Notre Dame will be the new No. 1 team in the nation.Kansas State and Oregon — the top two teams in the country going into Saturday’s action — both came tumbling down, while Notre Dame moved to 11-0 and certainly will elevate to the No. 1 program in the nation for the first time since 1993 when the new BCS poll is released on Monday.KSU and the Ducks had a clear path to the national championship game. All they had to do was win their remaining games. Didn’t happen.The Wildcats got blizted at Baylor, losing 52-24 in a straight up beat down. Glasco Martin had three touchdown runs and Lache Seastruck rushed for 185 yards, including a back-breaking 80-yard score, in the Bears’ thumping that all but ended Kansas State’s chance for the national title.“I don’t know if I would call it getting smacked in the mouth, but they took it to us,” coach Bill Snyder said. “I really thought we prepared well, but as we found out, we didn’t. I don’t think we handled the situation as well as we should have been able to.”So, No. 1 was there for Oregon to assume. And yet, the Ducks didn’t do quack. Playing at home against No. 17 Stanford, the Oregon high-powered offense was contained. The Ducks managed just two touchdowns in losing, 17-14, in overtime.It was Jordan Williamson’s a 37-yard field goal in overtime that won the game and denied the Ducks a chance to clinch the Pac-12 North — and, in the bigger picture, a shot at the BCS title.If both Stanford and Oregon win in their final games next weekend, both will finish with one conference loss, which means Stanford will win the head-to-head matchup and go to the Pac-12 championship for a chance to play in the Rose Bowl.Meanwhile, Notre Dame advanced to 11-0 by thrashing Wake Forest, 38-0. The Fighting Irish came into the weekend at No. 3 in the BCS poll. With Nos. 1 and 2 losing, it stands to reason they will jump to No. 1. It is like that the SEC will dominate the next three spots with Alabama at No. 2, Georgia No. 3 and Florida No. 4.
A few weeks ago, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson told ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss he thought he was worth more than Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks. Sherman fired back on Twitter, and Peterson doubled down on Thursday.“I believe if you put [Sherman] in our system I don’t think he’d be able to last, honestly,” Peterson said on “The Bickley Show with Vince Marotta” on Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix. “I actually do much more than he is … Obviously, his job is definitely much easier than mine. If you look at their scheme and look at our scheme, he’s a Cover 3 corner. Period.”We can’t assess Peterson’s hypothetical — Sherman being slotted into Peterson’s role — with data because such data doesn’t exist. But, as Sherman already intimated, what statistical evidence we do have makes it difficult to support Peterson’s case. According to Pro Football Focus’s play-by-play grading system, Sherman has finished no lower than sixth among cornerbacks over the past two years; meanwhile, Peterson has finished no higher than 16th.Looking at their component stats, there’s no area where Peterson beats Sherman: Since 2012, Peterson has allowed a higher completion percentage (53 percent to Sherman’s 49 percent) and a much higher touchdown percentage (7 percent to Sherman’s 2.8 percent). Peterson also has a lower interception percentage (5.4 percent to Sherman’s 11 percent) and a much higher Adjusted Yards per Attempt figure (6.3 to Sherman’s 2.9). Even if you subscribe to the theory that a good cornerback’s primary value is in preventing passes from ever being attempted — which I do — opponents threw at Peterson once every 11.8 snaps, and at Sherman once every 13.7 snaps.Arizona has been the NFL’s second-best team at defending the pass over the past two years, but Seattle is No. 1, and by a wide margin, according to Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) metric. The difference between the Seahawks and the Cardinals is the same as the difference between the Cardinals and the sixth-ranked San Francisco 49ers.This could be taken as a point in Peterson’s favor — perhaps the sheer quality of Sherman’s Seattle teammates makes his job that much easier. But that’s another hypothetical. For now, all we really know is that the evidence supports Sherman’s side of the cornerback spat.
OSU junior tight end Marcus Baugh (85) is forced out of bounds during the first half against Indiana on Oct. 8. The Buckeyes won 38-17. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor The Ohio State Buckeyes took on the Indiana Hoosiers on Oct. 8 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes came away with a 38-17 victory.
