LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 25: A flag bearer for the Nebraska Cornhuskers waves a flag after the first score during their game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Memorial Stadium on October 25, 2014 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Rutgers 42-24. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)Mike Cavanaugh, Nebraska’s offensive line coach who came to Lincoln with former Oregon State coach Mike Riley, knows what he wants to see in his current-and-future Husker players. He, obviously, wants players with talent and ability. But he wants to see something else, too. Cavanaugh wants his offensive linemen to be “tough a**holes.” Mike Cavanaugh on building his offensive line: “We are going to get the five best guys that are tough a** holes.” #Huskers— Sean Callahan (@Sean_Callahan) March 19, 2015That has to be music to Nebraska fans’ ears, who are used to watching a tough-as-nails offensive line dominate the line of scrimmage. Nebraska opens its 2015 season Sept. 5 against BYU.
Story Highlights The unit now has a manager and 10 investigation officers deployed island-wide The Development Agency’s (CDA) capacity to effectively address incidents of child abuse has been boosted through the beefing up of staff in its Investigation Unit.Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CDA, Rosalee Gage Grey, told JIS News that the unit now has a manager and 10 investigation officers deployed island-wide.Most of the officers have been placed in the South East Region, which comprises Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas.In addition, she informed the unit is receiving assistance from students at the University of the Technology (UTech) in carrying out field investigations.This is being facilitated through a three-year agreement between the Government and UTech for collaboration in the area of child and adolescent development.Ms. Gage Grey told JIS News that the students, from Levels III and IV of the Child and Adolescent Development programme, are placed with the CDA during the summer to assist with the investigations among other activities. “That has been going pretty well,” she stated.She informed that the students have assisted the agencyto respond to cases received in a more timely manner. “We are trying to tighten the timelines in which we are able to respond to the needs of our clients and these are children and their parents,” she stated.The Acting CEO said the CDA has been having more interventions within communities through presentations to schools, churches and other community groups.“We take our mandate very seriously and with the resources that we have, we try to meet the needs of the clients through the services that we provide across the island and we believe that we are being very effective in what we do,” she said.The CDA, which falls under the Ministry of Youth and Culture, deals with reports received from the Office of the Children’s Registry, set up under the Child Care and Protection Act of 2004. This is being facilitated through a three-year agreement between the Government and UTech The unit is receiving assistance from students at the University of the Technology
OTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says she was recently walking outside a movie theatre with her children when a car slowly pulled to a stop beside them.The driver rolled down his window and then he let fly.“F*** you, Climate Barbie,” he shouted, as she tried to back away from his car and get her kids away from him.Much has been written about the online abuse and threatening behaviour politicians — especially female politicians — and others in the public eye face every day. But McKenna says as the heat around climate change continues to grow, that abuse is going from anonymous online vitriol to terrifying in-person verbal assaults.The incident at the movie theatre is just one of several times her kids have been with her when someone in public began to yell at her. She has been called the C-word, a traitor, an enemy and a “communist piece of garbage.” Her family’s safety has been threatened more than once. Some people have wished she and her children will get fatal diseases. She has received sexualized messages so hateful they could be enough to make even the hardest of hearts skip a beat.“Tick Tock, Barbie B****,” one read.“You’re a stain on this country and I hope you rot in hell,” said another.The threats have become real enough that McKenna sometimes now requires a security detail, a level of protection even cabinet ministers don’t usually get.“There are places, yes, that I have to have security now and I don’t think that’s a great situation,” she said. “I’m someone who is trying to do my job, live my life, and talk and engage with people, and it makes it harder. I’m not going to let this stop me but I wish it would stop.”McKenna would not elaborate on the security needs, so as not to reveal when she has less protection. She said the online abuse in particular has been going on since she was elected, but that in recent months it has gotten much worse in person.