Friday, April 23, 2010

Round 1 Results and Thoughts

The first round started as expected but was full of some interesting surprises. Let's take a look.

According to the Consensus Big Board, my average of as many top-100 player boards as I can find, Green Bay had the biggest value pick, grabbing Bryan Bulaga at 23 for a 13.2 spot value. There was a lot of reaching going on in the first round, most notably by Jacksonville (reaching 47.2 spots Tyson Alualu) and Houston (Kareem Jackson, a 22 spot reach). Denver picking Tebow was a 31.1 spot reach, but this one is tricky because of Tebow's strange throwing motion, non-pro experience, but immense intangibles.

Biggest values still on the board: Clausen (13), Sergio Kindle (25.3), and Taylor Mays (yuck! 27.5)

What about Detroit? Suh was the consensus #1 player, so grabbing him at 2 was a slight value. Best was a slight reach, 5.4 spots, but they traded up to grab him. Best was clearly a gamble; if he pays off, Mayhew will look like the greatest anti-Millen ever to grace this planet. I like the pick but am nervous at the same time. I guess we'll see.

Here's the overall first round rankings. Remember that the consensus board ranks each pick using a BPA mentality. It doesn't necessarily mean anything about the quality of each pick but indicates how each pick compares to the overall talent board. Jax may wind up looking like geniuses, but for now they own the Al Davis Draft Award for 2010.

Remember: positive numbers are Values, negative numbers are Reaches.

1 St_Louis == Sam Bradford -2.8
2 Detroit == Ndamukong Suh 0.89999999999999
3 Tampa_Bay == Gerald McCoy 0.2
4 Washington == Trent Williams -3
5 Kansas_City == Eric Berry 1.1
6 Seattle == Russell Okung 1
7 Cleveland == Joe Haden -3.6
8 Oakland == Rolando McClain -1.8
9 Buffalo == CJ Spiller -1.4
10 Jacksonville == Tyson Alualu -47.2
11 San_Francisco == Anthony Davis -6.7
12 San_Diego == Ryan Mathews -15.1
13 Philadelphia == Brandon Graham -5.1
14 Seattle == Earl Thomas -1.6
15 NY_Giants == Jason Pierre-Paul -3.6999999999999
16 Tennessee == Derrick Morgan 6.5
17 San_Francisco == Mike Iupati -3.9000000000001
18 Pittsburgh == Maurkice Pouncey -10.5
19 Atlanta == Sean Weatherspoon -5.5
20 Houston == Kareem Jackson -22.0999999999999
21 Cincinnati == Jermaine Gresham -2.3
22 Denver == Demaryius Thomas -9.6
23 Green_Bay == Bryan Bulaga 13.2
24 Dallas == Dez Bryant 9.4
25 Denver == Tim Tebow -31.1
26 Arizona == Dan Williams 10.2
27 New_England == Devin McCourty -0.5
28 Miami == Jared Odrick 1.5
29 NY_Jets == Kyle Wilson 6
30 Detroit == Jahvid Best -5.4
31 Indianapolis == Jerry Hughes -4
32 New_Orleans == Patrick Robinson -9.8

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Consensus Draft Ranking 2010

As I did last year, I will be again producing a "Consensus Draft Ranking". This is where I produce a consensus top 100 player board by averaging as many top 100 boards as I can get my hands on, then use this list to rate how much of a reach or value each pick was (throughout the first 100, of course.)

This year, with my software already in place, I will be Tweeting the results live as they roll in. Check it out at

When all is said and done, I'll post the overall results here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Space Weather, Ho!

We've finally had a solar storm! Ooooooh! Data! Plots! Explanations!

It started yesterday and continued today, as seen in the Space Weather Prediction Center's real-time Kp index. Kp is a single number that characterizes magnetospheric activity through ground based measurements of the Earth's magnetic field. It ranges from 0 to 9, 0 being nothing; 9 being doomsday. 4 or 5 is what I would call "stormy" or "disturbed" conditions. We hit that yesterday and reached a Kp of 7 early this morning.

It should be pointed out that while Kp was high, the "Disturbance Storm Time", or Dst index, was not very high (more accurately, it wasn't very low.) Dst is a rough measure of the amount of energy being deposited into the magnetosphere; the lower the number, the more energy there will be. This storm racked up a Dst of -40; a good storm will hit -100 or more.

I started receiving electron flux warnings from SWPC yesterday afternoon. This is a warning that the radiation belt electron flux (or how many electrons pass through a certain area per second) surpassed 1000 cm^-3*str^-1*s^-1. These are "killer electrons", or electrons with enough energy to penetrate the outer shielding of spacecraft and cause electric charge buildup on internal circuits. While the 1000 mark is one of SWPC's warning levels, the exact "danger zone" for electron flux depends on each satellite and is rarely well known.

FYI- based on the plot quality and fonts used, SWPC is clearly using IDL to generate their output. They should switch to a more modern language *coughpythoncough*.
**EDIT** It was pointed out, rightfully so, that only a short time ago I was a die hard IDL fan. As such, this comment is a bit hypocritical. Whoops.

Let's take a look at what could be driving this activity. The first key item to look at is Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF, or the Sun's magnetic field that is locked in the solar wind and carried to Earth). Specifically, the Z-component or "Bz". When IMF Bz is negative, the IMF can couple to the Earth's magnetic field to deliver energy to the magnetosphere system. The coupling method is called magnetic reconnection; I'll get to this later... eventually. The other things to notice are a jump in both solar wind density and Earthward velocity. Both increases cause the magnetospheric system to be driven harder, which we saw in the electron flux and in the Kp index. I'll need to see more data to figure out what kind of solar storm this is, but right now I'd guess that this is a high-speed-stream event.

I'll follow up on this storm and let you know if anything really fun happens with it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Best Internet Thursday

Welcome to a new feature of this blog:
Mondays are typically reserved for examples of good internets; Thursdays are now roped off for the best the internet has to offer. Today's example: Conservapedia!

Has there ever been such an accurate aggregation of knowledge put forth by man? Me thinks not. And if you don't believe me, listen to this: Conservapedia has banned more IP addresses than the total number of users and the number of updates to the site combined. Why would they do this? As Andy Schlafly, creator of the site, says himself in this interview with a hard line reporter, it's to ensure that the site is only changed by "the best the public has to offer." Now that's integrity.

Here's an example of the upstanding excellence of Conservapedia via its article on Climategate.
Picture 1:

Caption: Al Gore on CNN's American Morning, December 9, 2009, in which he stated that snow is melting from the polar icecaps and glaciers at a rapid rate, and that the "global warming deniers" manipulated the emails from CRU out of context.

Picture 2:

Caption: Image from NASA showing a record snowfall in the western United States on December 9, 2009, contradicting Gore's claim. (NASA)

So next time Al Gore talks about the ice caps melting, just whip out the image of snow in the western United States while shouting "YA-BURNT!"

It's this type of hard line truth that makes Conservapedia the number one source for accurate knowledge in the world.