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Isn’t football fun?

first_imgYou can’t script this stuff. Manchester City fires Manuel Pellegrini, effective the end of the season, and then his Blues beat Paris Saint-Germain to reach the European Champions League semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history.Pellegrini, a dignified Chilean, must have a sly smile on his face.In this age of big money, a football manager’s contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. A blip in team performance can get wealthy club owners like those of Manchester City nervous enough to pull the plug even if it’s due to a rash of injuries.Pellegrini and the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho know this all too well.The latter two were both let go by Russian Roman Abramovic at Chelsea in the season following wins in the English Premier League. The same thing happened at the same club to Claudia Ranieri, the current Leicester City boss, after a 2004 season in which Chelsea placed second in the Premiership. Truly, he who pays the piper calls the tune.In those situations, only winning is enough.In this context, it seems hardly likely that Louis van Gaal will see out his three-year contract at Manchester United. The highly successful Dutchman hasn’t endeared himself to United with his possession-oriented departure from that club’s traditional winger-based attacking style.The besieged veteran came to United after carrying The Netherlands to within a penalty shoot-out of the 2014 World Cup final. He might rightly claim that he took United back to Champions League football.TOO LATE FOR VAN GAALHis inconsistent United, however, haven’t met the benchmark, set by Alex Ferguson. Fans want him out. From the moans of the United faithful, even a return to Champions League football won’t save the day for Van Gaal.He will have to hustle as his team is fifth, four points behind Manchester City.Six months after his arrival at Liverpool, the charming German Jurgen Klopp is still enjoying a honeymoon at the Anfield home of the five-time European champions. His Reds are currently eighth in the Premiership, two places behind last year’s sixth-spot finish.Yet, the accomplished Klopp is generally viewed as a better coach than the man he replaced, Brendan Rogers. Time will tell.Managerial musical chairs are present in Jamaica, too. For example, Waterhouse Football Club has had two managers already this year.If Raineri’s Leicester can emerge from last season’s battles against relegation to be a real challenger for domestic top honours, then Pellegrini can dream of a triumphant exit.Even though giants Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all remain in contention, scriptwriters in Manchester are probably penning their view of Champions League success.If that happens and if Manchester City meet and beat Bayern, who are currently coached by Pep Guardiola Pellegrini’s replacement as manager at City that would be irony indeed.n Hubert Lawrence has attended the Sydney, Athens, Beijing, and London Olympics.last_img read more

DDTV: WATCH THIS BRILLIANT GOPRO VIDEO OF A SURFER CATCHING WAVES IN DONEGAL

first_imgDDTV: Simply click play on the video above to watch this GoPro footage of a surfer enjoying the waves in Bundoran. The surfer attached a GoPro camera to the front of his surfboard and showed us what he can do. The two minute video clip shows the surfer riding the waves with ease, and he makes it look very, very easy.Bundoran is renowned worldwide for its brilliant surfing conditions and thousands of surfing enthusiasts flock there every year to enjoy the waves.DDTV: WATCH THIS BRILLIANT GOPRO VIDEO OF A SURFER CATCHING WAVES IN DONEGAL was last modified: November 20th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bundoranDDTVdonegalFeaturesGoPronewssurfinglast_img read more

