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Rafael Nadal: ‘I missed a lot of important events because of…’

Rafael Nadal: 'I missed a lot of important events because of...'

Despite injuries and setbacks, Rafael Nadal has been a player to beat in 2022. The Spaniard has won two major titles and will have a great chance to return to No. 1 in the world after the US Open. Rafa withdrew before the Wimbledon semi-final due to an abdominal injury, and it is his main concern ahead of the last Major of the season.

Rafa admitted that he has to be very careful during training sessions, working on his serve while he tries not to aggravate an injury. Nadal will play in New York for the first time in three years, after winning the title in 2019 and skipping the next two editions.

Rafa came to New York after an early loss in Cincinnati, leveling him up on the practice court and setting up the first-round clash against Rinky Hijikata. Nadal is 35-4 this year, starting the season with three consecutive titles and securing his 14th Roland Garros crown.

Rafa moved ahead of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer after his 21st major crown at the Australian Open, his first in Melbourne in 13 years! Rafa conquered Acapulco and reached the Indian Wells final. He played it with a fractured rib and lost to Taylor Fritz in straight sets.

The Spaniard skipped his favorite events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and did not play at his best level in Madrid and Rome. Hoping to improve his performance in Paris, Nadal outclassed Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev before beating Casper Ruud in the title match.

With a boost from him, Rafa set his sights on his first Wimbledon crown in 12 years.

Nadal is the second seed

Novak Djokovic’s absence from the 2022 US Open has been the talk of the town over the last few days, but Rafael Nadal feels that shouldn’t be the case.

“Well, in some way we know that Novak will not play for a while if nothing change in terms of the rules, no? We know that since months ago. From my personal perspective, is very sad news,” he said. “It’s always a shame when the best players of the world are not able to play a tournament because of injuries or because of different reasons.”

Recalling how he has had to miss more than a few tournaments due to injuries, the 36-year-old pointed out how the world of tennis simply kept going regardless. “But on the other hand, I repeat what I said plenty of times: the sport in some ways is bigger than any player.

I missed a lot of important events in my tennis career because of injuries, without a doubt,” Nadal said. “Last year I was not here. Two years ago I was not here. [But] the tournament continues. The world of tennis keep going.”

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Ethereum just pulled off its final test run ahead of one of the most important events in crypto

Ethereum just pulled off its final test run ahead of one of the most important events in crypto

Ethereum is the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency, and it’s giving bitcoin a run for its money.

Getty

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, just ran a final dress rehearsal ahead of a years-awaited upgrade that’s been billed as one of the most important events in the history of crypto.

Since its creation almost a decade ago, ethereum has been mined through a so-called proof-of-work model. It involves complex math equations that massive numbers of machines race to solve, and it requires an abundance of energy. Bitcoin mining follows a similar process.

Ethereum has been working to shift to a new model for securing the network called proof of stake. Rather than relying on energy-intensive mining, the new method requires users to leverage their existing cache of ether as a means to verify transactions and mint tokens. It uses far less power and is expected to translate into faster transactions.

The final test took place Wednesday at around 9:45 p.m. ET.

Ansgar Dietrichs, a researcher with the Ethereum Foundation, said in a tweet that the most relevant metric for success when it comes to a dry run like this is looking at time to finalization. He called it “another successful test.”

A research associate from Galaxy Digital pointed out that the participation rate after the test merge dropped, and it looked like there may have been an issue with one of the clients — but overall, it worked.

“A success Merge = chain finalizes,” Christine Kim wrote in a tweet, adding that we are likely to see similar types of issues with the upgrade on mainnet, “but the point is, the Merge worked.”

The timing of the upgrade will be discussed at a meeting of ethereum core developers on Thursday. Previous guidance indicated that the merge should go into effect in mid-September.

Ethereum’s transition has been repeatedly pushed back for the last several years. Core developers tell CNBC that the merge has been slow to progress, in order to allow sufficient time for research, development and implementation.

The price of ether, the token native to the ethereum blockchain, has been on an upswing the last month, rising nearly 80%, including a gain of 10% in the last 24 hours to around $1,875. However, it’s still down by about half this year.  

