Lawyer: Florida State investigating Jameis Winston

first_imgIn this Aug. 30, 2014, file photo, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (5) passes under pressure from Oklahoma State linebacker Josh Furman (14) during an NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — An attorney said Florida State is investigating the sexual assault case involving Jameis Winston in an effort to determine if the Seminoles quarterback violated the student code of conduct policy.Baine Kerr, one of the attorneys for the woman who said Winston sexually assaulted her, said Thursday the university interviewed his client “early last month.” He said “an investigation is ongoing.”Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs did not bring charges against Winston in the case, saying last December that there was not enough evidence to win a conviction against him.The university would not confirm the investigation but said in a release, “While we cannot comment on any individual case, in general, complainants control the timing in our process.”Kerr disagreed with the implication that the interview occurred recently because of actions by his client, saying that the woman has been asking “Florida State to comply with federal law and expeditiously investigate and resolve her complaints.”“I take issue with that statement as it applies to this particular complaint,” Kerr said. “She’s definitely been asking that this go forward. The timing has not been controlled by her or by us, however. We have for months said that she was willing to be formally interviewed as part of the disciplinary process and made her available.“She has not been controlling the timing and she has consistently been asking for the investigation to be conducted as promptly as possible.”The university is currently being investigated by the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights for possible Title IX violations after the woman filed a complaint. Florida State announced an initiative aimed at the prevention of sexual violence on Wednesday.Kerr said the woman was interviewed by a formal Title IX investigator from the Florida State Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.“We expect that there will be charges filed and see no reason at this point for delaying those,” Kerr said.Attorney David Cornwell, an adviser to Winston’s family, had a different perspective.“The real story here is that after her Colorado attorneys created a media frenzy alleging that Florida State University failed to comply with its Title IX obligations, (the woman) had to come clean and admit that she previously refused to cooperate with the university’s Title IX inquiry,” Cornwell said in a statement.“Now that she has finally done her Title IX interview, this is the fourth time (the woman) has told her story. We anticipate the same conclusion that followed her previous three statements to the Tallahassee Police Department, Florida’s State Attorney’s Office and in the FSU Code of Student Conduct hearing. Jameis Winston did not sexually assault” the woman.Winston is expected to play Saturday against The Citadel.“This team just moves on,” coach Jimbo Fisher said after Thursday’s practice. “I have no idea how that’ll go or what it’s about. That’s for other people to find out. We’re just here playing ball.”last_img read more

