Council gritters to be deployed as freezing temperatures hit

first_imgDonegal County Council gritters are to be deployed on all major road routes in Donegal from 8pm this Friday night.Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing tonight as forecasters warn of frost during the cold and dry conditions. Lows of -1C are forecast, and there is a risk of mist and frost developing in areas of the north west.Donegal County Council has advised motorists that the following routes will be gritted from 8pm: 06: Inishowen West04: Inishowen South01: National Primary North02: National Primary Central03: National Primary South07: Milford South08: Milford North09: Cill Ulta East10: Cill Ulta West11: Na Rosa12: Binswilly13: Stranorlar North14: Stranorlar East15: Stranorlar West16: Donegal West17: Donegal North18: Donegal South19: Donegal National Secondary05: Inishowen EastBT: Buncrana Town Council Priority 1LT: Letterkenny Town Priority 1Check Donegal County Council’s interactive map for gritting routesMotorists are reminded to assume that no road is ice free.Council gritters to be deployed as freezing temperatures hit was last modified: October 25th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

SA woos investors in solar energy

first_img Peters said that initial estimates put the cost of building the park at around R150-billion, to be split between the government and the private sector. 29 October 2010 The South African government was ready to contribute its share of the costs of building a multi-billion rand solar park in the Northern Cape, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters told investors in Upington on Thursday, urging them to get involved in what she called a “milestone” renewable energy project for the country. Upington, which is centrally located in the province, is seen as a perfect site for the park, due to abundance of sunshine and and vast tracts of available land in the region. It is estimated that a 5 000 MW park constructed over a decade could create about 12 300 construction jobs annually. The project is also expected to create about 3 010 operations and maintenance jobs by the time the last solar plant is constructed. However, she cautioned that investors who demonstrated a capacity for local component manufacturer would be given preference. A pre-feasibility study conducted recently by the Clinton Climate Initiative found that solar projects could generate up to 5 gigawatts of cost-effective electricity in South Africa. The Department of Energy has since commissioned US company Fluor Corporation to develop a conceptual study, followed by a more detailed design plan, for the solar park. Political backing Wide-ranging benefits Peters was speaking at a two-day conference aimed at gauging investor interest in the project to build a solar park – a concentrated zone of solar generating plants and solar component manufacturing facilities – in the Northern Cape. “We want to work with those international players who believe in the future of this country and the continent … We don’t want to see planes suddenly coming in with products from somewhere [else].” BuaNews has learned that about R1.8-billion of the R26-billion World Bank loan granted to power utility Eskom earlier this year would go towards the park’s establishment. The only major challenge to emerge in the Clinton Climate Initiative pre-feasibility study was the grid/transmission line shortage in the Northern Cape. However, both the provincial and national government have committed to addressing this issue. South Africa’s new economic growth path, unveiled in provisional form this week, also envisages up to 300 000 jobs being created in the “green” economy by 2020. Peters told investors that a decision had been taken at Cabinet level to invest more in renewable energy sources as South Africa prepares to shift from conventional energy, such as coal-generated electricity, to nuclear and other sources. However, Peters said that massive private sector funding and contributions from independent power producers would be needed in order to get the project off the ground. Public-private split “We believe that both principles of energy security and diversification can only be possible if we bring [independent power producers] on board to contribute to the energy balance,” Peters said. South Africa is not the only country doing research on the viability of solar energy – a clean alternative to both fossil fuels and nuclear power – with countries like India and Brazil doing the same. A solar park would alleviate the pressure on South Africa’s largely coal-based energy supply while boosting the country’s overall energy capacity and helping the country achieve its target of a 34 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2020. Besides the jobs that would be created by the park, South Africa would get the opportunity to become a manufacturer of various solar technology materials and products, which could lead to further foreign investment and job creation. Pre-feasibility study Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

