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With quarantines almost over, tennis set to start Down Under

first_imgA coronavirus-enforced quarantine period is coming to end for the world’s elite tennis players. That will mean most will go from two of the quietest weeks of their lives in Australia to three of the busiest. It was a controversial start to the government-mandated quarantine ahead of the Australian Open. Some players complained bitterly after being forced into hard lockdown because passengers on their charter flights to Melbourne tested positive for the virus. A letter from Novak Djokovic to tournament officials seeking leniency for those players sparked a public backlash. The 14-day quarantine for most players will end late this week.last_img read more

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Learning Responsibility

first_imgAs a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension county coordinator, I am surrounded by some of the most amazing and fantastic young people, some of whom I’m related to and some I just have the pleasure of working with.Let me explain. I am passionate about youth livestock projects. I think youth livestock projects, like showing hogs, cattle, goats, lambs or even horses, are one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences out there for youth today.How many other activities teach the level of responsibility that’s required of someone showing an animal at a livestock show? Growing up in my family, the animals got fed before the humans got fed every day. It wasn’t a chore. It was a lifestyle and a choice I made, with the support of my family, to be responsible for the animals that I showed.Later, some of the animals were bred for us to show, while others were harvested and provided our family with a great source of protein and food. I learned so much, and I am very glad that my nephews followed in the family’s footsteps and now show Red Angus cattle and market goats in Texas.I often whip out my phone to share pictures from their latest shows or their new animals. Without realizing it, some of you even watch my nephews online when they’re at major shows like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which was held three weeks ago. I try to attend as many of the major shows as I can. Aunt Laura is a great kid wrangler, laundry deliverer, food gatherer and any other kind of “gofer” she needs to be.The 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was an event with many moving parts for the Griffeth nephews. Both 15-year-old Tyler and 11-year-old Zachary had a market goat and a breeding heifer to show, and Tyler participated in the calf scramble one night.Zachary showed his goat first thing Thursday morning, but didn’t make the cut to the top 30 out of his class of 82 head. Tyler had a heavier goat that ended up in the first class to show on Friday morning instead of Thursday afternoon like we expected. His first activity ended up being the calf scramble at the rodeo that Thursday night. If you’re not familiar with a calf scramble, it is mass chaos with calves. Thirty teenagers stand on one side of the rodeo arena floor, which in this case is NRG Stadium where the Houston Texans play football. Fifteen 200- to 300-pound calves are released into the arena. The kids chase the calves and attempt to catch them, halter them and drag them back into the box in the middle of the arena.The teenagers that succeed get a $1,750 voucher to purchase a calf that they will bring back to show in Houston in 2017, but half of them will only receive a “thank you for participating” and the knowledge gained from trying something new. There was so much commotion that I completely lost sight of Tyler. Eventually, he came out of the corner without a calf, looking completely winded. I was out of breath just watching those kids run around that arena floor.After a few minutes, all of the calves were caught and the winners were announced. Unfortunately, Tyler didn’t catch one. He should have come to our seats shortly after the event to watch the concert that was starting, but he didn’t. More time went by, but he still wasn’t there. We started to get a little concerned. Finally, he appeared with his mother and a sling on his right arm — he dislocated his right shoulder.That’s right, Tyler was injured when another kid accidentally knocked him off a calf. Luckily, he was examined by the sports medicine doctors that were working the rodeo. They put his shoulder back into place, without pain medication other than ibuprofen, and took an X-ray to confirm.Personally, I would have been curled up in a ball waiting for my morphine drip. This 15-year-old young man dislocated his shoulder, had it popped back into place, came to the concert and even ate supper. And all I could think after finding out that he was OK was that he had a goat to show in 11 hours.He was up before I was the next morning at 5 a.m. and we went to the barn and tried out the shoulder. He felt that he could show, so at 8:15 a.m. he walked his goat into the ring and showed his goat as well as I’ve seen him show goats. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the cut, but how many adults would have done something similar less than 12 hours after an injury? To top it off, he showed his heifer Saturday afternoon, less than 48 hours after dislocating his shoulder. This time he earned second place in a very tough class. He even placed third in intermediate showmanship. I am just in awe of his perseverance and tenacity in seeing his projects to the end. We even toured the Johnson Space Center the next day.Here at home in Georgia, I am equally as proud of the Webster County, Georgia, 4-H youth who participated in Cloverleaf District Project Achievement. Seven fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders researched and wrote presentations on topics they were interested in. Our local 4-H staff worked with them for several weeks to organize their presentations and prepare posters and other visual aids for their demonstrations. We even had a presentation preview party the Friday before the event for all the youth to present their demonstrations in front of their parents, other 4-H’ers and even a county commissioner.They had a great time in Perry, Georgia, giving their presentations for the judges, interacting with 4-H’ers from other counties and participating in some fun activities. All seven 4-H’ers placed in the top three. While I enjoy placing in the top three as much as anybody, I was more proud of watching these youth grow over the past month and year. They’ve grown in maturity. They’ve grown in poise in front of groups. They’ve grown in terms of presentation skills. They’ve grown as human beings. The camaraderie was strong among the seven 4-H’ers, the two older 4-H’ers who served as teen leaders and the parents, grandparents and volunteers. They all seemed to care as much about how others placed as how they placed themselves.You know you’re getting old when you say, “These young kids are going to ruin everything” or “These kids don’t know squat.” And maybe they don’t sometimes. But maybe we old folks don’t either. I look at youth like my nephews or the 4-H’ers I work with and think this country is in pretty good hands.For more information about youth livestock projects, contact your local UGA Extension 4-H agent or go to read more

