Month: September 2019

It isn’t nearly as important or anticipated as the final, but Saturday’s third-place match is good enough to be a World Cup final. It pits pre-tournament favorite Brazil against the Netherlands, which put up one of the two most impressive performances of the World Cup in routing defending champion Spain, 5-1, in the group stage.Brazil vs. the Netherlands, 4 p.m. EDTIN BRIEFSee our World Cup predictions for the latest probabilities.IN DEPTHThe other most impressive World Cup performance was Germany’s 7-1 semifinal rout of Brazil, which is the reason the hosts have to play in this warmup act. Although the score was embarrassing, the outcome — a shot at third place —  wasn’t so bad. Brazil lost to one of the best teams in the world and improved on its quarterfinal exits in the past two Cups. Spain, which flamed out (like some other defending champions), had a far worse tournament. By reaching the semifinal stage, Brazil guaranteed fans two more matches featuring its national team. And other World Cup hosts have played in the third-place match, most recently Germany in 2006 and South Korea in 2002.In the Netherlands, Brazil has a worthy opponent. The Dutch have played in more finals than any other side to never win the Cup, a streak that will continue after their Wednesday loss to Argentina on penalty kicks. Now they can set their sights on a more modest goal: finishing third for the first time in their World Cup history.OK, so the stakes are low and the match is being belittled as a “pointless sideshow” or “meaningless exercise.” But a match between these two teams doesn’t need high stakes to be watchable.Without star striker Neymar and captain Thiago Silva, Brazil wasn’t as good in the semifinal as its top ranking in ESPN’s Soccer Power Index suggested. But it was nowhere near as bad as it looked against Germany. Now Brazil will have Silva back to help shore up its battered defense and to rally supporters behind his teammates.The Netherlands, meanwhile, is coming off an embarrassing performance of a different sort. At least Brazil scored against Germany, while getting off 18 other attempts in 90 minutes. The Dutch, though, took just seven shots in 120 minutes against Argentina in their seminal match, and just one forced a save.The silver lining of a low-stakes match is that neither team should feel pressure to play safe. If these two offenses — still rated two of the four best in the world by SPI — decide to attack, that should make for a great show, even if it is of the pointless-sideshow variety.OFF THE PITCHThe Brazilians and the Dutch both had heartbreaking losses this week, but at least they can go to each other for consolation. The countries’ relationship is strong, dating to the days of the Dutch West India Company. Back then, when the extent of contact was months-long journeys by sea, trade was the only real connection. But times have changed, and travel between the two nations now consists of a 12-hour plane ride, meaning more opportunity to visit for pleasure. So how many Dutch and Brazilian citizens take advantage of this?According to the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, about 102,000 Brazilians visited the land of tulips in 2011, and Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism reports that 72,162 Dutch traveled the opposite direction in the same year. When adjusted for each country’s total population, those travelers make up just 0.4 percent of Dutch citizens and .05 percent of Brazilians. Travel may be easier than it was in the 17th century, but it looks like 12 hours may still be a bit much to endure. — Hayley MunguiaFURTHER READINGCould the World Cup Champion Beat the Best Club Team in the World?U.S. vs. Belgium Was the Best Match of the World Cup So FarMessi Is Better Than Maradona, But Maybe Not PeleHow Does Germany’s Blowout of Brazil Compare to Those in Other Sports? read more

Two of the league’s worst and less-interesting teams — the DetroitPistons and Charlotte Bobcats – consummated a trade that hardly will alter the fate of their respective teams.Guard Ben Gordon, who never fit in Detroit, was shipped with a future first-round pick to the Bobcats for nomad forward Corey Maggette.“We welcome Corey Maggette to our organization in a transaction that provides us with a veteran scorer and defender in addition to increased roster flexibility moving forward,” said Joe Dumars, President of Basketball Operations. “We thank Ben Gordon for his commitment to our organization over the last three years and wish him the best in the future.”Gordon, 29, averaged 12.5 points and 2.4 assists in 26.9 minutes per game last season. He is on the books for $12.4 million in 2012-13 and has a player option worth $13.2 million for 2013-14.Maggette, 32, averaged 15.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game, although he appeared in less than half of Charlotte’s games because of injury. Maggette is entering the final year of a contract that will pay him $10.9 million. Detroit makes the sixth team he has played for in his career.The Bobcats actually acquired Maggette in a 3-team trade involving the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings on the night of the 2011 NBA Draft. He didn’t last long. His merry-go-around figures to continue swinging after a brief stay in Detroit. read more

Marcus Lattimore, the South Carolina running back who suffered one of the more gruesome leg injuries on a football field last fall, demonstrated to NFL scouts how far he has come since his surgery on his mangled right knee.“I was a little nervous,” Lattimore told reporters after his workout. “But excited, too, that I could do this.”Lattimore executed a series of drills to show evaluators from 31 NFL teams how far his surgically repaired knee is doing since the horrifying incident on Oct. 27 against the Tennessee Volunteers. He did forward and backward lunges, deep-knee bends, box jumps, step-ups and one-legged balancing drills while holding weights. All pretty remarkable considering the extent of his injury five months ago.Lattimore was praised by former teammates and evaluators, but he still has a significant way to go in his rehabilitation to be considered healthy.“They’ve seen me move a little bit. They’ve seen me use my feet, use my knee,” Lattimore said. “My knee’s fine. I think everything is going to be all right.”Five months ago Lattimore could not be as confident as he was on Wednesday about his future. He was amid another outstanding season for the Gamecocks after returning from a left-knee injury during his sophomore season.But in the second quarter of their game against the Volunteers, he was tackled at the end of a run in a way that caused his leg to contort. The result of tackle was a dislocated knee and several torn ligaments, which was a gruesome sight, his leg flailing limp. Trainers would not even allow him to see the carnage of his injury, forcing them to hold his head and chest down.“Oh my gosh, you thought it was over,” Gamecocks former receiver Ace Sanders said. “What’s he’s done shows the kind of person he is.”Lattimore, who was a projected first-round draft pick, says now that he is not concerned about where he will be drafted, just as long as he gets a phone call from an NFL team.South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he was impressed with Lattimore’s workout, considering the extent of his injuries.Lattimore will not hold a personal pro day as he planned in January. He will allow his meetings with teams at the NFL combine and the Gamecocks pro day, along with reports from renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews be teams determining factor.He will have his knee examined by NFL personnel in Indianapolis on April 5-6, and has meetings planned with St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots. Lattimore has already met with the Eagles.“Once I get on a team, I’ll prove myself and prove that I’m a complete back,” Lattimore said. “I’ll be in full health, so I’ll be good to go.” read more