How to Fail Your Way to Success

first_imgRelated Posts Owen O’Brien Tags:#business model#Business plans#Entrepreneurs#entrepreneurship#fail to succeed#failure#Fear of Failure#success How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … “Failure is success in progress” ― Albert EinsteinEntrepreneurs are enthusiastic and serial failers.Entrepreneurs seem to be constantly looking for solutions and alternative ways  of doing everything. And crucially, they don’t give a damn about failure, because they know that failure is, in fact, discovery. Some have declared, “The only way I will know if something works is by doing it and that means doing what seems impossible or unlikely.”Entrepreneurs are comfortable with failure, almost enjoying it.This is because every experience, positive or negative tells you something. If you are working in a specific area of expertise, which you are likely to be, tech, law, medicine, marketing, for example, your experiences of doing will become a rich mixture of interconnected successes and failures.The very act of doing will develop, over time, a focussed and overall understanding of your area which will be unrivalled by those simply thinking about it, or, dare I say it, studying it.The learning gleaned from action is called tacit knowledge.As Michael Polanyi (1967: 4) wrote in The Tacit Dimension, we should start from the fact that “we can know more than we can tell.”For that reason, I am skeptical about business plans.These plans are mostly not worth the paper they are written on. On the one hand a business plan seems to be leading people down a deceptive path of fantasy and disaster. Yet, on the other hand, business plans can be very dangerous, stopping people from doing anything at all.The business plan is a blueprint for the financials and can give basic indications of whether what you are thinking of is even worth doing at all. The problem is that these business plans often stop you from employing the basic trial and error methodology adopted by most the most successful entrepreneurs and stable businesses. The tradition business plan rarely reflects reality, particularly in a start-up situations.We don’t always do what we say we will, in fact, we often don’t do that at all. We reach for convenient existing theories of business to explain things and business plans are usually formulaic and poor imaginings for the needed action: go talk to the customer stupid. Get a mentor; learn more about your subject.There is a tendency to direct start-ups in developed countries into incubation centers.These centers are usually run by state enterprises whom, with the best of intentions, actually cosset the fledgling enterprise from the realities of the commercial world, and in doing so, prevent the very essential learning that is so necessary to develop a real sustainable and gritty business model.There is a toughness and street-wise element to successful enterprise. These successes will not be created in comfortable shiny offices with too many people sitting around chatting in the cafeteria, at the water cooler or even in meetings, wondering where the customers are.Enterprisers with the experience of — learning by doing — will often say that your mistakes cost you money, and that ensures you don’t make them twice. Richard Branson advises you to “pick yourself up, brush yourself off, don’t let your ego get the better of you.” In other words: get over it — and quickly.Go ahead, feel bad for failing. You should feel lousy, and that bad feeling is good for your business. Studies now show that you will be less likely to repeat the same error twice.In a recent study, Dr Selin Malkoc from Ohio State University said, “All the advice tells you not to dwell on your mistakes, to not feel bad. But we found the opposite.”“When faced with a failure, it is better to focus on one’s emotions – when people concentrate on how bad they feel and how they don’t want to experience these feelings again, they are more likely to try harder the next time.”Failure has been acknowledged by successful people from Steve Jobs to Bill Gates for helping them achieve their final success.Irish playwright Samuel Beckett is quoted as saying, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again.”It is probably worth seeing yourself as an “experimenter” in the business world. Consider that the enterprises you undertake or take on as a business are often experiments to see if your ideas are correct when faced with reality. In some ways the pioneers of electric cars and autonomous vehicles are yet to see whether their enormous experiments will work when the market decides.In business, failure is the customer telling you to go back to the shed and iterate one more time.Vitally, the secret is surviving the various events that make up success. Therefore it is important to minimize the downside. If you are going to get it wrong, make sure that you won’t fall too far and that you can pick yourself up and get on with it, one more time. Don’t over-commit to a line of action that will destroy your future financial freedom to change, or iterate again on your idea. Refrain from committing yourself personally to long lease contracts, for instance.James Dyson is definitely the king of failure – 5,126 of them to be exact. That is the number of prototypes he developed over the course of 10 to 15 years before releasing his iconic bag-less vacuum in 1993. The upright domestic model, DC01, used the patented “Dual Cyclone” technology. Dyson says his willingness to fail is the reason for his success.Dyson said, “The failure is the starting point, because when something fails, you understand why it fails. Then you start to think of ideas as to the ways you can overcome that failure. The moral of the tale is keep on failing – It works.”So go on then and fail away all you like. Keep in mind that your failures are only lessons, after all, and crucially, it is the only way you are ever going to find out. After many failures, when you finally find out you’ve got it right, you will have failed your way to success. Owen is an entrepreneur, teacher, songwriter, and general ideas man and has run several businesses over the past 30 years. Working as a barman, and then a sales representative, he decided to go out on his own when he found that he has no difficulty selling and making deals for other companies. What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… How to Get Started in China and Have Successlast_img read more

