You Think Your Employees WANT to Wear That Device? Think Again

first_imgYou’ve probably seen augmented reality (AR) smart glasses in a “Mission Impossible” movie, or at a trade show. Maybe a friend has told you they are revolutionizing work processes for line workers in aviation, auto, medicine or manufacturing. There are certainly plenty of versions available, from top brands in the industry who’ve all found different ways to deliver AR by putting a computer on the user’s head.But with all that hype, you’ve probably still never seen your local FedEx driver, or utilities worker, or mechanic, actually wearing a pair of smart glasses. The reason is that, like most new technologies, AR has great potential – with some persistent challenges.The Promise of ARFor workers, AR devices are designed to help access job-enhancing information, while keeping hands free. No more typing, swiping or tapping keyboards or screens. Workers simply wear a head-mounted display — in the shape of eyeglasses — so computer-generated content can be superimposed on top of the ‘real world’ and delivered to their line of sight.Listen to Silicon Valley and you’ll think we’re all on the cusp of this next landslide technology revolution. There’s certainly reason to believe. As of 2017, 52 of the Fortune 500 were testing, or had already deployed, AR solutions. Hands-free computing has also been steadily creeping into the assembly line, assisting such operations as machinery inspections, medicine, emergency response, and delivery truck driving. It’s even been used for training, benefiting everyone from miners to astronauts.The Problem with ARBut despite all its potential — and as much as Hollywood and Silicon Valley would have us believe otherwise — smart glasses are not yet a guaranteed new technology craze. Of course, there are the typical obstacles of skepticism and resistance among workers. This is especially true of those who worry it could interfere with their job — or take it over entirely. But that’s not the whole story. When it’s done right, employees can be open to, and even evangelize, technological changes. In fact, the “paper to processors” movement happened because advances in mobile connectivity and computing power influenced even the most blue-collar sectors. Yes, it took some convincing, but eventually the ease and convenience of information-on-the-go won workers over. But mobile technology — accessed at your discretion—is different from wearing a computer over your face. The unique challenge of smart glasses is that to use the technology, you have to wear the technology. Selling this idea to millions of people doing practical, hands-on work means manufacturers will have to persuade them that this ridiculous-looking technology is a useful, essential friend.Historically, new technology waves have been nudged into mass adoption by a “gateway” industry. Some examples include the way Wall Street glamorized the mobile phone, and law enforcement and healthcare popularized tablet computers. In the world of smart glasses, field services (such as Utility workers, Telecom workers, Energy, First Responders, Warehousing, Insurance Adjusters, etc.) is considered the gateway. But that comes with a potentially daunting challenge: these workers are often the most resistant to adopting new technology.Ask any industrial-spec device salesperson how often they’ve seen paid-for-but-untouched technology stacked in field offices, all because it didn’t fit the workflow or comfort zone of the intended users. The reason could be an unfamiliar user interface, or that the device is too bulky, or fragile. Maybe it simply doesn’t save all that much time. Sometimes it’s just plain unsafe to use a computer in certain environments. Even with a technically sophisticated and eager workforce, the best intentions have been known to fail.The Way Forward for ARPossibly the best way to achieve adoption among field workers is by simplifying. In other words, remove the complications of technology to make it useful for every day, mundane tasks. Too often engineers and designers fall into the trap of building technology for perceived problems, not actual ones. The result can be a product deemed too exotic, too expensive, and therefore unnecessary.This is probably nowhere more evident than in AR smart glasses squeezing ‘tech for tech’s sake’ into a pair of head-worn frames, rather than focusing on the human factor first. When designing for field workers, remember that your end user may be standing knee-deep in sewage, climbing a 40-foot electrical pole in a storm, or riding a cherry picker bucket through tree limbs – all while trying to access data.So, while companies often start building technology by focusing on a specific work problem, the successful ones then pump the breaks to let it evolve and get users familiar with the device. Ideally, the technology will become so useful that it will organically lead to requests for added features and applications in future versions.Assist the intended user, don’t impose upon them. To help users feel comfortable enough to engage with a new technology, designers need to build trust by delivering products that feel good to use – and that users want to have at their disposal.Financing AR Besides appreciating the challenges of coaxing workers to try new technologies, consider costs. A recent Perkins Coie survey found that user experience, lack of content, and cost are the three biggest obstacles to mass adoption of AR technology. Sure, the ROI from your smart glass technology might improve efficiencies by 50 percent immediately, but what are the costs associated with training, buying new applications, incompatible peripherals, or even just replacing broken or lost devices? Most organizations dislike changes to their hardware and software because the cost is much more than ordering one new device. To fully integrate technology into a work process, it must significantly deliver increased efficiency, while also driving down an entire cost ecosystem.Those inside Silicon Valley and the AR industry need to acknowledge that they may not understand the actual needs of the customer. Instead of foisting technology on them, they would be better served by listening to all their needs – practical and financial. Ultimately, the end user knows the job they do, and what will help versus hinder. Mike McMahon Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Mike McMahon has over 20 years experience in the mobile computing business for Enterprise. Since 2017 he has been VP sales and marketing for Kopin Corporation, a leader in components and solutions for the AR and VR industry. There, he has helped lead development of recently introduced Kopin’s Golden-I Infinity wearable smart screen. Previously, Mike was VP of sales and marketing for RISC Networks, following a 15 year career at Panasonic where he headed up mobility sales efforts for the iconic Toughbook line. Related Posts center_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Follow the Puck Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industrylast_img read more

