Where Have All The Crafty Pitchers Gone

After Moyer’s retirement, the reigning kings of slow-pitch became Jered Weaver of the Angels and Mark Buehrle of the White Sox and Blue Jays. Buehrle especially belongs squarely among the crafty lefty lineage, alongside Moyer and Glavine; however, he retired after the 2015 season. Over the past two years, in particular, we’ve seen a distinct lack of outlier starters at the bottom of the velocity rankings, the place where the craftiest of pitchers once lurked.To call a pitcher “crafty” is a kind of backhanded compliment. After all, if a guy has overwhelming velocity or electric stuff, we would just talk about that as an explanation for him getting hitters out. (Strikeouts may be fascist, but they are also impressive.) However, Moyer, Buehrle, Hudson and — especially — Maddux and Glavine worked the formula out to perfection. In fact, the 1990s were a heyday of sorts for finesse pitchers, with perfect games from Kenny Rogers and David Wells to go with regular All-Star appearances from the likes of Andy Ashby, Brad Radke and Charles Nagy. None were big strikeout artists, but all were very good pitchers nonetheless thanks to a combination of sharp control, smart situational pitching and keeping the ball in the ballpark.Yet as baseball’s overall velocity bar has raised and preventing home runs has become more difficult, there’s evidence the control-and-command approach has progressively lost its effectiveness. While breaking pitches such as sliders and curves are moving more sharply than ever, it’s not the crafty junkballers of yore who are benefiting most from it.Bill James once broke pitchers into equally sized “power,” “finesse” and “neutral” groups based on their rates of strikeouts plus walks per inning (theorizing that high-velocity pitchers get lots of strikeouts and walks — think Nolan Ryan — while our crafty group doesn’t record much of either). If we do that for qualified starters each season since 1950, we can see the balance of leaguewide pitching wins above replacement1Averaging together the values from FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.com. has tilted strongly in favor of power pitchers since the early 1970s: Pitching has always been about throwing a baseball really hard — there’s a reason so much of the game’s mythology grew around how quickly hurlers like Walter “Big Train” Johnson and Bob Feller could get the ball from the mound to home plate. But for those who lack overwhelming stuff, there’s another core aspect to pitching: the art of throwing strikes and tricking batters into getting themselves out. Velocity makes a pitcher’s life easier, of course, but plenty of greats from history have thrived on guile instead of a dominating fastball.The craft of finesse pitching, however, might be a dying one in today’s game. A few, such as Arizona’s Zack Greinke and the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks, have managed to remain effective with a slow fastball and pinpoint control. But the number of star pitchers following that formula has dwindled in recent seasons, in conjunction with the ever-increasing velocity of the average pitch across Major League Baseball. Just a decade ago, we saw Jamie Moyer gutting out complete-game shutouts with an 81-mile-per-hour fastball at age 47 (!) — but are the Moyers of 2019 now getting squeezed out of the sport?Moyer, the southpaw formerly of the Phillies and Mariners (among other teams), was plainly a special pitcher no matter how you measure him. He won only 34 games by his 30th birthday yet still managed to finish with 269 total victories before retiring in 2012 at the age of 49. But Moyer also exemplified a very particular kind of hurler: the prototypical “crafty lefty” who gets by on smarts and makes the best of less-than-stellar velocity readings. In 2002, the earliest year of pitch-speed data at FanGraphs, Moyer — then a youthful 39 — averaged just 82.8 miles per hour on his fastball. (He and Tim Hudson were the only non-knuckleballers with an average fastball under 83.) It was a radar reading that only went down with the passage of time.Back then, though, 11 percent of qualified starters clocked in under 85 mph on average, and 70 percent threw under 90 mph. Moyer even had Hall of Fame company at the bottom of the velocity list, including the likes of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. But things changed by the mid-to-late 2000s, when Moyer was perennially the only qualified starter anywhere near the low 80s. In 2010, roughly 1 percent of qualified starters averaged under 85 mph, and only 29 percent were even averaging under 90 mph. Today, nobody averages below 85 mph — Hendricks is baseball’s softest-tossing qualified starter at 86.7 mph — while 16 percent of starters are above 95 mph on their average fastball: Aside from briefly closing the gap a few times over that span — specifically in the mid-1980s and the late 1990s, aka the Moyer and Maddux eras — the finesse pitchers have consistently lost ground value-wise to the hard throwers. The 2017 and 2018 seasons were the first two since 1950 in which the net gap in WAR share between power- and finesse-type starters was at least 18 percentage points in consecutive years. Of the 20 most valuable starters of 2018 by WAR, only one (Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals) was classified as a finesse pitcher; the other 19 were all either power (12) or neutral (7) pitcher types.What accounts for the trend? For one thing, balls in play are at an all-time low, setting a new MLB record for the fewest per game in each of the past five seasons. (We’re down to just 24 balls in play per contest in 2019 so far.) Although most pitchers have little to no control over hits allowed on balls in play during a given season, there are legitimate differences in skill that emerge over entire careers. And part of the crafty-pitcher archetype involves inducing a disproportionate amount of weak contact that fielders can more readily turn into outs.“I didn’t really have swing-and-miss stuff,” Maddux told Dan Patrick in an interview this year. “I wasn’t really worried about giving up singles, but I did what I could to keep the ball in front of the outfielders, not walk anybody and make them get three singles to score.”When there are fewer balls put in play to be had, that formula has less of an effect.There’s also the matter of teams turning to increasingly younger pitchers in recent seasons. Since just about every indicator of power pitching — from pure velocity to strikeouts — is strongly correlated with possessing a younger arm, it makes sense that as young pitchers account for a larger share of the value across MLB, so too will a larger share of WAR be associated specifically with power pitchers (and a smaller share associated with finesse pitchers). Which direction does the causation run? It isn’t totally clear, but it doesn’t especially matter. Whether teams are prizing youth or velocity, it’s squeezing out pitchers who lack either (or both) attributes.“If you look at pitching these days, everything is max effort,” Moyer told the Orange County Register in January. “Look at the younger generations — high school, college, minor leagues, everybody’s trying to light up a radar gun, throw 100 mph. Our bodies aren’t made to perform in this game as a pitcher at max effort.”Although Bartolo Colon, who pitched last season at age 45 as another exemplar of craft triumphing over stuff, the game is generally trending against pitchers like him and Moyer, in many ways.With all of this, it’s fair to wonder whether it would even be possible to dominate with an arsenal resembling, say, Maddux’s, in the modern game. The two-seamer, Maddux’s bewildering weapon of choice, has fallen quickly out of favor in the last decade or so, and a peak-era fastball that barely scraped 90 would rank among the slowest in the league today. Maddux’s specialty, changing speeds, can still be as disruptive as any tactic (just ask Cincinnati ace Luis Castillo). But it’s telling that Maddux himself recognizes what worked in his era might not be as effective now.“I was taught to throw strikes and get hitters out in the strike zone,” Maddux told Patrick. “And now, pitching has kind of turned the other way, where they try to get hitters out outside of the strike zone. I don’t know if I would have adapted to that or not. I’d like to think I could, but who knows what would have happened?”Perhaps the craft of pitching is making something of a comeback this season, with more finesse-oriented pitchers such as Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers and Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees off to great starts already. Certainly, there always will be a place for pitchers who can transcend the radar gun with intelligence and skill. But just the same, the obsessive quest for velocity in today’s game will probably continue to squeeze out the soft-tossing finesse archetype of yesteryear. Sadly, that means it will be harder than ever for crafty, Moyer-esque pitchers to carve out a place in baseball.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Businesses around OSU not worried about game day sales without Tressel

