International Parks Wrap-up – July 2018

first_imgShare This!Is everyone excited for the July International Parks Wrap-up?! Clearly, I’m still excited from my recent travels to Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo Disney Resort! It was a grand adventure that started off with a delayed luggage disaster and ended with a lovely anniversary dinner in Tokyo DisneySea. (FYI, if you’re letting your spouse actually put your packed items into the suitcases, remind them to split everything up between the bags 50/50. Not all of your stuff in one and theirs in another. Because when one bag gets delayed, one of you will be borrowing the other’s underwear. I digress…)I will preface this report by saying that there isn’t an enormous amount of news. We’re smack in the middle of the summer season, meaning that most of the special offerings kicked into gear last month and we’ve covered them in past reports. For those parks in particular, I’ll throw in a tidbit or two from my own adventures! (Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to share yet – I’m actually uploading them all to my computer right now, and it is taking a serious chunk of time!)Shanghai DisneylandThis September Shanghai Disney Resort is holding it’s first-ever Disney Inspiration Run! On September 15 – 16 you’ll find three courses traversing the magical lands of Shanghai Disney and ending alongside Wishing Star Lake. As to be expected with a Disney run, you’ll find characters along the route, along with music and entertainment. Registration is open now through August 10.The medals for the first Shanghai Disney run are spectacular! (Photo courtesy of Disney.)Now for my special side note – I reported back in May that Shanghai Disney Resort guests are now able to enter the park early, and through a special entrance in Disneytown. This. Is. Amazing. Seriously, I cannot begin to fathom how much stress and annoyance we avoided by entering the park early through the easy, peasy line in Disneytown. It was downright magical.Hong Kong DisneylandOnward and upward to the quaint Hong Kong Disneyland! The biggest news from any international park this month is the introduction of Duffy’s new friend, Cookie! We just missed her debut by a few days, but her prints were all over Main Street, U.S.A. Cookie is a precocious pup who loves to bake, and her friendship with Duffy started over an accidental mixing of her waffles and his cotton candy. She is the first friend of the Duffy pack to debut at Hong Kong Disneyland, and she’s meeting guests in her signature chef’s hat.Cookie is an adorable addition to the Duffy gang! (Photo courtesy of Disney.)Hong Kong Disneyland also features race news this month, with their 10K Weekend returning November 3 – 4. The races are themed to The Incredibles, Monsters University, Toy Story, and Mickey & Friends. Registration for this event is open now through August 28.In spite of all the construction taking place in Hong Kong Disneyland right now, my husband and I absolutely adored the resort. It was easy to manage, the lines were practically nothing, and the laid-back experience was a welcome relief after Shanghai and the bag debacle. We will most definitely be returning to Hong Kong Disneyland in the future, and I can’t recommend it enough. (And we spent an entire day in the park in tropical storm conditions!)Tokyo Disney ResortJust like with Hong Kong Disneyland, our trip to Tokyo just barely missed the premiere of new happenings at Tokyo Disney Resort! After we traveled back to the states, Tokyo Disney released their new nighttime spectacular and two new stage shows.“Celebrate! Tokyo Disneyland” is a nighttime show featuring fountains, projections, and pyrotechnics. During the daylight hours, you can catch “Let’s Party Gras!” at Theatre Orleans in Tokyo Disneyland. Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Goofy, Max, Clarice, and the Three Caballeros show off their moves in this Mardi Gras-themed extravaganza. Over at Tokyo DisneySea, Mickey and his friends have encounters with New York City’s street performers and the bright lights of Broadway in “Hello, New York!” Be sure to catch these three new entertainment options on your own travels to Tokyo Disney Resort.Make sure you catch, “Hello, New York!” when you’re in DisneySea! (Photo courtesy of Disney.)It is harder to narrow it down to just one thing to share about Tokyo Disney. Tokyo feels like home. My husband and I met when we were stationed in Japan together, and being back, experiencing the Japanese culture, was the most spectacular way to spend our 10-year anniversary.When you’re there, embrace the experience. Our trip was right in the middle of Tanabata days, and when we went to Magellan’s at DisneySea for our anniversary dinner, we both dressed for the occasion. I wore a yukata (summer kimono) and my husband wore a jenbei. There are no words for how wonderful that evening was (even if it took me an hour to get properly dressed!), and I wouldn’t change anything about it. (Just remember, if you choose to participate in a cultural custom such as this, do it respectfully.)Disneyland ParisI have only the tiniest tidbit of news out of Disneyland Paris, and that is the release of the medals for the upcoming Disneyland Paris Magic Run Weekend, taking place September 20 – 23. Unfortunately, Paris was not on my itinerary for this trip, so I don’t have any special tips or things of note to share!If anything would ever get me to run for fun, it’d be the Disneyland Paris medals! (Nothing will ever get me to run for fun.) (Photo courtesy of Disney.)Are you planning on visiting any of the international parks? Have you been in the past? Is there anything in particular you want to know about my recent travels? Please comment and share your thoughts and experiences on the Disney Parks throughout the world!last_img read more

