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25 January 2020

Ruckify Launches T-Shirt Fundraiser To Help Support The Australian Wildfire Relief Efforts

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The 'Support Australia' t-shirts from Ruckify have a list of organisations you can help during and after the bushfire crisis
The 'Support Australia' t-shirts from Ruckify have a list of organisations you can help during and after the bushfire crisis (image via Ruckify.com)
Ruckify, the global peer-to-peer marketplace for all things rentals, has launched a t-shirt fundraising campaign to support those affected by the devastating Australian bushfires.

The shirts, which will be available on a dedicated RuckifyStore, list a number of organisations people can donate to both during and after the fire crisis that has devastated communities and destroyed large tracts of wilderness in recent months.

All proceeds will be donated to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) for firefighting equipment and training as Australia's bushfire season continues, while anyone who purchases a shirt will receive $5 off a Ruckify rental of their choice.

The idea and design for the shirts came from Ruckify staff, after a company-wide conversation about feelings of helplessness as news of the disaster flowed in.

Ruckify founder and CEO Steve Cody said staff had helped communities inundated near the company's headquarters during the Ottawa River floods in April 2019, and wanted to find a way to lend support to others in need on the other side of the world.
"Since Ruckify's founding two years ago, community, environmentalism, and sustainability have been at the heart of our values," Mr Cody said. "These fires have dealt a blow to the Australian people, and the environment, that will be felt for years to come.

These disasters affect us all, and will continue to do so as the effects of climate change become more apparent. Australians help North Americans every year with funding and resources during wildfire season, and we want to contribute in any way we can."
The fundraising campaign complements Ruckify's ongoing TreeProject, the company's commitment to plant a tree for every sign-up, transaction, and review at ruckify.com.
"It's time for all of us to step up and acknowledge the status quo will no longer work in the face of climate change and the resulting natural disasters," Mr Cody said.

Through both our shirt fundraising campaign and TreeProject campaign, we want to be part of the solution."
The front and back of the Ruckify 'Support Australia' shirts
The front and back of the Ruckify 'Support Australia' shirts (CNW Group/Ruckify)
  • Those interested in the $30 shirts can order them at the dedicated RuckifyStore, where they will be shipped for free.

About Ruckify

Ruckify is the world's largest online peer-to-peer rental marketplace, empowering its members to embrace the sharing economy and leave unnecessary purchases behind. Designed with both people and businesses in mind, anyone can post their items and spaces on Ruckify for people in their community to rent. 

Founded in Ottawa, Canada in 2018 on a foundation of community building, environmentalism, education, and freedom, Ruckify is dedicated to changing the world and curtailing the spread of unsustainable consumerism. 

The platform has also launched TreeProject, a commitment from Ruckify to plant a tree for every transaction made on the app. 
The Ruckify Tree Project
The Ruckify Tree Project (image via Ruckify.com)
SOURCE: Ruckify

24 January 2020

The Witcher (Music From The Netflix Original Series) by Composers Sonya Belousova & Giona Ostinelli Available Now

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The Witcher (Music from the Netflix Original Series) available everywhere now
The Witcher (Music from the Netflix Original Series) available everywhere now
Milan Records today releases The Witcher (Music From The Netflix Original Series) by composer and award-winning pianist Sonya Belousova and critically-acclaimed composer Giona Ostinelli

Available everywhere now, the album features music written by the duo for Netflix's latest fantasy drama series. Also included on the soundtrack is the now-viral hit "Toss A Coin To Your Witcher," a medieval ballad that has garnered unanimous critical acclaim from NPR, CNN, Vulture, BuzzFeed, Refinery29, Esquire and more, in addition to inspiring countless covers and remixes from fans. 
Of the soundtrack, composers Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli say, "The best part of scoring The Witcher is the constant stream of unlimited creative opportunities this unique and vast universe provides. We wrote and produced songs, folk tunes, dances, and score, collaborated with virtuoso soloists and phenomenal artists, recorded unique historical instruments, many of which were crafted specifically for The Witcher, as well as personally performed and recorded over 60 instruments in order to create over 8 hours of an exciting original soundtrack."

 Video: "Toss A Coin To Your Witcher"


  • The Witcher tells the story of Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire, as he journeys toward his destiny in a turbulent world where people often prove more wicked than beasts.

The Witcher (Music From The Netflix Original Series) Tracklisting:

  1. Geralt of Rivia
  2. Toss A Coin To Your Witcher (feat. Joey Batey)*
  3. Happy Childhoods Make For Dull Company (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  4. The Time of Axe And Sword Is Now (feat. Declan de Barra & Lindsay Deutsch)
  5. They're Alive (feat. Lindsay Deutsch & Burak Besir)
  6. Tomorrow I'll Leave Blaviken For Good
  7. Her Sweet Kiss (feat. Joey Batey)***
  8. It's An Ultimatum
  9. Round of Applause (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  10. Marilka That's My Name
  11. I'm Helping The Idiot (feat. Arngeir Hauksson)
  12. The Knight Who Was Taught To Save Dragons (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  13. Ragamuffin
  14. The Last Rose of Cintra (feat. Declan de Barra)**
  15. Late Wee Pups Don't Get To Bark (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  16. You Will Rule This Land Someday
  17. The Fishmonger's Daughter (feat. Joey Batey)**
  18. Blaviken Inn (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  19. Man In Black
  20. The Great Cleansing (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  21. The Law of Surprise
  22. Battle of Marnadal
  23. Pretty Ballads Hide Bastard Truths (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  24. Giltine The Artist
  25. Everytime You Leave
  26. Rewriting History (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  27. The End's Beginning (feat. Declan de Barra)
  28. Gold Dragons Are The Rarest (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  29. Bonfire (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  30. Children Are Our Favourite
  31. Do You Actually Have What It Takes
  32. Point Me To Temeria
  33. Djinni Djinn Djinn
  34. Here's Your Destiny
  35. Two Vows Here Tonight
  36. Bread Breasts And Beer (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  37. Would You Honor Me With A Dance
  38. Four Marks (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  39. The Pensive Dragon Inn (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  40. A Gift For The Princess
  41. You're In Brokilon Forest
  42. Today Isn't Your Day Is It
  43. Lovely Rendez-vous à la Montagne
  44. Blame Destiny
  45. The White Flame Has Brought Us Together
  46. He's One of The Clean Ones (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  47. You Lost Your Chance To Be Beautiful
  48. Yennefer of Vengerberg
  49. Shouldn't You Know When Someone Is Pretending (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  50. You'll Have To Fight It Until Dawn
  51. I'm The One With The Wishes
  52. Chaos Is All Around Us
  53. The Curse of The Black Sun
  54. Battle of Soden
  55. The Song of The White Wolf (feat. Declan de Barra)**
*Lyrics by Jenny Klein
**Lyrics by Declan de Barra
***Lyrics by Haily Hall

23 January 2020

National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) Makes Spectacular Art Acquisition in the UK [Video Included]

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The Fleets drawn up for Battle Design Willem van de Velde The Elder
The Fleets drawn up for Battle Design Willem van de Velde The Elder
The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) has purchased two rare, royally commissioned tapestries designed by Willem van de Velde the Elder (1611-1693) in England. The tapestries mark the significance of shared Anglo-Dutch heritage. The acquisition is the largest in the history of the museum. 

The artworks arrived at the museum earlier this week and will be on public display from 2 October 2020.
"The Van de Velde Tapestries remind us of our shared cultural heritage. The acquisition is not only welcomed, but highly appropriate and a symbol of the strong and continuing relationship between our two museums." – Sue Prichard, Senior Curator of Arts, Royal Museums Greenwich

Wide support from art funds and British museums

The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam considered purchasing just one tapestry. An additional contribution from a Dutch art fund and close consultation with colleagues from several museums in the UK, enabled the museum to keep both tapestries together. The biggest acquisition ever was made possible with the support of several Dutch sponsors.
The Burning of the Royal James (Later in the Day), woven after a design by Willem van de Velde the Elder
The Burning of the Royal James (Later in the Day), woven after a design by Willem van de Velde the Elder

World-class artworks

The tapestries are part of a series of six which depict various scenes from the Battle of Solebay in 1672. A first set was commissioned by King Charles II shortly after the battle. It is still in the Royal Collections. One tapestry is on permanent loan to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. 

Thirteen years later Charles's brother, King James II, commissioned a second set depicting the battle which was broken up for sale in 1914. Four tapestries from this set are currently in American museum collections, but not on public display. 

The two tapestries acquired by the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, were the last ones that will ever appear on the market. They have been restored with great care in the UK.

Willem van de Velde the Elder
Willem van de Velde the Elder (image via Wikipedia)

About Willem Van de Velde the Elder

(via Het Scheepvaartmuseum)
Willem van de Velde the Elder (1611-1693) is widely regarded as one of the most eminent Dutch maritime artists of the seventeenth century. 


His meticulous and elaborate pen-paintings were very popular in high society and affluent circles all over Europe. Van de Velde and his son Willem, also a celebrated maritime artist, settled in England in the winter of 1672-1673 to work at the royal court on the invitation of King Charles II. 

