Falling Rocks Leave Holes in Science

first_imgHard data in astronomy is hard to come by, except when it comes by special delivery – as with meteorites.  If there is any class of phenomena that should be well understood, it should be space debris and the craters they form, because the processes involved can be watched in real time.  Meteorites adorn many institutions and private collections.  In addition to thousands of craters that can be studied on the moon and other bodies, we have plenty of examples right here on the home planet.  The physics of crater formation is subject to modeling on computers.  For good measure, experiments on crater formation can be performed in the lab by shooting materials into rock and ice.  A few recent science reports illustrate, however, that a great deal remains puzzling and mysterious.What is it?  National Geographic News reported that “A pair of mysterious meteorites discovered in Antarctica is baffling scientists who are struggling to determine the origin of the space rocks.”  The rocks were “oddly rusted and salty and smelled like rotten eggs.”  It’s not that they worry these were left by the Space Chicken; they just don’t know what laid them on the Antarctic ice.  Unusual for meteorites, these two are partially melted and contain anomalous amounts of feldspar.  “Thus there are two mysteries,” one of the discoverers said.  “What is the parent planet for the rock, and what type of geologic activity on that planet produced the unusual mineral assemblage?”  That seems to cover the most important points to know, other than that they exist.Low and behold:  In Peru, eyewitnesses watched a crater form last September 15 when a large bolide hit the ground.  The panic it caused among locals is of interest to psychologists, but the impact crater itself, now filled with water, is also filled with puzzles.    Space.com, the BBC News and Science Daily told how this crater is impacting ideas about meteorite fall and crater formation.  Scientists were so baffled by it, some thought it was a fake: “It just didn’t make sense with what we understand of collisions with this type of fragile rock.” The object should have shattered and dispersed before hitting the ground.  Bad news to humans dodging space rocks: this one appears to have hit with full force at 15,000 miles per hour.    The crater it formed (49 feet across) is leading some scientists to suspect other water-filled circular depressions around the earth might have formed the same way.  One planetary scientist remarked, “Perhaps they also will defy our understanding.”Mercury falling:  The MESSENGER team reported this week at the Lunar and Planetary Science conference in Boulder, Colorado that they can’t explain some mysterious craters.  Space.com said that there are two new classes of craters in pictures from the January 14 flyby (see 01/17/2008) that “scientists are puzzling over how to explain.”  Two craters have dark rims and another has an unusual shiny bottom.  Of the latter, Clark Chapman remarked, “I haven’t heard any really convincing explanations from our science team.  We don’t yet know what the material is, why it is so bright, or why it is localized in this particular crater.”Crater upheaval:  Was it a salt dome?  a circular monocline?  a volcano, or something else?  Long suspected to be an impact crater, Upheaval Dome in Utah is looking more like, indeed, it was hit by a space rock.  Two Berliners reported in Geology this month that they have confirmed the impact hypothesis by detecting shocked quartz grains in the periphery of the central uplift.  Calling this feature the “sphinx of geology,” they said, “The very controversial debate about Upheaval Dome’s origin has lasted nearly a century, over the course of which extremely different hypotheses (gradualism versus catastrophism) have been proposed.”  Chalk one up for the catastrophists.Space enthusiasts will surely want to peruse the craters that became visible yesterday during Cassini’s close flyby of Enceladus.  Some of the craters in the north polar region (across the world from the geyser eruptions) appear semi-melted, while others are half-erased by subsequent geological activity.  Others, with irregular edges, have large mounds in their centers criss-crossed by fractures.  The lack of new impacts in the flows would suggest that these regions are very young.    Adding these stories to the upsets about crater count dating (12/20/2005, 06/08/2006, 05/14/2003, 12/27/2002) should convince onlookers that planetary scientists, like mountain drivers, also need to watch for falling rocks.1.  Buchner and Kenkmann, “Upheaval Dome, Utah, USA: Impact origin confirmed,” Geology, Volume 36, Issue 3 (March 2008), pp. 227-230.The lesson of this entry is not that scientists are incapable of someday understanding this subject better.  It is that here is a subject right under our noses that is poorly understood.  If there are this many anomalies, upsets and mysteries about something easily amenable to scientific investigation, how reliable are their pronouncements about far distant and unobservable phenomena like dark matter, black holes and the birth of the universe?    Puzzles are good for science.  Thank goodness there are plenty of mysteries for future scientists to solve.  Let the reader of science news reports beware, however.  Science reporters are among the most dogmatic in the world about accepted theories and consensus explanations.  A little experience with puzzles and anomalies in science is an effective antidote for dupidity.** Dupidity, n. A tendency to become a dupe of the press.  (A new CEH word coined for this occasion.)(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Big Texas Win on “Critical Thinking”