Ohio State junior forward Jae’Sean Tate converts a layup as he was fouled in the first half against Wisconsin on Feb. 23 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won 83-73. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Assistant Sports DirectorThe will or drive of a team is rooted in self belief. Without a belief or a vision, a team cannot achieve its goals.For a while, the Ohio State men’s basketball team didn’t have a vision, it didn’t have a moment that could spring a successful run as the season grows nye. Well, now OSU has both.The Buckeyes handily defeated the 16th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers at home Thursday night, 83-73, in their most complete game this season. Four players were in double figures, the bench scored 32 points and as a team, OSU outrebounded the Badgers by 13 and shot 63 percent (10-for-16) from 3-point range.All of that happened against the fourth best defense in the country.The players — sophomore guard C.J. Jackson in particular, who had a career-high 18 points Thursday — had been saying throughout a mentally taxing conference season that they believed there run of consecutive wins was just around the corner. Wisconsin might be the start of that, but that doesn’t necessarily mean OSU’s predicament has changed. The Buckeyes will likely still need to win the Big Ten tournament to make the NCAA Tournament, but at the very least, OSU finally has proof it can win games against top competition.“I feel like everybody was on the same page (on Thursday). We played hard. It seemed like we couldn’t miss,” junior forward Jae’Sean Tate said. “If we play like this the rest of the time and in the Big Ten tournament, I feel like we can win.”That type of language hadn’t been heard since the beginning of the season when winning the conference was seen as an attainable goal. Yes, the Buckeyes said things like, “There’s still a long way to go,” and “Anything can happen” after losses, but maybe what OSU needed was the reality of winning a game that many didn’t believe it had a prayer in.So it begs the question, why can’t OSU always play like this?“I wish we could (always play like this) and for now on I hope we can,” Tate said. “We just got to build from it.”The game was equally important for OSU coach Thad Matta, who has been dealt an unprecedented amount of criticism this year. The 13-year OSU coach was already the most winningest coach in school history and became the most tenured coach in school history on Thursday night.He has not been one to ever focus, or truly care, about what outsiders say, but there’s no denying that critics will think twice about scolding the 13-year OSU coach after the Wisconsin win.“I’m sure there’s a lot of people that wouldn’t be pissed off if I didn’t come back (tomorrow),” Matta said. “But I say that from a standpoint of I guess that’s a tremendous feat, but I kind of like the most wins more than the most games to be honest with you.”While nothing on the winning side has come naturally to the Buckeyes this season, they had the answers on Thursday night. Each answer paved the path to success. There remains a long way to go for them, but the Buckeyes saw what their best looks like and that could be a motivator with two games remaining before the conference tournament.“We haven’t seen it a whole lot,” Matta said. “Everybody sort of did there part. When you’re making shots, it probably helps your cause … I hope these guys got a good taste of what it feels like to win a game.”
I grew up watching great high school football in Cleveland: St. Ignatius, St. Edward, Glenville, and even the big Cincinnati schools like St. Xavier and Elder. All these teams were excellent, but I was an Edward’s girl through and through. I love seeing players that I watched in high school play first for top-notch college teams and occasionally the NFL. I knew the kind of talent drinking Lake Erie water can get you. But, when St. Ed’s started to decline after my senior year, I wasn’t surprised. Why? Because I’m an Ohio fan.Being an Ohio fan means getting used to disappointment. As a Clevelander, I’ve had teams that were this close to making history. The Cavs’ trip to the semifinals last season or the Indians’ bids for the World Series in the mid ‘90s were the most poignant disappointments in my memory. Though I was heartbroken when these teams inevitably lost, I was secretly expecting to be disappointed. Why? Because I’m an Ohio fan — and every year is a rebuilding year for us. There is always a “next year” for the Ohio fan.This “next year” attitude encourages mediocrity in both the fans and the players. Look at our own Ohio State football team, it seems to me that they only play as well as their opponent. Against the University of Spoiled Children, our Buckeyes truly rose to the occasion, and almost won, too. But against teams like Toledo and Illinois I felt like we held back, even though our starters stayed in for most of the game. The Bucks don’t play every game like it’s the big game; if they did, it would lead us to winning seasons, to national championships and could even elevate Tressel to the hallowed level of Woody Hayes.Mediocrity is not limited to the Buckeyes, but is an epidemic in the NFL, too. Look at the Browns vs. Bengals game this weekend. Aside from some excellent running by Josh Cribbs and some good interceptions and throws by Cinci, it was a choke-off. It almost ended in a tie for crying out loud — a tie in professional football! Did you know that could happen? I didn’t, and neither did some of the players. If the Bengals’ kicker had missed the field goal, it would have happened. The two pro-football teams in Ohio would have tied each other in yet another demonstration of our state’s mediocrity.Yes, I’m bashing Ohio teams with all the rage of a scorned lover. That’s the key word, though: lover. I will never stop rooting for my Browns, my Indians, my Cavaliers and most of all my Buckeyes, even when I inevitably leave Ohio. I want them to be amazing, to startle the pundits who talk endlessly about Tim Tebow and Brett Favre (who really aren’t that good. Just saying). I want us to win national championships and Super Bowls. Heck,I’d just like for us to have good seasons. I’m a true Ohio fan, in good times and bad, but I’d like an end to year after year of bad and a lot more good.
The presence of senior tackle Don Matheney is far less intimidating than his 6-foot, 300-pound frame initially suggests. Instead, Matheney is soft-spoken and undeniably optimistic. Before he enrolled at Ohio State, Matheney was enrolled at the College of Holy Cross. There he endured 40-plus hours of homework a week to meet the demands of a Holy Cross athlete. Matheney contributed his first two seasons as a Crusader, but suffered a season-ending injury during his sophomore season transferred to OSU for his junior season after tuition increased at Holy Cross. Coming from a school with an enrollment of 2,900 to the 55,000 at OSU has been a huge change, but one that Matheney appreciates. “There is less one-on-one time with the teachers, but I really like it: the classes, the environment, the atmosphere.” Classes have been Matheney’s main focus since he transferred, as he was not eligible to compete his first season as a Buckeye. Per NCAA rules, as a transfer student-athlete, Matheney was required to sit out his junior season. His senior season was his first opportunity to help the Buckeyes on the defensive line. These events have only fueled Matheney’s optimism, however. When asked how he stays even-keeled despite what is required of him as a student-athlete, he simply responds, “I don’t even think about it … I just do what I have to do.” Not only does he do what he has to do, he does more. As he strives to complete a history of art degree along with a computer science degree, he does the work required to make an impact for the Buckeyes, on and off the field. In 2009, Scout.com reported the OSU football team had a 62 percent graduation rate. With a genuine desire to be a Buckeye, a motivated attitude to graduate and a humbling presence, Matheney will increase the number of OSU’s graduating athletes and better the reputation OSU’s athletic department holds so dear.
