Otago Daily Times 24 January 2018Family First Comment: Very good question. Why do we not promote adoption? Much better option than abortion. #chooselifeWhy are there not more child adoptions, asks Ken Orr, the Right to Life spokesman.There are in New Zealand about 100 adoptions each year, down from a peak of 3967 adoptions in 1971, and only 20 of these adoptions are to strangers.There are 600 families registered with the Ministry of Children wanting to adopt. These families long to adopt a child and to provide a loving home. It is sad that for most of these families their desire to adopt will be met with frustration, tears and rejection. Adoption is the loving option beneficial for the happiness and welfare of the adoptee and rewarding and fulfilling for the adopting parents and for the birth mother.Since 1985, with the passing of the Adult Adoption Information Act, we have had open adoption with the birth mother being allowed to choose the adoptive parents. She now has the opportunity to have an ongoing caring and loving relationship with her child and the adoptive parents. Today most adoptions are open, a far cry from the trauma and the terrible grief experienced by unmarried mothers who had their children taken from them by the State at birth.There are fewer babies available today for adoption because of the availability of contraception, society’s acceptance of single parenthood and the availability of the domestic purposes benefit and access to abortion.Before 1977, when the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act was passed, it was the expectation that pregnant unmarried mothers would choose life for their child and allow their child to be adopted into a loving home. Since then, many vulnerable pregnant unmarried women have been encouraged by Family Planning, many in the medical profession, family and friends to terminate the life of their precious child. Many women are also coerced by the father of the child to destroy the child to avoid having to pay maintenance for the child.There were 12,823 abortions in New Zealand in 2016 and only an estimated 20 stranger adoptions. It is tragic that for every 1000 abortions there is just over one stranger adoption.READ MORE: https://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/adoption-promoted-loving-option
Are star children good at child’s play? Like making mudballs, it should be easy to roll up dust into planets.Dave Mosher says “Making planets is child’s play” (see Space.com). He refers not to a human child, but to a star child – that is, a young star, like UX Tau A or LkCa 15. The Spitzer Space Telescope detected dust disks around these two stars that are “1 million years old, which is 10 times younger than other known planet-forming systems.”The Spitzer-JPL press release explains that these “young” disks appear to have gaps where planets are forming. Here is an overview of what theoretically goes on in the child’s game of making planets:Such dusty disks are where planets are thought to be born. Dust grains clump together like snowballs to form larger rocks, and then the bigger rocks collide to form the cores of planets. When rocks revolve around their central star, they act like cosmic vacuum cleaners, picking up all the gas and dust in their path and creating gaps.(How snowballs form rocks is left as an exercise.) The same people who write press releases must not read the scientific papers. There are major problems with this scenario. Among the most difficult is getting the small dust grains to clump together, a process called accretion. Planetary scientist Jeff Cuzzi wrote about this problem in Nature August 30:1Making planets is tricky, and probably takes several stages. First, tiny interstellar grains must accrete into mountain-sized objects massive enough to decouple from their cocoon of nebula gas. These objects probably then combine in collisions, growing ever larger, past asteroid-sized planetesimals and lunar-sized embryos, to full-blown planets. How the first stage of this process, primary accretion, works is a fundamental unsolved problem of planetary science.Not exactly child’s play. The ingredients for planets are speeding around the star at tens of meters per second, or even several times the speed of sound. They are more likely to collide and disrupt than accrete. Furthermore, we can’t see inside a dust disk to look at what happens, so explanations have to be inferred from models. After looking at possible contributions from turbulence or magnetic fields, Cuzzi ended,The answer could be that some combination of processes, each selecting a different particle size, acts simultaneously or sequentially, possibly in turbulent conditions. (Of course, the mechanism by which turbulence is maintained remains uncertain.) Whatever the final answer turns out to be, the results of Johansen and colleagues indicate that future efforts devoted to developing more complex models of the interactions between particles and gas in the protoplanetary nebula will be a good investment.The child’s play is stumping the PhDs. A recent paper in Icarus addresses this question specifically.2 Paraskov, Wurm and Krauss considered all the variables: particle size and composition, gas drag, collision velocities and more. When dust particles are small and moving at low velocities relative to one another, they can stick up to a point, but “typical collision velocities go beyond all these threshold velocities for sticking,” they noted. “Therefore, for larger particles (>10 cm) it is not possible that they continue to grow by simple hit-and-stick mechanisms.” Yet particles need to accrete up to mountain size (a kilometer or more in diameter) before gravitation can take over.Because of problems with the simple theoretical models, “Different mechanisms to further aid growth of planetesimals have been suggested, especially to overcome