Tag Archives: ‘Miss

Raptors’ Nurse, Siakam to miss Friday’s game due to COVID-19 protocols

Assistant coach Sergio Scariolo took charge of the Toronto Raptors on Friday night with head coach Nick Nurse and five other members of his staff sidelined because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Star forward Pascal Siakam also sat out the game against the visiting Houston Rockets due to the same protocols, according to the league’s injury report. Toronto GM Bobby Webster said it wasn’t clear at this stage if Siakam’s situation was linked to the coaches.

“We’ll see what tomorrow brings us,” he said before the game. “We’re all diligently getting tested and awaiting the results every day.”

Chris Boucher started in place of Siakam.

Assistant coach Jim Sann was on the Toronto bench along with Mark Tyndale, assistant video co-ordinator/player development, and Jamaal Magloire, basketball development consultant.

Scariolo came out of quarantine earlier Friday after a trip overseas to coach in Spain. He had been in a FIBA bubble there and then passed the NBA protocols upon his return.

The 59-year-old Italian, who joined the Raptors in July 2018, has more than 30 years of coaching experience.

Webster, citing privacy issues, declined to identify the people affected or say whether they tested positive for COVID-19 or whether the tests were inconclusive.

He said all the players in action and those on the sidelines for the game had tested negative Friday. The team is tested twice each morning, with those with negative tests allowed to proceed.

“Once the negative tests came back this afternoon, I think that gave the NBA the comfort that at least for today we’re clear,” he said when asked if the league had considered postponing the game.

Unavailable coaches to work remotely

The team said the coaches will not be on the bench beginning with Friday night’s game against the visiting Houston Rockets but “will continue to work remotely, and details on their return will be communicated when appropriate.”

Webster said contact between Nurse and the bench during the game was not allowed under NBA rules.

The Toronto coaching staff was already shorthanded given Chris Finch left the team earlier this week to become head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Adrian Griffin, Jama Mahlalela, Jim Sann and Jon Goodwillie make up the remainder of Nurse’s coaching staff.

It’s uncertain how many games the coaching staff will miss. The Raptors host Chicago on Sunday.

Raptors assessed all options

Webster said one option, if needed, would be to bring back some of the Raptors 905 coaching staff, led by head coach Patrick Mutombo, who are in Orlando with the G-League team.

Asked half-jokingly if there had been any consideration to make star guard Kyle Lowry player-coach for the night, Webster joked he didn’t know if the team had the budget to make that happen. More seriously, he said you can’t pay a player to do anything outside of his contract.

Webster said he spoke to Lowry in the morning, noting he and Fred VanVeleet are the Raptors field generals — “just trying to get it in their head as soon as possible so they could think about it [being without the coaches].”

Thursday was an off-day for the Raptors so nothing was scheduled. That prompted the team to go back and try to determine what happened to cause this situation.

“It’s tough,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said prior to the game. “With the contact tracing and all of that, it’s a hard deal to kind of keep everybody safe and have some sort of normal life experience.

“You know, for us, it doesn’t really make much of a difference. It’s Nick Nurse’s team. They run Nick Nurse’s stuff. He’s a great coach. I respect the heck out of him. So not having him over on the side doesn’t necessarily make me feel any better because it’s his team that’s [being] coached. And it’s the players that they have that make them really good.

Silas says the Raptors are lucky to have replacement coaches to choose from.

“If that happened to me, we’d be down to our trainer or Keith Jones [Houston’s senior vice-president of basketball operation/head athletic trainer] or somebody would be coaching,” he said with a laugh.

“But for them, they have a bunch more good guys. So they’ll be fine.”

The Raptors have been lucky amid the global pandemic with no games postponed or rescheduled. Because of Canada’s border restrictions, they’re playing the season at Tampa’s Amalie Arena

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Don’t Miss This Week’s Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

Jupiter and Saturn, our solar system’s two largest worlds, have been drawing ever closer to each other in the sky in recent months as seen from our Earthly vantage, an event that has come to be known as a great conjunction. The two planets will appear closest together on Monday, December 21, the day of the Winter Solstice, when—depending on your eyesight—they may seem to briefly merge into a single bright point of light before drawing apart again.

The last time they appeared this close together was in Galileo’s time, but because the two planets were near their conjunction with the Sun and would have been lost in bright twilight, there is no record of anyone having seen the event. You would have to go back nearly 800 years, to 1226 AD, to find a more favorable great conjunction, with the planets approaching even closer and visible in a dark sky.

