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Local colleges get mixed marks

first_imgSACRAMENTO – The first detailed look at California’s community colleges reveals a plethora of facts and figures on course-completion rates and transfers to four-year schools, but it’s too early to know if the findings are good news or bad news for students. For example, about half of the students who enroll in the state’s community colleges go on to earn an associate’s degree or transfer to a four-year school, according to the study released Monday. But because it is the first-ever evaluation of the state’s 109 community colleges based on transfer rates and completion of courses in basic skills, English language and vocations, there is no way to tell whether things are getting worse or better, the report said. “Because the (report) indicators have unique definitions, we cannot compare these indicators to those generated for other states or by other studies of the California community colleges,” the report says. The study, “Accountability Reporting for the Community Colleges,” was requested by the Legislature in 2004. Mark Drummond, chancellor of the community college system, said the report is useful in comparing the individual college campuses on a variety of performance measures. The report also will serve as a starting point to track the system’s progress over time on an annual basis. “On these different measures, they can say how we are doing compared to the other colleges,” Drummond said. “And if they aren’t doing very well, they can go over and see what the other people are doing. That’s very helpful. It’s good introspection.” Among the new findings: About one-third of the state’s freshman-age population is enrolled in a community college, and 45 percent of graduates of the University of California and California State University systems first attended a community college before transferring. Also, students who earn a vocational degree or certificate get a significant jump in their wages, going from an average of $25,600 before to $47,571 three years after receiving the degree or certificate. Schools in the San Fernando Valley faced mixed results. The study’s top measurement of campus performance, “student progress and achievement rate,” measures how many first-time students get associate degrees or certificates, or transfer to a four-year college. The state average for this category is 52 percent. Los Angeles Mission College scored below average in all categories compared with others overall statewide and with similar schools in its peer group. Mission’s student-achievement rate was 42 percent, while the peer-group rate was 46 percent. Los Angeles Pierce College came in above the state and peer-group averages in most categories. Its student achievement rate was 58 percent, the exact average for its peer group. Los Angeles Valley College was mostly below the state average, but was better than its peer group in some categories and worse in others. Its student achievement rate was 49.6 percent, just above its peer group average of 45.9 percent. Maury Pearl, dean of institutional research and planning at Mission College, said the school has been working to improve in some of the areas measured in the report. In recent years, the college has received federal grants to help students improve their basic math skills and focus on transferring and graduation. The college also got a grant for serving a high population of Latino students. The school’s student population is about 65 percent Latino. harrison.sheppard@dailynews.com (916)446-6723last_img read more

Liverpool flop set for Italy return? Lazio keen on much maligned striker

first_imgLazio are poised to make a move for Liverpool striker Fabio Borini at the end of the season, according to reports in Italy.Borini has struggled to make any impact at Anfield following his £10.5million move from Roma back in 2012 and has only started eight Premier League games.The Italy forward was shipped out on loan to Sunderland last year and even though he made a return to the Merseyside club, he has only scored one goal this season.Italian newspaper Il Messaggero claim Lazio will make their move to sign Borini if they reach the Champions League.The move could be an unpopular one with Lazio fans as he spent a season at their arch rivals Roma, but with uncertainty surrounding the future of Miroslav Klose, they are keen to bring in another striker during the summer. Liverpool striker Fabio Borini 1last_img read more

LETTERKENNY MEN TO SNOW WHAT THEY’RE MADE OF IN ALASKA!

