December 20

Decision time: Giants’ direction remains fluid after loss leads into trade deadline

first_imgPHILADELPHIA — As the Giants and Phillies opened a three-game series that promises to have significant implications in the National League Wild Card race, San Francisco’s highest-ranking front office executives watched from nearly 3,000 miles away.President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and many other club officials remained at home on this trip, electing to run the franchise’s trade deadline operations from the Bay Area.One game against the Phillies will not significantly alter the …last_img read more

December 19

How Blind Cave Fish Lose Color

first_imgA study on cave fish revealed that several populations can have mutations to the same gene.  A gene that produces melanin, named Oca2, was found to be mutated in two separate populations of cave fish, resulting in albinism.  This same gene can produce albinism in humans.The replicated experiment is a powerful tool for experimental science, but typically unavailable in the study of evolution.  Cave adaptations have evolved in many species independently, however, and each cave species can be considered a replicate of the same evolutionary experiment that asks how species change in perpetual darkness.  A frequent outcome is that the species lose pigmentation or become albino. Cavefish, therefore, are a rich source for the examination of the evolutionary process.   (Emphasis added.)It was surprising to the multidisciplinary team why this gene, and not others that can also produce albinism, was implicated.  “One possibility, suggested by the researchers, is that it is a large gene presenting a big target for mutations, and it seems to have no other functions besides helping to make melanin,” the press release on EurekAlert states.  “Therefore, it doesn’t diminish other aspects of fitness when it is mutated.”Here is a situation where “evolutionary theory” is compatible with intelligent design or creationism.  It’s not a case of evolution in the sense of new functional information being added; it’s a case of function being lost.  How this loss of information affects an organism is interesting, and it is worthwhile question to ask why two cave fish populations would get the same mutation to the same gene.  If one assumes that the fish began with fully-operational Oca2 genes (as in creation/design), then it follows that a reproducing population of fish with mutations in that gene will lead to a population of albinos, if the benefit of having color no longer matters in the cave environment.  This is downward evolution, not upward evolution.  The story differs from the just-so storytelling of Darwinian theory, because we have plenty of empirical evidence that mutations lead to loss of function, but no evidence that mutations can produce new function.  Darwinists try to call this “evolution” (in the sense of change over time), but it doesn’t do anything to help Charlie’s story that fish evolved from pre-fish, or ultimately, from one-celled organisms.  Creationists could just as well study loss mutations to investigate the extent of genetic load (deterioration) over time since the original perfect creation; convergent devolution, therefore, is non-controversial, but convergent evolution is what lacks empirical support.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

October 27

UNC Paid Duke Over $27K For Locker Room Damages, But AD Bubba Cunningham Clearly Isn’t Happy

first_imgNorth Carolina football spray painted 'UNC' in Duke locker room.Well, so much for UNC and Duke getting along. As a result of the damages the North Carolina football team caused to Duke’s locker room and facilities after this past November’s football game, the Blue Devils sent the Tar Heels a $27,140 bill. Head coach Larry Fedora and school AD Bubba Cunningham each wrote personal checks for $13,585 to split the cost, according to The Herald-Sun. But it doesn’t appear that UNC’s brass are necessarily happy about it. Cunningham, in a letter to Duke AD Kevin White, claimed that he didn’t understand the charges. He also made note of the fact that someone painted D-U-K-E on some of UNC’s pillars last year.“While I may not understand the charges assessed, we take complete responsibility for our students and our programs.” Laura Keeley, Duke beat reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer, also mentions that Cunningham was disappointed that Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe didn’t return Larry Fedora’s “apology call.”Bubba Cunningham also said he was disappointed Duke coach David Cutcliffe never returned Larry Fedora’s apology call— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015Keeley also tweeted out a number of photos of the damages. Photo of said damaged locker room carpet in the Duke visitor’s locker room, which was replaced for $22,028.44 pic.twitter.com/qdcwqUP0LL— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015Spray paint on Duke practice facility walls pic.twitter.com/XL3rzXVuCe— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015More spray paint damage in Duke vistor’s locker room pic.twitter.com/ts55QzDWx6— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015More spray paint damage in the Duke visitor’s locker room — repainting that & Wallace Wade billed at $4,470 pic.twitter.com/acJ3n1c7h2— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015And, finally, the picture of Wallace Wade spray paint damage pic.twitter.com/fQdHYMip7H— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) February 13, 2015Duke and North Carolina renew their rivalry this November 7th in Chapel Hill.[CBS Sports]last_img read more

