Half-time: Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 0

first_imgPremier League leaders Chelsea were frustrated in a goalless first half at relegation-threatened Crystal Palace.The first chance of the game fell to Fernando Torres from a long throw-in, but the Spain international’s snatched close-range volley was comfortably blocked by Scott Dan.Chelsea were next denied by the sliding intervention of Joel Ward, beating the outstretched figure of Andre Schurrle at the back post after Cesar Azpilicueta whipped in an inviting low ball after breaking clear on the counter-attack.Palace were driven forward by Jason Puncheon, who carved out the best opening of the first half, picking out the unmarked Yannick Bolasie, who could only fire into the side netting after failing to bring the ball down with his first touch as Petr Cech scrambled to cover his back post.It sparked a period of sustained Eagles pressure that included two penalty shouts that were turned down by referee Lee Mason after Gary Cahill first clattered into Cameron Jerome before then tangling with Bolasie.Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Matic, Lampard, Schurrle, Hazard, Torres. Subs: Hilario, Kalas, Mikel, Willian, Salah, Oscar, Ba.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

How Cells Thread a Needle

first_imgYour challenge today is to invent a machine that can push a wet noodle through a straw.  It can’t pull it.  First it has to grab the end, then push it through without breaking it.  Oh, and there’s a catch; the straw has a plug at the far end and a constriction inside.  Give up?  Maybe you should watch how cells do it.  The mechanism was described by Anastassios Economou in Nature this week.1    Cells have to do this kind of thing all the time, so they have specialized machinery for the task.  The wet noodles are protein chains in their unfolded state.  The straws are narrow channels through membranes that are normally in a plugged configuration.  Just outside the straw entrance are several precisely-fitted proteins that first attract the chain and cradle it gently between two halves that swivel shut.  As one half tilts, it causes the constriction in the tunnel to open up.  The two parts then fit together like hands, and use a powered motor to gently send the noodle through.    Economou included a schematic diagram of the five-part mechanism that pushes the proteins through.  (He included a couple of stylized hands to show how the delicate grasping and pushing is done.)  Here’s the caption:This simplified representation is based on both earlier studies and the new findings.  In this cut-away view of the membrane, the SecA motor lies flat against the cytoplasmic side of the SecY channel (yellow), and consists of a two-domain ATP-powered engine (light and dark blue) and two ‘business-end’ domains (green and magenta; depicted as hands).  a, Initially, the channel pore is sealed by both a constriction halfway through it and a mobile plug domain (not shown) near its exit.  The pre-protein-binding domain of the motor (magenta) is in the open state, exposing an elongated corridor that connects to the entrance of the channel.  This open state is seen in structures of the isolated motor.  b, Swivelling this domain around its stem would allow it to embrace a secretory protein chain.  At this stage, a finger (green) from the second hand of SecA might be in close contact with the chain.  c, When ATP (not shown) is present, the engine conformation changes and the finger could move upwards, pushing or dragging the protein chain into the pore.  This motion, or other conformational changes, leads to the opening of the pore.Details of this mechanism have only recently come to light.  It appears that the machinery puts a gentle stretch on the chain a few links at a time.  Think how earthworms stretch and compress to move through their underground tunnels.  The scientists believe that the SecA-SecY machinery uses a similar technique to propel the protein chains through the channel.  For really long chains, the machinery can repeat the cycle over and over.    Economou described how difficult it is to observe these nanoscopic machines at work.  “Solving structures of membrane proteins is not a trivial pursuit,” he said.  There are many questions and projects remaining.  The ultimate one, mentioned in his final sentence, is “determining the dynamics of this astonishing cellular nanomachine.”1.  Anastassios Economou, “Structural biology: Clamour for a kiss,” Nature 455, 879-880 (16 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/455879a.Evolution was not mentioned in this paper.  The scientists studied this process in those highly-evolved, large, complex animals known as… bacteria.    OK, Charlie’s got a problem here.  There are half a dozen protein machines involved in this process.  They rotate, swivel and fit together in precise contact.  They are driven by ATP fuel pellets.  The machines must apply the energy precisely for function: in the right direction, in the right amount, at the right time.  Could chance produce such a complex machine?  (Bacteria, in the evolutionary fable, are among the earliest and simplest life-forms to “appear” on the early earth.)    Do the math.  SecA contains 802 amino acid residues; SecY contains 436.  Our online book calculated that getting a 400-unit protein chain by chance would be one in 10240, even under unnaturally favorable circumstances.  That number is already way, way, way beyond the universal probability bound (i.e., it would never happen anywhere in the universe), and we don’t even have one protein of this multi-protein complex.  If by some wildly, radically, absurd stretch of imagination chance arrived at the right sequence for SecY (the shorter of the two proteins), it would be incredibly more unlikely to get the larger one, SecA, which is not only twice as long, but has to fit like lock and key with the first one.  Each of these protein parts is like that.  They all have to work together.  Calling this irreducibly complex is an understatement.  The machine parts don’t just happen to show up at the cell membrane by a random walk and work together for the first time.  They were designed to do what they do, and they do it exquisitely.    Evolutionists would have us believe that natural selection tinkers with whatever parts are available, and complexity just happens.  Sooner or later, though, if you carry that logic too far, you wind up tinkering with nothing.  You could tinker with an existing radio, for instance, to make it pick up new wavelengths, but how far back can you push the tinkering metaphor back until you have nothing but a few random pieces of plastic and wire lying around?  The metaphor also suffers from implicit personification, as if the parts would even want to do such things.  Humans impose their sense of design on molecules that have no ability to plan ahead and work together, and no reason to do so.  Left to themselves, they would randomize.    Economou has given us occasion to discuss economics.  The bankruptcy of evolutionary theory becomes more evident with each new investigation.  Trying to bail it out with public credulity is not going to make it recover.  The Darwin Party oligarchy needs to stop tinkering and tampering, remove its protectionist barricades, and let free inquiry have its way.  Intelligent design has the intellectual capital to inject into the logic markets.  Liquidity will result, knowledge banks will open up, and public confidence will stabilize the scientific institutions.  Freedom to invest in the best explanations, wherever the evidence leads, will once again usher in a prosperous era of bullish science.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Thank you, South Africa: Mbeki