There, in addition to various pen-paintings and a few oil paintings, Van de Velde the Elder created the designs for a series of imposing tapestries that were produced at the Mortlake Tapestry Works near London. 

The tapestries highlight the skill and versatile talent of Van de Velde the Elder. 

The Video:

Van de Velde exhibition in Amsterdam

The tapestries will go on display for the first time during a large Van de Velde exhibition in the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam from 2 October 2020 to 5 April 2021. Given its size and scope, this retrospective exhibition will be a world first. 

After the exhibition the tapestries will remain on public display in the museum permanently.

22 January 2020

"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" to Open in China [Video Included]

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"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" to Open in China
"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" to Open in China
Cityneon Holdings has announced that Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition will be making its first-ever appearance in China, starting with Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, on the first day of Chinese New Year on 25 January 2020.

Set to be launched at the iconic Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, special guests from the media and tourism industry were invited to an exclusive preview into Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition on 20 January 2020.

This preview event was also attended by strategic partners that made this exhibition possible, including Mr. Ron Tan, Executive Chairman and Group CEO of Cityneon Holdings, Mr. Michael Silver, Universal Parks & Resorts' President for Global Business Development, , Mr. Liu Xiaobin, Vice President of Wanda Film Group and Executive CEO of Wanda Film, Ms. Zhou Haiyan, Deputy Governor of Chenghua District and many other distinguished guests. The official signing ceremony was held earlier this month (5 January 2020) at the Wanda Cinemas in Chengdu Mid-Town.

"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" - Opening Ceremony held on 20th January 2020 in Chengdu
"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" - Opening Ceremony held on 20th January 2020 in Chengdu
This exhibition spans a total area of approximately 30,000 square feet and is poised to bring the ground-breaking film franchise Jurassic World to life. Visitors will feel as if they have entered the films as they walk through the world-famous Jurassic World gates and explore the experience through an interactive journey. Guests will come face-to-face with a Velociraptor, step behind the glass into The Hammond Creation Lab; and be able to imagine what it would have been like to walk among these breathtaking animals as they visit a majestic and family-friendly Brachiosaurus, and get a rare up-close look at the most vicious dinosaur of them all, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition"
"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" (screengrab)
The Jurassic World franchise has been entertaining audiences around the world with powerful stories and characters for more than 25 years -- from film to TV to video games and toys to rides at Universal theme parks. In fact, Universal Beijing Resort is scheduled to open in 2021 as Universal's newest theme park destination and will feature seven highly themed and immersive lands -- including Jurassic World Isla Nublar. Guests of all ages will be able to explore Isla Nublar, an island of wonder and thrills where dinosaurs roam the Earth again.
Speaking at the event, Universal Parks & Resorts' President of Global Business Development Mr. Michael Silver said, "I am indeed excited to see Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition opening here in Chengdu. We strongly believe that this exhibition's first foray into China is only the beginning, and we are confident that Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition will be presented in many other Chinese markets in the future. We are delighted that our licensee Cityneon Group, together with Wanda Films, are presenting such a world-class exhibition that is such a credit to the iconic Jurassic World franchise, and we are pleased that the many Jurassic World fans in China will have the opportunity to experience this wonderful exhibition."
"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition"
"Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition" (screengrab)
Adding to that, Cityneon's Executive Chairman and Group CEO Mr. Ron Tan said, "We are honoured and thrilled to have forged strong and strategic partnerships with Universal and Wanda to bring Jurassic World: The Movie Exhibition to Chengdu, our first stop in China. We are highly encouraged by the committed ticket sales of 300,000 tickets even prior to the start of the exhibition and deeply hope that this exhibition can bring the same excitement to the Chinese audiences here as well."
Reiterating his commitment to create high-quality and unforgettable experiences, Mr. Tan added, "We will continue to leverage on our expertise, credentials and relationships with existing and new partners to deliver more unique exhibitions and compelling experiences in markets with high growth potential."
Wanda Film Group and Wanda Film's CEO Mr. Zeng Maojun, said, "We are very impressed with Cityneon's licensed portfolio of leading global IPs and its iconic exhibitions that captivate audiences around the world. It is our great pleasure to collaborate with them to bring this exclusive exhibition to China. We are confident that the audiences will be wowed by the magnificence and interactive experiences, leaving them with unforgettable unique memories like never before, especially during this festive Chinese New Year."

