Mark Hughes is keen for Stoke to build on their impressive victory over Manchester City – and accepts they might have to get used to no longer flying under the radar after the performance drew lofty praise from the Spanish press. And in terms of what might follow, he said: “It was a level of performance we hope we’re capable of on more than just one occasion. “The challenge for us is to reproduce it on a regular basis.” Hughes, who has guided the club to two consecutive ninth-placed Barclays Premier League finishes and this season’s Capital One Cup semi-finals since taking charge in 2013, feels the perception of ‘long-ball Stoke’ has now completely disappeared. “I think that’s probably right,” said the Welshman, whose side are currently 11th, a point off sixth. “It has been two and a half years of a lot of work and the players deserve all the credit, because it was not an easy change we have tried to do. “When I got the job, I recognised very quickly I had a good group of players with the potential to maybe play in a slightly different way and still be successful.” Stoke remain without Peter Crouch, Peter Odemwingie (both hamstring) and Shay Given (knee), but Marc Muniesa (hamstring) could return to first-team action on Saturday. Press Association The manager wants more of the same going forward – and acknowledges that is only likely to increase attention on the side. When asked at his press conference for Saturday’s trip to West Ham about the ‘Stokelona’ tag, Hughes, a former Barcelona player himself, said: “There is an obvious interest in what we’re doing here what with the Catalan connection. “They have great affection for Bojan, who they see very much as one of their own, so they are really pleased when he is doing well – and, as a consequence, when we are doing well. “Compliments are fine when they are deserved, and arguably they were, given the level of performance. “So we will take them – although it probably doesn’t sit too comfortably with us at the moment because we are not used to it! “Usually we fly underneath the radar and just get on with our business. “If the profile of what we are doing is raised, then we have to deal with that as well – it is part of the challenge we have ahead of us.” Hughes rates last Saturday’s game – in which he started Bojan, Xherdan Shaqiri, two-goal hero Marko Arnautovic and Afellay together in a dynamic attack – as even better from Stoke’s perspective than the 6-1 thrashing of Liverpool on the final day of last season. Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia this week labelled the Potters ‘Stokelona’ following the 2-0 win at the Britannia Stadium last Saturday. Ex-Barca men Bojan Krkic and Ibrahim Afellay – the former in particular – played their part as Stoke showed well and truly that they have moved on under Hughes from the long-ball tactics with which they were once so closely associated.
Class 2ASchool 2019 Record1 North Linn 42-42 Louisa-Muscatine 35-53 Mount Ayr 27-34 Ogden 26-85 West Sioux 24-86 Jesup 30-107 Central Springs 28-98 West Monona 30-69 Earlham 29-910 Beckman Catholic 30-1411 Emmetsburg 23-1012 Interstate 35 18-1113 Northeast 20-1414 Pleasantville 25-1215 West Lyon 20-8 Class 4ASchool 2019 Record1 Carlisle 38-32 North Scott 28-153 Ballard 26-104 Oskaloosa 25-165 ADM 28-76 Charles City 37-47 Dallas Center-Grimes 25-158 Sergeant Bluff-Luton 27-79 West Delaware 31-1210 Decorah 18-1211 Fairfield 22-1912 Washington 22-1513 Winterset 19-1514 Webster City 21-715 Central DeWitt 18-5 2020 Preseason Softball RankingsCompiled by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic UnionFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Monday, June 1, 2020 Class 1ASchool 2019 Record1 Collins-Maxwell 28-12 Newell-Fonda 38-73 Clarksville 33-24 Wayne 24-95 Algona Bishop Garrigan 29-86 Lynnville-Sully 27-97 Newman Catholic 21-148 North Mahaska 18-109 AGWSR 20-710 Central City 31-1111 Gehlen Catholic 21-1312 Akron-Westfield 21-1313 Grand View Christian 20-1014 Lisbon 34-715 Lenox 26-7 Class 3ASchool 2019 Record1 Davenport Assumption 41-22 Humboldt 28-33 Williamsburg 31-124 Anamosa 31-55 Mount Vernon 27-136 Albia 27-67 Spirit Lake 22-78 West Liberty 30-69 North Polk 22-1110 Algona 18-1111 Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 24-1112 Atlantic 27-913 West Burlington 25-1214 Boyden Hull-Rock Valley 22-915 Bishop Heelan 16-14 Class 5ASchool 2019 Record1 Fort Dodge 35- 72 Iowa City High 36-83 Johnston 35-104 Cedar Rapids Kennedy 37-45 Ottumwa 33-96 Waukee 40-47 West Des Moines Valley 32-108 Pleasant Valley 27-139 Indianola 34-510 Dubuque Hempstead 32-811 Ankeny Centennial 26-1212 Muscatine 31-813 Cedar Rapids Prairie 29-1214 Southeast Polk 24-1715 Bettendorf 22-15
