Young Lady Bulldogs show bite against seasoned Lady Spikers

first_imgWill you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title With support of teammates, Mary Ann Mendrez pushes past pain to deliver for UE LATEST STORIES Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra “We never thought that we were facing the defending champions, we just told ourselves that we will do our part and that is giving it our all during the game,” said Princess Robles in Filipino Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Center.“What we told ourselves is that we can win.”The Lady Bulldogs managed to steal a 25-20 win in the second set and gave the Lady Spikers all they could handle the rest of the way.La Salle committed a combined 23 service errors in its first two games but had 14 against NU.Lady Spikers head coach Ramil De Jesus lamented his team’s performance against the Lady Bulldogs, likening his team’s miscues to airball free throws in basketball.ADVERTISEMENT The Lady Spikers’ first matchup against National University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament saw a young Lady Bulldogs squad nearly upset the defending champion.La Salle escaped with a 25-10, 20-25, 27-25, 25-22 triumph, but the Lady Bulldogs made sure they got a big bite out of the Lady Spikers’ spirits.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsREAD: UAAP: La Salle survives NU to keep unbeaten record aliveNU, which has nine players who have yet to reach their third year in college, was unfazed by La Salle’s resume and was simply determined to put up a hell of a fight. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MANILA, Philippines—What most thought would be an easy cruise for De La Salle turned into must-see TV.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying As for Robles, though, their inspiring fight against the Lady Spikers would serve as a jump off point for bigger things.“This was important for us and it was an awesome feeling,” said Robles who finished with 18 points. “It’s like my teammates and I were motivated to step up so we would be better for next game.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazillast_img read more

UPDATED: GARDAÍ SURROUND DONEGAL BARN IN SEARCH FOR MURDER SUSPECT

first_imgMcLaughlinLATEST: ARMED GARDAI have surrounded a barn in Co Donegal tonight in their hunt for a suspected killer.Officers are outside the building  near Burnfoot as part of a search for Kieran McLaughlin.The PSNI named McLaughlin, 58, as the chief suspect in the brutal murder of Barry McCrory, shot dead in a flat in Derry city centre on Thursday morning. Police also took the unusual step of issuing a picture of McLaughlin.Gardai spent today searching Border areas close to Derry in the hunt for the suspect.Tonight Gardai have surrounded the barn and believe McLaughlin may be there. It follows searches in Muff earlier in the day.Armed Gardai are at the scene on the Brae Road. The PSNI raided a number of homes in Galliagh on the Derry side of the Border as part of the operation.The killing has been widely condemned with British PM David Cameron the latest to denounce the shooting.He was in Belfast to attend a major investment conference and he took time out at the end of the event to condemn the killing of Mr McCrory and that of 46-year-old Brendan Kearney in Belfast on Wednesday night.He said: “These murders are despicable and the people responsible should be hunted down prosecuted and convicted, they should face justice.”The dead man’s family, including his mother Anne, father Danny and son Shea attended a peace rally held in Guildhall Square in protest at the killing. Following a two minutes silence, the crowd of several hundred were told a clear message needed to be sent out from Derry that violence from all quarters was not acceptable in the city.Meanwhile, Mr McCrory’s body remains in Belfast where a post mortem examination has taken place. The family hope to have is remains returned to them tomorrow with burial expected on Monday.UPDATED: GARDAÍ SURROUND DONEGAL BARN IN SEARCH FOR MURDER SUSPECT was last modified: October 11th, 2013 by John2Share 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:Barry McCroryGardaiKieran McLaughlinmuffmurdersearchlast_img read more

