Ardi Party Is Over

first_imgThe hubbub over Ardipithecus (10/02/2009) may have been premature.  Despite 600 pages of material submitted to Science in October, many doubts and questions remain about the status of this hominin, or hominid, or whatever it was (the nomenclature is confusing and inconsistent even among paleoanthropologists).  In an article by Katherine Harmon in the pro-evolutionary magazine Scientific American, so many doubts are evident that laymen should seriously question whether this fossil suggests anything about human origins.   In brief, here are some key issues:Debate:  Ardi has “sharpened more differences than it has smoothed over.”Manipulation:  William Jungers (Stony Brook U) criticized Tim White’s team for overstating interpretations.  “I think some of the things they said might have been for effect,” he claimed.Negative evidence:  Even White himself does not claim that Ardi demonstrates linkage to humans.  Harmon wrote, “White and his fellow authors do not propose to have a definitive answer, but through painstaking analysis of the fossil data and surroundings, they conclude in the overview paper that, ‘There are no apparent features sufficiently unique to warrant the exclusion of Ar. ramidus as being ancestral to Australopithecus,’ thus proposing she might indeed be an early hominin (the ever-changing nomenclatural group that usually includes living humans and our close extinct relatives, also referred to by White et al. as hominids—although the latter title now often includes the great apes, as well).”Rotation:  Key to the claim that Ardi walked upright is the position of the ilium.  Rotating the ilium can lead to mistaken interpretations.  Jungers said, “It’s very difficult not to make them look like something you have in your mind if there’s any chance of play.” Harmon mentioned that “Despite the numerous images and descriptions put forth by the researchers, others are reluctant to take the reconstructions without a grain of salt.”Faculty:  Humans are obligate bipeds, but facultative tree climbers.  If Ardi was a facultative biped and obligate tree climber, as her divergent big toe indicates, she may have been no different in her transport habits than chimpanzees.  No knee joint was found in the Ardipithecus specimens.  This also confuses the interpretation.Social studies:  White and the supporters of Ardi argue that the teeth show little sexual dimorphism.  What does this mean?  They take it to mean that males were not larger and more aggressive, which means that they might have helped care for the young, which seems kind of human-like.  This reasoning is very subjective.Face book:  So what if Ardi’s face was not as protruding as that of apes?  Harmon explained, “outside researchers focus on the similarity in size to other nonhuman primates, such as extinct Miocene epoch apes.”Combination plate:  Tim White prefers to look at the combination of features that make Ardi unique, instead of focusing on piecemeal analysis of each part.  This raises questions, however, about the value of his own painstaking descriptions of those parts.  David Begun (U of Toronto) also opined that it could mean Ar. ramidus had nothing to do with human evolutionary history.  In Ardi he finds “very little in the anatomy of this specimen that leads directly to Australopithecus, then to Homo sapiens.  This could very easily be a side branch.”About the only thing they agree on is the amount of detail White’s team put into the description of the fossil is commendable.  Jungers considers the work a “new standard” that is “truly extraordinary.”  That aspect, however, affirms nothing about the interpretation of its place in human evolution.  It might only serve to elucidate the sophistication of their subjectivity.*Sigh.*  The Darwin Party song and dance is getting so tiring.  Lots of old apes and monkeys went extinct.  Who cares about another?  Considering the rivalries and ambitions among the paleoanthropologists, and the ever-changing stories, and the leeway for fudging that exists, why do we even pay these guys any attention?  Here at CEH we have to, in order to forestall the misguidance of the public that results from one-party rule in Science.    In support of that criticism, let us remind you of Tim White’s own cautions about how distorted bones can mislead even the experts (see 03/28/2003).  Let us remind you that Nature accused Tim White’s storytelling proclivities as “more philosophy than fossils” (04/27/2006).  Let us remind you that variability within humans can swamp interpretations of putative ancestral traits (07/22/2007).  And to reinforce the subjectivity of their art, let us remind you of Leslie Hlusko’s debunking of three common presumptions anthropologists use when interpreting alleged hominid bones (02/19/2004).  If you follow this stuff, consider it sport or entertainment – not science.(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mini budget 2016: quotes

