Archives : Sep-2019

The NCAA has fired Abigail Grantstein, who was the lead investigator in the Shabazz Muhammad case, according to CBSSports.com on Thursday.Grantstein’s firing comes a month after a woman informed the Los Angeles Times that she heard Grantstein’s boyfriend talking about the case on an airplane flight. Grantstein’s boyfriend mentioned how Muhammad would never be cleared to play for UCLA Bruins this season.Muhammad initially had been ruled ineligible to play at the start of the season and was forced to sit out the first three games of the season. The NCAA conducted an investigation about impermissible benefits the 6-foot-6 guard was determined to have accepted.During Grantstein’s lengthy investigation for the NCAA, they uncovered Muhammad had received travel expenses and lodging during two unofficial visits during his recruitment. Robert Orr, Muhammad’s attorney, said those visits were to North Carolina and Duke and were paid for by Benjamin Lincoln, a financial adviser and friend of Muhammad’s family.The three games that Muhammad sat out were deemed as his suspension after Bruins filed an appeal. His family also had to pay back about $1,600 dollars.“UCLA acknowledged amateurism violations occurred…” the NCAA said in a statement last month. “The university required the student-athlete to miss 10 percent of the season (three games) and repay approximately $1,600 in impermissible benefits.”Sources close to CBSSports.com reported that Grantstein’s job was on the line when they were made of known of Grantstein’s boyfriend conversation.Muhammad is a projected first-round lottery pick in June’s NBA Draft. He is currently averaging 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds a game since his suspension.Grantstein was a member of the NCAA’s Basketball Focus Group and worked on the cases centered around the amateur status of elite prospects. She worked on the high-profiled case of Kansas’ Josh Shelby.The NCAA has yet to release a comment on the firing of Grantstein. read more

Iman Shumpert has been rapping since he was a fledgling, so when asked about other “NBA rappers” he wasn’t very impressed. For example, Shumpert had this to say about one of the NBA’s most notable  MCs-Metta World Peace, “Oh, he’s horrible. He is horrible.”Shumpert has a theory, “There’s a difference between guys who rap and ‘NBA rappers’.”In the video, Shumpert takes a moment to explain why “NBA rappers” are so bad and why he proclaims himself the best rapper in the league. read more

* Partial season.Estimates are based on Tom Tango’s WARcel projection method and use the median recovery periods for Tommy John surgery patients who were hitters (11 months) and pitchers (15 months).Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs, Jon Roegele, TangoTiger.com 2018RecoveringRecoveringRecovering 20191.5*0.4*1.1 SeasonJuly 20182018-19 OFFSEASONDOESN’T HAVE SURGERY 20201.21.21.2 2018Recovering0.70.7 SeasonJuly 20182018-19 OFFSEASONDOESN’T HAVE SURGERY July 20182018-19 OFFSEASONDOESN’T HAVE SURGERY Returning to the Los Angeles Angels’ lineup following a monthlong injury layoff, Shohei Ohtani finally reminded everyone last Sunday night why he ranks among baseball’s most electrifying players. Pinch-hitting against the crosstown rival Dodgers in the seventh inning, Ohtani blasted a 2-2 fastball from JT Chargois 443 feet to center field, giving the Angels what eventually proved to be a decisive lead in the game. 20201.61.61.6 Total WARSurgery in … Batting WARSurgery in … 2019RecoveringRecovering2.0 Pitching WARSurgery in … What should Ohtani and the Angels do?Shohei Ohtani’s expected wins above replacement by when or if he has Tommy John surgery, based on median recovery periods for pitchers and hitters 3-year total4.33.96.6 Ohtani’s ability to crush those towering homers while also slinging nasty splitters is what makes him unprecedented in the modern game. At the time of the arm injury that shut him down in early June, he ranked among the American League’s best dozen or so hitters and pitchers on the season. However, that injury — a ligament strain to Ohtani’s pitching elbow — has limited him to “just” hitting for the foreseeable future. Since Ohtani throws right-handed but hits lefty, he can swing the bat without putting much strain on his damaged elbow.Ohtani has since slid back into LA’s lineup as its regular designated hitter, batting in seven straight games for the first time all season.1When Ohtani was pitching roughly every seven days, he would be held out of the lineup in those games plus usually two or three others per week. And that appears to be how the Angels are handling Ohtani’s recovery for now, using him only as a hitter and hoping that a combination of rest and platelet-rich plasma therapy can heal his arm and help him avoid the dreaded Tommy John surgery, which could take him out of action as a pitcher for years.The hitting half of Ohtani is still pretty valuable by itself, and there’s some chance he could return to the mound without needing surgery. But Los Angeles may also just be delaying the inevitable, as injections like the ones Ohtani is getting don’t always successfully stave off Tommy John in the end. (Indeed, Ohtani already underwent the same treatment for a less severe UCL sprain last fall, only to have the injury re-emerge.) With the Angels’ playoff chances all but dried up this year, is it worth it to run him out at half strength for the rest of his rookie campaign? Or should they just call it a season and schedule the operation to fully repair his damaged elbow? Ohtani’s unprecedented ability has given Los Angeles an unprecedented front-office dilemma.Having Ohtani back certainly improves the Angels’ short-term outlook, since the team looked lost without him for most of June. On June 6, the day of Ohtani’s last start, Los Angeles was 35-28 with a 39 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to The Baseball Gauge. By the time he returned, they’d fallen to 43-42 with a 7 percent playoff probability. It wasn’t all due to Ohtani’s absence — teammates like Andrelton Simmons and Andrew Heaney also fell off pace after hot starts — but losing a player with his unique production abilities didn’t help. According to an average of the metrics found at Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs, Ohtani has been worth 2.0 combined wins above replacement as a hitter and pitcher in 50 games of action this season, which is roughly what we’d expect from one solid starter over the course of an entire season.By now, though, Ohtani’s contributions may be too little, too late to save the Angels’ season. As of Tuesday afternoon, they sat fourth in the AL West, 14 games behind the division-leading Astros and 10 games back in the wild-card race. Most likely, any playing time Ohtani gets from here on out this season will be to get him more reps against MLB pitching (no small consideration) and improve his Rookie of the Year candidacy, not to power an epic playoff push. Because of this, the Angels have come under some criticism on social media for putting off Ohtani’s Tommy John surgery for the sake of batting him during what’s likely a lost season.We can do some rough math to map out the options for Ohtani and the Angels. According to this database of Tommy John surgeries collected by Jon Roegele, the median time for a hitter to return to his previous level of competition after the procedure is 11 months, and the median for pitchers is 15 months. That means that, looking at the regular season only, if Ohtani had surgery now, he could expect to return as a batter in June 2019 and as a two-way player for the start of the 2020 season. If he delays surgery to the offseason, though, he’d miss all but the final month of 2019 as a hitter, though he’d still return as a pitcher in time for the start of the 2020 season.(Obviously, these are just the median outcomes — a quarter of position players recover in under 10 months, while 25 percent of pitchers take more than 20 months to return. But these numbers do help give a sense of the recovery times involved for most players who undergo Tommy John surgery.)If we combine those time frames with a simple age progression on Ohtani’s projected regular-season hitting and pitching WAR,2An admitted simplification of things, since it assumes the injury can only affect his performance by keeping him off the field entirely, not by reducing his effectiveness when he does play. we can come up with an estimate of how much value Ohtani figures to add over the next three seasons, depending on when (or if) he elects to go under the knife: At a first glance, the difference between the two Tommy John-related strategies is small (just 0.4 WAR), and that’s assuming that Ohtani does eventually need surgery. The ideal scenario, of course, is one where Ohtani the pitcher comes back without needing surgery and the Angels reap the benefits of Ohtani the hitter in the meantime. This outcome would have an expected value of 6.6 total WAR over the next three seasons, dwarfing the expectation if they shelved him right now. It’s a gamble with considerable upside.Research shows that the plasma injections can keep a player out from under the knife between about 40 and 65 percent of the time. For simplicity’s sake, let’s treat that as a 50-50 shot. Baking in that estimated 50 percent chance of Ohtani’s elbow recovering without surgery, we’d expect the non-surgery choice to deliver an overall expected value of 5.2 WAR — that’s just the average of the delayed-surgery and no-surgery scenarios.Of course, the calculations change a bit if we lower the odds of not needing surgery (dropping them to 40 percent would mean weighting the average toward the delayed-surgery numbers, which would bring his expected value down to 5.0 WAR), or if we account for the fact that LA’s wins over the rest of this season come with lower championship leverage than they might in future seasons, due to the Angels’ poor chances of making the playoff at the moment. The last time the Angels had a comparable playoff probability at this stage of a season, their average play was only 35 percent as impactful as the typical opening-day play.But even if we reduce Ohtani’s hitting WAR over the rest of 2018 by that factor and assign a mere 40 percent chance he won’t need surgery, the expected three-year value of LA’s wait-and-see approach comes out to 4.5 WAR, essentially the same as the expected value of his having surgery right now (4.3 WAR). And again, that’s assuming the least-favorable rate of success for the non-surgical approach, which might be underselling its effectiveness.In other words, the Angels are probably making the right call with Ohtani at the moment. It feels strange to only use half of Ohtani’s incredible skill set, particularly with LA’s playoff chances on life support, and it certainly isn’t exactly what the Angels were envisioning when they paid a $20 million posting fee for Ohtani last December. But it’s a good quandary to have — if he was an ordinary pitcher, this wouldn’t even be a debate. By putting off surgery for now, they’ve given Ohtani’s arm a chance to heal without necessarily losing his services for a year (or more) while also giving his bat a chance to develop further (remember, he just turned 24).And if nothing else, it also gives us a chance to see more weird, puppet-based depictions of his home runs: read more

