Global Olympic gold medals per capita are at their lowest point since the first modern Olympics in 1896.There are 306 events at the Olympics this summer, with one gold medal per event.1Though an extra gold or two could result from ties. Also, more than one athlete can share a medal in team and relay events, so the number of athletes earning medals is greater than the number of medals in the country-by-country medal table. There are more than 7.3 billion people worldwide. That’s fewer than 42 events for every billion people, and that ratio has been declining since the 2000 Sydney Games, when the Olympics grew to 300 events, up 11 percent from 1996 and 48 percent higher than in 1980.In 2002, an International Olympic Committee report warned that the games were growing too big. “Today, the Olympic Movement must contend with the reality that more sports want to participate in the Olympic Games, more athletes want to compete in the Olympic Games, more people want to attend the Olympic Games, and more media want to cover the Olympic Games,” the report said. As a result, the cost of hosting the games was increasing and some countries were being left out of the running in bids to serve as host, according to the report.The IOC has heeded the report’s warning and pressed pause on the Summer Olympics’ rapid growth rate.2The number of events in the Winter Olympics hasn’t stopped growing, in part because those games are so much smaller than the Summer Games. Population numbers for the per capita numbers in the text and chart are from the U.S. Census Bureau, which has annual estimates since 1950. For Olympics before 1950, I used United Nations 1999 estimates compiled by the Census Bureau for global population in 1850, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 and 1950, interpolating for Olympic years for which an estimate wasn’t available by assuming linear growth between estimated years. Though events per capita were much higher in the first half of the 20th century, everything that surrounded those events has grown, including the number of security forces and members of the media. Also, many more athletes today compete per event, from far more countries, than did then. The number of events has not quite doubled since 1920, but the number of participating athletes is roughly four times higher today and the number of participating countries is about seven times higher.3Media reports put the number of athletes this summer at somewhere between 10,500 and more than 11,000, and the number of countries at 206 or 207; the organizing committee’s media office didn’t respond to a request for a count.The decrease in events per capita has meant more athletes are competing for a chance to win roughly the same number of medals. It also has meant that sports not yet in the Olympics have had a hard time breaking into the games, and when they have, it has usually come at the expense of others, such as baseball and softball. That will change in Tokyo, though, as yet another new Olympic philosophy on growth will bring five new sports into the fold. read more

The NCAA women’s tournament bracket is out, and the Connecticut Huskies have a 52 percent chance to capture their 12th national championship and seventh undefeated season under coach Geno Auriemma, according to our March Madness predictions.This would be their fifth championship in a row and their third championship since last losing a game of any sort, on Nov. 17, 2014 — 847 days ago. If they win this tournament, that run will extend to over 1,000 days before they have another chance to lose next fall.Their 107 consecutive wins is already a record for NCAA basketball, and it’s moving up the ranks of the longest streaks in all of college sports. They recently passed North Carolina’s record streak in women’s soccer of 103 consecutive wins from 1986 to 1990, and they are in striking distance of Penn State’s record 109 wins in women’s volleyball from 2007 to 2010. (Though the Huskies are still a long way from the longest win streak in college sports: Trinity College men’s squash team had 252 consecutive wins from 1998 to 2012 that included 13 national championships.)VIDEO: A No. 16 seed will win, but don’t bet on it The Huskies’ chance of winning this year’s tournament is not what it has been in the past, though. It’s well down from the 70 percent chance we gave them at the start of the tournament last year, and the 74 percent chance we gave them the year before — both of which, to be honest, felt a little low.This year, there’s good reason to think they really do have a lower probability of winning. After losing team stars Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck — who were the first, second and third overall picks in the WNBA draft last year — it would have been reasonable to expect their performance to drop a bit. And it has — though the Huskies managed to stay undefeated, they haven’t been quite their dominant selves. They carried a 75-game win streak into this season, having won every game by double digits. But they opened the year with a 2-point victory over Florida State (who’s now a No. 3 in its region) and two other wins this season have come by 6 and 3 points — the latter to unranked Tulane, whom they had beaten in January by 44! Related: Hot Takedown Hot Takedown’s March Madness Special The Huskies are scoring fewer points per possession on offense and allowing more points per possession on defense than they did a year ago — though they are first and second, respectively, in those categories this season anyway.Their biggest obstacle is probably that some of the other contenders are stronger than they have been in the last few years. Baylor (23 percent chance to win, according to FiveThirtyEight’s predictions) is the next strongest team on paper, and the Lady Bears are in UConn’s neighborhood for both offensive and defensive efficiency — although they have looked vulnerable of late (such as when losing to West Virginia last week). The Huskies have played all three other No. 1 seeds (Baylor, South Carolina and Notre Dame) this season and won all three games by 11. Another threat might be No. 3 Maryland, who is in UConn’s region, have had a UConn-class offense this year and have only lost to the Huskies by 6 and 10 in their past two meetings. Two vanilla losses may not look like something to hang your hat on, but against this powerhouse — even in its mildly weakened form — that’s about as good as it gets.Check out our March Madness predictions. read more

Tuesday’s match to watch is Italy vs. Uruguay, essentially a must-win duel (for Uruguay at least) between the 16th- and 10th-best sides in the world according to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI). A surprisingly close second? Costa Rica-England, which features a group leader and an eliminated team with nothing but pride to play for. In between, there’s plenty of action in Group C, where every team is technically alive and fighting to advance to the Round of 16.Costa Rica vs. England: 12 p.m. EDTItaly vs. Uruguay: 12 p.m. EDTGreece vs. Ivory Coast: 4 p.m. EDTJapan vs. Colombia: 4 p.m. EDTIN BRIEFSee our World Cup predictions for the latest probabilities.IN DEPTHIt’s tough to overstate what’s on the line in Tuesday’s match between Uruguay and Italy. Both teams are tied for second place in Group D with three points apiece, although Italy holds the all-important tiebreaker with a superior goal differential.Group D’s leader, Costa Rica, won its first two matches and has guaranteed itself a spot in the next round, so there’s only one unclaimed berth left in the group. Uruguay is the favorite to win the match by SPI, about 41 percent to 30 percent (with a 29 percent probability of a draw), and that’s not because of defense. Neither team has been particularly dominant at that end of the pitch, but Uruguay has allowed four goals in the tournament, including three to a Costa Rican side that’s far from a scoring juggernaut.Instead, the odds are in Uruguay’s favor mostly because — theoretically speaking — it has the better offense, led by the sublime forward Luis Suarez. After not appearing at all in Uruguay’s opening loss against Costa Rica, Suarez returned from a knee injury Thursday to score a pair of goals and help sink England’s World Cup hopes. He’ll continue to get support from the passing of Edinson Cavani, Cristian Rodríguez and Nicolás Lodeiro. But Suarez aside, La Celeste has had some difficulty generating consistent scoring chances in the tournament so far, and Uruguay will have a hard time winning if it continues to muster only 8.5 shots per game.Meanwhile, Italy was expected to be in the middle of the pack offensively before the tournament, and it’s played largely to form. Mario Balotelli has been his customarily uneven self; he picked up a goal and caused all manner of havoc against England, then promptly had a terrible game (three offsides, one yellow card and only one shot on target) against Costa Rica. Andrea Pirlo’s passing remains superb, and the Italian offense plays with an efficient style — forgoing crosses in favor of passes through the middle of the pitch — but it’s also had a lot of trouble sustaining attacks in the opponent’s third.Uruguay might not be the best opponent for the pass-heavy Italian style; it’s been one of the best defenses at intercepting passes so far in the World Cup. Watch for the stark contrast between Italy’s ball control-centric offensive game and the more direct Uruguayan style, which sacrifices possession in favor of the long ball, and attempts to win by attacking from the wings and winning balls in the air. Each approach represents one side of a fierce philosophical divide in soccer, and which one prevails will go a long way toward determining who advances out of Group D.It’s worth noting that our World Cup odds list Italy as the favorites to advance despite Uruguay being favored in this specific match. That’s because in the event of a draw, Italy would claim second place in the group on goal differential. An Uruguayan win is the single most likely outcome of the game, but there’s also a 59 percent chance that Uruguay doesn’t win the match and fails to advance. Confused yet?The second-best game of the day (at least according to our method of taking the harmonic mean of the two competitors’ SPI scores) is Costa Rica vs. England. It’s a fine matchup, but the stakes are as low as it gets for both teams. Costa Rica has clinched a berth in the knockout round (and has an 89 percent chance of winning Group D), and England has been mathematically eliminated.The remaining games have some implications for the next round, though Colombia has already punched its ticket into the Round of 16 and Japan’s odds are slim. Greece vs. Ivory Coast offers a bit more to play for: Greece has a better than 19 percent chance of making it to the knockout stage, but SPI also predicts the match to be a dreary, low-scoring affair.YESTERDAYThe Netherlands avoided a matchup with Brazil in the Round of 16 by defeating Chile 2-0 in their Group B finale Monday. The Netherlands’ chance of advancing to the quarterfinals is now 69 percent, while Chile must face Brazil on Sunday with odds of 26 percent. The Dutch would have been an underdog against Brazil, advancing 23 percent of the time.For the first 75 minutes Monday, the Netherlands struggled to get opportunities, completing two of 16 passes into the attacking penalty area and creating four total chances. Then in the final 15 minutes plus stoppage time, the Dutch completed two of four passes into the attacking penalty area, creating two chances and scoring on both. Substitute Leroy Fer gave the Netherlands the lead less than two minutes after entering the match with just his second touch of the game.The Netherlands struggled not only on passes into the box; Dutch players completed 63.9 percent of passes overall, their worst rate in a World Cup match in at least 50 years. In their first two wins, the Dutch completed 78.9 percent of their passes.Chile had the majority of possession, with 657 touches to the Netherlands’ 395, but couldn’t get anything going in the Netherlands’ penalty area. Chile managed seven shots, one of which was on target, and had less than 2 percent of its overall touches (13) in the attacking penalty area.Part of the trouble could have been that Chile was fouled 26 times, the most in a match in this year’s World Cup. Forward Alexis Sanchez was fouled nine times, two more than anyone else this tournament.Later, Mexico and Croatia were scoreless through 70 minutes, and Mexico was poised to become the first team under the current tournament format to advance to the knockout round scoring exactly one goal. But then El Tri scored three times in 11 minutes to propel Mexico to the knockout round and a matchup with the Netherlands.Two of Mexico’s three goals came from headers — a rarity, as El Tri scored two headed goals in its past two World Cup appearances combined. Mexico’s third goal came from Javier Hernandez, who’s come off the bench in each of Mexico’s three matches and ended his career-long scoreless streak for his country Monday. His goal was one of 21 scored by substitutes this tournament, the most ever in a group stage (substitutes were first allowed in 1970). —  Jacob Nitzberg, senior stats analyst, ESPNOFF THE PITCHBelieve it or not, Italian food just wouldn’t be the same without its relationship with Uruguay. Although the country is known for its carb-heavy offerings, the roles of meat and fish in the Italian diet can’t be discounted. According to 2012 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 45 percent of Uruguay’s exports to Italy were bovine meat, followed by frozen fish fillets, at 16 percent. Follow the trade route in the opposite direction, and Italian exports to Uruguay run the gamut. They’re mostly concentrated in machinery — sewing machinery, tractors, furnaces, etc. But perfumery, cosmetics,and eyewear play a noticeable role as well. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Italian trade if it didn’t include pasta, of which Italy sent a healthy $2.4 million worth to Uruguay. — Hayley MunguiaFURTHER READINGAdvancement Scenarios For Groups C And DWatching the USMNT on Copacabana Beach in RioWorld Cup Pass & Move: I Can’t Believe That We Did Draw! read more

12/17/1986ClemsonArmstrongREG112-39+65 DATEWINNEROPPONENTGAME TYPESCOREELO-ADJUSTED POINT MARGIN 12/23/1998MarylandNorth TexasREG132-57+63 Best men’s basketball wins relative to average expectation 12/11/1954DaytonBowling GreenREG109-39+69 Because Elo measures the difference in relative quality between teams going into a game, it can be used (in conjunction with information about the location of the game) to create a predictive point spread. It can also be used to generate a hypothetical point spread that would have been expected from an average Division I team1With an Elo rating of exactly 1500. against the same opponent in a given game. So against Oklahoma on a neutral court Saturday, for instance, Villanova was expected to win by about 2.5 points; an average team would have been expected to lose by 21. That Villanova won by 44 implies that the Wildcats outperformed their own expectations by 41.5 points and those of an “average” team by about 65 points.Suffice it to say that 65 points is an extraordinarily wide margin for a team to beat the D-I average by in a single game. The record since 1949-50 in any game between two D-I schools is 73, set by North Carolina when it trounced Manhattan College by 84 points in 1985. (Elo estimates that an average team, playing at home, would have beaten the 1200-rated Jaspers by about 11 points.) But that also took place in a forgettable non-conference game two days after Christmas.To find an NCAA Tournament win more impressive than Villanova’s romp, you’d have to go back to 1963, when Loyola of Chicago exceeded average by 70 points with a 111-42 opening-round triumph over Tennessee Tech. And before the Wildcats’ win Saturday, no team had beaten average by 60 or more points in an NCAA Tournament game since 1971, when a previous incarnation of Villanova beat Penn 90-47. 2/27/1994MinnesotaIndianaREG106-56+65 12/17/1995TulsaPrairie ViewREG141-50+72 12/9/1955UtahArizonaREG119-45+64 Source: Sports Reference 12/29/1972New MexicoDartmouthREG107-36+65 4/2/2016VillanovaOklahomaNCAA95-51+65 3/3/2008KansasTexas TechREG109-51+67 3/11/1963Loyola (IL)Tennessee TechNCAA111-42+70 1/12/1952Holy CrossBrownREG100-31+64 3/12/1993KentuckyTennesseeCTOURN101-40+66 12/18/1971IndianaNotre DameREG94-29+64 1/27/1993OklahomaFlorida A&MREG146-65+63 2/27/1956KentuckyGeorgiaREG143-66+65 11/25/1989DukeHarvardREG130-54+63 12/27/1985North CarolinaManhattanREG129-45+73 1/5/1974UCLAWashingtonREG100-48+64 12/10/1994Southern UtahSouth AlabamaREG140-72+71 Ahead of Saturday’s Final Four matchup between Villanova and Oklahoma, our prediction model had the Wildcats only slightly favored, with a 54 percent chance of winning, and nearly a quarter of the game was as tight as that probability suggests. When Oklahoma led 17-16 after eight minutes, our in-game win probabilities listed the odds as essentially the same as they’d been before tipoff. Fans across the country settled in for an exciting game, perhaps like the one Villanova had played against Kansas in the South Regional final.But from that point on, things were anything but close. ’Nova rattled off a 12-0 run, touching off an eight-minute sequence in which it outscored Oklahoma 21 to 4. By halftime, the Wildcats led by 14 — but they weren’t done yet. After the Sooners briefly cut Villanova’s lead to single-digits with 16 minutes left in the game, the Wildcats scored 49 of the game’s next 63 points, including a 25-0 run that lasted approximately five and a half minutes on the scoreboard (but must have felt like an eternity to Sooner fans).The result was a 44-point landslide win for Villanova, the most lopsided victory in Final Four history. That is a matter of historical fact. But using our Elo ratings (which estimate a team’s strength at a given moment), we can also say that it was probably the most impressive NCAA Tournament win in more than 53 years — and the 10th-most-impressive D-I basketball victory, period, since the 1949-50 season: 11/17/2009TennesseeUNC-AshevilleREG124-49+64 read more

