If you shatter a bone in the future, a 3D printer and some special ink could be your best medicine. Researchers have created what they call “hyperelastic bone” that can be manufactured on demand and works almost as well as the real thing, at least in monkeys and rats. Though not ready to be implanted in humans, bioengineers are optimistic that the material could be a much-needed leap forward in quickly mending injuries ranging from bones wracked by cancer to broken skulls.“This is a neat way to overcome the challenges we face in generating bone replacements,” says Jos Malda, a biomaterials engineer from Utrecht University in the Netherlands who was not involved in the work. “The scaffold is simpler to make than others and it offers more benefits.”Surgeons currently replace shattered or missing bones with a number of things. The most common option is an autograft, where a piece of bone is taken from a patient’s own body, usually from a hip or a rib, and implanted where it’s needed elsewhere in that same patient’s skeleton. Surgeons prefer autografts because they’re real bone complete with stem cells that give rise to cartilage and bone cells to provide extra support for the new graft. (Humans can’t regrow entire skeletons from scratch with stem cells, but existing bone can signal stem cells where to grow and what to grow into.) What’s more, because the new bone replacement comes from a patient’s own body, there’s no risk of immune rejection. 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These scaffolds, made of both natural and synthetic materials, work like the framing of a building. When inserted into the body, stem cells latch onto the structure and differentiate into cells that start to build bone, much as construction workers assemble walls, floors, and glass around a skyscraper’s steel girders.Or, at least, that’s how it should work—unlike in an autograft, stem cells don’t always turn into the needed bone or cartilage because of the scaffolds’ material makeup. Researchers have gotten stem cells to grow on a ceramic material called calcium phosphate (CaP), but this scaffold is stiff and brittle, making it difficult to implant into patients. To make matters worse, the immune system occasionally sees these scaffolds as foreign and attacks them, preventing any bone growth at all. And if a scaffold is to be used to regenerate small bones, such as many of those found in the face, for example, doctors worry that it would take too much time and money to make them from CaP.Researchers at Northwestern University, Evanston, in Illinois are working on a material to remedy all of these issues. Their hyperelastic bone is a type of scaffold made up of hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral that exists in our bones and teeth, and a biocompatible polymer called polycaprolactone, and a solvent. Hydroxyapatite provides strength and offers chemical cues to stem cells to create bone. The polycaprolactone polymer adds flexibility, and the solvent sticks the 3D-printed layers together as it evaporates during printing. The mixture is blended into an ink that is dispensed by the printer, layer by layer, into exact shapes matching the bone that needs to be replaced. The idea is, a patient would come in with a nasty broken bone—say, a shattered jaw—and instead of going through painful autograft surgeries or waiting for a custom scaffold to be manufactured, he or she could be x-rayed and a 3D-printed hyperelastic bone scaffold could be printed that same day. “We’re printing flexible scaffolds that will encourage bone to grow through and around them,” says Ramille Shah, a material science engineer and co-author on the study.To test their material, the team first tested their 3D-printed scaffold as a material to fuse spinal vertebrae in rats. Their goal was to see whether their material could lock two adjacent vertebrae in place as well as other scaffolds commonly used to treat spinal injury patients. Eight weeks after the Northwestern researchers implanted the hyperelastic bone, they found that new blood vessels had grown into their scaffold—a necessary step to keep bone-forming tissue alive—and calcified bone started to form from the rats’ existing stem cells. The combination fused the vertebrae more efficiently than the controls that received either a bone graft from a donor or nothing at all, the researchers report today in Science Translational Medicine.The researchers also used hyperelastic bone to repair a macaque monkey’s damaged skull. After 4 weeks with a hyperelastic bone implant, the scaffold was infiltrated with blood vessels and some calcified bone. Equally important, the macaque didn’t suffer from any adverse biological effects, such as inflammation or infection, that many synthetic implants can cause.Because the ink materials—that is, hydroxyapatite along with the polymer and solvent—are commonly used in biomedical engineering labs, Malda says, hyperelastic bone would be cheap to print. What’s more, the researchers were able to create the scaffolds lightning-quick by 3D-printing standards, in less than 5 hours for each one. That means future scaffolds could be printed to exact specs, which would be useful in facial reconstruction, or printed into sheets that surgeons could cut and paste into the shape they want, Shah says. “The sky’s the limit for this material’s applications.”Still, the work needs to be replicated many more times before being implemented in humans, says Scott Hollister, a biomedical engineer at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who was not involved with the study. If it is, that could be a boon for patients around the globe. “The ability to easily print customizable implants is a big advance and would offer a lot of opportunities in areas from plastic surgery to tumor removal and repair.”
