Talk of the towns: Hampshire, Dorset & south Wiltshire

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Boxers begin three-month training stint in Cuba

first_img– Ninvalle optimistic that team would return fully equipped for Olympic QualifiersGUYANA’s four Olympic (boxing) hopefuls started the first leg of their journey to Tokyo 2020 yesterday in Cuba, in what is expected to be a demanding, but rewarding three-month training stint in the superior boxing nation. Cuba, which has won the second most boxing medals (73 medals, 37 gold) in the history of the Olympics, will get the Guyanese ring prepared for the March 26 to April 3 Olympic Qualifiers scheduled for Argentina with the hope that they will qualify for the Olympics in Japan from July 24 to August 9 this year.According to president of the Guyana Boxing Association, Steve Ninvalle, the four boxers: Keevin Allicock (a two-time current Caribbean champion), Desmond Amsterdam and Colin Lewis (former Caribbean champions) and Dennis Thomas (a Caribbean two-time silver medallist) reached the Spanish-speaking Caribbean island safely and were eager to put their best foot forward.The GBA head added that he is optimistic that the quartet would enhance their skills.“I think that the opportunities presented to them are excellent opportunities and they should grasp it with both hands. All that is needed is their commitment and discipline, I think they all have that; they just have to dig deep. There is no reason why all four of them should not qualify.”The GBA last qualified for the Olympics in 1996 via a then 25-year-old light heavyweight boxer, John Douglas. This year, the association is confident that the four boxers selected will all make it to the highest amateur level.Ninvalle added that he is elated with the training stint, but it would not have been possible without support. He thanked the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and the National Sports Commission for their assistances.The GOA contributed US$15000 (over $3.1M Guyanese dollars), while the NSC, through its Director of Sport Christopher Jones, handed over a cheque of G$1M with the intention of adding an additional $1.5M later this month or next month. Meanwhile, the GOA recently announced that it would add $1M, which should send two boxers to Argentina.At the moment, national coach Terrence Poole (MS) is with the boxers. After one month, another national coach, Sebert Blake, will replace him.   Ninvalle said that along with the boxers, he is also hoping that the coaches experience the advanced level of training and would be able to enhance their overall delivery once back home.Poole is the coach of the dominant Guyana Defence Force, while Blake is the head instructor of the outstanding Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF) gym.All four boxers will return home on March 22, before they exit soon after for Buenos Aires, Argentina.last_img read more

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3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 24-0 win over Liberty in season opener