October 24

Longer Opening Hours for Licenced Bars – Golding

first_imgLicenced bars and similar establishments will soon be able to legally remain open for longer hours as a result of amendments, which are to be made to the Spirit Licencing Act. Making the announcement on Wednesday at the Jamaica House press briefing, at the Office of the Prime Minister, Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, explained that, “for some time the prescribed opening hours for licenced establishments have been a cause of confrontation and problems between bar owners, and patrons and the police.” “Representation was made from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) after meeting with bar owners in St. Thomas and other parishes for an adjustment to be made to the opening hours,” the Minister added. The present opening hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and on Sundays the hours for taverns are between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Hotels on the other hand, are allowed to open from 7:00 a.m. until midnight any day of the week. The proposal is to amend the Spirit Licensing Act to allow the Minister to fix the opening and closing hours of licensed establishments, by way of Order, which will be subject to affirmative Resolution of both Houses of Parliament. “The opening and closing hours will not be fixed in the legislation, but by way of Order which, over time, can be adjusted if necessary. Cabinet has approved the policy to inform the Order, which will allow establishments to be able on Mondays through Saturdays to open (from 7:00 a.m.) until midnight and from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Sundays,” Minister Golding outlined. Opening hours for hotels remain the same and the criteria for licences will not be reviewed at this time.  Senator Golding noted that while an overall review of the spirit licensing regime is to be done, for now this amendment seeks to deal with a specific social problem, which was becoming a law enforcement issue.last_img read more