Roadblock to Virtualization: “Virtual Stall” Strikes Again

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market No, that’s not a typo in the headline. You’ve heard of virtual sprawl already, no doubt, and you may have experienced it in your own company. But virtual stall or VM stall refers to a concept coined by CA Technologies, from a landmark white paper published in August 2010.Essentially, the idea is this: Many enterprises have launched their boats already, and are heading toward a virtualized data center or a reputable hybrid cloud solution. The problem is, they’re not halfway there yet, and the reasons are often more political than technological.The broader topic of virtualizing large business workloads is the topic of a panel I’ll be moderating today at 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT, with VMware Senior Systems Engineer Stephen Shultz and Intel Mission-Critical Data Center Strategist Mitchell Shults. (You read right, Shultz and Shults.) It’s a live chat, and I’d like to have you join in, especially with respect to this very topic: how to realign the organization around retooled, virtualized resources.Yesterday, I talked about the problem of departmental silos that fail to align with the resource pools and shared servers that are the by-products of the virtual data center. Whereas a few years ago, certain managers were in charge of particular boxes, today those boxes don’t physically exist. But their jobs do.“Virtual stall” is a bigger problem, which I discussed in greater detail in a story earlier in the summer. It’s more of a political/technological mashup, or what we used to call in the 20th century “sociology,” where issues that crop up in the business of migrating or transitioning systems lead to breakdowns in communication, which lead to the inevitable problems of whom to blame.Here’s an excerpt from the CA white paper from Mason Bradbury and Andi Mann:“Even some IT departments are skeptical of moving key systems to virtual environments for fear of the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ phenomenon – in which the virtualization infrastructure is blamed for problems until it is definitively shown otherwise. As resources are delivered to applications in pools, application specialists and others outside of the systems management department have far less visibility than in a traditional physical environment into the systems on which their applications run. When problems arise, employees are far more likely to blame the virtual infrastructure, as they cannot troubleshoot it themselves. Even if the problem has to do with the operating system or application itself, virtualization administrators worry that application owners will blame them until they can locate the problem and show that it is not a fault in the virtual infrastructure.”Since that white paper was published, other firms including Symantec have followed up with new research. For example, take the case of the admin who happens to be the script writing expert in the IT shop. This is the go-to person for ad hoc issues that crop up, and who eventually becomes credited with finding the whirlwind solutions to every virtualization transition issue that admins fail to address. If the need for solutions were to, say, go away, then the level of appreciation they receive as a result would also subside. As the Symantec report published last June relates, some IT shops get hung up on never-ending remedial projects that require one-time script writing — for example, “root cause analysis.” There may or may not be actual analysis involved, but the process becomes self-sustaining, taking on a life of its own. And Symantec has started measuring the side-effects in terms of dollars.As Symantec’s Jennifer Ellard put it, “The admins simply delay virtualization which costs them increased operational complexity and inability to consolidate physical servers and end up having to pay for the energy and space utilization.”So here’s the problem: In environments where virtualization deployment takes place in stages, the workloads that businesses would most readily classify as mission critical – the big databases, the e-mail servers, messaging, collaboration, ERP — get pushed to the bottom of the agenda. And there they sit, waiting for the political issues to resolve themselves further up the ladder.We’ll be discussing the entire topic of mission critical workload virtualization this afternoon in the RWW live chat. I hope to see you there. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts scott fulton Tags:#cloud#Virtualization last_img read more

