Serena Williams Only Loses In Big Upsets Because Shes Always A Big

For the second straight year, Serena Williams’s bid to make history at the U.S. Open was derailed in a semifinal upset. Last year, Williams was seeking to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988 and to tie Graf’s Open-era record of 22 career major titles when she was defeated by No. 43 Roberta Vinci. On Thursday night, Williams was two match wins from passing Graf in career major titles, but, hampered by an injury to her left knee, she lost to No. 11 Karolina Pliskova.Williams was ranked No. 1 heading into both matches. And according to win probabilities based on our tennis Elo ratings, both results were big surprises: She had a 97 percent chance of beating Vinci and an 87 percent chance against Pliskova.1In this article, our estimates of win probability heading into matches at this year’s U.S. Open use a blend of players’ overall Elo ratings and Elo ratings based only on hard-court matches, according to the methods described in our article about our tournament forecast. For earlier matches, we’re using probabilities based on overall Elo ratings for both players. That’s not unusual for Williams, who has left majors in two ways over the past five years, each one happening about as often as the other: Either as the champion (9 of 20) or as the loser of a big upset (11 of 20). She has had at least an 85 percent chance of winning all 11 of the matches she has lost at majors since 2012 (her first year playing the majors in her 30s). Those 11 losses are among the 14 most surprising of her career at majors: In other words, her 14 Slam losses for which she entered the matches with the highest Elo-based win probabilities.The series of surprise losses is the result of two factors:1) Williams is losing more matches she should win, perhaps a reflection of increased susceptibility in her 30s to injury or wear during a tournament. She has won 89 percent of Slam matches since 2012 in which she had an 85 percent chance or better, compared with a 96 percent win percentage in the same type of matches before 2012.2In both time periods, the average of her win probability in these matches was 95 percent.2) Against a field with fewer all time-greats than she faced earlier in her career, Williams is playing a lot more matches as a big favorite, giving her more opportunities to be upset: She has had at least an 85 percent chance of winning in 88 percent of her major matches since the start of 2012, compared with 64 percent earlier. read more

Van der Vaart demands Isco to start for Real Madrid

first_imgDutch former player Rafael Van der Vaart, granted an interview ahead of Real Madrid’s match vs Ajax and stated that Isco is the best in the world.The situation between Isco and Real Madrid has reached a boiling point that Rafael Van der Vaart doesn’t seem to understand, the Dutch former Los Blancos’ player hates the idea of not having the Spaniard starting in every single match for the Spanish giants.In his eyes, Isco is the best player in the world and he won’t watch Real Madrid whenever he doesn’t start a match.The reality is that the Spanish midfielder is arguably one of the most talented players that the club has, but he is also one of the most wasted talents of recent memory for any club.Since he started his career at Real Madrid, Alarcon has never reached that level of performance that people expected from him and he never really claimed the starring role that describes his true potential.Instead of fighting to silence his critics, Isco has opted to live his life in a more relaxed manner with the certainty of being part of a club that always wins trophies.But he has never really been that key player that Van der Vaart speaks of, maybe this interview could be a call for action for Isco once he gets to read it.Maybe the Dutch player himself sees a little bit of him in the Spaniard.”En Holanda piensan que gana el Ajax seguro, pero les digo que el Madrid es el Madrid” https://t.co/xmeXqxwSe0 Entrevista con @rafvdvaart por @nacholabarga #UCL— MARCA (@marca) January 16, 2019During an extended interview with Marca, Rafa spoke about his time as a Real Madrid player and the legends that he played with during his time.“I played with some of the best players in the world: Ramos, Guti, Raul, Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema… It’s a very special thing,” said Rafa during the interview.“Being able to play in the same club as Cristiano, for example, is very impressive. People recognize how important Ronaldo was for Real Madrid, a player who scored nearly 60 goals per-season.”“There were six players from the Netherlands during the first year, it’s true that there may have been too many of us.”“It was worse in the sense that we were together all the time and we only spoke Dutch between us, there were a lot less of us by next season and my Spanish improved because I was able to mingle with players from other countries.”“It’s weird that the squad plays so badly in some home matches like they did against Real Sociedad, I really don’t think it’s a matter of attitude.”Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“They have lost Cristiano and Zidane, Solari is slowly starting to get the grip of the players and I’m sure they will finish the season with another title apart from the Club World Cup.”“What happens with Isco is crazy to me, he is the best player in the world. But he always has problems with his managers. Zidane never really trusted him 100%.”“Every time I watch Real Madrid, I check if he is going to start the game or not. If he doesn’t start, then I go back home and prefer to not watch it,” he concluded.Van der Vaart: “Si Isco no es titular me voy a casa, es el mejor del mundo” https://t.co/GWG9BMBuCz Entrevista por @nacholabarga— MARCA (@marca) January 16, 2019Van der Vaart’s assessment of Isco is arguably a little out of proportion, this player may be very talented but he is quite far from being considered the best player in the world by anybody else apart from the Dutch former midfielder.As things stand right now for the Spaniard, leaving Real Madrid is a major possibility for him by the end of the season.The whole problem with Isco right now is that he clearly has an unresolved personal issue with manager Santiago Solari, this is pretty obvious despite the Argentine’s latest comments denying such problems with the midfielder.If there wasn’t anything personal between the two, Isco would’ve at least stared the Copa del Rey match against Leganes last week.The coach has another chance to prove that such a problem doesn’t exist, it will be this Wednesday when Los Blancos play the second leg against Leganes at Butarque.The problem here is that given how bad the situation appears between Isco and the manager, everything points to Brahim Diaz starting his first match and Alarcon staying on the bench.Solari: “¿Vender a Isco? Yo soy el entrenador” pic.twitter.com/fVzAqPaw2Z— MARCA (@marca) January 15, 2019Do you agree with Van der Vaart, is Isco the best player in the world? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