Barry Bonds’ plaque used to be in the outlined area.The commemorative plaque honoring home run king Barry Bonds’ record 756th clout is  missing from AT&T Park in San Francisco.Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said Tuesday night that the reigning World Series champions are in the process of replacing the plaque, which hung on the brick facade inside the ballpark beneath the flag court area in right-center field until a few days ago. The team is investigating where the missing hardware might be, Slaughter said.“We’re in the process of replacing it,” Slaughter said. “We’re not sure what happened. We’re reviewing video, but haven’t found anything yet.”There is still white glue on the brick wall where the plaque used to be.Bonds, the seven-time NL MVP, broke Hank Aaron’s home run record on Aug. 7, 2007, at home in San Francisco. The slugger hasn’t played since that season, finishing his 22-year major league career with 762 total home runs. He has been back to the ballpark as a fan in recent seasons, receiving standing ovations from the crowd that still cheers him despite allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs to fuel his pursuit of Aaron’s mark.Bonds long has denied ever knowingly using steroids or performance-enhancing drugs and the 48-year-old slugger appealed his obstruction of justice conviction from April 2011 on one count of giving an evasive answer to a 2003 grand jury investigating illegal steroids distribution.In February, a lawyer for Bonds urged a federal appeals court to toss out the slugger’s obstruction of justice conviction, saying a rambling answer he gave while testifying before a grand jury in December 2003 was not a crime. read more

Friday’s France-Switzerland tilt represents a battle for first place in Group E, as both teams are tied with three points after winning their first matches. But though the winner will be in the driver’s seat for advancement, the stakes aren’t especially high for the loser either.Italy vs. Costa Rica: 12 p.m. EDTFrance vs. Switzerland: 3 p.m. EDTEcuador vs. Honduras: 6 p.m. EDTIn briefIN DEPTHAs things stand, France has a 91.8 percent chance of getting into the knockout stage of the tournament, and the Swiss check in at 80.9 percent. Ecuador and Honduras — who make up the rest of Group E and also face off Friday — lag far behind, at 20.3 and 7.1 percent, respectively.Honduras has a bleak outlook, mainly because they are the second-worst team in the World Cup field, according to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI). But Ecuador, according to SPI, is essentially Switzerland’s equal; the only difference in its advancement probabilities stems from Switzerland’s thrilling added-time victory over Ecuador on Sunday. For Ecuador, it was the one that got away; without that win, the model projects Ecuador to amass only 2.8 points within the group — they’re likely to beat Honduras but will be clear underdogs against France.Meanwhile, if Switzerland loses to France on Friday, the Swiss would still project to finish second in the group, because the meek Honduran squad is their only remaining hurdle. In fact, if the Swiss lose to France, Ecuador beats Honduras, and Switzerland only earns a draw against Honduras (an unlikely outcome), the Swiss would still be expected to advance over Ecuador by a slim margin — unless Ecuador beats France (or draws and posts a better goal differential than Switzerland). In other words, there are a lot of ways the Swiss can get out of Group E that don’t depend on them picking up points against France.The situation playing out in Group D, where Italy will face Costa Rica at noon Friday, is superficially similar. Like France and Switzerland, Costa Rica and Italy won their first matches of the tournament. Neither team’s odds of advancement are quite as high as its counterparts in Group E, though, mainly because there are no weak sides like Honduras to pick up easy points against. Costa Rica is the worst SPI team in the group, and it ranks 25th in the world.Whoever loses will have a fighting chance against Uruguay to qualify for the knockout round in the group’s second position. But that’s nowhere near as favorable a spot as the France-Switzerland loser will be sitting in after the day’s action ends.YesterdayLuis Suarez and Wayne Rooney prompted many questions before Thursday’s Group D showdown between Uruguay and England. Would Suarez, who missed Uruguay’s loss to Costa Rica in its World Cup opener because of knee surgery, be match-fit for 90 minutes in a must-win game? Could Rooney, whose performance against Italy brought his place in England’s lineup into question, break his career World Cup scoring drought?Those questions were answered in Sao Paulo.Suarez hadn’t played since May 11, but there was no evidence of rust. Of his four shots, two were on target — both goals. The latter goal, breaking a tie in the 85th minute, virtually ensured England’s second-consecutive loss in the tournament’s group stage, something England hadn’t experienced since 1950.Uruguay beat a European team at the World Cup for the first time in 16 matches since 1970, but don’t blame Rooney. He got off four shots, including two on goal and another that hit the post. Rooney found his World Cup breakthrough with a 75th-minute equalizer. The goal took him 10 World Cup matches — 758 minutes of play.England’s 78.1 pass completion percentage ranked in the bottom 35 percent of all teams in this World Cup, but it was easily the best in this game. Uruguay posted the worst completion percentage by a winning team in a World Cup win since at least the 1966 tournament (the start of ESPN Stats & Info’s data set). Uruguay’s 59.2 pass completion percentage against England was the only team performance in a game below 65 percent at this tournament.Other attacking and possession statistics favored England, including second-half touches in the attacking third (89 to Uruguay’s 57). The biggest stats, however, belonged to Suarez: two shots on target, two goals, 2-1 to Uruguay. — ESPN Stats & Info GroupOFF THE PITCHAs neighbors, France and Switzerland have a lot more in common than a World Cup match. Given their proximity, it makes sense that there would be population overlap. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development data from 2009 shows that Switzerland has provided over twice the amount of nationals living in France than the other way around; there were 90,551 Swiss nationals living in France and 42,862 French nationals living in Switzerland. But given the population of each country, the French living in Switzerland make up five times the share of Swiss who made the opposite trek.There is one caveat to that data: Things have gotten icy between the two countries since it was compiled. In December 2012, France’s president, François Hollande, announced that wealthy French residents of Switzerland would have to pay French taxes and Swiss taxes, which one Swiss politician called a “declaration of war.” It’s unclear how this spat has affected migration between the countries, but it’s safe to say that the two nations are no longer as chummy as they once were. — Hayley MunguiaFURTHER READINGWe’re Telling England There’s a Chance!Defending World Cup Champions Keep Flaming OutCORRECTION (June 20, 10:05 a.m.): A previous version of the chart in this article showed the incorrect proportion of France’s projected 53 percent win. read more

