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What investigators are looking for to crack the Austin ‘serial bomber’ case

first_imgStockbyte/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) — The desperate search for the suspect or suspects who have put Austin residents on edge with a series of explosives is now likely focused on the few clues police have on hand.Fred Milanowski, a special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who is on the ground in Austin, told ABC News that officials are looking at “a couple of people of interest” but added they are still actively calling for the public’s help.The most obvious avenue for investigation at this point is examining the remnants of the four devices that have exploded in Austin over a 17-day span. The explosions have killed two people and injured four others.“Every bomber leaves a signature because they tend to make their devices the same way every time ’cause once they’ve perfected one they don’t want to take a chance of accidentally detonating something,” Milanowski told ABC News.But since the first three blasts stemmed from package bombs and officials believe the fourth explosive, which went off on Sunday night, was detonated by a tripwire, it could suggest that the bombmaker or bombmakers are changing their style.“That’s why this one does concern us because it’s got a little more sophisticated with this tripwire,” Milanowski said.“From preliminarily what we’ve seen in there, there’s reason to believe that the same individual that built those built the other one,” he said.John Cohen, a former acting Homeland Security under secretary and now an ABC News consultant, said that the leftovers from the physical bombs will play a key role in more ways than one. For example, there could be DNA left on a portion of the bomb, which authorities will then run through any number of records repositories, like criminal or military records as well as fingerprints from certain background checks or travel records like TSA PreCheck, that could match the bomb to a name.“Even if they find DNA or fingerprints but they’re not in those repositories, it won’t help them identify the person, but it will help them connect the individual events to the same person,” Cohen said.The level of sophistication in the bombs and the ability to make different types of bombs as seen in the switch to a tripwire could also be an avenue in and of itself.Steve Gomez, a former FBI special agent in charge and current ABC News consultant, stressed the level of craftsmanship on display in the bombs so far and the level of preparation that the bomber or bombers had to commit before detonating the blasts.“Whoever is the suspect or suspects, they are very sophisticated when it comes to bombmaking and explosives, so that’s the first line of investigations that they pursue,” Gomez said, noting that “anyone in the area that has some kind of explosives-making experience” is likely going to be considered.Gomez said it’s also clear that the suspect or suspects are “utilizing a lot of planning because so far there have been no videos that have come up with a potential suspect, which indicates that the bomber is probably doing surveillance of the locations where the bombs are going to be planted.”“It’s fairly easy to determine if somebody has visible cameras or the doorbell cameras — those are fairly easy to detect — so that might be part of the surveillance that the bomber is conducting,” Gomez said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

DCA yet to identify definitive venue for Calypso Finals 2012

first_imgLocalNews DCA yet to identify definitive venue for Calypso Finals 2012 by: – January 6, 2012 16 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Tweet Sharecenter_img Share Share Kelly Williams President of the Dominica Calypso Association (DCA) Kelly ‘The Ghost’ Williams has indicted that the association has not yet arrived at a definitive venue for the Calypso Finals 2012 carded for 18th February, 2012.At the launching of the Real Mas on 15th December, 2011 at the Fort Young Hotel, Events Director of the Dominica Festivals Committee Mrs. Natalie Clarke-Meade announced that the show would be held on the outer court of the National Sports Stadium. However, Mr. Williams told the official launching of the Stardom Calypso Tent on Thursday that after a visit to the area by members of the DCA the outer court of the Stadium is not a suitable venue for the show. He suggests however that now is probably a good time for organizers to consider building a Carnival City where all Carnival activities including the Calypso Show will be held.“I think by now you should know that the Carnival City will be at the front of the stadium and we’ve gone there and we as Calypsonians, we as people who go to Calypso show it wasn’t a plus; it was a negative to us. Because we know what the patrons want we’re going to have to put a lot of energy into setting up somewhere else to hold the Calypso Show. So for now the most I can say is what we’re thinking about now is to having a very good show this year, in a very good venue so as to enhance the Calypso Show.”Mr. Williams explained that there are two options for a suitable venue; Pottersville Savannah being one of them, which are being considered.“There are two Pottersville being one of them, but the thing is in Pottersville, there are guys in Pottersville who have always asked to work, they’ve been disenchanted with a lot of things that is going on and they’ve always asked to work with us if we can do it and this year it’s not something that we’ve decided on, it’s more circumstance and we have to do it because the patrons that give us the feel I don’t think they want to go to the front of the stadium. There are a lot of obstacles that will not make for a good show. So for now we are looking at possibly the Pottersville Savannah or the Newtown Savannah, but the Pottersville Savannah has more space.” When asked whether the association was consulted before the announcement that the Calypso Finals would be hosted at the outer court of the stadium, Williams dodged the question citing his wish not to bring the show into controversy as his reason. Despite the fact that no definitive venue has been identified, Mr. Williams sought to reassure the public that the association will continue to accede to the patrons request as they have contributed to the success of the Calypso Show over the years.“We’ll ask for the support of the general public because all of us know Calypso is all of us own and we follow the patrons and what they want most of the times at least 80 percent of the time we follow the patrons to give them as long as we can and it is possible, to give them what they want and that’s the reason why Calypso has flourished because we’ve been working with what the people want most of the time.”Mr. Williams noted that the association will do all within its power to find a suitable venue regardless of the cost. He says the patrons are the ones who in fact pay for the staging of the show and that the onus is therefore on the association to provide the comfort that the patrons request.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Fiammetta: Keeping up with the Badgers at the NFL Combine (Part 1 of 2)

