Why You Shouldn’t Trust Internet Comments

first_imgThe “wisdom of crowds” has become a mantra of the Internet age. Need to choose a new vacuum cleaner? Check out the reviews on Amazon. Is that restaurant any good? See what Yelp has to say. But a new study suggests that such online scores don’t always reveal the best choice. A massive controlled experiment of Web users finds that such ratings are highly susceptible to irrational “herd behavior”—and that the herd can be manipulated.Sometimes the crowd really is wiser than you. The classic examples are guessing the weight of a bull or the number of gumballs in a jar. Your guess is probably going to be far from the mark, whereas the average of many people’s choices is remarkably close to the true number.But what happens when the goal is to judge something less tangible, such as the quality or worth of a product? According to one theory, the wisdom of the crowd still holds—measuring the aggregate of people’s opinions produces a stable, reliable value. Skeptics, however, argue that people’s opinions are easily swayed by those of others. So nudging a crowd early on by presenting contrary opinions—for example, exposing them to some very good or very bad attitudes—will steer the crowd in a different direction. To test which hypothesis is true, you would need to manipulate huge numbers of people, exposing them to false information and determining how it affects their opinions.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)A team led by Sinan Aral, a network scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, did exactly that. Aral has been secretly working with a popular website that aggregates news stories. (He says it is similar to reddit, but he’s keeping the identity confidential because he has another experiment under way with the same site and doesn’t want it to be “tainted” by media exposure.) The website allows users to make comments about news stories and vote each other’s comments up or down. The vote tallies are visible as a number next to each comment, and the position of the comments is chronological. (Stories on the site get an average of about 10 comments and about three votes per comment.) It’s a follow-up to his experiment using people’s ratings of movies to measure how much individual people influence each other online (answer: a lot). This time, he wanted to know how much the crowd influences the individual, and whether it can be controlled from outside.For 5 months, every comment submitted by a user randomly received an “up” vote (positive); a “down” vote (negative); or as a control, no vote at all. The team then observed how users rated those comments. The users generated more than 100,000 comments that were viewed more than 10 million times and rated more than 300,000 times by other users.At least when it comes to comments on news sites, the crowd is more herdlike than wise. Comments that received fake positive votes from the researchers were 32% more likely to receive more positive votes compared with a control, the team reports online today in Science. And those comments were no more likely than the control to be down-voted by the next viewer to see them. By the end of the study, positively manipulated comments got an overall boost of about 25%. However, the same did not hold true for negative manipulation. The ratings of comments that got a fake down vote were usually negated by an up vote by the next user to see them.“Our experiment does not reveal the psychology behind people’s decisions,” Aral says, “but an intuitive explanation is that people are more skeptical of negative social influence. They’re more willing to go along with positive opinions from other people.”Duncan Watts, a network scientist at Microsoft Research in New York City, agrees with that conclusion. “[But] one question is whether the positive [herding] bias is specific to this site” or true in general, Watts says. He points out that the category of the news items in the experiment had a strong effect on how much people could be manipulated. “I would have thought that ‘business’ is pretty similar to ‘economics,’ yet they find a much stronger effect (almost 50% stronger) for the former than the latter. What explains this difference? If we’re going to apply these findings in the real world, we’ll need to know the answers.”Will companies be able to boost their products by manipulating online ratings on a massive scale? “That is easier said than done,” Watts says. If people detect—or learn—that comments on a website are being manipulated, the herd may spook and leave entirely.last_img read more

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Football: Manchester United’s best defender on the outs?

first_imgAdvertisement AdvertisementPhoto Credits: Getty ImagesEric Bailly’s future at Manchester United looks bleak considering the fact that he has been sidelined on the bench ever since his lamentable performance in mid-August.Rumours are that Eric Bailly is looking forward to a January exit from Old Trafford. The Mirror says that both Arsenal and Tottenham are interested in signing him.The 24-year-old Ivorian who joined United from Spanish Club Villareal in 2016 has been one of the best defenders for the Red Devils and was voted their Player of the Month for August 2016.He has been lauded by football pundits and fans of the club alike for his ability to intercept and dribble the ball but has been criticized for his tendency to commit fouls often.With a little under 2 years left on his contract, it remains to be seen what decision Jose Mourinho might make regarding Bailly’s future.Read also: Wayne Rooney’s next stop? ManagementFootball: Zlatan’s 500th career goal will take your breath away!Romelu Lukaku reveals the ‘real’ Jose Mourinholast_img read more