This Is Your Brain on Bytes

first_imgYou may now put an ice pack on your head and reboot.1.  Kalinovsky et al, “Development of Axon-Target Specificity of Ponto-Cerebellar Afferents,” Public Library of Science Biology, 9(2): e1001013. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001013.2.  A byte is 8 bits (in the ASCII encoding format).  Kilobyte=103 bytes.  Megabyte=106 bytes.  Gigabyte=109 bytes.  Terabyte=1012 bytes.  Petabyte=1015 bytes.  Exabyte=1018 bytes.  Each level represents 1000 times the prior category (103).  Those wanting to boggle their brains further can consider zettabytes (1000 exabytes), yottabytes (1000 zettabytes), brontobytes (1000 yottabytes), geobytes (1000 brontobytes)….While reading this article, your brain just outperformed all the computers on the planet, and your body stored genetic information that, if stored on CDs, would reach over halfway to Mars.  And who could forget the stunning analogy we published nine years ago about the information storage capacity of one cubic millimeter of DNA? (see 08/16/2002).  Facts are powerful things.  The information in this article could be taught with some clever presentation slides or posters.  Nothing is more effective than facts like these to make people reconsider assumptions about how the human body and brain came to be (see 01/19/2011 commentary).    Evolutionists want you to believe this all happened by chance, through mistakes, without purpose or guidance.  How about asking for a time out in your local high school biology teacher’s evolution spiel to write some of these facts on the board in front of the students?  Then say (nicely), “According to your textbook, evolution teaches that your brain, but not computers, got here by mistake.”  You don’t even have to put the school at risk of a lawsuit by setting off the alarms with the emotionally-charged phrase “intelligent design.”(Visited 71 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 It’s mind-boggling time.  Some recent articles have tried to quantify the information capacity of the eye, the brain, and the world.  Ready?  Think hard.Eye boggle:  Your eyes contain about 120 million rods and 6 million cones each.  If each receptor represents a pixel, that is 2 x 126 million pixels, or 252 megapixels.  And remember – these are moving pictures, not stills (talk about high-def).  How can the brain transmit and process that much visual information?  The answer is, apparently, it uses compression – just like computers compress raw camera photos into more manageable JPEG images.  That’s the title of an article on Science Daily: “JPEG for the Mind: How the Brain Compresses Visual Information.”    The article begins, “The brain does not have the transmission or memory capacity to deal with a lifetime of megapixel images.  Instead, the brain must select out only the most vital information for understanding the visual world.”  Researchers at Johns Hopkins found that certain cells in the image transmission pathway apparently focus on highly curved edges that are the most informative, dropping flat edges – resulting in an 8-fold compression ratio comparable to the JPEG algorithm.  Eyesight compression, though, is done in-line, in real time, during the image transmission process (see also the 05/22/2003 entry).  Geeks will enjoy the punch line:“Computers can beat us at math and chess,” said [Ed] Connor [Johns Hopkins], “but they can’t match our ability to distinguish, recognize, understand, remember, and manipulate the objects that make up our world.  “This core human ability depends in part on condensing visual information to a tractable level.  For now, at least, the .brain format seems to be the best compression algorithm around.”Cerebellum boggle:  Your cerebellum (a portion of the brain near the brain stem) is important for motor functions, emotions and language.  Live Science claims that wiring in the cerebellum starts with “surprisingly bad wiring,” because axons seeking connections to granule cells of the cerebellum sometimes link up incorrectly to Purkinje cells.  But “bad wiring” may be in the eye of the beholder, because an international team found that “a substance known as bone morphogenetic protein 4, which plays a role in bone development, helped correct these errors.”    One of the researchers publishing in PLoS Biology explained,1 “What we demonstrate here is that you have a negative system that repels axons from an inappropriate target, thereby steering them to the right target.”  If it works, can it be called bad?  The authors said, “In summary, we show that the specificity of the synaptic connections in the ponto-cerebellar circuit emerges through extensive elimination of transient synapses.”  But that raises an interesting question: what regulates the regulators?Memory boggle:  Get ready for the punch line on this one.  An article on Live Science discussed the tipping point of human information technology from analog to digital storage.  In 2000, the article said, about 75% of the world’s information was stored in analog form (e.g., paper, analog tape, analog sound recordings).  By 2007, 93% of that information was stored digitally (computer files, digital tape, digital recordings).  Digital information can be quantified in the familiar bits, bytes, megabytes, gigabytes, yotta yotta yotta….2    Now that information can be quantified digitally, it’s possible to estimate all the human information in the world.  As of 2007, that quantity was 295 trillion megabytes (295 x 1018 bytes, or 295 exabytes), according to Martin Hilbert of USC.  Before divulging the punch line, let’s quote the article’s comparisons:Have a hard time imagining 295 trillion megabytes?  Hilbert suggests thinking of it this way: “If we would use a grain of sand to represent one bit each of the 295 trillion, we would require 315 times the amount of sand that is currently available on the world’s beaches.”For a better idea of what these numbers all mean, Hilbert and his colleague, Priscila L?pez of the Open University of Catalonia, express the information through other analogies.295 trillion megabytes is roughly:Equivalent to 61 CD-ROMs per person on Earth.  Piling up the imagined 404 billion CD-ROM would create a stack that would reach the moon and a quarter of this distance beyond.Enough that, if printed in newspapers that sold for $1 each, the United States’ entire global Gross Domestic Product would not be enough to buy them all.  (The cost would be 17 percent beyond the GDP.)Enough information to cover the entire area of the United States or China in 13 layers of books.Now the punch line: that incredibly huge amount of information represents “still only enough for 0.33 percent of the information that can be stored in all DNA molecules of one human adult.”  Let’s do the math: multiply all the values in the quote above by 300, and you get into the ballpark of the information storage inside your body: 94,500 times the grains of sand of all the world’s beaches; 18,300 CDs for every person on Earth, enough to reach over halfway to Mars; 350 times the GDP of the US if printed in $1 newspapers; enough to cover the US in 3,900 layers of books.  Now you know.Brain boggle:  If your mind is not sufficiently boggled yet, let’s finish with a measurement posted on Wired Science.  Author John Timmer of Ars Technica expanded on the work by Hilbert and L?pez to estimate the processing power of the human brain.  After several more mind-numbing analogies of the combined processing power of all the world’s computers, storage and memory, the article ended with another surprise.  First, Hilbert and L?pez estimated the combined processing power of all the world’s computers at 6.4 x 1018 operations per second.  Then, Timmer wrote: Lest we get too enamored with our technological prowess, however, the authors make some comparisons with biology.  “To put our findings in perspective, the 6.4*1018 instructions per second that human kind can carry out on its general-purpose computers in 2007 are in the same ballpark area as the maximum number of nerve impulses executed by one human brain per second,” they write.    Our total storage capacity is the same as an adult human’s DNA.  And there are several billion humans on the planet.last_img read more

