The Giants Clustered Their Luck

The 41,911 fans who filed into AT&T Park on June 8 got lucky. It was a perfect, 74-degree Sunday afternoon (instead of the notoriously fickle San Francisco weather), and the sky was filled with glorious sunshine. Those in attendance got a taste of baseball glory, too. The Giants beat the Mets 6-4 that day, making it five wins in a row for Los Gigantes. With that win, they improved to 42-21. A year after stumbling to a 76-86 record, the Giants owned the best record in baseball.They’ve been terrible ever since. San Francisco has lost 16 of its last 21 games, the worst record for any major league team during that time. After owning a 9.5-game lead in the NL West on June 8, the Giants have given most of it up, clinging to a half-game lead on the Dodgers. You can find all kinds of reasons for that swoon. Injuries forced journeyman Tyler Colvin and light-hitting rookie Joe Panik to take on regular playing time, with predictably bad results. Mike Morse, an early-season terror at the plate, hasn’t hit a lick for the past month. And closer Sergio Romo turned into a piñata, becoming former closer Sergio Romo in the process.Few could have predicted such a sharp and sudden drop. But one indicator did suggest that regression was coming, sooner or later: cluster luck.In a late-May Grantland column, I wrote about the concept of cluster luck as a way to explain how a series of good (or bad) events coming one after another can propel or punish a team:Joe Peta, a former Wall Street trader, presented cluster luck in his book, Trading Bases. Essentially, the concept boils down to this: When a team’s batters cluster hits together to score more runs and a team’s pitchers spread hits apart to allow fewer runs, that’s cluster luck. Say a team tallies nine singles in one game. If all of those singles occur in the same inning, the team would likely score seven runs; if each single occurs in a different inning, however, it’d likely mean a shutout.You’ll sometimes hear a broadcaster talk about a team that scores in bunches, or a pitcher who knows how to scatter hits. But those streaks don’t tend to last very long, since these aren’t sustainable skills for most teams, or players. So when a team has high cluster luck numbers, it usually means its luck isn’t going to last long. Losses are likely around the corner.Sports analyst Ed Feng, proprietor of ThePowerRank.com, calculates cluster luck by using the Base Runs formula to compare actual runs scored and runs allowed to expected runs scored and runs allowed. When that Grantland article ran just over a month ago, Feng had found that the 32-19 Giants ranked second in the majors in cluster luck. And while Giants hitters had bunched hits together about as well as an average team’s hitters would, their pitchers had been astoundingly fortunate, giving up 22 fewer runs than you’d expect over their first 51 games.1Three days after my Grantland article ran, the excellent Colorado Rockies blog Purple Row published an article that noted how the Giants had put up better numbers than any other team both in high-leverage pitching and hitting situations. So cluster luck wasn’t the only factor at work, nor the only one likely to regress.On Wednesday, Feng updated his cluster luck rankings. Below is the ranking of the 30 teams from luckiest to unluckiest:Whatever luck the Giants had earlier in the season, these latest numbers show that their good fortune has almost completely evaporated. A lot of that pullback falls on Romo. From May 29 to June 28, the team’s erstwhile closer allowed 12 hits in nine and two-thirds innings — subpar numbers for a closer, but not necessarily fatal ones, assuming those hits were spread out. They were not. Romo worked four straight perfect innings from June 4 through June 12, with all 12 of those hits coming in just six appearances. All told, opponents blasted him for 10 runs in those six appearances, netting a 16.88 ERA. The biggest beating came on June 13, when the Colorado Rockies clobbered him for four hits, drew a walk and tallied five runs in just one-third of an inning.2The Rockies have been a house of horrors for Romo this year. His past four outings against them netted this line: three innings pitched, 11 hits, 11 runs.The Giants are a talented team, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them contend for the NL West title, and maybe even make a run at the World Series. They have a young ace in Madison Bumgarner, Tim Hudson enjoying a late-career revival, Tim Lincecum suddenly pitching masterfully, All-Stars Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval heating up after lousy starts, excellent first baseman Brandon Belt due back soon after a long stint on the disabled list, and a general manager who’s made lots of aggressive trades in his 18 years at the helm. The cluster luck regression has come, yet they’re still hanging onto first place.We could see more teams experience cluster luck pullbacks, starting with Seattle. The Mariners boast plenty of front-line talent themselves, with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma at the top of the rotation. Robinson Cano is performing about as well as a guy with six home runs can, and 23-year-old Mike Zunino is emerging as a top defensive catcher and dangerous power hitter. Underrated third baseman Kyle Seager is putting up career-best numbers, and the bullpen is leading the American League both in ERA and in fielding-independent metrics. This is also a team with lots of holes, one that has 36-year-old banjo hitter Endy Chavez leading off every day, to name only the most glaring problem. Yet the Mariners are on fire, having won four in a row, 10 of their last 12, and 27 of their last 43 games.That’s what happens when your hitters bunch together hits better than any other team. Through Tuesday, the Mariners had scored 31 more runs than you’d expect from a club with average hit distribution. That Tuesday game offered a Ph.D.-level course in what happens when your hitters click at the same time. Coming into the sixth inning, Seattle clung to a narrow 3-1 lead. The first two batters of the inning reached on a walk and an infield single, followed by two straight groundouts by the lineup’s 1-2 hitters. Then, an outburst. Cano doubled. Seager doubled. Logan Morrison doubled. Zunino doubled. Michael Saunders singled. Finally, Ackley capped the monster inning with a sixth straight Mariners hit, this one an RBI single. All told, Seattle scored seven runs on seven hits in the sixth, an incredibly tough feat to pull off without the benefit of a single homer.None of this is meant to suggest that the Mariners will fall into an immediate slump, the way the Giants did.3Or that teams with poor cluster luck numbers like the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates will suddenly go on monstrous winning streaks and steamroll the rest of the league. There are good reasons to like the chances of all three of those teams, to varying degrees. They have the best pitcher in the American League, and a supporting cast that’s getting increasing contributions from younger players. After sweeping the lowly Astros, they now play seven straight against the struggling White Sox and Twins. And they recently called up top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker from the minors, a far better fifth starter than Erasmo Ramirez, Brandon Maurer or others Seattle might have considered.Still, the Ms probably shouldn’t settle for the roster they have now. They already opened the vault for Robinson Cano last winter, and they’ve got the ample TV revenue they’ll need to go after other big talents. The cluster luck beast is lurking in the shadows, and the trade deadline is coming up. Might as well try to fight back. read more