“The challenges, the increases of this, is worrying for everyone,” she said.McKenna is not alone in fearing for her safety. Tzeporah Berman, international program co-ordinator for Stand.Earth, said earlier this summer that she has received death threats and was physically assaulted in the Edmonton airport by a man angry about her campaign to close down the oil sands.Catherine Abreu, the executive director of Climate Action Network, Canada, said the issue is a constant source of frustration and fear for environmentalists.“We talk about it every single day,” said Abreu. “There are many people in my community who feel they are under threat.”Abreu and Berman both point to politicians as stoking the fires. Abreu said U.S. President Donald Trump’s rhetorical attacks have emboldened people who now feel it is perfectly acceptable to insult, abuse and threaten people they disagree with.Berman said the threats and attacks against her worsened after Alberta Premier Jason Kenney launched his “war room,” a $30-million project to discredit people he says are using foreign funding to undermine Canada’s energy sector. Berman and others are being named by the Alberta government and called enemies for opposing the oil industry.“Since @jkenney announced his $30 million warroom to attack environmental advocates & this poster of me was held up at his press conference I have had death threats, misogynist & sexual attacks on social media,” she tweeted in June. “This is what that kind of fear mongering & hate does.”An attached image shows a sheet of paper with a photo of her speaking into a bullhorn in front of a banner reading “NO TARSANDS PIPELINE.” Below the photo are the words “Tzeporah Berman: Enemy of the oilsands.” Kenney didn’t hold it up but a supporter introducing him at a pro-oilsands news conference in June did.A spokeswoman for Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said “in no way does our government condone any form of abuse, verbal or otherwise, towards private citizens or elected officials.”Samantha Peck said the “Fight Back Strategy” is in development but the war room itself has not yet been established and hasn’t issued any publications naming any specific individuals.The United Conservative Party has named at least one individual in a fundraising pitch to supporters.Emma Jackson, who works from Climate Justice Edmonton, shared the letter on Aug. 30, which named her as a “radical anti-oil and gas activist.”Berman’s tweet was itself met with a torrent of abuse, many of which called her a liar or said she deserved everything she got. A handful of people said while they disagreed vehemently with Berman’s activities, the threats and abuse were not acceptable. They, too, were then attacked.McKenna said she doesn’t call this sort of thing out often because she fears giving abusers attention. In 2017, she did stop to call foul when Conservative MP Gerry Ritz referred to her on Twitter as “Climate Barbie.”The insult was coined by the right-wing website, The Rebel, shortly after McKenna was named environment minister and has been used in hundreds, if not thousands, of insults hurled her direction.Ritz, a former agriculture minister who has since resigned from Parliament, deleted his tweet and apologized for the slur when it was met with outrage.McKenna said the fact that climate-change deniers have now verbally attacked Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, proves just how low some will go to discredit their opponents.People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier was among them, accusing Thunberg in a tweet of being mentally unstable. He later said he wasn’t trying to insult her, just show that she was a pawn being used by adults to put an unassailable face on their lies that climate change is a human-caused emergency.Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
How do you think the decathlon and heptathlon are scored?Take a moment. OK, do you have your answer? It’s probably wrong. It also probably makes at least as much sense as — and possibly a good deal more than — the method used by modern track and field.Decathlon, which at the Olympics is a men’s event, is composed of 10 events: the 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 meters, 110-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1,500 meters. Heptathlon, a women’s event at the Olympics, has seven events: the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, javelin throw and 800 meters.To tally these diverse events, which are measured in seconds, meters and centimeters, into a single overall score, the metrics for each event are fed into a series of equations. However, any scoring system for a multidiscipline competition will by definition have value judgments baked into it. In the case of the decathlon and heptathlon, that has resulted in decades of undervaluing throwing while overvaluing short-distance running, which in turn has resulted in top decathletes and heptathletes all converging around a certain kind of skill set and physique. It doesn’t have to be that way.As it stands, each event’s equation has three unique constants — AA, BB and CC 1Here are tables showing those constants for each event in the decathlon and heptathlon. (Opens PDF.)