Monthly Archives: September 2019

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Sep
30

Dolphins Release OftInjured Veteran QB David Garrard

The Miami Dolphins released David Garrard on Tuesday, a day after the veteran quarterback returned to practice from a knee injury that had bothered him for the entire preseason.Garrard confirmed his release on Twitter, writing, “To all the dolphins fans thx for ur support! Best of luck to all my teammates. Thx for making me feel at home!! Phins up!!”Garrard, 34, underwent arthroscopic surgery in early August and missed all four preseason games. He was listed as the fourth-string quarterback on the depth chart Monday after being the first-team QB early in training camp.Had the Dolphins kept Garrard, they would have had to guarantee his contract – a risky move considering he’s coming off an injury.Garrard, a longtime starter with the Jacksonville Jaguars, was signed by Miami in the offseason. His injury opened the door for rookie Ryan Tannehill to get more playing time and eventually earn the starting job.Garrard looked much improved while practicing on a limited basis on Monday, warming up with the team before going through early drills and throwing some passes.Garrard did not participate in either 7-on-7 or full-team drills Monday.He was ultimately done by his own price tag. Both he and fellow backup Matt Moore make too much money to be the third-string quarterback, meaning one of them had to go.Moore has struggled by most accounts in picking up the Dolphins’ new offense, but was still a safer choice than the injury-prone Garrard.Moore, who was last year’s starter, will back up Tannehill, while Pat Devlin is listed on the depth chart as the No. 3 quarterback.Garrard could still land another job within the league, especially after Week 1 because any contract he signs at that point would not be guaranteed for the year.Garrard was a fourth-round pick by the Jaguars in the 2002 NFL Draft after enjoying spectacular collegiate career at East Carolina. read more

Sep
30

Falcons Survive Seahawks One More Win to Super Bowl

Courtesy The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionThe other three playoff losses in the last four years would have paled in comparison to what was unfolding Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Up by 20 points against the Seattle Seahawks, the Atlanta Falcons found a way to trail by one point with just 31 seconds left.Another post-season defeat would have brought tight end Tony Gonzalez to tears. Instead, the tears he released were tears of joy – and relief. On a Matt Bryant 49-yard field goal with six seconds left, the Falcons edged the Seahawks  30-28, to advance to the NFC Championship game next week against the San Francisco 49ers, who beat Green Bay Saturday night.“I’ve never cried after a win,” said Gonzalez, who had the key catch that set up the winning kick. It was the first playoff win for Gonzalez in his illustrious 16-year NFL career.He was so emotional because for much of the afternoon, Atlanta looked awesome. The Falcons – behind strong running by Michael Turner and a stifling defense – led 20-0 and seemed destined for a pedestrian victory.But the Seahawks found a groove, led by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and ate away at the lead. Wilson was remarkable, hitting on 24 of 36 passes for 385 yards and two touchdowns. And when Marshawn Lynch scored on a 2-yard run, Seattle led 28-27 with 31 seconds to play.“I was thinking: ‘Here we go again. It wasn’t meant to be,’ ” Gonzalez admitted.But, apparently, it was. The Falcons had two time outs remaining. Quarterback Matt Ryan hit Harry Douglas for a 29-yard gain on first down and then found Gonzalez over the middle for a 19-yard gain and just like that, Atlanta was in range to save the season.Bryant’s kick was good, and Gonzalez cried, the sold-out Dome erupted and the entire organization breathed a collective sigh of relief.“Wow,” said coach Mike Smith, whose job very well could have been lost with a defeat.“It was just a crazy game,” said Ryan after his first playoff win. “I feel good right now. We kept fighting and found a way to win. . . It was tough.  .  . Everybody just hung in there. That’s one thing this experienced team has gone through. We’re just mentally tough.” read more

Sep
29

The World Series Baseballs Sure Seem Juiced But Are They

The rate of long balls is up about 69 percent compared with the regular season, while the next largest bump is only 56 percent, achieved in 2009. According to a simple statistical test, the probability of witnessing so many home runs in the Series (considering the rate in the regular season) is about 1 in 80.1I used a binomial test, assuming that the rate of home runs per contact in the regular season is the true probability. That is a very fragile conclusion, however. Had we performed the same analysis after Saturday’s game, the result would be that the rate of home runs was not as elevated.2The probability of seeing as many home runs as we saw up through Game 4 is about 1 in 20. We ought to be no more certain today that the balls are more lively than we were a few nights ago.Despite the most recent round of allegations, there’s no compelling evidence that the baseballs are especially home-run prone this postseason — or any different than what we saw during the regular season. Since the middle of this year, evidence has been mounting that alterations to the baseball are to blame for the all-time high home-run rates. What we are seeing in this Series might be a result of the prior changes to the ball, rather than a whole new bout of modifications.You won’t find a bigger believer in the juiced ball hypothesis than me, but the evidence for a World Series change driving a home run explosion is much thinner than the broader case that Ben Lindbergh, Mitchel Lichtman and I assembled over the course of the past few years.For starters, the World Series spike is partially due to the fact that the Houston Astros are very good at hitting home runs. The team’s historically excellent offense is the source of many of the gaudy home-run totals already. So far, the Astros have hit 13 homers in five games, which sounds like it could be record-breaking on its own. But there were 103 five-game streaks in the regular season that saw a team drive 13 or more balls over the fence, including six such streaks by the Astros themselves.There’s another problem with the juiced ball hypothesis. Verducci’s article alleges that the balls are more slick than normal. But academic research suggests that a more slippery baseball actually travels less far than a rough one. Similar to the dimples on a golf ball, a little bit of surface texture acts to reduce air resistance instead of slowing the ball down. So while we might expect slick baseballs to mess with a pitcher’s grip, we wouldn’t necessarily expect them to get out of the park more often.There is some evidence to support the idea that the balls are more slippery. I used Statcast’s pitch tracking to compare the air resistance of playoff baseballs to those used in September and found a slight increase in drag in that time. The bump in drag coefficient of 0.023 is enough to reduce fly-ball distance by about 11.5 feet, which doesn’t explain at all why so many hitters are launching homers. Furthermore, this kind of fluctuation in air resistance happens all the time. (Drag coefficient dropped by a similar amount from August to September, for example.) As I detailed in an earlier article, whether because of manufacturing variations or intentional tampering, the drag on MLB baseballs often hops around from month to month, pulling home-run rates with it.One way in which a slicker baseball could be causing more homers is if it is harming a pitcher’s ability to hold the ball. Some pitch types — those that require a more forceful grip on the baseball’s surface, like a slider — are expected to be affected most. Yet the evidence for an effect on that offering is much more murky. The ESPN Stats & Information Group found that pitchers’ spin rates and called-strike percentages dropped dramatically in the World Series, suggesting that they were having trouble getting a grip. But other sabermetricians have found no effect — or contradictory impacts on different hurlers. The increase in home-run rate might be coming from pitchers trying (and failing) to adjust to a new surface texture, rather than the ball itself being more conducive to homers.Without more data — or a sudden wave of candidness from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred about any manufacturing changes to the ball — it’s hard to say for sure what’s happening to the ball. For now, we’re left with the possibility that this World Series is just business as usual in the home-run era — or that a new baseball is changing the game again. Just before the Houston Astros’ 13-12 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series, speculation was running rampant about juiced balls. Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci wrote an article detailing accusations from multiple pitchers that changes to the surfaces of the World Series baseballs were behind a spike of home runs in the Fall Classic.This passed the eye test of even the most casual fan. Sunday’s game featured seven long balls, which wasn’t even the most in a game in this series. Game 2 saw eight homers, including five in extra innings — something that hadn’t occurred in any game, let alone a Series game. With one or two games left, the Dodgers and Astros have already broken the all-time marks for home runs in a World Series and in an entire postseason. The current rate of at-bats per home run stands at 15.8, which would slot in between the career marks of Albert Pujols and Frank Thomas. The average World Series rate since 1995 (the beginning of the wild-card era) is a much more pedestrian 34.8 at-bats per homer.Examining the ratio of home runs per contact in all World Series since 1995, this year has the largest increase from the regular season to the Series. read more

