Napoli take first winter title since Maradona’s days

first_imgROME (AP): Napoli are halfway to their first Serie A title since Diego Maradona led the club to the 1990 championship. Gonzalo Higuain scored twice as Napoli routed promoted Frosinone 5-1 yesterday to earn the southern team the Italian league’s symbolic “winter title”. Through 19 rounds of the 38-match season, Napoli hold a two-point lead over Inter Milan, who were beaten 1-0 by Sassuolo earlier with a last-minute penalty to surrender the lead. The winter champions have gone on to win Serie A nearly seven out of every 10 seasons. “We’re still not sure what we’re capable of,” Napoli’s first-year manager Maurizio Sarri said. The last time Napoli earned the mid-term honor came in 1990. “Being winter champion means nothing. It means something when you’re champion in May,” Higuain said. “We’ve got to stay calm now because there are still five months to go and we want to continue this way.” Fiorentina are third, three points behind, after losing 3-1 to Lazio on Saturday. Also yesterday, it was: Atalanta 0, Genoa 2; Bologna 0, Chievo Verona 1; Torino 0, Empoli 1; and Hellas Verona 0, Palermo 1. In an entertaining match at the San Siro, both Inter and Sassuolo produced numerous chances and goalkeepers Samir Handanovic and Andrea Consigli were superb. Inter threatened early with Mauro Icardi and Adem Ljajic, then Simone Missiroli and Nicola Sansone were dangerous for Sassuolo. Handanovic tipped a free-kick from Sansone over the bar and Consigli made an extraordinary diving save to swat away a shot from Ljajic before the break. Inter substitute Rodrigo Palacio had a clear look in the 79th, but his effort was cleared off the line by defender Federico Peluso. Miranda’s decisive foul came after an error by fellow center back Jeison Murillo. Berardi then calmly beat Handanovic, improving to a perfect 6-for-6 on penalties this season. Having been beaten by Lazio before the holiday break, Inter has now lost two consecutive home matches in Serie A for the first time since May 2013. Sassuolo are sixth, 10 points behind Napoli.last_img read more

Fischer Finishes 17th At NCAA Championships

first_imgEUGENE, Ore. – Drake University’s Reed Fischer (Minnetonka, Minn.) ended the outdoor track and field season with a 17th place finish in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Championships on Wednesday evening.Competing in his first NCAA Championships, Fischer finished one place away from earning All-America honors with his time of 29:41.47. The junior kept pace with the lead pack for much of the race, but the leaders aggressively pushed that pace during the final 2,000 meters to stretch the field out. Oregon’s Edward Cheserek successfully defended his title in the event with a time of 29:09.57 thanks to a late surge.Fischer’s performance closed out a tremendous outdoor season. He opened the campaign by finishing seventh in the 10,000 meters at the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays in 29:09.86, a personal best and the second fastest time in school history.  In April, he finished third in the 5,000 meters at the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee with a performance that was just three one-hundreths of a second off the school record and followed that with a fifth-place showing in the event at the MVC Outdoor Championship. During the indoor season, he earned All-MVC honors in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.As a team, the Bulldogs end the 2015-16 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons with a total of three Missouri Valley Conference champions, 19 All-MVC selections, five school records broken, nine MVC Scholar-Athlete team selections and two MVC Elite 18 Award winners.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

