A Wonderful Film That Delves Deep Into the Fascinating World of Competitive Grave Digging

The short film “The Best Gravediggers in the World” by MEL Films takes a deep look into the relatively unknown, but incredibly fascinating world of competitive grave digging. The annual event, which takes place in Trencín, Slovakia and is sponsored by funeral homes all over Europe, is a not chance only for these workers to show off their unique set of skills, but to also connect with other people in the same line of work.

In the industrial town of Trencín, Slovakia, a small family-run funeral home has taken their grave-digging contest international. Here, teams of gravediggers from throughout Europe descend with shovels and hoes to see who can create the best eternal resting places, in the least amount of time.

via The Awesomer

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A Headless British Weatherman Delivers a Spooky Forecast For Halloween

Headless Weatherman

On this Halloween day, weatherman Alex Deakin apparently lost his head just before going on air. Luckily he found it and held it football-style under his arm while delivering the week’s forecast from the Met Office – the National Weather Service for the United Kingdom.

via Boing Boing

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Crabbs | Top prospect on each team in CFB Playoff Top 25

It is officially the heart of college football season. The CFB Playoff committee debuted their first Top 25 rankings of the 2017 season, a barometer of where the heavyweights across the land stand with their playoff resumes.

The battle for a spot in the final four has just begun, as November and conference championships in early December will prove essential in sorting out the quagmire of teams slotted 3 through 13 (all with 1 or 0 losses).

In the meantime, this is a great excuse to introduce the country to the best eligible 2018 draft prospect on each team in the CFB Playoff committee’s Top 25.

1. Georgia Bulldogs (8-0) – RB Nick Chubb. Chubb gets notable competition from fellow RB Sony Michel and LB Lorenzo Carter. But Chubb has returned to form this year and brings balance, power and vision as a runner that in almost any other class would be widely regarded as a top talent.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick.  Fitzpatrick is a true junior and widely regarded as one of the top overall players in the country. His size (6’1, 202 lbs) is notable for a Free Safety prospect, and Fitzpatrick pairs it with tremendous ball skills.

3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1) – OG Quenton Nelson. Nelson is one of the 5-10 best players in this class hands down. But because he plays a non-premium position, the odds are he’ll slip into the teens. A middle of the road franchise looking to take the next step would love nothing more.

4. Clemson Tigers (7-1) – DE Clelin Ferrell. Ferrell and fellow DE Austin Bryant (junior) have eclipsed double digit sack totals on the season and lead the way for a defensive line that may be comprised of four future first round picks. Ferrell is the best blend of traits out of that group.

5. Oklahoma Sooners (7-1) – QB Baker Mayfield. LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was close. But Mayfield’s ascension as a prospect is one of the most impressive improvements I’ve seen this year. Losing Dede Westbrook, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine might have been the best thing to ever happen to Mayfield, who now puts the load on his shoulders alone.

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1) –  CB Denzel Ward. Do the Buckeyes ever run out of defensive backs? Ward follows in the footsteps of rookie sensation Marshon Lattimore as the latest Buckeye to emerge as a top prospect at the position.

7. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1) – RB Saquon Barkley. I mean…come on. Barkley is a national sensation and the favorite for the 2017 Heisman Trophy for a reason. A true generational talent who does wonders for a Penn State team that would be high and dry without him.

8. Texas Christian Horned Frogs (7-1) – LB Travin Howard. He’s a bit undersized, but Howard is a fast, twitchy hybrid player that fits Gary Patterson’s fast flowing style of defense perfectly. In the NFL, he may have to play the role of a nickel defender or “moneybacker”. But team speed is coveted in today’s NFL, he’ll find a home.

9. Wisconsin Badgers (8-0) – EDGE Garrett Dooley. First of all, please “pour one out” for LB Jack Cichy, who is in the midst of sitting out the year with an injury: he’d have snatched this spot if healthy. Dooley gets the edge over SAF D’Cota Dixon thanks to making a lot of splash plays since taking over for Vince Biegel and TJ Watt (he’s the team leader in sacks and TFL).

10. Miami Hurricanes (7-0) – DL R.J. McIntosh. McIntosh has been the more active of Miami’s interior duo with Kendrick Norton (also a potential top target). His functional play strength allows him to press through contact and be a presence in the backfield.

11. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-1) – QB Mason Rudolph. Rudolph’s a gifted passer but what is his ceiling? Regardless of his handle of pressure in the pocket and footwork, he has great command of his offense and continues to be one of the most productive QBs in college football.

12. Washington Huskies (7-1) – WR Dante Pettis. Pettis is flourishing without fellow WR John Ross across the formation in 2017. He’s taken to the featured receiver role well and continues to be a dynamic threat with the ball in his hands on return duties. Pettis boasts some of the best ball skills in the nation.

13. Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1) – LB Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds is big, physical and can *move*. His range and ability to turn and run with pass catchers down the field makes him a rare bird, one who will stand out for his tackling and versatility when the NFL comes calling.

14. Auburn Tigers (6-2) – OL Braden Smith. Smith has played up and down the offensive line throughout his career with the Tigers, versatility that should make him a universal prospect to any offensive system.

15. Iowa State Cyclones (6-2) – WR Allen Lazard. How well regarded was Lazard as a prep star? He had offers at Notre Dame, Stanford and Oregon but chose to enroll at Iowa State. His commitment is paying off in 2017, as the team sits at 6-2 with wins over two CFB Playoff Top 25 teams (Oklahoma and TCU). Lazard is a massive target at 6’5, 220+ lbs and has caught over 200 passes for 28 touchdowns during his time with the Cyclones.

16. Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-2) – OL Martinas Rankin. Rankin. Rankin entered this season well known for his run blocking skills but the offensive tackle started the year strong in pass protection as well. CFB Film Room credited Rankin with a 97.8% pass block efficiency rate through the month of September.

17. Southern California Trojans (7-2) – RB Ronald Jones III. Stop, right now. I can hear it already: “What about Sam Darnold?!” Darnold is a player who I’m expecting more and more every week to return to USC for 2018. He’s a potential franchise quarterback. But he’s got some things to iron out and thus, I’m giving the nod to a much more polished prospect at this point in time, Jones III.

18. Central Florida Knights (7-0) – CB Mike Hughes. Hughes played 11 games with UNC in 2015 before a misdemeanor assault charge cost him his place with the Tar Heels. After a year in JUCO, Hughes is back with a vengeance for the Knights, who have stormed out to a 7-0 start and are staring a likely 11-0 regular season in the face. Hughes has logged 2 interceptions, 8 passes defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked kick in his seven games, while sitting T-6th on the team’s tackle leaderboard. Hughes, at 5’11, 191 lbs, has filled out his frame nicely and has the look of an NFL CB.

19. Louisiana State Tigers (6-2) – EDGE Arden Key. This was a coin toss between Key and Derrius Guice. Key’s length, burst and bend are all that defense coaches look for, meaning he’s likely to get drafted high even if he never fully turns it on in his junior season with the Tigers.

20. North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-2) – DE Bradley Chubb. Chubb reminds me of former Tennessee Vols DE Derek Barnett, though Chubb has more versatility in his pass rush counters at this point. Chubb has played himself into Top 10-15 conversation with his play on the field this year.

21. Stanford Cardinal (6-2) – RB Bryce Love. One of my National Scouts, Jonah Tuls, is going to be devastated that I didn’t give the nod to CB Quenton Meeks. But how do you look the other way on a player in Love that has hit over 100 yards rushing in his last 9 games going back to 2016, including over 150 in every game this year minus his last one against Oregon (“only” 147 yards rushing). Lightning quick with great center of gravity, Love has made a believer out of me.

22. Arizona Wildcats (6-2) – QB/Athlete Khalil Tate*. No, Tate isn’t eligible for 2018, but I don’t care. The addition of Tate to the starting lineup has likely saved Rich Rodriguez his job, especially after Tate gouged Colorado and UCLA for 557 combined rushing yards in consecutive weeks. Tate is a player we’ll have the chance to enjoy for at least another season, but he’s worth every look: quite an electric football player.

23. Memphis Tigers (7-1) – WR Anthony Miller. Miller isn’t the biggest of receivers, but few have had his presence on the field in 2017. Miller’s hands are unbelievably sticky and his route running prowess makes him an attractive supplementary piece to an NFL passing offense.

24. Michigan State Spartans (6-2) – C Brian Allen. The senior captain was named a semi-finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy last month, so you know he’s got the smarts to handle line calls and process defenses. Allen isn’t overwhelming in any area but he’s a rock solid Center prospect.

