Freefly announces three new pieces of equipment for their camera control systems lineup.Top image via Freefly.NAB 2017 is off to the races with companies like Sony, Black Magic Design and Freefly announcing big releases. One of the first announcements this morning was that Freefly will be releasing three new products in their line of stabilization equipment. Between the XL, the Pilot, and the Carbon, Freefly’s latest offering steps up their already impressive camera control game.MōVI XLThe latest offering to the world of camera control and stabilization is not tied to power conditioners or wires. The new stabilization system interfaces with the entire Freefly ecosystem. Using a new quick release feature, users can shift the MōVI XL from platforms like tripods, cars, or jibs without any restrictive tools.MōVI XL features internal wiring to prevent damage / snags during usage. We also included protective ‘e-chain’ for pan wiring and designed the wiring with serviceability and in-field replacement in mind. Each motor features a hollow shaft to allow users to easily route cables through the gimbal.Freefly has worked with RED Cameras to ensure maximum user capabilities while using the MōVI Controller MIMIC or Pilot at distances up to 600 feet. Allowing users long-range bidirectional control of MoVI pointing, settings, control and real-time telemetry, the MIMIC is a must for MoVI users, and it is compatible with the XL.Freefly has designed a versatile, modular, and adaptable ecosystem to allow filmmakers to operate in whatever way is most productive for them. This means you can use MIMIC, MōVI Controller, Pilot, and the MōVI XL app to distribute control of gimbal pointing, FIZ, and camera controls in whatever way makes sense for your shot.The MōVI XL is fully compatible with theMōVI Pro App, available here.Specs:Expandable and modular designdual 10Ah 22.2v batteries25 lbsBoots in 2 seconds; Autotunes in 10 secondsGives users real-time feedbackThe MōVI XL is not yet available for purchase, but you can reserve it here.PilotControl your focus, iris, zoom, MōVI pointing, and settings wirelessly like a pro with the new MōVI Pilot. Freefly has built the Pilot to integrate efficiently with RED, Sony, ARRI, Phantom, and LANC Cameras.Pilot was designed to integrate seamlessly with the MōVI Pro ecosystem. It gives users the ability to adjust key MōVI parameters and get real time feedback from the MōVI from 600+ feet away. Pilot is built on the same core frequency hopping spread spectrum 2.4GHz link that is found in the MōVI Pro.One of the most enticing features of the Pilot is the multi-controller, which allows multiple operators to interface at the same time to make the most of tasks like focusing, zooming, and controlling iris. Users can mount the Pilot on a tripod, MōVI handle, or 1/4″-20 mount.75 mm soft focus knobAuxiliary Pilot control over DIT station25mm tube mount30mm tube mount1/4″-20 to rosette mountReserve your Pilot here.MoVI CarbonThis 5-axis stabilizer is the first of its kind, and it is both drone and handheld mountable. The Carbon’s stabilization relies on 2 inner axes that keep your shot steady at up to a full 240mm zoom. The Carbon also comes with an integrated a7s II and Sony 24-240mm lens.Each Carbon will be hand-built, so reserve your copy here. Prices aren’t set yet, but expect the final price to be below $30,000.Freefly is at NAB right now with a booth showcasing some of these latest offerings. If you’re there, swing by and tell us what you think of the new products.Stay tuned for more PremiumBeat coverage on NAB announcements and reveals.
Dhobi Ghat, touted as the biggest open air laundry in the world located near Mahalaxmi railway station, was built during the British Raj in 1890. Related Items
AdvertisementTunisia has won their first match since the 1978 World Cup after being winless for consecutively 13 matches. Tunisia was of course the better side throughout the match with 70% possession and 14 shots out of which 6 were on target.Tunisia was playing fluid football in the first half. But then Panama broke away in the midst and Jose Luis Rodriguez took a shot which took a deflection off defender Yassine Meriah in the 33rd minute and that was given as a Tunisia own goal.Neatly taken second-half goals by Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and Wahbi Khazri gave Tunisia a 2-1 lead before the full time. After the restart in the second half, just 6 mins in the match Ben Youssef picked up a neat low cross from Khazri to slot the ball home from close range.Khazri, who had always looked dangerous, added the second in the 66th minute, running unmarked on to a low cross from Oussama Haddadi to tap into an open goal.Highlights:- Advertisement Read Also:-Football: Manchester United’s all time top scorer Wayne Rooney sets off on a new journey to MLSFIFA World Cup 18: Three Lions Slumps Towards Defeat As Belgium Finishes On Top Of Group G
As temperatures soar across India in what is being called a killer heat wave, the FYI team decided to raid the web and find new and innovative ways to tackle the heat.The basics1. Wet, Set, Go: A bucket of water goes a long wayA little water goes a long way to keep your room cool. Dip the hems of your curtains into a bucket and turn on the fan. The water will keep seeping upwards through the curtain and you’ll have a nice breeze flowing through your house. Alternatively, splash some water on your floor or on a rug and let your fan take care of the rest!Source: Pinterest 2. Green and bear itKeep plants in front of your windows or in your balcony. Potted greens absorb heat and keep your home cool. 3. Gel House Rock!Aloe Vera is your plant for summer. Cut open an Aloe Vera leaf and extract its gel. Massage your face and neck with the gel and rinse in 10-15 minutes. It works wonders for the skin and keeps your face cool. Alternatively, fill the gel into small and medium zip lock pouches. Freeze the pouches for an hour and use as ice packs! Fold the smaller bags in little pieces of cloth and use as eye-packs to feel fresh instantly. 4. Window PainUse bamboo chick blinds or thick curtains to cover your windows right from the morning – go for dark colours since they absorb heat. Just remember, don’t let sunlight in and your home will stay cool.advertisementSource: Pinterest 5. Lighter side of lifeIf you’re still using incandescent bulbs, get rid of them now! They consume a lot more energy and emanate heat. Go for cooler options like CFLs and LEDs. For best results, simply switch off all your lights. 