Monday, May 16, 2011

Good Internet Monday: Tweeting About DTW

Okay, I'll admit it. Post-A-Day-May is an abject failure. Egads.

That said, back to regular posting.

Being from south east Michigan and doing a lot of traveling for work, I've come to love Detroit's airport (DTW.) Compared to most others, it is beautiful, easy to navigate, clean and just damn impressive. Today, I have found that I am not alone in this assessment:

In #Detroit airport and never really sat back and saw how nice an airport it is! It was good to be back for a bit.
That's fan favorite Detroit Lion Ndamukong Suh via Twitter. This morning, renowned writer Peter King echoed his sentiment in his weekly Sports Illustrated article.

Cool beans.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Whiskey Tango Friday: Deep Physics and Analogies

XKCD does an excellent job illustrating a huge problem one encounters when trying to explain theoretical work: simplifying how the world works for explanation to the lay person through the use of analogy often robs the listener of true depth and complexity of the situation. True understanding of the world takes years of dedicated study; there are no short cuts.

Expanded upon in great detail by Richard Feynman (especially at the six minute mark):

One of the greatest theoretical courses I ever took was a graduate level electrodynamics course. The entire class was chalk and chalkboard for 3 hours a week. The professor began with Maxwell's equations and moved through derivations until we had two equations that described the combination of slowly varying, quickly diminishing electric and magnetic fields and the rapidly varying fields that propagate through space- light. It was one of the most enlightening moments of my life, and it took years to arrive at this point. I had taken many courses in physics and upper level math, but it culminated to this one moment in time when I actually understood light. I could do my best to use analogies to put this description of the world in terms that someone without a deep mathematical background could grasp, but I would be robbing them of the truly transcendent moment of deep comprehension.

This is a great problem in physics: it is nigh-impossible to impart the depth or appreciation of the knowledge gleaned from this discipline because of the background required to truly understand it. It must be emphasized that this is not a slight on anyone- the smartest people in the world can not tackle these issues without the proper tools.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Draft Top 100 Wrap Up

Strike one on post-a-day. In any case, let's wrap up the draft.

Here's the final verdict (large here):First thing's first: anyone know a better way to do pictures in Blogger other than the built-in Picasa interface? It seriously sucks. I can't link to a simple hi-res version, the embedding options suck, and it's a plain old pain-in-the-ass. Yeesh.

Anyway, the Lions got some good value, as I posted previously. The Buccaneers dominated the value board overall. How did they do that?

Aha! A small reach for Adrian Clayborn, but huge value for both Da'Quan Bowers and Mason Foster. Bowers is a wild card- reports of a microfracture make him a risky talent. Mason Foster was one that I was hoping the Lions could grab, but they looked towards offense (and got good value with LeShoure) in the 2nd round. I like Tampa's draft; they should have a significantly upgraded defense.

Other teams who drafted well are the Giants, Saints, and Chiefs. The Saints grabbed good value with Mark Ingram (but they had to trade up to get him) while the Giants scored big by letting Prince Amukamara fall to them late in the first round. Had the Lions grabbed Prince at 13, it would have been a reach. Fairley was a huge value and a potentially exciting player for the defense.

What about the "big losers"? Again, it all depends on how the players wind up playing, but the Eagles corned the market on big reaches for the day:

The Jets and Chargers also did their share of reaching, with Nate Irving dragging the Jets down while San Diego had no positive picks (five total). Their biggest reach was Michigan LB Mouton, who was not listed on any top-100 board.

Stay tuned! I'll be discussing the new features of the Draft Ranker software that made the analysis easier than ever and what I'll be doing for next year's draft (open source, anyone?)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Welcome to Post-A-Day May!

For the entire month of May, I will post at least once a day. Why? To try to get this blog off the ground. It will be bigger than the pet rock!

To ring in this fine May morning, I present you with a picture of the lovely Los Alamos weather: