Friday, January 30, 2015

A Super Bowl of Controversy

Unlike past Super Bowls,this one has been dogged by the suspicion that one of the participants cheated on their way to the iconic sporting event,and also media frustration with one of the football players.We're a league of rules,said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at a Friday afternoon news conference,and if there are rules about how to inflate the football,we're going to enforce those rules.Whether an advantage was gained by breaking that rule is immaterial;it's the integrity of the game,and we're going to enforce it.Mr.Goodell didn't answer a reporter's question as to whether the deflategate scandal would cast a shadow over this Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium,however.He did say that we want the truth.If there are violations of the rules,we take them seriously.As of yet,that has not been ascertained with regard to the New England Patriots possibly tampering with footballs in their playoff game with the Indianapolis Colts.The investigation is ongoing.
Responding to British reporters,he spoke enthusiastically about the prospects for the NFL in London.London has done not only everything that we expected;but more than we expected.Every event that we have there explodes with interest.We are expanding the number of games.Their passion is obvious.We don't know where it will go,but there's great potential in London for the NFL.*
Mr.Goodell expressed no sympathy for Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch,who had repeatedly refused to answer reporters' questions,responding with the statement "I'm only here so I won't get fined."All the other players and coaches did answer questions,and the fans want to here from them.It sounds as if a fine could be in Lynch's future regardless of his showing up at media events.*
Londoners and the city of London are practically begging for their own NFL franchise.There are NFL fans in Australia and Canada as well,plus in other countries such as Mexico.*
Although this Super Bowl is plagued by the doubts of fans and media alike,there is no doubt that NFL fans will still watch the game in droves and consume a lot of snack foods in the process.The footballs used in Sunday's game between the Patriots and Seattle Seahawks will be intensely scrutinised,there is so much at stake.It's a big winter holiday and commercial event in the United States,and a big business like the NFL has no choice but to mean business on its most important Sunday.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Grateful Dead to Reunite;Kaymer Tops Abu Dhabi Golf

The Grateful Dead will reunite for a 50th anniversary concert series in Chicago July 3-5,Billboard magazine reported.The iconic 60s rock band,known for its endless touring and improvisational style,will share the stage with guitarist Trey Anastasio of Phish.The concerts will take place nearly 20 years to the day after frontman Jerry Garcia last performed with the band on 9 July,1995,shortly before his death from complications of diabetes.The four surviving members of the Dead are Bob Weir;Phil Lesh;Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.The shows will be held at Soldiers Field,the home of the NFL's Chicago Bears and site of Garcia's last performance with his bandmates.
The three concerts could draw an estimated 50 million dollars of business into Chicagoland.Bob Weir,74,said the four surviving members will likely never play as a group again following the windy city shows.*
At the European Tour's Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the UAE,German Martin Kaymer topped the leaderboard Friday with his second round 13 under par 67.Thomas Pieters of Belgium was second with a 12 under par 67;while Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy,the World Number One,came in third with an eleven under par 66.Australian Richard Green,American Peter Uihlein and France's Alexander Levy were tied for fifth at -8.McIlroy made the first hole in one of his professional career at the fifteenth.The tournament is taking place at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Astronomy Special:Voyager I Detects Third Shock Wave

Voyager I,which was launched in 1977,has experienced its third shock wave in deep space.This wave is the longest in duration-it started in February 2014 and continues to this day.The spacecraft is still making significant discoveries more than thirty-seven years after its launch,calling home every day.The waves are created when the Sun emits a coronal mass ejection and a cloud of magnetic plasma from its surface,which results in a pressure wave that hits the interstellar plasma where Voyager I is,causing ionised gas to resonate or vibrate like a bell.
Voyager I executed flybys of Jupiter and Saturn before heading for interstellar space,finally leaving the solar system in August 2012,a study published in Science magazine reckons.It left the heliosphere,the region of the solar wind.Voyager chief scientist Ed Stone confirmed this in September 2013.It will fly past distant comets in 30,000 years and near another star in 40,000 years,traveling now at more than 38,000 miles an hour.
According to Leonard Burlaga of NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt,Maryland,this remarkable shock wave event raises questions that will stimulate new studies of the nature of shocks in the interstellar medium.Why has the third shock wave lasted so long?How fast is the wave moving?How broad a region does it cover?The first of Voyager I's shock waves was from October to November 2012;the second was from April to May 2013.
Voyager I's twin,Voyager II,was launched 16 days ahead of Voyager I on 20 August 1977;Voyager I followed on 5 September 1977.Each spacecraft weighs 722 kilograms.Voyager II will likely follow Voyager I out of the solar system in a few years-it had made a detour to fly by Uranus and Neptune,the only spacecraft ever to have visited these outer planets.