Noren the Master at The Grove

first_imgAfter the start of the final round was delayed by torrential rain which flooded the greens at The Grove and forced early scores to be scrapped, Noren overcame a mid-round stutter with birdies at two of the last four holes to fire a 69 for an impressive winning score of 18 under par.Bernd Wiesberger briefly drew level with the Swede down the stretch but had to settle for outright second place, while Lee Westwood put a difficult month behind him as a closing 67 earned him a podium finish.Noren jumped out to the ideal start and gave a good indication of his ability to thrive under pressure as he matched the opening two birdies of playing-partner and closest challenger Richard Bland.But the problems he encountered with the driver in Saturday’s third round resurfaced and, although he put together a run of five pars to maintain his advantage, he opened the door for the field with a bogey at the eighth – his first blemish since his final hole of round two.Bland had bogeyed the seventh but hit back to force a two-shot swing at the eighth with his third birdie, and Wiesberger suddenly became a huge factor in the outcome when he followed an outward 33 with another birdie at the 10th.Noren then dropped another shot after a wayward drive at the 11th as his lead was reduced to a single shot over Bland and Wiesberger, and when the Austrian rolled in his fifth birdie putt of the day at the 15th he was tied at the top with the faltering Swede.But Noren recovered from another missed fairway at the long 15th with an unlikely birdie which took him back into the outright lead, advancing a three-wood from the right rough up the fairway before pitching to 10 feet and getting the slippery putt to drop in the side of the cup.Bland then took himself out of contention when he came up short at 16 and failed to get up and down, and he followed that with another bogey at the 17th, and he could do no better than a par at the last to complete a disappointing 71 which leaves him still searching for a first victory after 395 attempts.Wiesberger missed a great chance for birdie at 16 and had one last chance to apply the pressure at the par-five last, but he paid the price for putting his ambitious second in the deep bunker short of the green, from where he was unable to salvage a birdie as he signed for a 67 to take the clubhouse lead away from Lee Westwood on 16 under.Noren was 30 yards short of the final green in two and facing a testing pitch to the flag on the top tier, but he held his nerve to play a sublime pitch to within 18 inches of the cup, leaving him the simplest of tap-ins to become the first three-time winner on the European Tour this season.Westwood sparked hopes of a late charge when he made back-to-back birdies around the turn, but a bogey at 12 set him back and, although he got the shot back at the next, a run of four pars left him too far back and a closing birdie ensured third place on 15 under.Graeme McDowell could not build on a birdie-birdie start as a 68 left him tied for fourth on 13 under with Alex Levy, Peter Hanson, Tommy Fleetwood and Bland, with last week’s winner Tyrrell Hatton a further shot off the pace.last_img read more

Filipina Alex Eala makes US Open juniors debut vs tough Aussie

first_imgFilipina tennis hotshot Alex Eala is upbeat about her chances when she starts her first-ever US Open juniors stint on Sunday (Monday in Manila) against a tough 16-year-old from Australia.The 14-year-old said that while she’s facing Annerly Poulos, who has seen action in several Grand Slam events already, she’s on high morale playing the first round considering her impressive showing in the qualifying.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Kryz Uy, Slater Young expecting first son ‘People evacuated on their own’ Poulos, who hails from Canberra, made it to the main draw of the Australian Open thrice and French Open once. But she didn’t get past first round in all of previous stints.On Saturday, Eala disposed of qualifying top seed Romana Cisovska of Slovakia, 6-3, 6-0, at Cary Leeds Stadium Court 1 to formally enter the main draw of girls singles competition.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4Eala became the first Filipino to make the main draw of the US Open, or any Grand Slam event, since Jeson Patrombon in 1991.Eala, a scholar at Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain, converted six of 13 break-point chances, and had 74 winning percentage on her first serve. Heart Evangelista, Kim Chiu, more celebs appeal for animal rescue after Taal eruption LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo to visit Batangas families displaced by Taal erruption No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:15Sinas: 2,500 NCRPO cops poised to support Taal eruption relief ops01:52Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal Australia slays Canada in Fiba World Cup ‘group of death’ MOST READ Residents rescue horses, farm animals left on volcano island The 16-year-old Cisovska got 66 percent of her first serves in, against 50 percent by Eala, but she could only score on one of three break-point opportunities.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Teen dead, another hurt in vehicular collision in Santiago City LOOK: Taal Volcano island 2 days after eruption View commentslast_img read more