6. Shut Down ButtonKeep in mind that any appliance you use generates heat – fridge, inverters, washing machines, computers and even phone chargers. So switch them off when not in use.Avoid opening the fridge too often… the increased hard work for the fridge makes it generate more heat.Source: Giphy 7. Cool the air conditionerIn case you didn’t know, keeping the AC cool goes a long way in improving its working efficiency. So, build a shade for it using cardboard or thermocol. Make sure you don’t block the airflow. Also, clean the AC filter every three days. Dirty filters make the AC work harder and consume more electricity.Source: Pinterest 8. The summer dietDrink gallons of water and eat fruits and vegetables with high water content (cucumber, lettuce, radish, tomato, spinach, green bell peppers, water melon, strawberry and peach are a few examples). Also, try and eat lots of curd or flavoured yoghurt.Source: Pinterest Don’t forget to swap the hot cup of coffee or tea for a cooler alternative like iced tea.9. Spicy food for thoughtYep, you read that right. Spicy food actually helps cool down your body. The fire in your mouth raises your body temperature to match the temperature outside. That in turn increases your blood circulation and you start sweating. As this moisture evaporates, you cool off. Tandoori snack, anyone?Spicier the better! Source: Giphy 10. Summer coloursDuring high temperatures, try and stick to light coloured clothes – dark colours absorb more heat. Loose-fitting, cotton clothing also helps.Source: Giphy 11. Linen for the seasonUse cotton sheets and covers, and go for lighter colours. Silk and satin can wait for winters! For better results, an hour before going to sleep, leave your sheets in the freezer.Source: Pinterest These were some basic ideas… Here are some not so basic suggestions to beat the heat12. Start trippin’Take a trip to the mountains or a beach. Escape the heat and blow off some steam.Source: Giphy 13. Use the bathroom exhaustYour bathroom has an exhaust fan for a reason. Use it. The exhaust sucks out the hot air and gives a nice cooling effect.Source: Giphy 14. Not just carpool, do ‘pool-pool’Find a friend who has a pool or take a membership in the nearest swimming pool. If a dip can’t cool you down, nothing can.Source: Reddit 15. Make your own spray mist with PVC pipes If you have a balcony or a garden… go crazy!16. Water idea sir ji!Host a weekend water fight. Balloons, water pipes.. it’ll be like holi without the colours!Source: Giphy 17. Ice, ice babyFreeze water bottles and use them as ice packs. Plastic is great, steel is even better!advertisement18. Thanda fundaFill your hot water bottle with cold water and/or stick it in the freezer.Source: Pinterest 19. Freeze fanPut a bowl of ice in front of a table fan or cooler and get instant, in-your-face cooling.Source: Pinterest 20. Make your own AC!YouTube is full of tutorials on how to make your own AC. All you’ll need is a table fan, a bucket, some tools and loads of ice. If you’re up for it, here are a couple of ideas. You’ll find all these materials at your local hardware shop. 21. Most importantly, do nothing!Sleep a lot and just chill!Just do it.Which means, don’t do it. 🙂
Ajinkya Rahane’s rise in the international arena has been phenomenal ever since he burst onto the scene in 2011. Five years down the line, he remains one of the most improved and consistent players in the Indian Test and ODI teams.The diminutive right-hander from Mumbai has taken giant strides in Test cricket in the past couple of years with consistent performances, especially on overseas tours. India’s selectors have taken note of that and rewarded him with the vice-captain’s post for the upcoming Test tour to the West Indies. (Also Read: Test vice-captaincy will bring the best out of me, says Rahane)The 28-year-old has notched up Test centuries all around the world that too on some of the most iconic cricket grounds. Through sheer hard work and dedication, Rahane has completely turned around his fortunes after a forgetful debut against Australia in New Delhi, where he only managed single digits in both the innings at the Feroz Shah Kotla.Six centuries followed after that, four of which have come on grounds like the Basin Reserve in New Zealand, Lord’s, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the P. Sara Oval in Colombo. His captain Virat Kohli has played a vital role in helping Rahane become the player that he is today. (Rahane says West Indies Test series will be challenging)BLOSSOMING RAHANE-KOHLI FIRMThe pair has stitched up some memorable partnerships in the recent past and seem to have taken over the job of guiding India’s middle-order from retired legends Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.advertisementIt all started during India’s Boxing Day Test against South Africa in Durban in 2013. After scoring an unbeaten 51 in the first innings, Rahane missed out on his maiden century by just four runs in the second innings. But it was his gutsy partnership with Kohli which probably changed Rahane’s approach to the game forever.”Yes, that partnership with Virat in Durban – a Dale Steyn delivery had hit me on the helmet and I didn’t react, I didn’t want to, so Virat came and told me ‘attack kar isko’ (attack him). When your partner gives you a positive response (it boosts your confidence and) I too responded positively saying yes, I am going to attack. That attitude is inside both of us from the beginning,” Rahane told BCCI.TV in an exclusive interview.”As we continued to play together we understood and got an idea of each other’s game and we have both been enjoying batting with each other.”Running between the wickets and communication is very important, but how you do it also matters. You can communicate in various ways but positivity and having intent is very important when you are playing in the middle.”KOHLI KEY FOR AJINKYARahane and Kohli have managed 1094 runs at an average of 54.70 in 21 Test innings, including three century partnerships. Their success is all down to the chemistry that these two share when batting for India. Rahane says that they compliment each other really well.”He is aggressive and I am calm so that combination works for us. In a way I too am aggressive but I don’t show it; he is different. Each individual is different and that benefits both of us in different ways.”When I need to be aggressive he boosts me and when he needs to cool down then I am able to probably help him. During practice also we keep talking to each other, discussing what should be the approach and how to bat in different situations. To enjoy that and communicate is very important,” he added. (New fitness levels have helped my batting, fielding: Virat Kohli)Rahane also endorses the fact that the key to any partnership on a cricket field is trust between the players.”It is important that you trust your partner. Virat reads the bowler well and I feel that whether it is Virat or someone else if you have trust in your partner then you can enjoy the partnership and it’s because of that trust that we began enjoying each other’s company.”Not only on the field but off the field as well we continue to communicate and that trust is the factor that has helped our partnership,” he concluded.