4Q49.348.846.4 2Q49.855.256.3 Is the Beard at risk of burning out?James Harden’s effective field goal percentage by quarter James Harden’s style of offense isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some fans feel like his trademark stepback move is a travel the vast majority of the time he does it. Some knock his tendency to draw fouls, sometimes fooling referees into giving him free throws when he barrels toward the rim.But whatever you feel about the reigning league MVP, he’s putting together a solid case this season to win the award for a second time. Harden has compiled video-game numbers lately, averaging 42 points, 8.4 rebounds and 9.7 assists since the calendar flipped to 2019. And his Houston club — which struggled badly out of the gate and has watched just about every one of Harden’s teammates fall victim to the injury bug — is now 14-4 over its last 18 games.But Harden’s incredible play raises an important question: Can the 29-year-old realistically keep up what has been a near-historic one-man show without burning out during the NBA playoffs?That dilemma is a ways off, though. For the time being, the Rockets have to be thrilled with the production they’ve gotten from Harden, who scored 57 points in Monday’s win over Memphis. He has notched 30 points or more in 17 straight games, the longest streak since the merger in 1976.The Rockets star has long been a statistical outlier, but this season has brought some eye-popping metrics, even when judged against Harden’s lofty standards. He leads the league in points per game and is scoring 5 more on average than the No. 2 scorer, Steph Curry. And he drives to the basket an NBA-high 20 times per game. The Beard averages a league-high 37 minutes per night1Tied with Washington’s Bradley Beal. and has launched 512 3-pointers, almost 13 per game — the most in the NBA.But Harden’s craziest offensive number, and perhaps the one that’s most concerning, is his 691 direct isolation plays (a 1-on-1 play that ends with a shot, turnover or foul).2Specifically, 1-on-1 plays where the ball-handler shoots, gets fouled, turns the ball over or makes a pass that produces a shot attempt within one dribble of the catch. That’s more than any other NBA team has had so far this season. Once more for emphasis: According to stat-tracking database Second Spectrum, Harden all by himself has gone 1-on-1 more than any team’s full roster, combined, has.Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that Mike D’Antoni and the Rockets have resorted to having Harden isolate more, with both Chris Paul and Eric Gordon out of the lineup, but all that 1-on-1 play can be super draining. And that could be one reason that Harden’s shooting percentages have been falling considerably during games. (In particular, in fourth quarters, he’s shooting just 47.4 percent3Down from 62.7 percent in the first, 57.1 percent in the second and 56.5 percent in the third. from the restricted area — perhaps a sign that he’s fatigued and not getting enough lift to finish shots over taller players.)During the 2016-17 campaign, Harden dominated much like he has this season before ultimately burning out and having one of the most lifeless series-ending showings ever for a star player. In fact, the lefty has seen quarter-by-quarter declines in his efficiency numbers each of the past three seasons. 3Q54.753.455.1 quarter2016-172017-182018-19 1Q54.1%57.7%56.9% Sources: NBA, NBA Advanced Stats Although it might seem too early to start talking about burnout, it’s worth noting that Harden’s degree of single-handed dominance is approaching 2016-17 Russell Westbrook levels. Harden has a current usage rate of 39.9 percent, down slightly from the NBA-record 41.7 percent mark that Westbrook posted after Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City to join the Warriors.The problem is that players who log usage rates that high in the regular season generally don’t enjoy much playoff success. In fact, no player who had a regular-season usage rate of 35 percent or higher has ever won an NBA championship in that season. And of the players with the seven highest single-season usage rates, none made it out of the first round of the postseason in those years.4Not counting Harden. DeMarcus Cousins failed to reach the postseason in 2016-17, and Westbrook failed to get there in 2014-15.Even if the Rockets did want to limit Harden’s usage before the playoffs, Houston is running out of other players to use — at least at the moment. The team lost yet another weapon on Sunday, when Clint Capela damaged his right thumb ligament. He’ll now miss 4 to 6 weeks.Capela’s absence, on top of Paul’s, is a huge blow. The Harden-Paul-Capela trio was essentially unbeatable last season, and the Rockets went 42-3 in the regular season when that lineup took the court. Without those two or Gordon, Harden has no choice but to go out with guns blazing. In the three games this season in which Harden scored fewer than 20 points, the Rockets lost by a whopping 18, 19 and 27 points.D’Antoni’s teams have long been top-heavy, and that flaw has reared its ugly head come playoff time. But now, the thin nature of the Rockets’ roster is showing itself in January, and it’s putting even more strain on an MVP who’s already carrying a historic amount of weight on his back.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

At the Warzycha dinner table, soccer is rarely discussed. Still, the sport remains a way of life for the family of five. Ohio State midfielder Konrad Warzycha didn’t start playing organized soccer until he was 8 years old, but it is no surprise that the game came naturally to him. His father, Robert, played professionally for 18 seasons, overseas and later for the Columbus Crew, where he currently serves as the team’s head coach. “Everything that I know and how I play is based on how he’s taught me,” Konrad said about his father. “From an early age, he’s always helped out as a coach on my club teams and always given me advice, and I always look to him for advice.” Konrad was born in Poland and lived in both England and Hungary by the time he was 8 years old. It was not until Robert joined the Crew for the team’s inaugural season in 1996 that Konrad began playing organized soccer in a recreational league in Dublin, Ohio. “In England there really wasn’t a team for younger kids and in Hungary I went to an all-Polish school and didn’t know many people who played,” Konrad said. “My parents didn’t really know how to go about signing me up for a league.” Konrad picked up the game quickly and joined a club team, Blast Futbol Club, in 1998. At Dublin Jerome High School, Konrad was twice named team MVP, and was a first-team All-Ohio selection as a senior in 2006. Konrad is the oldest of Robert and Eliza Warzycha’s three children, but his younger siblings have also found success on the soccer field. His brother, Bartosz, 20, played a collegiate season at Marshall University, while his sister, Olivia, 18, was a 2009 All-Ohio selection her senior year at Dublin Jerome. Despite his family’s ties to the game, Konrad insists that soccer is not what defines his family and that the game is rarely discussed in the Warzycha household. “Sure, it’s something that we have in common, but we don’t really talk about it much at home. We just talk about regular family stuff,” Konrad said. OSU men’s soccer coach John Bluem had been a friend of Robert’s even before Konrad came to OSU and said he sees similarities in the father and son’s style of play. “His father was known for his powerful right-footed shot, and Konrad has that same kind of strength and power in his right-footed shot,” Bluem said. Konrad’s senior season at OSU has gotten off to a fast start, as he leads the team in both goals and total points, with four and eight, respectively. He is 47th on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s rankings of the top collegiate players in the nation. “He’s off to a very good start,” Bluem said. “He’s a very physically dominating player, with great size, strength and speed. He’s great on the ball and a very good passer. Also, he has the ability to score goals,” Bluem said. “I think he has some more goals in him.” The Buckeyes (5-2-1) opened conference play with a 1-0 win over Michigan, a trend Konrad hopes will continue as Big Ten play wears on. “Our goal is to win the Big Ten regular-season title and then make it to at least the third round of the NCAA championships,” Konrad said. “Last year we got a high seed and then didn’t really show up for our first game.” Bluem said accomplishing those goals will have a lot to do with Konrad’s play on the field. “We hope he just continues to play well for us and do the things that he does best,” he said. “He’s a heck of a player, and I think he has a future in soccer after college.” If it were up to Konrad, that future would happen in America, as opposed to returning overseas. “I definitely want to see if I can play here first because we’ve been here for so long,” he said. “This is where my family is.” read more

