Helping Angola’s refugees return

first_img5 June 2006South Africa, Angola and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) have launched a campaign to encourage and assist Angolan refugees in South Africa to return home.Most of the estimated 460 000 Angolans who fled their country during 27 years of war – plus millions more displaced inside Angola – have returned home since a 2002 agreement between the Angolan government and the Unita rebel movement opened the way for reconstruction and reconciliation.Most of the nearly 100 000 refugees still outside the country are in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but an estimated 14 000 Angolan refugees and asylum seekers are living in various parts of South Africa.The repatriation is completely voluntary, but help from the UNHCR will end in October, when the rainy season in Angola makes travel difficult.Assistance offered by the commission includes free air tickets for refugees and zero taxes on belongings brought into Angola.About half the Angolans who could receive repatriation assistance are registered refugees and the rest are asylum seekers who have not yet been processed.“We hope Angolans here in South Africa will use the opportunity as a passport to get another chance to contribute to the betterment of their country,” Jeff Maqetuka, director-general of the Department of Home Affairs, told journalists at the launch of the programme in Pretoria last month.“Even though the programme is voluntary, we would really want to encourage our fellow friends, brothers and sisters to embrace this opportunity to go and contribute towards the rebuilding of their country,” Maqetuka said.UNHCR spokesperson Phumla Rulashe told BuaNews that over 3 500 Angolan refugees that had settled in countries such as Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo had already been encouraged to return home as their country was now geared for stability.Abel Mbilinyi, UNHCR deputy regional representative for South Africa, said that voluntary repatriation “remains one of the best options for the UNHCR and refugees because it ends the cycle of exile.”As the number of remaining refugees dwindles, the UNHCR has shifted its focus from repatriation to reintegration programmes in Angola for those who have returned.This year it has prepared detailed studies in Angola of the areas of greatest return, setting the priorities for development spending to ensure that returnees find life in their home areas reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Benjamin Logan AFNR students “soil your undies” soil test

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Benjamin Logan AFNR students participated in an odd but helpful soil test these past two months. The students each got a pair of white cotton underwear and they buried them around the Benjamin Logan land lab and field. The students left the underwear in the ground for two months. The object of this test is to see how healthy the soil is by seeing how much of the underwear are left. The less of the underwear that are left the healthier the soil. This is because of the microbial activity. This past week the students dug up their underwear and were able to evaluate the health of the soil. The area by the creek had the most microbial activity. This project was found on modern farmer ( This is a good test that the students can do back at home on their own ground.last_img read more

