Photos: Stephen Curry sells Alamo mansion

first_img … Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry has sold his Alamo, Calif. mansion for $6.3M, reports the Los Angeles Times.Click here if viewing from a mobile device.Curry purchased the estate in 2016 for $5.775M. The 10,290 square foot home boasts a main house with five bedroom suites and a guest house with sauna. The main house includes a media/billiard room and library among many other amenities. The 1.5-acre property also has an infinity-edge pool, manicured gardens and a six-car garage.last_img

The Cures Are Inside You

first_img(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Your body has the means to repair itself, if the right cells get into the right places.A nose for repair:  Medical Xpress reported that a man with a severed spinal cord—an injury thought to be irreparable—has recovered partial sensation and movement of his limbs again.  The secret: transplanted cells from his nose!  This is astonishing; it offers hope for quadriplegics some day.Treating patients with a complete spinal cord injury (SCI), the condition in which no motor or sensory function is preserved in the spinal segments below the level of the injury, has generally been unsuccessful. This is because no treatment methods have been able to regenerate the severed spinal nerves across the injured area. Now, doctors in Poland and scientists from England may have restored some function and sensory sensation to a 38 year-old man who had sustained a traumatic transection (severing) of the spinal cord in the upper vertabral level Th9. By removing one of his olfactory bulbs, where the sense of smell resides, and transplanting his own olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) and olfactory nerve fibroblasts (ONFs) into the damaged area along with a nerve “bridge” constructed between the two stumps of the damage spinal column, they have seen some voluntary limb function and sensation recovery over a 19 month follow-up.The BBC News has a video of the patient, Darek Fidyka, walking slowly with the aid of a frame; he said it’s “like you were born again.”Update 10/23/14:  Medical Xpress update says the patient is not only walking, but can dress and undress himself and get into bed without help.  Darek, age 40, described his progress with tears in his eyes.  The doctors are now seeking new patients for the life-changing treatment.Diabetes cure?  A new stem cell recipe offers hope for diabetics, Science Magazine reported.  It appears that the stem cells could be embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells; either way, the stem cells appear able to create the pancreatic beta cells necessary to produce insulin.  Tests with mice have cured them of diabetes.  “The diabetes research community has been waiting for ages for this type of breakthrough,” one researcher said.  Human treatments are probably years away, though.The all-healing eye:  Could the cure for blindness be right in front of your eyeballs?  Medical Xpress says that stem cells found in the cornea show hope for restoring sight to the blind.  “Scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered that a region on the front surface of the eye harbours special stem cells that could treat blinding eye conditions,” the article begins; these cells are found “in a narrow gap lying between the transparent cornea and white sclera.”  Macular degeneration is one of the diseases that may be treatable with these stem cells.Professor Andrew Lotery, of the University of Southampton and a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Southampton General Hospital led the study. He comments: “These cells are readily accessible, and they have surprising plasticity, which makes them an attractive cell resource for future therapies. This would help avoid complications with rejection or contamination because the cells taken from the eye would be returned to the same patient. More research is now needed to develop this approach before these cells are used in patients.”Another good thing: these cells are found in old people’s eyes, too, “and can be cultured even from the corneal limbus of 97 year olds.”  This offers hope of treatment for both old and young from their own eyeballs.Wait; there’s more:  These are just a few examples of a burgeoning movement to find healing cells within the body.  Stem cells have been found in the esophagus (Science Daily), possibly available to treat throat conditions and cancer.  Stem cells in the brain (Science Daily) appear to have an “unexpected role” in regenerating lost neurons, a repair long thought impossible.  And stem cells in placentas (Science Daily) might one day treat multiple sclerosis.  Clinical trials so far show this is safe.Update 10/23/14: Another story on Medical Xpress says that researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have reprogrammed mouse skin cells directly into brain cells, without having to go through the stem cell stage.  This could herald future treatments for Huntington’s Disease and other brain disorders.This is all wonderful news, but it raises a question: if these cells are there, why don’t they fix things without our help?  