Alex Bregman Is The Star The Astros Didnt Know Theyd Need

Think of the Houston Astros these past few seasons, and you’re probably picturing Jose Altuve, the team’s pint-sized sparkplug of a second baseman, or Carlos Correa, its megatalented modern-shortstop prototype. Perhaps you’re thinking of all the home runs launched by George Springer in the World Series last fall. Or maybe you enjoy great pitching, and you’re imagining bearded lefty Dallas Keuchel or rejuvenated legend Justin Verlander. Those are all good options, but the best player on the 2018 Astros — a club demonstrably better than the one that won last year’s World Series — has been a guy whose name is sometimes lost among the litany of stars on Houston’s roster: Alex Bregman.Out of all the potential candidates, it’s Bregman who is leading the Astros in wins above replacement,1Averaging together the WAR values found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. edging out Verlander by a couple tenths of a win. And he’s had to be that good, too, given some of the injuries his team has faced in its championship defense. Bregman’s MVP-caliber breakout is just what Houston needed to maintain (if not increase) its position as World Series front-runners — and it’s a testament to the franchise’s incredible talent pipeline. Although the Astros have already won a title and established themselves as an annual contender, they continue to get superstar performances from less-than-expected places.Bregman’s stellar 2018 campaign is the continuation of an ongoing development from top prospect (he was drafted second overall out of LSU in 2015) to big-league star. In just three MLB seasons, Bregman has nearly doubled his base-on-balls rate (from 6.9 percent as a rookie in 2016 to 12.8 percent this year) and halved his strikeout rate (from 24 percent to 12.6 percent), all while adding enough power to potentially clear 30 homers for the first time this season.2In fact, FanGraphs thinks he’ll end the year with exactly 30 bombs.In an age of ever-increasing strikeouts, Bregman has become the rare player who walks more than he whiffs, joining an elite club with Mike Trout and Jose Ramirez as power hitters who can make that claim. While he doesn’t crush the ball quite as hard as other WAR machines like Trout and Mookie Betts, Bregman’s tremendous strike-zone discipline helps him consistently get into advantageous counts — and punish pitchers when they do have to give him something to hit.Bregman is also surging at the right time. In addition to his heroics in the All-Star Game in July, he has a 1.030 on-base plus slugging since the beginning of June, which coincides with the Astros overtaking the surprising Seattle Mariners for first place in the AL West and building their lead to its current five-game state. Among team regulars over the past four weeks, Bregman has easily been Houston’s top hitter by OPS, and the Astros have otherwise struggled to hit (by their standards) over the same span, so it’s fair to say Bregman has rounded into peak form when Houston needed him most.Houston probably didn’t expect to lean so much on Bregman blossoming into a star this year. But it’s a nice luxury to get this kind of season from a guy who might not have been among their five best players a year ago. (He ranked sixth on the team in WAR last season.)The Astro who actually seemed poised for a monster year was Correa, after posting a couple of 5-WAR seasons before he even turned 23. Instead, he’s been limited by a back injury that has cost him 30 games and counting, with Bregman picking up the slack at shortstop in his stead. Correa is but one of a few underwhelming Astros this season, whether due to injuries or performance declines: Springer has taken a step back from his form of recent seasons (down from 4.8 WAR in 2017 to a 2.8-WAR pace3Pro-rated to 162 games. this year), Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Reddick haven’t hit as well as usual, and Altuve is currently on the disabled list with a knee ailment. Meanwhile, the team’s once-dominant bullpen trio of Will Harris, Chris Devenski and Ken Giles — the latter of whom blew up, was demoted and then traded at the deadline for Roberto Osuna (himself serving a suspension for domestic violence) — had a combined ERA of 4.47.Nobody is going to feel sorry for Houston, of course, but it’s impressive that the team has still managed to win at a blistering 102-win pace in spite of those potential setbacks.It hasn’t all been because of Bregman, of course. Verlander, Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole are each having Cy Young-caliber seasons atop Houston’s rotation, and Keuchel has been his usual steady self, too. Together, the Astros’ staff is enjoying a season for the ages. Toss in some solid work out of the bullpen by Brad Peacock, who has a 3.09 ERA as a do-everything reliever — plus, let’s face it, pretty good seasons from the usual suspects (even in “down” years) — and Bregman’s gotten plenty of help carrying the load for Houston.But that fact that Bregman now officially stands right alongside Altuve, Correa and that stacked starting rotation among the Astros’ signature stars has been an important development for the defending champs. In a ridiculously top-heavy 2018 American League (hello, Red Sox, Yankees and Indians!), Bregman’s breakout has helped Houston keep pace with the best the game has to offer, and it’s given them plenty of reason to envision another championship banner hanging in Minute Maid Park.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

NFL Coaches Are Going For Two More Than Ever It Took Them

Perhaps this is partly a knee-jerk reaction to the special-teams carnage on display in Week 2, when NFL kickers missed 19 total kicks between field goals and extra points. (Although it should be noted that, on the whole, kickers have made 95.3 percent of their extra-point tries this season, which is right in line with the past couple years — and an improvement over their 94.4 percent mark from 2015, the first year at the new distance.)But maybe a better explanation is the fact that two-point conversions are working really, really well so far this year. When teams go for two, they’ve gotten into the end zone 63.2 percent of the time, which easily tops the success rates from any other season since 2006.2The first season of ESPN’s detailed play-by-play data. Remember that if the baseline accuracy rate for a regular extra-point is roughly 95 percent, a two-point conversion needs to succeed only 47.5 percent of the time to break even. So at 63 percent, the decision to go for two practically becomes a no-brainer!Of course, sustaining that 63 percent conversion rate will be pretty much impossible going forward. Prior to 2018, the league hadn’t even cracked 50 percent in any season since 2012. But the way in which teams are finding the end zone on conversions might offer some path toward sustainability. Two-point passes are being converted at a rate of 56 percent, up from their post-2005 average of 45 percent. And an even bigger leap has happened on runs, albeit in a small sample of 11 plays: 82 percent of two-point rushing attempts have found paydirt this year, way up from the historical average of 54 percent.Statheads have been saying for years that running in short-yardage situations is more effective than passing, and teams across the league have been proving that decisively this season, whether lined up on the 2-yard line after a touchdown or just in the course of regular play. In what Football Outsiders defines as “power” situations — third or fourth down, with 2 or fewer yards to go — runners are picking up the first down (or touchdown) 75 percent of the time this year, 6 percentage points more than their previous high going back to 2006. And although they haven’t figured into many two-point conversions yet in 2018,3Dallas’s Dak Prescott is the only QB to try a two-point run this year. quarterbacks are driving much of that short-yardage success, picking up the first down more than 96 percent of the time when rushing in power situations this season. (Some teams, like the Saints with Taysom Hill, are employing certain QBs as rushing specialists, which could add intrigue to conversion tries down the line.)Throw in gadget plays like Cleveland’s co-opted “Philly Special” during the Browns’ Week 3 win over the Jets, and teams may be only scratching the surface of their potential on two-point conversions early this season. After a few years of tinkering under the new rules — and perhaps a newfound willingness to accept perceived risks, following the influence of aggressive play-callers such as the Eagles’ Doug Pederson — coaches are finally starting to see the benefits that a second point after a TD can bring. Who knows? Maybe it won’t be long before we have to retrain ourselves to count in increments of eight, not seven, while doing the mental math of football.Check out our latest NFL predictions. It may be long overdue, but it appears that the NFL has finally learned to stop worrying and love the two-point conversion. Or at least that’s the leaguewide trend through four weeks in 2018.Three full seasons have passed since the league moved its extra-point distance to the 15-yard-line, making kickers boot the ball 33 yards for a PAT instead of the old, nearly automatic 20-yard distance. But head coaches seem to be embracing the trade-off between kicking and going for two more than ever this season. After they eschewed the extra point 14 times on Sunday, coaches have now gone for it after 11.8 percent of their touchdowns so far,1Through Sunday’s games. which (according to Pro-Football-Reference.com) is the highest rate for the first four weeks of any NFL season since the 1970 AFL merger.That continues a trend that has been generally building since that 2015 rule change, and it reverses a slight downturn from 2017: read more

