IPL 2011: Delhi and Hyderabad fight for survival

first_imgIt will be a battle for survival when down-in-the-dumps Delhi Daredevils take on an equally distraught Deccan Chargers in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday.Having got all their calculations wrong right from picking the right combination of players in the auctions to losing matches from strong positions, Delhi will not only have to win all their remaining matches, but also hope that other results turn out in their favour if they want a backdoor entry into the play- off stage of the IPL. Delhi will once again hope that skipper Virender Sehwag leads from the front as they have their backs to the wall.While the batting depends heavily on Sehwag and David Warner, who has 254 runs from nine matches, the bowlers haven’t come good either.Although Morne Morkel – 11 wickets – and Irfan Pathan – six wickets – have fired in patches, the consistency is definitely missing.Even the back- up bowlers have been off the mark.The domestic players have been the biggest disappointment for Delhi as other than Venugopal Rao, 250 runs from nine matches, most have failed to justify their selection.Deccan on their part aren’t any better off.Led by Kumar Sangakkara, the team has failed to click as a unit. One more loss and they too will be on the verge of an early exit.They have one of the most successful pace bowlers in the world in Dale Steyn, who has picked 10 wickets from eight games at a good economy of 6.85. Ishant Sharma, however, has failed to pick up wickets regularly or stem the flow of runs.advertisementBut Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha have done a fine job and Sangakkara will be hoping that they can spin a web around the Delhi batsmen.In the batting department, the likes of Cameron White – 89 runs from five matches – and domestic star Shikhar Dhawan – 197 runs from nine matches – have failed to take the initiative.It has been a lone battle for San- gakkara – 250 runs from nine matches – who too has failed to get going in tough situations.Having played against Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday, Deccan didn’t train on Wednesday.But Delhi hit the nets with a vengeance.While Sehwag was missing as he will arrive only on Thursday morning – celebrating his son’s birthday – Warner looked more than eager to hit out of the poor form that has struck him.In the bowling department, while Irfan seemed to be hitting a nice rhythm as he got the ball to swing in to the batsmen, Morkel was content hitting the deck and troubling the batsmen with pace.Irfan even had a prolonged session with the bat as all the batsmen looked to play the spinners considering that both Mishra and Ojha have been in fine form.With the wicket at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium known to be a batting paradise, it will be interesting to see if Sehwag can stamp his authority or whether the Deccan Chargers finally manage to improve their record at home.last_img read more

