A ‘hanging library’ in Odisha to encourage children to read

first_imgSchoolchildren in Ganjam district of Odisha are being lured into the reading and writing habit in an entertaining manner through a unique project named ‘Drop Everything and Read’ (DEAR).DEAR, an innovative interactive library movement project, was initiated in the district around three years ago. It has already earned national recognition. In 2015, the project was selected for a national award for innovation in educational administration. The project was started in Ganjam district in December 2014 in around 1,000 schools. At present, the project is successfully continuing in over 4,000 government managed or aided schools of Ganjam district.“This project targeted the alarming issue of declining reading habit among school students, which was also affecting their writing skills. Students were found to be concerned only about their textbooks and we wanted to make the children feel that reading is linked to studies and examination only. It can also be entertaining and activity of pleasure,” said District Education Officer (DEO) of Ganjam, Sanatan Panda.Dearth of booksBut dearth of adequate number of books in schools, especially the rural ones, was a major obstacle in the path of enhancing the reading habit among students. In addition, books in school libraries also remained locked in almirahs, out of reach of the students. As an initial step, all schools in Ganjam district were advised to display most books in their libraries before students. Books in school libraries were also segregated as per their suitability for children of different age groups.last_img read more

JD(U) joins NDA, may get berths in Union Cabinet

first_imgThe Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) on Saturday passed a resolution at its national executive committee meeting to formally join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).As a part of the NDA, the JD(U) is expected to get one or two berths in the Union Cabinet.At a parallel meeting, the rebel Sharad Yadav-led faction of the party launched an attack on Mr. Kumar for breaking away from the grand alliance with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and joining hands with the BJP.“The JD(U) national executive meeting, chaired by party president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, approved a resolution to become part of the NDA,” principal general secretary and JD(U) Rajya Sabha member K.C. Tyagi said, denying that there was any split in the party following the differences between Mr. Kumar and Mr. Sharad Yadav.“The meeting was attended by all 71 party MLAs, 30 MLCs, presidents of 16 of the 19 State units, and all office-bearers of the party committees appointed earlier by Mr. Kumar with the consent of Mr. Sharad Yadav. So how can there be a split in the JD(U)?” he asked, addressing journalists after the meeting.He also asserted that it was the Bihar unit’s decision to walk out of the grand alliance government and join hands with the BJP to form an NDA government in Bihar.“BJP president Amit Shah, during a recent meeting with our party president Nitish Kumar, had urged him to bring the JD(U) into the NDA. The national executive committee approved it, and now we have become part of the NDA,” Mr. Tyagi said.Asked whether the JD(U) would act against Mr. Sharad Yadav for holding a separate meeting of party leaders, Mr. Tyagi, who used to be a close confidante of Mr. Sharad Yadav, said the party “would wait till August 27, the day of the RJD’s rally here, before initiating any action against Mr. Sharad Yadav.”At a parallel ‘Jan Adalat’ meeting, Mr. Sharad Yadav launched a thinly veiled attack on Mr. Kumar. “I formed the party but some people are asking me to get out of my home. I went to attend the JD(U)’s national executive committee meeting but they didn’t allow me to participate. They told me that I don’t belong to the party,” he said.Suspended JD(U) Rajya Sabha Member Ali Anwar and State party leader Ramai Ram, too, addressed the meeting, and took potshots at Mr. Kumar for joining hands with the BJP.Later, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said the Sharad Yadav-led JD(U) was the real JD(U) and “Nitish Kumar should now contest elections on kamal [lotus], the BJP’s symbol”.Meanwhile, Mr. Amit Shah welcomed the JD(U)’s decision to formally join NDA. “I welcome the JD(U) decision to join the NDA as this will not only strengthen the NDA but will also start a new era of development and growth in Bihar,” he said.last_img read more

Spurt in number oflocals joining militancy

first_imgOver 100 local youths have joined various terror outfits in J&K this year, the highest since 2010, with a majority of them affiliating themselves to groups ideologically aligned with the Al-Qaeda, officials said here. According to data compiled till July 31, as many as 131 youths have joined various terror outfits with south Kashmir’s Shopian district contributing the maximum of 35 so far. The number of local recruits last year was 126.The officials said that many youngsters are joining the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a group which claims the support of Al-Qaeda and is headed by Zaqir Rashid Bhat alias Zaqir Musa, who hails from a village in the Tral area of Pulwama district. The acceptance of this group is steadily increasing. as Musa emerged as the only militant who ended the 27-year-old show of separatists leaders from Hurriyat Conference and threatened them of beheading if they termed Kashmir as a political issue. Musa’s slogan of “Shariyat ya Shahadat” (Enforcing Islamic law or death) has replaced many age-old pro-Pakistan slogans, feel the officials who have been monitoring the security situation in the Kashmir Valley. The 24-year-old engineering college drop-out has been able to capture the imagination of youths, especially after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen poster boy Burhan Wani, who was killed in 2016. He was good at studies as well as sports and had represented the state in inter-state carom championship, recalls a senior police official, adding this is one of the reasons that he has started emerging as a hero to many youths in the Valley. Believed to have been influenced by Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemini-American preacher killed by allied forces attack in Afghanistan in September 2011, Musa has been mainly focussing on recruitment for his outfit and brainwashing the youths to pick up arms. Awlaki too was considered the brain behind recruitment for Al-Qaeda. His motivational skills left terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba also in a fix when he was able to draw Abu Dujana into his group, the officials said. Abu Dujana was killed killed. Though the Jammu and Kashmir Police has time and again termed Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind as a non-starter in the valley, the growing popularity and graffiti of his name and slogans have taken maximum spaces of towns and villages. ISJK, an affiliate of the banned ISIS, was also a source of attraction for youths but after the killing of its chief Dawood Sofi, the group does not find many takers. The officials of security agencies said the highly-volatile South Kashmir comprising Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Awantipora districts continued to contribute more youths to the militant groups and together these five districts have contributed over 100 youthts to various terror groups operating in the Kashmir Valley. This year’s figures were the highest since 2010, according to a recent data presented in the state assembly and Parliament. There has been a steady rise in the number of youths taking up arms in the valley since 2014 onwards as compared to the period from 2010 to 2013 when the figure stood at 54, 23, 21 and 6 respectively. In 2014, the number shot up to 53 and in 2015, it reached 66 before touching the highest mark of 88 in 2016, the data showed.last_img read more

