Triathlon European Championships: toughness in demand – also when it comes to appointments

Wwhat will become of the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt? After the spring classic, the Eschborn-Frankfurt bike race on May 1st, fell victim to the corona pandemic, the big event in triathlon is facing a similar problem. The date is still June 28th. Unlike the challenge-makers in the Franconian triathlon stronghold Roth, the Ironman strategists don’t want to pull the ripcord yet. You are betting on time – and on a close partnership with the authorities that has grown over the years.

In normal times, Frankfurt and Hesse benefit from the Ironman on the Main, from the event created on August 18, 2002 out of nothing. Even then, founder Kurt Denk played a double pass with politics. His successors eighteen years later are well advised to weigh up in constant dialogue with the health authorities whether it is responsible to speculate on a start in pandemic times. Should the more than 3000 athletes with the delayed decision be held in a training that is hardly possible anymore?

Anyone who has only been cycling fit in the living room at home for two weeks, can only run in doses and cannot swim at all because the bathrooms are closed is experiencing a “training phase” full of imponderables. And is more or less driven to put his fitness in the foreground, while the number of infections and the number of deaths in Europe increase every day.

Sure, since the last starter crossed the finish line on Römerberg in 2019, race director Pascal Morillon and his team at the Liederbach headquarters have worked hard to organize the 2020 edition. It is understandable that he wants to set the date for the competition on June 28th. Everyone wants a quick end to the pandemic and a return to everyday life with games and sports.

But Frankfurt’s fears are only too realistic. The Ironman races over the long and medium distance as on Lanzarote and in Barcelona, ​​planned for May, have been postponed or canceled in the autumn. The June racing calendar is available. If the Olympic Games and the European Football Championship had to be postponed early for the benefit of the athletes, then that also applies to the Ironman in Frankfurt.


Who gets the most credit: Brady or Belichick? – NBC Boston

From 2001 to 2019, the New England Patriots have won the AFC East 17 times. The other two years ended in a tie in first place.

In that time frame, they went to 12 AFC championship games and nine Super bowls. Six have won.

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been together for the entire race and – thanks to the past two decades – are now recognized as the best coach and quarterback in NFL history respectively.

Trying to share credit for a race never seen before the NFL domination and perhaps the most incredible trait in the history of professional sport – to some extent – is missing the point.

Did the ancient Egyptians stand in front of the pyramids and discuss whether the architect or builders deserved more credit? Did Mrs Wright analyze which of her children – Wilbur or Orville – was primarily responsible for the invention, construction and flight of the first plane?

There is something to be said just to close and appreciate the realization, isn’t there? Yup.

And we will get there.

But right now, with the engines going down Route 1 to pack Tom Brady’s remaining stuff and take him out of Foxboro forever, the question hangs on everything. Which man was most responsible for creating the story we’ve seen written in the past two decades: Belichick or Brady?

Results may vary. In fact, I know they will. But here’s how I see it.

If it hadn’t been for Belichick, there would never have been the mini-dynasty that they became in the decade 2000-2009.

If it weren’t for Brady, the Patriots would never have become the Super Dynasty that they became from 2010 to 2019 when they blew up the 60s Packers, 70s Steelers, 80s Niners and 90s Cowboys to become the only franchise that has dominated two decades.

Bill gets the first decade

The moment Mo Lewis cut an artery in Drew Bledsoe’s chest in September 2001, he is touched as the history of the NFL has changed. It wasn’t. It will only speed up a trial that began when Robert Kraft decided to hire Belichick to succeed Pete Carroll in January 2000.

Belichick took a look at the team’s register and management and started fumigating and renewing. In the end – despite the heavy contract that the Patriots gave Bledsoe in January 2001 to help strengthen public confidence and private investment in building CMGI Field (possibly Gillette Stadium) – Belichick was wary of being tied to a quarterback that the coach was able to routinely undress whenever he trained against him.

Especially a quarterback who had to be paid as the top of the market, as Bledsoe and his agent David Dunn made clear.