We bring you detailed analysis of how funds in each category fared in 2014/15

first_imgAfter being in stupor for years, the Indian stock market gained ground in 2014, owing to the election of a majority government at the Centre. From March 2014 to March 2015, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex rose from 22,400 to 28,500. Although this translates into a gain of 25 per cent, mutual funds that invest in stocks did better. As our latest edition of annual mutual fund rankings by Value research shows, they beat all asset classes, with large-cap funds delivering an average return of 31 per cent, large and mid-cap funds 43 per cent and multi-cap funds 48 per cent.The out performer was the mid- and small-cap category, which returned 67 per cent, followed by tax planning funds (47 per cent). Among sector funds, pharmaceutical funds topped with 67 per cent returns. Infrastructure funds were close behind with 52 per cent returns as the government’s thrust on building infrastructure pushed up stocks in the sector. Banking funds followed with 41 per cent returns owing to reduction in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). But the sector was plagued by the under performance of PSU banks owing to their high nonperforming assets.Returns from technology funds were slightly subdued (33 per cent) compared to others owing to the cyclicality of rupee earnings and investors’ preference for other high-beta sectors. Funds that invest in the fast-moving consumer goods companies delivered 26 per cent returns. However, investors must understand that these returns average out over the long run and they must invest based on their risk profile and investment objective. For first-time investors, largecap diversifi ed equity funds are the best, as they have lower volatility.advertisementClick here to Enlarge Further, they should stay neutral about short-term market movements and continue to invest systematically for the long term. Investing through the systematic route and diversifying across asset classes is the best way to deal with market volatility. Debt funds also gave double-digit returns as the RBI cut interest rates by 50 basis points from eight per cent in December 2014 to 7.50 per cent. Fall in interest rates and yields is good news for bond investors as interest rates and bond prices share an inverse relationship; a fall in interest rates leads to a rise in bond prices, increasing net asset values of income funds. However, of late, some volatility has returned to the market due to global sell-off in debt markets, including in India, concerns over increase in US interest rates and uncertainty about monsoon and, hence, inflation. These have led to an increase in bond yields.Hence, it may be prudent to invest in these funds based on your risk profile and objective. Investors with a short-term horizon of less than six months could invest in ultra short-term plans. For an investment horizon of six months to one year, they can look at short-term income plans. For a medium-term horizon of one year and more, accrual funds (that focus on interest payouts) could be a suitable investment. Investors with a longer horizon of more than three years can invest in duration funds, which gain from capital appreciation as well as earn interest income. We bring you a detailed analysis of how funds in each category fared in 2014/15.Click here to Enlarge  EQUITY FUNDS Returns from the large-cap equity category have been in line with the rise in the Sensex with top performers delivering between 30 per cent and 40 per cent. Out of 83 schemes in the category, two thirds beat the 27 per cent returns given by the Nifty for the year ended March 2015. The worstperforming fund equity returned 14 per cent. Axis Equity Fund, the top performer, returned 34 per cent, followed by UTI Equity Fund and JP Morgan India Equity Fund, which returned 43 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively. These are closely followed by Religare Invesco Business Leaders Fund and ICICI Prudential Focused Blue chip Fund.JP Morgan Equity Fund, Religare Invesco Business Leaders Fund and LIC Nomura Growth Fund are the new entrants in the top 10 list this time. Large & mid-cap funds, which invest 60-80 per cent money in large caps and the rest in mid-caps, did better than the large-cap funds and returned 43 per cent on an average. Top-rated funds in the category, SBI Bluechip Fund (highest score), ICICI Prudential Indo Asia Equity Fund and L&T Equity Fund, delivered more than 45 per cent. BNP Paribas Equity Fund, SBI Magnum Multiplier, Franklin India Flexi Cap and The Prima Plus returned in excess of 50 per cent. Religare Invesco Dynamic Fund is the new entrant in the top 10 list this year along with Tata Equity Opportunities Fund. Mid-cap and small-cap funds have done wonders to investors’ portfolios. These invest in midcap and small-cap companies, which are more volatile than the large-cap companies. The risk paid off in 2014/15. The category gave returns of 66 per cent, much more than the 50 per cent rise in the CNX Midcap Index and the 52 per cent spike in the CNX Small cap Index. Franklin India Smaller Companies Fund has been consistently featuring among the top 10 in the category. It returned 77 per cent during the year. In terms of returns, DSP Black Rock Micro Cap fund beat the rest with a return of 98 per cent.advertisementJP Morgan India Mid and Small Cap Fund, a new entrant in the top 10 list, gave returns of 82 per cent. These have done exceedingly well over the last fi ve years, returning more than 20 per cent every year. Some of the last year’s top 10 players, IDFC Premier Equity, SBI Emerging Businesses and Axis Mid Cap, have slipped this year. However, they continue to do well Multi-cap funds have a wide mandate. They invest without any sector or market-cap bias and so have more room for stock selection than others. The average category returns are 48 per cent. Tata Ethical Fund and Mirae Asset India-China Consumption Fund continue to be in the top 10, returning 47 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively. The top fund in the category is a new entrant, Franklin India High Growth Companies Fund, with a score of 0.93 and returns of 73 per cent.Dividend yield funds also fall in this category as they invest in companies with different market capitalisations. BNP Paribas Dividend Yield Fund returned 55 per cent during the year. Birla Sun Life Advantage Fund replaced last year’s top performer, Birla Sun Life Equity Fund. Most other funds continued to be in the same slot as last year. Tax-planning funds, also known as equity linked savings schemes, are eligible for income tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act (up to `1.5 lakh). The category delivered average returns of 47 per cent in 2014/15, comparable to many large-cap, mid-cap and multicap funds. In the category, Axis Long Term Equity maintained its top slot with a score of 0.84 and a low risk grade. It returned 62 per cent. Its closest followers are ICICI Prudential R.I.G.H.T. Fund, SBI Tax Advantage Fund – Series II and BNP Paribas Long Term Equity Fund – they all returned around 59 per cent. While Quantum Tax Saving Fund and Franklin India Tax Shield Fund fell out of the top 10 list, three new funds – BNP Paribas Long Term Equity Fund, IDFC Tax Advantage Fund and Birla SunLife Tax Relief 96 Fund – got a fi ve-star rating this year. Among sector funds, banking funds are being featured for second time in our annual mutual fund rankings, which is purely a function of their emergence in the last couple of years.Click here to Enlarge The category delivered average returns of 41 per cent. The top performer, ICICI Prudential Banking and Financial Services Fund, returned 52 per cent. It is followed by Reliance Banking (49 per cent) and Religare Invesco Banking Fund (47 per cent). There has been a big divergence in performance of banking stocks with the overall banking index up 42 per cent in 2014/15, but the PSU Banks rising just 25 per cent. This can be attributed to volatility in interest rates and rising NPAs of government-owned banks. Infrastructure funds have turned around in the last two years owing to the impetus the sector has got from the government.advertisementThe 52 per cent category returns in the last one year made up for the three-year return of 17 per cent. However, on a fi ve-year basis, the category has returned only seven per cent compared to 11 per cent a year rise in the Nifty. Franklin Build India Fund has scored the highest in the category again with 85 per cent returns and lowest risk grade. It is the only fund that has managed to deliver 20 per cent a year on a fi ve-year basis. The other fund with fi ve-star rating in the category, Religare Invesco Infrastructure Fund, has moved up to the second place from fi fth last year, returning 77 per cent. Kotak Infrastructure and Economic Reform Fund and Canara Robeco Infrastructure Fund returned above 60 per cent, though on a relatively higher risk base.TOP HYBRID FUNDSHybrid equity-oriented funds delivered 37 per cent returns on an average. Known as balanced funds, they invest majority of assets (65 per cent) in equities and the rest in debt. These funds are taxed like equity funds (gains after one year and dividends are not taxed). The debt portion provides cushion when stock markets fall. That is why returns from these funds are less volatile than those from pure equity funds. The best performer, Tata Retirement Savings Fund, delivered a return of 58 per cent. It is a new entrant in the top 10 list. SBI Magnum Balanced Fund, Tata Balanced Fund and L&T India Prudence Fund returned 44 per cent, 53 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively. HDFC Balanced Fund continues in the top 10 list, followed by ICICI Prudential Balanced Fund and ICICI Prudential Balanced Advantage Fund. Franklin India Balanced Fund and Birla Sun Life 95 Fund are back in the top 10 list, albeit with a little higher risk rating.Hybrid debt-oriented funds invest a bigger chunk of investor money in debt and the rest in equities. They are called aggressive or conservative depending upon their allocation to equities. Among funds with a higher allocation to equities, Escorts Opportunities Fund has the highest score of 1.11. On a relatively lower risk base, the fund gave returns of 33 per cent. It is followed by Birla Sun Life Monthly Income Plan II – Wealth 25 Plan, which returned 27 per cent (with equity allocation of 25 per cent). Conservative funds were not too far behind, with ICICI Prudential Child Care Plan -Study Plan – Regular Plan, scoring the highest with a return of 31 per cent, followed by SBI Magnum Monthly Income Plan (19 per cent) and Franklin India Monthly Income Plan (22 per cent), albeit with relatively higher risk. Some conservative funds are better known as Monthly Income Plans. They invest just 15-25 per cent money in equities. They pay regular dividends but are not obliged to do that under the law. Click here to EnlargeTOP DEBT FUNDSLiquid funds gave an average return of nine per cent, with top performing ones returning 9.2 per cent. As money market rates continued to be attractive, these returns are in line with those given by many ultra short-term funds. This category is least affected by interest rate movements. Among liquid funds, JM High Liquidity Fund and Tata Money Market Fund have been rated fi ve-star. They returned nine per cent each. Ultra short-term funds delivered average returns of nine per cent, in line with the performance of liquid funds, owing to the short maturity of their underlying portfolio. The average maturity of ultra short-term funds over the last 12 months has been six months to one year, which makes it ideal for a similar investment horizon. Taurus Short Term Income Fund scored the highest with a return of 9.75 per cent. It qualifi ed as an ultra short-term fund due to the tenure of papers held by it.There is an interesting candidate in the list, Religare Invesco Credit Opportunities Fund, a credit opportunities fund that has a portfolio of an ultra-short term fund. It returned 9.5 per cent.Short-term funds delivered 10.5 per cent, better than liquid and ultra short-term funds, owing to the longer maturity of their underlying portfolios. The more the duration of a portfolio, the more the fund benefi ts from interest rate movements. These funds typically invest in debt papers. The average maturity of these papers in 2014/15 was between one year and 4.5 years. The best performing funds in this category are Birla Sun Life Treasury Optimizer Fund and Franklin Short Term Fund (12 per cent returns).Birla Sun Life Medium Term Plan also did well with 12 per cent returns.Debt income funds had a volatile year. In spite of this, they have given decent returns. The category average is 13 per cent with the top performing fund, ICICI Prudential Long Term Income Plan, returning 20 per cent. Many returned less than nine per cent, too, as they took conservative bets during the interest rate downturn. Dynamic bonds funds, which play on duration, did well during the period. They benefi ted from interest rate volatility.Click here to EnlargeIn the category, UTI Dynamic Bond Fund gave returns of 15 per cent. Falling interest rates also benefi t gilt funds. The 10-year government bond yield fell from 8.5 per cent at the end of 2014 to 7.7 per cent in January 2015. As a result, long-term gilt funds delivered 17 per cent returns on an average. The best performing fund in the category, SBI Magnum Gilt Fund, returned 21 per cent, followed by Birla Sun Life Gilt Plus (20 per cent). Sundaram Gilt Fund, the new entrant in the top 10 list (it was in the short-term gilt fund category last year), returned 13 per cent on a relatively low-risk base. The fund’s three-year performance (15 per cent returns) is better than that of its peers.IDFC GSec Funds are missing from this year’s top 10. BNP Paribas Gilt Fund and Reliance Gilt Fund are the new entrants in the top 10 league with a superior performance of 19 per cent. The shortterm gilt fund category returned nine per cent on an average with a few funds delivering more than 10 per cent. SBI Magnum Gilt Fund and IDFC Government Securities Fund returned 13 per cent each. The top 10 list in this category is more or less similar to last year’s. Click here to Enlarge VALUERESEARCH RANKING METHODOLOGYThere are 15 fund categories considered for this study. These have been ranked on the basis of risk-adjusted returns.RISK: To calculate risk, monthly/weekly returns were compared with monthly risk-free returns for equity and hybrid funds; for debt funds, weekly risk-free returns were considered. State Bank of India’s 46 to 90 days term deposit rate, which is 5.5%, was assumed as the risk-free return. For months/weeks that the fund had underperformed the riskfree return, the magnitude of underperformance was added. This was then divided by the category average to get a risk score, which was ranked with those of other similar funds, and a relative risk score assigned.RETURNS: Monthly/weekly returns of each fund (adjusted for dividend, bonus or rights) were compared with the monthly/weekly risk-free return to get the fund’s total returns in excess of the riskfree return. The monthly average risk-adjusted return was then divided by the average category return for the return score. In case of negative category average, the risk-free return was used as the benchmark. The returns were then ranked with other funds of the same type and a relative return score assigned. All return estimates assumed reinvestment of dividend adjusted for bonus or rights. Finally, a composite risk-return score was obtained by subtracting the risk score from the returns score.last_img