Where To Get A Chromecast Now, And Why You May Want To Wait

first_imgGoogle’s $35 Chromecast TV-streaming device remains in high demand. A month after launch, retailers still can’t keep the tiny gadget on its shelves, whether real or digital.Last week, Google Play showed a September 3 ship date for the product, but it has since pushed that back to 2 to 3 weeks. Best Buy showed some inventory for a brief, shining moment on Monday, and unlike Google Play, the retailer even promoted the rare offer of free Netflix for three months. Sadly, it too has vanished. And there’s still no joy on Amazon, with or without the Netflix offer. [Update 8/27: Appears that Best Buy has refreshed its stock.]If you’re a would-be Chromecast customer trying to get your hands on this elusive device, take heart: If you absolutely must have it right away, there are ways you can snag this streaming stick. Where To Buy Right NowSee also: 5 Cool Chromecast Hacks and WorkaroundsThings change on a moment-by-moment basis, but as of this writing, you’d be hard-pressed to find Google’s streaming media player at any of the usual suspects—i.e., major electronics retailers or Google Play.That’s no surprise. Whenever a new device grabs a lot of attention, people tend to stockpile them. Sometimes they hoard products for family and friends, but often enough, it’s a business move. High demand allows opportunistic types to sell inventory at an inflated cost.Indeed, a quick search on eBay reveals several Chromecasts for sale. Some even offer the Netflix deal, which means they were originally purchased early in the launch phase. A Craigslist search shows similar results in sub-sites all over the country. These sales aren’t necessarily a bad way to go, since the prices—which start at around $40 and go up to $50 or $60 and beyond—aren’t prohibitively expensive. But bear in mind that you’re likely doing business with an individual or small operation, not a large reputable company with customer satisfaction or return policies. So standard eBay and Craigslist cautions apply, like checking reviews/ratings and never sending cash or paying with a debit card.Why You May Want To WaitSee also: What You Can Watch On Chromecast And HowGoogle just sent out a software update that blocked AllCast (née AirCast), a popular Android app that allowed users to stream local media and other files to Chromecast.According to a Google+ post by Android developer Koushik Dutta, who created the AllCast app, Chromecast’s latest firmware update not only blocks the functionality, but does so on purpose. Heads up. Google’s latest Chromecast update intentionally breaks AllCast. They disabled ‘video_playback’ support from the ChromeCast application.Given that this is the second time they’ve purposefully removed/disabled[1] the ability to play media from external sources, it confirms some of my suspicions that I have had about the Chromecast developer program: The policy seems to be a heavy handed approach, where only approved content will be played through the device. The Chromecast will probably not be indie developer friendly.Dutta seems to be accusing Google of going out of its way to block external streaming sources, though when I reached out to the company, a Google spokesperson flat-out denied that: We’re excited to bring more content to Chromecast and would like to support all types of apps, including those for local content. It’s still early days for the Google Cast SDK, which we just released in developer preview for early development and testing only. We expect that the SDK will continue to change before we launch out of developer preview, and want to provide a great experience for users and developers before making the SDK and additional apps more broadly available. So if streaming from an Android device is a make-or-break feature for you, just know that you may have to wait for it regardless of whether you buy the product now or not. (Streaming from a desktop, however, still seems to work fine via tab casting.) Ultimately, my advice is to go with Google Play and wait the couple of weeks for delivery. Unless you’re a savvy eBayer or Craigslist treasure hunter, sticking with an official channel will offer the most peace of mind and ensure that you’ll definitely get your goods. Plus, you won’t pay extra and you’ll have a warranty with your purchase. Your mileage may vary, but in my book, that’s worth waiting an extra week or two. Feature image by Madeleine Weiss for ReadWrite. UPDATE August 27, 2013: Best Buy appears to have gotten more inventory. How long it will remain in stock, however, is anyone’s guess, but it’s worth noting that the sale page does feature the Netflix offer for now. Hopefully this retail channel will remain open.  Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Tags:#cloud#connected TV#media#streaming Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img adriana lee How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more

