Summary of “Beto O’Rourke blows up the 2020 Democratic primary”

Sparked by his narrow defeat in a Texas Senate race, Beto O’Rourke is scrambling the 2020 presidential primary field, freezing Democratic donors and potential campaign staffers in place as they await word of his plans.
Even prior to O’Rourke’s meteoric rise, many Democratic fundraisers had approached the large number of 2020 contenders with apprehension, fearful of committing early to one candidate.
O’Rourke – who raised a stunning $38 million in the third quarter of his race – is widely considered capable of raising millions of dollars quickly, according to interviews with multiple Democratic money bundlers and strategists, catapulting him into the upper echelons of the 2020 campaign.
Mikal Watts, a San Antonio-based lawyer and major Democratic money bundler, said several donors and political operatives in Iowa, after hearing from other potential candidates in recent days, have called to ask whether O’Rourke is running, a sign of his impact in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
“And if Beto is running, what good progressive Democrat wouldn’t want to work for Beto O’Rourke?”.
A POLITICO/Morning Consult presidential primary poll last week put O’Rourke in third place among Democratic voters, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The ascent of O’Rourke, a three-term congressman from El Paso, reflects the volatility of a 2020 presidential primary that has flummoxed Democratic donors and activists for months.
For Democratic strategists eager to advance a younger nominee contrasting with President Donald Trump, O’Rourke’s appeal rests on his perceived ability to bridge a gulf within the party – between Democratic contenders who are older but come with pre-existing donor networks, and Democrats who are younger but have not yet developed a substantial fundraising base.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Meet the marathon cheats”

For a sport with few material rewards, marathon running has produced some illustrious cheats.
His specialism is in outing runners who fraudulently obtain qualifying times for the Boston Marathon.
On 23 April this year a thread was posted to the Runner’s World forum: “London Marathon Cheaters – let’s do this”.
Several runners named in the thread told versions of the same story: they had intended to run the full distance until they became tired or injured.
For Convery, any marathon runner who takes a shortcut to the finish line is doing a disservice to the sport.
In a statement, he said: “We have processes in place which identify the very small number of runners with anomalies in their results and these runners are contacted by our results team to request an explanation. If no adequate explanation is received, their results are removed from the system and the runner is asked to return their finisher’s medal.”
“And for the rest of my time I know that I’m a marathon runner and I can be proud of myself and I can be proud of the people I ran with the whole way.”
Each will emerge with their own story: of overcoming mental and physical hurdles just to make it to the start line, of summoning previously untapped reserves to run a personal best, of races run in memory of loved ones or in support of meaningful causes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A record number of women are running for office. This election cycle, they didn’t wait for an invite”

A record number of women are running for the U.S. House, Senate and state legislatures this year – more than any other election in U.S. history.
“Women are running whether or not Democrats and Republicans invite them to,” said Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, a political science professor at USC. Alfaro attributes the record-breaking turnout in large part to a groundswell in localized programs encouraging women to run and educating them on the process.
In the first few weeks after President Trump was elected over Hillary Clinton, about 1,000 women reached out to Emily’s List about running for office.
By the end of 2017, as the #MeToo movement exploded and Women’s March anniversary rallies were planned throughout the country, the record was shattered again with more than 25,000 women signing up online to learn about running for office.
Since Trump’s election, Emily’s List says, more than 40,000 women have expressed interest in running for office.
A record 3,379 women have won nomination for state legislatures across the country, breaking 2016’s record of 2,649, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
The Center for American Women and Politics ranks the most populous state at No. 26 for representation of women in the state legislature compared with the proportion of women in the state.
Although the number of women running in 2018 is impressive, she worries that if women don’t double their representation in Congress this election cycle, it could be perceived as a failure.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Much of a Role Did Steroids Play in the Steroid Era?”