Despite Being in Contention Himself, Kylian Mbappe Backs Lionel Messi to Win Ballon d’Or

first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Paris: PSG and France striker Kylian Mbappe said that Argentine great Lionel Messi is the favourite to win the 2019 Ballon d’Or. The 32-year-old Messi helped Barcelona to the Spanish league title in 2018/19, scoring 51 goals across all competitions.Messi is thus one of the front runners for the coveted title, which he has won five times, four of which came on the trot from 2009 to 2012. It is the joint-most number of times that a player has won the title — a record he holds with long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo. When asked about who he thinks is the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or, Mbappe, who himself is a contender, told German magazine Der Spiegel, “Messi. In individual terms, he was the best this year.”The 20-year-old is widely touted as one of the players who is a potential future winner of the Ballon d’Or. He finished sixth at The Best FIFA Awards earlier this year, which Messi won. Ballon d’OrKylian Mbappelionel messi First Published: November 25, 2019, 11:18 PM ISTlast_img read more

Wimbledon: Tomas Berdych beats compatriot Jiri Vesely to enter quarters

first_imgTomas Berdych won a fifth-set shootout over Czech compatriot Jiri Vesely for a 4-6 6-3 7-6(8) 6-7(9) 6-3 victory on Tuesday, completing the Wimbledon men’s quarter-final lineup after their match was suspended overnight in fading light.They had left the contest level when the umpire called time, much to the frustration of 10th seed Berdych, who has suffered a string of delays at the tournament and tried to get the match moved to Centre Court to be finished under the floodlit roof. (Also read: Wimbledon: Doubles pair stage protest after toilet break denied)A pumped-up Vesely, 22, had the momentum on Monday, snatching a 71 minute fourth set on a tiebreak to force the decider. But it was 2010 finalist Berdych, 30, who seized the initiative in the fifth, breaking Vesely’s first service game. (Also read: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga confident he can beat Andy Murray in Wimbledon quarters)Berdych will play 22-year-old Frenchman Lucas Pouille, seeded 32, in the last eight.last_img read more

Football Association says it can back up Dele Alli over one-finger salute

first_imgTopics Share on WhatsApp England 2-1 Slovakia: five talking points from the 2018 World Cup qualifier World Cup 2018 qualifiers Reuse this content England Dele Alli The FA Share via Email newscenter_img Share on Pinterest Read more Share on Facebook Share on Messenger One long-distance camera angle of the incident appears to support Alli’s version of events. However, Fifa indicated on Tuesdaythat it was “gathering evidence” before deciding whether or not to launch an investigation. The FA has already unearthed a closer camera shot, which has not been made public, which would back up Alli’s explanation and, if requested, will make it available to world football’s governing body in an attempt to prevent Alli being sanctioned.However, there remains the possibility Fifa could still charge the 21-year-old with acting against the spirit of the game, an offence which most likely carry a fine or, at worst, a short suspension. “Kyle and Dele were mucking about, and Dele’s made a gesture towards Kyle,” explained Southgate on Monday. “The pair of them have a strange way of communicating, but that’s what they’ve said when it’s been raised.” The Football Association believes it can prove Dele Alli was not directing a one-finger salute at the referee during Monday’s World Cup qualifying victory over Slovakia and will support the midfielder if contacted by Fifa about the incident.Alli was caught on camera immediately after the French official, Clement Turpin, had waved away his appeals for a free-kick 13 minutes from time in the win at Wembley. The Tottenham Hotspur man subsequently told his manager, Gareth Southgate, that the gesture had been made towards his former club-mate, Kyle Walker, and reiterated that explanation for his actions on Twitter late on Monday night. He apologised “for any offence caused”, with Walker also suggesting on social media that he had seen the funny side of the incident. Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Pakistan will reach World Cup 2019 final: Wahab Riaz

first_img Next India Today Web Desk LondonJune 22, 2019UPDATED: June 22, 2019 17:56 IST Wahab Riaz in action for Pakistan in World Cup 2019. (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSWahab Riaz admitted that Pakistan bowling unit has failed to take wickets with the new ballPakistan are reeling at the 9th spot of the 10-team World Cup 2019 points tablePakistan need to win all of their remaining matches if they want to qualify for the knockout phaseWahab Riaz has revealed that all players have vowed to make up for the mistakes they have been making and help Pakistan reach the finals of World Cup 2019.Pakistan has won only one match and they come in South Africa clash after back to back defeats to Australia and India. They need to win all of their remaining matches if they want to qualify for the knockout phase of the tournament.Pakistan are reeling at the 9th spot of the 10-team World Cup 2019 points table with just 1 win from 5 matches. Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side have been criticized by their media, fans and former cricketers for a disappointing run at the quadrennial event.”We have to lift ourselves. We are each other’s strength. We are all good friends and know that only 15 of us can lift the team which not even our family members can do. Pakistan plays better under pressure and we will qualify for the finals and semi-finals,” Wahab said.Wahab Riaz hopes for a better performance against South Africa when they face Proteas in a must-win game at Lord’s on Sunday. He also hopes that a complete turnaround in Pakistan’s performance will help them qualify for the finals and semi-finals.”Our focus is on beating South Africa, and we know we shouldn’t get ahead or think about the future. We need to go one by one by what to do every day. On what we do in the now and not what is happening elsewhere. We shouldn’t be thinking about the future,” he added.advertisementWahab Riaz revealed what has cost them the games till now. He said that they have been continuously failing in executing skills and this has been one of the reasons behind Pakistan’s dismal run at the World Cup. He also added that the team which can handle pressure better will win.”Execution of skills is everything,” he said. “They have failed in that aspect as well like we did, we had matches we could have won. In this match, it depends on who handles pressure better and plays better. They will win.”Riaz admitted that Pakistan bowling unit has failed to take wickets with the new ball and they are looking to change that in the remaining games. He said that the team has discussed the problems they have faced and are looking to make up for the lost time.”Good teams are those that discuss and talk about their mistakes openly to each other and we’ve done that. We will make up for our mistakes.”Also Read | India vs Afghanistan: Rohit Sharma 1st Indian batsman to fall to spin in World Cup 2019Also Read | Is this India’s away orange jersey in World Cup 2019? Pictures on social media leave fans guessingAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySaurabh Kumar Tags :Follow World Cup 2019Follow Pakistan vs South AfricaFollow Wahab Riaz Pakistan will reach World Cup 2019 final: Wahab RiazWorld Cup 2019: Wahab Riaz has backed Pakistan team to lift themselves and come back stronger in their remaining matches of World Cup 2019.advertisement read more