The Ashes Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Topics Steve Smith century frustrates England as Australia save fourth Ashes Test In response to his first delivery after the interval, he offered an extravagant lightsaber leave. This mannerism has snuck into his game over the last year, a motion he has explained correlates to when he knows he has to shift up a gear of concentration. “No run!” he roared after the most rudimentary defensive push – another sign of him entering his special zone. On a surface as lacklustre as any in modern memory, England needed a brain explosion at the very moment that Smith was working himself into a trance.After play, his third ton in four Tests, he gave the most Steve Smith answer imaginable. “It’s a shame we had to call it off in the last hour,” he only half-joked. “We could have had another hour out there. It’s good fun.”But Smith was also aware what a poor advertisement for the sport the MCG strip had become. Within minutes of the captains shaking hands, the Melbourne Cricket Club had issued a statement expressing disappointment, hinting that their new curator would bring a fresh approach. Cricket Australia echoed the sentiment, much as they did following the Women’s Ashes Test in November when again only two wickets fell on the final day.“It just needs to do something,” Smith said. Earlier in the Test, of course, he was the one stuck in the quicksand trying to remove Alastair Cook. “It hasn’t changed over five days and I’d say if we were playing for the next couple of days it probably wouldn’t change at all either. It’s got to find a way to have some pace and bounce, or take some spin.” Something. Anything.It did not reverse either, Smith noted, because leather gets soft when smashed into rock for hours on end. Funny that. In turn, the ball did not carry. Three catching covers were more commonly employed than three behind the wicket. “The keeper and the slips, we were standing so close and I just don’t think it’s good for anyone,” Smith continued. “There’s absolutely nothing in it for the bowlers.” For the briefest moment, it looked as if it might have all been worth it. That after four days of tedium, there might be a grandstand finish on the most undeserving of pitches. When David Warner inexplicably threw it away after 301 minutes of discipline, then Shaun Marsh edged on the stroke of lunch, Australia were essentially 14 for four with a long while to survive.Steve Smith decided otherwise. When walking from the field at the long break, he throttled the bat’s splice as he does when filthy at his own demise. Australia’s captain is often let down by his collapse-prone list, as recently as three days ago when his dismissal sparked a loss of seven for 67. This time, he alone controlled the trajectory of the game. A responsibility he relishes. Read more Smith’s dismay did not completely overshadow another day of wonderstats for the world’s top-billed batsman. At his final chance, he jumped from third to first for most runs this year, finishing with 1,305 at 77. His 604 in the series so far means he could bag a pair in Sydney next week and still average 100. At the MCG, he gets his runs at 136 per dismissal, having now banked centuries in four consecutive Boxing Day Tests.Thee numbers go on and on. They always do with Smith. When asked if he had an appreciation of the comparisons to Bradman that come as a result, he acknowledged that he reads what is written but tries not to drink his own bathwater.“You can never be satisfied and never think you’re too good for the game,” he said. “The game can come back to bite you pretty quickly.” As a player who did it tough to begin with, he knows that truism better than most.It also gives him an affinity with Mitchell Marsh, who proved the ideal partner for Smith in sucking the life from the contest. The quintessential Gen-Y product, the all-rounder is usually known for plonking balls out of the stadium, not settling in for 29 off 166. A sign of the Western Australian’s growing comfort at the top level was that he prioritised the second number over the first.Walking off the ground, Marsh shared with his captain how proud he was, noting that he did not believe he could have played that innings even 12 months ago. “He’s come a long way,” Smith said simply.The result was Australia’s second hard-fought draw of 2017, after the effort at Ranchi when Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb did the spadework. This was the year Smith’s side eventually learned how to calmly reach a shared result. A worthy legacy of an otherwise forgettable week. Support The Guardian Read more Steve Smith The Observer Ashes 2017-18 Moeen Ali set to be dropped after Joe Root offers only long-term reassurance England cricket team features Australia cricket team Since you’re here… Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. 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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was pleased with the impact made by his fringe players in Thursday’s friendly victory, but warned there was more to football than just scoring goals. The Reds got back to work with a bang at Prenton Park as they thrashed Tranmere Rovers 6-0. Nathaniel Clyne, Curtis Jones and Divock Origi and Bobby Duncan all hit the scoresheet, as did Rhian Brewster who scored two goals before half time.. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Klopp, however, was keen not to raise expectations too high on Brewster on the back of a single brace.”First and foremost we are in 2019, we should stop talking about the player who scored two goals and overlooking what others do in the other 89 minutes,” the manager fired to reporters.”Rhian Brewster I love the boy, he is fantastic player but one of the goals I would have scored.”He played a really good game and I saw other good performances – Harry [Wilson] and Ryan [Kent] in the first half and then in the second half incredibly strong. We knew Rhian was a good player before.”Why should I play it down? I just don’t want to talk after a game about the guy who scored two goals. I saw a really good game and Rhian is a fantastic player. We can talk about him no problem. I don’t want to play him down or it down.”Brewster is yet to make his competitive debut for the Reds, but Klopp suggested if he works hard he could figure in his first-team plans this season.”One hundred per cent [it is a big season] but it depends on him as well. Divock Origi stays which is good news, Bobby Firmino is still there,” he added,”Rhian Brewster is a top striker, he is a top talent and I have told him already that he has an important role this year but how important depends on him. We will see. He has to play different positions as well – the centre, wing is possible I think, we will see how we line up, but there will be opportunities for him. I am sure, “Rhian Brewster, Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t play last year, all the young boys didn’t play for us last year. The transfer market is open. We will see what we do, but I don’t think it will be the biggest transfer window of all time.”They should be happy and get confidence from it, but it is not like we are running around saying we are Champions League winners 24 hours a day. It looked tonight like they are all confident. During the season we have to go for winning something new and not look back. We want to play the best season we can play.”It is a difficult pre-season for us – Sadio [Mane] is the [African Cup of Nations] semi-final which means he has two more games and will come late, the Brazilians have finally finished a 13-month season. We will not have a pre-season together just a week before we start the games. We looked tonight like we can find some solutions. It was a good sign for us, but we have to be better than last season.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
