Registration begins for 48th IFFI

first_imgThe registrations for the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2017), organised by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in association with government-owned Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) are now open on the official festival website.The organisers said on Wednesday that the registrations are open on website www.iffigoa.org. The festival also announced that the delegate registrations for film institute students will be at no cost.An annual event in the global festival calendar, the 48th edition of the IFFI will be “Celebrating the Future of Cinema.” The film festival will be held here from November 20 to 28.The 48th IFFI is being led by a Steering Committee comprising of noted Indian entertainment industry professionals, including personalities such as Jahnu Barua, Nagesh Kukunoor, Shoojit Sircar, Shaji N Karun, Anand Gandhi, Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Meren Imchen, Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, Bharat Bala and Director, NFDC.In order to enhance the involvement of the Indian film industry, a 40-member Film Preview Committee has been set up comprising industry professionals from across the country. The members include filmmakers such as Vivek Agnihotri, Nitesh Tiwari, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Bhaskar Hazarika, actors Gautami Tadimalla, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Pallavi Joshi, noted critics and writers Khalid Mohammed, Saibal Chatterjee and Bhawana Somaaya, among numerous others.The 48th IFFI will showcase the best of recent International cinema, along with special sections such as Retrospectives, BRICS Award-Winning films, Homages and an Indian Panorama Section featuring the best of Indian Cinema produced in the past year, with the aim of providing a platform for young creative minds to interact, view and learn.There will be a host of Masterclasses by eminent film practitioners and Panel Discussions featuring a diverse range of distinguished personalities discussing topics of interest for film enthusiasts.A series of new initiatives and packages will also be unveiled in the coming days, said an official release.last_img read more

Amateur Soccer in New York Built on Greek Immigrants’ Pride, The New York Times Say

first_imgNEW YORK – The New York Times’ Graham Parker writes about the New York Cosmopolitan League and the contribution of the Greek-Cypriots and Greeks in the history of the amateur soccer in the USA.“As the New York Pancyprian Freedoms play their Greek American counterparts on the soccer field below him, Pancyprian founder Philip Christopher is telling a story.“In 1984, the Pancyprian Freedoms had won the right to represent the United States in the Concacaf Champions Cup, a regional club tournament. It was quite an honor for a small New York team, and after they were drawn to face the Honduran club C.D.S. Vida, the traveling party boarded a plane for Tegucigalpa.‘The American ambassador to Honduras came to the airport to receive the American team, and all my boys were speaking Greek,” Christopher said. “He was saying, ‘What are all these kids speaking?’ I had to explain to him that we were the American team, but we weren’t exactly All-American boys.’The Cosmopolitan Soccer League is a regional soccer league consisting of clubs based in and around New York City. Established in 1923, it is one of the oldest soccer leagues in the United States and has contributed greatly to the nation’s soccer history.Currently, the league has four open divisions.The first two divisions require all clubs to also field reserve teams, a requirement that some leagues have abolished, but which the Cosmopolitan Soccer League believes makes its competition some of the strongest in United States soccer. The league also has an over-30 and an over-36 division. The league is USASA-affiliated.FILE – Pancyprians celebrate their advance to the Comopolitan League final 2017. Photo: D. Avlonitis“The Pancyprian Freedoms, too, emerged out of political trauma. Christopher pinpointed the founding of the team to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974. He was an expat playing recreational soccer in New York when the invasion occurred, and with a group of friends decided to form a team that they said would not only compete locally, but also would “project the image of Cyprus.” The organization quickly transcended soccer, NYT reports.‘We built the Pancyprian Community Center in Astoria, and from there the club expanded into many more areas than just football,’ Christopher said to NYT.“The Freedoms quickly established a friendly but heated rivalry with the more established Greek American Athletic Association, and another against the Brooklyn Italians.“Our rivalry was crazy,” Christopher said to NYT of games against the Greeks and Italians. “I mean you feared for your life to go to Brooklyn. We had to separate the fans. The Greeks on one side, the Italians on the other. I mean, it was an ethnic sport ——’”Greek American Atlas Astoria, commonly known as New York Greek American, is an American soccer team from New York City that currently plays in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League. The club was formed in 1941 by Thomas Laris and is one of the most successful clubs in America’s annual national soccer tournament, the U.S. Open Cup, winning four times, in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1974. The team is one of the oldest American soccer clubs in existence and plays its games at the Metropolitan Oval in Maspeth, Queens.Reat New York Times’ full story here.TweetPinShare22 Shareslast_img read more

Stars To Attend 2016 Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament

first_imgThe Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament will take place this weekend.Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament Proceeds from this event benefit LAPD employees and their immediate family members, who have experienced unforeseen catastrophic circumstances, including death, illness and injury. The Memorial Foundation is the cornerstone of the Los Angeles Police Departments employee wellness program and has granted over $16 million without any direct taxpayer money.The evening will include red carpet arrivals, a celebrity poker tournament, casino games, great food, cocktails, music, photobooth, raffles and auctions. Along with dozens of unique and priceless items in the auction, guests will have the chance to win a 2-seater ride with the legendary IndyCar champion Mario Andretti at the 2017 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with tickets, pit passes and stay at Renaissance Long Beach, spend the day with MMA fighter Tito Ortiz in training & tickets to BellatorMMA Ortiz vs. Sonnen Fight at the Forum, a stay at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, tour of Jay Leno’s private auto/motorcycle collection, LAPD airship ride, LAPD SWAT Training Day, Training at the Emergency Vehicle Operation Center to learn pursuit & pit maneuvers etc.Hosted by Don Cheadle, celebrity guests are expected to include Christopher Meloni, Danny Masterson, Luke Wilson, Jerry West, Peter Facinelli, Tito Ortiz, Jerry Cantrell, Billy Burke, Andre Reed, Gilles Marini, Camryn Manheim, Lou Diamond Phillips, AJ Buckley, Christopher Judge, Keearan Geovanni, Keesha Sharp, Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi, Jason Collins, Jayde Nicole, Michael Paul Chan, Shanna Moakler, Tia Carrera, Tony Denison, and Vanessa Marcil.Saturday, November 19thLos Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament & Casino Night PartyRed Carpet: 5pmPoker Begins: 6pmAvalon Hollywood: 1735 Vine St.last_img read more

