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Journey Brown fights through personal tragedy to put together a career-performance for Penn State football – The Daily Collegian Online

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Just six days removed from a family tragedy, Journey Brown ran the ball with a greater purpose against Rutgers.

Browns 17-year old cousin died last Sunday, and he wasnt far from the running backs thoughts when he took the field on Saturday.

That first touchdown, I knew I was playing for him today. Brown said.

The sophomore running back racked up 103 yards and three touchdowns in the game, one of his best performances of his entire career.

After the game I said you made your cousin so proud, Im so proud of you the way you played today, sophomore linebacker Micah Parsons said. You know he kinda put the offense on his shoulders and made a lot of big runs, scored some crucial touchdowns.

What led to this great performance was a tough week for Brown, but the running back found solace in his teammates and the sport he loves the most.

Brown turned to football as a way to escape, a method of coping and most importantly, a support system.

Sunday after practice we knew Journey was going to go home and be with his family through that loss, Parsons said. He came right back Tuesday and said I dont want to miss a day with you guys, you guys are my second family, you guys help me get through everything.

The Meadville, Pennsylvania, native had unconditional support from his team throughout the week, so much so that Brown considers his teammates and coaches his second family in addition to the one he has at home.

Brown wanted to put on his best performance for both on Saturday.

I have two families, I did it for my little cousin Paige and his immediate family, and I did it for the seniors and the Penn State family. Brown said.

In his postgame press conference, James Franklin spoke about his running backs great performance and his perseverance through the adversity he faced in his life, which is a great amount.

In my 24 years I dont think Ive been around a kid who has overcome more adversity in his life than him he had some more this past week, Franklin said. Hes a special, special kid, huge smile on his face, very appreciative of Penn State. Hes been phenomenal and I could not be more proud of him.

Penn State Nittany Lions running back Journey Brown (4) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the game against Rutgers on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa. The Nittany Lions defeated the Scarlet Knights 27-6.

Channeling his emotions into football isnt all that new for Brown, sadly.

The running back has previously spoken about the death of his grandmother and how he plays for her.

My grandma was hard but this one definitely hit different, Brown said. You grow from stuff like this, Im just becoming the man I want to become.

Overcoming adversity is something that Brown has dealt with on more than one occasion, and football has been the one constant as a way to move forward.

I learned at a young age how to channel my emotions and put it to the right things, Brown said. I just took all the energy and put it in my game, thats why every time I go out I wear my nana on my neck and have her tattooed on me it just always channels into football because thats my escape, thats my getaway, its what I love to do.

The past year has been a rollercoaster for Brown.

Hes dealt with two losses in his family while also going from backup to featured back on one of the nations premier programs.

Running back, Journey Brown (4), runs into the endzone and scores a touchdown during the game against Rutgers at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. The Nittany Lions defeated the Scarlet Knights 27-6, with three touchdowns scored by Brown.

Brown has now rushed for over 100 yards in four games this year and taken the spot as the Nittany Lions leading rusher for 2019 as the season comes to a close.

This regular season finale against the Scarlet Knights was just the exclamation point on what has been a breakthrough year for the sophomore.

But after the three touchdown performance Brown is thinking of others and the bigger picture of why he plays the game he loves in light of his cousins passing.

It just gives me another why Why do I love this game? Why do I want to do what I want to do? Why do I want to get up every morning and roll out of bed? Because those people would have done it for me, Brown said. When I roll out of bed I think about the people that are still here and I think about what Ive got to do for my family up here at Penn State and then my family back at home

I know they would do the same because theyve sacrificed for me to get here to this point and the people that are here at Penn State are still sacrificing for me, for my position and what Im doing now, so Im always going to put on for the people, so thats my why.

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Dance project brings music and theater together for narrative performance – OSU – The Lantern

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Co-founder and choreographer for FluxFlow Dance Project, Russell Lepley, poses for a promotional photo for Ursula. Credit: Courtesy of Kate Sweeney

An up-and-coming dance company has planted its roots in Columbus, Ohio, and is taking the stage at the Wexner Center for the Arts this week.

Columbus-based dance company, FluxFlow Dance Project, combines mediums of dance, theater and music in the grand opening of its creative work Ursula, inspired by Joanna Newsoms song Monkey and Bear premiering Thursday, according to the Wexner Center website.

The performance is comprised of company co-founders Russell Lepley and Filippo Pelacchi and alumna Kelly Hurlburt.

Lepley said he was inspired to use Newsoms fable as the creative structure for the contemporary performance.

Lepley said the story is about a monkey and bear who escape from a circus hoping to pursue their own ambitions. He said the story takes a turn when the monkey becomes manipulative, essentially recreating the bears entrapment and ultimately leading to the bear leaving, forcing the monkey to remain alone to face his inner demons.

This kind of will to be your own maker rather than someones tool is like a similar parallel from our personal narrative, and we feel like its something that can connect to an audience because I think most people have had a boss that they probably dont like very much and have wanted to have their own freedom, probably, so we try to hit all of those points, Lepley said.

Lepley said he and Pelacchi, his partner, started FluxFlow two years ago to enable their own artistic visions in a career that can be restricting.

Dance is something that is a very creative career, but its also very limited in what your choices are, so another reason why we moved to Columbus besides to start our own company was because we wanted to have more creative autonomy, Lepley said.

This means integrating his dance and theater background with Pelacchis background in dance and music to form one multidisciplinary piece, Lepley said.

Lane Czaplinski, director of performing arts at the Wexner Center, said he chose to feature FluxFlow for the 2019-20 performing arts season as a means of showcasing Columbus local talent.

We have a lot of talented artists in lots of different disciplines who live in the region, and I want to encourage more of that, Czaplinski said. I think that if people can see artists from here who have professional careers, and if they see them working and making provocative work, then maybe itll inspire other people to do the same.

In addition to performing and choreographing, Czaplinski said FluxFlow Dance Project has their own dance studio in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus, helping solidify a community of supporters through the people who take classes there.

Theyre unique in that way because they actually have a lot of people in town who are off campus people in Columbus who are tremendous supporters of theirs, so thats why you know each night will be sold out, Czaplinski said.

FluxFlow Dance Project will perform Ursula at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Wexner Center for the Arts Performance Space. Tickets cost $24 for the general public, $21 for members and $13 for students and can be purchased at the Wexner Centers website.

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Dance project brings music and theater together for narrative performance - OSU - The Lantern

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Andrew Scheer’s personal numbers suggest he was part of the problem in October –

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Andrew Scheer has highlighted the gains his Conservatives made in the last election, but polls suggest his own personal brand took a big hit during the campaign.

It might be hard for Andrew Scheer not to takethe calls for his resignation personally.

After all, under his leadership the Conservatives won more seats and more of the popular vote in October's election than they did in 2015.

The Liberals under Justin Trudeau were reduced to a minority and lost the popular vote. Jagmeet Singh led his New Democrats to their worst performance in years. Nobody inthose two parties iscalling seriously for either leaderto step aside.

What gives?

