Sports Digest: Hamilton sets track record in winning his 98th career Formula One pole


FORMULA ONE:  Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton set a track record at the Bahrain Grand Prix on his way to a record-extending 98th career pole position on Saturday in Sakhir, Bahrain.

The seven-time F1 champion looked in total control as he set a time of 1 minute, 27.264 seconds under the floodlights. He finished about .3 seconds ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and around .4 clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

“We did some really good work overnight. I was really happy with the car from the get-go,” the veteran British driver said. “I just didn’t make any mistakes.”

Bottas thought he was closer to Hamilton’s time.

“I was quite surprised when I saw the gap,” the Finnish driver said. “I definitely have the speed but I haven’t quite got it all together yet.”

Verstappen’s teammate Alexander Albon was in fourth place and a full second behind Hamilton, who will bid for his record-extending 95th F1 win on Sunday.


EUROPEAN TOUR: Adrian Meronk clung on to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Championship as a couple of home players made big charges on Saturday at Malelane, South Africa.

Meronk went to 14 under par overall at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa with a 1-under 71 that included three birdies but also two bogeys.

Meronk has already made history here as the first Polish player to lead a European Tour event and is honing in on a maiden tour victory for himself and his country.

Jayden Schaper of South Africa made the biggest move with a 5-under 67 to go second on 13 under, and he saved the best for the end with an eagle and two birdies on his last four holes. Another home player, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, is third on 11 under after a 68. He picked up all five of his birdies on the back nine.


TEST CANCELED: Another test event for the 2022 Beijing Olympics was called off Saturday, when bobsled and skeleton officials canceled plans to have a training week and World Cup race on a newly built track to end this year’s sliding season.

The decision comes just days after luge officials also canceled that sport’s season-ending World Cup and training week on the track built in Yanqing. The reason, in both cases, was the same: ongoing concerns about international travel during the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China about a year ago.

In a letter sent to national federations Saturday, International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation Secretary General Heike Groesswang said several weeks of conversations were held about how to move forward with the training week and World Cup “under the challenging circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic causes to all of us.”

The new schedule calls for a bobsled training week in early October and a skeleton training week later in October. That means many nations will likely have to choose some semblance of their 2021-22 national teams by the end

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Is China winning the new space race?

China has been the only country to land on the Moon for over 40 years – since the Soviet Luna program. Its recent Chang’e missions (1-4) demonstrated that China could not only orbit and land on the Moon, but also successfully operate a rover. On November 24, the Chinese National Space Administration launched Chang’e 5 – the latest in the series.

a truck driving down a dirt road: China's Yutu 2 rover, as seen by the Chang'e 4 lander on the far side of the moon.

© Provided by Live Science
China’s Yutu 2 rover, as seen by the Chang’e 4 lander on the far side of the moon.

This mission to collect and return samples is impressive. Recent failed landings on the Moon by an Israeli privately funded mission and the Indian Vikram lander show just how challenging such missions still are.


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Read more: To the moon and beyond 3: The new space race and what winning it looks like

So is this solely a case of China using space exploration to show the world that its new scientific and technological capabilities rival those in the west? And if so, what are the consequences?

The mission

Chang’e 5 (named after the Chinese goddess of the Moon) is intended to collect samples from Mons Rümker, a 70km-wide, 500 metre- high dome made of basalt in the Oceanus Procellarum Mare region of the Moon’s nearside.

The plan is to then bring back 2kg of drilled and scooped samples to Earth. If the mission succeeds, planetary scientists will be able to test some key theories about the origin of the Moon and the inner Solar System’s rocky planets, which date back to the Apollo era

The age of a rocky body can be estimated based on its density of craters. The longer a body has existed, the more debris will have bombarded its surface. But it isn’t a very precise measurement. Estimates of the age of Mons Rümker and its surrounding area, derived from the number of impact craters on it, have ranged from over 3 billion to 1 billion years.

The absolute age of returned samples will be determined with radiometric dating. This is a method of dating geological specimens by working out the relative proportions of particular radioactive isotopes (elements with more or fewer particles in the atomic nucleus than the standard substance) that they contain. This will help us better understand how crater density corresponds to age. And that can then be used to improve crater-density age models of surfaces on the Moon and Mars, Mercury and Venus.

The new space race

Few would argue with the fact that the rise of China’s space program – which involves satellites, human missions and a space station planned for 2022 – has been rapid and successful. But it has competition. The US-led Artemis Program has set an aim to return humans to the Moon by 2024, which would notably be before any Chinese taikonaut landing.