Opinion Im not experienced enough to do an unpaid internship

first_imgA LOT HAS been written said on the topic of unpaid internships. Are they simply employers exploiting young graduates and cheap labour? Are they necessary for young people to gain practical, real world experience? Should there be legislation protecting against exploitation? Should the State support those who undertake unpaid internships in an effort to find employment?I had a mixed opinion on unpaid internships. While there has undoubtedly been some exploitation of schemes such as JobBridge, I recognise that young graduates need to gain relevant workplace experience if they hope to find employment. As things are in the economy, a lot of companies, especially SMEs, can’t afford to train new employees in on the job, they need somebody who will hit the ground running. That’s understandable. It’s these companies who can offer and gain most through unpaid internships. They are a chance to train in a potential employee, and equip them with the practical skills needed to complement previous academic or work experience.Recently, I reluctantly accepted that an unpaid internship might be the only way I can secure paid employment in my field here in Ireland. I would keep on my weekend job that I had throughout college, and work unpaid during the week to improve my employment prospects after Christmas. That was the plan.I had a handful of interviews. Some went well. Some didn’t. All were unsuccessful. That’s fair enough. There was tough competition, even for the unpaid internships, and many qualified candidates. But my last email informing me of my unsuccessful application really stood out.Unfortunately, on this occasion I have offered the internship position to someone else – who has already some experience… This was a real blow to morale. I am not experienced enough to do an unpaid internship.Don’t get me wrong, I’m qualified to do the job in question: I will soon graduate with a master’s degree in a related field, and many of the responsibilities of the intern in question I had performed in my course-mandated work experience. I have worked unpaid for over a year. First to gain practical experience for my master’s application, then as part of the master’s to put the skills I was learning into practise, and after all that I can’t get an unpaid position.I need an internship to get job experience, but I need more experience to get even an unpaid internship. What can you do?I’m not sure what lies in store for me now. I would have preferred to stay in Ireland, closer to family and friends, but it seems, like countless thousands of people over the last few years, that opportunities abroad may be my best prospect of starting a career.Gavin Nugent is a 23 year old MA student at DIT. He is a graduate of UCD with a degree in Politics and Economics. Follow him on Twitter @gavnugent.Column: I’ve entered the Church of Burton … Yes, I am now a JobBridge internColumn: Unpaid internships, low wages, zero hour contracts – this is life without job securitylast_img read more

