For world’s poorest, vaccines prevent both deaths and medical impoverishment

first_img Read Full Story Vaccines have enormous impact not just on health, but on keeping people out of poverty, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They estimated that increased investments in 10 vaccines administered in low- and middle-income countries over a 15-year period could avert up to 36 million deaths and 24 million cases of medical impoverishment.The study was published Feb. 5, 2018 in the February issue of Health Affairs.“This study explicitly points at how investing in vaccines in low- and middle-income countries can have a broad health and economic impact,” said Stéphane Verguet, assistant professor of global health. “Policy makers should look at targeted vaccine programs as powerful mechanisms for improving health equity and reducing poverty.”The researchers developed a mathematical model to estimate the impact of distributing 10 vaccines—measles, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus, yellow fever, Hemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, rotavirus, rubella, Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A, and Japanese encephalitis — in 41 low- and middle-income countries from 2016–30.They found that the poorest households would likely receive the most benefit from increased access to vaccines, as they are at higher risk, are limited in their use of health care, and consequently are more vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.The largest share of deaths averted by vaccines was in the lowest income quintile.All vaccines led to an important reduction in the number of cases of medical impoverishment.“Vaccines prevent not only diseases but also impoverishment. This is why it is so important that everyone, especially the poor, have timely access to high quality vaccines,” said first author Angela Chang, who was a doctoral candidate at Harvard Chan School when the research was completed and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington.This study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.“The Equity Impact Vaccines May Have On Averting Deaths And Medical Impoverishment In Developing Countries,” Angela Y. Chang, Carlos Riumallo-Herl, Nicole A. Perales, Samantha Clark, Andrew Clark, Dagna Constenla, Tini Garske, Michael L. Jackson, Kévin Jean, Mark Jit, Edward O. Jones, Xi Li, Chutima Suraratdecha, Olivia Bullock, Hope Johnson, Logan Brenzel, and Stéphane Verguet, Health Affairs, online Feb. 5, 2018, doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0861last_img read more

Row Covers

first_imgRow covers, material used to protect plants from the cold and wind, can also protect squash from disease-carrying squash bugs and other insect pests, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Plant Pathologist Elizabeth Little.Squash bugs are a type of stink bug that feed only on cucurbit crops, mainly squash, pumpkins and watermelons. Squash bugs are sucking insects with piercing mouth parts that they insert into the phloem or xylem of the plant to feed. Phloem and xylem are vascular tissues that transport food, water and minerals from a plant’s roots to its leaves. When squash bugs feed, they spread the bacterial pathogen that causes cucurbit yellow vine disease (CYVD). If the plants are infected when they’re young, the disease will eventually cause the leaves to yellow, followed by wilt and plant collapse, usually at the time of first fruit set.CYVD can wipe out an entire field of squash plants if squash bugs are present when the plants are young.“I think once (the plant) yellows, they’re doomed. Within a week or so, the plant will collapse,” Little said. “I’ve seen entire squash plantings go down. It is alarming for the growers.”Little’s research with CYVD targets organic producers, mostly located in the Georgia Piedmont region. Since organic farmers produce crops without using conventional insecticides, they need alternative means to manage destructive pests like squash bugs.Little and her graduate students studied the use of floating row covers, made of a lightweight woven fabric that allows sunlight in but keeps insects out.“We found that using row covers during the first four weeks of growth — if you implement this strategy as soon as you plant and seal the edges — will prevent the disease,” she said.Row covers should be removed after four weeks so that the plants can be pollinated.Squash bugs overwinter as adults in sheltered areas, such as under woody plant debris. They emerge in May and search for the first squash crop they can find.Little believes that trap cropping can also be an effective means of preventing squash bug infestations. A trap crop is a host plant that attracts insect pests and gives the main crop extra protection. If the trap crop is planted before the main crop and near where squash bugs overwinter, the bugs will congregate on the trap crop as they emerge. This will keep most of the squash bugs off of later crops for a period of time.One important consideration is that the bugs on the trap crop must be killed. Little said that some growers throw plastic over the plants and let the heat kill the bugs. Bug vacuums may be another option. Killing these first squash bugs prevents a second generation from forming and relocating to a later field of squash.For more about controlling plant pests, contact your local UGA Extension agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more