A late surge was not enough for the No. 8 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team against Notre Dame Wednesday. The team lost for the second time this season, 9-4, against the No. 3-ranked Fighting Irish in South Bend, Ind. After an early first period goal from sophomore attacker Reegan Comeault that tied the game, 1-1, the Buckeyes failed to find the back of the net again until the beginning of the fourth quarter. In the meantime, the Notre Dame scored five goals of its own to take a 6-1 lead into the fourth quarter. Despite an OSU comeback that saw three goals within six minutes, the Buckeyes could not dig themselves out of their hole, as the Fighting Irish scored a goal after each of OSU’s to end the game, 9-4. OSU was outshot by Notre Dame 42-27 on the day, an opponent season high. The Buckeyes’ four goals against the Fighting Irish marked a season low for the typically high-scoring offense. Before Wednesday, OSU hadn’t scored less than seven goals in a game since March 3, 2012, against Penn State, when the Buckeyes lost, 5-2. Senior attacker Logan Schuss added to his point streak of 52 games with an assist to sophomore midfielder Jesse King with five minutes remaining in the game. The road loss comes after OSU upset then-No. 9 Virginia, 11-10, on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. Junior midfielder Michael Italiano was named Eastern College Athletic Conference specialist of the week on Monday for his performance against the Cavaliers with eight ground balls. Italiano had five more against the Irish Wednesday. OSU split its string of four games against top-10 teams, 2-2, bringing the team’s overall record to 5-2. The Buckeyes are set to play against Bellarmine on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Louisville, Ky., before they return home to host the defending national champion, No. 6 Loyola Maryland, a week later. read more

Freshman forward Nichelle Prince (7) looks for a shot during a match against Indiana Sept. 26 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 3-1.Credit: Ryan Robey / For The LanternAfter tallying just two goals in its last two games, the Ohio State women’s soccer team netted two goals in the first 18 minutes en route to a 3-1 win over Indiana.The Hoosiers surrendered all three scores before halftime Thursday, allowing one more goal than they had in all of their previous matches of the season combined.“It says a lot about how hard our forwards have worked to get to that point,” Buckeye junior forward Kayla Varner said. “We’ve been working hard, going into practice early, getting shots off. It felt rewarding, I was happy about it.”Varner opened the scoring for the Buckeyes in the fourth minute, scoring on a cross from senior midfielder Danica Wu.“Danica had an awesome cross, and I just happened to be there and finish it,” Varner said.Wu would also be in on OSU’s second goal, getting a ball through to sophomore forward Michela Paradiso, who found the back of the net in the 18th minute to give the Buckeyes the 2-0 advantage.“I’m proud of the way that we got in, and the variety that we are creating in our attack,” coach Lori Walker said. “I thought that worked out pretty well for us.”With just five minutes left in the half, the Buckeyes struck again. Freshman defender Taylor Schissler found fellow freshman midfielder Alexis Degler on a long ball, finishing from short range to put the Buckeyes up 3-0.“In the first half, we played really solid. We only had five shots and scored three goals, so we were efficient in what we did,” Walker said.Degler’s goal marked the second time this season three different Buckeyes scored in a single game.“The most important thing is that we had three different people getting on the board tonight. I think it’s good after losing (graduated forward) Tiffany Cameron … she carried a lot of our goals last year,” senior goalkeeper Rachel Middleman said. “It’s awesome that we got some people up on the board tonight.”Indiana would not get on the board until the 66th minute, getting a scoring strike from junior midfielder Abby Smith to get the previously unbeaten Hoosiers on the board. Ohio State outshot the Hoosiers 7-6 in the second half, but the Buckeyes were not happy with their performance.“I’m proud of us that we won, I’m proud of us in the first half, but the second half does not represent the kind of soccer that we want to play,” Walker said.The Buckeyes (7-1-2) are scheduled to host Purdue Sunday at the Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 1 p.m. read more

Junior wide receiver Devin Smith (9) dives into the end zone during The Game Nov. 30 at Michigan Stadium. OSU won, 42-41.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorUrban Meyer has won every game since taking the reigns at Ohio State, but it was one game in particular that stood out.The team has ripped off 24 straight victories since Meyer took over, including 16 in the Big Ten but it wasn’t until OSU’s first conference victory under Meyer that his presence seemed to be truly felt.That win came Sept. 29, 2012, when the Buckeyes traveled to East Lansing, Mich., and beat Michigan State 17-16.It was a game Meyer and his players mention often, the crossroads of what has now become the nation’s longest winning streak.“Last year, it was a big turning point for us,” OSU junior wide receiver Devin Smith said Monday. “I felt like after that game, the team started to get a little closer, the leadership started to grow and got a lot stronger and led the team to keep winning ball games and be 12-0.”The Buckeyes used the momentum gained from earning their first big win on the road to run the table in 2012, never really facing a challenge for much of the rest of the season.Saturday, OSU and the Spartans meet again — this time with the 2013 Big Ten Championship on the line and for the Buckeyes, a likely berth in the BCS National Title game.A 2012 NCAA-imposed postseason bowl ban kept the Buckeyes home last December, but now with it all back in play, it’s the Spartans who once again stand in their way of getting to their ultimate goal.Redshirt-senior Corey Linsley said it “absolutely” is ironic that the same team OSU beat to turn their 2012 season in the right direction now could keep it from getting a chance to play for the crystal ball.“We were just talking about (that) in the weight room the other day. Everything changed last year for us (after beating the Spartans),” Linsley said Monday. “And now everything’s on the line for us … I’m sure they want to get us. They feel like they maybe should have won that game.”Against the Spartans last season, OSU took the lead late in the third quarter when then-sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller connected with then-sophomore Smith on a 63-yard strike that proved to be the game winner. It was Miller’s only touchdown of the game, but helped catapult his team to victory and on to an undefeated season.Meyer said he’s studied and learned a lot from that game, but this year’s Buckeye team is better than it was a year ago.“I learned quite a bit,” Meyer said Monday. “They were very good (last season). We were not very good. I’m not taking anything away from Michigan State because they are excellent. But we’re a much better offense than we were a year ago, but that was a street fight last year.”Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said during Sunday’s Big Ten teleconference there was one big thing that stuck out about last year’s loss at home to OSU.“I’d say missed opportunities,” Dantonio said. “We hit a trick play down I think to the 5-yard line but were misaligned, which resulted in a penalty. Came back the next play, hit a deep crosser and dropped the ball. We get a fumble recovered where we scooped it and scored. They blew the whistle or something and it didn’t count, so we ended up driving partly down the field and having to settle for a field goal rather than a touchdown. So opportunities like that, we had the lead briefly in the fourth quarter, I believe, or third quarter, I believe, and they hit a deep one to Devin Smith.”The intensity and magnitude of the game with the Spartans coupled with the chance to play for the BCS title caused Linsley and a few of his teammates on the offensive line do something they aren’t used to once they got back from Ann Arbor Saturday night: take a dip in the cold tubs.“I don’t think I’ve ever done that before after a game,” Norwell said. “The level of focus that that gave us, it was a moment of intensity there for a second, but now it’s a level of focus that our dream is here. The chase is real.”The journey Meyer has taken OSU on since he came to Columbus seems to have come full circle — all the way from the turning point in the form of last season’s win against Michigan State, to now.“That’s one of the interesting things about college football. Everything I guess just kind of comes back,” sophomore linebacker Joshua Perry said Monday. “That was a big game for us last year, and that was a dog fight and I expect it’s going to be a dog fight this weekend too. It’s going to be a big game. They’ve really got a good defense and their offense has been hitting their stride lately so Buckeyes gotta play Buckeyes football.”OSU looks to fulfill a goal of capturing a Big Ten Championship when it takes on the Spartans Saturday, scheduled for a 8:17 p.m. kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. read more