— to go along with individual performance, PP. For running events, in which competitors are aiming for lower times, this equation is: A⋅(B–P)CA⋅(B–P)C, where PP is measured in seconds. For field events, in which competitors are aiming for greater distances or heights, the formula is flipped in the middle: A⋅(P–B)CA⋅(P–B)C, where PP is measured in meters for throwing events and centimeters for jumping and pole vault.BB is effectively a baseline threshold at which an athlete begins scoring positive points. For performances worse than that threshold, an athlete receives zero points. 2Strictly adhering to the formulas, athletes who don’t meet the threshold technically score a set of complex numbers with an imaginary component.The AA, BB and CC constants vary by event and by gender. All events have a CC parameter (the exponent) between 1 and 2, making the scoring system progressive. In track and field, that means that as an athlete performs better, he or she is rewarded increasingly generously. A progressive system thus especially rewards standout performances rather than a consistently good performance across events.For example, the 100 meters formula for points is 25.4347⋅(18–time)1.8125.4347⋅(18–time)1.81. A 0.75-second improvement from 11.50 to 10.75 would yield 165 additional points. However, another 0.75-second improvement from 10.75 to 10.00 seconds would yield 179 additional points.This scoring philosophy wasn’t always in place. Early systems in the late 19th century merely ranked competitors in each event and summed those ranks. The first points-based system based on magnitude of results rather than relative rank came from the U.S. in 1884, but continued to award points on a linear scale — making a one-second improvement on a slow time as valuable as the same gain on a world record. Next came a Finnish table introduced in 1931 and formally adopted by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 1934, which acknowledged that performance is increasingly difficult to improve at higher levels because of natural limits of the body, and further improvements at those extremes should be rewarded more.The first IAAF international women’s tables arrived in 1954, for which officials used principles of physics to devise the formulas. Unfortunately, the science was bunk, because it falsely assumed that velocity, rather than kinetic energy — which is proportional to the square of velocity — was the output of human work. This velocity-based system heavily discounted throwing events, which awarded points at a decreasing rate with higher performance. Points effectively stalled out after throwing a certain distance. Those calculations were soon adopted for men and remained in practice until 1984, when mounting pressure about the system’s lack of incentive to further improve throwing performance beyond a certain point pushed through reform.3In addition, a new high jump form and better technology in vaulting poles threw off many of the table’s underlying premises.The 1984 tables used the principle that the world record performances of each event at the time should have roughly equal scores but haven’t been updated since. Because world records for different events progress at different rates, today these targets for WR performances significantly differ between events. For example, Jürgen Schult’s 1986 discus throw of 74.08 meters would today score the most decathlon points, at 1,384, while Usain Bolt’s 100-meter world record of 9.58 seconds would notch “just” 1,203 points. For women, Natalya Lisovskaya’s 22.63 shot put world record in 1987 would tally the most heptathlon points, at 1,379, while Jarmila Kratochvílová’s 1983 WR in the 800 meters still anchors the lowest WR points, at 1,224.The 1984 change also made all parameters progressive, and targets of 8,500 and 6,500 were set for top overall scores for the men and women respectively.4At the 1984 Olympics, still contested under the old scoring system, the U.K.’s Daley Thompson missed breaking the decathlon world record by a single point. After the IAAF’s formal adoption of the new rules, though, his score increased enough to retroactively break the world record, breaking his tie with West German Jürgen Hingsen, a tie Thompson had also retroactively earned after an IAAF investigation revealed Thompson had been mistimed in the 110-meter hurdles as one one-hundredth of a second slower than his actual time.After decades of tumultuous modification in decathlon and heptathlon scoring, the