Volcano Bay and the Psychology of the Queueless Theme Park

first_imgShare This!The TouringPlans blog is pleased to welcome guest author Laurie Breen to share some insights about the psychology of the queueless theme park. Enjoying a theme park with no lines sounds like every theme park fan’s dream. But does the current iteration of the queueless theme park really translate into a better experience for the average park-goer?With Universal Orlando’s new Volcano Bay water park, the global theme park giant launched its first “queueless” theme park. But did they miss the mark? It’s true, the lines are soooo long these days. As Jason Surrell, a creative director at Universal, explained to thestar.com, “We’ve known for years that waiting in line is one of the biggest dis-satisfiers in our guests’ day.” And of course, the pay-to-play line-cutting access offered by Express Pass goes against the egalitarian ideals upon which our great nation was founded. However, theme park queues serve many purposes within the operations of a theme park. By overlooking the psychological effects of standing in a line, as well as the way that people are accustomed to “touring” at a theme park, Universal may have thrown the cow out with the cattle pen.Crowd Control vs. Chaos Waiting in a queue may not be fun, but it is an orderly way to control crowds.Queues act as crowd control, essentially designating a place for hundreds or thousands of guests to stand each hour as they progress through the line, waiting for their turn to ride on their chosen attraction. This takes crowd pressure off the walkways, stores, and restaurants, allowing the park to increase capacity while adding more fun attractions. Imagine that you are in a theme park store where 100 or 200 guests are shopping at one time, wandering around, slowly browsing what’s on offer — the store starts to feel very crowded and claustrophobic. But now imagine the Greenhouse at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey — in this space, each person is allotted a specific position to stand in and social norms dictate that people will line up in an orderly fashion. They (generally) maintain their place in line, they are all moving in the same direction, and they all keep a pretty consistent spacing between themselves and the next line-waiter. In this situation, a crowd of 100 or 200 people does not seem overwhelming at all.Fair Wait vs. Unfair Wait Here is a secret that any theme park super-fan will tell you: sure, waiting in line, in general, kind of sucks. But, sometimes, waiting in line doesn’t *completely* suck. The queue is where the story of the ride unfolds. It’s where the anticipation builds. It’s where you feel that nervous/excited pit in your stomach before you get on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. The fact is, humans bond through shared experiences. Waiting in line alone always seems longer than a wait with friends because you are sharing that experience of being stuck in line, together. As William James, noted philosopher, observed, “Boredom results from being attentive to the passage of time itself.” Theme parks know this. They use this. All the interactive queues, dating back to 1995 and the Indiana Jones Adventure in Disneyland, are designed to entice guests into the line and keep them happy while they’re waiting. Although the creative team for Volcano Bay has developed a fascinating backstory complete with creation myths and made-up tribes, guests have noted that the story is not really evident in the park. It’s possible that without the line, there’s not as much space to tell the story inside the park.Finally, let’s be real, is the queueless experience truly “queueless”?Eventually, there is a line. It may be short. You may have done most of your waiting elsewhere. But you will end up in a line. Instead of having all slides use the TapuTapu, some of the slides, at certain times, are now directing guests to “Ride Now” rather than tap in to wait. What this really means is that guests are able to enter a traditional queue and just wait for their turn. This may be an attempt on Universal’s part to balance the goal of the queueless theme park with the reality that traditional queues serve an important function. As of yet, theme parks are not able to predict human movement down to the second. Until that happens (and I hope it never does, because at that stage we would likely be some sort of thrill-ride-loving human-cyborg creature), you are going to end up in lines at some time at theme parks.Actually, I imagine cyborgs would be really good line-waiters.Laurie Breen has a degree in Psychology from Smith College, and works as a freelance writer and research communicator.center_img This brings us to another psychological benefit of the actual line — the concept that “unfair” waits seem longer than “fair” waits. When everyone is in a real live line, you can see who is first and who is next. Other virtual systems, such as Disney’s FastPass+ or Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon issue a specific window of time for guests to return, setting clear expectations for guests. With Volcano Bay’s TapuTapu, you “tap” into the queue at the entrance to the ride and you are given a wait time that counts down until the time when you are able to return and ride. However, the variables of the wait times are not transparent to the guest. Some guests, such as Nicola from the UK, had a positive experience — “we tapped into the aqua coaster when it had an 80 minute wait, but within 60 minutes it went to zero.” However, Michael from North Carolina was frustrated during his visit on June 14th. When Michael’s kids tapped in to two different rides, Ohyah showed a 35 minute wait, and Ohno showed a 40 minute wait. He figured his kids would be able to ride at roughly the same time. But once they tapped in, the time shown on the TapuTapu for the smaller slide went down quickly, but the larger slide’s wait went up to 45 minutes, then 50 minutes, and then dropped more quickly after that. By his estimate, one child waited 20 minutes and the other waited 50 minutes for their respective rides. Because it was not clear what position he held in the virtual queue, it wasn’t clear how many people were ahead of him, and he wasn’t given any information as to why his wait time increased. This was perceived as an “unfair” line, increasing his dissatisfaction with the system, despite the promise of not having to wait in an actual line.Anticipation vs. Boredomlast_img read more