Did the Creator install repair tools in us that don’t work?  Here are some possible answers: (1) maybe they do more than we know, and we just aren’t aware of it.  More importantly, (2) there’s been a lot of degradation since the Fall.  A Biblical creation view would expect that the curse of sin that brought death broke a lot of things that were intended to promote immortality.  We see that salamanders can regrow lost limbs.  Maybe that’s a hint of what could have been, and will some day be, on a restored world for the righteous.  In the meantime, God has given us the ability to learn about how things work so that we can help one another.  The “good” stem cells (adult cells) show promise to bring back some of that lost repair capability, without having to kill an embryo to do it.  More power to these researchers!  Let the FDA not delay unnecessarily.  You and I know people who could really use these “miracle” treatments.last_img read more

From Liliesleaf to Robben Island

first_imgThe farmhouse at Liliesleaf, in a policephoto taken during the raid.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust) Denis Goldberg in the 1960s.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Denis Goldberg is now retired, and livesin Cape Town.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Nelson Mandela in the 1960s.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Nelson Mandela at a 46664 Arctic concertin 2005. The campaign gets its name fromMandela’s prison number, 46664, andraises funds for and awareness ofHIV/Aids.(Image: 4664 Arctic) A police mug shot of Bob Hepple.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) Ahmed Kathrada on the cover of hisautobiography, Memoirs. Walter Sisulu in the 1960s.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) A police mug shot of Andrew Mlangeni.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) A police mug shot of Elias Motsoaledi.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) A police mug shot of Rusty Bernstein.(Image: Historical Papers, University ofthe Witwatersrand) An aerial view of Liliesleaf farm, takenduring the police raid.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust) Police inside the farmhouse during theraid.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust) A radio transmitter found in one of theoutbuildings during the raid was used forthe first broadcast of the ANC’s RadioFreedom.(Image: Liliesleaf Trust)Lucille DavieOn hearing they had received life sentences, Denis Goldberg shouted: “Life! Life is wonderful!”On that day, 12 July 1964, the Rivonia trialists had expected the death penalty. Instead, Judge Quartus de Wet handed down four life sentences to eight of them.“All rationality aside, and for all our preparedness to die for freedom in South Africa, we started smiling in disbelief, at first, and complete relief as it sunk in that when the judge said he would not impose the maximum penalty, even though it would be an appropriate sentence,” says Goldberg 44 years later. “By the time he had finished speaking we were openly laughing. In the end most of us got four life sentences, but in the end, you can only serve one of them!”They would live, but that life would include up to 27 years in jail. They would not see their children grow up, nor would they see their wives struggling to hold things together, dealing with harassment by the security police and imprisonment themselves, sometimes with their children.Eight of the 10 trialists were sentenced to life, while two – Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein and James Kantor – were acquitted. Kantor had been arrested a month after the Liliesleaf raid.Of the original eight, only four are still alive: Nelson Mandela, Denis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni. Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Elias Motsoaledi and Raymond Mhlaba have died.Mandela is about to turn 90, Goldberg is 74, Kathrada is 78, and Mlangeni is 81 years old.Liliesleaf farmhouse and the outbuildings in Rivonia, where Mandela lived for a time and where the trialists were arrested and, have been restored, and were opened as a museum on 9 June. With two new buildings on the site, the Liberation Centre and the Liliesleaf Resource Centre, it promises to be an exciting addition to South Africa’s museums.Arrest at LiliesleafIn 1961 the South African Communist Party (SACP) bought Liliesleaf farm, some 25km from the Johannesburg city centre, to use as its headquarters. In those days it was a quiet 28-acre smallholding far outside the city.Goldberg, a civil engineer, describes Liliesleaf as having an “exhilarating atmosphere”.“We ate, slept, dreamed, worked at how to make a revolution,” he says. “That is what we did. That is why it was exhilarating. Buying a kombi, buying a farm, moving house, sorting out weapons manufacture, where to get the things needed, how to buy them, how to transport them, how to train people, endless problems to solve.