5 October 2010The FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, a hub of activity during the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, is the most profitable facility that was built or renovated in South Africa for tournament matches – and its success as a venue looks set to continue.The stadium, previously known as Soccer City, is now back to hosting big sport games like the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, other premier league football matches, as well as international football and rugby matches.World-famous entertainers are also billed to perform at the 94 000-capacity venue in the coming months, said Jacques Grobbelaar, director of Stadium Management South Africa, which manages the FNB facility, Soweto’s Orlando and Dobsonville stadiums, and Rand Stadium in southern Johannesburg.“Big stars are coming to the stadium,” Grobbelaar at said a media briefing at the stadium on 22 September.It’s been confirmed that US pop sensation Neil Diamond will perform there later this year.Although there are concerns that the 10 World Cup stadiums won’t be used to their full potential, this is not the case with the multi-purpose FNB facility, said the management group, which has been given full responsibility to run the venue owned by the City of Johannesburg.Tickets snapped up for FNB matchesThe government renovated the FNB Stadium at a cost of R3.3-billion (US$460.6-million) ahead of the global football spectacle.Since hosting the momentous World Cup matches, including the opening and final, FNB went on to stage four high-attendance football and rugby matches, two of which were sold-out events.The sold-out Telkom Charity Cup, which provided all-day football activities in August, was held there, followed later in the month by a historic Tri-Nations match between South Africa’s national rugby side the Springboks and the All Blacks of New Zealand. Some 92 000 tickets were snapped up for this face-off.Bafana Bafana beat Ghana at the stadium in a well-attended match on 10 August.It was also a playground for the first round of the MTN Top 8 semifinal between Soweto giants Chiefs and Pirates, which attracted more than 50 000 spectators.“Pirates and Chiefs will play their big matches here,” Grobbelaar said.Stadium Management South Africa has secured further agreements with Chiefs and Pirates, the biggest premier league clubs in Johannesburg, to use Rand Stadium and Orlando Stadium for their home matches.Chiefs played its home matches outside Johannesburg during the previous season, although it’s traditionally a Soweto-based team. Another Soweto premier league outfit, Moroka Swallows, plays its home matches at Dobsonville Stadium.It’s taken more than luck to strike these agreements with such big teams, Grobbelaar said. It took the company 14 months to get Chiefs to agree to play at Rand Stadium, and negotiations with Pirates dragged on for nine months.It took 18 months to bring the Tri-Nations match to FNB, according to Grobbelaar. “We were quite chuffed with finalising those agreements,” he said.“It’s not the fact that we’re lucky, all stadiums are competing [for these games].”Negotiations are under way with the Golden Lions rugby team to be moved to FNB.Stadium financially sustainableThe stadium requires about R2.5-million ($35 000) for maintenance each month – but this is no problem for management, because “we’ve put proper content by attracting Chiefs and Pirates”, Grobbelaar said.Management is “doing well” in “meeting the financial demands”.“We don’t have any concerns about sustainability. We know that the stadium will be utilised.”The FNB Stadium receives no funding from the City of Johannesburg for maintenance. “We accepted full financial responsibility of the stadium.”Grobbelaar said 40% of the management group’s profit was ploughed back into community development projects around Johannesburg.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
Most of Gwin’s challengers did exactly that. Australian Mick Hannah, the fastest man in qualifying and the last man to have a shot at racing inside Gwin’s blisteringly fast time, crashed heavily early on, breaking his bike stem and ending the competition in a moment of high drama. The American, who hails from California and races with the Trek World racing team, is a relative newcomer to downhilling, after converting from BMX and Motocross racing after a succession of serious injuries. Hysterical supportEven hometown hero Minnaar couldn’t upstage Gwin, despite riding a tidal wave of hysterical support and vuvuzelas from the thousands of fans packed around the course. “I can’t understand why I was so fast today,” said an elated Gwin afterwards. “I was so calm at the start. Usually I try to shy away from people talking to me, but today I felt like I needed someone to wake me up. Cross-countryNino Schurter of Switzerland and China’s Chengyuan Ren stole the limelight on the penultimate day of competition when they lifted the men’s and women’s cross-country titles. Moseley heard the on-course commentator say that her split times were very close to those of Griffiths, as she raced down the