Language Strangles Scientific Ideals

first_imgBig Science doesn’t have a public relations problem. It has a propaganda problem.To hear science journal editors and science news reporters, you would think the gods are angry at stupid people. For example, on Live Science, Stephanie Pappas purports to explain “Why Americans Deny Science,” taking hold of the Yoda microphone to berate the unwashed masses. It’s not that the issues of “evolution, climate and vaccines” do not deserve informed discussion, or whether a fraction of the populace believes dumb things. It’s that her elitist stance begins and ends with the attitude, “We’re right, they’re wrong, that’s the end of the story” (see 12/23/16).The U.S. has a science problem. Around half of the country’s citizens reject the facts of evolution; fewer than a third agree there is a scientific consensus on human-caused climate change, and the number who accept the importance of vaccines is ticking downward.But there are reasons to doubt the “scientific consensus.”  Who says so? Members of the scientific consensus itself, that’s who. Consider these recent reports from the journals and mainstream media.Equivocation in scientific lingo. Scientific papers are known for their incomprehensible jargon. An ostensible purpose of the recondite rhetoric is to aim for precision in meaning. Here’s an example, though, of rhetorical imprecision. The phrase ‘risk factor’ sounds scientific, doesn’t it? What, exactly, does it mean? Medical Xpress points to the phrase as an example of imprecise language with multiple meanings (see Equivocation in the Baloney Detector). A post-doc scholar at METRICS (Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford) conducted a study of terminology in the literature, and found that ‘risk factor’ alone has four possible meanings. Annoyed, Anders Huitfeldt, PhD, had this to say: ”“I have had a long-standing interest in trying to understand why published research papers often fail to find the truth,” he said. “It seems that often researchers are confused about what they are actually trying to do.”The problem goes far beyond this one particular phrase. If scientists cannot even agree on what they mean by their own widely-used terminology, the very question they address in research gets muddled. “And this uncertainty becomes a serious impediment to processing information correctly to arrive at the scientific truth.” Conclusion: imprecision in phraseology is a risk factor for muddle-headed obtuseness.Buzz bombs. To show we are not alone in use of the term ‘Big Science’, observe that Nature uses it, too. “Big science has a buzzword problem,” a news feature in the respected journal announces. Megan Scudellari intones, “Moonshots, road maps, frameworks and more are proliferating, but few can agree on what these names even mean.” If scientists don’t know what they mean by a research project that’s going to cost the taxpayers tons of money (e.g., Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot”), how is the public supposed to know? Here’s that imprecision risk factor again:‘Moonshot’, ‘road map’, ‘initiative’ and other science-planning buzzwords have meaning, yet even some of the people who choose these terms have trouble defining them precisely. The terms might seem interchangeable, but close examination reveals a subtle hierarchy in their intentions and goals. Moonshots, for example, focus on achievable, but lofty, engineering problems. Road maps and decadal surveys (see ‘Alternate aliases’) lay out milestones and timelines or set priorities for a field. That said, many planning projects masquerade as one title while acting as another.It gets worse. Scudellari points out that projects labeled with these buzzwords “add unnecessary layers of bureaucracy and overhead costs to doing science, reduce creativity and funding stability and often lack the basic science necessary to succeed.” No wonder The Martian faced death-defying challenges. Scudellari provides disturbing examples of muddle in the Big Science – Big Government nexus. She notes in passing that “Science partly progresses by serendipity” in addition to moonshots, whatever those are. Serendipity can emerge as a flash of insight for one individual scientist.Have a nice epoch. Nature printed an interesting dialogue about the new buzzword “Anthropocene,” a proposed geological epoch that begins with human impact on the planet. (We note in passing that the words era, epoch, eon, and period, while essentially synonymous in English, take on artificial meanings in geology’s arbitrary classification scheme. The rocks know nothing of the ‘Geologic Column’ and couldn’t care less.) In his critique, Noel Castree argues that “it is folly to believe that there is an objective way to define a new ‘age of humans’.” His neologism ‘scientize’ carries a stinging bite:What counts as epochal change is a matter of perspective and emerges from judgements about when quantitative change morphs into qualitative transformation. The interpretive and critical parts of social science can help us to appreciate that formalizing the Anthropocene is a misguided attempt to ‘scientize’ a particular set of value judgements. No such formalization is needed to underpin