Giants lose first series in more than a month, face post-deadline pitching challenge

first_imgPHILADELPHIA —  Instead of opting to rip up the foundation and spend the rest of the year rebuilding, the Giants’ front office kept the team’s core intact at Wednesday’s trade deadline.Three veteran relievers were shipped out and replaced with younger arms, but the Giants held onto ace Madison Bumgarner, closer Will Smith and several more of their most valuable assets.The result of the Giants’ deadline deals are team that still believes it has enough talent to compete for a playoff berth and …last_img read more

SA celebrates with Obama

first_imgMillions of people around the world will watch the historic inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama.Khanyi Magubane As the United States comes to a standstill on 20 January to witness the inauguration of its 44th president Barack Obama, South Africa has planned its own series of celebrations.Dubbed one of the most prolific moments in American history, the inauguration of Obama, America’s first black president, has grabbed the attention of the world.The swearing-in of Obama as the nation’s 44th president on the west steps of the Capitol, Washington DC, at noon (7pm South African time) is expected to draw between one to three million spectators.  South African ambassador to America Welile Nhlapo will represent the country at the celebrations.No foreign delegations were invited to the inauguration and countries were informed beforehand that only those on ambassadorial level will be invited.Not to be left out though, a glitzy, formal inauguration ball will held at South Africa’s Monte Casino on 20 January, where a live satellite transmission of the events will be screened.Tickets to the now sold-out event were going at R1 000 (US$100) each.Renowned South African film producer Anant Singh is also in the process of filming a documentary around the ascension of Obama to the top seat.Singh was in America on election day in November 2008 when Obama was announced as the winner of the elections and declared the president-elect.At the moment all that is left for Singh is to capture the final footage of the historic inauguration.Currently, talks are in place with various South African and American TV networks to air the documentary soon after the swearing-in.The documentary includes an interviews with Obama himself, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, who hosted Obama in South Africa when he visited Robben Island.  Television stations in South Africa will broadcast the event.Party revellers will also be out in full swing as nightclubs in South Africa also host “inauguration parties”.A Cape Town based nightclub Roots Club will be hosting an Obama party in Observatory, where revellers have been encouraged come dressed up in an American theme.In Johannesburg, club goers will also be making their way to Sinabar. The popular nightclub will start the evening’s proceedings with a live broadcast of the swearing in.President Motlanthe’s message to ObamaAlthough not attending the event, President Kgalema Motlanthe has issued a congratulatory message to Obama.He hailed the profound place in history the event will always hold. “Your election to this high office of the American people, carries with it hope for millions of your country men and women as much as it is for millions of people of particularly of the African descent both in the continent of Africa as well as those in the Diaspora”.Motlanthe reiterated that Obama’s victory is Africa’s victory. “Accordingly, Africa which today stands proud of your achievements, can only but look forward to a fruitful working relationship with you both at a bilateral and multilateral levels in our endeavour to create a better world for all who live in it.“We express the hope that poverty and under-development in Africa which remains a challenge for humanity will indeed continue to receive a greater attention of the focus of the new administration,” said Motlanthe.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.com Related articlesObamamania sweeps Africa Yes, we can Obama: African for White House? Useful linksDemocrats abroad South Africa Department of Foreign AffairsDemocratic Partylast_img read more