The Cosmic Racetrack

Picture the solar system as a cosmic racetrack. In accordance with a precise set of natural laws (Kepler’s laws of planetary motion), the planets on the inside tracks move faster. While it takes the Earth a year to orbit the Sun, Jupiter’s orbital period is 11.9 years, and Saturn circles our star in 29 years. Every 19.86 years on average, Jupiter “laps” Saturn from our perspective, and we see the two planets’ proximity to each other as a so-called “great conjunction.” Scott Orshan prepared the chart below showing their position on December 21 using the Web-based astronomy-mapping app, In-The-Sky.org.

In reality, although Jupiter and Saturn are on the same side of the Sun during such an event, and appear more or less in line with each other, in reality they never come much closer than about 400 million miles. On average, Jupiter orbits 483 million miles from the Sun, while Saturn averages 887 million miles from the Sun. When the two planets are on opposite sides of the Sun, they are much farther apart.

Because the orbit of each planet is tilted slightly with respect to the others, in a great conjunction the two worlds don’t always pass the same distance apart. The Moon is about half an angular degree in diameter. In many of these so-called great conjunctions, Jupiter and Saturn pass a degree or more from each other.

What You Might See

The December 21 conjunction is especially close, the two worlds appearing just a tenth of a degree apart, or a fifth of a lunar diameter, at their closest. Keen-eyed people may see them as a very close double “star,” with Jupiter outshining Saturn by about a dozen times, while near-sighted folks like myself may see them as blended together as a single object. Eyeglasses may resolve them, and the view will be even better in binoculars or a small telescope, where the two worlds should be visible in the same low-power field of view.

The chart above, which I made using the SkySafari app, shows the relative position of these objects at 6:05 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, December 21, when the two planets are nearly at their closest, about a tenth of a degree (6.1 arcminutes) apart. It is a generalized diagram; the extent of your field of view (which will be circular) depends on the focal length and magnification of your telescope or binoculars. A pair of 7x binoculars should be enough to show Jupiter’s four largest moons—Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto—appearing as a line of “stars” to either side of the planet. All except Europa are larger than Earth’s Moon, and Ganymede is actually larger than the planet Mercury—as is Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Jupiter’s moons—especially Io and Europa—move rapidly relative to the planet and to one another, and they are constantly changing position in a never-ending cosmic dance.

Large binoculars may show Saturn as an oval, and a small telescope should resolve it into a ringed planet, tiny yet perfect. It will also show Jupiter as a slightly squashed disk (due to its rapid rotation), as well as reveal its equatorial cloud belts. The scope may also discern Titan as a faint “star” at Saturn’s side. (A larger scope may show several additional moons, especially when Saturn is visible in a dark sky, and most especially around opposition, when Saturn is opposite the Sun in our sky, near its closest to Earth, and visible all night.)

Past and Future Great Conjunctions

After December 21, the two worlds will slowly appear to recede from each other. By Christmas, they will already appear a lunar diameter apart. The next two great conjunctions, in November 2040 and April 2060, are relatively wide ones, with Jupiter and Saturn staying more than a degree apart even at their closest. Some of our younger readers should be around for the next one, on March 15, 2080, in which the two planets will actually be a smidge closer (6 arcminutes) than they will be this week.

The last time Jupiter and Saturn were this close together was on July 16, 1623, 13 years after Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens and a decade before his run-in with the Inquisition. However, the two planets were very close to the Sun; Saturn, at least, would have been invisible to the unaided eye, and there is no record of anyone having observed this pairing.

To have actually seen these two planets this close in our sky (in fact, even closer), you would have to go back to March 4, 1226, more than four centuries before the telescope was invented. St. Francis of Assisi died that October and would be canonized just two years later. Genghis Khan and his horsemen had conquered much of Asia and parts of Europe; he would die the following year. The Sufi mystic poet, Jalal Ad-Din Rumi, was a young man of 19. He and his family had fled what is now Afghanistan due to the Mongol invasion and settled in Antalya, Turkey. Two years later, the Holy Roman Emperor would lead the Sixth Crusade, gaining control of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which encompassed Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jaffa, and surrounding lands through a negotiated settlement with the Sultan of Egypt.

The German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler claimed in the 17th Century that the Star of Bethlehem may have had an astronomical origin, namely the great conjunction of 7 BC. That year’s event was actually a rare triple conjunction, with Jupiter and Saturn approaching and receding from each other over a period of months due to the planets’ apparent retrograde motion.

It is possible for Jupiter to even occult (pass in front of—wholly or partially) Saturn from our vantage, but this happens incredibly rarely. The last one happened in 6858 BC, with the next due in 7541—the latter year will actually feature two occultations, as part of a triple conjunction: a partial occultation on February 16, and a full occultation on June 17, in which Jupiter’s disk will obscure all but the very tips of Saturn’s rings. Hopefully, there will still be people around on Earth to see this amazing event.