OBITUARY Cesino B Chet Perella 86

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Cesino  B. “Chet” Perella, 86, of Wilmington, formerly of Jeffersonville, IN and North Reading, died at his home on April 17, 2018. He was the beloved husband of the late Jeana “Charlene” (Doan) Perella, who died this past September.Born in Boston, MA on May 21, 1931. He was the son of the late Ludovico and Alsa (Gerosina) Perella. He was raised in Medford and was a graduate of Medford High School. Chet was a U.S. Air Force Veteran of the Korean War, he was an Airman First Class and served from 1950 to 1954.Chet was a chef and caterer for many years, he owned and operated Perella’s Cold Cut Center and Perella’s Catering, he also worked for Lombardo’s, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Houghton Mufflin and Wang. He was a member of the North Reading Masonic Lodge and a Life member of the Lawrence United Masonic Lodge, he was also a member of the Shriner’s and the North Reading Moose Lodge.Chet was a fun loving person, who loved to travel with family and friends. He volunteered extensively for the Shriner’s and Mason organizations. He loved college football, cooking and volunteering many hours umpiring for the North Reading Men’s Softball League and the North Reading Little League.Family members include his loving children, Pamela Lewis and her husband Jerry,  Louie Perella and his wife Doreen, James Perella and his wife Kathy and Sherri White and her husband Steven;  brother, Ludovico Perella and his wife Mary and sister, Gina Vozzella; brother-in-law, James Doan and his wife Elaine ; six grandchildren, Kurt Jones and his wife Breanne, Eric Jones, Jenelle Braga and her husband Brian, Lou E. Perella and his wife Laura, Kyle White and Ethan White; 6 great grandchildren, Nate, Preston, Norah, Riley, Kailey and Lucy.His funeral will be held at the Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow Street, North Reading on Monday, April 23 at 10:30 AM. Calling hours will be held on Sunday, April 22 from 2 to 6 PM. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in North Reading. Memorial donations may be made in his memory to: Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 51 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114.Cesino  B. “Chet” Perella(NOTE: The above obituary is from Croswell Funeral Home.)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… RelatedOBITUARY: James Thayer Hastings, 84In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Thomas F. Connolly, 86In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: John “Jack” Tannian, Jr., 89In “Obituaries”last_img read more