India’s highest ever temperature was recorded in May 2016 in Phalodi, Rajasthan, with mercury touching 51 degree Celsius. A severe water crisis was reported at that time. As the thermometer hit 50.6 degree Celsius last weekend in Churu in the same state, a more severe water crisis is being reported. The situation has been worsening every year in almost the entire country. The new name for the water ministry, Jal Shakti, cannot alone solve the ever-rising problem unless supported by an effective plan of action and timely implementation. Also Read – A staunch allyEvery year during summer, reports of severe water crisis emerge from almost all areas of the country, mentioning drying up of wells, lakes and rivers along with depletion of underground water. The Union and state governments announce several measures to tackle the crisis, but then comes the monsoon, and most announced measures are quickly forgotten. Only a handful of measures are implemented, most of them betraying the ad-hocism of governments. In the last five years, we have been listening about intentions, ideas, plans and action plans. But only this year, a new Ministry of Jal Shakti has been created under a full-fledged cabinet minister by merging the Ministry of Water Resources and Drinking Water and Sanitation. The departments of River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will also be under the new ministry. It goes without saying that successive governments have been slow with faulty planning, and the ever-rising crisis is living proof. Also Read – Cuban pathosMiseries that the wildlife encounters due to drying up of rivers and rivulets are yet to find a voice. We can just imagine the dimension. Even reports on the implications of water crisis and Climate Change on domesticated livestock and human beings have been finding little space compared to the prominent publicity of petty politics and other trivial issues. This is despite the fact that India is likely to lose 16.5 per cent of its GDP on account of Climate Change, and 6 per cent on account of water crisis alone. ‘More crop per drop’ has, by and large, remained a slogan. How much people and livestock are suffering can be imagined by studying the cases reported in the past few weeks. One of the reports from Beed in Maharashtra said that the situation has been dramatically worsening for the last five years. There is no drinking water available for days, and a tanker comes every three days for the entire village. People are scared for their lives and livelihoods. A report coming from the Thar desert area of Rajasthan said that villagers are compelled to purchase water from private suppliers for themselves and their cattle to the tune of Rs 2,500 for 2,500 litres. If the supply of water is possible by private parties, what prevents the government from supplying the same? How hopeless and helpless people are can be assessed by a report from Tamil Nadu which said that the government has ordered all government-funded temples to hold ‘yagyas’ to appease the rain God and appoint musicians to play Carnatic ragas welcoming the rains. People are simply being misled. That governments cannot make rains is true, but it is also true that only governments can lessen people’s dependence on rain and effectively reduce water shortage. In Karnataka also, temples under Muzrai have been asked to perform ‘parjanya japa’ in the Brahma Muhurta. Reports like these are pouring in from every part of the country, and people are performing yagyas. Why should common people sing Raga Malhar and perform yagyas, etc., for solving their water crisis caused by a failure of policy? The water crisis at the doorstep of our country is not new. In the last decade, our water storage has registered a fall of 21 per cent. Groundwater is depleting faster than ever before, and there is no effective mechanism to replenish it. About 54 per cent of areas are suffering from such depletion. About half of the population of the country has been adversely affected by such a crisis. If conditions worsen further, India is most likely to be categorised as a ‘water stressed’ country by the next year, which would be worst in the history of India. Twenty-one cities of the country including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad are at the risk of running out of groundwater by 2020, which will affect 100 million people. Since 40 per cent of India’s water supply depends on groundwater, the government urgently needs to take proper action; otherwise, people will be in great trouble. We were using 761 billion cubic metres (BMC) of water in 2014 which included 688 BMC for agriculture against 1,121 BMC of utilisable water clearly indicating poor water management. Such a situation can be prevented only if the Union Government takes this matter seriously, on a priority basis, and doesn’t take refuge in the logic that water is a state subject. It is already known that our perennially fund-starved state governments cannot successfully prevent worsening of the crisis on their own. Performance of states has been very bad and the government’s flagship programme to supply piped water to every household by 2024 is still not complete. Water management needs much more than restructuring a ministry, especially given the dismal record of states as shown in the Composite Water Management Index prepared by NITI Aayog. (The views expressed are strictly personal)
REGINA – The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says it is outraged by how the Saskatchewan government and police handled protests outside the provincial legislature.Six people from the Justice for our Stolen Children camp were arrested on Monday as a teepee was removed from the site.The camp was set up at the end of February shortly after the acquittals of Gerald Stanley in the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie and Raymond Cormier in the death of Manitoba teen Tina Fontaine. Both victims were Indigenous.It protested racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children in government care.“The current child-welfare system is failing and contributing to many of the social problems our children are forced to endure,” federation Chief Bobby Cameron said in a statement Tuesday.“We call for respect and peace to rectify the provincial child-welfare system that is failing.”Cameron said Indigenous communities know what’s best for their children and how to help them succeed in life.The province had served notice that the camp would be shut down. Authorities evicted most people on Friday and those remaining were supposed to leave the site by noon Sunday.Justice Minister Don Morgan said he didn’t want the removal of the camp to be a setback in the government’s relationship with First Nations.Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, said the fight continues.“We’re going to keep setting up our camps. We’re going to keep lighting our fires. We will not stop,” Baptiste said Monday.“I’m not going to stop until change is made in the courtrooms, in the government.”— Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitter
MONTREAL — Quebec’s largest school board has voted to delay application of Quebec’s controversial new secularism law for at least a year to allow for consultations with parents, unions and other stakeholders.However the Quebec government has said the law passed Sunday banning religious symbols for teachers, police officers and other public servants in positions of authority takes effect immediately.In a motion passed Wednesday, the Commission scolaire de Montreal outlines plans for consultations with governing boards, parents’ committees, unions and various associations to determine what changes need to be made to board policies.Catherine Harel-Bourdon, the board chair and an outspoken critic of the new law, says the board will also need to train hundreds of managers to enforce the law and to avoid having it applied unevenly in different schools.Teachers and principals hired after March 28 — the date the bill was tabled — are prohibited from wearing religious symbols on the job.A spokesman for the English Montreal School Board noted that before the bill was even tabled the board voted not to implement the planned restrictions on religious symbols. He said the board will likely discuss the matter at a meeting next week.The Canadian Press
