Attitude of Tipp U21 hurlers praised

first_imgWilliam Maher’s side secured a place in the provincial decider by beating title holder Limerick at Semple Stadium last night.Tipp will face Waterford in the final on July 27th.William says his players are made of the right stuff.last_img

Cartoon: December 8, 2014

Review: Noah Movie Has Its Moments, But…

first_img(Visited 60 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 It’s OK to use artistic license with Biblical portrayals as long as the art doesn’t undermine the message.The high-budget movie “Noah” that opened Friday March 28, starring Russell Crowe, got some things right:Man was created in the Creator’s image.A real Fall by a real Adam and Eve led to a curse that required man to live by the sweat of his brow.The first son, Cain, committed the first murder of his brother, Abel.Tubal-cain was the father of metallurgy.Patriarchs like Lamech and Methuselah are properly identified.The word “wickedness” was used of the antediluvian population, and “righteousness” used of Noah.The earth was filled with violence.The Ark was huge.The animals on the Ark were different from how they look today, but reproduce “after their kind.”God brought the animals.God shut the door of the Ark (this is implied, not stated).The Flood was global, and killed all mankind and land creatures.A raven and a dove are released; the dove returns with an olive branch.Noah got drunk and naked after the Flood; Ham gazed, but the other brothers respectfully covered him without looking. This scene was discreetly done.A rainbow appeared as a sign from heaven.All humans descended from Noah’s family.Nevertheless, there are some clear deviations from the Genesis narrative in the movie:God did not create life by an accelerated evolutionary process.The stars were created on the 4th day, not the beginning.God spoke specific words to Noah, including the dimensions of the Ark. Noah did not have to discern His will from vague, subjective visions.The “Watchers” did not build the Ark, nor were they punished (and redeemed) for trying to help mankind.The Ark had three decks, not a wide-open interior with the animals on the bottom.Noah’s sons were not single or young. As mature men, they all brought their wives with them on the Ark. Ham’s and Japheth’s wives were not born on the Ark.The “fountains of the great deep” were most likely the mid-oceanic ridges, not geysers spurting out at random around the Ark.Tubal-cain was not a stowaway on the Ark.Noah, not Ham, released the birds.The Ark landed on a mountain, not a beach; this may be quibbling, since it is on the slopes of a mountain, and the waters were still high.Noah did not turn into a murderous madman. He is always spoken of as a righteous man in the Bible.Man’s wickedness was not primarily ravaging the creation, eating meat, or building cities, as the reason for judgment, but rebellion, violence and evil.It is common practice in portrayal of Biblical stories to use artistic license. Jon Saboe’s novels The Days of Peleg and The Days of Lamech are good examples; he added abundant plot detail to fill in the blanks of the sparse narratives in Genesis. The question that should be asked when evaluating the success of a portrayal is whether the added details work with what is known, or work against it. In addition, the retelling should get the known facts right.This is your editor’s commentary (David Coppedge): Spoiler alert: be advised. I watched the movie as open-minded as I could, aware of the praises and criticisms by other Christians. It is certainly a big-budget flick with some incredible scenery and occasional dramatic action. The musical score is powerful. Crowe gives Noah a strong and responsible look of integrity, like he gave the hero in Gladiator, until the madman scenes. The universality of the Flood is clearly portrayed. The first third or so made me hopeful it would be at least marginally faithful to Genesis, but then weird things started happening that stretched credulity: magic seeds, magic rocks, an instant forest, and especially the bizarre “Watchers” (presumably the Nephilim from Genesis 6) rising like fallen angels imprisoned in rock bodies. Nowhere does Scripture portray these beings having any redeeming virtues (see I Peter 3:18-20 and II Peter 2:4-5). Whatever they were (some expositors think they were sons of Seth who compromised, some think they were evil angels who possessed