Cambrian Embryo Fossils Show Exquisite Detail in New X-Ray Imaging

first_imgThe news media are all showcasing the detailed color-rendered X-ray tomographs of Cambrian worm embryos from China.  Scientists were able to determine that these embryos, alleged to be 500 million years old, are very similar to those of modern, living priapulid worms.  Despite their assumed age, some of the embryos were remarkably well preserved, displaying rows of teeth and other features in the sub-millimeter range.    It’s really a report about an exciting new non-invasive imaging technology that is able to uncover exquisite detail in biological structures smaller than a grain of sand.  Some news reporters, however, used the announcement to promote evolutionary stories:News@Nature said it has the “potential to help reconstruct the earliest steps in metazoan [animal] evolution.”MSNBC news calls it a “3-D vision of life’s dawn” and says the discoveries “could roll back the evolutionary history of arthropods like insects and spiders.”  Actually, these fossil worms have nothing to do with arthropods except in evolutionary models, where they are assumed to precede a “split on the evolutionary tree that separated the unsegmented nematode worms and their segmented cousins from the gigantic arthropod phylum, which includes crustaceans, insects and spiders.” Science Daily said that the discovery “suggests that arthropod evolutionary history must be pushed further back in time than previously thought.”Ker Than at LiveScience echoed that thought and quoted one of the researchers claiming, “these fossils are the most precious of all because they contain information about the evolutionary changes that have occurred in embryos over the past 500 million years.”National Geographic, bless its heart, did not discuss the discoveries in the context of evolution, but stated without question that they are 500 million years old.What did the original paper in Nature say?  Donoghue et al.1 spent most of the time discussing their revolutionary imaging technique, called SXRTM, and the details of the embryos they studied.  They only made two brief references to evolution, both of which were tentative and actually problematical for evolutionary theory.  First, they said that structures previously thought to be an outer layer of blastomeres looked more like modern arthropod yolk pyramids, “with the implication that arthropod evolutionary history is thereby pushed back in time.”  In other words, if an innovation appears much earlier in the record than previously believed, its ancestry must be even earlier.  No evidence for such a hypothetical ancestor was presented.  The only other mention of evolution stressed the superiority of SXRTM over light-microscope imaging.  This paragraph is too ambiguous about evolution to provide any support for the theory:It is clear from this study that scanning electron microscopy and light-microscopy of thin sections are insufficient to reveal fossil embryo structure.  Analyses of internal and external structure in concert by means of SXRTM have allowed us to clarify the nature of diagenetic infills, to decide between opposing interpretations of cleavage modes, and to resolve the anatomy of the later-stage embryos of Pseudooides and Markuelia, helping to constrain their affinity and evolutionary significance.  Perhaps more importantly, it has revealed aspects of the anatomy of these organisms that would never have otherwise been resolved.That’s it.  The paper did not even mention that these embryos were Cambrian, or make any judgments about how old they were (except in the references).  Only in their quotations to the press did the researchers speculate more openly about where these embryos fit in the evolutionary scheme of things.1Donoghue et al., “Synchrotron X-ray tomographic microscopy of fossil embryos,” Nature 442, 680-683 (10 August 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04890; Received 21 February 2006; Accepted 10 May 2006.What they should have done is lamented the downfall of four props for evolution:Age:  The presence of exquisitely-preserved soft embryos casts doubt on the claim they are 500 million years old. Preservation  The discovery of delicate embryo fossils destroys the excuse that Precambrian ancestors of complex life that burst on the scene in the Cambrian (04/23/2006) were not preserved because they were soft-bodied. Abrupt Appearance:  It shows that more advanced arthropod-style embryonic features were already present in these worms at the first appearance of complex multicellular organisms in the record. Stasis:  The embryos resemble modern counterparts, indicating that there has been little (if any) evolution during the mythical 500 million years.  In short, this is not a paper about evolution, it is a set of evidences challenging evolution!    The deceitful practices of evolutionary reporters about hard evidence are like two things.  (A) They are like junk-science health-pill claims, wherein manufacturers are not allowed to make health claims on the bottle, but in their ads, make wildly-unsupported promises about what the pills will cure.  (B) They are like artisans who pick up the shells creationists lob into the Darwin Party Castle, then melt them down and recast them into idols of Charlie.  Hopefully, enough smart people out there can see what is going on.    Congratulations to the SXRTM team, anyway.  We hope this great new imaging technique will continue to provide more evidence against evolution for another 500 million seconds.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South African economy improving

first_imgSouth Africa’s position on the 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance improved from fifth to fourth thanks to improvements in the economy and infrastructure development. (Image: Brand South Africa)• Research reveals Kenyan, Nigerian views of South Africa• Buy local to build South Africa’s economy• Agoa open up opportunities for Africa’s female entrepreneurs• Stalled on the Trans-Africa Highway• G20: Africa’s growth can stabilise the world economyShamin ChibbaSouth Africa’s economy is on the mend, if the 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance is anything to go by.The country’s level of sustainable economic opportunity score improved to 71.9 points out of 100, up more than three points on the previous year. Out of 52 African countries surveyed, South Africa came out second in this particular category, behind Mauritius, which has 79.7 points.The sustainable economic opportunity category is divided into four sub-categories: public management, business environment, infrastructure, and rural sector. These analyse 31 features that make up a country’s economy, such as fiscal policy, level of bureaucracy, access to water for low income and rural populations, and road, rail and air transport.The 2014 Ibrahim Index, published on Monday, 29 September, ranks a country’s overall governance within the African context. It is based not only on economic opportunity but also on safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, and human development. Taking all these categories into account, South Africa’s overall position also improved, from fifth in 2013 to fourth this year.The index is named after billionaire Sudanese-British mobile communications mogul Mo Ibrahim. He established the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in 2006, and created the index the following year . Sudanese-British mobile communications mogul, Mo Ibrahim, warned major African states like South Africa to remain vigilant and avoid complacency. (Image: Mo Ibrahim Foundation) Infrastructure development boostedBrand South Africa chief executive Miller Matola was encouraged by this year’s results, particularly regarding the improvements the country has made in infrastructure development. “Good infrastructure is attractive to investors and makes it easier to conduct business more efficiently and effectively,” he pointed out.In the index, South Africa’s infrastructure development score shot up from 67.5 in 2013 to 77.1 this year. The country now ranks third in this category behind the Seychelles and Mauritius. This comes after the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Institute of Management Development (IMD) also announced South Africa’s improvement in infrastructure development. In the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2014-2015, the country moved up from 66 to 60 out of 144 countries. In the IMD’s 2014 World Competitiveness Yearbook, South Africa improved by three places from last year to 55.Despite these advances, Matola was concerned by the drop in rule and safety – from seventh in 2013 to eighth this year – and in participation and human rights – from third last year to fourth. “These issues impact equally on our competitiveness and ability to attract inward flows of investment,” he said. African governance improvement too slow – IbrahimWriting for the Institute for Security Studies weekly online newsletter, Independent Newspapers’ foreign editor, Peter Fabricius, said the Ibrahim Index suggested overall governance in Africa was slowing down.According to the index, governance on the continent rose by just 0.9 points out of 100 over the last five years, whereas before 2009 it improved by 1.2 points. “African governance as a whole has improved in some ways and deteriorated in others, resulting in this slight net improvement,” wrote Fabricius.For Ibrahim, Africa was still progressing but “the story is complex and doesn’t fit the stereotypes”. He also warned that the continent should remain vigilant, avoid complacency and adopt Afro-realism as a stance instead of Afro-pessimism or the current Africa Rising narrative.“More pertinently perhaps,” wrote Fabricius, “the index suggests that Africa still has a long way to go, and has to move much faster, if it is to overcome its chronic problems of poverty, underdevelopment and insecurity.”last_img read more

