Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Deflated Ball: Blake gets 29 in Clips’ 108-92 rout of Lakers Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Fatigue may have been a factor. Chicago has played more games than any other team since the start of the 2015 season. Counting the playoffs, that total is 522.Reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant acknowledged he was feeling it after going 4 for 20 in the series.“It caught up to me, at least,” he said. “I feel pretty drained, but it’s always a good thing when you’re the teams that are playing later in the year.”He wasn’t the only Cubs slugger to struggle.Rizzo had one hit in 17 at-bats in the NLCS. Javier Baez went hitless in his first 20 playoff at-bats before knocking two home runs in Game 4 to help the Cubs avoid the sweep. But in Game 5, they were overwhelmed right from the start.Enrique Hernandez hit three homers, and the Dodgers wasted no time jumping on Quintana. Acquired from the White Sox in a midseason trade, he gave up six runs in two-plus innings.The way the Cubs were hitting in these playoffs, it was clear they weren’t coming back. Particularly, the way Kershaw was pitching.The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner held them to a run and three hits in six innings.He didn’t give up a hit until Bryant homered in the fourth. But all that did was make it 9-1.“Sometimes you’re not always gonna be in the World Series,” Jon Lester said. “The Dodgers are a really good team. They’re playing really good baseball right now. This series showed it.” After twice fending off elimination during their October title defense, the Cubs had nothing left for Game 5 of their NL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Jose Quintana got knocked out early, the offense was shut down by Clayton Kershaw and the Cubs fell 11-1 on Thursday night after getting outplayed throughout the series.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe Cubs slumped early in the season, a year after rallying to beat Cleveland for their first World Series title since 1908. But in the second half, they looked more like their old selves, pushing for a second straight NL Central title and then advancing to the NLCS for the third straight year after winning a wild Game 5 at Washington in the NLDS.They just couldn’t hang with the 104-win Dodgers. “I think if you look at this series, they did exactly what they needed to do to beat (us),” star slugger Anthony Rizzo said. “They executed their plan. They pitched great and the bullpen was lights out. That makes for a tough time scoring runs.”Chicago beat Los Angeles in last year’s NLCS, but this time, the Cubs were left to watch as the Dodgers celebrated at Wrigley Field. It’s the second time in three years they’ve been through this — the Mets finished a four-game sweep at Wrigley in the 2015 NLCS.They didn’t have a choice this time, not with how they hit and pitched in the series.“This year really illustrates the importance of getting off to a good start,” manager Joe Maddon said. “We didn’t, and then we had to fight back, which we did. I said you can, but you’re understanding when you find out you do that, it really expends a lot of energy when you get back into it, which we did.”The Cubs batted just .156, drew five walks compared to 28 for Los Angeles and scored eight runs in the series — all on home runs. They didn’t sustain rallies or wear down pitchers. Trailing 3-0, they won Game 4 for a fifth straight victory when facing elimination — including three in last year’s World Series. But one club can only overcome so much.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Chicago Cubs’ Albert Almora Jr. reacts during the ninth inning of Game 5 of baseball’s National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Chicago. The Dodgers won 11-1 to win the series and advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs went 108 years between championships. Going home without a trophy isn’t really new.Still, it was jarring to see the reigning World Series champions go down without much of a fight.ADVERTISEMENT Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ MOST READ It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES
Mark Reynoso went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored as Mt. SAC defeated East L.A 8-3 in a nonconference game. Jake Seifman had two RBI with a run scored for the Mounties (11-9). Mt. SAC will play host to Long Beach at noon Saturday. SAN BERNARDINO VALLEY BASEBALL Thomas Amidon pitched a four-hitter as San Bernardino Valley College opened Foothill Conference play with a win over visiting Mt.San Jacinto 5-2. Amidon struck out eight and allowed only one walk. The only Mt. San Jacinto hitter to do any damage was Herbert Hudson, who clubbed a pair of solo homers to account for the Eagles’ offense. Robert Nugent and James Plascencia each had three hits and a run scored for SBVC. Nicholas Drake took the loss for Eagles, getting tagged for five hits and four runs in just two innings of work. The two teams meet again today in a doubleheader at Mt. San Jacinto. CAL POLY POMONA TENNIS The Broncos won two of the three doubles contests to take an early lead, but Westmont won five of six singles matches to take a 6-3 victory at the Kellogg Tennis Complex. Cal Poly Pomona (1-1) started off well. Joshua Lau and Mike Palacio teamed up for an 8-1 win at No. 1 doubles and Joe Madoo and Eric Carlstrom were victorious, 8-5, at No. 2 doubles. The Broncos, though, picked up its only singles point at No. 6 singles where Justin Gong prevailed, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. Cal Poly Pomona plays at UCSan Diego on Sunday. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Chaffey College baseball team opened the Foothill Conference with a 14-3 victory over host Barstow on Thursday. Ryan Delgado hit a grand slam in the fourth to cap a nine-run fourth inning. Joshua Monzano added a a solo shot in the sixth while James Koerner went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Terry Mermer would produve Cal Poly Pomona’s only runs on his home run in the bottom of the fourth as the Broncos (7-8, 1-1) fell to host Cal State L.A., 5-2. Both teams are back in action today as the series continues at Cal State L.A. at 2 p.m. CITRUS BASEBALL The Owls picked up their second conference win of the season as they defeated L.A. Pierce, allowing only one earned run. Citrus plays at L.A. Valley at 1 p.m. Saturday. 6-5 in a Western State Conference game. Citrus (5-13, 2-2) was led by Jeff Van Gundy’s six strong innings MT. SAC BASEBALL Alex Caldera (4-0) remained undefeated as he struck out eight with three hits allowed. Chaffey (9-8, 1-0) continues Foothill Conference hosts Barstow for a doubleheader on Saturday. CAL POLY POMONA BASEBALL
DONEGAL Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh, has described this morning’s comprehensive European ban on fish discards as an important step forward for the fishing industry.“I am very pleased with this morning’s announcement that the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney TD, has brokered a European agreement for a phased introduction of a ban on fish discards. This will result in the phasing out of the practice of discarding approximately 1.3 million tonnes of fish each year in the North East Atlantic, starting from January 2014,” said the TD.“Significantly, this deal includes agreement that the EU fisheries fund will be available to support fishermen in a move towards using smarter and more selective fishing gear to prevent unwanted catches, particularly of juvenile fish. “The debate around discards is in itself an acknowledgement of the complexities of the mixed fishery of the northwest coast. This very welcome progress on discards should be accompanied by progress on addressing quota regime difficulties that affect the white fish sector.“This decision will also allow the Irish Presidency, on behalf of the European Council, to engage directly with the European Parliament and Commission with a view to reaching political agreement on the reformed Common Fisheries Policy during the Irish Presidency. I would like to commend Minister Coveney for his hard work in bringing this deal to fruition.” BAN ON FISH DISCARDS IS STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION – McHUGH was last modified: February 27th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BAN ON FISH DISCARDS IS STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION – McHUGH
Donegal captain Michael Murphy has admitted all the players and management are giving everything they can to ensure they can overcome Dublin this Sunday and reach another All-Ireland final.Murphy admits no stone is being left unturned in their quest to bring the All-Ireland title they relinquished last year back to the hills. To watch the video simply click play on the video above.DDTV: COUNTDOWN TO CROKER – MURPHY “EVERYBODY’S PUTTING THE SHOULDER TO THE WHEEL” was last modified: August 24th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ddtv newsdonegalMichael MurphySport
AfriDocs is a multi-platform streaming service featuring some of the best documentaries about Africa available to watch for free and in an instant, right now. Here is a guide to five of the hundreds of titles available online.Launched in 2017, the AfriDocs online streaming service is devoted to delivering quality documentaries with a primary focus on Africa and African stories. (Image: AfriDocs website)CD AndersonAfriDocs brings the best of African and international documentaries to online and television audiences across sub-Saharan Africa and the world.Audiences around the continent can view specially selected titles on the BET Africa channel (DSTV 129) every Sunday night at 10pm.Alternatively, the channel’s wide selection of titles can be viewed online, through the AfriDocs streaming website or YouTube channel, available any time on computer and mobile devices, all for free.AfriDocs – a joint initiative between NGOs the Bertha Foundation and the STEPS community communication project – has hosted documentary film festivals in South Africa and around the continent since 2007. Its new streaming service was launched at the beginning of 2017 and is growing in popularity among online viewers, as AfriDocs continues to expand its catalogue.While the channel does not seek to challenge existing streaming services that offer international content, AfriDocs believes it can capture a viable niche market of African viewers looking for quality African storytelling using the documentary format (both short and long form).The channel is also creating new avenues for established and up-and-coming filmmakers looking to find new global audiences.To get an idea of what AfriDocs offers viewers, here are just five of the hundreds of titles available to stream.Shake The Dust Produced by US rapper Nasir ‘Nas’ Jones and journalist-filmmaker Adam Sjöberg, Shake the Dust explores the history and influence of breakdancing, particularly among the youth in the ghettos of the world – the favelas of Brazil, townships across South Africa and the streets of Brooklyn, New York. The film showcases some of the pioneers in the art form, and features some never-before-seen footage of the most jaw-dropping breakdancing moves ever committed to film. The overall message is the uplifting power of music and movement across borders, cultures and generations.Watch the full documentary belowMama Africa A 2011 Berlin International Film Festival winner, Mama Africa is filmmaker Mika Kaurismäki’s lovingly documented portrait of South African singer and political activist Miriam Makeba. Featuring interviews with Makeba (who died in 2008) and her musical and political contemporaries, as well as a host of previously unreleased performance footage, the film explores Makeba’s influence in popularising African music around the world. It also looks at her dedication to fighting racism and injustice that earned her the title of “mother of the continent”.Watch the full documentary belowCitizenFourPart of AfriDocs’ small but growing selection of international documentaries, CitizenFour is the critically acclaimed report on the saga surrounding the exposure of privace violations by the American government, by American National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden. Balanced and informative, the film’s direct access to Snowden and the journalists who helped him bring the information to light creates a comprehensive and captivating account behind the headlines.Watch the full documentary belowMiners Shot DownSouth Africa’s most talked-about documentary, the controversial Miners Shot Down explores the events leading up to and the aftermath of the Marikana miners’ strike and police shooting that ended in the death of 34 miners. A multi-award winner – including the 2015 International Emmy for Best Documentary – the film is a cutting dissection of post-apartheid South Africa’s socio-political landscape.Watch the full documentary belowSisters-In-LawThe Cannes award-winning – it won the 2010 Prix Art et Essai for Best Documentary – Cameroonian feature documentary, Sisters-In-Law, follows two determined female lawyers in a small village courthouse as they fight entrenched social patriarchy and crimes against women and children. Through a series of vignettes, highlighting a number of their cases, the film inspires and uplifts, offering a strong positive view of African women as courageous game-changers.Watch the full documentary belowSource: AfriDocsWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… In the near future, consumers might not choose a car based on its model or brand, but on the software and services connected to it, according to a new report from Lux Research.The report comes one week after Uber debuted its self-driving fleet in San Francisco, providing customers that can’t afford Tesla’s with their first taste of autonomous driving.See Also: Uber told to pull over self-driving fleet by California’s DMV“The company is not offering ‘self-driving Fords’ or ‘self-driving Volvos’, even though that is, technically, what the vehicles are,” said Mark Bünger, VP of Research at Lux.“The fact that ‘Uber’ is now the brand being pushed and that consumers are aware of—not the vehicle make—portends exactly the kind of industry disruption that carmakers have been fearing since Google first announced their autonomous vehicle program.”That fear is the automaker losing brand prominence to the software or service, as has become the case in the PC and mobile world. Most customers want a Windows PC or an Android smartphone; the manufacturer is secondary to the software.Brands will still rule, just not necessarily carmakersBrand names can be incredibly powerful at locking down a market. Most people ‘Google’ rather than search and more people are booking an ‘Uber’ instead of a taxi.Automakers are trying to avoid this fate by working on their own self-driving systems, though some are having trouble making the same forward progress in visual recognition, artificial intelligence and big data handling that comes naturally to Google, Tesla, and Uber.That has forced automakers to make big moves, like General Motors acquisition of Cruise Automation for $600 million, Ford’s huge investment into self-driving research and development, and BMW’s collaboration with Intel and Mobileye.Automakers are likely to launch their own self-driving shuttle and taxi services in the near future, supplying cities with thousands of their own cars. As I’ve said in a previous article, automakers may soon shut Uber and Lyft out, forcing the ride-hailing services to enter into lacklustre partnerships or build their own vehicles. David Curry Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… Tags:#autonomous cars#Ford#Internet of Things#IoT#ride-hailing#Self-Driving#Uber 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… Related Posts
Four militants were killed in the Pir Panchal Valley in Rajouri district on Wednesday after they fired at the security forces.“Four militants were killed in a fierce gunfight in the Sunderbani area of Rajouri. This group recently infiltrated from the Line of Control,” Director-General of Police S.P. Vaid said.A police official said the operation was launched on a tip-off. The militants hiding in the bushes fired upon the search party. They then hid at Ravarian Talla village, 1 km from the Sunderbani township. Senior Superintendent of Police, Rajouri, Yougal Manhas said the forces had recovered bags containing ammunition and explosives.The presence of militants forced the authorities in Rajouri to close down schools.Firing in PulwamaA brief exchange of fire was reported between militants and security forces in the Littar of Pulwama, the police said.Governor N.N. Vohra, who visited Srinagar on Wednesday, had extensive discussions with Dineshwar Sharma, Special Representative of the Union government.
With the task of restoring power supply in the worst-hit parts of Odisha taking longer than anticipated, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the Centre to urgently allocate an additional 1,000 kilolitres (KL) of kerosene oil for the State.“Though restoration works are in progress on war footing, but due to the extensive damage caused to the power infrastructure, supply of electricity will take some more time,” Mr. Patnaik wrote in a letter addressed to Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday. “Absence of electricity has led to a surge in demand for kerosene oil,” he added.Mr. Patnaik sought immediate allotment of the oil so that the same could be distributed from the month of May.“As a special case, this stock may be provided to the wholesalers by oil companies free-of-cost so that we can distribute it to the affected people without any charge,” he suggested.Earlier, emphasising the need to provide adequate supplies of the fuel, Civil Society Responds to Fani (CSRF), an umbrella grouping of NGOs, said given the widespread disruption to power supply, residents were facing acute hardship as kerosene oil had not been supplied as a part of the relief material.“Cyclone affected people have to pay ₹35 per litre of kerosene from fair price shops and much higher in the black market,” said Manas Ranjan Mishra, a member of the CSRF. “Supply of at least one litre of kerosene, free of cost as relief, in addition to PDS quota should be ensured,” he added.The CSRF urged the State government to expedite restoration work so that people could get relief from scorching heat. It also emphasised the need to ensure comprehensive rehabilitation of the affected people so that they could quickly get back on their feet.Meanwhile, Chief Secretary A. P. Padhi joined the National Crisis Committee meeting held under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary P. K. Sinha on Friday. A roadmap has been drawn up to restore electric supply expeditiously.“More gangs have reached Odisha,” officials in the chief secretary’s office said. “Materials have also been moved. Restoration of power has been expedited. As of today around 50% of consumers in Bhubaneswar have got power.” Similarly, there has been substantial improvement in telecommunications connectivity. The Base Transmission Station radiation has increased to 42% in Khurdha, 14% in Puri and 54% in Cuttack districts. It is 39% in Bhubaneswar city and 54% in Cuttack city.
After 32 years as a program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF), George Hazelrigg knows the rules governing peer review, especially the one that says researchers can’t be both an applicant and a reviewer in the same funding competition. Last year, however, he got permission to throw the rules out the window. His experiment, aimed at easing the strain on NSF staff and reviewers produced by a burgeoning number of proposals and declining success rates, not only allowed applicants to serve as reviewers, but it also required them to assess seven competing proposals in exchange for having their own application reviewed.Some scientists might be horrified by such a “pay to play” system. But researchers in the engineering systems community responded enthusiastically, submitting 60% more proposals than usual by the 1 October deadline. A preliminary NSF evaluation concluded that the process, which used mail reviews rather than the in-person panels that are the norm at NSF, not only saved time and money but may also have improved the quality of the proposals and the reviews.NSF is now considering whether to expand use of the offbeat approach, which is based in part on NSF-funded research into better voting and decision-making systems. In the meantime, some astronomers have already jumped on the bandwagon: Faced with a similar reviewing crunch, in January the Gemini Observatory will begin using a similar system to allocate observing time on its Hawaii telescope. “Finding good reviewers willing to spend the time is getting harder and harder,” says Rachel Mason, a Gemini astronomer in Hawaii who is coordinating the experiment, called Fast-Turnaround. “People also thought it would be kinda fun to have the chance to read their competitors’ proposals.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The core problem is familiar to every science administrator. A system that relies upon the willingness of the scientific community to volunteer its time is being stretched to its limits as the number of applications goes up and the chances of success go down. NSF received 49,000 proposals last year, up 53% from 2001. Its budget didn’t keep up, meaning that success rates fell from 31% to 22% over the same period. Those trends have created two, related problems: The cost of peer review, in time and money, is rising at the same time more scientists are complaining about having to spend valuable time reviewing good ideas that have little chance of being funded.Rather than wring his hands, however, Hazelrigg went looking for an alternative that avoided one easy answer, namely, limiting the number of submissions. “I didn’t want to put restrictions on the principal investigators,” he says.Instead, Hazelrigg found inspiration in a 2009 paper in Astronomy & Geophysics, titled “Telescope time without tears: a distributed approach to peer review.” The paper was prompted, says co-author Michael Merrifield, an astronomer at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, by a “bulging file of 113 applications” on his desk for observing time on instruments operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO)—far more than he had the time or inclination to evaluate. The review system, he says, was “groaning at the seams.”So Merrifield teamed up with mathematician Donald Saari of the University of California, Irvine, who has written extensively about voting systems, to suggest what Merrifield acknowledges is a “radical alternative.” The idea, rooted in mathematical game theory, is to alter the rules in ways that bring the competition closer to achieving its goals.In NSF’s case, that meant distributing the evaluation workload more equitably and providing reviewers with a positive incentive to do a good job. The agency calls its approach mechanism design, and it begins by having grant applicants agree to review seven proposals submitted by their competitors. In addition to grading each one, using NSF’s five-point system from excellent to poor, they also ranked their set of proposals from best to worst. Hazelrigg says he chose seven “to discourage scientists from being frivolous” in submitting half-baked proposals, because each submission meant a commitment to doing seven reviews. At the same time, he felt that scientists would balk if he set the bar too high.Hazelrigg, who heads NSF’s Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division, says it took more than a year for the agency to approve the pilot. It was announced in May 2013 in a “Dear Colleague” letter to prospective applicants to a program funding research on sensors and sensing systems. Anyone wanting to submit to the October 2013 competition would have to abide by the rules, the letter said, but those who didn’t like the idea could simply wait until the next deadline, in mid-February.The community’s initial reaction was generally positive, Hazelrigg recalls, but he knew the real test would be the tally of submissions. To his surprise and delight, NSF received 131 applications, some 50 more than the norm for a fall deadline.The decision to participate in the experiment was a no-brainer for Rolf Mueller, a bioengineer at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. “I understood that I was agreeing to do a bunch of reviews, but that didn’t affect my decision,” he says. “And it was interesting to see some of the other proposals.” (NSF ultimately agreed to give him $360,000 over 3 years to apply aspects of a bat’s biosonar system to improve humanmade radar and sonar systems. Click here to see a video of a 3D reconstruction of a cave in Jinan, China, where Mueller is studying bats.)Another applicant, electrical engineer Arash Takshi of the University of South Florida, Tampa, says the ability to see what his competitors were doing “filled a blind spot for me. Now I know that if I don’t get funded, it’s because of the quality of the other proposals, not something I did wrong.” (His proposal, to develop a more sensitive optical sensor using photosynthetic proteins rather than silicon-based elements, was also funded—his first NSF grant.) Takshi regards the estimated 30 hours he spent doing his required seven reviews as fulfilling part of his duties as an academic researcher.NSF officials say they have a hunch the pilot led to “more comprehensive reviews.” Each proposal received seven reviews rather than the normal three or four, Hazelrigg notes. “And each review had, on average, 40% more words. I’m not saying that more is better, but we found the overall quality to be at least comparable” to reviews by panels, which review about 60% of all applications (see graphic, below). (Only one entrant, he notes, was disqualified, for failing to meet the 6-week deadline for submitting the reviews.)One novel aspect of the pilot was its scoring system. Reviewers whose ranking of the seven proposals closely matched what the six other reviewers thought received bonus points that were applied to their own application. The idea was to reward reviewers for taking the job seriously and dissuade them from unfairly denigrating a competitor’s proposal in hopes of giving themselves a leg up. Using such a tactic would presumably prevent them from receiving a bonus because it would cause their ranking to be out of step with their colleagues.Using applicants as reviewers also saved NSF time and money, Hazelrigg says. It takes a program manager 2 to 3 weeks to assemble an on-site review panel, he estimates, a process that starts with identifying some 400 potential reviewers before winnowing the group down to the typical 16- to 20-member panel. The use of mail reviews also meant that NSF didn’t need to provide travel and per diem expenses to bring those reviewers to NSF headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, to vet a stack of proposals. “Our division runs 200 panels a year,” he says, “so that’s a big cost savings.”As with every merit review system, however, the pilot has some potential downsides. One NSF program manager who asked to remain anonymous worries that the bonus system could discourage innovative ideas that some reviewers might regard as poor bets. “It rewards people for playing it safe,” the program manager says, referring to how applicants might be reluctant to submit a disruptive idea that’s likely to get a mixed reaction from reviewers. “But it’s the outliers who are most likely to come up with the breakthrough.” Hazelrigg plays down that possibility, noting that program managers are not bound by the judgments of reviewers and have the flexibility to recommend a proposal for funding even if it doesn’t receive one of the top scores.The skeptical program manager also worries that mail reviews make it impossible to hold a face-to-face discussion about the quality of both the proposed science and its broader impacts, the two criteria upon which every NSF proposal is judged. “We need that dialogue to explore all aspects of a proposal,” the manager says.Mueller and Takshi, however, believe that personal interaction can also have a downside. “Having an argument is a good thing, but sometimes people who are more assertive can carry the day,” Mueller says.NSF officials are still evaluating whether to expand the CMMI pilot, one of seven experiments the agency ran last year that tinkered with the normal merit review process. One option, to allow virtual reviews, turned out to be a real hit: Some 28% of all NSF panels last year met in cyberspace, a far cry from NSF’s goal of 5%. NSF officials suspect a crackdown on travel costs by the White House contributed to its popularity. Individual NSF programs also tested the impact on the number of applications by switching from two competition cycles per year to one or by accepting proposals at any time rather than setting a deadline. Another pilot offered reviewers the convenience of asynchronous discussions in cyberspace via a moderated message board.The community’s reaction to such ideas will play a major role in whether NSF adopts any of the tweaks. One group of astronomers, however, has already embraced a version of the distributed reviewer concept detailed in the 2009 “tears” paper that also inspired Hazelrigg.ESO did not adopt the scheme suggested by the authors, Merrifield and Saari. But after a senior ESO scientist, Markus Kissler-Patig, become director of the Gemini Observatory, an international consortium that operates twin 8-meter telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, he asked his staff to consider the approach. After much discussion, the observatory decided to use applicants as reviewers to allocate 10% of the viewing time on Hawaii’s Gemini North, starting in January.“We could probably find a group of generous reviewers willing to donate their time,” says Gemini’s Mason. “But the problem is only going to get worse as the workload grows. And if it works, we can expand it to Gemini South.” Without such changes, she predicts, “the existing system is simply going to break down.”