first_imgWe’ve all heard the song ‘North the Alaska’ but a team from Letterkenny will make this a reality when they take on a daredevil challenge in March.Les O’Donnell and Denis Ferry, who run their own garages at Mountain Top in Letterkenny, hope to complete a fundraising expedition that starts at the top of Ireland – Malin head – and ends at the top of America – at a town called Deadhorse at Prudhoe bay in Alaska. Deadhorse is 350 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Paul Doherty from Kilmacrennan, who was recently placed in the top ten photographers in the world, has joined the team to record and photograph the trip.Asked why they have taken on such a mammoth and risky challenge Les quips, “we didn’t know whether we would be fit enough to run a 5k sponsored run so instead we decided to fly 16,000 miles to the Arctic Circle and drive 1,000 miles on one of the worlds most dangerous roads.”The team will leave Malin Head on Thursday 28th March 2013 in a Ford Ranger and travel to Dublin – the easiest part of the trip.They will fly 8,000 miles to Fairbanks in Alaska where a specially adapted arctic Ford Escape equipped with studded snow tyres, CB radio, satellite phone, camping and survival equipment awaits them. On Holy Saturday they start the trip up the Dalton Highway. The road has been made famous by the TV programme Ice Road Truckers screened on the Discovery Channel and currently aired on channel 5 on Friday nights. The team will travel the same route as the ice road truckers from Fairbanks to Deadhorse at Prudhoe bayThe first leg of the journey is 240 miles to a town called Coldfoot, here they will refuel and stay the night. On Easter Sunday an early start is needed, as the further north you go the lower the temperature, and they must make the next stop before night which is Deadhorse, some 260 miles away.Explaining the depth of isolation Denis says that between these two stops there is nothing, only a road and snow, no petrol stations no towns, nothing.“Once at Deadhorse we will be at the Arctic Ocean and the top of America. That’s the last stop before the North Pole. We will spend the next day here and then head South, down the Dalton Highway, stopping 260 miles south in Coldfoot, resting for the night and preparing for the journey back to Fairbanks the next day. This will involve crossing the Artic circle after 100 miles.”The timetable they have will be determined by the weather, which is expected to be around -25c. People have been stuck for periods of time due to road blocks caused by snow storms and avalanche’s hence the need for the survival equipment and the specially Arctic-prepared FORD ESCAPE.Les and Denis are undertaking the challenge in aid of three local charities – Donegal Hospice, Friends of Letterkenny General Hospital (the COPD unit) and Cairde la Cheilie (friends together supporting people with disability). All monies raised will be given to the charities. Denis, Les and Paul are paying for there own flights and accommodation while Hegarty’s Ford Letterkenny are sponsoring both jeeps and all fuel used is sponsored by Top Oil in Bonagee. Other sponsors include PPG Auto paints Letterkenny, Carpet Interiors, Irwin electrical, LK bikes, Pinehill Warehousing and Media Box.Denis and Les have chosen the charities for their own personal reasons. Fundraising will take place from a mix of selling tickets, one for each mile completed.When you buy a ticket you will be entered into a draw with the winners drawn after an evening of sharing stories, photos and perhaps even video footage of the men’s trek.The event will be held in the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny on 26 April 2013 Please support the Donegal Ice Road Trekkers on their Arctic Challenge. For more information contact Denis or Les on 087 2536275 086 8098818 or email: donegaliceroadtrekkers@hotmail.comLETTERKENNY MEN TO SNOW WHAT THEY’RE MADE OF IN ALASKA! was last modified: January 29th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ArticDenis FerryLes O’Donnelllast_img read more

Datebook 4/2

first_imgTODAY “Say No to Drugs” parade, concert and health fair, 9 a.m., Central Spanish Adventist Church, 1366 S. Alvarado St., Los Angeles. Call (818) 546-8400. Rummage Sale, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Ivy Academia Entrepreneurial Charter School, 6051 DeSoto Ave., Woodland Hills. March for Justice, honoring Cesar E. Chavez, 11 a.m., Brand Park, 15174 San Fernando Mission Blvd., Mission Hills. Pyansky: Ukrainian Easter Eggs exhibit, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Craft & Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Landmark Building A, Los Angeles. Call (323) 937-4230. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event Outdoor ranch cooking, sheep shearing and egg-hunt events, 1-4 p.m., Leonis Adobe Museum, 23537 Calabasas Road, Calabasas. Call (818) 222-6511. First-aid program for pets, 3-4 p.m., Valencia Library, 23743 Valencia Blvd. Call (661) 259-8942. Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Joy Crisp will discuss the findings of the Mars exploration rovers, 7:45-8:45 p.m., Los Angeles Valley College Planetarium, 5800 Fulton Ave., Valley Glen. Free. Call (818) 947-2864. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and a phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail dnmetro@dailynews.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Sea life explained for young explorers

