Harvard Evolutionists Justify Terror as Darwinian Fitness

first_imgTheir “study” involved native tribespeople, but the amoral implications give aid and comfort to evildoers.Here’s the bottom line of a paper in PNAS by Luke Growacki and Richard Wrangham of Harvard: if you pillage and plunder, you’re fitter in Darwinian terms.  You have more kids that survive.These were their “findings” after studying male warriors of the Nyangatom in the Ethiopia and South Sudan region. But the implications go far beyond: “Our results appear to apply to similar pastoralist populations and provide support for the expectation that warriors in small-scale societies benefit from participating in warfare.”  Later, they are not so specific: “Together these findings suggest that raiding over a lifetime is associated with greater reproductive success.”The Nyangatom have ongoing conflict with several neighboring ethnic groups including the Turkana, Dassanetch, and Suri, as well as occasional conflicts with other groups. Automatic weapons were introduced into the area in the late 1980s and are used throughout the region. Similar to neighboring pastoralist groups such as the Turkana, the Nyangatom have two types of offensive raids: stealth raids and battle raids. Stealth raids … are composed of a small number of men, usually 4–25, who attempt to capture poorly guarded livestock by stealth or sneak into an enemy village at night and steal livestock undetected. They may also opportunistically attack and kill individuals they encounter.Growacki and Wrangham did not mention whether they investigated the religion or ethical philosophy of the society.  It was all very sterile: raid villages, kill people, steal and destroy, and you have better evolutionary fitness—defined as more surviving children.The ugliness of the Darwinian worldview can hardly be exaggerated.  But neither can its stupidity be.  Is this science?  Is this scientific value-free neutrality?  Good grief; these two evolutionists have just rationalized acts of terror by their fellow human beings!  They treat these people like lab rats or something.  What kind of scientific method would totally overlook the religious values and beliefs of the people involved?  Were any of them Islamic terrorists?  (Islamic extremism is rampant in that part of the world.)  How would the “findings” have differed if the people had responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and were taught to love one another?  How about if they had learned the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not steal”?  Did they investigate whether the raiders had any regrets for the pain they caused?  The men were smart enough to use automatic weapons; presumably they had enough intelligence to have a conscience and understand personal responsibility.  None of this entered the fitness equations of Growacki and Wrangham.How many times, too, do we have to point out that if you measure fitness in terms of survival, you’ve committed a tautology?  The fittest are survivors, and survivors are the fittest; that proves nothing.  This has been pointed out for decades, even by other evolutionists, but they still commit the same fallacy.  (There’s a good treatment of this problem by Phillip Johnson in his book Darwin on Trial, ch. 2.)  As if that were not stupid enough, their own methods undercut their supposed “science.”  One could use the same reasoning against Growacki and Wrangham to prove that they are only writing papers as an evolutionary strategy, not as a search for truth.  Ask them this question: “If raiders took all your goods and killed your children, would you be upset?  Or would this just be an example of natural selection showing you are not the fittest?”That’s the stupidity part.  The ugly part is that these Harvard evolutionists have just rationalized murder, rape, and pillage.  Don’t think for a minute that they were just trying to be ethically aloof and neutral.  For their “research” they had to watch evil men cause great pain and suffering to fellow human beings. Then they wrote it up as detached as robots in white lab coats holding clipboards.  Presumably they could have measured the same evolutionary fitness among the Boko Haram who steal girls and sell them into slavery.  It’s not just that they blinded themselves to any humanitarian concerns; they gave great comfort to evildoers.  To fail to stand against evil is to be for evil.  ISIS or the next totalitarian dictator could look at this paper to justify what they do, because according to “science,” terror is as natural as gravity.  What this means is that the real villains in the story are the evolutionists themselves.Do the world a favor.  Point out the stupidity of Darwinian reasoning, and laugh them out of the science journals so that they lose all credibility.  That way evildoers will not take them seriously. (Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Homeless theatre group takes Shakespeare to the streets