The European Space Agency also has its own plans for the Moon, including the European Large Logistics Lander EL3, which aims to deliver a 1.3-tonne lander with new scientific

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Boston College football team keeps winning its daily battle with COVID-19

The Eagles returned to Chestnut Hill Saturday night and completed their routine testing Sunday. When the results came back Monday, the roster was once again COVID-free.

Out of 6,500 tests since the team returned in June, just one player has tested positive — and that was during the first week after players arrived.

The magnitude of going this deep into the season without encountering any brushes with a virus that has touched almost every facet of American life isn’t lost on Hafley.

“It is the biggest win, because it shows the world what people can do when they really work at it, stick together, and I think our team is a prime example of that,” Hafley said.

Within the program, there’s a growing sense of pride in seeing the results. Athletic director Pat Kraft likened it to winning the biggest game of the season, in which case the 4-3 Eagles have put together a season-long winning streak.

“It’s definitely not an easy streak to keep,” said defensive lineman Brandon Barlow. “There’s certain responsibilities we’ve got to take as a team, to uphold it to make sure that we stay safe and follow the procedures that are in place now that cause a lot of limits on our lifestyle.

“But we know what we want to do here. We want to play ball. So I just try to go about my day-to-day business and just keep up with what’s going to keep my team safe, me safe, and it’s worked so far for all of us.”

While there is no way to compare the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across schools — not all programs report cases uniformly — BC appears to be a special case.

Dr. Gregory Stewart, co-director of the Sports Medicine Program at Tulane University, attributed BC’s success to several factors, none more important than program-wide buy-in.

“It happens because the players, the staff, the coaches, everybody has made a concerted effort in order to make it work, and a commitment to each other, and a hell of a lot of luck,” Stewart said. “It truly is kind of a combination of those things. You’ve got to want it. Everyone’s got to buy in that this is incredibly important.

“But you’ve also got to be lucky because you’re going to go to the grocery store or you’re going to hug your auntie. So there is some luck that goes along with it. But luck’s not enough. This is a commitment from the individuals, the players, the coaches, everybody.”

Throughout the season, the Eagles could look no further than across the field to see programs dealing with the effects of the virus. Before the Eagles opened the season against Duke, the Blue Devils had two players opt out for COVID-related reasons. As their schedule played out, Texas State, North Carolina, Pitt, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Clemson all had players miss time because of COVID-19.

Dr. Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist at Emory University, said some things are in BC’s

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Biden Has Remote Chance of Winning if Popular Vote is Close, Electoral College Study Predicts

If the popular vote between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is nearly a tie, Trump has an 88 percent chance of re-election, researchers of the Electoral College predict in a recent study.

The Electoral College system has a bias which is set to favor the Republican presidential candidate in 2020 again, but the discrepancy between the popular vote and electoral votes will not be as wide as the “statistical outlier” election of 2016. Columbia University researchers delved into the electoral “inversion” which allows candidates like Al Gore and Hillary Clinton to win the most votes across the country, but still lose the Electoral College which decides U.S. elections. Their data found Trump only has a 12 percent chance of losing to Biden if the popular vote is a virtual tie or very close.

Even if the popular vote is 52 to 48 percent in favor of Biden, Trump still has a similarly overwhelming chance of winning. But should Trump fall below 48 percent of the popular vote, his chances of winning become very remote.

“The popular vote ties and very close elections are likely to favor Trump, with a certain degree of built-in uncertainty,” the researchers wrote in their study of Electoral College data published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal last month.

If Biden achieves the same majority popular vote percentage as Clinton did in 2016, 51.10 percent, he only has a 46.14 percent chance of winning the Electoral College in 2020.

But the study authors cautioned that the use of 2012 data was not reflected in the 2016, particularly in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where Trump enjoyed narrow, popular vote victories. They found that over the past 10 elections between 1980 and 2016, there was “no obvious systematic bias tilting the Electoral College” toward either party. The 2004, 2008 and 2012 elections actually showed the electoral vote system tilted in favor of the Democratic candidate for president.

“For all of the disruption in its wake, the Electoral College’s Republican bias so evident in 2016 could recede in status to a historical anomaly,” the researchers added.

Using each state’s vote divisions between Democrats and Republicans from the 2012 contest of Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney, the researchers say “Donald Trump got lucky with the variation of the simulated shocks” to the vote four years later. Shifts within the Democratic Party were more than average in the country’s two largest states, California and Texas, but that didn’t change the Electoral College winners. On the other hand, Republicans shifts in the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin allowed Trump to “narrowly win there.”

