Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Chongson, however, argued that the only statistic he was mindful of is the wins, the losses, and especially the championships.“I can’t worry about stuff like that,” he said after the Rhum Masters shattered the record for most points scored and biggest winning margin. “The only record I’m after is the championship.”Batangas coach Eric Gonzales acknowledges that his side is coming in as underdogs in the tiff.“Honestly, we still lack experience compared with the Tanduay players,” he said, as he will bank on his leaders Joseph Sedurifa, Jessie Saitanan, and Cedrick Ablaza.However, the Batangueños are hell-bent on making it to the top six even after their close 70-66 defeat to Cignal HD last week.ADVERTISEMENT Playoff positioning will be the biggest thing going in the minds of Batangas and Tanduay when the two teams part ways on Thursday in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Ranking tourney With the two squads currently tied at third place carrying their identical 4-2 slates, a victory is surely going to be a boost in the team’s bid to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.And that fact isn’t lost on Rhum Masters coach Lawrence Chongson, as they seek to stay in the running in the playoffs and, hopefully, a top two spot.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“We’re really focused on the game against Batangas because we want to stay on top,” said the outspoken mentor. “One of us will get dropped because we are tied at three and four in the standings.”Tanduay got the necessary momentum builder it needed via a dominant 141-65 decimation of Zark’s Burgers last Monday, where the team also set two league records in the process behind Jerwin Gaco, Lester Alvarez, and James Martinez. MOST READ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong View comments Tip-off is at 3 p.m., to be followed by the all-important game between Marinerong Pilipino and Racal Motors at 5 p.m.Currently on the outside looking in, Racal (3-3) and Marinero (1-4) are just out for survival as both teams try to stay in the playoff race.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes
World Series Champions Rhiannan Iffland of Australia and Gary Hunt of Great Britain went on a cliff diving adventure in South Africa to prepare themselves for the World Series.Iffland and Hunt have 10 championships between them and the two looked at Drakensberg encampment in eastern Mpumalanga in South Africa and particulary like Bourke’s Luck Potholes as a potential diving spot.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“It was just incredible,” said three-time Women’s World Series Champion Iffland. “To come here, to experience the culture, to go on a safari and to dive at this mind-blowing location, it’s something special and it’s really something that I’m going to remember.”The Mpumalanga province is littered with waterfalls and two of those natural resources are the Lisbon and Berlin Falls. Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bourke’s Lock Potholes feature jade-colored water basins and cylindrical rock formations that cliff divers like to execute free-falls at in preparation for the season opener in Palawan.“The first high dives of the year are always a little bit nerve-racking,” said seven-time champion Hunt. “My goal is to keep the title. It was a very close race last year and it was a shaky start so I would love to get off to a very strong start and stamp my foot down on this year’s title.”“Each new location is exciting and it makes cliff diving feel brand new, that’s something I really love, to come out into exotic places like this and just explore and really challenge myself as a diver,” added Iffland.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag LATEST STORIES View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MANILA, Philippines—A couple of the world’s most successful cliffdivers are well on their way in their preparation for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Season 11 to be held in El Nido Palawan.ADVERTISEMENT Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Luzon bets headed to Go for Gold Go skateboarding national finals Google Philippines names new country director Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting
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England paceman Stuart Broad is refusing to rise to Australia opener David Warner’s declaration of “war” as Joe Root’s men prepare to fly out to defend the Ashes.The pugnacious Warner said earlier this month he would “dig deep to get some hatred” for the England team ahead of the series, adding: “As soon as you step on that line it’s war.”Like Warner, Broad is familiar with the hostilities of the old rivalry but as England prepare to head Down Under, he is keeping calm.”I don’t have to hate them,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “It’s a game of cricket, not war.”The Australian public, urged on by coach Darren Lehmann, heckled Broad throughout the 2013-14 series over his failure to walk for a clear nick in the previous series in England — during which Warner was the designated villain after throwing a pre-series punch at Root.”Actually I loved that trip, I liked the pantomime villain stuff,” said Broad.”As a cricketer it was as close as you get to being a footballer playing away from home. (Lehmann) needed something to unite the public and media behind the Australian side and he chose me.”It was football that provided Broad’s inspiration on that tour as he drew on another fierce rivalry — former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira’s animosity with Manchester United counterpart Roy Keane and manager Alex Ferguson.”Because I knew it was coming, I prepared for it,” said Broad. “I read Alex Ferguson’s book about how he’d once told Patrick Vieira, who’d had dog’s abuse from the Old Trafford crowd, ‘they wouldn’t be abusing you if they didn’t respect you’.advertisement”Whether Aussies meant it that way, that’s how I decided to take it. They were only doing it because they were scared of me.”Australia captain Steve Smith has targeted England’s inexperienced batting line-up this time around, with Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Dawid Malan in line to feature in the top five while doubt surrounds the participation of all-rounder Ben Stokes for disciplinary reasons.But Broad said: “When you go to Australia you have to have a genuine belief in your team that you can win. And I have that. I believe we can win.”The (Andrew) Strauss-led side that got to number one in 2011 was the most efficient, disciplined group I’ve ever played with, but this team now is the most exciting.”Moeen (Ali), Jonny (Bairstow), Stokesie: you don’t know what will happen. But something will. True, we’re not as consistent. But we can win games out of nowhere.”
Chelsea’s season hangs in the balance after Monday’s FA Cup exit but they must stay calm and recapture their best form in the next two games to turn things around, winger Pedro has said.The FA Cup holders were beaten 2-0 by Manchester United in the fifth round, piling the pressure on under-fire manager Maurizio Sarri.With a Europa League clash against Malmo and the League Cup final against Manchester City up next, there is no time to dwell on the disappointment, the Spaniard said.”The most important thing now is to stay calm, train really hard and recover our best football and our best feeling, because if not we are in trouble,” Pedro told Chelsea’s website.”There is an important game in the Europa League for us and, after, the final against City.”Chelsea lead Malmo 2-1 from the first leg of their Europa last 32 tie and host the Swedes on Thursday in the return.Cesar Azpilicueta, who has captained the team in Gary Cahill’s absence, also called for calm.”At Chelsea we are used to winning a lot of trophies and we have been the most successful team in England for the last couple of years,” Azpilicueta said.”We know we have the Europa League game coming up on Thursday. We will then play a final… Hopefully we can keep calm from Thursday and then win that trophy on Sunday.”Also Watch:
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Leicester boss Puel insists Chelsea upset can happenby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City boss Claude Puel insists they’re capable of upsetting Chelsea this weekend.Puel took heart from their performance in defeat to Manchester City this week in the Carabao Cup quarterfinals.He said, “It will be a good challenge. We need to give our best to get a result. We need to have a collective response.”If we have the same mentality as against Man City, we can hopefully get a result.”Puel also gave a brief injury update and admitted they are still waiting to find out if England defender Ben Chilwell will be fit to face Chelsea.”I think he can participate [in the Chelsea game]. We will see tomorrow.”We have doubts about Wilfred [Ndidi], we will see tomorrow [for Chelsea]. It’s about his knee.”