A Radical Proposal To Destroy The NHLs Loser Point

The NHL’s “loser point” is the stupidest rule in sports. For the non-puckheads among you, here’s how it works: The NHL awards one point in the standings to a team that loses a game in overtime or a shootout. But teams get two points for winning a game, whether in regulation or beyond. You don’t need a degree in #fancystats to recognize the problem: There are a total of three points to distribute when a game goes to overtime but just two otherwise. So it really pays off to play for OT. As FiveThirtyEight contributors Noah Davis and Michael Lopez documented Wednesday, this encourages dull, passive hockey. Goal scoring falls dramatically in the third period of tied games, right when a game should be coming to its climax.This is more than a minor annoyance; the loser point has already changed the identity of at least one NHL champion. In 2012, the Los Angeles Kings finished with 40 wins and 42 losses; they made the playoffs ahead of the 42-40 Dallas Stars because they accumulated 15 loser points to the Stars’ five. Then the Kings went on to win the Stanley Cup.Fortunately, having a rule as dumb as the loser point means that almost anything would be an improvement. For instance, the NHL could award three points for a win in regulation. An overtime or shootout winner would still get two points. That would at least make each game worth the same amount in the standings.Or you could eliminate the shootout and go back to having ties. The NHL claims that 70 percent to 80 percent of its fans like the shootout but has never made any detailed data on this available to the public. As regular readers of FiveThirtyEight will know, there are lots of ways to manipulate survey questions to produce a desired outcome. Maybe the same consultants telling Donald Trump that he’d make a great presidential candidate are advising Gary Bettman on the loser point.But I have something more radical in mind. Here’s the idea: You keep playing hockey until someone wins. You know, like in the NBA and Major League Baseball and pretty much every other sport but soccer — and like the NHL itself during the playoffs.The usual objection is that this could lead to some extraordinarily long games for two measly points in the standings. What if the Flyers and Penguins play a five-overtime game and the Penguins need to catch a flight to Calgary? Why add even more ice time to a grueling, 82-game regular season?But these cases are rarer than you might think. If you played every NHL regular-season game under playoff rules — 5-on-5 overtime, indefinitely, until someone scores — it would increase ice time by only about 3 percent. In the chart below, I’ve tracked what percentage of overtime playoff games (since 1995) were resolved within a given number of minutes. In the majority of games — 56 percent — someone scored within the first 10 minutes. Only 7 percent of games, meanwhile, required two or more overtimes.Overall, the average overtime game required 13.6 minutes before someone scored. Since 23 percent of playoff games went to OT, that makes the average length of a playoff game about 63 minutes, as compared to around 61 minutes during the regular season.That’s not much of an increase, and if the NHL were concerned about it, it could counteract it by reducing the regular season to 80 games from 82. Then you’d have no shootouts, no ties, no loser point and no overall increase in ice time.Still, maybe we’re concerned about those cases when one team has played a multiple-overtime game and faces off against another on fresh skates. Equivalent cases come up all the time in other sports — baseball, basketball, tennis — and they deal with it. But you could argue that it’s a bigger problem in hockey given the punishing nature of the sport.The solution is to take players off the ice, which will increase scoring. This isn’t a new idea at all — during the regular season, the NHL plays 4-on-4 hockey in overtime, and there have been proposals to go to 3-on-3.But here’s my insight: Goals are scored so quickly during 3-on-3 play that you could play every game to sudden death and pretty much never inconvenience anyone. The players, the referees, the 13-year-old in Winnipeg who refuses to do his algebra homework until the Jets game is finished — they’d all be OK.You may have noticed, in the graphic above, that I drew a smooth curve (labeled “model”) alongside the historical data. The curve is formed by assuming that there’s a 7.4 percent chance of scoring a goal per minute of overtime play, which is the historical rate in the playoffs since 1995. As you can see, the curve “fits” the historical data extremely well. That means the length of overtime games is easy to model.1It also implies that the rate of scoring is fairly constant throughout overtime. If you know the overall rate of scoring, you can accurately guess how many games will require at least two overtimes, for instance.In 4-on-4 play, there’s a 9.1 percent chance of a goal being scored each minute (according to research by Stephen Pettigrew), about 20 percent higher than under 5-on-5 conditions. It’s 3-on-3 action that sees a really radical shift, however, with a 16.8 percent chance of a goal each minute.So what if overtime was played 3-on-3? About 60 percent of games would be resolved within the first five minutes, and 84 percent within the first 10 minutes. Only about 3 percent of overtime games would require double overtime, and fewer than 1 in 1000 would go to triple-OT. The average overtime game would require just six minutes to complete, barely longer than under the current rules.2And you’d reduce the number of overtime games since the loser point would be eliminated — teams would no longer have an incentive to play for OT. And with just three skaters on the ice at a time, teams could give their bench plenty of rest between shifts.The NHL could also adopt some compromise or another. It could play five minutes of 4-on-4 overtime immediately at the end of regulation, as it does now, then clean the ice3During the regular season, the NHL doesn’t bring the Zamboni out and clean the ice after regulation, something you’d probably need to do if you’re going to play more than a few minutes worth of extra hockey. As a fan, I don’t get why the NHL seems to be in a rush to finish overtime games during the regular season — I love the tension that builds up during the pre-overtime intermission in the playoffs. and play an indefinite amount of 3-on-3 overtime if needed. It could declare a tie if no one had scored after a full 20-minute period of 3-on-3 overtime. (Ties would be a rarity, almost like they are now in the NFL.) It could keep removing players from the ice until it was just goalie versus goalie.4The NHL would need to relax the rule that prohibits goalies from advancing past the red line. Would you not stop whatever you were doing to watch Henrik Lundqvist versus Tuukka Rask, one-on-one?Or insert your own proposal: Overtime decided by rock-paper-scissors? Nearly anything would be better than the loser point. read more