first_imgA group of homeless people living on the streets of Johannesburg have found their true calling in theatre. With the help of a dedicated teacher, the group is taking Shakespeare to the streets, using his words to tell their stories.Acting coach Dorothy Ann Gould and her Johannesburg Awakening Minds students use Shakespeare to find their voices and contribute to society. (Image: Johannesburg Awakening Minds Facebook page)CD AndersonFounded in 2012 by South African actress and acting coach Dorothy Ann Gould, the Johannesburg Awakening Minds (JAM) theatre group comprises homeless men and women living on the inner city streets of Johannesburg.The group began as an acting therapy class in Hillbrow, with the intention, as Gould writes on her website, of “[letting] individuals feel that they had the right to speak, the right to be seen and the right to tell their stories in a city which has been very cruel to them”.Classes include vocal training, theatre stagecraft and creative writing exercises. The students quickly began finding their voices in the works of William Shakespeare, with many of them starting to recite some of the Bard’s most famous soliloquies on street corners as their own performance pieces.In Shakespeare, Gould writes, the actors found that “[the words] of Macbeth and Titus were speaking about their pain and that the plays were huge receptacles that could hold all the emotions that they needed to release: the rage, the feelings of abandonment; they began to flex again their intellectual muscle, to debate, have opinions and to become a team that support each other and watch each other’s backs, not only on the streets, but on stage.”The group has performed on stage intermittently since 2013, including performances at the Johannesburg Arts Alive festival, at the Space.com event at the Johannesburg Theatre and as part of the Shakespeare Society of South Africa festival on radio station Classic FM.With their stage productions few and far between, most of the actors still live on the streets or in shelters, but they have found a continued inspiration in performing for the public on street corners. Some of the actors have moved into other artistic pursuits, such as painting, and selling their works at markets.Donations and sponsorships, as well any small profit from the group’s performances, have helped the JAM members slowly re-enter society, enabling some to open bank accounts, begin hawker businesses and help their families.Some of the rising stars of the JAM group have also found work in short student films and as extras in television productions.JAM member Thando Matodlana has been accepted to study at The Market Theatre Laboratory theatre school, while Sibusiso Magubane has acted in television commercials and is auditioning for speaking roles in local and international films being made in Johannesburg.Gould describes her students as “dedicated and passionate… the talent and growth they have displayed is truly inspirational. Proving that Shakespeare is not for the old, stuffy academic types and has a home in Africa.”For more information, join the Johannesburg Awakening Minds Facebook page for photos and videos of the group in action.To support the initiative, contact Dorothy Ann Gould via her Triple Take Studios website here.Source: BBC, News24, Johannesburg Awakening Minds Facebook PageWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Cobb stars as La Salle halts late UP rally to stay unbeaten

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding AFP official booed out of forum NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers LATEST STORIES With La Salle trailing 24-23, Cobb scored three straight service aces ending the Lady Maroons’ rebellion and sending the Lady Spikers to a 2-0 card.UP built a 23-19 buffer and looked to force a fifth set after Diana Carlos and Clarice Ramos teamed up for a block.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDesiree Cheng would score off UP’s blockade and Aduke Ogunsanya followed it up with a service ace that trimmed the margin to two, 23-21.After UP got the 24-21 set point, reigning MVP and captain Mary Joy Baron displayed a queenly poise and kept La Salle’s fight alive with an off-speed kill cutting the deficit to 24-22. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises MOST READ Deaf personalities everyone should know PLAY LIST 04:26Deaf personalities everyone should know05:01What the Deaf want the hearing to know01:24Life lessons the hearing can learn from the Deaf01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next Sophomore Michelle Cobb played heroine for De La Salle as she helped the defending champion finish off University of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-22, 26-24, in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Carlos had 19 points to lead the 1-1 Lady Maroons while Molde added 10. Mentality is back as Galanza showcases best game since return Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Ironically, it was UP’s Isa Molde who would usher the Lady Maroons’ doom with an error that allowed La Salle to creep in 24-23.“I told them that UP is not an easy opponent to beat, but you even though it was almost impossible to win the team still pulled it off,” said La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus in Filipino.“My team just needed to display the maturity needed to win the game.”Cobb not only executed the team’s offense with 32 excellent sets but she also did a little dirty work with 10 points, the same scoring production as open spiker Desiree Cheng.Kianna Dy and Tin Tiamzon were the ones who paced La Salle in scoring with 13 points apiece.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Plunged into trust deficit

