New building block in quantum computing demonstrated

New building block in quantum computing demonstrated statistics, science, nevin manimala
New building block in quantum computing demonstrated statistics, science, nevin manimala

Researchers with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated a new level of control over photons encoded with quantum information. Their research was published in Optica.

Joseph Lukens, Brian Williams, Nicholas Peters, and Pavel Lougovski, research scientists with ORNL’s Quantum Information Science Group, performed distinct, independent operations simultaneously on two qubits encoded on photons of different frequencies, a key capability in linear optical quantum computing. Qubits are the smallest unit of quantum information.

Quantum scientists working with frequency-encoded qubits have been able to perform a single operation on two qubits in parallel, but that falls short for quantum computing.

“To realize universal quantum computing, you need to be able to do different operations on different qubits at the same time, and that’s what we’ve done here,” Lougovski said.

According to Lougovski, the team’s experimental system — two entangled photons contained in a single strand of fiber-optic cable — is the “smallest quantum computer you can imagine. This paper marks the first demonstration of our frequency-based approach to universal quantum computing.”

“A lot of researchers are talking about quantum information processing with photons, and even using frequency,” said Lukens. “But no one had thought about sending multiple photons through the same fiber-optic strand, in the same space, and operating on them differently.”

The team’s quantum frequency processor allowed them to manipulate the frequency of photons to bring about superposition, a state that enables quantum operations and computing.

Unlike data bits encoded for classical computing, superposed qubits encoded in a photon’s frequency have a value of 0 and 1, rather than 0 or 1. This capability allows quantum computers to concurrently perform operations on larger datasets than today’s supercomputers.

Using their processor, the researchers demonstrated 97 percent interference visibility — a measure of how alike two photons are — compared with the 70 percent visibility rate returned in similar research. Their result indicated that the photons’ quantum states were virtually identical.

The researchers also applied a statistical method associated with machine learning to prove that the operations were done with very high fidelity and in a completely controlled fashion.

“We were able to extract more information about the quantum state of our experimental system using Bayesian inference than if we had used more common statistical methods,” Williams said.

“This work represents the first time our team’s process has returned an actual quantum outcome.”

Williams pointed out that their experimental setup provides stability and control. “When the photons are taking different paths in the equipment, they experience different phase changes, and that leads to instability,” he said. “When they are traveling through the same device, in this case, the fiber-optic strand, you have better control.”

Stability and control enable quantum operations that preserve information, reduce information processing time, and improve energy efficiency. The researchers compared their ongoing projects, begun in 2016, to building blocks that will link together to make large-scale quantum computing possible.

“There are steps you have to take before you take the next, more complicated step,” Peters said. “Our previous projects focused on developing fundamental capabilities and enable us to now work in the fully quantum domain with fully quantum input states.”

Lukens said the team’s results show that “we can control qubits’ quantum states, change their correlations, and modify them using standard telecommunications technology in ways that are applicable to advancing quantum computing.”

Once the building blocks of quantum computers are all in place, he added, “we can start connecting quantum devices to build the quantum internet, which is the next, exciting step.”

Much the way that information is processed differently from supercomputer to supercomputer, reflecting different developers and workflow priorities, quantum devices will function using different frequencies. This will make it challenging to connect them so they can work together the way today’s computers interact on the internet.

This work is an extension of the team’s previous demonstrations of quantum information processing capabilities on standard telecommunications technology. Furthermore, they said, leveraging existing fiber-optic network infrastructure for quantum computing is practical: billions of dollars have been invested, and quantum information processing represents a novel use.

The researchers said this “full circle” aspect of their work is highly satisfying. “We started our research together wanting to explore the use of standard telecommunications technology for quantum information processing, and we have found out that we can go back to the classical domain and improve it,” Lukens said.

Lukens, Williams, Peters, and Lougovski collaborated with Purdue University graduate student Hsuan-Hao Lu and his advisor Andrew Weiner. The research is supported by ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.

Artificial intelligence for studying the ancient human populations of Patagonia

Artificial intelligence for studying the ancient human populations of Patagonia statistics, science, nevin manimala
Artificial intelligence for studying the ancient human populations of Patagonia statistics, science, nevin manimala

Argentine and Spanish researchers have used statistical techniques of automatic learning to analyze mobility patterns and technology of the hunter-gatherer groups that inhabited the Southern Cone of America, from the time they arrived about 12,000 years ago until the end of the 19th century. Big data from archaeological sites located in the extreme south of Patagonia have been used for this study.

The presence of humans on the American continent dates back to at least 14,500 years ago, according to datings made at archaeological sites such as Monte Verde, in Chile’s Los Lagos Region. But the first settlers continued moving towards the southernmost confines of America.

Now, researchers from Argentina’s National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) and two Spanish institutions (the Spanish National Research Council and the University of Burgos) have analyzed the relationships between mobility and technology developed by those societies that originated in the far south of Patagonia.