BJP leader’s MLA son arrested after assaulting official, denied bail

first_imgBJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya’s son — and the party’s MLA in Madhya Pradesh — was on June 26 arrested for attacking a civic body official with a cricket bat, after a heated argument over a demolition drive.A local court rejected Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya’s bail plea and he was sent to jail in the evening, an official said.A video of the assault went viral on social media, after which police filed an FIR against Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya and 10 others in connection with the assault, an official said.Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya went about beating up the officer even as media persons surrounded him with cameras and recorded the entire incident.Justifying his action, Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya said, “In the BJP, we have been taught, pehle aavedan, phir nivedan aur phir danadan. (first request and then attack).”Eyewitnesses said the locals were protesting against razing of a house when Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya, who was a part of the protest, warned the civic body staff of consequences if they do not leave the spot.His supporters even removed the keys of the earth moving machine brought in to carry out the demolition, they said.Amid a heated exchange, Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya brought out a cricket bat and started hitting an officer who was talking on his mobile phone. The MLA’s supporters also attacked the officer and abused him while police personnel tried to bring the situation under control.Municipal employees stop workSoon after the incident, Indore Municipal Corporation employees held a demonstration by stopping their work.Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya said some civic officials were razing even those houses which are in good condition, by declaring them as dilapidated.“This is a conspiracy between owners of the houses and officials. They want to raze the houses so that leaders of the ruling Congress can take possession of the land,” he said.Condemning the assault, State Congress spokesperson Neelabh Shukla said, “The lawmaker himself has broken the law.The incident has exposed the real face of the BJP.”last_img read more

French Open: Sania-Elena enter semi finals

first_imgSania Mirza and and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina shocked top seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta 6-0, 7-5 to reach the semi-finals of the French Open at Roland Garros on Monday.The seventh seeded Indo-Russian pair wrapped up the quarter-final in an hour and six minutes after blanking the Argentine-Italian duo in the first set. This is the first time that Sania has reached the women’s doubles semi-finals in a Grand Slam tournament.The quarter-final appearances in the 2007 US Open and 2008 Wimbledon were her best performances so far at the big stage. Sania and Vesnina take on the winners of the Liezel Huber & Lisa Raymond – Victoria Azarenka & Maria Kirilenko clash in the semi-finals.Bopanna-Qureshi winIn men’s doubles, India’s Rohan Bopanna and Aisam ul-haq Qureshi of Pakistan advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Andrey Golubev and Denis Istomin.The fifth-seeded Indo-Pak pair downed the Kazak-Uzbek combination in an hour and nine minutes in the third round. It will be the third quarter-final appearance in the last four Grand Slams for Bopanna and Qureshi.They will take on top seeded American twins Mike and Bob Bryan, who defeated Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili and Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 7-6 (6), 7-5 in their pre-quarterfinal.Bopanna and Qureshi had lost to the Bryan brothers in the US Open final last year. Bopanna is the only Indian surviving in the men’s doubles as the pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have made a shock second-round exit.It was more disappointment for Paes as his French Open campaign came to a halt when he and Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic bowed out of the mixed doubles. The seventh seeds went down 7-6 (3), 6-3 to top seeds Katarina Srebotnik Slovakia and Serb Nenad Zimonjic in an hour and 19 minutes.advertisementThe Srebotnik-Zimonjic combination will take on the winners of the quarter-final between Russian Nadia Petrova and Jamie Murray of Britain, and Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova and Bruno Soares Brazil.Second serve proved to the biggest weakness for Paes and Benesova they managed to win only per cent of points when they missed their first delivery. In contrast, Srebotnik and Zimonjic won 64 per cent points on their first serve, and 71 per cent with their second.The top seeds capitalised four of the six break point opportunities they got, while Paes and Benesova managed break serve three times from six chances.- With agency inputslast_img read more

How Much Do Sweethearts Spend On Valentine’s Day?

first_imgHas an organization or university offered you an opportunity with a stipend? Whether it’s an internship or apprenticeship, a stipend is a set amount of money that helps offset living expenses. This fixed amount is financial support provided while you’re… Full Story,Truth is, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to college: new friends, a new routine, (college parties!), and more independence. But along with all these perks, it’s also time to start thinking about your finances…. Full Story,A routing number is a unique number that identifies a specific banking institution. Each routing number is made up of nine digits. Routing numbers are sometimes referred to as an American Banker’s Association routing transit number or an ABA RTN…. Full Story,It’s stressful enough having a car loan over your head and staying on top of your monthly payments. But what if you have an upside-down car loan — in other words, the amount you owe on your set of wheels… Full Story,When you’re trying to get your financial house in order, it’s easy to get lost in the specifics. You might stress about how to adjust your budget, where to find some extra cash for the holidays or what funds to… Full Story,Shortly after graduating from New York University with a Master’s degree, Melanie Lockert turned to food stamps, as she worked her way out of $81,000 in student loans. “There were a lot of emotions around carrying that debt. It caused… Full Story,Traveling is one of the best things in life, and luckily, low funds don’t have to dash your dreams of enjoying an epic adventure. A wealth of destinations—both in the U.S. and abroad—are so affordable that even hardcore penny pinchers… Full Story,While we don’t yet have flying cars that collapse to the size of a suitcase, pneumatic tubes that transport us from room to room or machines that automatically bathe and clothe us in the morning, every day we’re getting closer… Full Story,Times have changed since Grams and Gramps were your age, looking to settle down and buy their first home. But today the house with the white picket fence—or that trendy loft in downtown—isn’t completely out of the question if you… Full Story,We recently hosted a Twitter chat as part of our #RealTalkSeries. And let’s just say, things definitely got real. Many of you joined us to discuss “taboo” and cringe-worthy money questions such as how to improve a bad credit score,… Full Storylast_img read more

Money Manners: Help! My Friend Hasn’t Paid Me Back!

