Ultimate Frisbee Is In The Dark Ages Of Analytics — And It

Read more: A Plea For More Frisbee Data From A U.S. Ultimate Coach ST ALBANS, England — On a field 20 miles north of London, three people were camped on the edge of a field wearing USA Ultimate hoodies, notebooks open in front of them. They were the coaches of the U.S.’s under-23 women’s team, and they were scouting two of their biggest Ultimate Frisbee rivals, Canada and Colombia, who were about to play in a group-stage match of the 2015 world championships. The coaches barely even had any data on their own team — but there they were, scrounging for some on their future opponents. Head coach Mike Whitaker and assistant coaches Carolyn Matthews and Lauren Boyle of the U.S. women’s team. Carl Bialik Riley Erickson records video of future opponents for the U.S. mixed team. Carl Bialik Aguilera thinks that more ultimate should be filmed and that more film should be watched. He filmed games at the under-23 worlds from atop a ladder he’d bought for 30 pounds ($45) just before the tournament. Many top college basketball players have seen hundreds of games by the time they get to campus. Incoming college ultimate players might have watched fewer than 20 ultimate games, Aguilera said.Absent data, coaches have to rely on scouting to get ahead. Film analysis has become a hallmark of the best college and club programs in the country. And it was on display at the tournament in England, too.Take, for example, the women’s final between the U.S. and Japan. Mike Whitaker, the head coach of the U.S. team who’d been scouting that Canada-Colombia game with his assistants near the start of the tournament, said that Japan used “advanced scouting more than any other team at the worlds.” The Japanese team brought personnel dedicated to the practice, which played a big role in the final’s outcome. He noticed Japan made adjustments to its defense after its group-stage game against the Americans (the U.S. won 17-13) and scouting other U.S. games.Eri Hirai, Japan’s head coach, said the team tracked which players on other tournament teams threw the most long passes and which ones ran the most. Harai said this kind of scouting is standard practice in Japan. “It’s very important because we knew nothing about other teams before the tournament,” she said in an email interview conducted through a translator. By the end of the tournament, the Japanese team knew enough about the Americans to win the final in a big upset, 17-15. It was the only game any U.S. team lost in the tournament. Ultimate should be fertile ground for analytics. The mostly amateur sport first blossomed at universities and remains popular with engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians and teachers — curious, creative nerds eager to break down the sport and share what they learn. Its profile is growing, too. This summer, the International Olympic Committee made the sport eligible to be included in a future Summer Olympics.When I attended the under-23 world tournament in England this summer, I saw hundreds of the sport’s future stars coached by some of its brightest minds, but I also saw a sport missing something vital: detailed data.It’s easy to take sports data for granted in an age when cameras track and quantify the movement of players and balls in baseball, basketball, tennis and soccer. The biggest challenges for analysts in those sports is how to wrangle and make sense of all that data and to get fans to look past traditional box-score numbers.But in ultimate, there are hardly any traditional box-score numbers. Other sports have digitized stat-keeping even at the college or high-school level. But for ultimate, even at a relatively organized and well-run event like the under-23 worlds, the sport’s best young players checked opponents’ scores on schedules filled in by hand. Coaches — including my FiveThirtyEight colleague Jody Avirgan, an assistant coach for the U.S. men’s team — carried clipboards to log who played each point, with paper flapping in the wind and ink blurring in the rain. Players got a glimpse of what wealth can bring to a sport every time they walked past one of Watford FC’s brand-new 500,000 pound ($750,000) fields, but rope fences made clear that the Premier League team’s training ground was off-limits — as were stats as advanced and sophisticated as the EPL’s.At best, ultimate box scores — such as those posted on the under-23 worlds website — contain just goals, assists and Ds (discs knocked down or intercepted). “That is Stone Age material to work with,” said Sean Childers, an ultimate player and co-author of a study on ultimate presented last year at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, in an email. “Imagine a baseball or basketball box score from 50 years ago, but worse.”Ultimate coaches dream of stats corresponding to some of their favorites from other sports. Several wished hockey assists — the pass that leads to the pass for the score — were tracked. Bob Krier, head coach of the U.S. men’s under-23 team, wants to see a shooting percentage for the most difficult passes into the end zone. Others want stats on “pulls,” ultimate’s version of kickoffs: Coaches suspect pulls matter a lot in helping a team set up its defense, both for how long