Piscotty will come off bench Sunday, start Monday

first_imgOAKLAND — As Stephen Piscotty awaits what he expects to be good news, may as well play a little ball.The Athletics right-fielder will be available off the bench Sunday in the last game of a three-game series agianst the Seattle Mariners, and is expected to start Monday night against the Baltimore Orioles.Piscotty underwent surgery Thursday to remove a melanoma from the outer lobe of his right ear. He’s wearing a bandage to cover stitches (Piscotty doesn’t know how many) and will wear a …last_img read more

Athletics erase 5-run deficit to beat Angels, complete sweep

first_imgOAKLAND — The A’s swept the Angels with a 10-6 comeback win on Thursday afternoon.The A’s were down five runs heading into the seventh inning and left it with a two-run lead.It began with Sheldon Neuse’s one-out single and Josh Phegley’s 11th home run of the season, lofted to left field. Then the top of the order loaded the bases on Marcus Semien’s poked single (his third of a four-hit of the game) and back-to-back walks … Click here if you’re unable to view the gallery on your mobile device.last_img read more

Facebook says ‘hakuna matata’

first_imgFacebook in Swahili. The areas where Swahili or Comorian is the indigenous language (dark green), official or national language (medium green), and trade language (light green). As a trade language, it extends some distance further to the northwest. (Image: Wikimedia)Samson MulugetaFind out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialSwahili has joined Afrikaans as the second African language to be available on Facebook, the massive social networking site with 200-million members worldwide – and growing.Facebook is now translated into 50 languages, with 40 more in development. The translations are done by volunteers.With 70% of its members now located outside the US, the California-based company aims to reach users in their own languages.  It is also significant that 30-million Facebook users use their mobiles to connect, because cell phones are far more commonly used than computers in the developing world. More than 150-mobile operators in 50 countries work to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products, according to the company.Still, the penetration of the web in Africa is miniscule: 5% compared with 74% for North Americans.Currently 1.4-billion around the globe use the internet. According to the Financial Mail, of those 578.5-million live in Asia, 384.6-million in Europe, 248.2-million in North America, 139-million in Latin America, and 51-million in Africa, with 10-million of those living in Nigeria and 5-million in South Africa.There about 110-million Swahili speakers in Kenya, Tanzania and smaller numbers in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo,  the Horn of Africa, Mozambique, the Indian Ocean islands and Malawi.Next in line for African languages to be translated include the Hausa for West Africa and isiZulu for South Africa, developments expected to happen in the next few weeks.In Kenya, Facebook is in the top 10 of the most-visited sites, while it ranks third in Egypt.Facebook is hugely popular in South Africa, where its users are approaching 1-million. South Africans use the site to connect with friends – including those in the diaspora – as well as to rally against crime and celebrate their varying heritages.The groups range from “One Million People against Crime in South Africa” to “We are the Rugby World Champions”.In other parts of Africa, Facebook groups include the quixotic. Somali pirates turn up 139 citations, with one group attracting more than 3 000 fans.When Facebook makes a new language available, it does not automatically switch users to the new language unless their browser settings are already set to that language, Facebook spokesperson Elizabeth Linder said in an interview.“In the case of Afrikaans, for example, users whose browser settings were in Afrikaans would have been automatically switched over … If users’ browser settings are not in Afrikaans, they can choose to switch the language option,” Linder said.  “On rare occasions, when we cannot detect browser settings, we do our best to use other information to ascertain whether or not the user is likely to use the new language. Users can change the language they prefer at any time.“Our hope is that the number of languages on Facebook will enable … users to connect with their friends, family, and co-workers in the language they feel most comfortable using.”Henry Louis Gates Jr, the African-American Harvard scholar, has proposed Swahili as the lingua franca of Africa. Gates has chronicled the origins of the language in his book and television series Wonders of the African World.“The language is heavily influenced by Arabic – a result of the long-standing trading relationships in the region – while many contemporary words are adapted from English. The main dialects of Swahili, or Kiswahili, as it is also called, are Kiunguja, Kimvita, and Kiamu,” Gates writes.  “Swahili has a long tradition of literary production, and poetry has been written in Swahili since at least the middle of the 17th century. It draws on Arabic, Persian, and Urdu literary sources.“Though Swahili was originally only written in Arabic script, Latin script became more popular in the mid-19th century, and has since become standard.”According to Gates many Western literary works have been translated in Swahili, such as the well-known readings of William Shakespeare’s plays by Julius Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] Related articlesSA web users to double by 2104 Mobile money grows in Africa Vodacom launches The Grid Broadband in Africa set to soar Low-cost phones for Africa South Africa’s languages  Useful linksFacebookKiswahili.net USA Foreign Service Institute Swahili courselast_img read more

Night Caching in Portugal – A Lackey’s Mega-Event Experience

first_imgEditor’s note: Groundspeak Lackeys are traveling thousands of miles from H.Q. throughout the year to share smiles, shake hands, and make geocaching memories at nearly twenty Mega-Events worldwide. Arne Moen, aka, RandolphAgarn, attended the Lisbon, Portugal Mega-Event 12 years Geocaching – Portugal (GC35GH8). Arne has been a Lackey since 2009 and is a Software Developer. Here’s Arne’s account of his trip.Written By: Arne MoenArne (on right) with local geocacher and Olympian João CostaI was in Lisbon, Portugal to celebrate  12 Years Geocaching Portugal with local geocachers.I was delighted to meet all these geocachers from Portugal. Of course, I knew that there are geocachers all over the world. But to talk to them in person about FTF’s (First to Finds), Multi-Caches, and Trackables in person made it all more real.Everyone was very kind to me and I was excited to give away some Geocaching.com merchandise like Trackable tags. I strongly suspect I would have felt equally welcome without the swag. I met many interesting individuals and some really sweet dogs. I met a geologist who was born in Mozambique, an underwater archeologist, an Olympic athlete, a C-130 pilot, a cartographer, and many more individuals whose backgrounds we didn’t discuss. Each one of them was a treat to talk to.Geocacher by a cork treeWhile chatting with a geocacher, I recalled that a significant amount of the world’s cork – as in a bottle or on a bulletin board – comes from Portugal. I had heard that it was the bark of a tree. Though I had seen a lot of bark in my lifetime and I couldn’t imagine how the thing in the wine bottle was attached to the outside of a tree.I mentioned this to my new geocacher friend.  He told me cork trees can be found all over Portugal and immediately set off trying to find one in the park. A few minutes later he returned to bring me to a cork tree.  The bark was thick, and firm yet spongy. And suddenly I could see where cork comes from.Night caching in PortugalI found a couple of geocaches at the Mega-Event. But my first evening in Portugal I went out and found some geocaches with some new friends.We began our evening with a traditional Portuguese meal: cod, ham, and fried potatoes, covered with a kind of hollandaise sauce. We also enjoyed “vinho verde,” which means green wine in Portuguese. The greenness in this case is in reference to the newness of the wine. The grapes had been picked, squeezed and fermented in the last year.After our meal the four of use set out into the streets of Lisbon looking for geocaches. This was in an old neighborhood, between the eleventh century castle perched on the hill, and the Rio Tejo, the river from which some of the great explorers like Ferdinand Magellan and Vasco da Gama began their voyages of discovery.Ultra Violet Night Cache ClueWe started in front of an old cathedral across the street from our restaurant. There was a geocache, Catedral (GCZWBV), just down the street. As the guest, I was allowed to make the first attempt. I was nervous with three experienced geocachers watching me. I was still suffering the affects of from jet lag. I skipped over the geocache at first, then found it a few seconds later.The next geocache, Portas do Sol (GC1F9NG), was in a little square that overlooked the river. We took several seconds to enjoy the view before looking for the geocache.  We found the geocache in one spot and a second log book in another. This was my 100th find and my furthest find east of my home coordinates. It was a fantastic spot to hit a milestone.Then we went down the hill towards the plaza at the site of the former royal palace. This area of town was relatively new.  An earthquake and tsunami wiped out this neighborhood in 1755 so it had to be rebuilt. We knew exactly where the next geocache, No Paço do Terreiro [Lisboa] (GC13Z3E), was hidden from a spoiler photo. Before we were finished signing the log, a police offer walked up to ask us what kind of tomfoolery we were engaged in.Travel Bug haircut at the Mega-EventsI felt like I was back in high school, getting caught by an authority figure. Here we were, four adult men, each with full lives running around downtown in the middle of the night. Isn’t there something more we should doing with our lives?  No, it turns out. We were having an adventure. What could be better than that? We explained we were geocaching. He told us he knew what that was and let us replace the cache and let us go about our evening.All of the caches we found that night were traditional urban micros.  They were good geocaches. But the food, the company, the hunt, the adventure that evening, and the Mega-Event experience, made my trip magical.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGeocacher Competes in the 2012 OlympicsAugust 3, 2012In “Community”11 Years! Oeiras – A Mega-Event Portuguese StyleMay 16, 2011In “Community”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – March 7, 2012March 8, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”last_img read more