The Video:


SOURCE: Cityneon

21 January 2020

Doritos Brings The Chill To Super Bowl LIV In A 'Cool Ranch' Western Showdown Headlined By Lil Nas X, Sam Elliott & Billy Ray Cyrus [Teaser Videos Included]

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Doritos Brings The Chill To Super Bowl LIV In A 'Cool Ranch' Western Showdown Headlined By Lil Nas X, Sam Elliott & Billy Ray Cyrus
Doritos Brings The Chill To Super Bowl LIV In A 'Cool Ranch' Western Showdown Headlined By Lil Nas X, Sam Elliott & Billy Ray Cyrus
When a snack as iconic as Doritos Cool Ranch gets the Super Bowl advertising treatment for the first time ever, it only makes sense to enlist the help of a few entertainment icons to take the spot to another level of cool. 

Following years of Super Bowl ad success with music superstars, Doritos is bringing the country's favorite country-meets-rap musical duo — Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus — together for another head-turning collaboration alongside critically acclaimed movie legend, Sam Elliott. The campaign fits directly into Doritos' newly revamped mantra and tagline, Another Level.

Fans were able to get a first glimpse of the commercial in a teaser video Doritos dropped last week that brought them straight to the scene of a country Western town named "The Cool Ranch." Known from a wide array of work — including many Western films — Sam Elliott recited the lyrics to "Old Town Road," leaving fans guessing what comes next. 



Today, Doritos is dropping a new teaser titled "Bassquake" on its social channels that helps fans start to put the pieces together. We see Lil Nas X riding his stallion into town on a saddle customized to blast tunes from its speakers, so fans know that something big is coming their way to celebrate the launch of the new Doritos Cool Ranch. What will go down in the wild wild west? Time will only tell.


"Fans have come to expect Doritos to show up big with our Super Bowl advertising, and since we're making Doritos Cool Ranch even cooler this year, we knew we had to enlist the help of a few of the coolest and most popular voices of the past year," said Rachel Ferdinando, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Frito-Lay North America. "Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus are as iconic of a duo as it gets to help us introduce the new power punch to one of our most beloved flavors — Cool Ranch. Pair them with legendary actor Sam Elliott and you get pure country ranch magic in a commercial that's bound to get our fans amped on game day."
Doritos Brings The Chill To Super Bowl LIV In A 'Cool Ranch' Western Showdown Headlined By Lil Nas X, Sam Elliott & Billy Ray Cyrus
Doritos Brings The Chill To Super Bowl LIV In A 'Cool Ranch' Western Showdown Headlined By Lil Nas X, Sam Elliott & Billy Ray Cyrus

A Decorated Super Bowl History

Doritos has become a recognized staple of Super Bowl advertising with some of the most memorable commercials over the past decade and a half. 

More recently, the brand has tapped the world's biggest names in music and entertainment to star in its TV spots, bringing fans never-before-seen music collaborations that have helped catapult Doritos to the top of most Super Bowl ad rankings — from its #Spitfire lip-sync rap battle campaign in Super Bowl LII with MTN DEW, to last year's #NowItsHot campaign that saw iconic music hits remixed with a Flamin' Hot twist. And of course, the Crash the Super Bowl era saw countless consumer-created Doritos ads rank No. 1 on numerous polls.

Doritos Brings The Chill To Super Bowl LIV In A 'Cool Ranch' Western Showdown Headlined By Lil Nas X, Sam Elliott & Billy Ray Cyrus
Doritos Brings The Chill To Super Bowl LIV In A 'Cool Ranch' Western Showdown Headlined By Lil Nas X, Sam Elliott & Billy Ray Cyrus

About Lil Nas X & Old Town Road

In the span of just one year, 20-year-old Lil Nas X has gone from an aspiring artist crashing with siblings in Atlanta to one of the biggest stars in music today. Born Montero Lamar Hill, Lil Nas X created his genre-shattering song "Old Town Road" in December 2018, bringing to life a song that would forever change the music industry and touch lives across the globe. 

Fueled by a remix with Billy Ray Cyrus and many viral moments in culture throughout the year, the song rose to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 2019 and held the spot for 19 consecutive weeks, becoming the longest-running song to stay top the chart in its history. 

"Old Town Road" has been recognized with a CMA Award, an American Music Award, a Teen Choice Award, 2 BET Hip-Hop Awards, 2 MTV Video Music Awards, the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Youth, and an Apple Music Award. The Diamond-certified track has accumulated 3.1 Billion global streams and over 800 Million video views to date, while also landing on various 'Best Songs of the Year' lists from Billboard, PAPER, TIME, LA Times, Complex, Vice and more.

In June 2019, he also released his debut EP called 7. The eclectic collection featured 8 new tracks that ranged from mainstream rap and pop styles to alternative rock. The song "Rodeo" included a cameo from Cardi B, while second single "Panini" went on to hit #1 at Rhythm radio and received a remix from DaBaby. To cap his banner year, Lil Nas X was nominated for six Grammy Awards including Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Album of the Year, and is currently at work on his debut album via Columbia Records.