course. The all South African junior girls’ cross country race was won by the current national and African champ, Ashleigh Parker-Moffatt, almost a minute and half clear of Linda van Wyk, with Simone Vosloo making up the balance of the podium places. SAinfo reporter South African Rourke Croeser has a bad start and lagged in the bottom half of the 55-rider field before powering his way through to 13th place. “I can’t thank the crowd enough. Their support was unbelievable and made a huge difference to me on the day. I am sorry for the second place,” he added. Elisabeth Sveum of Norway claimed the women’s under-23 title, ahead of Poland’s Paula Gorycka, with Hungarian Barbara Benko in third place. For much of the men’s downhill final veteran downhiller Steve Peat occupied the leader’s hot-seat, and looked set to provide an upset result until Gwin blitzed the course. “It was such an awesome race! I’m very happy to have finished ahead of Julien (Absalon) and its really great to have won the first World Cup of the year,” said an exhausted Schurter. “I made a couple of silly mistakes early on and was trying to catch up all the way,” said Minnaar. “Maybe that what you need to do on a course like this – stay really calm otherwise you blow up,” he said. In the elite men’s event, Schurter showed just why he is the current world number one, looking calm and in control throughout the exhausting race on his way the third World Cup victory of his career. Earlier in the day, rising Swiss star Andri Frischkneckt posted a comprehensive victory in the junior men’s cross country title decider, romping home to a one-sided two minute victory over local challenger Gert Heyns, with French teenager Cyril Grangladen a minute further back in third. “I got off to a good start and was part of the lead group, but I just lost concentration for a second, my wheel slipped out and over I went,” said Stander. “I damaged my derailer and only had three gears for the rest of the race!” Toughest track“This is the toughest track I have ever raced,” said Moseley. “I was just hanging on for dear life, after pedalling flat out through the flat section following a great start.” Spectacular crashIt was a day to forget for South Africa’s Burry Stander after his hopes of a home win were dashed by a mishap early on the first lap and another spectacular crash on the last which saw the team Specialized Racing rider cross the line in a disappointing eleventh place. Sliced through the fieldIn the women’s race, the day belonged China’s Chengyuan Ren, who sliced through the field from the second last row of the grid to the front where she held off a strong challenge from Julie Bresset of France and take the win. Russia’s Irina Kalentieva finished third. 28 April 2011 Before him British world number one Gee Atherton and World champ Sam Hill failed to match Gwin, and South African Andrew Neethling, who qualified tenth fastest in the field of 80, saw his challenge ended in a crash high up on the course. Home town favourite Greg Minnaar narrowly missed out on repeating his success of 2009 when he placed second in the downhill at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Pietermaritzburg on the weekend, just 0.241 seconds behind American speedster Aaron Gwin. Gwin, who victory was his first in a World Cup event, stunned the massive crowd that crammed into the forest at the Cascades mountain bike park with a time a full four seconds faster than the 4:12 that was being tipped as a title clinching mark. “I managed to hold sixth place for most of the way, but I could feel the guys getting close towards the end there and with the added pressure I went over again in the rock garden and I’m just happy to have finished in one piece!” he reckoned. The event organisers have lodged a very strong bid to host the 2013 World Championships at the same venue, and are bullish about their chances of winning that bid when it is decided in the coming weeks. The trio of Schurter, Julien Absalon of France and the Czech Republic’s Jaroslav Kulhavy got off to a dream start and set a blistering pace from the opening lap. They went on to occupy the top third positions on the podium. “The win will give me good momentum so hopefully I can just keep my shape in the next few races,” he added. Australian world champion Jarryd Graves annexed the four-cross title, while Dutch star Anneke Beerten won the women’s four-cross. Earlier in the day, the women’s title fell to British women’s downhill pacesetter Tracy Moseley, who was pushed all the way by her fellow countrywoman Fionn Griffiths. The event, as it did in 2009, drew thousands of MTB fans. “I was done,” said Moseley. “It was so tough. The course was horrid – hard and fast – and I was finished at the end.” Griffiths was second, followed by a trio of French youngsters – Emmeline Ragot, Sabrina Jonnier and Floriane Pugin. Italian Gerhard Kerschbaumer took the men’s under-23 cross country title after a thrilling duel with Austrian Alexander Gehbauer, who led for most of the race. Pole Marek Komwa ended third. 