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[Bearbeiten] The Raul Ibanez story- how fairy tales come true

Raul Ibanez holds the Tek Bat he says has helped him hone the swing that has clubbed 24 home runs by the All-Star Break. The Raul Ibanez story is almost too impossible to believe and many will have trouble doing so. But there are so many things about Ibanez s improbable career that are already difficult to imagine,Nike Arizona Cardinals jerseys, so suspending your cynicism one more time and needed to comprehend a 41-year-old hitting 24 home runs by the All-Star Break is just one more step. In this morning s paper, I try to explain the story to you. It starts with a diet and conditioning regimen required to allow a 40-something player to keep competing with 20-and-30-year-olds. Then, it takes the mindset needed to not accept that failure is inevitable. And in Ibanez s case, it also took a special Tek Bat he has used since May in indoor batting cages to hone his swing. The bat was given him by a coach from long ago, a security guard at his former high school who also once gave him the Ted Williams book The Science of Hitting.

Mariners hitting coach Dave Hansen,cheap St. Louis Rams jerseys,[1], another longtime friend and former teammate, worked extensively with Ibanez to find a way to incorporate the oddly-shaped bat into his workout regimen. Read about Ibanez and his incredile story in this morning s paper.

[Bearbeiten] USMNT routs Belize in Gold Cup opener

*???? *???? * Here is the highlight of the final goal from the U.S. men s national team s 6-1 win against Belize in its CONCACAF Gold Cup opener Tuesday in Portland (I ll update with full highlights when available). It was the first ever meeting between the two countries. , , ,New England Patriots jerseys Nike, and offered some analysis. Some key notes, Chris Wondolowski scored a hat trick (and had his last name misspelled as Wondowlowski on his jersey,[2],New England Patriots jerseys cheap sale, Landon Donovan became the first player in USMNT history to reach 50 goals and 50 assists (he s actually at 52 and 51, respectively), and Norwegian-born Mix Diskerud is now cap tied to the U.S. Wondolowski is the third player in federation history with a hat trick in the Gold Cup, 15th in all competitions. Reporters noted Oguchi Onyewu, Herculez Gomez and Stuart Holden (who scored off the bench) had reduced roles since they have recent injury history and the game was played on artificial turf. Elsewhere in the Group C, Costa Rica beat Cuba, 3-0, on Tuesday The U.S. plays next against Cuba at 12:30 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

[Bearbeiten] Mike Scinto Conservative American 7

html模版Mike Scinto Conservative American**As it appeared in the Kettering-Oakwood Times and other Times Community Newspapers** I remember it was a very hot summer day, much like the ones we are experiencing now. It was sometime in the mid 1990s. I had been out in the heat much of the day and needed air conditioning and a cold drink. I f... Don't take this as a lack of support of Mitt Romney or anybody else BUT, isn't it a shame that in a nation of 300 million folks, we usually have to end up "settling" for a candidate we elect? There's no absolute leader who is above reproach and transcends politics to standout as an obvious leader o... If this report is true,cheap Arizona Cardinals jerseys, anything that has Joe Paterno's name on it needs to be renamed. His family needs to be stripped of everything and EVERYBODY at Penn State who can be proven to have covered up needs to be locked away for life! Penn State needs to be booted from the Big 10 and in fact if they... I had to take my mother's and father's drivers licenses away. In the case of my mother,Earnhardt to race at Kil,Nike Chicago Bears jerseys, in her 80s, she ran her car into a ditch and got a ticket. I went to the court and suggested they make her take a driving test as part of her sentence/fine. She knew she couldn't pass it. In the case of my fathe... From the Kettering-Oakwood Times and other Times Community Newspapers There�� been, and will continue to be, much chatter about the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. We��e in the middle of one of the most contentious Presidential campaigns I can remember. Record numbers of Americans ar... From the Kettering-Oakwood Times and other Times Community NewspapersThere are many conservatives angry at the SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare. Many of those same conservatives feel Chief Justice John Roberts, in ��iding with�?the liberal arm of Court, betrayed those who felt he was a sound conservativ... From the Kettering-Oakwood Times and other Times Community Newspapers We��e living in an age where a new miracle drug for this disease, or that condition, is coming on the market every week or so. If you can hang on long enough with your ailment, there��l be one for yours. It would be great if it s...

[Bearbeiten] Two dead after shooting

html模版,nfl jerseys on saleTwo dead after shootingSpecial Correspondent

GREENE COUNTY A man and a woman are dead following an apparent murder-suicide at a Larkins Road home Saturday.

According to a release from the Greene County Sheriff office,New England Patriots jerseys cheap sale, Jimmy R. Carter, 51,Kister magistrale pour AIA lors de la victoire sur Dayton 0, shot Elizabeth Reed Carter, 47, and then turned the gun on himself at a home at 3482 Larkins Road, near Wilberforce Clifton Road in Miami Township.

According to earlier reports, a family gathering was underway when the shooting occurred.

According to court records, the pair divorced in 2009, but according to the Sheriff s Office, were both living at the Larkins Road home.

Deputies, along with the Cedarville and Yellow Springs police, arrived on scene sometime around 9 p.m. Saturday after receiving a 911 call through the Greene Central Communications Center.

Deputies made emergency entry into the residence in an effort to rescue Elizabeth Carter, who was reported shot and injured inside the home with a reportedly injured James Carter.

James Carter was severely injured but died while Miami Township EMTs were rendering medical aid.

An investigation into the homicide is ongoing and could take several weeks; an official ruling on the method and manner of death will be made by the Greene County Coroner s Office.

[Bearbeiten] Off the Record Morris gets through to Amateur match

Blake Morris

Waterbury’s Blake Morris qualified for match-play competition at the 113th U.S. Amateur.

Morris shot a 1-under-par 69 at the Charles River Country Club Tuesday. He finished the 36-hole qualifying with a 2-over score of 142. His first round score Monday was 3-over 73 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

There is one round of match-play Wednesday at The Country Club today,nfl jerseys on sale, and when the field is cut to 32,Nike San Diego Chargers jerseys, the Amateur hosts two rounds of match play Thursday.

