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Lady Gaga wins three Grammys, Michelle Obama makes surprise appearance

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Childish Gambino’s searing “This is America” became the first hip-hop track to win a song of the year Grammy on Sunday, while Lady Gaga dominated the early awards and former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance at the event.

Lady Gaga’s hit song “Shallow” from the movie “A Star is Born” won two Grammys, while the musician-turned actress took a third Grammy home for her “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Going)”, which won for pop solo performance.

Already a show with a strong lineup of female performers and nominees, the Grammys sprung a surprise by including Obama in an opening segment that also featured Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, actress Jada Pinkett Smith and host Alicia Keys talking about the power of music.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the (Chicago) Southside to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama told the cheering celebrity audience in Los Angeles.

“It allows us to hear one another, to invite one another in,” Obama added.

Rapper Childish Gambino’s “This is America,” about police brutality and racism, won the first big award – song of the year – as well as best music video, and best rap performance.

But Gambino, alter ego of actor Donald Glover, as well as Canadian rapper Drake and Kendrick Lamar, were among several influential stars who were no shows at the biggest night in music.

Their absence was seen as a snub of an awards show that has often shut hip-hop artists out of its top prizes, despite rap’s dominance as the biggest music genre in the United States.

Cardi B, who was to perform later on Sunday, could break that trend and take home not only her first Grammy, but potentially become the first rapper since 2004 to win the coveted album of the year award for her “Invasion of Privacy.”

Cuban-born Camila Cabello kicked off the televised show with a dance heavy performance of her hit single “Havana” with Latin artists J Balvin, Ricky Martin and Young Thug.

Folk singer Brandi Carlile, 37, was also among the early winners, taking two Grammys for her Americana music single “The Joke” and another for her album “By the Way, I Forgive You.”

An absent Ariana Grande, who pulled out of the show last week after a dispute with producers, won her first Grammy, best pop vocal album for “Sweetener.”

Slideshow (32 Images)

“This is wild and beautiful. Thank you so much,” Grande tweeted.

Rappers Post Malone (“Beerbongs & Bentleys”) and Drake’s best-seller “Scorpion” are also vying for the top prize. Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer,” country singer Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour,” Carlile’s “By The Way, I Forgive You,” newcomer H.E.R’s self-titled “H.E.R.”, and the “Black Panther” movie soundtrack round out contenders for album of the year, which will be announced at the end of the three and 1/2 hour telecast on CBS.

Grammy organizers this year expanded the top four categories – album, record, song of the year, and best new artist – to eight nominees from five in a bid to diversify the contest.

Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus. Editing by Bill Berkrot

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Turtle Beach Recon 70 Headset Review: Plug In and Go

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When creating the ultimate gaming experience, whether it be on PC or console, the peripherals and accessories are often the finishing touches. But when it comes to these devices, a premium experience often necessitates paying premium prices, which is why good value for money peripherals are always welcome.

To aid in that regard is the Recon 70 gaming headset from Turtle Beach, which at R699 (RRP) sits neatly in between a professional and novice setup.

While its price will certainly pique your interest, does it actually deliver the value for money that Turtle Beach is touting? We took the Recon 70 headsets for a spin to find out.

Simple and Sturdy

The design of the Recon 70 can best be described as utilitarian. The majority of the headset is swathed in black plastic, with hits of electric blue scattered here and there to catch your eye. It also features a diagonal slash on the outside of the ear cups in order to make them stand out a bit.

All in all though, it’s a design that won’t turn many heads, and that’s just fine for me at R699.

What I’m wanting is something that can last a good while. Despite not throwing the headset around after a rage quit, I mean when the CPU was clearly cheating, the headsets feel reassuringly solid despite the plastic heavy design.

Another characteristic of the Recon 70 is the fact that all the moving parts feel rigid, which has its ups and downs.

The downs come in the form of a lack of fluidity when adjusting the size of the headphones on the  sides just above the ear cups. This mechanism does not seem to have a great deal of movement, and only increases or decreases two positions either way, which means it won’t get much larger.

Luckily it’s fairly large as is. I myself have a particularly pronounced noggin and the Recon 70 fit nicely.

The upside of the rigidity meant the headband doesn’t provide too much flex. This results in a snug but comfortable fit, although it may mess up any “unique” stylings you’ve chosen to adorn the top of your head with.

Sticking with comfort the ear cups are generously large, and sit over-the-ear. They also have a good deal of padding and cushion things nicely without leaving any gaps. As such if you’re wanting to wear these for prolonged sessions, there is no fear constant fiddling or moving in order to cope with a lack of comfort.

A bit of everything

Now let’s move onto some of the specifications of the Turtle Beach Recon 70 headset.

Driving the sound here are some respectable 40mm neodymium speakers which yield a frequency of 12Hz to 20kHz. The range of offer here is solid, with it coping nicely with bass and not producing any kind of tinniness during my time with the Recon 70.

If there is one complaint when it comes to sound, it’s the sensitivity of the volume wheel located on the ear cup, as the dial does not travel very far. This means nuances in volume are best handled on the device you’re playing on than the headset itself, which is a pity.

Sticking with some of the issues I encountered the 3.5mm cord, fixed to the headset, felt a tad shorter than expected. The fact that they are fixed to the headset also means you cannot switch out with a longer option, and will need to find some sort of extender if needed. This is less of an issue for PC gamers who will more than likely be close to their setup, but may prove an obstacle for console gamers playing in a living room for example.

That said, it’s not a deal breaker, but something to consider.

Said 3.5mm headphone is compatible for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and did not provide any weird feedback or anomalies while connected.

