first_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribe Share Save Weekly initial unemployment claims came in at 1.3 million for the week ending July 4, a decline of 99,000, according to the Department of Labor.The prior week’s level was revised down by 14,000 to 1.41 million from 1.42 million. The four-week moving average was 1.43 million—a decline of 63,000 from the previous week’s revised average.The Department reported that the advanced unemployment rate was 12.4% for the week ending June 27, which is a decline of just 0.5 percentage points from the prior week.For the week ending June 20, there was a total of 3.29 million people claiming benefits in all programs. This is an increase of 1.4 million from the prior week. There were 1.6 people claiming benefits in all programs compared to the same week in 2019.The highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending June 20 were in Puerto Rico (25.4%); Nevada (20.8%); Hawaii (20.7%); New York (17.1%); California (16.7%); Louisiana (16.2%); Massachusetts (15.6%); Georgia (15.1%), and Connecticut (15%).Doug Duncan, Chief Economist, Fannie Mae, said that while the labor market has shown gradual improvement, it still faces a “significant degree of disruption” due to COVID-19.“Despite falling from a peak of 6.9 million on March 28, initial claims are still double the highest value seen during the previous recession,” Duncan said. “Furthermore, the pace of decline appears to have slowed in recent weeks. Over the last 15 weeks, more than 46 million unemployment insurance claims have been filed.”While First American Financials’ Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi said the weekly figures came in lower than expected, the report marked the 15th consecutive week initial claims were over 1 million.“While the weekly jobless claims were lower than expected last week, it’s too soon to celebrate,” Kushi said. “More than 40% of the country is now reversing or pausing its plans to reopen, and this could potentially result in another labor market shock.”From a housing perspective, Kushi noted that the housing market will continue to benefit from an increase in home-buying power and the continual decline of interest rates.On Thursday, Freddie Mac announced the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit another record low—coming in at 3.03%.“The summer is heating up as record-low mortgage rates continue to spur homebuyer demand,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “However, it remains to be seen whether the demand will continue if COVID cases rise to the point that it hinders economic growth.”Danushka Nanayakkara Skillington, AVP, Forecasting & Analysis, for the National Association of Homebuilders, said demand for housing is expected to grow from the spring and summer buying seasons and low rates.”Most of the states deemed residential construction necessary,  therefore the impact of COVID-19 was not as wide-spread as in other industries. The industry has also gained back almost half the jobs that were lost in March/April,” Nanayakkara said. Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 1 day ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago coronaviurs housing market 2020 Labor Market 2020-07-09 Mike Albanese Home / Daily Dose / Unemployment Claims Rise to 3.2M Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 1 day ago Unemployment Claims Rise to 3.2M About Author: Mike Albanese Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville.  Print This Post The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days agocenter_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 1 day ago Previous: Renters’ Homeownership Hopes Delayed Next: Supreme Court to Address FHFA’s Constitutionality, Autodialers Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Tagged with: coronaviurs housing market 2020 Labor Market Related Articles Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily July 9, 2020 1,017 Views Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 1 day agolast_img read more

first_imgDuring her 20 years at Harvard, Leslie Morris has led what any book lover might see as a charmed life. As the curator of Modern Books & Manuscripts at Houghton Library, she has befriended John Updike, corresponded with Gore Vidal, pored over cross-written letters by Jane Austen, and archived Emily Dickinson’s teacups.But about a year ago, during a three-day business trip to Europe, Morris experienced cultural astonishment on a new scale. She viewed a vast collection of boxes, drawers, shelves — whole rooms — full of eccentric treasures dating back to the 16th century, all expressions of a top cultural engine: altered states of mind.