Morris was tied for 27th after qualifying. Wednesday he plays match 14 on the schedule,Friday Back Talk- We asked you- Should the U.S cu, and tees off at 9:10 a.m. against Cory McElyea of Santa Cruz Calif., who had rounds identical to Morris, of 73 and 69 to also finish at 2-over 142. McElyea, 21, is a senior at the University of San Francisco.

Morris is the only player form Connecticut to get into match play. This year’s state amateur finalist, Pete Ballo of Stamford, was at 11-over 151, as was Dave Szewczul of Farmington. Brandon Chicorka of Enfield shot 152, Mad Adler of Norwalk 153, and Kevin Josephson of New Britain shot a 155.

Sam Bernstein of New York, who plays at Yale, shot a 5-over 145 and missed the playoff for the final spots in the field by one shot.

The qualifying medalists were Neil Raymond of England and Brady Watt of Australia, both a 6-under 134.

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[Bearbeiten] Quit while you're ahead, star of Downton tells its creator-

Fears: Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville said he is worried about the show progressing too far ahead and overlapping with other period dramas

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville  has cast doubt over the future of the  show after urging its creator to quit while he is ahead . Bonneville, who plays central character the Earl of Grantham, said that if the  ITV series progresses too far in time, the storyline could end up overlapping with other period dramas such as Upstairs Downstairs. The fourth series of Downton Abbey, which was created and is written by Julian Fellowes, is scheduled to begin next month. It is set in 1922, six months on from the end of the previous series and several years before the BBC s Upstairs Downstairs, which was set in the 1930s. Asked how long Downton could continue, Bonneville,Hundreds of British holidaymakers hit by diarrhoea,New England Patriots jerseys cheap sale, 49, said: I don t know how long Julian can go on.

I am sure the money men would like it to go on for ever and ever because it does sell extremely well around the world. The next series is nudging forward and starts six to eight months ahead from the last and I think we will start to bump into other period dramas if we are not careful timewise. I hope Julian quits while he is ahead but he is a wise soul. 

Bonneville added that he was colossally lucky to be in the show, but said: It is a merry-go-round that will stop at some point and we will all get off and go in different directions. During a talk at the Oxford University Union, he added: I have been in the  business for 26 years and we leave the scripts up to Julian.

Successful: Downton Abbey is scheduled to begin its fourth series next month

Questions: Central character Hugh Bonneville said he hopes writer Julian Fellowes, pictured, will 'quit while he's ahead'

There is a soap element but unlike  those shows where actors sit down with the producers, we don t. This is not a team-written drama,New England Patriots jerseys Nike, it all comes from one person. 


[Bearbeiten] A gay Mormon with a dog problem

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[Bearbeiten] Bella Swan’s Wedding Gown Manufacturer Alfred Angelo Unveil

Photos: Bella Swan’s Wedding Gown Manufacturer Alfred Angelo Unveils Disney Collection (PHOTOS)

By IBTimes Staff Reporter | Aug 17, 2011 06:04 PM EDT
While Kristen Stewart's much-hyped wedding gown details for the upcoming Breaking Down film is still under wraps, official retailer Alfred Angelo has unveiled a stunning collection of Disney gowns for romantics and wedding lovers.

Each of these creations has been influenced by famous Disney characters and come in a range of sizes at affordable prices. These dresses reflect the "style and sensibility" of Disney iconic princess like Ariel, Cinderella and Jasmine.

Earlier, the design house was named as the official licensed manufacturer of Bella's bridal gown, which appears in Summit Entertainment's upcoming release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Down - Part 1, due in theaters on November 18, 2011.

Her gown, marketed under the brand Twilight Bridal by Alfred Angelo,Cheap NFL Jerseys, will be unveiled in late November 2011 following the release of the movie, and will be available in Alfred Angelo Signature Stores and independent retailers worldwide.

Apart from this,New England Patriots jerseys Nike,Manning wants to serve time as a woman, get therapy, the design house has also unveiled a replica of the Alexander McQueen wedding gown work by Kate Middleton during the Royal Wedding.

Check out the amazing pictures of Alfred Angelo's Stunning Disney Collection below:

[Bearbeiten] Making history- Stunning images from the 1963 March — MSNBC

Wednesday August 28th marks the 50th?anniversary?of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a touchstone of the American Civil Rights Movement. The march, which had religious leaders, labor organizers and celebrities joining a sea of demonstrators that numbered in the hundreds of thousands,Erika Alexander reminisces about ‘Living Single’, culminated in Martin Luther King Jr s I Have A Dream speech.

Hundreds of marchers walk to the Lincoln Memorial along the Mall, carrying banners during the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. (Photo by Flip Schulke/Corbis)

The March on Washington, Washington DC, August 28, 2013 (Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum)

Leaders of the March on Washington for Jobs Freedom including Rabbi Joachim Prinz, Eugene Carson Blake, Martin Luther King,New England Patriots jerseys Nike, Floyd McKissick, Matthew Ahmann John Lewis lead a procession. (Photo by Robert W. Kelley/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Military policemen line up at Washington Monument grounds for duty during the March on Washington, August 28, 1963. In background are some of the early arrivals for the civil rights demonstration. (Photo by AP)

The March on Washington, Washington DC, August 28, 2013 (Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum)

(L-R) Charlton Heston, James Baldwin, Marlon Brando and Harry Belafonte meet during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington on August 28, 1963 (Photo by Paul Slade/Paris Match/Getty Images)

LEFT: Sammy Davis Jr., waving to people as he walks past ushers at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, 1963. (Photo by Warren K. Leffler/Library of Congress)
RIGHT: American actor Paul Newman arrives at National Airport in Washington, D.C., Aug. 27, 1963. (Photo by AP)

Actor Sidney Poitier and singer Harry Belafonte at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963 (Photo by Francis Miller/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Musicians Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Paul Stookey play together in the Lincoln Memorial, on August 28, 1963. (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

(L-R) Whitney Young, President of the National Urban League, Roy Wilkins, president of the NAACP, Asa Philip Randolph, president of the Congress of Racial Equality, Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers Union. (Photo by Paul Slade/Paris Match/Getty Images)