Here’s what happened

One of ethereum’s test networks, or testnets, called Goerli (named for a train station in Berlin) simulated a process identical to what the main network, or mainnet, will execute in September.

Testnets allow developers to try out new things and make necessary tweaks before the updates roll out across the main blockchain. Wednesday night’s exercise showed that the proof-of-stake validation process substantially reduces the energy necessary for verifying a block of transactions, and also proved that the merger process works. 

Read more about tech and crypto from CNBC Pro

Spotting the bugs

Tim Beiko, the coordinator for ethereum’s protocol developers, told CNBC that they typically know “within minutes” whether a test was successful. But they’ll still be looking out for many potential configuration issues in the hours and days ahead so they can quickly fix them.

“We want to see the network finalizing and having a high participation rate amongst validators and also make sure we don’t hit any unexpected bugs or issues,” said Beiko.

The easiest metric to track is participation rate, meaning how many validators are online and doing their duties, Beiko said. If the numbers go down, developers will have to figure out why.

Another key issue relates to transactions. Ethereum processes transactions in groups known as blocks. Beiko said one clear indicator the test went well will be if the blocks have actual transactions in them, and aren’t empty.

The last major check is whether the network is finalizing, meaning that more than two-thirds of validators are online and agree to the same view of the chain history. Beiko says it takes 15 minutes in normal network conditions. 

“If those three things look good, then there’s a long list of secondary stuff to check, but at that point, things are going well,” said Beiko.

‘More accessible’

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OPINION: Events in Ipswich ‘more important than ever before’

OPINION: Events in Ipswich 'more important than ever before'

Published:
6:30 AM July 4, 2022



After a two-year break forced on us by Covid it was great to see thousands of people once again thronging to Christchurch Park this weekend to enjoy some fabulous free musical entertainment.

Saturday saw Global Rhythm and Ipswich Jazz Festival join forces to provide a celebration of worldwide music and culture. Five stages provided a programme of jazz, blues, Caribbean and world music with something for everyone.


David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, says the new sports centres will be 'better quality'


David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, says the new sports centres will be ‘better quality’

– Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

There were music and dance workshops, a funfair, craft stalls and street food and drink.


Sam Kelly will perform during Global Rhythm and Ipswich Jazz Festival


Sam Kelly will perform during Global Rhythm and Ipswich Jazz Festival

– Credit: Sam Kelly

For those who wanted to get another fix of music after the park closed there was a gig at the Smokehouse or the amazing production of Sweeney Todd at the New Wolsey Theatre.

On Sunday Ipswich Music Day returned to Christchurch Park for its 32nd year.


Six stages will be set up around the park, allowing the opportunity to listen to different music genres


Six stages will be set up around the park, allowing the opportunity to listen to different music genres

– Credit: citizenside.com

With six stages of live entertainment and music from local upcoming artists along with the four classical stages hosted by Ipswich Arts Association, Ipswich Music Day remains the largest free one-day music festival in the country.

The first Music Day was in 1991. It originally started as a government initiative to have a “National Music Day”. However, over the years most other places gradually stopped putting on events.

I’m really proud that Ipswich Borough Council has continued to support Music Day through three decades, putting on a festival that is the envy of other towns and cities.

I’m sure the reason other places stopped their music days was down to one reason – money – and with the twin hits of ongoing Covid costs and rising prices, Ipswich Borough Council’s finances are certainly being tested as never before.

But as family finances continue to be squeezed by the Cost of Living Crisis we think it is more important than ever for there to be events that everyone in Ipswich and Suffolk can enjoy regardless of their income.

For tens of thousands of people, the first weekend of July has become synonymous with Ipswich Music Day and I don’t think that anyone running the Council who ended this would ever be forgiven.

That doesn’t mean that things should always stay the same though.

That’s why, this year, we’ve brought the two days of music together as an experiment to see if we can bring a bigger economic benefit to the town by holding a weekend of music rather than a single day.

If there’s a weekend of entertainment this will hopefully attract more visitors who will stay at hotels on Friday or Saturday. By having events after the parks close, we can entice people into the town centre and hopefully spend some money.

