Tag Archives: flying

No Flying Cars Yet, But How About a $300 Touchscreen Toaster?

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Toast. It’s typically prepared by carefully burning both sides of a piece of fungus-infused grain paste that’s been previously cooked until it formed a solid mass. Once this intermediate stage, known as “bread” has been produced, a second piece of equipment called a “toaster” is deployed. This second appliance is responsible for transforming bread into its scorched, dehydrated form. Dedicated hardware for the manufacturing of toast to a user-specified temperature and burn level has been a staple of American fast-breaking since the first Model 1-A-1 Toastmaster hit store shelves in 1925.

And according to Revolution Cooking, we’ve basically been doing it all wrong.

The Revolution R180 is billed as “the world’s first 2-slice, high-speed smart toaster.” The key word in that sentence is “smart.” High-speed toasters have been a thing ever since someone said “What if toast, but faster?” Granted, we didn’t have the same rules about keeping lead out of the drinking water back then that we do now, but “What if X but faster?” is pretty straightforward. So is “What if toast, but four?” No, we’re pretty sure that the smarts of the toaster are the big hook here.

Revolution’s website invites you to ask “What’s so revolutionary” and then to watch a video, but let me save you some time: The R180 is a toaster. It makes bread, like, super-fast and it has a smart screen, in case you’re confused about what’s going to come out of the toaster after you push a button.

I suppose this could be considered a revolution, especially if you’re an 18th-century cook reading this review through a time machine (and Google Translate), but very few people in the 21st century live a life sufficiently centered around toast to make this a must-have. There are exceptions, to be sure. This gentlemen really ought to be the first stop on Revolution Cooking’s must-have influencer shortlist:

The R180 is very fast. It has a nifty diamond-shaped pattern. According to the web page, many things that fit inside of other toasters will also fit into this one, like Pop Tarts, square waffles, bagels, and, oh yes — actual bread. You can join something called the “Breakfast Club.” You can register your toaster. You can actually register your toaster. Revolution refers to its method of making toast as “a patented heating system that offers a faster, hotter, more consistent and precise heating experience, locking in moisture and flavor.”

Allow me to translate: “We optimized the heating element and verified the chamber heats evenly.”

The FAQ section of the Revolution site actually contains some useful information on what sorts of bread fits in the toaster and what kinds of material you should and should not toast. This is genuinely important and I want to call it out. If you’re buying a new gadget whose signature feature is its ability to calibrate itself to the tastes of Louis XIV, all so that your Wonderbread-eating carcass can have a properly blackened wheat square, and you consider this a good use of your time and money, you really ought to check and make sure whatever you’re going to put in the toaster won’t cause a fire.

But the reason I bring up the FAQ is that it includes some true gems like this one:

That’s right. We’ve arrived at the point where you can bluescreen a toaster.

Not everyone agrees with my dubious take on the value of a $ 300 toaster. Here’s a somewhat positive review, noting that the toaster offers five food settings and seven toasting shades to optimize based on type. I’ll give the company credit for this much: While the idea of sticking a mobile phone screen on a toaster is not an appealing one as far as I’m concerned, they at least didn’t compound the mistake by attaching Wi-Fi. Imagine the pain of discovering you can’t play Doom on your fridge, make coffee in the microwave, and update your toaster’s recipes on Wi-Fi simultaneously because your toaster and your microwave don’t like each other. Quelle horreur!

There are a lot of fast toasters that toast two slices of toast at the same time. Amazon carries quite a few for prices ranging from $ 30-$ 100. But — if you need another touchscreen to lend purpose to your life — you can buy an R180 for ~$ 300. Maybe it’ll find a home on your kitchen counter next to the Juicero.

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Canadian athletes, organizers brace for difficulties of flying in COVID-19 era

Flying always presents challenges for Para-swimmer Shelby Newkirk.

There are issues with her wheelchair, hurdles getting through security, protocols that vary from airport to airport.

“There’s definitely some things as a Para-athlete you kind of have to plan out that a lot of people don’t realize,” said the 23-year world record holder from Saskatoon, who has dystonia, a progressive neurological disorder similar to Parkinson’s that affects movement, balance and coordination.

Flying won’t be getting easier for anyone as airlines and airports prepare to accommodate travelers while dealing with COVID-19.

People needing to fly will pay more for tickets, can expect four-hour lineups checking in, will need to wear some sort of protective equipment and might not be taking their luggage to the airport with them.

This new normal will put a strain on the budgets of amateur sports organizations while forcing them to rethink the size of teams, where to hold training camps and what competitions to attend.

