Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Business

Apple TV+’s ‘Ted Lasso’ is the ray of sunshine you need in your life

Published

on

Image: Apple TV+

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

In the second episode of his eponymous Apple TV+ series, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) brings his new boss a box of cookies. It’s a tiny gesture (literally, since the box is barely bigger than a Twinkie), and one that the deeply skeptical Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) declines at first. But she’s curious, so she tries one. Then another. And another. Turns out they’re incredible. 

By the middle of the episode, “Biscuits With the Boss” has become an established daily ritual, a regular dose of sweetness that Rebecca gets to look forward to, no matter how sour the rest of her life has become. And Ted Lasso, the show, has come that much closer to becoming the very same for its viewers. 

There are worse things to believe in than the idea that although the world might be crap, sometimes the people in it are not.

If you’ve not yet had the pleasure of trying Ted Lasso, there’s no time like the present. With the Season 1 finale dropping this Friday, Oct. 2, you can spend today getting caught up — or spend the weekend binge-watching all 10 half-hour episodes in one sitting. Take it from someone who did just that when the entire season was made available for critics in August: It’s an excellent use of your time, if you’re in need of something to make you feel a bit better about the world for a little while. And who isn’t, in 2020?

Granted, Ted Lasso, like Ted himself, arrived on the scene with dubious qualifications. It’s an adaptation of, of all things, a TV commercial. Specifically, a series of NBC Sports promos from the early 2010s that had Sudeikis playing a clueless American football coach who gets a job coaching British football (i.e., soccer), despite his lack of understanding of even the basic rules of the sport. The Apple TV+ version retains the same basic premise, as well as Sudeikis as Ted and Brendan Hunt as Assistant Coach Beard (both are also credited as co-creators, along with Joe Kelly of Detroiters and Bill Lawrence of Scrubs).

It mines some very funny jokes from Ted’s total unfamiliarity with with both football and British culture in general — do not get this man started on tea — and spins narrative yarn from the obvious question of why Ted would be hired in the first place. To that, it adds a top-notch ensemble cast that includes Juno Temple as Keeley, a confident WAG; Nick Mohammed as Nathan, the team’s perpetually overlooked equipment manager; Brett Goldstein as Roy, a grouchy aging football star; and Phil Dunster as Jamie, the team’s bratty star player. 

Apple TV+'s 'Ted Lasso' is the ray of sunshine you need in your life

Image: Apple TV+

But what takes Ted Lasso from an amusing distraction about an idiot American to one of the most lovable new shows of 2020 is its enormous heart. In its stubborn belief that compassion and generosity can change the world for the better, Ted Lasso feels almost like a reverse Schitt’s Creek, or a more light-hearted Friday Night Lights. As with those shows, Ted Lasso‘s gentleness feels all the more moving because it feels earned. It’s not so sunny that it refuses to acknowledge the shadows; indeed, Ted admits at one point that his relentless optimism is driving his wife away. But he, and the show, presses on anyway with the mission of spreading joy and warmth. And bit by bit, Ted starts to see those qualities reflected back at him.

Sure, Ted Lasso is a fantasy. You will not be surprised to hear that our well-intentioned protagonist, who needed the scoring system explained to him in the first episode, proves to be a surprisingly decent coach by the the middle of the season, largely because he’s just so great at handling people. You might be surprised to hear that this coach is so nice, he professes to not caring all that much about winning or losing. None of this would make a lick of sense on a real professional team, and no doubt some sports fans are gritting their teeth at the absurdity of it all.

But speaking as a TV fan, there are worse things to believe in than the idea that although the world might be crap, sometimes the people in it are not. Sometimes they stand up for you against an evil ex, or show up in the middle of the night to help you break an ancient curse, or bring you cookies without being asked just because you know you’ll enjoy them. Sometimes, it’s just nice to to remember that kindness can make a difference — that others can be kind to you, and that you can be kind to them in turn. 

Ted Lasso is now streaming on Apple TV+

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Japan’s New Leader Sets Ambitious Goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050

Published

on

TOKYO — Japan will be carbon neutral by 2050, its prime minister said on Monday, making an ambitious pledge to sharply accelerate the country’s global warming targets, even as it plans to build more than a dozen new coal-burning power plants in the coming years.

The prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, laid out the goal during his first major policy speech since taking office in September, when Japan’s longest-serving leader, Shinzo Abe, abruptly resigned. The announcement came just weeks after China, Japan’s regional rival, said it would reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2060.

Addressing Japan’s Parliament, Mr. Suga called for the country to “be carbon neutral in 2050,” a declaration that drew loud applause from lawmakers. Achieving that goal will be good not only for the world, he said, but also for Japan’s economy and global standing.

“Taking an aggressive approach to global warming will bring about a transformation in our industrial structure and economic system that will lead to big growth” in the economy, he said, answering critics who have warned of the economic consequences.

ImagePrime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan giving his first policy speech during a special session at the lower house of Parliament in Tokyo on Monday.
Credit…Kazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Japan is the world’s fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. It had previously said it would go carbon neutral “at the earliest possible date,” vowing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Japan now joins China, the largest polluter, and the European Union in promising to bring their net carbon emissions down to zero. China’s leader, Xi Jinping, made his country’s pledge last month during the United Nations General Assembly.

The two announcements from Asia’s largest economies reinforced just how much of an outlier the United States, the world’s second-largest carbon emitter, has become after President Trump moved in 2017 to pull the country out of the Paris agreement. Joseph R. Biden Jr., his challenger in the presidential election, has vowed to restore the United States’ participation in the accord.

Japan’s decision was most likely driven by a combination of domestic and external political pressures, said Takeshi Kuramochi, a climate policy researcher at the NewClimate Institute in Germany.

While environmental groups have long argued that the country needed to speed up its progress on reducing emissions, momentum toward the move has been building in recent years, “especially in business and finance sectors,” Mr. Kuramochi said.

Mr. Suga probably also felt it was important not to cede leadership on the issue to China, he added. As a developed nation, Mr. Kuramochi said, it would be “somewhat embarrassing for Japan to have a net zero emissions timeline later than China.”

Credit…Noriko Hayashi for The New York Times

It is not clear whether Mr. Suga’s commitment is feasible, and he offered few specifics about how Japan would reach its goal, saying only that he would harness the power of “innovation” and “regulatory reform” to transform the country’s energy production and usage.

Achieving the new timeline will require a major overhaul of Japan’s infrastructure, which is highly dependent on carbon dioxide-producing fossil fuels. The country has made steady progress in reducing its emissions, but still generated 1.06 billion tons of the gas in the one-year period that ended in March 2019, placing it among the top 10 per capita emitters.

“When you look at Japan as an economy, there’s a lot of considerations that have to go into formulating this ambitious goal,” said Jane Nakano, a senior fellow in the Energy Security and Climate Change Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“It would require a much deeper look into the resources that Japan has, perhaps the way that different sectors have been operating,” she said, adding that “not just the government, but many business entities and industrial stakeholders” would also need to commit to achieving net zero by 2050.

By the early 2000s, Japan had made substantial progress in curbing carbon dioxide emissions through the use of nuclear power. But the meltdown of a nuclear power plant in Fukushima after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011 led to a widespread shutdown of the country’s energy-producing reactors, which had generated roughly a third of Japan’s total power supply. Only a handful of the plants have since restarted.

Credit…Aaron Sheldrick/Reuters

Short on energy sources, Japan decided to reinvest in coal. It has planned or is in the process of building 17 new coal-burning power plants, even as other major economies are moving away from the power source.

Japan currently plans to reduce — but not eliminate — its dependence on coal, decreasing its contribution to the country’s electricity production from 32 percent in 2018 to 26 percent by 2030, partly by shutting down inefficient plants.

The country has also vowed to end contentious government subsidies for the export of coal-fired power technology to developing nations, where the use of coal for electricity continues to rise. Japan is currently supporting three such projects and says it will consider financing more only in “exceptional” cases.

Further efforts to decrease Japan’s domestic commitment to coal will likely meet powerful resistance from Japanese industry, which is still heavily dependent on the fuel. Still, Mr. Suga’s announcement may cause the country to rethink its commitment to coal in favor of cleaner, more diverse energy sources.