first_imgOur political experts argue that the Indian National Congress is in a fix and moving along a beaten track in pursuit of a panacea to the organisational problems which will not help the party to come back to the centre stage as an alternative to the ruling dispensation. They lament that the party is facing unprecedented problems in different fronts which require a major surgery and not cosmetic solutions to cure the ills. Congress faces severe problems in organisational restructuring, ideological repositioning, leadership and above all, trust deficit. These problems are not unique to Congress. Many of the regional political parties have been facing the same problems. Many second-level leaders in Congress and other regional parties have noticed this syndrome and started moving towards BJP to enjoy greener pastures. BJP has strategically used them to advance their political march towards the power centre. Also Read – A special kind of bondBJP understands it well that organisational strength, contextualised ideological position of the party, adoption of the most advanced technology to reach out to masses, projecting powerful leadership to communicate and convince masses, creation of a new consciousness among the people and eroding the stand of opposition parties by touching their weaknesses are factors to achieve what it envisages. BJP, in recent years, has demonstrated that it was never contended with the electoral victory. Its aim is to penetrate into masses by using success. When BJP achieves electoral victory in a state, it will consolidate its positions first and then only will it move towards the next phase or area. Conquest and consolidation is its strategy while Congress has not learnt the art and as a result, despite being in power for ten years, it could not consolidate and strengthen the party substantially. They have been continuously searching for strategies and strategists for electoral victory and not for penetrating into masses. In fact, Congress is the mother of political parties in India, just as the British parliament. It was born out of a movement drawing the support of masses, more particularly the rustic folk in the rural areas namely the farming, pastoral, craft, fishing and tribal communities. They were drawn towards the party emotionally as the leaders built trust through their moral conscience and engaged with people. Also Read – Insider threat managementOver a period of time, Congress concentrated more on the electoral processes, government formation and its management rather than public engagement. In the last 30 years, the party has absolutely moved away from its original constituents, concentrating more on electoral strategies and processes, and thereby facing a trust deficit. In the era of globalisation, the party has lost its trust as benefits of the economy reached the rich, the middlemen and managers of the party despite its pro-poor policies and programmes. Congress never bothered to see whether the chalked out schemes and programmes have reached the needy by involving the party cadres. At this juncture, BJP moved into space left by Congress and capitalised. It is not only the space left by Congress that has been used but also the values such as patriotism, nationalism, sacrifice, service, yoga, naturopathy, etc. Congress has to start its introspection by searching for its soul. A proper introspection will show where Congress failed. This exercise has to be done not with managers and middlemen of the party but with Congress-minded intellectuals and opinion-makers. They are critical of Congress as it moved away from its original constituents. They have concerns for the poor and they feel that Congress has lost support from its core constituents. Congress need not bother about the immediate electoral outcome but rather work for rejuvenating the party and build its organisational strength by contextualising the ideology. Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals can substantially guide the party if the party leadership analyses the fall of the party in the backdrop of the Gandhian ideology and framework of building a mass movement. It has full five years and hence it can reposition itself by taking up the cause of the poor and by which a new consciousness can be created that it is a neo-Congress. (The author is a former Professor and Rajiv Gandhi Chair for Panchayati Raj Studies, Gandhigram Rural Institute. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

