Dundalk attempted to land Troy Parrott on loan during January

first_imgDUNDALK tried to land Troy Parrott in a sensational loan deal last month it’s been reported.Today’s Irish Mirror says that the club were in talks with Spurs over a potential temporary move.2 Parrott has found playing opportunities few and far betweenCredit: Getty Images – GettySeemingly talks only broke down due to Tottenham’s mounting injury crisis up front along with a niche UEFA rule regarding the number of home-grown players needed to take part in the Champions League.To qualify for Uefa’s Champions League B list as a home-grown player, Parrott had to have completed two uninterrupted years at Tottenham which he hadn’t until his 18th birthday.Because of the decision to keep Parrott at Spurs rather than send him out on loan, it appears there’s very little chance of him featuring in Ireland’s crunch playoff against Slovakia next month.Ireland boss Mick McCarthy bemoaned Parrott’s failure to secure a loan move recently as he stressed how important it is to be playing regular first-team football.DEPRIVED OF FOOTBALLHe said: “I wish he’d gone to Charlton and played games on loan.”It’s great financially for him to have a new contract but it’s not letting him play.“He has been deprived of football because of his age. I wish he was playing football, it would be much better for us.”If he’s not playing competitive football he has very little chance of being in the squad.”2 Vinny Perth was in the market to make the big moveHe added: “I’m not saying there’s no chance for anybody else but the best performance was against Denmark with players who are tried and trusted.”MOST READ IN SPORTTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battle’I ACCEPT’McGregor accepts Silva fight at UFC catchweight of 176lbs in huge super-fightTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedA CUT ABOVEMike Tyson shows two-inch cut ‘picked up in training’ ahead of boxing returnPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’Parrott signed a new contract at Tottenham earlier this month committing his future to the club until 2023.It has been a source of worry for many Irish fans though that he is still on the fringes despite both Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min being out at the moment.Spurs boss Jose Mourinho has repeatedly said that the Dubliner is ‘not ready’ to play a featured role yet.last_img read more