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Women’s Hockey World League Semi Final: India go down to Argentina

first_imgIndia lost 0-3 to title contenders Argentina in their last group stage encounter at the Women’s Hockey World League (HWL) Semi Final here on Sunday.India will next take on England in the quarter-finals on July 18.World No.3 Argentina were quick to get off the blocks scoring as early as the second minute. It was Rocio Sanchez who fetched Argentina an early 1-0 lead.India’s goalkeeper Savita was kept busy right from the start and unfortunately for her this goal came off Argentina’s second shot on goal.Though she made a diving effort to save the first attempt, an unmarked Sanchez was quick to pick up the rebound and convert.Soon after, India came close to scoring an equaliser when Vandana Katariya assisted by Namita Toppo tried to deflect the ball into the goal but it was blocked by the Argentine goalkeeper.Savita made as many as four saves in the first 15 minutes and one of her best saves was padding away a fiercely struck shot by Julieta Jankunas.Argentina also won their first penalty corner in the sixth minute but it was blocked away by first runner Namita Toppo.Maria Granatto scored Argentina’s second goal in the 14th minute to go into the first break with a 2-0 lead.India played the second quarter sensibly, covering their defence and restrict Argentina from entering the striking circle.In the 23rd minute India won a penalty corner but nothing came off the opportunity as Rani’s strike was well-saved by the Argentina goalkeeper.advertisementSoon after, in the 25th minute Argentina was awarded a penalty stroke when Sushila fouled while defending a penalty corner awarded to Argentina.The penalty stroke was converted by Noel Barrionuevo.Argentina began the third quarter with a comfortable 3-0 lead and continued to put India under pressure.They won back-to-back penalty corners in the 34th minute but India goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu, who replaced Savita after half-time, along with first runner Namito Toppo did well to defend.India came up with deep defensive tactics to keep Argentina goalless in this quarter.The final 15 minutes saw the Indian defenders keep the Argentine attackers in check.They didn’t allow easy chances in the striking circle and came up with a high press to frustrate the Argentines.Meanwhile, the Indian attackers made desperate attempts to take a successful shot on goal but it was hard to come by.A tense tackle by India’s Sunita Lakra resulted in Argentina being awarded a penalty corner in the dying minutes. But Rajani was brilliant with her save.India gave away another penalty corner to Argentina soon after, this was their ninth penalty corner but nothing came off the chance.Though Rani manufactured a great shot on goal within the final two minutes to the hooter, the Argentina goalkeeper denied India a goal as the South Americans Aremained unbeaten in the tournament.last_img read more

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Luiz plays down Sarri strop & Higuain spat

first_imgDavid Luiz has played down Maurizio Sarri’s training strop ahead of the Europa League final and insisted that his own row with Gonzalo Higuain was merely a show of passion.The Blues’ build-up to a meeting with Arsenal saw them generate some unwelcome headlines.Sarri was visibly upset by something as he put his players through their paces in Baku, while Luiz was involved in a spat with a fellow South American. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Chelsea were far from divided when the action got underway, as they swept to a 4-1 win over Premier League rivals and a major piece of continental silverware.Luiz claims there were never any issues inside the camp, with Sarri’s apparent show of petulance being taken out of context.The Brazil international defender told the Blues’ official website: “I think the guys watching didn’t analyse well.“We just had some things during the training, this is normal, and then Maurizio was angry because he could not make the set-piece because those guys were there watching.“That’s why he was angry, and then the media mix up a lot of things.”Luiz added on his exchange with Argentine striker Higuain: “This is normal, in the game everybody saw the spirit of the team and also not just me and Gonzalo, everybody around Chelsea, everybody is important, and Gonzalo is my friend.”David Luiz Chelsea 2018-19Chelsea’s victory in Azerbaijan allowed them to end the 2018-19 campaign on a high.They were able to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League, but suffered penalty shootout heartache in the Carabao Cup final.Questions are now being asked of Maurizio Sarri’s ongoing presence, with Goal revealing that he wants to return to Italy at Juventus, while Eden Hazard is expected to leave for Real Madrid.There may be plenty of hurdles to come, but Luiz believes the club have already cleared plenty.A man who has committed to a new contract at Stamford Bridge said: “We had some ups and downs but we learned a lot.“We improved a lot during the season and I think we finished very, very well.“We lost on penalties in the Carabao Cup final against City, being the best side, we qualified straight away for the Champions League after Liverpool and Man City, because they did amazing we could not get them this season in the Premier League, and we won a big title in Europe.“So I think Chelsea’s great.”last_img read more

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The Bothy Project Inspires a Hiking Hut Pre-Fab and Artists’ Retreat

