CANADIAN ACTRESSMODEL STEFANIE SHERK DEAD AT AGE 37 HUSBAND DEMIAN BICHIR WRITES

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first_imgAdvertisement Bichir did not specify the cause of death. He asked for respect during his time of mourning.The couple started their relationship in 2010 and did not have children together. Bichir has a daughter, Gala, born in 2011.Sherk was born in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont. She appeared in Bichir’s directorial debut “Un Cuento de Circo & A Love Song,” as well as the films “Star Power,” ”Valentine’s Day” and ”Loco Love.” She also starred in ”#Hashtag: The Series.”Bichir, 55, was nominated for an Oscar for best actor in 2012 for his role in Chris Weitz’s “A Better Life.” He has also appeared in films like “The Hateful Eight,” ”Che: Guerrilla” and ”Sex, Shame & Tears.”UPDATE:  The L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner has ruled her death a suicide as confirmed to PEOPLE Magazine.Are you in a crisis? If you need help, contact Crisis Services Canada at their website or by calling 1-833-456-4566. If you know someone who may be having thoughts of suicide, visit CAMH’s resource to learn how to talk about suicide with the persoGeneraln you’re worried about.RELATEDSTEFANIE SHERK’S CAUSE OF DEATH REVEALED AS SUICIDE BY DROWNING – PEOPLEACTRESS STEFANIE SHERK DIED BY SUICIDE, MULTIPLE CAUSES OF DEATH: REPORTS – THE EPOCH TIMESREMEMBERING STEFANIE SHERK: A LOOK BACK AT HER LIFE AND LOVE WITH DEMIÁN BICHIR – PEOPLESTEFANIE SHERK, CANADIAN MODEL AND ACTRESS, DIES AT 37 – CNN Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Demian Bichir announced the death of his wife Wednesday in a heartfelt message on Instagram, saying that Sherk died “peacefully” on April 20. She was 37.“It has been the saddest and toughest time of our lives and we don’t know how much time it will take for us to overcome this pain,” he said in his post with a picture of Sherk. “It is our sincerest hope that our beautiful Stefanie, my angel and love of my life, will rest in eternal peace.” Twitterlast_img read more

Walking trail near Fort St John Hospital closed until further notice

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first_imgHe added that at this point it’s not known when the trail will be reopening, but that the City will be notifying residents via its Facebook page. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – City officials say that one of the walking trails located near the Fort St. John Hospital will be closed until further notice.Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said that work crews were attempting to resolve drainage issues near the walking trail along the south side of the hospital property when some of the equipment caused damage to the trail itself.Harvey said that the City is currently working with engineers to try to get the drainage issues in the area resolved while also determining what repairs need to be performed on the trail itself.last_img

The old fire hall approved for rezoning

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first_img FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At the Public Hearing held in the Council’s Chambers, the motion was approved to amend the zoning for the old fire hall.The zoning was being changed from Institutional to General Commercial to allow the site to be developed as mixed-use commercial office space on the bottom and residential above.The city property at 9407 Avenue sold for $625,000 to 1117731 BC Ltd company.last_img

Groupe Alliances EBRD sign partnership to develop Moroccan tourism industry

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Casablanca – Alliances Hospitality, subsidiary of the Groupe Alliances which specializes in hotel industry, signed, on Friday in Casablanca, a partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the building of 3 and 4 star hotels in Morocco.The agreement was signed by CEO of the Groupe Alliances Mohamed Alami Lazraq and tourism director at EBRD Claudia Pendred.The project provides for an investment worth 50 mln euros, 10 mln euros to be paid by EBRD and 15 by the Groupe Alliances. The project will be carried out by Alliances Hotel Investment, a newly-established company owned by EBRD (40%) and Alliances Hospitality (60%).The first hotels will be constructed in Casablanca and Marrakech, then in other Moroccan cities as Tangier, Rabat and Oujda.

