News Roundup: April 20

Good Morning, today is Thursday, April 20, and here are the stories that interest me.

Former US Football star Aaron Hernandez was found dead this morning in his prison cell. Hernandez, who was convicted and sentence to life in prison for the murder of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiance’s sister. Last week he was acquitted of a double murder, though he still had years added to his sentence for unlawful possession of a gun. He was also in court for a 4th potential murder. There was no indication that Hernandez was suicidal and was found alone in his cell.

Commentary: Hernandez typifies a lot of the negative stereotypes people see in football players: talented, arrogant, and feel they are impervious to the rules. It is hard to feel sympathy for the man as he willingly kept up the bravado and the devil-may-care attitude throughout his trial and incarceration. It is those people I find fascinating, what was truly going through his head during those moments, and when he was alone, he became his greatest demon. His death feels cheated imo. While suicide is a terrible thing, I wished he has lived his life out, losing his talent, his body, his adulation. I wished he has come to truly regret the hubris of his actions and the pain and suffering he put others through. I wished he had become forgotten, truly the harshest punishment of all for someone like him, and he sit there and watch it happen. But… he took another route… I hope the families he had hurt and damage can find peace in that.

Now, this does push my understanding of science, so bear with me, Scientists have observed “negative mass”. Just like electricity can have a positive and a negative charge, theory holds that an object can have positive and negative mass. By observing atoms near the Temperature of Absolute Zero (~-273 C), scientist were able to observe negative matter. Then they exerted force on it, the negative mass actually moved towards the force, the opposite of positive mass, as it would expect to following the laws of Physics. The hope is that this discovery will lead to more information about other negative mass phenomenon like Neutron Stars, Black Holes, and Dark Matter.

Catalonian Vice President Oriol Junqueras has warned that if the Spanish Senate fail to allow a Independence Referendum for the region, that they will unilaterally declare independence. Spoken in a direct conversation, the Vice President said he feels that the pro-independence movement will win a referendum, bolstered by a majority pro-independence government in the region. Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alfonso Dastis quickly squashed the idea saying that, “I don’t see Mr Junqueras unilaterally declaring Catalonia’s independence. It is ridiculous.” The expectation is that a decision on the Referendum will be made by September.

Commentary: This is a growing area of concern for Spain. With the first Scottish Referendum in the UK allowing self-determination, Catalonia has been pressuring Spain to do the same. This is complicated with the fact that Brexit is revisiting the Scottish decision. Spain has said that if Scotland leaves the UK, they will not stop the country from rejoining the EU. This has caused other EU countries to begin pressuring Spain to allow the referendum, and therefore, possible inclusion of the new country into the EU. What I find interesting here is that we now have a precedent for people voting whether to go for independence or not. While the Velvet Divorce in the 90’s was awesome, it seems now that popular opinion at the ballot box is the Western’s “evolved” revolutionary system. If Catalonia is successful, and Spain allows them to leave, I suspect other separatist areas will reexamine their positions.

ESports will me a metal event at the 2022 Asian Games. The second largest multi-sport event in the world after the Olympics, the games announced that they will have full metal events. At next year’s games, there will be a demonstration with three games being played: FIFA 2017 (a Soccer game), a MOBA (Massively Online Battle Arena), and a RTS (Real Time Strategy). The MOBA game “League of Legends” will be the likely choice for the MOBA while the RTS genre is wide open.

Commentary: Finally. ESports is one of the largest and fast growing markets in sports, and it is time that we are beginning to see it come to the mainstream. With over 100 million people playing League of Legends, it is a world phenomenon. Also, Esports federations are pushing for games to be played at the Olympics, which I find very exciting. The twitch and reflex ability of these players is formidable, and to be able to react, process, and strategize is every bit as strenuous as other sports. I can see ESports coming to the Olympics by 2024, or definitely by 2028.

And that is all for me today on the news front, I hope you have a great day!

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