U.S. lawmakers looking to intensify DOE’s low-dose radiation research

first_imgExposure to very low levels of ionizing radiation is common—medical procedures, air travel, and industrial processes expose people to such radiation every day. But the health implications of these very low doses are not well understood. A bipartisan bill passed 7 January by the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to alter that landscape by revitalizing an existing Department of Energy (DOE) low-dose radiation research program.The bill—motivated in part by concerns raised by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan—calls for a study by the National Academies and would require DOE to produce a 5-year research plan. But it doesn’t provide any new funding, and so far the bill doesn’t have a champion in the Senate, which will also to have to pass the legislation in order for it to become law.Still, supporters of the DOE program, which has seen its funding and visibility decline since it was first created in the late 1990s, are pleased by the House move. “Unfortunately, this program has not been a priority at DOE over recent years and has seen systematic de-emphasis,” said Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, in statement before the House’s voice vote on the bill. It will, he said, ensure “the continuance and enhancement of this important research program.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The nuclear energy industry also welcomed the move. “Given the pervasiveness of nuclear technologies in our modern world … it just makes sense that we better understand the health effects of low doses of radiation,” said the Washington, D.C.–based Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s main trade group, in a statement.The human health effects of low-dose radiation have long been a puzzle. “We know that high doses of radiation cause cancer,” says biophysicist David Brenner, director of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research, “but as you go down lower and lower in dose it becomes less and less clear what’s happening.” Detecting slight increases in cancer risk, for instance, is difficult. Some scientists have proposed that there is a threshold level, below which exposure to radiation is not dangerous, but there is no consensus on whether such a threshold exists, or what the safe exposure level would be, Brenner says.Radiobiologist William Morgan, director of radiation biology and biophysics at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, says that researchers are split between multiple theories about low-dose radiation—some say it is good for you, others say it has no effect, and the rest think it’s terrible for you. “Herein lies the confusion in the low-dose radiation field,” he says.Congress aimed to help answer such questions in creating DOE’s low-dose radiation research program in 1999. In particular, researchers and policymakers say solid science is necessary to set appropriate exposure regulations for radiation workers, nuclear power infrastructure, and evacuation plans in the event of a nuclear accident or terrorist attack. But the program’s funding has generally declined over the years; low-dose research sits within a larger DOE funding pool that has gone from a high of some $28 million in the mid-2000s to less than $16 million in recent years.The 2011 Fukushima accident helped revive low-dose concerns, however, and in 2013 eight prominent researchers in the field, including Brenner and Morgan, wrote to White House science adviser John Holdren asking for a National Academies report on the issue. They also gave presentations to the House Energy Committee. The efforts, Brenner says, were inspired in part by a 2009 road map for systematic low-dose radiation research produced by the European Commission and experts from Europe’s low-dose radiation research community.The result was the Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015 (H.R. 35), backed by both Democrats and Republicans. It initially passed the House last year, but the Senate took no action, meaning the legislation died in December at the end of the 113th Congress. (The leading sponsor of that version was Representative Paul Broun [R–GA], who is no longer in office after losing in a U.S. Senate primary.)Last week, voting on the noncontroversial bill was one of the first bits of business conducted by the newly seated 114th Congress. This time, the lead sponsor was Representative Randy Hultgren (R–IL), a member of the science committee who represents a district that includes DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. It again passed on a voice vote.“While there is little doubt that there is a threshold above which humans should avoid exposure to radiation, this legislation will ensure that the Department of Energy’s Office of Science prioritizes the research necessary to understand what that level actually is,” Hultgren said in a speech made on the House floor before the vote.The bill defines a low radiation dose as an exposure of less than 100 millisieverts. For comparison, a person living in the United States receives an average annual dose of about 6 millisieverts, half of which comes from natural background sources. A chest x-ray contributes a dose of about 0.1 millisieverts, and a full-body CT scan about 10 millisieverts.The National Academies report required by the bill would follow in the footsteps of the 2009 European Commission report. Lawmakers want it to outline the current status of research, address remaining challenges and scientific goals, and recommend a long-term research agenda. The bill says the report should consider the cost-benefit effectiveness of the proposed research. DOE would then produce a 5-year research plan that responds to the findings of the study. The bill does not authorize any additional funding for DOE, meaning the agency would have to use existing funds unless congressional appropriators say otherwise.The House bill’s supporters are now looking for senators willing to take up the cause. “We are optimistic” about getting the bill approved by the Senate, a Hultgren press aide wrote ScienceInsider in an e-mail. The White House has taken no position on the bill.Correction, 11:33am, 1/12/2015: The article misstated the designations of the current and past Congress. Those numbers have been corrected.last_img read more

