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NBA: Ever improving DeRozan looks to further develop ‘much better’

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first_imgView comments Read Next MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Ched looking to improve teaching of ethics course in univs, colleges PLAY LIST 01:43Ched looking to improve teaching of ethics course in univs, colleges03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:08Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police 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 Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief With the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics expected to rule the East once more this coming season, DeRozan understands that his improvement will be vital if the Raptors will be contenders once more.“It’s great to have this opportunity to carry a franchise, and just show them that I come back every year much better,” he shared.  Khristian Ibarrola /ra Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses This year, the 6’7″ athletic specimen aims to become a better playmaker and a more accurate three-point threat.He recently posted an Instagram story of his midnight shooting session, which was posted on Twitter by Raptors beat reporter Josh Lewnberg.DeMar DeRozan hit 64% of his 700 3pt attempts during a late-night workout, according to his IG story pic.twitter.com/why2crAqoQ— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) July 25, 2017ADVERTISEMENT Mayweather-McGregor is a pay-per-view smash WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan, right, shoots past Denver Nuggets’ Wilson Chandler during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto.  APToronto Raptors superstar DeMar DeRozan has made significant strides in his game since entering the NBA in 2009.The 28-year-old shooting guard has blossomed into a three-time NBA All Star, displaying incredible foot work and a mid-range arsenal seldom used in today’s game.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LATEST STORIES After averaging a career-best 27 points per game last season, the former USC Trojan expressed his desire to keep improving on other aspects of his craft.“Continue to get better, continue to win,” DeRozan told ESPN’ Carl Champion when asked of his goals for the upcoming season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Continue to grow as a player, as a leader, and keep pushing the envelope. Understand my flaws from the year previously and come back better this year.”Entering the league primarily a slasher and a dunker, DeRozan worked hard on his ball-handling skills, which eventually translated into a formidable mid-range game.last_img read more

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Red-hot Alab torches lowly Formosa for 8th straight win

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first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSan Miguel Alab Pilipinas couldn’t be stopped as it ran roughshod over Formosa Dreamers, 117-93, for its eighth straight victory in the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League at Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Complex in Laguna.The hottest team in the league banked on its versatile imports to improve to 11-4 in the standings.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Familiarity helped Meralco’s Ballesteros in career game vs Ginebra NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Justin Brownlee was as lethal as ever, firing 27 points and scattering 13 rebounds, five assists, four blocks, and two steals to stuff the stat sheets in the rout.Renaldo Balkman also registered another double-double of 21 markers and 14 boards that went with six dimes, and five rejections, while Lawrence Domingo fired a season-high 16 points and seven rebounds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBobby Ray Parks Jr. also shone as he helped Alab break away for good in the third quarter, where he unloaded eight of his 15 points that triggered a 19-7 tear for a decisive 79-62 lead. The reigning Local MVP also got three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.The tailspin continued for the Dreamers, who have now lost 12 games in a row and stayed at the cellar with a 1-14 slate.center_img AFP official booed out of forum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Cameron Forte topped Formosa with 29 points and 21 rebounds, Ronnie Aguilar had 20 markers and 11 boards, and local Wu Sung Wei got 18 points and five assists off the bench.The scores:SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 117 — Brownlee 27, Balkman 21, Domingo 16, Parks 15, Hontiveros 11, Sumalinog 11, Urbiztondo 9, Raymundo 3, Alabanza 2, Javelona 2, Celiz 0.FORMOSA DREAMERS 93 — Forte 29, Aguilar 20, Wu 18, Chen 10, Chien 7, Chou 4, Barratt 3, Yang 2, Cheng 0, Li C 0, Li P 0, Tsai 0.Quarters: 28-19, 52-38, 79-66, 117-93.ADVERTISEMENT Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Read Next 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 Citylast_img read more

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Report: Leonard Fournette’s Family May Have Broken NCAA Rules

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first_imgLeonard Fournette talks during an interview.YouTube/LSU Tiger TV YouTube/LSU Tiger TVYouTube/LSU Tiger TVLSU sophomore running back Leonard Fournette is the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy this year, given the fact that he’s rushed for 1,352 yards and 15 touchdowns in just seven games. But according to USA TODAY, his family could be in a bit of trouble with the NCAA regarding a website that was launched back ahead of the 2014 season.According to the publication, a website dedicated to “BUGA Nation” – which stands for “Being United Generates Attitude” – was launched with the intent to sell tee shirts and hats to the public. Fournette “helped develop” the acronym. Here’s more:Paul Price, described by Fournette’s mother as the family’s manager, made payments of about $10,000 to build a website and produce the merchandise to be sold, the owners of three companies involved told USA TODAY Sports. The owners said they gave Price and the Fournettes more than $20,000 in discounts because they expected strong sales driven by the star running back’s popularity. Even with the discounts, one of the business owners said he has yet to be paid in full.The website launched the week of LSU’s 2014 season opener, but the business went no further — sales of T-shirts and hats were stopped within 24 hours after the NCAA learned of its existence, according to Lory Fournette.Clearly, the issue here is that players and their families are not allowed to profit off of an athlete’s likeness, image or name.Will this lead to NCAA issues for LSU and Fournette? At this point, it’s hard to say. You can read the entire article over at USA TODAY.last_img read more

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EcoFriendly Ocean Guitar Is Unveiled In Honor Of Jerry Garcias 75th Birthday

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first_imgIn honor of Jerry Garcia’s 75th Birthday, the Jerry Garcia Foundation has commissioned luthier and artist Tom Lieber to create an eco-friendly, plastic-free electric guitar.Jerry Garcia Ocean GuitarCredit/Copyright: Milo Stewart Jr. Staff Photographer National Baseball Hall of FameThe new guitar named “Ocean” is made from sustainable maple and features a fingerboard inlay image of Jerry Garcia’s etching titled “Fish.” The instrument will be played at benefit events to support causes that were meaningful to Jerry such as coral reef preservation.After an extensive two-year search for a guitar maker who had the expertise to create a plastic-free instrument, Jerry’s daughter, Keelin and wife, Manasha were delighted to meet luthier Tom Lieber at a recent Foundation benefit.“This guitar, Ocean, has been conceived with love and intent to serve as a symbolic vehicle for the Jerry Garcia Foundation to utilize in its continuing effort of expanding the positive world impact of Jerry Garcia’s creative legacy,” said Tom Lieber of Lieber Instruments, Inc.Doug Irwin and Tom Lieber were the designers and builders of Jerry Garcia’s two most famous guitars, “Tiger” and “Wolf.” In June, the “Wolf” guitar sold at auction for $1.9 million and raised over $3 million for charitable causes.The new eco-friendly guitar’s journey will begin this month as the Jerry Garcia Foundation invites artists to play the instrument at benefit events in support of ocean conservation in addition to other worthy causes.In his lifetime, Jerry was an active advocate for coral reef preservation. Coral reefs are vital to the ecosystem and known as the “rainforests of the sea.”For more information, please visit www.jerrygarciafoundation.org.last_img read more

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Streak continues for No 1 Bucks