Sep
28

201516 NBA Preview LeBron And The Cavs Could Win 60 Games

We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. While CARMELO lists Kyrie Irving’s No. 1 comp as David “Skywalker” Thompson, a notoriously high-flying player, Irving makes his bones below the rim. (Perhaps the link speaks to explosive scoring ability: Thompson once scored 73 points in a game and Irving had those 55- and 57-point outbursts a year ago.) Another area in which the Cavs hope CARMELO is confused is his defensive plus-minus, which is projected to decline this season despite the defensive strides he made with last season’s Cavs team. And here’s what CARMELO expects from Cleveland’s main players: There’s a perhaps-not-so-coincidental thread running through five of J.R. Smith’s top 10 comparables: Byron Scott, Kerry Kittles, Rick Fox, Dennis Scott and Stephen Jackson all played in the Finals during their careers. Smith is looking to make it two trips in a row — though another commonality among most of his comps was a tendency to decline quickly once hitting the wrong side of 30. The Cavs have a decent amount of depth on the wing, but they still need Smith to buck historical trends for another year or two (and a playoff run like Smith’s last year would be a stroke of great fortune). From mid-January until about halfway through the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers had the best record in basketball, going on a 48-12 run of dominance. Then it all came crashing down with a three-game losing streak that ended their championship chase and started a summer of discontent. The only question that matters for this Cavs team is whether that bad taste can fuel them to a title this season, or if we’ll look back and realize that injuries ruined the Cavs’ best chance in Year One of their Big Three era. During the 2015-16 regular season at least, FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO model expects the Cavs to go 59-23. CARMELO tags LeBron James as an “MVP candidate,” an apt label for the consensus pick for most valuable in this year’s NBA.com GM survey. But a far more interesting part of James’s chart is his comps. CARMELO’s algorithm thinks LeBron is most like former teammate Dwyane Wade in 2012-13, Wade’s third season alongside James. The rest of his top 10 comp list is just as fascinating, both for who is included — a contemporary rival (Kobe Bryant), one of his idols (Scottie Pippen) and arguably two of the five best players ever (Magic Johnson and Larry Bird) — as it is for who is not (the G.O.A.T. himself, Michael Jordan).1Jordan would rank high on LeBron’s comp list if not for that stint as a minor league baseball player. Cavs general manager David Griffin might want to use CARMELO’s comps for Tristan Thompson in his next round of negotiations with Rich Paul — there aren’t many max-money-type players in that group. (That will have to be in five years, as Thompson signed a long-term contract worth $82 million last week.) For now, though, Thompson offers a lot of the same statistical strengths — and weaknesses — as Mozgov: good rebounding, foul-drawing and shooting efficiency, but a low usage rate and next to no assists or steals. Iman Shumpert is lauded for his defensive intensity and athleticism, but CARMELO highlights a handful of categories clearly holding the shooting guard back on offense. Namely, his shooting efficiency is weak, he doesn’t draw fouls, he turns the ball over a bit too much and he isn’t much of a scorer. Shumpert’s defensive metrics live up to his reputation, but that just fuels the algorithm’s comparisons to other hard-nosed, defense-first guards such as T.R. Dunn and Thabo Sefolosha. Those players have their charms, but Shumpert has quite a few offensive hurdles to clear to take the next step as an all-around player. The man they call “Mozzy” most likely peaked last season, according to CARMELO. If true, that will make things interesting when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2016 and starts looking for big money. In the meantime, Mozgov will likely grade well once again in the duties you want performed by a role-playing big man: rebounding, blocking shots, playing tough D, finishing with efficiency and drawing fouls. Everyone knows Kevin Love for his rebounding aptitude, but the blue dots on his CARMELO card speak to the other areas of the game in which Love excels: scoring, shooting efficiently, drawing fouls and — in an underrated facet of his game — rarely turning the ball over. Even Love’s defense, long maligned by observers, draws a slightly above-average grade according to CARMELO’s plus-minus metric. The Cavs mounted a Finals run without him, but it would be a mistake to think he isn’t crucial to their hopes of a return trip. Read more:All our NBA player projectionsAll our 2015-16 NBA Previews read more

Sep
28

Jalin Marshall becomes latest Ohio State starter to declare for NFL draft

OSU redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall (7) runs with the ball during a game against Indiana on Oct. 3 in Bloomington, Indiana. OSU won, 34-27. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorAfter losing three underclassmen defensive starters in as many days since the Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall became the first offensive starter to announce his decision to go pro early after the game on Monday.“After much thought, prayer and discussion with my family and coaches,” Marshall wrote in a message posted to Twitter, “I officially announce that I have decided to forgo my last two years of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.”Marshall was used primarily as a punt returner in his redshirt freshman season, but became more involved in the offense as the season wore on, finishing with 38 catches for 499 yards and six touchdowns, including a four-touchdown performance against Indiana. In that breakout game, he caught five passes for 95 yards and three touchdowns and had a 54-yard punt return touchdown, all in the second half.He started the final 12 games in 2015 following a suspension for the opener, and finished second on the team in receptions as OSU’s true No. 2 receiver.Marshall pulled in 36 catches for 477 yards and five touchdowns in his final season wearing scarlet and gray, while returning 28 punts for 379 yards. He also had a 36-yard kick return in the Fiesta Bowl, his only one of the season.“I will forever be grateful to my teammates and Buckeye Nation for making my time as a Buckeye so memorable,” Marshall wrote. “I will always be a Buckeye at heart, as this was my dream, and I will work hard to positively represent Buckeye Nation and my hometown wherever I go.”The former quarterback at Middletown High School is the seventh OSU underclassman to leave early for the draft, joining Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, Cardale Jones, Darron Lee, Tyvis Powell and Eli Apple.Only two underclassmen who are expected to make a decision regarding the draft are yet to make it: safety Vonn Bell and receiver Michael Thomas.Should Thomas opt to leave as well — which is expected — OSU will lose its top four receivers in terms of yards, with Elliott and redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller already saying goodbye.“I will never forget this experience,” Marshall wrote. “I am a Buckeye for life!” read more

Sep
28

Urban Meyer adds 3 key recruits to Ohio States 2016 class

OSU coach Urban Meyer flashes a grin while on the podium celebrating the Buckeyes’ 44-28 victory over Notre in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe Ohio State football program already had one of the nation’s top recruiting classes as Feb. 3, the date of this year’s National Signing Day, inched closer. But a wave of three major verbal commitments crashed upon the shores of the college football world Monday , which now leaves coach Urban Meyer’s 2016 class sitting alone at the top, according to multiple outlets. Scout.com, 247Sports and Rivals all now have the Buckeyes owning the No. 1 spot after the addition of a trio of four-star prospects. The three outlets each had OSU with the third-ranked class prior to the announcements. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins, linebacker Keandre Jones and wide receiver Binjimen Victor all declared on Martin Luther King Jr. Day their plans to play collegiately in Columbus, bringing the number of commitments for Meyer in his 2016 class to 21. Victor’s destination was largely up in the air until around noon on Monday when he posted on Twitter, whereas Haskins and Jones were previously verbally committed to Maryland.The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native Victor had narrowed his choices down to West Virginia, Tennessee and OSU before selecting the Scarlet and Gray. “I would like to thank everyone for being there for me throughout this whole recruiting process,” he wrote in a screenshot on his Twitter. Victor continued, writing that there was only “one school” that he could see himself playing for, and that was OSU. With receivers Michael Thomas and Jalin Marshall departing for the NFL draft, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the pass-catchers for OSU next season. Whether Victor will be able to contribute as a true freshman remains to be seen, of course, but even if he doesn’t contribute in 2016, he will likely make an impact somewhere down the line. For Victor, who played in the Army All-American Game in January, to step in and play right away, he will need to add weight to his slender 6-foot-4 frame. Currently, he listed at just 177 pounds. That number will have to increase for him to step on the field this fall, as college football is much more physical than high school and he might not hold up playing at that weight. Fortunately for Victor and his new team, OSU strength coach Mickey Marotti is considered one of the best in the business. Even though OSU returns redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett, the addition of Haskins to the recruiting class is an enormous lift. Meyer and the Buckeyes had been targeting Haskins for quite some time, according to Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com, but the Potomac, Maryland, native chose to stay in-state and play for the Terrapins after OSU received a verbal commitment from Tristen Wallace, a four-star athlete from Texas. Wallace changed his mind, though, and chose to play wide receiver at Oregon. Once that happened and Maryland fired Randy Edsall, the door for Meyer to land Haskins swung open, Wasserman reported. Haskins walked through the door, locked it and all but threw away the key Monday. He announced his intent to become a Buckeye in an essay posted to a blog powered by Weebly, to which he tweeted the link. The 6-foot-2, 188-pounder discussed his reasons for decommitting, which largely centered on Edsall’s firing, before telling the world where he would play collegiately. “At the age of 8 years old, I went to numerous Ohio State camps, loved watching their games and idolized the university,” Haskins wrote. “Finally, my dream to attend ​Ohio State will come true.” Barring any unforeseen injuries, which, based off recent history, wouldn’t be unheard of for OSU, Haskins is unlikely to contribute right away. But, 247Sports’ seventh-ranked pro-style quarterback is certainly a guy Meyer would entrust at the helm of his offense, based upon his vigorous recruitment of Haskins. Making the flip-flop from Maryland to OSU along with Haskins was Jones, the four-star linebacker from Olney, Maryland. Pegged by 247Sports as the No. 9 linebacker, Jones’ journey to Columbus was an interesting one. Wasserman reported Jones was a “surprise Ohio State official visitor” over the weekend. By sunset Monday, he had already declared his intentions to switch to OSU. Haskins posted a picture of himself with Jones on his Twitter account, saying they are “like brothers.” Jones, who Rivals.com lists as a five-star prospect, joins a linebacking unit at OSU that lost two starters. Although there is plenty of talent already at linebacker for the Buckeyes, such as juniors Raekwon McMillan and Chris Worley, tossing Jones in the mix is certainly not a bad thing. With all three players, just how much they play in 2016 remains unseen but for a program to maintain success over long periods of time, like OSU always does, these types of commitments are the foundation for prolonged dominance. They, however, might not be the last of splashes that the Buckeyes make from now until National Signing Day on Feb. 3. “Big day for the Buckeyes!” OSU offensive coordinator Ed Warinner tweeted Monday. “More to come!!” read more

