How to Address an Alien

first_imgHow would you like this job: your assignment is to be the speechwriter for planet earth.  You are to figure out what our first message is to the aliens – to give them a good first impression as we introduce the human species to the galactic community.  “No kidding? What does it pay?”    Believe it or not, there is someone who has the title of “Director of Interstellar Message Composition.”  His name is Douglas Vakoch, and he is with the SETI Institute (his day job is Chair of the Faculty, California Institute of Integral Studies).  You can read what he thinks about making a good first impression in his article at Space.com, “How we present ourselves to aliens.”    Vakoch seems convinced that if contact is ever made, we will find the aliens to be much more intelligent than ourselves.  That’s because they would have sent their signal long ago, and would have had time to evolve far beyond us.  That being the case, we would have to approach them with humility instead of hubris.  But even sharing tidbits of what little we know might be a good approach.  To support this, he used an analogy from the Bible:What might surprise ET is how well humans get by, even when we are a bit inaccurate.  Though we now know that the value of p[i] is 3.14159 …  (and on it goes into infinity), earlier mathematicians used much cruder estimates of p [sic, pi].  For example, when wise King Solomon was planning a bathing area in the great temple he was constructing, its specifications indicated that the pool would have a radius of 5 units and a circumference of 30 units.  If you plug these numbers into the equation for calculating the circumference of a circle, you’ll see that the value of p[i] was estimated to be 3.  While this number underestimates p[i] by about 5%, by all accounts, the temple turned out to be quite spectacular.  Perhaps the most important message that ET could gain from this example is that in spite of our imperfections and miscalculations, we humans are capable of moving forward, sometimes with a fair amount of style.It was not a bathing area, like a swimming pool, as Vakoch intimated.  It was the bronze laver for the priests to use when offering sacrifices.  Bible scholars have answered this apparent inaccuracy of pi in several ways (see Creation on the Web and article by Russell Grigg).  Incidentally, speaking of the period of Solomon’s Temple, the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced discovery of seals and pottery from the First Temple Period in digs nearby the Temple Mount.  At least there is some hard evidence for it, unlike for SETI.    Regardless of the mathematical acumen of Solomon’s engineers, the point Vakoch is making is that humans need to embrace their imperfections and not let our galactic adolescence deter us from trying to make a good impression.  “Who knows? They might be surprised, perhaps even pleasantly so, to discover a young civilization that would initiate a conversation in which each exchange could take hundreds or thousands of years,” he ended.  “Wise old extraterrestrials might even admire our audacity for believing that, in spite of our shortcomings, humans may continue to exist in the coming centuries – perhaps even long enough to receive a reply from ET.”If anyone needs proof that SETI believers are just as nutty as any cultist, look no further.  We haven’t seen a blip on our antennas for 40 years, and this guy is already wanting to grovel in front of the feet of the Wise Old Extraterrestrials.  W.O.E.    Look; all you have to tell them is, “Kiss me; I’m Irish.”  That’s no blarney.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day.(Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Raiders of the Lost Cache — Geocache of the Week

first_imgRemarkably, there’s even a geocache in the exact same spot as the sacred Ark with 700 Favorite points and superb directions to it. Just beware of rubber snakes, skulls, and spider webs covering the concealed lair.The geocache, ahem, Ark is hidden less than a mile up the White Diamond Trail from the ranger’s station. Its hidden less than 100 feet from the trail inside a large cave. Significant climbing and bouldering may be required to access the sacred ground. Although climbing gear is not required, it is recommended that you bring at least two other treasure seekers with you and possibly a rope (whip?) for support. SharePrint RelatedThe top 10 “best” geocaching songsMarch 5, 2018In “Community”Top 10 Geocaches of the Week 2017December 27, 2017In “Geocache of the Week”Unleash Your Inner Indiana — Raiders of the Lost Cache (GC2HN2H) — Geocache of the WeekAugust 14, 2013In “Community” “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”So geocachers… grab your friends, your sense of adventure, and maybe a rope or whip. Treasure awaits you.“I think it’s time to ask yourself; what do you believe in?”Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:More Location:Pennsylvania, United StatesN 40° 14.642 W 076° 27.032 Raiders of the Lost Cache“Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.”Admit it. Deep down, you want to be Indiana Jones. We ALL want to be Indiana Jones. Full-time treasure hunter, part-time archeologist, and darn handy with a whip — what geocacher hasn’t gotten the Raiders of the Lost Ark theme song stuck in their head?Dut du dut DAH… Dut du DAH… Dut du dut DAH, Dut du DAH DAH DAH!Well good news, adventure seekers. Recently, declassified files, photos, and GPS information has allowed the discovery of a new location for The Ark of the Covenant. It now resides in a large cave, deep in the woods of Pennsylvania!“Trust me.“ 12345<> I think it’s time to ask yourself; what do you believe in? Treasure awaits you. Dut du dut DAH… Dut du DAH… Dut du dut DAH, Dut du DAH DAH DAH! Beware of rubber snakes, skulls, and spider webs covering the concealed lair. Geocachers… grab your friends, your sense of adventure, and maybe a rope or whip. 123<> TraditionalGC2HN2Hby mikehoffman Difficulty:1.5Terrain:4.5 Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?last_img read more

