Why The World Didn’t End Yesterday [Video]

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dan rowinski Tags:#Apocalypse#nasa It is now Saturday morning, December 22, 2012. We are still here. We at ReadWrite would like to congratulate the world for surviving its rumored apocalypse and offer a reminder that, really, the world was never going to end on December 21, 2012. NASA, which has been a reasonable, stabilizing voice through all of the hysteria around the so-called End, has posted a video explaining why we are all still here.  Related Posts It is a good thing we survived the apocalypse, because, as one commenter said, “I’m pretty stoked its not happening because that would’ve ruined my week.”Indeed. As is the nature of calendars, the Mayan cycle starts anew today. As the video above notes, the Mayans had an extraordinary concept of time, with calendars and cycles that dwarf the scales that modern folks usually think about. As we in the media well know, it is never too early to start hyping the next big thing. So, if we think of the Long Count Mayan cycle measured in what is known as a baktun (20 katuns, or 144,000 days) and apply the same cycle of 13 baktuns, then the next Mayan-calendar-induced end of the world hysteria will peak sometime in the year 7,137 A.D. (taking three years worth of leap years into account). If our math is correct. Top image courtesy of Shutterstock. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Self-proclaimed ‘icon’ Adam Rippon takes final Olympic skate

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Adam Rippon of the United States reacts following his performance in the men’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Adam Rippon put his hands over his face and let the cheers wash over. He waved and smiled, and when the crowd kept clapping, he jumped where he stood and swung his arms to egg them on.Ever the showman, and with his trademark grace and flair, Rippon took his final skate of the Pyeongchang Olympics on Saturday. He finished 10th, a fine result for a 28-year-old who was never expected to medal against a field populated by younger, higher-flying competition.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum He and skier Gus Kenworthy are America’s only two openly gay male athletes, and they’ve flaunted their LGBT pride on social media throughout the Olympics. Kenworthy and his boyfriend were in the stands to watch Rippon on Saturday, waving an American flag with rainbow patterning in place of red and white stripes. Rippon said he plans to watch Kenworthy compete, too.Rippon’s path to Pyeongchang included a public spat with Vice President Mike Pence, whom the LGBT community considers an opponent for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in March 2015 as Indiana’s governor. Critics said the legislation encouraged discrimination against gay people. An amendment with protections for the LGBT community was passed a week later.Rippon criticized the White House in January for choosing Pence to lead its official delegation for the opening ceremony. When a USA Today report said Pence was hoping to sit down with Rippon, the figure skater said he had no interest in meeting with Pence until at least after the games.The “brouhaha” — Rippon’s word — mostly dissipated as he made his Olympic debut. He helped the Americans win a bronze medal in the team event, then put on a pair of clean skates in the individual competition.All the while, he charmed away during interviews with his striking ease and wit. His personality — he proudly told The Associated Press in November he’s “a little trashy, but really fun” — cemented his Olympic stardom, catching attention from stars including Reese Witherspoon and Elmo.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Black athletes in 1980s, 90s not outspoken, but not silent Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena stingcenter_img How does he feel about that?“Well, you know, on the spectrum from Reese Witherspoon to Elmo, I’m like excited at about, like, a Meryl Streep,” he told NBC this week. “Does that make sense?”Those around him say the buzzy one-liners aren’t an act. Fellow American skater Ashley Wagner said this week that “he’s like this 24/7. It’s exhausting.”A taste of Rippon’s best work just from Saturday:—On his plans for the rest of the Olympics: “I’m probably going to have like a stiff drink later.”—On the Olympic spotlight: “Sometimes I just get attention, and I really don’t know how it happens.”—On his legacy: “You know, I’m not like a gay icon, or America’s gay sweetheart. I’m just America’s sweetheart and I’m just an icon.”Certainly, this month has opened doors for Rippon. He wouldn’t say for sure Saturday that he’s ready to retire from competition, but at 28, he seems unlikely to keep going much longer.He’d be a hit on television — perhaps following in the footsteps of fellow American skating star Johnny Weir, now a personality on NBC who helps host figure skating and Kentucky Derby coverage. There’s no doubt that if Rippon wants, he can parlay his celebrity into some sort of public post-skating career.With what he showed in South Korea, it’d be surprising if he doesn’t want that. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ The self-proclaimed “icon” didn’t need that hardware to leave his mark on these games.Or for the Olympics to leave its mark on him.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“They usually say that like, after the Olympic Games, somebody’s life changes forever,” Rippon said. “A lot of times it’s the gold medalist, but I have a feeling that my life has changed forever.”Rippon has been the headline-grabbing darling of the Pyeongchang Games, a status earned in part with his near-flawless skating, but even more with his efforts off the ice. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments LATEST STORIES He’s given the world a taste of himself, and even after he’s done skating, it’s going to want more.“I think I’ve shown the world that I’m a fierce competitor,” he said. “But I think I’ve shown them that I’m also a fierce human being.” Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoiseslast_img read more