The Strange Dynasty Of The San Francisco Giants Is Over Yes It

✗ +3 Dodgers1946196642772133.3 Yankees1976198621931127.3 ✓ Over the course of the past decade, the San Francisco Giants put together one of the strangest dynasties in baseball history. And now it is officially coming to an end.The Giants still have five players left over from their 2014 championship season, but the returns have diminished greatly since then. The team is in last place in the National League West; the FiveThirtyEight model currently predicts it to finish 70-92, which would be one of the worst records in franchise history.1Technically the 2017 version was even worse, although that team at least had injuries to blame (and a playoff appearance the year before to suggest a potential turnaround). And it could get worse by season’s end, with ace Madison Bumgarner (among others) on the trade block.The Giants got here in part by trying to extend the dynasty past its expiration date. But who can blame them? When a team’s initial successes defy the odds, it can be especially difficult to know when a downturn is permanent or just a detour along the road to another title. This is especially true of San Francisco, which sandwiched two mediocre nonplayoff seasons in between World Series titles. But we come here not to bury the Giants’ dynasty but to praise it — and imagine how Farhan Zaidi, the new president of baseball operations, might construct another one where the original once stood.So what makes the Giants’ dynasty of the 2010s — and yes, it was a bona fide dynasty — maybe the most interesting ever?Up and downThe simplest answer to that question lies with the team’s every-other-year pattern of success. In even-numbered years from 2010 through 2016, the Giants’ winning percentage was .557; in odd years, it was only .506. But plenty of teams have gone on wild championship roller-coaster rides. The Giants’ version was one of the most memorable because of how unexpectedly it materialized and how difficult it was to get a handle on, even while it was happening.Sabermetrics pioneer Bill James has a method of determining dynastic runs that involves giving out points for seasons of various accomplishments. He keeps a running tally of a team’s dynasty points after each season; whenever a team’s running total hits 10, it automatically becomes a dynasty — of which there have been only 38 in baseball history. ✓✓✓ ✗ Source: billjamesonline.com ✓✓ ✓✓ Cardinals196319712104944.4% ✓✓ +1 ✓✓+2 ✓✓+3 Phillies197619831142825.0 Seasons ✓✓✓✓✓+6 Giants201020163103742.9 ✓✓ ✓+1 Bill James’s dynasty accounting systemWhat an MLB team must do in a season to earn or lose dynasty points ✓✓+4 Yankees19201943106162425.0 +5 Made Playoffs?Won Division?Won Pennant?Won World Series?Losing record90+ Wins?100+ Wins?Dynasty points Keeping in mind that the majority of San Francisco’s dynasty took place in the double-wild-card era, where in theory it is easier to snag an occasional playoff berth to keep the run going, you could argue that a Giants-like run is even harder to pull off now than during the Cardinals’ era (most of which happened when the “playoffs” consisted only of the World Series).If all of this sounds like a knock on what San Francisco accomplished, it’s not. It actually just makes it more fascinating: Only nine teams in history ever won three World Series in a five-year period anyway, and none of those had anywhere near as many ups and downs — nor proved as many doubters wrong — as the 2010-16 Giants did.Growing a dynasty … on top of a dynasty?Surprisingly, that run actually began on the heels of another dynasty, at least according to James’s accounting system. The 2000-04 Giants hit a running total of 10 points as well, despite not winning any championships, because they won at least 90 games five years in a row with two division crowns, a pennant in 2002 and 100 victories in 2003. That team was powered by Barry Bonds at the peak of his historic hitting powers,4And with Bonds allegedly benefiting from performance-enhancing drugs. with help from second baseman Jeff Kent, pitcher Jason Schmidt and shortstop Rich Aurilia. But the club’s performance fell after much of Bonds’s supporting cast signed elsewhere (SB Nation recently made a great video about the bitter Bonds-Kent feud), and the Giants’ main attraction in the ensuing seasons was Bonds’s largely joyless pursuit of Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record.By 2008, Bonds was out of baseball and the Giants were terrible, winning just 72 games. They had just three players who had been ranked among Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects in the previous few seasons: pitchers Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez. Their farm system ranked just 23rd in baseball. Practically nothing about the Giants’ situation suggested that another dynasty was around the corner.But as bleak as San Francisco’s outlook appeared to be, the ingredients were largely in place for the run that was to come. To go with Cain and Lincecum, fellow dynasty cornerstones Bumgarner, Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt would all be drafted in 2007-09, while third baseman Pablo Sandoval and reliever Sergio Romo both made their MLB debuts in the summer of 2008. Nine players were on all three Giants championship squads — Posey, Bumgarner, Cain, Sandoval, Romo, Lincecum, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez — and of those, six were either acquired by or made their MLB debuts for San Francisco in the 18-month span between May 2007 and November 2008. The team had also hired manager Bruce Bochy away from the division-rival San Diego Padres prior to the 2007 season.The Giants’ penchant for acquiring and developing homegrown talent helps explain a good amount of their success earlier this decade. From 2010 through 2016, only two teams (the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays) got more total wins above replacement5Averaging together the WAR versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. from players who initially debuted with the team than San Francisco did. That group was headlined by Posey and Bumgarner, both of whom were top-10 draft picks, but it also included a fourth-rounder (Crawford), fifth-rounder (Belt) and 18th-rounder (Matt Duffy) who each peaked as 4-win players or better despite their lack of pedigree.Spare parts to the rescueThose Giants were made all the more interesting by the odd veteran pieces that filled in the gaps around the homegrown talent, particularly in the postseason. Journeyman castoffs Andres Torres and Aubrey Huff led the 2010 Giants in regular-season WAR, while that year’s NLCS MVP was Cody Ross (who had been claimed off waivers from the Marlins in August), and the World Series MVP was veteran shortstop Edgar Renteria, who had missed more than half the regular season with injuries.The trend continued in subsequent title runs. Outfielder Angel Pagan rebounded from a disappointing 2011 season with the Mets to produce 4.4 WAR for the Giants in their 2012 championship campaign. Melky Cabrera, on his fourth team in four years, was the All-Star Game’s MVP and hit an NL-best .346 that year before being suspended for performance-enhancing drugs (and recusing himself from the batting crown). Second baseman Marco Scutaro, picked up via trade in July, claimed NLCS MVP honors. After Posey and Bumgarner, frenetic outfielder Hunter Pence, acquired four days after Scutaro, was the Giants’ best player by WAR in 2013 and 2014, posting an 1.167 on-base plus slugging in the 2014 World Series. Even in 2016, obscure third baseman Conor Gillaspie provided playoff heroics when his ninth-inning home run won the NL wild-card game over the Mets.This quirky combination of young draftees and veteran reclamation projects helped each Giants championship team forge a different identity. The 2010 team was widely identified with Lincecum, Cain and eccentric, heavily bearded closer Brian Wilson. The 2012 version had evolved to become Posey’s team (he was named NL MVP) with Sandoval, the “Kung Fu Panda,” inheriting the role of postseason talisman from Wilson. And the 2014 season was all about the dominance of Bumgarner, who became virtually unhittable in October, winning the NLCS and World Series MVPs. Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean continually found ways to retool the roster on the fly, returning it to a championship level even after a 76-win season in 2013 suggested to many that San Francisco’s days of winning it all were probably over.An extraordinary timeThe Giants’ dynasty was also lucky to come along during an era of comparative parity in Major League Baseball. In 2015, my colleague Rob Arthur and I noted that MLB was getting tougher and tougher to predict during the decade of the 2010s, which happened to overlap with the entirety of San Francisco’s run to that point. In particular, the share of variance in team records explained by luck — which tracks with how compressed team records are across the league — had spiked upward to 64 percent that season, the highest mark since right after the 1994 strike.The Giants weren’t particularly dominant on paper during their dynastic years, never finishing higher than sixth in baseball in Sports-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System during any of their championship seasons, but it was the perfect moment to be a good team that gets hot at exactly the right time. Although it is unlikely that San Francisco’s World Series runs were wholly (or even mostly) the product of making the playoffs and having the postseason crapshoot fall in their favor three times, there’s no denying that the Giants’ path was made easier by the lack of super-teams across the rest of MLB.And now, those days are gone. (Not that it would help the current Giants much if they weren’t.) Starting in 2016, the league became very much top-heavy and thus much easier to predict than it had been earlier in the decade. The simultaneous emergence of juggernauts in the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians over the past few seasons have left the next tier of teams feeling the squeeze. Yes, some of today’s reduced parity also owes to the surplus of tanking teams trying to emulate the championship runs of the Cubs and Astros, but the teams at the top are also just stacked with talent. That has made it much tougher to be a merely solid ballclub with World Series aspirations.The aftermathAfter falling short against the Cubs in the 2016 NL Division Series, the Giants hoped to return to contention with largely the same group plus ex-Nationals closer Mark Melancon (who’d been good the previous season). Instead, Bumgarner injured himself in an early season dirt bike accident, Melancon was terrible, and the team collapsed to 64 wins. Then San Francisco doubled down on reviving its even-year magic in 2018 by trading for 30-something stars Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria. It didn’t work: Longoria was a disappointment at 1.2 WAR, McCutchen was traded to the Yankees at midseason, and Bumgarner was injured again. After 73 wins last year and this season’s 20-26 start, and facing Bochy’s retirement at the end of 2019, the franchise has finally begun staring down the specter of a rebuild.It’s easy to look back with hindsight and criticize the moves San Francisco made to try to keep its window of contention open. Well after the 2014 championship, for instance, the Giants signed pitchers Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Melancon to long-term deals totaling $282 million, which looks like a terrible waste now — as well as a betrayal of the dynasty’s original homegrown roots.But this was also the same team that rode out a playoff absence in 2011 to win again in 2012, and a 76-win disappointment in 2013 to win again in 2014. As Bumgarner told the L.A. Times before this season, “Pretty much every year we’ve won, we were not expected to win.”The retool-on-the-fly mindset served the Giants well — until it didn’t.As much as the failure of recent big-name acquisitions to recapture their former glory has hurt the Giants, another big factor has been the failure of the team’s homegrown core to age gracefully — and the lack of anything in the pipeline behind it. Although Crawford can still make the occasional spectacular play, he is down from a 5-win player in 2016 to a subreplacement one now, and he’ll make $15.2 million each of the next two seasons after 2019. Belt was worth 4.2 WAR in 2016; now he’s on pace for a more middling 2.2 WAR in 2019 despite his $17.2 million salary, which also repeats in 2020 and 2021. Duffy fell off in 2016 and was traded for Matt Moore, who was miserable for the Giants in 2017 and was himself dealt for peanuts.Even with Bumgarner healthy, the Giants have the league’s worst starting rotation according to WAR. And recent drafts have produced little of note. The farm system ranked 26th in Keith Law’s preseason rankings. Things suddenly look dire again.Rebuilding the next dynastyWith Sabean’s successor, Bobby Evans, removed from his post as general manager last September, the man tasked with rebuilding the Giants now is former Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi, who has gained a reputation as an innovator and a genius since leaving his doctoral program at the University of California, Berkeley to join the Oakland A’s front office under billion-dollar Billy Beane in 2005.Zaidi began shaking up San Francisco’s usual methods with a seemingly endless stream of anonymous signings before the season, in the hopes that at least some of them turn into viable major leaguers. That dizzying roster carousel did not let up once the season got underway, either. The team has started to employ modern pitching tactics like using an opener (which went poorly) and having position players like Sandoval throw mop-up innings (which went well!).But Zaidi has also run into friction six months into his new job. Already a figure of suspicion among Giants fans for his Dodger background, Zaidi was booed by season-ticket holders (granted, at Zaidi’s own urging) during a preseason meet-and-greet after he mentioned potentially using the opener. More seriously, he was openly criticized by Derek Holland after the pitcher was demoted from the starting rotation.Maybe all the constant roster-shuffling and other analytics-minded front-office techniques will pay off for San Francisco in the long run. But for now, the Giants are a bad team that can only get worse. The players are noticing — and so are the fans. AT&T Park was home to baseball’s third-best attendance mark as recently as 2017, but no team has shed more fans per game this season than San Francisco, whose 2019 attendance is down by more than 6,000 as compared with last year.How long will the Giants’ rebuild last? It might take a while to clear the current roster’s worst financial obligations from the books. Even in a world without Bumgarner, the team has $124 million committed to just seven players next year, with a payroll that could balloon to $172 million after arbitration and options are picked up. But as San Francisco’s ill-fated late push to sign Bryce Harper showed, the team hasn’t ruled out shelling out money for talent despite starting a new chapter in franchise history. Zaidi’s tightrope walk between alienating one of baseball’s best fan bases and genuinely refreshing the roster should be interesting to watch over the next few seasons.But it does also mean that the Giants dynasty of the early teens is firmly in the rearview mirror. What San Francisco accomplished then still defies statistical explanation to a certain degree, even acknowledging that most dynasties need an unlikely string of good fortune to build a great roster with long-term staying power. Through a combination of strong starting pitching, an impressive homegrown core and unbelievably shrewd veteran pickups, the Giants put together one of baseball’s most improbable strings of championships ever — a run that will be better appreciated only as it recedes into the realm of history. Now we have to see what Zaidi can do as a follow-up act.Check out our latest MLB predictions. ✗-2 ✓ But every dynasty also has to end. When a team has a zero-point season, its rolling tally drops at least 2 points (it falls by 3 if the team also has a losing record). When the rolling tally dips to zero again, or the team has three straight pointless seasons, the dynasty is definitively over.2And the dynasty’s final season is retroactively set to the last year in which the team picked up any dynasty points.This decade’s Giants officially qualified as a dynasty by hitting 10 points after the 2014 World Series victory, ultimately extending the span of their run from 2010 to 2016 with one additional playoff appearance.3Technically the Giants haven’t had three straight zero-point seasons or a running total of zero yet (their running total was 3 through 2018, which was their second-straight zero-point season), but our model gives them next to no chance of picking up any dynasty points — and thereby extending the run — in 2019. But of those seven seasons, three contributed nothing to (and therefore actively detracted from) San Francisco’s running dynasty total. Among the 38 distinct teams that James’s system considers dynasties, only one — the 1963-71 St. Louis Cardinals — had a higher share of their “dynasty years” contribute nothing to the dynasty itself. +2 Cardinals1926193531731030.0 The weirdest dynasties ever?Among MLB dynasties (as defined by Bill James’s point system), largest share of seasons during a run that contributed zero points to the dynasty In general, a season contributes nothing to the dynasty if the team fails to make the playoffs or win 90 games.Source: Baseball Databank Angels200220091112825.0 -3 Red Sox2002201841851729.4 TeamStartEndTitlesMax Dynasty PtsZero-PtTotalZero-Pt Share Dodgers1973199121381942.1 read more

