NPFL: Bernad Ogbe Quits Niger Tornadoes

first_imgOgbe only took charge of the club before the start of the current season but poor run of play has kept both management and restive fans on edge. The veteran tactician was even forced to take refuge in the dressing room in their penultimate home game when he said his life was threatened by angry fans.The Minna club is yet to record a win in the NPFL this season, with three defeats and three draws.Tornadoes lost 1-0 to Rangers in a rescheduled match-day one encounter  at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium,  Enugu on Wednesday.“I will not wait to reach the five matches ultimatum given to me. I have lost two matches already, at this point is the right time for me to step aside,” Ogbe told reporters after Niger Tornadoes defeat to Katsina United yesterday..Tornadoes will host Sunshine Stars at the Bako Kontagora Stadium, Minna in their next league game.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Embattled Niger Tornadoes Technical Adviser, Bernard Ogbe, was reported to have quit the post last night.The veteran coach was handed a five-match ultimatum by the management of Tornadoes but the defeat of the Ikon Allah Boys by Katsina United appears to be the last straw that forced Ogbe out of the job.Tornadoes sources revealed last night that Ogbe announced the decision to quit after the Nigeria Professional Football League match-day six clash with Katsina United at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadiumlast_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 17, 2016)–Forwardly placed throughout under Brice Blanc, Havanna Belle blew by favored Gaga A a sixteenth of a mile from home and marched to a 2 ¼ length victory in Santa Anita’s $75,000 Astra Stakes on Sunday. Trained by Phil D’Amato, the 4-year-old Irish-bred filly got the marathon distance of a mile and one half on turf in 2:27.03.“I was able to work her last week and I’ve watched videos of her,” said Blanc. “I always thought she looked like maybe she was too far back. When I worked her the other day, she acted like a filly that has a little kick, but not necessarily like a filly that can come from way out of the clouds.“I was able to break from the gate well and she put me right into the race. I was a little worried. She got a little keen the first part but I was able to give her a little breather coming onto the front side and it made all the difference. It was just how I envisioned it in my head.”A troubled eighth in a second condition allowance going one mile on turf here Dec. 30, Havanna Belle was winless in her last four starts. Off at 10-1 in a field of nine older fillies and mares, she paid $22.20, $10.80 and $8.00.“It took her a bit to settle, but I thought that the whole way around Brice had her in the perfect spot tracking,” said D’Amato. “When it was time to make his move he angled her out and got it.”Owned by Michael House, Havanna Belle notched her third win from 14 lifetime starts and with the winner’s share of $47,520, increased her earnings to $111,813.“I’m very happy,” said House in the Winner’s Circle. “This filly has always shown promise but she hasn’t had too many clean trips. Brice put her into the race today and then got her to relax.”Brazilian-bred Energia Fribby, who added blinkers, settled nicely in the early stages and finished well to complete the exacta under Mario Gutierrez. Off at 18-1, she finished a nose in front of fellow longshot Sweet as a Rose and paid $18.60 and $12.80.Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Sweet as a Rose rallied from off the pace as well and paid $7.40 to show.Fractions on the race were 23.55, 47.12, 1:12.17, 1:37.28 and 2:02.31.First post time for a nine-race card on Monday is 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.last_img read more