Here is your horoscope for the day: December 26, 2014

first_imgARIESYou achieve victory in competitive ventures after a period of difficulty today. There is gain in business, success in assignments and love in personal relationships to rejuvenate your self-esteem and confidence. This is a good time to attempt difficult tasks. Lucky number 6. Colour red.TAURUS You handle difficult situations with practical wisdom and subtlety today. You are able to manage things well with a firm and clear perspective, indicating priorities and goals. Mental stress can manifest health problems so avoid it. Enjoy celebrations! Lucky number 7. Colour blue. GEMINILet go the past, especially hurtful relationships and memories. A professional opportunity should be considered seriously before you make plans for the future. It’s important not to repeat old patterns or mistakes. Money transactions go smoothly and honestly. Lucky number 3. Colour green. CANCERRelationships are sealed and promises are fulfilled today. Work and pleasure can be combined today as you enjoy what you do immensely. You are nearer to actualizing an important personal plan. Trust your feelings and intuition about people and situations. Lucky number 1. Colour lotus pink.LEOYou are practical and grounded while dealing with business, finances and property matters today. You are emotional and spiritual in relationships, and family matters. You are inspired by divine wisdom and insight as you toil persistently to achieve targets. Lucky number 5. Colour brown. VIRGO You are youthful and intense in all areas of life but mask passion with a calm surface. Your mystical personality attracts some interesting people. You achieve success with your own wisdom and resources. A personal involvement has qualities of love and freedom. Lucky number 8. Colour blue.advertisementLIBRAProfessional success is on the cards! Power and influence help you turn things around in the business area. You are noble and generous in family situations. Beware of friends who are conceited due to wealth and position. Art, music, and sport can be engaging. Lucky number 6. Colour pink. SCORPIO You tend to be busy with professional matters as you build up your commercial aspects, reputation and stability. You may start new ventures and make plans for the future that are exiting and lucrative. Spend quality time with family and children. Lucky number 3. Colour tomato red.SAGITTARIUS Nine Cups full of light bring happiness in personal relationships and satisfaction in professional ventures. Physical well-being allows you to indulge in sporty activity and exciting pastimes. You are lucky in love today and can expect some surprises. Lucky number 9. Colour pink.CAPRICORNMaterial gain is on the cards today. You retain a position of power at work and affirm personal commitments with promise. Labour to business goals brings wealth. Your investments and plans prove to be gainful, be it buying property or starting a venture. Lucky number 1. Colour green.AQUARIUS ‘The Queen of Wands’ allows you to achieve success with energy and calm authority. You adapt well to new situations and developments. You can be impatient of opposition at home or in the work area, as you need authority to express leadership qualities. Lucky number 8. Colour crimson. PISCES You may feel insecure while the changes are taking place but a detached view allows you another perspective. New developments prove to be more positive and progressive. It’s best to meet changes halfway and flow with them rather than resist them. Lucky number 16. Colour fiery red.last_img read more

Former Peace River Navigators Coach passes away in Humboldt Broncos Crash

first_imgHUMBOLDT, S.K. – Former Coach from Peace River, Darcy Haugan is among the 14 people that have died in a tragic bus crash in Saskatchewan.According to MyGrandePrairieNow.com, family has confirmed the head coach of the Humboldt Broncos, Daucy Haugan passed away.  Haugan moved to Humboldt to coach the Broncos in 2015 after spending 12 years working with the Peace River Navigators.Haugan’s sister confirmed his death on Twitter. My brother didn’t make it…— invisigirlonfire (@DebbieJayneC) April 7, 2018 Here’s a few words my brother shared… pic.twitter.com/BQEDARi1xG— Lauren Dyck (Mr.) (@LaurenJDyck) April 7, 2018The crash involving the Humboldt Broncos team bus occurred on Highway 35 near Gronlid, more than two hundred kilometres northeast of Saskatoon late Friday afternoon.The bus was T-boned by a transport truck, according to the president of the Nipawin Hawks, which was scheduled to play the Broncos in Game 5 of a semi-final Friday night. There were 28 people, including the driver, on board the bus at the time of the collision, RCMP said in a release.I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond. https://t.co/2cIn2CTy08— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 7, 2018The Humboldt Broncos released a statement late Friday night announcing the news on its website.center_img “Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of our staff and athletes as well as to all who have been impacted by this horrible tragedy. Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss,” Broncos President Kevin Garinger said in the release.A GoFundMe campaign for the team has been set up and has already raised more than $176,000 as of Saturday morning.(WITH FILES FROM THE CANADIAN PRESS)Derek Grayson and Nick bonding and healing in hospital pic.twitter.com/DzesIoT27B— R J patter (@rjpatter) April 7, 2018last_img read more

