Rally in Donetsk People’s Republic against Ukraine junta’s war crimes, July 6.Photo: DNR PressOn the night of July 4-5, the militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) withdrew from the embattled cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk. The volunteer self-defense forces made an orderly retreat to the south, where they took up positions in and around the regional capital city of Donetsk.The decision to withdraw came after weeks of unrelenting military assault by forces loyal to the regime of neoliberal politicians, oligarchs and fascists, based in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and backed by the United States,“To put it bluntly, we are dealing here with unconcealed genocide,” said DNR Defense Minister Igor Strelkov, during a videotaped statement from Slavyansk on July 4. “To break the resistance of the militia, the enemy is using all available types of weaponry against the civilian population.”The nearby city of Nikolayevka has been completely surrounded and bombarded with heavy weaponry. On June 3 the Nikolayevka Thermal Power Plant was destroyed. Banned weapons, including poison gas and white phosphorus, were reported used in the village of Semyonovka.Brutal airstrikes, mortar fire and chemical attacks targeting homes, schools and hospitals continued even during a “ceasefire” declared by Ukraine’s pro-West President Peter Poroshenko in late June, which coincided with the signing of an economic agreement with the European Union. The “ceasefire” ended July 4.The Kiev regime’s military attacks have also continued in the capital of the neighboring Lugansk People’s Republic (LC). The regional cancer treatment center was bombed on July 4. Airstrikes and shelling of residential areas of the capital were reported July 6.Last May 11, people in the DNR and LC voted overwhelmingly for independence from Kiev in a democratic referendum.“Over the course of the ‘ceasefire,’ the Ukrainian army performed full mobilization and concentration of forces,” said Strelkov, explaining that the continued defense of Slavyansk was unsustainable.Officially, more than 250 people have been killed in Kiev’s so-called “Anti-Terrorist Operation” — mostly civilians, including many children. No one knows the real number of casualties since many areas are completely inaccessible.Nearly 19,000 people — mostly parents with young children — have fled toward neighboring Russia from the Donbass region, which encompasses Donetsk and Lugansk. The International Committee of the Red Cross reported July 3 that the actual number of refugees in Russia is probably much higher.Some 112 Donbass cities, towns and villages, with a total population of over 3.8 million, have come under attack, according to analysis published by the website Voices of Sevastopol.Only 30,000 of Slavyansk’s population of 130,000 people remained when the people’s militia withdrew, Strelkov reported. Water, electricity and food supplies have been cut off for weeks.Liberation or ‘filtration’?While the people’s government in Donetsk termed the withdrawal from Slavyansk a strategic retreat, Ukraine’s billionaire president claimed it was a “symbolic victory in the fight with terrorists for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”Similarly, Interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk — a U.S. favorite who recently termed Donbass residents “subhuman” — crowed about the “liberation of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk from terrorists.” Pro-junta media showed photos of Ukrainian soldiers hugging children and giving flowers to grandmothers.On the ground, the “victory” was less impressive.According to independent U.S. journalist Patrick Lancaster, Ukrainian forces entered Kramatorsk’s main square with “two tanks, two APCs [armoured personnel carriers] and 15-20 foot soldiers, some of them snipers and some carrying rocket-propelled grenades.” After raising the Ukrainian flag on the roof of the former resistance headquarters, “they jumped back on their tanks and left.” (RT.com, July 5)Within a few hours of Kramatorsk’s “liberation,” heavy shelling of the city by Ukrainian forces resumed.Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, headed by the ultra-rightist Arseny Avakov, meanwhile announced that “an internal investigation of each member of the local police force will be launched” in Slavyansk on suspicion that they cooperated with DNR authorities.Local police were detained while cops loyal to Kiev were brought in from western Ukraine.Oleg Tsarev, speaker of parliament for the Union of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republic, told Russia’s Channel 24, “Overnight, they arrested all policemen and took them out of the city.” He added, “They are arresting all young men from 25 to 35, not even trying to find out whether these men took up arms or not. Searches are underway. They are trying to find those who helped take care of the wounded.”Kiev’s Ministry of Internal Affairs echoed former acting Minister of Defense Michael Koval’s plan for “filtration camps” for southeastern Ukraine, announcing it would “filter” refugees seeking to leave the region. (Glagol.in.ua, July 4)Donetsk’s answer: ‘To Kiev’On July 6, Koval — now appointed deputy secretary of the National Security Council — told Inter TV that “the main strategic plan of the Ukrainian army” was that “In the two regional centers of Lugansk and Donetsk a total block will be applied and appropriate measures carried out that will force the separatists to lay down their arms.”More than 4,000 Donetsk residents took to the streets the same day to deliver their answer to Koval, the junta and their U.S.-EU backers. They demanded an end to Ukraine’s war crimes and declared their determination to defend the DNR.At a mass protest in Lenin Square, People’s Governor Pavel Gubarev announced, “We will begin a real partisan war” around Donetsk.The demonstrators were accompanied by members of the self-defense militias. Some rode in captured tanks and APCs emblazoned with the slogan “To Kiev” — meaning they do not intend to leave other Ukrainians at the mercy of the junta.Meanwhile, in the heavily bombarded capital of Lugansk, protesters held up home-made target signs — similar to those that became the symbol of people protesting the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.In an interview with LifeNews on July 7, Denis Pushilin, chair of the DNR Supreme Soviet, called the redeployment of the militia “a turning point in the confrontation with Kiev.” He continued, “If the militia had remained in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, the cities would have been completely destroyed. Now there is more wiggle room.”In an interview with LifeNews after his arrival in Donetsk, militia commander Strelkov said: “I plan to create, by my order as the minister of defense, a Central Military Council, which will include all the key field commanders, and where we will coordinate all questions related to the defense of the Donetsk People’s Republic. … In other words, we will be preparing Donetsk for active defense, to ensure that it is not taken over by the enemy.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
“They scored twice by winning the second ball. We still had to stay in the game, but as soon as we had a bit of control, you saw the game wasn’t decided.“We have to take the result but it still feels a bit rubbish and now we have to use Anfield one more time.”Captain Jordan Henderson said Liverpool can keep their Champions League destiny in their own hands by beating Napoli.“We are disappointed because we think we are good enough to come here and win,” he said.“It wasn’t our night in the end but we had the boost at half-time and we kept going. Now we have just got to keep it in our own hands by winning back at Anfield.”“We now have another big game at Anfield and we can get through that and into the next round,” he added. Share on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his team “looked like butchers” because of the reactions of the Paris Saint-Germain players to challenges during the French team’s 2-1 Champions League win on Wednesday.A “little hurdle we had to overcome was the 500,000 disruptions in the second half and the referee still thinks he did everything right,” the German said.“We are one of the fairest teams in England but tonight we looked like butchers,” he added.Juan Bernat and Neymar scored to put PSG in control in the first half in the French capital, but a James Milner penalty on the stroke of half-time ensured the pivotal group game remained in the balance until the death.Liverpool — beaten in each of their past five games away from Anfield in the Champions League — now face the real prospect of missing out on the knockout stages just six months after reaching the final against Real Madrid.Napoli beat Red Star Belgrade 3-1 on Wednesday and Liverpool will have to win by two clear goals or 1-0 at home to the Italians in a fortnight to ensure they progress.“The start was like what we expected, it was very wild and intense and they took all the risks,” Klopp told BT Sport.
