Redefining NBA Basketball Positions

Redefining NBA Basketball Positions: For the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference a few weeks ago, Stanford biomechanical engineering student Muthu Alagappan presented his work on redefining basketball positions.

After studying players like LeBron James and Blake Griffin, many analysts are now suggesting that there are new positions, which are simply hybrids of the one's we already had. For example, some players are now labeled "point-forwards" or "combo-guards." But what if we were wrong about our initial five positions. Maybe a "Center" is just a label for people over a certain height, and there are actually three different types of big men in the NBA.

The Chinese State Run Media Admits Something?

Ferrari crash information hushed up: Sina deleted all microblog posts which mentioned the accident, and blocked online searches of the word "Ferrari." The Global Times also found that news reports about the crash were deleted from many web portals, such as Tencent's QQ online chat service.

"They make such great efforts to wipe out the information, and it just proves that this young man must have a special background, maybe he's a high-ranking official's son," said a local resident who requested anonymity yesterday.

Children of the wealthy and powerful families are known as China's rich or "second generation," a title earning them notoriety. Many media reports, revealing these children openly flout the law, have raised public debate over social conscience and the gap between the rich and poor.

US teacher killing: How religiously open is Yemen? -

US teacher killing: How religiously open is Yemen? - Al Qaeda-linked militants who claimed responsibility for the death of an American teacher in Yemen yesterday said he was targeted for being "one of the biggest American proselytizers" in the Arab nation.

Not ok.

South Carolina Teacher Suspended For Reading 'Ender's Game' To Middle School Students - Forbes: In South Carolina a teacher has been placed on administrative leave for reading excerpts of Orson Scott Card’s science fiction classic Ender’s Game to his middle school students.

“The parent that reported him to the school district complained that the book was pornographic,” Tod Kelly writes. “[T]hat same parent also asked the local police to file criminal charges against the teacher. As of today, the police have not yet decided whether or not to file charges (which is probably a good sign that they won’t). The school district, however, appears to agree with the parent, is considering firing the teacher and will be eliminating the book from the school.

Why Are Flags Flown at Half-Staff in Times of Mourning? - Mental Floss

Why Are Flags Flown at Half-Staff in Times of Mourning? - Mental Floss: Why would these sailors lower their flag to honor their departed captain?
According to one line of scholarly thinking, by lowering the Union Jack, the sailors were making room for the invisible flag of Death. This explanation jibes with the British tradition of flying a “half-staff” flag exactly one flag’s width lower than its normal position to underscore that Death’s flag is flapping above it.

Obama's Spending Record: More Conservative Than Reagan's

Obama's Spending Record: More Conservative Than Reagan's:


The Most Ironic Critique of Mike Daisey's Inaccuracies: It has been nighttime in Australia, and I am just starting to look at the many Mike Daisey reactions that have come in during Sunday daytime for readers in North America.

Thumbnail image for DebHeadShotSydney.pngA writer named Jason Mick, at the Daily Tech site, criticizes, as I have, the things that Daisey got wrong or made up. Then he adds:

Mr. Daisey is married to Deborah Fallows, a Chinese native who wrote the book Dreaming in Chinese.)
It is true that Deborah Fallows, shown at right on the balcony here in Kirribilli, wrote the book Dreaming in Chinese. It is true that friends have told her that she might as well have been born a native Chinese person, since her spirit matches that of Chinese women in so many ways.

But she is a native of Chicago, not China, and of Czech rather than Chinese ethnic background. And she is most definitely not married to Mike Daisey. At least that is what she told me when she stormed back into the bedroom this morning irate about what she had just seen about herself online.

A Cloud-Free Ireland (h/t Dish)

A Cloud-Free Ireland:
An "extremely rare" sight from NASA, and a reminder of why it's called the Emerald Isle:
Moist ocean air also contributes to abundant rainfall. Ireland receives between 29 and 78 inches of rain per year, with more rain falling in the west and in the mountains. Most of the rain falls in light showers. This moist climate means plenty of clouds and fog. According to the Irish Meteorological Service, the sky is entirely cloudy more than 50 percent of the time. There are more clouds during the day than at night, and fog is common.

The Way of Improvement Leads Home: The Culture Wars Are Real

The Way of Improvement Leads Home: The Culture Wars Are Real: 2. After what happened to me today I am even more deeply convinced about the need for civil dialogue in America. You can read the comments for yourself, but I would say that most of the 800 comments on The Blaze have nothing to do with the argument of my piece. They instead focused on the controversial headline.