The sky is not the limit for African astronaut Mandla Maseko

first_imgAstronaut Mandla Maseko will feature in the next instalment of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to be aired on Sunday 20 July at 9pm on SABC2. Maseko won the global Axe Apollo Space Academy competition for an hour long sub-orbital trip of 62 miles, or about 100 kilometres. Handpicked for the trip on the Lynx Mark II Spaceship, Maseko is one of only 23 civilians from around the world to win a seat on the space mission. He saw off a million other entrants to emerge victorious. (Image: Sthe Shabangu)• Brand South Africa+27 11 483 0122info@brandsouthafrica.com• South Africa takes to space • Ubuntu coming to phones• Blast-off for space weather centre • Ubuntu beats Windows and Mac • From township to space, the world’s first black African astronautMelissa Jane CookIt is an extraordinary dream come true. Like music to Mandla Maseko’s ears, this part-time DJ will blast off into space, literally. No-one in Maseko’s family has ever stepped outside South Africa, but now the 25-year-old is preparing to rocket into space in 2015.Maseko won the global Axe Apollo Space Academy competition for an hour long sub-orbital trip of 62 miles, or about 100 kilometres. Handpicked for the trip on the Lynx Mark II Spaceship, Maseko is one of only 23 civilians from around the world to win a seat on the space mission. He saw off a million other entrants to emerge victorious.The son of a toolmaker and a cleaning supervisor, he hails from the dusty Mabopane Township near Pretoria. He will be the first black African, and the only other South African besides billionaire Mark Shuttleworth to have gone into space. Shuttleworth is a white entrepreneur and philanthropist who bought a seat on a Russian Soyuz capsule for £12-million and spent eight days on board the International Space Station in 2002.“Excitement does not begin to describe how I feel right now,” Maseko told the Pretoria News daily. “If there was a better word than ‘excitement’ I would use it.” He was forced to put his civil engineering studies on hold because he could not pay the fees; now will get to experience zero gravity and a journey that normally comes with a $100 000 price tag.He heard the news of his achievement on 5 December 2013, only a few hours after the death of Nelson Mandela. “I have run the race and completed the course, now here is the torch,” Maseko imagined Mandela would have said to him. “Continue running the race and here’s the title to go with it.”Watch Mandla Maseko discussing his once in a lifetime opportunity:Entering the competitionIn August 2013, Maseko was lying on the couch when he heard an advertisement for the competition on the radio and decided to enter, along with thousands of other South Africans. “I needed to send in a picture of myself jumping off something. I jumped off the wall in the backyard. I had to do it three times before I was happy with the picture.” His motivation for entering, he said was because he wanted “to defy the laws of gravity”.Hopefuls from more than 105 countries competed for a spot on the shuttle. Only 30 entrants from South Africa were selected from a field of 85 000 determined individuals for the first set of challenges in Free State; they were cut down to three, who went to the US for further gruelling preparations. Maseko was among them – one black, one white, one of Indian origin. “We wanted to show South Africa is way past the colour of our skin. We are the human race.”From December 1 to 8, Maseko and fellow South Africans Dean Roddan and Haroon Osman faced arduous challenges at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida. This would test their resolve, strength and courage.While at the Axe Apollo Space Academy, Maseko engaged in a series of missions that gave all recruits a taste of the thrills and trials faced by real astronauts. Among training missions, he learned to pilot an Air Combat USA aircraft and braced himself for the strength of blast off in a G-Force Simulator at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex.Other challenges included skydiving, building and launching a rocket and conquering obstacle courses. “Unfortunately we could not get our rocket to launch, but we made up points because we were judged on bravery, enthusiasm and teamwork,” Maseko said. “We face things head on. I knew I had to learn, master and excel at the challenges, so I did.”Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, was one of the competition’s judges, and Maseko got the opportunity to meet Aldrin when he was announced a winner. “I got to shake his hand three times. I was like, ‘Oh, is this you?’ He said, ‘Yes, it is me!’” For Maseko, the encounter was magical. “This is how it feels to be out in space,” he thought.Aldrin is among 12 people – all American, all men and all white – to have walked on the moon. But Africa has growing space ambitions: the majority of the Square Kilometre Array, the world’s biggest and most powerful radio telescope, will be spread across South Africa and eight other countries on the continent.Watch Mandla Maseko discussing Space Jump Suits:Destined for greatnessHe was a “typical ekasi township boy” who still lived at home with his parents and four siblings, said Maseko. His father, who grew up in such poverty that he got his first pair of shoes when he was 16, was determined that his children would never go hungry. “I don’t remember going to bed without having eaten,” he said. “My dad provided for us. He is my hero, and then Nelson Mandela comes after.“I’m not trying to make this a race thing but us blacks grew up dreaming to a certain stage. You dreamed of being a policeman or a lawyer, but you knew you wouldn’t get as far as pilot or astronaut. Then I went to space camp and I thought, ‘I can actually be an astronaut.’”But he had known since he was a boy that he was destined for greatness. “We were not brought up to believe we can be bigger than big, but I always knew I would be.” His mom, Ouma Maseko, agreed: “When I was pregnant with him in 1988, I knew I would give birth to a star,” she said.The young Maseko’s imagination was fired by the science fiction series Star Trek and films such as Armageddon and Apollo 13. “I thought, that looks fun. No matter what life throws at you, you can use it and come out on top. If you get lemons, you must make lemon juice… My life has taken a total turn and this is my big break. People will be telling their children and grandchildren that I was the first black South African youth in space.”Plans for the futureDuring the long wait before his trip, Maseko hopes to complete his civil engineering qualification. One day when he had money, he said, he wanted to pay for the education of a child from his area. This humble boy has been offered a gigantic launch pad and the ability to defy the laws of physical and political gravity. His long-term plans are to study aeronautical engineering and qualify as a space mission specialist with the ultimate dream of planting the South African flag on the moon.“South Africa has come a long way. We have reached a stage where we are equal and we are one. This year is the 20th anniversary of democracy and what better way to celebrate than sending the first black South African into space?”The idea of making history when South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy, appeals to him. “The vision of all youths here in Mabopane is to drive a taxi, do drugs or work on houses. It’s good to be a solution to your township rather than a problem. I want to break that system and this is a nice way to go down in history. I believe that will motivate me. The sky is not the limit.”Derek Hanekom, the minister of science and technology at the time – he became tourism minister in May this year – saw Maseko as a role model for “the future generation of space professionals and enthusiasts”. His experience could not have come at a better time than “when Africa is gearing up its space ambitions” as host to the world’s biggest and most powerful radio astronomy telescope, said Hanekom.The director of that project, Bernie Fanaroff, also hailed Maseko as an ambassador for science. “Anything that raises the profile of science up there must be good because it brings to the attention of young people what they can achieve in science and engineering.”It is a big responsibility, but the last word must go to the spaceman himself: “I have had to learn so much about astronomy and space to teach others. It’s been a dream, a lifetime dream come true, and I don’t want to stop here. When I come back, I want to become an astronaut and I will work hard to get there,” he said.last_img read more