What we can learn from the art of conversation

first_imgBe inclusive. Especially when cultivating group relationships and culture, ask “Who isn’t at the table that should be?” Or even “who isn’t part of this conversation that should be?” Who are the ‘UNusual’ suspects and how can we fully engage them? Commit completely. Commit to the vision. Commit to muddling through the tough times. Connecting with our partners, clients, colleagues, businesses, and communities is something we do on a daily basis, and building these relationships are important to building resilience to change. Imagine what we could accomplish together if we were just a little more intentional with our conversations and turned them into super-charged relationship-building moments. Later this month, there is an opportunity to connect during the eXtension ‘Learning Through Change’ Virtual Conference, September 26-29. Let’s make the most of it by establishing trust, being curious, intently listening, being inclusive, and committing completely. What strategies have you used to establish stronger ties with your colleagues, clients and partners? Please share your experience in the comments. Photo credit: CC0 Creative Commons: Free for commercial use. No attribution required. Downloaded 9/18/2017 from https://pixabay.com/en/beard-beverage-brainstorming-break-2679507/ It seems that no matter what kind of work we are engaged in as Extension and helping professionals, at the heart of it is connectivity. Without strong ties to our partners, our clients, our residents, colleagues, businesses, and communities, achieving lasting impacts and community-altering change would be impossible.If at the heart of our work is a foundation of connectivity, then what is the foundation of connectivity? Where does connectivity begin? How do we strengthen ties in our network? In his book Community Conversations, Paul Born offers a simple starting point: the conversation. Conversation between two people, or within groups and communities, is where to begin building strong relationships. Conversation is more than an exchange of words between people. It is where agreement is reached, meaning is constructed, and innovation can thrive. ”Conversation is not just what is said; it is also what happens between people. Conversation is not always about an event or a time; it is part of a much larger process of change. It leads to more conversation and is part of a journey to understand.” (P20)Often, a conversation will begin around an issue, concern, topic, or movement. Even with this connecting point, it takes time, patience, and some give and take. Here are 5 simple guidelines that can help you kick-start a relationship – online or off.Establish trust – Are you trustworthy? Most people would answer an emphatic “YES!” But, as Charles Feltman, author of The Thin Book of Trust, has found, most people rate the trustworthiness of others lower than their own. That means that others likely believe that you are less trustworthy than you believe yourself to be. Both perceptions are correct – you operate in a way that you judge to be trustworthy, but as Feltman describes, “the fact is that people act on their assessments of your trustworthiness, not yours. Your best intentions can’t change their opinion.” (P6) Understanding the trust threshold – when and how you trust, as well as when and how others trust – can go a long way toward building personal and professional relationships. Begin exploring trust by reflecting on the following questions: Do you tend to over-share? Under-share? What makes your guard go up and how can you adjust when this happens? What assumptions do you tend to make about yourself, others, and how others see you?Do you tend to expect a close relationship after only one or two conversations? Do you tend to expect it to take years to develop a close relationship? Understanding that not everyone operates under the same assumptions, what adjustments can you make?center_img Replace assumptions with “curiosities.” Reaching understanding and achieving dialogue is easier when you know someone as a person, not just another cog in the wheel. In Feltman’s The Thin Book of Trust, he posits that a person’s assessment of how much you care about their interests as well as your own is possibly the most important element of creating lasting trust. One of the best ways to show someone you care is to be genuinely interested in and curious about what is important to them – and share with them what is important to you. Ask people questions. Ask follow up questions. Point out connections and commonalities where they exist.Be an active listener. You’ve probably heard this before. That’s because it’s so important. And so difficult for many. You don’t have to follow a formula, but if it would help, you can practice reflecting back by following up with “what I hear you saying is…” or use some of the follow up questions listed below.Tell me more about _______.Why is that important to you?How did that affect you?Why does that make you feel that way?What were the surprises? What lessons did you learn?last_img read more