Making the Case for Exterior Foam Insulation

first_imgThat said, if Farm House decides that it’s a good idea to increase the R-value of the wall assembly or reduce thermal bridging between the studs, he could take the advice of Steve Knapp and use Zip System insulated R-sheathing, which combines structural sheathing with foam insulation.R-sheathing can take the place of conventional OSB or plywood sheathing. It comes in various thicknesses, with R-values ranging from 3 to 12.“But I see no reason to try to convince you.” RELATED ARTICLES Consider fossil fuel useBrendan Albano asks Farm House to consider the benefits of reducing the use of fossil fuels: a better insulated building will need less heat, and less heat means a lower carbon impact.“Reducing your use of fossil fuels (and other non-renewable resources) is an ethical choice from an intergenerational equity (a.k.a., ‘think of the children’) point of view,” Albana writes. “If exterior insulation is an effective way for you to do this, then it would be ethically responsible for you to add exterior insulation.“Whether or not that line of reasoning is important enough to you to justify the expense is a question only you can answer.”But the introduction of fossil fuels into the discussion raises additional questions, replies Dorsett.“The ‘future generations/fossil fuel’ discussion can go a number of different ways,” he says. “Higher wall performance can be had with lower initial and long-term carbon emissions by staying away from foam altogether (which has a very real carbon footprint) and using cellulose as the cavity fill (which is net-carbon-negative and sequesters carbon), or rock wool (low carbon footprint relative to any foam) and/or using only electric HVAC equipment combined with renewables-only electricity (site sourced or purchased).” Another approach with Zip-R sheathingDorsett has one more idea for reducing thermal bridging without the use of a continuous layer of foam. Farm House could start with conventional framing using 2x4s. Then, rip sheets of 2-inch Zip R to widths of 1 1/2 inch and 3 inches, and glue them to the inside of the framing to create a total stud wall depth of 5 1/2 inches. (The 3-inch strips are for doubled-top plates and other areas where studs are doubled.) Use conventional insulation designed for a 2×6 wall.“That brings the framing fraction up from about R-4.2 to about R-14, cutting the heat transfer through the 2×4 framing by more than 2/3, and the whole-wall performance improves by about 15% compared to a 2×6/R-20 wall at the same wall thickness,” Dorsett says.The idea is derived from an article by Stephen Bonfiglioli in Fine Homebuilding magazine.Following up on Dorsett’s suggestion, Gordon Franke writes that he ran some calculations on heat flow comparing the Bonfiglioli wall to several other options (see image #2, below).“If my calculations are correct, the Bonfiglioli [wall] insulates better than a 2×4 wall with 1 1/4 inch of exterior insulation,” he says. “One might say, ‘Well, 1 1/4 inch is too thin.’ However, a 2-inch layer only buys you a 3% improvement compared [to] the Bonfiglioli wall.“In my own renovation, I can implement the Bonfiglioli wall myself over a couple of weekends for the cost of some EPS strips, 1x3s, and the upgrade from 2×4 to 2×6 batts. That seems like nothing compared to the additional complication and expense of including an inches deep layer of insulation on all exterior walls.” Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing From Fine Homebuilding: Breaking the Thermal Bridge Can Exterior Foam Insulation Cause Mold and Moisture Problems? Installing Mineral Wool Insulation Over Exterior Wall SheathingThe Exterior Rigid Foam is Too Thin!Combining Exterior Rigid Foam With Fluffy InsulationHow to Install Rigid Foam SheathingChoosing Rigid FoamWalls With Interior Rigid Foam A question of diminishing returnsFarm House has given some thought to the environmental impact of his new home and the need to reduce fossil fuel emissions.“That’s a given for me,” he says, “but I don’t have an unlimited budget and I am certain that at some point during an envelope design, one starts spending money for very incremental improvements in performance.”So, while recognizing that exterior foam insulation increases the whole-house R-value, the question is whether it makes “good sense.” Farm House wants to know whether a radiant barrier he’s apparently planning on including will offer the advantages he’s hoping for.Further, he asks, “Is increasing the stud-to-siding R-value from 6.5 to 13 going to have a significant impact? For example: What percentage of heat loss or gain is expected through the 25% of the exterior walls that’s made up of 2×6 studs? (If it impacts the answer, my goal is to achieve between 1 and 2 ach50.)“We all know that an internal combustion engine is an glorified air pump,” Farm House continues. “The faster you can get the air to go from intake to exhaust, the better the performance. At some point, though, you’re spending silly money to increase performance that can only be justified if you race NASCAR every weekend. Catch my drift?” Questions about plans for a heat pumpFarm House says that he’s planning on “spending some serious $$$” for a Trane XV20i variable-speed heat pump. Good idea? Maybe not, says Dorsett.The smallest model of that air-source heat pump has a capacity of 2 tons, he says, and although it’s able to modulate its output, it has a turndown ratio of about 2.5 to 1, Dorsett says, “which could be sub-optimally oversized” for a higher performance house of about 2,500 square feet in Climate Zone 3.