unfavorable conditions where the primary collisions lead to erosion rather than growth.” Obviously, a hopeful pre-planetesimal needs to grow faster than it erodes. Some ideas they evaluated included: (1) secondary accretion of dust from collisions, (2) gas drag accretion as particles slow down in the gas of a spinning disk, (3) electrostatic attraction, (4) formation of porous bodies that can absorb energy of collisions without disrupting (inelastic collision), and (5) gravitational instabilities that form pockets of higher density. Each model has its shortcomings, they said; the bottom line is that collisional dynamics must be factored into any scenario.The team performed drop tower experiments to see what happens to collisional fragments. “The experiments reported here are intended to give realistic upper limits for fragment velocities,” one of the key parameters for any accretion model. While accretion seems reasonable up to small particle sizes, maybe up to a centimeter (given low relative velocities), disruption and fragmentation becomes a greater concern for larger particles. “To decide if planetesimals can grow in collisions or if fragmentation dominates, it is important to know what the typical collisions are,” they said; that is why there is no substitute for actual experimentation to provide an “experimental database,” instead of “ad hoc assumptions” that plague models.The team ran experiments in a vacuum, using a Bremen drop tower that provides microgravity for about 5 seconds. They videotaped the collisions, and measured the mass gained and lost by the target particles. They tried porous and spherical targets. They varied the impact velocities from 3.5 to 21.5 m/s.So what happened? “The impacts into highly porous targets generally show a very destructive behavior,” they reported. “They result in crater formation—an imprint of the projectile—and an extensive erosion of the whole target surface and deeper target layers.” At 19.5 m/s, the projectile barreled completely through the target. Dust projectiles fired at compact surfaces were different; they formed pyramid-like structures on the surface.In all the experiments, the ejecta that was blasted off was measured. In most cases, the “accretion efficiency” was negative: more mass was lost than accreted. Only in the case of a dust projectile hitting a slightly compacted target was a net gain measured; otherwise, “All impacts into highly porous targets resulted in a mass loss of the target,” with more loss at higher velocities. The single case of mass gain was a contrived and unrealistic scenario.3What happens to the ejecta? It moves slower than the projectile, from 3 to 120 cm/s, in directions depending on the projectile mass and velocity. They believe it is possible a target can become more porous if hit enough times. “A growing body might then consist of compact parts but also large pores,” they said. “This is important as large pores enable a larger gas flow through the body which is beneficial for reaccretion of ejecta by gas flow.” Experiments with more credible dust projectiles, however, were more difficult to characterize; the impact is spread over a larger area. The highest accretion efficiency (42%) was found with high-impact projectiles onto compact targets, but the results were difficult to quantify. They could not comment much about the role of electrostatic charges on outcomes, “an important problem in itself.”At the end of the paper, it was time to put the pieces together and see what this means for the growth of planets. “For most experiments we simulated an extreme case of collisions in the sense that we built the targets as weak as possible by using large granules but retaining dust features, i.e., a small degree of cohesion, by using dust,” they said. Result? “We find that these collisions are strongly erosive.” No matter the speed or mass, “they all show a mass loss of the larger body upon impact if the target is only weakly bound.” Does that mean the end of the planetesimal hypothesis? Not so fast:However, care should be taken in applying these results directly to collisions in protoplanetary disks. Only a single collision of a weak body with a particle several mm in size at about 10 m/s would be enough to change this body substantially. The given collisions will therefore not be typical ones. The consequence of the erosion found in these experiments is not that growth of larger bodies is impossible but that objects of the kind studied cannot grow larger than a few cm without being at least partially compacted.Trouble is, it is worse for chondrules – highly compact grains characteristic in meteorites called chondrites. They are already compacted and would be more subject to erosion.Further experiments on this are needed but if we speculate that morphologies comparable to our weak dust granule targets would need to be present for aggregates built from indestructible chondrules then growth to larger bodies in a reservoir dominated by sub-mm chondrules is not possible at velocities of a few m/s. Therefore, if such a distribution of chondrules existed, for all or only certain classes of chondrites, during any phase of protoplanetary evolution, they probably do not grow by mutual collisions. At some time the chondrules would need to be incorporated into larger objects otherwise, e.g., by being accreted by existing planetesimals.This, of course, begs the question of how the “existing planetesimals” accreted in the first place. In their last paragraph, they launched from their experimental data into speculation: maybe a projectile hits a target and knocks off ejecta, some of which is moving slower. The projectile sometimes causes decompression of the target. The energy of other projectiles can then be absorbed without launching significant ejecta; meanwhile, the dust of the previous impact might be re-accreted