Megan Rapinoe looks toward NWSL season, World Cup
By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer
Thursday, March 7
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Just a bit of fine tuning and Megan Rapinoe should be ready for the World Cup.
The outspoken 33-year-old winger with her shock of blond hair is not new to this process. She’s been to the last two World Cups, including the 2015 tournament in Canada that the United States won.
While she’s physically fit at this point, Rapinoe said she isn’t as “sharp” as she’d like to be — yet. The game’s premier event is being held this time around in France, starting in June.
Rapinoe and the national team just wrapped up the SheBelieves Cup, a round-robin tournament with England, Brazil and Japan. The results weren’t ideal for the Americans. After draws with England and Japan, the United States downed Brazil 1-0 to finish second.
“Just getting kind of back into rhythm,” she said. “I haven’t really played a lot of games like this in a few months. Toward the end of last year, I was able to take time off and get my body right. But now I’m just continuing to get sharp and be more consistent.”
Rapinoe sat out of the team’s first exhibition of the year, against France, because of a slight hamstring injury. But she’s played ever since and scored in the 2-2 draw with England in the second SheBelieves match.
The United States has 10 total games on its pre-World Cup schedule this year, with the next coming on April 4 in Commerce City, Colorado, against Australia. The team, ranked No. 1 in the world, will begin the defense of its World Cup title on June 11 In Reims against Thailand.
Part of Rapinoe’s pretournament preparation will include time spent with her club team, the Seattle Reign. The National Women’s Soccer League team started preseason workouts this past week and opens the season on April 14 at the Houston Dash.
Rapinoe, who won an NCAA title with the Portland Pilots, made her debut with the senior national team in 2006. She played in all six U.S. games at the 2011 World Cup in Germany, memorably picking up a microphone after a goal and singing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”
At the 2012 London Olympics, she scored directly from a corner kick in the semifinals against Canada. She is the only player — male or female — to have such a goal in Olympic competition.
Considered one of the top players in the world, Rapinoe was key to the team’s ultimate success at the 2015 World Cup.
“She’s a player that you just have to have on the pitch, in terms of set pieces, in terms of game-changing moments,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said.
Rapinoe is also one of the team’s most personable players and she’s unafraid to speak her mind. She’s been particularly vocal about equitable pay and treatment of female athletes.
In the run-up to this year’s World Cup, she has pushed FIFA to use video review, or VAR, in the women’s event after it was used for the men’s World Cup in Russia last year. Soccer’s international governing body is expected to make a final decision on the matter next week.
She has also spoken out about the disparity in prize money between World Cups — France, the winner in Russia, was awarded $38 million, while the winner of the women’s tournament in France will take home less than a quarter of that, just $4 million.
She was one of five U.S. women’s national team players who joined in a 2016 complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over unequal pay.
In 2017, Rapinoe drew attention when she knelt during the national anthem before an NWSL game. She said it was an act of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who knelt during the anthem to call attention to racial inequality.
After she also knelt before two national team matches, the U.S. Soccer Federation adopted a new rule that says players must stand for anthems. She said she’d abide by it.
For now, Rapinoe’s focus has turned to the Reign. The NWSL, entering its seventh season, is considered among the strongest domestic pro leagues in the world. Normally the club season is grueling, but in a World Cup year the players who are going to France are managed closely by their federations.
As a vet, Rapinoe also knows where she needs to be come June.
“It’s just knowing yourself as a player. I have a pretty good understanding of what I need. I feel I have a good relationship with my club as well and just being honest and open in exactly what I need,” she said. “The national team’s a priority and me personally, I’m the priority for myself, making sure that I’m in the best place to perform the best I can at the World Cup.”
University of California’s break with the biggest academic publisher could shake up scholarly publishing for good
March 7, 2019
Libraries subscribe digitally to academic journals – and are left with nothing in the stacks when the contract expires.
Author: MacKenzie Smith, University Librarian and Vice Provost for Digital Scholarship, University of California, Davis
Disclosure statement: MacKenzie Smith receives funding from Mellon Foundation, IMLS, NSF.
Partners: University of California provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
The University of California recently made international headlines when it canceled its subscription with scientific journal publisher Elsevier. The twittersphere lit up. And Elsevier’s parent company, RELX, saw its stock drop 7 percent in response to the announcement.
A library canceling a subscription seems like a simple, everyday business decision, so what’s the big deal?
It was not just the clash-of-the-titans drama between the University of California, whose scholars produce nearly 10 percent of the nation’s research publications, and Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of academic research.
The story made headlines because it’s symptomatic of the way in which the internet has failed to deliver on the promise to make knowledge easily accessible and shareable by anyone, anywhere in the world. The UC-Elsevier showdown was the latest in a succession of cracks in what is widely considered to be a failing system for sharing academic research. As the head of the research library at UC Davis, I see this development as a harbinger of a tectonic shift in how universities and their faculty share research, build reputations and preserve knowledge in the digital age.
Accessing a journal no longer means going to a periodicals room.
Moving from stacks to screens
Here’s how things traditionally worked.