Sep
28

Football Dwayne Haskins is prepared for the stakes of the Michigan game

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) looks to throw a pass in the fourth quarter of the game against Maryland on Nov. 17. Ohio State won 52-51. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State head coach Urban Meyer knows the pressures associated with the annual Michigan game. It’s the time of the year during which jobs are kept or lost and legacies are cemented. These are pressures he has felt before. “The amount of time and effort that you put into these games — and certainly there’s no bigger than this — you know, the word ‘pressure’ absolutely is there,” Meyer said. “For someone to say there’s no pressure, that’s not true.” These pressures were introduced to redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins last season. After former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett left the 2017 Michigan game in the third quarter with an injury, the spotlight was on Haskins, who had played in parts of eight previous games that season. “I’d say I was pretty calm in that situation,” Haskins said. “I didn’t have too many racing thoughts or thoughts of concern or of self-doubt.” With a 20-14 deficit in the third quarter, Haskins helped the Ohio State offense score 17 unanswered points, completing 6-of-7 passes for 94 yards in the come-from-behind, 31-20 Ohio State win. Haskins said going into the atmosphere and gaining the trust of his teammates through his play in the second half gave him confidence as he took the starting quarterback job in 2018, leading Ohio State to its No. 4 pass offense in the country. But he has had no lack of confidence through 11 games in the 2018 season. Now, as he leads Ohio State into the Michigan game as the starter, Haskins is developing not only confidence, but leadership and ownership of the offense. This is a requirement of any of his quarterbacks based on the necessity of the position, Meyer said. “The quarterback position is the most unique position, in my opinion, in really all of sport, where everybody’s relying on you. Everybody’s looking at you,” Meyer said. “You have a responsibility what the other 10 guys are doing. You have to make all kinds of decisions within 1.8 to 2.5 seconds. And you have to be a tough guy. You have to lead.” In the first possession of overtime against Maryland on Saturday, the redshirt sophomore quarterback led the Buckeyes downfield, extending the drive on a 4th-and-1 with an 11-yard completion to redshirt junior tight end Rashod Berry. But that was not the play Meyer remembers. It was the 5-yard zone read, scoring the touchdown that wound up winning the game. “Dwayne really took a step, really took a step,” Meyer said. “No more important than the last play of the game when he dropped his pads and had to get in there and he got in there.” This is something offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day has worked on with Haskins this season — to not just be the player who can play football, but be the player who can lead the team. “The two of them — everybody has big dreams and part of being a big dream is being that guy that can move a team, not just throw a pretty pass but do things you have to do to win a game,” Meyer said. That is going to be the difference between Haskins’ past Michigan game and Saturday. This year, Haskins is the starter, bringing an expectation of not only leading an offense to a second-half, comeback win, but to a four-quarter victory, a victory that places Ohio State back to where it expected to be at the beginning of the season. Haskins knows the stakes. He has known the stakes for the entire season. He said he has watched Michigan every week waiting for this game. As a first-year starting quarterback, Haskins has the unique opportunity to know what a Michigan game is like before he starts one himself. He knows what it takes. “Getting some experience first from last year helped out tremendously going into this week and everything goes into full throttle going into — it actually starts today,” Haskins said. “It starts today, so we are going to get ready for them right now.” read more

Sep
25

David Beckham changed date of Unicef Downing Street visit for tax purposes

first_imgBritish expatriates can legally avoid paying tax as long as they visit Britain for no more than 90 days each tax year. Beckham allegedly discussed the invitation from Unicef, for whom he is a global ambassador, with his aide Dave Gardner.  “Obviously we cannot tell them the real reason,” Mr Gardner reportedly wrote. David Beckham reportedly put off a visit to Downing Street as part of a Unicef delegation “for tax reasons”.The former England football captain, who was living in the US at the time, was asked in 2012 by the UN children’s charity to meet the then Prime Minister David Cameron with a group of youngsters.”The problem for this one is that I cannot go home,” he allegedly wrote, according to a leaked email.The correspondence is part of a trove of hacked emails that have been released.  A source close to Beckham said: “These emails are out of date, out of context and have been doctored in some cases.”Beckham, who was playing for LA Galaxy in 2012, was domiciled in the US for tax purposes and if he travelled to the UK it could mean paying more to HM Revenue and Customs, the Daily Mail reported. Show more Simon Oliveira, Beckham’s his long-time publicist, said the footballer would stay in the US “for important personal reasons”, according to the leaked emails, published by a number of European news websites.Among them was the France-based Mediapart website, which claimed: “Beckham does not want to honour the invitation for tax reasons.” David Beckham with his wife Victoria after receiving the OBECredit:PA David Beckham with his wife Victoria after receiving the OBE A Unicef spokesman confirmed the engagement went ahead after it was rearranged to a more convenient date. “David Beckham went to Downing Street on July 26, 2012, to call for more action to help children affected by malnutrition around the world,” he told the Daily Mail. A source close to Beckham told the newspaper: ‘David is now domiciled in the UK for tax, but he wasn’t when he worked overseas. For periods of time, he was based outside the UK. He just couldn’t travel to the UK on that particular date. “But the Unicef event did go ahead, at a later date, so it would be wrong to say he let them down. Really it’s a situation in which an event moved by a month – around a guy who was abroad with his team role and donating huge amounts of money to charity at the time. “One of the periods David was living abroad, he was donating his entire salary to Unicef when in Paris, so it’s a bit rich to suggest that him being overseas was bad for the charity.”Beckham’s advisers are trying to repair his reputation after the publication of emails between him and Mr Oliveira, which have led to suggestions his charity work as a Unicef ambassador was part of a ploy to earn a knighthood.Fearing further damaging material from his private emails may become public, he is considering hiring a private investigator to find the person who tried to blackmail his publicist for £1 million. 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

Sep
25

Man dies after train hits car at rural level crossing

first_imgGWR said the crash forced the closure of the line between Swindon and Gloucester, with replacement buses in operation.A British Transport Police spokesman said: “At 3.10pm today we were called to a level crossing close to Frampton Mansell, Gloucestershire, following reports that a car had been struck by a train.”Officers from BTP attended alongside paramedics from the South Western Ambulance Service. However, a man, believed to be the driver of the car, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.”Officers are now working to identify the man and inform his family.”Trains passing through the Frampton crossing are permitted to travel at up to 50mph, according to NR.Approximately 37 trains pass by every day, with 62 pedestrians or cyclists using it.Despite the safety risks there were no accidents, near-misses or incidents of misuse in the year prior to last year’s assessment.The next one is due by August 2018. A man has died after a train ploughed into his car A man has died after a train ploughed into his carCredit:PA The driver is thought to have been thrown from the car before it was dragged along the railway tracks for half a mile.Police said he died at the scene and no-one else was injured in the crash.The Frampton crossing is a metal gate at the end of a grass track, a public footpath crossing operated by those using it. 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. A man has died after a train ploughed into his car A man has died after a train ploughed into his carCredit:PA A man has died after a train ploughed into his carCredit:PA A man has died after a train ploughed into his car on a rural level crossing in the Cotswolds.The vehicle, thought to be a Land Rover, was hit by the Great Western Railway (GWR) train at Frampton Mansell in Gloucestershire at around 3pm as it travelled from London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa. Network Rail (NR), which manages Britain’s rail infrastructure, said people must use a phone at the site and get permission from a signaller to cross the tracks.A safety assessment of the crossing in May last year highlighted “deliberate misuse or user error”, a “low sighting time” and the number of people using it as being key risks to train drivers.It is unclear whether the man requested clearance to cross the line, but residents told a passenger on the train the car had broken down on the track. Gavin Garthwaite, a customer relations manager, was on board the train when it stopped suddenly after a “massive thud”.Mr Garthwaite, 30, told the Press Association: “We didn’t really know what happened until about 15 or 20 minutes after it actually happened.”We felt this massive thud but it was an instant stop as well. We felt the impact and the train came to a sudden halt a second or two afterwards.”Then there was a tannoy announcement just to ask if there were any train drivers or members of staff on the train if they could come forward.”The initial reaction was maybe the driver had had some sort of heart attack or something to cause him to stop.”But after looking out of a window Mr Garthwaite spotted the car, thought to be an old-style Land Rover, partially trapped under the front of the train.Police and GWR staff helped passengers from the train before they took refuge at a local pub.Mr Garthwaite said residents estimated the car was dragged 800m and that the driver, thought to be a local landowner, had broken down on the track.A dog is also thought to have been killed in the incident.The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has sent inspectors to the scene and police are investigating. A man has died after a train ploughed into his carlast_img read more