Trans Mountain pipeline wont cause tension with Notley at meeting Horgan

first_imgFinance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday the federal government is prepared to offer an “indemnity” to help ease the political risks for any investors to ensure the pipeline expansion can proceed.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) Plans to triple capacity along Kinder Morgan’s existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby have pitted Alberta and the federal government against B.C.’s government, which says it fears the impact a spill would have on the province’s environment and economy.“I believe, largely, the issue is around transporting diluted bitumen, whether it is by rail or by pipeline,” said Horgan. “I believe the risk of a diluted bitumen spill to our environment, to our economy, is too great. I’ve made that abundantly clear. I don’t think there’ll be any surprises next week.”B.C. filed a reference case in the province’s Court of Appeal last month to determine if it has jurisdiction to regulate heavy oil shipments. It also joined two other lawsuits launched by Indigenous groups opposed to the $7.4-billion project.Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the project until it receives assurances it can proceed without delays, setting a May 31 deadline on getting those guarantees. “The federal government now wants to talk about a national program,” Horgan said. “We’re excited about that, but we don’t want to be pushed aside after all the work we’ve done here in B.C. at the provincial level and to have the federal government come in and tell us where and how and what we should be doing.”He said B.C. wants to ensure the provinces continue to play a leading role in the development of pharmacare.Horgan said he and Notley only disagree on the Trans Mountain project, otherwise, their views “are lockstep.”On Thursday, B.C. announced plans to launch a lawsuit over new Alberta legislation that could restrict fuel exports to the West Coast.B.C. Attorney General David Eby said his province will ask the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta to declare the legislation unconstitutional on the grounds that one province cannot punish another.Notley said Thursday that Alberta is confident it has the authority to control the export of its own resources and she believes the new law will withstand a legal challenge, adding her province must safeguard its interests.center_img LANGFORD, B.C. – The premiers of British Columbia and Alberta will join their counterparts from Western Canada and the North at meetings next week in Yellowknife, but John Horgan doesn’t expect any drama over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.Horgan acknowledges he and Alberta’s Rachel Notley have differences on the pipeline, but he said Friday they are in agreement on a number of other matters and have been friends for 20 years.The ongoing tensions over the Trans Mountain project should not spill over into the expected major focus of the gathering, which is the development of a national pharmacare program, Horgan said. The provinces have always led the way on cost savings for prescription drugs and B.C. wants to be at the forefront of the issue, he added.last_img read more

Libya military police chief killed in Benghazi security

first_imgBENGHAZI – Libya’s military police chief, Colonel Mustapha al-Barghathi, was shot dead Friday in the restive eastern city of Benghazi, the security services said.Unknown assailants gunned down Barghathi outside his home, Colonel Abdullah al-Zaidi, spokesman for the security services, told AFP.He said Barghathi — a former rebel leader in the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi — died of head and chest wounds at the Mediterranean city’s Al-Jala hospital. Barghathi was the first officer in Kadhafi’s army to defect and form a rebel force in the revolt, Zaidi said.Benghazi was the cradle of the uprising that toppled Kadhafi’s regime, but has since seen a series of assassinations targeting officers in the security services.Other attacks have targeted Western interests and diplomats, and much of the violence, including the killing of US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in an attack on the US mission last year, has been attributed to radical Islamists.The attacks have not been claimed and no arrests have apparently been made.Two years after the revolution, Libya’s new authorities have failed to establish a new army and police force, and are still struggling to rein intribal militias and groups of former rebels.last_img read more

