Muirfield mauls Tiger Wood

Former world No.

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1 Tiger Woods has been mauled by Muirfield Village, shooting a 13-over 85, his worst score as a professional, to fall to dead last early in the third round of the Memorial Tournament.

A day after Woods made a clutch-par putt to make the cut on the number, the five-time event and 14-time major champion struggled royally, making just one birdie while carding six bogeys, two double bogeys and a quadruple bogey.

He now sits 71st at 12-over par, 24 shots off second-round leader David Lingmerth, who is still to start his third round.

For Woods it was three shots poorer than his previous worst, an 82 he shot earlier this year at the Phoenix Open, and is just the third time in his professional career he has failed to break 80 after an 81 in the 2002 British Open.

Having already sunk to 172nd in the world rankings, Woods found water hazards four times in his round.

After three opening pars on Saturday, Woods’ woes began with back-to-back bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes.

A four-foot par miss on the fourth was followed by a three putt from 28 feet on the next for another bogey.

The par-three eighth took him from bunker to bunker en route to a double bogey, the same score he took on nine after dumping his approach in the water.

Another trip to the Muirfield Village creeks on the 11th led to a bogey and a missed green on the par-three 12th pushed him to eight over.

His fifth bogey of the day came on the 14th hole when he failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker before he managed his lone birdie on the par-five 15th.

Just when it appeared he might have a chance to break 80 his approach on the 17th caught a tree and dropped into the drink, resulting in another bogey before an absolute disaster struck on the last.

Taking three-wood off the tee, Woods pulled his shot into a creek and after a drop could only muscle his ball short of the green.

He caught his chip shot heavy and watched his ball roll back down a steep slope back off the green and then chunked his next attempt into a bunker.

Unable to get up and down from the sand he was forced to take an eight, ensuring his worst-ever score.

As was the case over the opening two rounds, Woods struggled to find the fairways, getting just seven of 14, leaving him with 16 of 42 over three rounds.

He declined to talk to the media after the round.

Blake relieved after safe return in 200 metres

Running in his first competitive race since July 3, Blake posted a modest time of 21.

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57 seconds, stepping away from the local field in the second half of the race before easing off in the last 10 metres.

Blake, who owns the second fastest 200 (19.26 seconds) after world record holder and compatriot Usain Bolt (19.19), still harbours hope of getting in shape to qualify for the world championships in Beijing in August.

“I have to give God thanks I’m back on the track, I was really nervous, but my agent (Cubie Seegobin) and coach (Glen Mills) told me to just go out there and have fun,” Blake, a member of Jamaica’s victorious 4x100m relay team at the London Olympics, told Reuters.

“And I don’t feel bad as my foot is not bothering me anymore, so it’s a really good blow-out for me in my first race back.”

At his last meeting on July 3, the 2011 world champion pulled up injured, clutching his hamstring in the 100m at the Glasgow Grand Prix and underwent surgery days later in Germany.

“I felt a bit ceased-up but that’s expected for my first run. I’m going to run some more races now that my foot is alright,” Blake added, noting he was not worried about time.

“I just wanted to get that first run in the books and although the (head) wind was a bit heavy it was alright and I’ll work from there.”

Blake was still unclear whether he would have spots in both the 100m and 200m at the world championships.

“I’m going to run one more 200m next week and going into trials, I just want to do enough to secure an individual spot in the 100m or 200m,” he said.

His coach Mills told Reuters Blake’s first run was less about the time and more about breaking back into competitive mode.

“I just wanted him to run and to see for himself that he’s in a position where he can run a race and the whole idea is for him to get his confidence back and run himself into shape,” he said.

“He needs a couple of races to gradually build himself up, because it’s going to take time for him to get back to where he was as there is no magic button, he just has to take his time and work his way back up,” added Mills, who also trains six-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt.

(This story was refiled to add dateline)

(Editing by Ian Ransom)

Toilets in elevators? The new Japanese idea that isn’t as crazy as it sounds

Japan’s infrastructure ministry announced Tuesday that the country’s elevators may soon have a surprising new feature, the Kyodo news agency reports: Toilets.

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Yes, it sounds odd, but while the idea of a fully plumbed potty zooming up and down the sides of a Tokyo skyscraper may seem like Japanese technical ingenuity taken a step too far, in reality this idea is born of reasonable and sensible practical concerns.

According to Kyodo, the Japanese government called meetings with the country’s elevator industry to discuss the idea after a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck south of Tokyo on Saturday evening, causing about 19,000 elevators in the city and nearby to stop working.

