Lab Hopes to Develop Paint-On Window Coating

first_imgProgram aids entrepreneurial researchersThe technology is based on a type of material called a bottlebrush polymer, which Weitekamp studied as a graduate student at Caltech. He went to the Berkeley Lab last year as part of a program for entrepreneurial researchers called Cyclotron Road with the goal of commercializing the polymers.The Berkeley project is getting part of a $3.95 million award from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).The team’s goal is to develop a low-solar-gain coating that costs consumers $1.50 per square foot, which the lab says is 10% of the cost for commercially installed retrofit window coatings.“ARPA-E invests in high-risk, high-reward projects,” said Arman Shehabi, a member of the research team. “The high reward in this project isn’t in the performance improvement. It’s transformative in how windows could be retrofitted — it’s something you can do yourself. The market need is very large, and there’s nothing low-cost out there that meets that need.”The lab didn’t offer any estimates of when the coating might actually be ready for the commercial market. One remaining challenge is to make a coating that reflects infrared light but doesn’t make the visible light passing through the glass appear hazy. Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing a paint-on low-solar-gain window coating that would offer the same energy benefits as a window replacement or commercially applied film at a small fraction of the cost.The coating is designed to reflect infrared light but allow visible light to pass through, according to an article posted at the lab’s website.New windows offer a variety of coatings designed to control both the amount of visible light and solar heat gain passing through window glass, but replacing old windows in order to get those energy-efficiency benefits is expensive. Retrofit window films also are available, but they require professional installation, the lab said.“Instead of hiring expensive contractors, a homeowner could go to the local hardware store, buy the coating, and paint it on as a DIY retrofit — that’s the vision,” said Berkeley Lab scientist Raymond Weitekamp. “The coating will selectively reflect the infrared solar energy back to the sky while allowing visible light to pass through, which will drastically improve the energy efficiency of windows, particularly in warm climates and southern climates, where a significant fraction of energy usage goes to air conditioning.”A low-cost option for improving window performance has the potential to save 35 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year, according to the lab, reducing carbon emissions by 24 billion kilograms a year. That’s the same impact as taking 5 million cars off the road.last_img read more

Cubs’ bullpen implodes in Game 2 loss to Nationals

first_imgFrontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman spreads his arms after hitting a three-run home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Mike Montgomery (38) during the eighth inning in Game 2 of baseball’s National League Division Series, at Nationals Park, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)WASHINGTON — Carl Edwards Jr. knew the ball was gone as soon as it left his hand. Mike Montgomery wasn’t sure until it went just over the fence.The sinking feeling was the same for each reliever, and the rest of the Chicago Cubs.ADVERTISEMENT Pedro Strop worked a scoreless seventh before Edwards got into trouble in the eighth. With one out and a runner on first, the wiry right-hander fell behind 3-1 against Harper and the 2015 NL MVP drove his next pitch into the second deck in right field.Citing the 26-year-old’s numbers against lefties, manager Joe Maddon called turning to Edwards “the right option” and “the only option.” Lefties hit .119 against Edwards this season and .135 over his career. But the Nationals were also 5 for 12 against him this season.“C.J. was the right man for the job,” Maddon said. “He made a bad pitch and the guy didn’t miss it, and that’s it. Sometimes that happens. Bryce is good. C.J. is good. Bryce got him.”Edwards said it was “the right pitch, just the wrong hitter.” Walking Anthony Rendon put Montgomery on the spot because Maddon wanted a ground-ball pitcher. Instead, the lefty allowed a single to Daniel Murphy and then the home run to Zimmerman that the wind carried over left fielder Ben Zobrist.“It’s a tough situation, but it’s the kind of situations I want to be in,” Montgomery said. “I prepared for that. It just didn’t go my way this time.”ADVERTISEMENT As much as the Cubs could feel the surprising turn of events, the memories of winning the World Series last year crept in not long after. Rizzo, who became the franchise’s all-time postseason leader in home runs and RBIs, said nothing is going to faze his team.“We’ve given up way bigger home runs than that before,” Rizzo said. “You’re not going to knock us down. We gave up a home run to Rajai Davis to tie the game in the eighth inning (in Game 7 of the World Series). It’s part of the journey. You’ve got to embrace it.”After that home run, Maddon turned to Edwards and Montgomery to get the final three outs for the Cubs’ first championship since 1908. So it’s not at all surprising that Maddon wants them back out there in the same situation soon and so do their teammates.“We’ve all been there, we’ve all given up big hits, we’ve all given up big homers,” Lester said. “Hopefully the situation arises on Monday and they go right back out there and dominate.” Read Next MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES Edwards’ hanging curveball turned into a tying two-run homer by Bryce Harper and Montgomery’s pulled changeup became a three-run shot by Ryan Zimmerman. The five-run rally in the eighth inning lifted Washington to a 6-3 victory on Saturday, tying the NL Division Series at a game apiece.“It’s frustrating, but when you’re going up against good hitters, you’ve got to make your pitches,” Montgomery said. “We had them where we wanted them, and we couldn’t get the job done late in the game.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe World Series champion Cubs wasted another solid playoff performance by Jon Lester and homers for Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras . Game 3 is Monday at Wrigley Field.Lester allowed one run and two hits in six innings in his 20th career postseason start. The left-hander threw 86 pitches before he was pulled in favor of a pinch hitter. Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC PLAY LIST 01:04Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Demetrious Johnson breaks UFC record with 11th title defense BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View commentslast_img read more

