TIME Baseball

Mo’ne Davis Helps Draw a Record Little League Viewership

Nearly 5 million viewers in all tuned in

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Little League World Series’ sensation, 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis, may have got pulled during her game on Wednesday night, but the event did garner the largest viewership of a Little League game in ESPN’s history, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Despite the 8-1 loss by Davis’ Philadelphia team Taney Dragons to Las Vegas’ Mountain Ridge, the coverage drew a 3.1 rating, which, according to ESPN, was up 155% from last year’s viewership. In Philadelphia, 14.9% of homes tuned in on Wednesday, while 16.3% watched from their homes in Las Vegas. Nearly 5 million viewers in all tuned in for Wednesday night’s game.

Davis was catapulted to fame this summer as the first female in the history of the Little League World Series to pitch a shutout game. She landed a Sports Illustrated cover and a ton of fans.

However, her unfettered success took a turn when she was pulled in the third inning after allowing Las Vegas three runs on Wednesday. She was then unable to pitch against Chicago during Thursday night’s game (because of restrictions designed to prevent arm strain). And because Philadelphia lost 5-6, the possibility of her taking to the mound during a Saturday night rematch with Las Vegas was quashed.

Davis’ manager Alex Rice nonetheless has big hopes for the 13-year-old’s future. “The world’s her oyster, right?” Rice told the Associated Press after the Chicago loss on Thursday. “Mo’ne will figure out her future, and it’s going to be terrific.”

TIME Environment

Scientists Discover Microbes in a Subglacial Antarctic Lake

Ice floes floating on water
Ice floating in Ross Sea, Antarctica on June 15, 2014. De Agostini—Getty Images

It could help point to the possibilities of life on other planets

The frozen desert of Antarctica is challenging enough for life — never mind conditions beneath that ice-bound mass. But NBC News reports that a recent discovery by scientists reveals the water beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to be swarming with microbes.

The findings, published in Nature, reveal that a diverse microbe ecosystem of 4,000 distinct species exists in subglacial Lake Whillans, which lies beneath 800 m of ice. The chemoautotrophs — organisms that gain sustenance from minerals found in the water instead of from sunlight — could also hint to the possibility of life on other planets, National Geographic reports. Scientists say that the conditions that the microbes live in could be similar to those in frozen lakes found on Europa or Enceladus, Jupiter’s and Saturn’s moons respectively.

“The report is a landmark for the polar sciences,” Martyn Tranter, a professor at the University of Bristol (who was not involved in the study), wrote in a commentary in Nature.

Tranter added that the discovery also raised “the question of whether microbes could eat rock beneath ice sheets on extraterrestrial bodies such as Mars.”

The researchers will continue to survey Lake Whillan next winter in search of other organisms that could further point to the varying possibilities of life.

TIME

Mark Wahlberg Could Be Starring in a Movie About the BP Oil Spill

Celebrity Sightings In Boston - August 08, 2014
Mark Wahlberg is seen on the set of 'Ted 2' on August 08, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Stickman/Bauer-Griffin—GC Images

He would play the part a manager who rescues his crew members

Mark Wahlberg may be offered a role in a forthcoming movie based off of the 2010 BP oil spill. Deepwater Horizon will be directed by J.C. Chandor for Liongate’s Summit Entertainment, industry news site Deadline Hollywood reports.

The Hollywood Reporter also says that Wahlberg is in talks with Lionsgate, and says the parties have not begun negotiating a deal.

The movie, which will be a dramatization of a New York Times article entitled Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour, details the 48-hours leading up to and shortly after the disaster, Deadline Hollywood reports.

The BP oil rig exploded off Louisiana’s coast in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and injuring 16 others, in what is considered the worst marine oil spill in history.

Wahlberg, who recently played in Lorenzo di Bonaventura’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, would star as a manager who tries to rescue his crew after the rig explosion. The film will be produced by di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian and is set to begin production by the summer of 2015.

TIME Pakistan

Protesters Demand the Resignation of Pakistan’s Prime Minister

Anti-government marchers enter Red Zone
Pakistani political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) members celebrate entering the Red Zone in Islamabad, Pakistan, on August 20, 2014. Thousands of protesters ran over the barricades and entered Pakistani capital Islamabad's sensitive Red Zone area, which houses state buildings, on Tuesday night as the heavy force deployed there offered no resistance. Chanting anti-government slogans, protesters wanted to topple the government. Anadolu Agency—Getty Images

Political opponents claim that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was fraudulently elected

Thousands of antigovernment protesters in Islamabad marched to the Parliament on Tuesday to demand the resignation of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Reuters reports.

Opposition leaders claim that Sharif was unfairly elected to power last year.

The protests are being led by former international cricketer Imran Khan — head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party — and prominent politician-cleric Tahir ul-Qadri.

Khan, who is demanding that Sharif’s government make way for fresh elections, alleges that Sharif’s party won last year’s poll through fraudulent means. On Monday, he also claimed that 34 members of his PTI party would resign from their seats in the National Assembly in protest against the current regime.

Qadri is accusing Sharif of corruption and wants the current administration replaced by a unity government of technocrats. The two leaders have held separate protests in the past, but announced earlier this week that they would join forces to march on Parliament.

An estimated 50,000 protesters have been holding demonstrations in Islamabad for five days. Reuters says that some are equipped with cranes and bolt cutters to dismantle and remove the shipping containers that are being used to barricade the government “red zone,” where Parliament and other state buildings are located.

Sharif originally called on the country’s powerful military — which deposed him in a 1999 coup — to secure the red zone, but Khan issued him a warning. “If police try to stop us and there is violence, Nawaz, I will not spare you, I will come after you and put you in jail,” Reuters reported him as saying to a crowd of supporters.