SOURCE: Frito-Lay

20 January 2020

Bennett Wales & The Relief Releases New Politically Charged Protest Single 'Hey Otto' - Song Grieves Torture and Death of Otto Warmbier by Brutal North Korean Regime [Video Included]

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Bennett Wales & The Relief  - "Hey Otto"
Bennett Wales & The Relief - "Hey Otto" (screengrab)
Bennett Wales & The Relief (BW&TR) announced the release of the first of 10 singles slated for this year. "Hey Otto" is a visceral rock-and-roll lament for the detainment, torture and death of Otto Warmbier, amidst a widely publicized 2016 North Korean media spectacle and cover up. Echoing the best efforts of time-honored protest troubadours like Dylan or Marley, the new single harbingers the release of BW&TR's sophomore collection, "Album II." 
"Otto's story is one that we just had to tell," said BW&TR. "Like most of the country at the time, we were stunned by his treatment at the hands of the vicious, dictatorial regime in North Korea – all for the relatively tiny crime of a simple poster vandalism. He was brutalized by North Korean officials, then sent home in a vegetative coma from which he later died. And to make matters worse for his family, the POTUS sided with the official North Korean cover story. It's the kind of gut-wrenching tale you just can't make up, and exactly the sort of story that needs to be told right now about what's still going on in the world."
"Hey Otto" is one of the featured singles from BW&TR's much anticipated new record title: "Album II." Other songs on the upcoming album include "I Got Bills" and "Wolfstep." The first talks about trying to keep one's head above water in a world that is continually growing more expensive; while "Wolfstep" is a melodic musical howl marking the need to remain steadfastly and aggressively dedicated to one's goals.

The Video:


  • BW&TR is currently planning an intensive 2020 tour in Virginia and the greater East Coast, with specific date announcements forthcoming. For news on the upcoming tour, album, new singles and other info, follow Bennett Wales & The Relief on social media and Spotify: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Spotify.

About Bennett Wales & The Release:

BW&TR is the unique rock-and-roll creation of a group of five musicians who came together after gaining prominence playing in and around the Tidewater region of Virginia. BW&TR features the musical talents of Mike Fischetti (bass), Caleb Little (keys), Brock Bittner (guitar), Drew Orton (drums) and Bennett Wales (vocals/guitar). Their debut album, "Flood Without Water," personifies their heart-thumping, kick-down-the-door musical approach.
    Bennett Wales & The Relief
    Bennett Wales & The Relief
    SOURCE: Bennett Wales & The Relief

    18 January 2020

    The Net-Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action

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    The Net-Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action
    The Net-Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action (image via World Economic Forum)
    The World Economic Forum (WEF), in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), recently released a report that examines the current state of climate action by companies and governments and provides insights about the actions that corporations, governments, and civil society can take now, both collectively and individually, to limit global warming. 

    The report, which will be presented at the WEF annual meeting in Davos-Klosters, is titled, The Net Zero Challenge, in recognition of the need to move to net-zero emissions globally by 2050.

    The year 2020 marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, which committed world leaders to limiting global warming to well below 2°C. However, greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise at a rate of 1.5% per annum over the past decade. A reduction of >5% per annum is now needed through 2030 to limit the worst impacts of global warming and net-zero carbon emissions must be reached by 2050.

    Business and Investors Should Accelerate Action—in Their Own Interest

    All 20-plus CEOs and 14 climate experts who were interviewed for the report highlighted the need to accelerate climate action—both as a moral imperative and as a business opportunity. The analysis, based on the responses of nearly 7,000 companies to the CDP climate questionnaire, shows that not enough is being done by companies today, with only a small minority disclosing their emissions and even fewer setting any kind of emission reduction target.

    The Net Zero Challenge examines the ways in which climate action can be seen as a source of competitive advantage for companies—as a means of reducing costs by increasing efficiency, fulfilling the needs of increasingly climate-conscious customers, and attracting the best possible talent. It emphasizes that businesses should be accelerating efforts to reduce the carbon intensity of their operations and that of their supply chains, to manage their climate-related investment risks, and to innovate to refocus their business models for growth in a decarbonized world.

    The report shows how investors, too, need to play a pivotal role in triggering and facilitating climate action, as they have an inherent interest to "de-risk" the terminal value of their investments by pushing for more transparency and disclosure and by supporting longer-term corporate decarbonization plans.

    Where financial or structural barriers prevent businesses from moving forward, ecosystem initiatives can enable collaboration among industry peers or along value chains to provide risk-sharing mechanisms and help accelerate the speed and scale of change.
    "A Paris-compatible pathway implies a significant, sometimes existential, transformation for many companies. Innovation is needed, and many businesses can look for growth in new markets for lower-carbon products and services," said Cornelius Pieper, a BCG partner and coleader of the firm's Center for Climate Action.