Observations are just props. The play is, “The Evolution of Whatever” or “How Whatever Evolved.” Now playing in science media near you.As a play, Darwinism has two subplots: natural selection and sexual selection. With a little creative screenwriting, any observation in nature can be fit into either or both subplots, provided the perhapsimaybecouldness index is sufficiently elevated. (Note: If sexual selection is not needed, natural selection can be assumed as the default subplot.)Triceratops may have had horns to attract mates (BBC News). No living scientist has ever seen a horned dinosaur except for bones in the ground. Certainly no one has watched a triceratops mating display. These evolutionists, imaginations shining in vivid color, speculate that the beasts advertised their fitness with their big frills and horns. (Note: It’s OK in Darwin plays to change the subplots around, as long as the final act is never compromised: i.e., King Charles looks charming in his new clothes).Ceratopsian, or horned dinosaurs, were previously thought to have developed this ornamentation to distinguish between different species.This has now been ruled out in a study published in a Royal Society journal.Instead, the aggressive-looking armour may actually have evolved to signal an animal’s suitability as a partner, known as socio-sexual selection.If you give scientific jargon to your imaginary vision, it sounds better that way. How socio-sexual selection differs from plain vanilla sexual selection is not clear. But it doesn’t matter, because the Darwin play is always a work in progress. “Further work will now be done to test whether socio-sexual selection is the motivating factor behind the evolution of these ornaments.” How anyone can test such a thing on bones in the dirt is unspecified. Maybe they will use them as divination tools in the futureware screenplay.The coverage by Phys.org provides the bridge to the final Hallelujah Darwin chorus: “The researchers believe the implications extend beyond the scope of ceratopsians and have consequences for the study of evolutionary theory over vast stretches of time.”Thanks to Brett Miller for the excellent new illustration.Why aren’t humans ‘knuckle-walkers?’ (Phys.org). Evolutionists at Case Western Reserve University demonstrate how to put any observation into the Darwin play. Add a drum roll and dramatic music.Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have cracked the evolutionary mystery of why chimpanzees and gorillas walk on their knuckles: The short explanation is that these African apes climb trees and they are mobile on the ground.Occam’s razor might simply say that each animal has the locomotion suited to its habitat. But that would not do for the Darwin theater. There must be drama! There must be mystery! There must be evolution!The “knuckle-dragging” mystery has challenged researchers for years.“Walking on your knuckles is absolutely as odd as walking bipedally, a very peculiar way to get around. It doesn’t make sense, and it’s bothered anthropologists for years. Only chimps and gorillas do it. No one has come with the reason why—until now.”Latimer teaches microscopic anatomy and evolution at Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine. The focus of his research is the evolution of human walking.Genetic analysis uncovers the evolutionary origin of vertebrate limbs: The genetic toolkit that patterns limbs originally came about to form the dorsal fins of fishes (Science Daily). Dorsal fins are not limbs, but that doesn’t matter. In the Darwin theater, observations are mere props. The first sentence makes sure everyone has their VR imagination headset on, so that the story can begin:As you picture the first fish to crawl out of primordial waters onto land, it’s easy to imagine how its paired fins eventually evolved into the arms and legs of modern-day vertebrates, including humans. But a new study by researchers from the University of Chicago and the Andalusian Center for Development Biology in Spain shows how these creatures used an even more primitive genetic blueprint to develop their proto-limbs: the single dorsal, or back, fin common to all jawed fish.Since this performance includes lead actor Neil Shubin, see “The Evolution of the Darwin Fish” from 17 Feb 2018.Sweet science: Putting corn syrup to work on Earth’s origins (Phys.org). Evolutionary theory is not limited to biology. Secular scientists often speak of the evolution of the earth, the evolution of stars, even the evolution of the universe. Here’s a case where a geological actor demonstrates evolutionary divination with corn syrup.How has the Earth evolved, and what’s in store for the future? It’s a sticky question that has graduate student Loes van Dam covered in corn syrup by the end of a day in the lab.She thought using a computer model would be limiting. So she designed and built a large tank, filled it with 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms) of corn syrup, and added six counter-rotating belts to study how tectonic plates drift and shift….“She’s trying to put together a clearer picture of the evolution of the Earth,” he said. “If you’re trying to understand how the Earth is changing in the future, you need to know that.”Evolution is just as fluid a concept as corn syrup. It can be defined simply as change. You believe things change don’t you? Then you must be an evolutionist (see Equivocation).Tired of the same song and dance? There’s a classier show across town at a well-designed outdoor venue in broad daylight. 