Oakland Raiders: How the Black Hole saved my life (well, sort of)

first_imgWill the Dec. 24 Raiders game be the last one played at the Oakland Coliseum? That prospect has me thinking about a surreal day many years ago.I had bought into a season ticket group when the Raiders were heading back from Los Angeles to Oakland. A reporter who worked for me, the late great Dan Reed, was pulling together some buddies to pay for one of Al Davis’ PSLs. But he needed one more to make the financing work for the personal seat license and season tickets.I overheard him in our …last_img

R104m leg-up for Zim cotton farmers

first_imgDBSA has provided a critical loan to Zimbabwe’s emerging cotton farmers. (Image: C S Monitor) Zimbabwe’s small-scale cotton farmers have received a major financial boost from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to improve their output.DBSA announced the R104.6-million (US$748 000) loan to the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) on 23 November 2010.The funds will go towards Cottco’s inputs credit scheme, which facilitates funding for the emerging farmers.“This is a first ever landmark investment in Zimbabwe by the DBSA,” Admassu Tadesse, group executive for the international division at DBSA, said in a statement.“Through this investment communal and small-scale farmers will have access both to credit and capacity-building programmes which will empower them to grow more cotton.”Cottco supports thousands of small-scale producers, who farm about 242 000ha of land in the Southern African country. DBSA said the organisation works with a wide network of farmers, and provides access to skills and infrastructure.It provides farming inputs such as fertiliser, seed and chemicals through its credit scheme. These are made available during the growing season, under recommendations from Cottco’s agronomists.Zimbabwe’s cotton farming sector has been negatively affected by a lack of funding in recent years, as has all other facets of the country’s agricultural industry.DBSA said lack of access to foreign currency has stalled progress in reviving Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector.Before the recent loan, funds had dried up for Cottco, which meant local farmers battled to access much-needed finance for their capital expenditure needs and day-to-day duties.Recovery programmeThe developmental bank’s loan is meant to support the Zimbabwean government’s Short Term Economic Recovery Programme. The programme has identified agro-processing and agriculture as key priority sectors to drive the recovery of the domestic economy, Tadesse said.The agricultural sector is the major backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy, and when it began to collapse in 2000, the entire country took a hard knock.Widespread government seizure of commercial farmland through a controversial land reform act was at the heart of the crisis.According to the DBSA, agriculture contributes up to 17% of Zimbabwe’s GDP, 60% of manufacturing inputs, 35% of foreign exchange earnings and 15% of formal employment.“The Zimbabwean economy is heavily dependent on agriculture,” Tadesse said, adding that the bank believes that its loan to Cottco will be significant in supporting the revival of the industry, protect existing jobs in the sector and create new employment opportunities.Cottco is expected employ more than 5 000 Zimbabweans during the next buying season, which will generate about R25.6-million ($3.6-million) in wages, according to DBSA.Development mandateDBSA aims to invest in projects that have potential to boost the economies of Southern African nations. It recently contributed R748 000 ($105-million) towards the expansion of Zambia’s Kariba North Bank hydro power station.“The Zimbabwean investment is in line with the bank’s mandate and strategy to support development and viable projects in key economic sectors such as agriculture,” said Tadesse.“Building sustainable regional economies remain a priority area that the DBSA will aggressively pursue to ensure that the region is prosperous, integrated and progressively free of poverty and dependency,” he added. Normal 0 false false false EN-ZA X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4Zimbabwe’s small-scale cotton farmers have received a major financial boost from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to improve their output.last_img read more

J&K CEO takes up issue of security cover withdrawal

first_imgA day after the Congress alleged that the accommodation and security cover of its leaders in Jammu and Kashmir were withdrawn, the State Chief Electoral Officer said he has informed the Election Commission about the issue and will also write to the State administration. “We are writing to (the State) government to take their view on this (withdrawal of security and accommodation to Congress leaders and its chief in Jammu and Kashmir),” Shailendra Kumar, the CEO, said on Wednesday. Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee chief Gulam Ahmed Mir on Tuesday accused the State administration of withdrawing the security cover of several party leaders to “hamper” their poll campaign, especially in the militancy-hit south Kashmir region. The Jammu and Kashmir administration has to seek the approval of the CEO with regard to withdrawal of security and accommodation to political leaders during the elections as the model code of conduct is in place. Mr. Mir had alleged that the Governor’s administration has deliberately withdrawn the security cover.last_img read more