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Winning 20 games in a season is nothing new to Ohio State men’s basketball coach Thad Matta. Winning 20 games before picking up his first loss, however, is a different story. OSU’s 73-68 win against Illinois on Saturday advanced the Buckeyes’ record to 20-0 and earned Matta his 11th consecutive season with 20 or more wins as a college basketball head coach. Only Mark Few of Gonzaga has started his career with such a streak. “It’s amazing,” Matta said. “You always want to get to 20. I mean, that was kind of like the benchmark for college basketball.” The Buckeyes’ 20-0 start is OSU’s first since the 1961-62 season when the team started the season with a 22-0 record. A season earlier, the 1960-61 squad got off to the best start in program history with a 27-0 record. Both of those teams went on to become the national runner-up in their respective seasons. Despite the Buckeyes’ hot start, Matta said he hasn’t noticed anyone on his team pay any attention to it. “I haven’t heard one guy say one word about not being beaten,” Matta said. “The focus has, I think, been primarily on who’s the next opponent, and you know, the job that we have to do to win that basketball game.” Kansas’ loss to Texas on Saturday — which snapped the Jayhawks’ 69-game win streak at home — leaves OSU and San Diego State as the only undefeated teams in the country. With six of their next eight games coming against ranked opponents — including road matchups at Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue — the Buckeyes have their work cut out for them as they attempt to remain unbeaten. “The Big Ten’s a great conference, and there’s no easy games, especially on the road,” senior guard Jon Diebler said. “We’ve got some great tests coming up, and we’re definitely looking forward to those challenges.” OSU’s next test will be when it hosts Purdue at 9 p.m. Tuesday. With a Buckeye roster composed of accomplished veterans and blue-chip freshmen, Matta said the team’s history of success would play a key role in determining how long it remains unbeaten. “You’ve got a lot of guys on this team that have won at the high-school level, at the national AAU level,” Matta said. “I haven’t seen anything in regards to somebody letting their guard down.” read more

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From Peyton Manning to CocaCola ads Ohio State students excited about the

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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning scans the field during the AFC championship game against the New England Patriots Jan. 19 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver won, 26-16.Courtesy of MCTEvery year, there is plenty of buzz surrounding the Super Bowl, the biggest game of the season for the most popular sport in the country.Super Bowl XLVIII is no exception, and Ohio State students are preparing to take in all that comes with the big game this year.The Denver Broncos and their No. 1-ranked offense are set to take on the battle-tested Seattle Seahawks Sunday, who boast the league’s best defense. The strengths of both teams are sure to test the will of all players and coaches involved as they look to capture the sport’s ultimate crown, The Vince Lombardi Trophy.According to Wallethub.com, about 169 million people are expected to watch the Super Bowl, spanning 180 countries and more than 30 languages. But, along with the game itself, there are plenty of other reasons for people across the world to tune in.Erin Ponting, a second-year in chemistry, said she has a rooting interest in the game but is looking forward to another part of the broadcast.“I am really excited to see if (Broncos quarterback) Peyton Manning can win another ring, but am thrilled to watch the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform with Bruno Mars,” Ponting said, referring to the halftime show. “I am a fan of both artists and think they will put on a good halftime show.”Coupled with the halftime show, the commercials have become a spectacle in their own right. One 30-second ad this year is expected to cost advertisers more than $4 million, a rate only justified by the amount of viewers who watch the game. Each year, advertisers compete to see who can have the best commercial and vie to outspend one another for airtime.Charlie Cataline, a fourth-year in art, said he does not have a favorite team in either the Broncos or Seahawks, but thinks the commercials will be a fun break from the football action.“The commercials are usually pretty good and entertaining,” Cataline said. “People expect to see great commercials and I look to Budweiser, Coke and new movie trailers to entertain me between plays.”In the end, between the halftime entertainment and the commercials, there is still a game being played. This Super Bowl, as with any other game, is likely to create or define legacies for all the players and coaches involved.Callie Roney, a second-year in exploration, said she is cheering for a Broncos win because of her admiration for Manning.“I will be pulling for the Broncos to win because I love Peyton Manning,” Roney said. “I have always been a big fan of his and this victory will help him catch up with his brother in the number of Super Bowl titles won.”Kickoff between the Seahawks and Broncos is set for 6:30 p.m. from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. read more

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Ohio State focuses on improving after 39point win

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OSU redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) runs through the Rutgers defense toward the end zone during an Oct. 18 game at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 56-17.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorThe question for Ohio State heading into its matchup with Rutgers was simple: Will the momentum still be there?A quick 14-0 start for the No. 13 Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0) showed they still had a spark despite two weeks off. In a total team effort, OSU led the Scarlet Knights (5-2, 1-2) in nearly every significant statistical category — save penalties and time of possession — but its coach said there’s still work to be done.“It’s time to, first of all, develop depth,” Urban Meyer said after his team’s 56-17 win. “We could go on and on about the mistakes that were made today. But enjoy the win tonight, go see your families, do what you gotta do and come back ready to go.”For the Buckeyes, the time to “come back ready to go” will be Saturday when they are set to face Penn State on the road. The last time OSU faced-off with the Nittany Lions, the Scarlet and Gray came away with a 63-14 win at home. That 2013 win came at Ohio Stadium, but the last time OSU traveled to State College, Pa., the result was comparable. OSU beat Penn State, 35-23, on Oct. 27, 2012, before last season’s shellacking. On top of recent success against their upcoming opponents, the Buckeyes are on a historic streak this season against all takers.Even with any room for improvement the coaching staff might see, the 2014 Buckeyes have already carved out a spot in the OSU record books, specifically when it comes to offensive production. The team posted 50-plus points for the fourth straight game — a school record — and it gained 500 yards or more in each of those games, which is tied for the program’s best.Production of that nature would be a good sign for every team, but at least one OSU assistant said he wants to keep focusing on ways to improve instead of talking about what the Buckeyes have done lately. Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said he’s not ready to make a judgment on where OSU stands, but added he hopes to have a clearer picture as the Big Ten schedule heats up.“Obviously the scoreboard and the play-by-play or stats say that we’re playing pretty well, but as a coach you always try to find the things that you can get better at,” Herman said after the game. “I don’t know how well we’re playing.”Meyer said it will be important for the Buckeyes to continue focusing on improvement rather than touting recent success, something he said he feels the team is able to do.“The good thing is that I don’t feel like there’s a complacent attitude,” Meyer said. “Complacency is awful in this business and with the players, because when you watch the film, we could actually have played a lot better in certain situations.”In order to find the spots where OSU could have performed better against the Scarlet Knights, it might be key to look beyond the box score.The Buckeyes totaled 31 first downs on offense while holding Rutgers to a three of 13 performance on third down on defense. OSU also outgained the opposition 585 to 345 and won the turnover battle, 3-1.Much of that success on both sides of the ball came early in the game for the Buckeyes, which led to a 35-7 advantage at the half.“Our focus is always to start fast and get things going,” redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett said after the game. “I think we executed better than in past weeks, but we can still eliminate some mistakes. I put some of that on myself.”Barrett’s own mistakes didn’t come until he had already nearly hit double digits in pass attempts, as he completed his first nine throws of the game. But after Barrett ran for two scores and threw for another in the first 10:46 of the third quarter, he and the Buckeye offense stalled.From that point on, OSU didn’t post another point and recorded just one gain of more than 14 yards.To an extent, the Buckeyes’ defense mirrored the fast start and slow finish of their offensive counterparts. Before addressing that less-than-stellar second half, Meyer praised the defense’s overall performance against a team he said the Buckeyes respected going in.“Our defense, you credit that, you can take the first half that’s a credit to our defense,” Meyer said. “They took a team that threw 400 plus yards against our rivals and really played well, creating turnovers once again and getting the ball to the offense rather quickly.”From a scoring standpoint, the Buckeyes’ matchup with Rutgers was tied for their second-best defensive outing of the season. Sophomore safety Vonn Bell credited that success to every player on the defense being “all in” on what it is trying to achieve.“You can see the progression of our players and see us getting takeaways and scoring,” Bell said after the game. “It’s very impressive this young group can understand what the coaches are telling us.”But Meyer stressed that — despite bright spots — the defense still didn’t have the start-to-finish effort he would like to see, especially when some less experienced players got a chance to make a statement late.“We gave up some runs, and when a two gets in the game there can’t be that big of a drop off,” he said of the second-string defense’s performance in the game. “And right now we all saw what happened, there’s a significant drop off when our twos got in there.”Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell said the coaching staff tries to communicate to the backups that they need to treat their playing time the same as if they were starters.“We try to talk to those guys, ‘Hey, don’t consider yourself a two,’” Fickell said. “‘You want to be a one-B.’ That means there’s not a big drop off between the one-A and the one-B.”Even though the slow finishes to the game on both sides of the ball didn’t affect the outcome of the contest, Fickell said the Buckeyes have to make sure they stay hungry rather than settling — even after a 39-point win.“We’re never satisfied with where we are,” Fickell said. “And that’s the thing that we think that … going into what we were doing, we’ve got to be able to finish things.”Whatever adjustments or improvements the Buckeyes can make are set to be showcased after a week of practice. OSU is scheduled to take on Penn State on Saturday in State College, Pa. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. read more