first_imgYou’d figure 11 wins, a Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl berth would fare well for the seven Wisconsin Badgers invited to the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.But alas, the weeklong preview/investigation/interrogation of the draft’s top prospects is where football – the most team-centric of American sports – boils down to individual performance.So while John Moffitt’s endearing personality off the field and J.J. Watt’s mastery of Twitter to interact with the community and energize UW’s fan base played significant roles in Wisconsin’s success this past season, they won’t mean much to NFL scouts and evaluators.Rather, it’s all about workout numbers and interviews in Indianapolis. It’s commonly asserted that game tape remains the most important tool for evaluating prospects, but the remarkably extensive physical exams and interviews are especially valuable for teams.Drills such as the 40-yard dash, bench press and shuttle run have consistently come under fire in recent years – why start the 40 in a track position? – but teams still rely on them for comparison to recent years’ prospects.Without further ado, here’s how the Badgers’ seven prospects have fared at the Combine thus far (it ends today) and where they figure to be drafted. Below are three profiles, and fellow Herald Sports editor Elliot Hughes will have the remaining four Wednesday.Quarterback Scott TolzienMeasureables: 6-foot-2, 212 pounds; 4.93-second 40-yard dash; 30.5-inch arms, 10-inch hands; 6.84-second 3 cone drill; 4.12-second 20-yard shuttleAt UW: As a two-year starter, Tolzien started all of Wisconsin’s 26 games in 2009 and 2010. Last season, Tolzien was one of the nation’s most accurate and efficient quarterbacks, finishing with the second-best completion percentage (72.9) and sixth-best quarterback rating (165.9). He also passed for 2,459 yards and 16 touchdowns, while throwing just six interceptions. Tolzien was also named the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner in 2010, given to the nation’s top senior quarterback.At the Combine: Tolzien’s 40 time tied for 13th among quarterbacks, but his mobility was never going to convince teams to draft him. Rather, the accuracy Tolzien exhibited in passing drills and his interview skills impressed teams at the Combine. According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, teams were very impressed by Tolzien’s practice and game time preparation, as well as his interviewing skills. One AFC personnel man told McGinn Tolzien’s ability to break down his game, as well as his sincerity, made him “probably [that team’s] best interview.”Estimated draft pick: definitely a third-day (rounds 4-7) pick. Tolzien could go undrafted, in which case he almost certainly would be given an opportunity to make a roster in training camp. If he continues to impress, he could move up as high as the fifth round.Running back John ClayMeasureables: 6-foot-1, 230 pounds; 4.77-second 40-yard dash; 31-inch arms; 8.75-inch hands; 29-inch vertical leapAt UW: Clay entered the 2010 season as a Heisman candidate, but ultimately took a backseat to Montee Ball and James White. For the year, he finished second behind White with 1,012 rushing yards (5.4 per carry) and also contributed 14 rushing touchdowns. In the vaunted history of the Wisconsin running game, Clay will leave Madison with the seventh-most rushing yards (3,413) in school history.At the Combine: Clay showed up in Indianapolis 30 pounds lighter than he was at the end of the season. Yet, his 40 time was very disappointing, as many experts were expecting a time in the 4.6 range, at least. Consequently, some NFL scouts believe Clay may be forced to switch to fullback in the NFL. His size does work in his favor, as he’s always been known as a power back with impressive power and vision.Estimated draft pick: Without knowing how he will perform at the pro day, Clay’s stock has fallen significantly. He also projects to be a third-day pick.Offensive guard John MoffittMeasureables: 6-foot-4, 319 pounds; 5.55-second 40-yard dash; 33-inch arms; 9.5-inch hands; 23 bench press reps; 7.79-second 3 cone drill; 4.53-second 20-yard shuttleAt UW: Along with left tackle Gabe Carimi (see his profile Wednesday), Moffitt formed perhaps the best left half of any offensive line in the nation. Moffitt is a strong blocker who rarely gets beat, and his ability to pull and reach the next level displays his impressive versatility. He finished last season as an AP first-team All-American and was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection.At the Combine: Moffitt’s 40 time and bench press reps were less than impressive, but his character and proven toughness should combine with his solid size to maintain his draft stock.Estimated draft pick: Prior to the combine, many experts projected Moffitt as a second or third round pick. While his Combine wasn’t as rough as Clay’s, he may fall to the middle rounds, and potentially to the third day. Still, more than one scout has said Moffitt’s size and toughness will continue to buoy his draft stock.Remember to check out Elliot’s column Wednesday, as he’ll have profiles on Carimi, Watt and tight end Lance Kendricks.Mike is a junior majoring in journalism and communication arts. How do you think the Badgers have fared in the Combine? Where will they be drafted? Let him know at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @mikefiammetta.last_img read more