Twenty years later, it’s much rarer to read about the ball’s role in the period that produced six of the only seven seasons in history of 61 homers or more.
In the past three seasons, MLB’s home run rate-expressed as the percentage of balls in play that turn into home runs-has dwarfed its previous peak, which it reached in 2000.
Even with home runs on contact down slightly from last season, the 2018 home run rate is about 8 percent higher than it was at any point during the steroid era, and 20 percent higher than it was in 1998.
In other words, we know now that a subtle change in the ball is sufficient to explain an even more dramatic rise in home run rate than we witnessed in the ’90s. That doesn’t prove that steroids played no significant role in the previous spike, but it does demonstrate that steroids aren’t necessary to explain the earlier increase.
Recent developments haven’t strengthened his conviction that the ball was behind the supposedly PED-powered homer rate, but only because any doubts that he had about the ball’s central role dissolved long ago-and time hasn’t softened his disdain for people who persist in saying that steroids were responsible.
Their atypical aging pattern mirrored the overall league landscape, which, when weighted by WAR, was heavily skewed toward oldsters to a greater degree than at any other time since the introduction of the DH. If we zoom out to encompass the live-ball era, we see the steroid era standing out again: Not since World War II, when waves of young players joined the service, had hitters 35 and older and 25 and younger accounted for such high and low percentages, respectively, of leaguewide batter WAR. And although homers have reached an all-time high in the past three seasons, old players are once again acting their age.
Compared to the steroid era, today’s home runs are much more evenly distributed.
As I wrote in Upon Further Review, “The top five home run hitters in 1998 and 2001 were the greatest outliers not only of the DH era, but also of the live-ball era that began in 1920.” It strains credulity to call it a coincidence that those names are also synonymous with steroid use, although Walker does just that.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Marathon World Record Shattered by Eliud Kipchoge”

Even if you couldn’t care less about distance running or world records, Kipchoge’s accomplishment is worth pondering for what it says about human endurance and what the body is capable of, in terms of cardiovascular strength and muscle efficiency.
One of the reasons marathon running has become so popular is that it enables us ordinary runners to learn those lessons about our own endurance capacity, physical and mental.
The first-time marathon groups I see out running this time of year are as inspiring to me as Kipchoge.
Scott Jurek, the legendary ultra-marathon runner, set a new record in 2015 for running the Appalachian Trail in 46 days.
How fast do you think a human being can run the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon, which starts below seal level in California’s Death Valley in mid-July where temperatures can top 130 degrees and ends at a chilly 8,360 feet on Mount Whitney? Pete Kostelnick did it in just under 22 hours in 2016.
“In today’s age of hyperbole, this run deserves every accolade said about it. The lower the world record gets, the harder it is to be broken, and the less it should be broken by. Yet Eliud Kipchoge just broke the world record by more than any man in the last 41 years, and he ran the last 10 miles by himself.”
Kipchoge, who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics, has dominated marathon running like no one before him over the past five years, winning nine of 10 marathons he had entered since 2013 going into Sunday’s race.
In a profile published on Saturday, The New York Times’ Scott Cacciola called him “a man of immense self-discipline” who keeps meticulous running logs and has never had a serious injury.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The History of the Wildcat, 10 Years Later”

Ten years ago, the wildcat ripped the league in half, Aaron Rodgers made his first start for the Packers, Brett Favre played 16 games for the Jets, the Patriots missed the playoffs, and most shocking of all, Jeff Fisher coached a team that won-you’re really not gonna believe this-13 whole games.
Lee, with Sparano’s and Henning’s blessings, talked to the running backs with an idea for the wildcat as an occasional trick play: Williams would play quarterback and Brown would be in constant motion as a threat to run horizontally across the field on any play.
The offense built on itself until Brown was comfortable enough to read plays and run what is effectively a zone read. Cobbs said that against Seattle in Week 10, Brown was running an advanced form-over two years before the so-called zone-read revolution with quarterbacks like Tim Tebow, Colin Kaepernick, and Russell Wilson.
Parcells told coaches long before the wildcat launched that he envisioned both running backs playing simultaneously, similar to when he was an assistant at Florida State in the early 1970s and the team employed the split-back offense.
Polite said Williams was one of the smartest running backs in history and a player who simplified the sport more than any player he’s been around.
During their tenure as teammates, one moment against the New Orleans Saints sticks out: a toss play, which Polite explains, is among a running back’s least favorite plays because the toss is usually so wide that it leaves him with little room to operate.
Most wildcat offenses are not looking to throw, and pressure off the edge can wreck the play.
Henning still thinks the wildcat could work if an ex-quarterback who now played another position could run it with an athletic quarterback who could play receiver.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How “Mindful Running” Can Help You Run Faster, Farther, and More Peacefully”