first_imgStudents in Texas schools will now have more opportunities to hear the flaws in Darwinism as well as evidences for it.  After months of acrimonious debate, the Texas State Board of Education adopted science standards that require students learn to “analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations” including theories of evolution and the origin of life.    The new language replaced the long-standing wording of teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution.  Though Darwin critics were advocating to retain the old language (the website of Texans for Better Science Education is StrengthsAndWeaknesses.org), they feel the new language is even stronger.  The general critical thinking language states:…in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.As applied to evolutionary theory, this means students will have opportunity to “analyze, evaluate and critique” hypotheses of natural selection, mutations and common ancestry.  They will also be able to evaluate evolutionary explanations for the “sudden appearance, stasis, and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record,” the “complexity of the cell,” and the “formation of simple organic molecules and their organization into long complex molecules having information such as the DNA molecule for self-replicating life.”  They can also “discuss scientific hypotheses for the origin of life by abiotic chemical processes in an aqueous environment through complex geochemical cycles given the complexity of living organisms.”    As reasonable and straightforward as this language may sound to outside observers, the evolutionists are treating the vote as a defeat for them and a victory for supporters of intelligent design.  The NCSE was just crowing over defeat of the “strengths and weaknesses” language by a tie vote (and therefore defeat) on March 26, but was angry at the final vote today, March 27.  On the other side, Evolution News and Views blog of the Discovery Institute, which has been giving the blow-by-blow account of the proceedings, calls the vote a big win, “a huge victory for those who favor teaching the scientific evidence for and against evolution.”  Undoubtedly, cheers and boos will soon be heard in the press.  Evolution News is keeping a running blog on whether the reporting in the media is accurate or not.    What happens in Texas matters to the whole country.  Texas is the biggest textbook buyer in the United States.  Authors of biology textbooks will not wish to write one version for the Lone Star State and another for other states.  The textbooks written to incorporate the new standards, therefore, will likely become normative for the rest of the country.    The NCSE and other pro-Darwin groups had tried to persuade the SBOE that their opponents had religious motivations.  John West of the Discovery Institute was quick to point out that the vote is a victory for fairness and balance, not the teaching of creationism or religion.  “Contrary to the claims of the evolution lobby, absolutely nothing the Board did promotes ‘creationism’ or religion in the classroom.  Groups that assert otherwise are lying, plain and simple.  Under the new standards, students will be expected to analyze and evaluate the scientific evidence for evolution, not religion.  Period.”  The chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, Don McLeroy, has written a commentary in The Statesman explaining why the new definitions will help teachers and students weigh testable evidence instead of ideology.It is a sad measure of our cultural demise when getting a vote in favor of fairness and critical thinking requires a herculean effort against a dogmatic establishment.  Much as we celebrate with those who won, consider what a small advance this is.  The Darwinist totalitarian regime has imposed such thought control on the scientific and educational institutions they can hardly think straight.  This should have been common sense.  In what other branch of inquiry is it normal for students to have predigested conclusions poured down a funnel into their skulls?  Of all subjects, science should be the most open to critical thinking.  Not so with Darwinism.    Less than a century ago the Darwinists were clamoring for fairness themselves.  They wanted to defend the right of a teacher to teach their views in the classroom.  Now that the shoe is on the other foot, they have redefined one-sided dogmatism to whole new levels of shame (see 12/16/2008).    They’re like crooks who rob a radio station by begging at the door that they just want a minute to give their commercial on the air, because they want fairness and it isn’t right for the owners of the station to give just one point of view.  After enough pressure, the exasperated manager lets the Darwinists in.  They grab the manager, owner, broadcasters and toss them outside and lock the door.  Then they take over the microphones and announce that the station is under new management.  While the rightful owners are banging at the locked doors and windows, the usurpers commandeer the airwaves, teaching fairy tales about how dirt came to life and bacteria became human.  The owners spend years in court trying to get the usurpers to open the door.  The courts (in cahoots with the crooks) rule against the owners over and over, often by one-vote margins.  Finally, by a close vote, after months of wrangling, a board still doesn’t let them in, but grants them one small concession: allowing them to insist that the stories the Darwinist usurpers tell on the air can be analyzed and critiqued by the public.    That is where this vote brings us.  It does not restore the rightful owners (i.e., the taxpayers) to their place.  It does not allow two sides to be heard.  It only means that the listeners will no longer be forced to endure propaganda taught as fact; they will have the right to think about it critically in light of empirical evidence.  In today’s mad, mad world, one can be grateful for any glimmer of sanity, no matter how slight.    This “huge victory” is just a cloud the size of a man’s hand on the horizon (I Kings 16).  Whether it ends the drought of reason will require much more work and providence.  Lovers of fairness should take heart at the hard work and persistence of Texans for Better Science Education and the many who testified, wrote the Board and assisted in the effort in numerous small ways.    New Scientist is all paranoid that this vote “leaves loopholes for teaching creationism.”  No it doesn’t.  It takes away the dogmatism of the Darwin Party and calls their presumptive authority to account.  They can no longer merely tell students their story is plausible.  They will have to provide evidence.  This is a good thing that everyone should welcome – parents, teachers, scientists.  The taxes in Texas should promote facts and a nexus of fair-minded people, not an axis of hacks devoted to dogmatism.  Let’s work to make last year’s movie Expelled represent the rock bottom of Darwinist intolerance, about which, from the vantage point of a new era of critical thinking, society will look back at with disgust and promise, “never again.”The stars for right, are big and bright,deep in the heart of Texas,The science sky is wide and high,deep in the heart of Texas.The sage advice is so precise,deep in the heart of Texas,Reminds me of, the vote I love,deep in the heart of Texas.Fanatics wail, along the trail,deep in the heart of Texas,Reporters beat around the bush,deep in the heart of Texas.The righteous cry, “Ki-yip-pee-yi,”deep in the heart of Texas,The bigots brawl, and crawl and bawl,deep in the heart of Texas.(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Now’s the Time to Install Solar