50 Animal Shelters To Compete In ASPCA Rachael Ray 100K Challenge

first_imgThe ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has released the names of the 50 animal shelters that will compete in the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, with a total of $600,000 in prize grants up for grabs to help shelters save more homeless cats and dogs.The contestants will gear up for the competition to save more animals – during the months of June, July and August 2013 – than they did over the same three-month period in 2012. Last year’s competing shelters saved more than 56,000 cats and dogs during the contest, an increase of 14,376 over the same period in 2011.“In a matter of days we filled up all 50 spots, and we have a great mix of shelters of all shapes and sizes representing 31 states and territories,” says Bert Troughton , vice president of Community Outreach at the ASPCA. “The contest isn’t even underway yet, and already we’re seeing incredible energy and passion from the field. If that’s any indication of how the competition will go, we’re in for another record-breaking year of saving lives.”The 50 contestants in the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge are: • Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Birmingham, Ala. • Mobile County Animal Control in Mobile, Ala. • Western Arizona Humane Society in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. • HALO Animal Rescue in Phoenix, Ariz. • Butte Humane Society in Chico, Calif. • Hesperia Animal Control and Services in Hesperia, Calif. • Moreno Valley Animal Shelter in Moreno Valley, Calif. • San Bernadino County Animal Care and Control in San Bernadino, Calif. • Yolo County Sheriff’s Office – Animal Services in Woodland, Calif. • Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C. • Humane Society of Pinellas in Clearwater, Fla. • Suncoast Humane Society in Englewood, Fla. • Jacksonville Humane Society in Jacksonville, Fla. • Pasco County Animal Services – FOAS, Inc. in Land O’ Lakes, Fla. • Osceola County Animal Services in St. Cloud, Fla. • Cherokee County Animal Shelter in Canton, Ga. • Humane Society for Greater Savannah in Savannah, Ga. • Canyon County Animal Shelter in Caldwell, Idaho • South Suburban Humane Society in Chicago Heights, Ill. • Macon County Animal Control and Care Center in Decatur, Ill. • Almost Home Humane Society in Lafayette, Ind. • Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa • Lawrence Humane Society in Lawrence, Kan. • Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) in Baltimore, Md. • Animal Rescue League of Boston in Boston, Mass. • Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter in Dearborn, Mich. • Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing, Mich. • Humane Society of Midland County in Midland, Mich. • Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport, Miss. • Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Mo. • The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, Nev. • Eleventh Hour Rescue in Randolph, N.J. • Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley in Las Cruces, N.M. • Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, N.C. • Toledo Area Humane Society in Maumee, Ohio • Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in Pittsburgh, Pa. • Providence Animal Rescue League in Providence, R.I. • Anderson County P.A.W.S. in Anderson, S.C. • Riverside County Department of Animal Services in Jurupa, S.C. • Unicoi County Animal Shelter in Erwin, Tenn. • Beaumont Animal Services in Beaumont, Texas • City of Corpus Christi Animal Care Services in Corpus Christi, Texas • Citizens for Animal Protection in Houston, Texas • Houston Humane Society in Houston, Texas • Texas Humane Heroes in Leander, Texas • Salt Lake County Animal Services in Salt Lake City, Utah • Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation in Sumerduck, Va. • Virginia Beach SPCA in Virginia Beach, Va. • Wisconsin Humane Society in Milwaukee, Wis. • Cheyenne Animal Shelter in Cheyenne. Wyo.The ASPCA and Rachael Ray will award a $100,000 grand prize to the shelter contestant that achieves the greatest increase in lives saved during this three-month period. The contestant that does the best job of engaging its community members in helping to save more animals will win $25,000. Those organizations that do the best in their divisions will be eligible for between $10,000 and $25,000 in additional grants. In total, $600,000 in grant funding will be awarded for increases in animal lives saved and general participation.All her life, Rachael Ray has been an advocate for animals and a supporter of animal welfare groups. Her love for animals and for her pit bull, Isaboo, inspired her to create a pet food called Nutrish to raise money for animals in need. Ray donates 100 percent of her proceeds from the sale of Nutrish to organizations like the ASPCA so they can implement programs like the $100K Challenge and support shelters and animal organizations around the country.The ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a groundbreaking contest that challenges animal shelters across the country to come up with innovative ways to engage their communities and get more homeless cats and dogs into loving homes. For more information about the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, please click here.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Vote To Have Steve Aoki Perform At Your School