Video: J.T. Barrett Participated In The Circle Drill With A Fan At Student Appreciation Day

first_imgJT Barrett Circle Drill.JT Barrett Circle DrillToday was Student Appreciation Day at Ohio State, and as you can imagine, the turnout at Buckeye spring practice was strong. Fans usually love seeing players participate in the “Circle Drill,” but don’t often end up getting involved themselves. Quarterbacks are always excluded from the action as well, so naturally today saw an OSU QB and a young fan face off in the circle.Lori Schmidt of Columbus’ 97.1 The Fan has the video of J.T. Barrett “defeating” a young woman in the Circle Drill. Surely this was a thrill for her to be face-to-face with one of the Buckeyes. Ohio State QB JT Barrett participates in circle drill at the team’s student appreciation day practice. pic.twitter.com/GD6rAxK89O— Lori Schmidt (@LoriSchmidt) April 2, 2016That will undoubtedly be the only time you see Barrett in the circle during his career in Columbus.last_img read more

New Tory government in New Brunswick dramatically scales back capital spending

first_imgFREDERICTON — New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative government has tabled a $600-million capital budget that dramatically turns away from the big spending of the previous Liberal government.Finance Minister Ernie Steeves says hard decisions are needed now about what government can afford if the province is to return to balanced budgets by 2020 or sooner.The previous Liberal government tabled an $815.3 million capital budget last year, and had projected to spend $865.6 million for the coming year.The Tories have released a five-year plan that would see capital spending at roughly $600 million each year.Steeves says the plan will focus on maintaining roads, bridges and buildings.The biggest spending in 2019-2020 is $321 million to maintain transportation infrastructure, while almost $124 million goes to health care infrastructure, and $60.2 million in school infrastructure — including new elementary schools in Hanwell and Moncton.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Seeing through paint

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — When light passes through materials that we consider opaque, such as paint, biological tissue, fabric and paper, it is scattered in such a complex way that an image does not come through. “It is possible to see the light, but not the information,” Sylvain Gigan tells PhysOrg.com. “We wanted to create a way to see the information through opaque media.” Citation: ‘Seeing’ through paint (2010, March 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-seeing-through-paint.html More information: Popff, et. al., “Measuring the Transmission Matrix in Optics: An Approach to the Study and Control of Light Propagation in Disordered Media,” Physical Review Letters (2010). Available online: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.100601 Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Schematic of the apparatus. The laser is expanded and reflected off a SLM. The phase-modulated beam is focused on the multiple-scattering sample and the output intensity speckle pattern is imaged by a CCD camera: lens (L), polarizer (P), diaphragm (D). Image (c) 2010 American Physical Society, DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.100601 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further How to see through opaque materials Gigan is a scientist at the City of Paris Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institute (ESPCI). Gigan worked in a group with Popoff, Lerosey, Carminati, Fink and Boccara to create an experiment that demonstrates that it is possible to construct a transmission matrix that allows them to “see” through some opaque materials. The results of their experiment are described in Physical Review Letters: “Measuring the Transmission Matrix in Optics: An Approach to the Study and Control of Light Propagation in Disordered Media.”“When people try to look into an opaque medium, especially biological material, they use the ballistic light, the light that has not been mixed up by the medium due to scattering. But as you go into the medium, the ballistic light becomes less intense, limited by the scattering process.”Instead of being limited by scattering, though, the group at ESPCI instead looked for ways to use scattering to their advantage. Gigan and his colleagues passed light through zinc oxide, which is common in paint. They observed the way the light of a laser scattered as it passed through, and then created a numerical model to describe the result. “This transmission matrix is a map through the medium,” Gigan explains. “Once we have the transmission matrix, it is possible to analyze whatever pattern goes through.”The process provides the means to put together an image of something on the other side, allowing the researchers to “see” through the zinc oxide layer, even though it is opaque. Reversal is also possible, offering a way to tailor a beam that could pass through opaque material, and then focus. “Such a method could allow for applications in imaging of biological material, among other applications,” Gigan says. “This provides a way to transmit information or focus light in a medium that wouldn’t by any classical means allow that.”There are limitations, however. “This should not be construed to mean that we can see through walls with this technique,” Gigan points out. “Some degree of light has to be able to pass through, and a wall stops light from coming out the other side. You could use white fabric, paint, or paper, though. Even biological tissue, like a chicken breast, could work.”Gigan also admits that so far the process is rather slow. “Getting the matrix is a slow process, taking minutes. We used paint because it is so stable. If you wanted to actually go through biological media, or through liquid, it wouldn’t work with our current set-up, since the light transmission changes as the medium moves.”For now, the group at ESPCI is working on tackling the problems presented by technology. “The main limitation for using this technique in biological microscopy is technical. There are some hints of how to get the transmission matrix faster, but at the moment we’re not really ready.”Despite the limitations, Gigan sees some current applications. “There are implications for nanotechnology, and the propagation of light in this system is interesting. It offers a basis for the idea of manipulating the light wave, and we believe this could be a promising approach to imaging. Perhaps in five years we will have the technology to take this even further.”last_img read more