A week ago, I wrote about how both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros are in rare historical company this season. According to FiveThirtyEight’s Elo power ratings — which measure a team’s strength at any moment — each is playing roughly as well as the fabled 1927 Yankees played. But this season’s top-heaviness extends well beyond just the Astros and Dodgers. Each member of MLB’s ruling class this season is unusually strong, which suggests that, come October, we may be watching the the most stacked playoff fields in memory. That’s great news for fans — but it’s also really bad news for the wannabes and would-be Cinderellas that are currently chasing the front-runners.One easy way to visualize the power balance of a league is to look at how its teams at any given ranking slot measure up to those from other seasons in the past. For example, the Dodgers have the best Elo rating (1602) of any top-ranked team through July 20 of a season in the expansion era (since 1961). Likewise, the Astros are by far the best second-ranked Elo team of the expansion era.Go down the line, and each of Elo’s top six teams carries one of the strongest ratings in modern history for its slot. The third ranked Washington Nationals, for instance, are more like the top team in an average season than a mere third wheel. The Boston Red Sox would be running a strong third most seasons; this year, they’re a distant fourth. The Indians and Cubs can both tell similar stories. As we approach the July 31 trade deadline, this is more than just an academic curiosity. A team’s willingness to pony up prospects for a better shot at the World Series is directly tied to how much good it thinks a trade will do. In a wide-open season, even teams outside the top tier of contenders could be convinced to roll the dice on an upgrade — particularly with the expanded wild-card format. But the stronger the top teams are, the less incentive teams on the periphery have to make a championship push. According to Elo, we haven’t seen a stronger crop of elite teams in the expansion era than this season’s top six.1The top six teams of 2017 carry an average Elo rating of 1562.5, which beats out 1998 (1557.9) for the highest average for the top six teams through July 20 of a season since 1961.As recently as a few years ago, you could have lamented the lack of dominant teams at the top of the major leagues. At this same time in 2015, for instance, the leading Elo teams were among the weakest at their slots in the expansion era. But baseball’s era of parity seems to be officially over, with the game moving back toward imbalance. While a top-heavy MLB might never look like its basketball equivalent,2Even this season, the Dodgers’ winning percentage works out to a mere 57-win pace in the NBA — which would have only bought them the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. it’s still going to be tougher than usual for aspiring contenders to break through — a fact you can bet every GM is keenly aware of in the lead-up to the deadline. read more

200281.1Y. Ming7’6″N. Tskitishvili7’0″Nene6’11” 2018′s top 10 was calculated using ESPN.com’s latest mock draft.Sources: ESPN, Basketball-Reference.com Last season, 21 of the league’s 50 most valuable players by VORP stood 6-foot-10 or taller, another high for the league since the ABA merger in 1976. So in that sense, towering talents such as Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ben Simmons are doing just fine in the modern NBA, thank you very much.But at the same time, it’s difficult to conclude that this is a true heyday for taller players when you consider how little difference any of them made during the playoffs.1Granted, NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant is listed as 6-foot-9, but he is certainly taller than that. The percentage of total postseason minutes logged by players 6-foot-10 or taller has fallen from 29 percent in 2009 (the year 6-foot-11 Dwight Howard led the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals) to 22 percent this year. At the same time, the share of playoff VORP belonging to big men has fallen from 34 percent to 26 percent. Only two players 6-foot-10 or taller — Kevin Love and JaVale McGee — played any significant minutes in the NBA Finals.2The series’ other players who stand 6-foot-10 or taller — Zaza Pachulia and Ante Zizic — were on the court for a grand total of 11 minutes over the series’ four games. In recent postseasons, the switch-heavy defensive schemes that top teams play have often made it a tactical liability to rely heavily on traditional big-man types, to say nothing of the negative effects of playing a nonshooter like most bigs have been throughout NBA history.Even among those who have survived these shifting conditions and remained relevant as NBA big men, the core responsibilities of the role have changed substantially over time. The floor-spacing element alone has not only put added pressure on bigs to develop greater range as shooters — 7-footers now take more than double the number of threes they did just five seasons ago, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group — but it also requires them to be able to move fluidly in larger areas of defensive space, as well as taking a more active role in ballhandling and passing duties.You can see these changes playing out statistically as today’s big men are diversifying their contributions. Relative to the league average, the typical player who stands 6-foot-10 or taller in the 2010s gets significantly more assists and steals than in previous decades; he also is a much more frequent and efficient scorer and rebounder, but he blocks fewer shots. These changes have been about survival, and several of this draft’s elite post prospects have things they’ll need to prove in order to avoid becoming the next Jahlil Okafor, who entered the NBA with one of the best low-post arsenals in decades but couldn’t move his feet well enough to justify consistent playing time (let alone the No. 3 overall pick).The physically gifted Ayton, who spent much of this past season at power forward, logged very low steal and block rates when compared with other recent top-level post prospects, leading some to question his defensive instincts. Marvin Bagley III, who played zone during his one year at Duke, struggled at times defending the pick and roll, a vital trait in a league where that play can be used every time down the floor. And while Texas’s Mohamed Bamba will enter the NBA with a shot-blocking reputation — he has a ridiculous 7-foot-10 wingspan and erased almost four shots a game in college — it remains to be seen whether he’ll be able to make an impact on defense when teams seek to pull him out with a stretch-big who doesn’t need to be tethered to the paint.If we learned anything during these NBA playoffs — between Houston finding ways to torch and neutralize likely defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert and Golden State making mincemeat out of Cleveland’s switch-everything defense in the NBA Finals — it’s that the best offenses generally have counterpunches against highly predictable defensive sets and players. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be a shock to see someone like Michigan State’s 6-foot-11 Jaren Jackson Jr. get drafted a few spots earlier than expected, given the defensive versatility he possesses.To be clear, it’s not just the big men who find themselves adapting to a changing game. Players at other positions will also come with a handful of question marks Thursday night for similar reasons. For all his game-changing offensive talents, Oklahoma guard Trae Young’s lack of size (he checks in at 6-foot-2 and just under 180 pounds, with only a 6-foot-4 wingspan) figures to give teams pause after an NBA postseason whose earlier rounds saw smaller guards targeted and exposed consistently on the defensive end. Among perimeter players — rookie and veteran alike — Young isn’t alone in that weakness.On a larger scale, though, the sheer number of elite big-men draft prospects leading the way this year may seem a bit odd, given how the league has seemingly downsized. But just keep in mind the necessary caveat: Big men are still alive and well in the NBA — as long as they can move their feet and possess more than one tangible skill. We’ll see how many of this year’s towering prospects can check off those boxes once they start playing against the pros. Headlined by Arizona 7-footer Deandre Ayton, this crop of big men is poised to have a profound effect on the league’s future. But therein lies a paradox: In the sport that prizes height like no other, the game itself is moving away from the archetype of the plodding big man. How each top prospect handles this seeming contradiction will go a long way toward determining what kind of pro career he’ll end up enjoying.The changing role of tall players in today’s pace-and-space NBA is complicated. As our ESPN colleague Kevin Pelton noted last week, bigs are actually more effective on a per-minute basis than ever, at least according to player-value metrics. Even though their share of leaguewide minutes has stayed relatively constant since the late 1980s, the share of NBA value over replacement player (VORP) accumulated by players 6-foot-10 or taller has been on the rise, hitting a modern high-water mark during the 2017-18 season, when bigs accounted for 39.5 percent of total value: 200681.0A. Bargnani7’0″P. O’Bryant7’0″L. Aldridge6’11” 200080.6J. Przybilla7’1″C. Mihm7’0″K. Martin6’9″ When the NBA drafts its newest class of rookies Thursday, big guys should be the order of the night. According to rankings from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, six of the top seven prospects in this year’s draft stand 6-foot-10 or taller. (The one exception is Real Madrid’s Luca Doncic, a 6-foot-8 point guard.) If things play out according to ESPN’s latest mock draft, this could be the second-tallest collection of top-10 picks in any draft since the lottery era began in 1985: 200781.6S. Hawes7’1″G. Oden7’0″Y. Jianlian7’0″ 198581.5P. Ewing7’0″B. Benjamin7’0″J. Koncak7’0″ 201080.6D. Cousins6’11”G. Monroe6’11”D. Favors6’10” 201881.6D. Ayton7’0″M. Bamba7’0″M. Bagley6’11” 199780.1T. Duncan6’11”T. Battie6’11”K. Van Horn6’10” 199480.2E. Montross7’0″S. Wright6’11”D. Marshall6’9″ 201581.4K. Porzingis7’3″K. Towns7’0″W. C.’Stein7’0″ 2018 is looking like one of the tallest drafts everTallest average height for top 10 picks in an NBA draft, 1985-2018 198681.1B. Daugherty7’0″W. Bedford7’0″B. Sellers7’0″ 201680.6D. Bender7’1″T. Maker7’1″J. Poeltl7’0″ 199280.7S. O’Neal7’1″C. Laettner6’11”A. Mourning6’10” 200182.0T. Chandler7’1″P. Gasol7’0″E. Curry7’0″ YearAvg. HEIGHT (inches)1st2nd3rd 198880.3R. Smits7’4″R. Seikaly6’11”D. Manning6’10” Tallest Players read more

