McDermott earns next phase of Russian Ethane Cracker Project from CC7

first_imgThe natural gas processing chemical plant will be comprised of two ethylene cracking trains with an annual capacity of 1.4 million tons each McDermott earns next phase of Russian ethane cracker project. (Credit: SatyaPrem from Pixabay) McDermott International has secured the next phase of the ethane cracking project from China National Chemical Engineering & Construction Corporation Seven (CC7). In 2019, McDermott was awarded a contract for the extended basic engineering on the project. This has now been expanded to include the provision of the engineering and procurement early works package for all schedule critical equipment.The project is the largest ethylene integration project in the world. Located near Russia’s shores at the Gulf of Finland, the natural gas processing chemical plant, owned by Baltic Chemical Plant (BCP), will be comprised of two ethylene cracking trains with an annual capacity of 1.4 million tons each.“The expansion of this award is a direct result of our execution performance to date and we will continue to drive excellent results to support CC7 and BCP in the development of this world-class project,” said Tareq Kawash, Senior Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “From concept design to commissioning and start-up, McDermott is uniquely positioned to execute fully integrated ethylene projects.”Lummus Technology was previously awarded the Process Design Package Engineering on the project and the license for its olefin production and recovery technology. McDermott and Lummus work jointly on projects through a strategic agreement that leverages their respective strengths for customers.The early works package will be executed from McDermott’s offices in The Hague, the Netherlands and in Brno, Czech Republic. Source: Company Press Releaselast_img read more

U.S. Energy Report: Wind Accounted for 27 Percent of New Electricity-Generation Capacity in 2016

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享A new report from the Department of Energy indicated 8,200 MW of wind capacity was established nationwide in 2016, representing 27 percent of all new capacity added.Last year wind supplied six percent of all U.S. electricity, with 14 states now generating more than 10 percent of their electricity from wind. Iowa and South Dakota produce more than 30 percent from wind. Texas leads the nation in terms of total capacity with over 2 GW of wind.Wind prices, established through power purchase agreements, are cost-competitive with traditional power sources in many parts of the nation.The Energy Department said near-term growth is supported by production tax credits, state-level policies and improvements of both the cost and performance of wind power technology. However, the report cautioned growth prospects further out remain uncertain in light of declining federal tax support, expectations for natural gas prices and modest electricity demand growth.Offshore wind has grown as well, with 20 projects totaling 24,135 MW are in development. Most are in the Atlantic off the northeast coast, though others have been proposed in the southeast coast, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes.Additionally, 1,993 MW of capacity has been proposed in floating offshore projects.Wind Power Represented 27 Percent of All New Capacity in 2016 U.S. Energy Report: Wind Accounted for 27 Percent of New Electricity-Generation Capacity in 2016last_img read more

Mourinho v Wenger – the rivalry in quotes

first_img“Wenger has a real problem with us and I think he is what you call in England a voyeur. He is someone who likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. Wenger must be one of them –- it is a sickness. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.”– Mourinho takes exception to Wenger’s comments about his then-club Chelsea in August 2005, in remarks for which he would later apologise“He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.”– Wenger’s stinging response London, United Kingdom | AFP | As Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger prepare to resume their rivalry this weekend, AFP Sport recalls some of their most famous exchanges: “It is fear to fail.”– Wenger’s verdict on Mourinho’s unwillingness to talk up Chelsea’s title chances in February 2014“Am I afraid of failure? He is a specialist in failure. I’m not. So if one supposes he’s right and I’m afraid of failure, it’s because I don’t fail many times. So maybe he’s right. I’m not used to failing. But the reality is he’s a specialist because, eight years without a piece of silverware, that’s failure.”– Mourinho responds with interest“It’s not a way to behave on a football field. Did Mourinho provoke me? That is how I felt. I did not enter Chelsea’s technical area.”– Wenger’s account of a touchline altercation between the pair during Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea in October 2014“If it was me it would have been a stadium ban.”– Mourinho’s take on Wenger’s shove“In this country, only one manager is not under pressure. Every other manager is. You know who. The one who can speak about the referees before the game, after the game, can push people in the technical area, can moan, can cry in the morning, in the afternoon, nothing happens. He can not achieve, keep his job, still be the king. In the rule book it says some managers can speak about the referees before and after games. Some others cannot. I am in the list of those who are punished if they speak about the referees.”– As Chelsea’s title defence started to unspool last season, Mourinho lashed out at a familiar adversaryShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Five things we learned from the Premier League weekend