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Seniors find silver lining in ‘Golden Girls’ lifestyle

first_imgby: Pamela YipWhen it comes to aging gracefully, most people prefer to do so in the comfort and familiarity of their homes.And hopefully not alone.Social isolation is a killer for seniors — physically and emotionally.To alleviate loneliness and financial pressures, a growing number of seniors are setting up households together in the model of the popular “Golden Girls” television series in which four older women share a home.“There’s a growing interest in this discussion, and this is being looked at and considered as much more of a possibility for baby boomers, particularly as they age,” said Sandy Markwood, chief executive of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.That’s not surprising.“One of the major issues as people grow older is loneliness, especially if you end up single for whatever reason,” said Bonnie Moore, founder of the Golden Girls Network, a national electronic database that helps older women and men find housemates. “There are more and more single older people, so the idea of living alone just does not appeal to people. If you do live alone, you become depressed more easily.” continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Terry wants new Lampard deal

first_img Lampard, 34, is contracted to the Blues until the end of the season and the lack of any news about an extension has been a source of much discussion in and outside the club. Lampard has scored 13 times this term despite seeing his playing time become more limited than in previous campaigns, leaving him on 199 goals for the side he joined in 2001. Chelsea fans appear united in their desire to see Lampard remain on the books after his existing deal expires and Terry was unambiguous about his own views as club captain. “Frank has so much more to give and he has been an inspiration to everyone at the club,” Terry told newspaper reporters. Chelsea captain John Terry has waded into the debate over Frank Lampard’s future, revealing the squad are desperate for the England midfielder to remain at Stamford Bridge. Press Associationcenter_img “He has got years ahead of him and we all hope they will be spent here at Chelsea. We all hope that’s here, but if not he has certainly got years ahead of him. “I am not even going to entertain the idea of him playing for another club.” Although Lampard is two years older than Terry, the former England captain sees enough of the midfield man up close to be sure he can maintain his standards for the foreseeable future. “Even at his age, he is still the best trainer by a million miles,” continued Terry “He works so hard and for him to get that many goals, kids can look at that and think: ‘he is just in the right position’. “But believe me it is a lot of hard work before and after training, working on his strengths and his weaknesses. “I think that you can see he has always been very fit naturally anyway. That’s despite the hard work he puts in before and after training.” last_img read more

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Fans baffled as Liverpool star Mohamed Salah goes offline

first_imgCairo, Egypt | AFP |  Fans were left baffled on Wednesday after Liverpool’s star Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah appeared to have deleted all of his social media accounts where his followers number in the millions.The Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts of Salah, who is idolised in Egypt and Liverpool, went offline without warning a day after he posted a cryptic tweet.“2019 Resolution: Time to get in touch, for real,” said the final tweet, screenshots of which were shared widely on social media.Those navigating to his Twitter account on Wednesday could only see a message reading “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!”.On Instagram, the message read “The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.” A similar message appeared on Facebook. It was not immediately clear whether the shutdowns were deliberate.Some fans speculated that Salah deleted his accounts due to a dispute he has had with the Egyptian Football Association over his image rights.Others saw it as a possible new year’s resolution.Salah has taken the Premier League by storm since signing for Liverpool in the summer of 2017, scoring 50 goals for the English club in just 72 appearances.Earlier this month, Salah was named the African Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Best Look Ever at Life’s Smallest Rotary Motor

