QPR v Swansea player ratings

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All You Wanted to Know About Spider Webs, ExceptTheir Evolution

first_imgEach issue of Current Biology contains a Primer on some interesting subject.  The May 24 issue had one about spider webs.1  Fritz Vollrath shared some amazing details about this unique product of the lowly spider, but gave a strange explanation for how the capability to spin strong-as-steel nets evolved.  First, the factoids:Structure:  …the… common garden spider… has evolved to take out-of-plane loads at optimized deflections.  To be able to do so, this web needs to incorporate into one structure the mechanical properties of very different types of silk: the fairly stiff, radius silk threads and the extremely soft, extensible and sticky capture silk threads, which are fixed on the radii by stringy silk cement.  (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Heritage:  Most of the hundred or so spider families have web-building members.  Their webs range from two-dimensional sheets to three-dimensional tangles, with members of ten families building the familiar orb web.Signaling:  The spider’s web is primarily a trap, mostly for insects; it retains the contacting insect and informs the waiting spider about the location and status of the prey.  Whether it is a static filter or a dynamic net swaying in the wind, the web always relays vibratory signals of considerable complexity.Geometry:  The great ecological diversity of the potential prey is reflected in the great diversity of web designs.  Of these, the orbicular web has attracted special attention because of its ubiquity, pleasing geometry, obvious functionality and, not least, its apparent structural simplicity.Technique:  The typical spider web … is the spider’s inherited ‘signature’, which – although unlearned – is modified predictably by the environment.  The web is many times the spider’s size; accordingly, the decision rules guiding the animal’s locomotory and manipulative movements can best be described (and analysed) as orientation behaviour.  Vollrath says that model spider robots can generate digitized spider webs, and show that a “small number of very simple behaviour patterns are sufficient to generate accurately the characteristics of a real spiderweb.”Technology:  The common garden spider Araneus diadematus, like other orb weavers of the ecribellate families, employs in each bead of its capture threads a microscopic ‘windlass’ mechanism that allows supreme extendibility while absorbing the high kinetic energy of the prey without breaking. Another species “combs out its capture silk to form a loosely twisted, dry rope with a mechanical coil-and-spring that sticks to prey using electrostatic forces.”Materials science:  Spider silk is not a single-protein biopolymer.  In addition to the spidroins, its main protein constituents, the typical spider dragline silk contains many different organic and inorganic components, such as neurotransmitter peptides, glyco-proteins, lipids, sugars, phosphates, calcium, potassium and sulphur….Functionally, silks can be viewed as a ‘filled rubber’, in which crystallites provide the strength and a matrix provides the elasticity: in combination, these two components give the silk its toughness.Manufacture:  At present we do not know the precise mechanisms by which different silk proteins fold and assemble in the ‘spinning ducts’ of the various and diverse spider glands.  Some initial insights have been gained, however, into the silk pathway of one typical spider silk: the dragline silk produced by the major ampullate glands of the golden silk spider … Here, as in all other spider silks, the liquid crystalline silk feedstock is prepared by specialist cells in the gland wall and stored in the lumen.  As with most other silks, this precursor silk is then converted into the solid fibre by extrusion through the tubular taper of a duct, where the enormously long … silk molecules first unfold and are then cross-linked.    In Nephila, the fibre-forming zone has the shape and function of a hyperbolic extrusion die.  Here a small drop in the pH combined with the elongational flow of the molecules effects the transformation from liquid to solid silk…. the elongational flow helps to define the molecular orientations throughout the duct, and that a combination of solvent (water) extrusion and subsequent acidification helps the process of alignment and folding.  The cuticle of the gland’s duct facilitates the rapid removal of water and provides the proton pump for the acid bath.  In this way the spider uses a liquid crystalline spinning process which, in terms of human engineering, is highly advanced.In the middle of the primer, Vollrath tackled the specific question, “How are webs thought to have evolved?”Spider web structures and silks began their co-evolution about 400 million years ago, at first probably as a protein cover to protect the animal’s eggs and young.  Webs then evolved different functions, including acting as a kind of wall-paper for the animal’s burrow and modifying the hole into a simple trap by radiating lines that inform the lurking spider about things beetling around outside.  Even such simple lines expand the animal’s anatomical phenotype many fold by incorporating the body into an extensive silken net.  The aerial webs of the ‘modern’ spiders began to evolve perhaps 200 million years ago and are superb examples of ‘extended anatomy’.  These webs also nicely illustrate the close interaction of material and behaviour which clearly are two separately encoded yet functionally inter-linked character traits.This seems to say that they evolved because they evolved. 1Fritz Vollrath, “Spider’s webs,” Current Biology, Vol 15, R364-R365, 24 May 2005.This is a prime example of the leaps of faith rampant among Darwinians, who can discuss with apparent wonder the technologies of the animal kingdom – capabilities that dwarf human efforts based on intelligent engineering – then say they just evolved, with utter, implicit, and complete faith in the inspired Word of Charlie, who alone does wonders.  Then they have the audacity to accuse non-Darwinians of relying on faith instead of science.    Vollrath apparently was not at all aware of nor troubled by the fact that he dodged the question about evolution.  How did the spider web evolve?  It evolved, he said.  Any skill or technology needed was available to the spider with the snap of the evolutionary fingers.  Example: certain spiders “have evolved to produce web fibres that have an aqueous coating, supplied and maintained by hygroscopic compounds to attract the required water molecules from the atmosphere.”  How did the spider find these hygroscopic compounds and incorporate them into the production line?  It evolved.    That explanation is all-sufficient.  The precise acidity control?  It evolved.  The hyperbolic extrusion die?  It evolved.  The exact recipe of proteins, sugars, phosphates, calcium, sulfur, neurotransmitter peptides and other organic and inorganic ingredients that yielded a substance humans cannot emulate?  It evolved.  The ability to control the solidification and folding at exactly the right time and place?  It evolved.  The ability to sort out tough silks and soft, flexible sticky silks into a radial pattern?  It evolved.  The skill to snare insects, detect their presence, and get to them without getting stuck itself?  It evolved.    It evolved because it evolved: that is apparently enough intellectual content to satisfy a brainwashed Darwinist.  Some humans build webs, too; the tangled kind, spun by self-deception.  Watch from a safe distance.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa looks to ramp up growth