1. What is the state of the Minnesota football program? It’s rare for college football coaches to be fired mid-season. But Minnesota bucked that trend earlier this month. On Oct. 17, Minnesota fired coach Tim Brewster after the Golden Gophers’ 1-6 start. In a little more than three-and-a-half seasons as coach, Brewster went 15-30, including 6-21 in the Big Ten. Offensive coordinator Jeff Horton is now interim head coach. 2. Does Adam Weber pose problems for a banged-up Buckeye secondary? Last week, Weber joined the company of former Big Ten greats in the 10,000 career-passing-yards club. In recent weeks, the Golden Gophers have been throwing the ball extensively. Weber has averaged 47 passing attempts in the last two games. In three career games against Ohio State, Weber has averaged 177 passing yards a game while throwing two touchdowns and four interceptions. Despite those average numbers, OSU coach Jim Tressel holds Weber in high regard. “We had him in youth camp. I thought he was outstanding then, and 10,000 yards later I think he’s still outstanding,” Tressel said. “He’s a competitor.” 3. Has Ross Homan’s injury opened the door for the next star Buckeye linebacker? Remember back in 2005 when senior standout linebacker Bobby Carpenter broke his leg against Michigan and true freshman James Laurinaitis stepped in for him and didn’t miss a beat? Andrew Sweat is delivering a repeat performance in 2010 while Ross Homan is mending a foot injury. In the last two games, Sweat had 16 tackles, two tackles for loss, an interception, a forced fumble and a pass break-up. 4. Is Terrelle Pryor out of the Heisman race? The smart money says that with Auburn’s Cam Newton and Oregon’s LaMichael James putting up impressive numbers week after week, along with Boise State’s Kellen Moore’s sustained excellence throughout the season, Pryor’s Heisman campaign might be postponed until 2011. Although he’s not completely out of the race yet (Pryor ranks in the top 12 in the nation in touchdown passes and quarterback rating), he will need monster efforts in each of the final four regular season games to put himself back into the discussion. 5. After struggling at Illinois and losing at Wisconsin, will OSU’s road struggles continue against Minnesota? The Golden Gophers are hardly intimidating at 1-7 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten. They are 7-42 in program history against OSU, their worst record against any Big Ten opponent. But consider this: No current Buckeye has played at TCF Bank Stadium, which opened Sept. 12, 2009. OSU always gets every Big Ten opponent’s best shot and the Golden Gophers will be amped to play under the lights Saturday night. Tressel said he hasn’t been disappointed by his team’s play on the road so far, but agreed that his squad’s two previous performances away from Ohio Stadium have left room for improvement. “I haven’t looked at our two trips and said, ‘I don’t think they were focused’ or ‘I don’t think they understood’ or ‘they let the crowd get to them,’” Tressel said. “But do we need to play better on the road? Absolutely.”
Reid Fragel was a tight end in his first three seasons with the Ohio State football team, so it should come as no surprise that his transition to right tackle in his senior season has been a challenge.Fragel said he finally felt comfortable, however, in the Buckeyes’ fourth game of the season, a 29-15 victory against the University of Alabama-Birmingham Saturday.“I think so far that’s the best I’ve played at tackle,” Fragel said.This week, however, Fragel prepares for what could be a much greater challenge, as the Buckeyes travel to East Lansing, Mich., to play the No. 20 Michigan State Spartans in their Big Ten opener at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Against the Spartans, Fragel will be lining up primarily against Spartans defensive end William Gholston, who was an All-Big Ten second-team selection in 2011.“He’s got length,” Fragel said of Gholston. “I think that’s his main weapon, he likes to use his hands a lot and uses his reach. He’s quick off the ball, he’s got size, too, so it’ll be a good challenge for us.”The MSU game will be a homecoming for Fragel as well. For the first time in his OSU career, Fragel will have the opportunity to play in East Lansing, Mich., which is located less than 100 miles from Fragel’s home town of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.“That’s a game I’ve been looking forward to for a while,” Fragel said. “Obviously that’s my home state, so (I’ve) got some friends and family up there that will be at the game.”Fragel caught 14 passes over the course of three years playing tight end, but he became a starter for the first time after converting to right tackle and winning a position battle over freshman Taylor Decker in fall camp.Coach Urban Meyer listed Fragel as one of the offensive players who graded out as “champions” for his performance against UAB, and gave him praise during Monday’s press conference.“(Fragel) played his best game as a Buckeye,” Meyer said. “Best game of the year, really best game of his career.”Two of Fragel’s fellow starters on the OSU offense echoed Meyer’s sentiments.“We’ve seen a lot of guys step up,” said senior fullback Zach Boren. “Reid Fragel played the best game I’ve ever seen him play since he’s been here this past year.”Redshirt junior Corey Linsley said he felt similarly.