Changing Stories at Saturn and Titan

first_img(Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 News from the ringed planet and its largest moon shows scientists can’t keep their stories straight when trying to keep Saturn billions of years old.Saturn NewsAge of the rings:  First they were old, then they were young, now they are old again.  Mike Wall at Live Science claims that the “age of Saturn’s rings” has been “revealed.”  The revelation was not inspired, though: “Saturn’s iconic rings likely formed about 4.4 billion years ago, shortly after the planet itself took shape, a new study suggests.”  How, then, do they remain so pristine?  How do they keep from grinding down to dust?  How do they escape the constant bombardment of micrometeorites and atomic nuclei?  Sascha Kempf (U of Colorado) bases his judgment on the low particle count coming from the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) for which he is a prime investigator.  The extremely low hit rate (10-19 g/cm2-s-1) at 2 to 50 Saturn radii is “consistent with an old ring system,” he says – at least for the main rings.  The article did not address how the more ephemeral D, F, G, and E rings are maintained, or how the rings survive other destructive processes like sputtering, collisional spreading, gas drag, and sunlight pressure.  CDA only detects dust, not ions.  For a primer on Saturn’s rings, see a feature on blip to moon factory:  A barely-visible lump at the outer edge of the A ring is causing some to imagine Saturn as a modern moon maker.  “A rebellious moon might have just popped out of Saturn’s rings,” Lisa Grossman wrote for New Scientist.  Cassini scientists saw a disturbance that has quieted down.  What does it mean?  If a tiny “weird object” popped out, it’s too small to see – less than a kilometer wide.  But they gave it the name “Peggy” anyway.  This object (if it exists) might grow into a moon, they say, but then again, it might have been destroyed in a collision.  They didn’t explain how a moon-growing process could go on for billions of years.  If material is being lost from the rings continually, why is there a finite number of small moons, and where does new material come from to replenish what is lost?Plasma in, plasma out:  Remarkably, most of the plasma in Saturn’s magnetosphere comes from the little geysering moon Enceladus, when its water gets dissociated and swept into the magnetic field.  That puts plasma in; what takes it out?  The plasma content appears to be nearly in a steady state.  An article on PhysOrg suggests that Saturn’s fast rotation sets up currents that sweep excess ions down the magnetotail.  The article did not address the question of how long the tiny Arizona-sized moon Enceladus could feed the giant.A hex on Saturn:  A beautiful color movie of Saturn’s north polar hexagon made the news on Dec. 4 (see JPL press release).  This atmospheric feature – unique in the solar system – is thought to form by standing waves in a jet stream, but there are mysteries.  The nearest analogy mentioned is the ozone hole at Earth’s south pole, but most such features are “notoriously turbulent and unstable,” atmospheric scientist Andrew Ingersoll said.  “A hurricane on Earth typically lasts a week, but this has been here for decades – and who knows – maybe centuries.”  The images are clear enough to see “small vortices rotating in the opposite direction of the hexagon,” some as large as Earth hurricanes.  A massive storm rotates at the center of the 220,000-mile-across feature.  The south pole has a similar vortex, but no hexagon.Titan NewsTitan swamped:  Titan is Saturn’s largest moon.  Keeping Titan old for billions of years requires erasing all the craters that should be there.  Only 11 have been found for certain; another 50 are “potential” craters.  Science Magazine tried various crater erasing theories.  Sediments from mountain lakes?  No; some craters are out in the plains.  Wind-blown sand from the dunes?  No; there’s no sand in the crater-free polar regions.  Cryovolcanoes?  Doesn’t explain why craters are in some regions and not others.  Methane rain?  Not fast enough to erase a large crater.  The latest theory is that Titan has a methane-soaked, swampy surface hundreds of meters deep.  Impactors would sink into the quicksand-like material, leaving no trace.  There are exceptions, like well-preserved craters in the Xanadu lowlands (Titan’s oldest terrain), that require some ad hoc reasoning to explain.  Maybe those craters were formed when the surface was dry, before the atmosphere formed.  It’s convenient that none of those theory-rescuing factors are observable, otherwise someone might think Titan is young.Glorifying Titan’s methane lakes:  Titan’s north polar lakes made news on two fronts.  For one, the radar mapper has a big enough composite picture to amaze viewers.  Simon Redfern at The Conversation gave a nice write-up and picture, with video clip, of the latest buzz.  See also coverage by the BBC News, New Scientist, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.   The other news comes from Cassini radar’s chance to ping the depth of one of the large northern seas named Ligeia Mare.  Bounces from the bottom of the lake indicate it is 170 meters deep (like Lake Michigan) at most.  Surprisingly, its radar transparency suggests it is filled primarily with methane (CH4), not ethane (C2H6) as expected.  Though not nearly the global ocean once predicted, the lake is still a big container; nearby Kraken Mare is four or more times as large.  “The total volume of the hydrocarbon Titanic seas corresponds to around 300 times that of Earth’s oil reserves, in a celestial body smaller than Earth,” Redfern said.  (Titan’s diameter would just about cover the United States.) states the volume is estimated to be 2,000 cubic miles.Still, that much fluid falls far short of the global ocean predicted:Jeffrey Kargel, from the University of Arizona Tucson, pointed out that the presence of extensive methane seas and lakes at Titan’s north pole makes worse a long acknowledged deficiency of heavier hydrocarbons expected from models of Titan’s chemistry.  Among them are ethane, ethylene, propylene, acetylene and benzene – heavy hydrocarbons generated as sunlight causes chemical reactions in Titan’s soup of natural gas.(We’ve reported on the ethane deficit problem since before Cassini arrived at Saturn; search on Titan for entries.)  Another puzzle, though, is how smooth the liquid surface is.  Radar measurements show that there are no ripples higher than 1 millimeter.  That’s as smooth as the paint on your car.  This is surprising for a moon windy enough to form a belt of large sand dunes around the equator.Titan get-together:  The uncharacteristic size of Titan compared to all the other Saturn moons makes planetary scientists wonder how it got there.  Science Now addressed the puzzles that Douglas Hamilton [U of Maryland] is trying to answer:Titan is dominatingly big, having almost twice the mass of Earth’s moon and comprising 90% of the mass in orbit about Saturn. Titan is alone, orbiting in a million-kilometer gap bounded by tiny moons. And Titan’s orbit is odd: It is slightly elliptical rather than nearly circular and is tilted with respect to Saturn’s equator. With all those oddities, Hamilton said, “the biggest mystery is how it came to be in the first place.“Hamilton’s latest proposal is that several small moons got together to form the giant.  This would explain why there’s a gap.  Assuming tidal interactions affected the collisions, it would also explain the strange orbit.  To make it work, Hamilton has to assume the collisions were gentle, so the bodies would merge instead of splatter.  It’s also ad hoc; “even Hamilton acknowledges he’s not sure how he would ‘prove’ that he is right.”  How all that nitrogen and methane got into its atmosphere is for others to figure out.Futures:  Cassini has about 3 and a half more years to go before the end of its second extended mission.  Planned observations include more Titan mapping, an Enceladus plume fly-through in August 2014, shots of Enceladus’s north pole, high-altitude studies of the rings, and as much science as the limited fuel will allow before the orbiter’s death plunge into Saturn in 2017.  Having observed Titan since before its equinox, scientists are excited to watch for changes in the lakes and dunes as the Saturn system approaches northern solstice.  Will the lakes migrate from the north pole to the south?  Only time will tell.In my 14 years’ experience on the Cassini team, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with many of the scientists, and hear them lecture, including Sascha Kempf and Andy Ingersoll.  There is no question all the JPL scientists are extremely smart and talented at what they do.  They got a bus-sized spacecraft to Saturn after all.  They cannot see their bias, though, when it comes to dating things.  The Age of the Solar System (A.S.S.) is a Law of the Misdeeds and Perversions, which cannot be altered (from Daniel 6:8).  It’s not that these scientists are incapable of conceiving a younger age than 4.5 billion years, it’s that their brains have marinated in millions-and-billions language throughout their education and career, it never enters their minds to follow the evidence for youth honestly; the old age is a great Truth that they all Know.  I’ve heard one of them say that he was trying to make Saturn’s rings last for billions of years for “philosophical reasons,” implying that the idea of young rings was repugnant to him.Another factor is the “herd mentality” among scientists (see 12/09/13).  These scientists all know each other.  They meet at international conferences several times a year.  They give presentations to one another.  While there is some limited latitude for unique ideas that don’t stray from the A.S.S., there is no question that wanting to be liked and accepted by their peers is a factor in their behavior.  None of them wants to hear his esteemed colleagues call out “boo” or indicate disgust with an idea too far outside the paradigm.  This is how a consensus can form and persist despite powerful evidence against it.  No ad-hoc scenario is too bizarre to prevent a kick in the A.S.S.  And when you consider that youth of planets is often associated with the despised “young earth creationists,” none of them would ever dare to give aid and comfort to such “anti-science” outcasts.  Evidence be damned; long live the consensus!It appears hopeless to penetrate the dogma in this community, even if an individual here or there might be open to consider out-of-the-box ideas.  Probably it will take a younger community doing a better job of explaining things outside the paradigm, over time as the old graybeards fade away.  Meanwhile, we’ll keep reporting the news here, praising the good, pointing out the bad, and asking questions the paradigm never considers.Research projects: (1) Calculate the volume of Titan’s lakes and see if the production rate of ethane can account for it in 4.5 billion years.  Is there an upper limit?  (2) Calculate the output of plasma by Enceladus and infer the water emission rate.  What percentage of the moon’s mass would have to be ejected over 4.5 billion years?  (3) Considering the rate of dust measured by the CDA instrument, what would be the maximum age of the rings?last_img read more

