NFL Trades

The old adage that teams should trade players to teams outside their division seems to be followed by NFL teams. The data used are the 275 traded NFL players from 2010–2015 (from http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/transactions). 

Of the 275 traded players, only three were traded within the same division. Two of those players were traded from the San Francisco 49ers—Kentwan Balmer (to Seattle) and Isaac Bruce (to St. Louis). Donovan McNabb (from Philly to Washington) was the only other player traded to a team in the same division. Curiously, all three of these trades took place in 2010. 

It doesn't look like particular divisions trade to any other particular division. The distribution of trades seems to be equally spread out to the other divisions. It also appears as though divisions are trading players away at about the same rate as they are acquiring players (rather than trading players for draft picks).


Minnesota Football

Here is a plot of the winning percentage by year (since 1986) for the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team. The trend lines are the estimated polynomial (quadratic) best fit lines.

Tim Brester....yikes! Jerry Kill has definitely improved the team, but it is unclear whether the Gophers are better off now than when we were in the Mason era. We will see if Jerry's trend line continues to rise, or whether he is also on the decline.


Books and Typography

I love reading the note that appears in some books about the font in which the book was typeset. I wish it gave more information; for example the font size and line spacing. I have a type ruler that measures in picas and points (in addition to inches and centimeters), so, over time, I might try to add some of my favorites here. Note: Here the line spacing refers to the distance between the baseline of a line of text and the ascender line of the subsequent line of text. Note 2: There may be some measurement error, especially in measuring the inner margin.

Title: The Children Act
Author: Ian McEwan
Publisher: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
Font: Garamond 3 (based on adaptation by Morris Fuller Benton)
Size: 10pt.
Line spacing: 10pt.
Line width: 9.7 cm
Inner Margin: 1.5 cm
Outer Margin: 2.5 cm

Title: Bridge of Sighs
Author: Richard Russo
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Font: Janson
Size: 6pt.
Line spacing: 6pt.
Line width: 11.5 cm
Inner Margin: 2 cm
Outer Margin: 2.4 cm


Fall (sigh)

It's almost fall. For academics fall begins not with the autumnal equinox, but with the week of orientation meetings and welcome-back faculty meetings. For me that is next week, which means this is the last week of summer.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. This is in part because I don't feel particularly satisfied with this summer.

I "accomplished" a lot this summer: Rewrote the undergraduate curriculum that we teach; published two books—the book I was co-editing and the third edition of our undergraduate textbook; put on a workshop for high school teachers from 14 different schools who will be teaching our undergraduate course this academic year as part of the College in the Schools program; had two papers that were co-authored with students accepted for publication; gave a keynote address at a conference; taught an undergraduate course; and managed to read 18 books since the beginning of June. I also watched a good bit of TV, did some gardening, and took a few naps.

Yet, I do not feel particularly ready for fall. I usually look forward to the beginning of a new semester, especially fall semester. It always feels like a fresh start—a chance to change things up. This year doesn't quite feel that way (yet). Perhaps because in order to have a start, there has to be an end. The work from the spring semester never really felt like it ended, it just continued into the summer.

So, while I feel good about what I did accomplish this summer, I am not quite emotionally ready for the semester to begin. Fall. Sigh.


Another TV Update

The last two posts about TV watching are here and here. Currently my shows include the following (in no particular order):
  • Arrow 
  • Better Call Saul
  • Black Mirror
  • Bloodline
  • Daredevil
  • Game of Thrones
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Dallas (the newer version)
  • Elementary
  • Gang Related
  • Girls
  • Gotham
  • Graceland
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Homeland
  • House of Lies
  • Longmire
  • Luther 
  • Mad Men
  • Masters of Sex
  • Nashville
  • New Girl
  • Person of Interest
  • Ray Donovan
  • Rita
  • Rookie Blue
  • Suits
  • The Americans
  • The Blacklist
  • The Bridge 
  • The Glades
  • The Killing
  • The League
  • The Originals
  • The Slap (BBC version)
  • True Detective
  • Tyrant
  • Vampire Diaries

Shows I no longer watch
    • Scandal
    • The Following
    • Walking Dead
    • Reign

    And several of my shows have wrapped or were mini-series...or I just quit watching.
    • True Blood
    • Justified
    • The Newsroom
    • Dexter
    • Californication
    • Sons of Anarchy
    • House of Cards
    • Vegas (cancelled)
    • Broadchurch (mini-series)
    • Reckless (cancelled)
    • Mixology (one season)
    • Southcliffe (one season)


      Orville Update

      I recently had some new floor pans welded in to Orville. It is a bit more reassuring to not see the ground when you look down.
      At the same time my welder modified my seat rails to accommodate the 911 seats I purchased this last summer. I was looking at refurbishing the old seats, but I found these on Craigslist and for the price $125 for the pair, I couldn't even get the fabric to re-do the old seats. Plus, now I have better seats. I also purchased some modern seatbelts which were military overstock...something like $20 (thanks for the #protip Samba posters!).

      I started the wiring this summer. The old wiring was suspect at best and rotting out and rat-chewed in many places. (Because of teaching a course this summer that I was not expecting to teach, I didn't get nearly as far on the car as I wanted, but am reinvigorated after seeing the new pans and seats.) I am using a Watson Streetworks kit (which in retrospect maybe was not the best choice), and it has been a pretty smooth install right up to the turn signals.

      Initially I had purchased some headlights with the LED turn signals in the headlight. I really did not like the turn signal lights that my '71 KG had, so we welded those over last year. But, after putting in the new signals, I was unhappy from an aesthetic standpoint. The new headlights were flat on the front which, to me, killed the lines of the car. So back to the old headlights.

      But, what to do about the turn signals? After some muttering and contemplating, I opted to get some of the bullet turn signals from the earlier era KGs. The holes for install are drilled and ready. The only thing I need to get to do the install is the mounting rubber. The used signals I bought from the Samba forum had some old crusty rubber that needs replacing.

      As can be seen in one of the pictures above, I also decided to move the battery and fusebox into the car. I picked up a gel-cel so the battery would not leak noxious fumes. We will weld in a battery tray to keep it in one spot and I will switch the fusebox and battery so the battery is behind the passenger seat and the fusebox is behind the driver's seat. (Should have done that from the start!)

      I also added disc brakes to the rear wheels over the summer. The front brakes were already discs, but the back brakes were drums. While the disc brakes were not entirely necessary (the engine after all is only 1600cc), I figured if I were updating the car to something I like, why not do it.

      The paint is a Volvo Blue, and I do not like it. I tried to go more era (and I wanted to try a blue), but the blue is too boring and light. I don't know which color I will eventually settle on. The VW Azure Blue is nice, but I miss the reddish orange that Orville used to have. I also like the Pearl White color of the old VWs...think Herbie.

      Azure Blue
      Pearl White
      A KG in Pearl White