Oxford, Cambridge Book Top Two Slots in Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018

File photo: A group of graduates gather outside the Sheldonian Theatre to have their photograph taken after a graduation ceremony at Oxford University. (REUTERS)
The Oxford and Cambridge University of the United Kingdom have picked the Top Slot of #1 and #2 together for first time ever in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018. While the University of Oxford maintained its unabated #1 ranking second year in a row, the University of Cambridge laurelled it way up to grab #2 position from #4 last year.

“We are very proud to claim the top spot in the @timeshighered World University Rankings for the second year running: http://po.st/aBxqGX”

The California Institute of Technology, US dropped from #2 to #3 while the Stanford University maintained its positioned at #3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Princeton University and Imperial College London strengthened their positions with #5, #6, #7 and #8 respectively as last year; while University of Chicago pulled down Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in an exchange of positions for #9 and #10.

Speaking about the latest survey, Professor Alan Smithers – Director of Centre for Education and Employment Research, University of Buckingham stated ‘The fears that Brexit would damage our leading universities appear to be just scaremongering.’

The current and first female Vice Chancellor of the Oxford University – Louise Richardson was under fire recently for the ‘university fat cat’ row that has brought the Pay packages of University Chief under public scrutiny. As per the ongoing debate, there are educational heads who draw coffers more than even the Prime Minister of the UK. The VC justified her £350,000 pay package and remarked the politicians propagating against VCs as ‘mendacious’ and ‘tawdry’ and their comments damaging to the education sector of the United Kingdom.

However, Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018 bring a proud moment for the country where Educational scenario is facing a lot of political pressure and with both the Universities holding the Number One and Number Two slot first time in the 13-year history of Times Higher Education World University Rankings brings a sigh of relief to some.

Talking about India, the Top-ranked Indian Institute of Science (IISc) dropped from 201-250 club to 251-300 club while IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur fell from 401- 500 band to 501-600 band. IIT Bombay maintained its position in 351-400 slot and IIT Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee stayed fixed in 501-600 window.

Commenting on India rankings, Editorial Director of the Times Higher Education (THE) Global Rankings Phil Baty stated “It is disappointing that India has declined in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings amid increasing global competition,” “As leading universities in other Asian territories such as China, Hong Kong and Singapore are consistently rising up the rankings, in part thanks to high and sustained levels of funding, India’s flagship Indian Institute of Science moves further away from the elite top 200.”

[“Source-news18”]

Performers/Creatives reviews – Irvine Welsh’s two plays are exercises in tedium

Embarrassingly limp: George Russo and Perry Benson in Performers.

Not so much theatre shows as exercises in tedium, these new pieces from Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh would never have seen the light of day if they didn’t have his name attached. An audience expecting the skanky wit and vim of Trainspotting will be disappointed by this duo of tired and clumsy plays.

Performers, written with Dean Cavanagh, is potentially the more interesting of the two. Apparently, when making the 1970 movie Performance, which starred Mick Jagger and James Fox, directors Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell wanted to hire real villains to play the gangsters. Their quest for authenticity sees low-life criminals Alf (Perry Benson) and Bert (George Russo) turning up at the production offices. But with slack direction from Nick Moran, it has all the tension of a used teabag. The comic tour de force that is supposed to ensue when a pretentious young assistant director persuades Alf to take off his clothes is embarrassingly limp.

Set in 1969, it would have looked dated and if it had actually been written that year, and – in their own quest for authenticity – Welsh and Cavanagh appear to have copied out a cockney rhyming slang dictionary lock, stock and barrel.

Creatives: bland, slick shininess.
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 Creatives: bland, slick shininess. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty

If Performers aims for comic grittiness and misses by a mile, Creatives is all bland, slick shininess; straight out of the Fame mould. It’s a musical, written with Don de Grazia, about a group of would-be songwriters attending a Chicago course run by former punk Paul, whose career has nosedived and whose personal life is complicated.

The students are all stereotypes, ranging from moody goth girl to (bizarrely) a redneck Trump supporter, and the entire thing starts to resemble an audition for the X Factor but with less convincing back stories, until a violent plot twist pushes it into outright melodrama.

The US cast are game, and Laurence Mark Wythe’s music and lyrics cry out for a better vehicle than this cliched attempt to explore the price of creativity and the pressures to sell out for a quick buck. One imagines that is exactly what Welsh has done with these abysmal efforts.

 Performers is at the Assembly Rooms until 27 August. Box office: 0131-623 3030. Creatives is at the Pleasance Courtyard until 28 August. Box office: 0131-556 6550.

