After the dramatic way this World Series played out through its first five contests, is anyone really surprised that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros will require the full seven games to determine a champion? LA ensured the series would go the distance with its 3-1 victory Tuesday night, finally getting to Justin Verlander in the sixth inning and shutting down the high-powered Astros bats down the stretch. Now, everything will come down to the outcome of Wednesday’s Game 7 in Los Angeles — and that’s probably how things should be, given the way these teams have jockeyed back and forth with each other all season long.The Astros had their chance to end things earlier than expected. Although they were on the road for Game 6, they sent Verlander — their top starter according to our pitcher ratings — to the mound in a potential closeout game (games in which he’d previously had a 0.78 ERA in his postseason career), and they even held a slim lead for most of the middle innings. According to The Baseball Gauge, Houston had an 87 percent chance of winning the championship at one point in the fifth, their highest mark of the entire series. But Verlander went from cruising early to sputtering in the sixth inning for the second time in the series. Joc Pederson tacked on an insurance homer (extending the record for most home runs in a World Series to 23) that helped seal the victory.Now the Astros have to be wondering whether their best shot at ending the franchise’s 55-year championship drought — the team was founded in 1962 and has never won — has passed them by. They’ve won on the road in this series, but Game 7 will be on a different level. They’ll be facing four-time All-Star and former Cy Young runner-up Yu Darvish, whom LA picked up at the trade deadline, with Clayton Kershaw potentially looming in relief. Houston will counter with Lance McCullers, who won Game 3 but is inferior to Darvish by the numbers.So the championship odds will be stacked in Los Angeles’s favor. We have them pegged at a 60 percent win probability for the Dodgers.But we probably also haven’t seen the end of this series’ many twists and turns. According to The Baseball Gauge, it’s tied for the seventh-most exciting postseason series ever, in terms of its average per-play movement in championship probability added — and that’s without yet having the benefit of a Game 7, where the stakes are magnified to mind-bogglingly high levels. The tension can only rise from here, in a winner-take-all game to crown the champion of one of the most stacked seasons we’ve ever seen.
You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.1 teamWith New England’s loss to Denver 30-24 in overtime Sunday, the Carolina Panthers are the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team following (most of) Week 12. We still give the Patriots the highest chance of winning the Super Bowl. [ESPN]20 seasonsLos Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant announced — in a poem! — that this NBA season, his 20th, will be his last. Bryant has been injured often recently, playing in just 41 of 164 games the last two seasons. [The New York Times]32 countriesJapan is trying to figure out how to handle a population that is increasingly elderly, with a huge bearing on the rest of the world: By 2050, 32 countries will have a population with a greater share of senior citizens than Japan does today, according to the United Nations. [The Wall Street Journal]41 percentThe probability Oklahoma will win college football’s national title, according to FiveThirtyEight’s model. The Sooners won the Big 12 championship over weekend. [FiveThirtyEight]$100,000Estimate for how much the department store Kohl’s will pay to use a cover of the Beatles song “All Together Now” in a national ad campaign of 15- to 30-second spots. The band’s iconic oeuvre is far from cheap, and securing song rights can take months of negotiation. But by using a cover artist for the song instead of the original recording, the advertising firm Kohl’s hired was able to roughly halve the cost. [The New York Times]200,000 viewsA convicted Czech pirate — to be more specific here, the kind of pirate who uploads movies or software he isn’t supposed to, not the kind of pirate who attacks boats and pillages — got software firms to agree not to sue him if he made an anti-piracy video and got 200,000 views for it within two months. The man succeeded in this endeavor, with more than 400,000 views so far, and now does not have to pay a lot of money to very angry multinational corporations. [BBC]3.38 millionU.S. opening week sales for Adele’s new album, “25,” the first to sell more than 3 million copies in a week in Nielsen’s history of monitoring sales. [Billboard]4.8 millionA breach has compromised 4.8 million records of Hong Kong-based toy company VTech, potentially exposing customer account data to hackers. User passwords were encrypted using a crappy MD5 hash, and what’s worse, hackers can use the data to easily make connections between accounts for parents and their children. It all sounds like catnip for a fear-mongering local news broadcast near you. [Troy Hunt via Ars Technica]$20 billionClimate change talks begin in Paris today, with some early news bolstering confidence in a potential agreement: The U.S. and 18 other countries will double investment in clean energy to $20 billion, according to the White House. The measure has the support of technology and business leaders as well. [The Guardian]??? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ???We’re going for an unconventional digit today. Here is typically where we’d discuss the sales numbers coming out of Black Friday, and how [good/bad] they are and the [exciting/deleterious] effect that might have on holiday spending, which in turn could have an [unspeakable/Lovecraftian] impact on overall consumer spending. But my colleague Ben Casselman set me straight: All the numbers you’re reading about Black Friday sales are unreliable and often useless. [FiveThirtyEight]If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.
