Earlier this week, we read with interest in The New York Times that Davidson College’s math department is helping its men’s basketball team win games. Since this combines three of our favorite subjects — sports, math and using math to win at sports — I asked Tim Chartier, a professor in Davidson’s mathematics and computer science department, to elaborate on the unusual partnership between his department and the Wildcats.He was understandably reluctant to spill too many details — particularly regarding how the math department analyzed the data about Iowa, Davidson’s round-of-64 opponent in the NCAA tournament Friday, or Gonzaga and North Dakota State, one of which Davidson will face if it reaches the round of 32 and both of which he’d already started scouting. But Chartier did shed a little more light on the math behind the surprise Atlantic 10 champs. And it sounds a lot like what we do at FiveThirtyEight, except with a goal of winning basketball games instead of writing articles about winning basketball games. Here are edited excerpts of his reply:So, what do we offer the coaches?Heat maps: Two members of Cats Stats, as we call our group, track the games for heat maps. They mark who takes a shot and estimate the location by clicking a computer program that I wrote. Then, as you see, regions of the court are marked as hot and cold regions. Two members of the group met with coaches in January and went through heat maps not just at the team level but player level and then various combinations of players. The coaches found this very helpful and discovered things that led them to analyze player combinations with similar tendencies that they then recognized.Lineup efficiencies: Here we show Dean Oliver’s Four Factors for offense and defense for every five-man lineup and the total amount of time that lineup has been used. Then, we also found various subsets of lineups, as well, like guard trios and forward pairs. For example, we might see that two big men are most efficient/inefficient when in the game together.Personal scouting: Here we produce a detailed breakdown of players’ tendencies and how well they performed in each aspect of the game. Here no new statistics were created. We presented data and numbers so that the coaching staff could easily implement the reports into their game plan. It could range from things like whether or not a player liked to shoot off the dribble and how effective they were in those situations to things like how effective a player might score driving left out of isolation situations. Said another way, we look for the tendencies in the numbers, especially outlier numbers. We think of these as creating data points or dots. Then, we dig into the video that accompany these stats on Synergy and figure out the story/tendency behind the number. That gives context and, in a sense, connects the dots. For example, if a player drives to the right 80 percent of the time and scores much better than going left, that is important. But, then the video can help see that his first step when driving is quicker going right than left, allowing him to beat his man more often.
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith skipped out on Mark Sanchez’s annual “Jets West” camp, but Sanchez told the press that he will be the starting quarterback when the season begins, so ultimately it did not matter that Smith didn’t show.“I don’t hold it against any of the guys who can’t make it,” Sanchez said Friday after a two-hour practice. “There are no hard feelings about anything like [that]. Greg [McElroy] isn’t here, [Matt] Simms isn’t here, some guys are gone getting married. They’re doing stuff. There are plenty of other things they could be doing. If they could make the sacrifice and be here, awesome. If they can’t, that’s totally fine. I would never hold a grudge against anybody that’s not here.”When Sanchez was asked if he would be the starter in the beginning of training camp, he said, “Absolutely.”
Two weeks from the start of the Masters Tournament and Tiger Woods says his back is still not strong enough for him to commit to being at the No. 1 tee box on April 10.Woods pulled out of Arnold Palmer’s tournament last week, citing back pain. He had withdrawn from his previous event two weeks before that because of back troubles.“For Augusta, it’s actually still a little too soon, to be honest with you,” Woods said Monday at a news conference to announce that Quicken Loans is the new title sponsor of his golf tournament. “That’s kind of the frustrating thing about this.”Woods, 38, has never missed the Masters in his illustrious 18-year career. He’s won four green jackets that come with claiming the season’s first major tournament, at Augusta National. It was there in 1997 where he captured his first major. His last time winning the Masters was 2005.Never has Woods gotten off to a worse start to a season. He stopped playing in the final round at the Honda Classic on March 2 because of what he called back spasms and pain in his lower back. He tried to defend his title the following week at Doral, only for his back to flare up again in the final round, when he shot a 78, the highest Sunday score of his PGA Tour career and his first closing round without a birdie.Then last week, Woods withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational because of persistent back pain.“I’ve had a couple weeks off and getting treatment and just working on trying to get ready for Augusta,” Woods said Monday. “As of right now, it’s still too soon, which is, as I said, pretty frustrating.”This isn’t the first year Woods has claimed back troubles. At Bethpage Black at The Barclays in 2012, his back pain flared up. He said the issue was a soft bed. He said he felt twinges during the final round of the PGA Championship last year, and when his back bothered him in the final round of The Barclays two weeks later, he said it was unrelated.
Business news network CNBC announced that it will partner with Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James to create a new reality series focusing on burgeoning entrepreneurial opportunities in Cleveland. James will serve as producer on the series, which is set to debut this summer.“Cleveland Hustles speaks to the network’s entrepreneurial spirit and also creates an opportunity to help strengthen communities that have fallen on hard times,” said Jim Ackerman, EVP, Primetime Alternative, CNBC.The announcement comes during a low point in James’ relationship with his beloved Cleveland, after the news that there would be no indictment of Officer Timothy Loehmann in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. The boy was playing in the park with a toy gun when Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, arrived on scene and shot Rice within seconds. The event sent shock waves through the Twittersphere and sparked a #NoJusticeNoLeBron campaign to ask the superstar to sit out until there was an indictment.James admitted he did not know enough about the case to speak on the subject.Regarding the new show, CNBC says:NBA superstar LeBron James and his longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter will give four aspiring local entrepreneurs the chance to realize their own dreams while also helping to revitalize a neighborhood in Cleveland. LeBron and Maverick will enlist the aid of four trusted business experts and associates, who will in turn invest in and mentor fledgling entrepreneurs who need a little jumpstart. In success, these four businesses will provide jobs and services for neighborhoods that desperately need investment.Cleveland Hustles continues his charity and commitment to the community he loves, even though he dropped the ball on the Tamir Rice issue.