Louie Alas: Wherever Kevin wants to be, we’ll support him

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games READ: Basketball is part of Alas family cultureWith his new capacity, he has the power to make a move to acquire his son, but Louie doesn’t want to hinder Kevin’s development in NLEX where he has flourished under head coach Yeng Guiao.Kevin ended the PBA Governors’ Cup with averages of 14.27 points, 6.18 rebounds, and 2.91 assists per game.READ: No reunion for Alas, son at Phoenix “He’s happy in NLEX. As for us, we’ll always be behind him,” said Louie. “If he tells me ‘dad I want to play for you’ maybe I’ll make a move but I see that he’s super comfortable in his team and with coach Yeng.”ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Down to his last five years of coaching, Louie Alas gets opportunity of a lifetime View comments Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH The Alas Family: Kevin, Liza, Louie, Kieffer, Kenneth and Kristoffer. Photo from Kevin Alas’ social media accounts.The father-son duo of Louie Alas and Kevin Alas had become synonymous with Letran from 2009 until 2013 when the Knights flourished as contenders for the title.It’s been almost four years since the two donned the same colors, with Kevin playing for Rain or Shine, TNT, and now NLEX in the PBA and father Louie serving as an assistant for Alaska.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding READ: Louie Alas gets wish with Alaska winning and son Kevin playing wellThe renewed partnership between the two had floated the moment the elder Alas was appointed as the new head coach of Phoenix, replacing Ariel Vanguardia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut Louie admits but that’s far from his mind, knowing how satisfied his son is with his team.“My wife [Liza] and I will support Kevin wherever he’s happy,” said Louie in Filipino Thursday at SportsIQ, Inquirer’s omniplatform sports talk show. “He’s very happy right now with NLEX and of course with his girlfriend Selina [Dagdag].”last_img read more

