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VIDEO GAMES by David Chan



This is my idea of fun…

Song: Cover of Lana del Rey’s “Video Games” by The Young Professionals

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Sydney Says People Can Dance Again As Locally Acquired COVID-19 Cases Fall To 0


SYDNEY ― On Monday, for the first time in a year, Sydneysiders can dance.

The state of New South Wales said it would dramatically relax COVID-19 restrictions next week, a landmark move as officials said large swaths of quarantine and frontline workers had been vaccinated.

“With no community transmission and our quarantine and frontline workers now receiving their second vaccinations, the timing is right to further ease restrictions across the state,” State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Wednesday, more than 12 months into the pandemic. “As we do this, it is important we don’t let our guard down and continue to check in at venues, keep our social distance and get tested if we have even the mildest of symptoms.”

The easing of pandemic restrictions includes a host of opportunities largely unheard of, except in New Zealand and some Republican-led U.S. states: No attendance caps for weddings or funerals, 200 people allowed at personal outdoor gatherings, 100% seating capacity at sports stadiums and theaters. Mask mandates on public transit are also no longer mandatory (although face coverings are still “strongly recommended”).

“We are pretty much back to normal, and that’s a great thing for the people of our state,” NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said during a news briefing. “This is an amazing achievement from where we were just last year. … So, to have the freedoms and the options we have is a testament to the people of our state.”

Sydney held its Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade earlier this month, but large-scale dance parties were off the table.



Sydney held its Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade earlier this month, but large-scale dance parties were off the table.

In many ways, Australia’s response to the pandemic could have only happened here.

The country is surrounded by miles of ocean, and since March 2020 every person has had to quarantine for two weeks inside a government-designated facility. Cases routinely pop up in those isolation hotels, but patients are treated before they can return home.

For members of the public, testing is free and widely available. Guests at weddings, patrons at every hospitality venue and many other businesses are required to check in via a government QR code system, so they can be alerted of any nearby COVID-19 cases. And in instances of localized outbreaks  ― even when there is just one case ― state governments have locked down entire suburbs or even cities to get infection under control.

The strict moves have paid off. Since the start of the pandemic, Australia has had just under 30,000 cases and only 909 deaths. (On Tuesday the U.S. had more than 58,000 new cases and 892 deaths in a 24-hour period.)

Still, outbreaks have happened. Melbourne was strictly locked down for nearly four months last year, and a portion of Sydney was cut off from the rest of the city over Christmas after a mysterious spate of cases. Other states have imposed snap three- or five-day lockdowns when clusters emerged, stamping them out.

New South Wales ended a 55-day run of no locally acquired cases earlier this month, after a hotel security worker and a guest at the facility were infected, but the state has been back on track after an aggressive spate of contact tracing.

The success defies a slow-moving vaccination program that only began late last month. Those efforts had focused solely on those working at quarantine hotels ― the main source of local outbreaks ― and frontline workers.

With 100% of quarantine workers are now inoculated with at least one shot, Berejiklian said she felt confident the dance floors could light up once more.

“Every day that we move forward the risk is reducing,” the state leader said.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus





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How To Tell Your Own Story On Film



We partnered with Zacuto on their #mystorycompetition to share some ideas on how you could put together your own story. You can find full rules and deadlines on Zacuto’s website at http://www.zacuto.com/my-story-film-competition

Check out the full post on Vimeo’a blog: https://vimeo.com/blog/post/turn-the-camera-around-4-steps-to-tell-your-story

And if you want to go even further, grab your free trial of Storybuilder and use the #mystorycompetition template to help with your piece:
https://musestorytelling.org/storybuilder

A huge thanks to Peter Hynes of Filmtime, out of Melbourne, Australia, for lending his story to be a part of the Vimeo blog post.

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Sumner Road Raw

Sumner Road Raw the full uncut version … take a ride with downhill skateboarders on the Sumner Road near Lyttelton, New Zealand.

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3RD JUNE 2019

‘DOWNHILL SKATEBOARDING – THE ADRENALIN RUSH’

Elissa Mah describes downhill skateboarding as the most exhilarating experience you can have on four wheels – you only need to watch vision from a recent practice run on the Sumner Road near Lyttelton to understand why.