Indians155291.795.313.31.9 Where each team stands at the 2018 deadlineTeams ranked by Doyle Number — how many future wins of talent a team should trade away to acquire 1 win this season Athletics153218.104.22.168.8 Cautious BuyersElo RatingExp. Wins per 162 gamesDiv. Series OddsWorld Series OddsDoyle Number Astros158699.291.621.12.2 Brewers152285.051.94.21.2 Twins149679.14.00.20.1 Padres143966.60.00.00.0 Expected wins are derived from the team’s current Elo rating.Source: FanGraphs.com Braves150781.534.92.00.8 White Sox143766.00.00.00.0 Orioles143265.00.00.00.0 Phillies150681.551.53.01.0 Solid BuyersElo RatingExp. Wins per 162 gamesDiv. Series OddsWorld Series OddsDoyle Number Rockies151583.322.214.171.124 Rangers148276.10.00.00.0 Diamondbacks153287.347.5%4.7%1.2 Red Sox1591100.296.7%23.8%2.2 Although the share of prospects in the hands of top teams isn’t a perfect predictor of how many deadline deals will go down,3Since 2009, its correlation with the share of all trades that happened at the deadline was 0.36. it does speak broadly to the ability of contenders to act on the advice that their Doyle Number would recommend. In 2016, for instance, the Cubs’ surplus of top prospects — and urgency to win a World Series after a 108-year dry spell — led Chicago to trade a number of gifted farmhands (headlined by stellar 2018 rookie Gleyber Torres) to the Yankees for a few months’ rental of closer Aroldis Chapman.It wasn’t the first time that future talent was pawned off for an immediate payoff, and it was far from the last. Because of their low pay and endless promise, minor leaguers serve as the ultimate grease in the wheels of the trade-deadline machine. And they may yet help smooth along another blockbuster in the next few hours, perhaps one including Bryce Harper, Jacob deGrom, J.T. Realmuto or Chris Archer. But if the deadline does end up feeling a little slower than we’d expect from the buyer/seller profiles implied by this year’s standings, it could just be because most of the buyers have already bought and the sellers have already sold.Check out our latest MLB predictions. Cubs155692.479.311.71.9 Tigers144968.70.20.00.0 Cardinals151383.06.60.40.2 Mariners151984.4126.96.36.199 Angels1517188.8.131.52.0 Blue Jays148576.70.00.00.0 Reds147975.40.20.00.0 Giants1498184.108.40.206.1 Major League Baseball’s annual trade deadline — this year’s version of which falls at 4 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday — is an annual chance for teams to take stock of their short- and long-term future plans. As our research has shown in the past, World Series front-runners should generally be willing to give up quite a large bushel of future assets in exchange for talent that might bring them a ring in the here and now. Meanwhile, teams on the fringe of the playoffs should be relatively indifferent between playing for the future or the present, and bottom-feeders should frantically sell everything they can.Those guidelines become apparent when we run our “Doyle Number” statistic for this season’s teams. As a quick refresher, the Doyle Number1Named after the infamous 1987 trade in which the Detroit Tigers sent future Hall of Famer John Smoltz, then a 20-year-old prospect, to the Atlanta Braves for 36-year-old Doyle Alexander. represents how many future wins of talent a team should be willing to part with to acquire 1 extra win of rental talent over the remainder of this season (including the playoffs).So the Boston Red Sox, who have the highest Doyle Number in baseball, should be willing to trade away up to 2.2 wins of future talent in exchange for every 1 win of talent they acquire for this year’s stretch run — they’re clear deadline buyers. By contrast, teams with Doyle numbers around zero are obvious sellers — they have no reason to give up future talent to acquire extra wins this season. Finally, a Doyle of 1.0 means a team could swing either way between buying and selling.Here are this year’s Doyle Numbers (as of July 30): Royals141461.00.00.00.0 Nationals152284.99.1%0.7%0.3 Rays150581.20.60.00.0 Pirates150080.08.00.40.2 This year’s crop of buyers is unusually robust — three teams have Doyle Numbers north of 2.0 (most recent years have usually had only one or two) and six teams are at or above a Doyle of 1.8 (when the typical year has two or three in that range). At the same time, 12 teams have Doyle Numbers that round to 0.0, compared with an average of nine in the previous three years we’ve been calculating the metric.It’s all a consequence of this supremely stratified, tank-tastic MLB season. On the one hand, you might imagine that such a surplus of buyers and sellers would pave the way for more trades than usual, since a lot of teams have their motivations aligned for deal-making. And there have been some notable moves made thus far: Manny Machado to the Dodgers, Cole Hamels to the Cubs, Ian Kinsler to the Red Sox, Mike Moustakas to the Brewers, J.A. Happ to the Yankees and so forth. But the particulars of this year’s market could also play some tricks with what we think of as ordinary deadline business, when we consider who has how much of which asset — long-term vs. short, young talent vs. established stars. Elite teams can only swap with rebuilding ones if they have the right prospects to send away, and there’s evidence that many of the best youngsters have already flowed from the contenders to the tankers before anybody had a chance to do their deadline shopping.To see this, we can look at how many members of Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects are in the farm systems of top teams, as opposed to everybody else. For each full season since 1990,2So, excluding partial seasons in 1994 and 1995. I gathered the list of top prospects and assigned each ranking slot its average future value, according to my research here. To focus on prospects that haven’t yet made a dent in the big leagues — i.e., the kind more likely to be thrown into deadline trades — I filtered out players who exhausted their rookie eligibility during the season in question (or, for this year, players who are on pace to do so). Finally, I calculated the percentage of leaguewide prospect value that belonged to teams in the top third of all MLB teams by projected end-of-season record (using our Elo ratings, as of July 30 each season). And this year, only 27.5 percent of prospect value is in the systems of top-tier teams, the lowest such mark in any full season since 1991. Yankees158398.677.517.22.1 Marlins145068.90.10.00.0 Dodgers156494.265.611.01.8 Mets147073.40.10.00.0 SellersElo RatingExp. Wins per 162 gamesDiv. Series OddsWorld Series OddsDoyle Number
One of the most interesting statistical nuggets I ran into while researching a piece about NHL goalies was the improvement in leaguewide goaltending over the past 30 years. It hasn’t just been a small improvement — the league’s save-percentage leaders during the 1980s and early 1990s put up statistics that would rate below-average in recent seasons.Here’s the league’s average save percentage since the 1983-84 season, when the NHL began tracking shots against:Save percentage rapidly increased during the so-called dead-puck era of the 1990s and early 2000s. It’s no coincidence that over that period, the NHL’s rate of scoring also dropped sharply. A lot of fans blame strategies such as the neutral-zone trap and left-wing lock for triggering the dead-puck era, but more of the blame belongs to better goalies.As for why goalies are so much better now, well, that’s a subject of much debate in hockey circles. One of the most popular explanations is that the sheer size of goaltending equipment has exploded since the 1980s. That’s hard to argue when you look at how pads have grown over time. But since pad size first became a talking point in the mid-to-late 1990s, the league has gone to some lengths (no pun intended) to police the dimensions of puck-stopping technology — and it’s had scarcely any effect on save percentages.Instead, I think a bigger reason save percentages improved so sharply in the 1990s was a dramatic change in the goaltending techniques being employed.During the 1980s, the prevailing style was still the so-called stand-up method, in which a goalie largely remains upright on his skates while making saves, using his stick and skates to stop low shots. In the middle of the decade, though, goaltending phenom Patrick Roy made his NHL debut. Emboldened by recent advances in arm and chest protectors, Roy used a different technique — the “butterfly” — wherein the goaltender drops to his knees to make saves, effectively sealing off most shooting targets along the bottom third of the net.Using the butterfly, Roy was sensational — he backstopped the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup as a 20-year-old in 1986 — and it wasn’t long before the butterfly style spread throughout the league. The effect was profound. Stand-up goalies who were the mainstays of the mid-1980s were almost completely phased out of the game within a decade, replaced by a younger generation who used the butterfly or at least a hybrid technique featuring butterfly elements.In retrospect, this seems like an obvious tactic — it’s a goaltending truism that the majority of goals are scored on shots at or near ice level — but older equipment made dropping low a dangerous proposition. Once falling to the ice became safer, goalies no longer had to rely purely on reflexes, instead being able to stop a greater percentage of low shots on technique alone. It’s no surprise that save percentages skyrocketed when one of the most common subsets of shots suddenly became much tougher.One final note: Watch the Wayne Gretzky highlight reel below and pay particular attention to the goalies in the early portion of the video, when the Great One was with the Edmonton Oilers.Compared with today’s game, you can really see the difference in goaltending technique (notice how many of the goalies tried to stop Gretzky’s shots without dropping to the ice). Modern goalies are more athletic and mobile, and, yes, their pads are plainly bigger. But they’re also using a style much more grounded in the probabilities of where pucks are shot.