A Decent Second Week Saved The US From Olympic Catastrophe

Now that the 2018 Winter Olympics are officially over, it’s time for one last update from our simple model that compares each country’s medal count with what we’d expect it to earn based on its history in each sport. Here’s how it works, in a nutshell: To get a given country’s baseline, we calculated how often it won gold, silver and bronze medals (out of all medals possible) in each Olympic sport from the 1998 Games through the 2014 Games.1With the exception of the Olympic athletes from Russia, who got a discounted version of the Russian Federation’s medal rates over the 1998-2014 span. Then, as things played out in Pyeongchang, we used those historical rates to determine how far every country was above or below its usual Winter Olympic pace. Here are the final numbers from 2018: Who impressed — and disappointed — in Pyeongchang?Actual and expected medal counts by country in the 2018 Winter Olympics 8Switzerland56415+1.4– 17Great Britain1045+2.6– 2Germany1410731-3.6– 12Japan45413+6.1– 18Belarus2103-0.9– Austria53614-7.1– New Zealand0022+2.0– 16Finland1146-3.3– Slovakia1203+1.7– 15Czech Republic2237+1.3– 10Sweden76114+2.5– 4United States98623-12.9– Liechtenstein0011+1.0– Slovenia0112-1.0– Ukraine1001-0.2– Olympic athletes from Russia26917-1.0*– 13Italy32510-0.7– Over the first half of the Olympics, the U.S. produced nine fewer medals than expected. In the second half, it was “only” 3.9 below its usual pace, and that number even briefly crept into positive territory after a five-medal performance on Day 13 that included a thrilling win over Canada in women’s ice hockey. Capping things off with a shocking upset gold in men’s curling (!!!), Team USA ended its stay in South Korea in better shape than it started.And, as Olympic researcher (and friend of the site) Bill Mallon points out, perhaps it was unfair to expect quite so much out of the U.S. this year anyway. The data we used to set America’s baseline included one Olympics with a home-field advantage (2002 in Salt Lake City), as well as another pseudo-home competition in Vancouver in 2010. Certainly, the travel to South Korea was much more grueling. Mallon also points out that the U.S.’s traditional dominance in X-Games style sports (such as snowboarding) might be eroding as other countries devote more attention to them — another reason why expectations based on recent history might have been unrealistic.Either way, the U.S. will leave Pyeongchang with a handful of indelible memories, despite the relative lack of medals overall. And the Norwegians, with their staggering 39 medals, will now have to grapple with their newfound status as an Olympic juggernaut.“We always want to win,” Norwegian sports commentator Fredrik Aukland told The New York Times. “But modesty is a big part of the culture here.”After Norway destroyed the field — and our medal tracker’s expectations — maybe braggadocio is the main thing it should work on going into the 2022 Games in Beijing. France54615+0.4– 14China1629-2.5– Australia0213-0.6– *Using medal rates for the Russian Federation, but with a 25 percent reduction to reflect that fewer athletes are competing this year, compared to previous games.Sources: Sports-Reference.com, International Olympic Committee CountryGoldSilverBronzeTotalvs. Expected 21Poland1012-1.8– 1Norway14141139+11.1– Latvia0011-0.7– Spain0022+2.0– Belgium0101+0.8– Kazakhstan0011+0.0 6South Korea58417+7.6– 5Netherlands86620+5.0– 25Hungary1001+1.0– Unsurprisingly, the record-breaking Norwegians blew away their expected total, nabbing 11 pieces of hardware more than expected based on the country’s track record. Olympic home-team South Korea also cleaned up, for nearly eight more medals than expected, continuing the general trend of host nations getting a major boost in performance at their own party. Meanwhile, others near the top of the table, such as Germany and Canada, medalled at a rate basically in line with what we’d expect (despite the latter’s existential curling crisis).And then there were the Americans. During the games, I wrote about the U.S.’s struggles, and Team USA did end up being the biggest underachiever in medals versus expected, with a -12.9 mark. That sense of letdown can be seen not just via our simple tracker, but also in the U.S. Olympic Committee’s internal projections — which, according to The Associated Press, set 37 medals as the expected target. Team USA is going home with 23 instead, its fewest in a Winter Olympics since 1998. (Interestingly, it did have the same number of golds — nine — as it did in each of the past three Winter Games, but many fewer silvers and bronzes.)A series of disappointing performances by big pre-Olympic favorites contributed to the generally mediocre showing for the U.S. But if there is any consolation, it’s that most of the U.S.’s underperformance happened in its first week or so in Pyeongchang, as Team USA did its best to right the ship in week 2: 3Canada1181029+1.2– read more

