SETI Finds Intelligent Humans

first_imgThe Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is 50 years old this year.  SETI’s latest scientific discovery was the detection of a human-made satellite in Earth orbit.  In a sense, this counts as a success: the detection of a signal of intelligent origin from an extra-terrestrial source (i.e., beyond terra firma).  The false alarm helped calibrate the instrumentation, but did little to garner support for the effort to find aliens.  The SETI Institute was all SETI-ready to party hardy at the 50th anniversary of Frank Drake’s first search, but instead, found itself struggling to keep its doors open after a severe shortfall of private funds, highlighting questions about the scientific status of the long-shot project.A group of SETI astronomers at UC Berkeley thought they might cut to the chase in the needle-in-a-haystack search by focusing on potentially Earth-like planets detected by the Kepler spacecraft, code-named “Kepler Objects of Interest” (KOI).  Using the Green Bank Radio Telescope, they pointed to some of these objects and generated graphs of time vs. radio frequency.  Two of the objects, KOI-812 and KOI-817, showed traits predicted for intelligent signals: narrow bands that oscillated in intensity, so they published the graphs as “first candidates” (available here).  The news generated a very brief flutter of interest (see PhysOrg and Universe Today), even though the announcement was qualified with the statement, “it is most likely to be interference” from artificial satellites.  And it was; leading to a hasty “sorry” from the Berkeley team for the false alarm (Huntsville Times).Jason Palmer at the BBC News paid a visit to the Allen Telescope Array of the SETI Institute, its facilities closed due to lack of funds.  He published two stories and video clips.  In the first on the BBC News he called it “array of hope.”  Because a successful detection of alien life is such a long shot, hope is needed in the best of times; but “it’s never been this bad,” SETI Institute principal astronomer Seth Shostak lamented.  With the Allen Array out of operations pending fund-raising efforts, hope is focused on other efforts like [email protected] or signals other than radio.  For instance, Paul Davies thinks aliens may have left their imprint on our DNA.The video clip gave Seth Shostak, Frank Drake, Paul Vakoch and Jill Tarter a moment to state some SETI selling points:Signals might be coming through our bodies right now, if we were only detecting them (Shostak).We might be on the verge of the biggest discovery in human history, and one that might be able to help humanity solve some of its largest problems (Palmer).With the right technology, we could be within 20 years of detection (Vakoch).Knowledge that an alien civilization has survived its own problems would assure us there are solutions to global warming and pollution (Tarter).Alien detection is not just a curiosity, but would tell us we are “not a miracle, not so special, but another duck in the row,” Shostak said.  Catching himself on why anybody would want to know that, he added, “It’s very important to find that you’re not the center of the universe.  Ask Copernicus or Galileo.”At the end of the article, Tarter found an alternative energy source to keep “array of hope” alive.  If electrical power costs more than funds permit, SETI “hasn’t lost any of its impact and its emotive power,” she said.In his second installment on the BBC News, Palmer focused on the “What if?” part of SETI.  What if we detected an alien civilization?  Shostak, Davies, and Vakoch opined on that question.  Short answer is: no, Earth would not panic.  The other half of the “What if?” coin is whether we should respond back.  Vakoch thinks we should let them know how nice we are.  We should send evidence of our altruism and love for beauty.  He even prepared a simple powerpoint-like series of images to show a human figure helping another off a cliff.  A message showing a nautilus shell with its design based on the Fibonacci Series might help aliens realize our love for mathematical elegance.  Asking “What if?” is not utterly worthless, Vakoch argued, even if no aliens are ever detected. “Perhaps more important than even communicating with extraterrestrials, this whole enterprise of composing messages is a chance to reflect on ourselves and what we care about and how we express what’s important.”  Anyone can do that without millions of dollars running 42 linked radio telescopes, so it’s not clear how helpful that idea will be raising the money they need.In the accompanying video clip in the BBC article, Drake admitted that a radio pulse from aliens would tell us nothing about the nature of the creatures that sent it, unless we can listen in on their TV.   Eavesdropping on their programs might reveal all kinds of interesting things, like whether their quarterbacks pray after touchdowns.  Shostak isn’t worried about a detection sending a wave of panic through the human race; “Don’t cry wolf,” he says, just verify the signal and leave the reply to the governments.  Palmer adds that detection couldn’t be hidden for long, anyway.  News would probably go from backroom chatter to Twitter in no time.There’s a “small outfit in Vienna” called the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), presumably tasked with speaking for the Earth.  But it hasn’t been too helpful letting the American SETI advocates provide input for their “notional red binder” of what our reply should be, Palmer noted.  