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FHA: Get out in front of the marketSecretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson stated, “Assessments such as these are potentially dangerous for our Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and may have serious consequences on a consumer’s ability to repay, or when they attempt to refinance their mortgage or sell their home.” But this statement doesn’t match the data available about where true default risk lies. So far, customers with PACE financing have a lower mortgage default rate, while non-energy-efficient homes have a 47% higher default risk than efficient homes.We laud Carson’s concern about default rates, and agree that the industry should act fast to protect against defaults — but if that’s really the concern, then the industry needs to move to integrate energy use into the appraisal process so that homeowners understand the real cost of homeownership and can get better mortgages to support more efficient homes. In fact, much of the industry is moving toward improved models to address this, which FHA could support, rather than simply sitting back and being reactive.If FHA is serious about its concern with default risk, it should respond to the default risk posed by energy costs and join the conversation on further enhancing consumer protections for PACE, ones that are appropriate to its use and size in relation to home valuations. Let us work toward expanding safe options for consumers to upgrade their homes and decrease their monthly costs. Imagine a more energy-efficient housing stock that reduces default risk by 30%. RMI has worked to find nonpartisan, economically viable market solutions to better energy use for 35 years. If HUD and the FHA are interested in a solution, we are prepared to help. Setting the PACE for Consumer ProtectionWhat the Wall Street Journal Got Wrong About PACETransforming the Real Estate MarketCongress Weighs Changes to Rules on PACE LoansA Bipartisan Team Pitches a PACE RevivalThe FHA’s PowerSaver ProgramFannie, Freddie Hold Firm on PACE Program ImpasseScenes from PACE v. Fannie and Freddie Transforming Stimulus-Funded Weatherization into a National Industry The real risk of high energy billsThis new guidance from FHA is like telling someone to tie their shoes before running away from an attacker; it’s distracting from the real threat. Home energy costs present a material threat to the mortgage industry and to the financial health of homeowners, and yet FHA has not taken any steps to address this threat. Worse, by attacking PACE, it is removing an important tool for homeowners to improve their energy bills, making that threat worse. A study by the University of North Carolina’s Center for Community Capital analyzed actual loan-performance data obtained from CoreLogic, the lending industry’s leading source of such data. The study found that default risks are, on average, 32% lower in energy-efficient homes, controlling for other loan determinants. In other words, if we were to consider efficient homes the norm, then non-efficient homes have a 47% greater default risk, on average.Meanwhile, the Energy Programs Consortium reports that default rates for PACE customers are far lower than for typical customers. The burden of utilities is quite high for most American households. A 2017 study by ATTOM Data Solutions and UtilityScore found that the average U.S. household’s energy and water bills add 25% to the monthly cost of homeownership.Homes with poor energy performance are a much more significant threat to consumers than homes with good energy performance. Despite the fact that homeowners say that energy efficiency is the top unmet need for their homes (greater than safety concerns, school access, or kitchen upgrades), the real estate and mortgage industries have failed to provide information for consumers to make informed decisions. Worse yet, homes with poor energy performance often have a greater potential for moisture problems, pest infestations, drafts, and other problems that can contribute to asthma and other health concerns. Protecting consumersBy ignoring these consumer protections, the FHA is steering consumers who want to upgrade their homes toward far more risky options. A 2015 report published by BMO Harris Bank found that 58% of Americans pay for home improvements with savings, 18% pay with credit cards, and 17% use home equity lines of credit. With 76% of Americans financing their home improvements through savings or credit cards, it appears that the market for home improvement financing models that could simultaneously benefit consumers’ financial health is large.Especially important to note is that 37% of PACE financing is used to respond to emergency repair or replacement needs, while an additional 23% is used to repair something that “was likely to fail in the near future” according to a 2017 study by Research Into Action. These are situations where homeowners may not have been planning to make an upgrade, but in the face of a broken furnace, air conditioner, or