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Did NASA Miss Evidence of Life on Venus in 1978?

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Scientists are still coming to terms with the slim possibility that life exists in the clouds of Venus. It turns out the inhospitable planet has traces of phosphine in its atmosphere, and that often points to living organisms. This new analysis got biochemist Rakesh Mogul curious about past scans of Venus. He examined NASA data collected in the late 1970s, and the analysis suggests the original team may have missed a phosphine signal all those years ago. 

The recent study in Nature Astronomy was a blockbuster in large part due to its thoroughness. The team consisting of researchers from Cardiff University, MIT, and other institutions reported the presence of phosphine and also explored numerous ways it could be produced on Venus. While there are some abiotic processes that can create phosphine molecules, they rely on extremely high temperature and pressure like you’d find in gas giants. Venus should not be able to make phosphine without life. 

Upon hearing the news, Mogul and his co-authors went back to the studies released decades ago following the 1978 Pioneer 13 mission. This NASA probe deployed an instrument called the Large Probe Neutral Mass Spectrometer (LNMS) in Venus’ atmosphere. The LNMS sampled the atmosphere and ran it through a mass spectrometer, which is a common way to identify chemical compounds. 

Mogul noted that the original researchers didn’t discuss phosphate-bearing molecules in their studies. Looking at the raw data again, the scientists spotted signals that looked very much like phosphine. It’s difficult to say for sure because the LNMS was not designed to detect these molecules. If the signals identified as probably phosphine are indeed the genuine article, the concentrations would be a rough match for the Nature Astronomy study. Mogul’s team also spotted several signals that could indicate chlorine, oxygen, and hydrogen peroxide. These are also compounds associated with life, but they could also have arisen in other ways. 

This analysis of retro NASA data has been released on the preprint arXiv database, so it has not undergone peer review. However, this is far from the only operation to take a closer look at Venus. With all the interest around Venus currently, we should get a steady stream of news on this topic until someone can either confirm or refute the claims made in the study published last month. 

The ESA, NASA, and even the private spaceflight firm Rocket Lab have missions that could shed light on what’s going on in the clouds of Venus. It might be a few years until we know for sure, but fingers crossed for floating aliens.

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Nick Cordero’s Wife Amanda Kloots Reveals What She’ll Miss Most About Her Late Husband

Nick Cordero’s Wife Amanda Kloots Reveals What She’ll Miss Most About Her Late Husband | Entertainment Tonight

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All the Fourth of July Home Sales You Don’t Want to Miss

All the Fourth of July Home Sales You Don’t Want to Miss | Entertainment Tonight

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Marc Maron Mourns Lynn Shelton in First Instagram Post Since Her Death: ‘I Miss Her’

Marc Maron Mourns Lynn Shelton in First Instagram Post Since Her Death: ‘I Miss Her’ | Entertainment Tonight

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Phyllis George, Former Miss America & ‘The NFL Today’ Alum, Dead at 70

Phyllis George, Former Miss America & ‘The NFL Today’ Alum, Dead at 70 | Entertainment Tonight

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ExtremeTalk: What, If Anything, Do You Miss About the Old Days of Computing?

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Computers today are so enormously improved from the devices I used in my childhood, it scarcely feels accurate to refer to them with the same word. Mostly, that’s a good thing. I do not miss the days when hard drive specifications had to be manually keyed into BIOSes, when CPUs would cheerfully drive themselves into thermal runaway until they melted to the board. I am glad end-users no longer have to manually set the CPU voltage for a new chip using a series of jumpers or DIP switches, knowing if they got it wrong, they’d fry the CPU, the motherboard, or both. I don’t tear up when I remember hunting for a SoundBlaster Live OEM CD because Creative wouldn’t put the OEM drivers online.

But there are things I miss about the era. Back in 2000, I had a 16MB PC66 SDRAM DIMM that I could overclock to 133MHz — so long as I put it in the RAM slot farthest from the CPU. I overclocked my network card by pushing my system bus clock beyond rated spec and meaningfully improved network transfer speeds in doing so.

There’s one specific way in which the computers of the late 1990s and early 2000s blow the machines of today out of the water: achievable price/performance ratios. Want a low-cost dual-processor system? Grab an Abit BP6 and a pair of Celerons for a fraction of the price of a normal 2S system. Want Pentium II performance at Celeron prices? Grab a 300A and overclock it.

