Categories for Bloggings

What Bill Belichick has done with the Patriots’ first round draft picks

May 9, 2014 8:09 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There’s a running joke that Bill Belichick likes to trade out of the first round of the NFL Draft, acquiring a larger number of late-round picks. This joke depends on his identity as something of a passionless rogue thinker. So after he used his first round draft pick last night to draft an actual football player, I decided to look back at his history as Head Coach (and de facto General Manager) of the New England Patriots. Here’s the full list of what he did with first round picks:

  • 2000 (#16): Sent to Jets as compensation for his own hiring
  • 2001 (#6): Drafted Richard Seymour
  • 2002 (#32): Traded up to #21, drafted Dan Graham
  • 2003 (#14): Acquired via trade for Drew Bledsoe, traded up to #13, drafted Ty Warren
  • 2003 (#19): Traded down to 2nd round plus 2004 1st round
  • 2004 (#21): Acquired via above trade, drafted Vince Wilfork
  • 2004 (#32): Drafted Ben Watson
  • 2005 (#32): Drafted Logan Mankins
  • 2006 (#21): Drafted Lawrence Maroney
  • 2007 (#28): Traded down to 4th round plus 2008 1st round
  • 2008 (#7): Acquired via above trade, traded down to #10, drafted Jerod Mayo
  • 2008 (#31): Forfeited as penalty for SpyGate
  • 2009 (#23): Traded down to #26 plus 5th round, then traded those for a 2nd and two 3rds
  • 2010 (#22): Traded down to #24, then again to #27, drafted Devin McCourty
  • 2011 (#17): Acquired via trade for Richard Seymour, drafted Nate Solder
  • 2011 (#28): Traded down to 2nd round plus 2012 1st round
  • 2012 (#27): Acquired via above trade, traded up to #21, drafted Chandler Jones
  • 2012 (#31): Traded up to #25, drafted Dont’a Hightower
  • 2013 (#29): Traded down for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th round picks
  • 2014 (#29): Drafted Dominique Easley

So in the past fifteen drafts, he’s drafted 13 players in the first round (including 2 after trading downward within the round and 4 after trading upward) and got out of the first round entirely 5 times. Draw whatever conclusion you like, but that doesn’t seem like a particularly strong trend to me. From 2007-2011, however, he traded down or out with 5 of their 6 picks — I wonder if that’s where this reputation originated.

Analysis of “Gloss”

January 28, 2014 9:52 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There is a short poem titled “Gloss” by David McCord, written to draw attention to English words that appear to be antonyms of words that don’t exist. It goes like this:

I know a little man both ept and ert.
An intro-? extro-? No, he’s just a vert.
Sheveled and couth and kempt, pecunious, ane,
His image trudes upon the ceptive brain.

When life turns sipid and the mind is traught,
The spirit soars as I would sist it ought.
Chalantly then, like any gainly goof,
My digent self is sertive, choate, loof.

Which of those root words have been simply lost to history, and which never existed? You can have a word that starts with dis- and isn’t an antonym, e.g. “distance”, is that the case with any of these words?

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Bouncing screensaver

July 31, 2013 1:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

We’ve all seen the bouncing screensaver. And we’ve all watched, hoping it would fall into the corner. Oh, you haven’t? Well, watch this documentary footage of the adventure you’ve been missing.

The screensaver isn’t mysterious. It moves in predictable ways, meaning we can calculate how often it’ll hit the corner (and if it will hit a corner). So let’s start with some assumptions.

  • The bouncing object is smaller than the screen.
  • It starts in the upper left hand corner.
  • It moves at a 45 degree angle.
  • It bounces perfectly (i.e. it always is moving at a 45 degree angle).

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LearnedLeague Computing

July 18, 2013 1:42 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

I just finished creating and presenting a Computing trivia MiniLeague for LearnedLeague. It went really really well, and I wanted to share the questions to a wider audience. Beware: it’s HARD.

  1. During World War II, British cryptographers at Bletchley Park created electromechanical proto-computers to help crack Germany’s Enigma code. What were these machines called, a reference to the ticking sound they made when they were in operation?
    Answer: BOMBES
  2. In 1996, Intel introduced a technology allowing its processors to do math on large sets of numbers extremely quickly. This technology was widely marketed, and had a well known three letter acronym, but it didn’t actually stand for anything. What was that acronym?
    Answer: MMX
  3. The original Unix timestamp is stored as a number of seconds since January 1, 1970. This timestamp will exceed 231 in what year, breaking any computer systems that have not been updated to store the timestamp in more than 31 bits?
    Answer: 2038
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March madness bracket

March 20, 2013 8:32 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Assumptions:

  • The quality of a basketball team, at the highest levels, depends more on the the ability of players to work together than their innate skill.
  • The ability of players to work together is roughly proportional to the amount of time they spend practicing together.
  • Competitive basketball is largely — and in fact was purposely invented to be — an indoor game.
  • Players are more likely to spend more time playing an indoor game when the weather outside is worse.
  • The perception of “bad” outdoor weather is roughly proportional to the temperature difference between summer and winter.

Therefore, if we took a list of all of the colleges in the NCAA college basketball bracket, established the August (start of the school year, usually warmest month of the year) and March (during March Madness and close to the coldest month of the year) average temperatures, we’d be able to fill in a bracket that would be as accurate (to a close approximation) as if we actually knew anything about college basketball. (As a tie-breaker, I’m using the school with the colder temperatures. If I need another tie-breaker, I’m picking arbitrarily.)

So that’s what I’ve done. Here is the raw data, and here is my bracket. (Yes, this is almost completely tongue-in-cheek.)