More to Thank God for in Your Brain

first_img(Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 News about the most complex arrangement of matter in the known universe.Hit that curveball: The apparent sudden drop in a well-executed curveball pitch is a matter of output from an algorithm in your brain. If you understand how your body’s GPS works, Science Daily explains, you can avoid being fooled. Did you know you have a GPS system? Yes. Even though it can be tricked by a curveball, its algorithm is quite robust. “This study shows that the solutions that the brain finds for dealing with imperfect information often match optimal solutions that engineers have come up with for similar problems, like your phone’s GPS,” the article concludes.Smell that GPS: Speaking of GPS, the analogy came up in another Science Daily article. The long title sums it up: “Humans’ built-in GPS is our 3-D sense of smell: Like homing pigeons, humans have a nose for navigation because our brains are wired to convert smells into spatial information.” A dramatic animation of the sense of smell, along with other amazing stories of animal navigation, are featured in Illustra Media’s new film, Living Waters: Intelligent Design in the Oceans of the Earth.Social GPS: A “social map” of sorts has been found in the hippocampus, Science Daily says. Researchers at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine found activity in that brain region that “tracks relationships, intimacy and hierarchy within a kind of ‘social map’,” the article says. This capability to map people to  places is apparently shared with other mammals, Science Magazine says, although no research work on this subject has yet been done by fat, big-mouthed river horses on the Hippo Campus.Value computation: PLoS Biology has a technical paper about “neuroeconomics”— the way perceptions of value are represented in the brain. It’s an “embarrassment of riches,” the title suggests. The two authors discuss another recent paper that evaluates the role of two brain areas in this function that underlies how we make rational choices.  That work “provides valuable insight into the complexity of value computation, and helps set the agenda for future work in this area.”Facial recognition: “How does the brain recognize faces from minimal information?” Science Daily asks. Your fast computing system is part of the answer. “Our brain recognizes objects within milliseconds, even if it only receives rudimentary visual information,” the article begins. “Researchers believe that reliable and fast recognition works because the brain is constantly making predictions about objects in the field of view and is comparing these with incoming information.” The article describes how “predictive coding” works.Sorting illusions from reality: The brain can be fooled, as shown by optical illusions. To make sense of the world, the brain has to solve problems “by inferring what is the most likely cause of any given image on your retina, based on knowledge or experience,” Science Daily says. This ability is shared by other mammals, as experiments on nonhuman primates show. Chimpanzees, however, have never been observed to perform experiments on humans to uncover the workings of their neural circuits for the sheer pleasure of understanding how something works.Complexity of thought:  A controversial new theory of thought by Swedish neuroscientists was announced on Science Daily. They question the “prevailing doctrine” that thinking is simple. Known as “sparse coding,” the orthodoxy has been that “the brain has a system to maintain brain activity at the lowest possible level while retaining function.” The number of neurons involved in thinking, and the complexity of their interconnections when we take in information from sensations, is much more widespread than currently believed.Memory locus: Neuroscientists continue to try to understand where memories are stored. Research reported on Science Daily is focusing on neurons in the medial temporal lobe as the location where changes take place in response to learning.  But since no one can “see” a memory by looking at neurons firing, “the underpinnings of episodic memory formation is a central problem in neuroscience” that is bound to remain challenging.Calcium memory: We encountered calcium in yesterday’s entry about the “fight or flight” response. Another article, this one in PLoS Biology, introduces calcium as a key component in memory.Every fact or task that we remember—the shape of the utensil we call a fork, the appropriate hand-motion needed to beat egg whites until fluffy, or the sequential steps involved in baking a cake—must be encoded by long-lasting changes in the way that our neurons function and in the strength with which they connect and communicate to each other. Current experimental evidence has led neuroscientists to propose that learning elicits a particular pattern of electrical activity in neurons, which can in turn induce changes in their morphology, their responsiveness to incoming signals, the expression of their genes, and the strength of their connection to other neurons.These changes are the cellular counterpart of what we think of as memory. However, neuroscientists have not found many mechanisms by which a neuron can store information relative to its previous activity. In a study just published in PLOS Biology, Friedrich Johenning, Anne-Kathrin Theis, Dietmar Schmitz, Sten Rüdiger, and colleagues provide evidence that specific electrical activity