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Exciting New Prospects for Lighting Your Future Set

first_imgIn the wake of the multiple announcements at this year’s IBC, let’s look at some of the newest and craziest lights about to hit the market.It’s a great time to be a filmmaker. Lights are getting lighter, cheaper, and brighter. They can be placed and powered in ways never before imagined. Here’s a few in review.ARRI OrbiterARRI is the undisputed king of cinema lighting. Between its SkyPanel LEDs and its M series HMIs, ARRI fixtures do most of the heavy illumination on professional film sets. While not cheap, they dominate the rental market because of their reliability and durability.Never ones to rest on their own laurels, ARRI introduced a totally new platform called the Orbiter. It’s a RGB LED spotlight with an internal ballast in a form factor that looks more like a generator than a light. This strange, chunky fixture is said to be as bright as a Tungsten 2K, but is actually fully RGB. It offers color effects, remote control, and a variety of detachable light modifiers ranging from super focused spotlight to soft spacelight. Shipping in early 2020, it’ll be around $7000 as a base price.Hudson SpiderThe brainchild of DP Tim Hudson, these multi-armed, parabolic folding arrays give a soft, focused light in places others can’t, such as boomed over a ballroom or strapped to a moving car. They have become a favorite “hero” light on several Marvel films, and other big Hollywood productions.If something is stopping them from becoming more widely adopted, it’s the $7400 price tag. Hudson just introduced the Mozzie, a smaller, more stripped down version — for less than half the price — that can be handheld as a follow fill or bounced into a 6” umbrella for a huge specular source, all powered from a single V-mount.Intellytech LiteCloth MegaLarge, foldable LED blankets have been on the market for some time now, but they’ve been outside the budget of most filmmakers. Then, Intellytech showed off their Mega. This 3’ x 4.5’ light is powered by mains or two V-mount batteries with a frame and a grid, all for less than $2000.It’s such a large, soft source that it doesn’t really need to be modified at all. Just point it at your subject and you have soft, bright light, right out of the box. This is great for high-end interviews that want that “MasterClass” aesthetic, but only have twenty minutes to spare.Digital Sputnik VoyagerA high end approach to the tube form factor, the Voyager is a two or four foot fixture that can be full RGB, but each LED in the array can be controlled independently. That means you can animate different colors or effects into the lights control, even when filming fire or the ocean. Then the light plays back that pattered of color and illumination as an effect. The Voyager really takes RGB to the next level. It’s almost a light projector rather than just a source of illumination.If that’s not enough, it’s also waterproof and the internal blast has its own rechargeable battery.Cover image by laplandr.Want more on lighting tips and gear? Check these out.Tips for Building DIY Lighting Setups for Under $100A Cheap Trick for Lighting a Daylight Interior Car SceneNature’s Lighting: A Guide on Shooting With or Against the SunFollow Fill: The Simple Solution to Lighting a Difficult SceneLighting in a Pinch: Five Tricks Using Your Mobile Phonelast_img read more

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Pro Kabaddi 2019 HIGHLIGHTS, Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Puneri Paltan in Jaipur: Jaipur Beat Pune 43-34

first_imgSkipper Deepak Hooda will need to use his experience and orchestrate attacks better along with Deepak Narwal, Nilesh Salunke and Nitin Rawal. Jaipur Pink Panthers also need to improve defensively after a few lapses in their last outing. Sandeep Dhull, Santhapanaselvam and Vishal have all demonstrated their potential over the course of the campaign and need to come good with consistent displays as they head into the business end of the season.Buoyed by their victory last time around, Puneri Paltan will be looking to make it back-to-back wins as they continue to push for a playoffs spot. Things seem to be falling into place for coach Anup Kumar’s side at the right time with several players standing up and being counted. One of the most impressive players amongst them has been raider Pankaj Mohite, who has been in a rich vein of form of late and scored 17 raid points last time around. He, along with Manjeet, have become Puneri Paltan’s leading raid duo and will be their biggest threats in attack.Nitin Tomar has also regained full fitness and has looked sharp in the past few matches. On the defensive front, Puneri Paltan have improved as the season has progressed. Skipper Surjeet Singh is their leading tackle point scorer but Sagar Krishna, Balasaheb Jadhav and Hadi Tajik have done their reputation no harm with solid displays. However, their defensive unit will have to strive to be more consistent in the final stretch of the league stage for better results. Jaipur Pink Panthers must make the most of their home support and get the better of Puneri Paltan to keep their fast-diminishing playoff hopes alive. Their first two games at home have seen them tie and lose by a point despite playing well for large parts of those game. Coach Srinivas Reddy will now be hoping that their good performances can be translated into positive results, starting against Puneri Paltan on Wednesday.The #TopCats are still in search of their first 🏡 win in #VIVOProKabaddi Season 7 after two nail-biting clashes.Can they put an end to the wait?🔗: https://t.co/S3u16LW2EY⚔️: #JAIvPUN⏳: Tonight, 8:30 PM onwards📺: Star Sports and Hotstar#IsseToughKuchNahi pic.twitter.com/s86sAFctIX— ProKabaddi (@ProKabaddi) September 25, 2019last_img read more

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Oval Test, Day 2: English bowlers rip through South African batting

first_imgDebutant England bowler Toby Roland-Jones ripped through South Africa’s top batting in the second Test on Friday, taking four wickets as the tourists collapsed to 126-8 at the close, losing seven wickets in the final session of the day.Responding to England’s first innings total of 353, the 29-year-old Roland-Jones removed both openers and then claimed the key scalps of Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock in his first Test for England.Experienced seamers James Anderson took 2-16 and Ben Stokes, who earlier in the day scored a sparkling century, and Stuart Broad each took one wicket, leaving South Africa facing defeat in the third game of the four-match series. The series is currently tied 1-1.Temba Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada put on 53 for the eighth wicket, but this was the only resistance.Vernon Philander, the pick of South Africa’s bowling on the first day at the Oval, sent down five overs but then left the field again for treatment, apparently for a stomach ailment that also forced him off the field on the first day.It was later reported that Philander had been admitted to hospital. He was unlikely to bat on Friday, but could bat on Saturday if he recovers in time.England’s seam attack made hay in ideal English conditions — cool, humid weather — and a Duke ball that southern hemisphere teams dislike. The swing bowling made life virtually impossible for South Africa’s batsmen.The tourists’ bowlers could not match the control of the seam and Stokes drove England to what now looks like a strong first innings total.advertisementStokes hit 112 in 153 balls, reaching and passing his century in dramatic fashion by smashing three consecutive sixes off the bowling of spinner Keshav Maharaj.The England left-hander had resumed on Friday with opener Alastair Cook, who added just six runs to his overnight 82 before Morne Morkel beat his bat and trapped Cook leg before wicket, 12 short of a 31st test century.Resuming on 171-4, England advanced to 269-6 at lunch as Stokes and Bairstow shared a 75-run partnership.Two wickets fell in the morning session, those of Cook and Bairstow.Stokes and Bairstow looked comfortable until the new ball was taken 20 minutes before lunch.With the swinging ball, Kagiso Rabada induced an edge from Bairstow to second slip, where captain Faf du Plessis took the catch. Bairstow scored 36 in 52 balls.Moeen Ali and Roland-Jones added valuable runs and were able to witness another Stokes blitz in an innings that included nine fours and four sixes.At tea, South Africa was 18-1. Roland-Jones induced the faintest of edges from opener Dean Elgar and he was caught behind by Jonny Bairstow with the last ball before the break. Elgar reviewed the decision, but replays showed a slight touch.After tea, Roland-Jones continued his work with three more wickets.last_img read more