first_imgThe champions weren’t at their sparkling best, but got what Pep Guardiola admitted was the most important thing — a win — to restore some confidence before they try to end Liverpool’s unbeaten start.“If you want to be there as far as possible until the end we have to remember what happened last season and this (season) as well – apart from the last few days,” insisted Guardiola.The return of David Silva, who scored City’s opener, and Fernandinho to the midfield made a massive difference and City may even have Kevin de Bruyne back too in time for Thursday.Spurs run out of steamDespite a run of five straight victories, Tottenham were always seen as outsiders in the title race and any chance they had may have disappeared by Wolves’ late show as the visitors scored three times in the final 18 minutes to win 3-1 at Wembley.Spurs were in total control in the first half but the strains of 29 games in three competitions on a stretched squad in the first five months of the season began to show in a tired performance after the break.“Today for us it’s a clear example that if we are not consistent enough, with not only good quality during the game, and the right energy, it’s difficult to compete for big things,” said a disappointed Mauricio Pochettino.Emery’s Arsenal stallingArsene Wenger was chastised when Arsenal conceded four at Anfield last August at the beginning of his final season in charge at Arsenal. On Saturday, Unai Emery’s side had conceded four by half-time.Despite a 22-game unbeaten run between August and December, Arsenal are now just one point better off after 20 games than they were last season when finishing sixth.In contrast to their last meeting with Liverpool in a 1-1 draw in November when Emery’s impact had Arsenal re-energised and freshly filled with optimism, the Gunners looked mentally and physically soft when met with Liverpool’s pace, power and belief.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 Manchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Liverpool took another significant step towards a first top-flight title in 29 years by thrashing Arsenal 5-1 to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League, thanks also to Tottenham’s collapse at home to Wolves.Manchester City are once again Liverpool’s closest challengers ahead of a blockbuster clash between the two on Thursday as the champions recovered from back-to-back defeats to beat Southampton 3-1.Manchester United’s revival since Jose Mourinho’s sacking continued with Paul Pogba again scoring twice to beat Bournemouth 4-1, but United remain eight points off the top four after Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 1-0.Here, AFP Sports looks at five things we learned from the Premier League’s final fixtures of 2018.Liverpool’s title to lose?The league leaders haven’t lost all season and unless City end their invincible campaign so far at the Etihad this week, it is looking increasingly likely that Liverpool’s time has come.The reaction at times of adversity often makes the mark of champions and after falling behind for the first time in the league at Anfield in nearly a year, Liverpool were ahead within five minutes against Arsenal.Roberto Firmino scored a hat-trick, while Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were also on target as the front three that fired Jurgen Klopp’s men to the Champions League final last season all scored in the same league game for the first time this campaign.Should that front three hit top form to compliment a defensive record of eight goals conceded in 20 games, it is hard to see how Liverpool will be stopped.City’s response of championslast_img read more

The QPR v MK Dons quiz

first_imgGet your thinking cap on ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup clash and see how many of these five questions you can answer correctly.[wp-simple-survey-85] 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Google Brings Drug Info to Search Results

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Google#health#news#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… If there’s anything that a recent ear ache taught me, it’s that searching for answers on the Internet can be a trying task at times. The world is full of people – all of them doctors in their own mind – and the Internet is a wonderful representation of all their opinions. While we love this fact when it comes to political discourse and daily musings, health and medicine are a different game, which is why we’re sure to appreciate Google’s latest offering – medication listings in search results. mike melanson As Greg Sterling writes, Google first “began integrating structured health-related content at the top of search results” last year as a way to provide authoritative and reliable answers to health-related searches. That same functionality is expanding today to searches for both name brand and generic medications, with the result summarly linking to information as provided by the National Institutes of Health.The summary, which is offered at the top of the search results, offers a quick summary of the drug along with quick links to commonly-sought information such as side effects, precautions, dietary instructions and how to take it. According to Sterling, the feature is currently only available in the U.S. and Google declined to say whether or not it would expand to other countries. last_img read more