We will be looking to organise more of these weekends throughout the year.

We will also be running our usual programme of free summer events.


Indian Summer Mela held in Christchurch Park
Picture: RACHEL EDGE


Indian Summer Mela held in Christchurch Park
Picture: RACHEL EDGE

– Credit: RACHEL EDGE

Next weekend will see the return of the popular Indian Mela in Christchurch Park. Run in association with Ipswich and Suffolk Indian Association, the Mela celebrates Indian culture with a mix of live entertainment, music, dance, a market, and amazing food.

We will be running Family Fun Days in parks across the town through the summer. From 22nd July to 5th August there will be a fun day at Alexandra Park, Ransomes Sports Pavilion, Murray Road Rec, Bourne Park and Whitehouse Park.

September will see the return of the One Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park, run in association with BSC Multicultural Services – a fantastic combination of music, dance, sport and food from around the world. For more details see: www.ipswichentertains.co.uk

I’d just like to end by asking us to remember all the council staff, our partner organisations and a whole range of volunteers who work so tirelessly to put these events on.

There is a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure we are entertained and kept safe, and we owe them a huge debt of thanks.

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LOTR: The 9 Most Important Events Of The 1st Age

title split image First Age important events

The Lord of The Rings is a conclusion of a story that started a long time ago, before there even were any rings. The events of the Peter Jackson movie adaptations take place during the Third Age of Middle-earth, but what made that possible began eons ago during the time of the First Age.



Related: LOTR: Games That Explore Lore Untouched By The Movies

The First Age was the genesis of the realm of Arda, of which Middle-earth is one part. This was a time when there were only stars and moonlight, and the world was lit by the Two Trees and then by the Moon and Sun. During the First Age, the years were counted using YT, for Years of the Trees, and then using YS, which means Years of the Sun.

9 The Elves Awaken – YT 1050

Also known as the Firstborn, the Elves were one of two races first created by the most powerful of the supreme beings, Eru Ilúvatar. They awoke in a place called Cuiviénen, near a lake in the far eastern part of Middle-earth, and the Valar didn’t discover them for some time.

Unfortunately, Melkor found them first, and used malevolent spirits and other illusions to turn them against his fellow Valar, in particular Oromë. He was the Valar that roamed the expanse of Middle-earth, and when he discovered the Elves some of them fled. Those that stayed and came to know him, he named the Eldar, but the others were said to have been taken by Melkor to become the first Orcs.

8 Melkor Is Defeated And Bound – YT 1100

The story of Melkor’s rise to power in Middle-earth is its own story, and with the combined effort of the Valar, he was defeated for the first time. His strongest servant, a Maia known as Sauron, escaped rebuilding the forces of evil in secret. The Elves knew little of the battle and only saw it from afar.

Related: Lord Of The Rings: Things That Are Known About The Blue Wizards

As a Valar, Melkor could not be killed, but instead was brought before Mandos, the Valar that stands for judgment. Melkor was bound with a special chain, Angainor, and condemned to the Halls of Mandos for three eons.

7 The First Sundering Of The Elves – YT 1105

There were three sunderings of the Elven races during the First Age, and the first was after the Melkor was defeated. At that time, Middle-earth had been badly damaged, and Oromë summoned the Elves and offered them a place to stay in Aman, the location of Valinor, where the Valar also lived.

Not everyone was keen to leave Middle-earth, however, and many of the Elves refused to leave. The ones that followed Oromë continued to be known as the Eldar, but those that refused to take the Great Journey were named the Avari.

6 Durin And Daeron’s Runes – YT 1300

It wasn’t all about Elves, Men, and Melkor during this time. About a hundred years after the Elves had risen in the east, the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves also emerged from their sleep. The Dwarves had been created by the Valar Aulë but had to wait until the Firstborn had emerged before they could awaken. The only one of these that history remembers is Durin I, also known as Durin the Deathless.

Related: Lord Of The Rings: Important Characters Who Only Appear In The Silmarillion

It was not only the Dwarves that came to Middle-earth during this time but the writing system that would become their main alphabet was also developed by King Thingol and his most gifted loremaster, Daeron.