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Cowboys Lasso Giants, 31-21

first_imgARLINGTON, Texas — DeMarco Murray’s workload is a frequently asked question during the week for the Dallas Cowboys. There is no doubt about the answer when the game is on the line.The NFL’s leading rusher is going to get the ball.Murray had already become the first running back in league history to start the season with seven straight 100-yard games when the Cowboys went to him seven times on a clock-killing drive that helped wrap up their sixth straight victory, 31-21 over the New York Giants on Oct. 19.“He’s extremely strong,” owner Jerry Jones said. “I would say you have to put the speed that he has for his size, but the strength would be right behind. Because he is strong, because he is violent the way he runs the ball, I think he can handle 25 carries a game and not be too much of a risk to his health.”The fourth-year back from Oklahoma reached 100 yards on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter to break Hall of Famer Jim Brown’s 56-year-old record of six straight games with at least 100 to start the 1958 season with Cleveland.Murray, on pace for just the sixth 400-carry season, finished with 128 yards and a late touchdown on a 1-yard plunge — a play after a catch by Dez Bryant was ruled a touchdown and overturned on replay.“Nowhere am I trying to say that I’m at (Brown’s) level by any means,” said Murray, who played through an ankle injury sustained in the first half and now has 913 yards through seven games. “Just a great player and a great person, but I’m not even in that category at all.”Tony Romo matched his season high with three touchdown passes, including the first two-touchdown game of second-year tight end Gavin Escobar’s career. But if Romo truly is becoming the second option in the Dallas offense, he is perfectly happy handing the leading role to Murray.“I love that kid,” said Romo, who was 17 of 23 for 279 yards with an interception. “He really exemplifies everything you want in a player. He’s hard-working. He’s humble. He’s a team-first guy. He’s talented. He’s explosive.”Things to consider after the Cowboys (6-1) kept rolling a week after beating Super Bowl champion Seattle on the road. It is their best start since winning six of their first seven on the way to a 13-3 finish in 2007, when they were the top seed in the NFC before losing to New York in their first playoff game.(SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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KTM 790 Duke spotted in India, might be priced between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 7.50 lakh

first_imgIndia is eagerly awaiting the launch of KTM 790 Duke. Now several pictures have surfaced online showing the sport-naked bike standing next to a Pulsar. The photographs might be from one of the several facilities of Bajaj in India. Rumours are rife that the Austrian bike maker might launch 790 Duke in India in the first half of 2019.Although there is no official announcement yet, but KTM 790 Duke might be priced between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 7.50 lakh (ex-showroom). The company will definitely keep in mind the prices of the bike’s two major rivals — Suzuki GSX-S750 and Kawasaki Z900. While GSX-S750 comes with a price tag of Rs 7.46 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), Z900 is available for Rs 7.68 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).KTM 790 Duke features a compact 799 cc parallel-twin powerplant. This liquid-cooled, eight-valve, DOHC unit delivers 87 Nm and 105 bhp and is mated to a six-speed transmission. Besides, an advanced ride-by-wire system guarantees great refinement as well as low fuel consumption and emission figures. Image courtesy: maxabout.comThe eight-valve DOHC cylinder head contains twin chain-driven camshafts and one sparkplug per cylinder. Additionally, the camshafts in 790 Duke are assembled, which makes them even lighter than forged ones. Image courtesy: maxabout.comKTM 790 Duke’s handling characteristics are based on its lightweight chassis. It gets chromium-molybdenum-steel frame, cast aluminum subframe and swing arm. The motorcycle is fitted with lightweight alloy wheels manufactured in a low-pressure die casting process. The bike’s dry weight is 169 kgs. The front wheel gets two 300 mm discs, while the rear wheel features a single disc.advertisementThe motorcycle gets a TFT dashboard and as one revs the engine, the display bars change color. It also comes in with LED headlight and taillight. Image courtesy: maxabout.comAll the major features and specifications currently coming in with KTM 790 Duke are expected to be made available on the Indian variant as well. There might be a few tweaks to suit the conditions in our country. However, full details will only be revealed once the company launches the bike officially. Till that time the KTM-enthusiasts will have to play the game of patience and wait for KTM to make an announcement regarding 790 Duke.ALSO READ | Bajaj Pulsar 180F to come with semi-fairing like Pulsar 220F, rumoured to be priced at Rs 86,500ALSO READ | “Kitna deti hai” question answered, here are 5 cars under Rs 5 lakh that are high on mileage and safetyALSO READ | Renault to equip Kwid with ABS, hatchback to challenge Maruti Suzuki Altolast_img read more

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New Online Courses To Create Safer Sporting Environments

first_imgTwo new interactive training courses are now available online to help create safer, fairer and more inclusive environments for all people involved in sport. The Member Protection Information Officer (MPIO) course and Complaint Handling course have been developed through the Play by the Rules partnership and complement the existing ‘Child Protection’ and ‘Discrimination and Harassment’ modules which are also available online.“Member Protection Information Officers are an important resource in sport,” Australian Sports Commission Chief Executive Officer, Simon Hollingsworth said.“They are responsible for providing information and support in regards to a person’s rights, responsibilities and options when a complaint or concern is raised in any sports environment.“This new training package will ensure that the knowledge and expertise required for this role is fully supported and maintained.”The MPIO course features seven online modules: MPIO Introduction, The MPIO Role, Complaint Resolution Procedures, Member Protection and the Law, Child Protection, Harassment and Discrimination and Ethical and Practical Considerations.The course also includes a three-hour face-to-face workshop, which will be delivered through state/territory departments of sport and recreation. The online and face-to-face components of the course are free.The Complaint Handling course features more specific information about the complaints process, including how to mediate and investigate complaints.Play by the Rules Co-chairs, Craig Martin and Helen Szoke, said: “These courses will not only assist sport to manage and resolve member issues and concerns, its greatest value will be in the development of expertise that can promote and create a positive club/sport culture for current and future members.”All of the courses have been developed in consultation with sports experts who work in these areas. They are succinct, user-friendly and feature case studies, practical scenarios and incorporate the latest interactive technology.For more information, please click on the following link to be directed to the Integrity in Sport section of the Australia Sports Commission’s website:http://www.ausport.gov.au/supporting/integrity_in_sport Related LinksNew Online Courseslast_img read more

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Caste certificates State ensures smooth handover

first_imgKolkata: The Backward Classes Welfare Department (BCW) has engaged 23 senior officials to expedite clearance of the applications made by the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people and see that they do not get stuck due to red-tape.These officials will look into the files up to the block levels and take action if required against those charged with dereliction of duties. It may be mentioned that the District Magistrates of South 24-Parganas, Hooghly, Jhargram, West Midnapore, North Dinajpur and West Burdwan have already issued show-cause notices to six inspectors for dereliction of duties. It may be mentioned that in the administrative review meetings held in East Burdwan and Hooghly which were held recently, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had instructed senior officials to clear the SC/ST applications. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaFollowing her instructions, Rajib Banerjee, the state minister for BCW department, held a series of meetings with the senior officials of the department and prepared a blueprint to issue the caste certificates. He also asked the officials to ensure timely completion of the project taken up by the department for the Backward Classes. In the past three weeks, over 90,000 caste certificates have been issued. Along with this, another 40,000 caste certificates have been issued through 1,400 camps. The BCW department has started toll-free number 1800-5727730 to lodge complaints or views. In addition to this, they can either WhatsApp or SMS at 91-8582956555. A special cell has been set up to look into the matter.last_img read more