Vakoch once again suggested his powerpoint-slide idea for showing the aliens how altruistic humans are.  Shostak just wants to get on with the search.  “You can think of lots of ways that this experiment wouldn’t work,” he admitted; “So what do you do?  Sit around on your hands?  No, you say, let’s try the experiment anyway, because if you succeed, you’ve really learned something interesting.”For now, though, the SETI Institute has to content itself with running its Array of Hope on “emotive power,” which is cheap and universally available.Exercise.  Think of an experiment that would be very expensive, with a very low probability of success that might take decades or centuries, but, if successful, would reveal something interesting.  Create a list of selling points on why private foundations or governments should fund your experiment, but be honest: tell them “You can think of lots of ways that this experiment wouldn’t work.”  Practice your spiel with all the emotive power you can muster, and see if you can convince a friend.SETI advocates are a strange bunch.  They advertise themselves as scientists, but after 50 years of searching, have zero observations to support their claims. Aren’t observations critical for qualifying as science?  (Ask the astrobiologists that one, too, and the proponents of the multiverse.)  Their comeback argument is that they’ve only scratched the surface; so many stars and so many radio frequencies need to be searched before we can answer the question, it’s no wonder we haven’t found the aliens yet.  Sounds reasonable, right?Try that line on any other experiment.  Say you own a purple marble, and in front of you are a hundred billion urns filled with marbles.  Every marble you have sampled for 50 years is white.  Tell your funding source that sampling requires $100 per marble, but now you can sample them faster than ever.  You have now sampled millions of marbles from all over the field, and they are all white.  How do you convince your funding source to keep the search going?  All you have is a hunch that if there is one purple marble, there must be others.  Honestly, though, based on a sample of one, anything is possible; without a testable theory of how the purple marble got into your pocket, you could never know the answer without looking at every marble in every urn.  How many searches do you get before your funding source cuts the flow?  Threatened with the cutoff, you turn up the emotive power.  “But finding just one more purple marble would be interesting,” you say.  “It would show that my purple marble is not special, just another duck in the row.”  Good luck.  “But just knowing another purple marble exists would give the world hope that purple marbles have survived, giving us hope we can solve global human problems.”  Desperation has set in.  This begs the question that humans could generate hope of solving problems without alien help.It would be a far more credible experiment to conduct SETA: The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Angels.  At least there is a long history of eyewitness accounts of angels.  Running the SETA experiment would require separating the credible accounts from the bogus ones, but consider that none other than Jesus Christ affirmed their existence, and eyewitnesses include Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon’s parents, Isaiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Joseph, Mary, Peter, Paul, and many other reputable characters, their accounts documented in the Bible.  So even if you are a materialist, and believe every one of these historical characters must have been misguided by their imaginations, you would have to admit that SETA has a lot more evidence going for it than SETI.  But you say, “Yes, but even if angels exist, they are capricious; I cannot call one up on demand to prove its existence scientifically.”  And your point is?SETI advocates are a strange crowd for another reason: they are almost to a person Darwin lovers and vocal critics of intelligent design.  But they use intelligent design principles in their search; in fact, their whole reason for being is predicated on the validity of segregating intelligently-caused signals from natural ones. (See 12/03/2005.)  SETI provides a classic illustration of Finagle’s Rule #6 for Scientists: “Don’t believe in miracles.  Rely on them.”It’s kind of sad to see the SETI advocates down on their luck, struggling to find money to carry on their search for intelligent causes.  We have a suggestion.  Since they are already keen on design detection techniques, let them come and join the intelligent design movement.  Then they can pursue Paul Davies’ suggestion, with a high probability of success, that evidence of intelligence can be found in DNA and in the natural world.  Intelligent design theory would not even require them to specify the identity of the designer.  They could even believe, like Francis Crick and Fred Hoyle, that it was seeded here by aliens.  All they would have to agree to is dropping methodological naturalism as a cover for philosophical naturalism, a willingness to question the consensus (including the ideas of Charles Darwin), courage to risk losing some friends, and an honest desire to follow the evidence where it leads, evidence being the operative word.  No problems, right?  It’s that good old scientific tradition of critical thinking. Come on over.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read More »