Emilia Clarke: Next ‘Game of Thrones’ Fight Will Be Bigger Than Winterfell

first_imgStay on target ‘Game of Thrones’ Targaryen Prequel Series Is Reportedly Coming to HBO‘Game of Thrones’ Star Kit Harington Joins Marvel’s &#… Game of Thrones’ last season is in full swing, and the “Battle of Winterfell” left many fans in shock, as they watched a long fight between Iron Throne contenders and White Walkers. But, the power struggle is not over yet: According to Emilia Clarke, one of the last episodes will be bigger than Season 8, Episode 3’s deadly showdown.On Wednesday night, Clarke spoke with Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live! about filming the final season of Game of Thrones and what audiences might expect for the last three episodes.“Episode five is bigger,” Clarke told Kimmel. “Episode five is—I mean, four and five and six, they’re all insane, but like…find the biggest TV you can.”It’s likely that Episode 4 could be a transition episode, where the surviving heroes will form a plan of attack against Euron Greyjoy and Cersei Lannister, who are building up the ultimate fleet, as shown in the Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 preview trailer. From what Clarke said though, fans might need to prepare themselves for what’s to come on Episode 5 and Episode 6.The “Battle of Winterfell” wasn’t a typical TV fight though: Season 8, Episode 3 required 55 nights of shooting and 750 people, according to Clarke. The episode, which featured multiple fight scenes between many characters and the Night King’s death, was the longest battle sequence created in TV history, Vox reported.Even though Season 8, Episode 5 is two weeks away, Clarke is making everyone stay on the edge of their seats for now. In the meantime, Season 8, Episode 4 could give fans a better understanding of how some of Westeros plans to take down Cersei Lannister, who will be the “last war” following the “Battle of Winterfell” aftermath.Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 will premiere on Sunday, May 5 at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.<em><strong>More on Geek.com:</strong></em>&nbsp;</p><p>More on Geek.com:First Look: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8, Episode 4 Photos ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8, Episode 4 Preview: One Last War to Win‘Game of Thrones’ Stars Say Goodbye to ‘Battle of Winterfell’ Fallen Heroeslast_img read more

‘Mortal Kombat 11’ Kharacter Guide: Kitana

first_imgWho Are They?Kitana is the good and fair Princess of Edenia. Or rather she was until the fantasy realm was violently conquered by the villainous forces of Outworld. She then spent much of her life as the unwittingly “adopted” desert assassin daughter of the brutal emperor Shao Kahn, where her DNA was even stolen to create a monster clone “sister” Mileena. But Outworld’s struggle against Earthrealm in Mortal Kombat gives Kitana an opportunity for revenge against her “father.”Kombat KhronologyKitana was one of the major new characters in Mortal Kombat 2, giving the game more female representation beyond just Sonya Blade. And since then she’s remained one of the game’s most prominent female characters, the mold other fantasy women characters diverge from. She’s also become a bit of a love interest for Liu Kang in later games, with Mortal Kombat 11 especially playing up their bond both in the past and in the present as evil zombies.Koolest KustomizationsKitana’s face gets one of the better upgrades thanks to Mortal Kombat 11 now rendering the characters more like real people. So I go with her human form versus her rotting corpse form. As for moves, Kitana’s main gimmick is slicing foes with razor sharp fan blades. So I go for death by a thousand cuts with moves that increase how many fans I can throw out at once or summon around myself for a protective barrier.How Gross Is The Fatality?Kitana’s regal grace doesn’t make her fatality any less gruesome. She just doesn’t get her own hands dirty. Instead, she cut you open and uses her fans to summon a tornado that pulls your entrails out like a gory force of nature. Takes my breath (and everything else) away. Mortal Kombat 11 is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. For more, read our spine-ripping impressions of the game as a whole, learn more about Mortal Kombat’s history with the government, and check out our character guide for the much less violent fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.View as: One Page Slides1/271. Read Our Full Mortal Kombat 11 ReviewRead Johnny Cage’s Guide2. Read Sub-Zero’s Guide3. Read Erron Black’s Guide4. Read Scorpion’s Guide5. Read Liu Kang’s Guide6. Read Raiden Guide7. Read Kitana’s Guide8. Read Kung Lao’s Guide9. Read Cetrion’s Guide10. Read Jade’s Guide11. Read Kotal Kahn’s Guide12. Read Skarlet’s Guide13. Read Noob Saibot’s Guide14. Read Geras’ Guide15. Read Baraka’s Guide16. Read Jax’s Guide17. Read Jacqui Briggs’ Guide18. Read Frost’s Guide19. Read D’Vorah’s Guide20. Read Kabal’s Guide21. Read Kano’s Guide22. Read Cassie Cage’s Guide23. Read Shao Kahn’s Guide24. Read Kollector’s Guide25. Read Sonya Blade’s Guide26. Read Shang Tsung’s Guide27. Read Nightwolf’s Guide Stay on target There have been eleven main Mortal Kombat games. Can you believe it? The 90s were that long ago. Since then the fighting game has become a gory institution as colorful ninjas and sorcerers and special forces agents collide to rip each others’ guts out in wacky martial arts tournaments.But in the past decade Mortal Kombat has gone from just a recognizable violent fighting game to a really good recognizable violent fighting game. And the recently released Mortal Kombat 11 brings the reboot trilogy home with a story mode stretching across all of history and new ways for customizing characters to your liking, with different skills and gear to make the accessible mechanics even more varied and deep.Expensive cutscenes and ancillary (arguably exploitative) side content aren’t worth anything though if your fighting game doesn’t have a solid roster. Fortunately, Mortal Kombat 11 gives you a diverse cast of kombatants on which to unleash your bloodlust. And we’re taking a look at every single one of them. Today’s fighter: Kitana. Joker and The Terminator Cross Over Into ‘Mortal Kombat 11’‘Mortal Kombat 11’ Kharacter Guide: Nightwolf last_img read more