The Golden Jet, Bobby Hull, was being roasted by former NHL’ers in Niagara Falls. But it was all for a good cause.A who’s-who of NHL alumni arrived at the Scotiabank Centre in the Falls to take part in the celebrity roast. Everybody there is helping raise money for a cause close to the host, Steve Ludzik. Ludzik was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 13 years ago. And all proceeds from the event will go towards The Steve Ludzik Parkisons Clinic at Hotel du Shaver in St. Catharines.00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09
A post-secondary education can be very expensive and leave students with a lot of debt. In fact on average, a student will graduate with about $28,000 in debt, and that’s causing some to take a less common approach to paying it off. As Brittany Gogo tells us, a dating website is helping students hook up with “sugar daddies.”“Wow, someone wants to pay me to date me. OK, let’s see if that works.” And it has been working for 25 year old Claire King: she’s been a “sugar baby” for the last 4 years. “I don’t have very much money, I am a student.” Claire is a nursing student at U of T and thanks to her “sugar daddies” she’ll finish her second degree without owing a dime. “I will be debt free.” She’s just one of the many students who are turning to the internet to find a “mutually beneficial” relationship. It’s called “sugaring.” On Seeking Arrangement’s website men and women can search for someone who catches their eye and set up dates; but here it’s expected that women are young and attractive and men are wealthy and willing to pay them a monthly allowance. Nearly half of the site’s users are students. The University of Toronto tops the list of the fastest growing “sugar baby” schools in Canada, with nearly 550 “sugar baby” students.Claire’s current “sugar daddy” is 35 years old and spends half his time working in California. The oldest man she’s dated was 63 and married.“Usually I try to be very upfront about the allowance.” She wouldn’t tell us what her current allowance is, but did say “it’s enough to pay my rent and take care of myself and do nice things.”What sort of expectations are involved? Sex? “I guess so; when you go out on a date with someone sex is always in the back of your mind but it’s always my choice.”As Seeking Arrangement’s CEO put it, “many people don’t understand the Seeking Arrangement lifestyle. It really is about finding what you want and living life to the fullest.”“I spent 3½ months working in the Middle East with African refugees. Thanks, Roy!”She says her “sugar daddies” have helped her accomplish some of her goals, but she’s also helped them. “It’s nice to be supported to make it easier, and I also support him in his stuff too.”
Three people are dead and two others seriously injured in a crash northeast of Toronto.The Ontario Provincial Police say the crash happened in the early hours when an SUV crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a car in Port Perry.A man and two women died at the scene. The badly injured victims are another woman and a man.The victims are in their 40’s, 50’s and 60s.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today pledged to focus its efforts next year on helping the young to survive in a world where they are often caught up in war, ravaged by HIV/AIDS, imperilled by exploitation, and under-serviced by society.“Each of these issues alone poses heartbreaking challenges for hundreds of millions of children,” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said. “Together, they represent a global imperative to do more for children in 2004.”Ms. Bellamy noted that nearly 11 million children die before their fifth birthday each year, and tens of millions more are left with physical and/or mental disabilities – solely because they lack the essentials to thrive. Measles, malaria and diarrhoea are three of the biggest killers – yet all are preventable or treatable.HIV/AIDS has orphaned 14 million children, 11 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa, she added. By 2010, the number of children in that region who have lost parents to AIDS is expected to have risen to 20 million.In the last decade alone, she continued, more than 2 million children have died as a direct result of armed conflict, and more than 6 million have been permanently disabled or seriously injured. An estimated 20 million children have been forced to flee their homes and more than 1 million have been orphaned or separated from their families.Abuse, exploitation and violence extinguish the childhoods of hundreds of millions of children, with 246 million working, 171 million of them in hazardous conditions. Some 1.2 million are trafficked every year, and 2 million, mainly girls, are believed to be exploited through the commercial sex trade. At any given time, over 300,000 child soldiers, some as young as eight, are exploited in armed conflicts in over 30 countries around the world.Ms. Bellamy also charged that too many governments – in both rich and poor countries – fail to recognize that investing in children means investing in the future of their countries. Education is the single best way to tackle all these problems over the long term, she added. “By making sure that all boys and girls get a basic education, we will not only give them a chance of growing into independent adults who can protect their own health and rights, but we will give the next generation of children a better chance of escaping a life of poverty and hardship,” Ms. Bellamy said.
“In my various visits to Mogadishu, I have been always encouraged by the commitment of the justice personnel and legal aid providers who conduct their duties in a challenging security context,” said the expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari. On Sunday, armed men targeted an aid convoy close to the airport and stormed the Banadir Regional Court in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The militant group Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attacks.“In order to ensure the rule of law and the fight against impunity, the judicial personnel have to be protected and allowed to do their job in a war-torn country like Somalia,” Mr. Bari said.While the list of dead and injured is still being completed, local non-governmental organizations have confirmed the deaths of Mohamed Mohamud Afrah, head of the Somali Lawyers Association and his associate Abdikarin Hassan Gorod. Both were working with the Somali Women’s Development Centre. The two lawyers also provided legal assistance to countless Somalis over the past years, including legal advice to the journalist Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim and an alleged rape survivor he interviewed. The two were convicted earlier this year of one year in prison, but the sentence was later overturned.“I offer my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families and loved ones of those killed and injured during the attacks,” said Mr. Bari. “Last Sunday was another terribly sad day for a country that has already suffered so much for so long.”After decades of factional fighting and lawlessness, Somalia recently took a series of landmark steps to end the country’s eight-year political transition period, including the adoption of a Provisional Constitution, the establishment of a new Parliament and the appointment of a new President and a new Prime Minister.