first_img Next 1 of 6 Started by architect Iain MacLeod and artist Bobby Niven, The Bothy Project saw its first building completed in 2011 and was”fabricated during the RSA residency at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and then transported to Inshriach Estate near Aviemore where the build was completed in a traditional Scottish woodland area in the Cairngorm National Park.” If you’re particularly artsy yourself (or just looking for a few days away on a Scottish estate), you can rent out the very first building from The Bothy Project (sorry, no kids allowed).Since 2011, multiple other bothies have been constructed and the project has become a full-blown charity. For 2018 and 2019, the project hopes to “develop an inaugural series of funded artist residency opportunities, establishing the project as a leading art residency organization.” Which is great for the arts and artists, but honestly, we’re more into the bothies than anything else. All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked Do You Want Your Home to Smell Like Scotch Country? Previous Highland Park Releases 2 New Limited-Release Bottles 1 of 3 As of July 2018, the Bothy Project was able to leverage its influence and money-raising capabilities to create the Artist Bothy, a pre-fab you can actually buy.“The Artist Bothy is an evolution of the Bothy Project network of off-grid artist residency spaces,” the company states. “It was developed in response to demand for a multipurpose cabin that can be located anywhere. The Artist Bothy furthers Bothy Project’s mission to support artist mobility and access to the Scottish landscape. Every Bothy purchased helps fund opportunities for artists and researchers to access the Bothy Project’s core network of residency bothies.”Each Artist Bothy is made from sustainable materials and streamlined construction techniques so that it remains as low-impact on the environment as possible. They tiny retreat also comes with the option of custom furniture, along with a variety of other features and add-ons. If you’re interested in getting an Artist Bothy for yourself, bad luck our friends in the States, as these babies can only be shipped in the United Kingdom. For more information on how to get your own, check out their ordering page here.So, what say you, Americans? Is it time to bring the bothy stateside? We think The Bothy Project could learn a lot from these guys (even if they are Canadian). Though, we can understand if you’d prefer to travel to the Highlands instead.Article originally published May 16, 2018. Last updated August 6, 2018, to include details about the pre-fab availability. Editors’ Recommendations Previous Next Where to Drink White Wine in the Willamette Valley Traditionally found in remote, northern areas of Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales, a “bothy” is often a primitive, stone and wood hut used for hikers and hill walkers to shelter in overnight or during particularly inclement weather. Free for public use, bothies have been an integral part of outdoor culture in these places for hundreds of years, particularly in the Scottish Highlands. In fact, they are still so popular that there’s an entire United Kingdom organization dedicated to maintaining and preserving these historic structures.Today, The Bothy Project seeks to build a system of off-grid, tiny cabins used primarily as artist residency spaces. Distributed throughout the hinterlands of Scotland, the goal of The Bothy Project, according to its own words, is to “create platforms for artists and researchers to journey and explore the history, landscape, and people in the areas surrounding the bothies. These platforms are established through the creation of purpose-built structures made in collaboration with artists, designers, and makers to create a varied network of hand-crafted dwellings.” The Best Blended Scotch Whiskies to Add to Your Collectionlast_img read more

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Gov’t to Roll out Scotch Bonnet Pepper Programme

first_img This was announced by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. JC Hutchinson during a meeting with Irish Potato Farmers at the Restore Pentecostal Church in Devon, Manchester on May 17. The Government is set to roll out a Scotch bonnet pepper programme in North East Manchester in the next few weeks. The Government is set to roll out a Scotch bonnet pepper programme in North East Manchester in the next few weeks.This was announced by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. JC Hutchinson during a meeting with Irish Potato Farmers at the Restore Pentecostal Church in Devon, Manchester on May 17.He explained that the pepper programme will be similar in structure to the National Irish Potato Programme in that farmers will receive seedlings and other inputs upfront, with payments being made when crops are reaped.“I consider this area as the hub where there is good climate and it has the greenhouses that will be utilized for distribution of pepper seedlings to farmers in a similar way to what obtains for the Irish potato and onion programme,” Mr. Hutchinson said.Minister Hutchinson said farmers will have to be a member of an organisation, under the umbrella of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to benefit from the initiative.Additionally, technical support will be provided by the various stakeholders such as RADA and marketing support will be provided through the Potato and Onion Producers Association with whom farmers can enter into contractual arrangements.“All the farmers would need to find is the labour. The ministry would also help with securing markets for the produce and after reaping, all input costs would be subtracted and they would get the profits,” Mr. Hutchinson said.He added that the government has some 5000 acres of farm land in South Manchester.“Where there are idle government owned lands, we will put farmers on it to work. We are dedicated to seeing that all struggling farmers get a push-start and providing the basic inputs that will (help) them (become) productive individuals,” Hutchinson said.For his part, Member of Parliament for North East Manchester and Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw expressed appreciation to Newport-Fersan for its custom designed fertilizer for Irish potato.He encouraged the farmers to put in place the kind of agricultural techniques to ensure the greatest yields possible.Some 1,508 farmers have been involved in the planting of 352 hectares of Irish potato in Manchester of which 1,955 tonnes have been reaped to date. Overall, 3,431 farmers have planted 930 hectares of Irish potato across the island with 669 hectares reaped producing 10,831 tonnes of Irish potato. Minister Hutchinson said farmers will have to be a member of an organisation, under the umbrella of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to benefit from the initiative. Story Highlightslast_img read more

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SeaIntel Transpacific Contract Rates to Rise by 30 Pct

first_imgzoom Container carriers will highly likely be looking at increasing the Transpacific contract rate levels towards 2018, similarly to the development seen in the Europe trade.Contract rates on Asia-Europe took about a year to recover to the rates implied by the spot market following the rate collapse in 2016. On the Transpacific, contract vs. spot misalignment is currently at 30-40% showing the potential for increases in contract season 2018-19 barring an all-out rate war, according to data provided by SeaIntel Maritime Analysis.The container shipping industry intelligence provider created a model whereby the China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI) contract rate index was modelled around the spot rate data from the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI).On Asia-USWC, SeaIntel found that between 2009 and 2015, the model was 94% correlated. The major change in price formation happened in the contract market in 2016, with the contract rates dropping 30% below the levels indicated by the spot market, following the contract negotiation season in May 2016. The weakness is perpetuated into the contract season starting May 2017.“Given that the contract market is presently 30% lower than where spot rates imply they should be, this indicates that if spot rates can be maintained, there is a potential for contract rate increase of 42% from the current levels, in order to regain the balance between spot and contract rates,” Alan Murphy, SeaIntel CEO, said.Unless they decide to forego increases and opt for another rate war over market share, then the shippers need to prepare for a scenario of 30-40% rate increases in their contract rates for the 2018-2019 contract season on the Transpacific, SeaIntel concludes.last_img read more