As marchers approached the capital, Sharif relented and announced that protesters could enter the area. Sharif’s daughter Maryam Sharif said on Tuesday through her Twitter account that this was because there were families among the demonstrators.

The Guardian reported that protesters, including women throwing rose petals on the ground, were not stopped by police officers as they marched into the red zone.

The protests have put pressure on the weakened government that already has poor relations with the military. It also threatens to further shake the stability of Pakistan, which is battling against a bloody Taliban insurgency and a high unemployment rate.

[Reuters]

TIME Courts

A California Slaughterhouse Has Been Indicted for Selling Condemned Beef

Cattle graze at Rancho Feeding Corporation in Petaluma
Cattle graze at Rancho Feeding Corp. in Petaluma, Calif., on Feb. 10, 2014 Beck Diefenbach—Reuters

The charges come after a massive global recall of 8.7 million lb. of meat

Rancho Feeding Corp., a slaughterhouse in Petaluma, Calif., was indicted on Thursday for processing carcasses that had been condemned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and for selling beef that came from cancerous cattle. Following a massive product recall, owners Robert Singleton and Jesse Amaral Jr., as well as employees Eugene Corda and Felix Cabrera, were charged with 11 felony counts including knowingly processing and distributing uninspected meat. If convicted, the four could be facing sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

Operations at Rancho Feeding Corp. were suspended in January when the USDA recalled 8.7 million lb. of beef from stores throughout the world. The indictment documents, unsealed on Monday, allege that co-owner Amaral instructed employees to decapitate the heads of cows with eye cancer, and to switch them with the heads of healthy cows, in order to evade inspectors. Documents also allege that Amaral directed employees to remove the “USDA condemned” brand from carcasses prior to processing. Nearly 200 condemned and cancerous cows were subsequently sold to stores globally between 2012 and 2013.

Jeffrey Bornstein, a lawyer previously representing Amaral, told the San Francisco Chronicle in February that his defendant’s company was always “considered one of the top meat processors in the state. He is very sorry for any impact that this situation has caused to his customers and to the meat-buying public.”

Rancho Feeding Corp. was sold to Marin Sun Farms in February.

TIME France

Paris Gunmen Hold Up a Saudi Prince’s Motorcade and Steal 250,000 Euros

"It's quite an unusual attack," a police source told the AFP news agency

Robbers armed with Kalashnikov rifles stole 250,000 euros ($335,000) and “sensitive” documents after raiding the motorcade of a Saudi prince that was en route from the Saudi embassy in northern Paris to Le Bourget airport, AFP reports.

The items were stolen from a supply vehicle in Porte de la Chapelle that was later incinerated.

“It’s quite an unusual attack. They were obviously well-informed. It’s true that it’s quite a rare way of operating,” a police source told AFP. No injuries were reported during the incident and suspects have yet to be found.

[AFP]

TIME Social Media

Twitter Is Making Experimental Timeline Changes

Social Media Site Twitter Debuts On The New York Stock Exchange
Twitter announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London. Bethany Clarke—Getty Images

Basically, tweets that you favorite are no longer semi-private, but will be treated like retweets

Twitter appears to be experimenting with a change to user timelines, leaving some account holders dismayed.

The change means that a user can now see tweets favorited by people they follow, the Verge reports. Some users are also receiving notifications when someone they follow begins to follow a new user.

Previously, a user’s timeline only showed tweets and retweets from other accounts. The change is similar to Facebook’s practice of auto-posting what friends like or have commented on, through the Open Graph app, which connects activity on apps to the Facebook news feed — although the company recently drew back its use of the app in May, Verge reported.

The experimental Twitter change could transform the dynamic of the timeline from a list that users cultivate to one that marks what is most trending on the microblogging platform.

Other recent Twitter experiments have included embedding tweets into tweets, which has been relatively uncontroversial, but a search on Twitter reveals that many users do not welcome the new change.

Some users have joked that they could finally use the mute feature on Twitter — which allows users to make the tweets or retweets of others invisible without blocking them — to drown out the traffic now inundating their timelines.

[The Verge]

TIME robotics

This Robot Army Can Organize Itself

Harvard University — YouTube

Expect the future to be overrun with millions more like it

Scientists at Harvard University have created an army of over a thousand tiny robots that can communicate with each other to perform complex actions. The breakthrough could lay the framework for future robot brigades that collaborate to execute large tasks such as environmental cleanup.

The 1,024 simple bots, called Kilobots, are each only a few centimeters wide, but communicate with each other using infrared light to create large star- or K-shaped formations. Only the initial instruction to form up needs to be given — after that, Kilobots organize themselves and cooperate with each together to smooth out logjams or redirect bots that have wandered off-course.

Michael Rubenstein, the lead author of the study published in the journal Science, says that Kilobots mimic units found in nature such as a group of ants that link together to forge a river, or a body of cells that assemble to form an organism. “Biological collectives involve enormous numbers of cooperating entities — whether you think of cells or insects or animals — that together accomplish a single task that is a magnitude beyond the scale of any individual,” Rubenstein said in a statement released by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Although scientists have directed simple bots to complete tasks before, this is the first time that such a large company has operated together. Radhika Nagpal, one of the researchers in the study, says that the Kilobots demonstrate the potential of robots to self-organize on a larger scale. “Increasingly, we’re going to see large numbers of robots working together, whether its hundreds of robots cooperating to achieve environmental cleanup or a quick disaster response, or millions of self-driving cars on our highways,” Nagpal said in a statement. “Understanding how to design ‘good’ systems at that scale will be critical.”

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