Steve Ballmer Announces That There Will be Tablet Announcements

first_imgklint finley IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Related Posts Tags:#enterprise#mobile#news#Products Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…center_img At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference today, Steve Ballmer promised tablets in a variety of form factors would arrive by the end of the year from partners including Asus, Dell, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba – but offered no specifics. ASUS has already announced ASUS Eee Pad and MSI has announced the WindPad, but previous Windows tablet projects such as the HP Slate and the Microsoft Courier are vaporware thus far. Microsoft is said to be targeting IT managers with its tablets.Microsoft will be entering a competitive marketplace in which enterprises will have several options. The iPad is gaining in the enterprise, Cisco is entering the tablet market with an Android tablet, and RIM is rumored to be releasing a BlackBerry tablet. Also, Dell has already released a consumer focused Android tablet and Intel and Nokia have demoed a MeeGo tablet.ZDNet notes Microsoft is developing Windows 8 with the tablet form factor in mind. Although Chrome OS and Cisco will bother offer the ability to run desktop apps through a remote desktop interface, the ability to run traditional Windows applications natively on tablets could be a boon to enterprises.Intriguingly, Engadget notes that although Ballmer didn’t mention HP during his keynote, the company is on the WPC’s web sites list of companies releasing a Windows 7 tablet this year. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Capitals Trade Niskanen to Flyers for Gudas, Clear Cap Space

first_imgThe Flyers acquired Matt Niskanen from the Capitals for Radko Gudas on Friday in a one-for-one swap of defensemen that upgrades Philadelphia’s blue line offense and gives Washington much needed salary-cap space.Niskanen gives the Flyers an offensive-minded, right-handed shot who can also help on the power play. Philadelphia is retaining 30% of Gudas’ $3.35 million cap hit, which means Washington saves $3.405 million going into an offseason with several players in need of new contracts.“We feel this move provides us with financial flexibility as we look for additional ways to strengthen our team,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said. “In addition, we are pleased to welcome Radko to our organization. Radko is a good defensive defenseman that plays a competitive, physical game.”Niskanen was a key piece of the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run. He struggled for about half of this past season and finished with 25 points on eight goals and 17 assists.“I would say the first 50 games overall not as good as I have played in the past,” Niskanen said on locker cleanout day. “Certainly better later than early in the year. I think I played closer to my usual level the later the season went on. That was when I was most competitive and best execution and all that good stuff. I was my best later in the year, closer to playoffs and in the playoffs.” The 32-year-old has two years left on his contract at an annual cap hit of $5.75 million. The Capitals made the playoffs in all five seasons since Niskanen signed with them.“We would like to thank Matt for all of his contributions to our organization for the past five seasons,” MacLellan said. “Matt is a consummate professional and was a big part of our success. We wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”Trading Niskanen is the latest part of MacLellan’s defensive makeover after he acquired Nick Jensen from Detroit for Madison Bowey in February. The cap-crunched Capitals need to sign one restricted free agent winger, Jakub Vrana, to a new deal, have a decision to make on Andre Burakovsky, another, and have holes to fill with wingers Carl Hagelin, Brett Connolly and Devante Smith-Pelly set to become unrestricted free agents.It’s the first significant move of the NHL offseason after the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup and succeeded the Capitals as reigning champions.By: Stephen Whyno, AP Hockey WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more