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Health Professional Workshop to Focus on Colorectal Cancer

first_imgA one-day workshop for health professionals on the management of colorectal cancer will be hosted by Cancer Care Nova Scotia’s Surgical Oncology Network on Saturday, May 12, in Halifax. Nova Scotia has the second highest rate of colorectal cancer in Canada. About 800 Nova Scotians will be diagnosed with the disease in 2007. “Eighty per cent of cancer patients are diagnosed and treated using surgery,” said Dr. Carman Giacomantonio, surgical oncologist and head of Cancer Care Nova Scotia’s Surgical Oncology Network. “To ensure that we continually improve outcomes, our Surgical Oncology Network and its continuing education programs are critical for quality care.” The workshop will focus on new and emerging practices, screening methods, quality care and patient management. Clinical experts including surgical oncologists, general surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, gastroenterologists, internists, pathologists, radiologists and residents from across the province will attend. Dr. Andy Smith, surgical oncologist, head of general surgery at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, and associate professor at the University of Toronto, will deliver the keynote address on management of recurrent colorectal cancer. A schedule and speaker biographies can be found on the Cancer Care Nova Scotia website www.cancercare.ns.ca . The Surgical Oncology Network is an academic resource for medical and surgical communities in Nova Scotia and throughout Atlantic Canada. It delivers continuing medical education seminars and workshops, and provides evidence-based management guidelines for surgically treatable cancers. Cancer Care Nova Scotia is a program of the Department of Health, created to reduce the burden of cancer on individuals, families and the health care system through prevention, screening, education and research.last_img read more

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New Brunswick cop killer posts profile on online matchmaking website

first_imgFREDERICTON – One of Canada’s most notorious killers — who murdered three RCMP officers and wounded two others — has taken to an online matchmaking website where he portrays himself as “a blue collar dude with a passion for music.”Justin Bourque — who is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 75 years for his 2014 shooting rampage in Moncton, N.B. — posted a profile Tuesday on Canadian Inmates Connect.“I am single and looking for someone to be with,” Bourque wrote on the profile, which lists his expected release date as 2089.The site aims to hook up lonesome convicts with potential companions on the outside.Melissa Fazzina, who runs the site, said many of the inmates are just looking for friendships and she hopes the connections can help make them better people.“I’ve seen how important this service is, just being able to connect people that are incarcerated with the outside world. It does a lot to change their lives for the better while they’re inside prison and often for when they’re coming out,” she said.Fazzina said she started the site a few years ago after seeing sites in the United States and realized there was nothing similar in Canada.Bourque, who is serving his sentence at the Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B., killed constables Dave Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Doug Larche, and left constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen injured.Bourque’s online profile says he likes television and movies, and is looking for women to correspond with.“So send me a letter and a photo or two and we’ll see where it goes from there,” he wrote.While the site is Internet based, inmates in Canadian jails and prisons have no Internet access. Anyone wishing to correspond with the inmates have to write and mail letters directly to the prison where they are being held.An agreed statement of facts, filed with the court during his trial, said Bourque’s actions were both “planned and deliberate” when he used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot the police officers in a Moncton neighbourhood.He had targeted police in the hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion.A 28-hour manhunt for Bourque left much of Moncton paralyzed until his arrest.He pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 75 years, the harshest sentence in Canada since the last executions in 1962.When contacted by The Canadian Press Friday for reaction to the matchmaking profile, RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said: “This is not a matter for the RCMP to comment on.”The Correctional Service of Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Canadian Inmates Connect charges $35 per year to display the profile of an inmate.In 2015 it made news for posting the profile of Luka Rocco Magnotta, the convicted killer whose grisly crimes made headlines around the world. He’s serving a life sentence for the 2012 Montreal killing and dismemberment of university student Jun Lin.Magnotta’s profile said he was looking for a “prince charming.”Fazzina said she wants to help the inmates and give them hope through her service, but she also thinks about the victims.“I feel bad for these victims, and I’m sure they don’t want these guys to have any extra benefits to enjoy nice things like communicating with somebody on the outside. I understand that, however, I just believe that with everybody, their punishment is they are in prison,” she said.“Sometimes it’s easy for those of us on the outside to just want to keep punishing. Maybe that makes us feel better. Maybe by corresponding with people on the outside it can help them become better people.”last_img read more

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Brahimi continues meetings in Afghanistan on next steps in political transition

The key focus of Mr. Brahimi’s meetings is laying the groundwork for the appointment of Afghanistan’s Special Independent Commission for the convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga, or council of elders, as called for in a political agreement reached by Afghan factions meeting last month in Bonn. Under that agreement, the Commission is to be formed by 22 January. Among his meetings today, Mr. Brahimi, who serves as Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, held talks with a group representing Ayatollah Muhseni – a Shiite leader and head of Harakat Islami – and a group representing Professor Sayyaf, a former official with the United Front who served as a minister under the previous anti-Taliban administration of Burhanuddin Rabbani.A UN spokesman told the press in Kabul today that the meetings were a continuation of the process of forming the Independent Commission. “Events are moving apace,” Ahmad Fawzi said, adding that Mr. Brahimi’s contacts included “various sectors of Afghan society – not just the political leadership but also intellectuals, professionals, women’s groups.”Mr. Brahimi also met with the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, General John McColl, to discuss the security situation in general as well as the convening of a joint meeting on Thursday of the Force, the UN and the Afghan Administration. read more