first_imgBottom line: Going forward, If we want to be generous with our money – and 66% of young Americans say they’d willingly give money to a friend in need — better to assume our friendly loan is just a gift. It’ll help with the healing process when we never get a dime back. And if you can’t afford the “gift,” then offer to help friends in other ways to ease their financial stress like inviting them over for dinner, helping them network to find a better paying job, or letting them borrow your stuff – not your cash. For smaller expenses, tap an app!For that time you offered to reserve the hotel rooms in Vegas for all your friends (so you could get the travel rewards!) but now need to get your money back so you can pay your credit card bill…or any other time when friends owe you “social” money for food, activities and cab rides, thankfully now you can bank on technology to remind them.If your friends owe you money, simply get in touch and request payment with one of these online money tools.Google Wallet – Have a Gmail account? Transferring money has never been easier. Email your friends as normal with the subject and body of the email as you please. Then, click the dollar sign at the bottom of the email. You can request money or pay someone using your debit card. If you don’t have a Google Wallet account, it will prompt you to set it up by adding your debit card information.SplitWise – This app lets you split the cost of purchases or expenses with a family member or friend. Think: an upcoming vacation, shared living expenses or a night out together. You can easily add your friends via their email address or mobile number. Then, you can input the total amount of the bill and the percentage they owe and even attach a picture of the receipt. While it does a great job of keeping track of who owes what, you don’t have the ability to pay directly within the app.Square Cash – If you and your friend have this app, then you can easily request and transfer money between each other. But even if your friend doesn’t have this app on their phone, you can still use the technology to get your money back. Simply send your friend an email with the balance in the subject field and CC: the email address request@square.com and the body of the email can include whatever message you’d like. Once your friend receives the email, you’ll both be asked to share your banking information to begin the transfer.Venmo – This app is a millennial favorite. So much so, it’s become its own verb. How many times have we heard, “I’ll venmo you.”? It easily allows friends to request money or pay one another through the app. All you have to do is set up an account using your Facebook credentials or email account and then add your bank account information or debit card and you’re ready to go. When you send money using your bank account or debit card Venmo waives the 3% fee. But if you plan to use your credit card, a 3% fee will apply.Splitzee – Trouble keeping track of who owes you what? The Splitzee app eliminates the hassle by helping you manage, track and remind your family and friends what they owe you, all in one place. It’s especially helpful when you have a larger group of people to communicate with. You can create a thread and invite your friends to share in the bill payment. The app lets you set payment deadlines with automatic reminders and there’s an option to even show the group’s progress to hold everyone accountable. Post navigation Have a question for Farnoosh? You can submit  your questions via Twitter @Farnoosh, Facebook or email at editor_mint@intuit.com.Farnoosh Torabi is America’s leading personal finance authority hooked on helping Americans live their richest, happiest lives. From her early days reporting for Money Magazine to now hosting a primetime series on CNBC and writing monthly for O, The Oprah Magazine, she’s become our favorite go-to money expert and friend.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Here’s the harsh #truth about friends and money: they don’t often mix well.  Lending money to a pal tends to end badly, with few borrowers paying back their besties in full.If you’re already in a lending pickle and want to know the best way to approach your forgetful friend and ask for your money back, here are some best practices.For big loans, ask directly. If your friend owes you a sum that ends in two zeros or more then that, in my book, classifies as “major” and you have every right to follow up. Your friendship depends on it. A recent study by PayPal actually found that over one-third of people have seen their relationships take a hit over unpaid personal loans. The average I.O.U.? About $450.Assuming you didn’t discuss any terms when you initially lent the money, your first approach to collecting could go something like this (via email or in person, though email might be better to avoid miscommunication):“Hey, really happy you came to me to help you out with your [fill in the blank money problem]. How’s everything going with that? Also, I forgot to ask about repayment. How much time would you like? If you prefer, we can work out a simple payment plan and spread it out over time. Just let me know!”Hopefully that gets the ball rolling and your friend responds with a suggested plan of action.As for when to approach your friend, if you’ve never gone over repayment expectations, have this discussion a.s.a.p. If you have already discussed repayment expectations and your friend isn’t holding up his or her end of the bargain, it’s time to make another move – and soon.Don’t be shy to discuss this with your pal, but do be friendly in your approach. Give the benefit of the doubt. A study in the Journal of Economic Psychology found that friends can sometimes be forgetful after borrowing money. They may even wrongfully assume they’ve paid you back!After a couple attempts, if you still end up nowhere or hear crickets, this is when you need to decide what’s more important – letting the loan slide, keeping your friendship in tact, and chalking the experience up to a hard lesson learned…or deciding your friendship can’t be saved, that you’re too upset and would prefer to part ways. Either way, we’d understand!last_img read more

If Croplands Expand, Where Should They Go?

first_imgIn Creating a Sustainable Food Future: Interim Findings, we proposed that the world needs to find ways to sufficiently feed itself without any further conversion of natural ecosystems into crops. We found, however, that it may be difficult to boost crop yields and limit crop demand growth sufficiently to close the approximately 70 percent gap between global crop calories available in 2006 and those needed in 2050 with absolutely no expansion of cropland.New cropland historically has come from the conversion of forests, grasslands and wetlands. But such conversion generally has high environmental and social impacts. Finding alternative locations for any inevitable cropland expansion is therefore urgent.In a new working paper, we argue that ensuring cropland expansion through mid-century and beyond is limited to “lands with low environmental opportunity costs” is the route most consistent with a sustainable food future.Avoiding AmbiguityOne oft-cited, acceptable location for cropland expansion is degraded lands. But this solution is not as straightforward as it might seem in light of several challenges, including:There is little consensus on the definition of “degraded land.” While some researchers focus on soil degradation, others focus on lands that have lost natural vegetation or even croplands that are not meeting potential yields.Estimates of degraded land extent and location vary widely and often do not overlap.Much of the land typically characterized as degraded is already cropland. By definition, it cannot be a candidate for cropland expansion, but rather for restoring crop productivity (which we support).Although the phrase might connote vast tracts of uninhabited or unutilized land, degraded lands are not necessarily vacant areas that are unused by people or that fail to provide benefits.There appears to be a “race for degraded lands” among a variety of interests, including those seeking to boost food production, increase wood product supplies, advance bioenergy, and restore native ecosystems. Thus, there is an emerging competition for these lands.Beyond invoking “degradation,” other attempts to identify areas suitable for crop expansion often point to lands whose conversion actually would have high environmental impacts or forgone benefits. These lands include: (1) “potentially arable” land that is not currently farmed, (2) wet savannas, (3) grazing lands, (4) secondary forests, and (5) abandoned farmland. Considering these land types as always or inherently appropriate for cropland expansion can lead to overestimates of the amount of land available for sustainable cropland expansion, creating unrealistic expectations.Identifying Lands with the Lowest Environmental Opportunity CostsTo accommodate any cropland expansion in a manner consistent with a sustainable food future, we need to circumvent these challenges. One approach is to limit any expansion of cropland to lands with low environmental opportunity costs. This concept acknowledges that there are typically opportunity costs to expanding crops onto a tract of land—the opportunity to use that land for some other purpose, or to merely let it regenerate into something eventually approaching its native ecosystem. Although borrowed from the world of economics, “opportunity costs” in this context focuses on forgone environmental benefits.We propose that lands with low environmental opportunity costs are those that simultaneously meet at least four criteria:1) Not already supporting crops: Land that is already being used for crop production (no matter how unproductive) is not eligible for cropland area expansion.2) Minimal impact on native ecosystems and biodiversity: Any cropland expansion should avoid converting natural ecosystems or negatively impacting wildlife.3) Low “carbon loss to crop production” ratios: These are lands whose conversion to cropping would release relatively little carbon compared to the likely tons of crop production per hectare.4) Low “blue water” footprint: These are lands whose conversion to cropping would lower or at least maintain pressure on freshwater resources.The extent of lands with low environmental opportunity costs is uncertain. We have not yet conducted a global mapping analysis.Tracts of land that do meet these four criteria should then be assessed against a set of non-biophysical considerations that determine whether the tract should or even could be converted into cropland. These considerations include:5) Economic viability: Is converting the tract of land into cropland affordable for the farmer?6) Legal availability: In light of land-use zoning and other policies, is it legally possible to convert the tract of land to cropland?7) Social acceptability: Do the people living on or holding rights to the tract of land want it converted to cropland?8) Best alternative use: Is cropping an optimal use of that tract of land relative to alternatives, such as letting the native ecosystem recover?Failure to meet criteria five, six, and seven does not mean that a tract of land should necessarily be removed from consideration since steps could be taken to improve performance against those criteria. For example, introducing economic incentives could improve economic viability.Limiting Cropland Expansion to Only These LandsTo ensure that any future cropland expansion is limited to lands with low environmental opportunity costs, three sets of measures are needed. The first set is designed to generate a clearer understanding of what and where lands with low environmental opportunity costs are located, including:Agreeing on a clear definition;Applying our criteria to generate maps; andIdentifying cleared or abandoned agricultural lands where biophysical or human factors are blocking natural regeneration.The second set would facilitate use of lands with low environmental opportunity costs, including:Prioritizing lands with low environmental opportunity costs in participatory spatial planning;Clarifying and strengthening land tenure on lands with low environmental opportunity costs;Introducing financial incentives such as tax breaks for farmers to use lands with low environmental opportunity costs;Improving technical assistance and rural extension for using such lands; andStrengthening community engagement processes.The third set discourages cropland expansion to lands with high environmental opportunity costs by making the financial, reputational, market access, or legal “cost” of converting natural ecosystems into cropland greater than the cost of expanding onto lands with low environmental opportunity costs. These include:Introducing and enforcing moratoriums on converting natural ecosystems;Accelerating adoption of “deforestation-free” supply chain commitments; andImplementing monitoring systems.Combined, these measures can contribute to the menu for a sustainable food future.LEARN MORE: Download the full working paper.last_img read more