What is Winter Solstice: Facts about the Longest Night of the Year

first_img Save Your Eyes from the Scourge of the Screens with the Best Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses for Men Editors’ Recommendations 14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know The Best Men’s Parkas for Braving the Cold The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now How to Care for Your Houseplants in the Winter Have you noticed how it’s basically dark all day long right now? You leave for work in the semi-light of a pale gray morning and get home well after the sun has set and gloom has blanketed the land. Fun, right? Did you ever ask yourself, “Hey, why are the days shorter in winter, anyway?” And are you wondering when the days will start to get longer again? Well, that time is upon us, friends.Despite the fact that, in many parts of the world, it has been cold, dark, and snowy for weeks already, the first official day of winter does not occur until December 21, aka the winter solstice, aka the darkest and shortest day of the year.What’s so special about the winter solstice? Why, lots of things. Let’s discuss a few of them because it would be weird to write an article like this otherwise.Why Is the Winter Solstice So Dark?For those of you living in the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is the longest night and shortest day of the entire year. But, why? Long story short, because of the tilt of the earth’s axis. Contrary to popular misconception, it’s not related to the earth’s physical distance from the sun. In fact, the planet is on the perihelion portion of the orbit in the early winter and is actually closer to the sun than at other times of the year. Drop that at a Christmas party and watch the people nod in admiration.Most Americans will see less than nine and a half hours of sunlight on the solstice day, which of course means nearly fourteen hours of darkness. Don’t take it too hard — folks closer to the Arctic Circle don’t see any direct sunlight for weeks during the winter. Total bummer, right? The perpetual daylight of the summer sounds less than ideal, too.Does the Sun Stand Still?No … it doesn’t. During the winter solstice, it appears as if the sun remains unmoving on the horizon, eschewing its standard overhead arc. Thus the word “solstice,” which is derived from the Latin word solstitium, which translates to “sun stands still.” Of course, scientists eventually debunked the notion of an immobile winter sun, but the name stuck.Is Winter Solstice a Holiday?Yes! If you speak to pagans, druids, witches, or any other group of alternative spiritualities/religions/cults/rotary clubs that celebrate the Winter Solstice as an important holiday, you’re going to hear some ire directed toward Christianity. That’s because the forebears of these modern alternative types had been celebrating the solstice for centuries — if not millennia — before Christianized Rome decided to co-opt the dark winter season celebrations and set December 25 as the date on which they would honor the birth of Jesus. No one knows when Jesus was born (this begs the question of historicity, but we’ll leave that alone for now), but it’s pretty damn certain it was not on December 25.However, as that was a time so many heathens were already celebrating heathen things, the church stuck the date there as a way to help usher people over into the “believer” column. If you want to have some pagan fun during the next winter solstice, by the way, Stonehenge is the place to be.You might think that the yule log you burn (or at least talk about burning) each holiday season is a classic Christmas tradition, but not so much. Yule was originally a winter festival celebrated by pre-Christian Germanic tribes and, quite likely, by Norsemen. The etymology of the word “yule” is unclear, though variations seem to pop up in the stories of disparate groups spread across early Europe. What’s certain, though, is that the term referred to a celebration held on or near the darkest day of the year that originally had nothing to do with Christianity.Article originally published December 22, 2016.last_img read more

Donald Trump says reelection easier if he is impeached

first_imgWashington DC: US President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast Sunday his chances of retaining the White House in 2020 would be strengthened if Democratic lawmakers start impeachment proceedings against him. Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether he thought impeachment was good politics for him, Trump replied, “I think I win the election easier.” The president repeated his longstanding allegation that the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into his 2016 campaign was illegal. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: London”I was spied on. What they did to me was illegal. It was illegal on the other side. I did nothing wrong,” he said. “So impeachment’s a very unfair thing because nothing that I did was wrong. And if you look at the Mueller report, there was no collusion. This was all about collusion.” The Democrats are split over whether Trump should be impeached after the Mueller Report into Russian interference in the 2016 election outlined numerous contacts between his campaign and Russians, as well as evidence that the president tried on several occasions to stymie the investigation. While many of the candidates for the Democratic nomination are pro-impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has argued that it would be a risky move without an “ironclad” case and bipartisan support. Trump told “Meet the Press” Pelosi was staving off growing impeachment calls from within the Democratic caucus because she agreed with his assessment that it would harm their prospects in 2020.last_img read more

Taylor Swift Joins Scholastic To Talk To Kids About The Power Of

first_imgScholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books will present an exclusive video featuring an inspiring, personal conversation with Taylor Swift about how reading and writing can open a world of possibilities for children.Taylor will also share with young viewers the books that have most influenced her and a never before seen clip from behind the scenes at one of her recent music videos.As part of Scholastic’s new reading initiative, “Open a World of Possible,” the 30-minute exclusive video will air on Scholastic.com beginning on October 29, 2014, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. Registration to watch on 10/29 is open now here.In a nod to her multi-week No. 1 international smash hit single, “Shake It Off,” Taylor will discuss how music helps her shake off the tough moments in life. Following the video, students can enter Scholastic’s “This is How I Shake it Off” writing contest for the chance to win tickets and a meet-and-greet for two at an upcoming Taylor Swift concert, along with accompanying flights and accommodations. Additional prizes for runners up include a signed guitar and signed copies of Taylor’s new “1989” CD. Students in grades 3-8 attending a U.S. school can enter the contest by submitting a one-page creative essay or poem about how they shake off mean comments and hard times. More details, Official Rules and the contest entry form can be found at www.scholastic.com/taylorswift. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter by December 11, 2014. Void where prohibited.October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a great time to approach the subject of bullying with kids. In support of this observance and the video with Taylor, Scholastic has curated a collection of resources that address bullying, building resilience and fostering a love of reading in kids: • For Teachers: Articles and tips about how to address bullying in classrooms, available here, as well as writing activities to get students in a creative spirit, available here. • For Parents: A guide to the sensitive issue of bullying, including lists of anti-bullying books for every age and expert advice available here.Through the ongoing Open a World of Possible initiative, Scholastic has begun a conversation for teachers, parents and children to share ideas and advice about simple ways to incorporate independent reading into busy classroom days and family time. Scholastic invites people to continue joining the conversation and connecting with peers on social media channels using the hashtag #SharePossible.last_img read more

PENDANCE FILM FESTIVAL® ANNOUNCES 6 FEATURE FILMS MAKING CANADIAN PREMIERES IN TORONTO

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Facebook Advertisement TORONTO – The Pendance Film Festival‘s 2nd edition will take place January 31st – February 3rd in Toronto at the Regent Theatre. The full 49-film-lineup includes 8 feature films making premieres.Tye Sheridan in A.J Edward’s ‘Friday’s Child’. (CNW Group/Pendance Film Festival)A.J. Edward’s Friday’s Child starring Tye Sheridan, Imogen Poots, and Caleb Landry Jones will have its Canadian Premiere at Pendance following its world premiere at SXSW in 2018. To the Night starring Caleb Landry Jones and Eleonore Hendricks and directed by Austrian director Peter Brunner also makes its Canadian premiere at Pendance following its world premiere at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Santiago Rizzo’s Quest starring Lakeith Stanfield, Gregory Kasyan, Dash Mihok, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Betsy Brandt makes its Canadian premiere following screenings at Slamdance, and major awards at Mill Valley, Napa Valley, and Gasparilla Film Festivals.Curtiz by Tamas Yvan Topolanszky is a period piece about director Michael Curtiz and the production of Casablanca. The film won the Grand Prix des Ameriques (Best picture) at the 2018 Montreal World Film Festival and is making its Ontario premiere.  We the Coyotes by Hanna Ladoul and Marco La Via starring Morgan Saylor, McCaul Lombardiand Betsy Brandt makes its Ontario premiere following selections at Raindance Film Festival and the Warsaw Film Festival in 2018.Among 41 short films selected for premieres, 31 are making their Canadian Premieres at Pendance. Among them are three standouts from the Cannes Cinefoundation; Rubber Dolphin, Equally Red & Blue, and ‘Inanimate’. Other Canadian premieres include: Piggy by Carlota Pereda, Ready by Melissa Farman, and Dear Chickens by Mauro Muellerwhich stars Philip Baker Hall and Kerris Dorsey. Pendance will also host the World Premiere of Canadian director Matthew Evans Landry’s Re: Possessed Homes, starring Natalie Lisinska and Jordan Gavaris.EDITORS NOTE Full schedule for Pendance 2019 can be found at the Pendance website https://pendancefilmfestival.ca/schedule-2019/Instagram: @PendanceFilmFestivalFacebook: @PendanceFilmFestival Youtube: @Pendance Film FestivalTwitter: @PendanceFilmcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: In Reality, directed by and starring Ann Lupo makes its Canadian premiere after winning the Jury Award and Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival. Lost Holiday starring Kate Lyn Sheil, Thomas Matthews, William Jackson Harper and Emily Mortimer will make its Canadian Premiere days after its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival. Twitterlast_img read more