first_imgThis summer is a great time to get a good deal on a solar water heating or solar-electric (photovoltaic) system for your home. While I argued a few months ago in this column that the 30% federal solar tax credit has some flaws–key among them being that it’s based on the dollar value rather than performance and that there’s no cap on the cost of the system (and credit you can earn)–these aren’t reasons not to take advantage of it.While the solar tax credits are scheduled to be in place until 2016, I won’t be at all surprised to see them scaled back or eliminated well before then. If you haven’t noticed, the political pendulum is swinging, and incumbents who supported the stimulus funding are now being cast as reckless spenders and are losing primaries. I think we’ll see a growing focus on deficit control–and that could well include scaling back on incentives like the solar tax credits. The bottom line is that now’s the time to benefit from the solar tax credit.For most homeowners, installing a solar water heating system will have a more rapid return on investment (ROI) than installing an electricity-generating photovoltaic (PV) system, so I’ll focus on the former. Most solar water heating systems for typical homes have two flat-plate solar collectors. Either water or an antifreeze solution is pumped through the collectors during the day and heat is transferred from the absorber plate to that fluid. A glass cover plate on the collector, insulation behind the absorber plate, and pipe insulation all help to improve efficiency and direct more heat into the circulating fluid.While the collectors sit on your roof (or on a separate rack outside the house), there are also solar water heating components inside the house. Most systems have a separate solar hot water storage tank in the basement or utility room that serves as a preheater for the standard water heater. A heat exchanger in this tank transfers heat from the fluid circulating through the collectors into the storage tank. Rather than a preheater tank, some systems have a single tank containing both the heat exchanger from the solar collectors and a standard heating element.Controls and a pump round out the system. The conventional approach is to have a differential thermostat that senses temperatures both in the collectors and storage tank, and then switches on the circulator pump when the collectors are warmer than the water in the storage tank. Some systems, however, now use a simpler control system: a separate PV module powers the circulating pump, operating only when the sun is shining.Solar water heating systems vary a great deal in their cost, depending on the size, type of system, added features like digital monitoring, and challenges of the installation. The typical price range for a residential system is $5,000 to $8,000, installed. With new construction, costs can be lower, especially if a lot of identical systems are being installed on multiple tract homes.To function efficiently, solar panels must be installed on a good site. The sun traverses the southern sky during the day, rising in the east and setting in the west, so the best site for solar is a south-facing roof. The pitch of the roof isn’t critical. A steeper pitch will be a little better in the winter (when the sun is lower in the sky), while a shallower pitch is better in the summer (when the sun is higher in the sky), but most standard roof pitches will work all right. There should be as few obstructions as possible, so cutting or pruning nearby trees is often an important part of a solar installation.A properly sized and well-sited solar water heating system should satisfy most of your hot water needs during the summer months, but it may provide less than half in the winter, when there is less sunlight. To maximize the percent of hot water provided by the solar system, you should carry out appropriate water conservation efforts, such as installing low-flow showerheads and washing laundry in cold water.Contact a local or regional solar installer for more information and to schedule a site visit. Be sure the contractor you pick is more interested in a quality, reasonably priced installation than on maximizing the tax credit. (Be aware of scams in which roofing or other costs unrelated to the solar system are added into the installation price so that Uncle Sam will pay you more–an indicator that the contractor’s motivations are misplaced.)I invite you to share comments on this blog.Alex Wilson is the executive editor of Environmental Building News and founder of BuildingGreen, LLC. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feeds.last_img read more