Japan is already considering a substantial increase in its supply of wind and solar power, and it is also looking at newer, less-established technologies, such as plants that burn ammonia or hydrogen.

Credit…Koji Sasahara/Marubeni Corp., via Associated Press

Restarting nuclear power plants may also be on the table, despite widespread public resistance to the idea. In his speech on Monday, Mr. Suga said that Japan would continue to develop nuclear power with “maximum priority on safety,” a remark that drew a round of boos and hisses from members of Parliament.

Some parts of the country will have a head start on Mr. Suga’s overall climate pledge. Movement toward the new goal had already started on the local level, where 150 municipal governments have pledged to be carbon neutral by midcentury.

Major corporations such as Toyota and Sony have committed to similar timelines for zeroing out their emissions.

But even if Japan achieves its goal, it will not by itself be enough to halt or even slow the current trend of global warming, a goal that requires a global effort.

Japan is already feeling the consequences of climate change. Rising temperatures across the country have contributed to deadly heat waves. And scientists say that global warming also contributed to the size and intensity of the devastating typhoons that struck the country last year.

Preventing a climate catastrophe will require “a transformation of the energy system that has underwritten modern society,” said Kentaro Tamura, director of Climate and Energy Area at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies in Kanagawa, Japan.

“There’s no question that having to make such a drastic change in the extremely short period of just 30 years is very difficult,” he said.

But, he added, “I’m optimistic.”

Source

Continue Reading

Business

How the Virus Slowed the Booming Wind Energy Business

Published

on

Even as businesses around the world shut down this spring, executives at EDF Renewables were hopeful they would finish installing 99 wind turbines in southern Nebraska before a year-end deadline. Then, in early April, the pandemic dealt a big blow to the company.

A manager at a factory that was building the giant cylinders on which the turbines sit had died of the coronavirus, shutting down the plant and delaying EDF’s work by five weeks. That and other setbacks — including construction workers at the site in Nebraska contracting the virus — have hampered EDF’s efforts to finish the $374 million project by the end of the year. A prolonged delay could increase costs, threatening the project’s financial viability.

The company’s struggles are emblematic of how the pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and imperiled tens of billions of dollars of investments and millions of jobs, with retail stores and oil and gas companies among those hit hardest. But EDF’s challenges show how the pandemic has walloped even thriving industries like renewable energy.

The American Wind Energy Association estimates that the pandemic could threaten a total of $35 billion in investment and about 35,000 jobs this year. The losses could grow if the coronavirus continues to disrupt the economy well into next year.

“Every part of the supply chain has been hit by this,” said John Hensley, the wind association’s vice president of research and analytics. “Certainly if we see major delays, it can take a major economic toll.”

Wind turbines provide more than 7 percent of U.S. electricity and are the largest carbon-free energy source after nuclear power plants. Nebraska gets about 20 percent of its electricity from wind, and when it is complete, EDF’s project will have the capacity to meet the electricity needs of about 115,000 homes.

The wind energy business was growing about 10 percent a year before the pandemic. But industry officials now fear that projects under construction might be postponed or canceled because of the pandemic. The industry had hoped Congress might provide aid to renewable energy, but it got little from the stimulus bills passed in the spring.

The industry did receive some help from the Treasury Department, which in May gave wind energy developers more time to complete construction in order to qualify for a federal tax credit. Businesses now have to finish projects they began in 2016 and 2017 within five years, up from four years previously. EDF began its project in 2016.

“Everybody is trying to figure out how everything is going to land,” said Benoit Rigal, a vice president of engineering and construction for EDF.

ImageSome of the components, like the towering cylinders on which turbines sit, are so large that they have to be delivered by truckers with special training and permits.

On March 13, EDF was preparing the site to receive three dozen blades that harness the wind. These are some of the first components the company had expected to arrive in the village of Milligan, Neb., less than an hour southwest of Lincoln.