Road travel through Shelburne County will improve when paving work is completed on the Barrington bypass this fall. The Department of Transportation and Public Works announced a paving tender for a new section of Highway 103 that is about 8.7 kilometres in length. The new section, from Barrington to Oak Park, includes the Oak Park connector and the ramps. The construction of the intersection of Highway 103 and Trunk 3 will also be completed as part of the project and provide another access to the Barrington area. “The work on the Barrington bypass is part of our commitment to upgrade and expand the 100-series highway network to benefit Nova Scotians,” said Angus MacIsaac, Minister of Transportation and Public Works. “By the end of this fall, residents and visitors will have a paved and extended highway system they having been long waiting for.” The paving tender for either asphalt or cement concrete will close on Tuesday, Aug. 22. “Making Nova Scotia’s highway system efficient and sustainable is one of the goals for this government,” said Mr. MacIsaac. “We are looking at increased use of cement concrete for highway construction as a durable and cost-effective alternative, increasing the life of our roads and highways.” The highways division of the Department of Transportation and Public Works manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia.
“I got some nice swag and gear.”Straschnitzki was paralyzed from the chest down when the junior hockey team’s bus collided with a semi truck that blew through a stop sign in rural Saskatchewan on April 6, 2018. Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured.READ MORE: ‘I’ve fallen in love’: Paralyzed Bronco player finds passion for water sportWhile still in the hospital, Straschnitzki talked about how he wanted to play on Canada’s national sledge hockey team.Since then, has been working on his physiotherapy and training.He said a representative with Adidas Canada reached out to him over social media.“It’s been a couple of months we’ve been in contact,” he said. “They sent over a contract. They set out the rules.”The sportswear company said Thursday that the deal is a partnership aimed at helping Straschnitzki further his hockey career with the support of National Hockey League stars, including Connor McDavid, Tyler Seguin and Nazem Kadri.Straschnitzki is to participate in Adidas Canada’s hockey and training campaigns and programs throughout the year.READ MORE: Injured Humboldt Broncos player returning home for first time since accidentHe hasn’t been actively searching out deals, he said, but he’s excited his hard work has been paying off.“It’s crazy,” he said.“I’m just trying to be a good person and spreading my message. And I think that continued hard work helps with these opportunities.”His parents, Tom and Michelle Straschnitzki, are excited for him.“He’s got more shoes than a shoe store now,” said his father.Straschnitzki was also invited to be a part of the CBC television series “Heartland.”“They were filming in Calgary so they asked me if I wanted to be an extra in the background for one of their scenes.”Celebrity home renovator Mike Holmes oversaw remodelling of Straschnitzki’s home to accommodate his disability.Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press AIRDRIE, Alta. — A Humboldt Broncos hockey player who was paralyzed in a deadly bus crash last year has signed a multi-year contract with Adidas.“I’m pretty honoured and it’s an awesome feeling,” Ryan Straschnitzki, 20, recently told The Canadian Press from his home in Airdrie, Alta.
WINNIPEG — A rail company is putting the brakes on a controversial plan to haul millions of litres of crude oil across its northern rail line to the port of Churchill on Hudson Bay.Omnitrax Canada president Merv Tweed said the company, which operates the port in Manitoba, is expecting another record shipping season from grain and other commodities. That has shifted the company’s focus away from shipping crude oil, he said.“We’ve got a glut of grain on the market,” Tweed said Friday. “It looks like another great crop. We increased our volume last year. Our targets are higher this year and they’ll be higher again next year. I think it’s important that we focus on the grain side of it. That’s the direction that we’ve chosen.”Omnitrax had argued the plan to transport oil across hundreds of kilometres of remote rail line built on permafrost was safe and would help create much-needed jobs in the North. But the proposal was vehemently opposed by aboriginal groups, environmentalists and the government of Manitoba.Community consultations were “important factors” in the company’s decision to back away from the plan, Tweed said.“We listened to them. I share some of their concerns,” he said. “I’m not saying we can’t do it. I’m just saying right now, as the president of a company that’s looking to grow, we need to focus on the grain market.”The northern rail line has been plagued by derailments that have intermittently forced the suspension of both freight and passenger services. That bolstered the argument among detractors that shipping oil along the rail line was too risky to the environment and the safety of those who live in the region.The most recent figures from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada show there were 63 accidents on the Hudson Bay rail line between 2003 and 2012. All but 10 were derailments.Eric Reder with the Manitoba Wilderness Committee said Omnitrax has made the right decision. The rail line is bent and crooked because of the challenging terrain it covers, he said.“Trying to keep this train track straight is an incredible undertaking,” Reder said. “It’s hard to imagine that there could be a worse track to ship crude oil on.”The plan meant those living near the rail line would assume a huge risk with little benefit, he said. Cleaning up a derailed grain car is one thing but cleaning up a crude oil spill is quite another, Reder suggested.“When there is a grain spill, the grain is on the ground, but it doesn’t leave a mess and it doesn’t stay there for generations.” While Tweed said Omnitrax will look at other ways to diversify its shipments by possibly including potash and wood pellets, Reder said legislation banning the shipment of oil through northern Manitoba is the only way to guarantee the plan doesn’t get resurrected.Transportation Minister Steve Ashton had said Manitoba couldn’t support the plan in light of the deadly derailment in Lac Megantic last year. Any spill would jeopardize the livelihoods of aboriginal communities, pose a huge risk to wildlife and threaten tourism in Churchill, he said last year.Churchill, known as the “polar bear capital of the world,” is an eco-tourism destination for polar bear, beluga whale and bird watching. Ashton was not available Friday to comment on Omnitrax’s decision.“We have opposed shipping oil through the port of Churchill for environmental and rail safety reasons,” said Jodee Mason, a cabinet spokeswoman. “We believe that Omnitrax is making the correct decision by suspending their efforts to ship oil.”