arguments for humans to live in ways that are less environmentally destructive.Indignant members of the Anthropocene Working Group do their best to defend the term’s meaningfulness in their reply, but point out that once the term is settled, it will work with “physical scientists, social scientists, humanists and artists.” Something like the word evolution does?Hidden agendas. Speaking of buzzwords, Nature‘s editors introduced one with profound consequences for citizens. “‘Nature-based solutions’ is the latest green jargon that means more than you might think,” the headline says. “It may sound vague, but the term represents real and vital concepts.” Our first impression was that it refers to biomimetics. Not. In fact, freedom-loving conservatives need to watch out for this friendly euphemism, not just because the leftist journal Nature likes it, but because it could hit their wallets. Nature likes it because it sounds nicer to innocent taxpayers than the clunky phrases, ‘ecosystem services’, ‘green–blue infrastructure’ and ‘natural capital’.” By contrast, nature-based solutions has a nice ring to it (like ‘sustainable’ or ‘evidence-based’), enough to rally the globalists and policymakers:NBS — as almost no one yet calls it — is a newly coined umbrella term intended to sweep up all of the above phrases, add others such as ‘ecological engineering’ and ‘ecosystem-based mitigation’, and dump them into a policy-relevant pot, where sustainable practices that harness the natural world (wetlands to clean waste water, for example) can be devised, analysed and then pulled out for use by politicians, scholars and researchers….‘Nature-based solutions’ might sound like it belongs on the side of a gardener’s van, but the concept it represents is of vital and urgent significance. As the grand challenges that face society continue to build, so does the need for multidisciplinary, evidence-based strategies to, for example, protect water supplies, address habitat loss and mitigate and adapt to climate change. And if a concept is solid, then the alien words and terms that represent it have a habit of becoming familiar and bedding into everyday discourse.Hold onto your wallet, in other words. Nature grins at how other buzzwords, like biodiversity and sustainable development “emerged into policy debate” relatively quickly. Who are the debaters, you might ask? Big Science, Big Government, the UN, Big Media and all the other Big institutions that decide for the public what they want to do, then ask the public for their money.Foxes elect themselves guardians of the henhouse. Speaking of policy, Nature also reported that a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) produced a document called the Brussels Declaration (odd, since they worked in Boston), “a 20-point blueprint for a set of ethics and principles to inform work at the boundaries of science, society and policy.” It’s nice that they care about ethics and integrity, but they get to define those words, too. Beware if they think integrity evolved by natural selection.One might think that scientists are already paragons of integrity. Why, then, was this declaration needed?Most policy decisions are informed by evidence that is provided by experts. All too often, who those experts are, how they are chosen and the true reliability of their advice is open to question. Key requirements for public dialogue and better understanding are transparency, scrutiny and inclusivity.Inclusivity—the buzzword that usually refers to certain sexual orientations—suggests that Nature and the AAAS will be happiest if two transgender lesbians who are transparent about their gay marriage are included in Big Science & Big Government confabs to inform policy for the rest of us.Automated bias. In the internet age, much of our information comes to us from Google searches. Many users might presume that answers to questions are evidence-based, transparent, and scrutinized with the appropriate inclusivity. Thomas Maher (U of Arizona) is concerned, though, that these answers may actually be promoting more falsehood online. He states on The Conversation that the top answer in a Google search on the question, “Did the Holocaust happen?”, led users to a neo-Nazi, white supremacist, Holocaust-denying website. In the article, Maher points out additional problems with Google answers. But the concern can cut multiple ways. What happens, for instance, if government censors decide what is fake news or fake science? As we showed in the opening Live Science article, one can imagine the kinds of answers Stephanie Pappas would give—were she put on a censor board—to questions about creation, evolution, or intelligent design.Power corrupts in many ways, not just financial. All humans, even scientists, are prone to promote their agendas and ideologies. Some take the shortcut of propaganda. The more power, the more ability to foist fake science through large, wealthy institutions.Avoiding propaganda requires moral qualities that Big Science admits is in short supply (else why need a Brussels Declaration?). Beware any expert who thinks that integrity evolves. That ideology could lead to things like Newspeak: war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

