The discovery of fossils of miniature humans in Indonesia, designated Homo floresiensis but nicknamed Hobbits, was one of the most exciting and controversial announcements of 2004. Since then, interpretations of the fossils have fallen into two camps: those who think the skeletons represent normal humans with the brain-defective disease microcephaly (10/11/2006), and those who think they represent evolutionary missing links (10/25/2005). A new paper compared skulls of H. floresiensis with those of modern humans, Homo erectus, and humans with microcephaly. The result favors the interpretation that the Hobbits most likely were diseased modern humans. The paper was published in PNAS today.1 Using MRI, a team of three anthropologists from New York University and Columbia University measured craniometric ratios for 21 age-corrected skulls infants with microcephaly, with 118 normal skulls for control. In addition, they measured skull bones of 10 microcephalic individuals, 79 anatomically modern humans, and 17 Homo erectus specimens. These were compared with two skulls of the so-called Hobbits from Ling Bua cave 1 (LB1). The results put pressure on those who maintain that the Hobbits represent an evolutionary transitional form prior to the emergence of modern humans: The findings showed that the calculated cerebral/cerebellar ratios of the LB1 endocast [Falk D, et al. (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:2513–2518] fall outside the range of living normocephalic individuals. The ratios derived from two LB1 endocasts also fall largely outside the range of modern normal human and H. erectus endocasts and within the range of microcephalic endocasts. The findings support but do not prove the contention that LB1 represents a pathological microcephalic Homo sapiens rather than a new species, (i.e., H. floresiensis). In another paleoanthropology article on PhysOrg, we learn that diet can play a big part in the shape of human fossils. Researchers at Johns Hopkins found that “use over time and not just genetics informs the structure of jaw bones in human populations.” It’s all about engineering: “The changes to the jaw bones were explained using a theory drawn from engineering, which directly relates the geometry of a bone to the stresses put on it during use.” While this announcement offers hope for inferring the diet of ancient people, it also casts doubt on phylogenetic interpretations. “Mechanical pressure from muscle stress and strain from day-to-day activities can remodel the bone’s surface and internal structure,” said JHU anthropologist Megan Holmes. “Knowing how much the shape of a mandible we find is related to diet and how much genetically connects it to fossils found elsewhere can really help us parse out the family tree” – provided information on probable diet is available, it would seem. So can scientists conclude that “Big brains evolved due to the capacity for exercise?” as another article on PhysOrg suggested? While the researchers did compare a lot of mammal skulls, it’s not clear that the evolutionary trend they suggested worked on wildebeests and Arctic terns. Besides, maybe quality counts more than quantity (03/04/2005, 02/07/2010). Today’s hand-held devices pack more power than the first PCs. The article indicated that they have more work ahead to test their idea, but maybe not too much can be interpreted about the Hobbits without being able to test their IQ. For earlier articles on Homo floresiensis, see 10/27/2004 for the original entry and search on “Hobbit” in the search bar for over a dozen more. 1. Vannucci, Barron, and Holloway, “Craniometric ratios of microcephaly and LB1, Homo floresiensis, using MRI and endocasts,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print August 8, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1105585108 PNAS August 8, 2011. Don’t you just love scientific jargon? Microcephaly means “small head.” The word conveys no understanding whether in Latin or English; it is purely descriptive. A farmer went to his doctor complaining that his butt itched. The doctor got out his diagnostic manual, and announced to the patient that he had a case of rectal pruritus. “What the heck is that?” the farmer asked. “Itchy butt,” the doctor replied, scientifically. Here’s a plausible scenario for the Hobbit skulls in the cave. A few thousand years ago, a tribe of human pygmies (03/11/2008), small yet perfectly modern sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, had an epidemic of microcephaly among their members. Worried they had displeased God, they buried the affected in a special cave, praying for mercy and dedicating the cave to their memory. In 2004, evolutionists found these skeletons and shouted, “Missing links!”