Video Young Moroccan Rants Against ONCF Delays at Train Station

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Rabat – A young woman, who recently returned from a stay in France, broke down at a train station after waiting for nearly half an hour for a train to take her to Casablanca. The woman, who did not identify herself nor her location, ranted about her frustrations in a video she recorded of herself on a mobile phone. Haditouna TV, an online magazine, published the video on its YouTube channel on Thursday.“I don’t understand this ONCF [sic],” she said, referring to the national train company. “Always late! I just returned from France and I see this chaos in Morocco – this isn’t right!” The woman, wearing a black sweater, said she has never boarded an ONCF train on time and that the routine delays cause her to be late to her appointments. A man at the station tried to talk her during her rant, which she recorded while sitting on the ground against a wall. It remains unclear if he was an ONCF employee or a fellow passenger. Towards the end of the video, the man told her the train is due to arrive in the next five minutes, but she was not inclined to believe him.“Why shouldn’t I get angry?,” she argued. “I’m not going to get up off the ground. I am going to create chaos for you people.”The woman said Moroccans should strike against the train company’s delays to force them to stick to the schedule.Last summer, ONCF pledged to improve their quality of service and punctuality after the trains’ overhead cable system experienced technical problems, creating massive delays and customer frustration. read more

Canadian mining exec kidnapped by Colombian rebels has been released

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TORONTO — A Canadian mining executive who was kidnapped seven months ago by Colombian rebels opposed to his company’s gold mining project has been freed and will soon return home, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday.Gernot Wober, 47, was released by National Liberation Army rebels in a rural region in northern Colombia and was transferred by a Red Cross helicopter to the city of Barrancabermeja, north of Bogota.The ICRC said Wober was in good health.Wober, vice-president of exploration of the Toronto-based Braeval Mining Corp., was abducted on Jan. 18, along with two Colombian employees and two Peruvian consultants.The National Liberation Army, or ELN, had demanded that Braeval drop plans to explore for gold at the Snow Mine property in southern Bolivar state, saying the land had been stolen from its legitimate owners. Braeval announced last month that it was pulling out of Colombia.The ELN is far smaller than the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which is currently engaged in peace talks with the government.Both groups emerged in the 1960s, largely as an outgrowth of rural peasant movements seeking a more equitable distribution of Colombia’s agricultural lands.The ELN has been seeking to join those talks, but Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos said earlier this year that there would be no talks with the group until Wober was freed unconditionally.A spokesman for Braeval Mining said the company is “greatly, greatly relieved” about Wober’s release, adding that the Toronto-area man is receiving assistance from Canadian consular officials and will return home “at the earliest opportunity.”“Gernot does have a wife and a young child and we have every expectation that they want to be united as quickly as possible,” Chris Eby said.Braeval Mining announced late last month that it would be pulling out of its Snow Mine project because the site had been idle since Wober was kidnapped.In a news release issued last month, the company cited the shutdown to “unfavourable market conditions” and said it is shifting its focus to other exploration projects.The Canadian Press read more

Warning that Middle East violence could spread Annan urges parties to talk

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“I am worried that if we do not contain the crisis it could spread,” Mr. Annan said today in Austria during a press encounter held jointly with the country’s Foreign Minister, Benita Ferrero-Waldner. He noted that tensions in the region had reached levels “not seen in many years.”Responding to questions, the Secretary-General also calle attention to the human toll exacted by the current “tragic” situation. “We have innocent people suffering and I think the international community has an obligation to do whatever it can to bring an end to this misery,” he said.Mr. Annan said the clashes underscored the need for dialogue. “In my judgement it is when the killing is going on, when you are living that tragedy, that you must talk,” he said. “I do not see how you can bring the situation under control if the protagonists do not come around the table.” In that regard, he expressed support for efforts by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to bring the parties together.The press encounter followed a meeting between the Secretary-General and Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner, during which they discussed the crisis in the Middle East as well as other issues, including the situation in the Balkans and the fight against AIDS.The Secretary-General began his day by meeting with Pino Arlacchi, the Director-General of the UN Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention. read more