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Ohio State rises to No 5 in final rankings but misses College

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer pleads with a referee in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: James King II | Sports DirectorElation one night, heartbreak the day after. Ohio State rose from last week’s No. 8 ranking, but that was not enough.Despite capping off an 11-2 regular season with a win against Michigan and a victory versus No. 6 Wisconsin to claim the Big Ten championship Saturday night, Ohio State did not move into the top four of the final College Football Playoff rankings and will miss this year’s playoff. The Buckeyes finished the season ranked fifth, one spot outside of the group that will battle for the national championship. No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Alabama round out the four teams that made the playoff.The debate for the fourth spot in the playoff came down to either Ohio State or Alabama. The Buckeyes have a decisive 31-16 loss to Oklahoma in the second week of the season and a 55-24 beatdown at the hands of Iowa, an uninspiring 7-5 team. But they also have wins against Penn State, Michigan State, the Wolverines and the Badgers. On the other hand, the Crimson Tide has just one blemish on its resume, a 26-14 loss to Auburn in the final game of its season. Alabama does not have the same amount of quality wins as the Buckeyes, though. It defeated LSU 24-10 and took down Mississippi State 31-24 in Starkville, Mississippi. Ohio State’s bowl game will be announced later Sunday afternoon. read more

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FireIce working many return to Jubilee Gardens

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first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp, March 16, 2017, – Nassau – Over 80% of the hard to reach area of the Harold Road Dump fire is out now thanks to the airdrops of the FireIce gel.   Government is pleased with the decision to get Gel Tech Solutions and Fletcher Air, both out of Florida in on the fire- fighting effort after ground crews were halted by the dangerous conditions and intense heat in the ridge area of the landfill.A little rain on Tuesday did not aide in extinguishing of the fire which has been burning a week a half now, instead it created more smoke said Minister Kenred Dorsett who has been out daily, personally overseeing the progress.   The Bahamas invested some $80,000 in hiring Gel Tech and Fletcher Air.#MagneticMediaNews#JubileeGardensFire#GelTeckFireIcegellast_img read more

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FLOW Manchester United Ultimate Football Experience – Sat Apr 22nd

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first_img Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, April 25, 2017 – Providenciales – Join us for the Flow Ultimate Football Experience happening in Providenciales THIS weekend!Date: Saturday, 23rd April 2017Time: 8:30am – 12:30pmVenue:   TCI Football Association National Academy FieldDetails:   Flow and Manchester United Football Club have partnered to bring a great opportunity to footballers across 15 Caribbean countries. 32 of TCI’s top young footballers, aged 13 to 16, from the local football clubs/schools have been chosen to compete in three skills: control, short passing and dribbling.The skills are all taken from the Manchester United Soccer Schools’ programme and local coaches will evaluate and rank each player throughout the morning.The Results:   Based on the rankings and assessments in each skill, two winners will be selected at the end of the event. These two players along with their coaches and a parent will then travel to Trinidad & Tobago where the players will compete in a final weekend of skills and small sided games. The finals weekend will include one-on-one training with Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and Manchester United Soccer School Coaches.The players will also compete with the finalists from the other 14 countries for the chance to be one of two players to win a once-in-a-lifetime VIP trip to Old Trafford in Manchester, England. The coaches of the winning players will also attend.Contact: Darron D. Hilaire Jr. Marketing Communications Executive E: darron.hilaire@cwc.com T: 1-649-941-4478 ● M: 1-649-231-6275#Flowsports Related Items:#flowsports 2017 CARIFTA TEAM TCI Flow CARIFTA Games 2017: Exciting on-the-go access, more broadcast hours for Caribbean sports fans Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Flow CARIFTA Games 2017: Exciting on-the-go access, more broadcast hours for Caribbean sports fanslast_img read more

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Koscielny is delighted about Arsenals win

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first_imgThe former France star scored in the 2-0 win over Chelsea in yesterday’s English Premier League fixture.Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny scored the second goal for the Gunners in their 2-0 victory over Chelsea yesterday.And he’s delighted after the great victory.“We needed to win. We did a mistake last week and it was a game of six points,” Koscielny was quoted by Goal.“If we lose, it would be nine points; if we win just three points. We are still in the race for the top four.”Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“It was important, the commitment was amazing from all the boys. We talked a lot and we showed on the pitch which way we want to go together,” he commented.“It is good to play like this. We want to fight for each other.”“When we talk about a clean sheet it is not just about the defenders. We showed everyone working together; the strikers work and help the rest of the team. Then at the back, it is easier to win the challenges,” he added.“It is good for our head – we can keep this [mentality] for the rest of the season.”last_img read more

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Either lead us or let us lead Oli tells BNP

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first_imgLiberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Oli AhmedPresident of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Oli Ahmed on Wednesday said he is willing to take the responsibility for strengthening the 20-party alliance to free Khaleda Zia from jail and overcome the country’s political crisis, reports UNB.”There’s no scope to sit idle as we must move ahead. We’ve taken an initiative (to strengthen the 20-party). I would like to request the BNP leader that either you lead us or let us lead,” he said.Speaking at a discussion, Oli further said, “It’s not possible for Khaleda Zia to give us directives from jail while Tarique Rahman can’t play an active role in the field from London…I’m ready to take that responsibility at this critical time of the country.”LDP, one of the components the BNP-led 20-party, arranged the discussion on Khaleda Zia’s release and a mid-term election at the Jatiya Press Club.Oli also urged the BNP leaders to take steps for waging a movement to free Khaleda Zia, restore democracy and people’s voting rights in the country by strengthening the 20-party alliance.”Either strength our hands or let us strengthen yours, and we’re ready to do that.”The LDP chief said he is also ready to risk his life and fight against the current ‘autocratic’ regime. “I couldn’t sacrifice my life in the Liberation War, but I’m ready to lose my life in the hands of autocrat.”He also said he has no reservation to accept the leadership of capable and acceptable BNP leaders to launch a movement.Olio strongly opposed BNP’s decision of sending its MPs to parliament, saying the party has legitimised the current government through it.last_img read more