Delaware Enacts New Tax Preparer Rules

first_imgDelaware has new rules for tax preparers that include penalties and legal action. Delaware enacted legislation that:requires paid tax preparers to sign all returns and refund claims;imposes a penalty on preparers who fail to sign returns or refund claims; andpermits courts to enjoin certain preparer conduct.The new rules apply to any person paid to prepare a Delaware tax return or refund claim, including:corporate income tax returns and refund claims; andpersonal income tax returns and refund claims.They also cover any person who employs another person to prepare tax returns or refund claims. The rules do not apply to accountants regulated by the state.How Much Is the Failure to Sign Penalty?Paid tax preparers must pay a penalty of $50 for each return or refund claim they fail to sign. The legislation authorizes a penalty of up to $25,000 each calendar year.What Conduct Can a Court Enjoin?A court can enjoin a tax preparer from:understating a taxpayer’s liability due to an unreasonable tax position;understating a taxpayer’s liability due to reckless or willful conduct;failing to sign, furnish, or keep a copy of a return or refund claim;failing to furnish a tax identification number;failing to correct information or to determine a taxpayer’s eligibility for tax benefits;engaging in any criminal, fraudulent, or deceptive conduct;misrepresenting the preparer’s experience, education, or eligibility to practice;guaranteeing refund payments or the allowance of tax credits; ornegotiating a refund check without the taxpayer’s permission.A court can also enjoin a paid preparer from practicing in Delaware if it finds:the preparer continually or repeatedly engaged in prohibited conduct; andan injunction would not prevent interference with the administration of Delaware tax laws.Evidence for an injunction includes any injunction in the last five years against preparing a tax return or refund claim for:the U.S.;another state;the District of Columbia;Puerto Rico;the U.S. Virgin Islands; orany U.S. territory or possession.Ch. 386 (H.B. 426), Laws 2018, effective August 28, 2018Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