Blue Heron EcoHaus: Adding Walls and Roof

first_imgThe importance of roof overhangsThe roof is what really gives a house its personality. In A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander writes, “The roof plays a primal role in our lives. The most primitive buildings are nothing but a roof. If the roof is hidden, if its presence cannot be felt around the building, or if it cannot be used, then people will lack a fundamental sense of shelter.”We had really debated about doing a house without overhangs. When scouring design sites, we had seen a lot of examples of houses without overhangs.I really like the look of some of the vernacular houses we saw, and we came very close to building something along these lines. However, we were talked out of it — or perhaps, talked into proper overhangs, by our engineering team from Integrated Design. They were very adamantly against the “no overhang” aesthetic that we were drawn to. Granted, they had some valid points including: adequate shading in the summer, protecting the siding and windows from rain and excessive moisture, and keeping water away from the foundation. Grudgingly, I did some of my own research, and, dammit, they were right.Our favorite house is called the “Stockily in Balsthal” by Pascal Flammel Arkitekten. Now those are overhangs. This house is just so badass. (Granted, this house has very large windows on the gable ends that have absolutely no shading — which would certainly lead to overheating).Our house is only a bungalow, so we could not have as crazy intense overhangs as this place — but still it served as good inspiration, and also got some good eye-rolls from the engineers, especially when we would tell them, “Well, if we can’t build a house without overhangs, then we want this!”After playing around with solar studies (using a computer program) and tracing the path of the sun at our GPS location, we found that the optimal overhang width — one that would give complete shading in the summer, ultimate solar gain in the winter, and still look badass — was a 48-inch overhang. Most roof overhangs in this part of the country are 12 inches to 20 inches wide, so 48 inches is quite a statement. I loved that fact that it balanced the aesthetics with the practicality of overhangs.But I was not sure how this would really look until the guys got the rafters up and in place. At 38 feet wide and nearly 20 feet tall, the truss company had to send a special truck out to deliver them. I took that as a good sign that these were going to be unique. The day following the completion of the excavation, backfill, grading, and dirt hauling, Taylor and Curtis with EcoSmart got to work framing the double-stud exterior walls. We had chosen to use the “deep wall system” originally developed by Rob Dumont, a local Saskatoon engineer who is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of superinsulated green building. He has been a major inspiration to the owner of EcoSmart Developments, Murray Guy.Dumont had been one of primary engineers in creating the Saskatchewan Conservation House – which is one of the original homes that inspired the German Passivhaus movement. Rob Dumont built his own home in 1992 using his deep wall system. It was considered to be the most energy efficient house in the world at the time.Rob Dumont’s home in Saskatoon. [Photo credit: Michael Henry]Dumont developed this superinsulated wall system and Peter Amerongen from Edmonton, Alberta, has been perfecting it over the past few years, using it in the Riverdale NetZero and the Mill Creek NetZero homes, among others. To my knowledge, no one since Dumont himself has built another home in Saskatchewan using this type of wall system. I’ve written about this wall system previously, but now we were going to see it come to life before our eyes.Taylor and Curtis had of course never built this type of wall before, but they had done extensive research and were very motivated. This wall system includes two parallel 2×4 walls, spaced 16 inches apart, thereby creating an 8-inch void between each 2×4 wall. There is no need to offset the studs as the large void, which will be filled with dense-packed cellulose (recycled newspaper), has no thermal bridging whatsoever.We elected to space the 2x4s at 16-inch centers for both the interior and exterior walls. It is possible to space the non-loading bearing wall at 24-inch centers, but when attaching the wood siding to the exterior wall (our non-load bearing wall), this might be a little more tricky. RELATED ARTICLES Monitoring Moisture Levels in Double-Stud WallsLstiburek’s Ideal Double-Stud Wall DesignGreen Basics: Double-Stud Walls Is Double-Stud Wall Construction the Path to Efficiency on a Budget?Robert Dumont’s Superinsulated House in SaskatoonEvery House Needs Roof OverhangsMartin’s Ten Rules of Roof Design Editor’s note: Kent Earle and his wife, Darcie, write a blog called Blue Heron EcoHaus, documenting their journey “from urbanites to ruralites” and the construction of a superinsulated house on the Canadian prairies. Their previous blog on GBA was called Dealing With Really Bad Water. The blog below was originally published in July 2015. (A complete list of Kent Earle’s GBA blogs is provided in the “Related articles” sidebar below.)center_img Of course this wall system takes a bit longer to construct then your typical stick-framed house, as each wall needs to be built twice. What the guys did was to lay the lumber one on top of the other to ensure that the spacing was appropriate. The studs were nailed together with a double bottom plate (we will be pouring 1 1/2 inches of concrete for the main floor, so another bottom plate was needed in for securing the drywall) and a double top plate. The two walls were then secured to a 16-inch-wide 3/8-inch OSB header and footer, and tipped up into place using wall jacks. The walls were then glued and nailed into place and sheathed on the outside.The first day they framed the west wall, which is 30 feet long. Honestly, the excitement of seeing a wall could not be contained that day.On day two they framed the north side, which is a 48-foot wall with minimal penetrations — one window in a bedroom, one in the hall for ventilation, and the back door.Day three was the west wall, again 30 feet long, which included three large windows. (Energy efficiency geeks will note that there is minimal benefit to large windows on the east side and there is risk of overheating in the spring and fall.) However, these windows look onto an amazing river view that we had to enjoy. The windows will have glazing with a special coating designed to reduce heat gain (more on that later).On day four they ambitiously completed our southern wall, our primary 48-foot wall. This wall has three massive windows — each more then 10 feet wide — and a patio door to the deck. This side of the house looks onto a beautiful southern view across the river valley. The windows will also be a source of heat gain in the wintertime.Next would come the interior walls and roof. Suddenly, this was looking like a house! BLOGS BY KENT EARLE Dealing With Really Bad WaterMaking an ICF FoundationLet Construction BeginPicking High-Performance WindowsHow Small Can We Go?Choosing a Superinsulated Wall SystemHeating a Superinsulated House in a Cold ClimateIs Passivhaus Right for a Cold Canadian Climate?last_img read more