Sep
25

BBC criticised for shockingly insensitive Ian Brady playlist

first_imgRadio Leeds with a lovely tribute to…Ian Brady! 🙄https://t.co/DOWP5pkqIJ— Darren (@MFCDarren1) May 22, 2017 One Twitter user wrote: “What next @RadioLeeds ? A musical quiz about Auschwitz ?”Another said: “I’ve never heard anything on the radio that is in such poor taste. Staggering. #radioleeds”Brady and his accomplice Myra Hindley murdered five children in the 1960s, and buried four of their bodies  in Saddleworth Moor in the south Pennines. A local BBC station has come under fire for their lighthearted ‘guess who it is from the songs’ game – in which the answer was Moors murderer Ian Brady.On BBC Radio Leeds, listeners were told to look out for clues in the songs to see who they were about.During the Sunday morning show, guest-hosted by BBC York’s Nathan Turvey, he played music including the theme song for The Brady Bunch, and The Smiths’ song Suffer Little Children. Unbelievable this went out on BBC Radio Leeds. Like a Brass Eye parody. https://t.co/nQprZbVkkL pic.twitter.com/wlEdpToKad— John Plunkett (@johnplunkett149) May 22, 2017 They also played All The Young Dudes by Mott The Hoople and Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads.The post with the clip has been deleted from Facebook after outcry,  and has been removed from iPlayer.center_img 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. They never said where they buried the body of the fifth child, and Brady carried the secret with him to his death when he died last week.A spokesperson from the BBC said: “This is clearly unacceptable and we apologise.” That Ian Brady “comp” was disgraceful. He should be utterly ashamed of himself. And fired.— Betty Kitten (@BettyKitten) May 22, 2017last_img read more

Sep
25

Social media firms must take more responsibility as children grow up chasing

first_imgSome Year 7 children described how receiving notifications from across the social media platforms, especially if there were a number of them, was distracting, time consuming and stressful to manage.Other children highlighted the negative effect of their parents’ social media use, complaining about “embarrassing” photographs being shared online without their permission, and exposure to inappropriate material through their mother or father’s own accounts.”While social media clearly provides some great benefits to children, it is also exposing them to significant risks emotionally, particularly as they approach Year 7,” the commissioner said. Failing to do so risks leaving a generation of children growing up chasing likesAnne Longfield A report into children's use of social media found they are at risk of 'chasing likes' It found that while eight to 10-year-olds use social media to play games, be creative and discover new things about the world, the focus shifts onto social interactions and image as children begin secondary school.This move is centred around a social pressure to be constantly contactable and connected, with children describing this as an important expectation of their friendships, and fallouts over not being responsive enough, the report said. “I want to see children living healthy digital lives. That means parents engaging more with what their children are doing online,” she added. Snapchat proved particularly popular with the young generation “Just because a child has learnt the safety messages at primary school does not mean they are prepared for all the challenges that social media will present.”It means a bigger role for schools in making sure children are prepared for the emotional demands of social media. And it means social media companies need to take more responsibility.”Failing to do so risks leaving a generation of children growing up chasing likes to make them feel happy, worried about their appearance and image as a result of the unrealistic lifestyles they follow on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, and increasingly anxious about switching off due to the constant demands of social media.”center_img “I am worried that many children are starting secondary school ill-equipped to cope with the sudden demands of social media as their world expands.”With many social media platforms having an over-13 age limit, the commissioner said it is clear companies are “still not doing enough” to stop younger children using them.Calling on schools and parents to prepare children for this change in social media use towards the end of primary school, the commissioner also warned how if action is not taken, a generation could grow up “chasing likes”.Ms Longfield also called for digital literacy and online resilience lessons for Year 6 and Year 7 students, so they learn about the emotional side of social media. Social media firms must take more responsibility for helping children through the challenges of life online, as children are at risk of “growing up chasing likes”, the Children’s Commissioner for England has warned. Anne Longfield said social media is exposing children to “significant risks emotionally”, with a particular “cliff edge” as they transition from junior into secondary school.Saying she is worried many children transitioning into Year 7 are “ill-equipped” to be able to “cope with the sudden demands of social media”, the commissioner called on schools and social media companies to do more to prepare them emotionally.In a report published by the commissioner on Thursday, called Life in Likes, it states that children become increasingly anxious about their online image as they head into their teens.The study, involving eight groups with 32 children aged eight to 12, found the most popular social media accounts are Snapchat, Instagram, Musical.ly and Whatsapp but revealed two sides to their use. Snapchat proved particularly popular with the young generation A report into children’s use of social media found they are at risk of ‘chasing likes’Credit:PA 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

Sep
25

Alzheimers disease will become manageable like HIV say awardwinning scientists

first_img“The mistakes we have made is the trials is that treatment has been given too late,” he said. 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. Prof John Hardy celebrating with colleagues in London “It’s like popping a statin to stop a heart attack.“But when we first started we knew almost nothing about Alzhiemer’s and now we understand a huge amount.”Prof De Strooper added: “In 10 years we will have a completely different picture.”The Brain Prize organisers said the winners had made essential contributions to the genetic and molecular knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease ‘which are the foundations for finding new ways to diagnose, treat and possibly even prevent it and other devastating diseases of the ageing brain’ Professor Anders Bjorklund, chairman of the Lundbeck Foundation Brain Prize selection committee, said: “Alzheimer´s disease is one of the most devastating diseases of our time and the remarkable progress that has been made during the last decades.“These four outstanding European scientists have been rewarded for their fundamental discoveries unravelling molecular and genetic causes of the disease that have provided a basis for the current attempts to diagnose, treat and possibly even prevent neurodegenerative brain diseases.“The award recognises that there is more to Alzheimer´s disease than amyloid, and that the field of dementia research is more than Alzheimer´s disease alone.”center_img Alzheimer’s sufferers may be able to live with the disease without the devastating symptoms within the next few decades, scientists said as they were awarded the Brain Prize for their work fighting the illness.Professor Michel Goedert, of Cambridge University, who discovered the importance of tau protein in Alzheimer’s said he could see a time when dementia became a chronic illness like HIV.Prof Goedert who shares the one million euro Brain Prize with four colleagues, said: “Alzheimer’s will become something like HIV. It’s still there but it has been contained, or whittled down by drug treatments.“It will disappear as a major problem from society.”Prof Goedert was awarded the prize alongside Professors John Hardy and Bart De Strooper of University College London who developed the hypothesis that Alzheimer’s is caused by a build-up of amyloid protein in the brain, and Professor Christian Haass of Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich.Prof Hardy said in the future, treatments for Alzheimer’s would be taken before the disease developed to prevent symptoms rather than trying to reverse them. He said may drug trials had failed because they had started when the disease was too well established. Prof John Hardy celebrating with colleagues in Londonlast_img read more