SELECTMEN RACE PREVIEW Everything You Need To Know Before You Vote

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — At this Saturday’s Town Election, two candidates — Jonathan Eaton and Rob Fasulo — will vie for one open seat on the Wilmington Board of Selectmen.Have you been paying attention to the race?  If not, Wilmington Apple has you covered!Read Campaign Announcements:Jonathan Eaton Announces He’s Running For Wilmington SelectmenRob Fasulo Announces He’s Running For Wilmington SelectmenRead Weekly Candidate Q&As:Affordable Housing & Sciarappa FarmEconomic Development, Analog TIF & Detox Facility ProposalGrade The Town Manager & Current Board Of SelectmenFire Substation, New Town Hall & Hypothetical $2 Million WindfallAccomplishments In Year #1, Being Responsive To ResidentsCLOSING ARGUMENT: Rob Fasulo Asks For Your VoteCLOSING ARGUMENT: Jonathan Eaton Asks For Your VoteRead Letters To The Editor/Endorsements:Jonathan EatonSelectman Mike Champoux Endorses Jonathan EatonSelectman Greg Bendel Endorses Jonathan EatonSelectman Ed Loud Endorses Jonathan EatonFormer Selectman Lou Cimaglia Endorses Jonathan EatonSchool Committee Chair Steve Bjork Endorses Jonathan EatonWilmington Finance Committee Chair Endorses Eaton For SelectmanEaton Is ‘Most Qualified Candidate’ For SelectmenEaton Has Shown A Commitment To The CommunityEaton Embodies Wilmington’s Volunteer SpiritEaton’s Experience & Credentials Make Him An Ideal Selectman CandidateEaton A ‘Bright & Thoughtful Fiscal Conservative,’ An ‘Independent Voice of Reason’Eaton Will Move The Town In The Best DirectionEaton Will Make Wilmington ProudResident Endorses Eaton After Watching Him Grow Up In TownRob FasuloGovernor Charlie Baker Endorses Rob Fasulo For SelectmanSelectman Mike McCoy Endorses Rob FasuloFormer Selectwoman Suzanne Sullivan Endorses Fasulo, Says He Best Understands Residents’ ConcernsConcerned Citizens of Wilmington Endorses Rob Fasulo For SelectmanRetired Wilmington Police Officer, Former Selectman Candidate Endorses FasuloFasulo Will ‘Keep Wilmington A Town’Fasulo Has The Qualities To Be An Effective SelectmanFasulo Is “Committed To Accountability Within Our Local Government,” Won’t “Sugarcoat The Bad”Fasulo Is Honest & Straight Shooting, Listens To People’s ConcernsA Father Endorses His Son For SelectmanWatch WCTV Candidate Conversations:VIDEO: Jonathan Eaton Discusses His Campaign For Selectmen With WCTVVIDEO: Rob Fasulo Discusses His Campaign For Selectmen with WCTVWatch WCTV Candidates Night (with Recap):SELECTMEN CANDIDATES DEBATE: Eaton & Fasulo Debate The IssuesRead Coverage From Crier, Advocate, Patch, SunProfile: Eaton Brings Financial Savvy To Selectman’s Race (Wilmington Patch)Profile: Fasulo Calls For Smart Growth In Run For Selectman (Wilmington Patch)Profile: Eaton, FinCom member, seeks selectmen seat (Wilmington Town Crier)Profile: Fasulo seeks Board of Selectmen seat (Wilmington Town Crier)Debate Recap: Wilmington housing, detox centers are hot topics in debate (Lowell Sun)Read Lowell Sun’s EndorsementTo Be AnnouncedCandidates On Facebook:Jonathan Eaton For SelectmanRob Fasulo For SelectmanPast Campaign Events:Selectman Candidate Jonathan Eaton To Hold Campaign Rally On March 16Selectman Candidate Rob Fasulo Invites Voters To ‘Meet & Greet’ On March 31Selectman Candidate Rob Fasulo Invites Voters To ‘Meet & Greet’ On April 21Joint Statement: Fasulo & Eaton Denounce Campaign Sign StealingPolls will be open this Saturday, April 28, from 8am to 8pm, at the Boutwell Early Childhood Center, Wildwood Early Childhood Center, and Town Hall.  Not sure where you vote?  Click HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook.  Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. 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… RelatedLETTER TO THE EDITOR: Selectman Mike McCoy Endorses Rob Fasulo For SelectmanIn “Letter To The Editor”SELECTMEN NEWS: New Board Has First Disagreement When Choosing Its Representative To Town Ice Rink CommitteeIn “Government”LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Selectman Mike McCoy Endorses Rob FasuloIn “Letter To The Editor”last_img read more