Senior UN rights official concludes trip to Kyrgyzstan

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The Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan, was in Kyrgyzstan as part of an official two-week visit to Central Asia. He met in Bishkek with President Askar Akaev and a host of top officials, including the Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs, and stressed at every level that the real test of a national human rights policy was the extent to which it promoted genuine respect of human rights.The Kyrgyz leadership updated the UN rights official on the President’s National Human Rights Programme for 2002-2010, which emphasizes the constitutional values of human freedom, dignity and honour. They underlined the significance of the establishment of the post of Ombudsman and noted the recent announcement of the establishment of a Council on Democratic Security that would work on the elaboration of a Kyrgyz code of democratic values.While Mr. Ramcharan welcomed these initiatives, he stressed the importance of actual implementation of human rights. He urged that the Ombudsman be given the resources and support he would need to fulfil his mandate. He applauded the support that the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is providing the Ombudsman, and expressed the hope that the project would be generously supported in the future.Mr. Ramcharan also recalled that the UN Human Rights Committee had indicated a number of problems, including in the functioning of the Kyrgyz judiciary, the treatment of detainees and prisoners, and violence against women. He urged tangible action to correct these continuing problems. He also urged that the recently revised Constitution, as well as relevant laws, be interpreted and applied in the letter and spirit of international human rights norms.The chief aim of Mr. Ramcharan’s trip has been to enhance dialogue and technical cooperation between the governments of the region and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as well as to follow-up on Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s visit to the region in October 2002. read more

Volunteers needed for Autism Spectrum Disorder Summer Movement Camp

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All it took was one volunteer experience for Steffannie Hancharyk (BPhed ’08, BEd ’08, MA ’14) to become hooked.There was just something so heartwarming about the big smiles and determination on the faces of youths from Brock’s Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Summer Movement Camp that she could not resist.It was just after completing her master’s degree in 2014 that the Brock alumna, a third-degree black belt in Goju-ryu Karate, was invited to be part of the camp.She ran an introduction to martial arts station that helped campers explore various movements.“It was such a rewarding experience that I was inspired to start my own company,” said Hancharyk, who shortly after her camp participation founded Experience Physical Activity. The not-for-profit organization partners with various agencies such as Autism Ontario, RAFT and Community Living to offer martial arts training to individuals experiencing disability.“When I offered my first camp session, I didn’t know what to expect,” Hancharyk said. “It was an awesome experience. After providing some background to the participants and volunteers, my lesson plan went out the window and I just started teaching basic skills of kicking and blocking, before progressing to combinations.”The martial arts station became an immediate success and has been integrated into the ASD camp every year since. “One of the reasons why these lessons are so successful is because the martial arts movements that Steffannie does with the participants are not only transferrable to other gym stations, but they are also useful movements for daily living,” said Elyse Lappano, Brock’s Experiential Learning Co-ordinator, Inclusive and Adaptive Physical Activity.The movements, which are broken down into simple small parts, are then built onto additional tasks, which reinforce the pattern and can be taught by other camp volunteers.“The volunteers and participants are learning the same martial arts taught in dojos, but Steffannie teaches them in an adaptive way. This pushes them to constantly practise and leads to increased success,” Lappano said. Hancharyk has also gone on to hire alumni who have volunteer experience with Brock’s inclusive and adaptive physical activity programs.“I rely heavily on Brock graduates who have volunteered with the ASD camp and the Special Needs Activity Program,” Hancharyk said. “We really need our alumni and students to step up and help out. These programs provide quality training to volunteers and give participants the confidence to participate in other opportunities.”The ASD Summer Movement Camp, which runs from Aug. 20 to 24 and Aug. 27 to 31, provides developmentally appropriate movement programming for participants.The camp needs at least 25 student volunteers to work with youth who require one-on-one support (and in some cases two-to-one support) and can only accept campers based on volunteer commitment.“These camps fulfill a gap in much-needed services for this group of youth in Niagara,” Lappano said.Students are currently needed for both camps and may volunteer for one or both weeks. A training session will take place on campus on the Sunday before each camp.Volunteers should be interested in teaching and working with youths and teens who are neuro-diverse in a movement context. They will learn strategies that are transferable to any teaching profession and may gain course credit for volunteering.When a volunteer commits to camp, a camper is invited.“If the volunteer does not show up, we cannot turn that camper away. This results in a serious safety issue due to lack of student support,” Lappano said, while stressing the importance of sticking to that commitment.Undergraduate and graduate students from across all Faculties and departments and alumni with relevant experience are encouraged to apply.The camp will take place in Gym 2 of Walker Complex.There will be trips each afternoon to participate in a variety of recreation activities throughout Niagara, including:Low ropes courseBowlingSafari NiagaraGo-kartsMcBain splash pad and poolKiwanis splash pad and poolThe ASD summer movement camp is one of many ways Brock emphasizes its commitment to experiential education and community engagement.To register or for more information, e-mail elappano@brocku.ca read more