(REOPENS FGN 43) (REOPENS FGN 43) Earlier, Sakshi ended Indias wait for a medal by clinching the bronze in the 58kg category, pulling off a sensational 8-5 victory over Aisuluu Tynybekova in the Play-off bout, here. The 23-year-old from Rohtak became only the fourth woman athlete from India to win an Olympic medal as she earned the dramatic win after falling behind 0-5 in the do-or-die bout on day 12. Weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari (2000, Sydney), boxer MC Mary Kom (2012, London) and shuttler Saina Nehwal (2012, London) were the only other women players from India to have won a medal in Olympics. Like in three of the four other bouts earlier in the day, Sakshi won the crucial bout after coming from behind. She, in fact, had lost 2-9 in the quarter-finals to Russias Valeriia Koblova in the fifth bout of the day before getting a second chance in repechage when her conqueror reached the final. Sakshis victory brought cheers to the Indian contingent that had endured agonising 11 days without a medal. Sakshi turned the tables on the Kyrgyzstan wrestler in the dying seconds of the bout as Tynybekova was in complete command in most part of the clash. Tynybekova grabbed Sakshis leg and quickly earned two points before adding one more for the Indians passivity. She repeated her move and successfully bagged two more points to lead 5-0 at the break. Sakshi could open the scoring only in the second period and got two points after throwing her rival down and out of the mat. She then managed to earn two points again with a similar move to bring down the margin to 4-5. Thereafter, it was no looking back for the Indian girl and she took the opponent down to level the scores 5-5. But she did not stop there and gained three more points by pinning down the Kyrgyzstan wrestler in the dying moments of the match. She had earlier stormed into the bronze medal play-off round with a dominating performance in her repechage round, where she thrashed Purevdorjiin Orkhon of Mongolia 12-3. Both the wrestlers matched each other in the first period and the scores were 2-2 at the break. PTI CM SSRadvertisement
Wrestling in India as at a unique crossroad with fist fights and FIRs catching the public attention more than a well-executed reversal on the mat.Parveen Rana has announced that he will have his revenge the next time he comes face-to-face with Sushil Kumar. Rana accused Sushil of cheating in the trail bout for 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.But things took an ugly turn when Rana, after losing to the former in the semi-final clash, claimed that the decorated wrestler’s supporters beat him and his elder brother “for daring to take the ring” against him.On the other hand, Sushil alleged that the supporters of Rana threatened his life.”I played a good bout yesterday (against Sushil Kumar), but there was a lot of cheating there and due to that I was made to lose,” said Rana.#WATCH: Scuffle broke out between alleged supporters of wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Parveen Rana at K. D. Jadhav Stadium in Delhi; reason not yet ascertained pic.twitter.com/sigLOa3koY- ANI (@ANI) December 29, 2017″Now I am waiting for our next bout in the pro wrestling league where I will perform even better. I have forgotten the thing that happened and now focusing on upcoming matches. I will answer him by defeating him in our next clash,” he added.Incidentally, Rana was among the three wrestlers who gave a walkover to India’s most decorated wrestler, Sushil, in the National Championships last month, owing to the “parampara” of Indian wrestling of respecting the senior players.advertisementRana clarified, “In senior nationals, I was badly injured. I reached the finals but then thought of avoiding the bout due to injury risks. I reached the finals after playing four bouts while Sushil qualified after getting all four walkovers. So I was tired and gave a walkover to him”.”I was selected for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games also. I defeated Narsingh Yadav in the trials. But I was junior at that time so was replaced by Sushil, without any trial. I did not object at that time and extended support as he was a senior player and had more experience than me”, he added.Earlier, Sushil expressed his disappointment over the incident and pointed out that he too got injuries during the match but he did not complaint like Praveen.Meanwhile, Sushil and supporters have been booked by the Delhi Police in connection with the brawl.(With inputs from ANI)
Jesse Lingard scored twice for Manchester United and goalkeeper David de Gea pulled off a string of stunning saves in a 3-1 win over Arsenal to keep pace in the English Premier League race on Saturday.The result left United in second place behind Manchester City before both teams meet next week.De Gea made 14 saves, equaling the record for the most stops in a Premier League match.It was a pulsating contest from start to finish at Emirates Stadium, with a glut of shots on goal, amazing goalkeeping, a sending off, and textbook counterattacks.A perfect night in London ???? #mufc pic.twitter.com/GZ4Bgj9SvM- David De Gea (@D_DeGea) December 2, 2017What A Win! Had to defend as a team for the 3 points. Team Spirit and Togetherness ??????And Milly Rock ?????? pic.twitter.com/xR7Fj9HOLn- Ashley Young (@youngy18) December 2, 2017″The game was fantastic,” United manager Jose Mourinho said. “If I was in the stands, or if I was at home watching, I would be sad to see the game finish. In my case, it’s different because I want to win. I wanted to see the game finish.”??? @D_DeGea made 14 saves against Arsenal, the joint-most by a goalkeeper in a single #PL match alongside Tim Krul & Vito Mannone#ARSMUN @ManUtd pic.twitter.com/GptDYx7cce- Premier League (@premierleague) December 2, 2017United’s first two goals came early on from sloppy play in possession by Arsenal.Antonio Valencia intercepted a poor pass from defender Laurent Koscielny that was meant for wing back Sead Kolasinac. The Ecuadorean quickly drove forward and exchanged passes with Paul Pogba. Valencia struck a low shot that went in between goalkeeper Petr Cech’s legs in the fourth minute.advertisementAt The Emirates I Milly Rock ??º?? #SQUADGOALS pic.twitter.com/DUQo0C2XBD- Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) December 2, 2017Lingard doubled the lead in the 11th after Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi gave the ball away in United’s half. Anthony Martial flicked on to Lingard in the area and the latter’s effort careened in off a post.”The concentration at the back wasn’t sharp enough at the start,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.Arsenal got back into the match in the 49th when United defender Marcos Rojo tried and failed to play Alexandre Lacazette offside. Midfielder Aaron Ramsey was onside when he touched the ball back to Lacazette who fired it past De Gea.But it was the Spaniard’s quick reflexes that kept his team in the match, especially when he denied Arsenal an equalizer with a double save in the 57th from Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez.What a game! Here’s the reaction after the final whistle… #MUFC #ARSMUN pic.twitter.com/3LcvuLik0O- Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 2, 2017Mourinho sarcastically referred to Lacazette’s presence on the pitch, because before the match Wenger said the forward would most definitely not be available because of a groin injury on Wednesday.”I congratulate Arsenal’s medical department for taking a player that was a ‘no’ to a full 90 minutes,” Mourinho said. “Amazing.”But the home side’s optimism for a comeback was then snuffed out in the 63rd when United hit Arsenal on the break.Pogba drove forward into the box and held off Koscielny to pull back a pass for Lingard, who converted an easy tap-in.Pogba was sent off for stamping on Hector Bellerin’s leg which means the Frenchman will miss the Manchester derby.The scoreline flattered United with Arsenal playing with verve and pummeling De Gea’s goal. Arsenal had 33 shots on goal, with 15 on target, while United had eight shots with four on target.”I think the players deserve all the good words we can find for them.”Jose Mourinho was full of praise for his players after a thrilling win at Arsenal. #MUFC pic.twitter.com/5qg3kv1eL5- Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 2, 2017It was a statistic that upset Wenger, who lamented missed chances.”I’m just disappointed and angry that with the quality of that performance we have nothing to show for it,” he said, attributing his team’s loss to a lack of efficiency in finishing and De Gea’s “outstanding game.”It was Mourinho’s first away victory in 11 games against the “Big Six” and the first home loss for the Gunners after winning their last 12. Arsenal slipped a place to fifth.”For a watching fan, I think it was one to enjoy.”@ChrisSmalling reflects on a fantastic three points for #MUFC, reserving special praise for a certain Spanish goalkeeper… pic.twitter.com/vQmztF3Cop- Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 2, 2017
