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Sudafrikas Wildtierwunder

first_imgDie Stadte sind gewachsen, viel Land wurde der Landwirtschaft zugeteilt, mit der Jagd wurden ganze Herden ausgeloscht und die Zeiten, in denen eine Springbockherde tagelang durch eine Karoo Stadt hindurchziehen konnte, sind lange vorbei.Und dennoch bleibt Sudafrika gesegnet mit einem Überfluss an Wildtieren, dank der Voraussicht von Naturschutzern in der Vergangenheit und Gegenwart.Die großen funfDie grossen KatzenWeniger bekannte WildtiereÜber 200 Arten von SaugetierenMeeressauger und FischeDas Krokodil…und andere ReptilienVogelweltDie großen funfAm bekanntesten sind die Saugetiere, und die bekanntesten davon sind die beruhmten großen funf: Elefant, Lowe, Rhinozeros, Leopard und Buffel. Nicht dass Giraffe, Flusspferde oder Wale etwa klein waren…Sudafrika’s Bushveld und Savannenregionen sind immer noch die Heimat einer großen Zahl von Saugetieren, die allgemein mit Afrika verbunden werden. Der Kruger National Park hat alleine uber 10.000 Elefanten und 20.000 Buffel – in 1920 waren nur schatzungesweise 120 Elefanten in ganz Sudafrika ubrig.Weisse Nashorner sind ebenfalls vor dem Aussterben gerettet worden und gedeihen nun mit sowohl im Kruger als auch im Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal. Das Augenmerk ist derzeit auf die Erhaltung des schwarzen Nashorn gerichtet.Beide Parkts bieten den großen Funf eine Heimat, wie auch andere großere Schutzgebiete in Sudafrika – wie z. B. Pilanesberg in der Provinz North West – und zahlreiche kleinere Schutzgebiete und private Jagdhutten.Die grossen KatzenSie haben nicht nur den hochsten Rang auf der Raubtierleiter inne, Lowen sind auch top im Glamourfaktor. Traurigerweise haben sie im Menschen einen schrecklichen Feind, der sie aus weiten Teilen des Landes verjagt hat, so dass sie fast nur noch in Naturschutzgebieten vorkommen.Der schone Leopard uberlebt in einem großeren Gebiet, in großen Teilen des Sudkaps und weit im Norden des Landes, obwohl die Zahlen in einigen Gebieten niedrig sind.Die dritte der beruhmten Großkatzen ist besonders faszinierend. Der Gepard schlagt sie alle in Geschwindigkeit, mit einer Sprintgeschwindigkeit von nahezu 100 kmh. Dennoch ist die Gepardenpopulation vergleichsweise klein, gefahrdet durch die Verluste aus Raubtierangriffen auf ihre Jungen, und beschrankt sich weitgehend auf den hohen Norden (inkl. dem Kruger National Park), dem Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park am Nordkap, und Reservaten in KwaZulu-Natal und der North West Provinz.Weniger bekannte WildtiereAndere vollkommen afrikanische Großtiere sind Flusspferde, Giraffen, Kudus, (die beruhmten Wildebeest) Gnus und Zebras, alle haufig Sudafrika’s Naturschutzgebieten zu sehen.Erweitertes Bewußtsein hat ein gesteigertes Wertschatzung weniger bekannter Tiere bewirkt. Eine Sichtung der seltenen Leierantilope (einer Verwandten des Gnus) kann ebensoviel Begeisterung hervorrufen wie der Anblick eines Lowenrudels, das sich unter einem Bushveld Dornenbaum rakelt. Und obwohl man einen Elefanten in der Nahe wohl kaum ubersehen kann, braucht man schon gute Augen, um die scheue kleine waldbewohnende Suni Antilope (Livingstone’s Antilope) zu erspahen und man darf sich in jedem Fall selbst gratulieren.Auf dem wirklich kleinen Maßstab konnte man sich der Herausforderung stellen und alle der sieben Arten von Russelspringern in Sudafrika abhaken – eine Aufgabe, die einen durch das ganze Land fuhren wurde und wahrscheinlich eine sehr lange Zeit in Anspruch nehmen wurde.