first_imgA marine biologist from Stellenbosch University has authored a children’s book on Southern African sea life. (Image: Random Struik) Dr Sophie von der Heyden lectures in marine biology and genetics at Stellenbosch University and has published widely on marine biodiversity and conservation. (Image: Stellenbosch University) The full-colour 88-page field guide is filled with beautiful photographs, interesting facts and easy-to-understand descriptions that bring to life the beauty of marine plants and animals such as seaweeds, molluscs, fish, seashore birds, and marine mammals. Guido Zsilavecz, a respected marine photographer contributed most of the photographs in the book. (Images: Wilma den Hartigh) MEDIA CONTACTS • Engela Duvenhage   Stellenbosch University  +27 21 808 9321 RELATED ARTICLES • Protecting marine life with plastic • Protecting SA’s coastline pays off • Pick n Pay greens seafood operations • Conquering South Africa’s litterbug Wilma den HartighA marine biologist from Stellenbosch University has authored a children’s book on Southern African sea life to teach young people about the importance of oceans and inspire them to explore marine environments in Africa.The author, Dr Sophie von der Heyden, has a PhD from Oxford University, lectures in marine biology and genetics at Stellenbosch University and has published widely on marine biodiversity and conservation.She says that although there are numerous marine guides in South Africa, these are only suitable for adult readers.“There was nothing specifically geared towards children,” Von der Heyden explains, adding that she wanted to write a book that would be informative for both children and adults.“I hope it will fascinate and educate children, and that they will discover the joys of exploring,” she says.Von der Heyden received a grant from the Academic and Non-fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (Anfasa) to complete the field guide.She is one of eight emerging or established writers who are supported through Anfasa’s grant scheme for authors, which aims to support interesting academic and non-fiction projects.The field guide, Southern African Sea Life: A Guide for Young Explorers, is available in most local bookshops, online at Exclusive Books or directly from the publisher, Random Struik, for only R100 (US$12)Colourful and accessibleThe full-colour 88-page field guide is filled with beautiful photographs, interesting facts and easy-to-understand descriptions that bring to life the beauty of marine plants and animals such as seaweeds, molluscs, fish, seashore birds, and marine mammals.The book also explains concepts such as ocean currents and the importance of protecting oceans and marine habitats.The author included a holiday guide section which focuses on popular areas of the Southern African coastline such as the West Coast, the Wild Coast, Namibia and Mozambique. This section provides an overview on the marine life and environments that visitors are most likely to encounter when exploring the coastline around each of these areas.“I’d like people to use this section to get to know their favourite holiday destinations,” she says.There is also a chapter on careers in marine science and the valuable work of marine scientists.“I hope the book will inspire future generations to become biologists, oceanographers and conservationists working together to preserve our amazing oceans,” Von der Heyden says.“It shows just how wide ranging the field is. Marine biology isn’t the only career; there are also others such as marine chemistry, aquaculture and oceanography.”She says it is important that children develop a love for oceans and marine life. A resource such as this vibrant field guide, as well as input from parents, can help to create early awareness about the value of oceans.Von der Heyden says she has her older brother to thank for her interest in all things marine. “He is 10 years older than me, but he got me interested in fishing when I was a child,” she recalls. “Together, we explored muddy ponds and this is what sparked my interest.”Helping parents and curious childrenThe idea for the book came about a few years ago when Von der Heyden was on a field trip, exploring the rock pools of Margate on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast with two students and her young daughter.“While we were collecting samples I saw a dad trying to answer the questions his sons were asking about the things that they found in the rock pools,” she tells, adding that the harried parent was running out of creative answers.“Kids love the sea so I started to think about the value of an informative and fun guide that was age appropriate.”The guide provides parents of young children with answers to such questions and older children who can read can browse through the book by themselves to find out more about their rock pool discoveries.There are many interesting facts contained in the book. Even adults might be surprised to learn that a sea star feeds by pushing its stomach out through its mouth and placing it directly over its prey, octopuses are quite clever, and that the yellow-bellied sea snake is the only marine snake found in the oceans of Southern Africa.Beautiful photographs“What makes the book stand out is the photography,” Von der Heyden.Her favourite two-page spread is one of sea stars, brittlestars, sea cucumbers and other types of echinoderms (animals that have spines and bumps covering their bodies).“The photographs are simply beautiful.”Von der Heyden worked with Guido Zsilavecz, a respected marine photographer from the Southern Underwater Research Group who contributed most of the photographs in the book.Zsilavecz is an experienced underwater lensman and has published identification guides on fish and sea slugs. Von der Heyden enjoys the fact that he has captured some of the smallest aquatic and marine species.The author explains that it was important to compile a highly visual book with excellent photographs that would make it fun for children to identify species.The field guide also contains illustrations by Sally McLarty, an experienced illustrator of children’s and nature books.Easy and descriptive textVon der Heyden says that one of the most challenging aspects of the writing process, which started in 2010, was to explain scientific aspects of the marine environment in language for children, yet ensure that the book maintains its scientific integrity.“Writing for kids has been a real eye-opener and huge fun,” she says. “I come from a background of academic writing, and it was tricky to explain complicated concepts without losing detail.”Fortunately she could consult with her two young children for an honest opinion about what she was writing. “They were excellent sounding boards, and I regularly read sections to them to see if it was accessible.”• Slideshow image courtesy of Guido Zsilaveczlast_img read more