after a collision by gas flow.Assuming this convoluted scenario, a permeable body might be able to grow at least within the size range tested. So in the dusty battlefield of collisions, it is “entirely possible” that a planetesimal could continue to grow, they concluded on a note of victory, however subdued by the obdurate lab results. This is no mere child’s play, however. That was clear from their penultimate sentence: “By observing deep impact channels, considering addition of new dust layers, and finding decompaction by collisions, it is very clear that the evolution of the morphology of a growing body is highly complex.”1. Jeff Cuzzi, “Planets: the first movement,” Nature 448, 1003 (30 August 2007) | doi:10.1038/4481003a.2. Paraskov, Wurm and Krauss, “Impacts into weak dust targets under microgravity and the formation of planetesimals,” Icarus, Volume 191, Issue 2, 15 November 2007, Pages 779-789.3. “The procedure for building this target is as follows. The target is initially built in a regular fashion as a highly porous target. The top is then covered by a plate which becomes the bottom as the target is turned upside down. The initial bottom becomes the target surface for the impact experiment. This marginal modification of the target seems sufficient to change the outcome of an impact from mass loss to mass gain for slow dust aggregate projectiles. As we have only one experiment with this behavior a more detailed study on the effect of porosity for collisions has to be carried out before further conclusions can be drawn.”We have shown you once again a stark contrast between the bluffing that goes on in the news media and the hard realities of experimental science. Some may find it sufficient to believe that this all works somehow, because clearly planets exist, even around other stars. But to think that science understands planet formation by natural processes, and that experimental science proves it, is a bad example of glittering generalities. A step toward true understanding requires some examination of the nitty gritty details behind such claims.(Visited 57 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Panelists Sandile Mabuza, executive secretary to the interim council, University of Mpumalanga, and Bonolo Ramokhele, executive director at investment company LeoFortisSome 50 community members, mostly youngsters, attended the Sowetan Dialogues at the Ehlanzeni FET Collage in Nelspruit on 25 April 2014. Hosted with Brand South Africa, the Sowetan Dialogues bring together leaders and communities to discuss issues that affect the community and contribute to nation-building and civic pride.The Nelspruit session centred on leadership and how residents could use positive thinking to rise above their circumstances.The panel discussions leaders were: Bonolo Ramokhele, executive director at investment company LeoFortis; Roy Makwakwa, a manager in the Ehlanzeni District executive mayor’s office; Ntokozo Majola, provincial manager (Mpumalanga) for the Small Enterprise Development Agency; and Sandile Mabuza, executive secretary to the interim council, University of Mpumalanga.LEADERSHIPLorraine Mofokeng from The SowetanRamokhele said that leadership starts within the community; “Leadership starts within your community. It also doesn’t need to have a monetary value behind it.”He added that poverty should never define the type of person one becomes as it’s “just a financial point in your life”.Ramokhele advised the audience that there is no need to “play small”, saying, “Leadership is not demonstrated when you are a billionaire; it begins by doing what you can do when you can, wherever you can.”Makwakwa said: “The winning formula in life is the acquisition of positive thoughts.”He added that thoughts become actions and that nothing good comes from being negative; he encouraged the young people at the dialogue to see bad situations as challenges to improve their circumstances, and themselves.He said, “If the panellists sitting here today allowed ourselves to be defined by our circumstances, we would not be where we are. We cannot allow ourselves to be trapped by the past. We must help ourselves, we must play our part. A positive mind is essential to achieve one’s potential.”Majola said: “You mould your own character and determine your future regardless of your background.”Nelspruit youth listen attentively to the panelistsLONG WALK TO FREEDOMShe encouraged the audience to read former president, Nelson Mandela’s self-penned autobiography Long Walk to Freedom to understand where South Africa comes from.“Leadership is not determined by titles and before one becomes a leader, one should be able to manage oneself – and lead by example,” she said.Mabuza said education and entrepreneurship can free individuals and communities. He advised the audience to try their hands at entrepreneurship to create jobs for themselves, rather than look for jobs that aren’t available.The dialogue concluded with panellists and audience members chatting informally, and the youngsters receiving information on securing funding to study further.