“Sorting out getting passbooks signed without giving away where we were was a problem.”Mandela lived there in disguise, as a gardener and cook under the name of David Motsamayi. A the former president recalls in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom: “The loveliest times at the farm were when I was visited by my wife and family.” He says they were times of more privacy than they ever had at their tiny home in Orlando West, Soweto. “The children could run about and play, and we were secure, however briefly, in this idyllic bubble.”But it was not to last.The top leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) – key alliance partners of the SACP – were arrested at Liliesleaf on 11 July 1963. The apartheid government were smug. They had seized and put away for life the top echelons of the liberation movement, who they had caught hatching Operation Mayibuye, the plan to switch to violence to overthrow apartheid.When the police swooped on the farmhouse they arrested Sisulu, Mbeki, Kathrada, Goldberg, Bernstein, Mhlaba and Bob Hepple. Arthur Goldreich, who was ostensibly the owner of Liliesleaf, drove into the farm shortly afterwards, and was arrested along with the others. Goldreich made a dramatic escape from prison, together with Harold Wolpe, Mosie Moola and Abdulhay Jassat, crossing the border shortly afterwards.Mandela was already on Robben Island, serving a five-year sentence for inciting workers to strike, and for leaving the country without a passport.Mlangeni and Motsoaledi had been arrested on 24 June, and were charged together with the other Rivonia trialists.Hepple acted as lawyer for Mandela in 1962, also representing Sisulu and other ANC and Pan Africanist Congress leaders. He too managed to escape over the border before the trial.Today going under the title of Professor Sir Bob Hepple, retired Emeritus Master of Clare College and Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Cambridge, he is currently judge of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, sitting in New York and Geneva. He recounts the events on the afternoon of the arrest.At about 3.15pm, 15 minutes into the meeting, a van was heard coming down the drive.“Govan Mbeki went to the window. He said ‘It’s a dry-cleaning van. I’ve never seen it before.’ Rusty Bernstein went to the window and exclaimed: ‘My God, I saw that van outside the police station on my way here!’“I moved to the open door and saw the panel of the van which read ‘Trade Steam Pressers’. I could see a man wearing a white coat, hat and glasses on the front seat. I pulled the door closed. A few moments later I heard dogs barking. Rusty shouted: ‘It’s the cops; they’re heading here.’“Govan had collected up the Operation Mayibuye document and some other papers and I saw him putting them in the chimney of the small stove in the room. The back window was open, and I helped Govan, Walter Sisulu and Kathy (Kathrada) to jump out of it. There was a second or two as I moved back near the door, with Rusty next to me and Ray Mhlaba sitting next to the window.“The door burst open. Detective Sergeant Kennedy, whom I had cross-examined in a political trial earlier that year, rushed in: ‘Stay where you are. You’re all under arrest.’“He walked up to me with an excited sneer: ‘You’re Advocate Hepple, aren’t you?’Hepple was chair of the youth section of the Congress of Democrats, which was part of the anti-apartheid alliance in the 1950s. He was a member of the secretariat which serviced the central political leadership of the ANC.Hepple says that he had been anxious driving to Liliesleaf, or Lil’s place, as it was called, from his chambers in Johannesburg. “My anxieties led me to stop more than once to ensure that I was not being followed. I took a secondary road to avoid passing the Rivonia police station.”He’d had a visit from a “mysterious man” who had appeared unannounced at his chambers that morning, with a message from leaders in Natal leadership for the central underground leadership. “Ever since Mandela’s arrest there had been suspicions about a possible police spy and lax security in Natal. I feigned ignorance and told him to come back the next day. I intended to check his credentials at our meeting at Lil’s place that afternoon.”The leadership were worried about the police discovering Liliesleaf farm, where they had been secretly meeting and living for the past two years. In fact a new property had been bought, a smallholding called Travallyn in Krugersdorp, and Goldberg had moved into it along with Sisulu, Mbeki, Mhlaba and Wilton Mkwayi. It was to become the new ANC headquarters but the next meeting did not take place there.“It could not take place at Travallyn because that would repeat the security failure of bringing people to the place where the leaders of MK [Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC’s armed wing] were living in secrecy,” says Goldberg now, referring to Liliesleaf.“They could not at that moment decide on a safe venue, therefore they decided to have one more meeting at Liliesleaf,” he explains. “It was the pressure of the security police surveillance and the house arrests, banning orders, etcetera, that led to the fateful decision.”Solitary confinement and jailAfter arrest Hepple and the other trialists spent almost four months in solitary confinement. Then he was offered freedom from prosecution if he turned state witness. He agreed to do so but, as soon as he was released from jail, escaped across the border with his wife, making his way to England where his young children and parents joined him later.Hepple, like the others, found his jail time hard going.