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Anglo-Asian pop group Monsoon puts Indian music on to a 12-inch discomix

first_imgSheila Chandra: Popular blend of East and WestAs the 1982 Festival Of India, in London moves towards the half-way mark, a new sound has emerged which may well epitomise the newly strengthened relations between Britain and India. It is the soothing strains of an Anglo-Asian pop group called Monsoon, the,Sheila Chandra: Popular blend of East and WestAs the 1982 Festival Of India, in London moves towards the half-way mark, a new sound has emerged which may well epitomise the newly strengthened relations between Britain and India. It is the soothing strains of an Anglo-Asian pop group called Monsoon, the first band to put Indian music on to a 12-inch discomix.The group made their debut, last year, at India’s Independence Day celebrations in London, and were formally presented to the public this year at the newly-opened exhibition ‘Britain and India’ at the Commonwealth Institute. By March they were inching up the British pop charts determined to make it to the Top Ten, which they did.Sheila Chandra, the shapely 17-year-old Indian girl, who provides the vocals for the group’s hit-song Ever so Lonely, drapes herself in a clinging sari. While singing, her hands form the traditional Indian dance gestures, an unusual sight for Britain’s pop music lovers. Exuding a rare kind of Indianness, Chandra, a product of an Indian father and a half-Indian and half-British mother, sports a sensuous tear-drop bindi and long snaky tresses tied in a guru knot to the left of her head.Popular Blend: There is no doubt that her new kind of music has become very popular. Says the tall, charming Chandra about her music: “It’s a blend of two cultures. It’s a new sound. We are trying to draw the two cultures closer together and our blend provides a common denominator – with the dance beat there’s something everyone can relate to.”advertisementChandra, presently studying for her A-Levels, went to London’s Italia Conti drama school at the age of 15 and studied dancing, acting and the compulsory lessons, which ironically led her to Monsoon. But Chandra’s success does not entirely rest on her training. The man behind the group’s spiral up the charts is dancing, acting and the compulsoty a large, cheerful Yorkshireman, Steve Coe, who discovered Chandra and is also producer and lyricist for the groupl Coe stumbled into Indian music by chance. Said he: “I had an Indian girlfriend and we both used to listen to Hindi film songs on the car cassette radio. The old Mohammed Rafi numbers of the late ’60s really fascinated me. I thought this is good. It’s got style and it’s experimental.” Chance again took him to a recording studio where he heard a demo tape made by Chandra. “I was looking for something new and her voice attracted me,” he recalls. The result was Monsoon comprising of five members, two of them Indian: Dari Mankoo, the sitarist and of course Chandra, the lead vocalist.Monsoon make music reminiscent of the prelude to a 1950s’ Bombay melody. The sound is recognisably pop but Coe’s arrangement uses sitar, piano, guitar, tabla and percussion all synchronised with Chandra’s slightly understated voice. The combination of voice and instrument taking forward a melody is new to western music Coe believes Monsoon could be a ‘pivot group’. “It could turn people towards the East to find new sounds.”Meanwhile Chandra is convinced that success will not spoil her. Says she: “I think success has given me confidence but I don’t think I have changed. I still live at home with my mother and father.” She is still escorted to shows by her mother, who is also a singer. Chandra believes that Monsoon will have a wide appeal for both Western and Asian audiences. “I don’t think we’ll ever run out of ideas,” said a confident Chandra.last_img read more

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UAAP men’s volleyball: UST ends campaign on high note, La Salle trumps UP

first_imgPanelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles View comments DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles04:26Deaf personalities everyone should know02:42PH 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 UAAP volleyball: UST still alive for twice-to-beat after thumping NU In the first game, De La Salle finished at no. 6 after turning back University of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-21, 15-25, 23-25, 15-11.The Green Archers have the same record as UST’s at 5-9 but finished with just 13 points.Cris Dumago ended his collegiate career with 23 points while Billie Anima had 22 for the Green Archers.The Fighting Maroons ended the season as the lowest-ranked team with a 1-12 record.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertecenter_img MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas finished off its campaign with a four-set beating of University of the East, 25-19, 25-15, 19-25, 25-23, in the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament Saturday at Filoil Flying V Center.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated The Tiger Spikers missed the Final Four and wrapped up their season at no. 5 with a 5-9 card with 18 points as they bid goodbye to graduating players Timothy Tajanlangit, Jayvee Sumagaysay, Jireh Buro, and Tyrone Carodan.Skipper Manuel Medina led UST with 14 points as five other Tiger Spikers scored in double figures.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsJaron Requinton finished with 13 points while Sumagaysay and Hernel Corda added 12 points apiece with Joshua Umandal pitching in 10.The Red Warriors finished the season at 2-12 for the seventh seed. Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

