Test 3

March 4th, 2007

Football Story excerpt (test1)

It is every soccer goalkeeper’s dream: a simple trick that increases the odds of blocking that crucial penalty shot. Considering the last World Cup was decided by a penalty shootout, this could prove a valuable secret.

Sports psychologists say they can boost the chance of a goalie’s save in a penalty shootout by 10%, with a cunning ploy that exploits the penalty-taker’s subliminal perception.

A goalkeeper defending a penalty shot faces long odds. With only a fraction of a second to react to a ball travelling at 100 kilometres per hour, or more, goalies manage a save only about 18% of the time.

But researchers at the University of Hong Kong, China, and Vrije University in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, say goalkeepers might nudge the odds a bit more in their favour by moving imperceptibly to one side of the goal, and then diving for the other. By edging just 6 to 10 centimetres to the one side of the goal, a goalkeeper can encourage a kicker to shoot at the other side.

Although the kicker does not consciously perceive the difference – he thinks the keeper is exactly centred – he is still more likely to kick to the wider side of the goal.

Tornado Story Excerpt (Test 2)

Tornadoes ripped across the Southern and Midwestern US on Thursday, killing at least 11 people, most of whom had been taking shelter in an Alabama high school when it collapsed.

Five people died when the school building was torn open by the twister in the town of Enterprise, according to Yasmie Richardson of the state’s Emergency Management Agency. The agency had said earlier that 17 people had died in the town, but later lowered the state-wide toll to seven, blaming initial miscommunication among officials.

“Enterprise has suffered major and widespread damage,” said governor Bob Riley, who declared a state of emergency and sent 100 National Guard troops to the town. Riley said rescue workers were still moving debris to search for survivors as night fell.

In Georgia, storms that swept through the southwestern part of the state killed at least three people and caused an unknown number of injuries, said Buzz Weiss of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

Two were killed in Americus, Georgia, when the Sumter Regional Hospital was hit by an apparent tornado. “Sumter County has apparently lost all of its ambulances and rescue vehicles,” Weiss said. The third fatality was in Taylor County, he added.

In the Missouri town of Caulfield, a tornado killed a girl in a mobile home, damaging six other homes and two gasoline stations, officials said.

Lack of Sleep and Judgement (Test 3)

Lack of sleep can affect people’s moral judgement, a new study shows. The findings could have implications for people in positions of responsibility, whose decisions often have life or death consequences, such as overworked medical professionals and sleep-deprived soldiers.

William Killgore and colleagues at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, US, set up an experiment with 26 healthy adults, all of whom were active-duty military personnel.

The participants were presented with a variety of hypothetical dilemmas, first when well rested and later, after staying awake for 53 hours. Situations included complex moral quandaries such as having to choosing whether or not to let one person die in order to save the lives of several others. Less weighty dilemmas without a moral component were also included, such as “is it OK to substitute ingredients in a chocolate brownies recipe?”

While participants did not become less “moral” when sleep deprived, they did require two seconds longer on average to answer complex moral questions, Killgore says. However, questions without a moral component did not take longer to answer after participants were kept awake.

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