Jim Tressel is officially the former head coach of Ohio State football and the impact of his resignation will be felt far beyond the towering walls of Ohio Stadium. Many campus area businesses said game days are also big paydays. According to a 2005 study published in the “Journal of Sports Economics,” OSU athletic programs generated an estimated $100 million for the local economy in 2003. But with the football program in turmoil, will football Saturdays still be a windfall for local businesses? Michael Weisgarber, a fourth-year in English and history, said he attended almost every home football game last season. Next year, however, he is considering sitting out some games because of the scandal. “A lot of the popularity of the football team has to do with image,” Weisgarber said. “I think Tressel is pretty integral to that image.” John Miles has been working the register at Tommy’s Pizza and Subs on West Lane Avenue for five years and he said it’s not easy to predict if a lot of fans will skip games and impact sales. “It’s hard to say, it might drop off a little, but nothing major,” Miles said. Tommy’s often does about $2,000 of business on a Friday, but game days can bring in $10,000 to $15,000, Miles said. During the University of Southern California game in 2009, that figure was about $17,000. But Tommy’s has been serving pizza and subs to the OSU community for more than 25 years, and Miles said it is confident business will remain strong, even without the Senator at the ‘Shoe. “I think people care more about the school than Tressel,” Miles said. That is true for Nathan Rodriguez, a fourth-year in electrical and computer engineering. Rodriguez said he goes to a couple games every year. “I don’t see myself being any less likely to go,” Rodriguez said. “I still will go to a couple games.” Buckeye Donuts on North High Street is another game day favorite and owner Jimmy Barouxis said it’s common for the restaurant to serve more than 1,000 customers. “It definitely matters how well the team is doing,” Barouxis said. “As the tension and excitement builds when the team is doing well, we definitely do more business.” Barouxis said game-day business might drop off by a few percentage points now that Tressel is gone, but the donut and sandwich shop will be fine. “We’re not worried,” Barouxis said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.” Some businesses are even hopeful their sales will improve. Leah Reynolds is a Columbus artist who sells prints of hand-drawn portraits of Tressel and former OSU football coach Woody Hayes through the online crafts site, www.etsy.com. Reynolds said page views for her Tressel prints went up after the embattled coach resigned. Her online store sells full portraits as well as cards and magnets that feature the legendary OSU coaches and other artwork. “Right before football season I sell more Woody Hayes and coach Tressel prints,” Reynolds said. “If you live (in Columbus), you have to be a fan.” Reynolds said she has no intention of taking down the Tressel prints. “They won’t go off (the website),” Reynolds said. “There will still be Tressel fans, just like there are still Woody Hayes fans.” The artist said some people might buy the Tressel prints as a gag gift for a Buckeye fan. But Reynolds isn’t dwelling on the past, in fact she is already working on her latest piece: a portrait of coach Luke Fickell. “I will absolutely have a print of him (Fickell),” Reynolds said. “I’m planning on getting that up just as soon as I can.” read more