OSU football coach Urban Meyer addresses the media at the 2014 Big Ten Media Days July 28 in Chicago. Meyer was involved with one of 22 self-reported NCAA violations by OSU in the first half of 2014.Credit: Tim Moody / Lantern sports editorOhio State coach Urban Meyer spoke on the weekly Big Ten teleconference Tuesday afternoon and discussed the Buckeyes’ upcoming matchup with Rutgers as well as select players who have made an impact on the 2014 season.Meyer said senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett has an “incredible future.” He added that Bennett could fall anywhere from a first round pick to a late round pick in the 2015 NFL draft depending on his performance.Meyer’s first comment about Rutgers was how impressed he is with its punt block team. He said he believes the Scarlet Knights are very aggressive and said they are one play from being undefeated.Meyer said Rutgers senior quarterback Gary Nova had “the day of days” in his last game against Michigan. Meyer added the Buckeyes began preparing for Nova and the Scarlet Knights during the bye week.He said sophomore defensive end Joey Bosa is a two-dimensional player in that he is skilled at pass rush and stopping the run. Meyer added that most players at that position are one dimensional.The coach said his offense has “seen almost every defense you could imagine,” and added that the offense will not get caught again like it did against Virginia Tech.Meyer said that while each offensive lineman has improved, redshirt-senior Darryl Baldwin stands out for his big improvements.He said that although the line has improved, it is still “concern No. 1,” moving forward.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Scarlet Knights on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. read more

OSU cheerleaders lead OSU football players out of the field at Ohio Stadium prior to the annual Spring Game on April 18. Team Gray defeated Team Scarlet, 17-14. Credit: Muyao Shen / Lantern photographer With an unprecedented crowd on hand, the 2015 Ohio State football team got its first taste of live action.In front of an announced national Spring Game record crowd of 99,391, the Buckeyes held their annual intrasquad Spring Game at Ohio Stadium. The matchup — played between the Scarlet and Gray teams — was a back-and-forth affair, with Gray holding on for a 17-14 win.“Unbelievable,” senior defensive lineman Tommy Schutt said about the record crowd. “Obviously, we were expecting a really big crowd, but 100,000 is just, wow, Buckeye nation’s unbelievable, and having that many at the Spring Game is unbelievable.”Each of the two starting quarterbacks — redshirt-junior Cardale Jones of the Gray team and redshirt-freshman Stephen Collier of the Scarlet side — labored through the first half, which saw Gray hold a 10-7 lead.Jones went into the break completing 15 of 33 passes for 224 yards. Of those, 108 were pulled in by redshirt-senior wide receiver Corey Smith, who also scored Scarlet’s only first-half touchdown on a 58-yard reception.Collier, on the other hand, could not find any rhythm until the end of the half, when he found redshirt-freshman wide receiver Terry McLaurin for a 35-yard score with no time left on the clock.Collier, a product of Leesburg, Ga., ended the half just 7-of-19 for 81 yards. He was also responsible for four first-half turnovers, including a trio of interceptions and a lost fumble.Scarlet made a comeback in the third quarter, scoring its second unanswered touchdown to take a 14-10 lead after three periods.Collier led a 14-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a three-yard pass to redshirt-freshman wide receiver Parris Campbell as the quarter expired.However, Jones, last season’s national championship-winning quarterback, engineered a 55-yard, 50-second drive to put Gray back in front.Gray got the ball after a Scarlet turnover on downs, and needed just two passes to Smith — the latter of which was a 37-yard touchdown — to put his side up three.Smith finished the game with six receptions for 174 yards and each of Gray’s two touchdowns.Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Ed Warinner said he believes Smith has the potential to play at that level on a regular basis, but he has work to do.“Consistency is his issue. He has some talent, and he shows it. Today he showed his talent. His deal, to be someone we talk about consistently, is to be consistent,” Warinner said. “When he does show up and looks locked in, he’s really good.”Collier had one final opportunity to go back in front, but a 25-yard pass to the end zone intended for redshirt-senior wide receiver Jeff Greene missed the mark as time expired, sealing the Gray victory.OSU coach Urban Meyer said while he sees several individual players who have taken steps forward since last season, the team still has a long way to go.“We did not improve as a team,” Meyer said. “That was not a good team out there.“That’s going to be interesting to watch for the Buckeyes this summer and how they handle themselves, how they behave, how they train and how they come together as a team, because that team has got to be better by the time (strength and conditioning) coach (Mickey Marotti) hands me the team like he does every summer.”Jones attempted 42 passes on the afternoon, completing 19 of them for 304 yards. He also threw two interceptions in the contest.Jones said the in-game experience did not feel like much, but he got a lot out of making his first-ever start at Ohio Stadium.“I felt like another practice, because that’s what we did almost every day in practice, as far as spring ball,” Jones said. “So, I mean, I think it was pretty much the atmosphere (that was the most important experience).”The Buckeyes are scheduled to open the 2015 regular season on the road against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. read more