See more NBA predictions Things That Caught My EyeKane sure looks like the best striker in the worldHarry Kane on the Tottenham Hotspur got his 100th goal in the English Premier League two weeks ago, with only Alan Shearer accomplishing it in fewer games. This season alone, Harry Kane is at the top of the five European leagues, with 23 goals from 61 shots on goals in 26 games. [FiveThirtyEight]The Dutch came here to skate with alacrity and not much elseAs of the end of competition on Wednesday, players from the Netherlands have won 121 medals of which 42 were gold in the Winter Olympics. Of those, 95.4 percent of the golds and 94.2 percent of the total medals were in the sport of speedskating, making them the top one-trick nation in the games. [FiveThirtyEight]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Kim gets Gold and Gold gets BronzeAmericans Chloe Kim and Arielle Gold medaled in the halfpipe snowboarding competition, with the seventeen year old phenom Kim taking a gold medal and Gold, who suffered a freak injury in Sochi, dislocating her shoulder on the flukey halfpipe at that games, taking third place. [The Washington Post]Yeah, well, we’ll get ’em in the rematchTwo of the best teams in the world, Canada and the United States, had a tumultuous first game in women’s hockey at the Olympics, with Canada’s 2-1 victory meaning they clinch the top seed in pool play. The two teams could very well face off against one another in next week’s final. Meanwhile, Team USA stomped the Olympic Athletes from Russia, with Jocelyne Lamoureaux scoring two goals in six seconds, an Olympic record. [ESPN]Try out our brand new super fun quiz, Which Winter Olympic Sport Is Best For You? I got ski jumping!The men aren’t doing that wellMeanwhile, the U.S. men lost 3-2 to Slovenia in overtime after coughing up a 2-0 lead heading into the third period. The good news is that that game just helped to figure out the seeding for the knockout rounds, but that concludes our good news regarding the men’s U.S. hockey team for the time being. [Deadspin]She doesn’t even go here!About six percent of Olympic athletes do not actually live in the nations they represent, which adds up to an estimated total of 178. Of those 178, at least 37 of them are Americans playing for other teams. Typically these folks have either dual citizenship or have fast-tracked naturalization in their chosen nation. [ESPN]Big Number29.6 percentThat’s the percentage of alpine ski race runs that are unfinished. While skeleton certainly looks like it’s designed for people to wipe out all the time, only 0.6 percent of races end in DQs. [FiveThirtyEight]Leaks from Slack: natesilver:wow BIG curling comeback for the USAwe were down 6-1 and now its 6-6against Italywalt:DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLESlinda.tutovan:yay curlingwalt:[i do not]tchow:italy just hit a great shotneil:OMG you guys are watching too???We’re watching in the alcoveThis match has been crazy3+ points in almost every end, multiple stealsgalen:the USA outfits are cuteneil::us:Predictions NBA Oh, and don’t forgetWhat are the men scared of? We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆 Join the squad. Subscribe All newsletters
“When I’m away I try to set out for 10 to 15 pubs or bars in a day,” Stephen, from Kirkby, tells Telegraph Travel. “I read TripAdvisor and glean information on where might be good to go then I make my own mind up. I do the research so I know roughly what I’m going to go, then I give a positive review.“I try to do three or four [reviews] a day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, one in the evening. I never get bored doing it.” “There was one in Prague,” he said. “I just said be a bit wary of it. I think in a lot of eastern European cities if there’s not a menu outside the bar or restaurant you need to be a bit wary. Pay up front because you might get ripped off.”To what does he credit his fortune of only visiting four or five-star establishments?“I look at the places I go beforehand so I tend to avoid any that don’t look great. I know in Budapest there’s a few places on the main tourist street, Vaci Utca Street, to avoid,” he says.“But most of the time I go somewhere I get a positive vibe.” TripAdvisor has also commended seven other members of its website, including awards for Attractions Expert of the Year, Hotel Expert of the Year and New Contributor of the Year.This year’s Restaurant Expert of the Year award also belongs to Stephen, owing to his thousand-odd contributions to the culinary aspect of the site.The global winner of Review Contributor of the Year is one Bernardo Famorca, who has submitted more than 2,000 critiques over the past 12 months. Budapest’s Vaci Utca Street is a main tourist dragCredit:Alamy Since joining TripAdvisor in February last year, Stephen Kelly has written 1,915 reviews.Across 31 European cities, the Liverpudlian has penned his thoughts on 42 hotels, 1,517 restaurants and 356 attractions. That averages out at publishing about three reviews a day for 22 months. In 2016 he has published 988, maintaining pace for his daily output.It is Stephen’s prolific reporting for the review website that has earned him the accolade of British Review Contributor of the Year in the 2016 Ollie Awards, TripAdvisor’s celebration of its most valuable reviewers, now in its second year. “Superb jazz bar”, “Very modern and cool establishment”, “Classic Polish pub with great views”.But Stephen also has the north of England covered, with a wealth of reviews in places such as Birkenhead, Doncaster and Hull, not to mention his native Liverpool.However, don’t expect to find many scathing takedowns or brutal critiques. Of Stephen’s 1,915 reviews, only three are less than four or five out of five, and they are three out of five. The three three-star (or “bubble”) ratings, that equates to average on the site, make up 0.15 per cent of his reviews. The unfortunate recipients of Stephen’s undistinguised tag are two bars in Amsterdam, and one in Prague. Stephen, 51, works in the NHS and uses free time in his shift patterns to travel to European cities, preferably in eastern Europe, he says, and often with his twin brother, who first got him into reviewing TripAdvisor.