first_imgManaging a tough balancing act, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered the mini budget on 26 October 2016. He addressed issues facing the economy, politics and the global outlook. Through it all, he emphasised that there was hope and that, working together, goals could be achieved.        Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivers the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on 26 October 2016 in Cape Town. (Image: National Treasury, Facebook)Compiled by Priya PitamberQuoting the likes of struggle stalwart Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, the current Pope Francis, former United Nations head Kofi Annan, American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, and economist and philosopher Amartya Sen, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan presented the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on 26 October 2016 in Cape Town.The minister delivered an overall message of hope, stressing that goals could be achieved through a collective effort. Gordhan balanced that message by acknowledging the realities of global and local politics and economics.On the inaugural MTBPS in 1997:The first MTBPS was tabled in December 1997 under the leadership of President Mandela. Its purpose was stated as follows: “It describes Government’s goals and objectives.“It explains the economic environment within which those objectives are being addressed, and projects the total level of resources that will be available.“It analyses the trade-offs and choices that the nation confronts in addressing its reconstruction and development priorities.“In keeping with our commitment to open, transparent and cooperative policy-making, it invites the nation to share with Government the important choices that must be made.”Our goals remain to promote social transformation and more inclusive economic growth, and to achieve a much better life and opportunities for all South Africans.On achieving a collective goal:Above all, it invites Parliament and the people of South Africa to engage with the policy choices and decisions we must take in pursuing the aspirations and goals of our Constitution and the National Development Plan.On reality:The economic environment this year is unusually difficult. We have also faced other extraordinary challenges.Slow economic growth means that employment has declined over the past year. Many businesses are in difficulties and households are struggling to make ends meet.On working together:Yet if each of us contributes to our shared goals, we can achieve greatness beyond our imaginings. There is a Pedi saying: Ditau tsa hloka seboka di shitwa ke nare ehlotsa, “lions that fail to work as a team will struggle to bring down even a limping buffalo”.On growth:Members of the House, there are many other programmes and policies which are vital for our growth. With careful attention to sustainability and inclusivity, they will contribute to employment and broadening of economic opportunities. Properly designed and implemented, they will contribute to black economic empowerment and to strengthening localisation and the growth of South African enterprises.On protests:Violent protests signal unresolved social challenges. They present immense challenges to the leadership of our higher education institutions, municipalities and community organisations. Highly stressful demands are made on our police and security personnel. Destruction of property diminishes the inheritance of our children.On social grants:Taking into account the rise in food prices this year, I am pleased to confirm that an additional increase of R10 a month has been made to social grants with effect from October.On recognition of debt management:In the international capital markets, we continue to succeed in raising debt despite the tough prevailing environment. South Africa was recently recognised as the “best sovereign debt management operations and issuer” in Sub Saharan Africa by the Global Markets Publication. Debt management initiatives over the past year have reduced government’s refinancing risks and were supported by investors across all the major financial centres in Asia, Europe and the United States. The World Bank has recently commended our debt management framework, indicating that South Africa is now “better positioned to absorb fiscal shocks going forward.”On hope:We are resilient, and we have sound foundations on which to build. But it is action, to bring clarity where uncertainties remain, to address organisational weaknesses, to bring closure to infrastructure transactions and to accelerate trade and investment – that brings hope. It’s up to us.On growth:The MTBPS revises our growth expectation for the South African economy to 0.5% for the 2016 calendar year, somewhat lower than the February estimates of 0.9%. For the current fiscal year, the revised growth estimate is 1.0%.On increasing funds towards higher education:Minister Nzimande has rightly emphasised that expanded opportunities in our universities cannot rely on government funding alone. Public expenditure on post-school education and training has in fact grown considerably faster than other budget allocations in recent years, and this will continue. At the heart of the issue is that access has expanded faster than resources. As a result, many students face financial hardships that undermine their ability to succeed academically.In addition to the R16-billion added to higher education funding in the February budget, we therefore propose:A further R9-billion for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme over the period ahead, raising its funding by over 18% a year.Over R8-billion to meet the costs of fee increases for students from households with incomes up to R600 000.On local governmentIn keeping with our commitment to transparency in the public finances, the National Treasury has launched a new local government budget data portal today, called “Municipal Money”. It provides citizens and other stakeholders with access to comparable, verified information on the financial performance of each municipality. It aims to promote transparency and citizen engagement by providing information about municipal spending in a simple, accessible format.On corruption:As Kofi Annan wrote in the foreword to the 2003 United National Convention Against Corruption:In promoting development and making the world a better place for all, we are called upon to reaffirm the importance of core values such as honesty, respect for the rule of law, accountability and transparency.On the National Development Plan:The National Development Plan requires more rapid growth, and clearly this is a pre-condition for achieving inclusive development and transformation. The MTBPS emphasises that low growth is not inevitable – if we take the right decisions, inclusive and more rapid progress can be achieved.On integrity and accountability:Those who are called upon to serve in public institutions have an added responsibility to work with integrity, honesty and accountability and to ensure that their efforts are directed towards the shared interests of all South Africans.Put simply, this means that public funds must not be diverted to private ends. All citizens are entitled to demand accountability and integrity from those who serve them.In conclusion:Adapting Nelson Mandela’s enduring words:…With freedom come responsibilities,…We dare not linger, for our long walk is not ended.last_img read more