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BC to allow marijuana use in public but it wont be sold

first_imgVICTORIA – Pot and liquor sales won’t mix in British Columbia, but adults will be allowed to toke in some public spaces once marijuana is legalized later this year.The province announced new details of its regulatory regime on Monday, including that cannabis will be sold online and through private and government-run stores. Retailers will not be permitted to sell weed in stores that sell liquor or tobacco.B.C. will also allow people to smoke pot in public places where tobacco smoking and vaping are permitted, although it will be banned in vehicles and in areas frequented by children, including beaches, parks and playgrounds.Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said there are many decisions left to be made and the province is waiting for federal regulations on cultivator licensing, seed-to-sale tracking and packaging.“Some may think that this work will end in July when non-medical cannabis is legalized by the federal government,” he said. “But the truth is our government will be dealing with this significant change in policy for years to come.”Adults in B.C. will be allowed to grow up to four plants per household, but landlords and strata councils can restrict or prohibit cultivation and smoking in properties.The province will create a 90-day ban for those caught driving while drug-impaired and it will increase training for law enforcement officers to recognize impairment.The B.C. government announced in December that 19 would be the minimum age to possess, purchase and consume non-medical cannabis. It also said B.C.’s liquor distribution branch would be the wholesale distributor of non-medical marijuana.Farnworth said the province will launch an online application process this spring for people who are interested in applying for a retail licence, but licences won’t be approved without the support of local governments.Vancouver and Victoria have already set up regimes for marijuana dispensaries, but Farnworth said B.C. respects the wishes of other municipalities, such as Richmond, to reject pot shops altogether.“We’re not forcing anything down any community’s throats,” he said.Kerry Jang, a Vancouver councillor and co-chairman of a committee providing input on B.C.’s cannabis regulations, said the licensing rules are very similar to those in place for liquor stores.“Both sides have to agree before a licence is given for alcohol, and it’s no different now with cannabis,” he said. “I think that is an ideal situation.”Jang said the aim of the regulation allowing landlords to ban cannabis use and cultivation was to put an end to illegal grow operations inside rental properties.“The main goal of that approach is to really stop the abuse that has gone on for many, many years that landlords and other tenants have complained about,” he said.Operators of illegal dispensaries will not be barred from consideration for a licence, nor will those with a record of low-risk criminal activity, the government said. However, involvement with organized crime will exclude applicants from becoming a licensee.Kirk Tousaw, a lawyer focused on cannabis policy reform, said the province should have also considered direct-to-consumer sales at cultivation sites, as is permitted for craft breweries and vineyards.“It’s also, I think, unfortunate that renters are going to find themselves with less legal rights than people who own property, particularly when it comes to consumption,” he said.The Responsible Marijuana Retail Alliance of BC, an initiative of the union representing public liquor store workers and an association of private liquor outlets, said it was disappointed the government rejected its proposal to sell cannabis.But it said liquor stores were still “well positioned” to provide safe and reliable access to cannabis because the province will allow marijuana stores to be located adjacent to alcohol-selling establishments.Most provinces have decided against allowing liquor and pot to be sold together, though the Northwest Territories and Nova Scotia have permitted it. As for public consumption, Ontario has banned it outright but some provinces have allowed it.B.C.’s policy changes are expected to be introduced at the legislative session this spring, and the government plans a public education campaign to create awareness of the rules before they come into force.Mike Morris, the public safety critic for the provincial Liberal party, said the NDP government is dithering in making actual decisions and has only released part of its plan.“The B.C. Liberal focus has always been public safety, ensuring children aren’t exposed to cannabis and not allowing criminals to benefit from legalization. The NDP has failed with these weak regulations and British Columbians deserve better.”— By Laura Kane in Vancouver. Follow @ellekane on Twitter.last_img read more

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Trans Mountain outlines construction plans for next six months in Alberta BC

first_img(THE CANADIAN PRESS) VANCOUVER, B.C. – Trans Mountain has filed a six-month construction schedule with the National Energy Board for the expansion of the pipeline.The company says work has been underway since last fall at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C., and will continue, along with additional work in the province’s Lower Mainland.In July, it says it will begin developing the Westridge Marine Terminal tunnel portal at Burnaby Mountain and relocate existing infrastructure to expand the Burnaby Terminal. It also says work on a 290-kilometre stretch of pipeline between Edmonton and Jasper National Park will begin in August and include surveying, staking and flagging the right-of-way.Banners unfurled and flying under the Ironworkers Memorial bridge, where demonstrators opposed to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are suspended. They say their intent is to block tanker traffic from passing through. @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/15T79AIkJR— Maria Weisgarber (@ctv_mariaw) July 3, 2018It says it will clear trees and vegetation in the area while taking measures to protect the environment, such as weed control, the relocation of rare plants and wildlife surveys.In September, surveying, staking and flagging the right-of-way will begin in North Thompson, B.C., on a 120-kilometre stretch between Mt. Robson Provincial Park and Blue River.On Tuesday, activists with Greenpeace rappelled off a bridge in Vancouver to protest the pipeline expansion, which is being purchased by the Canadian government for $4.5 billion.Breaking news: anti-Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline banners unfurled off Ironworkers 2nd Narrows Bridge by @GreenpeaceCA. They say they are low enough to block tanker from exiting KM terminal. There are climbers hanging off the banners. Details coming up on @CTVMorningLive pic.twitter.com/zlOKpr0LSn— Nafeesa Karim (@nafeesakarim) July 3, 2018last_img read more

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How Our NBA Predictions Work