Minor girl raped by youth in UP’s Muzaffarnagar

first_imgA 12-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a youth in a sugarcane field at Bhikki Majra village in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district, police said on Saturday.According to Babri station house officer Nem Chand, the incident happened on Friday and police registered a case against Sikander Singh (21) after the victim’s grandmother lodged a complaint.The girl, a Class VI student, lives with her grandmother after her parents had passed away, the SHO said.Chand said the accused is currently absconding and the victim has been sent for medical examination.The girl had gone to collect water from a hand pump when she was confronted by the youth, the SHO said.Singh raped her in a nearby sugarcane field leaving her naked and later threatened her as well, the SHO added.Meanwhile, in neighbouring Muzaffarnagar district, a 23-year-old woman was sexually harassed by two men when she had gone to give lunch to her father in the fields at Chorawala village on Friday.According to Circle Officer Ram Mohan Sharma, the incident took place under Bhopa police station limits and an investigation is underway.The woman was also thrashed when she desisted the two men’s attempts, he said.last_img read more

Eustaquio shrugs off close loss, hopes to be included in Manila card

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Seeking to rebound fast, Eustaquio hopes to return to the cage as soon as the Manila card at ONE: Legends of the World slated on November 10.“I am willing to be booked on any card, but of course I prefer to be slated for the Manila card in November. Let’s hope that I can be scheduled for that event. The journey is not over. It’s only the beginning,” he said. Ravena back right away for PH team in Fiba Asia Champions Cup Eustaquio was in control of the match in the first round, and even rocked the former ONE Flyweight Champion with a stiff kick to the nose, but the action was inexplicably halted momentarily by referee Yuji Shimada.And Akhmetov quickly made adjustments, controlling the pace in the next two rounds to come out victorious.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe loss was a step back to Eustaquio’s bid to contend for the flyweight title.“It’s hard to lose my momentum. A victory tonight might have catapulted me to a title shot, but I have to accept the outcome of the bout. It’s another lesson. The good thing about this sport is that losses are avenues for competitors to grow. Surely, I will learn from this and be a better martial artist,” said the Team Lakay stalwart. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Read Next Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fightcenter_img MOST READ LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES View comments Photo from ONE ChampionshipJAKARTA — Geje Eustaquio took his split decision loss to Kairat Akhmetov in the main event of ONE: Total Victory on Saturday as a minor setback.“We never lose. It’s either we win or we learn. It’s a learning process for me and my team and I would like to extend my gratitude to all the people who are always on my back,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  ONE: Geje Eustaquio, Adriano Moraes looking for convincing finish to trilogy PLAY LIST 01:27ONE: Geje Eustaquio, Adriano Moraes looking for convincing finish to trilogy01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:22Learning doesn’t stop for Geje Eustaquio—inside and outside ONE cage01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gameslast_img read more