Malik Hooker talks to the media at Ohio State’s Pro Day on March 23, 2017 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Credit: Screenshot Courtesy of Colin Hass-Hill | Assistant Sports DirectorAll 32 NFL teams were on hand at Ohio State’s Pro Day on Thursday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to watch the best athletes coach Urban Meyer’s program has to offer in the 2017 draft class.But the best athlete wasn’t even competing.Former OSU safety Malik Hooker was in the crowd of 122 NFL representatives that included seven general managers and nine head coaches. Dressed in a Michael Jordan “23” sweatshirt, Jordan brand shorts and shoes, the potential top-10 pick was talking with the NFL elites as he continues his recovery from his sports hernia and torn labrum surgeries in January.Because of his injuries, Hooker isn’t able to showcase his skills that he displayed in the 2016 season, when he broke a school record with three interceptions returned for touchdowns and recorded a total seven interceptions. Lucky enough for Hooker, his work on the gridiron doesn’t need to be supported by gaudy measurables at combines or pro days to earn consideration as a top pick.But that hasn’t stopped him from wishing he was performing for the teams who are interested in him.“Just being anxious to get back out there and show everybody that, like I said about Marshon (Lattimore), I am who I am on film,” Hooker said. “Ain’t no secrets about it. (I) feel like that’s just more so just wanting to compete again. I haven’t ran since the Clemson game in January, so just trying to get back in the mix of things.”Hooker said he has heard from nearly every NFL team, mostly discussing his injury, recovery and expected return time. For now, he said he’s ahead of schedule.The All-American safety said he has started to run in the pool and is roughly eight weeks away from being back to full-time football activities. He also posted a video on Twitter last week of him catching a ball while side-shuffling on a treadmill.pic.twitter.com/kPfDL9IGf5— Malik Hooker (@MalikHooker24) March 17, 2017“It’s more so just taking it step by step,” Hooker said. “I have to get my legs back under me and condition and stuff like that. It’s more so my body type of thing, waiting until my body feels like it’s ready to get back out there and compete.”As the process continues until the NFL draft on April 27, Hooker said his patience is being tested. Not being able to go in the NFL Combine, not participating in his pro day and having to watch his teammates perform in the pro day makes it that much more difficult for a competitor like Hooker to remain patient in his rehabilitation process.But he has found one thing to do in his spare time: sign a contract with the Jordan brand.Hooker told reporters that he signed with the brand last week, which is why he was dressed in apparel designed with the image of the NBA legend.“It’s definitely a great thing,” he said. “They don’t sign too many people. For me to be in that position to say that I signed with Jordan is definitely a blessing and a shocking thing for me.”Former Buckeye cornerback Marshon Lattimore has recently climbed draft boards, projected as high as No. 3 to the Chicago Bears by NFL.com’s Charley Casserly. If Hooker was able to run in the 40-yard dash, or perform in any of the drills, his stock might have risen as well.However, Hooker is still projected as a high first-round pick, likely in the top 10, and he said that worrying about his draft stock or where he will be selected takes away from the experience of preparing for the NFL.“There’s a lot of great DBs in this group for sure,” he said. “So for me to be rated as a top DB is definitely an unbelievable thing and a blessing.” read more

J.T. Barrett looks up into the Buckeye crowd following Ohio State’s 27-21 win over Wisconsin in the B1G championship on Dec. 2. in Lucas Oil stadium. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorDALLAS — J.T. Barrett wants to make one thing clear: he doesn’t care about the past or future. The only thing that remains ever-present in his mind is just that — the present.Even with Friday night’s Cotton Bowl against USC being the only game between Barrett and the end of his collegiate career, he said he does not reflect on the past and think about, for example, the final Wednesday practice or the final team meal of his collegiate career as he goes through a week filled with many ‘lasts.’“I don’t really think about it. I don’t know. I think I’m just a different guy, I guess,” Barrett said. “I’ve been thinking about other things like, I don’t know, things I’m going to eat next or, like, when is the next nap I’m going to take. Those are things that come across my mind.”He has seemingly experienced nearly everything a college football player could during his five seasons at Ohio State. The fifth-year senior quarterback filled in unexpectedly for an injured star signal-caller as a redshirt freshman, suffered a season-ending injury late in the season, watched his team win a national championship, then found himself embroiled in a quarterback battle the next season. Barrett won the Fiesta Bowl, was shut out in the first round of the College Football Playoff the following year, experienced a change in offensive coordinator, quarterbacked his team to a Big Ten championship and became the first Ohio State quarterback to beat Michigan in all four of his matchups with the Wolverines.But he does not want to talk about his career highlights — or lowlights. He said he never sits back to consider the successes of his program and conference-record-filled collegiate career.“I haven’t really thought about it, honestly,” Barrett said. “I think I’ve done some good things here at Ohio State, but I haven’t sat down and really thought about those things. That would be something I probably do later on in life, look back at just life in general and reflect and things like that.”Barrett seems to care less about the past and future with each passing day, preferring to take a “day-by-day” approach, a phrase he uttered at least five times Tuesday. He used to care. He used to wonder what life in the NFL would be like and consider the possibilities of his potential professional football career. That changed in 2015 when, amid a quarterback battle with Cardale Jones, Barrett began to let thoughts about the future seep into his mind and started to worry about things that had not yet happened, that he could not control. He let it negatively affect him.“So once I was able to just focus on the task at hand and things right now and the day-to-day things, one, I was less stressed. Two, things worked out better for me,” Barrett said. “Those are things that I focus on with the day to day. “And then, when those things come across, those hurdles come, I’ll jump them when they come.”The “day-by-day” attitude extends to Barrett’s thoughts on the future of his playing career. His career as a Buckeye will end Friday night when either confetti rains on his victorious team or it suffers its third loss of the season. But it will continue just weeks later when he takes the field for the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 20. He isn’t worried about that yet, saying he will focus on that next challenge after Friday’s game.When asked about what 2018 has in store for him, Barrett was succinct in his answer.“What does it hold for me? I’ve got a couple things going on,” he said. “It’s the 26th of December. I’m worried about today. Then when the 27th comes, I’ll worry about that.”Barrett doesn’t care about the past and the future, which is what everyone else seems to focus on.He doesn’t care about the dozens of Ohio State and Big Ten records he has set. He doesn’t care about the nice things said about him or the compliments dished out after big wins. Barrett doesn’t care about the vitriolic comments fans make when he makes mistakes.He used to. He used to let it affect him. But he doesn’t anymore. He’s focused on the now. read more