“In a new house design, it’s not super hard to hit the 2,500-square-feet-per-ton of cooling range, and even a code-minimum house can hit the ton per 2,000 [square foot] range, even with full sun exposure,” Dorsett says. “The minimum modulated output of the 2-ton Trane XV20i is about 10,000 BTU/h at 95°F outside and even higher at lower outdoor temps. That means it can’t really modulate at high efficiency if your load at your 1% design condition is only 12,000-15,000 BTU/h.”He adds that the “framing fraction” of 25% in exterior walls would account for roughly half the total heat transfer in walls.“But the walls are only a fraction of the total heat gain and heat loss, and with 2×6/R-20 construction staying at code-minimum, … the total window area can account for as much heat transfer as the total wall area (or more),” Dorsett says. “These sorts of issues are why modeling the house with BEopt can be useful, since you can then determine the bang-for-your-buck of different component upgrades.” Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost thinks:There’s lots of good analysis and advice built into this Spotlight. I agree with Dana Dorsett that BEopt modeling can provide good guidance and useful sensitivity analysis around the key elements that Farm House is considering.For my money — and based in no small part on the work that Building Science Corporation has done for high-performance design in Climate Zone 3 — here are the three most important design considerations for homes aiming for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and thermal comfort:Airtightness. Even without much information on the actual design, in my experience the continuity of the building enclosure air control layer is easiest to do on the exterior. You certainly can get this in many ways, but the Zip wall system is a good option. Another advantage of this approach is that a continuous exterior air barrier protects from wind-washing at corners.Better windows and solar shading. BEopt would certainly show this, but windows tuned by location and aspect and properly shaded give a big performance boost in Climate Zone 3. In a recent analysis I did using Climate Consultant 6, exterior shading of windows and doors alone pulled around 25% of annual hours into the ASHRAE 55 thermal comfort parameters.HVAC. All ducts and equipment should be inside the conditioned space, and the systems should be designed using ACCA Manuals J, S, and D. This was not mentioned in the Q&A exchanges, and it’s critical to high performance (energy efficiency, IAQ, and thermal comfort). Achieving a high-performance HVAC system is easy if it is identified as a driver of design and if you have an HVAC contractor who can deliver the design. Not our job to sell anything“First of all,” says GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, “it’s your house. You can build it any way you want, as long as your local code enforcement official is happy. I don’t see any reason to convince you of anything.” Skip the exterior foam and invest in PVDana Dorsett won’t try to convince Farm House, either. He suggests using BEopt, free energy-modeling software available from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Then, given the good solar exposure that’s apparently available on the house site, Farm House could compare the return on investment for spending the same amount of money he’d need for insulated sheathing for a rooftop solar array, calculated at $3 a watt before any subsidies.“In U.S. Climate Zone 3, it’s possible (with a decent design) to hit net-zero energy with 2×6 (R-20) walls, no exterior insulating sheathing, and with a PV array that fits comfortably on a sun-drenched house, using better-class heat pump technology properly sized for the modest loads,” Dorsett says.He refers Farm House to a Building America research paper for more information. That study suggests that an R-20 wall in Climate Zone 3 — but times have changed.“That document was created in 2009/2010, when PV cost $7-8/watt and was 15% efficient, whereas now it’s $3/watt and ~20% efficient, requiring less rooftop real-estate to deliver the same amount of energy,” Dorsett says. “And, better-class heat pumps at that time were running HSPF 10-12 with SEER in the teens, whereas current better-class ductless minisplits are in the HSPF 12.5-14 range, with SEER well north of 20.”With those two advances in technology, Farm House could aim for the R-value recommendations that Building America suggests for a milder climate zone (Zone 2) and still hit net-zero performance. A 2×6 R-20 wall framed at 16 inches on center with a rainscreen gap between the sheathing and the siding would work; so would a 2×6 R-23 wall insulated with rockwool batts (but with no rainscreen).“So, skip the exterior insulation and concentrate the investment where it pays more,” Dorsett says.Farm House might still consider the more rigorous Climate Zone 3 recommendations for other building assemblies, while aiming for a building envelope testing at less than 1 air change per hour at 50 pascals in a blower-door test, plus a heat-recovery ventilator. A simple house shape minimizing corners would also help. Writing from Climate Zone 3, Farm House seems to have worked out many of the details for the dream house he plans to start building in a few months.“Plan to live in it for 30+ years,” he writes in a post at the Q&A forum at Green Building Advisor. “The house will have Zip System sheathing and will be well insulated on the inside. I will just leave it at that. Not interested in installing rigid foam on the outside of the roof sheathing. (I have my reasons, so please don’t try to convince me otherwise.)“So, house fully exposed to sunlight. One inch rigid foam with foil facing. Strapped with fiber-cement siding.”That’s the plan: no rigid foam on the roof, but 1 inch of rigid foam on the exterior walls, plus a vented rainscreen and siding.The Farm House challenge? “Sell me on all the reasons this [rigid foam on the walls] is worth the time and cost.”last_img read more