Compton rues Alaska’s defensive lapses in loss to Magnolia

first_imgThere were a lot of things that Alaska can point to when it lost 108-95 to Magnolia in its PBA Philippine Cup opener, but for head coach Alex Compton it boiled down to the very basic.ADVERTISEMENT Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues LATEST STORIES Read Next Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ “The thing is, our hearts are on the right places, but we need to be mentally sharper and relaxed.”Alaska allowed Magnolia to shoot 11-of-26  from distance with Paul Lee playing the main gunner for the Hotshots.Lee finished with 30 points, seven rebounds, and six assists and went 6-of-8 from deep, including a dagger with 3:26 left that gave Magnolia a 103-92 lead.“We obviously have to be way sharper, we had 22 turnovers, a ton of missed free throws, missed rotations on defense that gave them easy layups, and too much Paul Lee,” said Compton.Magnolia capitalized on Alaska’s miscues scoring 22 points off turnovers while scoring 46 points in the shaded area.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraqcenter_img 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Healthy again, Paul Lee leads way for Hotshots Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ “We came in the game and really forgot some of our fundamental stuff defensively,” said Compton Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. “In the second quarter, we gave up a ton of layups. I don’t like to call timeouts to stop the bleeding, but there were so many fundamental things that we had to correct.”Alaska had a respectable 22-12 lead midway through the first quarter but the Hotshots slowly chipped it away and managed to take the 36-35 bubble at the 6:56 mark of the second period after a 24-13 run.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMagnolia then, ended the second period on a 15-5 run for a 57-47 lead heading into the break.“We don’t usually lose our defensive intensity, on offense we rush sometimes, we get too excited,” said Compton. “As a whole team, we were all so amped up, and that’s the sort of a theme we had in the pre-season.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View commentslast_img read more