(Visited 44 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Why isn’t the universe half ordinary matter and half antimatter? Both should have emerged from a big bang.Antimatter is the flip side of matter: it’s the same except for charge. For instance, an electron is negative, but a positron is positive. As far as physicists can tell, the two are identical in all other properties. Since both matter and antimatter are equally probable outcomes of the big bang, it would seem the universe should contain an equal mix, but it doesn’t—almost all the matter we can see is regular matter. How did that come about? This has been a problem for cosmologists for decades (4/13/07 #6, 11/01/08). PhysOrg calls it one of thebiggest puzzles in physics:Understanding the matter-antimatter asymmetry is one of the greatest challenges in physics today. Any detectable difference between matter and antimatter could help solve the mystery and open a window to new physics.To solve the antimatter conundrum, CERN physicists have been looking for differences in charge density or other properties that might have given a slight edge of one over the other. If regular matter predominated, even slightly, it might have annihilated all the antimatter, leaving our universe with the preponderance of ordinary matter we see today.In “Antimatter Passes Charge Test,” Nature Research Highlights announced the outcome of the latest high-precision test:The neutral charge on many atoms and molecules has been measured with extremely high precision. The standard model of physics says that hydrogen’s antimatter counterpart should have an opposite charge and so be neutral to a similar level. Any differences between the two could help to explain why the Universe contains more matter than antimatter.Joel Fajans at the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleagues used data from previous experiments to analyse the influence of electric fields on antihydrogen atoms released from a magnetic trap. They found that the atom was charge-neutral, with a limit 1 million times lower than the best previous figure.It’s back to the drawing boards, in other words.Many features of our universe appear fine tuned for life. It’s good there’s not a lot of antimatter around, or the universe would be unstable, subject to violent energy outbursts as the two types collide and annihilate each other.The antimatter problem is but one of many for secular cosmologists. It’s not a conundrum for advocates of creation. We would expect that God, who made a universe to be inhabited, would give it the properties it needs to sustain life. (Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Gas stoves aren’t very efficientGas cooktops place a flame beneath the cooking pot, and heat up the bottom of the pot, which transfers heat to the food within. A conventional gas cooktop is a tad less than 40 percent efficient. You can sense this because you can feel the heated combustion products rising around the pan, and often the handle of a fry pan gets too hot to touch when used on a gas cooktop. BLOGS BY MARC ROSENBAUM Seasonal Changes in Electrical LoadsGetting into Hot Water — Part 1Getting into Hot Water — Part 2Getting into Hot Water — Part 3Getting into Hot Water — Part 4Basement Insulation — Part 1Basement Insulation — Part 2 We don’t often think about the energy we use for cooking. In the most economically disadvantaged countries, gathering energy for cooking is a major component of people’s time (mostly women), and smoke from wood cooking fires is a significant health issue. One great solution for these people is solar cookers, and this organization is my favorite non-profit, because it helps the planet’s poorest people while doing environmental good.In industrialized countries, cooking energy is off our radar. We first started thinking about it seriously when Jill got the book by Kate Heyhoe called Cooking Green. The authordescribes a lot of simple techniques to reduce cooking energy. Reading this book, though, pushed me to try a technology I’d heard of before but associated with very costly appliances, the induction cooktop. An oscillating magnetic fieldInduction cooktops work by inducing a current in the piece of cookware with an oscillating magnetic field. The resistance to this current flow creates heat. The energy is delivered directly in the pot without first heating it from the outside, so it is both fast and efficient — efficiency in the mid-eighties is often cited. Using an induction cooktop limits your choice of cookware, because it has to be ferrous: iron, steel, or some kinds of stainless steel.We got interested in trying an induction cooktop and learned that single-burner units were available on eBay for under $100. We bought one sold by Burton that was rated at 1,800 watts, about as large as is possible to use on a 120-volt circuit.We began to experience the benefits although there were drawbacks, too — this particular unit has a cooling fan and is a bit noisy. It was, however, almost instantaneous in its turn-down of temperature — you could have a rolling boil and hit the controls and bingo — it was simmering or less. And if water boiled over onto the cooking surface, it didn’t even sizzle, because the heat is generated in the pot, not the cooker. Gas also has the disadvantage of creating these combustion products in your kitchen. Harvard School of Public Health’s venerable Six Cities Study is one of the research efforts that has linked gas cooking with increased respiratory symptoms in children. When I use a gas range or oven I always use the range hood if one is available, to exhaust at least some of these pollutants outdoors.Nonetheless, gas has always been the preference of the serious cook (and wanna-bes) and certainly in high-end homes there has been a proliferation of commercial-like ranges the size of Mini-Coopers with associated commercial-like range hoods which suck pets and small children right out of the kitchen. Gas cooktops are preferred over electric cooktops because they can be turned down quickly.Traditional electric cooktops are more efficient than gas — about 70 percent — but the thermal mass in the burner has made them slower to respond than their combusting competition. There are more modern electric burners like halogen cooktops that are speedier, yet, like the gas cooktops, they heat the pot which then heats food. Our new stove uses a fraction of the energy of the old oneI have a pretty good idea of how much energy we used in the gas range, because for several months our only gas appliance was the range. From a delivery on September 27, 2010 until we installed the new electric range in early April 2011, we used about 13 gallons of propane, or 2.1 gallons/month. That’s a gross input of about 192,000 BTU/month.I have a kWh meter on the electric range, and in four months it’s consumed 51 kWh, which works out to 174,000 BTU in total, or about 44,000 BTU/month. That’s twenty three percent of the gas range consumption. If primary energy is accounted for, the new range is using about 60% of the primary energy that the gas range did.In addition, the lack of combustion means that we only use the range hood when we have odors or excess moisture — not as a matter of course. This will save heating energy in the colder seasons.Overall, we think the induction range is the bee’s knees. South Mountain Company has put a couple of them into custom homes, and the owners love them, both for their cooking speed and controllable output, and for the health benefits. And apparently more and more professional chefs are turning to induction, so they are in good company. Marc Rosenbaum is director of engineering at South Mountain Company on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. He writes a blog called Thriving on Low Carbon. RELATED ARTICLES Going High-Tech With an Induction CooktopSaving Energy In the KitchenAll About Microwave OvensChoosing an Energy-Efficient RefrigeratorMakeup Air for Range HoodsRemodel Project: Kitchen It was time to get rid of the old gas rangeWhen we moved to our current home, we inherited a KitchenAid gas range. I thought it was surprisingly slow to bring large pots to a boil, and I disliked having to use the noisy range hood every time I was cooking.We began to look for electric ranges with induction burners. One of the least costly was this Frigidaire that had the intriguing (and money-saving) feature of having two induction burners and two conventional electric burners, all beneath the same glass top. You can keep all your cookware because the non-ferrous stuff is usable on the conventional burners. We ordered one.The large induction burner is over 3,000 watts and is the fastest burner I’ve ever used. I cooked eleven pounds of potato salad in two pots a few weeks ago, putting the larger pot on the induction burner and the smaller one on the conventional burner. The spuds on the induction burner were done before the other pot came to a boil.When you get a higher-end appliance like this one, you get the good with the bad. It’s all digital push pad rather than nice analog twisty dials — I hope the digital brain lasts a long time.On the other hand, it has convection oven modes, and lots of cool racks. The conventional burner side has the nifty feature of a “bridge” burner between the two round burners, which can be used to apply even heat to a griddle that straddles the whole side of the cooktop. Great for pancakes and French toast.
