Review: First Ascent Heyburn 2.0 Ski Pant

first_imgBorn in 1900, Eddie Bauer the man invented the down jacket, held over 20 patents on sporting equipment in the 1930s, and – for better or worse – single handedly popularized badminton in America. Born in 1920, Eddie Bauer the company started as a tennis shop, outfitted the U.S. Army, and equipped the first American ascent of K2 and Everest among other expeditions. The company was sold and bought several times over during the freewheeling 1980s, and eventually went bankrupt in 2009. Rising from the ashes, Eddie Bauer the company sought to regain its mountaineering and expedition heritage with the launch of sub-brand First Ascent, dedicated to producing technical outerwear for the most hardcore alpinists and adventurers in the world, many of which they hired as ambassadors and consultants.Getting back to one’s roots can be liberating – the philosophy and plan are all laid out by past generations, all you have to do is execute a modern version – and it has paid off for Eddie Bauer. The First Ascent line was created by athletes, for athletes, a trite cliché in the outdoor gear market for sure, but significant in this case none the less. Re-engineered from the ground up, the Heyburn 2.0 ski pant is a fine example of the commitment to its technical outerwear past and the attention the First Ascent team pays to detail.First Ascent Heyburn 2.0 Pant Review from Summit Publishing on Vimeo.The Heyburn’s exterior is made from a waterproof 70-denier shell and rates at 10K/10K – without getting too technical, this means its pretty good at keeping water out while letting moisture escape – and finished with DWR for extra water resistance -ness-ability. Two cargo pockets flank each leg and the hand pockets are fleece lined for comfort. Zippered vents in the inner thigh help regulate temps on the slopes and the boot gaiters are adjustable to accommodate any size ski or snowboard boot and still keep the snow out. These are crucial features, but the Heyburn really shines when you take a closer look at the little details that matter, but may not be noticed at first.Take the waist for example: with the adjustable, stretch heavy duty Velcro inner belt, you can cinch the waist to optimize the fit. The seat of the pant extends up the lower back and is doubly stiff to add extra protection against the elements, especially for snowboarders who spend a lot of time on their backside. Small loops integrate with a jacket’s powder skirt so nothing can get in, even when you scorpion into a tree well on a powder day. The bottom cuffs are lined with Cordura to prevent any fraying and the insides are double lined so they won’t get cutup by boot buckles, giving the pants extra life and more bang for the buck. Added insulation at the seat and knees keep you warm when riding the lifts or waiting for your buddies at the lodge. The fit is relaxed, but not so baggy that it gets in your way and the color options range from conservative navy blue to howling neon green.Individually, these features are nice, but throw them all together and they are great. It’s great to have a warm butt and watch water bead up on your thighs on a chair lift; it’s great to not have snow down your crack when you strap on your bindings; it’s great to not have to roll up your cuffs so they don’t get ruined by a mix of dirt, gravel, and salt while grabbing a slice in the village. Basically it boils down to having a piece of gear you don’t have to worry about: like a boxing referee, if you notice it, it’s not doing its job. You won’t notice the Heyburn pant while your riding, and that’s a good thing. If you choose the limeade color, however, people will surely notice you.$199; eddiebauer.comlast_img read more

Total awards another extension to Energy Scout PSV

first_imgNorway-based shipowner Golden Energy Offshore Services has been awarded a contract extension for one of its platform supply vessels with Total in Nigeria. As a reminder, Golden Energy at the end of June entered into a contract with Total E&P Nigeria for the platform supply vessel (PSV) Energy Scout for a firm period of three months plus optional periods of three months each.In September, the vessel was awarded a three-month extension for work until January 1, 2018.According to the vessel owner’s statement on Friday, the Energy Scout’s contract has now been further extended in direct continuation of the present firm contract.The vessel is now firm until April 1, 2018, plus optional periods of three months each thereafter.The vessel has been working for Total in Africa for quite some time now, with the last four charters coming from Total E&P Nigeria, Total E&P Angola, and Total E&P Congo for general supply duties.Energy Scout is of a UT 755-L design and is a mechanically driven supply ship built by Brevik Construction and delivered in 2005. The vessel is designed for field supply & ROV duties, equipped with four thrusters and DP 2 class dynamic positioning system and is meant for all kind of offshore services.The vessel was built with an integrated system of two passive stabilizing tanks below the main deck to minimize roll. This allows it to remain along the platforms in heavier weather.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