Reddit’s ‘Most Popular College Football Team In Every State’ Is Rather Inaccurate

first_imgA map of the most popular teams on Reddit.reddit most popular football teamThe folks over at Reddit often put together some pretty cool maps that show college football fandom across the country. But the latest graphic will leave you scratching your head just a bit.The below photo shows the most popular college football team that plays in each state. The problem? Anyone could vote – not just people who live in that state.As a result, we have UAB beating out both Alabama and Auburn as the most popular team in the state of Alabama. And Georgia Tech beating out Georgia in Georgia. Check it out: We’re not sure what we learned here – but we’re ready for college football season nonetheless.last_img read more

welcoming new beginnings

first_imgMax Fashion with an endeavour to brighten up Durga Pujo for underprivileged, aims to donate new clothes to 5000+ children from different NGOs. With regards to this initiative, ‘The Wall of Kindness’ will be inaugurated on the day of Mahalaya, for which the announcement was made recently. The wall will display clothes before being handed over to the kids. On the occasion, Max Fashion also unveiled its Pujo Collection ‘Sinduri’ – a collection inspired by festive shades of vermillion, mustards and ivory to celebrate supreme power and welcome new beginnings. Present at the event were actor Rajatava Dutta; Rajib Mukherjee, AVP Operations East and Central India, Max; and Piyush Morjaria, AVP Brand Experience Marketing, Max, along with the underprivileged children of Bengal.last_img read more

Husky Energy offers apology for largest ever oil spill off Newfoundland coast

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Husky Energy is apologizing for Newfoundland’s largest-ever oil spill last month, which saw 250,000 litres leak into the ocean.The huge spill of oil, water and gas happened while Husky Energy’s SeaRose platform was preparing to restart production during a fierce storm that was, at the time, the most intense in the world.In a statement Monday, the company says it is “deeply sorry” for the incident and is committed to learning from it and putting measures in place “to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”On Friday, Husky submitted its preliminary report on the Nov. 16 spill, stating that it appears that a flowline connector failed near the South White Rose Extension drill centre — about 350 kilometres east of St. John’s.The company says the initial release occurred during the 20 minutes that crews were troubleshooting a drop in flowline pressure, and a retest led to a second release lasting about 15 minutes.  The regulatory board that oversees the province’s offshore activities has said it’s now impossible to clean up the oil spill.Scott Tessier, chief executive of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, said no oil sheens were spotted on the water, meaning the oil has likely broken down to the point that it cannot be cleaned up.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Kenney says Legault has shaky grasp of history when it comes to

first_imgThe Canadian Press QUEBEC — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shot back at his Quebec counterpart Monday, saying Francois Legault does not understand the history of equalization.On Sunday, Legault defended equalization against criticism from Alberta, saying the program was part of the “original deal” when Quebec entered Confederation in 1867.Kenney pointed out that the first equalization system was introduced in 1957, and the principle of equalization was included in the Constitution in 1982. Legault had said Quebec, which received $13.1 billion in equalization payments in 2019, has a right to equalization, and no province can unilaterally change the formula under which Ottawa distributes the money.He acknowledged that other premiers, whose provinces are running budget deficits, expressed unhappiness at last month’s premiers’ conference in Saskatoon.“There is something I don’t like,” Legault said. “There are premiers of rich provinces who look at Quebec and say: ‘We are sending you a big cheque. We’d rather keep the money here.’ ”In a Facebook post Monday, Kenney corrected Legault on his history and took him to task for opposing new pipelines while his province benefits from Alberta’s oil and gas wealth.“If Ottawa and other provinces want to benefit from Alberta’s resources, then they must not oppose the transport and sale of those resources,” he wrote.last_img read more

Sugar mills owe 50 mn cane farmers record 438 bn

first_imgNEW DELHI/MUMBAI: India’s money-losing sugar mills have run up a record $4.38 billion in arrears to 50 million cane farmers, who have gone unpaid for their produce for more than a year, industry and government sources said on Thursday. Years of bumper cane harvests and record sugar production have hammered domestic prices, hitting mills’ financial health to such an extent that monies owed to farmers, who form an influential voting bloc, have ballooned to an all-time high. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalFarm leaders say Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has not done enough to help them get the cash owed them. Modi’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment. “The prime minister publicly promised farmers – in 2014 and 2017 – to help them get their payments within 15 days of selling their produce to sugar mills,” said M.V. Singh, convener of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sang, or National Forum of Farmers and Labourers. Despite the promise, Modi’s government has done little to ensure timely payments, Singh said. The unpaid dues affect growers in the key cane-producing states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Karnataka. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostOf the $4.38 billion in unpaid dues, mills in Uttar Pradesh, India’s top cane-producing state, owe 108 billion rupees ($1.56 billion), the industry and government sources said, citing their calculations based on cane prices and the volumes bought by sugar mills. In Uttar Pradesh, top producers such as Mawana Sugars Ltd, Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Ltd and Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd, as well as unlisted Modi Sugar Mills, Wave Industries and Yadu Sugar Ltd, owe the bulk of arrears to farmers, according to the industry and government sources. “Along with the fact that sugar prices are much below the cost of production, huge inventories worth 800 billion rupees are adversely affecting mills’ paying capacity,” said Abinash Verma, chief of the Indian Sugar Mills, the producers’ body. The high inventories are keeping domestic sugar prices depressed and increased storage costs. Mills have started losing money and are finding it difficult to pay the farmers. As cane harvests jumped, domestic sugar prices fell 20 percent over the past two years, with mills often complaining about prices falling below their production costs. “Most cane growers are barely able to scrape through and it’s sad that neither the state governments nor the Modi administration have done anything,” said Pushpendra Singh, president of the Kisan Shakti Sangh, a farmers’ association. Falling farmer incomes and job scarcity have made Modi’s re-election bid more complicated than anticipated. Out of 545 seats in India’s lower house of parliament, cane farmers are key voters in 164 of the constituencies. The government took a clutch of measures, including incentives for exports and creation of buffer stocks to help trim inventories and prop up prices so that mills can pay farmers, said a federal food ministry official who did not wish to be identified in line with government policy. The measures have yielded few results so far, giving little relief to either farmers or mills, said the sources.last_img read more