Auto-enrolment comes to Ireland in sweeping pension reforms

first_imgIreland plans to introduce an auto-enrolment system to boost pension saving as part of a major set of reforms laid out by the government this week.Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, head of the Irish government, announced on Wednesday a five-year “roadmap for pensions reform” encompassing the state pension as well as both private sector and public sector provision.Varadkar said the government wanted to “create a fairer and simpler contributory pension system where a person’s pension outcome reflects their social insurance contributions, and in parallel, create a new and necessary culture of personal retirement saving in Ireland”.The announcement follows months of often-heated debate about various aspects of pension policy. Lawmakers have lobbied for scrapping the mandatory retirement age and measures to stop employers abandoning underfunded defined benefit (DB) schemes. Regina DohertyRegina Doherty, minister for employment affairs and social protection, said auto-enrolment and the state pension changes were “the two most fundamental reform measures” in Wednesday’s announcement.The changes to the state pension will be effective from 2020. Individuals will be automatically enrolled into workplace pension funds from 2022, Doherty said. The government will consult on both elements in the second quarter of this year.Scheme governance and regulationFollowing several high-profile problems with underfunded DB schemes, the government has been under pressure to improve protections for members.More than a quarter (26%) of Irish DB schemes did not meet the required funding standard, the government’s report said.“The government will strive to ensure that the DB regulatory regime appropriately balances fairness between all generations of scheme members with the need to help sponsoring employers, employees and scheme trustees maintain the sustainability of their pension schemes,” the report said.“The objective of any measures must be to support the sustainability of existing DB schemes and, where possible, limit DB scheme closures and safeguard the delivery of the benefits promised to all members.”The government said it planned to push ahead with a Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration bill introduced to parliament last year. The bill includes stronger rules about reporting scheme funding levels and agreeing funding proposals.The bill has been on hold since October but the government now plans to advance it from next month.Other measures would also be considered, the government said, including more powers for the sector regulator, the Pensions Authority, and more reporting requirements for employers.Consultations are planned for Q4 2018.Public sector workers will be asked to contribute an extra €550m a year – an 80% increase in contributions when implemented in full from 2020.The mandatory retirement age for the public sector is to increase from 65 to 70 for those hired before 1 April 2004, bringing these people into line with more recent recruits.Industry reactionJerry Moriarty, chief executive of the Irish Association of Pension Funds, said the sector had been “crying out” for simplification.“There are currently too many rules which confuse and frustrate those attempting to save for retirement,” he said. “We are hopeful that these reforms will deal with much of this unnecessary complexity.”Roma Burke, partner at consultancy LCP, said the roadmap was “a significant and wide-ranging communication on all aspects of the retirement system” affecting trustees, scheme members and those not yet saving for retirement.“There are numerous consultations to be held and the timelines are very ambitious,” she added. “It remains to be seen whether these timelines will be met and/or whether the ambitions will be curtailed.”The government’s ‘Roadmap to Pensions Reform 2018-23’ is available here. The six “strands” of the reforms cover:a “total contributions approach” to the state pension, including maintaining its value at 34-35% of average earnings;automatic enrolment to address Ireland’s “significant” pension savings gap;improvements to the sustainability of DB schemes and protections for members;changes to public sector pension rules;the implementation of the IORP II directive; andnew flexibilities to allow people to work past their default retirement age.center_img Leo VaradkarVaradkar – who was minister for social protection before becoming prime minister – said Ireland was “facing a number of challenges” from changing demographics and the knock-on effects on government finances and retirement security.In the next 40 years the ratio of working age people to pensioners was expected to fall from 4.5 to one to 2.3 to one, he said.State pension and auto-enrolmentlast_img read more

Football will win this battle over Coronavirus – Adepoju

first_img The global plague has forced the postponement of all sport, including the Premier League, Serie A, and La Liga. In a series of tweets, the former Nigeria international who is one of the La Liga ambassadors has issued a plea for everyone to stay safe while assuring the beautiful game will be back soon.Advertisement Ex-international, Mutiu Adepoju, is confident that the deadly virus called Covid-19, which is currently ravaging the whole world, will soon vanish away. Promoted ContentTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All Time8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More7 Worst Things To Do To Your PhoneBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way8 Things To Expect If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually True7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty PennyBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeThe Funniest Prankster Grandma And Her Grandson “A world without football is like an airplane without a propeller. The last few days have been one of the most boring in my life because footballing activities are suspended,” Adepoju tweeted. “If we adhere to the simple health rules, we will kick this mammoth out and football will be back again. One thing I’m very sure of is that we will win this battle. Peace is unto you all. Read Also:Laliga Okay for Youngsters, says Mutiu Adepoju “Coronavirus is temporary, football remains for life so let us all stay alive to enjoy football.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… last_img read more

Flemenstar to join Martin

first_imgOwner Stephen Curran has confirmed top chaser Flemenstar will be trained by Tony Martin this season. Press Association The eight-year-old won three Grade One events when in the care of Peter Casey, but Curran has decided to give his star performer a change of scenery. He told Press Association Sport: “He’s going to Tony Martin. Hopefully a move will freshen him up a bit and will be the right thing to do.” center_img Flemenstar proved a revelation when sent chasing in the 2011/12 season, recording five wins over fences for Casey, including two Grade One events. He started last term in the same sparkling form, winning the Fortria Chase on his reappearance before landing another success at the highest level in the John Durkan Chase. However, he suffered defeats when favourite for both the Lexus Chase and Irish Hennessy at Leopardstown, before being well beaten by Sprinter Sacre in the Melling Chase at Aintree on what was to be his final start for Casey. The horse was reported to be suffering from a virus during those post-Christmas efforts and while Curran has now moved the horse from Casey’s yard, he insists it was an amicable split. He said: “There’s been no falling out, there was never any falling out at all. We just thought it was better to move the horse with the idea being it would freshen him up. We had some great times with Peter.” Martin said he was delighted to be about to train Flemenstar and confirmed that Andrew Lynch will continue to ride the horse. “It’s great to get him. Stevie (Curran) confirmed it with me so it’s great to get a horse like him,” the County Meath handler told At The Races. “I’ve seen him from the early days because Stevie is a neighbour of mine. He’s been an impressive horse all the way through his career. Stevie always pre-trains him and he’s doing the same. When he thinks he’s ready he’ll let me have him, so when that will be is up to him. “The vibes are very good from Stevie. It’s been all positive from him. I don’t know about plans. I haven’t talked about it. It’s very early days and I haven’t discussed with him other than he said he will send him down shortly. “Other than that we will have to wait and see what he’s like in a few weeks. We’ll have a chat then and see what we’ll do. As far as I know Andrew (Lynch) will ride him. He’s ridden him all these years. He’s a local chap and has done an awful lot of work on him so as far as I’m concerned Andrew will have first call on him. “Peter Casey has done a great job with him through the years and it’s a credit to him to have got him as far as he did so hopefully we can keep it going.” last_img read more