Dr. Florian Block – University of York – Researching esports

first_imgDr. Florian Block has been a Research Fellow in Interactive Media and Digital Creativity Labs at University of York since January 2016. As part of this appointment, Florian became a full-time Researcher at the Digital Creativity Hub.Florian and the team at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television have made their first big move into esports with the fairly recent news that the University of York and ESL will be teaming up to introduce an esports content production at the University.Florian will also be on the ‘UK Esports, a land of opportunity’ panel at ESI Birmingham on May 24th, where he will be joined by Roy Meredith, Senior Business Development Manager at  West Midlands Growth Company and Ben Woodward, Co-founder of Code Red Esports.We had a chance to chat with Florian ahead of ESI Birmingham, about what attracted the University to esports, why he choose ESI Birmingham to speak at and what he thinks other universities have to look forward to in esports.Esports Insider: Start off by telling us a little about you and your work.Florian Block: My PhD is in Human Computer Interaction – essentially trying to understand how we can improve the way we interact with all kinds of electronic devices, from PCs to mobile phones and tablets. But over the last decade, first at Harvard University and then at the University of York, my research has been more and more about using interactive technology and visualisation to help people extract insights from data.I know it feels a bit “buzz-wordy”, but being able to work with data is so important in today’s society. It was ultimately data that got me interested in esports, which is full of high-quality data that actually contains very valuable information. In particular, I got interested in the creative use of data in esports – how content creators use data to tell stories about exciting performances.“We have a lot more stuff in the pipeline that really excites us and that we will hopefully be able to share with the community soon.”Over the last two years, I have been privileged to lead the esports research team at the Digital Creativity Labs, where I am surrounded with amazing colleagues and sparky students from across User Experience Design, Data Visualisation, Artificial Intelligence, Game Analytics, Psychology, Sociology and Gamification.Together, we have been exploring the value of data in esports thoroughly over the last two years and were lucky to work with many exciting people and entities in the esports industry. A personal highlight was the launch of our Echo tool at ESL One in Hamburg last year. Echo automatically compares real-time data with historic match data to detect extraordinary performances and provides a direct way of creating graphics for the audience. We have a lot more stuff in the pipeline that really excites us and that we will hopefully be able to share with the community soon.ESI: The University of York has announced a partnership with ESL to ‘Pioneer education in esports content’ how did the deal come about and what does it mean for York University and any future esports endeavours? Florian: As we were closely collaborating with ESL on various research projects it became evident that the industry was desperate for talent that understood broadcast, storytelling and games, but that no university offered a formalised pathway in this area.I know there have been quite a few universities out there starting to offer esports courses, but at York, we have two excellent established programmes that bring us into a unique position to pioneer teaching in esports content production. The first is our BSc in Interactive Media, which has a strong component of digital games, equally involving design and technical aspects of creating interactive experiences, while at the same time considering the humanities, i.e. understanding games culture.“A personal highlight was the launch of our Echo tool at ESL One in Hamburg last year. Echo automatically compares real-time data with historic match data to detect extraordinary performances and provides a direct way of creating graphics for the audience”The second programme relevant to esports is our BSc in Film and TV Production, which, among many things, covers technical aspects of production, storytelling, and engaging audiences. So when we partnered with ESL, it came very naturally to create specialisations options that allow students from both programmes to join forces in the third year to get a solid head start if they want to pursue careers in the esports industry.Everyone from ESL was amazing to work with in developing this module, and they will be actively involved in delivering the content – which is really exciting for our students. Also, the support and enthusiasm for this module by really prominent personalities in esports are amazing, so there will be some real gems in there!ESI: What has attracted you and the team at York University to turn your attention to esports?Florian: I have touched upon this in a previous response, but the Digital Creativity Labs are all about the convergence between digital games and interactive media – by that we mean that games feel increasingly more like interactive stories, and experiences around games are increasingly not just playing but watching and sharing.