Start Over: The Evolution of Planets Is All Wrong

first_imgIdeas about planetary evolution are so far off base with observations of exoplanets, it’s time to wipe the slate clean.“Planets in Chaos,” Ann Finkbeiner titles an article in Nature.  Actually, the planets are doing just fine, but the theories to explain their origins are so far off, they are not salvageable.  The subtitle reads,The discovery of thousands of star systems wildly different from our own has demolished ideas about how planets form. Astronomers are searching for a whole new theory.Her review brings to mind Huxley’s quip that many a beautiful theory was destroyed by an ugly fact.  “Not so long ago — as recently as the mid-1990s, in fact — there was a theory so beautiful that astronomers thought it simply had to be true.”  It was the core accretion theory (the updated Laplace Nebular Hypothesis).  It was beautiful because it fit well with Darwinism’s slow, gradual accumulation of infinitesimal changes.  It was beautiful, too, because it explained our solar system’s arrangement: rocky planets near the sun, icy bodies farther out.  “And because the same principles of physics and astronomy must apply throughout the Universe, it predicted that any system of ‘exoplanets’ around another star would look pretty much the same.”  See?  It even made predictions.  Good theory.Reality had a way of punishing scientists for extrapolating from a sample of one.But in the mid-1990s, astronomers actually started finding those exoplanets — and they looked nothing like those in our Solar System. Gas giants the size of Jupiter whipped around their stars in tiny orbits, where core accretion said gas giants were impossible. Other exoplanets traced out wildly elliptical orbits. Some looped around their stars’ poles. Planetary systems, it seemed, could take any shape that did not violate the laws of physics.The sad conflagration of the beautiful theory has been told and retold before (3/21/06, 5/21/09, 8/31/10), especially since the Kepler spacecraft turned up the heat.  What’s new for July 2014 is that astronomers have still made no progress with alternative theories.The findings have triggered controversy and confusion, as astronomers struggle to work out what the old theory was missing. They are trying ideas, but are still far from sure how the pieces fit together. The field in its current state “doesn’t make much sense”, says Norm Murray of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in Toronto. “It’s impossible right now to account for everything,” agrees Kevin Schlaufman, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Until researchers reach a new consensus, they will not be able to understand how our own Solar System fits into the grand scheme of things, let alone predict what else might exist.It’s not like Nature to leave a tragedy hopeless, so Finkbeiner does offer some glimmers of hope.  New concepts of interaction and migration are helping to explain how some planets went wildly eccentric, or how hot Jupiters got so close to their stars, for instance.   Many astronomers still believe “core accretion has some things right,” such as the idea that planets are leftover products of the origin of stars.  Strangely, she tells the old theory as if it is still true, after having falsified it in the introduction.But then she gets into the era of 2001, the Space Oddities.  “It was like, ‘What! We weren’t even looking for that” one astronomer said at the 1995 announcement of the first hot Jupiter.  The catalog of unpredicted anomalies has left astronomers scratching their heads.  In accordance with Bloch’s Law, “Every solution breeds new problems,” the proferred solutions did just that:To explain hot Jupiters, for example, they suggest that the planets did not stick around at their birth place in the cold outer reaches of stellar disks. Instead, the infant giants spiralled inwards as viscous gas in the disk slowed their orbits. At some point, for reasons unknown, they stopped their death spirals and settled into stable orbits close to their stars. Despite the extreme temperatures, the giant planets had strong-enough gravity to keep hold of their gas.Super-Earths also don’t fit the old “beautiful” theory, she adds; they are even “harder to account for.”  But does a pithy analogy help?  “Super-Earths are probably not nice, stereotypical birds,” says Eric Ford, an astrophysicist at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park. “Maybe some are more like penguins.”  Humor can be a distraction on work time.  “The sheer size of the super-Earth flock requires explanation,” she reminds the workers, like a stern boss.  “The standard theory cannot do that because in existing models, the central regions of stellar disks contain much too little material to create several close-in super-Earths.”The workers went to work, adding heavier disks, and “migration, migration, migration.”  That process seems to be the new dark matter to explain planet-makers’ anomalies.  Unfortunately, migration models have their own problems that challenge migration as a scientific theory:Such models are appealing, but the concept of migration, especially of the smaller planets, gives some researchers pause — if only because no one has ever seen it happening. The necessary observations may not be possible: stars young enough to have planets migrating through protoplanetary disks are still surrounded by dust, and their light flickers, making it extremely unlikely that current methods will be able to pick out the dimming caused by a transiting planet. The theory is not settled, either. Modellers have found it hard to explain why migrating planets, big or small, would stop in the orbits that astronomers have observed. In simulations, says Winn, they don’t: “the planets plop right down on the star”.If planets migrate as quickly as models predict, moreover, they should mostly be gone by now, melted to oblivion inside their parent stars.  Astronomers should not be oblivious to oblivion.  The “biggest question” still hounds them: “why our Solar System is so different.”  Our neat arrangement of planets in stable orbits, with a lively planet safe in its habitable zone, doesn’t look anything like the majority of extrasolar planetary systems.  Breaking News:  One of the most Earthlike planets ever found turns out to be an illusion, New Scientist and National Geographic reported.  The “planets” were probably just starspots due to the star’s magnetic field.  Farewell, Gliese 581 d.  Jacob Aron quipped on New Scientist:Type the name “Gliese 581 d” into a search engine, and you’ll find hundreds of tantalising images of an Earth-like world. The exoplanet has been a top contender for the most life-friendly world beyond our solar system since it was discovered in 2007. There’s just one problem – it probably doesn’t exist.Current status for planet formation theories: bad news.Meanwhile, researchers continue to nurture their mess of models, which have grown almost as exotic and plentiful as the planets they seek to explain. And if the current theories are disjointed, ad hoc and no longer beautiful, that is often how science proceeds, notes Murray. “Life,” he says, “is like that.”Finkbeiner’s happy ending to the story lies in the future.  “Future observations may give some answers,” she dreams.Try that excuse at home or at work.  Susie, you’re room is a mess.  I’m nurturing the mess; life is like that.  John, your report did not follow my instructions.  It’s exotic; life is like that.  Mechanic, you put the parts in the wrong places.  It’s disjointed, but life is like that.  Lawyer, you’re just making stuff up.  It’s ad hoc, but life is like that.  Home decorator, you ruined my living room.  It’s no longer beautiful, but life is like that.  Son, why did you get an “F” on your paper?  I got some things right.  Bookkeeper, what are these strange entries you put in the ledger?  This requires explanation!  They’re not your stereotypical birds; maybe some are like penguins.  Scientist, everything you said is wrong.  Future observations may give some answers.Neil Tyson, what are you going to say about this article?  Where is your positivism now?This article is all the more aggravating when you remember that secular cosmogonists have sold a false scenario for centuries since Laplace, propounded non-stop for decades by artwork, textbooks and TV documentaries that have used this debunked theory to prop up a molecules-to-man scenario, supposedly illustrating why science is superior to religion.  We’ll take Genesis 1:1 any day over this falsified Nebulous Hypothesis.They’ve had their chance.  Give the materialistic storytellers the boot.  Earth is a privileged planet (5/24/11) in a designed solar system; that is where the evidence leads.  Extrasolar planets can be explained as the end products of destructive processes, not creative processes.  Design is evident everywhere; like our own creation, we hold these truths to be self-evident among rational beings on God’s green Earth. 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Manuel to co-chair climate fund body