The study, published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, is based on an extensive database of all available archaeological evidence of human presence in this region, from the time the first groups arrived in the early Holocene (12,000 years ago) until the end of the 19th century.

This was followed by the application of machine learning techniques, a statistical system that allows the computer to learn from many data (in this case, big data from characteristic technological elements of the sites) in order to carry out classifications and predictions.

“It is by means of automatic classification algorithms that we have identified two technological packages or ‘landscapes’: one that characterizes pedestrian hunter-gatherer groups (with their own stone and bone tools) and the other characterizing those that had nautical technology, such as canoes, harpoons and mollusc shells used to make beads,” explains Ivan Briz i Godino, an archaeologist of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) of Argentina and co-author of the work.

“In future excavations, when sets of technological elements such as those we have detected appear, we’ll be able to directly deduce the type of mobility of the group or the connections with other communities,” adds Briz.

The results of the study have also made it possible to obtain maps with the settlements of the two communities, and this, in turn, has made it possible to locate large regions in which they interacted and shared their technological knowledge. In the case of groups with nautical technology, it has been confirmed that they arrived at around the beginning of the Mid-Holocene (some 6,000 years ago) from the channels and islands of the South Pacific, moving along the coast of what is now Chile.

“Traditional archaeology identifies sites, societies and their possible contacts on the basis of specific elements selected by specialists (such as designs of weapon tips or decorative elements), but here we show that it is more interesting to analyse sets of technological elements as a whole, using artificial intelligence techniques that allow us to work with large data volumes and without subjective prejudices,” concludes Briz.

Texans vs. Titans: Preview, prediction, statistics to know for ‘Monday Night Football’

Texans vs. Titans: Preview, prediction, statistics to know for 'Monday Night Football' statistics, nevin manimala
Texans vs. Titans: Preview, prediction, statistics to know for 'Monday Night Football' statistics, nevin manimala

This week’s edition of ‘Monday Night Football’ features two of the stranger and more inconsistent teams in the league. 

The 7-3 Texans have a record that does not match their point differential, which is perhaps unsurprising for a team that started 0-3 before reeling off seven-straight wins, with only two of them coming by more than one score. Houston was practically gifted victories by the Colts and Cowboys to get the streak started, then looked somewhat better against the Bills, Jaguars, and Dolphins before barely squeaking past the Broncos and Washington with two-point victories. 

The Texans’ opponents on Monday, the Titans, have been the most inconsistent team in football, and it is fitting that their record stands at 5-5. Tennessee lost a fairly terrible season-opening game to the Dolphins, then won three-straight games (including a then-very-impressive win over the defending champion Eagles), lost three straight (including one to the Bills), decisively beat both the Cowboys and Patriots, and then lost to the Colts in a fashion that was, frankly, kind of embarrassing. Like I said: inconsistent. 

Which version of each of these teams will show up on Monday night (8:15 p.m., ESPN)? The answer to that question could eventually play a major role in deciding who wins the AFC South. Read on to find out what you should be looking out for.

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When the Texans have the ball

After losing Will Fuller for the season to a torn ACL, the Texans made a bold move to bring in former Broncos wideout Demaryius Thomas. Thomas hadn’t been quite as good this season in Denver as he had been in the past, but Houston badly needed another outside wideout to pair with DeAndre Hopkins, and the cost was not prohibitive, so the move was made. 

But after getting Thomas involved early and often in his first game with the team, the Texans have seemingly forgotten he exists. Thomas was the intended target on Deshaun Watson’s first two passes of his first game with Houston, catching them both for 49 yards. He caught another pass for 12 yards later in the first quarter … and he has not been targeted since. Watson threw almost exclusively to Hopkins for the remainder of the game against Denver (12 of his 24 pass attempts were directed at Hopkins) and largely stuck to targeting Hopkins and slot man Keke Coutee (15 of 24 passes) in the next game against Washington. 

It’s perhaps not surprising that Thomas hasn’t yet been fully integrated into the offense, as it typically takes receivers a while to adjust to new surroundings. But considering the outside is where you want to attack this Titans defense, Monday might be a good time to get him more involved. Malcolm Butler, in particular, is who you want to go after, as the high-priced corner has allowed a 131.6 passer rating on throws in his direction this season, which ranks 177th out of 185 defenders who have been targeted in coverage 20-plus times, according to Sports Info Solutions. Second-year man Adoree’ Jackson has been a bit tougher to throw on, while slot corner Logan Ryan has done well on the inside as well. The Texans will surely want to get Hopkins the ball whenever he’s matched up with Butler, but Watson should not hesitate to try some things with Thomas down the field if he gets that matchup, either. 

The key, as always for the Texans, will be keeping Watson well protected. He’s been sacked on 9.6 percent of his drop backs this season, one of the highest rates in the league. He’s also been under pressure on a ridiculous 40.8 percent of his pass attempts, again one of the NFL‘s highest marks. His performance on those throws unsurprisingly pales in comparison to those when he’s been unharassed in the pocket. 