Senior midfielder Yianni Sarris heads the ball during a game against Akron on Sept. 24 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Ben Jackson / For The LanternWednesday night’s contest did not go as planned for the Ohio State men’s soccer team, but the Buckeyes are now set to try to put it behind them and take on a top-10 foe.The 1-0 loss to Oakland in Rochester, Mich., stalled the momentum of the previous week in which OSU topped two top-25 teams and seemed to be firing on all cylinders.“We know we’re going to need to score some goals and we know we’re going to have to continue to do that if we want to be successful in the Big Ten,” senior midfielder Yianni Sarris said on Monday.The Buckeyes will now have to try to rebound from that loss against No. 10 Indiana (7-1-3, 1-1-1) on Sunday afternoon.The good news for the Buckeyes is that the game is set to be played in Columbus, where they are 2-1-2 this season — including a 3-2 victory against then-No. 17 Michigan State last Saturday.“Playing on familiar turf and in front of your own fans makes the difference,” junior defender Liam Doyle said. “Home comforts.”OSU coach John Bluem said the Buckeyes’ schedule is one of the toughest in the nation.“Our strength of schedule is ridiculously strong,” Bluem said Monday. “With a (then) 4-3-3 record, to be ranked 13th in the RPI, that means your strength of scheduled is stupid.”The Ratings Percentage Index, or RPI, which measures performance in relation to strength of schedule, recognized the tenacity of the Buckeyes’ foes. The RPI ranked the Buckeyes at No. 13, despite only receiving four votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.However, Bluem said he is not concerned with what the coaches’ surveys say, rather only focusing on the computerized RPI.“The polls ultimately don’t mean anything,” Bluem said. “It’s the RPI that matters. The RPI shows you how well you’ve done against better competition, and the NCAA committee, when they select teams for the tournament, they pay attention to the RPI.”Bluem pointed out that there are only two undefeated Division I schools remaining, and OSU has already faced both of them. The Buckeyes drew University of California-Davis (4-0-7), 0-0, in their opening game Aug. 29 and fell to Penn State (10-0-1), 1-0, on Sept. 21.Bluem said he is glad to have the tests throughout the season, but wishes they didn’t all come clumped together.“I wish maybe some of these games coming up were fit in between there and some of these were spread out a little more, but that’s not the way it worked,” Bluem said.That trend is set to continue this weekend against the Hoosiers. Indiana is unbeaten in its last six matches, including wins over then-No. 8 Saint Louis and No. 18 Louisville in its last two.While Bluem and several players have said that the team is trying to focus on taking the season one game at a time, Doyle said he realizes the impact of games played against Big Ten opponents.“We try to take all games the same, but I do think the Big Ten conference does have a little edge to it because we know winning the conference is the main goal of the team,” Doyle said.OSU has lost three straight games against the Hoosiers, with its last win coming on Nov. 7, 2010, in Columbus.This weekend’s game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

Ohio State junior kicker Sean Nuernberger (96) kicks a field goal in the second quarter in the game against Rutgers on Sep. 30. Ohio State won 56-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorLINCOLN, Nebraska — Ohio State redshirt junior kicker Sean Nuernberger drilled an extra point with 5:39 remaining in the first quarter of the Buckeyes’ game against Nebraska Saturday night to become the Big Ten record-holder for most point after attempts converted in a row. This extra point was the 142nd in a row.Nuernberger has not missed an extra point in his career. He has converted seven of nine field goals this season. In his career, Nuernberger has made 23 of 33 field goals.Nuernberger broke kicker Drew Basil’s Ohio State record for most consecutive made extra points last season. read more

Sophomore outside hitter Reese Devilbiss hits the ball over the net during the finalset of No. 3 Ohio State’s match against No. 8 Penn State on Jan. 28, 2018 in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes defeated the Nittany Lions in straight sets (25-19, 25-15, 25-17) to pick up their fifth win of the season. Credit: Aliyyah Jackson | Senior ReporterThe No. 5 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (11-2, 4-0 MIVA) added a fourth conference win  after defeating Quincy (8-6, 0-4 MIVA) in three sets (25-22, 25-15, 25-15).The first set began as a blowout for the Buckeyes, who started the set with a 10 point lead, 12-2. In the next 20 plays, however, the Hawks made a comeback through a series of kills by Quincy senior outside hitter Anthony Winter and sophomore outside hitter Omari Wheeler. The Hawks also capitalized on Ohio State’s errors and pulled within one point, trailing 18-17.“It was a little disappointing the way we came out and got a big lead in set one and then just kind of gave them some runs of points on our errors,” Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson said.The Buckeyes scored seven more points and kept the Hawks at bay to win the set 25-22. Ohio State senior outside hitter Maxime Hervoir hit a .556 and contributed six of the team’s 14 kills in the opening set. Redshirt junior middle blocker Blake Leeson came alive in the second set, helping out the team both in defense and offense with three blocks and two kills. Ohio State hit a .526 and won the second set 25-15.The third set of the match was another struggle for the Hawks, who hit .000 for the second-straight set. Quincy had a total of four kills compared to the Buckeyes’ 15 kills. Dominating the set, Ohio State spread out its offense with consistent attacks across the board, leading to another 25-15 win to seal the match.Hanson said he felt his team did well responding to the rough first set, bouncing back to dominate the final two sets of the match.“It was nice to see that the guys understood that’s not acceptable, and they played a much cleaner game in sets two and three and did what we’re capable of doing,” he said.Throughout the match, Hervoir and ’ sophomore outside hitter Reese Devilbiss stood out offensively. Hervoir led the team with 11 kills and Devilbiss had a team-high 13.5 points. Leeson topped the blocking leaderboard with four total blocks.The Buckeyes have not lost a conference game and Quincy has not won a conference game, so the Buckeyes had to deal with the threat of remaining focused despite the difference in the level of competition. “I knew it would be a team that if we fell asleep, it would be hard,” Hervoir said. “Like you have seen, in the first set, they came back. We were way ahead and they came back slowly just because we fell asleep. Because of that, I was ready to put energy on the court and help everybody to talk, talk, talk, talk.”Despite winning, Hervoir said Ohio State did not play as aggressively as he felt it should. read more

Ohio State redshirt junior guard Sierra Calhoun shoots a free throw during the Buckeyes’ 110-80 exhibition win against Ashland on Oct. 29. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorLast season, the Ohio State women’s basketball team averaged 85 points per game.As it looks ahead to the 2018-19 season, only 6.5 of those points will be returning to the roster.Having lost one of the greatest basketball players ever to don a scarlet and gray uniform in Kelsey Mitchell and three other regular starters for the Buckeyes, Ohio State had already been gutted of enough of its roster. On Tuesday, that escalated further when Rutgers announced that Ohio State redshirt senior guard Sierra Calhoun — the only remaining starter from last season — would be heading east to wear a new kind of scarlet as a graduate transfer.During the 2017-18 season, Calhoun was fourth on the team with an average of 11.6 minutes per game. She also was the team’s second-best 3-point shooter among the starters, having made 77-of-215 shots for a 35.8 percent success rate. She started all 35 games with Mitchell, forward Stephanie Mavunga and guard Linnae Harper. Guard Asia Doss started in 30 games, but forward Alexa Hart filled in for the other five due to an ankle injury to Doss late in the year.Calhoun’s departure leaves Ohio State without much of any experience to turn to from the prior season.Redshirt senior Makayla Waterman is the only returning player to have averaged more than 10 minutes over the course of the season. The 6-foot-2 forward averaged 3.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.The top returning guard and the player with an inside shot at cracking the starting five is former five-star recruit Jensen Caretti, who averaged 8.7 minutes, 2.4 points and 0.6 assists per game in her freshman campaign with Ohio State. This means Ohio State’s lineup, expectedly, will take on a completely different look. The Buckeyes will have unfamiliar players at guard, but the team still has a plethora of other options. Ohio State received five graduate transfers, all of whom were guards for their former schools: Adreana Miller from La Salle, Najah Queenland from Pacific, Carly Santoro from Bowling Green, Ashanti Abshaw from Cleveland State and Carmen Grande from Bowling Green.It also added four-star guard recruit Janai Crooms, who is listed as the No. 62 overall recruit by ESPN.Grande, who has compiled the second-most assists in the country over the past three seasons, could be counted on to become one of the team’s top ball-handlers while Abshaw leaves the Vikings having become the third-fastest player in school history to reach 1,000 points. That guard depth could be tested by an Ohio State team that has traditionally used four starters at guard as opposed to a more traditional three- or two-guard lineup. Last season, head coach Kevin McGuff started four guards in 30 of the team’s 35 total games. That could again be the case in 2018-19 given the team’s lack of forward depth. Outside of Waterman, Ohio State will have only three-star freshman Aaliyah Patty, four-star freshman Dorka Juhasz and former walk-on Savitha Jayaraman at forward. Patty is listed as the No. 17 overall forward in the 2018 class according to ESPN, while Prospects Nation lists Juhasz as the No. 12 overall international prospect coming to the U.S. to play in 2018. This season will be a trial by fire for most of Ohio State’s roster. Now with Calhoun leaving, the Buckeyes face the prospect of putting out a team with little to no existing chemistry, relying on a roster that returns four players in total and sees nine new players entering the fold.Finding another Mitchell will be difficult if not impossible for McGuff in this this new-look roster. But, he will hope to find a group that can at least come close to the 85 points of last season. read more