Über 200 Arten von SaugetierenMit mehr als 200 Arten ist der Begriff kurzer Ausblick bei Sudafrika’s einheimischen Saugetieren ein Widerspruch in sich. Ein paar Beispiele genugen, um die Bandbreite anzudeuten.Im Bereich Attraktivitat liegen die Primaten weit oben. In Sudafrika gehoren die nachtaktiven Buschbabies dazu, die grune Meerkatze und die Weißkehlmeerkatze, Tchakma Paviane, die sich – ermutigt von unverantwortlichen Futterungen und unter dem Druck, ihren Lebensraum zu verlieren – unbeliebt gemacht haben durch Raubzuge durch die Hauser an der Kap Halbinsel.Klippenschliefer (Hyraxe, Bewohner felsiger Lebensraume) und Erdmannchen (Suricate, bekannt durch ihre aufrechte Alarmhaltung) haben enormen Reiz, obwohl die Klippenschliefer ein Problem fur die Landwirtschaft darstellen konnen.Das zuruckhaltende nachtaktive Erdferkel (das Ameisen frisst und das einzige Mitglied der Ordnung Tubulidentata ist) und der Erdwolf (der Termiten frisst und mit den Hyanen verwandt ist) sind zwei weitere reizvolle Geschopfe, und man findes sie sozusagen uberall im Land.Und fur diejenigen, die ihre Erdsaugetiere feucht mogen, gibt es den weitverbreiteten Kapotter, der sowohl in Frischwasser als auch im Meerwasser herumschwimmt. Der Fleckenhalsotter hat ein eingeschrankteres Revier. Beide sind jedoch selten und schwierig zu finden.Ein Saugetier, dessen Anziehungskraft sich erst neu herausgestellt hat, ist der afrikanische Wildhund oder Hyanenhund, eines der gefahrdesten Saugetiere Afrika’s. Einst irrtumlich als wahllose Killer verunglimpft, mittlerweile aber geschatzt wegen des okologischen Wertes und ihrem bemerkenswert fursorglichen Familienverhalten im Rudel, brauchen Wildhunde ein großes Revier. Ein einziges Rudel braucht durchschnittlich mehrere hundert quadratkilometer.Sie finden sich in kleinen Zahlen in Kruger Nationalpark und Umgebung, im nordlichen KwaZulu-Natal (einschließlich Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park), in der Kalahari, und im Madikwe Schutzgebiet in der North West Provinz.Verbreitere Canide sind Hyanen, Schakale und Loffelhunde. Neben den bereits erwahnten Katzen gibt es noch den Karacal mit seinen charakteristischen gepinselten Ohren, die afrikanische Wildkatze und den seltene Schwarzfußkatze. Weitere Fleischfresser sind Zibetkatze, Ginsterkatze und einige Mungoarten.Die Pflanzenfresser sind besonders gut vertreten durch verschiedene Antilopen, vom kleinen Kronenducker bis zu den großen Kudus und den außerordentlich schonen Rappenantilopen, die nur in den nordlichsten Gebieten zu finden sind.Aber die Saugetiere schwingen sich auch in die Lufte: Sudafrika ist reich bestuckt mit Fledermausarten.Meeressauger und FischeUnd sie begeben sich auch ins Wasser. Das großte Saugetier von allen – in Sudafrika wie auch der Welt – ist der Blauwal, der eine Große von 33 Metern erreichen kann.Aber von den acht Walarten, die in sudafrikanischen Wassern gefunden werden (inkl. dem aufregenden schwerz-weiße Schwertwal), ist es der Sudkaper, der am haufigsten von Menschen beobachtet wird. Dieses beeindruckende Geschopf kommt in die Kustenbuchten um zu kalben, wobei man sie hervorragend vom Land aus beobachten kann.Der Sudkaper steht fur eine der Erfolgsgeschichten des Naturschutz’s. Einst zum “richtigen” Wal fur die Jagd erkoren wurde ihr Bestand derart dezimiert, dass sie zu den geschutzten Arten zugeordnet wurden. Mit großerer Vertrautheit, bedingt durch ihre Ruckkehr in die Kustenbuchten, sind sie nun genauso beliebt wie die viele Delphine in unseren Kustengewassern.Sudafrika verfugt auch uber einen großen Fischartenreichtum. Der wohl beeindruckenste ist der große weiße Hai, er ist aber nur einer von mehr als 2.000 Arten, die 16% der Arten in der ganzen Welt darstellen. Verschiedene Fangfische, Langusten und Seeohren sind von besonderem Interesse fur Gourmets, wahrend Hochseefische (Sardinen und Pilcharde) von großem wirtschafltichen Wert sind.Das Krokodil…und andere ReptilienNicht so reichlich bestuckt mit Frischwasserfischen – 112 bekannte Arten, lediglich 1.3% des Weltanteils – hat Sudafrika dennoch einen Flußbewohner, der im gleichen Maße wie die Großen Funf ein Symbol Afrika’s ist. Das Krokodil beherrscht immer noch einige Teile von Flussen und Flussmundungen, Seen und Teichen, und fordert auch gelegentlich noch ein Menschenopfer.Andere bemerkenswerte Wasserreptilien sind die Kabarettschildkroten und Lederschildkroten, die durch die Seen ziehen, sie sind Schwerpunkt großerer Naturschutzbemuhungen der Gemeinden, die ihre Nistplatze an der nordlichen KwaZulu-Natal Kuste schutzen.Zu Sudafrika’s Landreptilien zahlen seltene Schildkroten und die faszinierenden Chamaleone. Es gibt weit mehr als 100 Schlangenarten. Und wahrend etwa die Halfte, einschließlich Pythons, ungiftig sind, sind es andere – wie die Puffotter, die grune und schwarze Mamba, die Boomslang und die Ringhalskobra – ganz bestimmt.Das vergleichsweise trockene Klima des Landes ist verantwortlich fur die relativ geringe Zahl an Amphibien – 84 Arten. Als Ausgleich dafur glanzt Sudafrika mit uber 77.000 Arten von wirbellosen Tieren.VogelweltVogelkundler aus der ganzen Welt kommen nach Sudafrika um die große Vielfalt typisch afrikanischer Vogel, Zugvogel und (nur in Sudafrika) heimische Vogel zu erleben.Mehr als 850 Arten in etwa wurden bisher in Sudafrika erfasst, ungefahr 725 sind ortsansassig oder kommen jahrlich zu Besuch, und etwa 50 davon sind einheimisch oder quasi einheimisch.Abgesehen von den ansassigen Vogeln, halten sich in Sudafrika auch eine Reihe von intra-afrikanischen Zugvogeln wie Kuckucke und Eisvogel, wie auch arktische, europaische, zentralasiatische und antarktische Vogel wahrend des Jahres auf.Die sudafrikanische Vogelwelt reicht vom Strauß – der in Farmen im Kreis Oudtshoorn am Westkap gezuchtet wird, aber in wilder Form zumeist im Norden des Landes zu sehen ist – bis zu so auffallenden Arten wie dem Nashornvogel und dem allgegenwartigen kleinen braunen Cistensanger.Nur ein kleines Gebiet um die Stadt Vryheid herum in nordlichen KwaZulu-Natal, bietet Sumpf, Grunland, Thornveld und sowohl berg- als auch flussartigen Wald, und etwa 380 Arten wurden hier erfasst.Ein Vogelkundler muss sich nicht einmal aus einem typischen Gauteng Garten herausbewegen um Graularmvogel, Mausvogel, Wiedehopf, Hagedashe, Halsband- oder Haubenbartvogel, Kapbrillenvogel, Kurrichane zu sehen… oder einen einsamen Tiputip, der linkisch um einen Baum herum stochert. Und damit ware die Liste keinesfalls schon beendet.Zu den spektakularsten Vogeln Sudafrika’s zahlen die Kraniche, die am besten in den Supfen gefunden werden – obwohl der Klunkerkranich so selten ist, dass eine Sichtung schon viel Gluck erfordert. Der wunderschone Paradieskranich ist der Nationalvogel von Sudafrika; der Kronenkranich ist wahrscheinlich der auffalligste von den dreien mit seinem unverkennbaren markanten Kamm.Unter den großeren Vogelarten hat Sudafrika auch einige Adler und Geier zu bieten. Zu den farbenprachtigsten zahlen die Eisvogel, Bienenfresser, Nektarvogel, die exquisite Gabelracke, der Helmturako und der Glanzhaubenturako.Quelle: South African Tourismlast_img read more

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Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, March 18, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Today we have a much drier flow of air into the region, and while we are not seeing a fast expansion of warm air, we should add a few degrees onto our high temps today and tomorrow. High pressure will be nearby as we start the week, and slowly moves east tomorrow. Sunshine should dominate.Wednesday brings a minor disturbance to the state, with plenty of clouds and a few scattered showers. Most of the action stays in the northern part of Ohio. We expect a few hundredths to .3” of rain with 80% coverage from I-70 north. This will be a relatively quick moving system, though.Dry weather is back for the second half of the week. WE se partly to mostly sunny skies Thursday through Saturday with warmer air pushing up from the south. We expect above normal temps to finish the week.The pattern becomes more active and wet starting with the second half of the weekend. Clouds increase this coming Sunday, and we see scattered shower trying to make a run into Ohio. However, at this point we think they stay mostly in the far northern part of the state. WE will allow for a few hundredths to .15″ of rain from US 30 north, but in all reality, it may stay north of US 20. Nothing happens in central and southern Ohio. This will just be a precursor to bigger rains to start next week. For Monday and Tuesday, we expect rains of .5”-1.5” with windy conditions and a chance of thunderstorms. Rain will have 100% coverage over Ohio. We will be partly sunny and cooler to finish our 10 day period on Wednesday the 27th.The extended period is very active and could feature excessive precipitation. From Thursday the 28th through Sunday the 31st, we have rain and thunderstorms coming in several waves. 4 day rain totals can be from 1″-3″ across 100% of the state, and if we have any concern at this point, it would be that it would not take much to exceed that 3 inch upper bound. But, we are not done there. After 2 dry days to start April on the 1st and 2nd, another front brings. 25”-1” rain potential for the 3rd. This outlook definitely has March going out like a lion. A wet, soggy, sloppy, irritable lion. The map at right shows one model’s rain totals for that period from the 28th through the 3rd. Right now we think the maximum totals are overdone…but as we mentioned above…our concern is that they could be right.last_img read more

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Clean Transportation Is the Northeast’s Next Frontier

first_imgOur transportation system — the way we move around, whether on foot or bike, via car, bus, truck, or train — in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region of the United States is broken. We spend hours in traffic jams, ride overcrowded and delayed buses and trains, are forced to walk and bike on unsafe streets, and suffer from vehicle-related soot and smog, leading to asthma attacks, respiratory diseases, and lost school and work days. To top it off, motor vehicles are the number-one source of carbon pollution driving climate change, contributing to more intense storms, more severe heat waves, and other dangerous conditions. The good news is that states in the region are gearing up to do something about our shared transportation woes, a big thing that could improve the lives of millions. A new report from twelve Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and Washington, D.C., shows that residents are clamoring for clean and modern transportation solutions to solve these problems, create healthier communities, and produce real benefit for people across the region.RELATED ARTICLESAre Traffic-Clogged Cities Ready for Congestion Pricing?Why Is the U.S. Unwilling to Pay for Good Public Transportation?Getting Around Without Fossil FuelsStranded In Our Own CommunitiesWhere You Build May Matter More Than What You Build The report summarizes feedback that officials from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and D.C. received from hundreds of business leaders, community members, municipal officials, advocates, and policy experts at a series of public listening sessions held this year. As NRDC and several other organizations that participated in these listening sessions noted in a press release, these listening sessions provide strong momentum for the states to move forward together with a regional strategy to clean up and modernize transportation. Among the key takeaways are support from a broad cross section of citizens for: Better public transit systems, better planning to enable more walkable and bikeable communities, and cleaner vehicle choices that reduce harmful pollution and better meet all residents’ transportation needs, regardless of income levels and across our urban, suburban, and rural communities. Coordination between Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to develop a regional policy solution to our interconnected transportation system and challenges. Sustainable and dedicated funding to improve transportation, with broad support for policies that would price carbon pollution from transportation and use the proceeds to invest in modern, clean, and equitable transportation solutions. With robust support for modernizing transportation, it’s time for governors in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to step up and develop policies that will solve our transportation challenges and build the 21st century transportation system that residents in the region want and need. They should get busy as soon as the calendar flips to 2019. We have solutions Over the last decade, carbon pricing and other policies in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic have helped dramatically cut pollution, saved money through improved energy efficiency, improved air quality and public health, and created thousands of jobs along with billions of dollars in economic growth. But while we’ve made significant progress in cleaning up power plants, we haven’t seen the same progress in transportation. We haven’t really tried and with many of our transportation challenges continuing to get worse, the time for action is now. NRDC’s Transportation Reimagined report, released earlier this year, shows that we have a robust set of solutions for transportation that policymakers could look to to deliver real and meaningful benefits to people living in the region’s rural, suburban, and urban communities. Solutions like walkable and bikeable cities and towns, fast and efficient public transit, and clean electric vehicles — including electric buses, cars, trucks and trains — are proven measures to improve transportation options, increase jobs and economic growth, and clean up our air. Participants in the states’ listening sessions offered many of these same ideas, and others, including by calling on Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to adopt policies that: Make zero emission vehicles more readily available and affordable, such as by ensuring access to clean, renewable-energy-powered charging stations for electric vehicles. Ensure affordable clean transportation options are available for low-income individuals, families, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and frontline communities affected by disproportionate levels of pollution and the effects of climate change. Help transition vehicle fleets, including public transit and school buses, to clean vehicle alternatives. Provide incentives for pursuing low-carbon transportation options and discourage polluting behavior. Promote smart growth, couple affordable housing with transit-oriented development, and develop complete streets that serve all residents, including those traveling on foot and by bike. Create new job opportunities, encourage commerce, and drive economic growth. As they look to modernize transportation, states should learn from this citizen input, from their successes in cutting power plant pollution, and from the numerous real-world, successful examples of efforts to deploy modern and equitable transportation solutions as detailed in NRDC’s report. In so doing, states can solve our region’s many transportation challenges, and do so in an equitable manner that provides clean air while filling gaps in transportation networks that disadvantage many underserved communities. Next steps With proven policy frameworks, strong public support, and a clear set of solutions in hand, it’s time for Northeast and Mid-Atlantic governors to start taking action to secure the clean and modern transportation system that residents want and need. Governors can do so by committing to a concrete plan and schedule over the next year to develop a regional policy for clean and modern transportation. With input from stakeholders across the region, such a policy should set clear and ambitious pollution reduction targets — consistent with protecting our health and avoiding dangerous climate change — while establishing the sustainable funding mechanisms and sources we need to invest in and build a 21st century transportation system that works better for all and improves the quality of life for all.   Bruce Ho is senior advocate, climate & clean energy program, at the Natural Resources Defense Council. This post originally appeared at the NRDC Expert Blog and is reprinted here with permission.last_img read more

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Alert! Be On Guard Against Microsoft Word Worms In Your Email

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#email#Microsoft#Microsoft Office#security Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair markhachmancenter_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Until Microsoft discloses – and patches – a new Word vulnerability on Tuesday, anyone using Microsoft’s Outlook email program and its Word word processor should be even more cautious than usual.That’s because one of Microsoft’s security bulletins for December includes a “Critical” vulnerability for Microsoft Word, one of the few times Microsoft has attached the “Critical” tag to a Word issue. Waiting For Patch TuesdayMicrosoft’s standard practice is to give a heads-up on the number of vulnerabilities it plans to fix on “Patch Tuesday,” the second Tuesday of every month. On that day, Microsoft releases the patches themselves, and discloses the vulnerabilities that they fix. (If it revealed the problems before providing the solutions, of course, black-hat hackers could exploit the hole.) So at this point, we don’t know what exactly what problems the current, unpatched version of Word hides.In October, however, Microsoft disclosed a hole in Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Word 2010 that allowed an attacker to take over a PC just by viewing an infected RTF file. That was a significant vulnerability; most modern attacks are triggered when a user views a Web page, or at least clicks a link. The October vulnerability was much more passive, and could be triggered just by idly scrolling down your inbox. Once your machine was infected, the attacker would have the same administrative rights as you do – and if you run as administrator, the attacker could completely control your machine.Tuesday’s vulnerability appears to be even more severe: It can target Office 2003, 2007 and 2010, as well the Microsoft Word Viewer and Compatibility Pack. As security reporter Fahmida Rashid notes, it’s a  good bet that the inclusion of “Word Viewer” means that the new vulnerability allows a similar, passive attack. But note that it does not include Office 2012, so if you own a Surface tablet with the latest Office version, you should be safe.In total, there are seven updates, which will even ensnare Windows RT. The Windows RT update will be provided by Microsoft, either via the Windows Store, Microsoft Update or Windows Update, a Microsoft spokeswoman said in an email.How To Defend YourselfAt this point, Outlook/Word users can do several things to help mitigate the threat of any vulnerabilities.First, always – always – allow Windows to download its approved patches. It’s probably best to allow Windows to install them, too, although users who leave their PCs on, as I do, risk getting caught by an unexpected reboot. While this shouldn’t be a problem for Word users, the inability of modern browsers to “save” inside a Web service can play havoc with your workflow. So it’s up to you whether you want to install the patches automatically.Second, turn your caution up a notch. At this point, most Web users have a finely honed sense of what is spam and what isn’t, and are able to detect most phishing attempts (misspellings and malformed URLs are common clues). But for now, you’ll have to try and detect whether or not an email is malicious from the subject line. Users and companies who rely a Web-based version of their email (like Google Apps) may have an advantage here.Third, never run in admininstrator mode. Yes, not having admin rights can be a pain sometimes. But if an attacker can gain the same levels of administrative rights as you can, downgrading your own status to a user might help offer at least a bit of protection. (Fourth: Get a Mac. There, are you happy?)It’s not clear that there are, in fact, any worms or attackers with live code exploiting this in the wild. But there almost certainly will be starting on Tuesday, when Microsoft reveals the exploit and the patch and attackers hope to catch complacent Windows users napping. Don’t be one of them.Image source: Flickr/davef3138 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

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Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell Posts Photo Of His Return To The Field

first_imgOle Miss celebrates the Sugar Bowl win over Oklahoma State.NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Laquon Treadwell #1 of the Mississippi Rebels celebrates during the trophy ceremony after their 48-20 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)Ole Miss star wide receiver Laquon Treadwell is a little over three months removed from a brutal ankle injury that cut short a brilliant season. Treadwell recently posted video of himself on the treadmill rehabbing, and today he celebrated his return to the field. Treadwell documented the occasion on his Instagram account.For anyone who watched Treadwell get hurt, the fact he’s made this much progress this quickly is just remarkable. We wish him well as he continues his recovery process.last_img read more

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Plastic Policy Ban Email Established At NEPA

first_imgThe National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has established an email address, [email protected] to receive comments and queries on the recently announced ban on single-use plastic bags, Styrofoam and plastic straws, which will take effect on Tuesday, January 1, 2019. The public may use this channel to submit suggestions, comments and queries. Manufacturers and other impacted stakeholders are also encouraged to use the dedicated channel to present their queries regarding the exemption application process. For more information, please contact:Public Education and Corporate Communication Branch (PECCB)National Environment and Planning AgencyTel: 876-754-7540, ext. 2437; 876 564 9397; Fax: 876-754-7596 Email: [email protected]  Website: www.nepa.gov.jmlast_img read more

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College Football Playoff Update Oregon Makes A Case For No 1

College football fans aren’t habituated to the rhythm of a playoff — at least not in the same way college basketball fans are before the NCAA tournament. But the games Saturday and the selection committee’s choices Sunday will determine the four teams that enter the first-ever college football playoff. FiveThirtyEight will be here throughout the weekend to update our forecast on which teams are most likely to make it.The math has become simpler after Oregon’s emphatic 51-13 victory Friday night against Arizona in the Pac-12 championship game. Instead of seven teams competing for four positions, there are now effectively five teams — Alabama, TCU, Florida State, Ohio State and Baylor — competing for three slots, with Oregon having secured its position and Arizona out of the running.Nothing’s official yet, but in this case, our statistical model aligns with common sense. Oregon, No. 2 in the selection committee’s rankings entering the weekend, made the playoff in all 20,000 simulations that we ran Saturday morning. Arizona, which now has three losses, never did. Here are the latest numbers:For comparison’s sake, here’s our forecast before the Pac-12 championship:It’s become crowded at the top. No. 1-ranked Alabama is an 82 percent favorite to beat Missouri in the SEC championship, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). And the Crimson Tide are more likely than not to make the playoff even if they lose to Missouri.Third-ranked TCU probably won’t make the playoff if they lose to 2-9 Iowa State. But they’re 97 percent favorites to win the game, per FPI. Crazy things can happen in college football — but if the Cyclones win, it would be perhaps the most memorable college football upset since Appalachian State beat Michigan in 2007.For the time being, Oregon is the favorite to win the national championship, with a 37 percent chance of doing so. (Alabama may overtake the Ducks if they defeat Missouri, but Oregon’s dominance against Arizona is likely to impress FPI, as well as Vegas oddsmakers.)Oregon’s win is also modestly bad news for the teams ranked No. 5 and 6 entering the weekend, Ohio State and Baylor, because they now have one fewer opportunity to leapfrog other teams in the rankings. Ohio State’s probability of making the playoff dropped to about 30 percent from 35 percent after Oregon’s win; Baylor’s declined slightly, to about 16 percent from 18 percent.Still, Oregon’s gain came mostly at the expense of Arizona. The result wasn’t a total disaster for Ohio State and Baylor, in part because an Arizona win would have created a mess of its own. Arizona, No. 7 entering the weekend, would have had an argument for making the playoff if it beat Oregon. Oregon might have had an argument even with a loss.But Oregon won. Could the Ducks wind up with the No. 1 seed? They almost certainly will if Alabama loses to Missouri. Otherwise, they’ll probably stay at No. 2, according to the model. But the FiveThirtyEight model is calibrated based on a historical analysis of voting in the Coaches Poll. The playoff selection committee has been a bit more aggressive so far in promoting teams after dominant victories. Perhaps if Alabama wins clumsily against Missouri, the Ducks could overtake it. Either way, it was a happy Friday night in Eugene. read more

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Softball Lilli Piper zips from Akron twosport athlete to Ohio State softball

Ohio State junior Lilli Piper rounds third base with the intent to score against Wright State on Sep. 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternLilli Piper made it clear from the beginning: she wanted to play college basketball. That’s why when now-Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly recruited her to play softball at Miami (Ohio), where she was coaching at the time, Piper wasn’t interested. Kovach Schoenly backed off, as did many other softball coaches, when Piper instead began to pursue a collegiate career playing basketball. Even though she scaled back her of recruiting Piper, Kovach Schoenly was still recruiting the other girls on Piper’s travel team, so she continued to watch her play. “I had told her when I heard she was going to play basketball … ‘If you ever decide you want to play [softball], come find me because I would love to have you on my team,’” Kovach Schoenly said.After just one season playing both basketball and softball for Akron, Piper took Kovach Schoenly up on her offer.The now-junior shortstop Piper not only transferred schools, but she gave up basketball at Akron to pursue only softball at Ohio State.“She was willing to leave a pretty cushy thing at Akron, you know, you’re on a full ride and you get all of these things as a basketball player,” Kovach Schoenly said.Piper wasn’t exactly having a bad year at Akron, either. She played in 20 softball games — starting in 11 — for the Zips. She slashed .313/.327/.417 with a home run and two stolen bases.She also held her own in basketball, the sport she decided to leave. She appeared in 29 games, averaging 3.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game, and even had a 24-point, nine-rebound effort against Buffalo in the MAC semifinals.Despite the success as a two-sport athlete, Piper said playing softball full-time just began to feel like the right option. Her parents didn’t have any objections to the decision, either.“Both my parents voted for softball when I was growing up, so they really pushed that and I kind of went against it and I guess I had to find my own path back to softball,” Piper said.Attending Akron made a lot of sense for Piper at the beginning. It was close to home — Pipher is from Norton, Ohio — and she had been around the university a lot with her aunt, Kay Piper, who played both softball and volleyball there from 1982 to 1985.“Knowing that I played there and I think also she’d been around Akron U a lot because I used to take her to some of the games and stuff. I think she felt comfortable going there,” Kay Piper said.Kay’s number, 23, is one of only two retired numbers in program history, but Piper was still able to wear it for the year that she played at Akron. Seeing her wear that number was an “immense sense of pride,” Kay said. Although Piper’s decision to transfer to Ohio State was a risk, she was not leaving all comfort behind in Akron.A few of the people who played on Piper’s travel team were already playing at Ohio State, so Piper did not feel as though she was “jumping into a situation blind.”Piper quickly found her groove at Ohio State and has continued to thrive since she arrived. She sits among the Buckeyes’ leaders in nearly every offensive category through nine games this season with a .389/.421/.778 slash line and three homers, 12 RBIs, 10 runs scored and two stolen bases. In 2017, her first year with the Buckeyes, she led the team in all the categories, except stolen bases, where she was second, and was a second-team All-American.“Last year she came here and she made a name for herself. In one year to be All-American is so hard,” Kovach Schoenly said.Piper went into this season with a renewed confidence though, after she recently tried out for the USA Women’s National Team during Christmas break. She took part in the open tryout and was picked to go to the invitational tryout.“I just feel like I can’t be beat,” Piper said, “I’ve seen the best.”Piper is looking to continue to do what she said she does best this season: have fun and enjoy herself.“I just like to have a lot of fun,” Piper said. “At the end of the day this is just a game and yeah we take it, I mean this is our jobs at the end of the day but we might as well make it fun while we’re doing it.” read more

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Homophobic Chelsea supporter banned for three years

first_imgA Chelsea fan has been handed a three-year ban from attending games after being found guilty by Brighton Magistrates Court last Thursday.George Bradley, 20 pleaded guilty of homophobic chants during Chelsea’s away fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium last month.Additionally, Bradley was also fined 965 pounds.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“We’d like to thank Sussex Police for their assistance in dealing with this unsavoury incident and we are very pleased with the outcome, a Brighton spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Reuters.“It underlines both their and our commitment to a zero tolerance policy on any form of abuse from those attending matches at the Amex.”Chelsea were involved in series of racial abuse claims late last year following a racial abuse on Manchester City striker Raheem Steerling and another during their last Europa league tie against Vid FC.last_img read more