Brady was not enlisted in the sixth round of the 2000 draft as Bledsoe’s successor, but in September it became clear to Belichick that he had something. And it became obvious during the 2001 offseason and the training camp that – although not better than Bledsoe in all – the child who made $ 298,000 was more mobile, more precise, more ready in his pocket and destined to be more suited to handling a Bledsoe game.

Mo Lewis accelerated the process and – with a painful stroke – made the transition relatively painless. But the credit goes to Belichick for seeing what he had, promoting it and having the decision to pull the trigger.

The fact that the Patriots went 14-5 under Brady after starting 5-13 under Bledsoe is persuasive evidence that Brady was the missing piece. But Belichick created the register, built the culture and hired the right people – from managers to coaches – to put the team in a position to succeed. It deserves more credit.

Brady may have helped them get where they did, but the Patriots were undoubtedly headed in the right direction and the fruits of Belichick’s designs were collected in 2003 and 2004.

Those Super Bowl wins – the first at the end of a season that started with the shooting down of lawyer Milloy in favor of Rodney Harrison; the second thanks largely to a dice throw on Corey Dillon – they were the victories for “culture”.

Disinterest imposed. All done for the greatest good of the team. Everything ego in your pocket. The most impressive aspect of the patriots was therefore their stamina and mental endurance. Brady was an important part. But so were Tedy Bruschi and Harrison, Matt Light, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel and so on.

Fifty-three very intelligent and capable players row together in the hold of the big ship while Belichick was over the bridge to trace a route. It was from 2001 to 2004.

The dips in 2005 and 2006 began the process that would have led Brady to become, largely on Belichick’s design, the engine.

The 2005 Patriots were hit by injuries – not a hindsight surprise when you consider the nine extra games played in the previous four seasons and the difficulty of staying on top. They started to see some friction to grow old – Troy Brown was 34 then – and the ongoing game was marked as well as their defense on the run. They went 10-6 and lost in the division round.

The following season, a protracted squabble over the contract led to the Deion Branch being swapped with Seattle shortly before the season began. Reche Caldwell led the team in receptions followed by Ben Watson, Troy Brown and Kevin Faulk. However, they were unable to advance to the Super Bowl, but lost on the road to the Colts.

That season, Brady got a toy he had never had in Randy Moss and a Troy Brown replica model named Wes Welker. The entire set of record sets went 16-0 and lost in the Super Bowl.

Which brings us to 2008. This is the season that many are aiming for when they say that it is Belichick’s genius that is most responsible for twenty-year success. The Patriots went 11-5 with Matt Cassel starting in quarterback. Hadn’t he been a beginner from high school, yet the patriots still went 11-5?

Cassel was exceptional, better than anyone could hope for. But it’s still a sharp drop from 16-0 to 11-5.

In 2009, the central defense core was expelled or withdrawn: Vrabel, Bruschi, Seymour and Harrison. Belichick complained to Brady on the sidelines during a defeat for the Saints that season that “I just can’t get these kids to play the way I want them. So frustrating.”

The season ended with an ignominious home defeat against the crows in the AFC division playoff round.

Brady gets the second decade

The patriots renewed in the off-season and, in my opinion, Brady was at the forefront of finding their places where they had no business at that stage of their reconstruction. In 2010, the Patriots went 14-2, they were seed no. 1 and Brady was the unanimous MVP.

The offense, moving away from the narrow final position, enlisted two – Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez – and their production would become historic in 2011 when the Patriots arrived at the Super Bowl and lost again to the Giants. Brady launched for 5,235 career yards with 39 touchdowns and 12 picks.

In the 2012 season, he launched 637 times, a career high and one of three times in four seasons that attempted more than 600 passes. With a defense that too often seemed to resist better teams, it was Brady and the offense to score and score and score a little more. They were the first, third, first and third in points marked from 2010 to 2013. Defensively in that period they were eighth, 15th, ninth and tenth.