Building a Sustainable Guitar: Sitka Spruce

first_imgTongass National Forest, home to Sitka spruce. Photo credit: RA Beattie/Musicians for ForestsSitka Spruce in Alaska’s Tongass National ForestToday, the conversation about Sitka spruce centers around one place: the Tongass National Forest in southeastern Alaska, a 17-million-acre swath that stretches across 500 miles and is the largest national forest in the United States. One of the most ecologically diverse regions in the country, the Tongass holds a third of all of the world’s temperate rainforest. Its Sitka spruces are among the oldest and largest in existence – some were alive when Columbus arrived in North America – and provide essential environment for salmon, bears and bald eagles. Tongass tourism is a billion-dollar business each year.While Sitka spruce is not listed as endangered under the CITES Treaty (the multilateral treaty to protect internationally-traded plants and animals), it is at the center of debates over sustainable forest management in the United States. The Tongass old-growth Sitka spruce forests are disappearing due to clearcutting subsidized by the U.S. Forest Service at a cost to taxpayers of $20 million annually. Estimates show that more than half the original old-growth forests have already been lost and, at current harvest rates, these forests will be eliminated in the next few decades. Clearcutting old-growth Sitka spruce threatens salmon fisheries, tourism and the biodiversity of the region, yet is allowed because of the relative abundance of young trees, which the law sees as identical to the oldest in the Tongass. In early July 2016, the Obama administration proposed phasing out cutting of old-growth in the Tongass over the next 16 years. Many biologists and environmental activists believe, however, that this should happen on a much shorter timescale.Innovators in the guitar industry are pushing for sustainable Sitka spruce harvesting. Tom Bedell of Bedell Guitars is leading the Musicians for Forests campaign, which calls for an industry-wide moratorium on clear-cut Sitka spruce by the end of 2016. This would transform the guitar industry’s traditional supply chain for Sitka spruce, and can provide an example for other higher-volume supply chains. Given the high profile of the music industry, this campaign has the potential to influence timber industry firms, consumers, and lawmakers. Bedell’s proposal would allow existing inventory of Sitka spruce to be “grandfathered in” to post-2016 guitars, but would limit future tonewood purchases to salvaged or selectively harvested trees. While this would raise the cost of raw materials, it will ensure a higher quality product and a long-term supply.Tonewoods represent only a fraction of the Sitka spruce available in the Tongass, yet these crucial old-growth forests are being wiped out by clearcutting, much of it going to East Asia as cheap construction timber. In the case of Sitka spruce, legality is not always synonymous with sustainability. There is no excuse in a wealthy, industrialized country with strong forest management capacities for failure to balance demand with sustainable supply. With proper forest management, the Tongass contains more than enough trees to supply the guitar market with sustainable, top-quality wood, and the guitar industry can help preserve this national treasure. The future of tonewoods is intertwined with the future of the Tongass.Stay tuned for the next installment in the series for a trip to Hawai’i to find out what Mexican cowboys, surfboards, Taylor Swift and genetic research have in common…EDITOR’S NOTE, 8/5/16: A previous version of this blog misspelled picea, part of the Latin name of Sitka spruce, and incorrectly referred to it as a pine instead of a spruce. In the photo caption, the worker is routing, not sanding. We have corrected these errors. Welcome to WRI’s six-part blog series focusing on the future of tonewoods, the woods used in musical instruments. In each installment, we look at a different species of tree used for a certain part of a guitar. Each wood presents its own challenges and possibilities surrounding sustainable harvest.To build our acoustic guitar, we first need to choose a wood for the soundboard (the top of the guitar), which determines most of the guitar’s tone, or quality of sound. We want a wood that is both stiff and light, which helps it transfer the most sound from the vibrating string. The best slabs of wood will actually ring like a wine glass when tapped. One of the favorites for guitar soundboards is old-growth Sitka spruce. Old-growth Sitka spruce is a case where sustainable forest management and conservation are not mutually exclusive, but where perfectly legal wood may nonetheless come from environmentally destructive clear-cutting primary forests. Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) is a giant spruce native to coastal temperate rainforests in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. It is one of the largest, most commercially-viable woods in the region, with old-growth stands including many trees over 600 years old and 200 feet tall.Thanks to their long, slow growth, these old-growth trees have tight growth rings that give them a great sound in instruments, with little of the cellulose fiber between rings that can deliver poorer tone. Young Sitka spruce grow quickly and are perfect for construction, but have too much cellulose fiber for instruments. The older trees are, pound-for-pound, stronger than steel. Their wood was even used for propellers in airplanes in both World Wars.Other spruce varieties have long been used in instruments. European spruce from the Alps was used in Stradivarius violins. The first steel-string guitars from the early 20th century were made of Adirondack spruce. The sounds created by musicians ranging from cellist Yo-Yo Ma to country legend Johnny Cash were produced from instruments made of spruce.last_img read more