One of the other elements worth talking about on the Recon 70 is the omni-directional mic, which swivels up or down depending on whether you’re using it or not. The quality it produces is mixed, with it performing fine in co-op gaming or multiplayers in small groups.

The moment you try to make yourself heard in a larger group of players also trying to get their instructions across and the mic struggles slightly, getting the odd “please repeat” or “what was that?” Again I’m splitting hairs here, and for the price of the Recon 70 the audio experience is certainly above par.

Final Verdict

I’ve harped on about the price of the Recon 70 for some time now, and for good reason. Value for money is hard to come by when it comes to good quality headsets, and at R699 this pair provides enough all-round solid use to provide peace of mind that it’s money well spent. It also means you can spend your hard-earned cash on other elements of your gaming setup.

For cost-savvy gamers who want a headset that handles the basics well, the Turtle Beach Recon 70 is definitely worth a second look.

When creating the ultimate gaming experience, whether it be on PC or console, the peripherals and accessories are often the finishing touches. But when it comes to these devices, a premium experience often necessitates paying premium prices, which is why good value for money peripherals are always welcome. To aid in that regard is the Recon 70 gaming headset from Turtle Beach, which at R699 (RRP) sits neatly in between a professional and novice setup. While its price will certainly pique your interest, does it actually deliver the value for money that Turtle Beach is touting? We took the Recon 70 headsets for a spin to find out. Simple and Sturdy The design of the Recon 70 can best be described as utilitarian. The majority of the headset is swathed in black plastic, with hits of electric blue scattered here and there to catch your eye. It also features a diagonal slash on the outside of the ear cups in order to make them stand out a bit. All in all though, it’s a design that won’t turn many heads, and that’s just fine for me at R699. What I’m wanting is something that can last a good while. Despite not throwing the headset around after a rage quit, I mean when the CPU was clearly cheating, the headsets feel reassuringly solid despite the plastic heavy design. Another characteristic of the Recon 70 is the fact that all the moving parts feel rigid, which has its ups and downs. The downs come in the form of a lack of fluidity when adjusting the size of the headphones on the  sides just above the ear cups. This mechanism does not seem to have a great deal of movement, and only increases or decreases two positions either way, which means it won’t get much larger. Luckily it’s fairly large as is. I myself have a particularly pronounced noggin and the Recon 70 fit nicely. The upside of the rigidity meant the headband doesn’t provide too much flex. This results in a snug but comfortable fit, although it may mess up any “unique” stylings you’ve chosen to adorn the top of your head with. Sticking with comfort the ear cups are generously large, and sit over-the-ear. They also have a good deal of padding and cushion things nicely without leaving any gaps. As such if you’re wanting to wear these for prolonged sessions, there is no fear constant fiddling or moving in order to cope with a lack of comfort. A bit of everything Now let’s move onto some of the specifications of the Turtle Beach Recon 70 headset. Driving the sound here are some respectable 40mm neodymium speakers which yield a frequency of 12Hz to 20kHz. The range of offer here is solid, with it coping nicely with bass and not producing any kind of tinniness during my time with the Recon 70. If there is one complaint when it comes to sound, it’s the sensitivity of the volume wheel located on…

Turtle Beach Recon 70 Headset Review: Plug In and Go

Turtle Beach Recon 70 Headset Review: Plug In and Go

2019-07-22

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Combined Score – 7

7

Solid Sounds

Value for money is hard to come by when it comes to good quality headsets, and at R699 this pair provides enough all-round solid use to provide peace of mind that it’s money well spent. It also means you can spend your hard-earned cash on other elements of your gaming setup.

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7

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Newborn’s gut ‘microbiome’ could give clues to weight later

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A newborn’s first stool holds telltale clues about his risk for becoming an overweight 3-year-old, according to a European study.

The clues come from the population of bacteria (microbiome) in the baby’s gut.

Finnish researchers used genetic sequencing to analyse the first stool produced by 212 newborns and another sample at age 1. Called meconium, a baby’s first stool is composed of material ingested while in the womb.

The children’s weight and height were checked at regular visits, and their antibiotic use recorded.

Analysing the bacteria

Researchers found that the greater the abundance of Staphylococcus bacteria in an infant’s first stool, the shorter the child was at 1 and 2 years of age.

Kids who were overweight by age 3 had much more (29% versus 15%) Bacteroidetes in their infant microbiome than those who were not overweight, the study found. Bacteroidetes are a large group of bacteria found in many environments, as well as in the guts and skin of many animals.

Newborns who were overweight by age 3 also had less Proteobacteria (19% versus 35%), according to the team led by researcher Katja Korpela from the University of Oulu.

The study was presented at a meeting of the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, to be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The research also found that antibiotics can alter a child’s microbiome.

Lasting impact of antibiotics

Babies who were given antibiotics in their first year of life had lower levels of Actinobacteria at age 1 than did those who received antibiotics shortly after birth, whose mothers took antibiotics during pregnancy, and those who had no exposure to antibiotics.

In a meeting news release, Korpela’s team said that shows the lasting impact of antibiotics on a child’s microbiome.

Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Image credit: iStock








 







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SA’s Schoenmaker through to 100m breaststroke final

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Cape Town – South African swimming sensation Tatjana Schoenmaker is through to the final of the women’s 100m breaststroke at the FINA World Championships.

This comes after the 22-year-old finished second in her semi-final to qualify fifth fastest overall in a time of 1:06.61 on Monday’s in Gwangju, South Korea. 

The final will take place at 14:47 SA time on Tuesday, July 23. 

It has been a slow start for Team SA at the meet with no swimmer having qualified for a semi-final after Sunday’s opening day of competition. 



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