The AMD Athlon might have gotten all the accolades, but I always loved the original Duron more. As far as I can tell, just about every Duron 600MHz ever manufactured could hit at least 800MHz (8x100MHz). Plenty of them ran faster — my own Duron 700 was capable of 1045MHz on a 190MHz FSB (more on that in a moment). The equivalent improvement today would be buying a Core i3 with a clock of, say, 3.5GHz and cranking it to 5.2GHz while increasing your DRAM clock from DDR4-3200 to ~DDR4-4500.

The components to pull these kinds of tricks, moreover, were remarkably cheap compared with today, even accounting for inflation. Back then, Duron’s didn’t like to hit high bus speeds and generally could not boot at a 133MHz FSB clock. Motherboards of that time had just switched over to what were called Soft Menu settings for overclocking, instead of physical DIP switches or jumpers. Soft Menus were much easier to use, but they had a known flaw: There was a non-zero amount of time before the motherboard would adjust the CPU voltage to whatever was programmed into the Soft Menu.

When the CPU initialized, it had to be capable of hitting its default multiplier * the programmed FSB, and it had to be able to do this at its default voltage. If the CPU couldn’t initialize at these rates, even for a fraction of a second, the overclock failed. Plenty of Duron CPUs could hit 800MHz to 1GHz, but they mostly couldn’t do it at default voltage. As a result, Duron’s couldn’t run at a 133MHz FSB.

But I had an idea. You could also pencil mod the voltage on a Duron. I intuited that by locking the CPU to the highest voltage (1.85v), I could ensure that the CPU had all the voltage it needed. Once booted, I could bring the voltage down to something saner. Because the CPU initialized before the BIOS did, it would pull 1.85v for the split-second required to initialize the motherboard.

So what did all this cost me, in terms of specialized components or aggressively binned CPUs? Nothing. I paid a small premium for a 256MB stick of Tonicom BGA-mounted SDRAM clocked at 166MHz. I bought an IWILL KK266-R, then one of the best-regarded KT133A boards. I used a cooler I already owned and cranked my Duron up to 1045MHz on a 190MHz FSB. When the first-generation DDR motherboards shipped, my SDRAM-equipped KT133A was faster than any VIA KT266 board ever built. It took the KT266A chipset to put my SDRAM system in its place. I unlocked my CPU multiplier and voltage with a pencil.

AMD_Duron_D600AUT1B (1)

I’m not just telling this story to toot my own horn. The point is, these intuited moments and enthusiast angles existed. You didn’t have to be rich or capable of affording top-notch hardware to take advantage of them. It wasn’t unusual, back in the day, to discover that a midrange GPU was actually a high-end card in disguise, with more performance potentially on tap. Today, companies like AMD, Intel, and Nvidia are far better at extracting every ounce of value from their own products. Launches are far more polished, products slot neatly into segmentation, and generally speaking, things are very orderly. We still get surprises, to be sure — but they’re usually not aimed at the kind of ill-advised, risky, and fun tinkering that used to define the industry. Insane overclocks used to involve large tanks of water. Now they require large tanks of liquid nitrogen.

The flip side to this is that you don’t need to wonder if your motherboard southbridge and sound card will disagree and irrecoverably destroy all of the data in your RAID array. Being on the bleeding edge may cost a lot more money these days, but you’re a lot less likely to get sliced trying to balance there. Computers today are a hell of a lot better than the Windows 98SE machines that typify the era I’m discussing, but they aren’t necessarily quite as much fun.

99 percent of the time, I think this is a good thing. The rest of the time… well. Patrick Stewart sums it up better than I do:

That’s what I miss about the old days. What about you? Is there an OS you felt had tremendous potential but never got a chance? A CPU architecture you favored?

Also, if you absolutely hated them and just want to complain about Plug’n’Pray or, say, ATI’s 16-bit color implementation, that’s fine too. There are a lot of reasons to prefer the modern era as well.

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Bianca Andreescu will miss Australian Open due to knee injury

U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu will miss the Australian Open later this month as she continues to recover from a knee injury, the Canadian teenager said on Saturday.

Andreescu, who suffered the injury at the WTA Finals in Shenzen, is undergoing a rehabilitation program, she said on her Twitter page.

“..the Australian Open is unfortunately too soon in my rehab process and I sadly will not be able to play in it this year,” the 19-year-old wrote.

“It was a very tough decision to make as I love to play in Melbourne but I have to respect the recuperation plan for my knee and body. I can’t wait to come back to Aus soon.”

The 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., opted out of the Auckland Classic last month, a traditional warmup event for players ahead of the Australian Open

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Twitter Reacts After Steve Harvey Makes Cartel Joke to Miss Colombia at 2019 Miss Universe Pageant

Twitter Reacts to Steve Harvey’s Cartel Joke to Miss Colombia at 2019 Miss Universe Pageant | Entertainment Tonight

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