US State Department addresses Turkish issues

first_imgWASHINGTON (AA) – State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf Wednesday tackled several pressing issues on Turkey.The Deputy Spokesperson denied media reports that the US has frozen its assistance to the Syrian opposition.“Not at all. Not to my knowledge. No, our assistance continues. Ambassador Ford is on the ground meeting with them right now. That report would seem to be pretty false to me,” said Harf during the daily press briefing. Turkish daily, Hurriyet, reported that the US had halted its assistance to the opposition pending the opposition meeting certain criteria.US still concerned over CPMIEC missile dealHarf concurred with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey’s missile defense future was ultimately a sovereign question. She added, however, that the US is concerned by the choice of the Chinese firm, China Precision Machinery Import Export Corp. (CPMIEC), and a potential lack of interoperability with NATO missile defense systems.“We have also said, two points, that this company is currently sanctioned by the United States, and that as part of NATO and a NATO ally, it is important to have systems that are interoperable”, remarked Harf.CPMIEC is currently sanctioned by the US for alleged violations of the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act.Source of Ignatius media leak still unknownThe source of a media report that alleged Turkey exposed 10 Iranians working with Mossad to Tehran is still unknown, according to Harf.“I have no information at all about who may have been sources of this kind of stuff that’s out there in the press,” said Harf.Asked whether the incident led to Congress delaying weapons transfers to Ankara, Harf said that such questions should be directed to Congress.last_img read more

Iowa State Is A Contender Finally

For most of the century-plus that Iowa State has been playing college football, the Cyclones have toiled in misery, the doormat of virtually every conference they’ve been a part of. That neighboring programs at the University of Iowa and University of Nebraska rose to national prominence, in part at the expense of the Cyclones, no doubt made this fact more painful for the faithful in Ames.But despite losing to Iowa in the first game of their season, the No. 16 Cyclones are the class of the region this year.At 6-3, Iowa State’s record doesn’t jump off the page, but coach Matt Campbell has turned the program around. In 2017, Campbell’s second season on the job, the Cyclones snapped a seven-year streak of losing records and capped the season with a win in the Liberty Bowl — just the fourth bowl victory in school history.Now currently on a five-game winning streak against conference foes,1A feat never before accomplished by the team. including two wins over ranked opponents, Iowa State has a chance to play in the Big 12 championship game if it beats Texas on Saturday and Kansas State next week, and West Virginia loses either to Oklahoma State or Oklahoma. The Cyclones haven’t won a conference title since before the television was invented, last doing so when they were a part of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Even being ranked this late in the season has the Cyclones on the brink of another accomplishment: The team has finished a season in the Associated Press rankings only twice in school history — and never higher than 19th. By comparison, their rival to the west, Nebraska, has finished 48 seasons in the rankings.Iowa State is 12.89 points better than the average team this season, according to Sports Reference’s Simple Rating System. That would be the team’s third-best season of all time and the best mark since 1976. Not bad for a program that, through the 1990s — despite having a transcendent talent at running back — averaged an SRS of negative-4.7 and won less than 26 percent of its games.Campbell, at least at podiums, is hardly satisfied. “I think what’s exciting is that I sit here right now knowing that our best is still out there,” he said after the team’s most recent win. Iowa State’s five-game winning streak coincides with Campbell’s decision in early October to play true freshman quarterback Brock Purdy, who spurned a scholarship offer from Alabama. Purdy’s Total Quarterback Rating of 85.0 trails only Shea Patterson of Michigan (85.2), Kyler Murray of Oklahoma (95.3) and Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama (95.8).Purdy has an elite target in Hakeem Butler, the successor to recently graduated star receiver Allen Lazard. At 6-foot-6, Butler is a ball-hawking skyscraper who ranks second nationally in yards per reception (22.7) and share of receptions resulting in a first down or touchdown (86.1 percent). Add in a bruising tailback like David Montgomery — a consensus first-team All-Big 12 selection from a season ago who has amassed 1,108 yards after contact over the past two seasons, the fifth most of any running back — and the Cyclones have a frightening offensive triumvirate. In the seven seasons under Paul Rhoads, Campbell’s predecessor, Iowa State never ranked in the top 50 in offensive efficiency, but the team is on track to crack it for the second season in a row.But the pulse of Iowa State’s success is in the dominant defense installed by Campbell and defensive coordinator Jon Heacock. This season, the Cyclones rank 13th in defensive efficiency at 79.22 — 8.79 points higher than any previous season in the previous 10 years and 30.62 points higher than their average over that stretch. Iowa State leads the Big 12 in rushing yards allowed per attempt (3.1), opposing passer efficiency rating (125), yards allowed per play (4.94) and opponent drive score percentage (25.9 percent), among other metrics.The Cyclone defense displayed its chops on Oct. 13 against West Virginia, which touts a top-five passing offense (337.3 per contest) and top-10 scoring attack (40.89 per contest). Will Grier, a likely Heisman finalist, was held to a season-low 100 passing yards, and the Mountaineer offense managed just 7 points. (West Virginia finished with 14 total points, but 7 came by way of a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown.) “We didn’t do anything right,” West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen said afterward.Iowa State’s toughest assignment left on the regular-season schedule comes Saturday against No. 15 Texas, before the Cyclones close with matchups against Kansas State and Incarnate Word.2The last game was added after Iowa State’s first scheduled game was canceled because of bad weather. But that last game, scheduled for Dec. 1, would be canceled if Iowa State can reach the conference championship.For decades, conference foes worked Iowa State like a speed bag on Saturdays, turning Jack Trice Stadium into a virtual burial ground. Opposing coaches like Tom Osborne at Nebraska and Hayden Fry at Iowa inflicted substantial punishment, year after year. But under Campbell, the cardinal and gold have shown that they won’t be pushed around. FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rating pegs the Cyclones higher than it does Central Florida, a team largely crowdsourcing its playoff candidacy but that does have the nation’s longest current winning streak. A win Saturday in Austin, a game some consider to be the program’s most significant in the past decade, wouldn’t vault Iowa State into the playoff conversation. But it would rubber-stamp a growing notion: The Cyclones — yes, those Cyclones — are finally ready to contend.Check out our latest college football predictions. read more

