Marquee 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer recalls last season as bittersweet but remains confident that should she medal at this year’s Olympics in Rio, Brazil, it would put the icing on the cake as her greatest year ever.Spencer is one of the most successful track athletes in the history of the Diamond League circuit with a total of 21 wins.In an interview with The Gleaner, Spencer said that 2015 was a bittersweet season for her. “It began great. Unfortunately, I got an injury and I wasn’t able to complete my season as I would have wanted to but just using that as a stepping stone for this season.”Jamaica and the world have definitely not seen Kaliese Spencer’s best. I think this season is going to be a great season, so just watch out.”Despite her recent IAAF World Championships medal failures in the finals, Spencer maintains that she is over those disappointments, settled in her new training club, and looking at improving.”I have a great set of coaches working with – great people, great athletes – and it’s like a family,” she outlined at Cameron Blazers, adding that it would help her medal this year.”Definitely, I will be on the medal podium (Rio Olympic Games). I just want to stay healthy, and once God is in it, I will be a winner and I will be there,” Spencer continued.”I am over that (disappointments) long time ago. I don’t stay long on one thing. I just get going. OK, that was it. I am strong in faith, and I believe that God is by my side, and I believe that one day I will be victorious, and I am just working towards that,” she said.Though Spencer admits that she has a lot left in the tank, she did not want to predict how fast she could run this year.”I am not thinking about (times) that. I am just thinking about focusing and getting my technique better and getting stronger and staying healthy, and once I stay healthy, the times will come,” stressed Spencer.
26 May 2014 Geoff Nicholas and Shane Luke of Australia chased down South Africa’s Reinard Schuhknecht and Daniel Slabbert over the last four holes at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa in Limpopo province to clinch the inaugural World Cup of Disabled Golf on Friday. The South Africans took a one stroke lead into the final round and stretched the gap to two shots at the turn, but Australian duo turned up the heat coming down the straight to win by three shots. Nicholas scored a 76 and Luke produced a 79 for a final round of 155 to give Australia a winning total of 473. The third member of their side, Graham Kenyon, carded a non-counting 88.South African scores South Africa’s Schuhknecht and Slabbert carded respective rounds of 78 and 81 for 159, while Conrad Stoltz signed for a 91. Canada’s Bob MacDermott returned an 84 while Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open champion, Josh Williams, blistered the course in even-par 72 to secure third on 487. The United States vaulted to fourth on 495, courtesy of a 73 from Kenny Bontz and a 78 from the evergreen Jim Curley, while Andy Gardiner’s 78 and an 86 from Darren Grey helped England to sixth on 510. The evergreen Nicholas, a 12-time World Amputee champion, described the round as one of his most thrilling rallies ever.‘A very tight contest’ “It was a very tight contest through the first 14 holes, but it turned around for us between the 14th and 16th holes,” the 52-year-old said after securing the title. “Reinard and I both dropped shots at the 14th, but I managed a birdie at the 15th to get back to one over. Daniel missed his birdie attempt at 15 and then Shane birdied the 16th, and suddenly we were in the driver’s seat. “It was a fantastic rally and we are absolutely delighted with the result. To go home as the first World Cup of Disabled Golf champions will go a long way in shifting attention to disabled golf at home and hopefully around the world.”The bigger picture Schuhknecht had been battling a wrist injury at the start of the World Cup and his final round was his best performance in the event. The reigning World One-Arm Stroke Play champion was understandably disappointed, but preferred to focus on the bigger picture. “South Africa lost, but Daniel and I gained so much this week,” he said. “We got to wear our country’s national colours with pride this week and, yes, we put ourselves under a lot of pressure to win. Maybe we tried too hard, but you can’t change the result. “However, you can’t put a price on the experience of playing with seasoned international players like Geoff Nicholas, Josh Williams, Tracy Ramin, Kenny Bontz and Andy Gardiner. To watch how they conduct themselves out there was unbelievable and Daniel and I both gained from the experience. “I’m sure we will come back even stronger next year.”Double-bogey devastation Slabbert was devastated after a double-bogey at the 18th, but a pep talk from his team-mates soon put a smile back on his face. “We had such an incredible week, and I should focus on the experience of playing with a fantastic group of world beaters in this amazing event,” he