“In the long hours of isolation and boredom, especially as I lay awake at night on the cold stone cell floor, I became obsessed with our predicament. As the days and nights slowly passed I became increasingly confused and created my own world in which reality and fantasy were hard to separate.“Threats and promises made by the police during continuous periods of interrogation became distorted out of all proportion in my mind and my capacity to reason was seriously impaired.“I say this with hindsight, because one of the consequences of sensory deprivation and exhaustion is that one is unable to realise the extent of the changes taking place in normal behaviour.”Mlangeni spent 26 years in prison, with his fellow Rivonia trialists, on Robben Island. He used simple methods to get through the low moments in prison. “I personally would take out the letters I received from my wife and read them over and over again. Look at the photographs I received and that helped me to get myself together again and go back to my studies.”Mlangeni became a politician on his release, and is still a member of parliament.Goldberg says it took discipline and determination to get through his 22-year prison sentence in Pretoria Central Prison. He did not go to Robben Island like the others because he is white.“I believe it was our self-discipline and determination to uphold our dignity, to demand respect, and that the warders act within their own rules, was the key to survival. We found ways of creating our own little world of politics and social contact that enabled us to support each other.“For myself, too, there was the sense of living time day by day. Time was flexible: at Christmas and New Year another year stretched out ahead, and suddenly it seemed the year was over. This was more so for lifers who had no release date.”He describes waking up at 5am, washing in a hand basin in his cell, using the bucket toilet in his cell, then eating a breakfast of watery mealie meal porridge, with a chunk of bread and coffee, which consisted of burnt mealies and chicory.Days were filled with sewing mailbags in the exercise yard, which was freezing in winter, and burning hot in summer.Lunch was “some kind of stew”, supper was powder soup, bread and coffee. “In total each day we were alone in our cells for 16 to 18 hours each day.”Kathrada says in his book, Memoirs: “Nothing could have prepared me for the enormity of losing all choice in such mundane matters as deciding when to wake up and when to sleep, or comprehend that minor joys such as letter-writing and meetings with family and friends would be so severely curtailed and controlled, and that fundamental human rights would become privileges that had to be earned and were always under threat of removal.”Kathrada has been honoured with awards and honorary degrees. While in prison he obtained several degrees. In 1999 he published his Letters from Robben Island, and is currently working on another book. He is retired but consults to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.The islandMandela describes Robben Island as the “harshest, most iron-fisted outpost in the South African penal system”. Being imprisoned at Robben Island was “like going to another country. Its isolation made it not simply another prison, but a world of its own, far removed from the one we had come from.”Mandela says that in Pretoria Central Prison, from where they were flown immediately upon being sentenced, they had felt connected to their families and supporters. But on the island, although they were together as a group, it was little consolation. “My dismay was quickly replaced by a sense that a new and different fight had begun.”The fight involved the Afrikaans-speaking warders demanding a master-servant relationship. “The racial divide on Robben Island was absolute: there were no black warders, and no white prisoners.”To get through the long hours he dreamed about being able “to go to my office in the morning and return to my family in the evening, to be able to pop out and buy some toothpaste at the pharmacy, to visit old friends in the evening”, he says in Long Walk to Freedom.To help him get through his prison sentence Mandela cultivated a vegetable garden. “I had a garden, which I looked after and when the tomatoes were ready, the warders would be very friendly and come and get some tomatoes from the garden,” he recounts with a mischievous smile in a 2006 interview.It was to be a long, hard 18 years on the island, before being moved to Pollsmoor Prison, then Victor Verster Prison, just outside Cape Town, for nine more years, before being released in February 1990.The world on releaseGoldberg says that the world he entered in 1985 was very different from the one he left in 1964.