Beyond Ballmer: Why Microsoft Is Going To Continue To Suffer

first_imgJoachim Kempin is a former top Microsoft executive and author of a recent memoir, Resolve and Fortitude: Microsoft’s ‘Secret Power Broker’ Breaks His Silence. See his earlier contributions to ReadWrite.Steve Ballmer’s decision to resign as Microsoft CEO proved only one thing to me: How much he truly loves “his” company. The short answer is, not very much, because he’s getting out while the getting is good.The “beyond Ballmer” era is going to be extraordinarily painful for Microsoft employees and its shareholders. I don’t share the optimism the investment community expressed while driving up Microsoft’s stock price as soon as the news broke. And Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia is just its latest blunder—a purchase of an irrelevant brand saddled with production and development facilities. Microsoft’s soon-to-be-former CEO is just going to make it harder for the next guy to succeed.What Ballmer Hath WroughtSee also: Microsoft Dos and Don’ts For The Post-Ballmer EraOver his decade at Microsoft’s helm, Steve has left his fingerprints all over the company. His management style has rubbed off on his underlings. Whoever takes over will face daunting challenges in implementing the changes Microsoft needs to explore growth opportunities beyond Windows and Office.If you’re looking for one main reason Microsoft has steadily fallen behind the curve over the last decade, look to the way Ballmer’s management style changed the company once Bill Gates turned his full attention to his humanitarian work. Some describe Ballmer’s leadership style as “prescriptive” and “controlling.” Perhaps “meddling in all details” is closer to the mark. Under Ballmer, the entrepreneurial and mission-focused tenacity that made Microsoft so successful early on fell by the wayside and eventually faded away.Not long ago, I wrote an article recommending busting up Microsoft in order to free its innovative energies. I’m convinced that this will happen—someday. The company’s pieces are worth more than the sum. But I have no hope that this will happen any time soon, much less that it will coincide with the anointment of Ballmer’s successor.See also: Ballmer’s Microsoft: All MBA, No Developer SoulThe signs are already clear that Microsoft is slipping deeper into crisis. The PC consumer market is imploding; tablets and high-end smartphones are able to serve basic information needs quite well. Microsoft has no standing in either of these categories, as you can see from its roughly 3% market share. And the company has already announced bad news last quarter when it wrote off nearly $1 billion for its unsuccessful leap into the tablet market.Where The Growth Is—And Microsoft Isn’tWith the traditional PC market eroding and the traditional game-console business on its last legs, Microsoft needs to seek opportunities beyond its traditional niches. Embracing other platforms and rethinking consumer, social media and cloud strategies would be the most promising options.Which is what makes Microsoft’s Nokia purchase a potentially disastrous sideshow. Back in the 1980s, Microsoft’s then-president, Jon Shirley, taught us a key lesson: Never own a manufacturing plant. Apple must have taken his advice. Steve Ballmer and Microsoft’s current board of directors continue not to take it.See also: With Nokia, Microsoft Has No More ExcusesNokia’s dismal profit margins will pull Microsoft further down, and the unit is likely to be difficult to manage. (Unless you believe Nokia’s division management will be happy taking marching orders from Redmond. If so, you might want to study the Finns!) Nokia sells unprofitable devices, period. Microsoft’s shareholders ought to rebel.Leaving behind Microsoft’s disastrous foray into devices and refocusing on software and services—meaning selling and marketing intellectual properties—remains the only successful way to go. A vastly improved version of Facebook is long overdue; somebody will do it one day and replace that odd and outdated environment. Why not Microsoft?Innovation remains the number one task