Got a Billion Dollars Buy the Clippers

UPDATE (May 29, 7:45 p.m.): The Los Angeles Times has reported that Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, will purchase the Clippers for $2 billion. Earlier this month Nate Silver wrote about team valuations in the NBA, and whether the Clippers were worth more than was commonly believed. The original piece is below.A billion dollars? For the Clippers?That’s the price my Grantland colleague Zach Lowe’s sources are saying the Los Angeles NBA team could fetch if its current owner, Donald Sterling, agrees to sell the franchise or is forced to do so. With stars from Magic Johnson to Floyd Mayweather, Jr., to Oprah Winfrey to Larry Ellison reportedly interested in a piece of the club, it’s not hard to see why league officials have starry-eyed visions about what the team could be worth.And yet, when Forbes Magazine published its valuations of the 30 NBA teams earlier this year, its figure for the Clippers was considerably more modest: $575 million.1It’s not as though the valuation doesn’t account for the Clippers’ recent on-court success. Two years ago, Forbes valued the Clippers at only $324 million. NBA officials, I’ve found in the past, aren’t fond of the Forbes figures. The league has incentives to underplay its financial performance when in the midst of a labor dispute, and to frame its finances in a more favorable light when it has a couple of franchises up for sale.In this case, however, there’s reason to think Forbes considerably undervalues the Clippers. You might describe why with the old real estate adage: location, location, location. It’s not breaking news that there are lots of people with lots of money in Los Angeles and its suburbs. What’s more interesting is that the number of billionaires in a given community historically has been a strong predictor of the degree to which its NBA franchise appreciates in value.Take a look at the annualized change in NBA franchise values from 2004 to 2014, according to the Forbes estimates. In the chart below, we’ve highlighted the teams that played in metro areas that had a gross domestic product of at least $250 billion as of 2004. You can see that there’s a relationship. The New York Knicks, despite their mostly poor play over the past decade, saw their franchise value appreciate by 13.3 percent per year, according to Forbes. The Lakers and Clippers saw theirs grow by 11.7 percent and 10.7 percent per year, respectively. Most other big-market teams, like the Chicago Bulls and the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, have also done well.There are also some exceptions to the pattern, the most obvious being the Seattle Supersonics, who saw their franchise value increase a lot after moving to Oklahoma City and becoming the Thunder.2This even though Oklahoma City is a considerably smaller and less wealthy market. The Miami Heat, despite playing in a mid-sized market, have seen a massive increase in franchise value. On the flip side, the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards have considerably underperformed the rest of the league despite playing in reasonably large markets.These differences partly reflect on-court success: Building a future around LeBron James is a much more attractive option than building one around Gilbert Arenas. But they also reflect the differences in the number of super-wealthy people in these cities. In 2004, there were 14 people from the Miami metro area3The Forbes lists do not specifically break out the list of wealthy people by metro area; I did this by hand. I tried to follow the Census Bureau’s definition of Metropolitan Statistical Areas as much as possible — however, there are some debatable cases. Those interested in using this data for rigorous research should double-check my work and ensure that it corresponds to the particular definition of urban areas that is most suitable for their project. on the Forbes 400 list of America’s wealthiest people, compared to eight from Washington and seven from Philadelphia. The differences have grown since then: On last year’s Forbes 400 list, whose threshold was about $1.3 billion in net worth, there were 26 really rich people in Miami, compared to eight in Washington and just three in Philly.4The Forbes 400 list includes data on the United States only. For Toronto, I’ve compiled data from other sources to reflect the number of Torontonians that would have made the Forbes 400 list if Toronto were in the U.S. The correlation between the rate of increase in franchise value and the number of billionaires in a metro area has been reasonably strong,5The correlation coefficient is 0.53, or 0.67 without the Sonics/Thunder included. as I’ve mentioned, with the Sonics/Thunder representing the main outlier. This helps explain why the Golden State Warriors have seen their value increase so much, for instance. The San Francisco-Oakland metro area6By the Census Bureau’s definition, this MSA does not include San Jose, Calif., or most of Silicon Valley. ranks 11th in the U.S. in population and eighth in gross domestic product. But it has ranked second or third in billionaires, behind only New York and sometimes Los Angeles, depending on the year.Why do we see this relationship? Owners of sports franchises tend to hold onto their teams for a long time — the average NBA franchise last changed hands 14 years ago. In a period that long, the player roster will completely turn over, perhaps several times. The coaching and front office staff will very likely turn over, too. A team’s uniform might change; its nickname might change; it might move into a new arena. What’s a lot more permanent is a team’s home city. Franchises can move, but that doesn’t happen often. The Clippers’ greatest asset isn’t Chris Paul or Blake Griffin. It’s the City of Los Angeles and the billionaires who live there.We’ve seen evidence in other sports that franchise values are driven less by profits and losses — many player contracts are plainly irrational from that standpoint — and more by the extent to which a team can be resold to another billionaire or multimillionaire at a higher price down the line. There aren’t that many billionaires in the United States — about 500 — but there are far fewer NBA franchises. In a city like Los Angeles or New York or San Francisco, there will be several billionaires, perhaps even dozens of them, competing for sports franchises when one comes up for sale.7The limited supply of sports franchises may also explain why we don’t see much, if any, of a valuation penalty