Brian Sheehan on Why Love Works in the Sales Process – Episode #21

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | Download (8.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSIn a day when we are repeatedly told that people are buying products based on financial value and economy, it’s a strange thing to hear a sales professional (a professor) speak about injecting love into the sales process. Brian Sheehan is lobbying for a different approach to sales, a relational approach that taps into the emotions and desires of customers rather than the utilitarian purpose of a product. It’s a refreshing perspective and one that Anthony loves, and you can hear all about it on this episode of In The Arena.In sales, the difference between love and utility are huge, with Brian Sheehan on this episodeClick To TweetHow consumers really make buying decisions.The statistics don’t lie. Buying decisions in today’s marketplace are made according to a 50/50 split. 50% of the time the decision is made on facts alone. 50% of the time it’s based in emotion or an emotional response. With such ambiguous stats why would Brian Sheehan, a professor in a business school, come down so strongly on the side of emotion? Because he’s seen the power it can have in building not only a powerful sales force, but also customer loyalty over the long haul. You can hear more of Brian’s insights on this episode.An example of what happens when consumers love the brand.Brian Sheehan conducted a hidden experiment in his classroom once to drive home the point that love of a brand really works. He announced that the University (Syracuse) had struck a deal with Dell computer and was going to refit the entire campus, including all student computers, with Dell equipment. As he looked over the lecture hall he saw at least 100 glowing Apple icons staring back at him. Some students responded so strongly that they were ready to move to another school simply because their favorite computer brand was no longer supported at the school. Brian effectively showed that love for a brand is a powerful force and that those brands that can leverage that have a distinct advantage.Building customer loyalty through the #LoveWorks approach, on this episodeClick To TweetThe difficult task of discovering the meaning consumers want from your brand.Brands like Apple, Harley Davidson, and Volvo have rabid followings of loyal fans. But it didn’t just happen. Those brands have worked very hard to discover the desires and needs of their customers as well as communicating their company philosophy in a way that resonates clearly with those consumers. It’s a strategy that develops an “Us” mentality about the brand and fosters a community surrounding the company and its ethos. How do you get that kind of buy-in from your customers? It’s a very difficult process, which Brian Sheehan explains on this episode.Is the Love Works approach to sales really worth it?The degree of difficulty it takes to discover the consumer’s preferences and mindsets in order to position a brand to be in sympathy with those things is very high. What’s more, it’s not something that is easily communicated by the brand. There’s an art to it. So is the effort involved really worth it? Can’t sales continue to be done as they always have? Sure, you can do that – but you are missing out on the power of community and customer loyalty that is only enjoyed by a rare number of companies. Anthony recommends everyone grab a copy of Biran Sheehan’s new book, “Love Works” to learn how to move your company in that direction, and you can find out where to get it on this episode.Is the #LoveWorks approach to #sales really worth it? Find out on this episodeClick To TweetOutline of this great episode Anthony’s introduction to the episode. Who is Brian Sheehan? How people really make buying decisions. How big brands can utilize love and intimacy in sales. The ways digital media is being used by big brands to build on love. How to find the meaning consumers are seeking and delivering the message effectively. Why you should get a copy of Brian’s book, “Love Works.”Resources & Links mentioned in this episodewww.LoveWorksTheBook.com157687270X0310335671 The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarinoTweets you can use to share this episodeIf your brand makes a mistake, the consumer will forgive you if they love you ~ Brian SheehanClick To TweetThe real reasons consumers make buying decisions, on this episodeClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address belowlast_img read more