“I always explain it as sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll,” said Morris of the collection, now being unpacked, examined, described, and indexed at Harvard, a process known as accessioning. But the music collection and related artifacts went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Harvard, she said, “got the sex and drugs.”The Santo Domingo collection is on long-term deposit at Harvard. “We do not own it,” said Morris, but the owners “want us to catalog it, and they want it available for research.”The collection has an estimated 30,000 books and 25,000 posters, photographs, and other ephemera assembled by Colombian businessman Julio Mario Santo Domingo Jr.In May, Morris returned to supervise shipment of the collection to Cambridge. It has an estimated 30,000 books and 25,000 posters, photographs, and other ephemera assembled by Colombian businessman Julio Mario Santo Domingo Jr., who died in 2009. As a student at Columbia University in the 1970s, Santo Domingo had been drawn to French poets of the late 19th century. Charles Baudelaire, for one, created a brand of romanticism that hinged on sex, death, and the pleasures of the senses. It was influenced by his use of hashish, opium, and alcohol. Baudelaire described the effects of such drugs most aptly in the title of his 1860 book, “Artificial Paradises.”The Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection is now the largest of its kind in the world, and will gradually be available to scholars of literature, fine art, photography, film, history, medicine, popular culture, and more. This is a range of disciplines that makes the collection uniquely rich even within Harvard’s enormously diverse collections. “Its size is really unprecedented,” said Morris.Ranging far and wideThe collection’s breadth owes a lot to the two extraordinary collections that Santo Domingo had the foresight to buy and combine: that of the late Gérard Nordmann, a Swiss aficionado of erotica, and the one once held at the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library in San Francisco.The Ludlow collection contained 10,000 items related to psychoactive drugs. It was named after the American who wrote the first full-length work in English on the cannabis experience, “The Hasheesh Eater” (1857). Harvard is now steward of works by crusaders both against illicit drugs and for them, like Aleister Crowley, who wrote “Diary of a Drug Fiend.”A selection of film reels, including one labeled “Nuggets and Nudists,” are among the items on long-term deposition at Harvard. “We do not own it,” explained curator Leslie Morris, but the owners “want us to catalog it, and they want it available for research.”The Nordmann collection, auctioned by Christie’s in Paris in 2006, contained only 1,200 items, but many were leading works about altered states of mind. For instance, Nordmann had acquired the original manuscript of “Story of O,” the 1954 erotic classic about female submission.“To me, this is the iconic erotic novel of the 20th century,” Morris said of the book, which has never been out of print. She carefully unboxed the manuscript and laid it on a table in a basement room at Widener Library, where much of the collection is being unpacked. The manuscript, mostly in pencil, with scant revisions, is in five folders of paper, each sheet torn from an adhesive pad as it was finished. By the last folder, the manuscript hurried along in ink, and revisions appeared in flurries. How does the manuscript compare with the novel’s many editions, Morris wondered. “This is a good project for a graduate student.”Standing nearby was Harvard archivist Alison Harris, the project manager who is unpacking most of the 700 boxes, which arrived at Harvard during the summer, and then recording what is in them. “It’s Christmas every day,” said Morris. “You never know what you’ll find when you open up a box.” As discoveries are made, she said, staffers blog about them at Modern Books and Manuscripts.Most of the cartons were shipped by sea, fitted carefully into a steel container. But 14 cartons — containing vulnerable manuscripts, photographs, films, tapes, and artifacts on vellum — were shipped by air. “You worry a lot,” said Morris of preparing a collection like this for transport.And you are amazed a lot, said Ryan Wheeler, the Harvard rare book cataloger who has been accessioning some of the books for placement in Houghton. He called the collection “pretty continually surprising.” There are many 19th-century books that were printed privately for covert societies of subscribers, volumes that rarely named authors, that concealed printing origins, and that even obscured publication dates. (One volume, Wheeler noted in a blog post, was dated “1863-1910.”)Some surprises involve the content. “I’m working on the rarest material first,” said Wheeler, “so erotica is overrepresented.” (Suddenly, he added, his job has become an interesting focus at cocktail parties.)Other surprises in the collection would appeal mostly to scholars. For instance, most of the older printed matter is in French, and much has never been cataloged in English. Others are first-time acquisitions for Harvard, including a first edition of Jack Kerouac’s 1957 classic, “On the Road.” (The collection includes five reel-to-reel tapes of Kerouac reading, singing, and talking with friends, along with a series of manuscript letters. “I’m not tough,” one reads. “I’m just a soft-hearted imbecile.”)A volume by French poet Charles Baudelaire contains handwritten letters signed by Baudelaire.Still other surprises are aesthetic, including books privately printed for select audiences of wealthy men. Wheeler brought out a rich-looking volume with a pristine calfskin cover and tight binding, an illustrated volume of Baudelaire’s “Flowers of Evil.” Such books “are just lovely to