It’s tough to say for sure, but I’m concerned that our boss, FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver, may have developed a curling addiction these past few weeks: Luge38.750.50+38.25 Curling85.254.57+80.68 Figure skating79.504.97+74.53 Freestyle skiing3.750.45+3.30 Curling’s spike is even sharper in worldwide searches. Across the entire globe, curling-related search-traffic index goes up by 84 points in Olympic months, compared with non-Olympic ones. (By comparison, figure skating is only up 71 points during Olympic months worldwide.) Although gaining a passionate following during the Olympics has been a victory in itself for curling, these kinds of disparities have the sport’s leaders looking for a way to stay on people’s minds after the games end.“The Olympics have definitely driven growth and exposure, but the key for us is not to disappear between Olympics,” Patzke told ESPN. “You can get really popular for 17 days and then go away, you know?”Perhaps the next step will be for curling fanatics like Nate to keep tweeting during bonspiels that aren’t festooned with five interlocking rings everywhere you look. Alpine skiing9.502.28+7.22 (Check the timestamps on those tweets, by the way.)He’s not alone, though. Every four years, there’s a fresh volley of articles about how curling captures the attention of people around the globe — particularly Americans who tune in to the alien sport for the first time during the Olympics and get hooked. By now, writing with surprise about curling’s charms has become one of journalists’ favorite Olympic pastimes. The Cinderella run by the U.S. men’s team to Saturday’s gold-medal game has only intensified the enthusiasm.1The women’s team hasn’t quite had its medal breakthrough yet, finishing eighth in the standings at Pyeongchang.The hard numbers also support the notion of curling as America’s favorite quadrennial sports fling. If you look at nationwide Google Trends search data, you can see a massive spike in traffic related to the sport each February of a Winter Olympic year. Indeed, aside from figure skating — and occasionally other sports when they experience tragedy — curling consistently spikes highest in web searches among the Winter Olympic sports we don’t tend to think about over the rest of the calendar.2Admittedly, this is kind of an arbitrary list, but I included curling alongside sports that don’t draw much attention in the U.S. during non-Olympic years (so figure skating is in, but hockey is out) or ones that tend to rank low on subjective lists of Winter Olympic sports (cough, biathlon). Here are four examples: SportOlympic monthsOther monthsOlympic Spike Bobsled24.251.02+23.23 Ski jumping8.250.56+7.69 Skeleton8.000.05+7.95 Google’s data doesn’t go back further than 2004, but in an interview with ESPN’s Dotun Akintoye, USA Curling CEO Rick Patzke said America’s curling obsession can be traced to the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. “Salt Lake was our coming-out party in America,” he said. “NBC broadcast about 50 hours of curling. In Nagano in ’98, it was like 30 minutes.” Add in the U.S. men’s surprising bronze medal in 2006, and curling was off to the cult-sport races. Who can even say what kind of uptick in popularity the run by the U.S. men this year will bring?But for an Olympic darling like the “roaring game,” the flip side of big popularity during the games is waning interest, or generally no interest, in the 206 weeks in between Olympic sessions. According to the same Google Trends data as above, none of the sports we looked at had a bigger drop-off in its average search traffic index between months with the Winter Olympics and those without them. Biathlon8.250.17+8.08 Nordic combined1.750.00+1.75 Curling has the biggest spike in Olympic popularityDifference in average Google Trends search-traffic index between Olympic and non-Olympic months for selected Winter Olympic sports, 2004-18 Cross-country skiing9.502.38+7.12 Speedskating21.750.93+20.82 Google Trends search-traffic indices measure activity on a 0-100 scale, where the most active single month by any sport we examined is represented by a 100.Source: Google Trends Avg. Google Trends Index during …
Columbus Crew vs. Real Salt Lake, Game 1Rio Tinto Stadium; Sat. Oct. 31 @ 6 p.m.Columbus Crew vs. Real Salt Lake, Game 2Crew Stadium; Thurs. Nov. 5 @ 8 p.m.Players to watch:Columbus – Chad Marshall. The 2008 Defender of the Year has sat out the last six MLS regular season games recovering from a knee injury. A healthy Marshall could make the difference for a team struggling to regain its mid-season formReal Salt Lake – Robbie Findley. The Real Salt Lake forward leads his team in goals with 12 on the season and was instrumental in securing Real Salt Lake’s spot in the playoffs with a two goal performance against rival Colorado Rapids.Key to the Match:Crew coach Robert Warzycha’s ability to find the right 11 players to begin the playoffs. Like a baseball manager trying to push the right buttons, Warzycha has tweaked his rotation at an almost dizzying pace. Perhaps a more settled lineup in the playoffs will see an increase in goals over the drought suffered toward the end of the regular season. This is a must in a series that is decided by aggregate goal totals. The MLS Cup playoffs are upon us. Following the regular season finale played in Columbus between the Crew and the New England Revolution, the once muddied playoff waters have cleared.The Columbus Crew (13-7-10) will limp into the playoffs, losers of three of their last four. The team is riddled with injuries, and failed to net a single goal in any of the losses.The Crew’s road to repeating their championship win begins Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah against Real Salt Lake (11-12-7) in the first match of their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series. Conference Semifinal series are conducted in a home-and-home, aggregate-goal format. The lower-seeded team, Real Salt Lake, hosts the first game. The winners of the first four series advance to single-game Conference Championships that determine the MLS Cup finalists, according to the MLS rules of competition.By virtue of their victory over Columbus, New England (11-10-9) leapfrogged Real Salt Lake and will face the Chicago Fire (11-7-12) in their own semi-final series.Columbus coach Robert Warzycha addressed his team’s lack of recent scoring after the Crew’s defeat.“We have a week before the game. We have to look at the tape and find out what the best combination [of players] is going to be,” Warzycha said.His propensity to shift lineups is well documented this season. Last year’s coach, Sigi Schmid, attempted to use the same starting 11 down the stretch. Warzycha has not shown the same willingness to do so. He hasn’t always had a choice.“I don’t know who that 11 are going to be,” Warzycha said. “Hopefully, everyone gets a chance in the playoffs but the best thing would be to have one team. Knowing life, it’s not going to be possible.”“We’re not taking the momentum into the playoffs that we’d like to, but we’re capable of beating anyone,” Crew midfielder Adam Moffat said.So with the Supporter’s Shield, given annually to the team with the best regular season record, and home-field advantage throughout the MLS playoffs already in hand, was there a lack of motivation against the Revolution?“It was a game we still wanted,” Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer said. “You want to get into a rhythm.”Regardless of the lack of success at the regular season’s end, the Crew have much to be proud of. They are only the second team in MLS history to record two consecutive Supporter’s Shields, joining D.C. United who accomplished the repeat in 2006-07.“This team is making a statement winning last year and being first this year,” Warzycha said of his club. “This team doesn’t have to prove anything to anybody.”The Crew have played two matches against their first playoff opponent, Real Salt Lake, this season. The two teams split the regular season matchups with one win each.Crew captain Frankie Hejduk spoke about the club’s first round matchup.“We’re the champions,” Hejduk said. “We should be able to beat everyone. We’re going to have to go there prepared for a battle.”Even with so many questions lingering over the Crew concerning their health, their lineup and a sudden loss of scoring punch, there is another old sports adage that the other MLS playoff teams must reckon with: to be the best, you have to beat the best.At least for now, the Crew are the best.