WATCH | COVID-19 has changed the future of air travel:

From sanitation portals in the airport to plastic dividers on the airplane, CBC’s Susan Ormiston finds out what air travel might look like after the COVID-19 pandemic. 3:43

“Do we try to do things more virtually?” said Mathieu Gentes, chief operating officer for Athletics Canada. “Do we have to go to all these things? Do we send smaller teams? Do we have teams where athletes have to pay a levy?

“I don’t know all those answers yet, but I think those are the types of questions we’re going to have to be posing ourselves.”

Swimming Canada braces for budget increase

Ahmed El-Awadi, chief executive officer with Swimming Canada, said travel accounts for between 15 to 20 per cent of his budget. That will increase as airfares rise.

Swimming Canada also plans to spend between $ 10,000 and $ 20,000 to purchase protective equipment like masks and gloves for athletes and staff flying.

“Right off the bat, even without booking a plane ticket, there are going to be some costs involved,” El-Awadi said.

There will also be fewer seats on airplanes.

“We may not be able to get the amount of seats we want on one aircraft [so] we’re going to have to factor that into account and split our human resources,” El-Awadi said. “It gets more complicated [with] the younger athletes, so it’s possible we might have to increase our staff count when travelling.”

Significant travel changes expected

John Gradek, a lecturer and coordinator of the Global Aviation Leadership Program at McGill University, predicts airfares will increase by 20 to 30 per cent as carriers compensate for reduced seating capacity due to social distancing and increased cleaning costs.

The time in lineups will grow as airports deal with social distancing and measures to keep staff and travels safe. Passengers will probably have to print boarding passes at home.

The way luggage is handled, especially for sports teams with plenty of bags and oversized containers, will change.

“I think the days of checked baggage coming with you when you check in and you picking up your own checked baggage at your point of destination, they are pretty well done,” he said.

Instead, carriers will organize to have bags picked up 24 hours ahead of time. Upon arrival, your bags will be delivered to your final destination.

Gradek foresees the use of overhead bins being banned, meaning carry-on luggage would be restricted only to items that can be placed under a seat. That would affect athletes who carry personal equipment on the plane with them.

‘It’s not worth risking athletes or staff…’

Both swimming and athletics hold training camps at warm-weather facilities out of the country. Now with escalating travel costs combined with the possibility of facing 14-day quarantines in some countries, the organizations plan to stay at home as much as possible.

“It’s not worth risking athletes or staff if we can provide something similar within in the country,” El-Awadi said.

The number of competitions attended may also be affected.

“That could be a major game changer in terms of looking at the different competitions,” Gentes said.

The long waits, wearing protective gear, and concerns about the virus could add another layer of stress for athletes.

“That’s where our mental performance coaches will come into play,” Gentes said. “That’s just something that’s going to become part of the performance plan.”

El-Awadi said monitoring the health of Para-athletes, many who have compromised immune systems, will be especially important.

“We will be extra diligent with our medical teams in terms of whether certain athletes can travel,” he said.

Newkirk said changes to how luggage is handled could delay athletes returning home from competitions. She also worries about not being allowed a carry-on because she likes keeping her medicines, caps, googles and swimsuits with her.

Like many Para-athletes, Newkirk also has a latex allergy, so she is concerned about people around her wearing latex gloves.

But like all other travelers, Newkirk said athletes will have to adjust to the changes.

“There will be things we’ll have to figure out, just as we will with daily life,” she said.

The increased hassles and stress created by travel won’t stop Newkirk from competitive swimming.

“The pool is where I’ve found my home,” she said. “That’s where I have the sense of freedom and where I can be competitive. For me personally, I think the love of the sport will keep me in it.”

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DARPA May Have Found the Secret to Flying Aircraft Carriers

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Dynetics, a defense and aerospace company, has announced that it successfully tested its X-61A Gremlin Air Vehicle in November of 2019. The flight, which lasted for one hour and 41 minutes, demonstrated a number of the drone aircraft’s capabilities. The drone successfully completed the entire test but was destroyed after its main parachute failed to deploy. Dynetics intends to continue testing with its other four drones.

The purpose of this test was for Dynetics to demonstrate that its GAV could launch from a C-130, as well as test various capabilities like wing deployment, cold engine start, and transition to stable, powered flight, verify performance and communication links between ground and air controllers, and collect data on the drone’s overall performance. The parachute system was not on the list of systems for testing, fortunately.

The goal of the X-61A Gremlin is to show how an existing plane like a C-130 can be used to quickly launch and recover drone aircraft. The company’s next flight test will focus on recovering four drones within 30 minutes.

Drone Captain and the World of Tomorrow

“What if we had a plane that could launch other planes?” is an idea with a long history. The British experimented with the idea of slinging Sopwith Camels underneath HM Airship No. 23 in 1917, back when zeppelins were the only way to generate enough lifting capacity to even try this stunt.