handle,” said an appreciative Morris. “My department doesn’t really acquire things simply because they are beautiful.”High and low artSanto Domingo loved art, both high and low. For every 16th-century botanical publication with hand-tinted illustrations, or for every special edition, there are dozens of more humble artifacts of erotica, crime writing, and the drug culture: posters, buttons, comic books, law enforcement patches, and even a large box of rolling papers in bright packets.Some objects were left behind, like the world’s largest collection of opium pipes. (“The library is not really set up for objects,” Morris explained.) When eBay was in its infancy, Santo Domingo had assistants scout the offerings for drug-culture snippets and geegaws, some of them snapped up for a dollar or two. (Harris showed one of her favorites, a shrink-wrapped game called “Stoner Trivia.”)Harris laid out a dozen posters on a tabletop. Santo Domingo had had them carefully backed in linen so they could be unrolled without damage.Boxes containing books, including this one titled “LSD,” represent just a portion of the major collection.There were garish posters in French that advertised American movies. Others wryly celebrate getting high. One poster, in velvet, advertised the services, by blimp, of Air Cannabis. “Come fly with us,” it offered. Another played on an education theme. “Pot,” the poster assured, “teaches us about geography.” And lest other ways of altering the mind be left out, there was a poster of Fritz the Cat immersed in a bathtub, surrounded by several pairs of female legs. Its wishful legend said in French: “He has all the vices.”From the ephemeral to the ethereal, these collectibles will aid scholars for years, said Morris. At Harvard, the Santo Domingo collection will be disbursed to libraries specializing in medicine, art, film, botany, poetry, and rare books. The Radcliffe Institute’s Schlesinger Library will get items for its cookbook archive. (The collection, explained Morris, includes “three shelves of cookbooks on how to make hash brownies and other hallucinogenic foods.”)A onetime Harvard faculty member — were he still alive — would appreciate the material about altered states. Psychedelic pioneer Timothy Leary once reacted when First Lady Nancy Reagan popularized a campaign of “Just Say No” against illicit drugs. Leary preferred another line, which he used to conclude “Flashbacks,” his autobiography: “Just Say Know.”The Modern Books & Manuscripts Department of Houghton Library is sponsoring a lecture at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 concerning the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection. “Collecting the Counterculture” will feature London rare books dealer Carl Williams of Maggs Brothers Ltd. The event, in Houghton’s Edison & Newman Room, is free and open to the public.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand addressed a special online session organised by the Sports Authority of India for its newly appointed Assistant Directors and spoke about the immense importance of coaches in the sporting ecosystem.Gopichand who has coached India to two Olympic medals in 2012 (Saina Nehwal) and 2016 (P.V. Sindhu) said: “You want people to be on-field, you want them to work as coaches… (however) as time goes by, a lot of people want to become mentors and administrators and they don’t want to continue coaching.“As administrators I want you to be aware, of who are putting in the effort and who are remotely managing. Most successful models worldwide are coach-driven, sports science and athlete-driven. People working on the field should be the decision-makers.”Gopichand added that rather than having grassroot-level coaches, intermediate coaches and elite coaches as part of a hierarchy, they should all work parallel to each other. He also added that it is important coaches are constantly motivated so that they don’t lose interest in their job.The badminton ace who became a national hero with his All-England Championship win in 2001, said that the funding model of sports could be changed in order to throw up more champions. “All present models are athlete-centric, they don’t benefit the sport as a whole. They benefit individual athletes. We should look at funding a group rather than individual athletes. The structure should throw up champions. The level of competition should be so high, that they become world-class without them even knowing. The number 2 and number 3 should be constantly pushing the number 1,” he explained.Pullela Gopichand added that to create more winners, it is important to have a strong domestic competition structure, “The competition structure should be strong where everyone is striving to beat the other. We need to find small pockets where not only training is world-class but competition is also world-class. Internal competition is what will make people strive to get better.”He also emphasised on sports administrators taking up a more holistic approach towards player development, “Administrators should look at being innovative and ensuring the holistic development of the athlete, and we should see that development happening all through. The champion will last longer if there is a more holistic approach,” said Gopichand. IANSAlso Read: Live online workshops a wonderful initiative during a lockdown: Pullela GopichandAlso Watch: East Siang District Administration in Arunachal Pradesh cautious over coronaviruslast_img read more