September 29

Why This NBA Rookie Class May Be The Best Of The Century

As we approach the end of the NBA’s regular season, awards conversations are all the rage. As usual, the two most talked-about races are for Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. Whether it’s “Get Up” or The Jump, Sports Illustrated or CBS or NBA TV, or even NBA players themselves, everyone’s got an opinion on who should take home the hardware at the end of the season.The Rookie of the Year debate, at this point, pretty much boils down to the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, who stormed out of the gate and grabbed onto front-runner status fairly quickly, and the Hawks’ Trae Young, who started off terribly but has been shining during the season’s second half.But lost among this debate is this: The entire 2018 NBA rookie class — or at least the top five picks — deserves an award. Collectively, they are having the best debut season of any group of top five picks in more than 25 years.Doncic (pick No. 3) is carrying averages of 21.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while acting as the primary facilitator and scoring option in Dallas. He is only the second rookie in NBA history to average at least 20, 7, and 5 in those categories, and the other is Oscar Robertson, who did so during the 1960-61 season.The man whom Doncic was traded for on draft night,1The Hawks drafted Doncic and traded him to the Mavericks in exchange for Young and Dallas’s top-five protected 2019 first-round pick. Young, has been nearly as productive, albeit less consistent, in his debut season for Atlanta. Young’s season-long numbers of 19.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game are strong.2He’s one of only three rookies to have gone for 19, 3 and 8 per game. Those numbers, though, are dragged down by his poor start to the year. Since the All-Star break, he’s averaging 25.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 9.2 assists a night, with shooting numbers that are far better than those he was posting earlier in the season as he struggled to adjust to the NBA game.Two of the first five picks in a given draft looking this good, this early, would be impressive on its own; but Doncic and Young are not alone in their shining debuts. The other three players selected in the top five — the Suns’ DeAndre Ayton (No. 1), the Kings’ Marvin Bagley III (No. 2) and the Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. (No. 4) — have each been pretty damned good this year too.Ayton has been a monster offensive force for Phoenix from Day 1, and he is already one of the league’s best post scorers and offensive rebounders. Among rotation players averaging at least 2 post-ups per game, per NBA.com, Ayton’s 1.03 points per play on post-ups ranks third, behind only Joel Embiid and LaMarcus Aldridge. Ayton’s offensive rebound rate, meanwhile, ranks 22nd among the 263 players who have qualified for the minutes per game leaderboard. And he’s been improving on defense throughout the season.Bagley is averaging 14.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game off the bench for the surprisingly frisky Kings. And he’s been even better since returning from a five-game, injury-related absence in early March, posting 18.5 points and 8.2 rebounds a night with an improved shooting line. He has a diverse, varied face-up game and is working to stretch his jumper, and given his athleticism and quick feet, his defense could eventually come around as well.Memphis shut down Jackson in late-February due to a quad injury, but before his season ended he averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 combined steals and blocks in just 26 minutes a night. He did all that despite being, at 19 years old, the second-youngest player in the league.3The Lakers’ Isaac Bonga is about a month younger than Jackson, and Bonga has played less than 100 minutes this season. Jackson also knocked down 35.9 percent of his threes and carried an above-average usage rate and true shooting percentage, which is wildly impressive for a player whose primary contributions were expected to come on the defensive end of the floor.So how does this season’s top five stack up against past classes? The chart below plots the collective win shares and win shares per 48 minutes for the top five picks in each draft class from 1979 through 2018 (otherwise known as the three-point era) during their respective debut seasons. Note that only players who played during the season immediately following that year’s draft are counted in this analysis; because we’re looking at the top five picks as a class, if a player did not debut with the rest of his class, it doesn’t make much sense to count him along with the others. For example, Ben Simmons was the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, but he did not play during the 2016-17 season, so he counts for 0 minutes and 0 win shares toward the total of that draft class. Simmons was excellent as a rookie once he did step on the floor, but it also would not make sense to group him with the 2017 draft class, because he was not drafted in 2017. Likewise, the same logic applies to Simmons’s Sixers teammate Joel Embiid, who was drafted in 2014 but did not debut until two years later.4It also applies to Jonas Valanciunas (stayed in Europe for a year before coming over and joining the Raptors); Blake Griffin (injured); Ricky Rubio (Europe); Greg Oden (injured); Danny Ferry (went to Italy for a year because he refused to play for the Clippers); David Robinson (naval service); and tragically, Len Bias (an overdose-caused death). 1992O’NealMourningLaettnerJacksonEllis0.118 Draft pick Among the 20 players selected in the top five of those four drafts, eight are currently in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Another four — Bill Cartwright, Sidney Moncrief, Terry Cummings and Christian Laettner — made at least one All-Star team during their career. And six more became long-term rotation players. Only Greg Kelser and Bill Garnett failed to pan out at all, as they wound up out of the league entirely within a few seasons.That’s an incredible hit rate of solid NBA players, and bodes well for what we should expect from Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Jackson and Young in the future. It’s obviously far too early to predict that any of these players will be enshrined in Springfield one day, but the future certainly appears bright, and it seems likely that the 2018 draft class will be remembered as one of the best in quite some time.Check out our latest NBA predictions. 2018AytonBagley IIIDoncicJackson Jr.Young0.102 As you can see, the 2018 class fares extremely well in both win shares — which represent Basketball-Reference.com’s attempt to divvy up credit for team wins to the individual players on the team — and win shares per 48 minutes. The 21.1 win shares collectively accumulated by Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Jackson and Young ranks eighth among the last 40 draft classes during their respective debut seasons, while their win shares per 48 average of 0.102 makes this class one of just six to exceed 0.100 win shares per 48.One of those six classes (2009) saw only three players actually take the floor during their debut season, thanks to an injury that knocked Blake Griffin out for the year and Ricky Rubio’s contract with Barcelona that kept him in Spain for two years before he arrived stateside. Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden and Tyreke Evans saw varying degrees of success during their respective rookie years and ended up posting a collective average of 0.108 win shares per 48 minutes, but they also combined for only 11.9 total win shares, far fewer than the other five classes that stand out in this analysis, each of which exceeded 20 total win shares.It’s worth noting, then, who was actually taken in the top five in those five NBA drafts (1984, 1979, 1982 and 1992). It’s also worth noting that just a single class between 1992 and 2018 saw its top five post a win shares per 48 average better than 0.100, meaning it’s been nearly a generation since we saw an actual top five class debut with a performance as good as the one we’re seeing from the most recent draft class. The top-five picks in the 2018 draft are in HOF companyThe five NBA draft classes with the highest win shares per 48 minutes Hall of Fame inductees in boldSource: Basketball-Reference.com 1982WorthyCummingsWilkinsGarnettThompson0.129 1984OlajuwonBowieJordanPerkinsBarkley0.174 1979JohnsonGreenwoodCartwrightKelserMoncrief0.137 Year1st2nd3rd4th5thWS per 48 min read more