The Global BBC iPlayer has secured the rights to t

first_imgThe Global BBC iPlayer has secured the rights to two UK sporting events, the Grand National and the London Marathon.This follows the recent signing of rights to the University Boat Race.This month, coverage of the Grand National horse racing event and the London Marathon will be made available to international subscribers within days of their original broadcast in the UK.A package of highlights from the Grand National will be available on the Global BBC iPlayer in Australia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg. Coverage from the London Marathon will be available in Australia, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg.Matthew Littleford, general manager, Global BBC iPlayer said: “Our subscribers wanted iconic British sport, and here they have it. The Grand National and London Marathon are packed with action, heritage and some of the sporting year’s biggest talking points, and I’m glad that we can bring them to our users around the world.”last_img read more

Liberty Globalowned cable operator UPC Poland has

first_imgLiberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Poland has added kids channel Top Kids HD to its programming line-up.The channel will air a mux of cult cartoons of the ’80s and ‘90s. the channel comes from Michał Winnicki Entertainment, the company behind channels Power TV HD and Adventlure HD. Programmes on the new service will include Inspector Gadget, Dennis the Menace and Babar.The launch takes the number of HD services on UPC Poland’s offering to 87.last_img

Facebook Snaps Up FaceSwapping App Creator Masquerade

first_img Brought to you by Reuters Facebook Snaps Up Face-Swapping App Creator Masquerade Facebook Inc. is acquiring Masquerade Technologies Inc., creator of the popular face-swapping app MSQRD, as part of efforts by the world’s largest social network operator to build its video services.Wednesday’s deal comes nearly three years after the Wall Street Journal reported that photo and video messaging app Snapchat had rejected an offer from Facebook.Masquerade, which announced the deal on its website, did not disclose financial details.The deal is more a piece of Facebook’s bigger effort to innovate into video, Monness, Crespi, Hardt, & Co. Inc. analyst James Cakmak said.It is unlikely that Facebook would use Masquerade to significantly draw away Snapchat users, he said.While Snapchat has features such as bulging eyes, Masquerade allows users to add special effects including animal masks and snow to their photos and video.Masquerade, backed by Yuri Gurski and Gagarin Capital, said founders Eugene Nevgen, Sergey Gonchar and Eugene Zatepyakin will join Facebook.The app will continue as a standalone product, Masquerade said.(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)  Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. 2 min read Image credit: Kim Lachance Shandrow | Instagram Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand March 10, 2016center_img Add to Queue Reuters Next Article –shares Facebook Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Study provides new understanding of rotavirus infections in newborns