BillionDollar Billy Beane

BillionDollar Billy Beane

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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)[[“payroll.sd”]]}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

Weird Wide Web Face stealing mind reading and some papal photography

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first_imgWELCOME TO THE WEIRD Wide Web – where we take a look at the week’s best offerings in tech and social media news.Scary face morphing app of the weekYahoo Japan has released Face Stealer, a slightly unsettling face swapping site that lets you transform your face into that of someone else, in realtime,  including Einstein and the Mona Lisa, Gizmodo reports. You can also create your own masks by taking pictures of your friends (or maybe your pets) and morphing their faces with yours.(Image: Face Stealer/iTunes)Pornographic infographic of the weekThe Porn MD has released this infographic showing global internet porn habits, with the top ten most commonly searched terms on porn sites over a six month period. The Porn MD hasn’t included the Republic of Ireland in the infographic – because nobody here watches porn – so the closest we can get is Britain whose top three search terms were ‘British’, ‘Indian’ and ‘MILF’.Musical Twitter announcement of the weekTwitter is set to release an app called ‘Twitter Music’ by the end of the month, CNET reported this week. The app will suggest artists and songs for users to listen to based on information, like the accounts  a person follows, with songs streamed to the app using SoundCloud.Mind reading gadget of the weekSpeaking of music, these slick looking headphones can read your brainwaves and then choose music to play based on what mood they think you’re in. The gadget plays the music through an iPhone app and changes the tunes as your mood changes. The product is just in the prototype phase at the moment, but this could be the future of music entertainment…(neurowear/YouTube)Oh how the times have changed picture of the week(Image: Today Show/Instagram)The Today Show uploaded this image to their Instagram account this week, showing a stark difference since 2005 in the number of people in the crowd at the Vatican with cameras to capture the Pope’s first address. We’re just dying to know what the next one will look like now.Read all previous Weird Wide Webs>last_img read more