Junior opposite hitter Maxime Hervoir spikes the ball during the NCAA championship on Saturday. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterThe No. 3 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (3-1) beat No. 13 USC (3-3) 3-1 at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge Thursday night. The Buckeyes and the Trojans played nearly even for much of the first set until the score was 21-16, when USC senior opposite hitter John Rivera missed his serve. Ohio State was able to score the final four points of the set with kills from freshman outside hitter Martin Lallemand and senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen, as well as two consecutive service aces from Szerszen to win 25-16.The Buckeyes had 12 kills and a .409 hitting percentage in the first set.Ohio State won the second set 25-20. Ohio State redshirt junior middle blocker Blake Leeson and Lallemond each contributed four kills. The Buckeyes garnered nine points from USC service errors.USC ended Ohio State’s two-set win streak and pulled within one set, winning the third 25-20. The Trojans scored 16 kills and had their highest hitting percentage in a set of the match at .407. The Trojans received nine points from Ohio State service and attacking errors.The Buckeyes clinched the match by taking the fourth set 25-21, despite having their lowest hitting percentage for the match at .276. Ohio State also had seven service errors, its highest total of the match. USC’s .125 hitting percentage was its lowest of the match.USC redshirt junior outside hitter Jack Wyett’s 18 kills were the most by anyone on either team. Szerszen finished with an Ohio State-leading 17 kills. Ohio State junior setter Sanil Thomas led the game in assists with 44 and his teammate, redshirt junior libero Aaron Samarin, led both teams with seven digs. read more

first_imgMarks & Spencer, outside which the lorry bomb was stationed, expanded its site to make it the largest branch in the world.A red postbox became the poignant symbol of the attack, having remained standing in the midst of the wreckage.A brass plaque subsequently installed on the postbox said: “This postbox remained standing almost undamaged on June 15th 1996 when this area was devastated by a bomb.” A forensic expert walks towards the destroyed facade of the Arndale shopping centre on June 15, 1996 A forensic expert walks towards the destroyed facade of the Arndale shopping centre on June 15, 1996Credit:Oliver Multhaup/EPA Meanwhile, Abid Naseer, 28, was jailed in 2015 in New York for 40 years after being convicted of an al-Qaeda plot to attack the same shopping centre in 2009.The Pakistani student planned to copy the IRA bombing before his accomplices would target fleeing survivors in suicide bombings. The fanatic was the leader of a terrorist cell that was to target Easter shoppers with a car bomb and suicide vests.After he was sentenced police revealed that the car was to be parked just 100 metres from the spot where the IRA detonated the lorry bomb in 1996.Accomplices were then to be based on nearby Market Street to detonate suicide bombs as shoppers fled the scene.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Arndale shopping centre bore the brunt of the bombing, which caused more than £500 million worth of damage to shops and commercial premises.A phoned warning from the IRA allowed the area to be evacuated.The huge clear-up operation took months and was complicated by the fact that some of the buildings contained asbestos.But Manchester rose defiantly from the rubble as tens of thousands of new square metres of retail space was created, with buildings restored and hundreds of businesses reopened. The suicide bomb attack on a pop concert in Manchester which killed 22 people and left dozens injured is not the first time terrorists have targeted the city.The heart of Manchester’s shopping district was razed to the ground by a blast in June 1996 when the Provisional IRA planted 3,300 lbs of homemade explosives in a lorry, parking what was the biggest bomb detonated in Britain since the Second World War on Corporation Street.The following explosion was devastating but, remarkably, not fatal.However, it did leave more than 200 people injured, including some a quarter of a mile away who were hit by flying glass.last_img read more

