School-going students of Kashmir valley are an overburdened lot. An official study claims that 75% to 85% students carry bags that weigh above the recommended limit, which is 10 % of a student’s bodyweight.The department of Social and Preventive Medicine (SPM) in Srinagar, in its study, observed 2,000 school-going children over four districts of Kashmir in March this year.“The SPM’s community medicine conducted a study about the burden of school bags among 2,000 school-going children and found that 75% to 85% of the school bags weigh above the recommended 10% of the bodyweight of the child,” said Dr. Muhammad Salim Khan, head of the SPM department.The results of the study show that 10 to 25% of the bags weighed more than 20% of the bodyweight. “It’s much higher than the recommended weight of bags and could prove hazardous,” said Dr. Khan.The department of Social and Preventive Medicine is planning to submit a report to the government along with recommendations to reduce the weight of school bags. “We are collecting details of teaching methodology in schools in other cities. We will look also into the means and ways to reduce weight of school bags,” said Dr. Khan.Health issues Dr. Gazanfer Mushtaq, a physiotherapist, warns of long-term health issues due to heavy bags. “The constant additional weight on children’s shoulders impacts their gait, which can look very droopy and humpy. Prolonged exposure to heavy weight can in fact induce orthopaedic issues besides stress,” warns Dr. Mushtaq.According to the State education department, Kashmir zone, there are around 16 lakh students enrolled from Class I to XII, who are exposed to heavy school bags.
The Gujarat government has ordered an inquiry into the deaths of 111 newborns in five months at the Adani Education and Research Foundation-run G.K. General Hospital here.As per data released by the hospital, 111 infants died in the first five months of 2018, ending May 20.While the hospital management cited reasons, including delayed admission or malnutrition for the deaths, the government has formed a team of experts to conduct the inquiry.Experts’ team at work“We have formed a team of experts to probe the reasons for the deaths. We will take appropriate steps after the team submits its report,” Gujarat Commissioner of Health Jayanti Ravi said.According to data shared by hospital superintendent G.S. Rao, out of 777 newborn babies (both admitted post-birth and those born in the hospital) between January 1 and May 20, a total of 111 did not survive, which shows a mortality rate of 14%. ‘Situation improving’In 2017, a total of 258 infants died, while 184 and 164 infants died in the hospital in 2016 and 2015. “The percentage of deaths against admission was 19% in 2015, 18% in 2016 and 21% in 2017, which was relatively higher,” Mr. Rao told reporters here.“Since the mortality rate is 14% this year, I think it is less than the previous years. And the way we are working, it will remain the lowest at the end of this year,” he added. He said the delay in referring children to the hospital was one of the reasons for the deaths, as crucial time is wasted in travelling to Bhuj from the interior parts of Kutch district.“One of the reasons for death is premature births. Another reason is malnutrition as the mothers may not have taken a proper diet, which helps the baby to gain weight inside the womb. Delayed reference is also one of the reasons,” said Mr. Rao.“If a family comes here travelling 250 km, the delay would certainly affect the chances [of survival]. Our staff regularly discuss these issues, and we are working to reduce the deaths,” he added.