Cherry 100% Human Hair Eyelashes #217, I was an eyelure girl for years until I tried

first_imgSeem so natural i bought so numerous compliments.The eyelashes are so natural wanting and wispy, they are quite extensive but a lot far more for the working day than the night time, each individual day use. Definitely worth the invest in, this kind of incredible top quality for these a smaller cost. Shipping and delivery was so fast (i got the express delivery) and gained them two times later as i ordered them at 2am.Amazing item absolutely reccommend.Key specs for Red Cherry 100% Human Hair Eyelashes #217:real human hairPRESENTATION CASEComments from buyers“Gorgeous winged eyelashes, very pretty ‘natural’ lashes, My favourite eyelashes by far for a full face of makeup , naturally realistic, Big but no depth, I was an eyelure girl for years until I tried “These eye lashes are a terrific obtain, extremely human like and light when worn. Will definately be getting far more. Shipping and delivery was prompt on time.Value for income and quite mild on the eyelids.These are the very best eyelashes i have at any time employed, they look all-natural and i appreciate the length the price tag is also tremendous low-priced.Quite delighted with lashes and really fair price.The most lovely, higher excellent and prolonged long lasting eyelashes you will ever use. Completely stunned my how best these eyelashes are. I have each individual red cherry fake eyelash in my make up kit and are always the phony lashes i recommend my clients to purchase. May well i also add what a superb provider by the enterprise who deliver these eyelashes. Prompt supply and i am generally a extremely content customer :).These are my fav pair of lashes always get people asking me about them they seem so natural.They’re great, they seem amazing and are pretty light-weight on my eyelids.Feels so comfortable, and long with no searching like individuals phony plasticky lashes. Utilised it a few moments and if eradicated and applied adequately, will absolutely last for more applications. Reasonably priced for human hair lashes, but at times you surprise whose hair you might be acquiring these fromit’s lightweight and just naturally beautifulgetting one more pair before long.As an eyelash fanatic i love these pretty much. Only thing is they are a little bit long so i use them for going out.Excellent quick to utilize light-weight lashes. I can reuse them and they came immediately after two times inc.Speedy shipping and delivery and good quality for the cost. Will unquestionably be getting all over again.Wonderful rate for these lashes & recieved them superfast.Really like them so light a natural search.My favourite eyelashes by far for a comprehensive face of makeup. My favourite eyelashes by much for a entire encounter of make-up (and i have tried using really much all makes) i would propose the shorter possibility #747s for day by day use or organic makeup. Have been in a position to reuse them 5 times but you will need to get adhesive seperately.They are large, great if you want the very long lashes and defined seem, only issue experienced was allowing them to remain glued on as the product is truly gentle.I adore these lashes and will be buying far more right after xmas.Incredibly rather ‘natural’ lashes. These lashes are in my feeling perfect for a person that’s just started off making use of lashes and will not want just about anything also crazy, or an individual that just desires to look like they have really very long, thick, excellent lashes day to day. I individually use these when i do bridal make-up as they give such a beautiful ‘natural’ look. If seemed right after and not way too a great deal glue or mascara utilized they are 100% reusable and i uncover you can get it’s possible 6/seven wears out of them prior to they get started wanting a little bit bleak. They are particularly comfortable and versatile so are incredibly straightforward to utilize and use. And usually are not hefty all through the day- nor can you see them and they are quite curled so sit up. They really don’t occur with glue so make confident you get a good one to hold them wanting fantastic.A bit hefty but seems to be incredible.I was an eyelure woman for decades right up until i tried out. I was an eyelure female for decades until eventually i tried red cherry lashes.Fast delivery time, the lashes have been in really fantastic problem and was delighted with the top quality and were pretty quick to implement. Would decently purchase more objects from this vendor.Truly excellent quality, amazing price tag. Just don’t forget to get the glue.last_img read more

