Categories
Australian News

Teenager, 17, shot in in broad daylight


A teenager has be shot in the shoulder during a shocking daylight shooting in western Sydney.

Emergency services were called to Clyde St in South Granville at 1.40pm on Sunday following reports of gunshots.

A 17-year-old boy who suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder was taken from the scene to Auburn Hospital.

He was later transferred to Westmead Hospital, where he was in a stable condition.

“This is something that concerns us and we are trying at this stage to ask people, witnesses who may have seen something, to contact us because that will be our best way to stop all this,” Chief Inspector Adam Phillips said.

Police are investigating the public shooting and are calling for anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers or 1800 333 000.



Source link

Categories
Australian News

Why England’s James Anderson and Stuart Broad are the greatest Test cricket pace duo we’ve seen


Cricket is famous for its batting partnerships.

Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes come to mind, as do Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden.

But you know what they say: it’s the bowlers that win you the game.

In the history of men’s Test cricket, no fast-bowling combination has come anywhere near the partnership of two unassuming chaps from England, James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Loading

Broad took his 500th Test wicket in Manchester overnight, as England defeated West Indies to win the series 2-1.

He got his 501st for good measure and was named Player of the Match for picking up 10 wickets and also Player of the Series. He’s become just the fourth fast bowler to pass 500 Test wickets.

If cricket is famous for its partnerships, it’s also famous for its statistics, so here goes:

Anderson and Broad have played 117 Tests together over 13 years beginning in 2008. In those matches, Anderson has taken 473 wickets to Broad’s 422, a total of 895 wickets in matches together.

The closest fast-bowling combination in terms of Test dismissals is the two West Indian giants, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, who played 95 Tests together, taking 389 and 373 wickets respectively in those matches.

Pakistan’s finest, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, played together for 14 years and yet managed just 61 Tests together, taking 282 and 277 wickets apiece.

Is there an asterisk here?

Yes, it’s Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, the greatest bowling combination of all time. In 104 matches together, they took an insane 1,014 wickets between them.

But Warne was a spinner — albeit the greatest of all time — and yes, his shoulders and fingers took a beating, but not like those of a fast bowler.

Longevity and health are an inevitable product of being at the top of any cricket list and here Anderson and Broad excel.

Australia batsman Justin Langer turns around as England bowler, blurred in the background, shouts with his hand in the air.
Anderson (right) first crossed swords with Justin Langer when the Australia coach was still playing.(Reuters: David Gray)

Anderson is the most successful fast bowler of all time with 589 wickets, behind the three great spinners Muttiah Muralitharan, Warne and Anil Kumble.

Broad is in seventh spot overall with 501.

Loading

Just McGrath and Walsh sit between him and Anderson, with every sign suggesting he could catch and pass them to join his English teammate as the two greatest fast-bowling wicket-takers.

After all, they want to keep playing at least until the 2021/22 Ashes series in Australia, by which time Anderson will be 39 and Broad 35.

Langer, who now coaches Australia, said that if that does happen “we will certainly be on our guard”.

“We were fortunate, and I say this with great respect, that James Anderson didn’t play the last Test series [a 2-2 draw in 2019] against us in England,” he said.

Anderson bowled just four overs in the first Test before injuring his calf, which forced him to miss the rest of the Ashes and possibly cost England the series.

Anderson, Broad ‘know how to get wickets’

Individually, they’re elite; together, they’re the greatest fast-bowling partnership of all time.

“We love bowling together in Test matches as well, we have a really good understanding and we bowl well when the other guy bowling is at the other end, we seem to know what each other is trying to do,” said Anderson after Broad took six wickets in the first innings.

Loading

No-one knows that better than Australia opening batsman David Warner, who has faced them at their best.

“In English conditions, they just know how to get wickets,” Warner said.

“In a partnership when they bowl, they don’t leak runs. And they bowl a length in England, where if you go to drive that length you’re probably going to nick.

Warner said the two were brilliant exponents of the art of swing and seam bowling.

“They’re both not express pace and to take 900 wickets between them as a pair when playing together is exceptional,” he said.

“When you’re up against them you’ve always got to try to think of ways to rotate strike. Otherwise, if you give them too many overs at you, they’re going to get you out.”

Neither Broad nor Anderson fit the mould of the fire-and-brimstone fast bowler. Both are well-loved by their teammates.

Stuart Broad looks at the ball
Broad has long been a thorn in the side of the Australian Test XI.(AP: Trevor Collens)

Broad, blonde-haired with a charming smile, the son of a respected Test-playing father and international referee. He would charm your mother and pour the tea.

Anderson is the quiet northerner, who just goes about his business taking wickets.