September 28

Former Ohio State football players Reid Fragel Jake Stoneburner take on NFL

INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL Scouting Combine, a pinnacle of anatomical scrutiny in the world of sports, has already seen two former Ohio State football players endure its challenges. Five additional Buckeyes will face the gauntlet that is the Combine in the days to come. Former OSU right tackle Reid Fragel and former tight end Jake Stoneburner had their respective chances to impress NFL coaches and scouts, as they were put through a series of timed or measured drills along with the rest of the Combine’s offensive lineman, tight ends and specialists Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tests included the 40-yard dash, bench press (225 pounds), vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle run. Fragel posted a 5.14-second run in the 40-yard dash, a 7.62 run in the three-cone drill and a 4.68 shuttle run, according to NFL.com. Fragel’s 33 repetitions on the bench press was sixth best in his position group. Fragel, the tight end-turned-offensive lineman with a year of experience at right tackle, posted the fourth-best broad jump in his position group at 9-foot-5, as well as a 30-inch vertical jump, according to NFL.com. Stoneburner, who was a tight end invitee to the Combine despite switching to wide receiver for his senior campaign at OSU, showed his speed in the 40-yard dash when he clocked in with a time of 4.65 seconds, according to NFL.com. Stoneburner’s 4.27-second 20-yard shuttle run time was the best time posted in his position group, as was his 11.5-second 60-yard shuttle run. The Dublin, Ohio, native also impressed with a 9-foot-8 broad jump – the fifth best mark in his position group. The tight end, who caught 13 touchdowns and 53 passes in his OSU career, had a 34.5-inch vertical jump (fourth best among tight ends), a 116-inch broad jump and a 7.12-second three-cone drill, according to NFL.com. Neither player was made available to the media following their workout. Next up for the troupe of former Buckeyes is Zach Boren, a fullback-turned-linebacker invited to the Combine as a fullback  (Boren had 12 rushing attempts for 40 yards and two touchdowns during OSU’s 2012 season). The remaining four Buckeyes at the Combine, including former defensive lineman and team captain John Simon, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, linebacker Etienne Sabino and defensive end Nathan Williams, are scheduled to take the field for their tests on Monday. Combine activities conclude on Tuesday when defensive backs hit the turf. Sunday’s Combine activities begin at 9 a.m. read more

September 18

Dyche didnt understand why Klopp was angry

first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confronted the Burnley boss after a tackle on Joe Gomez in yesterday’s match in the EPLLiverpool defeated Burnley F.C. 3-1 in yesterday’s English Premier League action.But a tackle on Reds’ Joe Gomez made the manager Jurgen Klopp very angry and he confronted Burnley’s, Sean Dyche.“I was a little confused. I couldn’t make out what part of that was right and wrong,” Dyche told The Lancashire Telegraph.Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, LiverpoolMo Salah laughs off Sadio Mane incident with a brilliant video Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Mohamed Salah laughed off his little spat with Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane by posting a brilliant video showing they’ve made up.“What I would say is this, and I think it’s important to register: there were some excellent tackles last night. I think the only one that was questionable was Bardo’s [Phil Bardsley’s on Alberto Moreno].”“I think Ben Mee’s [on Gomez] was a fantastic tackle. I imagine a player who seems to be an honest player, in Gomez, realized that. That was the message we got after,” he added.“We send him our best if any injury has occurred but it wasn’t from a bad tackle.”“He didn’t reference Daniel Sturridge’s cheating when he went down, nothing near him, and he got a free-kick for it,” he explained.last_img read more

September 18

Hierro reveals he was offered a Spain contract extension

first_imgFormer Spain manager Fernando Hierro, revealed that he was offered a contract extension until Qatar 2022 but he ended up rejecting it.The whole deal with Spain and Fernando Hierro during the 2018 World Cup in Russia was nothing short of surreal, he took the hot seat right after Julen Lopetegui got sacked and attempted to right the ship during the competition with little luck.Despite the evident poor performance by the Spanish national team during the competition after getting eliminated by the tournament hosts, Fernando Hierro revealed that he even got offered a contract extension to continue managing the squad until the next World Cup.The former manager recently offered an interview to ‘O11CE Metros’ magazine, where he revealed several details of his whole experience and also how the whole new contract offer took place.“I just turned 50 years old and I have never seen anything like it in my life, to live a situation of such magnitude just three days before the start of a World Cup,” said Hierro in a fragment of the interview picked up by Mundo Derpotivo.“My commitment and honesty took me to take the job as the manager. I understood that I had to do it then, my conscience is clear.”“I actually had a contract until the Qatar World Cup and I still think that the best solution was to step aside, for me and everyone else.”“I decided that I needed to give a chance to the younger generation. We have amazing players and manager, which is the case of Luis Enrique, who is a wonderful national team manager.”Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…“I knew that the level of commitment was as high as anyone could imagine, but I needed to step up in a situation as complex as that one.”“I would like to thank the commitment from all the players and everything else, is just football, something you can’t really control,” he added.🇪🇸 Fernando Hierro, en la revista oficial de @afefutbol:➡️ “En mi vida había visto una situación parecida a la del Mundial, pero lo volvería a intentar”👇🏽 La entrevista íntegra https://t.co/hctDAuZgkI— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) December 24, 2018last_img read more