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Doctor assaulted at SSKM one arrested

first_imgKolkata: Despite repeated requests and awareness by police and the state government, a doctor was assaulted again on Monday morning at SSKM Hospital. Later, police arrested the accused and initiated a criminal case against him.According to sources, approximately a month ago a youth identified as Md Sakir (30) was admitted at SSKM Hospital with problems in his kidney and chest. After examining him, doctors found that he was suffering from kidney failure. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAs the condition of Sakir was not good, his family members requested hospital authorities to allow one of them to stay with him. After getting permission, his brother identified as Md Sajid was staying there as Sakir’s attendant. Since Sakir got admitted, his dialysis was going on in regular intervals. Early on Monday morning, Sakir suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and died. But his family members claimed that when Sakir was feeling unwell, they tried to call the doctor as there was no doctor present in the ward. After several requests when a doctor came, he allegedly did nothing. A few moments later, Sakir died due to alleged medical negligence. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAs soon as Sakir was declared dead, Sajid got furious and started abusing the on-duty doctor Saugata Dasgupta and other medical staff. He also hit the glass pane of the doctor’s cubicle with a fist and broke the same. As a result, Sajid also received severe bleeding injuries on his hands. When Dasgupta and other staff tried to resist, they were assaulted. Within minutes police reached the spot and detained Sajid. After Dasgupta lodged a complaint with the police, Sajid was arrested.last_img read more

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Clifton Josephs bittersweet look back at Caribana

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Fifty years after they flew in coconut trees from the islands and replanted them on Olympic Island, it’s easy to forget the influence of Toronto’s first Caribana festival in 1967: its “mile-long carnival procession of a thousand people in gaily-coloured costumes gyrating to the music of five calypso bands” and its politics of Black liberation, social focus, independent financing and deep community connection and participation.Before Caribana, the premiere event in Black Toronto was the annual Emancipation Day Parade, held every November in the west end. The parade was a military-style event started by the descendants of fugitive American slaves who escaped to Canada and settled in the rural communities of southern Ontario. In the 1950s, its main organizer was the Canadian Negro Women’s Association, the group credited with starting the first Black History celebrations, and who, from 1952 until 1964, also produced yearly “Caribbean carnivals,” primarily as fundraisers for the scholarships they provided to Caribbean students and programs they ran for immigrants. One of the group’s leaders, Verda Cook, was also a founding director of Caribana.When the federal government encouraged the country’s multicultural communities to mount events in tribute to Canada’s centennial celebrations, a Caribbean Centennial Committee was created that included “Pan-Caribbean academics, students and professionals.” On July 2, 1967, the group outlined the festival that would “represent the cultures of the 10 main Caribbean islands, in addition to Bermuda and Guyana.”  They planned a “parade of bands,” (from Varsity Stadium along Bloor, down Yonge and west on Queen to City Hall), calypso and steel bands, films, ferry cruises, fashion shows, kids’ and adult carnivals, drama and musical performances, fruit and vegetable markets showcasing Caribbean produce and a water-skiing festival. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

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Thousands march in Germany to demand quick exit from coal

first_imgBERLIN — Thousands are marching in Berlin to demand that Germany make a quick exit from using coal-fired energy, a day before a U.N. climate summit opens in neighbouring Poland.Saturday’s march through Berlin’s government district and a simultaneous event in the western city of Cologne were organized by environmental groups. Many demonstrators carried flags with slogans like “Stop Coal!” and “The future is coal-free.”The summit opening Sunday in the Polish city of Katowice seeks to build on the landmark 2015 Paris accord, when countries agreed to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the century’s end.German officials had hoped to present a blueprint for phasing out Germany’s use of coal over the coming decades. But an expert committee postponed its report on that until after the U.N. conference.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Georgia UN mission observes no buildup of forces on either side

The United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) has stepped up its monitoring but said today that it has not seen anything so far to confirm recent media reports of a build-up of either Georgian or Abkhaz forces along the ceasefire line or in the Kodori Valley. In a press release issued in Tbilisi, the mission said “the only sizeable movement of armed personnel through the security zone observed by UNOMIG’s military observers was a notified in advance rotation of Georgian MIA personnel to and from upper Kodori Valley in the period 16-19 April.” Media reports claiming there has been a concentration of armed personnel and military hardware have prompted official statements in both Tbilisi and Sukhumi, lifting tensions between the two sides and increasing the possibility of a serious incident or direct confrontation. “The reported shooting down of an unmanned aerial vehicle in the zone of conflict on 20 April is a case in point,” UNOMIG said, urging both sides to exercise restraint and refrain from acts that could escalate the “already tense” situation. The mission – which was established in 1993 – said it would continue to conduct focused monitoring to meet the concerns of Tbilisi and Sukhumi. Last week, the Security Council, in a resolution extending the mandate of UNOMIG until 15 October, called on “all parties to consider and address seriously each other’s legitimate security concerns, to refrain from any acts of violence or provocation, including political action or rhetoric, and to comply fully with previous agreements regarding ceasefire and non-use of violence.” 21 April 2008The United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) has stepped up its monitoring but said today that it has not seen anything so far to confirm recent media reports of a build-up of either Georgian or Abkhaz forces along the ceasefire line or in the Kodori Valley. read more