first_img Source:https://www.bcm.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 28 2018Using a multidisciplinary approach, an international team of researchers from several institutions, including Baylor College of Medicine, reveals that complex interactions between sugars and the microbiome in human milk influence neonatal rotavirus infection. Reported in the journal Nature Communications, this study provides new understanding of rotavirus infections in newborns and identifies maternal components that could improve the performance of live, attenuated rotavirus vaccines.”Rotavirus infection causes diarrhea and vomiting primarily in children younger than 5, with the exception of babies younger than 28 days of age, who usually have no symptoms. However, in some places, infections in newborns are associated with severe gastrointestinal problems. What factors mediate differences between newborns with and without symptoms are not clearly understood,” said first and corresponding author Dr. Sasirekha Ramani, assistant professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. “We began our investigation years ago by determining that a particular strain of rotavirus was associated with both asymptomatic infections and clinical symptoms in newborns.”Ramani and her colleagues first looked for answers from the perspective of the virus. They investigated whether factors such as the amount of virus in newborns or the genome of the virus could be linked to the presence of symptoms in newborns, but did not find any connection between those factors. The researchers then posed the question from the perspective of the newborn. Are there factors in newborns that could explain why this virus infects neonates and why there are differences in clinical presentation?In the lab, the researchers investigated whether components of the mother’s breast milk could inhibit infection of MA104 cells, a well-established model for rotavirus studies, with the particular strain of rotavirus they had identified in the neonatal nurseries in India. Unexpectedly, they discovered that specific sugars present in mother’s milk enhanced infection of cells in culture with the neonatal rotavirus strain.”We were surprised by these results,” Ramani said. “Breast milk is known to enhance newborn protection against rotavirus infection and sugars in breast milk can reduce infectivity of other rotaviruses, but here we found the opposite for this particular strain of the virus.”The researchers then went back to the field to determine whether they could validate the results they had found in the lab in a cohort of mother-infant pairs.Related StoriesGrowth problems in preterm infants associated with altered gut bacteria‘Stomach flu’ vaccine prevents type 1 diabetes in childrenGut-boosting food may put an end to childhood malnutrition worldwide”We found that some of the same specific sugars in breast milk that increase infectivity of cells in culture are present in the milk of mothers of newborns with symptomatic infection,” Ramani said.In addition, the researchers found an association between the microbiome in the mothers’ milk and gastrointestinal symptoms in newborns, which prompted new questions, Ramani explained. How does the microbiome contribute to the differences in gastrointestinal symptoms?”What is most interesting to us is that these sugars also increase the replication of the rotavirus attenuated, live vaccine that is similar to the neonatal virus that we are studying,” Ramani said. “Enhanced viral replication can potentially translate into a more effective immune response against the virus, which would lead to better protection for the infant. This is something we want to explore in the future because it could illuminate strategies to improve the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines in parts of the world where they do not do well.””One of the most important things to us is that these unexpected findings are tightly linked to public health,” said co-author Dr. Mary K. Estes, Cullen Foundation Endowed Professor Chair of Human and Molecular Virology at Baylor College of Medicine and emeritus founding director of the Texas Medical Center Digestive Diseases Center. “The multidisciplinary nature of our team of researchers has allowed us to answer questions about how this unique rotavirus strain infects neonates, confirm the findings in the field and open possibilities to improve the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines where they are needed the most.””These discoveries are a prime example of the urgent need to improve our understanding of the composition and variation in breast milk components,” said co-author Dr. Lars Bode, associate professor of pediatrics and director and chair of Collaborative Human Milk Research at the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence at the University of California, San Diego. “Understanding how rotavirus and other pathogens can take advantage of breast milk components will guide the development of new vaccination strategies to stay ahead in the host-pathogen arms race.”last_img read more

Researchers create 3D vascularized proximal tubule model to study renal reabsorption

first_imgImmunofluorescence staining of a 3D bioprinted vascularized proximal tubule with a proximal tubule epithelial marker stained in green in the proximal tubule channel and a vascular endothelial marker stained in red in the adjacent vascular channel. The magnified cross-section illustrates that the two different cell types form luminal perfusable structures in their respective channels. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 5 2019Every day our kidneys tackle the daunting task of continuously cleaning our blood to prevent waste, salt and excess fluid from building up inside our bodies. To achieve this, the kidneys’ approximately one million filtration units (glomeruli) first remove both waste products and precious nutrients from the blood stream, then specialized structures known as the proximal tubules reabsorb the “good” molecules returning them to our bloodstream. While the reabsorptive functions of the proximal tubule can be compromised by drugs, chemicals, or genetic and blood-borne diseases, our understanding of how these effects occur is still limited. To enable the study of renal reabsorption outside the human body, Wyss Institute Core Faculty member Jennifer Lewis, Sc.D., and her team working within the Wyss Institute’s 3D Organ Engineering Initiative that she co-leads, and in collaboration with the Roche Innovation Center Basel in Switzerland, created a 3D vascularized proximal tubule model in which independently perfusable tubules and blood vessels are printed adjacent to one another within an engineered extracellular matrix. This work builds upon a continuously perfused 3D proximal tubule model reported earlier by the team that still was lacking a functional blood vessel compartment. Using their next-generation device, the team has measured the transport of glucose from the proximal tubule to the blood vessels, along with the effects of hyperglycemia, a condition associated with diabetes in patients. Their study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).Lewis is also the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), the Jianmin Yu Professor of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.”We construct these living renal devices in a few days and they can remain stable and functional for months,” said first-author Neil Lin, Ph.D., who is a Roche Fellow and Postdoctoral Fellow on Lewis’ team. “Importantly, these 3D vascularized proximal tubules exhibit the desired epithelial and endothelial cell morphologies and luminal architectures, as well as the expression and correct localization of key structural and transport proteins, and factors that allow the tubular and vascular compartments to communicate with each other.”Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeAs a first step towards testing drugs and modeling diseases, the team induced “hyperglycemia”, a high-glucose condition typical of diabetes and a known risk factor for vascular disease, in their model by circulating a four-fold higher than normal glucose concentration through the proximal tubule compartment. “We found that high levels of glucose transported to endothelial cells in the vascular compartment caused cell damage,” said Kimberly Homan, Ph.D., a co-author on the study and Research Associate in Lewis’ group at the Wyss Institute and SEAS. “By circulating a drug through the tubule that specifically inhibits a major glucose transporter in proximal tubule epithelial cells, we prevented those harmful changes from happening to the endothelial cells in the adjacent vessels.”The team’s immediate focus is to further scale up these models for use in pharmaceutical applications. “Our system could enable the screening of focused drug libraries for renal toxicity and thus help reduce animal experiments,” said Annie Moisan, Ph.D., a co-author and industry collaborator on the study, and Principal Scientist at Roche Innovation Center Basel. “I am thrilled by the continued efforts from us and others to increase the physiological relevance of such models, for example by incorporating patient-specific and diseased cells, since personalized efficacy and safety are the ultimate goals of predicting clinical responses to drugs.””Our new 3D kidney model is an exciting advance as it more fully recapitulates the proximal tubule segments found in native kidney tissue,” said Lewis. “Beyond its immediate applications for drug screening and disease modeling, we are also exploring whether these living devices can be used to augment kidney dialysis.” Currently, life-saving dialysis machines filter blood, but they are unable to retrieve precious nutrients and other species from the filtrate that the body needs for many of its functions, which can cause specific deficiencies and complications down the line. Lewis and her colleagues believe that 3D bioprinted vascularized tubules may lead to improved renal replacement therapies.”This study presents a significant step forward in human kidney engineering that enables human disease and drug-related studies to be carried out over extended periods of time in vitro. It also represents a major step forward for the Wyss Institute’s 3D Organ Engineering Initiative, which aims to generate functional organ replacements with enhanced functionalities for patients in need.” said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at HMS and the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as Professor of Bioengineering at SEAS.Source: https://wyss.harvard.edu/renal-reabsorption-in-living-devices/last_img read more