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Mudslide kills 17 in Colombia

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first_imgA rescue worker searches for victims after a landslide in Rosas, Valle del Cauca department, in southwestern Colombia, on 21 April, 2019. Photo: AFPAt least 17 people were killed and 13 others were missing after a mudslide that buried eight houses early Sunday in southwestern Colombia, authorities said.The national risk management agency gave the updated toll after rescue efforts in Rosas, in the department of Cauca, were halted at nightfall.Reducing by two an earlier toll of 19 killed that was given by firefighters, it added that five people had also been injured.Meanwhile, the estimated number of missing was confirmed by an agency official speaking on condition of anonymity.A search had been underway for people who might be trapped under rubble. The injured were treated at hospitals near the scene of the disaster, the agency said.It attributed the mudslide to the heavy rains that have battered the country for several weeks.Mudslides are common during Colombia’s rainy season.last_img read more

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Its Our Form Of Apartheid How Galveston Stalled Public Housing Reconstruction In

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first_img Share PU YING HUANGLeon Phillips, Rosalyn Jackson and her father, Martin Jackson, left to right, in Martin Jackson’s apartment at Cedars at Carver Park in Galveston, Texas. The apartment is part of a mixed-income development built to replace some of the island’s destroyed public housing.Sometimes, money is the easy part.After Hurricane Ike ravaged this island town in September 2008, the federal government poured millions of dollars into local coffers to jump-start the recovery process. The results are obvious nearly 10 years later: Near the Strand, a historic street lined with 19th-century buildings, workers pour concrete for road projects, while others install streetlights and sidewalks a few blocks away.Still, about $76 million of that recovery money remains unspent: The dollars earmarked to rebuild public housing for the city’s poorest residents. After Ike’s head-high floodwaters and 110 mile-per-hour winds damaged three Galveston public housing developments beyond repair, the city demolished all 569 units — and the city’s housing authority promised that it would rebuild all of them.But once the storm waters receded, it didn’t take long for some Galveston residents to begin asking whether the city should rebuild the public housing at all. The ensuing debate would reshape the island’s politics for a decade.“All across Galveston you hear people saying it would be a good thing if the projects were not rebuilt and FEMA were not allowed to provide trailers,” Galveston County Daily News editor Heber Taylor wrote in a 2008 opinion column. “The idea is that the island would be a better place if the poor people went elsewhere.”City leaders began holding town hall meetings to discuss how — or whether — to rebuild homes for the city’s poorest. One, in October 2009, erupted into a shouting match between the mostly white residents who opposed public housing and the mostly black residents who supported rebuilding, according to an account published in the Daily News.Opponents were outraged at the housing authority’s plan to replace all the public housing, claiming it created a haven for drugs and crime. Rebuilding the dense developments “will just produce the same type of ghettos we had for the last 50 years,” Buddy Herz, an attorney who attended the meeting, was quoted as saying.Today, nearly a decade after Ike, fewer than half of those public housing units — whose residents were mostly black — have been rebuilt.Galveston’s ongoing post-Ike saga, which has sparked racial strife, threats of federal lawsuits and a multimillion-dollar contract benefiting the mayor’s son, offers a cautionary tale for the rest of Texas as the state begins the long-term recovery process after Hurricane Harvey — whose devastation dwarfed Ike’s.John Henneberger, co-director of the Texas Low-Income Housing Information Service, a statewide housing advocacy group, said Galveston exemplified the way local opposition and delaying tactics could thwart civil rights laws aimed at stopping housing discrimination. “I mean, coming up on 10 years, and the only housing that hasn’t gotten rebuilt after Hurricane Ike is the housing for poor people of color,” he said. “We aren’t going to do this again with Harvey.”A March report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, which studies community development and monetary policy, found that Galveston, to the detriment of the local economy, had “default[ed] on its commitment” to rebuild public housing.“The result of this inaction is a community that is less economically diverse and a city that is likely to face serious workforce challenges in the coming years as it seeks to compete in one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation,” it said.Another result of the inaction: The island’s very makeup has changed. While Galveston’s population is down almost 13 percent since the hurricane, its African-American population dropped by more than 15 percent between 2009 and 2016, Census data shows. Meanwhile, the median income on the island has risen by more than $6,000, suggesting that low-income families bore most of the brunt of displacement.“They were all exported,” said Joe Compian, a public housing supporter and organizer with Gulf Coast Interfaith. “It’s our form of apartheid.”A warning from WashingtonThe city’s post-Ike battle over public housing was so divisive that it ushered in a new era of local government. In 2012, a group of public housing opponents arrived on the city council, propelled by campaigns against the housing authority’s plan to rebuild.“My position on rebuilding public housing is very simple: Don’t do it,” the newly-elected mayor, Lewis Rosen, wrote on his campaign website. Just days after the vote, Rosen made Herz, the lawyer from the meeting, chairman of the housing authority board.Pu Ying HuangGalveston Housing Authority board members Ann Masel and Buddy Herz have blamed the state and federal governments for delays in rebuilding public housing.Herz, who had bemoaned the rebuilding of “ghettos,” recalled in a recent interview how Galveston teetered on the edge of a “revolution” over public housing when he arrived on the board. “I was shocked by the animosity,” said Herz, whose term at the housing authority expires in June. “We’ve never had racial strife. We integrated our high school in one year.”“This time, there was hatred,” he said.“The race-based opposition to rebuilding public housing started very, very early,” said Maddie Sloan, a fair housing advocate with the nonprofit Texas Appleseed who has worked extensively in Galveston. “It was openly racist opposition.”But Rosen’s campaign promise not to rebuild was easier said than done. Two years earlier, Texas Appleseed and other fair housing advocates, concerned by the rhetoric surfacing around the issue in Galveston, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. They reached a legally binding agreement with the state and federal governments that put Texas on the hook to replace all 569 units in a way that would “affirmatively further fair housing.”In other words, the state was responsible for overcoming local opposition and making sure the public housing was not just rebuilt, but rebuilt throughout the community — including in the island’s wealthier neighborhoods.After the city council voted to reject a plan for rebuilding, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan summoned Galveston officials — including Herz and Rosen — to Washington, D.C., for a dressing down. They returned to the hurricane-battered island with a reminder that if they didn’t rebuild the housing in high-opportunity areas, the city could lose more than $100 million in federal disaster recovery money for road, water and sewer repair — and be forced to pay back another $100 million they had already received.Finally, in 2013, a reluctant Galveston City Council voted to support a rebuilding plan that Rosen said was “forced down our throats” but which had the blessing of both the state and federal government. On the land where the old housing projects had stood, two new mixed-income developments would provide 145 homes for public housing residents. The rest of the units would be rebuilt as “scattered sites” — single-family homes and duplexes that would be tucked throughout the island’s residential neighborhoods.Former resident: I’m not going backA vacant lot sits on the city’s hardened north side, in a historically segregated neighborhood that’s spitting distance from the county jail.This was where the Oleander Homes stood, before Ike flooded them and sentenced them to the bulldozer. And it’s a testament to the complexities of rebuilding public housing in Galveston.Local officials considered rebuilding the public housing where it stood, but the proposal ran afoul of the federal guidelines that Galveston leaders had agreed to. Instead of simply rebuilding Oleander Homes, the new public housing needed to be built closer to good schools and other neighborhood amenities.As part of its rebuilding plan, the Galveston City Council guaranteed the old residents of public housing a “right of first return,” should they want to come back to the island.That was the plan, at least. But the rebuilding has languished so long that many former public housing residents gave up waiting and left the island altogether. Of the 544 families displaced from public housing by the storm, only 101 have returned to public housing. Of those, only 59 landed a spot in one of the new mixed-income developments.By comparison, 206 families left the housing program altogether after the storm. Another 43 heads of households, by the housing authority’s count, have died.Sandy Taylor, a former Oleander Homes resident, left Galveston after floodwaters ruined the first-floor apartment she and two of her children called home. She now lives in La Marque, an industrial city on the mainland about 15 miles away, where a federal housing voucher helps her pay rent.