Somali pirates hijacking

On March 14th, Somali pirates hijacked an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia. According to The Guardian this is the first hijacking of a large ship since 2012, and many local fishermen say this was a direct cause from the recent amount of foreign presence in Somalia. This hijacking has been the first takeover of a big ship in 5 whole years of peace.

The Guardian says they have interviewed elders and heard what they had to say about the hijacking. The elders said that the hijackers had been frustrated with the foreign fisherman recently, and said that the foreign fishermen had been illegally fishing in local waters and killing or catching all the fish either for game, or fun, instead of eating.

This sparked some conflict between the two groups of fishermen, and led to a few territorial issues. With the foreign fishermen excited and wanting to fish more and more of the exotic animals, they ruined the fishing for the local fishermen. This made the locals mad and they became frustrated, and this frustration eventually lead to the hijacking of the oil tanker.

A couple days after the hijacking, the oil tanker was released, with its crew, without any conditions. The release occurred after local elders and officials opened negotiations with the pirates. Somali pirates usually hijack ships and crew members for ransom, and generally do not kill their hostages.

According to The Guardian, the Puntland Maritime Police Force made an offer the Somali pirates couldn’t refuse, and they left the oil tanker and crew unscathed. The hijackers were also told that the oil tanker was from a Somali trader, and the hijackers no longer had any interest in the ransom money. The hijackers told the authorities that they only seized the ship because they wanted to protest about illegal fishing in the area that the foreign fishermen were doing in their waters.

  

MLB season preview

The MLB season is right around the corner. On Sunday, April 2nd, the Tampa Bay Rays, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the St. Louis Cardinals have their home openers. The Rays play the New York Yankees, the Diamondbacks play the San Francisco Giants, and the Cardinals play the reigning World Series champions, the Chicago Cubs. Currently, players are staying active by playing in Spring Training, and the World Baseball Classic which is an international baseball tournament. As of the writing of this article, the Yankees have the best Spring Training record at 18-7.

According the www.bleacherreport.com, they have the Cubs finishing with the best record – scoring 96 wins. They have the Minnesota Twins having the worst record – losing 100 games.

A team that could be very dangerous this season is the Cleveland Indians. The Indians have a young team that led them to the World Series last year, but fell short. Even though they lost, they still should be able to become contenders this year again. This offseason they signed slugger Edwin Encarnacion. They also still have Corey Kluber in their bullpen who made a huge impact on their drive to the World Series. They are the most likely team to win the AL Central division.

One team that may disappoint is the Kansas City Royals. They lost big hitter Kendrys Morales and players like Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon are starting to get old. Eric Hosmer is still a great player, but he seems to be the only great player on this year’s team. The Royals also sadly had a young pitcher of theirs, Yordano Ventura, pass away during the offseason. He died in a car accident while in his native country of the Dominican Republic.

One dark horse this year are the Seattle Mariners. They have three star players in Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. They also depend on Felix Hernandez who needs a bounce back season this year. Last year, Hernandez had only a record of 11-8 with a 3.82 ERA. His worst ERA since 2007. He didn’t have a single shutout last season compared to the 2 he had in the 2015 season. If he can pitch well, then the rest of the MLB should watch out for Seattle.

Artificial intelligence

Psychologytoday.com

AI, or Artifical Intelligence, is intelligence that is exhibited by machines. Recently, artificial intelligence has taken over many news cycles as we see it being used to solve many problems. According to Wired.com, AI research is defined as the study of any machine that takes information from its environment and uses that information to solve a goal or be better for its task.

Artificial intelligence has been around since at least the early 1960’s. Why are we only hearing about it now then? The main reason is that it has only recently been useful to the common man. Before we look at how AI works, let’s define some of the terms.

When discussing AI a common term you will hear is “Machine Learning.” Machine learning is basically what it sounds like; a machine learning. However, it can get very complex very fast. The main idea behind machine learning is that the machine creates its own prediction engine and is able to accurately predict the outcome of an input over time. For this prediction engine to be good, however, humans have to train it. There are many ways to do this, but the most common way is for the algorithm to be given a set of inputs, with known outputs, and then given some inputs, with unknown outputs. After predicting the output of those inputs, it is then given the actual output and learns from that.

There are many ways that we can apply this. It also has importance on many different levels. The ability for machines to solve problems through logical deduction along with being able to display knowledge about their environment is important because it shows that AI is able to have the same reasoning that we see in young children. It also has importance due to the fact that AI will advance automation along with replacing jobs.

Movie review: Arrival

Arrival, a science fiction and mystery movie starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, was one of the nominees for Best Picture this year at the Academy Awards. This is special, because science fiction movies are rarely nominated for that highest of awards. In order to do so, the move in question must be very high-quality.

So, of course, I went to see it, and I can now confirm that it is, indeed, really excellent. It’s also the kind of movie that is hard to talk about without ruining it, but I’ll try my best to avoid spoiling it. I will tell you that once you see it once, you’ll want to see it again in light of the ending. It’s also got beautiful cinematography; the sort of movie that you’d want to see on as big a screen as possible. I saw it in the movie theater and loved it.

The movie is set in the present day, immediately after twelve giant, featureless oblong “spaceships” touch down all over the planet at seemingly random locations. It focuses on a linguist who is brought in to figure out how to communicate with the aliens inside, squid-like creatures called “heptapods” for their seven legs. The whole movie is driven by a need to ask a simple question – “Why are they here?” – before intergalactic war breaks out.

Of course, the movie isn’t perfect. It’s very slow-moving, so even though its running time isn’t even two hours, it can feel much longer. It can also be quite confusing at times, because some scenes are shown out of order, and the timeline of the movie doesn’t really make sense until the end. The soundtrack is very loud and sad, and can sound like an endless funeral dirge at times.

The ending, however, is fabulous in a very bittersweet way, and the story is overall quite interesting and thought-provoking. I recommend it highly.