Editing Tips: 8 Ways You Can Save a Shot in Post-Production

first_img2. Fix ExposureFor those dealing with footage that is too bright or too dark due to over- or underexposure, Caleb Wojcik shares some simple and effective tips for correcting exposure problems in Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple iMovie, and Final Cut Pro X. Exposure can get tricky really fast, and when it’s terribly off, it can make a shot simply un-savable. However, for those within the safe zone, here are some more resources.3 Cinematography Tools for Capturing Perfect ExposureHow To Correct Underexposed FootageAdjusting Exposure with Blend Modes in Premiere Pro 8. Remove Unwanted Elements in After EffectsIn this tutorial from TunnelvizionTV, we dive into some more advanced tricks that you can only pull off in Adobe After Effects. If some element that you need to remove is holding up your shot, you can fix the problem with this technique. It’s worth noting that this option isn’t always perfect, but if elements are ideal (minimal parallax, static elements, etc.) you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Here are some more advanced After Effects tips and tricks.Add Depth with the Parallax Effect in After EffectsHow To Create A Stunning Custom Title Sequence + Free Ink Splashes9 FREE After Effects Templates Before you lose all hope for your project in the editing bay, try out these tips and tricks to save a shot in post-production.Cover image by DisobeyArt.There’s a very real danger to this article’s logic. It assumes that you can save any shot in post, no matter how horrible or wrong it is. That’s simply not true. Many shots end up so poorly executed that there is no hope for them — none whatsoever.However, let’s take a minute to examine what to do when you have a shot that’s not entirely lost. These are the shots that might be under- or overexposed, awkwardly framed, or just plain uninteresting. These are the ones that just may be worth saving.Let’s take a look at a few tutorials that can help you save shots like these with a few creative tips and tricks.1. Correct White BalanceIn this tutorial by AdobeMasters, we get a breakdown of how to work with white balance in Adobe Premiere Pro. White balance can often be a problem, even for the most seasoned cinematographers — especially in shots with changes in lighting (e.g. clouds moving overhead). Here are some more resources for saving white balance issues in the edit.White Balance Footage in Final Cut Pro XDaVinci Resolve Tip: Use Color Keys to Fix White BalanceHow To Manually White Balance a DSLR Camera 6. Add Light OverlaysSimilar to using LUTs to improve shots, you can also use overlays. Todd Blankenship with RocketStock shares some more tricks on how to use overlays to improve your shot’s cinematography with both volumetric light overlays and dust elements. If you follow the tutorial, it actually directs you to a free element pack of light overlays and dust elements and shows you how to work with them in your compositions.7. Refine Face TonesFor some more advanced editing options, here’s a great tutorial on how to refine face and skin tones in DaVinci Resolve. While this is a great tool to touch up faces (which your actors and subjects will love you for), it can fix more than unwanted blemishes. Skin tone is one of the most difficult elements to capture organically, and it can cause problems during color correction. Knowing how to save skin tones is a powerful tool to have in your repertoire.Here are a few more resources on working with skin tones in other NLEs.Video Editing Techniques for Color Correcting Skin TonesHow to Use False Color to Nail Skin Tone ExposureHow to Quickly Retouch Skin in Adobe After Effects 5. Remove Audio Background NoiseIf audio concerns are ruining your shot, Dansky on YouTube offers some helpful tips and tricks on how to clean up audio background noise. In the tutorial above, he breaks down how to use the Adaptive Noise Reduction plugin in Premiere Pro (along with a few other techniques) to help reduce background noises like hums and whines. For more audio-saving resources, check out some of these links.7 Tips to Speed Up Your Next Edit Using Audio WavesVideo Editing Quick Tip: Using Audio Swells in Premiere ProPremiumBeat Audio Archives  4. Use Jump CutsSo this trick is actually useful for a couple of reasons. If your shots or sequences look fine but are simply uninteresting, jump cuts can be a great way to speed things up. They are also a good for skipping over mistakes without losing entire shots or sequences. If you’re not familiar with jump cuts, the concept is pretty simple, yet it yields a very stylized and recognizable effect. Here are some awesome articles to dive into for more expertise with the jump cut.8 Essential Cuts Every Editor Should KnowSpeed Up Your Sequences with The Jump Cut5 Ways to Hide Jump Cuts 3. Use LUTsNow, for some more proactive tips and tricks, Robbie Janney with Shutterstock Tutorials shows you how to use LUTs (“Look up Tables” for those who aren’t familiar with the term). LUTs are great for all types of shots and projects — they create all sorts of cinematic and stylized looks. And, in the right situations, a well-tailored LUT can cover shot blemishes or imperfections in color grading. (Bonus: free LUTs included below along with Shutterstock’s free plugin!)35 Free LUTs from RocketStockWanderlust: 17 Free LUTs to Use on LOG FootageShutterstock Premiere Pro Pluginlast_img read more