Ohio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell drives to the basket and atttempts a layup against Purdue in the Big Ten tournament semifinal in Indianapolis on March 4. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorThe No. 5 seed Ohio State women’s basketball team heads back to Lexington, Kentucky, for its second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance, after ending the seasons of No. 12 seed Western Kentucky and No. 4 seed Kentucky in the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament.The Buckeyes lost last season in the round of 16 to No. 6 Tennessee. This year, OSU squares off against No. 1 seed Notre Dame, which is dealing with the recent season-ending ACL injury of its leading scorer and rebounder, Brianna Turner.OSU freshman forward Tori McCoy was due to match up with Turner, and said she will make the best of the situation.“She’s a great post player, but if she’s not playing, I’m going to use that to my advantage,” McCoy said.This news comes at a time when the Buckeyes’ post players are hitting their stride. Senior forward Shayla Cooper has averaged 14 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game in the eight games since redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavunga left the lineup with a right foot injury. McCoy has also found her groove recently. She is 11 of 12 from the field and averaging 13 points, 7.5 rebounds and four blocks in the past two tournament games. “I had to come alive,” McCoy said. “It was kind of weird a little bit, being able to take that role and being able to score like that. I know that it was meant for me to come out and try to do something and contribute a little bit.”OSU’s leading scorer and Big Ten Player of the Year, junior guard Kelsey Mitchell, got off to a slow start in the first round versus Western Kentucky, but ended the game with 15 points. In the second round, she scored a more characteristic 21 points, and said she will look to carry that confidence over to Friday’s game.“(I will) try to stay confident in my game,” she said. “Trying to stay confident in my play and the confidence my teammates and coach have for me. I want to continue to have that confidence, I think that should be fine. Then defensively make sure I’m on my P’s and Q’s as far as not fouling, staying out of foul trouble as much as possible, small stuff like that.”The Scarlet and Gray will have the advantage of familiarity as they head back to Lexington for their third straight game. OSU traveled to Lexington, Kentucky — the location of the first two rounds. However, the venue is different.“Even though it’s a different arena — we’re going to play in Rupp (Arena) now — I think being in the same place will bring some comfort to our team,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said.Although some might’ve seen playing in Lexington against the hometown Kentucky Wildcats as a disadvantage, McGuff believes it might’ve been for the best.“I think that tested our resolve a little bit, that Kentucky game, in a tough environment. So we had to show a lot of fortitude, and now you’re going up against one of the best teams in the country, and they’re going to test us in many ways,” he said. “We’re going to have moments where we face adversity, we have to stick together and have to execute. As hard as it was to go on the road, we’re better for it than we would’ve been if we played at home.”OSU will tipoff against Notre Dame at 7 p.m. Friday.
Ohio State freshman Morgan Lowe performs on balance beam on Jan. 27 in a tri-meet against Minnesota and Illinois State. Credit: Megan Russell | Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s gymnastics team (5-3, 2-2) claimed its second victory of the season in a quad meet at Rutgers on Saturday. The Buckeyes posted their second-highest final score of the season (195.850) to defeat Rutgers (194.800), West Chester (191.600) and Wisconsin-Whitewater (191.275).Ohio State took first place on uneven parallel bars, the first event of the night, with a mark of 48.875. On her second performance of the season, Ohio State senior Kaitlyn Hofland posted a 9.825 to take the top slot, followed by teammates redshirt sophomore Amanda Huang and senior Alexis Mattern, who both tied for second with scores of 9.800.The Buckeyes then claimed first on the balance beam with a 48.800. They held just a 0.025 lead against Rutgers in the event. Junior Jamie Stone led Ohio State with a career-high mark of 9.825 to earn second place. Freshman Morgan Lowe took third place in a three-way tie of 9.800 with Rutgers’ Erin McLachlan and Libby Groden. In its third rotation on floor exercise, Ohio State claimed its highest event score of the night with a 49.000. Stone led the team again, pulling a 9.875 to earn first in the event. Freshman Brooke Chesney earned a career-best 9.800 tally to tie for third place with Mattern.The Buckeyes finished the night with another season-high score of 49.175 on vault and swept the top spots on the podium. Lowe earned another career high with a 9.875 to tie for first place with Mattern. Sophomore Olivia Aepli earned a 9.850 to share third with Rutgers’ Jenna Rizkalla. Ohio State took home the gold with a 195.850 score, but not before Mattern gained another title. She placed first in the all-around competition with a 39.150 finish, her first personal win of the season. Ohio State returns home in St. John Arena for a co-ed meet against Penn State at 6 p.m. Friday.