The Online Anatomy of a Spreading Story

first_imgLast night, U.S. forces killed “the most wanted face of terrorism,” Osama bin Laden. However, this is not a political blog post or a commentary on the event. Instead, it is an examination of how technology has drastically changed the word-of-mouth spread of information. Traditional media, TV and print newspapers, couldn’t keep up with the story as fast as new, social media could draw the evolving picture. This dynamic teaches important marketing lessons about the power of self-publishing, diffusion of news and the future of information gathering. Twitter: Where the News First Leaked As you might have already learned, the news about Bin Laden’s death first leaked on Twitter. The White House communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, announced on Twitter that the President of the United States will address the nation at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, May 1. This act demonstrates the power of self-publishing tools and the subduing power of media as the messenger. The marketing takeaway is that today, you don’t need to knock on the door of journalists if you want to get the word out about something. If you build a large following, you can publish a story yourself and expect the press to come to you. Facebook: How the News Spread Don’t know about you, but I first learned about the story from Facebook. The status updates of all my friends had started to reflect the evolving story. They were leaving comments and heatedly discussing the news. In fact, Adam Ostrow wrote that within hours of the reported death, ‘a Facebook Page titled “Osama Bin Laden is DEAD” had already accumulated more than 150,000 ‘likes.’’Who you learn from hasn’t changed, it is still friends and family. But today, they won’t make a phone call to spread the news–they might post it on Facebook and expect to see a discussion take place. The marketing takeaway here is to realize the increasing potential of the Facebook news feed in delivering information and prompting action. Online Video: Where the Announcement Took Place Lots of people watched Obama’s speech on their televisions. But if you happened to learn about it online, you could have as well gone to www.whitehouse.gov and watched the live streaming of the announcement there. CitizenTube, YouTube’s channel on news and politics, was also broadcasting the President’s live address. In other words, the video was one click away from your current view.From start to finish, the story progressed on the Web. One could learn everything there was about it without turning the TV on. The virtual ecosystem carried the news from it’s leak on Twitter, to its spreading on other social media channels, to the actual video announcement and to the post-analysis on news sites and blogs. What has this event taught you about the spread of information online? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Newsjacking Topics: Originally published May 2, 2011 12:01:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

How Inbound Marketing Can Fuel Native Advertising

first_img Native advertising, done right, is not an advertorial. Native advertising, done right, is not product placement. Native advertising, done right, offers marketing software Additionally, the use of content extends to many other marketing methods like of the term, it can best be described as a form of advertising that consists of relevant, valuable content that’s part of a media outlet’s editorial offering. In plain English, that means paid editorial. Is your inbound marketing content strategy up to snuff? Is Native Advertising? Inbound marketing sidesteps buyers’ advertising blinders, because it isn’t car dealer-style advertising that not one wants to see. Instead, inbound marketing offers information that was sought after and found to be valuable to the consumer. If you’re a marketer touting the latest and greatest in, say, inbound marketing, you had best dominate the first few organic search results for it. ). But you’ll be far more effective in doing so when you offer valuable, usable, actionable information on will provide you the process, procedures, and proper workflow you need to create great content worth sharing. valuable, educational, useful information So why would an inbound to your customers and prospects. search engine optimization The role of content creation is integral to inbound marketing success. Developing informative and Topics: Inbound Marketing A recent  product And within inbound marketing, you’re using that content to cultivate and generate leads through (e.g. ebooks, webinars, whitepapers, etc.). Content in marketing also includes the use of email marketing to offer additional information to leads with the aim of moving them down the purchase funnel (which marketing automation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack educational content , or they can be news stories on media sites. That covers owned and earned media … but what about paid media? content , and proper why How Inbound Marketing Can Fuel Native Advertising  study by Econsultancy and Responsys found that Put simply, native advertising and sponsored stories cast a wider net to amplify your inbound marketing efforts. Sure, straight inbound marketing will go a long way to getting your message in front of your potential customer base in a very cost-efficient manner, and everyone should start with purely organic inbound marketing to get the best possible ROI. But if you have a few extra bucks to help that content proliferate further and are willing to spend more for higher growth even at a lower ROI, then native advertising is worth considering. . For the most part, it all starts with content. Content that is informative, educational, and relevant, but also — and this is most important — content that is ultimately designed to sell something. , Inbound marketing became possible with the advent of the internet, which offers potential buyers the ability to access any kind of information they want, about any topic of interest, at any time of their choosing. Google made the process even easier. SEO and SEM tactics easier still. But it wasn’t until the marriage of buyers’ increasingly anti-advertising mindset and growth of ad blocking technologies (e.g. DVRs, ad blockers, etc.) that inbound marketing really took a foothold. Whatcenter_img Native advertising can, in its most popular format, take the form of a sponsored blog post or article. Or it could be a sponsored story on Facebook, a promoted video on YouTube, or a promoted account on Twitter, among other things. , an integral component of inbound marketing, in 2013. The category ranked the highest of all digital marketing channels — which just makes it all the more important that you ensure your content strategy is in place before your competitors’. The Role of Content in Inbound Marketing a person should consider your products/services rather than just screaming at them that they should just trust you and buy because you told them to. Originally published Feb 18, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Remember though, you must have worthwhile content in the first place. And a robust Basically, it consists of natural content that appears in a medium’s organic content stream — with the caveat that its placement was purchased rather than appearing organically. inbound marketing solution Wait … any longer), as well as the creation of landing pages on which products can be promoted, and the use of social media, which can further disseminate content. , not your Yes, ultimately you want to sell a product or service — and you will (likely with the help of with segmented , Now, many of you may be shaking your head at this point exclaiming, “What’s up with all these people who feel the need to slap a new label on something that’s been around since consumer packaged goods companies created the soap opera?” And to some degree you’d be right in your assumption that native advertising is just an advertorial in shiny new clothing. But you’d also be wrong. . You don’t want to point people to a man standing in a parking lot with a bunch of balloons in one hand and a flag in the other; you want to point people to a thoughtful piece of content that discusses why buying a car at your dealership will save you money in the long run and provide you with years of hassle-free service. dynamic content enables you to advance the cause of your product or service in a way that doesn’t sound like a car dealer screaming at you while holding a bunch of balloons in one hand … and a waving flag in the other. marketing automation Now, those top organic SERP positions can be links to content on your own site (gleaned through effective SEO and social media efforts), they can be links to Certain types of advertising can help boost and supplement inbound content efforts. We do it right here at HubSpot when we use PPC, Promoted Posts, Promoted Tweets, and other forms of paid marketing to attract more people to our content. And that’s the key: to promote your marketing offers 70% of brand marketers will allocate budget to content creation , and It’s also worth noting that there may still be many people who find sponsored stories annoying and disruptive. Keep in mind that the people who see these types of ads did not give you permission to talk to them and were not expecting them in their organic content streams. This makes it even more critical that you fuel your native advertising with inbound marketing. Keeping track of sentiment can also help you determine whether your efforts are worth it. lead management Marketing Budgets 2013 isn’t really a funnel content on other sites to which you have contributed company like HubSpot be telling you about the benefits of native advertising, which, by most accounts, is just advertising? Because without inbound marketing strategies in place, there can be no effective use of native advertising. That’s a fairly strong statement, but follow along as we make our case. many varied definitions lead nurturing If you’re a CMO, you may have heard the term “native advertising” bandied about recently. While there arelast_img read more

