Month: September 2019

The NBA Excitement Index

20DEN0.3775.80 17ORL0.3045.92 6MIL0.5666.25 4CHI0.6306.29 26UTA0.3585.55 18WAS0.6115.89 28CLE0.6005.46 10BOS0.3926.18 3TOR0.6926.35 I think most fans, if given a choice, would prefer to watch a game with a high Excitement Index (although I imagine Warriors fans are content with their “boring” season). But excitement is a fickle thing, hard to predict and nearly impossible to ensure. There is one metric that reliably correlates with excitement: the Vegas point spread. But that correlation is not particularly strong, and the result should not be too surprising: Games with a low point spread tend to have higher average excitement than games in which one team is heavily favored over the other.Teams aren’t guaranteed to stay exciting as a season progresses. Using data from the past three NBA seasons, I looked at how a team’s average Excitement Index in its games before the All-Star break correlated with the Excitement Index of games played after it. Some correlation did persist, but the results largely showed a regression to the mean.2The correlation coefficient between the two halves of the season was approximately 20 percent. But this correlation may be due to the point spread dynamic already mentioned. Middle-tier teams are more likely to play in games with low point spreads, which, in turn, is correlated with more exciting games.NBA teams can’t avoid boredom for long.CORRECTION (Feb. 18, 11:20 a.m.): In a previous version of the table accompanying this article, several NBA teams were in the incorrect order. 11OKC0.5286.08 7MEM0.7366.23 14MIN0.2085.98 12SAC0.3466.01 15NOP0.5095.95 30GSW0.8205.35 2SAS0.6426.45 1PHX0.5476.75 19DAL0.6555.81 23ATL0.7965.61 TEAMWIN %EXCITEMENT INDEX 9POR0.6736.21 5LAL0.2456.26 22BKN0.4045.69 27PHI0.2265.48 What makes for an exciting game? Sensational plays, sure. Some lead changes, absolutely. But there’s also a feeling you get when watching one — that the unexpected just keeps happening.But this is FiveThirtyEight, and intuitions won’t do! What if we found a way to quantify that feeling of surprise? What if we made the NBA Excitement Index?Having long been a fan of Brian Burke’s win probability model and graphs at Advanced Football Analytics, I built a similar model for the NBA and debuted it on my site, Inpredictable, just over a year ago. The latest version of the model is based on detailed play-by-play data from 13 NBA seasons (from 2000 to 2012). This is not a simulation model; it is based on game results — for example, how often do teams win when trailing by two with 25 seconds left on the clock?1I have to apply some smoothing to even out the noise in the raw data, but otherwise I try to let the data speak for itself.By tracking swings in win probability, I was able to translate those swings into excitement. When visualized, games with a high Excitement Index are easy to spot. Their win probability graphs are choppy and turbulent.Take, for example, the triple overtime thriller between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 17.The Spurs fell behind early, trailing by as much as 23 in the second quarter before tying the game with just under nine minutes left in regulation. From there, the lead changed hands several times, and with just 15 seconds left in regulation, the Spurs appeared on the verge of completing the comeback. The Spurs’ Boris Diaw rebounded a missed Vince Carter 3-point attempt, giving San Antonio possession with a three-point lead.Most games in that situation fizzle out rather undramatically (a combination of intentional fouls, free throws and time-outs as the trailing team attempts to stave off the inevitable). But this game featured nearly a whole game’s worth of drama squeezed into those final 15 seconds of regulation — a last-second turnover, a Mike Conley game-tying shot with seven seconds left on the clock; what appeared to be a game-winning shot from Danny Green with two seconds left, and a highly improbable Marc Gasol 30-footer to tie the game at the buzzer.That’s not even to mention the three overtimes that followed.The Spurs-Grizzlies win probability graph clearly has its share of dramatic turns, and its Excitement Index of 17.4 is the highest value of any NBA game this season.San Antonio has had one of the most “exciting” seasons in the league thus far; a fact somewhat at odds with its no-nonsense public image. The table below ranks each team by the average excitement index of their games. The Spurs, with an average index of 6.45, trail only the Phoenix Suns for the most exciting season heading into the All-Star break.New York Knicks fans should take note: This may be the only ranking this season in which your team finds itself adjacent to the Golden State Warriors. 8IND0.3896.22 13HOU0.6736.01 24LAC0.6485.61 25MIA0.4315.57 16DET0.3895.94 29NYK0.1925.45 21CHA0.4125.73 read more