But even if some of Glenn Beck's followers did read the whole piece and concluded that they disagreed with my argument, the level of vitriol I have experienced today has made me concerned for our country. How can democracy flourish without civility, respect for those with whom we differ, and a sense of mutual understanding? I continue to believe that the answer lies in education, particularly in history and the other humanities. It is these disciplines that have the potential to bring meaningful change to the world because they are rooted in virtues such as intellectual hospitality, empathy, understanding, and civility

How one man escaped from a North Korean prison camp | Books | The Guardian

How one man escaped from a North Korean prison camp | Books | The Guardian: Shin was assigned the pig farm where he snacked on corn, cabbage and other vegetables, and sometimes even sneaked an afternoon nap. Turning 20 on the farm, Shin believed he had found the place where he would grow old and die. But in March 2003 he was transferred to the camp's garment factory where 1,000 women stitched military uniforms during 12-hour shifts. When their foot-powered sewing machines broke down, Shin fixed them.

In the summer of 2004, while he was carrying one of these cast-iron machines, it slipped and broke beyond repair. Sewing machines were considered more valuable than prisoners: the chief foreman grabbed Shin's right hand and hacked off his middle finger just above the first knuckle.

Should there be an obese surcharge?

"Weigh More, Pay More" by Peter Singer | Project Syndicate: CommentsView comment on this paragraphFriends with whom I discuss this proposal often say that many obese people cannot help being overweight – they just have a different metabolism from the rest of us. But the point of a surcharge for extra weight is not to punish a sin, whether it is levied on baggage or on bodies. It is a way of recouping from you the true cost of flying you to your destination, rather than imposing it on your fellow passengers. Flying is different from, say, health care. It is not a human right.

An increase in the use of jet fuel is not just a matter of financial cost; it also implies an environmental cost, as higher greenhouse-gas emissions exacerbate global warming. It is a minor example of how the size of our fellow-citizens affects us all. When people get larger and heavier, fewer of them fit onto a bus or train, which increases the costs of public transport. Hospitals now must order stronger beds and operating tables, build extra-large toilets, and even install extra-large refrigerators in their morgues – all adding to their costs.

The Sad and Infuriating Mike Daisey Case

1) Daisey's downfall is the sadder and more infuriating because it was so completely unnecessary and avoidable. If he had even once said that he was presenting a polemic, a metaphor, a dramatization, an "inspired by real events" monologue rather than real "facts," no one could ever have complained. Do we care whether Harriet Beecher Stowe ever saw runaway slaves jumping on ice floes as they fled across a river? (Stowe described Uncle Tom's Cabin as a "series of sketches" conveying the cruelty of slavery.) Do we care whether Upton Sinclair had actually seen the packinghouse cruelties he described in The Jungle?  Whether any family exactly like the Joads was known to John Steinbeck -- or exactly like George Bailey's or Mr. Potter to Frank Capra for It's a Wonderful Life? Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist? You get the point. Mike Daisey could have had 98% of the intellectual/social impact of his monologue, and zero % of the dishonesty and now disgrace, if he had described it as an attempt to convey the truth of a situation through imagined details.

2) Daisey's lying will hurt the Western press and international worker-rights groups.  When they get all huffy, Chinese nationalists love to present the Western press as being irremediably biased against Chinese achievements and ambitions, and willing to pass along the most outrageous slanders about China without checking them for accuracy or even plausibility. A site called Anti-CNN is a well-known outlet for such views. This is a constant nuisance when you try to write critical assessments. Worse, it gives ammo to those inside China who want to pooh-pooh complaints about safety, pollution, working conditions, and so on. Daisey is everything they warned against, come to life.

h/t AWC

Currently Gawking:
Since we didn’t see much of the white stuff this winter, I”ll have to be satisfied by these astounding patterns created by Simon Beck. The man hikes around in snow shoes with a GPS and creates this kind of magic. Pretty incredible. Okay, fine, REALLY incredible.

LINK: Simon Beck


I had the pleasure of making someone's acquaintance tonight, along with a long and lovely conversation on advice for the future and text messages to a nephew. But in order to avoid some drama, I didn't have the chance to say a proper goodbye when the bar closed up, and I regret that I only waved (and think you didn't see it). So if you're out there: fare well, my friend. :)

(Debuting a new "Craigslist" label for posts like these)