Foreign Affairs Minister Welcomes Launch of Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator

first_imgMinister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, has welcomed the launch of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator Programme.She said the initiative reflects the region’s determination to make the Caribbean the first climate smart zone, in pursuant of the first of 12 international commitments emanating from the One Planet Summit held in Paris in December 2017.Senator Johnson Smith was speaking at the official launch of the accelerator at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, on August 9.The Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister noted that as citizens of small-island developing states, and inhabitants of the second most disaster-affected region in the world “our dependence on key economic and climate sensitive sectors, such as tourism, agriculture and fisheries, brings our vulnerability into sharp focus.” “It is for this reason that building resilience must be of the highest priority for the Caribbean community. The accelerator is therefore a most timely venture and will respond to the innovative approaches which CARICOM Heads called for at their meeting in Montego Bay just last month,” she said.She argued that the region’s experience with natural disasters, reflected in gross domestic product (GDP) loss, infrastructural damage, and the impact on lives and livelihoods “dictate loudly why we must build and build back better and stronger.”Senator Johnson Smith said that the accelerator programme should benefit from the results of last year’s Caribbean Action 2030: Regional Conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which was held at the Mona campus of The UWI.“We created an important regional space to collectively monitor and evaluate the implementation of the SDGs and I’m confident that the results of that conference will directly complement the initiative being launched today,” Senator Johnson Smith said.So far, some 26 countries and more than 40 partners have joined the accelerator, which seeks to transform the region’s economy by fast-tracking sound public and private investment opportunities that support climate solutions for resilience, social development and broad-based growth for the Caribbean.The climate-smart zone will not only protect the region but create jobs and a new economy in climate-smart infrastructure.Core partners include the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, CARICOM, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).Over the next five years, the accelerator will create the right environment for private and public funds to flow into investments in clean energy, building resilience and climate-smart cities and healthy oceans.last_img read more

Saganash discusses his exit from politics Jack Layton and UNDRIP bill We

first_imgNation to NationRomeo Saganash says he has been fighting for Indigenous people most of his life.In fact, he knows when that battle really started.“I started in 1981 with late grand chief Billy Diamond who asked me to work on these issues for his mandate back then,” said Saganash Thursday on the final episode of Nation to Nation this season.That’s why he tabled Bill C-262 in 2016 as it would require Canada to align its laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which articulates the global minimum human rights standards for Indigenous peoples.But it’s not law yet and time is running out. There are just a few weeks left to do it before Parliament breaks for the summer and gears up for the fall federal election.“We are in 2019. This is a place that everybody assumes to be a progressive place called Canada,” said Saganash.His bill, which is endorsed by the Liberals, is currently tied up in the Senate where it’s been for months. Conservative senators are said to be slowing it down.“We could be leaders. Our institutions to refuse this legislation will be probably the most disappointing fact in my life,” said Saganash.To read more on the bill’s current state read this story by APTN News reporter Justin Brake.But Saganash talks about more than the bill.He said when he was first elected in 2011 he always planned on two terms.He also talks about the late Jack Layton recruiting him and what could have been for the NDP if the leader didn’t pass away from cancer.However, he feels the NDP stand a decent chance in the fall election because of the squabbling between the Liberals and Conservatives.But there are more bills trying to beat the clock on Parliament Hill, particularly those affecting Indigenous child welfare and languages.Our political panel takes one last crack at the issues.Liberal MP Dan Vandal and NDP MP Georgina Jolibois sparred over just how much consultation was used to craft the child welfare legislation. The Liberals voted down most amendments to C-92 this week.“First of all, it’s important to note on both C-92, child welfare, and C-91, languages, there was extensive consultation. There was over a thousand (crosstalk), if I can finish my thought without being interrupted. There was over a thousand people consulted from chiefs to grassroots people,” said Vandal who was interrupted by Jolibois.“The witnesses spoke about both pieces of legislation and they need to improve. And again the government dismissing … (Tuesday), the Liberal MP said the work of Dr. Cindy Blackstock wasn’t that significant, wasn’t that important,” said Jolibois.Nation to Nation will be back in the fall right in time for the federal election.last_img read more