AURORA, Ont. — Magna International Inc. has lowered its expectations for the second half of 2018 amid uncertainty surrounding tariffs and trade negotiations between the United States and other countries, including Canada and China.Magna’s stock was down more than seven per cent in morning trading.Canada’s largest auto parts maker has edged down its full-year estimates for sales, margins and other key metrics but Magna chief executive Don Walker told analysts Wednesday that it’s difficult to know what will happen longer-term.“As far as what’s going on with all of the tariff activity, it’s certainly in flux. Internally, it’s extremely complicated to just get our arms around everything,” Walker said in a quarterly conference call.Magna now estimates that its total sales will be in a range of $40.3 billion to $42.5 billion, down about 1.4 per cent from the previous outlook range.Adjusted net income attributable to Magna is now estimated at $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion, down $100 million from both the top end and lower end of the range.Meanwhile, pre-tax margin is now estimated at between 7.7 per cent and 7.9 per cent — down from 7.9 per cent and 8.2 per cent.“As far as what happens with tariffs long-term, it’s anybody’s best guess,” Walker said.“I would hope that eventually we will get to the point where we have got an agreement on NAFTA — in which case I think everything between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico gets resolved.”The United States has already imposed 25 per cent tariffs on imported steel and 10 per cent tariffs on imported aluminum from many countries — increasing costs for manufacturers like Magna that use the metals in their products — and is investigating the potential for new tariffs on automotive imports.In addition to those tariffs, which affect NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, the United States has threatened to hit a wide range of imports from China with billions of dollars of tariffs.On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced it would go ahead with previously announced 25 per cent tariffs on an additional $16 billion of Chinese imports. There was no immediate response from Beijing.Washington also has threatened possible penalties on a $200 billion list of Chinese goods. Beijing says it is ready to retaliate against $60 billion of American imports.Magna — which has manufacturing operations in all three NAFTA countries, China and throughout Europe, recorded $626 million in net income during the second quarter, or $1.77 in diluted earnings per share, with overall revenue up $1.14 billion from the same time last year to $10.28 billion — a record second quarter for Magna.The Aurora, Ont., auto parts maker, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, says the figures are an improvement from $548 million in net income and $1.44 per share in the same quarter of 2017.Magna said its per-share earnings benefited from several factors including U.S. tax reforms and the favourable impact of a reduced share count.Adjusted diluted earnings per share grew 15 per cent to $1.67 compared to $1.45 in the second quarter of 2017. Magna says it returned $844 million to shareholders through repurchases and dividends.Magna also reports that sales during the quarter amounted to $10.28 billion, an increase of 12 per cent over 2017 thanks to growth in each of its operating segments.Magna says its light vehicle production increased seven per cent in Europe and was essentially unchanged in North America.
Over 60 per cent of the refugees are women, young people and children under five, and many of them suffer from malnutrition: about 10 per cent of the women are of child-bearing age. Aimed mostly at meeting the needs of women, the health posts will be established in addition to supplementary food and vaccination programs that are already in operation.Any displaced person who has been removed from his or her normal environment automatically becomes vulnerable,” said Fidelis Zama Chi, UNFPA Representative in Togo. “Many have shattered lives and have lost family – a child losing a parent or a wife losing a husband. Some are victims of sexual abuse. Their lives must be rebuilt.” About 200 refugees continue to make their way into Benin every week, said the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Maternity health kits, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, soap and other supplies have been provided by UNFPA to the camps, as well as facilities and midwives for pregnant women and for childbirth established at nearby health centres. Sensitivity training support is being provided to non governmental organisations (NGOs) for workshops aimed at preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Psychosocial counselling will be provided through a collaboration among the Togolese Government, NGOs and UNFPA to assist women in dealing with the loss of their homes, ways of life, and sometimes family members. To that end, 109 counsellors most of them from NGOs were trained by July.
Share16 Tweet Email1 https://the42.ie/4535844 Ted Walsh: hugely respected voice of Irish racing. ‘If you stand in front of the mirror with a pink tie and a black shirt and you think you look well – you can’t coach him’ Ted Walsh and Patrick Mullins sat down with The42 for an extensive chat about coaching, Christy Ring and life ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. Mar 12th 2019, 9:23 AM 1 Comment Image: James Crombie/INPHO Ted Walsh: hugely respected voice of Irish racing. Image: James Crombie/INPHO 30,981 Views Tuesday 12 Mar 2019, 11:30 AM By Brendan Coffey “I’VE LOADS OF blind spots,” says Ted Walsh from the comfort of his living room. “I get angry very easy. I say too much most times. Mouthy. My father was quiet as a mouse. Mother too. I would always be strong enough to voice my opinion.”Patrick Mullins interrupts as if sensing the need to provide Walsh a measure of reassurance.“I think that’s what makes Ted good on TV because I respect his opinion and he’s not afraid to say what he thinks,” the younger man offers. “A lot of time on TV and in writing, people say a lot without saying anything. You need someone who is not afraid to give their opinion and he has the experience to back it up.”At first glance they might not seem like men given to much introspection. Theirs is a macho world in which brave men and women take hard falls and expect to return to the saddle sooner than nature would allow. But these are far from ordinary horsemen.Among the general public, Walsh is probably best known for his television punditry. In the racing community his status has long been assured. As the pre-eminent amateur jockey of his era Walsh set the bar. That he went on to train a Grand National winner only cemented his standing in the game.“Trainers don’t retire, they just die,” Walsh told Eamon Dunphy in an interview for his podcast, The Stand. Taken at face value those words fog the picture of his profession, suggesting something akin to addiction when really it is an astute and profound description of what it means to lead a vocational life. Regular hours and work time directives do not apply. It is only when trainers have no more living left that they finally stop. A life lived within racing cannot be lived without it.Walsh has 68 years on the board and if not in the winter of his career is at least feeling the early evening chill. At 29, Patrick Mullins continues to blossom. Son of Willie, the greatest trainer of his, and perhaps every, generation, he has steadily grown in stature, no longer heir apparent and firmly established in his own right as one of the game’s leading lights. Regardless of what has been inherited, his cultivating a record number of winners as an amateur in the saddle puts him in elite company, seizing a mantle previously occupied by Walsh, the man now sitting beside him on the couch.“It was a bonus for me to be as successful as I was,” says Walsh reflecting on an amateur career that was the best of his time, and all time, until Mullins arrived on the scene. “He [Patrick] had a lot more pressure. Like Willie was champion amateur and a successful trainer. No one expected Patrick to be as good as he is but at the same time if he was a fail, it would have been a bigger thing. It would be said: ‘He’s not a bit like his father.’ Instead he’s a superior rider to his dad, in every way. Willie was as good as it gets at that time but he’s [Patrick] brought it to another level. Patrick is as disciplined and as professional as you could get as an amateur.”Such praise does not come lightly. Outspoken and often disliked for it but astute and quick-witted and so much loved for that, Walsh owns a bespoke collection of verdicts, assessments and views, and delivers them on time, every time. Walsh is clearcut and as fluent now with words as he was with Hilly Way over fences. That win in the Champion Chase of 1979 remains the most notable victory of his race-riding career but the man sitting beside him has scrubbed most of his records from the board. Mullins eclipsed Walsh in July, 2018 when notching the 546th winner of a career that may not yet have reached its peak.“When I see so many of my friends struggling to get the dream that I’ve been lucky enough to get, it’s very easy to see the luck and opportunity,” says Mullins dismissing the notion of him as an uncommonly self-aware young man. “It’s not a weight on my shoulders but I want to win! I want to win as much as I can. To me anyone who competes wants to do that.”Names of those less fortunate than him quickly come to mind. He shares a house with fellow riders Richie Deegan, Brian Hayes and Rachael Blackmore.“Look at Rachael Blackmore,” he says insistently. “She didn’t suddenly become a good jockey overnight, She’s been working at it for so long. I was in a different position in that I got the opportunity much quicker.” Patrick Mullins with Ballyward at Cheltenham this week. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOHis own narrative is not quite as straightforward as it might seem. He has the racing bloodlines but did not spend every morning of his youth working with black type.Secondary school took him away from home, to Clongowes Wood College and the company of bluebloods, sons of leaders from the business and political world. Rugby players dominate the list of sporting alumni – Gordon D’Arcy and Rob Kearney most notable – but Mullins is just as worthy. And like his rugby brethren, he has gone to great lengths to achieve success.“I was in seven-day boarding school [Clongowes] until I was 18 and then I was in college [Maynooth University] five days a week so I was a proper amateur for a long time,” he says. “When I was 16, 17 and 18 I was only getting to ride out one weekend a month. I used to sneak over to Charlie O’Neill’s, four fields left of school, on a Wednesday and a Saturday. Alexander Banquet was in livery over there. Willie always told me I’d probably only get two or three years at this because I was tall. I never really thought that I would be at it for very long.”Mullins has travelled far and wide to foster his racing education. For whatever reason, in this corner of the equine world competing stables welcome visiting rivals without compunction.“Willie and Jackie [his mother] would always have encouraged me to go to other yards,” says Patrick. “I like to see other places as well from a training point of view for the future, to see different ways of doing it. We’re so busy at home it’s hard to go away for a long period of time. And we’re going through such a golden patch now it would be a pity to go away. I like to go away to some of the flat yards in England like Gosden’s and Hammond’s. I’ve gone to Joseph’s [O’Brien] here, John Kiely and Gordon’s [Elliot]. It’s a great sport like that. There are very few sports I’d say that could you do that.”In soccer for instance, managers have been upbraided for espionage. In January, Leeds United manager Marcelo Biesla provoked a furious response from Derby County when the Rams uncovered a spy at their training ground.“They like one another,” says Walsh explaining the culture of their game. “If Gordon’s back was against the wall tomorrow morning over something, there’s any one of five or six trainers he could ring and say: ‘Listen, I’ve a problem here. What do you think?’ Willie would be the same way.”Says Patrick: “You cannot be secretive because staff come and go.”“Fellas know what’s happening in a yard,” Walsh confirms. “If you’re doing something wrong in a yard, you cannot do it on your own.”Warming to the theme, the pair fall into lively conversation.Mullins: “You can have an advantage for a while and then everyone catches up. [Martin] Pipe changed the way he trained in England and now everyone does it. He went to interval training, short and sharp. They all used to gallop real long.”Walsh: “They say Christy Ring did it in hurling. Instead of running around the pitch, they sprinted across it because that’s all you’ll ever be doing he [Ring] reckoned, sprinting to get the ball and hit it. You could jog off from here [Kill] to Johnstown or Naas but if you went flat out you wouldn’t get 100 yards.”Mullins: “I remember training with a hurling team in college and when we were doing the laps I was grand at the top but when we were doing the sprints, I was in the middle of the pack.”Walsh: “Paddy Mullins was a very successful trainer but Paddy Mullins had something about him that he could spot a real good horse. There were very few horses that Paddy Mullins had that were good that he didn’t get the best out of. I’d say the same thing applies to Willie. I’ll see Willie there, he’ll arrive at the Curragh with a bunch of horses to work and the plan would be that all horses are going to work but for some reason when one horse gets off the box, he might say: ‘That fella could go for a walk today.’ Don’t ask me what he’d see. That’s something you either have or you haven’t. He’s got that innate ability to spot things that other lads can’t spot.”Mullins: “It’s experience too.”Walsh: “Quevega now. He [Willie] minded her and produced her in six Cheltenhams to win. Sometimes gave her one run, sometimes gave her no run. Nothing textbook.” Trainer Willie Mullins at Prestbury Park this week. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOMullins: “Willie trains by eye. You see a lot of places, especially on the flat, there’s just a routine because they’re more prisoners of time. They have to run at two and three [years old]. Willie sees every horse every morning. He might say we’ll do less with him today. There is a routine and routine is very important but he’s not afraid to change it on what he sees. ‘He looks a bit light,’ or, ‘a bit cold in his coat,’ he [Willie] might say when you ask him. It doesn’t always add up. Sometimes he’ll say something and you’ll go: That’s one plus one and the answer is two. The next thing you’ll think you see the same thing and you think one plus one is two but it’ll end up being two plus one equals three. It’s a slightly different equation because maybe he’ll say: ‘That horse is always light,’ or, ‘That horse is heavy boned,’ or, ‘That’s how he looks,’ or, ‘We need to work him harder.’ And he’s not always right, same as everyone. But he’s right more often than not.”Walsh: “If you’re afraid of getting beat you’ll never win because you’ll be cautious all the time. You have to be brave.”Their discussion approaches the final straight but only because Patrick has an appointment elsewhere. They have been running a good gallop from the start like those great horses they have ridden to victory at Cheltenham. If Ted is always keen, Patrick prefers to settle, ordering his thoughts before making them a matter of public record. As soon as Ted delivers his latest piece of ornate commentary, Patrick fills a gap a lesser mind would not have spotted.Mullins: “Willie would say that Ted might do something and six horses away from him, a gap would close and the other lads would be busy blaming themselves but Ted would have done it and no one would know. Willie would always be explaining this to me on how to race ride and how to ride tight, which I think is a very important part, particularly in bumpers, to be able to ride tight. It’s as much your job to make it hard for the other fellas. If you’re coming up the outside, you’re trying to keep everyone tight on the inside. The fella on the inside might be going the shortest way around, which is fine, but he’s going to have trouble in running. You’re trying to get a clear run and you’re trying to keep everyone else tight. When I started off Nina [Carberry] was a master at