first_imgIn April 2009, well-known Gaoth Dobhair man Colm Clancy was involved in a tragic helicopter crash.Since the 34 year old’s passing his family have held an annual walk in aid of charity. To date Colm’s loving parents Matt and Betty and his brothers, sister and friends have raised more than €22,000 by staging the annual Colm Clancy Memorial Walk.The walk took place again from Gartan to Glenveagh.Along the way more money was raised.But most importantly Colm was remembered fondly and his life recalled with tremendous fondness and affection. Here are a few pictures from the day.All pictures are by Brid Sweeney.  THE COLM CLANCY MEMORIAL WALK – IN PICTURES! was last modified: April 4th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Colm Clancy Memorial Walklast_img read more

Plant Evolution Modeled in Computer

first_imgSimulation games are popular on computers.  Darwinian biologists seem to like them, too.  What they cannot go back in time to observe, they sometimes try to recreate in silico, inside the silicon chips of a computer.  Karl J. Niklas (Cornell) tried to simulate plant evolution, and wrote about it in Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences.1  He feels his contribution was to demonstrate that plants had to be multitasking specialists: they optimized competing interests in a dynamic environment, rather than achieving perfection with any one structure.  This involved tradeoffs; a horizontal stem might provide the best light-gathering stance, for instance, but puts the plant at the burden of having to fight gravity’s leverage:Indeed, when viewed with a biophysical or engineering perspective, none of the basic biological tasks plants perform can be maximized without decreasing or imperiling the performance of another necessary task.  In this sense, the relationships among organic form-function generally involve optimization rather than maximization.  But differently, single-tasked devices can perform their ascribed functions perfectly, at least in theory.  In contrast, multitasked devices, whether organic or inorganic, invariably involve compromises and tradeoffs—they perform all of their ascribed tasks reasonably well, but no task perfectly.(For more on evolutionary tradeoffs, see 05/11/2004 entry.)The origin of land plants “sparked one of the most dramatic bursts of diversifying evolution in the history of life,” he claims, indicating the motivation for this project.  In just 46 million short years from the Silurian through the Devonian, these pioneering plants had “diversified phyletically and structurally to encompass all of the major land plant lineages and the full spectrum of organizational grades represented in present-day floras, with the exception of flowering plants.”  He lists 11 innovations they introduced, from branching stems to leaves to stomata with guard cells to seeds and wood.  They employed sexual reproduction with alternation of generations and diversified into an enormous number of morphologies, from mosses and ferns to pines and giant redwoods.  “Why plant evolution was so rapid during the Late Silurian-Devonian time interval remains problematic,” he admits.  “Lessons drawn from evolutionary theory provide limited insights”  Thus, computer modeling to the rescue.    For his model, Niklas used a principle proposed by Sewall Wright in 1931: the fitness landscape, a “heuristic device” that visualizes evolution as “a series of walks over fitness landscapes with adaptive hills and maladaptive valleys.”  On this landscape, Niklas placed his digital plants and gave them four competing problems to solve: (1) water conservation, (2) mechanical stability, (3) spore dispersal, and (4) light interception.  He defined the fitness of each combination and set the plants on their “adaptive walk” on the fitness landscape (peaks on the fitness landscape imply high fitness and good adaptation, and valleys imply poor adaptation and low fitness).  First, he used a stable fitness landscape, then he ran it again with a dynamic landscape, which would reflect a more realistic environment changing over time.  He found that overall fitness levels dropped considerably in the dynamic fitness landscape.  How does one decide when to vary the landscape?  “Unfortunately, there are no a priori rules for how or when a particular landscape changes,” he says.  “Therefore, the number of permutations of shifting landscapes is literally astronomically large.”  So he looked to the fossil record for guidance, and also tried to learn from repeated trials what seemed to match natural history.    In a brief aside, he compared his results to the predictions of Zimmerman’s telome theory – the idea that all of the diverse morphologies of plants can be reduced to the action of five developmental processes – planation, overtopping, reduction, recurvature, and webbing – acting on branched points (telomes) and unbranched points (mesomes).  But telome theory is far from a complete story:The telome theory has been criticized, and rightly so, for a variety of reasons (Niklas 2000, Kaplan 2001).  One obvious problem with the theory is its vagueness regarding the developmental mechanisms responsible for overtopping, planation, etc.  Indeed, these terms are descriptive rather than explicative in nature.  Another criticism is that the telome theory never explains why certain morphological transformations occur as opposed to others, nor does it stipulate the sequence of processes foreshadowing the appearance of a particular morphology.  Why should planated and webbed lateral branch systems evolve?  Are the leaves of ferns or seed plants functionally adaptive in terms of light interception or some other biological requirement?  Did these megaphylls [broad leaves] evolve as the result of the simultaneous operation of reduction, overtopping, planation, and webbing, or did planation and webbing occur after reduction and overtopping?  Questions such as these can be answered retrospectively (and only in small part) by examining the fossil record, but the telome theory sheds little light on them.So why use it?  Because the terminology is useful: “Zimmerman’s ideas are nevertheless useful because they provide a lexicon of terms for the morphological transformations observed in the fossil record and for those identified by the computer simulations presented here.  In turn, these simulations suggest the adaptive significance of the transformations envisioned by the telome theory.”    Niklas produced some digital plants that succeeded in adapting to his fitness landscape, but warned against overinterpreting the results.  In his concluding “Caveats and Desiderata,” he said,Computer models such as the ones presented here are heuristic tools.  They provide an opportunity to test assumptions about how a particular biological or physical system operates or behaves.  Their validity can be evaluated by comparing predicted with observed behavior.  When observation and prediction disagree, the assumptions upon which a model rests are either incorrect or incomplete.  However, the obverse is not true.  When predicted and observed behavior agrees, the assumptions upon which a model rests cannot be said to be sufficient and necessary.  The reason is simple — model can describe the behavior of a system for the wrong reasons.  This caveat is important, because the only rigorous test of a computer model is to experimentally manipulate the system it purports to describe and to see if the model predicts the outcome for each manipulation.Niklas did not perform any such rigorous experimental tests with real plants.  He explains why, but still claims his model had merit:Unfortunately, we cannot experiment with history.  We can only observe it.  For this reason, the most conservative interpretation of the simulations presented here is that six general properties emerge logically (mathematically) from the assumptions made about early vascular plant evolution.  