People were trapped in 14 elevators and it took 70 minutes to rescue some of them, officials told Kyodo. If a larger earthquake strikes, the problem could be far, far worse. In light of the practical problems caused by being stuck in an elevator for so long, the Japanese government began looking into installing water and toilet facilities in all elevators.

Earthquakes present a special problem for Japan. The country is located near major tectonic plate boundaries and has a long history of quakes. It also, however, has a very large and constantly growing number of tall buildings. This means that the country has about 620,000 elevators, with 150,000 or so in Tokyo alone.

During big earthquakes, these elevators stop working. An earthquake in 1992 resulted in most elevators in Tokyo stopping; many didn’t restart for an entire day. Another earthquake in 2005 left 64,000 elevators paralyzed, accordingto Cameron Allan McKean of Next City, and some people were stuck for up in elevators for almost nine hours after a quake in 2011.

In response to these incidents, Tokyo created the Japan Elevator Association Kanto Branch (JEA), a body that conducted research that showed thousands of people could be stuck if an earthquake struck (the current figure stands around 17,000). JEA devised a number of methods to try to avoid this, including backup power sources and early warning systems that help people escape elevators if an earthquake strikes.

These technical solutions will never work all of the time, however, and it remains likely that people will end up trapped in elevators if a large earthquake comes. Toilets, drinking water and other amenities would no doubt make those people far more comfortable until they are rescued. In fact, some local governments have begun putting portable toilets in elevators. According to Jiji Press, Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward began putting in “water, blankets and emergency boxes that double as toilets” in 2014, with other parts of Tokyo planning to follow this tactic.

Private Japanese companies manufacture devices intended to serve as toilets in elevators. Aqua & Air Technology shows off its product in the video below:

Japan’s elevator industry is among the most advanced in the world – Japanese companies engineer some of the world’s fastest elevators, for example. Its toilet industry also leads the world in technical advancements. As The Washington Post’s Anna Fifield recently explained, upscale Japanese toilets come with features such as “bidet, seat-warmer, sterilizing and deodorizing functions, and electronic flushing.”

And while the ingenious idea of a toilet in an elevator may seem particularly Japanese, people get stuck in elevators everywhere. Perhaps this will soon be coming to one near you.

© The Washington Post 2015 

 

Morris chance to return for Bulldogs

Brett Morris is set to stake his claim for a NSW jumper, however St George Illawarra say returning Canterbury captain James Graham is occupying most of their attention.

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Morris trained with the Bulldogs on Sunday and is in with a chance of returning from a hamstring injury against his former club the Dragons at ANZ Stadium on Monday.

Bulldogs trainers put the side’s No.1 through his paces at Belmore Oval but a call on his return will not be made until early on Monday.

If he does come back into the line-up, it will mean the Dogs are approaching full strength after struggling with a heavy injury toll for the last few months, with inspiration skipper Graham (knee) certain to make a comeback.

Morris has not played since the Bulldogs’ memorable Good Friday loss to South Sydney in round 5 and he will be desperate to prove his fitness to NSW coach Laurie Daley ahead of June 17’s State of Origin II in Melbourne.

It will also be an emotional occasion for Morris having come through the junior ranks at the Dragons before switching to Canterbury this season.

He sat out the sides’ round six clash due to injury however appears likely to take his place for the return clash on Monday.

“It was an unusual hamstring injury so it’s one that we’ve had to treat differently and make sure we’re ticking all the squares,” Bulldogs coach Des Hasler said.

The Bulldogs have won just two of their last seven but the Dragons are expecting a different outfit with Graham back in the line up.

Since 2012, the Bulldogs have won just 39 per cent of their matches without Graham and have a 63 per cent winning record with him in the team, according to Fox Sports Stats.

Dragons captain Ben Creagh said Graham’s presence forced sides to defend differently because of his ball-playing capabilities.

Creagh said because Graham was adept at playing on both sides of the field, had a show-and-go, a long ball and could go out the back, it forced teams to be on their toes.

“He’s got more than one option,” Creagh said.

“He’s not just carting the ball up to get a quick play the ball, he can pass, he can dummy and he can do a lot of other things. He’s hard to handle.”

STATS THAT MATTER

* The Dragons haven’t conceded more than 18 points in a match since round three and have conceded three tries just three times in that nine game sequence.

* The Dragons’ 46-6 thumping of Cronulla last week was just the second time they have scored more than 40 points since 2010.

* The Dragons have forced their opponents to make more goalline drop outs than any other team, averaging more than 2.5 per game.

* Bulldogs winger Curtis Rona has scored the first try of the match four times this season.