Brong Ahafo regional Circles chairman calls for restructuring in Kotoko camp

first_imgBrong Ahafo Regional Circles Chairman of Asante Kotoko, Kingsley Abeyie, has urged officials of the club to restructure the club and bring certain internal problems to rest or else risk being relegated for the first time.According to him, the team now plays with no sense of urgency because the players and officials are divided and that has reflected in the style of play.He also alleged the difference in winning bonuses paid to players has led to disharmony in the dressing room.“Some players are being paid more than the others because they are players of some top officials of the club. Some take GHC 400 while others are paid GHC 500 and GHC 600.”“When I saw the Kotoko team in the FA Cup game against Shion, I was just heartbroken. The team is divided. The politics in Kotoko is depressing. I don’t blame the coach for any of our plight, it is the management I will blame.”He alleged that the Kotoko team owes players some bonuses and salaries and that also accounts for the bad play of the team. “The team owes the players some bonuses and that is also contributing to the team’s woes. As players they need motivation to be able to play very well, and that is lacking in the team.”He urged the current administration to call for a stakeholders meeting for supporters to make their problems known in order to revive the sinking fortunes of the team. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Government ‘must now perform’: Zuma

first_imgCrime figures were reportedly down in the country during the month-long World Cup, which had some calling for the police to sustain their increased presence after the tournament. Zuma said the government will soon announce a meeting with the business community to discuss the legacy of the tournament on South Africa’s economy and the business opportunities it had created for local entrepreneurs. The World Cup had created much international goodwill towards South Africa, and many factors indicated that the tournament was economically in the county’s interest, he said. “The [meeting] resolved not only to continue to build on the spirit that has welded us together as a cohesive nation, but to harness this energy to solve the many problems we face as a developing country,” Zuma said. Source: BuaNews A ministerial committee to deal with corruption and crime will also be set up, and each department will be required to have such a unit dedicated to stamping out corruption in the public service. Tackling unemployment While not divulging the contents of the contracts, Zuma said several delivery agreements were finalised between himself and his Cabinet ministers, and that departments were expected to give regular progress reports on the implementation of various key priorities outlined in the State of the Nation address earlier this year. The South African government will be closely monitoring the performance of its departments to ensure that delivery agreements signed by ministers are met, says President Jacob Zuma. “Progress with implementation of the delivery agreements will be the key agenda item on an ongoing basis for engagement between ministers and provincial MECs, clusters, Cabinet committees and Cabinet,” Zuma said at a press conference in Pretoria on Thursday following a two-day Cabinet meeting. Engaging with business community 23 July 2010 Those who have passed matric but cannot progress to tertiary education will be given opportunity for practical training and access to programmes that are occupationally directed, such as artisan training, he said. He said that Government Communications (GCIS) would arrange several media briefings over the next two months with individual ministers who would share their lessons from the World Cup and how they planned to build on the success of the tournament. Strengthening police, justice system Zuma added that the government’s immediate priority would be to respond decisively to the challenges posed by unemployment, especially among young people. “We will for instance be increasing access to post-school education and training to give young people who have not completed their senior secondary education an opportunity to attain an equivalent qualification.” He said the meeting had agreed that the government should draw on the success of the recent 2010 Fifa World Cup to take the delivery of major projects forward while strengthening South Africa’s policing and justice system. Justice Minister Jeff Radebe has indicated that he is considering keeping the special courts that helped to speed up World Cup-related cases during the event.last_img read more

South African conservationist wins WWF award

first_img5 August 2015Andrew Zaloumis, the long-serving chief executive of iSimangaliso Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal, has been awarded World Wildlife Fund South Africa’s 2015 Living Planet Award.In making the award, the conservation group noted Zaloumis’s inspirational conservation work and the economic turnaround of the nature reserve, once an apartheid operational zone with one of the lowest human development indices in the country.The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is South Africa’s third-largest protected area, covering 280km of coastline, from the Mozambique border to St Lucia. The park is a Unesco World Heritage Site, recognised for its rich biodiversity and the unique variety of irreplaceable ecosystems contained within its relatively small area.The park’s sites include coral reefs, dune forests, wetlands and savanna grassland. It is home to a large wildlife population, including elephant, leopard, black and white rhino and buffalo, as well as whales, dolphins and endangered marine turtles.The management of iSimangaliso, for which Zaloumis has been recognised by WWF SA, co-ordinates the administration and protection of the park. It also offers meaningful job empowerment and benefits for local communities. In awarding Zaloumis the recognition, the WWF highlighted his inspirational work over the last 30 years in making the area one of South Africa’s conservation tourism hallmarks.In his acceptance speech, Zaloumis said that in order for places like iSimangaliso to continue to exist, society would have to think beyond the extractive values of conservation economics and rather acknowledge the real value of nature – the impact it has on the soul.Zaloumis spoke of a time, in 1994, when industry threatened to dredge-mine the dunes of Lake St Lucia for titanium, stripping the wetlands of its most vital resource: water. Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s dedication to conservation-based ecotourism, half-a-million South Africans signed a petition to stop the development and focus on preserving the natural importance of the area.“The (then) new democratic government of South Africa. showed the world that there were socially- and environmentally-sustainable economic alternatives to smoke-stack industries,” Zaloumis said.iSimangaliso, he added, “offers hope and a new model of conservation to other wild places. It is a real privilege being able to work for the economic turnaround of a region and see tangible benefits for local people, while, and at the same time, restoring original game populations, ecosystems functioning and the natural wonders of the park.”Another notable highlight for Zaloumis was the reintroduction of the lion population in 2013. It was the first time in over 40 years lions were seen in iSimangaliso.Zaloumis accepted the award on behalf of the iSimangaliso team, the local community and his family, but paid special tribute to his father, who inspired his love of nature and the area where he had come as a boy to study the wetland’s duck population.WWF SA chairman Valli Moosa said the award was an important recognition of Zaloumis’s passion for conservation, rewarding “his boldness, visionary approach and courage to bring an inclusive form of conservation to an area that was once an apartheid operational zone and had one of the lowest human development indices in the country”.Source: World Wildlife Fund South Africalast_img read more

