Youngster shows nerves of steel to claim the women’s 10m air rifle event, ahead of Chinese pair Du Li and Yi Siling
American teenager Virginia Thrasher stunned favoured rivals to win the first gold medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, showing nerves of steel to claim the women’s 10m air rifle event on Saturday (6 August) morning.
Thrasher won the gold medal with a finals Olympic-record score of 208, ahead of Du Li of China, who had been dominant in qualifying, setting an Olympic record of 420.7. Thrasher's performance was a big surprise, as she is ranked 23 in the world.
Thrasher beat two-time gold medallist Du by one point. The 2012 Olympic champion, Yi Siling of China, claimed bronze.
Earlier this year, Thrasher became the first freshman to win both individual NCAA rifle titles and helped West Virginia win the team title. She followed that by winning the US Olympic trials less than a month later, earning a trip to Rio.
Thrasher only entered the Olympic trials with the goal of doing her best, not making the Olympic team. "To me, it was just another match to try and do my best. I wasn't really worried about the result. This is beyond my wildest dreams."
She has already turned her mind to her studies at West Virginia University, where she will be a sophomore. "I get home 20 hours before the first class, so I’ll be in physics at 8:30 am," she said.
Private Colleges Are Offering Record Tuition Discounts to Win Students
Where to find the biggest bargains.
Those scarily high tuition prices most private colleges say they charge are increasingly as make-believe as Freddy Krueger: Only 11% of freshmen paid them last year, according to a survey of private colleges released today.
The rest—89% of freshmen at private colleges—received a school grant or scholarship worth, on average, 54% of the published or “sticker” tuition, the National Association of College and University Business Officers reported. Both those numbers are all-time records.
The survey indicates that colleges eager to recruit applicants are luring students with big grants— often labeled “merit scholarships” to flatter recipients, but in reality more like the discounts off of a retailer’s price tag.
In 2013, the latest year for which data are available, most private colleges reported sticker prices for tuition and fees somewhere between $30,000 and $45,000 a year. (Room, board, books, and travel typically add another $15,000 to $20,000 to the total annual costs.)
But schools that accepted more than half of applicants charged net tuition, after scholarships were subtracted, of less than $20,000. Those that accepted less than half of their applicants charged their students an average net tuition of about $23,600
That explains why the odds are lower for getting a deal at an Ivy League college. Nearly a third of schools—mostly large, selective, wealthy universities with plenty of applicants—didn’t increase their discounts last year, NACUBO reported. The most selective colleges on MONEY’s Best Colleges list—those with admissions rates of 33% or less—gave only about half of their students grants.
But that still leaves more than 1,000 non-elite private colleges attempting to attract students with ever-bigger scholarships or discounts off their ever-higher tuition. In fact, among the 736 colleges in MONEY’s rankings, nearly 100 award a scholarship to every single freshman. Those schools accept an average of 66% of applicants.
College officials cited three key reasons for the rise in discounts.
Psychology. Research by Lucie Lapovsky, a former president of Mercy College in New York who now serves as a consultant to colleges, shows that at least 40% of students and parents would opt for the bragging rights they get when a school gives them a large scholarship off a high tuition, rather than a school that has lower tuition and lower aid, but similar net costs.
Economics. The combination of rising tuition and financial woes for the middle class mean more applicants need scholarships to afford private colleges, said Steven Klein, vice president for enrollment management at Albion College in Michigan, where 100% of freshmen received a school grant in 2012 (the latest year for which federal data are available).
Competition. In part because of a decline in the number of 18-year-olds, more colleges are having recruiting problems, and thus need to offer bigger discounts. About a third of the schools surveyed told NACUBO that their enrollment declined last year.
The latest numbers “provide more evidence that students and families should look beyond sticker prices,” said NACUBO President and CEO John Walda. Instead, he said, families should focus on the “net” price, which is the price they pay after grants and scholarships have been subtracted.
One unfortunate result of the growing practice of raising sticker prices and offering more aid is confusion for students and parents, Lapovsky contends. Students have to apply to colleges in the fall, without a good sense of how much the college will actually cost them. Although colleges are required to provide a net price calculator tool on their websites, Lapovsky says many are outdated or give such general estimates that they aren’t helpful.
So students typically have to wait until April to see their final offer. And because colleges demand an answer by May 1, many students have just a few short weeks to make a potentially life-changing financial decision.