LATEST STORIES With Ebondo reinforcing the crew, the Democratic Republic of Congo will face Egypt on November 24 and against Morocco on November 25 in the first leg of the home-and-away format for the first round of qualifiers to the 2019 Fiba World Cup.The country is slotted in Group C, which also includes African powerhouse Angola.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 shutoutRanked 87th in the world and 14th in the continent, the Democratic Republic of Congo finished sixth in the recently concluded Afrobasket 2017.Ebondo is set to leave for Congo on November 19 and will return to the Philippines immediately after the Morocco game. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters 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 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Fifth straight MVP not Fajardo’s priority, says it’s ‘more fun’ to win title Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netCentro Escolar University big man Rodrigue Ebondo has been called up by the Democratic Republic of Congo for the 2017 Fiba African qualifiers.The school announced the news on Thursday as they will allow the 6-foot-6 slotman to represent his country in the continental qualifiers set late in November.ADVERTISEMENT His absence will leave a huge hole in the middle for the Scorpions, which are vying to retain their Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) title.But coach Yong Garcia expressed his confidence with his team, saying that CEU is well equipped in contending and maintaining its status as a top squad in its mother league despite missing the services of Ebondo. View comments
Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics PLAY LIST 02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters 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 LATEST STORIES Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ LaVar Ball questions Trump’s role in son’s release The winning streak ties the fourth-longest in Celtics history.Boston tied the game at 96 when Irving stole the ball from Dirk Nowitzki and fed Jayson Tatum for an alley-oop lay-up that hung on the rim for a full second before dropping through.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 shutoutIrving scored his team’s first six points of overtime. Then after Jaylen Brown gave Boston a 104-102 lead with a jumper with 1:39 to play, Irving went to work on Yogi Ferrell, backing him down and drawing contact on a lay-up with 48.5 seconds to play. Though Irving missed the free throw to keep the score 106-102, Dallas never got closer.Harrison Barnes scored 31 points and Wesley Matthews had 18 for Dallas, which came back from an early double-digit deficit as the Celtics went cold for much of the second and third quarters.Irving and Barnes had chances in the final 30 seconds but both missed shots that would have given their teams the lead. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Mavericks fell behind by as many as 15 points in the first half, outscoring the Celtics 55-35 over the second and third quarters.Dallas took its biggest lead of the game when Yogi Ferrell fed a cutting Dwight Powell for a lay-up to make it 87-74 with 7:47 to play before the Celtics rallied.Boston shot just 10-for-34 over the two middle quarters after building the early lead.TIP-INSCeltics: Marcus Smart came into the game shooting just 27 percent from the field, worst among NBA players with at least 10 attempts per game. And he shot 3-for-15 Monday as the Mavericks backed off and dared him to shoot. But Smart’s 3 with 1:24 to play in the game put Boston within 96-94. . The game was a homecomingfor Boston rookie Semi Ojeleye, who played college basketball at SMU in Dallas.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) intercepts a pass intended for Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki (41) of Germany in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Dallas. The Celtics won in overtime, 110-102. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)DALLAS— Kyrie Irving scored 10 of his season-high 47 points in overtime as the Boston Celtics rallied once again from a double-digit deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 110-102 and extend their winning streak to 16 games.The Mavericks led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, but as they have several times during their winning streak, the Celtics stormed back.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Mavericks: Guard J.J. Barea won the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for October for the relief work he did in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in his native Puerto Rico. He was presented with the award at halftime. Barea has provided more than 100,000 pounds of supplies to the island, and he has raised nearly $750,000 in funds through his own efforts and a YouCaring.com fund drive.UP NEXTCeltics: At Miami on Wednesday. The Celtics beat the Heat on October 28 for win number four of their streak.Mavericks: At Memphis on Wednesday for the team’s third meeting of the season. Each team won at home in a back-to-back series in late October. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments
Separately, Ronaldo is facing a rape allegation in the United States.Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in Nevada in September claiming Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Police reopened an investigation into the allegation at her request. Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing.Former Real Madrid player Xabi Alonso also was in court in Madrid on Tuesday. He is accused of defrauding tax authorities of about 2 million euros ($2.3 million) from 2010-12.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ronaldo arrived at court in a black van and was wearing a black sports coat, black pants and white tennis shoes. He stopped to sign an autograph before walking up some stairs leading to the court house. He was accompanied by his lawyers and his partner, Georgina Rodriguez. A couple of police officers escorted the player.A few hundred journalists waited outside but the Portuguese player did not stop to talk.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe court had dismissed Ronaldo’s request to enter the building directly from the parking lot, which would have allowed him to avoid the media. The request was made for security reasons, but the court said it didn’t think the measure was needed despite the player’s notoriety.Court officials said Ronaldo didn’t make any comments while in the courtroom to sign the agreement. Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town LATEST STORIES Smiling, he again stopped to sign autographs on his way out of the court house.Ronaldo made the deal to plead guilty with Spain’s state prosecutor and tax authorities last year.In Spain, a judge can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders.In 2017, a state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 worth 14.7 million euros ($16.7 million). Ronaldo was accused of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights.The accusations didn’t involve his salary from Real Madrid, his club from 2009 until joining Italian champion Juventus last year.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations ONE: Geje Eustaquio, Adriano Moraes looking for convincing finish to trilogy ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Cristiano Ronaldo arrives at the court in Madrid on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to plead guilty to tax fraud. The Juventus forward arrived in a black van, walked up some stairs leading to the court house and stopped to sign an autograph. The charges stem from his days at Real Madrid. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)MADRID — Cristiano Ronaldo pleaded guilty to tax fraud on Tuesday and received a two-year suspended sentence.The Juventus forward, who was facing charges stemming from his days at Real Madrid, was in court for about 45 minutes and signed an agreement which will cost him nearly 19 million euros ($21.6 million) in fines.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ View comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants
Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 17 runs at the Eden Gardens to move on top of the Indian Premier League 2017 table. (Scorecard)After a shaky start being put in to bat by visiting captain David Warner, Robin Uthappa stemmed the rot with a brilliant 68 off 39 balls to help the hosts post 172/6. (KKR vs SRH: Match Highlights)Sunrisers, in their run chase, lost wickets at regular intervals with David Warner (26) and Yuvraj Singh (26) top-scoring for the visitors who batted very poorly to finish at 155/6 in 20 overs. Naman Ojha (11) and Bipul Sharma (21) were at the crease at the end.The defending champions made a steady start with Warner and Shikhar Dhawan (23) stiching together a 46-run stand off 40 deliveries.But once the spinners came to the party, both the openers departed in quick succession. First, Dhawan holed out at long on to Yusuf Pathan who in the end conceded just just two runs in his first over.Soon, Warner – not a great player of spin – fell to the guile of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.The southpaw could not read him from the first ball and finally picked out Chris Woakes at long off for an easy catch less than one month after falling to the same bowler while playing for Australia against India in the fourth Test at Dharamsala.Moises Henriques (13) followed suit in the next over, playing a uppish drive off Woakes which the England bowler latched onto in his follow through.Deepak Hooda (13) also failed to shine, missing the line off Narine’s delivery for Uthappa to cause an easy stumping.advertisementJust when Yuvraj looked set for a match-winning knock smacking Umesh Yadav for a six and four off consecutive balls, Woakes got the back of the southpaw with a slower cutter that substitute Rishi Dhawan pouched at long on.Earlier, Uthappa and Manish Pandey (46) stitched together a 77-run stand for the third wicket.Openers Sunil Narine (6) and skipper Gautam Gambhir (15) departed early to leave the hosts tottering at 40/2.Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/20) bowled wonderfully well with a superb first spell that yielded 2-0-7-1.Coming in at No.3, Uthappa used all his experience to engineer a crafty 68 along with Manish Pandey who was guilty of a slow start — scoring only 13 in his first 18 balls — to finally score a 35-ball 46.Narine failed to repeat his heroics at the top as a fiery Bhuvneshwar uprooted his off-stump with an in-swinging yorker to which the leg-spinner had no answer.Bhuvneshwar looked dangerous in his first spell of two overs (2-0-7-1) getting the ball to swing away from the right hander.Just when it looked like Gambhir was about to continue from where he had left against Kings XI Punjab, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan (1/29) snared the KKR skipper.After the Powerplay, KKR were in a spot of bother at 40/2 with Pandey joining Uthappa in the middle.Uthappa upped the ante after the break. The clean-hitting right-hander from Karnataka brought up his half-century, sweeping Rashid to deep midwicket where Shikhar Dhawan misjudged a difficult catch. Together with Pandey, Uthappa tore apart the Sunrisers attack.Uthappa, in the process, became the third batsman after Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan to score 1500 runs for KKR.Cutting (1/41) finally got Uthappa out — his legcutter forcing the 2007 T20 World Cup winning player to mistime his pull with Rashid running from deep midwicket to long on to take the catch.Bhuvneshwar halted Pandey from scoring a fifty, getting the back of him as Pathan remained unbeaten at 21 off 15 with Suryakumar Yadav and Colin Grandhomme falling to Nehra and Bhuvneshwar, respectively.KKR now have six points from four outings, while Sunrisers have four in their kitty from the same number of matches.