first_imgChegg, the Smarter Way to Student, in partnership with truth, one of the largest and most successful national youth tobacco prevention campaigns, today announced that one U.S. college or high school campus can win a once-in-a-lifetime visit from Steve Aoki, the international producer, DJ and entrepreneur.Beginning today, high school and college students can vote for their school to win this on-campus experience through an online contest. Steve Aoki will take over the classroom to host an exclusive Q&A with students, giving them a look at all that went into his rise to fame and experience as one of America’s most successful DJs and trendsetting entrepreneurs. The student body will also be treated to a set specially crafted for the day by Steve Aoki.To celebrate the importance of arts in education, Chegg will also award the winning school the $10,000 David B. Goldberg Music Grant for the music department at their school.“I am excited to be participating in the Chegg Music 101 classroom series as it allows me to connect with my fans, share experiences of my career,” said Steve Aoki. “I discovered my passion for creating music when I was in school and would have loved to have had the opportunity to hear from industry leaders.”Students attending high school or college in the contiguous 48 states can begin nominating their campus today for a chance to win the experience. To do so, students simply visit www.chegg.com/music101, log in to Chegg, and vote for their school. The school with the most student votes will win the visit from Steve Aoki. For the first time, students can earn additional votes by coming back to the website weekly and interacting with content from Chegg, truth and Steve Aoki.“While many people may think the smoking issue in this country is solved, tobacco is still the number one cause of preventable death with 99 percent of adult smokers starting by the age of 26,” said Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Officer, Truth Initiative, the organization that funds and directs truth. “Partnering with a company like Chegg, allows us to share the facts about tobacco directly with students nationwide. We believe that ending smoking is a realistic goal, and this generation is using their collective power and creativity to make it happen.”This #CheggMusic101 is presented by truth. It is the latest in Chegg’s ongoing series of music classes brought to students across college and high school campuses nationwide. This season’s contest follows successful programs that Chegg has conducted with top-artists including Kaskade, Shawn Mendes, Rachel Platten, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Taylor Swift, and Ed Sheeran.“This is our second Chegg Music 101 with an incredible EDM artist. We had a great success in our Brooklyn Technical High School Music 101 with Kaskade where students were able to learn about producing and remixing music. We’re thrilled to be able to bring Steve Aoki to another campus,” said Mitch Spolan, EVP of Brand Partnerships at Chegg. “By broadening the range of artists we work with for our Chegg Music 101s, the more students we can reach, educate, and surprise and delight as they interact with the artists and brands they love.”To learn more about the contest and nominate a school, visit: www.chegg.com/music101.To learn more about how to join truth and become part of the generation to end tobacco for good, visit: thetruth.com.last_img read more