Pressure? No Yes
Comp 130 71
Att 183 126
Comp % 71.0% 56.3%
Yds 1511 1086
YPA 8.26 8.62
TD 12 6
TD % 6.56% 4.76%
INT 4 5
INT % 2.19% 3.97%
QB Rating 108.4 84.3

Tennessee ranks toward the bottom portion of the league in sacks, adjusted sack rate, and total pressures, but the Titans did get Watson to the ground four times during the teams’ first meeting back in Week 2. And there are individual rushers like Jurrell Casey, Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, and Harold Landry that you definitely have to worry about when facing this team — especially when your offensive line is as penetrable as that of the Texans. (Morgan has an illness and it’s unknown whether or not he will play on Monday.)

A pretty good way to keep the rushers off balance would be to run the ball and use Watson’s ability to take off himself to keep the edge defenders at bay, but the Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue-led Texans running game has been fairly muted for much of the season. The Texans rank 26th in yards per rush, 24th in adjusted line yards, 26th in conversion rate on third or fourth down with two or fewer yards to go, and 21st in the percentage of runs stopped in the backfield. Their running game is just not very good, even though they run a lot. (Third-most attempts in the league.) Their overall rush offense DVOA of 30th is, well, accurate. They did rack up 148 yards on the ground against Tennessee back in Week 2, but the Titans have been far better against the run in recent weeks: their last four opponents totaled just 261 yards on the ground combined. 

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When the Titans have the ball

The Titans’ offense has likely been the most inconsistent in the entire NFL. Tennessee has been held to fewer than 20 points five times, but has managed to finish 2-3 in those games. They’ve exceeded 20 points five times, but finished just 3-2 in those contests. They’ve been shut out by the Ravens and hung 34 points on the Patriots. There is seemingly no correlated between how their offense looks one week and how it looks the next, as they followed up a 26-point outing against the Eagles by scoring 31 combined over the next three games and responded to scoring 62 combined against the Cowboys and Patriots by hanging just 10 on the Colts. 

Some of that inconsistency is due to the injuries Marcus Mariota has suffered at inopportune times. He left the Week 1 game with an injury, sat out Week 2, and was knocked out of the loss to the Colts early as well. Blaine Gabbert has been extremely Gabbert-ish when called upon, but it’s not as though Mariota has been all that much better when he’s been out there. The fourth-year pro has a 67.6 percent completion rate, but he’s averaging 7.3 yards per attempt in a league where the average is now 7.6, he’s thrown only seven touchdowns and six interceptions in nine appearances, and his 88.2 passer rating is considerably below average as well. Tennessee’s QB has been cleared for the game, but he’s also been dealing with a stinger throughout the week and it’s entirely possible he doesn’t totally look like his best self out there on Monday. 

Like Watson, Mariota has also been sacked a ton, getting taken to the ground on 11.8 percent of his drop backs. Even excluding the 11-sack game against the Ravens, he’s been dropped 8.2 percent of the time he’s taken a drop back. That’s not great. Considering the Texans employ J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus, he may have some trouble remaining upright in the pocket on Monday evening. Watt ranks third in the NFL in pressures behind only Aaron Donald and Dee Ford, per Sports Info Solutions, while Clowney is just outside the top 25 despite missing a game and Mercilus is in the top 60. The Titans have a strong offensive line but it is weakest, pass-protection-wise, on the interior, and the Texans love to move their guys around and get them better matchups. If they can unleash Watt or Clowney between the guards and center, they’ll do so, and that could spell trouble for Mariota. 

As inconsistent as Houston’s running game has been, the Titans’ has been perhaps even more so. Derrick Henry was expected to be the lead rusher coming into the season but he has struggled badly with a 3.7 yards per carry average and has shown little ability to even be the kind of short-yardage bruiser his size suggests he easily could be. He’s been overtaken in the rotation by Dion Lewis almost entirely, but Lewis is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry himself, and has largely shown himself to be the better back because he’s more capable as a receiver and, despite his diminutive stature (Lewis is 5-8, 195 pounds, while Henry is 6-3, 247 pounds), a far more dependable pass-protector. 

It is somewhat difficult to see this Tennessee offense getting fully untracked against the Texans, especially with Mariota playing injured, tight end Delanie Walker out for the season, and slot receiver Taywan Taylor still out with a foot injury. Mariota has been subpar even when healthy this season, and he’s basically limited to Corey Davis and a bunch of That Guys in the passing game right now.  Houston’s run defense is even better than its pass unit, and the Titans can’t run anyway. This seems like it could be a long night for them. 

Prediction: Texans 20, Titans 13

Importance of a Sustainable Blue Economy: Statistics and facts

Importance of a Sustainable Blue Economy: Statistics and facts statistics, nevin manimala
Importance of a Sustainable Blue Economy: Statistics and facts statistics, nevin manimala

The Blue Economy is an economic arena that depends on the benefits and values realized from the coastal and marine environment.