How dark? If it weren’t for the presence of a small traveling spotlight, runners wouldn’t be able to see more than a few feet in front of them at any given moment.
In a study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, researchers examined 15 cyclists through four 20-kilometer cycling trials, paying attention to how “Optic flow” affected “Perceived exertion”-in other words, the ways in which visual cues influenced how hard athletes thought they were working.
“On the dark track, runners felt less time pressure, which is clearly a good thing for people that run for relaxation purposes.”
How hard can you go, and how fast, and how far? “This aspect of training often neglects the importance of the mind and of mental conditioning in our preparation, performance, and recovery.”
The “Mindful running” school of thought dictates that if you can focus on how you feel while running, unencumbered by the compulsion to set a new personal best every time, that sentiment should factor more into the way you exercise.
Once you start integrating this mindfulness training into your running workouts, you’ll come to realize that the lessons you learn can help you during those more intense runs, too.
Hey, that’s progress! The more often you practice running mindfully, the more you’ll see full-body benefits.
If you don’t have a private blackout track at your disposal, a few gyms now offer dimly-lit treadmill-based classes in which you can give mindful running a shot.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Major League Baseball’s aging cycle”

As a rookie, he has hit a ball 513 feet in batting practice, thrown a pitch 102.5 mph from the mound and reached a top sprint speed – nearly 30 feet per second – faster than three-quarters of his peers can touch.
He’s having, by most measures, the best season of his career, and he’s the easy front-runner for American League MVP. It’s an odd quirk of aging patterns that ability declines before performance does: Exit velocity declines years before home runs do; speed declines years before stolen bases do.
The 26-year-old runner is a few steps off third base as the pitch is delivered, and the batter pops it 230 feet to right field – too shallow, it seems, to get him home.
A year ago, he was considered, more or less unanimously, the best starting pitcher in the world, with a stretch of more than 1,300 innings – the equivalent of six full seasons! – with an ERA below 2.00.
If that’s what we wanted to see, we’d let the pitcher get a running start, we’d let the hitters use aluminum bats, we’d let them all drink Deca-Durabolin and we’d only make them play one game a week.
He’s still very good, but baseball has become, for this pitcher, hard.
Not long ago, Verlander had gone years without throwing a pitch so hard.
Batters swing at the fewest pitches out of the zone in their early 30s. Batters draw the most walks in their late 20s, and pitchers issue the fewest walks at about 26.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What does running do to your brain?”

Their findings confirm what many runners know from their own experience: we can use running as a tool to improve the way we think and feel.
For obvious reasons, you cannot run while you are inside a brain scanner, so the neuroscientists studied the brain at rest.
Brain scans show that meditation and running can have a somewhat similar effect on the brain; simultaneously engaging executive functions and turning down the chatter of the default mode network.
Too, are cottoning on to the therapeutic effects of running: I recently worked with running-shoe company Saucony to create a podcast about the effects of running on the mind.
Running has never quite done that for me, but we do now know more about the potent chemical rewards that running triggers in the brain.
They used functional brain imaging to show that, in trained runners, beta-endorphin levels do indeed spike in the brain after a two-hour run.
It is definitely the case that your gender, genetic profile, fitness, expectations and many other factors besides will influence the way your brain responds to running.
While the physical benefits of running and aerobic exercise are well established, we are starting to see why running can have profound benefits for mental health, too.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout is on pace for the greatest season in MLB history”

Mike Trout started the game on the bench – his first day off of the season – and finished it with 3.51 WAR. The game’s best player was on pace to produce 14.2 wins above replacement.
It’s almost unimaginable – nobody has cracked 12 WAR in a half-century, and no active player has ever WAR’d higher than 2016 Trout’s 10.5 – but it’s time to take seriously the possibility that we’re watching the greatest season of all time.
Trout is on pace to draw 143 walks, which would match Joey Votto’s 2015 season for the most since Bonds.
Only two batters have chased fewer pitches out of the strike zone than Trout has this season.
Probably my favorite hitless Trout game of the season so far.
Just how good is Mike Trout? He’s so good, it took three rounds of swapping astounding stats to decide which numbers best cement his growing stature in baseball history.
If not for that double play or that fly out, Trout very well might have batted as the winning run, the best hitter in baseball getting the chance to win it, the best-case scenario for the Angels.
Mike Trout is to every other inner-circle baseball superstar what Babe Ruth’s 1923 season was to Babe Ruth’s discography: the best and somehow also easy to overlook.

The orginal article.