tables set in 1984 are still in place. However, standout performances still earn more in certain events than they do in others: The system has a clear bias toward short-distance running events. This is in large part due to these running events having C (exponent) parameters all north of 1.8, significantly higher than throwing ones, which are between 1.0 and 1.1. It’s no surprise, then, that those who excel at decathlon/heptathlon specialize in sprinting, and their performances in those events closely mirror those of the specialists competing in the same individual events detached from the decathlon.The average top 10 decathlete/heptathlete generalist in running events performs at something around 90 percent of the average medal-winning specialists. However, in throwing events, the generalists’ distances are only roughly 70 percent of the average medal-winning specialists’.One might assume from these charts that top decathlete/heptathletes are uniformly tall, lean speed machines rather than brawny powerhouses that can hurl an object far distances, but the data suggests otherwise.The correlation between BMI (body mass index) and overall points for men and women is indeed negative, but only -0.060 and -0.109, respectively.Anecdotal evidence also doesn’t align with the notion that there’s a tradeoff between throwing strength and skill in other events: The winner of the competition has often been the best shot-putter in the field. But athletes are well aware of the minutiae and incentives of the scoring system before competing and train their bodies in such a way as to maximize points according to that system long before they hit the track. Thus, it’s likely that some stronger, heavier athletes simply decided before the competition either to slim down or not to compete.There are strong positive correlations between better performance in each of the short-distance running events and long jump5The correlations between the long jump and running events are technically negative, but running events aim for lower numbers– as in times — so in this sense, I’m calling them “positive.” (all of which heavily rely on flat-out sprinting speed). There’s also positive correlation between the shot put and discus throw (though the other throwing event, javelin, has little correlation with those two). All other events have only small correlations between them.Comparing which events correlate best to overall points, the men are highly correlated with long jump (0.74), while shot put, pole vault, discus throw and 1,500 meters each have correlations less than 0.50. For women, long jump (0.72) also correlates best with overall points, while javelin throw only correlates at 0.30. These findings corroborate research that shows that in the heptathlon, performance in speed events is overwhelmingly the biggest determinant in predicting overall success, dwarfing the importance of the strength and endurance events.After 30-plus years of scoring table peace, is there still room for reform?We don’t lack for options. John Barrow, a professor of mathematical sciences in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, has proposed a physics-based system akin to the flawed 1954 model, but this time getting the science correct by using proportions based on kinetic energy. Another method, proposed by Wim Westera, a professor of digital media at the Open University of the Netherlands with a background in physics and math, attempts to construct a points model based on the frequency of performances. Also, researchers at Saarland University and the University of Kaiserslautern suggest a system based on standard deviations.Perhaps another way to tweak the system would be to award outlier performances even more generously. Such a system might diversify competitor body types by creating different “paths” one could take to decathlon/heptathlon glory. As of now, most competitors earn roughly 700-1,000 points per event across the board. But a highly progressive system would create larger disparities in where an athlete derives his or her points. Faster athletes would focus on the running cluster of events and rack up the majority of their points there, while stronger athletes could aim to take the throwing path to gold.Of course, none of these alternative scoring systems tackle the largest factor determining scores: the events themselves. The fact that the sprinting events and long jump so well correlate with each other puts a large premium on athletes who can reach top speeds.Another way of adjusting for this imbalance is possibly removing a speed-based event from the decathlon to make the enneathlon. Or adding another strength-focused event (e.g., hammer throw) to form the hendecathlon. Women could go down to the hexathlon or up to the octathlon. These charts unambiguously show where an athlete gets the best point return on performance, short-distance running, and it’s clear they’re investing their training accordingly.