“It was an awesome showing for Reid,” Linsley said. “It was great because everybody knows on the team Reid has so much talent. He’s huge, and he’s got athleticism, more athleticism than anybody, and it was great to see him finally use all of his potential.”Linsley said it was clear before Saturday’s game even started that Fragel came into the game with more energy than usual.“Even before the game, I knew it was going to be his best game,” Linsley said.Fragel said he “tried to be a little bit more energetic” on Saturday.“I knew we had to come out a lot harder and play with a little more tempo,” Fragel said. “I kind of just tried to help out I guess, and provide some energy.”Linsley said Fragel’s performance stood out during the highlight film that Meyer showed the entire team on Sunday.“They showed that film yesterday of the offense cutting through the defense and it was basically just a Reid Fragel highlight show,” Linsley said. “He was smiling all day yesterday, and high-fiving everybody, it was great to see him finally do that.”Fragel said it was a “good feeling” to be acknowledged for his positive plays in the UAB game, but also recognized that he has to continue to improve for the team’s upcoming game against the Spartans.“I know there was some things that I watched aside from that film that I need to correct, get better and improve for Michigan State,” Fragel said. “Not to downplay UAB at all, but the athletes that Michigan State have, we’re going to need to execute a lot better.”Linsley said playing against Gholston will be a great opportunity for Fragel to shine.“I think that’s even a better opportunity to take what he learned from this game, and to just put it in action against a really good player,” Linsley said.
Redshirt-freshman Driss Guessous (4) prepares to hit the ball during a match against Saint Francis Feb. 9 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-1.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorDriss Guessous went from redshirting his first year at Ohio State to starting every match and becoming one of the most influential players on the men’s volleyball team the next and is far from your average freshman athlete.That’s because when it comes to experience, redshirt-freshman middle blocker Guessous’ coach Pete Hanson said his rivals anyone.“Driss is a great athlete, but all of his experience is one of the reasons why he is having such a successful freshman year. He has played some great volleyball and is drawing from those experiences,” Hanson said.Guessous started playing volleyball during his freshman year of high school at Loyola in Pasadena, Calif., where he was named a 2012 first-team All-American and led the team to a state title. The past two summers, he has played with the USA Volleyball and the Junior National Team, competed at the Federation Internationale De Volleyball and played in the Men’s U-21 World Championship in Turkey with Buckeye teammate and junior outside hitter Michael Henchy.As an OSU Scholar-Athlete, Guessous said it has been a difficult adjustment from last season to find the time to stay on track with his schoolwork while traveling with the team.“The hardest transition for me is trying to balance school and volleyball. Being a physics major and having to travel to matches all over the Midwest can be quite the challenge, but it keeps me focused on what my goals are and what I want to take away from college — a great education and, hopefully, a national championship,” Guessous said.The Buckeyes have the 15th-best hitting percentage in the nation at .287, led by Guessous, who is ranked No. 1 in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association and fourth in the country for his hitting percentage of .446.“Driss is our most consistent attacker. If we ever get into an offensive slump, we know that he has the ability to get us out of it,” redshirt-junior setter Peter Heinen said.“Driss is one of our best offense weapons. He’s consistently killing balls for us,” Henchy said.Hanson said for one player to be successful on the court, the whole team must work together. But when it comes to Guessous, he works hand-in-hand with freshman setter Christy Blough, to get set up for a kill.“We have a setter who really understands that finding a way to get Driss the ball can really help the offense. Christy has really embraced that and does a good job of assisting Driss in a lot of opportunities,” Hanson said.Beyond his contributions to the Buckeye offense, Guessous is a main contributor to the defense as well. He is ranked sixth in the conference in blocks per set with a .94 average. His position as middle blocker entails a lot, Hanson said.“There is a lot of responsibility on a middle blocker from a blocking perspective, and as an attacker, to make some pretty instantaneous judgments, and being aware of everyone’s positioning on the court and the position of the ball,” Hanson said.As Guessous’ familiarity with the team increases, he also will grow as a player, Hanson said.“The more and more Driss and the passers and setters play together, the quicker and smarter his decisions will become,” Hanson said. “That will help him to continue to be more and more effective.”After falling to No. 15 IPFW Wednesday 3-2, the Buckeyes are set to take on No. 12 Penn State Friday at 7 p.m. in Columbus.Guessous said he is always looking to improve and understand that he has a lot to learn during these next few years as a Buckeye.“I want to get better at all facets of the sport. That’s the best part about playing volleyball — no matter how good I am, I can always can be better. That is why I love the sport. I crave the challenge and that is what keeps me going,” Guessous said.