Automatic Emergency Brake Found on Molecular Motor

first_imgIn this article, guest writer Ross Anderson (PhD, biochemistry professor) discusses a new finding about how an ’emergency brake’ works in one of the most vital of all molecular machines, ATP synthase. First, he explains the molecular rotary motor and what it does.Review of “Extrinsic conditions influence the self-association and structure of IF1, the regulatory protein of mitochondrial ATP synthase” by Boreikaite et al., PNAS.Evaluated by Ross S. Anderson, Ph.D.First let’s take a brief look at what the ATP synthase (here referred to simply as the Synthase) is and its importance to life. In eukaryotes the Synthase is located in the mitochondrial inner membrane. In prokaryotes, such as E. coli, it is located in the cell membrane as these organisms lack mitochondria.Why ATP Is ImportantAdenosine triphosphate (ATP) is one of several high-energy compounds used by all cells to drive reactions necessary for life. Without it, life as we know it would not be possible. While it is not the only high-energy compound in the cell, it is the one most widely used by cells. To carry out its moment-to-moment activities a cell must have a constant supply of ATP. Most of the cell’s ATP needs are supplied by the ATP synthase molecular motor.In eukaryotes, such as humans, the mitochondria are the “power houses” of the cell as these contain the Synthase. In order for the synthase to synthesize ATP, there must be a steady supply of oxygen. Oxygen is delivered to the cells via hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The oxygen is then transferred to another protein in the cell known as myoglobin (responsible for the red color of muscle), myoglobin then carries the oxygen to the mitochondria where it serves as an electron acceptor to form water. The electrons come from food molecules eaten by the organism. They are removed by a variety of metabolic pathways and given to electron-carrier molecules such as NAD+ and FAD to form NADH and FADH2, respectively.Optimizing the MotorsElectrons from FADH2 and NADH are then transferred to protein complexes also located in the inner mitochondrial membrane. As the electrons are passed from one protein complex to another and ultimately to oxygen, they are used to power what are termed proton “pumps” which pump protons (H+) out of the mitochondrial matrix (the inner most part of the mitochondria) to the intermembrane space (the space between the inner and outer membranes of the mitochondria). This sets up a proton gradient with a high concentration of protons outside (intermembrane space) and a lower concentration inside (matrix).As protons travel back into the matrix down the gradient, the potential energy in the gradient is used to synthesize ATP. The inner membrane is impermeable to the protons, so to reach the matrix, the protons must travel through the Synthase. As they travel through the synthase, they cause an internal rotor, called the γ subunit to rotate in increments of 120°. As the γ subunit rotates, its contacts with the α3β3 subunits that comprise the knob part of the Synthase protruding into the matrix, cause a series of conformational changes in the 3 β subunits leading to the binding of ADP + Pi, the synthesis of ATP, and the release of ATP.The Role of OxygenAs stated above, in order for the synthase to synthesize ATP, there must be an ample amount of oxygen. However, if the blood supply to an organ is blocked, ischemia, then oxygen delivery is compromised. Under such hypoxic conditions, the Synthase would tend to rotate in the reverse direction and degrade precious ATP. For cells of the heart, the brain and other highly aerobic organs this can be life-threatening. To prevent this from happening, a small polypeptide of variable length, depending on the organism, has been designed to become active and bind to the α3β3 and γ subunits in such a way as to prevent the γ subunit from rotating in reverse and consuming ATP. This polypeptide is called IF1 (inhibitory factor 1).Mitochondrial membranes are optimized to concentrate protons where the ATP synthase motors are. They, in turn, are aligned in pairs to optimize ATP production.An Automatic BrakeUnder hypoxic conditions (low oxygen), the pH of the cell decreases (becomes more acidic), and this causes the IF1 to form dimers which are active and bind to the F1 region of two adjacent Synthases and cross-link them. There is a modest investment of 2 ATP consumed per binding of an IF1, but the savings in ATP can be significant. If conditions return to normal, and the pH rises again, the IF1 dimers form inactive tetramers and higher oligomers. One might compare it to the “hill stopper” function found in many newer cars. This mechanism engages the brakes if it senses that the vehicle is starting to roll backwards down a hill. It stops the wheels, allowing the driver to shift gears without fear of rolling into something behind them.Interestingly, under hypoxic conditions the E coli Synthase is allowed to run in reverse and consume ATP to pump H+s out of the cell; i.e., there is not an IF1-like polypeptide. This is because bacteria use proton gradients for many other purposes, not just the making of ATP. Even under hypoxic conditions the maintenance of these gradients is essential. The bacteria can increase their