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Ohio State womens basketball trying to finish season strong

Sophomore guard Ameryst Alston (14) dribbles down the court during a game against Penn State Feb. 9 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 74-54.Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorAs the regular season winds down, the Ohio State women’s basketball team is gearing up for a late run.The Buckeyes were able to send the seniors out with a victory Sunday in their final home game, defeating Northwestern 71-62, but they still have some business to take care of — two road games. With just those two games left in the regular season, OSU (15-15, 5-9) is trying to avoid its first losing season since finishing the 2001-02 season 14-15 overall and 9-9 in the conference. Although there are two games left, coach Kevin McGuff emphasized that his team is taking it one game at a time and is currently focusing on Thursday’s matchup against No. 25 Iowa (21-7, 9-5).“They (the Hawkeyes) are really good on offense,” McGuff said. “They have a style of play that their players really fit. They have done a good job recruiting to that style.”That style has produced the highest-scoring offense in the Big Ten, as Iowa averages 79.2 points per game. The Hawkeyes scored just above their average in their first game against OSU, when they defeated the Buckeyes 81-74 Jan. 19 in Columbus.In that game, the Hawkeyes had five players score in double figures and shot 48.3 percent from the field, something that was a cause of concern to McGuff and something he said will be addressed in this week’s preparation.“We have to really focus and concentrate on a lot of defense,” McGuff said. “The defense will have to be constant through 40 minutes for us to have a chance against Iowa.”That was not the case in the first meeting, as Iowa outscored OSU 49-36 in the first half.OSU sophomore guard Cait Craft said the loss to Iowa was disappointing but also something the team look toward to improve.“We have proven all year that if we would just play two (good) halves, that we could play with basically anybody that we have had on our schedule,” Craft said. “It is just a matter of executing.”Leading Iowa’s top-tier offense is junior guard Samantha Logic, who was named a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, given annually to the nation’s top point guard.If OSU plays man-to-man defense, it is likely Craft will draw the assignment of guarding Logic, something she said she would look forward to doing.“Defense is what I like to do. It is what I am best at,” Craft said. “I take pride in frustrating people as best as I can … hopefully, I have a chance to guard her.”While Logic leads the Iowa offense, OSU sophomore guard Ameryst Alston has been productive of late, having put together two straight 30-point games against Nebraska and Northwestern, respectively. Although she is pouring in the points, Alston said her recent success is not simply all her doing.“I do not really think too much about it,” Alston said of her back-to-back 30-point games. “I was just out there playing hard with my team. They help me get my 30-point games by giving me the ball at the right times … I am not out there doing it by myself.”Alston echoed her coach’s mindset and said finishing the season above .500 would mean a lot to her and to the team.“We are just taking it one game at a time,” Alston said.The Buckeyes are set to tip with No. 25 Iowa at 7 p.m. Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. read more

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IAMGOLD increases its interest in Sadiola and looks to greater gold production

first_imgIAMGOLD has completed the acquisition of an additional 3% share in Soc d’Exploitation des Mines d’Or de Sadiola (SEMOS), which owns the Sadiola gold mine in Mali from the International Finance Corp. Joseph Conway, President and CEO said, “The acquisition of an additional 3% share in Sadiola illustrates the confidence we have in the future of this mine. IAMGOLD discovered the Sadiola deposit in 1996, it has already produced over 6 Moz of gold and we believe, based on our recent prefeasibility study, that with the addition of the Sadiola Deep Sulphide Project, Sadiola will produce between 400,000 and 500,000 oz/y of gold on a 100% basis from 2013 until the end of 2018, another contributor to our future growth profile.”This acquisition follows the announcement made on November 2, 2009 and currently brings IAMGOLD’s share in SEMOS to 41%, representing approximately 144,000 oz of gold in 2009. Further to the terms of the existing SEMOS shareholders agreement, AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) has also acquired a 3% share in SEMOS. The remaining partner, the Republic of Mali, has until the end of March 2010 to elect whether it will take up its proportionate entitlement of 19.15% of the 6% share of SEMOS, by acquiring an equal 0.574% share from each of IAMGOLD and AGA on terms and conditions proportionately identical to those applicable to IAMGOLD and AGAlast_img read more

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Video Commander Hadfield sings Bowie as he bids farewell to space

first_imgYouTube: Chris HadfieldHE’S KEPT US entertained like no other astronaut with stunning pictures, funny videos and practical guides to shaving in space but Commander Chris Hadfield’s time at the International Space Station has come to an end.Hadfield’s active presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube where he has been posting clips explaining his extra-terrestrial life has garnered worldwide attention and we love him here for his stunning pictures of our little old country.Hadfield and two of his astronaut companions, Tom Marshburn and Roman Romanenko, are leaving the ISS today and he bid a fitting farewell with a rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.The vocals and guitar were done on board the ISS while the piano and other musical instruments were done down here on plain, old Earth.Thanks Commander, it’s been a blast.VIDEO: Ever wonder how Chris Hadfield takes his photos from space?Here’s how they’re celebrating St Patrick’s Day in spacePHOTO: Check out this amazing picture of Dublin from spaceHow fast is the Internet in space? 8 things we learned from an astronaut’s sonlast_img read more