for NBA franchises that play in multi-team markets. The Lakers and the Clippers, like the Knicks and the Nets, compete with one another to some extent for fans. However, there’s an undersupply of NBA franchises relative to the number of billionaires in these large cities. If one of the 77 billionaires in the New York metro area buys the Knicks, there are still 76 billionaires left to buy the Nets.It’s also worth contemplating whether cities that attract hedge-fund billionaires and oil barons have an intrinsic advantage in recruiting multimillionaire NBA players. Compare Miami and Philadelphia, for example. Philadelphia’s gross domestic product is about 33 percent higher. But — and meaning no offense to Philadelphia — Miami is presumably a lot more fun for a really rich person. Miami will still have South Beach long after LeBron takes his talents to the next town. It will also have no state income tax.But if NBA franchises in billionaire-rich cities can be counted on to appreciate at a higher rate, shouldn’t the market account for that? In other words, shouldn’t they be selling at a higher value to begin with?Keep in mind that we’re looking at Forbes’s estimates of franchise values and not actual sale prices. It could be that Forbes is lowballing the values of big-market clubs. We don’t get all that many data points on actual sale prices because the rate of franchise turnover is low, and because the transactions are often complicated and involve other assets that are bundled with the sports teams. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers (along with some real estate assets) sold for $2 billion two years ago, a figure that far exceeded Forbes’s estimated value of the MLB team.Nonetheless, it’s plausible that the market will eventually catch up to the pattern, or that it already has to some degree. To check this, I ran a regression analysis that sought to explain the increase in NBA franchise values from 2004 to 2014 based on two variables: the number of people a team’s metro area had on the 2004 Forbes 400 list, and its Forbes franchise value in 2004 relative to the league average.8I included the Sonics/Thunder in the regression despite their having changed locations. Although NBA franchises change metro areas only rarely and face restrictions when seeking to do so, some of the value in purchasing an underperforming franchise consists of the potential to relocate the team. The coefficient on the 2004 franchise value variable is statistically significant and negative. What that means is that a franchise can be overvalued by Forbes, and prone to seeing its value revert to the mean, when that value is out of line with the number of billionaires in the area.We can use this regression equation to create estimates of NBA franchise values that may be more reliable than Forbes’s. (The process for this is explained in the footnotes.9To do this, I used the regression equation to determine each team’s projected rate of return over the next 10 years, based on its current Forbes franchise value and the number of billionaires in its metro area. However, I assumed that rates of return in excess of the league average would be captured immediately and reflected in a team’s potential sale price. This is how a rational market would behave, unless the higher projected rates of return were associated with higher risk.) I calibrated the estimates such that the average value of an NBA franchise is the same as what Forbes lists — about $630 million. (The NBA would probably contend that Forbes’s estimates are low across the board — based on the recent sale prices of the Sacramento Kings and the Milwaukee Bucks, for instance — but our interest here is mainly in seeing how franchises are valued relative to one another.) Because the estimates are not all that precise, I’ve listed them as a range based on their standard error.For the Clippers, for instance, the range runs between about $580 million and $950 million. So the billion-dollar estimate might be a little high, but the Forbes valuation of $575 million is probably too low.There are two other teams whose Forbes valuations fall outside the recalibrated range. One is the Brooklyn Nets, which our formula estimates is worth between about $900 billion and $1.5 billion, and not the $780 million that Forbes estimates. Perhaps Mikhail Prokhorov knows what he’s doing in throwing his resources behind establishing the Nets as a major brand in New York. The number of billionaires in New York continues to skyrocket — so he’ll have plenty of people to sell the franchise to at a profit down the line.The other team that falls outside of the range is the Lakers. The formula implies that their Forbes valuation, at $1.35 billion, is a little too high.I personally don’t think the Lakers would have much trouble selling for something in that range if the team were put on the market today. But the logic behind the calculation is something like this: Sure, the Lakers have a much more powerful brand than the Clippers, but they don’t have much of an advantage apart from that brand. The two teams play in the same city, in the same arena. The Clippers have the better roster and a very good coach. The brand advantage can shift over time: At various points in the past 50 years, for instance, the New York Mets have outdrawn the New York Yankees. Another couple years of Blake and CP3 making deep runs into the playoffs while the Lakers struggle with the albatross of Kobe Bryant’s contract will erode some of the Lakers’ edge.Are the Lakers still worth more? Yes, but the formula implies that they should be worth 20 or 25 percent more than the Clippers — and not 135 percent more, as the Forbes valuations say. Perhaps that means the Clippers are undervalued and not that the Lakers are overvalued. If you’d consider buying the Lakers at the Forbes price of $1.35 billion, and would require a 25 percent discount to take the Clippers instead, that implies you’d pay about $1.1 billion for the Clips.The Clippers’ other big handicap, of course, has been Donald Sterling. But that problem resolves itself the moment he sells. He may be banned from basketball. He may have embarrassed himself and his franchise. But if he sells quickly — before doing further damage to the Clippers’ brand — he could have a billion-dollar check coming his way.Correction (May 3, 11:20 a.m.): An earlier version of the NBA Team Valuations chart misstated what the range in green indicated. It signifies a team’s valuation adjusted for number of billionaires in metro area. read more