first_imgAll cells trade in energy currency called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).  The molecular energy pellets are produced in profusion by molecular machines with rotary engines.  The engines contain all the standard parts: rotor, stator, energy input, and torque production.  They are embedded in the membranes of mitochondria and run on proton motive force.  We’ve reported many times on these exquisite machines (e.g., 10/20/2009 bullet 5, 05/25/2009).  They are the smallest rotary motors in the universe (so far as we know), about 10 by 20 billionths of a meter in size.  Now, scientists in Canada have imaged them in more detail than ever before – at 1.6 Angstrom resolution.  Their findings were reported in PNAS.1    The motors come in two families: F-ATP, or ATP synthase, used to produce ATP by all living things, and V-ATP, used primarily “in reverse” to acidify vacuoles and other subcellular regions.  The engines differ only in minor details.  The rotor is on the bottom half, called F0 or V0, and ATP synthesis or degradation takes place in the top half, F1 or V1.  Lau and Rubenstein studied the V-ATPase from an archaeal microbe that inhabits hot springs, Thermus thermophilus.  They imaged 19,825 motors to increase the average resolution down to 1.6 Angstroms (16 nanometers, or billionths of a meter).  As a result, they were able to map out all the parts in better detail than ever, which are shown in photographs and diagrams in the paper.    They were particularly interested in gaining insight on how the motor produces torque.  Putting their observations together, they deduced this is what happens: a proton flows up a channel to a negatively-charged glutamic acid (an amino acid link in one of the protein chains) in the 12-sided rotor.  This neutralizes the glutamic acid (Glu 63) and makes it turn and release the proton, which is shuttled upward out another channel to the cytoplasm.  The Glu63 is then attracted to a neighboring arginine (Arg 735) in the rotor and an arginine in the stator (Arg 563), causing a rotational step.  The next proton causes the next unit of the 12-part rotor (the L-ring) to take another clockwise step, and so on.  Just like in man-made motors, the offset force causes the rotor to spin.    The stator contains two peripheral stalks, partially embedded in the membrane, and there is a central stalk that applies the torque produced in V0 to the ATP synthesis lobes in V1.  These come in 3 pairs that are arranged like orange slices around the stalk.  The stator and rotor do not touch, but are positioned precisely to cause an optimal torque:The peripheral stalks are optimally arranged to counter forces attempting to push them away from or pull them towards V1.  Both peripheral stalks pushing away from or pulling toward V1 would exert a force on subunit I perpendicular to a line drawn between the stalks (Fig. 4B).  Therefore, from Fig. 4B, it is apparent that the peripheral stalks are optimally arranged to apply a force that is eccentric on the L-ring.  It is well known that application of an eccentric force on a rotor will cause it to turn, and this principle powers all man-made motors.  An attractive force between the positively charged Arg 563 residue of subunit I and a negatively charged Glu 63 residue of a L-subunit counterclockwise of the contact point (when viewed from V0 to V1), would cause the rotor to turn with a clockwise direction, as expected from the known clockwise rotation direction of the rotor during ATP synthesis.  Therefore, this eccentric force could be the basis for torque generation in V0.The authors mentioned nothing about how this machine might have evolved.  They only mentioned the E-word in passing, making a brief offhand reference to the belief that the F-ATP and V-ATP motors are “evolutionarily related but differ in the details of subunit composition and arrangement.”1.  Lau and Rubenstein, “Structure of intact Thermus thermophilus V-ATPase by cryo-EM reveals organization of the membrane-bound VO motor,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, January 6, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0911085107.If you catch a sense of the wonder in what science has discovered about these motors since the first suggestion in 1993 that they were true rotary engines, you must be feeling goose bumps at each new revelation.  These motors power every living thing – even the simplest, most primitive microbe depends on these irreducibly-complex motors.  They are true motors.  This is not just a figure of speech: they rotate and perform work.  Their parts are arranged for this purpose.  They run on proton motive force, and they generate torque.  That torque is applied by a power-takeoff mechanism in the central stalk to manufacturing stations in the top half.  Previous reports have shown that these little machines operate at 100% efficiency.    How on earth could any putative “prebiotic” entity get along without these machines already present?  Without a reliable source of energy, chemicals merely react and come to equilibrium.  Notice that the alignment and spacing of each part of the engine is precise, down to the charge on individual amino acid units.  This machine is composed of dozens of proteins, each one composed of hundreds of amino acids.  Getting any one of them by chance is astronomically improbable (see online book).  You are looking at exquisite manufacturing design at the fundamental units of life.  Who would have imagined such things were even possible?  Certainly not some materialist-leaning storytellers in Victorian England 150 years ago.(Visited 36 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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I hope you’re not afraid of the dark. — Antuna Underground (GC2B3BY) — Geocache of the Week Video Edition