The Kentucky Derby Is Getting Predictable

Co-favorite victories counted as winsSources: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Daily Racing Form Update (May 6, 10:50 a.m.): Although Classic Empire was the morning-line favorite, the odds have since shifted. As of 10:50 a.m. Saturday, Always Dreaming is now narrowly favored to win the Kentucky Derby in what is considered a wide-open field.One of the cardinal rules of horse racing is that betting on favorites is fun — who doesn’t like having a winning ticket? — but it’s the quickest way to go broke. Except, that is, in the most famous race in America.The Kentucky Derby should be nearly impossible to handicap. The horses, at just 3 years old, don’t have much experience and are still maturing. Many of them have never run this distance before, or run at Churchill Downs. And even if a handicapper can sift through all that uncertainty and use a combination of past performances and pedigree to identify the best contenders, it can all become irrelevant thanks to the abnormally large Derby field — with as many as 20 horses creating gridlock and chaos, results ought to be utterly unpredictable.That’s what makes the last several years of the Kentucky Derby so strange: It is, seemingly, getting more predictable. For four straight years, the favorite has come out on top. It began with Orb in 2013, then continued with California Chrome, American Pharoah and Nyquist.In total, 16 favorites have won the Kentucky Derby in the last 50 years.1Including Forward Pass, the favorite in the 1968 Kentucky Derby who initially finished second but was awarded the win after first-place finisher Dancer’s Image was disqualified for failing a drug test. Bets on Dancer’s Image may have been paid out before the horse was disqualified, but for the purposes of this thought experiment, we’re counting things as if Forward Pass won the usual way. And that has produced a compelling betting strategy: Forget all the wonky handicapping. Over the last half-century, placing a $2 bet (the smallest bet you can make on a single horse in the Derby these days) on the favorite each year would have netted you $107.80 on a $100 investment — a 7.8 percent profit. But in just the last 20 years, returns on that same strategy would be much better: 74 percent. Belmont Stakes1.430-0.77 Kentucky Derby2.732%+$0.16 Outcome of betting on the favorite, 1967-2016 RACEAVG. FAVORITE ODDSFAVORITE WIN PCT.AVG. PROFIT ON $2 BET Now the question has become: Is the recent rash of victorious favorites a coincidence? Or a sign of something bigger?Before these last four years, the Kentucky Derby had for decades been known for its unpredictability. Between 1980 and 1999, not a single favorite won. Before 2013, it had been four years since a favorite wore the roses.There are two rational explanations for this trend. The first is chance. These horses, after all, are the favorites for a reason. And this kind of streak is not unprecedented — favorites won four straight years from 1972-1975, too.But there’s another rationale that would indicate that this is more than a fluke. It explains why the Kentucky Derby is getting chalkier and why the mega-longshot winners we once saw regularly in this race might become increasingly rare.When Orb won the Derby in 2013, that wasn’t just any year. It was the first year that horses qualified for this first leg of the Triple Crown under a newly implemented points system. This “Road to the Kentucky Derby” awards points to the top four finishers in a select group of races. The top 20 get to run in the Derby.What’s more important than the point system is the mechanism it replaced. Before 2013, horses qualified for the Derby based on their winnings in graded stakes races.This created chaos in the Derby. In some instances, horses that were elite in sprints — races shorter than a mile, which are excluded from the new qualifying system — could crowd the Derby, a route run at 1¼ miles. In other instances, horses that weren’t good enough made it in anyway. But these horses didn’t just fade down the stretch into irrelevance. They regularly introduced anarchy, transforming the subtle mechanics of a race in a way that allowed longshots to thrive.There’s no more illustrative example