Determined to prove Arthur wrong at World Cup: Wahab Riaz after Pakistan call-up

first_imgLeft-arm pacer Wahab Riaz, who has been named in the Pakistan squad for the upcoming World Cup, is raring to go and prove coach Mickey Arthur wrong in the showpiece event beginning May 30 in England and Wales.Wahab’s last ODI was in the Champions Trophy 2017 against India in Birmingham, while he last represented Pakistan in the Dubai Test against Australia in October 2018.Back in April 2018, Arthur had criticised Wahab’s “work ethic” and brought up the fact that he had not “won us a game in two years”.”I can’t explain in words the pain I have gone through, but I don’t want to live in the past. That’s history now,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Wahab as saying at a press conference before leaving for England on Tuesday.”Now it’s about what we are going to do in the World Cup. Obviously, it’s the coach’s duty to get the best results from the players, and he wants players that can win matches for the team. I also wanted to be in the team, the only difference is I missed two years of (international) cricket. Now I am in and want to prove him (Arthur) wrong and justify my opportunity,” he added.The left-arm pacer has taken 102 wickets in 79 ODIs, including 24 wickets in 12 World Cup matches in 2011 and 2015.Wahab said he even had dreams about meeting skipper Sarfaraz Ahmad and Arthur.”I kept myself fully prepared for this World Cup even knowing that I am nowhere near the team. I even had dreams I was meeting Mickey Arthur and Sarfaraz Ahmad, and sometimes they would pick me, and reject me at other times,” said Wahab.advertisement”Around 10 days ago, I had a dream that Inzi bhai (Inzamam-ul-Haq, the chief selector) gave me a call and told me that I have been selected and this is my last chance. It was exactly how it happened when I was called and told about the decision. It is nothing less than make or break for a player who gets an opportunity to play in the World Cup,” he added.Talking about his game plan for the showpiece event, the 33-year-old said he will try to keep it simple on batting-friendly wickets in England.”It is important to keep things simple on batting wickets. Variations and reverse swing are key in the death overs. With the conditions dry and wickets hard in England, there will be a reverse swing and the team that does it better will have the advantage. I have expertise in the reverse swing so I will try to restrict the flow of runs in the final few overs,” he said.Along with Wahab, Pakistan has included Mohammad Amir in order to strengthen their bowling attack which seemed to be in total disarray in their recent drubbing against England in the five-match ODI series.Pakistan will begin their World Cup campaign against the West Indies on May 31Also Read | After nightmarish IPL 2019, Kuldeep Yadav ready to win World Cup for IndiaAlso Read | World Cup Countdown: 1979 – Viv’s miracle shot, Sri Lanka and Canada’s debutAlso Seelast_img read more

Touch Shorts

first_imgIn this edition, read about how to nominate for the 2012 Colley Reserve Five-A-Side Championships, all the latest from the 2011/2012 State League competition and the South Australia Heat National Touch League (NTL) fundraising events. To view the newsletter, please click on the attachment below.  Related Filestfsa_newsletter_jan_2012-pdflast_img

10 months agoLiverpool veteran Milner: Newcastle clash always exciting

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool veteran Milner: Newcastle clash always excitingby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool veteran James Milner is looking forward to facing Newcastle United today.Milner moved from Leeds to Newcastle in 2004 and enjoyed four years at St James’ Park, making 136 appearances across all competitions. He made no secrets about his excitement of facing his former team on Boxing Day.”It’s an exciting fixture,” he said. “The amount of goals and classic games you see. Two clubs who are very well supported so there’s always a great atmosphere at the game.”I think you always want to see your former clubs doing well. People want to see Newcastle doing well.”It’s a great football club, very well supported and when things are going well in that city, the fans get behind them and you feel that momentum everywhere you go.” last_img read more