Researchers have figured out what to say – and what not to say – on a first date

What distinguishes a good first date from a bad one? It’s pretty much all on display in the famous double-date scene from “When Harry Met Sally.

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” Sally and her terrible date firmly disagree about important topics. Harry and his terrible date are politely uninterested in each other. Then comes the moment where both of their terrible dates click — with each other. “Nobody has ever quoted me back to me before,” Sally’s date says to Harry’s date in admiration.

First dates are a staple of romantic comedy. They are also the focus of a 55-page study from researchers at Stanford University and the University of California at Santa Barbara that looks at what people say on successful dates and not-so-successful dates.

To carry out their study, the researchers ran free speed-dating events for heterosexual grad students in which they recorded what everyone said. After the date, the grad students reported how well they “clicked” with their partners for roughly 1,000 four-minute conversations. The researchers found that physical and character traits, like men’s height and shared hobbies, actually had a larger influence on whether couples said they clicked than what they said to each other.

But with each additional minute the couple spent together, things like height and shared hobbies became less important and the flow of their conversation became more important.

The data showed that women felt more connected when men were actively engaged in the conversation and focused on them. Women were more likely to feel connected when men:

“mimicked their laughter” (meaning they laughed right after the woman laughed, not made fun of their laugh).“interrupted them” (also not what it sounds like – asked questions to show they were paying attention).demonstrated their appreciation by saying positive or flattering things.used the word “you.”

Men reported feeling less connected when women did what the researchers called “hedging” — saying things like “kind of,” “sort of” and “maybe.”

In contrast, the men said they felt a spark when women talked about themselves, using words like “I,” “me,” “myself.” (In fact, the researchers suggest that it may be a bad sign for a man’s date if the woman is asking a lot of questions about the man. “We found that questions were used by women to keep a lagging conversation going,” they wrote.)

The researchers looked not just at what people said but also how they said it. They found that men and women in the study actually altered the pitch of their voice when on a good first date — basically, taking on a more “masculine” or “feminine” voice when speaking to someone they were interested in.

Rosie Cima of the blog Priceonomics, who recently wrote about this 2013 study, graphed the statistically significant correlations between these behaviors and daters saying they “clicked”:

The chart below gives a little more detail on what women did and didn’t do when they felt like they were “clicking.” Women who felt connected to their dates talked more about themselves. They also spoke at a higher pitch – basically, adopting a more feminine voice – and varied their pitch and volume, practices that reflect their excitement and interest in the conversation.

Overall, the men’s behavior varied a lot less than the women’s did, as you can see from the chart below. Men who felt a connection were more likely to laugh and vary their volume (again, showing interest and excitement). They were less likely to vary their pitch, which the researchers say reflects an attempt to put on a more masculine voice.

So what does all this mean?

As Cima of Priceonomics points out, one funny thing about this research is there is an obvious mismatch between the behavior of men and women. Women report feeling a connection when men interrupt them to show that they’re paying attention and say nice things that indicate that they appreciate them. However, men who report feeling connected to women don’t actually do these things at a statistically significant level. (Tip to men: Try these things.)

There were two things that men and women had in common, however. First, both men and women are less likely to report a connection when a woman uses uncertain words like “kinda,” “sorta,” and “maybe.” Second, both men and women were more likely to report a connection if the woman talked about herself.

Taken together, these two findings suggest an uneven relationship between men and women: that whether a couple “clicks” is mostly determined by whether the woman is interested in the man, and not vice versa. At least in this study, these behaviors seem to be an accurate sign of a woman’s interest, and men picked up on those signals.

The study gives a few reasons for this. First, and perhaps unsurprisingly for people in the dating world, the women were a lot pickier, reporting a sense of connection far less often than men did. As the researchers note, that may give heterosexual women the upper hand, at least when it comes to first dates.

However, the researchers say the situation could be a little more complex. Maybe men and women are just being polite and acting out certain dating “rituals” — essentially, performing the role of “man or woman on a date.” This may sound strange, but some of their findings bear this out — for example, how men who felt a spark lowered their voices to make themselves sound more masculine.

These ideas stem from the theories of Erving Goffman, a 20th-century sociologist who was famous (for a sociologist, at least) for describing human interactions as a kind of performance. There’s the front stage — how we present ourselves to the world, which we adapt for different situations — and then the back stage of what we really think during these interactions.

“Certain gender ideals are staged in speed-dating events,” the researchers say. “In the case of speed dating, we believe the staging hyperritualizes gender ideals – even for our highly educated graduate student sample.”

In other words, when it comes to first dates, people tend to put on a show.

Now, will you ever watch this scene the same way again?

© The Washington Post 2015