How I Became The Worst Player In Madden

Maybe you’re not into reading and you skipped our comprehensive breakdown of how EA Sports develops Madden ratings for 2,600 NFL players. Maybe you also passed on my story about what it took to get into the game and just how rough it would be for a normal person out on the NFL gridiron (even a virtual gridiron). We still have you covered with this short video produced by Paul DiNatale, Ryan Nantell and Patrick Smith on the whole process, from my grisly tryout to how I fared playing quarterback for the New York Giants.

Scouting Maryland A look at the 2015 Terrapins

Members of the Maryland Terrapins celebrate a touchdown on Nov. 15, 2014 at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. Credit: Courtesy of TNSIt’s been a bumpy start to the season for Maryland, and it does not look like it will level out any time soon. The Terrapins are sitting at 2-3 coming off back-to-back losses as they prepare to travel to Columbus on Saturday to take on top-ranked Ohio State.Here is a look at coach Randy Edsall’s team.Quarterback carouselIf you think the Buckeyes have had a complicated quarterback situation, think again.Maryland has reinvented what it means to have a quarterback controversy this season. It began during the offseason and has yet to subside.Redshirt junior Perry Hills won the three-way battle during fall camp and led the team to a season opening victory over Richmond — a Football Championship Subdivision program — but he was canned midway through Maryland’s disappointing loss to Bowling Green in favor of Caleb Rowe.The fellow redshirt junior stepped in and started the last three games for the Terrapins — a win over South Florida and back-to-back embarrassing losses against West Virginia and then-No. 22 Michigan — but struggled immensely.Rowe — who is dead last in passing efficiency among qualified quarterbacks — has thrown seven interceptions over the last two games, completed a harrowing 33 perecent of his passes and zero touchdowns. In the second half of both games, he was pulled for redshirt senior Daxx Garman.Sadly for Edsall, Garman hasn’t been able to stop the Terrapin ship from sinking.In his two relief appearances, the transfer from Oklahoma State has completed just six of 18 passes, has been sacked five times and tossed only one touchdown while also being picked off once.So which one of these underwhelming résumés will Edsall choose to start in Columbus?The coach said he does not even know, as he told reporters during his Sunday conference call that “everyone is in play.”In fact, Edsall stole a page from OSU coach Urban Meyer’s book, saying he might not announce his starter until Saturday at noon. As of Tuesday afternoon, Maryland’s depth chart lists all three as co-starters.However being on the road against the Buckeyes, it might not matter which of the three it is.No help on defenseWhen a team’s offense struggles, sometimes the defense bails it out by shutting down opponents. Just ask this year’s Buckeyes about it.Unfortunately for Maryland, the said scenario is not happening.The offense ranks 114th nationally and second-to-last in the Big Ten, just ahead of Penn State. Defensively, the Terrapins are not much better, as they are 109th in the country for total defense and second-to-last in the conference, narrowly ahead of Indiana.In its three losses, Maryland has given up point totals of 48, 45 and 28. Additionally, opponents are averaging 199 rushing yards per game.The lone bright spot for the Terrapin defense comes on the pass rush, as the unit is tied for fourth in the country with 19 sacks.But with the offense in a sizable slump — last week against Michigan it had only 105 yards — and the defense not being able to slow down opponents, victories appear like they will be hard to come by for Edsall’s Terrapins during conference play.Offensive line is innocentThe bad quarterbacking cannot be blamed on Maryland’s offensive line.The unit didn’t allow a sack in first three games and has let up just six overall — five of which have been when Garman was under center.Most of its success in pass protection can be attributed to experience.Redshirt junior left tackle Michael Dunn has started 30 consecutive games for Maryland, while redshirt senior right guard Andrew Zeller has appeared in 26 straight games — including 18 straight starts. Ryan Doyle, a redshirt senior, has a combined 31 starts at different positions on the O-line under his belt.The veteran presence these three provide has been valuable for the Maryland offense, despite its ineptitude in other areas.Mile-wide turnover marginIf turnovers have been slowing down OSU, then they have stopped Maryland.The Buckeyes have a turnover margin of minus-four — tying them for 101st in the country along with three other Big Ten teams (Minnesota, Nebraska and Purdue) — but the Terrapins are even further in the hole.Maryland has a turnover margin of minus-nine. Cincinnati is the only team with a greater deficit in the category.The Terrapins, however, do take the crown for most turnovers, as they have coughed up the pigskin 17 times — two more than Cincinnati and Florida Atlantic.With a defense as leaky as it is, the offense can’t afford to give opponents that many more offensive possessions, especially against the Buckeyes and the remainder of its conference foes.Beyond the BuckeyesAfter Saturday’s matchup versus OSU, Maryland will have a bye week before its scheduled contest against Penn State at home on Oct. 24. Kickoff time for that game is yet to be announced. read more

Cross country teams look to make mark at Big Ten Championships

The Big Ten Championship meet is vital to the men’s and women’s cross country teams’ chances of making the National Championship meet. After placing 11th at the Pre-National meet, the women’s team is looking forward to a strong finish this Sunday at the Big Ten Championship meet.“I think if we’re top five, we’ve got a good chance to get in [to the National Championships],” women’s coach Chris Neal said.The Buckeyes have not fared well at the Big Ten Championships the past six years. Their highest finish was eighth in 2003.The women’s team is led by senior Katie Williams and juniors Jordan Jennewine, Sarah Foster and Ellen Birmingham.The Buckeyes can achieve a top five finish “if we’re able to pack four in tight with the kind of four-headed monster we got up front with Jordan [Jennewine], Foster, Katie Williams and Ellen Birmingham and get the low points we need,” Neal said.The women’s team is ranked No. 4 in its region — up from No. 6,its rank prior to the Pre-National meet.“I think [the Pre-Nationals] gave us the confidence going into Big Tens to beat teams like Michigan State and Michigan who maybe were ahead of us at the Pre-National meet,” Foster said.The men’s team is hoping to bounce back after its performance at Pre-Nationals, in which it finished 22nd out of 35 teams.One of the reasons for the finish was illness. Coach Robert Gary said one player did not travel with the team and several others were feeling flu-like symptoms.“I’m fully healthy again and so are our other guys who were feeling a little sick,” senior Jeff See said. “We’ve been having great workouts.”For the team to have any chance at making the National Championship meet, it needs a strong finish at the Big Ten Championships.If the Buckeyes can finish ahead of higher ranked teams at the meet, such as Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Iowa, they could gain some points toward the National Championship meet.“We’re not trying to do all the math and figure out how many points we need and how well our team needs to do in order to qualify other than just being there on race day,” See said.The men’s team dropped to No. 8 in its region, down from No. 5, after the disastrous run at Pre-Nationals.The meets will be held Sunday at Penn State in State College, Pa. read more