These properties are as follows: (a) the number of equally fit morphological variants is predicted to increase as the number of functional tasks subject to selection increases; (b) the relative fitness of these phenotypes decreases as the number of tasks increases; (c) therefore, morphological diversification is easier on complex as opposed to simple fitness landscapes; (d) constraints on how morphology can be developmentally altered do not a priori limit the number of equally fit variants that can be reached by adaptive walks; (e) however, the relative fitness of these variants is significantly lower than the phenotypic optima that can be reached by unfettered adaptive walks; and (f) adaptive walks on shifting fitness landscapes (used to mimic changes in the focus of selection) identify morphological optima that often differ significantly from those on stable fitness landscapes (used to mimic constant selection).He points to a few living vascular plants as confirmations of these general predictions, and concludes that the six properties also make biological sense.  Feeling thus justified, he concludes,Computer simulations of morphological evolution are still very much in their infancy, especially in terms of constructing morphospaces and understanding the developmental mechanisms that permit or confine phenotypic transformations in them (see Thomas & Reif 1993, McGhee 1999, Niklas 2003).  However, as conceptual tools, they provide opportunities to explore the logical consequences of popular metaphors for evolution, such as Sewall Wright’s adaptive walks on fitness landscapes, and by so doing, quantify the possible biological structure and dynamics of opportunistic historical events that distinguish some evolutionary episodes as more adaptive than others.1Karl J. Niklas, “Computer Models of Early Land Plant Evolution,” Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, May 2004, Vol. 32, pp. 47-66 (doi:10.1146/annurev.earth.32.092203.122440).You can prove anything on a computer.  This is so oversimplified, so narrow-minded, so dumb, it’s a wonder any journal would publish such tripe.  It’s only because biologists have offered their brains in sacrifice to Darwin’s image that they cannot see the illogic of their own positions.  Niklas came close, and had a gem of insight here or there,2 but failed to see the worthlessness of his simulation.  His fake plants evolved because he made them evolve.  We’ve seen this so many times before with other computer models.  It is not evolution, it is intelligent design.  These modelers set the fitness goals, define the criteria for success, and reward the ones that get there.  Natural selection has no such guiding intelligence.2(One perceptive insight he shared was that agreement with predictions does not necessarily make the assumptions of one’s model sufficient and necessary.  But then, contrary to his requirement for rigorous experimental testing, he failed to deliver any.)    To get a sense of the futility of this model, imagine my writing a simulation about the evolution of computers.  I define fitness scores for screen visibility, mouse responsiveness, keyboard ergonomics and other factors I deem worthy, then start some high-tech devices evolving and reward those that succeed in terms of outward conformance to my specifications.  Maybe I wind up with a variety of objects that look like palmtops, laptops and desktops.  But I describe nothing about programmers or users, nor the thinking required to make a computer.  Is such a result worth anything more than a cheap science-fiction game for kids?    Let’s understand something important here.  Plants have DNA.  They are adapted because they have complex, specified information in their genes.  Watching little digital organisms evolve branches and leaves and other structures might be cute, but says absolutely nothing about how the genetic information and developmental pathways achieved the structures, and more importantly, says nothing about the intricate cellular processes, like photosynthesis and cell division and sexual reproduction and regulation of stomates originated and employed the morphologies.  Niklas halfheartedly admitted as much.  He should know that plants at the cellular level are fantastically complicated factories of molecular machines.  Which is more intricate: the cover of your computer or the chips and software inside?  If I only pay attention to the morphology of the external parts, I have missed the whole point of what is required to make a computer, or a plant.    The “fitness landscape” metaphor is only a metaphor, but it is actually a more accurate metaphor than a ramp.  Early evolutionists mistakenly pictured Darwinism like a ramp, on which organisms marched onward and upward.  “Progressivists” viewed natural selection as a “fitness ratchet” leading inevitably to bigger and better things.  Knowledgeable evolutionists today realize this view was simplistic.  There are peaks and valleys of fitness (whatever that is; see Fitness for Dummies, 10/29/2002).  Picture marbles rolling around on a surface constantly in motion, with peaks and pits forming and reforming at random locations.  Real marbles might roll uphill for short periods, but gravity will ensure they tend to inhabit the valleys and pits most of the time.  The gravity in the fitness landscape is the second law of thermodynamics – the inviolable trend toward entropy.  Evolutionists want us to believe that natural selection will overcome this entropic gravity and force the marbles to the tops of the peaks.  Trouble is, even if they got there and stayed there, they would be stuck, unable to evolve further without dropping down into the valley again and losing what fitness they had.  Now realize that the adaptive peaks are like Devils Towers and Space Needles: the exquisite engineering seen in whale flippers and cormorant eyes and spider silk and the other things the biomimetic engineers marvel at are so improbable as to be unthinkable for undirected processes to achieve (despite Richard Dawkins’ claims that chance and natural selection can “climb Mt. Improbable” another fallacy “proved” by worthless computer simulations).  No matter, it’s just a metaphor, and metaphors bewitch you.  Engineering doesn’t emerge without design except in the imagination of evolutionists.    Niklas said, “Unfortunately, we cannot experiment with history.  We can only observe it.”  When was the last time you observed history?  If you watched a historical event like 9/11, you observed it in the present.  Did you observe the fall of the Roman empire, or the building of Stonehenge?  Did Niklas observe the origin of land plants?  We don’t observe history.  We believe eyewitness accounts and examine artifacts.  Even recordings (artifacts viewed in the present) can have biases, and there were no videotapes of the origin of plants, anyway.  We can observe fossils as they are in the present, but can only infer how they got there; piecing scattered fossils into a sequence is even more fraught with difficulties (see 05/21/2004 headline).  There is no observable history of evolution.  There is a story imposed on the artifacts seen in the present.  An eyewitness account from a credible witness that can be corroborated by observation is superior to a story weaved out of personal bias and propped up by circumstantial evidence.    By the way, there is a credible eyewitness account that fits the evidence.  It will tell a biologist all he needs to know about the emergence of plants and how they achieved their high levels of adaptive fitness.  It explains not only the outward morphology, but the programming and developmental constraints that maintain fitness.  It’s in that best seller in your hotel room drawer.  Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.  (Nothing comes from nothing; nothing ever could.)(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