Sex romps and drugs spiced Proteas cricket

first_imgHerschelle Gibbs, who underwent rehab for alcohol abuse last year, outside the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in 2009 after he was charged with drink driving.A no-holds-barred autobiography by South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs has revealed the dark side of Proteas cricket, providing graphic details of sexual orgies, marijuana sessions and a senior coterie dominating the team.Aptly called To The Point if only for being so direct in recording details of sexual encounters in which he and other players took part, Gibbs has perhaps realised that candour can be explosive, just like his batting in his heydays.The description of his team’s tours Down Under as shopping expeditions for “eager young Aussie lasses” is a case in point. He also relates the experience of a hotel room orgy involving three girls.”Two beds, two cricketers and three women. One of them wasn’t all that keen, though; she just lay on the bed. Which was fine — there was enough for everyone. The other two girls, however, more than made a go of it,” he writes. Extracts of the book were published by Johannesburg based The Sunday Times.”I got the ball rolling, but then I noticed that my mate was feeling a little left out. Now he’s lying on the other bed, so, big-hearted chap that I am, I say, ‘Well, you can’t leave my mate all alone there.’ And fortunately one of them was only too happy to transfer ship…. They came hunting in packs, and if they liked what they saw, you were in for the ride of your life,” he reveals.advertisementThe disclosures came on a day when South Africa were involved in a One-Day International against Pakistan in Dubai. The book, which releases on Monday, apart from highlighting the sexual exploits of the batsman who was often in trouble for late night binges and drunken driving, says leading players in smoking pot in the West Indies.”Some people aren’t going to like this chapter, but I’ve always believed you have to call it like you see it,” writes Gibbs in the book, the excerpts of which were published in The Sunday Times. Gibbs recalled his encounter with a girl on her way to a matric dance — a formal dance for high school students. “I spotted one particularly gorgeous girl, obviously dressed to the nines, walking around the hotel lobby. After a few drinks and a few words, she came upstairs with me to my room and gave me a little dance of another kind. She then left and went back to the dance proper,” recalls Gibbs, who has played in three World Cups for South Africa and is contracted to the Proteas until next April.Gibbs also wrote about how he came across a stripper during one of South Africa’s warm-up games on the 1997-98 Australia tour.Gibbs and some of his teammates noticed a “pretty girl” and asked her to join them that evening. They started drinking and she mentioned she was a stripper. “Things loosened up a lot more after that. Various items of clothing were removed in an eyebrow-raising kind of way, and one thing invariably led to another.” Gibbs also admitted that his “most expensive shag” set him back by 5000 Rand (about Rs 31,750) in a fine for poor performance on the field the next day.The autobiography of Gibbs, who has been out of the team for quite some time now, is likely to rock the cricket world and could also incur the ire of South African players after he wrote how the Proteas are dominated by a “clique” of senior players.He said even former coach Mickey Arthur had to bow to them. “The team has been criticised for being run by a group of senior players — captain Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and, more recently, AB de Villiers — and this inner circle splits the team in two and makes any chance of developing true team spirit among the Proteas impossible. “Simply put, without Graeme’s backing, Mickey didn’t have much influence over the guys. In the end, Graeme was simply too powerful,” he writes.The hard-hitting opener also revealed how the team never regained its spirit after former captain Hansie Cronje’s admission to match fixing which resulted in a life ban.”Things were never the same … I sympathised with Shaun Pollock — he had a tough time filling Hansie’s shoes and gluing the team back together. But the Proteas never had that same togetherness under Polly. He never socialised with the boys too much.advertisement”I think if we’re honest with ourselves … we’ve got to admit that the Proteas have underachieved in international cricket over the past decade.” But despite Cronje’s association in match fixing, Gibbs claims: “the cloud that hangs over his legacy, I can tell you that I’ve never played with anyone who possessed such a die-hard attitude to winning”. In the book, Gibbs discusses his failed marriage and the rehabilitation stint that he underwent.His marriage to Tenielle Povey ended in 2008 after his drunken ways got him into trouble far too often. “As you now know, I’ve managed to land myself in the kak with alarming regularity right from the start of my cricket career. A stint in rehab for alcohol abuse and a messy divorce would be more than enough controversy for most professional athletes, but, with me, that wasn’t the half of it.”We were physically fighting while I was driving … I managed to pull some of her hair out. As explosive as my batting can be, it hasn’t quite matched the pyrotechnics of my life off the field.” There have been detailed descriptions of how some of his teammates flew out waitresses from the infamous Port Elizabeth restaurant The Ranch to join them on tour and the night he spent with two “hotties” with a reputation for making their way through cricketing nations.last_img read more

Columbian forward CJ Perez is top PBA rookie for March

first_imgPanelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Columbian rookie CJ Perez. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines– Even if Columbian failed to make it to the quarterfinals of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup, CJ Perez still managed to continue to impress in his rookie year.For the second time, Perez was named the PBA Press Corps Rookie of Month for March after averaging17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in four games of the elimination round.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Finally a playoff game at Detroit Pistons’ new arena Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte The Dyip at one point were contenders for a berth in the playoffs but a 101-98 loss to TnT sent them crashing out of the running. They went 1-3 during the month.The no. 3 overall draft pick also received recognition for his stellar play in January when the award was first handed out.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsPerez, who was named the MVP of the Rookies/Sophomores versus Juniors in the All-Star week, edged NorthPort’s Robert Bolick in a close vote, 8-6, to earn the citation. Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES MOST READ PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid View commentslast_img read more

a month agoAnderlecht assistant manager Davies defends Kompany over sack talk

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Anderlecht assistant manager Davies defends Kompany over sack talkby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAnderlecht assistant manager Simon Davies has defended the work of player-boss Vincent Kompany.There’s talk the former Manchester City pair could be sacked if they lose in the Cup tonight against Beerschot.Davies said, “Vinnie works very hard for the club to bring us back to where Anderlecht should be. “We will reverse this and get results quickly.”The injuries, the many young players and the new system cost us a lot of time. It is a process that requires a lot of time and effort. Together with my staff we continue to focus on the process. But talking about it is easy, of course, we have to show it on the field.” last_img read more