Sep
25

Stephen Hawking dies at 76 A star just went out world honours renowned

first_imgProfessor Stephen Hawking was in a wheelchair from the age of 30Credit:JULIAN SIMMONDS for The Telegraph  In 1974, he became one of the youngest fellows of Britain’s most prestigious scientific body, the Royal Society, at the age of 32.Five years later, he was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, where he had moved from Oxford University to study theoretical astronomy and cosmology. A previous holder of the prestigious post was the 17th-century British scientist Isaac Newton.The news of his illness came as an enormous shock that for a time plunged the budding academic into deep despair.But he was rescued by an old friend, Jane Wilde, who went on to become his first wife, giving him a family with three children. Jane cared for Hawking for 20 years, until a grant from the United States paid for the 24-hour care he required.’An inspiration to millions’ – University of Cambridge on Prof Hawking’s ‘indelible legacy’Professor Stephen Hawking was “an inspiration to millions” and his work will leave “an indelible legacy”, the University of Cambridge has said.He retired from this position as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 2009, and became the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research in the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics until his death. European Council president Donald Tusk tweeted a tribute to Prof Hawking: The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki wrote on Instagram: “Not only your brilliance, but your sense of humor will be sorely missed by all.”James Hartle, physicistMr Hartle, whose work with Prof Hawking led to the Hartle-Hawking model of the universe’s origins, said his colleague had “inspired a lot of people”.Prof Hartle told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “What was unique about him was that he had a marvellous ability to see through all the clutter in physics and to see what the essential points are and that, of course, was a great thing for going forward.”He added: “My memory of him would be on several fronts: first our work together, as a scientist, and second as a human being whose whole story is of triumph over adversity and who inspired a lot of people, including me.”Paralympic GamesThe organisers of the Paralympic Games described Prof Hawkins as “a pioneer of the human spirit”. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said Prof Hawking had “made the world a better place” and his death was “anguishing”. Stephen Hawking at his Oxford graduation Graduate assistant Colin P. Williams talks with physicist Stephen Hawking at Harvard University Eddie Redmayne starred as Professor Hawking in the 2014 film The Theory Of EverythingCredit:James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock  Stephen Hawking shot to international fame after the 1988 publication of his bookCredit:REX/Shutterstock  Eddie Redmayne starred as Professor Hawking in the 2014 film The Theory Of Everything As tributes to the acclaimed physicist poured in from around the world, Prime Minister Theresa May said he was “a brilliant and extraordinary mind – one of the great  scientists of his generation” whose “courage, humour and determination to get  the most from life was an inspiration”.The University of Cambridge said he was “an inspiration to millions” and his work will leave “an indelible legacy”.Eddie Redmayne, who starred as Professor Hawking in The Theory Of Everything, said in a statement: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet.”My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.” After the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2013, almost five decades after British physicist Peter Higgs developed the theory in the 1960s, Prof Hawking admitted he was disappointed the so-called “God particle” had been found.The discovery earned Prof Higgs the Nobel Prize.The Higgs boson is theorised to give other particles mass, but Prof Hawking said in a speech at London’s Science Museum: “Physics would be far more interesting if it had not been found,” because it would force scientists to develop alternative solutions to the problem of mass.He joked: “I had a bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn’t be found. The Nobel Prize cost me 100 dollars.”Unafraid of ruffling the feathers of the religiousHawking was an outspoken commentator on life back on earth, voicing his disapproval in recent years of both the election of Donald Trump in the United States, and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.He was unafraid of ruffling the feathers of the religious, dismissing the concept of an afterlife in a 2011 Guardian interview.”I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first,” he said at the time.”I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” he added.He was also outspoken when it came to artificial intelligence,  warning it “could spell the end of the human race.”MND: The disease that kills a third of people in a year – Prof Hawking survived for half a century Professor Hawking overcame a debilitating rare disease to become one of the world’s best known physicists.He survived for around half a century after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), despite being told he had just years to live when he was diagnosed.The disease kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis, according to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.Yet Prof Hawking was diagnosed with the condition in his early 20s and lived until he was 76. The condition is fatal, and usually progresses rapidly, affecting the brain and spinal cord.MND is the collective name for a group of diseases that affect the nerves in the brain and spinal cord that control movement.The condition progressively damages parts of the nervous system which leads to muscle weakness, stiffening and waste. Mayim Bialik, actress and neuroscientistThe actress met and worked with Prof Hawking when he appeared on US sitcom The Big Bang Theory.She tweeted: “As we near Pi day (3.14) I join the global community in mourning the loss of the greatest physicist of our era.”Along with a picture of Prof Hawking with the cast of the programme, she added: “He is soaring above us now marveling at it all.” Sad to hear about Stephen Hawking. What a remarkable life. His contributions to science will be used as long as there are scientists, and there are many more scientists because of him. He spoke about the value and fragility of human life and civilisation and greatly enhanced both— Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) March 14, 2018 Political reactionLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn was among the politicians sharing tributes to Prof Hawking, saying: “Stephen Hawking inspired the world with his determination to explain the mysteries of the cosmos.”But he also showed breathtaking courage to overcome life’s adversities and a burning passion to protect our National Health Service. He will be greatly missed.”Prof Hawking was a Labour supporter but in March 2017 said Mr Corbyn had been a “disaster” as leader, adding: “His heart is in the right place and many of his policies are sound, but he has allowed himself to be portrayed as a left-wing extremist.”Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who was among the politicians sharing tributes, said Prof Hawking had “changed the way we see the universe”. Have fun out there among the stars. pic.twitter.com/S285MTwGtp— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 14, 2018 Professor Stephen Hawking at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge Credit:Eleanor Bentall /Corbis RIP Stephen Hawking – you changed the way we see the universe.— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 14, 2018 Stephen Hawking’s ex-wife Jane Hawking, who was married to the physicist for 30 years, said she was “deeply saddened by the news of the death in the early hours of this morning of our dear Stephen”.She added: “I am glad to be able to say that he died peacefully in the comfort of his own home.”The peace that he has found is well earned after such an extraordinary and courageous life, but we shall feel his loss keenly for a long time.”In a statement early on Wednesday, Prof Hawking’s children Lucy, Robert and Tim said: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.”He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”Prof Hawking was born on January 8 1942 in Oxford, the eldest of four children, and went on to become one of the world’s most acclaimed cosmologists. It had to happen, eventually. We were lucky to have him for so long, and I was lucky to be able to work with him. A truly fabulous human being. Stephen Hawking. Funny, perverse, and, of course, brilliant.— errolmorris (@errolmorris) March 14, 2018 As we near Pi day (3.14) I join the global community in mourning the loss of the greatest physicist of our era. #StephenHawking is free from the physical constraints of this earthly condition we all exist in and he is soaring above us now marveling at it all. pic.twitter.com/o3V0TZrppj— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) March 14, 2018 Professor Brian CoxThe scientist and broadcaster told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Prof Hawking was “one of the greats”.”There are many good theoretical physicists who make a big contribution, but there aren’t that many greats,” he added.”And by that I mean that I think there are physicists in a thousand years’ time, they will still be talking about Hawking radiation, they will be using his fundamental results on black holes.” “It matters if you just don’t give up.” Remembering Stephen Hawking.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 14, 2018 Prof Hawking arrived at the University of Cambridge in 1962 as a PhD student, and rose through the ranks to become the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position once held by Sir Isaac Newton, in 1979.His most famous scientific insight concerned the arcane physics of black holes. He discovered the phenomenon which has become known as Hawking radiation, where black holes leak energy and fade to nothing.Nasa remembered Prof Hawking as a “renowned physicist and ambassador of science”, while inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, said: “We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking.”British astronaut Tim Peake said Prof Hawking “inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe”.’I try to lead as normal a life as possible’: Prof Hawking on living with ALSProf Hawking was left having to use a wheelchair by the time he was 30. In 1986, aged 44, his voice was removed to save his life after an attack of pneumonia.From then on, he spoke through a computer synthesiser on the arm of his wheelchair. “I am quite often asked: how do you feel about having ALS?” he once wrote. “The answer is, not a lot.”I try to lead as normal a life as possible, and not think about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not that many.” His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it’s not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure. Stephen Hawking, RIP 1942-2018. pic.twitter.com/nAanMySqkt— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) March 14, 2018 RIP Professor Stephen Hawking…a great man and friend. Thinking of Stephen’s family at this time ❤️Perhaps the RAF motto was written for him….”Per Ardua Ad Astra”….”Through Adversity To The Stars” ✨✨ https://t.co/YkRQnzKm2A— Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders) March 14, 2018 Sir Tim Berners-LeeThe inventor of the World Wide Web described Prof Hawking as having “a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit”.He tweeted: “We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking.”Carol VordermanThe former Countdown presenter described Prof Hawking as “a great man and friend”. NasaThe US space agency, described Professor Hawking as an “ambassador of science” in a video post on Twitter. Professor Stephen Hawking was an outstanding scientist and academic. His grit and tenacity inspired people all over the world. His demise is anguishing. Professor Hawking’s pioneering work made our world a better place. May his soul rest in peace.