Auburn Lands Commitment From 4-Star OT Austin Troxell

first_imgOne of Alabama’s top offensive linemen has committed to play for the Auburn Tigers. Austin Troxell, a four-star tackle out of Madison Academy, made his decision during a campus visit this afternoon, according to multiple reports.4-star OT Austin Troxell (@austintroxell33) has verbally committed to Auburn today during his campus visit. #MGMAuburn— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) June 18, 2016Boom!!!!!!!! #WDE— Coach Gus Malzahn (@CoachGusMalzahn) June 18, 2016Troxell’s decision comes after two trips to campus this month, solidifying his choice between the Tigers and rival Alabama. AL.com spoke to Troxell about his choice. “I have committed to the University of Auburn, so I’m ready,” Troxell said. “I’m ready to start my journey and be an Auburn Tiger… It’s a burden lifted off my shoulders. I finally got my decision made. No looking back now. It’s 100 percent Auburn now so I’m ready.”Troxell is yet to tweet about the decision himself, but has retweeted a few of his future teammates that have offered him congratulations. austin troxell retweetsTroxell is Auburn’s ninth commit, and fifth blue-chip player.[AL.com]MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitalelast_img read more

Chrissie Hynde to Join PETA Protest Before Concert

first_imgBefore her show at The Depot in Salt Lake City later tonight (Monday), rocker Chrissie Hynde will offer up some holiday food for thought outside a downtown grocery store.Accompanied by a PETA member dressed as a giant turkey and standing under a banner that proclaims, “Thanksgiving Is Murder on Turkeys,” the Pretenders lead singer will encourage shoppers to give birds a break this holiday season.When: Monday, November 24, 2:30 p.m.Where: Harmons Grocery, 135 E. 100 South (near the intersection with State Street), Salt Lake City“Gathering around an animal corpse is no way to celebrate life and family,” Hynde says. “From Tofurky and Field Roast to the recipes on PETA’s website, it’s easier than ever to enjoy a vegan Thanksgiving meal that gives everyone — including turkeys — something to be thankful for.”Approximately 300 million turkeys are killed in the U.S. every year — 45 million for Thanksgiving dinners alone. Most turkeys are crammed into filthy warehouses and are drugged and bred to grow such unnaturally large upper bodies that their legs often become crippled under the weight. At slaughterhouses, turkeys are electrocuted and many are still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re plunged into scalding-hot defeathering tanks.PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” — offers an array of vegan holiday recipes on its website.Source:PETAlast_img read more