Rehab includes trip to slopes

first_imgAll five servicemen who made the trip to Bear Mountain were seriously wounded in Iraq, said David Donaldson, a recreation therapist at Naval Medical Center San Diego. Four of the men are amputees, and the fifth is recovering from a brain injury. “What we’re doing up here is we’re working on strength, working on stamina, working on balance, endurance,” Donaldson said. “And then there’s the psycho-social aspect, just being out on the mountain on a beautiful day like today.” Army Specialist Josh Gutierrez, who hails from West Covina, was on a mission to find two captured soldiers in Iraq in June 2006 when a bomb blast took away his right leg and wounded his left leg. Gutierrez said the hardware in his left leg – seven screws and a metal rod – “is the only thing that’s stopping me from running right now.” He also said he and other wounded military personnel need to take on challenges, such as learning a new sport, to help the rehabilitation process along. Navy Corpsman Randell Leoncio said the day was about “getting back out there and doing things you used to do.” Leoncio was born in the Philippines and came to Laguna Hills in 1991. He learned to snowboard before he was deployed to Iraq. In October 2005, he was riding in a Humvee through Ramadi when a roadside bomb exploded, flipping the vehicle. The attack cost Leoncio his leg, but not his enthusiasm for snowboarding. After a few hours on the slopes, Leoncio said losing a limb shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying life. “As long you have the will,” he said, tapping his prosthetic leg with one hand, “you can do whatever.” [email protected] (909) 386-3921160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The soldier, who was fitted with prosthetic legs after being wounded in Iraq eight months ago, was one of five servicemen who came to Bear Mountain Tuesday for the first part of a two-day skiing trip that is one stop on their path to rehabilitation. The ski lessons came courtesy of the U.S. Adaptive Recreation Center, which is housed in a small building near the resort’s ski slopes. This season is the center’s 19th winter, executive director Tom Peirce said. The organization’s mission is to help people with physical or mental disabilities play sports. Equipment like the “sit-ski” that Keeslar rode down the shimmering white slopes Tuesday is one example of the way sporting equipment can be adapted for people who have been injured. Peirce’s center worked with the Wounded Warrior Project, a national organization that aids wounded veterans, to make the ski lessons happen. The San Diego-based Don Diego Ski Club also helped out by donating money. BIG BEAR LAKE – Jacque Keeslar doesn’t need legs to ski. The 37-year-old grew up in Big Bear Lake and knows his way around the slopes of Bear Mountain Resort. On Tuesday, he found a new a way to ride the mountain. A U.S. Army staff sergeant, Keeslar lost both legs to the blast of an improvised explosive device eight months ago in Iraq. On a return visit to his hometown Tuesday, he learned to make his way down a snow-covered hill on what he called a “sit-ski,” which is basically a chair attached to a single ski. “It’s kind of the same, you know. It’s just about going up there and conquering the mountain,” Keeslar said. last_img read more