Canadian Pacific Railway says tearing up NAFTA poses limited risk to company

first_imgCALGARY – The potential dismantling of NAFTA is a concern because of its impact on the overall North American economy, but its direct effect on Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) would be limited, CEO Keith Creel said Thursday.Transportation analysts have identified the end of the North American Free Trade Agreement, as sometimes threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump, as one of the biggest risks to Canadian railways this year. Negotiations to modernize the deal start again next week in Montreal.“We’re paying attention to it but, at a micro level, our direct commodity exposure is fairly modest,” Creel said on a conference call with analysts after reporting fourth-quarter financial results that slightly beat analyst expectations.“Thirty per cent of our business is cross-border, but this number overstates our true exposure,” said Creel. “Our cross-border is primarily agricultural products — stuff like grain, potash, fertilizers, chemicals … The reality is the U.S. relies heavily on these raw materials that we’re shipping south to support the overall economy.”St. Louis-based analyst Dan Sherman of Edward Jones said he agrees with Creel.“We need the wood, we need the potash. Those things are important for us,” Sherman said. “So we’re probably going to continue to buy it from Canada, and if there’s a slightly larger tariff, that’s going to make hardly any difference.”Analyst Kevin Chiang of CIBC World Markets said in a report earlier this month that a U.S. government move to disband the continental free trade agreement could cause a similar reaction to the immediate 10 per cent drop in market values in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.CP Rail said Thursday that fourth-quarter revenue grew by five per cent to $1.71 billion from $1.64 billion in the same period a year ago, aided by enhanced service offerings and strategic partnerships with customers.It said net income rose to $984 million in the last three months of the year from $384 million a year earlier. That was mainly due to a non-cash provision of $527 million to account for deferred income tax recoveries from U.S. tax reforms enacted in December, which more than made up for tax increases by the Saskatchewan and B.C. governments.Freight revenue from metals, minerals, and consumer products grew 30 per cent, while energy, chemicals and plastics jumped 20 per cent.Chief marketing officer John Brooks said on the call he expects 2018 revenue growth in “the mid-single digits” and adjusted earnings per share growth in the low double-digits, thanks to strong global potash demand, a large Canadian grain crop and steady coal shipments.Sherman said he’s also bullish on CP Rail’s prospects, noting it has more capacity to grow than its competitors.CP Rail says its operating ratio, a measure of operating expenses as a percentage of revenues, fell slightly to 56.1 per cent in the fourth quarter from 56.2 per cent in the year-earlier period. It was 57.4 per cent for 2017, down from 58.6 in 2016.For the year, revenue was $6.55 billion in 2017, compared with $6.23 billion in 2016.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