Experts define the ‘Sustainable Blue Economy’ as a marine-based economy that provides social and economic benefits for current and future generations, restores, protects and maintains the diversity, productivity and resilience of marine ecosystems, and is based on clean technologies, renewable energy, and circular material flows.

The Blue Economy is at the heart of a historic conference taking place in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi between November 26 – 28, 2018.

The ocean is fundamental to life on earth covering nearly three quarters of our planet. It produces more than half the oxygen that we breathe. Yet our oceans are moving deeper into ecological crisis just at the moment when we need them more than ever.

So what are the figures and direct benefits around this economy, World Wildlife Fund, WWF, helps us with some answers.

Globally, the Blue Economy has an asset base of over $24 trillion. It is said to generate at least $2.5 trillion each year from the combination of fishing and aquaculture, shipping, tourism, and other activities.

Coastal tourism alone is one of the fastest-growing marine based economic activity worldwide, estimated at £6bn to coral reef nations alone.

Water bodies such as the oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, marshes, and bays collectively hosts about 2.2 million plants species, diverse wildlife and other life-forms that represents over 50% of life on earth!

These are the resources from where we derive food, medicines and livelihoods that drive socio-economic development globally.

The total “ocean asset base” of the Western Indian Ocean region including Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and Tanzania) is at least USD333.8 billion.

The annual “Gross Marine Product – GMP” of the Western Indian Ocean region ( – equivalent to a country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) – is at least USD20.8 billion.

In his Special Call to Participate, Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta said: “It is my conviction that the Blue Economy presents alternatives that can augment the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“In this regard, the conference is expected to devote considerable attention to how oceans, seas, lakes and even rivers, can accelerate our collective quest for sustainable economic growth.”

Kenya has a share of about 2.4 Billion USD of this Western Indian Ocean economy. With Coastal Tourism taking the largest share of about $1.5 billion annually. Compared to the annual GDP of about $60 billion for the country, this is only a contribution of four percent to the GDP.

Kenya lies in the lucrative tuna belt. It is estimated that Kenya has 150,000 – 300, 000 Metric tonnes of fish in her expansive 200, 000 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

More efforts should be directed in investing in sustainable management and development of offshore tuna resources as part of the Kenya Governments’ blue economy agenda.

“The ocean is fundamental to life on earth covering nearly three quarters of our planet. It produces more than half the oxygen that we breathe.

“Yet our oceans are moving deeper into ecological crisis just at the moment when we need them more than ever,” Frederick Kwame, Regional Director WWF Africa.

Final statistics from Kentucky’s 56-10 Governor’s Cup win over Louisville

Final statistics from Kentucky's 56-10 Governor's Cup win over Louisville statistics, nevin manimala
Final statistics from Kentucky's 56-10 Governor's Cup win over Louisville statistics, nevin manimala

No. 15 Kentucky defeated Louisville 56-10 in a non-conference college football game at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville on Saturday night.

The Wildcats finished the regular season 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference and now await their bowl assignment.

Louisville finished its season 2-10 overall and 0-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Click here to view a complete statistics report from Saturday’s game vs. Louisville.

Click here to view the SEC standings.

Click here to view Kentucky’s 2018 results.

LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER SPORTS PASS

The Herald-Leader is now offering a digital sports-only one-year subscription for $30. You’ll get unlimited access to all Herald-Leader sports stories.

Small Business Saturday tips and statistics

Small Business Saturday tips and statistics statistics, nevin manimala
Small Business Saturday tips and statistics statistics, nevin manimala

Small Business Saturday tips and statistics

Small Business Saturday began on November 27, 2010 and was launched by American Express, a BBB Accredited Business.

It’s purpose, to encourage consumers to prioritize small and local businesses during the holiday shopping season.

#SmallBusinessSaturday is used to highlight local small businesses and many local businesses join in the shopping spirit too by using the hashtag.

Here are some tips and statistic from the Better Business Bureau about the holiday:

Tips:

  • Stay local. Check the Small Business Saturday website for a list of shops in your area that are participating.
  • Do your research. Check out businesses ahead of time and find out what past customers have to say at bbb.org. Find out what stores and businesses in your area are participating in Small Business Saturday by going to shopsmall.org.
  • Friends and family. Supporting local businesses can be turned in to a great event by sharing the experience with friends and family. Many communities will hold events on Saturday, November 24 in honor of Small Business Saturday. To see a list of 2018’s Neighborhood Champions, visithttps://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/.
  • Sign-up for email alerts. Many stores have Small Business Saturday specials just for people who have signed up to receive their emails.
  • Check social media. Many small businesses will advertise their SBS sales via social media, so be sure to check your favorite small businesses on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Use #ShopSmall to search for information or to share plans with your friends.
  • Ask for gift receipts and save warranty information. A gift receipt can be tucked into a gift item or card so that the recipient can return or exchange a gift if it’s not just right. Be sure to pass along any information about returns, exchanges, repairs, and warranties to the person who will use the item.

