FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Amazon has revealed plans for the next phase of its headquarters redevelopment in Virginia. featuring a signature 350-foot helix-shaped office tower that can be climbed from the outside like a mountain hike. The head-turning helix building is the centerpiece of the proposal that also features three 22-story office buildings. The Seattle-based company is looking to accommodate 25,000 new workers over the coming years in the Arlington County neighborhoods across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital. The company said in a blog post that the building is designed to help people connect to nature. Sketches show trees spiraling along the building’s exterior. Amazon said the exterior climb will be open to public tours on weekends.
After another dominant victory over a nonconference foe, the USC Trojan football team has wrapped up the easy part of its schedule. After two games — both blowout wins — it’s hard to really tell how USC will fare against quality Pac-12 opponents.So far, there are very few complaints about the team. Against Idaho, the offensive line and special teams performed better than they did in the season opener when they faced Arkansas State. The offensive line opened up gaping holes for all five of USC’s stellar running backs, and the Trojans also blocked an extra point.At 2-0, the 2015 Trojans have done everything they are supposed to, which is a positive sign. There were no close calls against inferior opponents like Auburn and Notre Dame this past Saturday. Additionally, the team has yet to suffer any major injuries that would negatively affect the Trojans’ potential for the rest of the season. The most noteworthy aspect of the season thus far is that it has been entirely predictable, which is a breath of fresh air when it comes to USC football.The highlight so far this season has been the tremendous play of the Trojans’ skill position players. Both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Adoree’ Jackson picked up right where they left off a season ago, with the dynamic duo leading the charge for the Trojans.Smith-Schuster has further refined his route-running abilities, improving his dependability and admirably filling the shoes of departed first-round draft pick Nelson Agholor. Smith-Schuster brings a level of smash mouth physicality to the wideout position that makes him an even more formidable threat than former standouts Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and Agholor. Additionally, his speed and catch radius are already at an elite level and will give opposing Pac-12 defensive backs nightmares for the rest of the season.If contending with Smith-Schuster and the rest of USC’s talented wide receivers wasn’t enough, now defenses have to worry about Jackson making a big play whenever he touches the ball, which so far has been much more frequent than last season. Jackson, who is also one of the surest tacklers on defense, had a catch-and-run that was about as close to Reggie Bush’s famous run against Fresno State as anything the Coliseum has seen in the last 10 years.Both Smith-Schuster and Jackson have lived up to their billing as ballyhooed recruits, and USC’s potent and explosive offense is reaping the rewards. The talent extends beyond the receiving corps to the backfield where USC is absolutely loaded at tailback.Junior Justin Davis made his 2015 debut in electrifying style, bouncing his first run outside and taking it to the goal line. After scoring on the subsequent play, Davis’s uncanny vision and cutback ability was on display on the next drive with impressive runs. Though frequently injured, Davis has natural instincts that just can’t be taught, and if he can somehow stay healthy all season, the Trojans will have the perfect complement to Tre Madden’s running style.Madden had another impressive game, displaying his versatility as a runner, pass-catcher and blocker. Though he has missed a lot of the last two seasons, Madden hasn’t really skipped a beat from his elite performances in the early 2013 season.The real revelations, though, have been the freshmen trio of running backs. Ronald Jones II followed up his terrific debut with another stellar performance against the Vandals. In what was one of the most impressive runs of the game, Jones exploded through the middle for a dynamic 40-plus yard touchdown run. Though it was called back because of holding, this run, in conjunction with his long scamper against Arkansas State, is indicative of Jones’ tremendous big play ability.While Jones has dominated the headlines so far, both Dominic Davis and Aca’Cedric Ware have also made quality impressions. Davis, who is too light to be an every-down back, makes explosive plays every time he touches the ball. With his ability to split out wide, Davis could be a matchup nightmare for opposing linebackers who can’t match his quickness. Ware has only flashed glimpses of his potential, but the brief introduction has exhibited a physical downhill runner who complements the quartet of USC’s other running backs.It’s certainly too early to get overly excited about the Trojans’ postseason potential after only two wins against substandard opponents, but the team definitely has to feel good about their first two victories.Both Stanford and Arizona State have looked suspect so far this season, and if the Trojans can somehow beat both the Cardinal and Sun Devils, then they will enter their early season bye in the best position they have been in since the end of the Pete Carroll era. The team has a long way to go to match the performance of those teams, but so far it is trending in the right direction.Jake Davidson is a junior majoring in accounting. His column, “Davidson’s Direction,” runs Mondays.