Health is a Family Affair: Connecting the Dots between Health and Family

first_imgKaren Shirer is a member of the Military Families Learning Network Family Transitions Team and the Associate Dean with the University of Minnesota, Extension Center for Family Development. Karen is also the parent of two adult daughters, a grandmother, a spouse, and a cancer survivor. By Dr. Karen Shirer, Ph.D.Our health and family well-being are closely linked to each other.  When a family member suffers from ill-health due to chronic disease, the health and wellness of both the individual and his/her family are impacted.Chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer and heart disease cause not only physical difficulties but also stress among individuals and families. Yet, family support and positive communication provide important protection against developing chronic disease and dealing with it when diagnosed with one.  Dr. Tai Mendenhall at the University of Minnesota in the webinar (title) gave two powerful examples of the relationship between physical health and relational health in families.  In couples, relationship quality affects partners’ immune function and endocrine stress hormones, and as a result, the development and course of chronic illnesses. That means, couples in high conflict relationships have higher stress and, therefore, can be at higher risk for illness.  In addition, physical health of partners affects their relationship quality.  Illness can “get in the way” of the couple and cause caregiver stress and burden.Chronic pain in a family member can lead to poor relationships and the onset of depression and anxiety in both partners.  When couples learned to communicate in a more responsive and facilitative manner and showed support to each other, pain intensity and depression decreased, and couples were more satisfied with their relationship.We spend the majority of our time with our families and as a result, they impact our health.  How we communicate and interact with each other can play a significant role in the health and resiliency of our families. Dr. Mendenhall described these important communication skills to promote health:Listen carefully instead of thinking about your response while the other person is talkingReflect back what you heard the other person say rather than minimize or say things like “yes, but …”Focus on behavior that can be changed instead of the other person’s characterBe honest and avoid “niceties” like telling the other person everything is fine or that it is nothingTake time-outs to defuse strong emotions or respond while tiredDr. Mendenhall reminds us that the family’s main functions focus on protecting the safety of its members and teaching them health behaviors. As family service and health care providers, we need to consider the whole family when providing services and care, and look for ways to strengthen their ability to fulfill these basic functions.  When a family faces a health crisis of one of its members, a team of providers representing both physical and behavioral practices need to work together.  This team’s role involves understanding the patient’s and their family’s world listen with empathy; seeing the world through the eyes of the patient and their family; and valuing their lived experience and wisdom.  The patient and his/her family need to be critical members of this multi-disciplinary care team.Take time to view Part 1 to learn more about the connection between chronic illness and stress, and how it impacts individual and family health.  You will find additional information and strategies for strengthening families’ well-being and for collaborating with other service provides when working with families struggling with chronic illness.  It is a great investment of your time!last_img read more

New Date in November for National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout

first_imgThe National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout planned for this June long weekend has been postponed to November. Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service’s Quit B Fit – Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program and Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in conjunction with NSW Touch Football & Touch Football Australia and Dubbo Regional Council will host the 2017 National Indigenous Touch Carnival Knockout which will be the first of its kind in Australia.”The organising committee agreed to change the date and also review the registration and competitor criteria to encourage more registrations to ensure a highly successful event for Dubbo,” said WACHS CEO Darren Ah See. The Knockout will be open to men, women’s, mixed and junior grades and will feature a prize pool of up to $40,000 for winners and runner’s up.“The revised registration and competitor details will be available on the event’s website and social media on 1 July 2017.Mr Ah See encourages all interested players to get involved. “We have received overwhelming support from the community and we thank the sponsors on board already including the Western NSW Local Health District, Cloudwize, Sydney University, and Western Plains Zoo. “We will be moving forward in November with our plans to host a health hub and kids activity/entertainment area at the Knockout to promote healthy living,” he said.“We’re also planning entertainment and an open mic session for amateur musicians to make the weekend a family fun-filled time,” he said.For more information visit the KO website or follow @quitbfit on Facebook and #quitbfit on Twitter and Instagram.Media Contact: Rebekah Bullock 0407959781Related Files2017-06-02-touch-ko-new-date-1-pdfRelated LinksNew Datelast_img read more