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 31, 2019 at 9:21 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @A_E_Graham LYNCHBURG, Va. — No. 22 Syracuse (1-0) overcame a sloppy start and a nearly nonexistent passing game to shut down Liberty (0-1), 24-0, at Williams Stadium on Saturday in its 2019 season opener. The Orange committed two turnovers, only scored three points in the first quarter and struggled to consistently move the ball through the air. But thanks to a dominant showing from the defense and a trio of running backs, SU managed to generate the offense it needed to get out of Lynchburg with a win.Here are three reactions from the win.Sloppy startBy the end of the first quarter, each team had an interception, a fumble, a failed third-down conversion, numerous penalties and a grand total of three points to show for a quarter of football both teams would like to quickly forget. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe contest started with each team trading three-and-outs when on Liberty’s ensuing punt after three-straight incompletions, wide receiver Sean Riley coughed up the ball crossing midfield. LU recovered, promptly drove to the red zone and missed a field goal. SU took the ball back and punted again. Liberty put together a good drive to inside SU’s 5-yard line and then Trill Williams forced a fumble from behind. Then SU got to midfield, DeVito took a shot to Nykeim Johnson but underthrew the pass and was intercepted. On Liberty’s following possession, SU brought a six-man rush on third down and, with a blitzer in his face, LU quarterback Stephen Calvert whipped a blind pass straight into the gut of SU’s Ifeatu Melifonwu. On the following drive, SU finally scored as Andre Szmyt pushed a 45-yard field goal through. During the messy first quarter, each team got called for a personal foul and at least two other penalties. Tommy DeVito finished the frame 3-for-8 passing for 21 yards with an interception and Calvert only went 6-for-12 for 107 yards, also with an interception. It was the kind of sloppy, disjointed start Syracuse head coach Dino Babers warned could hamstring the Orange against a feisty Liberty squad. They were lucky it didn’t. Defensive line dominatesSyracuse’s defensive line is its best position group. It asserted that on Saturday by living in the Liberty backfield, totaling eight sacks plus six more tackles for loss from 10 different players. Leading the charge were two seniors: Kendall Coleman and Josh Black. By attacking Liberty’s pass protection and run schemes from the outside and inside, respectively, Coleman and Black were at times unblockable. Twice in the game, SU went to a three-man defensive front on third-and-long passing situations. Both times, Coleman split a double team and sacked Calvert. Black was more opportunistic. In the third quarter, Coleman came off the edge, forcing Calvert up in the pocket and right toward the awaiting Black. Elsewhere on SU’s line, senior end Alton Robinson, who like Coleman finished 2018 with 10 sacks, constantly collapsed the pocket and pressured Calvert. Midway through the second quarter, Liberty blocked Robinson with a double-team. The right tackle turned him inward to the right guard, who Robinson bull rushed and planted his behind on the turf in a split second, just as Calvert threw the ball away. Even Curtis Harper, a redshirt sophomore defensive end, got in on the action, picking up half a sack. The other 1.5 sacks went to Kingsley Jonathan. All night, whenever Calvert dropped back, he was almost regularly joined by a much bigger player from the other team. Running back by committeeWithout much by way of a consistent passing offense — DeVito and his receivers looked out of sync while the offensive line was shaky early — SU turned to a three-pronged rushing attack of Moe Neal, Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard.The trio combined for 170 rushing yards, three touchdowns and provided SU’s offense a way to move the ball and maintain possession when there wasn’t an option otherwise — they even provided a large chunk of what SU managed to eke out of the passing game via screens and swing passes.Their respective performances all started by grinding out short to medium gains in the first half. Adams was the first to find pay dirt, bullying his way into the end zone from two yards out in the second quarter for SU’s first touchdown. As Liberty’s defensive front wore down in the second half, SU’s rushing attack picked up momentum. From the 1-yard line in a goal line set, Howard bounced an inside handoff out to the right side. A Liberty defender wrapped around Howard’s ankles but the sophomore fell forward while reaching the ball out and crossing the plane, putting SU up, 17-0.Neal delivered the knockout blow in the fourth quarter. Facing fourth-and-one from the Liberty 41-yard line, DeVito took a snap from under center, turned and handed it to Neal. Neal burst through the A-gap untouched and took it the rest of the way, putting SU up 24-0 and the game out of reach.  Commentslast_img read more

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European Leagues: PSG returns to winning ways as Dortmund, Milan falter