Even in 2013, when Hernandez was jailed for murder, Gronkowski was grounded due to back surgery and then with an ACL, Brady still ran by hitting the ball with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and – to a lesser extent – Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Shane Vereen.

They won the Super Bowl in 2014, winning a shootout against the Ravens in the Divisional Round, 35-31, and then overcoming a 24-14 deficit against the Seahawks in the fourth quarter when Brady moved to a completely different level in the fourth quarter.

The previous April, Belichick had enlisted Brady’s aspiring successor, Jimmy Garoppolo, in the second round. Brady, perhaps remembering the shrug that Drew Bledsoe had encountered Brady’s arrival 14 years earlier, would not have fallen asleep on the move with the team that ran Garoppolo.

Brady went on to launch 69 touchdowns and 16 predictions in 2014 and 15. He lost four suspension games in 2016 – Garoppolo overcame six quarters of Brady’s relief before hurting himself and giving way to Jacoby Brissett – but he still threw 28 touchdowns and two interceptions before ending that season with a 43- record. by-62, 466 yards in the Super Bowl when the Patriots canceled out a deficit of 28-3. Brady did it at 39.

At 40 in the AFCCG, without Edelman, without an injured Gronkowski, Brady and Amendola joined together to push the Patriots beyond the Jaguars and in the Super Bowl against Philly where he would have launched for 505 yards.

So let’s tell here. From 2010 to 2017, the Patriots have reached seven consecutive AFC Championship Games and the year they didn’t, Brady was the unanimous MVP. He wrote the filming of the playoffs against Ravens and Seahawks in 2014, the Falcons in 2016, the Jaguars in 2017 and led the team to two Super Bowl wins.

In 2018, Edelman was exiting an ACL and was therefore suspended for the first four games. Gronk was injured for a large chunk of the year. Phillip Dorsett and Chris Hogan were the main gimmicks for a while until the team faced Josh Gordon. It’s still? The team went 11-5, Brady put them on his back in the fourth quarter and overtime in Kansas City in the AFCCG and then the Patriots defense checked against the Rams and delivered a Super Bowl to Brady – apart from the shot at Gronk which led to the game’s winning touchdown – he just had to play OK to win the team.

The final verdict

So, see what my answer to this debate is now. Bill gets a bigger share of the first three Lombards. Tom gets a higher share than the second three.

So many people over the years have speculated that Belichick wants to prove that he can win a championship without Brady. I don’t know if it’s true.

I think if Brady was gone, Belichick would appreciate the opportunity, but I never thought he would have wanted to get rid of what he thinks is a quarterback capable of giving him a title that the others couldn’t.

Maybe that’s why we’re here. Belichick doesn’t see Brady as special as he once was. Great? Sure. Are there other guys who can do things they can’t do now? Belichick seems to think so. Brady has apparently survived its usefulness here.

Bill will do what he has done to so many other players. Go ahead. But this is the life cycle of the NFL.

From what I’ve been told and what I’ve collected, Brady agrees. He hoped to be special and to be able to write a different ending here, but to realize he couldn’t shock him. For a legend, it is rather well established.

Playing for Bill Belichick will help keep a player that way. And maybe even for that, Belichick deserves a lot of credit. He allowed Tom Brady to become Tom Brady because he was eternally and exasperatedly Bill Belichick.

Every. Single. Year.


Engineers 1.8 million years ago | Science

The use of environmental materials as tools is not exclusive to man. Many species are able to use available elements. The ancient throne of this practice by hominids now stands at 2.58 million years in a desert area in southern Ethiopia known as Bokol Dora, where some 300 small and sharp tools have been found, according to an international team of paleoanthropologists in the magazine Proceedings from the US National Academy of Sciences. But there is a substantial evolutionary leap: the selection of materials, not necessarily from the closest environment, due to their hardness, load potential and useful life to manufacture more efficient specific tools. The proof of this practice 1.8 million years ago has been demonstrated in an excavation in the Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania), cradle of the first human culture and where the first pages of the genesis of engineering were written if this is considered as the set of knowledge oriented to the invention and use of techniques for the use of natural resources.