IBM Doesn’t Compete With Google Drive. Really

first_imgCloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Tags:#google drive#IBM#smartcloud docs Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud antone gonsalves IBM has launched a cloud-based office-productivity suite called SmartCloud Docs that some industry observers say is a competitor to Google Drive (nee Google Docs).But the comparison is apples to oranges. OK, well maybe Fuji to Granny Smith.Different Ends of the MarketWhile Google Drive started with consumers and gradually became a business product, IBM’s focus here is the enterprise.SmartCloud Docs is only a small piece of the company’s corporate collaboration services, called SmartCloud for Social Business. SmartCloud Docs adds the ability to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations.“If customers, the press, or analysts position this as going toe-to-toe with Google Docs, or frankly, for that matter, parts of [Microsoft] Office 365, they’re missing the fundamental differences between the vendors,” Tom Austin, an analyst for Gartner, says. “IBM is into solution-selling.”That means IBM’s quarry isn’t a department head or branch office. It wants to sell Social Business to the whole organization to tackle a core business operation. Instead, picture a medical research facility looking to collaborate with hospitals in other countries.“What it’s really doing is trying to penetrate the boardroom and the [C-suite],” Austin said.Social Business also includes features for creating and managing blogs and wikis, a cloud version of the Lotus Notes email client, calendaring, archiving and mobile access to services.IBM is far behind Google in releasing a cloud-based productivity suite. Google rolled out its services in stages, starting in 2006. But that’s not seen as a particularly bad mistake for IBM. Corporations adopt slowly, giving IBM time to adopt and adapt.What About Microsoft?Within the enterprise, Microsoft, which sells Office 365 as a cloud-based collaboration-and-productivity suite, is a much stronger rival to IBM.For companies heavily invested in Windows and Microsoft’s on-premise Office suite, Microsoft is easing enterprises into its cloud by giving them the option of leaving some workloads behind the firewall, Forrester Research analyst TJ Keitt wrote in a recent report.“Google’s vision, on the other hand, is to leave the desktop behind for a cloud ecosystem based in the browser –- a vision for which many enterprise IT leaders aren’t ready,” Keitt wrote.A Different TakeUnlike research rival Gartner, International Data Corp. sees Google and IBM as competitors, but says IBM has taken its product a step further when it comes to helping people work together.For example, SmartCloud Docs can analyze versions of a document and help authors reconcile the differences, said IDC analyst Melissa Webster.“That’s a new level of functionality” in that feature segment, said Webster.Before SmartCloud Docs, such features were primarily used for code-management, helping developers reconcile code. “It’s a sophisticated problem to solve,” she said.Enterprise features like these set IBM apart; that and its focus on comprehensive technology packages.Google has its own large-companies, though. It’s integrating Drive in Salesforce.com, Workday and other online apps.“This resonates with IT shops that seek to move as many commodity application workloads into the cloud as possible,” Keitt wrote.So while SmartCloud Docs and Google Drive are similar in function, they are entering the market from opposite directions. And while they haven’t met yet, the growing use of the cloud will change that.last_img read more