    A Call for Unilateral Government Action and Individual Leadership

    Progress among policymakers has been limited to date. While 121 countries now have an ambition to be carbon-neutral by 2050, they together account for less than 25% of global emissions. None is among the top five emitters, and very few have enacted policies that are robust enough to produce the desired effects.

    The report calls for accelerated unilateral policy action from governments to set the context needed for companies to decarbonize, such as by implementing carbon pricing and other sector-specific regulations and incentives.
    "The good news is that governments can act unilaterally to reduce emissions, as many countries can benefit economically from carbon abatement investments. What is needed is an ambitious policy context that includes a meaningful carbon price, supported by incentives and other measures," said Patrick Herhold, a BCG partner and coleader of the Center for Climate Action.
    The report also stresses that educated voters and consumers are a crucial enabler of the low-carbon transition - better information is needed across all channels about what it will take to achieve net-zero emissions, and communications need to focus on solutions and the benefits of change.

    We each have a responsibility to deliver a safer world as leaders in business and in policy, and as parents.
    "Climate action is still too often perceived as a cost or a tradeoff with other priorities," said Michel Fredeau, a BCG senior partner and leader of the firm's work in climate and the environment. "It should be viewed as an opportunity for businesses, countries, and individuals to create an advantage in building a better, more sustainable world."
    The Net Zero Challenge concludes with actions that companies, governments, investors, and individuals can take to start reducing emissions in 2020.

    The Net-Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action
    The Net-Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action 

    Related Stories:


    17 January 2020

    Space Mission Names Embody Chinese Romanticism [Video Included]

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    Space Mission Names Embody Chinese Romanticism
    Space Mission Names Embody Chinese Romanticism (screengrab)

    The following is a news report by China Mosaic on the background stories of China's space mission names:

    "Over the past few months, China's aerospace industry has witnessed many landmark events.

    Apart from celebrating these scientific achievements and milestones, the public has also developed a growing interest in the missions' unique names, of which many are derived from China's myths and legends.

    Here are some examples. China's spacecrafts are called
    Shenzhou. This literally means "heavenly ship" in Chinese, and is also a homonym for the Chinese words "divine land," which is a term used in literary works to refer to the country. China's moon exploration project and its lunar probe, which made the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon, are both named after a Chinese goddess of the moon, Chang'e. According to ancient legends, the goddess lived in solitude on the moon with a rabbit, known as Yutu. In 2013, the Chang'e-3 lunar probe landed on the moon and was carried around by a lunar rover called Yutu. The two names perfectly match the legend of the moon fairy and her pet.

    Space Mission Names Embody Chinese Romanticism
    Space Mission Names Embody Chinese Romanticism (screengrab)
    In another example, the relay satellite for the Chang'e-4 moon exploration mission is called Queqiao, or "magpie bridge." The magpie bridge, in a Chinese folk tale, was formed by millions of magpies, so that a separated couple could meet each other despite the Milky Way. Likewise, the Queqiao relay satellite serves as a "space-bridge" for communication between the moon and the earth.

    Space Mission Names Embody Chinese Romanticism
    Space Mission Names Embody Chinese Romanticism (screengrab)
    China's dark matter probe satellite, Wukong got its name through public solicitation. It was launched in 2015, and was named after the Monkey King (Wukong) from the classical Chinese novel "Journey to the West." This is because people hoped the probe could find dark matter in the vast reaches of space just like Wukong's "eyes of fire" from which nothing escapes.

    Chinese people's aspiration to the universe dated back to ancient times. Besides typical Chinese poetry demonstrating their curiosity for the great and beyond, some even tried to explore.
    Lu Ban, a great inventor living in the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BC-256 BC), made a flying bamboo bird, and Wan Hu, a legendary official in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), tried to shoot himself into space with a crude rocket.

    On the one hand, Chinese people spared no effort to explore the laws of planetary motions to develop their lunar calendar. On the other hand, the ancient Chinese were also perplexed by the mysteries of space so they created many myths and legends, such as "
    Kuafu Chases the Sun," to explain phenomena that they could not explain. These traditional stories have become the source of inspiration for Chinese scientists in the naming of major space missions.

    The famous spacecrafts and rovers built by the United States include the
    Challenger, the Opportunity and the Spirit, whose names reflect a positive and enterprising spirit. This is quite unlike how the Chinese name their spacecrafts, which reflects the Chinese people's sense of romance and awe for space as well as their efforts to pass down traditional culture and their ancestors' spirit of scientific discovery. Nevertheless, all these names, Chinese or foreign, showcase the dreams of humankind and our collective pursuit to discover the secrets of space.