Industry Interview: Advancing Your Career from PA to AD

first_imgAnthony Milton has worked in the professional film scene in Dallas for the past decade. We sat down to talk shop and collect his tips on building a career.Anthony Milton worked as a production assistant for about five years before beginning his transition to a Director’s Guild of America-certified 2nd assistant director. His focus lies in Dallas commercial work, and he has worked for nearly every department. He’s worked on commercials directed by Barry Levinson and Shawn Levy for companies like JC Penney, Under Armour, and Nissan, and on several FOX shows shot in the area (The Gifted, The Good Guys, and Lonestar).We asked him about his career and how he built it.PremiumBeat: Hello, Anthony! First off, what got you interested in the film industry?Anthony Milton: My interest in the business, like most people, was spawned from just being a fan of movies. My dad would take me to the theater several times a week, sometimes for a repeat viewing of some pretty terrible popcorn movies, but we loved it. I didn’t know why they fascinated me so much, but they did. Then I grew increasingly more curious about the process and why the stuff we shot on home movies looked so much different than what I would see at the theater. I knew then that I wanted to be involved. I wanted to learn the process, technical and creative. So I went to film school and never looked back.PB: Did school help prepare you for life on a set?AM: For me personally, yes. I went to Full Sail, which if taken advantage of properly, truly prepares you for life on set. I came in knowing set etiquette and knowing who to talk to and who not to. How to move, what certain terms were. It really benefited me when making my own projects. But I feel like it gave me more confidence when i stepped onto set the first time, I didn’t feel completely lost. Film school isn’t at all necessary to work on a film crew, but it helped me personally.PB: What are some of the things that Full Sail taught and prepared you for?AM: Full Sail is different from typical film schools. I personally felt like I walked away with a great deal of knowledge on how to work on a set. I was also in a position to be able to direct a 16mm and a 35mm project while in school. So I got the best of both worlds on the technical side of things — and how to crew in every department, an invaluable experience to fast-track your way to a skill position department (like grip/electric, art department, camera department, etc.). And if you take full advantage of everything they have at that university (which is a 24-hour facility), you could walk out as a decent cinematographer. I was always more of a creative initially, so I gravitated more toward that in college. Overall, for my goals and aspirations, I feel like I walked out with a rounded knowledge of how to bring a story to the screen and how to work on a set.PB: How did you get your first PA job?AM: When I graduated Full Sail and moved back to Dallas, I knew there was a market but had no idea how to break into it. Before I left for college I did a small internship at The Studios of Las Colinas, where I met a stage manager. He was the only person I knew in the business, and, more importantly, he was the only one that knew me, if he even remembered me from three years earlier! So when I moved back into town I found him on MySpace and messaged him in regards to finding work. “Check Craig’s List” was his response. He wasn’t being short or dismissive; the fact was he wasn’t very well connected, after all, and needed work as well in a market that was currently experiencing a slow period.About two weeks later, he asked me if I wanted to help him and his friends make their entry for the Doritos Super Bowl contest. His friends were also small-time players in town, and one was a producer, so I figured it couldn’t hurt and sounded fun. I exchanged info with that producer, who hired me on a real job a few weeks later. From there, I met a production manager who also hired me on a few more projects. From there, I looked up production companies on the internet and made cold calls.PB: The film industry is definitely geared towards the charismatic, extroverted personality. From your experience and knowledge do you have any advice for those introverts who wish to make a successful living in the industry?AM: That is tough in this business, but it can be done. Being on set is a good way to break out of that a little bit, and if it’s something you really want to do, allow the business to force you to be social. The freelance life is scary and can leave you with a great sense of self doubt when the phone isn’t ringing. It definitely helps if you know someone in the business who can throw your name and number to a production manager or coordinator. Honestly, even if you are an extrovert, it can be difficult to break in.The key is to be patient and don’t get discouraged. If you have absolutely no connections, go to Google and look up local production companies. Call them, tell them you are looking to break into the business as a PA. If they don’t have anything available, they know local production managers and coordinators who do the hiring. Ask them to pass along your info. You would be surprised how many people want to help. There are also production Facebook groups local to your area. Look them up and join one. There are always people looking to crew up indie and short films, and that can lead to a connection to the commercial or TV world. Once you’ve made it on set, you don’t have to step too far outside of yourself to chat everyone up.PB: It can be tricky to get consistent work in any freelance job, especially when starting out. How did you manage to book a steady flow of jobs?AM: Network, network, network. Don’t underestimate anyone you come across in the business. You never know when they will be the source for your next job. Have business cards and actually distribute them. Text fellow PAs, coordinators, and managers from time to time to remind them you exist. It’s not that they didn’t like you, or that you’re not a memorable person, they just have a lot on their plates and meet a lot of new people on a daily basis. Be early to work, be ready to learn, be ready to sweat and have a good attitude about it all. That’s the first step. Attitude, attitude, attitude. They know a lot of PAs come in very green with no knowledge of the business whatsoever, so as long as you’re willing to learn with a smile on your face, you will get another job. PB: How does one become an assistant director?AM: Being an AD is based on your personality. You can have the most organized and logistical mind in existence, but if you are a poor or timid communicator and don’t have the confidence to lead a platoon, then you won’t make it as an AD. Past that, the process to become an AD is PA, PA, PA, and then PA some more. Make sure you are on set paying attention and anticipating needs of the ADs. Watch how they move and operate. Make sure those ADs know you want to be an AD, and they will start to use you in that capacity and eventually start throwing you a chance when their first-call 2nd AD isn’t available. It takes a while to work in as an AD. There aren’t as many spots open, and you need to be knowledgeable about the operation of a set, watching every detail.PB: You mentioned you took the longer route to becoming an AD. What was your process for becoming a DGA-certified assistant director?AM: Getting into the DGA is all about getting a certain number of days on set: 150 for third area (not CA or NY) commercial 2nd, and 600 days for television 2nd AD. A lot of PAs will put in their time on TV shows to get their days quicker. I don’t like working on shows, so I took the slower route on commercials. But really, it’s all about having the right personality and putting in your time.Most jobs on set are based around a technical skill. AD is one of the few that is personality-driven as much as it is skill-driven. It’s a lot of stress and an incredible amount of responsibility when you step into the 1st AD role. Everyone needs to have confidence in you and the orders you are giving them.Images courtesy of Anthony Milton.Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Jonah Hill on Writing and Directing Mid90s — and Tips He Learned from the GreatsInterview: Jennifer Gatti on Bon Jovi, Star Trek and Longevity in the BusinessInterview: Daniel Levin, DP of Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin StoryInterview: Julie Benz on Work Ethic, Challenging Roles, and Paying it Forward Screenwriter Norman Steinberg on Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, and Getting Heard PB: From your long career as a PA, any advice on how to stand out from the rest? Certain etiquette to adopt or behaviors to avoid?AM: I can’t overstate this: be early to your call time, and have a good attitude! Pay attention to your walkie talkie, and learn walkie etiquette and protocol. Good communication is absolutely key. As a PA, you are an extension of the ADs and the managers. You are often asked to be a vessel of information through various channels throughout set. Be concise and professional when you speak on the walkie. If you have something long to say, go to channel 2. When someone calls for an available PA, always be the first one to your walkie — if you aren’t already assigned to another task. If no one responds (no quicker way to get on an ADs bad side), speak up and let them know you are busy on a task and what the task is; they will then let you know if what they are asking for takes priority.I know that’s a little detailed, but it’s important! If you aren’t on a task, be near set and paying attention. Anticipate needs! If you see an AD about to carry things, offer to carry them. Same with managers and coordinators. Be ready to assist other departments if necessary. As you grow wiser and more comfortable, become self sufficient, know your duties, and carry them out. Show initiative but not so much you overstep your bounds — it’s a fine line! And understand that every manager and coordinator is different. They have different things they like in a PA and different pet peeves. Learn their quirks; it will get you far. Impress your fellow PAs. In the beginning, a lot of your work will come from them recommending you. Teamwork makes the dream work.Don’t offer the director advice on his shot — or the DP, or the gaffer, or anyone. You’re a PA; be a PA. Be humble and realize you will get your chance one day. Don’t ask when you can go home. (When we are done — that’s when!) We work long days, so strap in. Don’t sit down on set. If you have to take a break, do it out of sight for a few minutes and let a fellow PA know. Don’t hide — that will leave you forgotten. You can be social; it’s easy to get caught up on set, but keep it professional and stay mindful of what is happening on set. Be smart about it.PB: The PA schedule can be a bit difficult to deal with — long hours and getting last-minute calls for booking jobs. Is there a best way to deal with this hectic schedule?AM: Dealing with the PA schedule is a little different for everyone. It’s whatever works for you because there is nothing easy about it. You will work a lot of back to back to back 16-hour days and question everything in your life. Then you might have a week off! You have to cancel plans when jobs come up, which makes it hard to plan things in the first place.You will know after about five jobs if this life is something you really want. It’s fun, it’s different, you can have a lot of time off in between on commercials. If you plan to work on shows, know that your life belongs to them for six months, 16-17 hour days, five days a week. Some people love that hustle, but I prefer commercials.The best way to deal with it is to be aware of it and be willing to accept it. Be willing to stare down the barrel of an 80-hour week with no sleep, and be ready to deal with the downtime in between without feeling like you’ll never work again. It’s a unique life, but it can be a lot of fun.PB: How long did you work as a PA?AM: I was a PA for nine years, which is an abnormal amount of time, but I switched gears on going grip/electric to going AD halfway through. And I only wanted to AD on commercials, so my route was a little longer. Everyone’s PA lifespan is different, depending on timing and which department you want to move up to.PB: What inspired you to move on to a different department?AM: I was inspired the moment I stepped on set. Some people come in with a specific department in mind. I eventually want to direct, but I wanted to be able to make a living as a crew member while I directed my own things on the side. The AD department fit my personality and my skill-set. So if you are one who doesn’t know what department you want to join, then just keep floating around and talking to those people; you’ll figure out what best suits you.PB: The typical advice for learning the craft of a new department is “just shadow them,” which can be tricky as a PA when you’re always being called away to work on something else. Any advice for gaining experience and knowledge in your desired department?AM: If your desired department is technical, do research, ask the guys questions on set when you can, watch them and truly pay attention. Get your hands on the gear any chance you get; volunteer at a rental house. Make friends with someone in that department; offer to take them out to lunch and pick their brains. If your desired position is creative, write, shoot, create — by any means necessary. Doesn’t take a lot of money. Just do it. Even if you don’t show anyone, make it. You’ll never develop a style if you don’t write or make anything.PB: How do you move on from being a PA and into your dream department?AM: Build relationships in those departments, and be as knowledgeable as possible. No better advice; no better way. I can’t stress how crucial those relationships are, no matter what department you are in. And when you feel like you are ready for a specific role, and I mean really ready and confident, tell people you are no longer a PA, and you are now a 1st AC, or an AD, or whichever role you’ve been training for. But like I said, it’s wise to wait until you are fully confident and have already been hired in that department a few times.last_img read more