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Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. My wife, Betsy, and I searched for two years before we found the dump of our dreams: a tiny, dirt-cheap, and homely 1960s ranch that was within walking distance of our children’s school and was close enough to downtown Portland so that we could ride our bikes to work. Our hope was that we could renovate it into an affordable, stylish, and comfortable home. Our creative vision was strong enough to sense the glimmer of a diamond deep inside that forgotten home on Madeline Street.The house was heavily distressed, its wiring was illegal and dangerous, and it was considered a menace by the neighbors. It leaked air to beat the band (15 ACH50/4000 cfm50), and the basement flooded every time it rained. The ceilings were a claustrophobic 7 ft. 6 in. high.Why take this on? Residential architects usually want to build their own house at some point, so we figured, why not now? Plus, our kids were old enough to survive the remodel. As an architect, I thought the house would make a good low-energy-technique test case and a possible prototype for other office efforts at net-zero rehabs. Don’t rush the renovation We planned the design during our first year in the house, which allowed us to discover the many different aspects of the site. The existing house was just larger than 1100 sq. ft. I knew that expanding the footprint would expand the cost as well, so I followed the dictum of designing up, not out. I planned a compact two-bedroom second floor for the kids and enclosed the breezeway between the garage and the house. In total, I added 850 sq. ft. GOING UP IS BETTER THAN GOING OUTTo save money, the new floor plan was kept to the original footprint. The author gained space by… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in read more
Related Posts Tags:#Photo Sharing Services#web john paul titlow Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Version 3.0 of the world’s fastest-growing photo-sharing app went live on Thursday. Instagram’s newest update goes beyond filters and cosmetic changes and puts a renewed focus on geolocation. In the process, it makes photos more discoverable and the app more addictive. The update’s key new feature is called Photo Maps. It’s exactly what it sounds like: Turn it on, and you get an extension of your profile that lays out your geo-tagged photos on a map of the globe. How Geolocation Helps Social Content Discovery Geoocation has been a buzzword for years, but for Instagram it has always lurked quietly in background. If a user geo-tagged a photo, you could tap the location’s name and view a crowdsourced album of all photos taken at that location. This was an interesting feature, but it always felt like an afterthought. With Photo Maps, Instagram reemphasizes location, pulling what used to be a secondary data point out from the depths of the service and putting it front and center. In doing so, Instagram changes the way people browse each other’s profiles and discover photos on the service. Previously, the primary way to view one’s images was in reverse chronological order. Instagram photos, like tweets, got buried with time and you could view them only if you were curious enough to scroll manually back to earlier days. (This is easier now, thanks to the new version’s infinite scrolling.) Remember how Facebook’s Timeline resurfaced old status updates and wall posts? This is a bit like that, but it’s based on geography rather than the passage of time. The photos you Instagrammed on vacation last summer – when the service’s user base was a fraction of what it is today – suddenly have a new life. The location data included in each photo is very precise. Last December, I spent the holidays with family in Bedford, Massachusetts. On my Instagram Photo Map, a cluster of images floats far north of Philadelphia and New York, where I take the majority of my pictures. When I tap on the Massachusetts cluster – an interaction thoughtfully designed to be slick and fluid – I can see a sub-cluster of photos taken at my brother’s house, a photo I took while I was out for a run one afternoon, and a photo I snapped at the supermarket down the street. Each one is pinned to the map in the exact location the photo was taken, right down to the square yard. Of course, this precision raises possible privacy issues. Instagram is aware of this issue. Before activating Photo Map, the app lets you deselect some photos. This is a useful security feature that can be used to untag photos taken at your own house, for example. This Would Look Great on an iPadThe new Photo Map user interface is very nicely designed, as is the new user profile template that comes with it. But you know where this type of UI would look even better? On tablets. Sure, the iPhone version doesn’t look bad on the iPad’s 10-inch screen, but the additional screen real estate offers so many opportunities from a design perspective.There hasn’t been too much noise about an official iPad app from Instagram, perhaps because people were too busy clamoring for an Android version and subsequently blown away by Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of the company. But now that Instagram has a giant parent company and more resources, a tablet-specific version would make sense. If Instagram does launch a version of the app for bigger screens, Photo Map would be right at home. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market read more