first_img SharePrint RelatedTop Five Tips for Creating a World-Class GeocacheJuly 11, 2013In “ Videos”Down, down, down into the underground – Below Above, The Fallen Monarch (GC2GAMT) – Geocache of the WeekApril 3, 2013In “Community”It’s the Spookiest Time of Year — Manunka Chunk Tunnels (GC82B5) — Geocache of the WeekOctober 23, 2013In “Community” If you’ve found a few geocaches, you know that sometimes in order to find the geocache, you have to explore places you’ve never been before. Sometimes those places are in full-view of the public or in a popular park. And sometimes, like in the case of this week’s Geocache of the Week, the geocache will take you to an abandoned underground hideout.Just outside of Stockholm, Sweden lies Antuna Underground (GC2B3BY), a difficulty/terrain 4 Unknown Cache that only the brave should attempt. For safety reasons, it’s probably best to tackle this geocache with two or more people. In order to find the physical geocache, you’ll have to don a headlamp, put on some boots, and overcome any spider fears you have as you descend into a forgotten place. Check out the video below to see two brave cachers earn their smiley:Thumbs up for a find! Photo by geocacher IJayZzLocations like this have long histories. From the geocache page: “This facility was completed in 1944 as a backup location for power generators for the railway system in times of war. It was finally shutdown in 1991 and is today completely abandoned.” In Sweden and some other countries (not the United States), venturing into places like this is not considered trespassing. To complete the geocache, you have to navigate through the facility, find hidden numbers and solve an equation to locate the final geocache location.This geocache was actually the product of a collaboration between several geocachers who call themselves TeamGroundZerO8. One team member had this to say about their geocache, “The thing that makes me proud of this cache is that it has made many geocachers stretch their comfort zone quite alot. Many [Urban Exploration] caches are T5 and out of reach for a big majority of our community. This cache offers a great adventure in a type of location few have ever visited and forces our visitors to do things they never thought they dared such as climbing rusty ladders 10 m above ground in darkness with only a headlamp. Almost all visitors have come out on the other side with a smiley on their map, and I think that almost all did it with a big smile on their face. The average length of the log entries also shows that most of them have a great story to tell both us and probably their friends afterwards.”This geocache takes you to a place with quite a history. What geocaches have you found that have been in amazing historical places? Tell us in the comments.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, leave a comment below with the name of the geocache, the GC code, and why you think we should feature it.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

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In France, the Force is strong with lightsaber dueling