5 Fëanor Makes The Silmarils – YT 1450

The creation of the Silmarils might be the most important event in the history and lore of Middle-earth. Virtually everything that happened before them was but one step in their creation, and everything that came after was about who possessed them.

Fëanor, one of the most important characters who have yet to appear in an on-screen adaptation, created three jewels with the light of the Two Trees using a secret method that died with him. He was also the maker of the Palantiri and invented a script called Tengwar, which was used as the vernacular in his kingdom until the Third Age.


4 Ungoliant Destroys The Two Trees – YT 1495

After Melkor had the Elves under his sway, especially Fëanor, he turned on them. However, he was not powerful enough to act alone. He recruited the monstrous Ongoliant, a primordial creature that resembled a spider and devoured light and life as if it was food. She was a distant ancestor of Shelob, the beast aligned with Gollum in The Return Of The King.

Related: Lord Of The Rings: Everything You Need To Know About Sauron’s Rings Of Power

Melkor promised Ungoliant that she could feed on the Two Trees if only she would help him defeat the Elves, in particular the stubborn Fëanor. By the time the Valar discovered the extent of the giant spider’s destruction, Fëanor received word that Melkor had attacked his home in his absence. His father was dead and the Silmarils were gone.


3 The Sun And Moon Are Created – YT 1500

Although the trees had been destroyed, part of their essence remained. Laurelin was the Gold Tree and left behind a single flower which became the Sun. A blossom from Telperion, the Silver Tree, became the moon.

The Valar assigned two of the Maiar to guide their new creations, Arien and Tilion. Arien was the embodiment of fire, and one of the few Maiar that could not be coerced or corrupted. Tilion was known to take elven form in Middle-earth, but as the bearer of the moon, he was a being of pure light.

2 The Recovery Of A Silmaril – YS 466

It wasn’t just the endearing love story that made them famous, but the impossible task they managed to achieve alone that no army or wizard could accomplish. Luthien’s father declared that she could only wed a hero brave enough to recover a Silmaril, and Beren took him seriously.

Related: Lord Of The Rings: Things Only Book Readers Know About The Third Age

The gem they managed to recover was the same one returned to the Valar by Eärendil the Mariner. He called for aid not only against the forces of Melkor, now called Morgoth but also for protection from the Sons of Fëanor who were killing anyone they thought might possess a Silmaril.

1 Melkor Condemed To The Void – FA 590

Ironically, it wasn’t called the First Age until it was almost over. This was the year the Valar banished Morgoth from Middle-earth for good, sending him through the Door of Night into the Void and allowing Men, Elves, and the other various denizens of Middle-earth to live in peace.

For the second time, the Valar invited the Elves to join them but once again, some refused. Círdan the Shipwright chose to stay and guide his people from the Gray Havens. Galadriel and Celeborn stayed in their home of Lorien. Celebrimbor, the last of Feanor’s line, stayed to eventually forge the Rings of Power. Gil-galad became the High King of many Elven nations and Elrond would stay to help guide his brother Elros, and their descendants, as they became rulers of Men.

More: Lord Of The Rings Maiar Lore

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NEET 2022, CUET, board exams and more: Important educational events this month

NEET 2022, CUET, board exams and more: Important educational events this month

First Published Apr 4, 2022, 12:13 PM IST

Several important educational events are set to be announced this month. This encompasses everything from the registration procedure for the first-ever single college entrance test to the start of the CBSE board examinations and much more.

Several important educational events are set to be announced this month. This encompasses everything from the registration procedure for the first-ever single college entrance test to the start of the CBSE board examinations and much more.

Here are important dates: 

1. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) term 2 board examinations for classes 10 and 12 begin on April 26. The tests for both courses will begin at 10:30 am, and pupils will be given 15 minutes of reading time. It will be based on the remaining 50% of the curriculum. The term 2 examinations will be conducted in a subjective manner.

2. The CISCE board examinations will begin on April 26 and will end on June 13. The semester 2 tests will take 1.5 hours to complete. Students will be given ten minutes to read the question paper. On the day of the test, students will be able to access the question paper at 1:50 p.m.