first_img29 April 2011 South African National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel has been elected as one of three co-chairman of an international committee set up to design the US$100-billion Green Climate Fund, which was set up after the United Nations’ climate summit in Cancun, Mexico in December. The Green Climate Fund, which will be financed through carbon pricing, will be used to mitigate deforestation and open up new agricultural land in Africa, among other things. Announcing his appointment to journalists in Cape Town on Friday, Manuel said his appointment to the Transitional Committee for the design of the Green Climate Change Fund happened in his absence in Mexico on Thursday night. He joins two other co-chairs, Mexican Minister of Finance and Public Credit Ernesto Cordero Arroyo, and Kjetil Lund of Norway’s ministry of finance. He said that the Transitional Committee comprised 40 United Nations representatives and reported to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The committee had three tasks, which were to design the “governance arrangements of a Green Climate Fund, mobilizing resources for this fund and setting out the modalities of spending these resources”. Manuel said that the committee would have to finish its obligations before the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17), which takes place in Durban from 28 November to 9 December. The committee was likely to have at least four meetings leading to the COP 17 meeting. Manuel said that climate change issues were not for scientists alone, and more debate was needed around the matter in South Africa. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Infographic: South Africa’s world-first Giant Flag

first_imgIn a poverty-stricken region of the Karoo desert, a massive new project is set to create jobs, generate renewable solar energy and draw tourists to the area. So big it will be visible from space, there will be nothing quite like the 66-hectare Giant Flag anywhere else on earth.Read more: Giant Flag to bring tourists and jobs to the CamdebooClick graphic to enlarge.last_img