DuPont Pioneer Introduces New Soybean Varieties with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Technology

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest DuPont Pioneer today announced 12 new Pioneer® brand T Series soybean varieties with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ technology that will be available for pre-ordering this fall in the United States. The products are being made available for pre-orders in anticipation of a commercial launch of the trait for 2016 planting, pending applicable regulatory reviews.“Pioneer® brand soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ technology will provide farmers an improved way to manage tough-to-control weeds while delivering the outstanding yield and service they expect from Pioneer,” said Steve Reno, DuPont Pioneer vice president, regional director – U.S. & Canada. Soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ technology will enable applications of labeled dicamba herbicides, pending herbicide registration, as well as glyphosate herbicides. Dicamba herbicides will provide farmers a new way to manage tough-to-control and glyphosate-resistant broadleaf weeds such as waterhemp, marestail and palmer amaranth.“DuPont Pioneer sales, agronomy and seed production teams have been gearing up to launch the new trait in Pioneer soybeans,” said Reno. “We will have the agronomic data to help our customers get the right products on the right acres to meet their needs and the product volumes to support what we anticipate to be the largest soybean product launch in our history.”Soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ technology are approved for food, feed and cultivation in the United States and Canada. Sale and delivery of Pioneer® brand soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ technology will be completed once applicable regulatory reviews are concluded.Reno noted that if Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ technology is not commercially launched in time for the 2016 crop year, Pioneer expects to have good supply of other elite soybean varieties to meet the needs of its customers who have pre-ordered varieties with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ technology.AUDIO: The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins visited with DuPont Pioneer’s Business Director Randy Minton about the launch of new soybean varieties with RR2X technology.Ty’s Wrap for Fridaylast_img read more

Snowshoe Geocaching – A Geocaching.com Video

first_img SharePrint RelatedGeocaching.com Presents: FavoritesOctober 20, 2011In “Learn”Geocaching.com Weekly Newsletter – International Geocaching DayJuly 25, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Geocaching.com Presents: “The Rock”November 3, 2011In “Community” White fields of deep, powdery snow can’t stop geocachers from embarking on a high-tech treasure hunt. They simply adapt. Watch this Geocaching.com video to follow along as geocacher Greg McCaddon, Totemlake, leads a group of eight on a snowshoe geocaching adventure in the postcard-perfect mountains of Washington State.Snowshoe geocachingGeocachers say snowshoe caching is like preparing for any winter sport. It’s recommended you dress in layers, bring water, food, survival gear and (of course) your GPS receiver loaded with nearby caches.Totemlake hosts a Hike of the Month for local geocachers. Watch the video to see the unique token that each participant receives and what goes into the cache on each Hike of the Month.Explore more than 30 Geocaching.com videos in our gallery.  Share a video on “Basics of Hiding a Geocache,” watch a Travel Bug® move from cache to cache around the world and visit the highest and lowest geocaches in existence.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Recent Changes to LEED for Homes — Part 1