the line of Cain and interbred with the human line), they were not sci-fi monsters but human in appearance, though perhaps giants. No one (especially fallen angels) can be redeemed through good intentions or good deeds.Another serious problem is the misanthropic tone of the film, as Wesley Smith describes in Evolution News & Views. The movie really tanks when Noah becomes a madman on the Ark, wanting to kill his own grandchildren, so that after the Flood, human life will die out. Noah’s wife screams at him, Seth’s wife is in tears, etc. It’s a pathetic portrayal of these godly characters, for one thing, and reveals Aronofsky’s apparent alliance with the “war on humans” mentality of the modern environmental movement that sees man only as a plague on the planet, as if Earth would be a perpetual Eden except for humans. The evil Tubal-cain is the proud man wanting to “subdue the Earth and have dominion” (even though that was God’s command to Adam and Eve); he is made out to be practically an evil Republican wanting to cut down the trees and pollute nature. That is NOT what the Dominion Mandate meant; it meant stewardship and care for creation. God created mankind in His image and did not abandon the human race after it fell. Look at what He did, sending His own Son to die on the cross for man’s redemption! That is God’s nature: not just wrath and justice, but love, grace, and mercy. Unfortunately, the “Creator” spoken of in the movie is portrayed as a distant, nebulous One far out in space, whose will is inscrutable and downright capricious. Aronofsky makes the audience sympathetic to demons, as if they were unfairly judged for just trying to help man. This is perhaps the worst aspect of the film: misrepresenting sin, and misrepresenting God: failing to portray the mercy and love of God as communicated specifically and with great clarity to Noah in verbal form.There are other annoyances, like the frequent and lengthy close-ups of Crowe’s hoary face (in IMAX, every zit is about 10 feet wide), the anachronistic clothing, the general darkness of everything; nobody smiles or laughs; everyone is somber and anxious, even after the Flood. The animals all charge into the Ark and lie down in a heap when Noah’s family stupifies them with smoke. Why that didn’t put the people to sleep, too, is a mystery. The Ark looks chaotic and primitive. I think Noah was a better architect and organizer than that. He would have had the animals in cages, with systems for their care. The rainbow appears as a kind of magical emanation from the sky, with no statement of the Noahic Covenant from God.When watching a movie, alert Christ followers should always seek to discern the underlying message and know something about the producer’s motivations. This film’s director, Darren Aronofsky, is a self-proclaimed atheist. It’s clear he does not believe the Noah story is a fact of history, so he decided to turn it into an environmentalist parable. Viewers should know that context before acclaiming this film as a worthwhile faith-based work. Jesus said, “An evil tree cannot produce good fruit.” (For Aronofsky’s atheist views, see his statements on CelebAtheists.com.) God can, though, use the wrath of man to praise Him. The film draws attention to a Biblical event.Some good can come from this movie if people use it as a conversation starter. Tas Walker feels it can lead to good questions about Flood geology, for instance. Christians should encourage viewers to “read the book” for the true story, appreciating the faithful parts but pointing out the errors. I don’t wish to dissuade people from seeing it or participate in boycotts or group protests. We don’t want to discourage Hollywood producers from touching Biblical subjects or faith-based material. We don’t want to look like an angry constituency that is impossible to please. This is certainly better than the comic portrayal of Noah from Hollywood years ago that made a mockery of the story. I just wish producers would get the facts straight from the Bible before adding on speculation, and make the unknowns contribute to the knowns rather than distracting from them. Noah was a righteous man who believed God and obeyed. Let us follow his example, not Crowe’s or Aronofsky’s. Use your creativity for God’s glory, remaining faithful to His word. When judging others’ creativity, be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).last_img read more

