25 Dec

Cities seek fast fix for bridge

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PICO RIVERA – Standing on the edge of the fire-destroyed Beverly Boulevard bridge Monday, the mayors of Montebello and Pico Rivera came together to talk about cheaper and quicker ways of reopening traffic through the area.In addition, Pico Rivera Mayor David Armenta announced authorities have arrested a homeless man believed to have touched off the fire Nov. 1 that decimated the bridge and triggered traffic nightmares for commuters traveling east and west through Pico Rivera and Montebello.Felony charges were filed Monday with the District Attorney’s Office against 28-year-old Nelson Gastellum. Gastellum was arrested Friday on suspicion of starting the fire, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Michael Rothans of the Pico Rivera Station.Gastellum told deputies he started the fire while trying to keep warm and the blaze sparked out of control, Rothans said.Armenta said the two cities, which share ownership of the bridge, face three options: building a temporary bridge, constructing just one lane on the span, or building a brand new bridge.“This (bridge closing) is a crisis for Pico Rivera and Montebello because Beverly Boulevard serves as a lifeline for residents, students and businesses and affects areas for miles around,” Armenta said.“The question is what to do about it. Either way, it’s going to be many months before it’s in use.”Building a temporary bridge would cost $800,000 to $1 million. Building just one lane of the bridge would cost $500,000 to $600,000.Rebuilding the entire bridge would cost $10.7 million, officials have said.All three choices would take months to complete and demand money neither city can afford, Armenta said.Montebello Mayor Bill Molinari said he is seeking the help of the U.S. military.“I’ve instructed staff to ask the military – the Army – if they have any equipment available that can help us erect something quickly,” he said.“They have those pre-made bridges that just need to be assembled. If they can fix the Santa Monica Freeway in three weeks, like they did after the (Northrdige) earthquake, we should be able to get something up quickly.”City councils from the two cities will hold a joint meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Pico Rivera City Hall. Officials from the county are expected to brief local officials on the costs and logistics of the available alternatives, Armenta said.Since the fire destroyed the Pico Rivera end of the bridge over the Rio Hondo flood-control channel last week, county and city officials have been scrambling to lessen the headaches for commuters, as well as the economic fallout from losing one of three main thoroughfares through Pico Rivera and Montebello.Nearby road construction on Whittier Boulevard in Montebello and on the Rosemead Boulevard bridge in Pico Rivera has added to the traffic congestion. [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029last_img read more

29 Sep

The Case For LeBron James MVP

But volume isn’t everything. Westbrook and Harden are having historic offensive seasons, but James has them beat on efficiency (while being only a hair behind in volume). James’s true shooting percentage is higher than both Harden’s and Westbrook’s, and LeBron generates more points per potential assist than the two.3An NBA player-tracking statistic that covers all passes that lead to a shooting foul, generate an assist or would generate an assist if the shot were made. Through April 10Source: NBA LeBron James26.422.749.1 James Harden29.127.256.3 Through April 10Source: NBA And then there’s the other side of the ball, where only Leonard rivals James. Harden’s defense generally falls on the wrong side of average, often to a comical degree. Westbrook racks up his share of rebounds and steals, but the consensus is that he’s nowhere near elite. And Curry is the soft spot in the Warriors’ defense despite having made great strides. That leaves LeBron and Leonard — and while Kawhi has won the last two defensive player of the year awards, ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus estimates that LeBron’s defensive impact has been nearly twice as great this season.4Leonard’s wonky defensive metrics have been the subject of much discussion this year, and should likely be taken with a grain of salt because Kawhi may be suffering from the random noise of unexpectedly hot opponent shooting from the free throw line and on 3-pointers.So there’s a statistical case for LeBron as MVP — both offensively and defensively. But the MVP award isn’t an objective one — there’s no agreed-upon definition of value. And that means voters’ decisions often come down to the narratives that wrap around the numbers. The 1961-62 MVP award, for example, didn’t go to Oscar Robertson and his season-long triple-double, nor did it go to Wilt Chamberlain and his 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds per game. The winner was Bill Russell — who had lesser, albeit still eye-popping, numbers — because leading the Boston Celtics to the league’s best record and top defense proved more compelling.And it’s in this category of narrative that LeBron suffers the most by comparison. His Cavaliers have slid in the second half of the season, dragged down by atrocious defensive performances. He isn’t breaking any records. At 32 years old and with 14 seasons and an absurd numbers of minutes behind him, LeBron is “only” as good as he’s ever been. But that might make him the best two-way player in the NBA this season. His story just happens to be a rerun in syndication, an episode we’ve seen a half-dozen times before.So, forget the numbers.The MVP argument for LeBron goes something like this: Measure the man against himself. If you watched LeBron carry the Cavaliers back from the brink in last year’s NBA Finals, you know he’s the best player in the NBA, full stop. Nothing he’s done, or not done, this season has changed that basic fact. Look past the glitter of round numbers and records broken. LeBron James is your MVP. Stephen Curry1.3662.5% PLAYERPOINTS PER POTENTIAL ASSISTTRUE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE Kawhi Leonard25.78.934.6 PER GAME Greatness is often easier to recognize when it looks like nothing we’ve seen before.To a large degree, this is the MVP case for Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard: The first shoulders offensive responsibility to a previously unimagined degree, piling up counting stats at a historic pace. The second leans into the hyper-efficient idiosyncrasies of his game and leads one of the most extreme and extremely efficient offenses we’ve ever seen. The third has blossomed from a defensive stopper into a two-way superstar, one of the most efficient volume scorers in the league. Each is an MVP candidate not only because he played phenomenal basketball this season but also because he is so unlike recent MVP winners.And then there is LeBron James.Statistically speaking, LeBron has been at least as productive as the rest of that group, among the other elites in any metric chosen. But he’s been so good for so long that an incredible season doesn’t stand out. For LeBron, the incredible has become mundane.This is the third entry in our series making the case for five NBA MVP candidates. We’ve also made the case for James Harden and the case for Kawhi Leonard. Still to come: Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook. Also, check out our NBA predictions.Much of the MVP conversation, for better or worse, is likely to center on volume. That’s what happens when one candidate is averaging a triple-double and another threatened to lead the league in both scoring and assists. James’s averages — 26.4 points, 8.7 assists and 8.6 rebounds per game1All stats in this piece are current through April 10. — are not as flashy as Westbrook’s or Harden’s, but he’ll join them, Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan as the only players to average 26, 8 and 8 across a full season. So James isn’t that far behind Westbrook and Harden in how much offense he creates — and he has a sizable advantage on Curry and Leonard. We can see this by adding up the points each player scored and those he created for teammates with assists2Courtesy of the NBA’s player tracking statistics.: PLAYERPOINTS SCOREDPOINTS CREATED BY ASSISTTOTAL POINTS CREATED LeBron James1.3661.9 Russell Westbrook31.923.855.7 Kawhi Leonard1.2961.2 James Harden1.2761.2 Russell Westbrook1.2155.5 LeBron is more efficient than Westbrook or Harden Stephen Curry25.415.540.9 LeBron generates more offensive volume than Curry or Leonard read more