first_img22 September 2008President Thabo Mbeki has thanked South Africans for giving him the opportunity to serve them over the past 14 years, first as Deputy President and then as President of the country.Mbeki formally resigned as President on Sunday after being asked to do so by the national executive committee of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).In a televised address to the nation on Sunday night, Mbeki said he departed the office knowing that South Africa had many men and women who had dedicated their lives to ensuring that the country, Africa and the countries of the south would, in time, create a better world for all of humanity.Mbeki said goodbye to the nation in all 11 official languages, and also offered hope for the future.“Gloom and despondency have never defeated adversity. Trying times need courage and resilience. Our strength as a people is not tested during the best of times,” Mbeki said.“We should never become despondent because the weather is bad, nor should we turn triumphalist because the sun shines.”Mbeki said he was convinced that the incoming administration would better the work done during the past 14-and-half years so that poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment, illiteracy, challenges of health, crime and corruption would cease to define the lives of many South Africans.However, he said that for South Africa to succeed there was more work that needed to be done.“I trust that we will continue to strive to act in unity to accelerate the advance towards the achievement of our shared national goals.“I depart this Office conscious that the sterling work done by the Presidency, the Ministries and departments, the provinces and local government structures will continue, driven by the determination to achieve the goal of a better life for all.Since 1994, when he became Deputy President under Nelson Mandela, Mbeki’s office has embarked on policies and programmes directed at pulling the people of South Africa out of the morass of poverty and ensuring that the country became a stable, developed and prosperous one.Among many things the Mbeki government achieved was the transformation of the economy, resulting in the longest sustained period of economic growth in the history of the country.“We introduced an indigent policy that reaches large numbers of those in need; we made the necessary advances so as to bring about a developmental state, the better to respond to the many and varied challenges of the transformation of our country,” Mbeki said.Among other achievements attained during his term in office, Mbeki recalled the empowerment of women, the decision to allow the country to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and South Africa’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council two years ago.“We have also worked continuously to combat the twin challenges of crime and corruption, to ensure that all our people live in conditions of safety and security.“We must admit that we are still faced with many challenges in this regard,” he said.Work, he said, would therefore have to continue to strengthen and improve the functioning of the criminal justice system; to provide the necessary resources for this purpose; to activate the masses of people to join the fight against crime and corruption; and to achieve new victories in the struggle for moral regeneration.During his term, Mbeki also contributed to the resolution of conflicts and the strengthening of democracy in a number of countries, including the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Comoros, Zimbabwe and Sudan.“We have worked to contribute to the achievement of the aspirations of the countries and peoples of the South, conscious of the need for us to act in solidarity and in unity with the billions with whom we share the common challenge to defeat poverty and underdevelopment.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Are “Black Boxes” really painted black