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This prosthetic robot tentacle is for the geeky and efficient amputee

first_imgProsthetic limb technology has come a long way since Captain Hook or Peg Leg Pete’s time. Regretfully driven by some of the tragic limb losses off soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the last decade has seen marked improvement in artificial limbs, so much so that we have competitive Olympic sprinters who are also double leg amputees. More complicated to emulate than legs, though, are missing hands. While prosthetic hand and arm technology has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time, about the only thing that prosthetic hands are really good for are simple grips of objects.Here’s the question, though: if you’re missing a hand, why mess with a prosthetic hand that can only with great effort grip an object that a real hand can easily manage, when instead you can use a more alien and robotic prosthetic limb that not only looks awesome, but can grip objects far better?Designer Kaylene Kau wondered just that, and as part of her desire to “push the boundaries of current upper-limb prosthetic design,” she came up with this robotic tentacle. It’s powered by a small motor, and when it touchs an object that the limb’s owner wants to grip, it curls sinuously around the object, holding it fast.Sure, having a prosthetic limb as weird and alien as an octopus’ arm might not be the best choice for going to a black tie affair, but heck, if it does the job better than a prosthetic hand, why not celebrate your geeky individuality with a robot tentacle if you’ve had the misfortune to lose your arm? I know I’d think you were cool.Read more at Coroflotlast_img read more

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Roman Reigns to serve as the Guest Picker for this Saturdays College

first_img WWE Clash of Champions Results – 9/15/19 (Rollins vs. Strowman, Kingston vs. Orton) Pinterest Twitter Facebook WhatsApp WWE announced on Twitter this week that current Universal Champion Roman Reigns will serve as the Guest Picker for this Saturday’s College GameDay on ESPN.The show will begin live this Saturday (September 15) beginning at 11:30a.m. ET.  Reigns played as a defensive tackle for Georgia Tech and went on to play one season in the Canadian Football League prior to his wrestling career.You can view WWE’s Twitter post regarding Reign’s GameDay appearance below:This Saturday at 11:30am, #UniversalChampion @WWERomanReigns returns to the gridiron when he serves as the Guest Picker for @espn @CollegeGameDay! pic.twitter.com/IsnRI47yat— WWE (@WWE) September 13, 2018center_img Google+ Wrestleview Live #65: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte Live Podcast: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte Jerome Wilen RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

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Martelly no longer Haitis President demits office with no successor

first_img Hospital overflowing, chaos, damage and dead bodies in Gros-Morne Haiti Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 08 Feb 2016 – Michel Martelly is no longer the President of Haiti; in fact when he demitted office yesterday in Port Au Prince, there was no one to take over the position because of a postponement of a run-off election last month. Even Haiti’s Carnival is affected by the lack of a chosen new political leader for the nation; Sunday festivities had been cancelled. Martelly, who took office as new President of Haiti in May 2011 said in a 20-minute national address delivered just before his departure from office, that he could testify in the ‘court of history’ that he worked tirelessly to create a new Haiti. A short term provisional government was staffed one day before Martelly left office. Bi-lateral talks with Bahamas to resume, UK gives green light to high-level TCI delegation Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:haiti, michell martelly, successor TCI on Alert as riots rage in Haiti, two-year president asked to resignlast_img read more

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Dunkin Donuts Celebrates National Donut Day Get A Free Donut With Purchase