first_imgHow would you like to get paid millions to watch hoops on TV?According to Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Kevin Durant hates it with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.Durant has missed eight postseason games after straining his right calf. At the time of the injury he was at the absolute top of his game, averaging 34.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1 block. The Warriors have won six of the eight games Durant has missed. But they have lost two of the past three …last_img

first_img(Visited 408 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Secularists put too much hope on some aspects of Earth-like exoplanets, but sometimes reality keeps their imaginations in check.Titanic blunder: One of the most extreme cases of astrobiological folly in recent memory is the public presentation of Titan as a more habitable place for humans than Mars. Space.com and Fox News Science, fully aware that it’s -290°F at the surface of this large moon of Saturn, joined in this imagination fest, lured by the thought of free energy. Cassini scientist Amanda Hendrix and co-author Yuk Yang look at all the free oil and wind power down there, as if that’s all that matters. No food, no oxygen, and a billion miles of space travel are minor matters to these speculators who will never have to be held accountable for their ideas, since they will be long gone by the time humans leap the technological hurdles to even get there, let alone be able to land without freezing solid instantly. Besides those challenges, future settlers had better not bring or manufacture oxygen, otherwise with all the hydrocarbons present in the atmosphere, the settlement will go kablooey first time someone lights a match.Artwork for one of Cassini’s 127 Titan encountersBlunders like this come from focusing on one aspect of habitability to the exclusion of others. Titan orbits within Saturn’s magnetosphere 95% of the time, where it is exposed to high-energy charged particles. Lacking a magnetic field of its own, it is exposed to the deadly solar wind the other 5% of the time. Furthermore, Titan’s atmosphere is poisoned with acetylene, benzene and other toxins. It has smog, obscuring any view of the stars from the surface. And it is so deadly cold, any life form not continuously heated would die instantly. The ice on Titan is so cold, in fact, it behaves like solid rock. The only places for boat recreation are lakes of liquid methane and ethane. Titan does not seem like a fun place for humans to go, even with all that free oil. The occasional speculations about microbes on Titan seem highly unrealistic. If evolutionists cannot figure out how microbes came into being on an ideal planet like Earth, how can they imagine it happening on a world where all the water is locked up in ice?TRAPPIST Entrapment: A few weeks ago, the news media hyped the TRAPPIST-1 star as a place to look for life. Its seven planets, three within the ‘habitable zone’ where liquid water might exist, excited the imaginations of astrobiologists leaking their hopeful dreams to the press. Now, there’s bad news. Mike Wall reports on Space.com, “The potentially Earth-like planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system may not be so conducive to life after all, two new studies report.” The onslaught of flares and outbursts from the parent star likely destroyed the atmospheres of all these planets, if they have or had them. Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb says with humorous understatement, “This would hurt the chances of life forming or persisting.” The blessings we enjoy on Earth stand out in this excerpt:But it gets worse. Because the TRAPPIST-1 system is so tightly packed, the star’s magnetic field has likely connected with those of the planets, allowing stellar-wind particles to flow directly onto the worlds’ atmospheres, the researchers found. This has probably caused atmospheric degradation, and the worlds may even have lost their air entirely.“The Earth’s magnetic field acts like a shield against the potentially damaging effects of the solar wind,” study leader Cecilia Garraffo of the CfA said in the same statement. “If Earth were much closer to the sun and subjected to the onslaught of particles like the TRAPPIST-1 star delivers, our planetary shield would fail pretty quickly.”The type of star matters to habitability, Phys.org emphasizes. Having studied the destructive power of red dwarf stars, known for their flaring behavior, one co-author cautioned, “our work and the work of our colleagues shows we should also target as many stars as possible that are more like the Sun.”The shooting gallery: A paper in PLoS One examines the biological effects of exposure to space outside the Earth’s protective shield. It begins, “During interplanetary flights in the near future, a human organism will be exposed to prolonged periods of a hypomagnetic field that is 10,000 times weaker than that of Earth’s.” The authors are primarily interested in the source of the magnetic sense in humans and animals, but they