yield of ATP under these conditions by greatly increasing their consumption of glucose, as ATP can be generated from glucose via the glycolytic pathway which does not require oxygen.The energy demands of eukaryotic cells are greater than prokaryotic cells. Consequently, it is imperative that their mitochondria be supplied with ample amounts of oxygen in order generate the necessary quantities of ATP. While eukaryotic cells also have pathways to generate ATP that do not require oxygen; e.g., glycolysis, these cannot generate the sustained quantities of ATP needed. Any situation that would lead to the consumption of ATP unnecessarily without getting useful work out of it would quickly threaten the life of the cell. Anyone can recognize the “hill stopper” function used in many cars is obviously a designed feature. Similarly, the IF1 is also a design feature in living things used to prevent the unwanted consumption of ATP. It had to be in place and fully functional with the first eukaryotic cells.Good Science Doesn’t Need Evolutionary SpeculationNow that we’ve briefly looked at the Synthase and IF1, and their roles in the cell, let’s look at the article in PNAS.This paper is a good example of scientific research carried out and reported without invoking an evolutionary perspective. No doubt the authors believe in evolution, but they refrained from mentioning it here. This illustrates that important research can be done without a belief in evolution to guide it as nowhere in the article did the authors refer to evolution as a guiding principle. Indeed, no mention of evolution was made.Science, as illustrated by this article, is well equipped to address three questions:What is it? The answer to this question is to provide merely descriptive details as to what it looks like, what kind of molecule is it etc. These authors answered this question quite easily in describing the structure of the bovine IF1; an 84 amino acid polypeptide that binds to the F1 region of ATP synthase and inhibits it.What does it do? This question addresses the function of the object of study. This question was also easily addressed by the authors which explained how this polypeptide binds to the F1 portion of the ATP synthase and how this leads to its inhibition. They discussed how pH, protein concentration and Ca2+ concentration influence the formation of active dimers from inactive tetramers.How does it do what it does? This question asks how the object carries out its function. This question, too, was addressed by the authors. Under low oxygen conditions, such as hypoxia due to ischemia, the pH in the mitochondria decrease, the electron carriers in the inner membrane of the mitochondria are no longer able to pass the electrons onto oxygen and thus become progressively reduced. This leads to a collapse of the proton motive force used to power the synthesis of ATP by the Synthase. Under these conditions, the Synthase tends to do the reverse reaction and degrade ATP to ADP and Pi, thus quickly depleting the ATP concentration of the cell. To prevent this from happening, the lowered pH destabilizes the tetrameric complex of IF1 causing it to be dismantled into the active dimeric form. The dimeric form binds to the F1 portion of the Synthase and interacts with both the α and β subunits as well as the γ Interaction with the γ subunit inhibits its rotation and thus prevents the Synthase from working in reverse to destroy ATP.All too often authors of books and journal articles introduce a fourth question into the mix after addressing the first three in some detail. The fourth question is: How did it come to be? Detailed answering of the first three questions leads the reader to unwittingly have confidence in the answers to this fourth question; they assume that the author(s) know what they are talking about and uncritically accept their answers. What many fail to understand is that in addressing the fourth question one steps out of the arena of science and into the arena of philosophy or worldview. To their credit these authors did not do that, but instead they treated the data and its interpretation as they should have without trying to prop up a belief in evolution.Dr. Anderson’s expertise is in the area of biochemistry and molecular biology. He has taught Biochemistry and helped to direct research projects of graduate and medical students at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. Dr. Anderson was a post-doctoral researcher in the Molecular Genetics Division of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Houston Neurosensory Center.Dr. Anderson was a member of both the undergraduate and graduate faculty at Lamar University, Beaumont, TX. There he taught and directed the research activities of undergraduates and Masters of Science degree candidates in Biology. Currently he is professor of biochemistry at The Master’s University in southern California.Dr. Anderson’s research interests include structure-function studies of DNA polymerizing enzymes and the synthesis and expression of synthetic human genes in bacterial hosts. He has authored or co-authored several publications in major, peer-reviewed journals. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and Sigma Xi Research Society.(Visited 456 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read More »