Florida Marlins199771-256-327 New York Yankees1939438153-285 Last year’s Chicago Cubs were an overwhelming team, riding one of the most impressive run differentials in recent history to a world championship. But this season, the Cubs have struggled to lift themselves above .500 despite playing in a mediocre division. Chicago should watch out — if it keeps playing this poorly, the Cubs will end up undergoing one of the largest drop-offs ever suffered by a World Series winner.Teams often struggle after a championship. Even the most exceptional roster can get pushed back toward average through some combination of a World Series hangover and regression to the mean. But the Cubs’ slide is uncommon even by those standards. According to run differential, only five other champs in history have declined as much as Chicago has this year1For teams that played fewer than 162 games — including the 2017 Cubs — I pro-rated their run differentials to a 162-game schedule.: Detroit Tigers193527153-218 Of the 10 teams on the list, seven played before 1950, when baseball was a very different sport. In the current era (since 1988), the Cubs drop-off is the third worst, trailing only the 2013 Red Sox — more on them later — and the infamous fire-sale 1997 Marlins. Chicago had more room to fall than most champs — only 19 World Series winners matched the 2016 Cubs’ +252 run differential — but that just makes their current mediocrity stand out all the more starkly.Boston’s decline between 2013 and 2014 provides the best recent precedent for Chicago’s slump. Just two years after current Cubs President Theo Epstein left the Sox, Boston won the World Series with a core roster that Epstein mostly assembled. The following year, however, the Red Sox disappointed their fans by scraping together a woeful 71-win season. This was part of a multi-season trend of the Red Sox zig-zagging between contention and mediocrity, and that stretch wound up being the most extreme set of year-to-year swings in MLB history.But unlike the 2014 Red Sox or the ’98 Marlins, the 2017 Cubs have fallen apart while fielding a roster that’s largely unchanged from the year before. The Red Sox lost a star in Jacoby Ellsbury, along with an everyday catcher (Jarrod Saltalamacchia) and some bit players; the Marlins turned over nearly their entire team after winning it all. By contrast, Dexter Fowler counts as the Cubs’ only notable subtraction, and a healthy Kyle Schwarber (fresh off his World Series heroics) was supposed to offset Fowler’s loss. Instead, Schwarber floundered so much that he was was sent to the minors. (Granted, Fowler hasn’t been impressive with his new team, either.)It’s unlikely that the Cubs will continue to be this bad for the rest of the year. Even with their poor play through the season’s first 83 games, most projections call for them to rack up many more wins over the second half. They ought to sneak into the playoffs in a division with few strong contenders, and once they’re there, anything can happen. But even if you credit Chicago with the elevated run differential that these projections expect over the rest of the season, rather than simply pro-rating their differential so far, the Cubs would still end the year with the eighth-largest decline in history. No matter what happens, the Cubs’ 2017 performance will have been just as historic as it was a year earlier, even if it’s not nearly so impressive. Chicago Cubs201625225-227 Chicago White Sox191719914-185 RUN DIFFERENTIAL St. Louis Cardinals1931211-34-245 Pittsburgh Pirates190926583-182 Los Angeles Angels2002207-7-214 All run differentials are based on a 162-game schedule.Source: Lahman’s Baseball Database Cleveland Indians1948282106-176 Boston Red Sox2013197-81-278 The Cubs’ decline is historic Boston Red Sox191226823-245 TEAMYEARCHAMPIONSHIP YEARFOLLOWING YEARDIFFERENCE
It’s hard to imagine things going more right for the Boston Red Sox than they did last season. Boston jumped out to a scorching 17-2 start, was 38 games over .500 by the All-Star break, posted the most regular-season wins (108) by an MLB team in 17 years, and then steamrolled through the playoffs with an 11-3 postseason record en route to a World Series title. Statistically, it was probably the most impressive performance any major team had in 2018.1Among teams for which we had have game-by-game Elo ratings and predictions — in men’s pro and college football and basketball and Major League Baseball.But now the calendar has flipped to 2019, and as spring training warms up for the Sox in Fort Myers, Florida, Boston must focus on defending its crown — and staving off the inevitable regression that comes in the wake of a season as charmed as the one the Red Sox just enjoyed.As a rule, clubs that win a crazy number of ballgames in one season tend to come back down to earth quickly in the next. Of the 32 teams that cracked the century mark in wins (per 162 games)2We’re including teams in strike-shortened seasons — like the 1994 Montreal Expos — whose wins would prorate out to at least 100. since 1990, 28 had an inferior record the next year,3One team — the 101-win 2003 Yankees — compiled the same number of wins the next season. and 24 failed to return to the 100-win club. (Thirteen failed to break even 95 wins.) On average, these 32 triple-digit winners