roof had to protect their health, safety, and home investment. Therefore, relying on savings or credit cards may often be their only option in the face of an emergency, since traditional financing often takes too much time or may not be available to as many homeowners.The same BMO Harris report found that 45% of Americans undertaking improvements also intended to make their homes more energy-efficient, demonstrating the importance of lending models that enable homeowners to meet multiple home improvement goals.With the historical momentum and expansion of PACE, parties at the state and national levels have set and implemented robust consumer-protection guidelines. The Department of Energy’s “Guidelines for Pilot PACE Financing Programs” served as the basis for early best practices established in 2014 by PACENation, an organization focused on promoting PACE by providing leadership and support to a growing member base (then operating as PACENow).PACENation — in collaboration with industry leaders — developed and released Consumer Protection Policies Version 2.0 earlier this year. The policies were adopted by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority and the Western Riverside Council of Governments — both of which heavily informed California’s PACE policies — and now serve as an industry standard.Today, more consistent consumer protection standards upheld across local communities and states will help ensure the successful growth and scaling of residential PACE programs, while protecting the integrity of PACE as a public–private partnership. Standardization of operations across jurisdictional boundaries will reduce the need for customization and enable consistency, which will allow PACE programs to continue to streamline their operations, and thus provide lower costs to participating homeowners. About PACEPACE, founded in the early 2000s as an innovative way to finance home energy upgrades, tackles a significant market failure. It does so by increasing American households’ access to financial resources so they can afford cost-saving energy performance retrofits — a need which has largely been unfulfilled by any other financing instrument. RELATED ARTICLES By JACOB CORVIDAE and MARTHA CAMPBELLLast month, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it will stop insuring new mortgages on homes with property assessed clean energy (PACE) loans. As to what motivated its decision —according to its letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — the FHA is “concerned with the lack of consumer protections associated with the origination of the PACE assessment, which are far less comprehensive than that of traditional mortgage financing products.” This announcement directly contradicts guidance issued by the FHA in 2016.Rocky Mountain Institute feels this decision is misguided for three key reasons:The FHA overstates the risk of PACE to taxpayers while failing to acknowledge or account for the significant default risk that the excessive energy expenditures of inefficient homes can create for a homeowner.This will inhibit homeowners from making valuable home improvements, while curbing PACE’s job-creation potential in the construction and renovation industry.It undermines existing state-level consumer-protection standards that are in place and federal standards that are in development, and may in fact guide homeowners toward more risky financing solutions, such as high-interest rate credit cards, that lack such standards. PACE not only removes the upfront cost of energy-efficiency, renewable-energy, and water-efficiency investments for homeowners, but also provides them with a more affordable financing alternative by offering longer payback terms and low repayment costs that are transferable upon a home’s sale (along with the benefits of the home improvements). PACE, like any other assessment, is attached to the property — not the individual — which makes it an innovative and unique green financing instrument. It also serves the community-wide interest in improving the housing stock while correcting for the failure of the market to fully recognize the impact of energy profiles on housing valuations.To date, residential PACE (or R-PACE) has been used to finance $4.2 billion in home energy improvements, creating over 36,000 jobs in the states in which R-PACE is enabled, according to PACENation. R-PACE has been used successfully to finance over 158,000 retrofits in three states since 2008, which demonstrates its market acceptability, scalability, and potential as a transformational market-financing tool. It is worth noting that R-PACE has seen unprecedented growth in California that has largely been driven by enabling state legislation. This growth has now started to spread across other states like Florida and Missouri. Jacob Corvidae works as a manger in the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Building Practice. Martha Campbell is manager of the Residential Energy+ team in RMI’s Buildings Practice. © 2017 Rocky Mountain Institute. Published with permission. Originally posted on RMI Outlet.