first_img25 October 2011 Amid concerns over a sluggish global economic recovery and an unresolved European debt crisis, South Africa is to focus more on investing in infrastructure and boosting industrial capacity while setting up a special nest-egg fund to support growth. Delivering his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament on Tuesday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said that following the 2008-09 global financial crisis, the Eurozone crisis had brought new challenges and threats to global growth. “Once again we face the prospect of declines in global trade, falling industrial demand, delays in investment, liquidation of businesses and stressed financial institutions, this time with the added risk that fiscal austerity in some parts of the world will extend the slowdown and deepen the crisis,” Gordhan said. This year’s Medium-Term Budget sets out the fiscal and budgetary dimensions of the government’s response to the crisis, key to which is to focus spending on creating long-term public assets by investing more in infrastructure and job-creating assets.Keeping govt wage bill in check At the same time, Gordhan plans to reduce the growth in the government’s wage bill by keeping annual increases for public servants at five percent over the next three years. He said public-sector wage settlements had to be balanced against the crucial considerations of the share of spending allocated to social and economic priorities such as infrastructure and social security.Policy reserve, stimulus package Gordhan also mooted the creation of a policy reserve, which would allow for portions of some revenue allocated to departments to be put aside in a separate account, to be drawn on in difficult times. Added to this, he proposed R25-billion in funding over six years to boost industrial development zones and build up world-class businesses, incentivise firms to improve competitiveness, and help support job creation and training projects.Global risks, vulnerability of exports While global economic recovery has slowed, although moderate growth is expected over the next three years, Gordhan singled out the risk of the unresolved European debt crisis to bank recapitalisation and slow growth of the US. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its global growth forecast for 2011 and 2012 from 4.5% to 4%. Gordhan said after their strong recovery last year, international trade volumes had flattened this year and added that South Africa remained heavily reliant on its traditional developed country partners of the US, EU and Japan, making exports vulnerable to a slowdown in advanced economies. He called on exporters to improve their productivity and keep their input costs down to get more lasting benefits from a more competitive currency – which he said had fluctuated between January and October from R6.58 to the dollar to R8.25 to the dollar. In a media briefing earlier today, the National Treasury’s Director-General, Lungisa Fuzile, said South Africa’s foreign exchange reserves were at about the right level now – at about six months worth of imports.GDP forecast revised down to 3.1% Meanwhile in his speech, Gordhan said growth in the domestic economy had slowed from 4.5% in the first quarter to 1.3% in the second quarter. He attributed this to the strikes that hit the country in the middle of this year and to slower household consumption, as well as the fallout in global trade resulting from the tsunami in Japan in March. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to increase by 3.1% this year (down from the 3.4% forecast in the Budget in February) and move up to 3.4% next year, before lifting to 4.3% in 2014, as the current global uncertainty subsides.The jobs challenge While revealing that the National Treasury had received 2 651 applications under the Jobs Fund, launched in June, Gordhan also pointed to the country’s worsening unemployment rate. Only 210 000 jobs were added in the 15 months of the recovery to June this year, while unemployment had risen from 21.8% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 25.7% in the second quarter of this year, he said. The unemployment rate did not include the estimated 2.2-million workers who had stopped looking for work, he said, adding that much of the new jobs in the formal sector outside of the agricultural sector, were created in the public sector. Gordhan warned that South Africa’s current projected GDP growth remained too weak to meet the employment targets of the country’s New Growth Path – to create five-million jobs by 2020. He said measures were needed to improve capital budgets, change the way network industries operated and promote competition, while strengthening skills and education.Inflation forecast Meanwhile, South Africa’s inflation rate is expected to breach the 3% to 6% target band temporarily in the first quarter of next year and to average over 5.5% over the next three years. Gordhan said rising food and petrol prices had seen inflation move from 3.2% in September last year to 5.7% in September. Increases in prices set by government agencies was a major factor in fuelling inflation, as 14 of the 18 administered price components were above 6% – with double-digit increases in electricity, water supply, refuse collection and sewerage prices. The ratio of household debt to disposable income, though still high, had declined from a peak of 82% in the first half of 2008 to 75.9% in the second quarter of this year. Gordhan said low levels of credit demand, a sluggish housing market and high levels of non-performing loans, had contributed to muted growth in credit extension to households. The Reserve Bank had, however, kept the repo rate unchanged at a 30-year low of 5.5% since November last year, he said.Capital investment forecast After falling 3.7% last year, gross fixed capital formation was expected to increase 2.9% this year and 4.5% next year, before moving to a 6.3% increase in 2014. Private fixed capital investment grew at 4% in the second quarter, mainly on the back of purchases of machinery and transport equipment. Investment in mining and communications registered the fastest growth in the first half of 2011, with overall investment growing at two percent in this period compared to the same period in the year before. However, despite this, real investment in the second quarter of this year was still eight percent below its pre-crisis peak. BuaNewslast_img read more