Afrique du Sud : une ouverture au commerce

first_imgL’Afrique du Sud est l’un des marches emergents les plus prometteurs et elabore au monde, offrant une association unique entre des infrastructures economiques tres developpees de rang mondial et une economie de marche emergent dynamique.C’est aussi l’une des economies les plus avancees et productives d’Afrique.Voici quelques raisons de faire des affaires en Afrique du Sud :Des politiques economiques sainesUn contexte juridique et commercial favorableDes infrastructures de rang mondialL’acces aux marchesLa porte de l’AfriqueLa reforme commerciale, les accords de libre-echangeLe prix des affaires en Afrique du SudFaire des affaires est facile en Afrique du SudDes competences industrielles, des technologies de pointeCompetitiviteDes politiques economiques sainesDepuis le retablissement de la democratie en 1994, l’economie de l’Afrique du Sud est passee par une transformation structurelle avec la mise en place de politique macroeconomiques visant a promouvoir la concurrence nationale, la croissance et l’emploi et a augmenter l’ouverture de l’economie sur l’exterieur.Les principales reformes economiques ont donne naissance a une stabilite macroeconomique. Les taxes ont ete reduites, les prix ont baisse, le deficit fiscal a ete maitrise et les controles des echanges assouplis.Les depenses publiques ont aussi ete restructurees au profit des services sociaux qui contribuent a une meilleure qualite de vie pour tous les sud-africains.La Banque Centrale d’Afrique du Sud et la Banque de Reserve d’Afrique du Sud conservent leur independance vis-a-vis du gouvernement. Le programme de la banque axe sur l’inflation a eu des resultats positifs, le taux d’interets s’est stabilise et la devise se maintient a des niveaux concurrentiels. L’inflation a la consommation avoisinait environ 4,6 % en 2006 contre 9,8 % en 1994.Le gouvernement a clairement indique que les investissements etrangers etaient les bienvenus en Afrique du Sud et que des politiques en faveur des investisseurs supportaient les declarations publiques.En 2005, le gouvernement commença a formuler une nouvelle strategie pour stimuler le taux de croissance economique a 6 % du PIB d’ici 2014 et reduire le chomage. La mise en place de cette strategie, impliquant des investissements publics a grande echelle dans les infrastructures, les petites entreprises et le developpement des competences ainsi que des interventions visant des zones specifiques de l’economie, est en bonne voie.Voir : Afrique du Sud : aperçu economiqueUn contexte juridique et commercial favorableL’Afrique du Sud possede un cadre juridique progressiste de rang mondial. Le droit commercial, du travail et des questions maritimes est particulierement developpe et les lois relatives a la politique de concurrence, aux droits d’auteur, aux brevets, aux marques et aux conflits sont conformes aux normes et conventions internationales.Le caractere inviolable des contrats est protege par le droit coutumier et des cours independantes d’assurent du respect des droits et obligations commerciaux. L’independance du pouvoir judiciaire est garanti par la constitution.Les systemes financiers de l’Afrique du Sud sont complexes, solides et bien reglementes. Les reglementations bancaires d’Afrique du Sud se classent parmi les meilleures du monde et ce secteur se classe dans le top 10 a l’echelle mondiale. Les banques etrangeres sont bien representees et les equipements de services bancaires electroniques sont etendus, la banque par Internet etant un facteur de croissance du secteur.Le JSE Limited est la 20eme bourse du monde en termes de capitalisation du marche. Les regles du JSE et leur mise en application se basent sur les meilleures pratiques internationales et les systemes de negociation, reglement, transfert et enregistrement automatises du JSE sont equivalents a n’importe quel autre dans le monde.Des infrastructures de rang mondialDes infrastructures de niveau mondial, comprenant un reseau de transport moderne, une energie a des prix relativement bas et des equipements de telecommunication sophistiques.Et celles-ci sont modernisees et agrandies de façon importante en preparation de la Coupe du Monde 2010 de la Fifa.Le gouvernement a identifie des projets d’infrastructures massives comme pouvant etre des vecteurs de l’amelioration du taux de croissance economique du pays et de la creation d’emplois et le pays engage des milliards de rands pour que les investissements affluent.Voir : Les infrastructures de l’Afrique du SudL’acces aux marchesSitue a la pointe la plus australe du continent africain, l’Afrique du Sud