Carmelo Anthony raised eyebrows this week when he told ESPN’s Chris Broussard, “I think I’m the most underrated superstar that’s out there.”Oh, really?Anthony, who plays for the New York Knicks, is a devastating scorer and trails only Kevin Durant and LeBron James in points per game over the past five NBA seasons, but he’s also a polarizing player in the age of advanced analytics, which place increased emphasis on efficiency. While Anthony puts a lot of points on the board, he also takes a lot of shots. He’s one of the chief practitioners of the dreaded midrange jumper, a generally low-yield attempt that statheads have long decried as the worst kind of shot.These are some reasons why, depending on the statistic being employed, you could make the case that Anthony is one of the most overrated superstars in the NBA. Among the 12 players with at least four All-Star nods in the last five seasons, Anthony ranks 10th in Basketball-Reference.com’s Win Shares per 48 minutes, an advanced statistic that places a premium on offensive efficiency. (Similarly, economist David Berri’s Wins Produced model considers Anthony a well-below-average player over the course of his career.)But as FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver has written in the past — specifically when Anthony was a member of the Denver Nuggets — Anthony does in fact have a tendency to be underrated by advanced metrics that don’t properly value the positive influence he has on his teammates’ efficiency rates:What is missing from formulas [that focus heavily on efficiency] is an account of what Anthony does to the rest of the Nuggets. Because he is able to score from anywhere in the court, Anthony draws attention and defenders away from his teammates, sometimes leaving them with wide-open shots. He also allows them to be more selective about the shots that they choose to take, since they know that Anthony can usually get a respectable shot off before the 24-second clock expires if needed. … These effects produce a profound increase in the efficiency of Anthony’s supporting cast when he is on the floor.The in-between element of Anthony’s game may also open things up for his teammates. I’ve found evidence that, even after controlling for a player’s own rates of usage, shooting efficiency and assists, his tendency toward midrange attempts is a positive variable when predicting his on-court impact on overall team shooting and turnover percentages. Essentially, the more of a midrange game a player has (all else being equal), the more he helps his team shoot well and avoid giveaways. This is part of why Anthony shows up as the NBA’s 18th-best offensive player according to Real Plus-Minus (RPM), a statistic that estimates a player’s influence on team efficiency while on the floor.Having said all that, Anthony is far from the most underrated star in the game. He’s a big-time scorer playing in the most high-profile city in America. His placement in ESPN’s annual #NBARank straw poll typically exceeds his ranking in RPM. His contract pays him exactly what he’ll be worth, to the likely detriment of the Knicks going forward. Charitably speaking, Anthony might just be rated properly.The NBA’s true most underrated superstar is far more likely to be a player such as Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks; Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, whose greatness is still not always fully appreciated; or LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers, all of whom ranked highly in RPM a season ago but have not gotten commensurate respect in this year’s #NBARank voting.Perhaps realizing this, Anthony backed off from his earlier statements on Thursday: Anthony is right. He is who we think he is.
Ohio State cheerleaders and rowers hold a punch pose after they raced on the Scioto River in September. Credit: Courtesy of Kyler HollandThe race was close — but only for a moment. Not long after it began, the Ohio State rowing team glided past the other boat in the water, building a lead with each harmonious sweep of the oar. In the other boat, with less harmony, were members of the Ohio State cheer team. As the distance between the two vessels on the Scioto River grew wider, the obvious became, well, even more obvious: the rowing team was not going to lose this race against the cheer team.Then again, the reason the cheerleaders — one wearing a wrestling singlet, another wearing a Cleveland Browns’ Johnny Manziel jersey and yellow football pants with one knee pad — found themselves in a boat at 7:45 a.m. on Sept. 1 was never really about who would win. As senior cheerleader Axel Halvarson put it, it’s about “inter-team bonding.” “You always walk around campus and you see the book bags of athletes, but you don’t really want to say ‘Hi’ to them, because it’s like, ‘I don’t know you, but I’m an athlete too. You’re an athlete and we’re not talking,’ so this kind of bridges that gap,” said Carter Marsch, a senior cheerleader. There aren’t any deep fissures within the athletic department, but, as senior rower Chelsea Harpool said, “We all have our own practices and everything. We don’t really interact much,” so athletes often look forward to chances to hang out across teams. And so far, the race has accomplished what it sought to do. “It’s been super fun since then because a lot of people on our team and the cheer team that were part of it know each other now,” Harpool said. “We see each other all the time in French [Fieldhouse] or just around the different athletic facilities just to catch up.” The stage for the race was set over the summer when Harpool talked with cheerleader Kyler Holland while hanging out with a fellow members of Athletes In Action, a campus ministry group. Holland mentioned a video he made of his teammates competing against the Ohio State women’s volleyball team in the spring — the first time the cheerleaders competed against other Buckeye athletes — to Harpool, and told her how fun it would be to do something similar against the rowing team. Harpool mentioned the idea to her coach, Andy Teitelbaum, the next day, and he was on board with the idea. The race was the morning after the Ohio State football team’s first game against Indiana, and, because it had to happen before speed boats began creating wakes on the river, it meant three things. One, the four cheerleaders who were at the game in Bloomington, Indiana, the night before were running on little sleep. Two, the rowing team had to move its regularly scheduled warmups from about 6:20 a.m. to 5 a.m., so it was also running on little sleep. And three, there wasn’t a lot of time for the cheerleaders to learn how to actually row the boat. Learning to make sure the oar enters the water perpendicular is hardly the problem (though that’s nothing to sneeze at, either). The real difficulty comes when all eight people get in the boat and have to row in harmony, a fact the cheerleaders learned quickly. “They’re all in sync moving, and then you see us and everybody is all over the place,” Halvarson said laughing. “If we’d gone again, like another day after everybody learned, I think we might’ve done better. We still wouldn’t have won, but we would’ve at least looked better.” Harpool didn’t dispute that. She said the cheerleaders had about 15 minutes in the boat before the race started. Usually, Harpool said, “most people that are actually being taught to row have weeks of building up with different skillsets before they actually row with all eight people in the boat.” “We’ve never really thrown someone in a boat with very minimal explanation and been like, ‘You just have a few minutes. Figure it out,’” she said. “I don’t think any of us knew what to expect, but they got the boat moving pretty well there by the end.” The race likely isn’t the end of the cheerleaders challenging other teams in their sports. Of course, it always depends on logistics, and Halvarson said it is easiest to arrange when teams aren’t amid their competitive season, which was the case with volleyball and rowing. Currently, Halvarson said the cheerleaders are trying to set something up with the rifle team. And after men’s soccer senior defender Niall Logue overheard Marsch talking about the rowing race in a class they have together, Logue asked to exchange phone numbers so they could try to organize a competition between teams. Plus, Harpool said the cheerleaders’ two cross-sport adventures were brought up at a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee meeting, and “it seemed like everybody across the board loved the concept of switching sports for a day or trying to compete against other teams.” “Everybody is really pumped about the idea and wants to see more of it,” she said, which means, despite the gaps between the rowers and cheerleaders on the water, the cheerleaders appear to be on their way to getting their wish — seeing any remaining social gaps continue to close.
