first_imgOrganizers said the store was one of two hundred nationwide selected to be a part of the event. It was up to participants to decide how they wanted to decorate their models with the catch being they only had four hours. Green said the event was one of many modeling events offered at the store. “Some people will probably use that entire time to work on their model but it kind of depends on how far you want to go how detailed there’s a lot of variety in the hobby,” said Jupiter Games Co-owner Mindi Green. Participants painted their very own models of Owl Bear, a character from the popular game Dungeons and Dragons. JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Painters of all ages shared an afternoon of creativity at Jupiter Games in Johnson City Saturday. last_img


first_imgThis is the text of a touching Instagram post of Charles Woodson Wednesday morning to his friend and mentor Willie Brown, with whom he shared the Raiders’ No. 24. Brown died Tuesday at age 78:Crazy day, man. Had you really thinking about the circle of life. You know what I mean? My youngest son’s birthday yesterday was Oct. 22, turned 9 years old. You know how it was. He came down the stairs, laughing and giggling and excited about being 9, man. It was hugs and singing ‘Happy Birthday,’ you …last_img


first_imgSome 46% of South Africa’s populationlives in rural areas, relying on remotelysituated public hospitals and clinics.(Image: Rotary)MEDIA CONTACTS• Ian CouperWits Centre of Rural Health+27 11 717 [email protected]c.zaRELATED ARTICLES• Soweto’s university on the train• SA colleges get $6.7m boost• Ubuntu software for schools• R500m water deal for rural SANosimilo NdlovuA R9-million (US$1.2-million) grant has been awarded to South Africa’s Wits University to set up a medical education campus in the North West province to train more rural-based healthcare workers, of which there is a dire shortage.The grant was awarded to Wits on 4 November by Atlantic Philanthropies, a private foundation created in 1982 by US billionaire and philanthropist Charles Feeney.It will enable about 60 students to be enrolled for a Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice degree at the campus over the next three years.The degree, introduced at Wits in early 2009, trains students to become clinical associates and work as part of a team of professionals in district hospitals under the supervision of a doctor.Graduates complement the role of the primary care nurse.The campus will be a piloted within the Lehurutshe-Zeerust Hospital Complex in the remote north-eastern part of the province.It is hoped that over time the model will also be implemented in the other districts of North West.The initiative is part of the recently launched Wits Centre for Rural Health, which works to grow the complement of healthcare workers in outlying areas of South Africa.Impact on rural communitiesThe shortage of rural-based professionals in the country can be attributed to a number of factors. Professor Ian Couper, director of the Centre for Rural Health, says: “Traditionally, health science professionals have been taught in large tertiary, academic hospitals, which contribute to the reluctance of these professionals to work in unfamiliar settings and the perpetual shortage in rural areas.”Better salaries offered overseas and by the private healthcare sector have further contributed to the exodus from state health institutions and most notably those in rural areas. “The maldistribution of healthcare professionals has a dire impact on rural communities,” Couper says.The Wits rural-based education initiative is a response to international research showing that retaining sufficient healthcare professionals in rural areas requires an integrated comprehensive approach, according to Couper.“This starts with the right selection criteria for health sciences students, decentralised health professional education in the areas and ongoing support for rural healthcare professionals.”Relief for North WestSouth Africa’s Health Systems Trust, which provides a range of health-related indicators, states that an estimated 46% of the country’s population lives in rural areas. This means that almost half of the population relies on remotely situated public hospitals and clinics, posing a serious challenge to equitable healthcare delivery.North West is no exception, with one of the lowest doctor and nurse to population ratios in the country.According to the South African government information service, more than 65% of North West inhabitants are based in rural areas.There are only 11 public sector doctors per 100 000 people there, which is in stark contrast to the 30:100 000 ratio in more urbanised provinces, such as Gauteng.While the North West medical education campus will initially focus on training clinical associates, it will provide an impetus for further development and training of medical students, family physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals in the province, Wits says.The provincial health department has thrown its weight behind the initiative and has already created posts for future clinical associates in its staffing structure. It’s also making bursaries available for prospective local students who complete their training in North West.last_img read more