for any tech company wanting to stay ahead. A CEO therefore needs to organize so that innovation flourishes. In a CBS interview this spring, Bill Gates criticized Microsoft’s leadership for not doing so. The answer from Steve Ballmer’s team: Let’s create the notion of “One Microsoft.” I heard that slogan as early as 2000 when he took the reins. It didn’t work then and it won’t work today.One Microsoft = One Path To FailureSee also: 9 Things Microsoft Does RightWhat it meant for him, then and now: More centralization. Better expressed as, I lead and you shut up. It immediately disempowered people. Over time it sapped innovation and depleted Microsoft’s pool of creative ideas, leading to an identity crisis.Spotting this way too late, Ballmer and the board felt it was eventually time to call for a major reorganization. Whoever did needs to look into a mirror.In the early days when I worked at Microsoft, our identity was never in question. We followed a tactic the Prussian General Helmuth von Moltke deployed in 1866 during the battle of Königgrätz: “March separate and strike together.” (In the original German: Getrennt marschieren. Vereint schlagen.) And like von Moltke, we won. The Prussian army and the Microsofties of the early years knew their mission and acted in front of the enemy as one.To be truly innovative, a company’s leadership needs to create a fearless and unencumbered flow of information. Successful management encourages constructive criticism and uses it as input for improvements. Further centralizing an organization, on the other hand, fosters suppression. When a leader assumes that he is the only one who knows the right way to go, it’s only a matter of time before his company loses the next big technology battle.The Microsoft CEO Job: The Ultimate Booby PrizeI have little faith the board will choose a successor who can be the catalyst for change that Microsoft so desperately needs. It will most likely opt to follow a safe road by choosing an insider CEO for the sake of continuity. Former Wal-Mart executive and current Microsoft COO Kevin Turner immediately comes to mind, although I believe he might be the worst possible pick.What Microsoft really needs is a dynamic leader—say, one of Google’s current lieutenants, who would show up with an open mind and a better sense for market reality. And, most important, a totally mission-oriented management style. Microsoft’s employees would welcome him or her with open arms and their chains would finally come off. But why would anybody want that CEO job as long as Bill stays on the board? (Steve, too, most likely, given that he still owns 333 million Microsoft shares.) Both need to quit to give the newcomer a free rein and air to breath. Otherwise, failure isn’t just an option, but the most likely outcome.Instead, though, my guess is that the board will try to have it both ways, by choosing the safest “outsider” possible. My prediction: Ballmer’s eventual successor is 55 years old and a 30 year Microsoft veteran who left the company five years ago to run a huge nonprofit organization.You guessed it: It’s Jeff Raikes, who now runs the Gates Foundation. He is a close friend of Steve and Bill and they trust him. He is used working with both of them and will tolerate that they will look over his shoulders at times. Raikes would be the safest of safe bets—and if you ask me, his ascension has been long in the works.Raikes will be easily tolerated by the executive team in place. Having been one of them for a long time, nobody will expect huge changes from him. He will have a tough job because he inherits a company hit by the PC crisis, which has lost a lot of its once glorious reputation. He is a nice guy and I wish him good luck. But Microsoft can and needs to do better.Updated at 10am PTwith observations about Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts Tags:#Fixing Microsoft#Microsoft#Steve Ballmer center_img 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now joachim kempin Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Jacksonville Humiliated Pittsburgh The Last Time They Met Can The Jags Do