Tendinitis

first_imgDefinitionTendinitis is inflammation, irritation, and swelling of a tendon, which is the fibrous structure that joins muscle to bone. In many cases, tendinosis (tendon degeneration) is also present.Alternative NamesCalcific tendinitis; Bicipital tendinitisCauses, incidence, and risk factorsTendinitis can occur as a result of injury, overuse, or with aging as the tendon loses elasticity. It can also be seen in persons with body-wide (systemic) diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes.Tendinitis can occur in any tendon, but some commonly affected sites include the:ElbowHeel (Achilles tendinitis)ShoulderWristSymptomsPain and tenderness along a tendon, usually near a jointPain at nightPain that is worse with movement or activitySigns and testsThe health care provider will perform a physical exam and look for signs of pain and tenderness when the muscle attached to the tendon is used against resistance. There are specific tests for specific tendons.The tendon can be inflamed, and the overlying skin may be warm and red.TreatmentThe goal of treatment is to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.Rest or immobilization of the affected tendons is helpful for recovery. This may be achieved using a splint or a removable brace. The application of heat or cold to the affected area can help.Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can also reduce both pain and inflammation. Steroid injections into the tendon sheath can also be very useful in controlling pain and allowing physical therapy to start.Physical therapy that stretches and strengthens the muscle and tendon is essential. This can restore the tendons ability to function properly, improve healing, and prevent future injury.advertisementRarely, surgery is needed to physically remove the inflammatory tissue from around the tendon.Expectations (prognosis)Symptoms improve with treatment and rest. If the injury is caused by overuse, a change in work habits may be indicated to prevent recurrence of the problem.ComplicationsLong-term inflammation raises the risk of further injury, such as ruptureTendinitis symptoms returnCalling your health care providerCall for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of tendinitis occur.PreventionAvoid repetitive motion and overuse of the arms and legs.Keep all your muscles strong and flexible.Warm up by exercising at a relaxed pace before engaging in vigorous activity.ReferencesChoi L. Overuse injuries. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 14.Drezner JA, Harmon KG, O’Kane JW. Sports medicine. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 29.Review Date:8/14/2012Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.last_img read more

Zero hundreds, bowlers shine as India continue overseas domination in ODIs

first_imgThree batsmen came close to scoring hundreds in the New Zealand-India ODI series but by the end of five matches across Napier, Mount Maunganui, Hamilton and Wellington, the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson managed none.Virat Kohli played the first three ODIs before taking a break. Rohit Sharma scored 87 but fell short of his 23rd hundred. Ross Taylor fell seven short of a hundred in Mount Maunganui while Ambati Rayudu came within 10 runs of a well-deserved hundred in the final match in Wellington.Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma scored 11 hundreds between them in ODIs last year. Both men scored a hundred each in Australia but not even two of limited-overs cricket’s biggest stalwarts could break the hundred drought in New Zealand.The India-New Zealand series was expected to be a high-scoring affair but it was India’s bowlers who stood out. Ambati Rayudu (190) and Shikhar Dhawan (188) were the top scorers in the series while Ross Taylor (177) finished as the top scorer for New Zealand.Mohammed Shami turned it around for India with his nine wickets in four matches. He was named man-of-the-series and stood out with his pace and consistency. Trent Boult was the highest wicket-taker in the series but 8 of his 12 wickets came in the final two ODIs and the series was already India’s by then.India’s wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav had another big say in another big win for India in an overseas ODI series triumph. The duo had rocked South Africa with their guile last year. Against the Black Caps, Chahal played all 5 ODIs and snared 9 wickets; Kuldeep took 8 wickets from 4 ODIs.advertisement Chahal and Kuldeep had another big say in another big win for India in an overseas ODI series triumph (AP Photo)Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is happy to play the supporting role to both Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, played all 5 ODIs and had 7 wickets to show for his efforts.Besides the regular bowlers, India were well served by their all-rounders. Kedar Jadhav picked 3 wickets but conceded only 103 runs in 19 overs.Hardik Pandya, who flew back to join the Indian team after his suspension, played the last three ODIs and bowled his heart out. In 21 overs, Pandya gave away 110 runs and picked 4 wickets.India won the series 4-1 and their triumph gave them a glimpse into what to expect at the World Cup. For the last few years, India have been overly dependent on the top-three: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. To see Rayudu emerge as the top run scorer in the series should be encouraging.Looks like the “JOSH” in the squad is “HIGH SIR”‘HOWS THE JOSH’ – @vickykaushal09 #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/bzsB5EelBdBCCI (@BCCI) February 3, 2019The series really belonged to the bowlers, who have been India’s heroes in their long overseas journey which started in South Africa in early 2018.Shami, Bhuvneshwar, Chahal and Kuldeep were relentless and they were well supported by Pandya and Jadhav.If the ODI series triumph in South Africa was highlighted by Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, the victory in Australia was a tribute to MS Dhoni’s fitness and the victory in New Zealand was a teaser on what India’s bowlers can do even against some of the most aggressive batsmen in world cricket.Also Read | Why MS Dhoni ran from Yuzvendra Chahal after India clinched ODI series 4-1 vs New ZealandAlso Read | Watch: MS Dhoni advises Kedar Jadhav in Marathi as India trounce New ZealandAlso Read | Watch: Shikhar Dhawan does the bhangra as Bharat Army play the dhol after India win 5th ODIAlso Read | MS Dhoni moves up 3 places in ICC ODI rankings after sensational run in Australialast_img read more