Ed Beathea excited to be coaching Ohio State mens track and field

Ed Beathea became the interim head coach of Ohio State’s men’s track and field in April, following an abrupt end to Robert Gary’s coaching tenure.Beathea’s interim tag was removed when he was officially named the program’s head coach Thursday.Beathea, who joined OSU as associate head coach in 2006, will receive a five-year contract as the team’s new head man. He will also lead the OSU men’s cross-country program.His annual salary will be $95,000, according to an OSU spokesman.Beathea told The Lantern that it is “certainly a big relief” to continue having the opportunity to lead the Buckeyes.“It’s very exciting for me, it’s very exciting for my family,” Beathea said. “The guys on the team are all very excited, they were very supportive and certainly supported me throughout the process.”Prior to joining the OSU coaching staff, Beathea coached sprinters and hurdlers at Indiana University for 10 years, including four seasons as associate head coach. An alumnus of Ball State University, he was also an assistant coach for two seasons at Northern Arizona University prior to his decade at Indiana.OSU fired Gary April 6, according to public records obtained by The Columbus Dispatch. OSU athletic spokesman Dan Wallenberg told the Dispatch that the decision to terminate Gary was made following the university’s discovery of “financial reporting irregularities.”On April 18, Gary was named the head coach of Furman University’s men’s and women’s track and field/cross country program. Furman also hired is wife, Rita, as his assistant coach.Beathea took over head coaching responsibilities for the remainder of the 2012 season following Gary’s firing. Beathea, who coached the Buckeyes to a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, said he was pleased with the team’s performance during his time as interim head coach.“I thought the team performed really well,” Beathea said. “Considering the situation … me having to come in midway through the season, I thought the team was very focused, I thought they were very competitive.”While Beathea was satisfied with his team’s result this spring, he has higher expectations going forward.“It was a tough conference meet outdoor this year,” Beathea said. “I think that our goal is always to be in the top three. I think that our goal in the Big Ten in the next two or three years is to win the conference.”Beathea said he believes the team’s incoming recruiting class is very strong, but that he and his coaching staff will place a greater emphasis upon recruiting.“I think that certainly we will try to recruit more aggressively,” Beathea said. “We’ll certainly have a plan in place for that. Our goal for the national standpoint is to be a top-five or a top-ten team, and the only way that we’re going to be able to do that is to continue to add recruiting classes like the one we had this year.”The team’s incoming recruiting class includes three Gatorade State Track and Field Athletes of the Year. Ohio’s Donovan Robertson, a two-time winner of the award, also won two consecutive Division I state outdoor championships in 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, and set the indoor national high school record in 60-meter hurdles in March. Rhode Island’s Joe Velez won the 2012 outdoor national championship in hammer throw, while Pennsylvania’s Billy Stanley had the nation’s second-farthest javelin throw among high school athletes in 2012.Beathea said he is still evaluating his current coaching staff, and whether any changes will be made is “still to be determined.”Beathea said that while his coaching style is different from Gary’s, he does not anticipate significant changes to be made as a result of the coaching change.“I think there’s certainly differences in how Coach Gary led the team and how I led the team, how I lead the team,” Beathea said. “But there’s certainly some similarities … I’m very focused on having a strong culture with a team, having the guys understand what the expectations are, have them understand what’s going on around them with other event areas and other guys on the team.Beathea said he planned on changing things that needed to be changed, but that he wouldn’t need to reinvent the wheel.“I think that we always are open for new ideas.” read more

Aubameyang had reservations about Lacazette

first_imgArsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang confessed that he initially had reservations about Alexandre Lacazette, but is pleased with how well they gotten on since his arrivalBoth strikers had played in the Ligue 1 together with Aubameyang having played for St Etienne, while Lacazette played for Lyon.But, on the back of the duo making their first start together up front in Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Newcastle last weekend, Aubameyang confessed that he was worried that he would struggle to get on with his new strike partner.“My friend Lacazette was at Lyon when I was at St Etienne,” Aubameyang told the club website.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“He’s a player I appreciate and was good for me when I arrived here as he’s a nice person, very positive.“I wasn’t 100 per cent sure about him when I came here as there were some Lyon players I didn’t get on well with but he wasn’t someone I had problems with when I played against them.“I’m really happy to get to know someone so positive and he helped me settle into the dressing room.”The Gabon international is expected to start for Arsenal in their Premier League match against West Ham United on Sunday, but will be cup-tied for the semi-final against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League.last_img read more

Family Arrested In Ohio Killings Found On The Kenai

first_imgThe four were named as George “Billy” Wagner III; Angela Wagner; and their sons George Wagner IV and Edward “Jake” Wagner.Last year, the family moved to the Central Kenai Peninsula and purchased trailers on a private property. The arrests are the culmination of a massive investigative effort since seven adults and 16-year-old boy were found dead in 2016 at four homes near Piketon. A message was left with a lawyer who has been representing the Wagners in the investigation. An attorney has said previously the family cooperated with investigators.center_img Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Investigators in Ohio have arrested four former Ohio residents as part of the investigation in the unsolved slaying of eight family members in 2016.last_img