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 14, 2018 Prof Hawking was Britain’s most famous modern day scientist, a genius with a razor-sharp wit who dedicated his life to unlocking the secrets of the Universe.”My goal is simple,” he once said. “It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”A Brief History of Time: A book ‘that would sell on airport bookstalls’Much of Prof Hawking’s work centred on bringing together relativity – the nature of space and time – and quantum theory – how the smallest particles in the Universe behave – to explain the creation of the universe and how it is governed.Hawking shot to international fame after the 1988 publication of A Brief History of Time, one of the most complex books ever to achieve mass appeal, which stayed on the Sunday Times best-sellers list for no fewer than 237 weeks.He said he wrote the book to convey his own excitement over recent discoveries about the universe.”My original aim was to write a book that would sell on airport bookstalls,” he told reporters at the time. “In order to make sure it was understandable I tried the book out on my nurses. I think they understood most of it.” “We are all different. There is no such thing as a standard or run of the mill human being.”Rest in peace Stephen, thank you for being a pioneer of the human spirit. You will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/kD9ViVCTBJ— Paralympic Games (@Paralympics) March 14, 2018 Sally Light, chief executive of the MND Association, said: “All of us at the MND Association have been extremely saddened by the news of Professor Hawking’s passing.”Through so many years in the public eye he did a huge amount to raise awareness of motor neurone disease, yet he never allowed himself to be defined by his illness. His approach to life with MND is an example to all of us.” The university’s vice-chancellor Professor Stephen Toope said: “Professor Hawking was a unique individual who will be remembered with warmth and affection not only in Cambridge but all over the world.”His exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and the popularisation of science and mathematics have left an indelible legacy. His character was an inspiration to millions. He will be much missed.” Greenpeace USAThe campaign group thanked Prof Hawking for helping people understand their place in the universe and for “leaving us in awe and wonder”.Prof Hawking’s popularity in ChinaProf Hawking’s Sina Weibo site attracted 3.6 million followers just over two weeks after it was set it up last April and now has nearly five million followers, reports Neil Connor in Beijing.The Chinese call him “Hawking Dada” or “Uncle Hawking”. It is an affectionate term. Xi Jinping is called “Xi Dada”.His posts on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) generated tens of thousands of admiring comments apiece.News of his death at age 76 quickly became the top-trending Weibo topic, with the hashtag #Hawking passed generating more than 450 million reads and nearly 250,000 comments in the hours after his death was announced.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang called him a “fighter for science who arduously battled illness for a long time”.Mr Lu said Hawking also “strongly insisted” on visiting the Great Wall when he made a trip to China, despite his physical condition.How Stephen Hawking made his mark on popular cultureHe was an intellectual giant, but Professor Stephen Hawking also embraced popular culture. The celebrated physicist featured in cartoon The Simpsons and enjoyed a cameo in several episodes of The Big Bang Theory, the hit US sitcom about a group of science geeks.The SimpsonsIn The Simpsons, a cartoon version of the professor, complete with voice generator, appeared in Springfield many times.In the episode They Saved Lisa’s Brain, in which he appears with his flying wheelchair, Prof Hawking says: “Your theory of a doughnut shaped universe is intriguing Homer. I may have to steal it.”He was so proud of his appearance in The Simpsons, which he called “the best thing on American television”, that he had a clock depicting Homer on a wall in his office.Star Trek: The Next GenerationHe also featured, in 1993, in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. His character was seen playing poker with Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.”The uncertainty principle will not help you now Stephen,” Einstein tells him.FuturamaHe also appeared in Futurama, the other cartoon by Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening, in which he takes the credit for inventing gravity.The Theory Of EverythingEddie Redmayne played Professor Hawking in the film The Theory Of Everything, winning an Oscar for the role, portraying the scientist as a young man.”He has a real force of charisma and humour and incisive wit and a sense of mischief”, Redmayne said of Prof Hawking.HawkingBenedict Cumberbatch previously played Prof Hawking in TV film Hawking in 2004, for which he was Bafta nominated for best actor.Why Professor Hawking never won the Nobel PrizeProfessor Stephen Hawking’s groundbreaking work earned him dozens of accolades over his lifetime, but the coveted Nobel Prize always eluded him.His discovery in 1974 that black holes should emit radiation was initially controversial as it was widely accepted that nothing, not even light, could escape their gravity.His theory, dubbed “Hawking Radiation”, was based on mathematical concepts arising from quantum mechanics, the branch of science dealing with sub-atomic particles. It stated that this emission of radiation eventually causes black holes to “evaporate” and vanish.Although it became widely accepted, Hawking Radiation was never proved by astronomers or physicists – if it had, it would almost certainly have earned him the Nobel Prize.In January 2016, Prof Hawking gave a Reith Lecture broadcast on the BBC in which he joked that his lack of a Nobel Prize was “a pity”.He said: “A mountain-sized black hole would give off X-rays and gamma rays, at a rate of about 10 million megawatts, enough to power the world’s electricity supply.”It wouldn’t be easy however, to harness a mini black hole – about the only way to keep hold of it would be to have it in orbit around the Earth.”People have searched for mini black holes of this mass, but have so far not found any. This is a pity because if they had I would have got a Nobel Prize.” He added: “Actually, the last time I saw him at his 75th birthday party, he was talking about the new gravitational wave experiment where we’ve seen the collisions of black holes, and speculating that those results might be able to prove some of his theorems once and for all.”Plus his contributions to the physics of the very early universe, so there are at least three and possibly more areas where his work will be remembered as long as there are cosmologists and that’s the best you can hope for as a scientist.”Lawrence M. Krauss, theoretical physicistThe best-selling author said a “star just went out in the cosmos”.”We have lost an amazing human being. Stephen Hawking fought and tamed the cosmos bravely for 76 years and taught us all something important about what it truly means to celebrate about being human. I will miss him.”Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicistThe American astrophysicist and author said Prof Hawking’s “passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake”. Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014 pic.twitter.com/FeR4fd2zZ5— NASA (@NASA) March 14, 2018 Graduate assistant Colin P. Williams talks to Stephen Hawking at Harvard University in 1984Credit:Boston Globe/Getty  Professor Stephen Hawking, British theoretical physicist. Photographed at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge  Prof Hawking was a fellow at the university’s Gonville and Caius College, where a book of condolence is due to be opened.Astronomer Royal, Professor Lord Martin Rees, emeritus professor of cosmology and astrophysics at Cambridge, said:”Soon after I enrolled as a graduate student at Cambridge University in 1964, I encountered a fellow student, two years ahead of me in his studies; he was unsteady on his feet and spoke with great difficulty.”This was Stephen Hawking. He had recently been diagnosed with a degenerative disease, and it was thought that he might not survive long enough even to finish his PhD. But, amazingly, he lived on to the age of 76.”Even mere survival would have been a medical marvel, but of course he didn’t just survive. He became one of the most famous scientists in the world – acclaimed as a world-leading researcher in mathematical physics, for his best-selling books about space, time and the cosmos, and for his astonishing triumph over adversity.”Tragedy struck Stephen Hawking when he was only 22. He was diagnosed with a deadly disease, and his expectations dropped to zero.”He himself said that everything that happened since then was a bonus. And what a triumph his life has been.”His name will live in the annals of science – millions have had their cosmic horizons widened by his best-selling books, and even more, around the world, have been inspired by a unique example of achievement against all the odds – a manifestation of amazing willpower and determination.”Eddie Redmayne on ‘the funniest man’ he ever metProf Hawking’s rise to fame and relationship with his first wife, Jane, was dramatised in a 2014 film, The Theory Of Everything.Eddie Redmayne put in an Oscar-winning performance as the physicist battling with a devastating illness.Following Prof Hawking’s death, Redmayne describing him as “the funniest man” he has ever met.He said in a statement: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet. My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.”Benedict Cumberbatch will raise margarita ‘to the stars to celebrate your life’Benedict Cumberbatch, who also played Prof Hawking on screen, said in a statement:”I was so sad to hear that Stephen has died. I send my heartfelt love and condolences to all his family and colleagues.”I feel so lucky to have known such a truly great man who’s profundity was found both in his work and the communication of that work. Both in person and in books.”He virtually created the publishing genre of popular science. A heroic feat to bring the wondrous complexities of the universe to all outside of specialists in this field.”But truly courageous when considering it was achieved by a man who lived a life trapped in his body from the age of 21 when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.”His support of the sciences, art, education and the NHS and charities such as the MND foundation will also live on as will his wickedly funny sense of humour.”I will miss our margaritas but will raise one to the stars to celebrate your life and the light of understanding you shone so brightly on them for the rest of us. You were and are a true inspiration for me and for millions around the world. Thank you.”An ambassador of science… a remarkable life: Tributes flood in from around worldThe Prime Minister has led tributes to Professor Hawking, as scientists and celebrities hailed a man who had brought complex science to the masses.Theresa May said: “Professor Stephen Hawking was a brilliant and extraordinary mind – one of the great scientists of his generation.”His courage, humour and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten.”Barack ObamaThe former US President tweeted a picture of himself speaking with  Prof Hawking at the White House and wrote: “Have fun out there among the  stars.”  Errol Morris, film-makerThe film-maker, who made a biographical documentary called A Brief History of Time, said he was “funny, perverse, and, of course, brilliant”.  Stephen Hawking at his Oxford graduationCredit:SWNS.com  Stephen Hawking   Professor Stephen Hawking Professor Stephen Hawking dies at home in CambridgeWorld renowned physicist wrote A Brief History of TimeHis life was dominated by incurable motor neurone diseaseProf Hawking beat odds after being given just 14 months to liveEddie Redmayne hails ‘astonishing scientist and funniest man’Why Prof Hawking never won the coveted Nobel PrizeGreatest quotes: ‘Without imperfection, you or I would not exist’Obituary: Brilliant theoretical physicist who achieved cult statusProfessor Stephen Hawking, the renowned British physicist and author of A Brief History of Time, has died at the age of 76.He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning, his family said.Prof Hawking, one of the world’s finest scientific minds, was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease in 1964 at the age of 22 and was given just a few years to live.He eventually became confined to a wheelchair and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication.Despite this, he continued to travel the world giving lectures and writing scientific papers about the basic laws that govern the universe. Prof Hawking explained the Big Bang and black holes in his best-selling book A Brief History Of Time. 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