2015 NFL Mock Draft: First Round

first_imgThe 2015 NFL Draft starts just one week from tomorrow, and per usual, publications around the country are doing their best to attempt to forecast exactly what’s going to happen in the first round. We’re no different. While most people believe that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be selecting former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston with the first overall pick, there isn’t much of a consensus on what’ll happen next. Here’s how we see it all going down. Presenting College Spun’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft for the first round.1. Tampa Bay – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida StatetampaTampa Bay is in dire need of a quarterback, and unless the Bucs are scared off by Winston’s off-the-field issues, it’s hard to see them passing on the former Florida State quarterback, who won the 2013 Heisman Trophy and lost just one game in his college career. Is there a chance that Tampa Bay takes Oregon signal-caller Marcus Mariota instead? Sure, but it’d be a surprise. Winston is the pick, and the Bucs are going to have to hope that he’s matured greatly in the past year.2. Tennessee – Marcus Mariota, QB, OregontitansTennessee is doing all it can to make it seem like it isn’t sold on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, but in the end, we can’t see the Titans, who currently employ Zach Mettenberger as their starter, passing. Mariota has been labeled as a “system quarterback” by a number of scouts, but even so, he’s still perceived as the second-best signal-caller in the class. Could Tennessee take him and then trade him before the season starts? Maybe, but we think he’ll be taken in the 2-slot regardless.3. Jacksonville – Dante Fowler Jr., LB, FloridajacksonvilleLet’s face it – Jacksonville has a lot of needs. The Jags could go with defensive end Leonard Williams out of USC, but we think they’ll go with more of hybrid pass rusher – Dante Fowler Jr. The Florida linebacker may not have seen many wins during his collegiate years, but he’s an absolute monster for quarterbacks to deal with. Jacksonville wouldn’t do poorly to take a player who fits in multiple slots.4. Oakland – Kevin White, WR, West VirginiaoaklandIf the Raiders are going to be committed to second-year quarterback Derek Carr, who struggled completing the deep ball last season, they’re going to need to get him some weapons. West Virginia’s Kevin White, who blazed the 40-yard-dash at the NFL Combine with a 4.35-second time, is regarded as the wideout with the most upside. Oakland could also take Amari Cooper out of Alabama, who is regarded as the better all-around receiver at the moment. It’s probably a toss-up, but we’ll assume that White gets the nod.5. Washington – Amari Cooper, WR, AlabamaredskinsThe Redskins were woeful on offense in 2014, and it wasn’t just quarterback play that was the problem. Washington, which needs to start piling up playmakers if it wants to compete in the NFC East, is likely to take either White or Cooper – whichever player is left on the board. There’s a chance they call an audible and take Clemson linebacker Vic Beasley, but they wouldn’t exactly be filling a need.6. New York Jets – Vic Beasley, LB, ClemsonjetsWe think Beasley goes at No. 6 to the Jets, who need to improve their pass rushing in 2015. Beasley, who had an incredible NFL Combine performance, is one of the true freak athletes in the draft class, despite being a bit undersized for his position. Fans may be a bit upset if the Jets don’t choose to improve their offense with their first pick, but if the top two quarterbacks and the top two wide receivers are gone by the time they’re up, it’s likely they don’t.7. Chicago – Leonard Williams, DE, USCchicagoLeonard Williams is a beast, and there’s a decent chance he isn’t available at No. 7 – especially if the Titans decide they’ll pass on Mariota. But if he does make it this far down the list, it’s hard to see the Bears passing on him. Somehow, Chicago, long known for its defense, gave up the second-highest number of points in the entire NFL last season. If they have a sure-fire way to improve their pass rushing, they’ll do so.8. Atlanta – Shane Ray, DE, MissouriatlantaThe Falcons need help rushing the quarterback, so they’ll have a number of options. Assuming both Beasley and Williams are gone, the next-best bets appear to be Missouri’s Shane Ray and Nebraska’s Randy Gregory. Ray, the SEC defensive player of the year, has a knack for getting to signal-callers. We think the Falcons will take the former Tiger, but we wouldn’t be surprised either way.9. New York Giants – Ereck Flowers, OL, MiamigiantsThe Giants need help in the trenches, and Iowa’ s Brandon Scherff is a popular pick in mock drafts for Big Blue. Scherff might be the most “plug-and-play” pick the Giants could make here, but we feel GM Jerry Reese will roll the dice slightly on Flowers, who isn’t  as ready as Scherff but possesses tremendous upside. Flowers projects as a potential long-term starter at either tackle spot. He may need some seasoning but could eventually start at right tackle, sliding Justin Pugh inside, or replace Will Beatty as Eli Manning’s blindside protector.10. St. Louis – Brandon Scherff, OL, IowaramsEven with taking Greg Robinson as the No. 2 pick in last year’s NFL Draft, the Rams still need plenty of help along the offensive line. Enter Scherff, who could line up at right tackle but probably best fits as a mauler inside at guard. He’s tough, physical and durable, and should be able to help the team from Day 1. The Rams have a new QB in Nick Foles, and they need to protect him, so Scherff is the best option here, though true tackle prospects such as Andrus Peat and La’el Collins could be enticing. 11. Minnesota – Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan StateminnesotaDevante Parker will be tempting here, considering he played with Viking QB Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville and Minnesota badly needs threats in the passing game. But ultimately, we see the Vikings grabbing the fast-rising Waynes. The Michigan State product is a potential lockdown corner and the top prospect at his position. He and Xavier Rhodes will form a worthy 1-2 punch at cornerback for what should be a very formidable defensive unit under head coach Mike Zimmer. 