A. Philip Randolph, one of the chairmen for the March On Washington demonstration in Washington D.C., stands in front of the statue of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial following the two-pronged parade through the streets of the capital, Aug. 28, 1963. (Photo by AP)

LEFT: Josephine Baker and Lena Horne at the Lincoln Memorial. (Photo by Paul Slade/Paris Match/Getty Images)
RIGHT: Demonstrators sit near the reflecting pool in Washington DC after participating in the March on Washington. (Photo by Bettmann/Corbis)

The shadow of the Washington Monument points toward the spot where the line forms for the March on Washington in Washington, August 28, 1963. (Photo by AP)

LEFT: Demonstrators sing in protest in front of the Washington Monument. (Photo by Hiroji Kubota/Magnum)
RIGHT: The March on Washington,nfl jerseys on sale, on August 28, 1963. (Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum)

Civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., march with crowds carrying signs. (Photo by Warren K. Leffler/Library of Congress)

Attendees assemble at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington on August 28, 1963 (Photo by Robert Joyce/Pennsylvania State University/Flickr)

Participants cheer at the March on Washington. (Photos by Leonard Freed/Magnum)

LEFT: A monkey perches atop a demonstrator s sign as a clergyman talks to part of the crowd gathered outside the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC, August 28, 1963. (Photo by Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)
RIGHT: The March on Washington, August 28, 1963. (Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum)

The March on Washington, August 28, 1963. (Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum)

Kathleen Johnson of Newark, N.J. gets help from unidentified members of the crowd assembled near the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March On Washington, Aug. 28, 1963. Mrs. Johnson fell into the reflecting pool near the memorial while trying to take a photograph of the area. (Photo by AP)

Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his I Have A Dream speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963 (Photo by Paul Slade/Paris Match/Getty Images)

Couples during the March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963 (Photos by Leonard Freed/Magnum)

John Lewis, leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (left) marches with unidentified attendees at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 2013 (Photo by Paul Slade/Paris Match/Getty Images)

LEFT: A man sits at the reflecting pool following the days events. (Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum)
RIGHT: The top of the Washington Monument and part of a U.S. flag are reflected in the sunglasses of Austin Clinton Brown, 9, of Gainesville, Ga., as he poses at the Capitol where he joins others in the March on Washington. (Photo by AP)

A view of the March on Washington crowd from behind the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, August 28, 1963. In the distance is the Washington Monument and the Reflecting Pool. (Photo by AP)

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[Bearbeiten] Maine high schools offer enticements to increase testing par


Twenty high schools were penalized a letter grade on the state's A-F report cards for having less than 95 percent participation on standardized tests in 2011 12. A participation rate lower than 90 percent causes an automatic F.

Bonny Eagle High School (Standish) - D

Brewer High School - C

Deering High School (Portland) - D

Forest Hills Consolidated School (Jackman) - F

Foxcroft Academy (Dover-Foxcroft) - D

Fryeburg Academy - D

Gardiner Area High School - D

George Stevens Academy (Blue Hill) - C

Jonesport-Beals High School - D

Lee Academy - F

Lewiston High School - D

Maine Central Institute (Pittsfield) - D

Massabesic High School (Waterboro) - D

Mountain Valley High School (Rumford) - D

Orono High School - C

Portland High School - D

Sanford High School - D

Skowhegan Area High School - D

Spruce Mountain High School North (Jay) - D

Woodland Junior-Senior High School (Baileyville) - F



Local school leaders say they haven't received much help from the state,wholesale Washington Redskins jerseys, while the state Department of Education says it is hamstrung by the Legislature,discount Chicago Bears jerseys, which failed to provide needed funding. Also, see what parents and real estate agents have to say about the grades.


Nearly half of the high schools that received Ds and Fs were penalized because not enough of their students took the Maine High School Assessment. Local principals say they do everything they can to encourage students to take the test,Cleveland Indians ticket prices becoming a point o, but they can't force students to give up a Saturday.


Some schools earned good grades and may provide direction for those that didn't fare as well. What was the key to getting a top grade?


Gov. Paul LePage implemented the grading system without a state law to go along with it, so it could be discontinued at any time once the governor leaves office. Is there enough support for the system in Maine to continue it even if the political winds blow in a different direction?

[Bearbeiten] Google kicks off ‘Africa Connected’ Competition,

Nigeria, 20th August 2013.  For those who have been positively influenced by the internet, here s a chance to share your web journey. Google is calling on entrepreneurs, creators,wholesale Washington Redskins jerseys, innovators and web-lovers in Nigeria and across Africa to share their stories of how the web has transformed their lives and work.  Whether you re a photographer, an entrepreneur, a fashion designer or a community activist, if the

