Spurs SF Kyle Anderson leaves game with knee injury

Dec 1, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Kyle Anderson (1) drives against Memphis Grizzlies guard James Ennis III (8) in the second half at FedExForum. Spurs won 95-79. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Still awaiting the return of star small forward Kawhi Leonard, the San Antonio Spurs lost another member of the rotation during Sunday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Small forward Kyle Anderson went down with a left knee injury on a drive to the basket with just more than a minute remaining in the third quarter.

Anderson was helped off the court and to the Spurs locker room by teammates LaMarcus Aldridge and Manu Ginobili.

Currently in his fourth NBA season, Anderson’s averaging 9.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 27.7 minutes per game. Anderson’s shooting 51.3 percent from the field, a significant improvement when considering the fact that he shot no better than 46.8 percent in any of his first three seasons in the NBA.

With the aforementioned Leonard having been sidelined due to a right quadriceps injury, Anderson was moved into the starting lineup by head coach Gregg Popovich to fill the void. In Saturday’s win over Memphis, Anderson scored just five points, which ended a run of six consecutive games in which he reached double figures in scoring.

Anderson had two double-doubles during that stretch, a 13-points, 10-assist outing in a win over Atlanta on Nov. 20, and a 12-point, 10-rebound effort one week later in a win over Dallas.

Before leaving Sunday’s game Anderson accounted for five points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals in 22 minutes of action. With Kyle Anderson out, Davis Bertans stood to see more action, with Bertans having accounted for 16 points, four rebounds and five blocked shots in the game.

The post Spurs SF Kyle Anderson leaves game with knee injury appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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Russell Wilson hits Jimmy Graham for TD in 4th straight game

Nov 9, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (88) celebrates after catching a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There was some doubt as to whether or not Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham would be able to suit up for Sunday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles as he nursed an ankle injury.

Any concerns were quickly squelched in the first quarter, with Wilson finding Graham for a touchdown for the fourth consecutive game.

Graham is starting to return to old form when it comes to efficiency in the red zone, with the score being his ninth of the season.

It also happened to be the first touchdown the Eagles defense has allowed in the first quarter all season.

The post Russell Wilson hits Jimmy Graham for TD in 4th straight game appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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Report | UCF targeting Kevin Sumlin as head coach

Oct 14, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin prior to the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The UCF Knights have a head coaching vacancy following the departure of Scott Frost to Nebraska and the team is reportedly focused on hiring former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin as his successor, as reported by ESPN. Citing “imminent” contact between the two sides, Sumlin will join a pool of candidates, which is also expected to include current offensive coordinator Troy Walters.

Sumlin was fired by the Aggies in a move that paved the way for former Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher to receive the richest contract in college football coaching history at 10 years and $75 million.

In his six seasons at the helm with Texas A&M, Sumlin led the team to a bowl game each season, although he exceeded the double-digit win mark just once. In 2012, he won SEC Coach of the Year, leading the Aggies to a Cotton Bowl victory and overseeing Johnny Manziel during his Heisman campaign. He went 51-26 overall in College Station, including 25-23 inside the SEC.

He had previously been with the Aggies from 2001-02, before making his way back out into the coaching ranks.

Frost is departing from the Knights after just two seasons. He arrived in 2016 the year after the team went winless, quickly turning them into a 12-0 program that is set to appear in the Peach Bowl this season after winning the AAC Championship. The decision as to whether or not Frost will coach the bowl game yet has not been made.

Walters is also in his second season with the Knights. He previously worked as the wide receivers coach with the Aggies from 2010-11, just prior to Sumlin’s arrival.

The post Report | UCF targeting Kevin Sumlin as head coach appeared first on FanRag Sports.

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Photo Of The Day By Anu Shankar

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “Amass” by Anu Shankar. Location: Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico.
Photo By Anu Shankar

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “Amass” by Anu Shankar. Location: Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico.

Photo of the Day is chosen from various OP galleries, including AssignmentsGalleries and the OP Contests. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, FacebookTwitter and Instagram. To get your photos in the running, all you have to do is submit them.

The post Photo Of The Day By Anu Shankar appeared first on Outdoor Photographer.

