North Star Is Rapidly Changing

first_imgThe North Star (Polaris) has brightened by 150% since Ptolemy observed it 2000 years ago, says the American Astronomical Society (see report on Science Now).  If the differences from those in ancient times are real, “these changes are 100 times larger than predicted by current theories of stellar evolution.”  Polaris is also a pulsating Cepheid variable, but its pulses have been erratic lately.  One astronomer surmises, “Polaris may be experiencing a rare and rapidly changing period in its evolution.”Finding the North Star is a required skill for any northern-hemisphere camper.  It is also a conversation starter on how much science can know about processes that supposedly take billions of years.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Photo library: Countryside 26

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Countryside contact sheet (1.6MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Mpumalanga province: A dramatic sky as a summer storm develops.Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Mpumalanga province: Cultivated farm lands as seen from the air. Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Mpumalanga province: An aerial view of the waterfall on the Olifants River alongside the town of Waterval-Boven.Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Mpumalanga province: An aerial view of the waterfall on the Olifants River alongside the town of Waterval-Boven.Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Mpumalanga province: An aerial view of the town of MachadodorpPhoto: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Mpumalanga province: Sappi forestry plantations in the Lydenburg area.Photo: Graeme Williams,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com» Download high-res image Mpumalanga province: Sappi forestry plantations in the Lydenburg area.Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com» Download high-res image A wind pump at sunset, near Mopani in the Kruger National Park, Limpopo province. Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Limpopo province: The fence on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa, just north of Musina.Photo: Graeme Williams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res imageCOUNTRYSIDE 26: {loadposition cs}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected]last_img read more

Selling calls

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The markets didn’t move much this week. Harvest pressure continues to limit corn upside potential. Beans at first looked like they may take off as harvest slowed, but on Friday, Brazil’s currency fell against the dollar. This meant a price boost for Brazilian farmers who sold some beans, putting pressure on futures prices. The 30-day forecast for South America looks good for growing beans. The market continues to search for a reason to swing either way right now.Even though I’m hoping corn prices go up, I still think corn prices are going nowhere for a while. That’s why I sold more calls, so I can presumably collect some premium in the meantime while I wait for other opportunities down the road to sell the grain and/or more options. 3 – New Trades – Selling CallsOn 10/24/17 when Dec corn was near $3.50 I sold the following calls for 10% of my production each:Jan $3.60 call for 10 cents – expires Dec 22May $3.70 call for 19 cents – expires Apr 20July $3.80 call for 19 cents – expires June 22What does this mean?If corn is trading below the strike price (the price listed on each line) when these options expire I keep the premium and add it to another trade down the road.If corn is trading above the strike price (the price listed on each line) when these options expire I have to sell corn for the strike price PLUS the premium.Should corn rally above each of these prices I would receive an average price of $3.86 ($3.70 average + 16 cents of options premium). I’ll need to move some grain during these time periods to keep my stored grain in good condition so this won’t be the worst thing if it happens.While I don’t really want to sell for $3.86, it means prices rallied, which is a good thing because I can then sell more of my unpriced corn at higher levels. I’m actually more concerned if corn prices DON’T rally. Like many farmers, I still have a substantial amount of unpriced grain that needs higher prices. So, until a rally comes, I need to “manufacture” prices that get me to profitable levels, and in this case, if prices remain low I can add to a later trade. This helps me push closer to breakeven points and possibly to profitable levels. Why I dislike minimum price contractsRight now some farmers are selling grain and then BUYING the calls I just sold in the above trades. Their guaranteed average price on all of these contracts would be $3.54. That comes from the average cost of the three calls at 16 cents, which will then need to be subtracted from the average sale price of the three contract prices above or $3.70 to establish where their true minimum price starts. One benefit of this type of trade is unlimited upside potential, if the market rallies. But if the market doesn’t rally, like this previous year, the farmer is behind.If we compare my sold call trades above to the farmers buying those calls, the farmers buying calls would need corn to go higher than $4.02 to beat my $3.86 trade because they still need to recoup the 16 cent cost of buying the calls. Rebuttal 1I’m sure some will argue that the calls could still have some time value left if there was a rally to $4, meaning the calls would be worth more than the 16-cent average. While that is a possibility, last year’s futures struggled to keep the nearby futures price above $3.80 for any length of time, so I would argue $4 might be difficult this year. That argument also assumes that a farmer would sell the call before it expires when this time value is still in place. That is usually not something I see most farmers having the discipline to do. I know I would find it extremely hard to sell the call into a rally well before it expires. Rebuttal 2Farmers buying a minimum priced contract will protect their downside, while my downside is open. Looking at the numbers though, corn prices would have to stay below $3.38, which is the minimum price contract floor of $3.54 less the 16 cent call premium I will collect, for me to be in worst shape than the farmer buying the call as part of the minimum price contract. While this could happen, I don’t think $3.38 for a prolonged time period is all that likely, especially during the January to June time frame which is historically usually the higher priced months of the marketing year. Plus, I can still sell additional calls in the future as these expire to add more premium to these trades, should this scenario happen. Generally speaking, after running the numbers for the various market scenarios that could happen, or are likely to happen, there just aren’t a lot of advantages for me to sell grain and buy calls, and in most cases a farmer doing so will end up behind because those types of trades are often long shots. That being said, there are many different ways to look at the market. A lot of farmers want unlimited upside potential, especially with downside protection, but there is a cost to get that chance. It may mean selling at levels below today’s already disappointing prices. The market has been range-bound for over a year now and could be in one for another year, so I try to structure some of my trades to be most profitable knowing this. I don’t want to be chasing long shots. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more