Sep
25

Gardeners must prune roses plant potatoes and mow the lawn in short

first_imgGardeners should use this burst of sunshine to prune their roses  Gardeners should use this burst of sunshine to prune their roses  “Clear out all pots and refresh compost. In a couple of weeks, garden centres will be full of all the pretty pretties so you need to be ready.“Edge your lawn and start mowing it on a high setting. Don’t scalp it.“The normal time to plant potatoes is Easter but the weather was so awful that I imagine many haven’t done it so you need to get them in quick.”She said perennials such as phlox, big daisies and delphiniums would shoot up “very quickly and suddenly” so it was important to get supports and stakes into the ground.Guy Barter, chief horticulturist at the Royal Horticultural Society, agreed, noting that it they are left too late and fall over they never properly recover. 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. Sunrise at Rockford Common in the new Forest near Ringwood, HampshireCredit:Nick Lucas/SWNS.com The sun is finally showing its face, the magnolias and cherry blossoms have burst forth in a magnificent, if rather late, show of colour, but the garden (be honest) leaves a lot to be desired.Now, experts have warned that spring will be over almost as quickly as it began and those jobs long delayed by the gloomy weather need urgent attention before it’s too late.If you have not yet pruned your roses, planted your potatoes or edged and mowed the lawn, take note: the window of opportunity is small, it is time to get cracking.Helen Yemm, the garden writer and Telegraph columnist, said: “The weather has been so vile that a lot of the work we would normally have done by now needs urgent attention.“We need to get galvanised and catch up, which gardeners always do in the end. The average date for mowing the lawn for the first time is March 26 so we’re a good two or three weeks behind. It’s going to be a bit hectic.” He said such jobs needed to be done in spring to guarantee maximum benefit in the “golden days” of June and July when the days are long and the sun is high.“One must seize the day,” he said.“If you wait until May to sow seeds, there will be a lot of bare soil come June.“Early spring is a wonderful time to do it, it’s nice to get ahead and sow things in March.center_img Sunrise at Rockford Common in the new Forest near Ringwood, Hampshire “It is also the week to feed roses and peonies with Vitax Q4. This is the time to get that feed on.”There will be a bit of frantic activity this week as the ground warms up but it’s the perfect opportunity to really get stuck in.” Gardening expert Val Bourne noted that the late appearance of the sun had “concertinaed everything together” but said that as the ground warms up this week, plants should germinate really well.“It’s frustrating as a gardner when you can’t crack on,” she said. “Now is the time to really get things in the ground but if the soil sticks to your boots it’s still too wet to sow.“It is the week to plant parsnips as they take 30 days to germinate. It is also time to get those early potatoes in, onions, shallots and veg such as carrots, beetroots and broad beans. Though if it turns hot, lettuce seeds need to go somewhere cool and shady. “But mid-April is fine; the soil is moist, it’s a good time to thinking about sowing wild flowers.“Garden centres will be full to bursting with the stock that has been sitting there for weeks now so there will be a rush to scoop everything up.“No doubt some gardeners will be rueing their rashness in getting things in in March, many will be now having to buy replacements.”He said that now was also the time to prune evergreen shrubs once they have finished flowering. She said that anyone who had not yet pruned their roses needed to do so “right away”.“If it was wet and cold and you delayed it, do it now,” she said.last_img read more

Sep
25

Judge names five 15yearold boys who murdered teen to deter youngsters from

Jacob Abraham, 15, was ambushed in an alleywayCredit:Hertfordshire Police/PA It is important all members of the community… stop the other 14-year-old boys who have not yet committed an offence of murder or been convicted of it should know that there is a price to be paid for joining up in gangsMr Justice Edis Jacob Abraham, 15, was ambushed in an alleyway A judge decided to name five 15-year-old boys who “tortured” a teenager to death in an alleyway in a move to deter young people from joining gangs.Mr Justice Edis revealed his frustration that older members of the gang who may have promoted the killing escaped justice, as he highlighted how there is a “price to be paid” for committing such serious crimes.Kai Fisher-Dixon, Shuayb Mahomud, Tremayne Gray, Omarion Stephens and Abdulqaliq Mohamed stabbed Jacob Abraham, also 15, eight times in the legs and once in the arm.They were each handed life sentences on Friday.A court heard three of the teenagers had to change out of their school uniforms before carrying out the “punishment mission” on behalf of the “AP gang” to teach him a lesson because he was a rival to their “county lines” drug operation.He tried to run home but could not make it because of his injuries and was found dying by his brother in the alleyway in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, on December 7 last year. The five attackers, three of whom were just 14 years old at the time, were captured by CCTV cameras running away from the scene.The court heard Stephens and Gray wielded the knives but prosecutors said all of the boys were jointly responsible having lured Jacob to the scene wanting him to suffer at least really serious harm.The boys, who are all from Enfield in north London, all denied murder but were found guilty by a jury after a five-week trial at St Albans Crown Court on June 25.Gray and Stephens must serve at least 14 years, Mohamed 13 years and Fisher-Dixon and Mahomud 12 years.Lifting an anonymity order preventing the publication of their names, Mr Justice Edis said: “In favour of lifting the order is the importance on the public being able to know what has happened in a case of murder and who is responsible for what. “There is a deterrent element in these proceedings being fully publicised and published, which is in the important public interest.”In my judgment that is especially so in view of my findings about the context of the case, which are that this was a gang-related killing promoted by older and more sophisticated members of the gang who have not been brought to justice.”It is important all members of the community in which this occurred know that and stop the other 14-year-old boys who have not yet committed an offence of murder or been convicted of it should know that there is a price to be paid for joining up in gangs and that they know and should be able to relate that price to people they know and can identify because it will mean more if they can.” The court heard Jacob, the son of an award-winning chef, was a devoted son and brother at home but was “no angel” and had dealt cannabis on a small scale.He was a member of the local church and on the day of his death had been handing out sandwiches to homeless people, his mother Sheba said.Prosecutors said he had been involved in fights and had had an argument with members of a north London gang, known as the Albany Park or “AP gang”. Shortly before his murder he posted a message on his Snapchat account: “If you want to mess with me come and mess with me around my yard,” the court heard.The judge said Fisher-Dixon, who lured Jacob with phone calls before orchestrating the others to get to the alley at the right time, had “delivered his friend into the hands of his enemies”. 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. read more

Sep
25

Mick Jagger suffering from a physical injury sustained during tour preparations sources

