Archive for May, 2019

Chanderpaul call right one: Windies coach

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Chanderpaul’s incredible 164-Test career came to an abrupt halt after he was left out of a 12-man Windies training squad for the two Tests against Australia next month.

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Many in the Caribbean have suggested the 40-year-old deserved a farewell tour to have his two decades of service to Windies’ cricket honoured by fans.

It was also felt Chanderpaul should have been allowed to try and score the 86 runs he needed to pass Brian Lara’s all-time record of 11,953 Test runs by a West Indian.

But Simmons, who took over as Windies coach in March, says the left-hander’s form just didn’t warrant selection.

In his past 11 Test innings Chanderpaul has scored just 183 runs and he failed to pass 50 in the recent three-Test series against England.

“You talk about giving him two Tests to say goodbye,” Simmons said.

“He’s had a long and illustrious career and we know that he’s done a lot for West Indies cricket but at the same time when we sit down to select a team we sit down to select a team to win a game against Australia.

“When you go through that process, he didn’t fit in.

“It’s not about giving someone two Tests to finish their career, it’s about picking the best team to play in the next game.”

Windies chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd, who expressed admiration of his fellow Guyanese, said any farewells for Chanderpaul will have to wait until the man himself calls time on his career.

Despite it seeming unlikely he’ll ever play Test cricket again, Lloyd said Chanderpaul hadn’t retired and it’s up to him when he leaves the game.

“Chanderpaul, whenever he retires, will be given the accolades he should receive,” former captain Lloyd said.

“I think it’s only fitting that we do so.

“He’s been a great servant to our cricket and when that time comes I think he should be given that sort of send off that is expected of a player of his calibre.”

Chanderpaul’s omission will present an opportunity to youngsters Leon Johnson and Carlos Brathwaite in this week’s three-day tour match against Australia in Antigua.

Johnson, who has played four Tests, and Brathwaite are captain and vice-captain of the West Indies Cricket Board President’s XI which will face the tourists.

The Windies’ final 14-man squad for the Test series will be named on Friday, the final day of the tour match.

Anonymous threats against airliners

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Anonymous telephone threats against commercial airliners caused a scare involving at least six international flights at airports in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

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Authorities said the threats did not appear to be credible. They described searches done on the jets as a precaution.

In one instance on Monday morning, US military jets escorted an Air France flight into New York City after someone claimed a chemical weapon was aboard the aircraft, the FBI said.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Air France flight number 22 was escorted to John F Kennedy airport by US Air Force fighter jets following a phone threat,” the FBI said in a statement.

“There were no incidents or hazards reported on board the flight by either the passengers or its crew. The plane has been cleared.”

A Saudi Arabian Airlines flight arriving at Kennedy also was being checked out because of another threat, authorities said.

A third threat was made against an American Airlines jet flying from Birmingham, England, to Kennedy while it was still in the air, airline spokesman Kent Powell said.

Authorities initially told the pilot to land and taxi to a remote area away from the terminal but later radioed that the threat was not credible and cleared the plane to go to the terminal, Powell said.

At Newark Liberty International Airport, passengers were removed from a United Airlines flight after it arrived from Madrid, United spokeswoman Mary Clark said.

The plane was inspected Monday afternoon at a spot away from the terminal.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc said two of its international planes were threatened: a Paris-to-Boston flight and a London-to-Newark flight.

A threat made against a Paris-to-Boston airliner was deemed not credible, Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman Matthew Brelis said, but he didn’t say if that was Delta’s plane.

He said he didn’t know the circumstances of the threat or if the plane was searched.

Maryland State Police said they received an anonymous call at the McHenry barracks in the western part of the state threatening commercial aviation about 6:30am on Monday and referred it to the FBI.

Selwood copes pretty well with tags: Scott

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

The way Geelong coach Chris Scott sees it, his captain Joel Selwood fully expects to get tagged every week.

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That’s just what happens when you are the best and most important player in any AFL team.

And if Selwood gets visibly frustrated at times – as happened when Ed Curnow worked him over in last week’s match against Carlton which the Cats won by 77 points – he also deals with it better than most.

“The way he has reacted over the course of his career has been pretty impressive,” Scott said on Tuesday.

“I think it was highlighted a little bit more on Friday night because there was more vision of what was happening off the ball.

“But to our observation that happens most weeks.

