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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Plymouth Albion’s plight raises issue of funding in rugby union’s second tier

The club’s chairman has warned the RFU that there will be casualties unless extra money comes into the Championship

• England cavalier Cipriani must hope Lancaster changes tack

Plymouth Albion have little more than a week to raise £250,000 or go into administration and be relegated from the Championship. The plight of a club that has tried to pay its way in a division dominated by two sides for whom money is little object, Bristol and Worcester, without in any way trying to match them, has raised the issue of funding in English rugby’s second tier.


The Championship is the impoverished little brother of the Premiership. Its 12 clubs receive £380,000 annually through central funds, money made up of a contribution from Premiership Rugby, television, title sponsors and the Rugby Football Union. It would not be enough to provide a year’s wages for a marquee player in the top flight.


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Xiaomi riles Apple and Samsung with new phablet range

‘China’s Apple’ mocks the iPhone 6 Plus and copies Samsung’s phablet name for its latest high-end handsets


Imitation continues to be the the most sincere form of flattery after Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi borrowed from both Apple and Samsung in naming its new handsets.


The new Mi Note (à la Samsung) and Mi Note Pro phablets (a la iPhone 6 Plus) from the world’s third-largest smartphone maker have high-end specifications, 5.7in screens, metal construction and curved glass on their fronts and backs.


Now Lei Jun mocking the iPhone 6 Plus camera bump. http://ift.tt/1BubmiY


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DealBook: Bank of America Posts 11% Decline in Profit

The lower earnings of $3.05 billion, or 25 cents a share, reflected a weaker performance in some core businesses like trading and mortgage banking.





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Reasons To Keep Oil Prices High, Ctd

A reader addresses Chris Edwards via our post: Yes, Mr. Edwards, the percentage increases in the gas tax between 1984 and 1992, seems rather large, but this a rather lazy argument and ignores almost all of the developed world. Take a look at this article in The Economist from 2011. My coworker – back when […]



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New York City gets its first commercial wind turbine

New York City finally gets its first commercial wind turbine @ Ars Technica. Given I was headed to the public introduction of New York City’s largest wind turbine, I almost expected it to be visible from the subway station. But it was also New York City’s first commercial-scale wind turbine, so the standards for “largest” […]



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#3DPrinted Mini Face Hugger #3DThursday #3DPrinting

jules_nz shares: So I have made it ball jointed and you can string it together with elastic, and add a bit of wire for extra posing. Check out my YouTube video on how to string it together Download the files on: http://ift.tt/1wdqQ4h Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has […]



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Wellbeing retreats: readers’ travel tips

Our readers recommend places that will cleanse your soul, but not necessarily your wallet, whether you’re after the spiritual benefits of yoga, complete silence, or enjoying a tropical breeze with a beer in hand

Bolilanga is one of the Togian islands in North Sulawesi. To get there, you’ll need to get the Wakai-Malange ferry, getting off at Katupat, and then take a small boat. The sun is hot, the water too; contemplation is the only activity. Below the water’s surface, a couple of squids are playing, the coral is beautifully coloured and sometimes a shoal of huge Napoleon fish glide by. When out of the sea, sway in your hammock, drink a fresh juice or a beer. Time has no value here, and what matters is deciding where to watch the sunset from.

Cédric Guigon


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Pope Francis says climate change is mostly man's fault

Lima climate summit result was disappointing, says Pope ahead of long-awaited encyclidal on the environment



Pope Francis waded into the global debate about climate change on Thursday, saying that he believed that man was primarily responsible and that he hoped this year’s Paris conference would take a courageous stand to protect the environment.


The Pope said his long-awaited encyclical on the environment was almost finished and that he hoped it would be published in June, in time provide food for thought ahead of the UN climate meeting Paris in November.