first_img Tags: European Leaguestop PSG have won six of their opening eight Ligue One games this season. (PHOTOS/Courtesy)After a disappointing 2-0 home loss to Reims, PSG ensured they resumed business as usual with victory over Bordeaux this past weekend.Once again it was star player Neymar Jr who grabbed the headlines, scoring the only goal in the 1-0 win. The other good news for the Parisians was the return of Kylian Mbappe who made instant impact, assisting Neymar for the 70th-minute winner.This is PSG’s 6th victory of the season and sees them move two points clear at the top of the standings. For Bordeaux, it is their second defeat and leaves them in 7th.As PSG were winning on Saturday, second-placed Angers were drawing 1-1 at home to Amiens.Steven Mendoza gave the visitors a 13th-minute lead and Angers had to wait until seven minutes from time to find the leveller through Rachid Alioui.Despite the draw, Angers continue enjoying their best start to the Ligue One in a long time and currently have 16 points from 7 games.The other big boys of the division Monaco, Marseille and Lyon had mixed results in their respective match-day 8 fixtures.Monaco were 4-1 winners at home to Brest thanks to goals from Wassim Ben Yedder, Islam Slimani, Gelson Martins and Balde Keita. Marseille drew 1-1 at home to Rennes with a Heroki Sakai giving the visitors a first-half lead before Caleta-Car equalized for the hosts 7 minutes into the second. For Lyon, they have now gone five games minus victory following a 1-0 loss against Nantes on Friday. Fernando Marcal put through his own net to hand Nantes a rare victory at Lyon.Elsewhere, Dijon registered their first victory of the season thanks to a 2-1 result at Reims, Strasbourg were 1-0 winners at home to Montpellier while Saint Etienne beat Nimes 1-0 away from home. The other two games ended all square.In Spain, Barcelona made it two victories in as many games as they defeated Getafe 2-0 away from home on Saturday afternoon.Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 41st minute with his 3rd goal of the campaign before young star Junior Firpo added a second four minutes after the break. Defender Clement Lenglet saw red in the 82 minute of the game that saw Lionel Messi miss out once again due to a thigh problem.Suarez opened the scoring for Barcelona in the win over Getafe.The win sees Barcelona climb up to 4th on the standings with 13 points from 7 games while Getafe slips into 16th with just 7 points.In the biggest La Liga fixture of the weekend, Atletico and Real drew 0-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.It was a game that promised so much for the home side but at the end of the day, they could not get past a resilient Real side.The draw means Real moves top of the standings with 15 points while Atletico slump into third, a point adrift of their city rivals.In second place is Granada who saw Antonio Puertas score the only goal in their 1-0 victory over Leganes on Saturday evening.Elsewhere, Villarreal continued their resurgence with a commanding 5-1 win at home to Real Betis on Friday.Toko Ekambi helped himself to a brace while Santi Cazorla, Gerard Moreno and Nigerian Samuel Cukwueze added one each in the victory. Emerson had temporarily levelled matters for Betis early in the second half but his goal turned out to be a mere consolation in the end.Villarreal who have now won three of their last four games, climb into 8th with 11 points from 7 games while Betis remain 15th with 8 points.Elsewhere, Valencia beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0, Real Valladolid were 2-0 winners at Espanyol, Sevilla scrapped to a 3-2 victory over Real Sociedad while Deportivo Alaves defeated Mallorca 2-0 at home.In Italy, Inter Milan maintained their perfect start to the 2019/20 campaign with their sixth successive victory of the season as they dispatched Sampdoria 3-1 away from home.Stefano Sensi opened the scoring before Alexis Sanchez who would later be sent off added a second for the visitors. Jakub Jankto