Urban Meyer Ohio State focused on Wisconsin amid hopes of undefeated season

With a trip to Wisconsin looming on Saturday, Ohio State wide receiver Jake Stoneburner is well-aware of the challenge that is keeping alive an undefeated season for the Buckeyes football team. The reality of it all, though, might be simple. “10-0 is great but if you lose your last two, what’s 10-0 for ya?” Stoneburner said. “We want to end the season without a loss.” The latter of the redshirt senior’s comments are, obviously, easier said than done. OSU – which finished 6-7 in 2011 – is eight days from its first undefeated season since 2002. A chance at perfection, however, was dashed the last time the Buckeyes played at Camp Randall Stadium. In 2010, the then No. 1-ranked Buckeyes were overpowered, 31-18, at the hands of Wisconsin, effectively ending OSU’s chances at an unblemished record and national championship. Now, more than wo years later, the Buckeyes find themselves one of four undefeated teams remaining in major college football (Kansas State, Notre Dame, and Oregon are the others) and No. 6 in the Associated Press‘ top 25 poll. Still, Stoneburner said, OSU is getting the Rodney Dangerfield treatment. Are the Buckeyes getting the respect they deserve? “No, not really,” Stoneburner said bluntly. “You know, they talk about (other) teams that are 10-0 or even one-loss teams before they talk about us. I don’t know if that’s because we have a bowl ban or we’re not in the BCS rankings, we’re only in one rankings.” The Dublin, Ohio, native said he thinks a lot of it has to do with OSU’s bowl ban, which was handed down to the university following NCAA violations stemming from 2010. “I think if we were playing in a bowl game, we’d maybe get talked about a little more,” he said. “For being 10-0, I kind of think we’re getting the short end of the stick.” A perceived lack of respect, though, on the national stage likely isn’t something coach Urban Meyer is concerned with. The former Florida coach said Wednesday he hasn’t even had a chance to look back on the season yet, nor would he describe the grind of the season as “fun.” “I don’t know if fun’s the appropriate word. You don’t have the time to really enjoy it until you have a chance to sit back,” Meyer said. “When I do, I enjoy it, I guess (that) is more of a proper word. I enjoy being around these players and these coaches and obviously representing Ohio State.” Meyer said this week’s focus remains squarely on the Badgers. The Buckeyes, according to Meyer, need to be “gap sound” in order to handle the different formations that Wisconsin will almost certainly present on Saturday. “There’s a time there’s four (or) there’s six linemen in the game, and there’s four or five to one side and two to the other,” Meyer said regarding the Badgers’ offensive line. “There’s six on one side, two on the other at one time. Six linemen on the right, two on the left. And that’s fine if you get lined up. If you don’t get lined up you get embarrassed.” Meyer said OSU can do two things to try to neutralize Wisconsin’s offensive formations, though. “You got to get lined up first and No. 2, you gotta tackle,” he said. “It’s crazy the formations that you’ll see.” OSU is scheduled to face the Badgers at 3:30 p.m. at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. read more

Ohio State mens basketball preparing for stiff road test against Michigan State

For whatever reason you want to chalk up, Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas and Evan Ravenel seemed at ease taking questions from reporters at an otherwise mundane Friday press conference-even with a road trip to Michigan State looming. The two, though, wore wide grins for most of the session. Thomas even postulated the notion of what would happen if he and sophomore forward Sam Thompson combine their skill sets into one super player. “With my skills and his athleticism-man,” Thomas said, his eyes lit up at idea of such a thing. “It’d be crazy.” It seemed to establish the tone of the day which also saw Thomas assert that Thompson would be like Los Angeles Clippers standout Blake Griffin if he 20 pounds heavier. Maybe it was because they, and the rest of OSU’s No. 11-ranked men’s basketball team, notched their first win over a ranked opponent this season. Maybe it was because, in the process, they’d ridden themselves of the stigma that supposed them hapless against teams of their own athletic prowess. Maybe it was because said win was against then-No. 2 ranked and previously unbeaten Michigan. But like OSU (13-3, 3-1 Big Ten) coach Thad Matta, though, Thomas and Ravenel agreed that a win like that might be best served with a short-term memory. Anything less could be cause for concern against a Spartan team (15-3, 4-1 Big Ten) undefeated within the vaunted confines of the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich. And even as the power structure in the Big Ten has changed in recent years, Matta said MSU’s house of horrors is as intimidating as any other place to play in the country. “I’d say it’s still right there in terms of toughest venues to play in,” Matta said. “It’s a great college environment.” Ravenel said OSU’s toughness, inevitably, will be tested. “I think Michigan State is probably one of the most physical teams you’ll ever get to play against in college basketball,” he said. “And that’s a credit to their coaching staff.” A coaching staff that has essentially assembled a program that Matta said has stood the test of time. “They play a certain way,” he said. And while Matta said the Spartans would have “certain alterations” in their game plan against OSU like they would for any other opponent, there’s certain things that the Tom Izzo-coached teams do exceptionally well. “You’ve got a team that is solid, they’ve got guys that can shoot, they’ve got guys that can rebound, they’ve got a strong low post game,” he said. Defensively, Ravenel said the teams are, in fact, actually quite similar. “The way that Coach Izzo gets his guys playing physical, lockdown defense, it’s just the way we do. We play physical,” he said. Whichever team can play more physical might be the game’s crux. OSU is set to take on MSU Saturday at 6 p.m. in East Lansing, Mich. read more

