Going for the Gold: Coronavirus shows the link between politics and sports

first_imgThe spread of the virus also highlights the potential reach of political decisions in a globalized world. According to The New York Times, when officials in China first learned of the coronavirus, their reaction was to suppress the discovery rather than report it. At the time, this was a political calculation, a consideration made with the interests of the Communist party in mind. Now, that political calculation has not only led to a miserable situation for the Party but a potential catastrophe for the wider world of sports. However, there are growing fears that the 2020 Olympics in Japan might not even happen at all. In light of the dire condition brought upon many countries by the coronavirus, the Olympics is now in jeopardy. More than 1,000 people in Japan have been infected with the virus, 12 have died and several schools have been shut down.  Now, it’s on our sports pages.  The prospect alone of a cancelled Olympics shows just how inextricably linked sports are with politics. Months ago, the coronavirus was a story best suited for the front page of The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. It was a story that highlighted communist suppression and the global threat of pandemics.  Tokyo was chosen for many reasons. The city has been a hub for international trade, culture and technology for decades, and it also boasts a metropolitan population of 36 million people, which gives the Games maximum exposure.  There are many different ways to approach the situation, and there’s not one easy answer. But whatever the IOC decides to do, it must not simply call off the 2020 Games. The Olympics might be cancelled due to concerns regarding Coronavirus. (Photo from BBC Sports/ Twitter) Other prominent examples exist to further highlight the connection between sports and politics. After 9/11, MLB postponed several of its games, pushing the World Series well into November. The NFL did the same, cancelling the weekend’s games after the attack.center_img Nathan Hyun is a sophomore writing about the 2020 Olympics. His column, “Going for Gold,” runs every other Wednesday. This is a better option than postponing the Olympics because of the challenges with timing that would arise otherwise. If postponed, many of the athletes and participants would have to wait longer, causing their entire training schedules to be thrown off and, for older athletes, possibly impacting their chances of participating in the Games at all. In addition, the Olympics has a tradition of hosting the Winter Games two years after the Summer Games, so a postponement would throw off the IOC’s time tables. The IOC would be doing athletes and sports fans all over the world a disservice by canceling the Olympics. Though the risk is real and must be approached with the utmost care, the Olympics is a historic tradition that should not be canceled altogether even if there is a fear of a health epidemic. The IOC definitely does not want to cancel the Olympics, and an overwhelming majority of people don’t want that either.  If I was in charge of determining where to move the Olympics, I would say move the Games to a location that has already hosted it in recent years such as Rio de Janeiro or London. Most likely, many of the Olympic venues are now being used recreationally and can be quickly turned around to accommodate the Olympics again. Every several years, the International Olympic Committee gathers to determine where the next Olympic Games should be held. Because preparation for the Olympics takes years, the IOC chose 2020’s Tokyo all the way back in 2011.  In the same vein, the Olympics, arguably the biggest international sporting event in the world, is under threat. Talk of a potential cancellation is in full swing, and representatives of the IOC have already publicly discussed the potential of delaying the Games or moving them to a different city, which is virtually unfeasible. last_img read more

June 6 Community Events Pictures

first_imgVisitors Information Center holds a “kick-off” BBQ for the “Energetic Amazing Race”.                                                                                                                                 Picture: Amber Davy- Advertisement –N.E.A.T held their Eco Fair where they were holding a garage sale as well as live performances.                                                                                                                               Picture: Amber DavyThe Northern Lights College held their second annual garage sale and BBQ to raise money for the daycare located at the college.                                                                         Picture: Amber DavyBert Ambrose Alligators played against the Charlie Lake Lakers down at the Kin Park Ball Diamonds.Advertisement                                                                                                                             Picture: Amber DavyGolfers take part in the 47th annual Oilmens Golf Tournament at the Lakepoint Golf & Country Club.                                                                                                                            Picture: Amber Davylast_img read more