“It was hell after the storm,” Taylor, 40, recalled in a recent interview. “I couldn’t find nothing in Galveston.”Taylor grew up in Galveston and had a large network of friends and family in Oleander, a community so tightly knit that even unrelated residents said they often called each other “cousin.” Now, Taylor says, she and her friends have mostly fallen out of touch; many of her old neighbors, unable to afford to live in Galveston without public housing, relocated to Texas City and Houston.Taylor, who works as a home health attendant, said she has no plans to return to the island anytime soon. On paper, her new living arrangement might not be considered a move into “higher opportunity.” La Marque’s unemployment rate is more than 4 points higher than Galveston’s, Census data shows, and in 2016 the state forced the local school district to be absorbed by a neighboring district because of falling test scores and student enrollment.But the rent is affordable, and Taylor has put down roots. With two children in public school, she said, picking up and moving again is simply not on the agenda.“I just don’t go down there,” Taylor said of her old hometown. “Ain’t nobody down there for me.”Private company will own some public housingIn June 2017, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush paid a visit to Galveston for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Villas on the Strand, one of the two mixed-income developments built with Ike recovery funds.The buildings won praise from Henneberger and other advocates, who view them as a model for how to build integrated housing. Students from the nearby medical school, teachers and other middle-income tenants pay market rate for apartments next to neighbors in subsidized units. Even Herz, the housing authority board chairman who was once staunchly opposed to the mixed-income developments, says he’s changed his mind and now calls them “wonderful.”Bush’s prepared remarks were optimistic. “We’re so close to being done here in Galveston,” he said.But the developments, managed by a private firm and built for about $78 million on land the housing authority already owned, represented only 145 units, about one-quarter of total required to replace what was lost to Ike. And while Bush and others have sung the praises of Villas on the Strand, Herz said officials from Bush’s agency have told him they will not permit any more mixed-income developments because there simply isn’t enough disaster recovery money to pay for them.Instead, the remaining 384 homes are planned for sites around the island, at a total cost of about $88 million. The first 97 are in various phases of permitting and construction and are supposed to be finished by June, though local officials are skeptical of that timeline.Financed with project-based vouchers from the federal government, private developers will build and own the 97 homes, which are required to be leased to public housing residents for a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30. After that, the developer can sell or rent them on the private market.Pu Ying HuangGalveston is rebuilding 384 units of public housing on scattered sites throughout the island. Some are owned by private developers.One of those developers, J&S Property Holdings, has ties to the mayor’s son.J&S owner Jim Schumer won a nearly $11 million contract to build 23 of the public housing properties. Paperwork filed with the federal government shows Schumer is funneling most of that money — about $8.6 million — to another company he owns, DSW Homes, to actually construct the buildings. Beau Yarbrough, son of Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough, is an executive at DSW.Though Jim Yarbrough appoints the board of the housing authority, which will contract with Schumer’s firm to determine a “reasonable rent,” officials say there is no conflict of interest because the firm was chosen by the General Land Office, not the city. Paperwork filed with the federal government shows Schumer expects to bring in $560,000 per year in rent from the properties.Beau Yarbrough did not return phone calls seeking comment, nor did Jim and Sheila Schumer, the registered owners of J&S.Brittany Eck, a spokeswoman for the General Land Office, said her agency was aware of Schumer and Yarbrough’s relationship and that Schumer had disclosed it. “He signed an applicant disclosure,” Eck said. “That’s part of the process, and they adhered to it.”The elder Yarbrough last year told the Galveston Daily News that his son had no connection to the homes’ construction or management, but in a recent interview he confirmed his son was now involved in building the scattered-site homes.“Given the fact that the GLO handled that, I have tried not to get involved in the details,” Jim Yarbrough said.Herz, the housing authority chairman, downplayed any concerns when asked about the contract. “I doubt that they’re making a lot of money,” he said.The General Land Office says the remaining 287 homes will not be built under a similar ownership arrangement. Instead, the Galveston Housing Authority will own the properties and maintain them as public housing units indefinitely. But the proposal already faces resistance. Local housing officials oppose the idea — Herz said it would “bankrupt” the housing authority to operate and repair hundreds of individual homes around the island — and now local advocates are gearing up for another fight.Leon Phillips, head of the Galveston County Coalition for Justice, which supports the rebuilding of public housing, said: “We’re going to have a fight over the remaining 200-something units, and if they’ve only built 20 of ‘em and it’s been this long, how long do you think it’s going to take?”If history is any indication, the process is likely to be slow and difficult. Eck, the Land Office spokeswoman, said finding property on the island that meets federal fair housing standards “has been a challenge.”Sloan, the fair housing advocate, said she worries that Galveston’s slow pace of rebuilding could jeopardize Texas’ current recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey. Texas is in the midst of deciding how to spend $5 billion in Harvey aid from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — and has asked for much more after last year’s storm wreaked an estimated $120 billion worth of devastation on Houston and parts of the Gulf Coast.Galveston’s example “is a real problem for Texas for disaster recovery,” Sloan said. “You have what looks like a pretty substantial amount of unspent money from Ike, and you have federal elected officials looking at that and saying, ‘Why do you need more money?’”‘If you give them a chance, they’ll come back’Minutes before passing a resolution honoring April as Fair Housing Month at a March housing authority board hearing, Herz criticized the state and federal government for the delays in rebuilding public housing. A staff update showed that 205 public housing units were currently occupied in Galveston — or about 36 percent of the total local officials promised to rebuild nearly a decade ago.Who is to blame for the sluggish pace? “There are other people that need to be asked, but not this board,” Herz said.Ann Masel, another board member, chimed in: “We’ve done exactly what we said we would.”Pu Ying HuangMixed-income housing developments such as the Cedars at Carver Park won praise from fair housing advocates, but they account for less than one-third of the units that must be rebuilt.Three days before, a woman named Rosalyn Jackson went to visit her father in his third-floor apartment at the Cedars at Carver Park, one of the mixed-income developments built with hurricane recovery money. Outside, a sign staked into the lawn read, “Welcome home.”Jackson, a former public housing resident who now holds the informal title of advocate for many in the island’s African-American community, reminisced with her father about a reunion held for public housing residents late last year. Dozens of people had traveled to Galveston to see the people they grew up with.Even though Galveston had been home to many of their families for generations, “Most of them really don’t have a desire to come back,” Jackson said. “They settled down where they’re at right now.”Asked if there was anything that could change their minds, Jackson paused before answering.“If you give ‘em a chance, they’ll come back here,” she said. “But right now they can’t. There isn’t anything for them to come back here for.”This story was produced in partnership with the Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.last_img read more