MPA Hires New Head of Research

first_imgThe Association of Magazine Media has hired a new market research head. Anthony Sarcone will be the association’s senior vice president of marketing initiatives and insight, reporting directly to president and CEO Mary Berner.Sarcone will be leading MPA‘s research initiatives as they relate to showing how magazine media can influence branding and culture.Also under Sarcone’s watch will be PIB, of which he’ll be president. Sarcone was most recently owner and partner of Solveris Marketing Communications. He’s also held marketing director positions at Bon Appétit and Condé Nast’s bridal group. Sarcone joins just as Berner has been touting magazine brands as a cross-platform media opportunity for marketers, simultaneously pushing the power of print, but also the overall impact magazines can have digitally as well.Accordingly, the MPA is looking for new ways to report market information—print is only one part of a larger story, after all. In April, Berner told FOLIO: that PIB reporting is evolving and the MPA is examining ways to broaden its traditional print advertising metrics to digital. “We’re very focused on trying to expand PIB measurement to include all of the digital advertising as well. We should have that in the next several months,” she said.Berner didn’t offer any more details in light of Sarcone’s appointment, but the intention is clear. “I hired Tony because he is a very experienced research and marketing executive, and we look to his considerable talents to help lead our efforts in establishing and communicating metrics that more accurately represent the reach and effectiveness of Magazine Media,” she says.last_img read more

Computex 2019 Every announcement you need to know

first_img Intel’s stunning Twin Rivers and Honeycomb Glacier concept laptops reading • Computex 2019: Every announcement you need to know Next week the tech world will converge in San Francisco for WWDC, Apple’s conference on all things iOS and Mac. But for the past week in Taipei, Taiwan for Computex, we’ve gotten a glimpse into the future of Windows PCs and laptops.The big, long-term takeaway is that single-screen laptops are possibly a thing of the past — or dual-screen laptops are going to be the tech industry’s next spectacular gimmick. Either way, there will be many multiple-screen devices in our future.The chip business is also, ahem, heating up. AMD had a buzz-creating showing at Computex, while Intel introduced its 10th-generation Ice Lake CPUs, among other big announcements. Qualcomm, meanwhile, promises 5G laptops in the not-too-distant future, and Nvidia is expanding its graphics card line to better accomodate creatives.And then there were the cases. Oh, the cases. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know. 17 Photos See All The outrageous computer cases of Computex 2019 9 Photos Now playing: Watch this: And that’s just the beginning, Intel saysAs nifty as Asus’ ZenBook Pro Duo looks, it could be just the first step to a dual-screen future. Intel at Computex showed off two concept laptops, Twin Rivers and Honeycomb Glacier, to demonstrate what it thinks our laptops will look like in the coming years. (Remember, Intel doesn’t make computers, just computer parts, so these are just demonstrations to show what can be made off the back of Intel tech.)Twin Rivers is Intel’s take on thin-and-light, ultra-portable laptops. It’s a dual 12.3-inch display setup, where the bottom screen has an onscreen keyboard, like one you’d find on a tablet. However, this concept also comes with a physical Bluetooth keyboard that fits perfectly atop the virtual one for use in long sessions. Then there’s Honeycomb Glacier. It’s a gaming rig, with a 17.3-inch main display and a 12.3-inch secondary screen. It’s similar to the ZenBook Pro Duo, except that it has an ergonomic lift that lets you game with less shoulder-hunching action. Tags May 29 • The outrageous computer cases of Computex 2019 23 Photos 1 Asus doubles down on dual displaysAsus unveiled the ZenBook Pro 15 at last year’s show. Its star feature was the ScreenPad, a phone-sized second screen that functioned as the laptop’s trackpad. One year later, Asus’ ZenBook Pro Duo became Computex 2019’s star product.In addition to its 15-inch 4K main display, the ZenBook Pro Duo has a 14-inch screen above its keyboard. It’s the same length and resolution as the top screen, but about half as deep. It can serve two different functions: you can either use it as an extension of the main stream, so for instance your Facebook feed will flow from one screen down to the second, or as a completely separate display.The latter option allows you to run three programs on the bottom screen. So, you may be doing your work on the main display and have Spotify, Facebook Messenger and Netflix open on the bottom three. (In which case, you’re probably not getting much work done.)Apart from that, it’s an impressively spec’d high-end laptop. It can be configured with up to an Intel Core i9 CPU and an Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU. There’s also a less expensive version, the ZenBook Duo, that goes up to a Core i7 and an Nvidia MX250 card. The sacrifice here is weight: It’s not chunky like a gaming laptop, but it’s not a thin-and-light device either. Asus is calling the big second screen a ScreenPad Plus. The regular ScreenPad in last year’s ZenBook Pro 15, now called the ScreenPad 2 thanks to improvements in responsiveness and functionality, will be ported to Asus’ less expensive ZenBook line and its less expensive still VivoBook S range. May 29 • The laptops of tomorrow will make us even more productive — and it’s terrifying Share your voice • Computex 2019 Laptops Gaming Asus ZenBook Pro Duo foreshadows our multiscreen future Alienware m15, m17 get a bold new look 2:17 But Intel had a strong showing at Computex, too. Apart from the dazzling concepts shown above, Intel’s two main announcements were its 10th-gen Ice Lake CPUs and Project Athena.While AMD focused on benchmark comparisons, Intel promised tangible quality-of-life improvements. Laptops with its Ice Lake chips will be even thinner than already lithe devices like the Dell XPS and HP Envy and their battery life will be improved, too. I was personally most impressed by Ice Lake’s gaming chops: Intel showed an Ice Lake-powered laptop running Destiny 2 on integrated graphics alone, without any discrete GPU.Project Athena, meanwhile, is a new class of laptop. To get the Athena stamp of approval, companies like Asus, Lenovo and Dell need to make laptops that hit certain criteria. These include the ability to wake up within a second, achieve 9 hours of “real-world battery life” and more. Project Athena laptops will hit the market by the end of the year, Intel says.Qualcomm made a similar pitch. Just as its parts power the 5G phones from Samsung, LG and Nokia, the American company wants to fuel the 5G laptop revolution. It says we’ll soon have laptops that are internet connected at all times and location aware — in addition to the usual promises of svelter designs and longer battery lives.Nvidia unveiled RTX Studio, which are laptops powered by its new Quadros RTX GPUs. These graphics cards have similar power to the new RTX GeForce cards (that is to say, a lot), but have much more memory. A high-end GeForce GPU will have 8GB of memory, for instance, while Quadro cards can double that. The average Joe won’t need that boost, but for creatives who work with 3D rendering and high-resolution video editing (think 4K, 6K and 8K), it makes a huge difference.And finally, UK-based Arm announced its Cortex-A77 chip, which it promises will make high-end Android phones 20% faster in 2020.The laptops of ComputexThe Asus ZenBook Pro Duo was the most attention-grabbing laptop at Computex, but it wasn’t the only one worth your attention. Dell pushed meaningful updates to both its premium productivity laptop, the XPS, and its premium gaming laptop, the Alienware m. The XPS 15 gets OLED displays for the first time, as well as Intel’s Ice Lake CPU, Nvidia’s GTX 1650 and 64GB of RAM. The Alienware m15 and m17 laptops got significant facelifts, and the latter can now be configured with a 244Hz display. By the way, if you prefer hulking gaming laptops over thin-and-light-but-less-powerful ones, check out MSI’s newest Titan. It has an RTX 2080 — no Max-Q tweaking needed. The most futuristic feature of this laptop, however, is eye tracking. In the demo we saw the laptop had four windows open, one on the main screen and three on the bottom one. The laptop tracked the demonstrator’s eyes and put him in control at whatever window he was looking at, distinguishing even between the three on the bottom screen. It was wild.Intel says we’ll see devices like Twin Rivers in “one to two years.” However, it gave no timeline on when a Honeycomb Glacier-like gaming rig would hit the market.Processor proselytismOne of Computex’s biggest stories wasn’t about devices, but the parts that power them. Intel and Nvidia have both dominated the CPU and GPU markets, respectively, for the past decade. Since 2015, Intel has held roughly 80 percent of the processor market against its main rival, AMD. Meanwhile, Nvidia has fluctuated from 60 to 80% over its main rival, AMD.But AMD, whose CPU marketshare has jumped 3% in the last year, came out guns blazing at Computex. It officially announced its Navi range of Radeon GPUs, which will power the Sony PlayStation 5, but its main focus was on competing with Intel. The “one last thing” moment of the press conference was the Ryzen 7 3900X CPU. A competitor for Intel’s top-of-the-line Core i9 9920X CPU, the “no compromise” Ryzen 7 3900X features 12 cores and has a boost clock speed of 4.6GHz. It runs on 105 watts, versus the 9920X’s less efficient 165 watts, and more importantly will retail for $499 upon its July 7 release. The 9920X, for comparison, costs $1,199.Notably, AMD stock rose 10% after the announcement. 40 Photos May 30 • Alienware redesigns its thin gaming laptops and offers OLED Comment Luxury trimmings were also displayed at Computex, with Asus revealing a special 30th-anniversary edition of the ZenBook. A 13-inch, ScreenPad-equipped laptop clad in genuine white leather and 18 karat rose gold plating. Then there’s HP’s updated Envy, which comes with a wooden palm rest.Last but not least, Nvidia’s RTX Studio parts are cool — but mean nothing without companies making laptops for creatives. Razer and Acer have stepped up to the plate, with the former committing its Razer Pro 17 to the RTX Studio program and Acer updating its ConceptD with new Quadro parts.And that’s it for Computex 2019! We’ll see you again next year, where we will presumably welcome our new 5G, tri-screened overlords. Computex 2019 Asus ZenBook Pro Duo doubles down on screens 5G Acer Asus Dell HP Intel Lenovo LG Nokia Nvidia Razer Samsung Sony Applelast_img read more

