Always Game

first_imgThere seems to be no pressure when Lackey stands in the center of the infield, surrounded by a stadium of fans. There is only an increase in intensity when the stakes are high and the challenge is the toughest. “He’s not scared at all,” catcher Mike Napoli said. “He wants that. He wants to be that big-game pitcher. He wants to be out there and be the one that can say he was there for that big game and took it home.” When the American League ERA title was there for the taking during his last start of the season last week, Lackey pitched seven shutout innings and took home the honor. When the Angels failed to clinch the division in their first two tries, Lackey shut down the Mariners on Sept. 23 and the champagne started flowing. Already with a successful start in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series on his resume, Lackey has built his big-game credentials. And he’s tough. After Oakland’s Jason Kendall charged Lackey on the mound last season, the next time Lackey faced the A’s it was pure vengeance. Lackey retired 27 consecutive batters, missing a perfect game only because he gave up a leadoff double. Lackey continues to brush aside those feelings of panic that can humble even the best of players. He has a 1.88 ERA in three previous Division Series outings (two starts). He has a 1-1 record and a 3.75 ERA in two American League Championship Series games. And there was the huge effort against the San Francisco Giants in the 2002 Series as a rookie. “I’ve been in enough (big games) that I know you can’t get too excited about it,” Lackey said. “You have to do what brought you here. You have to be able to execute pitches. You’ve got to get beyond all the flyovers and the pregame stuff. Once you get between the lines, you’ve got to make pitches.” His manager, Mike Scioscia, caught Orel Hershiser during the right-hander’s record-breaking 1988 season, so he knows a thing or two about outstanding starters. And he puts Lackey up there with the best of them. “(Lackey’s) one of the best competitors I’ve been around in 30-plus years,” Scioscia said. “And I think his ability to slow the game down on the mound has developed from the time he was a rookie to where he is now. He’s channeled his emotions into something that’s positive out there to get to the next pitch.” Experience figures to be a wash today in Game 1. Josh Beckett has big-time playoff and World Series credentials after pitching the Florida Marlins to the title in 2003. Beckett pitched a five-hit shutout to finish off the Yankees in Game 6 of that World Series. Lackey will use his World Series experience to gain any advantage he can. “It’s definitely something I can draw upon,” Lackey said. “I’ve pitched in a few playoff games and that’s obviously the biggest one. My mind-set in that game, when I was a rookie, was that I was coming up with a lot of veterans. I was just hoping to contribute. I wasn’t going to try to do too much.” Against Beckett, he figures to take on more responsibility. “He’s been in these games just like I have and done extremely well,” Lackey said. “I mean, throwing a shutout to win a World Series, it doesn’t get much better than that. He’s obviously got great stuff and it’s going to be a great challenge for us. I’m going to have to pitch well to give our guys a chance.” But as focused as Lackey can be, on occasion he can also appear distracted by his moods. When the Angels were in Boston last, Lackey was certain he would pitch against Beckett in the second game of a doubleheader that would have Cy Young implications. The matchup didn’t happen and a disappointed Lackey was crushed for seven runs (six earned) and 11 hits in four innings. It was just one of a number of rough starts against the Red Sox. So, many of the questions in Lackey’s interview session Tuesday centered around his 1-6 record and 6.27 ERA against the Red Sox in his career. He is 1-4 in Fenway Park with a 7.68 ERA. “They’ve obviously got a great lineup and a good team,” Lackey said. “But I’m not going to look too far into that and I’m certainly going to show up (today) and give it a run. I think we have a good team, too. And if I pitch up to my capabilities, I like my chances against pretty much anybody.” doug.padilla@sgvn.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Doug Padilla STAFF WRITER BOSTON – If John Lackey was standing on a mound, it’s likely a roaring lion or a charging rhinoceros would not even earn a flinch. This guy needs a safari hat and an elephant gun since “Big Game” is the most appropriate tag for the right-hander, whose safe haven has been a hill of dirt 60 feet, 6 inches from home. last_img read more