Polls conducted during the last federal election campaign suggest that Scheerhimself might be theproblem. An analysis of data from recent campaigns shows no party leader has seen his or her personal approval ratingduring an election campaign worsen more than Scheer's did.

Between the beginning and the end of the recent campaign, Scheer's net approval rating (approval minus disapproval) decreased by an average of 10 points, according to polls conducted by Forum Research and Campaign Research. That's the biggest decrease in a major party leader's net rating in any of the last four federal election campaigns.

In other words, Scheeractually lost groundpersonallyduring the 2019 campaign despite his party's stronger showing at the ballot box.

With an average approval rating of 27 per cent and a disapproval rating of 55 per cent, Scheer's net -28 rating at the close of the 2019 campaign was worse than any other leader's post-campaign score except Liberal leaders Stphane Dion (-32.5) and Michael Ignatieff (-37.5) and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper after his losing 2015 campaign (-32.5).

All three of those leaders resigned on election night, or shortly thereafter.

For Dion and Ignatieff, those ratings were actually an improvement over where they were when those campaigns started. Dion's net rating increased by 10.5 points, and Ignatieff's by 3.5 points, over the course of their disastrous2008 and 2011 campaigns. Despite their deep unpopularity, their ratings still improved (relatively speaking)once Canadians sawmore of them.

That was not the case for Scheer, who was a net -18 in Forum and Campaign's pre-campaign polling.

Trudeau also improved his net rating during the campaign by about three points although at -21 it was significantly worse than the +11.5 rating Trudeau enjoyed at the end of his first campaign in 2015.

So what looks like a double standard in how the three leaders are being viewed now isn't really a double standard at all.Calls for Scheer's resignation have been ramping up since it became clear that his campaign performanceworsened Canadians' views of him.

Singh, meanwhile,seems safely ensconced as NDP leader despite losing nearly half of hiscaucus. ButSingh impressed many people during the campaign, turningaround the negative impressions some voters had of him.

Singh's net approval rating improved from -13 at the outset to +26 by the end, an increase of 39 points. That puts him far and away ahead of all other party leaders over the last four election campaigns. His nearest competition is Jack Layton, whose approval ratingincreased by 18.5 and 20 points following the 2008 and 2011 campaigns, respectively.

The major difference is that Layton started those campaigns with significantly better ratings than Singh brought into the 2019 campaign.

Still, Singh ended this campaign with an average approval rating of 50.5 per cent. That's the best approval rating of any leader coming out of the last four election campaigns; it'sjust slightly ahead of Layton's result at the end of 2011 and Trudeau and Mulcair's scores at the end of the 2015 campaign.

This explains the numbers in a recent poll by Lger for the Canadian Press. It found that 87 per cent of NDP voters think Singh should remain as leader, compared to just six per cent who want to see him step down.

Among Conservative voters, however, just 48 per cent said Scheer should stay on, while 40 per cent want him to go. And these are the people who still say they will back the Conservatives a number that decreased in the Lger poll compared to October's election result.

Among all Canadians, just 24 per cent think Scheer should hold on to his job, while 52 per cent say the same for Singh.

Dion, Ignatieff and Harper (in 2015) are the only other leaders to end one of the last four campaigns with an approval rating of less than 31 per cent. Dion and Ignatieff ended each of their campaigns as Liberal leader with an approval rating in the low-20s worse than Scheer's 27 per cent but they had started their campaigns in the low teens.

Scheer is the only major leader over that time to see his approval rating actually drop over the course of the campaign. It went down by a single point, but every other leader has either seen that approval rating hold steady (which happened to Mulcair and Harper in 2015) or improve by at least 2.5 points (and often much more than that).

The nine point increase in Scheer's disapproval rating is also the biggest over the last four elections, outpacing Harper's 8.5-point disapproval increase in2011 and Mulcair's eight-point jump in 2015.


Scheer's disapproval rating increased across the countryit spiked the most in Quebec, jumping by 18.5 points. With the exception of Atlantic Canada, Scheer's net rating got worse in every region.

So how did Scheer's Conservatives make gains if he is so unpopular?

Those gains were not uniform. The bulk of them came in Western Canada, where dissatisfaction with the Trudeau government was more likely than enthusiasm for Scheer to have been the main factor driving voters' choices. The rest of the Conservatives' wins came in Atlantic Canada, where the Liberal brand took a beating in recent provincial elections and where, after sweeping the region in 2015, the federal Liberals had nowhere to go but down. In Ontario and Quebec,the Conservatives took less of the vote than they did in the last election.

Summing up: Scheer'sintroduction to Canadians did not go very well. With some justification, Conservatives calling for his resignation have come to the conclusion that it likely wouldn't go any better the second time around.

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Where is L&Ds place within a business and how does this fit with HR? – HR News

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Posted on Dec 4, 2019

Author : Mark Bilney, MD of Learning & Development at Gobeyond Partners

We regularly hear people asking about L&Ds function within a business and where it should sit in relation to HR and the business units. For instance, is it a function of HR or a partner of the business in and of itself? And do the two need one another or can they work independently?

In our view, often when L&D is a mature and established department, it tends to remain as a function of HR. However, when this is the case, there appears to be a sense of detachment from the primary business drivers (provision of services or products). In contrast, when we have witnessed L&D aligned with key business areas and objectives, this close working is usually driven and led by the business areas themselves rather than by L&D. We see very different imperatives driving training procurement for a more traditional, HR-based approach, versus the procurement of L&D services directly by the business areas themselves. All too often, it feels as though L&D are passive participants in the business, rather than proactive in bringing their services and capabilities to the party.

However, with an increasing business focus on efficiencies and cost savings, competitive advantage being derived through customer experience, and the ongoing pressures of digital transformation, L&D has a real opportunity to take a seat at the transformation table. They can do this by focusing training around specific business needs and by building cohorts of people with similar problems to solve rather than having courses open to all. Whilst we have the desire to create a Peter Senge style continuous learning organisation, we also must appreciate that L&D cannot be a passenger on the business journey; it has to be seen as a key component within the organisation that measurably supports change and growth.

Generally the spend on training is low only 12% of companies have a budget of > 600 per annum per employee. However, if that training improves performance by 20%, reduces errors or complaints by 15%, reduces the cost to serve by 10%; then suddenly the spend per head is largely irrelevant. In a situation where you can measure a positivereturn on investment in-line withthe corporate agenda, L&D is no longer a cost to the business, but rather a value-add service contributing to the success of the organisation.At a time when some businesses are converting face-to-face learning to e-learning specifically to save money, L&D really does have an opportunity to show the measurable value add and play an essential part in business growth. There is also a correlation between colleague engagement and customer experience. By getting it right for colleagues within your business, you are often helping to get it right for customers interacting with your business improving the human experience (something that we call HX), as well.