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Photo highlights of the day

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world, including a baby pygmy hippo, the Pope in the Philippines, cold weather in the UK and police on the streets of France


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US federal agent describes capture of alleged Silk Road founder

Court hears how federal agents trapped Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder of the online black market bazaar, while he was logged on


A federal agent told jurors he covertly became an employee of the website Silk Road, chatting with its operator about “damn regulators” minutes before authorities arrested the man they believe ran the online black market.


Jared Der-Yeghiayan, a US Department of Homeland Security special agent, testified in Manhattan federal court that in July 2013 he took over a Silk Road moderator’s account and participated in the arrest of its suspected operator, Ross Ulbricht.


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Yes, they've made a Thunderbirds remake. Stop griping and get over it

The news that CITV have made the new Thunderbirds are Go! series could provoke violent fury at the trashing of sacred childhood memories, but only if you forget that the original was rubbish as well


Be honest. Your first reaction when you discovered that CITV had made a new Thunderbirds series was one of violent fury. It’s OK, you can admit it. So was mine. “They’re not even puppets any more!” I wailed. “The Tracy brothers look like a One Direction tribute act made up of pillows and sex dolls!” And then, the inevitable topper: “They’re ruining my childhood! This is just like Postman Pat and his laser-eyed robot cat all over again!”


So allow yourself this moment of anguish. But then shut up, because you’re wrong. Admittedly, the notion of Fonejacker and Rosamund Pike teaming up with the Avatar people to remake a 50-year-old television show does seem a little odd – especially since the new series will be called Thunderbirds are Go!, which presumably tested slightly better than Thundabirdz – but you’re still wrong. How wrong? Let me count the ways.


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Why the 8,000-calorie big breakfast and competitive eating as a 'sport' makes me sick

A cafe in Portishead has hit the headlines by challenging customers with a 59-item platter. It’s a stunt, but there’s a serious side to these sorts of contests that is just stomach-churning


I suppose I should be grateful for a counterpoint to the dieting bilge filling the media this month, but actually I am not. I would sooner endure a January kale cleanse (fat chance) than celebrate the sport of competitive gorging that has made headlines this week.


In case you were too busy juicing to catch it, a cafe in Portishead, near Bristol, has launched an 8,000-calorie, 59-item gut-busting Monster Mega Breakfast challenge to entice the punters. Anyone who can finish off the heaving £15 platter in under an hour will be added to the wall of “champions” and receive a free breakfast voucher. If you ask me, this is a pyrrhic victory for a winning stomach that might no longer be capable of taking solids, but there you have it.


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Packed lunches for January diet plans

Atkins. Sugar-free. Caveman ... Diets abound at this time of year. Here are some packed luch ideas to suit some of the most-popular diet regimes


It’s halfway through January so it follows that in the slightly loopy spirit of New Year abstention, you’ve probably already been exposed to a dozen “new” diets. But the number one rule of any eating regime – whether you’re doing the 5.2, Paleo or going sugar-free – is getting organised: meal planning, shopping in advance and where possible, preparing and cooking your meals yourself. That may be inconvenient and time-consuming, but ultimately it’s the only way to control what goes into your body.


A homemade packed lunch can be a key part of this. The trick is to make it as interesting as possible. Now, we don’t particularly advocate dieting, and are most definitely not nutritionists, but any incentive to make your own lunch is a good one, so we’ve used some of the most popular regimes’ rules as the basis for a selection of lunch ideas.


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World view: Ice road truckers at the Québec Winter Carnival

They breed them tough in Québec City, where the mercury rarely creeps above -6C in winter and the small matter of the mighty St Lawrence river icing over didn't stand in the way of the region's early settlers and their canoes. That's why every winter for the past 60 years at the Québec Winter Carnival (30 Jan-15 Feb), crews of five athletes slide, scramble and row through the ice floes in a race from Québec City to Lévis, on the southern shore, and back – a distance of four miles. Spectators can now have a go in an ice canoe through Québec Ice Canoeing Continue reading...

















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