    We mentioned in a previous episode that when
    Apollo 11 prepared to land on the moon, the control center on earth told the astronauts onboard to "watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit," which refers to Chang'e and her rabbit Yutu. With the stellar progress of China's aerospace industry, more and more Chinese stories embodying Chinese romanticism will be shown to the world."

    The Video:


    SOURCE: China.org.cn

    16 January 2020

    Burning Planet: Climate Fires and Political Flame Wars Rage [Video Included]

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    Social instability - as seen in Hong Kong SAR - is one of the top-10 risks as identified by business leaders
    Social instability - as seen in Hong Kong SAR - is one of the top-10 risks as identified by business leaders (image via World Economic Forum)
    Economic and political polarization will rise this year, as collaboration between world leaders, businesses and policy-makers is needed more than ever to stop severe threats to our climate, environment, public health and technology systems. This points to a clear need for a multistakeholder approach to mitigating risk at a time when the world cannot wait for the fog of geopolitical disorder to lift. These are the findings of the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report 2020, published today. 

    The report forecasts a year of increased domestic and international divisions and economic slowdown. Geopolitical turbulence is propelling us towards an "unsettled" unilateral world of great power rivalries at a time when business and government leaders must focus urgently on working together to tackle shared risks.

    Over 750 global experts and decision-makers were asked to rank their biggest concerns in terms of likelihood and impact and 78% said they expect "economic confrontations" and "domestic political polarization" to rise in 2020.

    This would prove catastrophic, particularly for addressing urgent challenges like the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and record species decline. The report, produced in partnership with Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, points to a need for policy-makers to match targets for protecting the Earth with ones for boosting economies – and for companies to avoid the risks of potentially disastrous future losses by adjusting to science-based targets.

    For the first time in the survey's 10-year outlook, the top five global risks in terms of likelihood are all environmental. The report sounds the alarm on:
    1. Extreme weather events with major damage to property, infrastructure and loss of human life.
    2. Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation by governments and businesses.
    3. Human-made environmental damage and disasters, including environmental crime, such as oil spills, and radioactive contamination.
    4. Major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse (terrestrial or marine) with irreversible consequences for the environment, resulting in severely depleted resources for humankind as well as industries.
    5. Major natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and geomagnetic storms.
    It adds that unless stakeholders adapt to "today's epochal power-shift" and geopolitical turbulence – while still preparing for the future – time will run out to address some of the most pressing economic, environmental and technological challenges. This signals where action by business and policy-makers is most needed.

    Burning Planet: Climate Fires and Political Flame Wars Rage
    Burning Planet: Climate Fires and Political Flame Wars Rage (screengrab)
    "The political landscape is polarized, sea levels are rising and climate fires are burning. This is the year when world leaders must work with all sectors of society to repair and reinvigorate our systems of cooperation, not just for short-term benefit but for tackling our deep-rooted risks," said Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.
    The Global Risks Report is part of the Global Risks Initiative which brings stakeholders together to develop sustainable, integrated solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.

    Systems-level thinking is required to confront looming geopolitical and environmental risks, and threats that may otherwise fall under the radar. This year's report focuses explicitly on impacts from rising inequality, gaps in technology governance, and health systems under pressure.
    John Drzik, Chairman of Marsh & McLennan Insights, said: "There is mounting pressure on companies from investors, regulators, customers, and employees to demonstrate their resilience to rising climate volatility. Scientific advances mean that climate risks can now be modeled with greater accuracy and incorporated into risk management and business plans. High profile events, like recent wildfires in Australia and California, are adding pressure on companies to take action on climate risk at a time when they also face greater geopolitical and cyber risk challenges."
    To younger generations, the state of the planet is even more alarming. The report highlights how risks are seen by those born after 1980. They ranked environmental risks higher than other respondents, in the short- and long- terms. Almost 90% of these respondents believe "extreme heat waves", "destruction of ecosystems" and "health impacted by pollution" will be aggravated in 2020; compared to 77%, 76% and 67% respectively for other generations. They also believe that the impact from environmental risks by 2030 will be more catastrophic and more likely.