12. Cleveland – Devante Parker, WR, LouisvilleclevelandWhoever starts for Cleveland at quarterback this season, they’ll certainly welcome Parker to the fold with open arms. A four-year producer for Louisville, Parker may not last until pick No. 12, and the Browns will jump at him if he does. At 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, he provides impressive length and size at the position, and possesses terrific hands. The main cause for concern with Parker is that he missed the first seven games of his senior season with a foot injury.13. New Orleans – Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska new orleansBehavioral concerns and a failed drug test at the NFL Combine have Gregory free-falling on draft boards. There are reports he could slip all the way out of the first round, but we’re not buying that. There is still a tremendous amount of raw talent and freakish athleticism here, and Gregory could wind up being the best pass rusher in this draft class. He’s a good fit for the Saints, who are in the process of a major off-season roster overhaul and need help at a critical position. 14. Miami – La’el Collins, OL, LSUmiamiThe Dolphins need to shore up their pass protection, which makes Collins a logical fit here. He’s a violent, aggressive player, which sometimes hurts him, but also makes him a coveted prospect. Collins brings experience against premium collegiate competition as well. He’s probably a better fit at guard, but could play tackle if needed. If the Fish go with their best offensive line option here, it will be Collins, though if they elect to go with a true tackle they will likely look elsewhere. 15. San Francisco – Danny Shelton, DT, Washingtonsan franThe 49ers need an infusion of defensive talent after the retirements of defensive end Justin Smith and linebackers Patrick Willis and Chris Borland. Shelton is a pure run-stuffing interior lineman, with good athleticism to boot. His presence up front should take some heat off a San Fran linebacking corps that needs upgrading and will likely be addressed on Day Two of the draft. Oregon’s Arik Armstead could also be an option here, but we feel Shelton is the PAC-12 pick.16. Houston – Breshad Perriman, WR, UCFhoustonHouston badly needs another playmaker at wide receiver to replace Andre Johnson and pair up with DeAndre Hopkins. Perriman is a big (6-foot-2, 212-pound) target and a bona fide deep threat with blazing speed (4.24 and 4.27 40-yard dashes at the NFL Combine). The son of former NFL wide receiver Brett Perriman, he’s skyrocketing up draft boards. He needs to refine his route-running but Bill O’Brien and company will ensure he’s selected in the top half of the first round. 17. San Diego – Melvin Gordon, RB, WisconsinchargersWorking under the assumption that the Chargers hold on to quarterback Philip Rivers, San Diego can use an infusion of talent at the skill positions to bolster what was a very strong team in 2014. Gordon gives San Diego a very strong replacement for oft-injured former Charger Ryan Mathews, who only played in all 16 games once in his career before bolting to Philadelphia in the off-season. Gordon, on the other hand, was the model of consistency in Madison. After a solid junior season in which he ran 1,609 yards and 12 touchdown, in 2014 Gordon exploded for an otherworldly 2,587 yards and 29 touchdowns. Some may be worried about Gordon’s long-term prospects because of his high carry numbers in college, but he is good enough to make an impact as a rookie, and if Rivers isn’t traded, a move like this can help take the Chargers’ offense to the next level immediately.18. Kansas City – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahomakansas cityTechnically, Green-Beckham was most recently an Oklahoma wide receiver, but the last time he was a relevant star on the field, he was suiting up for Mizzou. Kansas City’s receiving corps was historically ineffective in 2014, failing to catch a touchdown as a group. Green-Beckham has significant off-field issues to overcome, but he was one of the most talented receivers in college football when on the field. In 2013, DGB caught 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns for Missouri. This is an extremely receiver-heavy draft, so the Chiefs may go after a safer pick like Jaelen Strong, but if they want upside and the local draw, the St. Louis native Green-Beckham may be the choice here.19. Cleveland – Andrus Peat, OL, Stanford clevelandCleveland’s recent draft history has been ugly, especially when it comes to the first round. With two first rounders in 2012, the team took Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden, neither of whom is still with the franchise. Both have been disappointing pros. Last season, the Browns once again had two first-rounders, and while it is unfair to judge that draft just a year later, Justin Gilbert hasn’t lit the world on fire in his first year as a pro, and Johnny Manziel…well, you know. The Browns have secured two first rounders once again, and with their first pick, we have them taking Louisville star receiver Devante Parker to help out whichever quarterback wins the job. With this second pick, we like Cleveland to bolster its offensive line with one of the last first-round caliber tackles left on the board, Stanford’s Andrus Peat. Peat comes from solid football stock—his father was a six year NFL player—and played at a Stanford program that has been effective in developing talent on the line. Cleveland is due for a few of these top picks to work out, and Peat seems like a good bet. 20. Philadelphia – Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut eaglesNo player in this draft helped himself more at the NFL Draft Combine than UConn’s Byron Jones, who blew up the internet with his world record 12-foot-3 broad jump, and didn’t hurt matters with a 4.43 40-yard dash and 44.5-inch vertical. Philadelphia has needs throughout the secondary, and Jones has experience playing both corner and safety, as well as the athleticism to fill in wherever needed. Football Outsiders ranked Philly’s 2014 pass defense 18th in the NFL, and it continues to be a major need. If Chip Kelly continues to favor Pac-12 players, he could also take a chance on Washington cornerback Marcus Peters here. 21. Cincinnati – Landon Collins, S, Alabama cincinnatiLandon Collins is almost universally regarded as the top safety available in this draft, and while it may not be the most glaring immediate need for the Bengals, it may be hard to pass up a top-line safety at No. 21. Bengals starter George Iloka’s contract runs up in 2016, while Reggie Nelson is getting a bit long in the tooth, and will also be up for a new deal after this coming season. Collins can come in and add to the secondary right away, and slide in as a starter for 2016, if he doesn’t win a job outright as a rookie.22. Pittsburgh – Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest steelersWake Forest was pretty dreadful overall in Dave Clawson’s first season, but the Demon Deacons’ secondary was a major strength, in large part due to Kevin Johnson. The team ranked 12th in passing defense last year, nationally. Johnson is widely considered a first rounder, and more importantly, the Steelers seem like big fans. According to CBS, of the 23 NFL scouts at Wake Forest’s Pro Day, four were from the Steelers, including defensive backs coach Carnell Lake. Assuming he is still on the board at 22, it seems like he is a good bet to join the Steel Curtain. 