within neurons induces a long-lasting change in the amplitude of transitory increases of calcium ion concentration (Ca2+ transients) inside dendritic spines—the specialized protrusions of the dendrites of a neuron, which receive input from other neurons via synapses.The Ca2+ ion is a fundamental player in the transformation of electrical to biochemical activity within neurons.Synthesizing the senses: How does the brain combine information from different senses? That’s what PhysOrg wants to know. We take in visual information from two eyes, and auditory information from two ears. That information needs to be combined into a meaningful whole. For vision, that presents a problem called binocular rivalry. “Musicians are ideal subjects for studying the congruence between abstract visual representations because they are familiar with symbolic musical notation, and can therefore experience melodic structure through both sound and vision,” Korean researchers say, so they used musicians in experiments on perception with audiovisual information. “Taken together, these results demonstrate robust audiovisual interaction based on high-level, symbolic representations and its predictive influence on perceptual dynamics during binocular rivalry,” they found.Update 7/07/15: Researchers at Northwestern University have found “the organization of the human brain to be nearly ideal” for information processing. Dmitri Krioukov explains the optimal organization, considering the tradeoffs involved:“An optimal net­work in the brain would have the smallest number of con­nec­tions pos­sible, to min­i­mize cost, and at the same time it would have max­imum navigability—that is, the most direct path­ways for routing sig­nals from any pos­sible source to any pos­sible des­ti­na­tion,” says Kri­oukov. It’s a bal­ance, he explains, raising and low­ering his hands to indi­cate a scale. The study presents a new strategy to find the con­nec­tions that achieve that bal­ance or, as he puts it, “the sweet spot.”The press release repeatedly gives evolution the credit: “Have you ever won­dered why the human brain evolved the way it did?” the article begins. It also gives a historically debunked orthogenetic view of evolution: “The find­ings rep­re­sent more than a con­fir­ma­tion of our evo­lu­tionary progress.” Krioukov ascribes the match between actual brain and theoretical ideal as an evolutionary product: “That means the brain was evo­lu­tion­arily designed to be very, very close to what our algo­rithm shows.” No clarification is provided on how blind, unguided processes correlate to the oxymoron “evolutionarily designed.”Most of these articles had any use for Darwinian thinking (how’s that for an oxymoron: “Darwinian thinking”). Only the last (Update) article spoke nonsense about “evolutionary design”—one of the worst oxymorons possible (see sophoxymoroniac).Science has barely scratched the surface toward understanding the workings of the brain. Think about memory: how many terabytes, exabytes or yottabytes of information are packed inside your skull?I used to be in a marching band and took a liking to band music. Recently, I was listening to Pandora and heard a Sousa march I had not heard for probably thirty years or more. As I listened, I was amazed at how quickly it all flooded back to my mind; I was able to predict most of the next lines even before they played. In fact, had I turned off the radio, I could probably have played back most of the rest of it in my head. It would play in high fidelity, too, not like an old scratchy vinyl record. Somehow, all that information was still encoded in my brain after decades, and could be recalled instantly. Multiply that ability by all the songs you know, all the quotes you can remember, and all the audiovisual experiences you could relive from childhood as if they happened yesterday. Is it not astonishing what our brains can do?We know something about encoding information like this. Samples are taken of a complex, moving waveform, passed through an analog-to-digital converter, and represented alphanumerically on a storage medium. If the medium is not damaged, the information can be converted back into sound for playback. Our brains, though, are not hard surfaces like CD’s or computer memory. They are made up of dynamic, soft tissues—living cells—with electrical and chemical signals whizzing constantly in every direction. How can that kind of living tissue store complex experiences for instant recall decades later?And that’s just memory. Think of the predictive coding, sensory integration, abstract thinking and motor control we take for granted every day.  You may have noticed that your brain has a search engine. Can’t recall a name? You struggle for a moment to recall it, but then get distracted onto some other matter. Moments later, while you’re not even thinking about it, the name pops into your consciousness. How does that happen? How does a piano player control her fingers so fast they become a blur on the keyboard? or better yet, an organist with 10 fingers on 3 ranks of keys, and two feet on the pedals? How did Leonhard Euler perform complex mathematical derivations in his head while blind?It’s a shame we complain about the littlest trifles in life. We have been given outstanding audiovisual and computer processing equipment freely by our Creator. The design in nature, in our bodies and in our own heads is so abundantly clear, the only proper response should be gratitude, wonder, and worship.—DClast_img read more