AI accuses Myanmar of imposing apartheid on Rohingyas

first_imgRohingya refugees walk towards a refugee camp after crossing the border in Anjuman Para near Cox`s Bazar. ReutersMyanmar’s suffocating control of its Rohingya population amounts to “apartheid”, Amnesty International said Tuesday in a probe into the root causes of a crisis that has sent 620,000 refugees fleeing to Bangladesh.Distressing scenes of dispossessed Rohingya in Bangladeshi camps have provoked outrage around the world, as people who have escaped Rakhine state since August recount tales of murder, rape and arson at the hands of Myanmar troops.Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed in principle to repatriate some Rohingya but disagree over the details, with Myanmar’s army chief saying last week that it was “not possible” to accept the number of refugees proposed by Dhaka.The Amnesty report, published Tuesday, details how years of persecution have curated the current crisis.A “state-sponsored” campaign has restricted virtually all aspects of Rohingyas’ lives, the Amnesty study says, confining them to what amounts to a “ghetto-like” existence in the mainly Buddhist country.The 100-page report, based on two years of research, says the web of controls meet the legal standard of the “crime against humanity of apartheid”.“Rakhine State is a crime scene. This was the case long before the vicious campaign of military violence of the last three months,” said Anna Neistat, Amnesty’s Senior Director for Research.Myanmar’s authorities “are keeping Rohingya women, men and children segregated and cowed in a dehumanising system of apartheid,” she added.The bedrock for the widespread hatred towards the Muslim group comes from a contentious 1982 Citizenship law.Enacted by the then junta, the law effectively rendered hundreds of thousands of Rohingya stateless.Since then, Amnesty says a “deliberate campaign” has been waged to erase Rohingya rights to live in Myanmar, where they are denigrated as “Bengalis” or illegal migrants from Bangladesh.A system of identification cards is central to those bureaucratic controls, and likely to form the basis of the decision on who will be allowed to return from Bangladesh.The latest wave of persecution has pushed more than half of the 1.1-million strong minority out of the country, with those left behind sequestered in increasingly isolated and vulnerable villages.Although the Rohingya have been victims of discrimination for decades, the report details how repression intensified after the outbreak of violence between Buddhist and Muslim communities in 2012.Long before the recent mass exodus of Rohingya from northern Rakhine state-now a virtual ghostland of torched villages and unharvested paddy fields-they were unable to travel freely, requiring special permits and facing arrest, abuse and harassment at numerous checkpoints.In central Rakhine state, Rohingya Muslims were driven out of urban areas after the 2012 violence.They remain completely segregated from the Buddhist community, confined by barbed wire and police checkpoints to camps that Amnesty calls an “open-air prison”.The Muslim community is widely denied access to medical care, their children are unable to attend government schools while many mosques have been sealed off.“Restoring the rights and legal status of Rohingya, and amending the country’s discriminatory citizenship laws is urgently needed,” said Anna Neistat.“Rohingya who have fled persecution in Myanmar cannot be asked to return to a system of apartheid.”last_img

EPA Official Speaks On Risk Of Climate Change To Toxic Sites

first_img Share EPAAn EPA image of the “Many Diversified Interests” Superfund site in Houston’s 5th Ward.A top manager who supervises the Environmental Protection Agency program responsible for cleaning up the nation’s most contaminated properties and waterways told Congress on Thursday that the government needs to plan for the ongoing threat posed to Superfund sites from climate change.The testimony by EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Barry Breen before a House oversight subcommittee conflicts with the agency’s policy positions under President Donald Trump, who has called climate change a hoax. Breen’s boss, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, is an ardent fossil fuel promoter who questions the validity of mainstream climate science.During a hearing Thursday, Rep. Jerry McNerney, a California Democrat, asked Breen whether extreme weather events like hurricanes and wildfires could damage the highly toxic sites and cause contamination to spread.“We have to respond to climate change, that’s just part of our mission set,” replied Breen, a career official who leads EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “So we need to design remedies that account for that. We don’t get to pick where Superfund sites are. We deal with the waste where it is.”There are more than 1,300 Superfund sites in the U.S.Under the Obama administration, EPA issued a robust plan for prioritizing cleanup and protection of toxic sites located in flood zones and areas vulnerable to sea level rise. However, a Superfund Task Force appointed by Pruitt last year issued a 34-page list of recommendations that makes no mention of climate change, flooding risks from stronger storms or rising seas.EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox did not respond to questions Thursday about whether Pruitt agreed with Breen’s testimony or precisely what the agency is currently doing to address to risks posed to Superfund sites by climate change.The Associated Press first reported in September that more than a dozen Superfund sites in the Houston area were flooded by heavy rains from Hurricane Harvey. Spills of potentially hazardous waste were reported at two of those sites, including a release of cancer-causing dioxin into the San Jacinto River.A subsequent AP review of EPA records and census data revealed that more than 2 million Americans live within a mile of 327 Superfund sites located in flood-prone areas or those at risk from rising sea levels.The Government Accountability Office told Congress earlier this month it was assigning investigators to study the risks to human health and the environment posed to Superfund sites by natural disasters.EPA’s 2014 Climate Adaptation Plan noted that prolonged flooding at low-lying Superfund sites could cause extensive erosion, carrying away contaminants as waters recede.Pruitt says he has made faster Superfund site cleanups a high priority for the agency. Pruitt’s task force on the issue is led by Albert “Kell” Kelly, a former Oklahoma banker with no experience as an environmental regulator.Kelly had been expected to testify at Thursday’s hearing, but was replaced by Breen due to what EPA told the House committee was a scheduling conflict.AP reported in August that Pruitt hired Kelly as a senior adviser at EPA after federal financial regulators cited Kelly for unspecified violations while serving as the top executive at a community bank in Oklahoma. Kelly previously served as chairman of Tulsa-based SpiritBank, which provided a $6.8 million financing when Pruitt and his business partners purchased Oklahoma City’s minor league baseball team in 2003.Asked by Democrats for details about why Kelly was barred by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from working for any U.S. financial institution, Breen said Thursday that Kelly had elected to settle the case against him and “is fully willing to discuss this matter.”An email and voicemail to Kelly seeking comment on Thursday received no response. Wilcox also did not respond to a request seeking details about why the FDIC barred Kelly from the banking industry.last_img read more

2017 United In Hope Candlelight Service

first_imgRoberta’s House, a family greif support center is hosting a service of remembrance on December 8th. Many who lost a love ones can come to honor the memory of their deceased. The pre-show starts at 6:30 p.m. and the celebrations is at 7 p.m. Performances are by Kondwani Fidel, Kendall Isadore, the Sing Sensations Youth Choir and more.   For more information call 410-235-6633last_img