Braxton Miller I was just having a little bit of fun rushing

Junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) runs the ball during a game against Indiana Nov. 23 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-14.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorWhether lined up as a quarterback or wide receiver, Ohio State junior quarterback Braxton Miller had no shortage of success running the ball against the Indiana defense in OSU’s 42-14 victory Saturday.“It would be hard for me to say that wasn’t the best he’s ever run that I’ve seen him play,” coach Urban Meyer said of Miller following the victory.On a day senior Carlos Hyde became the first running back to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season on a Meyer-coached team, it was Miller who stole the spotlight.Miller led the Buckeyes with 144 rushing yards on just 13 attempts, the third game in his OSU career in which he averaged more than 11 yards per carry.The quarterback ran for two touchdowns, and neither lacked theatrics.He accentuated his first scoring run, a 37-yard scamper, with a somersault flip into the end zone over the right front pylon.“I was just having a little bit of fun,” Miller said after the game.OSU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman did not find the end of Miller’s touchdown run as enjoyable.“He said he was just having fun out there, and I said, ‘Well, as long, you can have as much fun as you want, just don’t cost your team 15 yards,’” Herman said, who was worried about Miller picking up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the celebration.Miller’s second touchdown run came on a play Herman named “Jazzy,” which began with Miller lined up on the left side of the field as a wide receiver and redshirt-senior Kenny Guiton in his place at quarterback.Guiton started the play moving left toward Miller, but Miller came right on a reverse and took a pitch from Guiton. From there, Miller looked to pass but continued running forward and toward the right side of the field, capping the play by leaping and extending over a hit from a defender for a five-yard touchdown.“It’s a run/pass option and (the Indiana defense) covered the routes actually really good,” Herman said. “(Miller) has a run/pass option to throw it to (junior tight end Jeff) Heuerman or run it in himself … he did a hell of a job finding the end zone.”Meyer said he was “hoping (Miller) would throw it.”“He’s a great athlete,” Meyer said of Miller. “I’d rather him not do that, but do what he’s got to do. He played really well today.”It was important for the Buckeyes to have success from multiple rushing threats Saturday, as OSU went with a run-heavy game plan on a snowy, windy day at Ohio Stadium.“I went out there in pregame warmups and (the weather) was certainly affecting a lot of the throws,” Herman said. “When Mother Nature tells you ‘Don’t throw the football,’ you better listen to her, because she’s pretty demanding when it comes to that.”Still, on a day the Buckeyes ran the ball 39 times and only had 17 passing attempts, Miller completed 11 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns.Miller earned praise from Herman for three downfield throws that went for 25 yards or more: a 39-yard touchdown completion to junior wide receiver Devin Smith on a post route across the middle of the end zone, and two deep completions on seam routes by Heuerman for 34 and 25-yard gains.“Three unbelievable throws that stick out,” Herman said.Overall, Miller accounted for more than 64 percent of OSU’s total offense Saturday.Miller’s game was not without its mistakes, though. He had two fumbles, one of which was recovered by Indiana freshman defensive tackle Darius Latham for a takeaway. He also had a pass tipped in the backfield by Hoosiers’ redshirt-sophomore cornerback Michael Hunter and intercepted by redshirt-senior safety Greg Heban.“We got to protect the football better at our position,” Herman said. “I did a poor job of coaching him on that corner blitz that got tipped and intercepted, but the two fumbles from our position are certainly unacceptable.”Overall, however, Herman said Miller has been playing the best football of his OSU career “by far” this season.“(Miller) took a little step back against Illinois, didn’t have his greatest game, but I got asked if that was a cause for concern after that game and I said, ‘As long as it’s not a pattern,’” Herman said. “He prepared really, really well this week and played his you-know-what off, and yeah, I’m proud of him.”Miller only played one series in OSU’s second game against San Diego State and missed the next two games after suffering a sprained MCL in his left knee. In nine games, Miller has completed 67.7 percent of his passing attempts for 1,626 yards, 19 touchdowns and four interceptions, while he has also rushed for 738 yards and five touchdowns.“He’s a freak,” junior defensive tackle Michael Bennett said. “He’s really developed as a passer this year, which was great to see because everyone knows his run threat. But you see him making passes that a lot of people can’t make, and I feel like he’s really starting to develop into that role of an NFL quarterback.”Statistically, Miller’s last two games against Illinois and Indiana have been his lowest passing outputs of the season in terms of yards, with the exception of the San Diego State game, in which he only attempted two passes before leaving with injury. But in those two games, he has rushed for the same combined number of rushing yards, 328, as he had in his first five games back from injury.“Good to see Braxton back out there looking like Braxton,” Hyde said. “I love to watch Braxton running the ball. He’s a very exciting player. Any minute, he can break off that long one or make somebody look silly, and it was exciting to be able to watch him.”Miller will look to continue making big plays, and the Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) will be looking to extend their school-record win streak to 24, when they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to play Michigan (7-4, 3-4) Saturday. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. read more

Ohio State mens lacrosse knocks off Johns Hopkins 1512

OSU junior attackman Carter Brown (14) scored six goals in the Buckeyes’ 15-12 win against Johns Hopkins on March 5 at Ohio Stadium.Credit: Courtesy of OSU athleticsFor the first time ever, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team defeated the nine-time NCAA Champions Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, 15-12, Sunday night at Ohio Stadium.“Awesome,” was the first word senior David Planning could muster to describe his team’s performance.“When you beat a team like that as a senior, at home, there’s no greater feeling in the world,” Planning said.Hopkins (4-6, 1-1) struck first with two early goals, but that proved to be the Blue Jays’ largest lead of the game. OSU (9-3, 2-0) registered goals from five different players, but all signs pointed to junior attackman Carter Brown.With Brown playing at the “X,” he found the back of the cage six separate times with five of those goals coming from behind-net wrap arounds.“It starts with the guys up top beating their guys. If the defense slides and starts to rotate, that makes my job really easy. I just make gains and come hard across the goal,” Brown said.But Carter was not the only Brown finding success on the field. For Johns Hopkins, junior Ryan Brown scored eight goals against the Buckeyes with one assist, giving him nine total points on the night.The game was tied nine different times as the Buckeyes struggled to pull away. But OSU redshirt-sophomore goaltender Tom Carey registered 14 saves to lead the Buckeyes’ defense.“The offense played great tonight. As a defense we didn’t play our best, but the offense had our back the whole game,” Carey said.Coach Nick Myers agreed that the OSU defense wasn’t at its best, but said he was still happy about how his team played overall.“Defensively, we knew we were going to have our hands full but I was proud of the way we fought for 60 minutes and ultimately came away with the victory,” Myers said.The win provided a lift for the Buckeyes after they fell to the Blue Jays in triple overtime last season.This time around, the OSU offense found its groove and scored more than 10 goals against Johns Hopkins for the first time in the program’s history.“We’ve been battling all week practicing so hard, but really it all starts in the back and Carey played awesome back there. We had (senior midfielder) Chris May winning faceoffs which gave us the possession, offense was just playing really simple and fast,” Brown said.Though OSU totalled 15 goals from five different players, Planning had arguably the highlight goal of the night at 13:06 in the second quarter. Sophomore attackman JT Blubaugh fed the outlet pass to Planning, who used a split dodge to beat two Hopkins defenders before rifling a shot to the back of the net.But for Planning, the night was about his teammates and the Buckeyes winning their second game in the Big Ten.“This is a whole team win, we had goals spread out throughout the entire team,” Planning said. “We are a team first and foremost. I’m so proud of what we have accomplished.”With two conference games behind them, Myers said the Buckeyes have to focus on what’s ahead.“For our men, the most important thing is to think about how to get better and get win number three next week. There will be a time to reflect on the season, but right now it’s time to get back, get our rest and improve as we head north for the weekend,” Myers said.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Michigan Wolverines on Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich., at 2 p.m. read more