Hubble Detects Luminous Elliptical Galaxy in Space

first_imgStay on target The Hubble Space Telescope’s Messier catalog shows some of the most breathtaking objects that can be observed from our planet’s Northern Hemisphere, including a bright elliptical galaxy that might be a newborn star hub.Known as NGC 4621 (Messier 59), this galaxy is featured in the deep-sky objects catalog put together by French comet-hunter Charles Messier in the 18th century, however, Johann Gottfried Koehler, a German astronomer, is credited for finding the galaxy right before Messier listed it in 1779, said a NASA press release.According to modern observations, Messier 59 is classified as an elliptical galaxy, one of the three main types of galaxies including irregulars and spirals. Out of the trio, ellipticals tend to be the oldest and filled with ancient, red stars that show little signs of new star formation. Unlike other elliptical galaxies, Messier 59 might be on a whole new level: Astronomers say the galaxy shows signs of star formation, since there are some newborn stars that are present in a disk near the heart of Messier 59.Do you follow trends — or do you break them?This galaxy — Messier 59 — is an elliptical galaxy. Ellipticals tend to be full of old, red stars. Messier 59, however, breaks this trend, w/ some newborn stars residing near the core in this @NASAHubble image: https://t.co/mTvKMZpb5g pic.twitter.com/Tlpfu0ijt0— NASA (@NASA) June 2, 2019Messier 59 is positioned roughly 50 million light-years away from Earth and it’s located in the 2,000-strong Virgo cluster of galaxies in the constellation of Virgo. At the center of Messier 59, there’s a supermassive black hole, which is around 270 million times as big as the sun. According to NASA, the best time of year to spot it is in May, even though there isn’t much of a detail difference between observing it with smaller or larger telescopes.More on Geek.com:NASA Fits 265,000 Galaxies Into Single ‘Hubble Legacy Field’ ImageHubble Spots Stunning Spiral Galaxy 30 Million Light-Years AwayNew Hubble Measurements Confirm Universe Is Expanding at a Faster Rate Watch: Here’s What It’s Like to Fly Through the Orion NebulaHubble Spots Stunning Spiral Galaxy 30 Million Light-Years Away last_img read more