The find, published by Journal of Royal Society Interface, has been performed by a team from the University of Kent, the UCL Institute of Archeology (both institutions in the United Kingdom) and Professor Ignacio de la Torre, from the Center for Human and Social Sciences of the CSIC, who is now in Tanzania completing the research.

The first human culture, the Olduvayense (named for the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania), is characterized by the use of carved songs. The research led by Alastair Key, has shown that the hominids of this area took a fundamental step in the evolution by discarding the lavas, quartzite or cherts (sedimentary rock) available and suitable to produce stone tools to opt for other materials more appropriate to the function they were looking for.

“What we have been able to demonstrate is that our ancestors were making quite complex decisions about what raw materials to use and they did it in a way that produced optimized tools for specific circumstances. Although we knew that later hominid species, including ours, were capable of making such decisions, it is incredible to think that populations from 1.8 to 1.2 million years ago were also doing so, ”explains Key.

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Stone tools manufactured 1.8 million years ago.

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Stone tools manufactured 1.8 million years ago.

The investigation has quantified the strength, the work and the deformation applied to the materials in each type of stone to choose those that threw a better performance. In this way, Paleolithic hominids selected the most suitable raw materials to build different stone tools based on information about their edge, durability and efficiency depending on how long they were going to be used and the force that needed to be applied. This reveals a complexity in the design and production of the tool during the early Stone Age.

De la Torre, of the Department of Archeology and Social Processes of the CSIC, which has been incorporated from the Institute of Archeology of the University College of London, and has obtained an ERC-Advanced Grant, explains from Tanzania that the importance of the study that are performing is not so much the demonstration of the selection of raw materials, which has been documented in older deposits, but in “finding out why they chose a particular type of stones in a preferred way”. “According to our results, already Homo habilis I understood the concepts of durability of the sharp edges of the rocks and the degree of sharpening, and combined such concepts in the preferential selection of some rocks over others to elaborate their lithic instruments, ”he says.

In this sense, previous research had shown that populations of the Early Stone Age in Kenya selected highly durable stone types for tools, but the new study reveals a level of complexity and flexibility in the production of unpublished stone tools. “By selecting the material that best suited specific functional needs, hominids optimized the performance of their tools and guaranteed maximum efficiency and ease of use,” concludes the study.

“This demonstration helps to better understand the decisions involved in the selection of raw materials, which in itself is a research question that is not usually addressed systematically by archaeologists, and allows us to better understand technical decisions and capacity organization of human beings with brains much more archaic than ours, ”explains the Spanish researcher.

Ignacio de la Torre, Spanish archeologist of the CSIC who has participated in the study of the Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania).

Ignacio de la Torre, Spanish archeologist of the CSIC who has participated in the study of the Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania).

Among the objects analyzed are lacquers, which De la Torre describes as “stone knives with sharp edges that were used to section meat or any other element that they needed in their subsistence activities (tendons, wood, roots, etc.),” and “Crushers and anvils, which the hominids would use to open the bones and acquire the bone marrow that they had from the prey of large carnivores.”

This research on the subsistence strategies of the first human beings is the objective of the new excavation in a series of deposits of Olduvai, a project led by the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), and which has researchers from University College London (United Kingdom), Indiana University (USA) and the UAB and the Spanish CENIEH.


China Remains Tough Against Taiwan After President Tsai’s Re-Election | International

“After his electoral victory, Tsai Ing-wen will have to make several trips of thanks. The first to Zhongnanhai (the residence of Chinese government leaders), then to the office of Carrie Lam, the head of the Hong Kong Self-Government, and then to the Hong Kong Police. ” The joke circulating on Taiwanese social networks since this weekend makes clear to what extent the Hong Kong protests and the rejection of Beijing have played a key role in the re-election of the Chinese skeptic Taiwanese President with a record number of votes in favor. A result that has been a real slap in the face for China.