Shrien Dewani to face the music in South Africa

first_imgShrien Dewani has denied that he had anything to do with the murder of his new bride Anni Dewani. (Image: Facebook) • Mthunzi Mhaga Spokesperson Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development +27 12 406 4660 [email protected] • South Africa’s justice system • Cape Town: Third-best city on the Lonely Planet • Cape Flats gang film an Oscar contender • South Africa’s Public Protector: frequently asked questions • Crime in South AfricaSulaiman PhilipFrigid Bristol in England is not usually the bolthole of choice for someone trying to avoid trial in a sunny clime. But that is where Shrien Dewani, accused of having his  bride Anni Dewani murdered, finds himself. From behind the locked gates and reinforced concrete, razor wire-topped walls of the Fromeside Secure Clinic he has fought, since 2011, South African attempts to extradite him.A final High Court ruling means that Dewani may be in the country as early as 8 April to face the justice system that he has tried to evade since Anni’s murder in November 2010. The High Court has ruled that while his medical conditions – post-traumatic stress disorder, hyperacusis (a hearing disorder similar to tinnitus) and related problems with concentration – made him unfit to stand trial, he should be held in South Africa until his condition improved. The three-judge panel headed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, did stipulate that Dewani must be returned to England in a year if his condition did not improve sufficiently for him to stand trial.Doubts for a fair trialIn the three-plus years since Anni Dewani’s kidnapping and murder, the defence has fought his extradition while also working to cast doubt on the competence of the South African police, raising the spectre of rape in prison and highlighting the supposed collapse of the mental health system in the country. The lawyers argued that Dewani would not get a fair trial, that he would not get access to medical treatment while awaiting trial or if he was convicted, and that he would not be safe in a South African prison.There is still the option of appealing to the European Court of Human Rights but Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, says that there has been no indication that Dewani would appeal the latest ruling. Mhaga says that after landing in South Africa, Dewani “will be kept in a medical facility due to his peculiar condition. We are working tirelessly to ensure that his return to our shores brings to finality this protracted legal process. We are confident that he will receive a fair trial in our courts.”From the time of his arrest in December 2010 Dewani has appeared in court 10 times, including his bail hearing. Three times extradition has been affirmed and twice his team has been allowed to appeal. After the third ruling the Supreme Court blocked any further appeals in English courts.For now he spends his days in a camper van parked on the grounds of the hospital where he is being treated. In testimony in 2011, at his first extradition hearing, psychiatrist Dr Alan Cumming testified Dewani had been overcome by hopelessness and despair since his wife’s murder. Shrien Dewani (right) has been held at a secure hospital in his hometown in Bristol, but is allowed daily visits home. (Image: Facebook)Cummings, a witness for the South African government, added that extradition would increase Dewani’s suicide risk in the short term, but his condition would improve after a “spike”. He insisted that Dewani’s health could be managed as well in South Africa as in the UK.At the time of his first extradition hearing, Dewani was being visited every 15 to 20 minutes because he was a high suicide risk. Clare Montgomery QC (Queens Counsel, the equivalent of a senior advocate in South African law) argued that extradition would increase the risk of suicide to an unacceptable level.Montgomery argued that “the South African government were incapable of fulfilling the limited assurances given. The suicide management capacity of the South African prison system was ‘inadequate’, as had been admitted by the Prisons Inspector. Experts also agreed that there was no evidence that the psychiatric hospital available to care for him could adequately treat his complex illnesses.”Beyond that, she continued, he was also at serious risk of violence from other prisoners. There were limited undertakings to protect his health but, “no effective undertakings had been given to protect him from sexual violence or other violence at the hands of prisoners”.Arguing that European and English governments held their legal system to a higher standard than South Africans, extradition would be incompatible with articles 2 (the right to life) and 3 (prohibition on torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protect the right to life and prohibit inhuman and degrading treatment.His expensively assembled team included super publicist Max Clifford – until his arrest and trial for a series of indecent assaults – who orchestrated a smear campaign on the sidelines of the legal battle. It was Clifford’s job to provide the smoke to bolster the argument that the South African justice and penal system is indeed barbaric.The campaign began with a statement calling the charges against Dewani, “totally false accusations blaming him for what happened to his wife from people seeking to divert this matter away from security in South Africa for ordinary people”.At the first extradition hearing in May 2011 the court heard from Sasha Gear from Johannesburg’s Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation that in the eyes of other convicts Dewani would be guilty of a “sissy crime” which, along with his wealth and looks painted a target on his back.Dewani’s counsel has also raised the prospect that his client is being set up for Anni’s murder by police wanting to deflect attention from their country’s high crime rate. The multipronged attack also included criticism of the initial investigation and claims that the police forced confessions from the men imprisoned for the crimes to fit with their interpretation of the night.Unfortunately the South African Police Service played into the defence’s hands.In December 2010, then police commissioner Bheki Cele was quoted as saying, “A monkey came all the way from London to have his wife murdered here. Shrien thought we, South Africans, were stupid when he came all the way to kill his wife in our country. He lied to himself.”Dewani’s lawyers jumped on the use of the words “murderer” and “monkey” to argue that their client had been prejudged and was therefore unlikely to receive a fair trial in the country.Then in March 2011 the original investigating officer and detective, Colonel Christiaan Theron, credited with arresting Dewani’s alleged co-conspirators, was accused of racism (the formal charge is crimen injuria) and fraud. Clifford argued, at the time, that this was an indication that racist South African police officers were looking to pin the murder on non-white suspects and Dewani was the easiest target.Too many unanswered questionsIn October last year Dewani’s defence asked the Crown Prosecution Service, the English version of the National Prosecuting Authority, to prosecute him in England instead of extraditing him to South Africa. Allowance is made for these prosecutions in England but only for crimes committed in an EU country. Among the Commonwealth nations, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa can apply for an extradition order without having to present prima facie evidence at the hearing.This was an idea raised by a former South African acting High Court judge, Paul Hoffman, in an interview with the BBC in March 2012. He admitted that it was an unusual arrangement but the deal could be negotiated between the UK and South African judges. Hoffmann’s argument was based on Dewani first being found guilty in a South African court. A UK Ministry of Justice spokesman knocked the suggestion down by pointing out there was currently no prisoner transfer agreement between the countries, but “we hope to get more agreements with other countries and one of them may be South Africa”.Melanie Riley of English NGO Friends Extradited, and a Dewani ally, told the Guardian in October last year that sending Dewani to South Africa as an awaiting trial prisoner was cruel and unusual punishment, and that with his medical history Dewani would languish in prison or in a secure medical facility while waiting for his condition to improve. She said that given the conditions in South Africa this would take much longer, if ever. “Prolonging a trial delay serves neither victim nor defendant. Whatever the medical facilities abroad, Britain should only extradite for trial, not treatment.”In denying Dewani the right to appeal its decision the High Court judges wrote, “South Africa has now a material track record of respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Those are highly material factors to the court’s acceptance of the undertakings…”For Anni’s family, which has swung from supporting a son-in-law, to wondering what he is hiding, to praying for a judicial end to the nightmare, none of the legalities matter. They are not convinced of his guilt but want justice to be seen to be done.There are too many unanswered questions for them. As Ami Denborg, Anni’s sister has said, “I don’t know what to believe sometimes. I just want the truth to come out and the end of this story so I can move on with my life.”last_img read more