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Hambantota port agreement submitted to Parliament

The Hambantota port agreement was submitted to Parliament today by Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe.Under the agreement the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and China Merchant Port Holdings Company Ltd will establish the Hambantota International Port Services Co. (Pvt) Ltd – with a capital of USD 606 million and 50.7% shares to SLPA and 49.3% to CMPort. The Hambantota International Port Group (Pvt) Ltd – with a capital of USD 794 million and 15% shares to SLPA and 85% to CMPort as in SAGT terminal and CICT terminal will also be established. After 99 years of effective date all the shares of CMPort and affiliated companies should be transferred to SLPA at a rate of USD 01.The sole authority of managing the defence situation of the port is Sri Lankan Government and use of the port in military activities is prevented. (Colombo Gazette) Accordingly, instead of 80:20 share distribution in the initial agreement shares of overall investment will be revised as 69.55 to CMPort and 30.45 for SLPA. The lands will be only given to newly establishing two companies on lease basis and their shares are allowed to be purchases by SLPA after 70 years of effective date of agreement at a fare rate decided by Government Assessor and an independent assessor.After 80 years of the effective date SLPA has the right to purchase shares of CMPort and its affiliated companies at a rate of USD 01 as the SLPA’s share holding in HIGP to be 60% and HIPS to be 76.8%. read more

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Burlington mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

The West Nile virus has made its way to Burlington, according to the Halton Region Health Department.Mosquitoes collected in traps this week in Burlington tested positive for the virus. This is the first record of West Nile virus confirmed mosquitoes in the city this year.In 2017, seven batches of infected mosquitoes have been found in the Halton Region. Public health is warning people in urban areas to take precautions. Most mosquitoes that transmit the virus to humans are likely found in places that hold water such as bird baths, plants pots, old toys, and tires.“We can all work together to keep our community safe and protect ourselves from West Nile virus by removing standing water sites that breed mosquitoes and covering up or applying DEET or Icaridin when outside during dusk and dawn,” says Dr. Julie Emili, the Acting Medical Officer of Health, Halton Region.Health officials have offered its residents the following measures to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:• Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.• Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.• Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.• Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.• Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects, where possible. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week. read more

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Stephen Curry Isnt Better Than LeBron On Offense — But Hes As

Apparently it’s the season of athletes making statistically unsupported comparisons to their peers. Back in May, Patrick Peterson claimed superiority over Richard Sherman in the NFL (something that, according to the numbers — is dubious), and now Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry told Dan Patrick Tuesday that he thinks he’s a better offensive player than LeBron James:A better offensive player, me or LeBron? That’s the first time I’ve ever been asked that question … Me. He obviously demands a lot of attention on the floor, but I like to say I can distribute, get my teammates involved and be a playmaker as well.With all due respect to Curry, a true offensive force in his own right, this is another case where the majority of statistical evidence doesn’t do the challenger any favors.According to the advanced box-score metrics, James spent the 2013-14 season outclassing Curry in usage rate, scoring efficiency, offensive rebounding, avoiding turnovers and drawing fouls. The only offensive areas in which Curry beat James were jump-shooting — Curry made 42 percent of his 3-point shots and 49 percent of his midrange jumpers; James knocked down those shots at rates of 38 and 39 percent, respectively — and passing (whether measured by assist percentage or SportVU’s optically tracked passing metrics).But James is no slouch in terms of distributing the ball, either; he ranked 19th among qualified NBA players in assist percentage a year ago. Distance shooting is really the only offensive category in which Curry claims a substantial edge over James — and it’s an advantage mitigated by the fact that James’s shot distribution skews so heavily toward easier shots at the rim. So Curry is a better long-range shooter than James, but James doesn’t take that many long-range shots.Zooming out, James’s personal offensive rating was higher than Curry’s even though James used a higher proportion of his team’s possessions (so subscribers to skill curve theory would have a hard time siding with Curry in this debate).Case closed? Not yet. There have been instances when such box-score-based metrics fail to tell the whole story, and players with gaudy combinations of usage and efficiency don’t always have the impact we’d predict from their individual stats. These are the kinds of incongruities that ESPN’s Real Plus Minus (RPM) is supposed to detect. RPM estimates a player’s effect on his team’s efficiency after accounting for the quality of his teammates, opponents and a host of other variables.By RPM, James was easily the offensive player who had the most impact in the NBA last season. Curry was second, slightly outpacing reigning MVP Kevin Durant.The comparison gets a little more interesting, though, when you look at these adjusted Four Factors ratings, which apply the same technique — estimating a player’s on-court impact via regression — to the four essential barometers of a team’s offensive performance: effective field goal percentage (which adjusts ordinary shooting percentage for the fact that 3-pointers are worth 1.5 times as much as 2s), turnover percentage, offensive rebounding rate and free-throw rate.In two of the four factors, James and Curry exert similar degrees of influence: Both boost team shooting percentages and reduce team turnover rates at levels greater than 95 percent of all NBA players. And despite his inferior individual offensive rebounding numbers, Curry is also associated with a much better rate of team effectiveness on the offensive glass than James is. This is probably due in part to the increased likelihood that 3-pointers result in “long rebounds” which can be rebounded more readily by the offense (of course, Miami’s incredibly low offensive rebounding percentage — at least some of which was part of a conscious strategy — bears mentioning).Through this lens, the biggest disparity between the two players is in free-throw rate: James was in the 99th percentile in that category, while Curry ranked in the 54th percentile. But free-throw rate is the least important of the Four Factors. Crafting an overall average based on the suggested weights for each category, Curry would actually place slightly ahead of James on offense (even if the overall adjusted plus/minus ratings generated by the same data set have James at No. 1).That would be an anomalous ranking, however, as the vast majority of advanced statistics side with James in this debate. The more interesting tidbit from such analysis might just be that Curry is within striking distance in most of the numbers, and that, statistically, there’s a good case to be made that Curry is superior on offense to Durant. James’s statistics are too overwhelming to be surpassed, but Curry is as close as anyone in the game. read more