One Last Dispatch From The Land Of Chess Kings And Billionaires

Left: While waiting for the title ceremony, Magnus Carlsen is finally able to relax with his father by his side. Right: Following his defeat, Karjakin was clearly disappointed while speaking to the Russian media. He confirmed rumors about travelling to New York with a Virgin Mary icon. Watching an elite chess match in person is at once enjoyable and discomfiting. You follow the players’ actions — their moves, their mannerisms — for long stretches of time. You hang on each one and imbue it with meaning. You become so familiar with their moves that you can rattle them off later from memory: “queen to h6,” say, or “rook to e2.” You try to understand why the players did what they did. The moves can be beautiful or inscrutable or frustrating or disappointing. You try to imagine what you would do if you were in one of their chairs. You try to predict what they will do next. You try and make sense of their postgame explanations. But you aren’t them, and you can never really understand.On Wednesday, the final day of the World Chess Championship, hundreds crowded into the Fulton Market Building in lower Manhattan to watch, trying to understand. Magnus Carlsen, the defending champion, No. 1-rated player in the world and the closest thing the sport has to a rock star, was facing his challenger, Sergey Karjakin of Russia, in a series of speedy tiebreaker games. The 12 lengthy games that had stretched over the previous 19 days — I attended 11 in person — ended tied and the two grandmasters were back in their chairs in a soundproof glass box to break the deadlock. It was the biggest day in chess in many years. Carlsen, the former wunderkind, was clinging to his title and his legacy, while Karjakin and the Russians were hoping for a return to the days of Soviet chess hegemony. On the fourth game of the tiebreaker, and the 16th of the match, Carlsen attacked the Russian’s king, Karjakin resigned and the two shook hands. It was over. You had to elbow your way through knots of onlookers to get anywhere in the venue’s sprawling VIP wing. Men in suits and expensive shoes crowded around TVs, watching the games and sipping martinis. The room was at a low murmur — equal parts English and Russian with an occasional dash of Norwegian. The clinking of glasses and the ratatat of ice in cocktail shakers punctuated the chess talk.Like a Russian nesting doll, a VVIP section had been set up for Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire, and company within the VIP section. It was newly roped off and closely monitored by scary-looking bodyguards. Thiel, a Donald Trump supporter and a strong chess player himself, and Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire venture capitalist, sat at a board inside. With apologies to Beyoncé, it was $6 billion at a chess table. Accompanying them: Bennett Miller, who directed “Foxcatcher,” about the wrestling-obsessed murderer and multimillionaire heir to the du Pont fortune, and the Icelandic grandmaster Hedinn Steingrimsson, who was giving them a private analysis of the ongoing championship game taking place just a few yards away.A buffet and wine bar had been installed for the guests from Silicon Valley who’d arrived that day, and bored-looking members of their entourages lolled on large couches, poking at iPhones. Word around the venue was that the billionaires had paid $50,000 for these privileges. (The match’s organizer wouldn’t comment on the figure.) Much later in the evening, some other journalists and I raided their buffet, eating what must have been thousands of dollars worth of cold mini tacos.“Are you security?” the writer Brin-Jonathan Butler asked one of the well-dressed, well-built men keeping close watch over the well-heeled chess lesson.“Something like that,” he responded ominously. “I wouldn’t bother them, if you don’t mind.”This World Chess Championship scene was somewhere at the intersection of Bond film, Trump fundraiser and museum gala. There are other internal chess-world squabbles. Agon Limited, the match’s organizer, filed an application for a restraining order and injunction against a number of popular third-party chess websites, just before the match began. The websites’ alleged transgression? Relaying chess moves live, which Agon saw as a violation. The application was denied by a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who wrote that “robust reporting of factual data concerning the contestants’ moves” best served the public interest. Agon’s CEO, Ilya Merenzon, told me that the company would continue to pursue the matter in court, and was also proposing legislation to cement their rights to the games they organize.I discussed the case with Macauley Peterson, the content director for chess24, one of the defendants, on the floor of the venue during one of the early games. He kept glancing away from me at people walking by. He said he was worried about who might be eavesdropping.The tournament’s organizers have declared their own victory, though, bragging that the 20-day biennial championship had drawn some 10,000 spectators to its location in the South Street Seaport. But that’s less than, say, half the average attendance of the worst team in baseball for any one of its 81 home games this year. And the event’s only two main sponsors were PhosAgro, a Russian producer of phosphate-based fertilizer, and EG Capital Advisors, a Russian investment management company. Not exactly Nike and Coca-Cola. Spectators in the VIP lounge. A production team from Russia created an atmosphere for VIPs more often seen in Moscow than Manhattan. Despite the high-powered, moneyed interest, and its prime New York City location, the match was sparsely covered by the American press — as chess is generally — and given little attention outside the core chess world. It’s unlikely to increase the game’s reach or exposure as the organizers may have hoped. That did happen once in the States — in 1972 — but that was because of Bobby Fischer.The troublesome shadow of Fischer stretches over every conversation of chess’s success and future in the U.S. He was the best American player of all time, and its only modern world champion. His legacy is stained by his vocal anti-Semitism, and comments that he was pleased with the terrorism on Sept. 11, among other things. But in his chess prime, he carried the U.S. on his back while sitting at the board, having taught himself the game, largely alone, in a shabby Brooklyn apartment. And he won.While this year’s championship lacked the colorful characters and Cold War narrative of Fischer’s title run — although some journalists tried to revive them — it did have some of the controversy.Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the president of the game’s international governing body, FIDE, was absent from the match, having been sanctioned by the U.S. for business connections with the Assad regime in Syria. Ilyumzhinov is no stranger to controversy. He insists he was abducted by aliens. They were wearing yellow spacesuits and nabbed him from his Moscow apartment in 1997, taking him away to a distant star. He considers chess “a gift from extraterrestrial civilizations.” Left: Magnus Carlsen, 26, at the World Chess Championship’s opening gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Right: Sergey Karjakin, 26, tests the overhead lights in the playing hall. All photographs by Misha Friedman Left: A branded vodka bar assured VIPs were sufficiently entertained throughout the tournament. Right: Ekaterina, a Karjakin family friend, flew in from Moscow just for the tiebreaker round. But despite the controversy and the finances, what’s really missing from chess is a character.The U.S. has three players in the world Top 10, any one of whom could have a shot at challenging Carlsen for the title in two years. They’re undeniably fantastic players. But they seem less like compelling national characters — and less like artists — than Fischer did. They’re technicians, raised in a computer-chess age. Carlsen ended the match and extended his world championship reign with a beautiful move on Wednesday evening — whether he’d admit its beauty or not — sacrificing his queen to entrap Karjakin’s king. But in one of the postgame press conferences, Carlsen said chess was a sport and a science. For art, he said, you’d “have to look elsewhere.” Left: Neil deGrasse Tyson, a celebrated astrophysicist, and Fabiano Caruana, the No. 2 ranked chess player in the world, chatted about baseball. Right: Peter Thiel showed up for the decisive tiebreaker round and had a grandmaster at his side to explain the games live. Tickets were expensive, but there were a lot of young fans at every game, especially on weekends. After the match — after the trophy presentation and the cake and the champagne — our photographer and I tracked down the Norwegian contingent at an after-after-party at a steakhouse a couple miles uptown. It was a festive scene. Holiday garland and lights festooned the bannisters and the restaurant was a cozy respite from the cold and rainy November day outside. Carlsen was sitting at a far table in the crowded dining room with about 50 others. He was eating. With a fork. Like a person. It was odd to see him with something other than a chess piece in his hand.I wanted to talk to him. I’d been watching him for hours most days for the past three weeks. But honestly I had no idea what I’d say. Carlsen famously hates interviews. But I was saved. “No questions. Definitely no,” his manager, Espen Agdestein, told us. “He’s very tired. We’re just relaxing.”I’m not Carlsen. But I understood. read more