Sister Act

first_imgThese sisters are not only doing it for themselves and their country but someone very special as well. By Julian Buckmaster – @JulianTFAAh, siblings. Everyone knows the blood-line connection and the love that flows and the loathing and conflict that grows that only a family best knows and delivers. And all usually under the same roof and the same protagonists looking for a different result doing the same thing. Sound familiar?Domestic bliss, hey? The competitions, the agreements the disagreements, the indiscretions. The bonds and ties that bind. The fights and frights and shared highs and lows. The equal part harmony and hegemony that makes up the fabric of the modern household. The rivalry.And in the middle of it all you have the parents. You have to love the lot of a parent – referee, judge, jury, provider, decider and pacifier. Somehow seemingly keeping it all together and with a referees whistle always on the ready and the smile behind gritted teeth to keep the peace.Now, for the purposes of this piece let’s quietly ask the boys to slip outside and perhaps, go climb a tree, hit the back shed or better still, run amok with the Touch Football in the backyard as we focus on the important ones. The girls.History is seemingly littered with successful Australian female siblings.In the literary world you have the famous Bronte sisters; in music, the Minogue’s and the Veronicas’ sisters have it sussed and before all them the Andrews sisters from another time and age. In modelling it’s the Hart’s captivating the world’s catwalks and gaze. Even the tourism landmarks/landforms get a gig with the famous three sisters in the Blue Mountains…but that’s another story entirely.However, it’s in the Australian sporting world that something particularly curious is emerging and warrants examination. The Campbell sisters are probably the most prominent from the Australian public’s view; certainly capturing the imagination and most of the headlines in their quest for gold in Rio later this year. Cate Campbell said it best in a recent SMH report: “So special. So special. To compete in a relay with Bronte; that was always our dream, because it’s the only time we can swim together instead of against each other.”But at the elite Touch Football level, there is, as they say in our sport’s vernacular, certainly a pattern developing here.What it is exactly that runs through the Touch Football family tree that is breeding success in the female format, we can’t be sure – nurture? Nature? Combination of both?Something we do know is that a very rich and rare commodity seems to run in the veins of those successful siblings representing their country; which probably needs bottling and a good deal of explaining.As opposed to other sporting codes, for the Australian Women’s Open team, this would require a major enquiry to get to the bottom and foundation of this gene pool genius.Consider the conga line of sisters doing it not only for themselves but their younger/older siblings on the current stage, seeking International titles and Test honours.In the 2016 set-up we turn to the Davis sisters of Manly in Sydney; Danni and Shellie that currently carry the family flame and a burning desire to succeed together. With Danni establishing herself in the side and now regarded as a senior team member competing at several Australian campaigns, it is Shellie who is making her debut alongside her elder sis in the green and gold this week and revelling in the team alongside sister, Danni. “Having Danni at every step and watching her pathway has made me feel inspired and made my Touch career more exciting. Being able to learn and watch her has really assisted me and I hope the both of us,” she said with Danni not for the first time, by her side at the team hotel in Auckland, on the eve of the tournament.Naturally this all brings a knowing smile and perhaps a glint of a tear to older sister Danni.“Playing for Australian women’s has always been a tremendous honour and goal for me and always amazing. But once Shellie started making her way through state and youth national teams I knew she wouldn’t be far away from cracking the women’s team.“We train a lot together and do a lot of one-on-ones. We always talk about the little things like winning the rucks and talk; but now it’s actually happening [representing together] it’s just…unbelievable.“We play in a local competition as well with a lot of younger girls coming through; so we spend a fair bit of time together with reps across the board and wouldn’t want it any other way. When quizzed on her knowledge of the sisterhood preceding her in the national team, she was as quick in response as one of her snipes on the field careering towards the tryline.“We look at and are inspired by those before us: the Judds, the Winchesters and Hopkin girls and it is something really special to be a part of this special group of sisters competing at the highest level.“I consider everyone from Touch Football as special and family so it just all goes with the territory I guess.”The Davis girls’ teammate, Sammy Hopkin continues her great form of late but is doing so without her older sister and wife of superstar, Dylan Hennessey, Emily Hennessey (nee Hopkin) this week in Auckland. A superstar duo this pair. The sisters that is.And, not to be outdone and also from the Peninsula, only one half of the Peattie sisters feature this week with Laura representing her national colours and family crest. Sister, Sarah meanwhile is on the comeback from injury but already has a decorated career and we look forward to seeing her back in the green and gold soon. Now, cast your mind back further as we reflect back on this roll-call of Touch royalty that spans the generations past and carried through to the present.The Winchester sisters, Captain Louise and Canterbury colleague, Claire who represented Australia together on numerous occasions, dating back to the 2007 World Cup, were two of the most recognisable sisters in the game. Before them came the Judd twins who marched triumphantly across the globe up until recently – Kristy and Amanda. And, before them it was the Maher’s of Cronulla – Gaby, Kitty and Dom Maher who dominated proceedings in the late-80s and early 90’s (with Fiona an honourable mention making State Mixed teams) and setting the bar at a lofty height with a near team of sisters.Shifting focus to the millennium past, perhaps very fittingly, it was the wife of recently retired Australian Women’s Coach, Peter Bell, Catherine Bell (nee Barr and her sister Angela), who represented their country with aplomb and along with the McWhirter sisters (Susan and Maria), who set the tone as forbearers of things to come.And long may their reign in the green and gold continue and we can only hope for many sequels of these ‘Sisters Acts’, long into in the future.  We’ll be keeping you up-to-date with all of the latest news, information and results from the series on our website and social media channels, so you won’t miss any of the action:Website: www.touchfootball.com.auFacebook: www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter: www.twitter.com/touchfootyausInstagram: www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustraliaYouTube: www.youtube.com/touchfootballausSnapchat – search for ‘TFAofficial’Be sure to use the hashtags #transtasman2016, #oneteam and #teamaustralia across all of our social media platforms.To watch Touch New Zealand’s live streaming, please click here.Related LinksSister Actlast_img read more

We Ranked College Football’s 15 Hardest Schedules For The 2016 Season

first_imgA general view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 16: General View of the game between the California Golden Bears and the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 16, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) There will be some surrender cobras this year.There will be some surrender cobras this year.The 2016 college football season may seem far off in the future, but in reality, it’s less than four months away. Coaches and players, of course, are already preparing for the 12 opponents on their schedules. The teams on the list you’re about to read are likely preparing a little harder than the rest, however.Every year, due to both conference affiliation and scheduling, some teams wind up having way more difficult schedules than their peers. It can be both a blessing and a curse. If you run through a tough schedule, you’ll likely be rewarded when bowl season comes around. If you struggle, you might not even qualify for the postseason.We’ve gone through and put together a list of what we think are the 15 hardest schedules in college football this upcoming season. No. 1 isn’t even debatable – you’ll see why.Get Started: The 15 Hardest Schedules For 2016 >>>Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16last_img read more