Those of you who are my age might only remember Old Kareem and his skyhooks and might not know what a phenom he was when he entered the league as Lew Alcindor. Abdul-Jabbar/Alcindor was the sixth-most productive young player in NBA history — despite, like Duncan, playing out his full college career. In his rookie season with the Milwaukee Bucks, he averaged 28.8 points and 14.5 rebounds per game. Two years later, at 24, he averaged 34.8 and 16.6. No player in the other major sports stands out so much from his competition. Babe Ruth is the top-ranking baseball player (counting his days as a pitcher and using wins above replacement; note that the systems we’re using for the various sports are not directly comparable to one another). Still, many of the all-time great baseball players have had extremely long careers. Ty Cobb ranks second and isn’t all that far behind Ruth.You might assume that the top NHL player by this standard absolutely must be Wayne Gretzky, or if not Gretzky then Gordie Howe. But it’s Ray Bourque. Gretzky was the best young player in NHL history by leaps and bounds, and Howe was the most productive old one. But Bourque had the best balance over his career, and he comes out slightly better when you take the harmonic mean of his point shares. I’m not sure that I totally buy that ranking — hockey analytics are behind those in baseball and basketball. But Gretzky was a somewhat specialized player late in his career. He notched tons of assists, but never ranked in the top 10 in goals in the NHL after his age 28 season, and he was limited defensively, with a -93 plus-minus from his age 33 season onward.Last is the NFL, which is the least interesting of the leagues to evaluate in this way. That’s because NFL careers start late due to the league’s strictly enforced age limit and end early because of the wear and tear on the players. And it’s hard to measure what goes on in between and to compare players at different positions.Still, according to Sports-Reference.com’s approximate value system, the closest thing the NFL has had to a player for all seasons is Fran Tarkenton. As a rookie, at age 21, Tarkenton was the principal quarterback for the expansion Minnesota Vikings. By 24, he led the Vikings to their first winning season, in 1964, and made his first Pro Bowl. After a stint with the New York Giants, he returned to Minnesota, and won an MVP award at age 35 and led the NFL in passing yards in his final season at age 38. Dan Marino, Ray Lewis and Peyton Manning rank next after Tarkenton. (Note that approximate value figures are incomplete for the 2013 season; I had to make an educated guess for how Charles Woodson and Tony Gonzalez performed last year according to the system.)Manning could take over the top slot with one or two more good seasons. It seems like he should be ahead already. Approximate value is … approximate. And like the other measures, it doesn’t account for the post-season. I have trouble ranking Peyton Manning behind Fran Tarkenton in pretty much anything.But I don’t have a problem with ranking Manning, or Duncan, behind Abdul-Jabbar, who won a national championship as a teenager at UCLA and an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in his 40s. No player in American team sports has had a career quite like his. Tim Duncan turns 38 on Friday. On Saturday, he’ll resume his quest for a fifth NBA championship when the San Antonio Spurs travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks in the third game of their first-round playoff series. Duncan is still an extremely effective player, in part because his masterful coach, Gregg Popovich, limits his minutes in the regular season. We might not have seen a career quite like his since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.Duncan has been a force since he entered the league at 21. In his debut season, 1997-98, he won the Rookie of the Year award and made the All-NBA team. The next year he was named NBA Finals MVP and won his first championship.I wondered which other players in the NBA, and in the other major team sports, have had so much impact over their full professional lives. In other words, which of them were both very effective as young players and as old players?To study this for the NBA, I looked up the number of win shares each player has generated up to and including his age 24 season, and also from his age 33 season onward. (From this point forward, I’ll define an NBA player’s age-season by how old he was as of Feb. 1, as Basketball-Reference.com does.) Then I took the harmonic mean between the two figures. The harmonic mean differs from a regular average in that it tends toward the lower of a set of numbers. That will help us to identify players who were outstanding both when they were young and when they were old, as opposed to just one or the other.Duncan generated 47.8 win shares through his age 24 season. That’s very good, especially considering that he stayed all four years at Wake Forest University before entering the league. But it’s still just the 17th-highest figure in NBA history. He’s also generated 40.2 win shares, and counting, since his age 33 season. That’s the 15th-highest figure in league history.It’s having accomplished both of these things in the same career that makes Duncan so extraordinary. The harmonic mean between his early-career and late-career win share totals is 43.7. That’s the third-highest figure ever in the NBA.You can probably guess the two players who rank ahead of Duncan. One is Michael Jordan, who achieved this feat despite retiring for his age 35 through age 37 seasons. (Jordan came back to play seasons with the Washington Wizards at 38 and 39.) But the player who laps the field, and who in many ways was the predecessor to Duncan, is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.Abdul-Jabbar played into his 40s. By win shares, he was the third-best old player in NBA history, after Karl Malone and John Stockton.