Harden Northern FFA members hitting all the right notes

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest FFA members are talented in many ways. For some students, traveling to Ohio FFA State Convention is a time to receive recognition for their hard work throughout the year, but for others it is a time reserved to showcase their unique talents at the Ohio FFA Talent Show.This year at the 87th Ohio FFA State Convention, students from the Hardin Northern FFA Chapter stole the show with an a cappella performance that was pitch perfect. The first place act was Awakened Commotion — a group of 10 FFA members under the direction of their high school choir director, Kelly Eikenbary. The talented ensemble sparked energy in the convention hall during their performance of a Justin Bieber and Katy Perry mash up song.“It was a giant adrenaline rush,” said Mariah Burton. a sophomore FFA member. “I had more fun during this show than any other because I felt confident performing with my team. The energy while we were on stage was exciting and fun.”Each year before the convention, a panel of handpicked judges is selected to evaluate and place each talent act. This year, 23-year-old Mackenzie Bart, who currently serves as Miss Ohio, was asked to be a judge.“I was amazed at the amount of incredibly talented students that all performed on one stage,” Bart said. “I was happy to have been a judge. It almost felt like American Idol.”The idea of starting their own group formed when a performing a cappella group from Tiffin came to visit students at Hardin Northern six years ago. Shortly after the visit, the students expressed interest in holding signups and auditions.“After the group from Tiffin visited us, it just kind of clicked,” said Lukas Schroeder, senior FFA member. “It was the drive of our director at the time that encouraged us to try something new and different. Her support is what helped lead us to where we are now.”It isn’t just singing and performing for this enthusiastic group of students. Their talents and ambition to succeed carry over into their academics and other FFA activities within their chapter. Hardin Northern FFA members also participate in various career development events and judging invitationals.“Sometimes it is difficult to balance a cappella responsibilities and our activities within the FFA,” Shroeder said. “We are really lucky to have a great group of advisors, school faculty, parents and our choir director to support us.”Some of the group’s fans and supporters also made the trip to convention to watch the students perform at the talent show.“This is one special group of students,” said Don Paullin, Hardin Northern FFA advisor. “They are well-rounded and talented and I couldn’t be any more proud of them.”The students’ talents shined throughout convention even after the talent show concluded. The group returned on stage to perform the song, “This Little Light of Mine,” during Ohio FFA State President Sydney Snider’s retiring address.Other performances included students playing the guitar, plucking the banjo and using their voices to share their passion for singing. The Ohio FFA Talent show offers a unique opportunity to spotlight the talent of Ohio’s FFA members each year.Members of Awakened Commotion include David Allen, Mariah Burton, Breanna Cook, Cassidy Deckling, Collin Hoffman, Grace King, Danielle Miller, Sara Morris, James Rickenbacher, and Lukas Schroeder.Hardin Northern FFA Advisors include Mr. Don Paullin and Ms. Krista Hellwig.last_img read more