Dog walking increases risk of bone fractures in older adults

first_imgDog walking has a number of physical and emotional benefits, and many older people regularly walk dogs to stay active and enjoy the company of their pets. However, the number of older people needing medical treatment for injuries associated with walking dogs has seen a significant increase, up from 1,700 in 2014 to 4,400 in 2017, approximately.A retrospective, cross-sectional analysis formed the basis of the study, with information taken from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, which provides anonymous data on product- and activity-related injuries available to the public. It includes around 100 US hospital emergency departments.The team reviewed 1033 fracture cases occurring between 2004 and 2017 in patients of 65 years or older. Their review discovered a sex disparity in injury burden, with women suffering the most fracture cases, urging that older women be made “aware of the risk” of dog ownership.Hip fractures were the most common injury sustained, with the upper extremity being the most frequently injured region, including wrist, upper arm, finger, and shoulder fractures. Out of all patients, 28.7 percent required hospital treatment.Mortality rates related to hip fractures in patients over 65 almost reach 30%. This is due to hip fractures leading to sudden, significant changes in lifestyle, such as decreased activity levels and mobility.The publication acknowledged some limitations to the study, stating, “our findings likely underestimate the morbidity associated with elderly Americans walking leashed dogs.”The study, which is believed to be the first of its kind, only investigated reported fracture cases, and cases from people who visited an emergency room. Other injuries, such as tendon and muscle damage, and patients who did not wish to follow up other types of care were not included in the study.Details like the size of the dogs and whether operative interventions were needed were also not included in the investigation.The study, which was published in JAMA Surgery on March 6th 2019, does not intend to deter older people from staying active by walking dogs. Instead, it aims to draw “attention to an activity that can result in significant injury.”It goes on to say that for “older adults – especially those living alone and with decreased bone mineral density – the risks associated with walking leashed dogs merit consideration.” By Lois Zoppi, BAMar 8 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Older Americans who stay active by dog walking are more likely to fracture a bone than their peers, according to a new study by Penn Medicine researchers. Everyday actions mean everyday consequences. […] While it is important for medicine to sometimes focus on the rarer but devastating conditions such as cancer and heart attacks, we also have to remember that understanding and improving the little things in life can have a dramatic, positive effect.”Jaimo Ahn, MD, Ph.D., Senior Author Discussing their findings, authors of the study wrote that clinicians could help minimize risk of fractures in older people by “advocating for preventative actions, such as obedience training […] or suggesting smaller dog breeds”. Source:Fractures in Elderly Americans Associated With Walking Leashed Dogs. JAMA Surgery. 2019.last_img read more

People with concussion have markedly higher risk of being out of a

first_imgFACT BOX: Register-based research and personal data in Denmark Source:University of Copenhagen It is surprising, that the effect of a concussion has such severe consequences for this group of people and their ability to maintain a normal job even five years after the trauma. Long-term symptoms like fatigue and difficulties in concentrating can of course afflict anyone regardless of their level of education. What stands out is that those with a higher education are in such higher risk of losing their job. It could be due to the fact, that they often hold jobs where they plan and prioritize their tasks and the workload by themselves, and that the mental surplus and overview required to do so are some of the skills that are often severely impaired in the aftermath of a concussion.”Hana Malá Rytter, Associate Professor in Neuropsychology, University of Copenhagen and Head of the Danish Concussion Center Via registers of i.e. Statistics Denmark and the National Board of Health, researchers can follow a person’s life on a number of parameters. Information on citizens’ health, work, education, marital status, housing etc. is collected and stored in these records. Researchers in register-based research can apply for access to the data they are interested in, if they are able to argue why they should have access to the desired information. They are only allowed access to depersonalized information so that citizens’ personal data is kept protected. This means that researchers can follow groups of individuals’ data, for example linking information about health and annual income, but they cannot see the identity of the individual person. The researchers do not have permission to look for or report statistics that can identify individuals, and there are extra strict requirements regarding particularly sensitive data such as health data. The large data files are physically located on Statistics Denmark’s secure servers, so no data is stored locally with the researchers. Not able to do the sameEven though it might sound like a great advantage to be able to plan your workday yourself whilst recovering from a head trauma, it is in fact often an advantage for these patients, if someone else takes charge and hands out simple, well defined job tasks to be completed one at a time. This may be one of the reasons, why researchers find that people with low education levels are better able to keep their job.-People with higher education often hold positions, where they are required to multi-task, engage in teamwork and shift focus between different tasks while making decisions and taking responsibility. Skills that are often challenged, when long-term symptoms after concussion impair the ability to concentrate. Our data indicate that part of these patients must face that they simply are not able to do the same, as they used to before, says Hana Malá Rytter.The study is the first register data-based study that analyses patients’ labor market activity up to five years after a concussion, and it is the first study to reveal what specific groups of patients are affected the most in terms of their employment status in the aftermath of a concussion.Worst for the 30-somethingsThe researchers also identified another specific group of patients that were markedly more at risk of leaving the labour market following a concussion: People between the ages of 30-39. Data showed that their risk of having left a regular job five years after a concussion was twice as high, compared to people of the same age in the control group without concussion. According to Hana Malá Rytter, this may have to do with the life situation in which people in their thirties often find themselves.- Men and women in their thirties have often completed their education a few years earlier and are just establishing themselves in their professional life and as a family too. In this phase of life, people often make high demands on themselves both in and outside their workplaces. Moreover, becoming parents is a challenging and stressful process for young families. Expectations regarding the capacity of the individual are often towering – both from employers, colleagues, family members and from the individuals themselves. So once they are struck by long-term consequences of a concussion that often reduce their mental surplus and their ability to focus. Their whole life situation suffers so much harder, than if this happened later in life. And this seems to make some of them give up on their job, explains Hana Malá Rytter.Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsFor people in their forties, the risk of losing a job following a concussion is raised approximately 30% compared to peers without concussion, while the researchers hardly saw any increase in people leaving the workforce following a concussion in the group of 50-59-year-olds.- Senior professionals may have a more relaxed attitude to what they are supposed to accomplish in life in general and in their professional career in particular. From other studies we also know that it is easier to adjust to a long-lasting disease, if this happens later in life, says Hana Malá Rytter.Better advice for patientsAccording to Hana Malá Rytter, patients should receive better and more precise advice from both doctors, nurses and other professionals in the health and social care system following a concussion. It is important that the patients’ entire life situation is taken in to account.Patients with concussion rarely receive actual treatment, as the brain primarily needs time and rest in order to heal. In general, patients are advised to merely go home and take it easy for a few weeks – and to pay attention to what level of activity they feel they are able to handle. And that can create a false expectation that they are soon back in business.- It differs greatly how much activity people expect of themselves, and health professionals need to draw attention to the cognitive and mental limitations that often strike the young professionals and those with higher education in the wake of a concussion. They need to be told, that this may take many weeks or even months, before they can expect to be back at full speed in the way they were prior to the head trauma. If not, they may strain their mental capacities and that can delay the healing of the traumatized brain, explains Hana Malá Rytter and continues:- Furthermore, they may experience defeat, when the exhaustion causes symptoms to worsen again and they have to give up. This can cause stress and we know from other studies that this will delay the healing process.The researchers also identified two other groups that are at particular high risk of losing attachment to the labor market: Patients with chronic diseases (i.e. diabetes, heart- or liver disease or HIV) prior to the concussion, and patients that were of non-Danish origin. This is not surprising, as plenty of research points to the fact that chronic disease in itself has a very negative effect on a person’s perceived life quality. In addition, being part of a minority group is linked to a series of problems that increase the risk of early retirement and receiving disability payment.FACT BOX: Labor market attachment after mild traumatic brain injury the survey is the first register study on patients with concussion, where researchers follow a large number of patients for several years. (2003-2007) 19,732 Danes aged 18-60 years and diagnosed with concussion in hospitals were followed five years after the incident. researchers did not study the patients’ physical symptoms following concussion, but the analyzed on patients’ labor market attachment six months and five years after the concussion respectively to see, if they were in regular work, without work, in reduced-hour jobs or on early retirement. the results are adjusted in terms of gender, age, location in the country, marital status, income, education, ethnicity, and already existing illness. Only persons, who at the beginning of the survey were either working or job seeking, were included in the survey. People who had had previous concussions over the past five years, and people with psychiatric diagnoses were excluded. the control group consisted of 18,640 Danes without concussion. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 10 2019A hard tackle on the football-field, a crash on your bike or a fall from a ladder in your home can easily cause a concussion, which eventually can cost your job – especially if you are in your thirties, and have a higher education.These are some of the findings in a large new register-based data research study from a team of researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark led by PhD student in Public Health, Heidi Graff, and neuropsychologist Hana Malá Rytter from the Department of Psychology.Each year 25,000 people in Denmark are diagnosed in hospitals with concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) that make up roughly 90% of all injuries causing trauma to the head. Although mortality is low, and surgical intervention rarely required, up to 15% of patients suffer from persistent symptoms and functional impairment following the injury, that may have severe personal costs and often make it hard to resume their normal jobs and lives.The Danish study includes all groups of patients and is representative for the general population in Denmark in terms of age, geography, education, family background and marital status.Using register data from 19,732 Danes between the ages of 18 and 60 that were all diagnosed with a concussion, researchers traced the patients’ attachment to the labor market during five years and compared the data to an equally sized control group of people without concussion.They found that people with concussion have a markedly higher risk of being out of a job five years after the trauma. Instead they are unemployed, receiving payments due to disability or early pension or working part-time supported by social benefits.Especially two groups of patients were severely struck by long-term symptoms: Those in their thirties and those with a higher education.Five years of labor market dataThe researchers did not examine the patients physically or screen their medical records to assess the patients´ medical symptoms following the concussion. They merely looked at their labor market data six months and five years after the head trauma respectively. Accordingly, they were surprised to find out that people between the ages of 30-39 and those with a higher education are much more likely to have lost their connection to a normal job following a concussion.While people with low education levels (that is having 9 years of primary education and no other education after that) have a 30% higher risk of leaving the normal labor market following a concussion than people without concussion. The same risk is over 215% for people with higher education (that is having 12 or more years of education, for instance studies at college or university level)last_img read more