Epic is never one to miss an opportunity to show off the Unreal Engine, and Sony’s unveiling of the PSP 2 was no exception yesterday.The performance on offer in the PSP 2 allows the Unreal Engine to shine. A quad-core processor coupled with a multi-core GPU is a perfect platform for the engine, and the video above proves that.We first see a detailed environment with weather effects and animating characters which we move through without issue on the device. Particle systems, anti-aliasing and post-processing are all in effect during the demo. Then we move on to Trendy Entertainment’s Dunegon Defenders which was apparently ported from PS3 in just one week.Any developers using the Unreal engine for their games on PS3 will be very happy to hear of the short porting time, but also that Trendy did not need to change any of their assets for the game to work on the PSP 2. While that won’t be the case for all games, it bodes well for many making a quick transition to the platform.As gamers we have to hope that doesn’t mean lots of ports of the same games we have already seen on PS3. Savvy developers will just cut development time by producing new gameplay with the assets they have, therefore ensuring the highest quality graphics but coupled with a brand new gaming experience in portable form.Read more at GameSpot
Michele Larsen feels there has been a lot of negativity in the country these last few months, and, at times, it makes her dread looking at her phone or the news.So when it was time to start planning her third Smile Across America campaign, in which the nonprofit she founded puts up billboards with inspirational sayings across the country, she decided to add something to the messages of love and kindness.“This year, we also wanted to focus on acceptance,” said Larsen, 48, founder of The Joy Team. “The larger intention is to remind people we’re all in this together.”The third Smile Across America campaign will see 131 billboards and bus shelter ads go up in 35 cities. The billboards and ads will feature one of eight phrases:• Be excellent to each other.• Be you. The world needs more of your kind of awesome.• Love is your superhero. Give it to everyone.• Love one another.• We all belong.• You are loved. Pass it on.• You make a difference. We’re so glad you’re here.• You matter.Larsen decided to add in messages about inclusion in late January, when there was a lot of talk about deportations, along with an increased sense of fear for many large groups of Americans.
Two Vancouver teenagers who were reported as runaways Wednesday were found safe and returned to their families Friday, according to the Vancouver Police Department.Police were looking for 15-year-olds Eliana Duff and Jesse Goodman, who were thought to be traveling together to the Long Beach area.In a press release, the department thanked “those who kept an eye out for these kids.”
Fort Knox in Kentucky is seen as the gold standard for security. Not just in America but the world, where the name is a byword for the highest standards of ultimate protection. Technically its name is the United States Bullion Depository, with Fort Knox taken from the nearby army post. Knox comes from the first U.S. Secretary of War, Henry Knox. He performed the role between 1789 – 1794. The “Fort”’s purpose is fairly self-explanatory. In case of any confusion, another title it has is the “Gold Vault”.Taking around a year to build, the project to house U.S. gold reserves began construction in 1935. According to the U.S. Treasury, the build cost $560,000. It doesn’t hold all of America’s gold but it contains approximately half. Run by the United States Mint, it’s part of a network of six facilities that protect this most precious of metals.Fort Knox tank. Photo by 48states CC BY-SA 3.0Other locations include the Denver Mint and the San Francisco Assay Office. None are as famous as Fort Knox and its credentials. A 2017 Daily Mail article says, “the depository also held the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution during the Second World War.”The initial gold supply was transported to Kentucky by rail. Responsibility was taken by the United States Postal Service. As explained on the Mint’s website, “This was the only method of providing insurance for the gold because, at the time, the U.S.P.S. was the only agency that could accept the liability if any assets were lost.” Watching over the Depository is an Officer in Charge, with the Mint’s own Police Force ensuring no-one chances their arm.A tank driver at Fort Knox in 1942Guarding national gold takes the right combination of secure materials. Fort Knox “contains 16,000 cubic feet of granite, 4,200 cubic yards of concrete, 750 tons of reinforced steel and 670 tons of structural steel.” The Treasury notes that “The two-story basement and attic building is constructed of granite, steel and concrete. Its exterior dimensions measure 105 feet by 121 feet. Its height is 42 feet above ground level.” From the outside it resembles a fortress.Below ground lies a complex blend of impenetrable layers and cryptic security procedures. The vault is described as “a two level steel and concrete vault that is divided into compartments… The vault casing is constructed of steel plates, steel I-beams and steel cylinders laced with hoop bands and encased in concrete. The vault roof is of similar construction and is independent of the Depository roof.”Infantryman wearing Brodie helmet, kneeling in front of M3 Half-track, holds an M1 Garand rifle. Fort Knox, June 1942Weighing 20 tons and blast proof, the vault door is 21 inches thick and is only accessible via combinations. Staff who work in offices surrounding the granite stronghold all have different instructions on how to get inside, enhancing the exclusive nature of the operation. Talking of exclusive, visitors were not welcomed at Fort Knox for decades. Franklin D. Roosevelt managed to get the tour, but that may have been because he was President at the time of construction.The U.S. Gold Bullion Depository. Photo by Cliff CC BY 2.0A delegation from Congress were allowed to inspect the facility in 1974, when it was suggested gold was being spirited away. Covering this momentous event, the New York Times wrote, “Stacked from the floor 8 feet to the ceiling in a vault 6 feet wide and 12 feet deep were 36,236 bars, glistening in the half‐light. The effect of standing in the presence of about $1,775,688,776.85 worth of gold in one room was awesome.”Related Video: Divers Stumble Upon 2,000 ‘Priceless’ Gold CoinsPublic servants weren’t allowed inside again till 2017, when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made the decision to request access. Mnuchin formerly ran Dune Entertainment, where he was involved in films such as Suicide Squad (2016) and The Disaster Artist (2017).Fort Knox fortification. Photo by Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) CC BY SA 4.0He may have been aware of Fort Knox’s role in 007 adventure Goldfinger (1964). While the team couldn’t shoot at the Depository itself, they created an imaginary version that production designer Ken Adam felt better reflected its legendary status.Read another story from us: How a Medieval Fortress Became the Most Famous Art Museum in the WorldIn terms of the legend, this is seen as a major part of the Depository’s reputation. From whispers about what exactly happens down there, through to wild movie sets from Bond’s finest, a lot of what people know about Fort Knox happens in their minds. As the Mint observes, “Perhaps the most advanced security system the Depository has to offer is its secrecy.”