Then-redshirt junior wide receiver Parris Campbell (21) runs the ball downfield during the first quarter of the OSU-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Credit: Ris Twigg | Former Assistant Photo EditorThough the fate of head coach Urban Meyer remains undecided, one change is certain: Zach Smith will not return as wide receivers coach for Ohio State.Because of domestic violence allegations against his ex-wife, Smith was fired on July 23, and a replacement was named 10 days later.Smith ran the receivers through his “Zone 6” mentality, making the group into a unit and bringing together the position as a collective whole.The concept moved past Smith, with the receivers taking on the identity further, resulting in group interviews and creating a “Zone 6” Twitter account.Though Smith leaves, the culture he started with “Zone 6” won’t necessarily be changed immediately.Redshirt senior Parris Campbell could be in a position to lead the group with redshirt junior K.J. Hill, redshirt senior Johnnie Dixon, junior Binjimen Victor, junior Austin Mack and redshirt senior Terry McLaurin all returning to the team. The group will face added pressure this season given that it will be receiving passes from a quarterback who has never made a collegiate start.This receiving group will still remain a collective unit that does not rely on individual standouts, despite a change in coach. Campbell, Hill, Dixon, Victor, Mack and McLaurin combined for more than 2,600 receiving yards and 29 touchdown receptions last season, but no receiver broke 600 yards through the air. Dixon led the team with eight receiving touchdowns, but was eighth on the team in receptions.This balance makes the Ohio State receiving corps a unit by nature, and makes each of them potential tools for redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins to use, and that won’t go away with Smith’s firing.The new wide receivers coach should bring a lot of the same coaching mentalities that Smith leaves behind having coached under him.Brian Hartline was named the interim wide receivers coach for the season after Smith’s firing following a year as a quality control coach, and looks to bring his NFL experience to the position.Hartline, a former Ohio State receiver who helped the 2008 team reach the national championship, spent six years with the Miami Dolphins, breaking 1,000 receiving yards in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and 2013 before ending his professional career with the Cleveland Browns in 2015.Hartline will be coaching one of the most experienced groups Ohio State has had in recent memory, with every core member of the group returning from last year as, mostly, juniors and seniors.Smith leaves with a tarnished reputation, but Hartline has a chance to revitalize this group of wide receivers, and help an inexperienced Haskins find success.
Ohio State then-freshman goalie Andrea Braendli (30) prepares for a shot in the game against Minnesota State on Oct. 11. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Wyatt Crosher | Assistant Sports EditorOhio State freshman goalie Andrea Braendli pitched a shutout as the No. 7 Buckeyes women’s hockey team stole a victory from the No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers Friday night.Braendli made 32 saves as the Buckeyes (15-6, 9-4 WCHA) survived being outshot 32-20 to hold onto a 1-0 win against No. 1 Wisconsin (19-2, 9-2 WCHA) in the first game of a home series.Buckeyes head coach Nadine Muzerall praised her star freshman goalie for her performance against a Wisconsin team that had won 11 straight games dating back to Oct. 27.“Andrea has said numerous times that she loves to play against competitive teams,” Muzerall said. “Great players, they all want to play those types of games. Andrea is the perfect fit for our team, not just because she’s a stellar athlete, but because she’s got the right character and she’s a team-first person.”Physical play between the conference rivals began early, as a flurry of Wisconsin penalties set up an Ohio State power play goal from redshirt junior defenseman Jincy Dunne seven minutes into the period. It would prove to be the game’s lone score.Dunne’s slap shot goal was her second of the season and came courtesy of assists from sophomore forward and team points leader Emma Maltais and freshman defenseman Sophie Jaques.Faced with defending the net against the No. 2 goal-scoring attack in the nation, Braendli shut out the Badgers, who had only been held scoreless in one other game this season.Despite a stellar individual performance, Braendli credited the trust of her teammates as the catalyst for the victory.“That was a team win,” Braendli said. “They made me look good, actually. It’s amazing to play with them, it’s really an honor.”Though the Badgers entered the game with the nation’s best power play at 29.5 percent, Muzerall said it was Ohio State that gained momentum with the man advantage.In the first period, Muzerall said the four Wisconsin penalties allowed the Buckeyes scoring opportunities as Badgers rotated in and out of the penalty box.“That got us, obviously, in a rhythm,” Muzerall said. “They were all deserving. We were relentless and kept our feet moving, and when we did that we drew penalties. I think we surprised them with our speed.”Ohio State was on the defensive for most of the second and third periods, challenging Wisconsin redshirt junior goalie Kristin Campbell with just 11 shots after the first period, while the Badgers managed 13 in the third period alone.Muzerall said the shot discrepancy wasn’t a concern for the Buckeyes against a Wisconsin offense that came into the game outscoring opponents 81-23.“We weren’t concerned about what the shots were going to be, we just knew we had to play smart defensively,” Muzerall said. “We knew we couldn’t give up anything knowing how hard it is to score on Campbell and Wisconsin.”Wisconsin redshirt senior forward Annie Pankowski, No. 2 on the team in goals and points, put up just three shots on the night and snapped a seven-game goal streak.Muzerall said the upset will give the Buckeyes momentum and confidence moving forward.“People doubted us,” she said. “It’s a good way to prove to people we are the Buckeyes and we’re on the rise and we can play with the best of them.”Braendli said Ohio State will need to muster a similar performance Saturday in order to make it four-straight victories against Wisconsin dating back to last season.Ohio State will go for the series sweep as they face off with the Badgers again on Saturday at 3:07 p.m. at the OSU Ice Rink.