first_imgStructural changes I DON’T likeThe LEED for Homes Committee was very happy with several innovations we pioneered – things we felt were distinct improvements over the more senior members of the LEED family, for reasons of clarity. One of these was having prerequisites and optional measures reside within the same credit, so it was easy to understand the baseline requirements and then the enhanced measures that could be taken to step up performance above the baseline in a given area. Sadly, that wisdom has been steamrollered under the behemoth that is non-residential LEED. The prerequisites and credits are now decoupled, irrationally, with separate names and numbers – purely for the sake of conformity, alas.The threshold adjustment mechanism to account for home size impacts – though not very aptly called, originally, the “Home Size Adjustment” (no, the homes’ sizes were not being adjusted) – has been transformed into a prerequisite, EAp4, Home Size. I haven’t had time to play with the numbers to see how this affects scoring, if at all. But I do lament the move, if for only this reason: the mechanism was developed to account for not only lower or higher energy use associated with smaller-than-average or larger-than-average homes, but also for differences in material resource consumption. This idea will now be lost – whether or not it’s accounted for in the numbers.The newly remodeled prerequisite is also now tied to the Energy Star for Homes, version 3, reference home – which was undoubtedly fashioned to some degree after the original LEED for Homes mechanism. Perhaps it’s an improvement, perhaps not. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to plumb its depths.Another reversion to the non-residential LEED norm is the move of low-emitting building materials from their original home (MR2.2) to the Indoor Environmental Quality category. The logic of their former placement was to enable a specifier to understand all the different material properties that were of interest when selecting materials. Ah, consistency – the hobgoblin of small minds!Now on to more petty complaints: does anyone really think that having a bunch of “cases” and “options” and “paths” (which appear now in numerous credits) lends to clarity? Not me! I also find that while some credit language has been nicely trimmed and clarified, some has been muddied and rendered overly complex and layered.I also fail to understand why the Innovation and Design Process category has been split into two categories, Integrative Process (comprising one lonely credit) and Innovation (which has but a single prerequisite and two credits). Was ID really so overcrowded?On the other hand, the Awareness and Education (AE) category has disappeared, and its contents subsumed into Energy and Atmosphere. Since there were only two AE credits – that really should have been one all along – I don’t object to the category going away, but the vestigial credit, now EAp3, really isn’t only about energy.And then we have the Regional Priority category, comprising the single Regional Priority credit. I would have really preferred to see some consolidation – perhaps into a nice, tidy, “Other” category. But that’s just me, apparently.Now on to some categories – not necessarily in order, but rather in order of most improved to most … well, you fill in the blank. BLOGS BY ANN EDMINSTER High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 1The Green Countertop DilemmaMore Lighting Options, Please?!A Theory of Work: What Number Are You?The First … Charrette?Ready, Set, Go!Does Green Building Cost More? Water efficiency (WE)The new WEc1 provides a performance pathway alternative to the prescriptive credits WEc2 (indoor water use) and WEc3 (outdoor water use), which mirror and consolidate the old WE3, SS2.3, and SS2.4. This is very sensible and uses the EPA WaterSense Water Budget Tool to calculate percentage reductions from a baseline.WEc2 now includes clothes washers and reduces the allowable flow rates for lavatory faucets and showerheads. There is now only one award level for toilets. Any fixtures with a flow rating higher than 2.5 gpm now trigger mandatory use of WEc1.WEc3 may or may not be an improvement – it seems straightforward, but the proof will be in the pudding. It combines limits to turf grass with minimums for native/adapted planting area. Projects with pools or other outdoor water features are required to use WEc1. Structural changes I LIKEFirst, there’s some good news with regard to the rating system structure: midrise projects have been integrated into the rating system, no longer being shunted into a separate document. It’s about time! (If we could get the California version integrated, too, I would be even happier.)It’s also great to see that credits that include multiple performance levels are no longer parsed (absurdly) into numbered sub-credits. The levels have also been evened out more rationally into proportional steps … at least in most multi-level credits. My perspective on the latest version of the LEED for Homes standard (version 4) has an inescapably historic slant. This doesn’t mean that I categorically reject change. In fact, much as a parent reserves the right to be her child’s most ardent fan and harshest critic at times, I have not been at all hesitant to point out flaws in LEED for Homes over the years since the launch of the pilot.Having established that, let me say that I applaud a number of significant improvements in the New! Improved! LEED for Homes (version 4). There are other changes about which I am considerably less enthusiastic. Green Building Advisor has been kind enough to let me share both my praise and my discontent.In Part 1, I’ve offered some overall structural comments and reviewed the two categories that have seen the greatest improvements: WE and EQ. In Part 2, I will cover the remaining categories.center_img Indoor environmental quality (EQ)The ventilation credits (former EQ4 and EQ5) have been consolidated into a single prerequisite (EQp1) and a single credit (EQc1), each addressing both exhaust and supply (or balanced) ventilation. This is handy, since they reference the same (updated) ASHRAE standards.Some measures that used to be optional are now – appropriately – mandatory. Shared surfaces between living spaces and garages must now be air-sealed (was EQ10.2, now EQp3). Environmental tobacco smoke controls (formerly EQ11 in Midrise, now EQp6) are now mandatory and slightly simplified. Compartmentalization (formerly EQ12.1 in Midrise, now EQp7) now applies to both multifamily and attached single-family dwellings.A number of measures have also been made more stringent, including enhanced ventilation (was EQ5.2 and EQ4.2, now EQc1), midrise compartmentalization (was EQ12.2, now EQc4), enhanced combustion venting (was EQ2.2, now EQc5), and enhanced garage pollutant protection (was EQ10.3 and EQ10.4, now EQc6).One credit that seems a bit wacky is EQc2 (was EQ8), Contaminant Control – particularly the walk-off mats for multifamily projects. I’ll be truly shocked if any project puts in 10-foot walk-off mats to earn ½ point.And, as mentioned above, I’m not fond of the inclusion of low-emitting products in this category (EQc7), although I do understand the logic. I have no quarrel with other aspects of this new credit, though.The EQ category, because it is one of the largest, particularly suffers from segregating prerequisites from their companion credits. Were it not for this flaw, this category would definitely warrant “Most Improved.”For Part 2 of this series, click here. RELATED ARTICLES Recent Changes to LEED for Homes — Part 2GBA Encyclopedia: LEED for HomesWhy Is the U.S. Green Building Council So Out of Touch?It’s 2012 — Do You Know Where Your LEED for Homes Is?How to Cheat* at LEED for HomesNew Urbanist Andres Duany Lashes Out at LEEDGreen Building Programs Got Some ’Splainin’ to Do LEED-H Clarifications Raise More Questions Than They AnswerEqual-Opportunity Feather Ruffling Ann Edminster is the owner of Design AVEnues , a green building consulting firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also a member of GreenBuildingAdvisor.com’s team of advisors and is the former chair and co-chair of the LEED for Homes Committee.last_img read more