pulled one back for Samp but Roberto Gagliardini restored Inter’s two-goal caution, one they maintained until the end.Sanchez (7) scored and got sent off in the win over Sampdoria.Antonio Conte’s side are now on 18 points and sit top of the pile after 6 games.Defending champions also maintained pressure on the leaders thanks to a 2-0 victory at home to SPAL on Saturday afternoon.Miralem Pjanic calmed nerves for the Old Lady with a fine strike at the stroke of halftime before Cristiano Ronaldo made the points safe 12 minutes from time.The victory means Juve remains second on the log, two points behind leaders Inter Milan.The others of the chasing pack including Atalanta, Napoli, Roma and Lazio also won their respective match-day 6 fixtures. Atalanta were 4-1 winners away to Sassuolo, Napoli beat Brescia 2-1, Roma scrapped to a 1-0 win at Lecce while Lazio humiliated Genoa 4-0 at the Olimpico.AC Milan were thrashed 3-1 by Fiorentina at the San Siro. Eric Pulgar, Gaetano Castrovilli and Frank Ribery scored the goals for La Viola while Rafael Leao got Milan’s consolation. The home side also saw Mateo Musacchio shown a straight red card at the start of the second half.Elsewhere, Udinese beat Bologna 1-0, while Cagliari drew 1-1 at home to Hellas Verona.In German, Bayern Munich climbed top of the Bundesliga after defeating Paderborn 3-2 away from home on Saturday afternoon.Serge Gnabry, Philippe Coutinho and Robert Lewandowski were all on the scoresheet for the Bavarians while Kai Proger and Jamilu Collins struck for the home side.This is Bayern’s 4th victory of the season and sees them lip-frog Leipzig at the top with 14 points from six games.Bayern are now top of the Bundesliga.For Leipzig who are now second, they lost their match-day 6 fixture 3-1 at home to in-form Schalke 04.Salif Sane, Amine Harit and Rabbi Matondo scored for David Wagner’s side while Emile Forsberg grabbed Leipzig’s consolation.This is Leipzig’s first defeat of the season and it sees them drop into second on the standings, one point behind the leaders. For Schalke, it was their fourth victory on the bounce and they climb into 4th, level on points with Leipzig.Three other side are also on 13 points. These include Freiburg who were 2-1 winner at Fortuna Dusseldorf, Monchengladbach who thrashed Hoffenheim 3-0 away from home and Leverkusen who enjoyed a similar result at Augsburg.For Dortmund, they were held to second successive 2-2 draw at home to Werder Bremen.Milot Rashica handed Bremen a 7th-minute lead before Mario Gotze cancelled out his strike two minutes later. Captain Marco Reus turned the game on its head on 41 minutes but the home side could not hold onto victory as Marco Friedl pulled Bremen level 10 minutes into the second half.Dortmund slumps further on the log and are now 8th with 11 points in six games.Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt beat Union Berlin 2-1 on Friday, Wolfsburg were 1-0 winners at Mainz while Hertha Berlin defeated Koln 4-0 on Sunday.All French Ligue One match-day 8 results-Lyon 0-1 Nantes-Bordeaux 0-1 PSG-Nice 1-1 Lille-Angers 1-1 Amiens-Monaco 4-1 Brest-Metz 2-2 Toulouse-Reims 1-2 Dijon-Strasbourg 1-0 Montpellier-Nimes 0-1 Saint Etienne-Marseille 1-1 RennesAll results from the Spanish La Liga match-day 7-Villarreal 5-1 Real Betis-Bilbao 0-1 Valencia-Getafe 0-2 Barcelona-Granada 1-0 Leganes-Atletico 0-0 Real-Espanyol 0-2 Real Valladolid-Eibar 2-0 Celta Vigo-Deportivo Alaves 2-0 Mallorca-Levante 1-1 Osasuna-Sevilla 3-2 Real SociedadAll Italian Serie A matchday 6 fixtures-Juventus 2-0 SPAL-Sampdoria 1-3 Inter-Sassuolo 1-4 Atalanta-Napoli 2-1 Brescia-Lazio 4-0 Genoa-Lecce 0-1 Roma-Udinese 1-0 Bologna-Cagliari 1-1 Hellas Verona-AC Milan 1-3 Fiorentina*Parma vs Torino Monday, 30-09-2019 @9:45pmAll Bundesliga match-day 6 results-Union Berlin 1-2 Frankfurt-Leipzig 1-3 Schalke 04-Hoffenheim 0-3 Gladbach-Mainz 05 0-1 Wolfsburg-Augsburg 0-3 Leverkusen-Paderborn 2-3 Bayern-Dortmund 2-2 Bremen-Dusseldorf 1-2 Freiburg-Koln 0-4 Hertha BerlinComments last_img read more