Bursitis of the heel

first_imgDefinitionBursitis of the heel is swelling of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) at the back of the heel bone under the Achilles tendon.Alternative NamesInsertional heel pain; Retrocalcaneal bursitisCauses, incidence, and risk factorsA bursa acts as a cushion and lubricant between tendons or muscles sliding over bone. There are bursas around most large joints in the body, including the ankle.The retrocalcaneal bursa is located in the back of the ankle by the heel. It is where the large Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.Repeated or too much use of the ankle can cause this bursa to become irritated and inflamed. Possible causes are too much walking, running, or jumping.This condition is usually linked to Achilles tendinitis. Sometimes retrocalcaneal bursitis may be mistaken for Achilles tendinitis.Risks for this condition include starting an aggressive workout schedule, or suddenly increasing activity level without the right conditioning.SymptomsPain in the heel, especially with walking, running, or when the area is touchedPain may get worse when rising on the toes (standing on tiptoes)Red, warm skin over the back of the heelSigns and testsYour health care provider will take a history to find out if you have symptoms of retrocalcaneal bursitis. Examining your ankle can find the location of the pain. The physician will look for tenderness and redness in the back of the heel.The pain may be worse when the doctor bends the ankle upward (dorsiflex). Or, the pain may be worse when you rise on your toes.advertisementYou will not usually need imaging studies such as x-ray and MRI at first. If the first treatment does not improve the symptoms, your health care provider may recommend these tests. MRI may show inflammation.TreatmentYour health care provider may recommend the following treatments:Avoid activities that cause pain.Ice the heel several times a day.Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (for example, ibuprofen).Try over-the-counter or custom heel wedges to help decrease the stress on the heel.Try ultrasound treatment during physical therapy to reduce inflammation.Use physical therapy to improve flexibility and strength around the ankle, which can help the bursitis improve and prevent it from coming back.If these treatments dont work, your health care provider may inject a small amount of steroids into the bursa. After the inection, you should avoid stretching the tendon too much because it can break open (rupture).If the condition is connected with Achilles tendinitis, casting the ankle for several weeks to keep it from moving can be effective. Very rarely, surgery may be needed to remove the inflamed bursa.Expectations (prognosis)This condition usually gets better in several weeks with the proper treatment.Calling your health care providerIf you have heel pain or symptoms of retrocalcaneal bursitis that do not improve with rest, contact your health care provider for evaluation and treatment.PreventionMaintain proper form when exercising, as well as good flexibility and strength around the ankle to help prevent this condition.Proper stretching of the Achilles tendon helps prevent injury.ReferencesWapner KL, Parekh SG. Heel pain. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr., Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drezs Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2009:section F.Aranow MS. Posterior heel pain (retrocalcaneal bursitis, insertional and noninsertional Achilles tendinopathy). Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2005;22:19-43.Review Date:8/11/2012Reviewed By:David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.last_img read more