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How IKEA tricks your brain into buying more

Have you ever been to an IKEA concept store? If you’ve ever visited one, you were part of one big experiment. The Swedish company has been using these concept centers for something you wouldn’t expect. Not long ago, I visited one near my hometown. Yours truly naively thought they’d be selling ‘concept’ furniture… Nothing could be further from the truth. All your movements and actions are meticulously monitored while you think you’re just browsing the store. This is how IKEA puts it: We believe in learning by doing. We operate the IKEA Concept Center in Delft, the Netherlands, where shopping,…

This story continues at The Next Web

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ICOs will kill VCs, unless they adapt

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just blindly throw some money into a pool and magically make good returns? Well, that’s kind of what’s currently happening with ICOs (also known as token sales) and this is evident from two data points — the initial token sale price and current sale price (analogous to traditional company shares). ICOs are clearly on the rise and they’re steadily moving into the realms of the Venture Capital industry, threatening to take its place. VCs also operate on high returns by betting on startups, so it’s quite clear that they soon undergo a huge…

This story continues at The Next Web

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Yes, Elon Musk will launch Tesla Roadster to Mars orbit on SpaceX Falcon Heavy

Falcon Heavy launch
An artist’s conception shows the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. (SpaceX via YouTube)

Update: After a bit of back and forth, SpaceX is confirming that the Roadster to Mars is a real payload, and that it intends to comply with all launch licensing regulations.

Previously: Billionaire CEO Elon Musk tweeted out the idea of putting a cherry-red Tesla Roadster on SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket and sending it toward Mars, sparking lots of questions in the process.

The first question has to be: Is he serious?

So far, it sounds as if he might be. SpaceX folks are signaling that the plan is “legit,” and Musk’s replies to Twitter fans were also of a confirmatory nature. Here’s the thread:

One thing’s for sure: Such a flight plan would fit Musk’s criterion for sending the “silliest thing we can imagine” on the first launch of a new type of rocket. It’d certainly up the ante for SpaceX’s first Dragon flight, which flew a Monty Pythonesque giant wheel of cheese to space and back.

The Falcon Heavy, which uses three core boosters and 27 Merlin engines, would rank as the world’s most powerful operational rocket when it enters service. But in July, Musk said “there’s a real good chance that that vehicle does not make it to orbit” on its maiden launch from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“There’s a lot that could go wrong,” he said.

For that reason, SpaceX is passing up the chance to put a customer payload on the initial launch, which leaves lots of room for that red Roadster.

Although Musk has a freer hand that he would if he were launching someone else’s hardware, SpaceX would still have to get regulatory approval for Falcon Heavy’s launch. And the regulatory environment is  more complicated for launching a private payload out of Earth orbit.

Moon Express, for example, sought and got a payload review from U.S. government agencies last year for its intended mission to put a lander on the lunar surface.

At the time, the Federal Aviation Administration said such a review was required to make sure launching the payload “does not jeopardize public health and safety, safety of property, U.S. national security or foreign policy interests, or international obligations of the United States.”

Approval came two and a half months after Moon Express submitted its application. In giving its OK, the FAA emphasized that this was a one-time deal, and that future “non-traditional missions” would have to be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Sending a Roadster to Mars would seem to qualify as a non-traditional mission. So if Musk is serious, it sounds as if SpaceX should send in its application for putting a sports car in space, if it hasn’t done so already.

Update: SpaceX is aware of the payload review requirement and, as stated up top, will comply with launch licensing requirements. Also, after talking with Musk, “Bad Astronomer” Phil Plait explains that the Falcon Heavy’s intended trajectory would be an eccentric orbit around the sun that loops between Earth’s and Mars’ orbital distances.

The original version of this report was published at 11:36 p.m. PT Dec. 1.

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Dragons and a Dumbledore Santa! Magic continues into Christmas season at Seattle dad’s Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley project
Jon Chambers, right, and Frank Carillo stand in the top of Gringotts Bank in the Diagon Alley in Chambers’ Seattle driveway on Saturday. Carillo made the dragon and drove it up from Southern California. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Jon Chambers wasn’t content with making just one holiday a magical experience in Seattle. A month after Halloween, when thousands of people visited his Ballard neighborhood home to check out the Diagon Alley in his driveway, the construction wizardry is continuing and more Harry Potter fans are lining up.