Statistics:

  • In 2010, in an effort to support local businesses and communities, American Express launched Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage more customers to shop at small businesses during the holiday season.
  • In 2011, businesses across the nation began promoting Small Business Saturday and the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to support Small Business Saturday.
  • In 2012, local and national officials began promoting Small Business Saturday in their local communities.
  • In 2013, over 1,400 people and organizations show their support for Small Business Saturday by signing up to be Neighborhood Champions. In 2017, there were 7,200 Neighborhood Champions supporting Small Business Saturday across all 50 states.
  • In 2017, 108 million consumers reported shopping or dining at a locally-owned business on Small Business Saturday.
  • According to American Express, in 2017, 90% of consumers surveyed about Small Business Saturday said the event had a positive impact on their local community.

If your small business would like more information about Small Business Saturday click here.

Government accused of massaging immigration statistics in run up to Brexit vote

Government accused of massaging immigration statistics in run up to Brexit vote statistics, nevin manimala

The Government has been accused of a cynical attempt to massage immigration statistics after it emerged Theresa May will announce a curb on low-skilled foreign working arriving in Britain.

Leaked Cabinet papers revealed how the Home Office has drawn up plan to issue low-skilled migrants with 11-month visas “with restricted entitlements and rights” while they live in the UK.

The move was seen as an attempt by the Prime Minister to win support among Eurosceptic Tory MPs in the run up to the Brexit vote.

But, immigration experts and campaigners yesterday warned that the proposals would mean that those arriving under the 11-month visa would not be counted as immigrants.

Government accused of massaging immigration statistics in run up to Brexit vote statistics, nevin manimala

Leaked Cabinet papers reveal Home Office plans for a new 11-month low-skilled migrant visa Credit: Kirsty O’Connor /PA

Jonathan Portes, professor of economics and economics and public policy at King’s College, London, said: “In theory these people coming into the UK under this visa would not be immigrants and would not be counted as immigrants.

“I would call it a pretty transparent attempt to massage the immigration figures.”

Immigration statistics are based on the International Passenger Survey in which up to 800,000 people arriving and leaving the UK each year are asked a series of questions, including how long they intend to stay or have stayed in the country. The results are used by a number of Government departments and contribute to the official statistics on the number of immigrants coming to the UK.

While anyone remaining longer than 12 months is deemed an immigrant, someone staying 11-months or fewer would be classes as staying a “short term” and so not ratchet up the official immigration figures.

“If you’re coming to the country for more than one year then you count as a migrant,” Professor Portes continued. “But, if you say you’re on an 11-month visa then you are not recorded as an immigrant.”

Sunder Katwala, the director of British Future, a think-tank specialising in integration and migration issues, said the Government’s decision to cap migration for low-skilled workers at 11-months raised questions about the motives, particularly because trust surrounding immigration is currently so “low”.

In a tweet he asked: “Was the main reason that you chose 11 months visas, not 12, because 12 months counts in immigration stats, while 11 months is immigration that you don’t count?

“The real answer is yes!”

It is understood the proposals will be part of the Government’s long awaited migration White Paper due to be unveiled in the week beginning December 3.

It is anticipated that Mrs May will then try to frame the Brexit debate around migration, claiming her EU deal fulfils the referendum pledge of taking back control of UK borders.

It is thought that the proposed 11-month visa for low-skilled workers would help to ensure that a post-Brexit Britain would be able to maintain and control a workforce in a variety of sectors that rely on short-term contract employees.  

FBI Statistics for 2017 Show Rise in LGBT Hate Crimes in Texas

FBI Statistics for 2017 Show Rise in LGBT Hate Crimes in Texas statistics, nevin manimala
click to enlarge FBI Statistics for 2017 Show Rise in LGBT Hate Crimes in Texas statistics, nevin manimala
  • Sarah Flood-Baumann

This article was originally published by our sister publication Out In SA.

Statistics released by the FBI on November 14 show a rise in hate crimes against LGBT people residing in the state of Texas during 2017.

In 2016, 45 LGBT hate crimes were reported statewide — that number rose to 49 in 2017. The breakdown shows a 16 percent rise incidents motivated by sexual orientation and a 33 percent rise in incidents motivated by gender identity.

A total of 192 hate crime incidents were reported across the state in 2017. The FBI breaks down those crimes by bias motivations. The number of hate crimes in Texas by classification are: race/ethnicity/ancestry (117), religion (22), sexual orientation (43), disability (3), gender (1), and gender identity (6).

Austin reported the highest total of hate crimes overall but Dallas reported the highest number of hate crimes (12) motivated by sexual orientation. Houston reported the highest number of hate crimes (2) motivated by gender identity.

In San Antonio, one hate crime motivated by sexual orientation was reported in 2017. None were reported for gender identity.