Royal brides personalized wedding touches strike a chord

first_imgWith two blockbuster British royal weddings this year and an enduring fascination with the Brits, American brides craving a regal look with personal twists can find plenty of inspiration.While royal wedding fashion will have an influence on bridal trends in the United States, American brides are continually looking for ways to personalize their wedding to reflect their own style. The royal brides, the former Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie, did just that.“Today’s bride really wants to make her wedding her own,” said Lisa Gooder, executive director of Brides. “She doesn’t want something that she’s seen other people do. She wants something that can feel personal to her.”“The royal weddings gave women examples of how to do that, and also perhaps some of the confidence to go and make this decision,” she said. “These royal trends that we saw from the weddings will be repeated, but today’s bride really wants to look unique and like herself, and the personalization elements are the takeaways she can bring to her own wedding.”Shelley Brown, fashion and beauty editor at The Knot, also noted the personal touches these royal brides incorporated into their day — their second gowns for evening that hit a fashion high note, and beauty and accessories choices that spoke to a bride looking like herself.“Both of these brides infused their classic looks with their own personality, and I think that’s a trend that will be influential,” Brown said, adding that their example shows “you can personalize even a classic wedding-day look.”Here’s a closer look at their fashion and beauty choices that might prove influential:Even before nearly 30 million people in the United States tuned in to watch Meghan marry Prince Harry in St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 19, she was a fashion force, driving sales and sellouts. Since the former “Suits” actress became the Duchess of Sussex, bridal gowns inspired by her wedding dresses — the Givenchy ceremony gown with three-quarter-length sleeves and bateau neckline, and the custom, high-neck Stella McCartney number she donned for her evening reception — have turned up on the bridal runways in New York.“There were a few dresses inspired by the Givenchy dress, but the Stella McCartney dress seemed to resonate with bridal designers,” Brown said, adding that its mock turtleneck is a more unique silhouette in bridalwear. “That was a style we saw a version of in pretty much every collection.”The evening gown is a wearable look, Gooder said, which may appeal to brides jetting off to a destination wedding. “The halter neckline makes it a little bit sexy but still covered up, and that kind of chiffon fabric is always flattering and pretty,” she said.Both brides wore a second gown on their wedding day. (Eugenie wore a blush Zac Posen dress for evening.)Gooder said that’s a trend, noting that the former Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, changed for her evening reception in 2011. “I think that Meghan putting that out there in such a public way really made it something that every bride wants to do,” Gooder said.For her ceremony on Oct. 12, also at St. George’s, Eugenie wore a long-sleeve Peter Pilotto gown with a deep V neckline in the back, a design feature she requested to reveal her scar from childhood scoliosis surgery.“Eugenie felt her scar was an important part of her story,” Brown said. “That probably does speak to a lot of brides who don’t want to fit into a certain mould and don’t feel like they have to.”It’s the idea of being true to yourself, a theme also expressed through accessories. The duchess’ veil had hand-embroidered flowers from the Commonwealth countries, along with the California poppy to represent her home state.Eugenie made the choice to forgo a veil, possibly to showcase the back of her dress, and wore a diamond-and-emerald tiara, which stood out for the unexpected choice of the brilliant green gems, Brown said.The duchess wore minimal, natural makeup and unfussy hair on her wedding day.Said Brown, “That fact that you could see her freckles, her hair wasn’t in a perfect updo — is reflective of trends we’ve seen in bridal beauty and what we’ll see going forward.”___Lisa A. Flam is a news and lifestyles reporter in New York. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook .Lisa A. Flam, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Tata Power and IGL collaborate to offer integrated services

first_imgNEW DELHI: Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power utility and Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), India’s largest CNG distribution company, on Monday announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at New Delhi towards setting up integrated customer services and value optimization. The MoU was signed between E. S Ranganathan, Managing Director, IGL and Praveer Sinha, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Power in the presence of B. C. Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL. Speaking at the signing in ceremony, B. C. Tripathi. Chairman said, “This initiative shall bring together synergies among two leading utility players and can go a long a way in improving operational efficiencies as well as customer experience. The two companies should also explore the possibilities of generating electricity from bio-gas using fuel cell technology”.last_img read more