This weekend, Chambers and his family and the small army of volunteers who have built the fantasy street of shops from the popular book and film series, will hold a big holiday event to show off additions that have been made over the past few weeks — and raise more money for charity.

Diagon Alley project
A holiday wreath hangs on Ollivanders wand shop in Diagon Alley. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
Diagon Alley project
Jon Chambers spreads fake snow around his Diagon Alley driveway on Saturday. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Among the highlights: Two new buildings have been added, including The Leaky Cauldron pub at the front of the driveway and a two-story Gringotts Bank at the back, and a Dumbledore Santa (with 30 years of acting experience) will greet visitors on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. On top of that:

  • Nearly 30 characters will show up throughout the weekend to entertain visitors.
  • 180 gallons of fake snow and holiday decorations will create a festive winter scene in the Alley.
  • The Chambers girls, Haley and Avery, will be selling Harry Potter-themed cookies, peppermint hot cocoa and Butter Beer from the newly completed Cauldron.

Frank Carillo, an amateur artist with experience making large piñatas, made the 1,400-mile drive from his home in Pomona, Calif., to Seattle on Thursday and Friday to deliver extra-special cargo for the project.

Diagon Alley project
Frank Carillo hangs out with one of his paper mache dragons in the Seattle workshop of Diagon Alley creator Jon Chambers. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

After learning of the Alley through a Twitter posting in October, Carillo reached out to Chambers and the two creators forged a connection. He ended up making two large, lifelike dragons and one was installed on the dome atop Gringotts Saturday morning.

Carillo is a father of three and a manager at Walgreens. He makes the dragons in his spare time. The one mounted on Gringotts is his biggest yet, with a 20-foot wingspan.

“I sent him a picture of this guy and said, ‘I think you need this,” Carillo said of his first dragon-related message to Chambers.

And now, standing in Seattle, 19 hours from home, anticipating the reaction from Alley visitors, he added, “I want to see their jaws drop.”

Diagon Alley project
High above Diagon Alley, a dragon sits perched on Gringotts Bank. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Chambers, who left his tech job as design director at OpenCar and set out to build something massive for his girls for Halloween, has been a focus of intense attention not only in his quiet neighborhood, but across Seattle and around the world. The Alley story has been picked up by outlets ranging from Time Magazine, the Today Show and Teen Vogue to the BBC, CNN and MTV.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling even deemed it worthy of approval by dropping a “like” on a GeekWire tweet about it all.

On Saturday in the rain, he worked to spread fake snow on the Christmas trees and around the base of the buildings in the Alley.

“I had no idea it would get this big. No clue,” Chambers said. “We are all blown away by the response from everyone.”

Diagon Alley project
Harry-Potter themed Christmas tree ornaments, including Quidditch golden snitches, are seen in Diagon Alley. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Chambers estimates that as many as 10,000 people have set foot in his driveway across from Whittier Elementary School since the Alley opened. In that time, $8,400 has been raised for PurpleStride, a Pancreatic Cancer Research charitable initiative launched in memory of Matt Bencke, the Seattle tech-community fixture who died on Oct. 18.

Another deposit to that fund — in the name of The Wizards of Diagon Alley — will be made following this weekend’s events, which Chambers predicts will attract more long lines, just like Halloween night when Potter fans and others streamed through for hours.

Furthermore, in the spirit of giving, both the two-story Gringotts and The Leaky Cauldron will be repurposed as children’s playhouses and sold off at the Whittier Elementary PTA auction in April. Chambers is donating the rest of the Alley to Camp Korey, in Mt. Vernon, Wash.

Diagon Alley project
A friend made 700 Harry Potter sugar cookies to sell during the weekend opening. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Chambers said he has been constantly motivated to improve upon what he and his helpers built. He said the “reaction and delight” that Diagon Alley has generated in so many people has kept him going.

Jon’s wife, Jennifer Chambers, said she was still amazed by the people who make the effort to stop by. She said a couple from Texas flew into Seattle and their first stop from the airport was Diagon Alley. On Friday, a young boy who was between treatments for leukemia at Children’s Hospital in Seattle came by to see the project.

But the long days, the coordination around manpower and materials, and the physical labor have left Chambers really tired and really sore. He hardly sleeps he’s so sore from working, Jennifer said.