than the 2005 Derby, when 50-1 longshot Giacomo stunned the world. Giacomo’s best friend in that race was a 71-1 longshot named Spanish Chestnut, which led for the first three-quarters of a mile. In the last two races Spanish Chestnut ran before the Derby, it finished sixth twice. In other words, it didn’t belong. But during those first six furlongs, Spanish Chestnut set the second-fastest pace in Derby history.Predictably, Spanish Chestnut couldn’t sustain such a hot pace, ultimately fading and finishing 16th. But while this longshot was in the lead, other horses got sucked into running that fast and wound up tiring, too. The favorite that day, Bellamy Road, was close by, in fifth place, when Spanish Chestnut started to slow.At that same distance, three-quarters of a mile, Giacomo was in 18th place out of 20 and trailed by 14¾ lengths, the farthest behind of any eventual Derby winner in more than a quarter-century. But when Spanish Chestnut — and every horse that tried to keep up with Spanish Chestnut — tired, Giacomo had enough gas left in the tank to pass 17 other horses.The new points system is better at weeding out the Spanish Chestnuts. That means longshots like Giacomo are even less likely to encounter the volatile circumstances that enable them to win.The strategy of betting the favorites for 50 years would also pay off in the Preakness Stakes, the Triple Crown’s second leg. In fact, in the long run you’d make more than you would on the Derby — the Preakness has offered returns of 11.4 percent. But in any single year, betting on a favorite in the Preakness can be less attractive: When American Pharoah and California Chrome won, for example, they went off at odds shorter than 1-1, meaning that if you cashed in on a $2 bet, your winnings would likely be counted out using more quarters than dollar bills. Essentially, it requires risking a lot of money just to win enough to pay for a celebratory cigar. On the other hand, because the Derby is so uncertain, favorites can be had at good value. This year’s morning-line favorite, Classic Empire, is priced at 4-1. That would offer better returns any Preakness favorite in the last half-century.At the same time, the biggest sucker’s move is betting a favorite in the Belmont Stakes, which at 1½ miles is longer than almost any other race these horses will ever run. In other words, nobody knows how the horses will handle the distance. What’s worse, the favorite will often be racing for the third time in seven weeks, which can leave a horse worn down. A bet on the favorite in the Belmont in the last 50 years would have cost you 38.7 percent of the money you staked. There’s a reason we went nearly 40 years without a Triple Crown winner before American Pharoah came along.All of this means that the best betting strategy for this year’s Derby may also be the dumbest one: Bet on Classic Empire. Preakness Stakes1.544+0.23 read more

Official Verdi completes €25m move to Napoli

first_imgSimone Verdi has completed his move to Napoli from Bologna for a reported €25m transfer fee in a five-year deal, reports Football-ItaliaThe Italy international had an impressive 2017/18 season and scored 10 goals with a further 10 assists to help steer Bologna clear of the relegation zone in the Serie A.Verdi’s impressive displays for the I Rossoblu attracted the interest of many clubs and he was reportedly close to joining Napoli in the January transfer window before ultimately deciding to remain with Bologna for the remainder of the campaign.Mario BalotelliCorini tells Balotelli to “raise his game” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 According to the Brescia coach, Mario Balotelli “needs to raise his game if he wants to face Juventus” as his team is set to host Bologna.The Italian versatile forward had a medical at Rome’s Villa Stuart clinic before later visiting Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis’ Filmauro offices to finalise his deal.The 25-year-old is understood to have agreed on a five-year deal with the Light Blues and becomes Carlo Ancelotti’s first signing since replacing the ousted Maurizio Sarri last month.Napoli finished the Serie A in second-place last season after a season-long battle with Juventus.last_img read more