So, the big thing is filled with explosive hydrogen, and the little thing is a prop-driven aircraft that was supposed to dock with it. In 1917. They had to use a dirigible for this because nothing else could lift the pilot’s balls off the ground.

Wikipedia notes that both a manned and unmanned Sopwith Camel launched successfully, which kind of makes you wonder whether that means “We pulled a lever and the plane fell off the way it was supposed to,” given that remote control vehicles hadn’t been invented yet.

Once the Hindenberg convinced world+dog that airships were a bad idea, the idea got shelved until after WW2 and the miracle of atomic power. Lockheed suggested the CL-1201 — an aircraft with a wingspan of 1,120 feet (340m). To put that in perspective, the Scaled Composites Stratolaunch vehicle has a wingspan of 385 feet (117 meters). The CL-1201, shown below in this image from Reddit with Air Force One displayed for scale, would have deployed a 1,830MW reactor. One potential envisioned use for the aircraft was as an aircraft carrier, with the ability to loiter on site for 41 days. Unsurprisingly, no one wanted a skyscraper-sized aircraft with a massive nuclear reactor flying around over their heads.

Later, Convair proposed using the B-36 Peacemaker as a carrier for four McDonnell F-85 Goblin parasite fighters. The Goblin, if you’ve never seen one, looks like someone took a standard fighter jet, cut half of it out, and then glued the tail back on. Boeing later developed a concept for the 747 that would have seen the jet used as an airborne carrier for up to 10 “microfighters.” The C-130 Hercules has even carried drones before, though these were “Firebee” gunnery target drones — a far cry from the modern vehicles in-use today.

McDonnell XF-85. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Assuming the GAV tests continue to pan out, we could see the C-130 deployed to a genuine aircraft carrier role at some point in the future. It turns out flying aircraft carriers might be plausible once you get rid of the pilots. Dynetics doesn’t seem to have published very many details on what the GAV can do, which isn’t surprising given that this is intended as a military prototype. Devices like the GAV could be outfitted with weapons or used for aerial reconnaissance.

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Personal Flying Cars Could Finally Become Reality With Japan’s Aeronext

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LAS VEGAS – For decades, the flying car has stood out as a vision for the ultimate in consumer technology among geeks (well, along with the Iron Man-style jet pack). Early versions never got very far, as they relied on large, finicky, expensive, hybrid car-plus-plane designs — inevitably inviting the problem of needing folding wings. With the advent of mass-market drone technology, and the decreasing cost and increasing capacity of batteries and electric motors, it was just a matter of time before a personal flying car — or at least a personal flying drone — would be possible. Japanese drone startup Aeronext is the latest to take aim at that vision, with its announcement of the Flying Gondola here at CES 2020.

Aeronext’s Flying Gondola

Aeronext personal flying machineThe person-sized device uses an array of small rotors, like most drones. But it also has the benefit of the company’s patented 4D Gravity technology. In a clever variant of the common approach of putting drone cameras on a gimbal on the company’s drones (its main business is producing stable drones for industrial and commercial applications), 4D Gravity puts the entire drone payload on an actively-gimballed system that makes it independent of the rotors and motors.

The company is only showing a model here at CES, but the model does have the gimbal. The founders demonstrated to me that if the drone motors are tilted (which is necessary in order for most drone designs to steer, change speed, or deal with windy conditions), the cockpit stays level. At the very high end, commercial designs like the one Bell is showing off can rely on tilting motors and other expensive control systems, but for a consumer-friendly product, Aeronext thinks its approach will be much more practical.

Your First Flight Will Need to Be In an Amusement Park

Of course, along with the technical challenge of building a person-carrying drone, there are plenty of safety and regulatory hurdles. Aeronext’s CMO told me she thought that it might be about 10 years before we saw Flying Gondolas out in the wild, but in the meantime, the company is going after controlled environments like theme parks. It certainly sounds like a lot of fun to zip around the air, even if it would only be an amusement park ride. And drone designs are certainly safer and much easier to fly than traditional ultralights, but to make money I assume they’ll have to have a number in the air at once. The trick will be providing the thrill of airplane racing without the hazard of possible bumper cars in the sky.

For now, the company is hoping to license its 4D Gravity technology to drone makers in Japan, the US, and elsewhere, and that they’ll pay up to 10 percent of the price of their drones for a smooth ride.

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The FAA Knew the 737 MAX Was Dangerous and Kept It Flying Anyway

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One of the major questions in the wake of the 737 MAX’s two crashes was how much the FAA and Boeing knew about potential problems with the aircraft. Months of investigation into the 737 MAX have painted an ugly story of how Boeing outsourced critical production in a bid to cut costs. The long-term decline of the company’s engineering culture has been covered at length, as has the FAA decision to allow Boeing to self-certify its aircraft.