25. Washington State Cougars (7-2) – DL Hercules Mata’afa. Mata’afa has played an excellent season this year in spite of being played out of position on an odd man front for the Cougars defense. Occasionally found at nose tackle, Mata’afa is much more likable as an edge rusher, where his motor and first step can shine without having to fight through heavy traffic.

The post Crabbs | Top prospect on each team in CFB Playoff Top 25 appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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Lonzo Ball shows off passing wizardry with easy tip

Oct 28, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (2) warms up prior to the game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Much has been made of the passing ability of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, with his ability to get teammates quality shot opportunities on a consistent basis. Ball pulled off one of the easier passes you’ll see during Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons, tapping an offensive rebound to Brook Lopez for an easy layup.

In addition to leading the Lakers in assists with an average of 7.7 assists per game, he’s also the team leader in rebounds (7.5 rpg).

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Alex Smith deserves MVP for family’s Halloween costumes

Oct 30, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a pass as Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris (25) defends in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

While some people go with individualized costumes for Halloween, others work with family members, friends or significant others on a particular theme. That’s what Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and his family did, dressing up as comic book characters.

Smith was The Joker, with the others dressing up as Batman, Robin, Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman as well.

The post Alex Smith deserves MVP for family’s Halloween costumes appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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Dodger Stadium goes crazy after Joc Pederson bomb

Oct 31, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson (31) celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros in the 7th inning in game six of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The good news for the Los Angeles Dodgers is that outfielder Joc Pederson hit a seventh-inning homer, giving his team a 3-1 lead over the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the World Series.

The bad news is that the Dodgers’ bullpen has been worked hard in this series, and the Astros still have an offense that can score in bunches. Plus, you know, they have a 3-1 lead.

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Missed Opportunities: Week 8

Howdy, team!

I figured I’d start a little film review segment for y’all: I’m going to break down three plays on which Philadelphia coulda, shoulda, woulda seen a positive outcome, but didn’t. We know that many little factors can impact the execution of a concept, block, release, or likewise–we’ll also look into those, and how they may continue to show up moving forward. If you missed Week 7: https://www.lockedoneagles.com/missed-opportunities-week-7/

Our first clip for Week 8, just as it was for Week 7, is a missed Alshon Jeffery touchdown. If you’re a regular listener (you’re my favorite), you know that we’ve been critical of Alshon’s performance and we’re suspicious regarding his role in this offense. That being said, Wentz has missed him on his fair share of throws, and that must frustrate the wideout.

On this route concept, Wentz actually makes 9/10ths of a fantastic play.

The Niners show a 2-high look before the ball is snapped, and Carson opens to the left side of the field, towards TE Zach Ertz and RB Corey Clement’s routes. There’s a chance Jeffery has an option route here: should he read one-high safety, he runs a certain route; should he read two-high, he manipulates the route accordingly.

Carson immediately recognizes post-snap that the safety are actually playing a Cover 1 Robber technique. In Robber, one safety plays the middle of the field deep, and another–the robber–lurks in the middle of the field in the intermediate area. Regardless of whether or not Alshon has an option on his route, Carson makes the correct read in resetting and turning to Jeffery, whose Dino route will open up against this Cover 1 look.

Alshon runs the Dino nicely. “Dino” refers to a post, or 8-route, but with an outside break at the top to generate inside leverage. This is perfect work between the wide receiver and quarterback. Both know where the space is on the field, and both get there on time.

So, what went wrong? Carson got absolutely leveled by a stunting DL on this play. The game SF runs up front is very impressive–as were all of the defensive line games they brought to Philadelphia, a new and surprising wrinkle in their defensive scheme. Should Carson step up cleanly into this throw, it should be an easy six.

Next week, Alshon. Promise.


Up next, we have another poor Carson play–this time, the young QB is more at fault. An interception that was placed squarely on Mack Hollins’ shoulders on the broadcast–and he still bears some blame–actually should have been avoided by the gunslinger.

Lots to unpack here.

Obviously, Mack shouldn’t break of his route–and there’s no reason to believe it was designed for him to stop. But you can’t blame the rookie entirely: based off of the coverage of SF CB Ahkello Witherspoon, the ball never should have came Hollins’ way.

Pre-snap, it’s clear San Fran is playing man coverage across the board and potentially bringing pressure. It’s 3rd and 14, and they’re deploying a high-risk, high-reward strategy here. Reasonable to believe they’ll get to Carson, as they’ve done all game–but Carson needs to know where this ball should go if he gets even a second to release it.