Texas Fan Pens ‘Thank You’ Letter To Notre Dame Fans For Their “Remarkable Hospitality”

first_imgFans cheer on the Texas Longhorns against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks.AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 5: Fans cheer on the Texas Longhorns against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks on September 5, 2009 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)Texas Longhorns fans who made the trek up to Notre Dame, Indiana, weren’t thrilled with the result from the game this past Saturday. But at least one UT supporter still had great things to say about the Fighting Irish and their fan base. A Texas fan named Terry Bader penned a cool ‘thank you’ letter to Notre Dame and its fans for their “remarkable hospitality” this past weekend. It was published by The Observer Thursday morning. The school tweeted out a photo of the letter – check it out:A Texas Longhorn fan wrote a thank you letter to The Observer. Well done, Irish fans READ:— The Fighting Irish (@FightingIrish) September 10, 2015It’s a refreshing story – especially considering we typically only hear tales on the other end of the spectrum. Well-done to all involved here.last_img read more

3-Star OT Cordavien Suggs Drops Top 10 Via Twitter

first_imgCordavien Suggs' top 10 list.cordavien suggs top 10Three-star offensive tackle Cordavien Suggs, a 6-foot-6, 260-product of Neptune Beach, Florida, has announced his top 10 schools. Suggs, who is a class of 2017 player, has four SEC programs on his list – along with three ACC schools. He has an interesting mix of programs – from Florida to FAU.Suggs’ list is not in order – and he joked after that he should have presented it in alphabetical order. Check it out:My current Top 10 #Hailstate #Swamp17 #VolNation #Gamecocks #TarHeels #OwlsUp #Wazzu #StripeEmUp #GoCardinals #GT— Cordavien Suggs (@_73era) May 18, 2016I really should’ve did that list in alphabetical order— Cordavien Suggs (@_73era) May 18, 2016Suggs is crystal-balled to Mississippi State, according to 247 Sports.last_img read more