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Super Designs in Amazing Animals, Part I

first_img(Visited 370 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Animals of all kinds, sizes and shapes have mastered physical principles in astonishing ways.Super-Black SpidersPeacock spiders, those incredibly fast-moving dancers with colorful fantails to impress females, know another trick to make their shimmering abdominal displays stand out. reports, “Bumps on peacock spider make dark spots super-dark.” The fantails of these tiny (4mm) Australian spiders seem to almost glow, not because of pigment, but because of optical tricks.The researchers report that part of the reason the colors were so striking on the abdomen was because the black, velvety parts next to them were incredibly black. When they took a very close look at the black parts, they observed bumps with a unique structure. When they reproduced the bumps in a simulation, they found that they manipulated light in two ways to reduce reflection. First, their curved surfaces made light bounce in random directions, directly reducing reflection. And second, they found that each of the bumps was a tiny microlens—each forced light that entered to take a longer path as it interacted and was ultimately absorbed by the black melanin pigment. Together, the features of the bumps reflected less than 0.5 percent of the light that struck them.How did these spiders learn both pigments and structural colors to do this? If you haven’t seen them perform, by all means take a look at some of the YouTube videos posted by Peacockspiderman (Jurgen Otto), the biologist who brought their ‘spiders’ got talent’ dances to light in 2008 for the enjoyment of millions of viewers. His latest new video was posted just a week ago.Aerodynamic DiversKingfishers are kings at fishing partly because of their aerodynamic beaks that plow through water smoothly and silently. Scientists at Bangor University, according to, searched all species for the champions. Not unexpectedly, the species that spend the most time diving after fish had the best beaks.Asked why this research was valuable, Kristen explained that although designers use the natural world as inspiration and that the kingfisher beak shape had been used to redesign bullet trains to remove a sonic boom as they compressed air when entering tunnels, the design solution had come through observation, but no one had actually validated the kingfisher beak shape under lab conditions.Achieving a greater understanding of how shapes behave could lead to more bio engineering solutions in the future.The article makes a common mistake in evolutionary theory by claiming that “Some kingfishers forage rather than dive for food, so their beaks have not evolved to break the water so seamlessly.” No animal part “evolves to” do something or not do something. Evolution is blind and purposeless. A better explanation is that the kingfishers that found other ways to eat than diving for fish lost the ideal beak shapes of their champion counterparts.Color Vision in Total DarknessHow do deep-sea fish get around and find their prey? They have amazingly adapted eyes. Scientists studied the eyes of five species of fish that live below the photic (light) zone, and found retinas rich in highly-sensitive rods and cones, layered in a way that accentuates light – not light from the sun, but light from bioluminescent organisms. Elizabeth Pennisi exclaims in Science, “Jeepers, Creatures, Where’d You Get Those Peepers”?When the ancestors of cave fish and certain crickets moved into pitchblack caverns, their eyes virtually disappeared over generations. But fish that ply the sea at depths greater than sunlight can penetrate have developed super-vision, highly attuned to the faint glow and twinkle given off by other creatures. They owe this power, evolutionary biologists have learned, to an extraordinary increase in the number of genes for rod opsins, retinal proteins that detect dim light. Those extra genes have diversified to produce proteins capable of capturing every possible photon at multiple wavelengths—which could mean that despite the darkness, the fish roaming the deep ocean actually see in color.The finding “really shakes up the dogma of deep-sea vision,” says Megan Porter, an evolutionary biologist studying vision at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu who was not involved in the work. Researchers had observed that the deeper a fish lives, the simpler its visual system is, a trend they assumed would continue to the bottom. “That [the deepest dwellers] have all these opsins means there’s a lot more complexity in the interplay between light and evolution in the deep sea than we realized,” Porter says.Where’d you get those peepers, indeed. One could claim that existing opsins just got duplicated and enhanced. Perhaps. But it would be far less costly for fish to stay in the light. Duplication, furthermore, does not add information any more than photocopying does. The real question is the origin of opsins in the first place in animals without the neurons and brains to use the information. Why would an organism evolve a light-sensitive spot when it doesn’t even know what light is? Opsins alone do not create vision. Many interacting genes, proteins, and organs have to be present simultaneously. Since eyes presuppose foresight to use it, the sensible explanation is that the Eye-Maker gave organisms ability to adapt to different environments.No matter where you look in the biosphere, animals have superpowers that our engineers drool over. One thing is clear: these animals did not design themselves. Something more clear: the Stuff Happens Law did not hit on these designs by sheer dumb luck.last_img read more