internet and Google tools have played an important role in your success, Google wants to hear from you.
In the next five years, 7 out of the world s 10 fastest growing economies are predicted to be in Africa, and the Internet is playing an important part in this.  Google s new initiative, Africa Connected: Success stories powered by the web ,Anderson Silva calls Floyd Mayweather 'Papa Smurf'_1, aims to gather the largest collection of inspiring stories about ventures established online by Africans, in Africa.  Five successful entrants will win $25,000 each,cheap nike nfl jerseys,
and will also have the opportunity to work with a Google sponsor over a six-month period.
Google wants to hear from young, spirited entrepreneurial web adopters in Nigeria and other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa who have a healthy disregard for the impossible and who are using the web and technology to do cool and extraordinary things to rise above their circumstances, change their world, and achieve success. We want to showcase the amazing achievements happening in the new Africa , says Affiong Osuchukwu, Google Lead for the Africa Connected initiative.
Aspiring filmmaker, cinematographer and editor Amuwa Oluseyi Asurf is one such example. This Nigerian videographer has gone from spending nights in internet cafes, so that he could watch YouTube to teach himself how to edit films, to running a successful film and video production company in Lagos, where he employs 10 people. His company; Asurf Films is today courted by Nigerian celebrities such as Basket Mouth, Iyanya, Wizkid, Psquare and Bovi, to film their music/entertainment videos locally and internationally.
My journey started with a passion to become a filmmaker. Unfortunately, even though I got admission to some good universities, I couldn t afford to go. Luckily I was introduced to the internet and to YouTube. I discovered I could learn everything I needed to know online. It feels great to have some of the top celebrities in Nigeria inviting me to their projects. This inspires me to want to become even better. I am still on the journey to becoming one of the top names in African filmmaking, and I know the internet will still continue to play an important role. 
The owner and creator of Afrinolly, Chike Maduegbuna, based in Nigeria, is another online entrepreneur.  Afrinolly is a popular mobile app which lets people across the continent watch short videos on their mobile devices. This app has transformed Nigeria s Nollywood film industry by creating a movie trailer platform for new audiences. With over 3 million downloads already since its launch in August 2011, Chike hopes this will create a platform that connects aspiring film professionals with global film industry veterans.
Nigerian judge and radio personality / fashion photographer Temilola Balogun commented, The internet is truly helping to reshape the story of Africa,and Nigerians are some of those taking full advantage of its power. Whether you are in technology, agriculture, energy, fashion, education, or entertainment, if the web has transformed your life, and you believe your venture can be scaled up, then the judging
panel is looking forward to hearing your story .
Categories for entries include
Education; Entertainment/Arts/Sports; Technology; Community and NGOs; and Small Businesses. 20 semi-finalists will be selected from initial entries to take part in an interview and to produce a short promotional video. A judging panel made up of Googlers and external judges will then determine the 10 finalists.  The 5 winners, in whose lives the web and Google have played a pivotal role,  will then be selected by the online voting public. Submissions are open from August 27,
2013 to October 11, 2013.  The competition will run until February 2014 when the winners will be announced.
Google s media partners in Nigeria for the Africa Connected initiative include the Steam Broadcasting Group owners of Cool FM, Nigeria Info FM and Wazobia FM, and Thisday Newspapers. The Nigerian representative joining the Africa Connected judging panel is Cool FM radio personality and fashion photographer Temilola Balogun.
For more information and to enter the Africa Connected contest, visit

The deadline for submissions is October 11, 2013. New to the web? Learn more about the web and Google through this platform, so that you too can do amazing things using the web as your springboard.

[Bearbeiten] The trolls are coming, possibly in pairs

The troll under the Bay Bridge didn't demand money to let you pass. That task was performed by his minions, the toll takers. The troll's FasTrak app took care of the rest. Yes, there really is a troll under what we will soon be calling the Old Bay Bridge, and there has been since shortly after the earthquake of 1989. An artist named Bill Roan welded the 14-inch troll into place during the retrofit after a portion of the bridge fell down. I learned all about it in ' column in this very (yes!) newspaper. The troll is spindly limbed and barrel-chested, and he seems to be wearing a hat modeled after the Tin Man's in the movie "The Wizard of Oz." He appears to be made of iron. He is holding a staff of some sort and sticking it into the bridge. He is credited with protecting the workers on the cantilever span of the bridge. It is not clear to me how the troll came to be seen as a guardian. Trolls in Norse mythology, which is where trolls come from, are often hideous and rapacious creatures. They are rarely helpful and sweet; the most you can say for the best of them is that they're willing to live and let live. Unless, you know, they get angry. They are described in one book as "wealth-suckers ... swallowers of the wheel of heaven," and that just doesn't sound good. But the whole retrofit went smoothly, and some people credited the troll. Or said they did; I think it was more art appreciation than superstition. The question came up, what is going to happen to the troll now that the bridge is going to be torn down? What of the luck it provided; what would happen to it? These are difficult questions, ranging as they do into the theological, and the Bay Bridge managers initially had no answer. This exercised people who felt that they should have prioritized the troll a little more. It is, after all, the only bridge troll in the Bay Area. (Or so my research indicates. If you know of another troll underneath a bridge in the Bay Area, do let me know. We could start a database of local trolls. I mean no reference to the annoying Internet entities who go by the same name. That's a different conversation. (Have you noticed, by the way,cheap nike nfl jerseys, how useless the comments sections of most websites have become? Nothing but trolls spoiling for a fight and willing to say anything to start one. Note how the word "troll" was appropriated to describe a bad thing. I'm not sure about this good-troll thing.) Anyway,Nike Chicago Bears jerseys, the Bay Bridge managers proved to be good sports and produced a 25-page report titled "For Whom the Troll Dwells" - oh, there must have been laughter in the bridge offices when someone came up with that - which took a surprisingly farsighted view of the whole troll debate. The troll will stay where it is for now, because there will be workers tearing down the old bridge and they will need protection. (This kind of quotidian witchcraft is quite head-spinning.) Later, it will be removed and put in a safe place somewhere near the bridge. Perhaps we could build a shrine to it on the tidal flats by the toll plaza. People could stop and toss stones into a pool presided over by the troll in hopes of a safe trip. Soon-to-be-married couples could come to seek the troll's blessing. Someone would widely announce that he had proof that the troll's origins were extraterrestrial. We're right on the cusp of a religion here. The Old Norse religion was pretty heady stuff; if we can get just a whiff of its dark complexity, we could have one weird belief system. And it would all proceed from the troll. The Bay Bridge managers went further. They proposed that a similar troll be created for the new span for "a possible extra measure of safety." So we'd have dueling trolls. We'd have a Manichaean religion, and we one day might have a schism, the People of the New Bridge versus the Cantilever Tribe. Separate shrines would, of course, be erected,Arizona Cardinals in risky proposition with Ryan Williams, and Trollism would continue to grow. And perhaps the Golden Gate Bridge would want a troll, and it too would have its adherents, and pretty soon you'd have a trinitarian religion and we could have bloody wars with each other over the characteristics of the One True Troll. In which we note the possible multiplication of officially authorized magical creatures. After a minute or two, they began moving about again, and Alice heard the Rabbit say, "A barrowful will do, to begin with .

[Bearbeiten] The Diff- Revisiting the folly of Chris Perez's future

The Diff: Revisiting the folly of Chris Perez s future August 29, 2013 by The Diff is your weekly WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles,?. Last week, I wrote in detail about the struggling Indians offense. Now, I’m talking about everyone s favorite closer.