Warren Buffett has a great investment track record. So perhaps it’s no accident that he declined to offer $1 billion for correctly predicting the outcome of all World Cup knockout stage games, as he did for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament games.The odds of winning Buffett’s NCAA challenge were about one in 7.4 billion, assuming you chose the favorite in each game as selected by FiveThirtyEight’s NCAA model. But the odds of correctly filling out a 16-team knockout tournament such as the World Cup are much shorter.In fact, though there have been some thrilling matches in the knockout stage so far — six of 12 have gone to extra time and only two were decided by more than one goal — the favorite has advanced every time (at least as according to the FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup predictions).Here is the breakdown so far. The following table lists the win probability for the FiveThirtyEight favorite as of the day of the match, along with the cumulative probability of the model having called all knockout stages correctly up to that point in time.For instance, the probability of correctly identifying the winners in each of the first four knockout matches — Brazil over Chile, Colombia over Uruguay, the Netherlands over Mexico and Costa Rica over Greece — was about 23 percent, or one chance in 4.3. And the chance of going 12 for 12, as the FiveThirtyEight favorites have done so far, is just one in 75.It’s an upset, in other words, when all the favorites prevail. On average, we’d have expected three or four upsets through this point in the knockout round.Of course, there are four matches left — counting the World Cup’s third-place playoff between the two semifinal losers. According to the FiveThirtyEight forecasts, Brazil is favored over Germany on Tuesday (even after accounting for Neymar’s injury) and Argentina is slightly favored over the Netherlands on Wednesday. To complete a perfect knockout bracket, Germany would then need to beat the Netherlands in the consolation game while Brazil prevailed over Argentina in the final.All of the remaining matches look pretty close, so the FiveThirtyEight forecasts are likely to fail at some stage. If the model gets the matches right, however, it will have made good on a 1-in-553 chance of calling all 16 knockout stage winners correctly.Incidentally, this isn’t the huge success for the FiveThirtyEight model that it might seem. The FiveThirtyEight forecasts are probabilistic. Teams listed as 75 percent favorites are supposed to win about 75 percent of the time over the long run — not much less than that but also not any more often. There are supposed to be some upsets. If 75 percent favorites are winning 100 percent of the time over the long run instead, that means the forecasts are miscalibrated and overestimating the chances for the underdogs.In this case, the success of the favorites does seem to be mostly a matter of luck. Three games have gone to a penalty shootout so far — pre-match favorites might have a slight edge in those but not much of one. Mexico, meanwhile, was a few minutes away from defeating the Netherlands, and the U.S. was a few inches away from beating Belgium.The best way to test probabilistic forecasts is to check their calibration and to compare them against alternative probabilistic estimates. For example, if your model says that the U.S. has a 40 percent chance of beating Belgium and the consensus betting line gives the U.S. just a 25 percent chance instead, you should bet on the Americans — even though you expect Belgium to win most of the time. So far, the FiveThirtyEight forecasts have done well against consensus betting lines when used in this fashion — although that could reflect good luck, too. read more