“He didn’t have his best game, but he was very effective around the contest for us, played a really important team role and kicked a couple of goals.

“So if that is the worst he plays we will be pretty happy.”

Selwood received four free kicks and also conceded four against the Blues, with the biggest flashpoint coming midway through the third term when he clashed angrily with Curnow – one of the Blues’ few good players on another sorry night for the bottom-placed club.

“In terms of how he handles the niggle off the ball, I probably defer to the umpiring department,” said Scott.

“They’ve been really good in their communication with us and been really clear that they have missed a few free kicks off the ball probably both ways and they’re going to watch it a little closer.

“Joel would welcome that.

“Make no mistake, over the weekend he did get frustrated a few times.

“I’m not suggesting for a second that everything which happens off the ball results in Joel being the victim.

“He’s got to be smart, we’ve got to be smart, but in terms of the pattern over a long period of time I don’t think it’s a big issue for him or for us.”

Hodge will want to repay Hawks : Rioli

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Hawthorn small forward Cyril Rioli says skipper Luke Hodge will feel like he owes the team following his costly three-game suspension.

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Hodge will return for the Hawks’ clash with Gold Coast in Tasmania on Saturday afternoon having sat out two losses from their last three games.

Last round the defending champions were pipped by four points by Sydney, while they also fell to Greater Western Sydney for the first time.

Rioli said the side had missed their leader.

“We need our general back there so it will be good to have Hodgey back in the team,” Rioli said.

“I think he will feel like he owes the team; sitting on the sidelines and us going down a few games would make him pretty hungry so we’re excited for him to come back.”

Rioli said slow starts were costing the team in their AFL premiership defence.

The Hawks trailed Sydney by 32 points early and despite a strong fight-back his team fell short.

“Our starts haven’t been great and we’ve had to dig deep and find something during the game to come back and we end up losing the game,” Rioli said.

“It’s about mind-set and going out there and giving all you’ve got.”

He said his team, who are now four and four to open the season, was still hungry for success, but other teams were equally so.

The livewire forward had the chance to put his side ahead in the final minute against Sydney but fumbled the ball in an open goal.

“I’ve watched it once and I wasn’t too happy but I don’t want to think about it too much and just want to move on,” he said.

Rioli was speaking following an announcement that Epic Pharmacy would donate $1 million over the next five years to the club’s indigenous program.

Rioli and Shaun Burgoyne will take on roles within the program as mentors while the Hawks will also tighten their links with the Big River Hawks in Katherine in the Northern Territory.

The truth about the ways people lie

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

All of our pants are almost constantly on metaphorical fire, is the basic impression I got after watching the new documentary Dishonesty: The Truth About Lies.

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 The film is a fascinating exploration of the current scientific research on the little things that nudge people into lying, cheating, and stealing, and most of the research comes from behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the Duke professor and best-selling author of books like Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.

The film will be screening for a short time in New York at the IFC Center, starting this Friday. (For bonus social-science nerd fun, Ariely and director Yael Melamde will be at the Friday and Saturday shows to answer audience questions.) But Science of Us got an advance screener of the film, so, herewith, some of the most interesting findings on dishonesty the documentary covers. (All direct quotes in the post are taken from the film. Honest.) 

Some of the most interesting insights into human dishonesty have stemmed from a 20-item set of math problems. 

In much of his research on lying, Ariely has favored something called the matrix experiment, a set of 20 straightforward math problems that anyone could solve, were they given enough time. The trick is, as Ariely explains, they never give their study volunteers enough time. The participants get just five minutes to answer as many questions as they can; then, they take their papers up to the front of the room and shred them. Next to the shredder is one of the experimenters, and the students are instructed to tell this person how many questions they answered correctly, and they’ll be paid the according amount of dollars.

But there’s a second trick: The shredder didn’t actually shred their papers. It only shred the sides, so the researchers can later see who was telling the truth. On average, people solve four problems correctly, but they tend to report getting six right.

When given the opportunity, the majority of people will lie. But the bigger, fatter lies are rare. 

More than 40,000 people have now participated in some version of the matrix experiment, and more than 70 percent of them cheated. But only a few — Ariely has counted about 20 — could be considered “big” cheaters, those who told the researchers that they solved all the matrix problems correctly, meaning they walked away with $20 they didn’t earn. So these liars stole a total of $400 from the researchers. In contrast, Ariely and his team have documented about 28,000 fibbers, stealing a grand total of about $50,000. “I think this is not a bad reflection of reality,” Ariely said. “Yes, there are some big cheaters out there, but they are very rare. And because of that, their overall economic impact is relatively low. On the other hand, we have a ton of little cheaters, and because there are so many of us, the economic impact of small cheaters is actually incredibly, incredibly high.”