declined by 9.6 wins the following season. And the Red Sox could be running out of time to make the most of their current core. By 2021, Betts, Bradley, Chris Sale, Xander Bogaerts and Rick Porcello (plus potentially Martinez, who has an opt-out clause) will have all hit free agency. And team president Dave Dombrowski built 2018’s champion in part by bucking MLB’s prospect-hoarding trend and emptying out the farm system’s next generation in favor of short-term wins, so reinforcements aren’t exactly on the way.The result of Dombrowski’s moves was a championship, and one of baseball’s all-time great single season performances, so I’m pretty sure it was worth it. The question now is how steep the drop-off will be in 2019 — and beyond. In many ways, Boston caught lightning in a bottle last season, enjoying the kind of magical year that comes along only once every decade or so. But if history is any guide, the follow-up will have trouble coming close to matching the original. Red Sox15649567+136744110 Rays15278676+5042153 TeamElo RatingWinsLossesRun Diff.Make PlayoffsWin DivisionWin World Series Yankees15669567+13774%41%10% Blue Jays14837587-521331 Avg. Simulated SeasonChance to… Teams that won substantially more than 100 games have tended to regress even harder. The 2002 Mariners, for example, won “only” 93 games after the 2001 squad tied a major league record with 116 wins; the 1999 Yankees won 98 a year after the team took home 114. The inescapable truth is that few major league teams actually have 100 wins of “true talent” on their rosters, much less 108. Most of these huge winners were aided by some not-insignificant amount of luck along the way.And it’s hard to argue that the Red Sox weren’t one of the luckier teams in baseball last season. According to the Pythagorean expectation, a team with Boston’s runs scored and allowed should have won four games fewer than it actually did. Furthermore, a team with Boston’s particular statistical profile (its singles, doubles, walks, etc. — both for and against) should have had a Pythagorean record five games worse than it actually did. Add up those two categories, and the Red Sox benefited from an MLB-high 10 extra wins of luck, whether through prevailing in the relative toss-ups of close games or through stringing hits together (or stranding opposing runners) in an unusually favorable manner.On top of all that, there’s another way a team can have everything go right for it, and that’s at the player level: Did everyone outperform their expected levels of performance at once? Injuries can often play a role here — though the Red Sox were in the middle of the pack in terms of man-games lost to the injured list. More pertinently, Boston also saw a number of players post career-best seasons last year, from American League MVP Mookie Betts (10.6 wins above replacement)4Averaging together the versions of WAR from Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. to blockbuster free-agent signing J.D. Martinez (6.1), plus young up-and-comers such as Andrew Benintendi (4.1) and even longtime puzzles such as Eduardo Rodriguez (2.7).Altogether, 12 of Boston’s 21 regulars (those who played at least 2 percent of the team’s available playing time)5As measured by plate appearances and (leverage-adjusted) innings pitched, scaled to maintain WAR’s implicit 58/42 split between position players and pitchers. exceeded their established level of WAR, with only Jackie Bradley Jr., Eduardo Nunez and the catching tandem of Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez significantly undershooting their previous production levels during the 2018 regular season.6You could also argue that more should have been expected of Rafael Devers, who had 1.1 WAR in a partial season at age 20 in 2017 but produced only 0.5 WAR with more than double the playing time in 2018. But Devers was also only 21, playing his first season as an MLB regular.And this is to say nothing of the unexpected performances the team received in the postseason from the likes of Steve Pearce — a fizzled-out former prospect who arrived in Boston via a midseason trade and ultimately won World Series MVP — or Nathan Eovaldi, another castoff who had a 1.61 ERA in 22 1/3 postseason innings. (Or, in general, the amazingly fortuitous splits the team had in crucial playoff situations.)All of those different ingredients explain how a team that won 93 games in 2017 suddenly exploded for 108 and won the championship a year later. But again, the pull of baseball’s gravity is strong. Based on data since 1990, we’d expect a team that improved by 15 games between seasons to give back about 5.2 wins the next season. It’s just another data point to toss onto the heap of statistical indicators that foretell a decline for the Red Sox heading into 2019.The good news for Boston is that if your starting point is a 108-win team, you have a ton of room to regress and still be one of the best teams in baseball. Even if the Sox didn’t truly have 108 wins of talent on the roster last year, they still played like a 98-win team according to their underlying statistics, and almost all of that team will be back this season (with the notable exception of closer Craig Kimbrel). According to an early preseason version of our 2019 MLB projections,7Not including Tuesday’s news of