Latest: QPR 0 Leeds United 1

first_imgQPR, beaten in their last three matches, are behind at Loftus Road after a goal from Ross McCormack, who had earlier had a penalty saved by Rob Green.McCormack was adjudged to have been fouled by Richard Dunne after latching onto Luke Murphy’s clever pass after 10 minutes, but his resulting spot-kick was easily stopped by the Rangers keeper.However, McCormack found the net with the help of a deflection four minutes later, when his 25-yard free-kick went in via the head of the unfortunate Kevin Doyle.On-loan West Ham playmaker Ravel Morrison is making his home debut for Rangers and Karl Henry replaced Tom Carroll in midfield in the absence of the suspended Joey Barton.QPR: Green, Hughes, Onuoha, Dunne, Hill, Traore, Jenas, Henry, Hoilett, Morrison, Doyle.Subs: Murphy, Keane, Yun, Carroll, Benayoun, Sendles-White, Maiga.Leeds: Butland, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Murphy, Austin, Stewart, Kebe, Wickham, McCormack.Subs: Smith, Hunt, Mowatt, Byram Wootton, Brown, Cairns.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Crowdsourcing the Serengeti: citizen scientists classify millions of photos online

first_imgSometimes the best way to deal with mountains of data is to turn to the public for help. That’s what Snapshot Serengeti did to classify millions of photos from savannah camera traps in Tanzania.Selfies gone wild. A female lion looks directly into the Serengeti camera lens. (Photo: Snapshot Serengeti, CC BY-NC-ND)Alexandra Swanson, University of OxfordAt this very moment in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, more than 200 hidden cameras are snapping photos day and night, capturing the secret lives of the Serengeti’s most elusive animals.And, at this very moment, one of those cameras is probably getting chomped by a hyena.Such are the perils of being a camera trap in our Snapshot Serengeti survey.With a night-time flash, a hyena is snapped by the camera trap.A minute or two later, the hyena takes a bite. (Photos: Snapshot Serengeti, CC BY-NC-ND)The Serengeti is an incredibly diverse and dynamic ecosystem, famous for its high density of large carnivores and the annual migration of 1.6-million wildebeest and zebra.When we found ourselves with more pictures than there are migrating antelope, we knew we had to find a way to classify and use all the information we were collecting. So we asked citizen scientists to work through these millions of images and help extract the valuable information they contain. Within three days of asking for the global online community’s help, we had successfully processed an 18-month backlog of more than 1-million classifications.The efforts of about 30 000 volunteers who identified the images via the website Snapshot Serengeti helped classify and catalogue the first three years of data, which are now published in Nature’s new journal, Scientific Data. This is the largest data set of its kind. It would never have been possible without the help of the general public.A surfeit of snapshotsAs a graduate student in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, I set 225 cameras to study how large carnivores shared the landscape with each other and their prey. Over the last five years, these remote, automatic cameras have captured more than two million images and more than 40 different animal species, providing an unprecedented look into the savannah wildlife ecology.Setting up a camera trap in the field. (Photo: Alexandra Swanson, CC BY-NC-ND)Camera traps have revolutionised ecology and conservation research by providing a relatively low-cost method to monitor many different species across large areas. Triggered by a combination of heat and motion, when an animal walks by, the cameras snap a picture. Every photograph has a location, date, and time. By combining the information in the images, researchers can paint a picture of how many animals there are, where they are, and what they’re doing. With enough cameras taking pictures, researchers can answer questions about how different species interact to drive the complex dynamics of a natural ecosystem.But enough data to answer complex ecological questions often means too much data for researchers to process. And, despite recent advances in computer vision research, the human eye – and brain – is still the best at this kind complex pattern recognition.Citizen scientists save the dayThis is precisely the problem that I was facing: despite relentless vandalism by curious hyenas and elephants, the camera traps were capturing more pictures than I could possibly process alone, or even with a small army of undergraduate volunteers. So fellow ecologist Margaret Kosmala and I partnered with the world’s largest and most successful citizen science platform, The Zooniverse, to build Snapshot Serengeti.Like all Zooniverse projects, Snapshot Serengeti was designed to let anyone – not just experts – make valuable and reliable contributions. We asked users to identify and count the species that they saw in each photo. Volunteers could filter animals by body shape, color, pattern, even tail shape to narrow in on the best possible answer. On the discussion forums, they could talk with each other and with us about what they were seeing and why it mattered. This could all be done in their pyjamas on the couch, since all they needed was an internet connection.As it turns out, there are a lot of people interested in contributing to science. It took only three days for volunteers on the website to work through our year-and-a-half backlog of data. Since we launched it in 2012, volunteers continue to classify Snapshot Serengeti photos faster than we can bring them back from the field.More importantly, though, volunteers on Snapshot Serengeti produce incredibly reliable classifications. By sending each image to multiple volunteers, we were able to aggregate across their answers to produce a final “consensus answer.” We used a plurality algorithm – which is pretty much just a slightly fancy majority vote. When we compared the consensus citizen scientist answers to a set of more than 4 000 expert-classified images, volunteers were right 97% of the time. On top of that, we can look at the disagreement in the raw answers to predict whether any given image is easy or hard, and thus whether the answer is likely to be right or wrong. That lets us target expert effort on just those 3% of images that really need it.Findings from the photosThe data produced by Snapshot Serengeti have already led to new insights about the Serengeti ecosystem. For example, these cameras revealed how lions and cheetahs divide up the same high-value real estate hot spots on a moment-to-moment basis – providing a possible explanation for their curious coexistence. By integrating camera trap data with satellite imagery, we are starting to explore the hidden drivers of the wildebeest migration, and to study how prey animals balance the need for food with the relentless risk of being eaten.Snapshot Serengeti has enormous potential for widespread use beyond the ecological questions that drove its design. We hope that the published data set, freely and publicly available on the Dryad Digital Repository, will be used by researchers across disciplines – whether they are studying rare species or training computers to automatically detect and identify species.Snapshot Serengeti’s success demonstrates the enormous potential for citizen science to help researchers tackle bigger questions than ever before. Camera traps provide a way to collect the ecological data necessary to answer bigger questions about the world around us, but citizen science is what provides a way to turn this data into new scientific knowledge, enabling research at a scope and scale otherwise impossible.Alexandra Swanson is Postdoctoral Fellow – Ecology and Citizen Science at University of Oxford.This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

2 days agoMan City seek social media influencers to promote Champions League games

first_imgMan City seek social media influencers to promote Champions League gamesby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City are seeking social media influencers to help promote the experience of attending games at the Etihad.The Mirror says City are advertising for social influencers to help sell the “great atmosphere” at the Etihad Stadium during Champions League games.The ad, which was posted on influencer marketing platform Tribe, also calls for males – preferably students, young professionals and those new to Manchester – to post content that can “tell an authentic and genuine story of what it’s like to be at a game”.In the ad, City said: “The Champions League this year has given us three relatively unknown teams meaning our core fans are less likely to attend.”We identified students, young professionals and those new to Manchester who are our ideal audiences, however we can’t ignore core fans either as they still account for most ticket sales.”We want to get across the great atmosphere of the Etihad through the use of influencers who can tell an authentic and genuine story of what it’s like to be at a game.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Charities Warn Global Goal To End Rabies Impossible Without Ban On Dog

first_imgEighty three animal charities from across the world, including Humane Society International, Change for Animals Foundation, the Jane Goodall Institute, FOUR PAWS, and Animals Asia, have written an open letter calling for stronger action by governments to tackle the significant threat of rabies posed by the brutal and often illegal dog and cat meat trade.An estimated 50,000 – 70,000 people die of rabies globally every year, with approximately 90 percent of cases reported from Asia, and the campaigners including the Dog Meat-Free Indonesia coalition, the Asia Canine Protection Alliance, China’s Capital Animal Welfare Association and Taiwan SPCA, warn that the global goal to end human rabies deaths by 2030 will be impossible to achieve without a robustly enforced ban on the dog meat trade.The organisations, representing groups from across China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Cambodia, Singapore, Taiwan as well as Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States, are highlighting the significant role that the dog meat trade can play in spreading the lethal rabies virus throughout Asia, across countries, islands and provinces and into densely-populated cities. The World Health Organisation and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control have both acknowledged the link between the spread of rabies and the dog meat trade which sees large numbers of dogs of unknown disease status moved vast distances. The trade operates in breach of rabies control recommendations by all leading human and animal health experts including FAO, OIE, WHO and PAHO, as well as national disease control and animal welfare laws and regulations.There is considerable evidence spanning decades from throughout Asia of the link between the dog meat trade and rabies transmission. Studies from Vietnam, China and Indonesia have proven that rabies-positive dogs and carcasses often appear in markets and slaughterhouses — as high as 16.4 percent in Vietnam – and the movement of different strains of the rabies virus in dogs being traded for human consumption has also been tracked. There have also been a number of human rabies deaths directly linked to slaughtering, butchering, handling and even consumption of meat from infected dogs. For example in Vietnam, a 2007 rabies outbreak in Ba Vi saw 30 percent of human deaths linked to exposure during the slaughter and butchery of dogs. And in the same year, research conducted in markets in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province demonstrated that between 7.8 and 10.6 percent of dogs being sold for human consumption were infected with rabies.Professor Louis Nel of Global Alliance for Rabies Control says: “We may not be able to easily change culture or habit, but we should ensure compliance with proven animal disease prevention measures and stop the smuggling of dogs, to limit the spread of rabies, an endemic disease across Asia. These traders are driven solely by profit and are disregarding the risks to human and animal health.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States commented in an email to a Dog Meat-Free Indonesia campaigner: “There are reports that dog-meat markets have a higher rate of rabies than the general dog population, as people often sell dogs to the markets when they act sick; some of these sick dogs have rabies…. Furthermore, there are at least three published reports of humans acquiring rabies from activities associated with the dog meat market, emphasizing that the risk is very real.”The U.S. House of Representatives voted this month to ban the trade of dog and cat meat in the United States.The groups signing the open letter want governments to not just implement bans on the dog meat trade, but to also take action to ensure these bans are enforced. In the Philippines for example, the trade is banned by law but the consumption of dog meat persists. The Philippines has consistently failed to get to grips with its spiraling rabies crisis.In Vietnam, Hanoi’s Vice Mayor Nguyen Van Suu recently urged residents to stop eating dog meat because consuming the meat could lead to the spread of diseases like rabies and leptospirosis. The move is part of a nationwide program to stamp out rabies by 2021, but Humane Society International/Vietnam director, Tham Thi Hong Phuong, says the country needs actions not just advertising campaigns.Phuong says: “We estimate that around 20,000 dogs are transpor­ted every month from the south to the north of Vietnam for slaughter, creating an easy way for rabies to be spread across the country. It’s encouraging to see the Hanoi authorities publicly acknowledge the risk and commit to banning the trade from central districts in Hanoi by 2021, but if they are serious about tackling rabies, they need to get serious about stamping out the dog meat trade across the whole country.”In Indonesia, although the central government made a public pledge in July this year to ban the dog and cat meat trades, the Dog Meat-Free Indonesia coalition is still waiting for Ministers to act, and says that some provincial governments are utterly failing to take the rabies risk or extreme animal cruelty seriously at all.Lola Webber from Change for Animals Foundation, says: “It is estimated that just 7 percent of Indonesia’s population consume dog meat, but the trade continues to jeopardise the health and safety of the entire nation. It is no coincidence that the provinces and regencies with the greatest demand for dog meat are also those with the highest prevalence of rabies, with devastating societal, economic and animal welfare impacts. Attempts to maintain rabies-free statuses of cities and provinces, and to control and eliminate rabies where rabies is still present, will fail without addressing the trade in dogs for human consumption.”The DMFI’s campaign for a ban in Indonesia has received high-profile support from global and Indonesian celebrities including Cameron Diaz, Chelsea Islan, Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres, all calling for urgent action to protect animals and people.In the Kingdom of Cambodia, rabies remains a major public health burden, killing more than 800 people every year. Dr. Katherine Polak from FOUR PAWS explains, “To put it in perspective, the annual incidence of human deaths from rabies in Cambodia is about six per 100,000 citizens. This is comparable to the annual incidence of road deaths in the entire European Union in the mid-2000s. In a country with no national program to address rabies and limited post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), tackling the dog meat trade would be one of the simplest, cheapest, and high-impact interventions the government could take. In neighboring Thailand, we applaud the actions taken by the Thai Department of Livestock to stop the illegal transport of dogs for meat.”Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said: “It is time to finally wake up to the true cost of the dog meat trade. It is a public health emergency directly responsible for thousands of deaths every year due to the spread of rabies. No meal is worth so many innocent lives.”An estimated 30 million dogs are killed each year across Asia for the meat trade. The groups’ open letter concludes: “Based on mounting evidence from throughout Asia and on decades of experience in successful rabies elimination programs from around the world, it is undeniable that the dog meat trade and rabies elimination efforts are incompatible, and that cities and countries around the world will never be able to maintain rabies-free statuses without addressing the trade in dogs for human consumption. We, the global animal protection community, therefore call on the national and regional governments of all countries where the dog meat trade is prevalent to take strong and urgent actions to end the trade in dogs for human consumption and the sale and consumption of such meat and associated products. If we are serious about eradicating human rabies deaths, we have a global responsibility to end the dog and cat meat trade for good.”Read the full letter here.last_img read more