Looking back…

first_img…at the Portuguese GuyaneseToday, May 3rd, is Portuguese Arrival Day, with the first indentured batch from the island of Madeira having arrived on that day in 1835 on the good ship Louisa Baille. That first batch of 40, it should be noted, was brought right after the formal Abolition of Slavery on August 1st 1834, but before the ex-slaves actually obtained their freedom, because they were compelled to work on the sugar plantations as “Apprentices” until 1838.If the Apprenticeship scheme was to transition the ex-slaves into a monetised labour arrangement, the question that arises is: Why did the planters bring in the Portuguese?? The answer isn’t so simple. The planters couldn’t have known that within a year the freed slaves wouldn’t remain in the cane fields. In fact, some Portuguese workers from Madeira had actually been brought in in 1834! One reason could be that the British wanted to change the racial balance in their favour, because they didn’t only recruit the “white” Portuguese, but some English, Scottish, Irish, German and Maltese farmers before the end of apprenticeship.It was the beginning of a “divide and rule” policy that was to continue throughout the colonial period. But while the Madeiran Portuguese “survived” plantation life, they did so with a horrendous death rate. So why’d they keep on coming?? It was because, bad as these conditions were, the conditions in Madeira were worse. However, it wasn’t only the Portuguese and whites who were brought in before the end of Apprenticeship; even more came from the small WI Islands, where wages were less than those in Guyana!!Eventually, more of the latter came as indentureds than the Portuguese, but it was the latter who made an indelible mark on Guyana and its history. They were hard workers, as can be evidenced by the fact that they earned on the average more than the Indian Indentureds, who were brought in from 1938. They saved their money assiduously, and at the end of their 2- or 4-year indentureship, generally went into business. They were so successful at this that within a few decades they owned the majority of businesses in the colony.This caused resentment in the ex-slave population, and there were riots against them as early as in 1858, and then again in 1888. While the Portuguese were “whites”, the British rulers did not accord them status under the category of “European” in their censuses. It was an early lesson that “race” is a social construct!!The Portuguese, however, through dint of sheer hard work and determination, pulled themselves up the social ladder and excelled in all spheres of life!They should be a beacon to all Guyanese today.…at trade unionismThis year marks the 100th anniversary of Trade Unionism in Guyana. Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow formed the British Guiana Labour Union in 1919 to agitate for better wages and working conditions for stevedores on the Georgetown waterfront. This was a signal achievement, since while trade unions were recognised in Britain as early as 1872, none of the other workers in Britain’s Empire, on which “the sun never sat”, had the self-confidence to make this move.It’s a pity that, over the years, workers in Guyana really never achieved their due under the Trade Union Movement, and most of this mediocre record can be traced to venal trade union leaders. Most of them sold out through the years, either to the businesses they were supposed to keep on their toes, or to the politicians, who offered them “connections”.In the sugar industry, for instance, which continued to be the most exploitative into the present, the first unionists in the MPCA were bought out within a decade.Workers are still “on their own”.…at VenezuelaThe Venezuelan crisis continues to boil, as once again Maduro stood down the latest push from Guaido. So we’ll continue to be flooded with refugees, including returning Guyanese and their children, who’ve brought back “Venezuelan ways”.Will the quantitative soon change the qualitative?last_img read more