23. Detroit – Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia detroitHow do you make an offense with Calvin Johnson even more frightening? Stick a guy like Todd Gurley in the backfield. With Reggie Bush out in San Francisco, there is a hole at running back in Detroit, especially with Joique Bell coming off knee and Achilles’ surgeries. Gurley also has injury concerns, but there is a chance he is ready for the beginning of the season. This would definitely be a big swing from the Lions, who can also use help along both lines, especially after losing Ndamukong Suh to the Miami Dolphins, but if Gurley bounces back and realizes his potential, few teams would have that kind of talent at the skill positions. 24. Arizona – Cameron Erving, C, Florida State arizonaThe Cardinals parted ways with starting center Lyle Sendlein last month, leaving a hole in the middle of their offensive line heading into the draft. Erving had a very interesting career at Florida State, starting at defensive tackle, where he was relatively productive early in his career, before moving to left tackle, where he became an All-American. During this past season, Erving moved inside, and is currently projecting as a center at the next level. While he can probably use some polish, most players would not be able to move across the line and play so effectively. Not only did Erving make that move, but he then moved positions and learned the offensive line’s most cerebral position on the fly. Add in solid athleticism, and Erving could be a player that goes here and fills the starting spot for Arizona immediately. 25. Carolina – Cedric Ogbeuhi, OT, Texas A&M carolinaOgbeuhi’s stock has dropped a bit due to his ACL tear, but he’s still a very-talented offensive tackle who is worthy of going in the first round. He’s big and athletic. Carolina’s offensive line was one of the league’s worst in 2014, with quarterback Cam Newton rarely possessing the time he needed to make good throws. So it makes sense for the Panthers to look for an offensive lineman with this pick. Ogbeuhi is a good fit and could potentially start right away. 26. Baltimore – Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State baltimoreMost believe Baltimore could look for a wide receiver with their first pick, and, thankfully for the Ravens, wideout is one of the deepest positions in the draft. Strong, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound wide receiver, is one of the most talented prospects in the draft. He possesses elite speed – 4.44 40 time – and strong leaping ability – 42-inch vertical jump and 123-inch broad jump. Strong shined with the Sun Devils this past season, catching 82 passes for more than 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’ll be a strong fit for Joe Flacco’s vertical passing ability in Baltimore. 27. Dallas – Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE/OLB, UCLA dallasThe Cowboys could go in a couple different directions with their first-round selection; running back and cornerback are also positions of need for Jerry Jones’ franchise. But with the draft’s top two running backs – Gurley and Gordon – already off the board, we have them going with a pass rusher here. Odighizuwa is one of the most physically gifted players in the class. He possesses a ridiculous frame, good speed and excellent strength. With Greg Hardy suspended for the first 10 games of the 2015 season, it makes sense for Dallas to look for a replacement. And Odighizuwa is a very good one. 28. Denver – Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon denverPeyton Manning’s time with the Broncos is closing, fast. So they need to bolster the unit that is in charge of keeping him healthy: the offensive line. Fisher, a 6-foot-6, 306-pound offensive tackle, was one of college football’s best offensive linemen in 2014. He was so good, in fact, that many people dismissed the Ducks’ lone regular season loss because it occurred with him off the field. Fisher is polished and possesses strong fundamentals; he should be able to step in right away and start. Going from protecting a Heisman winner in Marcus Mariota to a future NFL Hall of Famer in Manning should be pretty cool. 29. Indianapolis – Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State indyMost draft analysts seem to believe the Colts will go in one of two directions with their first pick: offensive line or defensive line. We’re predicting them to do the latter. Goldman, a big, physically enforcing defensive tackle out of Florida State, could step in and play the nose tackle position in Indianapolis’ 3-4 scheme. With the Seminoles in 2014, he was a third-team All-American and a first-team All-ACC performer. He’s probably below average in terms of his pass-rushing ability, but his run defense and line clogging physique make him a formidable fit for the Colts. 30. Green Bay – Jalen Collins, CB, LSU green bayThe Packers’ secondary has been incredibly inconsistent in recent seasons, so going with a defensive back here makes sense. Collins, a 6-foot-1, 203-pound cornerback out of Baton Rouge, La., is one of the draft’s most talented secondary players. With the Tigers, he had 10 passes defensed and allowed only 35 percent of the balls thrown at him to get completed. His size is exactly what you’re looking for in an elite defensive back, too. Green Bay’s defensive coaches like defensive backs that can play multiple positions and at 6-foot-1, Collins seems to possess that ability. 31. New Orleans – Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami new orleansWith the loss of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills, and the regressing of Marques Colston, the Saints need to find another weapon for Drew Brees. Dorsett, who was originally believed to be a third-or-fourth round selection, is rising up the draft boards in rapid fashion. Dorsett, a burner out of Miami, would be a great fit for Brees’ vertical passing game. His speed – runs a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash – is among the best in the class. Most analysts seem to think he’s a lock to go in the top 40 and we don’t see him slipping past the Saints, who need a pass catcher. 32. New England – Marcus Peters, DB, Washington new englandDarrelle Revis is gone, so the Patriots could use another secondary player. Some believe FSU DT Goldman is their top choice, but with him off the board, we have them going with the talented-but-troubled Peters, a 6-foot, 197-pound cornerback out of the Huskies’ program. He’s had some issues, as he was dismissed from the Washington program last November. But his talent is first-round worthy and Belichick has been known to take on a chance on players in the past. New England seems to possess the infrastructure needed to allow someone like him to grow and thrive.last_img read more