Hate crime protections in Texas date back to 2001, when the Texas Legislature passed the James Byrd Jr. Act. The law punishes crimes committed based on the race, color, disability, national origin, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation of the victim.

Despite the Byrd Act’s good intentions, many statisticians, equal rights advocates and LGBT activists agree there is a great deal of under-reporting of hate crimes.

“We believe Texas is one of those states that has a significant issue of under-reporting,” Brian Levin of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University told the Houston Chronicle last year. “It’s highly unlikely the major cities in Texas are reporting the bulk of hate crimes that actually occur.”

One obstacle to accurate hate crime assessment is that not all police departments participate in hate crime reporting and most of those who do participate report “zero” hate crimes year after year.

Across the U.S., the FBI, reports there was a 17 percent increase in federal hate crimes against LGBT people during 2017, the third consecutive yearly increase — the largest since 2001.

The nationwide statistics show 60 percent of these incidents targeted gay men, 25 percent targeted a mix of LGBT people, 12 percent targeted lesbians, three percent targeted heterosexuals, two percent targeted bisexuals and one percent targeted transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

Frank Pezzella, a criminology professor at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told WBBH-TV that “the increase in this year’s number of federally reported hate crimes is alarming — but still likely a gross undercount of the total number of bias incidents, because many — perhaps most — hate crimes go unreported.”

Hate Crimes Reported in 2017 by Texas Largest Cities

Austin
Total hate crimes reported in 2017: 18
Racial hate crimes: 10
Religious hate crimes: 3
Sexual orientation hate crimes: 4
Gender identity hate crimes: 1

Arlington
Total hate crimes reported in 2017: 7
Racial hate crimes: 4
Religious hate crimes: 2
Sexual orientation hate crimes: 1

Corpus Christi
Total hate crimes reported in 2017: 0

Dallas
Total hate crimes reported in 2017: 14
Racial hate crimes: 2
Sexual orientation hate crimes: 12

El Paso
Total hate crimes reported in 2017: 4
Racial hate crimes: 4

Fort Worth
Total hate crimes reported in 2017: 13
Racial hate crimes: 7
Religious hate crimes: 2
Sexual orientation hate crimes: 4

Houston
Total hate crimes reported in 2017: 8
Racial hate crimes: 2
Religious hate crimes: 3
Sexual orientation hate crimes: 1
Gender identity hate crimes: 2

Laredo
Total hate crimes reported in 2017: 0

Plano
Total hate crimes reported in 2017: 3
Racial hate crimes: 2
Gender identity hate crimes: 1

San Antonio
Total hate crimes reported in 2017: 4
Racial hate crimes: 2
Religious hate crimes: 1
Sexual orientation hate crimes: 1

Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports

Alabama Has Better Statistics Than Auburn

Alabama Has Better Statistics Than Auburn statistics, nevin manimala

The short story is that Alabama’s lofty expectations usually are achieved under Nick Saban. Looking back prior to 11 football games being played, there were some who expected Auburn would be the team to be competing for the Southeastern Conference and College Football Playoff championships. With the final regular season game approaching, though, it is Alabama that sits atop the SEC and CFP standings, as most expected. 

What should come as a surprise to no one is that Alabama has the better of it in a statistical comparison with Auburn.

Alabama (11-0 overall and 7-0 in SEC play and ranked No. 1 in the nation in all polls) hosts Auburn (7-4, 3-4) at 2:30 p.m. CST Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. CBS will televise the game.

The Crimson Tide is running away with this year’s SEC scoring title with 536 points, 100 more than second place Georgia and over 200 more than Auburn as Bama averages 48.7 points per game, the Tigers 28.9. Alabama is second in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 13.1 ppg, while Auburn is fourth, giving up 16.6.

Almost any coach outside of Big 12 country wants to be able to run the ball and to stop the run. In rushing offense, Bama is third in the conference at 213.5 yards per game, AU 11th at 167.2. The Tide is also third in rushing defense, giving up 112.5 ypg, with the Tigers eighth, allowing 142.3.

Alabama Has Better Statistics Than Auburn statistics, nevin manimalaAlabama’s Tua Tagovailoa SEC’s most efficient passer (Photo: Stuart McNair, 247Sports)

Alabama is second in the league in passing offense, 328 yards per game, Auburn eighth at 214.6. In pass defense, the Tide is second in the conference, allowing 169.5 ypg, the Tigers seventh, giving up 208.4. Bama is first and AU 10th in passing efficiency, the Tide third and Tigers fourth in pass defense efficiency.

Alabama leads the SEC in total offense, 541.5 yards per game, with Auburn 10th at 381.8. In total defense, the Tide is second, allowing 282.1, AU eighth, giving up 350.6.

Three of the most important statistics related to winning and losing are third down conversion success, turnover margin, and Red Zone (inside the 20-yard line) efficiency.

Alabama leads the conference in converting on third downs at 54.2 percent (65-120), while Auburn is 13th in the league at 34 percent (50-147). On defense on third downs, the Tide is also first, permitting only 28.8 percent (46-160) success. The Tigers are seventh at 58-172 for 33.7 percent.