Older, Bolder

first_imgTheir understated rivalry is the stuff of legend, but Sachin’s late-career acceleration has taken him ahead of Brian Lara.Two greats of the game, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara; their names will forever be linked because of their career-long battle to establish a reputation for being the best batsman of their,Their understated rivalry is the stuff of legend, but Sachin’s late-career acceleration has taken him ahead of Brian Lara.Two greats of the game, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara; their names will forever be linked because of their career-long battle to establish a reputation for being the best batsman of their generation. Two elegant willow-wielders with a prodigious talent for scoring runs and playing entertaining cricket. Not so widely recognised but an equally worthy achievement is the fact that both conquered one of the more difficult aspects of their craft.In Lara’s case he regained the world record 10 years after originally setting the high-water mark for batting excellence, something that was thought to be akin to breaking the four-minute mile.In Tendulkar’s case he’s never held the world Test record but he’s achieved something that’s extremely difficult; he’s gained a second wind in a career that is now sprinting toward the finish line when it appeared to be approaching the tape at a measured gait.These are rare achievements because as a batsman ages it’s generally accepted it becomes more difficult to score quickly for long periods. As the aging process takes hold a player is physically less capable and mentally tends to become more conservative. Thus maintaining an exceptional run rate for long periods on all but the odd occasion is beyond the capacity of even a champion as he ages.Tendulkar is yet to make a triple century in atest like (From left to right) Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Len Hutton and Sir Garfield Sobersand Brian Lara did in their early 20s but he has gained a second wind which may well put him in a league of his own.To grasp how exceptional Lara’s feat was, look at the players who held the world Test record prior to him. In the cases of Sir Donald Bradman (21), Sir Len Hutton (22) and Sir Garfield Sobers (21) they all claimed the record while in their early 20s, as indeed Lara did at 24 the first time.However, Lara was able to reach the pinnacle a second time at age 34, something none of his illustrious predecessors came close to achieving. Only Bradman ever attained triple figures again and he did it the second time while still reasonably young at age 25. To put Tendulkar’s feat into context, consider that at age 21 Bradman maintained a scoring rate of 3.70 runs per over in the 1930 series in England but by the 1948 tour this had regressed to 2.77.advertisement”In a country where the star performer is worshipped, Tendulkar’s playing feats are all that’s required for him to attain deity status.”Chappell, who captained Australia between 1971 and 1975, is a renowned television commentator and columnist Tendulkar with Warne after India pulled off a victory against Australia at Sharjah in 1998.Despite the appearance that Tendulkar had become more conservative as he aged, his run rate is almost identical for the first and second half of his career, with an overall mark of 3.27 per over. However, since he passed Lara’s world record aggregate, the fast-car loving master batsman has slipped into overdrive and scored his runs at 3.43 runs per over. Even if you ignore the runs scored against lowly Bangladesh, he’s still substantially ahead of his overall career run rate in this “second wind” phase.And the same pattern is evident when he bats in ODIs. If you use his startlingly dominant 175 against Australia as a turning point, he’s more than 1.5 runs per over above his career figure in his next eight innings. Now that’s a small sample size but as the most capped Test player of all time it’s no mean feat to display Ferrari like acceleration for one match, never mind eight.Also included in his sudden jet propulsion phase is his record breaking 200 against South Africa. To reach the double-century mark in 50 overs you have to not only hit boundaries regularly but also run many sprints. Tendulkar’s record-breaking innings was an exceptional physical feat at age 36, as well as a wonderful display of skill.This is what is so admirable about the latter day performances of these two Master batsmen; they maintained not only their skill level but also the mental desire to be dominant. What has brought about Sachin Tendulkar’s resurgence?The fast-pace of the IPL may have contributed. Tendulkar was the leading run scorer in the 2010 tournament at the highly acceptable rate of eight runs per over. What’s even more impressive, Tendulkar did it in relative safety by scoring more than 50 per cent of his runs in fours.advertisementTendulkar’s run rate is almost identical for the first and second half of his career, with an overall 3.27 per over. Since he passed Lara’s world record aggregate, the master batsman has scored his runs at 3.43 runs per over. Australian pacemen Mervhughes and Craig Mc Dermott couldn’t stop the child prodigy from taking the sting out of their attack.In contrast, the youthful and gung-ho Suresh Raina relied less on reaching the boundary and more on clearing it. Boundary hitting is the safer method of scoring quickly because it greatly reduces the risk of being caught when a shot is mistimed. Nevertheless, it requires masterful placement to keep on eluding a battalion of defensive fielders.However, the T20 surge is only partly responsible for Tendulkar’s renaissance. For a while it appeared as though Tendulkar had become consumed with records.The Test aggregate and posting century marks thatwere unattainable in two forms of the game seemed to occupy a prominent place in his mind. It not only adversely affected his style of batting but also his ability to reach the magical three-figure mark. Tendulkar went through an agonising period in 2007 where his conversion rate of 50s to 100s, normally exceptionally high, became that of an average Test match batsman.It was excruciating to watch this once dominant player who had challenged top-class bowlers like Wasim Akram and Glenn Mc-Grath, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, prodding and poking his way towards a coveted century only to fall short in the manner of a nervous Test debutant.He appears more relaxed about his place in history now and his magnificent 175 against Australia was something of a coming out celebration. It’s appropriate that a significant knock against Australia should be a milestone in Tendulkar’s resurgence. Some of the little maestro’s most memorable batting performances have come against Australia; a tribute to a competitive spirit that drives him to excel against the best opposition.Outstanding examples of his dominant performances against Australia include his gladiatorial battle with Warne at Chennai in 1998. With the match in the balance and having been out-foxed by the blonde bamboozler in the first innings, he attacked Warne the moment he came round the wicket. A flurry of boundaries followed, which handed India the initiative and eventually a win in the Test. The same year in Sharjah he spanked the Australians for a better than a run-a-ball century to catapult his team into the final. He then proceeded to repeat the “Aussie bashing” to take India to a glorious win in the final and earn for himself a luxury car in the process.His tormenting of Australia started at a young age. On his first tour Down Under he scored a majestic century at the SCG as a 19-year-old. However, the lasting memory of that tour was Tendulkar scoring a 100 on the bouncy WACA pitch.A four-pronged pace attack that included the highly acclaimed Craig McDermott and Merv Hughes, both bowlers who were, if not twice his size, at least double the weight of the child prodigy, couldn’t stop Tendulkar from punching balls off the back foot to the boundary. Batsmen with a great reputation for playing pace like Viv Richards, struggled first up at the WACA.Andtwo renowned openers in Gordon Greenidge and Graham Gooch never really came to grips with the extra bounce of the Perth pitch.Not Tendulkar; he looked like he’d grown up batting on the rock-hard WACA pitch rather than on the dusty red clay of a Mumbai maidan. For all his incredible achievements with the willow, he may well regard this WACA epic as one of his more satisfying innings when he finally lays down his cudgels and drives off into the sunset.If there’s a criticism of Tendulkar’s career, it’s his lack of influence on the game off the field. He has steadfastly refused to become involved with contentious issues affecting the game. In his defence,when you have to wear a disguise and get your driving kicks at2a.m. to avoid detection, it would be self-defeating to make headline grabbing statements.Nevertheless, it’s a black mark against the big name players, Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag, that India doesn’t have a players association. At a time when they were a highly influential group it would have been appropriate for this elite bunch to take a stand and ensure India had astrong players association. If they had done so and it then became affiliated with FICA it would’ve made the international body so much stronger. Thus armed, FICA would’ve had much more chance of driving a harder bargain with the administrators over such issues as balanced scheduling. As it is, a great opportunity was lost and it’s doubtful the chance will come again soon.Still, in a country where the star performer is worshipped, Tendulkar’s playing feats are all that’s required for him to attain deity status. And his remarkable “second wind” resurgence is also providing a convincing argument for him to be ranked ahead of his great rival Lara.advertisementIn sharjah he spanked the Australians for a better than a run-a-ball century to catapult his team into the final. He then repeated the “Aussie bashing”  to take india to a glorious win in the final.last_img read more