first_img(NOTE: Wilmington has EIGHT Dunkin’ Donuts locations — 195 Main Street, 321 Main Street, 586 Main Street, 357 Middlesex Avenue, 66 Concord Street, 211 Lowell Street, 316 Lowell Street, and 206 Ballardvale Street.)CANTON, MA — With summer on the way, it’s three cheers for donuts at Dunkin’, as the brand delights donut devotees with a trio of terrific ways to sweeten the start of the season. First, Dunkin’ Donuts will ring in one of its favorite days of the year — National Donut Day on Friday, June 1st — by once again offering guests a free classic donut of their choice (while supplies last) with the purchase of any beverage. The offer is good all day on June 1st at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide on classic donut favorites including Boston Kreme, Glazed, Glazed Chocolate and Strawberry Frosted with Sprinkles.Next, Dunkin’ Donuts is welcoming summer by cooking up not one but two new specialty donut varieties that truly take the cake. The new Chocolate Cake Batter Donut is filled with chocolate buttercreme filling, frosted with chocolate icing and topped with colorful confetti sprinkles, while the new Vanilla Cake Batter Donut features vanilla-flavored cake batter filling, frosted with white icing and topped with confetti sprinkles. Both are available at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide for a limited time beginning Monday, May 28. Select Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants will also brighten donut fans’ days with the Sweet Summertime Donut, a specialty donut featuring a sunshine design with blue icing, yellow icing drizzle and a Glazed Old Fashioned MUNCHKINS® donut hole treat placed in the center.Finally, at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants, the donut case will feature a summer celebration with new names and designs for some classic varieties, including:Party On: Vanilla frosted donut with blue icing and confetti sprinklesStrawberry Spectacular: Strawberry frosted donut with confetti sprinklesBoston Kreme Bash: A classic filled donut with Bavarian creme filling, frosted with chocolate dipping icing and a blue icing drizzleChocolate Madness: Chocolate Cake donut with chocolate dipping icing and a blue icing drizzleConfetti Craze: Chocolate frosted donut with confetti sprinklesNational Donut Day was originally established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to honor women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. The holiday is traditionally celebrated on the first Friday of June. Dunkin’ Donuts has been serving guests signature donuts for 68 years. Dunkin’ Donuts is the #1 retailer of donuts in America, and sells more than 2.9 billion donuts and MUNCHKINS® donut hole treats annually worldwide. Within the United States, Dunkin’ Donuts offers a wide variety of delicious donuts, including beloved flavors such as Boston Kreme, Glazed, Chocolate Glazed Cake and Chocolate Frosted. Additionally, some Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants also feature regional favorites like the Sour Cream Donut in Chicago, and the Peanut Stick in upstate New York.To learn more about Dunkin’ Donuts, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com, or subscribe to the Dunkin’ Donuts blog to receive notifications at https://news.dunkindonuts.com/blog.About Dunkin’ DonutsFounded in 1950, Dunkin’ Donuts is America’s favorite all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods. Dunkin’ Donuts is a market leader in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee, iced regular/decaf/flavored coffee, donut, bagel and muffin categories. Dunkin’ Donuts has earned a No. 1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for 12 years running. The company has more than 12,500 restaurants in 46 countries worldwide. Based in Canton, Mass., Dunkin’ Donuts is part of the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) family of companies. For more information, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com.(NOTE: The above press release is from Dunkin Donuts.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedDunkin’s Pumpkin Menu To Arrive In Wilmington By August 21In “Business”NATIONAL DONUT DAY: Wilmington’s Dunkin’ Donuts & Heav’nly Donuts Offering Free Donut Deal TODAY (June 7)In “Business”Get A Free Donut At Dunkin Donuts On June 3In “Business”last_img read more

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May urges UK public to back Brexit deal

first_imgBritish prime minister Theresa May arrives at the European Council for a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk to discuss draft agreements on Brexit, in Brussels, Belgium on 24 November 2018. Photo: ReutersPrime minister Theresa May made a dramatic direct appeal to the British public to support her deal to exit the European Union on Sunday even as backing from her own party for the agreement appeared to elude her.May is meeting the other 27 EU leaders in Brussels this weekend to sign off on a divorce treaty and political declaration to end more than 40 years as part of the world’s biggest trading bloc.In an open letter to the nation, May said she would campaign “heart and soul” to get her Brexit deal through Britain’s parliament – an increasingly unlikely prospect given stiff opposition from some of her own Conservative Party lawmakers and allies in Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) alike.”It will be a deal that is in our national interest – one that works for our whole country and all of our people, whether you voted “Leave” or “Remain,” she said.Sunday newspapers said different factions in her own party were preparing alternative Brexit plans to keep Britain closer to the EU should her deal fail as most expect.That included a plan being hatched by close allies such as finance minister Philip Hammond and work and pensions minister Amber Rudd, reported The Sunday Times without citing sources.The Sunday Telegraph said there were plans on both sides of the English Channel for a “Plan B”. One such was a Norway-style relationship with Brussels, under which Britain would have a more certain “exit mechanism” from the EU’s rules but would be unable to end the free movement of workers from the bloc – the most politically contentious element of Brexit.In her letter, May urged Britons to start a new era of political unity when it leaves the EU on March 29, 2019 and set aside the bitter fighting provoked by Brexit.”I want that to be a moment of renewal and reconciliation for our whole country. It must mark the point when we put aside the labels of “Leave” and “Remain” for good and we come together again as one people,” she said.”Parliament will have the chance to do that in a few weeks’ time when it has a meaningful vote on the deal.last_img read more

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Vegan Soulfest Held in Baltimores Clifton Park