Chris Perez, 27-year-old closer, is making $7.3 million in his penultimate arbitration year. He’s set to be a free agent after the 2014 season. Chris Perez, now-quiet loud-mouth, has the sixth most saves in baseball since 2010 with a 2.92 ERA. He’s only 19 saves short of the Cleveland career mark. But because of the first fact, does that mean the Indians should be willing move on from him this offseason?

Back in January, Chris Perez reached a very typical to avoid arbitration. At the time, he became the team’s second-highest paid player. The salary was an expected increase after he saved 36-plus games in a second straight season. He earned just $4.5 million in 2012.

But the deal was not a no-brainer for some. Yes, the Indians have avoided actual arbitration with any player since 1991. So in that sense, it was likely that the team didn’t have much of a choice in terms of short-changing Perez’s likely open market worth. Yet is it still worthwhile for the team to be doing so?

It’s no secret that I’m a gigantic admirer of the work of my colleague Jon. His 2010 WFNY series titled “” is pure gold, despite the bad baseball of those days. He also wrote perhaps the that I’ve ever read.

When he writes, I devour every word. So, when Jon wrote a lot of words in an back in January, I remembered it quite vividly. Let’s share this excerpt:

“Paying exorbitant amounts of money for a closer is like taking out a life insurance policy on your team’s season.? Teams like the Yankees or Red Sox or Dodgers or Angels or Rangers—these teams have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in their roster.? They have, collectively, committed to spending nearly a billion dollars next season on their respective rosters.? For teams with these sorts of financial commitments, you can sort of understand why they wouldn’t want a question mark at the backend of the bullpen.? Perhaps spending one-twenty-fifth of your total investment to make sure it doesn’t all go up in flames could even be considered prudent, considering the money involved.

The Indians, on the other hand?? Well, a small market team paying big bucks for a closer would be akin to taking out a big fat life insurance policy on your unemployed, alcoholic Uncle Bob instead of using the money to buy him a new suit, a haircut, and a job-interview prep class.? You end up spending far more on the insurance policy than you’re ever likely to recoup, especially when the money could have been used more judiciously in the first place on something you and Bob could’ve really used.”

Generously, for 2014, Chris Perez’s salary likely will be in the $9-11 million range. That’s just how the game of baseball works. Arbitration-related salaries hardly ever go down, not usually for one-moth injuries, and especially not after another sub-3.50 ERA season with 20-plus saves.

Previously, I shared that the Indians have a between now and the 2014 season. To be exact, Cleveland has $18.2 million in guaranteed raises lined up for just five players next year. That’s a lot of money for a mid-market team.

The team’s Opening Day salary was somewhere in the $76-82 million range this season. None of us as fans know whether that could change for the future. For now, the safest option – and the one with some historical backing – would be to consider that’s the likely 2014 target, give or take just a little bit.

In this scenario, the Indians won’t have a significant amount of wiggle room. Yes, Brett Myers and Mark Reynolds aren’t returning. Three other players add up to a possible total of $23.65 million in 2013 dollars for upcoming free agents. So that leaves a potential net positive of a bit over $5 million when dealing with the guaranteed raises.

But then there’s the arbitration raises likely for a small group of other players – Masterson ($5.69 million this year), Drew Stubbs ($2.83 million) and Michael Brantley ($527K) – and the fact that the Indians, even as a likely mid-80-win team, are still very flawed. The and doesn’t have a great outlook. Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera are also free agents after 2014.

So possible other moves would be necessary for this team to peak during its key contention window, which might just be 2014-15. Thus, despite the fact he’s been established for a few years as a relatively solid closer, this could mean saving more money by parting ways with Chris Perez.

Let’s take a look at some of the most notable contracts ever handed to a closer in recent baseball history:

Billy Wagner: Signed 4-year, $43 million deal in winter 2005 before age-34 season
B.J. Ryan: Signed 5-year, $47.5 million deal in winter 2005 before age-30 season
Francisco Cordero: Signed 4-year, $46 million deal in winter 2007 before age-33 season
Kerry Wood: Signed 2-year, $20.5 million deal in winter 2008 before age-32 season
Francisco Rodriguez: Signed 3-year, $37 million deal in winter 2008 before age-27 season
Joe Nathan: Signed 4-year, $47 million deal in spring 2008 before age-33 season
Brad Lidge: Signed 3-year, $37.5 million extension starting in 2009 for age-32 season
Heath Bell: Signed 3-year, $27 million deal in winter 2011 before age-34 season
Jonathan Papelbon: Signed 4-year, $50 million deal in winter 2011 before age-31 season
Rafael Soriano: Signed 2-year, $28 million (backloaded) deal in winter 2012 before age-33 season
Brandon League: Signed 3-year, $22.5 million deal in winter 2012 before age-30 season

Yes, in relation to this obscene list of over-priced part-time players, Chris Perez very much does have age on his side. After signing whatever deal he receives in free agency in 2014, he’ll only be entering his age-29 season. But FanGraphs also has broken down the for under-30 closers, too.

Yet, the biggest problem in relation to that list might be that fact that Chris Perez is also not an elite closer,Nike Arizona Cardinals jerseys, but merely an above average one. Take a look at his career stat line, noting the ERA+ and sOPS+, which mark his success relative to league average.

Even I was surprised to see some of the numbers in this chart. Oddly enough, Perez’s career ERA+ of 124 actually supersedes his ERA+ from any individual season besides his remarkable 2010 campaign. That’s fairly impressive.

Consistently, he’s blown exactly four saves in each of the last four seasons. His K/BB ratio has never been spectacular, but is notably improved over the last two years. His OPS+ is actually slightly worse than the average this season,Nike Washington Redskins jerseys, the worst of his MLB career.

Chris Perez’s 5.4 career WAR ranks 347th among relievers all-time, per Baseball-Reference. Even though he ranks 35th in relief appearances since 2008, he only ranks 43rd in terms of WAR.