first_img“Black box” inventor David Warren with one of his devices. With the advent of jet airliners in the late 1950s, analyzing critical details of aircraft performance became paramount during crash investigations, and two new devices were added as standard equipment on airliners. One was the “Flight Data Recorder” (FDR) which automatically records hundreds of parameters of flight information, such as engine performance, power settings, control surface inputs and movement, and all changes in attitude, airspeed, and altitude. The FDR provides investigators with a detailed “road map” of every second of flight up to the moment the aircraft comes to a stop.The second device is the “Cockpit Voice Recorder” (CVR) which captures recent intervals of conversation between pilots onboard the airliner, as well as Air Traffic Control personnel communicating with that aircraft. Valuable information can also be revealed through careful analysis of various sounds coming from inside the cockpit, such as warning horns, or the sequence of specific switches being activated. Although the FDR and CVR were originally referred to as “black boxes,” today with rapid post-crash identification in mind, they are actually painted a bright red-orange.last_img read more

Inspiration! 16 Impactful Slow Motion Video Projects

first_imgWe’ve rounded up some of the best slow-motion projects for your video and design inspiration!With the development of recent software and camera technologies, slow motion video is looking better than ever!  Some of the projects below were shot slow motion with high frame rates cameras like the Phantom Flex.  Other  projects were slowed down in post with software tools inside video editing or third party applications, such as industry favorite Twixtor.In the following videos, a slow motion perspective takes ordinary subject matter and makes it extraordinary.  Have a look!Breakfast InterruptedNuit BlancheLondon Bus TourStunt PoetryThe Beauty of MudSlow it DownTokyo Slo MoExperience FreedomSlow Down BarcelonaIRC Dance MovementThe Marmalade IdentityColourforniaDogs in Slow MotionFaces Blasted with AirDrink WaterSlow Motion Puncheslast_img read more

Racela proud of Tolentino’s improved defensive effort

first_imgView comments Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netFor the past three games, Far Eastern University head coach Olsen Racela has constantly pushed Arvin Tolentino to show more effort in the defensive end.With a reward of more minutes, the power forward showed he could do the dirty work and bring the intensity off the ball.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president “I think he’s giving more effort now, the effort is there and he just needs to be consistent with it,” said Racela.The Tamaraws are now 3-2 in the standings, good for fourth place midway into the first round. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad center_img Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Ateneo stays unbeaten in five games, keeps UST winless Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:46US defense chief agrees it’s time to take another look at defense pact with PH01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games “I always tell him that I want to see the intangibles, the more he plays defense, the more he gets rebounds, the more he boxes out, and gets rebounds the more minutes he’ll get,” said Racela Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.After playing just six minutes against University of the East, where he put up 11 points and three rebounds, Tolentino averaged 20 minutes a game in the next three matches.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAnd with those minutes came averages of 16.33 points and 6.67 rebounds.Tolentino capped off his impressive run with a career-high 23 points to go along six rebounds, four of which came from the offensive glass, to lead FEU over National University 90-83 on Wednesday. MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

25 days agoChelsea striker Ike Ugbo in financial limbo at Roda JC

first_imgChelsea striker Ike Ugbo in financial limbo at Roda JCby Paul Vegas25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea loanee Ike Ugbo is in financial limbo at Roda JC.NRC says the club want to use his wages to spread across the rest of the squad, instead of their star loanee.Ugbo earns about ten times what his team-mates take home and the coaches would rather have one angry unpaid player than several.Fingers are being pointed at investor Mauricio Garcia de la Vega, who the club are desperate to get rid of after he attempted to take over the club last summer.Ugbo, 21, has scored four goals on loan in the second tier of the Dutch pyramid. TagsLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Iowa Lands 4-Star CB Chevin Calloway

first_imgChilvin Calloway committing to Iowa.chevin calloway iowaChevin Calloway, a four-star cornerback recruit from Dallas, Texas, has announced his decision to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2017. Calloway’s announcement was supposed to come this past Friday, but given the tragedy involving the Dallas police department, he chose to push it a few days. Calloway announced the news live on Periscope.Calloway is a 5-foot-10, 180-pound player who is ranked as the 15th-best athlete in the state of Texas. Here’s a screenshot of him wearing an Iowa hat after the announcement.pic.twitter.com/x4kekz2vOM— Chevin Calloway (@_chev1_) July 11, 2016Boom – Chevin Calloway #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/2fH6Zk04xZ— Hawkeye Images (@webcentrick) July 11, 2016Calloway, according to 247 Sports, had offers from nearly every major program – including Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and more.last_img read more