GST regime will not significantly reduce deficits of state govts

first_imgSingapore: Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in India is not likely to reduce the deficits of state governments significantly, amid large and growing expenditure mandates for the social sector as well as capital spending, says a report. According to S&P Global Ratings the institutional framework for Indian states is evolving, but there is structural deficits due to persistent revenue expenditure mismatch. S&P Global Ratings credit analyst YeeFarn Phua in the report titled “Public Finance System Overview: Indian States” noted that the passage of the GST bill in 2017 is a major overhaul of tax structure and will help to widen the tax base and improve revenues of state governments. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra”However, states will continue to run large deficits because a significant part of this imbalance is from the expenditure side. States are unable to cut expenditures because of large and growing expenditure mandates for the social sector as well as capital spending. Therefore, the revenue-expenditure gap will remain large,” said Phua. Further, policy implementation remains sub-par in India, the report noted. Another significant development in recent years has been the adoption of an amended Fiscal Responsibility Management (FRBM) Act, which forms the fiscal framework, in March 2018, the report noted. Under the amended FRBM Act, the government will target a debt-to-GDP ratio of 60 per cent with the split being 40:20 for central government and states. Further, the government will use fiscal deficit as the key operational target, the report said but added that the FRBM committee lacks the authority to mandate its core recommendations.last_img read more

The Playoff Implications Of Every Game For Every NFL Team

“Playoff Implications” is a phrase you usually don’t hear until the final weeks of the NFL regular season, but almost every regular season game has playoff implications. In the early going, however, it can be difficult to figure out just what those implications are, and how much is riding on each game.Most other major sports leagues play a greater number of regular season games, and thus the playoff picture in those sports evolves in a more incremental fashion. The pace can seem glacial at times for MLB, and inevitable and foregone when it comes to the NBA. But with just 16 regular season games, the NFL’s playoff landscape can change dramatically over the course of a single Sunday afternoon. And these tectonic shifts take place throughout the season, not just in those final weeks of December.With a week or two left in the season, the “eye test” usually suffices for judging which games will shape the playoff picture. But in mid-October there are far too many possibilities for the unassisted human mind to make sense of. We can only speak in general terms. For example, we know the playoff chances for the New Orleans Saints will improve with a victory this Sunday over the Detroit Lions. But by how much? And how far would they drop with a loss? Expanding our focus, what other teams have a vested interest in the outcome of this game? One would expect Carolina’s playoff chances to improve with a Saints loss, given that the Saints are their division rival. But once again, by how much?To answer these questions, we’ve created a weekly feature that measures the playoff implications of each game. To do this, you need to be able to simulate the remainder of the season multiple times and analyze the results. And in order to simulate the season, you need a way to rank all 32 teams, and use that ranking to create outcome probabilities for future games. We’ve been doing just that with FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rankings. But the Elo ratings, simple and beautiful, aren’t the only word on NFL rankings. For this feature we’re going to turn to the wisdom of the crowd instead, and use a ranking system one of the authors developed based on betting markets. In stock market terms, think of it as technical analysis in lieu of fundamental analysis.We’ll get into the methodology in a moment but first the results. Think of each interactive table below as a playoff implications “cheat sheet” for this week’s upcoming games.1The table is initially sorted by game importance, where we define importance by its cumulative impact on the playoff picture. Where you see blank cells on the table corresponds to games and teams in which there was not a statistically significant difference in playoff odds. (If you hover over a colored square, you’ll see details for that game.)UPDATE (Oct. 17, 12:30 p.m.): The interactive tables above have been updated to include Thursday night’s game, which now shows no playoff implications because its result is included in the playoff chances (the text of the article has not been updated).Reading the table across tells you which teams are affected by any particular game.2Notice that we don’t restrict ourselves to just the two teams competing in each game. As we alluded to above, teams benefit when they win games, but they also benefit when division rivals (and other competitors for playoff seeding) lose games. The Panthers, for example, would see their playoff chances rise by 11 percent with a Saints loss to the Lions. Reading the table down tells you which games matter most to any given team. For example, if you’re a Texans fan, what games should you care about this week, how much should you care about them, and who do you want to win? The column headers are sortable, so clicking on the “HOU” column tells you to care about HOU @ PIT, ATL @ BAL, CIN @ IND, NYJ @ NE, CLE @ JAC, and KC @ SD — in that order. And you want the Texans, Falcons, Bengals, Jets, Jaguars and Chiefs to win.My rankings start from the assumption that the NFL gambling market is efficient, and then attempts to determine how that efficient market ranks each of the 32 NFL teams. Unfortunately, Vegas doesn’t actually share its rankings with the general public, but with a little reverse-engineering, we can arrive at a pretty good guess at what they are. We start with the point spread. For Thursday night’s game, the New England Patriots are a 9.5-point favorite at home against the New York Jets. Since home field advantage is worth about 2.5 points, the market thinks the Patriots are 7 points better than the Jets when playing on a neutral field.Armed with this interpretation, we then take the point spreads from each game and for multiple weeks and run a simple linear regression to arrive at a consensus ranking. The process is akin to drawing a map of the United States but nobody tells you a city’s location. Instead, they only tell you how far away each city is from another city (e.g. Los Angeles is 1,700 miles away from Chicago, Chicago is 165 miles from Indianapolis, and so on). To further complicate matters, our map “moves” over time, making earlier “distance” measurements less reliable. For example, the Steelers opened the season as a 6-point favorite at home against the Browns. If the market were to set that point spread today, Pittsburgh would most likely drop to just a 2.5-point favorite, as the Steelers have fallen short of preseason expectations, and the Browns have exceeded them. So, the ranking methodology gives more weight to recent point spread data in an attempt to get the most up-to-date market evaluation of each team.Now that we have a ranking system that assigns a probability to each future regular season game outcome, the next step is to simulate the season multiple times (50,000 times to be exact). After simulating win/loss records, we apply the NFL playoff seeding rules (plus tiebreakers) and summarize the results. There are already several sites that do these types of simulations for the purpose of producing team playoff odds (including FiveThirtyEight). For this feature, we’re going to go a bit deeper than that.Instead of focusing on each team’s overall playoff odds, let’s instead focus on each game. We’ll use the New Orleans-Detroit game as an example. Of the 50,000 simulation runs, there were precisely 30,180 (or about 60 percent) that resulted in a Lions victory, and 19,820 that resulted in a Saints victory. Let’s now focus on those two samples in isolation. Of the 30,180 simulations in which the Saints lost, they made the playoffs 8,273 times, or 27 percent. Of the 19,820 simulations in which the Saints won, they made the playoffs 9,172 times, or 46 percent. Put simply, the Saints playoff odds could swing by a not-insignificant 19 percent as a result of their game against the Lions. (The games with the most cumulative influence on the overall playoff picture (“leverage”) are listed at left).We can repeat this calculation for every game and every team. The result: A measure of how much every game matters to every team. read more