‘Game of Thrones’ Fans Raise More Than $125K for Casts’ Charities

first_imgStay on target “Bloody hell, I am one very lucky lady to have such kind, generous, shining spirited fans who are raising money for my charity @sameyouorg. Elle Elaria and your Reddit page where you have raised almost £38,000 [approximately $48,000] has made my day, week, month, year, decade, and I couldn’t think of a more beautiful way to wave goodbye to the mother of dragons than with this step towards making brain injury sufferers feel less alone,” Clarke wrote on Instagram. “YOU ARE MY HEROS. I am the one who should be bending the knee to you.”The Redditor also spoke with BuzzFeed after she found Clarke’s personal thank you to her and the subreddit page: “She didn’t need to do that. She could have just casually reposted it with a quick written comment, but she took the time to film a heartfelt thank you,” she said. “Iconic. My only regret is not having a more embarrassing username for her to shout out.”More on Geek.com:Sophie Turner Shocked By ‘Game of Thrones’ Spoiler in Season 1 Poster‘Game of Thrones’ Star Says Twist Ending Was George R.R. Martin’s Idea ‘Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall’ Is a VR Westeros Adventure After Game of Thrones’ series finale aired on May 19, fans have donated more than $125,000 to charities to thank the series’ beloved cast, including Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington.Over the past nine days, a fundraising campaign created to honor Clarke, who played Daenerys Targaryen on the show, has raised more than $101,000 for her charity SameYou, BuzzFeed News reported. On Friday, another campaign made for Harington (Jon Snow), generated more than $25,000 for Mencap, a charity that he is an ambassador for, in less than 24 hours.Photo Credit: r/freefolk / RedditThe charity donation idea stemmed from r/freefolk, an active community of Game of Thrones fanatics which was also the source for the viral petition to re-do Season 8. Three days after Game of Thrones’ last episode premiered on HBO, Redditor elle_elaria shared a link to SameYou, a brain injury rehabilitation charity founded by Clarke, that she started raising money for.According to the campaign’s description, it was “a gesture of love and support from the fandom to the entire cast & crew — but also particularly to the woman who poured her very soul into her character, who delivered passionate speeches in High Valyrian and Dothraki in between questioning her very mortality and inspired so many of us with her resilience.”Clarke caught wind of the campaign on Thursday, which raised approximately $48,000 at that time. In a sweet Instagram post, Clarke thanked the Redditor personally and the other members of the subreddit for donating to SameYou.center_img ‘Game of Thrones’ Targaryen Prequel Series Is Reportedly Coming to HBO‘Game of Thrones’ Star Kit Harington Joins Marvel’s &#… last_img read more

Growing ‘Alien’ Exoplanets Circle Distant Star in New Astronomy Image

first_img NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendHubble Captures Saturn’s ‘Phonograph Record’ Ring System Stay on target Astronomers have captured an image of two “alien” exoplanets circling PDS 70, a young star that is located about 370 light-years from Earth, according to a new study.PDS 70 is the only second multi-planet system to be photographed following a four-planet system that was orbiting the star HR 8799, Space.com reported. Unlike HR 8799, PDS 70’s planets are not fully developed yet and still growing by carving out a wide gap within a planet-forming disk that surrounds the sun-like star, said a NASA press release. The study, which was recently published in the journal Nature Astronomy, suggests that forming planets can be responsible for some of the disk gaps astronomers have spotted in PDS 70 and other young star systems.“With facilities like ALMA, Hubble [Space Telescope], or large ground-based optical telescopes with adaptive optics, we see disks with rings and gaps all over,” Julien Girard of the Space Telescope Science Institute said in the press release. “The open question has been, are there planets there? In this case, the answer is yes.”According to the study, PDS 70 is roughly 6 million years old and it’s slightly smaller than our sun. The young star is surrounded by a disk of dust and gas with a big gap extending from approximately 1.9 to 3.8 billion miles.Exoplanets PDS 70 b and c. (Photo Credit: ESO / S. Haffert-Leiden Observatory)PDS 70 b, the innermost planet that was first spotted in 2018, is placed within the disk gap about two billion miles from its star and it could weigh from 4 to 17 times as much as Jupiter. PDS 70 c, a newly discovered planet, is near the outer edge of the disk gap roughly 3.3 billion miles from the star and it’s not as massive as PDS 70 b. The inner planet (PDS 70 b) circles the star twice in the time it takes the outer planet (PDS 70 c) to orbit around one time.PDS 70 c was detected from the ground with the European Southern Observatory’s (ESA’s) Very Large Telescope (VLT)’s MUSE spectrograph. Astronomers on the team were very surprised to find the second planet while using a new observing mode developed to study galaxies and star clusters.Our team is excited to present the first evidence for a circumplanetary disc (CPD)! CPDs are discs of gas and dust believed to surround giant planets (e.g. Jupiter) when they are born, and be the birthplace of their moons. Our results suggest newborn planet PDS 70 b has a CPD! pic.twitter.com/8ph2RdQrhx— Valentin Christiaens (@Valentin__C) June 4, 2019“This new observing mode was developed to study galaxies and star clusters at higher spatial resolution,” said Sebastiaan Haffert of Leiden Observatory. “But this new mode also makes it suitable for exoplanet imaging, which was not the original science driver for the MUSE instrument.”NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope might be able to study this “planet nursery” and other planet systems with a similar observation technique in the future. This would allow scientists to measure the density of gas and the temperature within the disk, which would improve their understanding of the formation of gas giant planets.More on Geek.com:NASA’s Planet Hunter Finds First Earth-Sized ExoplanetAstronomers Observe ‘Super-Jupiter’ Exoplanet for First TimeKepler’s First Exoplanet Candidate Confirmed, 10 Years Laterlast_img read more