Playing the bagpipes daily could be fatal warn doctors

first_imgThere have been other reported cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, arising in trombone and saxophone players, say the doctors.In 2013, bagpiper John Shone spent four weeks in hospital with pneumonia brought on by a fungus which colonised inside his instrument which he had neglected to clean for 18 months.The doctors warn that any type of wind instrument could be contaminated with yeasts and moulds, making players susceptible to the risk of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.Although there is no official guidance on the optimal hygiene regime, cleaning instruments immediately after use and allowing them to drip dry could theoretically curb the risk of microbe growth, they suggest.But bagpipers claim the risk is minimal and say more cases would have come to light if it was a common problem. Penicillin was found to be growing in the bagpipe bag  Ian Clabburn, chairman of The Bagpipe Society, said: “This type of story – infections from bagpipe bags – comes up from time to time, but this is the first report I have come across that identifies potential culprits. “There are huge numbers of highland pipers in the world, many in organisations such as the military, which may have noticed a correlated trend in lung disease over the last 150 years. I am not aware of any such being recorded.“The blowpipe is fitted with a non-return valve, which although not perfect, should minimise back infection. “Bagpipe bags are usually leather and therefore porous.  This lets moisture out, so the bag will dry unless it is stored badly.“Most modern bagpipes are also treated with a seasoning which makes the bag airtight but also often contains an antifungal agent.”The research was published in the journal Thorax. When the unnamed man was first diagnosed in 2009 doctors were puzzled by his condition because he was not a pigeon fancier, his house contained no mould or signs of water damage and he had never smoked.However, he played the bagpipes daily, and when his condition improved when he left his pipes at home during a three-month visit to Australia doctors believed they had found the cause.Samples were taken from several areas inside the bagpipes, including the bag, the neck, and the chanter reed protector and were found to contain six types of mould and fungi.It is thought the that the moist conditions inside the bag allowed mould and fungi to grow, which was then inhaled by the man who experienced breathlessness and eventually could not walk more than 20 yards. Despite treatment, the man died recently and a post mortem examination revealed extensive lung damage consistent with acute respiratory distress syndrome including lung tissue scarring.“This is the first case report identifying fungal exposure, from a bagpipe player, as a potential trigger for the development of hypersensitivity pneumonitis,” said Dr Jenny King, of Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester.“Many of the isolated fungi in this case have previously been implicated in the development of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Playing the bagpipes could be deadly, scientists have warned, after a man died from continually breathing in mould and fungus trapped in the instrument.Doctors in Manchester have identified the condition “bagpipe lung” following the death of a 61-year-old man from chronic inflammatory lung condition hypersensitivity pneumonitis.The condition is triggered by the immune system’s response to an inhaled environmental irritants and is often associated with exposure to feathers and bird droppings. “The moist environment of bagpipes promotes yeast and mould contamination, thereby making the chronic inhalation of offending antigens a likely trigger.“The clinical history of daily bagpipe playing, coupled with marked symptomatic improvement when this exposure was removed, and the identification of multiple potential precipitating antigens isolated from the bagpipes, make this the likely cause.”center_img Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is normally associated with pigeon fanciers  Mould was found to be growing in the bagpipe bag  Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is normally associated with pigeon fanciers  The moist environment of bagpipes promotes yeast and mould contamination, thereby making the chronic inhalation of offending antigens a likely triggerDr Jenny King Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Marmite advertised on eBay for £70 during Marmitegate

first_imgThe seller says Marmite is ‘getting very rare’Credit:eBay  This user is hoping to get £50 for the used squeezy bottle of MarmiteThere have been no bids on it as of yet – probably because some shops still stock Marmite. Credit:eBay eBay eBay “I believe it is around 50% full. “I am very sorry to see this go but thought as Marmite is getting so much publicity and may well disappear from our shelves that I would cash in.”And someone is selling used Marmite which is past its sell-by dateIt is not recommended you buy someone else’s used Marmite.  The seller wrote: ” One genuine “jar” (albeit plastic) of Marmite.  Please note that although it is used it is the squeezy variety and therefore does not have any buttery or crumby residue.  Always stored in a cool dark place.  Use by date is Jan 2018 so plenty of life left in it.  Originally purchased from Tesco online although I am sorry to say I do not have the documentation to prove this as it went into recycling.   People are advertising Marmite at extortionate prices on eBay, either trying to pull a prank on the public or make a quick buck off the back of ‘Marmitegate’.Unilever pulled its products from Tesco after disputes over a proposed price hike.Since then, buyers have been unable to purchase popular brands such as Ben and Jerry’s, Persil, Pot Noodle and Hellmann’s online, and the shop shelves have been emptying fast.Now, pranksters and would-be-entrepreneurs on eBay are trying to make money during what has been dubbed ‘Marmageddon’.This seller says Marmite is ‘getting very rare’ and selling for £15Proceed with caution on this listing, although 15 people are ‘watching’ the item, the seller has used a stock photograph of Marmite rather than the real thing. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Credit:eBay Marmitecenter_img eBay The seller says Marmite is 'getting very rare'  This jar says it is giving half the profit to Children in Need And also claims Marmite is ‘sold out in Tesco and Asda’. eBay Credit:eBay Credit:eBay Someone is selling this tiny sachet for £15 And 30 people an hour are looking at the product. £15 for 8g is quite extortionate, however.  This listing is slightly more reasonable, at £9.99However, going to a different supermarket to find Marmite would not set you back this much. Credit:eBaylast_img read more

False news stories about schools and teachers shared by thousands

first_imgFalse claims against schools and teachers are being published on hoax news websites and shared on social media, threatening to ruin careers and reputations.Teachers and parents are growing increasingly concerned over the sites, which allow users to published false stories in a news format which are then being shared thousands of times on other social media sites.In one case a false article claimed that a teacher had sex with a pupil and had taken selfies of the incident after it happened.The story was subsequently shared over 73,000 times on social media and included a picture of the school building.Head teachers at the targeted schools said many parents and pupils had believed the hoax stories.One head teacher said that dealing with the aftermath of a false report took up to 20 hours a week.In another incident false news articles had reported that a teacher from Bridge Learning Campus, Bristol, had kidnapped a pupil.Keziah Featherstone, head of the school, said that children as young as eight had seen and believed the story.She told the Times Educational Supplement (TES) that dealing with the aftermath had required up to 20 hours work a week and that the schools receptionists had been “taking calls from parents and children, who didn’t understand it was a prank.” Head teachers have also had to deal with false news stories claiming schools had been shut due to gas leaks or had been “set on fire”.The growing concern comes after Facebook and other social media networks were criticised for publishing fake news on their platforms, widely thought to have helped Donald Trump win the US presidential election.Andrew Minchin, head of Robert Napier School in Gillingham, Kent, said it was essential that schools responded by acting quickly to tackle false online reports.He said his school had been subject to two hoax news stories; the first, published on Bonfire night, claimed that part of it had been set on fire, while a second article reported the school’s closure due to a burst pipe.Mr Minchin told The Telegraph: “It was crucial that the school addressed the social media hoax news article as it had left some parents misinformed about whether the school was open.  “We had to contact parents over a weekend at the end of a half term holiday to ensure that students attended school as normal the following day    “These news articles have a very real look to them and in our case reached 50,000 people.”The same story was also published about nearby The Thomas Aveling School in Rochester.Paul Jackson, head teacher at the school, said: “A post was put up on Facebook to say the school was closed for a month due to a gas leak.”We were made aware of it by a parent and we quickly communicated with all parents that this was not true through our own website, Facebook page and emails to all.”To upload a news story on the hoax news websites users fill out an online form which is then published on the site and can be shared instantly to social media.The sites invite users to “create false news and prank your friends” and “share them on social networks!” but both add that “any bullying, racist, homophobic or pornographic jokes are prohibited”.Mr Minchin said: “Our experience shows there is no verification process from the news provider and, as such, they can be malicious in nature.  “Our job as teachers is to educate the next generation of students to have the skills to check whether news stories come from reputable news providers and to always question the validity of what they read.” Pupils are sharing false news stories about their schools to thousands of social media usersCredit:Alamy Pupils are sharing false news stories about their schools to thousands of social media users Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Council tries to tape off the sea to stop Christmas bathers having