Shoreham air crash victims (clockwise from top left) Mark Trussler, Maurice Abrahams, Dylan Archer, Richard Smith, Mark Reeves, Matt Jones, Tony Brightwell and Matthew GrimstoneCredit:PA She told him she loved him and his last words to her were, “I love you too, forever”. A motorbike and rugby fan, he was also described as a doting father.Dylan Archer, 42, and Richard Smith, 26:IT consultant Mr Archer, a father of two who lived in Brighton, and Mr Smith, who lived in Hove, were due to meet up with a third friend to head out for a cycle ride in the South Downs. His family said he was combining two favourite hobbies of riding his cherished Honda bike to take photographs at the air show.Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23:The two Worthing United footballers were travelling together in a car to a 3pm home game against Loxwood FC when they were caught up in the crash. Mark Trussler, 49, a motorcyclistCredit:PA Relatives said he was kind and generous with a “great sense of humour”. He was a private and loving family man, they added.A lifetime member of the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex, married father Mr Mallinson had recently developed an interest in photographing vintage aircraft.Mark Trussler, 54:Father-of-six Mr Trussler, a window cleaner from Worthing, had taken his motorbike for a spin on the day of the tragedy as he had also wanted to see the Vulcan flight. Mr Archer, who grew up in the Midlands, had a lifelong passion for bikes and cars, and rode the bike he made himself on the day he died.After going to university in Birmingham, Buckinghamshire-raised Mr Smith worked in a bicycle shop in Cosham, Portsmouth.He later moved to Hove where he worked in marketing and web development at ActSmart, a firm that specialises in providing advice to the cycle industry.Tony Brightwell, 53:Health care manager Mr Brightwell, from Hove, was indulging his twin passions of planes and cycling when tragedy struck. Matthew Grimstone and Jacob SchiltCredit: His funeral was held at St Margaret’s Church in Rottingdean, where he had driven brides to their weddings countless times. Married to Edwina, Mr Abrahams had a son, Eddie, and daughter Lizzie.James Graham Mallinson, known as Graham, 72:Retired engineer Mr Mallinson, from Newick, near Lewes, had gone to Shoreham to photograph one of the last Vulcan bomber flights. A grandfather, relatives described him as a “sun worshipper” who would often be seen relaxing with a cocktail in hand on holiday. Floral tributes to the victims of the plane crash at ShorehamCredit:Paul Grover Mr Polito’s mother Leslye Polito said on the first anniversary of the disaster that the previous 12 months had failed to ease her loss. A keen DJ, Mr Jones had reportedly recently returned to the UK from living in Australia. Daniele Polito who was killed in the Shoreham aircrashCredit:FACEBOOK Eleven people were killed when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet failed to pull out of a loop-the-loop stunt over West Sussex on August 22, 2015.It crashed in a fireball on the busy A27, hitting vehicles and pedestrians. Shoreham victims Dylan Archer, 42, and Richard SmithCredit:PA Here are profiles of the victims:Maurice Abrahams, 76:Chauffeur Mr Abrahams, from Brighton, was en route in his classic Daimler to collect bride Rebecca Sheen and take her to her wedding when the plane crashed. While in Shoreham, he texted his fiancee Giovanna Chirico telling her to get the children ready so they could take them out for lunch on his return home. Mr Grimstone’s parents Sue and Phil and brothers David and Paul called him the “kindest person you could ever meet”.Team-mates said Mr Schilt was a “tenacious midfielder” with an eye for a goal.Mr Grimstone had also worked at Brighton & Hove Albion for seven years, most recently as a groundsman at the Lancing training ground.Matt Jones, 24, and Daniele Polito, 23:Father Mr Polito, from Worthing, was travelling in the same car as personal trainer Mr Jones when tragedy struck. His fiancee Lara watched him cycle off to watch one of the last Vulcan bomber flights, “but he never came home”, she said.Mr Brightwell gained his private pilot licence at Shoreham, loved food and cooking, and admired Second World War pilots.Mark Reeves, 53:Computer-aided design technician Mr Reeves, from Seaford, near Eastbourne, had parked his motorbike to take photographs of planes when the crash happened. A former police officer with Hampshire Constabulary, he was an ex-member of the Grenadier Guards and Parachute Regiment, and had served in Cyprus and Bahrain with the UN.In his later years, he enjoyed working for East Sussex-based Chariots Chauffeurs as well as gardening. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Asparagus is so venerated in Worcester that it has been blessed in a special ceremony in the city’s cathedral. But the thanksgiving service celebrating the local crop has been criticised by other Anglicans who have called it “absurd”. The bizarre Sunday evensong service was defended by the cathedral’s Precentor, who said the vegetable was “a sign of the abundant provision and generosity of God”. Christian groups told the Daily Telegraph that the ceremony, which also involved a man in costume as an asparagus spear, was inappropriate. Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of pressure group Christian Concern, said: “This is an absurd pantomime-type scene that makes a mockery of Christian worship.”Influential Church of England blog Archbishop Cranmer, which is run by conservative theologian Adrian Hilton, said the service was “an infantile pantomime” and said it brought the Church of England into disrepute. The Sunday service was organised to mark the area’s annual asparagus festival.The event celebrates Vale of Evesham Asparagus, which has recently been granted EU protected food name status. This puts it on the same level as Champagne, Cognac and Jersey Royal Potatoes.A group from the festival travelled to the European Parliament on Tuesday to present members with a crop.Angela Tidmarsh, co-founder of the festival and tourism officer for Wychavon, said the cathedral’s management had been “really enthusiastic” about the idea.”We had the asparagus blessed by the vicar of Bretforton and then we took it to the cathedral, so it’s twice-blessed asparagus,” she said. She added that the ceremony had been a “special occasion for all concerned”. The month-long festival also includes “Asparabus” coach tours, an asparagus Family Fun Run and asparagus auctions. Known as “Gus”, the Asparagus Man who appeared at the service has been a part of the annual asparagus festival since 2008. He is one of a group of asparagus characters which take part in the festival, which also includes the Asparamancer, Eve the AsparaFairy, the Asparagus King and St George.Dr Brierley said: “Recently, Vale of Evesham asparagus has been awarded EU protected name status, and when the festival organisers asked if a round of asparagus could be blessed in a service at the cathedral on St George’s day, the first day of the farming season, the cathedral was very happy to include a thanksgiving for the vegetable at its evening service, as a sign of the abundant provision and generosity of God.”Offering to God the first-fruits of the harvest is deeply embedded in both biblical and English tradition, and indeed, offering the first-fruits of the wheat harvest has been recognised by the Church of England with formal liturgy since 2006.” The Fleece Inn in Bretforton, Worcestershire, hosts the start of the asparagus festivalCredit:Joe Giddens/PA The post added: “This is church, for God’s sake. Really, for His sake, can the Church of England not offer something clean and undefiled in the worship of God?”Rev Peter Ould, a priest from Canterbury, said: “I think the service itself is a good idea – there isn’t anything wrong in praying for a good growing season. “But someone dressed up as an asparagus and a bloke in a St George costume behind him holding a sword – that just looks a bit silly. “That takes it from being a good church service to something which looks like it’s more to do with promoting the asparagus growers.”On Twitter Norfolk-based vicar Rob Baker said: “I am seeing but still not quite believing. This is utterly extraordinary.”Another priest, Northumberland-based Victor Dickinson, posted: “Total prats”.The bizarre images from the service drew comparisons with Monty Python, and in particular with one scene in the classic comedy group’s Holy Grail film in which a knight must source a shrubbery. A bundle of the vegetable processed through the medieval cathedral accompanied by two men in costume, one as an asparagus spear and the other as St George. The crop was then blessed by the cathedral’s Precentor, the Reverend Canon Dr Michael Brierley. The area produces particularly good asparagus because of soil and weather conditionsCredit:Joe Giddens/PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
It’s unclear why the seal headed into the townCredit:NLI / North News A confused seal has sparked an RNLI rescue mission after it took shelter on steps outside a block of flats.The pup was spotted on the steps of the Royal Esplanade Apartments in Redcar, Teesside on Thursday morning. After some some ‘cautious coaxing’ and the use of a dog cage volunteers managed to get the youngster back to the water.”While we were assembling to carry out a lifeboat changeover this morning, one of our crew was alerted to a seal sheltering in the doorway of the Royal Apartments on the sea front,” Redcar RNLI wrote on Facebook. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “Having alerted the rescue service we were working out how to get the pup back to the water when an off-duty coastguard officer who runs a local pet shop drove past in a van. And in the van was a dog cage.”A bit of cautious coaxing got the seal into the cage and it was soon reunited with the North Sea.” Rescuers used a dog cage to return the animal to the beachCredit:North News & Pictures ltd A video posted by the charity shows the heartwarming moment the “happy” pup made it back to the chilly waters.The rescuers were praised on Facebook for their “brilliant” work in rescuing the seal.It’s not known why the seal took refuge on the steps but it’s not the first time a seal has taken a wrong turn and ended up in a town – in 2013 a seal dubbed Keith swam up the River Severn as far as Worcester, to the displeasure of local anglers.