est idealement placee pour un acces facile aux 14 pays formant la Communaute de Developpement d’Afrique Australe (SADC), dont le marche combine represente plus de 250 millions d’habitants, et les iles au large de la cote est de l’Afrique et meme les etats du Golfe et l’Inde.L’Afrique du Sud sert aussi de point de transbordement entre les marches emergents de l’Amerique Centrale et du Sud et les nouveaux pays industrialises de l’Asie du sud et de l’est.Les principales routes maritimes longent le littoral de l’Afrique du Sud dans l’Atlantique Sud et l’Ocean Indien et par ses sept ports commerciaux qui forment de loin le reseau le plus grand, le mieux equipe et le plus efficace du continent.Ces ports sont des intermediaires pour le commerce entre l’Afrique et ses partenaires de la SADC et l’Union douaniere d’Afrique du Sud mais fonctionnent egalement comme des plates-formes pour un trafic en provenance et a destination de l’Europe, de l’Asie, des Ameriques et des cotes est et ouest de l’Afrique.La porte de l’AfriqueL’Afrique du Sud est non seulement un marche emergent important mais egalement la condition minimale pour acceder a d’autres marches subsahariens. Le pays est frontalier de la Namibie, du Botswana, du Zimbabwe, du Mozambique, du Swaziland, du Lesotho et ses liens routiers et ferroviaires bien developpes offre la plate-forme et les infrastructures pour le transport terrestre jusqu’au cœur de l’Afrique subsaharienne.De plus, l’Afrique du Sud possede sur place les competences en marketing et les canaux de distribution imperatifs pour toute entreprise commerciale en Afrique.Le pays joue un role significatif en fournissant de l’energie, des secours, des transports, des communications et des investissements sur le continent. L’Afrique du Sud etait le plus gros investisseur dans le reste de l’Afrique entre 1990 et 2000, d’apres un rapport de 2003 de LiquidAfrica Research avec un investissement avoisinant 1,4 milliard de dollars US et totalisant 12,5 milliards sur dix ans.L’Afrique du Sud est egalement une force dynamique au sein des 14 membres de la Communaute de Developpement de l’Afrique Australe (SADC) et a joue un role cle dans le developpement du Nouveau Partenariat pour le Developpement de l’Afrique (Nepad), le programme de renouveau socio-economique de l’Union Africaine.L’Afrique du Sud est egalement une force dynamique au sein des 14 membres de la Communaute de Developpement de l’Afrique Australe (SADC) et a joue un role cle dans le developpement du Nouveau Partenariat pour le Developpement de l’Afrique (Nepad), le programme de renouveau socio-economique de l’Union Africaine.La reforme commerciale, les accords de libre-echangeDepuis la signature de l’Accord General sur les Tarifs et le Commerce en 1994, l’Afrique du Sud est devenu un acteur du systeme des echanges mondiaux et une serie de reformes commerciales, incluant une reduction des tarifs et un programme de rationalisation, a ete mise en place.L’acces au marche a ete ameliore grace aux accords de libre-echange avec l’Union Europeenne et la Communaute de Developpement de l’Afrique Australe (SADC) et la mise en place de la Loi de la Croissance et des Opportunites Africaines des Etats-Unis.Au cours de ces dernieres annees, l’Afrique du Sud a aussi noue des relations solides avec des marches dans le reste de l’Afrique, de l’Asie et de l’Amerique Latine. L’alliance Inde-Bresil-Afrique du Sud (IBSA), creee en 2003, vise a augmenter les echanges entre les trois pays du niveau actuel d’environ 6 milliards de dollars a 10 milliards de dollars au cours de prochaines annees. Et le pays est devenu un partenaire essentiel en matiere de commerce et d’investissement de la Chine qui, au cours de ces dix dernieres annees, est devenu un acteur important sur le continent africain.Le prix des affaires en Afrique du SudLe taux de change en Afrique du Sud en fait l’un des pays les moins chers pour les etrangers qui souhaitent y vivre et y travailler, surtout avec ses infrastructures de rang mondial et son niveau de vie eleve qui garantit la valeur de l’argent.Les couts de l’energie en Afrique du Sud font encore partie des plus bas du monde et le pays est aussi favorable si l’on compare les prix du petrole avec un secteur prive et des multinationales petrolieres assurant le raffinage et vendant presque toutes les produits derives du petrole en Afrique australe.Et les couts des telecommunications baissent. L’operateur de ligne fixe Neotel, qui a recemment obtenu une autorisation, a commence a donner un avant-gout de la concurrence a la societe publique Telkom. Le gouvernement prend des mesures afin de garantir une