31 Aug

Scientists Create First NonCarbon Material with NearDiamond Hardness

first_imgResearch scientists have created the first non-carbon-based material with a hardness approaching that of diamond. Their work could have a significant impact on technologies and industries that rely on diamond as a cutting and drilling tool and abrasive. Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects Explore further Citation: Scientists Create First Non-Carbon Material with Near-Diamond Hardness (2007, March 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-03-scientists-non-carbon-material-near-diamond-hardness.htmlcenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The material is a boron nitride “nanocomposite.” This means that, rather than consisting of one large continuous crystal, it is made of crystalline boron-nitride grains that are each a few to several nanometers in size. Although research groups have previously reported boron carbonitride materials, claimed to be the second and third hardest materials after diamond, the particular versions, or “phases,” of those materials were unstable at high temperatures. In industry, this is a major drawback.“The real breakthrough would be a bulk material that is hard, tough, and thermally stable, and thus ideal for cutting and drilling. We are the first to synthesize a bulk noncarbon material that fits this description,” said Natalia Dubrovinskaia, a researcher with the University of Heidelberg and the University of Bayreuth, both in Germany, to PhysOrg.com. Dubrovinskaia is the lead author of the paper describing the new material, which appears in the March 8 edition of Applied Physics Letters.For many materials composed of crystalline grains, also referred to as polycrystalline materials, there is a grain size for which the material’s hardness is optimized. This size is often in the nanometer range.Along this line of thought, Dubrovinskaia and her colleagues synthesized and conducted several experiments on a series of polycrystalline and nanocrystalline phases of boron nitride. This characterization included measuring the samples’ “Vickers hardness,” a test that assigns a hardness value to a material based on how readily it is indented by diamond. That value can be expressed in terms of the pressure applied by the diamond – using the pressure unit “pascal” – before it makes an indentation. For very hard materials that usually means billions of pascals (gigapascals, GPa). Single-crystal diamond, the hardest type, has a hardness of about 100 GPa.The boron nitride nanocomposite synthesized by Dubrovinskaia and her group displayed a maximum hardness of 85 GPa at a grain size of about 14 nanometers, and is thermally stable up to 1600 degrees Kelvin (about 2400 degrees Fahrenheit). The material’s hardness arises from two factors: the nanoscale-grain-size effect and each grain’s two-phase composition. That is, each grain has a nanoscale crystalline structure and a sub-nanoscale structure. This complex composition significantly increases the bulk material’s mechanical strength.Prior to this research, the next hardest known material after single-crystal diamond was cubic boron nitride, a single-crystal phase of the material, which has a Vickers hardness of 50 GPa. That leaves a rather large 50 GPa gap.“This gap can be filled by boron nitride nanocomposites, particularly by tuning their grain size and the compositional structure of the grains,” says Dubrovinskaia. “These materials may come to play an important role in industry.”Citation: Natalia Dubrovinskaia, Vladimir L. Solozhenko, Nobuyoshi Miyajima, Vladimir Dmitriev, Oleksandr O. Kurakevych, and Leonid Dubrovinsky, “Superhard nanocomposite of dense polymorphs of boron nitride: Noncarbon material has reach diamond hardness.” Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 101912 (2007)Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.last_img read more