said. “The first World Cup was an amazing success. We hope that next year we will have double the amount of nations competing.”LEADERBOARD – TEAMS473 – Australia 154, 164, 155476 – South Africa 160, 154, 159487 – Canada 166, 165, 156495 – United States 184, 160, 151510 – England 182, 164, 164531 – New Zealand 180, 170, 181542 – Sweden 185, 181, 176LEADERBOARD – INDIVIDUAL228 Geoff Nicholas (Aus) 72, 80, 76231 Josh Williams (Can) 80, 79, 72236 Kenny Bontz (USA) 85, 78, 73236 Daniel Slabbert (RSA) 78, 77, 81242 Reinard Schuhknecht (RSA) 82, 82, 78245 Shane Luke (Aus) 82, 84, 79247 Andy Gardiner (Eng) 90, 79, 78256 Bob McDermott (NZ) 86, 86, 84257 Krister Munther (Swe) 87, 88, 82262 James Curley (USA) 99, 85, 78264 Johannes Grames (Can) 91, 87, 86265 Darren Grey (Eng) 92, 87, 86266 Conrad Stoltz (RSA) 95, 80, 91266 Graham Kenyon (Aus) 90, 88, 88268 Jason Eade (NZ) 90, 86, 92268 Tracy Ramin (USA) 99, 82, 87268 Wayne Eder (NZ) 90, 89, 89272 Darren Reti (NZ) 92, 84, 96278 Paul Tookey (Eng) 94, 85, 99288 David Schutsander (Swe) 101, 93, 94293 Lars Lindenberg (Swe) 98, 101, 94 SAinfo reporter
A natural replacement for toxic flame retardantsAlternating layers of clay and chitosan (a polymer derived from crustacean shells) have shown promise as a possible flame retardant in lab tests at Texas A&M University. When applied to foam and exposed to a direct flame for ten seconds, the coating formed a protective thermal barrier that kept the foam from igniting or melting — giving researchers hope that coatings made from renewable materials could eventually replace toxic brominated flame retardants (BFRs), which are ubiquitous in consumer items.Unlike BFRs, which chemically disrupt a fire that has already begun, this coating is designed to prevent ignition, Grunlan explained. Chitosan between the clay layers does flame up briefly, but the clay quickly “collapses,” he said. “The polymer gets eaten out by heat and fire initially, and what’s left behind is a layer of clay-rich coating which acts as a heat barrier.” A new way to generate solar electricityResearchers in applied physics at the University of Michigan have discovered a method that uses the magnetic component of light to generate electricity without using semiconductors or photovoltaic (PV) panels.When the electromagnetic waves in light passes through certain transparent materials, the magnetic waves are amplified, causing electrons to move away from their nuclei, and creating a static electric field. Conductive materials can be placed on either end of the transparent material to collect the voltage generated across the field, a method that could potentially achieve close to 100% conversion efficiency, because it does not rely on the heat-creating light absorption that limits efficiency of PV panels. The researchers have applied for a patent and are currently investigating suitable transparent materials to use in further experiments. Converting waste plastics into crude oilOregon-based alternative energy start-up Agilyx says it has developed a system to convert difficult-to-recycle discarded plastics into synthetic crude oil. The technology has been in development for a year and a half, and the company predicts that it will be ready for commercial applications in mid-2012.The system vaporizes the plastics and then condenses the vapor into oil. The modular system currently under development, according to the company, will be capable of converting 10,000 pounds of plastic into 60 barrels of synthetic crude oil a day. Once the technology is developed, Agilyx plans to sell the modules to trash companies, which would own and operate the machinery and sell the synthetic crude oil to refiners.Technologies like this one, dubbed “resource recovery,” are becoming increasingly attractive as solid-waste stockpiles grow and extraction of virgin materials becomes more costly. Agilyx predicts that its systems will provide owners a 25% rate of return on their investment, and major players in the trash industry, such as Waste Management, have already invested in the company. Windows that allow in light but not heatResearchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories have developed a technology that reduces solar heat gain without blocking visible light, allowing for “smart windows” that can respond to outdoor conditions without a visible change in the window. At present, electrochromic window coatings can block near-infrared radiation, which causes heat gain, but only by darkening the window at the same time; this can lead to increased use of indoor lighting and offset the energy benefits of smart windows.The new technology uses a transparent “nanocrystal” coating of indium tin oxide — a semiconductor used in flat-screen TV displays. The coating could allow for the creation of smart windows programmed to work in tandem with ventilation and lighting systems by selectively allowing heat to pass and always allowing light to pass — thereby reducing heating, cooling, and lighting loads. An environmentalist dies and reports to the pearly gates, but