it.”Walsh: “She’s [Carberry] basically trying to take him [Patrick] out of contention. She knows when she’s passing that he’s a danger and the lads coming down the inside are not aware of anything. They’re riding along nonchalantly because that’s what most of them do but she can mosey up, she tightens up so that the lads inside her, unawares, close the gap that Patrick was aiming at. That’s race riding. When you go by somebody in a race they should know you went by them. No point in giving everybody a chance. It’s no different than rugby or any other sport.”Mullins: “One of the first things I learned from my father was to know everybody’s name because if you do need a bit of room and you just shout at a fella, chances are he won’t move. Whereas if I shout, ‘Ted, bit of room,’ you’re more likely to get it. Also then you have to remember you might call in a favour because you might have given a fella a bit of room at a previous meeting. It might be six months later. ‘Remember now Listowel there.’Walsh: “The same way you’ll remember the fella who fucken didn’t give you the room!”Mullins: “You always need to know who’s in front of you, who’s beside you, where the fancied ones are, if the lad in front of you might be a lad who’s going to get tired. Is the horse going to get tired? You need to be thinking always 100, 200 yards ahead and what’s going to change.”Walsh: “It’s more about a racing brain than it is about anything else. Whether a fella is stylish or neat, that’s nice but it really doesn’t have any bearing on the result. The result is how you ride in the race. He [Patrick] is a great judge of pace too.”Mullins: “I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve had coaches. My mother [Jackie] was champion lady amateur and she was second to Aidan O’Brien in that amateur championship. Willie obviously rode and Ruby [Walsh, Ted’s son] I’d be able to talk to so I’ve had coaches who have taught me this. They would come to me after a race and say: ‘You did this wrong.’ And I could ask them a question: ‘Should I have done that?’ It’s not coaching in a formal sense but I’ve been surrounded by people who know what they’re talking about. Ruby Walsh and Benie Des Dieux. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOWalsh: “I didn’t learn as fast as you. I was very moderate for a long time. I learned through watching other fellas. You could give Ruby as big a bollocking as you ever gave a fella and he wouldn’t get upset. You’d say to him, ‘You gave that a stones of a ride.’ He’d never back answer or question it. he’d take it on board. Right up to the present day, I could ring Ruby and say: ‘You weren’t great there. Well?’ He might have a very good reason but you could still say it to him. I’m sure Willie would say the same to him [Patrick]. Even though he’s ridden five hundred winners I’m sure there’s days when he says: ‘You didn’t fucken shine on him.’”Mullins: “Plenty of them.”Walsh: “He’s [Patrick] got to take it on board. You could coach a fella all day but if a fella hasn’t got it in him…”Mullins: “When you respect the person you’re getting it from, it’s easy take it on board. I’m always amazed looking at other sports. You see Federer or Nadal and they’re on about changing coach or golfers working on their swing. You’re never too big to learn and take advice.”Walsh: “I think nowadays, if a fella is clever enough, there are a lot of videos that you can look at. When I look back on myself, I think it’s a pity we didn’t have more videos.”Mullins: “Video is huge.”Walsh: “If you stand in front of the mirror with a pink tie on you and a black shirt and you think you look well – you can’t coach him. If he thinks, ‘I look smart here.’ When he really looks like a clown. The same way with a fella who looks at a video and says to himself, ‘I gave that a good auld ride now.’ A fella should know. My father [Ruby] would go silent and I knew I was after making a bollocks of it then.”Mullins: “Willie is generally the same.”Walsh: “We’d leave Listowel and get into the car, I’d be driving. And when we get to Limerick, I’d say to my father, ‘Would you like a cup of tea?’ ‘No.’ Now you’re gone from Listowel to Limerick and this is the first few words we’ve had. Then we’d pull into the petrol station and I might say, ‘Would you like an ice-cream?’ ‘No.’ We’d drive all the way home, a long drive through all them towns, and eventually he might say to me: ‘Did you think that race was on today?’ If I had left one late or went a mile too soon. ‘Did someone move the winning post?’ I’d say, ‘No.’ And he’d come back: ‘You were in front plenty soon enough anyway.’Mullins: “Willie is quiet. He wouldn’t say a lot but if he does, five minutes later it’s done, it’s gone. I remember I rode one in Galway and I got caught wide in the GPT and then I came too late in the bumper. I was driving his car home. It was silent and then down a dark road I hit a pothole bang on, like nailed the pothole. ‘Pull in! Pull in!’ I pulled in, in the pitch dark on this little, windy road. ‘You’re after losing the bumper and the GPT today, you’re not going to break my car. OUT! I’ll drive.’ I quickly learned to get my own car and drive racing myself.”Before the conversation concludes, they pause for reflection.“I’ve always been very competitive,” says Mullins. “First you want to ride your first winner then you want to ride out your claim. Then you’re thinking you’d like a Cheltenham winner, a grade one winner. And when I got to 21 it looked like I was going to be able to keep my weight and do it long term. You’re always aiming for the next thing. I obviously have huge opportunity being where I am and I want to make the most of that so that when I retire I can say I made the very most of it. That’s driving me.”Walsh offers a typically frank assessment: “He’s not going to have regrets. He knows he has to deliver too. And he’s delivering. He’s in a good position but he knows that he has a big responsibility if Willie sticks him up on Douvan or Un de Sceaux. Patrick is aware of everything that’s going on right from the bottom of his toes up. He’s not floating through life anyway.”And for all that both men have seen of life, they cannot imagine a better way.“A lot of my friends from school they’re working in London or Paris or Berlin,” says Mullins. “I’d love the opportunity in a parallel life to see something different, live in a different city for six months. But I wouldn’t swap what I’m doing. I’m hugely lucky to do what I do. Sure we’re not working at all.”“No,” says Walsh.This, the shortest of his answers; by far, the most telling.- Originally published at 09.23Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Subscribe
On a lightning visit to Athens on Wednesday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed support for his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras and defended the tough economic program the outgoing government has been pursuing under the supervision of foreign creditors, saying the reforms were “necessary” and had “produced results,” advising Greeks to ignore “impossible” promises.Rajoy, who like Samaras is under increasing pressure from the anti-austerity opposition, said economic reforms were “tough” but unavoidable. “These are the policies which guarantee the future,” Rajoy told a joint press conference with Samaras. Noting that he had been obliged to accept agreements made by his socialist predecessor when he assumed the Spanish premiership in 2011, Rajoy said agreed-to measures cannot simply change with every new government. The same sentiment was echoed by Samaras.The Spanish premier, who must compete with the increasingly popular anti-austerity party Podemos in Spanish general elections in November, also made an apparent dig at SYRIZA. “To promise things that are impossible makes no sense and generates an enormous amount of frustration,” he said.Samaras also got a boost on Wednesday from an ally closer to home with former conservative Costas Karamanlis throwing his support behind the premier and New Democracy. “More than ever before, the country needs political stability and deep reforms, a government with a clear European direction that is firmly focused on the national target of growth,” Karamanlis said.As campaigning intensifies ahead of next week’s elections, Samaras is set to appear in several television interviews