Tesla founder and technology entrepreneur Elon Musk just received an intriguing offer from a municipality along our coast.He has been in disagreement with county officials in California over reopening his car factory there following the coronavirus pandemic.Last Monday, Musk announced he plans to restart production at his Tesla plant against the rules in Alameda County, Calif.Musk had also tweeted last weekend that he would move Tesla’s headquarters to Texas or Nevada immediately.Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020 The mayor also asks Musk to call him and hopes he will have “an opportunity to make our pitch.”It is not known whether Musk has seen the letter or if he is even considering our state for business. The city of Port St. Lucie is offering to help end the dispute, by inviting Musk to bring his business to the Treasure Coast.In a formal letter tweeted by the city on Thursday, Mayor Gregory Oravec explained that Port St. Lucie would make a great location for the company, given its proximity to Musk’s SpaceX launch center.The letter promotes Port St. Lucie’s manufacturing space, as well as Florida’s generous tax structure.“I think you will find us eager to cut red tape and willing to foster true collaboration in good times and in bad,” Oravec says in the letter.Hi @elonmusk, please find the following letter from our mayor. Check out @CityPortStLucie! pic.twitter.com/X1OUmshMQy— Port St. Lucie (@CityPortStLucie) May 14, 2020
“In spite of over a century of work on the Grand Canyon, there are still fundamental questions about the age of the canyon and the processes that have formed it.” Thus begins a paper in the November GSA Bulletin of the Geological Society of America.1 To re-evaluate the date of Grand Canyon, a team dated lavas comparing argon-40 and argon-39, examined fault lines, and modeled rates of downcutting by the river. Their result? The canyon is half as old as previously thought: from 1.2 million years maximum, to probably less than 723,000 years – maybe even as little as 102,000 years. This represents another step in a long trend of falling ages for the world’s most famous canyon. John Wesley Powell thought the canyon was 70 million years old – a date that stuck for nearly a century (source: RAE.org). In more recent decades, 5 million years was the consensus figure. Now it’s getting down into the hundreds of thousands (07/22/2002), with no end in sight. Textbooks can’t keep up with the scientists, though. This website for Utah fifth graders, for instance, nonchalantly tells the kids the canyon is 10 million years old. Meanwhile, creationists have long argued that the canyon is very young. Their most popular model has a large lake upstream breaching its dam and carving the entire canyon within days or weeks. Remarkably, some secular geologists are warming up to that idea, supplying their own variations on the dam-breach theme but putting the event farther back in time (09/30/2000, 05/31/2002, 07/22/2002, 09/16/2005). Who knows; maybe tradition makes it hard to give up those millions of years.1. Karlstrom et al, “40Ar/39Ar and field studies of Quaternary basalts in Grand Canyon and model for carving Grand Canyon: Quantifying the interaction of river incision and normal faulting across the western edge of the Colorado Plateau,” GSA Bulletin, Volume 119, Issue 11 (November 2007), pp. 1283-1312.Our commentary is based on analysis of this paper by a field geologist with over 28 years’ experience in the oil, gas and mining industries, who has also given presentations about the Colorado Plateau. The authors of this paper cherry-picked their data. They only used 26 of 63 radiometric dating tests – that is tossing out 60% of the data. How can we trust their results? Even then, the spread in resulting ages is huge, but they never questioned the validity of their dating method. In addition, there is a large discrepancy between the dates of lavas on the Uinkaret Plateau (3.4 to 3.7 million years) and those of intracanyon flows (100,000 to 700,000 years), but they assumed that their results are immune from the flaws of earlier attempts. Regardless, they had to admit that radioactive dating of basalt is very difficult, particularly in Grand Canyon. They also acknowledged large discrepancies between radioactive dates and those determined by stratigraphic position: in one case, they were off by more than two standard deviations. The way out was to use a method of “recalculating errors to better reflect scatter of the dates beyond analytical error.” Some stratigraphic dates agreed with the radiometric dates, but the above discrepancy stuck out like a sore thumb. What did they do? Ignore it! The incision rates (downcutting of the river) they modeled would require 10 to 12 million years to carve the canyon – much older than the date they got from radiometric methods. They tried to correlate incision rate with faulting rate, but those are two processes that have nothing to do with each other; to get disparate pieces of the puzzle together, they allowed incision rates to vary by nearly 1000%. When needed, they added some ad hoc forces to keep things in sync: raising the whole Colorado Plateau by a “buoyant low-velocity mantle upwelling.” In short, our geologist concluded, “RA [radioactive] dating can give any date you would like, depending on where you sample and what method you use. Because the evolutionists’ assumptions are wrong they are asking the wrong questions, using the wrong methods, and generating wrong interpretations. What a waste of time and effort.” (See 09/19/2007). Scouring through the jargon and numbers in this technical