18 Email Marketing Stats That’ll Make You Better at Your Job

first_imgDid you know that marketers sent over 838 billion emails in 2013? That’s almost three times the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. I hope I’m not the only one who thinks that statistic is mind-blowing.In a close second to the number of emails sent this year and the total number of stars in our galaxy is the amount of data out there on email marketing. With so many resources, oftentimes in the form of extensive reports, it can be hard to find the time to keep track of important industry stats and information.As a fellow email marketer, I know what types of stats you’re looking out for: numbers on email engagement and frequency, mobile optimization (hint: if you’re one of the 89% of marketers not optimizing email for mobile, you’re not properly reaching 48% of your list), and, of course, ROI.Remember: Data is power. That’s why I’ve put together this list of essential email marketing stats every marketer should know.18 Stats Email Marketers Ought to Know1) As of 2013, there are 3.6 billion email accounts (Radicati). (Tweet This Stat!)2) 54% of emails sent by businesses are marketing messages (Epsilon). (Tweet This Stat!)3) 838 billion marketing messages have been sent in 2013 (Forrester). (Tweet This Stat!)4) 91% of consumers check their email daily (ExactTarget). (Tweet This Stat!)5) 74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email (Merkle). (Tweet This Stat!)6) The average clickthrough rate for B2B marketing emails in Q2 2013 was 1.7% (Epsilon). (Tweet This Stat!)7) 60% of marketers believe email marketing produces positive ROI (Marketing Sherpa). (Tweet This Stat!)8) 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message (Direct Marketing Association). (Tweet This Stat!)9) Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300% (Direct Marketing Association). (Tweet This Stat!)10) 59% of companies are integrating email and social channels together (eConsultancy). (Tweet This Stat!)11) 76% of email opens occur in the first two days after an email is sent (Alchemy Worx). (Tweet This Stat!)12) 48% of emails are opened on mobile devices (Litmus). (Tweet This Stat!)13) Only 11% of emails are optimized for mobile (Equinux). (Tweet This Stat!)14) 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile (Litmus). (Tweet This Stat!)15) Gmail opens have decreased by 27% since May (Litmus). (Tweet This Stat!)16) 25% of emails are opened on iPhones (Email Client Market Share). (Tweet This Stat!)17) Suppressing anyone in your list who hasn’t engaged with your emails in over a year increases your deliverability rate by 3-5% immediately (HubSpot). (Tweet This Stat!)18) 17% of marketers don’t track or analyze email metrics for their organization (MEC Labs). (Tweet This Stat!)These stats tell a compelling story: that email is still the preferred mode of communication for the majority of consumers, is still biggest driver of new leads, has an astronomical ROI, and should clearly be one of your marketing team’s top priorities for 2014.Happy email marketing! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Email Marketing Metrics Topics: Originally published Dec 5, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated August 29 2017last_img read more

17 Demand Generation Stats Every CMO Needs to See

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Lead Generation This post originally appeared on Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.Determining the success of your marketing programs and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) can be challenging if you don’t have access to industry data.But how can you improve your KPIs if you don’t understand which ones really matter?To find out how companies are generating demands for their brands and how successful they’ve been in these efforts, HubSpot and Qualtrics conducted a survey of 900 management-level marketers in North America and Europe. The results are included in our new ebook, The Demand Generation Benchmarks Report.Below is a highlight of the main charts and stats from the survey:Nearly 80% of companies not meeting their revenue goals attract 10,000 monthly website visitors or less. For those exceeding their revenue goals, nearly the reverse is true. 70% report attracting more than 10,000 visitors per month.Companies meeting or exceeding their revenue goals attract significantly more website traffic and generate more leads, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), sales opportunities, and customers than those that aren’t.Companies with higher annual revenues tend to pay a higher cost per lead. However, companies with between $250,000 and $10 million in revenue all average a cost per lead of $26-$50.Companies with the highest annual revenue also report more visitors, leads, MQLs, sales opportunities, and customers than other companies.82% of companies generating $250,000 or less in annual revenue report generating less than 100 leads per month whereas only 8% of companies generating $1 billion in annual revenue report the same.74% of companies that weren’t exceeding revenue goals did not know their visitor, lead, MQL, or sales opportunities. 40% of companies not achieving their revenue goals didn’t know their click-through rate. That’s 90% more than those exceeding their revenue goals.34% of companies not achieving their revenue goals didn’t know their open rate — 52% more than those exceeding their revenue goals.60% of those exceeding their revenue goals had an above-average open rate, while the same was true for only 48% of those achieving their revenue goals and 35% of those not achieving their goals.79% of all marketing leads never convert into sales and a lack of lead nurturing is the common cause. Companies exceeding their revenue goals report branding, website design and optimization, and social media as their top 3 marketing investments. 24% of telecommunications companies aren’t reaching their revenue goals (20% higher than average), and it’s one of the few industries still ranking telemarketing and traditional advertising among their top investments.91% of companies not achieving their revenue goals generate 500 MQLs or less per month , whereas the same is true for only 45% of companies exceeding their revenue goals. The travel and tourism industry lists “online advertising” as a top investment, which is 75% more than other industries.Financial services companies list “marketing automation” as a top investment, which is 73% higher than other industries.Content creation is a top investment for 43% of information technology companies, which is 54% more than other industries.What kind of marketing technology do you use? Take our quick survey here. Originally published Jan 24, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