SOUTH BEND, IN – NOVEMBER 04: The macot, cheerleaders and players forthe Notre Dame Fighting Irish run onto the field before a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 4, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 48-37. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have nearly completed their Class of 2019, but are already laying plenty of groundwork for 2020. When they host their Junior Day this weekend, a sizable number potential recruits will be in South Bend.According to OneFootDown, Notre Dame will be hosting ten prospects from the Class of 2020. Six of the prospects will be players the team has made an offer to, and another four are players the team has yet to offer.The six offered recruits are defensive back Lathan Ransom, offensive lineman Reece Atteberry, wide receivers Justin Robinson and Maliq Carr, running back Jutahn McClain, and cornerback Landen Bartleson. The first three are four-star prospects, while the latter three are three-star prospects.Notre Dame this weekend🍀✨ #GoIrish— JuTahn McClain (@JMcClain0202) February 19, 2019The four recruits that Notre Dame has yet to make an offer to are running back Kyle Edwards, defensive ends Cameron Large and Jaden Hardy, and wide receiver Jay Brunelle. All four are three-star prospects.The Fighting Irish have already laid the groundwork for what should be a solid Class of 2020, having already secured five commitments.247Sports rated Notre Dame’s Class of 2019 as No. 15 in the nation.With the five recruits the team has so far, the Class of 2020 has so far received an identical No. 15 ranking.Notre Dame is also set to host graduate transfer wide receiver Eric Kumah from Virginia Tech. Should Kumah complete his transfer to Notre Dame, he will likely be among the last recruits in the 23-man class.[OneFootDown]
Hanuma Vihari centuries in vain as Vidarbha beat Rest of India to defend Irani CupVidarbha rode on half-centuries from Atharwa Taide and Ganesh Satish to overhaul the 280-run target set by Rest of India in the final session on Day 5 of the Irani Cup. Hanuma Vihari had earlier hit centuries in both innings for ROI.advertisement India Today Web Desk NagpurFebruary 16, 2019UPDATED: February 16, 2019 16:05 IST Vidarbha won the Irani Cup for second time (PTI Photo)HIGHLIGHTSVidarbha become the third team after Bombay and Karnataka to defend Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup titlesVidarbha emerged winners thanks to their first innings leadGanesh Satish and Atharwa Taide scored fifties for VidarbhaRanji Trophy champions Vidarbha won the Irani Cup against Rest of India at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur on Saturday. Vidarbha emerged winners thanks to their first innings lead as they defended the Irani Cup. They became the third team after Bombay and Karnataka to defend Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup titles.Vidarbha rode on half-centuries from Atharwa Taide (72) and Ganesh Satish (87) as the match ended in a draw but Vidarbha won on first innings lead. Vidarbha had scored 425 in their first innings in reply to Rest of India’s 330.After a poor start to their chase of 280, Sanjay Raghunath and Atharwa Taide ensured Vidarbha finish Day 4 with 37 for 1. The duo slowly but steadily revived the Vidarbha innings before putting the Ranji Trophy champions in a strong position.The duo then dominated the Rest of India bowlers and took control of the chase. The two batsmen were going strong before Rahul Chahar struck just before lunch on Day 5 when he trapped Sanjay Raghunath leg before wicket. Raghunath had scored 42 of 131 deliveries.Raghunath was also involved in a 116-run stand with Taide, who in the process completed his second half-centuy, for the second wicket.However, that did not stop Taide from playing an attacking game. Taide was joined by seasoned campaigner Ganesh Satish and the duo continued to dominate the proceedings.Soon after lunch, Chahar struck once again to remove Taide for 72 off 185 balls.Satish and Mohit Kale then took charge of the chase as the pair added 83 runs for the fourth wicket as Satih completed his 33rd half-century. But the stand was broken when Kale (37) was caught by Tanveer Ul-Haq off Dharmendrasinh Jadeja at the stroke of tea.advertisementWith just 11 more required to win, Satish departed and it denied Vidarbha an outright win. The captain of Vidarbha Faiz Fazal and Rest of India skipper Ajinkya Rahane decided to call truce before Vidarbha completed the chase and the match ended in a draw.Earlier, Hanuma Vihari scripted history by becoming the first player to score a hat-trick of hundreds in the Irani Cup, helping Rest of India set Vidarbha a tricky 280-run target.Vihari had scored 183 for Rest of India during last year’s Irani Cup match against Vidarbha, who recently retained the Ranji Trophy with another exemplary showing.Besides Vihari’s 180, India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane made 87 and Shreyas Iyer raced to a 52-ball 61, helping Rest of India to declare their second innings at 374 for three, a day after conceding a big first-innings lead.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byJepher Nickels Tags :Follow Irani CupFollow VidarbhaFollow Rest of India
OTTAWA — New court documents show public servants discussing the risk to taxpayers as successive federal governments have turned to sole-source contracts to buy desperately needed equipment for the Canadian Forces and others.The documents were filed on behalf of suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who is charged with breach of trust in connection with one such contract. They land amid frustrations with Canada’s military procurement system — including because of political mismanagement — that have led to the need for quick fixes.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has chosen to sign several sole-source contracts to bolster the coast guard’s aging icebreaking fleet and the country’s fighter-jet force, buying time to find permanent replacements.Sole-sourcing does make sense in many cases, said defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, particularly where there is an emergency or it’s clear that only one company can meet the government’s needs.