The As Tailspin Might Not Matter Once The Playoffs Start

The Oakland Athletics, for weeks now, have been terrible. They’ve gone 27-37 in the season’s second half, with a 12-17 record in August and an even uglier 8-15 mark in September. Yet thanks largely to some atrocious play by their AL West rivals in Seattle, the A’s are about to clinch their third straight playoff berth anyway.Still, few people seem to be taking Oakland seriously as a World Series contender. Some of that disrespect comes from simple math: By having to play an additional one-game playoff just to get to the American League Division Series, the A’s face a tougher climb than MLB’s six division winners. But much of the disdain for Oakland’s chances stems from an overemphasis on momentum. If the A’s have stunk up the joint for most of August and September, why should anyone believe October will be any different?Because there’s no evidence to suggest that how a team plays heading into the postseason has any correlation with how it fares in the postseason. That’s why.Last week, we looked at teams’ regular-season road records and whether those can predict playoff success (the answer was yes, they do). Here, we used the same methodology, looking at every playoff game from 1969 through 2013 to see whether we could find a predictive link between late-season performance and playoff success.In the end, we found that full-season winning percentages were a significant predictor of postseason outcomes. But the degree to which a team was hot after June, July or August was not statistically significant when it came to forecasting playoff proficiency.Now that doesn’t necessarily prove definitively that there’s nothing to the momentum theory. As Bill James reminds us, an absence of evidence isn’t conclusive proof by itself, and it’s possible that further research using a different approach could yield different results.Still, given the hot-or-not narratives that pop up every October, and the lack of evidence to support the momentum theory, it’s probably time to take the A’s a bit more seriously as contenders. Jay Jaffe (at Baseball Prospectus) and Dave Cameron (for Fox Sports) both tested the theory by looking at playoff results from 1995 on and couldn’t find any statistically significant correlation either.Yes, the A’s will probably have to get past a stingy Kansas City Royals squad, one that’s excelled at pitching and defense all year, just to crack the ALDS. But with a pitching staff bolstered by the acquisitions of Jon Lester and Jeff Samardzija, and an offense that has struggled in the second half but looked strong in the first half, the A’s have the talent to compete for a title in a playoff field that lacks a clear favorite.As sharply as their luck turned down the stretch, it could just as easily turn for the better — starting now.CORRECTION (Sept. 26, 11:57 a.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly said the Oakland Athletics have gone 27-39 in the season’s second half and had a 8-14 mark in September. They have gone 27-37 in the second half and 8-15 in September. read more

Balague thinks Barca have to sell players prior to Griezmann transfer

first_imgGuillem Balague recently shared his thoughts that if Barcelona were indeed to buy Antoine Griezmann, they would need to sell about eight players just so they could afford to acquire the Frenchman.The Catalan side have been the most frequently linked club with Griezmann throughout the whole season, not just the past weeks, and it seems the rumours could quickly turn into reality,However, Balague thinks there is only one setback ahead of this.“The problem with Barcelona, and considering the way that they are not renewing the contract of Sergio Busquets as quickly as the player would like, is the wage bill is too high,” he revealed, according to the Express.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“The wage list is so big that they need to reduce it.”“If they sell about eight players they could manage it. Then they could make the move for Antoine Griezmann,” Balague went on to add.“They also need to sign a midfielder and a left-back and those will be the two positions they target.”last_img read more

Keylor Navas keen on leaving Real Madrid in January

first_imgReal Madrid and Keylor Navas are likely to part ways in the January transfer window after the Costa Rica international barely gathered two La Liga appearances this campaignThe 31-year-old goalkeeper was one of the protagonists during Zinedine Zidane’s tenure, having won three successive Champions League titles with Los Blancos.However, ever since the Frenchman stepped down as Los Merengues manager, former Levante shot-stopper struggled to impose to the new managers.Navas’ fairytale at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu has turned into a nightmare following the arrival of Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea during the summer.David Villa, FC BarcelonaTop 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.After being sidelined by Julen Lopetegui, Navas has continued to struggle for regular first-team action under Santiago Solari.Therefore, according to the Spanish news outlet, AS, the Costa Rican is determined to leave the Spanish capital looking to revive his career.Although no teams have come up with an offer yet, there’s no doubt Navas won’t have problems finding the new accommodation given his qualities.last_img read more

Van der Sar was hoping for Ajax Juve pairing

first_imgEdwin van der Sar admits he was expecting an Ajax vs. Juventus pairing in the last 16 of the Champions League and further explained he had good memories in TurinVan der Sar spent two seasons as Juve’s No 1 but did not truly convince between the sticks and was replaced in the summer of 2001 by Gianluigi Buffon, who arrived from Parma in a then-world record deal for a goalkeeper.“It’s always a pleasure to come back to Turin,” he told Football Italia after Ajax drew Real Madrid on Monday.What a draw @AFCAjax playing against @realmadrid in the next round @ChampionsLeague. Brings back memories to our match in November 1994 when we won 0-2 in Santiago Bernabéu. #UCL #ajarea ❌❌❌— Edwin van der Sar (@vdsar1970) December 17, 2018David de Gea, Manchester United, SpainDavid de Gea is replaceable at Man United, says Van der Sar Andrew Smyth – September 13, 2019 Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar insists the club’s current number one David de Gea isn’t irreplaceable amid doubts over his future.“I had a good time at Juventus, before my transfer to Fulham and then Manchester United.“Matthijs de Ligt is an important player, who came through our youth system. He’s our captain today and we’re happy with him.“All the teams are great in the last 16. It’s a shame that we didn’t get Juventus as I’d have liked to face them as my former club.”last_img read more