there is a mix-up and she is sent to the gates of hell. Once in hell, she is horrified by the air and water pollution, global warming, and habitat destruction. But she gets to work to improve the situation, and soon the hellscape is covered with grass and plants, the food is organic, the air is clean, and the people are happy.One day, God calls Satan up on the telephone and says with a sneer, “So, how’s it going down there in hell?” Satan tells God about the improvements brought by the environmentalist, and God says, “What? You’ve got an environmentalist? That’s a mistake — send her up here or I’ll sue.” Satan laughs and answers, “Yeah, right. And just where are you going to get a lawyer?”It takes all types to deal with our environmental problems — and today I’d like to focus on the researchers who are toiling away in laboratories, trying to eke out greater efficiencies from technologies that most of us never give any thought to. Here are some recent highlights that I have dug up. Hydropower that’s safer for fishThe Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has received $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to field-test a new hydroelectric turbine developed by research engineers at Alden Research Laboratory. The turbine is designed to maximize the use of hydroelectric resources without further jeopardizing migrating fish populations.Preliminary testing indicates that the Alden turbine can maintain high efficiencies while allowing fish migrating downstream to pass with a 98% survival rate; upstream migration issues must be addressed separately with other mechanisms, such as fish ladders.Instead of the six or more blades common in older turbine designs, the Alden turbine has only three blades, reducing the chance that fish will be struck by a blade. The blades also have a semi-round edge, which pushes enough water in front of the spinning blades to move the fish out of their path.If the Alden turbine proves successful in field tests, it could open the door to maximizing the use of hydropower resources currently being lost to dam spillover and through-fish bypasses meant to protect migrating fish populations. Researchers estimate domestic hydropower capacity lost to fish protection measures to be as much as 25,000 megawatts.Have you seen some cool research items? Let me know!Thanks to my colleague Evan Dick for his work in compiling some of this information.Tristan Roberts is Editorial Director at BuildingGreen, Inc., in Brattleboro, Vermont, which publishes information on green building solutions.
The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal turned 21 on Tuesday and used the occasion to project party chief and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as a possible prime ministerial candidate of any grand Opposition alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The party also vowed to work to ensure a secular and progressive India under the leadership of 63-year-old Ms. Banerjee. Describing 2019 as the “year of change”, senior TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee said the party is “standing at a historic juncture where it wants to play a vital role in New Delhi in favour of the working class”.Good daysMr. Banerjee, the nephew of the TMC chief, said the year will bring good days (achche din) in the country. “The year of 2019 is a year of change and struggle. We should fight hard in order to ensure that we are able to gift the people of this country a secular and progressive India in New Delhi under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee,” he said in a video message on the TMC’s 21st Foundation Day. “Our party has turned 21 today. The number 21 assumes immense significance as it signifies struggle, youthfulness and change,” he added. TMC was founded on January 1, 1998, by Mamata Banerjee, who was herself baptised into politics by the Congress. At present, the TMC has 34 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal.Ms. Banerjee congratulated party workers on the occasion. “The journey which began on January 1, 1998, has been full of struggles, but we have been steadfast in our resolve to fight for the people #Trinamool21 …We are thankful to Maa-Mati-Manush for their constant support. And the workers who work hard 365 days a year for the people. A big salute to you,” she said.Anti-BJP front The TMC, which has been eyeing a wider political space for the last few years, has been at the forefront of forming an anti-BJP Opposition alliance and convened a rally of Opposition parties in Kolkata on January 19.Ms. Banerjee has been touring the country and has met leaders of several parties in a bid to forge opposition unity to take on the BJP. The TMC observed the day in the State in every block and subdivision and also at the panchayat level. The party flag was hoisted at the Trinamool Bhavan by party general secretary Subrata Bakshi. Blood donation camps, blanket distribution and cultural events were also held across the State.