Manny Machado signing with the San Diego Padres, although that move has minimal implications for the Red Sox. we rate Boston as the third-best team in baseball, with a 95-67 projected record and a 10 percent chance of repeating as champs, which is also tied for third-best in MLB.Trouble is, that might make the Red Sox only the second-best team in their own division. Our simulations consider the archrival New York Yankees just as likely as Boston to win the World Series and actually think that New York is ever-so-slightly better talent-wise. Although the Sox got the better of the Yankees last season, winning 13 of 23 games (including an August sweep and a four-game division series victory), for all intents and purposes, our projections have the two teams in an absolute dead heat as we look ahead to 2019: The Red Sox still have a Yankees problem on their handsHow our preliminary Elo ratings are forecasting the 2019 AL East race Based on 100,000 simulations of the 2019 MLB seasonSources: Baseball prospectus, Fangraphs, Clay Davenport, Caesar’s Palace Orioles142160102-1981<1<1
Originally published May 23. Comment NASA’s on a mission to collect space dirt from a potentially… Tags NASA Space 12 Photos All that’s needed to hang out on the asteroid is a mapping app, a screen large enough to clearly see images of the asteroid’s surface and a mouse or trackpad that can make precise marks. 5:24 Explore asteroid Ryugu with Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft An interactive tutorial explains how to get around the CosmoQuest app circling craters, measuring boulders and erasing mistakes. CosmoQuest, a project run out of the Planetary Science Institute that supports citizen science initiatives, offers additional user assistance through an online community where mappers can share tips and high-fives and ask questions. CosmoQuest also shares guidance through livestreaming sessions on Twitch. The original design for capturing a piece of the space rock was based on locating a hazard-free zone with a 160-foot (25-meter) radius on Bennu’s surface. However, because of the unexpectedly rocky terrain, the team is yet to identify such a site.The volunteer asteroid mapping is straightforward work that involves dragging and dropping, an eye for detail and a bit of perseverance. When I signed up Wednesday night at about 9 p.m. PT, more than 70 “Bennu Mappers” were online scouring the asteroid’s surface. The Bennu mapping campaign continues through July 10.An easy-to-follow tutorial helps Bennu Mappers get going. Screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET Bennu measures about 1,600 feet (500 meters), only slightly wider than the height of the Empire State Building, and is considered potentially hazardous. “There’s a very small chance that it will impact Earth in the next century,” Burns has said. Which means you probably don’t need to get out your helmet just yet.In its first five months communing with Bennu, Osiris-Rex has already discovered trapped water and determined that Bennu is between 100 million and a billion years old, making it significantly more mature than predicted. But the mission’s coup de theatre, the sample grab, won’t take place until 2020. That’s when the spacecraft’s fancy robotic arm will reach out and tag the asteroid’s surface with its Touch-And-Go Sample Arm Mechanism, or Tagsam.While touching the rock, the arm will blow a burst of nitrogen gas to loosen up bits of debris that will be then be brought back to Earth when the spacecraft returns in September 2023.The asteroid may contain unaltered material from the beginning of our solar system. The hope is that Bennu’s cargo will yield insights into astronomical processes and resources in near-Earth space and improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth. Share your voice A view of asteroid Bennu’s surface itaken by the PolyCam camera on NASA’s Osiris-Rex on March 21 from a distance of 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers). NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona Before NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft can reach out and grab a piece of asteroid Bennu, it needs to find a safe spot on the space rock’s surface. And for that, NASA wants your help. Osiris-Rex, which arrived at Bennu on Dec. 3, 2018, aims to become the first US spacecraft to return a sample from an asteroid to Earth. Japan’s Hayabusa mission brought back asteroid particles in 2010, with another asteroid-wrangling mission out of Japan under way this year.Since the NASA craft arrived at Bennu, the team has discovered an extremely rocky terrain that threatens the vehicle’s safety. So NASA is asking volunteers to develop a hazard map by measuring Bennu’s boulders and mapping its rocks and craters via a web interface. “Bennu has surprised us with an abundance of boulders,” Rich Burns, Osiris-Rex project manager at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement. “We ask for citizen scientists’ help to evaluate this rugged terrain so that we can keep our spacecraft safe during sample collection operations.” 1 Now playing: Watch this: Sci-Tech Being Bennu Visit to Bennu reveals rubble trouble and seeds of life Osiris-Rex finds water in its first week at asteroid Bennu Spacecraft drops into orbit around asteroid Bennu