Ads in breach Small print from Three bad coverage from eMobile indecency

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first_imgADVERTS FROM  eMobile, Three Mobile and The Wright Venue are among 14 found to be in breach of standards according to the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland.The ad from eMobile failed due to lack of substantiation while Three Mobile was judged to be misleading and a leaflet from The Wright Venue was ruled to break decency rules.A further 10 complaints against adverts were not upheld with the ads relating to a range of media including social media, leaflet, brochure, press, radio and television.eMobileA complaint was made to the ASAI from a customer who signed up an eMobile 18-month contract on the basis of a TV and press campaign. The customer from the Navan area complained that they were unable to take advantage of the offer because of poor coverage in their area.The ad had outlined how the offer allowed for “45,000 any network minutes monthly” and “10,000 any network texts”.The network had argued that the complaint appeared to relate to the level of coverage rather than the advertisement itself, adding that information about coverage was on their website.But the ASAI disagreed, stating that the ad had not stated that the offer was “subject to availability” and was therefore in breach of their code.Three MobileThe complaint against Three related to the fine-print on a television ad not being clear enough.The ad in question was the carrier’s €29.95 offer which included all texts and internet data for that price.In the fine-print on the bottom of the screen the ad stated that the offer was, “€29.95 for each of the first three months. €39.75 thereafter.”A customer complained that this was not made clear enough in the ad and the ASAI agreed, saying that, although it was written in fine print it was not linked to in the large print offer:They (the complaints committee) noted that while the advertisers had referred to the fact that that the price was a promotional price for three months, they had only done so through onscreen text which had not been linked by way of an asterisk to the main headline claim.The Wright Venue  North Dublin nightclub The Wright Venue were also reprimanded by the ASAI in reference to a door-to-door leaflet campaign for their CAKE event.The leaflet referred to “C.A.K.E – CRAZY, AMAZING, KINKY ENTERTAINMENT” and featured a picture of a woman wearing bikini bottoms.It doubled up as a membership application form and had a blank space running across the woman’s back for people to write their contact details.A complainant said that the leaflet was put through her letterbox and picked up by her 11-year-old daughter.  She considered it inappropriate to deliver such leaflets to homes where young children may see them.  She also objected to the image of the young woman used and considered it sexist and inappropriate to use in order to gain interest for the venue concerned.The advertisers apologised for inclusion of the word ‘kinky’ in their advertising and said they will be more mindful of the material in door-to-door drops.The complaints committee of the ASAI upheld the concerns on a number of grounds, stating that they the advertisers, “should not use offensive or provocative copy or images merely to attract attention”.The pointed to a number of different sections of the code of practice which state that marketing should seek to avoid sex stereotyping as well as take into account how children may react and be affected by certain advertising.In all three of the above cases the companies were told not to run the adverts in the same form again.View the ASAI’s full complaints newsletter here> Read: Adverts in breach: Healing bracelets, shoes that tone and cowboys in vans >Read: Avonmore, Aer Lingus and Eircom breached advertising codes >last_img read more

LG ENote H1000B tablet finally launches

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first_imgLG have officially announced their entry into the tablet market with the launch of the E-Note H1000B (available to start with in South Korea) which according to Engadget is based on the Windows 7 operating system.In terms of its cosmetic appearance the device has a similar look to the Toshiba Folio 100 (released in Europe earlier this month, hopefully this does not have the same problems as the latter).In terms of spec the display features a similar 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 pixel capacitive screen and as mentioned runs Windows 7, more specifically the Starter Edition. A 1.6GHz Atom Z530 processor runs the show, alongside 16GB of SSD storage and 1GB of memory, all of which are powered by a 4-cell battery.Measuring 14.5-mm thick and weighing 850-grams the case also incorporates 2x USB 2.0 ports and an SD card reader. Wireless technology consists of an embedded 802.11b/g/n antenna and Bluetooth 3.0 receiver.The LG E-Note H1000B tablet comes with the price tag of approximately 961,000 won or, $847. It is bundled with a portable WiMAX router.Read more at Engadgetlast_img read more

Clark County builders get cut of 2 million reimbursement

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first_imgThe Building Industry Association of Clark County is distributing a little more than $2 million among 203 local builders who paid into its insurance program.The money comes from rebate checks for its Return on Industrial Insurance Program, which promotes safety on job sites. Companies that get rebates have paid premiums that exceed their claims in the program.The Building Industry of Washington runs the program statewide and has reportedly collected $90 million in premiums from 1,800 companies, according to the Wednesday announcement.BIA representatives said that companies have received refunds of about 38 percent over the last three years.last_img