Yogi transfers 26 IAS officers in UP

first_imgLucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government has transferred 26 IAS officers, including Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar. Late on Tuesday, Arvind Kumar was transferred to the Transport Department and Additional Chief Secretary (Information) Awanish Awasthi was given additional charge of the Home Department. Awasthi is now the Additional Chief Secretary of Information, Religious Works, Home, Intelligence, Visa, Passport, Jail Administration and Reforms and Vigilance Department. He also continues to hold the post of Chief Executive Office (CEO) of Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) and Uttar Pradesh State Highways Authority (UPSHA) . Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ However, he has been relieved from the posts of Additional Chief Secretary Tourism Department and the Managing Director (MD) of Uttar Pradesh Tourism. Navneet Sehgal, who is the Principal Secretary Khadi and Village Industries Department, has been given the additional charge of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Export Promotion. Deepak Trivedi is the new Chairman of Board of Revenue, and he succeeds Praveer Kumar who retires on July 31. Sudhir Bobde has been made the new Labour Commissioner. Jitendra Kumar who is the Principal Secretary (General Administration) has been given the additional charge of Principal Secretary, Tourism Department and MD of Uttar Pradesh Tourism.last_img read more

Tennis Is Growing Old With Federer Nadal And The Williams Sisters

Today’s tennis fans are spoiled. They have watched Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, four of the best tennis players of all time, dominate the sport for a decade, winning a combined total of 60 majors in their careers. Now the four are old by the sport’s historical standards — all are at least 30, and only Nadal is under 35 — but instead of fading away like their predecessors, they’ve dragged the sport along with them. This weekend’s Australian Open finals are Grand Slam showcases of their longevity: Williams vs. Williams IX on Saturday and Federer vs. Nadal IX on Sunday. The mid-30s is past closing time for most tennis greats, and all four have declined. Combined they’ve won just one title at the last five majors. But they’ve remained remarkably competitive, regularly beating their younger peers and threatening to go all the way once more. Two of them will do so this weekend. Federer and Nadal benefited from early exits by No. 1 Andy Murray and No. 2 Novak Djokovic but also knocked out five of the top 10 seeds themselves. The Williams sisters had easier paths to the final, after many of their inconsistent younger rivals lost early. All four have looked like their best selves for long stretches at this tournament, outplaying and outlasting younger opponents.Now Serena Williams will go for an Open-era record 23rd major title, while Venus will seek her eighth, and her first since 2008. Federer will try to extend his lead over Nadal in the career major title count to four; Nadal will try to narrow it to two.By historical standards, what Nadal is doing is remarkable; what the other three are doing is almost unheard of. Federer is the oldest men’s Grand Slam finalist since Ken Rosewall more than 40 years ago. Whichever Williams sister wins will be the oldest woman to do so in the Open era, surpassing Serena’s record, first set at Wimbledon in 2015 and extended in last year’s Wimbledon.How are they defying the laws of aging? Partly, the sport has aged around them. Veterans have gotten smarter about diet, conditioning, practice and scheduling. Their biggest rivals (Angelique Kerber, Maria Sharapova, Murray and Djokovic) are themselves 29. None of them made the semifinals in Australia (Sharapova is serving a doping suspension that ends in April), but two of the other four players who did are in their 30s; the other two are 25. The next generation of players hasn’t broken through.But in large part, the four greats are the reason tennis has aged. When they were young, they dominated, and tennis seemed young. Now they’re old — and tennis is, too. All-time greats, even after they’ve been diminished by age, often remain great, as did Peyton Manning, Wilt Chamberlain and Hank Aaron. Tennis’s oldsters remain four of the main faces of the sport. Federer by himself has accomplished about as much at majors since turning 32 as has every man 27 and younger combined. By contrast, the average age of men’s major semifinalists was under 27 each year from 1987 to 2011.Andy Roddick provides an instructive contrast. He’s a year younger than Federer and has 16 fewer Grand Slams, yet he retired more than four years ago, unable to continue competing at the very top of the sport. At a press conference in Australia this week about his induction into the sport’s hall of fame, Roddick marveled that his peers were still going. “What Roger’s doing and maintaining at 35 years old, what Venus and Serena are still doing …,” Roddick said. “Everyone here is going to talk about it in every story they write for the rest of this tournament, and I still don’t know if that’s enough. It’s pretty amazing.”There’s no guarantee that this will last. No one can spot the last hurrah in advance. Rod Laver won all four majors in 1969, the year he turned 31 — and then never reached another major semifinal. Andre Agassi, at age 35, led Federer in the 2005 U.S. Open final and then never reached another major fourth round and retired a year later. Martina Navratilova reached the 1994 Wimbledon final at age 37 and then played just two more majors in a brief comeback bid a decade later. But there isn’t much sense in writing off any of this weekend’s finalists. Others have done so before and turned out to be way premature.After clinching her spot in the final, Venus Williams said aging has been good for the sport, which gets to keep its headliners headlining finals for longer. “I think people realize this is an amazing job, so it’s best to keep it,” she said at a press conference. “I think this generation is going to inspire the rest of the generations to, obviously, play a schedule that’s achievable, sustainable, and that you can play Grand Slam tennis for a long time. This is beautiful for the game because it will be able to retain its stars for a long time, which is a great business model.” After all, no matchups are easier to market than Williams vs. Williams and Federer vs. Nadal. read more