“But if you’re sole-sourcing to fill a capability gap, that’s the result of mismanaging a procurement to the point where you are out of options and have no alternative,” Perry said. “That’s not really a good reason to be sole-sourcing.”The Tories under Stephen Harper once intended to buy a fleet of F-35 fighter jets on an untendered contract, but aborted that plan in 2012 once the full price became known.Then the Trudeau government planned to spend about $6 billion on 18 sole-sourced “interim” Super Hornets from Boeing because it said Canada needed more fighter jets to support its aging CF-18s until replacements could be purchased through a competition.The Super Hornets deal eventually fell apart because of a trade dispute with Boeing. So the government is buying 25 second-hand Australian fighter jets, also without a competition. Canada isn’t expected to get new fighter jets until at least 2025.The Liberals also recently bought three second-hand icebreakers from Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding for the coast guard, whose existing fleet is on average 35 years old — with no immediate plan to replace it on the horizon.Suspended as the military’s second-in-command in January 2017, Norman was charged in March 2018 with one count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking cabinet secrets to Davie over a different contract. He has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charge.The case against Norman centres on a sole-sourced deal negotiated between Davie and the previous Conservative government in 2015, in which the Quebec shipyard proposed converting a civilian cargo ship into a temporary support vessel for the navy.The $700-million contract with Davie was not finalized before that year’s federal election. Although the newly elected Liberals at first wanted to delay it for a closer review, they signed off on the deal a short time later.Before Liberal ministers agreed to buy the converted ship, bureaucrats from the Privy Council Office, the government’s top department, wrote a secret briefing note in November 2015 that discussed the problems with not holding a competition.“The risk inherent with a sole-source contract is that much of the leverage in the contract negotiation resides with the company,” the bureaucrats wrote, even as they noted that the Conservatives had exempted the deal from the usual oversight for such projects.Despite these concerns, the officials recommended the government approve the deal. Partly because they had assessed that “risk mitigation measures” were in place, but mostly because the navy urgently needed a support ship for faraway operations.The court documents, none of which have been filed as exhibits or tested in court, include RCMP interviews with civil servants that suggest politicians’ desire for votes in Quebec also played a role in the decisions about the ship. But the navy’s need for the vessel was real.The navy at the time had just retired its 50-year-old support ships and while replacements are being built in Vancouver through the government’s national shipbuilding plan, numerous delays and problems mean they won’t be ready until the 2020s.The navy had originally expected to get new support ships in 2012.The briefing note said a competition could have been held to find another, perhaps cheaper, solution, but “a competitive process would take longer to deliver a solution — likely 10-14 months for a contract award, and then more time for the service to be ready.”RCMP interviews with several senior civil servants raise similar concerns about awarding a contract to Davie without a competition while also alluding to the sense of urgency in getting new support ships.The Defence Department’s head of procurement, Patrick Finn, told the Mounties that other companies were clamouring to compete to supply a temporary support ship in late 2014, and that “the information existed to say that this could be done competitively.”But Finn noted that Davie had already found a ship that it could convert for the navy, which “at that point had no replenishment ships.”Melissa Burke, an analyst with the Privy Council Office who attended various cabinet meetings about Davie’s proposal in 2015, told the RCMP that federal procurement officials were unhappy because “they felt the taxpayers were getting a raw deal.”Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
WE invites Americans to tune in to the second annual US national broadcast of WE Day on August 28, 2016 at 7 pm/6 pm CT.Zooey Deschanel and Kermit the Frog share why it’s important to be green during the WE Day broadcast on ABCCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesCharlize Theron, Demi Lovato, Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen, Selena Gomez, Natalie Portman, Common, Big Sean, Jennifer Hudson, Ciara, Jacob Tremblay, Zooey Deschanel, Tyrese Gibson, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Paula Abdul, Hannah Simone, Rico Rodriguez, Raini Rodriguez, Kermit the Frog along with other Muppets and more will come together to lend their voices to WE Day, part of the WE Movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world locally and globally, achieving transformative outcomes for themselves and others.Demi Lovato inspires during the WE Day broadcastCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesThe WE Day broadcast will bring families across America together for an evening of empowering conversations about important social issues, sparking ideas and inspiring action. Featuring high-energy performances combined with motivating speeches and documentary-style features highlighting young Americans making a difference, the WE Day broadcast is the manifestation of the WE Movement–inspiring people to live WE by taking action on issues and creating change in communities around the world.WE Day events bring people together, filling stadiums around the globe to experience the world’s greatest classroom for a full day live event. Youth can’t buy a ticket to WE Day — they earn their way through service by taking action on one local and one global cause. WE Day engages students of all socioeconomic backgrounds through WE Schools, an educational program that helps to further students’ learning and develop life skills. Globally over 2.4 million students are part of the WE Movement, taking part in service learning programs and campaigns.“I’m proud to be a part of the WE Movement—part of a community made up of world-changers who are coming together to make a lasting, positive impact across America and the world,” said singer, songwriter and actress, Demi Lovato. “WE Day will unite and inspire Americans, reminding them that there is so much good and love in the world. I live WE every day and believe that by supporting one another we can truly change the world together.”To support the WE Movement and share their commitment to living WE, iconic celebrities including Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Hudson, Common and others, make appearances in the WE Day broadcast and take the WE Pledge. Americans can join this star-studded lineup and become part of the WE Community by taking the pledge at WE.org, demonstrating their commitment to make a deeper impact in their communities and around the world.For every pledge taken, $10 will be donated to WE Charity, the charitable division of WE that empowers change with resources that create sustainable impact. Through the pledge, up to $1 million will be donated to support WE Charity’s domestic empowerment programs and sustainable development programs in communities overseas. By taking the pledge, people will receive valuable information and opportunities to help them live WE in their daily lives.“I pledge to live WE — working to ensure that every girl around the world has access to an education,” said Natalie Portman, Academy Award-winning actress and WE Ambassador. “We can all make a difference by the choices that we make, our actions and intentions, and by the way we treat and support others. By pledging to live WE, Americans are committing to join a collective community that is making better choices, spreading love, not hate, and working together to make the world a better place. I am honored to be a part of the WE Movement and believe that change is within each of us and that together we can change the world.”“Everyone is invited to take part in the WE Movement and take the WE Pledge, whether you’re a parent looking for support in raising caring and compassionate children, or a young person looking to take action in your own backyard,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “Being empowered to change the world is what WE Day and the WE Movement are all about, and taking the pledge is where it all begins — encouraging everyone to join together and make a lasting impact on issues they care about.”WE Day is made possible by national title sponsor Allstate, presenting sponsors Unilever, Walgreens and Microsoft. Click here to watch the PSA.Join the WE Movement and take the WE Pledge today at WE.org.