How to prepare for no-till soybeans

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Corn residue management has become a “buzz” word of late due to higher plant densities, higher fertility usage, and fungicide applications that generate high amounts of residue per acre. This past year, many farmers experienced frustration in no-till situations where residue buildup made it extremely difficult to get their soybean seed into the ground at planting time. The no-till ground never really seemed to dry out to an ideal state.The question becomes not just how do we manage corn residue, but how do we successfully prepare for soybeans the following year in a no-till situation? Each growing season, farmers evaluate the pros and cons of fall tillage. For some, the cost of conventional tillage (labor, fuel and equipment) do not outweigh the perceived benefits. But for others, fall tillage is a way to speed spring field operations, decrease herbicide costs, and manage residue.Managing corn residue is a concern for both future soybean and corn crops. For both, the first step in properly managing residue begins at harvest time. Proper combine settings must be made to evenly spread both the chaff and stalks of high yield corn. Uniform distribution is key for all tillage practices. Benefits include greater erosion protection, better seeding equipment operation, and improved stand establishment. Operating the corn head as high as possible (e.g. 12 to 18 inches high) will provide better residue distribution, keep more residue anchored and out of row middles (reduce residue matting possibilities), and also trap more moisture in the form of snow.Future no-till soybeans are more tolerant of corn residue than are young corn plants. Soybean tissue can also tolerate somewhat lower soil temperatures that are associated with no-till/high residue conditions than corn. For that reason, the rapid adoption of 15-inch-row soybeans planted between the older corn rows has become very popular and profitable. Essentially, there are minimal concerns with corn residue when no-tilling soybeans as long as the residue is spread evenly across the width of the harvesting machine and the seeding equipment is properly adjusted. Seed-to-soil contact is important for uniform emergence, so keeping the soybean row off the old corn row is necessary to achieve uniform seed placement.Leaving the stalks standing upright in the field is the best way to prepare for no-till soybeans. Upright corn residue allows for soybeans to be seeded without needing to plant through a large mat of corn residue. With that said, even when the soil didn’t dry out as desired under the residue, the soybeans that were planted in 2015 still performed better than expected.Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR) team in central Indiana has been evaluating different tillage practices over the last 23 years to determine their effect on yield in a soybean after corn rotation. We have had mixed results over the years, with neither practice consistently outperforming the other. Though the no-till method was the clear winner in 2014 with a 9.7 bushel per acre advantage. The 23-year data average is only 0.3 bushel per acre in favor of conventional till. We can conclude from these results that both methods are effective in producing similar yields.Though tillage hasn’t shown an advantage in soybean yield in Beck’s PFR, fall tillage is a way to incorporate residue so that it won’t be a concern in the spring and will speed drying of the soil. If you plan on fall tilling, consider working the ground in a way that won’t leave the corn residue prone to washing and blowing during the winter months which will create dense residue pile areas next spring.Managing corn residue is very achievable. Field operations must be such that a perfect seedbed (regardless of tillage system) is possible for the subsequent crop. Start managing residue at the combine and continue all the way through planting of next year’s crop.last_img read more