Andy Murray wobbles but roars back to win Shanghai Master opener

first_imgFormer world number one Andy Murray recovered from a slow start to beat Argentine qualifier Juan Ignacio Londero 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the Shanghai Masters opening round on Monday.Murray, who is competing in Shanghai for the first time since his title run in 2016, improved after being broken twice in the opening set by Londero.The three-time Grand Slam champion claimed the second set after converting break points in Londero’s first and last service games, before switching gears to take control of the match in the decider.Murray sealed a crucial service break in the sixth game with a booming forehand winner and went on to set up a second round meeting with 10th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini.The Scot is looking to build his form on the Asian swing this season after undergoing career-saving hip surgery in January.He worked his way to a first quarter-final appearance of the season in Beijing last week, where he lost to eventual winner Dominic Thiem.”I got better as the match went on – I had to start going for my shots a bit more,” said the 32-year-old Murray, who was awarded a wildcard entry to the tournament.Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov dropped two points on his first-serve as he eased past American Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-2.Shapovalov will next face newly-crowned Tokyo champion Novak Djokovic, who has won their previous two meetings this season.Also Read | Sumit Nagal jumps 6 spots to be at 129 in latest ATP singles rankingsAlso Read | Sania Mirza’s sister Anam to marry Mohammad Azarhuddin’s son Asad in Decemberadvertisementlast_img read more

Simone Biles wins 15th world title as US women claim team gold in Gymnastic championship

first_imgThe United States women cruised to their fifth consecutive title in the teams’ finals at the gymnastics world championships in Stuttgart on Tuesday, with Simone Biles becoming the event’s most decorated woman.The Americans hardly made a mistake, with Biles helping them to a score of 172.330 5.801 points more than second-placed Russia.Biles secured her 21st world medal, overtaking Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina for the women’s record.Only Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus has won more world medals with 23, which Biles could surpass by the end of the individual events this week.Italy (164.796) took the third spot for its first world team medal since 1950, while China slipped off the podium for the first time since 2003.last_img read more

eSports can be a career option, say Free Fire India Today League finalists

first_imgNew Delhi is gearing up to host one of the biggest Battle Royale leagues the country has ever witnessed. 12 teams from across the country will battle it out at the Siri Fort in the grand finale of Free Fire India Today League on October 12.Young minds from across the country have teamed up to battle for a winning pool of Rs 3.5m. More importantly, winning team will represent India in Free Fire in the global tournament called Free Fire World Series in November.Having arrived in the city well ahead of the final, teams are preparing for the big day. 48 players from 12 teams also have an opportunity to get to know the faces behind the virtual names that they had been quite familiar with.With mobile gaming becoming popular across the globe, youngsters in the country are taking to eSports seriously than ever before. In fact, India had sent a eSports contingent to Asian Games wherein 6 games were introduced as demonstrations sport. eSports will feature as medal events in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games to be held in the Philippines in December.Shahid Malek, an HR manager, who juggles between his busy work life and eSports career, certainly knows a thing or two about the potential of eSports as career options. Malek will be in action in Saturday’s final as he will represent Team Mossaad in the Free Fire India Today League.While his parents were initially reluctant to let their son sit with his mobile phone hours together playing Free Fire, success in major tournaments and the recognition that comes with it has helped change their mindset.advertisement”The 1st year, we used to play for close to 6, 7 hours a day. These days, since I am working, I play 1-2 hours a day and that after work,” Shahid Malek tells indiatoday.in.”Last time, we visited Jakarta. My parents are trusting us. They are seeing future for us in this. E-spots, in India, is on the rise. I represented India in Jakarta last time — Asia invitationals.”Vidhur Sharma, a civil engineer, who will represent Hawk’s Gaming in Saturday’s final says his parents are supporting their interest in eSports.”I was totally addicted to this game. I used to play 23-24 hours a day without closing the day. When we started playing, my parents were like ‘What’s this what is wrong with you?’,” Vihdur Sharma says.While Free Fire India Today League has become a huge success, players want more exposure with many such tournaments in India to make sure they give their best at the international level.”We want more tournaments like this in India. This is the first time we are having a tournament like this, of this magnitude in India. In countries like Indonesia, almost every week they are having a Free Fire tournament. We want more such tournaments in India. We want to focus 100 percent for this,” Malek adds.It’s going to be a big battle for the top spot. Prize money, personal glory and recognition is up for grabs in the Free Fire India Today League. However, the players are more excited than nervous to be part of something historic at the Siri Fort this weekend.”In India, it’s the first time we are getting a studio set-up for the final. There is going to be a big crowd watching us play. This is certainly a step in the right direction,” Malek says.Also Read | Free Fire India Today League: 12 teams make it to the grand finale on October 12last_img read more

Sinor, Taylor Grab Big 12 Player of the Week Honors

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Finally Zach Sinor is getting some respect!Sinor joined Vincent Taylor as a Big 12 Player of the Week this week. Sinor for special teams. Taylor on the defensive side. Sinor downed three of his four punts inside WVU’s 20 and Taylor had 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble to bring his yearly sack total to 4.5.The lateral king causes a fumble. #okstate in business. https://t.co/7utSiCk45e— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) October 29, 2016 Vincent Taylor, beast. https://t.co/kktJ0wRIcZ— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) October 29, 2016Both players have been absurd all year. Sinor’s numbers are pretty staggering. He’s punted 39 times, has 13 fair catches, 23 punts inside the 20 and just one touchback. One! Sinor for Heisman!“Our coverage units were excellent, our punter was excellent,” said Mike Gundy on Saturday after OSU’s 37-20 win. “We missed one field goal, but our return game was good. If you’re sound in special teams and you don’t turn the ball over, then you get a chance each week.”This is Sinor’s second selection this season and the duo represents OSU’s seventh and eighth selections for a weekly Big 12 honor this year. Here is that list:Sept. 19 – James Washington – Big 12 Offensive Player of the WeekSept. 19 – Zach Sinor – Big 12 Special Teams Player of the WeekSept. 26 – Justice Hill – Big 12 Newcomer of the WeekOct. 3 – Justice Hill – Big 12 Newcomer of the WeekOct. 24  — Justice Hill – Big 12 Newcomer of the WeekOct. 24 – Ben Grogan – Big 12 Special Teams Player of the WeekOct. 31 – Vincent Taylor – Big 12 Defensive Player of the WeekOct. 31 – Zach Sinor – Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Weeklast_img read more