Junior outfielder Pat Porter (3) slides into home during a game against Toledo April 3 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won, 7-2.Credit: Elliot Schall / Lantern photographerIf the Ohio State baseball team wants to be considered as one of the best teams in the Big Ten, making a statement in its first conference road series will go a long way.After getting swept in a three-game series at home by Indiana last weekend, the Buckeyes (18-10, 2-3) have a season-defining series this weekend at Nebraska (16-13, 1-2). OSU cruised in two midweek games against Ohio and Toledo that resulted in 31 hits for the Buckeyes, and coach Greg Beals said after feeling the pressure last weekend, the team has to step up against another one of the Big Ten’s top teams.“They were picked to be second in our conference preseason, so we’ve got to go defend ourselves. We didn’t have a good conference weekend last weekend and we can’t afford to have two bad weekends in a row in conference,” Beals said.Junior catcher Connor Sabanosh said the team realizes how important this weekend is if it wants to make a run at winning the Big Ten.“It’s going to be a big series for us after the tough three losses against Indiana,” Sabanosh said. “We’re really looking forward to our hitting to continue, these last two games have been big for us pounding out some hits and some runs. So we’re looking forward to keep it going through the weekend.”Pitching is key for OSU — the team is 13-0 when leading after seven innings and 17-2 when limiting opponents to five runs. Freshman pitcher Zach Farmer said heading into another Big Ten series, the pitchers have to build on the momentum they gained this week.“We’re on a roll right now and we just have to keep it going,” Farmer said.Against Indiana, pitchers were trying too hard and not sticking to the game plan, Sabanosh said.“Last weekend I thought they left a few too many balls over the middle of the plate. We have our best success working down on the corners,” Sabanosh said. “I think if they can stick with their game plan working down on the zone, we’ll be pretty effective out there.”In his first year at OSU after playing two years at a junior college, Sabanosh said he is excited to see what the Big Ten games look like on the road.“I’m hoping for a big one. It’s been fun on the road,” Sabanosh said. “We’ve been fortunate. The Oregon series was a lot of fun, great energy in the crowd. I’m really looking forward to the Nebraska series and I’m expecting a big crowd.”Beals said he expects the series to be exciting.“It’s a very good college baseball atmosphere there,” Beals said. “We’re going to have a good challenge here. We’re going on the road to play a good team.”First pitch in Lincoln is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. Friday.
“But I also heard lots of examples where people had chosen culturally inappropriate English names they’d heard from films or read online and realised there was an opportunity to help Chinese people get it right from the start.”The confusion is partly the result of Chinese government censorship of the internet restricting its citizens’ understanding of western cultural references.“There are quite a few examples where people have gotten the names wrong. Being exposed to luxury items and things like Harry Potter, Disney films and Lord of the Rings means they use those for reference. I once heard of someone called Gandalf and another called Cinderella,” said Beau. “I’m not really qualified or relevant enough in that baby’s life to be the person to give it a name,” she said. “I wanted to do it just to see if an idea could turn into more than just simply an idea. And I never expected it to become more than just a small project. It is obviously a nice surprise, but it is definitely a surprise.”Beau is using the income from the website to save for university and says setting it up and talking to her clients has already helped with her Mandarin.Songbu Wang, who chose her son’s English name using the Specialname website, told Gloucestershire Live: “I chose Nathan because it sounds strong, what’s more, I have seen the definition from my Specialname certificate; Nathan means ‘generous’.“I think a good man should be generous, then women will like him. I hope my son isn’t a jealous guy. I think English name can influence my child’s life.” There are quite a few examples where people have gotten the names wrong. I once heard of someone called Gandalf and another called Cinderella.Beau Jessup, 16 She set up the website Specialname to suggest culturally appropriate English names for prospective parents by matching the meaning of the name to the family’s ideals and aspirations for their child.Six months on Beau has named more than 232,000 Chinese babies, using names such as George, William, Catherine and Susan.Beau said she decided to set up the website after hearing some of the “embarrassing” English names Chinese parents had chosen for their children.She said: “When I went to China I kept being asked to name babies for my parent’s friends. They explained an English name is vital because you can’t use a Chinese name on email or a university application to the UK. Your English name stays with you for life. Beau at work on her baby naming website Her website suggests a shortlist of three culturally-appropriate names for the baby, producing a shortlist, along with the original meaning of the name and a famous namesake such as Grace Kelly or Catherine Middleton.The A level student, from Edge, near Painswick, says she doesn’t know which names are the most popular on her website, and she’s “happy about that”.She said: “It is called ‘special name’ and it’s based on individual preference and what they personally want their child to be. It’s nice to be a part of such a happy experience and be a part of those young stages in a baby’s life.” A growing number of Chinese parents have taken to choosing an English name for their offspring in the hope of helping them gain a future foothold in Britain and the West.Unfortunately that has led to mixed results, with some Chinese children now blessed with names such as Cinderella, Gandalf and even Rolex.Step forward Beau Jessup – a 16-year-old schoolgirl who has earned more than £48,000 offering advice to Chinese families on how to choose rather more suitable English names.Beau, a pupil at Cheltenham Ladies College, hit on the idea during a family visit to China, when she was asked by friends during a meal out to suggest an English name for their newborn baby. 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.