All weather country

first_imgOptions in other seasons for these states.Andaman and Nicobar IslandsTourist Information Centre, Port Blair; tel: (03192) 238 473; e-mail: [email protected]; http://tourism.andaman.nic.inAutumn at Ross Island: This island is replete with the remains of the Raj. It is in fact one extended museum, complete with weather-beaten buildings such as the Ballroom, the Governor’s House, the Chief Commissioner’s House, a bakery, swimming pool and troop barracks. 8 km from Port BlairAndhra PradeshTourist Information Centre, Tourism House, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad; tel: (040) 2326 2151/52; e-mail: [email protected]; www.aptourism.inSpring at Konaseema: The triangular region between the Gautami and Vasistha Godavari rivers, Konaseema is a favourite among those who like to coast long on quiet rivers. Book the APTDC houseboat cruise and kick back and watch the beautiful scenes of coastal Andhra go by. 200 km from Visakhapatnam.Autumn at Tirupati: One of the most venerated religious sites of the world, TIrupati figures on the must-visit list of anyone who is spiritually inclined. The Venkateswara Temple here is considered one of the richest temples in the world. Tirupati has its own station and airport.BiharBihar State Tourism Development Corporation, Bir Chand Patel Path, Patna; tel: (0612) 222 5411/250 6219; e-mail: [email protected], http://bstdc.bih.nic.inSpring at Nalanda: The ruins of the Nalanda university, one of the greatest universities to have existed in the world, are a great place for history and culture buffs. It flourished between the 5th and 12th CE, primarily as a monastic university, and taught a whole gamut of subjects from metaphysics, logic, medicine, grammar and Buddhist scriptures and practice. 91 km from Patna.Autumn for Chhath Puja: The only Hindu festival where the setting sun is worshipped, this colourful festival involves bright costumes, music, rituals and makes for a unique experience. Perhaps the best place to watch the celebrations is Deo, a small village 32 km from Bodh Gaya. Chhath is held soon after Diwali.ChandigarhChandigarh Tourism, tel: (0172) 274 0420; http://chandigarhtourism.gov.in Spring for Nepli-Kansal trek: In the backyard of Chandigarh is this 8 km-trek, beginning at Nepli Forest Lodge (Nepli forest is also known as Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary) and terminating at Kansal Forest Lodge, running over undulating hills. It takes one through beautiful green vistas and a few watering holes where animals such as antelopes, nilgais, hyena, jackals, among others, can be spotted. Autumn for cycling around the city: One of the best ways to explore this city is to pick a bicycle and peddle on dedicated tracks, something not seen anywhere else in the country. To make this feature convenient for the tourist, cycles can be hired at a nominal fee from centrally located places in the city. Dadra and Nagar HaveliTourist Information Centre, At the Office of Asst Director of Tourism, Silvassa; tel: (0260) 264 1399; www.silvassatourism.com Spring at Hirwa Van, Piparia: Visit this beautiful park to see misty cascades of water, cobbled paths and green lawns interspersed with gorgeous blooms in reds and pinks.DamanTourist Information Centre, Paryatan Bhavan, Near Bus Depot, Nani Daman; tel: (0260) 225 5104; www.damantourism.com  Spring for food trail at Devka: Devka, a popular beach in Daman, is where you have many family-run restaurants serving delicious Parsi food–patrani machchhi (pomfret wrapped in leaf before it is steamed), dhansak, prawn curry and sali boti (meat curry).DiuTourist Information Centre, Bander Chowk, Diu; tel: (02875) 252 653; www.diutourism.comAutumn for birdwatching at Diu Creek: Head out for the creeks to the north of Diu and scan the marshes for godwits, sandpipers and stints. If you are lucky you may also get a stray flamingo or two.GujaratTourist Information Bureau, H. K. House, Opp: Bata Showroom, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad; tel: (079) 2657 6434; www.gujarattourism.com Summer at Gopnath Beach: Maharaja Krishnakumar Sinhji of Bhavnagar spent his summer months on Gopnath’s breezy seashore. Check into the Gopnath Bungalow, now run by his family as a heritage hotel. The inviting white beaches of Gopnath, Janjmer and Rapara nearby are great for walking barefoot or just kicking back and relaxing. 80 km from Bhavnagar.Spring at Saputara: It’s a popular getaway for the people of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Like most hill destinations, Saputara, too, is centred around a lake with boating facilities and has the usual choice of sunrise and sunset points. What makes it unique? The tribal life of the area and the trekking trails around it. 165 km from Surat.Autumn at Balasinor: This town is home to a record cache of prehistoric fossils including fossilised dinosaur eggs that weigh more than five kilos and have a diameter of over 30 cm. Visit the Raiyoli site near Balasinor, considered one of the three largest dinosaur sites in the world, and examine lifesize models of prehistoric animals. 107 km from Ahmedabad.LakshadweepDepartment of Tourism, Kavaratti; tel: (04896) 262 105; 263 666; [email protected]; www.lakshadweeptourism.com Spring at Kadmat: One of the lesser known islands of the Lakshadweep cluster, it is slowly getting trendy, which is one more reason to head there pronto before it is overrun by the hordes. Apart from two large lagoons, Kadmat has plenty pf palm-fringed beaches and sand banks. Kadmat is also slowly gaining ground as a haven for water sports. 407 km from KochiOrissaDepartment Of Tourism, Paryatan Bhawan, Lewis Road, Bhubaneswar; tel: (0674) 243 2177; e-mail: [email protected]; www.orissatourism.gov.in Spring at Konark: You won’t catch the dance festival in spring but there’s still enough reason to visit Konark when the weather is still pleasant. The World Heritage Monument, the Sun Temple at Konark is a sight to behold, and a delight for those interested in temple art and architecture. Chandrabagha Beach here is a popular and scenic spot. 35 km from Puri.Autumn at Chilika Lake: It is Asia’s largest brackish water lake, and one of the few places in the country where you can spot dolphins. With a unique ecosystem that combines marine, brackish and fresh water, Chilika is home for teals, bar headed geese and flamingos that come here between October and March. 130 km from Bhubaneswar.RajasthanRajasthan Tourism, Government Hostel, M.I. Road, Jaipur; tel: (0141) 515 5137; e-mail: [email protected]; www.rajasthantourism.gov.in Summer at Mount Abu: When the temperatures are soaring make your way to Mount Abu, the only hillstation in Rajasthan. It will seduce you with its charming lake and the cool breeze. Perched on a plateau, it is surrounded by hills. Climb up to old rock temples and don’t miss the magnificently carved marble temples at Dilwara. 185 km from Udaipur.Spring aboard a luxury train: Taking the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is one of the best ways to experience this fascinating state. The train starts from New Delhi and over seven days, it takes you to places like Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur and Bharatpur. Visit www.royalrajasthanonwheels.co.in for details.Autumn at Shekhawati: The painted havelis of Shekhawati are a rare treasure and a must-see for those interested in art or history. The wealthy families to whom these havelis once belonged treated the walls as a canvas for local artists to display their talent with the brush. See best samples at Malsisar, Dundlod, Mandawa, Mukundgarh, Nawalgarh, and Ramgarh, which is supposed to have the maximum number of paintings. 185 km from Jaipur.Tamil NaduTourist Information Centre, Tamil Nadu Tourism Complex, No.2, Wallajah Road, Chennai; tel: (044) 2536 8358; (0)91769 95863; e-mail: [email protected] at Palani Hills: Kodaikanal is situated in the Palani Hills and this lush hillstation makes a perfect base to head out for day treks in the extension of the Western Ghats. Some of the day trek options include Kodaikanal to Kumbakkarai, Kodaikanal to Palani via Ganespuram and up to Vembadi Peak, the second highest in the Palani Hills. 120 km from Madurai.Spring aboard the Nilgiri Mountain Railway: This blue toy train became the dance floor for the curvaceous Malaika Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, swaying to Chhaiyya Chhaiyya from Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se. This train wends its way through many hair-raising (216) curves and tunnels. Board from Mettupalayam, 38 km from Coimbatore.Monsoon for a drive from Chennai to Mahabalipuram: This is one of the finest coastal drives in the country. This road runs along the gorgeous Bay of Bengal, past salt pans and paddy fields. Get all your cornering thrills here and the views are absolutely spectacular in the monsoon. Uttar PradeshUttar Pradesh Tourism, C-13, Vipin Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow; tel: (0522) 230 8916, 230 8017; e-mail: [email protected]; www.up-tourism.comSpring for Lathmar Holi: At Barsana, Holi celebrations are boisterous and involve young men from Nandgaon going to Barsana to play Holi with the women. Both advance each other in dancing steps and the finale is a fun tradition of women beating the men with sticks, while they protect themselves with shields. Barsana is 45 km from Mathura. Monsoon for the Buddhist trail: Monsoon is a pleasant time to follow Buddha’s footsteps at five places–Kapilavastu, Sarnath, Shravasti, Kaushambi and Kushinagar–to complete the circuit. Begin at Kapilavastu, 310 km from Lucknow.Autumn at Taj Mahal: To be at the Taj Mahal on a full moon night is an unforgettable experience and one that should not be missed. Open only on five days of in a month–two days before and after and during full moon nights–visitors are allowed between 8.30p.m. and 12.30a.m.advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Spare coach Michael Nobbs for Indian hockey team’s poor show in London