DOE Targets Innovation in Its Weatherization Program

first_imgAfter a sputtering start, the delivery of services under the expanded Weatherization Assistance Program has in most communities finally gotten up to speed. Now the Department of Energy, which runs the WAP, is looking for ways to enhance the energy efficiency improvements made to the low-income homes targeted by the program while also developing financial models and encouraging partnerships that will help keep the weatherization wagon rolling after its stimulus-funded grants have been spent.To that end, the DOE on Thursday announced that it will award about $90 million to more than 100 local weatherization providers in 27 states to expand their programs by installing renewable-energy systems and other energy efficiency technologies in low-income homes that qualify for WAP upgrades. The agency said the expanded category of weatherization improvements includes solar heating systems, photovoltaic panels and shingles, small-scale wind turbines, new insulation technologies, cool roofs, high-efficiency appliances, tankless hot water systems, high-efficiency combination boilers for hot water and heat, in-home energy monitors, and ductless heat pump systems.Money for innovationIn addition, the DOE said it will distribute $30 million among 16 recipients – some not historically involved in the WAP, including private companies, nonprofits, universities, and city governments, as well as national partners like Habitat for Humanity and YouthBuild USA – who will be charged with developing innovative approaches to weatherizing low-income single-family and multifamily homes. The DOE says the grantee projects will focus on creating “new types of weatherization partnerships, financial models that allow for greater private sector leveraging, workforce training and volunteer engagement, and the demonstration of new energy efficiency technologies like in-home energy monitors. Projects will also test combining weatherization services with a comprehensive ‘green and healthy homes’ approach that incorporates indoor air quality improvement and lead abatement services.”At least one observer, writing for the website Techpulse 360, pointed out that the $90 million aimed at expanding WAP upgrades could, in the realm of low-income housing at least, partially compensate for the absence of funds for renewable-energy improvements under the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan program, which withered after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac declared in early May that they would no longer guarantee mortgages for properties with PACE-related liens. The main reason for the announcement: the liens’ “super-priority lien” status gives them priority over whatever private financing a homeowner may have, including a conventional mortgage.Techpulse 360 makes an interesting point, and any initiative that helps homeowners boost energy efficiency with minimal or no financial stress is generally seen as a positive thing. But it’s also important to note that PACE programs served homeowners in a variety of income categories, including many in high-income brackets.Striving for an optimal weatherization rateThe DOE also used Thursday’s announcement to tout the progress made so far in the WAP’s current, stimulus-funded configuration, since operations in most states are finally up to speed. Overall, the program is weatherizing about 25,000 homes a month, with more than 31,600 homes weatherized in June alone (click here for a PDF of June’s weatherization figures). The DOE says the WAP supported more than 13,000 jobs in the second quarter and, at its current pace, is on track to weatherize about 80,000 homes nationwide this summer.All of the almost 100 weatherization providers (click here for the list) selected to further expand their programs, the DOE added, already have qualified for the second round of stimulus funds by meeting two key criteria: the weatherization of at least 30% of the homes on their overall production list, and the use of the first 30% of their total funding allotment under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.last_img read more

Read More »

Ginebra bounces back, rips Kia

first_imgLATEST STORIES Ateneo needs more maturity, says captain Madayag Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding RELATED VIDEO Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Coming off their fourth loss in five games, Ginebra had the perfect bounce back opponent in Kia, which is dead last in the standings with a 1-6 slate.“It’s been such a struggle for us this conference, It’s nice to be able to get a win,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “We played a complete game and was able to pull away. It was really a struggle for us but it might be the game that helps us turn around.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt was a wire-to-wire win for the Kings, who emptied their bench entering the fourth period and led by as much as 29, 53-82, early in the final frame.Ginebra broke the game wide open in the second quarter, where it went on an 18-3 run in the last seven minutes of the first half. “We’re getting healthier. We’re getting on the same page and starting to adjust on the new way the game is being played and called,” Cone said.“And we’re getting Joe back pretty soon. I’m not sure maybe next, maybe the game after but he should be available,” he said, referring to Joe Devance, who hasn’t played this season because of a foot injury.Ginebra center Greg Slaughter posted 14 points and eight rebounds in just his second game back from a hamstring injury.The Kings were clicking on both ends. They shot 49% from the field and had 30 assists and only 13 turnovers while also holding the Picanto to 34% shooting.Rashawn McCarthy scored 15 points for the Picanto (1-7), who were out-rebounded, 57-42.ADVERTISEMENT PBA IMAGESScottie Thompson led the way and Barangay Ginebra got back on track after a 103-77 beatdown of Kia in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at Mall of Asia Arena.Thompson flirted with a triple-double after collecting 12 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Gin Kings, who evened their record to 4-4.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READlast_img read more