acknowledge that “Nonspecific magnetoreception could be of fundamental importance in terms of health risks caused by a chronic EM exposure of humans and biosphere.”This would hurt the chances of life forming or persisting.No fans for popular stars: Another article on Phys.org indicates that “cool stars favoured by exoplanet hunters” are unlikely to be habitable, even though more abundant than solar-type stars. Because an exoplanet’s habitable zone would be closer into a cool star, it would be exposed to coronal mass ejections (CMEs) at closer range. NASA Goddard scientists evaluated one such star (V374 Pegasi) and thought about conditions on a planet in the habitable zone, even if the planet had a magnetic shield:When a CME impacts a planet, it compresses the planet’s magnetosphere, a protective magnetic bubble shielding the planet. Extreme CMEs can exert enough pressure to shrink a magnetosphere so much that it exposes a planet’s atmosphere, which can then be swept away from the planet. This could in turn leave the planetary surface and any potential developing lifeforms exposed to harmful X-rays from the nearby host star….“While these cool stars may be the most abundant, and seem to offer the best prospects for finding life elsewhere, we find that they can be a lot more dangerous to live around due to their CMEs” said Marc Kornbleuth, a graduate student involved in the project.The results suggest that an exoplanet would need a magnetic field ten to several thousand times that of Earth’s to shield their atmosphere from the cool star’s CMEs. As many as five impacts a day could occur for planets near the ACS [Astrospherical Current Sheet], but the rate decreases to one every other day for planets with an inclined orbit.Law of mass action: What if Earth were 50% bigger? Live Science says it would preclude our space program. It already takes 80-90% of the mass of a rocket just for propellant to launch humans into space. At some point, as the mass of a planet grows, it reaches a point of diminishing returns, making escape impossible. Astronaut Donald Pettit used the Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation to figure out that limit. If earth were 50% more massive, he says, space travel with current rocket technology would be impossible. He didn’t figure what effects the greater mass would have on life, including human life, which would be correspondingly weighed down by excess gravity. If you feel sluggish now, think of carrying that extra weight! This would put a damper on the Olympics.Good news, bad news: Two guys, Batista and Sloan, worked out at the University of Oxford. At The Conversation, they say, “We worked out what it would take to wipe out all life on a planet – and it’s good news for alien hunters.” The good news is that tardigrades (tiny but hardy animals) would probably survive extinction-level events, such as asteroid impacts, supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. The bad news is that humans and sentient beings probably would not. So unless one believes tardigrades are capable of radio astronomy, SETI should not be aiming telescopes at exoplanets that have been hit recently. There’s a lesson for habitability, too: planets subject to frequent bombardment by such terrors probably should not be considered habitable, even if all the other factors are present.What is nature? A product of design or chance? Photo by David CoppedgeDo you get the impression that Earth might be so unique, so special, that it might be designed? (see 7/10/17). Why is that not a scientific conclusion? Must we force all observations into a materialistic, purposeless worldview? Our scientist of the month didn’t think so.last_img read more

first_imgBasizeni School learners discover the joys of playground equipment for the first time. On the roundabout are Retshepile Mbonani and Zinhle Ngcobo. (Image: Casual Day)In celebration of National Child Protection Week, children at a school for special needs can now enjoy swings and a roundabout custom-designed for wheelchair-bound learners.Casual Day is an annual fundraising project that encourages people to dress differently for work for a day. To earn this right, they make a donation of R10 for the official Casual Day sticker. Proceeds benefit people with disabilities.Through the campaign, wheelchair swings and a roundabout custom-designed for children in wheelchairs were installed at Basizeni Special School in eMbalenhle, Evander, in Mpumalanga. The playground equipment has brought much happiness to the pupils.“They were purchased with the proceeds of last year’s Casual Day donations and are bringing joy to our wheelies,” said Mariette Botha, a Basizeni staffer.The school was the top performer in the province on the day, raising R115 590 in donations from the public.“A portion of the donations [is] utilised by the school and the remainder goes to create awareness of persons with disabilities countrywide. We are very proud that not only did we benefit but that we are able to make a contribution to the disability sector nationally. Our contribution was a significant R69 558.”A better playgroundThe Casual Day funds have been put towards playground development and the school has already done some upgrades.