Trying to get the offense into rhythm, the Steelers unwittingly played into the Jaguars’ hands. Haley called a host of wide-receiver screens and dump-off passes to tailback Le’Veon Bell, but the lateral speed of the Jaguars defenders allowed them to bottle up the Steelers’ short passing game: The Steelers averaged 5.6 yards after catch on the season,2They finished fifth in the league with 2,146 yards after catch. but they averaged just 3.5 against Jacksonville.This pattern repeated itself throughout the game. Jacksonville’s corners frequently played Brown tightly, with safety help over the top, while keeping Smith-Schuster in front of them with plenty of cushion. Whether or not the Jaguars showed blitz, Roethlisberger kept throwing to his first read, frequently forcing throws to Brown.Here’s Roethlisberger’s passing chart for the game, via ESPN Stats & Info: Meanwhile, Brown is coming off a calf injury that may or may not hamper him against Ramsey and Jacksonville. If Brown is unavailable or ineffective, and the running game isn’t working, Roethlisberger will have to do a much better job of reading the defense and finding the open receiver — or there will be more picks where the first five came from.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Roethlisberger targeted Brown 19 times on the day, completing just 10 passes. Take out that opening bomb, and Brown gained just 108 yards on the 18 other passes thrown his way. That’s an average of just 6.0 yards per target, down from his season-long average of 9.4. And three of Roethlisberger’s five interceptions came while targeting Brown, including both pick-sixes.What could Haley and the Steelers have done instead? They could have taken a page from the other team on the field.While Fournette was racking up 181 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, Bell was given just six second-half carries, despite reeling off his game-high 15-yard carry on the first drive of the second half. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger dropped back to throw 39 times in the second half.Former Steelers tailback DeAngelo Williams saw the solution, too; he told Steve Gorman of Fox Sports Radio that if “Haley doesn’t run the damn ball like he should have the first time, they should fire his ass.”Bell only averaged 3.1 yards per carry in Week 5,3Down from his season average of 4.0. so maybe it won’t be quite as simple as handing him the ball more often. But with Roethlisberger pressing downfield leading to two defensive scores and three flipped fields, restoring run-pass balance to the offense can’t possibly hurt. The Steelers might also benefit from the ball bouncing their way more often; one of Roethlisberger’s picks came on a deflection, and another when Schuster fell down. The last time the Jacksonville Jaguars came into Heinz Field, the 7.5-point underdogs embarrassed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his Pittsburgh Steelers so badly, Roethlisberger wondered aloud if he didn’t “have it anymore.”Roethlisberger threw 55 passes in that Week 5 matchup, netting just 5.67 yards per attempt with no touchdowns and a whopping five interceptions. The Steelers managed just three field goals on 12 offensive possessions. The Jaguars didn’t throw the ball well either, but they didn’t need to: Tailback Leonard Fournette rumbled for 181 yards and two touchdowns, while two Jaguars defenders returned interceptions for touchdowns.On Sunday, the Jaguars will return to the scene of their triumph. Yet they opened as 6.5-point underdogs, with Vegas bookmakers not believing they can do what they did to the Steelers a second time.So just what did they do to the Steelers?On the Jaguars’ first defensive play of the game, at least, they didn’t do much. With second-year cornerback Jalen Ramsey lined up tight on All-Pro wideout Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger tested Ramsey by going long — and completing a 49-yard bomb.But if Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley had faith in Roethlisberger and his wide receivers, Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash had faith in his athletic secondary.Early in the game, Jacksonville showed a lot of tight man and off-man looks, with a single high safety. They also flashed different blitzes, but according to the ESPN Stats & Information Group, they only blitzed once. After the snap, the Jaguars frequently dropped back into middle-of-the-field zones while the corners clamped down on the outside receivers.By rushing four and dropping seven, the Jaguars allowed a lot of short completions, but they limited post-catch damage. The strategy also limited downfield options, giving the Jaguars’ second-ranked pass rush plenty of time to create pressure and force Roethlisberger to make mistakes.Just before the end of the first half, the Steelers were facing a 3rd-and-6 at their own 19-yard line. Down 7-3 with 1:20 still on the clock, they still had plenty of time to score before heading into the locker room. Here’s how Jacksonville lined up:At the top of the screen, Ramsey is giving Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster almost 10 yards of cushion. This seems like a mistake, given that Pittsburgh only needs 6 yards to convert. Pittsburgh is lined up in the shotgun with 1-1 personnel,1One running back, one tight end, three wide receivers. and Jacksonville has its nickel package in.Both linebackers are up at the line of scrimmage, along with safety Barry Church, indicating a blitz is coming. But at the snap, only the four down linemen actually rush; the Jaguars drop back seven players into coverage. Roethlisberger, presumably expecting a blitz, locks onto Smith-Schuster and throws early, anticipating Smith-Schuster getting open on his comeback route.Instead, Ramsey uses his closing speed and makes a great play on the ball: read more