Football Michigan offense starts with the run game

OSU junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis (59) takes his position during their game on Nov. 19, 2016 at Spartan Stadium. The Buckeyes won 17-16. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorMichigan played its first game of the season without redshirt sophomore quarterback Wilton Speight last week, and if they proved one thing in their 20-10 victory over Indiana, it’s that its offense now relies almost solely on the shoulders of senior running back De’Veon Smith.Even if the injured Speight does return against Ohio State, Smith will still likely be considered the most crucial part of the Michigan offense.The senior running back set a career-high with 158 rushing yards in last Saturday’s victory over the Hoosiers and accounted for both of Michigan’s touchdowns.This trend is not something that has been entirely alien to their offense, however. Of the 60 touchdowns scored this season by the Maize and Blue, 39 have come on the ground while only 17 have come through the air and two have come on defensive plays. Smith is responsible for 10 of those rushing touchdowns.But this style of rushing offense is a bit different from one that the Buckeyes have faced in other games this year. The Wolverines run with a pro-style offense, meaning they rely heavily on the play of the offensive line and count on their quarterbacks being styled more to pass than to run.The play of the running backs is different than that of most other college-style offenses, but junior linebacker Chris Worley knows exactly what to expect out of the running backs.“It’s not going to be guys trying to run around you,” Worley said. “It’s going to be guys trying to run through your face.”OSU redshirt junior cornerback Gareon Conley said in this game, the defense will have to focus more on stopping Smith and the rushing offense than their air attack.“They don’t throw the ball as much because they run the ball a lot,” Conley said. “But we’ll be forced to stop the run and play the pass whenever it comes.”Facing a run-heavy offense, the Buckeyes should feel confident about their chances in slowing down Smith given how their defense has played against the run this year. OSU ranks 18th in fewest rush yards allowed per game and has only allowed four touchdowns to be scored on the ground, tied for second among FBS teams. They have also only allowed opponents to average 3.39 yards per carry, good for 18th fewest among FBS schools. For redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis, that ability to plug up the run comes down to more than just preparation, it rests on the defensive line’s mentality.“It doesn’t really matter to me, because every team has their scheme with what they’re going to do,” Lewis said. “At the end of the day, it’s about who’s going to put their hand in the dirt and just going. You can play whatever formation you want to play, we’re going to play whatever defense we have to to dominate.”In Michigan’s 14-13 loss two weeks ago to Iowa, Speight suffered a broken collarbone on his left side. Filling in for the redshirt sophomore was redshirt junior quarterback John O’Korn, a transfer from the University of Houston. O’Korn failed to deliver much as he finished the game with only seven completed passes in 16 attempts for a total of 59 yards. He was also only capable of running for 19 yards on six rush attempts.For a time, it appeared O’Korn was headed towards his second career start in a Wolverine uniform as many early reports indicated Speight was unable to play for the remainder of the regular season. However, Speight has not officially been ruled out and now rumors emerge that he could still be Saturday’s starting quarterback.The signal caller at the beginning of the season, Speight had given the Wolverines a starting quarterback with the ability to provide the team with a strong air attack. He had completed 160 of his 257 attempted passes for a 62.3 percent completion rate, thrown for 2,156 yards and had 15 touchdown passes to only four interceptions. Lewis acknowledges that while it isn’t easy to prepare when such an important position remains a question mark, the team will be prepared by Saturday to face whomever is behind center.“It could be rough depending on if one’s a runner or not,” Lewis said. “They have a really solid foundation with what they’re going to do: run the ball, throw when necessary.” read more