Via Rail wont require minimum Canadian content for its new trains

first_imgMONTREAL – Via Rail won’t establish minimum content requirements for the new trains it plans to order for Canada’s main railway corridor that transports millions of passengers annually.“As Via Rail is a Crown corporation, the procurement process must be compliant with laws and international treaties,” spokeswoman Mylene Belanger wrote in an email.The national passenger service said Monday that it will launch a request for qualifications, followed by a request for proposals that will take about a year to complete.Via said it expects the 32 new trains that will run between Quebec City and Windsor will maintain capacity for 9,100 seats. The first trains are scheduled to enter into service in early 2022, with the remainder delivered two years later.Belanger said the railway plans to conduct a “fair, open and transparent bidding structure process” accessible to all qualified companies. An independent fairness monitor will follow the procurement process.Long-term maintenance over the next 30 years will be completed in Canada.The lack of minimum content levels recently ruffled some feathers, especially with Bombardier workers, when the Caisse de depot awarded the rolling stock contract for its $6.3-billion electric train project in Montreal to a consortium involving Alstom Transport Canada and a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin.A spokesman for Bombardier Inc.’s railway division called the Via Rail project interesting.“The idea that the government wants to introduce elements that will allow this contract to take into account future electrification brings the Bombardier portfolio to the fore,” Jacques Tetrault said in an interview.Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced funding Monday included in the recent budget to help Via Rail which he said has been playing an important role for decades in the lives of Canadians that rely on the train.He said the government has no choice but to have an open bidding process to anyone around the world.“I hope that there will be local content but we will conform to rules that guide us regarding international commerce,” he said in Ottawa.About 94 per cent of the nearly four million passengers Via Rail carries annually travel on the Quebec City to Windsor corridor.Via Rail declined to put an estimate on the required funding to replace its fleet but published reports have pegged the amount at up to $1.5 billion.The trains promise to reduce environmental emissions with more fuel-efficient engines, enhance accessibility for visually, hearing and physically impaired passengers and improve on-time performance from reduced mechanical breakdowns.The diesel engines will be able to operate on electricity as the infrastructure becomes available.Via Rail president Yves Desjardins-Siciliano said the funding will improve service by ensuring uninterrupted access along the busy rail corridor.“A new modern fleet will provide our travellers with safer, faster, more frequent, more accessible and environmentally friendlier service,” he said.Some of the old railway cars will be modernized and deployed on transcontinental and regional routes, while others would be sold or recycled, said Belanger.Ottawa also earmarked $8 million for Transport Canada to conduct economic analysis on a proposed high-frequency rail project between Quebec City and Toronto that would operate on dedicated tracks.Federal funding would also be used to explore the potential role for the Canada Infrastructure Bank in the project.Via Rail was created by the federal government in 1977 to take over intercity passenger service provided by Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway.The company has struggled in the past after being forced to cut staffing and reduce service when its operating funding was slashed in half in 1990.A decade later, the government provided $402 million five years to purchase new cars.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:CNR, TSX:CP, TSX:BBD.B)last_img read more

Purity of Indian democracy too sacred EC monitoring use of social media

first_imgNew Delhi: IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Wednesday sounded a warning to social media companies not to allow their platforms to be abused to influence elections, and said the Election Commission is maintaining vigil on the issue. Stating that the purity of Indian democracy is “too sacred”, the minister said while the use of social media for campaigning was okay, platforms should ensure that the data is not abused under any cimcumstances. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Asked if the IT ministry was monitoring the situation, he said the Election Commission (EC) is already monitoring it and also has the power to take action. Prasad said, “the Election Commission is already monitoring it (situation). Let them monitor it…They held a meeting…it is only appropriate and desirable that the EC must monitor, co-ordinate and lay the ground rule for working of social media during elections. “On my side, I can only make this observation that the purity of Indian democracy is too sacred, and social media please ensure that the data is not abused to influence election. If someone wants to use social media for campaigning I have no problem.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The comments come a day after the social media intermediaries and the internet and mobile association Tuesday told the Election Commission that they would shortly come up with a draft ‘code of ethics’ for the industry as part of a mechanism to prevent abuse of social media platforms during the Lok Sabha elections beginning April 11. Representatives of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and TikTok had been called by the poll panel to discuss the issue of evolving mechanism to prevent abuse on social media platforms. The EC also wanted to ensure that elections are insulated from outside influence. A statement issued by the EC had said the meeting also discussed evolving a ‘notification’ mechanism by social media platforms for acting upon the violations of Section 126 of Representation of the People Act, 1951, and preventing misuse of these platforms. Section 126 of the Act prohibits advertising and campaigning on TV and other electronic media during the silent period, which is 48 hours before the end of polling. With ensuing general elections, the Indian government had warned social media platforms of strong action if any attempt was made to influence the country’s electoral process through undesirable means. Over the past few months, social media players and tech firms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have promised to infuse more transparency into political advertisements on their platforms, and have since announced a slew of measures as part of election integrity efforts.last_img read more