Burger King conducts bullying social experiment

Burger King conducts bullying social experiment

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first_img(WSVN) – Burger King, known for their fast food, captured a social experiment surrounding bullying.In the video, the fast-food giant shines a light on bullying, a troubling issue that many face each day. The company used their unaware customers, along with actors, to study exactly how bullying affects one another.The video shows children describing words used by bullies, like “scrawny, chubby, short, queer.”One boy described how difficult it is to stick up for others. “It’s been hard for me to stand up for other people because I feel like I’m already a target,” said the boy.“It’s just easier to do nothing,” said another boy.The social experiment including the actors pretending to bully a high school student in their junior year. “Hey, stop. Dude, stop!” the boy can be heard saying in the video as the bullies tease him.“Do you have any friends?” asks one of the bullies. All of this happened as customers looked on, silent and observing the bullying. However, almost every customer that received a purposefully mangled Whopper Jr. sandwich brought it to the counter, speaking up about their meal.“I just opened it up and it’s all smashed,” said a customer.“Did you order bullied or unbullied?” asked the Burger King employee.“Do you have a manager I can speak to? Because that doesn’t make any sense,” said another customer.According to Burger King, 95 percent of customers reported the “bullied” Whopper Jr. to employees. Only 12 percent of customers acted in defense of the bullied high school student.“I’ve been that kid, so if I see it, I’m gonna do something about it,” said a customer. “I hope there’s more people out there like that.”According to NoBully.org, 30 percent of students worldwide are bullied each year. “Something I’ll never forget is my friends standing up for me,” said a boy.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

New Nokia tech may double your phones battery life

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first_img Now playing: Watch this: 4:20 1 Tags Share your voice Is 5G safe? (The 3:59, Ep. 575)center_img 5G Nokia Comment Mobile Sci-Tech Tech Industry Phones Nokia researchers have filed a patent for new battery tech that’d better support 5G services.  Logan Moy/CNET As 5G becomes more common, phones have to adapt to support the next-gen network’s power requirements. As such, Nokia Bell Labs and Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) have developed new battery technology that might double the life of your phone’s battery without making it heavier. The researchers filed a patent to protect the design and start commercialization soon, according to a June company announcement. “By packing more energy into a smaller space, this new battery technology will have a profound impact on 5G and the entire networked world,” Paul King, one of the lead investigators on the project and member of the technical staff at Nokia Bell Labs, said in the release. The technology uses similar components and designs as today’s technology, so it should cost a similar amount, Nokia spokesman Eric Mangan said. That’s an important factor for any new battery technology.But don’t expect it to help with the 5G phones now arriving, or the more mature successors coming next year. The new battery technology still has to clear hurdles in design and manufacturability. “A few years is a good bet,” Mangan said of the technology’s availability.The new batteries use carbon nanotubes, tiny tubes that have shown engineering promise for decades. A network of them enables stronger electrodes within the battery that conduct more electricity with lower resistance, a Nokia research paper on Nature Energy said. That helps to increase the amount of energy that can be stored in a given battery volume.The new technology can also better sustain renewable energy grids, consumer services and the industrial internet of things. The grids could manage high energy fluctuations in wind and solar technologies. According to a study from Wood Mackenzie published in February, the energy storage in 100 percent renewable systems will likely be 25 times higher as compared to today’s systems. The need for efficient, fast charging and compact energy storage becomes even more imperative with these challenges, the study said.Originally published June 21.Update, June 25: Adds more detail about the battery technology.last_img read more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi happy with Statue of Unitys

Prime Minister Narendra Modi happy with Statue of Unitys

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first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he is happy that the Statue of Unity in Gujarat is emerging as a popular tourist spot and the structure finds a place in the Time 100 greatest places 2019 list. Apart from the 182-metre tall statue of India’s visionary leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Soho House in Mumbai has been featured by the Time, an American weekly news magazine. Also Read – Shah urges women to shun plastic bags Advertise With Us “Excellent news vis-a-vis the ‘Statue of Unity’ – it finds a spot in the @TIME 100 greatest places 2019 list. And, a few days back, a record 34,000 people visited the site in a single day. Glad that it is emerging as a popular tourist spot!” Modi tweeted. He also said that the water levels at the Sardar Sarovar Dam have reached a historic 134 m. Also Read – Free bus travel for women gets Cabinet nod Advertise With Us “Sharing some pictures of the breathtaking view, with the hope that you will go visit this iconic place and see the Statue of Unity,” he wrote on Twitter. In his Independence Day speech, Modi had urged people to visit at least 15 tourist destinations in India before 2022, when we mark 75 years of freedom.last_img read more