Model CreatorsNate Silver, Jay Boice and Neil Paine ReferencesBasketball-Reference.com / Real Plus-MinusElo ratings / Monte Carlo simulations / Box Plus/Minus / Simple Projection System The DetailsFiveThirtyEight’s NBA predictions have gone through quite an evolution over the years.Our first iteration simply relied on Elo ratings, the same old standby rating system we’ve used for college and pro football, college basketball, baseball, soccer, Formula One racing and probably some other sports I’m forgetting. Basic Elo is generally useful — and we still track it for teams going back throughout history — but it only knows who won each game, the margin of victory and where the game was played. So if a player is injured or traded — or resting, as is increasingly the case in the NBA — Elo wouldn’t be able to pick up on that when predicting games or know how to account for that in a team’s ratings going forward. In fact, even if a team simply made a big offseason splash (such as signing LeBron James or Kevin Durant), Elo would take a long time to figure that out, since it must infer a change in team talent from an uptick in on-court performance.To try to address that shortcoming, in 2015 we introduced a system we called “CARM-Elo.” This still used the Elo framework to handle game results, but it also used our CARMELO player projections to incorporate offseason transactions into the initial ratings for a given season. In a league like the NBA, where championships now feel like they’re won as much over the summer as during the season itself, this was an improvement. But it still had some real problems knowing which teams were actually in trouble heading into the playoffs and which ones were simply conserving energy for the games that matter. Since a team’s underlying talent is sometimes belied by its regular-season record — particularly in the case of a superteam — an Elo-based approach to updating ratings on a game-to-game basis can introduce more problems than it actually solves.Moving beyond EloOne attempt to salvage CARM-Elo was to apply a playoff experience adjustment for each team, acknowledging the NBA’s tendency for veteran-laden squads to play better in the postseason than we’d expect from their regular-season stats alone. This also helped some, but CARM-Elo still had problems with mega-talented clubs (such as the 2017-18 Golden State Warriors) that take their foot off the gas pedal late in the NBA’s long regular season. It was clear our prediction system needed a major overhaul, one that involved moving away from Elo almost completely.As we hinted at in our preview post for the 2018-19 season, we made some big changes to the way we predict the league that year. Chief among them is that our team ratings are now entirely based on our CARMELO player projections. Specifically, each team is judged according to the current level of talent on its roster and how much that talent is expected to play going forward. Here’s how each of those components work:Talent ratingsAt their core, our CARMELO projections forecast a player’s future by looking to the past, finding the most similar historical comparables and using their careers as a template for how a current player might fare over the rest of his playing days. After running a player through the similarity algorithm, CARMELO spits out offensive and defensive ratings for his next handful of seasons, which represent his expected influence on team efficiency (per 100 possessions) while he’s on the court. You can think of these as being similar to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus or other adjusted plus-minus-style ratings.The player ratings are currently based on a blend between Real Plus-Minus (RPM), Box Plus/Minus (BPM) and, on defense, our new DRAYMOND metric. In our mind, each of these metrics represents a different facet of measuring player performance: BPM to capture and weight the player’s contributions in the traditional box score; RPM to measure the effect he has on his team’s efficiency when he is on the court; DRAYMOND to capture a critical but underutilized aspect of defense, which is to reduce opponent shooting percentages by contesting and otherwise disrupting shots. A blend of all applicable metrics appears in the CARMELO individual pages under the player’s offensive rating (using BPM and RPM) and defensive rating (using BPM, RPM and DRAYMOND).These blended ratings provide a prior for each player as he heads into the current season. But they must also be updated in-season based on a player’s performance level as the year goes on. To do that, we have two methods (for both offense and defense) depending on the data available:Using Real Plus-Minus and Box Plus/Minus. Ideally, both metrics will be published during a season, allowing us to use a blend (⅔ weight for RPM; ⅓ for BPM) on each side of the ball to update our prior ratings. When that happens, we assign a weight to the prior that is relative to 1 minute of current-season performance. On offense, that weight is calculated with a constant term of 416 minutes, plus 0.3 times a player’s minutes from the season before, plus 0.15 times his minutes from two seasons before, plus 0.05 times his minutes from three seasons before. That number is multiplied by his CARMELO preseason offensive rating and added to the product of his current-season minutes and current-season offensive plus/minus blend, and divided by the sum of current-season minutes and the prior weight to get an updated offensive rating. (The rating for players with 0 current-season minutes played is, by definition, the prior.) On defense, the weight has a constant of 60 minutes, plus 0.3 times a player’s minutes from the season before, plus 0.15 times his minutes from two seasons before, plus 0.05 times his minutes from three seasons before. This weight is combined with current-season performance in the same manner as on offense.Using Box Plus/Minus only. At a certain stage of each season, ESPN will not have released RPM data for the current season yet. During that time, we must update the in-season ratings using only BPM, which is usually available since the very start of the season via Basketball-Reference.com. Just like with our blended number from above, we assign a weight to the prior that is relative to 1 minute of current-season performance — but we must use different weights because BPM is not quite as reliable an indicator of player performance as RPM (or our RPM-BPM blend). On offense, the weight is calculated with a constant term of 703 minutes, plus 0.27 times a player’s minutes from the season before, plus 0.13 times his minutes from two seasons before, plus 0.04 times his minutes from three seasons before. That number is multiplied by his CARMELO preseason offensive rating and added to the product of his current-season minutes and current-season offensive plus/minus blend, and divided by the sum of the current-season minutes and the prior weight to get an updated offensive rating.On defense, the weight has a constant of 242 minutes, plus 0.48 times a player’s minutes from the season before, plus 0.24 times his minutes from two seasons before, plus 0.08 times his minutes from three seasons before. This weight is combined with current-season performance in the same manner as on offense.Regardless of the version being used, these talent ratings will update every day throughout the regular season and playoffs, gradually changing based on how a player performs during the season.Overnight updatesBecause our data sources for player ratings (ESPN and Basketball-Reference.com) don’t update individual statistics immediately after the end of every game, we added a function to preliminarily estimate the changes to a team’s rating as soon as a game ends. For each player in our database, we adjust his offensive and defensive ratings up or down very slightly after each game based on his team’s margin of victory relative to CARMELO’s expectation going into the game. These numbers add up at the team level to reflect how we predict that a team’s ratings will change in the wake of a given result.The advantage of this is that we can provide an instant update to the model as soon as a game ends. However, since these estimates are stopgaps, they will be changed to the RPM/BPM-based ratings from above when the data from those sources updates. After any given game, these differences should be small and generally barely noticeable. But we think this change will be particularly worthwhile in the playoffs, when team odds can shift dramatically based on a single game’s result.Playing-time projectionsNow that we have constantly updating player ratings, we also need a way to combine them at the team level based on how much court time each player is getting in the team’s rotation.For CARM-Elo’s preseason ratings, we used to accomplish this by manually estimating how many minutes each player would get at each position. Needless to say, this is a lot more work to do in-season (and it requires a lot of arbitrary guesswork). So as part of our move toward algorithmizing our predictions in a more granular way, we developed a program that turns simple inputs into a matrix of team minutes-per-game estimates, broken down by position.This system requires only a rank-ordered list of players on a given team by playing-time preference (the default order is sorted by expected rest-of-season wins above replacement), a list of eligible positions a player is allowed to play (the