Maker Madness Event Center

first_imgClick on the map to find a Maker Madness event near you!Whether you’re a Social Butterfly or a Nature Lover, a Stats Geek, Traveler, or Puzzler (take the quiz and find out your geocacher type), it’s time to say thank you to a geocache maker near you. From March 28 – April 7, geocachers around the world will join together to celebrate the people in their community who make geocaching possible. We call this celebration Maker Madness.Every geocacher who logs an “Attended” at a registered Maker Madness event will earn a Maker Madness souvenir.Take a look at these tips for hosting an event that will have your guests inspired to go forth and create their own magical geocaching experiences:Maker Madness Souvenir Image1.) Think ahead. The best geocaches are not just thrown together willy- nilly.  They are a labor of love that take time and careful planning. The same should apply to your Geocaching Event. Do you need to make reservations for a venue? Do your guests need to bring their own creative supplies? Keep in mind that you have to submit your Geocaching Event at least 14 days prior to your Maker Madness celebration, which means that Monday, March 24th is the cut off date for your online submission. You will also want to submit the Maker Madness registration form as soon as your event is published.2.) Think collaboration. Geocaches are a gift to the community. It’s time to get the community together to give back to those who make geocaching tick. To maximize the number of geocachers at your event, check to see if there is already another event published in your area. If there’s already an event, be a team player! See if you can help the event host with planning their event.3.) Think education and inspiration. Are you an accomplished geocache maker? This is your chance to share your mad skills and big brain with your fellow geocachers. Incorporate a class or workshop into your event to show others how you implemented your best creations, or teach them the very basics of geocache making. Imagine what it would be like if every one of your guests walked out of your event inspired to make their own awesome creation. Imagine all of the cool, new geocaches to find!4.) Think celebration.  We heart geocache makers and we know that their local (and world) communities do too. If you yourself are not a maker, this is your chance to celebrate your favorites! Organize an event to show your appreciation, showcase their geocaches, and maybe even ask them to share a few of their best tips and tricks with all of their fans who attend the event.We hope that these tips will help you to spread your creative geocaching juices, inspire a new generation of awesome hiders, honor your favorite makers, and (let’s hold nothing back) make your event the very best Maker Madness bash ever.A few things to remember:Dates: March 28 – April 7Don’t forget to register your event after it has been published by a reviewer. Events that are not registered will not qualify for a souvenir.You can check to see if your event or an event you are attending has been officially registered here.Share photos and stories from your event with us on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.And don’t worry – special Maker Madness GeoCoins, Tags, Trackable Patches, and T-shirts coming soon to Shop Geocaching!Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedMaker Madness: How to Register Your EventFebruary 13, 2014In “7 Souvenirs of August”Dear (Aspiring) Geocache Hider: Earn a SouvenirMarch 10, 2014In “7 Souvenirs of August”Geocache Makers Now Have Their Own MarkMarch 16, 2014In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”last_img read more