Nanoball Batteries Could Charge Electric Cars in 5 Minutes

Nanoball Batteries Could Charge Electric Cars in 5 Minutes

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first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Nanoball Batteries Could Charge Electric Cars in 5 Minutes (2009, March 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-03-nanoball-batteries-electric-cars-minutes.html A sample of the new battery material that could allow quick charging of portable devices. Image credit: Donna Coveney. Explore further Byoungwoo Kang and Gerbrand Ceder of MIT have improved the design of a “nanoball battery,” which has a cathode that is composed of nanosized balls of lithium iron phosphate. As the battery charges, the nanoballs release lithium ions that travel across an electrolyte to the anode. As the battery discharges, the opposite occurs, and the lithium ions are reabsorbed by the nanoballs in the cathode. The key to the nanoball battery’s quick charge time is the speed at which the lithium iron phosphate nanoballs in the cathode can release and absorb lithium ions. In conventional lithium ion batteries, detaching the ions from the normal cathode takes a relatively long time. By coating each nanoball with a thin layer of lithium phosphate, Kang and Ceder showed that they could detach the lithium ions from the nanoballs even quicker than previous studies have found. To demonstrate the technology, the researchers fabricated a small battery that could be fully charged or discharged in 10 to 20 seconds, which would otherwise have taken six minutes. The scientists’ tests showed that the new material degrades less than other battery materials after repeated charges and discharges. This means that the battery could be made with less material, which could possibly lead to smaller, lighter batteries.More information: Byoungwoo Kang and Gerbrand Ceder. “Battery materials for ultrafast charging and discharging.” Nature 458, 190-193 (12 March 2009), doi:10.1038/nature07853.© 2009 PhysOrg.com New battery material could lead to rapid recharging of many devices (PhysOrg.com) — Researchers at MIT have designed a new battery that can recharge devices about 100 times faster than conventional lithium ion batteries. The design could lead to electric car batteries that charge in 5 minutes (compared with 8 hours in today’s electric cars) and cell phone batteries that charge in just 10 seconds.last_img read more

10 Easy Steps to Track Lock and Wipe Data From Your Android

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first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 3 min read November 1, 2013 With the number of mobile device-related robberies on the rise, it’s important to know what you can do if your precious Android-powered smartphone or tablet has been stolen, or if your overworked mind just can’t remember where you left it. The good news is that Google has a solution.This summer, the tech giant released a tool called the Android Device Manager that it updated again this fall. The online tool enables Android device owners to track and lock their misplaced phones and tablets. If the device has for sure been stolen, or is hopelessly lost, the Device Manager also lets users wipe all of their personal data from the phone, essentially forcing it to reset to its original factory settings.That’s a pretty important feature, especially for business owners and other professionals who use their mobile devices for company use. Having sensitive company information land in the wrong hands can be a serious security risk.Related: How to Avoid Getting Hacked (Infographic)If you haven’t already synced your smartphone or tablet up with the Android Device Manager, follow these 10 easy steps. The Android Device Manager is compatible with devices running Android 2.2 and up.1. Go to the Google Settings app on your phone or tablet and click on “Android Device Manager” at the bottom.2. Select the box for “Allow remote lock and factory reset.”3. The “Remotely locate this device” button should already be clicked. If not, click on it.4. Also check the box to “Allow remote lock and factory reset.” A screen will pop up asking for permission to wipe your device. Grant it permission.5. Sign into your Google account online and go to the Android Device Manager.6. On your device, go to go back into Settings, then Security, then Phone Administrators and make sure you have “Android Device Manager” checked.7. In the Android Device Manager online, select the device you want to sync from the list of devices associated with your account.8. From there you should see a map showing the location of your device. You should also see options to “ring,” “lock” and “erase” the device.9. If you choose to lock your device, the Device Manager will ask you to set a new password, essentially locking out the previous password you had saved.10. If you choose erase, a warning window pops up. If you agree, the device will power down and erase the data you have stored on it. Only use this option if your smartphone or tablet has been stolen or lost for good.Related: Should You Be Worried About Apple Having Your Fingerprints?center_img Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more