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Is mathematics an effective way to describe the world

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first_imgMath has the illusion of being effective when we focus on the successful examples, Abbott argues. But there are many more cases where math is ineffective than where it is effective. Credit: Derek Abbott. ©2013 IEEE Explore further © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Is mathematics an effective way to describe the world? (2013, September 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-09-mathematics-effective-world.html Mathematics has been called the language of the universe. Scientists and engineers often speak of the elegance of mathematics when describing physical reality, citing examples such as π, E=mc2, and even something as simple as using abstract integers to count real-world objects. Yet while these examples demonstrate how useful math can be for us, does it mean that the physical world naturally follows the rules of mathematics as its “mother tongue,” and that this mathematics has its own existence that is out there waiting to be discovered? This point of view on the nature of the relationship between mathematics and the physical world is called Platonism, but not everyone agrees with it. Derek Abbott, Professor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at The University of Adelaide in Australia, has written a perspective piece to be published in the Proceedings of the IEEE in which he argues that mathematical Platonism is an inaccurate view of reality. Instead, he argues for the opposing viewpoint, the non-Platonist notion that mathematics is a product of the human imagination that we tailor to describe reality. This argument is not new. In fact, Abbott estimates (through his own experiences, in an admittedly non-scientific survey) that while 80% of mathematicians lean toward a Platonist view, engineers by and large are non-Platonist. Physicists tend to be “closeted non-Platonists,” he says, meaning they often appear Platonist in public. But when pressed in private, he says he can “often extract a non-Platonist confession.”So if mathematicians, engineers, and physicists can all manage to perform their work despite differences in opinion on this philosophical subject, why does the true nature of mathematics in its relation to the physical world really matter? The reason, Abbott says, is that because when you recognize that math is just a mental construct—just an approximation of reality that has its frailties and limitations and that will break down at some point because perfect mathematical forms do not exist in the physical universe—then you can see how ineffective math is. And that is Abbott’s main point (and most controversial one): that mathematics is not exceptionally good at describing reality, and definitely not the “miracle” that some scientists have marveled at. Einstein, a mathematical non-Platonist, was one scientist who marveled at the power of mathematics. He asked, “How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality?” In 1959, the physicist and mathematician Eugene Wigner described this problem as “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.” In response, Abbott’s paper is called “The Reasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics.” Both viewpoints are based on the non-Platonist idea that math is a human invention. But whereas Wigner and Einstein might be considered mathematical optimists who noticed all the ways that mathematics closely describes reality, Abbott pessimistically points out that these mathematical models almost always fall short. What exactly does “effective mathematics” look like? Abbott explains that effective mathematics provides compact, idealized representations of the inherently noisy physical world.”Analytical mathematical expressions are a way making compact descriptions of our observations,” he told Phys.org. “As humans, we search for this ‘compression’ that math gives us because we have limited brain power. Maths is effective when it delivers simple, compact expressions that we can apply with regularity to many situations. It is ineffective when it fails to deliver that elegant compactness. It is that compactness that makes it useful/practical … if we can get that compression without sacrificing too much precision.”I argue that there are many more cases where math is ineffective (non-compact) than when it is effective (compact). Math only has the illusion of being effective when we focus on the successful examples. But our successful examples perhaps only apply to a tiny portion of all the possible questions we could ask about the universe.”Some of the arguments in Abbott’s paper are based on the ideas of the mathematician Richard W. Hamming, who in 1980 identified four reasons why mathematics should not be as effective as it seems. Although Hamming resigned himself to the idea that mathematics is unreasonably effective, Abbott shows that Hamming’s reasons actually support non-Platonism given a reduced level of mathematical effectiveness.Here are a few of Abbott’s reasons for why mathematics is reasonably ineffective, which are largely based on the non-Platonist viewpoint that math is a human invention:• Mathematics appears to be successful because we cherry-pick the problems for which we have found a way to apply mathematics. There have likely been millions of failed mathematical models, but nobody pays attention to them. (“A genius,” Abbott writes, “is merely one who has a great idea, but has the common sense to keep quiet about his other thousand insane thoughts.”)• Our application of mathematics changes at different scales. For example, in the 1970s when transistor lengths were on the order of micrometers, engineers could describe transistor behavior using elegant equations. Today’s submicrometer transistors involve complicated effects that the earlier models neglected, so engineers have turned to computer simulation software to model smaller transistors. A more effective formula would describe transistors at all scales, but such a compact formula does not exist.• Although our models appear to apply to all timescales, we perhaps create descriptions biased by the length of our human lifespans. For example, we see the Sun as an energy source for our planet, but if the human lifespan were as long as the universe, perhaps the Sun would appear to be a short-lived fluctuation that rapidly brings our planet into thermal equilibrium with itself as it “blasts” into a red giant. From this perspective, the Earth is not extracting useful net energy from the Sun.• Even counting has its limits. When counting bananas, for example, at some point the number of bananas will be so large that the gravitational pull of all the bananas draws them into a black hole. At some point, we can no longer rely on numbers to count.• And what about the concept of integers in the first place? That is, where does one banana end and the next begin? While we think we know visually, we do not have a formal mathematical definition. To take this to its logical extreme, if humans were not solid but gaseous and lived in the clouds, counting discrete objects would not be so obvious. Thus axioms based on the notion of simple counting are not innate to our universe, but are a human construct. There is then no guarantee that the mathematical descriptions we create will be universally applicable.For Abbott, these points and many others that he makes in his paper show that mathematics is not a miraculous discovery that fits reality with incomprehensible regularity. In the end, mathematics is a human invention that is useful, limited, and works about as well as expected.For those who seek something more practical out of such a discussion, Abbott explains that this understanding can allow for greater freedom of thought. One example is an improvement of vector operations. The current method involves dot and cross products, “a rather clunky” tool that does not generalize to higher dimensions. Lately there has been a renewed interest in an alternative approach called geometric algebra, which overcomes many of the limitations of dot and cross products and can be extended to higher dimensions. Abbott is currently working on a tutorial paper on geometric algebra for electrical engineers to be published in the near future. Journal information: Proceedings of the IEEE Belgian wins Norway’s $1 million Abel math prize More information: More information: Derek Abbott. “The Reasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics.” Proceedings of the IEEE. To be published. DOI: 10.1109/JPROC.2013.2274907 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

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Nanocontainers for nanocargo Delivering genes and proteins for cellular imaging genetic medicine