How the Portugal Draw Boosts the USs World Cup Advancement Odds

The United States was seconds away from defeating Portugal on Sunday when Michael Bradley, normally one of the steadiest American players, mishandled a ball in midfield and gave Portugal a last opportunity. Silvestre Varela took advantage, scoring on a header.But the 2-2 draw was a result the U.S. might have been happy with before the match began. It improved the Americans’ odds of advancing to the knockout round of the World Cup. Those chances are up to 76 percent, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast, an improvement from 65 percent before Sunday’s match.That 76 percent figure may even be slightly low, for reasons I’ll explain in a moment. Still, the U.S. will not be guaranteed advancement unless it manages at least a draw against Germany on Thursday in Recife, Brazil. If the U.S. loses, the Portugal-Ghana game, which will kick off simultaneously in Brasilia, could cause heartbreak for Americans. You may want to have two screens at your disposal for Thursday’s matches.The U.S. has essentially three ways to advance to the knockout stage:The easy way. First, it could draw or beat Germany. That might not sound so challenging, but the Germans are the third-best team in the world, according to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index. Our forecast gives the U.S. a 14 percent chance of a win and a 22 percent chance of a draw — but a 64 percent chance of a loss. As a bonus, however, the U.S. will advance first from Group G if it beats Germany. That matters because the first-place team from Group G is likely to face Russia or Algeria in the Round of 16 — while the second-place team will face a stronger side in Belgium.The almost-as-easy way. Next, the United States could lose to Germany but advance if Ghana and Portugal draw in Brasilia. Our forecast puts the chance of a Ghana-Portugal draw at 29 percent.The hard way. Finally, the U.S. could lose to Germany but advance because it edges either Portugal or Ghana — whichever team wins in Brasilia — on goal differential or another of FIFA’s tiebreakers.Let’s talk tiebreakers. FIFA resolves ties in the group stage in the following order: goal differential, goals scored, head-to-head results. (Eventually, it gets down to drawing lots.)So far, the United States has four goals scored and three allowed — a +1 differential. Ghana has scored three times but allowed four goals — a -1 differential. Portugal has scored twice but allowed six goals, giving them a -4.That seems favorable for the U.S. But we’re specifically concerned about the scenario where the United States loses Thursday and there’s a victor in Brasilia. In that case, the goal differential will tighten.For example, if the U.S. loses to Germany 1-0 but Ghana beats Portugal 1-0, then the U.S. and Ghana would have an even goal differential. They’d also each have four goals scored and four goals allowed. So advancement would come down to the third tiebreaker — head-to-head results — and the U.S. would advance only on account of having beaten Ghana.But Ghana could advance under other scenarios. If the U.S. loses to Germany by more than one goal — not unlikely against a formidable German offense — or Ghana’s win against Portugal is by more than one goal, then Ghana will go forward.Ghana would also advance if both games are decided by one goal but Ghana’s is higher scoring. For instance, if Ghana beats Portugal 2-1 but the U.S. loses to Germany 1-0, then Ghana would advance on the basis of the goals-scored tiebreaker by having scored five goals throughout the group stage to the United States’ four.The U.S. has less to worry about if Portugal wins in Brasilia. But it’s not out of the question that the Portuguese could advance. This would require a blowout win by Portugal, a blowout loss by the U.S. or some combination thereof. For example, if the U.S. lost to Germany 3-0 and Portugal beat Ghana 3-1, then Portugal would advance.So, why I do I say that our 76 percent figure might slightly underestimate the Americans’ chances? One reason is technical rather than soccer-related: Our simulation was programmed to resolve ties beyond goals scored and goal differential randomly, rather than looking at head-to-head results, because the head-to-head tiebreaker so rarely comes into play. But if a Ghanaian win in Brasilia and an American loss in Recife come by exactly the same scoreline — e.g. Ghana 3, Portugal 2, and Germany 3, U.S. 2 — that would trigger the head-to-head tiebreaker. The probability of such an outcome is low, but it means the simulator has slightly underestimated the U.S.’s advancement prospects, perhaps by 1 or 2 percent.The other reason is that four teams in Group G know this math just as well as you or I do — and that could affect the style of play in both Recife and Brasilia. Germany has no real incentive to beat the United States — it also advances in first place from the group with a draw.  A draw is also a good result for the U.S., getting it to the knockout stage. That could lead to a more conservative game plan for both teams and a slower pace, making the odds of a draw higher than they otherwise might be.Of course, just the opposite is true for Ghana and Portugal. Both teams fail to advance with a draw. In fact, a mere one-goal win would be problematic for both teams and especially for Portugal. That means they’ll have every reason to play attacking football and pile on the goals until the last minute, making a draw less likely and a lopsided score more likely than it might be ordinarily. read more