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The ongoing outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in China, Belgium and elsewhere, have crystallized the U.S. pork industry’s focus and collaboration on finding new ways to help protect the domestic herd from costly foreign animal diseases (FADs). One new practice designed to reduce disease transmission risk involves knowing exactly how long certain feed ingredients have been securely stored before allowing their use on pig farms.As modeling in peer-reviewed research has made clear, it’s possible for swine disease viruses to survive in shipments of certain feed ingredients during transoceanic shipping to U.S. ports and even to inland points of feed manufacture. Based on this current research, a holding time of 78 days after the date of manufacture and bagging or sealing to prevent additional contamination (“born on date”) for amino acids, minerals or vitamins will degrade 99.99% of viral contamination. The holding time extends to 286 days for soybean meal to allow for similar viral degradation, once shipped to prevent additional contamination.“Working with your feed supplier to get this type of information is yet another way to help protect your pigs from potential infection from a foreign animal disease,” said Dave Pyburn, DVM, senior vice president of science and technology for the National Pork Board. “It’s just one more tool in our arsenal against African swine fever and other diseases that we hope will offer U.S. producers more protection against this growing global threat.”The feedstuffs studied that have shown the potential to support virus survival include: conventional soybean meal, DDGS, lysine hydrochloride, choline chloride, vitamin D, pork sausage casings, dry and moist dog food, organic soybean meal, soy oil cake, moist cat food, and porcine-based ingredients. There may be other feedstuffs that were not tested that could support survival of pathogenic viruses. Scientific study and proof-of-concept work in this area continues. To date, without an organized surveillance program, pathogenic swine viruses are not being identified in imported feedstuffs.“It’s clear from the research that certain feed ingredients can support viral survival during conditions modeled after either trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific shipping to U.S. ports,” said Paul Sundberg, DVM, director of the Swine Health Information Center. “Based on these findings, we think it’s prudent that the entire U.S. pork industry look at this research and consider taking action to help us prevent a FAD from entering this country through this route.”In a related area of disease prevention, the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Swine Health Information Center recommend that producers talk to their feed suppliers to get information about seven key areas.Describe the facility’s biosecurity program to minimize the spread of pathogens from people, vehicles and ingredients.Describe the facility’s employee training on feed safety.Describe the facility’s pest control program.Describe the facility’s traceability program.Describe the facility’s supplier approval program.Is the facility certified by a third-party certification body for food safety? Third-party certification programs may include the Feed Additives Manufacturers (FAMI-QS), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Safe Quality Food (SQF), Safe Feed/Safe Food, etc.Does the facility utilize ingredients that were manufactured or packaged outside of the United States?To get a better handle on your particular farm’s risk of FAD transport via a feed ingredient, Sundberg advises producers to use the newly developed virus transport in feed ingredients decision tree matrix.“It was developed to help producers work with their feed suppliers to minimize risk from feed ingredients,” he said.Aside from the specific feed-related ways reduce disease risk, Tom Burkgren, DVM, executive director for the AASV, advises producers to review their current on-farm biosecurity plan with their veterinarian.“While this is always a good thing to do periodically, it’s critically important now to find any potential weaknesses in your production practices so that you can take immediate steps to fix them to help protect your animals,” he said.The four swine groups continue to collectively reach out to USDA officials, including Chief Veterinary Officer Jack Shere, to see what can be done to enhance the protection of the domestic swine herd from ASF and all FADs.“U.S. agriculture must bolster its defenses against the spread of animal disease as we face heightened risk,” said Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian for the National Pork Producers Council. “These measures should include private-sector efforts like those that have informed this feed directive as well as publicly funded programs to guard against disease outbreaks that would immediately close export markets and threaten prosperity in rural America.”
Get Involved with Geocaching GroupsGeocaching organization at a Cache In Trash Out (CITO) eventLocal geocaching organizations and associations have done a lot for this activity over the years. They have worked with parks departments to bring geocaching back to parks that once misunderstood it, set up geocaching programs in their communities, taught those new to this activity about good geocaching practices and much more. They are local geocaching ambassadors.Geocaching groups are also a great way to meet friends to go geocaching with, whether you’re finding your 1000th cache or are a brand new geocacher who wants to try geocaching before purchasing a GPS device. Headed to a foreign country for a week? Contact the group closest to your destination and you’re likely to have a group of local geocachers eager to show you the best caches in their area.Check out the geocaching groups sections of the Groundspeak Forums to learn more.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedFeatured Geocacher of the Month Award WinnersAugust 25, 2011In “Community”Geocaching Connections: Associations and ClubsDecember 23, 2013In “Maker Madness”How to host the best New Year’s event for Last/FirstNovember 28, 2017In “Community”