HC asks Haryana DGP to pay custodial death victim’s kin

first_imgThe Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered Haryana’s Director General of Police to pay ₹10,000 as cost to a petitioner for failing to determine the compensation amount even after a gap of three years in a custody death case.Hearing a petition filed by Anand Rai Kaushik against the State of Haryana and other respondents, Justice P.B. Bajanthri passed an order on Wednesday saying “…till date, Director General of Police has not determined what amount of compensation is required to be paid to the legal heirs of the deceased with reference to notification dated April 3, 2013, relating to the Haryana Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013… It is more than three years even to this day, there is no determination of victim compensation under the 2013 scheme insofar in the present case. Therefore, DGP is hereby directed to pay a cost of ₹10,000 to the petitioner”.Direction to DGPThe court also directed the DGP to determine the compensation and submit it along with an affidavit.The petitioner through his counsel had submitted in the court that in July 2013, the Faridabad NIT Police had taken his brother into custody and he later died. The police version was that the victim had hanged himself from a window in the toilet, which was 6.5 feet from the ground, while the victim was about 6.2 feet, resulting in his death.Earlier, the High Court in March 2015 had observed that the “court is prima facie of the view that the judicial inquiry report, all the relevant daily diary reports and post-mortem conducted by a board of doctors are available on record and bare perusal thereof would show that no foul play has taken place in the present case. In view of the detailed judicial inquiry report, it is not required to get FIR registered to initiate investigation. However, since the death had taken place in a police station, the respondent State was bound to pay compensation to the petitioner”.last_img read more

All that matters in life is cricket

first_imgI love cricket, all 24 hours of it. Even if it is a Kenya-Canada match. For a spectator like me, cricket is one of the primary motives for living.In fact, in recent years cricket’s move from playing field into drawing room, bar, movie hall, newspaper ad, television commercial, phone tweets and downloads, T-shirt, office computer, wall calendar, including cricket’s appearance on shot glasses, table mats, home crockery and cutlery, has added thrills to a sport once restricted to the playing field.Cricket is life. I can watch it for 12 hours on TV, then – during working hours – switch to the office computer. When I am on the move I can see it on my mobile, or download expert comments for a discussion with friends. In a cricket bar you can give me the finest scotch or a glass of warm buffalo milk. If Brett Lee is bowling to Viru, I couldn’t care less.OmnipresenceLuckily, something to do with cricket is on television all the time – a match, an analysis of a match, a rerun of a match, a rerun of a rerun?. In a 24-hour day, somewhere, in some part of the world there is daylight, so cricket is being played. If you are in the Indian time zone then get set to spend the working day watching the India- Bangladesh- Pakistan Triangular at Kanpur. At close of play, when your eyes have absorbed eight hours of cola commercials and your head is a catalogue of fresh statistics, you can switch channels to catch England’s tour of South Africa for the next eight hours.advertisementBut as soon as night falls in Pretoria, you can switch to the Australia- West Indies test at Barbados. I always make sure I keep the remote; that way I can also keep checking on the Sussex- Middlesex county match on ESPN. At a recent World Cup match the stoning of the West Indian team was a minor oversight by some irate Bangladeshi fans wishing to target their own loosing team. But a loss in the World Cup is a humiliation few democratic societies will tolerate. So what if the women are in purdah, and the kids are not in school. The idea that a country’s patriotism is based on the outcome of a game played by only 14 countries is a loss difficult to bear. During the particularly gruesome Tri-series in 1993 in Dhaka, in which only one nation took part, the now famous fielding triumph by Rasheed Ahmed at deep third man is the stuff of history books. Rasheed being Rasheed, and having been coached by his chemistry teacher threw himself at a ball that was speeding towards the boundary. And again, Rasheed being Rasheed, missed the ball completely, but for some reason the ball, swished soundlessly along the grass, and stopped just short of the boundary.Bangladesh won the match by one run, and Rasheed was hailed the architect of the victory. For his performance, the government made him an MP from Chittagong.But for missing the ball, he was shot by a firing squad.Once at Lords, a match was being played during the Round Table Conference of 1936, between the Queen’s XI and the Indian Freedom Fighters XI. Ramsey MacDonald had suggested the match, as an attempt to patch up differences, and having played Ranji Trophy for Gujarat, Sardar Patel happily agreed. But tensions arose during the second innings, when Mahatma Gandhi was at the crease. After sixteen consecutive maidens, in sheer frustration, Gandhi sent the ball speeding across the grass with a fine cut towards deep third man. Everyone was surprised that a man who had put up such a spirited fight against South African apartheid, would be content with a mere boundary down the off side. Fielding the shot was none other than Winston Churchill, who refused to pick up the ball. Later at a news conference, he explained, “I will never bend down for that naked fakir”. As a consequence of Churchill’s action – rather inaction – India won the match by three runs. Unable to stomach the humiliation, the British left India soon after.Cricket’s role in world negotiations too cannot be denied. Some years back when the world economy was in a mess and Manmohan Singh was attending an emergency meeting of the G-20 in London, during an afternoon session on the role of the World Bank, there was an active discussion on Virat Kohli’s jersey number between Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy.Nature Brown maintained that Kohli had dropped his lucky No. 27 after India’s loss in the 2006 President’s Cup. Sarkozy, in the usual way of opposing anything English, insisted that the change was made after the 2004 debacle in Pakistan. For resolution, the two had turned to Manmohan Singh only to be given a vague unsure response, despite the 900- strong Indian delegation. The meeting broke up soon after, and Singh returned to India.advertisementObviously injuries are rampant in any sport where eleven men in sparkling white clothes straight out of a surf ad stand around listlessly on freshly mowed grass for five days. Many have been carried out on stretchers after a tiresome fly has buzzed around a member of the fielding side and has diverted his attention from the young actress sitting braless at the pavilion end.Such is the complex nature of the game that it allows a complete participation in life’s other activities. Cricket is in fact the nearest thing to philosophy, except in philosophy you sweat a little more and aren’t allowed breaks for tea. Besides, if you get stuck on those thorny issues about the nature of nature, or existance vs. existence, you can’t have a philosopher walk in from the pavilion and do your thinking for you.I remember when Anil Kumble was fielding at Point during the 1995 India- Australia match, he had the sudden urge to write a love note to his wife.Memorabilia Just newly married, this was natural.Anil pulled out a ream of A4 sheets, and lay down on the grass to write. Being a 5- day match there was plenty of time. He had written some 40 odd pages when Ponting – out of sheer spite for his productivity – sent a ball in his direction.Anil continued writing but leaned slightly to field the ball and send it back to the bowler. By the second day he had a first draft ready, almost 180 pages. He put these on a laptop, borrowed from Srisanth, and went off to call Penguin India. Before the match ended, Anil not only had a complete manuscript as well as a publisher, but also an agent in London who wanted all South Asian rights.Besides, the match had been successfully concluded as a draw, and as part of the semi- victorious Indian team, Anil was given a hero’s welcome in Bangalore.Of course the real test of the game’s popularity lies in the annual cricket auction at Christie’s. A finger on the nose, a tilt of the head, the 2006 auction saw a Gujarati liquor baron pick up the plastic Bisleri bottle used by Sachin during the 1998 Sri Lanka India Quadrangular. The same baron also paid a quarter million dollars for two gobs of gum chewed by Rahul Dravid during the 1993 Zimbabwe- India quarter final match.Even the toilet paper used by the Nawab of Pataudi, during the country’s 1973 tour of England has been on view in a special display at the British Museum.Of course the failed robbery attempt in 2007, led to tightened security around the popular exhibit, which today is surrounded by round the clock electronic surveillance. Sadly, because of the sealed enclosure, many visitors from India can no longer smell the exhibit, and leave disappointed.advertisement- The writer is a well known architectlast_img read more