system will assign minutes at every player’s “primary” position or positions first, before cycling back through and giving minutes at any “secondary” positions when necessary to fill out the roster) and some minutes constraints based largely on CARMELO’s updating minutes-per-game projections.For that last part, we have developed an in-season playing-time projection similar to the one we use to update our individual offensive and defensive ratings. For each player, CARMELO will project a preseason MPG estimate based on his own history and the record of his similar comparables. We then adjust that during the season by applying a weight of 12.6 games to the preseason MPG projection, added to his current-season minutes and divided by 12.6 plus his current-season games played. (Interestingly, this implies that the amount of weight the MPG prior receives is the same regardless of whether the player is a fresh-faced rookie or a grizzled veteran.)Those minutes are used as the default for our program, which then automatically creates a team’s depth chart and assigns minutes by position according to its sorting algorithm. The defaults, however, can and will be tweaked by our staffers to help the program generate more accurate rosters. For instance, we can mark certain games in which a player is injured, resting, suspended or otherwise unavailable, which will tell the program to ignore that player in the team’s initial rank-ordered list of players before allocating minutes to everyone else. (We also have a method of penalizing a player’s talent ratings if he is forced to play significantly more MPG than his updated CARMELO projection recommends.) New for 2020, there is even a “load management” setting that allows certain stars to be listed under a program of reduced minutes during the regular season.Through this system, we will be able to account for most injuries, trades and other player movement throughout the season on a game-by-game basis.Because of the differences between a team’s talent at full strength and after accounting for injuries, we now list two separate CARMELO ratings on our interactive page: “Current CARMELO” and “Full-Strength CARMELO.” Current is what we’re using for the team’s next game and includes all injuries or rest days in effect at the moment. Full-strength is the team’s rating when all of its key players are in the lineup, even including those who have been ruled out for the season. This will help us keep tabs on which teams are putting out their best group right now, and which ones have room to improve at a later date (i.e., the playoffs) or otherwise are more talented than their current lineup gives them credit for.Game predictionsAs a consequence of the way we can generate separate depth charts for every team on a per-game basis, we can calculate separate CARMELO ratings for the teams in a matchup depending on who is available to play.For a given lineup, we combine individual players’ talent ratings into a team rating on both sides of the ball by taking the team’s average offensive and defensive rating (weighted by each player’s expected minutes) multiplied by 5 to account for five players being on the court at all times. Those numbers are then combined into a generic expected “winning percentage” via the Pythagorean expectation:Winning Percentage=(108+Team Offensive Rating)14(108+Team Offensive Rating)14+(108−Team Defensive Rating)14Winning Percentage=(108+Team Offensive Rating)14(108+Team Offensive Rating)14+(108−Team Defensive Rating)14That number is then converted into its Elo rating equivalent via:CARMELO Rating=1504.6−450×log10((1/Winning Percentage)−1)CARMELO Rating=1504.6−450×log10⁡((1/Winning Percentage)−1)From there, we predict a single game’s outcome the same way we did when CARM-Elo was in effect. That means we not only account for each team’s inherent talent level, but we also make adjustments for home-court advantage (the home team gets a boost of about 92 CARMELO rating points), fatigue (teams that played the previous day are given a penalty of 46 CARMELO points), travel (teams are penalized based on the distance they travel from their previous game) and altitude (teams that play at higher altitudes are given an extra bonus when they play at home, on top of the standard home-court advantage). A team’s odds of winning a given game, then, are calculated via:Win Probability=1/(10−(CARMELO Differential+Bonus Differential)/400+1)Win Probability=1/(10−(CARMELO Differential+Bonus Differential)/400+1)Where CARMELO Differential is the team’s talent rating minus the opponent’s, and the bonus differential is just the difference in the various extra adjustments detailed above.Season simulations and playoff adjustmentsArmed with a list of injuries and other transactions for the entire league, our program can spit out separate CARMELO ratings for every single game on a team’s schedule. For instance, if we know a player won’t be available until midseason, the depth-chart sorting algorithm won’t allow him to be included on a team’s roster — and therefore in the team’s CARMELO ratings — until his estimated return date.Those game-by-game CARMELO ratings are then used to simulate out the rest of the season 50,000 times, Monte Carlo-style. The results of those simulations — including how often a team makes the playoffs and wins the NBA title — are listed in our NBA Predictions interactive when it is set to “CARMELO” mode.It’s important to note that these simulations still run “hot,” like our other Elo-based simulations do. This means that after a simulated game, a team’s CARMELO rating is adjusted upward or downward based on the simulated result, which is then used to inform the next simulated game, and so forth until the end of the simulated season. This helps us account for the inherent uncertainty around a team’s CARMELO rating, though the future “hot” ratings are also adjusted up or down based on our knowledge of players returning from injury or being added to the list of unavailable players.For playoff games, we make a few special changes to the team CARMELO process explained above. For one thing, teams play their best players more often in the playoffs, so our depth-chart algorithm has leeway to bump up a player’s MPG in the postseason if he usually logs a lot of minutes and/or has a good talent rating. This year, CARMELO outputs a separate recommended-minutes-per-game projection for both the regular season and the playoffs.We also have added a feature whereby players with a demonstrated history of playing better (or worse) in the playoffs will get a boost (or penalty) to their offensive and defensive talent ratings in the postseason. For most players, these adjustments are minimal at most, but certain important players — such as LeBron James — will be projected to perform better on a per-possession rate in the playoffs than the regular season. (Truly, he will be in “playoff mode.”)And we continue to give a team an extra bonus for having a roster with a lot of playoff experience. We calculate a team’s playoff experience by averaging the number of prior career playoff minutes played for each player on its roster, weighted by the number of minutes the player played for the team in the regular season. For every playoff game, this boost is added to the list of bonuses teams get for home court, travel and so forth, and it is used in our simulations when playing out the postseason.The complete history of the NBAIf you preferred our old Elo system without any of the fancy bells and whistles detailed above, you can still access it using the NBA Predictions interactive by toggling its setting to the “pure Elo” forecast.This method still has the normal game-level adjustment for home-court advantage, but it doesn’t account for travel, rest or altitude; it doesn’t use a playoff-experience bonus; and it has no knowledge of a team’s roster — it only knows game results. It also doesn’t account for any offseason transactions; instead, it reverts every team ¼ of the way toward a mean Elo rating of 1505 at the start of every season. We use a K-factor of 20 for our NBA Elo ratings, which is fairly quick to pick up on small changes in team performance.You can also still track a team’s Elo rating in our Complete History of the NBA interactive, which shows the ebbs and flows of its performance over time. This number won’t be adjusted for roster changes, but it should remain a nice way to visualize a team’s trajectory throughout its history. Version History4.0 CARMELO updated with the DRAYMOND metric, a playoff adjustment to player ratings and the ability to account for load management. Pure Elo ratings now use a K-factor of 20 in both the regular season and the playoffs.3.1 Estimated overnight ratings added as a stopgap between game results and data updates.3.0 CARMELO is introduced to replace CARM-Elo. Pure Elo ratings are adjusted to have variable K-factors depending on the stage of the season being predicted.2.1 CARM-Elo is modified to include a playoff experience adjustment.2.0 CARM-Elo ratings are introduced. Seasonal mean-reversion for pure Elo is set to 1505, not 1500.1.0 Pure Elo ratings are introduced for teams going back to 1946-47. Related ArticlesThe Complete History Of The NBAHow We Calculate NBA Elo RatingsThe Best NBA Teams Of All Time, According To EloHow Our 2015-16 NBA Predictions WorkWhy The Warriors And Cavs Are Still Big FavoritesFrom The Warriors To The Knicks, How We’re Predicting The 2018-19 NBA read more