Good better Best Gymnast carries battered Buckeyes

Plagued with injuries that sidelined four girls for the remainder of the season, the OSU women’s gymnastics team will rely heavily on the shoulders of junior Rebecca Best in 2010.“Her role will continue to be one of our most consistent competitors,” coach Carey Fagan said. “So we’re going to lean on her pretty heavily again this year.”Best is Ohio State’s first returning All-American in gymnastics since 1999. Best earned All-American honors on floor in last year’s National Championship and scored a 9.850 on floor at the April 16 NCAA Championship. She became the sixth Buckeye to earn national laurels in gymnastics.When recruiting Best, Fagan said she recognized the potential in her athletic prowess.“[Best] has a natural quickness and speed, and she’s incredibly strong,” Fagan said. “Those are all things in gymnastics you have to have.”On her recruiting trip, Best said the connection she felt with the girls played a major role in her decision to come to OSU.“One of the first things I noticed when I came here was how close all the girls were,” Best said. “Then I fell in love with the campus when they took me on the tour.”In her time at OSU, Best has amassed some impressive honors and accomplishments within gymnastics.Last season, Best was second in the all-around, vault and beam while ranking third on floor and bars among the Buckeyes. In ’08 and ’09 she was named a second-team All-Big Ten honoree. At the 2009 NCAA Central Regional Championships, Best posted a career-high all-around total of 39.350 for the second consecutive time (a 40.000 is a perfect score in all 4 events). She was named the OSU team’s Impact Player on beam and earned the “O”-chievement Award for most valuable performer.And that was just her sophomore season.But Fagan said the biggest growth she’s seen in Best in her time at OSU is not in her gymnastics, but in her sense of leadership. Although an aggressive competitor, Best is quiet and her personality is reserved, Fagan said.“I think as a member of the team she’s really developing as a leader in terms of sharing her experiences with the other kids, really developing that whole concept of being on a team,” Fagan said. “Contributing not just as an individual, but how she can help her teammates, giving them tips here and there.”Associate Athletic Director and Sports Administrator for OSU gymnastics, Heather Lyke, also recognizes a progression in Best’s overall performance. “She is determined to improve every year and continues to grow as a leader on our team,” Lyke said.At their home opener in St. John Arena on Jan. 16, the Buckeyes took second to Oregon State, where the loss of girls due to injury seemed to affect the team’s overall performance.Despite Best’s slip up on floor near the end of the meet, Fagan believes the pressure of being the athletic leader of the team will help Best in the long run.“I think she’ll snap out of it, because she learns with every mistake that she makes,” Fagan said. “Very rarely does she make the same mistake twice.”What makes Best unique among gymnasts is her continued increase in difficulty level over the years, Fagan said.“That’s not typical in college gymnastics. A lot of time kids come and have to maintain their skills as they get older,” Fagan said. “But Rebecca’s still developing and I think she’s going to continue to be a standout.”What Best likes most about gymnastics is not the applause or the recognition for her multiple achievements, but rather a simplistic enjoyment of acrobatics.“I like to flip and I like to go as high as I can. It’s just fun to see how many skills [I] can do,” Best said. “I like to get the scores and see how much better [I] do from the last meet.”Although she says staying consistent is one of her main goals for the season, Best added to her beam routine a handspring-layout-layout. Imagine someone flipping onto their feet from a handstand, followed by two front flips with legs straight out, toes pointed, all while landing on a balance beam measuring 10 centimeters in width.Fagan said despite trying to better the girls’ routines, they have to remain somewhat conservative to keep the girls healthy and to get them through the season. Watering down routines for now, the girls will build them back up before Championships.“I think the biggest thing is for the team to pull together with all these injuries. At the beginning of the year we set some pretty big goals of winning Big Ten’s and qualifying in NCAA’s,” Fagan said. “But it’s going to take a lot of team chemistry to develop between now and then.”With nine meets left before Big Ten Championships, Fagan took a moment to look ahead to next year. She has big dreams for Best in her final season, like becoming a team captain.“I think she can be a repeat All-American,” Fagan said. “One of the goals I’ve set for her is to be a Big Ten Champion, whether it’s on an event or in the all-around, that’s something we’re working towards.”And what does Best want?“To do better than last year,” she said. “That’s always my goal.” read more

Hughes about to achieve great things

first_imgJavi Gracia believes that Will Hughes, his side’s talented youngster, should be given a chance to play for the national team by Gareth Southgate as he has been impressive this season.The former Derby player managed to get himself to an incredible form but the Hornets coach insisted that he wasn’t surprised at all as he had seen from the very beginning that the player is very special.The Spanish coach spoke about the future of the talented midfielder as he said, according to Sky Sports:Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“He didn’t surprise me. I know he is able to play very well and now I trust in the future that he will keep this level and try to improve the level of the team as well.”“I think he can improve, as with all the players, but I am happy with his level.”“He is a different player with high quality and when he plays he makes the team play as well. This is important for us.”last_img read more