’s Miami Beach Bowl thriller, between Memphis and Brigham Young, showed that less prestigious bowl games can still provide excitement for fans that bother to tune in. But it’s also fair to question whether we really need to see FPI No. 95 South Alabama and No. 97 Bowling Green (both considered to be in excess of 8 points per game worse than an average FBS team) face off in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl — as happened on Saturday. Like so much in college football, the bowls are an as yet incomplete experiment in where to find a happy medium between tradition, money-making and the role of academic institutions in the world of high-profile sports.
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Observing that it is often in times when poetry is impossible, that the best kind of poetry is written, pioneering Malayalam poet and theorist K Satchidandan said it was important to be able to hurt and affect sentiments in an increasingly charged and gentrified world.”The freedom to disturb and agitate is one of the most important rights a poet has, especially in the history we find ourselves living in today. Poetry is the freedom to conceive, to create alternative worlds, different ways of seeing, going beyond reality to escape it. Or perhaps even oppose the real and inhabit other realities,” said Satchidanandan, during a thought-provoking evening conversation at Vak: Raza Biennale of Indian Poetry, an event held in the Capital recently. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe scholarly panel discussion, titled ‘Poetry as Freedom’, was held at the Triveni Kala Sangam as part of the three-day Biennale. The first-of-its-kind celebration of verse in the country was organised by the Raza Foundation – set up by the late master artist Sayed Haider Raza in 2001 and helmed by eminent Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi, the Managing Trustee.”Though it is but words, poetry is ultimately an act of imagination and a kind of conversation. To use meter, rhythm, metaphor, rhyme, syntax, structure, style and imagery to follow or break with diktats and rejuvenate and recreate language in order to make apparent the invisible,” added K Satchidandan. Citing the importance of the discussion, Vajpeyi said, “Poetry is perhaps the best embodiment of the ideals of freedom. It has become all the more crucial today when there are many curbs on freedom of expression and in a world where the idea of freedom has been divorced from ideas of equality and justice.” The hour-long conversation also featured prominent educationist and former NCERT director Krishna Kumar, award-winning author and academic Ananya Vajpeyi and Apoorvanand, renowned professor of Hindi at Delhi University. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDescribing poetry as the “last refuge” against tendencies of systemic oppression and reductionism, Ananya Vajpeyi traced the influence poets and their works have exercised on the sub-continent across epochs. Contending that a “little amnesia” would help the contemporary shake off the shackles of the past, iconic litterateur Keki N Daruwalla said that poetry was an important counterweight against the canonisation of myth as memory.”The danger of myth becoming scripture and memory, as something to be remembered as having lived or occurred is something we must all be wary of. This sort of co-option – the darker side of memory – is linked to nostalgia. A little amnesia would benefit us all,” said Daruwalla, sparking a lively discussion at event. He linked the conflation of myth with historical and racial anger and distrust. The discussion saw impassioned rebuttal arguments from noted social scientist Shiv Visvanathan and celebrated Gujarati poet-playwright Sitanshu Yashaschandra at the Biennale.”Indian poetics understands that memory, like literature, gives you space for and elasticity of interpretation. Indian literature traditionally used memory as metaphor. Like literature, memory should be permitted to cheat us and play with us,” Yashaschandra said.
Kolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a housewife whose body was found hanging from the ceiling at her in-laws’ house in Nadia.The victim, Sujata Biswas, originally a resident of Malda got married to one Arindra Mitra of Taherpur in Nadia around 11 months ago. The family members of the victim alleged that she had been murdered by her husband and later her body was put in a manner to make it look like a case of suicide. They also lodged a complaint at the local police station and demanded a detailed probe into the incident. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalThe victim’s parents also alleged that the accused husband had an extra marital relationship with another woman in the locality. They often fought with each other after the victim came to know about the illicit affair. As she protested against the affair, Sujata was often subjected to physical torture by her husband. On a few occasions, she also went to her maternal house in Malda to stay. Her husband went to her maternal house and brought her to Nadia a month ago. The accused then convinced her family members that he would no longer Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedassault her. The family members of the victim told police a quarrel might have broken out between the couple on Tuesday night following which he strangulated her to death and later kept her body in such a position. They also alleged that the accused had attempted to kill her on previous occasions as well. After being informed by locals, police reached the spot and recovered the body. Police are waiting for the autopsy report which might throw some light on her death. On the basis of specific complaint police started a detailed probe in this regard and are not ruling out any possibilities of foul play behind the incident. Police are yet to arrest anybody in this connection so far.