Britain’s toad population has plummeted by nearly 70 per cent over the past 30 years and is now in such peril the species is close to qualifying as endangered.A new report reveals that hundreds and thousands of the amphibians have disappeared from the countryside since the 1980s.The decline thought to have been prompted by a combination of new farming techniques, which have entailed the loss of ponds and the death of prey from pesticides, as well as increasing urbanisation. Heavier traffic has also been blamed for the sharp reduction, despite widespread schemes to help toads safely migrate to their breeding ponds by carrying them across busy roads.The data was collated by the volunteer patrols who perform this task, and is based on data collected from 153 since 1985.Milder winters as a result of climate change is another suspected driver of the population decline because of the disruption this causes to hibernation cycles.The new research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that South East England has suffered the worst decline in Toad, while Wales and the South West of England have remained stable for the past decade, numbers having shrunk over the twenty previous years.Scotland and the north of England have also suffered a significant decline in the past 20 years. Toad declines at this scale over such large areas are really worryingDr Silviu Petrovan, Froglife Mr Toad, in Wind in the Willows, was a sympathetic characterCredit:Telegraph Dr Silviu Petrovan, from Froglife, the charity which conducted the research, said: “Toad declines at this scale over such large areas are really worrying.“Toads are extremely adaptable and can live in many places ranging from farmland and woodland to suburban gardens.“They are also important pest controllers, eating slugs, snails and insects and are food themselves for many of our most likeable mammals such as otters and polecats.”Paul Edgar, the senior amphibian specialist at Natural England, said that recovery of the species depended upon keeping individual toad habitats linked across the country.He said the organisation was attempting to achieve this through ensuring that “green infrastructure” is included in all new planning developments.Despite their squat and warty appearance, toads occupy a fond place in the British imagination.Mr, Toad, one of the main characters in Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 novel The Wind in the Willow, is a selfish and reckless character but is nevertheless portrayed as likeable.A few years later George Orwell devoted one of his most celebrated essays – Some Thoughts on the Common Toad – to discussing the creatures and their “spiritual look” when they come out of hibernation.Every year thousands of volunteers take part in Toads on Roads patrols to help carry more than 800,000 of the amphibians to safety in both the UK and Switzerland, where Froglife has teamed up with groups which carry out the same service.Dr Petrovan said: “Without the efforts of the thousands of volunteers that go out and move amphibians across busy roads we would have no idea that these declines had occurred and the situation could be much worse.“One thing that is clear is that we need to do more to look after our environment in order to protect the species that depend on it.”Last month a separate report complied by 53 organisations found that one in six of all British wild species is now at risk of vanishing from the UK, with 1,999 listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List. 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.
Five most powerful people in Britain are now women, Professor Stephen Hawking has said, claiming there has been a ‘seismic shift’ in gender equality.The 75-year-old astrophysicist said that the Queen, Prime Minister Theresa May, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick were evidence that times had changed.However he argued that the private sector was yet to catch up.“I welcome these signs of women’s liberation,” he said on an interview with Piers Morgan for ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “But there may still be a gap between those women achieving high public status and those in the private sector. Jeremy Corbyn Credit:Jane Barlow PA “It is not scientific proof of gender equality that is required, but general acceptance that women are at least the equals of men, or better.“This is coming. If we factor in high-powered women in Europe as well, such as Angela Merkel, it seems we are witnessing a seismic shift for women to accede to high-level positions in politics and society.“I have always supported women’s rights. I moved the admission of women to my college, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. The results were wholly good.” 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. The Queen and Theresa May are examples of powerful women in Britain, says Prof Hawking Professor Hawking also said that he would continue to vote Labour, even though he did not believe the party could win under Jeremy Corbyn. Earlier this month, Prof Hawking branded Mr Corbyn a ‘disaster’ who should resign. “I don’t believe there will be much chance of Labour winning an election under him,” he said. On the meaning of life and happiness, Professor Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease aged 21, said: “My three children have brought me great joy. And I can tell you what will make me happy, to travel in space. I thought no one would take me but Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic, and I said yes immediately.”And when asked if he believed himself to be the world’s most intelligent human being, he replied : “I would never claim this. People who boast about their IQ are losers.”And on whether he had worked out the mystery of true love since he had solved the mystery of life, Professor Hawking said: “Thankfully, this is beyond human reasoning. And should remain so.” Prof Stephen Hawking said he had seen a seismic change in women’s rights Credit:AFP “He doesn’t come across as a strong leader, and he allowed the media to portray him as a left-wing extremist, which he’s not. It’s no good having the right principles if you never get in power. But I will continue to vote Labour, it’s the party that matters.”