A Rundown Of The Edit Page Changes in DaVinci Resolve 16

first_imgLewis McGregor is a certified DaVinci Resolve trainer.Cover image via Blackmagic Studios.Looking for more on DaVinci Resolve? Check out these articles.How to Upload to YouTube Directly from DaVinci Resolve 16NAB 2019: DaVinci Resolve 16 — What’s New and UpdatedDaVinci Resolve: THE Total Guide to the Best Free Video EditorDaVinci Resolve 15 Video Crash Course — Basic SettingsDaVinci Resolve 15 Video Crash Course — Delivering Your Content In this roundup, we go over all of the updates to the Edit Page in DaVinci Resolve 16 — and what they mean for your projects.In the NAB 2019 live panel, Blackmagic Founder Grant Petty touched upon the fact that, in 2019, Resolve in now in use among a variety of different cultures. Some eagerly await the latest addition to the Fairlight page; others look to see if there’s anything new for the already-renowned color page. I love to hear about what has been added to the edit page — Primarily because we often see the inclusion of many tools that were the basis of workaround tutorials here on The Beat because Resolve didn’t initially have them.The edit page has been through a rigorous update process over the last few years, and we didn’t expect to see any significant adjustments to the page — nor the inclusion of any groundbreaking tools that would make you ask, “why wasn’t this initially in the software?” That said, we do have several features and some new changes to run through.UI Interface UpdatesOverall, there have been no significant updates to the UI. (Since the UI is incredibly efficient and smart, there was no need to implement an overhaul to the layout.)Hide Page IconsA few of the page icons got fashionable updates, with new color rendering and differently designed icons. But most importantly, you can now hide unused page icons. As we covered earlier, there are now a variety of users who use Resolve. Is a professional colorist ever going to need to use the Fairlight page? I’m not versed in Fusion, and realistically, I’m likely never to visit the page. As such, we can easily hide unwanted pages by selecting Workspace Menu > Show Page and then deselecting what pages you want to show.It’s a small update, but if you tend to open programs from your docked windows or Mac toolbar accidentally, then you’re probably prone to casually hopping pages without intending to. I’ve accidentally clicked the Fusion icon plenty of times, and since it takes a second or two to load up the processor-heavy page, it’s quite an annoyance. (Not anymore!)Timeline ChangesThere wasn’t an inherent need to change the timeline since it was already fantastic, but we do now have a ruled timeline, which allows precise placement and editing.Another subtle change comes when scrubbing through the timeline with the playhead — we now have tape-style audio scrubbing which will help editors find specific moments within the timeline without pressing play. You can see a visual and auditory example of this in action in Blackmagic’s “What’s New” video.Inspector Panel ChangesSince 16 is still currently a beta release, I would wager that this feature is more of a bug than an update. If this is a legitimate change, well, it’s not a clear one. When opening the inspector with a clip selected, you have a range of adjustable tools and parameters to manipulate. In 15, the inspector’s tools looked like this:In 16, it looks like this:Cleaner and more compact; however, it’s not necessarily apparent how you open the additional settings. A single click does nothing, and there’s no drop-down arrow; instead, you have to double-click over the title, and the panel will animate open.Stabilize and ResolveFXThere’s been a huge push to create individual identities with each page, but the problem is that there are some tools that reside in other pages, which means you’re going to have to visit them once in a while — or do you? In 16, several features that were previously only in the color page have now been added to the edit page. Stabilization (rightly so) is one of them.You can now stabilize a clip directly from the inspector panel, and aside from a visual graph of what has been stabilized, it works in the same manner.Additionally, you can now find more ResolveFX effects in the effects panel (quite a tongue twister), which again quashes the need for using the color page (if you have no other need for it).Adjustable ClipsOne of the big takeaways from the NAB demonstration was Resolve’s answer to After Effects’s adjustable layer: adjustable clips. Regardless of the difference in nomenclature here, the adjustable clip does the same thing as the adjustable layer; it will affect all video clips underneath with whatever effects you add to the adjustable clip.While you could do this with Resolve 15’s new shared node feature, this new addition to Resolve makes the effects process a lot easier to manage and maintain.To add an adjustable clip, open the Effects panel, click the effects sub-panel, then drag and place the adjustable clip to the desired place on the timeline. Like an After Effects layer, the clip will affect all clips that sit underneath it, so you will need to increase or decrease the layer’s length if you want the adjustable layer to cover a larger area.If you’re going to adjust the properties of the added effect, you need to open the inspector and switch to the Open FX panel. As a side note, if you splice the adjustable clip into two, both clips will act independently of each other. So you could delete the effect places onto the first sub clip, and the effect will remain on the second sub-clip. And although the effect has been added on the edit page, by activating the bypass color grade and fusion effects button, it will deactivate the