they hang in the air and for where they land.A catch-all metric for player value such as wins above replacement would be nice, too. But Martin Aguilera, who coached the U.S. mixed team at the under-23 championships this year, said, “We’re so far away from that.”Many coaches said they look to basketball for stats they want to see for ultimate. On the surface, ultimate has more in common with football (passing toward a score in an end zone), soccer (a field sport with fluid positions and no play clock) and tennis (starting a point on offense is like serving, and scoring on a defensive point is called breaking). But ultimate has similar defensive principles to basketball, with players switching suddenly from offense to defense and both teams resetting after each score.Plus, basketball has lots of cool data. Ultimate nerds speak with envy and awe about SportVU, the system of cameras that ring NBA arenas and produce data about where the players and ball are at every moment of each game. And they cite the shooting charts of FiveThirtyEight’s Kirk Goldsberry as models for charts they’d love to see, ones that would map success rates for players’ shots at the end zone by field position.Other sports are also seeking better data than their traditional, limited box scores provide. In volleyball, “the official stat sheet is basically useless,” said Todd Dagenais, coach of the University of Central Florida women’s team. He’s seeking better stats to help his team but says there’s a dividend for spectators, too: A smarter sport is more fun to watch. “When an offense is run well, fans love that, which causes the defense to have to make more spectacular moves and more spectacular plays, which is also very entertaining,” he said.Ultimate’s stats are stuck in the Stone Age in part because it takes a lot of work to get not a lot of insight. To improve on the kind of time-consuming, manual stat-keeping process that some coaches at the world championships were using, ultimate players developed an app to track players moving around the field. The Ultiapps Stat Tracker can generate heat maps showing the best scoring spots. Childers and a fellow researcher used data from the app to figure out where those spots are and which players were best at getting the disc there. What they found mostly reinforced basic tenets of the sport, like the importance of keeping the disc in the middle of the field. The heat map above, which is from the paper by Childers and Jeremy Weiss, shows a team’s likelihood of scoring from different points on the field. As a team moves closer and closer to the end zone (at the top of the chart), its chances of scoring increase (the higher the number, the better). The large dip in the 40-percent zone — shown as 0.4 — suggests that a team is just as likely to score from about 50 yards outside the end zone (marked as 20 on the heat map) in the middle of the field as they are from 35 but stuck on the sideline.But data collected at one level of the sport with, say, little wind may not translate into a different level in windy conditions. Partly because of limitations like that one, teams mostly have stopped using the app to collect data.“Teams liked our analysis but found collecting and inputting the data was too onerous to justify the time investment,” Childers said.Part of would-be ultimate analysts’ challenge is that top ultimate players don’t play that many meaningful points1Each game of ultimate is played to a certain number of points, and each team must keep the same group of players on the field until the next point is scored. in a season. Players might play during only eight or 10 points of a game because top teams are deep, usually with more than twice the number of players on the sideline as are on the field at any time. And the roster is rarely the same from tournament to tournament.2Even in an age when ESPN is airing ultimate, no one makes a living playing the sport. Top players often skip tournaments because of personal or job conflicts.Even if everyone could agree on which new stats are needed in a sport like ultimate, a tough question remains: Whose job should it be to collect the stats? Tournaments are mostly run by volunteers focused on tasks such as ensuring players find the right field, have enough water and uphold the sport’s unique spirit of the game during play. That leaves coaches to keep any extra stats they’d want for analysis. But they’re also busy doing lots of other things during tournaments. It’s often easier to collect advanced stats during tryouts or practices instead.For the under-23 tournament, U.K. mixed coaches had to choose 26 players from 93 who showed up at trials. They divided them into six groups and filmed them, rating them in 24 categories. None was scores, assists or Ds. The categories were more subtle: essential but hard-to-measure ultimate and interpersonal skills. One, for example, was “nicehead,” which gauged how well someone played with others. “What we didn’t want to do is pick very skilled players who couldn’t interact with other human beings,” coach Megan Hurst said. She and her fellow coach Felix Shardlow entered all the stats into a big spreadsheet and looked for players whose low ratings came in categories they could easily improve, like catching. read more