Spalletti Inter Milan will be without Nainggolan for a while

first_imgInter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti expects a lengthy lay-off for Radja Nainggolan after he limped off in Sunday’s 1-0 derby win over AC MilanThe Belgian midfielder was forced off with a reported ankle problem after just 30 minutes of action at the San Siro following a challenge by Milan counterpart Lucas Biglia.Now Spalletti, who replaced Nainggolan with Borja Valero in the game, fears a long absence for his summer signing.“Nainggolan has been chopped down,” Spalletti said to Sky Sport Italia.“We have to take him to the hospital and see. He won’t be with us for a while.”Rick Karsdorp, Roma, Serie AKarsdorp reveals he had too much stress at Roma Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The Dutch defender has been with the Gialorrossi since 2017, but he has not enjoyed his time in the Italian Lega Serie A.A dramatic injury-time winner from captain Mauro Icardi settled the 222nd official Derby di Milano in Inter’s favour.Spalletti, who felt that they were the deserving victors, was also pleased with the way Inter countered Milan’s dangerous passing game.“It’s dangerous when you press high, as there is always the risk of conceding a counter, but we were perfect and forced Milan to continually lose the ball,” added Spalletti.“We ensured Milan were incapable of playing their quality passing game that Gennaro Gattuso had spoken about.”Inter will next face Barcelona on Wednesday in the Champions League at Camp Nou.last_img read more

Sinclair wants to shine again for Celtic

first_imgThe Hoops attacker used to be an award-winning footballer and had a difficult 12-month run in terms of personal formScott Sinclair’s name was once a very respected name in the Scottish Premier League club Celtic.But he had a difficult 12 months run that ended up costing him his personal form.Now he wants to climb back to the top.“When I go out there, I still believe in myself 100 percent. I know the goals will come and I’ll be back on top form again,” he told The Telegraph.Mikey Johnston, CelticJohnston is disappointed after being injured Manuel R. Medina – September 11, 2019 Celtic winger Mikey Johnston was disappointed to miss Scotland Under 21 national team’s victories over San Marino and Croatia, and he hopes he can return to play soon.“Maybe opposition teams were also trying to man-mark or double-team me in certain games.”“They’re trying to stop me dribbling and scoring goals, but it’s up to me to come up with different ways and find solutions,” he added.“I like when people doubt me, that drives me on.”“As a footballer, you’re always going to get that, but the quality I showed a couple of seasons ago was proof of what I can do. It’s just about getting back up to that same level again,” he concluded.last_img read more

Rider dies after colliding with goods vehicle

first_imgKolkata: One biker was killed and the pillion rider injured after a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) ran them over on Circus Avenue near AJC Bose Road Flyover on Sunday morning. It was alleged that the bike riders violated traffic rules and were trying to move ahead on the opposite direction in a one way road.According to the locals, around 6:15 am on Sunday, a bike was headed towards Park Circus Seven Point using the wrong flank of the Circus Avenue. Both of the riders on the bike were without helmets. At the same time a HGV was moving towards Theatre Road using the same lane. Near Nasiruddin Road, the Bike collided head on with the HGV. Both the riders fell on the road and sustained multiple injuries. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey were immediately rushed to Chittaranjan National Medical College and Hospital (CNMC) where doctors declared the rider of the bike, Syed Iftikar Abbas Hossain (23), dead. The pillion rider identified as Shaikh Saif Ali is admitted to the hospital in a critical condition. The HGV and its driver were detained by the locals. Later, Karaya police station took charge of the vehicles and detained the offending driver. A case on charges of causing death by negligence, rash driving on a public way and causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others was initiated. In another incident, a person identified as Ashok Khan (30) died in a bike accident at Bishnupur in South 24-Parganas. According to the locals, Ashok with a friend riding pillion was racing with another bike. Near Moudi on Amtala-Baruipur Road, he lost control and hit a wall of a tea stall beside the road. Ashok was declared brought dead by the doctor at Amtala hospital. His friend is admitted there with multiple injuries.last_img read more

Three major Australian political parties hacked by sophisticated state actor ahead of

first_imgYesterday, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, revealed that “a sophisticated state actor”  was behind a cyber attack on the Australian Parliament’s computing network that also affected the network of major political parties. First reported by The Guardian, the attack affected the computer networks of the Liberal Party and the Nationals – as well as the opposition Labor Party, only three months before the Parliamentary election in May. Morrison told reporters that “Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity”. In a statement to parliament on Monday, he said there was no evidence of electoral interference and measures  were taken to “ensure the integrity of our electoral system”. This intrusion into the networks of political parties was detected by agencies investigating the attack on the Parliament House network. He said security agencies had “acted decisively” to confront the incursion and were “securing these systems and protecting users”. Australian Cyber Security Centre head Alastair MacGibbon stated that the agency was currently unable to answer whether or not data had been stolen because all the agencies involved were “acting extraordinarily quickly and very openly, so we are piecing together all of the events.” There is no evidence as to which country was behind the intrusion as well as no comment on how deeply the attack had penetrated the computer networks. The news comes just months after the Assistance and Access Bill was passed that allows the police to tell apps like WhatsApp and Signal to build in so-called “backdoors”, to give investigators access to the contents of messages, to assist in any investigation of cyber offense. However, security experts were unanimously against backdoors since once such a mechanism has been implanted in the app, it can create a target for other countries’ spy agencies and corporate spies to see what people are discussing. Users on Twitter and HackerNews have expressed strong sentiments on this news, one user is blaming the government’s choices like weakening the encryption in apps through their new law, that has lead to this attack. Other users are speculating Russia’s hand in this attack. The Sydney Morning Herald stated that just four states — China, Russia, Israel, and the United States — have the capability to perform such an attack. Head over to BBC for more insights on this news. Read Next Australian intelligence and law enforcement agencies already issued notices under the ‘Assistance and Access’ Act despite opposition from industry groups Australia’s Facial recognition and identity system can have “chilling effect on freedoms of political discussion, the right to protest and the right to dissent”: The Guardian report Australia passes a rushed anti-encryption bill “to make Australians safe”; experts find “dangerous loopholes” that compromise online privacy and safetylast_img read more