The Russian Underdog Strikes First At The World Chess Championship

After a lengthy series of draws and building tension over the past 11 days, the deadlock at the World Chess Championship was finally broken Monday evening. The defending champion and world No. 1, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, was bested and resigned after 52 moves and five hours of play. His challenger, Sergey Karjakin of Russia, a heavy underdog coming into the match, now leads 4.5 to 3.5 in this race to 6.5 points and chess’s ultimate crown.1Wins are worth 1 point, draws are worth half a point for each player, and losses are worth 0 points. If the match is tied after 12 games, four relatively speedy tiebreaker games will be played on Nov. 30. Each player would get 25 minutes for his moves. Karjakin, who began the match ranked No. 9, has inched up to No. 6 in the world.The advantage in Monday’s Game 8, played on a frigid day in lower Manhattan, swung wildly back and forth between the two players. The game featured back-to-back blunders and a last-second move with the clock’s final seconds ticking down, a scenario worthy of a classic NCAA Final Four game. In the end, Carlsen overextended his reach, wandering into endgame territory more dangerous than he’d realized. Karjakin eventually steeled himself, as he’s done in a number of previous games, and found the winning line.In the opening, Carlsen, playing as white, deployed something called the Colle-Zukertort System.2Edgard Colle was a Belgian master in the early 1900s and Johannes Zukertort was a contender for the 1886 world championship, which took place partially in New York. In this opening, “white develops pieces behind its pawns, then takes action on his own terms,” Robert Hess, a grandmaster and contributor, told me. In other words: White’s position could get quite intricate before the fight begins, as he gets his pieces just where he wants them. “White tries to release tension on his terms so that his pieces can flourish.”By about the 25th move, it was clear that time was going to be a factor in the game, as the players struggled to deal with the insanely complex board they’d created with all those flourishing pieces. (Karjakin later called the position “crazy.”) The players get 100 minutes to start the game, 30 bonus seconds after each move, and 50 minutes when they make their 40th move. On the 32nd move, Carlsen had six minutes remaining on his clock and Karjakin had five. On the 34th move, the time ticking, Carlsen (white) faced this position: The two grandmasters will take their seats for at least two — and up to four — more hours-long games. There could be further shorter games if the match is tied after that. They should both get comfortable in their Staples chairs. Kirill Zangalis, Karjakin’s manager and a spokesman for the Russian chess federation, addressed the press after the game. “Sergey now knows how he can win this match,” he said. “Now, it’s only the beginning.”Tuesday is a rest day, and Game 9 begins Wednesday afternoon. I’ll be covering the rest of the games here — although there will be no dispatch here on Thursday — and on Twitter. He slid his queen over to e6. Karjakin pushed his right-side pawn to h5, heading down toward the white king’s defenses. And thanks to Karjakin’s innocent-looking pawn move, Carlsen had, essentially, run out of useful things to do. The black pawn on a3 was sprinting toward queendom while the black queen and knight were menacing the white king. One move later, Carlsen resigned and the two players shook hands.After his loss, a distraught Carlsen brushed past a would-be postgame interviewer without a word. As Karjakin dutifully did interviews backstage, Carlsen came out onto the stage for the press conference. But the timing was off. There was no moderator, no Karjakin, no questions being asked. It was just Carlsen, sitting alone on the stage in silence, facing a thick phalanx of expectant reporters, photographers and chess fans. You could pierce the awkwardness with the top of a bishop. And he sat and he sat and he sat, for minutes that felt like hours.Eventually, Carlsen had enough. He threw his hands up in disgust, stormed backstage and never returned. He pushed his pawn up to c5, instantly giving Karjakin his biggest edge of the entire match, according to the chess engine Stockfish. After the two traded the rooks at the top of the board and the Russian captured the Norwegian’s pawn on c5 with his knight, the position belonged to Karjakin and his two unimpeded pawns on the board’s left side, itching to become queens. The game was won.But Karjakin had been burning through his time, which ticked down to less than a minute for five moves in a row. (If a player runs out of time he loses.) He relied on the bonus 30 seconds, burned them down, made a move, received 30 seconds in return, and then burned them down again. It was torturous to watch. In chess, thanks to the 30-second increment, you can relive ulcerous final seconds over and over and over again. The crunch got to Karjakin, eventually. He misplaced his queen on the 37th move, ceding back to Carlsen all of the advantage. One blunder cancelled out another, and the game was level again.With seven seconds left on his clock — seven seconds until instant defeat and devastated title chances — Karjakin made his 40th move.Things calmed down for a while after that, both players comfortably pondering the game with their added time. Stockfish saw the endgame as level, or maybe just a touch better for black, until the 51st move. Carlsen (white) had to make a decision here: Chairs have a storied history at the world championship. Bobby Fischer famously demanded that an Eames Time-Life Chair be shipped to Reykjavik for his 1972 championship match against Boris Spassky. He said he thought better while sitting in it. An Icelandic chess official thought it’d be nicer for the cameras if Spassky had a matching chair, so one was driven by limousine to John F. Kennedy Airport and put aboard the first flight to Iceland. The model of chair, now an icon of 20th-Century design, thanks in part to the match that had a rabid viewership in the States, is now sold by Herman Miller for $3,000.And what about this year’s model? After a Zapruder-esque examination of photographs from this year’s match, a lengthy search of office chairs online, and a crowdsource of my social networks, this year’s chair appears to come from Staples, the office-supply chain store. It’s called the Baird Bonded Leather Manager’s Chair and it retails for $270. Both players appear to use the same model. (Multiple messages to FIDE and its partner Agon Limited asking about the chairs were not returned.) Sitting in an Eames chair, Bobby Fischer, right, plays Soviet chess player Tigran Petrosian in Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 1971. Getty Images “Chess is everything: art, science and sport,” the former world champion Anatoly Karpov once said. With the ticking clock and dramatic swings, it had never felt more like a sport to me than it did Monday night. And in sport, the equipment matters. The brilliancies and blunders are born in the minds of the two geniuses vying for this title, but they’re expressed to the world via more mundane physical objects. I wanted to know the tools of these sportsmen’s trade. Consider this your guide if you’re hoping to build a chess arena of your own at home.The official chess clock of the sport’s governing body FIDE — the small plastic box that loomed over Game 8 — is the handsome maroon model DGT 2010. It goes for about $80.The championship uses a souped-up board with sensors in the pieces, so that moves can be instantly related to spectators on monitors in the venue and on the internet. But you can buy an essentially identical version, sans sensors, for $470. It sports a rosewood and maple board and ebonized boxwood pieces, and was designed by the Pentagram architect Daniel Weil. The size of the pieces are, apparently, proportioned to the pitch of the facade of the Parthenon.But, most importantly, in what do the grandmasters sit? Chairs are important to chess players, for obvious reasons. In this year’s match, the two grandmasters have sat — minus the odd bathroom break and so forth — for about 68 total man-hours. Magnus Carlsen testing different chairs before the match. The Staples chair that was chosen is at left. Photograph by Misha Friedman read more

Whats Behind All These Crazy NBA Stat Lines

Aside from a brief spike in the post-handcheck era, when Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Gilbert Arenas — remember how good he was at his peak? — were blowing up the scorebooks in 2005-06, we haven’t seen a spate of stat-padding close to this since 1990-91, when Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and company were putting up ridiculous numbers from Day One of the season. And even that year didn’t see as many performances crack a Game Score of 40 as there have been this season; to find more of those at this stage of a season, you’d have to go back to 1987-88.It probably isn’t too shocking that the number of big Game Score outings in a given season is reasonably correlated with the league’s pace factor.3Since 1984, there’s a correlation coefficient of 0.59 between the league’s pace and the number of individual games breaking a Game Score of 30, for instance. The more possessions per game, the easier it is to produce eye-popping stat lines — and this season has featured the NBA’s fastest pace since the early 1990s. So, given the game’s more up-tempo state, perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised by this year’s explosion of big statistical games.But there’s also evidence that we’re in an age of better NBA talent than we’ve seen since the days of MJ and Sir Charles. When I borrowed FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver’s “baseball time machine” technique — which infers the amount of talent present in a given season by comparing the performances of the same players in adjacent seasons — and applied it to basketball to prove millennials weren’t ruining the NBA, I found that the past few seasons contained the NBA’s strongest talent base since the early to mid-1990s. (As measured by Box Plus/Minus, which is pace-adjusted and accounts for both offense and defense.) It was part of a trend in leaguewide quality that’s been on the upswing since the mid-2000s, as the game finally stabilized after adding seven new teams between 1988 and 2004.Lending further credence to the theory that there’s simply a wealth of good players in today’s NBA, 2016-17 has also seen its big stat-stuffing games spread across more players than past seasons have. This season, there have been 89 games with a Game Score of 30 or higher, recorded by 38 different players — an average of 2.3 big games per player. By contrast, the 1990-91 season featured an average of 2.8 big games per player, meaning the performances were more concentrated among players; the same was true in all of the big-game-heavy seasons of the late 1980s and early 1990s. This season has featured a lot of great performances, but they’re not being being hogged as much by the same small group of usual suspects.(Even Russell Westbrook, freed to summon a hellstorm of statistical vengeance in Kevin Durant’s absence, leads the league with “only” nine 30-plus Game Score games. At the same stage of the 1987-88 season, Jordan had twice as many!)Between expansion, rule changes, the advent of superteams and sweeping strategic developments (many of which owe to the increasing influence advanced analytics wields over teams), the league has undergone a lot of upheaval over the past couple of decades. It may be that this season’s jaw-dropping statistical feats are a product of all that evolution — and we could just be witnessing the beginning of a trend toward ever-crazier numbers.Check out our latest NBA predictions. As the calendar approached 2017 Saturday night, Houston’s James Harden decided to provide his own New Year’s Eve fireworks. The triple-double line he dropped on the New York Knicks was nothing short of mind-boggling: 53 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds — the first 50-15-15 game in NBA history, the finest game of Harden’s career (according to John Hollinger’s Game Score metric, which assigns a rough value to all the good and bad things a player does on the court), and the top performance of the 2016-17 NBA season to that point.But no sooner had Harden finished that outburst than Chicago’s Jimmy Butler responded with his own bit of insane stat-stuffing: 52 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists against the Hornets on Monday night. Since it came with a better shooting percentage, fewer turnovers and more steals and blocks, Butler’s performance unseated Harden’s for the best Game Score of this NBA season so far.And it wouldn’t be surprising if Butler’s own mark fell sooner rather than later. This season has already seen 12 individual performances eclipse a Game Score of 40,1For reference’s sake, this LeBron James game against the Hornets on Dec. 10 — 44 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds — earned a Game Score of exactly 40. the same number as the previous five seasons had through this stage of the season2Specifically, through 38 team games — the same number as the league-leading Clippers, Grizzlies and Lakers had when this story’s research was conducted on Thursday. combined. As my ESPN colleague Zach Lowe wrote Thursday, scoring is up across the league this season, and it’s going hand in hand with some truly prodigious individual performances.Here’s the breakdown of the individual games that eclipsed certain Game Score milestones (30, 35 and 40) during the first 38 team games of each season since 1983-84, the first year for which has complete game-level box score data: read more

Firstplace Crew helped by section of festive fans

It’s a closer call than one might think.  On any given night in Crew Stadium, it’s difficult to gauge whether there is more energy being expended on the field of play or in the Nordecke, a section in the northeast corner of the stadium where the rowdiest of the Crew fans gather.These black-and-gold-clad super fans are loud and boisterous from whistle to whistle. They sing, cheer and chant for their team in words occasionally not fit for print in a family paper. They could be described as “hooligans lite.”A casual observer might mistake the section for an early Halloween party run amok. It’s not unusual for pirates, skeletons and other such oddities to be interspersed throughout the crowd.    As the Columbus Crew and their zealous fans gear up for another run in the MLS playoffs, the importance of the crowd and the Nordecke in particular isn’t lost on those associated with the team.When asked about the significance of the recent 22-game home unbeaten streak snapped by Seattle last Saturday, Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer’s thoughts turned quickly to the fans.“Mostly for me, I’m really disappointed for the fans because ever since they put together that Nordecke section, we’ve made this place a fortress, and we’ve fought hard for them,” Hesmer said. “It can’t help but be infectious to the guys on the field.”He’s not the only one who appreciates what these energetic fans bring to the table.Seattle Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid, who has been on both ends of the sidelines as the home and visiting coach, has a special perspective.“This is a tough place to play,” the former Crew coach said. “The Nordecke has been great. Their support and the atmosphere, you know you are at a soccer venue.”With a win against the New England Revolution (10-9-8) this Saturday in Gillette Stadium, the Crew (12-5-10) would become the Eastern Conference regular season champions and lock up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs up to the MLS Cup.A draw, which yields one point, would eliminate the Revolution from catching the Crew in the standings and leave the Chicago Fire six points back with only two matches remaining.  The tiebreaker, a combination of head-to-head matchups and goal totals, would then go to the Crew.Another achievement that is tantalizingly close for the Crew is a second straight Supporters Shield, the honor given to the team with the highest point total in the MLS at the end of the season.Columbus holds a two-point lead on the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo for the Shield, at 46-44.There are only three regular season MLS games remaining on the Crew’s schedule, including home and away contests against New England.With their most dedicated fans in tow, the Crew look to recreate the magical run of last year to the MLS championship. read more

Buckeyes return home for Big Ten matchup

The Ohio State women’s volleyball team will play in front of a home crowd for the first time in a month Friday night, fresh off a 12-game, three-week road trip. The Buckeyes completed almost their entire non-conference schedule on the road, winning nine non-conference road matches during the stretch and losing only to 16th-ranked Kentucky (1-3). They also split in Big Ten play during the trip, defeating Wisconsin (3-2) and dropping all three sets to ninth-ranked Illinois. Going 12 games without a home crowd’s support isn’t easy, but it was an early learning experience for the team. “We had to rely on ourselves to bring energy,” senior middle blocker Allie Schwarzwalder said. “We had to stick together through the good games and the bad games.” The trip may have been a success, but the Buckeyes are eager to get used to the routine of playing in front of a home crowd again. “It’s going to be great to actually sleep in my own bed before the match,” sophomore outside hitter Emily Danks said. There is no better team to return home to play than OSU’s bitter rival to the north. “Michigan is a good way to open the home season,” senior setter Betsy Hone said. “I think it will be a very good crowd.” Although back in the comfort of St. John Arena, the Buckeyes know they have their work cut out for them to navigate the grueling Big Ten schedule. “We have a goal to be Big Ten champs, the Big Ten is wide open this year,” Hone said. “It’s a long season, obviously you want to steal games on the road and protect your house at home.” This is exactly the part of the schedule that the team has been waiting for. “It’s definitely a lot more fun playing the Big Ten schools,” Schwarzwalder said. “The student sections are awesome, bigger turnout for Big Ten games always get you a little nervous.” The Buckeyes know that to compete, they have to improve week-to-week starting with defense. “Defense wins championships so we have been trying to settle down our defense and get into a rhythm,” Hone said. The Buckeyes’ experience will come in handy throughout the rest of the schedule. “This is probably one of the most experienced teams of the four years that I have been here,” Hone said. That experience plus a deep bench puts the Buckeyes in the mix to contend for the Big Ten title. “I think this is the biggest year for potential for us,” Schwarzwalder said. “We just have a lot of depth.” Friday, the Buckeyes will finally get to play in front of a scarlet-and-gray crowd, and would love to see as much of it as possible. The fact that the Buckeyes have learned to play so well on the road will be key as they continue through the season, but may spell trouble for teams welcoming the Buckeyes onto their home court. “I think we are going to do good things,” Hone said. read more

Ohio State rowing travels to Indianapolis for Big Ten Championships

The No. 4 Ohio State rowing team aims to bring home a fourth title this weekend when it heads to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championships Sunday. OSU closed out the regular season April 28, winning 10 out of 16 races against No. 2 Virginia, No. 3 Michigan, No. 14 Harvard and No. 19 Clemson. Coach Andy Teitelbaum said the Buckeyes are focused on keeping the momentum of the regular season going into the competition this weekend, and acknowledges that the competition is high. “Obviously I think it’s everybody’s goal to win a conference championship. I’m sure we’re not alone there,” Teitelbaum said. “We’re positioned quite strongly, so it’s well within our reach. But, being seeded to win a championship and winning a championship are two different things. We’re the defending champions and we’re hoping to see if we can’t go back to back.” Senior Kate Sweeney said the end of the regular season has been a reflection on the team’s hard work and dedication. “As a team, our goal is definitely to repeat what we did last year and come home with the conference title,” Sweeney said. “We feel extremely prepared; the work we’ve put in since September is really showing on the water and everyone’s really anxious and ready to get out there, but we know that the conference is particularly strong this year. There’s a lot of good teams and good boats individually that are looking for titles, so it’s not going to be an easy path, but I think that we definitely can come home with the trophy again.” Senior Emily Walsh said that a win this weekend would be a meeting of high goals the team set earlier in the season. “We started this year with very high goals and aspirations, and all of us have worked hard non-stop this year just keeping those goals in mind, and I think it would mean a lot,” Walsh said. “It would be a good testament to how much work we’ve done and how far we’ve come as a team to win again.” With their last regular season as Buckeyes finished, the seniors reflected upon the memories they have created at OSU, and what they will carry with them after they leave. “This is a really special group this year,” Sweeney said. “From September, we decided that our goal was to win a conference championship and the national championship, and the work that these girls, my teammates and the coaching staff, have put in every single day has been pretty amazing and I think just being a part of that group is a memory that I’m going to take with me when I leave, whether or not we end up winning nationals.” Walsh emphasized the special meaning of this weekend’s competition to the seniors, and shared the place this past season holds in her memory. “This has definitely been my favorite year,” Walsh said. “I think we’ve had some of the strongest crews in recent history and it’s been a great team atmosphere, a lot of seniors on the team who want to make this one count for everyone. I really enjoyed the year working with everyone, I’ll miss them a lot.” Senior Ulrike Denker said she has hopes the team will overcome the competition and perform in a way that reflects their extra work this year. “I think the training we put in this year has been the most we’ve ever put in,” Denker said. “I think it would be great to show that and to be able to perform that way. We’ve had really good memories on the water, like races we will never forget, but also off the water. Everyone put in 110 percent; everyone goes beyond just what they are supposed to do.” The Buckeyes will face Indiana, Iowa, No. 5 Michigan, No. 14 Michigan State, No. 18 Minnesota and No. 9 Wisconsin. The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. read more

Commentary Tips to help make the NFLs Pro Bowl more bearable

Football, like the other major American sports, has its annual all-star game, where the finest players from each conference square off against each other. While many of these other all-star games don’t resemble actual games in effort or competitiveness either, there’s something especially excruciating about the NFL’s Pro Bowl. The Pro Bowl, which has been around in its current format since 1970, is met with a huge amount of criticism from fans and players every year. The complete and total lack of defense seems to be one of the primary reasons for criticism. While a shootout in football can be a lot of fun to watch, seeing the best defensive players in the NFL jog and make a minimal effort to actually stop the other team is not very thrilling. With final scores in recent years of 59-41, 55-41, and 41-34, watching long completion after long completion gets very stale. The defensive players in this game are consistently more concerned with staying healthy and enjoying a vacation in Hawaii than playing well and winning. Another point of critique is the number of undeserving players. Due to injuries, players opting not to participate, players on Super Bowl-bound teams not being able to play or faulty fan votes, the star power is not always there. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken over the past year about the possibility of the Pro Bowl being eliminated if the quality does not improve. It does not seem likely that the NFL would get rid of this event, however. Even with an 8 percent drop in the ratings in last year’s game, it still drew a 7.9 rating, the highest of any of the all star games, according to USA Today. Here are some suggestions to spice up the Pro Bowl a little and make the entire event a little more bearable to watch. 1. Saturday events – Much like the NBA and MLB do, make a weekend out of the event. The NBA’s All-Star Saturday, which includes the Slam Dunk Contest and 3-Point Shootout is just as popular as the game itself, while the MLB’s Home Run Derby is a classic fixture of the all-star game. The NFL can pursue a similar tradition, showcasing its best talent. Quarterback accuracy and distance competitions, sprint contests, bench press contests and kicking competitions can all be events that are a lot of fun to watch and show off the best talent the NFL has to offer. 2. NFL awards show – The awards, such as MVP, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year, etc. come out around that time. Why not make a show out of it? This can also take place on the Saturday before the game, immediately following the All-Star events. 3. Rotating locations – It’s understandable that the NFL holds the Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii as an incentive for the players to attend, but it’s time to take the show on the road. Following the model of the other sports, the Pro Bowl should be in a different city every year. That would give it a fresh spin every year and would be a thrill for fans to see their hometown players, along with the other stars of the NFL. 4. Move it back to after the Super Bowl – In 2009, the NFL decided to move the date of the Pro Bowl from the weekend before the Super Bowl, instead of the weekend after. This idea did make some sense, as many fans are burned out from football after the season ends. However, it’s pretty easy to assume that some of the best players will be in the AFC and NFC championships. Between the Ravens and 49ers, which will be competing in this year’s Super Bowl, there are 13 players on the Pro Bowl roster who will have to miss the game. That’s just too many stars to have to play the game without. 5. Make it a winner-take-all cash format – This is just to give the players some incentive to actually put some effort in. Currently, there is a small difference in the amount of winnings for the winners compared to the consolation for the losers, but this difference is just a fraction of their total salaries. Add the total amount the NFL would be giving to both the winners and losers, and give it all to the winners. It still wouldn’t be a ton of money for these players, but at the very least it would inspire them to try. 6. No more fan vote – This is a complaint seen in the all-star games of every sport, but there really is absolutely no reason why the starters shouldn’t simply be the players that deserve it. Instead of the flashy, big market names that are being voted into the starting lineup every year by the fans, have a true, unbiased coaches vote to decide who will be representing their conference. While the Pro Bowl is at the end of the day an exhibition game that will never resemble an actual NFL game, there is no reason why it needs to keep its same awful format. It is not expected that these players give it their all weeks after their season ended, but it would be nice if the NFL at least gives the fans something to enjoy. As long as there’s an NFL logo on it, people will watch, but the league needs to explore ways to reward their loyal fans a little more. read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State releases contracts of Ryan Pedon Mike Schrage and

Ohio State assistant coach Ryan Pedon speaks to the media on June 15. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorOhio State on Friday released the contracts of its three recently hired men’s basketball assistant coaches – Ryan Pedon, Mike Schrage and Terry Johnson.Though coach Chris Holtmann received an eight-year deal, each assistant’s contract will expire after two seasons – on June 30, 2019.Pedon will make $395,000, Schrage will be paid $325,000 and Johnson will earn $300,000 in base salary, from June 14 to Aug. 31, 2018. Each assistant will be eligible to receive raises on Sept. 1, 2018 if approved by the Board of Trustees.Pedon, Schrage and Johnson will be eligible to earn additional compensation if the team performs well in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.If the Buckeyes are Big Ten champions, each assistant will earn an 8.5 percent increase to their base salary. They’ll also receive an 8.5 percent raise if the team advances to the Final Four. If Ohio State wins the national championship, each assistant will earn a 15 percent raise to their base salaries.Each assistant will also be provided eight men’s basketball season tickets and four football season tickets. The trio will individually receive a $600 per month stipend to use to cover automobile costs.Unlike Holtmann, the assistant coaches are not eligible to receive additional compensation based on the academic performance of the student-athletes. read more

Womens Hockey Ohio State outlasts St Cloud State in 22 shootout victory

Ohio State redshirt sophomore goaltender Kassidy Sauve stares down a rolling puck against St. Cloud State on Feb. 4 at the OSU Ice Rink. Credit: Magee Sprague | Lantern reporterThe Ohio State women’s hockey team (11-3-3, 8-2-3 WCHA) defeated the St. Cloud State Huskies (3-12-1, 1-9-1 WCHA) in a shootout 1-0 after tying 2-2 during regulation at the OSU Ice Rink Friday.With 8:03 remaining in the final period, Buckeyes senior forward Julianna Iafallo scored to tie the game at 2-2. The game remained scoreless after that and the Huskies and Buckeyes were headed to overtime.After the overtime period the score was still tied at two, and the game entered a shootout. After a lengthy shootout, Ohio State junior forward Grace Zarzecki scored the game-winning goal.The Buckeyes came out strong in the first period. Less than 10 seconds into the first period, freshman forward Tatum Skaggs had the initial shot on goal that was just wide of the net.“I just kept crashing the net, the goalie left a couple rebounds out,” Skaggs said, describing her early shot attempts.The two teams traded shots throughout the first period with Ohio State tallying 12 shots and St. Cloud State reaching nine shots, but neither team could score.“They played great, they were doing all the little things right, they were moving their feet on passes,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said of her teams play in the opening period.With 10:05 to go in the first period, St. Cloud State struck first when defenseman Abby Thiessen scored on a rifled slap shot that bested Buckeye goalie Kassidy Sauve and gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead.Ohio State had won both previous meetings on Oct. 20 and 21 between the two teams, both by final scores of 4-0.St. Cloud State added to its lead with just under seven minutes to go in the opening period on a power-play goal by forward Kayla Friesen, making it 2-0 Huskies.With 30.2 seconds remaining in the first period, a presumed goal by Ohio State was overturned after replay review.After a slower-paced second period, it took until nearly the end for Ohio State to score its first goal of the game. Forward Tatum Skaggs scored with just over 30 seconds to go in the second period to make it 2-1 St. Cloud State. It was Skaggs’ 12th goal of the year. Later that period, Ohio State tied the game at two, then won the shootout.“To sweep either on the road or at home in this league is very difficult,” Muzarell said, knowing that she will see the familiar foe Huskies again in less than 24 hours.Ohio State hosts St. Cloud State for the season finale Saturday afternoon at 3:07 p.m. at the Ohio State Ice Rink. read more