Courtois set to return in ‘good’ December

first_img“Courtois is selected (in the squad),” Mourinho said. “I didn’t tell them (if he will start), so they must be the ones to know. But he’s selected.“Courtois is Courtois. To miss Courtois for a couple of matches, we knew we had good protection in a good goalkeeper (like Asmir Begovic).“But to lose your best goalkeeper for three months, and 19 matches in all competitions … 19 matches without the best goalkeeper in the world. It was hard for us. Now we are again in a super situation by having the best and a very good one. I don’t know (if he starts).“I have to speak with him and make a decision. But, sooner or later, he will be my number one. If not tomorrow, then against Porto (on Wednesday).”“Courtois was our goalkeeper all last season, and we know how fundamental he was for us. So it’s very important that we have him back.”Mourinho also confirmed John Terry, Ramires and Radamel Falcao are all still out, but that Nemanja Matic is available despite having to wear a face mask because of a double fracture to his nose and cheek suffered in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.– No Costa doubts –Diego Costa furiously threw a bib to the ground during that game once it became apparent that he would not be coming on as a sub, but the Chelsea manager played down the ongoing controversy, insisting there are no doubts over the striker’s future.“For me, no question marks. Always played. Was on the bench one match, which is more than natural. No problems. No problems at all.”Mourinho also laughed off the pictures of Costa emerging from the team’s Christmas party at 3.15am on Thursday morning, pointing out how it was odd that he was one of only three players to be photographed despite 25 attending.“I think the paparazzi had a problem with their memory cards (at the Christmas party). There were 25 players inside and they only got three.”Mourinho added that the Christmas party had allowed the players to unwind.“They consulted me about the moment to do it (party), and I told them a bit far from Christmas because Christmas will be really busy. So they chose this week. I agreed with them. And the next morning in training everyone was really good. They did well. They needed that. But the paparazzi was not the best.”Mourinho meanwhile feels that last week’s results – in which Chelsea kept three consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season – can set up a strong December, and signal the team turning the corner.“I have to be cautious because the Premier League is the Premier League, and you don’t know what’s waiting for you around the corner. But the reality is the run was really bad and we were really strong as a club, as a technical staff, as a squad of players, to cope with that and try and go over it.“Bad results, but with good performances, we kept our faith, stability and belief. And then, finally, last week we got three positive results in a row.“Let’s try and build on that. December can be a good month. We play four matches at home, three in the Premier League and one in the Champions League.“We go away against two of the top three teams, United and Leicester, matches where you have nothing to lose and everything to win. So December can be a good month.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois is left on the deck as Crystal Palace players wheel away to celebrate on Saturday, August 29, 2015. PHOTO/AFPLONDON, December 5- Jose Mourinho confirmed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is back in the squad after three months out injured for Saturday’s home match against Bournemouth, as the Chelsea manager hopes the under-pressure champions are finally turning the corner.The Belgian goalkeeper has not played since the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on August 29 because of a knee injury, but Mourinho hinted he may start on Saturday, as he described the 23-year-old as the best goalkeeper in the world.last_img read more

Chelsea line up v Aston Villa: Shocked by who Jose Mourinho could drop?

first_img 11 4. Cesc Fabregas (centre midfield) 11 22. Willian (right winger) 6. Abdul Baba Rahman (left-back) 11 11 8. Oscar (attacking midfield) 11 19. Diego Costa (striker) 26. John Terry (centre-back) 11 11 11 17. Pedro (left winger) 28. Cesar Azpilicueta (right-back) 11 5. Kurt Zouma (centre-back) 11 1. Asmir Begovic (goalkeeper) – see our complete line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above! Agree or disagree with our prediction? Let us know by leaving a comment below Chelsea welcome fellow Premier League strugglers Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon, where the home crowd will be hoping that the international break has refreshed their underperforming side. The latest team news centres upon the fitness of Branislav Ivanovic, with the right-back ruled out for three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury with Serbia. As such, it’ll be interesting to see how Jose Mourinho replaces the defender who, despite his poor performances, has been a regular starter since the beginning of the season. His absence could result in Abdul Baba Rahman being handed a first appearance in the Premier League, with Cesar Azpilicueta shifted over to the right. What’s more, along with a certain fiery striker, having served his three-match ban, set to make his return, a number of notable names could be dropped. Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek replace Nemanja Matic? Willian or Pedro? Oscar or Ramires?With such speculation over the Blues team, talkSPORT has put together a predicted XI.Take a look at how we think Chelsea will line up in west London on Saturday afternoon by clicking the yellow arrow above, right.  11 36. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (centre midfield)last_img read more