Tech Superhero Sergey Brin Just Showed Us How To Take A Selfie With Google Glass

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Related Posts At the Moscone Center West, where Google’s been holding its annual I/O conference for developers, we’ve seen a fair number of people wearing Google Glass, the face-mounted display-and-camera gadget Google introduced last year.The most prominent Glass-toter was Google cofounder Sergey Brin, who drew a crowd at an after-hours party for press attending the event. He first talked to reporters, then chatted up SlashGear writer Vincent Nguyen, also a Glass-wearer.There’s A Right Way And A Wrong Way To Take A Selfie With GlassThen Brin put his arm around Nguyen, drew him close and made an unusual gesture: He whipped off his Glass headset, spun it upside down, and clicked the camera button to take a photo of the pair.“So you can take a selfie with Google Glass?” I asked Brin.“The team debated this,” Brin told me. Some felt the camera should turn off when you take the headset off, to avoid accidental photos. But Brin felt Glass users should be able to take a self-portrait. Normally, wearing Glass, you can only take a photo of what you’re looking at.Of course, with Glass off your head, you avoid the consumerist showiness of displaying the fact that you possess a $1,500 headset. But unlike those who snap fake Glass selfies in a mirror or with—gasp—the smartphones Glass is supposed to obviate, Glass owners who follow Brin’s prescribed whip-reach-and-click routine can rest assured that they’re doing it the right way. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Glassholes#Google Glass#Google IO13#io13#Selfies owen thomaslast_img read more