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first_imgIn their paper, the authors report that the T4 capsid NP gene expression and protein delivery system may be complementary to or used in conjunction with gene therapy based on RNA Cas and taran nuclease. (Cas genes code for proteins related to DNA loci containing short repetitions of base sequences known as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, or CRISPRs.) “The T4 nanoparticle expression system can easily complement Cas9 and taran nuclease-based recombination by packaging the linear cas9, target-sgRNA plasmid DNA, and Cre recombinase – or even ligase, an enzyme that facilitates the joining of DNA strands – and deliver the resulting T4 nanoparticles into the recipient eukaryotic cells with high specificity employing SOC and HOC,” Liu tells Phys.org. (SOC and HOC are dispensable T4 capsid proteins.) “By displaying the targeting ligands (binding molecules) onto the surface, the T4 capsid gene expression and protein system will be able to efficiently deliver the Cas9 and sgRNA plasmids together into the desired recipient cells. Relevant enzymatically-active proteins Cas9, lambda exonuclease, lambda beta protein and others can be delivered directly at the same time from the T4 nanoparticle.” Seamless gene correction of beta-thalassemia mutations in patient-specific cells Dr. Jinny L. Liu discussed the paper that she, Prof. Lindsay W. Black and their co-authors published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. “Icosahedral viral nanoparticles are essentially 100 nm by 80 nm nanocontainers that allow exogenous genetic material to be packaged in vitro through nucleic acid machinery that generally only allows linear DNA/RNA to be packaged through a portal channel,” Liu tells Phys.org. “However, in vitro protein packaging is generally impossible, because for most viral nanoparticles there is no protein packaging machinery comparable to nucleic acid packaging machinery.” While protein may be chemically cross-linked to the capsid inner surface, this is expected to lead to protein denaturation and loss of enzymatic activity.That being said, nature has evolved solutions to this protein packaging conundrum. During in vivo viral capsid assembly, Liu explains, some bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, target proteins within the procapsids before the nucleic acid is packaged so as to eject the proteins with the nucleic acid, thereby facilitating infection in conjunction with the nucleic acid. (A procapsid, or prohead, is an immature viral capsid structure formed in the early stages of self-assembly of some bacteriophages. Production and assembly of stable proheads is an essential precursor to bacteriophage genome packaging.) Only a few phages have well-characterized in vivo protein packaging systems, and phage T4 is the best characterized. “Prof. Black’s lab at UMB and my lab at NRL have demonstrated that not only can a specific foreign enzyme – cyclic recombination (Cre) recombinase – be packaged into the capsid in vivo, but also that it is active within the capsid.” This activity was demonstrated by showing the religation (the rejoining of two DNA strands or other molecules by a phosphate ester linkage) of packaged linear DNA flanked with two Cre recombination sites.The paper shows that the substantial space within a T4 nanocontainer accommodates the active Cre enzyme along with exogenous DNA. “For potential applications, T4 can package up to 50 kb exogenous linear DNA containing full-length desired genes along with recombinases, either Cre or λ-red proteins, for specific homologous recombination within the chromosome,” Liu notes. (Homologous recombination is a type of genetic recombination in which nucleotide sequences are exchanged between two similar or identical molecules of DNA.) “We expect that the cas9 enzyme could be encapsidated in a comparable way – and in fact, at least eight different proteins have been encapsidated in this manner. Through homologous recombination, our system can allow the corrected gene to replace the mutated gene in its original location within the chromosome or by precisely knocking out the overactive genes in stem cells.” Liu points out that the T4 delivery vector is safer and better controlled than other viral delivery gene therapy, such as those delivering genes using infectious animal viral vectors to randomly insert the gene within the chromosome. Liu adds that her lab has also been studying cell imaging and drug/gene delivery to eukaryotic cells using T4 tailless nanoparticles, which the researchers demonstrated can enter the eukaryotic cells without causing cell death.A specific example of potential downstream drug and gene therapeutic applications resulting from the new approach is delivery of the toxic protein and linear plasmid that produces neutralizing peptides or antibodies into targeted cancer cells displaying specific cancer markers using high affinity SOC + HOC marker binding proteins on the surface of the capsids, while another example is to use the system for HIV gene therapy. Liu adds that there are several pathways to use this system for gene therapy:Delivering T4 nanoparticles packaged with the recombinase (or ligase) and linear plasmid DNA to produce gp120 or interferon to generate or boost the immune response in patientsDelivering T4 nanoparticles packaged with recombinase (ligase) and the linear soluble CD40 expression plasmid DNA into T lymphocytes or hematopoietic cells to block the infection of HIV-1Inhibiting RNA by delivering the engineered plasmid DNA that can produce decoy RNA for binding the viral sense DNAInhibiting protein by delivering packaged anti-viral antibodies and anti-HIV antibody plasmid DNA In addition to diagnostic and cellular imaging, the T4 nanoparticle gene-protein system can deliver repaired genes to correct human genetic diseases – for example, reversing adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency by introducing the protein-DNA complex to express ADA in stem cells. Other broad areas of research impacted by gene therapy technologies, such as genetic defects, cancer, neurological diseases in adults, and aging itself, may also benefit from this study.Moving forward, the scientists want to develop more T4 procapsids packaging exonuclease and other recombinases along with engineered target DNA to demonstrate that the resulting T4 capsids can insert the gene into a stem cell line with a genetic deficiency. “In addition,” Liu concludes, “we’re working on adapting our system to deliver therapeutic peptides or antibodies to cells exposed to or infected by biothreat agents, such as protein toxins or viruses, efficient neutralization of toxin effects. The treatment and cure of cells and tissues exposed to such agents are of a great interest to our biodefense research community.” Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further The T4 capsid-derived specific exogenous DNA plus protein packaging and eukaryotic cell delivery scheme. (A) DNA encoding a 10-amino acid N-terminal CTS peptide fused to the phage P1 Cre allows synthesis of CTS-Cre and targeting of the enzyme into the early core-scaffold of the T4 procapsid in vivo. Procapsid assembly and maturation-specific viral protease stabilize the procapsid, remove most of the scaffolding core as peptides, and remove the CTS peptide from Cre. Mutations in the viral terminase block DNA packaging and allow a mature but DNA-empty large Cre-containing procapsid to be highly purified from viral-infected bacteria. (B) In vitro packaging into the mature capsid of plasmid DNA containing mCherry driven by a CMV promoter and two loxP sites flanking an SfiI restriction enzyme site that allow the linearization required for packaging. The DNA is packaged into the procapsid by the ATP-driven terminase motor protein (gp17) with high efficiency. (C) The packaged Cre enzyme recircularizes the packaged linear plasmid DNA between the two loxP sites. The DNA-containing capsid is taken up by eukaryotic cells, here without displaying a specific peptide target, or into eukaryotic cells specifically using Soc and Hoc displayed peptides that have high affinity for the RP1 and RP2 receptors, respectively. Credit: Liu JL, et al. (Published online before print August 26, 2014) Viral nanoparticle-encapsidated enzyme and restructured DNA for cell delivery and gene expression. Credit: Liu JL, et al. (2014) Viral nanoparticle-encapsidated enzyme and restructured DNA for cell delivery and gene expression. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Published online before print August 26, 2014. doi:10.1073/pnas.1321940111 More information: Viral nanoparticle-encapsidated enzyme and restructured DNA for cell delivery and gene expression, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Published online before print August 26, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1321940111 Measurement of the inhibition by endocytosis inhibitors and colocalization with lysosomes in A546-T4–treated A549 cells. (A) Pretreatment with amantadine, specifically stabilizing the clathrin-coated pits, reduced the uptake of A546-T4 NPs by A549 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. (B) Pretreatment with the PI3 kinase inhibitor, wortmannin, also reduced the uptake of A546-T4 in a concentration-dependent manner. (C) An overlapping confocal cell image obtained with a 60× objective with the internalized A546-T4 procapsids (yellow), lysosomes stained with LysoTracker Blue (blue), and the overlapping spots (white). (Scale bar, 10 μm.) (D) A confocal image shows the broad view of treated cells containing overlapping portions (white spots) of lysosomes (blue) with A546-T4 procapsids (yellow). The image was obtained using a 20× objective. (Scale bar, 50 μm.) Credit: Liu JL, et al. (Published online before print August 26, 2014) Viral nanoparticle-encapsidated enzyme and restructured DNA for cell delivery and gene expression. Credit: Liu JL, et al. (2014) Viral nanoparticle-encapsidated enzyme and restructured DNA for cell delivery and gene expression. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Published online before print August 26, 2014. doi:10.1073/pnas.1321940111 (Phys.org) —By loading any specific protein and nucleic acid into an icosahedral phage T4 capsid-based nanoparticle, the resulting cell delivery vehicle’s ligands can bind to the surface of specific target tissues to deliver the protein/DNA cargo. (Icosahedral viral nanoparticles are evolutionary protein shells assembled in a hierarchical order that results in a stable protein layer and an inner space for accommodating nucleic acids and proteins; a capsid is the protein shell of a virus.) The technique has drug- and gene-delivery applications in human diseases, diagnostic and cellular imaging, and other medical areas. Recently, scientists at US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC and University of Maryland at Baltimore packaged T4 nanoparticles in vivo with active cyclic recombination, or Cre, recombinase (a genetic recombination enzyme used to manipulate genome structure and control gene expression) and in vitro with fluorescent mCherry (a fluorescent protein used as a marker when tagged to molecules and cell components) expression plasmid DNA, and delivered these nanoparticles into cancer cells: When released into cells in the presence of both DNA and protein, the recombinase enhances mCherry expression by circularization (that is, changing the packaged linear DNA into a circular loop). The researchers state that this efficient and specific packaging into capsids and the unpackaging of both DNA and protein with release of the enzymatically altered protein/DNA complexes from the nanoparticles into cells have potential in numerous downstream applications such as genetic and cancer therapeutics. © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Nanocontainers for nanocargo: Delivering genes and proteins for cellular imaging, genetic medicine and cancer therapy (2014, September 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-nanocontainers-nanocargo-genes-proteins-cellular.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.last_img read more