For the villagers of many sleepy hamlets of Uttar Pradesh, it was a festival on Wednesday at this tinsel village of Shamli district.Under its ambitious ‘Kumhaar Sashaktikaran Yojana’ and ‘Honey Mission’ projects, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) distributed 60 electric potter wheels and 1,000 bee-boxes among the villagers of Hathras, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Meerut, Bagpat, Amroha, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur and Shamli districts at Choudhary Charan Singh Multi-disciplinary Training Centre (MTDC) here. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfKVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena, who was the chief guest of this function, said that these electric potter wheels are the booster of strength to the potters. “It will not only reduce their labour but with these electric potter wheels – they will make the best quality of utensils and terracotta in minimum time,” he said, adding, “In consonance with the changed demand from the perspective customers with support of technological back up by providing the modernised machines / tools and equipments to the existing potters, we have taken initiatives to promote the pottery industry. After proper training under skill upgradation programme by the KVIC, these new design intervention and supply of modernised machines, tools and equipment in pottery making will enable to bring out the new terra-cotta products in the market by the potters, who are so far making pottery through hand driven traditional methods – incidentally high-labour intensive and less cost-effective.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSaxena further said that it would not only give direct employment to 90 people and indirect employment to 15 people but also enhance per day income of a potter from Rs 100 to at least Rs 400. In the programme, the KVIC Chairman gave one electric potter wheels, one set of a pug mill, one set of blunger and one set of gas fired kiln to each group of 10 potters in altogether 60 beneficiaries. While the electric potter wheel on which the potter can work 12 to 16 hours a day – is useful for bringing the new designs and reducing the drudgery having variable RPM of 0 to 180, the blunger can process 400 to 500 kilograms of raw clay in mere 8 hours. Similarly, while the pugmill is used for pugging and homogenous clay mixing and would process 500-800 kilograms clay per hour, the all-weather and less pollutant gas kiln is useful for baking the green articles of 50 to 60 kilograms per day with temperature up to 1100 degree centigrade. Following the clarion call given by the Prime Minister, who has always laid stress on the need of ‘Sweet Kranti’ on the lines of ‘Shwet Kranti’, KVIC Chairman also distributed 1,000 bee-boxes among 100 scheduled caste farmers of Shamli and neighbouring districts, identified by the KVIC. “It will not only ensure an additional annual income of to the farmers’ families but would also increase the yield of their crops due to the cross-pollination,” he said, adding, “KVIC has planned to adopt two-three villages in each district of India as ‘Honey Villages’.” Later, the KVIC Chairman also planted more than 500 saplings of medicinal plants of Moringa and Tulsi. Among others, who attended this function were Satya Narayana, Deputy CEO (North Zone) and Madhusudan Chouhan, Principal MTDC.
Kolkata: Speaker Biman Banerjee on Monday asked Tapas Roy, who holds the independent charge of Planning, Statistics and Programme Monitoring department, to convene a meeting of the standing committee of MLAs to take up the issue of spending MLALAD funds.A number of MLAs in the state Assembly raised issues over less spending of MLALAD funds by some municipalities or utilising the same in schemes other than what it is allocated for. The matter was raised by Left Front MLA of North Dum Dum Tanmoy Bhattacharya, who questioned Roy about the inability in spending MLALAD funds, popularly known as BUP funds, on the part of North Dum Dum and New Barrackpore municipalities. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe North Dum Dum municipality has spent Rs 23 lakh, while New Barrackpore has failed to spend any amount. “There is a fixed guideline for spending funds under BUP scheme and there should be public display in the form of signboards mentioning the funds spent under the scheme. If it is found that proper procedure has not been followed in this regard, it is not desirable,” Roy said. He asserted that this fund is a right of the MLAs. “My department will again pass over direction to the District Magistrates to ensure that signboards are put up displaying expenditure of BUP funds,” he added. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThis fund is allocated by the state government on the recommendation of the respective MLAs for development work in the area and is spent through the municipalities. Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan mentioned that his MLALAD funds have been spent by Champdani and Baidyabati municipalities in Hooghly in some other projects against his recommendation. “Often we are completely in the dark about how the municipalities spend these funds,” Mannan added. The Speaker said that the issue has been raised by a number of MLAs and asked Roy to organise a standing committee meeting of MLAs to solve the same.