In addition, Lapovsky says, the common but mistaken assumption that colleges with high tuition are “better” than those with lower tuition can lead families to make costly college choices.
In fact, MONEY has found no significant relationship between the average net price charged by the colleges in our rankings and important quality indicators such as the earnings of recent graduates.
For more advice on paying for college, and to create a customizable list of colleges based on criteria such as size, selectivity, and affordability, visit the new MONEY College Planner.
A collection of street and candid photography, principally from the streets of Philadelphia, and presented mostly in black and white.
Why black and white? — There’s endless debate on this topic, and solid reasons for choosing color or black and white. And while I do not believe all street photography need be black and white (you will see the occasional color photo in this collection), by presenting street and candid photography without color, I believe it focuses the viewer’s attention on the raw emotion, the human spirit, and the grittiness of the urban landscape. By removing colorful distractions, I believe black and white photography can reveal the essence of the human condition. Yes, black and white is a form of abstraction, but I think the subtle shades of grey and the strong contrasts put the viewer in a state of time/location displacement. If done right, and with a compelling and interesting composition, the black and white street photograph gives us a “fill in the blanks” style of storytelling that is both a moment in time and timeless.
Available for sale on my Redbubble page is a small subset of my Philadelphia street photography. But if you see anything here you’d like to purchase that is not currently available, I do take requests! Just click the Contact link in the menu above to send your request. Thank you.
Celebrate your allegiance to your team with this incredible 8x12 Aluminum Team Sign. This is a must have for anyone who loves their team. This sign is perfect for your man cave, above your bar, or wherever you want to proudly display your fandom. Official NHL Licensed ProductPerfect Gift or Collectors Item
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My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her. George Washington
The news from Australia about a cat who came home after straying for 13 years is one of the nicest feel-good stories of this week. Tales of cats missing for long periods of time or turning up in strange places happen more often than you think, but when they are found and returned to their families, it’s always a good story.
1. CHARLES: EIGHT MONTHS LATER, 1300 MILES AWAY
In 2009, Robin Alex, of Albuquerque, New Mexico went to New Orleans to built a Habitat for Humanity house. When she returned, her cat Charles was gone. Eight months later, she received a call from Chicago Animal Care and Control. A cat had been picked up with a microchip identifying her as the owner! But there was also bad news- if she didn’t pick him up within six days, Charles would be euthanized. Alex didn’t have time to wonder about how her cat had ended up 1300 miles from home, because she had to get him back. And she couldn’t afford a round-trip ticket to Chicago.
The local news picked up the story, which then went national. Alex asked if anyone was planning a trip to Chicago and would be able to help her. Enter fellow Albuquerque resident Lucien Sims. Sims said he has a tabby cat who strongly resembles Charles, and was moved when his mother sent him an online story about Alex and her pet.
Sims volunteered to pick Charles up and bring him back to New Mexico, as he was traveling to a wedding in Chicago. American Airlines did not charge a travel fee for the cat, and another business donated a pet carrier. Alex is happy to have her cat back. Still, no one knows how Charles came to be 1300 miles away in Chicago.
2. ALFIE: NINE MONTHS AND ONE BURIAL LATER
Thought he was a goner, but the cat came back. That old song came true in the case of Alfie, an orange tom that belongs to Angelo Petrillo of Milnrow, Greater Manchester, England. Petrillo buried a cat he was sure was Alfie after a car hit the cat near his home in 2009. Then the Petrillo family moved to a new house. Nine months later, a friend from the old neighborhood called to tell Petrillo that a ginger cat was at their old house trying to get in! The confused Petrillos went to investigate at their old home a mile away, and there was Alfie. The cat had put on weight, so it was obvious that someone had been taking care of him, but there was no doubt it was Alfie, seemingly come back from the dead. The Petrillos still don't know whose cat they buried, or where Alfie has been all that time.
3. FUZZY: FOUR YEARS LATER, IN A PET STORE
Michelle Wright of Barrington, New Hampshire, was devastated when a neighbor told her a cat resembling hers was struck and killed by a car. Fuzzy had run away from a friend’s house not too long before that. Wright thought that was the last of Fuzzy. But in 2014, the Cocheco Valley Humane Society took a shelter cat down to the Pet Connections Pet Store, which just happened to be down the street from Wright’s home. Shortly afterward, Wright stopped in to buy pet supplies. The more she looked at the cat, the more she was convinced it was Fuzzy. Wright brought in pictures and described a unique mark on Fuzzy's paw. It was definitely her cat!
