Archive for July, 2019

The NRL should consider banning the biggest deal in league history

By admin | 苏州桑拿

Anyone who has watched Jason Taumalolo campaign over the past two seasons know he’s the most outstanding forward in rugby league. A beast of a back-rower, with unmatched impact in his current form, it’s easy to understand why the Cowboys want to retain his services at any cost.
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Already, he’s flirted with the idea of the NFL, although given the conversion rate for league forwards (currently standing at zero) that sounds more like thinking out loud instead of a genuine bargaining chip.

Maybe it had the Cowboys spooked. Certainly, they knew that if their freak of a lock hit the open market, rival NRL clubs would have been emptying the piggy bank, just as they did when Kalyn Ponga decided to take his talents to Newcastle.

The result has been a 10-year deal. Ten years. Jason Taumalolo, now 23, has been nailed down to Townsville until he’s 33. It’s going to be the richest deal in the history of the game purely by its length and exceeds Lance Franklin’s nine-year stay at the AFL’s Sydney Swans.

And it should ring alarm bells at the NRL, who must seriously consider capping the length of deals for the protection of clubs and fans instead of openly fawning at the idea of keeping Taumalolo locked to the code.

So is it time to rejoice for those in the tropics? Perhaps, in the short-term at least. With Johnathan Thurston nearing retirement and Ponga leaving, here’s your superstar to build a team around. Every club needs one.

But make no mistake – this stands as an immense contracting gamble. The inherent risks are plentiful, obvious and to such an extent that there should be a genuine debate about whether the NRL should outlaw signings of such duration.

The details of the deal are sure to emerge over the coming days and the timing is curious, given the collective bargaining agreement has yet to be finalised and teams are waiting for the exact figures of their future salary caps.

It will likely be weighted towards the back of his contract, as was that of Franklin. For the first two years of his $10 million contract, the star Swans forward was paid around $700,000, which increased to $1.2 million, rising again in his seventh and eighth years before dropping slightly in his final season.

That type of structure has dangers of its own and rugby league is littered with back-ended contracts that have blown up in spectacular fashion. Robbie Farah was set to cost the Tigers almost $1 million in the final year of his weighted deal (Farah still gets $750,000 from the Tigers despite playing for Souths), while new coaches can inherit rosters with unworkable caps (think Geoff Toovey at Manly).

As a big man, there’s legitimate questions on how effective Taumalolo will be as he ages and his body changes. Age hasn’t been a barrier to some of the code’s more recent elite back-rowers but Paul Gallen and Corey Parker, smaller bodies with games built on immense workrates, are different footballers than the rampaging figure of Taumalolo.

“There are risks for both parties but the upside outweighs that,” Cowboys coach Paul Green told media at the official announcement. He also said the deal was thought up by Taumalolo’s agent and initially caught them by surprise.

At stages during the next decade, the Cowboys are going to be getting one hell of a bargain, especially once the new TV deal kicks into gear. Taumalolo will be playing for well under his market value and could be earning closer to $2 million a year if he took a shorter deal there or elsewhere.

On the flipside, the Cowboys could find themselves freighting a million dollars a season down the track for a player that may be performing like he’s worth half of that amount, or whose impact has been blunted by a mounting injury toll. By then, Green and perhaps all of the current players are likely to have moved on.

Overseas, in leagues such as the NBA, deals are capped at four years for a new player or five years for an existing player. It means players can take advantage of fat “max” deals but also helps ensure they get paid what the market determines at their prime.

At this stage, the Cowboys, Taumalolo and his management are to be congratulated for a deal that has set a new benchmark for rugby league. Whether that will be something worth celebrating in 2027 remains to be seen.

Arthur Sinodinos likens climate change denial to anti-vaccination movement

By admin | 苏州桑拿

Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Arthur Sinodinos has likened climate change denial to the anti-vaccination movement, saying that science and innovation are required to combat these views.
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“There is a lack of respect for the scientific methods in some quarters. We see the conclusions of some cast aside for selective use of facts,” Senator Sinodinos said in an address to the National Press Club on Wednesday.

“Denying the threat of climate change is a well-worn example. However, rejecting vaccinations – at the risk of children’s lives and health – we have seen this month.”

The comments from the senior Liberal – a key moderate ally of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – could rile up a handful of Coalition backbench figures, who have expressed scepticism about the science of global warming.

The area remains contentious in the Coalition, with a significant hardline group opposing any form of carbon pricing or emissions trading scheme. The government is currently considering how to meet its post-2020 emissions reduction targets, which are 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels.

In December, Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg was forced to rule out an emissions intensity scheme following rapid backbench mobilisation against the idea. These opponents included former prime minister Tony Abbott, who toppled Mr Turnbull as Liberal leader in 2009 following party divisions on climate change policy.

The issue of vaccinations re-emerged early in March after One Nation leader Pauline Hanson raised concerns about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines..

“I advise parents to go out and do their own research with regards to this,” she told the ABC’s Insiders. “I think people have a right to investigate themselves.”

Her comments were heavily criticised by health groups.

“This is why innovation and science are more important than ever. As the portfolio minister, I am responsible for strengthening our commitments in these areas,” Senator Sinodinos said.

Climate change, which scientific consensus has found to be driven by human-generated greenhouse gas emissions, gradually lifts air and ocean temperatures, making weather patterns more unpredictable, raising sea levels and undermining critical environmental processes.

The average global temperature has already risen one degree celsius above pre-industrial levels and 2016 was the hottest year on record, knocking off previous record-holder 2015.

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Yamba: Easy to reach, easy to enjoy

By admin | 苏州桑拿

The growing ribbon of divided super highway along the eastern seaboard of NSW is bringing a lot of holiday destinations much closer.
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Yamba is one of those prime spots, now even more easily accessible.

This not-so-sleepy coastal village always has a buzz about it in the busy summer months.But the qualities that make it such a sweet spot do not disappear with the end of summer holidays.

One of the locals: Near Brooms Head, Yuraygir National Park. Picture: Jim Kellar

For starters, there is plenty of accommodation, from waterfront caravan parks with cabins, to quality apartments with ocean views on the hill above the town, to family-oriented resorts, to home rentals.

When it comes to entertainment, food and recreation, Yamba bats far above most coastal hideaways. The grand old Pacific Hotel finds locals and visitors mixing comfortably, whether in the front pub or the back dining area with its scrumptious food and great views of Yamba Beach.

The Yamba Shores Tavern is a short drive from the town centre, and somewhat off the beaten track through a residential subdivision. It’s riverside locationis ideal for boaties, or anyone searching for a breeze, a good feed and a cold beer.

The Yamba Bowling Club, located downtown, is geared up for crowds and has topgames and recreation offerings for children.

Above all, visitors are drawn to Yamba for the recreational opportunities. Yuraygir National Park to the south has excellent beachside camping. The nearby village of Brooms Head has kilometres of friendly beachfront. The Sandon River, also in Yuraygir National Park, is an excellent trip for fishing, boating, or floating in the river, especially at the river’s mouth where it flows into the ocean.

On the north side of the Clarence (Yamba is on the south side), there is thelazy village of Iluka, good for browsing or getting a feed, or fishing or swimming.

West of Yamba is Maclean, which trades on its Scottish heritage. But the tidy village on the south side of the Clarence River is becoming more than a cozy retirement town, with chilled-out downtowncafes and one outstanding offering –Botero, a coffee roaster with atrendy restaurant.

My three best tips for eating out in Yamba:

#1 Wato’s Little Fish Bistro. Disguised as a fish and chips takeaway, there is much more than meets the eye, certainly when it comes to quality and creativity. Located smack on the downtown intersection of Yamba and Wooli streets, it’s stunning quality if you sit down for dinner.

#2 Thai Payu. Located in a laneway on Coldstream Street not far from the popular Yamba YHA backpackers inn (which has a rooftop bar), this little gem has been kicking goals for years with genuine Thai food and friendly service.

#3 Uptown Cafe & Bar. Super coffee and breakfast with lots of healthy, local food until noon, then trendy cocktails and dinner from 6pm. ANorth Coast vibe with no need for apologies.

Baldwin starring as a grown-up baby is weird and confusing

By admin | 苏州桑拿

Alec Baldwin and Miles Christopher Bakshi in The Boss Baby. Photo: DreamWorks Animation??????(G) 97 minutes
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It is hard to say which is the weirdest thing about The Boss Baby. Is it that Alec Baldwin was cast in the title role long before he rose to a new level of fame by playing Saturday Night Live’s edition of Donald Trump?

Or is it that following Nicholas Stoller’s??? Storks, this is the second animated children’s film of the past year that whimsically poses the question “where do babies come from?”

The answer in this instance is they come from BabyCorp, a mystical conglomerate staffed by thousands of talking infants in business suits (there’s a touch of authentic surrealism to this image – picture a live-action version and you have a scene straight from a wacky art movie such as Leos Carax’s??? Holy Motors).

These babies subsist on a special brand of formula that stops them ageing, and don’t deign to mix with adults. An exception is the Boss Baby himself, who allows himself to be born into an ordinary suburban family – one throwaway joke associates him with Jesus – as part of a spy mission against a dastardly plan to have puppies take over from babies as primary recipients of human love.

None of this makes a lick of sense – a fact that director Tom McGrath and writer Michael McCullers??? seem almost apologetic about, hinting that the story is unfolding in the mind of seven-year-old hero Tim, who resents the way his baby brother has turned their parents (Jimmy Kimmel??? and Lisa Kudrow???) into his slaves.

But it’s never entirely clear where reality begins and fantasy leaves off, and the confusion is only compounded by the voice-over narration from the adult Tim (Tobey Maguire) looking back on his 1970s childhood in the manner of The Wonder Years.

What is clear is that The Boss Baby is a concept that doesn’t work, whether it’s taken to be aimed at actual children or at the subgroup of adults who might get fleeting amusement from an allusion to Baldwin’s role in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Perhaps the problem is precisely the strain of trying to appeal to both audiences, which is more apparent than in most animated comedies of this ilk.

Family Guy has coasted on the premise of a baby who acts inappropriately adult for the best part of 20 years. But in a film for all ages, there’s a limit to just how inappropriate the Boss Baby can be.

NSW CHS beat NSW CCC in Schoolgirls Cricket Championship final in Maitland

By admin | 苏州桑拿

NSW Combined High Schools crowned champs NSW Combined High School’s Matilda Lugg balances herself to play a classic shot on the leg-side in yesterday’s NSW Schoolgirls Championship final against NSW Combined Catholic Colleges at Robins Oval in Maitland. Picture: Michael Hartshorn
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NSW Combined High School’s Matilda Lugg plays a classic shot on the leg-side in yesterday’s NSW Schoolgirls Championship final against NSW Combined Catholic Colleges at Robins Oval in Maitland. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW Combined High School opener Katelyn Beaumont punches the ball square for runs in the final of the NSW Schoolgirls Championship at Robins Oval in Maitland. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW Combined High School’s Matilda Lugg plays a straight drive during the NSW Schoolgirls Championship final against NSW Combined Catholic Colleges at Robins Oval in Maitland. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW Combined Catholic Collegel’s Olivia Porter waits for a new partner as NSW CHS celebrate the fall of a wicket in the NSW Schoolgirls Championship at Robin Oval in Maitland. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

Olivia Porter top scored with 26 for NSW CCc in the final against NSW CHS at Robins Oval. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CHS celebrate a wicket at Robins Oval in Wednesday’s NSW Schoolgirls Championship. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s Pru Roebuck scrambles to make her ground. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s Pru Roebuck in action at Robins Oval. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s Pru Roebuck in action at Robins Oval. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s Pru Roebuck in action at Robins Oval. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

Hannah Faux bowls for NSW CHS. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CHS bowler Chantelle Downey. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CHS wicket keeper Hannah Trethewi. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

Olivia Porter’s innings comes to an end. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CHS players congratulate Chantelle Downey on taking the crucial wicket of Olivia Porter. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s Stepanie Ellsmore sets off for a run. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

Pru Roebuck walks off after being dismissed. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CHS players celebrate. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CHS bowler Ashely Day delivers the ball. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CHS bowler Ashely Day delivers the ball. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s Stepanie Ellsmore lies on her back waiting for a run-out decision from the umpire. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s Stepanie Ellsmore receives the bad news from the umpire. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s Stepanie Ellsmore walks off after being run out. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

Hannah Trethewy appeals for an lbw decision against Sophie Heat. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

Sophie Heath leaves after being dismissed. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CHS celebrate the fall of the wicket. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s opening bowler Sophie Heath. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s opening bowler Sophie Heath. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s opening bowler Claire Murray. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW CCC’s opening bowler Claire Murray. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW Combined High School opener Katelyn Beaumont. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW Combined High School’s Matilda Lugg. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

Claire Murray fields in the deep. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

NSW Combined High School’s Matilda Lugg. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

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