capacite large bande moins cher et plus largement accessible. Et des projets importants sont en cours pour installer des cables de fibre optique sous-marins le long des cotes est et ouest d’Afrique afin d’encourager les liens entre le continent et le reste du monde.Le cout unitaire de la main d’oeuvre en Afrique du Sud est bien plus faible que celui des autres pays emergents, y compris le Mexique, la Hongrie, la Malaisie ou Singapour et la productivite de la main d’œuvre s’est grandement ameliore au cours de ces dernieres annees. Une legislation du travail coherente a contribue a une nette reduction des jours perdus suite a des actions revendicatives depuis 1994.Le taux d’imposition des societes en Afrique du Sud, qui doit descendre a 28 % en 2008-2009, est favorable par rapport a celui d’un certain nombre de pays en voie de developpement, et les perspectives d’autres baisses sont bonnes.Faire des affaires est facile en Afrique du SudL’Afrique du Sud s’est classee 35eme sur 178 pays dans le rapport Doing Business 2008 de la Banque Mondiale et de la Corporation Financiere Internationale, une enquete annuelle qui mesure le temps, le cout et les difficultes pour les entreprises a respecter les exigences juridiques et administratives.L’Afrique du Sud s’est classees devant des pays developpes comme le Portugal (37) et l’Espagne (38), ainsi que devant des pays en voie de developpement importants comme le Mexique (44), la Chine (83), la Russie (106), l’Inde (120) et le Bresil (122).Le rapport a place l’Afrique du Sud en neuvieme position pour la protection de ses investisseurs tout en notant des ameliorations importantes dans le domaine du lancement d’entreprises et de l’obtention de credits.Des competences industrielles, des technologies de pointeLa croissance de la production industrielle de l’Afrique du Sud est bien au dessus de la moyenne des marches developpes.La production industrielle du pays adopte de plus en plus les technologies, avec des secteurs de fabrication high-tech, comme celui des machines, de l’equipement scientifique et des vehicules motorises, ayant augmente la part de leur production depuis 1994.La recherche technologique sud-africaine et ses normes de qualite sont reputees dans le monde entier. Le pays a developpe un certain nombre de technologies de pointe, notamment dans les domaines de l’energie et des carburants, de la production d’acier, de l’extraction profonde, des telecommunications et des technologies de l’information.CompetitiviteL’Afrique du Sud s’est classee 44eme sur 130 pays, devant l’Italie et l’Inde, dans l’indice de competitivite mondial du Forum Éonomique Mondial en 2007/2008. Le pays africain le mieux classe etait la Tunisie en 32eme position avec une note de 4,59. La note de l’Afrique du Sud, une moyenne des notes de 12 mesures de competitivite, etait de 4,42.Un certain nombre de mesures d’aide a l’industrie a ete introduit depuis 1994 afin d’ameliorer la competitivite de la base industrielle d’Afrique du Sud. Celles-ci comprennent des mesures recentrees sur l’offre plutot que sur la demande (comme des programmes d’aide aux tarifs et exportations cheres).Le gouvernement a propose des primes a l’encouragement pour les projets de fabrication a forte valeur ajoutee, une aide a l’innovation industrielle, un meilleur acces au financement et un environnement favorable pour le developpement des petites entreprises.Des zones de developpement industriel ont ete creees a proximite des principaux ports et aeroports offrant des infrastructures de rang mondial, un aide douaniere et des reductions de taxes.L’Afrique du Sud possede un regime de concurrence bien developpe et reglemente base sur les meilleures pratiques internationales. La Loi sur la Concurrence de 1998 a fondamentalement reforme la loi de la concurrence du pays, renforçant les pouvoirs des autorites de la concurrence en ligne avec les modeles de l’Union Europeenne, des USA et du Canada.La loi impose plusieurs interdictions sur les comportements anticoncurrentiels, les pratiques restrictives (comme les prix fixes, deloyaux et les offres complices) et les « abus » des societes « dominantes » (societes ayant une part de marche de 35 % ou plus).Les autorites de la concurrence surveillent l’application et le respect de la loi et les regulateurs d’etat supervisent les monopoles naturels et encouragent un acces universel aux services publics.Derniere mise a jour de l’article : Aout 2008SAinfo reporter. Sources (sites en langue anglaise) :South Africa YearbookDepartment of Trade and IndustrySouth African Reserve BankSouth African TreasuryStatistics South Africalast_img read more