“I wish I could convey the joy on the faces of the children when they experience the swings for the first time,” Botha said. “As a teacher at Basizeni I feel humbled and privileged to be involved at this school. Our mission is to make a difference. Disabled learners and Differently abled learners at Basizeni School have many challenges, but with our new principal, Mrs Mirriam Rampai, at the helm we are prepared to face them.“The school is 21 years old and needs maintenance inside and outside. The focus is on developing and creating classrooms, workshops, playground and sport environments with the necessary educational equipment, giving each learner the opportunity to develop to his or her full potential.”Basizeni had positive, enthusiastic staff members and joyful pupils, she added. The only obstacle standing in the way of them achieving their vision was funding. [But] we are entering a new phase, revamping the campus and getting a bus.”“It is a privilege to apply my expertise to improve the lives of young children with special needs,” said Louis Botha, the chairman of the school governing body. “We are committed to improving life skills to provide a space for every learner.”Casual DayFind your local Casual Day organisation and see how you can help. To support Basizeni School, call Mariette Botha on 082 459 1009.This year, Casual Day is on Friday, 2 September, and the theme is “Up Your Game”. So get casual for a cause and help change lives one wheelchair at a time.The funds are raised through a R10 donation for a Casual Day sticker. Keep abreast of activities at Casual Day on its Facebook page and on Twitter at @CasualDay_SA.last_img read more

first_img1 August 2013It was a night that belonged to South Africa as Olympic champions Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh both struck gold at the 15th Fina World Swimming Championships in Barcelona on Wednesday.Although Le Clos was the favourite for the men’s 200 metres butterfly after his epic victory against American Michael Phelps in London last year, the Durbanite was not expecting the easy race that everyone was predicting.But the 21-year-old set the pace and tone for the rest of the South Africans, outswimming his opposition to touch in 1:54.32 – while doing his characteristic look to either side as he approached the finish, to the amazement of all the coaches.“It was on exactly the same day a year ago that Le Clos won Olympic gold,” said coach Graham Hill. “His win tonight means he has added the World Championship long course title to his titles as the Commonwealth Champion, World Short Course Champion and Olympic Champion.”Le Clos finished ahead of Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski in 1:55.01 and China’s Wu Peng in 1:55.09.Just as Le Clos was re-writing the history books, Van der Burgh was doing the same thing a few events later in the 50 metres breastroke. The Olympic champion and world record holder, despite battling with a dose of flu, managed to edge out arch-rival Christiaan Sprenger of Australia by just 0.01 seconds to clock 26.77 seconds.But his excitement was more for his training partner, Giulio Zorzi, who from lane 8 raced in to snatch the bronze medal in a personal best of 27.04 seconds.“We have trained together all our lives,” Van der Burgh said afterwards. “First with Francois Boshoff, then Lionel Durandt – and this was for Lionel [who passed away recently]. From there we both joined Dirk Lange. Giulio’s bronze almost means more to me than my gold! I won my first bronze at the World Championships in 2007 from lane 8.”Van der Burgh is re-writing his own history as the only breaststroker to have won medals over four championships – third in 2007, winning in 2009, third in 2011 and now another gold.Leading South African coach Wayne Riddin coached the SA team at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He is currently in Barcelona for the Fina Swimming World Championships.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Emily UnglesbeeDTN Staff ReporterCOLBY, Kan. (DTN) — The first day of the Wheat Quality Council’s Hard Red Winter (HRW) Wheat Tour wrapped up with a total weighted average yield estimate of 46.9 bushels per acre (bpa), up from 38.2 bpa last year.The tour made 240 stops to measure wheat, most of them a muddy affair, as showers and thunderstorms pelted many of the tour’s routes through central and northern Kansas, as well as the southernmost counties of Nebraska.That moisture has been a game changer for the quality and yield potential of this year’s winter wheat crop, noted Doug Bounds, the Kansas state statistician for USDA NASS.“Last year roughly 97% of the state was in some state of drought at this time,” he said. “Now zero percent of the state is in a drought. So we have drastically different conditions this year.”As a result, estimated yields ran consistently higher than last year on the tour’s first day, even as some dry soils emerged in the western half of the state. Justin Gilpin, CEO of Kansas Wheat, piloted a car on the green route, which traveled through the state’s northern tier of counties. There, scouts found yields averaging roughly 10 bushels per acre above last year. On the blue route through central Kansas, tour organizer and Wheat Quality Council Executive Vice President Dave Green scouted fields with an average of 49 bpa — 14 bushels above last year’s blue route average on day one of the tour.However, the historically low wheat acreage in Kansas was also visible Tuesday, Gilpin said. Winter wheat acres in Kansas dropped to 7 million acres this year, the lowest since 1910.