It should go to–you guessed it, sports fans–Alshon Jeffery.

The #2 WR on the strong side of the formation, Alshon runs a seam route against 1-on-1 coverage. TE Zach Ertz runs the clear out post, and Hollins come underneath on the deep dig.

Now, SF ends up dropping defenders into short zones, bringing only a regular pass rush. That eliminates the quick crosser from Nelson Agholor, the lone wideout on the weakside. Maybe Carson wants to read across the field, to Ertz first, but as those linebackers gain depth underneath the post, he’s eliminated from the play.

Because Hollins is lined up on the boundary against pure man coverage, the corner against him–Witherspoon–will play with strong inside leverage, using the sideline to his advantage. Maybe a comeback works against this technique, or the deep fade, but certainly not an in-breaking route. But Carson, likely entrenched in a pre-snap determination of his own, tries to force the ball in to Hollins, who has cut off his route, certain the pass wasn’t coming his way.

Welp.

Just watch Jeffery on that seam, man. A well-placed ball to the inside, away from the corner, is a 50+ yard gain.


Finally, let’s turn to the defense. The league-leading Philadelphia Eagles came in to the contest allowing less than 70 yards/game on the ground. Without Jordan Hicks for the first time this season, Philadelphia surrendered 94 yards on the ground. Now, plenty of those came courtesy of C.J. Beathard, the saucer-eyed rookie QB escaping the pass rush. But the Niners found regular success with first-down runs, and better squads will see and exploit that.

It’s tough to put all of the blame on the replacement backers/Malcolm Jenkins, who played some linebacker last week. But the reality is: Joe Walker isn’t sniffing Jordan Hicks, and the loss of Hicks also is a detriment to Mychal Kendricks’ and Nigel Bradham’s respective games.

Both of these backers play this poorly. Let’s start with Joe.

Walker does a good job reading the action of the offensive line and flowing. He reacts even quicker than Kendricks, which can be a positive if you look at it from the right angle. But Walker makes a confounding decision in the hole. He has a clear alley to attack Hyde downhill, as RT #62 hesitates, caught between DE Brandon Graham and Walker. (Please, casually, feel free to note Brandon Graham doing holy things as a backside defender once again.)

And how often have we seen Hicks and Graham make this play in unison? But Walker, in a moment of self-doubt, or perhaps too focused on stacking the oncoming block, fails to attack Hyde and lets him worm his way through a tiny crease.

A tiny crease that leads him directly to Mychal Kendricks.

Kendricks had to take on a block on this play, and that is never good news for Eagles fans. An athlete and downhill force, Kendricks does well to remain patient, and not get sucked in by that initial daylight he sees. That’s not his gap; it’s Fletcher Cox’s.

But, instead of flowing hard into that gap and meeting the RG #53 with velocity and power, to traffic jam the bajesus out of this run play, he waits. Kendricks goes straight Bambi-in-BMW-LEDs when he sees a climbing lineman coming his way. As such, Hyde has space with which to work, as Kendricks finally meets him, four yards down the field. Kendricks can’t make the open-field tackle, and Hyde picks up eight.

Bradham and Kendricks have played lights-out this season, and we know the coaching staff is high on Walker–but none of these players have the technically-sound game of Jordan Hicks. His presence in diagnosing plays and doing the dirty work that lets others shine will be sorely missed.

 

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Photo Of The Day By Thomas Piekunka

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “ExoPlanet Lunar Eclipse” by Thomas Piekunka. Location: Mono Lake, California.
Photo By Thomas Piekunka

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “ExoPlanet Lunar Eclipse” by Thomas Piekunka. Location: Mono Lake, California.

“This image captures the entire lunar eclipse cycle taken in roughly 10-minute intervals starting at 1:00 am and ending at 4:00 am, approximately, in October 2014 out the South Tufa area of Mono Lake,” says Piekunka.

Photo of the Day is chosen from various OP galleries, including AssignmentsGalleries and the OP Contests. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, FacebookTwitter and Instagram. To get your photos in the running, all you have to do is submit them.

The post Photo Of The Day By Thomas Piekunka appeared first on Outdoor Photographer.