Cape Classics win over US wine lovers

first_img11 October 2010When Andre Shearer founded Cape Classics in New York in 1992, the American wine market was regarded as too tough for South African exporters to crack. Today, his company is the biggest US importer of high-end South African wines, representing 21 of the Cape’s finest estates and labels.On arriving in New York in June 1991, Shearer arranged the first tasting of South African wines in the United States – barely three weeks after then-president George Bush lifted sanctions on a South Africa just emerging from apartheid. Today, Cape Classics distributes in 49 states in the US, with partners including the Darden Restaurant Group (Seasons 52, Capital Grille and Red Lobster), Uno Chicago Grill, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Walt Disney World, Trader Joe’s, COSTCO and Whole Foods Market.Ken Forrester Vineyards, internationally recognized as one of South Africa’s top producers and one of the most visible South African wine brands in the US market, appointed Cape Classics as its sole US importer as of 1 October 2010.With this addition to its portfolio, more than one-third of all bottled wine from South Africa available in the US will bear the Cape Classics seal.Unofficial ambassadorDividing his time between Cape Town and Katonah, New York, Shearer has for years acted as an unofficial ambassador for the country of his birth, showcasing South Africa as an investment destination through wine-tasting dinners at top New York restaurants in collaboration with US fund managers.Claire Bisseker, in a Financial Mail interview, writes of his dinners: “For each course, Shearer gets the guests (most of whom have never set foot in South Africa) to blind-taste an SA wine against other well-known international brands.“‘At the end of the evening,’ says Shearer, ‘even if they prefer only three of the South African wines out of five, or if the SA wines fared close, the message is that a country couldn’t produce wines like this if it didn’t have First World attributes.’”His message appears to be getting across. Over half-a-million cases of South African wine entered the US in the first seven months of this year, according to the US International Trade Commission. South Africa now ranks eighth as source of US red imports, and 10th as a source of whites.Along the way, Cape Classics and its labels have been featured in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Departures Magazine, The Wine Advocate and The Wine Spectator, and the company was named best wine importer at Food & Wine Magazine’s 2001 American Wine Awards.Indaba Scholarship, Jam Jar Sweet ShirazAnd Shearer is intent on helping to develop the South African industry in other ways, too. In January 2010, Stellenbosch University student Arlene Mains became the eighth recipient of Cape Classics’ Indaba Scholarship, which is open to aspirant winemakers, marketers and viticulturists from communities historically excluded from senior positions in South Africa’s wine industry.Mzokhona Mvemve, the first recipient of the scholarship, became one of South Africa’s first qualified black African winemakers after graduating from Stellenbosch University in 2003.Besides self-belief and perseverance, innovation is one of the typical South African qualities that Shearer has brought to Cape Classics. In 2009, the company launched Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz, a unique semi-sweet red wine made from grapes grown in South Africa’s Paarl region, nationally in the US.Unapologetically accessible and populist, Jam Jar’s distinctive recipe and evocative packaging – featuring a red-and-white checkered screwcap inspired by traditional jam jar lids – has been a hit, to the point where people have been ordering the wine untasted, based on the name, packaging and style description alone.Through such initiatives, and an expanding, award-winning portfolio, Cape Classics continues to contribute to South Africa’s emergence as a wine-producing nation worth toasting.This article was first published in South Africa Now, a six-page supplement to the Washington Post produced on behalf of Brand South Africa. Download South Africa Now (PDF, 2.12 MB).last_img read more

4 Awesome Innovations in Lens Technology Every Filmmaker Needs

first_imgThese four new lenses are changing video production. Find out what they can do for you on your next film or video project.Cover image via News Shooter.While they don’t always get the same love and coverage as cameras or other production gear, lenses are quietly continuing to revolutionize filmmaking with some serious technological innovations. As some of these breakthroughs continue, it’s not ridiculous to imagine what capabilities lenses will soon offer in terms of shifts, optics, and zoom.If you have an eye for new lenses and are ready to peep some innovations in lens technology, check out these four awesome options to consider renting or even adding to your bag.Interchangeable Rear OpticsThe Optimo Ultra 12x is one of the latest innovations from Angenieux, which has been a major innovator in long-range zoom technologies for years. Their newest lens installment (which you can see more about in the video above) boasts their latest Interchangeable Rear Optics (IRO) technology. With the IRO modular design, you can configure the Ultra 12x for S35, U35 and FF/VV sensor sizes by changing out the rear group and rings.While the new Optimo Ultra 12x will still be quite pricey (in the $85,000 to $100,000 range), Angenieux has also announced new Type EZ lenses for filmmakers that still offers the same Optimo Style range, but in the much more purchase-friendly range of $17,000 to $50,000.You can check out and read more about the Optimo Ultra 12x at theAngenieux website here.New Tilt Shift LensesFor those unfamiliar with tilt shift lens technology, here are a couple of good videos to explain them a little more in-depth. Basically, tilt shift lenses are helpful for changing the plane of focus controlling depth of field. Ideally, these new macro lenses will be perfect for shooting products, landscapes, and architecture in both photography and videography and complete Canon’s L-series family of wide and macro tilt shift lenses.If you’re looking for a little more in-depth on how tilt-shift lenses work for video. Here are a couple of places to check out. You can also read up more on Canon’s website for the lenses here.Insane Zoom CapabilitiesAlong with tilt shift technology upgrades, Canon is also making waves with their insane zoom capabilities. The Canon Cine Servo CN20x50 is a truly remarkable lens in itself at 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9, but it also offers a built-in extender that turns the lens into a 75mm-1500mm. While it’s aimed at sports and nature television, it’s an ideal lens for a good low-light camera where you can stand the focal length. Here’s some more info on Canon’s website to check out.Affordable Wide-Angle to Macro RangeYou may think that, while awesome, major technological innovations in lenses mean they’re all crazy expensive. That, fortunately, is not always true. Case in point: Tamron’s new 18-400mm lens is quite a steal for its true wide-angle to macro range. The lens also features vibration compensation technologies that can help with up to 2.5 stops of camera shake along with moisture-resistance construction for outdoor shoots.Altogether, the lens retails for around $650, which is a pretty good investment if you’re looking for a one-stop shop lens option. You can read more on Tamron’s website here.For more lens and video production technological innovations, check out some of these resources.Tech and Film: 7 Innovations Changing the IndustryNAB 2017: The Latest and Greatest Camera LensesThe Best Set of Go-To LensesThe Art of Lens Whackinglast_img read more