Wright still had to go through the procedure of adopting Fuzzy from the shelter and paid the $85 fee. That covered Fuzzy’s shots and included a microchip implantation, so Fuzzy will never be lost that long again. See a video report from WMUR.
Virginia Fryback of Fort Wayne, Indiana, thought she’d never see Charlie again after he went missing five years ago. Just a couple of months ago, a ten-year-old cat came into the care of Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, and his microchip led to the cat’s return to Fryback. Fryback was elated, and credits her veterinarian, who talked her into getting the cat microchipped all those years ago.
5. WILLOW: FIVE YEARS AND 1,800 MILES LATER
Chris and Jamie Squires of Broomfield, Colorado, looked for their missing cat Willow in late 2006 or early 2007 when a contractor let her out of the house by mistake. They put up posters, but sadly figured that Willow was a victim of a coyote or another wild animal. Then in September of 2011, they got a call from Animal Care & Control -in New York City! Willow had been picked up on 20th street and taken to a city shelter. They found the Squires by scanning the cat’s microchip. Even though the family had moved to Boulder, they updated their address with the microchip company just in case. The Today Showpaid for the family to fly to New Yorkand retrieve Willow. And how did Willow get so far from home? An anonymous source told Gawker that a New Yorker who went skiing in Colorado brought the cat home, and even sent a picture. It’s a likely scenario, but no one came forward to admit doing it.
Birkir Fjalar Viðarsson of Reykjavík, Iceland, loved his cat Örvar, but when he adopted a puppy in 2007, Örvar took off. Viðarsson checked in regularly with the local animal shelter (Kattholt) for quite some time. But after a couple of years, he came to the conclusion that his cat was either dead or had been adopted by someone else. He hoped it was someone nice. Then in February of 2014, Viðarsson received an email from Kattholt. Örvar, who had a microchip, had been found! It took a couple of weeks to find Viðarsson, as he had moved.
The reunion was particularly joyous. Birkir received notification from Kattholt, Reykjavík’s cat shelter. “At first I really couldn’t believe it. I did not know what to expect. So I prepared for the worst; maybe he had lost an eye or an ear. Maybe he would have to be humanely put out of his misery. When I arrived, I was told that Örvar was shy and kept to himself in the corner. But when I called out his name he came running, climbed on top of me and wrapped his body around me. It was as if we had never been apart. It was lovely. The ladies at Kattholt told me that they had never seen the cat behave that way. One of them was even moved to tears.”
7. DIXIE: NINE YEARS LATER
Photograph: RSPCA handout.
When her cat Dixie went missing in 1999, Gilly Delaney thought she must have been killed by a car. But in 2008, a stray cat was reported to the RSPCA in Birmingham, England. When vets checked the cat for a microchip, they found that it was Delaney’s cat. Dixie had been picked up less than half a mile from her old home! The Delaneys were overjoyed to be reunited with their cat nine years later.
"Dixie's personality, behavior and little mannerisms have not changed at all," said Gilly Delaney. "We don't think she has stopped purring since she came back through the door."
Pauline and Bill Lowe of Corringham, England, donated two couches to the St Luke's Hospice charity shop in Grays, Essex. One of the couches had to be disassembled to get it through the door, and reassembled after it was outside. The Lowe’s cat Crockett was soon noticed missing, but they couldn’t figure out where he might have gone. The sofas went to the shop, and one was bought four days later.
The couch was delivered, and new owners set it up in their home.
Crockett was discovered a day later by the sofa's new owners.
Shop manager Jenny Munro said: "[They] heard a soft miaow sound and, on further investigation of the sofa, saw two claws poking out of the material which moved away when touched.
"In order to release the cat they had to rip the material under the sofa as Crockett had lodged himself well into the back.”
When Shelby went missing from her home in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, in 2001, Paula Harper-Adams thought she’d seen the last of her. Thirteen years and four sons later, a stray black-and-white cat showed up at their home last week. Harper-Adams took the scrawny, matted, lice-ridden stray to a vet and then noticed its marking were similar to Shelby's. Could it be? She dug out some old photos of Shelby and compared them. She also had the veterinarian staff compare them, and they all came to the conclusion that it was indeed the same cat. Shelby, who is now 17 years old, gives no clue as to where she has been, but she found her way home.
More missing cat stories would have such happy endings if more people had a microchip embedded in each of their pets.