But three days before the blades were scheduled to arrived, Dwynne Igau, an EDF planning and construction manager in charge of the project, received worrying news: one of her workers had taken ill. Ms. Igau quickly called off the delivery and ordered about 30 percent of her crew into quarantine.

The areas around Milligan experienced an early surge in coronavirus cases, driven in part by infections at meatpacking plants. Just a few hundred people live in the village, a railroad community incorporated in 1888 that is surrounded by rows of cornfields and is known as the “Hospitality Capital of Nebraska” because it has services like a salon and spa.

According to EDF, at least three workers tested positive for the virus this year. Several people who worked as contractors and equipment suppliers have also gotten sick.

“We didn’t really think it would spread that much and that fast,” said Gilles Gaudreault, transport and logistics manager who also oversees the project.

Normally, Ms. Igau would have been at the construction site to manage the work. But the pandemic had forced her to work from her home, in a suburb of Austin, Texas, more than 800 miles away. Ms. Igau also had to deal with an outbreak closer to home: Her daughter’s college roommate came down with the coronavirus, forcing the family to shuttle her daughter back and forth multiple times from Texas A&M University, about two hours away.

Ms. Igau had spent seven years leading project operations but had never encountered anything like this. It was the first time she lost access to her crew for days on end.

“There was so much uncertainty in the March, April time frame about what our deliveries would look like,” Ms. Igau said. “Would we have components in that time frame to start putting these components together?”

The blades that were delayed in mid-March were on their way from China and sat for days at a railway yard in central Nebraska. But that delay was hardly the last of Ms. Igau’s problems.

Another set of blades, from India, were delayed when the government there closed a factory because of a coronavirus outbreak. The plant eventually reopened, but the shutdown had a lasting impact, and the last seven of those blades just arrived at a Houston port last week.

Ms. Igau and EDF had to make numerous other changes at the construction site that also slowed work down. Crews of four or five workers could no longer pile into a pickup truck to drive around a work site. Each worker would have to drive on their own. Some inspections that were typically done by teams of workers would now require a drone to reduce the need for people to be close to each other.

A big weekly meeting on Wednesdays that used to involve some 300 people standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a parking lot was scrapped. Instead, managers met with groups of 10 workers who were required to stay at least six feet apart. EDF also did away with daily 8 a.m. meetings in a manager’s trailer. Everybody was required to wear masks, in addition to gloves. And EDF started conducting regular temperature checks.

Just as the work crews were adjusting to those changes, EDF confronted yet another challenge: heavy rain that made it difficult for delivery crews and construction workers to move around.

“If you’re trying to receive components, you really have to have tiptop roads,” Ms. Igau said. “We had messy conditions and we had a number of people out.”

In the first week of April, EDF received word from the cylinder maker, which is based in Mexico, that a logistics manager had died from the coronavirus.

“That whole team was quarantined for two weeks,” Ms. Igau said, adding that for a time she couldn’t even get the contractor to confirm when “they would be able to return to work.”

She spent days looking for other suppliers and worrying that the setback would mean that the project would not be done by the end of the year. But few companies make the cylinders, which have to be strong enough to hold up heavy turbines and withstand stiff winds. There was little spare capacity available, and even had she found another factory, there was no guarantee she would have been able to arrange for transportation because the shipping routes had been disrupted by the pandemic, too.

“How will we finish by the end of the year?” Ms. Igau recalls asking herself. Another concern: What should she do with construction workers if there were no towers for them to erect?

Even once the cylinder factory was up and running again, new problems cropped up. The cylinders had been scheduled to be sent by rail. But the delay meant there was no space on a train heading in the right direction, so they would now have to be sent by truck.

The cylinders, which are generally as tall as a five-story building, require a special class of truck that can only be operated by drivers with special training and permits. The drivers are typically older than 50, which makes them more vulnerable to the coronavirus. In addition, most drivers and their trailers were already busy ferrying other massive cargo.

But it wasn’t just the cylinders that Ms. Igau had to worry about. She was also having trouble securing blades for her turbines.

Supplies of balsa wood, a major component of wind turbine blades, became scarce this spring because about 95 percent of it comes from Ecuador, which was overwhelmed by the pandemic. At one point, so many people were dying there that bodies wrapped in plastic bags lay in the streets.