“I do prefer eastern and central Europe. The architecture is so different from what I’m used to, and there’s a different culture and atmosphere,” he says. “I think Poland is my favourite country. There’s a lot of rich history, a mix of old German and new Poland.”He’s just returned from Krakow and his TripAdvisor profile page is bulging with thoughts on cafes, bars and restaurants from the Polish city. “With more than 120 million travellers eligible for an award, the competition this year was tougher than ever,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for the website. “Every single winner of an Ollie award has dedicated an incredible amount of time and energy to their reviews. It is their efforts… that help improve the travel experience for the wider community. They fully deserve their moment in the spotlight.”TripAdvisor’s place in the travel industry is not without controversy. The value and validity of the site’s reviews have come into question in the past.In 2012 the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that it could not claim all the reviews on its website were “honest, real or trusted” after finding that it was possible for “non-genuine content” to appear on the site. Birkenhead on the Wirral: reviewedCredit:Alamy Stephen Kelly, TripAdvisor’s UK reviewer of the year Of Stephen’s 1,915 reviews, only three are less than four or five out of five The site has also developed something of a cult status, with hilarious and bizarre reviews providing entertainment as much as its informative content. Indeed, Telegraph Travel has collated some of TripAdvisor’s users underwhelmed by the biggest tourist attractions on the planet.So what are Stephen’s tips for reviewing for the site?“Do a little bit of research before you start,” he says. “Have a look at other people’s reviews, then hone a style of your own. If you have a structured way to do a review it will save you time.”
John Smyth QC in his younger daysCredit: A charity overseen by Mrs Colman’s husband Jamie, the heir to the Colman’s Mustard dynasty, is already under investigation by the Charity Commission after funneling hundreds of thousands of pounds to Mr Smyth over a thirty-year period.Mr Colman has admitted knowing about the abuse claims in Britain and Zimbabwe.Mrs Colman apologised for the donations but said her husband had not told her about the claims against Mr Smyth.Dr Lee Gatiss, the director of the Church Society, said the group had examined its records but had “no reason to believe that Church Society was aware of any abuse allegations of the kind referred to, or indeed that Mr Smyth had any involvement with Church Society”.Mr Jackman, who is a director of Keep Marriage Special, a group launched by the Church Society that claimed that letting same sex couples marry would lead to the legalisation of incest, said he believed he had acted correctly in not notifying police.He said: “I assumed that the matter was being dealt with by the authorities concerned.”Mark Barrell, executive director of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, said the group’s records suggested that, contrary to the Iwerne Trust documents, it had not been notified of the allegations involving Mr Smyth until 2003.A spokesman for the Charity Commission said that as a matter of best practice the group should have made an incident report to the regulator once it was informed, but Mr Barrell refused to reveal whether the organisation had notified authorities.He said: “His membership was terminated that year and he had no further involvement with the LCF.” Charities run by Jamie Colman and his wife Sue, a vicar at the church that oversees the Alpha Course, are under investigation by the Charity Commission David Jackman, then a senior minister at a leading evangelical church also admitted he was told about the allegations at the same time. Mr Jackman went on to become head of the Proclamation Trust, which helps train evangelical preachers,The Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, the legal charity of which Mr Smyth was a member, is also named in Iwerne documents as having been informed.Separately, the Charity Commission has announced that it has launched an investigation into a charity established by Reverend Sue Colman, a trustee of the Holy Trinity Brompton, which oversees the Alpha Course, the evangelical movement backed by celebrities such as Bear Grylls, after she admitted sending thousands of pounds to Mr Smyth via her personal charity. A barrister at the centre of a child abuse scandal committed a series of sickening assaults against young men after leading evangelical groups failed to report him to the police, it is claimed.John Smyth QC, a friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is accused of carrying out sadomasochistic attacks on boys he met at Christian camps in Britain and Zimbabwe.The assaults first came to light in 1982, when a victim attempted suicide after being summoned to a beating in the shed of Mr Smyth’s Winchester home. John Smyth QC founded a series of summer camps in ZimbabweCredit: But both the Iwerne Trust, the Christian group that Mr Smyth chaired, and Winchester College, the school attended by some of his alleged victims, did not report the claims to police.The part-time judge then moved to Zimbabwe, where he founded a series of summer camps at which it is alleged he again abused young men.In 1997 he was charged with culpable homicide after a boy was found naked in the swimming pool of one of his camps, but the prosecution later collapsed.It has now emerged that a number of senior figures at high-profile evangelical organisations were told of the claims but did not alert the authorities.David Fletcher, a Iwerne trustee who oversaw an investigation into the alleged assaults, said he told the Church Society, a powerful voice on the evangelical wing of the Church of England, about the claims in 1982. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
A fifth of teachers surveyed by ASCL reported that their schools (18 per cent) have also dropped Music and Art as GCSE options in the last twelve months.Researchers from Sussex University’s School of Education and Social Work warned that music “could be facing extinction” in the classroom, following a study which revealed a steady decline of the subject being taught in schools. The survey also revealed more than 80 per cent of respondents said their classes had grown in size in the past year, with teachers reporting that the largest class size was 33 pupils, on average.Malcolm Trobe, the interim general secretary of ASCL said that the survey shows “the impossible choices school leaders are having to make”.“Reduced budgets means fewer staff and, with fewer staff, class sizes have to increase,” he said. “Schools cannot sustain the level of support they provide to pupils, or the range of subject options and enrichment activities.”A Department for Education spokesperson said: “As this week’s Budget demonstrates, the government is determined to ensure every child has access to a good school place and is given the opportunity to fulfil their potential. “The government has protected the core schools budget in real terms since 2010, with school funding at its highest level on record at more than £40bn in 2016-17 – and that is set to rise, as pupil numbers rise over the next two years, to £42 billion by 2019-20. A fifth of teachers reported that their schools have also dropped Music GCSE Ministers say that the EBacc, a flagship policy of former education secretary Michael Gove, helps ensure children receive a rigorous education, but campaigners warn that it is having a detrimental affect on creative subjects which have seen a rapid decline. GCSE courses in design and technology have disappeared from nearly half of schools amid pressure to succeed in core compulsory subjects.Hundreds of schools across the country have axed the subject from the curriculum in the past year alone, according to a poll of teachers conducted by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).Julie Nugent, chief executive of the Design and Technology Association, said the survey results were “worrying”, adding that they have been inundated with phone calls from concerned parents whose children are not able to take up the subject because their school no longer offers it. “We know that the subject itself suffers from a bit of an image problem, people see it as a craft based subject, where you just make a bird box or something like that,” she said.The most recent figures released by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) revealed a ten per cent decrease in the number students taking design and technology as a GSCE.Ms Nugent said that the decline began with the Labour government’s removal of the requirement for pupils to study design and technology at GCSE in 2004, but has accelerated in recent years following the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which focuses on a narrow curriculum made up solely of “core” academic subjects. Former education secretary Michael GoveCredit:REUTERS/Neil Hall “We absolutely need subjects like design and technology. It is about innovation, engineering,manufacturing, and the principles of how to improve the world,” Ms Nugent said. “We think this is a really worrying report and is at a time when we need to be developing our technical skills more so than ever before.” “We recognise that schools are facing cost pressures, which is why we will continue to provide support to help them use their funding in cost effective ways, including improving the way they buy goods and services so they get the best possible value.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