In a fastpaced interview with Max Keiser Doug Ca

first_imgIn a fast-paced interview with Max Keiser, Doug Casey explains how the “financialization” of the global economy came about and why it’s a time bomb about to explode; why travel is a key element in successful speculation; and much more. Quadrillion dollars of derivatives: an unstable daisy chain. Stock certs are just computer entries, therefore can’t trust them and the businesses. HSBC’s discovered “$70B black hole of debt”, Harvard prof’s withdrawal of 1M from Bank of America are straws in the wind. Gold is the only way to truly save and hold on to wealth. As was pointed out, one can’t both run with the crowd and be a successful speculator. If your approach to investing needs recalibration—if you’re ready to change your thinking and the course of your financial future—click here to get started now.last_img read more

More than half of disabled people who have tried t

first_imgMore than half of disabled people who have tried to buy tickets for live music events have had to call premium-rate phone numbers to arrange access, according to a new survey.Four-fifths of those surveyed said they had experienced problems with booking access alongside their ticket, while nearly three-quarters said such barriers had been discriminatory.The results of the national online survey were published by the user-led music charity Attitude is Everything (AiE) as part of its fourth State of Access Report on the live music industry.Of the 53 per cent who said they had been forced to use premium rate phone lines to book access, several reported that this had cost them more than £20 in phone charges.Although the survey results cannot be directly compared – because they were obtained through different methods – they do appear to show an improvement since a survey of AiE mystery shoppers in 2014 found 95 per cent of respondents had experienced problems when booking access and 88 per cent said they had felt discriminated against.This year’s State of Access Report focuses on problems associated with booking tickets for live music events.Publishing the report, the charity also launched a new taskforce, the Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition, which aims to address five key problems encountered by Deaf and disabled live music fans when booking tickets.The pan-industry group includes more than 35 trade bodies, ticketing agencies, event promoters and venues, including UK Music, PRS for Music, Ticketmaster, Festival Republic and Live Nation.The areas the coalition will address include: the need for a single proof-of-disability system that is uniformly recognised and accepted across the UK; all venues and events to provide quality online information about access; more choice and flexibility when booking tickets for fans with access requirements; and a more dependable system for managing access bookings.The coalition will also target the need for “equal access”, so that disabled fans can book access for pre-sales of tickets, VIP and artist meet-up tickets, and when using entertainment gift cards; can resell accessible seats; are not charged to use access booking lines; and can easily book tickets for a personal assistant if they need one.The report concludes that access across the live music industry “remains a mixed picture”.It adds: “Many venues and events have moved beyond basic reasonable adjustments to improve access for customers in impressively creative and collaborative ways.“On the other hand, there are venue and event organisers now being left behind as they continue to enact outdated and potentially discriminatory policies that impact the ability of Deaf and disabled people to access the paid-for services they provide.”Suzanne Bull (pictured), AiE’s chief executive and the government’s disability sector champion for music, said: “Although there has been much progress in making the ticketing process accessible and inclusive, and certain venues and companies are definitely getting this right for their Deaf and disabled customers, we felt that only a comprehensive and truly unified approach would be able to drive through the real and lasting changes that we need. “In 2018, every large-scale music event should be all-inclusive.“Disabled customers should be able to buy a ticket online, they should be encouraged to attend shows with their friends, and not have to jump through undignified hoops when things go wrong.”Sarah Newton, minister for disabled people, said: “Going to a gig or festival is an experience that everyone should be able to enjoy.“It’s therefore incredibly important that disabled people have the right access when booking tickets for live music events, which is why I’m really pleased to see leading businesses from across the music industry coming together to improve accessibility. “We know that disabled people and their households have a combined spending power of £249 billion a year, proving that being inclusive isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense.”AiE also announced that it will convene a new cross-sector group that will “exchange ideas and unite around common principles when it comes to accessibility”, across music, cinema, theatre, heritage and sport, and will focus on issues such as the provision of access information, providing evidence of access requirements, and implementing access bookings.Organisations that have already pledged to join the group include Arts Council England, Shape Arts, Level Playing Field, UK Theatre and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers.Picture by Joanna Dudderidgelast_img read more