With just over two months left in the year, the first five turbines started spinning last week, giving EDF some hope that it will meet its deadline. But the number of coronavirus cases are on the rise across the country, and flu season is beginning, leaving executives uncertain.

“Every day something could happen on site that means our entire team could go into quarantine,” Ms. Igau said. “I don’t know how we will finish by the end of the of the year.”

Source

Continue Reading

Business

7 ideas to learn about leadership by playing with the Rubik's cube

Published

on

October 26, 2020 5 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

  • The game poses a common goal.
  • Each piece is different.
  • The cube is a system.
  • All the pieces are linked.

It’s there, with its bright, mixed, distinctive colors. Arouse curiosity when someone is manipulating you. It’s exciting when we ourselves manage to fit at least one full face. In short, it has something irresistible: wherever there is a Rubik’s cube, the temptation is to take it in your hands and start playing.

This 2020 the cube celebrates 40 years of world landing. In essence, it is a three-dimensional mechanical puzzle created by Hungarian sculptor and architecture professor Ernő Rubik in 1974. He licensed it to Ideal Toys in 1980 and from there began its path of expansion.

Originally called the “magic cube,” it is considered the world’s best-selling toy, with some 500 million pieces. According to the Guinness Guide of Records the original format is 3 x 3 x 3 cubes, and more recently it has been transformed into a megamix format (dodecahedron, 12 faces), a pyramid, a clock (on two sides, each face with 9 clocks to line up) and even the Frenchman Grégoire Pfennig has made a 33 x 33 x 33 version, the largest magic cube, with 6,153 pieces.

7 leadership lessons with a cube in your hands

As I write these lines, I have at my side the Rubik who is watching me attentively, as if inviting me to an unfinished challenge. And observing it, I became aware of some aspects of team leadership that we can learn to apply:

1. The game poses a common goal

It’s about aligning each face of the cube. In the team this is defined as purpose towards the goal we want to achieve. A team with clear objectives and a strong spirit of influential leadership produces better results.

2. Each piece is different

Individualities make up the whole, each one adds up and has value in obtaining the final result. The role of the leader and each member is to appreciate these differences and manage to reconcile them when there are deviations in order to redirect them without losing sight of the final objective.

Image: NeONBRAND via Unsplash

3. The cube is a system

The hub does not work if a part is missing, defective, or jammed, preventing action. The same thing happens in teams. In itself, the movement, synergy, strategy and ability of the leader to give the right momentum is what will bring about the expected result.

4. All parts are linked

In the cube each one is linked with the others and when moving, they produce a completely different result. It is the same when working together with others, where individual impact influences everyone: every piece counts. Cohesion is essential especially in times of confusion, where it is not known well where to move, and it is precisely that communion that produces the result, based on trust, contribution, creativity and collaboration.

5. Each individual movement affects the whole

As in a team, individual performance is directly proportional to the success of the entire team : when very strong, self-centered individuals appear and disconnected from what needs to be done to achieve the objectives, the teams do not work and they wear out.

Image: Dev Asangbam via Unsplash

6. Pieces drive each other with strategic thinking

Through movement and solution-focused thinking, cube dynamics invites you to learn about how closeness between members of an organization has a direct impact on how the end will be reached. As for the leader, he observes, analyzes, feels, and acts guiding the pieces and motivating them in the alignment that he seeks to achieve.

7. Gears need optimal operation and communication

To finish these seven leadership ideas playing with the Rubik’s cube, a strategic aspect for the proper functioning of any team is communication. In itself, it is a system that has codes, symbols, representations. If the verbal, the non-verbal, the rituals and the flow that circulates are appropriate, the team will be able to better achieve the goal it pursues. Otherwise, performance will be impaired and therefore poor.

There is a meme circulating on the Internet that says ” Life is like a Rubik’s cube, you solve it or you complicate it even more.” It invites us to reflect on the role of the leader and of each member of the team and to ask ourselves: with your participation, do you make the team grow and contribute positively? Or do you generate the opposite? The answer is in each piece.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending