Brazil’s Thiago Silva back to his best

first_img BATTLE WITH ILLNESS KAZAN, Russia (AP): Four years after Brazil’s humiliation at its home World Cup, Thiago Silva is back to his best in Russia, a country where his then-burgeoning career was almost tragically cut short years ago. The 33-year-old Brazil centre back – who is nicknamed “O Monstro” for his exceptional physical abilities – is probably playing in his final World Cup, and he has been enjoying a perfect tournament so far. While forward Neymar attracted negative comments for his antics on the field, Silva has been irreproachable. The captain arguably has been the best centre back of the tournament, alongside Uruguay captain Diego Godin. Like Uruguay, Brazil have conceded only one goal in Russia so far from a set piece in its opening 1-1 draw with Switzerland. And the Selecao’s rivals have managed only five shots on target in their four matches against the five-time champions. Silva has been playing a key role in helping Brazil achieve those impressive statistics, anchoring the defence with authority and class. During the 2-0 win against Mexico that guaranteed Brazil advanced to the quarterfinals for the seventh consecutive time, Silva was decisive both in the air and on the ground, blocked several shots, and made two clearances. “It’s a huge joy to be doing an excellent cup and to be growing with every game,” Silva said. “I’m happy about my performance and the performance of the team.” Happiness and joy have been hard to come by during some stretches of Silva’s career. The native of Rio de Janeiro went through hard times after Brazil’s 7-1 loss to Germany at the last World Cup. Silva did not play in that game because he was suspended, but he was harshly criticised and branded a crybaby for his emotional outbursts as he was pictured in tears before a penalty shoot-out against Chile in the round of 16. After the tournament, he was stripped of the team’s captaincy by new coach Dunga then left off the regular roster after the 2015 Copa AmÈrica. He returned from exile in September 2016 for World Cup qualifiers after being called up by Dunga’s successor, Tite. Those professional ups and downs are nothing compared to the ordeal Silva went through back in 2005, when he spent about six months in a Moscow hospital after he contracted tuberculosis. Regarded at the time as one of the world’s most promising defenders, Silva had been sent on loan from Porto to Dynamo Moscow alongside several teammates. “It was probably the worst episode of my life,” Silva said. It was during a training camp in Portugal that doctor Yuri Vassilkov, who had travelled along with the team, noticed that Silva had a persistent cough. “He had a temperature and we thought it was a simple cold,” Vassilkov said in an interview with L’Equipe newspaper this week. “I gave him some medication, but he did not improve. I was a bit worried, and I sent him for exams at the British hospital in Lisbon. The diagnosis was terrible: tuberculosis. It was a shock.” Vassilkov believes that the diagnosis was so late that Silva was weeks away from dying. Silva was brought back to Moscow where he was hospitalised in a centre specialising in tuberculosis treatment. At the time, Silva did not speak English or Russian and went through a bout of depression. “The cold, the lack of natural light, the fact that I could not speak to anybody … All this was very difficult to handle,” Silva remembered in an interview with Belgian Sport/Foot magazine. After Russian doctors at one point considered removing part of his lungs, Silva survived and fully recovered. He never played a game for Dynamo, and these painful events are just bad memories now. AGE – 33 HEIGHT – 1.83m APPEARANCES – 75 GOALS – 6 NUMBER – 2last_img read more

All-You-Can-Stream Music Services Reduce Piracy, Says Study

first_imgjohn paul titlow 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… It might be a decade late, but it appears as though the music industry may have found the antidote to the digital piracy it claims has ravaged its revenues for so long. New research into Swedish music consumption indicates that the public launch of Spotify in that country has led to a 25% reduction in the illegal downloading of songs and albums. In the second quarter of 2011, music piracy had dropped 9% from the same period last year. It only makes sense. What peer-to-peer filesharing services like Napster originally offered their users was seamless and immediate access to a large selection of MP3s and other media files. Today’s legal, on-demand streaming services provide similarly unfettered and searchable access to digital music, but do so for a modest monthly fee. Music fans can still (at their own risk, of course) use BitTorrent and RapidShare to download albums without paying for them, but for most consumers this probably isn’t a convenient way to go about it. Services like Spotify, Rdio, MOG and Grooveshark are just easier to deal with. Finding music is a simple process and there are no downloads to wait for. In Sweden, these services are now the most popular means of listening to music, according to the study. Twenty-three percent of listeners still download music illegally, but it’s a percentage that continually shrinks. Whether or not streaming services can fill the financial hole left by ever-dwindling CD sales is another story. As we’ve covered in the past, the payouts received by labels and artists from Spotify and similar services is tiny compared to what they make off of digital downloads and album sales. A handful of small indie labels have pulled their catalog from these services out of concern that the streaming model is not economically viable for them. Tags:#music#news#web center_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts last_img read more

Measuring the mobs

first_imgHow many marchers made up the Million Man March? We will never know for sure. Controversy swirled in the wake of the 1995 event, with estimates based on photos and video of the crowd ranging from 400,000 to 2 million people. Getting accurate head counts for massive events, be they peaceful protests or destructive riots, isn’t much easier today. The number of people protesting during the Arab Spring in 2011 on the streets in Yemen (above), for example, is impossible to know. It doesn’t matter how powerful the cameras are in satellites or drones overhead if it is dark or smoky or if the crowds are moving in and out of cover. Rather than visually counting heads, it might be possible to count the streams of digital data flowing from the mobile phones in everyone’s pocket: phone calls, tweets, and Web browsing, all of which can be geolocated. The problem is that no one knows how reliable those streams are for estimating the head count. When you have a million people in one place, what proportion can be expected to use their phones in various ways over a given time period? Now, researchers have made a stab at that calibration. Using crowds of known sizes—at an airport and a stadium in Milan, Italy—a study published in Royal Society Open Science reports that mobile phone data predicted the actual number of people on the ground with an average error rate of just 13%. It wouldn’t have worked on the Million Man March, when the Internet was a novelty and smart phones just a dream, but we’ll be ready for the next one.last_img read more