Source:-theguardian

Everything You Need to Know About For Honor’s Season Two Gear Changes

Everything You Need to Know About For Honor's Season Two Gear Changes

With Season Two of For Honor’s Faction War beginning tomorrow, Ubisoft implemented four distinct changes to gear. The developers aimed to reduce the gap between high and low level gear, have more stat varieties, show the actual stat values each piece carries, and introduce the Epic rarity sets. In addition, the costs to craft gear has been significantly reduced, though the salvage values after dismantling gear has been slightly reduced as well.

All of these gear changes will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC alongside For Honor Update 1.07, tomorrow on May 16.

Base Gear Stats

When you have basic gear (gear score zero), you should still added bonuses:

  • Arms: defense + 0.8%
  • Body: + 0.9%
  • Head: + 0.6%
  • Weapon 1: + 0.8%
  • Weapon 2: + 1.0%
  • Weapon 3: + 1.2%

For example: Weapon 1, 2, and 3 would be the blade, crossguard, and hilt, respectively.

Developer comments: We observed difficulties for certain players to play with new heroes without gear with the new gear values. To help this, default gear now has stats. To note, this does not apply when gear stats are disabled.

Epic Gear

Once Update 1.07 arrives, you should be able to scavenge Epic gear post-match if you are at least Reputation level five.

for honor season two gear

Because of the new gear rarity, the scavenging rules have been tweaked:

  • Rare gear loot rules changed from Reputation level one up to the end of Reputation level six to Reputation level one to the end of Reputation level four.
  • Heroic gear loot rules changed from Reputation level three until Reputation level 30 to Reputation level three to the end of Reputation level six.
  • Epic gear loot rules added to Reputation level five until Reputation level 30.

Developer comments: To accommodate the addition of the new gear, we tweaked the way the gear is looted. To make sure the progression is comfortable, we reduced the amount of levels at which could be looted Rare and Heroic gear.

Overall Gear Stats Revamp

for honor season two gear

Gear Stats have been rearranged on all stats bundles and gear slots:

  • Weapon 1: Attack, Defense Penetration, Block Damage
  • Weapon 2: Attack, Execution Regen, Revive Speed
  • Weapon 3: Attack, Revenge Gain, Revenge Mode Attack
  • Helm: Defense, Exhaustion Duration, Debuff Resistance
  • Chest: Defense, Revenge Mode Defense, Revenge Mode Duration
  • Arms: Defense, Stamina Use, Stamina Regen

Developer comments: To support all our balancing changes, we removed, merged and moved stats to better focus on interesting and varied builds, with more meaningful choices.

New Gear Stat Values

  • Lower rarity gear now has higher modifiers than before.

Developer comments: Common gear wasn’t impacting the gameplay as much as we would have liked. With higher starting values, gear of all levels now feels more satisfying.

  • Modifiers increase faster per level at lower rarities than at higher ones.

Developer comments: Players advising each other on gear strategies always said the same thing: Save your steel for Heroic gear. This means that many players saw very little gear progression until they got their first hero up to Reputation 3. Something that takes a long time. So by making the curve steeper at the low end and flatter at the top, we hope that players will see it as valuable to buy and craft gear of all rarities.

  • Stat penalties have been increased significantly.

Developer comments: Players were hard pressed to even notice the effect of their penalties at anything but the highest gear levels. We hope that by increasing the size of the penalties and removing skills that are of limited use we’ll make all your future gear decisions that much more interesting.

  • New type of stats offering only small and balanced bonuses even at high levels.

Developer comments: We needed to offer a more moderate option for players regarding gear, for players that liked the initial balance of the hero and didn’t want to upset it with powerful bonuses and penalties.

UI Change to Represent Gear Stats

for honor season two gear

  • You can now see the exact numeric values of all stat bonuses.

Developer comments: While gauges are excellent at showing relative strengths and weaknesses of the gear, it was hard to decipher the impact they would have on the gameplay. To actually allow players to make meaningful choices and know the effect of their gear, we changed it to numbers.

  • Added a proportional indicator when comparing gear

Developer comments: To allow to choice gear at a glance and evaluate gear quality, we added arrows right of the gear stat values when comparing gear.

Attack Stats No Longer Affect Feats

  • The gear stat Attack now only affects normal attacks and not Feats or Bleeds.

Developer comments: Having gear affect feats and bleed was both hard to understand and very powerful at higher levels.