“As someone who has been on the tour several times, the most noticeable thing to me is that there are a lot fewer wheat acres, especially on that northern tier of counties,” he said. “I think we’ll see more corn acres replace those wheat acres.”Most wheat fields were also behind their average pace of development, with fields in northern and central Kansas ranging from tillering to flag leaf growth stages, with only a few in the boot stage. Fields became noticeably less mature as the tour routes moved westward. Most scouts estimated the fields they visited ranged from six to eight weeks from harvest.Nearly half the winter wheat crop was planted late due to persistent wet weather in October, noted Romulo Lollato, Extension wheat and forages specialist for Kansas State University. “There is a very big difference between fields planted in early October and September and late October and November,” he explained. Cool-to-moderate temperatures this spring have not encouraged the crop to catch up, he added.Scouts on the blue route encountered one such underdeveloped field in Rooks County, where the farmer explained that rain and soybean harvest had stalled planting until Oct. 19. The wheat had barely made it out of the ground before dormancy and was still tillering, with a calculated yield potential of just 28 bpa.Less mature wheat requires some adjustments to estimate yield potential accurately, noted Aaron Harries, vice president of research and operations for Kansas Wheat. When heads have not emerged yet on the wheat plant, the tour’s formula for calculating yield must rely on the number of stems on a wheat plant, which are all theoretically capable of producing a head.“The yield formula accounts for the fact that the wheat plant will slough off some tillers,” Harries said. “They won’t all make it unless conditions are ideal, which is rare. So the formula does account for that happening.”Most scouts encountered little disease on their routes. Some routes encountered minor freeze damage, in the form of burned leaf tips, but most wheat was not far enough along to suffer damage to wheat heads on this portion of the tour.Lollato noted some patchy nutrient deficiencies in some fields on his car’s route, which explored the very center counties of Kansas before heading northward to Colby. “It’s been so cold for so long that organic matter and sulfur hasn’t started being released as much as it should,” he noted. “And with all the rainfall over this winter, we might have lost some of our nitrogen through denitrification or leaching, depending on soil type.” As the weather warms this spring, nutrient availability could improve, he added.Overall, Green said he was impressed by the wheat potential in central and northern Kansas.“This is really good wheat for this area,” he noted. “I think we’ll hear the words ‘above-average’ a lot.”Each year the tour asks guest speakers from other states to present yield estimates from their regions. A representative from Nebraska estimated average yield in that state of 44 bpa, with a total estimated production of 47.4 million bushels, down from 49.5 million bushels last year. A representative from Colorado estimated that the state’s wheat crop would average 46.5 bpa, for a total production of 97.2 million bushels, up from 70.2 million bushels last year.Wednesday, scouts will wind their way through western, southwestern and south-central Kansas, with one route dipping into northern Oklahoma, before ending the day in Wichita.Follow Emily Unglesbee on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee for live coverage of the tour this week.Emily Unglesbee can be reached at [email protected](PS/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Analysis#search#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market marshall kirkpatrick Large quantities of low quality content, of marginal relevance, intended to draw visitors through search, but drive them to click through ads to other sites – that’s what’s called a content farm. The voices of critics of Google are getting louder with allegations that the world’s leading search engine has been thoroughly gamed and is now drowning in content farmed links. Content farm is a very subjective designation, though.Search startup Blekko is betting that web users want to search without seeing results from companies that are pumping out low-quality content just for the ad revenue. But is one person’s low quality content another person’s more-accessible reading material? Today Blekko released a list of the top 20 domains that its users have clicked the “SPAM” button on in their search results. Content from those sites will never show up in a Blekko search again, the company says. What do you think of this list?