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Hubert Lawrence | Saving football, a programme of work

first_img In a culture that believes that talent reigns supreme, the value of good playing surfaces is sometimes underestimated. Recently, government embarked on a programme to improve the quality of high-school playing fields. Something similar is needed for football and cricket fields if players are to properly learn the skills they need. Bumpy fields make it impossible for them to control the ball and pass it at the required level of proficiency. Perhaps, in exchange for a tax concession, companies involved in landscaping could be invited to help in this area. The target would be to renovate at least one football field per parish each year and provide the expertise and staff to do the maintenance. The next critical element is the establishment of a national playing philosophy. Our biggest asset is sprint speed, and a style that embraces that asset may well suit Jamaica best. This may run at odds with our love of Brazilian and Barcelona football, but beauty can have many faces. Whatever style we choose, it should become the template for all of Jamaica’s national teams. That would allow newcomers to the senior team to fit in seamlessly. Once this choice is made, choosing players from the diaspora will be much easier because the selector will be looking not just for good players, but for those who will fit. The wholesale elimination of players from the diaspora could also eliminate the exposure they have received elsewhere. Lest we forget, Paul Hall, Fitzroy Simpson and Deon Burton, all based in England, boosted Jamaica’s drive to qualify for the 1998 World Cup with their competitiveness, professionalism and skills. The door should never close on such an input. The same logic applies to home-grown players who ply their trade abroad. Instead, an overall programme of work should be undertaken to improve Jamaica’s football. Better- coached players on better fields working together within a playing philosophy that suits Jamaica, will work much better. It will take time, but it needs to start now. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980. Talent reigns supreme Picking a national squad solely of local players isn’t going to save Jamaican football. The issues facing us on that field of play are too wide-ranging for that. The football fraternity will have to look itself in the eye and build a structure that produces quality play. That will take time. Pegging success to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup may be a mistake, too, as it may force the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to rush or overlook key elements in the development process. To be fair, some work has started with the certification of many more coaches in recent years. The requirement that coaches must have FIFA certification to train high-school teams is a plus. The pay-off is better-equipped players in the future. Those who organise preparatory and primary- school football might be well advised to adopt similar regulations. Such a move would ensure that aspiring players adopt good technical habits early in their acquaintance with the game. As we all know, bad habits can be really hard to break.last_img read more


first_imgPat the Cope Gallagher is in a battle for that final seat in Europe.Pat The Cope Gallagher is hanging on to his European Parliament seat by his finger nails after the fifth count in the Midlands North West European constituency resulted in Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness being elected.It means the veteran Donegal Fianna Fail politician is in a straight fight with Independent Marian Harkin for the fourth and final seat.Ms McGuinness reached the quota after getting 72% of Jim Higgins’ available transfers following his elimination. As a result, the Fine Gael candidate reached 135,698 votes to put her ahead of Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy who is on 126,492.With Carthy expected to be elected next, it leaves The Cope in a dogfight with Harkin who he is trailing by over 27,000 votes.It will all come down to how the transfers of his party colleague Thomas Byrne, who has been eliminated,  is distributed.Standings after fifth count: Flanagan, Luke “Ming” (Ind) electedMairead McGuinness (FG) 135,698 electedMatt Carthy (SF) 126,492Marian Harkin (Ind) 95,577Pat “The Cope” Gallagher (FF) 67,606 Thomas Byrne (FF) 63,392 eliminatedEURO ELECTION 2014: PAT THE COPE HANGING IN THERE was last modified: May 27th, 2014 by johngerardShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:copeelectioneuropeangallagherpatlast_img read more

Cardinals breeze past Sutter at home

first_imgCorning >> The Corning boys had little trouble getting a win Friday night over the visiting Sutter Huskies, 67-28.It was all Cardinals in the first half and the teams went to the locker room with Corning up 39-15. With a big lead, coach Kurt Wilkins pulled his starters a few minutes into the third period.Not much changed for the Huskies, though, and they were held scoreless more than six minutes into the third, breaking the drought with a pair of foul shots with 1:44 left in the frame.“We …last_img read more