World Cup Crib Notes Day 14

In a day without marquee matchups in Brazil, the World Cup game that is most likely to feature two knockout-stage teams also projects to be the biggest blowout. France vs. Ecuador is the best of an uninspiring lineup. The match that could decide who advances in Group E will feature the tournament’s most-explosive offense.Argentina vs. Nigeria 12 p.m. EDTBosnia and Herzegovina  vs. Iran 12 p.m. EDTEcuador vs. France 4 p.m. EDTSwitzerland vs. Honduras 4 p.m. EDTIN BRIEFIN DEPTHFrance has been peppering opponents’ goals: It leads the tournament in per-match rates of goals and shots on target from within the area. Karim Benzema leads all players with nine such shots, a relentless performance that could earn him a big raise from Real Madrid to ward off other teams.France also played one of the easiest schedules of any team at the tournament. Its two opponents so far rank in the bottom 13 of the 32 World Cup sides in ESPN’s Soccer Power Index, and in the bottom eight in defensive rating. Ecuador is no defensive stalwart, ranking right at the tournament average, but Honduras and Switzerland make it look like a steel trap.Not much is at stake for France here: It has essentially clinched a spot in the knockout stage and has a 99.7 percent chance of winning the group, thanks to its mammoth lead in goal differential. Ecuador, though, has work to do. It’s level with Switzerland at three points, and though it has the edge in goal differential, it also has the tougher opponent Wednesday. If Switzerland wins, Ecuador will have to upset France to have a chance to advance.The early games include a matchup between the top two teams in Group F, Argentina and Nigeria. The harmonic mean of these two teams’ SPI is slightly higher than for France and Ecuador. But Argentina is so much better by SPI than Nigeria that the match also projects to be the day’s biggest blowout.A tie would be mutually beneficial for Argentina and Nigeria. Argentina would guarantee itself a spot atop the group; that’s especially valuable because it will face the runner-up in Group E, and that team will probably be much weaker than the winner, which almost definitely will be France. A tie would also mean Nigeria clinches second in the group, knocking out Iran.There is precedent for thinking that when two teams meeting in the last match of the group stage can both benefit from the same outcome, that outcome will happen. It happened in 1982, when West Germany beat Austria by a 1-0 score in a match that turned farcical in front of fans who called out “fix.” And it happened at the Euros in 2004, when the 2-2 draw Denmark and Sweden needed to advance and knock out Italy materialized. Two teams can arrive at a mutually desired outcome without any planning, simply by playing until they reach that score and not pushing hard afterward.Bettors haven’t taken into account the mutual incentive for an Argentina-Nigeria draw. The consensus probability of a draw on the betting sites whose odds are compiled by Oddschecker.com was 21 percent Wednesday morning, which is also SPI’s estimate. There’s a much bigger difference for Thursday’s U.S.-Germany match, another game in which a draw would aid both teams. There, the SPI-based model says there is a 22 percent chance of a tie, while bettors think there is a 33 percent chance.Wednesday also marks the end of South America’s group stage. All six of the continent’s World Cup teams will go through to the knockout stage if Ecuador’s day goes well. CONMEBOL could even win four of the eight groups if Argentina does the expected and wins Group F, and Ecuador accomplishes the nearly impossible and wins Group E.YESTERDAYAmid the controversy surrounding Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, his team defeated Italy 1-0 to advance to the Round of 16, where Group C winner and fellow CONMEBOL member Colombia awaits.The winning goal came from Diego Godin, who scored for his country for the first time in his last 72 matches, dating to Oct. 18, 2006. But Godin is no stranger to big goals lately; he scored the goal on the final day of the La Liga season to clinch the title for Atletico Madrid, and he scored the first goal in the Champions League final for Atletico.Godin scored the winner with his head, continuing a trend. All eight of his goals for Atletico this season were headers, and six of the eight came from set pieces, as was Tuesday’s.The turning point for the match came after Italy’s Claudio Marchisio received a red card in the 59th minute. Through the 59th minute, Uruguay had created two chances and had nine touches in the attacking penalty area. From the 60th minute on, the Uruguayans had eight touches in the box and created five chances, one of which led to the winning goalBy comparison, Italy managed to create one chance and had one touch in the attacking penalty area after Marchisio’s red card. Italy had three touches in the attacking penalty area all told, its fewest in a World Cup match in at least the past 50 years.Though Suarez’s most notable action may have been with his teeth, he also contributed with his feet, posting match highs with six shots and four shots on target. He also was tied for first among all players in chances created (two) and attacking penalty-area touches (three). — Jacob Nitzberg, senior stats analyst, ESPNOFF THE PITCHFrom their partnerships on energy and job creation to their pacts on prisoner exchange, Nigeria and Argentina have gotten closer in recent years. This increasingly friendly relationship is reflected in trade as well. According to OECD data, exports from Argentina to Nigeria have increased significantly from 2009 (in which total exports were worth $59 million) to 2012 (total exports were worth $289 million), the most recent year for which data is available. This is surprising given that the share of higher-value exports, such as machinery, decreased in this span. But it seems that the exports of wheat, maize and soybeans (62 percent of exports to Nigeria in 2012) have grown more than enough to compensate.Trade in the opposite direction doesn’t tell quite the same story, with Nigerian exports to Argentina dropping from $204 million in 2011 to $56 million in 2012. But even that number is a remarkable increase from the $931,000 in exports that Nigeria sent Argentina in 2009. The main cause for the overall rise is the incorporation of liquefied petroleum gases into the countries’ trade agreement in 2011. This new export was so dominant that it caused the previous main export, natural rubber, to diminish from a 72 percent share in 2010 to a 0.8 percent share in 2011. — Hayley MunguiaFURTHER READINGWorld Cup Advancement Scenarios For Groups E And FYour ‘Luis Suárez Bit a Guy!?’ Reaction PostIn Praise of Cristiano Ronaldo read more