Liverpool Emre Can trolled by Hamann over trophy haul after goal comparison Chris Burton Last updated 2 years ago 02:48 11/3/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Liverpool Premier League The former Reds midfielder has held nothing back when replying to a post on Twitter regarding his goal haul during his days at Anfield Emre Can has been trolled by former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann following a comparison between their goal records.Can was on target in his most recent outing for the Reds, as Jurgen Klopp’s side swept past Maribor 3-0 in the Champions League.Can 17/4 to score v West Ham Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The 23-year-old now has 11 efforts to his name in 143 appearances for Liverpool, a tally which has drawn him level with countryman Hamann – who took in 280 outings during his time on Merseyside.That fact – with Can reaching the mark in close to 140 fewer appearances – has been put to the latter, drawing a stinging response regarding the respective records of two German stars.Can is yet to get his hands on any silverware with Liverpool, having joined from Bayern Leverkusen in 2014.Hamann, meanwhile, enjoyed domestic and European success during his time with the Reds.He enjoyed two FA Cup wins, two League Cup successes and a Community Shield triumph.Hamann also played a key role in Liverpool’s remarkable Champions League victory over AC Milan in 2005, stepping off the bench to help them overturn a three-goal deficit and convert from the penalty spot in a shootout.He also won the UEFA Cup in 2001 and the UEFA Super Cup on two occasions.Can certainly has some way to go in order to match those achievements, and it remains to be seen how much longer he will be sticking around at Anfield as he continues to head towards free agency in 2018. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
The 2012/13 VT League series was a fantastic season and finals day was no exception. With Melbourne showing us the sunshine, family and friends swarmed the beachfront fields to watch the quarter final games get underway at 9.00am.The Mixed final was played at 2.30pm between Melbourne University Northern Blacks and the Melbourne City Lions; a 1-2 match up from the ladder. Both teams fought hard all game, with the Melbourne City Lions eventually being the victors 8-6.The Women’s final was next up at 3.30pm with reigning champions Melbourne City Lions taking on the Bayside Vipers. These two teams finished the season on an equal 34 points so this was another 1-2 match up and a game that was not to be missed. Lions came out firing scoring five touchdowns to one in the first half and had scored themselves a good buffer for the second half. With Leah Percy dropping in two touchdowns in the second half, the Lions proved too good, winning their fourth consecutive Women’s Championship title 8-4.The Men’s final was played at 4.30pm with the Western Dodgers trying to stop the Bayside Vipers from back-to-back premiership wins. The Vipers came through their semi-final comfortably defeating the Melbourne City Lions 8-5; whilst the Dodgers participated in a 25 touchdown shootout with the Melbourne University Northern Blacks. The Western Dodgers scored a touchdown in the last minute of the game and took the semi-final 13-12.The Western Dodgers played a great season of VT League with nine wins and went into the grand final confident that they could give the Vipers a run for their money. The Vipers were determined to be back-to-back premiers and shot out to a 4-1 lead in the first half. Derrick Cant proved why he was Player of the Final as he scored four of the Vipers’ seven touchdowns. Vipers secured their Men’s Championship title over the Dodgers with the final score 7-3.Mixed Final Melbourne City Lions 8 defeated Melbourne University Northern Blacks 6Referees – Andrew Clough, Mitch McKenzie and Paul LassigPlayer of the Final – Keisuke YamadaWomen’s Final Melbourne City Lions 8 defeated Bayside Vipers 4 Referees – Cliff Winnett, Giancarlo Leung and Leigh BryantPlayer of the Final – Jessika GroeneveldMen’s Final Bayside Vipers 7 defeated Western Dodgers 3Referees – Sally Melzer, Matt Vernon and Cam NoblePlayer of the Final – Derrick CantClub Championship – Melbourne City LionsReferee Awards Rookie referee of the League – Paul LassigReferee of the League – Sally MelzerJim Speight Award – Referee of the Year – Giancarlo LeungClub Awards – Rookie of the Year Bayside Vipers Stephanie ReidChris WhiteCaseyKate ScheresJosh MeadsEastern Falcons Sue-Ellen GoddeTom TwentymanMelbourne City Lions Madeline WrightJarryn OsbourneMelbourne University Northern Blacks Katelyn BarryJames DaffWestern Dodgers Dawn Berryman-NathanTanetiki Takuira2013 Super Trans Tasman Recognition Awards Leah PercyMicheal LovettMelissa WoodwardKirsten FriendBrooke JamesJamie Te PaniaBen MoceiwaiDerrick CantHamish McLeanRelated LinksVT League Results
As if Curry didn’t have enough ways to shock and amaze NBA fans of the televiewing and stat-crunching variety alike, his on/off court numbers are freaking ridiculous. You can’t read about sports these days without coming across quasi-thinkpieces about how the Warriors have reinvented basketball. Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is clear: Having a point guard who can shoot at a 45 percent rate past 28 feet — often well-defended — completely wrecks the game.CORRECTION (Feb. 14, 3 p.m.): A previous version of this article referred incorrectly to Paul George’s team. It is the Indiana Pacers, not the Indianapolis Pacers.CORRECTION (Feb. 12, 7:55 p.m.): A previous version of this article misidentified Paul Millsap’s team. It is the Atlanta Hawks, not the Atlanta Falcons. Although basketball now attracts more nerds than Comic Con, basketball statistics are still all over the place. Maybe years of SportVU player-tracking data will someday bring clarity to the field, but for now it’s a kaleidoscope of imperfect metrics. Virtually all stats that try to infer player value from the various on-court actions (shots, rebounds, assists, etc.) are subject to biases from things like roles and responsibilities and style of play, and no one has figured out how to measure intangible contributions like “being high-energy” or intangible