Manchester City to challenge Barcelona for Ajax youngster

first_imgOne of the most promising young talents in Europe could soon leave Ajax, with Frenkie De Jong attracting the interest of numerous notable European clubs.Already established himself as a regular first-team member under Erik ten Hag, De Jong has registered 47 appearances for the Lancers at the age of 21.Along with his fellow teammate Matthijs De Ligt, the prosperous midfielder has been one of the stars in the Netherlands’ stunning 3-0 victory over Germany.Dusan tadic, AjaxReport: Ajax are top of the league after 4-1 win George Patchias – September 15, 2019 Ajax is top of the Eredivisie after beating Heerenveen 4-1.Ajax was without standout midfielder Donny van Beek again, for the visit of Heerenveen to…Additionally, De Jong’s outstanding performance in the Champions League group stage has earned him the interest from the Catalan giants Barcelona.However, according to the Daily Mail, Manchester City are weighing up a move for Ajax rising star, who won’t come cheap. De Godenzonen ask for at least £70 million to renounce De Jong’s services, which would break City’s current £60 million record transfer fee paid for Riyad Mahrez.After Guardiola failed to sign Jorginho from Napoli last summer, the Spaniard intends to boost his midfield department by bringing “new Sergio Busquets.”last_img read more

Cab service provider Ola raises 500 million for expansion plans

first_imgLeading mobile application-based cab service provider Ola has announced raising $500 million (Rs.3,306 crore) to fund its expansion plans in India, including capacity building.”The fresh investment will be used to fuel supply initiatives, capacity building and newer use cases,” the company said in a statement here.The sixth (series F) round of funding was led by venture firm Baillie Gifford and other venture firms Falcon Edge, Tiger Global, SoftBank group and DST Global participated.”The additional funds will help us to spur growth and build mobility for a billion people,” Ola co-founder and chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal said.With a million bookings a day and 350,000 cars on its rolls, the Mumbai-based Ola operates in 102 cities across the country, offering cab services with incentives.”We will also focus on building the ecosystem for our driver-entrepreneurs and enable more drivers to grow as entrepreneurs,” Aggarwal asserted.With the latest funding, the hi-tech-driven firm has cumulatively raised $1.3 billion so far, with $400 million in fifth round (series E) from DST and other venture partners in April, $210 million in fourth round (series D) from SoftBank and others in October 2014.Tiger Global, Matrix Partners, Steadview Capital, Sequoia India, Accel Partners US and Falcon Edge are among its early investors.According to a recent mobile intelligence study, the company’s mobile applications (apps) are used by 78 percent of its customers across the country, including tier-two and tier-three cities.Some of the apps are named Ola Share, Ola Prime and Ola Money and its options are ‘Kaali-Peeli’ taxis in Mumbai, auto rickshaws in six cities and yellow taxis in Kolkata.”Our Ola Share app is on beta testing in Bengaluru for social ride-sharing option within their groups of choice,” Aggarwal noted.Aggarwal co-founded Ola with fellow IITian Ankit Bhati in January 2011, with an app to integrate city transportation for customers and drivers on a technology platform.The apps are available on Windows, Android and iOS platforms for downloading.Ola acquired Bengaluru-based cab aggregator TaxiForSure for $200 million (Rs.1,238 crore) in a cash and equity deal in March this year from its co-founders A. Radhakrishna and G. Raghunandan.TaxiForSure operates in 50 cities across the country with 25,000 cabs registered on its platform as an aggregator.last_img read more