Southeast Michigan lawmakers unveil new plan to fix states auto insurance system

first_img State Reps. Jason Sheppard of Temperance, Joe Bellino of Monroe and Bronna Kahle of Adrian today unveiled legislation repealing Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system to bring significant relief to drivers paying the nation’s most expensive insurance premiums.The legislation continues benefits for everyone already receiving lifetime health care after a catastrophic traffic accident. The eight-bill package eliminates the no-fault system and moves Michigan to a full-tort system similar to other states such as Ohio.“We need to ask ourselves this – should Michigan continue to do nothing about having the highest insurance rates in the nation? Is that a logical way forward?” Sheppard said. “The answers are obvious to drivers across the state facing severe financial stress. We’ve got to do something to fix this broken system and lower rates for all drivers.”The plan still mandates that all Michigan drivers have insurance, but provides more choice and flexibility by eliminating the mandate to buy unlimited medical coverage. Accident victims will have the ability to sue at-fault drivers for economic damages and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.The legislation also includes a “legacy fee” to continue to fund the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) until it is no longer needed. The MCCA system will be closed to new entrants.“Auto insurance rates are so high, they are draining our neighbors’ bank accounts,” Bellino said. “As legislators, we cannot continue to let this happen. Our current rates are an unnecessary burden for families across the state.”Colorado abandoned its no-fault system in 2003. According to a 2008 governor’s study, the average car insurance premium in the state decreased 35 percent since the state moved to a tort auto insurance system. Michigan drivers could see greater savings by parting ways with its no-fault system, which is the only one in the nation mandating unlimited medical coverage. Florida, one of the 12 states operating with a no-fault system, is also debating repeal.“Our auto insurance is too expensive,” Kahle said. “Michigan’s unique no-fault system has led to the highest auto rates in the country. The hard-working families and seniors in Lenawee County deserve relief.”Sheppard noted that repealing Michigan’s no-fault system and replacing it with a tort system will draw more insurance companies to the state, which will in turn create more competition to even further drive down insurance rates.The bill package, House Bills 5517-23, will be formally read into the record next week. Categories: Kahle News 01Feb Southeast Michigan lawmakers unveil new plan to fix state’s auto insurance systemlast_img read more

Deutsche Telekom is to take Sky Deutschlands Germ

first_imgDeutsche Telekom is to take Sky Deutschland’s German football service and will close its Liga Total! service, according to local press reports.Sky Deutschland acquired all pay TV rights to top-tier German football, including IPTV and online as well as broadcast rights, meaning Deutsche Telekom had to either acquire a sub-licence to continue its own production of football coverage or take Sky’s service. Having failed to strike a deal to sub-licence the IP rights, it will now take Sky’s service, according to the reports.last_img