first_imgBy Deborah Bailey, Special to the AFROBaltimore’s fifth Annual Vegan Soulfest brought a peaceful weekend filled with messages of health, wellness and holistic living for the city’s Clifton Park community.Artist Naomi Hanaa shares painting at Vegan Soulfest (Photo by Deborah Bailey)“We felt we needed to bring something positive on this level devoted to compassion and love in this community,” said festival co-founder and organizer Naijha Wright Brown.“You don’t have to be vegan to participate, just curious. Our folks are dying in droves more than we are by the bullet. We need to take better care of our health.” Brown said, regarding the purpose and mission of the event.More than 150 vendors and exhibits at Vegan Soulfest (Photo by Deborah Bailey)More than 12,000 persons from across Baltimore and across the region enjoyed food, music and 150 vendors offering everything from fashion, natural personal items, health and wholistic living products in addition to lectures and workshops throughout the day with experts like Dr. Milton R. Mills, nationally recognized authority on plant-based disease prevention.Fruition Experience, one of the day’s many performers, at Vegan Soulfest (Photo by Deborah Bailey)“Vegan Soulfest is important for Baltimore because it allows me and others to share information with my community about being plant based and improve the overall health of our community and lower our disease risk,” Mills told the AFRO after speaking to a tent crowded to capacity.Wright Brown said that each vendor participating in Vegan Soulfest needed to be committed to the vegan lifestyle.Participamts sample food from Land of Kush restaurant at Vegan Soulfest. (Photo by Deborah Bailey)Lee Putney, founder of Ase water (pronounced ah shay), said that Baltimore was an important connection for the new natural water company. It was founded less than two years ago she watched the Flint water crisis unfold and realized Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and many East Coast cities suffer the same problems.Ase water, one of the only African American owned natural bottled water companies in US talks with Baltimoreans ay Vegan Soulfest (Photo by Deborah Bailey)“Baltimore is high on the list with lead in the water. The pipes are old. We need to vote. We need to elect politicians who will come in and fix the infrastructure. But in the meantime, we need to watch the water we’re drinking,” Brown said.Festival attendee Quiana (no last name provided) drove from the Washington suburbs with her sister and niece because she thought it was important that a vegan event was being held in the heart of the African-American community.Henna art displayed at Vegan Soulfest (Photo By Deborah Bailey)“It’s not just Caucasian people who live this lifestyle; Black people do it too,” she said.Independent artist and Creative City Charter School art instructor Naomi Hanna has been vegan for seven years and offered her paintings at the event which she characterized as an awakening for African Americans.“We’re not living in food deserts, we’re living in food apartheid.  So, this event is beautiful, we’re having a renaissance to take care of ourselves, to define what health means for ourselves,” Hanna said.last_img read more

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Field study shows possibility of deflecting seismic waves around desired geologic surface

first_img Citation: Field study shows possibility of deflecting seismic waves around desired geologic surface areas (2014, April 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-field-possibility-deflecting-seismic-desired.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2014 Phys.org The construction of tiny cloaking devices has made headlines around the world in recent years, though they are still very much in their infancy. In this new field study, the team in France sought to learn whether a similar cloaking device could be built on a much larger scale. More specifically, they wanted to know if it might be possible to cloak parts of the surface of the Earth, from destructive seismic waves, i.e. earthquakes.To find out, they noted the frequencies at which seismic waves tend to move through the ground and then devised a grid system that in theory could cause the waves to change course due to diffraction among the elements that made up the grid. To test their theory they dug an array of boreholes five meters deep (.32 meters diameter) in a section of ground to serve as the cloaking device. They then buried several sensors around and near the grid to test how well the cloak worked. Finally, a crane was used to lower a vibrating pole into a hole a meter and a half away from the grid to cause the creation of seismic waves.In analyzing data from the sensors, the researchers found that the bore-hole grid did indeed reflect a significant portion of the seismic waves, leaving the ground around them nearly unshaken. They also noted that areas next to the bore-hole grid had nearly double the amount of seismic energy—they were exposed to the initial waves from the source and also from the waves that were reflected off the grid.The experiment opens the door to the possibility of protecting populated areas from the devastation of earthquakes. Many questions must still be addressed however. First, if a massive grid were constructed to protect a city, where would the waves be sent instead. Also, there is the question of how well the idea would scale—much more work needs to be done to find the answers to such questions, though it will be a near certainty that the results by this team will cause others to join in as well. Detection of supershear rupture in 2013 Craig, Alaska, earthquake (Phys.org) —A team of researchers in France has successfully demonstrated small-scale reflection of seismic waves around a desired geological area. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe an experiment they conducted at an outdoor site to test whether lessons learned in creating cloaking devices using metamaterials (and other techniques) might be applied to seismic waves generated by earthquakes.center_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters (a) Scheme of the testing device for seismic metamaterials. An oscillating probe generates acoustic waves at 50 Hz in front of a mesh of cylindrical boreholes. An array of sensors monitors the intensity of the waves at various positions. (b) Experimental results. The map (black rectangles: sensors; white circles: boreholes; red cross: source) plots the difference of energy after and before drilling the boreholes. The dark blue region behind the holes indicates that the presence of the borehole mesh results in a decrease of elastic energy transmitted to that area. The red region indicates the area close to the source in which the wave intensity increases because of reflection. Credit: S. Brûlé et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2014) More information: Experiments on Seismic Metamaterials: Molding Surface Waves, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 133901 – Published 31 March 2014, dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.133901ABSTRACTMaterials engineered at the micro- and nanometer scales have had a tremendous and lasting impact in photonics and phononics. At much larger scales, natural soils civil engineered at decimeter to meter scales may interact with seismic waves when the global properties of the medium are modified, or alternatively thanks to a seismic metamaterial constituted of a mesh of vertical empty inclusions bored in the initial soil. Here, we show the experimental results of a seismic test carried out using seismic waves generated by a monochromatic vibrocompaction probe. Measurements of the particles’ velocities show a modification of the seismic energy distribution in the presence of the metamaterial in agreement with numerical simulations using an approximate plate model. For complex natural materials such as soils, this large-scale experiment was needed to show the practical feasibility of seismic metamaterials and to stress their importance for applications in civil engineering. We anticipate this experiment to be a starting point for smart devices for anthropic and natural vibrations. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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