Since 1954, there have been 186 seasons of a reliever tallying 3.5+ WAR. That averages out to about two or three per year, which has been the case fairly consistently throughout this span.

Perez has just one season with a WAR greater than 1.0, and that was his 2.5 WAR season in 2010. That’s the only year he’s been in the category of the game’s top-five relievers statistically, outside of merely saves.

Thus, if one was ever concerned about tossing around eight-figure deals to any single part-time player expected to face just about 250 batters – the equivalent of about 1/25th of a season – then the thought of over-paying a solid, not great such player should be even more terrifying.

Recently, I finished reading Jonah Keri’s tremendous book “The Extra 2%” about the rise of the Tampa Bay Rays under a group of former Wall Street executives. The main success stories emerging from Tampa Bay’s run of on-field prominence: great drafting, development, pitching health and the ability to find cheap value. In essence, the , as an ESPN Insider article stated.

That’s the new “Moneyball” spirit. It’s not just about taking walks and drafting well anymore. For teams like Oakland and Tampa Bay and Cleveland to compete, it’s near essential to not waste $13 million on two players for -1.7 WAR – looking at you, – or give $11 million to a merely above-average closer. Even if it’s just for a single season.

Without Chris Perez, the Indians still will have a collection of somewhat similar above-average reliever talent: Vinnie Pestano should be back, Cody Allen is an emerging 24-year-old, and Bryan Shaw and Marc Rzepczynski are having surprisingly solid campaigns. Along with them in 2014, you’d probably expect to add in two more players from the near-AAAA mold and possibly a cheap free agent. Perhaps Carlos Carrasco or Josh Tomlin also could be best utilized as middle relievers.

If the Indians move on from Chris Perez,NBA History- How many minutes have rookie point guards playe, I don’t think it will be because of declining performance or really anything on-the-field. He is who he is: An above-average reliever with usual health and a fiery personality. Any such reason for moving on will be about economics: The Cleveland Indians as an organization simply can’t afford an eight-figure closer.

Let’s skip ahead one last time to Jon’s article from January to close this out:

“But I told myself that if the Indians opened the 2013 season with Chris Perez on the roster, they will have blown the off-season.? They will have taken an asset and, simply by doing nothing, turned it into a liability.? A young, promising talent is on its way to becoming the one thing a team like the Indians can never have—a final year arbitration player counting down the days to free agency, leaving town for free.

Maybe I’m wrong about all this.? Maybe the Indians will claw their way into the post-season by the skin of their teeth, powered primarily by the talented young bullpen we saw on display last year.? Maybe they wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything without their hirsute closer.? Maybe closers matter way more than I think, and this’ll be the year I’m proven wrong about them, once and for all.? I sure hope so.

But would I bet $7.3 million on it?? Nah.? I’d rather have a real DH and just get Uncle Bob that job already.? That’s just me, though.”

In 2013, the Indians surpassed Jon’s and all of expectations and remain on the precipice of the playoff race. A good bullpen is always a helpful thing to have when actually playing meaningful baseball, unlike the past few Augusts.

But would I go all-in with nearly $11 million on Chris Perez in 2014 just to make the Cleveland bullpen a wee bit better? Nah. I’d rather find a way to renounce his rights or trade him to a team that can afford that deal, and construct a more cost-effective bullpen without him.

[Bearbeiten] Post Magazine- August 11

Let me learn - A little girl adds her voice to a deputation of ethnic minority children and their parents outside the government offices in Admiralty to call for a Chinese-as-a-second-language curriculum - something they have been fighting for for years. One of three points included in a petition handed to a government representative declared: "Our inability to learn Chinese well is not due to laziness,wholesale nike nfl jerseys,Michigan high school football scores for Aug. 29, so the Education Bureau should stop saying that we are lazy." Photo: Nora Tam

[Bearbeiten] Former Windows Head Sinofsky at Andreessen Horowitz as Board

Steven Sinofsky, the high-profile Microsoft exec who most recently led its flagship Windows efforts,Nike San Diego Chargers jerseys,99 brilliant ideas to make your life easier_0, will be joining Andreessen Horowitz as a board partner.

The tech exec who has been an entrepreneur in residence at Harvard Business School and also a very active blogger since he has actually been hanging around at the well-known venture firm since the beginning of the year, helping advise partners on various issues.

But now it s official.

I had been querying Andreessen Horowitz about Sinofsky s role for a while, after seeing him pop up increasingly at Silicon Valley events, and hearing about him kibitzing with a variety of entrepreneurs.

The relentlessly curious exec known at Microsoft for his aggressive management style and famous for his intellectually rich internal memos is likely to be a good fit for the tech scene here. Already well known in the industry, Sinofsky has been making a lot of connections around tech since he left his job, having been one of the less isolated top execs from Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft.

At the firm, Sinofsky will have an unusual role, as board partner.

As he wrote in a blog post, Board partners are unique at a16z. In this position I will represent the firm on the boards of portfolio companies when the opportunities present themselves, but will not be a full-time member of the firm.

I have experience in building large organizations obviously and think I have a lot to offer entrepreneurs in helping them build their businesses from scratch, said Sinofsky in an interview about the move.

Sinofsky said he was thrilled to be working in Silicon Valley. I have been fortunate to have managed a lot of teams down here when I was at Microsoft,Nike Arizona Cardinals jerseys, but becoming even more outwardly focused is an important part of my own growth, he said. So it is a transition to a whole different world down here, and it has been eye-opening to see how much energy there is.

Sinofsky said that his initial focus will be on areas like productivity software, which is near and dear to my heart, but that he is open to other tech sectors. He added that he did not seek out a full partner status as yet, as, I did not want to dive in without experience, and wanted to make sure I start at an appropriate place.

Sinofsky will continue as an EIR at Harvard, and will keep on writing at his blog, called appropriately, given his massive job at Microsoft .

In a post this week, titled , you can see Sinofsky s big-thinkery in action, as well as in the he did with Walt Mossberg and me at the D: All Things Digital conference this year, which is below:

[Bearbeiten] Ted Nugent's Wife Arrested in Texas After Airport Gun I

So, Ted Nugent s wife walks into an airport ...

