Links for 2012-03-22

  • CourtVision by Kirk Goldsberry

    Some shots are easier than other shots; that's a basic tenet of basketball. Many factors influence the probability of a field goal attempt resulting in a made basket, but one factor in particular has been mostly overlooked in basketball analysis: location. The most common shooting metric in the NBA is field goal percentage, which measures the percentage of field goal attempts that result in made baskets. Usually this metric is applied in a non-spatial way to describe how effective a given player or team is at "putting the biscuit in the basket." However, despite its ubiquity in all levels of basketball analysis, very few people have ever sought to measure and/or visualize the spatial dimensions of FG%. The following graphic visualizes FG% in the NBA this season; it demonstrates that some shots are easier than others, and quantifies this effect. As you can see, some fascinating insights begin to emerge:

  • Go to Trial - Crash the Justice System - NYTimes.com

    AFTER years as a civil rights lawyer, I rarely find myself speechless. But some questions a woman I know posed during a phone conversation one recent evening gave me pause: "What would happen if we organized thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people charged with crimes to refuse to play the game, to refuse to plea out? What if they all insisted on their Sixth Amendment right to trial? Couldn't we bring the whole system to a halt just like that?"

  • Do Zombies Poop? An Investigation - Hollywood Prospectus Blog - Grantland

    So what's the answer? A brief office discussion yielded no satisfying conclusion; some thought that a zombie's constant search for "sustenance" implies that their "eating" constitutes a bodily function identical to that of their living human incarnation, and their "food" must be handled in the same way, thus: They "shit." (Though whether this elimination is actually digested matter or merely raw material traveling through whatever is left of a zombie's gastrointestinal system was not explored; is this just splitting hairs, or a crucial distinction? The "necrobiological process vs. simple gravity question" might be a separate debate entirely.) Others think zombies "chew" more than "eat," just gnashing away at any available flesh with no concern for any "nutrition" the incidental "feast" may provide, not unlike a ravenous birthday party of 10 furiously searching for the bottom of an Olive Garden Never Ending Pasta Bowl. With no definitive answer forthcoming, we turned to the Internet...

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