After downing the UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion for the first time in three years, the Trojans now have a chance to maintain home and crosstown-cup perfection at the Galen Center for the second act of the USC and UCLA showdown.The 17-5 Trojans, coming off two straight 10-point wins against Washington State and Washington at home, are on the upswing after losing two games against Oregon and Oregon State on their most recent road trip.On the other hand, the 13-9 Bruins have been struggling recently, losing three of their last five games to USC, Oregon and Washington while allowing an average of 76.8 points per game.In the first game of the crosstown rivalry, the Men of Troy easily handled the Bruins 89-75, despite a deafening crowd of 12,993 at Pauley Pavilion.“Bryce Alford is really good,” redshirt junior Katin Reinhardt said. “Last game he didn’t get anything going. We’ve got to make sure we contain him again as well as Tony Parker.”During the contest, the Trojans executed precise outside shooting from their guards, equal distribution inside and out and big plays inside the paint from their forwards.Sophomores Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart were dynamite for USC, converting seven of their 10 three-point attempts, with McLaughlin going for a team-high 23 points on 50 percent shooting.As for the Trojan bigs, freshman Chimezie Metu and junior Nikola Jovanovic helped USC to out-rebound UCLA, combining for 14 of 42 rebounds, while scoring 21 and eight points, respectively. Not to mention, Metu and Jovanovic completed nine of their 12 free-throw attempts, helping USC shoot 78.3 percent overall from the line.In terms of what the Trojans’ defense was able to do against the Bruins, UCLA completed just four of its 19 three-point attempts with their bench accumulating just two points off of four free throws while missing all of their eight shots from the field.As well, the Trojans earned four steals and caused the Bruins to turn the ball over nine times.Moving on from their 14-point win, though, the Trojans have been playing better quality basketball after their two losses in Oregon due to a combination of their interior offense and exterior defense.A resurgent Jovanovic has stepped up his play in recent games, shooting a combined 16-23 in his past two games with 12 rebounds, 40 points, two assists and a 88.9 percent free-throw percentage after scoring just 13 points combined in the Trojans’ losses to Oregon and Oregon State.If the Men of Troy hope to keep their 13-0 record at home untarnished, the 6-feet-11 Jovanovic will have to play consistently on the offensive glass, grabbing offensive rebounds, while contributing hook shots and layups on the scorecard.Not to mention, the Trojans have been dominating in terms of pushing teams inside due to their stringy outside defense. Considering the correlation between opposing 3-point percentage and overall outcome for the Trojans, USC will need to lock down the perimeter and force UCLA shooters inside the arch.In the Trojans’ two wins against Washington State and Washington, the Cougars and Huskies each shot 22.2 and 25 percent from 3-point range, respectively. In USC’s win at Pauley Pavilion, the Trojans held the Bruins to just 21.1 percent from beyond the arch, leading to a 14-point drubbing.“Our goal all year has been to challenge the 3-point shooter and try to run them off the line,” head coach Andy Enfield said. “We’ve been doing a pretty good job at holding teams to moderate or low percentage from the 3 line all season, but you never know. UCLA has great shooters from the perimeter.”Despite a shaky 2-2 record in their last four games, the Bruins are shooting 36.3 percent from beyond the arch, much improved from their loss to USC.Overall, though, reducing Alford, Isaac Hamilton, Parker and Aaron Holiday is imperative to a Trojan victory, ultimately crowd support could determine the result of Thursday’s contest.Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Galen Center.