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK With Markey out, UCLA’s young depth is a concern

first_imgBy Brian Dohn STAFF WRITER With UCLA ahead by 19 points and less than four minutes remaining in last week’s 26-point win at Oregon State, Bruins tailback Chris Markey carried three straight times to finish a scoring drive. Instead of getting experience for sophomore tailbacks Chane Moline and Christian Ramirez, an already hurting Markey scored with 2:12 to play to put UCLA ahead, 40-14. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityThe repercussions could be felt Saturday when the Bruins host Notre Dame at the Rose Bowl. Bruins coach Karl Dorrell said it is “unlikely” Markey will play because of turf toe, so the inexperienced duo of Ramirez and Moline will step in to back up Kahlil Bell. “I’m anxious to watch (Ramirez and Moline) play,” Dorrell said. “I’m pretty confident they’ll do well.” Markey, who is averaging nearly 16 carries a game, did not practice this week because of turf toe, which, according to Wikipedia, is a sprained metatarsalphalangeal joint. After carrying three times in the first half at Oregon State, Markey took an injection in his right big toe and carried 16 times in the second half. The injection numbs the pain, but also can cause a player to do more damage to his injury. The Bruins also received another scare when Ramirez took a hit from an overzealous scout teamer while fielding a kickoff in Thursday’s practice, and had his right knee examined. Ramirez was limited the rest of practice, but Dorrell said he expected Ramirez to play. Since carrying five times in UCLA’s opener, Ramirez has one carry. In practice he worked on running with his pads lower. “When you have a big ‘ol linebacker smacking you in the mouth every play, you have to learn to get lower,” Ramirez said. “And it’s also taking care of the ball. When I first started out, I was running too high, and the ball was getting stripped out. Now, get lower and hold the ball tighter, it’s not a problem any more.” Moline missed UCLA’s first two games of the season because of a broken hand, and has seven carries this season. “I haven’t been getting many carries, but I feel like I can step in and run the ball,” Moline said. “I’ve been practicing for so long with it, it’s normal.” Dynamic duo ready Dorrell said senior receiver Marcus Everett (ankle) and left guard Shannon Tevaga (knee) would both be available against the Irish. Both missed the last two games. Tevaga will play, but Micah Reed will make his first career start at left guard, Dorrell added. Bruin bits Defensive end Nikola Dragovic (groin) was limited in practice, but may play, Dorrell said. … Defensive tackle Brigham Harwell (knee) and quarterback Patrick Cowan (knee) continue to rehab, but remain at the minimum, a few weeks away from returning, according to Dorrell. … An MRI on receiver Gavin Ketchum’s sprained ankle was normal. He could return Oct. 20 against Cal. Around the nation Michigan: The Wolverines won’t have to forfeit any football games for using an ineligible freshman player, the Big Ten ruled. Michigan last month reported an administrative error involving safety Artis Chambers to the Big Ten. Chambers played in three games, including a 14-9 victory over Penn State, but wasn’t eligible under the conference’s freshman rules. He can continue practicing, but he will miss the rest of the season, the university said. Florida: The State Attorney’s Office has started processing the felony burglary case involving Florida safety Tony Joiner, but it’s still unclear whether the senior starter will play at top-ranked LSU on Saturday. Coach Urban Meyer said the charge would have to be reduced today for Joiner to play for the Gators. The Associated Press contributed to this notebook.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Two Dryden Research Center employees win NASA’s quality and safety award

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – Two NASA Dryden Flight Research Center employees have been honored with the agency’s Quality and Safety Achievement Recognition award. Tom Ambrose, chief of Dryden’s Safety, Health and Environmental Office, and Dryden videographer-producer Lori Losey received their awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The awards acknowledge persons who have contributed to significant quality improvements to products and services for NASA, as well as safety initiatives, programs, processes and management activities. The awards are presented in four categories: NASA employees within and outside of the Safety and Mission Assurance directorate, a NASA prime contractor or subcontractor and an employee from another government agency. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Ambrose was cited for “diligence and professional leadership in improving the safety and well-being of NASA personnel and the public.” Ambrose, recognized in the NASA Safety and Mission Assurance category, was described as an innovator and an outspoken advocate for safety. His team developed a radio frequency identification system to efficiently track the movement and storage of highly hazardous materials. Losey was cited for “major contributions to the safety and well-being of NASA fight crew personnel, control room operations and overall mission assurance.” Losey, an employee of Arcata Associates, won the NASA Contractor Employee award for producing a DVD on a 1995 crash that destroyed NASA’s X-31 experimental jet. last_img read more