Elephant polo: Trunk in cheek

first_imgDear Aroon,Sorry for not being there in person to give you a Tiger Tops piece but as you’ll see from this letter, I was overtaken by events quite beyond my control. Before you ask me to foot the bill for not producing a story let me tell you what exactly,Dear Aroon,Sorry for not being there in person to give you a Tiger Tops piece but as you’ll see from this letter, I was overtaken by events quite beyond my control. Before you ask me to foot the bill for not producing a story let me tell you what exactly happened in the Royal Chitwan National Park of Nepal.As you remember, we originally thought I was going to cover a high-stakes polo tournament featuring top international teams for the sports pages. I was a bit puzzled on arriving here to discover that the names of the teams pinned up on the board were rather unfamiliar.I’m sure you’ve never heard of “Hannibal’s Own”, “Gurkha Gladiators,” “Pan Am Jumbos”, “Tiger Tops Tuskers”, “Rajasthan Ramblers” or “Edward Horsewell’s Regulars”.When my journalistic instincts overcame my incredulity, I went sniffing around with notebook and pen to get the background stuff before the matches started (Have you ever tried sniffing around 12 elephants?); The experts were not very illuminating either. I was even more puzzled when I heard trumpeting sounds from the stables but since the hospitality here was rather elaborate and spirited, I thought nothing of it. I really should have caught the first yak back when, in the sober light of day, the mounts that were to be used for the tournament lumbered into view.Major Jack Keen, a very puccka bloke from Blighty representing Hannibal’s Own, gave me my first usable quote: “The first rule of elephant polo is that there are no rules,” he mumbled through his handlebars. However, a few investigative pink gins later, I discovered he was exaggerating.advertisementAs far as I could perceive, there were two definite rules. Players were allowed to strike the elephants with their long-handled sticks as much as they wanted to – and some got pretty adept at this inspiring me to write myself a reminder to use the phrase “pachydermic patience” in the story.They were not, however, permitted to strike opposing players though there were some pretty close shaves. In fact, Digvijay Singh, the most enthusiastic member of the Rajasthan Ramblers (the name was changed to Rajasthan Rowdies after the first “jungli” night) came perilously close to decapitating two opposing players during his 5 kmph charge towards the goal uttering bloodcurdling war cries.The other unspoken rule was that in order to play the game players were meant to strike the ball with their sticks. You would have been amazed at the number who failed to observe this rule and the cries of “foul” really referred to the mounds of droppings that played hell with well-planned moves.I must admit that often it wasn’t really the fault of the players that form and predictions went awry with monumental regularity. Horse well’s Regulars, smartly turned out in white jodhpurs, wiped out favourites Rajasthan Rowdies the first day only to fall victim to some mysterious jungle disease later that night. I thought I had my first piece of sensationalism when dark suspicions were being muttered behind the stables of the Indians having spiked their drinks. Whatever the cause, the damage was done. “I can’t bear to look,” moaned Mrs George Clowes, wife of a team member, when the next day’s play resumed. “Edward is seeing five balls and the others aren’t seeing any.”Maybe the organisers should have used a larger ball. But as Jim Edwards of Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge, one of the organisers confided to me, “We tried using footballs last year but the elephants just couldn’t resist popping them underfoot like balloons.”The other problem was that the damned ball kept getting lost in a thicket of elephant legs while the mahouts, who thought the whole affair was a huge joke (no pun intended) were under the mistaken impression that the objective was to pile one elephant on top of another. The only goals that were scored came when a player managed to hit the ball a few yards which usually gave him a clear lumber(?) to the opposing goal.Elephants being readied for the tournamentThe most interesting story I got was the auction of the teams the rather inebriated night before the tournament started. The process was fairly simple. Each team was auctioned off to a buyer from among the audience, some of whom were incredibly generous with their assets. Gail Adleson, whose company, Lorimar, owns the most successful television serial in history.”Dallas”, offered to pay for a one-week holiday at an exclusive country club in Los Angeles, to the owner of the winning team. Pan Am, co-sponsors of the tournament, chipped in with a round trip first-class ticket to Los Angeles.advertisementHolidays in Japan and Saudi Arabia (I double-checked this one) were also among the offers while the Gurkhas generously offered a week’s stay at their Sangma Ridge retreat to the team that came last (Guess who lumbered home last – the Gurkhas)! And photographer Don McCullin, offered his won prize: a complimentary photograph on any subject for the winner.The home team (Tiger Tops Tuskers) was auctioned for the highest bid of pound 1,000 since it was generally felt that they knew the terrain, the elephants and could converse with the mahouts. The Indian team fetched pound 700 because, as auctioneer Ian Wright of The Sunday Times announced, “they were rumoured to have played the game before”.Teams race for the ballThe Brits, true to tradition, paid up pound 250 and bought themselves while the Pan Am lot went for a paltry pound 300. The Scottish team, also true to tradition, opened their bid by offering Rs 10 for themselves but finally went for a fairly respectable pound 250.Four days later, the Tuskers had justified their seeding by winning the tournament. England and Scotland, in a rare display of solidarity came joint third while the Pan Am Jumbos wound up a creditable second. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there to witness the epic end.Two days of popping corks till the early morning hours is guaranteed to paralyse your typing fingers and cloud the memory. I asked somebody if drinking beer at 7 a.m. wasn’t overdoing it a bit. “Not if you’re playing polo,” he threw over his shoulder before rushing off to try and identify his elephant.And, even if I wasn’t actually playing (though I was sorely tempted when the prizes were being announced) one does tend to get involved in the general activity, professionally speaking, of course. But since elephant polo is a sport where most of the activity takes place off the field, I thought there really wasn’t a story in it for a serious newsmagazine.The Rajasthan RamblersI could, if you like, come up with a think piece on “The Cementing Role of Sport in International Relations” Or, if you really want a sports story, I could do it next year: the tournament’s well on its way to becoming an annual event.For the moment, all I have are the snapshots. Whatever you decide, don’t call me too early – I don’t have to cover an elephant polo match in the morning.Regards, SumanWinners Tiger Tops Tuskers scoreEditor’s notingSD. Sorry to hear there’s no story but let’s see what Sunday Times, Taller and the BBC do before I decide who pays for your vacation(?) – APlast_img read more