Jerry Lewis Returns To Help Muscular Dystrophy Association Unveil Revitalized Brand

first_imgJerry Lewis — the longtime host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Labor Day telethon — will step out of his retired role with the iconic charity that revolutionized philanthropic giving in America to help introduce MDA’s revitalized brand this Friday, Jan. 29, at an event in Carnegie Hall.Lewis, who hosted MDA’s telethon until 2011 when he last appeared as MDA National Chairman, taped a special message to the MDA community, urging continued support for MDA and the families he has championed for decades.MDA today released a segment of Lewis’ message in which he says, “I haven’t stopped thinking of all of you … my wonderful friends and the critical work MDA does,” Lewis said. “I think it’s great that MDA has a new look and tagline. We’ve got to keep giving strength, independence and life to all the kids and adults who are fighting muscular dystrophy and related life-threatening diseases.”On Friday, MDA will announce a five-year plan to find treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases, as scientists and drug developers get closer than ever to lifesaving treatments. It also will unveil a new brand identity and consumer campaign, including a new logo and tagline. The event will be webcast on mda.org at 12:30 p.m. ET and will include appearances by NBC News’ “Today” Natalie Morales, TNT on-air personality and sportscaster Ernie Johnson, “Small Town Big Deal” host Jann Carl and Jordan Smith, season nine winner of NBC’s “The Voice.”“Jerry Lewis’ heroic efforts on behalf of MDA families and through MDA telethons have enabled us to help millions of Americans living with muscle-debilitating diseases and make possible progress in research that was once thought unimaginable. We’re thrilled to build on our rich history and have Jerry’s support as we strengthen our mission and introduce the new MDA brand,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks.last_img read more

Two killed many trapped in under construction building collapse at Dharwad

first_imgBengaluru: Two people were killed and several others trapped when a four-storeyed under construction building collapsed at Dharwad in north Karnataka Tuesday, police said. The building came crashing down, triggering panic among neighbours and passers-by, a police official said. “Two have died while some 30 to 40 people are trapped,” said a police officer at Dharwad police station. Police said four people have been brought out from the debris while rescue operations are in full swing. As many as 10 ambulances and five fire tenders have beenengaged to carry out rescue and relief operations. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said he was shocked to learn about the collapse of the under construction building. Kumaraswamy said he has directed the chief secretary to supervise the rescue operation and to send experienced rescue teams by special flight toDharwad.last_img read more