Purple Satin Covered Alice Hair Band Headband Bridesmaid Flower Girl 1cm –

first_imgFits my seventeen thirty day period old correctly :).Sad to say this only lasted four weeks into the new time period. If it was extra difficult putting on would have been great.Fits my seventeen thirty day period old correctly :). Fits my seventeen thirty day period old correctly :).Fits my seventeen thirty day period old correctly :).Features of Purple Satin Covered Alice Hair Band Headband Bridesmaid Flower Girl 1cm (0.4″) WideSatin Covered Hair BandBand Measures 1cm (0.4″) WideIdeal for Bridesmaids Flower GirlsExtremely comfortable and durable.Fits my seventeen thirty day period old correctly :).Sad to say this only lasted four weeks into the new time period. If it was extra difficult putting on would have been great.Sad to say this only lasted four weeks into the new time period. If it was extra difficult putting on would have been great.Sad to say this only lasted four weeks into the new time period. If it was extra difficult putting on would have been great.Fits my seventeen thirty day period old correctly :).Fits my seventeen thirty day period old correctly :).Sad to say this only lasted four weeks into the new time period. If it was extra difficult putting on would have been great.Sad to say this only lasted four weeks into the new time period. If it was extra difficult putting on would have been great.Sad to say this only lasted four weeks into the new time period. If it was extra difficult putting on would have been great.Fits my seventeen thirty day period old correctly :).Sad to say this only lasted four weeks into the new time period. If it was extra difficult putting on would have been great.last_img read more