Sir Geoff Hurst slams Cahill and Vardy for quitting England

first_imgEngland former player and World Cup winner, Sir Geoff Hurst has criticised Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill for their decisions to retire from international duty.Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill were both in the England squad as they reached the semi-finals at the World Cup this summer.The duo then decided to make themselves unavailable for England in order to concentrate on club football.Even though they could still feature for England in the future, Hurst was angered by their decision. Team Talk reports.“While there’s plenty to be positive about our national side right now, I must admit I was disappointed to see Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill choose to retire from international duty,” Hurst said.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“I’m a firm believer that players should play for their country as long as they possibly can.“My team-mates and I would have given our last breath to continue playing for England.“I also don’t like when players say they’ll make themselves available again if there are injuries or suspensions.“In my view, if I was England manager, then I wouldn’t pick those players ever again.”last_img read more

Foden I dont plan on following Sancho Diaz footsteps

first_imgTeenage star Phil Foden insists he sees himself continuing at Manchester City, despite fellow young prospects Jadon Sancho and Brahim Diaz both leavingFoden broke into the first-team at City last season in a Champions League match against Feyenoord at just 17 years old and he’s since gone on to make a further 24 appearances.Manager Pep Guardiola is a big admirer of Foden’s and has already ruled out a loan move for the 18-year-old, despite having never handed him a Premier League start.Nevertheless, Foden has no plans on emulating new Real Madrid signing Diaz and Borussia Dortmund’s Sancho in leaving City for better first-team opportunities.“It shows the strength of the squad we have here, how good the players are – it is difficult to get in, but we all try our best,” said Foden, according to FourFourTwo.“It’s up to them [Diaz and Sancho], really – they have gone their separate ways, and everyone has their own plan in what they want to do, so fair play to them.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“Everyone is different, and I see myself playing here. It’s up to them, really.“We’ve got the best set of players and the best staff, so I’m in the right position. I’m learning off them every day, so I couldn’t be in a better place.“I’m sad to see him [Diaz] go, but he wants opportunities, so good luck to him. He will do well, I know it.“I grew up with him and know his qualities, so I know he’ll do well. Maybe one day I’ll face him in the Champions League.”Foden has made 15 appearances for City this season across all competitions with five of them being starts.last_img read more

NASA moon orbiter spots Change 4 lander in a crater

first_img Chang’e 4 explores the moon Chang’e 4 is pointed to by small white arrows near the lower right-hand side of this LRO image. NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University You’ll need to squint to spot it, but NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter managed to capture a look at the Chinese National Space Agency’s (CNSA) Chang’e 4 lander hanging out on the far side of the moon. Chang’e 4 touched down on Jan. 3 in the Von Kármán crater. LRO took the image on Jan. 30. “As LRO approached the crater from the east, it rolled 70° to the west to snap this spectacular view looking across the floor towards the west wall,” writes Mark Robinson for Arizona State University’s LRO Camera site.The lander, which is about the size of a car, appears as a tiny bright spot. Chang’e 4 released its Jade Rabbit 2 lunar rover in early January, but the small machine is not visible in the LRO image.lrochangecloseup1Here’s a closer look at the bright spot that is the Chang’e 4 lander.  NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University NASA announced in mid-January it had discussed observing Chang’e 4’s landing plume with CNSA in order to learn more about how dust is kicked up during a spacecraft landing. China’s lander is the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the moon, sometimes called the dark side even though it gets plenty of sunlight. The lander and rover are both powered by solar panels.  NASA Space Chang’e 4 is on a mission to learn more about this mysterious region of the moon. It also hosted a short-lived attempt to sprout plants within a container. China already has its eyes set on another moon mission in 2019, but this time it plans to bring back lunar samples. If successful, those lunar bits will be the first brought back to Earth in decades. Sci-Tech Tags Post a comment Share your voice 0 Super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse dazzles in striking photos 12 Photos Chinese lunar rover makes tracks on the far side of the moon China’s Chang’e 4 sends back first photos of moon’s far side after historic landing NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens.last_img read more