Bucks lose Pettrey for regular season

Ohio State kicker Aaron Pettrey will have surgery Tuesday to repair a torn medial collateral ligament, or MCL, in his right knee and could miss the remainder of the regular season.Pettrey suffered the injury during a kickoff late in the second quarter of OSU’s 45-0 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday.He is expected to miss four to six weeks, leaving open the possibility of playing in the Buckeyes’ bowl game.Junior Devin Barclay, a 26-year-old walk-on, replaced Pettrey on Saturday and missed two of his three field goal attempts.Pettrey has made 13 of 19 field goal attempts on the season.

Ohio States Jessica Porvasnik eyes championships LPGA

Then-freshman Jessica Porvasnik holds her follow-through after a shot during fall practice in 2013 at the OSU Golf Club. Porvasnik played in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open after being named Big Ten Player of the Year as a freshman.Credit: Courtesy of OSU athleticsAfter a summer of teeing it up with the professionals in the U.S. Women’s Open, some coaches and teammates said Jessica Porvasnik will be back with the pros soon enough.Porvasnik, a sophomore on the Ohio State women’s golf team, had quite the summer. After finishing her freshman season by being named the Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten individual champion and honorable mention All-American, Porvasnik went on to qualify for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open in May.“Something that I want to do one day is definitely go play in the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) tour so it was really cool to play with some of the people I’ve always looked up to and get the experience,” Porvasnik said.Porvasnik’s coach sees Porvasnik playing on tour one day, too. Coach Therese Hession said she is excited to see a glimpse of what the future may hold for the Hinckley, Ohio, native.   “I got to see her the second round (at the U.S. Open). She just looked like she belonged,” Hession said. “I know she even made a comment to her mom saying, ‘Three years from now, this will be my job.’”Porvasnik said, though, she doesn’t plan on leaving OSU any sooner than three years.“It’s like a thought but it would never happen. My mom is the one who says ‘No, you’re getting your degree before you leave,’ so no, it would probably never happen,” she said.Senior teammate Claudia Lim also said she believes Porvasnik will play with the professionals one day.“She’ll play on the LPGA tour, for sure,” Lim said. “She has the potential and all the characteristics to be a great leader.” Now that Porvasnik is back from playing the fairways of Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C., at the U.S. Women’s Open, she is ready to chase a collegiate championship with her teammates. She was one of the 42 women named on the Big Ten Women’s Golfers to Watch List this season, along with teammates redshirt-sophomore Zoe-Beth Brake and sophomore Katja Pogacar. “For the team, I know our goal is to definitely do really well in the Big Ten again and individually. I had a really good year last year, so I want to improve on that this year,” Porvasnik said. Hession said she is expecting to see a great season from Porvasnik as well, and she hopes that the sophomore will take her experiences from the summer to lead her team. “This summer she got to play with the best in the world at the U.S. Open. I think she’ll draw on those experiences and now she knows more what to expect in college golf,” Hession said.Porvasnik is scheduled to start her sophomore season as a Buckeye on Monday when OSU is set to play in the Chip-N-Club Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. The tournament is scheduled to last through Tuesday. read more