Healthy Buckeyes seek revenge

Injuries are never beneficial to any team. At times, however, they can have a funny effect.In the case of the Ohio State men’s basketball team, injuries, both this season and last, have allowed the Buckeyes to come together in times of despair. It has also allowed players who usually wouldn’t get playing opportunities to gain experience.With a highly anticipated matchup against No. 11 West Virginia on Saturday, the Buckeyes remember the beat down they received from the Mountaineers last season.One difference, however, is that OSU faced injuries shortly before last year’s matchup with West Virginia. This season, it appears they have successfully come back from one.The Buckeyes started 9-0 last season before losing forward David Lighty to a foot injury against Jacksonville.Reeling from his injury, and trying to find players to replace him, OSU staggered into the matchup with WVU and was pounded, 76-48.For this season’s matchup, OSU is finally healthy, and these injuries might have given the Buckeyes their best chance at revenge against their boarding opponent.When Lighty went down with a broken foot, the Buckeyes were in desperate need of a leader.Insert Evan Turner.The guard quickly became the team’s most prolific player and hasn’t stopped since. Having to lead the Buckeyes made Turner grow up fast under fire. As for the void in playing time, that was filled by freshman guard William Buford.Buford used his extended playing time to have a promising first season.Coach Thad Matta seems to share the sentiment that even in traumatic situations, a team can get better and grow.“I use William [Buford] as a good example,” Matta said. “When David [Lighty] went down, it was the situation of, ‘Hey Will, you just went from playing 20 minutes to 35 minutes whether you like it or not,’ and I thought he had a great freshman year. Really across the board I thought we’ve done a really good job.”After three consecutive wins in conference, it looks as if the Buckeyes have hit their stride as they prepare for a rematch with the Mountaineers.Matta said OSU is clearly deeper, and guys such as seniors P.J. Hill and Jeremie Simmons add depth and experience this season, since they started last year.“Obviously we would have loved having Evan [Turner] all the games this year,” junior guard Jon Diebler said. “It forces guys to elevate their game especially in aspects that maybe they aren’t used to doing.“But now that he’s back, to keep playing at the level we’re at and adding a guy who is one of the best players in the country … you know it’s just a good feeling.”Getting Turner back and having him play at such a high level again is a bonus for an Ohio State team that has quickly positioned itself back in the thick of the Big Ten.Things seem to finally be falling back into place for the Buckeyes. Luckily, their most important games are still ahead of them.“I think we obviously had to step up our game,” junior center Dallas Lauderdale said. “I don’t think we wanted to fall back and be complacent. We wanted to keep our game at a high level.” read more

Mens Volleyball No 7 Ohio State loses second straight to No 11

Junior setter Sanil Thomas sets the ball during the second set of No. 3 Ohio State’s match against No. 8 Penn State on Jan. 28, 2018 in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes defeated the Nittany Lions in straight sets (25-19, 25-15, 25-17) to pick up their fifth win of the season. Credit: Aliyyah Jackson | Senior ReporterThe No. 7 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (2-2) lost its second-straight match against No. 11 Stanford (4-0) on Saturday.The Buckeyes were, once again, plagued by service errors, committing 26 in total, doubling Stanford’s match total.Senior setter Sanil Thomas had one kill and two errors on three attacks, but provided 41 assists and his serve to begin the match was an ace.Redshirt sophomore opposite hitter Jake Hanes led the Buckeyes with 24 kills and two aces, also committing a team-high seven service errors.Losing a close first set, 25-22, in which Hanes tallied nine kills and a service ace, Ohio State came back to win an even closer second set, 26-24, in large part because of three kills and two blocks by redshirt senior middle blocker Blake Leeson.The Buckeyes jumped out to a quick three-point lead in the third set, but couldn’t maintain it as two blocks and two aces from Stanford and eight Ohio State service errors put the set away for the Cardinal.Beginning the fourth set, Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson chose to replace junior outside hitter Reese Devilbiss with sophomore Kyle Skinner. The decision came after Devilbiss committed a team-high five errors and managed only a .095 hitting percentage through three sets.In his one set of play, Skinner had two kills, one block assist, and a .250 hitting percentage.After falling behind 14-8 in the fourth set, a few Stanford attack errors, decisive kills by Hanes and sophomore outside hitter Martin Lallemand and a Lallemand service ace set up the Buckeyes to a two-point deficit.But three service errors by three different Buckeyes in the final seven points quashed any brewing comeback for Ohio State.The Buckeyes will return to action at home on Friday against George Mason at 7 p.m. and then on Saturday against Erskine at 7 p.m. read more

Guardiola admitted that getting rid of Hart was difficult

first_imgPep Guardiola insisted that it was probably the toughest decision of his career to let Joe Hart go after he took over at Manchester City – and decided to replace him afterwards.The Spaniard brought Claudio Bravo to replace the Englishman between the posts but the Chile international wasn’t that successful – however, Ederson, who joined the club before this season, has been doing really well since then and Guardiola can be happy with this decision.The former Bayern Munich or Barcelona coach spoke about this decision as he said, according to Standard:norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…“I think it was the toughest decision I ever made as a manager [to let him go]. Because he is an incredible professional when we worked together and there are no doubts about his quality.”“I don’t know what happens in that situation, I think West Ham is going to talk with the club, he is our player and if he is not going to continue here [West Ham] next season I don’t know, now is the first I am hearing that information.”last_img read more