It turns out the FAA was fully aware that the 737 MAX had a much higher likelihood of crashing than any other aircraft manufactured today and signed off on the plane anyway, the Wall Street Journal reports. After the Lion Air crash in Indonesia, the FAA conducted a review of the 737 MAX and estimated that the jet would suffer a fatal crash every three years over its expected 45-year operating lifetime.

How does that compare to the safety record of other airliners? Here’s the WSJ:

The projected crash total, according to the Journal’s analysis, was roughly comparable to all fatal passenger accidents over the previous three decades—from any cause—involving Boeing’s 757, 767, 777, 787 and the latest 747 models combined. The MAX fleet was eventually anticipated to be nearly 5,000 jets world-wide, while the other fleets together total slightly more than 3,800 aircraft.

According to the FAA, in other words, the risk of dying on a 737 MAX over its lifetime was equivalent to the combined historical risk of dying on five other aircraft, many of which operated at a time when the number of aircraft crashes per year was higher. Rather than pulling the aircraft and repairing the MCAS system’s known deficiencies, Boeing and the FAA decided on a flawed strategy of reiterating education on MCAS recovery techniques in the short-term. Long-term, Boeing was supposed to provide a software solution that tweaked MCAS performance. The FAA decided that doubling down on pilot messaging and the eventual software update would address the problems and allow the aircraft to keep flying.

PK-LQP, the aircraft involved photographed in September 2018, six weeks before the accident

The 737 MAX’s safety record during the time it operated amounted to two catastrophic accidents for every million flights. The previous generation of 737s logged one catastrophic accident per 10 million flights. The global accident rate for all Western-built jets in 2018 was one fatal crash per three million flights. The 737 Max’s ratio does not reflect well on Boeing or the FAA and according to the WSJ, the accident rate on the 737 MAX after just Lion Air should have been an immediate red flag. These values are far higher than what the agency is supposed to permit. According to the FAA’s analysis in December 2018, “risk is sufficiently low to allow continued growth of the fleet and operations until the changes to the system are retrofitted.”

Talk about a prediction that didn’t age well. The Seattle Times notes:

In separate testimony, former FAA engineer Michael Collins recounted how at least 18 experts within the safety agency all concurred that Boeing should be required to modify the 1960s-era design of the MAX’s rudder cables to meet current regulations — only to be stymied by an FAA manager… as certification of the MAX loomed and Boeing hadn’t changed the design, the head of the FAA’s Seattle-based Transport Airplane Directorate, Jeff Duven, overruled his own technical specialists and approved the unmodified Boeing design.

The rudder issue is a separate problem from MCAS, but the fact that the FAA was willing to overrule 18 separate experts who collectively recommended a change is worth investigating given the overall state of the 737 MAX.

The 737 Max is expected to return to service in Q1 of 2020, but the date has been repeatedly pushed back. It’s not known if the aircraft will actually be ready to meet its Q1 2020 reintroduction. The FAA analysis document, dated 12/3/2018, can be found here. The question of why the FAA repeatedly overruled its own specialists in deference to Boeing is also under investigation.

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Quebec City’s Anne-Catherine Tanguay comes out flying at CP Women’s Open

A busy week of media commitments, two pro-ams and an intensive practice session with her coach had taken a toll on Anne-Catherine Tanguay.

When the Quebec City native woke up on Thursday morning ahead of the first round of the CP Women’s Open, one of Tanguay’s eyes was red and puffy. Fearing that she had caught a cold or some other ailment, Tanguay called her doctor asking what to do.

“He said ‘I’m glad you called me. You did the right thing,”‘ said Tanguay. “He just said to take allergy medicine and put ice on it. If it was going to get red and sticky to just call him again tonight and he was going to write me a prescription.

“I think it didn’t even cross my mind today so it’s fine now.”

Tanguay then laughed and asked reporters if she looked OK.

She was more than OK playing in the afternoon wave, firing a 6-under 66 to finish the first round of Canada’s national women’s championship in a five-way tie for second with Jin Young Ko, Nicole Broch Larsen, Pajaree Anannarukarn, and reigning champion Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont.

Tanguay served as one of Golf Canada’s ambassadors in the days leading up to the national women’s championship, played an 18-hole pro-am on Monday and a nine-hole round on Wednesday before spending hours on the range with coach Tristan Mullally, trying to iron out kinks in her drives.

Twelve year-old Canadian Michelle Liu, right, talks with her caddie on the 16th green during first round of the CP Women’s Open in Aurora, Ont., on Thursday. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

“Honestly it’s been a busy week, so my preparation was, I don’t know — I don’t want to say less than ideal, but I just came into it and I really had low expectations,” said Tanguay.