New Crafting Prices

Here are the new Salvage Material costs to improve gear:

  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Common gear
    • From: Level 1: 20 / Level 2: 30 / Level 3: 40 / Level 4: 50 / Level 5: 60
    • To: Level 1: 10 / Level 2: 13 / Level 3: 16 / Level 4: 19 / Level 5: 23
  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Rare gear
    • From: Level 1: 100 / Level 2: 150 / Level 3: 200 / Level 4: 250 / Level 5: 300
    • To: Level 1: 55 / Level 2: 80 / Level 3: 110 / Level 4: 130 / Level 5: 155
  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Heroic gear
    • From: Level 1: 260/ Level 2: 390 / Level 3: 530 / Level 4: 660 / Level 5: 790
    • To: Level 1: 195 / Level 2: 255 / Level 3: 295 / Level 4: 335 / Level 5: 375
  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Epic gear
    • Level 1: 400/ Level 2: 520 / Level 3: 650 / Level 4: 800 / Level 5: 960

Here are the new Steel costs to improve gear:

  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Common gear
    • From: Level 1: 30 / Level 2: 55 / Level 3: 75 / Level 4: 100 / Level 5: 125
    • To: Level 1: 25 / Level 2: 30 / Level 3: 35 / Level 4: 40 / Level 5: 45
  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Rare gear
    • From: Level 1: 150 / Level 2: 170/ Level 3: 195 / Level 4: 220 / Level 5: 245
    • To: Level 1: 75 / Level 2: 85 / Level 3: 95 / Level 4: 105 / Level 5: 115
  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Heroic gear
    • From: Level 1: 270/ Level 2: 290 / Level 3: 315 / Level 4: 340 / Level 5: 360
    • To: Level 1: 150 / Level 2: 170 / Level 3: 190 / Level 4: 210 / Level 5: 230
  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Epic gear
    • Level 1: 270/ Level 2: 290 / Level 3: 315 / Level 4: 340 / Level 5: 360

Here are the updated salvage values rewarded by dismantling gear:

  • Salvage Value for Common gear (unchanged)
    • From: Level 1: 5 / Level 2: 6 / Level 3: 7 / Level 4: 8 / Level 5: 9 / Level 6: 10
  • Salvage Value for Rare gear
    • From: Level 1:30 / Level 2: 35/ Level 3: 45 / Level 4: 50 / Level 5: 55 / Level 6: 65
    • To: Level 1: 20 / Level 2: 23 / Level 3: 26 / Level 4: 29 / Level 5: 32 / Level 6: 35
  • Salvage Value Heroic gear
    • From: Level 1: 95/ Level 2: 110 / Level 3: 125 / Level 4: 145 / Level 5: 165 / Level 6: 190
    • To: Level 1: 55 / Level 2: 60 / Level 3: 65 / Level 4: 70 / Level 5: 75 / Level 6: 80
  • Salvage Value for Epic gear
    • Level 1: 100/ Level 2: 115 / Level 3:130 / Level 4: 145 / Level 5: 160 / Level 6: 175

Developer comments: Our data showed players had a hard time to level up new heroes and would not craft early gear as much while having an excess of crafting material at higher levels. To improve this, we changed the cost of steel and crafting material as well as salvage value for gear. We hope to offer a smoother curve while keeping higher level gear a long term goal for high level players.

All of For Honor’s gear changes and class changes in Update 1.07 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on May 16.

Get into our YouTube channel to find out which games are worth your money this month, including PREY and INJUSTICE 2.

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Two sites will collect used gear

Image result for Two sites will collect used gearStephanie Strasburg/Post-Gazette


Gear Fest co-founder Christine Iksic talks to volunteers David Steakhouse, center, and Scott Ferrari as they collect used outdoors gear earlier this month. It will be sold on consignment at Gear Fest Sunday at the Ace Hotel in East Liberty.

People with used outdoors gear and other items can drop them off at Saturday’s ReuseFest or Sunday’s Gear Fest.

ReuseFest runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at UPMC Passavant Hospital’s green lot in McCandless. Nonprofits will accept and reuse art supplies, bedding, bikes, general household items, kitchen items, medical supplies, pet supplies, usable building materials, vintage items and more. The event is organized by the Pennsylvania Resources Council (prc.org)

Outdoors gear can also be dropped off from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.Sunday at East Liberty’s Ace Hotel, 120 S. Whitfield St. Gear Fest, a sale with beer and live music, will run from noon-5 p.m. Sunday at the hotel. For more information, see gearfestpgh.com.

[“Source-post-gazette”]