The Electoral College is composed of 538 electors based on 435 representatives and 100 senators from all 50 states, plus three electors out of Washington, D.C. Candidates need at least 270 electoral votes to win, or more than half. Should the Electoral College votes end in a tie, it would be sent to the House

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3 Secrets to Building a Winning Sales Culture

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Let’s hire a hotshot, expert closer, and to make sure the rest of the company helps out, let’s add “everyone sells” as a rallying cry to address our slumping sales. 

I have heard that line from so many companies struggling to generate sales. In an average organization, sales rely on the capabilities of a few skilled individuals who are rewarded for creating as many transactions as possible. They do whatever it takes to close the deal and create temporary results — temporary because they must be consistently recreated for a business to survive.

On the other hand, everyone else attempts to rise to the vague “everyone sells” call-to-action, despite being plagued by the question, “What does that mean exactly?” If sales becomes absolutely results-driven without consulting anyone else, the company will become less productive and effective.

According to a seven-year study by GiANT Worldwide, the average team functions at just 58 percent of its potential because it is not intentionally capturing the genius of eeach person. Instead, it relies on the drive of just one or two “leaders.” Imagine what that means for your business. How many more clients could you serve, and what would revenue and sales look like, if you harnessed more of the team’s capacity?

Related: 5 Things About Your Brand Your Sales Team Must Sell

So how do you build a winning sales culture?

Secret 1: Never hire a rockstar salesperson if you want your company to grow 

Instead, build a balanced team, because who is on a team matters less than how the team members interact, structure their work and view their contributions. According to 5 Voices authors Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram, a winning culture includes five specific type of contributors that complement each other’s weaknesses and are essential to business growth: the Pioneer, Connector, Guardian, Creative and Nurturer. 

The Pioneer is usually the person in charge. In this case, the rockstar salesperson is vital because they are results-focused and strategic in thinking. Unfortunately, once they have an idea they want to execute, they rarely ask for input or opinion. Often, they dismiss others they believe are not competent or as experienced as they are. This behavior can be a major contributor to the low functioning of a team. The alternative is to create an intentionally dynamic team

A Connector is the evangelist of ideas and an expert at finding resources. They always seem to know a person who knows a person who can help. They love to share what is happening and inspire others to engage by just talking about an idea. As people pleasers, they have difficulty challenging ideas and will just go along, but often tell people different stories to get agreement. When those people compare notes, they think they were being lied to when the Connector feels they were telling each the same thing.

The Guardian is the process-and-systems guru and key to scaling any operation. 

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Nikon Small World photomicrography competition announces winning images for 2020

First place: Dorsal view of bones and scales (blue) and lymphatic vessels (orange) in a juvenile zebrafish. (Daniel Castranova, Dr. Brant Weinstein & Bakary Samasa/Courtesy of Nikon Small World)

In a time when everything happening in the world feels so big, it can be therapeutic to slow down and look at the beauty of things that are small. At least, that’s how I felt when combing through the winning images of the 46th annual Nikon Small World microscopy competition. This year, five experts judged entries from around the world based on originality, informational content, technical proficiency and visual impact. From over 2,000 entries, the judges awarded three top winners and recognized 88 other images from scientists and photographers around the world.

The first-place photograph was a stunning image of a juvenile zebrafish, made by stitching together more than 350 images to create the final photo. It was taken by Daniel Castranova, assisted by Bakary Samasa while working in the lab of Brant Weinstein at the National Institutes of Health. In the image, you can see the fluorescently “tagged” skeleton of the fish, as well as its scales, in blue, and lymphatic system, in orange. The photo was made as part of an effort by Castranova’s team that led to a significant discovery that zebrafish have lymphatic vessels in their skulls. This finding could revolutionize research toward treatments of various diseases that affect the human brain, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s disease.

“The image is beautiful, but also shows how powerful the zebrafish can be as a model for the development of lymphatic vessels,” Castranova said. “Until now, we thought this type of lymphatic system associated with the nervous system only occurred in mammals. By studying them, the scientific community can expedite a range of research and clinical innovations — everything from drug trials to cancer treatments. This is because fish are so much easier to raise and image than mammals.”

The beauty and scientific significance of the winning photo highlight one of the major purposes of the Nikon Small World competition.

“For 46 years, the goal of the Nikon Small World competition has been to share microscopic imagery that visually blends art and science for the general public,” said Eric Flem, communications manager at Nikon Instruments. “As imaging techniques and technologies become more advanced, we are proud to showcase imagery that this blend of research, creativity, imaging technology and expertise can bring to scientific discovery. This year’s first-place winner is a stunning example.”

To see more images from the competition, check out @NikonInstruments on Instagram.

Third place: Tongue (radula) of a freshwater snail. (Dr. Igor Siwanowicz/Courtesy of Nikon Small World)
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