Why Isnt the US Mens National Team Better at Soccer

Monday marks the 2014 World Cup debut for the United States men’s national team, and with it begins the Americans’ 10th attempt to capture soccer’s most prestigious trophy. Since 1930, when the team placed third in the inaugural World Cup, the U.S. has never come closer to victory than the quarterfinals in 2002. The United States has the world’s biggest economy, the world’s third-largest population, and spends an exceptional amount of money on sports, but it can’t field a world-class men’s soccer team.Clearly, the U.S. women’s national team can say better. Since the advent of the Women’s World Cup, the United States has boasted the most successful women’s team on the planet, including two World Cup wins to go with one second-place and three third-place finishes. But global women’s soccer is quite young, relatively speaking,1The first Women’s World Cup was staged in 1991; before that, the major international women’s scene consisted of prototype events and assorted unofficial tournaments. and one of the challenges for the men’s national team is that the rest of the world had a sizable head start on the men’s side.Economists love to frame the U.S. men’s team’s problems by searching for correlations between other countries’ socioeconomic status and their athletic performance in international competitions. In a broad-based event like the Olympics, this approach works surprisingly well.2The correlation coefficient between the linked medal-count predictions and the actual totals from the 2012 Olympics was 0.987! But in a more specific sport like soccer, there isn’t as much of a link between a country’s vital statistics and its prospects of winning.If you tried to find a relationship between national populations and the Soccer Power Index (SPI), you’d have very little to show for your effort. For every Brazil, which ranks fifth in population and first in soccer talent, there’s a China or an India — hugely populous countries that aren’t especially good at the world’s favorite sport. Likewise, the link between a country’s economic performance — as measured by per-capita gross domestic product — and its SPI is similarly weak. Rich countries like Norway and Qatar aren’t soccer powerhouses, while a disproportionate number of the world’s best national soccer teams belong to poor South American and African countries.Total GDP, which combines population and per-head productivity, explains a somewhat larger proportion of a country’s SPI rating,3The correlation coefficient was .233. but still doesn’t scratch the surface when it comes to clarifying why a country like the United States isn’t better at soccer despite its overwhelming wealth and large number of inhabitants. Money alone doesn’t seem to be able to buy success in international soccer (a fact that, as Max Ehrenfreund of The Washington Post notes, stands in sharp contrast to the widespread perception of soccer’s top club leagues).There are other explanations for Americans’ soccer futility: Recent research suggests that the U.S. has been held back by historical inexperience playing at the highest level, and — traditionally speaking — its absence from the game’s most important competitive regions.More successful models looking to explain countries’ soccer superiority include factors beyond GDP. At the far end of the spectrum, these studies add a dizzying array of supplementary variables, such as a country’s type of government, its level of political freedom, its colonial history and even its amount of oil production.4I tend to be wary of such kitchen-sink models because of the risk of overfitting. But a simpler and more widely known model was developed by the economist Stefan Szymanski for his book (co-authored with journalist Simon Kuper) “Soccernomics.” Szymanski’s only additional variable was the number of matches a country’s senior national team had played, the effect of which dwarfed both population and GDP.This “experience” factor measures how long a country has been playing soccer, and serves as a useful proxy for how much exposure it’s had to the international game. It begins to explain why the U.S. hasn’t yet caught up to the powerful national programs of Europe and South America, despite America’s built-in advantages. Counts vary depending on how matches are classified, but according to the database maintained by the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation,5That link has data only up to 2001, but I augmented it with data through 2011. the U.S. Men’s National Team has played 618 international matches in its history. Almost all teams ranked ahead of the U.S. in SPI have played more frequently than that,6Excluding former Soviet satellites. and in many cases, it’s not close. France, Italy and the Netherlands have the U.S. beat by more than 100 historical games; Uruguay and Germany are ahead by more than 200; and England, Brazil and Argentina are up by more than 300. The U.S. comes out ahead of Colombia (509), Portugal (547) and Ecuador (464) on experience, but those are the outliers.At first blush, the apparent importance of historical experience in international soccer seems to be a chicken-or-egg dilemma along the lines of Malcolm Gladwell’s famed 10,000-hour rule: Is a country good at soccer because it has a long history of playing the sport, or does it have a long history of playing soccer because it’s good?Szymanski and Kuper sidestep this quandary in favor of a far more interesting discussion about what the experience factor means for the spread of information through interconnected knowledge networks. As they tell it, being isolated from the forefront of tactical innovation is one of the biggest handicaps a national soccer team can suffer. A lack of wealth and a small player pool matter, of course, but only to a point. For more developed countries — those that aren’t subject to malnutrition and extreme poverty — the things holding soccer back might be inadequate training and a sense of detachment from global soccer, whose networks allow innovation to spread.The United States is a good example. Between 1950 and 1990, the U.S. didn’t qualify for a single World Cup, and played in fewer than half as many international matches as Brazil, Argentina, England, Italy, France or West Germany. Even Spain (held up by Kuper and Szymanski as an example of soccer isolationism under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco from 1939 to 1975), played nearly three times as many international games as the U.S. did during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Cut off from the rest of the soccer world, the U.S. missed decades of innovation, and is still playing catch-up. For years, the men’s national team was defined as unsophisticated — a tough, hustling team that ran a lot and relied on counterattacks, while the rest of the world played tactically advanced, attacking soccer.There’s nothing the U.S. can do about those lost decades. But as Kuper and Szymanski note, there is a “shortcut” for new-world teams that lack experience: They can import it, bringing in coaches who can teach players the art of soccer as found in continental Europe, the central node in Kuper and Szymanski’s global soccer knowledge network.7Where does South America fit into that network? After all, Brazil and Argentina have combined to win five of the last 11 World Cups. But even those countries’ biggest individual stars tend to play club football in Western Europe. That’s effectively what the U.S. did when it hired the former Germany and Bayern Munich manager Jürgen Klinsmann as head coach in 2011. Klinsmann’s plan has often been described as one of de-Americanizing the men’s national team, bringing a European sensibility to it. The U.S. is hoping his personal experience in soccer’s most important information network can make up for an entire country’s lack thereof.Visions of such a utopian future have come in fits and starts. The best American players are still nowhere near the level of the best in the world, and the demand for their services in the club leagues of Western Europe remains limited. In the run-up to the World Cup, Klinsmann repeatedly warned the media that expecting the U.S. to win this year’s tournament was “unrealistic.” Thanks in large part to a brutal draw, American soccer will likely take a step backward before it can move forward.8Going into Monday, the U.S. had just a 32.9 percent chance of advancing out of the group stage, according to the FiveThirtyEight World Cup model.At the same time, inroads are being made. Klinsmann has stressed the importance of American players securing loans in Europe, to place themselves in the center of the game’s most fiercely competitive, innovative battleground. And he’s also taken steps to rid the U.S. of its traditional playing style, adopting tactics more emulative of the possession-based scheme that correlates best with winning. The Klinsmann experiment is not a slight adjustment to American soccer — it’s a total overhaul.Viewed this way, perhaps the United States isn’t underachieving at all, even after taking into account its economic resources. American soccer is making its way down an evolutionary path that other countries traversed decades earlier. The early growing pains of the U.S. men’s program under Klinsmann are part of a long process, one that someday may produce a team capable of legitimately competing for a World Cup. read more