first_imgA Christmas Day swimmer skips out of the cold waters on Brighton beach A “nanny state” council are trying to stop Christmas bathers from having a festive dip due to health and safety concerns by taping off parts of a beach.Every year hundreds of swimmers jump in the sea on Christmas morning, but the local council want to put an end to the tradition.Brighton and Hove City Council in East Sussex announced it will take measures to try and prevent one of the city’s most famous Christmas traditions over fears swimmers will get hypothermia. The authority’s seafront officers are urging residents and visitors to stay away from the water this winter by closing access to the beaches around Brighton Pier.Concerns have been raised that the recent mild weather had drawn more people onto the beaches with many getting dangerously close to the crashing waves.Bosses also fear bathers will think the water is warmer than it is and could easily die from the plunging body temperatures. A Christmas Day swimmer skips out of the cold waters on Brighton beachCredit:EPA/ANDY RAIN I don’t think anybody will take any notice, you cannot fence off the beach, you cannot stop people going inJohn Kapp Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img But the council insists that even on an apparently clear sunny day, the sea temperature can drop body temperature so quickly it can have deadly results and only takes a few minutes for the body’s core temperature to drop by two degrees and for the onset of hypothermia to begin.Chris Ingall, seafront operations manager for Brighton City Council, said: “The continuing mild weather has meant that, as with last year, the seafront has been much busier than in previous winters.”It’s been great to see so many people enjoying a stroll on the promenade and its good news for seafront businesses, but we would ask people to stay on the path or high up on the beach, especially when the sea conditions are rough.”Sea swimming takes skill, stamina and knowledge of the physical dangers and should only be for the very experienced, using suitable wetsuits, in very calm conditions and with a friend.”Even on a calm day sea currents, undertow or a sudden change in weather can create life threatening hazards without warning. Even experienced swimmers can get caught out.” Members of the public head into the freezing sea for the annual Brighton Swimming Club Christmas Day swimCredit:Chris Ison/PA But health campaigner and sea swimmer John Kapp has hit back saying the council’s approach was misguided and unlikely to succeed.The 81-year-old said he put his own good health down to the invigorating qualities of a dip in the sea whatever the season.Mr Kapp said: “I would say that’s a stupid idea, I would say that is counter-productive to health.”More than 300 years ago a doctor said sea swimming was beneficial to health and it’s the reason the Prince Regent came here.”I don’t think anybody will take any notice, you cannot fence off the beach, you cannot stop people going in.”This is the nanny state, they should have better things to do.” Members of the public head into the freezing sea for the annual Brighton Swimming Club Christmas Day swimlast_img read more

Wanted £45anhour cleaners must work naked and only women may apply

first_imgOwner Laura Smith said she had the idea after a nudist asked if he could be naked while she cleaned for him.The majority who use the service are nudists, she said.”We started in London two years ago and it’s proved really popular, so we’re expanding. We’ve had quite a lot of female interest for this kind of work.”It’s a service for the nudist community. We are a cleaning company. There’s nothing sexual about the business at all.”The majority of our clients are nudists. I must stress that the cleaners are completely nude. They clean properly, they are not pretending.”So the client is getting the benefit of a nice experience and a professional clean for an hour or for however much is paid for.”The company is believed to take a cut of up to £20 per hour. A cleaning company is offering £45 an hour for women who are prepared to work naked.London-based Naturist Cleaners is recruiting female staff “of all ages and figures” to clean private houses across the UK while wearing just slippers and gloves.Clients – the majority of whom are nudists, according to the agency – are charged £65 for the first hour and £55 for each hour after, and must agree to a strict “no touch” and no pictures or video policy.The company said it offers three services: with the client nude, with the cleaner nude, or both. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Police uncover YouTube link to London terror attack

first_imgCounter-terrorism officers secretly recorded an alleged Isil-inspired terror cell in Barking last month discussing how to use YouTube to plot a van and knife attack in London, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.The investigators were monitoring the alleged extremist cell in the east London borough weeks before Saturday night’s attack in the capital, which left seven dead and 48 injured. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack.On Sunday police arrested 12 people, among them seven women – all of them in Barking and other parts of east London, where at least one of Saturday’s killers was believed to have lived. Those arrested were aged from 19 to 60.Three terrorists shouting “This is for Allah” as they stabbed at their victims were killed by police just eight minutes after the alarm was raised shortly after 10pm on Saturday. Officers revealed that they fired an “unprecedented” 50 bullets at the attackers, who wore fake suicide belts to maximise panic and fear. Now The Daily Telegraph has learnt that police had been monitoring an extremist cell in that area since March.Theresa May declared “enough is enough” as she set out her plan to tackle terrorism. “We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are,” she said.Addressing the nation from outside Downing Street after the second terrorist attack during the election campaign, the Prime Minister said that internet companies had allowed terror to thrive by creating a “safe space” for extremism and called for international agreements to “regulate cyberspace”. Theresa May said that internet companies had allowed terror to thrive Armed police stand guard near Borough Market Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mrs May said Britain had been too tolerant of Islamist extremism, 
allowing copycat killers to repeat atrocities in the wake of the Westminster and Manchester attacks.An unnamed friend of one of the terrorists claimed he had reported the man to the police anti-terrorist hotline after he became radicalised by watching extremist videos on YouTube. He said the attacker had listened to hate speeches by the infamous American Islamist Ahmad Musa Jibril.A neighbour of one of the suspected attackers claimed she had reported him to Barking police two years ago, after he began “brainwashing” her children at a local park. She said she had confronted him after her two children came home and said “Mummy I want to become a Muslim.”In other developments: Stories of heroism during the terrorist attacks emerged, including a policeman who was stabbed in the face and head as he tackled the killers armed only with his baton; Donald Trump said it was time to “stop being politically correct” about terrorism; The first victim of the attack was named as Canadian Chrissy Archibald, who had moved to Europe to be with her fiancé Police disclosed they had accidentally shot and injured a member of the public as they fired on the terrorists; It emerged Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) had urged followers to ramp up attacks during the holy month of Ramadan, which finishes on June 24; A tribute concert in Manchester for the victims of last month’s suicide bombing went ahead as planned.Police confirmed that three men drove at speed across London Bridge in a hired van, knocking down pedestrians, before leaving the vehicle at nearby Borough Market and marauding through bars and restaurants stabbing and slashing indiscriminately at victims. One of the terrorists reportedly shouted “this is for my family, this is for Islam” as he plunged a knife into a 23-year-old victim who is now in hospital. In the recent surveillance operation in Barking last month one suspected jihadist discussed what appears to be an identical plot. Election campaigning by the Conservatives and Labour was suspended for most of Sunday as a mark of respect but resumed in the evening and Thursday’s polling will go ahead as planned.Mrs May said “violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process”. Security at polling stations is 
expected to be increased on Thursday, and Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said there would be “increased physical measures” on London’s bridges to protect the public.The Prime Minister is expected to chair a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee this morning. The terrorist threat level remains at severe. The Daily Telegraph has discovered that one alleged suspect said the intended method was to “use a car as a weapon” and boasted that he had radicalised more than a dozen “students” in Barking “wanting to martyr themselves”.He said the plot would involve driving at pedestrians and then getting out of the vehicle to attack others. He added: “YouTube videos all make it properly easy to do.”One of the plotters talked about “getting an automatic [vehicle] so the boys can drive it”.A neighbour of one of the men shot dead by police on Saturday said he had asked him about where he could hire an automatic van, during a conversation when the neighbour was using a hire van to move furniture.center_img Material connected to the alleged plotters who were being tracked last month included pages from the Islamist magazine Ramiyah, which suggest that easy “prey” include “a drunken kafir [non-believer]”.In a statement released 24 hours after the killings on its official Amaq media channel, Isil said the three suspects had been part of a “sleeper cell”.It said: “A security unit of Islamic State fighters carried out the London attacks yesterday.” It is the third attack in Britain the terror group has claimed in as many months. Isil had called on its supporters in Europe to carry out attacks on “infidels” during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Armed police stand guard near Borough MarketCredit:Andy Rain /EPA “Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. We must come together, we must pull together, and united we will take on and defeat our enemies.” The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre decided not to increase it to critical, the highest level, which happened after the Manchester suicide bombing last month. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, explained that “we don’t believe there are additional elements which could be carrying on the attack”, in other words the police believe all members of the cell are accounted for.Mrs May praised the “courage and great speed” with which the emergency services responded. She said: “On behalf of the people of London and on behalf of the whole country, I want to thank and pay tribute to the professionalism and bravery of the police and the emergency services, and the courage of members of the public who defended themselves and others from the attackers.”Mrs May said the country was “experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism and perpetrators are inspired to attack, not only on the basis of carefully constructed plots after years of planning and training, and not even as lone 
attackers radicalised online, but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack”.She went on: “Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. We are all shocked and angry today – but this is our city. We will never let these cowards win and we will never be cowed by terrorism. pic.twitter.com/kcosumkdCR— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 4, 2017 Theresa May said that internet companies had allowed terror to thriveCredit:KEVIN COOMBS/Reuters Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, told Londoners that there would be 
extra police officers on the streets but that they should not be “alarmed”.President Trump appeared to have misinterpreted his advice, saying on Twitter: “We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don’t get smart it will only get worse.“At least seven dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” The men under surveillance are also said to have talked about attacking a bridge – in their case Westminster Bridge – and going to the gym to make their arms more powerful and therefore more lethal when using knives. Neighbours said the London Bridge attack suspect was a keen gym user.last_img read more