So What Happens If Alabama AndOr Clemson Lose

blythe (Blythe Terrell, general editor): OK, so the conference championships are this weekend. The real test of our new College Football Playoff model is IMMINENT.natesilver (Nate Silver, editor-in-chief): Well, it’s not much of a test, since the scenarios are either pretty obvious or the model’s like all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.andrewflowers (Andrew Flowers, quantitative editor): Yeah, if Alabama and Clemson cruise to win their conference titles, this is an open-and-shut case: They both get into the playoff, alongside Oklahoma and the Big Ten winner. But if one or both lose, all hell will break loose.natesilver: Probably where the model most disagrees with the conventional wisdom is in thinking Clemson might still have a pretty good shot — even with a loss.andrewflowers: Exactly, @natesilver. That makes the ACC championship the most interesting game to watch. If Clemson loses, the playoff committee has a difficult job. Will UNC get in? Or could Stanford take their place if they win the Pac-12?Or will Clemson sneak in despite losing?!blythe: Part of me hopes it gets exciting (since I’ve got no team in the game). I want something weird to happen. And part of the model is trying to predict how the committee members will think, right?natesilver: Yeah, the whole point of the model is that it’s trying to replicate human thinking. So since everyone else is all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about what happens if Clemson or Alabama loses, maybe that means it’s right in some sense!What it can do, though, is think an extra step or two ahead. For instance, it recognized that Stanford still had an outside path to making it into the playoff even after Stanford’s second loss to Oregon a few weeks ago. Why? Because it knew that Stanford could potentially beat Notre Dame, then win the Pac-12 — and that might look pretty good to the committee.Likewise, it recognized that a Big 12 team that got hot was likely to leapfrog Notre Dame — and it turned out that Oklahoma did exactly that, even before Notre Dame lost to Stanford.blythe: Stanford sneaking in would make SOMEONE here happy (@allison)allison (Allison McCann, visual journalist): AND WE DID BEAT NOTRE DAME!blythe: Oh, yeah, what ever happened to the Irish?andrewflowers: I get emails from Notre Dame fans asking for their playoff odds if they had beaten Stanford.blythe: Everyone is on a quest for hope, Andrew.natesilver: If there were a six-team playoff, like there should be, Notre Dame would be a bubble team right now. But maybe let’s get back to the cases at hand?allison: Stanford is sitting with a 13 percent chance of making the playoff, but they almost certainly need a big-time loss from someone else this weekend, right?andrewflowers: That’s right @allison — Alabama and/or Clemson need to lose for the Cardinal to get in.blythe: So, the Big Ten winner gets in. And Oklahoma is a lock. That’s where we stand, right? Those are the two knowns?natesilver: And that Alabama and Clemson are locks if they win. So there could be no drama at all, if the favorites win out.blythe: Right. So the interesting scenarios …allison: Yeah, forget favorites. Give us all the drama.blythe: If Clemson loses and Alabama wins, then what?allison: Does that make Ohio State next in line? (It’s NOT Stanford, which is garbage.)andrewflowers: Our model is high on Clemson even if they lose; they have the highest odds to get in, at 42 percent (assuming Alabama wins). But the Pac-12 game really matters here. If Stanford beats USC, they might get in.allison: I am completely unashamed of my favoritism here. Stanford could be more likely than Ohio State to make it in if they win that conference title! THAT’S WHAT ANDREW WROTE!natesilver: Yeah, let’s unpack a few things here. First, the model thinks that four teams have a credible case — Stanford, Clemson, UNC and Ohio State. It likes Stanford’s chances a little better than UNC and Ohio State — if Stanford wins. And it puts Clemson right up there with Stanford, in defiance of the conventional wisdom I guess.But when I think through the politics of the committee’s decision, I like Stanford’s chances a little better than the model does.allison: Because of Condi???andrewflowers: Think of it like this: if Clemson loses, they can point out they’ve played a more challenging schedule than UNC, and had a signature win over Notre Dame, too. And, relative to Stanford, they’d have fewer losses despite not winning their conference. It’s a tough call for the committee.But the ultimate nightmare is if Clemson and Stanford lose. Will that pave the way for Ohio State to sneak in? Don’t sleep on the Buckeyes!natesilver: @allison: I think the committee starts from the premise that it doesn’t have much respect for UNC and thinks they’d get demolished if they were in the playoff. So it wants to find an excuse to leave them out. But it has trouble taking Clemson over UNC when UNC just beat Clemson. How about Ohio State? Maybe, but they’re not a conference champion either — and frankly, if you’re going to take a one-loss nonchampion, Clemson’s resume is at least as good as Ohio State’s. That leaves Stanford. They’re a politically correct choice, having won their conference title and having played a much better schedule than UNC.allison: And because of Condi ;-).Okay fine, Andrew, I’ll