“You get a huge adrenaline rush feeling the wind gusting past you, seeing the scenery flash by, and at the same time your mind is cleared from all else going on in your life as you focus solely on what is in front and around you at that moment.”

Ms Mah is part of an eight-strong team who’ll be representing New Zealand at the World Roller Games starting in Barcelona next month. It’s the first-time downhill skateboarding has been included as an event and highlights the sports growing international status.

Women’s Asia Pacific Champion for the past five years, Elissa says downhill skating is a young emerging sport where riders can easily reach speeds in excess of 100kph on competition tracks.

There’s been enormous progress in recent years developing professional safety standards and equipment with hopes that downhill skateboarding will become a recognised Olympic event.

The sport combines strength, balance, and smart racing tactics and techniques and while “I’m biased it deserves far greater recognition than it currently gets” says Ms Mah. The team leaves for Barcelona at the end of the week.

VIDEO DOWNLOAD LINK HD1080

https://www.facebook.com/theboardroomnz/videos/908350719511089/
or
https://vimeo.com/339889876

INTERVIEW CONTACT
Elissa Mah 022 025 4513 elissa.mjl@gmail.com

FACT SHEET

World Roller Games 2019 – https://www.wrg2019.com/ 

Downhill event – 4-7th July
First time downhill skateboarding has been included at the world event. Our eventual aim is to get our sport into the Olympics, most likely in 2024. Street and park skating is already in the Olympics for 2020, so why not downhill? It’s a great sport not just for participants, but also for spectators as well as it’s easy to understand (first to cross the finish line = winner), but has a lot of depth to it if you get into racing tactics and technique, and is super exciting! 

What is downhill skateboarding?

Simply put, making it down a hill as fast as you can. The skateboards are specially designed for going fast – we utilise bigger wheels, coarser grip tape, wider boards and different truck mechanics (the axles that the wheels are connected to). In terms of safety, a full-face helmet and gloves with high-density polyurethane pucks are the bare minimum, but a leather suit is required for almost all races, and many DH skaters will wear kneepads and elbow pads as well. 

We have several methods of slowing down – air braking (standing tall and spreading your arms out to create a greater surface area for wind resistance), carving, sliding/drifting, and foot braking (taking one foot off your board and applying it to the ground like a brake pad). Sliding is the most effective of these methods for coming to an abrupt stop, with a stopping range comparable to using brakes on a push bike!

The IDF and the World Tour:
The International Downhill Federation (IDF) is our governing body, and the organisation which coordinates the world tour. The IDF is run entirely by volunteers, who pull together race organisers from four regions (Asia-Pacific, North America, South America, and Europe) to make up the international and regional circuits. They are working with the WRG this year to sanction the WRG race as part of the European circuit. 

WRG2019 NZ Team: 
• Elissa Mah (Christchurch) 
• Callum Mathieson (Christchurch)
• Stephen Davis (Auckland)
• Dan Waterhouse (Nelson)
• Fabian Krebs (Auckland, living in Liechtenstein, born in Germany)
• James Robertson (Auckland, living in Melbourne)
• Josh Evans (Auckland, living in Brisbane)
• Lance Evans (riding Luge. Auckland, living in Brisbane)

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GLASGOW: Prince Henry (Henry IV, Part I) – Mark McMinn (Scotland)



Shakespeare Republic: #AllTheWebsAStage (The Lockdown Chronicles) web series

Actor MARK McMINN as “PRINCE HENRY” from HENRY IV, PART I – Filmed in isolation & directed in real time via Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020

“If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work”

Meet Henry, also known as “Hal”, who is treating his lockdown as a holiday – after all, what else can he do? Alcohol, video games and junk food are his vices of choice, which he is enjoying to the full – despite pressure to do more with this unexpected downtime.