GM wins lawsuit over its massive ignition switch recall

first_img Post a comment Ride in the back seat at your own risk Tags 2:09 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt LT More From Roadshow General Motors Car Industry 2019 Chevy Malibu review: Swing and a miss 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Recalls Chevrolet Pontiac Share your voice Enlarge ImageOwners of vehicles affected by GM’s massive ignition switch recall wanted the company to pay for their vehicles’ lost value, but a federal judge says no. Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive General Motors’ ignition switch recall was one of the biggest and deadliest to hit the market in decades. The fix for it has been out for a long time now, but the owners of the affected vehicles aren’t giving up on getting the General to pay for its mistake.A large part of that effort has been directed at suing GM for the difference between what customers paid for their recalled vehicles and what the vehicles are worth now. Unfortunately for the consumers, a federal judge in a Manhattan court on Tuesday ruled that the vehicle owners couldn’t seek damages from GM for lost value, Reuters reports.US District Judge Jesse Furman specifically cited the plaintiffs’ lack of fair market value information for their vehicles as a reason for tossing out their claims. It would make it nigh-on impossible for a jury to accurately assess the amount of damages for which GM would be liable.The judge’s decision affects owners in three states — California, Missouri and Texas. He also indefinitely tabled a possible trial that had been set for January 2020 to address owners’ claims.”GM is pleased with the Court’s ruling,” said a GM representative, in a statement. “The Court granted GM’s summary judgment motion rejecting plaintiffs’ claims for alleged economic loss, which was Plaintiffs’ largest remaining claim. As the Court noted, ‘the ruling changes the landscape [of the litigation] in dramatic ways.'”GM’s behavior during the recall process for the millions of affected vehicles was enough to get the Department of Justice to file a criminal case against the company, which has now been dismissed after the terms of a three-year deferred prosecution agreement were met. Now playing: Watch this: 4 Photos 0last_img read more