Passengers have already endured nearly a month’s worth of disruption due to engineering work at Waterloo StationCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA A Network Rail spokesman said: “The upgrades taking place at Waterloo station are some of the biggest and most complex engineering projects ever undertaken on the railway. “Over-running engineering work at Waterloo” pic.twitter.com/5wund3d0uJ— Rudy Osorio (@RudyO_HMV) August 29, 2017 But passengers voiced their anger at the new delays, with some asking how Mr Carne had managed to get to Waterloo to deliver his message.Passengers were told in an email message that services running across the whole South Western Railway network may be cancelled, delayed or revised, with disruption expected until noon.Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Passengers will be disappointed that, after all the promises, communications and planning, the Waterloo upgrade slipped. Passengers booked tickets and made travel plans based on the promises made by the industry. @SW_Help how can the waterloo upgrade finish yet I’m stood here queuing to get into surbiton? #waterlooupgrade #surbiton pic.twitter.com/tNgBO2sClF— Luke Darling (@lukejdarling) August 29, 2017 The works at Waterloo station on day one (top) and after completion on day 23Credit:Network Rail/PA Well that was a boring morning. Waited over an hour for a train, got on 2 different ones, finally left Waterloo and this train is RAMMED! pic.twitter.com/lUQ12ZkXVo— Mikey Brett-McStay (@mbrettuk) August 29, 2017 Commuters at Waterloo Station on Tuesday morning Credit:Tess De La Mare/PA #swtrains cancellations, delays, no info. Great welcome back to Waterloo— Chloe Grover (@GroverChloe) August 29, 2017 @SW_Help #disruptionSWR Predictable & embarrassing that Waterloo should be a mess today after 8 months of advertising 28th completion date.— Dave Vasse (@dave_vasse) August 29, 2017 @SW_Help All trains cancelled from Ewell West to Waterloo despite your CEO on TV saying upgrade WOULD finish on time? #southwestfail #shock pic.twitter.com/VpZbLIWuDO— Alex Amon (@kiwi_wonder) August 29, 2017 Commuters at Surbiton station, where trains were affected by overrunning engineering work at WaterlooCredit:PA/Twitter/@chocmilk Announcing that the station had “fully reopened” despite the problems, Network Rail route managing director Becky Lumlock said: “The work we have completed in three-and-a-half weeks this August will benefit passengers for decades to come.”The longer platforms will create space for longer trains, making journeys more comfortable for passengers, particularly at the busiest times of day.”Over the next 16 months we’ll turn our attention to the final stages of the redevelopment of the former international terminal.” Waterloo. A game of train roulette. pic.twitter.com/TFN5Jjlrqp— Hamza Drabu (@HamzaDrabu) August 29, 2017 “We are entering the final stages of that programme and are preparing the railway and station for trains and passengers.”During the process of testing the complex signalling, we identified an issue in this safety-critical system which we are working to resolve.”This will take some time to fix and a small number of early passenger trains may be delayed as a result. We are working hard to minimise delays to passengers, but safely is our number one priority.” Passengers at Waterloo again experienced delays on Tuesday morningCredit:John Stillwell/PA Overrunning engineering works brought fresh misery to commuters using Britain’s busiest rail station on the day it was supposed to open for business as normal following major works.Rail users reported services into London Waterloo being delayed or cancelled altogether, as nearly a month’s worth of disruption caused by the transport hub’s £800 million overhaul lurched into Tuesday.Stations including Queenstown Road, Earlsfield and Norbiton were also closed for longer than expected. They had been due to open first thing on Tuesday, but their opening was delayed by more than an hour – leading to a build-up of passengers. “Clearly the priority is to get things moving again; it is crucial that information is clear and plenty of staff are on hand to help. Then this must be reviewed to make sure the lessons of today are learnt and built into future events.”In the meantime, every single passenger affected should claim compensation. Send a clear message to the industry and make sure your voice is heard.” Network Rail said it expected disruption to be resolved by noon.Passengers took to Twitter to react to the ongoing disruption: One passenger, Jasper Johns, said his journey from Kingston was delayed by up to 40 minutes.The 35-year-old, who has been commuting to and from Waterloo while the works have been carried out, said: “I’ve actually found going in OK, but coming out is an absolute shambles.”Commenting on the continuing delays, he said: “There was an expectation or doubt that it would be ready, because they’re pretty poor when they do these works anyway.”But you’ve kind of had enough. Say 10 minutes more in the morning, then another 20 minutes perhaps in the evening, you take that over a week – it’s an extra hour or so you spend commuting. Over three weeks.”I’ve certainly felt more tired. I’m reasonably young and healthy, but my wife is seven months pregnant, and there’s obviously older and younger people who commute as well, it’s not as easy on them either.” “I’d like to personally thank passengers for their patience over the last few weeks, and apologise for disruption to their journeys this morning.”I’d also like to pay tribute to our 1,000 strong army of engineers and track workers who have delivered such an enormous project.”What the engineering works have been for Mark Carne, the chief executive of Network Rail, apologised to passengers after the fresh delays.Mr Carne said London Waterloo was fully reopened “a little bit later than planned” following a signalling problem that closed platforms during the early morning rush hour.Speaking from Waterloo via a video message Mr Carne said the “amazing” project to increase capacity by 30 per cent would make a “huge difference” in the long run. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. @networkrail seemingly unapologetic about the overrun on engineering works at #Waterloo and ensuing chaos for commuters… pic.twitter.com/VnY59dNy5Y— Sam Reeve (@reeve_sam) August 29, 2017 Speaking at Waterloo station, which is the UK’s busiest, one 35-year-old man, an engineer with McClaren, said: “I’m trying to get to Woking. There’s been no information. It’s normal in a situation like this. You just have to wait. You never get any information.” Meanwhile, no Southeastern services are running to or from London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross until September 2 as work continues to rebuild London Bridge and the surrounding railway.Queuing systems will be in place at Cannon Street station between Tuesday and Friday next week to cope with demand.Commuters trying to reach Waterloo reacted with dismay on social media, with one describing the situation as “predictable and embarrassing”. Ms Lumlock added: “We’ll be working behind the scenes so that we can, by the end of next year, permanently bring the five extra platforms back into use for what will become a modern, high- frequency commuter terminal fit for the 21st century. A 22-year-old IT worker heading to Leatherhead said: “There’s been no information. I’m used to it. You just have to wait. There’s no other choice really.”A 24-year-old tutor trying to travel to New Malden said: “My train was delayed – very delayed and then it was cancelled. It’s annoying. I was told all the work would be finished by yesterday evening but it’s been delayed again and again. It’s really frustrating.” 1st train of day &a guard has ‘bit of bad news’. Waterloo still mashed. Wish I’d placed that ‘no way be finished 28th’ bet now #Waterloo— sam maher (@slave2five) August 29, 2017