“The world was different after 22 years. Colours were brighter, everything moved faster. I flew in a jumbo jet. I wasn’t sure of how to deal with the outside world.”Goldberg lived in England after his release, representing the ANC in exile, and continuing his anti-apartheid activities. He settled in Cape Town in 2002, where he become special adviser to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. He is now retired.Kathrada’s release from prison was marked by “life-changing news” in the form of a simple question: What is a fax?“We had read and heard about this strange new contraption, but none of us had ever seen a fax machine or message, and we simply could not grasp the concept of a sheet of paper being transmitted by telephone, and an exact replica arriving within minutes thousands of kilometres or several continents away.”He was inundated by family and well-wishers when he arrived at his brother’s house in Lenasia, Johannesburg.“Except for a few indelible memories, most of that first day has always been a blank,” he says in Memoirs. “My most precious recollections are of my little grand-nieces and nephews, clambering all over me, clasping their little arms around my neck, holding my hands, hugging and kissing this strange man they had never seen, but had learned to love in absentia.“After 26 years on my own, no other welcome could have meant as much as this spontaneous display of unconditional love and immediate acceptance.”His first television interview brought another surprise discovery. He was confronted with “a cylindrical, black, hairy object that was pushed into my face. I learned very quickly, that day, that this was a ‘boom’, and that I was expected to speak into it.”Mandela had been equally surprised when first confronted with a boom when he walked out of Victor Verster Prison, thinking it a “newfangled weapon” developed while he was in prison.Mandela arrived on Robben Island in the prime of life – he was 44 years old. He left prison as a 71-year-old man.He walked out of Victor Verster Prison on 11 February 1990 to thousands of assembled people, hundreds of photographers, television cameras and journalists. “When I was among the crowd I raised my right fist, and there was a roar,” he says in Long Walk to Freedom. “I had not been able to do that for 27 years and it gave me a surge of strength and joy.”His first night of freedom was spent at Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s house in Cape Town. “We were led inside the house, where more family and friends met us but, for me, the most wonderful moment was when I was told that I had a telephone call from Stockholm. I knew immediately who it was. Oliver Tambo’s voice was weak but unmistakable, and to hear him after all those years filled me with great joy.”Mandela and Tambo had been comrades since their student days at Fort Hare University, had set up a legal practice together, and founded the ANC Youth League.Mandela says that in his 27 years in prison, he held “a life-long conversation with him in my head”, and that when Tambo died in 1993, he felt like the “loneliest man in the world”.Mandela was busy after his release. “I began a tour of Africa, which included many countries. During the first six months after my release, I spent more time abroad than at home,” he recounts. “Nearly everywhere I went there were great enthusiastic crowds so that even if I felt weary, the people buoyed me. In Dar es Salaam I was met by a crowd estimated at half a million.”It was reported that a million people greeted him on his ticker tape parade in New York.Mandela is now retired, enjoying his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He will turn 90 on 18 July.Useful linksNelson Mandela FoundationNelson Mandela: reflections on prison lifeRivonia Trial documentsLiliesleaf TrustRobben Island MuseumSouth African History Onlinelast_img read more

Here Are the Basics on Passivhaus

first_imgThe North American Passive House Network has published an e-book explaining the basics of Passivhaus and net-zero-energy construction techniques. It’s a free download.Net Zero Energy Buildings: Passive House + Renewables makes the case that with very low air infiltration rates and lots of insulation, Passivhaus buildings are natural candidates for net-zero-energy operation with the incorporation of some renewable energy.The book, written by Mary James of Low Carbon Productions, explains the fundamentals of Passivhaus structures: high levels of insulation, thermally insulated window frames with high-quality glazing, techniques that minimize thermal bridging, low rates of air leakage, and mechanical ventilation systems.A section called “Leading Regions” tours areas where Passivhaus construction has been particularly successful. They include parts of Europe, Canada, and both New York and San Francisco.Individual projects are showcased in a section called “Beacons.” Each description offers a summary of the project along with a spec box detailing predicted heating and cooling energy, square footage, and air leakage. You’ll get the very basics of construction, but no detailed descriptions or drawings. However, links at the bottom of each description will take readers to one or more web sites where more information may be available — for example, web sites maintained by project architects or renewable energy system contractors who worked on the projects.There are examples of both new construction and retrofits, single-family and multifamily. Profiled projects come from all over the country.last_img read more