Netflix drops hints about the Bandersnatch ending you may not have seen

first_imgWith Netflix touting more than a trillion possible permutations for its first grown-up stab at an interactive movie, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, there’s a lot to unravel.Netflix has been making interactive choose-your-own-adventure videos for more than a year, but Bandersnatch is the first that isn’t a cartoon for kids. The interactivity is simple: A or B choices that branch the plot. But Bandersnatch gives the model a self-referential spin by building the story around a choose-your-own-adventure novel. Netflix press materials note the movie has “five main endings, with multiple variants of each.” Discussions on Black Mirror subreddit, Discord and social media have tried untangling the knot. The pathways can be so convoluted that Netflix has nudged viewers to find scenes that few have uncovered weeks after the movie’s premiere. In fact, Netflix said that of the five main endings, one in which Stefan follows his mother onto the train remains the most hidden, with the fewest number of viewers taking that path. The company has shared that 73 percent of viewers chose for Stefan to accept Tuckersoft’s job offer, and that British viewers were slightly less inclined to spill tea than viewers in the rest of the world. Reed Hastings holds up two different boxes of cerealNetflix CEO Reed Hastings dropping important financial disclosures during the company’s earnings call.  Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET Netflix CEO Reed Hastings even broke into the company’s earnings discussion in January to disclose that 73 percent of Bandersnatch viewers chose Frosties over Sugar Puffs. After two relatively inconsequential interactions about cereal and music, the story starts to offer crucial choices that take you to different plot points or assign attributes to your account that determine what choices you may see in the future. These determine the possible passwords you can enter into the locked cabinet in Stefan’s dad’s office, and they influence the options for how to respond when Stefan calls out “Give me a sign!” when he’s grappling with the idea that somebody is controlling him.Whatever Netflix defines as an “ending” to add up to “five main endings” isn’t really clear, but here are some of the permutations and endings that viewers have mapped out:You choose for Stefan to work with Tuckersoft. Backed by a team, the game is a messy failure with a zero-out-of-five rating. After watching the game review on TV, Stefan yells out that he wants to try again and you loop back with the opportunity to reject Tuckersoft’s offer instead. Stefan jumps from Colin’s balcony, and the game is published after the “tragic accident” without getting a rating. You’re eventually forced to have Stefan discuss his mother’s death with Dr. Haynes. You take the pills that Dr. Haynes prescribes. The game is published but with Stefan’s madness under control, it’s a failure with a zero-out-of-five rating. But hey, nobody dies this time!When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you choose Netflix, the story takes a meta turn where you either end up with Stefan laughing maniacally as he’s dragged out of the building or Stefan facing a reality where he’s actually on a movie shoot, much to his confusion. When Stefan explores his father’s locked study, if he enters the passcode TOY on the file cabinet and then chooses to leave with his mother to board the train that derails and kills her, Stefan dies in the present day in his therapist’s office because of a timeline paradox. When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you choose PAC, Stefan learns about a government conspiracy, kills his father and ends up in prison after calling Dr. Haynes’ office; the Bandersnatch game is released with a 2.5 star-rating.  When Stefan calls out for whoever is controlling him to give him a “sign,” if you chose the little glyph that Bandersnatch novel author Jerome F. Davies painted all over his walls, then Stefan ends up in prison without Bandersnatch ever being released. Various choices determine whether Stefan ends up in prison after seeing (or sometimes killing) Colin, Tucker, or Colin’s girlfriend Kitty.  If you choose to make Stefan chop up his dad’s body, Bandersnatch is released to acclaim with a five-out-of-five rating, but a present-day news report explains the game was pulled after Stefan was imprisoned for murder. A report describes how Colin’s daughter, the baby Pearl that viewers meet briefly during the trip to Colin’s apartment, is a game programmer who wants to revive Bandersnatch. She encounters a bug similar to the one Stefan does, and your choice about whether she destroys her computer or pours tea on it seems to loop you back to earlier points in the story. The interactive story seems to eventually force some choices. No matter how much I tried to avoid talking about Stefan’s mother with the therapist Dr. Haynes, eventually I had no choice but to hear Stefan hash out his mommy issues. And no matter how many times I just wanted to bury Stefan’s dad instead of (gag) chopping up his body, the story eventually just went to repeat loops until I agreed to dismemberment. (Of course, the grisliest choice led to the Bandersnatch game getting the highest possible critical rating…) bm-bandersnatch-still-04Protagonist Stefan (left) interacts differently with his game programming hero, Colin (center), and Tuckersoft CEO Tucker (right) depending on the choices you make.  Netflix But the way that movie’s interactivity is set up, it also seems that after you’ve followed the course of a few of the endings, it’ll keep prompting you to return to certain choice points that are crucial to unlocking parts of the story you haven’t seen yet. It also seems that you get different endings presented as the “official” end — with video vignettes interspersed into the end credits like other linear episodes often do — depending on where you arrive around the 90-minute mark.  And there are sideways trips that the story can take depending on various factors.  Sometimes when you choose to pick up the book before Stefan goes to sleep, he dreams that he breaks his bathroom mirror when he touches it. Other times, if you choose to pick up the book, he dreams that he can reach through the mirror to travel back in time.  Netflix’s UK and Ireland Twitter account teased viewers on Jan. 8 by suggesting they have Stefan “try picking up the family photo, ~twice~.” That might not be a hard science as our particular playthrough required selecting the photo three times. This will trigger a scene where Stefan is working in his room and suddenly Jerome F. Davies appears before stabbing Stefan in the chest. Stefan will then wake up, the attack being an apparent dream, and the story will continue.  bm-bandersnatch-still-07Picking up the book to read can unlock different elements depending on previous answers. Netflix/Black Mirror You can also unlock different nightmares (or realities?) depending on the password you enter into the father’s locked file cabinet. TOY seems to be the only way to get to the ending where Stefan dies in his present-day therapist’s office because you choose for him to join his mother on the train in the past. PAC explains a government conspiracy that’s experimenting on and surveilling Stefan, while JFD and PAX give you some creepy jump scares.  There’s also a post-credits scene where Stefan listens to his Walkman but instead of hearing music he hears digital noise. Discussion on Reddit says that decoding the sound results in a QR code that leads to a separate online Easter egg.  Some viewers have speculated that some elements of the story are chosen at random, a little chaos purposely inserted to drive everyone crazy who attempts to flowchart all the different narrative branches.  And there are additional Easter eggs sprinkled outside the video as well. A website for Tuckersoft, the gaming company in the movie, has a landing page that looks like something you’d load with an AOL dial-up connection. Its job recruitment page is styled like a 1980s magazine ad, with actor Asim Chaudhry’s Mohan Tucker pictured. And the Tuckersoft game that Colin is developing when he first meets Stefan — Nohzdyve, an early allusion to the trip off the balcony that Colin and/or Stefan can take later in some Bandersnatch plot branches — is available to play through an emulator.   Mike Sorrentino contributed to this story. Editors’ note: This story was first published Dec. 28, 2018 and is updated as more Bandersnatch pathways are discovered. Share your voice 12 17 Photos Comments Aquaman director James Wan the latest celeb to take social media breakcenter_img Tags Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech. What we know about the Disney+ streaming service: It’s getting ready to rival Netflix. TV and Movies Digital Media Netflixlast_img read more