In This Issue Weekly jobs report improves

first_imgIn This Issue. * Weekly jobs report improves * Net Worth on the rise * Limited data next week * Scottish voters have spoken And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Scotland Stays… Good Day!  And welcome to Friday morning. As Chris mentioned yesterday, I’ll be taking you into the weekend and then Chuck will be back at it on Monday morning, so there you have it. This will probably end up being a little shorter than usual, more about that in the wrap up, but we’ve had plenty of news headlines and data to inspect over the past few days to keep us busy. Also, I have the pleasure of revealing the big announcement that Chuck previously mentioned, but you’ll have to wait until the end to see it. I’m sure the suspense is already getting to you, so let’s get this party started. Yesterday’s market action was wedged between Wednesday’s Fed meeting and today’s poll results in Scotland, but we did have some domestic economic data to pick through. First, we saw an improvement in the weekly jobs number as initial jobless claims fell to a two month low of 280k and the four week moving average, which tends to be less volatile, fell to 299,500. Continuing claims also saw improvement as the number fell to the lowest level since May 2007 as those receiving ongoing benefits fell to 2.43 million. In other news, the August housing starts and building permits both disappointed as construction fell 14.4% and the forward looking permits fell 5.6%. This report seems to be contradictory to homebuilder confidence gauges that have been on the rise. The dynamic has been shifting toward more multi-family projects, so moderation in this segment last month account for a big part of the disappointment. We also had the Philly Fed index, which measures manufacturing in the area, come in lower at 22.5 but still remains well into positive territory. Lastly, we had household wealth in the US increase by $1.39 trillion in the second quarter to $81.5 trillion according to a report from the Fed. This increase came as no surprise since the equity markets were setting a new record on a daily basis. I saw some economists questioning whether or not the hot stock market is truly fueling the economy. If we use retail sales as a barometer, I guess you could say the effect isn’t nearly as profound. Anyway, the only bit of data this morning in the US is the leading indicators from August, which are still expected to be positive but slower than the previous month. Next week is actually pretty sparse in the data department that will be dominated by the August home sales reports. At this point, the experts are calling for a slight improvement in both the existing and new home sales. We’ll see August durable goods, which the headline figure is expected to fall well short of July but the ex-transportation number is set to rise a little bit so a mixed bag of sorts. Other than that, we get the final revision to second quarter GDP, which the current projections have it rising to 4.5% from 4.2%, and then a handful of secondary data. The currencies actually turned in a decent scorecard yesterday with the Norwegian krone putting up a over a 2% gain. Chris already talked about the basis for the move higher and the Swedish krona ended up with over a 1% gain. One of the reasons whey the NOK has been stuck in the mud was the looming potential for a rate cut, but it seems policy makers have officially taken that scenario off the table so I wonder if the markets will shift toward pricing in a future rate hike. The rand remained as the worst performing currency by dropping nearly 0.5% after the central bank kept rates on hold at 5.75% and said that economic growth had deteriorated while inflation most likely peaked in the second quarter. The currency took another hit after central bank governor Gill Marcus said that she will step down form her post when the five year term ends in November. We could see continued volatility as the markets speculate who might take over. The pound was actually one of the better performing currencies yesterday as traders were pricing in a vote by Scotland to remain within the United Kingdom as the currency hit a two week high. The markets were actually a little more pragmatic than I would have thought since the new world trading patterns like to take the extreme scenario and run with it. Instead, we saw an overall anxious anticipation that lasted through this morning. In the end, we didn’t have any surprises in store for us this morning as just over 55% of Scottish voters opted against pulling out of the UK. As soon as I turned the currency screens on and saw the relative calm, I know the outcome. Prime Minister David Cameron had promised to give more policy making powers to Scotland in the event of a no vote and he pledged a change that would take into account how England and Wales are governed. Once the votes were tallied, he said these commitments would be honored in full. As Chuck has mentioned several times in the past, uncertainty isn’t looked upon too kindly in the currency market so the anxious pressures have been relieved for the time being at least. A vote for independence would have made for some difficult logistics as I’m sure negotiations over North Sea Oil would not be an easy task and not to mention the question as to what currency Scotland would use. As it pertains to the UK, many think economic growth would have taken a hit and then uncertainty as to whether other nations would attempt a similar feat would have increased significantly. But, we don’t have to worry about that right now and the markets will shift focus back to the BOE and the prospects of higher interest rates. Speaking of prospects, it’s with great excitement that we announce the launch of EverBank’s new 3-year MarketSafe BRICS CD. If you believe that good things are on the horizon for the major emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (aka the BRICS nations), this could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. With our all new MarketSafe BRICS CD, we’ve united the currency indices of these five nations into one bold financial opportunity. The MarketSafe BRICS CD brings together the currency indices of those five nations into one US dollar-denominated CD and seeks unlimited upside potential via a semi-annual pricing structure. As with all MarketSafe CDs, the principal is protected so you would get back all of your deposited principal if the currency indices lose value to the US dollar. While we can’t make any guarantees as to the future economic strength of the countries,  there are factors that suggest the creation of a stronger foundation for growth. This CD doesn’t pay a periodic rate of interest or annual percentage yield, but the full terms and conditions are here: www.everbank.com/brics. Open and fund your CD by October 15th to secure your spot in this innovative financial opportunity.  For What it’s Worth. Chris threw me a link to an interesting article before he jumped on a plane yesterday morning which he found on The Hill. You can read the entire story at http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/218047-house-passes-bill-to-audit-the-federal-reserve, but here is a snippet that I wanted to share. “The House on Wednesday passed legislation to audit the Federal Reserve System. Passed 333-92, the bill would require the comptroller general to conduct an audit of the Federal Reserve’s board of governors and banks within one year and submit a report to Congress on the findings. A total of 106 Democrats joined all but one Republican in support of the measure.” To recap. Yesterday’s data consisted of a better weekly jobs report as new claims fell to 280k and continuing claims fell to the lowest since May 2007. Housing starts and building permits in August both fell more than expected while household net worth for US citizens increased in the second quarter. Next week is shaping up to be fairly quiet as data will be limited. The currencies had a decent day even with the results of the Scottish vote still up in the air. As I came in this morning, Scottish voters decided to stick with the UK so the rest of the day looks to be calm. Currencies today 9/19/14. American Style: A$ .8972, kiwi .8144, C$ .9123, euro 1.2856, sterling 1.6370, Swiss $1.0653. European Style: rand 11.0260, krone 6.3424, SEK 7.1286, forint 241.45, zloty 3.2538, koruna 21.455, RUB 38.4860, yen 108.82, sing 1.2667, HKD 7.7507, INR 60.7950, China 6.1455, pesos 13.2072, BRL 2.3656, Dollar Index 84.604, Oil $92.78, 10-year 2.61%, Silver $18.40, Platinum $1,342.82, Palladium $822.85, and Gold. $1,222.85 That’s it for today. Well, I’m so glad the weekend is here. I just moved into a new house on Wednesday so my life is both literally and figuratively in boxes right now which means time is at a premium for me at this point. I didn’t realize just how much stuff I had until I saw it all in boxes and trying to find a new place for it all. Instead of a nice relaxing weekend, it’s going to be an unpacking marathon but I hope to get it all knocked out so we can get back to the normal routine. It was a busy day on the desk yesterday and I would have to think it’s going to be even busier today since our newest MarketSafe CD is up and running. With that said, I need to hit the send button and get my day started so until next time, Have a Great Day! Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