Spurs head of recruitment serving 16-month notice period, confirms Pochettino

first_img Mauricio Pochettino: The Spurs says Paul Mitchell’s agreed notice period is for 16 months 1 Mauricio Pochettino has revealed Tottenham’s head of recruitment Paul Mitchell is due to remain with the club until the end of next year despite resigning in August.Mitchell chose to quit Spurs after growing frustrated in the summer transfer window but he was required to serve a period of notice before completing his departure. Pochettino has now said the agreed period was for 16 months.Despite Pochettino’s increasing influence over transfers – he assumed the job title of ‘manager’ instead of ‘head coach’ in May – Tottenham do want to replace Mitchell and are actively seeking his successor.It is understood Spurs expect to appoint their new scouting chief far sooner than the end of 2017 and that Mitchell’s lengthy notice period will act as a safety net, designed to ensure the role is not left vacant. Mitchell is likely to leave once a replacement is found.It does, however, leave Tottenham in the awkward position of having an outgoing head of recruitment still in charge for the approaching January transfer window, and potentially next year’s summer transfer window too.Pochettino, however, insists there is no conflict of interest: “It’s normal.“It’s difficult to find a replacement. It’s difficult to move quickly. Always it’s to protect our club and our interests.”Pochettino continued: “He is still working and that does not affect the situation for us. When he handed in his notice, the notice was 16 months and he will be working until the end of the season, doing the same job.“He is doing his job because Tottenham are paying his salary and it’s not his decision to sign players – it is Tottenham’s as a club.“But with him or without him, or with another person, it is always difficult to sign players in January.”Mitchell’s record since he joined Spurs in November 2014 has been mixed.The club signed Dele Alli in the following January transfer window but the midfielder’s move was more down to the work of David Pleat.Toby Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier, Son Heung-min and Victor Wanyama have been notable successes but Kevin Wimmer, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Moussa Sissoko and Vincent Janssen are all currently on the fringe of the first team.Clinton Njie was sent to Marseille on loan in August after an underwhelming debut campaign.Pochettino admits a club like Tottenham, without the boundless riches of the Premier League’s other top clubs and with a new stadium still needing to be financed, have to take more risks.“When you compare us with Liverpool, Chelsea, City, United and Arsenal, in this moment it is very difficult to compete with them,” Pochettino said.“The challenge is to be clever and to take risks – and as we know, when you take risks in football, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.”last_img read more

Med students learning about rural health

first_imgMedical students from Southwestern Ontario have been spending the week in Chatham to experience the work environment in a rural hospital.The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance is hosting about 20 students from the Windsor and London campuses of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry for a Discovery Week. They have been working with preceptors – meaning physicians, specialists and other health professionals – to see how different areas of the hospital work.Abdullah Chughtai from the London campus said he was surprised to see the “broad scope” the doctors at the hospital have.“It’s like every doctor has kind of got their hands on a whole bunch of different things,” he said. “The ’emerg’ doctors I work with were also family doctors.”Originally from Toronto, Chughtai said this approach is different from what he is used to.However, he said he thinks it’s amazing to cover different types of medical practices like this.“You get to see more. You get to treat more patients. It’s just more interesting, I think,” he said.The week is meant to show first-year medical students the options they have once they reach third and fourth years, when they can choose elective clinical rotations in hospitals.Windsor campus student Sarang Upneja said she is considering a rural hospital and would like to come back to the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance to try out other specialties.“It was really eye-opening and rewarding to see how much teamwork goes into it, and to really step outside of your comfort zone and respond to challenges,” she said. “It’s a really unique community, I would say, especially the patient population too. Everybody knows everybody.”The areas the students experienced include the emergency department, the intensive care unit, ambulatory care, pathology, smoking cessation and oncology. Some students went to both the Chatham and Wallaceburg campuses of the hospital.Dr. Pervez Faruqi, the hospital’s chief of staff, said he wants the students to experience the community on an “as-is” basis.“I would say this is a real exposure to a real clinical practice in a community setting,” he said. “There is nothing that is staged for them. They just get to see how we work from day to day.”Faruqi said he hopes what the students experience during the week will give them an interest in coming back, either for the elective rotations or a residency after graduation.“Many of the medical students or medical professionals decide early on in their medical education and training where they would like to practise, so from a recruitment perspective, we are hoping that this will entice them to come and work,” he said.Chughtai said he found the community to be very welcoming and realized how close-knit it was when the emergency department doctor knew a patient’s family.“I think everybody wants us to come back,” added Upneja. “Even all the patients are (saying), ‘Come back.’”last_img read more

SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We’ll Never Forget 2015 (No Matter How Hard We Try)

first_img–So there you have it: Six Reasons We’ll Never Forget 2015 (No Matter How Hard We Try). See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan)A raptor gets up close and personal with Disney Twitter Icon Mark Diba. Hands down our favorite photo of 2015.If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:Inaugural 2015 Theme Park Awards (AKA The Burgys)How to Survive Star Wars Weekends in Six Easy StepsA SATURDAY SIX Salute to All Nations (But Mostly America)Six Things We STILL Can’t Believe Happened at Walt Disney WorldSpecial Thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover, master photo manipulater Matt Cleary, #blocked and reported for Spam Michael Sheehy, Disney Fanboyz and general instigators Mark “#WaterBottleWednesday” Diba and The @schmoofy, YouTube sensation (no, not Tim Tracker, the other one) Kyle of View From the Cheap Seats, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and Brian Carey.Did y’all hear me at the Rose Bowl? Bag check has moved. Scanners implemented. Was questioned for taking photos. Bad show. pic.twitter.com/RueFjNFEDL— Magic City Mayhem (@MagicCityMayhem) December 17, 2015Much like the TSA at our airports, not many guests going through these new security procedures feel much safer. Both Disney and Universal are using a third party to provide the security measures, and this is not a company known for its friendliness or cooperativeness with guests. While we will certainly get some tweaks, it is hard to believe we will ever go back to the old system.––HONORABLE MENTION – Walt Disney World removes prize gamesThis one cuts me deep. One of the things I enjoy about a theme park resort is a good arcade. Pop Century and Art of Animation? Great arcades. Contemporary? Great. Port Orleans French Quarter? Horrible. One thing that all the really good arcades had was a whole bunch of games that gave out tickets, which guests could then redeem for prizes. Disney started phasing out these games at the beginning of the year, all because of a law that passed in Florida which targeted Internet Cafes that they feel may be applied to video games. Any game which gave out prizes of any kind were either removed completely or had their ticket prize function disabled. Many of these games were eventually replaced with driving simulator video games.Yes, the old prize redemption games were a bad deal. Who knows how much actual real money you spent just to redeem tickets in for candy and toys which won’t last a week but when you’re a kid, that’s what makes life worth living. Cashing in tickets that you won for cheap crap is a right of passage that no longer takes place on Disney property. Thankfully prize redeeming games still remain at the Universal Orlando Resort. (photo by Michael Sheehy)–# 4 – Universal Turns Around I Love Lucy Sign and Uses Duct TapeUniversal has delivered a lot to the theme park world in the past few years (including Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Springfield USA, Raptor Encounter, and Diagon Alley) and has a whole bunch of stuff coming (including Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Race Through the New York starring Jimmy Fallon, Sapphire Falls, and Volcano Bay) but one thing they did this past August was a little surprising. The attraction I Love Lucy: A Tribute left the park to make way for a Hello Kitty interactive retail store “experience.” The day after Universal closed the Lucy attraction, they merely turned the sign around and taped it back up with duct tape. While there certainly are a million creative uses of duct tape, this probably shouldn’t be listed in the top ten.(photo by @AmusementBuzz)–# 3 – SeaWorld Twitter (#askseaworld)They say there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. We theme park fans know there is one more, the price of park tickets is going up. A fourth certainty can probably be added to the list in the form of: Whatever SeaWorld Public Relations Does, It’s Going To Be The Worst Thing Possible. In our Second Annual Turkey Awards, we talked about the SeaWorld employee who got caught trying to go undercover as a animal rights activist. That wasn’t even the craziest SeaWorld story of the year.Back in March, SeaWorld launched a #AskSeaWorld campaign, encouraging social media users to ask them questions in order to educate them about the park. As anyone who has ever been on Twitter knows, it may not be the best place possible to have a rational and reasonable discussion about anything. SeaWorld was inundated with people attacking them, along with others asking legitimate questions that wouldn’t be in SeaWorld’s best interests to answer publicly (such as specifics about their breeding program).Now when you get trolled on Twitter there are two ways you can respond. A) Take the high road and just ignore the people obviously trying to get a rise out of you. B) Attack them back.SeaWorld chose option B, and started posting their own memes and insults, in the process coming across like a petulant child. There is an important lesson to learn here. NEVER CHOOSE OPTION B.What a night.—# 2 – Star Wars Food at the Rebel HangarWhile we are all basking in the glow of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and looking forward to the upcoming Star Wars Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we do need to spend a minute mourning the loss of an annual tradition: Star Wars Weekends (SWW).  