For L&D to be a partner within the business, they must first and foremost understand the company purpose and strategy. Secondly, they will need to work in partnership with HR. If HR and L&D work collaboratively to ensure a healthy people function that is aligned to the company purpose, ultimately everything else should cascade from there. This includes measuring peoples performance and contribution. If you understand what your customer needs and how you are going to provide that, you will be able to provide training that directly supports that business purpose. Furthermore, when personal performance measures and learning outcomes align with the business purpose, the result is a positive one for all.

Certainly, some of the most successful L&D teams are made up of a mix of L&D professionals and people from the business areas; those who understand what we do and how we do it and can translate that into training requirements. When a transformation strategy is being shaped, L&D need to be involved early on and those people with both the business insight and the L&D experience will play an extremely important part in ensuring the business has the skill set it needs to be successful.

So where should L&D sit? Its probably the wrong question to ask. Rather what is critical is that whatever your organisational design or operating model L&D sits where it can link closely to the business agenda and where it can best deliver measurable, positive benefits.

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Kim Petras Talks Pop Perfection and Her Upcoming Performance at the Ogden – 303 Magazine

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Kim Petras has made no shortage of waves since hitting the music scene. Considered to be one of the youngest people to receive a gender reassignment surgery to blowing up and redefining the boundaries of pop music, Petras is changing the game on a cultural level. Her music is confident and flamboyant, unabashed in its Madonna, Paris Hilton and Max Martin influences, wherein, Petras is on a mission to just make pop music fun again. We caught up with the singer, prior to hitting the Ogden Theatre on Wednesday, December 4 to talk her ascent, her new album, Clarity, and what defines pop perfection.

303 Magazine: How has life changed since the release ofClarity?

Kim Petras: Completely! I dont think Ive processed it all yet, but everything has become bigger and better and everything is speeding up its definitely go-time for me.

303: People often describe you, as well as people like Charli XCX and Carly Rae Jepson amongst others as saving pop music. How do you live up to such a prophecy? What do you think lacks from a lot of pop music as its perceived now?

KP: I dont think its for me to say! Im just doing my own thing and Im grateful that people love it and think of me that highly. Really, my sound is my own personal mashup of all my favorite things. Genres are disappearing and pop can be whatever you want it to be, so Im just focused on creating music that everyone can have a good time listening to. Even with my sadder songs like Icy, I want people to be able to dance to them. I dont ever want to lose the element of fun. I think thats what makes pop so great.

303: What makes the perfect pop song in your opinion?

KP: For me, pop songs are all about the emotion you put into them. I always try and put emotion at the core of my songs so that people feel something when listening to them. There are lots of elements that make a pop song successful, but I dont really think there is a perfect pop song except for Madonnas Like A Prayer, of course.

303: How did you prepare for this next era of your career the full-length tour, the debut album, larger gigs, etc.?

KP: I didnt really prepare for this era because I didnt have the time to! I was in rehearsals in the weeks leading up to when The Clarity Tour started, but I was also pulling all-nighters in the studio to finish TURN OFF THE LIGHT. Ive just been hustling as hard as I can. I also toured in the summer before all of Clarity was out, so I think of that as part of my preparation. Ive definitely been learning as I go because I like to keep moving.

303: Pop music often exists on the basis of stan culture. Who do you stan? Who do you look at in todays music landscape as inspirational?

KP: I stan so many people! My songwriter friends inspire me, like Lil Aaron, Theron Thomas, or Vaughn Oliver, whos an incredible producer. I think songwriters and those that work behind-the-scenes are very inspiring. I used to religiously watch anything I could find about Max Martin and was obsessed with amazing songwriters like Carole King. The list goes on forever, but most of all Im really drawn to lyricists. I love Lana Del Rey and Nicki Minaj they can both really write. I love Post Malone, Daft Punk, and Charli XCX, too. I dont think anyone is doing what Charli is doing at the moment. Shes amazing.

303: What are you listening to right now?

KP: I listen to the greats of every genre, like Post Malone, Madonna, Daft Punk, Lana Del Rey, Travis Scott, Kylie Minogue, Kanyes 808s & Heartbreak. They really inspire me and my own music.

303: How has the tour been thus far?

KP: It has been great! This tour is the biggest Ive ever done. Its such a shame its coming to an end as I love waking up in a new city each day and Ill miss partying with my fans. I think my shows keep getting better. I have lots of insane staging this time around, so there are lots of moving parts with all the costume changes!

303: Your Halloween releases have been incredibly popular. How did all that begin?

KP: Me and my friends were in the studio and were all wondering why there are so Christmas records but no Halloween records so we decided to make one. I love Halloween, scary movies, and movie soundtracks. When I was making TURN OFF THE LIGHT, everyone was like who is going to listen to that?! but it played at every Halloween party I went to. Im so glad I found the time to finish the project this year.

303: What attracts you to pop music?

KP: Pop music has always been an escape for me, so I think thats why I love it so much. I used to listen to Britney, Gwen Stefani, and other pop stars to forget my problems for a few minutes. Now, I hope that I can do that for other people with my own music.

303: Whats the craziest thing youve experienced on tour?

KP: Definitely the Westboro Baptist Church coming out to protest my Kansas City show. That was insane. Im just glad my fans still came out to the show and were all safe. My shows are always just a giant party where everyone can be themselves and that show wasnt any different!

303: What was your biggest moment of this past year?

KP: There have been so many! Its tough to think of just one, but if I had to pick, Id go with when I released my debut full-length project Clarity. I had been working on it for a long time and I ended up dropping a single a week for ten weeks, so it was definitely a big moment for me.

303: At this point in your career, what is a goal youd like to accomplish in 2020? Alternatively, what are you looking forward to most in 2020?

KP: There are lots of things Im looking forward to next year, but I cant share any of them just yet. You wont have to wait too long to find out what is coming, but Im always working on something. Next year will be even bigger and better.

All photography courtesy of Kim Petras Facebook.

303 Magazine303 MusicCarly Rae JepsonCharli XCXclarityKim PetrasKori HazelLil AaronmadonnaMax Martinogden theatreparis hiltonPost MaloneTroye SivanTurn off the Lightswestboro baptist church

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James Badge Dale On How He Tapped into His Drug-Addicted Character in ‘Mickey and the Bear’ – Awards Daily

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James Badge Dale chats with Awards Dailys Megan McLachlan about playing a drug-addicted veteran being taken care of by his teenage daughter in Mickey and the Bear.

Writer-director Annabelle Attanasio makes a devastating feature-length debut with Mickey and the Bear.The film follows Montana teen Mickey (Camila Morrone), whos charged with playing caretaker to her father Hank (James Badge Dale), a war veteran suffering from PTSD and opioid addiction.

The film has a lived-in, authentic quality about it, especially with its atypical Hollywood setting and genuine performances from Morrone and Dale, as well as an outstanding supporting cast.

I had a chance to chat with James Badge Dale about stepping into the role of Hank, how he was able to escape this dark story after the shoot, and what the film says about addiction.

Awards Daily: You play a drug-addicted veteran, and its so heartbreaking. What kind of research did you do for this role?

