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The NFL draft starts Thursday night, and during the coverage you’ll probably hear about safe and risky picks. In some cases, the risk is specific to the player. Perhaps Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is a risk for his history of alleged off-the-field misconduct, while his counterpart at Oregon, Marcus Mariota, comes with worries that his stock was inflated by the Ducks’ spread offense. But some of the risk is also considered intrinsic to certain positions, while other positions carry a reputation for being particularly low-risk.The trouble, though, is that there’s no way to prove which positions consistently offer good returns on draft investment — at least not with football data in its current state. And in large part, that’s because we can’t really evaluate on player performance as accurately for the so-called non-skill positions.For instance, taking a quarterback (like Winston and Mariota) might seem like a hazardous bet to make early in the draft. But it’s possible that QBs only appear risky relative to other positions because we can more readily measure a quarterback’s performance statistically. In other words, when Ryan Leaf posts a 39.0 quarterback rating as a rookie, he’s easy to identify as a bust, but his linebacking equivalent might be harder to recognize.Here’s another example. You could use Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value (AV) to estimate the odds that a player’s performance1We’re looking at the first five seasons of a player’s career. will live up to the expectations of where he was drafted, and break those numbers down by position:You’d find that the average offensive lineman2Weighted by the expected value of the pick, so that successful high picks are rewarded more — and highly-touted disappointments are more heavily penalized. meets or exceeds the median AV expected of his draft slot about 59 percent of the time — the NFL-wide average across all positions is, by definition, 50 percent — while the average receiver3Lumping together wide receivers and tight ends. provides positive value for his pick slot only 41 percent of the time. And quarterbacks wouldn’t be far behind receivers on the “risky” list, beating expectations at a rate of only 43 percent.But there’s another clear pattern in the AV data: The positions that seem like the riskiest picks are also the ones where we have the most data to differentiate between good and bad performances. Coincidence? Probably not.An offensive lineman’s AV is based solely on his team’s offensive performance, his own playing time and any accolades he receives (like Pro Bowl or All-Pro nods). So, short of being outright benched, there’s very little he could do to distinguish himself negatively under the structure of the study above (or those like it). A skill-position player struggling to meet expectations, on the other hand, can be identified via his inferior yardage, touchdowns, turnovers and the like. (To the extent that those metrics are even good descriptors of player performance.)It’s similar to the phenomenon that causes linemen to boast a far higher Pro Bowl “retention rate” than other offensive positions, particularly quarterbacks. The less information voters have to go on, the more they rely on a player’s priors (and perhaps rightly so). And the same can go for the draft, where certain positions can feel safer simply because we don’t have glaring, easily-quantifiable evidence to the contrary.The answer, of course, is more data. When Chase Stuart conducted a more granular (if anecdotal) look at offensive tackles using ProFootballFocus grades, for instance, he found what seems to be a healthy bust rate even for a position often tagged as one of the most reliable. Then again, PFF grades aren’t universally accepted as gospel, either; besides, they only go back to the 2007 season (as opposed to 1950 for AV).That’s why, for now at least, it may not be possible to truly say whether certain positions are more or less likely to live up to their draft-day expectations. It’s another unanswerable question to throw onto the pile of things about the NFL draft that we just don’t know. read more

After years of playing it cool in the free-agency game, the San Antonio Spurs entered the market this month and were the clear-cut winners. That probably shouldn’t be a surprise: Winning is pretty much what the Spurs do. And these summer victories have them poised for many more once the season starts.The Spurs nabbed LaMarcus Aldridge, the best (realistically)1There was little chance that Memphis’s Marc Gasol or San Antonio’s own Kawhi Leonard would switch teams, and while Cleveland’s LeBron James hasn’t officially re-signed, it’s basically a foregone conclusion that he’ll be back with the Cavs. available free agent of the summer, negotiated new contracts for essential wings Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, convinced Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to each forgo retirement in favor of another crack at a championship, and even managed to snag veteran forward David West for $11 million less than he would have made had he opted into the final season of his contract with the Indiana Pacers.In other words, it was a good week for Gregg Popovich.To measure just how good it was — or how dominant next season’s Spurs figure to be, I dusted off last year’s preseason projection system (fueled by Real Plus-Minus), plugged projected RPM values into Rotoworld’s depth charts, and (unscientifically) estimated how much playing time each player will receive.2Basically, I looked at last year’s minutes per game for each player, as well as how many minutes per game were logged by others who will be at the same position on his 2015-16 team, eventually ballparking a reasonable figure. (In other words, it was definitely not scientific.) Here’s a first pass at how good San Antonio could be next season:That predicted power rating of +8.9 means the Spurs are talented enough to win about 60 games,3That estimate is based on the Spurs’ being in the Western Conference. Because the West is (somewhat significantly) better