Video: ESPN’s First Take Debates Braxton Miller’s Position Change

first_imgStephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim on the set of ESPN First Take.If you aren’t a big fan of either Stephen A. Smith or Skip Bayless, you may want to skip this one. Friday, the two gave their takes on the Braxton-Miller-is-switching-positions news, and, as you might guess, it’s being met with a great deal of criticism.While Smith’s initial rant mostly goes in circles (per usual), he does mention that it initially gave him “cause for pause” when he heard that Miller, a black quarterback, was being encouraged to play another position. Considering the team’s other two options – J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones – are also black, he claims that this scenario is a bit different. Bayless, meanwhile, thinks that Barrett might win the position. According to Smith, there’s no chance of that happening.Enjoy, we think.last_img

Team Manitobas Metis D

first_imgAPTN National NewsRingette is taking off in a big way at this year’s Canada Winter Games.Fans packed Cole Harbour Place to watch Nova Scotia take on Manitoba.The Manitoba team is drawing strength from a core of Metis players.APTN’s James Hopkin reports on how they are backstopping Manitoba’s defence in tournament play.last_img

Each NL Playoff Teams Biggest Strength — And Weakness

Between the record-smashing rookie campaign of Aaron Judge, the Cleveland Indians’ win streak and the Houston Astros’ ridiculous feats of offense, the National League has felt like a bit of an afterthought this season. (A huge amount of NL attention went to a player who isn’t even in the playoffs.) But in any other season, elite contenders like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals wouldn’t be flying under the radar. As we did with the American League earlier this week, we picked out each National League team’s most important strength, plus the one weakness that might trip them up en route to the World Series.Los Angeles Dodgers (17 percent chance of winning the World Series) Strength: Power, speed and pitching.As they showcased in the wild-card game against the Colorado Rockies — crushing two home runs and legging out three triples — the D-Backs can beat you in a variety of different ways. During the regular season, they ranked second among all MLB teams in isolated power (trailing only the hard-hitting Astros), first in baserunning value over average1Averaging together the baserunning metrics found at and and first in Bill James’s Speed Score (a composite that indexes a bunch of speed-related stats). Before Arizona did it this year, no team since 2001 had posted a .190 slugging and a 5.0 Speed Score in the same season. Add in a pitching staff that ranked second overall by WAR, and the Diamondbacks might have the most unique combination of strengths in this playoff field.Weakness: Hitting for average.Despite playing in a ballpark that boosts batting average the second-most of any team’s home digs (only Coors Field is better to hit in), the Diamondbacks hit just .254 this season, 18 points lower than we’d expect of an average team in the same park. Only three teams — the Blue Jays, Rangers and Padres — hit for a lower average relative to expectations, and all three of those teams had below-average offenses. Arizona managed to make things work anyway because of their rare combination of power and speed, but the D-Backs’s lousy average meant they were mediocre at plating base runners with two outs, and generally subpar in the clutch. On Wednesday night, Arizona’s lineup showed everyone how it can erupt in big offensive outbursts, but it still needs to prove it can do some of the situational hitting the playoffs will inevitably require.Washington Nationals(11 percent chance of winning the World Series) Strength: Ace-level starters.The Nationals have long been led by a superb starting rotation, but Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez put up some of their best career performances this year. According to The Baseball Gauge’s wins above replacement meta-metric,2The metric takes Baseball Gauge’s own WAR metric and averages it with aspects from two other versions of WAR —’s and FanGraphs’. Specifically, for this article, I set the meta-metric to average together every option equally in each category, with no regression for fielding metrics and the positional adjustment not included in offensive and defensive WAR. To see the leaderboards I saw while writing this piece, click through to the Baseball Gauge links and make sure the filters are set correctly. the Nationals ranked third in the majors in total WAR from their starting pitchers, and the Scherzer-Strasburg-Gonzalez trio was especially great — each ranked among baseball’s 10 best starters by WAR.3Cleveland, with Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, is