James Badge Dale: Thats the big question everyone asks. When I read this, it scared me so much because I related so much to the material. Ive worked a lot with veterans over the last 10 years. If you look at the circumstances were playing with, with veteran issues and brain injuries and opioid abuse, this felt like a continuation of some of the stories of the people Ive met along the way. I had a responsibility to these men and women that Ive met. There are a lot of people that I know in my life that are in that character. On the same side of that, theres a lot of my family in that character. My father grew up in a very violent, alcoholic household. I think its an interesting thing. You have to personalize everything. You have to relate to everything. You have to find those pathways to understand parts of it, for better or for worse. It was a very personal performance and experience for me.

AD: Camila Morrone plays your daughter, Mickey. What was it like working opposite her? I got to chat a little bit about it when I saw her at SCAD Savannah Film Festival.

JBD: I love Cami. I remember the day I met her, the moment I met her, and she was so game and ready to throw down. Shes a marathon runner. And she doesnt literally run marathons, but Im just saying as an actor, she comes so prepared for so much with vibrancy and attention to detail. I was so impressed by her. Its not easy to be a lead of a film. I dont think people understand what that actual responsibility is. And what that responsibility is is 60 hours a week, when youre in every shot of a film. Your responsibility to not only yourself and to the director and material, but also to your cast members and to the crew. I was so impressed by her. Shes a leader, and she has a great attitude, and shes tireless.

AD: Thats great. Shes relatively young as an actress, too, and it seems like a daunting performance. Speaking of which, how did you leave Hank at the end of the day? This seems like a part that would stick with an actor, especially since you talked about it being so personal to you.

JBD: Thank you for asking that. I wish I was one of those actors who just gets off work and shuts it off. Ive just never been that guy. I knew beforehand that this one was going to take a piece of me. I like to take a few weeks off after working. I was out in Montana and drove out to Portland, Ore., and I had some good friends out there. They drew me a map of the Oregon and Northern California coast, with all these little surf spots. I brought a surfboard all the way from New York. So me and my dog, my one-eyed pit bull, we just drove all the way down the coast of Oregon and just explored and got in the water and tried not to get eaten by large 20-foot great white sharks.

AD: That sounds like a good way to pull back from the film. Theres a scene at the end where Hank thinks Mickey is his wife Vanessa, and he kind of gets aggressive. Do you think he was aggressive like that with Vanessa when she was alive? Or do you think it was his drug-addled state doing the aggression?

JBD: Oh wow. No one has asked that question. Excellent question.

AD: Thanks!

JBD: At the end of the movie, Hank crosses a line that you cant come back from. He breaks that bond, he breaks that trust. That was difficult to shoot. Do I think Hank has a history of aggression? Yes, I do. I dont imagine his relationship with his wife was perfect by any means. But at the same time, were talking about a character thats not in the film. Shes passed away. And I always imagined her memory, Vanessa, as someone as Hanks equal, that probably could put Hank in his place verbally or physically. I always imagined Vanessa as this incredible, strong, powerful woman. Which I think makes it even harder for Hank to lose someone like that and lose someone that vibrant in his life.

JBD: Do you think his addiction is something that existed before his wifes death? Do you think it was exacerbated after her death?

JBD: When you deal with addiction, a lot of that is genetic. Youre trying to fill a hole that was already there. A lot of these experiences just speed it up. The death of a loved one, trauma, head injury, time in combat. I dont think Hank is sober one minute of the day, because he cant handle life. He doesnt have a drug problem; he has a living problem. Its a happy talk were having. (Laughs)

AD: (Laughs) Right? What a happy chat!

JBD: We had so much fun on set because the material goes in such a dark direction. So in order to survive that, we had to have fun every day on set. Talking about it isnt easy. We do these stories for the love of the game. This is because you believe in the art form. The best part is watching Annabelle and Camis careers blossom.

AD: This is a good showcase for you, too. Dont belittle yourself! Its also interesting to me that the film mentions Anaconda, MT being riddled with cancer deaths, hinting that thats what killed Vanessa, and yet thats not whats killing Hank. What do you think the film is trying to say about that?

JBD: Its the environment. Hanks cancer is his toxic relationship to his daughter. Hanks cancer is himself. You put him in this family, in this setting, with these circumstances. They are dealing with the air and water around them. They are dealing with the opioid crisis. Theyre dealing with all of these things. Hanks his own worst enemy. He would be lucky if he went fast from a disease I think. You learn about brain injuries, and they are irreversible. Emotions are just going to get more volatile. I was an amateur hockey player and got hit in the head as a kid. I was an amateur boxer in my 20s. You asked me about my research for this role. I know what its like to have so many concussions where I couldnt open the drapes because the sunlight would literally burrow into my eyes and brain. My thing with Hank and the thing I could relate to, I needed him to be in a circumstance where he was in close-quartered combat. It rattles your brain. I just think its important to actually go out and vocalize the mental health aspect of all of this. I had a head injury 10 years ago, but I recovered, but it took a while.

AD: The movie takes its title from an ill-fated bear expedition in the film. What is it about this moment that serves as a turning point for Mickey and her father?

JBD: That was actually a hard scene to do. I have a really good relationship with Cami and Calvin Demba (who plays Wyatt). I think the world of Calvin. Its basically a betrayal of trust. I wouldnt say its the beginning, but its a piece of that. Once again hes betraying trust. As an actor, you sometimes have to compartmentalize. My job is not to figure out what it means to the audience. Thats Annabelles job. My job is to live in that moment and provide her with the material to go back and edit it together and decide what story shes gonna tell. I will say, that day of filming, we had a lot of fun.

AD: It looked like it. Theres that great scene where Wyatt is talking to Mickey, and behind them, you just see this orange flash thats you that goes by into the water.

JBD: We actually had a bear show up that day, too!

AD: One last question: Mickey asks the VA psychiatrist played by Rebecca Henderson whether Hank will ever get better, and the psychiatrist tells her no. Its a stunning moment. Do you think Hank knows he wont get better?

JBD: Theres this thing where I cut off. (Laughs) On Page 120 when the script ends, its none of my business anymore to know what happens. I dont know what happens to Hank when he wakes up the next morning [following the last scene]. You have to approach this stuff with love and empathy for the characters. In a lot of ways, I have to have hope for him. And I really hope hes OK. Hes just really damaged. I hope people can relate to thatbut not relate too much to that. You try to bring a little humanity to things so that an audience member can not only believe the story, but find the common threads in their own life.

Mickey and the Bear is now playing in select theaters.

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James Badge Dale On How He Tapped into His Drug-Addicted Character in 'Mickey and the Bear' - Awards Daily

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Review: The Tap Dancer Dormeshia Finds Her Groove, and Then Some – The New York Times

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In the stellar And Still You Must Swing at the Joyce Theater, she is joined by Jason Samuels Smith, Derick K. Grant and Camille A. Brown.

Dance relies on technique, but if thats all there is, a performance loses its dimension; its energy fizzles out. There are many points to be made about an excellent show like And Still You Must Swing, led by Dormeshia, a tap dancer of exceptional elegance, dazzling speed and, yes, an abundance of technique. But above all, at its foundation, there is heart and conviction. And, mission accomplished: It swings.