paper, it is apparent that these geologists were trying to piece together a lot of uncooperative data into some kind of patchwork that gave them a human sense of accomplishment. Undoubtedly the team felt gratified for getting a paper published by their peers in the Geological Society of America. Whether their claims have any necessary correlation with what actually happened at Grand Canyon is an entirely different question. Here, it is publish and perish – perish the thought that their assumptions might be totally off kilter. See 11/05/2003, 11/04/2003.Opportunity: Want to see evidence for a young canyon with your own eyes? Join us for the Memorial Day 2008 3-day rafting trip in Grand Canyon! (see sample picture). Click here for details on this fun-filled, educational vacation package. Don’t hesitate – the trip is expected to fill by January 2008 or before.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
An overview of South Africa as it appears in the new Google Earth layer. (Image: South African Tourism)Janine ErasmusA new Google Earth layer focusing entirely on South Africa promises to inspire more interest in the country, especially with the 2010 Fifa World Cup now firmly in the nation’s sights.South African Tourism, which promotes the country’s diverse attractions overseas, and Quirk, an e-marketing company of South African origin, have developed a Google-endorsed South African layer for the popular and absorbing earth navigation programme developed by the internet’s leading search engine.While there are hundreds of user-created layers, South Africa is only the third country, after New Zealand and Egypt, to meet Google’s exacting quality specifications and to be allocated its own official tourism layer.Using satellite imagery, Google Earth takes users on a 3D tour of the world, showing terrain, cities, important landmarks, natural features, and more. The ability to zoom in right down to street level is a distinctive feature of the programme.A layer provides a variety of points of geographic interest, such as tourist attractions or important world events, that the viewer can select to overlay the normal viewing area. These points of interest can include map, road, terrain, and even building data. Layers are often of educational and historic value.Interesting layers created recently include one that tracks the destruction wrought by the May 2008 Myanmar cyclone, one showing the world’s volcanoes, another showing visible shipwrecks around the world, and a Crisis in Darfur layer which shows satellite photos of destroyed villages, locations of refugee camps, and provides links to more information online. A list of layers is available in the Layers panel in the Google Earth programme.The South African experienceThe South African layer, which features a host of attractions ranging from scenic drives and safari destinations to locations of the stadiums for the 2010 World Cup, was launched at the recent Tourism Indaba, held in Durban in May 2008. South African Tourism hosts this annual event which attracts players in the tourism industry from all over the world.It goes live on Google Earth at the beginning of June 2008. Google Earth, says the programme’s developer, is now available in 27 different languages. Images are updated regularly, meaning that users can count on receiving up-to-date information. And with up to 350 million unique users hitting the site between January and May 2008, South African tourism will now receive even broader exposure to the global internet audience.The layer introduces the viewer to 120 points of interest around South Africa, which are shown through satellite imagery, giving travellers a tantalising glimpse of what they can expect to see on their visit.Each destination is categorised with an icon so that viewers can tailor their search to their own interests, whether it is adventure, culture, sport or nature that intrigues them. Holidaymakers can make use of the itinerary planner to get the most from their visit to South Africa. A few popular itineraries are suggested to help get the thinking process started.South Africa is famed for its natural beauty, and nature lovers are spoilt for choice with the likes of the Kruger National Park, the Table Mountain National Park, the Cango Caves, the Blyde River Canyon, and a number of others.Cultural destinations and those relating to heritage, such as the Cradle of Humankind and the Richtersveld National Park – both world heritage sites – are explored in the layer. Adventure travel, for which South Africa is renowned, is also extensively covered with links to white water rafting, skydiving, bungee jumping, abseiling down Table Mountain and more.Then there is a category relating specifically to the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Visitors can learn about the stadiums and host cities that will be bringing the World Cup to Africa for the first time, and other football-related information is provided, such as links to local clubs and football bodies. For those planning a trip to South Africa in June 2010, the itinerary planner will ensure that all the important football host cities are included, as well as other useful information.All the interactive Google Earth features that regular users have come to enjoy are there, such as related Wikipedia entries, and users may add their comments on images ranging from the Gautrain construction project to 2010 stadiums in progress.Useful linksSouth Africa on Google EarthSouth African TourismGoogle Earth CommunityQuirk eMarketing
MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Read Next SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief View comments NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending 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 UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Batang Pier, Painters rise Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “The Lakers have been cooperative and, at this point, no findings have been made,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said Sunday in a statement. “We have asked both teams to refrain from commenting while the investigation is ongoing.”There is no known timetable for the completion of the investigation being conducted by the New York law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.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 shutoutGeorge is a four-time All-Star and Los Angeles native who was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason. The Pacers traded him after George told them he planned to leave Indiana as a free agent next summer.“As the NBA’s statement made clear, we cannot comment about the specifics of any ongoing investigation,” Lakers spokeswoman Alison Bogli sai. “We can confirm, however, that we are cooperating fully with the NBA in the hope of clearing our name as soon as possible.” In this Wednesday, July 12, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George answers a question at his first news conference since Oklahoma City’s blockbuster trade with the Indiana Pacers, in Oklahoma City. On Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, the NBA said it has opened an investigation to see if the Los Angeles Lakers tampered with George while he was under contract with the Indiana Pacers. APNEW YORK — The NBA is investigating whether the Los Angeles Lakers tampered with All-Star forward Paul George while he was under contract with the Indiana Pacers.The Pacers asked the league to open the probe.ADVERTISEMENT There has been speculation for some time that George has wanted to join the Lakers. Under NBA rules, teams are not permitted to attempt to sway any player who is under contract with another team.If the Lakers are found to have tampered, the NBA could issue any combination of fines, forfeiture of draft picks or suspensions of those who were deemed to be involved. Tampering, the league has said, can be either direct or indirect — and an interview that Lakers President Magic Johnson did earlier this year on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” did little to quell speculation about George’s potential future in Los Angeles.In that interview, Kimmel asked Johnson what constitutes tampering, and if he would be allowed to speak to George if they happened to cross paths.“We’re going to say hi because we know each other,” Johnson said. “You just can’t say, ‘Hey, I want you come to the Lakers,’ even though I’m going to be wink-winking. You know what that means, right?”George will be a free agent in 2018.ADVERTISEMENT He’s coming off a season in which he averaged a career-best 23.7 points per game, and is joining a Thunder team that already has reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.“I’ve been wowed ever since we landed,” George said last month after arriving in Oklahoma City. “I got a real welcoming, and this feels like home.” LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games
Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments Adrien Broner hits Manny Pacquiao during the WBA welterweight title boxing bout Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, in Las Vegas. APLOS ANGELES, United States – Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao might have suffered a potentially career-ending detached retina in his left eye in beating Adrien Broner on Saturday, the New York Daily News reported Monday.Pacquiao was set to fly home to the Philippines on Monday for an exam by an eye specialist, according to the newspaper, which cited two unnamed sources from Pacquiao’s camp with different takes on the injury.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Manny doing just fine ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes “Pacman” has suffered corneal scratches in previous bouts.Pacquiao stayed up all night after the Broner fight but complained Sunday morning of pain and a loss of vision in his left eye, according to the report.Pacquiao, now 61-7 with two drawn and 39 knockouts, had hoped a victory would set up a rematch with the retired undefeated Mayweather, who beat him by unanimous decision in 2015. /cbbADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LATEST STORIES SPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsOne camp source told the News that the fear among the Filipino icon’s insiders is that he suffered a detached retina, which could end Pacquiao’s career and scuttle talk of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather.Another source from Pacquiao’s camp, however, told the News the injury was relatively minor, only a scratched cornea that came from the tape on one of Broner’s gloves. Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town The 40-year-old fighter told friends after the fight he had lost some vision in his left eye, according to the report.Pacquiao, the first eight-division champion in boxing history, also was told by Los Angeles police that his home had been burglarized while he was in Las Vegas for the Broner fight, which he won by unanimous decision to keep his World Boxing Association regular welterweight title, a lesser throne to that of unbeaten American “super champion” Keith Thurman.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chief
Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.Former cricketers came out in support of Saeed Ajmal after the Pakistan off-spinner was Tuesday suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for an illegal bowling action.Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq even offered to help Ajmal remodel his action five months before the 2015 World Cup to be held jointly by Australia and New Zealand.”I will help and support saeed ajmal to the best of my ability if required,” tweeted Saqlain, who has 288 ODI and 208 Test wickets.”Wish @REALsaeedajmal can modify his bowling action n get back with a bang. biggest asset of Pakistan cricket. all prayers wd him,” read a tweet from Pakistan pacer Umar Gul.Former Pakistan and Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore expressed his surprise over Ajmal’s off-spin deliveries being deemed illegal as well.”Sad to hear of Ajmal’s ban… I can possibly understand the doosra but offbreaks? I hope he can correct his actions in time for CWC’15,” tweeted Whatmore.”Wow – Ajmal banned! Never nice to see fellow professionals going through a tough time…hopefully he’s back soon!,” tweeted explosive English batsman Kevin Pietersen.Dean Jones, a former Australia batsman, went on to question ICC’s decision.”Make no mistake that bowling a Doosra and reverse swing are brilliant skills… Do we want the Doosra banned?,” he tweeted.Ajmal, who was reported after the first Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle last month, can apply for a re-assessment after he has modified his bowling action in accordance with clause 2.4 of the Regulations for the Review of Bowlers Reported with Suspected Illegal Bowling Actions.advertisement
Perfect brackets: They’re rather hard. You know this. Before we get into the whole “you have a one-in-who-gives-a-craptillion chance of winning” part of the story, though, let’s talk about why it’s so hard to grasp big numbers like this.Generally speaking, without a way to anchor a number to an everyday concept, people tend to have a hard time with Very Big Numbers. For some of them, like my favorite thing of all things the Powerball lottery, it’s still doable. For instance, your odds of winning the Powerball lottery are roughly equivalent to picking a random adult who lives in the U.S. and Canada and that person being you. It’s the probability of selecting a random person on earth, and that person having been in your freshman biology class. Powerball, with its 1 in 292 million probability of success, approaches the upper limit of what we can convey.My personal limit is 1 in 7 billion, because that is how many people are on earth — essentially the biggest number I feel I have any hope of grasping. Any more than that and you’ve got to do one of those “line up five decks of shuffled cards” monstrosities, and by then you’re just grasping at straws — we get it, dude, it’s unlikely.Last year I got to interview Randall Munroe — a guy who regularly confronts this kind of problem — and he talked about it better than anyone I can think of:One thing that bothers me is large numbers presented without context. We’re always seeing things like “This canal project will require 1.15 million tons of concrete.” It’s presented as if it should mean something to us, as if numbers are inherently informative. So we feel like if we don’t understand it, it’s our fault.But I have only a vague idea of what one ton of concrete looks like. I have no idea what to think of a million tons. Is that a lot? It’s clearly supposed to sound like a lot, because it has the word “million” in it.You should read that whole interview, because he’s got a brilliant take on a problem we deal with more often than we’d prefer to admit, but his key point is this: “A good rule of thumb might be, ‘If I added a zero to this number, would the sentence containing it mean something different to me?’ If the answer is ‘no,’ maybe the number has no business being in the sentence in the first place.”That being said, here is a series of sentences about the number 9.2 quintillion, and how you might work your head around that many possible brackets.We should start small, then work our way up. Let’s take the most basic entry point, a single round-of-32 game. There are two possible ways to fill in that part of the bracket. Now we’re getting to an increasingly hard part: calling a region perfectly. One region has two of those smaller chunks — with 128 combinations each — plus two choices in the last game. This gives us 128 times 128 times 2 possible configurations, or 32,768 ways to fill out a division. That’s 2^15, which, you guessed it, is the number of games in this chunk. You filled out eight of these. If everyone in a company of 5,600 people, which is a little smaller than ESPN, filled out a bracket randomly, there’s a 50-50 shot that at least one of them gets one division perfect. Next, we have a half of a region. We have two of those previous bracket chunks — each with eight possible configurations — and two ways to pick who goes on to the Elite Eight. This means we have 8 times 8 times 2 possible configurations, or 128 possible ways to fill out this section. Just another quick note: 128 is 2^7, seven being the number of games in this chunk of bracket. Maybe someone in your office got one of these perfectly! But it’s starting to get pretty hard, right? This brings us to the final bracket. With 63 games and 2 possible selections for each one, that’s 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possible combinations. Your bracket is one of these, and the perfect bracket is one of these, but it is highly unlikely that they are the same bracket, is what I’m saying. Moving