Magic stun reeling Cavs as LeBron says he’s staying put

first_imgNEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers The Cavaliers scored 43 points in the first quarter, but then went almost 6½ minutes without scoring in the fourth. They played the second half without coach Tyronn Lue, who went to the locker room in the second quarter with what the team said was an illness.“It’s like right now, when we hit adversity, we go our separate ways,” guard Isaiah Thomas said. “And that’s just how I feel and it looks like that as well.”The Magic made their first 10 shots of the second half and won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 8-10.James did not have a rebound or an assist in a foul-plagued second half.“I gave my teammates some opportunities to knock ’em down, but they just didn’t go. You can’t get assists when they don’t go down, but that doesn’t stop me from finding my guys on the floor,” he said. “At this point it’s not what you say, it’s what you do. We’ve got to go out and play well as a collective group, everyone hitting at the right time on all cylinders, and right now we’re not doing that.”ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Ingram, Randle lead Lakers over Suns Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Read Next The Cavaliers fell apart in the second half and lost for the 14th time in 21 games. They have given up an average of 122.4 points in their last five losses.“I couldn’t give up on my teammates like that. I just couldn’t do it,” James said after scoring 25 points. “We put too much into the game every single day.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“This is no time to be ashamed about our season,” he added. “We’ve got quite a few games left. If we’re still serious about the season, then we’ve got to play some good ball at some point.”Jonathon Simmons scored 22 of his career-high 34 points in the third quarter for the Magic, who broke a nine-game home-court losing streak against Cleveland. Simmons made seven of eight shots in his 22-point quarter, finishing the period with a 3-point buzzer shot in a game in which he almost did not play because of a sprained right ankle.“To be honest, adrenaline was just going and I didn’t even realize what was going on,” Simmons said. “I was just trying to play hard and trying not to have another setback.”J.R. Smith made three 3-pointers in the first four minutes to help the Cavaliers (30-22) take a 15-4 lead, and they led by 21 points late in the first half.Jeff Green dunked to put the Cavaliers up 61-40 with 4:50 left in the half, but they went scoreless for almost four minutes while the Magic (17-36) sliced nine points off the lead.James opened the second half with a couple of 3-pointers to regain a 16-point lead for Cleveland, but Simmons scored 12 points during the Magic’s 19-2 run that gave them their first lead of the game at 78-77 with 5:33 left in the third quarter.James was called for his fourth foul just 17 seconds later and sat for more than seven minutes.When he re-entered the game with 10:10 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Magic ran off 14 straight points to lead 108-92.Dwyane Wade banked in a 3-pointer for Cleveland’s only points in the first 7:25 of the fourth quarter.TIP-INSCavaliers: Wade missed the morning shootaround with an illness but played 22 minutes.Magic: Simmons’ 22-point quarter was three points short of the franchise record set by Tracy McGrady in 2003. … F Aaron Gordon missed a fifth straight game with a strained left hip flexor and has withdrawn from the Slam Dunk Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend.UP NEXT Cavaliers: Host Minnesota on Wednesday.Magic: Host Atlanta on Thursday. MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon Citycenter_img LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, rear, and center Tristan Thompson defend against Orlando Magic forward Jonathon Simmons during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. The Magic won 116-98. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)ORLANDO, Fla. — After another embarrassing defeat and two days before the trade deadline, LeBron James let it be known he’s not going anywhere, at least for now.“I’m here for this season right now to try and figure out a way we can still compete,” James said after his Cleveland Cavaliers blew a 21-point lead in a 116-98 loss to the Orlando Magic. “I owe it to my teammates to finish this season out no matter how it ends up. I would never waive my no-trade clause.”ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. AFP official booed out of forum 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting View commentslast_img read more