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Extreme entertainment in Joburg

first_imgRolla Bolla: Kirill Rebkovets balances over a stack of cylinders. Denis Ignatov plays with fire. Martin and Visan Espana on the Wheel of Destiny (Images: Mariola Biela) MEDIA CONTACTS  • Collett Dawson   Publicist, Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline   +27 82 653 1338 RELATED ARTICLES • Zip Zap circus school teaches life skills • Cirque du Soleil to wow South Africa • SA puppet company wins a Tony • Fast, furious and female siteTiisetso TlelimaForget the scene in Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise scaling up Dubai’s skyscraper, Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline at the Joburg Theatre is layered with bigger, better and more spectacular stunts.With no safety belts, crash mats, harnesses or any other safety apparatus, the production, originally from Sydney, Australia, is by far the most dangerous extreme acts show South Africa has seen.It opened on 24 May, and is jam-packed with nail-biting, heart-pounding action while also providing side-splitting comedy.Jaw-dropping actsThe headline act, known as the Globe of Death, left the audience in awe as they watched three bikers ride inside a globe of steel at speeds of up to 65km/h, all the while trying to avoid collision.“It’s honestly the most insane piece in the history of theatre,” said the show’s creative producer Simon Painter.“They could die at any point in the act. It’s a ridiculous, crazy thing to do.”Equally dangerous is the Wheel of Destiny, performed by two Brazilian artists, Martin and Visan Espana, whose stunts involve jumping in and out of man-sized cylinder shaped ends of a giant swinging pendulum. The point is to manoeuvre in and out of the wheel as quickly as possible, sometimes even blindfolded.Rolla Bolla, performed by Russian-born Kirill Rebkovets was another favourite among the audience. Rebkovets stacks cylinders one on top of another to make a rolling tower, on which he then places a board that he balances on while the cylinders wobble under his weight.Also popular was the Trampoline Wall. In this act, three athletes hurl themselves, one by one, off a large trampoline on to a wall standing at right angles to it, all the while performing somersaults on the way up and down.Circus fanatics can expect to see anything from shape juggling and artists flinging themselves off double swings to acrobats balancing themselves on each other’s heads and identical twins bending their bodies to fit into barrels.An opportunity for laughsThe host of the show is Salvador Salangsang, who makes a great impression of a non-English speaking character who occasionally yanks unsuspecting members of the audience from their seats only to make fun of them on stage.These pranks are a welcomed break from the adrenaline-charged stunts by his colleagues and add a comic feel to the show.World-class performersLe Grand Cirque features 35 athletes who have been handpicked by Painter from all over the world. The artists come from countries like Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Mexico, Spain, Ukraine, Britain and the US. Many have been performing in circuses most of their lives.“It’s a 9th generation circus so they’ve done it all their lives,” explained Painter.“Their grandfathers did it, their great grandfather did it. There are two wonderful children who are already training with [their fathers] now.”Painter, who started his career as a classic violinist before turning to theatre producing, travelled around the globe to places such as Outer Mongolia, Brazil and the Eastern Batiks in search of the world’s most unusual and death-defying performers for the new Adrenaline production.“They have to be the best in the business of what they do,” he said when asked how the artists are selected.“Every single one of them is a champion, they’ve won awards and competitions. They have to be at the top of their game. So that’s how we pick them.”They must also be willing to work as a unit because everyone works together on stage, he added.Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline will run at the Nelson Mandela stage at the Joburg Theatre until 17 June.Painter is also planning to bring yet another exhilarating show, The Illusionists, which showcases some of the world’s best magicians, to South Africa next year.Tickets for Le Grand Cirque Adrenaline are available from R190 and can be purchased by visiting or through calling the theatre’s ticketing office on 0861 670 670.The show starts at 8pm Tuesday to Fridays, 3pm and 8pm on Saturdays and at 2pm and 6pm on Sundays.last_img read more