first_imgIndian hockey is again in focus and this time for non-performance at the London Olympics.Having watched the team fumble against Holland and New Zealand, I decided to not go to the venue today. It was far more important to keep track of Mary Kom as women’s boxing made its debut.The problem with Indian hockey is however much you try and distance yourself from it, the passion will never go.Watching glimpses of the team getting whacked 4-1 by South Korea at the Riverbank Arena on Sunday was indeed painful as finishing within the top eight is now ruled out.Let me tell you some truths about our hockey. Even the large Indian media contingent has lost interest in this team as there are better options to write about.When you have to choose between athletes who are winning and can bring you a medal and a team which looks lost, the option is very clear.It is indeed sad the team is now in shambles and uplifting their morale is now very tough. I saw in archery how thanks to the hype and pressure, the men and women archers collapsed so miserably.Its one thing to say hockey is our national game and another thing not being able to stomach one defeat after another.A friend of mine called me from India and said it was very surprising that coach Michael Nobbs had decided to lash out at some of the players’ for non-performance.My first reaction was one of anger as in the middle of the tournament if the coach is going to open his mouth, the team members will feel let down.However, after watching the meek shown against the South Koreans, I am convinced Nobbs hasn’t said anything wrong at all.His lines were clear when he spoke of some senior players being unable to deliver and how they were content just to wear the “Olympian” tag now.Nobbs has always been fair and open in his assessment of players and has been friendly with the media. He knew that if he had taken a phone connection in London, he would have gone nuts. So all communication with him is through emails, and nothing gets misinterpreted in it.Having said that, I am convinced the coach who got plaudits for piloting the Indian team through the qualifying stage will face the heat even before he returns to India.We all know how India treats its foreign coaches when it does badly. I have no shame in admitting this Indian hockey team which has come to London had no medal chance at all. Yes, finishing within the top eight seemed realistic to me at one stage but not now.I still recall, after the Guangzhou Asian Games disaster, when India was unable to win gold, hell broke loose. It meant curtains for coach Jose Brasa, though he had done his best.I shudder to think what lies in store for Nobbs as there is one mistake he has made and that is being open about the Indian players.We all know what happened when Greg Chappell spoke against Sourav Ganguly and he had to face the heat.Over here, Nobbs has been frank but he needs to explain why this team has flunked so badly.I am sure all of you at home watching the matches on television will find it hard to fathom how penalty corner expert Sandeep Singh has forgotten his job.I am also convinced that the Indian defence, which was always suspect, has too many holes which can’t be plugged.There is a general lackadaisical approach on the field and if it has happened all of a sudden, it’s very hard to digest.Exposure, camps, money and better living standards, the Indian hockey players are more pampered than before.At this stage, I would certainly not ask for Nobbs’ head to roll as it’s the players who have let the nation down. They just don’t seem to take any pride in playing for India.advertisementlast_img read more