One in five working coal miners in central Appalac

first_imgOne in five working coal miners in central Appalachia who have worked at least 25 years now suffer from the coal miners’ disease black lung. That’s the finding from the latest study tracking an epidemic of the incurable and fatal sickness.It’s the highest rate in a quarter century and indicates that the disease continues to afflict more miners in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.”We haven’t seen this rate of black lung since before the early ’90s,” says Cara Halldin, an epidemiologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and one of the authors of the study.Black lung results from the inhalation of coal and silica dust during coal mining. Lung tissue is scarred by the dust, which diminishes the ability to breathe.The study’s researchers reviewed nearly fifty years of coal miner X-rays taken as part of a national NIOSH effort to identify disease among working coal miners. They compared the last five years of X-rays with those taken earlier.In addition to the heightened rates of disease, the study found that the most severe form of disease – progressive massive fibrosis – now occurs in 5 percent of veteran miners in the region, the highest rate ever recorded.”We can think of no other industry or workplace in the United States in which this would be considered acceptable,” wrote Halldin and her colleagues in the American Journal of Public Health.The study shows that “the protections that we’ve had in place” to protect coal miners from toxic dust “have not been adequate,” says Celeste Monforton, a former federal mine safety regulator and lecturer in public health at Texas State University.”The rules themselves haven’t been adequate. The enforcement of those rules hasn’t been adequate. And the sanctions for mine operators who violate those rules are not adequate,” Monforton says.The National Mining Association (NMA), the industry’s biggest lobbying group, calls the study’s findings “troubling.”But NMA spokeswoman Ashley Burke also notes that the study involves “miners whose exposure dates back decades before more rigorous standards were put into place.”That’s a reference to new mine dust exposure rules fully imposed by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in 2016.”One of the challenges that we face in addressing this disease is that symptoms do not typically present for more than 10 years,” Burke adds, “which means we don’t yet know if the changes made to the dust standards are making a difference.”A committee of mining experts assembled by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recently suggested the new dust control regulations don’t measure dust exposure for enough miners in enough mine locations enough of the time.MSHA spokeswoman Amy Louviere says her agency “is reviewing the study at this time.”Virginia coal miner Jackie Yates is still working despite a diagnosis of PMF five years ago at age 44. Yates watched his brother die from the disease and recalls him struggling for every last breath before being placed on a ventilator.”I know what I’m looking at,” Yates says. “Nobody wants to die… but to go the way I saw my brother go, it don’t feel good to know how you’re going to go.”Halldin is pessimistic about what NIOSH has called an ongoing epidemic of PMF and the biggest clusters of advanced black lung ever recorded, which were identified in an NPR investigation and confirmed by NIOSH researchers.”What you see now in active miners is what you’ll see later in former miners, and potentially greater disease and more progression,” Halldin says. “And so this is probably an underestimate of what we’ll see in the future.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more