Microsoft Connects Windows Live Essentials 2011 to the Cloud

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#cloud computing#Microsoft#news#NYT#web Microsoft just announced a major update to its Windows Live Essentials tools for the Windows desktop. The updated applications include the Windows Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail and Live Writer. In addition, Microsoft also released a new synchronization client based on the company’s experience with Live Mesh, and will allow PC and Mac users to keep their documents, pictures and music in sync across multiple computers. While there are a lot of feature updates to these apps (and the Ribbon now features prominently in these apps), the big story here is that these apps are now more intimately connected to the cloud.Photo Gallery While bloggers will surely appreciate the new version of Windows Live Writer, Microsoft has also added a few nifty features to all the other Live Essentials apps. The new version of Photo Gallery, which now supports multitouch screens and Windows 7 libraries, also features built-in photo recognition. The real wow-factor, however, comes from a new feature called Photo Fuse, which allows you to combine the best parts of different pictures into one composite image. This is a great tool for making sure that everybody in a group photo is smiling, for example. You just select the best parts from multiple images (preferably all taken at the same height, distance and zoom range). Photo Gallery’s new retouch feature should also make it easier to fix problems in your photo. In addition to these features, the Photo Gallery app now also allows users to send their photos on Facebook and – more importantly – comments from your Facebook friends will be imported back to the desktop app.Sync Windows Live Sync helps users keep their folder in sync across multiple computers. This feature works in the background and automatically syncs data back and forth between different machines. Just like Live Mesh – which this tools is partly based on – Sync also allows users to easily open up a remote desktop connection to their PCs. The folder synching feature is available for Windows and OSX, though the remote desktop access is limited to Windows machines. To get started with Sync, just head over to http://devices.live.comMailWindows Live Mail now features a Gmail-like conversation view – and unlike in Hotmail, this feature will be turned on by default. Just like Hotmail, Live mail now features “quick views” that allow users to organize and filter their mail.Thanks to tighter integration with the calendar, Mail now feels more like Outlook.Mail has also inherited some features from Windows Live Writer. Users can now, for example, create small image galleries inside an email and perform some small image editing tasks in the app.Movie MakerMovie Maker also got a nice update and now allows users to easily share their videos on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Microsoft’s SkyDrive. In addition, Microsoft added a number of new themes, and you can now easily import photos from the Photo Gallery and create an animated slideshow with just a few clicks. The new movie even highlights captions. VerdictThe question, of course, is how these apps compare to Google’s and Apple’s offerings. Google’s Picasa and Apple’s iPhoto offer some of the same features as Microsoft’s Photo Gallery (face recognition, retouching, online galleries), but Microsoft, of course, has the advantage of offering a tool that is more closely integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft also makes it easy to upload images to multiple third-party photo services and gives users a more generous allotment of free space for sharing pictures than Google. (Apple charges for these features.) The ability to sync Facebook comments back and forth between the cloud and the desktop is also a welcome addition to Live Essentials. We haven’t been able to get our hands on the Windows Live Movie Maker, so we will have to withhold judgement of how well it compares to iPhoto. In the last version, the app got a major makeover and compared very well to Apple’s iMovie.Microsoft is clearly trying to create a better connection between its desktop and online tools. While there used to be a lot of confusion around Microsoft’s syncing tools, for example (at one point, it felt like the company offered 10 tools that all performed similar functions), Sync now feels like the glue that will hold all of these tools together. While geeks generally tend to overlook Microsoft’s offerings (besides maybe Live Writer), this new suite of tools is worth another look. Related Posts center_img frederic lardinois A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Verdict in Pistorius murder trial set for September 11

first_imgSouth African judge Thokozile Masipa said on Friday she would deliver her verdict in the murder trial of Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius on September 11.Double-amputee Pistorius, 27, once a national icon for reaching the pinnacle of sport, is accused of murdering Reeva Steenkamp, a law graduate and model, at his home in Pretoria on Valentine’s Day last year.Pistorius says he shot Steenkamp in a tragic accident, mistaking her for an intruder.last_img

10 months ago​Cardiff lodge bid for Nice midfielder Tameze

first_img​Cardiff lodge bid for Nice midfielder Tamezeby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff are preparing an offer for Adrien Tameze from Nice.The midfielder will cost roughly £8.5 million, with manager Neil Warnock a huge fan.The Frenchman has played 50 times for Nice.”I think we’ve almost agreed terms for one particular player,” said Warnock to reporters recently, with the assumption he is referring to Tameze.”There’s numerous players we’ve been linked with, the chairman (Mehmet Dalman) and Ken Choo (CEO) are talking to loads of players as far as I’m aware – second, third choices – to see who’s available.”But we’re not going to bring people in that aren’t better than what we’ve got. You’ve got to get the right ones in.”You look at some of the players we’re looking at and the figures are astronomical. I think it’s going to be one of those jobs again, late on in the window again where somebody decides to let somebody go.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoEintracht Frankfurt coach Hutter: Arsenal favourites