3 Ways to Make Outlook More Social

first_imgMicrosoft Outlook has historically been at the heart of document-based environments that for many years have ruled the enterprise.But the walls that have guarded this document-based world are crumbling fast. Outlook is now more than a message center. It is becoming a collaborative space where the lines between Google Docs and other social applications start to blur.Three extensions exemplify this trend. These services are quite similar. Xobni has the longest track record. it started as a consumer-based service, gaining a following for its search capabilities in Outlook. Search is Outlook’s inherent weakness. Neither DocVerse nor Harmony have deep search capabilities like Xobni. That may only be a temporary issue for DocVerse. Last week, Google announced that it had acquired DocVerse. We expect that will in some way translate into better search in the weeks and months ahead for the DoVerse service.HarmonyHarmony is the newest of the group. The Mainsoft service is a mash up between Google Docs and Outlook. It also puts SharePoint directly into Outlook. Like most Outlook extensions, Harmony pulls Google Docs or Sharepoint into an Outlook sidebar. alex williams Tags:#Analysis#enterprise#news#Products Related Posts The service is intended to ease attachment overload by creating a central place where people can access Google Docs. It’s a drag and drop environment that allows people to drag email attachments into the Harmony sidebar. A document may also be dragged into an email where it appears as a link for the recipient. The recipient may access the document by signing into their Google Docs or Google Apps account.The service is now available as a free download. It is compatible with Sharepoint 2007 and Sharepoint 2010. It will be available later this year as an extension for Microsoft Office.DocVerseDocVerse plays a similar role to Harmony. The service synchronizes in the Outlook Sidebar. The widget associates a link to the document that is getting the edit. Every modification is synced. When multiple people work on a document, the updates are made through the plug-in and versions are stored online. Xobni Xobni provides what Outlook really needs. Great search. It will search Outlook and external social networks and third party applications to get a fuller profile of the contact. In November, the company released Xobni Enterprise. The service gives I.T. administrators the ability to deploy and manage the plugin across the enterprise. it also offers integration across services such as Salesforce CRM and Sharepoint.Outlook Has Come A Long WayThe old days are over for Outlook. It’s now entering an era where the degree of collaboration will center around a hyperlinked environment more so than document-based systems. The enterprise is becoming more web-oriented and Outlook is no exception to the change.center_img Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Creating Opportunities > Qualifying Opportunities

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now What if qualifying isn’t the most important thing you should be doing right now? What if you are supposed to be creating opportunities?Qualifying OpportunitiesWhat are your intentions when you are qualifying? If you still believe in the BANT process, you might be trying to make sure your prospective client has the budget, first and foremost. That isn’t always the best place to start a conversation, but then neither is starting the conversation with the question, “do you have the authority to make this purchase.”. These are different times, and they call for a different qualification process.Qualifying is still important, especially in low dollar, simple sales, where there isn’t a lot at risk. In more complex, more expensive, and more risky sales, this kind of qualifying isn’t very useful.The questions that you would ask to qualify don’t create value for your prospective client, and they don’t do anything to create opportunities.This is why SDRs and BDRs struggle.Qualifying has nothing to do with opportunity creation in sales where your prospects are known, targeted, and pursued over time. When your strategy is largely competitive displacement, you already know your dream clients are qualified. They’re already spending money with your competitor.The real challenge in sales now is opportunity creation.Creating OpportunitiesYour intention in above the funnel communication and when prospecting is to create opportunities.Your efforts at nurturing those relationships need to be built on creating a compelling case for change.The discovery meetings you have with your dream client are about exploring that change. You are going to qualify them as you determine whether you can create the requisite value and wether they are willing to make the investments necessary to change.It is more likely that your sales numbers aren’t what you need them to be because you aren’t creating enough opportunities than it is that you aren’t doing a good job qualifying.Opportunities are created by salespeople who are value creators and who have the business acumen and situational knowledge to help make the case for change. Opportunity creation is greater than opportunity qualification.last_img read more

NBA: Celtics are ‘team of the future in the East,’ coach Kerr says

first_imgStronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Although the boys of Beantown are situated on the Eastern Conference side, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is keeping tabs on the league’s hottest team.“It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East, with the assets that they still have and their young talent and their coaching, and Kyrie (Irving) is amazing,” Kerr told ESPN’s Chris Haynes.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 shutoutNo stranger to accumulating consecutive victories both as a coach and a player, Kerr had nothing but compliments for the Brad Stevens-led squad.“That looks like a team that is going to be at the top of the East for a long time to come,” he said. “Whether their time is now or the future, that’s to be determined, but they sure look like they want it to be right now.” Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH FILE – In this Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, file photo, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr directs his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks in Oakland, California. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is not yet ready to return to the bench as the franchise prepares for its third straight trip to the NBA Finals.After dropping its first two games of the season, the Boston Celtics are sitting at the top of the NBA Standings, winning 13 straight games.READ: Masked man: Irving returns as Celtics win 13th straightADVERTISEMENT The odds didn’t seem to be in the favor of the storied franchise at the beginning of the year, retaining only four players from last year’s team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals.To make matters worse, the team’s prized off-season free agent signing Gordon Hayward suffered a season-ending ankle injury on opening night.Anchored by Irving’s magnificent play and steady contribution from veteran Al Horford and young guns Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the Celtics are once again primed to rule at the top of the East and perhaps even more.“Even without Gordon Hayward and that awful injury, Boston is just crushing people,” Kerr shared.“So, it’s going to be really fun to go against them on Thursday. We know how tough it’s going to be,” he added, referring to the team’s match-up with the Warriors.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next UAAP taekwondo: NU starts strong in title-retention bid LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kerr added: ”They’re really sound, and they’re motivated. It’s a team that’s been on the rise the last couple of years. They lost in the conference finals. They want to win a championship, and it looks like it”.  Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORY:LeBron: ‘It’s been a while since I had a guy who can score and create for others’ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics PLAY LIST 02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending 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 View commentslast_img read more