first_imgGen Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the General Staff The lateral entry scheme would end the Army tradition of growing all its leaders up through the ranksCredit: Michael Smith, MoD He said: “As an institution we are bottom fed. In other words we recruit people who are youngsters and then grow them through a career. I think that the modern way of working suggests that as we embrace a lot of the specialisms that we have got to embrace, we are going to have to offer different career structures.“I suspect that nearly as much as 30 per cent of the Army will be specialists in the future.“How we supply those specialist career streams, often probably with lateral entry and maybe sharing people with industry because all of us are struggling with the so-called science, technology, engineering and maths skills, is something we will have to think about in the future.” Army leaders will be recruited direct from the civilian world rather than rising up through the ranks, under a proposed overhaul to bring in specialist skills for 21st century warfare.The plan to hire straight into the regular Army’s middle and possibly even higher ranks will overturn generations of tradition and a career structure that has seen leaders work their way up from the bottom.The British Army is considering hiring direct from industry and the boardroom to get civilians who have already had established careers in areas like cyber technology, aviation technology and logistics. Gen Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the General StaffCredit:Jon Bond The lateral entry scheme would end the Army tradition of growing all its leaders up through the ranks But the latest plan is believed to be the first time since the Second World War that non-soldiers have been boosted up the ranks in the regular Army. But he predicted the Army’s combat arms would remain unchanged in his lifetime.He said: “I think we will still deliver that effect through a bottom-fed delivery system in the way that we understand it, but I think that the cursor will move in other areas.”The move would mirror changes in the police. Three years ago the police announced a break with 180 years of tradition by allowing officers to enter at senior rank rather than working their way up from constable.center_img The Army is particularly keen to recruit civilians who have had careers in high-tech disciplinesCredit: Sgt Wes Calder RLC/MoD/Crown copyright Pictured is a REME Corporal repairing a Dragon Runner EOD (Explosive Ordinance Device) variant which is a man portable, remote operated united used for interrogating IED's (Improvised Explosive device's) Army sources suggested the first recruitment was likely to be to ranks such as captain, major or non-commissioned officers, but in future it could extend to positions as senior as brigadier.A similar proposal in the US Army already suggests direct hire as high up as colonel.The positions would skip basic training and weapons drills and not be held accountable to basic fitness standards.Sir Nick said the Army was “probably a year or two away” from the the move, which would need profound changes to careers structures and the way the Army recognises status. The Army may need to bring in new senior non-commissioned officer ranks he suggested. He said: “We may need to adopt a more American-style approach. They have these people called chief warrant officers. A chief warrant officer is typically a pilot or avionics officer who moves up through this different system of status and I think that the British Army is going to  have to think about doing that sort of thing as well.” The scheme for so-called lateral entry is being drawn up by Gen Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the General Staff, with the first hires still “a year or two away”.Such recruitment is designed to make up for shortfalls in high-tech skills, but may clash with the military’s tradition of growing its own leaders.Sir Nick stressed his scheme would not apply to the Army’s frontline fighting combat arms.Reservists are already being recruited in a similar way, and the military insists the strategy is paying off, with high calibre recruits being attracted from the worlds of industry, government, academia and the public sector. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_imgA workman at the beauty spot said: “People living nearby have had enough of this dogging lark.”It is worse at this time of year because of the warmer nights.”One of the car parks has been blocked off and filled in, the other has been fitted with a large lockable security gate.” People living nearby have had enough of this dogging lark. It is worse at this time of year because of the warmer nights.Workman at Llwyn-Onn Reservoir “Dogging blocks” have been installed at a national park beauty spot in a bid to stop the late-night sexual encounters. Locals have welcomed the large concrete barricades, after being plagued by the nocturnal activity for years, but some nature lovers have complained that the measures have ruined the idyllic waterside location.Llwyn-Onn Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons National Park is recommended on dogging websites.Couples park up and flash their car lights to attract voyeurs waiting to watch them have sex.Welsh Water, who own the land, has spent £50,000 blocking up car parks alongside the reservoir and filling them in with tons of chippings.A spokeswoman said: “We have been carrying out work following complaints regarding anti-social behaviour in the area.”We have been working closely with local authorities, the community and the police to prevent future incidents at these sites.”The car parks have been used by genuine dog walkers, fishermen and sightseers for generations. Sandra Davies, of Merthyr Valley Ramblers, said: “It seems a bit heavy handed and unfair on genuine country lovers using the National Park.”They’ve spent a lot of money blocking the car parks off but these doggers will just move to other locations in the area.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.  Rock featuring ooids uncovered in GermanyCredit: Lannon Harley Over time those little balls became compressed into layers which formed sedimentary rock.But Dr Bob Burne from ANU found that ooids are actually made from concentric layers of mineralised microbes, tiny cellular organisms and are mostly divided up into bacteria, fungi and viruses.“We have proposed a radically different explanation for the origin of ooids that explains their definitive features,” said Dr Burne from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences. A rock with ooids  “Our research has highlighted yet another vital role that microbes play on Earth and in our lives.” Researchers Dr Bob Burne and Professor Murray Batchelor from the ANU with a microscope showing the details of an triassic period ooidCredit: Lannon Harley Republicans and anti-monarchists have long grumbled that Buckingham Palace is riddled with fossils from a bygone era.And now scientists have shown, that in one respect, it’s true.A new study led by the Australian National University (ANU) has found that the building  blocks used in the royal palace were made from microbes which lived up to 200 million years ago, in the Jurassic period, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.The material, known as oolitic limestone, is popular for building because it is lightweight but very strong.It is almost completely made up from tiny millimetre-sized sphere of carbonate called ooids.Previously scientists thought those ooids had formed from tiny bits of grit or sand rolling around on the sea-bed, collecting more layers, in what was known as ‘the snowball effect.’ Humans have used ootic limestone for building since ancient times and there are beds in the United Kingdom, which is why it is so popular in Britain.Jurassic oolite in England was also used to construct much of the City of Bath, the British Museum and St Paul’s Cathedral.Elsewhere, oolite from Indiana in the US was used to build parts of the Pentagon and the Empire State Building. Professor Murray Batchelor from ANU led an international  team of researchers on the study, which is published in Scientific Reports. A rock with ooids Credit: Lannon Harley Professor Batchelor said the research findings could help better understand the effects of past climate change.The reserach was published in the journal Scientific Reports. The team used computer modelling to run simulations of how the rock could have been created and found that only microbes could explain the size of the ooids, and their concentric internal banding, which looked like tree rings.“Our mathematical model explains the concentric accumulation of layers, and predicts a limiting size of ooids,” said Professor Batchelor from the Research School of Physics and Engineering and the Mathematical Sciences Institute at ANU.“We considered the problem theoretically using an approach inspired by a mathematical model developed in 1972 for the growth of some brain tumours.”  Rock featuring ooids uncovered in Germany Researchers Dr Bob Burne and Professor Murray Batchelor from the ANU with a microscope showing the details of an triassic period ooidlast_img read more

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. However measures which the Treasury said received the “most noteworthy” support were encouraging greater use of recycled plastic in manufacturing rather than new plastic, and discouraging the use of difficult to recycle plastics, like carbon black plastic. It comes after the Treasury received a “record breaking” response for the idea, with 162,000 replies from businesses and members of the public. The vast majority of respondents to the consultation, called “tackling the plastic problem”, said they would back a tax charge on single use plastic items including cups, plastic cutlery, lids and straws.  The Treasury said the responses would help shape policy ahead of the next Budget in November.  Also included on the shortlist of favoured policies were reducing demand for single-use plastics like coffee-cups and takeaway boxes and encouraging recycling instead of incinerating rubbish. Louise Edge, senior plastic pollution campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “Public outrage over the issue of plastic pollution has been explosive over the past year or so. It’s hardly surprising when you see the impact of plastic on wildlife and our oceans, and when it’s clear that so many companies are still pumping out throwaway plastic with no regard for the damage it causes.”The so-called latte levy on disposable coffee cups seems inevitable now, but that should be just the tip of the iceberg. This is a public mandate to end the age of throwaway plastics.”  “Our focus is on the producers of those plastics and the retailers who are making the decisions about the types of plastic we see on the shelves, rather than the consumer. “If you read the responses [to the consultation] this is an industry which is very price sensitive so we do believe there is evidence that a tax incentive would be likely to shift behaviour towards more recycled materials. “We have a lot more work to do in the run up to the Budget but we have set out the areas that came up very strongly are the ones we are now doing more work on.”  In his last Budget the Chancellor referenced the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 as he announced an investigation into how the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items might be used to reduce waste. “I want us to become a world leader in tackling the scourge of plastic,” he said at the time.  He added that the details of any plastic tax announced at the Budget, such as the amount businesses will be charged, and which items will be included, have not yet been decided. A plastic tax will soon be introduced by the government to curb the use of non-recyclable plastic items such as drinking straws, single use cutlery and black food trays, ministers have indicated. The Treasury is working on the details of a new and wide-reaching plastic tax which is expected to be announced in the next Budget. The levy is likely to be applied to businesses producing “bad” plastics to encourage them to switch to more environmentally friendly materials, which are less damaging to the earth. However the cost of such a tax would end up being passed onto consumers through higher prices until shops stop using materials hit by the plastic tax.It is thought these could include a wide range of items including bottles, single use cutlery, drinking straws, takeaway packaging, fruit netting, cling film, crisp packets and plastic wrap.  On Friday the Exchequer Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “Our primary interest is in how we can persuade the producers of plastic materials and the retailers to choose recycled materials wherever possible rather than new virgin plastics and to deter them from using those types of plastics which are extremely hard or impossible to recycle like black carbon plastic.  read more