Controversy dogs the IX Asiad like the old man used to cling to Sindbad the sailor. Starting with the heated arguments over whether the Games were really necessary, the incessant wrangles have embraced the colossal cost, the politicisation of the organising committees, favours allegedly rendered in allotting prime hotel sites,Controversy dogs the IX Asiad like the old man used to cling to Sindbad the sailor. Starting with the heated arguments over whether the Games were really necessary, the incessant wrangles have embraced the colossal cost, the politicisation of the organising committees, favours allegedly rendered in allotting prime hotel sites with financial support for construction, the selection of contractors with shady records and any number of alleged irregularities committed in purchases in India and abroad.The Asiad project has progressed through four governments – it was mooted during Mrs Gandhi’s Emergency regime, gained strength during Morarji Desai’s Janata regime, nearly came a cropper in Charan Singh’s caretaker regime, and was finally consolidated after Mrs Gandhi returned to power in 1980. Charan Singh had objected to the “luxurious” games, but the Congress(I) Government created fresh problems by refusing to recognise the committees constituted during the Janata regime and by delaying the selection of venues for the events.A new Special Asian Games Organisation Committee (SOC) was set up under Vidya Charan Shukla, and Delhi and Haryana were chosen as venues. The Haryana Government under Chief Minister Bhajan Lal launched a massive construction drive at Rai, Haryana, but the authorities suddenly discovered that the site was unsuitable for security and transport reasons and Rai was scratched. Four precious months had been lost and at last Delhi, was asked to shoulder the entire responsibility for the Games.Changes: Just then, major changes took place at the top levels leaving lower-level officials in a quandary. Shukla resigned from the SOC after resigning from the Union Cabinet. The then education minister S.B. Chavan, who was chairman of the steering committee of the Cabinet on the Asian Games, was moved to planning, and Minister of State for Education Sheila Kaul took charge as the Education Ministry is the nodal ministry for the project.advertisementThus, a minister of state was presiding over a group which had three Cabinet rank ministers – an unusual arrangement. Says a Congress(I) MP who, despite repeated requests, has not been made a member of any of the Asiad committees: “All the changes at the top level were done to accommodate a particular group. Merit was just ignored.” Most of the 28 committees are packed with Congress(I)MP’s and senior IAS officials who have hardly any experience of organising a major sports event. No office bearer of the over 100 sports organisations in the country is chairman or vice-chairman of any committee.The first flyover to be commissionedThe MP’s in the committees include Arun Nehru, Madhav Rao Scindia, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jagdish Tytler, Dharam Dass Shastri, H.K.L. Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar, R.N. Mirdha and Amarendra Singh – all from the ruling party – and Sheikh Abdullah, who can hardly be accused of a consuming interest in sports. Despite the ‘harmonious’ composition of the committees, there have been key changes.Almost all the commitees’ membership has been changed thrice. Charanjit Singh, MP, was earlier chairman of three committees – catering, accommodation and medical and health – but has been shifted elsewhere. However, his soft drink Campa Cola is the official drink for the Games. The Government’s Double Seven will be sold at 70 paise as against the market rate for Campa Cola. Participants will be supplied Campa Cola free.Wranglings: Many senior IAS and other officials with questionable records in their states are part of the SOC. A public relations officer of the Press Information Bureau was shunted out to make way for the confidant of a senior Union Cabinet minister. At a later stage a new vice-chairman, General J.T. Satarawala, came to handle the situation, but the wranglings had had their effect, not only at the apex but also in the various implementation agencies: the DDA, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the New Delhi Municipal Committee (NDMC), the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), among others. Among the prominent controversies are: the selection of Sharat Dass as architect for the DDA’s Indraprastha Indoor Stadium, though he had won second prize in the competition. Dass’s design was selected by the DDA technical committee on the plea that it would be possible to complete the project within two years;the selection of sites for some flyovers and their faulty designs. For example, according to a survey conducted