Spirit AeroSystems Bids for Bombardiers Morocco Belfast Facilities

Rabat – US company Spirit AeroSystems Holdings is in talks with Bombardier to purchase the company’s facilities in Belfast and Morocco, Reuters reported on Thursday, October 3. The news outlet quoted two sources familiar with the case, emphasizing that the company has emerged in the front “ has emerged as the front-runner” to acquire the two aeronautics facilities in Morocco and Belfast.The US company has not yet reached an agreement with Bombardier for the facilities. Bombardier announced its decision to sell its facilities in May. BNN Bloomberg reported that the Canadian aerospace giant intends to place its focus on private jets and trains.The company decided to create a new division of the company, Bombardier Aviation.Bombardier Aviation is set to bring together “all aerospace assets into a single, streamlined and fully integrated business.”The company recognized the significant work done in its two facilities in Morocco and Belfast.“We are recognized as a global leader in aerostructures, with unique end-to-end capabilities – through design and development, testing and manufacture, to aftermarket support.”Read Also: El Othmani Says Canada’s Bombardier ‘Not Completely Leaving’ MoroccoThe Bombadier’s facility in Morocco employs at least 300 people, while 3,600 more work in the Belfast factory.If the agreement is concluded,  Spirit AeroSystems Holdings will join other important aeronautics companies operating in Morocco, such as Boing, Safran, and others.Morocco’s foreign exchange office announced in 2018 that the Moroccan aviation industry earned more than MAD 9.78 billion ($1 billion) in the first 11 months of 2017, compared to MAD 8.42 billion ($870 million) in 2016, an increase of 16%.Morocco sees the aeronautics industry as one of its key economic pillars that could curb unemployment. Several recent reports extolled the industry of aeronautics, including Oxford Business Group. The group forecasted a flourishing future in Morocco’s economy, thanks to aeronautics and the automotive sector.Spirit already has facilities in Tulsa, McAlester, Oklahoma, Kinston, North Carolina, Malaysia, and France.The company’s key products include, “fuselages, pylons, nacelles, and wing components,” Spirit Aero said.The US company also provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul services. read more

UN deplores deadly attack on Somali hotel

According to media reports, the attack involved Somali insurgents dressed as police officers, who stormed the hotel and opened fire, and later blew themselves up.“These callous, brutal acts, which were clearly aimed at causing maximum bloodshed to innocent people, defy rational comprehension,” Augustine P. Mahiga, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, said in a statement.“Those who are responsible for these murders are only interested in causing destruction and misery to the Somali people.“They will not, however, succeed in their violent campaign. The Somali people are yearning for peace which they deserve and they will be heard. The peace process will continue in Somalia despite the attempts by a violent minority to disrupt it.”The Security Council also condemned the attack “in the strongest terms” and called for the perpetrators to be brought to swiftly to justice, in a statement read to the press by Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for August.The 15-member body stressed the need to continue strengthening Somali security institutions and the importance of an inclusive dialogue in the peace process.Violence in Mogadishu has led to some 3,000 conflict-related casualties so far this year and uprooted around 200,000 people from the city, which has been the scene of ongoing clashes between Government troops and Islamist militant groups, including Al-Shabaab. 24 August 2010The United Nations strongly condemned today’s attack on a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, which reportedly killed at least 30 civilians, including Members of Parliament. read more