Cassady hopped over competition

As soon as Howard “Hopalong” Cassady stepped onto the field, he was a difference-maker.“He was the guy that could make the big play when you needed it the most,” said Jack Park, author of The Official Ohio State Football Encyclopedia.That is exactly what the running back did in his first game at Ohio State, as he recorded three touchdowns in a win over Indiana.Cassady played for OSU from 1952-55, which was unusual at the time because most players only played three seasons then.Cassady also played for the baseball team. He led the team in home runs in 1955 and in stolen bases in 1956.He graduated from Central High School in Columbus.When he came to OSU, he played offense and defense for under legendary coach Woody Hayes.Cassady won the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award in 1955 in his senior season. To top it off, he was named the Associated Press “Male Athlete of the Year” in 1955, beating out boxer Rocky Marciano and quarterback Otto Graham of the Cleveland Browns.This was monumental, considering a pair of Hall of Fame center fielders — Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle — won it in 1954 and 1956, respectively.Cassady excelled on defense as much as he did on offense. As a cornerback, he never allowed a reception to be caught on him in a Big Ten game, Park said. He also said that when Cassady was on the field, OSU never allowed a big play on defense.But what made Cassady famous was his elusive running style, which earned him his nickname from sportswriters. He would hop all over the field.“Hopalong was fast and good at getting around the corner,” Park said.The play that determined Cassady’s career was an 88-yard interception return against the No. 2 ranked Wisconsin Badgers in 1954. A close game in the third quarter, Cassady intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown. This was symbolic because it changed the atmosphere of the game and saved the season, leading to the Buckeyes’ second national title.“This [showed] the real mark of a champion,” Park said.After college, Cassady spent six years with the Detroit Lions and also played a season each with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns. He returned to the Lions for his eighth and final season before retiring.In 1979, Cassady was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. On Nov. 18, 2000, at halftime against Michigan, OSU retired Cassady’s No. 40 in Ohio Stadium.Outside of football, Cassady became an entrepreneur and formed a company that manufactured concrete pipe, steel and ships. More recently, he has served as a scout for the New York Yankees, and has spent summers in Columbus as the first base coach for the former minor league Columbus Clippers. He now resides in Tampa, Fla. read more