We Put Bryce Harper And Manny Machado On A Bunch Of Different

We are now less than a week away from almost all pitchers and catchers reporting, and the two biggest free agents on the market — Manny Machado and Bryce Harper — have yet to sign. The rumor mill around them continues to swirl, but we’re tired of not knowing for sure where these two will play this year. So we thought we’d take matters into our own hands, instead of simply waiting around for the latest hot-stove updates.To that end, we called on our friends at Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP), a strategic simulation game that allows players to put on their general manager hats and run their own teams. We asked them to simulate out the careers of Harper and Machado a bunch of times under scenarios where they sign with a bunch of different teams. Think of it as the multiverse of MLB possibilities that still could play out, depending on where these two superstars end up signing.It’s important to note that this is all guided by the game’s artificial intelligence, so it’s based on a simulation engine primarily intended for fun gameplay.1Though it can be a pretty serious simulation, as far as these things go. Perhaps you’ve heard of the soccer sim Football Manager and its notoriously addictive qualities? OOTP is essentially the same game, except for baseball. Having said all that, in the true spirit of J. Henry Waugh’s Universal Baseball Association, what if …… Machado signs with the White Sox?Frequency: 80 percent of simulations2OOTP ran 25 sample offseasons for us, tracking how often each player signed with which team.Average contract: Eight years for $198 millionSix-year team wins: 78.7 per seasonSix-year WAR: 6.0 per seasonBest playoff result: Loses divisional series in 2021Machado is one of the brightest stars in the OOTP universe, with an overall rating of 77 out of 80 (using the traditional 20-80 scouting scale). If he were to sign with the White Sox, one of his most frequently rumored suitors in real life, OOTP sees him having a tremendous individual debut in Chicago, putting together an All-Star season worth 6.5 wins above replacement. But the White Sox would have to wait until 2020 to improve as a team, leaping from 63 wins in 2019 to 92 in 2020, with Machado once again having a strong 5.8-WAR season. Chicago would average 92 wins per season in 2020 and ’21, making the playoffs both years, but they would top out with a tough five-game loss in the American League Division Series in 2021, then drop down to 80 wins in 2022 as Machado’s teammates regress.He would average 5.7 WAR per season over the next two years, but the Sox would miss the playoffs both seasons, with Machado opting out of his contract to join the New York Mets on a five-year, $197.5 million deal before the 2025 season. (Chicago would be fine without him, making the American League Championship Series in 2025 and 2026.) In New York, Machado’s individual numbers would decline to an average of 4.1 WAR per season, but he would help the 2028 Mets reach the World Series — where, in classic Mets fashion, they would lose to the Astros in seven games. After bouncing to the Nationals and Rockies in the early 2030s, Machado would retire in October 2032 with a JAWS score of 63.4, which should easily earn him a place in the Hall of Fame.… Machado signs with the Padres?Frequency: 20 percent of simulationsAverage contract: Eight years for $212 millionSix-year team wins: 83.3 per seasonSix-year WAR: 5.0 per seasonBest playoff result: Loses league championship series in 2024If Machado were to sign with San Diego, OOTP’s AI thinks that he would make about $14 million more over an eight-year contract than he would with the White Sox. But how would his Padres do on the field? In this universe, Machado would have an incredible initial campaign in Southern California, putting up 7.5 WAR and winning the National League’s MVP in 2019. His team, though, would only improve from 66 to 76 wins, good for third place in the NL West, and Machado would later struggle to repeat his amazing debut season. The simulations have him averaging just 4.1 WAR per season in 2020-21, with the Padres winning only 71 games a year. But in 2022, Machado would bounce back with 5.2 WAR, and San Diego would win 95 games, making the divisional series. It’s part of a three-year playoff surge for the Padres, peaking with 100 wins in 2024 — but that team is projected to crash out of the playoffs with a disappointing five-game NLCS loss to the Dodgers.That offseason, Machado would opt out of his initial contract and sign a five-year, $157.5 million deal with the expansion Memphis Scouts — which are a thing in this universe! — where he would spend the next five seasons playing reasonably well (4.2 WAR per year), but losing so many ballgames would surely give him flashbacks to the horrid 2018 Orioles. The best season of Machado’s final years is forecast to be an out-of-nowhere 4.3-WAR season with the 101-win Cincinnati Reds in 2032, but that team would ultimately lose in the divisional series. In September 2035, Machado would retire from pro baseball as a probable Hall of Famer.… Machado signs somewhere else?While OOTP’s AI thinks Chicago and San Diego are the destinations most likely for Machado, it also forced him onto the Phillies, Yankees and Twins for the sake of the full multiverse. The first two outcomes are about a wash individually, with Machado nearing 7 WAR in his best simulated season for each team and producing roughly the same total WAR (33.9 in New York, 32.6 in Philly). He would also stay longer in each city: seven years with the Phillies before opting out to join the Giants and the full eight-year contract span with the Yankees. But in terms of team performance, Machado wouldn’t win a World Series in either Philadelphia or New York, coming closest with a seven-game ALCS loss in 2022 as part of his Yankees timeline. It’s kind of a sad set of outcomes for a pair of teams that you’d think would offer Machado the greatest chance of team success. As for the Twins, they would be very successful with Machado, winning 90.2 games per season in his five years in Minnesota, including a World Series berth in 2021. But he would also opt out of that contract as early as possible, moving on to sign a massive deal with the Giants. Such is the way of Minnesota sports. So where should each star sign? If these OOTP simulations are any indication, it looks like Harper and the Cardinals would be best off with him playing right field in St. Louis, and Machado should lean toward manning the hot corner for the Padres. But those are but two options in the multiverse of possible outcomes. The only thing that we are 100 percent certain about is that at least one of these teams should sign these guys now. Stars like Machado and Harper shouldn’t still be going into spring training without a deal in place — for their own sake and for the sake of fan bases whose teams can use them to compete this season.Special thanks to Richard Grisham and Out of the Park Developments for their help with this story. Let’s move on to Harper, whose future is more difficult to read than Machado’s. OOTP’s AI predicted that he’d sign with any of four teams — the Giants (64 percent), Cardinals (20 percent), Padres (12 percent) and Dodgers (4 percent) — and that’s not even the full spate of his commonly rumored options. But let’s peer into OOTP’s crystal ball anyway. What if …… Harper signs with the Giants?Frequency: 64 percent of simulationsAverage contract: Seven years for $175 millionSix-year team wins: 82.1 per seasonSix-year WAR: 3.3 per seasonBest playoff result: No playoffsThe Giants are a weird team that won 73 games last season despite trying to contend, and they do have the need for a corner outfielder like Harper if they want to try it again in 2019. According to OOTP, San Francisco would pay about $15 million to $20 million more over a seven-year deal than Harper’s other potential suitors, and they wouldn’t get much postseason success out of it. They are projected to average 85.5 wins per season over the first four years of Harper’s deal, finishing second in the NL West (and out of the playoffs) each year. They would also get classic inconsistent Bryce: 5.7 WAR in Year 1, followed by 2.2 and 2.9 WAR (both seasons riddled with injuries), then 4.4, and then 0.6 in a terrible 2023 season during which Harper would hit .209, with the Giants crashing to 74 wins.After six up-and-down seasons by the Bay, Harper would sign a four-year, $116.8 million deal with the Brewers. He is projected for a strong season on a playoff-bound Milwaukee team in 2025 but then just 2.1 WAR per year over the next two seasons before opting out early yet again to join … yes, the Yankees. During his inevitable run in pinstripes, Harper would boast an .821 OPS as his Yanks make (and lose) the ALCS in 2028, but he would put up negative WAR over the next two seasons. He would retire at age 38 after being released by New York (and briefly rejoining the Giants). Harper’s final JAWS score of 49.9 would put him right on the edge of the Hall of Fame relative to other right fielders.… Harper signs with the Cardinals?Frequency: 20 percent of simulationsAverage contract: Seven years for $151 millionSix-year team wins: 87.2 per seasonSix-year WAR: 4.9 per seasonBest playoff result: Loses World Series in 2027 and 2030This is one of the most successful universes either star free agent had in our OOTP simulations. In this world, the Cardinals would grab Harper for the bargain-bin price of $151 million, and he would stay with them for a total of 12 seasons thanks to another midcareer contract extension. St. Louis would be mostly competitive throughout Harper’s dozen seasons there, averaging 87 wins per year and making the playoffs nine times, including two pennant-winning runs. Harper is projected for 53.4 total WAR in a Cardinals uniform (which would actually rank him just below Ozzie Smith for fifth on the franchise’s all-time leaderboard), winning the 2023 NL MVP with a 1.033 OPS and 7.4 WAR. In Harper’s final season as a Cardinal at age 37, OOTP sees St. Louis losing the 2030 World Series to (Machado’s?) White Sox in a heartbreaking seventh game.After leaving St. Louis, Harper would sign a three-year, $62 million deal with the Mets, but a fractured knee would cost him 88 games in his first New York season, and he wouldn’t be the same player afterward, averaging just 1.1 WAR/year in 2032-33. Following an ineffective 51-game stint with the Giants in 2034, Harper would retire as a surefire Hall of Famer with a JAWS score of 69.2.… Harper signs somewhere else?Harper has been linked to so many teams, it’s tough to keep track sometimes. So we asked OOTP to look at the other teams its own AI saw Harper signing with (the Padres and Dodgers), plus the Phillies, White Sox and Harper’s erstwhile team, the Nationals. Of those, the Dodgers easily offer the greatest amount of team glory — in fact, they would basically become a dynasty with Bryce on board, winning the 2020, 2021, 2023 and 2024 World Series and losing it in 2025 (as Harper would put up 44.3 WAR during seven seasons in L.A.).3Just for good measure, Harper would return to Washington in this Dodgers simulation, after a four-season stint with the Mariners, and would also win the 2030 World Series with the Nats in his age-37 season. Individually, Harper would finish with 98.3 WAR in that universe, edging out his 93.2 WAR in the Cardinals simulation for the best of the options we looked at. The rest offer varying degrees of lesser success from both a team and personal perspective, with the Phillies, Nats and Padres projected to make the playoffs a few times on Harper’s first contract (he would re-up with the Padres and Nationals for the long-term in those simulations) and Harper accumulating just shy of 80 career WAR in each universe. read more