Related posts:Social travel show looks for San José’s hidden gems VIDEO: Barbecuing with Lucas Withington Once Mexico’s booze of ‘drunks,’ mezcal earns respect The story of Costa Rica’s forgotten World War II internment camp Tamales are serious business come Christmas in Costa Rica. Unwrapping the steamed banana-leaf covering of a Costa Rican-style tamal is like opening a present. But considering the estimated196 million pairs of tamales eaten during December — three tamales per Tico per day, according to a study by the University of Costa Rica — maybe the daily ritual of the Advent calendar is a better analogy for how people eat the seasonal treat.Tamales go deep in Costa Rican culture and they are one of the most accessible ways to tap into your inner Tico, especially during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Market stands, restaurants and groceries around the country sell tamales bundled in sets of two, tied with twine; this is called a piña de tamales. Dropping a piña into a steamer for a few minutes is the ultimate in fast comfort food. Hot pockets, these are not.Dating back to pre-Columbian times, tamales have always had a festive element, said Patricia Sedó, a nutritionist and food historian at the UCR, in a statement about the recent tamal study. The corn filling symbolized the sun god for indigenous people 500 years ago, but when Spanish conquistadors colonized the isthmus, the food became part of festivities celebrating the immaculate conception and Christmas.Unlike Mexican tamales, served year-round in corn husks, the Costa Rican variety, wrapped and steamed in banana or plantain leaves, is usually only seen in December. Everyone has their own family recipe, but the basic ingredients for the Christmas – or navideño – variety are seasoned masa — a cooked cornmeal similar to polenta — sweet pepper, carrot, rice, onion, potato, green beans, and a meat, with pork being the traditional choice this time of year. Sedó said that the addition of prunes or olives that some families prefer demonstrates how food cultures mixed: banana leaf, corn and peppers from the Americas together with pork, olives and prunes from European migrants.According to the UCR survey, 91.3 percent of Ticos participate in the tamal tradition, and 62 percent make them at home. Those 38 percent who don’t make them at home will buy an estimated 19 million piñas of the masa-filled pockets. The Economy Ministry published a study on the estimated cost for a family to make the labor-intensive treats: The average family paid more than ₡24,000, roughly $50, to buy the ingredients for 50 tamales.The best way to enjoy the seasonal treat is at a tamaleada, the tradition of taking a break from buying gifts to invite friends over to the house in the afternoon to share a tamal, a cup of coffee and some good conversation. The tamaleada is one way that tamales are gifted like Christmas cookies up north. Plus, they’re already wrapped! Facebook Comments
Thandie Newton arrives at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) Jenifer Lewis in Nike swoosh, Johansson a goddess at Emmys NEW YORK, N.Y. – Jenifer Lewis stood with Nike in a bedazzled swoosh sweatshirt on the Emmys new gold carpet and Scarlett Johansson stunned as a goddess in white during the parade of fashion on TV’s biggest night.Johansson’s gown featured drop sleeves with a plunging neckline and high side slit. She posed with her boyfriend and one of the evening’s co-hosts, Colin Jost, her blonde bob swept back. The actress accessorized with diamond chandelier earrings, her flower back tattoos on display.Tiffany Haddish was her own kind of goddess in a custom look by Prabal Gurung. She asked the designer to help her honour her father in the colours of the Eritrean flag and Gurung didn’t disappoint with a look of bright vertical stripes in red, yellow, blue and green. She wore her hair in a high long ponytail. The gown was reminiscent of the collection Gurung showed at the recent New York Fashion Week.RuPaul spoke with reporters in a white double-breasted suit by Calvin Klein by Appointment, adorned with an Andy Warhol print of black Statues of Liberty. Issa Rae, meanwhile, wore a baby blue custom look from Vera Wang with a flowing, embellished plunging top that cascaded into a train and loose pants underneath.“I’m, like, are you serious right now,” Rae said of her sparkly outfit.The look for Lewis, the “black-ish” actress, came after Nike faced backlash for featuring quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the company’s new face. She wore a red-and-black sweatshirt with Nike emblazoned on it and the studded swoosh. She accented her black leggings and black-and-white pattern boots with a diamond bracelet and ring. Lewis said she wore Nike “in support of Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality and racial injustice,” referring to the quarterback’s controversy over taking a knee.“I want to speak to the millennials today to let them know they are not alone when they speak out,” said the 61-year-old Lewis. “We are not living in dark times. We are living in awakening times, and I am proud to be one of the leaders in the movement.”One of the evening’s first stunners was worn by Angela Sarafyan of “Westworld.” She smiled, posed in a black strapless ball gown and said it best: “Sparkles!” Trevor Noah, meanwhile, fended off a sticky star marking spots on the carpet. One stuck to the bottom of a shoe, allowing him to show off his red soles.And then there was Tracee Ellis Ross, a cloud of pink from her drop shoulders to her hem, the top part of her, um, statement dress held up by all-around elastic. To say there was volume is an understatement. Allison Janney, also usually impeccable on big carpets, showed up in showgirl fuchsia best seen through shades.Sandra Oh, was in a deep red column gown with just the right amount of embellishment on her short sleeves, high waist and down each side. Also unique: Michelle Dockery, who twirled in a Carolina Herrera blue tulle gown with three-dimensional floral detailing on the bodice.Thandie Newton joined Ellis Ross as a lady in bright pink, her gown with the night’s most winning neckline. It was high and looped into a long train-like effect down one side.Zazie Beetz of the FX series “Atlanta” also stood out in a dress that had fans on social media declaring her the queen of Afrofuturism. It had open sleeves with chunky embellishment for an armour effect, her hair big and natural. by Leanne Italie, The Associated Press Posted Sep 17, 2018 5:05 pm PDT Last Updated Sep 17, 2018 at 5:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Summer Movie Preview: ‘The Lion King’ roars again LOS ANGELES — Director Jon Favreau has just left a scoring session for “The Lion King ” with Hans Zimmer and an orchestra. It was for the stampede (yes, THAT stampede). And it will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the 1994 animated classic that, with Favreau’s footage playing in the background, it got a little emotional in that room.