MONTREAL – Bombardier Inc. said its deal with Airbus has yet to ignite new sales discussions, but existing efforts have yielded results as the manufacturer announced back-to-back potential orders including one with Africa’s largest airline.Chief executive Alain Bellemare told an investor conference Tuesday that he fielded upbeat calls from some large airlines —including Airbus customers — hours after the deal was announced.“That’s the reason why I’m convinced that we are going to see much better sales moving forward,” he said at the Goldman Sachs Industrials Conference in Boston.Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) has signed its second potential C Series order in less than two weeks after EgyptAir Holding Co. announced plans to purchase up to 24 aircraft.The agreement announced at the Dubai Airshow includes 12 CS300 aircraft with purchase rights for an additional 12 aircraft.Bellemare acknowledged that the orders had nothing to do with Airbus even though the partnership gave customers added comfort that the European giant will put its full weight behind the C Series.“This is very good but it’s the work our team was doing with airline customers,” he told analysts. “It keeps on building the momentum up.”Bombardier said that based on the list price of the CS300, a firm order for 12 aircraft would be valued at about US$1.4 billion. That would double if the airline exercises the 12 purchase rights. However, airlines typically receive large discounts.“It would be difficult to wish for a better carrier to establish our presence in the region,” Colin Bole, Bombardier senior vice president commercial aerospace, said in a conference call with reporters from Dubai.“It’s a great template and it is something that will be followed extremely closely by the other carriers in the regions and the sub regions in the area.”The C Series has also been ordered by Iraqi Airways, Saudi Gulf and Gulf Air.The national airline of Egypt told reporters in Dubai that while it has been studying the C Series for a long time, Airbus’ involvement makes them feel better about the program, Bombardier commercial aircraft president Fred Cromer added on the conference call.EgyptAir chairman and CEO Safwat Musallam said the planes will help the airline to modernize its fleet and better serve destinations in the Middle East and Europe.Analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group says Airbus’ involvement will assuage fears that the C Series will be an “orphan” airplane because it will have the support of the European aerospace giant.“I would argue that the Airbus effect will be fairly profound,” he said in an interview.Aboulafia said the C Series is a great plane but Bombardier has had major financial issues.“That is no longer a problem. You remove that, you now have just a great jet that the people want.”The EgyptAir letter of intent and a deal for 31 planes plus options for 30 announced Nov. 2 with an undisclosed customer are expected to be firmed up by the end of the year. That would raise the number of firm C Series orders to more than 400.Bombardier said it remains confident that Boeing won’t be able to prove in its trade complaint that it has been damaged by the C Series since it doesn’t make a plane the size of the CS100 and wasn’t invited to bid on the Delta order.Nonetheless, Cromer said Bombardier is developing contingency plans if high tariffs continue to be applied on aircraft manufactured in Canada and delivered to the U.S.“We have opportunities to place some of those early Delta positions with other airlines,” he said.Cromer declined to say if the second assembly line in Alabama estimated by the company to be built at a cost of more than US$300 million would be affected by the maintenance of high U.S. duties.Bellemare added that Bombardier was never seeking to use the C Series to compete with Boeing or Airbus. Rather, its competitor for the 100- to 150-seat aircraft will remain Brazil’s Embraer.“There were two (competitors) yesterday and there will be two tomorrow,” he said.Bellemare added that Boeing has underestimated the response to its trade action, with support for Bombardier coming from companies and governments such as Canada and Britain.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Bombardier’s shares gained nearly 1.6 per cent at C$3.11 in afternoon trading.
Rabat – The torrential rainfall that affected the cities of Tetouan and Chefchaouen in northern Morocco on Saturday caused temporary traffic disruptions.Tetouan and Chefchaouen recorded heavy rainfall on Sunday morning, causing soil erosion and water overflow onto roads. This overflow resulted in temporary traffic disruptions in several sites, notably on roads linking Tetouan to Chefchaouen (National Route 2) and Tetouan to Al Hoceima (National Highway 16). The El Jebha region and surrounding areas on the coastal Mediterranean strip were also impacted, according to Moroccan authorities.The Ministry of Equipment and Transport, local authorities and security services were mobilized to avoid total disruption of traffic on the affected roads by reorganizing and diverting the traffic flow to alternative roads. The Moroccan Society of Motorways (ADM) announced that on Saturday night it suspended the toll levied on the section of motorway between the cities of Tetouan and Fnideq because of disruptions at several points along the highway linking the two cities.Edited by Kelsey Fish
Small municipalities unlikely to benefit from infrastructure bank, Morneau hints OTTAWA – Finance Minister Bill Morneau is suggesting that small municipalities won’t see much — if any — benefit from the federal government’s proposed new infrastructure bank.The bank, to be launched next year, is intended to attract billions in private investment for public infrastructure projects.But Morneau told the Federation of Canadian Municipalities on Tuesday that global institutional investors will be looking to invest only in “large transformational projects” that produce a revenue stream, from which they can earn a high rate of return on their investment.He says it’s unlikely they’ll want to sink money into roads and bridges in small communities.In a question-and-answer session hosted by the federation, Morneau made no mention of the notion that a number of small communities with similar projects could bundle them together in order to make them more appealing for international investors.But FCM president Clark Somerville said the federation wants to ensure that all municipalities, big or small, are able to take advantage of the bank; he says rural Liberal MPs have assured him they’ll be pushing hard for the bundling concept.“One thing that they talked about that they were really hoping to push for was exactly the bundling and was having it for the smaller communities,” said Somerville, who met earlier Tuesday with members of the Liberals’ rural caucus.While Morneau didn’t mention bundling during his meeting with the FCM members, Somerville said he’s encouraged by the fact that the minister has promised to consult closely with municipal leaders as the government hammers out the details of the infrastructure bank, which is to be formally created in the 2017 budget in a few months.Morneau has already announced that the bank will be launched with $15 billion in direct federal investments and another $20 billion in repayable contributions, loans and loan guarantees. The government hopes to leverage up to $5 in private investment for every $1 in government funding; to that end, Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been courting some of the world’s most powerful institutional investors.Asked Tuesday what kind of projects he envisages being financed through the bank, Morneau said: “The notion behind the bank is that it’s going to provide projects that are going to be large because they’re going to large enough that institutional investors will be interested in them and these tend to be large investors that need to be able to write a large cheque.“They’ll be projects that will have some way of having a revenue stream,” he added, like east-west transmission of electricity or public transit.“The kinds of projects that are unlikely to fit the bill might be, you know, bridges or roads in smaller communities, for example.”A spokeswoman for Morneau later did not respond directly when asked if bundling of small projects is still a possibility. Instead, Annie Donolo pointed to the fact that the government has promised to invest $186 billion over 12 years for infrastructure projects, including a targeted $2 billion for rural and northern communities.The bank is “an added mechanism” aimed at helping provinces and municipalities attract additional investment for projects that otherwise wouldn’t get built, she said in an email.While potential investors have told the government they’re interested in large, transformational projects, Donolo said, “It’s too early to tell what those might be, what form they might take, who the players will be, etc. An electricity grid, for example, would have many players. A transit line, fewer.