Over the years, bullpens have eroded the workloads of starting pitchers. This season, relievers have accounted for the greatest share of pitching workload in Major League Baseball history: They have completed 41.1 percent of total innings through Wednesday, up from last year’s record of 40 percent. There are a variety of reasons for this trend, including teams becoming more aware of how starting pitchers tend to do worse each time through the opposing lineup and the increasing specialization of the sport.For more than 40 years, relievers had outperformed starters on a per-inning basis. But this season, through Wednesday, starters’ ERA is 0.02 points lower than that of relievers. Starters have not posted an ERA superior to that of relievers since 1973, but that gap has shrunk rapidly, and this year it could be potentially erased. As recently as 2012, the overall ERA of relievers was half a run better than that of starting pitchers.Perhaps this suggests that the sport has reached the limits of bullpenning and specialization — there are too many relievers employed. Through Tuesday, 492 different pitchers who primarily serve in relief have appeared in games this season.1At least 90 percent of games pitched as relievers. That already breaks the record set last season (488) and is up from 381 relievers in 2010 and 297 in 1998, the first season that MLB had 30 teams.This change in personnel may explain relievers’ decline in performance the first time through opposing lineups, relative to starting pitchers, a trend that Ben Clemens at FanGraphs documented in May and has continued into the summer. For the first time this century, starters have been better than relievers in their first time through the order in back-to-back seasons. Craig Edwards, also of FanGraphs, found there have been more low-leverage innings this year and poorer performance within them,2According to Leverage Index (LI), which is a measure of the relative “pressure” a player has faced. speaking to less meaningful baseball and more poor teams. Those innings have presumably been pitched by lesser relievers, diluting the group’s overall performance. There have been fewer meaningful innings this season — and also a greater volume of lesser-skilled relievers.A key decision for managers in today’s game is deciding whether to stick with a starter a third time through the lineup or to use the bullpen. And the gap between starters in that position and relievers has shrunk to its lowest level since 2005, as relievers have an advantage of only 49 points of opponent OPS this season compared with a 64-point edge last season and a century-high, 88-point difference in 2007, according to Baseball-Reference.com.Another reason for the convergence between starters and relievers is that starting pitchers are gaining relative skill. For the first time in the pitch-tracking era, which dates to 2007, the average fastball velocity of starting pitchers (93.3 mph) is less than 1 mph (0.8 mph) slower than that of relievers (94.1 mph). In 2012, relievers’ average fastballs were 1.7 mph faster than those of starters, and the difference has generally been shrinking since. Relievers’ overall fastball velocity has even declined this season, for the first time since 2008. Moreover, starters so far in 2019 have posted a higher difference between their strikeout rate and walk rate (14.5 percentage points) than relievers (13.9 percentage points). This is the first time starters have had a greater difference than relievers in the two rates since 1986.New technology is also allowing pitchers to improve the efficiency of their pitches. Starting pitchers also generally have a greater variety of pitches — and better command — than relievers, which is arguably one reason why they are starting pitchers and not relievers. If starters close the velocity gap, where relievers have traditionally held an advantage, they are closing a significant portion of the performance divide.Perhaps the game has swung too far in favor of relievers. Managers might want to wait a little longer on that call to the bullpen, or at least consider whom they are calling upon.Check out our latest MLB predictions.
