High school bands to compete at WCU’s 17th annual Tournament of Champions

first_imgThe 17th annual Tournament of Champions will be held at Western Carolina University’s E.J. Whitmire Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 21.Twenty-five high school bands from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee will compete for the prestigious Chancellor’s Award, a glass traveling trophy that is presented to the grand champion band. The highest scoring band from North Carolina will receive the Roll of Honor.The bands will compete in four classes – A, AA, AAA and AAAA. Winners from each class, as well as the next six highest scoring bands, will compete in the finals. Summerville High School in South Carolina was last year’s grand champion, while East Lincoln of Denver won the Roll of Honor.This year’s competition will return to a preliminary/finals format with the addition of a 20-minute clinic session for directors and staff after every band’s preliminary performance. The purpose of the clinic will be to provide immediate feedback, constructive critique regarding band performance and design, and a question-and-answer session with the clinician and each band’s director and staff.North Carolina marching bands and their competition times are: Northwest Guilford, 9:15 a.m.; South Caldwell, 10:45 a.m.; McDowell, 11 a.m.; Enloe, 11:15 a.m.; West Johnston, 11:30 a.m.; Lincolnton, 12:30 p.m.; Owen, 12:45 p.m.; Parkwood, 1:15 p.m.; Sanderson, 2:15 p.m.; Pisgah, 2:30 p.m.; Tuscola, 3 p.m.; North Henderson, 3:15 p.m.; and East Lincoln, 3:30 p.m.Georgia bands and their competition times are: Campbell, 9 a.m.; Harrison, 9:30 a.m.; McEachern, 9:45 a.m.; R.W. Johnson, 10 a.m.; Jackson County, 12:15 p.m.; Kennesaw Mountain, 1 p.m.; and Pope, 2:45 p.m.South Carolina bands and their competition times are: Spring Valley, 10:15 a.m.; Clover, 1:45 p.m.; and Summerville, 3:45 p.m.Tennessee bands and their competition times are: Seymour, 10:30 a.m. and Dobyns-Bennett, 1:30 p.m.WCU’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band, the tournament’s host, will perform at 4 p.m. Tickets to the tournament are $15 and cover the entire day of events.For more information on the tournament, visit prideofthemountains.com.last_img read more

Let’s Do This Again: Are These Shoes Gray and Teal, or Pink and White?

first_imgFor what it’s worth, 89% of people who voted in a Buzzfeed poll went with gray and teal. It’s been like 12 minutes since an optical illusion photo went viral, so here you go.  Here’s the newest one in the tradition of “The Dress” from a few years back . . . Someone on Twitter named “TFILDOLANS” posted a picture of her shoe a few days ago.  And people are debating whether it’s gray and teal . . . or pink and white.last_img

It’s Hunting Season On Silicon Valley’s Habit Of Unscientific Claims

first_imgHow to Meet the Demands of the Socially Conscio… Tags:#data#federal trade commission#Ferenstein Wire#FTC#Lumos Labs#science How to Cultivate the Skill of Being a Creative … gregory ferenstein How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi…center_img AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them Related Posts This post appears courtesy of the Ferenstein Wire, a syndicated news service. Publishing partners may edit posts. For inquiries, please email author and publisher Gregory Ferenstein. Government agencies and watchdog groups are going after tech companies that make promises they can’t deliver to consumers. The recent flood of lawsuits and exposés is a reaction to Silicon Valley’s bad habit of unscientific propaganda.Just in the last few months, the press has lambasted unicorn medical company, Theranos, for inaccurate blood tests, and food startup Hampton Creek Foods for questionable claims about its egg substitute. The Federal Trade Commission extracted a $2 million settlement with Lumos Labs for exaggerated conclusions of the benefits of brain games. And users are suing Fitbit for inaccurate heart-rate monitoring. Science Versus TechnologyWhile this may seem like a string of bad luck, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. In my experience as a professional reviewer of consumer technology, this is how much of Silicon Valley operates with respect to scientific claims.More often than not, tech companies will make big promises to consumers, using their early adopters as a research base to verify the accuracy of their products, and then release limited conclusions if the data turns out positive. That is, in their pursuit of short-term profit, tech companies have an incentive to release a product, advertise big benefits, and then hope the experience of an ever-expanding user base retroactively validates their conclusions.Case in point: Soon after a Stanford report contradicted the claims of Lumos Labs—that brain-training games dramatically improve cognition—I asked the company’s executives for a response. They told me that they were confident in their brain-training product and that their users were seeing big benefits. I asked them for the data and whether they would let independent researchers verify the claims.I was told that Lumos Labs had data scientists working on proving the claims and that the company would probably release the findings shortly. I never received the data.Waiting For DataI’ve seen this over and over again. When I tested the accuracy of health trackers, I personally experienced wide variation in heart-rate monitoring and calorie burning during exercise. One of my trackers showed that I was burning 1,000 more calories per day than the others I was wearing at the exact same time. If it was accurate, I should have looked a lot more like a shirtless Hugh Jackman than I actually do. When I confronted a company executive at a conference, he told me that some people, like myself, who do high-intensity training, can throw off the device. In other tests, optical heart-rate monitors varied widely—by 30 to 60 beats per minute during exercise (the difference between an all-out sprint and a mild jog). Prior to the test, I had asked one company about independent scientific research and got no response. After the bad review, I was contacted by the company. I told them how I did my review and never heard back from the engineers (again). The Numbers Don’t Ad(d) UpIt’s not just health: Advertisers are some of the worst offenders. Research scientists have long shown that making causal inferences about the effects of advertising is extremely difficult. Because click-through rates are so small, the sample sizes necessary to understand what works can reach into the millions, if not higher. When I inquired with one major social network about how they measured return on investment, I was told that if was looking for academic-quality research, I would come up “empty-handed”. I was then referred to data scientists on their team who were conveniently unavailable.Again (and again and again), statistical experts would tell me that they could not understand how companies could make scientific claims and the companies, when faced with this criticism, would tell me that the research was ongoing. The Revenge Of Real ScienceIt appears that these days of unscientific propaganda are coming to an end. Bad press is one thing. It’s going to be far harder for companies to brush off government agencies going after them when they can’t back up quantitative claims with solid research. In some cases, this could make life more difficult for tech companies. Proving things quantitatively can be very difficult—whether it be a heart monitor, calorie counter, brain game, or advertising campaign. In my opinion, the best strategy is to be honest and release what data you can to the public. If scientists have doubts, give researchers secure access to test the data and do independent verification. Otherwise, users become unwitting lab rats for the efficacy of products we can’t verify. Hiding data and exaggerating claims was always unethical. It may soon be legally dubious as well. And ultimately, it may prove to be a losing strategy. For Silicon Valley startups looking to win over consumers and regulators, that’s what really matters.For more stories like this, subscribe to the Ferenstein Wire newsletter here.Photo courtesy of Theranoslast_img read more

Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza reach French Open semis-finals

first_imgSania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi inched towards their second Grand Slam title together as they progressed to the mixed doubles semi-finals of the French Open after shocking second seeds Kveta Peschke and Mike Bryan, here on Monday.The seventh seed Indian pair breezed past the Czech-American pair 6-2, 6-3 in just under an hour in the quarter-finals of the clay court Major.The Indians saved all the four breakpoints they faced in the match and converted four of the five chances they got.Bhupathi and Mirza, the winners of the 2010 Australian Open, now await the winner of the other quarter-final match between the pairs of Galina Voskoboeva/Daniele Bracciali and Nuria Llagostera/Oliver Marach.Another Indian in the fray is Leander Paes, who along with Russian partner Elena Vesnina is set to take on top seeded Liezel Huber and Max Mirnyi in another last-eight stage contest.last_img read more

Saudi Arabia hosts world chess games, testing reform limits

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. The mufti’s comments at the time led to an outcry on social media by young Saudis who defended the game as intellectually stimulating. Muslims, who introduced chess to Europe, have been playing the game since the 7th century in Persia.Despite the mufti’s past criticism, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed for greater social openings, including lifting a ban on women driving that goes into effect next year, allowing concerts and movies, and easing rules on gender segregation.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingThe chess tournament, however, has also been hit by regional politics. Israelis say Saudi Arabia ignored requests by Israeli players to obtain visas to participate in the tournament. Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations.Meanwhile, players from Qatar and Iran, which have strained ties with Saudi Arabia, have been granted visas to participate in the tournament. However, Qatari players will not compete in the championship because Qatar’s chess federation said organizers demanded that the players not display the Qatari flag during the competition. View comments Suns’ Booker returns vs Grizzlies Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais A statement issued by the World Chess Federation said that visas for players from Iran and Qatar were secured. It made no mention of Israeli players.“The fact that players from Iran and Qatar may decide not to participate, after consulting their own authorities, is clearly their own individual decision,” the statement said.The statement added that Saudi authorities had proposed that for security reasons the Qatari players should play under the organization’s flag, but that the issue was resolved and the Qatar Chess Association was informed that their players would play under their own flag.The tournament, called the King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, runs until Saturday. It includes around 240 players — both men and women — from 70 countries. There are 16 players from Saudi Arabia. The world’s top three chess players from Norway, Armenia and Azerbaijan are participating in the tournament. There is also a women’s chess tournament taking place alongside the open championship.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Dutertecenter_img Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims LATEST STORIES MOST READ BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Women are reportedly being allowed to wear dark blue or black formal trousers and high-necked blouses, avoiding Saudi rules of dress that require female residents and most visitors to wear loose-fitting, long robes known as “abayas.” Most Saudi women also cover their hair and face with veils.James Dorsey, a Mideast scholar and senior fellow at the University of Singapore, said the kingdom was granted hosting rights by the World Chess Federation with a $1.5 million check that amounts to four times the federation’s standard annual fee.“Literally everything involving Saudi Arabia’s hosting of a chess tournament is political,” he wrote in an analysis of the tournament. “Saudi Arabia’s visa policy is political as is the kingdom’s willingness to concede on women’s dress.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In this Monday, Dec. 25, 2017 photo released by Saudi Press Agency, two Saudi officials play chess during the opening the first ever chess tournament in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia is hosting a world chess tournament for the first time on Tuesday nearly two years after the country’s top cleric issued a religious edict against playing the board game. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia is hosting a world chess tournament for the first time on Tuesday nearly two years after the country’s top cleric issued a religious edict against playing the board game. Politics have also interfered, with players from Israel and Qatar missing the tournament due to regional tensions.Saudi Arabia’s top cleric, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, said in early 2016 that chess is “forbidden” in Islam because it wastes time and can lead to rivalry among players. Similarly, top Iranian clerics have also decried the game, saying it can lead to gambling, which is not permissible in Islam.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more