in the coming days in a bid to force home his party’s message.Tsipras, who gave his first TV interview earlier this week, on Wednesday opted for a less traditional medium to appeal to voters. Responding to questions submitted on Twitter in a live stream, Tsipras sought to provide brief but comprehensive responses to key issues of concern. He said SYRIZA did not plan to increase taxes but was aiming to raise revenues by cracking down on tax evasion. The party’s economic program, which was unveiled in Thessaloniki last September, will be “implemented without negotiation,” Tsipras said. Asked whether his party would allow foreclosures, Tsipras responded with a slogan: “No homes in bankers’ hands.” On public health, he said significant improvements were needed and pledged to recruit more doctors and nurses. He ducked some thornier queries, avoiding taking a stance on the right of gay couples to adopt and on the relationship between the Greek state and the Orthodox Church, for instance. On immigration, Tsipras said European countries should share the responsibility for tackling the problem.Meanwhile, as debate continues about how realistic calls by SYRIZA for a reduction of Greece’s huge debt are, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Joan Burton said she saw some value in calls by Greece’s leftists for an international conference to renegotiate debts of Greece and some other eurozone states. “I think the proposal has merit, as Minister Noonan indicated yesterday,” Burton said, referring to reports that Finance Minister Michael Noonan had said he would not dismiss the idea.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Sorry, George A. Romero: Real-life zombies—er, sleepwalkers—actually do move quite fast.A study published in the journal Current Biology confirms that somnambulists exhibited increased automation in their movements.Using full-body motion capture and virtual reality feedback, researchers from England’s University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland discovered significant differences in how the brains of sleepwalkers and non-sleepwalkers control and perceive body movement.As each group completed a waking walking task—first without distraction, then while counting backwards in steps of seven (100 … 93 … 86 … 79 …)—their speed and accuracy of movement were recorded and analyzed.“We found that sleepwalkers continued to walk at the same speed, with the same precision as before, and were more aware of their movements than non-sleepwalkers,” EPFL neuroscientist Olaf Blanke said in a statement.Those participants who don’t suffer from the sleep disorder significantly slowed when having to count backwards (as one might expect one would).Their nighttime zombie counterparts, however, maintained a “similar walking velocity in both conditions,” supporting the supposed link between sleepwalking and automatic control of locomotion.Noctambulism, or sleepwalking, affects some 2 to 4 percent of adults, causing inadvertent activity—from small gestures to complex actions, like getting dressed, driving a car, or playing a musical instrument—while asleep.“Traditionally, little has been known about daytime markers of sleepwalking, mostly because of the difficulty in investigating this condition experimentally,” Oliver Kannape, lead author of the study and lecturer in cognitive neuroscience at UCLan, said.“Our research offers novel insight into this common sleep disorder,” he added, “and provides a clear scientific link between action monitoring, consciousness, and sleepwalking.”These findings may be used to aid diagnosis of sleepwalking while the subject is awake—rather than hooked up to machines and surveyed via a laboratory TV.“Advances in virtual reality technology have made this research possible and enabled us to investigate awake sleepwalkers in an innovative way and focus on movement automation and awareness,” Kannape said.“We are already exploring other applications of the use of this type of technology to help us uncover more about such complex human behaviors,” he continued. “Behaviors that cannot be investigated using a brain imaging approach.”Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target British Airways Tests VR Entertainment on Select First-Class Flights’Doctor Who’ Returns This Fall With Interactive VR Game
Twitter Facebook Google+ WWE RAW Ratings are in for November 19, 2018.This week’s episode from Los Angeles drew an average audience of 2.49 million viewers on Monday night according to a report by Showbuzzdaily.com.This is up from last week’s show that averaged 2.45 million viewers. WWE came in at No. 4, No. 6 and No. 7 for the night on cable on Monday night.The show went head-to-head with Monday Night Football on ESPN, drawing a monster audience of 16.610 million viewers and easily winning the night on cable.The first hour of RAW ended up drawing the biggest audience (2.721 million viewers).Hourly Breakdowns and Demographics for WWE RAWHour 1: 2.721 (down from 2.761 million viewers last week)Hour 2: 2.502 (up from 2.446 million viewers)Hour 3: 2.256 (up from 2.142 million viewers)This week’s RAW, headlined by a segment between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, averaged 0.87 rating among adults 18-49. This is up from last week’s 0.86 rating. Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WWE Smackdown Ratings: Viewership stays over 2 million, WWE stays No. 1 on Tuesday WWE RAW Ratings: Viewership sees a 15% drop against the return of Monday Night Football Chad Gable advances to the finals of the King of the Ring to be held on this Monday’s RAW Pinterest WhatsApp
DHAKA: Bangladeshi twins who were joined at the head were recovering Friday after Hungarian surgeons performed a marathon 30-hour operation to separate their skulls and brains in the capital Dhaka. The twins, named Rabeya and Rukaya, turned three last month and suffered from a rare embryological disorder affecting an estimated one in every five to six million births. Also Read – Article 370 fallout: Pakistan Foreign Minister now dials up South Korean counterpart Advertise With Us They were “stable after the final separation,” said Andras Csokay, a neurosurgeon with the Action for Defenceless People Foundation (ADPF) medical aid charity that performed the operation. “But we have to be very careful during the postoperative period,” Csokay, who headed the 35-strong Hungarian team, told AFP. After the separation of their skulls and brains at Dhaka’s Combined Military Hospital, Csokay’s team began to cover the wound area with soft tissues generated by a tissue expansion process carried out in Hungary. Also Read – US judge dismissed criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein Advertise With Us Prior to the surgery doctors had said there was only a 50 per cent chance of both of the twins surviving. According to ADPF, only a handful of operations to separate twins joined at the head have ever been successful. The Hungarian charity was set up in 2002 by Csokay and plastic surgeon Gergely Pataki to provide free surgery to poor people in Hungary and abroad. Advertise With Us The parents of the twins, who are from Pabna, 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of Dhaka, approached the group for help in 2017. In the first surgery phase in Bangladesh last year, the shared blood vessels of the twins’ brains were separated in a 14-hour operation. Then in a second six-month-long phase beginning last January, Rabeya and Rukaya moved to Budapest where doctors inserted a Hungarian-designed implant system to expand the scalp and soft tissue in their heads. During the period over 40 plastic surgery interventions took place to fill the expanders, change the bandages and to perform laser and regenerative wound treatment. ADPF neurosurgeons and plastic surgeons supported by anesthesiologists, radiologists and paediatricians also used innovative virtual 3D animation software to map the two brains. “This was one of the biggest most challenging malformations that I have ever seen,” Pataki told AFP in Budapest last month. The twins and Hungarian medics then returned to Bangladesh late July ahead of the final separation phase. ADPF has performed around 500 reconstructive surgery operations in Asia and Africa, including for Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh.