Casablanca Buses to Adopt the Trams Ticket System in mid2014

first_imgCasablanca – According to daily La Vie Eco, Casablanca’s M’dina buses will start using the same ticket management system used by Casa Tram by the first half of 2014.According to the same source, the project has reached a completion rate of 85%. However, for interoperability to be effective, there remain certain issues that need be addressed, starting with the rates and the distribution of revenues between the company that manages M’dina buses and the one that operates the tramway.These points will be discussed by the City Council during the first quarter of 2014, as the quality of services or investments made by each party are unequal. It should also be noted that after a year of service, Casa Tram has already exceeded its objectives in terms of number of passengers.With 21.8 million transported passengers, the tram transports a daily average of 100,000 passengers, while the initial objective was set to 85000.This has generated revenues of MAD 123 million last December. However, the company could not avoid a deficit of MAD 189 million in its first year.For the management of Casa Transport, interoperability with the bus will play a key role in balancing the tram’s finances, since it would help generate sufficient revenues to cover operating expenses.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or or redistributelast_img read more

A Baseballs Exit Velocity Is Five Parts Hitter One Part Pitcher

For years sabermetrics has theorized that pitchers can’t control what happens after a batter strikes a ball. Whether it bloops in for a hit, rockets its way to an outfielder’s glove or lands just inches outside the foul line, it’s a consequence of the batter and the defense, but not the pitcher. That argument is what led to Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), a statistic that attempts to quantify a pitcher’s performance only for the events for which we know the pitcher has definite responsibility (walks, strikeouts and home runs — in sabermetrics parlance, the “Three True Outcomes”). FIP throws out base hits completely on the basis that they are partially a product of the defense.But now we have Statcast. The new technology that collects data on the position and velocity of the ball and the players on the field is beginning to change what we know (or thought we knew) about all sorts of things — pitching included. And that’s raising new questions about how much effect a pitcher can have on a ball once it’s put in play. The answer might be: a lot.But first, let’s talk batters. Last week, I used Statcast to show that harder-struck pitches tend to fall for hits more often. That, generally, makes hard contact good for the hitter and bad for the pitcher. Obviously, some hitters are better at hitting the ball hard. What Statcast tells us is that some pitchers are better at making batters hit the ball softly.That’s not to say pitchers hold the upper hand. In my models1Specifically, I used a linear random effects model with the R package lme4. The model was specified as follows:Batted ball velocity ~ (1|hitter) + (1|pitcher) + (1|ballpark).In total, batter explains 3 percent of the variance in batted ball velocity, while pitcher explains 0.6 percent and park 0.03 percent. of batted ball velocity that incorporate the pitcher, batter and ballpark, the batter’s effect dominates the pitcher’s. A ball’s exit velocity after a bat strikes it is about five times more the batter’s doing than the pitcher’s. This fact seems to partially vindicate FIP — batters really are the ones in control.At the same time, the pitcher’s effect is not negligible.2Deriving a p-value in a random effects model is tricky. However, the random effect for pitchers significantly improves the model by AIC, improves out-of-sample prediction accuracy, and is larger than expected under a null distribution derived from permutations. While the best batters increase batted ball velocity by as much as 7-8 mph, the best pitchers suppress it by 1.5 mph compared with the average pitcher.That has real significance: Such a decrease roughly equates to a 13-point decrease in batting average on balls in play (BABIP) for a given batted ball.3This number comes from a logistic regression of exit velocity for each batted ball. Over the course of a game, the pitchers who can best decrease exit velocity save about a quarter of a run (on average). A quarter of a run doesn’t sound like much? Multiplied over a season, all those quarters of a run add up to about one win of value.4Run expectancy numbers are derived from a linear regression of linear weights value per pitch on batted ball velocity. Linear weights values come from Pitch Info.So that means FIP is flawed as an overall value metric, at least for some pitchers. Who are those pitchers? Here’s a table of all 485 pitchers with batted ball data this season as of the writing of this article.5This amounts to 17,768 batted balls. You may notice that most relievers are close to zero on this list. That’s because the model does not have enough data per reliever to be certain that they are altering velocity heavily, so it regresses their readings to the mean. Search for your favorite pitcher and see how many miles per hour he takes away from or adds to the average batted ball. The five best pitchers in the league: the Baltimore Orioles’ Wei-Yin Chen (balls leave the bat 1.63 mph slower than average when Chen pitches); the Chicago White Sox’s Chris Sale (1.56 mph); the Los Angeles Angels’ Garrett Richards (1.53 mph); the St. Louis Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright (1.46 mph, before he experienced a season-ending injury April 25); and the Houston Astros’ Dallas Keuchel (1.40 mph). Many of these pitchers are bona fide aces, most obviously Sale, Richards and Wainwright (Clayton Kershaw also lurks in ninth place). These players are not only adept at managing contact, they are also skilled strikeout artists. FIP accurately tabs them as great pitchers even without information about their contact-controlling abilities.These pitchers control their opposition’s quality of contact partly by driving the hitters into bad counts. In pitcher’s counts, hitters tend to put weak, defensive swings on the ball, resulting in glancing contact. About 15 percent of pitchers’ exit velocity suppression comes from controlling the count.6This estimate is derived by incorporating count into the model as a fixed effect and then determining how much the pitcher’s estimated random effect decreased. Richards, for example, has reached two-strike counts in 92 of his opponents’ plate appearances, compared with three-ball counts in only 38; in the former, hitters have a .271 BABIP, whereas in the latter, they have a .333 BABIP.7The league difference is a bit smaller, but still significant: .291 BABIP with three balls, .281 with two strikes.Chen is an intriguing case. The best at suppressing batted ball velocity, Chen also has the largest gap between ERA and FIP among qualified starters. In fact, Chen has put up a sizable gap between his ERA and FIP in three of the four years in which he’s pitched in MLB. Lacking batted ball velocity in years prior, we cannot say that his skill is consistent, but his results appear to be.FIP doesn’t only fail to credit the pitchers who manage their opponent’s batted ball velocity, it also fails to blame bad ones who consistently get hit hard.The league’s bottom five in that respect: the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Vance Worley (1.43 mph added to a ball’s exit velocity, compared with average); the Tampa Bay Rays’ Nate Karns (1.39 mph); the San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum (1.16 mph); the Kansas City Royals’ Yordano Ventura (1.11 mph); and the San Diego Padres’ James Shields (1.06 mph). Just as the best pitchers tended to be better than average even by FIP, these five are worse. And while the aces use the count to their advantage, these pitchers are liable to find themselves in hitter’s counts, which causes some of their problems in the first place.Their exit velocity stats are also worse because they serve up pitches down the middle of the plate. Batters crave these meatballs and can punish them for extra-base hits and home runs. When I took pitch location out of the model, the pitchers’ effects on batted ball velocities fell by 20 percent on average.8Location was added into the model with a quadratic term for horizontal and vertical coordinates after adjusting for the count.Ventura, the Royals’ young flamethrower, is a conspicuous member of this worst-in-the-league list. Like Worley and Karns, he tends to throw his four-seam fastball more often than the league average.9Using pitch tags generously supplied to me by Pitch Info. That’s significant because fastballs tend to get hammered the hardest (even adjusting for count and location). Ventura, and other fastball-heavy starters, run the risk of allowing harder contact and more hits.The idea that pitchers can, in fact, influence their BABIP is not new. Shortly after the initial publication of DIPS, Tom Tippett (currently employed by the Red Sox) wrote about how the best pitchers seemed to be able to control the probability that their struck pitches would fall for hits. Tippett had only anecdotal examples such as Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux, so the sabermetric community coalesced on the idea that they could be exceptions to a very reasonable rule.Now that we have Statcast’s data, we can see otherwise. No one will mistake Wei-Yin Chen for Pedro Martinez, but it appears that Chen can repeatably depress his opponent’s batted ball velocity, and a statistic such as FIP will fail to credit him for that skill.10Fortunately, new statistics such as Baseball Prospectus’ DRA (Deserved Run Average) do take into account all the events in which a pitcher plays a part. In fact, individual pitchers’ DRAs better correlate with the velocity suppression effects I calculated than their FIPs do, indicating that DRA is capturing some of this skill. Statcast’s data is beginning to challenge not only our views of specific players, but also some of the fundamental precepts of sabermetrics.Special thanks to Baseball Savant for the batted ball data; Pitch Info and Harry Pavlidis for the use of pitch tag data; and Jonathan Judge, Greg Matthews, Harry Pavlidis and Dan Turkenkopf for helpful comments and feedback.CORRECTION (May 22, 11:38 a.m.): An earlier version of this article stated that Wei-Yin Chen had a sizable gap between his ERA and FIP all four years in which he pitched in the league. That wasn’t true in 2013, when his ERA was slightly higher than his FIP. read more