From the discounted sale price to the shrinking ambitions of all involved

first_imgShareVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 3:52Loaded: 0.00%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -3:52 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PauseMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:15Loaded: 0%0:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:15 Playback Rate1xFullscreenApple’s recent acquisition of autonomous vehicle startup Drive.ai throws a monkey wrench into the theory that it had backed away from an existing self-driving car initiative, known as Project Titan.Early this year, Apple laid off 190 Project Titan staffers, including more than 100 engineers. But now Apple is bring on more engineers from Drive.ai, along with the startup’s fleet of self-driving orange vans and, presumably, its patents and other intellectual property.On that basis, the buyout has been framed as a sign of Apple’s renewed interest in autonomous driving. But in fact, the deal highlights just how rough things currently are for autonomous vehicles, both as a technology and as a business proposition.For a start, this was the most fiery of fire sales: Drive.ai had already filed notice with California that it would shut down, and had in fact, according to news site Axios, already ceased operations. Apple will reportedly pay less for Drive.ai than the $77 million in venture capital already sunk into the operation, and far less than the $200 million peak valuation that the startup reached in 2017.That decline coincides with the growing realization that autonomous vehicles won’t be ready for widespread use anytime soon. For example, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had declared in 2015 that his company’s vehicles would be fully autonomous as of last year. But Tesla’s cars are still nowhere near fully autonomous.Drive.ai’s planned shutdown came amid an apparent retrenchment of that company’s ambitions. The startup had previously partnered with Lyft to explore self-driving taxis, and worked on technology to retrofit large fleets of conventional cars for autonomy.But Drive.ai’s most prominent recent initiative was automated mass transit – those orange mini-buses, which operate under tightly controlled circumstances that reduce the risk of accidents. In Frisco, Tex., those vans shuttled riders between two fixed locations (the service was scuttled in March). In Arlington, Tex., the company’s buses are currently used for making flexible loops through a roughly one-square-mile cluster of stadiums, expo centers, and hotels.It seems increasingly clear that such limited routes, rather than freewheeling cross-country robo-journeys, epitomize the real, unsexy near-term potential for driverless vehicles. Other startups like Optimus Ride and Voyage have operated services either on fixed routes, or in sedate and predictable settings like retirement communities. Even Alphabet spinoff Waymo limited the ‘launch’ of its commercial robotaxi service to a few handpicked customers on the tidy suburban streets of Chandler, Az.Apple, which has never publicly discussed its work on self-driving cars, did not respond to inquiries by Fortune about the Drive.ai acquisition or the fate of Drive.ai’s Arlington service.Limiting the area in which self-driving vehicles operate significantly reduces the number of so-called “edge cases” that provide the biggest challenges for the computing systems behind autonomous driving. Edge cases, as described in a seminal 2017 essay by MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks, include stopped trucks or other obstructions, road changes that aren’t reflected on maps, or police presence.These unexpected disruptions are like Kryptonite to autonomous driving systems because, like all artificial intelligence, they lack the complex ‘general intelligence’ that makes humans so adaptable (if unreliable) behind the wheel. When (or whether) artificial general intelligence will be realized remains hotly debated, but most informed projections put its arrival decades into the future.Despite the grandiosity of the Project Titan moniker, Apple has been operating along similar, cautious lines for years. Recent reports have posited that Apple is building an electric van, the same basic design as Drive.ai’s vehicles. More substantively, Apple was reported last year to have partnered with Volkswagen to convert some of the automaker’s electric vans into self-driving employee shuttles—a modest proposal which the New York Times at the time said was already “behind schedule and consuming nearly all of the Apple car team’s attention.”The Drive.ai acquisition, then, is hardly a rekindling of Apple’s autonomous ambitions. From its reported discount price tag to the glorified shuttle buses at its heart, the deal instead points to dashed hopes, hedged bets, and the continued shrinking scope of the erstwhile Project Titan. Apple may have added Drive.ai’s engineers to its roster primarily to get their specific experience with automated, fixed-route transit.Apple, then, may no longer be trying to build the iPhone of cars. That would be a disappointment for investors because selling private cars to households has much more potential upside than selling vans to cities and retirement communities. But for society as a whole, low-speed, low-risk autonomous mass transit may in fact be a rosier mid-term scenario.Though not conclusive, studies have projected that individual self-driving cars could make traffic congestion worse. Another found they’ll reduce carbon emissions and climate change—but only if the vehicles are shared by several riders.With that in mind, autonomous shuttles for senior citizens may be more exciting than they seem.More must-read stories from Fortune:—Slack went public without an IPO. Here’s how a direct offering works—4 reasons to be skeptical about Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency—Bank of America CEO: “We want a cashless society”—Fintech startup Tally has raised $50 million to automate people’s finances—Listen to our new audio briefing, Fortune 500 DailyFollow Fortune on Flipboard to stay up-to-date on the latest news and analysis.You May Like Sponsored Content The Future of Smart Homes HealthFormer GE CEO Jeff Immelt: To Combat Costs, CEOs Should Run Health Care Like a BusinessHealthFor Edie Falco, an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ After Surviving Breast CancerLeadershipGhosn Back, Tesla Drop, Boeing Report: CEO Daily for April 4, 2019AutosElon Musk’s Plan to Boost Tesla Sales Is Dealt a SetbackMPWJoe Biden, Netflix Pregnancy Lawsuit, Lesley McSpadden: Broadsheet April 4 by Qingdao Haierlast_img read more