Mick Jagger has delayed concerts after suffering from a “physical injury” sustained during tour preparations, sources have confirmed.The Rolling Stones frontman sent shockwaves around the world and fans into a frenzy when it was announced that the band had postponed their tour of the US and Canada because Jagger had fallen ill.In a statement, the band said that doctors had advised Jagger, 75, not to tour because he needs to receive medical treatment.”I really hate letting you down like this,” the singer wrote in a statement to fans which was published on his social media channels on Saturday night. “I’m devastated for having to postpone the tour but I will be working very hard to be back on stage as soon as I can.”Despite panic from fans about the long-term health of the rock star, sources have confirmed to The Telegraph that Jagger is in perfectly good health, but has in fact only injured himself after training for shows.A source close to Jagger, who follows a strict diet and exercise regime, said: “It’s not a mystery illness, it’s a physical injury as a result of his strenuous pre-tour preparations. Doctors have told him to take it easy and to concentrate on his recovery. “ In a statement to Rolling Stone magazine, the band’s publicist had said that Jagger was “expected to make a complete recovery, so that he can get back on stage as soon as possible”. However no details were given about his health.The band’s No Filter world tour officially started in September 2017 with a concert in Hamburg, Germany. The Rolling Stones have since toured across Europe and the UK and they announced shows in the US and Canada in November 2018.The tour will be postponed for around a month and the promoters AEG Presents/Concerts West told fans that their tickets will still be valid at the rescheduled concerts.Jagger’s bandmates were quick to show their support for Jagger. Keith Richards, 75, tweeted: “A big disappointment for everyone but things need to be taken care of and we will see you soon. Mick, we are always there for you!”The guitarist Ronnie Wood, 71, added: “We’ll miss you over the next few weeks, but we’re looking forward to seeing you all again very soon. Here’s to Mick – thanks for your supportive messages it means to much to us.” 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. read more

Sep
25

Prince Harry and Meghans royal wedding effect helps boost Royal Collection to

Windsor Castle and Frogmore House, the site of the royal weddings and the Sussex’s evening reception respectively, celebrated an extra 200,000 visitors – their highest total ever at 1.7m – thanks to special exhibitions giving a glimpse behind the scenes of the nuptials. Royal Mews, where the Ascot Landau Prince Harry and Meghan Markle used for their carriage ride was put on show, received £200,000 more from paying guests.  Since then, only 2016-7 has seen a comparable boost in sales, at 20 per cent, thanks to the commemorative range for the Queen’s 90th birthday and a new selection of leather collars, dog bandannas and coats for pets inspired by her corgis.  It brought tourists flocking to Windsor and joy to royal-watchers everywhere. The Royal Wedding also had a more tangible effect, as the Royal Collection Trust announces a record year of visitors and gift sales. The RCT has reported a bumper year in which it received £72 million in income, its highest annual visitor numbers to date, and an 18 per cent rise in retail sales thanks to landmark moments including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.Year-on-year, it enjoyed the biggest increase in income from admissions since 2011, when the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge inspired a 26 per cent rise in ticket sales and a 46 per cent increase from retail. In 2018-9, the Trust made £48.3m from admissions to residences including Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, Windsor Castle and Frogmore House: an 18 per cent rise from the previous financial year. Retail sales, from the palaces’ gift shops, increased from £18.2 to £21.7 million year-on-year, with “noticeable growth” from online shopping “reflecting the popularity of Royal Wedding-related merchandise”.  The annual report noted in particular the success of commemorative china to mark the birth of Prince Louis, the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, and the 70th birthday of the Prince of Wales. The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton saw a 46 per cent rise in sales The wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank The wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack BrooksbankCredit:PA While the Trust benefitted from sales of a commemorative range for Prince Louis’ birth, it will not receive a comparable boost from Archie Mountbatten-Windsor next year. As he does not have the title of “His Royal Highness”, no such official memorabilia was produced. This year, the Royal Collection shops launched two new collaborations: a range of silk pyjamas, eye masks and scarves featuring corgis and crowns, and a collection of jewellery inspired by pieces worn by the Queen. The birth of Prince Louis was celebrated with a commemorative range Writing in the report’s foreword, Tim Knox, the new director of the Royal Collection Trust, said: “It is with great pleasure and pride that I look back on the past 12 months, a year in which we welcomed a record number of visitors to the palaces, achieved the highest-ever level of retail sales and staged an unprecedented 22 exhibitions around the UK.”The report notes that “other retail income”, which includes online shopping and gifts bought through other venues such as John Lewis or the Historic Royal Palaces, went up by around £1m. In 2011-2, the RCT recorded an “extremely successful year, continuing to benefit from the effects of the celebrations surrounding the marriage of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge”, with more than 190,000 items of wedding-related merchandise sold to make around £4 million. The birth of Prince Louis was celebrated with a commemorative rangeCredit:Duchess of Cambridge The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton saw a 46 per cent rise in salesCredit:AP read more

Sep
25

Lady Brittan accuses Tom Watson of being untruthful over his dealings with

Lady Brittan was in deep grief when Mr Watson wrote an article in a tabloid newspaper in which he quoted Carl Beech describing the Conservative peer “as close to evil as a human being could get”. Lady Brittan has told friends of her disgust at the ‘awful allegations’ levelled against the former home secretary by Labour’s deputy leader just four days after her husband’s death. Leon Brittan’s widow has broken her silence, branding Tom Watson ‘untruthful’ and ‘disingenuous’ over his dealings with a convicted fantasist and paedophile. Beech has since been convicted of perverting the course of justice and fraud over invented allegations that Lord Brittan along with Sir Edward Heath, and Field Marshall… read more

Sep
25

Trans people to be given option of putting sex different to birth

It also can be used to “monitor equality between groups of people of different sexes”, the document continues.The move comes amid a cultural sea change among public bodies about how biological sex is recorded, even if the individual in question has not undergone physical changes. The NHS, prisons and schools have all taken to steps towards allowing people to register as the gender with which they best identify.Dr Juile Maxwell, a paediatrician for the NHS, raised concerns about the implications the move could have for public funding. “Almost every kind of illness behaves differently in men and women,” she told the Mail on Sunday. “If the national statistics are skewed in this way so you don’t know how many biological men or women there are, and if you add on to that the fact people are already changing their sex on medical records, you lose any meaningful knowledge of how often health problems are happening in men and women. “And my biggest fear for children is they are not going to get appropriate health services allocated for their needs because of messing around with statistics.”The census will be sent out to 26 million households – electronically rather than by post for the first time – in March 2021 Trans people will be permitted to change their sex on the next official census, despite warnings it could mean the statistics become “skewed”.Guidance for the forthcoming survey in 2021 will give respondents the option to state their sex is “different from what is on your birth certificate”. It is feared the advice, which applies to both adults and children, could distort population data upon which the Government bases future policy. A set of “rehearsal” questions published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this month provided written advice alongside the question on sexIt said: “If you are one or more of non-binary, transgender, have variations of sex characteristics, sometimes also known as intersex, the answer you give can be different from what is on your birth certificate. “If you’re not sure how to answer, use the sex registered on your official documents, such as passport or driving licence, or whichever answer best describes your sex.“A later question gives the option to tell us if your gender is different from your sex registered at birth, and, if different, to record your gender.”Explaining why the question is asked, the census form is expected to say the answers helps “charities, organisations, and local and central government to understand what services people might need”. 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. read more

Sep
25

PAC grills REOs as major discrepancies found in several Regions

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related …says it will recommend action be taken against Region 8 REO  Several pertinent concerns were raised and articulated during the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting in Parliament Chambers on Monday, including over payments to contractors and the shortages of drugs.Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) Regional Executive Officer (REO) Gavin Clarke told the PAC meeting that resources in the national budget for the procurement of drugs for the Region were spent but were not meant to be spent.Moreover, it was brought to the attention of the Committee, that there were severe shortages of drugs in the Region and the money set aside for drug purchases had already been utilised.Clarke was also cautioned about information he presented to the PAC, as he was in the habit of withdrawing answers when quizzed on occupation of Government quarters by members of the PAC.The REO was further cautioned by PAC Chairman Irfaan Ali about his responses.Meanwhile, REO for Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), Rafel Downes was grilled about over-payments to contractors and could not provide answers as to the measures being taken to address the situation.Ali said the Region was not only faced with that issue, highlighting that the office has also been faced with financial mismanagement over the past two years.Downes was advised to issue the defaulting contractors with letters from the Region’s attorney in an effort to recover the monies owed.One PAC member also highlighted the fact that at least five of the 11 delinquent contractors tendered and signed additional contract documents at the REO’s office, but did not repay what was owed.Ali said it was unacceptable, because the Region continued to drag its feet on the issue.The meeting was subsequently suspended, and the REO was advised to implement all outstanding recommendations.The REO was then instructed to procure the information requested and provide answers to the Finance Secretary of the Finance Ministry, the Accountant General and the Auditor General’s Office.Recommendations were also made to have measures put in place to ensure that regional officials are fully equipped and prepared to appear before the PAC.The PAC says will be making several recommendations for swift action when it submits a report to the National Assembly that includes taking action against the REO.A meeting between regional officials and the PAC is due in all 10 administrative regions. read more