10 Essential Sketches from Portlandia

first_imgPortlandia returns tonight for its seventh season, and wouldn’t you know, there’s still a lot of material to be mined from the weirdest city on the west coast. This season, the show promises to get back to its roots with more of a sketch show format, rather than the long-form stories recent seasons have focused on. That makes it a great time to get back in. If it’s been a while for you, or if you’ve somehow never seen the show, we’ve put together a list of the ten sketches you have to watch before tonight’s premiere.1. The Dream of the 90sThe sketch that started it all. This song was the very first thing anyone saw of Portlandia and it did a wonderful job of setting the tone. Two minutes into the pilot episode and you know exactly what you’re in for and what kind of city Portland is. This is the sketch that cemented Portland in people’s minds as “the city where young people go to retire.” A place where you could hang out and work a couple of hours a week at a coffee shop.In season two, they updated the song to include a few details they missed originally. Specifically, they mentioned the trends of waxed handlebar mustaches, buying hyper-local, raising your own chickens and curing your own meat. Fred Armisen acknowledges that those things don’t sound too much like the 1990s and the song changes to “The Dream of the 1890s.” No matter what century it is, it’s always some kind of ’90s in Portland.2. Is It Local?Portlandia really knocked it out of the park with their first episode. Right after “Dream of the ’90s,” they give us this amazing parody of farm-to-table restaurants. The sketch is arguably even more relevant now, as farm-to-table isn’t just a Portland hipster thing. They are everywhere, as are the patrons who can’t just enjoy a meal without asking a million questions. While the sketch takes the idea to an absurd extreme, some of the jokes don’t seem that far-fetched. It isn’t hard to imagine that a restaurant would tell you the name and habitat of the chicken you are about to eat.This sketch also introduces Peter and Nance, two of the show’s funniest recurring characters. They are an insufferably cute couple who never want to say no to anything. They often don’t become aware of their situation until it’s too late and end up getting involved in Portland’s stranger communities. Like a cult on a farm run by Jason Sudeikis, for example.3. Air Conditioner (Women and Women First Bookstore)It was hard to choose one Women and Women First Bookstore sketch because they’re all hilarious. Toni and Candace run a feminist bookstore that remains open despite their apparent reluctance to sell customers anything. (They would like you to sign up for a class, though.) The air conditioner sketch that begins the compilation above is probably the best representation of these characters. The repairman just wants to do his job, but he can’t until Candace and Toni teach him why he shouldn’t use the word “unit” around them. It would have been easy to fall into lazy humorless feminist stereotypes, but Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein avoid them by creating two unique, fleshed-out characters. They realize they provide an important service and have let that go to their heads.On the other hand, the real-life bookstore that plays Women and Women First actually banned the show from filming there earlier this year. They cited lost profits and accused the show of contributing to the gentrification of Portland. Still, it does make you wonder if maybe the jokes began to hit too close to home.4. One More EpisodePortlandia is at its best when it’s making fun of something that’s not inherent to Portland. When this season two sketch aired, binge-watching was a relatively new thing. Now that it has become the way most of us watch TV, this sketch hits even harder. Doug and Claire start watching an episode of Battlestar Galactica (remember when we were all obsessed with that show?) and can’t stop. We’ve all been hit by that “one more episode” syndrome, which almost makes this sketch feel like a cautionary tale. Doug and Clair neglect every other part of their lives to watch more Battlestar and are devastated when it’s over. Five years later, this sketch is barely even satire anymore. It almost makes you want to reevaluate how much time you spend binging TV. Almost.Fred Armisen, Kumail Nanjiani and Carrie Brownstein (Photo via IFC)5. Around the World in 80 PlatesAny time Kumail Nanjiani is on the show, pure gold starts coming out of the TV screen. Around the World in 80 Plates might be the best sketch the show has ever had. Sadly, no videos exist on Youtube, but the series in available on Netflix. This sketch occurs in the first episode of season two. Fred and Carrie (playing themselves) are on a mission to find a mixologist who has moved to Southern California. When they get there, they head to a restaurant for food only to discover that ordering isn’t so simple. Their waiter wants to guide them through the restaurant’s worldly cuisine and Fred just wants a hamburger. They don’t sell hamburgers; they sell Slamburgers. And of course, every item has a million different styles you can add, like super spiking. That’s where they pour Jack Daniels over your food. Nanjiani is hilarious as the particular waiter who wants to make sure his customers know about every menu item and special, no matter how long it takes.6. Spoiler AlertOne side effect of our collective binge-watching TV habit is that nobody is every on the same page when it comes to TV anymore. And since most of us want to be surprised, we’re all extremely wary of spoilers. That spoiler sensitivity is lampooned in this season three sketch about a group of friends who can’t talk about anything they’ve seen because nobody is completely caught up. It even ends with a nice callback to the Battlestar Galactica episode. Be warned, though: The sketch contains a fair amount of spoilers. If you don’t yet know that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father, this sketch will ruin it for you. Just looking out.7. 911 Beets EmergencySomewhere along the line, everyone decided to start eating beets, and with that came an unfortunate side effect. Yes, beets are very good for you. They lower blood pressure; they prevent heart disease, and they make your bones stronger. They also make your toilet look like a scene out of a slasher movie. This Portlandia sketch, depicting a 911 call center, is funny and scatological, sure. It also provides an important service: reminding everyone who just had beets for the first time in a while to calm down. That’s not blood in your stool. It’s just beets. No matter how serious it looks, it’s always beets.8. Social BankruptcyThis sketch satirizes the fact that we are so connected to our friends at every moment that we never get any personal time. Carrie, like most of us, is constantly on her phone. She has texts to answer, plans to make, statuses to comment on, and it’s driving her crazy. She just wants to escape. So, she declares social bankruptcy, completely wiping her online presence. As nice as that can sound sometimes, it’s not without its consequences. She is now forced to hang out with the only other people who aren’t on social media. It’s a hilarious sketch that only becomes more relevant with each passing year. Personally, I recommend the Seattle solution for social overload. Say “we should really hang out sometime” and never speak to another human being again.Still from “Seaworld” (Photo: Via IFC)9. Eco-Terrorists in SeaworldAnother great group of recurring characters are the most ineffectual eco-terrorists in existence. In season five, they try to organize a protest to save the whales and head to San Diego to fight Sea World. They didn’t count on San Diego being awesome and having tons of fun stuff to do. The big demonstration is constantly pushed back in favor of going to the beach, eating tacos and partying. By the time they do get around to it, they’ve lost sight of the actual goal a bit. It’s a great sketch that gets bonus points for the appearance of Jeff Goldblum, who is one of Portlandia’s funniest recurring guest stars.Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen in “Weirdo Beach” (Photo: Via IFC)10. TSA Red CarpetProbably one of the funniest sketches of last season, and the one that feels the most plausible. TSA Red Carpet begins with a woman who is about to miss her flight due to the long TSA pre-check line. The agent tells her about the TSA’s new premium service, Red Carpet. After being subjected to a creepy-specific background check, members are allowed to breeze right through security on a red carpet. They’re also allowed to bring certain weapons aboard and tell jokes about bombs on the plane. The sketch feels loose and improvised, which makes it even funnier. Given that it comes from one of the more sketch-heavy episodes of last season, it’s a pretty good indication of the kind of humor we can expect from season seven. Portlandia is no longer primarily about making fun of hipsters. Now, it’s a broader, satirical comedy that parodies all aspects of modern life.last_img read more