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Failing Concrete Foundations Linked to Aggregate

first_imgHundreds of Connecticut homeowners have complained that the concrete foundations holding up their houses are crumbling, and state authorities blame the mineral content of a stone aggregate mined in an eastern Connecticut quarry. According to an NBC Connecticut report, significant amounts of an iron sulfide mineral called pyrrhotite in rock aggregate is causing foundations to crumble. The station’s report, which shows someone easily flicking away the surface of a concrete wall with the tip of a screw, says that thousands of residential foundations may be affected.The problem was first reported last July. Most recently, Becker’s Quarry in Willington, Connecticut, and J.J. Mottes Company in neighboring Stafford Springs, a ready-mix concrete supplier, have signed an agreement with the state to stop selling materials that contain aggregate from Becker’s Quarry until June 2017.The station said it has been told by construction experts the foundations can’t be repaired and must be replaced, which could cost $150,000 or more per home.The state’s Department of Consumer Protection has heard from 220 homeowners, but the station says that thousands of homes in the eastern part of the state could be affected.In a written statement, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said, “Although that investigation will continue into the fall, we believe there is now sufficient evidence to conclude that significant levels of the mineral pyrrhotite in stone aggregate used in the production of concrete is a substantial contributing factor to the crumbling foundations experienced by some homeowners in eastern Connecticut… Further efforts are necessary to understand the full range of contributing factors and the manner that all factors interact to produce concrete deterioration.”The problem appears to be limited to residential foundations, and the aggregate from Becker’s quarry can still be used in commercial applications, the station said. Firms say that installation is the problemA spokesman for the Joseph J. Mottes Company, which has leased its property and equipment to a another Connecticut firm for the 2016 building season, said that the failures were an “installation issue.”“We strongly believe that the current situation involving residential foundations in eastern Connecticut is an installation issue, and we support an unbiased and comprehensive investigation of these foundation issues — including how the materials were placed and installed, in addition to remedial actions — so that homeowners can get the answers they deserve and meaningful help with solutions,” Mottes spokesman John Patton told the Hartford Courant.Patton didn’t elaborate on what kind of installation errors might have contributed to the problem.Neither the American Society of Concrete Contractors nor the American Concrete Institute (ACI) could produce a single technical expert to discuss the potential risks of using aggregate with high pyrrhotite content, or whether the problem has been reported in other parts of the country.A search of ACI’s online archives for “pyrrhotite” turned up just two entries. One of them is an article abstract dating from 1959, which said in part, “In the Oslo region of Norway, alum shales containing small amounts of the unstable iron sulfide, pyrrhotite, produce an unusual form of sulfate attack upon concrete placed in or near these deposits, and cause deterioration if they are used as concrete aggregate.”The rest of the article is behind a pay wall. Problems in Quebec reported in 2002Pyrrhotite-laced aggregate apparently hasn’t attracted much attention in the U.S., but a well-documented case in Quebec near Trois-Rivieres has involved more than a thousand homes, according to the website Pyrite Problem.Reports that houses were showing concrete problems related to the pyrrhotite content of aggregate began trickling in back in 2002. Later, the list of problem structures grew to include more than a thousand houses, a bridge and commercial buildings.The website, the work of an engineering geologist named Tom St. John, includes case histories, a variety of references, and a summary spanning more than a decade of news coverage taken from two Canadian news outlets, La Presse, a website, and Le Nouvelliste, a newspaper.The coverage begins in 2001 when a company called Laurentide Concrete received its first claims for problems related to deteriorating concrete. By 2009, a group called the Concrete Coalition (later the Coalition of Victims of Pyrrhotite) had been formed, and two years later Quebec announced a fund of $15 million, later expanded to $30 million, to help people with failing foundations.According to the website’s summary, a legal battle that began in 2012 eventually resulted in a finding of liability mostly on the part of a concrete company and an engineering consultant of $196 million. The finding was appealed.Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government would spend $30 million over three years to help homeowners. An advocates group believes as many as 4,000 homes may be affected, according to a news report. UPDATED May 18 Connecticut homeowners tell their storiesA website for a homeowners’ group called the Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements says that the homes with problematic concrete in northeastern Connecticut and southern Massachusetts were built in the 1980s and 1990s.“The damage appears to take decades or more to appear, yet there is no magic number or formula to determine the rate at which a home will begin to fail, or when it will become unsound to inhabit,” the site says. “The date range of 1980 to 1998 is only a current estimate.”The only solution appears to be a complete foundation replacement, and neither the state nor homeowners’ insurance companies have been much help.A number of homeowners have posted their stories at the site, recalling expensive and unsuccessful attempts to patch cracking concrete, frustrating conversations with insurance companies, and financial and emotional distress.“The company experts who patched our foundation told us the cracking would stop at some point, and they said their patching would fix the problem,” one homeowner wrote. “We paid them thousands of dollars for patching in 2013 and now the cracking has accelerated. We do not have much time left. I’m 61 years old and we wife is 59, and we are facing serious financial problems.”Another wrote, “In 2012 I considered selling my duplex since the outside work and upkeep cost involved in being a landlord had become physically and financially excessive. It was quite a shock when my realtor told me my home was unsalable due to the crumbling concrete in the foundation of the rental side.“I immediately contacted my insurance company, which informed me they would only cover a collapsed foundation, not one in the process of collapsing,” the account continues. “The irony is, since I reported the problem, I was no longer covered if the house did in fact collapse. In the mind of the insurance company, I was aware of the problem and did not correct it. “last_img read more

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CWG: Delhi CM blames rains but hopeful