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Eintracht Frankfurt coach Hutter: Arsenal favouritesby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveEintracht Frankfurt coach Adolf Hutter insists they face Europa League opponents Arsenal as underdogs.The Germans host the Gunners tonight in their opening group game.Hutter said, “We can’t wait to face last year’s finalist. “Tomorrow we play at home, there will be a great atmosphere. Our expectations have increased, we are perceived differently thanks to our performance last season, but now we start from scratch, we are ready to take the field against our group’s favourites. “Arsenal is a real big team, we are charged.” last_img read more

Ridehailing group says BC model looks a lot like expanded taxi industry

first_imgVANCOUVER — A coalition of businesses and interest groups advocating for ride-hailing in British Columbia says legislation introduced yesterday will just create an expanded taxi industry, not the ride-hailing services that customers expect.Ian Tostenson of Ridesharing Now for BC says members are “bewildered” that the future of ride-hailing in the province remains uncertain and the government hasn’t committed to a start date for the service.Tostenson, who also represents the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, says the coalition is especially concerned that the Passenger Transportation Board would have power to limit the number of drivers on the road, where they can drive, and also set rates.He says the organization was expecting to see legislation that more closely matched the customer-driven supply and demand model that exists in other jurisdictions.Tim Burr of ride-hailing company Lyft says the company sees legislation introduced Monday as a “procedural step forward” but the regulation and rule-making process will come next.He says the company is used to rolling up its sleeves to work with legislators and regulators in many jurisdictions and remains committed to working with the B.C. government to bring the service to the province.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Obnoxious middlemen