Uncovering the secrets of the human bodys perception of touch

More information: Masashi Nakatani et al. TECHTILE Workshop for Creating Haptic Content, Pervasive Haptics (2016). DOI: 10.1007/978-4-431-55772-2_12 Masashi Nakatani et al. Softness sensor system for simultaneously measuring the mechanical properties of superficial skin layer and whole skin, Skin Research and Technology (2012). DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0846.2012.00648.x Srdjan Maksimovic et al. Epidermal Merkel cells are mechanosensory cells that tune mammalian touch receptors, Nature (2014). DOI: 10.1038/nature13250 Journal information: Nature Nakatani and colleagues invented the TECHTILE toolkit to promote people to appreciate the sense of touch. “I think that modern haptic devices must provide greater value for us to enjoy our daily lives,” says Nakatani. One of Nakatani’s students, Kazuki Sakurada, has developed a smartphone-based haptic chat system with audio-vibrotactile feedback to provide a sense of presence of others during text conversations. “This study may yield clues about the importance of somatic feedback in emotional attachment with other people (Fig. 2),” says Nakatani. “In the long term, I would like to enhance human abilities to extract valuable knowledge from overwhelming, excessive information in the environment.” Now, Nakatani is concentrating on developmental psychology in infants, a topic that was triggered by a chance meeting with an educator developing parenting classes for children from 0 to 6 years old, who wanted to use state-of-the-art media technology that included haptics. “This sounded like a very cool concept and I decided to collaborate to develop a parenting service for children,” explains Nakatani. “I’m studying how infants explore and ‘feel their world’ using their vision and touch before they have even acquired language skills. They are collecting information needed to survive.” Underscoring concerns about the effects of modern technology on children’s behavior, Nakatani is analyzing how current technologies such as smartphones and tablet PCs affect their visual and haptic exploratory behavior. “My working hypothesis is that some kids have less opportunities to explore with touch modality because of exposure to massive amounts of information and communications via visual modality, so that they explore environments less manually and actively,” explains Nakatani. The Keio SFC campus is also conducive for interdisciplinary research, an important factor for Nakatani to be able to pursue his studies on haptics and other research field. “I am working with a music-neuroscientist, Dr. Shinya Fujii, on the relationship between auditory and haptic feedback on subjective frisson, that is the ‘feeling of being chilled and touched’,” says Nakatani. “One of my goals is to clarify how body perception helps us acquire cognitive skills that are unique to human beings, particularly in the modern information age” (Fig.1). Provided by Keio University Scientific research has yielded deep understanding on the human senses of sight, hearing, smell, and taste. But knowledge about bodily perceptions of the sense of touch is still limited. For example, during a handshake, who is shaking whose hand? The answer to this question is just one of the multifaceted aspects of touch being studied by ‘haptics scientist’ Masashi Nakatani. “I am intrigued by human somatosensory (touch and body) perception and its utilization for positive psychological and cognitive effects in our daily lives,” says Nakatani, who commenced his research on the Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University, in April 2017. “I started studying touch modality 16 years ago as an undergraduate. My doctorate was about human tactile perception for developing tactile displays that can provide information through the skin surface.” After his doctorate, Nakatani investigated touch receptors embedded in the skin in a dermatology laboratory and also worked in industry on developing tactile sensors for evaluating cosmetics. Controlling core switching in Pac-man disks Explore further Figure 2: Smartphone-based haptic text-based chat system with audio-vibrotactile feedback for sense of presence. Credit: Kazuki Sakurada, SFC TOUCH LAB Figure 1: Children from 0 to 6 years old explore their environments to collect information necessary for their survival. Credit: ISETAN SHINJUKU Citation: Uncovering the secrets of the human body’s perception of touch (2018, March 8) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-uncovering-secrets-human-body-perception.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Can FraudBuster help insurers use big data to combat fraud