OSU junior forward Danny Jensen (9) during a game against Cleveland State on Oct. 21 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won 1-0. Credit: Christopher Slack / Lantern PhotographerThe ninth-seeded Ohio State men’s soccer team’s season came to an end on Sunday after a 3-1 loss against No. 8 Stanford in the third round of the NCAA tournament. After a shaky start to the 2015 season, the Buckeyes got hot, building an eight-game win streak en route to an overall record of 13-7-3. The 13 victories are the second-most in program history. With the win, the Cardinal improved to 16-2-2 overall and advanced to the quarterfinals.Freshman midfielder Abdi Mohammed scored the Buckeyes only goal of the game in the second half, leveling the match at 1-1. However, Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and junior forward Jordan Morris  netted two second-half goals to solidify the win for Stanford. Stanford came out of the gates pressuring the Buckeyes, but the Scarlet and Gray held strong in the first half, preventing the Cardinal from scoring.Morris, who is also a member of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer team, had the first good look of the half in the 17th minute, but his shot went off the side of the net.OSU junior forward Danny Jensen had a clean look for the Buckeyes in the 23rd minute, but his strike missed to the left. Despite a scoreless first half, the Cardinal were clearly the aggressor in the game, giving coach John Bluem’s squad reason to be concerned for the second half. In the 48th minute, OSU junior defender and co-captain Tyler Kidwell made an unbelievable play — a goal-saving clearance in front of the net — to keep the Cardinal off the board.However, Kidwell’s save was not enough for the Buckeyes, because just five minutes later, Stanford scored its first goal of the game.Morris received the through ball and poked it in front of the net.Although the Scarlet and Gray were down a point, they managed to remain calm and make a comeback.In the 62nd minute, Mohammed tied the game with a header assisted by junior defender Austin Bergstrom.Back-and-forth play ensued for roughly the next 15 minutes before Morris put his team back on top with another goal in the 78th minute.With only 10 minutes left to play, the Buckeyes needed to score in order to stay in the game. Jensen attempted a header, but his shot was saved.Stanford’s Corey Baird put the nail in the season’s coffin in the 88th minute when he scored off a turnover by the Scarlet and Gray. Overall, shots were 19-11 in favor of Stanford, while the Cardinal also held a 5-1 lead in corners.Despite the loss, OSU overcame a rough start to its 2015 season, earning the Big Ten regular season title and advancing to the Sweet 16 for just the fourth time in program history.Regardless of the end result, it was a successful season for Bluem’s squad. read more

After a back-and-forth battle Friday between the Badgers and the Buckeyes, freshman forward Hokey Langan’s game-winning goal Friday wasn’t enough momentum for an Ohio State win Saturday. The OSU women’s ice hockey team split a pair of weekend games against defending National Champion Wisconsin.With a feed from sophomore Natalie Spooner, junior Christina Mancuso put the first point on the scoreboard with a shot from the left side, only 4:27 into the first period.The Badgers answered back with two power-play goals at 13:28 and 4:35 on the clock to lead 2-1 at the end of the first period.Just about six minutes into the second period, Spooner scored from the right post on a Buckeye power play to tie it up 2-2.Wisconsin’s Jasmine Giles took advantage of a loose puck in the Buckeye defensive zone and backhanded it for the lead at 11:13 in the second period. But just 43 seconds later, senior co-captain Raelyn LaRocque scored her first of the night to even the score to 3-3.Another goal by Wisconsin just before the second intermission gave the Badgers a 4-3 lead going into the third period, but the Buckeyes came back with two unanswered goals for the win. Sophomore Laura McIntosh grabbed her own rebound, netting a top-shelf goal, while freshman forward Hokey Langan’s wrist shot scored the game-winner with only nine seconds left in the game. Friday’s win is the fifth OSU victory over Wisconsin in the all-time series.With Buckeye spirits high Saturday, the Badgers played for redemption.Freshman goaltender Chelsea Knapp stopped 31 shots on goal in the first and second period combined, and 42 on the night.Wisconsin took the lead in the first with just about three minutes left on the clock, but Spooner netted a top-shelf goal 12 seconds later, tying the game 1-1.An even-matched second period left both teams scoreless heading into the third period, but Wisconsin took the lead scoring two with under 10 minutes left in the game.With chants from young Buckeye fans in the crowd, the OSU team rallied together after a timeout call, pulling Knapp from the goal for the extra skater. With just 1:01 left in the game, sophomore forward Kim Theut charged the net and scored from a line change to bring the Buckeyes within one. But the Badger defense held off eager Buckeyes while time ran out. Wisconsin won 3-2 for a weekend split.While disappointed about the loss, coach Jackie Barto said her team really hung in for a full 60 minutes Saturday against a Wisconsin team that never backed down.“Tonight Wisconsin won a few more battles, a few more foot races,” Barto said. “[Knapp] was solid and kept us in the game.”Barto said the team will get back to work and prepare for another tough weekend against North Dakota Feb. 5-6.Despite the heartbreaking loss, LaRocque remained upbeat about the progress of the team looking forward to their series against North Dakota.“We just got to look at the positives this weekend. We played well against them, we were able to come back, [and] we know we can come back,” she said. “We just got to take the positives out of it [and] we’ve got to run with it.” read more

Despite recent struggles on the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods’ play on the par-5 holes at the 2012 Memorial Tournament has him in contention after one round. Woods carded a 2-under-par 70 during the first round of the 2012 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Woods walked off the 18th green one stroke off the lead, though he has sense fallen into a tie for 11th place as American Scott Stallings jumped to the top of the leader board after posting a 6-under-par 66 first round score. The 2-under-par score comes after what some consider underachievement in the three tournaments leading up to the Memorial Tournament. After finishing tied for 40th (-5-strokes) at The Masters, missing the cut for the Wells Fargo Championship and tying for 40th (-1) at The Players Championship, Woods said he feels like he’s “perking up” after one round of play in Dublin. “Well, I think I was just consistent all day,” Woods said. “I didn’t do … anything great and I didn’t do anything poorly. I was just very consistent. And I think with the way the golf course being the way it’s set up, you just have to be that way.” In order to finish his round 2-under-par, Woods took advantage of nearly every opportunity he had on Muirfield’s four par-5 holes, birdying three times while also posting a par. After paring holes 1-4, Woods tracked into negative territory when he birdied the 527-yard fifth hole. Two holes later, he birdied the 563-yard seventh. Woods saved par on the 11th, but said he wasn’t satisfied with that result. “The one on 11 should have been a birdie, as well,” Woods said. “I hit two really nice shots in there.” Woods bounced back and went to 4-under-par for the round when he birdied the 15th hole. The lone blemish on Woods’ round was a double-bogey on 18. After Woods finished his round, he said his play on the par-5 holes was productive for a change. “Well, I haven’t played the par-5’s particularly well the last few tournaments, and today was a good example (of how well I’m playing),” Woods said. “I played (the par-5’s) great. I feel very pleased with the way I hit the golf ball all day, and it was nice to actually play the par-5’s under par for a change.” Second-round play at the Memorial Tournament begins Friday at 7:20 a.m. read more