Honda finally says how much power the electric E hatchback will make

first_img Now playing: Watch this: 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Honda E Prototype is a too-cute EV for Europe Honda 1:54 Post a comment 0 Review • 2019 Honda Insight review: Third time’s a charm Preview • 2019 Honda Insight: The 55-mpg Civic Honda’s adorable E Prototype looks ready to hit the road More From Roadshowcenter_img 35 Photos Electric Cars Future Cars Hatchbacks Share your voice Enlarge ImageIt’s nice to see the E in something other than white paint, for a change. Honda The Honda E electric hatchback looks awfully promising, even though it’s not coming to the US. The automaker hasn’t exactly been forthright with specifications thus far, but on the eve of its Goodwood Festival of Speed debut, we finally have an idea of how much power the darn thing makes.Honda on Tuesday unveiled a few more tidbits of information about the E. Its single electric motor on the rear axle produces about 148 horsepower and torque “in excess of” 221 pound-feet of torque. Given its diminutive dimensions and 50/50 weight distribution, that means it should rock just about any autocross course it comes across. The automaker also said that, because the rear wheels deliver the power, it was able to add extra steering articulation on the front axle. Its turning diameter is pretty small as a result, requiring a little over 28 feet to complete a full circle. Its four-corner McPherson strut layout means it should be both comfortable yet solid.Honda also said that the E will sport a one-pedal driving mode. Single Pedal Control, as Honda calls it, will allow the vehicle to accelerate and decelerate with just a single pedal, using regenerative braking to slow the vehicle, presumably to a stop. It’s unclear if this will be a default mode, or if it will require a button press to activate. Other EVs have similar systems that can be bypassed if a driver prefers it.Preorders for the Honda E are already open in Europe. It will sport standard camera side mirrors, further distancing it from the US market, where such tech remains illegal. We’ll get a good look at it this week at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where we hope it will take a run up the famed hill climb course. Honda More about 2019 Honda Insight 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Tags 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger valuelast_img read more