Ind vs Eng, Bristol ODI: Toss delayed due to rain

first_imgDhoni-CookTheir morale battered by the Test series debacle, India would look to make a fresh beginning and salvage lost pride when they take on England in a fivematch ODI cricket series starting in Bristol on Monday.However, they’ll need to keep their eyes on the sky and pray hard for the match to go ahead as there is a 100 per cent chance of rain in Bristol.On one hand, the Indians will be distracted by the 1-3 series loss in the Test series and will want to do well in the ODIs, while on the other, they will also need to balance their approach keeping next year’s World Cup in mind.That tournament, to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand, is just six months away. From here on, every ODI played by the Indian team will be a preparatory step towards defending their 2011 crown Down Under.And to do so, they will be evaluating players in the three ODI series between now and the World Cup – in England, at home against the West Indies and then in the tri-series on the Australian tour.Already, the Indian selectors have taken stock of the situation at hand and the 17-man squad is a reflection of their thoughts. Sanju Samson and Karn Sharma represent their line of thinking in that the squad will need an additional wicket-keeper as well as a third spin-bowling all-round option.But there is a question-mark over how many opportunities these two youngsters will get in the current five-match series. This is because the middle-order and all-round spin slots have enough contenders at the moment.advertisementRavindra Jadeja and R. Ashwin will fill up the two spin options in the playing XI. Earlier this year, in the fourth ODI at Hamilton, Stuart Binny was introduced as an alternate and his exploits in Bangladesh he will be a factor in conditions that assist swing.However India skipper M.S. Dhoni is a little circumspect about using four medium pace options as it slows down the over-rate. It will be interesting to see if he will opt for two spinners straight-away, irrespective of the conditions in Bristol, given that Binny didn’t bowl in the warm-up game against Middlesex on Friday.On that day, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami bowled short spells and it was a clear sign that the management was looking to preserve them. ‘TEST OF CHARACTER’ Meanwhile, senior batsman Suresh Raina feels these ODIs will be a test of the Indians’ character.Claiming to have done his bit to infuse some positivity into the beleaguered team, Raina said: “The team is going through a difficult phase and it is time for us to show character. It can be difficult sometimes to move on from such a defeat but you have to fight your way out of it when you’re playing at the international level.”I always try to maintain the cheerfulness in the team, on and off the field. I am the first person to run to the bowler or fielder when a wicket falls,” he told the official BCCI website.last_img read more

All-new Range Rover Velar spotted in India

first_imgBritish carmaker Land Rover’s Range Rover Velar is supposed to be launched in India by the end of this year, but before the company could officially take the wraps off their all-new SUV, YouTube user Premster14 managed to get a look at the car while it was being tested on Indian roads.The Range Rover Velar globally unveiled some time ago now and the latest SUV from Land Rover will slot in between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport. Bookings for the new Range Rover Velar are already underway at Land Rover dealerships in India and according to reports, the price of the Velar will be revealed on September 21.The Range Rover Velar will be offered with two engine options in India, both diesel. One is a 2.0 litre Ingenium turbocharged diesel engine that can make 177bhp and 430 Nm of peak torque. The more powerful oil burner will be a 3.0 litre V6 twin turbocharged diesel engine that can dish out 296bhp and 700Nm of peak torque. Both the engines will drive an eight-speed automatic gearbox that will power all four wheels.In the Indian market, the Range Rover Velar will compete against the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW X5, Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-PACE and Volvo XC90.Also Read: Land Rover opens bookings for new Discovery in Indialast_img read more