Ohio State then-freshman goalie Andrea Braendli (30) prepares for a shot in the game against Minnesota State on Oct. 11. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Wyatt Crosher | Assistant Sports EditorNo. 10 Ohio State (18-12-2, 12-10-2-2 WCHA) clinched home ice for the WCHA Tournament and cost No. 1 Wisconsin (28-4-2, 18-4-2-0, WCHA) the regular season conference title with back-to-back ties and shootout victories on the road.Game 1A career-high 52 saves from freshman goalie Andrea Braendli helped garner the Buckeyes two points with a tie and shootout win against the Badgers on Friday night.Braendli stopped three Wisconsin shots in the shootout to cap off her impressive performance, allowing sophomore forward Emma Maltais to seal the deal for the Buckeyes with the winning score.Wisconsin took the early lead on the first night of its senior weekend with a power-play goal from junior forward Abby Roque eight minutes into the first period.The goal, assisted by freshman forward Sophie Shirley and junior defenseman Mekenzie Steffen, was Roque’s ninth goal and 35th point of the season, which gives her the fifth most in the conference.Ohio State entered the game leading the WCHA with 7.5 penalty minutes per game, and it was a tripping call on senior forward Charly Dahlquist that allowed the high-powered Wisconsin offense to take advantage early.The Buckeyes would retaliate seven minutes into the third period when junior forward and Wisconsin native Tatum Skaggs scored her team-leading 15th goal of the season to tie the game 1-1 and send it into overtime.Maltais and redshirt junior Jincy Dunne both notched assists on the goal. At 1.26 points per game, Maltais is second in the WCHA and Dunne’s .86 average makes her the highest scoring defenseman in the conference.Wisconsin entered the series tied for second in the country with 122 season goals, but only mustered one score on Friday despite more than doubling Ohio State’s shot output at 53-24.It was Braendli’s first action for the Buckeyes since she earned NCAA No. 2 Star of the Week honors for back-to-back shutout performances against St. Cloud State on Feb. 1 and 2. She had missed the last two games for an international tournament with the Swiss National Team before Ohio State’s bye week.With 52 saves on Wisconsin’s 53 shots, Braendli came away with a .981 save percentage on the night, improving the WCHA second-best .934 mark she had for the season entering the series.The two points clinched the No. 3 seed and home ice for Ohio State in the WCHA Tournament that opens next Friday.Game 2The Buckeyes cost Wisconsin its fourth straight regular season conference title with a second straight shootout victory to spoil senior night for the Badgers Saturday.Ohio State sophomore forward Liz Schepers’ conversion in the shootout after a 2-2 tie allowed the Buckeyes to escape a sold out LaBahn Arena with four series points.Schepers’ goal in the second period, a point blank score off a cross from senior forward Madison Field, looked like it would yield a win for the Buckeyes, as it put them up 2-0 with less than a period and a half remaining.Wisconsin, needing three points in the standings to beat out Minnesota for the regular season WCHA title, finally scored on two of its 42 shots in the final five minutes of the game to send it to overtime.The first came on Shirley’s WCHA second-best 19th goal of the season, followed by a score from redshirt senior forward Emily Clark with less than two minutes remaining.Clark’s goal snuck in off Braendli’s skate after an initial save, which saw a gesture of disbelief from the Swiss netminder with her arm thrown in the air.Braendli made 40 saves on Saturday, giving her 92 on the series.Wisconsin redshirt junior goalie Kristen Campbell faced just 20 shots in a second straight night of the Badgers generating more than twice the shots of Ohio State. After scoring the winning goal in the shootout Friday night, Maltais picked up right where she left off for the Buckeyes with a goal 23 seconds into Saturday’s game that shell-shocked the home crowd in Madison, Wisconsin before the eventual comeback.Wisconsin risked an empty net in overtime to no avail, and with the lack of a score went its’ chance at a conference title.Both teams begin WCHA Tournament play next weekend, as Ohio State takes on Minnesota State in Columbus as the No. 3 seed in the conference, and the Badgers open with a home matchup against St. Cloud State. read more

first_imgRobert MaudsleyDubbed Hannibal the Cannibal, Maudsley killed four people including three while in prison. He tried to eat part of the brain of one of the men he killed. He was jailed for life in 1977.John ChildsConvicted of the contract killings of six people, Childs was jailed for life in 1979.Dennis NilsenA civil servant, Nilsen murdered and dismembered 15 young men at his home in North London. He was jailed for life in 1983 and successive Home Secretaries have ruled he should never be released.Arthur HutchinsonMurdered three people after gatecrashing a wedding reception in Sheffield in 1983. Issued with a whole life tariff by a Home Secretary.Jeremy BamberFound guilty in 1986 of shooting dead his adoptive parents, sister and six-year-old twin nephews. Whole life tariff set by a previous Home Secretary.Anthony EntwistleRaped and murdered a teenage girl in Blackburn in 1988 just days after being released from prison for a previous rape. Given a whole tariff by the then Home Secretary.Victor MillerAbducted and killed a 14-year-old boy in Worcestershire in 1988. Police believe he was responsible for 30 unsolved sex assaults. Miller has requested that he dies in prison.John DuffyDubbed the railway killer, raped and murdered at least three women in the south of England in the late 1980s.Anthony ArkwrightIn 1989 hacked and beat to death three people in Yorkshire including his grandfather when he was aged just 21.Mark RobinsonKilled two girlfriends in 1989 and was issued with a whole life tariff.Victor CastigadorAn illegal immigrant from the Philippines tortured and killed two people during an attack at an amusement arcade in London. Earlier this year admitted killing a fellow inmate in prison and received a second whole life tariff. Fred and Rose West Thomas Mair who has been convicted and sentenced to a full life sentence for murdering MP Jo CoxCredit:Reuters Ernest WrightServed 26-year for a murder committed in the 1970s, but killed again after his release.Anthony HardyKnown as the Camden Ripper, Hardy was convicted of the murders of three women in 2010, but police believe he may have been responsible for up to six more.John MaddenDrugged, raped and killed his 12-year-old niece at his Manchester home after luring her there on the pretext of babysitting.Desmond LeeServed 14-year for the 1990 murder of his landlady, before killing again once he was released.Stephen GriffithsDubbed the Crossbow Cannibal, Griffiths was convicted of killing three women in Bradford in 2010.John SweeneyDescribed as the Canal Killer, was convicted of murdering two women whose bodies were dumped in canals.George Norman JohnsonServed 20 years for the murder of a man during a burglary in the 1980s and then after his release murdered an 89-year-old woman to fund his drug addiction.John CooperConvicted in 2011 of two double murders in Pembrokeshire, Wales, the first in 1985 and the second in 1989.David BaxendalePreviously convicted of murder in Spain, stabbed a woman to death in 2011 after being released and deported back to Britain.Andrew DawsonConvicted of the murders of two men while out on licence from a previous murder conviction.David CookConvicted of murder in 1988, Cook murdered for a second time while out on parole.David OakesGiven a whole life term after being convicted of the double shotgun murder of his ex-girlfriend and their two-year-old daughter.Stephen FarrowMurdered a 77-year-old woman and a 59-year-old vicar in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire in 2012.Mark BridgerFound guilty of abducting and murdering five-year-old April Jones in October 2012 from outside her home in Machynlleth, Wales. Her body has never been found. This week, white supremacist Thomas Mair was found guilty of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox, while gay serial killer Stephen Port, who