But don’t let looks deceive. Langer said they were capable of snarling with the best of them.

“There’s not a great bowler who hasn’t got that incredible resilience and that competitive instinct,” Langer said.

Take the time in the 2013/14 Ashes series, when the Australians decided to target Anderson with Mitchell Johnson, then in his prime as a fearsome fast bowler.

Anderson took on the Australians, telling George Bailey he was the Australian he’d most like to punch, only for then-captain Michael Clarke to tell Anderson: “Get ready for a broken f***en arm.”

Langer, of all people, should know not to rile Anderson as he did when a private letter he wrote to the then-Australian coach, Tim Nielsen, was leaked during the 2009 Ashes series.

“I wrote the words that James Anderson is a bit of a pussy. And wow, what a mistake,” Langer said.

“Tim printed it out and gave it to a few of the players who left it in the change room in Cardiff and one of the journos picked it up. You can imagine the English media going for an Australian who calls one of their favourite sons a pussy.

“He hasn’t spoken to me since I don’t think, and that was about 15 years ago.”

Quicks don’t need any extra motivation

The moral of the story is don’t get them fired up.

Broad was furious after he was left out of the first Test of the series against West Indies and since coming back he has shown he is at the top of his game.

Warner laughed and shook his head at the notion that England would drop one of their greatest.

“It’s not by fluke he’s had success the last 18 months,” Warner said.

“He’s worked really hard to get to where he is and credit to him, and hopefully I do get another crack against him.”

Stuart Broad shouts as David Warner adjusts his pad on the pitch during a Test match.
Broad (right) took David Warner’s wicket seven out of 10 times during the 2019 Ashes series.(Reuters: Carl Recine)

After stunning West Indies with 6-31 in the first innings of the third Test, Broad dismissed any thought that he and his mate Anderson would retire.

“I don’t ever walk on the field with him and wonder if this is the last time we’ll play together because both of us have a burning desire to keep going,” Broad said.

“I certainly get the feeling when one of us goes, each other will be one of the first people to know. But there’s been no talk of that.

“Jimmy’s record is getting better and better, as is mine.”

Retired England captain Andrew Strauss said he did not believe Broad had “bowled much better than this”.

And of the partnership with Anderson, Strauss said: “We write them off at our peril.

If there is a criticism of the two, it’s that they’re brilliant in English conditions but less so in Australia.

They’ve played 12 Tests together in Australia, with Anderson taking 39 wickets at an average of 34 and Broad 34 at an average of 37.

Those figures aren’t terrible, but by no means are they terrifying.

But Langer is having none of it.

“I wouldn’t say they’re less of a threat,” Langer said.

“They’re both great bowlers for a reason, the great bowlers get wickets all around the world.”



Source link

Categories
News

Wild hummingbirds see a broad range of colors humans can only imagine


To find food, dazzle mates, escape predators and navigate diverse terrain, birds rely on their excellent color vision.

“Humans are color-blind compared to birds and many other animals,” said Mary Caswell Stoddard, an assistant professor in the Princeton University Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Humans have three types of color-sensitive cones in their eyes – attuned to red, green and blue light – but birds have a fourth type, sensitive to ultraviolet light. “Not only does having a fourth color cone type extend the range of bird-visible colors into the UV, it potentially allows birds to perceive combination colors like ultraviolet+green and ultraviolet+red – but this has been hard to test,” said Stoddard.

Most birds have 4 color cone types in their eyes. While human cones can detect blue, green, and red light, birds have a fourth cone that can detect UV. Birds can potentially see many colors humans cannot, including several nonspectral colors made by combining widely separated parts of the light spectrum. UV+red is a nonspectral color because it mostly stimulates cones sensitive to UV and red light. Using field experiments, we demonstrated that wild hummingbirds can perceive a variety of nonspectral colors.

Infographic by the Stoddard Lab, Princeton University

To investigate how birds perceive their colorful world, Stoddard and her research team established a new field system for exploring bird color vision in a natural setting. Working at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) in Gothic, Colorado, the researchers trained wild broad-tailed hummingbirds (Selasphorus platycercus) to participate in color vision experiments.

“Most detailed perceptual experiments on birds are performed in the lab, but we risk missing the bigger picture of how birds really use color vision in their daily lives,” Stoddard said. “Hummingbirds are perfect for studying color vision in the wild. These sugar fiends have evolved to respond to flower colors that advertise a nectar reward, so they can learn color associations rapidly and with little training.”