OSU freshman midfielder Hannah Scherpbier hits the ball away from California sophomore midfielder Paula Seibt during a game on Oct. 25, 2015, at Buckeye Varsity Field. Credit: Robert Scarpinito / Copy ChiefThe Ohio State women’s field hockey team capped off an emotional afternoon with a 6-3 victory against California on Sunday, as the team honored the four seniors playing their final home game at Buckeye Varsity Field.Forward Peanut Johnson, forward/midfielder Annie VonderBrink, back Emma Royce and redshirt senior goalkeeper Sydney Stype were joined by friends and family for the introductions.With a sense of energy from the pregame ceremony, OSU began the game strong as the close-knit Buckeyes entered halftime with a 3-0 lead. OSU had not scored three goals in the first half since its season-opener on Aug. 28. OSU coach Anne Wilkinson credited improved ball movement for the first-half offense.“We were starting to use each other and make simple passes. We went through a string where we were carrying the ball way too long and trying to beat three players,” Wilkinson said.Three separate OSU players scored in the first half. Sophomore forward/midfielder Maddy Humphrey scored first and was followed by goals from Johnson and sophomore midfielder Morgan Kile.Johnson’s reign at Buckeye Varsity Field ended about as well as it possibly could’ve, as she led the Buckeyes with three goals and an assist. Her four points are the most by any Buckeye player this season. However, she preferred to focus on the team rather than her individual accomplishments.“I think it was more just a team game. It wasn’t a personal ‘I want to score.’ It was just like we want someone to score, we were setting each other up, and I was lucky enough to be set up really well,” Johnson said.Johnson’s offensive prowess was called on in the second half when California threatened a comeback. Down three with just over six minutes into the second half, the Golden Bears scored twice within one minute. Wilkinson, dismayed, called a timeout.“She called a timeout just so we could get our minds right. One of the girls on the team, Morgan Kile, was just like ‘they are not coming back in this,’” Johnson said.Wilkinson said the timeout was to allow her team to take a breath and refocus.“I basically just told them to just calm down,” Wilkinson said. “Don’t play like you’re losing.”The team responded quickly. Johnson scored her second goal three minutes after the timeout and followed with a third score six minutes later, giving OSU a 5-2 lead.OSU’s sixth and final goal came from freshman midfielder/back Courtney Daniels. The score, the first of her collegiate career, gave the Buckeyes a 6-3 lead and put the game out of reach with under two minutes to play. The Scarlet and Gray’s six goals were the most the team has scored this season.The lead also allowed Wilkinson the opportunity to sub in Stype at goalie for her first action of the season during her final home game. As the buzzer signaling the end of the game sounded, Stype’s teammates enthusiastically rushed her.“As excited as she was to get in there, she’s really very deserving. As a fifth-year senior, she’s been through thick and thin and has worked really hard,” Wilkinson said.Wilkinson said she was glad to send to send off the four seniors with a big win.“With all the seniors, what they’ve contributed to this program is fantastic. My captains Emma and Peanut, I can’t say enough about. They’ve been such strong leaders this year and I’m just really proud to have them as a part of our team,” Wilkinson said.Although OSU finished its home schedule, it still has games on the docket at Kent State on Tuesday before finishing the season at Michigan on Saturday. After that, OSU is set to play in the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, which begins Nov. 5.
Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold’s 40-yard pass in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Brighton was “heavenly”, says former Tottenham striker Garth CrooksThe 19-year-old proved to be a constant threat in the game at Anfield and made more open play crosses (5) than any other Liverpool player.The most notable moment came when Alexander-Arnold made a 40-yard half volley cross to Mohamed Salah, who scored the match-winner in the 23rd minute.Below is a clip of the momentAfter being included in his “Team of the Week”, Crooks lavished praise on Alexander-Arnold.Chelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.He told the BBC: “This lad gets better every time I see him. Against a dogged Brighton, the Liverpool and England full-back showed a maturity well beyond his years.“I was surprised to see Arnold standing on his own ready to take the free-kick that hit the bar while Mohamed Salah and James Milner stood and watched.“Alexander-Arnold is a defender who loves to play forward, not square or back, because he’s not afraid and has the talent to do it.“But the moment of the match for me was the 40-yard pass to the feet of Salah on the other side of the pitch. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. What a ball.”Liverpool have won all three of their opening Premier League games without conceding a goal.Next up for the Reds will be Leicester City on Saturday at the King Power Stadium.
AS Roma defender Kostas Manolas explained he could have left the Giallorossi a few times in the past year or so but eventually deciding to commit his future to the club.The 27-year-old Greek has recently extended his contract at the Stadio Olimpico, having pledged his allegiance to the 3-time Serie A champions until 2022.The Italian news outlet, Football Italia, have broadcasted Manolas’ interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, pointing out his “modest” €36 million release clause.“I’ve never been asked to remove the clause. In any case, I don’t think the clause is that low. Football prices have gone through the roof and beyond normality, so if Roma consider it inadequate as a sum, they can call me to discuss it.“I had been very close to Zenit St Petersburg, but I saw the figures were all in Rubles. I asked them to change it to Dollars and they refused. When they changed their minds days later, I’d already made my decision. It was destiny.”Karsdorp reveals he had too much stress at Roma Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The Dutch defender has been with the Gialorrossi since 2017, but he has not enjoyed his time in the Italian Lega Serie A.The author of a winning goal in Roma’s astonishing Champions League comeback against Barcelona last season also expressed his opinion on a potential departure in the future.“If a club like Real Madrid or Barcelona were to come along, apart from Francesco Totti who turned them down, I think everyone would think about it. We’d then have to evaluate the conditions because I can assure you that it’s not easy for anyone to leave Roma.“Totti was fundamental in convincing me to stay. I spoke to him more than I did (director of sport) Monchi.“I don’t feel like a leader and I am not the captain. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been here for many years. We are all the same in the locker room. Now talented young players have arrived and they need our help. All I can pledge is that I’ll give my all.”Manolas arrived at the Italian capital from Olympiacos back in 2014 for a reported fee of €15 million, having collected a total of 180 appearances for Giallorossi ever since.
Gareth Farrelly, who played at Aston Villa in the ’90s, is now an attorney at law and recalls the abuse players were subjected to under coach Kevin MacDonald.Gareth Farrelly, 43, touched on his time under coach Kevin MacDonald, the Aston Villa youth coach suspended over these new “bullying” claims. Farrelly says the time he spent at Villa was a “relentlessly negative” regime under MacDonald.“It was a culture of verbal and physical bullying, but there were no checks and balances; he operated with impunity. It was like a dark shadow came over,” Farrelly told the Guardian.Pochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“He would say: ‘You think you’re a f***ing player? You’re not a f***ing player. You’ve got f***ing no chance.’ He would be calling players ‘c**ts’ all the time; crazy stuff when you think about the role of responsibility he operated in.”“In training, it wasn’t unusual for people to end up squaring up to him, games would have to be stopped. It became normal. People were lucky not to have their legs broken. Every day you’d go into work, put your boots on, and think: ‘Here it comes again’. It took a huge toll.”