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FAA appears to be attempting to expand its authority to moon activities

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first_imgThe U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has caused a bit of stir by hinting that it plans to expand its authority to include exploration of the moon and the use of its resources. News agency Reuters has reported that it has obtained a copy of a letter composed by officials with the agency and sent to U.S. based Bigelow Airspace—in it, the agency said it plans to leverage its launching authority by adding licensing authority of moon assets—all to encourage private companies to invest in such activities. The reason such a move has caused a stir, of course, is because it appears that the U.S. agency is attempting to expand its oversight into an area where it does not have the authority to do so. Video: The future of manned moon exploration © 2015 Phys.org Explore further Citation: FAA appears to be attempting to expand its authority to moon activities (2015, February 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-faa-authority-moon.html No one owns the moon or any part of it, which makes it ripe for the taking. A similar scenario is taking place in parts of the northern hemisphere as global warming reveals new unclaimed territory. In years past, land grabs generally resulted in the spoils going to those who came first—and then fought off those that tried to take it away from them. To prevent such a scenario unfolding in a new more civilized world, the United Nations passed an Outer Space treaty back in 1967, which among other things, stipulates that no one country can claim sovereignty over any part of the moon. It also lays out rules for activities on the moon—private entities that go there, for example, must be authorized and supervised by countries belonging to the UN. George Nield, author of the letter, in responding to criticism regarding its intent, claimed that the wording does not imply that the agency is attempting to license moon landings—the agency, he said, was merely trying to reassure Bigelow that it would do its best to protect the company’s assets once they are on the moon. Unfortunately, others do not see it that way. While it is clear that new rules need to be written and agreed to by worldwide consensus, an American agency striking out on its own seems to be a push by the U.S. government to tighten its grip on celestial assets—Reuters claims the letter was coordinated by several agencies, not just the FAA, which included NASA, Commerce and the departments of State and Defense.Regardless of intent, it is likely the letter will cause some in the U.N. or other multi-national organizations to speed up the process of figuring out how to settle land claims and/or disputes on the moon or other celestial bodies, before it becomes necessary to settle things the old-fashioned way. 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

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Physicists observe magnetic devils staircase

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first_img More information: T. Matsuda, et al. “Observation of a Devil’s Staircase in the Novel Spin-Valve System SrCo6O11.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.236403 Also at arXiv:1412.7945 [cond-mat.str-el] Explore further Citation: Physicists observe magnetic ‘devil’s staircase’ (2015, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-physicists-magnetic-devil-staircase.html Devil’s staircase behavior emerges in the magnetic structure of a cobalt oxide material. Three magnetic phases are shown here, where the arrows represent the different spin configurations that define each phase. These phases have nearly degenerate magnetic energies, so they all coexist as stable phases, but can be easily altered by external modifications such as doping. Credit: T. Matsuda, et al. ©2015 American Physical Society Anomalous spin ordering revealed by brilliant synchrotron soft X-rays Now in a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers led by Hiroki Wadati, an associate professor at the University of Tokyo, have observed devil’s staircase behavior in a certain magnetic material: the cobalt oxide SrCo6O11. By analyzing the microscopic behavior of this material, the researchers found that it contains a large number of magnetic structures that have nearly “degenerate,” or equal, magnetic energies. The coexistence of these many nearly degenerate magnetic structures gives rise to the devil’s staircase behavior, which has the appearance of many (in principle, an infinite number of) proportional step-like structures.Although the devil’s staircase behavior emerges from microscopic effects, the behavior is also reflected in the material’s macroscopic properties. One of the most intriguing properties is the material’s giant magnetoresistance, which means that an applied magnetic field changes the material’s electrical resistance. This property could have implications for designing artificial materials with novel functionalities.To uncover these microscale magnetic properties of the cobalt oxide, the researchers used a technique called soft X-ray scattering (RSXS), which involves bombarding a material with X-rays and measuring the energy and momentum of the scattered X-rays. As a relatively recent development, RSXS has proven to be a powerful tool for investigating the ordered structures in solid materials. For one of the first times ever, the researchers here used RSXS with magnetic fields of several Tesla. The technique enabled the researchers to discover several microscale magnetic structures that escaped detection in earlier experiments. The scientists attribute the material’s unusually large number of nearly degenerate magnetic phases—and the resulting devil’s staircase behavior—to competition between the magnetic phases. This competition results in magnetic frustration, as no single phase is strong enough to dominate the others. The results show that strong magnetic frustration is a key ingredient for giving the material its giant magnetoresistance and also makes the material highly sensitive to very low chemical doping. To demonstrate this sensitivity, the researchers showed that substituting just 3% of the strontium atoms with barium atoms destroys almost all of the material’s degenerate magnetic phases, which greatly changes its overall magnetic properties. Because the material’s properties are easily tunable in this way, the scientists hope that this research may offer a path toward engineering and controlling the material’s magnetic and electrical properties for various technological applications. “In future resonant soft X-ray diffraction studies, one can expect to find similar devil’s staircase behavior in other materials,” Wadati told Phys.org. “The devil’s staircase behavior may lead to the development of novel types of spintronics materials, which can use discrete levels of electrical resistivity.”center_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—Many hiking trails feature a “devil’s staircase”—a set of steps that are often steep and difficult to climb. The devil’s staircase is also the name of a mathematical function whose graph exhibits a jagged step-like organization reminiscent of a real staircase, although in a highly ordered fractal pattern. Devil’s staircase behavior emerges in a variety of areas, such as in crystals, phase transitions, and statistical physics. 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

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