drugged, raped and murdered four young men after meeting them on dating apps, was told he will die in prison.Here we take a look at the other prisoners serving whole life tariffs in British prisons. While some were given life terms by judges, others were ordered to be detained until they die by Home Secretary of the day. Ian BradyMoors murderer, Brady was jailed for life in May 1966 after being convicted of killing three children alongside Myra Hindley. She died in prison in 2002. Victor Castigador, jailed for life for the murder of two security guards during a robbery in Soho, London in March 1989 Peter Sutcliffe Thomas Mair who has been convicted and sentenced to a full life sentence for murdering MP Jo Cox Fred and Rose WestCredit:SWNS Peter MooreDubbed the Man in Black, murdered four men in Wales. Jailed for life in 1996.Paul GlenA hitman who had previously served life for murder. Killed again upon his release and was given a whole life tariff by a judge in 2004.Phillip HeggartyConvicted of murdering his friend Derek Bennett in a hammer attack in 2003.Thomas McDowellGiven a full life term in 2004 after killing a gay trainee rabbi in North London and dumping his body parts.Mark MartinKilled three homeless women in Nottingham between December 2004 and January 2005.Mark HobsonKilled his girlfriend and her twin sister, before murdering an elderly couple in North Yorkshire. Sentenced to whole life term in 2005.William HorncyMurdered a millionaire, his wife, mother-in-law and two sons in an effort to take over his business. Jailed for life in 2005.Kenneth ReganJailed alongside Horncy for his part in the same murders.Glyn Dix Jailed for life for murder in the 1970s but after his release killed again. Given a whole life term in 2005.Viktor DembovskisA Latvian immigrant who raped and murdered a 17-year-old female neighbour as she walked home from school in west London, before fleeing back to Latvia. He was later extradited and given a full life term.John McGradyA convicted rapist who strangled a 15-year-old girl who lived near him in South London.Stephen McCollGangster who was convicted in 2006 of killing two members of his own gang.Rahan ArshadMurdered his wife and three children, who were found dead in their home in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, Greater Manchester in August 2006Andrew RandallMurdered his seven week old daughter in Kettering, Northamptonshire in 2005 by throwing her head first into a settee.David TileyTwo months after being released from prison for a double rape, Tiley stabbed to death his disabled fiancée and then killed her carer.Michael SmithJailed for life for murder in the 1970s and killed again after being released from prison.Steve WrightThe Suffolk Strangler, Wright was jailed for life in 2007 for the murder of five prostitutes in the Ipswich area.Levi BellfieldConvicted of the murders of three young women in London and Surrey between 2003 and 2004. Has been linked to a string of other unsolved murders.Douglas VinterAfter being released on licence following a conviction for murder in the 1990s, was given a whole life term in 2008 after killing his wife.Marc ChiversServed 15 years in prison in Germany after killing his girlfriend. Following his release he was deported to Britain and the following year killed his girlfriend again.Peter TobinA Scottish serial killer Tobin killed at least three women between 1991 and 2006. Told he will die in prison.Royston JacksonConvicted of the murder of a convicted sex offender in October 2008, after being released on licence for another murder in 1989.Peter SutcliffeThe Yorkshire Ripper murdered 13 women between 1975 and 1980 across West Yorkshire. One of Britain’s most notorious prisoners was being held in Broadmoor secure hospital but was moved to prison earlier this year. April Jones was murdered by Mark Bridger Peter SutcliffeCredit:REX/Shutterstock Malcolm GreenServed 18-years for the murder of a prostitute and after being released killed a tourist from New Zealand.Rosemary WestConvicted of the murder of ten women and girls at her home in Gloucester alongside her husband Fred West. He killed himself in prison before he could stand trial. One of only two women to be serving a whole life tariff. Arthur Simpson-KentMurdered his partner, actress Sian Blake, 43, and their two sons Zachary, aged eight, and Amon, four, by beating and stabbing them to death at their home in Erith, London, in December 2015.Thomas MairWhite supremacist Mair was found guilty of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox.center_img Stephen PortGay serial killer Port drugged, raped and murdered four young men after meeting them on dating apps. He was also convicted of raping four others. The 41-year-old chef was told he will die in prison. Joanne DennehySerial killer, Dennehy, was convicted of the brutal murders of three men in random attacksPaul O’HaraHad been sentenced to life for murdering his girlfriend in 1998 but killed again after being released.Ryan MatthewsSixty-two-year-old convicted murderer Matthews was sentenced to a whole life term on 9 January 2015, after pleading guilty to the murder of healthcare assistant Sharon Wall at Wotton Hill Hospital in Gloucester on 9 July 2014David MitchellServed 23 years for murder but killed again just four months after being released on licence.Jason GomezWhile serving life for murder Gomez lured a fellow prisoner into his cell before stabbing him over 190 times.Ian BirleyKilled a 65-year-old man in 2015 having previously been jailed for murder in 1996.Russell OliverWhile serving life for murder killed a fellow prisoner at Long Lartin prison in 2015.Anthony AyresConvicted murderer, Ayres, stabbed a mother of one to death at the home of a friend in Essex in 2015.Christopher HalliwellAdmitted killing a woman after meeting her outside a Swindon nightclub in March 2011. Was later convicted of the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards, who had been missing since 2003. Custody photographs of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale Christopher HalliwellCredit:Wiltshire Police April Jones was murdered by Mark Bridger Custody photographs of Michael Adebolajo and Michael AdebowaleCredit:AFP/Getty Images Ian Brady Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Victor Castigador, jailed for life for the murder of two security guards during a robbery in Soho, London in March 1989 Dale CreganShot dead two female police officers in Manchester, while on the run for a gun and grenade attack on the home of a gang rival.Gary SmithWhile already serving a life sentence for murder killed another prisoners who was a convicted child killer.Lee NewellConvicted alongside Gary Smith of the murder of a child killer in prison. Was already serving life for a previous murder.Jamie ReynoldsPleaded guilty to murdering 17-year-old Georgia Williams in May 2013. had previously tried to strangle a girl, but was only given a police warning.Anwar RosserA former soldier killed a four-year-old boy in his sleep. The motive was never known.Ian McLoughlinKilled three people between 1984 and 2013, having twice been released from prison.Michael AdebolajoIslamic terrorist, Adebolajo hacked to death British soldier, Drummer Lee Rigby, outside his barracks in Woolwich. His younger accomplice was given a minimum 45-year sentence. Ian BradyCredit:PA Christopher Halliwelllast_img read more

first_imgThis shocking footage shows the moment a man drove at 100mph along a bridge before veering into a crash barrier – leaving his car a mangled wreck.Jonathan Dent’s pick-up truck was catapulted over the barriers and landed on the adjacent footpath – very narrowly avoiding falling into the water below.The 32-year-old’s suicide attempt came after he “had enough” of problems at home, a court heard.He had to be cut from the mangled wreckage of his car – as seen in the photo – and suffered injuries including a broken arm.Recorder Bryan Cox QC acknowledged that a prison sentence – while justified – was not appropriate in this case and told Dent that his actions had “put other members of the public at severe risk”.Dent, of Grimsby, North East Lincs., admitted dangerous driving.When he swerved into the barriers of the Humber Bridge, near Hull, East Yorks., late in the evening of July 3, he caused £11,000 of damage, Grimsby Crown Court heard.Prosecutor Stephen Welch said a road user who witnessed the event estimated Dent was driving at around 100mph, and an accident investigator said the truck was travelling at between 95 and 104mph at the time of the collision.Mr Welch said: “He said he was at home and had been having issues with the Child Support Agency an ex-girlfriend and his partner.”His lorry was parked in Immingham and he intended to go there and sleep in the cab.”But he said the defendant had instead headed towards the Humber Bridge thinking a drive would calm him down.When asked by police why he had driven into the barriers, Dent said: “I don’t know, I had probably just had enough.”Dent was taken to hospital following the incident with injuries including a broken arm.Paul Genney, mitigating, said: “He has never been in trouble in his life before.”He has taken steps to sort out the problems that overcame him.”I don’t suppose the defendant gave any thought to it at the time.”There could have been people on the walk way and there were other cars there that had to witness the incident.”He wanted to kill himself, he was desperate.”It opened his eyes to problems he was not aware of then and he has made steps to address that.” Sentencing, Recorder Cox said a prison sentence was “justified” but also “not appropriate”, and told Dent: “You will appreciate I am sure that what you did put other members of the public at severe risk.”Dent was given a sentence of three months in prison for dangerous driving, suspended for two years, and was disqualified from driving for three years.If you are suffering problems in your personal life and need somebody to talk to, call the Samaritans on 116 123. Lines are open 24/7.ap video hub Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_imgThe team are now planning to look at whether a female’s hormonal status affects how she dances. Previous studies have found that women’s faces become more symmetrical around the time of ovulation, and therefore more attractive.A study in 2007 even found that female lap dancers earn more tips around ovulation.The team also wants to see if sexuality makes a difference to dance moves, for example whether moves alter if a dancer is trying to attract a partner of the same sex or opposite sex.The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports. Dr Nick Neave, associate professor at the Department of Psychology said dancing offered important hints about reproductive potential.