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NUIM dedicates book and audio archive to activist ahead of his time

first_imgSister Majella McCarron with Dr Owens Wiwand Baroness Nuala O’Loan, Chair of the University’s Governing Authority (Image: Keith Arkins).A BOOK OF letters and poems written by Nigerian environmental and human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ken Saro-Wiwa was published by NUI Maynooth today and launched by his brother Dr Owens Wiwa.The launch today was to mark the 18th anniversary of the writer and activist’s execution by the Nigerian military regime.The book published today, ‘Silence Would be Treason, last writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa’, features private letters by the activist to Irish missionary nun Sister Majella McCarron while he was on death row and a selection of poems.Peaceful activismSaro-Wiwa was a member of a small ethnic group, the Ogoni, numbering over half a million who inhabit a small region in the South East of the Niger Delta.There are over 100 oil wells, a petrochemical complex and two oil refineries in the area and Saro-Wiwa led a non-violent campaign against the environmental destruction of the area. His group struggled in particular with oil company Shell.He was executed in 1995 with eight other activists who were found guilty of the murder of four Ogani chiefs. The case sparked an international outcry and Nigeria was subsequently suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations for a number of years.The letters contained in the book, smuggled out of his detention centre in bread baskets, document the writer’s painful transition from political activist to political prisoner, his courageous efforts to protect the Niger Delta, and an enduring friendship with Sister Majella. The letters also address the growing political instability in Nigeria, the writer’s hopes for peace in Northern Ireland, and his passion for peace and justice throughout the world.Sister Majella donated the letters to the university two years ago, on foot of its sociology students’ involvement in environmental campaigning.Sister Majella McCarron with Dr Owens Wiwa and Prof Philip Nolan, President NUI Maynooth (Image: Keith Arkins).Today the university also unveiled an audio archive which includes extensive interviews with Sister Majella, speaking of her childhood in County Fermanagh, her decision to join a religious order, working in Nigeria and meeting Ken Saro-Wiwa, and her efforts to save his life and the lives of the Ogoni Nine.Sara-Wiwa’s brother today spoke at the launch of the book and archive of how “grateful” he was to the nun and the university.In many ways Ken was a man ahead of his time who envisaged that unchecked and unregulated global corporations are a threat to people and the planet. His ideas spoke to the anxiety of millions who feel disconnected and disenfranchised by the agenda of politics and big business.Oil companiesHe said his family remains disappointed that very little has changed in the area, despite the attention focused on it and the Ogoni people.“The oil companies continue to seek strategies to evade their liabilities and their responsibility to the people and the planet, while Nigeria’s leaders continue to squander his legacy to the region,” he said.Also speaking at the launch today, Sister Majella said she kept the letters for 16 years but did not know exectly what to do with them.“I felt that I was referentially putting them into the safety of an archive so I was surprised and delighted when they decided to edit the letters and bring the voice of Ken Saro-Wiwa back to the public,” she said.Read: Amnesty: Shell made ‘false claims’ on oil spills>Read: Russia switches Greenpeace activists’ charges from piracy to ‘hooliganism’>last_img read more