No 12 Cards Play Host to Indiana UMass in SeasonOpening Weekend

first_imgStory Links The Weekend AheadAugust 30 | Indiana, 3 p.m., Trager StadiumLive scoring: Gocards.comTelevision: ACC Network Extra | Announcers: Jody Demling (play-by-play); Suzanne Bush (analysis)Series Record: UL leads 14-7; the Cards have won the last six matchups.Last meeting: Aug. 24, 2018 | UL won 2-1• Erica Cooper delivered her first career goal as time expired to lift the eighth-ranked University of Louisville field hockey team to a 2-1 win over Indiana in both teams’ season opener in Bloomington.Scouting Indiana: The Hoosiers open play under new head coach Kayla Bayshore. In 2018, IU posted a 4-13 overall record and a 1-7 mark in Big Ten play. Sarah Ananias, Hailley Couch and Ciara Girouard were named to the 2019 Big Ten Watch List.Notes: This marks the third straight year the Cardinals and the Hoosiers have faced each other in their season openers – Louisville has won the last two meetings.•IU’s roster features two Louisville natives: Victoria Hill and Mary Kate Kesler, both of whom attended Sacred Heart Academy with UofL freshman Mattie Tabor HOME SWEET HOMELouisville owned a 5-3 record at Trager Stadium in 2018, bringing its home record to 46-12 since the 2013 season.• Louisville compiled a 9-3 record at Trager Stadium in 2017.• The Cards were 8-1 at Trager in 2014. On Oct. 17, 2014, Louisville fell 2-1 in overtime to No. 17 Boston College, snapping a 16 -game home victory streak dating back to the 2012 season.• Prior to the Boston College loss in 2014, the Cards’ last home loss came on Nov. 2, 2012 when they fell 2-1 in overtime to then-No. 5 Connecticut in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship.• In 2013, UofL posted a perfect 10-0 record at Trager Stadium, going undefeated at home for the first time in school history.• The 6-2 loss to No. 4 Michigan snapped a 28-game win streak against non-conference opponents at Trager Stadium dating back to 2012. Prior to the Oct. 22 setback, the Cardinals had not lost to a non-conference opponent at home since Aug. 24, 2012 when they fell to Northeastern in their season opener. – Louisville also lost a 2-1 decision to UConn on Oct. 6, 2012 when both teams were members of the BIG EAST Conference. Game Notes vs. IU and UMass Sept. 1 | UMass, 12 p.m., Trager StadiumLive scoring: Gocards.comTelevision: ACC Network Extra | Announcers: Jody Demling (play-by-play); Suzanne Bush (analysis)Series Record: UL leads 2-0Last Meeting: Oct. 4, 2015, UL won 1-0 at Trager Stadium• Nicole Woods’ goal with 6:10 remaining in regulation lifted ninth-ranked UofL to a 1-0 win over the Minutewomen.Scouting UMass: After a 10-10 campaign and a 6-2 record in conference play in 2018, the Minutewomen were picked to finish third in the Atlantic 10 Conference preseason coaches’ poll.• Sophie de Jonge, Lucy Cooper and Georgie McTear were named to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference team.Notes: Prior to becoming Louisville’s head coach in 2011, Justine Sowry spent four seasons at the helm for the Minutewomen. Since that time, she owns a 1-0 edge against UMass after a 2015 matchup.• UMass head coach Barb Weinberg (Iowa, 2005) is from Louisville, Ky., and played at Male High School where she was coached by former UofL player Amy Shumate. TOUGH SLATE• Eleven of the Cardinals’ 18 opponents are ranked among the top 25 in the NFHCA preseason poll. In addition to its six ACC opponents, UofL will also take on No. 8 Iowa, No. 9 Penn State, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 21 Stanford and No. 25 William & Mary. ACC Network Extra vs Indiana UP NEXTThe Cardinals will wrap up their season-opening three-game home stand on Wednesday when they take on Kent State at 3:30 p.m. Following that, Louisville will not return to Trager Stadium until October 4, after a stretch of six road game.  Print Friendly Version CARDINAL QUICK HITS• Junior midfielder Mercedes Pastor was named to the Preseason All-ACC Field Hockey Team* The Cardinals were picked to finish four in the regular season standings in a vote of the league’s seven head coaches.• UofL finished the 2018 season with a 13-6 overall record and ranked No. 14 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) poll after earning the No. 3 seed in the 2018 ACC Championship.• Louisville returns 18 letterwinners from that team including Pastor and fellow All-West Region selections Carter Ayars, Alli Bitting and Bethany Russ.• Russ led the 2018 team with 11 goals and 24 points. Sophomore Erica Cooper stood second on the team with nine goals and 18 points.• The Cards welcome six newcomers to the 2019 roster.• Justine Sowry enters her ninth season During that time, she has guided the Cardinals to 107 wins, four NCAA tournament appearances along with a conference title and a runner-up finish in the ACC Championship. In the eight seasons that Sowry has been at the helm, UofL has produced 12 NFHCA All-America selections and 32 All-Region team members. Live Scoring ACC STRONG• All seven ACC teams appear in the top 18 with 2018 national champion North Carolina holding down the top spot. Duke placed third in the preseason rankings and Wake Forest checks in at No. 10 to give the ACC three teams among the top 10. Virginia (No. 11), Louisville (No. 12) and Boston College (No. 13) and Syracuse (No. 18) round out the ranked ACC squadsPASTOR EARN ACC PRESEASON HONORSMercedes Pastor was named to the Preseason All-ACC Field Hockey Team and the Cardinals were picked to finish four in the regular season standings in a vote of the league’s seven head coaches.• Pastor (Buenos Aires, Argentina) earned 2018 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) all-America honors after starting every in her first season at Louisville. The NFHCA all-West Region and all-ACC first team selection tallied five goals, including the game-winner in double overtime at No. 15 Syracuse and the deciding goal in overtime against California. Pastor also dished out three assists to bring her point total to 13 in 2018.2019 ACC Field Hockey Predicted Order of Finish1. North Carolina (6) – 48      2. Duke (1) – 433. Virginia – 294. Louisville – 255. Syracuse – 186. Boston College – 177. Wake Forest – 16(First-place votes) CARDS No. 12 in NFHCA PRESEASON RANKINGSUofL appears at No. 12 in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association preseason poll released on August 27.Louisville in the NFHCA Rankings• This marks the 65th straight week Louisville has appeared among the top 20 in the nation dating back to the 2013 season. The Cardinals finished the 2018 campaign at No. 14 after spending seven weeks in the top 10, reaching as high as No. 8.• Louisville appeared in the top 10 seven times in 2018 after debuting at No. 8 in the preseason poll, the highest preseason ranking in program history.• In 2017 Louisville appeared in the top 10 six times, reaching as high as No. 7 on Oct. 17, 2017.• On Oct. 7, 2014, Louisville appeared at No. 5 in the coaches’ poll marking the second top-five appearance in program history with Louisville achieving a program-best No. 4 ranking in the 2002 season. ACC Network Extra vs UMass INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCEThe Cardinals’ roster is bolstered by several players who have gained valuable experience within their countries’ national programs. The following is a list of players and their national squads.Carter Ayars – U.S. U21 Team (2018- current)Mackenzie Karl – U.S. U17 Team (2015-16)Margot Lawn – U.S. U19 Team (2019); U17 Team (2017-19)Mercedes Pastor – Argentina U21 Team (2015-17); U18 Team (2013-14)Katie Schneider – U.S. U19 Team (2019)Meghan Schneider – U.S. U21 Team (2018);  U19 Team (2017-18), U21 Team (2019) RUSS RETURNS TO FORMAfter being sidelined by injury in 2017, Bethany Russ rebounded nicely last season, leading the team with a career-high 11 goals and 24 points. Six of her 11 goals stood as gamewinners. Russ went on to earn all-ACC and NFHCA All-Region honors. The 12th-ranked University of Louisville field hockey team will open the 2019 season on August 30 when Indiana visits Trager Stadium for the annual Battle of the Border. The Cards will continue their opening weekend on Sunday when they take on UMass at 12 p.m. Admission is free.last_img read more