Congress candidate leading in Dantewada Assembly bypoll

first_imgThe Congress candidate was leading by a margin of 2,778 votes in the Dantewada Assembly bypoll where counting was taken up on Friday morning, officials said. The counting of votes in the bypoll held on September 23 in the Naxal-affected seat began at 8 at the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) campus in Dantewada district headquarters,a poll official said. As per the early trends, Devti Karma of the Congress was leading by a margin of 2,778 votes against her nearest rival Ojaswi Mandavi of the BJP, he said. Ms. Karma had secured 6,720 votes, while Ms. Mandavi got 3942 votes after initial rounds of counting, he added. The ruling Congress and main opposition BJP are locked in a direct fight in this seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribe, where bypoll was necessitated after the death of sitting BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi in a Maoist attack in April this year.last_img read more

Title addict Guardiola retains Premier League with Man City

first_img“I push my staff,” Guardiola said, “and I push myself.”He sets standards on the field that require rivals to raise theirs.ADVERTISEMENT Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES Manchester City won its second straight Premier League trophy on Sunday, finishing one point ahead of Liverpool in a thrilling title race and giving Guardiola eight league championships over 10 years in three countries.“Winning the title gives you a lot of energy,” Guardiola said after the clinching 4-1 victory over Brighton, “and is so addictive.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsWinning was become routine for City in a way it never was before the flow of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth began in 2008.When Sheikh Mansour bought City, City’s only English championships in a history stretching back to 1880 were won in 1937 and 1968. Mavericks say Kristaps Porzingis involved in altercation in native Latvia Now the club that was trampled over for so many years by Manchester United — and had to escape the third tier 20 years ago this month — is the force of English football with four titles in eight seasons. City finished first in 2012 under Roberto Mancini and ’14 led by Manuel Pellegrini, then under Guardiola became the first repeat champion in a decade.Guardiola earned six league titles as a defensive midfielder for Barcelona in the 1990s, the had hat tricks of league titles as coach at Barcelona and Bayern Munich City became the first team to retain the trophy since Manchester United won its third straight in the 2007-08, one of 10 it earned under manager Alex Ferguson.As City flew back to Manchester for a celebration with fans outside its Etihad Stadium, United supporters were reeling from a loss to Cardiff that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side finish in sixth — 32 points behind its neighbor — and without any silverware.City remains on course for an English treble, having already collected a League Cup and preparing for the FA Cup final against Watford on Saturday.“We’ll go and celebrate,” Kompany said, “but we’re also thinking of that next game on Saturday.”Winning isn’t addictive just for Guardiola. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany lifts the English Premier League trophy after the English Premier League soccer match between Brighton and Manchester City at the AMEX Stadium in Brighton, England, Sunday, May 12, 2019. Manchester City defeated Brighton 4-1 to win the championship. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)BRIGHTON, England — All the strain Pep Guardiola feels during the pursuit of titles becomes worthwhile when a winners’ medal is placed around his neck.It happens a lot.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess City trailed Liverpool by seven points in late December but won its final 14 games after a Jan. 29 defeat at Newcastle and finished with 98 points, the second-highest total in English history behind its 100 last year. Liverpool, chasing its first championship in 29 years, finished with the highest total for a non-champion.“Liverpool was exceptional, I don’t mean to rub it in, it is what it is, they didn’t deserve to lose,” said 33-year-old City captain Vincent Kompany, who helped maintain the lead last week when his long-range goal in the second half provided a 1-0 win over Leicester. “It makes me so much more happy that we played such a great team all season.”During a 21-minute stretch in the first half at Brighton, City gave up hope to Liverpool supporters at Anfield, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) to the northwest.With both grounds bathed in brilliant sunshine, Sadio Mané put Liverpool in front against Wolverhampton in the 17th minute and a jittery City fell behind 10 minutes later — the first time the champions had trailed in a league game since January.“We heard the Brighton fans singing ‘1-0 to Liverpool’ just at the moment we conceded,” Kompany said.Even when Sergio Agüero leveled 83 seconds after Glenn Murray’s header, City only moved back into top spot when Aymeric Laporte nodded in from Riyad Mahrez’s corner in the 38th minute.It turned out to be the goal that decided the title.But there were still nerves to be eased in the second half. Mahrez netted in the 63rd minute, a rare high point in his first season after joining City in a record 60 million pound (then $80 million) signing in July.There was a stylish conclusion to City’s title defense when Ilkay Gündogan scored from a free kick in the 72nd minute for the team’s 95th goal in 38 league matches.“We were creating chances, finding the gaps, imposing ourselves,” Kompany said. “Though the pitch was slow I felt we were magnificent. We did everything we needed to do in a game such as today.” View commentslast_img read more