first_imgUnfazed by a whale of a criticism from all corners, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit still insists that the Commonwealth Games will be held successfully. In an interview with Headlines Today Political Editor Javed Ansari, the besieged chief minister said none of the problems was insurmountable. She said the prime minister himself was concerned about the criticism and that is why every effort was being made to set the house in order before the athletes arrive. Excerpts: The prime minister has put you in-charge of Games Village almost at the eleventh hour to set it right. Can you tell us whether Delhi will be ready to host the Games? We just have two days left before the athletes arrive.Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.CM: That’s true. I don’t know how much the prime minister has put on me but it is my duty because I happen to be the chief minister of the state and we have been working the past two months, ever since the rains particularly started and we knew that there will be some overlapping.But we have been continuously monitoring. We have been going around street-wise to see whether the lights are alright, greenery is alright and the flyovers are made on time. One thing that I have not touched upon at all is the Games Village because it is the duty of the DDA and they assured us all the time that the things will be perfectly alright. Obviously they botched up and you have been made the in-charge. What measures are you taking to set it right?CM: I am not so sure whether they botched up because these very people who were saying bad now, about 10 days earlier had said that this is the best Games Village we have seen. So I don’t know at what point they saw and what has happened in between. But we look at it, 40 of our Delhi government officers have been placed in-charge of various buildings and blocks that are there. And I hope that they will do the coordination. What is being.. a little lacking in this Games is coordination. And that I think we will do.advertisementThe GoM headed by Jaipal Reddyji has been meeting continuously and every time everybody said things were alright. I have this feeling that things will be alright and now that you have given us a wake up call again.. there was a wake up call about 10 days ago and again the wake up call has come. Everybody is committed and we will do it well. It’s too close to call. Today the athletes are almost at our doorstep and would you admit that maybe not enough attention was paid to detail or on monitoring?CM: Maybe.. not be there large number of flats there, lot of buildings.. maybe something was there.. Rains have not been helpful, I can show you that. The collection of water has been a real dampener. I found out that they were pumping out the water but it didn’t seem to be enough. When they pumped out, it again came back. So there have been problems with unusual weather, but I still maintain that it will not be shoddy, it will not be bad, it will be good.There could be some mistakes, minor ones, which I don’t think they should get the kind of attention that is being given to them. I wish some of you would also go around with your cameras and see what is happening because it’s your very cameras who showed all those rooms looking very neat, very nice.. the bed looking nice, the toilets and basins looking absolutely sparkling.Should the Commonwealth Games be called off?To vote from your mobile, SMS for Yes or for No to 52424. CGF CEO Hooper says that the buildings and flats they were shown were of course of the very high order. But these are other flats which have been left unattended, their sockets were not working dog’s poo all over the place, dogs soiling beds and things like that.. and it has been described as “unliveable”. How are you going to assure the athletes who are going to come here and get everything turned around in the shortest possible time you have?CM: You know India, India’s hospitality. Nobody will leave anything unliveable for anybody. We have got two days, three days.. 24 hours, 48 hours to do it all up and everybody is at the job now. The prime minister himself is really worried and I go with confidence that it will be alright. Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit with CWG OC chief Suresh Kalmadi during the flag off ceremony of ‘Go India Go for Gold-Walk for Victory March’ to support Indian participants of the mega sporting event in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTIEverything that could have possibly gone wrong is going wrong. The latest we had this foot overbridge falling down.CM: Yes, the foot overbridge was something really that was not required. It was made there because the engineers decided to make it. But it will not stop people from coming there. The route has already been worked out. Right below the bridge, rather than going up and down this will be done. It has been very unfortunate happening. We have already set up an enquiry to see what went wrong. All kinds of people are coming with all kinds of theories. But I will not go by them. We have to find out what exactly went wrong and correct it.advertisementWe have blacklisted the first contractor for having been not too careful because I had been there to see it about three days ago. I go there practically every night and three days ago they had started everything. At that time it looked perfectly alright because at that time it was at the staircase level. I haven’t seen it since then. In any way, if I would have seen it, I am not a technical person, so would not be able to know. This is being a very bad setback for us. But I’m sure we will be able to make up. There was a security breach. An Australian journalist and my own channel managed to walk in with ammonium nitrate undetected. This must instil fear among people.CM: Absolutely right. People should not fear this. The Jama Masjid incident also took place. This is the second one that has happened. And these tensions are going to rise. But the home secretary took a meeting yesterday. Everybody has been warned again so things will become even more strict now because we can’t take chance with security at all. And they will not. The big question everybody is asking is will the games be called off or will we be able to stage the Games? As the chief minister of Delhi, as the host, are you in a position to tell us whether we will be able to conduct the Games and whether all those visiting us will go home safely?CM: Of course, we go with this hope, this confidence and god-willing, everything will be alright. I can tell you one thing that these Games which we have been saying that it will be one of the best ever conducted.. Now it is not our habit, Indian habit, to criticise others. So we are keeping quiet. Let them say what they have to. The Games, when they happen, and after that, when you take a review, that is the time it will be the real review.advertisementShould the Commonwealth Games be called off?To vote from your mobile, SMS for Yes or for No to 52424.last_img read more

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Bahamas Carifta Swim Champs for 2017

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, April 20, 2017 – Nassau – The Bahamas has done it again and has reclaimed its Carifta Games swim champion title this year.  A thirty-six member team earned just under 800 points to top the defending champs, Guadeloupe who scored 662 points.Cayman Islands completed third with 622.5 points, Trinidad and Tobago scored 615 and rounding out the top five was Barbados with 556 points.   The Carifta Swim was held in Nassau at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Acquatic Center.#MagneticMediaNews#CariftaGamesBahamas#BahamasCariftaswimchamps2017 Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#BahamasCariftaswimchamps2017, #CariftaGamesBahamas, #magneticmedianewslast_img

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