Spike in Jersey Sales Prompts Kaepernick to Donate All

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Image courtesy of Yahoo.comWith the country still reeling from Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem, supporters of the San Francisco 49ers quarterback are opening their wallets to buy up every last one of his jerseys.Kaepernick’s famous number 7 jerseys have flown off the shelves since his protest of the Star-Spangled Banner — so much so that it has since skyrocketed to number one on the NFL’s official website. Earlier this week, Good Morning America reported that the star footballer ranked 20th among 49ers players jersey sales before his stance against police brutality gained national attention.Kaepernick took to Instagram Wednesday to thank his fans for all their love and support while promising to donate the money he received from his spike in jersey sales.“I wasn’t expecting my jersey sales to jump to number one because of this, but it shows the people’s belief that we can achieve justice and equality for all,” he wrote. “The only way I can repay you for the support is to return the favor by donating all the proceeds I received from my jersey sales back into the communities.”According to the Atlanta Black Star, Kaepernick had previously announced that he would donate his first $1 million dollars earned this seasons to organizations working to tackle issues near and dear to his heart. The star quarterback said he wanted to ensure that he was actively involved in helping communities.Kaepernick’s plans to give back have since silenced the nay-sayers who argued that he wasn’t doing enough to actually make a difference. Others are still outraged over his “disrespectful” behavior and critical comments on the nation’s law enforcement personnel.Kaepernick has repeatedly asserted that he is not anti-American or anti-cop, but simply wants to bring light to the injustices faced by African-Americans and other minorities in this country.“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” the quarterback told NFL.com. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” read more

Ohio State womens soccer to battle Milwaukee in second round of NCAA

The Ohio State women’s soccer team continues NCAA tournament play Friday in a second-round matchup against Milwaukee at Duke’s Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. The Buckeyes (11-8-2) pulled off a 3-0 opening round upset at regional No. 4-seed Tennessee last Saturday behind a pair of goals from junior forward Tiffany Cameron. For a team that had been in somewhat of a slump offensively to finish the regular season, the trio of goals was a welcome sign and what Cameron called “a great confidence booster.” “I was happy that I could redeem myself because the last game (a penalty shootout loss to Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament), I didn’t get any good shooting opportunities. I wasn’t really that dangerous,” Cameron said. “I was really excited that there was kind of like a second chance.” That second chance is being embraced by the entire team. After losing in the first round of the conference tournament, OSU was not expecting to receive a bid to the national tournament but was selected as an at-large team. After the Buckeyes made a run to the national semifinals in last year’s tournament, this year’s team is trying to prove people wrong, Cameron said. “I think that a lot of people last year thought that we got it easy … our selections and stuff,” she said. “We were the underdogs going into the (Tennessee) game so we felt great that we proved everyone wrong because I’m sure a lot of people thought we were going to lose. So, we just like to prove people wrong and come to play. I don’t think it matters, the rankings really. It just matters what team comes to play at the end of the day.” OSU will need to play at a high level against a Milwaukee team that is 19-2 on the season. The Buckeyes are 0-2 against the Panthers all-time, including a 2-1 loss in Columbus last season. “It’s kind of time to step up and see a different result,” coach Lori Walker said. “I think that we certainly have the talent and I think we play soccer well enough … it’s nice that other people believe in what we’ve been doing and have put us in a position to continue to compete. But ultimately right now, it’s about us surviving and advancing, finding ways to score goals.” Both Walker and Cameron agreed that the experience from going deep into last year’s tournament has been a benefit to the team. “It just adds a level of comfort to knowing how long the season can go,” Walker said. “A lot of players at this point in the season are tired emotionally, they’re tired physically. I think this group is just thrilled to still be playing and still be together and the energy at training has been really high. “They have nothing to lose at this point, it’s not like we’re trying to defend being the Big Ten champions, defend going to the (national semifinals), just come out and play. And so they’ve really taken the pressure off of them and they’re really just showing up and enjoying their time together and trying to advance.” The winner of OSU and Milwaukee will face the winner of Duke and Georgia at 1 p.m. Sunday at Koskinen Stadium. read more

Track and Field Ohio States Karrington Winters sets NCAA record at Kentucky

Women’s TeamJunior Karrington Winters set the NCAA season-high 400-meter dash time of 53.41, highlighting the Ohio State women’s track and field team’s success at the Kentucky Invitational in Lexington, Kentucky.Both Ohio State relay teams in the 4×400-meter relay placed in the top three. Junior Karrington Winters, freshman Syaira Richardson, sophomore Halimah Barlow and senior Maggie Barrie combined to run a first-place time of 3:34.92.Ohio State’s third-place team consisted of sophomore Tamani Wilson, senior Beatrice Hannan, freshman Aziza Ayoub and freshman Mary Figler. The group combined for a time of 3:46.27. Richardson placed third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.67.The women’s throwing efforts were led by junior Sade Olatoye, who placed second in the weight throw with a throw of 20.65 meters. She also finished second in shot put with a throw of 16.30 meters. Sophomore Lyne’a Diller finished fourth with a throw of 15.24 metersOhio State had three sprinters finish in the top 10 of the 200-meter dash. Sophomore Taylor DeLoach finished fourth with a time of 23.93 seconds, Barrie finished sixth at 23.95 seconds and Barlow finished seventh at  23.96 seconds.Junior Mikaela Seibert placed second in the triple jump reaching 12.07 meters.Junior Jessica Passwater led Ohio State’s distance effort, finishing third in the 3000-meter run with a time of 9:47. In that same event, junior Brittany Atkinson finished seventh with a time of 9:51. The women distance medley finished third with a time of 11:59. That unit was made up of sophomore Vanessa Robinson, senior Courtney Cloudy, freshman Kalee Soehnlen and Ayoub.The team will head up to Ann Arbor for the Michigan Invitational Saturday.Men’s TeamThe Ohio State 4×400-meter relay ended the Kentucky Invitational with a first-place finish at 3:12.88. The ‘A’ team consisted of freshman Joseph Cooper, junior Nick Gray, freshman Drelan Bramwell and freshman Tavonte Mott.Four Buckeyes placed in the 200-meter dash with freshman Eric Harrison Jr. finishing second with a time of 21.21 seconds. Mott finished third with a time of 21.64 seconds, Bramwell finished fourth at 21.68 and senior Zack Bazile finished sixth with a time of 21.77. Junior DaJuan Seward finished third in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.01 seconds.  Senior Nick Demaline, who placed first in the shot put with a throw of 18.73 meters. Senior Aaron Zedalla placed second in the weight throw with a 20.58-meter throw and fifth in shot put at 17.35 meters. Senior Max Seipel placed sixth in weight throw (18.5 meters) and seventh in shot put (17.19 meters).The men’s pole vault unit had two athletes place, with junior Coty Cobb finishing third with a jump of 5.25 meters and senior Cole Gorscki finishing sixth (5.13 meters). Ohio State’s track field team will prepare for the Michigan invitational next Saturday in Ann Arbor, Michigan. read more

Pilot arrested on toilet with his trousers down after smuggling £24m of

first_imgThe plane used by the drug smugglerCredit:NCA/PA Prosecutor Ailsa Williamson said that Buwalda, from Hilversum, told officers he worked for the Chinese Europe Medical Post Grad Academy, which provided European-standard training to Chinese-taught dentists.He is said to have told them he had flown to the UK on June 30 using the academy’s Piper Alpha to network at the University of Greenwich.But he admitted he had not spoken to anyone at the university nor set up any meetings before leaving the Netherlands.Prosecutors alleged he brought the drugs across in red metal boxes, which he claimed were wing weights used to prevent gusts of wind from lifting the wings while the aircraft is on the ground.Buwalda told the NCA agents he took the weights boxes into the Holiday Inn because he wanted to “show off and look the part of a pilot”.But Ms Williamson said: “They were not wing weights and if they were, we would expect them to be attached to the wing and not taken into the hotel.”Polak, of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, told officers he worked for a cosmetics company and was paid £300 to collect a package for a business contact called Timmy.He denied ever looking into the bag or knowing what was inside when questioned.Neither defendant reacted when they were found guilty. Sentencing was adjourned to February 3. A pilot is facing jail after being arrested on the toilet with his trousers down as he smuggled cocaine worth more than £2.4 million into the UK.Dutch national John Buwalda, 49, was held by National Crime Agency officers in a Holiday Inn near Rochester Airport in Kent shortly after flying in from the Netherlands in a light aircraft.Minutes earlier, his accomplice, Jan Polak, had been arrested outside the hotel carrying 48lb (22kg) of cocaine with a high purity level.Following a trial at the Old Bailey, the pair were both found guilty of plotting to smuggle in the Class A drugs in June. The plane used by the drug smuggler NCA officer Jim McMorrow told the trial how he arrested Buwalda while he was sitting on the toilet.He said that after Polak was detained, officers went to the hotel room he had been in and discovered Buwalda in the bathroom.He told the jury: “Mr Buwalda was sitting on the toilet. He had a white top on and his trousers were by his legs.”I informed him we had arrested a man … and he had given us the room as the one he had been in.”I asked him what he was doing here and he said ‘I flew in from Hilversum today’. I informed him I was arresting him.”The Old Bailey was told that the drugs, which were found to have an 80 per cent purity level, were worth £2,408,040 on the street.center_img blocks of cocaine found with Dutch national pilot John Buwalda Blocks of cocaine found with Dutch national pilot John BuwaldaCredit:NCA/PA 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

Putting it bluntly madam you are sex mad judge tells woman jailed

first_imgTompkins “Your definition of an adult is far away from the legal definition, one of your victims was just days away from his 14th birthday,” he added.“I watched you in this case, I saw no tears in your eyes. You are a disgrace as a mother and I do not hesitate to say that.”Prosecuting, Kim Peston described how the defendant had treated her home like a “party house”, where the consumption of alcohol and cannabis was freely permitted in an “easy environment”.She told the court how Tompkins had first abused two boys in February last year, adding that she had become “suggestive” and performed a “striptease” for them in her living room.The court also heard how she had attempted to “cajole” two other young boys into having sexual intercourse with her on another occasion, and had used Facebook in an attempt to pressure another into engaging sexual activity. Listening as impact statements from her victims were read to Judge Sheridan, Tompkins was seen shaking her head and rolling her eyes as the details of her crimes were laid bare.Mitigating, Peter De Feu said the “stay-at-home” mother had become lonely following the breakdown of her marriage, adding that her circumstances had created the “perfect storm” from which her crimes had manifested. “To your own children in your drunken state you were a dreadful mother, you sexually abused children while your own two youngest children were in the house.”Judge Sheridan said that Tompkins had flirted with her victims in a “predatory and highly sexualised way”, adding that her actions were “outrageous” and had a “devastating” impact on their lives. Commenting, a spokesman for the NSPCC described Tompkins as a “serial sexual predator” who “manipulated” her victims, adding that she should receive rehabilitory treatment whilst in prison to prevent her from reoffending following her release.She was jailed for seven years, placed on the Sex Offender Registry, and banned from having any contact with underage children for life. Amanda Tompkins, 39 who had sex with underage boys.  Appearing for sentencing via video link from prison, the court heard how Tompkins would invite teenagers to drink alcohol and smoke cannabis in her home before engaging in “stripteases” and sex acts – some of which were performed whilst her youngest children were at home.Passing sentence at Aylesbury Crown Court, Judge Sheridan said: “You pleaded guilty to a most dreadful catalogue of sexual offending against young boys.“You ran an open house and for that, you should read you ran a home of abuse with you as the abuser – there’s no point in ducking it, no matter how drunk you were.“You were prepared to abuse each of the boys for your own sexual gratification, you simply had a sexual drive that knew no ends. Nothing was enough.center_img Amanda Tompkins, 39 who had sex with underage boys Credit:SWNS Putting it bluntly, madam, you are sex mad. A married mother-of-three who had sex with three underage boys has been branded a “dreadful mother” by a judge, a court heard yesterday.Sentencing Amanda Tompkins to seven years imprisonment, Judge Francis Sheridan told the 39-year-old: “putting it bluntly, madam, you are sex mad.”“As simple as that – anything goes, doesn’t matter the age, doesn’t matter what stage of sobriety you were in.”Tompkins, of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, was found guilty of 10 counts of physical and sexual abuse with six boys at her home whilst they were aged between 13 and 15 years old.After engaging in sexual intercourse and oral sex with the boys, Tompkins, who was described as being a “highly sexual woman without boundaries”, told one of them she was pregnant with his child and needed to have an abortion. Credit:SWNS 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

Billy Connolly mocks his own Parkinsons disease by playing Whole Lotta Shakin Goin

first_img#BillyConnolly – the greatest creative swearing craftsman and wordsmith of my lifetime and someone who could make a nun laugh at a funeral— RichardSmith (@dickymiff) April 18, 2017 Fans watching the documentary at home were quick to lavish praise on Connolly, with one writing: “I remember thinking ‘hang on a minute, a month ago you told us it was sinful’. Thank you Billy for introducing me to establishment hypocrisy for the very first time.”Connolly, 74, said: “They had taken me out of the register, I was a non-person, I was purged from the records. That was a school where the first thing you would see was a crucifix with Jesus hanging on it, God’s dead and it’s your fault.” 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. In the programme Billy Connolly And Me: A Celebration, Connolly’s famous fans – including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Elton John, Peter Kay and Sir Andy Murray paid tribute to him.The Thick Of It and Veep creator Armando Iannucci thanked Connolly for introducing him to “establishment hypocrisy” after the Catholic primary school they both went to welcomed Connolly back with open arms once he became famous after initially saying it was “mortal sin” to listen to his comedy albums.Iannucci recalled: “I was there when he came back and the headmistress got all the teachers round and they all loved him. He was very funny. A programme about #BillyConnolly is never going to be long enough. Hilarious stuff. Thank you ITV.— Angela Reynolds (@bubbabobob) April 18, 2017 @Billy_Connolly loved your program on #ITV you’re a beautiful soul, had me and my partner belly laughing 💗— B R A I D I E👑 (@braidiek) April 18, 2017center_img Kay described seeing Connolly perform as his “comedy epiphany” comparable to musicians seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.He said: “We were all sat in the front room and we were just in hysterics laughing and my dad crawling around on his hands and knees laughing. It was a huge moment for me.”I don’t think there isn’t a comedian in the world that hasn’t learned something from him.”Dame Judi, who starred opposite Connolly in Mrs Brown, said his jokes would stop her from getting enough sleep while they were making the movie.She told the show: “I just remember glancing at my watch, thinking ‘I’ve got a call at 5:30/6 in the morning, can I really do this with eight hours sleep? Six hours sleep? Four hours sleep?”Other stars who shared their memories included Eric Idle, David Tennant and Connolly’s wife Pamela Stephenson, while fans from Scotland to Qatar told of how he changed their lives.One fan revealed she delivered her second child to his comedy recordings, while another said he made him proud of his disability and others said his travelogues encouraged them to explore the world.  This feels a bit too much like a eulogy. Still laughing but sad underneath. #BillyandMe— Sibella Holland (@Ascoyne) April 18, 2017 #billyconnolly is built into my life like a family member. Funniest guy. Sad to see how frail he is looking. Total legend #itv #billyandme— Wozzawag (@cherylscally) April 18, 2017 Billy Connolly has said he does not pay much attention to his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease while he is performing – and chooses to mock his symptoms by playing Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On.The Scottish comedian was diagnosed with the degenerative disease three years ago, but said he continues to do his shows in spite of it.In an ITV documentary celebrating his career, he said: “The doctor said to me ‘You realise this isn’t curable?’ and I thought ‘What a rotten thing to say to somebody’.”I always thought he should have said ‘You realise we are yet to find a cure?’, to put a little light at the end of the tunnel. There’s a lot to be said for that.”He added: “When I’m in front of people performing I don’t give it much attention, I perform in spite of it. That’s why I put on Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On, just to do that (swearing) to it.” However, some said the programme felt a little premature, with one viewer saying:last_img read more

Farmers in row with ASA after milk advert claiming dairy farms are

first_imgFarmers have hit out at a ruling by the advertising watchdog that organic dairy farming is not “good for the land”. The Advertising Standards Authority banned an Arla advert for organic milk, saying it was “misleading”. The watchdog upheld a reader’s complaint that the ad, which also claimed the milk was “helping support a more sustainable future”, was misleading on the grounds that dairy farming was not good for the land.But Michael Oakes, NFU Dairy Board chairman, said the ruling was “disappointing”. “It’s been a long-held belief that that organic farming does hold benefits,” he said. “We are frustrated with how the ASA works, and we’d be really interested to learn how they reach these decisions.”Arla Foods, which is home to brands including Anchor and Cravendale, said one of the key principles of organic farming was good treatment of the land and that sustainability was at the heart of organic farming.The impact on the environment was considered in every step of the production process, the firm added.However, the ASA said consumers would interpret the “good for the land” claim to mean that production of the milk would have an overall positive impact on the environment, taking into account its full life cycle.The ASA said: “We acknowledged that Arla had provided evidence regarding the organic farming methods used and that they believed this was more sustainable than non-organic farming.”However, we did not consider they had substantiated that organic milk production had an overall positive impact on the environment, taking into account its full life cycle.”We therefore concluded that the claim was misleading.”It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, adding: “We told Arla Foods to ensure that in future they did not make environmental claim about their products unless they held sufficient substantiation.” 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