detriments like mucking up a team’s offense.That’s one reason why indirect stats like plus-minus or with or without you (WOWY) are now a big part of basketball and hockey analysis (and are even starting to creep into football). While basic plus-minuses have been around for a long time, the granularity of data and methodology to isolate individual cases has come a long way. The kind of plus-minus you find in the box score doesn’t account for things like who else was on the floor and when those minutes came (garbage time, for instance). But with play-by-play data and sites like nbawowy.com, you can filter and compare different situations and find more meaningful patterns.This kind of analysis also has limitations, but it acts as kind of a check against efficiency and box score stats, and it can help identify spots where a player’s value is a mirage or where someone may contribute even more to his team than his stats suggest. It also catches the impact from things like defense better than virtually any standard stat does. But samples are small, and biases many.It isn’t so much that this approach is better as that it’s different enough from the more standard fare to add new information. And that’s our goal here, to add new information to what we know of each player based on observations of his impact, not to supplant other methods of estimating his contribution.Method:There are extremely complicated versions of adjusted plus-minus that adjust for every single player on the floor and end up giving you results that are interesting and comprehensive in some sense but are somewhat opaque. I’m going to keep it a bit simpler. I’m going to start with each player who made the All-Star team. If he had one or more teammate who also made the All-Star Game, I’ll compare how his team did with each combination of the players: that is, with neither player on the floor, with both players on the floor, and with each player on the floor without the other. If a player was the only one from his team to make the game, I used ESPN’s RPM-based estimation of wins added to pick his most important teammate and did the same (and in the case of the Warriors, who have three All-Stars, I did a more complicated version of the same). Then for a rough estimate of the player’s value — which I’ve called “Two-way WOWY impact” below — I averaged the impact he had by himself (versus neither him nor his teammate in the game) and the impact he had with his teammate (versus just his teammate). In other words, this gives equal weight to how much the player improves his team with and without his teammates’ help.Plus charts.Admittedly, some players get really jobbed by this (like virtually anyone on the San Antonio Spurs), and some players were fortunate to have a flattering teammate pairing.1The whole endeavor also tends to rate point guards very high, which I don’t think is necessarily because they’re “better” as much as that they tend to be less replaceable for their particular teams.All stats are through Tuesday’s games. To the list!24. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, San Antonio Spurs (Selected by coaches)Real Plus-Minus 0.42, RPM Wins: +3.1Compared to: Kawhi Leonard (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: -6.3 points per 100 possessions The Spurs are a tricky case because they are so good from top to bottom, making Aldridge’s place at the bottom of this list as much a reflection of his team’s strength as his own play. As Neil Paine has written, their bench would be one of the NBA’s best teams in its own right. And while Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard will represent them in the All-Star Game, stalwarts like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are still putting up huge stats (by RPM, the 39-year-old Duncan is the 10th-best player in basketball this year). Although the Spurs have been playing great with Aldridge on the floor, at least so far this season, they’ve been playing just as well without him. The chart comparing the relative impacts of him and Leonard is under Leonard’s entry below.23. Dwyane Wade, SG, Miami Heat (Selected by fans)RPM -0.37, RPM Wins: +2.5Compared to: Chris Bosh (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: -5.5 points per 100 possessions Wade is nowhere near the player he once was, and his appearance in the East lineup is driven by the same kind of fan voting loyalty that has Kobe Bryant starting in the West.22. DeMar DeRozan, SG, Toronto Raptors (Coaches)RPM 0.36, RPM Wins: +3.9Compared to: Kyle Lowry (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: -4.5 points per 100 possessions The Raptors were rewarded with a second player by the East coaches, presumably because the conference is a bit weak on shooting guards, but the data suggests that DeRozan is riding his teammate Kyle Lowry’s coattails.21. Paul Millsap, PF, Atlanta Hawks (Coaches)RPM 6.48, RPM Wins: +10.0Compared to: Al HorfordHawks with both: -0.6 | Millsap alone: +2.6 | Horford alone: +3 | Neither: -0.9Two-way WOWY impact: -0.1 points per 100 possessions Despite Millsap’s stellar RPM numbers, the Hawks have not improved dramatically with him on the floor. Al Horford has been fully capable of leading the team on his own when Millsap has been out, and when the two have played together, the team has done about the same as it has with neither player.20. Chris Bosh, PF, Miami Heat (Coaches)RPM 5.11, RPM Wins: +8.6Compared to: Dwyane WadeHeat with both: -1.8 | Wade alone: -3.1 | Bosh alone: +3.1 | Neither: +3Two-way WOWY impact: +0.7 points per 100 possessions Bosh has been getting a fair amount of good press, and he’s put up some good numbers this year. However, his WOWY impact has been minimal, and his partnership with Wade is no longer instilling fear in anyone’s heart. 