    Burning Planet: Climate Fires and Political Flame Wars Rage
    Burning Planet: Climate Fires and Political Flame Wars Rage (screengrab)
    Human activity has already caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants – which underpin our food and health systems. Peter Giger, Group Chief Risk Officer, Zurich Insurance Group warned of the urgent need to adapt faster to avoid the worst and irreversible impacts of climate change and to do more to protect the planet's biodiversity:
    "Biologically diverse ecosystems capture vast amounts of carbon and provide massive economic benefits that are estimated at $33 trillion per year – the equivalent to the GDP of the US and China combined. It's critical that companies and policy-makers move faster to transition to a low carbon economy and more sustainable business models. We are already seeing companies destroyed by failing to align their strategies to shifts in policy and customer preferences. Transition risks are real, and everyone must play their part to mitigate them. It's not just an economic imperative, it is simply the right thing to do," he said.


    • The Global Risks Report 2020 has been developed with the invaluable support of the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Advisory Board. It also benefits from ongoing collaboration with its Strategic Partners Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group and its academic advisers at the Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford), the National University of Singapore and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center (University of Pennsylvania).

    Annex

    Respondents were asked to assess: (1) the likelihood of a global risk occurring over the course of the next 10 years, and (2) the severity of its impact at a global level if it were to occur.

    These are the top 5 risks by likelihood over the next 10 years:

    1. Extreme weather events (e.g. floods, storms, etc.)
    2. Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
    3. Major natural disasters (e.g. earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, geomagnetic storms)
    4. Major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse
    5. Human-made environmental damage and disasters

    These are the top 5 risks by severity of impact over the next 10 years:

    1. Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
    2. Weapons of mass destruction
    3. Major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse
    4. Extreme weather events (e.g. floods, storms, etc.)
    5. Water crises
    Global risks are not isolated, and so respondents were asked to assess the interconnections between pairs of global risks.

    These are the top most strongly connected global risks:

    1. Extreme weather events + failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
    2. Large-scale cyberattacks + breakdown of critical information infrastructure and networks
    3. High structural unemployment or underemployment + adverse consequences of technological advances
    4. Major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse + failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
    5. Food crises + extreme weather events

    Short-term risks: percentage of respondents who think a risk will increase in 2020:

    1. Economic confrontations = 78.5%
    2. Domestic political polarization = 78.4%
    3. Extreme heat waves = 77.1%
    4. Destruction of natural resource ecosystems = 76.2%
    5. Cyberattacks: infrastructure = 76.1%
    The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

    The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas
    SOURCE: Marsh

    15 January 2020

    Heineken Unveils "No Time To Die" TV Commercial Starring Daniel Craig

    by
    Daniel Craig features in the latest Heineken Ad in the lead up to James Bond’s No Time To Die.
    Daniel Craig features in the latest Heineken Ad in the lead up to James Bond’s No Time To Die
    Heineken has launched its latest James Bond TV commercial featuring Daniel Craig. The launch comes ahead of the April release of the 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die

    The TV commercial, which will be shown in over 75 countries, gives a fresh perspective on Daniel Craig's iconic portrayal of James Bond. Focusing on the premise that Daniel Craig will always be James Bond in the eyes of fans around the world. 

    Daniel Craig features in the latest Heineken Ad in the lead up to James Bond’s No Time To Die (Screeengrab)
    • Watch the new commercial here.
    Starting with a high-speed taxi sequence, Daniel Craig is constantly recognised as James Bond by surprised locals as he hunts down his missing passport, before enjoying a cold refreshing Heineken. The new commercial launches worldwide today.
    Gianluca Di Tondo, Senior Director, Global Heineken Brand said; "Heineken has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the James Bond franchise for over two decades, covering the last eight films. Ahead of the release of No Time To Die, we wanted to bring a twist to the iconic character and show how Bond lives beyond the film – as we believe, once James Bond, always James Bond. In addition, as we do with our other partnerships such as UEFA Champions League and Formula One, we have developed a dedicated Heineken 0.0% element to the campaign. This part of the campaign, as well as outlining the consumer choice available in our portfolio, has already created significant media debate." 
    Daniel Craig features in the latest Heineken Ad in the lead up to James Bond’s No Time To Die (Screeengrab)
    • Watch the Heineken 0.0% content here.
    In addition to the commercial, which can be viewed on TV, online and across social media, Heineken is also activating consumer promotions as well as limited edition packaging.
    James Bond - No Time To Die
    James Bond - No Time To Die (image via IMDb)
    No Time To Die, is the twenty-fifth James Bond film from EON Productions and will be released globally from April 2, 2020 in the U.K. through Universal Pictures International and in the U.S on April 10, from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios via their United Artists Releasing banner.

    More About James Bond - No Time To Die:

    (via Wikipedia)
    Some time after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, James Bond has left active service. He is approached by Felix Leiter, his friend and a CIA officer, who enlists his help in the search for a missing scientist. When it becomes apparent that the scientist was abducted, Bond must confront a danger the likes of which the world has never seen before...
    SOURCE: HEINEKEN

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