Baroness Hale hoping for three women to join Supreme Court bench

first_imgThe court has said it is looking for candidates with a “deep level of legal knowledge and understanding” as well as a “high intellectual capacity” and an understanding of the “communities which the law is there to serve”.It added: “Applications are sought from the widest range of candidates eligible to apply and particularly those who will increase the diversity of the court.”Applicants are required to have held “high judicial office” for at least two years or to have been a practising solicitor or barrister for at least 15 years.Lady Hale, who has also made it clear she does not advocate positive discrimination, said in a recent interview: “I believe women’s experience of the world is as important in the framing of the law’s answers to difficult problems as men’s. I also believe many men are feminists, just as some women are not.” Baroness Hale of Richmond, the first female head of the Supreme Court, has suggested she would like three women to replace the senior judges whose jobs are now being advertised by the UK’s highest court.The court has begun a recruitment process which she hopes will provide a significant boost to the diversity on bench. Currently, only two of the 12 senior justices are women.Lady Hale, 72, who was sworn in as president of the court in October, has made it clear that she hopes to use her position to inspire other women and show that they can reach the pinnacle of any profession.She welcomed the fact that Lady Justice Black joined her as the second female justice and made it plain that they hope to further improve the gender balance.In a recent question and answer session, she said: “I certainly can’t promise anything, we have three vacancies, it would be great if one could be filled with a woman, or even two or three.”Lord Mance, the deputy president of the court, will retire in June 2018 and two other vacancies will be created by the retirements of Lord Hughes and Lord Sumption next year. The Supreme Court If one of the serving justices is appointed deputy president, a third new justice will be recommended from this round of applications. The current salary for a supreme court justice exceeds £225,000 a year.center_img The Supreme CourtCredit:Paul Grover 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

Royal wedding effect will see tourism boom for Windsor

Windsor is expected to see a surge in tourists as a result of the Royal Wedding, with the beautiful surroundings capturing imaginations across the world.Tourism experts said the global spotlight thrown on the town – and a television audience of around 2 billion – is likely to mean a boost in the numbers coming to see its historic sights in coming months. Patricia Yates, from VisitBritain, said the images of a fairytale romance in glorious surroundings would prove an irresistable “showcase”.“It’s the fairy story of an American girl marrying a British prince,” she said. “We expect it to lead to a boost in tourists coming over in the weeks and months ahead, who will then travel to our heritage sites across Britain.”The industry anticipates an increase in the number of tourists after idyllic scenes of Windsor Castle, The Long Walk and the bustling town streets were beamed across the globe. Ms Yates said the popularity of the Duchess of Sussex in her home country could only add to the appeal for US tourists.The tourist board expects a 15 per cent rise in visitors from the US, year on year, bringing more than £3.4bn to the British economy. Even before the wedding, tourist numbers rose significantly, with an extra 50,000 visitors arriving in the week of the first May bank holiday, records show.Figures released by the Royal Borough revealed that 201,826 passed through the town in the week beginning Monday, May 7 – a 37 per cent rise on the same week last year, when 147,433 people visited.And Airbnb anticipated a 192 per cent increase in bookings in Windsor over the weekend of the wedding. Panorama of the exterior of St George's Chapel as guests arrive  Crowds are gathered in Windsor today and guests are starting to arrive ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle. #RoyalWedding pic.twitter.com/lfJ2Mved97— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 19, 2018 The organisation said overall, Britain will see a 4 per cent increase in tourists coming from overseas, who are expected to spend £26.9 billion this year, a 7 per cent rise on 2017. Golden ticket holders filled the grass alongside St George’s ChapelCredit:Eddie Mulholland for the Telegraph Councillor John Lenton, Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said the weekend had shown the town at its finest.More than 100,000 tourists filled the town’s streets on Saturday, hoping to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds.Yesterday St George’s Chapel was opened for the afternoon so that visitors could see the flowers from the wedding. And Windsor travel agencies highlighted open days at Frogmore House – the venue for the couple’s evening reception – which will take place next month, while local wedding venues advertised for business. 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. read more