by a non-official agency, the flyover in front of Oberoi Hotel was not necessary. The Barakhamba Road flyover will create more traffic jams; the purchase of imported cars by the ITDC. The differences between the ITDC and the Tourism Ministry over the choice of imported cars delayed the actual import by over a year. While the ITDC was in favour of the Datsun and the Mercedes, the Ministry was promoting the Toyota; the selection of foreign and Indian consultants; the allotment of three hotel sites to pro-Congress(I) businessmen by changing the land-use pattern in some cases; Seven hotels, excluding the ITDC’s. are not likely to be completed by November; three have not progressed beyond the first floor, and piling operations are not yet over. At a recent SOC meeting, Tourism Secretary Dr B. Venkatraman who is in charge of coordination, hotel construction, reported that the promised hotel accommodation would not be available. Prudently, the SOC had decided to hire rooms in guest houses.When Asiad work started, the three ITDC hotels – Samrat (300 rooms), Kanishka (300 rooms) and Ashok Yatri Niwas (526 rooms) – were already under construction. Eight private businessmen were given permission to construct hotels for a total of 1,596 rooms. In January 1982, when the SOC reviewed the construction, it discovered that at the present rate of construction, only 500 rooms would be ready by September 1982.advertisementThe SOC conducted another review last month: only five hotels – Centaur, Samrat, Maurya Sheraton extension, Asian Hotels and Siddharth Intercontinental – were on schedule while Surya International, Indian Hotels, the DDA’s Bharat Hotel, Meridien Hotel and Park Hotel were lagging behind. It also appeared that two private hoteliers had been giving vastly inflated reports on their progress: they had said they would provide 260 rooms by November 1982, but they hadn’t finished piling work.The SOC officials also did not care to visit the sites before recommending the cases for financial support by the Government. The investment in each hotel is: Indian Hotels – Rs 33 crore, Surya International – Rs 15.50 crore. Asian Hotels – Rs 33.63 crore, Siddharth Intercontinental – Rs 9.90 crore, Maurya Sheraton extension – Rs 6.40 crore, Bharat Hotel – Rs 18 crore, Park Hotel – Rs 23 crore, Meridien Hotel – Rs 35.65 crore, Centaur Hotel – Rs 30 crore, and other hotels – Rs 60 crore.Concessions: The SOC did not question the allotment of site, steel, cement, import licences, soft loans and the violation of the master plan in the case of the laggards. Two have been allowed to sell 25 to 40 per cent of the covered area as commercial space instead of the 17 per cent normally permitted. Over 50,000 tonnes each of cement and steel was granted to these hotels at priority and concessional rates; they got low interest loans despite the credit squeeze.After hotels, costs. Central Government figures never rise above Rs 67 crore, while Opposition leaders’ estimates hover around Rs 600 crore. A calculation shows that the actual expenditure on construction of all structures is around Rs 472 crore . Much of the cost over-run is due to additional building taken up in the name of the Games.The NDMC got clearance from the soc to cover the Shivaji Stadium with a 150m span roof for Rs 90 lakh. This technically unfeasible project was entrusted to a contractor who has considerable influence over NDMC officials and was stopped only when SOC member Arun Singh asked questions – the contractor is now demanding compensation.advertisementRising Costs: Each agency has also contributed to cost escalation. The DDA is responsible for three-fourths of Asiad construction and has added various new projects to its basic plan. For example, a Rs 11 crore players’ complex which has come up at the indoor stadium was not part of the original idea. Despite the additions, the DDA is the only body which has been able to complete all its projects in record time.Ailawadi (left) and GroverThis includes the Yamuna velodrome and the Asiad village complex extending over 800 acres. Says Vice-chairman Ailawadi: “I can account for each and every penny spent on DDA projects. Without asking for additional funds from the Union Government we have created assets which will give us additional revenue of over Rs 1 crore every month.”The Asiad has proved a useful peg for foreign trips. Between them, over 100 officials of the DDA, the ITDC, the Tourism Ministry, the CPWD and the SOC have circled the globe hunting for technical advice and materials. According to SOC sources, committee Secretary-General S.S. Gill and two other members have led the field in this costly marathon. An embarrassed Education Ministry is averse to supplying the number of such visits; an MP who asked for the information was told “it was being collected and would be supplied in due course”.Controversy Uncovered: The storm about the NDMC swimming pool is typical of the situation. The original plan, submitted by noted architect Satish Grover had the Rs 9 crore pool both covered and air-conditioned. But when completed it will be open, with accompanying air-conditioned