Football Ohio State moves up to No 6 in the College Football

Urban Meyer prepares to lead the Buckeyes onto the field prior the start of the game against Michigan on Nov. 24. Ohio State won 62-39. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorAfter defeating then-No. 4 Michigan 62-39 on Saturday, Ohio State (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) moved up to No. 6 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday. With Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Georgia filling the top four playoff spots in the latest rankings, Ohio State falls behind Oklahoma at No. 5 after the Sooners defeated then-No. 13 West Virginia 59-56 on Friday. The Buckeyes are one of four teams in the Big Ten to be represented in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, including No. 7 Michigan, No. 12 Penn State and No. 21 Northwestern. This marks the first time Ohio State has held a position in the playoff ranking outside of the No. 10 spot, a spot the team had held for the first four rankings of the 2018 season. No. 6 Ohio State will take on No. 21 Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Indianapolis. Here are the full current rankings. 1. Alabama2. Clemson3. Notre Dame4. Georgia5. Oklahoma6. Ohio State7. Michigan8. UCF9. Florida10. LSU11. Washington12. Penn State13. Washington State14. Texas15. Kentucky16. West Virginia17. Utah18. Mississippi State19. Texas A&M20. Syracuse21. Northwestern22. Boise State23. Iowa State24. Missouri25. Fresno State read more

Race to save a muchloved British endangered species the local vicar

first_imgThe Church of England will see the number of traditional clergy drop by 15 per cent in just 20 years unless it dramatically increases ordinations over the next decade, new figures show.While falling numbers in the pews have attracted headlines in recent years, senior clerics are also concerned about a separate looming decline – in the pulpit.Bishops fear a fall in the number of priests could make the task of reversing declining congregations by winning new converts more difficult than ever.Because a large swathe of the current clergy is approaching retirement, the Church calculates that the number of candidates for ordination will have to increase by a half throughout the 2020s to stabilise the situation.The ruling General Synod has also heard of a need to recruit more young people, women and members of ethnic minorities to make the priesthood more representative of wider society. There are currently around 500 people training for ordained ministry at any given time, a figure which would have to rise to rise to 750.Now a review of ministry figures over almost 70 years has been published, including projections of clergy numbers with and without the new vocations drive.At present, there are around 20,440 ordained clergy in the Church of England, including 7,730 traditional-style paid parish priests, or just under 7,400 if the figures are adapted to take account of those working part-time. Increase in ministry numbers is necessary and achievable, report shows— Church of England (@c_of_e) September 20, 2016 The study shows that if ordinations increase as hoped there would be 7,610 stipendiary priests by 2035 but only 6,300 if the current ordination rate is maintained, a 15 per cent drop.But a feasibility study shows that the increase is possible and plans are already being out in place.The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Rev Andrew Watson, who chair the Church’s Ordained Vocations Working Group, said: “The aspiration to increase the number of new clergy by 50 per cent is part of a wider vision to release and develop the gifts of the whole people of God.“It’s encouraging to see most of the dioceses really rising to this challenge, as they reshape their vocations teams and put new and more proactive vocations strategies in place.” clergy The Church wants a younger, less male and more ethnically mixed priesthoodCredit:Alamy 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

Britons could learn from vibrant faith of Muslim migrants Cardinal

first_imgHe also accused politicians of “trading in fear”Credit:AFP/Getty Images We have to learn too is from the vibrancy of the Muslim faith that comes hereCardinal Vincent Nichols He accused politicians of “trading in fear” and said media stories constantly portraying immigration in a negative light were proving “corrosive of our best nature”.In an interview with the BBC, he insisted that increasingly secular British society could learn much from the faith of new arrivals whether Christians, Muslims or followers of other religions.“I think this country will benefit actually from the vibrancy of the Christian faith that many people bring here,” he said.“Of course what we have to learn too is from the vibrancy of the Muslim faith that comes here.” He added:  “I think the immigration crisis is real and it needs concerted effort to address it,” he said.“It needs to be addressed realistically with resources and proper legislation, but it’s almost impossible to do that in an atmosphere in which fear and hatred are the dominant features.“It does nobody any good, this somewhat self-indulgent way in which people have begun to express themselves and their distaste and their hatred of people who they see as different.“And that is creating a culture of fear among people who have been welcomed here.” 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. He also accused politicians of “trading in fear" British people have much to learn from the “vibrancy of the Muslim faith” of new immigrants including refugees, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has said.Cardinal Vincent Nichols said immigrants had been enduring a worsening “atmosphere of fear” in the months since the EU referendum with the members of the public casually voicing hatred in a “self-indulgent” way.last_img read more

Number of patients missing twomonth cancer treatment target window doubles amid warnings

Announced in 2015 the Cancer Strategy was accompanied by a commitment to spend more than £200 million as part of the cancer transformation fund.But Macmillan last night called on the Department of Health to provide an up-to-date figure for the total amount of money it had actually spent on cancer care in England.“Ahead of the budget, we are hoping the Government continues to show its commitment to investing in improving cancer services,” said Dr Woodward.“But we also need to know what is being spent on cancer services right now so we know if there will be enough money in the pot to deal with the increasing demand.”An NHS spokesperson said: “For cancer patients, it’s successful treatment that matters most, so Macmillan might also mention that NHS cancer survival rates are now at their highest ever. That means another 2400 people will be alive this year to celebrate their birthday who last year would not have been.Meanwhile a Department of Health spokesperson said: “We want to lead the world in the fight against cancer and have already announced up to £300 million a year by 2020 to meet our new target for patients to be given a definitive diagnosis, or the all clear, within 28 days of a GP referral.” “The extra admissions is not only a crisis for A&E,” she said.“It’s very simple that starting treatment at an early stage gives people a better chance of survival.“This dismal anniversary of breached cancer waiting times is yet another sign of pressure on the NHS – everyone is suffering.”2016 alone saw a 23 per cent year-on-year rise in the number of people missing the target, according to the Macmillan report. It’s very simple that starting treatment at an early stage gives people a better chance of survivalDr Fran Woodward, Macmillan Cancer Support The number of NHS cancer patients waiting longer than the crucial two-month target window has nearly doubled in the last five years, a new report reveals.Macmillan Cancer support have warned that patients are dying because overrun A&E departments are draining the hospital resources needed to give them the prompt treatment they need.One in six people diagnosed with the disease began treatment after the aimed-for 62 days in 2016, according to the charity, making it the third consecutive year in which the health service failed to keep pace with rising demand. 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. NHS England’s Cancer Strategy is supposed to ensure fast access to treatment, however priority for appointments for blood tests and other checks needed before surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy is increasingly being given to A&E patients.The charity also said that the crisis in social care is hampering speedy treatment for cancer patients because operations frequently have to be cancelled due to surgical beds being taken up by older patients for whom spaces cannot be found in care homes.Following an urgent referral, usually by a GP, NHS patients are supposed to begin substantive treatment within two months, having seen a cancer specialist and undergone advanced diagnostic procedures in the meantime.However, the new Macmillan analysis shows that more than 100,000 patients have had to wait longer than this in the past five years.Departments providing diagnostic services such as x-rays, CT scans, biopsies and blood tests are used by all types of patients, but emergency patients “always take priority in these slots,” according to Dr Fran Woodward, Macmillan’s Executive Director of Policy and Impact. read more