Newsreader Voice Over: Sally McLean
Camera & Lights By Joanne McMinn
Edited By Sally McLean
Online Edit & Colour Grading By Thanassi Panagiotaras
Sound Design By Tim McCormick
Technical Advisor: Shaun Herbertson
Co-Produced By Billy Smedley, Christopher Kirby & Phoebe Anne Taylor
Original Title & Credits Music Composed & Performed By Sass & The Bazaar
Additional Footage Licensed From Storyblocks & Videvo
Filmed On Location In Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Post Production Completed In Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Written By William Shakespeare With Additional Dialogue By Sally McLean
Produced & Directed By Sally McLean

COPYRIGHT © Incognita Enterprises 2020

More info: www.allthewebsastage.com

For those in need of support at this, or at any time, please reach out to your official national helpline: https://checkpointorg.com/global/

Want to support the work? Become one of our valued Patreon Patrons: http://www.patreon.com/incognitaenterprises (all monies donated to our Patreon go towards paying the cast & crew of this new season).

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Esports Ready



Synopsis:
Summer is a streamer who plays video games and draws to a small online audience. She is offered a spot on a competitive esports team however, her family aren’t very happy about the idea.

Director: VINCENT FURFARO
Writer: VINCENT FURFARO
Producer: SALLY HOBAN

Country of Origin: Australia
Student – Drama, Coming Of Age

Melbourne Lift-Off 2020

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#NianticLive2020 Pokémon Go Fest: Melbourne Nomination



This video is to accompany the nomination of Melbourne as host city for a #NianticLive2020 Pokemon Go Fest Event in 2020. This nomination is supported by State Government agencies Creative Victoria and Visit Victoria, as well as being endorsed by members of the State Parliament. We are nominating Melbourne, and a number of its ideal parklands as sites to host the event and are supportive of the event occurring in spring 2020 during or on either side of Melbourne International Games Week. For further information about the support of local stakeholders, the nominated sites or the nomination process contact us at pogomelb2019@gmail.com

We have officially submitted our nomination to Niantic, complete with support from 2 State Government Agencies (Visit Victoria tourism board and Creative Victoria) and Local Government support from the Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp as well as the Victorian Greens and support of 5000+ players via our petition on change.org at bit.ly/PoGoMelb along with a video which can be seen there.

We nominated 7 possible event sites they are listed below their key selection criteria from Niantic can be viewed on the petition link above.

They are:
1. Alexandra Gardens + Kings Domain
2. Albert Park & Lake
3. Fitzroy Gardens + Treasury Gardens
4. Carlton Gardens
5. Birrarung Marr + Federation Square
6. Melbourne & Olympic Parks + Yarra Park
7. Fawkner Park

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Monthly update: The Salvation Army’s response to coronavirus (July 2020)



Here’s a look at how The Salvation Army has been working to support people affected by coronavirus in the past month, and how it has adapted in response to the pandemic.

The provision of food and hot meals continues to be a focus in many countries. Job losses, difficulty working and restricted travel all mean that large parts of the community are in need of this support.

As face masks and coverings have become an important way to reduce transmission of the virus – in some cases becoming mandatory – The Salvation Army has recognised the difficulties that some experience getting hold of this equipment. In Australia, the Taiwanese community in Melbourne has donated 10,000 reusable face masks to the Army for distribution to vulnerable people in the city. The partnership has meant that those who have struggled to afford masks, such as people who are homeless, now have them – and that single-use versions are less likely to be worn more than once.

In Burundi, The Salvation Army has been working with the country’s Ministry of Health and police service to educate the public on the virus and promote good health practices, with the aim of slowing transmission of COVID-19 in the community. The campaign was broadcast on national television.

The sharing of knowledge has also been a focus in Pakistan, where a variety of activities to raise awareness were arranged during Men’s Health Week.

Many Salvation Army centres have been adapting their usual working practices in order to make them safer during the pandemic. In Indonesia, funds from donors have enabled digital thermometers to be purchased. This is one of several changes that allow activities and programmes to continue.

Elsewhere, various programmes continue to be held online. Many places are now holding weekly worship this way, with Bible studies and social events also being run through social media and video conferencing software.

Programmes for young people are also being organised. Lots of holiday camps, though cancelled this year, have evolved to a virtual setting. Morning Discovery is an online Salvation Army children’s ministry show containing games and devotional content, published every week during the summer in the USA.