“When you are dancing you are painting a complex biological picture which shows your age, health, motor skills, hormonal status, personality and intelligence to others,” said Dr Neave.“Dance is not just a bit of fun, it is a serious way of expressing yourself to other people. The authors found that in women the degree of hip swing and uneven movements of the thighs and arms contribute independently to a perceived higher quality of dance.The researchers suggest that a strong hip swing might be an emphatically linked to femininity and child-bearing abilities while the ability to move limbs independently of each other, may attest to well-developed motor control.“Males focussed more on the asymmetric movements of the arms, while females focussed more on the movements of the legs,” added Dr Neave.“We suspect that when females dance they are showing off not only to males as potential partners but also to females as potential rivals – it looks as if the sexes are then using slightly different cues to judge a female when she is dancing“We think that these movements form honest signals as to the reproductive qualities of the dancer in question.” Examples of good dancing  Good dancing: wave your hands in the air like you just don’t careCredit:Northumbria University  An example of bad dancing center_img Bad dancing: feet ain’t got no rhythm Credit:Northumbria University  “Both men and women were in strong agreement that the movements of the hips signalled a more attractive dancer.”Using 3D motion-caption, Dr Neave and his team recorded 39 women whilst they danced to a basic rhythm provided by a drum beat.The authors then rendered their movement patterns onto computer avatars, thereby retaining their distinguishing movements, but removing all information about their individual appearance.200 people were then asked to rate the dancing ability of each of the 39 avatars based on a 15 second section of video footage. Awkward shuffling on the dance floor – often known as ‘dad dancing’ – really does make people less attractive to the opposite sex, a new study suggests. While some might think a restrained two-step is the safest option to avoid the embarrassment of over-exuberance, in fact letting yourself go is the best way to catch the attention of a potential suitor. Northumbria University invited dozens of women to dance then asked 200 people to judge who they deemed the most attractive.They found that vigorous hip swinging, and hands flung left and right with abandon were the signs of a good dancer, and the best way to entice a prospective partner. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_imgMarine research expeditions off the west coast of Scotland recorded record numbers of dolphins last year, says  conservation charity Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.Volunteers and scientists recorded 2,303 individual common dolphins, 42 bottlenose dolphins and 94 Risso’s dolphins in the 2016 research season, up from an average 463, 14 and 12 over the previous 14 years.Dr. Lauren Hartny-Mills, Science Officer of HWDT, said: “The reasons for the high number of sightings of these charismatic dolphin species – and the broader effects on the marine environment and other species – remain unclear.”But the intriguing findings highlight the importance of on-going monitoring and research – to strengthen our understanding of what is taking place in Hebridean waters, and to ensure well-informed conservation action.”The trust’s specialized research yacht Silurian covered more than 5,000 nautical miles in 2016, during which time researchers documented more than 1,300 cetaceans and basking sharks.Alison Lomax, Director of the Trust, said: “The impressive range of species documented in our at-sea surveys last year is a powerful reminder that Scotland’s west coast ocean environment is home to remarkable marine life.”Long-term scientific studies of this globally-important habitat and its inhabitants are crucial if we are to ensure a secure future for the Hebrides’ spectacular cetaceans.”Dr Lyndsey Dodds, Head of Marine Policy at WWF-UK, said: “The heartening data captured by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust emphasizes that we have so much to learn about these charismatic creatures.”Dolphins  face a number of threats including  pollution, collision with boats and accidental entanglement in fishing gear amongst others. More needs to be done to ensure there is a coherent network of marine protected areas that are properly managed if these species are to continue to thrive.”Investing  in scientific understanding of the natural world will go a long way in helping us conserve  marine habitats for dolphins and other marine species.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_img“It’s a double-edged sword – building solidarity through petitions is very important but I absolutely believe that in and of themselves they don’t lead very far,” she said. The proportion of people taking part in protests had doubled but remained small, at just 6 per cent. More than one in ten Londoners had taken part in a protest within the past year, the report added, and among Remain voters the proportion was also higher, at 9 per cent.  She said that it had become a panacea for people who want to engage with politics without the risk that comes with more traditional forms of activism, such as protesting on the streets.  The number of people signing online petitions has almost tripled as people turn to “clicktivism” to vent their frustration with politics. According to a study by the Charities Aid Foundation, the proportion of people who said they had filled out a petition within the past year increased from 21 per cent in 2015 to 56 per cent in 2016. The report suggested that disgruntlement with events such as Brexit might have driven more people to online activism. More than a third of respondents said they signed a petition during July – the highest for any month last year. The report suggested that this could be down to “the EU referendum vote towards the end of June and the spate of protest petitions following”.The majority of those signing petitions had been Remain voters, the study found, with 62 per cent saying they had done so in the past year compared to 45 per cent of Leave voters. The figures show that the proportion of people who had signed a petition in the past year was highest among young people. Almost two thirds of those aged 16 to 24 had done so, compared to less than half of over-65s. Dr Lina Dencik, co-director of the Data Justice Lab at Cardiff University, which examines the use of data in relation to political activism, said that petition-signing had replaced traditional activism in some areas. center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_imgRichard Sabin, who has curated the marine mammal collection at the Natural History Museum for 24 years was inspired to become a marine biologist after visiting the whale in the mammal hall when he was just 10 years old.“When I think about the ten year old me walking pars the dinosaurs and straight into the mammals hall to see the whales I am feeling as excited about this as I was then,” he said. “I honestly think we’ve created something unique.“I think when people see that enormous skeleton, in that wonderful space, any critics we have will be silenced and children over the next twenty to thirty years will come to see the whale as the new iconic specimen of the museum.” The blue whale is lifted into position at London’s Natural History MuseumCredit:BBC  “And there is a big health and safety element. Getting it down safely and getting it up so it’s safe so that’s keeping me up at night.”Once all the bones were safely in the hall they were rearticulated and attached to the Victorian girders in the roof with steel wires to be pulled into place by a team of steeplejacks hanging from the rafters.But as the whale was lifted into a position, a sharp cracking noise echoed round the hall and the whole skeleton shuddered as a bolt attaching the vertebrae sheared off.Mrs Cornish added: “We were literally whale watching for hours, and there was a definite sense of nervousness when the bolt snapped. But their is a tremendous feeling of achievement now it is finally in place.“It’s taken the best part of three years. I feel emotional every time I walk under it and I can’t wait for the public to see it.”Horizon: Dippy and the Whale will be shown on July 13, BBC Two at 9pm. Hintze Hall reopens to the public on Friday 14th July. But unlike the dinosaur, which stood statically in the centre of the hall, the whale has been articulated to dive down from the rafters, tail flipping up and mouth agape as if plunging through a school of fish or scooping up visitors in its giant jaws as they enter the museum.  