Read More »

a month agoSNAPPED: Ex-Liverpool striker Bobby Duncan hits Fiorentina U19 double

first_imgSNAPPED: Ex-Liverpool striker Bobby Duncan hits Fiorentina U19 doubleby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Liverpool striker Bobby Duncan is off the mark for Fiorentina.He scored twice for the Under-19 side in their 6-3 win over Bologna.Duncan made an impressive debut in a friendly against Perugia last week and then scored a header and a coolly-taken penalty on Sunday for the U19s.The 18-year-old, who is the cousin of Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, posted a picture of himself with Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso after Sunday’s game.Happy to score my first goals for the club today and even greater to catch up with Mr Commisso after the game. Looking forward to giving my all for the club. #forzaviolapic.twitter.com/33uQmhuS93— Bobby Duncan (@bobbyduncan999) September 15, 2019 About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Read More »

a month agoLippi: Sarri can’t complain about what he has at Juventus

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Lippi: Sarri can’t complain about what he has at Juventusby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Juventus coach Marcello Lippi says Maurizio Sarri cannot complain about what he’s found in Turin.Sarri, after recovering from a bout of pneumonia, was in the Juve dugout for the first time in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Fiorentina.Lippi commented: “I don’t see anything in particular with the environment. Maybe he didn’t expect to find such a large squad. “He had a very tight squad at Napoli. But he doesn’t have big problems. I think there is mutual trust. “It takes time and he’ll need some months to change the working method and mentality, but everyone wants to change. Fiorentina played an excellent game against Juventus, so the Bianconeri went under a little in difficulty.” last_img read more

Read More »

a month agoREVEALED: Why Aubameyang passed penalty to Arsenal teammate Pepe

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say REVEALED: Why Aubameyang passed penalty to Arsenal teammate Pepeby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveUnai Emery has revealed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal’s designated penalty-taker after he passed on the responsibility to Nicolas Pepe against Aston Villa.Pepe converted the spot-kick to level the scores and grab his first goal for the club.Aubameyang eventually capped of Arsenal’s comeback in the 3-2 victory, and Emery was full of praise for the Gabon international after the game.”Yes, it’s Aubameyang who is responsible for penalties,” our head coach said after the game. “Also Lacazette, and today for me is a very big decision from Aubameyang to let Pepe shoot to give him confidence and the possibility to score.”Really, the responsibility is Aubameyang and I was happy when I saw that decision from Aubameyang.”He is hungry every day to score, to achieve, individual and collective objectives. Today that decision shows a really great player.” last_img read more

Read More »

Video: Watch ESPN’s E:60 Special On Ohio State Running Back Ezekiel Elliott

first_imgEzekiel Elliott and Urban Meyer pose for a picture.ESPNBetween J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, we still don’t know who will start at quarterback for Ohio State. There is no doubt, however, who will be getting the rock from the backfield. Running back Ezekiel Elliott might have been Ohio State’s best offensive player during the amazing run of post-season wins against Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon, totaling 696 yards (9.16 yards per touch) and scoring eight touchdowns in those three games.Before becoming an Ohio State star, Elliott dominated as a three-sport star at John Burroughs High School in St. Louis. Elliott was the subject of ESPN’s latest E:60 special, which aired earlier this evening. It has been posted online by executive producer Andy Tennant. Ohio State fans who missed this are going to want to set aside the next 20 minutes for this fantastic feature. [ESPN]last_img read more

Read More »