Twelve-year-old Michelle Liu of Vancouver had a difficult day, shooting an 81.

“It was very exciting to be able to play in this sort of environment,” said Liu, who was fighting tears of frustration while speaking with reporters. “I am disappointed. There were a lot of mistakes. Taking the wrong club, bad chipping.”

As two of five Canadians on the LPGA Tour, Tanguay and Henderson have formed a close bond over the past year. Even though they’re both in contention at the CP Women’s Open, Tanguay’s rooting for her fellow Canuck.

“I saw (Henderson’s round) on TV this morning and saw Brooke was playing well,” said Tanguay. “Just kind of laughing. ‘Wow, Brooke loves to play well at home.’

“Feels good to be able to put a good round together for me today.”

Megan Osland of Kelowna, B.C., was the third lowest Canadian behind the Tanguay-Henderson duo, shooting an even-par 72 to finish the day in a tie for 65th.

Osland has been playing on the Symetra Tour since 2016 and the 26-year-old is targeting an LPGA card within the year. She missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open earlier this year after qualifying for last year’s CP Women’s Open.

“This is my third LPGA event and I think each one I’ve played I get a little bit more comfortable,” said Osland. “Just the whole atmosphere, there’s a lot going on.

WATCH | Brooke Henderson has solid 1st round:

Watch Brooke Henderson’s best shots, as she fired a 6-under 66 to take the clubhouse lead in the opening round of the CP Canadian Women’s Open. 1:22

“Now I’m just embracing it and enjoying it instead of being nervous or thinking of it as something that’s so big or whatever. I feel way more comfortable out here, I would say, this year.”

Hamilton’s Alena Sharp (73) was tied for 82nd and Valerie Tanguay (76) of Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., was in a group at 125th.

Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., Celeste Dao of Notre-dame-de-l’Ile-Perrot, Que., and Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., were tied for 128th after identical rounds of 5-over 77.

Mary Parsons of Delta, B.C.., Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., and Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., all shot 6-over 78s to tie for 136th.

“I’m actually super happy,” said Thibault, an amateur on Fresno State University’s varsity golf team. She last played in the CP Women’s Open in 2016. “I’m definitely disappointed about the score, putting wasn’t there today and I had no birdies.

“But overall, I’m just really glad to see how much I’ve grown since the last time I was here, and how comfortable I feel out there. It’s a huge step for me to know that.”

Emily Zhu (79) of Richmond Hill, Ont., was tied 145th, Casey Ward (80) of Picton, Ont., was tied for 150th, and Charlottetown’s Lorie Kane was 154th at 15-over 87.

“It was very exciting to be able to play in this sort of environment,” said Liu, who was fighting tears of frustration while speaking with reporters. “I am disappointed. There were a lot of mistakes. Taking the wrong club, bad chipping.”

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NASA’s Orion Capsule Passes Launch Abort Test With Flying Colors

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NASA’s Orion spacecraft is one step closer to carrying humans into space today. The agency confirms that all systems performed perfectly during the second ascent abort test, proving that astronauts aboard Orion could be safely wrenched free of a rocket in the event of an emergency. 

Launch abort systems are not a new idea, but Orion is a new piece of hardware. NASA needs to make sure the abort system works as intended because it’s the difference between saving and losing the crew when a launch goes wrong. The crew of a Russian Soyuz capsule narrowly averted disaster last year when the MS-10 rocket carrying it spun out of control. The abort system pulled the capsule away from the rocket before it broke apart. 

NASA conducted the test from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station using a modified Peacekeeper missile obtained from the Air Force. The missile carried the Orion capsule 44,000 feet into the air, reaching a speed of 760 mph. The simulated failure caused the capsule to flip end-over-end before it fired the jettison motor, launching the spacecraft clear of the rocket. The abort system consists of three solid rocket motors: one that jettisons the pod, one to control attitude, and one that pushes Orion clear of the failing rocket. 

The entire test was a mere 3 minutes and 13 seconds, but triggering the launch abort took just milliseconds. Orion ejected 12 data recorders after breaking free of the launch vehicle, all of which were recovered within about an hour. NASA will comb through the data as it prepares for future crewed flights, but all signs point to a textbook test. Orion Program Manager Mark Kirasich called the test “spectacular.”

Orion will eventually mount atop the Space Launch System (SLS), which should be the most powerful rocket in the world when it’s complete. Orion and the SLS grant NASA access to space beyond low-Earth orbit once more. Orion will carry humans to the moon as part of NASA’s new Artemis Program, a follow-up to Apollo. This time, NASA plans to establish long-term human habitation on and around the moon with the aid of the Gateway station. This will serve as a jumping off point for the exploration of Mars, which may also employ the Orion capsule. An uncrewed lunar orbit test is scheduled for July 2020. The first astronauts could ride Orion in 2023.