What next for Iraq as cleric Sadr heads for election win

first_imgA surprise election victory for fiery Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr appears to have shaken Iraq’s political landscape at the expense of both the Iranian and American influence in the country.The populist Shiite preacher, a firebrand who once battled US troops and now opposes Tehran, is looking to cobble together a broad technocrat coalition tasked with rooting out Iraq’s endemic corruption.But can he really sideline powerful foreign players and domestic rivals to take control?Playing by the rules?While Sadr’s unlikely Marching Towards Reform alliance with Iraq’s communists looks on course to be the biggest group in parliament — it faces many obstacles.The movement has pitched itself as a challenge to Iraq’s entrenched elite and ridden popular protests over graft to drum up support.Under article 76 of Iraq’s constitution, the right to form a government falls to the political bloc with the most seats. Sadr — who has ruled himself out of becoming PM — should be the key powerbroker and is already eyeing a coalition of around a dozen groups to reach a majority.However, with months of wrangling expected ahead, it remains far from certain that he will get the chance to realise his ambitions.At elections in 2010, the Iraqi National Movement of Ayad Allawi — loathed by Iran — scooped 91 seats to become the biggest group in parliament.But after much manoeuvring, Allawi was eventually bested by Nuri al-Maliki, as Tehran helped engineer a union between two leading Shiite blocs to give him more seats.Cutting foreign influence?Strengthened by his apparent victory in Saturday’s polls, black-turbaned Sadr could now push his nationalist agenda that has seen him pledge to curb foreign meddling in Iraq.After the 2003 invasion, his militia battled US forces. He is now calling for the latest deployment of American troops to leave following last year’s defeat of the Islamic State group.While his family of religious scholars historically has close ties with the Islamic revolutionaries in Iran and he spent years living there, Sadr has now fallen out with Tehran and wants its overbearing influence slashed.In a sign that he is angling to chart a different course, he visited regional Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia last year, as Tehran’s rival seeks to play a greater role in Iraq.Sadr faces a difficult act to herd together enough groups from across Iraq’s fragmented political spectrum to form a government.He has extended a hand to a wide spread of parties — including the bloc of current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that lies in third place according to latest results.Whether he can convince Abadi — a key member of the establishment Dawa party that has dominated Iraq for years — to turn his back on his former stablemates and team up remains a major question.Abadi — who came to power in 2014 as IS rampaged across Iraq — has balanced off the US and Iran during his time at the helm. On Tuesday, the prime minister called Sadr to congratulate him for the election victory, the cleric’s office said.Sadr for now appears to be ruling out an alliance with two other powerful forces inside Iraq: the Iran-backed Conquest Alliance of former anti-IS paramilitary fighters and ex-premier Maliki.Iran manoeuvres?Any attempt to form a government that would threaten the influence Iran has built up in the 15 years since the fall of Saddam Hussein looks certain to face opposition from Tehran.Iraq’s larger neighbour to the east has major leverage over many of the top Shiite politicians and it already seems like it may be looking to block Sadr’s path to power.Political sources told AFP that two meetings have been held under Iranian guidance to bring together several political blocs.According to a participant, the aim has been to unite Abadi and Maliki — bitter foes despite coming from the same Dawa party — alongside the Conquest Alliance, which looks set to come second in the election.The initiative could trump Sadr’s own coalition-building efforts but it risks angering the cleric’s supporters who are yearning for a clampdown on corruption among establishment figures.last_img read more

And Were Off — The Texas Redistricting Trial Starts Today

first_imgIllustration by Anneke Paterson / Todd WisemanDid Texas target voters by race? No, the state says — even though they admit to drawing maps in a partisan way, which is something courts have allowed in the past.The curtains are rising on the redistricting case in Texas today as three federal judges in San Antonio begin a week-long trial centered on a crucial question: Did the state intentionally weaken voting rights for millions of Texans just because of their skin color? With 2018 elections coming into sight, the clock is ticking — and the trial could set the stage for shaking up races across the state. Here’s what you need to know: • How did we get here? After fresh census data came out in 2010, the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature drafted new political boundaries. Minority rights groups immediately raised a red flag, calling the new state and congressional maps discriminatory toward Latino and black voters across Texas. A court drew temporary maps ahead of the 2012 elections in response; lawmakers formally adopted those in 2013 and the state has used them ever since. • The issue flared this spring when the same three judges heading the trial this week dealt two blows to the state. They first ruled that three of Texas’ 36 congressional districts were drawn illegally. The judges took issue with the state’s House map a month later, saying the political boundaries intentionally discriminated against minorities statewide and in particular districts. • The divide: Texas wants the trio of judges to dump the legal challenge of the maps. Minority rights groups want the maps — which they argue were meant to be temporary — redrawn before the 2018 election cycle. Did Texas target voters by race? No, the state says — even though they admit to drawing maps in a partisan way, which is something courts have allowed in the past. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is about to consider another major redistricting case challenging maps drawn to gain partisan advantage. • Tick tock. If the judges order new maps, it would send lawmakers scrambling to create new ones without delaying the upcoming elections. If the involved parties aren’t happy with the eventual ruling, the case could head to the U.S. Supreme Court, potentially altering timing for candidates in the 2018 election cycle. The trial is expected wrap up Friday or Saturday, but it’s unclear when the judges will rule. Sharelast_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition Tuesday Jan 20

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com:4020/live.m3uA former analyst within the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office offers a scathing rebuke of new State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, as she heads out the door. We’ll discuss that story as well as charges being dismissed against Michael Johnson, the man accused of murdering North Carolina teen Phylicia Barnes in December 2010, and at least 10 shootings in Baltimore over the course of a few days. It’s all coming up onAFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes.last_img