a month agoMan Utd boss Solskjaer on away form: Do I look concerned?

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd boss Solskjaer on away form: Do I look concerned?by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he isn’t worried by their poor away form ahead of the trip to West Ham. They have not won away from Old Trafford in eight games since the sensational 3-1 victory at Paris Saint-Germain in early March, losing five of them.”Why should we coaches be concerned?” he said. “We’re looking forward to things, looking for solutions. I’ve never been concerned about anything really. I don’t walk around and worry about things. I’m looking what we can do to improve. I’ve never been a worrier.”I think we should have won at Southampton, I think we should have won the Wolverhampton one. Both should be wins.”It’s still the same size pitch, green with white lines, some fans. You’ve got to block out the mental part and play as you would in the park.”Last year we were lucky to beat them (West Ham). It will be a good test again for us. We’ve had two clean sheets now, and that will give the defenders confidence. If we can keep a clean sheet, it will be easier for the strikers. You don’t have to score twos, threes and fours every time.” last_img read more

Video: South Carolina’s Shon Carson Scores Touchdown Off Of Deflected Lorenzo Nunez Pass

first_imgShon Carson makes a deflected catch.Twitter/@TeamSpeedKillsMissouri and South Carolina are both looking for a big SEC East win today, and each has a new quarterback at the helm for today’s game. Mizzou jumped out to an early lead, but the Gamecocks tied things up in a pretty unconventional way. In an attempt to avoid a sack, freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez heaved one up to star receiver Phraoh Cooper. A Tiger defensive back nearly makes a big pick, but instead bats the ball directly to Shon Carson, who takes it in for a game-tying touchdown.pic.twitter.com/PlLxtfnh6b— Brandon Larrabee (@TeamSpeedKills) October 3, 2015That’s pretty unlucky for Mizzou. The Tigers answered quickly, however, and took a 17-10 lead just moments later on a Drew Lock touchdown pass to Nate Brown.last_img