It was one big party in Ohio Stadium last night, as No. 12 Ohio State beat down No. 21 Nebraska for a 63-38 victory. Here’s what we learned about the Buckeyes, who improved to 6-0 for the season. It was an exciting night for the program and Buckeye fans were treated to a historic night during OSU’s 100th Homecoming game. Quarterback Braxton Miller was once again spectacular. The sophomore ran for a career-high 186 yards, breaking his own school record for most rushing yards by a quarterback. “We have a quarterback that’s kind of ridiculous running the ball,” first-year coach Urban Meyer said. Ridiculous is a fair way of describing Miller. He has an innate ability to make opposing defenders look foolish, to turn a sure-loss into a long touchdown. He’s the perfect quarterback to lead an offense that was equally absurd Saturday night. On OSU’s first four possessions, the offense managed a meager seven yards. It looked bleak for the Buckeyes, who trailed 17-7 early in the second quarter. And then it happened. Miller did what he does best, veering through the Nebraska defense for a 72-yard run to move the ball down to the three-yard line for the Buckeyes.  Miller’s long run fired up the crowd and ignited the offensive barrage that would shortly ensue. In the team’s final ten possessions, the Buckeyes scored eight touchdowns en route to a 63-point performance. It was the first time OSU scored more than 60 points against a Big Ten opponent since Oct. 1, 1983, a 69-18 drubbing of Minnesota. Meyer-coached teams are famous for high-scoring affairs, but even the most optimistic Buckeye fans shouldn’t have expected OSU to look this good this early in his tenure. For one, Meyer is instilling a completely different offensive scheme, with inherited players that he didn’t recruit for his system. And the players he does have are young – OSU starts just three seniors on offense. It would be insane to think that the Buckeyes would be an offensive juggernaut in year one, there had to be hiccups. Well, the first quarter was a hiccup, and the team still managed 63 points against a defense that hadn’t allowed more than 36 points in a game this season. This offense still has plenty of room to improve, and that, is ridiculous. One B1G mess We’re halfway through the season, and OSU is the clear favorite to win the conference they are sanctioned from winning. The Buckeyes stand alone as the Big Ten’s only unbeaten team. The four preseason favorites – Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin – all have two losses, and only Michigan is unbeaten in conference play. Then there’s the league’s Leaders division, currently led by Penn State and OSU, the conference’s two teams banned from post-season play. If the season ended today, the division’s third-place team, Wisconsin, would play in the conference championship game. It’s been a tough season thus far for the Big Ten, whose top teams were beat down in non-conference play. Entering this weekend, only three teams were ranked in the top 25. Two of them lost on Saturday. Excluding last season, the Buckeyes have been the class of the conference for the past decade. That appears to be the case again this year, but given the team’s sanctions, it doesn’t bode well for the Big Ten. Give an extra helmet sticker to… Carlos Hyde, who had a career night for the Buckeyes. The junior running back rushed for 140 yards and four touchdowns, both personal bests. Perhaps more importantly, Hyde carried the ball a career-high 28 times. It was the first time an OSU running back had more than 20 carries since Miller took over as starting quarterback last season. A hot topic of conversation this year has been whether Miller receives too many carriers, and in turn too many hits, in Meyer’s system. It’s a lot easier to limit you best player’s touches when others can step up and provide production. Hyde did that Saturday night, and that bodes well for the Buckeyes moving forward. read more

Junior guard Sam Thompson takes a shot during a game against Penn State Jan. 29 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 71-70.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThad Matta just needed somebody to hug.After Wisconsin sophomore forward Sam Dekker’s last-second heave clanged off the rim Saturday at the Kohl Center, signaling a victory for Ohio State, the jubilation on the Buckeye sideline was clear.The man Matta grabbed was the team’s video coordinator, Jake Diebler, and OSU’s coach said Monday it was because Diebler was the closest guy to him.“He was the first guy I could find,” Matta said with a laugh. “Because I had the line on Dekker’s shot, and I thought it was off to the right and I’ll be honest, I’ve seen what these guys have done. I’ve seen what the staff has done to get us ready to play that game and it was obvious with the ending the other night (against Penn State Wednesday), there was a sense of excitement, a sense of relief.”The sense of relief Matta felt after the 59-58 victory over the Badgers percolated throughout the rest of the team, but senior guard Aaron Craft said it’s not the time to sit back and be satisfied, especially with the Buckeyes set to visit No. 17 Iowa (17-5, 6-3) Tuesday at 7 p.m.“We got a big win the other day, and we don’t want to rest on that either,” Craft said Monday. “Our biggest focus right now is to find a way to be better than Iowa. Everything else will really take care of itself the more we go on.”The Hawkeyes came to Columbus and handed the Buckeyes (17-5, 4-5) their first home loss of the season Jan. 12, a 84-74 outcome where OSU struggled against Iowa’s zone defense.OSU committed 17 turnovers in that loss, something Craft said cannot happen Tuesday.“We just can’t turn the ball over. That’s what cost us the game the first time,” Craft said. “We had the lead, and turned the ball over quite a few times down the stretch … When they’re at their best, they’re getting buckets in transition, getting fouled, getting to the free throw line. That’s what we can’t do if we want to be in it at the end of the game.”Junior forward Sam Thompson, who got his first start of the season in the win against Wisconsin in place of junior guard Shannon Scott, agreed and said in order to figure out the zone, the team just needs a different mindset.“I think it’s just about our mindset on the offensive end against the zone. Last time we played Iowa, we didn’t do a good job of attacking that zone, we really let that zone dictate the way we played on offense,” Thompson said Monday. “We were sort of playing on our heels, moving the ball from side to side and not really looking to attack.”The Buckeyes — who dropped out of the top 25 rankings for the first time since Jan. 2010, when the latest poll was released Monday — also allowed 44 points in the paint against Iowa in the Jan. 12 loss. Fixing that issue isn’t just on one guy either, Craft said.“It’s a team defensive effort. They do a good job of setting good screens and getting guys in the paint, whether it’s tight curling or driving the ball off that,” Craft said. “They’re gonna score in the paint, that’s kind of their MO this year. They score in the paint and they get to the free throw line. So we need to find ways that we can hopefully minimize that as much as possible and not get down or not get frustrated when they do maybe go through a stretch where that happens. You have to find a way to get to the next play and move on.”It is clear OSU is going to need an entire team effort to leave Iowa City with a victory and to win back-to-back games for the first time since starting the season 15-0. Solving the riddle against Wisconsin was a start, Matta said, and continuing it won’t be easy.“That is the plan,” Matta said about getting a few wins in a row. “It’s a lot easier said than done, reeling a couple off. We went in, we won a tough game. You think about the game before that comes down to the last shot, this one comes down to the last shot. I’d love to not be in that position — it’s making me old, but it is what it is … I liked the energy that we had in huddles, down the stretch guys talking saying ‘We gotta do this, we’ve been here before.’ You hope you can build on that.” read more