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‘Superman’ is flying away: Jays trade fan favourite Kevin Pillar to Giants

Emotions ran high Tuesday as the business of baseball resulted in a popular piece of the Blue Jays locker room being removed.

Toronto continued its radical roster makeover, sending veteran outfielder Kevin Pillar to the San Francisco Giants for three players. In a separate move, the Jays obtained speedy outfielder Socrates Brito from San Diego. Later Tuesday the team signed outfielder Randal Grichuk to a $ 52-million US, five-year contract extension.

In return for the 30-year-old Pillar, the Giants gave up right-handed reliever Derek Law, utility infielder Alen Hanson and right-handed pitching prospect Juan De Paula.

Jays first baseman Justin Smoak had a hard time controlling his emotions when asked about seeing his close friend depart.

“He was great, man. Good teammate. Superman. Whatever you want,” said Smoak referencing Pillar’s nickname for his ability to climb high and make highlight-reel catches.

“He’s a guy you want on your team,” added Smoak, his voice breaking. “Sorry I’m getting emotional.”

Pillar, a California native who was the longest-tenured Blue Jay, has been in the Toronto organization since being drafted in the 32nd round in 2011 — which netted him a $ 1,000 bonus US. He went on to play 695 games for the Jays, hitting .260 with 55 home runs and 231 runs batted in.

Toronto GM Ross Atkins paid tribute to Pillar’s work ethic and determination. But he said the “difficult decision” to deal the veteran makes room for others to step up.

It’s definitely an emotional time for me and my family. … You spend more time [at your baseball home] than at your home in the off-season.— Outfielder Kevin Pillar after being traded from the Blue Jays to San Francisco

“This was a deal that we felt made sense to gain [financial] control and create opportunities for others,” he said.

Pillar did not start Monday’s game against Baltimore but delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in a ninth-inning Toronto rally that fell just short in a 6-5 loss.

Atkins said the deal was consummated late Monday. He acknowledged nodding off, only to be awoken by a vibrating cellphone providing confirmation of the trade from Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi. Pillar got the word Tuesday morning and was on a plane later in the day.

“It’s definitely an emotional time for me and my family,” a visibly moved Pillar said.

“You spend a lot of time here. You spend more time [at your baseball home] than you do at your home in the off-season. I spend more time with people here than I do with my own family.”

Pillar is a three-time Gold Glove Award finalist (2015, 2016, 2017) and earned the 2015 Wilson defensive player of the year for centre-field.

“We’re excited, really excited,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s somebody that’s been on our radar for a while, and to have him here to help out, he’ll give us plus defense, another bat, experienced guy. The energy level that he plays at, I’m looking forward to getting to know him and watching him.”

One of his best catches occurred during the famous 2015 Game 5 victory over the Texas Rangers in the American League Division series.

WATCH | Kevin Pillar soars to another great grab:

The Blue Jays center fielder makes another hi-light reel catch, this time he takes a hit away from the Rangers slugger 0:58

Pillar hit .252 with 40 doubles, 15 home runs and 18 walks over 142 games last season. He batted .260 with 156 doubles, 55 home runs and 231 runs batted in across 695 career games with the Blue Jays.

Hours after the trade, the Blue Jays recalled outfielder Anthony Alford from triple-A Buffalo.

Pillar, who is making $ 5.8 million US this season, is eligible for free agency in the fall of 2020.

He joins Russell Martin, Marco Estrada, Troy Tulowitzki, Kendrys Morales, Josh Donaldson, Steve Pearce, J.A. Happ and Yangervis Solarte in a Toronto teardown that started last season departing the Jays.

“We’re not in a popularity contest,” said Atkins. “We’re in a contest to win championships and that takes making tough decisions and often times not popular ones.”

De Paula a ‘young, exciting arm’

Pillar’s time in Toronto was not always smooth. In May 2017, the Jays suspended him for two games for a homophobic slur directed at an Atlanta Braves reliever. But Pillar stood up and took his lumps, apologizing to fans, Major League Baseball and the LGBTQ community.

De Paula, 21, is a minor leaguer ranked 19th among Giants’ 30 prospects by MLB Pipeline. A native of the Dominican Republic, he will be sent to single-A ball.

“He’s a young, exciting arm with a mid-90s fastball, the [arsenal] to strike guys out and the attributes to potentially be a starting pitcher. Those attributes are hard to acquire,” said Atkins.

“We can’t possibly have enough depth when it comes to [pitching].”

De Paula started last season with the Class-A Staten Island Yankees before being acquired by the Giants in the Andrew McCutchen trade. He was then assigned to the Class-A Augusta GreenJackets.