“Working on it doesn’t make it any less emotional,” Favreau said.And don’t even get him started on what it was like to listen to James Earl Jones record his lines as Mufasa.Favreau and an army of people behind the scenes are putting the finishing touches on what might be this summer’s most anticipated release, one that’s been three years in the making with some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Beyoncé, and the expectations couldn’t be higher. None of the other major studios are even daring to go up against “The Lion King” when it opens July 19.The animated film, which opened in June 1994 at the peak of the Disney animation renaissance, went on to become a critical hit, the highest grossing film of the year at the worldwide box office (it was second domestically to “Forrest Gump”), a two-time Oscar winner for Zimmer’s score and the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” and a Broadway show — now the third-longest running and one of the most successful in history. So it was only a matter of time before the Walt Disney Co., in this new era of live-action remakes of its animated library which this year included both “Dumbo” and “Aladdin,” turned to one of its most beloved.Favreau wasn’t finished with his version of “The Jungle Book” when he started inquiring about plans for “The Lion King.” He’d learned so much about motion capture technology and had a team he knew how to collaborate with. He was ready to take it to the next level. So, he raised his hand for the big job.“I kind of lobbied for it,” Favreau said.The studio waited until “The Jungle Book” was out to give him the official word, but the 2016 movie which scored with both critics and audiences, turned out to be a pretty good audition. And he set to work prepping this “live-action” ”Lion King,” which, it should be said isn’t live-action at all. It’s a combination of virtual reality and “keyframe animation,” which means that the animals are all animated by hand, “just like all the old animated movies,” Favreau explained. In other words, if you visited the set, you would not find some gargantuan soundstage and a bunch of actors running around acting like lions while covered in motion capture bodysuits and dots.Rather, it was more of a “black box with people wearing headsets and VR goggles.”The VR was used to “drive the camera” and “instead of just one layout artist on a computer, we had a full crew operating virtual cameras in a virtual reality environment,” he said.That includes esteemed cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, a six-time Oscar nominee.The resulting special effect is that “It should feel like a live-action movie,” he said, even if it’s technically animated.For the cast, which includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon, the process was pretty similar to what they would have done for a traditionally animated movie, but Favreau also filmed the actors during their voice recording sessions to help the animators. He knew it would look to weird to try to translate human expressions onto the cats’ faces so instead emotion is conveyed through body language (and a little mouth moving for the dialogue).Anyone who’s seen the marketing thus far has no doubt recognized some familiar touchstones from the 1994 film. So familiar, in fact, that many started to wonder if this was going to be a shot-for-shot remake. Favreau said that isn’t the case.“It diverges quite a bit,” he said. “It’s much longer than the original film. And part of what we’re doing here is to (give it more dimension) not just visually but both story wise and emotionally.”The main story points are the same, but like the stage musical, there will be differences too. Plus, he wanted to capitalize on the uniqueness of his actors.With Beyoncé, for instance, he even changed the way he directed her and approached her animation after seeing her stage show and all the personas she channels for each song.“Nala is a very powerful character who’s a warrior and also has a big heart and encapsulates a lot of different archetypes,” he said. “I wanted the way she was choreographed and with lions and the fight scenes to have a resonance with the power with which (Beyoncé) choreographs her stage show.”And of course there’s the music, which is just as important as the images in conjuring up all the emotion and nostalgia associated with the original.Zimmer has updated and built upon his own score from 25 years ago, which will also integrate music from the stage show and the 2D film.“It’s quite a lush version of the soundtrack and the score,” Favreau said.There will be some recognizable songs, including “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” ”Hakuna Matata,” ”Be Prepared,” ”I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and “Circle of Life,” plus some new ones too.And the hope is that this version resonates not only with the generations that grew up with “The Lion King,” but with a new batch of kids as well who may be experiencing it for the first time this way.“It’s about the life cycle and coming of age and saying goodbye and all the things that we all deal with,” Favreau said. “It’s not a story that’s often told but it’s a story that’s probably the most universal story there is.”___Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr___For complete coverage of this summer’s movie season, visit: www.apnews.com/SummerFilmsLindsey Bahr, The Associated Press by Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press Posted Apr 30, 2019 7:36 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email