Natalia Fileva One of Russias richest women and S7 Airlines coowner killed

first_imgNatalia FilevaTwitter [Representational Image]The co-owner and chairwoman of Russia’s S7 airlines legally known as PJSC Siberia Airlines, Natalia Fileva died in a private jet crash along with two others near Frankfurt in Germany on Sunday, March 31.The incident took place while the six-seater single-engine jet named The Epic-LT, en route Egelsbach airport from France crashed in a field while landing near the airport. The pilot and another Russian have been reported to be dead along with Fileva.According to the police, the aircraft was completely gutted due to the high impact of the crash. While the investigations are going on over the incident by the Russian and International authorities, the cause of the crash is yet to be ascertained.The private jet was flying from Cannes in France and disappeared from radars at 1322 GMT, according to data from a flight tracker Flighradar24, reports Reuters. The crashed private jet in which Natalia Fileva was flyingttwitterRussian and international authorities would investigate the crash and there was no information yet on what caused it, according to the airline, which is the main competitor of Russia’s No.1 carrier Aeroflot, adds the report.According to the DPA news agency, a police car racing to the crash site collided with another vehicle near the airport, killing two people inside the car and seriously injuring three police officers.The 55-year-old Fileva was a major shareholder of the second largest airline in the country with an estimated wealth of 600 million dollars. Her husband Vladislav Filev is the Chief Executive Officer of the S7 airlines.Founded in 1957 as the Tolmachevo united squadron, S7 airlines is the main competitor in Russia to Aeroflot. It has 96 aircraft that fly to 181 cities and towns in 26 countries.last_img read more