Universities have always subscribed to scientific journals so their researchers can study and build on the work that came before, and won’t needlessly duplicate research they never knew about. In the print age, university library shelves were lined with journals, available for any researcher or – in the case of public universities like the University of California – any member of the public to peruse and learn from.
Now, for almost all journals, and a growing number of books, libraries sign contracts to license access to digital versions. Since academic publishers moved their journals online, it has become rare for libraries to subscribe to printed journals, and researchers have adapted to the convenience of accessing journal articles on the internet.
Under the new business model of licensing access to journals online rather than distributing them in print, for-profit publishers often lock libraries into bundled subscriptions that wrap the majority of a publisher’s portfolio of journals – almost 3,000 in Elsevier’s case – into a single, multi-million dollar package. Rather than storing back issues on shelves, libraries can lose permanent access to journals when a contract expires. And members of the public can no longer read the library’s copy of a journal because the licenses are limited to members of the university. Now the public must buy online copies of academic articles for an average of US $35 to $40 a pop.
The shift to digital has been good for researchers in many ways. It is far more convenient to search for articles online, and easier to access and download a copy – provided you work for an institution with a paid subscription. Modern software makes organizing and annotating them simpler, too. With all of these benefits, no one would advocate for going back to the old days of print journals.
But this online system did not improve the picture overall. Despite digital copies of articles costing nothing to duplicate and the cost of producing an article online being lower than in the past, the cost to libraries of licensing access to them has continued to experience hyperinflation. No library can afford to license all of the journals that its faculty and students want access to, and many researchers around the world are shut out completely. Compounding the problem, consolidation in the scholarly publishing market has reduced competition significantly, causing even more price inflexibility.
Academic publishers certainly bear costs. They pay for professional editors and programmers, they manage the peer review process, they market their journals and so on. However, their revenues far exceed these costs and are among the highest of any companies in the world. Elsevier’s profit margin is reported to be nearly 40 percent far higher than even Apple at around 23 percent.
Where social media platforms like Facebook profit from – and indeed, would not exist without – the content generated by users, the parallel is true for academic journals. Companies like Elsevier receive articles from university faculty and other researchers for free, summarizing research that was often publicly funded by government grants. Then other faculty and researchers serve on their editorial boards and peer-review those articles for free or a nominal fee. Finally the company publishes them in journals available only behind a paywall.
And there’s the rub: the paywall. The great promise of the internet was that it would make knowledge more freely and easily accessible. In the world of academic research – where new discoveries are made and new knowledge is born – the hope 20 years ago was that the advent of online platforms would make research articles universally available. It would also bring down the cost of publishing scholarly journals and, consequently, begin to reduce the multi-million dollar subscription costs borne by universities and other research institutions.
Instead, articles are not readily available to everyone, subscription costs have continued to rise, and subscribers’ rights have eroded, including what they can do with articles they buy and their ability to provide long-term access to them.
What happened to sharing knowledge with the people who need it, funded or created it?
A model for the digital age
Maybe it’s time to just blow up the whole system and start over. But the system of sharing knowledge that scholars have today evolved over hundreds of years and contains certain qualities – peer review of accuracy, editorial judgment, long-term preservation – still matter deeply.
While research products – books, journals and articles – would definitely benefit from modernization in the digital age, we at the University of California are focusing on fixing the business model first. Paywalls and online subscriptions may make sense in other parts of the media ecosystem, but it’s not a good model for academic publishing, where authors and reviewers are paid by universities and research grants (with public money) rather than by publishers.
The open access movement would get rid of paywalls and let anyone read anything for free.
Fortunately, the academy has another option for a publishing business model that can better achieve the promise of the internet: open access. In that model, authors, or their funders or institutions, pay the publisher a fee to cover the cost of publishing each article. In exchange, the articles are made freely available for everyone to read online, anywhere, anytime. Article quality is preserved by the same unpaid peer-review system. Libraries at research institutions could shift their payments from licenses and subscriptions to publication fees for their affiliated authors. The cost is theoretically the same, but everyone can read everything for free.
The University of California has long supported the ideals of open access – allowing everyone in the world to access the knowledge created by its faculty and researchers, for the benefit of all. In fact, since open access became an option for publishing, more and more UC authors, following the global trend, have independently chosen to pay their publisher a fee in order to make their article freely available to the public.
But those fees come on top of the tens of millions of dollars that the university is already paying the publisher for access to the same articles. This “double dipping” by publishers was the final straw in UC’s resolve to change the system.
Several years ago, I worked with colleagues within the University of California and other academic research institutions to study the costs of publishing with this open access model. We found that, while costs would shift and more research-grant funds may need to be applied to publishing fees, overall it would be affordable for research universities, at least in North America where libraries are relatively well funded. With these results, UC could see a way out of its dilemma.
When UC’s contract with Elsevier was up for renewal, we resolved to put our ideas into practice and pursue the twin goals of increasing open access to UC’s research while containing or lowering our journal-related costs – and finally achieving something of the promise of the internet. While I was not on UC’s negotiating team, I was among the group of faculty and library leaders that worked closely with them and decided to take this step.