Rs 35 lakh cheque creates problem for BCCI, pitched battle in the offing

first_imgS.K. Wankhede (left) and N.K.P. Salve: Power struggleOf all the sports organisations in this country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is possibly the richest. Last fortnight, however, the riches had created a problem: the simple matter of a cheque for Rs 35 lakh – the proceeds,S.K. Wankhede (left) and N.K.P. Salve: Power struggleOf all the sports organisations in this country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is possibly the richest. Last fortnight, however, the riches had created a problem: the simple matter of a cheque for Rs 35 lakh – the proceeds of the Delhi Test between India and the MCC last year – which should have gone to the BCCI account in Madras, but instead went into a fresh fixed deposit account in Bombay.Over half-a-dozen of the 28 BCCI members asked for details of the cheque’s curious progress. Jagmohan Dalmiya, honorary secretary of the Bengal Cricket Association, wrote to M.A. Chidambaram, BCCI treasurer, asking if any board official or working committee member had approved the opening of the account for such a huge amount – according to BCCI rules no new bank account can be opened without the board’s approval.The Delhi Test was handled by a special committee appointed by the BCCI, because the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) had been superseded. BCCI President S.K. Wankhede headed the committee, I.S. Bindra, president of the Punjab Cricket Association was convenor and P.M. Rungta of Rajasthan was treasurer. As there was no permanent body in Delhi to look after the record profit of Rs 35 lakh, it was resolved that the money would be transferred to the BCCI’S account in Madras. According to Bindra, he along with Rungta wrote a cheque for Rs 35 lakh on February 5, 1982 in favour of the BCCI.advertisementBut instead of handing the cheque to Chidambaram, Rungta inexplicably withdrew the money from the Tolstoy Marg branch of the New Bank of India and converted it into a demand draft – No 434072/78/82 dated February 6, 1982 – drawn on the bank’s Bombay branch – Bindra was not in on this. In a letter to the bank, Rungta wrote: “Please issue a demand draft in the name of Board of Control for Cricket in India payable at Bombay.” On the same day, as it happened, an account was opened in the Banque Nationale de Paris and a fixed deposit of Rs 35 lakh for one year was made in the name of the BCCI. Chidambaram received a fixed deposit receipt from Rungta, instead of a cheque.Disputed Matters: The matter was first raised at the working committee meeting on April 1, 1982. Some pointed questions remained unanswered: why Rungta converted the cheque into a draft on his own; why a foreign bank was preferred, especially when the rate of interest – 7.5 per cent – is the same as that of Indian banks; who endorsed the account papers as only the BCCI president and/or treasurer can operate an account and that too after a BCCI resolution; and how the bank opened an account in the name of an organisation without asking for the resolution and the memorandum of association.The group that has talked the most about Rungta’s initiative is the “anti-Bombay group’, and consists mostly of senior government officials like Bindra, Phalgum Matilal, a joint director in the Railway Ministry, Kamlesh Sharma, a joint secretary in the Union Home Ministry and S.K. Kakkar, a senior Chandigarh administration official.They are powerfully backed by Minister of State for Information N.K.P. Salve, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and Kamal Nath, the powerful MP who dislodged K.K. Mehra and his friends from the DDCA. Kakkar says that “there is ample scope for smelling a rat” and feels that the bank “might have used the cash for sanctioning loans to various firms” in the wake of the credit squeeze.In the August 16-17 meeting of the BCCI in Bombay, this group demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation investigate the matter and that the account be closed. But Rungta was not present and a decision was postponed. For his part, Rungta refutes the allegation that there was anything wrong in opening the account.Said he: “Bindra signed a cheque and gave it to me to be handed over to the treasurer of the board. It is also correct that I handed over the demand draft receipt to Chidambaram.” He also claimed that the new account was opened in consultation with the treasurer and the president. But both Chidambaram and Wankhede, when asked in the board meeting, did not accept that they knew about it earlier.Financial Problems: ‘Irregularities’ in financial procedures have occurred earlier. Dalmiya had pointed out 54 errors in the audited accounts for 1980-81. The general body meeting in Bangalore on September 28, 1981, took note of his objections which included: glaring discrepancies in the cash and bank balances in accounts presented by the treasurer to the BCCI working committee on August 3, 1980 and figures given out at the Bangalore meeting; Rs 26 lakh expenditure on the Golden Jubilee Test between India and England at Bombay when only Rs 11 lakh was approved; unexplained expenditure of Rs 2 lakh in foreign exchange in England during the 1979 tour; and investment of nearly Rs 1 crore in various private companies by the BCCI investment committee without the approval of the BCCI board or working committee.advertisementThis last provoked quite a furore at two meetings of the board. According to the statement of accounts for 1980-81, the private companies so favoured are Tata Oil Mills (Rs 10 lakh), Mahindra and Mahindra (Rs 25 lakh), Bayer India Ltd (Rs 15 lakh), Standard Oil Mills (Rs 15 lakh) and ITC Ltd (Rs 25 lakh). The money came from nationalised banks by prematurely cancelling fixed deposits, and board officials accepted that the board or the working committee did not authorise the withdrawal and that the terms and the conditions were not disclosed earlier. Wankhede and others claimed, however, that no BCCI office-bearer was connected with any of the companies. Only after Dalmiya persisted was an eight-member inquiry committee, headed by Wankhede, appointed to look into these allegations: the final report is still to come even after a year.Things are likely to come to a head on September 26, 1982, at the elections for the office-bearers. The ‘anti-Bombay group’ led by Bindra is determined to oust Wankhede and his men and they seem to have numbers on their side: at a recent meeting of their group 16 of the BCCI’s 28 members were present.They have reportedly decided to field Salve for the president’s post. Says Matilal: “Ours is a democratic fight. We don’t want politics and money to spoil Indian cricket; we want to cleanse the BCCI of unscrupulous elements.” A pitched battle is clearly in the offing.last_img read more