first_imgIt is an obnoxious sight – pandas waylaying for pilgrims to the Jagannath temple at Puri. Hordes of them barge into rail compartments even a couple of stations ahead, to solicit and importune, irking the very people, who give a pandit the exalted status of intermediary between them and God. Middlemen have become a part of our daily lives, not only in religion but in every activity; more so, in modern day India. The country needs to give serious thought to it since the actions of many are anti-national. Also Read – Hijacking Bapu’s legacyOur wise ancestors used several strategies for the well-being of society, and for maintaining peace and order. While pujas, rituals, festivals, etc., were some, to engage people with healthy preoccupations and for disciplining their daily lives, unquestioned faith in re-birth was another. The concepts of adversity of accumulation of sins, and incentive for good deeds, on rebirth, were used to dissuade people from committing crimes. Prayer, worship and pilgrimages were thus prescribed for everyone. Also Read – The future is here!Temples, mostly located on hill-tops in villages, were made the focal points. Incessantly chanting the name of God and contemplating Him, people on fast would trek all the way to the temple. After circumambulation, they enter the sanctum sanctorum gonging the bell, where, chanting mantras, the priest performs the ritual of a puja; lighting camphor, he offers aarti; people pray. Then, after receiving teerth and prasaad, and resting for a while, the devotees would trek back. For a discerning eye, it is evident that the entire ambulation is a physical exercise; the vibrations of gong of the bell shake the cobwebs in one’s mind; chanting and camphor light provide focus on the God’s image; the mineral water, basil leaves and camphor of the teerth serve as a dose of preventive medication; prasaad is a small quantity of food taken after an exercise. And finally, resting for a while rejuvenates after a physical exercise. The imprint of God’s image lingers on for long in their minds, at least till they visit the temple again after a week. Physical and medical needs of the body are thus taken care of, while peace is restored to the mind. Furthermore, since the temple is seen from every corner of the village, the fear of God acts as a deterrent to potential criminals. There is rationale, wisdom, and concern of our ancestors for the health of people, and to regulate society on the path of righteousness. Similarly, the intended purpose of teerth-yatra was not only physical and mental health but overall reformation, the inducements being Heaven and salvation from rebirth. Take, for example, the Seven Hills of Tirupati. Journeying by bullock carts or trekking, camping at different places on the way, cooking simple food, chanting the name of God, people would move on, forgetting the mundane irritants back at home. Once on the top of the hills, they would camp at each of the 108 teerthas – natural springs/waterfalls; bathe and drink that mineral water; absorb sunlight; all the time chanting the name of God, and visiting the temple as many times as possible. While their bodies get treated with the mineral water and sun, the mind gets purified with the chanting and visits to the temple, and nature’s beauty. Finally, healthy, happy and contented, they reach homes after months, transformed into generous and helpful individuals. The priests, who have an important role to play in these religious exercises, become indispensable to carry our culture forward. The village priest also helps in deciding auspicious times, drawing horoscopes, and in performing pujas as remedies for evil to provide solace and anticipation to the common man. Yet, it is their promotion and perpetuation of irrational rituals for selfish ends that move society in reverse gear, as is presently happening. Even in this modern day, people anoint Hanuman with oil, and offer a garland of vadas; and pour sacks of cereals and pulses in river Yamuna, etc., that only pollute the rivers. Oil, vadas, cereals, and pulses, etc., could be given to the needy for their best use. They even resort to pujas in absentia by making necessary payments, thus defeating their very purpose. In this commercial culture, people are made to believe that a momentary glimpse of God is sufficient to wipe out their sins and provide salvation. Travelling by modern means of transport to reach the destination of pilgrimage, mobiles switched off for a few moments, the ritual is completed and one is back to his worldly contacts, pleasures, engagements and worries. Pushing the very intentions of reformation, and providing of mental peace and physical health to a back seat, it only helps in filling the coffers of the temple and the pockets of the pundits with their self-acquired superiority. When Vedas were declared as infallible and not to be questioned, the underlying rationale was to regulate society. But, since all the chantings, which are eulogies of God, are in Sanskrit, a language alien to the common man, the priestly class assumed the role of intermediaries between people and God; as if the omniscient God knows no vernacular. Further, overawing people with the frills of religion – ochre robes, vibhuthi, tuft of hair, etc., they made them bow and touch their feet in obedience in order to assert their supremacy. This monopoly over rituals was converted into a profession and into a commercial activity. It was such business that Christ had fought against at the cost of his life; it was these rituals that Buddha and Nanak rebelled against. Prayer, worship, and chanting of mantras are for communion with God so as to imbibe His ideal attributes. Although we have meditation and yoga that serve as alternative ways, having become ritualistic, we adopt the easy way by outsourcing the priests and promoting their business. Our reverence to the man of religion is still so much that we continue to bow and touch his feet. Dr Raman Singh, as CM of Chattisgarh, touching the feet of Yogi Adityanath on a public platform is a classic example, although Yogi is just another CM; a man who gets people killed in false encounters, and is a man whose followers kill humans in the name of cow-vigilantism with his blessings. It is all because of their self-acquired exalted status. Thus, the nuisance of the pandas and pundits fleecing people, only speak about the degeneration of the intended sanctity of the rituals. Often, there are also instances of swindling temples’ wealth. Yet, we have made them indispensable middlemen. In fact, for every activity we have thriving middlemen, touts, commission agents, etc., often using unethical means in collusion with corrupt officials and leaders in the government. There are touts in transport, passport departments, police, education, hospitals, et al, and for that matter, in every government department, who help the officials in amassing wealth. They are there even in courts. The situation is graver in matters relating to contracts, purchases, and major works. NHAI engineer caught taking a bribe of over Rs 20 lakhs from a contractor, recently, is only a symptom of the murk that has set in. It is humanly not possible to count the instances. Modern-looking Rajiv Gandhi had blessed the middleman Ottavio Quattrocchi in the Rs 64 crore Bofors deal. It is with the blessings of the learned-brahmin PM, PV Narasimha Rao, that his son along with the middlemen colluded with the fly-by operator to swindle Rs 133 crores in the Urea Scam. Lalu Yadav, a man who started his life from a watchman’s garage to become the champion of the backward castes, and the CM of Bihar for years, and amassed wealth for generations, patronised middlemen in the Rs 945 crore Animal Husbandry Scam; and deprived the poor creatures of their fodder. CBI cases against Mulayam Singh Yadav, another champion of backward castes, for his illegal wealth are well known. Mayawati, the undisputed leader of Dalits and PM-aspirant and glamorous Jayalalithaa abused their authority to promote middlemen for having great lifestyles, richer than those of the richest. Augusta Helicopter deal and National Herald case also speak of the role of the middlemen in corrupt deals. So is the Aircel-Maxis case involving Rs 3500 crores. And, now we have the Rafale deal of Rs 35000 crores, snowballing into a big scam, that involves Anil Ambani and his middlemen along with those in PMO. The country is also aware of the Rs 50000 crore fraud of Mukesh Ambani in the Krishna-Godavari gas basin. We also have brokers like Harshad Mehta of stocks scam, middlemen of Radia Tapes of corporate corruption as standing examples of the obnoxious role of the breed of intermediaries. The list is too long and too scary. Now, these ‘fixers’ are all out to sabotage the independence of a pro-active Supreme Court also. Although the actions of some of the middlemen are obnoxious and a nuisance, they are innocuous and there is some service from them. Active endowments departments and appropriate regulatory mechanisms need to curb the negative aspects. However, danger looms large because of collusive corruption, which is anti-development and is thus anti-national. It is indeed internal aggression for the country. What can be done? The present machinery dealing with them being grossly inadequate, apart from the Lokpal and Lokayuktas already in place, it is imperative that new ministries are created at the Centre and States, exclusively to deal with matters of anti-corruption, vigilance and public grievances. It is also necessary to gauge their performance through a public perception index; and not by the usual statistics. (Dr. N Dilip Kumar is a retired IPS officer and a former member of Public Grievances Commission, Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Ezekiel Elliott wins top Big Ten offensive player leads 14 Ohio State