up to half a bracket: With 31 games to call, there are 2^31 possible combinations — 2,147,483,648, to be exact. That means that randomly guessing winners, you are about one-seventh as likely to get half a bracket right as you are to win the Powerball jackpot (1 in 292 million, you’ll recall). It is half as likely as randomly selecting a resident of the Americas and having that person be Bill Murray. Here is some perspective on that figure. (N.B. Probably this will not help at all.)If you had one cat for all the possible bracket combinations and piled them up, it would form a mass one-seventeenth the size of the largest thing in the asteroid belt, and something like 1.5 times the mass of a moon of Saturn that is rounded into a sphere shape by its own gravitation. However, some of the cats could get hurt! Don’t try this!If you had one penny for all the possible bracket combinations, first of all, your wish-making syntax with genies is AWFUL, but also your penny stash would be worth about 858 times the value of the global economy.If you were waiting for Comcast to show up and install your Internet and the technician said it would only be another 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 seconds, that would take 21 times the age of the universe and fall just barely outside the average Comcast response time.If you had one grain of sand for every possible bracket combination, you not only managed to get worse at asking for wishes, but would also have like several trillion pounds of sand.If you had one ant for every possible bracket combination, you are by now thankfully out of wishes, you dangerous incompetent, and would increase Earth’s ant population a thousandfold and move Ant-Man to the A-list. So, got that going for us.Still, while 9.2 quintillion is the number that gets thrown around, it sucks because it’s so huge and also, honestly, somewhat pointless. There’s a reason people mostly perform better than the expected rate of bracket busting: They aren’t selecting randomly. There are different probabilities for each game, and people are aware it’s not a coin flip between first-seed Kansas and 16th-seed Austin Peay.Estimates for the legitimate probability of a perfect bracket vary. Based on reporting from USA Today, Duke math professor Jonathan Mattingly puts it at 1 in 2.4 trillion — I love this estimate, and you’ll see why in just a second — while a professor at DePaul University puts it as low as 1 in 128 billion.I have no idea what it actually is, but using the pre-tournament probabilities of each team in the FiveThirtyEight interactive, I can tell you the probability of a perfect chalk bracket. That is, if in every game you selected the team that FiveThirtyEight gave the higher pre-tournament likelihood of winning, what’s your actual probability of getting a perfect bracket? Based on the assigned probabilities of advancement at each game, picking the likeliest team to advance and multiplying through all the pre-tourney probabilities, the odds that every one of our predictions would be right was 1 in 2,460,838,227,877 (2.5 trillion). This is delightful because it’s right in the ballpark of Mattingly’s estimate. Indeed, it’s basically right on the pitcher’s mound with it.So, the gist: Numbers are hard; big numbers are pointless and not attuned to the human brain; this should not make you feel bad; you should be proud if you nailed half of a region and thrilled if you got a whole one; and don’t hold your breath for anything more. See you next year or maybe earlier, if the Powerball gets big enough. Next, we go to one-fourth of a division: four teams vying for one spot in the Sweet 16 over three games. There are eight possible configurations of this bracket — two possible ways to fill in the first game, two ways to fill in the second, and then two possible ways to fill in the final game, given that you only have two choices from the first four teams. That’s eight configurations, or 2^3. Your probability of picking one of these perfectly is thus 1 in 8. Given that you filled out 16 of them, check your bracket. You probably got at least a few perfect!
OSU redshirt junior Quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) breaks into open field during the fourth quarter against Northwestern on Oct. 29, 2016. The Buckeyes won 24-20. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorIt might not have been the way that Ohio State football fans wanted it, but the Buckeyes walked away with the 24-20 victory over the Northwestern Wildcats Saturday night in the ‘Shoe. In a hard-fought game that OSU coach Urban Meyer called a “dogfight,” OSU regained a little of the swagger lost after falling to Penn State. In the press conference following the game, Meyer and players were berated with questions once again about all the things the team is doing wrong. It was an interesting take, considering the team had just beat a solid Northwestern squad.