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry smiles during practice for the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors in Toronto, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is Thursday in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)TORONTO — Dynasty versus dinosaurs.The Golden State Warriors’ road to a fifth straight NBA Finals has detoured to a new destination — and this one requires a passport.ADVERTISEMENT The Toronto Raptors, a team that arrived in the NBA 24 years ago as the dinosaur-logoed basketball franchise in a hockey-loving country, have finally made it to the championship round and will host Game 1 on Thursday night.It’s the first time the finals will be played outside the U.S., a refreshing change after a record four straight seasons of the same matchup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Different for us obviously, having been in Cleveland four straight years, but this is more the rule. That was the exception,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “You’re not supposed to go to the finals four straight years and you’re definitely not, if you’re lucky enough to do that, you’re not supposed to play the same team four straight years.“This is more what the finals normally feel like, where you’re going against a team you frankly don’t know that well and that you haven’t seen that often over the previous few years.” Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Stephen Curry lived in Toronto when his father Dell played for the Raptors at the end of his career, but otherwise it’s a new feeling even for these Warriors, who are one of the most championship-experienced teams in NBA history.They joined the Boston Celtics from 1957-66 as the only teams to reach five straight NBA Finals, and are trying to become the first team to win three consecutive titles since the Los Angeles Lakers of 2000-02.Besides facing a different opponent for the first time during their run, the Warriors won’t have the luxury of starting the series at home for the first time. They also won’t have Kevin Durant for at least one more game, though none of that rattles a team that has played in 22 finals games in the last four years.“We have been here before,” Curry said. “We understand the hoopla and the pandemonium around the finals and how different things are when it comes to just the schedule and the vibe. So we have seen a lot and we’ll be ready for it.”The Raptors are new to this stage, but their players aren’t. Kawhi Leonard was MVP of the 2014 NBA Finals, when he and Danny Green won a title with San Antonio. Serge Ibaka made it to the finals with Oklahoma City in 2012, and even players such as Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol have played in Olympic finals.ADVERTISEMENT “Every possession from the jump ball,” he said, “competing, communicating, solving issues as we face them. Do not overreact to whatever.”ROOKIE RUNSKerr won a championship four years ago in his first season as an NBA head coach and now Nick Nurse can do the same. He was promoted last year after the Raptors fired Dwane Casey, and earlier in his career had been a head coach in both the NBA Development League and the British Basketball League.THREE-PEAT FOR NO. 3?Another title would be the Warriors’ seventh and move them into third place in NBA history behind only the Celtics (17) and Lakers (16).100 PERCENTCurry, already the career leading in NBA Finals 3-pointers, needs two more to reach the century mark.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? 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So you just go out there and play hard and live with the results.”The Raptors had already moved away from their purple uniforms with the red dinosaur, and their reputation as a loser is extinct, too. They have won 50 games in four straight seasons and have the best record in the East over the last seven, but couldn’t get over the hump until this year, thanks largely to the acquisition of Leonard last summer.He hit the winning shot in Game 7 of the second round and then led Toronto’s charge back from a 2-0 deficit against Milwaukee in the conference finals to win four straight against the team with the NBA’s best record.They made history just by bringing the finals to Canada and the doorstep of their rowdy fans in Jurassic Park . But Lowry has more in mind.“For me it’s all about winning, and when you get to the point where you make it to the NBA Finals, you won but you still got more to do,” he said. “So getting here doesn’t do anything but getting here. We still want to try to win this.”Some other things to know abou the NBA Finals:WOUNDED WARRIORSDeMarcus Cousins (torn left quadriceps) may be ready to return but it could be a little longer for Durant (strained right calf). Kerr said the two-time NBA Finals MVP, already ruled out for Game 1, hasn’t practiced and would have to do so before returning.STRONG STARTERSGolden State has won 12 straight Game 1s, including all four in the NBA Finals since 2015, and Gasol was asked for Toronto’s key to getting the series off to a good start.