Why My Pebble Smartwatch Beats The Samsung Galaxy Gear Hands Down

first_imgSamsung just announced its Galaxy Gear smartwatch … and the neurons in the early adopter lobe of my brain lit up like a Christmas tree. One look into its deep black 320-pixel square abyss and I was lost in a futuristic fantasy world, one where people don’t cower from me like the Terminator when I wear Google Glass—and one in which people need things like smartwatches. (Being me, naturally I need all of them.)See also: Galaxy Gear: The Dumb Thing About Samsung’s SmartwatchAs my prefrontal cortex wrestled those overstimulated brainparts into submission, I was left with one question: can anyone really need a smartwatch? Given the Galaxy Gear’s smartphone-sized price tag, let’s check the most important facts for a moment, shall we? Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch:$299, on sale in the U.S. in OctoberCompatibility: At launch, only the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Tab 10.11.63-inch Super AMOLED display, 320 x 320 resolutionSix wristband colorsA 1.9 MP cameraA speaker and two microphones25 hour battery lifePebble Smartwatch:$150, available nowCompatibility: Any Android or iOS device with Bluetooth1.26-inch black and white e-paper display, 144 x 168 resolution 5 wristband colors3 axis accelerometer with gesture detectionBattery lasts about 1 week (168 hours)A Pebble Owner Reflects My Pebble smartwatch was an impulse buy. After missing the original Kickstarter campaign, I forgot about the buzzy little wristbound thing altogether.But a few weeks ago, far afield from the urban technology bustle, I noticed a whole gaggle of Pebbles hanging limply on a Best Buy rack in some kind of indiscriminate “quantified self” aisle. I hate Best Buy with the fire of one thousand suns. But a gadget in the hand is worth a pre-order in the bush, so I bought one.See also: Samsung: Galaxy Gear Will Eventually Play Nice With Rival PhonesMy biggest surprise so far? I actually love it. But that doesn’t mean I needed one—or that anyone does. Sure, we arguably don’t need any of consumer tech that we gobble up, but the smartwatch concept seems to weigh in far heavier on the side of convenience than that of utility.Given that, a smartwatch really needs to be, you know, convenient. The Galaxy Gear boasts a measly battery life of a single day. That alone isn’t just a strike against the Galaxy Gear—it renders the device an absurdity considering the way that we humans want to use things like wristwatches. Like, every day.More Smartwatch Bang For Your BuckAfter testing one for a few weeks, I realize that a smartwatch is a strange little contraption. Though handy at times, it’s largely superfluous. If I hadn’t needed a new watch—like, a dumb watch that just tells time, I mean—I probably couldn’t justify having one at all. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Kickstarter#Pebble#Samsung#smartwatch#wearable#Wearable Computing taylor hatmaker Being roughly the same price as a nice dumbwatch, the Pebble lays some solid groundwork for the emerging wearable category. But the Galaxy Gear? At $299, twice the price of the Pebble, the purchase would be nigh impossible to justify. The Pebble isn’t overpriced, but it isn’t cheap enough for me to recommend to my non tech-obsessed friends, either.Smartwatches inject our day to day lives with a couple ounces of sweet, sweet convenience. And that’s pretty much it. I use my Pebble to get texts and emails so I don’t have to reach for my Nexus 4 or subject the world to Google Glass. I use it to flip songs on Rdio on the speakers in my living room. I look at the time. It’s a nifty little gadget, but it is by no means essential. All Eyes On AppleAt its big event next week, Apple may well release an iWatch. In true Apple fashion, the smartwatch concept will likely see its most refined iteration to date. Still, until we can cram $299 worth of technology onto a platform the size of a postage stamp, a smartwatch priced like a full-fledged smartphone will remain a luxury perched in the upper echelons of early adopterdom.Next week, if Apple really wants to pop the cork on the smartwatch craze for mainstream consumers, it’ll price an iWatch even lower than the $150 iPod nano, which wasn’t too shabby as a modded proto-smartwatch. If Apple doesn’t do it, I guess we can sit back and wait for Amazon or Google to get interested and take smartwatch pricing to the chopping block, like those companies did with tablets. Or better yet, we can resist the smartwatch siren song altogether and forgo plugging in yet another device at night so it can greet us bright and early.Until the price is right, that is.Lead image courtesy of Pebble; image of Pebble smartwatch by Taylor Hatmakerlast_img read more

‘Not a god’: Federer tops cramping Youzhny in 5 sets at Open