Donald Trumps Blocking of Critics on Twitter Again Ruled Unconstitutional

first_img Popular on Variety Hackers Take Over Account of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Tweet Racial Slurs & Bomb Threat Donald Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution when he blocks specific users on Twitter, a federal appeals court ruled, upholding a lower court’s decision.The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday ruled that the First Amendment does not allow public officials who use social media in an official capacity to “exclude persons from an otherwise open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.”President Trump — who famously uses Twitter as his social-media platform of choice — has blocked several celebs on the service, including novelist Stephen King, Rosie O’Donnell and Chrissy Teigen, as well as other individuals whose opinions he evidently doesn’t like.“In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less,” the 2nd Circuit said in its ruling. Related Sacha B. Cohen’s Disgust at President Trump Fueled ‘Who is America’ The decision comes a little more than a year after a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Trump’s actions blocking individual accounts on Twitter are unconstitutional, rejecting the argument from Trump’s lawyers that the president’s own First Amendment rights would be abridged if he was disallowed from blocking users. The Department of Justice had appealed the ruling. The lawsuit against Trump was filed in 2017 by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute and seven individuals who said Trump blocked them on Twitter.Meanwhile, Trump in recent weeks has railed against supposed political bias among tech companies, including Twitter. Twitter “should be sued because what’s happening with the bias,” Trump complained in an interview with Fox Business Network. Without providing any evidence, Trump has alleged Twitter makes it hard for people to follow him on the social network, where he currently has 61.8 million followers.Separately, Twitter last month announced a new policy under which it will display a warning in front of tweets from political figures that violate its rules but which it keeps on the service under a “public interest” standard. The new notice will require users to click through to view the posts, and Twitter will limit the distribution of such tweets. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