19. Jimmy Butler, SG, Chicago Bulls (Coaches)RPM 4.56, RPM Wins: +8.8Compared to: Pau GasolBulls with both: +2.6 | Butler alone: -4.5 | Gasol alone: -1.1 | Neither: -2.6Two-way WOWY impact: +0.9 points per 100 possessions Butler has emerged as the new star of the Chicago Bulls, which goes to show that if you score 20 points per game for a winning team, a lot of people will think you’re really good. Yet Pau Gasol (Butler’s injury replacement on the All-Star roster) has had a better impact for his team, estimated at 4.3 points per 100 possessions.18. Kobe Bryant, SF, Los Angeles Lakers (Fans)RPM -3.53, RPM Wins: -0.3Compared to: Brandon BassLakers with both: +5.5 | Bryant alone: -18.2 | Bass alone: -10.2 | Neither: -5Two-way WOWY impact: +1.3 points per 100 possessions The most shocking thing about Kobe is that he made it to 18th on this list when he may literally be one of the worst players in the NBA this year, helping make the Lakers one of the most embarrassing franchises in sports. And in the 38 percent of Lakers possessions with Kobe on the floor with no help from Brandon Bass — not exactly a game-changer, but the highest-rated Laker for now — they’ve been losing by 18 points per 100 possessions. Yet, call it good fortune or what you will, but the pairing of Bryant and Bass has been effective for the Lakers, which is enough to elevate Bryant’s contributions from team-destroyer to about neutral.17. Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors (Coaches)RPM 1.08, RPM Wins: +4.5Compared to: Draymond Green, Stephen Curry (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: +1.7 points per 100 possessions The other “Splash Brother” has had some great games and flashy moments, but he is loved by neither advanced metrics nor WOWY. Let’s just say it’s hard to know exactly how valuable a shooter is when the other guard on his team gets as much attention as Stephen Curry does.16. James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets (Coaches)RPM 4.74, RPM Wins: +9.7Compared to: Dwight HowardRockets with both: +1.5 | Harden alone: -4 | Howard alone: -5.9 | Neither: -2.5Two-way WOWY impact: +3.0 points per 100 possessions Although the Rockets have been a big disappointment after making last year’s conference finals — with their star big man Dwight Howard even rumored to be on the trading block — Moreyball isn’t completely dead, as Harden’s shooting paired with Howard’s inside presence has at least been keeping the team in the positive.15. Isaiah Thomas, PG, Boston Celtics (Coaches)RPM 1.99, RPM Wins: +5.7Compared to: Jae CrowderCeltics with both: +7.1 | Thomas alone: +1 | Crowder alone: -0.1 | Neither: +2Two-way WOWY impact: +3.1 points per 100 possessions This is a great example of a situation where two players are only so-so on their own, but excel when they play together. Neither Isaiah Thomas nor Jae Crowder on his own provides much of an improvement on the rest of the squad, but put them on the floor together and the team has been very effective at +7.1 points per 100 possessions.14. Carmelo Anthony, SF, New York Knicks (Fans)RPM 3.9, RPM Wins: 6.9Compared to: Kristaps PorzingisKnicks with both: +4.5 | Anthony alone: -7.7 | Porzingis alone: -6.2 | Neither: -7.6Two-way WOWY impact: +5.3 points per 100 possessions Anthony has always taken a beating from statheads, but pairing him with 7-foot-3 rookie phenom Kristaps Porzingis has given the Knicks some quality possessions.13. Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons (Coaches)RPM 4.56, RPM Wins: +8.4Compared to: Reggie JacksonPistons with both: +3.6 | Drummond alone: +2.5 | Jackson alone: +0.3 | Neither: -5.3Two-way WOWY impact: +5.5 points per 100 possessions Drummond combines rebounding production that Dennis Rodman might envy with free-throw shooting that makes Shaq look like Steve Nash. But so far this profile seems to be working for Drummond, who has had a big impact on the Pistons whether or not point guard Reggie Jackson is on the floor.12. Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Antonio Spurs (Fans)RPM 8.83, RPM Wins: +12.0Compared to: Lamarcus AldridgeSpurs with both: +11.3 | Leonard alone: +27.3 | Aldridge alone: +14 | Neither: +10.5Two-way WOWY impact: +7.1 points per 100 possessions The only surprise here is that Leonard is this low, yet he’s still projecting to improve the powerhouse Spurs by about 7 points per 100 possessions — remarkable for a team as talented and as balanced as this one.11. John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards (Coaches)RPM 3.09, RPM Wins: +7.1Compared to: Jared DudleyWizards with both: +2.3 | Wall alone: -5.1 | Dudley alone: -10.3 | Neither: -8.6Two-way WOWY impact: +8.0 points per 100 possessions The rest of Wall’s Washington Wizards are so bad that 30-year-old journeyman Jared Dudley — who plays fewer than 30 minutes a game and averages 9 points — emerged as his most significant teammate by RPM. Although the Wizards are a losing squad, they consistently do better with Wall on the floor.10. Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Pelicans (Coaches)RPM 2.66, RPM Wins: +5.8Compared to: Jrue HolidayPelicans with both: +2.7 | Davis alone: -8.7 | Holiday alone: -6.1 | Neither: -17.4Two-way WOWY impact: +8.7 points per 100 possessions The Pelicans have disappointed this year, causing many to question whether Davis is actually the basketball revolution that he seemed to be a year or so ago. Yet they are a winning squad with him and point guard Jrue Holiday on the floor, and a comically terrible -17 points per 100 with neither of them.9. Paul George, SF, Indiana Pacers (Fans)RPM 5.24, RPM Wins: +9.7Compared to: Ian MahinmiPacers with both: +4.6 | George alone: +5.4 | Mahinmi alone: -6.6 | Neither: -3.5Two-way WOWY impact: +10.1 points per 100 possessions George has cooled off a bit from his blazing start to the season and clearly benefits here from being paired with Ian Mahinmi (the Pacers with bigger roles haven’t been very impressive). But overall his comeback year after last season’s injury has been spectacular, with him shooting well and often from distance.8. Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder (Fans)RPM 6.43, RPM Wins: +10.0Compared to: Russell Westbrook (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: +10.4 points per 100 possessions Speaking of players who have returned from injury to reclaim their rightful spots among the best forwards in basketball, Durant has been having another remarkable year. Although the Thunder are now widely thought to be Russell Westbrook’s team, Durant has picked up about exactly where he left off. More on this duo below.7. DeMarcus Cousins, Center, Sacramento Kings (Coaches)RPM 6.66, RPM Wins: +9.2Compared to: Omri CasspiKings with both: +7.4 | Cousins alone: -3.7 | Casspi alone: -5.1 | Neither: -13.2Two-way WOWY impact: +11.0 points per 100 possessions Cousins has been a real headline-maker this year, yet his ball-demanding, trail-three-popping style has been one of the great statistical success stories amid all the chaos in Sacramento. Yet it’s worth noting that Omri Casspi — despite playing fewer minutes and having a less-eye-catching statistical and/or public profile, has had a similarly strong effect. With both of them on the floor, Sacramento looks like a strong team.6. Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder (Fans)RPM 9.59, RPM Wins: +14.6Compared to: Kevin DurantThunder with both: +13.8 | Durant alone: +7.3 | Westbrook alone: +7.9 | Neither: -7.6Two-way WOWY impact: +11.0 points per 100 possessions Westbrook led the league in scoring last year by shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting (see the second chart in this story), but he has the impact to go with those gaudy numbers.5. Draymond Green, PF, Golden State Warriors (Coaches)RPM 9.49, RPM Wins: +14.2Compared to: Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry (see below)Two-way WOWY impact: +11.3 points per 100 possessions Green is nearly as much of a defensive outlier as Stephen Curry is an offensive one, and he can rebound and shoot open threes when called to as well. Like Curry, he may be the best in his position in the league, while completely redefining what that position means.4. LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (Fans)RPM 8.23, RPM Wins: +12.2Compared to: Kevin LoveCavaliers with both: +12.7 | James alone: +3.9 | Love alone: -8.1 | Neither: -4Two-way WOWY impact: +14.4 points per 100 possessions Although he seems perpetually frustrated with not winning 100 percent of his games, James is still one of the best players in basketball, and his very existence practically demands that everyone shut up already and accept that “impactful” is a real thing.3. Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors (Fans)RPM 7.45, RPM Wins: +12.0Compared to: DeMar DeRozanRaptors with both: +2.7 | Lowry alone: +20.7 | DeRozan alone: +1.6 | Neither: -7.5Two-way WOWY impact: +14.7 points per 100 possessions Lowry has been an absolute force for Toronto, leading the Raptors’ surge to the second-best record in the East. He’s attempting a career-high seven threes per game and making a career-high 39 percent of them. If these numbers are at all representative, however, DeRozan appears to be dragging Lowry down more than anything. This kind of dynamic isn’t uncommon with mediocre shooting guards playing with good scoring point guards — their contributions may range from redundant to net negative.2. Chris Paul, PG, Los Angeles Clippers (Coaches)RPM 7.2, RPM Wins: +9.6Compared to: DeAndre JordanClippers with both: +10.3 | Paul alone: +14.7 | Jordan alone: +3.4 | Neither: -11.3Two-way WOWY impact: +16.5 points per 100 possessions Point god Chris Paul has practically perfected the classic point guard skill set on both ends of the floor. Unfortunately, classic basketball can only take you so far these days, as the Clippers are on track for another heartbreaking loss in the conference semifinals.1. Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors (Fans)RPM 10.97, RPM Wins: +15.4Compared to: Klay Thompson, Draymond GreenTeam with all three: +20.2 | Curry alone: +9.8 | Green and Thompson alone: +1.3 | None: -11.8Two-way WOWY impact: +20.2 points per 100 possessions Just so all three of these All-Stars get their due, here’s a not-to-scale diagram of the on/off combinations for all three players:
Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State announced wide receivers coach Brian Hartline would have his interim tag removed and that he would serve as the permanent position coach for the upcoming season. Leading three redshirt senior wide receivers in Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin, the Ohio State wide receivers caught 291 passes for 4,211 yards and 43 touchdowns, all program records. This year’s unit became the first in school history to have four receivers with at least 1,000 career receiving yards. “Brian is a terrific young coach and mentor to our players and I am thrilled he is on our staff permanently now,” offensive coordinator Ryan Day, who takes over as head coach on Jan. 2, said via statement. “His efforts coaching the wide receivers this season are a huge reason we are Big Ten champions and headed to the Rose Bowl.” Hartline replaced former wide receivers coach Zach Smith, who was dismissed from Ohio State on July 23 after allegations of domestic violence had surfaced. Hartline was a quality control assistant with the Buckeyes during the 2017 season. Hartline played for Ohio State from 2005 to 2008, earning four Big Ten championships and reaching the BCS National Championship in 2006 and 2007. He recorded 90 catches for 1,429 yards and 12 touchdowns in his collegiate career. After college, Hartline played seven seasons in the NFL between the Cleveland Browns and the Miami Dolphins.