Stoddard’s team was particularly interested in “nonspectral” color combinations, which involve hues from widely separated parts of the color spectrum, as opposed to blends of neighboring colors like teal (blue-green) or yellow (green-red). For humans, purple is the clearest example of a nonspectral color. Technically, purple is not in the rainbow: it arises when our blue (short-wave) and red (long-wave) cones are stimulated, but not green (medium-wave) cones.

While humans have just one nonspectral color – purple, birds can theoretically see up to five: purple, ultraviolet+red, ultraviolet+green, ultraviolet+yellow and ultraviolet+purple.

A hummingbird hovers near a flower

To other birds, this male’s magenta throat feathers likely appear as an ultraviolet+purple combination color.

Photo by David Inouye, University of Maryland-College Park

Stoddard and her colleagues designed a series of experiments to test whether hummingbirds can see these nonspectral colors. Their results appear June 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research team, which included scientists from Princeton, the University of British Columbia (UBC), Harvard University, University of Maryland and RMBL, performed outdoor experiments each summer for three years. First they built a pair of custom “bird vision” LED tubes programmed to display a broad range of colors, including nonspectral colors like ultraviolet+green. Next they performed experiments in an alpine meadow frequently visited by local broad-tailed hummingbirds, which breed at the high-altitude site.

Each morning, the researchers rose before dawn and set up two feeders: one containing sugar water and the other plain water. Beside each feeder, they placed an LED tube. The tube beside the sugar water emitted one color, while the one next to the plain water emitted a different color. The researchers periodically swapped the positions of the rewarding and unrewarding tubes, so the birds could not simply use location to pinpoint a sweet treat. They also performed control experiments to ensure that the tiny birds were not using smell or another inadvertent cue to find the reward. Over the course of several hours, wild hummingbirds learned to visit the rewarding color. Using this setup, the researchers recorded over 6,000 feeder visits in a series of 19 experiments.

The experiments revealed that hummingbirds can see a variety of nonspectral colors, including purple, ultraviolet+green, ultraviolet+red and ultraviolet+yellow. For example, hummingbirds readily distinguished ultraviolet+green from pure ultraviolet or pure green, and they discriminated between two different mixtures of ultraviolet+red light – one redder, one less so.

“It was amazing to watch,” said Harold Eyster, a UBC Ph.D. student and a co-author of the study. “The ultraviolet+green light and green light looked identical to us, but the hummingbirds kept correctly choosing the ultraviolet+green light associated with sugar water. Our experiments enabled us to get a sneak peek into what the world looks like to a hummingbird.”

Even though hummingbirds can perceive nonspectral colors, appreciating how these colors appear to birds can be difficult. “It is impossible to really know how the birds perceive these colors. Is ultraviolet+red a mix of those colors, or an entirely new color? We can only speculate,” said Ben Hogan, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton and a co-author of the study.

“To imagine an extra dimension of color vision – that is the thrill and challenge of studying how avian perception works,” said Stoddard. “Fortunately, the hummingbirds reveal that they can see things we cannot.”

“The colors that we see in the fields of wildflowers at our study site, the wildflower capital of Colorado, are stunning to us, but just imagine what those flowers look like to birds with that extra sensory dimension,” said co-author David Inouye, who is affiliated with the University of Maryland and RMBL.

four researchers stand next to a sign at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

The research team studied hummingbirds at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colorado. The high-altitude site, at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet, is home to many broad-tailed hummingbirds. The research team included (from left): Prof. Mary “Cassie” Stoddard; Cole Morokhovich of the Class of 2020; Harold Eyster, a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia; and postdoctoral research associate Ben Hogan. Stoddard, Eyster and Hogan are authors on the paper appearing this week in PNAS.

Photo courtesy of the researchers

Finally, the research team analyzed a data set of 3,315 feather and plant colors. They discovered that birds likely perceive many of these colors as nonspectral, while humans do not. That said, the researchers emphasize that nonspectral colors are probably not particularly special relative to other colors. The wide variety of nonspectral colors available to birds is the result of their ancient four color-cone visual system.

“Tetrachromacy – having four color cone types – evolved in early vertebrates,” said Stoddard. “This color vision system is the norm for birds, many fish and reptiles, and it almost certainly existed in dinosaurs. We think the ability to perceive many nonspectral colors is not just a feat of hummingbirds but a widespread feature of animal color vision.”

Wild hummingbirds discriminate nonspectral colors,” by Mary Caswell Stoddard, Harold N. Eyster, Benedict G. Hogan, Dylan H. Morris, Edward R. Soucy and David W. Inouye, appears June 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1919377117). Their research was supported by Princeton University, the Princeton Environmental Institute, a Sloan Research Fellowship, and a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering.

/Public Release. View in full here.



Source link