Other ways to spread cheer are being found by The Salvation Army too. In partnership with bakery company Donut Worry Be Happy, donuts were given out in the Netherlands to mark the reopening of many community centres. More than 36,000 treats were shared with volunteers, supporters and service users!

Please keep praying for people and communities affected by coronavirus and for those working to help and support them.

sar.my/covid19

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Second-Largest Australian State Goes 28 Days Without Any New Infections



AstraZeneca

SYDNEY (Reuters) ― Australia’s second-largest state, Victoria, once the country’s COVID-19 hotspot, said on Friday it has gone 28 days without detecting any new infections, a benchmark widely cited as eliminating the virus from the community.

The state also has zero active cases after the last COVID-19 patient was discharged from hospital this week, a far cry from August when Victoria recorded more than 700 cases in one day and active infections totalled nearly 8,000.

The spread of the virus was only contained after a lockdown lasting more than 100 days, leaving some 5 million people in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, largely confined to their homes.

While the lockdown has seen infections wane, it slowed Australia’s economic recovery from its first recession in three decades after large swathes of the country’s economy were shut down in March.

Australia’s economy shrank 7% in the three months to the end of June, the biggest quarterly decline since records began in 1959. The unemployment rate hit a 22-year high of 7.5% in July as businesses and borders closed to deal with the coronavirus. 

The slowdown in cases, however, has seen Australian states and territories remove social distancing restrictions.

Australia’s southern island state, Tasmania, on Friday became the latest to open its border to Victoria, reuniting families who had been apart for months.

“It has been very difficult, but we are going to make up for it. We are going to go to the beach and have beautiful Tasmanian seafood and some pinot noir,” Allison Park, a Victoria resident visiting family in Tasmania, told reporters in the city of Hobart after arriving on a plane from Melbourne.

Victoria is the last state to gain access to Tasmania, which closed its borders in March.

While Australia is removing restrictions in contrast to other countries in Europe, which are imposing curbs to counter a surge of infections, local lawmakers have said only an effective vaccine will restore longstanding normalcy.

Australia has secured access to four vaccine candidates, but its best hope for a quick vaccination programme lies with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is already being manufactured locally.

The Australian Government has committed to buying 33.8 million doses of the vaccine. 

A speedy roll-out of the AstraZeneca came under the microscope, however, when the company said it will likely run an additional global trial to assess the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Still, Australia’s Minister for Health Greg Hunt said this would not delay Canberra’s expected timetable to begin vaccinations from March.

Australia’s nearly 28,000 COVID-19 infections recorded to date, according to health ministry data, are far fewer than many other developed countries. Victoria accounts for more than 90% of the country’s 905 deaths.





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AGSC Webinar Series 2020 – -APRA In Conversation with Games Composer Kevin Penkin



The At Home Sessions – a special on-line event!

In Conversation with Games Composer Kevin Penkin, proudly presented by the AGSC and APRA AMCOS.

Best known for the anime series Made in Abyss and the BAFTA-winning Florence game soundtrack, screen and video game composer Kevin Penkin in conversation with Meena Shamaly in this special edition of the At Home Sessions. Kevin is speaking about his stellar career in the games field of composing, and tips on how to make a move into the booming gaming sector, with questions from the audience in the second half of the webinar.

KEVIN PENKIN
Kevin Penkin, based in Melbourne, is a BAFTA-nominated composer for Japanese animation and video games. He is best known for composing the award-winning score to Made in Abyss, and the music to the BAFTA award-winning game Florence.

Kevin moved to London in 2013 to complete a Masters degree in Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music. During this time, Kevin collaborated with legendary video game composer Nobuo Uematsu on a number of Japanese video game titles, which eventually led him to break into the Anime industry.

After releasing his breakthrough score for Made in Abyss, Penkin continued to compose music for Japanese animation, with scores for both The Rising of the Shield Hero and Tower of God.

Throughout his career, Penkin has recorded with orchestras around the world. Works of his have been recorded in Prague, Vienna, Macedonia, Boston, Nashville and Australia. He has also collaborated with acclaimed singers Takeshi Saito, Emi Evans and Raj Ramayya.

Projects that Kevin has composed for that will be released in 2020 are Dawn of the Deep Soul, Tower of God and the Netflix Animation EDEN.

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