That slap has hurt, a lot. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, former head of the Taiwanese Affairs Office in his Government, has insisted from Zimbabwe, on a tour of Africa, that despite the electoral results, China will not change its attitude towards the island, that it considers an inalienable part of its territory and that it does not renounce to annex by force. “This consensus will not change one iota for local elections in Taiwan, and will not be altered by the wrong words and acts of certain Western politicians,” he stressed, in an apparent allusion to the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, that over the weekend he congratulated Tsai and criticized Beijing’s “tireless pressure”.

Beijing does not hide its animosity towards Tsai, commonly described in the Chinese media as a supporter of Taiwan independence. Although many in her party, the Progressive Democrat, do sympathize with that idea, the president has maintained a calculated ambiguity and supports maintaining the current situation, an independence de facto without formally declaring it to avoid a backlash from China.

Tsai raised the elections during his campaign as a kind of referendum on the need to maintain democratic values ​​on the island against an authoritarian China. Throughout 2019, and after Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated in his New Year speech the threat of the use of force to achieve unification, his government had increased pressure. It had wrested diplomatic allies from Taiwan – it only has 15 left – had limited tourism to the island, and had sent warships for military maneuvers in the strait that separates them. The Taiwanese government had also blamed China for an intense disinformation campaign and false news.

Tsai’s message spread, especially among young people, who have followed the protests in Hong Kong with great interest. The Taiwanese president obtained 8.1 million votes, 57.1%, in an election in which participation shot up to 75.2%, the highest percentage since 2008, in clear support for her proposals regarding the conciliation with China advocated by his rival, Han Kuo-yu, of the conservative Kuomintang. The Progressive Democratic Party also renewed its comfortable absolute majority in the unicameral Legislative.

Despite these results, Beijing insists that it will not change its position. “The reunification of both sides of the Taiwan Strait is a historical inevitability,” said Wang, who in a harsh statement has assured that “those who try to split the country will be condemned to reek for eternity,” an expression that in Mandarin is equivalent to ensure that the subject will go down in history as an example of bad reputation.

The minister’s reaction adds to the criticism of this weekend in the Chinese official media. The Xinhua News Agency believed that the victory had been made possible by the president’s “dirty tricks” and by maneuvers by “dark foreign forces.”

According to analyst Jude Blanchette of the Center for International Strategic Studies (CSIS) in Washington, after Tsai’s re-election, one can only expect “an increase in pressure from China.” “The Communist Party does not accept well the need for compromises or anything that indicates weakness, so there will be no accommodations” or changes towards a more flexible position, he believes.

“Although the party is capable of tactical change, it will not rethink its attitudes on matters it considers vital, such as Taiwan or Hong Kong. We already saw this after the November legislative elections in Hong Kong. After the victory of the Democratic opposition, Beijing did not recalibrate its position to incorporate more flexible officials or with a broader vision, “recalls the expert. Instead, Xi has appointed Luo Huining, former governor of Qinghai Province, a man accustomed to a heavy hand to enforce Beijing’s orders, as head of the central government representation in Hong Kong.

Lai I-chung, from the Taiwanese Prospect Foundation, agrees with the American specialist. “Changing his policy would mean admitting that Xi was wrong. And as we know, in China Xi Jinping is never wrong, ”he ironic.

The Taiwanese leader spent her first words of victory on Saturday urging China to understand that democratic Taiwan, and its elected democratic government, “will not yield to threats or intimidation,” and that the only ones who can decide the island’s future are its 23 million inhabitants, not the Government in Beijing.

Since his victory, Tsai has also released several messages of support for Hong Kong protesters from his social media accounts. “Before the elections, I said that Taiwan would unite to defend our freedom and our democracy. Over the past six months, Hong Kong has shown us how important that commitment is. I hope that the people of Hong Kong find hope in the message that our elections have sent to the world, ”he wrote on Twitter on Monday.