Shemane Ann Nugent, wife of Wango Tango wailer Ted Nugent,nike nfl wholesale jerseys,Day Jonathan, patience sang limpopo with me, was arrested at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Thursday, after a loaded pistol was found in her carry-on baggage,redskins jersey, according to an incident report obtained by TheWrap.

Also read:

Nugent, 51, was arrested after TSA screeners detected what appeared to be a firearm in her carry-on bag at an x-ray screening point.

Asked by an officer if there was anything in her bag that the officer should be aware of, Nugent -- who was booked on a flight for Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- replied, I know what the problem is, I forgot the gun was in the bag.

Also read:

A subsequent search found a .38 Smith Wesson with 5 rounds in it, and an additional 10 rounds were found in the soft case that was carrying the gun.

Nugent, who has a concealed handgun permit for Texas, told police that she had received death threats, and was carrying the gun for protection. She said that she carries the gun in the bag for safety while attending physical training classes.

See video:

Nugent told the officer that she knows it s illegal to carry a weapon into a secure area of an airport. When asked if she had seen the signs posted in front of the checkpoint stating that firearms are prohibited, she said no.

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[Bearbeiten] Smartwatches won't click with consumers until they grow Goog

We geeks just never learn. Despite the troubled history of smartwatches—I submit? and Sony’s aptly named —the tech world has fallen in love with them all over again. Samsung’s is just one day away, and tech enthusiasts couldn’t be more excited. Maybe it’s because the novelty of smartphones and tablets is wearing off, and we need something new to satisfy our gadget lust. But just as likely, the core concept of wearable computing is finally starting to make sense, as technology shrinks and we rely more and more on our devices to . There’s just one problem: The technology requirements of an ideal smartwatch don’t line up with current realities—and until these devices grow some adaptive, Google Now–like brains, smartwatches will continue to break our hearts.

A killer smartwatch needs to be more than a smaller smartphone Let’s take a look at why the first attempts haven’t been very popular.

Today’s smartwatches are basically just proxies for your phone’s existing notifications, along with a handful of watch-friendly apps. , for example, lets you know when you’ve received email, a text message, or a phone call—a great convenience when extracting your phone from your pocket could be unsafe or socially awkward. These are nice features, but they’re not enough. If you don’t wear a watch already—and —it’s . “You’re going to have to deliver a significant amount of value, an amount of value beyond just notifications or alerts, to overcome the amount of resistance people have to wearing one of these things on their wrists,” says Nick Gould, CEO of New York–based design firm Catalyst Group. To become more useful, smartwatches need to be, well, smarter. Imagine a watch that lights up when it’s time for you to leave for your next appointment. Or how about a watch that doubles as an electronic airline boarding pass, or as your loyalty card at Starbucks. A truly smart smartwatch would warn you about traffic on your commute, and suggest places to go when you’re out on the town. It could also leave a persistent reminder on your wrist when your spouse sends you a message to pick up some milk. And you could tap a button as you’re leaving work to let the family know you’re headed home.

Google Now's intelligent notifications would be a killer feature on a watch. If all of this sounds like a cross between Google Now and Apple’s Passbook, that’s no coincidence. These applications are actually a better fit for for watches than for smartphones, where they’re too easy to miss or ignore. Google Now’s warnings and alerts are useless if they’re buried among a pile of other notifications, or if you’ve parked your phone is in your pocket or purse. Passbook becomes a cognitive burden when your movie ticket or boarding pass competes for attention with everything else on your phone. And a truly smart smartwatch wouldn’t senselessly bombard you with a constant stream of alerts. It would act as a smart assistant that knew when to get your attention, and when to leave you alone. “It is more subtle, it is more hierarchical in terms of the information it provides,” Gould said. “That starts to get to a place where the aesthetic objection can be overcome.” That’s not to deny the importance of smartwatch apps. There are lots of ways smartwatches might serve as useful smartphone substitutes—for handling things like NFC-based payments, voice search, dictated messages, fitness tracking, remote media playback, and even security authentication for other computing devices. Features like these will make smartwatches more useful, and some of them are already available on today’s watches. But simply mimicking the functionality of a smartphone won’t be enough. “Instead of trying to create Dick Tracy’s phone, you’re actually just trying to create Dick Tracy’s smart assistant,” says Avi Greengart, research director of Consumer Devices at Current Analysis.

Google Now? More like Google Later Apple Passbook functionality would also be awesome in a watch. So we’re looking for a smartwatch that can constantly slurp up information and serve it to us at just the right times, preferably on a color touchscreen, preferably sleek, preferably long-lasting, and preferably affordable. Sorry to be a downer, but we need to keep our expectations in check. Unless (or until) Google offers a proper interface for watches with tight Google Now integration, hardware makers will have trouble turning their watches into full-blown virtual assistants. And though Samsung may be able to fill in some of the gaps with its Passbook clone, dubbed , that service is young and at this point has only a . Meanwhile,NBA decries neglect of Ikeja, Apple and Google still have plenty of work to do on their own virtual assistant technologies.

Siri's dumber than she looks and doesn't play nice with Google Now. Google Now is good at predicting information you’ll need—data like traffic alerts and weather reports for your upcoming trips—but its support for loyalty cards and boarding passes isn’t as broad as Apple’s Passbook. For its part, Apple’s virtual assistant Siri doesn’t behave like Google Now at all. Siri responds to requests for information, but it doesn’t try to predict what you need to know. Between the two companies, the makings of a killer, watch-friendly virtual assistant are in place, but the odds of Apple and Google working together are nil, which means they’ll need to put all the more time into creating their own systems. One related point: Though smartwatches with NFC technology could someday allow you to pay for items with a wrist tap on a?payment terminal,?retail stores haven’t widely adopted the technology. NFC’s failure to launch is a , but it’s been a challenge for tech companies to get into the game due to competing interests among wireless carriers and payment providers.

Beauty versus battery Current smartwatches more closely resemble iPod nanos with wristbands than sleek, stylish tech items. A successful smartwatch would need to solve more than just software issues, though. The crucial hurdle for smartwatch makers is battery life. Teardowns of current devices like? and reveal that the battery hogs a lot of space inside. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve multiple days of battery life on these devices without some sort of compromise, and current smartphones aren’t exactly sleek and stylish. Pebble opted for a low-power, black-and-white screen to save power. Sony’s SmartWatch 2 uses a transflective LCD with less-than-vibrant color. Samsung will reportedly use an () OLED screen in its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and the watch’s build will likely be just as bulky as the Pebble’s. And while the ramifications for battery life are unconfirmed, a claims that the Galaxy Gear will last for only 10 hours on a charge.

Current-gen smartwatches like the Pebble and the MetaWatch Frame use black-and-white screens to prolong battery life. Bleh. Therein lies the problem for a company like Apple: Should it push forward with a clunkier watch that has a gorgeous display, and hope that people are willing to recharge it every night? Or should it opt for a less attractive screen and longer battery life? Or should it simply wait until more-power-efficient technology is available? Maybe that’s one of the “” with wearables that Apple CEO Tim Cook has alluded to. Bruce Tognazzini, a partner at the user-experience-oriented Nielsen Norman Group, points out that Apple on wireless charging that can power devices through the air. But unless Apple can offer that technology in the near future, the company may have to make a tough decision between desirable battery life and beautiful color display. “I certainly would not be particularly interested in a watch that I had to take off every night, but I don’t think it would kill the market,redskins jersey,” Tognazzini says. “I just think it’s a big trade-off.”

No one watch to rule them all—yet Johan LoekitoThis unofficial 2009 image from designer Johan Loekito shows how a Samsung smartwatch could look, though the actual Galaxy Gear reportedly rocks a color OLED screen. Predicting future sales of tech products is always risky, and it’s even trickier in the case of wearable technology. But consider this bit of perspective from : The research firm expects smartwatch shipments to jump from 500,nike nfl wholesale jerseys,000 units this year to 5 million next year, “as a new generation of devices from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others are launched.” 5 million sounds like a huge number, until you compare it to the that shipped last year. The road to mainstream adoption of smartwatches is likely to be long, as watchmakers deal with technical hurdles and work out the kinks. Some of the companies mentioned by Canalys may not get around to tackling smartwatches until late next year, or maybe even the year after that, and we’re likely to see a lot of experimentation as the category takes off. “I don’t know if there’s going to be a killer watch that the mainstream is going to be using,” says Suke Jawanda, Bluetooth SIG’s chief marketing officer. “What I’m excited about is there’s going to be a watch for everybody.” He may be right in the short term, but odds are that one of the tech industry’s titans—most likely Apple or Google—will eventually come along with a category-defining product that makes the whole idea click, the same way Apple’s iPod, iPhone, and iPad did. And when it does, expect it to pack a level of truly smart functionality similar to what we see in Google Now today. Just don’t expect to see that smartwatch any time soon.

[Bearbeiten] Ball State rolls Illinois State 51

And we're off.

Ball State (1-0) opened its 2013 season with a dominating 51-28 win over the Illinois State Redbirds Thursday night in Muncie.  The Cardinals put together an explosive second half after trailing 21-16 at halftime and 21-9 at one point.  The Cardinals racked up 51 points and amassed a total of 421 yards of offense in a 23 point destruction of the Redbirds.

started the year in impressive fashion.  The senior quarterback racked up 340 yards,SEATTLE- Drug agents plumb vast database of call records,redskins jersey, threw for three scores, and ran in another pair leading the Cardinals to victory. Preseason All-MAC first team selection  caught two of those touchdowns and finished with 164 yards on nine catches.

Junior quarterback , an Iowa State transfer, led the Redbirds to a first half lead with 190 yards passing and a pair of scores.  Then the Ball State defense tightened the screws.

The second half was all Cardinals, with the defense holding Barnett to just 282 yards for the game.  ISU was limited to just 74 yards rushing against Ball State.  The high octane Redbird offense struggled  to keep up with Ball State as the Cardinals ran off 21 points in the third quarter.  Running backs and each ran in a touchdown for the Cardinals.

Wenning distributed the ball well, connecting with seven different receivers.  Snead,nike nfl wholesale jerseys, , and combined for 19 catches and 291 yards.  After stalling on several drives in the first half, the Ball State offense engineered five touchdown drives in the second half.

Ball State is back in action Saturday, September 7th at home against Army.

[Bearbeiten] "Fifty Shades Of Grey" Officially Casts Its Anasta

Dakota Johnson is about to become very, very famous. Universal announced today that the young actress will play shy college student Anastasia Steele in the film adaptation of EL James fan fiction turned international best-selling erotic fiction series, Fifty Shades of Grey. James then announced the Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim star Charlie Hunnam will play Christian Grey, the young billionaire and S M enthusiast. The movie, to be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, is produced by Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, who also produced The Social Network, which was one of Johnson s first big screen credits. Career-wise, Johnson is probably best known for starring as the neurotic single mother in Fox s short-lived sitcom Ben and Kate, which lasted only half a season in 2012. She also appeared in the 21 Jump Street movie reboot, as well as the series finale of The Office; she was Kevin s replacement. Johnson, who is a month shy of 24, should be well-equipped to handle the onslaught of attention that this new role should bring; she grew up near the spotlight, as the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Her first role came in 1999, in her mother s Crazy in Alabama, though she didn t act again until 2010 s The Social Network. Hunnam, 32, broke out in a run on Queer as Folk,Is the Warriors' Front Court depth a concern-, participating in sex scenes that surely left him well-prepared for the sort of freaky bondage that is Christian Grey s hallmark. He then transitioned to comedy,wholesale nike nfl jerseys, as Jay Baruchel s dreamy British roommate in the short-lived Apatow college sitcom Undeclared. His run as the focal point of the motorcycle gang drama Sons of Anarchy has made him a marketable star, landing him the lead role of Guillermo Del Toro s Pacific Rim; the movie flailed in America but has proved a hit overseas. He ll re-team with Del Toro for Crimson Peak,nike nfl wholesale jerseys, which is in pre-production.

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