Hansen can play infield, outfield

The six-foot-three 165-pounder had a 1.72 earned-run average with 55 strikeouts and 27 walks over 52.1 innings of work last year. He has a career 13-14 record and 2.47 ERA in 48 minor league games.

The 26-year-old Hanson hit .252 with eight home runs across 110 games for the Giants last season The six-foot 170-pound switch-hitting infielder has a career .238 batting average with 12 homers and 51 runs batted in over 243 games.

“He’s a versatile and still young infielder. He’s as close to a super utility player as you can find,” said Atkins of than capable of playing second base, shortstop, third base and the outfield.

Law, who had a 7.43 ERA across 13.1 innings with 12 strikeouts and eight walks for the Giants in 2018, “most likely” will report to triple-A Buffalo, according to Atkins. Over the last three seasons with San Francisco, the six-foot-three 215-pounder has a 9-3 record with a 3.83 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 105.2 innings.

The Giants are in Toronto April 23-24.

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Canadians flying high ahead of freestyle skiing and snowboard worlds

Confidence shouldn't be an issue for many of Canada's contingent of 50-plus athletes come Friday at the freestyle, freeski and snowboard world championships in Utah.

Last weekend, freestyle skier Alex Beaulieu-Marchand and snowboarder Mark McMorris each reached the podium twice to lead a 15-medal haul by 13 Canadians at the Winter X Games in Colorado and World Cup ski cross and moguls events in Ontario and Quebec, respectively.
For 10 days in Utah, Beaulieu-Marchand, McMorris and their teammates will vie for gold medals in more than 12 disciplines in Park City and Deer Valley and on Solitude Mountain. Freeski big air, mixed team snowboard cross and team aerials are new Olympic events that will debut at worlds, which is held every two years.

With more than 1,800 athletes expected to attend from 40-plus countries, some believe this will be the largest sporting event in Utah since the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The freestyle world ski championships were merged with the snowboard worlds in 2015 at Kreischberg, Austria, where seven Canadians won nine medals. Two years later, Canada collected five medals in Sierra Nevada, Spain.

Here are the Canadians to watch in Utah:

Freeski big air

Alex Beaulieu-Marchand – With only one X Games medal to show for his first six trips to Aspen, Colo., the Quebec City native turned things around last weekend, earning silver in big air and slopestyle. Until then, the season highlight for the 24-year-old Beaulieu-Marchand – who won Canada's first Olympic bronze in the event last February — was a fourth-place performance at the Dew Tour in December at Breckenridge, Colo.

WATCH | Alex Beaulieu-Marchand score 92.66 points slopestyle:

The Canadian freestyle skier scored a total of 92.66 points. 1:34
Evan McEachran – The native of Oakville, Ont., narrowly missed the podium in Saturday’s big air event, finishing fourth in Aspen, Colo. McEachran, 21, posted his first career win in slopestyle in December at the Dew Tour in Colorado after opening the season in September with a silver medal in the big air final at Cardrona, New Zealand. He was sixth in slopestyle at his Olympic debut last February.

Evan McEachran of Oakville, Ont., narrowly missed the podium in Saturday’s big air event, finishing fourth at the X Games in Aspen, Colo. (Getty Images/File)

Snowboard cross

Meryeta O'Dine – She opened the snowboard cross World Cup season in late December as top Canadian in 18th place at Cervinia, Italy. The 21-year-old from Prince George, B.C., had her most productive season in 2017-18 when she recorded seven top-10 finishes before missing the final four events with a concussion that dropped O'Dine from sixth to 11th in the final standings.

Ski cross

Marielle Thompson – The Whistler, B.C., native was among five Canadians in the top 10 at Saturday's ski cross World Cup at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ont. Thompson, 26, collected a silver medal to make it four podium finishes (zero wins) in six competitions this season. The 2014 Olympic champion entered the weekend second in the world rankings to Switzerland's Fanny Smith.

Kelsey Serwa – The 2018 Olympic gold medallist enters worlds following an eighth-place effort at a World Cup event in Collingwood, Ont. The 29-year-old Serwa, who hails from Kelowna, B.C., posted her 20th World Cup podium finish earlier this month, placing third in a ski cross big final at Idre Fjall, Sweden. She opened the World Cup season in December placing 14th at Arosa, Switzerland.

Olympic ski cross champion Kelsey Serwa reflects on her past accomplishments. 6:48

Brittany Phelan – Phelan, 27, received a scare last weekend when the Mont-Tremblant, Que., native crashed into the netting near the finish line in the four-woman ski cross big final at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ont. In her third World Cup season, the 2018 Olympic silver medallist posted her fourth podium finish and first of the season on Jan. 20, capturing silver in the big final at Idre Fjall, Sweden.