Spanish-Jamaica Foundation Treats Students Ahead of New School Year

first_img The event was held at the John Rollins Success Primary School in Rose Hall Over 600 students and parents from Barrett Town, Rose Hall and adjoining areas of St. James, recently participated in the second back-to-school health and information fair staged by the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation in collaboration with the Social Development Commission (SDC).The event was held at the John Rollins Success Primary School in Rose Hall, and saw students benefitting from counselling services, immunization and medical examinations and school supplies. Activities were carried out under the theme: ‘A healthy start is the best start’.Representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), among others, were on hand to deliver vital health tips and useful information for both students and parents.General Manager of the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation, Dr. Rebecca Tortello, told JIS News that the foundation was pleased to have partnered with the SDC in staging the health fair, which she said, was “a great success”.“This fair was a great opportunity for parents to come out and acquire all the information they need for back-to-school and to ensure that their children’s immunization records were updated, which…is essential to the health and safety of the children,” Dr. Tortello noted.She further informed that representatives from the Barrett Town Police Station and the Jamaica Fire Brigade participated in the event by setting up education booths and making presentations on road safety, stranger awareness, and fire safety tips.Representatives from LIME Foundation were on also hand to distribute books, backpacks and other giveaway items to the enthusiastic students.Project Officer in the Spanish Jamaica Foundation, Vanessa Meggoe, said that the fair was expanded this year to “reach the entire community and the whole family, where more persons could be impacted on”.“This back-to-school health fair represents the Spanish –Jamaica Foundation’s way of giving back to communities that have supported their organisations over the years, which includes Hospiten/MoBay Hope, Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, Montego Bay Jamaica Airports Ltd., and Grand Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts,” she added. Spanish-Jamaica Foundation stage back-to-school health and information fair The Barrett Town Police Station and the Jamaica Fire Brigade participated in the event Story Highlightslast_img read more

Read More »

Is the DH Rule Slowing the Game Down

I checked the data provided to me by ESPN Stats & Info, focusing on 1997 to 2013 (interleague play started in 1997 and 2013 is the last full year in the data set).My first check was the simplest. I divided all games into four categories: games between AL teams, those between NL teams, interleague games hosted by AL teams (which have the DH) and interleague games hosted by NL teams (which don’t). Games between AL teams were, on average, two minutes and 15 seconds longer than games between NL teams.But that gap might be because certain AL teams — notably Boston and New York — are slower than NL teams and not because of different rules. Luckily, interleague and World Series games provide a useful test, because teams typically have played each opponent roughly the same number of times at home and away — albeit not necessarily in the same season. That should control for any effect from particular teams or matchups.So, when the same two teams played each other in an NL park or an AL park, which game was longer?On average, surprisingly, the longer game has been in the NL park — by 15 seconds. That calculation is based on more than 2,000 games each in NL and AL parks — defining interleague to include regular-season and World Series games between an AL team and an NL team.That’s solid evidence that it’s the style of individual teams, rather than the DH rule, causing the discrepancy in length of AL and NL games. And, in fact, if I isolate the 1997-2013 data set to just games without Boston or New York, then AL-only games are faster, on average, by a minute and five seconds relative to NL-only games. (Interleague games without the Red Sox and Yankees continue to be roughly the same length with or without the DH rule — one second longer without the DH.)But maybe that’s unfair — of course AL games will look faster once I’ve removed the league’s two slowest teams. So I tried two more tests.First, I removed the Red Sox and Yankees, but also the two AL teams with the fastest games, on average: the Blue Jays and White Sox. AL-only games without the league’s four biggest outliers averaged two hours, 55 minutes and 5 seconds. All NL-only games averaged two hours, 55 minutes and 2 seconds — just three seconds faster. Meanwhile, interleague games without those four AL teams were 18 seconds faster, on average, in NL parks. So, again, there’s no evidence that the DH lengthens games.Finally, I instead removed the NL’s two teams that played the longest games, to complement my removal of the AL’s two slowest teams. From 1997 to 2013, those two NL teams were the Mets and the Dodgers. Without them, and without the Yankees and Red Sox, the average NL-only game was nine seconds slower than the average AL-only game. And the average interleague game in an NL park took 13 more seconds than the average interleague game hosted by an AL team.So while the DH theory made sense, I’m confident the DH doesn’t lengthen baseball games. When I wrote last week about the slowdown of MLB games in recent years, I noted that the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were the two slowest teams. Both are in the American League, and maybe that’s part of the explanation. After all, AL games are played with the designated-hitter rule, which means pitchers don’t have to bat. That allows managers to change pitchers without affecting the lineup, which could prompt them to yank more pitchers mid-inning. Since pitching changes lengthen games — by about two minutes each, according to my analysis — games played in AL parks could be longer simply because of the DH rule.Reader Gabriel Haro wondered as much: read more

Read More »