The teams are very close in turnover margin. Alabama is second in the SEC at plus 9 (7 fumble recoveries, 13 interceptions for 20 takeaways against 7 fumbles lost and 4 passes intercepted for 11 turnovers). Auburn is third at plus 8 (8 fumbles recovered and 12 interceptions for 20 takeaways against 8 fumbles lost and 4 passes intercepted for 12 turnovers).

Alabama and Auburn also are close in Red Zone offense. Bama is 10th, scoring on 50 of 60 opportunities (42 touchdowns and 8-12 field goals) for 83.3 percent. AU is 11th, scoring on 38 of 46 trips (27 TDs, 11-13 FGs) for 82.6 percent.

In Red Zone defense, the Tide is first in the conference, allowing 16 scores (13 TDs, 3-6 FGs) in 25 trips for 64 percent. The Tigers are sixth, giving up 25 scores (9 TDs, 6-16-20 FGs) for 80.6 percent.

Alabama and Auburn rank first and second in the league in sacks, Bama leading with 37 for 221 yards, AU right behind with 34 for 222. In avoiding sacks, the Tide is first in the SEC, allowing 10 for 75 yards, the Tigers seventh, giving up 20 for 151 yards.

Time of possession is sometimes important, sometimes not. Alabama is fifth in the conference, averaging 30:39, Auburn 12th, averaging 27:14. 

In special teams play, Auburn has a sizeable advantage in punting with 49 punts for a 42 yards net gain, second best in the conference, with Alabama only 28 punts (something to be said for that) for a net gain of 34.5 yards, 13th in the SEC. The Tigers also have a slight lead in kickoff coverage, allowing a net gain of 40.9 yards on 65 kickoffs to the Tide’s 94 kickoffs (again, that’s a plus) and net gain of 40.3 yards. Bama has slight advantages in kickoff and punt returns and field goal success.

In individual statistics, perhaps the biggest surprise is in passing efficiency. It is not surprising that Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is the conference leader, but it may come as a surprise that Bama backup quarterback Jalen Hurts is second in the league. Also surprising is that since the SEC ranks only the top 10 individuals, Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham didn’t make the list.

The Tide’s Josh Jacobs ranks first in the conference in kickoff returns with 12 runbacks for a 31.5 yards per return average.

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: Preview, prediction, how to watch, statistics to know for Thanksgiving game

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: Preview, prediction, how to watch, statistics to know for Thanksgiving game statistics, nevin manimala
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: Preview, prediction, how to watch, statistics to know for Thanksgiving game statistics, nevin manimala

If any team is capable of waking you up after you’ve stuffed yourself with turkey and all the fixins, it’s the New Orleans Saints

We’ve got the NFC South leading Saints and the Falcons this evening to cap off an NFL tripleheader. The Saints are steamrolling their way through the league with a plus-139 point differential and the Falcons have a high-powered offense as well, so maybe we’ll see some fireworks. 

What else should you be looking out for Thursday night (8:15 p.m., NBC, stream on fuboTV, try for free)? We’re glad you asked. Read on to find out. 

When the Saints have the ball

They’ve flown somewhat under the radar as the explosive offenses of the Rams and Chiefs have soaked up all the attention, but this New Orleans offense is as efficient and explosive a scoring machine as we have seen in a very, very long time. The Saints lead the NFL with a 37.8 points per game average, just 0.07 points per game behind the highest-scoring offense in NFL history – that of the 2013 Denver Broncos

But these Saints have actually been even more efficient than that team on a per-play and per-drive basis. The 2013 Broncos gained an average of 6.3 yards per play. The 2018 Saints are at 6.4 per play as of this writing. The 2013 Broncos gained 36.2 yards per drive, scored 2.83 points per drive, and saw 47.9 percent of their drives result in a touchdown or field goal. These Saints are better across the board, with averages of 41.0 yards per drive and 3.57 points per drive, and 62.5 percent of their drives ending in some sort of score. 

The 2018 season is the best offensive season in NFL history, and the Saints are playing offense about as well as it can possibly be played. 

They’re led, of course, by current MVP frontrunner Drew Brees, who is in the midst of a career season at age 39. Brees leads the NFL in completion percentage, passer rating, QBR, and adjusted net yards per attempt, and is on track to set career-highs in each of those categories, plus touchdown rate and interception rate (throwing 25 TD and 1 INT on 334 pass attempts will get you there), while also breaking the all-time single-season passer rating record by more than four full points (126.9 to 122.5). 

Brees is completing an absolutely absurd 78 percent of his passes and has been above 80 percent in four different games. He hits on some short throws to boost his averages, to be sure, but he has thrown downfield plenty as well. He is averaging a career-best 8.9 yards per attempt.