She added: “That’s a major, major change in a woman’s life. Just biologically, were designed to have babies at a young age and now we’re having babies when we’re older, which is a physical stress.”The 83-year-old has two children, Matthew and Harriet, with TV producer Michael Bakewell, who she was married to for 17 years.While she has admitted to struggling to balance work and motherhood, she said having her daughter at the age of just 25 meant they are “good friends” now.Speaking at the English National Opera gala in London, she said: “I was married at 22 and had a child at 25. Looking back now, there are advantages to having your children earlier.”My point is, you have them, you can spend a lot of time on them, and then by the time they’re ten you’ve still got your career. Dame Joan Bakewell has issued a stark warning to modern women who delay motherhood, advising them to have children before focusing on their career.The broadcaster, who is a veteran campaigner for gender equality at work, said modern women should not delay motherhood to “have more fun”.The Labour peer added that being a mother later in life also took a toll on women in terms of the “physical stress” it put on their bodies.”Women have shaped their lives differently,” she said. “Women now want to have more of the fun and delay marrying, if they marry at all, as well as having children,” the Daily Mail reported. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “My daughter’s a good friend of mine and she’s only 25 years younger than me. So we’re good friends – my son, too – and I think that has partly come about because I had them when I did.”I didn’t wait till I was in my 40s. You can get all the mothering stuff out of the way.” Dame Joan Bakewell on Late Night Line Up in 1967
Raymond van Barneveld at the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London in December Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. However researchers said that cultural reasons often meant that sports players did not choose the most accurate way of throwing.In American basketball, Rick Barry was famed for his underarm throws, which were dubbed ‘the granny throw.’ But the move has largely died out.“One suspects there are social and cultural reasons you don’t see that practiced too often,” added Dr Venkadesan.The research was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. Forget manly overarm throws. A slow underarm ‘granny toss’ is likely to be more accurate, whether playing cricket or aiming for the waste paper bin a study has shown.Yale and Harvard universities calculated the chances of hitting a target using different ‘bowling’ techniques.They found that fast throws are the least accurate because any slight deviation in target is magnified by the speed of release.“Once you launch the ball, there’s nothing you can do,” said Dr Madhusudhan Venkadesannkadesan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science“The ball’s just going to carry out the consequences of what you did.”However the opposite is true for slow and curved flight paths, with small errors in the angle of release having little effect. It’s a trade-off that favors slower throws, said Dr Venkadesan.“What we find is that almost the slowest arc is often the most accurate,” he added.“We’ve compared these calculations to published data of people throwing into wastebaskets; we’ve compared it to a study on dart throwing.“You don’t just want to be fast or just accurate, you want to be fast and accurate, and this work tells us that this is particularly challenging. The faster you are, the less accurate you are, so how can we be both? That’s a question we’re pursuing.” The team found that in cricket fielding players fare better with a fast underhand toss.And if your wastebasket is fewer than three arm lengths away and below shoulder height, an underhand toss is also the best strategy.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A video of a dancing police officer went viral after he was filmed cutting some serious moves at Notting Hill Carnival.
A bus driver has been suspended for refusing to carry passengers on a vehicle adorned with Pride decorations because it “promotes homosexuality”.The man, who works for Norfolk-based company Konectbus, was said to be unhappy about the bus’s number being multicoloured in a nod to the LGBT rainbow flag.Passenger Rebecca Sears said she was kept waiting as the driver insisted on swapping vehicles at Norwich Bus Station, two weeks after the city celebrated a Pride event.The 19-year-old was trying to catch the 501 park and ride service to Thickthorn on August 9 when the alleged incident unfolded.”He said we have to wait a minute, he said I am not driving this bus because it promotes homosexuality,” she said.”I was standing with two other women and we thought he was joking.”She added: “I just hope that he hasn’t said that in front of somebody that is gay. I would hate to think he would say something to them.”He didn’t know if I was gay or the other two women I was with. He just out right said it.”Miss Sears immediately complained about the driver’s behaviour to staff at the front desk.She told them: “You are stopping people from getting home for such a ridiculous reason. It is really bad.” The sixth form student also vented her anger on Twitter, posting a picture of the driver in question and writing: “If you can’t do your job properly because of your bigotry, maybe you need rethink your choices.”Go East Anglia said in a statement: “Go East Anglia prides itself on values that support diversity and inclusion and has been a champion of Norwich Pride since 2017.”We particularly want all customers of whatever background or sexual orientation to feel comfortable on our services.”As a company we do not condone any behaviour from our drivers that does not support this view. “The driver involved in this incident has been suspended and a full investigation is underway.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.