Princess Diana taught sons to work just as hard when the cameras are

first_imgThe Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have spoken of their late mother’s commitment to “doing good while no one is watching”, as they presented 20 young people with a Legacy Award in her honour.Prince Harry said: “She achieved a lot by shining a spotlight, but she worked just as hard when the cameras were gone.”Our mother once said that if we all play our part in making our children feel valued, the result will be tremendous. This result was tremendous.” Princess Diana with sons Prince Harry, centre, and Prince William, right, on a water ride at Thorpe Park in April 1993Credit:Cassidy and Leigh / Rex Features Prince Harry and Prince William present a Legacy Award in their mother’s honourCredit:Paul Grover for the Telegraph PRINCESS DIANA AND SONS, PRINCES WILLIAM AND HARRY ON A WATER RIDE AT THORPE PARK The inaugural Diana Legacy Awards ceremony on ThursdayCredit:Paul Grover for The Telegraph Harry told some of the recipients: “I cannot believe how young you all are, most of you are still at school. When you get some spare time on your hands you’re saving lives and inspiring people.”You should be absolutely proud of what you’ve started and what you’ve achieved, you’re still in your teenage years – don’t stop now guys.” Speaking at St James’s Palace, where the awards ceremony was held, William said: “This summer marks 20 years since our mother died and she achieved so much in her life, from helping to shatter the stigma around Aids, to fighting to ban landmines and supporting the homeless – she touched the lives of millions.”center_img  The Diana Award's Inaugural Legacy Awards 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. Prince Harry and Prince William at the he Diana Awards The Duke added of Diana, Princess of Wales: “The truth is, though, that she was taken at only 36, just slightly older than I am today.”Of course, we can never know what our mother would have gone on to do. But in one sense Harry and I feel that our mother lives on in the countless acts of compassion and bravery that she inspires in others.” The Legacy Awards are designed to celebrate children and teenagers who demonstrate qualities of kindness, compassion and service. With his brother beside him, Prince William told the 20 young recipients that Diana had achieved so much in her life, from helping to fight the stigma around Aids to supporting the homeless.The royal brothers were making their first joint appearance at an event run by the Diana Award, established to promote their mother’s belief in the positive power of young people.The 20 young winners, who come from the UK, United States, Canada, India, Belize and the United Arab Emirates, were recognised for their efforts creating positive social change in their communities and countries.last_img read more

Acid attacks What you should do to treat chemical burns

first_imgFirst aid for burns – NHS Choices adviceStop the burning process as soon as possible. This may mean removing the person from the area, dousing flames with water, or smothering flames with a blanket.Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin.However, don’t try to remove anything that’s stuck to the burnt skin as this could cause more damage.Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes, as soon as possible after the injury.Cover the burn with cling film. Put the cling film in a layer over the burn, rather than wrapping it around a limb.Treat the pain from a burn with paracetamol or ibuprofen.Sit upright as much as possible if the face or eyes are burnt.‘Cool, Call and Cover’ – British Burn Association adviceCool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery.Call for help – 999, 111 or local GP for advice.Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm. Acid attack victim Katie PiperCredit:WireImage  Here’s what you should do in an acid attackNHS Choices say chemical burns require immediate medical attention at an A&E department.If you’re helping someone else, they advise to put on appropriate protective clothing and then:Remove any contaminated clothing on the personIf the chemical is dry, brush it off their skinUse running water to remove any traces of the chemical from the burnt areaMany health advice sites warn against using a hard spray of water on the affected area as it could possibly lead to more damage.“If possible, find out what chemical caused the burn and tell the healthcare professionals at A&E,” NHS Choices say. Stop Acid Attacks  A teenager is in police custody after two males on a moped carried out five acid attacks across London in less than 90 minutes, police say.There has been over 1,800 assaults with a corrosive substance since 2010, Metropolitan Police figures show, with figures still rising year on year and 454 assaults reported in 2016. Resham Khan and her cousin Jameel Muhktar were victims of an acid attack in east London in June Credit:GoFundMecenter_img India-based Stop Acid Attacks, who are leading a campaign against acid violence, say “in worst cases the acid penetrates to the bone which could be fatal for patient’s life”.They say:The most important first aid is to immediately wash affected body part of patient with plenty of fresh or saline water.Don’t rinse the burn area with dirty water as it can cause severe infection.Keep flushing the affected burn area with plenty of cool water,(not very cold) until the patient’s burning sensation starts fading. It may take 30-45 minutes.Remove all the jewellery or clothing which had contact with acid.Don’t apply any kind of cream, ointment on the affected area as it may slow the treatment procedure by doctors.If possible, use sterilized gauze to loosely wrap the affected area. The gauze protects the skin from air, debris, dirt and contamination.Rush the patient to a burn specialty hospital having isolated wards for burn patients. Resham Khan and her cousin Jameel Muhktar were victims of an acid attack in east London Katie Piper 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

VA director fights back against art washing claims as he refuses to

Visitors look at the V&A installation titled Robin Hood Gardens: A ruin in reverse  The director of the V&A has defended the museum’s decision to exhibit part of a demolished council estate at the Venice Biennale, after critics said it was “art-washing” the destruction of social housing.Tristram Hunt hit back at the “keyboard warriors and ‘art-wash’ agitators” who have complained about the display.The V&A acquired a fragment of Robin Hood Gardens, a notorious housing estate in Poplar, east London, shortly before the bulldozers moved in last year.It is the showpiece of Robin Hood Gardens: A Ruin In Reverse, which opened in Venice yesterday and which promises visitors the opportunity to stroll along its concrete walkway.Critics of the project include Stephen Pritchard, a historian, who wrote: “The V&A’s purchase of a part of Robin Hood Gardens is the fetishisation of working-class ways of living. It’s also an act of poverty tourism.”It is an act literally of accumulation by dispossession.” Some of Pritchard’s comments were retweeted by Emma Dent Coad, the Labour MP for Chelsea. But English Heritage turned down the application, saying it failed “as a place for human beings to live”.Residents complained that the estate had been left to rot, with leaking ceilings, patchy electricity and no security.The V&A acquired the three-storey fragment last year, as the flats were being demolished. Measuring 29ft high, 18ft wide and 26ft deep, it comprises the exterior and interior of a maisonette. At the time, the V&A described Robin Hood Gardens as “a nationally important and internationally recognised work of Brutalist architecture” It was beloved by architects, who led a campaign to list it and prevent its demolition. Lord Rogers claimed he would “absolutely” live there, although he remained in his £12 million Chelsea townhouse. Hunt responded with a combative piece in The Art Newspaper.He noted that the V&A has been active in east London since the opening of its Bethnal Green museum in 1872, and “we will still be there long after the keyboard warriors and ‘art-wash’ agitators have moved on to their next bout of indignation”. Hunt said: “Leaving aside the new social housing planned for the site or the constructive role that cultural institutions can have in promoting much-needed urban regeneration, behind this critique is the increasingly popular conviction that not only can museums not be neutral sites, but that they also have a duty to be vehicles for social justice. Rather than chronicling challenging and interpreting, we should be organising demonstrations and signing petitions.”I am not so sure. I see the role of the museum not as a political force, but as a civic exchange: curating shared space for unsafe ideas.”Hunt said the V&A’s role “is to think beyond fashion and to preserve that which has significant design merit, and with which future generations will seek to engage.”Robin Hood Gardens was designed by Alison and Peter Smithson as utopian housing linked by “streets in the sky”, and opened in 1972.  Tristram Hunt hit back at the “keyboard warriors and ‘art-wash’ agitators” who have complained about the displayCredit:Clara Molden for The Telegraph 3/3 Finally, @TristramHuntVA accuses anti-gentrification activists “keyboard warriors” & “‘art-wash’ agitators”! This is a now cliched response by institutions faced with critique. This is another element of how artwashing works. It belittles valid democratic opposition…— Stephen Pritchard (@etiennelefleur) 28 May 2018 Hunt dismissed accusations of “so-called ‘social cleansing’ taking place in east London”.The estate will be replaced by a £300 million development of 1,500 homes. The developers say 679 will be ‘affordable housing’. 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. Tristram Hunt hit back at the "keyboard warriors and 'art-wash' agitators" who have complained about the display Visitors look at the V&A installation titled Robin Hood Gardens: A ruin in reverse Credit:Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images  read more