We’re also pretty good at lying to ourselves. 

Michael Norton, a Harvard Business School professor, has done experiments in which he gives study participants general trivia tests, and some of the papers have the answers at the bottom. So the participants first take that test, and then they’re given another one — this one with no answers at the bottom. They’re also asked to predict how well they think they’ll do on this second test, and most of them predict they’ll get an excellent score on this test, as well. “They just think that they’re amazing test-takers now,” Norton said. Even when he’s tried to get them to think more realistically by promising them more money if their predictions are more accurate, people still overestimate their ability. “This process of deceiving ourselves is so strong, and it happens to us so quickly, where we have a twinge of, Maybe I cheated, and then, No, I didn’t, I’m a genius,” Norton said.

Animals lie, too. 

It’s a broader take on the idea of lying, but Murali Doraiswamy, of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, argues that “all creatures, big or small, have deception as part of their armamentary,” usually as a means of survival. “A plant or a bird might change color and camouflage itself, which is a form of deception,” Doraiswamy said. And the bigger the brain, the better the liar: take chimpanzees, for example. “They may lead their group away from where the food is, so that one particular chimpanzee can come back to the food later on,” he said.

A little dishonesty is good for kids, kind of.

Doraiswamy argues that when young kids start to experiment with lying, it’s often more of a way to build their imagination than an attempt to get away with something. “It helps them build their brain, and it helps them build what is called theory of mind,” said Doraiswamy, referencing the psychological theory that says as our brains mature, we get better at figuring out what another person is thinking about (a form of imagination, really). “And unless children lie, and unless children imagine, and dream big, they may not have the full capacity to develop a theory of mind,” he said.  

Lying for someone else’s benefit doesn’t really feel like a lie.

When people can justify their dishonesty, the lie often doesn’t get picked up by a lie detector, according to Ariely’s research. “Lie detectors basically detect emotional arousal — when we feel uncomfortable,” he explains. When people cheat for their own gain, the lie is detected, no problem. “But sometimes, we ask people to cheat for a charity. And then the lie detector is silent. The lie detector doesn’t catch anything. Why? Because if we could justify it, we’re doing something for a good cause, there’s really no arousal — there’s no conflict, there’s no emotional problem.” The film follows this little factoid with the story of Kelly Williams-Bolar, the Ohio woman who was jailed for lying on her kids’ school records so they could switch to a better district, and it is heart-breaking.

Dishonesty gets easier over time, and neuroscientists think they know why. 

At first, even a little lie provokes a big response in brain regions associated with emotion, such as the amygdala and insula, said Tali Sharot, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London. “The tenth time you lie, even if you lie the same amount, the response is not that high. So while lying goes up over time, the response in your brain goes down.” Sharot believes this can be explained by a very basic principle of neuroscience: the brain adapts. “The brain is coding everything relative to what the baseline is,” she explains. So if we don’t usually lie, and then we do, this prompts a big neurological response. But if we lie a lot, the response lessens over time. “After a while, the negative value of lying — the negative feeling — is just not there, so much,” Sharot said. And this, she reasons, makes it easier for people to keep on lying.

But there is an extremely simple way to curb dishonesty dramatically — just remind people to not be dishonest. 

All you have to do is show people some kind of reminder of a moral code, and the urge to lie dissipates. In one experiment Ariely describes, researchers asked 500 students at UCLA to try to jot down as many of the Ten Commandments that they could remember. After that, they took part in the matrix experiment. None of them recalled all the commandments, and yet none of them cheated, Ariely said. This was true regardless of whether the students were religious or not. Simply reminding them that Thou shall not lie has a weirdly powerful effect. 

The study was replicated at MIT, but without the religious context: Students were asked to read MIT’s “moral code” before the matrix task. Again, no one cheated, Ariely said — this, despite the fact that MIT doesn’t even have a moral code. “It is not about heaven and hell and being caught,” Ariely said. “It’s about reminding ourselves about our own moral fiber.”

This article originally appeared on Science of Us: The Truth About the Ways People Lie. © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.