-A female student of Rajshahi University (RU) was abducted allegedly by her estranged husband from the university campus on Friday morning, reports UNB.The victim is a 4th year student of the RU Bangla department. She used to reside in Taposhi Rabeya Hall of the university.Quoting witnesses, RU proctor Lutfar Rahman said the female student filed a divorce petition two months ago to get separated from her husband Sohel Rana after nine months into their marriage. The divorce will come into effect within the next one month.However, Sohel did not want to get separated from the victim.Sohel appeared in front of the female dormitory on Friday morning and tried to convince the female student to withdraw the petition while she was going to appear in an examination with some of her classmates, the proctor said.At one stage, they locked into an altercation and Sohel forcibly dragged her into his car, RU proctor quoted the victim’s friends.Lutfar Rahman also said they informed the matter to police.
By Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFRO, email@example.comTwenty three scholarships were awarded to students in the PrinceGeorge’s County’s District 8 area during the annual Empowering Future Leaders Scholarship Breakfast for the 2019-2020 academic year on June 13 at the Harborside Hotel in Oxon Hill.(left to right): Deborah Harris (Coalition member) , Dr. Valencia Campbell (Coalition President), MD State Senator Obie Patterson, Evelyn Anderson, Oxon Hill High School Honoree, Duke Haggins (Coalition member) Representative from Congressman Ben Cardin’s office, Rachel Jones, and Tiffany Hannon , Representative from Congressman Anthony Brown’s office. (Photo Credit/Maurice Fitzgerald)Since 2011 the Prince George County Drug Policy Coalition has provided more than $150,000.00 in scholarships to students throughout the area. This year another $18,000 were awarded to the group of students who excelled, not only in the classroom, but in their communities as well.The Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition is a nonprofit organization that promotes policies and laws that embrace the public health nature of drug abuse. Through its scholarship program, they provide community-based support to families within the County with a focus on students obtaining higher education and living a drug-free life.“Although we were extremely proud of the students’ academic accomplishments, we were very impressed with the students’ vast involvement in their communities,” said PGCDPC President Dr. Valencia Campbell in a statement. “That included serving seniors and the homeless, mentoring younger students, working on mission trips abroad, working in their church and participating in many school related extracurricular activities.”Includes Senator Obie Patterson, Former MD State Delegate Tony Knotts, 2nd from left, Ebony Mc Morris (gold dress) Student Honorees, and Judge Arthur Burnett, Sr. far right back row, and Representatives from Congressman Ben Cardin and Congressman Brown’s office ( far right). (Photo Credit/Maurice Fitzgerald)The students who have been awarded this scholarship had to reside in Prince George’s County, Maryland District 8 which is comprised of Camp Springs, Clinton, Forest Heights, Fort Washington, Glassmanor, Marlow Heights and Oxon Hill. They had to provide an official transcript and write a one page essay on what advice they would give Maryland legislators on the legalization of recreational marijuana.Many of the students shared personal stories of how they had seen the impact of recreational use of the controversial drug had impacted their peers. They recalled how many of their peers considered smoking marijuana recklessly as “fun and games” without fully understanding the side effects of long term use of the drug which has been legalized in the state for medical purposes.Students also expressed their concern through their essays on how they noticed changes in behavior from other members of their generation who have used synthetic forms of marijuana. Some of the students said they have witnessed a lack of motivation in school and a loss of interest in recreational and social interactions with their friends.They also said the members of the Maryland legislature should be vigilant regarding the research into marijuana’s long term side effects such as psychosis after prolonged use and the health issues that can be brought on by extensive use of the substance.Ronald Blakely, Coalition Vice President, and Former Ajssociate Director, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities,. Seated–left to right Ebony McMorris, Mistress of Ceremonies, Dr.. Valencia Campbell Coalition President, Jerome Haggins,, Scholarship Chairperson, Judge Arthur Burnett, Sr. and Pastor O. Jermaine Bego. (Photo Credit Maurice Fitzgerald)PGCDPC Vice President Ronald Blakely was one of the keynote speakers of the event. A Tuskegee University graduate who earned a post- graduate degree from Pepperdine, Blakely offered sage wisdom to the scholarship recipients. The former deputy with White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities told the incoming college students, and those who were continuing, they must become experts in networking to establish contacts that will benefit them after they graduate. In one of Blakely’s anecdotes he told students to “stay in [their] lanes” and to resist the temptation to challenge the authority of professors. He shared the story of how, during his undergraduate years, that one of his friends was so preoccupied with proving that he knew more than the instructor it led him to confrontations that earned him a failing grade. Maryland State Senator Obie Patterson and Rachel Jones, representative of U.S. Senator Ben Cardin’s office, presented the students with Senate citations. Patterson also reminded the students to apply for his scholarships which can be applied to any school in the state annually.