facilities. Swimmers will thus have to negotiate different temperatures inside and outside the pool. Differences between the architect and NDMC officials are responsible for both the altered design and the delay.As Grover’s design had been selected during the Janata regime, an attempt was made to acquire a new architect and a new design. But Mrs Gandhi and Rajiv intervened and Grover’s plan survived – but not for long.For Grover and his consultant Professor K.A. Patel, other troubles had just begun. NDMC authorities, unlike other agencies, kept them away from the actual construction and hired a contractor who had very little experience of handling such a complex job involving a 100 m diameter roof.Besides, the present contractor, G.S. Atwal & Co, did not even figure in the list of six contractors invited to submit tenders. His name was allegedly included after pressure was put on the tender committee by politicians and civil servants in the SOC secretariat. The other names included leading firms such as Shah Construction, Shapoorji Pallonji & Co and Hindustan Construction Co. The list swelled to 10 to accommodate Atwal. Only five tenders were submitted and Atwal was chosen because his tender was the lowest: Rs. 4.5 crore.Foul-up: While Atwal’s quotation was really rock-bottom, it was the high cost of inputs that started fouling things up. In May 1981, a retired government official that Atwal had hired as his consultant prepared a report which was submitted to the NDMCWork in progress at the swimming pool: Unanswered questioThe report said that Grover’s design for the roof was faulty and that it would be unsafe to have a roof. The NDMC directed Atwal to stop work – without consulting Grover or Patel. It didn’t even demand explanations from Atwal for not going through with the tender conditions. These held that the contractor should study the drawings in detail before offering himself for the job. Incidentally, Patel had won the first prize for designing the Indian pavilion at the Osaka exhibition in 1979.Gill summoned NDMC officials and the contractor; again, the architect and his consultant were left out of the proceedings. Instead, a senior teacher at New Delhi’s Indian Institute of Technology – a person unversed in steel structures – was entrusted with the job of finding out if the roof was stable or not. Says a junior engineer at the project: “This was like going to an eye specialist for a heart disease.” The report came in September 1981, allegedly without incorporating computer tests, and stated that the roof was unsafe. The SOC accepted these findings without informing Grover.Fresh designs were called for and another architect came on the scene. Atwal was asked to restart construction of the pool while Grover and the new architect submitted new roof designs. A committee headed by Delhi Lt Governor S. L. Khurana, Gill, Arun Singh and V. S. Tripathi, joint secretary in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, again chose Grover’s design. The design was sent to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Bangalore, for computer tests, but before the report came, Grover was directed to design a roof-less swimming pool – which he did.Cost Escalation: The delay had led to massive cost escalation. The total project cost, including air-conditioning and arena lighting was to be Rs 6 crore. Now the estimate stands at Rs 12.5 crore, a raise of over 100 per cent. The pool itself would cost Rs 8.5 crore, up from the Rs 5.4 crore originally allocated. Seeing that the costs were getting out of hand, SOC took control of the project. The NDMC chief engineer was replaced with another and a project implementation board which included Khurana and Gill was constituted. But architect and consultants are being kept away. The swimming pool is at last nearing completion – sans roof – but unanswered questions remain:Why were tenders called for a second time when there were reputed construction firms already in the field ?Did the tender committee look into the feasibility of implementing a project worth Rs 6 crore at Rs 4.51 crore?Was Atwal’s past record checked out? Why were Grover and Patel not asked to modify their roof design?Why were the architect and his consultant not involved in the consultations?Why has the responsibility for cost escalation not been fixed so far?How was the second architect hired without competitions or advertisements?Why was the entire project given to one contractor?Favourites Galore: There are no answers forthcoming to these questions. This leaves little room for doubt that from the beginning an attempt was made to ease out Grover and manipulate tenders in favour of favourites. Says a committee member: “The whole thing is extremely suspicious. The entire exercise has been done to ensure some extra benefits to some persons.”Atwal has reportedly been given an advance of Rs 85 lakh. He is also likely to demand compensation for the loss he has suffered for not doing the job he was contracted for. He has already submitted a long list of orders and advances he had made for completing the pool with the roof. Atwal has a legally sound case, thanks to NDMC bungling.The authorities, however, dismiss this and other controversies as insignificant and without substance. Says R. S. Gupta, DDA member (engineering): “We have ensured that the ecological balance of Delhi is not disturbed. For every tree which has been cut for the various projects, we have planted at least 10.” Asserts Bhishma Narain Singh, Union works and housing minister: “We should ignore minor lapses. I am proud of the engineers and officials who have given such wonderful pieces of architecture in such a short time.” read more