The Stats Say Washington Should Have Signed Colin Kaepernick And Its Still

28Nick Mullens1700.1570.478 17Dak Prescott4180.2300.492 35Cody Kessler970.1190.491 15Mitch Trubisky3520.2480.522 47Sam Bradford81-0.1560.329 42Tyrod Taylor84-0.0010.354 27Matthew Stafford4640.1700.482 2Drew Brees4160.4320.589 30Colt McCoy520.1340.492 21Andrew Luck5330.2050.52 37Case Keenum4520.1060.449 39Josh Allen2280.0790.435 24Derek Carr4520.1760.511 Kaepernick has outperformed Johnson, tooAttempts, yards per attempt, expected points added per play, success rate and yards after catch EPA per play for Kaepernick and Johnson, 20tk-18 41Nick Foles800.0240.398 3Matt Barkley250.4310.44 Josh Johnson1936.1-0.040.46+0.60 Data includes two-point conversions but does not include kneel downs. 11Carson Wentz4000.2810.535 31Joe Flacco3770.1320.454 44Sam Darnold314-0.0600.427 1Patrick Mahomes4830.4410.561 Colin Kaepernick1,9417.2+0.170.45+0.67 22Cam Newton4440.2010.521 25Andy Dalton3620.1750.508 Show more rowsSource: Elias Sports Bureau So what about moving forward? Could Kaepernick help Washington win? Our best predictors of future performance at the QB position are career efficiency measures like yards per attempt and EPA per play — far more useful than looking only at Kaepernick’s most recent season.The table below shows every player who has attempted at least 20 passes this season, sorted by total expected points added per play. Total EPA includes both passing and rushing production, and gives a full picture of a player’s offensive contribution. Kaepernick’s career numbers would put him 26th among quarterbacks this season, ahead of Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins — who are being paid a combined $50.5 million. 7Russell Wilson3390.3210.513 PasserAttemptsYARDS/ ATTEMPTEPA/PLAYSUCCESS RATEYAC EPA/PLAY 5Matt Ryan5050.3290.547 The contest wasn’t a contest at all. Kaepernick is superior to Sanchez over his career by a large margin and across a wide spectrum of metrics. Kaepernick’s career yards per pass attempt is higher than Sanchez’s by more than half a yard. His career EPA per play is on the order of 40 times better than Sanchez, despite their yards after catch EPA per play being relatively close.Kaepernick has been far from perfect. His career yards per attempt is no better than league average, and his career completion percentage is low at 59.8 percent. His greatest flaws as a passer show themselves at the intermediate depths, where his completion percentage is well below average. Whether this is because he struggles to make reads or because his decision making on slower developing routes is poor is an open question. What is clear is that neither Kaepernick nor Sanchez is particularly accurate across most depths of target. 18Jeff Driskel1010.2140.46 34Ryan Tannehill1960.1200.479 13Deshaun Watson3970.2620.526 14Aaron Rodgers4940.2550.49 Most starting quarterbacks with NFL experience did indeed create value per play above what we might expect from Kaepernick, but Kaepernick’s worst season is still better than 26 percent of the quarterbacks who have attempted a pass in the NFL in 2018. Kaepernick may be a fringe starting NFL talent, but he is likely better than many of the quarterbacks who have seen playing time this season, including even Alex Smith.It’s probable that Kaepernick could start for Washington and produce enough with his arm and his legs to salvage their playoff hopes. There remains the opportunity for Washington to sign him and find out for certain. Instead he continues to languish in free agency.Check out our latest NFL predictions.CORRECTION (Dec. 15, 2018, 11:45 a.m.): A previous headline on this story misspelled Colin Kaepernick’s name. 51Mark Sanchez35-0.6270.361 26Colin Kaepernick1,9410.1710.464 50Nathan Peterman82-0.5890.315 19Eli Manning4610.2130.462 33C.J. Beathard1710.1220.463 43Blaine Gabbert61-0.0150.453 After starting quarterback Alex Smith broke his leg in Week 11, the Washington Redskins rode their journeyman backup, Colt McCoy, to two losses and a 7-3 deficit against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13 before he also broke his leg. Struck with misfortune at the most important position in professional sports, Washington trotted out Mark Sanchez, a player signed off the street to back up McCoy.This obviously didn’t work out well. Sanchez had not played an NFL game since 2015, and he went on to record the worst expected points added (EPA) per play (-0.627) of any NFL QB in 2018 with at least 20 pass attempts. This includes Nathan Peterman. Sanchez was promptly benched in a blowout 40-16 loss to the Giants in Week 14. His replacement: Josh Johnson, a 32-year-old journeyman who has played for 12 different NFL teams and who reportedly had to play Madden to learn the names of his new teammates.Hindsight is 20-20, but it’s worth asking if this skid could have been avoided — or at least somewhat mitigated — had Washington signed free agent Colin Kaepernick instead of Sanchez. It’s even worth wondering if they still should sign him. A playoff berth for the Redskins is highly unlikely, but they are still not mathematically eliminated. Could signing Kaepernick help the team win out, finish 9-7, and give them a shot at the postseason?Let’s look at this as a purely football decision and put aside any public relations baggage that would come with signing Kaepernick. Let’s also assume that Kaepernick is in decent enough shape to put on a jersey right now and play at the levels we have seen from him in the past. (For what it’s worth, he has said that he’s remained in game shape.)I looked at standard measures of quarterback performance like yards per attempt along with more advanced stats like EPA per play and success rate, which measures how often a player keeps his team “on schedule” or on track for a first down. The first question — “Should Washington have signed Sanchez or Kaepernick?” — is straightforward to answer.Using data from Ron Yurko’s EPA model, I analyzed both of the QBs over their careers to see which one has been better at creating expected value per pass. I also broke out the contribution of yards after the catch to help with the comparison. Yards after catch is probably best thought of as the product of scheme and wide receiver skill, but passes that are on time and on target from a QB surely help as well. 23Lamar Jackson1010.1910.519 Sanchez-0.05 4Philip Rivers4140.4240.541 29Kirk Cousins5250.1460.51 PasserAttemptsYards/ AttemptEPA/PlaySuccess RateYAC EPA/Play Career expected points added per rush for Colin Kaepernick and Mark Sanchez, 2009-18 32Baker Mayfield3790.1240.479 Kaepernick has easily outperformed SanchezAttempts, yards per attempt, expected points added per play, success rate and yards after catch EPA per play for Kaepernick and Sanchez, 2009-18 6Jared Goff4600.3280.517 9Tom Brady4760.2900.526 Mark Sanchez2,4036.6+0.000.45+0.60 12Ryan Fitzpatrick2480.2750.523 Kaepernick, however, has also affected game outcomes with his legs. He is not exactly young anymore, though, at 31 years old; we might expect a decline in rushing effectiveness that typically accompanies NFL QBs as they age. Still, Kaepernick’s legs are fresh, and Sanchez has never shown the ability to add value on the ground. 10Ben Roethlisberger5480.2830.517 8Jameis Winston2700.2910.542 38Brock Osweiler1780.1010.44 45Josh Rosen314-0.0870.425 49Derek Anderson70-0.3250.429 Kaepernick+0.21 EPA/Rush 20Marcus Mariota3000.2130.51 46Chase Daniel76-0.0960.47 36Alex Smith3270.1130.457 40Blake Bortles3700.0400.463 Colin Kaepernick1,9417.2+0.170.45+0.67 48Josh McCown109-0.2190.383 Meanwhile, Kaepernick adds roughly equal value to his team whether he runs or passes the football, making him a legitimate dual threat. It was this ability that took the San Francisco 49ers within 5 yards of winning the 2012-13 Super Bowl. What’s more, the league has become more open to the air raid concepts Kaepernick ran at the University of Nevada, as evidenced by the ascendancy of Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, who played in an air raid system at Texas Tech. There are legitimate reasons to believe that Kaepernick could still fit in the league.Kaepernick’s path to snaps in Washington is blocked by current quarterback Johnson, who has just 193 total career pass attempts to his name and, like Sanchez, is a year older than Kaepernick. When we look at his career efficiency numbers compared with Kaepernick’s, we can see why Johnson hasn’t been allowed much opportunity to throw. Plays with Johnson under center have resulted in negative value for his teams. Kaepernick would be in the middle of the pack this yearEvery quarterback with a minimum of 20 pass attempts this season in the NFL, compared with the career numbers of Colin Kaepernick PlayerPass AttemptsTotal EPA/PLAYSuccess Rate Data includes two-point conversions but does not include kneel downs.Source: Elias Sports Bureau 16Jimmy Garoppolo900.2310.52 read more