“But in all cases, this added investment will free-up taxpayer dollars for other projects — large and small.”Toronto Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, parliamentary secretary to Trudeau and one of the architects of the infrastructure bank proposal promised in the Liberal election platform last year, has said that one of the primary objectives was to help small municipalities that don’t have the borrowing power to finance expensive projects or projects large enough to attract international investors.“That’s actually one of the reasons it was conceived,” he said in an interview last week, adding that the notion of bundling small projects together is “one of the reasons” the FCM agreed to support creation of the bank.“Small communities are a particular focus of how to bundle little projects that the big (investment) funds won’t touch into larger projects managed by the federal government … to access those pools of capital to deliver those projects.” by Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 22, 2016 4:39 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 22, 2016 at 5:26 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
With one in four young people – 175 million adolescents – unable to read a single sentence, International Literacy Day is an opportunity to remember one simple truth: literacy not only changes lives, it saves them, said the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “Literacy facilitates access to knowledge and triggers a process of empowerment and self-esteem that benefits everyone,” Director-General Irina Bokova said in a message for the Day. This year’s activities for the Day, observed annually on 8 September, are focused on the links between literacy and sustainable development with a literacy award ceremony and a girls’ and women’s literacy conference in Bangladesh. The events underscore the power of literacy to enable people to make choices that promote economic growth, social development and environmental integration. “Literacy helps reduce poverty and enables people to find jobs and obtain higher salaries. It is one of the most efficient ways of improving the health of mothers and children, understanding doctors’ prescriptions and gaining access to healthcare,” Ms. Bokova said. Between 1990 and 2009, the lives of more than two million children under the age of five were saved thanks to improvements in education of women of reproductive age. But today more than 781 million adults in the world still cannot read, write or count. Two thirds of them are women in the developing world. But even in high-income countries, education systems are failing significant minorities. In New Zealand, almost all students from rich households achieve minimum learning standards in grades 4 and 8, but only two-thirds of poor students do. Many immigrants in rich countries are also left behind. In France, for example, fewer than 60 per cent of immigrants have reached the minimum benchmark for reading which may have long-term implications on society. “What kind of societies do we expect to build with an illiterate youth? This is not the kind of world we wish to live in. We want a world where everyone can participate in the destiny of their societies, gain access to knowledge and enrich it in turn,” Ms. Bokova said. She added that the world must change its traditional approach of literacy programmes to encompass broader skills with regard to consumption and sustainable lifestyles, the conversation of biodiversity, poverty reduction, disaster risk reduction as well as civic participation. Commitment to these goals will be central to the forthcoming Aichi-Nagoya conference on education for sustainable development to be held in Japan this November. It will also be discussed at the World Education Forum to be held next year in Incheon, Republic of Korea, to lead the global debate towards the adoption of new sustainable development goals at the UN General Assembly in 2015. UNESCO is working across the world, including in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Nigeria, and Senegal, to ensure that literacy is integrated into national development strategies. However, more must be done. “We must invest more,” said Ms. Bokova, “I appeal to every Member State and all our partners to redouble efforts – political and financial – to ensure that literacy is fully recognized as one of the most powerful accelerators of sustainable development. The future we want starts with the alphabet.”
In a presidential statement, the 15-member body also called on all parties to “act responsibly and put Lebanon’s stability and national interests ahead of partisan politics,” and called on Parliament to convene to elect a president “without further delay.”There has been a presidential vacuum in Lebanon after the term of Michel Sleiman came to an end on 25 May 2014. UN officials and the Security Council have repeatedly urged the Lebanese Parliament to elect a new leader without delay.The country has also been dealing with renewed terrorist threats and a growing refugee population resulting from the conflict in neighbouring Syria that currently numbers almost 1.2 million.“The Security Council expresses its deep concern at the increasing and negative impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon’s stability and the immediate threat to its security,” said the statement, which follows a closed-door briefing to the Council earlier this week by the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Sigrid Kaag. It also strongly condemned acts of terrorism, including hostage taking by terrorist and violent extremist groups, including the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as Daesh, and Jabhat al Nusra, on Lebanese territory.Further, the Council voiced its deep concern following the recent incidents which occurred across the Blue Line separating Lebanon and Israel, and in the area of operations of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). “The Security Council stresses that such violence and the presence of unauthorized weapons in the UNIFIL area of operations violates resolution 1701 and the cessation of hostilities,” the statement said, referring to the resolution that ended the month-long war between Israel and the Lebanese group Hizbollah in 2006.“It underlines the risk that such events could lead to a new conflict that none of the parties or the region can afford.”
“It is vital that they be moved in a planned and organized manner, and that proper alternative accommodation is found for them around the country,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva.“People need to be fully informed in advance about the dismantling of the camp. Asylum-seekers need to be given proper information and prompt access to asylum procedures,” he added.Dubbed ‘the Jungle,’ the site, estimated to host some 6,000 people, has been problematic for a number of years, and UNHCR has long recommended its closure, Mr. Edwards said, pointing out that the living conditions are “appalling,” with the most basic shelter, inadequate hygiene facilities, poor security and a lack of basic services. The camp will be closed in the coming days, according to France, with people there to be moved to centres where better help can be provided.“It is also crucial to pay special attention to the estimated more than 1,200 unaccompanied or separated children in the ‘Jungle,’ whose best interests have to be taken into account, making arrangements such as special reception centres to ensure their safety and welfare when the site is closed,” the spokesperson said.He explained that “this is important so that children don’t move on to other destinations and risk becoming exploited by human traffickers or end up living on the streets without any support.”Strengthened measures must be taken to reunite children with relatives in Europe, such as the 200 unaccompanied children in Calais identified as having family links in the United Kingdom, he said.UNHCR commended the French authorities on almost doubling in recent years the accommodation space in reception facilities for asylum seekers in the country, while urging the Government to further increase the number of places.An additional 20,000 places would ensure that all asylum-seekers and refugees have adequate accommodation while their claims are processed, Mr. Edwards said.