Chalk Talk: Three Things to Take Away From the Spring Game

first_imgThe Oklahoma State spring game gave a glimpse of OSU fans what they could see in the upcoming 2017 season. Although the game plans of most spring scrimmages are fairly conservative, only using a handful of base plays, there were still some notable things that one might have noticed during the game. Here are three most noteworthy play observations in the Spring Game.Three Down/Four DownThe OSU defense has committed to using a more varied personnel in 2017. The Cowboys used some three-down fronts last season, and the recent hiring of Brian VanGorder has solidified their commitment to three-down sets. The Cowboys have clearly worked on three-down formations in the offseason. They used a nickel set on multiple occasions with the rush backer on the left side taking place of the end (most defenses will put their best pass rusher on the quarterback’s blind side).They also used a nickel set with two rush backers on each side and three lineman spaced between.This is a good sign for Cowboy fans. Last season, they used three-down sets conservatively, bringing it out in likely pass situations. There was little variety, but it makes sense considering they started using it mid-season. Now, they’ve added variety, and it’s not just for prevent situations anymore. Expect three-down sets to play a bigger role in the Cowboy defense next season.Y AlignmentA number of Cowboy fans thought that the OSU offense would minimize the cowboy back position in 2017 considering how many talented receivers they have. If the Spring Game was any indication, it’s not necessarily that the Cowboys aren’t using the cowboy back anymore.Rather, they’re adding more variation to the back’s alignment. The Orange team, for example, lined cowboy back Keenan Brown all over the field, often playing in the backfield, as a tight end and as a flexed receiver all in the same drive. The Black team did the same with Dawson Bassett on the first couple of drives.The Cowboys showed formations with the tight end flexed in the slot in both two-by-two and trips formations; in the latter, the cowboy back aligned on the line of scrimmage in both the inside slot, known as “trey” alignment, and in the outside slot, known as a “trio” alignment (terminology varies).When used correctly, flexed tight ends can be a headache to cover. If the strong-side linebacker plays the flexed end head up, then he leaves the box susceptible to the run. But if he stays in the box, then he has to leave the end uncovered before the snap which gives the offense an advantage in the passing game.If done correctly, this formational versatility should give opposing defenses headaches throughout the upcoming season, especially considering how quickly the Cowboys operate. Four-receiver sets are effective, but the use of a tight end in this fashion has its advantages as well.QB Run GameThe Cowboys’ run game looked slightly different than last season’s in the spring game. It almost appeared as if they reverted back to their 2015 ways. They put a big focus on the outside zone out of the shotgun, with no use of the pistol (which, as we’ve talked about before, allows backs to utilize their vision better in comparison to the shotgun).They used inside runs with a wing tight end, but there weren’t any available running lanes because of the extra linebacker in the box due to the tight end’s presence. Their only successful play was an inside zone read. Mason Rudolph converted a 4th-and-1 with it in the game’s first drive, and the play was used in the latter half of the game to open up holes up the middle for the running backs.This play is an example of something the Cowboys never do enough of, and that’s to run against a six-man box. Yes, cowboy backs can help in the run game, but they can also help spread a defense out as well. This play also signifies the possibility of using Mason Rudolph in the run game more in 2017. Could we see more plays like this? That’s currently unclear, but the Cowboys consistently used this play throughout all four quarters.The Spring Game in its entirety was fairly lackluster, as OSU fans should come to expect. Gundy isn’t one to show too much before the season starts, and rightfully so. Although the scrimmage itself wasn’t all that special, the game was telling of what we could see in the future. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Even I am judgemental: AR Rahman

first_img Akhila Krishnamurthy New Delhi April 12, 2019 ISSUE DATE: April 22, 2019UPDATED: April 13, 2019 08:56 IST AR Rahman (Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP)Having composed and sung the rousing Marvel Anthem for Avengers: Endgame, music director and Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman talks about his inspiration and his reactions to criticism.Q. Marvel released your Marvel Anthem for Avengers: Endgame last week. What inspired ‘Roke Na Rukenge’?A. The energy of India’s youth is like ‘Roke naHaving composed and sung the rousing Marvel Anthem for Avengers: Endgame, music director and Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman talks about his inspiration and his reactions to criticism.Q. Marvel released your Marvel Anthem for Avengers: Endgame last week. What inspired ‘Roke Na Rukenge’?A. The energy of India’s youth is like ‘Roke na Rukenge’. I tried to tap into that with the emotion of the film, and then take it further. I found that both these were similar and unstoppable, come what may. We all need energisers, right?Q. What is your relationship with the Avengers? What do you think of the series?A. My son Ameen and nephew Kaashif got me hooked on to the Avengers series. It has become a part of world culture now.In our present times of adversity, cinema, sports and music are unifiers. I feel blessed that I’m a part of it.Q. There have been mixed responses to your Marvel Anthem. What is your mechanism to deal with criticism and compliments?A. Director Joe Russo and many others heard the song and they had amazing things to say about it. Some of them even teared up. Criticism is my obsessive lover; it has followed me since day one. People need an open mind when it comes to music and art. But even I’m not excluded from being judgemental. For me, music should trigger an emotional response and, for that, sometimes you need courage in making the sound raw and unpretentious.Q. At any given point, you are creating music that is meant for a national audience and for the international cinema as well. Is there a distinction between the kinds of music you create, or have those lines begun to blur?advertisementA. Yes, the line is blurred now. It’s based on whether I feel it or not.You’ve reached your article limitSign in to keep reading India TodaySign inSign up NOW to get:Premium content on Aaj Tak HD ChannelUnrestricted access to India Today magazine contentGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Bansal Even I am judgemental: AR RahmanHaving composed and sung the rousing Marvel Anthem for Avengers: Endgame, music director and Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman talks about his inspiration and his reactions to criticism.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

Yaras Autonomous Ship Model Put to the Test

first_imgzoom A model of what promises to be the world’s first autonomous containership kickstarted today its testing stage at Sintef Ocean, a Norwegian research organization.Norwegian maritime technology expert Kongsberg and its compatriot fertilizer producer Yara have teamed up with Marin Teknikk on designing and building a model of the ship- Yara Birkeland.As disclosed, the model tested its mettle today in Sintef’s pool for the first time.The ship has been announced by the two companies as the world’s first fully electric container feeder, which will produce zero emissions.Once constructed, it will feature 80 meters in length, 15 meters in width and accommodate 120 standard 20-foot containers (TEU).The containership will be able to carry a full load of five meters deep, but only three meters in ballast. Its normal speed, which is also a determining factor for the ship’s hull shape, will be six knots while total speed will be 13 knots.Under the partnership, Kongsberg will be in charge of development and delivery of all key enabling technologies on Yara Birkeland including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations, in addition to the electric drive, battery and propulsion control systems.Yara and Kongsberg are planning to start trial operation of the vessel from the second half of 2018 with a small crew on board. As informed, the crew will be placed in a container-based modular unit that can be removed.The vessel will be engaged in shipping products from Yara’s Porsgrunn production plant to Brevik and Larvik in Norway. Yara Birkeland is scheduled to switch to remote operation in 2019. It is expected to be capable of performing fully autonomous operations from 2020, when it will sail completely autonomously between the ports of Porsgrunn, Brevik and Larvik.As explained by Yara’s CEO Svein Tore Holsether earlier, the new autonomous battery-driven container vessel will help move transport from road to sea and thereby reduce noise and dust emissions, improve the safety of local roads, and reduce NOx and CO2 emissions.World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Marin Teknikklast_img read more