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Facebook is now turning your likes and checkins into ads

first_imgFacebook just figured out a new way to make money off of your status updates and likes, and it’s a doozy: they’re now using your likes and postings about products and services to display to friends in advertisement form.Showing up quietly on Wednesday morning without any mention from Facebook, you can see the new ads at worked in the right-hand ad column. If you friends check in at business or like other websites or products, and if Facebook has an advertisement deal with that company, you’ll start seeing their status updates as a “Sponsored Story.”“Currently, marketers don’t have the ability to know or plan word-of-mouth endorsements as part of their campaigns,” Facebook’s product marketing lead Jim Squires told the Wall Street Journal. “This gives a way for marketers to increase the visibility of stories about their organization… this is word-of-mouth marketing at scale.”Sound familiar? It should: back in 2007, Facebook tried more or less the same thing with Facebook Beacon, which turned into a huge class-action privacy lawsuit last time around because of the way it allowed marketers to publish off-Facebook purchases directly to users’ walls. The current system isn’t likely to spark any class-action lawsuits, but it’s still got some privacy concerns associated with it: although Facebook will respect your privacy settings when it comes to sharing your content with strangers, there’s no way to stop Facebook from turning your wall status updates into a billboard to annoy your friend list.Read more at Ars Technicalast_img read more

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Brit to go to court in Greece over manslaughter

first_imgA 20-year-old British student of Cypriot origin is to face trial in Greece for the manslaughter of a British 18-year-old who died in a club on Zakynthos in May 2007. Andrew Symeou, who is from North London, is due to be extradited to Greece this week after the House of Lords refused to hear his extradition appeal. Symeou claims that the evidence linking him to the death of Jonathon Hiles has been fabricated. Hiles died of severe brain injuries believed to have been inflicted by punches to his head. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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Construction sector shows job gains in March in Clark County

first_imgWinter may be rapidly coming for a whole lot of characters on Game of Thrones this weekend, but here in Clark County we’ve moved on to spring — as evidenced by the 300 jobs added to the local construction sector last month.“It’s March — winter’s over,” said Scott Bailey, Southwest Washington regional economist for the state Employment Security Department. “Let’s get out there and pour some concrete.”Bailey released his monthly labor market report on Tuesday and it shows Clark County gained an estimated 1,200 jobs last month, bringing the labor market to a total of 168,200 jobs.Construction wasn’t the only area that saw a boost – the manufacturing sector and the professional and business services sector each saw gains of 300 jobs. Bailey said the biggest business service gains were probably in accounting.“Professional services — that always goes up around this time of year, because it’s tax time,” he said.Trade, transportation and utilities and leisure and hospitality each gained 200 jobs, while most other industries saw small gains or no change. There were a couple losses: state government, federal government and financial services each lost 100 jobs.last_img read more

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Dunkins Halloween Costume Contest Offers A Chance To Win A Years Worth

first_img(NOTE: Wilmington has EIGHT Dunkin’ locations — 195 Main Street, 321 Main Street, 586 Main Street, 357 Middlesex Avenue, 66 Concord Street, 211 Lowell Street, 316 Lowell Street, and 206 Ballardvale Street.)CANTON, MA — As the brand that delivers delight each Halloween with special donuts and more, Dunkin’ has seen its own fans in turn celebrate the spirit of the season by sharing hundreds of homemade Halloween Dunkin-themed costumes to social media. Dunkin’ is joining the fun this year by rewarding its fans’ imagination and inspiration, launching a special costume contest for the chance to win some treats without having to ring a single doorbell. Beginning today, a Dunkin’ costume could equal free coffee and cash, as fans who post a photo of their Dunkin’-inspired Halloween costume on Instagram using the special hashtag #DunkinDressUpContest will have the chance to win a grand prize of $1,000 and a year’s worth of Dunkin’ coffee. Plus, one winner each week will receive $100 Dunkin’ gift cards to help them keep running on Dunkin’ long after the Halloween fun is over.Dunkin’s costume contest launches today, October 17, and continues through November 1. No purchase necessary; 18+ US only. For full rules and details please visit http://www.ddsweeps.com.Dunkin’ restaurants are already helping people across the country enjoy a few moments of Halloween joy any time of day with seasonal treats sure to bring a smile to kids of all ages. For a frightfully fun donut design, Dunkin’s Spider Donut is frosted with orange icing and topped with a glazed chocolate MUNCHKINS® donut hole treat decorated to look like a sweet-never-scary spider. Dunkin’ is also giving its classic donuts a Halloween look, with decorations including orange and purple icing drizzles and sprinkles.OREO cookies are dressing up as Dunkin’ for Halloween this year with the OREO Donut, filled with vanilla buttercreme and topped with chocolate icing, crumbled OREO cookie topping and an orange icing drizzle. For a sweet sip to lift spirits, OREO Hot Chocolate with the rich flavors of cookies and cream is available as part of Dunkin’s selection of hot winter beverages, which also includes Original Hot Chocolate and Dunkaccino.Guests can sink their fangs into the Spider Donut at participating Dunkin’ restaurants nationwide through Halloween. The OREO Donut and OREO Hot Chocolate are both available into November.To learn more about Dunkin’, visit http://www.DunkinDonuts.com or subscribe to the Dunkin’ blog to receive notifications at https://news.dunkindonuts.com/blog.About Dunkin’Founded in 1950, Dunkin’ is America’s favorite all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods. Dunkin’ is a market leader in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee, iced regular/decaf/flavored coffee, donut, bagel and muffin categories. Dunkin’ has earned a No. 1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for 12 years running. The company has more than 12,600 restaurants in 46 countries worldwide. Based in Canton, Mass., Dunkin’ is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For more information, visit http://www.DunkinDonuts.com.(NOTE: The above press release is from Dunkin’.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedDunkin’s Pumpkin Menu To Arrive In Wilmington By August 21In “Business”Dunkin Donuts Introduces New Almond Joy Hot ChocolatesIn “Business”Dunkin’ Donuts Launches New Dunkin’ Go2s (New $2, $3 & $5 Value Menu )In “Business”last_img read more