15 killed as wildfires torch California wine country

first_imgFires continue to burn in and around Napa, California, on October 10, 2017. AFPFirefighters battled wildfires in California’s wine region on Tuesday as the death toll rose to 15 and thousands were left homeless in neighborhoods reduced to ashes.“The homes are gone, they are like dust,” said Jack Dixon, a personal trainer who lives in Santa Rosa, a city of 175,000 in Sonoma County. “It is just like we were nuked.”Dixon told AFP that his own neighborhood was spared when the fire “miraculously” changed direction but many others were not so fortunate.“I am surrounded by devastation and feel lucky it didn’t happen to me,” Dixon said.US President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in California, freeing up federal funding and resources to help fight the 17 large wildfires in the western state.Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in eight counties-including wine-producing Napa and Sonoma-and said thousands of firefighters had been deployed to fight the blazes.The state fire prevention agency Calfire forecast strong winds for Wednesday, which could fan the fires.Nine deaths were reported in Sonoma County, three in Mendocino County, two in Napa County and one in Yuba County and the governor said “emergency responders anticipate the number of fatalities could grow.”Among the dead were a couple aged 99 and 100-years-old from Napa who had been married for 75 years, KTVU-TV said. They were unable to evacuate their home in time.The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department said on its Facebook page it had received reports of 200 missing people.Forty-five had been located and the department said it was confident that many of the rest would be found safe.About 25,000 people have been evacuated in Sonoma County alone, the department said, and 5,000 have sought refuge in shelters.The fires have torched more than 115,000 acres (46,500 hectares) and destroyed over 2,000 homes and businesses, according to the authorities.Winds have weakened -The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said 17 large fires were continuing to burn on Tuesday.“The winds that fanned these fires Sunday night and Monday morning have decreased significantly, but local winds and dry conditions continue to pose a challenge,” Cal Fire said.“With the decrease in the winds combined with cooler weather, firefighters made good progress overnight,” it added.Governor Brown said the “devastation and disruption caused by these fires is extraordinary.“Thousands have been made homeless.”Much of the worst damage was in Santa Rosa, the county seat of Sonoma County, and could be seen from US Route 101, the north-south highway which runs from California through Oregon to Washington state.The Sonoma County Hilton perched on a hill overlooking 101 was a smoldering ruin of charred wood and twisted metal, as was the nearby Fountaingrove Inn.An enormous K-Mart store was entirely destroyed with only a couple of blackened walls still standing.Among the wineries which reportedly suffered damage were William Hill Estate Winery in Napa, Signorello Vineyards, Stags’ Leap and Chimney Rock.Maureen Fairchild, a nurse, was working at a hospital in Marin County where some of the evacuees were brought.“I was working in a memory-impaired unit,” Fairchild told AFP. “We had all these people who were already confused and now they were in an unfamiliar place with all this frenzy going on around them.”Kris Hammar, who lives in Santa Rosa on the edge of a mandatory evacuation zone, had not yet evacuated but was monitoring maps, wind direction, and fire updates to see if she and her family should bolt.“The fire is close, very close,” Hammer said. “Everything is in the car, and we are checking constantly to see if anything has changed.”‘Boom, boom, boom’ -Troy Newton, 46, a Sonoma County sheriff’s detective, was among those who fled Santa Rosa.Newton told The Los Angeles Times he was returning home when he saw a “growing red snake” of fire.“I ran into my house and told my wife to get our four-year-old boy ready to leave,” Newton said, before raising the alarm for around 40 neighbors.“It was boom, boom, boom. Ring the door bell. Boom, boom-until someone inside got the message,” he said.Pacific Gas & Electric said more than 196,000 customers had initially lost electricity although half had had their power restored.Governor Brown in April declared the official end of the state’s drought that lasted more than five years.But California is still dealing with the Santa Ana winds, a meteorological phenomenon which brings dry winds down from the high mountains east of the coastal areas-a recipe for perfect wildfire conditions.Forest fires are common in the western United States during dry, hot summer months.Last month, a massive fire described as the biggest in the history of Los Angeles forced hundreds to evacuate their homes.last_img read more