go with you and consider losses from both Clemson and Stanford. You’ve written that our model consistently likes the Buckeyes more than the committee — why?andrewflowers: Would the committee really pick UNC over Ohio State if the Tar Heels beat Clemson and Stanford also loses? That to me is the existential question. Lots of $$$ is involved in these selections. I don’t mean to sound too conspiratorial, but with Ohio State’s national football fanbase, it’d be awfully tempting to pick them.blythe: Let’s look at another scenario. What if the Tide get rolled and the Tigers beat the Tar Heels? Then you have Florida as the SEC champ over ‘Bama. What does that do? Could a two-loss Gators team show up in the playoff?andrewflowers: Um, no.natesilver: Ohio State’s a fascinating case, @allison. Because, remember, the model’s job is to replicate human thinking. And it thinks humans should really like Ohio State for some pretty basic reasons. One-loss power conference team. Defending national champion. (That’s factored in implicitly in way the model uses Elo ratings, which carry over slightly from season to season.) Coming off a HUGE win against Michigan. Only loss was against another very good team, Michigan State.But the narrative that developed around Ohio State was poor. I actually thought the Ezekiel Elliott comments after the Michigan State loss might have hurt them — it made it seem like they had blown their chance instead of reminding voters that this was a very good football team that had a chance to redeem itself against UM.blythe: That Florida State loss was pretty brutal. So no Florida. But how does that change the picture? A ‘Bama loss and Clemson win?andrewflowers: A ‘Bama loss is less of a headache than a Clemson one. Sorry Florida fans, but if you win, the SEC is getting shut out. Stanford is in pole position to make it if they win the Pac-12; and if they slip up, then Ohio State is waiting in the wings.To be specific — Stanford has a 61 percent shot at the playoff if Alabama loses, Clemson wins and the Cardinal beat USC.blythe: But ‘Bama is pretty unlikely to lose, right?natesilver: Florida would have to DEMOLISH Alabama. If they win 42-3 or something … and Stanford loses … and the committee decides it really prefers conference champions after all, they might get a look.andrewflowers: Very unlikely, @blythe. They’re 78 percent favorites.natesilver: And having seen a bunch of Florida over the past few weeks … I’m not taking the 22 percent side of that bet.blythe: OK, so the final scenario: If ‘Bama and Clemson both lose, then what? MAXIMUM CHAOS!andrewflowers: In this nightmare scenario, Stanford is a great bet if they win the Pac-12 (62 percent). But, honestly, it gets messy real fast. Five teams possibly competing for two spots.natesilver: Here’s something interesting, though. According to the model, Ohio State would rather have Alabama lose and Clemson win than both Alabama and Clemson lose.andrewflowers: But don’t count out just-beaten Clemson, either: They’re right with the Cardinal at 59 percent. And that’s right, @natesilver — Buckeye fans should be rooting hard for Clemson.blythe: This seems like the real ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ situation.natesilver: They should be rooting for Clemson only if Alabama loses. If Alabama wins, though, they need Clemson to lose to have any shot at all. It’s like some weird prisoner’s dilemma.blythe: As college football should be.natesilver: But the thinking here is that if both Alabama and Clemson lose, the committee would resolve its UNC-Clemson “problem” by letting both teams in. Especially if Stanford loses, too.andrewflowers: One last thing: We’d be remiss without mentioning how @natesilver rigged the model to favor Michigan State. The Spartans are obviously in if they beat undefeated Iowa; and vice versa for the Hawkeyes. Zzzzz…natesilver: Ha! The main question is how far Sparty will move up into the top four with a win.Excuse me — WHEN they win. Weirdly, it might be best for them to stay at No. 4 — because most computer rankings think No. 1 Clemson isn’t as strong as No. 2 Alabama or No. 3 Oklahoma.andrewflowers: BTW, a strong Michigan State win makes Ohio State look good. Another thing for Buckeye fans to root for.allison: Should I [Stanford fans] be rooting for a Michigan State or Iowa? What’s my prisoner’s dilemma here?natesilver: Yeah, that could help Ohio State a bunch. Historically, the times when we’ve seen two teams from the same conference rank in the coaches poll or AP top four is when the second team’s only loss came to the team ranked ahead of it. Which works for Ohio State is Sparty wins, but not if it’s Iowa instead.So you should be rooting for Iowa, @allison, because it makes Ohio State’s case weaker.blythe: So basically, the likeliest situation is that ‘Bama and Clemson win their conference titles and everything is very boring (or great, depending on your team preference) with Oklahoma, Iowa/Michigan State, Clemson and ‘Bama. But we’ll see if UNC or Florida makes it interesting on Saturday.andrewflowers: Should be fun! Read more: All The Wild Scenarios That Could End The College Football Season That’s the big question going into this Sunday’s College Football Playoff selection. Our staff college football fans sat down to talk through the scenarios on Slack. The transcript below has been lightly edited. read more