10 months agoHuddersfield boss Wagner: We score thousands of training goals

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Huddersfield boss Wagner: We score thousands of training goalsby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield Town boss David Wagner has called on his players to start converting their chances as they look to escape relegation this season.The Terriers have scored just four goals in their last six matches ahead of their bottom of the table clash with Fulham on Saturday.Wagner said: “In training it’s not about a lack of effort or attitude. In training they hit the back of the net thousands of times.”But in games it hasn’t clicked so far. This is the truth, but I think it is all about seeing the chance and taking the opportunity that is in front of you.”Recent results have affected our performances. In other games performances were on a very good level.”We defended well and created unbelievable opportunities but we didn’t score and this is the truth.”This is where we have to improve – we have to take steps to convert our chances, our performances and our ball possession.” last_img read more

Photos: Braxton Miller Honored To Have Poster At Ohio Stadium

first_imgBraxton Miller running with the football for Ohio State.ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 28: Terry Richardson #13 of the Michigan Wolverines tackles Braxton Miller #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second quarter at Michigan Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Braxton Miller is a bona fide Ohio State great after his tenure as All-Big Ten quarterback and later a dynamic wide receiver.His status with the program wasn’t in question, but now he is officially in the ranks of the “greats” at Ohio Stadium, where his poster has been added.Miller and defensive end Joey Bosa are the two latest Buckeyes to receive the honor.Bosa and Braxton have been added into the Hall of Greats at Ohio Stadium.— Not James Vogel (@Not_James_Vogel) August 31, 2016Miller is incredibly grateful to have his posted hanging at “The Horseshoe.”Miller proved to be a threat at every level of offense during his time at Ohio State. As quarterback from 2011-2013, he threw for 5,295 yards, 52 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. He rushed for 3,315 yards and 33 touchdowns, including 1,000 yard seasons on the ground in 2012 and 2013. As a receiver in 2015, Miller caught 25 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns.While his numbers at receiver won’t blow anyone away, it was his first year playing the position, and the team dealt with issues at quarterback, as J.T. Barrett did not win the job back from the up-and-down Cardale Jones until midway through the year. Even so, Miller showed enough to be a third round pick by the Houston Texans, where he now plays alongside superstar DeAndre Hopkins and promising receivers like Jaelen Strong and Will Fuller.last_img read more

Astronauts mix cement in space for first time NASA

first_imgWashington DC: Astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) have for the first time mixed cement in microgravity, an advance that may help protect humans in space from radiation and extreme temperatures in the future, NASA said. The researchers examined cement solidification to understand how the chemistry and microscopic structures involved in the process changed under microgravity. In the experiment which NASA called Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification (MICS) project, researchers mixed tricalcium silicate (C3S) — popular ingredient of cement — and water outside of Earth’s gravity for the first time. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIn the MICS project, astronauts aboard the ISS explored whether solidifying cement in microgravity created novel microstructures, NASA said in a statement. Their study provided the first ever comparison of cement samples in microgravity with those made on Earth. The US space agency noted that when humans go to the Moon or Mars to stay, they would need to construct safe places in which to live and work, and that the most widely used building material on the Earth, was concrete. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsConcrete, NASA said, was strong and durable enough to provide protection from cosmic radiation, and that we may make it using materials available on the heavenly bodies we may colonise. While, concrete is a commonly used mixture of sand, gravel, and rocks held in place by water and cement powder, the process of making it is quite complex, and scientists still have questions about the chemistry and microscopic structures involved in the process, according to the US space agency. The researchers created multiple mixtures differing in the type of cement powder, number and type of additives, water quantity, and hydration time. As the grains of cement powder dissolve in water, their molecular structure changes with crystals forming and interlocking with each another throughout the mixture, NASA said. The ISS samples showed notable changes in the cement microstructure compared to those processed on Earth, with the primary difference being increased porosity. “Increased porosity has direct bearing on the strength of the material, but we have yet to measure the strength of the space-formed material,” said principal investigator Aleksandra Radlinska of Pennsylvania State University. The results of the experiment were published in the journal Frontiers in Materials. “Showing that concrete can harden and develop in space represents an important step toward that first structure built on the Moon using materials from the Moon. We confirmed the hypothesis that this can be done,” said Radlinska. “Now we can take next steps to find binders that are specific for space and for variable levels of gravity,” she said. The need for learning to use concrete, Radlinska said, is to apply it for protection from extreme temperatures and radiation while on missions to the Moon and Mars.last_img read more