To Beat The Warriors You Gotta Draft Like The Warriors Good Luck

SA2008-1115Kawhi Leonard17.027.4 DET1994-973Grant Hill18.126.3 Despite those odds, plenty of teams manage to look smart in the draft every year. The Warriors themselves had a terrific series of drafts between 2009 and 2012, when they picked up Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in rapid succession. That group generated about 25 more points of VORP than they should have based on where they were picked, giving Golden State one of the shrewdest four-year stretches of drafts in the lottery era: DET1985-8827Dennis Rodman12.828.6 NO2002-054Chris Paul24.728.4 CLE1985-887Kevin Johnson12.934.7 Early in the draft, the curve is steep. The average No. 2 pick is worth only about 80 percent as many VORP in his first five seasons as the average No. 1, and players only get less valuable from there. Each additional pick produces a lot less than the slot before, emphasizing how costly every random tumble in the lottery can be.But let’s say our theoretical team gets its hands on a collection of valuable draft picks. What are the odds that it will take the right player at each slot? According to my research, there’s about a 70 percent chance that a team won’t take the best player available with any given pick at or near the top of the draft. Of course, the haul is still usually decent even if a team doesn’t nail its pick perfectly — but at the same time, “decent” doesn’t really help build a Warriors-killer.VIDEO: Why the No. 1 pick is such a valuable crapshoot Only at the most extreme edge of young talent, where the sample of historical examples is limited, do we see the potential upside usually associated with a group of highly drafted prospects playing together. (Think of the 2009-10 Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the greatest collections of pure talent ever assembled, coalescing into an NBA finalist within a few seasons.) Short of that, it’s tough to improve more than normal reversion to the mean would predict by simply stocking up on a bunch of kids with raw draft pedigree. Future stardom is unpredictable (again, see teams’ lack of consistency in getting better-than-average return on picks), and young players in particular tend to amplify one another’s flaws when playing together.But if our hypothetical Warriors-killer does manage to survive the lottery, make the right picks in the draft, get those prospects on the court together and then max out their potential, the model predicts the upper bound for its eventual peak Elo would be 1762. That’s roughly where the Warriors will be starting from next season (after reverting their final 2016-17 rating to the mean), and it’s also roughly the same Elo carried at season’s end by the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers — not coincidentally, the last team to unseat the Warriors in the playoffs.A lot has to go right to get to that point, and most teams who travel down that path will fall short. But the Warriors will also feel the tug of parity soon — however gently — and at the same time, some team will eventually clear all the hurdles and build the challenger to Golden State’s throne. There’s a decent chance that journey starts in Brooklyn tonight, at the draft. * Value Over Replacement Player. Based on draftees’ first five NBA seasons, versus the average expected VORP for the slot where each player was picked. Players who were traded at the draft are assigned to the team that acquired them.Source: Basketball-Reference.com LAL1993-9610Eddie Jones14.027.8 In the age of superteams and super-duper teams,1Whether today’s stars want to admit such things exist or not. the Golden State Warriors built the ultimate doomsday machine when they added Kevin Durant in free agency last summer. Winning a championship this year seemed — and ultimately was — inevitable. But before KD put pen to paper, Golden State had captured one title and set the all-time wins record. And it was done with a roster largely built through the draft. The Warriors were the poster children for how to build a