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12 Favorite East Coast Photography Locations

While many think the west is the best when it comes to landscape photography, there are many locations on the east coast that provide sweeping vistas, plentiful wildlife and spectacular seasons. Here are 12 must-see east coast locations for landscape, nature and wildlife photography.

1. Coastal Areas, Maine

With 57 active lighthouses, 30-plus miles of white sand beaches, and thousands of miles of rocky shoreline and tidal inlets, and you have one of the best places in the world for shooting beautiful seascapes. Read more …

2. Crawford Notch State Park, White Mountains, New Hampshire

Located in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Crawford Notch State Park encompasses 5,575 acres and offers towering cliffs, granite outcrops, impressive waterfalls, lakes, ponds and potential wildlife sightings. Read more …

3. Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Massachusetts

On the northern coast of Massachusetts lies a destination that’s well known by birders: Salisbury Beach State Reservation. It’s one of the state’s most popular beaches during the summer, but during the fall and winter the park is much quieter, and you may also spot harbor seals along the rocks and jetty at this time. Read more …

4. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania

Just an hour-and-a-half drive from New York City lies 67,000 acres of mountain ridge, forest and floodplain known as the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. In addition to capturing the beauty of nature, you’ll also find archaeological areas such as remnants of copper mines, cemeteries and farms to photograph. Read more …

5. Letchworth State Park, Genesee Region, New York

About 30 minutes southwest of Rochester and an hour southeast of Buffalo is the 14,350-acre Letchworth State Park. Many scenic overlooks dot the 17-mile road that winds through the park where you can explore hiking trails and waterfalls, and there’s the option to extend your visit by staying in the seasonal cabins or campground. Read more … 

6. Turkey Creek Falls, New River Gorge National River, West Virginia

The 70,000-acre New River Gorge National River is a part of the National Park Service. It’s the deepest and longest river gorge in Appalachia, cutting through southern West Virginia, and draws visitors from around the world who want to check this incredible sight off their bucket list. Turkey Creek Falls is just one of hundreds of waterfalls that can be found here. Read more … 


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10 Favorite Western U.S. Photo Locations

The western United States and Hawaiian Islands provide many iconic photo locations. Here are 10 favorites. Read now.


7. Elakala Falls, Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

Located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, Blackwater Falls State Park is home to multiple waterfalls that are easily accessible via hiking trails. Come for the waterfalls, and stay for the incredible mountain views and seasonal scenes—there really isn’t a bad time to visit this popular location. Read more …

8. Grassy Ridge Bald, Roan Highlands, North Carolina

The Grassy Ridge Bald is located within the Roan-Unaka Mountain Range along the borders of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. It’s a popular destination during the summer months due to the cooler weather, but because of the high elevation, extreme weather can be expected. However, it’s the perfect place to capture the expansive, open landscapes that can be found atop the grassy balds. Read more … 

9. Cowee Mountain Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, Canton, North Carolina

Head a couple hours southwest from the Grassy Ridge Bald area to reach the Cowee Mountain Overlook in Canton, North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the longest linear park in America, and Cowee Mountain Overlook can be found at Milepost 430. The parkway has been named the most-visited site in the national park system and for good reason: The panoramic views are breathtaking, especially during the fall color season. Read more …

10. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina

About 40 miles northwest of the Cowee Mountain Overlook is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, another popular photography destination in North Carolina. It’s word famous for its scenic mountain ranges, diverse plant and animal species, and wide-ranging atmospheric conditions, and is another must-stop location during the fall color season. Read more …

11. Boca Ciega Millennium Park, Florida

Florida has many excellent locations for bird watching, and Boca Ciega Millennium Park is a bird photographer’s dream come true. It’s one of more than 500 stops along the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, and contains more than 175 documented bird types. Boca Ciega is home to a number of natural ecosystems, with pine flatwoods, mangrove swamps, salt marshes, wetlands and coastal forest, plus an aquatic preserve with miles of canals and seawalls. Read more … 

12. Venice Area Audubon Rookery, Florida

Located along the west central coast of Florida, the Venice Area Audubon Rookery is home to multiple species of birds, such as great blue herons, great egrets and anhingas. It’s close to numerous other bird photography hotspots, making it easy to travel among other locations such as Fort De Soto in St. Petersburg, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge near Sanibel and the burrowing owls in Cape Coral. Read more …


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Acadia National Park By Land And Sea

Insights for planning your visit to the first national park east of the Mississippi. Read now.

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