There was no Hurricane hangover for Ohio State. One week after dismantling Miami (Fla.), the No. 2 Buckeyes (3-0) poured it on in-state rival Ohio (1-2), holding the Bobcats to 158 total yards in a 43-7 victory Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Two years ago, Ohio gave OSU a major scare, taking a narrow lead into the fourth quarter before the Buckeyes pulled away for a 26-14 win. Saturday’s game bore little resemblance. OSU scored on its first six possessions, racking up a 34-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor set a school record by completing 16 consecutive passes, breaking Jim Karsatos’ mark of 12 that stood for 25 years. Pryor finished 22-for-29 for 235 yards, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another. He and the first-team offense sat out the fourth quarter. “When you feel more comfortable, things start to slow down for you and you can make those passes,” receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. “Being able to throw those passes so comfortably, it led to all those completions.” On the second play from scrimmage, safety Tyler Moeller intercepted a pass by Ohio quarterback Phil Bates. OSU converted the turnover into a field goal. The day never got easier for the Bobcat offense. Ohio punted on its next three possessions and before the first quarter was over, OSU led 24-0. “Defensively, we shut them down in the first half for sure,” coach Jim Tressel said. Pryor threw a strike to running back Brandon Saine across the middle for a 9-yard score to give the Buckeyes a 10-0 edge. Minutes later, Pryor scampered 13 yards to the end zone to add to the lead. “Pryor got out of the pocket a lot and we can’t let that happen,” Ohio linebacker Noah Keller said. “He’s a hard guy to tackle. He has a deadly arm and a killer stiff arm.” When the Bobcats weren’t punting, they were committing turnovers. The Buckeyes forced three fumbles, two interceptions and once stopped Ohio on downs. OSU picked off four passes by Miami quarterback Jacory Harris last week. “We had a lot of problems,” said Bates, who finished 4-for-9 for 13 yards and two interceptions. “We didn’t execute plays, hit people when they were open or get key blocks. We have a lot of work to do.” The Buckeyes out-gained Ohio in the first half, 290-47. The Bobcats didn’t move the chains for a first down until midway through the second quarter. They promptly fumbled the ball away on the next play. The Buckeyes stretched the lead to 34-0 following a touchdown pass from Pryor to tight end Jake Stoneburner and a 2-yard touchdown run by Dan “Boom” Herron. Despite the lopsided score, Tressel kept the first-team offense on the field through the end of the third quarter. The unit looked out-of-sync with the sizeable lead, as Pryor threw his second interception of the game into double coverage. “Interceptions ruin a quarterback’s day in their own mind,” Tressel said. “Sometimes you forget about the 22 completions and all you do is think about the two that didn’t work well.” Herron capped off the first-team offense’s final drive with his second touchdown to provide the Buckeyes a 43-0 advantage. Ohio finally got on the board with a touchdown with 6:11 remaining in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Boo Jackson to receiver Terrence McCrae. While OSU flourished on offense and defense, the persistent problems on special teams plagued the Buckeyes yet again. Ohio cornerback Julian Posey, who covered his younger brother, OSU receiver DeVier Posey, most of the game, had a first-quarter kick return touchdown brought back because of a penalty. The Bobcats also blocked an OSU punt in the third quarter. “We just flat out missed a guy,” Tressel said. “You can’t do that, not if you want to win.” Still, the Buckeyes were able to put away Ohio early and avoid a repeat of the 2008 matchup. “We were thinking about the OU game two years ago,” said defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, who recovered a fumble and made a tackle in the end zone for a safety. “We didn’t want to let down our fans. I think everybody took the challenge.” OSU plays Eastern Michigan, winless since Nov. 28, 2008, next Saturday at 3:30 p.m., at the Horseshoe.