He has betrayed the trust placed in him by the public and exploited a vulnerable victim of crimeDeputy Chief Constable Gareth Morgan A married police officer sneaked into courttoilets during a rape trial and sent an explicit photo to a domestic abuse victim, a tribunal heard.Christopher Lintern has been sacked after it emerged he formed a sexual relationship with the woman who had been violently treated by her ex-partner.He went into a toilet cubicle at Bristol Crown Court – while on duty as a witness in an unrelated attempted rape trial – and took a photo of his penis.Lintern, 36, then sent the explicit image from his mobile phone to the woman. His relationship with the woman came to the attention of senior officers at Avon & Somerset police and he was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing. Lintern admitted that sending the photo was misconduct but tried to argue that it was not gross misconduct and it should not cost him his job.He also argued that having a relationship with the domestic violence victim was not gross misconduct either.But he was sacked without notice when a disciplinary panel criticised his behaviour, saying there was no place for him in the police.The disciplinary panel concluded: “PC Lintern used his professional position to pursue and establish a sexual and improper and highly-damaging emotional relationship with someone who was, and remains, a victim.”His abuse of position for a sexual purpose amounts to serious corruption.”The panel added: “The damage caused by PC Lintern’s corruption is plain for all to see.”In the course of his work he met a vulnerable young victim (X) who was trying to move on from an abusive past relationship. “She was doing this with some bravery and resilience. “The improper relationship with PC Lintern and subsequent investigation has caused X significant setbacks.”It continued: “PC Lintern accepts that he breached the Professional Standards relating to authority, respect and courtesy and discreditable conduct by taking and sending to X a photograph of his penis while on duty at Court.”He accepts that this admitted conduct amounts to misconduct but asserts it is not so serious as to amount to gross misconduct.”He asks for consistency, asserting through his Police Federation Representative, that similar instances of behaviour by other officers in the past have been dealt with as misconduct.”In respect of X, PC Lintern admits the sexual relationship but says that it was not an abuse of position.”Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said: “I welcome the decision of the independent misconduct panel to dismiss Christopher Lintern with immediate effect.”He has betrayed the trust placed in him by the public and exploited a vulnerable victim of crime. There is no place for him in policing.”I am grateful to the colleagues who reported this matter for their professionalism and integrity and to the investigators who brought this case to a hearing.”In contrast to Christopher Lintern they truly represent the values and professionalism of the officers and staff who proudly serve the public in Avon and Somerset.” 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.
A ‘bed-blocking’patient has been left waiting more than three and a half years to be discharged from hospital despite being declared fit to leave. The patient, who has not been named, and who suffers from a “serious mental health condition” plus a learning disability and physical health problems, has now been in a hospital bed for 1,338 days.Welsh cabinet secretary for health, Vaughan Gething, sent the figures to Conservative Assembly member Darren Millar after he called for details on the longest number of bed days lost by individual patients experiencing delayed transfers of care. No patient should have to wait almost four years to be discharged from hospitalDarren Millar 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 letter, Mr Gething lists the longest delays experienced by individual patients at each of Wales’s seven health boards, as of January 2017, and reveals that along with the Hywel Dda University Health Board patient who has been waiting for three-and-a-half years, two other patients in the country have been stuck in hospital beds for more than a year-and-a-half each.Mr Millar described the delays as “truly scandalous” and said it was clear that a more integrated approach between the Welsh NHS and other care providers was long overdue.He said: “No patient should have to wait almost four years to be discharged from hospital.”While bed blocking is extremely costly for the NHS in Wales, the real cost is the quality of life of patients for whom it affects.” The letter goes on to say that it is anticipated that the health board’s clinical team anticipates being able to discharge them “in about six months”.Mr Gething wrote: “We have recently been advised that using a bespoke commissioning approach, the health board has secured a provider who is able to meet all of the patient’s complex needs, subject to some structural alterations to their premises.”Two other health boards, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) (589 days) and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (583 days) were caring for patients who had been waiting more than a year to be discharged, according to the letter.Commenting on the letter, a spokesman for the Welsh Government said the figures must be seen in context.He said: “Delayed transfers of care are at their lowest level for 12 years.”This is an exceptional achievement, especially when considered against the backdrop of increasing demand on services as our population ages.”The patients referred to in this correspondence had complex needs associated with mental health conditions and required highly specialist – often bespoke – services to be put in place. None were occupying acute hospital beds.”Mr Gething also wrote that the February census period had shown a reduction in delayed transfers of care for the fourth successive month.The Labour AM said: “We continue to have lower totals than were previously seen in Wales … this position has been achieved despite additional pressures the NHS in Wales faces through the winter months and against a backdrop of increasing demand for both health and social care services as our population ages.”Welsh Conservative shadow health secretary Angela Burns AM said the “shocking” figures were “a further indictment of the Welsh Labour Government’s failure to process patients through hospitals and into community care within an acceptable timescale”.Joe Teape, director of operations for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are unable to discuss individual patient cases, however we continue to work hard to reduce delayed transfers of care and have good relationships with our local authority and third-sector partners in providing care in the community as and when appropriate.” Patients are being left on hospital wards when they could be cared for in the communityCredit:Peter Byrne /PA A spokesman for ABMU Health Board said the 589-day delay was due to waiting for adaptations to the patient’s home to be completed.He said: “ABMU Health board, working closely with local authority and other partners, strives to discharge patients from hospital as soon as they are well enough to leave, either to their own homes or to the next stage of their care.”However, our overriding priority is to ensure patients are discharged into a safe environment.”For some patients this means they will require additional support arrangements to be put in place, which can include home adaptations requiring to be carried out prior to discharge.”Cardiff and Vale University Health Board was contacted for comment.For each health board the number of bed days lost as a result of an individual patient experiencing delayed transfer of care as of January 2017 were as follows:Hywel Dda University Health Board: 1,338Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board: 589Cardiff and Vale University Health Board: 583Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board: 330Powys Teaching Health Board: 218Aneurin Bevan University Health Board: 162Cwm Taf University Health Board: 135
Residents in highly sought-after home county towns could well have an influx of new neighbours if the Government’s new housing plans are to be believed. Families living in some of England’s most popular housing hotspots will be forced to accept more homes being built near them to tackle the housing crisis, The Telegraph reported yesterday. This would involve new rules that would force councils to increase their housing targets, which will be revealed in the coming weeks. With the exception of urban areas… Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said that he wants communities which have benefited from soaring property prices to play their part in solving the housing crisis. Which areas are most in demand?