Farmer Nell Doc Cheatham Freedom Fighters for Food Sovereignty

first_imgBy Tiffany C. Ginyard, Special to the Afro“We are concerned about the constant use of federal funds to support this most notorious expression of segregation. Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death. I see no alternative to direct action and creative nonviolence to raise the conscience of the nation.”  — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Cheatham organizes residents to bring Supermarket to Sandtown-WinchesterMarvin “Doc” Cheatham, one of Baltimore’s dedicated civil rights activists and community organizers, is among the one in three city residents who resides in a food desert.Fortunately he has a car to drive to supermarkets in other parts of the city that offer fresh produce and healthy food options. Additionally, having a car also makes bargain shopping a more realistic goal to meet.  But for so many other residents in the Sandtown-Winchester community, navigating a food desert without reasonable access to transportation and raising families in low-income households, healthy foods are neither an affordable nor an option.The former chapter president of the Baltimore NAACP, who insists the term “food desert,” a term referring to an area qualified by its residents’ lack of access and sufficient resources to purchase healthy food is too loose a word to describe what residents in the city’s low-income communities are experiencing. He suggests “food apartheid” as a more definitive term.Dominic Nell aka Farmer Nel (Courtesy Photo)“It’s no accident that you have a large number of poor people, especially African-American or Hispanic, living in food deserts,” said Cheatham. “Food Apartheid is a relentless social construct that devalues human beings and assumes that people are unworthy of having access to nutritious foods. We have 14 liquor stores in our community. And the City just unfortunately has not made a food market a priority,” said Cheatham. “So, we have our work cut out for us.”As president of the Matthew A Henson Neighborhood Association, Cheatham is circulating a petition to have the city consider a space in Eastwood that members in the community have identified for a potential grocery store. According to Cheatham, Eastwood is an area the radius of 20 blocks bordered by Fulton and North avenues, Bentalou and Presstman streets, that’s been neglected for at least 30 years.“Now we only have five more houses to be torn down in the 1500 block of Monroe Street on the odd side which will give us ample space for a food market,” he said. “We’ll see what explanation the city will give us next about holding up the processMarvin “Doc” Cheatham is still an active member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed in 1957 to coordinate peaceful protest throughout the south, and for which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as the first president. Be More GreenCity Weeds Offers Youth a New HustleDominic Nell sells nickel bags on The Avenue (Pennsylvania). A nickel bag of grass on the streets of Baltimore usually refers to .5 grams of marijuana, which is still an illegal substance. But times have changed, and a nickel bag from Farmer Nell is indeed grass, but 100 percent legit.“This is legal grass. I sell microgreens. I have kale. I have leeks. I have carrots,” said Farmer Nell, an urban farmer and Baltimore native in an interview with The New Cool, a channel for urban men on Youtube. “And the way microgreens grow, they grow in a patch of grass. So I chop them up in sections and sell them to my people for $5. Hence, nickels of grass.”Dominic Nell aka Farmer Nel (Courtesy Photo)Farmer Nell learned to grow microgreens while on his day job as a photographer for School of Food, a local business training program for food and beverage entrepreneurs, and sold them on weekends at Farmer’s markets throughout the city, making not merely a handsome profit but making himself an attractive candidate for the 2017 Red Bull Ampaphiko Academy, a global platform for social entrepreneurs looking to create innovative and sustainable change in their communities.“Now is the time,” Farmer Nell said of his social footprint on the food sovereignty movement in low-income communities of color. “Now is better than never. We’re waiting too long for resources to come falling out of the sky or in the form of an envelope.”Nell is the owner of City Weeds, an agricultural business established to make healthy food options available in communities impacted by food deserts and to empower youth to dismantle systemic constructs of food apartheid and poverty by learning to cultivate farm-to-table produce to make a living.“I teach the youth, as well as brothers on the corner that are out here in the game hustling and want an alternative way to being an entrepreneur that is legal. Selling legal green. Pounds of kale, turnip and mustard greens…peppers. It’s different flavors in all styles. So it’s the same hustle, we’re just changing the product. And changing the narrative and ultimately controlling the narrative, in zone seventeen Baltimore.“This process of growing food, transforms an individual’s process of thinking, and this process of thinking creates space for self empowerment, and ultimately having food sovereignty.last_img read more

US military to make jet fuel from algae

first_img Coal-based jet fuel poised for next step © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: US military to make jet fuel from algae (2010, February 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-military-jet-fuel-algae.html The military is the largest single consumer of energy in the US, and a cheap alternative to oil would reduce the 60-75 million barrels of oil currently consumed by military operations. Scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have already successfully extracted oil from algal ponds, and is now about to begin large-scale refining of the oil. Special assistant for energy with DARPA, Barbara McQuiston, said unrefined oil produced from algae currently costs $2 per gallon, but the cost is projected to reduce to around $1. The refined and processed jet fuel is expected to cost under $3 per gallon. The refining operation would produce 50 million gallons of oil derived from algae each year and is expected to begin full-scale operations in 2011. Each acre of algal farm pond can produce 1,000 gallons of oil. The projects are run by private companies General Atomics and SAIC.One advantage of algae over other biofuels such as ethanol derived from corn or sugar is that they do not compete with land use for food, and algae can be grown in brackish water or waste water. The fuel theoretically produces zero carbon emissions, since all the CO2 released when the fuel is burned was absorbed from the atmosphere by the algae in the first place. Even when processing and transportation are taken into account, the fuel is still low carbon.DARPA aims to obtain 50 per cent of all military-use fuel from renewable sources by 2016, and the Air Force plans to test a 50-50 mix of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources in its jet fighters and transport planes by next year. The driving force is not just money, but also the desire to create jet fuel in locations such as Afghanistan, where supply convoys are particularly prone to attack. Creating fuel in the field would not only save money and lives, but the infrastructure would be left behind to enable the production of sustainable fuel supplies to continue.The Chinese government has also been looking at the possibility of using jet fuel produced from algae, and many commercial airlines are doing the same. Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — If military researchers in the US are right, jet fuel produced from algae may soon be available for about the same price as ordinary jet fuels. 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.last_img read more