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Resurrection Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Roger Federer, of Switzerland, returns a shot from Mikhail Youzhny, of Russia, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)NEW YORK — A bad back prevented Roger Federer from getting ready for the U.S. Open the way he prefers to prepare for a Grand Slam tournament. And it’s showed so far.Federer blamed a lack of proper practice after making an uncharacteristic 68 unforced errors and being forced to go five sets again before coming back to edge a cramping Mikhail Youzhny 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 on Thursday in Arthur Ashe Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Afterward, Youzhny chuckled at the mention of having lost all 17 matches against Federer, even leaning back in his chair and joking about how he would have completed the upset if Grand Slam rules were different: “I beat him in three sets now — but we played five sets. But come on, if we played three sets, I already beat him!”Federer, naturally, preferred to look at matters from a different perspective.“I find my way,” he said. “I don’t panic.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side The No. 3-seeded Federer won five consecutive U.S. Open championships from 2004-08 and also was the runner-up twice, including two years ago. But he missed last year’s tournament while taking off the second half of the season to let his back and surgically repaired left knee fully heal.That back, an off-and-on issue for years, flared up again while Federer was losing in the final of the Montreal Masters in August. He didn’t get to fully work on returns or serves, in particular, as the U.S. Open approached. That lack of training and the resulting lack of timing — rather than pain from his back — is what Federer said caused him problems Tuesday night in the first round against 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe and again against Youzhny, a former top-10 player who reached the 2006 and 2010 U.S. Open semifinals but is now ranked 101st.“I’m pretty confident that I’m only going to get better from here. That’s a good thing,” Federer said. “Because I’ve played a lot, I definitely found some rhythm now.”He did falter repeatedly Thursday, though.Federer let a lead slip away in the second set and got broken while serving for it at 5-4.“He helped me to come back,” Youzhny said.Federer stumbled again while serving for the fourth set at 5-3, but responded to a break there by breaking right back.Still, Federer’s unforced errors continued to mount in the fifth set — 11 in the first four games alone, including a badly shanked forehand on his first break point at 2-1, a netted backhand on his second, and a long forehand to let Youzhny hold there. Eventually, Federer nosed ahead, aided by the considerable dip in the 35-year-old Youzhny’s level of play.While Federer played his first-round match Tuesday under the roof in Ashe, Youzhny’s opener was postponed until Wednesday because of rain, and he blamed that for his fatigue. His legs started cramping late in the third set Thursday and then reached other parts of his body, even his fingers, by the end. That made it hard to move forward or to jump normally while serving.At 1-all in the deciding set, Youzhny collapsed to the court, grabbing at his right leg after whiffing on an attempted swat at Federer’s lob. Youzhny stayed down for a few moments, then grimaced and limped around for the rest of that game. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games “He’s also a real man who plays tennis,” Youzhny noted. “He’s not a god.”Well, OK, that’s true. But remember: Federer did not drop a single set en route to his record eighth Wimbledon championship in July. And that he is 37-3 with five titles, including two at majors to raise his record total to 19.Second on that list, with 15, is No. 1-seeded Rafael Nadal, who was scheduled to face Taro Daniel of Japan in Ashe on Thursday night. That followed 20th-seeded American CoCo Vandeweghe’s match against Ons Jabeur of Tunisia under the lights.Two seeded women lost to Americans in the afternoon: Shelby Rogers edged No. 25 Daria Gavrilova 7-6 (6), 4-6, 7-6 (5) in a tournament-record 3 hours, 33 minutes, and Jennifer Brady eliminated No. 23 Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-1.A couple of seeded men departed, too: No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 15 Tomas Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up.ADVERTISEMENT It is the first time in his long career that the 36-year-old Federer has played five-setters in both the first and second rounds at a major tournament.“I knew I was going to maybe struggle early on. Maybe I struggled more than I would have liked to. But I’m still in the draw, which gives me a chance. I still believe I’m going to pick up my game and become just more consistent because I’m not playing all that bad,” Federer said. “It’s just that I’m going a bit up and down in waves throughout the match.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingGiven that Federer entered the day with a 16-0 career record against Youzhny and a 16-0 mark in the U.S. Open’s second round, one might have thought that their match would be a mismatch.Think again. Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Revival of the outdated airfields in Bihar