Acid attack victim, Daniel Rotariu, has found love again with the carer who nursed him after his ex-girlfriend left him with life-changing injuries. 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.
Home cooks who want to give soup a little extra flavour can add seasoning, or perhaps a pinch of herbs. Heston Blumenthal has another suggestion: gravel from the garden. “I cooked some soup made with green beans that came from the farm and I decided to put a lump of bauxite rock in the water,” he explained. The chef, known for his experimental recipes, said he had recently discovered the transformative taste of rocks. In his newly launched podcast, Heston’s Pod & Chips, Blumenthal revealed the new flavours he has been discovering at his house in Provence. “From this bauxite rock, comes silica. Water, with silica in it, kind of thickens it. Silica comes from aluminium. And there’s aluminium in…
Animal charities have reminded the public that despite their appearance seals are wild and should not be approachedCredit:David Rose 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. Seal charities have reminded the public that despite their appearance the animals are wild and should not be approached. Swimmers have been told to steer clear of seals after a man was left with an infected bite which could have led to an amputation.The marine wildlife volunteer, known only as Richard, was left with a 3 inch wide wound after helping the pup who had been fighting with another seal.He was bitten on Saturday when the injured seal was relayed to him by a police officer who picked it up after the scrap had ended on Caister beach in Norfolk.There were fears he could develop ‘seal fingers’, an infection caused from seal bites which can lead to a contamination of open wounds and eventually amputation if not treated.The bite takes between a few hours and four days to become infected but an antibiotic called Tetracycline is known to be an effective treatment.However, Richard, who volunteers for wildlife charity Seals and Shore, was taken to A&E where he was given antibiotics for the bite on his left arm, so did not require an operation.It comes only days after a wild seal was filmed swimming up to kiss swimmers at a beach further down the east coast in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. A spokesperson for British Divers Marine Life Rescue warned that the disturbance of seals in their natural habitats is becoming more commonplace.They said: “People are getting too close to seals and touching them. They are wild animals which can bite so the best advice for people going to the beach who spot them is to leave them alone. The disturbance of seals is becoming more and more common. ” Other wildlife groups are calling for more protection for seals as disturbances can lead to chronic stress, which can lead to breeding failure and the death of seal pups.Andy Ottaway, Campaigns Director for the Seal Action Group, is urging the public to stay at least 100 metres away from the animals in order to avoid any more incidents.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAli questions Govt’s $100M projection to fix Turn-key homesApril 23, 2016In “Internet”Construction of model houses for housing expo underwayMarch 8, 2017In “Local News”CH&PA Board sole-sourced contractor, inflated original estimate by 124%June 17, 2016In “Local News” Recipients of the government’s turnkey houses will soon get access to their homes as the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) is currently wrapping up remedial works on defective houses.A project of the previous administration, the turn key project came under scrutiny after defects were detected in the structures of many of the completed building, constructed at Perseverance, East Bank Demerara, even before the beneficiaries moved into their homes.Some of the turnkey houses at the Perseverance housing scheme, East Bank DemeraraMillions of dollars were spent by the CH&PA to correct the defects such as splitting concrete walls, shifting roofs and leaky toilets and septic tanks.Project Manager, Kennard Dazzell told the media today, that this effort which started in September 2016, will be 100 per cent completed by the end of the week. Dazzell explained that correction works had “a bit of delay over some administrative issues, but that is done, so this programme will be fully completed before the end of the week.”The previous government had constructed approximately 200 turnkey homes at Perseverance site. As a consequence of the defects, despite allocating more than 100 per cent of these homes to beneficiaries, less than 50 per cent are occupied. All 200 of buildings would have seen some amount of corrective work being administered on them.Dazzell explained that as the CH&PA has been correcting the defects, occupancy has been steadily increasing. “The level of occupancy has been rising, every day we have two, three persons moving in,” he said. With the 100 completion of all the works, Dazzell said that the CH&PA expects that, “we would definitely see the whole area populated with all persons (home owners) coming back on board.”In 2011, the previous administration commenced the construction of the turn-key houses in several housing schemes, namely Providence, Eccles, Mon Repos, Good Hope, Zeelugt and Leonora. The programme had also catered for 1000 of these homes, costing $4.9M each, (the house costing $4.4M and the land costing $500,000) at Perseverance.