Hold on to your Death Notes, kids. Willem Dafoe has just signed on to voice Ryuk, the Shinigami who doles out death for fun, in the U.S. adaptation of the uber-popular Japanese manga Death Note.Death Note follows the story of teenager Light, who finds a notebook that can cause people to die if their name is written in it. Light continually outsmarts and evades the authorities, until a detective named L is assigned to the case to figure out the causes of the mysterious deaths. The live-action film comes with extreme controversy, with the original story taking place in Japan, with Japanese characters, and the Netflix adaptation to feature mainly Caucasian actors.The film is set to debut on Netflix next year. Other cast member includes Nat Wolff as protagonist Light Turner; Keith Stanfield as intrepid detective with a sweet tooth, L; Margaret Qualley as Mia Sutton; Paul Nakauchi as Watari; and Shea Whigham as Light’s father and police officer, James Turner.No word yet on if Dafoe will be doing any motion capture for the death guard character, or simply voicing Ryuk.But seriously, we wish we could see him in some sort of hilariously fabricated ghost suit.Dafoe is two-time Oscar nominee who is no stranger to geek-to-screen adaptations. He’s appeared in both Spider-Man (You know, that “super old” one with Tobey McGuire), and John Carter, and is currently in filming for Justice League. Adam Wingard (The Guest, You’re Next) is directing the film, with Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four) writing the screenplay. Wingard also directed the secret Blair Witch reboot hitting theaters this fall.Death Note has inspired more than just this live-action adaptation. After the hit success of the manga and anime version of the series, there also exists a 2006 Japanese live-action film, a 2008 spin off movie titled L Change the World in 2008, a live-action TV series in 2015, multiple musical stage shows in Japan and Korea, and yet another Japanese live-action movie coming this year, Death Note 2016, set to release this October. How will this adaptation hold up to the others? Only time will tell.Image Credit: Wikipedia
Dandelion, a clean energy startup that was originally incubated inside Google parent Alphabet, has raised $4.5 million in funding to build out its business — a geothermal heating and cooling system for homes that claims it will drastically reduce its customers’ bills — it claims to cut bills in half (notwithstanding the upfront costs, more on that below) — while also being significantly more friendly for the environment compared to conventional systems that use gas and fossil fuels.The company opened for business first in Upstate New York — a market with extreme cold and hot spells — where it says it has started to install systems in people’s homes, and it’s going to use the funding to help work through what it says is a waitlist of “thousands” of customers nationally.“We have been overwhelmed with demand and support from homeowners across the country,” said Kathy Hannun, cofounder and CEO of Dandelion, in a statement. “This round will help us ramp up operations to serve these customers and launch our new and improved 2018 offering.”The funding was led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation also from new investors BoxGroup, Daniel Yates, and Ground Up, and previous investors Borealis Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and ZhenFund, the Chinese-based VC associated with Sequoia in China. It brings the total raised by Dandelion to $6.5 million, including a seed round it announced when first spinning out in July of last year.The impressive list of backers — and the fact that Dandelion was originally incubated at Alphabet X, the company’s “moonshot” factory — underscores a couple of trends worth pointing out.The first is the double maxim that everything is now a “tech” challenge, and that the interests of the tech world touch everything. As legacy businesses continue to try to update their systems or become more responsive to some of the challenges of running their legacy operations, a company like Dandelion becomes a direct threat, or a potential, strategic acquisition target.The second is the ongoing interest among tech investors and tech companies to expand their horizons and explore companies and ideas that might prove to be disruptive in the same way that tech has been, further down the line; or whose solutions could prove to be a helpful boost to their more direct tech interests — for example by becoming acquirers of data systems to run these services better, or by making the cost of electricity to run other services (like internet, or maybe, these days, bitcoin mining) less expensive. (Dandelion is already proving its role in that wider ecosystem: just earlier this month, it acquired Geo-Connections, a geothermal SaaS startup.)“Over the next decade, homeowners across America will replace their expensive, conventional home heating systems with Dandelion geothermal,” said Yates in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be part of the team that will lead this transition.” Yates — who had founded the energy efficiency startup Opower, which went public and then was acquired by Oracle — is joining the board as an executive director with this round.In the case of Dandelion, its challenge and opportunity has been in the world of legacy energy services. Built largely on fossil fuel systems and centralised operation models — you have large plants and generators located in one place that distribute their energy to smaller stations, which distribute to individuals — the idea behind Dandelion has been to build a heating and cooling system that is significantly more decentralised: it operates directly from a person’s home — or more specifically, underneath it — leveraging the ground’s natural state of being 50°F, in order to work.One big issue with scaling up geothermal energy solutions prior to Dandelion has been the up-front installation costs, both from a financial and practical point of view. As Hannun has described it:The process of installing ground loops in homeowners’ yards has typically been messy and intrusive, using wide drills that are designed to dig water wells at depths of over 1,000 feet. These machines are unnecessarily large and slow for installing a system that needs only a few 4” diameter holes at depths of a few hundred feet. So we decided to try to design a better drill that could reduce the time, mess and hassle of installing these pipes, which could in turn reduce the final cost of a system to homeowners.The company’s solution has been to build a system that bores a much smaller hole (a few inches is all that’s needed) at a much shallower depth of hundreds of feet — making the installation something that can be done in less than a day.So far, the company’s upfront costs might prove to be too much of a gating factor for the majority of homeowners. Installations run between $20,000 and $25,000 in upfront costs alone. For those willing to take the plunge — or dig into the challenge, as the case may be — over twenty years, the company has claimed that savings can be about $35,000.The company also tells me that homeowners are buying a lot of these using financing and will save around 20 percent annually if they finance. (The savings percentage comes after a tax credit, a spokesperson said. “Here is a real example from one of our homeowners. He needed a 4-ton system, which is the size most homes require. He formerly spent $2,621 on fuel oil annually (832 gallons over the year at $3.15/gallon). To run geothermal, he requires $803 in additional electricity costs. With Dandelion pricing, starting at $115/mo, geothermal heating costs for his home are $1,380 + $803 = $2,183. This is about 20% savings annually for heating alone. His air conditioning will also be over twice as efficient with geothermal than it was with conventional a/c.”)The savings in terms of using clean versus dirty energy, of course, come from the start.