FraudBuster is a new data-driven approach designed to help insurers in high fraud rate markets, such as the automobile insurance market, proactively identify risk and reduce fraud. The unique design and deployment of FraudBuster is described in an article in Big Data. Citation: Can FraudBuster help insurers use big data to combat fraud? (2018, April 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-fraudbuster-big-combat-fraud.html More information: Saurabh Nagrecha et al, FraudBuster: Reducing Fraud in an Auto Insurance Market, Big Data (2018). DOI: 10.1089/big.2017.0083 Explore further Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers Pain of rejection makes us more likely to commit fraud Provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc The Special Issue on Profit-Driven Analytics was led by Guest Editors Bart Baesens (KU Leuven, Belgium), Wouter Verbeke (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium), and Cristián Bravo (University of Southampton, U.K.).In the article entitled “FraudBuster: Reducing Fraud in an Auto Insurance Market,” Saurabh Nagrecha, Reid Johnson and Nitesh Chawla, University of Notre Dame, IN, described how their novel approach focused on proactively predicting bad risks at the underwriting stage, rather than waiting until a claim is filed to identify fraud. The authors showed that while FraudBuster cannot predict which drivers are likely to get into an accident and commit fraud, it can help identify drivers that are unprofitable and are likely to be fraudulent risks.The special issue also features the article “A Literature Survey and Experimental Evaluation of the State-of-the-Art in Uplift Modeling; A Stepping Stone Toward the Development of Prescriptive Analytics,” by Floris Devriendt and Wouter Verbeke, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Darie Moldovan, Babe?-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. In this article the researchers provide an extensive comparative overview of the different approaches to uplift modeling. They perform an experimental evaluation of four real-world data sets to demonstrate the advantages and limitations of different uplift models, which are used to estimate the effect of a strategy, such as a direct marketing campaign, on the outcome based on identified control variables. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Nigeria orders SAfricas MTN to refund 813 bln

first_img The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said in a statement late Wednesday that MTN had not obtained approval before transfering the funds.The banks had breached foreign exchange rules by failing to verify if the company had met all the requirements, it added. The head-to-head dispute brings together the biggest telecoms group in Africa and the continent’s biggest market.MTN’s shares slumped as much as 19 percent in early trade in Johannesburg to 86.99 rand ($5.97), the lowest since March 2009.”The CBN has asked the managements of the banks and MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to immediately refund the sum of $8,134,312,397.63,illegally repatriated by the company to the coffers of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” CBN said. Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank Nigeria Limited, Stanbic IBTC Bank Limited and Diamond Bank Plc were found to have helped MTN illegally repatriate $8.134 billion between 2007 and 2015, in breach of Nigeria’s foreign exchange and anti-money laundering laws, it said. The CBN said Standard Chartered was fined 2.4 billion naira ($7.86 million); Stanbic IBTC 1.8 billion naira, Citibank 1.2 billion naira; and Diamond Bank PLC 250 million naira. The central bank said it took the action after a thorough inquiry.”Upon the conclusion of the investigation, the Committee of Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria met with the management of… the banks as well as representatives of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited in Lagos on May 25, 2018,” it said. “This was to give all the parties fair hearing, towards taking an informed decision on the matter.”MTN management was not immediately available for comment on Thursday. The sanction was the latest to hit MTN since it began operations in Nigeria 17 years ago.MTN was fined $5.2 billion in 2015 by Nigeria’s telecoms regulator NCC for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards on its network. The fine was later reduced to $1.7 billion after a series of negotiations with the Nigerian government. Nigeria’s central bank has ordered South African telecoms giant MTN to refund $8.13 billion (6.96 billion euros) that it allegedly illegally repatriated and fined four banks involved in the transfer. MTN and Nigeria’s central bank are at loggerheads over billions of dollars that the South African telecoms giant repatriated © 2018 AFP Citation: Nigeria orders S.Africa’s MTN to refund $8.13 bln (2018, August 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-nigeria-safrica-mtn-refund-bln.htmlcenter_img Explore further Nigeria slashes telecoms company fine by a third to $3.4 bln This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Low wages land availability transparent policies key to investments in Odisha Patnaik

first_imgSHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL Orissa COMMENT September 12, 2018 naveen-patnaik COMMENTS  Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held an investors meet here on Wednesday, ahead of the ‘Make in Odisha’ conclave in November, with the State highlighting low wages and land availability as competitive advantages to attract investment.Patnaik said his administration has demonstrated its commitment to deliver projects on ground “using the mantra of teamwork, technology and transparency.”New projects“In the last six months, we conducted ground-breaking ceremonies of 50 projects, entailing an investment of over ₹17,000 crore,” he said at the function.The State government had organised a similar event in Mumbai in August, inviting industrialists to the ‘Make in Odisha’ event in Bhubaneswar between November 11-15. Japan is the partner country this year.Jindal Steel and Power Ltd Chairman Naveen Jindal and OYO Room founder CEO Ritesh Agarwal were among the industrialists who attended the meeting.Jindal said Odisha has a lot of advantages such as better connectivity through ports, improved infrastructure and a stable government, and the group has invested over ₹45,000 crore in the State.Friendly policiesThe OYO CEO said that the State policies are investor-friendly and attractive, and the company has become a leading hotel chain in the State in the last two years.SMS group India MD and CEO Marc Hoffmann and Shahi Group Chairman Harish Ahuja were also present.In his address, Patnaik said Odisha is a mineral-rich State, accounting for 54 per cent aluminium production and the State government is preparing a Vision 2030 document for development of ancillary units in the metal sector.Odisha is also a power surplus State where electricity generation has trebled and road network has gone up by 50 per cent. The port capacity has increased from 20.5 MMT to 190 MMT, he said. “Odisha has a visible start-up initiative; 250 start-ups have been registered and we are posed to be among the top three start-up of India by 2020,” he added.Competitive advantageLater, talking to the media, State Industry Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said the State has a competitive advantage over well-known investor destinations such as Maharashtra and Gujarat because of cheap labour, land availability and low cost of living. He said that dedicated sector-specific clusters and over 1,20,000 acres of land bank were available for industrial development.He outlined that 65 per cent of the ₹2 lakh crore investment committed in the first make in Odisha event 2016 were under various stages of implementation. Published onlast_img read more

Clash between college students turns ugly one stabbed by SFI activists

first_imgClash between college students turns ugly, one stabbed by SFI activistsThird year BA student Akhil was allegedly stabbed by members of the SFI unit in the college. Akhil, who sustained injuries in the attack was taken to the general hospital.advertisement P S Gopikrishnan Unnithan ThiruvananthapuramJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 15:23 IST Image for representationA clash between two groups of students has taken an ugly turn after one student was stabbed. The incident took place at the famous University College in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.Third year BA student Akhil was allegedly stabbed by members of the SFI unit in the college. Akhil, who sustained injuries in the attack was taken to the general hospital. He was referred to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College after the first aid was provided to him. Doctors have said that the injury isn’t serious.According to other students present in the campus, the incident happened around 12 noon on Friday. Akhil skipped the class and was standing outside talking to his friends. A group of SFI unit members who noticed this confronted Akhil and asked him get inside the classroom.This lead to an altercation between Akhil and other SFI activists. Students alleged that he was brutally thrashed and later stabbed by the SFI activists.Following the incident, third year students held a demonstration outside the government secretariat against the SFI.The University College in Thiruvananthapuram is regarded as a fortress of CPI(M) students wing, SFI.Also read | Interpol issues global alert to trace German woman who went missing in Kerala 4 months agoAlso read | German national missing in Kerala since March, Interpol says may have links with terror outfitsFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup 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 byAnumika Bahukhandi Tags :Follow ThiruvananthapuramFollow KeralaFollow SFI activistsFollow Thiruvananthapuram university college Nextlast_img read more