Senior outfielder Caitlin Conrad (left) arrives safely at 1st base during a game against Pittsburgh on March 31 at Buckeye Field. OSU won, 7-3.Credit: Stacie Jackson / Lantern PhotographerWith the Big Ten season coming down the home stretch, the Ohio State softball team wants to keep control of its own fate.“The key will be to beat the teams we know we can,” senior outfielder Caitlin Conrad said before the Buckeyes swept Michigan State last weekend. “By doing this, we can put ourselves in position to get a better seed come tournament time.”Conrad, one of four seniors on the squad, is currently among the hottest hitters on the team with a .394 batting average and is quickly approaching 40 runs batted in to complement her 35 runs scored so far this season.“Caitlin has been the most consistent player for us all season,” coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said before the team departed for East Lansing, Mich.The Buckeyes scored a total of 29 runs against the Spartans, and have either scored or given up double digits 17 times this season. Conrad said she believes the high-scoring affairs are new to Big Ten softball, changing the way she looks at scoring.“It used to be that if you scored seven runs in a game, you would win,” Conrad said. “Now you need to score 12 or so just to be in the game.”And scoring is what the Buckeyes have been doing lately.To sweep Michigan State, OSU tallied six, eight and 15 runs, respectively, over the course of the three games. The 15-5 win on Sunday came in just five innings.The sweep has the Buckeyes riding a four-game win streak entering a week when they will be facing both Penn State and Rutgers.All five of those games, two against the Nittany Lions and three against the Scarlet Knights, are crucial for the Buckeyes (22-16, 6-6) to get better position in the conference and achieve their ultimate goal: making it to regionals in the NCAA Tournament.“We need to keep winning in order to move up in the Big Ten standings,” senior pitcher Olivia O’Reilly said. “Doing this will put us in a position where we can make it to regionals.”The Buckeyes hit the road to face Penn State for a doubleheader on Wednesday. The team lost 7-6 in the first game before falling, 11-6, in the nightcap. They are then set to return home to face Rutgers over the weekend.Despite getting the opportunity to play all over the country, Schoenly said she believes there is nothing like playing at home.“I love to play at home,” Schoenly said. “Of course it’s great to travel other places but there is nothing like home. We love having fans come out to our games. Columbus has a really good softball community.”With home in mind, Schoenly and the Buckeyes make it a point to travel and play in each woman’s hometown at least once during a player’s career as a member of the Scarlet and Gray.“We have the opportunity to play all over the country,” Schoenly said. “So we try to travel to every girls’ hometown during their career.”With 13 Ohioans on the team, eight of whom are from Central Ohio, playing at home can be that much more welcoming.The Buckeyes’ series against Rutgers is set to start on Friday at 6 p.m. at Buckeye Field. read more

first_imgIt may lack the glamour and sunshine of Los Angeles, but that has not stopped hardy Hull residents using the city’s landmarks to recreate famous movie scenes in celebration of its 2017 status as UK City of Culture.Braving biting North Sea winds rather than paparazzi, local film buffs have temporarily turned the Yorkshire port into Hullywood.Well known scenes recreated for the Hullywood Icons project include Tom Hanks appearance in the film Castaway recreated under the Humber Bridge by Jim Wardlaw.Quentin Budworth, the photographer behind the project, said: “Poor old Jim, it was freezing on the day we did the shoot.” Lucy Joy as Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) in a recreation of King Kong for the Hullywood Icons projectCredit:Quentin Budworth The celebrated arrival of Ursula Andress in Dr No – recreated in the shadow of the Humber BridgeCredit:Quentin Budworth Other pictures include a recreation of Ursula Andress’ bikini-clad emergence from the balmy waters of the Caribbean, transplanted to Hessle Foreshore on the banks of the estuary.A huge firework display and the opening of a city-wide installation signalled the start of Hull’s tenure as UK City of Culture on New Year’s Day. Big finale.. #Hull2017 pic.twitter.com/P0MO7R2qkk— Andy Comfort (@andycomfort) January 1, 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img Organisers of the hundreds of events planned for Hull in 2017 have said they are ready to welcome visitors from around the world as well as include all of the Yorkshire city’s 250,000 residents saying: “The stage is set, we’re ready for showtime”.Hull is the second city to be given UK City Culture status, following Derry-Londonderry in 2013. 'Ursula Andress' in hte shadow of the Humber Bridge Lucy Joy as Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) in a recreation of King Kong for the Hullywood Icons project The city was selected in 2013 amid some surprise, from a shortlist which included Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay.Organisers of Hull 2017 and local politicians have explicitly linked the cultural plans for the year with the economic transformation of the city, symbolised by the £300 million investment by German tech firm Siemens in an offshore wind manufacturing plant at Alexandra Dock.Stephen Brady, council leader, has said more than £1bn of investment has flowed into the city since the UK City of Culture announcement, including £100m of capital investment in the cultural and visitor infrastructure.last_img read more

first_imgThere is a lot of suspicion that it is a SprockerAndy Platt, a former judge Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The four-year-old has competed in a number of competitions, winning the Yorkshire Gun Dog Open Qualifiers in 2015 and the Kennel Club Open Qualifiers last year.Rivals claim that Sprockers are bigger and faster than pure breeds. A group of 20 judges are alleged to have written to the Kennel Club to voice their concerns.Andy Platt, a former judge, told The Sun there was “a lot of suspicion” that the four-year-old is a Sprocker.“The Kennel Club is an association for pedigree dogs and they have got their rules that no unauthorised cross-breeding can occur without their permission,” he added.A second judge has allegedly quit in protest. A Kennel Club spokesman confirmed it was aware of allegations but said they had not been substantiated. The club said it was reviewing the issues to establish whether there is a case to answer. The Queen’s champion gundog has been accused of being a cross-breed by rivals who claim she should be banned from competitions, it has been reported.Mallowdale Diamond, who was given to the Queen as a present in January 2013, is one of a number of dogs facing claims they have an unfair advantage because they are Sprockers, a cross between a Springer spaniel and a Cocker spaniel, The Sun claimed. center_img A statement added: “Until this is determined we are unfortunately not able to comment any further on this specific issue at this time.”The group of judges are believed to want the club to carry out DNA tests  but the spokesman said the tests currently available “are not yet able to define if an individual dog fits a specific breed standard”.She added: “There is a wide variation of different breed types which may fit the characteristics associated with the Cocker Spaniel.“Until more definitive methods become available, anyone who believes that their dog was misrepresented to them prior to purchase and incorrectly sold to them, in the first instance should take this up with the breeder of the dog.”Ian Openshaw, the dog’s handler, and Buckingham Palace declined to comment. We are currently reviewing the issues raised to establish whether there is a case to answerA Kennel Club spokesmanlast_img read more