the only other team that can even claim two of the top 10. For Strasburg and Gonzalez, the 2017 season was somewhat out of line with their recent track records, but Scherzer has been dominant forever — only LA’s Clayton Kershaw has been a more valuable starter over the past five seasons. In the postseason, when top-of-the-rotation pitching is paramount, Washington’s aces give them an enviable advantage against just about anybody.Weakness: Their best might not be enough.There aren’t many holes in Washington’s roster, especially now that two of its top players — shortstop Trea Turner and, more recently, right fielder Bryce Harper — are back after missing large portions of the season with injuries. But even with all their stars, it’s fair to ask where the Nationals stand relative to what might be the most stacked postseason field ever. Our Elo ratings currently place Washington seventh in MLB.4Behind the Indians, Astros, Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers and Red Sox. Most years, a team as good as Washington would rank third or fourth,5Since the wild-card era began in 1995, the average MLB ranking for teams who finished the regular season with an Elo between 1550 and 1560 was 3.48. but this is no ordinary season. And as much as MLB’s playoffs have earned their reputation as a crapshoot, there’s a definite relationship between a team’s talent and its World Series chances.Chicago Cubs(10 percent chance of winning the World Series) Strength: Completeness.The defending-champion Cubs were nowhere near as dominant in 2017 as they were in 2016, dropping from No. 1 in WAR (by far) to a lowly seventh. But one area where the club still had that championship feel was in its lack of a glaring weak point. A year removed from sending an absurd number of players to the All-Star Game, Chicago still had one of the best top-to-bottom teams in baseball. According to WAR, the Cubs got the most production in baseball from its catchers, the second-most from its third basemen, the third-most from its first basemen and — most importantly — didn’t rank any lower than 14th at any single position.6Including pitchers but excluding designated hitters, to fairly compare NL and AL teams. Not even the mighty Indians can say their weakest links were so strong. In the playoffs, important contributions often come from unlikely sources. Chicago should be covered.Weakness: Inexplicably mediocre pitching.One of Chicago’s deadliest weapons a year ago was its stellar pitching staff, led by an outstanding crop of starters. The group got a lot of help from a historically sturdy defense, which fell back to earth (though was still excellent) this season, but that doesn’t explain why Chicago’s pitchers declined in fielding-independent measurements. Chicago hurlers fell from 3rd to 8th in strikeout rate this season, from 18th to 24th in walk rate and from 6th to 16th in home run rate — perhaps because their average fastball velocity was among the slowest in baseball. As a result, the Cubs’ top pitchers saw their value drop almost across the board, and as a group they generated about 7 fewer wins this year than last. Without that fearsome rotation, Chicago’s title hopes are a shadow of what they were this time last season. Strength: Best form.Although the Dodgers had baseball’s best Elo rating (FiveThirtyEight’s pet metric for judging a team’s strength at any moment) for a decent chunk of the season, they ultimately finished the year behind the Indians. But when the Dodgers were at their very best, they reached a higher peak than any other team this season — including Cleveland during its 22-game winning streak. In the course of a scorching midseason run — winning 52 times in 61 games — LA’s Elo rating hit a high of 1612, not only the best of any MLB team this year, but also the 19th-best of all time (and the second-best of the last 48 seasons, trailing only the 1998 Yankees). The Dodgers looked totally unbeatable for more than two months, with a lineup full of hot hitters crawling out of the woodwork and an excessively deep pitching staff.Weakness: Recent form.As invincible as the Dodgers seemed during their hot streak, they stumbled badly beginning in late August, losing 16 of 17 games (including 11 straight at one point) before righting the ship with a 12-6 finish to the regular season. In the process, they became the only team in baseball history to have separate 16-game stretches where they both won and lost 15 times. A late-season swoon doesn’t carry any special penalty in terms of “momentum,” but the fact that LA was even capable of such putrid play for a sustained period means there are still some questions to be answered about how reliable a favorite the Dodgers really are.Arizona Diamondbacks (6 percent chance of winning the World Series) read more