BillionDollar Billy Beane

The film version of “Moneyball” depicts many establishment baseball types as ignorant of where wins in baseball come from and clueless about how to properly value talent.Take, for example, the scene when John Henry — the billionaire owner of the Boston Red Sox — tries to recruit the Oakland Athletics’ general manager Billy Beane. Henry tells Beane that any managers not rebuilding their teams with Beane’s system in mind are “dinosaurs,” and then hands him a slip of paper. On it, there’s an offer for Beane to become the new Red Sox general manager for the insane amount of $12.5 million over five years. His fictional colleague tells us that the offer would make Beane “the highest-paid GM in the history of sports.” Despite appearing tempted, Beane ultimately declines the deal, claiming, “I made one decision in my life based on money and I swore I’d never do it again.”1In real life, Beane briefly accepted the Red Sox’s offer before changing his mind (citing community and family reasons). He even began negotiating with the A’s over what compensation the Red Sox would have to give his old team for stealing him away. At the press conference announcing that he’d changed his mind, Beane was asked about that negotiation (from a contemporary news report):“Asked from a baseball talent-evaluator perspective what he was worth, Beane laughed and said, ‘I had one opinion before [accepting Boston’s job] and once I got there, I had a different opinion.’”Beane may not be the highest-paid GM in the history of sports, but he may be the most famous. An outfielder originally drafted 23rd overall by the New York Mets in 1980, Beane made his MLB debut in 1984, but was never successful against top competition. After getting washed out of the league, he became a scout for the A’s and eventually worked his way up to GM in 1997. As GM, he has used Bill James-style advanced statistics to inform his decisions, and taken a strictly economic approach to valuing and acquiring players. Under his leadership, the A’s have been a very successful franchise despite routinely carrying one of baseball’s smallest payrolls. Beane’s story caught the attention of author Michael Lewis, who made him the central character in his 2003 bestseller “Moneyball” and something of a cultural icon for sports analytics.Beane’s methods continue to be analyzed and celebrated by sabermetricians, and the A’s continue to massively exceed expectations given the amount they spend. They own the best record in baseball so far this season, and have the fifth-lowest payroll.2While also being rated as the “unluckiest” team this year. They currently lead MLB in Pythagorean wins by an even wider margin. It’s the best 100-game start of Beane’s career, and the best for the organization since its 1990 pennant-winning squad. Over the last 15 seasons,3The period covered by Baseball Prospectus’s payroll data. the A’s under Beane have had the fifth-best winning percentage in baseball, with the fourth-lowest total payroll. (The data used here is current through Monday, July 21.)Beane has been a godsend to the frugal A’s, enabling them to achieve top-tier performance at bottom-tier prices. For this, the A’s have paid him fairly modestly4In general, good GMs are probably way underpaid, but Beane is even more so. — but since we don’t know how much winning is worth to the A’s organization, it’s hard to say exactly how much Beane has been worth to them.For a team like the Red Sox, however, the picture is much more clear. Over the last 15 years, they’ve happily spent over $2 billion in the pursuit of wins — and because they’re one of baseball’s most successful franchises, no one in Beantown is complaining.From a strictly economic perspective, not offering Beane however much money it took to get him may have been one of the Red Sox’s poorest decisions since letting Babe Ruth go to the Yankees for next to nothing. And I mean that literally: Over the past 15 years, Billy Beane has been nothing less than the Babe Ruth of baseball GMs. The Red Sox offered Beane $2.5 million per year,5The 2002 Boston Red Sox paid Dustin Hermanson — a relief pitcher with a 4.21 ERA — $5.5 million, or more than twice as much in annual salary as they offered Beane. but even $25 million would have been a bargain.Finding Beane’s potential dollar value to the Red Sox is relatively simple: It’s the amount the team spent under general managers Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington, minus the amount it would have had to spend for the same performance with Beane as GM.6Hat tip to Jeremy Kahan — a hedge fund analyst and good friend of mine — for zeroing in on the Red Sox angle to this question.To show this, we first we need to figure out just how many A’s wins Beane has been responsible for, and how much those wins would cost on the open market.Let’s start by comparing the A’s performance under Beane’s leadership to the performance we would expect from a typical GM with the same payroll.7Prior to their change in ownership in 1995, the A’s maintained a healthy payroll, including the largest in the league in 1991, following their World Series appearance the year before. By the time they started downsizing, Beane was already with the team. This means there’s no way to compare Beane’s performance to that of a different A’s GM with a similar payroll. I created a logistic regression model8A type of model used to predict things like win percentages. that predicts a team’s win percentage by season based on the team’s relative payroll (excluding Oakland from the data), as measured by how many standard deviations it was above or below the average MLB payroll for each season. Below, I’ve plotted the non-Oakland team-seasons from 2000 to 2013 (on which the model is