David Lingmerth wins 40th Memorial Tournament

Seung-Yul Noh watches after driving a ball during the 2015 Memorial Tournament on June 5 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo Editor Spectators were treated to an exciting weekend of golf at Muirfield Village Golf Club, where David Lingmerth secured his first win on the PGA TOUR, defeating Justin Rose in a three-hole sudden-death playoff at the 40th Memorial Tournament.Lingmerth finished fifth or better two of the first three days of the tournament and entered Sunday’s action 12-under par.  The win was his 68th tour event.  He was visibly excited.“I can’t believe it right now.  I’m so happy.  I don’t know where to go,” Lingmerth said.Rose entered the final day three shots back of the leader, Keegan Bradley, and held a three-stroke lead before bogeying the 14th and 16th holes, finishing the regulation portion of the round at par.“I pulled off shots when I really had too, coming down the stretch.  I would have liked to put myself in a position where I could have sailed coming down the stretch, but I really had to dig for it,” Rose said.A win for Rose would have been his eighth on tour and his second at Muirfield Village, where he won the Memorial Tournament in 2010, his first victory on the American tour.“It would have been lovely to win in the playoff, but there is a lot I could look back and think I could have done better,” Rose said.The Memorial, the annual invitation-only tournament founded by Upper Arlington native and Ohio State alumnus Jack Nicklaus, has featured some dramatics lately, as two of the last three finishes have been decided by a playoff, and four of the last five by two strokes or fewer.Originally from Sweden, Lingmerth has had success on the European Tour, but he is still cutting his teeth on the American circuit, and he was eager to play at Muirfield Village.“I had never played here, I wanted to come experience it,” Lingmerth said.Lingmerth, who had been heavily recruited to return to Europe for part of the summer, expressed his desire to stay in the United States to seek his first victory, honeyed by the fact that it came at the Memorial.“This tournament, hosted by Mr. Nicklaus, I can’t think of many things that compare to it,” Lingmerth said.In choosing to play the Memorial, Lingmerth skipped the Nordea Masters in his native Sweden.Tiger Woods, a five-time winner at Muirfield, finished two-over, good for 71st on the leaderboard.  He rebounded somewhat on Sunday, carding a two-over after an abhorrent Saturday, when he had a career worst single-day score of 85.Woods had previously announced he will not play again until the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay on June 18.  He attended the Memorial out of respect for his friendship with Nicklaus, whom he is still seeking to dethrone as the all-time major tournament wins leader.The Memorial, Nicklaus’ pride and joy, samples elements of some of golf’s great tournaments.  The invitation process is similar to that of the Masters at Augusta National, and Muirfield Village is named after a course in Scotland where Nicklaus won his first Open Championship in 1966. read more