3-D Printing Is a Simplified Form of Biomimetics

first_img(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 One of the hottest industrial revolutions in progress is 3-D printing.  It can’t hold a candle, though, to biological materials construction.In a story on PhysOrg, Chad Henry of CSIRO proudly holds two large insect models he made with a 3-D printer.  His 40x creations, originally made as art, are shedding light on insect anatomy, the article goes on to say.  Live bugs, however, build up their tissues and organs with far more precision than any human machine.“The Future of 3-D Printing,” also on PhysOrg, is a good look at the new technology – especially the embedded video clip interview with Richard Hague, who found himself an early pioneer of the technique that may become as important as the personal computer.  A photo with the article shows a prosthetic arms complete with electrical connections inside, just like – well, the real thing, except vastly simpler.Hague’s team at the University of Nottingham has its sights set high: a revolution in manufacturing, returning the power of design and implementation to the people:“At the moment, 3D printing uses single materials, a polymer or a metal, which are fused together with a laser. You can create interwoven geometries but they’re still passive. What we’re looking to do, is activate those and make them functionalise. So rather than make a component, you make the whole system—an example might be rather than print a case for a mobile phone, you make the whole phone—all the electronics, the case, the structural aspects, all in one print.”In a very real way, that’s exactly what organisms do: they build materials layer upon layer under controlled conditions.  Nacre (mother-of-pearl), for example, achieves its desirable strength without becoming brittle by depositing successive layers of mineral and protein (see 7/26/04).  Materials engineers have been trying to mimic nacre and other biological materials for years (3/27/10, 2/07/11).  3-D printing may help this assembly of ideal materials.  It is also highly scalable.  Some day it may be used for nano-manufacture as well as for airplane parts.3-D printing imitates another biological technique: following a kind of “genetic code,” a set of programmed instructions that tell the printer where to deposit the individual ingredients.  These codes can be shared in a kind of “lateral gene transfer” one might say, so that humans across the world can duplicate toys, machines, or even edible artworks using the same instruction set.None of these articles referred to biomimetics, yet their examples of 3-D printed products include mimics of insects and human limbs.  Exciting as the new technology looks, it comes nowhere close to the assembly of materials from an embryo to an adult organism.  Some future 3-D printed art gallery will only be able to boast very cheap imitations of living systems, even if they are capable of movement.  Let one of those plastic beetles lay eggs and grow whole new adult beetles using available materials following an embedded code, and then humans may be a little closer to boasting of intelligent design.Update 10/21/13: posted a gallery of 3-D objects created out of metals and alloys, with its report of Europe’s Project AMAZE Conference (Additive Manufacturing Aiming Towards Zero Waste and Efficient Production of High-Tech Metal Products), showing the precision and versatility of 3-D printing.We are at the forefront of a technological revolution comparable to cell phones and home computers.  Already, hobbyists are sharing downloadable designs for printing all kinds of models.  NASA won’t have to launch parts up to the space station; they can just beam up the code and let on-board 3-D printers make them on the spot.  What 3-D printing will do to the manufacturing industry and the economy is hard to say; similar worries were voiced at the advent of personal computers and other industrial revolutions.  Most likely, it will be a boon to the economy, opening up entrepreneurial opportunities and offering new high-paying jobs, while rendering other jobs as superfluous as Pony Express riders or telegraph linemen.  Who knows what useful products are forthcoming?  Hospitals may be able to print customized prosthetics on the spot.  Your garage may just need the design codes to build parts in the shop rather than ordering them from across town.  The Lego company may have to sell programs with bottles of resins instead of hard plastic parts.  Villains will find ways to use the new technology for harm, as usual, and governments will have new challenges for national security or pollution.  Most new technologies have potential for a lot of good, though.Soon, prices will fall to the point where every home will have to have a 3-D printer, just like it needs a microwave or internet connection.  Local stores will fill shelves with raw materials instead of finished products.  Websites will have downloadable codes ready to use on home printers.  Art galleries will show off the latest creative applications.  If you thought the golden age of invention was over, 3-D printing may be the next “Wow!” breakthrough.  Just remember, though, with all the whiz-bang devices coming forth, nature had it first.  The ability to assemble a living organism from a fertilized cell is the ultimate masterpiece of 3-D manufacture.  Most human designs are flimsy, cheap imitations of the Creator’s ultimate handiwork.  But that’s OK; our clumsy attempts at design give us all the more reason to glorify the omniscient Lord of life, who can make a butterfly cross continents, a tree pumping water nearly 400 feet from the ground, an arctic tern that can fly from pole to pole, and a human mother bringing forth a new baby, able to grow into a rational adult capable of composing music, breaking a pole-vault record, or writing a treatise on the nature of subatomic particles.  The more we try things, the more we can appreciate perfection.last_img read more

Eskom secures R2.8bn Medupi loan

first_img11 September 2008 “The export credit financing loan is payable over 12 years after the commissioning of the units at Medupi power station,” Eskom said. “Eskom is expected to make draw down from this facility from the beginning of the new calendar year.” Eskom said in a statement this week that the loan would be used to partially finance the six boilers that the Hitachi Power consortium will supply for the construction of the new Medupi coal-fired power station, being built near Lephalale in Limpopo province. Eskom recently began construction on the Kusile coal-fired power station near Witbank in Mpumalanga province, while work on Medupi began in April. The first of Medupi’s six generating units will be commissioned by early 2011, with the last unit scheduled for commissioning by January 2015. The first of Kusile’s six generating units is scheduled for completion by 2013, followed by the completion on an additional unit after every eight months. Eskom has also called for statements of qualification from local and international companies interested in investing in South Africa as independent power producers. KfW-IPEX and financial services group HSBC jointly arranged the export finance cover from the German federal government-backed export credit agency Hermes.center_img SAinfo reporter Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nqwababa said that Eskom’s partnership with KfW-IPEX was important in ensuring that Eskom continued to secure and stabilise South Africa’s power systems. The signing of the loan agreement with KfW-IPEX, which took place at Eskom’s headquarters in Johannesburg, was attended by Eskom finance director Bongani Nqwababa and KfW-IPEX first vice-president Peter Purkl. South African state electricity company Eskom has secured a €250-million (about R2.8-billion) export credit financing loan from Germany’s KfW-IPEX to fund part of its capital expenditure activities. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more