Mens hockey Buckeyes address turnover issues prior to Michigan State series

Senior forward Nick Schilkey looks to put the puck past Michigan’s goaltender on Feb. 25 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 1-0. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorIn order for No. 13 Ohio State (17-9-6, 8-7-1-1) to sweep Michigan State (6-21-3, 2-12-2-0) in the final home series of the 2016-17 season, the Buckeyes must clean up the turnover issues that plagued them last weekend.Coming off a tough 1-0 loss to Michigan on Feb. 25, the Buckeyes know they must protect the puck within the neutral and defensive zones. The Wolverines’ winning goal came from a defensive zone turnover by senior David Gust that went directly to Michigan forward Niko Porikos. Porikos ripped a shot towards the goal and it was tipped in by forward Nick Pastujov.The Buckeyes took this example as a lesson to build upon and fix in practice prior to this weekend. OSU coach Steve Rohlik understands how these crucial lapses in play can hurt the team, but envisions the flaws as capable of fixing.“Our guys have to know better than to just throw pucks away,” he said. “We had a few guys with nobody even on them, and they threw the puck away. That’s something that we can control, which is good.”The topic was not limited to the defensemen this week. There was a heavy amount of focus on the forwards and their ability to provide better support to get the puck out of vulnerable areas. Senior forward Nick Schilkey reiterated that it was a big focus in this week’s preparation.“(Back-checking has) been a big focus of ours — getting back as forwards to help the defense and making sure we’re all in the same frame,” Schilkey said.Schilkey explained what he and the fellow forwards are looking for on video to improve their contributions to the efforts.“We’re making sure that we aren’t getting too stretched out,” he said. “I think that’ll make it easier on the defense. I think that’s where we’re going to get better.”Looking towards this weekend’s battle with the Spartans, it’s imperative the Buckeyes improve their play in the two zones and get the much-needed sweep nearing the postseason. The team has little room to falter as OSU sits on the edge of an NCAA at-large tournament berth. When facing a team like Michigan State, who has struggled all season, OSU hopes to play with fire from the beginning of the game and not turn it on when the team has to. A few weeks ago, the Buckeyes struggled to come out firing in both games in East Lansing, Michigan, and had to hold onto one-goal wins. With some familiarity of the opponent, there is confidence that the team will know ways to attack the Spartans’ weaknesses and get the early leads.“If you limit your turnovers, you’re going to limit chances against and that’s what we have to do,” Rohlik said.Puck drop for the games are set for 7 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday. read more