Roundtable Chip Kelly Is A Madman And Must Be Stopped Or Hes

DeMarco Murray, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys, in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on Nov. 27 in Arlington, Texas. Tom Pennington / Getty Images Walt: If you think back to that playoff run two years back, how many of those players — besides Riley Cooper, the platonic ideal of a Philadelphian — are still with Philly? Not a lot! And with Mark Sanchez to fall back on, Kelly is definitely opening his team up to some risk here, right?Neil: Sanchez backers might point out that he had by far the best year of his career in Kelly’s system last season. But that’s also kind of the point: Sanchez broke new ground by barely being above average and then parlayed it into $5.5 million guaranteed over two years — a pretty rich deal by backup standards. And now that they have Bradford, the Eagles have managed to collect the league’s two least-efficient starting QBs over the past five seasons by yards gained per pass attempt.Ben, what’s the Skeptical Football take on these guys?Ben: Foles, I love. He plays the position with the kind of aggressive win-maximizing abandon that I endorse, takes risks and throws deep when he needs to, and it has paid off with a fair amount of team success. However, it’s still unclear to me whether he actually has the skills to be a great quarterback in this league or has been running on scrappiness and good fortune alone. Take his much-maligned deep ball: Foles completed only 34 percent of his deep passes (more than 15 yards downfield) in 2014 but completed enough big plays that he gained an average of 0.23 expected points per attempt on them overall. (In fact, this was the main source of his value added for the season, as he just about broke even on short attempts.) Shrewd gambler though he may be, that combination isn’t sustainable.While Bradford has been extremely inefficient (like Neil says), it should also be noted that his career so far falls in the extremely common category of heralded quarterbacks put into a terrible situation who were serviceable but failed to turn it around single-handedly. When it comes to evaluating the first few years of a QB’s career, that’s just about the least informative scenario. If you have faith in Bradford’s skills for whatever reasons (including old-fashioned ones like scouting), your belief at least hasn’t yet been disproved. In a whole new situation like this, his trajectory is unpredictable. It won’t surprise me if he’s an all-star in a few years or if he’s out of the league entirely.If there’s a method to Kelly’s madness here, I think it’s that, given the totality of circumstances, Bradford regressing to his own personal mean would probably mean better production, while Foles regressing would probably mean worse production.As an empirical matter, this trade has me excited. How often do you get such a great opportunity to cross-compare like this? It’s two chances to see how the texture of a quarterback’s performance changes when he switches environments AND two chances to see how a team’s production changes when it’s led by different quarterbacks. No matter what happens, it’ll be an empirical coup. We should learn a lot about a lot more than just these QBs.Neil: Of course, all this assumes that Kelly is telling the truth when he says he won’t trade up in the draft to snag his former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota as the team’s long-term future at the position. And if there’s anything we’ve learned from the first few months of Kelly’s tenure as grocery-shopper (in addition to cook), it’s to expect the unexpected.Walt: The only thing less trustworthy than an Eagles fan is an Eagles coach. Quarterback Sam Bradford, formerly of the St. Louis Rams, watches a game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Nov. 9 in Glendale, Arizona. Christian Petersen / Getty Images Tuesday marked the beginning of a new year on the NFL calendar, and the Philadelphia Eagles apparently decided to celebrate the occasion with a flurry of major transactions. In response, we summoned a special FiveThirtyEight NFL roundtable, wherein Ben Morris, Neil Paine and Walt Hickey discuss the big moves, continue to debate Chip Kelly’s mad genius and ponder what all this roster reshuffling amounts to.Neil Paine: Walt, when last we convened to discuss NFL transactions, you hailed Rex Ryan for grabbing LeSean McCoy but also gave some credit to Chip Kelly for smartly freeing up cap space. Now we have the news that Kelly — in the wake of being spurned by Frank Gore — has essentially executed an old-school challenge trade at the game’s most important position, dealing Nick Foles to St. Louis for Sam Bradford. Have you embraced Kelly’s madness?Walt Hickey: As I understand it — which is barely — Kelly is either making a dramatic short in the Philadelphia jersey market, destroying the value of essentially any fan’s merchandise purchased two or more years ago, or winning the Kobayashi Maru while the rest of the league is playing Snakes and Ladders. Both situations are troubling. As a Giants fan, my only thought is: What’s his play?Ben Morris: I like to imagine that Chip Kelly and Les Snead were just chillin’ and Kelly was like, “Dude, crazy hypothetical that just popped into my head: What would happen if we just right out and switched quarterbacks? I mean, neither of us is in love with who we have, and people always say that kind of thing: ‘What would happen if you put Brady on the Broncos and Manning on the Patriots?’ Honestly, I have no idea what would happen, but could you imagine?” And then after a lengthy chortle, a tiny uncomfortable silence took over before they nearly simultaneously grinned and went, “[expletive] it.”Neil: The swap is a bit puzzling, I admit. Foles was inconsistent when healthy last season, and his staggeringly efficient 2013 campaign was driven in part by a freakishly low interception rate. But for all of Foles’s up-and-down play, he still has a far better statistical track record than Bradford, who — let’s also point out — missed all of last season with a knee injury. In fairness, Bradford was saddled with a terrible supporting cast in St. Louis, and he still carries the prestige of a former No. 1 overall draft pick. So if you squint, Kelly kind of turned a former third-round QB into the highest of first-rounders. But both of these guys have been out of college so long that it’s a real stretch to make that argument. Neil: Let’s shift gears to Thursday’s news that Kelly’s Eagles inked former Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray to a five-year, $42 million contract (with $21 million guaranteed). Ben, you wrote about Murray several times last season — what are your thoughts on Philly picking him up?Ben: The main thing to like about the Eagles signing DeMarco Murray is that they didn’t absolutely break the bank to do it. While $42 million over five years with $21 million guaranteed is a fair amount for a running back, it’s comparable to what LeSean McCoy got from Buffalo. While it likely isn’t a huge value move, the important part is that it isn’t Adrian Peterson money.The two main Murray knocks are 1) that he played behind a supposedly stellar offensive line in Dallas and 2) that he has had some fumbling problems that have negated much of his would-be Win Percentage Added over the past few seasons. These are both legitimate concerns, and — assuming it’s true that the Cowboys were only willing to offer Murray $5 million per year — it would seem his former employers took them seriously.Yet, again, the deal seems to have a fairly high upside. Both of the Murray knocks are in the “reasonable doubt” category — they’re not outright proof that Murray isn’t the real deal. And if he is, the Eagles may be getting the “ideal running back” at a reasonable price.Neil: Like you said, though, Murray’s contract ended up being only slightly cheaper than the deal given to McCoy after Kelly abruptly traded him to the Bills a little over a week ago. In addition, Murray will be 27 years old next season — the same age as McCoy (at a position where peak production comes at age 26, I might add) — and the two players have practically identical per-carry and per-game stats over the past four seasons.Walt, what keeps this from being a lateral move for the Eagles? And if so, doesn’t that just reinforce the notion that Kelly the GM is flying by the seat of his pants this offseason with no discernible plan? (Which seems especially likely in the case of Murray’s signing, since Kelly inked Ryan Mathews, another RB, earlier in the week.)Walt: This is totally a lateral move for the Eagles! But it’s a rather brilliant one. The de facto result of the past several weeks is that Kelly traded McCoy for Kiko Alonso, Murray and extra cap space. Which, honestly, seems nice. If you’re obsessed with ages and their relationship to productivity in interchangeable running backs, Neil, that’s not a terrible move, provided it was planned.Naturally, I hope this week is terrible for Philadelphia and its citizens. But these moves are exciting and matter. Looking at the 2013 roster, there’s very little continuity at skill positions — Brent Celek, Riley Cooper, Jeff Maehl and Chris Polk. That’s a lot of turnover! But I think Eagles fans just have to go for the ride here.Neil: As our colleague (and Philly sports aficionado) Jody Avirgan tweeted, being an Eagles fan is suddenly a bit like working a low-level job on the Manhattan Project: You have no idea what the master plan is — or if one even exists — but you have to trust that the smart guys at the top know what they’re doing.I do wonder how long this fan base’s patience will last if these machinations don’t quickly lead to wins. But maybe that’s how you build a winner in the NFL, by taking these kinds of chances.Ben: You can kind of see Kelly’s meta-strategy coming together: He’s going to either build a contender or crash and burn. As a gambler, I like it: He’s setting up a parlay, no doubt — but one that seems like it could pay off big if it hits. read more