Sharapova gets off to stylish start in battle of the sponsors

first_imgMaria Sharapova defeated Stéphanie Foretz 6-1, 6-4 in her opening match. Photograph: F Hanson/PA Eleanor Preston Sharapova gets off to stylish start in battle of the sponsors Wimbledon 2008 The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Since you’re here… Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Read more Share on Facebook First published on Tue 24 Jun 2008 19.01 EDTcenter_img Maria Sharapova professed to be “amazed” that many of the questions she was asked after beating France’s Stéphanie Foretz 6-1, 6-4 to move through to the second round related to what she was wearing. It was a little disingenuous coming from a woman who walked on to Court One in an outfit designed to be a talking point.Some may wish to debate the merits of Sharapova’s shorts and “tuxedo” top and that is exactly what she, her agent and her sponsors at Nike would like. The top half looked as though it had been made out of someone’s net curtains but even criticism is probably welcomed as free publicity. Wimbledon Support The Guardian Wimbledon Tue 24 Jun 2008 19.01 EDT Shares00 Maria Sharapova Share on Twitter Topics “I mean, look, tennis is not a sport where you have to wear uniforms. It’s an individual sport,” she said. “If you have the relationships with the brands – and I’ve been with Nike since I was very young and we’ve gained the trust in each other, you know, where we can go into a room and I can have a voice in what I like, what I don’t like, my inspirations, what I feel like wearing, the colours I feel like wearing – it’s a collaboration, it really is. If you can do that, why not?”Sharapova may feel under pressure from Ana Ivanovic, who is sponsored by Nike’s rival Adidas, to keep trumping the opposition with more and more outlandish outfits. Apparently there are wide-leg “pants” that go with the cropped jacket she put on as she walked off court – with a giant logoed handbag slung over her shoulder, of course – and goodness only knows what players will end up wearing for their warm-ups.Now that she has launched her Wimbledon collection, Sharapova is free to think and talk about her other main motivation for being here – actually winning the tournament. She played well enough against Foretz and although she missed her customary Wimbledon warm-up event in Birmingham she settled quickly enough. She considered it to have been “definitely a good start – my main goal was just to go out there, get a feel for it as fast as I could and get the job done”.Her victory on a faster surface at this year’s Australian Open was a reminder of how dangerous the Russian can be on a speedy court. There is more to Sharapova than the empress’s new clothes.Jelena Jankovic powered past Ukraine’s Olga Savchuk 6-3, 6-2. The No2 seed from Serbia, who is yet to get beyond the fourth round in singles here but was the mixed doubles champion last year with Jamie Murray, enjoyed a mostly trouble-free passage once she had found her range.Successive rasping winners earned a break in the seventh game and she then reeled off seven successive games before Savchuk stemmed the tide and then broke Jankovic for the first time. The revival was a brief one, with Jankovic breaking back immediately to seal the contest with a forehand winner. Reuse this content Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Tennislast_img read more