MS Dhoni was good mood as he was spending time with his family on day out to the beach on Sunday. It is exactly four years since he called time on his Test career at the end of the Melbourne Test.The move shocked the entire cricketing world, as he stepped down from Indian captaincy of the Indian cricket team.On Sunday, Dhoni chose to be with his daughter Ziva and wife Sakshi and even posted video on his social media.In the videos, Dhoni can be seen asking Ziva to step into a pit in the sand only to cover it up around her legs. Ziva then nonchalantly walks out of the ‘trap’ with ease. Sakshi who was behind the camera, captured the beautiful moment.Dhoni shared the post with the caption, “As a kid whenever v got sand this was one thing v would do for sure”Dhoni has recently come under criticisim for his non particiaptiomn in Indian domestic cricket, to which he gave a fitting reply.”It is important to safeguard players,” Dhoni said at the book launch on N Srinivasan on Saturday.”We have to make the domestic circuit slightly less challenging [in terms of the itinerary] for the individual. Moreover, it is important to be not too critical of T20 cricket and also individual preferences. Individual preferences should not be criticised,” Dhoni added.advertisementAlso Read | December 30, 2014: When MS Dhoni shocked India with sudden Test retirementAlso Read | MS Dhoni on N Srinivasan: Love him, hate him, but can’t ignore him read more
Photo Attribution: US PresswireOSU went from 12-1 to 7-5 in 11 months and everybody wants to know why.Scores of people are clamoring for Bill Young’s dome on a platter. Others (myself included) cited a downturn in offensive production as the reason OSU had its worst record since 2007 (!) this year.The real answer (as it ALWAYS does) lies somewhere in the middle.First, let’s look at the offense[1. I threw out the bowl game since this year’s team hasn’t played in it yet].[table id=139 /]TDs are down a little bit but FGs are up so those come close to canceling out. We actually punted fewer times and turned it over about the same.All in all our production per drive decreased about .22 points per drive. When you take into account that OSU averages about 14 drives per game that’s about the equivalent of a field goal per game.Now to the much maligned defense.[table id=140 /]Young’s D allowed a few more TD and a few more FG but actually forced way more punts than last year. As you can see there is an….ahem….large discrepancy in number of turnovers forced[2. You might see that OSU forced more turnovers but some of these were fumbles on special teams (see Tech last year). This is only when the defense is on the field]. We’ll come back to this.Points per drive are up exactly the same number (.22) that points per drive were down on offense.When you add the decrease in offensive production (.22 points per drive) to the decrease in defensive production (same) and multiply that by the average number of drives by each team in an OSU game (14) you get six points per game, or one TD a game worse than 2011. The offense and defense share the blame equally here[3. Since the offense and defense regressed at exactly the same rate this year — should we fire Monken too?].The only difference in this year? Really, the only reason OSU went 12-1 last year and 7-5 this year is that they created 24 (!) more turnovers on defense last year than this year.Of those 39 turnovers forced last year, OSU scored 22 TDs and two field goals. That’s 11.5 points per game.This year on 15 forced turnovers? 10 TDs and four FGs. That’s only six points per game.Notice the difference there? 11.5 minus six is 5.5 — OSU’s decrease in production this year (as we stated earlier) was about six points. Turnovers pretty much tell the entire story.So let’s not go for the throat of our defensive coaches before we look at the numbers. If you want to blame them for our inability to pick balls off and the luck of which way fumbles bounce, then go ahead. But not for the way the defense played overall, they were really good this year[4. Unless you want to say they sucked last year also, in which case, we have a different argument on our hands].This system (the OSU offense plus the OSU defense) is predicated upon consistently getting in the end zone and creating turnovers on defense. You can’t throw the D out there 95 plays a game and expect them to hold teams to 20. You can, however, expect them to get you the ball back by creating turnovers.Which they didn’t do.Which is why we’re playing in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! read more