Dormeshia, who no longer uses a last name shes tap dance royalty, she doesnt need one has a delightfully lively projection, yet never more than the moment requires. Her reason to dance extends way beyond footwork. Shes nurturing, both to the tap form, whose jazz roots she celebrates here, and to her fellow dancers. In Swing, she shares the stage with two exceptional tap dancers, Jason Samuels Smith and Derick K. Grant, and another radiant performer, Camille A. Brown. Headliners, all.

At the Joyce Theater through Sunday, the program mixes robust unison trios for the tap dancers with nuanced, personal solos titled Swings. In Jason Swings, Mr. Smith is a virtuosic wonder, shifting seamlessly from power to quiet sensitivity. His fearless dancing even involved a shoe mishap he slipped out of his heel, but deftly fixed the problem mid-step and continued on . And no one dances quite like Mr. Grant, who glides across the stage with a voluptuous, bearlike grace as his feet hit into impossibly intricate rhythms.

Dormeshia is simply transfixing. For a dancer so grounded and connected to the floor in ways that you not only see but hear she moves as if buoyed by the air: When she swings, she floats. She has always had a magic quality about her, but with And Still You Must Swing, which runs a swift 75 minutes and features a jazz quartet performing original music by Allison Miller and Dormeshia, she attains an even greater level of expressiveness. And as the shows leader, its fitting: This is a celebration of her articulate body and all the information that it contains.

It makes sense that the tap dancers perform with Ms. Brown, a contemporary choreographer who explores African-American identity in her work; here, she wears sneakers and lights up the stage with her own footwork as always, shes electric and swinging rhythms. She is a container, too, in solos that hint at how tap emerged out of slavery and struggle.

But throughout the production, which had its premiere at Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in 2016, the connective theme comes from the title, which itself comes from a quotation by the tap dancer Jimmy Slyde: Theres balance involved. Theres movement involved. And still you must swing.

Its an invisible line: Does Dormeshia find the groove or does the groove find her? Her eloquent dancing is utterly natural, full of strength, femininity and a worldly maturity that evokes a bygone glamour as movement melts from her shoulders. Throughout the show, she and the other tap dancers wear gold shoes halfway, she changes flats for heels and her glimmering feet are reflected on the base of two round platforms behind her. Its as if her dancing is giving off actual sparks.

Theres a swing dance section, too, in which the tap dancers wear sneakers, and Dormeshia shows, yet again, that her understanding of rhythm has a way of enveloping the music like serious play: Just as she makes us pay attention to the moments between the notes, she lets us feel how a step can be as soft as taking a breath.

The opening and closing numbers, trios for the tap dancers, end in the same way: Dormeshia high-fives each of the guys, who then cross their arms and stand sideways while she, arms out, poses in the center. Its a jaunty hello and goodbye even if it comes too soon. Dormeshia knows what shes doing: She leaves you wanting more of her brand of deeply felt tap, in which dancers good friends alive in the skill of their bodies, let us watch their conversations unfold in real time.

And Still You Must Swing

Through Sunday at the Joyce Theater, Manhattan;

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Review: The Tap Dancer Dormeshia Finds Her Groove, and Then Some - The New York Times

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Meet trans athletes who work hard, do their best and rarely win – Outsports

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This article is the latest in a series exploring the conversation about the inclusion of transgender athletes in womens sports. You can find the series here.

I race a lot of bikes and I suck.

Tara Seplavy is very matter-of-fact about it. No sugar-coating, no thoughts of Olympic grandeur. Having raced bikes for many years, shes been around the sport long enough to know exactly where she stands, and its generally not on a medal podium.

Its not that she hasnt tried to break out in the sport. Since transitioning genders shes found renewed dedication to fitness, competition and the community that surrounds bike racing.

I had a coach for the last couple of years, and we tried really hard, Seplavy said from her home on Long Island. I bust my ass. Im training many hours a week, I try to eat reasonably well and do the things athletes do. Ive just never been a super gifted athlete in my life.

I hit the podium in local masters races sometimes if the weather condition is right and nobody else shows up.

Things were much the same when she was racing against men. She started her medical transition a little over three years ago, and she transitioned to womens competitions shortly after. Despite reading headlines and quotes from some professional athletes about her unfair advantage in sports, Seplavy is like the vast majority of trans women in womens sports: good enough to compete, but often just not fast enough or strong enough to win.

I hit the podium in local masters races sometimes if the weather condition is right and nobody else shows up.

Like so many other trans women in womens sports, Seplavy has been frustrated by the growing chorus of detractors who claim her very presence in womens sports puts the future existence of womens sports at risk. While some trans women are finding competitive success in sports, she knows she will never be the dominant trans female athlete held up by a few loud voices as the harbinger of doom for womens sports.

Part of Seplavys frustration is the first-hand knowledge she has of the rapid decline in performance trans women experience as they transition. She can quantify to some extent the change in her personal performance since transitioning. While competing against men years before her transition, she raced a local course in 2 hours, 20 minutes. Post-transition the same course took her 2:29, over a 6% drop.

Yet the gap would be greater if she were able to compare apples to apples. Racing in her pre-transition 20s and 30, Seplavy gave little care for her body, weighing around 40 pounds more then than she does now. She was, of course, also a decade-plus younger. If she had trained as hard then as she does now, that 2:20 would have been considerably lower, she asserts.

In addition, Seplavy said post-transition training is that much more difficult.

A lot of people dont realize how hard it is to athletically train when youre on hormones, she said. As my coach said, Im anti-doping. Im putting chemicals in my body that actually detract from athletic performance.

With all that, of the 100 or so womens bike races shes entered in the last three years, she cant even remember the last time I legitimately won a bike race. She said depending on who shows up for a race she may land on a podium (top-three) in an age category.

I went from being a mediocre dude on a bike to being a mediocre woman on a bike. Its not like I just changed my gender and my times stayed the same. I have to work that much harder for marginal gain.

In Buffalo, distance runner Allayva Stier has had a similar experience.

I only win when other people dont show up, Stier said.

Like Seplavy, she reports on a more difficult path to reaching what is an even slower time than her pre-transition performance. Pre-transition she was running only two or three times a week, and now shes training five times a week.

Its harder for me to drop a 7-minute mile than it was beforehand.

Im putting in significantly more work than I was putting in beforehand, she said. To maintain your fitness after you transition, you have to work more diligently. You have to be more purposeful. Before I could go in and run and lift and work out a couple times a week. That doesnt cut it anymore. I cant maintain my fitness if I dont put in the work consistently. Its harder for me to drop a 7-minute mile than it was beforehand.

This year shes run about 35 races and won two of them. Those two victories, she said, came because other people simply decided to not race. Winning a race is, of course, ultimately relative.

Of my group of running friends Im literally the slowest. If any one of them would have shown up, I wouldnt have won.