first_imgA Christian evangelist was accused of a hate crime and locked up in a cell after preaching from the Bible to a gay teenager.Gordon Larmour, 42, was charged by police after telling the story of Adam and Eve to a 19-year-old who asked him about God’s views on homosexuality.The street preacher referred to the Book of Genesis and stated that God created Adam and Eve to produce children.Within minutes he was frogmarched to a police van, accused of threatening or abusive behaviour ‘aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation’ – despite not swearing or using any form of offensive language.The father-of-one spent a night in custody and faced a six-month ordeal before a sheriff cleared him of any blame.The incident, which occurred in his home town of Irvine in Ayrshire, has become a rallying point for Christian campaigners who are concerned that freedom of speech is being stifled by political correctness.Mr Larmour told the Scottish Mail on Sunday: “I can’t see why I was arrested in the first place – it was a massive overreaction and a waste of everyone’s time. The police didn’t listen to me. They took the young homosexual guy’s side straight away and read me my rights.“I feel they try so hard to appear like they are protecting minorities, they go too far the other way. I want to be able to tell people the good word of the Gospel and think I should be free to do so. I wasn’t speaking my opinions – I was quoting from the Bible.”Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “It is a great relief that the judge ruled in favour of Gordon, because the case simply did not stand up to scrutiny.”Mr Larmour is a born-again Christian who has been street preaching for seven years. At around 7.30pm on July 17 last year he was handing out leaflets on Irvine’s High Street when a group of young men passed him.He told them: “Don’t forget Jesus loves you and He died for your sins.” One asked Mr Larmour, “What does your God say about homosexuals?”The two argued and Mr Larmour claimed he was chased by the young man. However, he was the one arrested when the police arrived.He said: “I think the police should have handled it differently and listened to what I had to say. They should have calmed the boy down and left it at that.“In court the boy’s friend told the truth – that I hadn’t assaulted him or called him homophobic names. I had simply answered his question and told him about Adam and Eve and Heaven and Hell. Preaching from the Bible is not a crime.”At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last month, Sheriff Alistair Watson ruled there was no case to answer and acquitted Mr Larmour of threatening or abusive behaviour, aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.The sheriff also found him not guilty of a second charge of assault aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation. 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

first_imgThe ‘problem’ is also much more serious on the silver screen Dominic Dromgoole, former head of Shakespeare’s Globe, told the paper that help with lines was “happening more and more in film now”. Complicite said they use the technology as a “fallback”, and added:  “It’s just the way the company works. Everything is always devised in the rehearsal room. We’re always changing things.”  Yet perhaps the correct response is not surprise, but a yawn.As one artistic director at a large theatre company told The Sunday Times: “People have always used whatever available technology as an aide-memoire in theatre.”If Shakespeare suddenly rewrote King Lear, they probably would have gone on with some of it written on their sleeve.” Jack Nicholson in Chinatown, which Evans producedCredit:Everett Collection / Rex Features Jack Nicholson Robert Evans Robert Evans and Ali McGraw, in a still from the film version of The Kid Stays in the PictureCredit:Channel 4 “Know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture”, were the two pieces of advice given to a young Katharine Hepburn by acting veteran Spencer Tracy.Now, however, it seems only the second remains necessary, after it it was discovered actors at London’s Royal Court Theatre have been using an autocue.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. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in 1945’s ‘Without Love’Credit:AFP/Getty Images Audiences had long suspected that certain players were reading, rather than reciting their lines from memory, but it may come as a shock to learn that the practice is becoming increasingly common.The fact was confirmed after production company Complicite put out a statement admitting it had used the electronic devices to help actors reaching for the right words in at least two of its recent plays.They include The Kid Stays in the Picture, a play based on the life of colourful film producer Robert Evans, which is currently playing at the Royal Court, and The Encounter, which ran at the Barbican last year. He added: “Certain actors don’t want to learn their lines. They have it fed in their ear while they’re performing.“A lot of people say ‘oh, this is immoral,’ and then you think, acting is about pretending. You can’t say there’s some high morality about pretending.”Actors who are said to have used earpieces on stage include the Hollywood veterans Bruce Willis, Al Pacino and Richard Dreyfuss. Hepburnlast_img read more

first_imgCathedrals that ask for a donation instead of charging for entry are financially worse off, according to the vice-chairman of the working group, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull.However she has previously rejected the idea of unilaterally imposing an admission fee across all cathedrals. Westminster Abbey charges £20 for an adult ticket, with most of its visitors being foreign tourists.In contrast Durham Cathedral does not charge entry, and receives £150,000 in donations from its 750,000 annual visitors – an average of just 20p.  The Archbishop of Canterbury at Canterbury Cathedral The Archbishop of Canterbury at Canterbury CathedralCredit:Gareth Fuller /PA Durham Cathedral The blessing of #Chrism oils at a scaffold-filled @GuildCath on #MaundyThursday pic.twitter.com/O92zpd51zP— Diocese of Guildford (@CofEGuildford) April 13, 2017 Durham Cathedral does not charge for entry – but those cathedrals that do make more moneyCredit:Owen Humphreys /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. It costs £3,500 a day to keep the cathedral running, but the average visitor donates just 35p. However the Guildford Cathedral’s dean, Dianna Gwilliams, has said they are not planning for closure.  “My finger-in-the-wind estimate is that perhaps half of cathedrals are facing some significant financial challenges, although pretty much all of them are planning on how they’re going to get through that,” he told the Guardian. “Although it seems unimaginable, it is possible to imagine a situation where an individual cathedral could get into a situation so desperate that there is no obvious solution.”Mr Newman is leading the Church of England’s working group to address how cathedrals raise funds. Currently each of the country’s 42 Anglican diocesan cathedrals operate independently of the Church of England, and are run by their own dean and chapter.But despite increasing numbers of visitors, cathedrals have struggled to raise revenue. Anglican cathedrals could be forced to charge for entry or face closure, amid dwindling public funding and expensive running costs.Financial crisis is threatening the future of half of England’s Anglican cathedrals, the chairman of a new working group has warned.Currently just nine of the 42 cathedrals charge for entry, but that could change amid severe financial difficulties. Adrian Newman, the bishop of Stepney, said cathedrals are facing a “new scale and depth” of challenge in their bid to stay afloat.  In February the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said that Britain’s cathedrals were not “too big to fail”, after the Church of England declined to rescue Guildford Cathedral from financial collapse. He said cathedrals are independent bodies and could not rely on external help, writing in a letter to the council: “It is sometimes said that cathedrals are the Church of England’s equivalent of the big banks – ‘too big to fail’ – and that the very serious financial straits that are one of the motivating factors for Guildford pursuing this application are not so serious because the central church would ‘rescue’ them before total collapse.  This is not the case.”Guildford Cathedral is haemorrhaging £100,000 a year and suffered a blow when the local council rejected plans for a housing development on its land that would have raised £10 million.  Its dean does not intend to introduce a charge, but the chapter is operating a permanent exhibition which costs £7.50 to visit, as a way to raise funds.The working group was established following a formal investigation into the management of Peterborough Cathedral earlier this year after a “cash flow crisis”.Its bishop the Right Reverend Donald Allister said at the time: “The Peterborough situation has convinced me that the high degree of independence currently enjoyed by Cathedrals poses serious risks to the reputation of the whole Church, and thus to our effectiveness in mission.” Justin Welby Cathedral deans will meet this week to discuss concerns about the cost of maintaining the buildings. The Cathedrals Working Group is expected to report on its findings in December.  Justin Welby has said that cathedrals are not “too big to fail”Credit:DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP last_img read more