Decades Before Moneyball The Dallas Cowboys Used Advanced Stats To Win Super

A. Salam Qureishi grew up in India and knew nothing about football — or America. And yet in the early 1960s, Qureishi, a computer programmer and statistician, helped the Dallas Cowboys overhaul their scouting system, replacing hunches with hard numbers.The result: five Super Bowl appearances and two titles. FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films present “The Cowboys and the Indian,” directed by Mark Polish. It’s the second film in our short series “Signals.” (Watch our first “Signals” film, “The Man vs. the Machine,” here.) read more

Baseball team falls in 10th to Spartans

The Ohio State baseball team (13-15, 3-4 Big Ten) took conference-leading Michigan State (22-8, 6-1 Big Ten) all nine innings and then some, but a lead-off home run in the top of the 10th was the decider as the Spartans beat OSU, 5-4. Even after the home run, OSU did not go down without a fight, as it had a chance to tie or win the game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th. After singles by senior and freshman outfielders Brian DeLucia and Tim Wetzel, freshman first baseman Josh Dezse was intentionally walked. Two consecutive strikeouts by sophomore catcher Greg Solomon and junior DH Brad Hutton ended the game. Coach Greg Beals said OSU left too many opportunities on base. “The story was our inability to execute when we had guys in scoring position,” he said. “Our hitters could have done a better job, obviously, but you have to give their pitchers credit.” OSU looked in trouble after a three-run seventh put the Spartans up, 4-2, but Dezse responded in the eighth with a two-run home run. Dezse said he thought the home run was a turning point in the game but that his team came up just a little bit short. “We fought as a team, we lost as a team and we are going to come back tomorrow and fight back,” Dezse said. Relief pitcher Tony Wieber (4-0) picked up the win for MSU, and senior pitcher Jared Strayer (1-2) picked up his second loss on the season. Rucinski versus Wunderlich The game featured top starting pitchers for each team, and both went deep into the game. Michigan State’s Kurt Wunderlich went eight innings and gave up four runs while OSU senior pitcher Drew Rucinski went seven and a third, and also gave up four runs. It was a pitcher’s duel early before Rucinski gave up three in the seventh followed up by Wunderlich giving up a two-run home run to Dezse in the eighth. Both pitchers earned a no decision. A 1-2 punch OSU’s one and two hitters, DeLucia and Wetzel, had a combined six hits and three runs. Wetzel now has a nine-game hitting streak and has been hitting .395 since the Big Ten season started. “We got a lot of young guys that can come through,” DeLucia said. “Wetzel and Dezse are both just incredible.” Game 2 The second of the three-game series will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday. OSU will be looking to rebound from the loss and come back strong. “We are obviously going to take our emotion out on the field tomorrow,” Dezse said. “We still have two more games this weekend and we still have a chance to get that two out of three like we want.” read more