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If Philip K Dick Wrote Preacher Youd Have The New Comic Wasted

first_imgStay on target I’ve only read the first issue and without giving anything away, what kind of stuff can fellow space opera fans expect in future issues? New worlds? Crazy aliens? Pulling a Last Jedi and subverting our expectations?MM: A LOT of subversion. This book is weird, it’s fun, but it also has a beating heart that, in the journey of these characters, speaks to very human experiences of free will, friendship, perseverance, and, maybe most importantly, finding your own way in the world. And grafted on top of all that is a crazy-ass world filled with weird aliens, trippy worlds, and a pretty gonzo plot that has a ton of twists and turns.  Wasted Space is available on April 25th. Netflix Axes ‘The OA’ Sci-Fi Series After 2 Seasons‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ Becomes Mostly Harm… Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Over the past year new comics publisher Vault Comics has been making waves with quality comics primarily in the realm of science fiction. Following in that same line of quality science fiction comics is Wasted Space. This comes from seasoned comics pro and recently published prose novelist Michael Moreci along with artist Hayden Sherman, colorist Jason Wordie, and letterer Jim Campbell. I had the pleasure of reading the first issue of Wasted Space and getting to chat with them about this exciting new comic.How would you each describe Wasted Space to someone?MM: If Philip K. Dick wrote Preacher, you’d have Wasted Space; it’s the most fun you’ll have in a dystopian space opera all year long. And I mean that. Everyone loves a good origin story. How did Wasted Space come to be?MM: Weird story, but the idea came to me when I was sick as a dog last Christmas. The actual day of. I was miserable, just absurdly sick and unhappy about it. I was unhappy about our country’s political landscape. I was unhappy be driving to my in-laws. On the ride there, it all came to me. Like the whole thing. I must have been souped up on some really potent cold meds, but that never happens. I mean, it’d been percolating for awhile, the basis for the idea. Tim Seeley and I had been engaged in long conversations about comics had lost their edge, their willingness to be risky, to rattle cages, to upset the apple cart–and I’m not just talking about taking down the obvious, low-hanging fruit. I’m talking about turning an eye on our world, every inch of it, and taking no prisoners. That bite–that’s in Preacher. It’s in Scalped and Unknown Soldier and so many classic books. I wanted to bring that sensibility back.The story shows some characters that are variants on televangelists but evoking things from mythology like Tiresias. It reminded me of Rachel Pollack’s novel Unquenchable Fire but is entirely different and unique. What about spirituality do you want to explore specifically with this comic? When it comes to expressing a spiritual culture in a comic like Wasted Space do you feel it’s restrictive in some ways because it still needs to be handled with care, freeing because it allows exploration of our own spirituality and beliefs here without the same level of scrutiny, or a mix of the two?MM: The book is all about systems of manipulations. Religion, government, family. I wouldn’t say we’re restricted, because we’re not making a spiritual book. It’s not exploring faith in that kind of way, not a spiritual way; it’s broader. It’s more about these levels of, again, manipulation that bring people and societies to specific ends. Granted, it’s hard to talk about spirituality and not be spiritual in some sense–and the more spiritual stuff comes in later, particularly with Molly’s and Billy’s relationship to the Creator as well as the role of Legion–but it’s less about transcendence and more about control and power.Michael, Science Fiction has been your focus for some time including the release or your first prose novel, Black Star Renegades. Like Wasted Space hit has some elements that would be familiar to anyone as well as sci-fi jargon and a certain pacing to it to keep the reader engaged without giving away too much information up front. As the writer, how did you balance crafting a first issue that is welcoming to new readers while also diving head first into this world?MM: This is something I’ve worked hard to accomplish–making sci-fi that can be wholly mainstream, that can be read by anyone, even if they don’t have a library of sci-fi traditions in their head to draw from. I read a ton of sci-fi–a ton–and I can never bring myself to enjoy the junk science jargon that crowds so many of these books. I love world-building, but there’s a fine line between world-building and indulgence, and I am committed to the former. What’s always at the forefront of my work is the story. Story, story, story. And if something doesn’t serve the story, if it doesn’t keep the plot and the characters moving, you can bet I’m not going to write it. And to me, story is like math–it’s a universal language. If you have a good story–if it’s clear, if it’s accessible, if it has something to say–then it doesn’t matter who picks it up or what weirdness the thing contains. As long as you’ve nailed those fundamentals–and not buried them with excess–you should be able to hand your comic or book to anyone, and I think we’ve done that with Wasted Space #1.Hayden, I’ve read The Few (Image) so I’m familiar with your work as well. Your style and approach to Wasted Space seemed reminiscent of Ted McKeever. Particularly his work on Doom Patrol and Superman’s Metropolis. What were some of your influences when approaching Wasted Space? Did you do anything you haven’t done before when bringing this project to life? And were there any moments that stand out where you made an artistic Michael wasn’t expecting that really elevated the project?HS: This book pulls a lot of inspiration from the likes of Cam Kennedy, Phillipe Druilett, and Paul Pope. With each page the aim is to really dig into the worlds we’re exploring, while keeping a level of energy and motion moving things along. As for anything new in this book, this is the first time I’ve gotten to populate settings solely with aliens of my own creation. Which is all the better when almost half the book is like one big Cantina scene, with aliens moving everywhere and playing an active role. I’ve been filling up sketchbook pages with aliens ever since just to make sure there’s enough!And a lot of the dramatically elevating moments with the art come very much in the concept stage when things are still being fleshed out. I dunno if everyone would agree with me on this, but the contribution I’m most pleased with is turning a vague villain alien into a snake-like creature that pilots a robot humanoid body. Sounds silly (and it is) but that’s why I love it. We don’t really get into the how or why or anything, but for me the fun part of designing characters for a book like this is taking ideas and building them into new weird things that can make the world feel just that much bigger. In the end, each alien has its own story in my head.Jason! I really love the colors in Wasted Space. The lighting affects you do throughout the comic really elevates the story. How did you go about deciding on the palette for the comic? What made you go with more earth tones in Marango versus the blues and violets of The Ring of Cassoria?JW: The palette was inspired by various classic sci-fi stories, with some spaghetti western thrown in. It can be difficult to color a sci-fi comic without Star Wars and Blade Runner in the back of your mind. Dark, crowded cities, neon lights, grungy desert towns. At first glance, it’s all very familiar, but the advantage of a familiar palette is that it really stands out when you do something unfamiliar. Like the congregation scene or the white in the last few pages. Plus, Hayden’s loose energetic style gave me a ton of room to play around with textures and light without worrying too much about realism. Marango is a dusty, run-down backwater. So I wanted to keep the colors gritty and a bit unpleasant. Cassoria on the other hand, is a sprawling, vibrant city. It made for some nice warm vs cool contrast when cutting between the two.Jim, I’ve seen a few books you’ve lettered like Destiny, NY. How do you approach lettering a comic like this with needing to differentiate balloons from humanoids, robots, aliens, and more?JC: I letter somewhere in the region of 6,000 pages a year, so I have a pretty solid idea of what works and what doesn’t these days, with all my horrible mistakes (hopefully!) now firmly in the past. My primary concern is always, always readability. Doesn’t matter how cool it looks, there’s just no point if you can’t read the damn thing. For this book, I wanted to use Blambot’s latest dialogue font — Collect ‘Em All, firstly because I think it’s stylish and beautifully clear, but also because it’s brand new, it’s not being used all over the place yet. Consequently, it looks quite fresh and I thought that was important for a book as visually distinctive as this one.I added in a slightly rough, inky outline for the balloons and captions to try and make everything sit well with Hayden’s energetic ink style (tip of the hat for mentioning Cam Kennedy, there, Hayden — one of my favorite artists and criminally underrated in the US).Since lettering went digital, there’s been a tendency to chuck a new font at every character who comes along and I’m trying to push back on that a bit. If you saw a magazine page designed with a couple of dozen fonts, or, God forbid, tried to read a novel where every character’s dialogue was rendered in a different typeface, you’d think that was terrible design. I figure the same rules apply to comics. I’m trying to keep a very limited range of fonts to give the book’s lettering a more cohesive visual appearance. Instead, I’m going to see if I can differentiate where necessary with an interesting balloon style. It takes a little more work than just changing the font, but I hope it’ll be worth it!Why is Vault Comics the perfect home for Wasted Space?MM: Because they had the guts to let us tell this wild, crazy, and bold story! And I mean that for real. And in addition to that, the Wassel bros are the most passionate, hard-working duo in comics, and their love and dedication shows in every book they publish. We’re all thrilled and honored to keep Vault’s good thing going; I can’t imagine making this book anywhere else. HS: Everyone at Vault is so encouraging to run with ideas, make things that are weird but work, and keep pushing. Anytime someone turns something in, whether scripts, promotional pieces, sketches, or colored pages, the whole team gets visibly amped up! It’s awesome and keeps the whole thing as fun as it ought to be. A book like this is right at home with a publisher that’s so clearly delighted to be making comics.JW: Vault is amazing. They really encourage the everyone to get involved and add input every step of the way. By the time I started on the project a bunch of work had already been done, but they were all very welcoming and made me feel like part of the team. last_img read more

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Bill Gates Shows Up With a Jar of Poop to Highlight New

first_img Bill Gates is proposing new toilet technologies that could curb global sanitation issues and improve health for millions of people worldwide.On Tuesday, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), and the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) held a Reinvented Toilet Expo in China that showcased innovative sanitation products. These high-tech solutions included reimagined toilets that could kill pathogens, minimize the use of water and sewer lines, and safely convert human waste into fertilizer.Gates, who was accompanied by a jar of human feces during his expo speech, shared that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest an additional $200 million to help decrease the costs of new sanitation goods for the poor and establish new market development in regions where anti-pathogen products are most needed.“This expo showcases, for the first time, radically new, decentralized sanitation technologies and products that are business-ready,” said Gates during the opening plenary of the Reinvented Toilet Expo.“It’s no longer a question of if we can reinvent the toilet and other sanitation systems. It’s a question of how quickly this new category of off-grid solutions will scale.”At the expo, China-based EcoSan, U.S.-based Sedron Technologies, and other international companies announced the availability of reinvented toilets and small-scale waste treatment plants (omni-processors) for sale to public and private entities. LIXIL, a company in Japan, also indicated that it might pilot a household-level reimagined toilet in the near future.The aim of the expo is to accelerate the commercialization of these high-tech products worldwide within the next 10 years. According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the adoption of these off-grid toilet technologies and systems could reduce the global toll of unsafe sanitation, including the deaths of 500,000 children under five-years-old each year and over $200 billion that’s lost due to rising health care costs. With these solutions, countries, government officials, and global organizations can work together to minimize the negative impacts of poor sanitation worldwide.More on Geek.com:Dogs Can Sense Malaria by Smelling Your ClothesDoctors to Start Prescribing ‘Museum Art’ for Better HealthChange Your Diet to Save Water (and Your Health) SteelSeries Arctis 1 Is World’s First USB-C Wireless Gaming HeadsetGeek Pick: Shure MV88+ Is An Excellent, On the Go Microphone Kit Stay on targetlast_img read more

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New York Media Taps Pamela Wasserstein as New CEO

first_img A Wasserstein & Co. trustee, Pamela Wasserstein most recently served as VP of corporate development for Tribeca Enterprises, the company behind the Tribeca Film Festival. Wasserstein will work directly with editor-in-chief Adam Moss and publisher Larry Burstein as the company seeks to further invest in alternative revenue streams, including its new branded content studio and live events. Two years ago, the company cut New York’s print frequency from 42 issues per year to 29 amid declines in local readership, opting to devote more resources to its digital-only verticals. (Overall, print circulation remains relatively healthy, down only about 1.2 percent year-over-year in 2015, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.) Photo: Cole Wilson – The New York Times Pamela Wasserstein has been named CEO of New York Media, parent company of New York magazine, the Cut, Grub Street, and Vulture, among others, effective May 2nd. “It’s all family, every aspect of this place,” Moss tells The New York Times. “She’s really been kind of one of us for a long time.”center_img “In recent years it became clear that the company needed an in-house CEO, and we are fortunate to have someone uniquely positioned for the role in Pam Wasserstein,” wrote Bagaria in a prepared statement. “I’m pleased to be leaving the company in such good hands.” Wasserstein has spent the past year-and-a-half as co-chair and head of strategy for the publishing company, which the Wasserstein family trust has owned since her father, the late Bruce Wasserstein, purchased it in 2004 for $55 million. She succeeds Anup Bagaria, co-managing partner of Wasserstein Partners, LP, who had held the CEO role at New York Media ever since the Wasserstein takeover.last_img read more

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YouTubes bestkept secret might make you give up ASMR

first_imgI don’t do ASMR. Whispering voices, tearing paper, peeling soap — none of it calms me, relaxes me, sets off tingles in my brain, stimulates or soothes me in any way. I feel as left out of the autonomous-sensory-meridian-response trend as when I was 13, looking at Magic Eye pictures hanging in the shopping mall, unable to see the sailboat hidden in the illusion. I scream, you scream, we all scream for … teddy-bear ice cream? Soon Films GIF by CNET But I recently discovered a YouTube channel that gives me my own set of soothing reactions. Soon Films, which spotlights colorful Asian street food, has been around since 2014, and it has more than 181,000 subscribers — nowhere near Baby Shark territory but quite respectable.And I could watch the channel all day. The videos are usually around three minutes long and barely have any dialogue. They’re mostly shot at outdoor food stands, often beginning with an unseen cook oiling up the griddle with brick-size chunks of butter and ending with delivery of the order.Some of them don’t involve cooking at all. In a video shot in Malaysia, coconut ice cream is scooped into real coconut shells and topped with everything from chocolate chips to corn flakes to sweet corn kernels. (Corn kernels? Sure, why not.) The techniques are Oscar-worthy, like the Japanese worker who never misses when he nonchalantly squirts sponge-cake batter into dozens of tiny oval molds. “I see carpal tunnel in his future lol,” cracks one commenter. Share your voice YouTube Comments Or the Bangkok mini-crepe maker who draws nearly perfect circles, thin as onion skin, over and over before filling them with cream and colorful, carefully shredded filling. “I have no idea what the orange and red things are, but I’m definitely going to try this!” vowed one viewer. With Netflix docuseries Street Food also highlighting vendors throughout Asia, the region’s street bites are having their moment. I often tune in to the latest video from Soon Films just before bed. There’s something comforting and satisfying about the quiet, sharply shot videos, which sweep from an empty grill to bubbling batter to a mouth-watering street snack in the time it takes my breathing to slow down and the stresses of the day to slip away. The square bacon toast is my favorite bite, at least from afar.   Soon Films GIF by CNET The videos are part travelogue, part cooking show, part spying over someone’s shoulder as they order a meal, and put together, they’re magical.I reached out to Soon Films for comment, but didn’t hear back. And that’s OK with me. Knowing too much about this channel would ruin the sense that it’s my little secret. ASMR fans can keep their whispering and their soap-peeling. I’m just going to keep watching an invisible chef butter up a grill in a country I might never get to see.Originally published Aug. 28, 5 a.m PT. center_img Don’t subscribe to Soon Films if you prefer videos where an all-knowing host guides you carefully through each cooking step, or if you absolutely must know the name of every ingredient. No one’s going to explain it to you, and that’s half the fun. There’s still mystery in the world, and sometimes, you have to book a plane ticket and go find it for yourself. 2 In Japan, there are teddy bears made from ice cream and cotton candy blown out like rainbow bouffants. In Korea, bubble waffles get curled into a cone and filled with strawberries. Ice cream is painstakingly chopped and rolled in Kuala Lumpur. Korean souffle pancakes resemble lopsided snowmen and are decorated with strawberries so red that they put my fanciest lipstick to shame. Some of the meals are less Instagrammy and more savory, such as sandwiches and stir-fries. I couldn’t tell you why, but the square bacon toast is my favorite. Tags Randomlast_img read more

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Builder Confidence Dips as Home Buying Season Begins