Opinion 20162017 NBA season predictions

Cavaliers’ Small Forward Lebron James (23) gathers his team members for a pep-talk before their preseason game at the Schottenstein Center on Oct. 18. The Cavs lost 96-91. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorThe 2016-17 NBA season tips off on Tuesday, unveiling the first chapter in several storylines around the league this year.A lot has happened in the league since the end of last season, contributing to rivalries between teams, creating new enemies for players, and causing bad blood between players and their former organizations. Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City to sign with the Golden State Warriors, and Russell Westbrook is now locked in, for at least two years, as the lone superstar on the Thunder. Veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade left the Miami Heat to sign with his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, and former Bulls players Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah have joined the New York Knicks.In the midst of all of these moves, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to defend their franchise’s first championship after they defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, bringing the city of Cleveland its first major sports championship in 52 years.With all of this and more, here are some predictions for the upcoming season.Eastern Conference Champions: Cleveland CavaliersComing into this season, the Cavs are the favorites to make it to the Finals again, and rightfully so. This season’s Cavs team might be better than the teams of the last two seasons, with the pressure to win a championship is gone. They know what it takes to get back to the Finals and to win it all.Unlike the past two seasons, the Cavs will begin this season fully healthy and with Tyronn Lue as their head coach. After re-establishing himself as the best all-around player in the world after his MVP performance in the 2016 Finals, James will have an MVP caliber season, and Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving will both have their best seasons as Cavaliers. Add in key acquisitions of veteran sharpshooter Mike Dunleavy and Chris “Birdman” Anderson, and the Cavs look geared to make their third consecutive NBA Finals.However, they will be tested, as the Indiana Pacers, the Boston Celtics, the Knicks and the Bulls have improved their rosters. But in a seven-game series in the postseason, none of the Eastern Conference teams will be able to stop Cleveland.Western Conference Champions: Golden State WarriorsFor Golden State fans, the mourning of losing in the NBA Finals after having a 3-1 series lead was put to rest quickly this offseason when Durant signed with the Warriors. The Warriors, known for their deep bench and their “strength in numbers” slogan, lost several key players in the offseason, including Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut and Marreese Speights, to name a few. But replacing these players is Durant, arguably one of the top three players in the league.Not to mention, the team also still has back-to-back MVP Steph Curry, who was the league’s first unanimous MVP in history. Add in Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and offseason addition David West, and the Warriors come into the season as the odds-on favorite to not only make it to the Finals, but to win it all.While they will be challenged by the ever-present San Antonio Spurs, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Thunder, the Warriors will be a handful for any team in a single game, let alone a best-of-seven series. The Warriors will not win 73 games again. But after they start to click, they may be the regular season’s most dominant team yet again. NBA Champions: Cleveland CavaliersThe Cavs and Warriors seem to be on a crash course to meet for the third straight season in the NBA Finals, potentially making one of the greatest Finals trilogies in NBA history. If everything goes according to plan and both teams come into the championship round at full force, it will be the ultimate finale to the trilogy. While both teams know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, the addition of Kevin Durant will change the dynamic of the series. But like most super teams, the Warriors will face problems in their first year together and won’t be able to close the deal. James has been Durant’s biggest weakness throughout his career, and this Cavs team has gotten over the hump and is more confident now than ever.This may be the best team James will ever play on. The series will be another great one, and might even go to seven games again. But in the end, the Cavs will win their second consecutive NBA Championship.MVP: Russell WestbrookNow that Durant is out of Oklahoma City, Westbrook will not have to worry about taking a back seat this season. He is now the No. 1 option for the Thunder. He will take the last shot in a close game, and he will have the ball in his hands at the game’s most crucial moments. Already a top-five player, Westbrook is one of the league’s most ruthless competitors and is capable of averaging almost 30 points per game this season. With his athleticism and explosiveness at the point guard position, he has the chance to average close to a triple-double. While the Thunder likely will not be as good as they were last year, Westbrook will shine in his new role and put the league on notice.Other NotablesAll-NBA First Team(G) Steph Curry – Golden State Warriors(G) Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder(F) LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers(F) Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors(C) DeAndre Jordan – Los Angeles ClippersScoring Champion: James Harden – Houston RocketsCoach of the Year: Brad Stevens – Boston CelticsRookie of the Year: Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ersDefensive Player of the Year: Kawhi Leonard – San Antonio SpursMost improved player: D’Angelo Russell – Los Angeles LakersSixth Man of the Year: Jamal Crawford – Los Angeles Clippers read more