The Media Machine Behind the Dallas Stars

first_img5:30 – Doors OpenAs fans enter the arena (in an alarming amount of red Blackhawks jerseys) we head to the elevator bay and go back down into the control room. The room is abuzz with chatter over little game-time details. Danby places his laptop into his bag, and together we walk out to meet with the game personalities to go over last-minute notes.As we turn the corner we encounter several players, like Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg, warming up by playing soccer in the tunnel. We walk past the team and head into a dressing room. There Danby meets with the Celena Rae, the on-camera personality that hosts game promotions and giveaways. She also leads the crowd in the STAR-Spangled Banner.We head back out into the tunnel and towards another elevator bay, which will take us to the media level. As we near the elevator, Danby gets word that they have found a fan in a Sharp Blackhawks jersey who is willing to exchange for the signed Stars jersey. We hop on the elevator and head up to the top level.In the press box we run into the arena DJ, Michael Gruber. “Grubes” and Danby talk about a few of the planned bits and the soundtrack for the game. The two are hopeful for a good game. “We should kill them tonight,” says Danby. To which Grubes replies, “Hope so. If not, [the production crew] will kill it.”Danby leads me down the corridor into his corner office. From here, he will direct the entire in-arena experience.6:00 – Warm-upsIt’s just after six o’clock and Danby is getting situated high above the ice. He shares the corner box with the lighting technician, who is already setup for the game. Danby stretches and then puts on his headset as fans are finding their seats. He has a direct communication line to the control booth, as well as specific crew members scattered throughout the arena.Danby hits the talk button to verify that the warmup video is ready and that the crew is set. He looks up to the scoreboard and notices that the nose of the Chicago logo is cutoff. He chuckles and calls down to visual effects director Jeff Neal to say he enjoys the little jest.6:18 – Danby calls for VIXI to go onto the video board. VIXI is a broadcast platform for social media. Fans can send photos of themselves at the game via Twitter or Instagram. Once approved by the staff, the images are sent into a revolving slideshow on the video board. The slideshow will play until production begins.6:20 – The first video of the night hits the board, an advertisement for the NHL, followed by a promo spot for Fox Sports. Beside Danby is a preview monitor showing the feed from four cameras, two font packages, and the Crossfire system — dubbed XFIRE A and XFIRE B. The camera crew is already on the hunt for Chicago fans in the crowd. When interesting characters are found, they will make note of the section number so they can cut to that fan later in the game.6:28 – Danby says it’s go time for warm-ups. We get word that the Stars players are walking out of the locker room. The lights go out. Cue Music – Cue Lights – Take Camera 1. We are now live as the players hit the ice for warm-ups. I leave Danby at his post and make my way back down to the control room for the first period.GAME TIME – First Period6:42 – In the control room, Terri McCormack is already calling shots, rapidly cutting between the four cameras that are up during warm-ups. Most staff members in the room are rocking back and forth in their chairs, dancing to the music in the arena. On the preview monitors, we see a child received an autographed hockey stick — the footage is immediately saved to be shown later during the game. The same goes for a family of three: the dad a Stars fan, mom a Hawks fan, and a baby at their first game.6:45 – Warm-ups are now over. The teams leave the ice and we cut to an XFIRE package with another NHL ad.6:50 – The director is calling for stats from the font operator, while also asking for a heads up when the player is on screen. The Zambonis are making laps as the previously mentioned Winnipeg and Colorado highlights play on the board. The highlights roll into a packaged interview with Patrick Sharp before returning to VIXI fan photos until the call comes in for the opening graphics.6:56 – Terri McCormack wishes everyone a good game and begins the countdownTen seconds! Five. Four. Three… Dissolve! Roll!Cue Crossfire and the Stars opening package plays. The lighting technician turns on the fog machines attached to the giant star lowering from the rafters. Once the star is in place, the crew waits for their signal.7:03 – I can see the players are lined up in the tunnel on the preview monitor. All of a sudden, the booth loses the feed from Camera 9. McCormack tells the cameraman to cycle his power.7:04 – “Now taking the ice, your Dallas STARS!” We cut to Camera 3. The crowd watches the back of Captain Jamie Benn exiting the tunnel and skating onto the ice. We cut to XFIRE for the player intros.7:05 – Camera 9’s signal comes back just as the national anthem begins. Celena Rae sings beside a military member, as the director cuts to Camera 9 for player reactions.7:07 – Dissolve to a graphics package as cameras move into their positions.7:08 – The puck drops and things get intense fast. Seconds into the game, the Stars are called for a penalty. The XFIRE Penalty Kill elements hit the video board immediately — but it doesn’t matter. Chicago scores thirty-four seconds into the game.Perhaps the most interesting note out of that rapid run: the crew still reacted as fans. They’re disappointed in the start, but still hopeful the team can quickly turn things around.During the stoppage after the goal, the director calls for a close-up shot of Jamie Benn. When the camera sets, they take the shot and add a lower third. They stay on Benn until the puck drops, and then they cut back to the TRUCK.That’s the standard routine for game play. During play, the TRUCK camera is primarily used. This wide shot follows the action of the ice. As soon as a whistle blows, they cut to a close-up for any of the other in-arena cameras. When a particular shot is needed, a call is made down to the camera crew to find a player.As the TRUCK is once again fed to the video board, McCormack calls, “Goose on the whistle. Find me Goose.” Goose is the nickname given to Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski. As soon as the whistle blows, they cut to a close-up of Goligoski and add a lower third with his game stats.During longer breaks, video bits start to roll.7:32 – The puck flies out of play. “Replay! Anyone got it?” asks McCormack. “Working on it. Ready Blue,” comes from the other side of the room. “Take Blue.” Blue is the name of the second replay desk. Out on the video board, the crowd can already see the replay in action.7:33 – During the stop in play, the director cuts to XFIRE. A previously taped video of the mascot beating up a Chicago fan plays as the cameras prepare to cut live to the fan giving up his Sharp jersey. The board goes live during the  jersey exchange. The mascot, Victor E. Green, takes the Blackhawks jersey and begins to wipe his bottom. The entire booth starts to laugh and misses a cue for a cut. “Ah! Well, there goes the Emmy for tonight.”7:38 – “Damn,” echoes throughout the control room as Chicago scores for the second time.7:40 – Cheers erupt as Tyler Seguin scores for Dallas. XFIRE plays the GOAL elements on all the ribbon boards as the cameras cut to fans around the arena.FONTS! 