Early Harvest Numbers Impressive

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest During Farm Science Review, Field Agronomist Alexandra Knight visited with many growers that have started a little bit of corn and soybean harvest this week. She talks with The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins for this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report about what she is hearing from those growers.last_img

Faulty hip implants: 15 patients approach central expert committee

first_imgNew Delhi, Sep 16 (PTI) Fifteen patients suffering due to “faulty” hip implants of Johnson and Johnson have approached the central expert committee, days after it was formed by the Union Health Ministry to determine the quantum of compensation to be provided to them. Sources in the Union Health Ministry said the panel has so far received representations from 15 affected patients from across the country and it will have its first meeting on September 18 to scrutinise each of them. The Centre constituted the five-member expert committee to determine the quantum of compensation to be given to patients who have “faulty” hip implants, manufactured by DePuy International, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. Apart from the central panel, the Union Health Ministry has also asked states and union territories to constitute separate committees so that they can receive such complaints from affected patients. “We have received 15 such representations via mail since the expert committee was formed. The central expert committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss each of the cases,” a Health Ministry source said. The source said that after preliminary scrutiny, it has been found that there are one or two cases that are not related to the matter involving Johnson and Johnson. An earlier expert panel, constituted by the Union Health Ministry to investigate complaints about faulty articular surface replacement (ASR) hip implant devices, said in its report that the pharma giant “suppressed” facts on the harm of surgeries afterwards which was conducted on patients in India using the “faulty” systems.advertisement It had also suggested that the company pay compensation of around Rs 20 lakh to the affected patients. The new five-member central committee is being chaired by R K Arya, director, Sports Injury Centre, Safdurjung Hospital. Others in the committee include C S Yadav, department of Orthopaedics, AIIMS in New Delhi; Vineet Sharma, Head of Department of Orthopaedics, King George’s Medical University in Lucknow; Bikas Medhi, professor pharmacology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh; and Bhushan Tilak Kaul, professor of law in Delhi University. The sources said the ministry is soon going to make amendments in the medical devices rules in which there will be a provision for paying compensation to such affected patients in case it is proven. Patients and family members of those affected by Johnson and Johnson’s faulty hip implants had gathered in Delhi recently, demanding they be directly involved in the process of ascertaining the compensation. They asserted the amount should not only be based on the physical, medical criteria but also take into account the mental, social and economic harm faced by them. PTI TDS SMNlast_img read more

ROYCE Simmons says Saints trip to London this Sat

first_imgROYCE Simmons says Saints’ trip to London this Saturday is like “stepping into the unknown”.As he prepares his side for their first hit out of the Stobart Super League season he admits the Broncos’ new signings make them dangerous – but until those new combinations have played together is difficult to know what to face.“They have a lot of players who have won big games in the past,” he said. “Michael Robertson on the wing was a regular try scorer for Manly. Shane Rodney has played in two grand finals, possibly three and Antonio Kaufusi has played for Australia. Then you add Craig Gower in there too and there’s a hell of a lot of experience in that side.“They’ve played alongside winners and that’s what they’ll bring to London. They also have good young English players so they are a bit of an unknown. There’s not a lot of video on them at present.”Tony Puletua and Michael Shenton won’t play this Saturday as they recover from injury but Simmons expects them both to be in contention for around week two or three.Paul Wellens is a doubt too as he is having on-going treatment for an Achilles.“These three players are important so we won’t rush them back,” Royce continued. “We want to make sure they are 100 per cent before bringing them back.“I think this competition will be strong this year. Everyone is talking about Catalans and I think they will be a very good side. They had injuries at the back end of the year but they have purchased pretty well. Hull might be ok too – they have bought in strong at half back and full back. When they get their combinations right then they will be a dark horse.“Everyone is competitive at the start of the year; it’s how you handle your injuries and the depth you have that’s important.”last_img read more