Pret A Manger was warned about six baguette allergy cases a year

Pret A Manger did not label “artisan” baguettes as containing sesame seeds despite six allergic reaction cases in the year before a teenager’s death, an inquest has heard.Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, suffered a fatal reaction to a sandwich from the outlet, which she had not realised contained the ingredient, on July 17 2016.An inquest at West London Coroner’s Court was told the packaging did not say that sesame seeds were “hidden” in the dough.On Tuesday, it emerged that a “specific warning” about the dangers of not signposting the allergen had been given to the food chain the previous year.Pret baguettes described as “posh” or “artisan” were said to contain sesame seeds, including the artichoke, olive and tapenade one that Natasha ate.A complaint log for the company showed nine cases of sesame-related allergy incidents.Four of these involved customers requiring hospital treatment, while another went to a medical centre.Six of the nine cases involved “artisan baguettes”, including one woman who contacted the law firm representing Natasha’s family after learning of her death. Natasha Ednan-Laperouse fell ill on a British Airways flight to NiceCredit:PA Nadim Ednan-Laperouse and his wife, Tanya, outside West London Coroner’s CourtCredit:Brais G. Rouco /Central Jeremy Hyam QC told the hearing that the woman had nearly died after suffering an anaphylactic reaction from sesame in the sandwich “nine months before Natasha’s death”. 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. Her father, a doctor, was present and helped prevent the episode turning fatal. She was 17 at the time.The woman’s mother contacted Pret customer services after hearing that allergy information was only available upon request, the email to Leigh Day said.”My mother expressed her alarm at this and warned that, in her opinion, other similar adverse events could easily occur,” it said.Mr Hyam said this was a “specific warning”, but Pret still failed to label sandwiches with allergy information.Questioning Jonathan Perkins, the chain’s director of risk and compliance, he said: “There was a clear concern being repeatedly raised that artisan baguettes were causing sesame seed allergy problems, which were not properly responded to by Pret.”Mr Perkins said: “We responded appropriately to each individual complaint at the time.”More than a year after the complaint, Pret changed the design of a label within its fridges that tells customers to ask staff for allergy information. Natasha Ednan-Laperouse The baguette was bought from a Pret branch in Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5Credit:PA Mr Hyam suggested on Monday that the approach lacked consistency, as Pret labelled some products “gluten free” and gives ingredient outlines on fridge shelves.He also questioned the rigour with which the fridge labels were checked by staff, producing a photo taken eight days after Natasha’s death which showed a Pret fridge without any allergy label.Mr Perkins told the inquest that such an oversight would amount to a “serious failing”.Natasha, from Fulham, south-west London, collapsed on a British Airways flight from London to Nice, on her way to a four-day break with her father and best friend.The teenager, who suffered from numerous allergies, ate a baguette bought from a Pret branch in Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5.Her father claims there was no label on the fridge at the time. The inquest is due to last until Friday. Under EU regulations, food companies are required to warn customers about allergy risks either on signs and packaging or orally, usually meaning they are told to inquire themselves.Pret chooses to deliver allergy information orally and is supposed to have stickers within fridges telling customers to ask staff members for details. The sesame seeds caused her throat to tighten and vicious red hives to flare up across her midriff, eventually triggering cardiac arrest.Two epipens were jabbed into her legs, but the symptoms did not abate and she was declared dead the same day at a hospital in Nice.Mr Perkins told the inquest: “I accept that there are a number of individuals who have had a very negative experience and tragic experience of consuming that, but I also look at all the customers and thousands of allergy sufferers who come through our doors and are able to shop safely.” Nadim Ednan-Laperouse and his wife, Tanya, outside West London Coroner's Court Pret read more

BBC Blue Planet row as presenter accused of allowing baby turtle to

“They can’t be released directly into the ocean as the turtles need to “imprint” the beach by walking across the sand to the water. In this case, as with the turtles that emerge naturally, some opportunistic predation occurs by other species either looking to feed themselves or their own young. If this happens we are unable to intervene and have to let nature take its course. The survival rates of turtles are extremely low, as explained in the first episode of Blue Planet Live last Sunday, with only roughly 1 in 1000 turtles making it to adulthood. Making it safely into the depths of the ocean is a tough, but crucial, first test for these captivating creatures if those that survive to adulthood are going to return to breed on these beaches.” Viewers were also stricken in 2013 to see a baby elephant die of thirst in an episode of Sir David Attenborough’s Africa. The presenter defended his choice not to step in and save the animal at the time, saying it was his job to observe rather than intervene.  BBC Blue Planet Live @lizbonnin just released some baby sea turtles in broad daylight for the cameras, and a seagull just gobbled one up straight away. What a bunch of amateurs.— Salmon Research (@salmonresearch) March 31, 2019 “This is our blue planet to fiercely protect through our actions and through making our voices heard.”Many viewers were horrified to see the seagull snatch the turtle as the presenter “waffled on”. This is not the first time a BBC wildlife programme has caused controversy. Last year, a debate raged over an episode of Dynasties, as presenters were shown digging penguins and their chicks a way out of a ravine.In another episode of the same show, David the chimpanzee was left to be beaten to death by younger males as they attempted to overthrow the older leader of the tribe.  watching Blue Planet live and did this seagull just steal one of the baby turtles?! 😭😭 #BluePlanetUK— sophie 🍒 (@runwayinchicago) March 31, 2019 However, as the wildlife presenter spoke of the importance of the “gardeners of the sea”, a seagull swooped behind her and snatched one of the hatchlings.Oblivious to what had just happened, she continued: “These hatchlings are going to spend at least 100 years in our oceans if all goes well, surely it is our responsibility to safeguard their future. Blue Planet Live has come under fire from viewers after the presenter was accused of botching the release of baby sea turtles and allowing one to be eaten by a seagull.BBC presenter Liz Bonnin was taking part in a sea turtle release on Heron Island, Australia, as part of Sunday night’s episode.As wildlife worker Janine Ferguson tipped six baby green turtles out of a bucket so they could crawl across the white sand to the sea, Ms Bonnin spoke of how important it is to protect the “precious individuals” from predators.She told the audience that she and Ms Ferguson were giving the animals “a little helping hand.”The presenter explained: “They have no mothers to look after them, they are left to their own devices, to the elements, to the predators that await them and also to ever increasing man made threats.”As she prodded one towards the sea, she said “I hope I was allowed to help it there.” While the BBC refused to disclose complaints figures, hundreds of aggrieved viewers took to Twitter to complain.One wrote: “What have I just witnessed on blue planet live? Trying to save the turtles and a seagull takes one while you’re waffling on to the camera”.Keeley Perkins tweeted: “As if they just let a seagull pinch a baby turtle on live TV.”Another fan, Lucy Millie Jones, accused the pair of “doing nothing to help”, tweeting: “So was watching blue planet live and these women released six baby turtles onto the beach only for two of them to get pinched by seagulls and they do nothing to help… I am confused to say the least”.The episode caused family tensions, and Zoe Little recounted: “Finally got my mum to watch Blue Planet Live, only for a seagull to swoop down and eat a baby turtle they were releasing. She is now beside herself and will not speak to me.” A BBC spokesperson said: “We’ve been working with scientists from the Heron Island Research Station to explore their lives, from hatching to returning to the beaches to nest. Green sea turtle populations, like sea turtles across the world, are in trouble so the work being done here is crucial to the future survival of the species. As part of their ongoing studies, researchers on Heron Island check nests for any hatchlings left behind, 48 hours after the others naturally emerge. Those turtles still alive are carried out at either dawn or dusk for release, as we saw last night on #BluePlanetLive.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Famous friends rally to support Duke and Duchess of Sussex All theyre