“I feel really passionate about the UK as an innovation hub in esports, and think we have the perfect ingredients all across the UK to drive disruptive technology and new audience experiences in esports”The esports industry is a poster child of this trend, and much of our research has applications in esports.ESI: Many universities have started to welcome esports, do you foresee this trend continuing and what advice would you give to any university looking at esports?Florian: I think it makes perfect sense that with a rapidly growing industry and the numerous highly skilled jobs they create, universities will develop more and more formalised paths in higher education. It is really our responsibility to build talent that is ready for an evolving job landscape, and the creative industries, in general, are a crucial part of the UK’s economy. So yes, I think there will be much more to come, and at the University of York, we will continue to develop our offering responsibly.I think my biggest advice for universities getting into esports is to work closely with the industry, understand their needs, and make sure you create offerings that actually get students well-paying jobs. After all, it is our primary responsibility to give the students the best start in their professional career as we can. It doesn’t take much to create a buzzy module for the purpose of attracting students. But actually developing this module so that it is relevant, constantly up-to-date, reflects industry needs and gives your students an edge over their competition is really hard. We have worked two years our this module, making sure it aligns with industry needs while having a high academic standard.“We teach our students broad skills that make them strong candidates for jobs across the creative industries and provide them with opportunities to specialise in esports in their final year.”More crucially, we have decided to approach esports as a specialisation of much broader existing programmes, instead of creating a dedicated BSc or MSc. Even though the esports industry is growing, there are only a limited number of highly skilled jobs. It would be irresponsible for us to output hundreds of students each year who may not get a job in esports and are too specialised to find a good job in another area.Instead, we teach our students broad skills that make them strong candidates for jobs across the creative industries and provide them with opportunities to specialise in esports in their final year. We think this is the responsible way forward, and best leverages the pedagogic strengths and research expertise we have here at the University of York and Digital Creativity Labs.Florian will be amongst 25+ top speakers at this one day business symposium on May 24th tied in with ESL One BirminghamESI: You are one of the people attending ESI Birmingham on May 24th, what made you choose that event?Florian: I was very pleased to be asked to be asked to be on the panel on “UK Esports, a land of opportunity”.I feel really passionate about the UK as an innovation hub in esports, and think we have the perfect ingredients all across the UK to drive disruptive technology and new audience experiences in esports. I am very much looking forward to ESI and meeting new people who share this passion.ESI: What do you hope to achieve from your attendance at the event in Birmingham?Florian: As part of our mission to drive world-leading research and teaching in esports it is crucial to be out there and understand the pains, opportunities and visions of the industry. I think I will learn a lot from ESI. At the same time, the Digital Creativity Labs are the biggest games research hub in the UK, and we always looking for new collaborations.We have a great track-record of working with industry and pushing out cutting-edge technology into their products. We have only just scratched the surface of what Artificial Intelligence, Data-Driven Storytelling and Interactive Experiences can do to create new experiences for esports fans, and want to continue to push the envelope in this space. I am very much looking forward to making new connections.ESI: Do you have any closing words?Florian: Thanks for reaching out and inviting us to ESI – we are extremely pleased to be able to make a contribution. Esports really feels like a truly unique opportunity for academia and industry to join forces to shape how mainstream entertainment will look like in the next few decades. The last two years have been an amazing ride, and we look forward to working with the industry in the years to come!You can keep up to date with Florian’s research over at his personal site and the University of York. You can also catch Florian speaking at ESI Birmingham from May 24thlast_img read more