Korea to Open up Job Opportunities for Indian Seafarers

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Danny Cornelissen/Nautilus International India has signed an agreement with the Republic of Korea to open up employment opportunities for Indian seafarers on Korean ships.Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the countries said they would mutually recognize the certificates of maritime education and training, competency, endorsements and medical fitness of seafarers issued by each other.The agreement was signed by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and his Korean counterpart Kim Young-choon in Busan on April 10.India and Korea are currently looking to strengthen their bilateral cooperation in shipping, ports, inland waterways, and other.last_img read more

Why Netflix changed its algorithm to track the shows youre actually watching

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The CEO of Netflix has offered insight into how the online streaming service arrives at the suggestions it makes to users about what shows and movies to watch.During a question-and-answer session Saturday morning at the TED conference, Reed Hastings, the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix, talked about running the multi-billion dollar company.Sitting onstage with lead TED curator Chris Anderson, Hastings provided this description of Netflix’s programming strategy: Twitter Facebookcenter_img Login/Register With: “We have some candy,” Hastings said. “But we have lots of broccoli, and if you have a good mix you get to a healthy diet.” Advertisement Netflix has been investing heavily in its own programming, like The Crown.last_img read more

The Historically Great Warriors Got Historically Crushed

6/2/85Celtics@Lakers3NBA Finals-254.3 5/30/14Pacers@Heat6East final-255.6 5/22/00Lakersvs.Blazers2West final-290.1✓ 25+ point blowouts of conference No. 1 seeds in the NBA playoffs, 1984-2016 6/2/95Magic@Pacers6East final-272.2✓ 5/27/01Spurs@Lakers4West final-292.5 5/3/07Mavericks@Warriors6West Rd. 1-252.2 5/27/85Lakers@Celtics1NBA Finals-340.3✓ 5/26/15Hawks@Cavaliers4East final-302.8 5/25/01Spurs@Lakers3West final-390.2 In the NBA playoffs, No. 1 seeds have a special air of authority about them. Since the league expanded to a 16-team playoff format in 1984, top-seeded teams have won their conference about 55 percent of the time; unlike in sports that feature heavy randomness, it’s a surprise when the best team doesn’t win out in the NBA.But that doesn’t mean top seeds are invincible, as the Golden State Warriors found out Sunday night in Oklahoma when they lost 133-105. With the series tied 1-1, the Warriors were facing the most crucial game of their season — and the Oklahoma City Thunder absolutely shellacked them. Going back again to ’84, it tied for the 14th-worst defeat of a conference No. 1 seed in the playoffs: 6/7/98Jazz@Bulls3NBA Finals-420.1% 5/11/10Cavaliersvs.Celtics5East Rd. 2-32<0.1 6/16/00Lakers@Pacers5NBA Finals-330.3✓ 6/3/84Celtics@Lakers3NBA Finals-330.4✓ 6/14/88Lakers@Pistons4NBA Finals-253.5✓ 6/11/13Heat@Spurs3NBA Finals-360.2✓ Half of those 14 losses came in the NBA Finals, and six featured a No. 1 seed from one conference crushing its counterpart from the the other — not exactly comparable to Dubs-Thunder. So if you toss those out, Golden State’s loss is tied for the seventh-most-lopsided defeat by a No. 1 in the past 33 postseasons of conference play. (It’s also tied for ninth-worst among playoff losses by No. 1 overall seeds during that span.)The Thunder are a high-quality basketball team, perhaps far better than they appeared to be at various points during the regular season. But the degree to which they dominated the Warriors in Game 3 was stunning. According to the pregame Elo ratings (our pet metric for estimating each team’s strength at a given moment), there was a mere 1.1 percent probability that OKC would run up a victory margin of 28 or more points Sunday.1Based on a process similar to the NFL version I used here. We’ve hardly ever seen this incarnation of the Warriors destroyed so thoroughly, and never in a game that meant so much.Putting aside why it happened — yes, the Warriors had one of their worst (unluckiest?) shot-making nights of the season, but they also played some of their most porous defense of the year and looked out of sorts for long stretches of the game — Golden State’s Game 3 drubbing has left the team in trouble. Both opponents being equal, the team that wins at home in a 1-1 series goes on to win the series more than 69 percent of the time. And although we wouldn’t have considered the Warriors and Thunder to be equals before the West final tipped off, OKC has closed the gap considerably since then. (Plus, Draymond Green is at risk of being suspended for Game 4 after kicking Steven Adams in the crotch for the second time this series.) Now, our model considers the Thunder 64 percent favorites to make the NBA Finals.Plenty of historical teams who suffered similarly huge routs bounced back and won the series anyway, so all is not lost in Oakland. But the Warriors will have to regroup after a Game 3 performance that put them in an exclusive, unenviable club of vulnerable No. 1 seeds.Check out our latest NBA predictions. 5/24/87Celtics@Pistons4East final-262.2✓ 5/22/16Warriors@Thunder3West final-281.1— DATETEAMOPPONENTGAMEROUNDMARGINELO PROB.WON SERIES 5/19/88Lakers@Jazz6West Rd. 2-281.2✓ Source: Basketball-Reference.com 6/17/08Lakers@Celtics6NBA Finals-390.1 6/4/05Heat@Pistons6East final-252.3 5/21/92Bullsvs.Cavaliers2East final-260.2✓ 5/30/96Sonics@Jazz6West final-350.3✓ 6/3/92Blazers@Bulls1NBA Finals-330.8 read more