based) in groups of 15 by payroll (so, the dot farthest to the right represents the 15 team-seasons with the highest relative payrolls), and plotted the model’s prediction as a red line. I then plotted Oakland’s 15 seasons through 2014 as a single green point:The point on the upper right represents the 15 team-seasons with the highest relative payrolls. These teams were 2.68 standard deviations above the mean payroll on average and won 58.5 percent of their regular-season games on average.9Note there’s not much difference from a linear regression, which would have an underlying (season-by-season) R-squared value of .183 (though this can be increased by using less noisy metrics such as run differential). Oakland, on the other hand, averaged .81 standard deviations below the mean payroll and won 54.8 percent of its games on average.From this we can take each team’s expected wins per season based on payroll,10The logistic regression formula in Excel is: =1/(1+EXP(-(-0.009677+0.127212*[SD Payroll]))). and then see how many games above or below average it ran. Here’s Oakland, broken down by year (Note: 2014 is through the season’s first 98 games only):This comes out to 180.2 wins above expectation given the A’s payroll (165.5 prior to this year). That’s 12.0 wins above expectation per season (and there’s a good chance of that per-season average rising).“Wins above expectation” may sound familiar to you. It’s conceptually very similar to wins above replacement (WAR), the stat we use to evaluate how many wins a player earns a team versus how many games that team would expect to win without him.11There are two main differences between wins above expectation and wins above replacement:WAR is based on direct player performance metrics like hitting, fielding, etc., while a general manager’s wins earned are imputed indirectly from his team’s performance (both of these methods have their pluses and minuses).WAR is above “replacement,” meaning it’s the number of wins a player earns not over an average player, but over a borderline player — someone you would pay the minimum. A GM’s wins here are measured above what we would expect from the average non-Beane GM.But the difference between a “replacement” GM and an average GM is unclear to me: They all cost a pretty similar amount, and how much value they add is a mystery, so I thought an average GM was the appropriate baseline. Regardless, this means that this comparison could be understating Beane’s value. For example, Babe Ruth earned only 126 wins above average as a batter, compared to his 163 wins above replacement.Beane’s 12 wins per season above what we would expect of an average general manager is slightly more wins than Barry Bonds earned when he hit 73 home runs in 2001 (11.9 WAR). The most WAR earned by any batter over his entire career was 163 by Babe Ruth.12At least for now, Ruth does maintain a slight edge over Beane in total WAR (with 183.6) on account of his 20.6 WAR as a pitcher. In fact, if you assemble the top 15 position player seasons of all time, they still trail Beane’s 15 seasons as GM, with 180.1 WAR combined versus Beane’s 180.2 wins above expectation.No one can get that lucky. If you’re expected to win 1,116 out of 2,364 games, winning 1,296 games instead may not look impossible, but that’s because our intuitions about these things are terrible. Excel’s binomial distribution function makes calculating such odds pretty easy:13The Excel formula to calculate odds of winning a certain amount given an expected win rate is: =BINOM.DIST([Games]-[Wins],[Games],1-[Expected Win Percent], TRUE). In this case they’re somewhere around one in 13 trillion — effectively zero.14Granted, though odds that they’ve just gotten lucky overall are nil, it’s likely that the A’s have been “running well” to some extent — meaning, their performance has probably exceeded their true expectation. But this is true of any top team. Of course, we can’t know to what degree Beane alone is responsible for the A’s success. But as GM, Beane is formally responsible for the A’s performance, and there aren’t any other obvious causes that would suggest he isn’t responsible (there have been several different managers and 100 percent turnover of players during Beane’s tenure).Imagine the A’s wanted to have exactly this level of success and were willing to pay whatever it cost. With Billy Beane, the A’s have paid $839,902,108 to their players from 2000 up to and including the start of the 2014 season (but prior to recent acquisitions). How much do other teams normally have to pay for this level of success?There are a lot of estimates for the price of wins out there, ranging from ESPN’s Dan Szymborski’s $5.5 million per marginal win and FanGraphs $6 million on the lower end to Lewie Pollis’s $7 million and up to Hardball Times’ $7.6 million on the high end. To make things a little more complicated, the price of wins has also risen substantially with the growth of payrolls in the last decade15I’ll stick with FanGraphs and Hardball Times, because their historical estimates are readily accessible.:If we use these values to price wins above or below expectation on a year-by-year basis for every team as we did for Oakland above, and then sum up by team, it would look like this:FanGraphs’ value for Oakland’s performance adds up to $812 million since 2000, while the Hardball Times’ value adds up to $891 million. Over three-quarters of a billion dollars — that’s huge! We can smell-check these numbers by looking at the overall picture. Leaving aside standard deviations and year-by-year breakdowns for a moment, we can see how each team’s total payroll over the last 15 years has compared to its performance:That trend line shows us how well teams have performed relative to how much