team through savvy scouting and player development, not reckless spending.Likewise, we can make a pretty good guess that the team that one day unseats Golden State will not be a creaky monument to Russian oligarchy, but rather more organic. So on draft day, let’s imagine how a team might build through the draft, stockpiling young talent and maxing out their collective potential. Could such a team rise to the Warriors’ level? Maybe. But everything would have to go right for our team, from lucking out in the lottery to nailing its picks and then developing them into stars. In other words, to beat the Warriors, you have to do what the Warriors did.First things first: It isn’t easy to jam-pack a roster with a bunch of promising young players. Even an aggressive tanking effort like Sam Hinkie’s “Process” in Philadelphia can’t guarantee that the lottery balls will fall the way they’re expected to. Indeed, the Sixers under Hinkie suffered below-average lottery luck. Meanwhile, other teams can always swoop in and snag the top pick (think the Cavaliers). Although Philly still managed to draft some high picks over the years — including, finally, a No. 1 choice in Ben Simmons last year — it didn’t get as much out of the draft as its fans might have expected when the Process began.And because the value of a pick diminishes so rapidly from No. 1 down, any unfavorable bounce in the lottery could derail our imaginary rebuild before it begins. Here’s the expected value for each pick slot — as measured by players’ Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) over the course of their first five NBA seasons — since the lottery era began in 1985: BEST PICK TOR1997-009Tracy McGrady13.526.1 And this methodology probably underrates the drafting job done by former Warriors general manager Larry Riley — and his replacement, Bob Myers, who made the team’s best pick when he drafted Draymond Green 35th overall in 2012 — since it looks at only the first five seasons of a player’s career. Curry, for instance, didn’t reach his full game-breaking potential until his sixth season in the league.But just as studies have found in other sports (most notably the NFL), there isn’t much consistent skill to making better-than-average picks in the NBA draft. The correlation between a team’s per-pick return on investment2As measured by VORP over expectation for each draft slot. in one three-year period and the next is only 0.014 — a practically nonexistent relationship.3I used three years because that’s about half the reasonable lifespan of an NBA GM gig. Even the Warriors picked big-man bust Ekpe Udoh sixth overall in between the first rounds in which they snapped up Curry and Thompson.With all these factors stacked against teams built around touted draft picks, it’s no wonder they have a spotty record of converting potential to results. Using the same method of evaluating talent bases as my colleague Kyle Wagner and I created for this story about the Minnesota Timberwolves, I measured how many highly drafted young players each team4Going back to the start of the NBA’s modern expansion wave in 1988-89. had on its roster at the same time. I then built a model using that data to predict how a team might fare over the next five seasons based on its young talent. For most teams in recent history, it’s tough to see much of a relationship between young talent and how much the team’s Elo rating5Essentially, FiveThirtyEight’s way of measuring how well a team is playing. improved, above and beyond what we’d simply expect from ordinary reversion to the mean.To show this, let’s give our team a starting Elo of 1400, basically where the Warriors themselves were after the 2011-12 season. Here’s what that model would predict its peak Elo to be over the next five seasons, depending on how much young talent it currently has: CLE2002-051LeBron James27.429.5 TEAMDRAFTSPICKPLAYERVORP* OVER EXPECTEDTOTAL VORP OVER EXPECTED The best four-year draft runs, by Value Over Replacement Player, 1985-2016 SEA1986-8917Shawn Kemp11.825.9 GS2009-1235Draymond Green15.824.8 read more