Lord Buckethead Mr Fishfinger and Elmo among those photobombing main candidates

first_imgMr FishFinger is the hero this country needs, true hero. pic.twitter.com/Op1M4XsKRG— Alex Taylor (@AlexTaylor_8) June 9, 2017 249! A new Buckethead record! Something to celebrate, eh? #GeneralElection17 pic.twitter.com/cCx7Utc8EL— Lord Buckethead (@LordBuckethead) June 9, 2017  Americans unused to the British tradition of strange joke candidates were confused as to why Lord Buckethead was standing behind Theresa May in Maidenhead.He got a few hundred votes too, but it was difficult to tell whether he was pleased as he was wearing full face covering.The candidate, whose real name is unknown, won 249 votes in the Kent constituency. That candidate in the middle (running against Theresa May) is called “Lord Buckethead”. God bless you, British politics. pic.twitter.com/8w8cWkfJOO— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) June 9, 2017 Mrs May, by contrast, won 37,718 – or 64.76 per cent of the vote. Nevertheless, Lord Buckethead celebrated the result as “A new Buckethead record!”He proudly informed his 2,000 Twitter followers that he is an “intergalactic space lord, running to be an independent member of parliament for Maidenhead.” Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron, the leaders of the three main parties, were photobombed by rival candidates during their victory speeches.A joke candidate, Mr Fish Finger, mocked Lib Dem leader Tim Farron throughout the campaign, and brought down the gravity of the occasion as he made faces behind Mr Farron during his victory speech.He seemed pleased that he got just over 400 votes, tweeting: “Absolutely shattered walking back to hotel for a few hours in the freezer then off to London in the afternoon thanks everyone”. Jeremy Corbyn was photobombed in a less fun way – the Ukip candidate behind him mouthed he was a “terrorist sympathiser” as the Labour leader celebrated his massive win in Islington North. Non entity UKIP candidate @MrKeithFraser mouthing ‘Terrorist Sympathiser’ behind @jeremycorbyn’s back in Islington. pic.twitter.com/5zV1jwOKtY— Andy Heaton (@Andrew_Heaton) June 9, 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Great Ormond Street wants Charlie Gard moved to hospice to die by

first_imgThe judge extended a deadline until noon on Thursday for Charlie’s parents – Miss Yates and Chris Gard – to find a paediatric intensive care team that could look after the little boy around the clock.Last night, Miss Yates made a desperate plea for a specialist doctor to come forward. She wrote on Facebook: “URGENT we need a paediatric intensive care consultant to come forward to assist and facilitate with a hospice stay by 12pm tomorrow, we will pay privately. Please only email if you can help us! We need some peaceful time with our baby boy.” Connie Yates arriving at the High Court on Tuesday afternoonCredit:Carl Court/Getty Connie Yates, mother of terminally-ill 11-month-old Charlie Gard, arrives at the GOSH had pushed for Charlie’s final days not to be dragged out. Charlie’s parents, who live in Bedfont, west London, withdrew an application on Monday seeking to have the little boy, who suffers from a rare genetic syndrome, transferred to a hospital in New York for experimental therapy. Fiona Paterson, GOSH’s barrister, told the court earlier: “It is the view of the clinical team we need to press ahead and transfer Charlie to a hospice by no later than Friday. It is simply unacceptable if this drags on another week. It is a strain on everyone involved to allow this to carry on. It is simply for no gain.”She said the transfer to the hospice should take place by Friday morning.At the start of another difficult court hearing, the parents’ barrister, Grant Armstrong, offered a glimmer of hope after a “doctor who has previous experience as a surgeon in intensive care” had come forward to provide the care for Charlie at home or at a hospice for a number of days. But the court discovered that the doctor, who cannot be named, turned out to be a GP with “no experience of intensive care medicine”. Connie Yates, Charlie Gard’s mother, arrives at the High Court on Wednesday afternoonCredit:DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP “I do want to deal with the notion this issue is being dealt with by a judge because we have socialised medicine in this country,” he said, explaining his role was to decide what was best for Charlie because the hospital and his parents were in dispute. “The notion the state is involved because we have a national health service is pure nonsense,” he added. Connie Yates A family friend accused Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) of making it too difficult to put a team in place.The friend said: “The hospital have set the bar so high that in terms of the clinical team for Charlie’s end of life nothing seemed good enough for GOSH. “It is extraordinarily sad that there’s been so much fuss about him dying at home. Connie and Chris have conceded a hospice but it was not their first choice. They will be devastated they have not been granted their final wishes as parents.”The precise timing of Charlie’s final hours were discussed at a hearing held behind closed doors because of the sensitivity. The judge made an order – the details of which were kept secret – that gives the precise deadline for Charlie’s removal from GOSH and the length of time he can remain in a hospice before his ventilator tube is removed. Charlie Gard is expected to be removed from the care of Great Ormond Street Hospital and taken to a hospice to die by Friday, the High Court has been told.Charlie’s mother Connie Yates broke down in court after being told her final wish for her 11-month-old son, that he be allowed to spend a week at home before his death, had been turned down.“What if that was your child?” she sobbed before saying: “I cannot be in the same room as him” possibly in reference to the judge. She then stormed out.Mr Justice Francis ruled today that Charlie could be taken to a hospice, where he would spend a few hours before his life support is switched off. Nurses from GOSH had also volunteered their services but without specialist consultants in place, the judge ruled that Charlie could not be kept on a ventilator for days outside the hospital.Mr Justice Francis also took a swipe at the American Right, which has been using the case to claim universal healthcare had failed Charlie. Show more Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Van Goghs five Sunflowers united for first time as Facebook breaks gallery