The Best Players And Biggest Upsets Of 2018 In Almost Any Sport

2NFLJan. 14JacksonvillePittsburgh24.33 Elo’s biggest playoff upsets of 2018Top postseason upsets of the 2018 calendar year, based on winners with the lowest Elo-generated pregame win probabilities, compared with other playoff upsets in the same sport since 2000 32018Mike TroutMLB10.0 WAR9 12018Mookie BettsMLB10.6 WAR4 SportDateUnderdogFavoritePregame Win prob.Rel. Rank Since 2000 4CFBSept. 22Old DominionVirginia Tech2.57 42018Jacob deGromMLB9.6 WAR15 * Current season still in progress† mWS = Modified Win Shares, a version of win share that also blends in a player’s VORP and PER to create a consensus statistical rankingPlayers qualified if their season either started or ended in 2018. NFL rankings include only skill-position statistics.Sources: Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs, Pro-Football-Reference, Basketball-Reference 82018-19*James HardenNBA20.4 mWS†30 62017-18James HardenNBA21.2 mWS†24 Among teams in MLB, the NFL, the NBA, NCAA football and NCAA men’s basketball.MLB pregame win probabilities take into account the starting pitchers for each team in a given matchup.Source: ESPN 102018-19*Anthony DavisNBA19.1 mWS†39 52017-18LeBron JamesNBA22.5 mWS†19 Elo’s biggest upsets of 2018Top upsets of the 2018 calendar year among sports with Elo ratings, based on winners with the lowest Elo-generated pregame win probabilities, compared with other upsets in the same sport since 2000 rankSeasonPlayerSportValue MetricRelative Rank Since 2000 3MLBJuly 28Kansas CityN.Y. Yankees22.43 6CBBMarch 16MarshallWichita St.12.913 6MLBJune 22Kansas CityHouston24.411 4MLBOct. 7AtlantaL.A. Dodgers35.310 Now, I know what you’re all thinking: The first 16-over-1 win in NCAA men’s tournament history isn’t the top upset of the year? Perhaps surprisingly, Maryland-Baltimore County’s stunner over Virginia — which had a 2.5 percent probability of happening, according to Elo — was only the sixth-biggest college basketball upset of the 2017-18 season alone. (In terms of raw upset odds, St. John’s knocking off Villanova was about 23 percent less likely.) But it’s still a fair point; there are a ton of random regular-season upsets every year, but far fewer come in the postseason. So here’s a version of the ranking above that looks solely at playoff upsets (excluding the College Football Playoff, which has existed only since 2014): 5MLBJune 8Chi. White SoxBoston23.38 92018Max ScherzerMLB8.7 WAR34 NFL MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes was a very close second behind Betts, having produced one of the top individual skill-position seasons of the millennium while leading the Kansas City Chiefs’ explosive offense. (And he’s still going, of course.) Behind Mahomes is a mix of familiar names — Trout, LeBron James — and players whose award-winning 2018 performances propelled them into historic territory, such as Mets ace Jacob deGrom and Rockets star James Harden.Mahomes’s season isn’t the only great individual campaign still unfolding. Saints QB Drew Brees has also produced MVP-type numbers, though they have flagged a bit since the end of November. And amid speculation about where he might play next, Anthony Davis currently leads the NBA in win shares and player efficiency rating, while ranking second in value over replacement player. Finally, despite Houston’s disappointing start, Harden has quietly been playing nearly as well as he did last season, leading the league in VORP.Still, this is a case where the limits of our analysis — leagues for which we have Elo ratings — miss a lot. If you expand the search beyond the sports in which we track Elo, as ESPN’s Peter Keating did, American gymnast Simone Biles would give Betts a run for the No. 1 slot. In 2018, Biles won gold in every category at the U.S. championships, then fought off a kidney stone to win four more golds (plus a silver and a bronze) at the World Championships. Between Biles’s stellar performance and those of snowboarder Chloe Kim, WNBA star Breanna Stewart, top-ranked golfer Ariya Jutanugarn and swimmer (and FiveThirtyEight favorite) Katie Ledecky, we saw an outstanding crop of dominant female athletes this year.Biggest upset of 2018Baltimore Orioles 10, Boston Red Sox 3 — Sept. 26 (No. 1 upset in MLB since 2000)It’s fitting that the top upset of the year featured our worst team of 2018, the Baltimore Orioles, beating the best, the Boston Red Sox. In baseball, most games are pretty close to a coin flip, with only the most extreme mismatches (usually aided by a disparate starting-pitching matchup) straying very far from 50-50. But in the second leg of a late-season double-header, the Red Sox sent staff ace Chris Sale to the hill against rookie Jimmy Yacabonis. Boston was looking for its 108th win of the season; Baltimore was looking to avoid loss No. 113. Going into the game, our pitcher-adjusted Elo model gave the O’s a mere 18.8 percent chance of winning. And yet, Baltimore hung seven runs on the Sox bullpen in the last three innings (including four on closer Craig Kimbrel) to break a 3-3 tie and seal the historic upset.It was one of four upsets in 2018 that ranked among baseball’s 10 most improbable since 2000, helping MLB dominate the upset ranking below.2Granted, perhaps that is driven as much by tanking — which creates the sheer prevalence of record-setting mismatches — as anything else. 7MLBAug. 30DetroitN.Y. Yankees24.916 After making that change, we do see UMBC’s win rise to the top of the list as the most impressive postseason upset of the year. In fact, it was a pretty good year for underdogs all around, from the Philadelphia Eagles’ dog mask-fueled Super Bowl victory to the Vegas Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup Final run as an expansion team (and 200-1 title shot).While the Warriors won again and baseball’s best got even better, there was still room in 2018 for plenty of surprises and inspiring performances. Here’s hoping 2019 brings fans even more moments to enjoy on the fields, courts, rinks and everywhere else our favorite games are played. 1CBBMarch 16UMBCVirginia2.5%2 The best MLB, NBA and NFL players of 2018Top players of the 2018 calendar year, based on relative value metrics compared with other player-seasons in the same sport since 2000 9NBAMarch 16SacramentoGolden State7.218 SportDateUnderdogFavoritePregame Win prob.Rel. Rank Since 2000 5NBAApril 16MiamiPhiladelphia17.710 8NBANov. 23PhoenixMilwaukee7.116 As 2018 draws to its conclusion, we wanted to look back at the year in sports — the best (and worst) teams, the results that surprised us most and the athletes who inspired us. On Friday, we covered the best and worst teams of 2018, so now it’s time to look at the best players and upsets of the year.You can read that first article for more detail on the methodology behind our rankings — but the “best players” are derived by taking a similar approach, this time using an all-in-one value metric of choice in each pro sport for which we have Elo ratings1I used Approximate Value for the NFL, wins above replacement for MLB (averaging together the versions of WAR found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs) and a mix of value over replacement player (VORP), win shares and player efficiency rating for NBA players (with those numbers for current NBA seasons prorated to 82 games). and ranking every player relative to other individual seasons since 2000. (Again, this includes all stats from seasons that either started or ended in the 2018 calendar year, so some numbers included in those seasons may have been compiled in 2017.) We’re also tracking the best upsets in the same manner, measuring the winner’s Elo-predicted win probability against the most unlikely wins in that sport over time.Without further ado, I give you the best professional player of 2018 in the NBA, NFL and MLB …Best player of 2018Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox (fourth-best MLB season by wins above replacement since 2000)In a year that featured a number of standout performances, none was better than that of Boston’s 26-year-old right fielder. Betts earned American League MVP honors by becoming just the fifth player of the 21st century to crack 10.0 WAR in a single season — and he was the rare player to outduel WAR machine Mike Trout for the top slot in the league. Add in Boston’s World Series victory (which Betts punctuated with a home run in the clinching contest), and Betts had himself a year for the ages in 2018. 22018-19*Patrick MahomesNFL21 AV5 3NFLJan. 6TennesseeKansas City24.84 Among teams in MLB, the NFL, the NBA and NCAA men’s basketball. College football upsets weren’t included in the ranking because the College Football Playoff has existed only since 2014.Source: ESPN 8NBAMay 1ClevelandToronto21.827 10CBBMarch 18Texas A&MNorth Carolina19.536 7NBAMay 14Golden StateHouston21.725 2MLBJuly 15DetroitHouston21.42 10MLBApril 25MiamiL.A. Dodgers25.119 9NBAMay 3ClevelandToronto23.333 1MLBSept. 26BaltimoreBoston18.8%1 72018-19*Drew BreesNFL19 AV29 read more