Reigning Olympic silver medallist Brittany Phelan of Canada posted her fourth podium finish and first of the season on Jan. 20, capturing silver in the ski cross big final at Idre Fjall, Sweden. (Getty Images)

Brady Leman – Leman continues to own Blue Mountain, fresh off his second ski cross big final victory in Collingwood, Ont., over the past three years. The 32-year-old Calgarian entered last weekend seventh in the World Cup rankings and now has 23 World Cup podium finishes.

WATCH | Brady Leman's 3rd career victory at Blue Mountain:

Brady Leman posts his 2nd victory at Blue Mountain in the past 3 years. 3:31
Earlier this season, the 2018 Olympic gold medallist raced to bronze at a World Cup event in Italy.

Snowboard big air

Mark McMorris – He has snowboarded only a handful of times since having screws removed from his leg late in 2018, but McMorris appears back in top form after collecting X Games gold and silver in slopestyle and big air, respectively, last weekend in Colorado. A two-time Olympic bronze medallist in slopestyle, the 25-year-old Regina native now as 17 X Games medals, one shy of American Shaun White's record.

WATCH | McMorris soars to slopestyle gold:

Canadian Mark McMorris won his eighth-career X Games gold medal on Saturday in Aspen. 2:05

Darcy Sharpe – Sharpe, 22, is coming off a sixth-place finish in slopestyle and was seventh in big air last weekend at the X Games in Aspen, Colo. As of Jan. 28, the Whistler, B.C., resident ranked 29th on the world snowboarding points list. Injuries prevented Sharpe from earning enough points to qualify for last year's Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Canada's Darcy Sharpe is coming off a pair of top-10 finishes in slopestyle and big air last weekend at the X Games in Aspen, Colo. As of Jan. 28, he ranked 29th on the world snowboarding points list. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images/File)

Laurie Blouin – The freestyle skier from Stoneham, Que., landed a clean cab double cork 900 and frontside 900 to earn gold in women's big air at her X Games debut last week in Colorado.

WATCH | Blouin shine at her X Games debut in Aspen, Colo.:

The Canadian made the most of her X Games debut, winning gold in the women's snowboarding big air by narrowly edging out New Zealand's Zoi Sadowski-Synnott. 2:34
Blouin, 22, won a bronze medal in big air during World Cup action in November at Beijing. At last year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, she was a silver medallist in slopestyle.

Team Canada in Utah


Big Air/slopestyle

Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (Quebec City), Evan McEachran (Oakville, Ont.), Teal Harle (Campbell River, B.C.), Philippe Langevin (Mont-Tremblant, Que.), Yuki Tsubota (Whistler, B.C.), Elena Gaskell (Vernon, B.C.), alternate: Max Moffatt (Caledon, Ont.).


Noah Bowman (Calgary), Simon d'Artois (Whistler, B.C.), Brendan Mackay (Calgary), Evan Marineau (Calgary), Cassie Sharpe (Comox, B.C.), Rachael Karker (Erin, Ont.).

Ski cross

Marielle Thompson (Whistler, B.C.), Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C.), Brittany Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, Que.), Brady Leman (Calgary), Chris Del Bosco (Montreal), Kevin Drury (Toronto), Mikayla Martin (Squamish, B.C.), Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, B.C.).



Darren Gardner (Burlington, Ont.), Jasey-Jay Anderson (Mont-Tremblant, Que.), Sebastien Beaulieu (Sherbrooke, Que.), Arnaud Gaudet (Montcalm, Que.), Megan Farrell (Richmond Hill, Ont.), Katrina Gerencser (Burlington, Ont.), Jennifer Hawkrigg (Toronto), Kaylie Buck (Oakville, Ont.).


Derek Livingstone (Aurora, Ont.), Shawn Fair (Calgary), Jack Collins (Calgary), Braeden Adams (Calgary), Elizabeth Hosking (Longueuil, Que.).

Slopestyle/big air

Mark McMorris (Regina), Tyler Nicholson (North Bay, Ont.), Darcy Sharpe (Comox, B.C.), Michael Ciccarelli (Ancaster, Ont.), Laurie Blouin (Stoneham, Que.), Brooke Voigt (Fort McMurray, Alta.), Jasmine Baird (Georgetown, Ont.), Sommer Gendron (Toronto0.


Mikael Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, Que.), Philippe Marquis (Quebec City), Laurent Dumais (Quebec City), Brenden Kelly (Pemberton, B.C.), Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal), Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal), Sofiane Gagnon (Whistler, B.C.), Maia Schwinghammer (Saskatoon).


Felix Cormier-Boucher (Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu, Que.), Catrine Lavallee (Montreal).

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