Under new coach womens lacrosse faces tough season ahead

First-year women’s lacrosse coach Alexis Venechanos said she is still learning about her players and her young team is still trying to get better. “We have a lot to work on but we’re happy how it’s early in the season, and we have some time,” Venechanos said. The Buckeyes lost to No. 9 Stanford, 17-5, on Saturday. “Stanford is a tremendous team and you can tell they are the more experienced team right now,” Venechanos said. Venechanos, who was named coach in July 2010 following former coach Sue Stimmel’s resignation, said that being here since the fall has made the transition a little bit easier. “The fall was a smooth transition in getting to know the team,” she said. Venechanos has been a part of four national championship teams, two as a player at Maryland and two as an assistant coach at Northwestern. Having been in those positions, she said she isn’t worried about the tough loss to Stanford. “These tough games will get us in better situations toward the end of the season,” she said. Junior midfielder Alayna Markwordt agreed that having the new coach since the summer has made the change a little easier. “It’s been a good transition,” she said. “We’ve learned a lot this year.” The Buckeyes won their two previous games against American University and St. Bonaventure before the loss to Stanford. Markwordt said the team is looking to avoid these types of losses when it had played well the two games before. “We’re waiting for that moment where we put it all together,” Markwordt said. OSU (2-3) will look to bounce back as it hosts Canisius (1-1) at 1 p.m. Monday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

Ohio State track teams prepare to hurdle from indoor to outdoor season

OSU men’s track associate head coach Brice Allen signals the runners during a race at the Buckeye Classic Jan. 10 at French Field House.Courtesy of OSU athleticsJust as one season ends, another begins.The Ohio State men and women’s track and field teams begin the transition this weekend from the indoor season to the outdoor season, and are expecting a few hurdles with the change.The men’s team is set to travel to Nashville, Tenn., to compete in the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational. Although the athletes have been competing since January, associate head coach Brice Allen said the transition from indoor to outdoor is harder than it would appear.“It takes some time,” Allen said. “It takes the guys about three to four weeks in their training cycle to exhibit their full talent in the outdoor season.”Allen compared the first outdoor meet in March to the first meet of the season in January — the Buckeye Classic in Columbus — and said it is “as if they start all over again.” He is confident, however, that once the team gets back in the swing of running outdoors it can start building for the conference meet in May.“We are going to SEC country (this weekend), so we always want to be competitive,” Allen said. “But we also understand that there is going to be some adjustments during the meet.”Along with getting used to how different it is competing outside, the Buckeyes are excited to show what they can do in some events that had the winter off. Three field events — the hammer and discus throw along with the javelin — are slated to get underway. Other events competing for the first time this year include a 10K race, 4×100-meter relay, 1500-meter run, steeplechase, a 110-meter hurdle race and a 400-meter hurdle race.Throwing the javelin, sophomore Bill Stanley is set to see his first action of the 2014 season after coming out of winter hibernation.In the 2013 Black and Gold Invite, Stanley set a program record for the javelin throw in his first attempt as a college athlete when he unleashed a toss of 72.16 meters to finish in first place.The women are also set to make their way south to compete outdoors in the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta.Women’s distance coach Sara Vergote said the women’s team training hasn’t changed a whole lot as they make the transition into a new season.“This is an opportunity for us to compete in some nicer weather and to get our feet wet in the outdoor season,” Vergote said.Vergote said the work ethic remains the same as the team moves forward, but the its biggest concern is making sure every athlete is healthy before it really gets rolling with the outdoor season.The teams are set to get races underway Friday and Saturday at the Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt campuses. The men are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday, while the women are set to start at 6 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday. read more

FIFA wants Russia stakeholders to continue their work on LGBT rights

first_imgThe 2018 World Cup folds up in Russia and it’s been a one month of another event organised by the Russian LGBT Sport Federation.The event was to exchange experiences and best practices in promoting LGBT+ rights and discuss next steps in Russian football and it had in attendance were international guests including Ryan Atkin, the first openly gay referee in English football; Sophie Cook, the first transgender woman working as a staff member of a club at the English Premier League; Carrie Serwetnyk, the first female member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and FIFA’s Head of Sustainability & Diversity Federico Addiechi and Russian representatives from football and civil society.“We thank all involved stakeholders in Russia who supported the creation a safe environment for the international LGBT+ community during the FIFA World Cup. In a few days, our tournament will be over. It will be important to use the positive experiences of the past weeks to continue the collaboration between the Football Union of Russia, the Russian LGBT Sports Federation and other stakeholders to promote diversity and fully inclusive football in Russia,” said FIFA’s Addiechi as quoted in FIFA official website.ScotlandScotland needs a hero: Billy Dodds Manuel R. Medina – September 10, 2019 According to former striker, Billy Dodds his country needs a hero to inspire future generations as the team’s hope to qualify to the EURO 2020 is small.“I’m very happy that the conference succeeded,” said Aleksandr Agapov, President of the Russian LGBT Sport Federation.“We had outstanding panellists to discuss acceptance of LGBT+ persons in fans subculture, the importance of coming outs and role models, and the difference openly LGBT+ professional footballers and referees can make. We certainly could not pass by a discussion of the World Cup legacy. We look forward to continuing to work together with FIFA and other stakeholders. It is our duty to make football truly inclusive for LGBT+ persons both in Russia and globally.”last_img read more

Van Dijk Reds will keep going

first_imgVirgil van Dijk has played down Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester City claiming the loss will not dent the club’s title aspirations.Leroy Sane netted the winner at the Etihad to close the gap to Liverpool to four points.The Reds are set to play Espirito’s Wolves in the FA Cup on Monday night before facing Brighton on January 12, and Van Dijk remains optimistic they can last the race.“We knew it was going to be a very tough season and there will be ups and downs and Thursday was obviously a down,” said the Netherlands international via Sky.Virgil van Dijk, NetherlandsVan Dijk isn’t better than Messi & Ronaldo, says Van der Vaart Andrew Smyth – September 12, 2019 Rafael van der Vaart reckons Virgil van Dijk is “special”, but he’s still behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s best players.“You just have to keep going and bounce back and that is something we are definitely going to do.“It was an intense game for both teams. They won and we are very disappointed but we will focus on recovering and making sure we are ready for the next game.“We are disappointed we lost but there is no reason for panic. For us, it was just another important Premier League game. Unfortunately, we lost and couldn’t get a result.“Fair play to City and congratulations to them but we just have to keep going.”last_img read more