than the East, it takes more talent for a team to get the same number of wins out West than it would if they were in the East. which is very high for a true talent projection. A lot of luck and variance lurks out there, ready to make a team’s record different from its underlying skill, so most teams that win 60 or more games don’t actually possess 60-win talent. (Using Statistical Plus/Minus talent ratings, I found that only 18 percent of teams that won 60 or more games in a season4If a season was shorter than 82 games, I prorated it. since 1979-80 truly had 60-win talent on their rosters.) But this Spurs roster appears to really have that much talent.It’s a formidable group that stacks up against any of the other teams across the league — even the defending champions in Oakland. To test this, I ran similar projections for a handful of other notable teams that were either good last season and didn’t lose much talent over the offseason (like the Warriors) or have enjoyed an eventful offseason thus far.5The official list of teams I checked, in order of projected 2015-16 quality: the Spurs, Warriors, Cavaliers, Thunder, Rockets, Raptors, Grizzlies, Clippers, Wizards, Mavericks, Bucks, Hawks and — just for fun — the Knicks. (As a sanity check: Yes, the Knicks are projected to be very bad.) Here were the best of those squads:According to these preliminary projections, the Spurs are excellent, although they’re not a super-team. (In other words, they’re not a juggernaut that looks poised to blow away the rest of the league.) In the eyes of RPM, they’re essentially tied with Golden State now as the best team in basketball, closing the gap that existed between the two teams last season.But San Antonio and Golden State do seem to be well ahead of the rest of the league. Cleveland ranks third among teams I checked but is still four to five wins behind the leaders, according to the power ratings. (Oklahoma City is two to three wins behind Cleveland; Houston is one to two wins behind Oklahoma City; and then there’s Toronto and a distant group containing Memphis and the Clippers.)The Spurs were already among the class of the league before strengthening their roster this summer. While San Antonio may not shatter any records, its surgical dissection of the free-agent market has left it with arguably the best team in basketball. read more

first_imgSouthwestern College will evacuate the Chula Vista campus & all its centers Thursday, Sept. 6, while Campus Police investigate a credible threat. All classes are cancelled for the remainder of the day and all campuses will close. We will send updates as they become available.— Southwestern College (@swc_news) September 6, 2018CHULA VISTA (KUSI) — A report of a perceived threat that turned out to be unfounded prompted evacuations and closures of all Southwestern College campuses and related facilities Thursday.The potential security hazard led school officials to begin clearing all students and staff members from Southwestern’s main campus in Chula Vista and its four satellite locations about 9:15 a.m., college spokeswoman Lillian Leopold said.The emergency security measures were prompted by a report by one student who overheard another make a seemingly menacing statement Wednesday night, according to Leopold, who declined to describe the nature of the perceived threat.Among the facilities evacuated and closed for the day were Southwestern College Higher Education Centers in National City, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro, as well as Crown Cove Aquatic Center in Coronado.Campus employees worked with the Metropolitan Transit Service to increase bus lines that service Southwestern College, and campus police directed traffic in the parking lot of the main campus to speed up the evacuation process.In the mid-afternoon, college officials announced that law enforcement personnel had contacted and interviewed the student who reportedly made the suspicious statements and determined that he had not, in fact, issued any threat of violence, Leopold said. His name was not released.The spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the circumstances that resulted in the apparent misunderstanding.All Southwestern College facilities were scheduled to remain closed for the remainder of the day, then reopen for normal operations on Friday.Students who left vehicles at the main campus while evacuating were being allowed to retrieve them Thursday afternoon and evening. They were directed to enter the school through its H Street entrance, Leopold said.Statement from Southwestern College Superintendent/President Dr. Kindred Murillo“We are working with our College Police to investigate a credible threat that we received from a student. In an abundance of caution while we investigate, the college is cancelling all classes and evacuating all campuses. We will post updates on our social media and on our website: www.swccd.edu.” September 6, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, Unspecified threat prompting Southwestern College evacuation unfounded Categories: Local San Diego News Posted: September 6, 2018 Updated: 5:47 PM KUSI Newsroom FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

first_imgLight curves before or during the flare at X-ray 15-50 KeV (top) and the multi-frequency data of the RATAN measurements (below). Characteristic X-ray states of the binary are marked. Credit: Trushkin et al., 2016. Explore further Classified as a microquasar, Cygnus X-3 is a powerful X-ray source believed to be a compact object in a binary system. It was originally discovered in X-rays in 1967 and is observable in X-rays, gamma rays, infrared and radio. The source is located some 23,000 light years away in the constellation Cygnus and has an orbital periodicity of approximately 4.8 hours.Cygnus X-3 experiences periodic radio outbursts. The first recorded significant flare took place in 1972 and increased the radio frequency emissions from this source a thousandfold. More recently, in March 2011, astronomers recorded a giant flare, and after this event, the source went into a state of dormancy.The phase of