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market Builder Confidence Dips as Home Buying Season Begins Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Processing Service Providers 2012-04-16 Mark Liebermancenter_img April 16, 2012 445 Views Builder confidence fell three points in April to 25 matching the lowest point of the year, the “”National Association of Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.com/ (NAHB) said Monday.[IMAGE]The month-over-month decline was the first since last September.All three components of the index ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô current sales, sales six months out and buyer traffic ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô fell in April, with buyer traffic slipping to a four month low. The builder assessment of present home sales conditions dropped three points to 26. The outlook for home sales in the next six months also fell three points, to 32, retreating from a near five-year high. Buyer traffic was slid to 18 from 22 in March.The index – built based on surveys conducted jointly by the NAHB and Wells Fargo – gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “”good,”” “”fair”” or “”poor.”” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “”high to very high,”” “”average”” or “”low to very low.”” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any [COLUMN_BREAK]number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.Representatives of the NAHB sought to put a positive spin on the disappointing numbers.””Although builders in many markets are noting increased interest among potential buyers, consumers are still very hesitant to go forward with a purchase, and our members are realigning their expectations somewhat until they see more actual signed sales contracts,”” NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg said in a statement.Regionally, the index improved four points to 29 in the Northeast, but tumbled eight points to 25 in the Midwest. The index slipped three points to 24 in the South and was flat at 32 in the West.The national index remained below the “”break-even”” level of 50 for the seventy-second consecutive month.””What we’re seeing is essentially a pause in what had been a fairly rapid build-up in builder confidence that started last September,”” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “”This is partly because interest expressed by buyers in the past few months has yet to translate into expected sales activity, but is also reflective of the ongoing challenges that are slowing the housing recovery ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô particularly tight credit conditions for builders and buyers, competition from foreclosures and problems with obtaining accurate appraisals,”” he added.The HMI survey followed a disappointing payroll report for March which showed the nation added 120,000 jobs, far below the 200,000-plus the market had been expecting. The same report showed a drop in the average workweek pulling down income growth, a key factor in home buying decision-making.While the HMI has been on an upward trajectory since September, new home sales have barely budged, last reported at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 compared with an SAAR of 302,000 in September.last_img read more

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FHFA Proposes Financial Requirements for Agency SellerServicers

first_img February 2, 2015 541 Views Share FHFA Proposes Financial Requirements for Agency Seller/Servicers The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on Friday proposed new minimum financial requirements for mortgage sellers and servicers to do business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.The proposed requirements include minimums for net worth, capital ratio, and liquidity criteria that must be met by servicers and sellers to do business with the GSEs. FHFA said the purpose of the requirements is to ensure safe and sound operations of the GSEs and at the same time further FHFA’s goal of promoting efficient, competitive, liquid, and resilient national finance markets for housing. The proposed criteria will also provide stakeholders and industry participants with greater transparency, consistency, and clarity, as directed by the 2014 and 2015 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac scorecards. FHFA and the GSEs will obtain feedback from regulators, industry participants, and other stakeholders, and improve their understanding.According to FHFA’s announcement, all servicers will be expected to comply with the proposed minimum requirements in order to to business with either of the GSEs six months after finalization.The proposed minimum requirements are as follows:For net worth (for all sellers and servicers) a base of $2.5 million plus 25 basis points of unpaid principal balance for all loans serviced;For capital ratio (for non-depository sellers and servicers, the proposed minimum requirement is a tangible net worth and/or total assets of less than or equal to 6 percent. Regulatory standard will still apply for depository institutions;For liquidity, the proposed minimum requirement for all non-depository sellers and servicers is 3.5 basis points of total agency serving, plus incremental 200 basis points of total nonperforming agency servicing that exceeds 6 percent of the agency’s total servicing UPB. Institutions may include the following as assets for liquidity: Cash and cash equivalents, Available for Sale or Held for Trading Investment Grade Securities that include Agency mortgage-backed securities and obligations of the GSEs and Treasury; and the unused/unavailable portion of committed servicing advance lines. As with capital ratio, the regulatory standards for liquidity will still apply for non-depository institutions.According to FHFA’s announcement, the agency anticipates that the proposed minimum requirements will be finalized sometime during the second quarter of 2015 and will go into effect approximately six months later. FHFA and the GSEs plan to reach out to help sellers and servicers better understand the requirements and prepare for when they go into effect.FHFA said the purpose of implementing the new requirements will be to “improve the safety and soundness of the enterprises by strengthening their minimum seller/servicer standards;” “To create a more consistent framework for seller/servicer eligibility;” “To provide the industry with greater clarity about the enterprises’ seller/servicer counterparty requirements;” and to “provide for consistent application of the new eligibility requirements by both enterprises, subject to enterprise discretion where appropriate.”center_img Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac 2015-02-02 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

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President Discusses Regulation Growing American Business

first_img March 1, 2017 518 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Government Share President Discusses Regulation, Growing American Businesscenter_img “A new chapter of American greatness is now beginning,” opened President Trump when he addressed Congress on Tuesday night.Throughout his hour-long speech, the president spoke of many changes and plans he had to “make America great again”—perhaps the most important of which to mortgage professionals were his comments regarding regulation.“We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job‑crushing regulations, creating a deregulation task force inside of every Government agency; imposing a new rule which mandates that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated,” said Trump, referencing the executive order he signed on February 24 titled, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”Though he did not go into the details during his speech, the executive order requires that the task force must be appointed within 60 days and will be responsible for enforcing existing executive orders that already attempt to wrangle increasingly complicated federal regulations, which include President Trump’s Executive Order 13771, President Obama’s Executive Order 13563, and President Clinton’s Executive Order 12866.Also in February, President Trump signed an executive order titled, “Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System,” which calls for a review of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Though the president did not discuss this order during his speech, his reinforcement of his stance on regulation offers a glimpse of what mortgage professionals can expect of this administration.During Tuesday’s address, the President also spoke of rebuilding America’s infrastructure. “We’ve spent billions of dollars overseas, while letting our infrastructure crumble,” he said. ”America must put its own citizens first because only then can we truly make America great again.”He promised that dying industries will come back to life, and heroic veterans will get the care they need. “Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new bridges and roads,” he said. “The drug epidemic will slow down and stop. We will keep our promises to the American people. “Other areas President Trump wants to improve include an overhaul and simplification of the U.S. tax code, a revision or elimination of the Affordable Care Act, an increase in defense spending, tightening of our borders, and a massive stimulus plan to pay for rebuilding the country’s antiquated infrastructure. However, no details were given about the next steps the president plans to take to accomplish these goals.“We must start the engine of the American economy again,” he said, “and make it much harder for companies to leave our country.” He said that taxes on American companies are too high. “We need to reduce taxes on companies so that they can compete anywhere and with anyone,” he said.As proof that his plans are already taking effect, he said that since his election, Ford, GM, Intel, Walmart and other companies have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the U.S. and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs. He also said that the stock market has gained almost $3 trillion since his election.Reacting to the President’s speech, Lindsey Piegza, Chief Economist at Stifel Fixed Income said, “Going forward, the market appears elated by the notion of pro-growth policies from Washington, but confidence will only carry improvements for so long. At some point, political promises will need to turn into reality in order to justify and sustain real improvement in the underlying economy.”Click here to read the full transcript of the president’s address. Congress Dodd-Frank mortgage Regulation Trump 2017-03-01 Rachel Williamslast_img read more