High gas prices may be explained by selforganized cartel behavior

first_img(Left) When buyers update their strategy at a fast rate relative to sellers, a product’s value (w) increases toward 1.0, resulting in low prices and a buyer’s market. (Right) When sellers update their strategy faster than a critical value, a product’s value fluctuates around values less than 1.0, resulting in high, fluctuating prices that benefit sellers. This cartel-like behavior emerges spontaneously based on the relative speeds with which buyers and sellers update their strategies. Image credit: Peixoto and Bornholdt. ©2012 American Physical Society This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. The researchers, physicists Tiago P. Peixoto and Stefan Bornholdt of the University of Bremen in Bremen, Germany, have published their study, called “No Need for Conspiracy: Self-Organized Cartel Formation in a Modified Trust Game,” in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.“Our work shows that, under very reasonable and simple assumptions of the market dynamics, cartel-like behavior can emerge, without an explicit agreement between sellers,” Bornholdt told Phys.org. “This is, to our knowledge, completely new and we feel that it comes somewhat unexpected, for example in the context of German gasoline price discussions in the media. For example, a few months ago, the German governmental cartel agency searched the offices of large gasoline companies in search of evidence of cartel behavior. We asked ourselves if a cartel-like dynamics could emerge by itself, without leaving traces of evidence. As gas prices in Germany were – and still are – strongly fluctuating in time and space, this made us curious whether this could be a sign for an interesting collective dynamics, of gas sellers, interacting with each other in a funny way.”The spontaneous emergence of cartel-like behavior appears in a model that the researchers developed, which is based on a real-life market scenario. The model involves one million agents, each of whom has the role of both buyer and seller of a necessary commodity, such as groceries or (for drivers) gasoline. As buyers, the agents must buy the product in question, but they can choose which seller they buy from. As sellers, the agents can set their price, knowing that too low of a price will not make them much profit, and too high of a price will drive buyers away to another seller.As the game evolves, buyers and sellers continuously update their strategies: buyers change where they shop by comparing prices, and sellers raise or lower their prices by replicating the prices of other sellers who have higher profits. More information: Tiago P. Peixoto and Stefan Bornholdt. “No Need for Conspiracy: Self-Organized Cartel Formation in a Modified Trust Game.” Physical Review Letters 108, 218702 (2012). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.218702 Established eBay sellers get higher prices for good reputations Journal information: Physical Review Letters Explore further (Phys.org) — Rapid increases and unpredictable fluctuations in gas prices annoy many drivers, especially since it may seem that oil companies are secretly conspiring to keep prices high by forming a cartel in an effort to increase their profits. But a new study shows that cartel-like price dynamics of certain commodities, such as gasoline, can emerge spontaneously in a strategic model without any collusion among the sellers. The finding doesn’t necessarily mean that companies don’t intentionally form cartels, but the possibility of self-organized cartel formation could have implications for market regulations. Citation: High gas prices may be explained by self-organized cartel behavior (2012, June 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-high-gas-prices-self-organized-cartel.html The key variable in the game is who can update their strategy the fastest. If buyers can update their strategy at a fast rate relative to sellers, the model shows that the pricing favors the buyers. Since the sellers offering the lowest prices will profit most, other sellers will replicate these low prices until all sellers have the same low price.But if sellers can update their strategy at a fast rate above a critical value compared to buyers, then the entire population of sellers benefits at the expense of all the buyers. This is because the sellers are quick enough to copy the high prices of more profitable sellers before the buyers have a chance to react. Soon, there are no low-priced options available, marking the emergence of a cartel-like phase. “Our work shows that the deciding factor for whether a cartel can self-organize is the relative speed of buyers in comparison to sellers in updating their strategy,” Bornholdt said. “For consumers, price comparison websites and smartphone apps can be a potential means to react more quickly to price changes. If a global and real-time ranking of sellers is available, this could significantly thwart a cartel-like scenario. Note that the mere existence of such catalogs is not enough, it has to be used by a significant portion of the buyers; otherwise it has no effect, since a small number of buyers will not be able to benefit from it in the long run.”Unlike the first scenario where prices settle at a stable low point, in the cartel-like scenario the model shows that the high prices fluctuate tremendously due to the ongoing competition among sellers, sometimes dipping down to reasonable prices. The price fluctuations are highest at relative strategy update rates close to the critical value, demonstrating typical critical behavior. When the sellers’ strategy update rate far exceeds the critical value, the price fluctuations diminish somewhat, but remain significant.The model also shows another interesting feature of these price fluctuations: the average price often rises very quickly and decreases more slowly. This type of oscillation, called an Edgeworth price cycle, is often observed in real life and can be predicted by simple models when just two sellers are involved. In contrast, the model used here incorporates numerous sellers as well as the impact of buyer behavior, providing a more realistic system. Nevertheless, the researchers explain that using the model to predict future prices would be difficult, since the price cycle dynamics are aperiodic and not easily predictable.However, the results could still be useful for market regulation, where regulators often discuss whether price fluctuations result from collusion among companies in an attempt to increase profit. If sellers are just quick to individually update their pricing strategies, then high gas prices may simply be a natural result of the market. The researchers plan to improve the model in the future.“The model can be made more realistic in a number of ways, in particular by implementing spatial constraints (a cheaper gas station which is 100 km away is not a viable option),” Bornholdt said. “Spatial constraints can sometimes significantly alter the dynamics in this type of system.”last_img read more