first_imgHumans will need to colonise another planet within one hundred years to ensure our survival, according to Professor Stephen Hawking.The astrophysicist has made a new documentary, Expedition New Earth, as part of the BBC’s new science season Tomorrow’s World. In it he will claim that time is running out for Earth and if humanity is to survive climate change, asteroid strikes, epidemics and overpopulation we will need to leave our planet and venture further afield.In the landmark series, Prof Hawking and his former student Christophe Galfard will travel the world to find out how humans could live in outer space.It is 14 years since the BBC cancelled its future-gazing series Tomorrow’s World after 38 years on air, but the corporation and the scientists involved promise the new season will be even better. Stephen Hawking will investigate the possibility of living on Mars  The original Tomorrow's World team  Stephen Hawking will investigate the possibility of living on Mars  Angela Rippon and Dr Chris van Tulleken will return to BBC One for the second series of How To Stay Young, in which they and a team of experts apply scientific knowledge to help volunteers slow down the ageing process Sarah Montague will also be interviewing pioneers in health, technology, science and environment for the Radio 4 series The Innovators. Prof Brian Cox, the astrophysicist and TV presenter who has been helping curate the series, said: “The original Tomorrow’s World inspired a generation – it certainly inspired me back in the 1970s, but that was a single TV programme.“The 21st century Tomorrow’s World represents so much more – it represents the institutions of Britain coming together to inspire current and future generations, to convince them to embrace the opportunities that science brings, to foster a spirit of curiosity and tolerance, and to embrace the unknown not in fear but in wonder.”The BBC has joined forces with the Royal Society, Open University, London’s Science Museum and the Wellcome Trust, to “connect audiences with the brightest minds and institutions in science and technology”. “We’ve come together behind a simple, and very bold ambition – to equip all of us with the knowledge and understanding we need to make sense of our lives and the future,” said Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC.“Whether it’s the rise of robotics or the demise of antibiotics, travelling to Mars or the arrival of 3D printed food, science is changing the world at an extraordinary pace.” Angela Rippon returns to look at the science of ageing Credit:BBC Angela Rippon returns to look at the science of ageing  Michael Rodd, Judith Hann and William Woollard started presenting Tomorrow’s World from the early SeventiesCredit:BBC  The season will aim to find Britain’s greatest invention, by asking the public to vote on the innovation which has been the most influential in their lives.Dr Hannah Fry, of UCL, will present 10 Things You Need To Know About The Future on BBC Two, while a brand new medical series Operation will follow the pioneering work taking place in the operating theatres of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where surgeons are pushing the boundaries of medical science.A separate programme, Toughest Job In The Universe, will follow 12 men and women as they undergo the rigours of astronaut selection. Former astronaut and International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield will lead the selection process based on space agencies’ application criteria.In two controversial episodes, BBC Horizon will also explore the science of changing gender and whether it is possible to cure a psychopath. 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

first_imgSt Ives, along with much of Devon and Cornwall will be busy as motorists take to the roads this weekend In the south east, the M25 between Gatwick and the M1, the A23/M23 to Brighton, the A34 and M3 south and south-west, the A47 Swaffham to Great Yarmouth and the  A11 Thetford to Norwich are all congestion hotspots. Further north, the M55 between Preston and Blackpool, the A14 between the Midlands and the east coast, the A590/A591 between the M6 and the Lake District, the A66 between the M6 and the coast and the M53 between Liverpool and Chester are all likely to be extremely busy.Highway England’s chief executive Jim O’Sullivan advised drivers to check their vehicles to avoid basic mechanical problems.He said: “I want all drivers to arrive at their destinations safely during the summer holidays. We are urging motorists to make sure they are ready to go on their journeys by checking their fuel, tyres and oil. With a few simple checks everyone will be safer.” The RAC said it expects 36.5 million “leisure” journeys in the first fortnight of the school holidays.It said drivers would experience “customary chaos” and warned of traffic hotspots on motorways to popular destinations. Traffic jams are expected on popular routes as the summer getaway begins this weekend Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis added: “The very much-needed family summer holiday might begin stressfully as long tailbacks are inevitable, particularly in the South West on the M5 which is the main conduit to the beaches of Devon and Cornwall.”If you are one vehicle in the 3.4 million making a leisure journey on Saturday, a healthy dose of patience is going to be required.”Mr Dennis advised drivers to travel very early in the morning or late in the evening, but accepted this will not be possible for many people.He warned that major tourist routes will remain steadily busy through the coming six week school holiday period.The RAC predicted that congestion hotspots will include some of the major routes to the south west and south coast as well as those leading to the Lake District, Norwich and Great Yarmouth.In the south west, It warned of potential gridlock on the M5 Almondsbury Interchange and from Bristol to Taunton, the  A30 and A38 Exeter to Cornwall, the A303 Andover to Ilminster and the M4 between Cardiff and Swansea. St Ives, along with much of Devon and Cornwall will be busy as motorists take to the roads this weekendCredit:Matt Cardy/Getty The nine million motorists expected to take to the roads this weekend have been warned they will need a “healthy dose of patience” as the big summer getaway coincides with a raft of roadworks.More than 250 sets of roadworks are in place on major routes up and down the country and are likely to mark a “stressful” start to the holidays, causing tailbacks of at least half an hour.Despite the predicted problems, Highways England will not be suspending the works as it is not a bank holiday. It said much of the work will take place overnight to minimise disruption but lanes will still be closed and speed restrictions will remain in place.Congestion is likely to cause problems on Friday evening as some 2.5 million families make an early dash for their holidays after school, vying for space with regular commuters.But the busiest period is expected to be on Saturday between 11am and 4pm, with an estimated 3.4 million journeys being made. Sunday will be similarly busy. Traffic jams are expected on popular routes as the summer getaway begins this weekendCredit:Haydn West/PAlast_img read more