New boys Cardiff humbled by Bournemouth

first_imgNewly promoted Cardiff City marked their return to the top flight with a 2-0 defeat against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoonBournemouth dominated possession and deservedly took the lead in the 24th- minute as Scotland international Fraser latched on to Wilson’s low pass inside the penalty area and slotted past goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.Wilson failed to double the advantage from the spot as his weak effort was comfortably saved by Etheridge, following a clumsy challenge by Cardiff defender Bruno Ecuele Manga.The Bluebirds showed attacking intent after the break and had a couple of chances to equalize but failed to take their chances.However, Wilson made amends for his first miss with a stoppage time goal that ended the hopes of an equaliser thanks to defender Simon Francis’ cross from close range.AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City - Premier LeagueMatch Preview: Bournemouth vs Manchester City Boro Tanchev – August 24, 2019 English champions Manchester City travel to Bournemouth for their encounter of the third Premier League Matchday.Bournemouth take on West Ham United at the London Stadium next Saturday afternoon, while, Cardiff face Newcastle at the Cardiff City Stadium in their first home match on their return to the top flight.FULL-TIME Bournemouth 2-0 CardiffGoals in each half from Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson get Bournemouth off to a winning #PL start against promoted Cardiff#BOUCAR pic.twitter.com/boDCHXQm2X— Premier League (@premierleague) August 11, 2018last_img read more

Forlan believes in Atletico Madrids advantage

first_imgDiego Forlan is in support of Atletico Madrid despite the star-studded Juventus side ahead of their last 16 Champions League first leg tie.Forlan once made a strong claim that Juve were poised to win the Champions League after they signed Ronaldo last summer.However, the 39-year-old – who won a Europa League with Atleti in 2010 made it clear he is backing the Spaniards to spring a surprise.“It’ll be a tough game for both sides,” he told Football Italia via Tuttojuve.com.“They are two very similar teams, equipped with strong squads and who never give up.“Today the difference is certainly represented by Cristiano Ronaldo, but Atletico Madrid also have great players like Griezmann, Morata, Diego Costa and their No 13, Jan Oblak.“This is why I have no doubt in regarding Atletico as favourites for the victory.”The former Uruguay striker spent the 2011-12 campaign with Juve’s rivals Inter but netted only two goals for the Serie A side.Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…On this day in 2010, Diego Forlán single-handedly won the Europa League for Atlético Madrid with a brace vs. Fulham in the final. pic.twitter.com/KGTdGfk7CR— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) May 12, 2017“On balance, I’d have liked to play more for Nerazzurri,” he added.“Unfortunately, however, I had a lot of injuries, which limited my performance levels. As for Juventus, I remember the rumours but there was never anything concrete.“I never received an offer from the Bianconeri.”Juventus are still aiming to win their first Champions League title since 1996 and a win over the Rojiblancos will be a huge statement of intent.last_img read more

Somalia soldier 4 militants killed in training compound attack

first_imgA Somali soldier and four militants were killed on Sunday as an al-Qaida-linked extremist group tried to attack a training compound used for intelligence officials in Mogadishu, a police officer said.The attack started with a suicide car bombing outside the intelligence school, which killed two attackers and a soldier, police Capt. Mohamed Hussein said today. He said soldiers then shot two gunmen who had seemingly lost their way and stormed a civilian house close to their target.The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group, which is waging an insurgency against Somalia’s Western-backed weak government, claimed responsibility for the attack through its radio station. Al-Shabab has vowed it would step up attacks against government and African Union forces in Somalia during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The militants have been pushed out of much of the territory they controlled by African Union troops, which are backing the Somali troops, but they remain a threat, carrying out guerrilla attacks on government and civilian targets.last_img read more