Statkeepers Call the Shots But They Cant Agree on Them

In the third minute of added extra time in Tuesday’s Belgium-U.S. World Cup match, Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne took a pass in the box, dribbled to his right and hooked the ball into the left side of the net. Finally, after 31 shots, the Belgians had broken through. Or … wait. Was it 32 shots?It depends on which Twitter account you follow. ESPN’s Stats & Information Group tweeted that Belgium had scored on its 31st shot of the day. OptaJoe, the U.K. Twitter account of the soccer stats company Opta, said it was the 32nd.At the World Cup, shots are in the eye of the beholder. At least three major soccer stats companies are logging every match, and they have yet to all agree on each team’s number of shots and shots on goal. For every one of the 58 games so far, the companies can’t quite get their stories straight. Sometimes their counts have differed by as much as two or three.Even small discrepancies like these have repercussions beyond mere trivia. Advanced analyses of the sport, such as my colleague Benjamin Morris’s magnum opus on Lionel Messi this week, rely on match loggers for shot counts and characteristics. Some teams base tactics and personnel decisions partly on stats. And the disputes are proxy battles for soccer’s more philosophical debates: If a shot is deflected in a forest of defenders, was it on target?According to World Cup organizer FIFA, it was; but according to Opta and Prozone, two of the companies that employ analysts to log every match of the tournament and provide data for media coverage, it wasn’t. That disagreement is responsible for the bulk of the numbers mismatch. Through the round of 16, FIFA’s official match stats — which are being collected by the Italian company Deltatre — included 68 percent more shots on target than Prozone’s, and 74 percent more than Opta’s.1I used Opta data compiled by TruMedia Networks, which provides stats for ESPN. Prozone emailed me their match reports and other data, which — along with match statistics posted on FIFA.com — allowed me to compile shots and shots on goal for every match so far during the World Cup. Remove blocked shots, though, and the discrepancies drop to 4 percent and 8 percent, respectively.And what about a ball crossed in the box near the goalie — does it count as a shot or a cross? In the 120th minute of the Belgium-U.S. match, DeAndre Yedlin kicked the ball well wide of goal as the U.S. hunted desperately for an equalizer. Was he trying to score, or just to cross the ball? FIFA thinks the latter, but Opta thinks the former. Short of interviewing every player immediately after every subjective touch, the statkeepers are left to guess at the intent, divining purpose in actions that may have been performed instinctively, rather than with premeditation.With 58 of the tournament’s 64 matches in the books through Friday, there have been 116 opportunities to compare the three data providers on a team’s shooting profile in a match. There have been just 14 times, or fewer than one out of eight, that all three organizations counted the same number of shots and shots on goal for a team in a match — and none for both teams in the same match.The counts appear to reflect genuine disagreement over tricky cases — touches that look like passes to some but shots to others, say. Or, a shot that hits the post or crossbar and goes out. Typically these don’t qualify as shots on target, but they can if they are deflected onto the woodwork by the goalkeeper, who then gets credit for a save. If they are blocked onto the woodwork by a player other than the goalkeeper, that’s a block. The stats, then, pivot on an arbitrary criterion: Was the player who deflected the ball a goalkeeper or did he happen to play another position?My analysis showed that, overall, the companies weren’t consistently stingy or generous in their statkeeping. No provider consistently tallied many more shots or shots on goals than another. The major philosophical divide was over (unblocked) shots on goal: Deltatre sees more than Prozone, which sees more than Opta. But that amounted to only about one additional shot on target counted in every three matches.The disputes have touched every team, to similar degrees, but teams with less active offenses tend to have higher differences among statkeepers because one uncounted shot matters more in their overall percentages. These include the U.S., England and Cameroon. Analysts attempting to study whether Cameroon threw its matches, as Der Spiegel has reported, might get subtly different results depending on which set of stats they consult. So might England manager Roy Hodgson and U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann as they assess how to improve their teams.Discrepancies between data providers don’t stop at shot counts. Most soccer events are subjective. Someone must decide, was that a tackle? Was that shot weak? Was that attack a dangerous one? Possession stats also differ by provider, as Slate noted last week.Shooting stats have particular relevance for one form of analysis that tries to divine a team’s true skill by gauging whether or not they’re getting lucky. It’s a technique that’s based on the theory that generating chances is the part that teams can control — converting them is based more on luck (unless you’re named Lionel Messi). Teams that convert and save a high percentage of their chances are due for a regression in their results. Change the underlying data, and any conclusions about which teams are good and which are just lucky could shift.When I spoke with Garth Lagerwey, general manager of Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake, in a telephone interview last week, he said data discrepancies are a prevalent problem in soccer stats at all levels, not just a World Cup anomaly. When I contacted the companies, they declined to comment or didn’t respond to a question about why their numbers differ. In other contexts, they tout the training they provide to match analysts; the consistent guidelines they enforce across analysts, competitions and time; and the oversight of experienced checkers. Some shots just might not look like shots to everyone.Other sports’ stats also require subjective judgment: errors in baseball; assists in basketball. But in baseball and basketball, the official scorer’s decision is what goes into the record book and, generally, what fuels advanced statistical analysis. In soccer, with different leagues and competitions worldwide at varying levels of stats sophistication, third parties with standardized methods report alternative numbers to the official ones. Opta and Prozone are scoring every match alongside the official scorers and releasing their numbers in real time to media organizations — hence the potential for conflicting tweets like those about Tuesday’s Belgium-U.S. match.2ESPN Stats & Info typically uses FIFA for shot counts, and Opta stats — via TruMedia — for everything else.“Shots should not be that subjective, let alone shots on goal,” Lagerwey said. On the other hand, “A lot of companies use human beings to code this stuff. It’s easy to understand how you’re going to have an error rate.” read more