91 Seguin Ready? Replay! Ready with the Seguin goal? Go!7:45 – Chicago scores a third goal. “C’MON!” roars from the back of the booth. With little time left in the first period, Chicago will head into intermission with a 3-1 lead.7:55 – Players leave the ice as XFIRE plays local advertisements until the replay team is ready.7:57 – The first period replays are now on the board.During intermission, the entertainment team will take the ice, as everyone in the booth resets for the next period. At this time, I exit the control booth to roam the arena for the remainder of the game.GAME TIME – Second and Third PeriodDuring the second period, I make my way down to the Zamboni entrance to catch the camera crew at work. Armed with a Grass Valley LDX 80 Series camera and an apple box, the cameraman stands at ice level catching many of the action shots.Opposite the Zamboni entrance is the Ice Girls entrance, where an in-arena cameraman captures both game footage and crowd reactions. As I head to his vantage point, a police officer asks my intentions. He finds it hard to believe I’m there to watch a cameraman and not the ladies. I’m pretty sure I’m the first person to ever say so. As luck has it, we score a great photo of the cameraman capturing footage of the crowd that is sent live to the video board behind him.The second period draws to a close. Chicago has taken a commanding 5-1 lead. I’ve kept my eye on the video board, only to notice that some of the extra jokes planned at Chicago’s expense have not been shown. They’ll be shelved for a later game against the team, one in which the Stars have a better chance.The second period highlights are sent to the video board, then the packaged “Chicago fans texting” video plays. The big reveal of a Chicago fan texting while on a blind date with a Stars fans scores big laughs.During intermission I head back up to the platinum level to catch Josh Bogorad live on Fox Sports. He is accompanied by a single cameraman and a producer timing out the commercial breaks.I make my way past fans and toward the broadcast booth as intermission wraps up. There I catch a reporter from WGN in Chicago finishing his recap of the first two periods.The rest of the booth is set up for Dallas play-by-play and color analyst duo Dave Strader and Razor Reaugh. At the center of the booth is a table at which the pair stands. They are not featured on camera during play, so they are free to watch their monitors and keep up with stats. On the edge of the broadcast booth are two barstools, a single Grass Valley camera, and two ARRI 650 lights.I finally make my way up to the 300 section to see the two cameramen up in the fixed locations high above the fans. From their vantage point, they use Grass Valley cameras with a Canon DIGISUPER 76 or Fujinon DIGIPOWER 99 lens to capture the games. These two cameras are semi-permanent and used for both Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks games. As soon as the third period draws to a close, the cameras are covered and locked in position.The video board returns to a graphics package as fans exit the arena. It’s then I check my phone to see that the NHL Facebook account has already shared video of Chicago’s third goal.Just after midnight, the Dallas Stars have shared the Inside Edge video recap. By eleven o’ clock the next morning, the Stars Facebook page shares links to the game recap, post game interview with Coach Lindy Ruff, and final thoughts from Razor.Final NotesThough it was a tough loss for the team, the media department still offered fans quite a few laughs throughout the game. The speed of their production is nothing short of amazing, as this crew has every little detail down. By the time the recaps hit the web, they prep for their next home game.Production wise, this crew showed off tremendous talent. The culture has grown out of the leadership of both Jason Walsh and Jason Danby. The two make a very strong case for being the best producers in the league. The Dallas Stars invite PremiumBeat to an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the video production and broadcast of an NHL hockey game.Images from Caleb Ward, PremiumBeatIt’s just past noon in Dallas, Texas. Tonight the Dallas Stars take on their division foes and defending Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. This year, the Stars have been atop the league in a dominating form not seen in Dallas in decades.Though the team has seen its ups and downs the past few seasons, either just missing or barely making the playoffs, one thing has been consistent — the fantastic media team. From in-house video production, broadcast, and even social media, the Stars are seemingly unrivaled in the delivery of their content.Few NHL teams, like the LA Kings, have kept fans as engaged and entertained as the Stars. Perhaps the most well known thing about the media team is the constant stream of jokes coming from the Stars jumbotron.With all the excitement in the back office, tonight’s game resembles the potential playoff match this game will become. The following is a recount and inside look at what it takes to bring such an exciting match to the fans in the arena and to those watching at home. This is a look at the NHL Dallas Stars game day video production.12:30pm – ArrivalI’ve just arrived at the American Airlines Center (AAC). The venue was recently named the 4th busiest arena in the United States and 10th busiest in the world. Deep in the heart of Texas, the AAC hosts hundreds of events and concerts every year, as well as playing home to the NBA Dallas Mavericks and NHL Dallas Stars. The success of the venue has allowed them to constantly upgrade the arena with the latest tech, much of which I will soon get a glimpse of.I walk over to the administration doors and head through security. Upon entering the building I am met by the Senior Director of Game Presentation, Jason Danby. Danby will be my guide for the day, showing me around the arena prior to puck drop.A little bit on Jason Danby – He worked on sports game day packages throughout college, creating elements for football, basketball, swimming, and other sports. He landed a job with the Dallas Stars as an intern in the Public Relations department. He would later move into a role as a video editor with the team, working his way up to his current position. He just started his tenth season with the Stars.Danby leads me towards the control room, which is located on the ground floor underneath the north side of the arena. Directly over my head are sections 112 and 113. The tunnel is currently housing all the additional seating used for basketball games. We walk past some vending machines and the elevator bay, making our way into the control room.We enter a tech mecca absolutely filled with screens, workstations, a seemingly endless array of data servers, and a switcher board only rivaled locally by AT&T Stadium – home of the NFL Dallas Cowboys. Danby tells me that the