Nature to let potential authors try a doubleblind date

first_imgThe marquee research journal Nature and almost all of its sister publications this week announced that they will offer authors the option of participating in double-blind peer review, where both submitters and referees remain anonymous. The practice, which is common among humanities journals, has long been debated in the sciences, and several journals have recently taken the plunge. Some observers, however, remain skeptical of the value of double-blind systems and note that other journals are heading toward greater transparency.Traditionally, scientific journals have adhered to a single-blind system, in which authors don’t know the identity of those reviewing their paper. But that system has led to concerns that it may contribute to bias against some authors, including women, minorities, and those from less prestigious institutions. In the last decade, publishers have tried to address those concerns by introducing various tweaks to the reviewing process.Nature Publishing Group (NPG) began testing the double-blind system with Nature Climate Change and Nature Geoscience in May 2013, after an author survey indicated significant interest in the model. “We’re here to serve the needs of the research community, and it’s become increasingly clear that they want to have the option … to choose double-blind peer review,” said Véronique Kiermer, director of author and reviewer services at NPG. 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Countrycenter_img “The trial in Nature Climate Change and Nature Geoscience gave us plenty to be confident about,” she says, but notes the option of complete anonymity will be “an ongoing experiment.” NPG “may find that different disciplines react in different ways,” she says, “and as practices evolve in the future, we will want to evolve with them.”Editors at other journals, including Science (publisher of ScienceInsider), are watching the experiment at Nature and elsewhere, but haven’t made the jump. In part, that’s because some have concluded that it would be hard to prevent reviewers from correctly guessing who authors are, particularly in small fields. Some reviewers can predict authorship by looking closely at a paper’s references; authors often build on their previous work and thus cite themselves extensively.“With double-blind, the inevitable guessing game will begin of reviewers trying to guess which group authored the research,” wrote Marcia McNutt, editor-in-chief of Science, in an e-mail. One upside to switching to a double-blind system, she notes, could be a lower number of self-citations (which are often frowned upon by journal editors). And she adds that “it will certainly be important to determine if double-blind improves … equality for women authors in the process.”“There is pretty good evidence for various biases in the way that articles are perceived by reviewers … and double-blind review is one possible way to avoid, or at least mitigate, these biases,” says Michael Eisen, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-founder of the nonprofit open-access publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS). But, so far, PLOS has concluded that it is too difficult to mask authors’ identities in fields such as biomedicine, he says.César Hidalgo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge is skeptical of anonymity in peer review. “Unblinded reviews,” he says, are better “because they equalize the power between the author and the reviewer.”To address such concerns, some publishers are moving to highly transparent reviewing systems, in which both authors and reviewers are identified. And a few journals, such as F1000 Research, go even further by publishing referee comments alongside a paper and making the comments searchable and citable. The idea is to give referees, who generally work for free, some public credit for their efforts. But critics of open peer review fear it can also cause image-conscious reviewers to be less critical.Publicly recognizing reviewers won’t be possible in Nature’s system, but Kiermer notes that, “at the moment, reviewers can obtain a certificate of their reviewing activity for Nature journals.” And the publisher is continuing “to consider some form of open review as an option for the future, in response to author and reviewer feedback,” Kiermer says. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more