3. The National Testing Agency will begin the registration process for the first-ever Central Universities Entrance Test (CUET) 2022. It was supposed to start on April 2, but it has now been pushed back to April 6. The admission examinations for central institutions such as JNU and DU will be held in the first and second weeks of July.

Also Read | CUET 2022: Registrations to open from April 6; here’s how you can apply

4. According to a previous NTA statement, applications for the National Eligibility Entrance Examination (NEET) 2022 would open in the first week of April. However, the precise date is unknown. With the CUET 2022 postponement, it is expected that the NEET 2022 registration window will start after April 6. The medical admission exam is expected to take place on July 17.

5. The admit card for JEE Main 2022’s first session will be available in the third week of April. The first session of the engineering entrance test will be held on April 21, 24, 25, 29, and May 1, 4. This year, the JEE Main 2022 will be held in two sessions.

Also Read | NEET PG 2022: Registration to end today, step-by-step guide to apply last minute

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Research sheds light on important events that may play a role in infertility

Research sheds light on important events that may play a role in infertility

Everyone considers sperm to be made exclusively by males. But did you know that females also make sperm? Well, it turns out that females also contribute to what makes a sperm a sperm.

Nearly 20 percent of couples in the United States fail to conceive naturally after one year of trying, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In species with internal fertilization, such as humans, the ability for a female to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term is dependent upon effective interactions between sperm and the female reproductive tract (FRT). When those interactions are defective, the result can be a failed pregnancy. Therefore, understanding the factors that contribute to sperm viability between copulation and fertilization is crucial.

A research team from the Syracuse University College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology and Cornell University, led by Steve Dorus, associate professor of biology at Syracuse University, have been studying the life history of fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) sperm to better understand molecular continuity between male and female reproductive tracts. In other words, how the male and female reproductive tracts provide support to keep the sperm viable before fertilization. Their results, published on March 7, 2022 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS), shed light on important events that may play a role in infertility that up until now have been poorly understood.

The team, which includes members from Syracuse University’s Center for Reproductive Evolution, explored the compositional changes in fruit fly sperm, beginning shortly after they leave the testis, following insemination and finally after protracted storage within the FRT. Fruit flies are powerful model organisms for investigations such as this one because they are easy to culture in the laboratory, have a short generation time and their genetics are richly understood. In their study, the group uncovered that the proteome, or protein makeup, of the sperm undergoes substantial changes after being transferred to the FRT.

For species with internal fertilization, a sperm’s developmental ‘journey’ – on the way to its final destination of fertilizing an egg and beginning a new life – transcends both male and female reproductive tracts. After leaving the testis, sperm travel through the male’s seminal vesicles and descend through the ejaculatory duct, where they mix with seminal fluid proteins. The team found that many of these seminal proteins are progressively lost after sperm migrate beyond the site of insemination within the FRT. Conversely, female-derived proteins that may help the sperm with functions such as energy metabolism, begin to associate with the sperm immediately after mating, signifying a changing of the guard of proteins.

After several days of storage within the FRT, the research team was surprised to discover that nearly 20% of the sperm’s proteins had been replaced by female-derived proteins. The female contributions support sperm viability during the prolonged period between copulation and fertilization. This “hand-off” in the maintenance of sperm viability from males to females means that sperm are materially the product of both sexes, and this may be a crucial aspect of reproduction in all internally-fertilizing species, including humans.

By studying the intimate ways in which sperm interact with the FRT during the final stages of functional maturation, the team’s research advances understanding of animal fertility and the contributions of each sex to reproductive success.

In addition to Dorus and Pitnick, other co-authors from Syracuse University included former postdoctoral researcher Erin McCullough and doctoral graduate Emma Whittington. Co-authors from Cornell University were Professor Mariana Wolfner and postdoctoral researcher Akanksha Singh. The team’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and a gift from Mike and Jane Weeden to Syracuse University.

Source:

Journal reference:

McCullough, E.L., et al. (2022) The life history of Drosophila sperm involves molecular continuity between male and female reproductive tracts. PNAS. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2119899119.