3. 1995 ALCS: Seattle Mariners (90.0) vs. Cleveland Indians (87.2); harmonic mean 88.6. If I were ranking the series subjectively instead of by a formula, this one would stand out along with Royals-Orioles. The 1995 ALCS fits the template of two notoriously terrible franchises hitting their stride at the same time. The Indians had a winning record just once from 1982 to 1993, and 1995 was their first postseason appearance since 1954. The Mariners had posted a winning record just twice in franchise history and had never made the playoffs before. 9. 1982 ALCS: California Angels (85.1) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (83.7); harmonic mean 84.4. The Angels had been mediocre rather than awful for most of the 1960s and 1970s; they’d reached the ALCS only once before (in 1979) but also never lost more than 95 games in a season. The Brewers were terrible from 1969 (when they began as the Seattle Pilots) to 1977 but were due for a breakthrough by 1982, having posted winning records in each year from 1978 to 1981. 7. 2002 ALCS: Minnesota Twins (86.7) vs. Anaheim Angels (83.7); harmonic mean 85.2. The Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991, but they were terrible for most of the intervening seasons before making the playoffs again in 2002. The Angels had been following their usual Atlanta Hawks-esque pattern of being slightly below .500 and never making an impact in the playoffs. In fact, 2002 was their first postseason appearance since their classic series against the Red Sox in 1986. 8. 1989 NLCS: San Francisco Giants (86.3) vs. Chicago Cubs (83.0); harmonic mean 84.6. The Cubs have appeared in the NLCS three times — in 1984, 1989 and 2003 — and all three of those cases appear on this list. However, the 1970s and 1980s, what gets factored into their 1989 WALT score, weren’t quite as bad as some other eras for the franchise. The Giants had reached the NLCS in 1987, but that had come after awful play in the early 1980s. 6. 1991 NLCS: Atlanta Braves (91.0) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (81.0); harmonic mean 85.7. Atlanta and Pittsburgh would meet in the NLCS again in 1992, which is remembered for Francisco Cabrera’s walk-off single. But their 1991 series also went to seven games and featured four games decided by one run. It ranks slightly higher according to WALT since the Braves made the playoffs for just the second time since 1969 — and after having averaged 96 losses per season from 1985 through 1990. 2. 1984 NLCS: San Diego Padres (91.7) vs. Chicago Cubs (87.2); harmonic mean 89.4. This has been a painful list for Cubs fans. The ball that went through Leon Durham’s legs in the decisive fifth game of the 1984 NLCS is not remembered as well as a similar play by Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series (or the Steve Bartman incident in 2003). But it was every bit as consequential; the error improved the Padres’ probability of winning the series by 20 percent — about as much as Buckner’s play did given that the Mets and Red Sox still had a seventh game to play. However, the Padres rank as the slightly worse team by WALT: 1984 was their first playoff appearance and just the second time they finished with a winning record.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuOauPWip_8?t=1h51m30s1. 2014 ALCS: Kansas City Royals (92.1) vs. Baltimore Orioles (87.7); harmonic mean 89.8. It’s almost certainly just a coincidence, but the other series on this list have given us more than their fair share of extraordinary moments. Here’s hoping the Orioles and Royals will give us a few more. 4. 1969 NLCS: New York Mets (104.5) vs. Atlanta Braves (75.1); harmonic mean 87.4. Before 1969, the Braves hadn’t made the postseason since 1958, when they did so in Milwaukee. But they had been a winning team for most of the 1960s — the high rank of this series is despite them rather than because of them. Instead it was the “miracle” Mets, who had averaged a record of 56-105 between their inaugural year in 1962 and 1968, who went on to win the NLCS and the World Series. 5. 2003 NLCS: Florida Marlins (88.1) vs. Chicago Cubs (85.6); harmonic mean 86.8. Between 1909 and 2002, the Marlins and Cubs won only one World Series between them, and that went, in 1997, to Florida, who had come into existence as an expansion franchise only four years earlier. But the Marlins blew up their roster a year later and had a losing record for the next five seasons before winning the World Series again in 2003. The Cubs, meanwhile, missed their moment in 2003 in about the most painful way imaginable. But don’t worry, bleacher bums: Your team is going to win the World Series in 2015, according to “Back To the Future Part II.” The Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals meet Friday night in Baltimore for Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, and they’re no strangers to the ALCS. The Orioles will be making their 10th ALCS appearance — only the New York Yankees (15 appearances) and the Oakland A’s (11) have made it more often. Kansas City will be appearing for the seventh time.But both franchises’ glory days came long ago. The Orioles last made the ALCS in 1997 and averaged a 73-89 record between 1998 and last season. The Royals last made the ALCS in 1985 and were respectable for the next few years, but Kansas City had an average record of 68-94 from 1996 to 2013.How unusual is it for two such moribund franchises to get their act together and meet in the League Championship Series?In baseball, there’s a precedent for pretty much everything — so there are some other examples like this, such as the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians in 1995. Still, the Orioles-Royals series qualifies as being as underdog-y as any other since the ALCS and NLCS began in 1969.To identify cases in which two franchises with long losing track records met in the LCS, I took a weighted average of each team’s loss totals for the 20 seasons prior to the year it appeared in the championship series. We can call this figure WALT, for Weighted Average Loss Total. In calculating WALT, the most recent prior season is given a weight of 20, while a season from 20 years ago is given a weight of one. (Loss totals are prorated to a 162-game schedule.)Then I took the harmonic mean of the WALT score for the two teams to appear together in each LCS. The harmonic mean places more emphasis on the lower of the two values. What this means is that a series will rank higher if both teams have been bad, as in the case of the Orioles and Royals, rather than if one has been awful while the other has been OK.Here are the 10 most underdog-y championship series as rated by this measure:10. 2007 NLCS: Colorado Rockies (87.8 WALT) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (81.8 WALT); harmonic mean 84.4. The 2007 NLCS featured the novelty of two 1990s expansion teams facing each other. But the Diamondbacks had gotten off to a quick start, winning the World Series in 2001. The Rockies had struggled more, having reached the playoffs just once before 2007.
Phillip Meng is more than a year away from starting college, and while he’s not sure which school he wants to attend, he already has the bills covered.Meng was named a 2018 Coolidge Scholar, which gives him free tuition and room and board for four years at any college of his choosing. The scholarship, which is in its third year, is given out by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. Meng is one of four recipients to earn the scholarship this year, and one of 10 people overall to earn the award, which was given to three students in both 2016 and 2017.Meng, 15, a junior at Union High School, said it took a while to sink in that he was one of four students chosen for the scholarship out of 3,200 applicants. He also said earning the scholarship has opened up his collegiate possibilities.“When you take cost out of the equation, it changes how you think about higher education,” he said. “College is too expensive.”If the past recipients are any indication, Meng, who skipped first grade, will have his choice of prestigious universities. Of the six previous Coolidge Scholars, three are attending Harvard University, one is at Rice University, one is about to start at the University of Chicago in the fall, and one is heading to Grove City College in Pennsylvania this fall, according to Matthew Denhart, executive director of the Coolidge Foundation, which is based in Coolidge’s home village of Plymouth Notch, Vt.Meng heard about the scholarship from a friend and teacher, and went in with an “expect nothing, hope for everything” attitude, he said. He thought the application process itself was worth going for it, since all applicants have to read “The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge” and write an essay about the country’s 30th president.