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Sound Smart at a March Party

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York  If someone ever offers you a cup of Kopi Luwak coffee, kindly decline. Yes, this is the rare and expensive Indonesian coffee that can go for $600 a pound and was featured on Oprah. Yes, it is described as having a smooth caramel-like taste. But do you know how it gets that taste? Kopi Luwak comes from coffee berry beans fed to civets, cat-like creatures from Southeast Asia. The animals’ stomach acid enzymes create the beans’ smooth, elite flavor—collected, washed and sold once excreted. To put it bluntly, the expensive coffee is literally crap. If this isn’t enough to make you gag, animal welfare groups have recently reported that the civets used to make the coffee are forced to live in tiny cages and fed a very unhealthy diet. So, if you care about animals and/or don’t care to drink kitty poop, it might be best to just stick with a regular cup of Joe.ONE FOR THE GIPPERMarch Madness had a Third-Place game until 1981. Scheduled to precede the championship game March 30 of that year, both were delayed due to an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. After the president was out of immediate danger, officials resumed the championship game only, and the Third-Place game has been out ever since.PAIN KILLERSRedheads are more than twice as likely to skip out on the dentist than blondes or brunettes, according to University of Louisville researchers. It’s not because they hate to brush their teeth, either. The scientists discovered that the genetic variant giving them their ginger locks also makes them resistant to local anesthesia. They can require up to 20 percent more than the general population during procedures.GOLD BUGSBacteria usually get a bad rap, but scientists at McMaster University in Ontario might be able to boost their reputation. They discovered Delftia acidovorans has the ability to turn ions into gold as part of a self-defense mechanism. Gold ions are toxic if dissolved in water, so when identified by the bacteria, it releases delftibactin A, a protein acting as a shield to turn the ions into gold particles that accumulate outside the cells. While this doesn’t mean you can fish a pair of gold earrings out of a stream any time soon, the research could help identify whether or not a waterway carries the mineral and could someday help dissolve gold from water.SHAPESHIFTERWith the latest advances in cinematography it would be natural to assume the contorted, demon-fueled positions actress Ashley Bell twists herself into throughout the Last Exorcism Part 2 are all done by special effects. Surprisingly, that’s not the case. Bell, its lead character, is double-jointed, and performs all the back-bending, terrifying poses herself. During the film’s first installment she sustained a stress fracture to her back from all her twisting and backwards demon-walking. Now that’s dedication to a role.Japanese scientists hit the awesome jackpot when they recently snapped a picture of Neon Flying Squid sailing more than 100 feet through the air. A team of researchers from Hokkaido University witnessed the long-rumored but never-documented phenomenon while tracking a shoal of about 100 squid in the Northwest Pacific. The creatures propel themselves by shooting a powerful jet of water out of their funnel-like stems. Once airborne, they assume “a highly developed flying posture” allowing them to glide, report the scientists.While we’re on the topic of the wonders of H2O, a Swedish study uncovered evidence suggesting anti-anxiety medications flushed into rivers affect the fish population. Scientists found traces of prescription drug Oxazepam in the tissues of the perch population and a corresponding change in their behavior. The fish, which usually stay close together for self-defense, became less sociable and less afraid of venturing out on their own. Experts are concerned that the behavioral change could have serious evolutionary consequences and urge sewage treatment plants to begin filtering out the chemicals.last_img read more

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Comment: West End survives the Bluewater effect

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Dodger Stadium aims for renovations to be done by Opening Day

first_imgSmith is optimistic the renovations will be completed well before the mid-summer classic. Glendale-headquartered PCL Construction is managing the operation and has about 120 workers on site per shift. They work daily from 4 a.m. to midnight and will be on site while the Dodgers and Angels play their final spring training games.“We will not be using the pavilions or the center field plaza for the exhibition games,” Smith said. “Those are work days for us, so you’ll be able to enjoy baseball and watch what it means to see 100-plus workers out there still putting things together. Now, whether or not it will be as active a construction site as you see today, if it is, well, we’re in trouble. Hopefully, we’ll be in the building commissioning the equipment, getting our kitchens working, painting our bathrooms, flushing our toilets, and doing all the last-minute things. No cranes out there.”The cranes were visible Tuesday, and judging from the tour, there’s plenty of work to be done to meet Smith’s ambitious goal of full completion in the next three weeks.“To you, it seems like a lot of work, to us it seems like a miracle that it’s gotten this far,” Smith said. “I have to remind people because they look at me like, ‘Gee, you guys are never going to make it.’ I’m like, ‘Well, wait a minute, look how far we got.’”Smith couldn’t guarantee that the center field plaza would be fully operating with its new restaurants and bars by Opening Day, but she did say the stadium circulation will be complete by then. That means that, for the first time, fans will be able to access the entire ballpark from any entrance.The Dodgers added five new elevators (two in both the right and left field plazas, one behind in center field) and four new escalators that ring the stadium. Also, new bridges will link the pavilions to the main seating bowl with easy access to all levels.For example, if you prefer to avoid parking fees, the lengthy walk from Academy Road became easier for those with reserve level or top deck seats. Instead of using the stairs outside the stadium, fans can enter through center field and use the elevators and escalators to make their way up the ballpark.“What can be worse than (taking) two elevators at Dodger Stadium?” said Smith, who mentioned that the elevators have windows to get a view of MLB’s third-oldest ballpark.“Entrances and elevators, all of that will be done by March 26. Even if it’s not all complete, we will operate that way. There are some pieces of our gates that may not be here, but we’ll have temporary fencing, so the message holds. You can still enter any gate, even if we’re still missing a few pieces of steel.”With the renovations, there will be several standing-room areas, including in the pavilions section, for fans to soak in Dodger Stadium’s postcard views.But for the hardcore fans, they will notice one subtle change to the classic setting. Two of the “Three Sisters” palm trees behind the left-field bullpen were moved for the construction of the bridge connecting the pavilions to the field level.“The ‘Three Sisters’ are going back as close to their original location as possible,” Smith said.One minor change to keep Dodger Stadium the same but different. The extra two days, or four days, if you’re counting the construction workers’ double shifts, will allow fans to return to the outfield pavilions for Opening Day on March 26 against the San Francisco Giants. Smith expects to have a sellout crowd of 56,000 and is aiming for the renovation project to be fully completed by then.But Smith couldn’t guarantee full completion by March 26 while leading reporters on a tour of the site on Tuesday.“Can you ask me that in about 10 days?” Smith said when asked which features won’t be ready by Opening Day. “Because at the moment, we’re still aiming for everything. … Our priority is on anything field facing. Our No. 1 thing is it has to be ready for baseball. The batter’s eye has to be finished, the sound system has to be up, the field wall has to be in place.“Working our way down the list, the seats have to be ready, which means the restrooms have to be ready. Then we sort of back into the plaza; the food, the seating areas … (everything) that will make it a fun place.”The renovations, which aim to modernize the 58-year-old stadium while maintaining its iconic look, coincide with the All-Star Game returning to Dodger Stadium in July for the first time in 40 years. PreviousConstruction crews are working 20 hours per day to complete the Dodger Stadium renovations as quickly as possible. Most of the changes are expected to be complete in time for Opening Day later this month. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodger Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith talks to the media about construction on Dodger Stadium renovations at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsConstruction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodger Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith talks to the media about construction on Dodger Stadium renovations at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodger Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith talks to the media about construction on Dodger Stadium renovations at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction on Dodger Stadium renovations continues at the Los Angeles ballpark,Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodger Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith speaks to reporters the ongoing renovations at Dodger Stadium during a tour on Tuesday. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Construction crews are working 20 hours per day to complete the Dodger Stadium renovations as quickly as possible. Most of the changes are expected to be complete in time for Opening Day later this month. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 20Construction crews are working 20 hours per day to complete the Dodger Stadium renovations as quickly as possible. Most of the changes are expected to be complete in time for Opening Day later this month. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)ExpandLOS ANGELES — The outfield pavilions at Dodger Stadium will be closed for the Freeway Series exhibition games between the Dodgers and Angles later this month, but that doesn’t mean home run balls will go unclaimed.Construction workers in bright safety vests won’t have to fend off baseball fans if Cody Bellinger or Mike Trout go deep during the two-game series.“It’s their prize for working on a day when everyone else has taken off,” said Janet Marie Smith, the Dodgers’ senior vice president of planning and development.Smith is overseeing the Dodgers’ $100 million stadium renovation that will add a “two-acre entertainment plaza” in center field and serve as a “front door” for fans entering. But they’ve been on a tight five-month offseason schedule, and won’t complete the project in time for the annual exhibition games on March 23 and 24.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Drew Brees among 1,400 sports figures supporting Players Coalition drive to end ‘qualified immunity’ for police

first_imgBrees was widely and harshly criticized by many NFL players, including some teammates, and by a number of media commentators. After apologizing, he then criticized President Donald Trump for construing the Kaepernick-style protests as being disrespectful to the military. Now, he has come out in favor of ending qualified immunity for police. His apologies have not been universally embraced by those his initial comments offended, but 49ers star defensive back Richard Sherman was one who did.”I appreciated him doing that,” Sherman told The San Francisco Chronicle. “People make mistakes in judgment all the time. None of us are perfect. I think it was just such a disappointment because the locker room and the culture is different than any other place. So you kind of get lulled into the belief that everyone has torn down those stereotypes and those walls. And everyone is treating each other equally.”I feel better about him actually taking the time to educate himself. He and his wife — they’re not bad people. But I think he didn’t fully understand the impact of those words. And I think he does fully understand it. So I do accept his apology.” Not every person who signed the petition organized by the Players Coalition to endorse the Ending Qualified Immunity Act is an NFL player, and not every NFL player’s name is on it. But there are a ton of them, more like many tons, and that weight is both literal and figurative.The more consequential figures from the league include Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Jarvis Landry and Calais Campbell. There are Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner and Aeneas Williams. There are NBA champion basketball coaches Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich. There are NBA players and Major League Baseball players. All are in favor of a bill in the House of Representatives created by Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Justin Amash of Michigan that seeks to end the “qualified immunity” protection afforded to government officials “from being held personally liable for constitutional violations — like the right to be free from excessive police force — for money damages under federal law so long as the officials did not violate clearly established law,” as the website Lawfare explained this week. The bill has 16 co-sponsors.MORE: How “Cops” made policing into a sport at the expense of black livesThe Players Coalition, launched by former NFL star Anquan Boldin and the Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins in 2017, collected the endorsements of more than 1,100 athletes and coaches and more than 300 front-office personnel from professional teams in support of the bill.“We demand accountability for police brutality,” the group’s Twitter accounted stated. “It’s time for a change.”The qualified immunity concept became firmly established in 1967 following a Supreme Court case but increasingly was used in relation to police abuse cases within the past 15 years.A special report from Reuters declared that increased availability of body-camera video or cellphone videos has not been able to counteract the influence of the qualified immunity “under the careful stewardship of the Supreme Court” on legal action against police officers when citizens are killed or injured by their actions.“Qualified immunity protects police and other officials from consequences even for horrific rights abuses,” Amash said in a statement posted on his website. “It prevents accountability for the ‘bad apples’ and undermines the public’s faith in law enforcement. It’s at odds with the text of the law and the intent of Congress, and it ultimately leaves Americans’ rights without appropriate protection. Members of Congress have a duty to ensure government officials can be held accountable for violating Americans’ rights, and ending qualified immunity is a crucial part of that.”In addition to the legislative action, NPR reports, two Supreme Court justices — Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas — have called for a review of the qualified immunity doctrine. The high court has eight such cases pending and could decide to hear any or all of them and revisit qualified immunity, which Thomas has written was wholly invented by the courts without a basis in history.Brees’ appearance on the petition is especially notable, given that a week ago he was criticized for his stance on peaceful demonstrations that coincide with the playing of the national anthem, such as Colin Kaepernick genuflecting while a member of the San Francisco 49ers.MORE: CrossFit CEO resigns after George Floyd commentslast_img read more

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Saints clip Eastern Washington Eagles on Banner Raising Night

first_imgWorking on the team’s top line with Proulx and Dyck, Garrett finished off his hat trick early in the third period with another rebound 50 seconds in and then a nice deflection two minutes later on the powerplay.Just over four minutes into the final period EWU’s Chase Wharton got the Eagles on the board when he scored a nice goal on the powerplay. Saints’ newcomer Alex Milligan closed out the scoring with a powerplay goal with five minutes remaining in the game.Garrett — who was returning from a rib injury that kept out of the first three games — was named the game’s first star.“I’m playing with two great linemates, it made it easy to come back from the injury,” Garrett said outside a jubilant Saints dressing room.“The coaches wanted to use me in front of the net and be a big body screening. I put that upon myself to try to be there and the goals came from me doing my simple jobs and listening to the coaches.”Another trademark of the Saints’ championship teams is defence, a trait that was on display Friday night.“We take pride in defending,” said Postmus.“We have a lot of vets on the backend and in those first three games we were not satisfied with our play, we weren’t tough enough. I think tonight we showed our toughness, we were hitting, everybody was blocking shots, the forwards were backchecking and we were taking that bit of extra time to make a good play up the ice.”With the first win now in the books, the Saints are confident they are back on track.“There wasn’t any panic, especially from the veteran group,” Garrett said of the slow start on the road.“We know this is a long season and just because you lose the first three games of the season, it doesn’t mean your season is over at all. A championship is won in the playoffs, it’s not won in the regular season. We want to seed ourselves high, but the playoffs are where it matters.”The Saints will travel to Langley on Friday to play Trinity Western University and return home to the Castlegar Recreation Complex on Saturday night for a rematch against EWU. The puck drops on Saturday at 7 p.m. A boisterous home crowd and pre-game banner raising ceremony fuelled the Selkirk College Saints to a convincing 5-1 victory over the Eastern Washington University Eagles on Friday night at the Castlegar Community Recreation Complex.Returning to the comforts of home ice after a rough regular season start that saw the Saints drop all three games on the road, the two-time defending BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) champions got back on track.With a crowd of more than 500 in attendance, the Saints raised the 2013-14 BCIHL banner to the rafters of the Complex and then went to work at showing why they are a threat for a three-peat.“We had our best practices of the year in this last week, just going back to the basics and working hard,” said veteran defenceman Arie Postmus after the game.“Our first three games of the season were unacceptable and we lost our identity a bit, but I thought tonight with the ceremony at the start it helped show all the guys what we are here for and it got us going for the whole night.”Looking nothing like a team that entered the game in last place in the BCIHL standings, the Saints came out flying. Just over three minutes into the opening period, hulking forward Jackson Garrett pounced on a rebound and put it past EWU starter Austin Brihn.The Saints went onto dominate the first 20 minutes, but could only solve Brihn once. Saints starting goaltender James Prigione ensured the score stayed 1-0 just over midway into the period when he stopped EWU sniper Beau Walker on a breakaway.Four minutes into the second period, Saints captain Logan Proulx finished a nice passing play with linemate Darnell Dyck to give the home side a 2-0 advantage.Selkirk once again dominated the middle frame, but Brihn was solid in turning 15 away shots.last_img read more

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