first_imgOf course, the LED-lit, rigid polycarbonate lightsaber replicas can’t slice a Sith lord in half. But they look and, with the more expensive sabers equipped with a chip in their hilt that emits a throaty electric rumble, even sound remarkably like the silver screen blades that Yoda and other characters wield in the blockbuster movies.Plenty realistic, at least, for duelists to work up an impressive sweat slashing, feinting and stabbing in organized, 3-minute bouts. The physicality of lightsaber combat is part of why the French Fencing Federation threw its support behind the sport and is now equipping fencing clubs with lightsabers and training would-be lightsaber instructors. Like virtuous Jedi knights, the French federation sees itself as combatting a Dark Side: The sedentary habits of 21st-century life that are sickening ever-growing numbers of adults and kids.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“With young people today, it’s a real public health issue. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs,” says Serge Aubailly, the federation secretary general. “It’s becoming difficult to (persuade them to) do a sport that has no connection with getting out of the sofa and playing with one’s thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”In the past, the likes of Zorro, Robin Hood and The Three Musketeers helped lure new practitioners to fencing. Now, joining and even supplanting them are Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. View comments Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte 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 Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations LATEST STORIES US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Tokyo governor won’t speculate on Olympic bribery scandal Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ In this Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, photo, competitors battle during a national lightsaber tournament in Beaumont-sur-Oise, north of Paris. In France, it is easier than ever now to act out “Star Wars” fantasies. The fencing federation has officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)BEAUMONT-SUR-OISE, France — Master Yoda, dust off his French, he must.It’s now easier than ever in France to act out “Star Wars” fantasies, because its fencing federation has borrowed from a galaxy far, far away and officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport, granting the iconic weapon from George Lucas’ saga the same status as the foil, epee and sabre, the traditional blades used at the Olympics.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bondi awoke well before dawn to make the four-hour drive from Metz to a national lightsaber tournament outside Paris this month that drew 34 competitors. It showcased how far the sport has come in a couple of years but also that it’s still light years from becoming mainstream.The crowd was small and a technical glitch prevented the duelers’ photos, combat names and scores from being displayed on a big screen, making bouts tough to follow. But the illuminated swooshes of colored blades looked spectacular in the darkened hall. Fan cosplay as Star Wars characters added levity, authenticity and a tickle of bizarre to the proceedings, especially the incongruous sight of Darth Vader buying a ham sandwich and a bag of potato chips at the cafeteria during a break.In building their sport from the ground up, French organizers produced competition rules intended to make lightsaber dueling both competitive and easy on the eyes.“We wanted it to be safe, we wanted it to be umpired and, most of all, we wanted it to produce something visual that looks like the movies, because that is what people expect,” said Michel Ortiz, the tournament organizer.Combatants fight inside a circle marked in tape on the floor. Strikes to the head or body are worth 5 points; to the arms or legs, 3 points; on hands, 1 point. The first to 15 points wins or, if they don’t get there quickly, the high scorer after 3 minutes. If both fighters reach 10 points, the bout enters “sudden death,” where the first to land a head- or body-blow wins, a rule to encourage enterprising fighters.Blows only count if the fighters first point the tip of their saber behind them. That rule prevents the viper-like, tip-first quick forward strikes seen in fencing. Instead, the rule encourages swishier blows that are easier for audiences to see and enjoy, and which are more evocative of the duels in Star Wars. Of those, the battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul in “The Phantom Menace” that ends badly for the Sith despite his double-bladed lightsaber is particularly appreciated by aficionados for its swordplay.Still nascent, counting its paid-up practitioners in France in the hundreds, not thousands, lightsaber dueling has no hope of a place in the Paris Olympics in 2024.But to hear the thwack of blades and see them cut shapes through the air is to want to give the sport a try.Or, as Yoda would say: “Try not. Do! Or do not. There is no try.” ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Cape and sword movies have always had a big impact on our federation and its growth,” Aubailly says. ”Lightsaber films have the same impact. Young people want to give it a try.”And the young at heart.Police officer Philippe Bondi, 49, practiced fencing for 20 years before switching to lightsaber. When a club started offering classes in Metz, the town in eastern France where he is stationed for the gendarmerie, Bondi says he was immediately drawn by the prospect of living out the love he’s had for the Star Wars universe since he saw the first film at age 7, on its release in 1977.He fights in the same wire-mesh face mask he used for fencing. He spent about 350 euros ($400) on his protective body armor (sturdy gloves, chest, shoulder and shin pads) and on his federation-approved lightsaber, opting for luminous green “because it’s the Jedi colors, and Yoda is my master.”“I had to be on the good side, given that my job is upholding the law,” he said.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Robbie Keane tips Pochettino for long stay at Spurs

first_imgRobbie Keane believes that Tottenham are “on the verge of something special” under Mauricio Pochettino and expects the Argentine to prolong his stay at the club.Despite several reports linking Pochettino to the United job, former Spurs striker Robbie is convinced he’s going nowhere.“I’m very convinced he’ll be here for a long time,” Keane told Sky Sports.“He’s said so many times that he’s happy at the club. He’s said he’s building something very, very exciting.Robbie Keane, Jason McAteerMcAteer reignites his feud with Keane Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Former footballer Jason McAteer has criticized his ex-Republic of Ireland teammate, Roy Keane, for his obsession with winning a trophy.“He hasn’t won anything since he’s been here but the progress since he’s come in… when Jamie (Redknapp) and I were here, Tottenham were a mid-table team, maybe getting to a quarter-final.“It went on another step under Martin Jol. Harry (Redknapp) then came in and did an exceptional job. This club is moving forward with (Pochettino) at the helm. It’s important he stays here.“For him to win something at this club, for what he’s built, would be great for the team. He’s turned people like Harry Kane and Dele Alli into superstars. It’s been amazing, so it’s important for the club and Daniel Levy to keep him here.“Winning a trophy needs to be as soon as possible but what he’s done in the last few years has been exceptional. I think they’re on the verge, Tottenham, of doing something special.”last_img read more