Watch: Bubbles Move Around and ‘Gurgle’ in Gel-Like Water at ISS

first_img Launchpad Blaze Postpones JAXA’s Cargo Ship Launch to ISSISS Astronauts Study What Happens to Concrete Mixed in Space Stay on target A lack of gravity could cause objects to act funky in space, and a recent video from Canadian Space Agency (CSA) cosmonaut David Saint-Jacques demonstrates how bubbles and water can behave differently when they are away from Earth.Shaking a plastic bag filled with water will generate a couple of tiny air bubbles, which head to the top of the bag, but if you do the same task in space, these bubbles act weird. Saint-Jacques’ footage captured different-sized air bubbles moving and gurgling around a bag with a gel-like substance, which is actually some H20, Space.com reported. With the air bubbles, scientists can better understand how items could change in zero gravity environments.“Odd behaviour of air bubbles in water in the absence of the effects of gravity.” – @Astro_DavidS#DareToExploreVideo: CSA/NASA pic.twitter.com/p3g1myuIua— CanadianSpaceAgency (@csa_asc) June 1, 2019Water has this bizarre “disguise” in space due to a lack of gravity. On our planet, air doesn’t weigh as much as water and this causes it to rise upward and break apart through water droplets. At the Space Station though, these air bubbles like to “hang out” in water because there isn’t a force holding the water below them.Saint-Jacques is scheduled to return to Earth on June 24, until then, he will take part in a couple of other experiments, including setting up the Bio-Analyzer, a Canadian technology that can quickly test blood, saliva, urine, and other body fluids, and finalizing the Bio-Monitor, a Canadian smart shirt system that can easily measure astronauts’ vital signs at the Space Station.More on Geek.com:Growing ‘Alien’ Exoplanets Circle Distant Star in New Astronomy Image‘Double Asteroid’ Speeding By Earth at 43,000 MPH Captured in PhotoStunning Images of a Sunset on Earth Captured From Spacelast_img read more