Berzins brothers to battle in Chicago volleyball match

When the Buckeyes step into Gentile Arena in Chicago on Saturday and senior outside hitter Mik Berzins looks at the opposing team’s bench, he will see two people he knows quite well. “I’ve grown accustomed to playing my brothers over at Loyola,” he said. “It’s a good rivalry.” Berzins’ brothers, Kris and Dainis, have made the family name synonymous with volleyball at Loyola University Chicago, just as their father paved the way for Mik at Ohio State. The tradition begins with OSU Hall of Famer, Aldis Berzins. The Olympic gold medalist and former outside hitter led the Buckeyes to four Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association championships and four NCAA Final Four appearances between 1975 and 1978. Like father, like sons. Kris, Mik and Dainis have played at the outside hitter position and have made strides within their respective programs. Even the youngest Berzins, sophomore Dainis, started in 21 sets last year and tallied 113 kills, according to Loyola’s athletic website. “We all really support each other and want to have the other one do well,” Mik said. “I’m not going to cheer whenever Dainis gets a kill, but I wish him the best.” Former all-American Kris Berzins amassed more than 1,000 kills and 500 digs in his career with the Ramblers, one of only seven players in school history to do so. After a year on the professional circuit in Austria, Kris returned to Chicago as an assistant coach for the 2012 season. Ramblers’ coach Shane Davis said he tried to recruit Mik, too. “I thought we had him,” Davis said. “He took another look at Ohio State unfortunately, but we definitely wanted him.” Mik said he chose OSU over Loyola because he could see himself succeeding in the versatile program. “I came in as a libero, and I got the opportunity this year, and a little bit last year, to play some outside hitter,” he said. “Ohio State was the best place for me to go.” Mik has helped propel the Buckeyes to an 11-4 record with 120 kills, 10 service aces and a 0.928 serve percentage so far this season. He also has the most career digs in school history with 787. OSU’s coach Pete Hanson describes Mik as a passer, defender and server, but not one to be distracted by the family feud that awaits him this weekend. “Mik does a great job for us,” Hanson said. “He’ll be in a good frame of mind in terms of Ohio State volleyball.” The Buckeyes are 28-13 on the series against conference rival Loyola, and are on a five-match winning streak. The No. 14-ranked Ramblers have fared better at home, however, with a 9-7 record against OSU there. Davis, who shared the MIVA Coach of the Year award with Hanson in 2010, said that he is most looking forward to “all the hype” surrounding the match. “The two teams, we have a lot of history together,” he said. The trio from Brinklow, Md., will reunite Saturday after OSU makes a stop in Romeoville, Ill., to face No. 7-ranked Lewis on Thursday. Both matches are set to begin at 7 p.m. read more