they’ve paid, but we can also use it for the reverse:16By solving for Win Percentage. In Excel: =([WPct]-0.4130893)/(0.0000669). The Oakland Athletics have won 54.8 percent of their games, so the corresponding 15-year payroll (the amount we would expect a team to have paid for that win rate) is about $2.02 billion — about $1.18 billion higher than the Athletics actually paid.So the smell-check turned out a higher number than the estimates based on the normal price of wins, when that normal price already seemed absurd.This isn’t broken down year by year, so it could just be that the A’s won a lot more in years when wins were cheaper. To correct for this, we need a more empirical method for pricing wins. On a year-by-year basis, how big would each team’s payroll have to have been to buy its performance? Using the regression above (and some fancywork in R17This is done using the inverse of the logistic regression built above, which leads to very complicated math, but can be done fairly easily in R using the boot package (where “mod” is the logistic model):require(boot)invPred <- function (W,G,mod) {(logit(W/G) – coef(mod)[[“(Intercept)”]]) / coef(mod)[[“”]]}I should note this leads to some very valuable-looking seasons (like Seattle’s 116-win season in 2001), because that kind of success is virtually impossible to “buy.” But it sums up across seasons very accurately.), we can model this and see that wins may be harder to buy than standard win-valuation models (FanGraphs, Hardball Times, etc.) would suggest. Valuing each team’s relative season-by-season performance this way leads to a very different accounting from above:Over the past 15 years, the A’s have exceeded expectations by close to $1.38 billion — even better than our smell-check estimate of $1.18 billion. This suggests that they’ve performed slightly better in years when they were at a bigger payroll disadvantage (at 2013 market value, those A’s wins would cost closer to $1.78 billion).18Note: though I use a logistic regression so the price of wins isn’t perfectly linear, this approach corresponds roughly to a price per win of around 4.7 wins per standard deviation of payroll. So the table of win prices over the years corresponding to those of Hardball Times and FanGraphs above would look like this: Yes, that’s “billion” with a B. (Or two.)* * * * *Now that we have a sense of Beane’s performance and how much it would cost to replicate it, let’s turn back to the Boston Red Sox and their failure to sign him (or even to offer him anywhere near his worth).The situations in Oakland and Boston aren’t directly comparable. Exploiting market inefficiencies is probably easier for Beane than it is for a successful big-money team, because he has never had to face the winner’s curse or the diminishing returns of spending. On the other hand, the A’s have been way above average, not just a little above average. Aside from the Red Sox’s post-season successes,19I should also note that, while not having any championships to show for it, the A’s have made the playoffs the same number of times the Red Sox have (seven), and they’ve been remarkably unlucky, losing all six series-deciding Game 5s they’ve played. the team has only performed 0.6 percent better than the A’s over the 15-year period — for which they’ve paid an extra $1.2 billion in salaries.But some of that money was spent and some of those wins came before the Red Sox attempted to hire Beane. To be conservative, let’s just look at the period since Henry made Beane his offer: In the last 12 years, the Red Sox spent $1.714 billion on payroll, while the A’s spent $736 million. We can then break down what it could have looked like if Beane had worked for the Red Sox like so:Let’s say it would have cost Boston the same $736 million that it cost Oakland to get the A’s performance with Beane.At the hypothetical $25 million-per-year salary I suggested earlier, Beane would have cost the Red Sox another $300 million. (It’s possible that Beane would have wanted more, but it’s even more possible that they could have gotten him for less.)The difference in performance between the A’s and the Red Sox over that period (where the Sox were as successful as at any point in the franchise’s history, and the A’s were supposedly stagnating after Beane’s early success) has been about 50 games for Boston. Since we don’t know exactly how good Beane would be at procuring additional wins above his Oakland performance, let’s assume that the Red Sox would have had to pay the typical amount teams have paid for wins in the period to make up the difference. According to the year-by-year price of wins from my calculations above, those 50 wins (taking when they happened into account) would have a market value of about $370 million (though this might have been lower with Beane in charge).If we combine these — the price of the A’s performance ($736 million) plus Super-Expensive-Billy-Beane’s salary ($300 million) plus the additional 50 Red Sox wins at high market estimates ($370 million) — merely duplicating their previous level of success still would have saved the Red Sox more than $300 million relative to what they actually spent, and that’s with reasonably conservative assumptions. That’s money they could have pocketed, or spent making themselves even better.In other words, failing to understand Beane’s true value may have cost the Red Sox hundreds of millions of dollars or more. “Moneyball” isn’t just some nerdy obsession that helps a few teams save a bit of money. It’s about more than nickels and dimes; it’s about millions and billions.CORRECTION (July 24, 7:10 p.m.): A footnote in an earlier version of this story misstated the most recent year the Oakland A’s played in the World Series; it was 1990, not 1991. read more