“These sites are the worst spam publishers on the Web according to our users,” said Rich Skrenta, CEO of Blekko. “They are literally responsible for millions of pages on the Web that our users say are just not helpful and they’d prefer they were banned permanently. So we’re going to do that for them.”The list is: ehow.comexperts-exchange.comnaymz.comactivehotels.comrobtex.comencyclopedia.comfixya.comchacha.com123people.comdownload3k.competitionspot.comthefreedictionary.comnetworkedblogs.combuzzillions.comshopwiki.comwowxos.comanswerbag.comallexperts.comfreewebs.comcopygator.comWant to see what search results from those domains look like? You can’t do it using Blekko anymore, but here’s a Google Custom Search Engine that searches inside just those domains alone. LoadingAre These Spam Domains? Maybe NotA lot of these domains are pretty obnoxious, but that’s just my opinion. Other peoples’ opinions are different. People complain about Demand Media’s eHow, for example, but the site also has one of the most popular free iPhone apps in the iTunes store. The content is directly useful, highly readable and easy to navigate.In a semi-literate, post-functional world, people need basic instructions on everyday matters. Picture the dystopia in the movie Back to the Future II, where Biff ends up a powerful media mogul and the world is awash in insipid, screeching, 24-hour infomercials. That’s kind of where we live, folks, and our brains have turned a little softer than some of us might like as a result.Where else are you going to learn about basic things in this world? On Wikipedia? Have you read a Wikipedia entry lately? In a semi-literate, post-functional world, people need basic instructions on everyday matters. Picture the dystopia in the movie Back to the Future II, where Biff ends up a powerful media mogul and the world is awash in insipid, screeching, 24-hour infomercials. That’s kind of where we live, folks, and our brains have turned a little softer than some of us might like as a result.Where else are you going to learn about basic things in this world? On Wikipedia? Have you read a Wikipedia entry lately? They trend wonky, over-detailed from the top and according to a New York Times report yesterday, written almost entirely by men.The content on the domains above may seem like spam to the egg-headed geniuses behind Blekko, and the highly discerning early customers of that site, but I don’t think they always look like spam to the rest of the people on the web. Fixya is another domain that’s on that list that I guarantee loads of everyday people are thankful for, not calling for banishment of. The site is littered with advertisements and poor writing. News flash: so is the rest of the world. That might offend the sensibilities of enough sophisticated Blekko users to click that Spam button on the Blekko site, but we’ll see who wins long-term – Blekko or the content farms.I use Blekko every day. But I don’t use it for “spam control.” The determination of whether something is spam or not is really about context. I use Blekko for other types of context filtering. The ability to set up custom lists of domains not to exclude, but to limit a search to, is what’s most useful for me about Blekko. I use the site to limit my searches and see what tech bloggers have written about a subject, or what tech industry analysts have, or bloggers who cover developments in the Middle East, or venture capitalists. I understand that most people don’t want to perform searches limited to contexts as sophisticated as that, perhaps. But those same masses of users who don’t want to do anything too sophisticated are also likely to want some easy-to-read tutorial content like what you find on eHow. Is Blekko intending to serve just people who are interested in creating their own topical collections, or are they aimed at mainstream users? Do mainstream users really dislike these sites that Blekko is now banishing? I’m not so sure they do.Banishing “content farms” may make sense in the minds of the people behind Blekko, but I’m not sure it’s the best idea for everyone.center_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

first_imgBeijing, Aug 28 (PTI) China is drafting a tough law to ban the use of the national anthem at “improper” private occasions by introducing criminal prosecution for violators, according to a media report today.The draft legislation was given a second reading at the bimonthly session of the National Peoples Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, the top legislative body, which opened today.Lawmakers have backed the proposal to ban the anthem at funerals and other “improper” private occasions, in commercial advertisements or as background music at public places, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.The violators, including those who maliciously modify the lyrics, will face criminal prosecution or up to 15 days detention, the report said.The song will only be allowed at formal political gatherings, including the opening and closing of NPC sessions, constitutional oath ceremonies, flag raising ceremonies, major celebrations, award ceremonies, commemorations, national memorial day events, important diplomatic occasions, major sport events and other proper occasions, it said.Despite the restrictions, the legislation encourages people to sing the anthem on proper occasions to express patriotism.The law states that the song should be included in textbooks for students at primary and secondary schools. PTI KJ AKJ KJlast_img read more