The project, which has never been attempted before, was so challenging it required a huge team of conservationists, structural experts, riggers and even engineering experts RCI, who built the skeletons for the Tyrannosaurus rex in Jurassic Park. Blue whales are the biggest creature ever to have existed on Earth After decades in storage, she first went on display in 1934 in the new mammals gallery, where she has remained untouched ever since. Few visitors notice the whale is there because she is largely hidden by a huge replica of a blue whale which hangs beneath.Conservationists had to remove 81 years worth of dust before taking the 82ft skeleton apart piece-by-piece, carefully packing it, labelling it and repairing cracks with putty so it was strong enough to hang from the girders in Hintze Hall. The whale is replacing Dippy the Dinosaur which is going on tour Credit:Getty  A nail-biting three-year project to hang the enormous skeleton of a blue whale in the place of ‘Dippy the Dinosaur’ at London’s Natural History Museum almost ended in disaster when a crucial bolt sheared off mid-hoist, a new BBC behind-the-scenes film has revealed.As the 4.5 tonne skeleton hung precariously in mid-air, emergency welders were called in to reattach the huge vertebrae to a massive steel frame to prevent the bones from slipping again.The heart-stopping moment is captured in special episode of BBC Two’s Horizon, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, which has followed the astonishing endeavour since 2014.Blue whales are the biggest animal that has ever lived on Earth and the huge skeleton was the overwhelming choice to replace Dippy, the massive diplodocus cast which has delighted visitors since 1979. The erection of the giant jigsaw took more than three weeks Credit:BBC The Horizon team travelled back to Wexford in Ireland, to find the original site where the whale washed up in 1891. The juvenile female, who was probably between 10 and 15 years old was still alive when she beached, but whale meat and oil were rich commodities at the time and locals wasted no time in harpooning the stricken creature to death.Her blubber was sold for oil and her meat sent to a dog food factory, but canny businessman William Armstrong contacted the Natural History Museum to see if they would take her skeleton, eventually selling her bones for £250. Riggers hoist the skeleton into place Credit:BBC Lorraine Cornish, the museum’s Head of Conservation, said: “When we put it back up and we have the public wandering underneath it we really don’t want bits of it to drop off onto them.“Some parts were missing completely. When the girls were cleaning the right flipper it was looking a bit suspicious as if the surface wasn’t quite the same as if it should be if it was natural bone, and after a few tests we found out that it was mainly plaster and so I think everyone was surprised about that.”The team was also dismayed to learn that the whale’s head was so big it could not fit through the Grade 1 listed doorways of Hintze Hall. They were forced to mount it on a giant steel frame and tip it onto its side to push it through the front doors where it was reunited with the rest of the 221 bones. The erection of the giant jigsaw took more than three weeks  Horizon: Dippy and the Whale Blue whales are the biggest creature ever to have existed on Earth Riggers hoist the skeleton into place  Speaking during the tricky move, Jennifer Flippance, the Project Manager, said: “We’re doing a lot of things we’ve never done before, so it gives you a sense of nervousness. The whale is replacing Dippy the Dinosaur which is going on tour  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_imgThe senior prison source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Worboys will remain a danger to the public. What David Gauke is rightly doing is trying every avenue to try and stop Worboys’ release.” John Worboys is still a danger to women, a senior prison source has told the Telegraph, amid growing pressure on the Ministry of Justice to prevent the release of the ‘black cab rapist’. Worboys, 60, is due to be freed from jail in the coming days after the Parole Board ruled that he no longer posed a risk. David Gauke, the new Justice Secretary, is considering a judicial review in an attempt to keep the serial sex attacker – possibly the worst in modern British legal history – in jail.center_img Worboys…last_img read more

In his second major intervention in recent months,  Rabbi Mirvis had written an open letter to Labour warning that it risks being on the “wrong side of the fight” against racism unless the party endorses the international definition of anti-Semitism. Jeremy Corbyn was called an “anti-Semite and a racist” by a veteran Labour MP on Tuesday night as the party was plunged into a fresh anti-Semitism row.Margaret Hodge, a well respected Jewish MP and former minister, subjected the Labour leader to an expletive ridden rant in Parliament following the party’s decision to reject an internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism.In an extraordinary tirade, Ms Hodge vented her fury over the decision by Labour’s national executive committee to flout the advice of Jewish MPs, leaders and the Chief Rabbi, all of whom had urged the party to reconsider its new code of conduct.Ms Hodge told Mr Corbyn: “You have proved you don’t want people like me in the party.”Mr Corbyn is believed to have responded flatly, telling her: “I’m sorry you feel like that”. Ms Hodge’s grandmother and uncle were murdered in the Holocaust. Margaret Hodge, former Labour minister and veteran MP But Labour has opted to alter four specific examples given in the guidance, provoking a backlash from MPs and Jewish leaders, who have accused Labour of treating anti-Semitism differently to other forms of racism.According to sources present at a meeting of the committee on Tuesday afternoon, a number of senior Labour figures urged the party to listen to concerns of the Jewish community. In his letter, circulated on Monday evening,  Rabbi Mirvis said: “The IHRA definition has been accepted and preferred by governments around the world, including our own.  “Those who vote for anything but the full IHRA definition will be placing themselves on the wrong side of the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance.”Echoing his comments, Wes Streeting MP, chair of the all party parliamentary group for British Jews, said the decision taken by the NEC had been “utterly contemptible”.”The damage it will inflict on our credibility as an anti-racist political party is the leadership’s responsibility – and their alone,” he told The Telegraph.”Jeremy Corbyn and his team were warned time and time again of the devastating damage this would inflict on Labour’s relationship with the Jewish community. They cannot claim to not have understood the profound consequences of this decision.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Those who vote for anything but the full IHRA definition will be placing themselves on the wrong side of the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and intoleranceEphraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi Margaret Hodge, former Labour minister and veteran MP They included Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, and Margaret Beckett, a veteran Labour MP, both of whom made impassioned speeches warning that the party’s reputation would be stained if it proceeded as planned.However, the NEC refused to relent and voted to ratify heir definition instead, meaning it is now official Labour policy. The committee has agreed to open a consultation about potential changes to the code in the future.Their decision was swiftly condemned by Jewish groups across the country, with the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Community Secretary Trust expressing a “mixture of incredulity and outrage”.Separately, the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, had warned the previous evening that a failure to adopt the IHRA’s definition would send an  “unprecedented message of contempt” to British Jews. Describing the choice facing Mr Corbyn’s party as a “watershed moment”,  Rabbi Mirvis urged it to “make the right decision for Britain” by replacing its new guidance with a version used by governments and public bodies around the world.Taking aim at Labour’s national executive committee,  Rabbi Mirvis said it was “astonishing” that the party believed it was “more qualified” than British Jews to determine what constitutes anti-Semitism. A Labour spokesman insisted the new code was not attempting to “redefine anti-Semitism”, adding that the party had produced the “most detailed and comprehensive guidelines” of any political party.They added: “The NEC upheld the adoption of the code of conduct on anti-Semitism, but in recognition of the serious concerns expressed, agreed to reopen the development of the code, in consultation with Jewish community organisations and groups”. The confrontation came three hours after the party’s governing body decided to ignore the pleas of the Jewish community and sign-off on a new code of conduct on anti-Semitism which differed from the internationally recognised version created by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.The original definition has been implemented in-full by the Government, the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, the Crown Prosecution service and 124 local authorities. read more