success of the venue allows them to have equipment many sports teams only dream of. It also doesn’t hurt that the Dallas Mavericks share the space, as Mavs owner Mark Cuban is known for his dedication to creating the ultimate fan experience.It’s still early for a 7:00pm game, so the control booth is mostly empty at the moment. Danby and I jump into conversation, as this is the only downtime he will have today. We talk about his time working video boards in college and his growth with the Stars organization. For those of you with no knowledge of the franchise, Danby joined the Stars in the middle of a tumultuous decade.His first year with the team was after the NHL owner’s lockout of 2004-05. The lockout left a large impression on him, as he saw the team struggle to get fans back in the stands after an entire season without hockey. Unbeknownst to Danby at the time, those years would be incredibly formative in regards to fan engagement.As the years progressed, the Stars fluctuated as a team. They once reached the conference finals in 2008 and later flirted with playoff births, ultimately unsuccessful most years. In 2010, then-owner Tom Hicks’ company defaulted on a bank loan backed by the Stars and interest in the American Airlines Center. The team went bankrupt and was then managed by the National Hockey League. The Stars were auctioned off and purchased by Tom Galgardi, ushering in a new era for the team.When Danby switched into a production role, he was one of only a handful of crew members in the media department. Since the team found new ownership, the entire franchise has benefitted — and the media department has grown enormously. Danby is quick to credit his own boss, Jason Walsh, for the growth.Image via TM TelevisionJason Walsh has been with the Dallas Stars for nearly twenty years, now serving as the teams Vice President of Broadcast and Entertainment. Other teams in the NHL only manage their internal video production, and leave the television broadcast to a regional station. Walsh heads both the in-arena team and the broadcast team, something that sounds like it shouldn’t work — but in Dallas it somehow does.All video production, as well as radio and arena entertainment, goes through Walsh. On game days, Jason Walsh will work the broadcast truck as the lead producer and Jason Danby will run all in arena video and entertainment. Back at the team’s headquarters in Frisco, Texas, Walsh’s office is part of the media department cave. That office has grown under his leadership. Where the team would once hire contract editors and video producers, the Stars now have full-time employees in house.Quick side note on the office location: Frisco is 35 miles away from the arena, meaning the staff has to be incredibly prepared with all elements. The team uses XD discs, a VPN, and external drives a majority of the time — so if something is left behind in the office, it would take a staff member at least an hour to bring the material to the arena.Editors like Jerry Miranda, Hunter Harrington, and Kevin Harp produce hundreds of hours worth of content. In the office, a majority of the work is done in AVID on the ISIS server. The server includes footage from the past decade, while older material is archived on discs in storage. Additionally, editors have the Adobe Create Cloud, allowing them to do quick work in After Effects if needed.Miranda is known to edit videos with a “lot of heart and emotion.” He often produces the major opening videos seen on the center hung video board. Harp and Harrington produce many of the video bits and interviews seen in-arena. Harp also works as the production editor during games, working the Crossfire broadcast system that sends all element packages to the board. Many of those elements include the fantastic graphic packages rendered by Jeff Neal, the teams Director of Visual Effects.While Danby and I are deep in conversation, Kevin Harp has been loading all the footage into Crossfire — working with the audio technician to verify all that elements with sound are functioning correctly. For example, if a referee blows a whistle, Harp will have the Power Play graphics package ready to hit all of the boards. This includes the center hung boards, the ribbons around the arena, and the two large boards on the north and south sides.Also in the room is Shae Bryan, the production coordinator. She is currently finalizing minor details in the scripts and timelines. I can see her verifying the schedule, ensuring a future game is indeed at 7:00 and not 7:30. These are the little details she will hand over to the broadcast duo of Dave Strader and Daryl “Razor” Reaugh.As the four of us sit in the control room, I ask when we should expect the rest of the crew. I’m told “any minute now” — realizing that time had already been flying by.2:00 – Call Time for CrewAs we await the arrival of the crew, Danby and I get into the creation of content. He explains the creation of his “11 Parameters” that were born out of the NHL lockout. He tells me about the first time he sat down and went through every single game day element that had been produced up to that point. If he had no emotional response, he immediately killed it.At the time, the team was simply listing information on the video board. List of starters, scratches, opponents rosters, safety warnings, etc. All of that content was removed. He tells me that shows can get cluttered really quick, so the ineffective stuff was to be removed and replaced with player content.This is one of the biggest steps the media team first took. Instead of showing a list warning fans to watch out for flying pucks, they filmed a player issuing the warning. That content worked on two levels. It accentuated the warning and got fans to pay attention, while also showcasing the player.Those videos worked and have since spawned dozens of other player segments played throughout games. The freedom the media department has allows them to take more risks. As they have received such positive reaction to their risks, they’ve been able to push the envelope further. This is where other teams in the league (and other leagues) struggle to compete with the Dallas Stars.This is show business. If it’s not entertaining, it’s not good. You have to find a way to may things entertaining. Most other teams lose it because of how corporate it is.The 11 Parameters include plenty of check points like “informative, entertaining, hockey-centered,” but most important is sponsorship. Content that is sponsored is guaranteed to play over bits that they may or may not have time for. By having so many players featured in segments, the team has found sponsorship increasing. That said, producing player content has to be scheduled months in advance.Content for the entire season is planned in the summer months, just after the NHL releases the schedule. They set focus on division rivals first, determining ways to poke fun at the team. It should be noted I said team, as the media department does enforce their own rules in regards to their jokes. They don’t identify individual players on the opposing team. They pick the appropriate way to make the best jokes without using adult humor. They know to push the line, but not cross it. If the