quiescence was interrupted by the last giant radio outburst that took place in September 2016, and was predicted by a team of astronomers led by Sergei Trushkin of the Special Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Nizhnij Arkhys, Russia. The researchers observed Cygnus X-3 with SAO’s RATAN-600 radio telescope as part of a long-term, multi-frequency monitoring campaign of microquasars.”In the long-term multi-frequency monitoring program of the microquasars with RATAN-600, we discovered the giant flare from X-ray binary Cyg X-3 on September 13, 2016,” the scientists wrote in the paper.According to the research, Cygnus X-3’s 2016 outburst interrupted a nearly five-and-a-half-year period of its quiescence. The flare of 2016 occurred after transition of the source to a ‘hyper-soft’ X-ray state, as in the case of the previous outburst in 2011.The scientists revealed that the flux of the 2016 flare rose from 0.01 to 15 Jy at 4.6 GHz over five days. Afterward, the microquasar returned to a quiescent state on Oct. 18, 2016.”The rise of the flaring flux is well fitted by a exponential law that could be a initial phase of the relativistic electrons generation by internal shock waves the jet,” the team explained.Besides detecting and characterizing the 2016 outburst, the researchers also found that during the period of dormancy preceding the latest flare, hard X-ray flux were strongly anti-correlated. They assume that this could be related with properties of the compact radio jets that form during a quiescent state, and strongly depend on a rate of accretion on to a black hole or a neutron star.”The accretion disk-jet coupling in X-ray binaries has been discussed during last 10 to 15 years, especially in the frame of the hardness-intensity diagram (HID) studies. (…) The spectral evolution of the giant flare is described by a single (during three to four days) ejection of the relativistic electrons, that moved with high velocity (0.5c) away from the binary and expanded as a conical structure,” the paper reads.The team plans to present the results of other observations of the Cygnus X-3’s flare conducted using different telescopes, which could help in making a more thorough analysis of this microquasar’s violent outbursts. New measurements will be published in the upcoming research papers. Citation: Giant radio flare of Cygnus X-3 detected by astronomers (2016, December 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-12-giant-radio-flare-cygnus-x-.html Astronomers observe a supergiant fast X-ray transient prototype More information: The giant radio flare of Cygnus X-3 in September 2016, arXiv:1612.00634 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1612.00634 (Phys.org)—Russian astronomers have recently observed a giant radio flare from a strong X-ray binary source known as Cygnus X-3 (Cyg X-3 for short). The flare occurred after more than five years of quiescence of this source. The discovery was presented in a paper published Dec. 2 on the arXiv pre-print server. © 2016 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

first_imgCouverture chocolate, which is cocoa butter from the purest and the richest cocoa beans from around the world, has various health benefits. Cocoa butter helps in anti-aging, and improved skin health. Vibhu Mahajan, Chief Operating Officer at Choko la, the manufacturing company talks about some benefits of couverture chocolate: Cocoa is one of the highest known natural sources of anti-oxidants in the world. It is rich in Flavan-3-ol, anti-oxidant compounds which can improve cognition, lower blood pressure and increase circulations. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfCocoa butter used in couverture has lower melting point. This increases ‘friendly cholesterol’ HDL levels and maintains total cholesterol level.Cocoa butter which is one of the main ingredients in the preparation of couverture chocolates, helps in combating kidney problems and also prevents cardiac diseases.Real couverture dark chocolate is said to reduce risk of arteriosclerosis (thickening of walls of arteries in a person’s body which hampers the blood flow). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe phenethylamine present in chocolate uplifts one’s mood instantaneously.Due to low glycemic index of chocolate, one can be carefree about surge in blood sugar levels.Theobromine present in couverture chocolate hardens tooth enamel and cures cough.Flavonoids present in cocoa can help one in getting glowing and healthier skin.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will take special measures to remove illegal hoardings in the city, Mayor Firhad Hakim said on Tuesday.He added that the civic authorities are carrying out a census of hoardings in Kolkata and maintained that the civic body will develop an app to track them. The main monitor will be in the chamber of the Chief Manager. There is also a proposal to develop a similar app to track down parking of vehicles in the fee parking zones in the city. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHakim said the KMC will ask the advertising firms to shift to LED or Canvas hoardings as those made out of flex cause visual pollution and can lead to major accidents when they collapse during storms or norwesters. He said the residents will be able to track the hoardings by downloading the app and in case they have any doubt they can contact the civic authorities immediately. Asked whether the KMC should remove the hoardings that are put up infront of heritage structures, he said the civic authorities will remove them in due course of time. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe illegal hoardings pose a serious threat to the KMC and cause a major dent in its coffer. Earlier, attempts were made to remove illegal hoardings and some of them were brought down as well but the owners of the advertising agencies get hold of political bigwigs and are allowed to carry on after payment of fine. It maybe mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had instructed the KMC to remove all the hoardings from the heritage zones some years ago.last_img read more