first_imgIn three new videos produced by Oregon builder Hammer & Hand, lead carpenter Val Darrah explains how he keeps air sealing in mind as he frames the walls for his current project, the Pumpkin Ridge Passive House.Val explains why he prefers to use a router rather than a saw when he cuts out window openings in the OSB sheathing. He also shares his method of building window bucks out of 3/4-inch plywood.The OSB sheathing seams are treated with Prosoco R-Guard products: Joint and Seam Filler for the seams, and FastFlash for the inside of the window rough openings. Val explains that in damp weather, it’s easier and more effective to seal sheathing seams with Joint and Seam Filler, a moisture-cured sealing product, than with air-sealing tape.The concrete foundation will be insulated on the exterior with 6 inches of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. For more information on the Pumpkin Ridge Passive House project, visit this page on the Hammer and Hand website.last_img read more


first_imgAPTN National NewsMore people are speaking out about the uncomfortable connections between religion and food banks.On Tuesday, APTN had the story of a Winnipeg man, who’s been turned away from a food bank, after raising concerns about their so-called “volunteer life program” that contains lifestyle expectations that volunteers are expected to follow.APTN’s Dennis Ward now reports others are coming forward to say they’ve also felt religion was forced upon them when all they really wanted was food for their family.last_img


first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission has ordered re-poll in three polling booths of Raiganj and one polling booth of Cooch Behar in North Bengal on April 29.According to the sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), re-poll would be conducted in booths 19 and 37 of Islampur and booth 191 of Goyalpukur under the Raiganj parliamentary constituency where elections were held on April 18. Repoll would also be held at booth 181 of Cooch Behar on April 29 along with the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections. Cooch Behar went to poll in the first phase of elections on April 11. It may be mentioned that various opposition parties including the BJP demanded re-poll in many other booths alleging that the polls were not conducted in a free and fair manner. After examining the situation, the Election Commission has, however, felt the need of conducting repoll in four polling booths in North Bengal. The state BJP leaders demanded repoll in many other polling stations of Raiganj and Cooch Behar citing violence. The CEO office sent a detailed report to the Election Commission of India. After being instructed by the ECI, the CEO office ordered repoll in the four polling booths that saw violence on the days of their respective elections. Meanwhile, the ECI has denied the demand of Trinamool Congress to replace BJP’s symbol on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency as they claimed that the symbols on the EVMs carry a mention of the party name — BJP right at the bottom of the symbols. On the basis of the complaint, the CEO office sought an opinion from the ECI in Delhi. After examining the symbol, the ECI has cleared it saying that there is no mention of BJP’s party name on the EVM along with the symbol as it was alleged by certain political parties. The ECI has also issued the necessary instructions to the CEO office in this regard. The ECI observed that what the other political parties including the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state are referring to as a mention of the BJP’s party name on EVM in Barrackpore is not so and hence there is no question of replacing the symbol.last_img read more


first_imgSagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked Rahul Gandhi over his alleged association with UK-based firm ‘Backops’, saying its name was akin to the Congress leader’s actions of indulging in “back office operations” and not from the front.Referring to the 10-year UPA rule under then prime minister Manmohan Singh, Modi also alleged that India lost an entire decade of the 21st century after the Congress installed “family loyalist” Singh as the PM in 2004 because the “prince” was not ready and all efforts to “train” him went waste at that time. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghAttacking Gandhi in an election rally here, Modi said all his scams are now being “unearthed from land, air and water” as it has now come out to be known that the Congress leader’s business partner in the UK company got a submarine contract despite an experience in liasoning only. The Union Home Ministry recently served a notice to Gandhi, saying it received a representation from BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in which it was brought out that a company named Backops Limited was registered in the United Kingdom in 2003 with the Congress leader as one of its directors. The Home Ministry said Swamy’s letter also mentioned that in the British company’s annual returns filed on October 10, 2005, and October 31, 2006, Gandhi’s date of birth has been provided as June 19, 1970, and his nationality as British. Targeting Gandhi over his alleged association with the UK-based firm, Modi said, “The ‘naamdar’ made a company in England, the name of which was akin to his actions. The name of the company was Backops… Means back office operations. He never worked for the company from front and did operations from behind the curtains”. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad”This behind-the-curtain firm closed in 2009. But now it has come out that the naamdar’s partner in the company got a submarine contract in 2011. The firm owner was his friend. Now people are asking the Congress naamdar that your partner only had liasoning experience, how he got a chance to enter the submarine line?” Modi questioned. Modi said since the matter has come to light, the “naamdar and his raagdarbaris” (sycophants) have gone silent. “The Bofors gun, helicopter (AgustaWestland chopper) and now submarine, as deep as you dig… Whether ‘jal’ (water), ‘nabh’ (air) and ‘thal’ (land), naamdar’s acts are coming out. Michel Mama (Christian Michel, the alleged middleman arrested in the AgustaWestland chopper scam), is already blurting out secrets,” he said.last_img read more