Elton John and David Furnish at the royal wedding Elton John and David Furnish at the royal weddingCredit:AFP “The way people treat her is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while. It’s out of control. Let’s all be a bit kinder, huh? “Let’s show our children that it’s cool to be kind.”Between them, the three celebrities have a Twitter following of 111 million, with a further 83m people watching on Instagram.  Sir Elton said he had arranged the latest trip because the Sussexes needed the “safety and tranquility” offered by his villa on the French Riviera, and had made “an appropriate contribution” to a company that specialises in offsetting carbon emissions.Now, Ellen DeGeneres, a comedian and talkshow host who has worked with the Duke on elephant conservation, added to the A-list voices defending the couple. In a post on Instagram, mentioning her wife, she said: “Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation. “They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people.  “Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better.”Pink, an American singer whose links to the Royal couple have not been made public, said: “I’m happy to see people coming to the defense of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I’m happy to see people coming to the defense of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The way people treat her is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while. It’s out of control. Let’s all be a bit kinder, huh? Let’s show our children that it’s cool to be kind.— P!nk (@Pink) August 20, 2019 The Duchess’s recent project to guest edit British Vogue gave her a platform of hundreds of pages to share her world view unencumbered by outside scrutiny.The Sussexes have previously received the support of George Clooney, the actor, who claimed the then-pregnant Duchess had been “pursued and vilified” during her New York baby shower, and said of media coverage: “It seemed to me to be a little unjust since she hadn’t done anything except just happen to live her life.”Gayle King, a broadcaster and best friend of Oprah Winfrey who attended the Duchess’ baby shower and visited her at Frogmore, regularly speaks up for her on American television. The BBC’s fact-checking team have calculated that the Duke and Duchess’s two return flights by private jet would have created 37.6 tonnes of CO2: “more than six times an average Briton’s yearly emissions, or 111 times those of a person in Lesotho”. DeGeneres’ following alone, of 78.3m on Twitter and 76m on Instagram, dwarfs both the Royal Family’s main official social media accounts – 4m on Twitter – or the SussexRoyal Instagram page at 9.3mThe wisdom of Sir Elton’s intervention has been questioned after it sent the story of the private jet global, elevating it to a spectrum of British newspaper front pages, television and radio. Some were left concerned that the support of multi-millionaire celebrities would not win over the couple’s critics, adding to the confusion over their difficult dual role as global stars and working members of a Royal Family whose activities are funded in part by the taxpayer.  Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation. They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people. Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 19, 2019 The celebrity PR blitz is understood to have unfolded without the knowledge of staff in the royal household, and is not part of an official communications strategy. It will likely be welcomed by the Duke and Duchess, who have become frustrated at their recent portrayal in the media and the restrictions placed upon them as members of the Royal Family. While the couple have a communications team based at Buckingham Palace, aides are bound to issue factual statements rather than speak on record about the Sussexes more abstract personal attributes or good intentions.  He and the Duchess are reported to have undertaken at least four flights by private jet on holidays to Ibiza and Nice this month. Instead, the Duke and Duchess have increasingly forged their own methods of communication, writing lengthy Instagram captions giving away “behind the scenes” information about who they have met and publishing personal photographs.  Famous friends of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have rallied to their defence following accusations of hypocrisy over their use of private jets, saying the couple are just “trying to make the world better”.American talk show host Ellen Degeneres, who has recently visited the Duke and Duchess, and pop star Pink both issued statements lamenting the “public form of bullying” endured by the couple, after details of their holidays to Ibiza and Nice emerged.  It is the latest of the high-profile support for the Duke and Duchess, whose circle of celebrity friends are increasingly using interviews and social media to act as unofficial spokespeople to protect the couple from what they view as “attacks”.On Monday, Sir Elton John claimed the Duke and Duchess had been subject to “relentless and untrue assassinations” after being photographed with their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor boarding a private jet to his home in the south of France. The images led to accusations of hypocrisy for the Duke, who weeks earlier had flown to Google Camp to deliver a lecture on the environment and published an interview warning of climate change: “We are the frog in the water and it’s already been brought to the boil”. read more

Renting clothes will replace fast fashion entrepreneur says as young people turn

Renting clothes is going to replace fast-fashion, the founder of a new start-up has said as millennials turn their backs on throwaway items.Victoria Prew launched her website HURR to the public this year, which allows customers to rent “it” dresses – which usually retail at £150 and up – which would only usually be fashionable for one season. This reduces waste as one dress can be rented by dozens of people, stopping each person from buying it themselves.Around 300,000 tonnes of clothing ends up in household bins every year with around 80 per cent of this incinerated and 20 per cent sent to landfill.Ms Prew said: “Extending the life of the clothes you own is the best way to reduce your ‘fashion footprint’. Renting is a great way to be sustainable. It’s a driving force of our community and our business. Renting is the future of fashion, the UK has been quite slow to pick it up, Rent the Runway in the States is worth a billion dollars for example.”She added that instead of buying new clothes, consumers should have a “high-quality capsule wardrobe” and rent statement pieces because “that is the more sustainable way to be”. There are currently 2,000 people on the waiting list for her website, which is expanding as they find more sources of fashionable clothes to lend.Anna Bance, who founded Girl Meets Dress in 2009, said customers initially used the site solely for eveningwear, but are now replacing fast fashion with rented clothes.She added: “50 per cent of a women’s income on clothing is going towards fast-fashion, on something that you’re actually only wearing two or three times. So rental is a substitution for the 50 percent of your wardrobe that you’re only wearing two or three times. Now you can save that money for other more important things in your life or clothes that might last you for 10 years or 20 years. We want women to rethink how they build a wardrobe around smarter choices.”Research from Mintel’s Fashion and Sustainability report found that over half of millennials had either rented fashion or considered doing so.Samantha Dover, Senior Retail Analyst at the company said: “The concept of renting fashion has evolved from its traditional occasionwear origins and people are beginning to understand in the value in renting more frequently. ers.”Consumers are no longer simply hiring fashion products for special occasions; they are renting garments for a variety of different uses. The benefits of renting fashion are wide-ranging. Not only can renting clothes be a more environmentally-friendly alternative to buying into fast-moving fashion trends, but consumers can also save space in their homes with reduced wardrobe needs. Fashion rentals can also be an effective way to fulfil temporary fashion, such as clothing for women during pregnancy. ” 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. Labour MP Mary Creagh, the chair of the Environmental Audit Committee said: “People are rightly sickened by the fact that 300,000 tons of clothes each year are either landfilled or incinerated.”The rise of hire and resale websites is a crucial part of tackling the throwaway society.”The rental and hiring market is much more developed in the US, it’s worth about £2bn a year, it’s still in its infancy in the UK. I don’t think it’ll ever replace fast fashion but I think it’s a challenger to fast fashion. It takes the guilt out of the one-off purchase.” read more