OSU junior running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) runs with the ball to the end zone during a game against Michigan on Nov. 28 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. OSU won 42-13. Credit: Muyao Shen | Assistant Photo EditorAfter rushing for 1,672 yards through 12 games, Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott was named the Big Ten Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year on Tuesday evening.The junior headlined a class of six offensive players named to either the coaches’ or media’s all-Big Ten teams and was also named the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year.Elliott was a steady influence on the offense all season long, rushing for triple-digit yardage in 11 of 12 games, including 274- and 214-yard outbursts against Indiana and Michigan, respectively.The St. Louis native tacked on 19 touchdowns in 12 games, one more than his 15-game total a season ago. He has also been lauded by coach Urban Meyer as one of the top blockers on the team all season long. In addition to the ground attack, he added 176 yards on 26 receptions, the third-most catches on the team.Meyer said after the Michigan game that he believes Elliott should be a Heisman Trophy finalist. Regardless, the Offensive Player of the Year award stands as a fitting end to his junior season, which he already announced would be his final one collegiately.Elliott, as expected, was also named to the all-Big Ten first team by both the coaches and media.Joining Elliott on both first teams were a pair of offensive linemen: senior left tackle Taylor Decker and redshirt junior right guard Pat Elflein.Decker also took home a top positional honor as a blocker, winning the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year award.Decker, for the second year in a row, was the anchor of an offensive line that overcame a slow start to turn into one of OSU’s biggest strengths toward the latter part of the season.The Vandalia, Ohio, native played a big role in opening up holes that enabled Elliott to have the year he did, as well as buying quarterbacks Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett room to run and time to throw.Decker was named to the all-Big Ten second team in 2014 by both the coaches and media but took a step up to the elite of the conference in his senior season.Elflein was another solid performer all season long on the opposite side from Decker. The first-team honors on the coaches’ ballot were the second in as many years as a starter for the Pickerington, Ohio, product, and he also appeared on the media’s first team for the first time.In addition to the threesome on the coaches’ and media’s first teams, two of Decker’s and Elflein’s mates on the offensive line, sophomore left guard Billy Price and senior center Jacoby Boren, were named to the third team. Redshirt senior wide receiver Michael Thomas joined the two blockers on both third teams.Elliott was the third Offensive Player of the Year from OSU in the past four years, joining redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller, who won the award as a quarterback in 2012 and 2013. He is also the second OSU running back to win the top Big Ten honors at the position, joining Carlos Hyde in 2013.Decker was the first OSU offensive lineman to win the Rimington-Pace award since 2001, when center LeCharles Bentley nabbed the honors.Eight OSU players appeared on the all-conference lists for defense and special teams, which were released Monday night: defensive end Joey Bosa, linebackers Joshua Perry, Raekwon McMillan and Darron Lee, safety Vonn Bell, cornerback Eli Apple, defensive tackle Adolphus Washington and punter Cameron Johnston. Bosa was also named the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year. read more