This isnt to say shes not naturally talented. At her high school she was one of the fastest in the boys races, winning some middle-distance dual meets and earning a spot at state sectionals. As she continued running through her transition competing against men and then women she saw first-hand the rapid decrease in her speed.

My competitiveness against the men was slowly going away. I was seeing my times drop. Nobody sees that process.

That level of competitiveness against the men pre-transition has matched up pretty evenly with her post-transition competitiveness against other women. Racing against men, she would earn a second or third in her age bracket in local races, with an overall top-10 finish here and there, despite not working nearly as hard as she does now.

Playing soccer throughout her transition, goalie Athena Del Rosario also saw first-hand the immediate impact transitioning had on her game.

As she began to self-medicate with estrogen and androgen blockers as a teenager, she transferred high schools to get a fresh start on life. When she tried out for her new schools soccer team, she quickly noticed her strength and speed had already diminished. One of the fastest kids on her boys soccer team at her first school, by the end of her senior year at her new school she was one of the slowest.

When she competed against her old high school team later that season, she said her former teammates who didnt know she was transitioning and on hormones noticed her decline in ability and asked her what was going on.

I noticed it the first day reporting to my new school, Del Rosario said. It was pretty obvious.

I didnt just walk in there and have it handed to me. I had to earn it.

By the time she transferred from her community college to UC-Santa Cruz several years later, she had to battle for playing time. She was out of shape, having gained 30 pounds after the death of her mother. She sat on the bench for much of her first season at UCSC, getting a shot when an injury befell the teams starting goalkeeper.

I had to put a lot of work in between seasons, and what set me apart from the other goalkeeper was that I got into better shape and I worked harder. I didnt just walk in there and have it handed to me. I had to earn it.

Still with all the hard work, Del Rosario still struggled at times to pass the teams fitness test. Her speed and strength had dropped to lower than a lot of the other women.

I was passing fitness tests, but I wasnt the fastest. And I was in shape. But we had girls running six-and-a-half-minute miles, and I was around seven minutes, barely passing the mile test.

With Del Rosario as a full-time starter her senior season, the Banana Slugs compiled a record of 6-11-1, earning a spot in the NCAA tournament where they lost in the first round.

She was good. She was competitive. But her unfair advantage claimed by some was a figment of critics imagination.

Since graduating, she has taken her goalkeeping skills to handball. There shes found shes again competitive, and again in the mix for some playing time, but shes still not a physically intimidating figure dominating other women.

Out of the pool of goalkeepers for my team, Im not the strongest. Im not the tallest. Its all very competitive and were having a goalkeeper competition thats very competitive.

Jessica Platt is just looking for another shot at some ice time.

Having played a couple seasons in the now-defunct Canadian Womens Hockey League, Platt considers herself a middle-of-the-pack player, maybe on the lower end of that.

The women I play against are incredible and they work equally hard. Im fairly average in the league.

Now with the league having folded and playing exhibition games for the Professional Womens Hockey Players Association, as well as getting some ice time with a Senior A team, shes hoping someone gives her another chance in womens pro hockey.

As hard as I work out and as much as I train and as much as I try, the women I play against are incredible and they work equally hard. Im fairly average in the league.

Her self-described average standing among the other women in professional hockey isnt for lack of effort. Since transitioning she too has dramatically increased how hard she works off the ice, saying she was probably up there in the amount of time working out in the league.

Platt, now 30, also doesnt suffer from lack of experience. Shes been ice skating since she was 3 and playing ice hockey starting with the kids in the neighborhood since she was 4. From age 8 or so she was part of a boys traveling hockey team until she was in her late teens.

Even with the hockey success she was desperately unhappy, burdened with her true identity. By the time she began her transition in 2012 she had left hockey behind completely.

Yet once happiness found her well into her gender-affirming transition, Platt started looking back at her time in hockey with a blissful recollection that left her wanting more.

Just as a teenage Platt was successful in boys hockey, she has found a place in womens professional hockey because of her natural instincts in the rink.

My dad always said I somehow just knew where everyone was on the ice. I had a great hockey sense.

Today she focuses on improving the things that are holding her back from being considered one of the best in her sport. For starters, she hasnt been playing womens hockey for very long and the systems are different. Theres a learning curve to that, and shes behind the puck on it compared to other women in pro hockey.

Plus, she said her puck control isnt the best. Given that shes always been a defenseman and now shes playing forward, thats gotten in the way a bit too.

In other words, shes experiencing the same struggles as any other athlete would, finding the same modicum of elite-level success as a woman that she found in boys hockey.

If youre mediocre as a man, it makes sense that youd be mediocre as a woman, Platt said. If youre dominating as a man, it makes sense that you would dominate as a woman.

While critics point to a handful who have won titles of late, no trans athlete is currently dominating womens sports. To be sure, some trans women have found various levels of success. Yet the majority find themselves like these four athletes hitting the gym and running laps in hopes of setting a P.R. or simply making a teams roster.

Were just like all the other athletes, Platt said. Some of us have certain skills, certain talents. But we all work hard to get where were at.

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Meet trans athletes who work hard, do their best and rarely win - Outsports

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Carr’s performance vs. KC was bad regardless of weather –

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Derek Carr's performance in Raiders' loss to Chiefs bad in any weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Derek Carr heard all week about how bad he plays in cold weather, how Arrowhead Stadium is his personal house of horrors.

The Raiders quarterback had another terrible day in a 40-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that spoon-fed that narrative and proved detractors right, but he vehemently stated that the elements played no part in his lackluster performance.

I think we handled it just fine, Carr said. It was not a factor, because I do not want to take anything away from the plays that they made. If it was 80 degrees or 30 degrees, it does not matter.

Carr cant escape the fact that hes 0-6 at Arrowhead Stadium and 0-5 in games played at 40 degrees or less.

Sundays weather in Kansas City was frightful. It was 36 degrees at kickoff with awind chill of 25 degrees, and snow flurries descended as the game wore on.

I think everyone struggles to a degree in cold weather. Thats is why a lot of people move south, Gruden said. I have to do a better job of helping him. I think it starts with me and ends there. He is a good quarterback. I think he has a chance to be great. It just wasnt his day and it wasnt our day.

Carr finished 20-of-30 passing for 222 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions and a 71.8 passer rating. Those numbers were inflated by a garbage time touchdown drive that accounted for 70 yards and a score.

The Raiders passing game was awful most of the night, and severely hurt the Raiders ability to finish drives despite Josh Jacobs going strong in the first half.

Carr threw two interceptions in the first half that led to Chiefs touchdowns. Tyrann Mathieu broke off his responsibility to make the first pick, baiting Carr to make a throw. Safety Juan Thornhill jumped Tyrell Williams route on the second interception and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown.

Mathieu said those calculated risks came about after properly identifying when Carr would try to work the ball down the field.

When he did take shots down the field, we were able to understand it pre-snap by the formation and it would put us in position to make a play, Mathieu said. Derek is going to try and take care of the football. Tight ends, running backs, check downs, thats kind of his game. I was glad we were able to capitalize on him when he did try to throw the ball down the field.