Womens soccer McVicker sees injury as stepping stone

Entering its game against Minnesota, the Ohio State women’s soccer team had high hopes for its season-opening run. Those high hopes were shattered on one serious play during the seventh minute, when redshirt senior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker tried to make a save.McVicker collided with a Minnesota player, and sustained fractured ribs, a punctured lung and a lacerated kidney. She was quickly removed from the field and taken to a Minnesota hospital,where she remained in intensive care for two days before being downgraded to standard care.“Ohio State senior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker is being held at a Minneapolis hospital through the end of the week for further treatment and testing after suffering an injury Sunday at Minnesota,” the athletic department said in a statement from an OSU spokesperson on Friday.McVicker has appeared in over 50 matches for the Buckeyes since joining the team in 2012. McVicker is a former assistant sports director for Lantern TV and also reported for The Lantern during the 2016 Spring Semester.After being released from the hospital on Saturday afternoon, she and her family drove back to Columbus, stopping in Chicago along the way before arriving back at OSU on Monday.Although not the first time the Metuchen, New Jersey, native has sustained an injury, this time, was different from the rest.OSU senior goaltender Jillian McVicker flexes as she recovers in her hospital bed in Minnesota. Credit: Courtesy of Jillian McVicker“I knew that it definitely wasn’t my muscle or anything. I just came out, I knew there was going to be a collision but I just had to get the ball,” McVicker said. “When I came out, I thought I had the wind knocked out of me at first, and then I couldn’t breathe for like a minute.”According to McVicker, her doctor said this type of injury is most common after being involved in a car crash, not with a sport like soccer.The injury has effectively ended the OSU career of McVicker, with a little over a month left in the regular season. Although her time as a Buckeye athlete has been cut short, she has still maintained a positive attitude and high spirits. “All the adversity I have faced, whether it be from injury or typical adversity that every athlete goes through, you just have to keep your head up and keep your mind on the process,” McVicker said. “Take it day-by-day and step-by-step. Which is actually very ironic because that’s exactly what I’m doing in my rehab right now.”As part of the healing process, McVicker can only lift things under 10 pounds, while limiting the amount of overall movement she has throughout the day.On social media, McVicker has received an outpouring of support from family, friends, teammates, players from other teams and, most notably, former United States Women’s National Team midfielder Julie Foudy. McVicker, a four-time OSU scholar-athlete and three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, has appeared in over 60 matches during her career with the Buckeyes. She is a double major in strategic communications and journalism, and will be graduating this December.After graduation and her injuries have fully healed, McVicker has intentions to continue her playing career outside of OSU.“I definitely want to graduate and want to look at playing overseas in Germany professionally or in America,” McVicker said. “I’m going to probably try to get an agent and figure that out once I graduate. It’s definitely not the last time I’m going to put on my keeper gloves and my jersey again.”Although she will no longer be lacing up her cleats for the Scarlet and Gray, McVicker said she will be embracing her new role of cheering her team on. Without the redshirt senior in the net, the Buckeyes will now be looking to the sideline when when she returns. From here on out, the focus of McVicker is to rally the troops to continue the team’s success. “Although this injury happened to me, my main thing for this season is for my team to be successful,” McVicker said. “Yes, this is horrible and I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone. But at the same time, all of my energy and everything when I get back is to prepare my the team the best I can in my new role.” read more

Valverde Barcelona are fired up for success

first_imgErnesto Valverde believes his team is extra motivated to win the Champions League, as they bid to end their barren run since 2015.The Spanish Champions were dumped out of the competition in the Quarter-final stage by Roma but Valverde thinks they have the right mindset to enjoy European success once again.“We would like to win this competition, and surely this feeling is being felt by other teams too,” he told a pre-match press conference.”Teams like Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Manchester City and Real Madrid all have the same desire, yet I like that there is an extra motivation to win the Champions League this year.”Many pundits have tipped Barca to win the tie PSV, however, Valverde is wary of their attacking talents.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“They are the Dutch champions and are used to taking the initiative,” he said.”I don’t see them changing that. Most teams want to maintain their style. They will want to attack and we are going to have to defend well against them.”We try to play the same way every game and we will try to do the same again tomorrow.”They have some very talented wingers, especially on the left. They have some very good full-backs as well, and we have to deal with that regardless of who plays for us.”last_img read more

Pellegrini forsees a bright future for Rice

first_imgManuel Pellegrini is confident that youngster Declan Rice will have a bright future after he netted his first goal for West Ham.Rice who turns 20 on Monday, has mustered 50 first team appearances for the Hammers and bagged the winning goal against Arsenal.The youngster extended his deal through to 2024 and revealed that he will make a call on his international future soon after meetings with Gareth Southgate and his Republic of Ireland counterpart Mick McCarthy.“I am sure that Declan will be a top player,” Pellegrini disclosed via the Evening Standard.Mason MountRice tips Mount for greater things Taimoor Khan – September 11, 2019 Declan Rice says that Mason Mount is going to match the exploits of Frank Lampard when he was in his prime during his playing…“He is improving in every game that he plays and is now more used to give us a good build up in front and not so many passes that before he played back.“He is very strong in aerial duels, strong in 1v1 and has a good technique which he demonstrated today in the goal he scored so I am sure that we are seeing a top player soon.“Not only for West Ham but also for the national squad he decides to play.”last_img read more