Some Fouls Are So Bad Theyre Good

Last week, prompted by ESPN’s new “30 for 30” documentary on the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons, I examined the question of just how “bad” the Bad Boys really were. In that piece, I used relative technical foul rates as a proxy for “badness” to establish that the Bad Boys Pistons teams did, indeed, deserve that moniker. Their two championship squads were two of the “baddest” teams in the past few decades, earning more technical fouls relative to their peers than any other teams since 1982. But one question lingers: Were they so good because they were so bad, or in spite of it?To find out, I looked at 30 years’ worth of the league’s correlation between technical fouls and winning. Technicals are the NBA’s official in-game punishment for conduct that the league and officials deem “unsportsmanlike” (short of a flagrant foul), which is why we’re using it as our proxy for badness.1In the Bad Boys Era, what are now flagrant fouls were mostly just technical fouls, and didn’t carry the extra penalty they do today. They, of course, have the immediate and measurable result of giving the other team one free throw by the shooter of its choice — worth around .85 points on average.2There’s also a minor effect of sometimes adding time to the opponent’s shot clock.Despite that negative consequence, teams that get more technical fouls than average tend to be pretty good. What’s more, the more technicals they earn, the more likely they are to be even better.Here’s a plot of the number of technical fouls (badness) a team had relative to the league average that year against its win percentage (goodness). The data below is pulled from all team seasons since 1982-83,3Limited to teams for which we have at least 10,000 combined minutes worth of data. showing only those that were badder than average.Look at the red dots, which are rolling 25-team averages. As the teams get more techs — or get badder — their winning percentages increase. That’s intriguing, as is the fact that the top 26 baddest teams in the data set all had winning records. Overall, 63 percent of these bad teams were good enough to have a winning record, and the top 100 of them had an average winning percentage of 60.3 percent.4The correlation between technical rate and win percentage is .27, which is pretty high for any metric based on only one stat.But finding a relationship in one season isn’t enough. The real test is whether the metric predicts performance in other seasons.5This is called taking your test “out of sample,” which separates cause and effect. Note, though, that it doesn’t necessarily tell you which is which. Below you’ll find a graph showing how technical fouls predict team strength in neighboring seasons, and how they compare to a variety of other popular metrics. For strength, we’ll use SRS, or “Simple Rating System,” which is a team’s average margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule6The technicals per game metric I used is calculated relative to each season, while the other metrics are not. This gives it a slight advantage.:Effective field goal percentage comes out on top of this group, but technical foul rate holds its own, coming out as a better predictor of past or future team strength than stats stalwarts like points per game or rebounding percentage.7Also, technicals are more positively predictive than turnovers are negatively predictive, which is fascinating but beyond the scope of this article.That’s a bit wacky — the technical foul, remember, can’t provide value directly, because it gives up .85 points (on average) to the opposition. From where I sit, then, there are two potential kinds of explanation: Explanations that embrace the nasty. These would argue that teams that get more technical fouls are better because the behavior that leads to the technicals (i.e., bad behavior) likely provides more benefit than the occasional .85 points that it costs.8OK, actually there’s a third line of thinking, which is that technical fouls don’t cost the .85 points that we think they do because, say, referees overcompensate for calling technicals by giving teams better calls later in the game. But for all intents and purposes, I’ll treat those as part of the second theory. In baseball, high/inside pitches used to brush batters off the plate usually result in balls or sometimes even hit batters, but are commonly believed to be worth it (whether they actually are or not, I don’t know). For what it’s worth, I checked a boatload of possible confounding variables and combinations thereof, such as home/away (53 percent of technicals go to the away team); ahead/behind (57 percent go to the trailing team); and playoffs/regular season (if it were strictly a matter of effort, we would expect a difference when all teams have equal incentives to play hard. No major differences found). Coaching technicals appear to be at least as predictive as player technicals. If there’s a correlation between aggressive play and winning and aggressive coaching and winning, Occam’s Razor suggests that you should favor a single theory that explains both phenomena, such as that an aggressive ethos (which applies equally to coaches and their players) causes winning. In football, I’ve found that rookie quarterbacks who throw more interceptions (all else being equal) often have more productive careers. In basketball, offensive rebounds have a potentially similar problem from the opposite direction: While apparently a good thing, in quantity they signal that a team doesn’t shoot very well. In poker, a too-high showdown win percentage likely indicates that a player doesn’t bluff enough and/or doesn’t make enough marginal calls. So far my research hasn’t turned up any smoking gun proving the case one way or the other, but on balance I’d say the results are more consistent with the second option: Technical fouls exist to deter certain types of unsportsmanlike behavior, but if those behaviors are broadly advantageous (by intimidating or hurting the opponent, for example), they could be “priced incorrectly” at only (roughly) -.85 points each.9Compare it to the deterrence problem: In order to coerce different behavior, things have to be punished at a rate much worse than their actual effect.That something ostensibly negative can ultimately be predictive of something positive (or vice versa) isn’t an unheard of dynamic in sports. For instance: Not all good teams get a lot of technical fouls (the San Antonio Spurs, for example, consistently rank near the bottom of the league), but the vast majority of teams that get a lot of technical fouls are good. Of the 27 teams with the best winning percentages since 1982, two-thirds (18) have had more technical fouls than the league average at the time. (Compare that to the top 26 technical-getting teams having winning records.) But it’s unusual in basketball for an event with a negative impact to have a positive correlation with team strength. Take a look at some other things that have a direct impact on the game that’s similar to that of technical fouls (slightly above or below -1 point each):If everything else were equal, we would probably expect technicals to be in the same range as turnovers or steals, so the total gap from where they ought to be based on in-game value and where they actually are, predictively, is massive.10Note the gap between opponent offensive and defensive rebounds is smaller, even though there’s a straightforward reason that offensive rebounds are a mixed blessing (because it means the team is missing more shots).But even if we’re satisfied that technicals