India to take on Nepal in friendly, ahead of Kyrgyz Republic clash

first_imgComing on back of six consecutive wins including the unofficial match against Bhutan, the Indian national football team will take on Nepal in an international friendly here at the Andheri Sports Complex today.This match comes ahead of India’s crucial Asian Cup Qualifier against Kyrgyz Republic on June 13 in Bengaluru.Speaking at the official pre-match press conference, head coach Stephen Constantine did not beat around the bush. “I hope to get a win against Nepal and I hope to see players who vie for the starting XI put up a good show so I can assess them for the game against Kyrgyz Republic which is a very important match for us,” he stated.”The FIFA Rankings are just one aspect of the game. It is not as if we would now relax, we would not be pushing to break the 100 barrier. However our focus is completely now on Nepal and we will take one game at a time,” he added.Nepal have always reserved their best against India though the recent results against Nepal have been in India’s favour.The last time the two teams clashed 18-year old Lallianzuala Chhangte starred in a 4-1 win in the SAFF Suzuki Championship in Trivandrum, which India eventually won.However, Constantine believes that it will be a different setting altogether tomorrow. “Nepal is a very hard working team and we expect the usual from them – a tough fight till they cannot fight anymore. Initially we had Lebanon to play but we could not host them because of visa difficulties. I need to thank Nepal for coming to play us.”advertisement”There are no easy teams. Every teams has its own challenges and poses its own difficulties”Constantine’s men will also be looking to draw inspiration from their recent rise in the FIFA Rankings, which sees India ranked 100 – a historic moment for Indian Football only achieved thrice.”We have developed in the last two years and now is the time to show everyone that we deserve to be here and we have to strive to maintain this style of progress,” said Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who will lead the Indian side against Nepal on the morrow.”Being 100 does not mean we are favourites or that we have become a super team. Two years back we were 173 and I had then stated that the target it to get into the top 100. Everyone had laughed it off. Being at 100, the next logical target will be to get into the top 50,” h maintained.”We have come a long way and if we keep on working like this and if we focus on the AFC Asian Cup we can make it and go even higher in the FIFA ladder”, Gurpreet added.Meanwhile, Constantine informed Sunil Chhetri will not be against Nepal while CK Vineeth was released from the Camp on the day due to a sore ankle.”Sunil is a very good player and has been for a long time. I hope he has many more years to give for India. I would like Chhetri to be leading the team in the AFC Asian Cup in 2019, if we qualify. The day he hangs his boots, it will be huge loss for Indian Football.”last_img read more