first_img“In terms of exhibition organising, works by Van Gogh are always really difficult to obtain because they mean an awful lot to the visitors of a museum who often come thousands of miles to see them. “There are two reasons.“First, they are fragile works, and for conservation reasons they either cannot travel at all or are only allowed to in very exceptional circumstances.”Secondly, they are probably the most popular paintings in all the galleries that own them, so the owning institutions are very reluctant to allow them to leave.”Susan Foister, deputy director of the National Gallery, said: “To get them all together physically would be pretty challenging and might take quite a long time.“The fact that you can actually bring them together digitally was a solution that really appealed to us, particularly just now with all the experimenting we’ve started to do with Facebook and virtual reality.  Sunflowers 1888  Sunflowers 1888Credit:National Gallery, London Virtual Reality, used here in a Sotheby’s art exhibition Virtual Reality, used here in a Sotheby's art exhibition For art lovers, it would be something of a holy grail: five of Van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings exhibited together, for the first time.In more than a century, no curator has managed to assemble them in the same room, with the sometimes fragile works scattered around the world and too important for galleries to lend.To break that stalemate, and in acknowledgment that the paintings will likely never be united in real life, the National Gallery has announced the next best thing: a “virtual exhibition” on Facebook Live. On Monday, they will be exhibited on Facebook in live relay, with expert curators giving a 15 minute tour of each work before handing over to the next gallery.Martin Bailey, Van Gogh expert, said the paintings had never been seen together since they left the artist’s family. Then, people queued around the gallery to see the two paintings side by side.Realising the public appetite, the National Gallery launched a project to unite their Sunflower co-owners around the world. In addition to the live broadcast, it will also be hosting a virtual reality version of the gallery, in which digital visitors can see the five paintings hanging together in one room.Willem van Gogh, the great-grandson of Theo, is narrating. He said: “Rather like the ‘Mona Lisa’ and ‘The Night Watch’, Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ are works of art that continue to intrigue and inspire, perhaps into eternity. Sunflowers, 1888 Credit:Neue Pinakothek Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Sunflowers, 1888  “Indeed, each generation forges a fresh, highly personal bind with them. The virtual gallery and live stream now provide a novel way for art lovers, young and old, to admire these magnificent masterpieces, from all corners of the globe. I think this is fantastic.” The gallery’s deputy director said it would likely be the only opportunity for people to see the paintings together in their lifetime, adding it was “absolutely unbeatably exciting”.The five paintings are currently hanging in galleries across three continents, from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Neue Pinakothek in Munich and the Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art, Tokyo. The National Gallery will be one of five contributors The National Gallery will be one of five contributors “That’s often the case with great works of art, particularly with works by Van Gogh, and Sunflowers above all.”Asked whether the Facebook live is likely to be the only opportunity for members of the public to see all five works together in their lifetimes, she added: “Absolutely. This is why it’s such a tremendous event.”The project, coordinated by the National Gallery, was inspired after a blockbuster exhibition in 2014 in which the Van Gogh Museum loaned its Sunflowers. Van Gogh had been unable to sell any of the Sunflowers during his lifetime, with the paintings passing to his brother Theo after his death and then to Theo’s wife Jo Bonger.She in turn sold off four of the paintings from 1891 to 1924, keeping one, which is now at the Van Gogh Museum, in the family.Bailey, author of The Sunflowers are Mine: The Story of Van Gogh’s Masterpiece [Frances Lincoln], said: “The five Sunflowers in the Facebook presentation have never been exhibited together – and they never will.  Vincent van Gogh, Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear. 1889 The paintings were created in 1888/9 in Arles, in the South of France. Two other known versions of the Sunflowers will be missing from the show: one which was destroyed by fire in 1945, and another in a private collection which has not been exhibited since 1948.The Van Gogh Sunflowers Facebook relay will broadcast from August 14 at 5.50pm.  Vincent van Gogh, Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear. 1889last_img read more

BBC weather is severe disappointment which sacrifices UK for Europe veteran forecaster

first_imgWeather forecast in 2010 Bill Giles, the forecaster Bill Giles, the forecaster Previously, weather graphics were provided by Metra Weather. They are now produced by the BBC and Meteogroup.A spokesman for the BBC said: “BBC Weather has a more realistic map which presenters can customise by adding different layers of data to tell the most relevant weather story, as well as zooming in to areas of interest to give a more detailed forecast.”Towns and city names on the maps are a reference point for audiences and we will aim to ensure that most locations are represented over a period of time.”In addition, the temperature colours are now accessible for colour blindness, unlike the suggested blocks of colour by Mr Giles.”Before the launch of the new services we talked to audiences at length to pinpoint the best possible improvements and we are confident that overall people will appreciate the new features.” “Specifically, the BBC’s new weather forecasts, which I have to say, are as disappointing as a downpour in high summer.“If a weather forecast is supposed to give you a clear idea of what might be in store tomorrow, then the new weather maps, with their state-of- the-art graphics, are a severe disappointment.”Spelling out the difficulties he had experience, he said: “For a start the UK map appears a lot smaller on screen now.“You may be able to see much further east into Europe (almost to Stockholm, in fact), but if you want to know what is going on in, say, Southampton, near where I live, then you have your work cut out.”He added that while some people liked the background colour, he found it “impossible to detect” the difference between cloud and sunshine on screen and does not “for the life of me” understand why night time images have lights on. Low temperatures shown with a blue line Weather forecast in 2010 Low temperatures shown with a blue line Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The habit of highlighting sub zero temperatures with a thin blue line underneath would leave viewers “staring very hard at the screen” to decipher, he said.Regional broadcasts can be even worse, he added, with the old weather maps “better” and “more fit for purpose”.Advising viewers to tune in to Channel 5 instead, praising its “clear graphics”, Giles told the magazine: “Has the BBC’s move away from the Met Office to an independent company ‘to secure the best value for money for the licence payers’ been a success? “I think not.“However, the long-range outlook for BBC viewers need not be gloomy. If you want to see what the weather has in store, try watching the other side instead.” The BBC’s new weather forecasts are “severe disappointment” which diminish the size of Britain to show more of Europe, veteran broadcaster Bill Giles has said.Giles, the meteorologist who led the BBC weather team for 17 years until his retirement in 2000, said the new-look weather forecasts at the corporation are “as disappointing as a downpour in high summer”.Advising viewers to change channels, he has laid out a litany of problems from on-screen background to confusing temperature displays, saying the changes were not a good use of licence fee-payers’ money.Earlier this year, the BBC launched a “new modern look” for its weather services, as it entered a new deal with MeteoGroup instead of the Met Office it had worked with for 95 years.Delivering his verdict on the changes, in Radio Times magazine, veteran broadcaster Bill Giles said: “What has happened to our weather?“It’s not the first time someone has asked me – but this query was more pressing because the weather in question was the weather on the television.last_img read more