first_imgGoats and buffaloes routinely patrol the Bhagalpur airport runwayThe popular perception of Bihar is of a state where snails move faster than trains and a 100 metre of bitumened roads without potholes is considered an expressway. But the state’s transportation industry can take heart if recent “discoveries” are anything to,Goats and buffaloes routinely patrol the Bhagalpur airport runwayThe popular perception of Bihar is of a state where snails move faster than trains and a 100 metre of bitumened roads without potholes is considered an expressway. But the state’s transportation industry can take heart if recent “discoveries” are anything to go by. The state Government recently “stumbled” upon 21 airfields, most of them over half-a-century-old that now lie abandoned. Some of these were built during World War II and the Chinese aggression of 1962. The euphoria created by this “discovery” is unmatched and has prompted both Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Modi to say that these have sparked off hopes for the state’s economic revival.The Government is so excited that it asked the officials to draw up plans to revive these airfields and link them to Patna and metros like Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. It also wants to introduce an air taxi network to connect the Buddhist circuits of Patna, Rajgir, Bodhgaya, Vaishali (Hajipur), Sarnath (Varanasi) and Kushinagar. The Government has plans to use the airfield to review and monitor development activities too. Of the 21 airfields, three are under the control of the Indian Air Force, five have kachcha runways, nine have been classified as “abandoned”, while the rest, though have metalled runways, are without any navigational, meteorological or technical support. Most airfields have no boundary walls, which means that incoming aircraft-as and when that happens-will have to avoid the ubiquitous cows and buffaloes. But Captain Deepak Kumar Singh, joint director, Bihar Civil Aviation Department, says the Government has agreed to convert all kachcha runways into metalled ones and fence the airstrips.advertisementLalu built a helipad and sports complexNot long ago, the then Union Minister for Civial Aviation, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain had helped develop the airport at Bodhgaya into an international one. The airport, which now attracts lakhs of Buddhists annually, is bigger than the one in Patna and is directly linked with Sri Lanka, Singapore and Thailand. Other air fields at Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and Begusarai continue to rot though Hussain is using his rapport with the current Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel to transform the Bhagalpur strip into an airport capable of handling 70-seater ATR. Situated midway between Kolkata and Patna, it makes sense to develop the airport, which could then be linked with other smaller airfields in the region. Besides, Hussain wants to create a “Silk Route” to connect Bhagalpur (famous for silk) with Varanasi and Delhi.Chief Minister Nitish Kumar feels many airports died an unnatural death due to sheer neglect. Samastipur is just one of them. Surrounded by a number of buildings, the airport has a 3,000-feet runway and was built in 1983. Since then, the airfield is mostly used during elections, when politicians descend from the skies in their choppers. According to Building Construction Department’s Assistant Engineer R.P. Singh, the runway has been reduced to a couple of helipads. This is in contrast to the one at Chhapra, which has a 3,000-ft long metalled runway. Not surprising since the MP who represents the constituency is Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. But like most other airfields in the state, it springs to life only on the odd VVIP visit or during elections.Nitish Kumar,CMDuring the decade-and-half long Lalu-Rabri regime, some of the airports used to witness sporadic takeoffs and landings, thanks to their propensity to hop on to state government planes and helicopters on “social justice” tours. Two helicopters (Lalu called them Uran-khatola, meaning flying cots) belonging to Pawan Hans were kept on 24×7 duty for Lalu. The state Government has three small airplanes, two of them beechcrafts. One was purchased when the state saw a fairly long spell of Governor’s rule. Only when a popular government came to power did the state realise the enormity of the scandal involved in the plane’s purchase. The comptroller and auditor general in his report pointed out: “The Government failed to realise value for money as it purchased a phased-out model of aircraft at the cost of Rs 13.23 crore without inviting competitive bids when a substantially upgraded model of the same was available at a marginally higher cost”.The Nitish Kumar Government, however, chose to ignore the report. Besides, by the standards of scams in Bihar, Rs 13.23 crore seemed like a pittance. As politicians cutting across party lines grouped together to push the scandal under the carpet, the state Government has vowed to develop neglected airfields in the belief that this will turn around Bihar’s commercial and development fortunes. Welcome Aboard.advertisementlast_img read more