Everything You Need to Know About Stabilizing a Shot

first_imgFrom capturing the image in camera to sitting down in front of your computer, here are all the ways you can fix (or work with) shaky footage.Top image via Zach Ramelan.I have a love/hate relationship with shaky footage. On one hand, the aesthetic can add realism while grounding your project, giving it a documentary feel. But on the other hand, it’s easy to write off shaky footage as amateur or low-quality. It’s all about what look you’re going for.However, sometimes you absolutely have to get rid of the shake, especially if you’re shooting for a client. Even if you don’t have a super-nice gimbal or a Steadicam, you can pull off sweeping, cinematic smoothness with a few of these tips and tricks before you hit record.How to Plan AheadSo before you actually start capturing your footage, if you know you’ll be using Warp Stabilizer in post, there are a few different things you can do to increase your odds of success. One is to shoot at a high shutter speed. This will reduce motion blur, making everything a bit crisper and making Warp Stabilizer’s job a lot easier.Some practical tricks to try with your gear include using your tripod as a Steadicam. The weight of the legs will counterbalance the camera and tripod head to smooth your tracking shot.Also, you could shoot in 4K (if possible) because Warp Stabilizer will crop the footage, so you’ll be able to get your full 1080p after the fact.Another way you can help your future self is to shoot with a wider lens. This brings us to our next video, which explains why shooting movement with a wider lens is a must.Choosing the Right LensesSo a rule of thumb is that if you’re going to move the camera around (necessitating Warp Stabilizer later), then you really want to shoot with a wider lens. Not only will you get more in the shot, but you also won’t have the condensed background you’d get with a longer lens — and there’s more in your frame. This means movements aren’t as big, which can make the shot disorienting for your audience.In the video above, Zach Ramelan suggests using a wide zoom lens, which gives you a little more freedom to find the right focal length for your gimbal shot. But most of these gimbal shots are going to be for B-roll, or they’ll be cinematic in nature, so it’s okay to use up to a 50mm. Anything more, and you’ll have to be careful with the steadiness and how much you move the gimbal.However, gimbals aren’t the only tools you can use to steady your camera.Building the SolutionThe solution to all your problems is here! Not really, but who doesn’t love a good, old-fashioned dolly? For this particular build (there are many other variations of this rig), all you need is a piece of wood wide and thick enough to support your tripod. Throw in some PVC pipes, skateboard wheels, 4 L-brackets, and some hex bolts, and you’ll be rolling smoothly in no time.Even after using a rig like this, I still throw on Warp Stabilizer because there will inevitably be some minor shakes in your final shot, and the Stabilizer does a good job of smoothing it all out.Once You Make It to PostSo when it comes to using Warp Stabilizer in Premiere Pro, the hows and whats are pretty simple. You simply drag the effect over to your clip on the timeline and let the effect analyze it. The effect will take some time. But as you can see, if you’ve followed some of the tips from the videos above, the end result will look pretty satisfying. You won’t be able to include the shot if it’s a super long “oner”-style take, but there’s no denying that the effect works wonders under the right circumstances.Looking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Tips for Selling Your Cameras and Video Gear Online5 Production Tips for High Frame Rate VideographyThe 5 Top Editing Gadgets on the Market Right NowHow to Design a Close-Up Shot — And When You Should Use ItStrike the Right Balance: Choosing Music for Tutorial Videoslast_img read more

Expanded Court of Appeal Building Disabled-Friendly

first_img The building, which was officially opened last month, has been equipped with elevators, Braille signage, wheelchair ramps and more disabled-friendly restrooms. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Anya Jones, noted that the “2007 Justice Reform Task Force Report identified a plethora of issues associated with the ageing infrastructure of the courts, which contributes to limited access to court facilities by special groups”. Persons with disabilities can conveniently access the facilities of the expanded Court of Appeal building, located downtown Kingston. Persons with disabilities can conveniently access the facilities of the expanded Court of Appeal building, located downtown Kingston.The building, which was officially opened last month, has been equipped with elevators, Braille signage, wheelchair ramps and more disabled-friendly restrooms.Speaking at the opening ceremony, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Anya Jones, noted that the “2007 Justice Reform Task Force Report identified a plethora of issues associated with the ageing infrastructure of the courts, which contributes to limited access to court facilities by special groups”.She noted that such restricted access is in breach of the Disabilities Act, 2014.The legislation protects and enhances the welfare of persons with disabilities across Jamaica, and prohibits discrimination against such persons.Mrs. Jones noted that the $846 million Government-funded Court of Appeal expansion is an investment in the country’s justice system.She shared that Jamaicans can look forward to more significant developments in the justice system over the next four to five fiscal years.The contract for the Court of Appeal expansion was awarded to Y.P. Seaton & Associates. Story Highlightslast_img read more