effects from the adjustable clips.Quick ExportIn 16, not only on the edit page, but also across all pages, you can now Quick Export. You can do this simply by navigating to File > quick export. This process very much mimics exporting in Premiere Pro, which is just a quick dash up to the menu bar. However, there is an emphasis on quick in quick export, as there are only two export settings to select: H.264 and H.265 — along with direct YouTube and Vimeo uploads. For most online uploads, this is sufficient, but for everything else, you’ll need to continue using the delivery page. I imagine in future updates we’ll see the function for customizing which quick exports you can select.Create Multiple-Format TimelinesPrior to Resolve 16, all timelines would conform to the settings as entered in the master settings timeline format. This was unfortunate, because Resolve had made great strides in multiple-timeline functionality. The problem was that if you had one timeline for 4K YouTube viewing and then a separate timeline for a shorter version of the video for an Instagram ad, you couldn’t create a timeline with individual settings.In Resolve 16, this is now possible, and here’s how you do it. Go to File > Create New Timeline and in the timeline pop-up menu, hit use custom settings. From here, you can create a timeline with entirely different properties than the master timeline. However, while you can change the timeline resolution of the master timeline, you still can’t change the timeline frame rate.Automatic Character/People DetectionWith DaVinci’s Neural Engine added into the fray, the software can do a lot more sub-surface work than previous versions, and one of those new features is analyzing your clips to identify different characters. Here’s how it works.In your media pool, select all clips, right-click, and hit Analyze Clips for People.Depending on the number of clips, Resolve will take a minute or two to scan the clips, and upon completion, you’ll get the following results panel:In this panel, you can now enter the names for each character, and in doing so, Resolve will create a smart bin, which will populate with clips that contain the character. You’ll also find another bin titled “Other people,” and in this bin, you’ll find clips for which Resolve couldn’t accurately pinpoint the character. Just right-click, and tag the character, so the clip joins the correct bin.If Resolve is unable to detect the characters correctly, you can add the character names to the metadata information.The update and new features are certainly a lot more subtle than previous updates, but as we’ve seen new feature after new feature for the past three years, it was only natural to see more focus on the Fairlight and Fusion pages — and of course, the entirely new cut page.You can find the full list of changes and additions to the edit page below, and for overall system changes, and new features added to the Fusion, Fairlight, and Color pages, check out the official Blackmagic press release.• Speed Warp motion estimation powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine — DaVinci Resolve Studio^• Timeline level resolution, frame rate, scaling and monitoring settings within the same project^• Adjustment Clips to apply filters, effects, and grades on top of a range of timeline clips^• Ability to analyze video clips for detecting and classifying people powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine — DaVinci Resolve Studio^• Custom safe areas for titles and actions^• Ability to assign any media pool clip or timeline as an offline reference clip^• Video orientation angle in the Clip Attributes dialog• Ease in and out position keyframes in the curves editor• Ability to view and edit keyframes for OpenFX plugins in timeline curves• Stabilize video clips from the Inspector• Support for pasting color correction properties from the Paste Attributes dialog• Improved audio behavior when scrubbing in the Edit and Media page viewers• Temporarily enable/disable snapping for titles on the viewer using the Alt/Opt key• All available viewer area is automatically used for 2-up and 4-up displays• Blade operations on a selected clip results in the preceding section being selected• Ability to toggle viewer overlays on/off and assign shortcuts for specific modes in the Edit and Color page viewers^• Support for a larger selection of words in the keyword dictionary from workspace menu• Ability to group and manage smart bins using folders• User preference to automatically create smart bin categories from media pool clips based on keywords, shot, scene and people metadata• Ability to duplicate existing smart bins• Ability to toggle between searching all media pool bins and current bin• Support for Go to In/Go to Out functions for three-point edits even when preview marks are not visible• Support for switching the video monitoring output when toggling between source and timeline viewer in gang mode• Automatic updating of the Usage in Media Pool list view• Project setting to limit reel name matching to a specific number of characters when conforming or color tracing timelines^• Project setting to ignore a specific number of characters from the beginning of the reel name when conforming or color tracing timelines^• Newly pasted clips are now automatically selected• Ability to render broadcast wave files with support for metadata when exporting timelines to Pro Tools• Improved handling of video codec defaults and audio file names when exporting timelines to Pro Tools• Ability to switch buses for monitoring from the Edit page• Options to toggle views for rectified, full waveform and waveform borders in timeline options^• Improved alpha channel handling for compound clips with more than two layers^last_img read more