With the first round of the NBA playoffs nearing its halfway point, much has played out according to pre-playoff expectations, and that’s been good news for the better-seeded team in each series. Six of eight matchups have had double-digit average per-game victory margins; hell, the San Antonio Spurs have thumped the Memphis Grizzlies by an average of 29 points per game. It’s a massacre out there.But not everything has followed that pattern. Using our Elo ratings (which measure a team’s strength at a given moment), we found the teams that have exceeded their regular-season expectations the most since the playoffs tipped off last weekend. And even given the lack of first-round surprises so far, some teams have managed to raise eyebrows with their play, as we highlight in the video below:Chief among those teams: the Miami Heat, who are, um, torching [One of you owes me 20 push-ups. — Ed.] the Charlotte Hornets in their series thus far. Although our model expected Miami to win by 3.9 points per game, the Heat have prevailed by an average margin of 22 a game. With guys like Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow in the mix, you might think the Heat’s defense — stingy during the regular season — is behind this run. But no, it’s an unstoppable offense that’s driving the Heat’s blowouts.That Heat attack is averaging 1.24 points per play, according to Synergy Sports Technology; that’s the best of any team in the playoffs. According to data from the NBA’s player-tracking SportVU tech, Miami’s pick-and-roll performance has jumped from 91.1 points per 100 chances created by those plays during the regular season to 121.8 per 100 chances in the playoffs. Luol Deng is hitting 55 percent of his 3-pointers; Whiteside is shooting 88 percent around the rim; and Dwyane Wade is scoring 22 points per game with an assortment of crafty, old-man moves.Josh Richardson is perhaps most emblematic of the Heat getting, well, hot [Forty. — Ed.]. The rookie averaged only 21 minutes over 52 games this regular season, but he’s second on the Heat in minutes during the playoffs and, according to Synergy, is tied for the league lead in spot-up attempts — and leads outright in makes.As a team, the Heat are shooting out of their minds. So on to the natural question: Can this last? According to SportVU data that estimates shot difficulty using variables such as location, shot distance and the defender’s proximity, the Heat are taking extremely difficult shots — their playoff shot selection is of a similar difficulty to the Minnesota Timberwolves’ during the regular season, which was third-worst in the league. The difference is, their effective field goal percentage on those shots is 14.2 percentage points higher than you’d expect, given the types of shots they’re taking. (For reference, no team finished the regular season more than 4.1 percentage points better than expectation.)But although the Heat will probably cool off [I’ll just let you know when you can stop. — Ed.] before their series against Charlotte is over, our predictions now list them as 82 percent favorites to advance into the second round. If Miami gets there, a matchup against Toronto — which has underperformed its own expectations in the first round — seems likely, so we might even get to witness a fun experiment in whether “momentum” can carry over from one round to the next.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 NBA Playoff Predictions. read more


Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. The shading shows you the general range of strengths for each seed.Although not a huge effect, the gap between the No. 5 and 6 seeds and their competition has been narrowing over time. The average difference between No. 5 and 12 seeds from 2000 to 2002 was about 7.6 points, but it has been about 5.8 from 2012 to 2014.More importantly, the 5 vs. 12 matchup looks a lot more like the 6 vs. 11 one than it does the 4 vs. 13. The No. 5 seeds have been considerably weaker than No. 4 seeds, and No. 12 seeds have been considerably stronger than No. 13 seeds. The average No. 5 seed had a 6.6 point expected advantage going into a game against its No. 12 seed opponent. That’s only 2.2 points higher than the average advantage that No. 6 seeds held against No. 11 seeds (4.4 points), but it’s 5.1 points lower than the average advantage that No. 4 seeds held against No. 13 seeds (11.7 points).It seems like the 5 vs. 12 seed matchup is the threshold where the games should start being much more competitive. Combine that with the psychological effect of thinking five is a number that has more in common with four than six (blame our five fingers), and you have a recipe for “shocking” upsets.That is, there are a number of upsets, but we shouldn’t really be shocked. Even just looking at recent history, No. 5 seeds have only been a greater than 10 point SRS favorite in eight round-of-64 games since 2005, and they won 7 of them.3The loser was Illinois against Western Kentucky in 2009. The No. 5 seed has been an SRS underdog three times (and lost twice). Still, the No. 5 seed has performed below what one would expect based on the difference between them and their opponents. But so have most seeds. Here’s a chart comparing the average expected outcomes based on SRS difference and average actual outcomes for each seed over the past 12 years:From this angle, the No. 5 seed “outlier” doesn’t look as impressive. Seeds No. 1 through 6 all underperformed expectations by a smallish — but somewhat consistent — amount. The main difference with the No. 5 seed is that it didn’t have a big enough advantage to underperform this much without losing a lot more games.In other words, if there’s something that has systematically led tournament favorites to underperform their expectations by a few points or so across the board,4As a strictly mathy thing, having a somewhat constant deviation isn’t as weird as it may seem because the standard deviation for a team’s actual SRS is similarly stable. So in this case, it’s a bit like the stronger teams are all running one standard deviation below the expected mean. No. 5 seeds would be disproportionately hard-hit. Thus the 5-seed jinx may be more like the proverbial “canary in a coal mine,” indicating that something bigger is going on.We know the Big Dance is exciting, but could there really be something about the tournament that makes favorites underperform and gives underdogs better-than-normal chances?It’s tricky. For example, the selection committee may systematically overvalue particular types/classes of teams, but that doesn’t necessarily explain why teams would underperform relative to SRS. Some of it could be that SRS is poorly calibrated for the types of matchups we see in the tournament (e.g., between larger and smaller conferences that rarely play each other). It could be that favorites are more likely to regress to the mean.5This is always a good candidate, but, interestingly, there is no such effect in the women’s tournament.Or it could just be that this is March Madness, and anything can happen. If there’s one piece of folk wisdom that has emerged over the past decade or so of March Madness, it’s that No. 5 seeds are jinxed. SportsCenter did a whole story on the subject featuring Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2012, VCU was a No. 12 seed that pulled off a “shocking” upset against Wichita State. In 2013, VCU was itself a No. 5 but defied the trend, crushing No. 12 Akron by 46 points to become the only No. 5 seed to win its opening-round (round of 64) game that year. In 2014, VCU’s story came full circle. It again entered the tournament as a No. 5 seed but was upset by unheralded No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin University. The tournament quirk that was once VCU’s magic was now its curse.Including those VCU games, No. 12 seeds over the past three years have pulled off upsets in eight of 12 round-of-64 matchups, including six of their last eight. It would be extremely easy to dismiss this as a freak occurrence. (I certainly did at first.) But it’s a real phenomenon. And after looking into it, I think it may be indicative of something larger. The 5-seed jinx may be a sign that March Madness — at least on the men’s side — is even madder than we think.But I’ll get there. First, let’s look at the phenomenon. If it seems like No. 12 seeds beat No. 5 seeds more than they should, it’s because they have. Going back to 1995, No. 5 seeds have been upset 33 times in 80 games. Their 59 percent win rate compares unfavorably to the 66 percent win rate of No. 6 seeds. Based on the trend, it would appear that No. 5 seeds should be winning more like 72 percent. Take a look at how far No. 5 seeds deviate in the chart below. The gray region is the standard error on the fit between seed and win percentage when not including the No. 5 seed:So they’re an outlier, but is it significant? Particularly, how unlikely is this to have happened by chance? Let us consult the oracle of binom.dist() — Excel’s handy function that tells you the probability of things happening a certain number of times, given the probability of them happening once. In a fun bit of symmetry, given an expected win rate of 72 percent, the odds of No. 5 seeds losing six of eight, eight of 12, or 33 of 80 are all about the same: Each is a little under 1 percent.10.8 percent, 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.Note that it would be unremarkable for this to have happened by chance: One in a hundred-type things happen every day. But, as a committed Bayesian, I have to consult my priors and determine whether the phenomenon of No. 5 seeds’ underperforming is more likely to be a result of chance or other plausible factors.First, let’s look at how strong each seed’s teams have been since 1995. As you go from the 1 vs. 16 matchups down to the 8 vs. 9 ones, the better-seeded teams get worse and the worse-seeded teams get better, making the contests much closer. To see how much so, we can plot each team’s SRS (Simple Rating System, a metric that measures margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule) prior to the game.2I backed these out myself, so there may be very small differences from what was actually recorded at the time. They’re as prior to each team’s round-of-64 match for each year (since 1995). read more