Spotify Lands Deal With Obamas to Produce Exclusive Podcasts

first_imgStay on target Spotify’s Rise to Power Dramatized in TV Mini-SeriesDisney Soundtracks Now Live in Special Spotify Hub The Obamas are throwing their hats into the podcast ring. The former first couple have signed a deal with Spotify to produce a series of podcasts exclusively for the streaming platform.The Spotify pact is similar to the Obamas’ multi-year production deal with Netflix to produce TV shows and films.Under the multi-year deal between Spotify and Higher Ground Productions, the Obamas’ production company, Barack and Michelle Obama are set to develop, produce, and lend their voices to select podcasts on a wide range of topics.“Lend their voices” means the former president and first lady will sometimes be heard on the new podcasts — but their primary role will be in the development and production phases.The agreement is with Higher Ground Audio, a new division of the Higher Ground production company, that will be working on the Obamas’ podcast [email protected] and @BarackObama & @MichelleObama’s Higher Ground announce partnership to produce podcasts. https://t.co/gdge9i5L6z pic.twitter.com/yTf3O1JNzH— Spotify News (@SpotifyNews) June 6, 2019The podcasts produced by the Obamas will be exclusive to Spotify and will be distributed worldwide to the platform’s paid and ad-supported user base. The deal is seen as part of a broader push by Spotify to make a bigger splash in the podcasting space.“We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation,” President Obama said in a statement provided by Spotify. “It helps us build connections with each other and open ourselves up to new ideas. We’re excited about Higher Ground Audio because podcasts offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together.”Neither Spotify or Higher Ground Productions disclosed details on specific podcast projects the Obamas may be planning. According to Spotify, the programming will encompass “a diverse slate of original podcasts.”“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether, and through Spotify, we can share those stories with the world,” said Michelle Obama. “Our hope is that through compelling, inspirational storytelling, Higher Ground Audio will not only produce engaging podcasts, but help people connect emotionally and open up their minds — and their hearts.”During his time in the White House, President Obama has been known to create music playlists for the White House Spotify, including a playlist of his favorite songs for the summer.Spotify, a digital music service with millions of songs, has grown its paid subscriber rolls by 32 percent in the first quarter of 2019 — reaching 100 million Premium customers.The company has acquired several podcasting companies this year, including producer Gimlet Media and services provider Anchor FM Inc. In March, Spotify also acquired Parcast, a scripted-entertainment podcast studio.Watch: Spotify Premium Now Has 100 Million Global UsersMore on Geek.com:Obamas’ Production Company Reveals Upcoming Netflix ContentExperimental Spotify Stations App Launches in USSpotify Is Testing a New Feature That Will Let You Block Music Artistslast_img read more

Cool, Gassy ‘Disk’ Spotted Around Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

first_img Scientists Find ‘Hungry’ Supermassive Black Hole Eating 3 Meals DailyScientists Behind First Black Hole Image Win $3 Million Prize Stay on target The neighborhood surrounding the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole is bustling with cosmic and gaseous activity, however, astronomers have not been able to capture most accreting gas movement. Now, new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observations have detected a cool, interstellar gas “ring” surrounding the supermassive black hole, which has never been seen before.Researchers, which published their findings in the journal Nature on June 5, are exploring this strange nebulous “disk,” which could provided additional information on how accretion, the siphoning of material onto a black hole’s surface, works in space, said a National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) press release.For decades, astronomers have analyzed the crowded area around the supermassive black hole, which is located at the heart of the Milky Way. According to NRAO, our galactic center is roughly 26,000 light-years from our planet and the supermassive black hole (Sagittarius A*) is four million times the mass of the sun. This space is quite chaotic with interstellar dust clouds, roving stars, and a massive reservoir of phenomenally hot and comparatively colder gases and these gases are supposed to circle the supermassive black hole in a vast accretion “ring,” which is nearby the supermassive black hole’s event horizon.ALMA image of the cool hydrogen gas ring circling the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy. (Photo Credit: ALMA – ESO / NAOJ / NRAO / E.M. Murchikova; NRAO / AUI / NSF / S. Dagnello)Before the ALMA image, astronomers were only able to image the hot, glowing portion of the accreting gas flow, which showed no rotation and has an approximate temperature of 18 million degrees Fahrenheit. Previous observations with millimeter-wavelength telescopes have also found comparatively cooler hydrogen gas (roughly 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit) located within a few light-years from the supermassive black hole and the contribution of this much cooler gas to accretion flow onto the black hole wasn’t determined yet.New @ALMAObs observations reveal a never-before-seen disk of cool, interstellar gas wrapped around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; S. Dagnello https://t.co/xxcoazEUrc pic.twitter.com/gcZLTwtF7E— ESO (@ESO) June 6, 2019Thanks to the ALMA, which was able to sense a small millimeter-wavelength signal and generate the first image of the cooler gas “ring” at roughly a hundredth of a light-year away from the supermassive black hole, astronomers can trace the motion of gas. Mapping the shifts in wavelengths of this radio light because of the Doppler Effect allowed astronomers to see the gas circling around the supermassive black hole.“We were the first to image this elusive disk and study its rotation,” Elena Murchikova, lead author on the paper, said in the press release. “We are also probing accretion onto the black hole. This is important because this is our closest supermassive black hole. Even so, we still have no good understanding of how its accretion works. We hope these new ALMA observations will help the black hole give up some of its secrets.”More on Geek.com:Astronomers Capture Image of Black Hole for the First TimeScientists May Have Detected ‘Violent’ Black Hole-Neutron Star CollisionSee What Black Hole Photos Might Look Like in the Futurelast_img read more