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Korean Students Invited to Build AI Soccer Players

first_imgStay on target Get Used to ‘Fortnite’s’ Powerful Mech SuitsRobots to Compete in Underground Challenge in Mining Tunnels We know artificial intelligence can outsmart humans at an abstract strategy board game. But can it bend it like Beckham?The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) this week announced an upcoming AI soccer tournament for university students.Scheduled for November, the competition will include three machine-powered aspects: gameplay, analysis, and reporting, according to The Korea Times.Teams of five artificial players—four outfielders, one goalkeeper—will face off against each other in a series of preliminary matches. The final winner is set to be crowned on Dec. 1.KAIST is going full-ESPN, though, with the introduction of a game analysis contest, in which the neural network that creates “the most accurate … commentary” during matches wins a prize. The same goes for the AI reporter that pens the best post-match results “in a news-writing format,” the Times said.This fall’s event is a world first, according to KAIST, which encourages all local college and graduate school students to participate (applications are open through September).Famous for running an annual international robot soccer competition for the public since the mid-’90s, the academy is now turning its attention the next generation of creators.And assuming all goes well, the Institute promised to invite foreign clubs to next year’s tourney.“Overseas teams will be able to participate in the AI [soccer] matches next year, and we expect the tournament to become an internationally renowned tech event in the future,” computer engineering professor Kim Jong-hwan, president of KAIST’s AI World Cup Committee, told The Korea Times.The original International Micro Robot World Cup Soccer Tournament (MIROSOT)—now formally called RoboCup—was born in KAIST’s Robot Intelligence Technology Lab in 1995. An American team from Newton Labs won the first competition, held in Taejon, Korea, in November 1996.The Federation of International Robot-soccer Association (FIRA) was established two years later, just ahead of 1998’s International Robot Olympiad Committee (IROC), formed for the World Robot Olympiad.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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Democracy net tax crisis get Hungarians to protest

first_imgIt was by far the largest protest since his center-right government took power in 2010 and pursued moves to redefine many walks of life, drawing accusations of creeping authoritarianism, although it was re-elected by a landslide this year. Orban’s government has imposed special taxes on the banking, retail, energy and telecommunications sectors to keep the budget deficit in check, jeopardizing profits in some parts of the economy and unnerving international investors. The internet data levy idea was first floated in the 2015 tax code submitted to the Central European country’s parliament last week, triggering objections from internet service providers and users who felt it was anti-democratic. The crowd, which was organized by a Facebook-based social network and appeared to draw mostly well-heeled professionals, marched through central Budapest demanding the repeal of the planned tax and the ouster of Orban. Many protesters held up makeshift signs that read ‘ERROR!’ and ‘How many times do you want to skin us?’ Zsolt Varady, an internet entrepreneur and founder of a now-defunct Hungarian social network iwiw.hu, told the crowd that the tax threatened to undermine internet freedoms. ‘Between 2006 and 2006 iwiw motivated many people to get an internet subscription,’ Varady said. ‘People were willing to pay for the service because they knew, saw and felt that their lives were becoming better… The internet tax threatens the further growth of the Internet as well as freedom of information.’ Tax reduced after first protest. The government had planned to tax internet data transfers at a rate of 150 forints per gigabyte. After analysts calculated this would total more than the sector’s annual revenue and an initial protest drew thousands on Sunday, Fidesz submitted a bill that capped the tax at 700 forints per month for individuals and 5,000 forints for companies. That did not placate Tuesday’s protesters. ‘I am a student, my parents are not well off, neither am I, so I work hard,’ said Ildiko Pirk, a 22-year-old studying nursing. ‘I doubt the internet companies won’t build this tax into their prices. And I have a computer, a smartphone, as does my mother and my four siblings… That adds up.’ She said the internet was vital for her to get the books she needs for her studies but also to read unbiased news that is not under the control of Hungary’s ruling political elite. She and other protesters said the government’s other moves also bothered them, such as a perceived mismanagement of the economy and a recent dispute with the United States over alleged corruption of Hungarian public officials. The Orban government denied any anti-democratic agenda, saying it aimed only to get all economic sectors to share the tax burden and was tapping into a trend of telecommunications shifting away from already-taxed telephony and text messages.last_img read more