Ohio State mens volleyball passes weekend test against two ranked teams

OSU sophomore Nicolas Szerszen (9) prepares to spike the ball during a match against George Mason on Jan. 15. OSU won 3-0.Credit: Courtesy of OSUThe No. 5 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (15-3, 9-1) protected its home court at St. John Arena with a pair of big wins over No. 11 Loyola University (11-5, 6-3) and No. 13 Lewis University (11-8, 6-5) over the weekend.The Buckeyes captured the win over the Ramblers in three sets (25-20, 25-21, 25-22) Friday night. They continued their successful weekend with a hard-fought win over the Flyers in four sets (25-22, 25-14, 26-28, 25-22) the following evening.​“I thought (Friday) night’s game we were really sharp in terms of our serving and our offense ran at a really high level. (Saturday) it was more of a struggle,” OSU coach Pete Hanson said. “So, one clean, nice, pretty win and one not so pretty win.”​The Buckeyes kicked the weekend off with an important matchup against the two-time defending national champion Ramblers, who the Buckeyes already took care of in straight sets earlier in the year.​The first set started off with strong back-and-forth scoring from each team. As the set moved along, the squads matched each other point for point. Midway through the set, however, the Scarlet and Gray took control and eventually reached the 25-point plateau. The second set began differently than the first. OSU stepped hard on the gas and flew ahead straight from the outset. The Buckeyes maintained control and held off the advances of the Ramblers to take the second consecutive set.​Feeling the pressure to push the match to another set, the Ramblers came out quickly in the third frame, grabbing a lead and holding off the Buckeyes for a while. The perseverance of the Scarlet and Gray proved to be the difference, though, as they pulled themselves out of the early deficit and eventually grabbed the third set to complete the sweep.​An impressive defensive performance by the Buckeyes held the Ramblers to only a .188 attack rate. Sophomore outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen, junior outside hitter Miles Johnson and senior outside hitter Christian Franceschi all contributed double-digit points for OSU. With the victory, the Buckeyes have now won all six sets they have played against the Ramblers this season.Saturday night’s matchup was another difficult test for OSU against the Flyers.In the first set, the Buckeyes jumped out to an early lead, but the Flyers wouldn’t go down easy.  The Scarlet and Gray dug in, however, fending off the Flyers to go up 1-0.The second set started with an OSU surge, resulting in a solid, early lead. The tone was set for the match as the Buckeyes went on to take another set and force the Flyers into desperation mode.With their backs against the wall, the visitors were aggressive in the third set. The teams pushed back and forth, but the Flyers held off the Buckeyes and gained a two-point advantage to win the set and force a fourth frame. The final set remained just as competitive as the third. The score stayed close as the teams tried to enforce their will. Eventually, the Buckeyes were too much for Dayton to continue to fend off, and OSU grabbed the set to win the match.The Buckeyes had a .256 attack rate on the night while holding the Flyers to .225. Individually, Johnson added 21 points, Szerszen had 19 and junior setter Christy Blough contributed 43 assist on the night.“I really think they were great wins for us. Those are two good teams at the top of our conference (and) we need those,” Blough said. “I thought they were both good team wins, and I think everyone contributed both nights.”The Buckeyes are next set to travel to Long Beach, California, to take on UC Irvine on Thursday. The match is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start. read more