This past year SWW went out with a bang as it introduced the Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience, an overlay to Backlot Express. Inside the Hangar was a whole bunch of neat – even if completely random – Star Wars elements including awesome propaganda-style posters done for The Empire. The backstory to the Rebel Hangar was that it included discarded remnants from over a hundred planets, so it was essentially a Star Wars Outlet Store.The highlight to the Rebel Hangar was the food. The entire menu was themed to Star Wars and ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime. Filled with puns (including The Dark Fried, a variation on chicken and waffles) and some nonsensical items (such as Ensalada Naboo) if this menu is a sneak peek of the food and drink items coming to Star Wars Land we are in for some next level bananas stuff. Universal and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter went one way with Butterbeer and Chocolate Frogs, immersing guests into the film world they loved; Rebel Hangar went in a completely different direction with a bonkers looking Chips and Sith and the disgustingly named Dagobah Swamp Juice.Sith and Chips. “I got a bad feeling about this.” (photo by Megan Stump)Yoda Key Lime Cake. Where is Obi-Wan Kenobi to wave his arm to say “This is not the dessert you are looking for.” (photo by @kyzman)The Dark Fried. (photo by @kyzman)–# 1 – Theme Park Security Goes to DEFCON 2It all started earlier this year, when metal detectors were installed at three of Universal’s roller coasters. The first walk-through metal detectors appeared unannounced at Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit in March, followed by more appearing at Dragon Challenge and The Incredible Hulk Coaster a few weeks later. In the past, Universal has had guests go through the metal detectors (along with handheld scanning wands) during their Halloween Horror Nights event, but this was the first time the practice was done inside the parks. This security measure was put in place to make sure guests did not bring selfie sticks, cell phones, or keys onto the rides.A guest being wanded at The Incredible Hulk Coaster in Islands of Adventure. Anyone ever see the movie This Is Spinal Tap? (photo by Seth Kubersky)Later in the summer, Disney completely banned the use of selfie sticks in their theme parks, an issue we covered in our special Thanksgiving article.On November 13, the city of Paris, France suffered a series of coordinated terrorist attacks. When that event happened, my family and I were in the middle of a Disney vacation and the bag checks at the parks immediately became much more thorough.On December 17th, Walt Disney World, the Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando installed metal detectors in front of their parks.Metal detector at the Animal Kingdom. (photo by Seth Kubersky)center_img Share This!This week’s  SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We’ll Never Forget 2015 (No Matter How Hard We Try). With this being the first edition of the SATURDAY SIX for 2016 it is time for our annual tradition of looking back at some of the most memorable moments of the past year. Now we already covered some of the great things that happened during the past 365 days, and some of the worst as well, so today let’s look at six theme park stories that fall into a different area. Events that are almost hard to believe actually happened, but we promise they did, and we’re here with the proof. So let’s kick it off with…# 6 – Universal Bans Water BottlesBringing a Dasani into the park? You just may be doing some hard time! (photo by Matt Cleary)–Monday, February 16th. A day that will live in (theme park) infamy. This was the day when the Universal Orlando Resort mysteriously banned guests from bringing water bottles into the resort. No official reason was given as to why the new procedure was put into place, and after a huge social media outcry, the ban was lifted by Thursday. No advanced warning was given, so guests showing up to the parks found out at the security bag check at the parking garages that bringing bottled water onto property was not allowed. This caused lines at bag check to grow frustratingly large (which – as it turns out – was just foreshadowing for events later in year, but we’ll get to that later).–# 5 – MagicBand WatchReaders of the SATURDAY SIX may know we have a sister article, The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! that takes a monthly look at the items available at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. We’ve seen some pretty strange items over the years, but an item that made its debut in June is up there with the best of them. In fact, it is appropriate that the MagicBand Slider was delivered into the world during the same year as Back To The Future day because – like Marty McFly and Doc Brown – this accessory appears to come straight from 1985. Aside from being aesthetically ugly, you can’t even wear the MagicBand Slider like you would a normal watch because it would cover up the “Mickey Head” that you need to use at the turnstiles, FP+ sensors, and hotel room doors. Just amazing!last_img read more