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Act Fast Boses AirPod Killers Are on Sale at Amazon

first_imgUpdate 8/16: Walmart also has the Bose SoundSport Free Earbuds on sale for $179. They also have the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones on sale for $129 ($20 off). These Bluetooth buds have a cable that loops behind your neck. Make sure to check out our guide to the best Bose deals.Bose is renown for producing some of the industry’s best headphones. Its new Bose 700 Headphones, for instance, have quickly become one of our favorite ‘phones. However, if you need something that’s lighter and more sports-oriented, Amazon has an excellent deal for you. Currently, you can get the Bose SoundSport Free Earbuds for $179. That’s a modest $20 off, but it’s the best price we’ve seen all year for these rarely discounted earbuds. Bose SoundSport Free: was $199 now $179 @ AmazonThe Bose SoundSport Free offer excellent audio in a sweat and weather resistant design (IPX4). The Editor’s Choice buds normally cost $199, but every color is on sale for $179. View DealThe Editor’s Choice BoseSoundSport Free offer excellent audio quality in a comfortable design. They may appear huge, but that’s because they were designed to have the bulk of the earbud sit outside the ear canal.  A “nozzle” sits in your ear canal, and helps spread out the weight of the earbud. They feature a built-in ear wing to keep them secure in your ear.Unlike the AirPods, the BoseSoundSport Free are IPX4 certified, which means they can be splashed by water. We tested them on the treadmill, on an elliptical machine, and then with some good old fashioned jumping jacks. The buds barely moved in our ears. In terms of performance, the buds offer relatively balanced audio while still putting punch in all the right places. Bass lines were smooth and tight without muddying other instruments in a song, no matter the genre.It’s a modest $20 off, but it’s the best price we’ve seen for these AirPod killers.last_img read more

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DrugEluting Stent Market Will Reflect Significant Growth Prospects by 2023

first_imgA drug-eluting stent (DES) is a peripheral or coronary stent (a scaffold) placed into narrowed, diseased peripheral or coronary arteries that slowly releases a drug to block cell proliferation. In the context of China-US trade war and global economic volatility and uncertainty, it will have a big influence on this market. Drug-Eluting Stent Report by Material, Application, and Geography – Global Forecast to 2023 is a professional and comprehensive research report on the world’s major regional market conditions, focusing on the main regions (North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific) and the main countries (United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea and China).In this report, The Global Drug-Eluting Stent Market is valued at USD XX million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD XX million by the end of 2023, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the period 2019 to 2023.The report firstly introduced the Drug-Eluting Stent basics: definitions, classifications, applications and market overview; product specifications; manufacturing processes; cost structures, raw materials and so on. Then it analyzed the world’s main region market conditions, including the product price, profit, capacity, production, supply, demand and market growth rate and forecast etc. In the end, the report introduced new project SWOT analysis, investment feasibility analysis, and investment return analysis.Download Sample Copy of this Report @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-sample/3198831?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=NSThe major players profiled in this report include:Biosensors InternationalLepu MedicalTerumo MedicalBoston ScientificMedtronicAbbott LaboratoriesBiotronikStentysThe end users/applications and product categories analysis:On the basis of product, this report displays the sales volume, revenue (Million USD), product price, market share and growth rate of each type, primarily split into-Polymer Based Coating StentPolymer Free Coating StentOn the basis on the end users/applications, this report focuses on the status and outlook for major applications/end users, sales volume, market share and growth rate of Drug-Eluting Stent for each application, including-HospitalsAmbulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs)Cardiology CentersAcquire Discount on this report @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-for-discount/3198831?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=NSAbout Us:Big Market Research has a range of research reports from various publishers across the world. Our database of reports of various market categories and sub-categories would help to find the exact report you may be looking for.Contact Us:Mr. Abhishek PaliwalBig Market Research5933 NE Win Sivers Drive, #205, Portland,OR 97220 United StatesDirect: +1-971-202-1575Toll Free: +1-800-910-6452E-mail help@bigmarketresearch.comlast_img read more

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