Easily read quarterback decisions mightbe a bigger issue than anything to do with the weather, and ultimately cost the Raiders dearly. The Mathieu interception was a tough break, but the Thornhill pick six was the games true turning point.

[The interceptions are] very frustrating, Carr said. You cant turn the ball over, and youve got to credit their defense. I pride myself on taking care of the football, but they made two great plays. We cant have that happen. Thats my fault.

This loss wasnt all Carrs fault, but the well-paid franchise quarterback will shoulder most of the blame after another nasty-looking loss. The Raiders were running well but the air attack was inept. Raiders receivers were a non-factor in this one, rarely creating separation against the Chiefs secondary. The Silver and Black played most of this game with just eight yards passing produced by a receiver, before more of them got involved on that meaningless touchdown drive. Williams was a non-factor, and Zay Jones didnt play a significant role. The Raiders certainly missed the injured Hunter Renfrow, a point made clear by the Raiders converting just 3-of-13 third downs.

[RELATED: Self-inflicted wounds cost Raiders]

While Carrs performance was bad in any condition, it continued a run of poor play in Kansas City. His 222 passing yards tied a career high in Kansas City. He has never had a passer rating above 77 in this place, where he has lost all six times he has played here.

Its easy to look as his interceptions, but it is a tough place to play, Gruden said. Its a tough environment. Its cold and windy. They played good defense, and we were behind most of the game. All those things, with bad field position and a long way to go are tough on a quarterback.

ALAMEDA --Trayvon Mullen logged his second professional interception. The Raiders rookie cornerback caught a ball straight from Patrick Mahomes, in the end zone.

Pick. Touchback. Possession claimed. Officials on the field confirmed it.

All turnovers and scoring plays, as we know well by now, are reviewed by eyes in the sky.

Those watching saw Mullen commit pass interference. It doesnt matter that wasnt called on the field, or that PI judgments are rarely overturned upon review, even after a specific coachs challenge.

Mullen got flagged by 345 Park Ave. Believe it or not, true freaking story.

We had an interception we thought we did intercept that was turned over by the Wizard of Oz or somebody, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said after a 40-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs I dont know what happened on that. That was a big play in the game no doubt.

The Chiefs took possession at three yards from paydirt and scored on the next play. That play didnt cost Mullens Raiders a game. The result had been decided long before. While a call went against him, the second-round draft pick didnt let the outcome erase the athletic play originally made.

My goal is to make those types of plays. I didnt let the call get to me, Mullen said after the game. I believe Im a great player continuing to get better. Im going to keep being aggressive and working to make big plays.

Thats the right attitude for a young player developing on the job, someone tasked to both help his team win now while individually developing for a better future. That two-pronged attack has been asked from all contributing Raiders rookies.

Mullen ranks among them, given a starting job after Gareon Conley was traded to Houston near midseason. The Silver and Black need him to play well and progress, understanding full well that athletic plays and mistakes will be made.

In Mullens case, late in the fourth quarter, both happened on the same play.

I can live with that call, because I know that Im going to continue making plays and continue to get better, Mullen said. When plays present themselves, Im going to work hard trying to make them.

What was Mullen thinking after that review went against him?

That Im going to have to go back on the field, Mullen said, And make another big play.

The Raiders are seeing good things from their confident young cornerback, who is immensely talented but can be prone to aggressive mistakes that should tone become less prevalent with experience.

[RELATED: Should the Raiders move on from Derek Carr?]

The Clemson product was targeted nine times by the Chiefs --rookie initiations in full swing but gave up just three catches for 33 yards. He had two nice pass breakups, though the pass interference call will be held against his final line.

Hes getting better, Gruden said. He had some really good plays [Sunday]. He was obviously flagged a few times for penalties. One of them, I cant quite say where it came from, but it was a big reversal in the game. He made a couple great plays against a great receiver and I think hes getting confidence. I think hes getting better. I think he performed better and hes performing better and better each week.


The Raiders offense has hit the skids. A unit that scored 24 points or more in six consecutive games has crossed the goal line just once since Nov. 17, a garbage-time touchdown that only mattered to those who bet the over.

The run game keeps marching along save a hiccup against the Jets, but the air attack has fallen on hard times.

Fingers will point straight at Derek Carr for recent offensive failings, but its never all on the quarterback. There were several times in that disastrous 40-9 loss to Kansas City where Carr was well protected, waiting for prospective targets to create separation.

Wide receivers had just eight yards through three quarters and just 34 on four catches and eight targets.

Tyrell Williams knows that isnt good enough, even if the conditions, early turnovers and the quickly lopsided score made life harder on the passing game.

They were trying to take me away. They were trying to take away [tight end Darren] Waller, making sure they had two guys on him, Williams said Monday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. I saw a couple of double teams every once in a while. Hindsight is 20/20, but in the game, we felt like we had a good game plan. Were trying to continue to execute that game plan, but sometimes you get behind in the sticks and that takes us away from what were trying to do."

"We need to stay on schedule so we arent facing third-and-long situations, and we obviously have to avoid turnovers. Playing from behind, on the road, and in that environment is hard.

Head coach Jon Gruden took some blame for the overall lack of receiver production against the Chiefs. The position group has struggled this season after dealing with significant personnel turnover, Williams difficult bout of plantar fasciitis around midseason and Hunter Renfrows current rib injury. The overall talent level isnt soaring at this stage, but Gruden believes he can scheme targets open.

Well, Ive got to do a better job, Gruden said. Weve got to do a better job getting them better looks and getting them involved in the game no question, so I put that on myself. I think weve got good, young receivers. We might shake it up a little bit, give some other guys some more opportunities this week, but well study the Titans and see what goes.

Keelan Doss, Marcell Ateman and recent practice squad promotion Rico Gafford are 53-man roster options who havent been involved much. Zay Jones has and hasnt ever gotten in sync with Carr.

Williams scored touchdowns in his first five games as a Raider and has had a few nice moments in his return from injury, but has hit a production slump. He has three catches for 27 yards on eight targets over the last two weeks and was the intended target on two interceptions in that span, though neither pick should be blamed on him.

Williams is the teams best deep threat and has been targeted twice on passes 20-plus yards downfield in the last two games, and five times between 10-20 yards from the line of scrimmage in that span.

Williams obviously wants to be more productive than in recent weeks, especially with the offense struggling, but he isnt the type to yell or scream or demand the ball.

I never want to be that type of person, Williams said. Of course I want to get more targets. I want to be able to stretch the field a bit more and get that deep threat out there. I think that comes with talking and communicating with coaches and being on the same page with Derek throughout the week. That should allow us to focus and hit on those opportunities.

Theres also a danger of pressing to get out of slumps, whether its trying to do too much, stepping outside of ones responsibility or Carr forcing a throw. This offense has been steadily productive before and Williams believes it can be again. One key is not overthinking it.