Timothy Bradley announces retirement from boxing

first_imgMOST READ FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet “I find my strength in them, my peace, and most importantly unconditional love. I wake up wanting to spend all time being a father, being a husband, and being free. Although that squared circle I lived to dance in everyday gave me so many smiles and blessings, it could never outweigh the smiles and blessings I receive from my wife and children.”The 33-year-old Bradley finished his career with a 33-2-1 record, his two losses at the hands of Manny Pacquiao, whom he had a trilogy of fights. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“The Desert Storm” won his first world title in 2008 when he escaped with a split decision victory over Junior Witter to take the WBC World super lightweight belt.He then unified the WBC and WBO World super lightweight titles in 2009 after a unanimous decision win over Kendall Holt in Canada. Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Bolts stay unbeaten, keep Picanto winless behind Durham’s triple-double Bradley is still in the boxing world as a commentator and was even in the television panel when Pacquiao lost his WBO world welterweight title to Jeff Horn last month in Australia. “I hope to continue to allow boxing in my world through teaching, commentating, and being a fan of a sport I love so dearly,” wrote BradleySports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 09: Timothy Bradley Jr. stands in his corner before facing Manny Pacquiao in their welterweight championship fight on April 9, 2016 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFPFormer two-division world champion Timothy Bradley has retired from boxing, penning a heartfelt letter on his Instagram account Sunday.“Turning the page for me is bittersweet,” wrote Bradley. “That once in a lifetime purpose to wake up everyday and give 100 percent is now fueled towards something else—my family.” ADVERTISEMENT DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games View comments LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Tour de France: Geraint Thomas of Team Sky becomes the first ever Welshman to…

first_imgAdvertisementGeraint Thomas of Team Sky has secured victory in the 2018 Tour de France after arriving safe and soundly to the finish line in Paris on stage 21. The 32-year-old Thomas secured sixth Tour victory for Team Sky in seven years after a terrific performance over three weeks and 21 stages.Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff with the UAE Team Emirates won the 21st leg from Houilles to Paris after a sprint finish, closely beating John Degenkolb and Arnaud Demare.In the final standings, Thomas finished 1’51” clear of Dumoulin and 2’24” clear of Froome, with LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk completing the final top five.Four-time Tour champion Chris Froome was a heavy favorite to win this year’s tour but his hopes of matching Eddy Merckx’s record of four consecutive Grand Tour victories shattered in the final week as Welshman proved the strongest rider as he rode impressively for three weeks and pulled off two mountain wins.Congratulation messages started pouring on Social Media for the Welshman and British PM Theresa May tweeted out:Congratulations to @GeraintThomas86 on his success in the #TourDeFrance. A huge achievement that everyone in the UK can be proud of. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🚴@TeamSky— Theresa May (@theresa_may) July 29, 2018Thomas told Eurosport that his win was “unbelievable”.He added: “Normally that stage is really hard but today I just seemed to float around.“There was goosebumps going around there.“The support, the Welsh and the British flags, it’s unreal, it’s the Tour de France.“To be riding around wearing [the yellow jersey], it’s the stuff of dreams.”He added: “It won’t really sink in for a few months, it’s just a whirlwind now.“I seem to be floating around on cloud nine.“Maybe when I’m like 70, sat in a corner of a pub telling some 18-year-old what I used to be, it will sink in.”Team Sky’s performance manager, Rod Ellingworth, reckons that even at 32 Thomas has plenty more in the tank. “He really does have the full package and he’s matured in the past two years and taken it on,” he said, smiling. “And he’s still pretty ambitious, too.”Advertisementlast_img read more

NYC Referee Awards

first_img18’s Boys Developing States Final Billy GreatbatchLuke SaldernAlanah Sinclair 18’s Girls Developing States Final Amanda SheekyJoshua SchumacherHayden SmithLeading Male RefereeScott CampbellLeading Female RefereeAlanah SinclairReferee of the TournamentScott Campbell Related LinksNYC Referee Awards 18’s Girls Final Rob BowenAaron SearstonChris Schwerdt 18’s Boys Community Final Scott MarshAnton Van RensburgGiancarlo Leung 18’s Boys FinalScott CampbellMark KellyJames Steinberg 18’s Girls Community Final    Kai MarutaSitha MeadKerrod Hall Congratulations to the following referees who received referee team awards at the 2013 X-Blades National Youth Championships. Referee Team AwardsTeam 1 – Lee RossowTeam 2 – Matt BowlesTeam 3 – Loren JohnstonTeam 4 – Danielle MaltbyCongratulations to the referees awarded finals at the event:last_img read more