“After this weekend I am done for a while, taking a break,” Chambers told GeekWire. “I don’t think I will miss it because after a push like this I always need to be a recluse for a bit and have time to think about the details of the next big thing.”

For the latest updates, check out the Diagon Alley project’s dedicated website — which Chambers also found time to build.

Diagon Alley project
As many as 10,000 visitors have stopped by the Seattle driveway where Diagon Alley was built. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

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Preview: ‘AirMech: Wastelands’ from Carbon Games is an impressive collision of genres

If you aren’t into player vs. player or battle arena games, you may not be familiar with Carbon Games. It was founded in July of 2011 after the dissolution of Titan Studios, the Seattle-based developer behind 2009’s PlayStation 3 exclusive, Fat Princess.

Since its founding, Bellevue, Wash.-based Carbon has primarily worked on the AirMech franchise, a sort of spiritual sequel to the cult classic Genesis game Herzog Zwei, where players fight one another with giant transforming robots in the best anime tradition.

AirMech eventually got ported to consoles as AirMech Arena, and the universe was expanded again earlier this year with the VR title AirMech: Command.

Back in May, Carbon Games put out word as to the future of the AirMech franchise, after a lengthy period of silence. This included the announcement of AirMech: Wastelands, which was unexpectedly green-lit on Steam Early Access last week. If you’re a VIP in AirMech: Strike, you should already have access to Wastelands via a Steam key, or you can just pay $20.

Wastelands is described as “an RPG reboot of everything AirMech,” and has been developed as a sort of sister project to AirMech: Strike. AirMech’s PVP focus has been replaced with single- and multiplayer missions against the Iron Hand, an army of robots that is fighting for dominance against what’s left of humanity. Your character gets sucked into the whole thing by accident, when you stumble into an army base while scavenging for scrap metal in the wasteland. To avoid trouble, you steal a pilot’s clothes, and (un)fortunately, that works almost too well; the next thing you know, you’re piloting an airmech on the front lines of the war effort.

What’s impressive about playing Wastelands is its genre collision. At first, it reminds me a bit of an isometric dungeon crawler like Diablo. You can purchase new parts and weapons for your mechs, as well as receive them as drops from destroyed opponents, and keeping your gear up to date is a big part of the game.

By default, your mech has a pair of machine guns and a plasma sword and shield, either one of which lets you wade through most of the smaller enemy robots like Godzilla. (Really, if you’re not stomping helpless enemies into the dirt at some point, is it really a mech game at all?) Later upgrades let you swap out your mech entirely for different units, install missile launchers, equip a sniper rifle, and even equip little “pets” that follow you around.

Once you get a few missions in, the game picks up a real-time strategy component, as you’re encouraged to recruit and build smaller autonomous units to work with you in the field. Some are cannon fodder; some are little “fixer” drones that heal you and your other units up; and some are giant, slow tanks which arrive right in time to end a fight with a single shot.

Then, after that, you can start building your own bases in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, training up co-pilots to give yourself passive bonuses, researching new types of units, and crafting new upgrades for your mechs. The economy in Wastelands mostly runs off of Kudos and Scrap; the latter drops from destroyed enemies and can be sold at stores, while the former is mostly obtained via rewards from missions. It’s the kind of thing that gently encourages you to keep playing just a little bit longer, so you can afford that new upgrade, and then you’ve got to test-drive it, of course, and before you know it, it’s been eight hours and you accidentally skipped two meals.

The missions change things up regularly, ranging from simple shoot-and-loot maps to bounty hunting, point defense, base capture, and even a couple of tower defense maps that require you to set up turrets. Wastelands is a relatively easy game for the first hour or so, but after that, things heat up rapidly and you need to start really focusing on improving your mech’s equipment and armor if you want to get out alive. What’s stopping my progress right now is a map with an enemy that’s acting like I assume a human opponent would, circle-strafing me in jet mode and retreating to heal the moment it takes any damage.

Wastelands is, at time of writing, a surprisingly complete product for an Early Access game. There are a couple of janky animations, especially when you’re walking around outside of a mech, and the UI feels a little unfinished, with a few opaque systems and a messy inventory system. You do get a lot of game here, though, especially for $20, and it juggles its “X meets Y” genre beerslam surprisingly well.

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