When we last covered the Saints in this space, we detailed the incredible season Michael Thomas was having: 

The NFL began tracking targets in 1992. Since then, according to Pro-Football-Reference, there have been 3,291 instances of a player being targeted at least 50 times in a season. Among that group of 3,291, Thomas’ current 91.4 percent catch rate ranks fourth. All three players ahead of him are running backs. He’s one of just nine players in the top 100 in catch rate to average in excess of 10 yards per reception. If he keeps up this pace he’ll become just the fifth player since ’92 with a catch rate above 90 percent on at least 50 targets, only he’ll nearly double the next-closest player’s actual full-season target total. (Pierre Thomas of these same Saints caught 77 of 84 throws in his direction in 2013. Thomas is on pace for a 155-target season.) 

He’s played in four games since then and has not fallen off. Thomas has 82 catches for 1,042 yards and 8 touchdowns. Those 82 catches have come on just 91 targets, giving him a 90.1 percent catch rate. Wide receivers just do not do this kind of stuff. But Thomas is doing it right now. The Falcons’ 29th-ranked pass defense (per DVOA) has been unable to stop No. 1 receivers all year, and yielded a 10-catch, 129-yard game to Thomas (on 10 targets, natch) back in Week 3. Thomas gets moved all over the formation but the Falcons are unlikely to use shadow coverage anyway, which they rarely do. 

The real trouble the Falcons had in the passing game back in Week 3, though, was against Alvin Kamara. This was before Mark Ingram returned from suspension but the Falcons have had trouble coverage running backs all year. Kamara ripped off 15 catches for 124 yards in that game, and with the Falcons still dealing with second-level injuries over the middle of the field it would not be surprising if Kamara and Ingram again dominated through the air.

Brees’ secondary and tertiary targets now seem more reliable than they did a few weeks back, with the emergence of rookie Tre’Quan Smith, the increasing reliability of tight end Ben Watson, and of course, the return of Ingram. The Saints stack yards in a hurry against even the best of pass defenses, and the Falcons are nowhere close to being that. 

And oh by the way, the Falcons are even worse against the run than they are against the pass, and the Saints rank inside the top-10 in rush offense DVOA. They should have an absolute field day in this game. 

When the Falcons have the ball

The Falcons are not the Saints offensively, but they haven’t exactly been slouches this season, either. Atlanta’s 26.3 points per game average is completely respectable, and their 6.3 yards per play average ranks just behind the Saints’ at sixth-best in the NFL. The Falcons also rank fourth in the league in both points per drive (2.59) and score percentage (47.1 percent of drives have ended in points), and only three teams have turned the ball over less often (7.8 percent of drives).

They just haven’t been as consistent as the other top offenses in the league. Atlanta has scored more than 30 points five times. They’re one of 10 teams to do so. But they’ve also scored fewer than 20 points four times. And they’re the only NFL team that appears on both of those lists. 

Injuries along the offensive line have hurt them some, and the absence of Devonta Freeman has affected their run game in a big way. Tevin Coleman has largely been fine filling in for Freeman but Ito Smith has failed to step up as the 1B option on the ground. He’s been one of the most inefficient runners in the league, both in terms of yards per carry and success rate. Coleman’s increased involvement in the run game has also not really carried over all that much into the passing game, as he has struggled to break big plays through the air and has seen his average yards per reception plummet. Going up against arguably the NFL’s toughest run defense, the Falcons seem fairly unlikely to find any success on the ground this week. 

Matt Ryan, though, has been fantastic targeting his wide receivers and tight ends, for the most part. Since a subpar performance against the Eagles in Week 1, Ryan has completed 73.8 percent of his passes, averaged 8.88 yards per attempt, and thrown for 22 touchdowns against just three interceptions. That’s good for a 118.3 passer rating, which would have led the NFL in almost every season in history before this year. He also leads the NFL in passing yards per game and is working on career-high figures nearly across the board. 

Throwing to Julio Jones nearly 29 percent of the time works out pretty well. Jones finally broke his touchdown drought a few weeks back, and has now scored in three consecutive games – the latest touchdown a ridiculous catch over the top of Cowboys corner Chidobe Awuzie to tie the game before Dak Prescott directed the Cowboys to a game-winning field goal. Julio leads the NFL in receiving yards and is on track for a 1,852-yard campaign. He is absurdly good and there is no stopping him. The Saints can and will try, presumably mostly with Marshon Lattimore, but there is little chance of it truly working. 

They might be better off focusing on completely removing slot man Mohamed Sanu, tight end Austin Hooper, and rookie Calvin Ridley from the game, and forcing Ryan to either force the ball to Jones or check down on every snap. Slot guys have seen a bunch of success against the Saints this season so Sanu might prove tougher to stop than usual, but the athleticism of their safeties and linebackers should be up to the task of slowing down Hooper. Ridley has practically disappeared from the offense since catching six touchdowns in a three-week span earlier this year, averaging four catches for 44 yards and scoring just once over the past six games. 

Prediction: Saints 37, Falcons 21