Our goals are ambitious and their implementation will be complex. Changing a system this intricate is akin to modernizing the FAA’s air traffic control system – a million planes are in the air at any moment and changing anything can have serious consequences elsewhere. But we have to start somewhere or the whole system is at risk, and UC has placed its bet. We join a global movement that began in Europe and is expanding around the world, and we believe we’re now on the path to a better system for sharing knowledge in the 21st century.
Colin MacGillivray: Congratulations. Let’s hope other major players do the same and undermine Elsevier and their ilk and work together to create open access for all.
Gavin Moodie, Adjunct professor, RMIT University: Thanx for this account.
Yes, gold open access is an option and may be preferable to the current subscription arrangement. But I far, far prefer green open access. Many universities including the University of California are pursuing this in 2 ways.
(Re-) establishing or developing a university press subsidised by the university to publish journals and monographs at no cost to the reader.
Enjoining faculty to lodge all their publications in the university’s digital repository which makes the appropriate version of the publication freely available to the public.
Mass-market electric pickup trucks and SUVs are on the way
March 8, 2019
Venkat Viswanathan, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Shashank Sripad, Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Disclosure statement: Venkat Viswanathan is a consultant for Pratt & Whitney. He is a technical consultant, owns stock options and a member of Advisory Board at Zunum Aero. He is a technical consultant for Quantumscape. His research group receives funding from Airbus A^3, Quantumscape, Zunum Aero, Volkswagen, Toyota Research Institute.
Shashank Sripad receives funding from Zunum Aero and Airbus A^3 to undertake research as a Ph.D. Student at Carnegie Mellon University.
Electric vehicles – specifically, the Tesla Model 3 – are dominating the U.S. market for premium sedans, but are barely even on the radar in the busiest automotive category, which includes SUVs and pickup trucks.
The immediate reason is economics, but it has a lot to do with physics as well: Larger, heavier, less aerodynamic electric vehicles need larger, heavier, more expensive batteries to power them. Our research has looked at the energy needed to move cars and trucks along the road, and has identified the important factors that affect power usage.
We have developed an applet that can provide estimates of how much energy an electric vehicle would need to carry on board for a given driving range. This lets consumers determine how big a battery pack their car will need. The applet can provide a comparison of difference in energy consumption among sedans, pickup trucks and SUVs. Tesla’s Model 3 and the Model Y crossover SUV will use the same battery pack, so our applet lets consumers compare the difference in driving range between a sedan and SUV.
How do electric vehicles work?
There are three forces resisting any effort to move a car on a flat road: wind resistance, friction from the road and inertia. Using the specifications of a vehicle’s design, including its weight, dimensions and shape, we can calculate the energy needed to get the vehicle to start and stay moving. From there, we can determine how long the car can travel at a certain speed, and estimate how far it can go before needing to recharge its batteries.
The actual range of the vehicle can vary widely, depending on the exact driving scenario, such as moving on a highway or driving in a city. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides a set of standardized drive profiles for different conditions (such as urban, highway or a combination), each of which specifies the speed of the car as it travels. The EPA also publishes a certification report that provides many characteristics, including the battery pack size and range of a given vehicle. This provides a consistent set of data with which we compare different cars, SUVs and trucks.
A prototype of Rivian’s SUV, still under development.
Those sorts of calculations are common for gas-powered vehicles. Electric cars also have an additional element to factor in: regenerative braking, which lets cars recharge their batteries when slowing down.
An early test of our approach involved the Tesla Model 3. We calculated how much energy it would need, how much it could regenerate along a trip and how much battery storage would need to be on board. We predicted that for the car to fulfill its promised 310-mile range before needing to recharge, it would have to store about 80 kilowatt-hours in its battery bank. That calculation was later borne out by the EPA certification report.
Since that first success, we have analyzed a wide range of electric vehicles, allowing us – and consumers – to compare their energy efficiency and power consumption, and earning us the title “Battery Police.”
(Select an available electric vehicle or make your own using the “Custom Vehicle” option.)
On to electric pickup trucks
Our method isn’t just limited to cars. We have used it to analyze tractor-trailers that haul freight long distances. And we are beginning to examine pickups and SUVs as they come onto the market.
Trucks are bigger and, often, less aerodynamically designed than cars, meaning they typically encounter more wind resistance. Friction and inertia increase for heavier vehicles. All of those mean a truck needs more energy to get, and stay, moving.
Once we know the amount of energy, we can calculate the battery pack size or driving range. The price of battery packs has dropped significantly over the past decade.
By studying vehicle characteristics, we can help compare different electric vehicles’ battery needs and costs, which can help consumers evaluate options when they’re considering buying an electric car, a future SUV or an electric pickup truck. Within the applet, different vehicles currently can be selected. The change in driving range for different average driving speeds can be computed.
In addition, a custom electric vehicle with any battery pack size can be designed and the applet will answer questions about energy consumption, range and the total weight of the vehicle with the battery pack. This can be used to compare and understand the differences among vehicles.