first_imgRecent research has shown supermassive black holes are essential to the creation of galaxies, stars – and even life itself. The centre of the Milky Way, 27 000 light-years away from Earth A strange form of black hole has been detected for the first time at the heart of the Milky Way.It’s a “mini-me” version of its neighbouring supermassive “cousin” – shedding light on how it formed.Looming in the middle of every galaxy, supermassive black holes weigh as much as ten billion suns – fuelling the birth of stars and deforming the fabric of space-time itself. Theoretical studies have predicted 100 million to one billion lack holes should exist in the Milky Way – but only 60 or so have been identified through observations so far.Despite their popularity both in real science and science fiction the concept of a black hole has only been around for a hundred years – as predicted by Albert Einstein. The term itself did not come into use until 1967, and it was just 46 years ago that the first one was identified.Prof Oka said: “Further detection of such compact high-velocity features in various environments may increase the number of non-luminous black hole candid ate and thereby increase targets to search for evidential proof of general relativity.”This would make a considerable contribution to the progress of modern physics.” It was found hiding in a cloud of molecular gas by Japanese astronomers using the Alma (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) 16,400 feet above sea level in the Andes in northern Chile.The radio telescope’s high sensitivity and resolution enabled them to observe the cloud 195 light years from the Milky Way’s centre spot.It sheds fresh light on the most mysterious objects in the universe. Uncovering their secrets is the ‘Holy Grail’ of astronomy. They also found the emission from this cloud closely resembles a scaled-down version of the Milky Way’s quiescent supermassive black hole.Astrophysicists have suspected an intermediate class of black hole might exist – with masses between a hundred and several hundred thousand times that of the Sun.But such black holes had not previously been reliably detected and their existence has been fiercely debated among the astronomical community.Prof Oka, of Keio University in Japan said it is widely accepted black holes with masses greater than a million solar masses lurk at the centres of massive galaxies, but their origins remain unknown.He said: “One possible scenario is intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) – which are formed by the runaway coalescence of stars in young compact star clusters – merge at the centre of a galaxy to form a supermassive black hole.”Although many candidates for IMBHs have been proposed none is accepted as definitive. Recently we discovered a peculiar molecular cloud near the centre of our Milky Way galaxy.”Based on the careful analysis of gas kinematics we concluded a compact object with a mass of about 100,000 solar masses is lurking in this cloud.”Prof Oka said it suggests “this massive object is an inactive IMBH which is not currently accreting matter.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The centre of the Milky Way, 27 000 light-years away from EarthCredit:AFP/Getty Images This is despite them appearing to have been in place when the universe was comparatively young – only a few hundred million years old.Now the mystery could be solved by the identification of the intermediate-type black hole – something astrophysicists suspected were around but for which there have been only tentative candidates in the past.It’s believed they could be the seeds of their more massive counterparts – merging together to form a gigantic one. intermediate black holes might simply turn out to be their progenitors.It’s difficult to find black holes – because they are completely black. But in some cases they cause effects which can be seen.A black hole is a region of space that has such an extremely powerful gravitational field that it absorbs all the light that passes near it and reflects none.Professor Tomoharu Oka and colleagues used computer simulations to show the high velocity motion, or kinematics, of the gas could only be explained by an intermediate black ole conceal ed in its midst. Each one is about half a per cent of the host galaxy’s size – which indicates they are the driving force behind their evolution.The finding published in Nature Astronomy provides important insights into how supermassive black holes like the one at the very centre of our galaxy were created.Although it is well established they reside in seemingly all galaxies we do not know how they get so enormous. But the mass of the newly identified black hole is only about 100,000 times that of our sun – placing it in the “intermediate sized” class.These were believed to exist but none had ever actually been identified – until now.Lying about 25,000 light years from Earth it could help answer one of the really big questions – how did the Milky Way evolve?last_img read more

first_imgEcuador could remove Julian Assange from its embassy in London where he has been seeking asylum for more than five years.The country has stated for the first time that it is looking for a mediator to help it remove the WikiLeaks founder from its embassy in Knightsbridge.Assange has been hiding in the building since 2012 in order to avoid arrest over now-dropped Swedish rape charges. He remains over fears he will be extradited to America and put on trial for WikiLeaks publishing leaked secret US military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010.Foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said on Tuesday that sometimes notable asylum cases require mediation by a third party.She told reporters the situation is “not sustainable”, commenting: “No solution will be achieved without international cooperation and the cooperation of the United Kingdom, which has also shown interest in seeking a way out.”  “A person cannot live in those conditions for ever,” she said.The London Metropolitan Police has previously said he will still be arrested if he leaves the embassy, because he failed to surrender to the court in 2012.The UK has also refused to guarantee that he will not be extradited to the US. A UK Government spokesperson said: “The Government of Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice.”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.last_img read more

Shaggy and Sting perform onstage during the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards The QueenCredit:PA Sting, the musician, has admitted his collaboration with Shaggy may not be exactly to the Queen’s taste, as they prepare to play in a concert to celebrate her birthday. The duo, described as a “pop/reggae pile up”, will play at the Royal Albert Hall amid a host of artists for the Queen, to mark her 92nd birthday on Saturday.Sting, the former Police front man, said: “We are going to be playing for Her Majesty. I’m not sure we are her musical taste, frankly.”Shaggy, appearing on ITV’s Loose Women, added: “I beg to differ because I think she’s definitely down with some reggae music.”Sting continued: “We are going to do our best and if we don’t, well we will be in the Tower the next morning.” Telegraph music critic Neil McCormick praised the Sting-Shaggy collaboration as “two musicians…beyond caring about perceptions, simply determined to have fun”.Describing their work, he said: “Over a breezy Caribbean groove, Sting confesses that ‘the ghost of Bob Marley haunts me to this day’, while Shaggy adds enthusiastic interjections:“Big up the UK, man, yeah, bam bam!’” The pair will join a line-up of performers playing songs from throughout the Queen’s reign, including Sir Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Shawn Mendes, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Anne-Marie, Craig David, and a winner of The Voice. Shaggy and Sting perform onstage during the 60th Annual GRAMMY AwardsCredit:Getty Concerns about the artists performing at the concert have already been raised by Gyles Brandreth, a Royal biographer, who said this week: “In a reign longer than any other monarch in our history, the Queen really has seen it all. And my feeling is that by now she’s probably seen enough.“This is supposed to be the Queen’s birthday treat. It’s always possible that, encouraged by [Prince] Harry, and with great-grandchildren popping out all over the place, she has chosen to get down with the kids. If not, give her a George Formby singalong by all means, but spare her Shaggy.”The Queen’s birthday concert will be broadcast by the BBC on Saturday. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Queen will celebrate her 92nd birthday on SaturdayCredit:PA The Queen Helen George, the Call the Midwife star, actor Luke Evans, and Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers will perform classics from musicals Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady and Top Hat, and 40 members of the George Formby Society will perform hits on the ukulele. Zoe Ball, who will host the concert, has said: “I’m ridiculously excited to be presenting what must surely be the best birthday party ever!“We’ll make sure Her Majesty has a fantastic 92nd birthday and enjoys this ultimate celebration of music in her honour.” The Queen will celebrate her 92nd birthday on Saturday read more