“You had a very balanced, ran for 200 and threw for 230. Most places that’s a pretty good day,” Meyer said. “I understand here it’s a little off a little bit. We’ve got to get that 500 number, I guess. But I’m very happy with it. I’ll enjoy myself tonight.”Sure, OSU didn’t exactly set the world on fire with an outstanding offense or make big, flashy plays on defense. But the effort was there from the No. 6 ranked team, and so were the plays when they were needed.Here are five takeaways from the Buckeyes’ bounce-back win against Northwestern.Curtis Samuel is important, but so is Mike WeberMeyer had some serious flak thrown his way after junior H-back Curtis Samuel touched the ball 10 times last week. After naming him the No. 1 playmaker for the Buckeyes in the offseason, most fans thought Meyer kept the ball out of his hands against Penn State.On Saturday, Samuel saw an increase in his touches by four. He ran the ball seven times as well as carried the ball seven times, but gained a full 40 yards less than he did last game.So what does that mean for the OSU offense when Samuel isn’t the leading rusher, but the team still finds a way to win?It means redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber had a pretty good day. As in 87 yards rushing, an average of 6.2 yards per carry and two scores.He also had three catches for 20 yards, and helped provide a mostly sound pocket for redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett when he was asked to block. Overall, Weber provided the difference in terms of scoring, although Samuel scored the winning touchdown.Weber is the lead back in the OSU backfield, while Samuel continues to impress in his receiving ability. Meyer said he is a true hybrid back, the exact reason why his touches were split down the middle on Saturday.While the junior H-back is vital to the Buckeyes success, Weber has to be an integral part as well.The Silver Bullets are mastering the phrase “bend but don’t break”In back-to-back weeks, the OSU defense gave up some big plays that burnt the team. Be that as it may, there was a huge difference between the plays given up last week as opposed to this week: The defense eventually buckled down.Right before halftime in Happy Valley, the Buckeyes surrendered arguably the biggest play of the evening. Redshirt junior Gareon Conley smothered Penn State junior wideout Chris Godwin, but the ball found its way into the receiver’s hands, and the Nittany Lions brought the game to a 12-7 mark, with all the momentum gone for OSU right before the midway point.This week, OSU was presented with a similar scenario, as Northwestern received a punt on its own 40-yard line. With good field position and an offense that had 157 yards in the second quarter alone to that point, the Buckeyes appeared to be in trouble.Instead of trouble, OSU pushed the Wildcats back a yard and prevented a score.“At that point in the game, that’s more just the bond we have for each other,” redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker said. “We’re so strong and so close together on the defense overall that stuff like we know we’re competing (for) who’s going to make the play. We know that anybody’s liable to step up and make the play on the defensive side of the ball.”It hasn’t been the stifling defense the team enjoyed in the first few weeks, but it’s a defense that dominated against Oklahoma and helped bring home a win on Saturday. Bend but don’t break is not going to win a national championship, but it gives them a chance to keep the dream alive.Austin Carr from Northwestern is as real of a receiver as there is in the Big TenIt’s rare that a former walk-on player torches the OSU secondary. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, senior wide receiver Austin Carr did just that on Saturday, hauling in eight passes for 158 yards. Although Carr failed to score, he did show off an impressive skill set, lining up in both the slot and on the outside. Running crossing post routes, he was able to find space in the middle of the field with linebackers picking up coverage along the way.This year, Carr has hauled in nine touchdowns and is well on track to rack up 1,000 yards. While the Buckeyes are hunting for a wide receiver to pick up big chunks of yardage at a time, Northwestern has Carr running rampant over Big Ten defenses.The offensive line has recovered some groundLast week was about as ugly as it gets for an any offensive line. OSU allowed 11 tackles for loss, while Barrett was sacked six times. Sophomore tackle Isaiah Prince gave up 14 hurries by himself last week, but fellow offensive linemen like redshirt junior guard Billy Price stood by his side.Northwestern had a much harder time getting in the backfield and penetrating the pocket, as the Buckeyes allowed four tackles for loss with just one sack. It was a game that was far from perfect, but had obvious improvements throughout.“There was a couple good points from last week. We struggled in a few aspects,” Price said. “And to have that confidence to go back out and to perform and to put the game as we offensive lineman call it on us, let’s go out and win on us. Don’t depend on a receiver out in the corner. Put the ball on us, put who our program is driven on — the offensive line. Isaiah did a lot better.”In all, the Buckeyes put up 431 yards of total offense. The success of an offensive unit is usually measured by the play of its blockers up front. It wasn’t a perfect day, but anything is an improvement from last week.Close game or not, the team can still winNorthwestern might not have been the game that could put OSU in a playoff position, but a strong showing and a blowout could have helped mightily down the road. Although the team had a relatively strong performance, the way the Buckeyes played is nowhere near good enough to be within the upper echelon of the NCAA at the end of the year.Sure, it wasn’t a 50-point drubbing, or a thrilling finish against a ranked opponent. But it was a win, which is the most important thing, right?OSU continues to be a question mark as the year progresses in terms of postseason play, but Saturday’s game proved the team is still more than capable of getting the job done no matter what. Meyer himself said a win on Saturday is something to be proud of.“Nothing was perfect, but we’re going to enjoy that win and go,” he said.