Father stockpiled weapons and plotted revenge on police and judge who took

Ebrahimi targeted police officers and a judge after he became obsessed with “limitless revenge” against authority figuresCredit:West Yorkshire Police/PA Ebrahimi targeted police officers and a judge after he became obsessed with "limitless revenge" against authority figures A police spokesman said: “The effects of this action sowed the seeds of a deep hatred of the police that grew exponentially from that moment.”He believed that the police were committed to destroying his life and set about seeking to take extreme violent action against them.” “He developed a deep-seated and consuming hatred and loathing for people in authority, in the main police officers, and set about research and planning his limitless revenge against them.”Mr Stevenson said: “The volume of weapons, substances and associated material recovered from his property were to enable him to commit the most serious harm to others and I strongly believe that he would have eventually executed his plans in harming a police officer on the streets of West Yorkshire.” Ebrahimi had 90 videos saved that related to the creation of explosives, fuses, detonators and gunpowder.Detective Chief Inspector Warren Stevenson said: “Ebrahimi is a very dangerous individual who posed a significant and very serious threat to police officers, police staff, solicitors and the judiciary. Ebrahimi amassed chemicals and weapons including swords, crossbows and air riflesCredit:West Yorkshire Police/PA His home was raided and officers found a book detailing 21 vehicle registration plates of cars belonging to people he was interested in and photographs of their addresses.His sat-nav revealed that he had visited the address of the judge who issued the non-molestation order and of a police chief inspector.The full home addresses were also found of other police officers he had encountered as well as that of the solicitor working on behalf of his ex-partner.Police also found he had researched the use and effects of chemicals, how police officers are protected when not at work and sophisticated surveillance equipment.A large amount of chemicals were also recovered from Ebrahimi’s address, along with an extensive collection of weapons including knives, swords, crossbows and high-powered air rifles, the spokesman said. Ebrahimi amassed chemicals and weapons including swords, crossbows and air rifles He said Ebrahimi was arrested in October 2015 after concerns were raised by Calderdale College about his unusual interest in chemicals and wanting to develop a science lab at home. A man who targeted police officers and a judge after becoming obsessed with “limitless revenge” against authority figures has been jailed for 20 years.West Yorkshire Police said Ashkan Ebrahimi, 33, conducted extensive research on 38 different individuals as he amassed chemicals and weapons including swords, crossbows and air rifles.Senior officers said they “strongly believe that he would have eventually executed his plans in harming a police officer on the streets of West Yorkshire”.The force confirmed that Ebrahimi, of Halifax, was sentenced on Tuesday after being found guilty of possessing explosives with intent to endanger life, possession on an offensive weapon, possession of a bladed article in a public place and stalking offences.A jury at Bradford Crown Court heard how Ebrahimi became obsessed with revenge against the authorities after was he issued with a non-molestation order against his former partner by a judge in the county court and was subsequently separated from his young child. He developed a deep-seated and consuming hatred and loathing for people in authority, in the main police officers, and set about research and planning his limitless revenge against them Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Two Irish banks raise funds in transactions not seen for several years

first_imgUpdated 11.45pmTWO IRISH BANKS raised a total of €1 billion on the markets today in transactions not seen here since the financial collapse five years ago.Allied Irish Bank issued €500m in fixed rate senior unsecured debt, its first move of this kind since 2009 and marks the banks full re-entry into the senior unsecured bond market.The bank said the move was met with strong demand on the market. 99% of the issue’s allocations were secured by international investors, including those from a range of countries across Europe.Meanwhile, Permanent TSB raised €500m through a sale of mortgage backed securities, the first such sale by an Irish bank since 2007.Group Treasurer at the bank Kieran Bristow said that the deal reflected strong investor confidence, with the transaction being significantly over-subscribed.This was the bank’s first issue of a mortgage backed security since 2006.Minister for Finance Michael Noonan welcomed the move, which comes just a week after Ireland agreed to exit its bailout programme without any further supports.“The initial market reaction has been positive and these transactions, the first of their kind for both banks for a number of years,” he said, “are further evidence of improved international investor sentiment towards both institutions and towards Ireland.”Originally published 22:23Read: Newbridge Credit Union taken over by Permanent TSB >More: AIB and Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation to establish third-party advice body >last_img read more

Un étui projecteur de poche pour liPhone

first_imgUn étui projecteur de poche pour l’iPhone !On doit cette trouvaille à Texas Instrument et Brookstone qui sera disponible à partir du 16 novembre prochain, aux Etats-Unis.N’allez pas croire que Texas Instrument se cantonnait à fabriquer des calculatrices, partenaires de misère pendant le calvaire des cours de maths au lycée. C’est aussi l’une des firmes pionnières de la pico-projection. Un domaine devenu réalité aujourd’hui, et dont l’un des derniers représentants est cet étui projecteur de poche, spécialement conçu pour l’iPhone 4. Vendu avec sa batterie chargeable à l’USB 2100mAh, le projecteur embarque une lampe de projection LED de 15 lumens et la technologie DLP ePico Projector de Texas Instruments. Selon les deux partenaires, le projecteur pourrait fournir une image jusqu’à 50 pouces en diagonale, avec une résolution de 640×360.Compatible avec plusieurs applications natives iOS (Youtube par exemple), le projecteur fonctionnera également avec d’autres applications de tiers (possédant une fonctionnalité vidéo out). Il est déjà possible de commander l’étui sur le site de Brookstone pour 229,99 dollars ! A ce prix là, il faut vraiment en avoir l’utilité…Le 13 novembre 2011 à 12:27 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

This Artificial Gravity Machine Wont Make You Barf

first_img Scientists Study Health Benefits of Artificial GravityIn space, the human heart becomes spherical Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder are working to transform artificial gravity from sci-fi fantasy to real-world technology.The team, led by aerospace engineer Torin Clark, envisions a compact centrifuge—small enough to fit inside a room—where galactic explorers can go to get their daily dose of gravity.“Astronauts experience bone loss, muscle loss, cardiovascular deconditioning, and more in space,” Clark, an assistant professor at CU Boulder, said in a statement. “Today, there are a series of piecemeal countermeasures to overcome these issues.”Scientists aboard the International Space Station, for instance, must exercise up to 2.5 hours a day and maintain a balanced diet to keep their bodies from wasting away.“But artificial gravity is great because it can overcome all of [those issues] at once,” Clark added.Strapped onto a what looks like a hospital gurney attached to a giant turntable, the engineer tests his team’s short-radius centrifuge.As the platform rotates—slowly at first, then gradually faster—it creates an angular velocity that pushes Clark’s feet toward the base, almost as if he were standing under his own weight.“It’s fun,” he said of the amusement park ride-like experience.Before anyone can start receiving these space-age spa treatments, though, the team must solve one major problem of artificial gravity: motion sickness.If Clark turned his head to either side while spinning, he would perceive what’s known as the “cross-coupled illusion”: a disruption of the inner ear that makes you feel like you’re tumbling.“It’s a very strange sensation,” according to Kathrine Bretl, a graduate student in Clark’s lab.So strange, in fact, that for decades engineers considered that kind of motion sickness a deal breaker for artificial gravity.Torin Clark does not agree.His team tested their centrifuge on a group of volunteers over 10 sessions. But unlike earlier studies, the CU Boulder researchers started slow, spinning subjects at just one rotation per minute; they increased speed only once each participant no longer experienced cross-coupled illusion.“We try to avoid instances of motion sickness because the whole point of our research is to make it tolerable,” Bretl said.The team spun test subjects in a seated position, then asked them to tilt their head to the side to see if they experienced the cross-coupled illusion (via Torin Clark/University of Colorado Boulder)By the end of the experiment, subjects were all spinning comfortably at an average speed of about 17 rotations per minute—much faster than any previous research suggested.The group published their results in last month’s issue of the Journal of Vestibular Research.“As far as we can tell, essentially anyone can adapt to this stimulus,” Clark said, making a case for artificial gravity as an option for future space travel.Far future, based on lingering uncertainties: How long do the effects of this training last? How much gravity would an astronaut need to offset the loss of muscle and bone?“The point of our work is to try to get more people to think that maybe artificial gravity isn’t so crazy,” Bretl explained. “Maybe it has a place outside of science fiction.”NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) agree: The pair launched a joint study earlier this year to understand how artificial gravity can help astronauts stay healthy in space.More on Geek.com:Video Captures How Mice React to Zero Gravity Aboard Space StationToast to Space Travel With Zero-Gravity ChampagneNASA’s Robert Frost Busts Space Gravity Myth Stay on targetlast_img read more