“She is a lovely cat and was very affectionate once we got her out, I think she was very grateful. Workmen used an angle grinder to dig into the concrete and free the catCredit:RSPCA/Bav Media RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Sharon Knight, who went to the site, said: “I can’t see how else the cat could have got under the floor, she must have been there when the concrete was poured on – all the air vents were sealed.”The concrete had been poured on three weeks ago, she must have survived on the moisture under the floor, she was thin but not weak.”Thankfully she has a good strong meow so she was heard, otherwise we would never have been able to rescue her. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “I’d also like to say thank you to the staff at Persimmon Homes who acted very quickly and didn’t hesitate to dig up the floor and rescue the cat.”Fortunately the cat was microchipped so we were able to reunite her with her owner as soon as we could.” A cat survived for three weeks after getting trapped under a concrete floor.The pet was finally rescued when builders heard “miaows” coming from under their feet.The cat had become stranded beneath the newly laid floors of the building which was under construction.Builders called the RSPCA when they heard miaowing coming from under the floor. They were forced to use an angle grinder to cut a square shaped hole in the floor in order to reach the terrified feline.The rescue took place at a partially built house on a Persimmon Homes estate in Weldon, Corby, Northants., on Sunday. Sharon Knight from the RSPCA said the cat has a strong meowCredit:RSPCA/Bav Media
The London Fire Brigade has been criticised for accepting a donation from the Freemasons with the condition that new trucks purchased with the money carry their symbol.The society gave £2.5 million to the fire service to purchase two vehicles with high aerial ladders, which would be capable of reaching the top of a building as high as Grenfell Tower.But the new vehicles will be emblazoned with the symbol of Freemasonry, the square and compass.Paul Embery, of the Fire Brigades Union, told Channel 4 News that there were concerns over donations from “secret societies”.”We don’t want to sound uncharitable but our concern is that this is really a slippery slope,” he said.“The idea of private companies or secret societies effectively purchasing front line emergency service vehicles and having their insignia – free advertising effectively – we are really concerned that could lead to a greater inflow of private money into what really is a private service.” The Freemasons’ symbol already appears on some other emergency service vehicles, including air ambulance helicopters and lifeboats.Dr David Staples, CEO of United Grand Lodge of England, the society’s governing body, said the Freemasons were not secretive. He said: “Freemasonry has a long and proud 300 year history of charitable giving and this £2.5 million appeal to purchase two vehicles for the London Fire Brigade is the latest step in London Masons’ objective to support the local community and help make London a safer place.”London Masons recently made a £2million donation to help fund its much needed second London Air Ambulance and a further 22 Air Ambulance and rescue services across England and Wales have also recently received grants.”Our universally recognised Square and Compasses can be seen on many of these emergency vehicles, all funded by the generosity of our members up and down the country. These include everything from the ambulances, first responder vehicles, helicopters and lifeboats to smaller buggies which carry patients with mobility difficulties around local hospitals.“United Grand Lodge of England and its members have nothing to be ashamed of, and are disappointed that, in some peoples’ minds, out of date and inaccurate perceptions about Freemasonry continue to drive anti-masonic and discriminatory agendas. Service to the community has always been one of our key tenets.”A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade said it was not unusual for emergency services to accept charitable donations and it would be “irresponsible” not to consider any donation that could save lives. The fire brigade is buying new vehicles with high laddersCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “The donation we have received from the London Freemasons follows similar support offered by the organisation to other emergency services including the London Air Ambulance and London Ambulance Service,” the spokesman said. “The expectation for branding also follows similar support offered by the London Freemasons to other emergency services in the capital.“The safety of Londoners is our priority and if we are offered any significant donation we can use towards equipment which could help us further protects Londoners and save lives, it would be irresponsible of us not to consider it.”
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Researchers noted that fruits and vegetables were a good source of many vitamins and associated with a lower risk of stroke and coronary heart disease, with a strong link between the amount consumed and the benefits.They said the small number of studies that had established a link between multivitamin and mineral supplementation and a lower risk of coronary heart disease could be explained by the fact that people who take such supplements tend to have a healthier diet.Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We know that eating a healthy balanced diet, like the traditional Mediterranean diet, can help to lower our risk of heart and circulatory diseases. There are no shortcuts when it comes to nutrition – supplements are not a replacement for healthy food.“You might be prescribed a vitamin or mineral supplement by a health professional for other reasons, but we do not recommend people take multivitamins to help prevent heart and circulatory diseases which this review supports.“Rather than taking multivitamins, focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet which includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, fish and unsaturated fats like olive oil.”Rebecca McManamon, consultant dietitian and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, said: “This reiterates the message that instead of supplements, in the UK we are still not all eating enough fruit and vegetables and we need to keep driving to eat more, as five portions a day or more are linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, as well as reducing risk of some cancers.”She noted that the study concerned adults and that multivitamins are recommended for children aged from six months to five.The analysis was published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal. Experts said multivitamins did not have the same benefits as eating fruit and vegetablesCredit:Janine Lamontagne Multivitamins do not protect against heart attacks, a major study has found.Researchers analysed the results of studies and clinical trials undertaken since 1970, involving more than two million people.Overall, they found “no association” between taking multivitamin and mineral supplements and the development of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease or strokes and their related deaths.Joonseok Kim from the University of Alabama’s department of medicine, who led the study, said: “We meticulously evaluated the body of scientific evidence.“We found no clinical benefit of multivitamin and mineral use to prevent heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular death.”The study also found that there was no cardiovascular benefit to taking a “therapeutic” supplement of a vitamin due to deficiency, such as vitamin D. It found “even sparser” evidence of any such benefits for those taking multivitamins without a confirmed deficiency and noted that several studies had demonstrated that daily vitamin and mineral supplementation in certain groups, such as the elderly, could actually have a negative effect.Around one in three British adults takes some form of nutritional supplement, the most popular being multivitamins, followed by vitamin C.Kim, an assistant professor of cardiology, said: “It has been exceptionally difficult to convince people, including nutritional researchers, to acknowledge that multivitamin and mineral supplements don’t prevent cardiovascular diseases.”I hope our study findings help decrease the hype around multivitamin and mineral supplements and encourage people to use proven methods to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases – such as eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising and avoiding tobacco.”He said his team had set out to offer clarity on the subject because although many studies had concluded that multivitamin and mineral supplements did not prevent cardiovascular diseases, the notion had still proved controversial.