You have to focus on each play as it comes and let the game come to you, Williams said. Im going to go out there and play hard and leave everything I have out there, but I dont like focusing on when targets are coming and when theyre not because that takes me out of my game. I have to just play and after the game evaluate and see what we did do and what we couldve done better.

[RELATED: Jacobs vows to get Raiders 'right' after loss]

Theres time to get rolling again. While losses to the Chiefs and Jets essentially snuffed their AFC West title hopes and largely erased margin for error, the Raiders can still land a playoff spot with a strong showing against the Titans and Jaguars at home and then on the road against the L.A. Chargers and Denver Broncos to close out the year.

The seasons long and theres still time to get back on track, Williams said. These two home games are obviously huge. Theyre against teams that are, like us, fighting for a playoff spot. The rest of the way for us, theyre all playoff games in a sense.

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Focusing a digital first mindset in the New Year – Human Resource Executive

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When it comes to using artificial intelligence in hiring, tread carefully. Hogan Assessments shares the secrets of how to avoid the AI trap.


Everyone, it seems, has a hard time staying away from shiny new toys these days. When it comes to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, the pull seems to be exceptionally strong.

Undeniably, those impressive tech tools are making serious progress in so many ways, including mastering complex games like chess and poker versus humans. Yet, as a couple of recent newsworthy cautionary tales demonstrate, AI and ML are far from a panacea. In fact, what buyers are promised and what they receive may not quite be in sync.

In the first case, a recent report in the New York Times focused on a well-funded Silicon Valley start-up, One Concern, that promised its AI-based platform could be used to pinpoint exactly where people in need of help could be located during disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes. On paper, it sounded great, and the company scored some serious investment dollars and new clients. Problem was, when users gave it a whirl, the results fell short. The Times reported that, when Seattles Office of Emergency Management checked out a simulated earthquake on One Concerns platform, troubling inconsistencies arose. For instance, many large buildings that would be vulnerable didnt appear on the AI-generated map. Not good when you are trying to save lives.

And, while the pre-employment assessment process certainly is no life or death scenario (depending on the job, that is), getting it wrong can, at a minimum, lead to higher attrition rates, lower productivity or other negative financial outcomes for employers looking to stay competitive.

Along those lines, the second example in the news, reported by the Washington Post, described a new service from a company called Predictimthat claimed to help people find the perfect babysitter. To do that, the services AI technology scans the would-be sitters entire social media profile (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram histories primarily), then uses recent advances in personality and data analytics to assess four personality featurespropensity toward bullying/harassment, disrespectfulness/bad attitude, explicit content and drug abusethat would weed out bad prospects. Unfortunately, that approach is limited when it comes to choosing the best person to care for your kids.

At face value, this type of service has merit, says Ryne Sherman,chief science officer at Hogan Assessment Systems in Tulsa, Okla. However, these services ignore a long history of research showing that people strongly respond to incentives and will modify or even falsify their responses to succeed.

And therein lies the rub, not just for Predictim but for any service offering to evaluate someones workplace potential on the basis of social media pages or other comparable data, according to Sherman.

If you believe the marketing hype, using AI as the only tool to find the best person for a job seems to make sense, but its destined to fail, he says.

Gaming the system

Sherman explains that, in the mid-2000s, many employers started using text-searching programs to quickly sift through resumes. This worked just fine until savvy applicants found ways to stuff their resumes with keywords. A simple tactic was to put loads of keywords typically used by employers to select candidates in their resume in a white font. When printed, the white font is undetectable to the human eye (on white paper, of course). However, the computers slogging through resumes picked up all of those keywords hidden on the resume, increasing the applicants chances of being selected.

Today, he adds, text-searching technology has gone beyond keyword-only searches to use natural language to weed out such strategies. However, the point is not about resume stuffing; instead, its that job applicants strongly respond to incentives and will try to trick or cheat the system to get selected.

Which, in turn, brings us back to choosing babysitters via social media analysis. Virtually all the research mentioned earlier that demonstrates that personality is linked with social media usage was performed in a context in which the people being studied had no incentive to be dishonest. However, when people know their social media profiles are being used to measure their intelligence and select them for jobs, they often will start gaming their social media profiles to beat the system. If there is an incentive for having a clean social media profile, people will do just that, Sherman explains, adding that many users already have both professional and personal Facebook accounts.

Which account do you think they submit to a potential employer who asks? Which Instagram account will the potential babysitter send to parents? Sherman asks.

With employers using social media records and AI-based systems to make personnel decisions, the stakes of social media use have become much larger. If employers continue to do this, services that specialize in creating sanitized social media accounts for job applicants will emerge. Sherman wonders, how will employers combat these services? How will firms that assess personality via social media know that the profile they are getting is the real Risky Rebecca and not the professionally cultivated Responsible Rebecca?

Faking is a common problem in the personnel-selection industry, though traditional personality assessments based on questionnaires tackled this issue long ago, he says. Simply put, faking a questionnaire-based personality assessment is extremely difficult, and many people who try to fake on such assessments get worse job-fit scores than they would have gotten if they had simply answered honestly.

Sherman adds that faking a social media-based personality assessment is much easier, as you just need to keep content positive and to a minimum. If AI-driven social media analysis companies cannot solve the faking problem, it will quickly put an end to their business model.

Promises, promises

There are many promises from AI in the talent-assessment industry, but AI-driven assessments are easy to foolakin to reading tea leaves, not actual personality traits, Sherman says, noting that Hogan is using AI, but as an enhancement tool only.

Weve seen it work in practical settings, even here at Hogan, he says. In fact, we revised our algorithms based on what we would call AI or machine-learning models. And theyve improved our ability to select high performers by about 20%, in certain job categories.

He also cites some marketing hype from one of the companies purporting to offer an AI-based solution as the only means to land top talent. The come on: We have applied proven neuroscience games and cutting-edge AI to reinvent the way companies attract, select and retain talent.

Were using AI, but I wouldnt say were reinventing anything. Were just making a high-quality product even better, he says.

Ryan Ross, managing partner at Hogan, readily admits that technology has enhanced the talent-assessment business, but the more AI and ML extract the human element from the process, the less effective they become.

Its night and day now, because today were delivering quality assessments 24/7 in 48 different languages. You cant do that without technology, Ross says. Whats really interesting, though, is some of the AI and gamification we see is much like the old saying of using a hammer to kill a mosquito.

In many cases, some are applying this emerging technology in ways that, yes, its very cool, but is it productive and does it get us where we want to be? he adds. I would say those applications are interesting, but they are not going to achieve that goal.

Sherman says many people today see AI and ML as if they are some sort of revolution in the assessment business, but thats simply not the case. Helpful? Yes. A revolution? Nope.

Weve been using linear regression for more than 30 years to build profiles, and these AI-based solutions are just fancier versions, he says. Thats why we see a little bit of improvement because theyre a little bit more robust. The computing power has improved.

For now, he says, the future of using AI in our business is unclear, but there is potential and thats where we operate.

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Focusing a digital first mindset in the New Year - Human Resource Executive

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December 4th, 2019 at 5:46 pm

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