Stars suffer a tough loss, fans can still leave the arena with a good bit or joke.After divison rivals, the Stars set eyes on other opponents. Recently they have taken to poking fun at the teams from Canada. They gained national headlines for their jokes about Justin Bieber’s arrest when playing the Toronto Maple Leafs. Against Vancouver, the Stars tortured their own fans by only playing songs by Canadian natives — Nickelback. Danby tells me that the Stars players were trying not to laugh after four songs – in total they played twelve.Tonight the team has a packaged bit targeting Chicago fans. When the Blackhawks last played in Dallas two months prior, the media team sent a camera man into the stands to capture Chicago fans texting on their phones. Tonight, they will premiere a bit showing what Chicago fans were typing on their phones.The success of the bits have also allowed more joke content produced with players. A majority of the player videos are shot during Media Day. Players like Antoine Roussel, one of two French born hockey players in the NHL, hosts Cinema of Antoine, in which he jokingly reviews classic French films. The Stars also have two goaltenders from Finland. Together they speak in the native tongue in Words With Finns. The goal is to get fans to guess what they are saying. Most recently the players said (in Finnish): “Words with Friends isn’t that popular anymore, but this is a great pun.”Danby tells me that the media team can never lose sight that this is all about the team and the players. The added benefit of this content — it appeals to the part of the crowd that is immune to sports.It’s a variety show. The video team is the wingman. We get [the players] to look good. Highlight them, or when they are down cause a diversion.The crew members are starting to arrive. One of the first to walk in is director Terri McCormack. Terri has called over 1000 Dallas Stars games. (She also directs the massive video board for the Dallas Cowboys, as well as countless television shows.) During the game, Terri is the one actually calling the shots. She will direct the entire crew in the control room and the in-arena camera crew.McCormack has a choice of nine camera angles during the game. Several camera crew members will be shooting with an array of Sony XDCAMs, including the Sony PDW700. Danby tells me that “XD is the way to be” and that he and Jason Walsh have been trying to make XDCAMs the standard within the NHL and Fox Sports. The team also just purchased a new Sony HSC-300RF.  The camera crew also uses a Canon 7D to capture fan footage for bits. Additionally, GoPros are mounted in each of the penalty boxes.A majority of the crew has now arrived. The replay crew has jumped into editing highlights from the previous games against Winnipeg and Colorado. They are using the EVS replay system to create the content that will play prior to the game. They notice not all the footage is available, so Danby heads down to the broadcast truck to grab a copy of the game. He’s back in two minutes. Work continues immediately.Next to enter is font operator Ben Rebstock, who quickly grabs a seat and opens up Lyric Pro. The program allows him to edit all the text that will appear on screen. He immediately gets to work typing the names of the referees, starting players, and the Happy Birthday list. The text elements are layered over live video footage, Crossfire elements, or used to create original images. Rebstock is behind many of the humorous lists the Stars have become known for.3:00 – Birth of a BitNow that all of the crew has arrived, Danby announces that they will be shooting a bit in the control room for next week’s game on Valentine’s weekend. The premise is a contagious disease causes people to sexually play an inflatable saxophone to the tune of George Michael’s Careless Whisper. A prepackaged bit will play before cutting to live footage of the mascot handing out inflatable saxophones to the crowd, ultimately ending with a font package wishing fans “a very saxy Valentine’s day.”This will either be the worst bit, or a 6 out of 10.If the jokes don’t work in the edit, they will kill it. Without question, the whole crew is ready to get in on the shoot. They know that they have to really embrace it to sell it. For the next thirty minutes, Hunter Harrington shoots the crew with the Canon 7D. He will be the one ultimately responsible for shooting and editing the piece.After they wrap the bit, each crew member finishes up their final duties before heading to lunch. Terri McCormack meets with the replay crew to go over timing. The font packages are finalized, and the Crossfire system is all set for the game. Before heading to lunch, Danby makes a quick announcement praising one of the team members for their hard work over the last week. He hands them a game-used puck from the last Stars game.4:00 – Lunch BreakWe leave the control room to walk down the corridor to the lunch room. I stand in line with a cavalcade of staff members, from the facility crew to broadcaster Razor Reaugh. I grab some tilapia and veggies and head to a table to sit with Danby and some arena staff members. Over dessert, Danby tells me about all the little details that go into every game.It’s weird to plan so much ahead of time. But if something goes wrong, it’s my fault.It’s then I hear of the plan to find a fan wearing a Patrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks jersey. (The Stars acquired Sharp from Chicago during the offseason.) The goal is to get a fan to take off their Sharp Blackhawks jersey and exchange it for an autographed Sharp Stars jersey — and of course catch it all on camera. After lunch, Jason Danby and Hunter Harrington convince me to be part of the Valentine’s Day bit. The original idea was to have me walk up to a ticket booth to purchase tickets for the game, but in an inspirational moment — the bit drastically changes direction. They want to convince the television broadcast crew to be part of the Valentine’s video. Without second guessing the idea, they grab the camera and we head up to the platinum level.5:00 – The Broadcast BoothThe platinum level is the middle tier of the arena. The section houses many of the venue’s box seats and corporate-sponsored bars and dining areas. It also houses all of the broadcast booths. On one side of the arena is a section for the play-by-play and color crews, and the north end houses the Fox Sports television booth.The Fox Sports booth is a semi-permanent fixture in the arena. The booth has a high-end broadcast table, a Sony HXC-100 affixed to a tripod, and two FloLight FL-220AW lights on each side of the camera. There are three large monitors — one used by the camera man, one used by the announcers, and one affixed to the table.It’s at the Fox Sports booth that I am introduced to Josh Bogorad, the television host of the Stares pre-game, intermission, and post-game reports. Together we will quickly shoot a part of the Valentine’s Day bit. Though he is initially hesitant, he soon buys into the concept. We wrap in a matter of minutes.As we pack up, a cheer of “STARS!” echoes from below. It’s the American Airlines Center staff moving into position as they prepare to open the doors. last_img read more