The skys the limit for Ohio State wide receivers

Junior wide receiver Evan Spencer (6) scores a touchdown during a game against Florida A&M Sept. 21 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 76-0.Credit: Kaily Cunningham / Multimedia editorRedshirt-senior quarterback Kenny Guiton broke the Ohio State record for most touchdown passes in a game against Florida A&M, but he didn’t do it alone.He had to have someone to throw to.Through four games, four Buckeye wide receivers have at least two touchdowns and 75 yards receiving. At this point in 2012, only two players on the team had reached these numbers.Junior Devin Smith (281 yards and four touchdowns), senior Corey “Philly” Brown (169 yards and three touchdowns), senior Chris Fields (82 yards and four touchdowns) and junior Evan Spencer (78 yards and two touchdowns) have helped the Buckeyes passing attack average 36.5 yards more through the air than it did all of last season.Guiton, who filled in for injured junior quarterback Braxton Miller for the last two games, has had the help of a more mature receiving corps than No. 4 OSU (4-0) had last year, wide receivers coach Zach Smith said.“It’s probably the biggest thing we needed to do coming into this year, is not just have Philly Brown and Devin Smith running vertical. We needed to establish a wider arsenal of skill players to use,” Zach Smith said. “So that was critical for us, because defenses can take away one guy, one position. But if they have to worry about across the board five skill players at every snap, everything opens up. That was something we really needed to do this year and fortunately, it’s happening so far.”Another option for the Buckeye quarterbacks this season has been junior tight end Jeff Heuerman, who is third on the team with 88 yards receiving and a touchdown this year. Heuerman said it will be hard to stop OSU with the amount of depth they have on offense.“We got so much depth on our team. We have so much depth from the receivers, running backs, to our tight ends, everybody,” Heuerman said. “We’re so skilled all around that we can make plays. We’re an up-tempo offense and that combined with all the talent we have on offense really does well for us.”Zach Smith said Devin Smith in particular has developed particularly well from 2012, becoming more of an all-around player this season.“He’s improved, but he’s been a dynamic vertical threat since I got here,” Zach Smith said. “He can run, he can run (a) straight line, and the steps he’s made have been more at becoming a receiver as opposed to just a deep threat guy.”Devin Smith’s main improvement has come in widening his knowledge of the defense and working on his ability to catch shorter passes, Zach Smith said.“Where his development has really came has been in the throws that are more intermediate throws; the routes that are more intermediate routes.  He’s really taken steps in doing that,” Zach Smith said. “As far as the deep routes, he has a better understanding of how to lock a corner’s hips or turn a guy opposite of where he’s trying to go.”But still, Devin Smith’s deep play ability is appreciated by the offense because it helps the other players, Zach Smith said.“A guy like that with vertical threat, where corners really have to honor him vertically, like you said, 41 yards a touchdown catch is kind of astounding,” Zach Smith said. “They see that on film, so once he has that threat, there is that fear of getting beat deep; everything else opens up.”Another receiver who has stepped up this season is Spencer, who already has surpassed his career high in touchdowns in the first four games of the season and is on pace for a career high in receiving yards.The recipient of two of Guiton’s touchdown passes against Florida A&M, including the record-breaker, Spencer said with the number of skilled receivers OSU has, it will be difficult for opposing defenses to stop them all.“The sky’s (the) limit for our offense,” Spencer said. “We have so many weapons and we can do so many different things, I mean, like I said, I can’t even imagine all the things we can do.”Zach Smith said he was excited for Spencer, who before Saturday only had one touchdown reception in his career, to get in the end zone.“It was great to see him go out and finally get in the end zone and (much) of that has had a lot to do with kind of the situation we’ve been in and what defenses were giving us as to why he didn’t beforehand,” Zach Smith said. “But he’s very, very capable and it was good to see him do that.”He said Spencer has grown from an average player that worked hard to a good receiver for the Buckeyes.“Every aspect of his game has improved,” Zach Smith said. “He was always a very good kid who worked hard, but he’s taken steps to improve the details of being a receiver, and that’s in blocking on the perimeter. That’s in running routes. That’s in getting open on one on one coverage. He’s improved every aspect of his game.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to play host to Wisconsin in their Big Ten opener, and Zach Smith said he isn’t worried about the Badgers changing their defensive game plan against the OSU receivers.“Obviously, they are going to play to their personnel, so I don’t know what their philosophy will be down the road, but it’s a little different, a little different than it was last year,” Zach Smith said. “Probably a little more man coverage, more press man, a little more challenging for the wide receivers, but nothing dramatic.”Guiton agreed it will be a struggle for the Badgers to slow down a Buckeye offense that averages 529 yards a game.“That’s a problem for them. They need to figure out what they want to do and we’ll come out prepared and ready to go,” Guiton said.Kickoff against No. 23 Wisconsin (3-1, 1-0) is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium. read more