Marquette men’s basketball players huddle during a game on Nov. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 74-63. Credit: Muyao Shen / Lantern photographerFreshman guard D’Angelo Russell (0) plays defense during a game against Marquette on Nov. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 74-63.Credit: Muyao Shen / Lantern photographerThe No. 20 Ohio State men’s basketball team overcame early mistakes to top Marquette for the second time in as many seasons.The Buckeyes (2-0) won, 74-63, to give the Golden Eagles (1-1) their first loss of the season on Tuesday night at the Schottenstein Center. Senior guard Shannon Scott finished the game with 14 assists, tied for the second most in a single game in program history.Scott credited the players beside him on the court for his big assist numbers. “I just have so many weapons around me, it makes the game a lot easier,” Scott said after the game.Scott proceeded to name off all nine of the other OSU players who took part in the game, and said “everybody played great.”OSU coach Thad Matta said he was happy with Scott’s play, especially because he pushed the ball.“We want him to be aggressive,” Matta said after the game. “I think he made great reads in transition and found guys.”Former Buckeye Aaron Craft currently holds the record of 15, set in 2011 in a NCAA Tournament game against George Mason.OSU shot 65.3 percent from the field in the game, helped by a 70.4 percent mark in the second half. The hot shooting allowed the Buckeyes to make up for the Golden Eagles scoring 13 points off of 18 total turnovers from the home team.Matta acknowledged his team’s strong shooting, but added that the Buckeyes need to cut down on mistakes going forward.“As I told the guys, we shoot the heck out of the basketball,” he said. “But it’s obviously some of the turnovers.”Despite committing 13 turnovers in the first half, the Buckeyes held on to a seven-point lead at the break before opening up a 16-point lead with less than 10 minutes to play in the game.After scoring just three points on two shots in the first half, sophomore forward Marc Loving scored seven of OSU’s first 11 points to start the second period. But the sophomore picked up his fourth foul with 7:51 to play, forcing him to the bench.When Loving sat down, the Buckeyes had extended their lead to 16, partially because of 11 assists from Scott. OSU also cut down on mistakes in the second half, turning the ball over just three times through 13 minutes.By the four-minute mark, the Buckeyes had extended their lead to 20 behind two layups from senior center Amir Williams, an alley-oop dunk from senior forward Sam Thompson and a 3-pointer by freshman forward Keita Bates-Diop.Scott said OSU came into the season with the intention of going hard whenever it gets the ball.“We played so hard on defense the last couple years that we kind of forgot about offense,” he said. “This year we know, when we get the ball we’re gonna attack every time.”Marquette closed out the half on a 12-3 run, but OSU held on for its 11-point win.Matta said his team could have turned up the pressure more in the first half, but mistakes held the Buckeyes back.“I felt like in the first half we had our chances to open it up, and just some careless sloppy play (prevented that),” he said.Redshirt-freshman guard Kam Williams led the way in the first half with nine points in nine minutes on the court as he connected on his first three attempts from 3-point range. As a team, the Buckeyes made their first four 3-point shots, helping to make up for some of their early turnovers.Kam Williams attributed his shooting touch to the work he puts in between games.“When I get in the gym, I just make sure I take game shots,” he said after the game. “Because if I take my game shots in practice, when it’s time for (the) game, it’s easy. Everything slows down and I’m used to taking game shots. Elevation, release, it all felt natural.”OSU led by as many as 12 in the opening 20 minutes, but the Golden Eagles finished the half on a 7-2 run.Kam Williams led the team with 15 points, while Amir Williams had 12 and Thompson and Loving each finished with 10 points. Thompson led the Buckeyes with six rebounds while freshman guard D’Angelo Russell was second to Scott with four assists.All 10 OSU players scored at least two points, with everyone other than redshirt-senior forward Anthony Lee scoring at least three.“I think this year everybody knows that when they touch the ball, it’s gonna be their shot and they’ve gotta make the shot,” Scott said. “Just the simple fact that everybody came in and contributed in some aspect of the game is a great feeling and I think everybody has a better understanding this year for what their role is.”Marquette junior forward Steve Taylor Jr. led all players with 20 points, while redshirt-senior guard Matt Carlino finished with 10 points.The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to the court on Sunday to take on Sacred Heart at the Schottenstein Center. Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.