can predict wins, there’s still something we haven’t considered yet: Wins may predict technicals.11It’s like the Euthyphro question, but for sports gods: Are technicals good because the sports gods love them, or do the sports gods love technicals because they’re good? This theory has a few possible scenarios associated with it, such as: Teams that are in contention are playing hard all the time — so hard that they occasionally earn a technical — while teams that are out of contention don’t really care enough to do “whatever it takes” to win.That kind of explanation is intuitively appealing, both because the scenario has a plausible ring to it and because it’s the sort of unsexy answer you often find when you try to explain a strange result.To test this theory, I looked at play-by-play data over the last four years, which breaks fouls — including technicals — down by type. That yielded 1,963 player techs, 422 coach techs, 278 flagrants (similar to the technical, but with a much harsher punishment), and 2,448 three-second violations.12For the data set I used below, I also applied a number of filters: I filtered out the fourth quarter because variance is too great and tactical considerations trump other things. I also dropped hanging, taunting, non-unsportsmanlike and team technical fouls because their numbers are too small to break out, and I’d like to keep the main-line group as homogenous as possible.I combined all that with in-game win percentage calculations provided by Dean Oliver of ESPN Stats & Info, estimating the foul-committing team’s chances of winning before and after the foul (including the resulting free-throw).13I also duplicated all of this research using margin of victory so as not to rely entirely on the predictive algorithm, and the results were virtually identical. We’re interested in the difference between what that foul did to a team’s projected results and its actual results.Averaging across all plays, we can represent the results of this comparison in a slope chart that shows how the team’s chances should have changed in that moment, and how often it actually ended up winning. Take note of those two (well, four) lines for player and coach techs. Both player and coach technicals ostensibly cost teams about a 1.8 percent chance of winning the game, which is what we would expect based on the surrendered free throw. But the actual win percentages of technical-foul-getting teams appear much higher than we would expect. Teams ended up winning 2.1 percent more often than expected after player techs, and 3.8 percent more often than expected after coach techs.14Flagrant fouls don’t do as well, though they include a harsher penalty, including the possibility of the player being ejected.While this result supports our finding that technical fouls predict winning over an even larger number of observations, it’s also consistent with either type of explanation for why this is so. If there were any bias in how technical fouls are distributed — as suggested by the “wins predict technicals” theory — unfortunately it would still bias these results.But there’s something we can do to avoid that. Instead of computing the averages in that chart across every single foul, we can compute them on a team-by-team basis first, and then average the result across all teams equally — treating each team’s results as one data point regardless of how many technical fouls it received. That helps us avoid potentially skewed data if different types of teams (like winning teams) are more likely to get technicals in the first place. When we do that, here’s what we get (the new chart is on the right, with the old one on the left for comparison’s sake):Lo and behold, they’re extremely similar! Teams tend to win 1.4 percent more often when their players get a tech, and a whopping 5.5 percent more often when their coaches do. That similarity broadly suggests that “bad” (technicals) begets “good” (winning), rather than the other way around.To illustrate: If one great team, let’s call it SuperBad, earned every technical foul every year, but by virtue of being a great team won 5 percent more often than its expected win percentage would suggest, that would show up as a 5 percent gain in the chart on the left. (That’s because each time a team got a technical it won 5 percent more often, even though it was the same team every time, and even if the winning was unrelated.) But when averaged across all 30 teams in the league, it would only show a 0.16 percent gain in the chart on the right (SuperBad team ran 5 percent above average when getting a technical, but the other 29 teams ran 0 percent better15OK, technically undefined in this example, so add epsilon if you must.). This would be a perfect “winning begets technicals” scenario.On the other hand, if every team got an equal share of the same number of technicals as our SuperBad team, and every time a team got a technical it won 5 percent more often than it would have otherwise, it would show up both as a 5 percent gain on the left and a 5 percent gain on the right. This would be a perfect “technicals beget winning” scenario.The charts above seem much much closer to this second “technicals beget winning” scenario, as there doesn’t appear to be much difference whether we aggregate by plays or by teams. Indeed, the main reason this isn’t a smoking gun is that the sample size for the right-hand chart is only 120 team seasons, which would normally be much too small to even attempt to draw conclusions about differences of only a couple of percentage points either way. But being so consistent with the much larger sample of the play-by-play chart is powerful corroboration.Here are a few other things that cut against the “winning predicts technicals” theory: Finally, let’s return to the question that kicked off the piece: Were the Bad Boys Pistons so good because they were so bad, or in spite of it?Based on what I’ve looked at so far, I’d say the former has the stronger case: While technical fouls can’t lead directly to winning, the types of behavior that lead to technical fouls just may. Explanations that avoid the nasty conclusion that unsportsmanlike play gives a team an advantage. For example, it could be that technical fouls are committed more often by teams that are already winning, or that winning teams and players just have a propensity to get more technical fouls, and are willing to absorb the cost. read more

Emery Ramsey remains an important member at Arsenal

first_imgArsenal boss Unai Emery insists that Aaron Ramsey remains important to him, although he will not get involved with his contract talksThe 27-year-old midfielder’s current deal will expire at the end of the season with latest reports suggesting that a new offer by Arsenal has been withdrawn.The Gunners have also allegedly decided to part with Ramsey in the winter transfer window should no further progress be made at that point.Speaking ahead to Arsenal’s home game against Watford on Saturday, Emery gave his take on Ramsey’s situation at North London.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“There are three elements, three aspects. One is the player and also the player with their family and representatives. The other is the club and the other is the squad. My focus is always on the team,” said Emery on the club website.“My focus is preparing with the players and only thinking about the match tomorrow.”Asked whether he considers Ramsey to be important, Emery replied: “For me, every player is very important with their relation with the team. I consider each player an important space in the squad.”last_img read more