“Bird Brain” No Longer an Insult

first_img“Birds can perform amazing tasks beyond the reach of cats and dogs,” begins an article in the BBC News.  So pay a little respect.  You can still call your boss a bird brain, but had better quickly explain why that is a compliment.  See also the longer article on MSNBC News.    In a related article, Jessica Ebert wrote in Nature1 that “bird-brain terminology” is undergoing a reformation.  The century-old naming convention of brain parts in birds resulted from a belief that birds were primitive, possessing simple brains capable only of instinct.  The distinction between bird and mammal brain capabilities is artificial, scientists now realize: “Signalling molecules and neurotransmitters operate similarly in the brains of birds and mammals.  And researchers agree that birds can learn: crows can pass on tool-making skills, for example.”  A consortium of neurobiologists has revamped the nomenclature to give bird brains the respect they deserve.1Jessica Ebert, “Reformation of bird-brain terminology takes off,” Nature 433, 449 (03 February 2005); doi:10.1038/433449b.Can your pet cat or dog sing?  Fly?  Talk?  Migrate across the world?  Solve a puzzle as fast as a bird?  Don’t let the small size fool you.  Birds are compressed packages of extreme design that are a wonder to behold.  The diversity of skills found among birds is mind-boggling.  A dinosaur couldn’t figure all this out if it wanted to, even if it knew how to select those rare lucky mutations.(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Considerations for wide-row wheat

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Growers may be interested in wide-row wheat production due to reductions in equipment inventory (lack of grain drill) and to allow intercropping of soybean into wheat. With funding from the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program and the Michigan Wheat Program, we’ve conducted several wide-row wheat trials.How much is wheat yield reduced when planting in wide rows compared to narrow rows? In most instances, wheat yield is greater when grown in narrow row width (7.5-inch) compared to wide row width (15-inch). Yield reductions associated with wide row wheat production ranges from 0% to 15%. In wide-row wheat, we tend to see more head-bearing tillers per foot of row compared to narrow-row wheat. This suggests that under some conditions, increased tillering in wide-row wheat may compensate for lower initial plant population per unit area. The level of yield reduction associated with wide row wheat production varies among wheat varieties. Therefore, variety selection is important when growing wheat in wide rows. Annually, a wide row wheat variety test is performed at two locations in Ohio. Variety information for the Ohio Wheat Performance Test Wide Row Evaluation can be found at:http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/wheattrials/        What is the ideal seeding rate for wide-row wheat?An on-farm trial was conducted at three locations in Fulton County during the 2013-2014 growing season and one location during the 2014-2015 growing season. The “standard practice” of wheat grown in narrow rows at 2.0 million seeds/acre was compared to wheat grown in wide rows at 1.0 and 1.5 million seeds/acre. Averaged across site-years, wheat grain yield was 81.7 bu/acre when grown in the standard practice of 7.5-inch row width at 2.0 million seeds/acre.  Compared to the standard practice, average yield across seeding rates was reduced by 15% when grown in 15-inch row width. When wheat was grown in 15-inch row width, there was no difference in yield between the 1.0 and 1.5 million seeds/acre seeding rates. This indicates that greater than 1.0 million seeds/acre may not be necessary to maximize yield of wheat grown in 15-inch row width.With fewer plants per acre in wide-row wheat production, can nitrogen application rate be reduced? No. Although fewer plants are recommended in wide-row wheat production (approximately 1.0 million seeds/acre) compared to narrow row wheat production, do not change nitrogen application rates.  Agronomic optimum nitrogen rates are the same regardless of row width.Wide Wheat Row Management Tips:Choose a variety that is high-yielding and resistant to major diseases such as powdery mildew, Septoria and Stagonospora blotches, and head scab.  See http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/wheattrials/ for the Ohio Wheat Performance Test Wide Row Evaluation.Plant wheat as soon as possible after the Hessian fly-free date.A seeding rate of approximately 1.0 million seeds/acre is recommended.Do not change nitrogen application rates.Weed control is very important in wide-row wheat production.Changing row spacing will change the microclimate within the wheat canopy, and this could affect disease development. Scout fields for foliar diseases and use the scab forecasting system (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu) to determine whether disease risk is high enough to warrant a fungicide application.last_img read more

Tea for the Heart!

first_imgVitamin B1 (Thiamine)1.279mg85.00% Total Fat0.65g1.00% CC Flickr by Autan What have you done? June 4, 2007by Robin Allen MSPH, RDN, LDNA few weeks ago while having lunch with the Nutrition and Wellness Team, I drank my first glass of iced hibiscus tea.  I was exclaiming how delicious when the team reminded me of the health benefits we learned about in the webinar Phytonutrients and Cardiovascular disease.Hibiscus or Hibiscus sabdariffa (HS) is a tropical plant that has been used for food and medical purposes in Asia, Africa and several regions of South America. The HS flower or calyces are used as a food ingredient in salads, beverages and jams and food color. The flower contains a high concentration of flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds such as anthocyanins. The active ingredients are extracted with cold or boiling water. The plant also contains minerals, such as calcium and iron, and vitamins, such as niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin C. Oil from the seeds has an anti-infection effect.A recent study by McKay, et.al. demonstrated that three servings of hibiscus tea per day were effective at reducing blood pressure in pre- and mildly hypertensive adults.  In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 65 pre- and mildly hypertensive adults, age 30–70 y, not taking blood pressure (BP)-medications, were served either three servings, 240 mL servings per day of brewed hibiscus tea or placebo beverage for six weeks. The group receiving the hibiscus tea lowered systolic blood pressure (SBP).  Participants with a higher SBP at baseline showed a greater response to the hibiscus tea.Many studies have shown that the active compounds found in HS may help to prevent diseases such as cancer, inhibit inflammatory process, promote diuretic activity, modulate the formation of adipose cells, decrease serum cholesterol, control diabetes mellitus, lower blood pressure, reduce kidney problems, among others.Nutritional Benefits of Hibiscus Tea: Calories37N/A Vitamin C18.4mg31.00% Total Omega-318mgN/A Total Omega-618mgN/A Fiber0.3g1.00% Iron8.64mg48.00% NutrientAmountDaily Value Protein0.43g1.00% Total Carbohydrates7.41g2.00% Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.099mg6.00% Vitamin A296IU6.00% You can purchase hibiscus tea ready to brew or make you own tea using the flower.  Dried hibiscus flowers are available in many grocery stores, or you can order them online.  Below are some recipes but there are many others available, and you may have your own.http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-cold-brew-jamaica-hibiscus-iced-tea-recipes-from-the-kitchn-192433http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/hibiscus-tea-recipehttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/hibiscus-juice-recipehttp://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-cold-brew-jamaica-hibiscus-iced-tea-recipes-from-the-kitchn-192433Let’s drink some hibiscus tea for good health!What is your favorite recipe for hibiscus?  References:McKay, D. L., Chen, C-Y. O., Saltzman, E., Blumberg, J.B. Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. Tea (Tisane) Lowers Blood Pressure in Prehypertensive and Mildly Hypertensive Adults1–4 J. Nutr. 140: 298–303, 2010. file:///C:/Users/roballen/Documents/MFLN/phytonutrients/J.%20Nutr.-2010-McKay-298-303.pdfMojica, L., Rui, L., deMejia, E. G. Hibiscus sabdariffa L.: Phytochemical Composition and Nutraceutical Properties. ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2012. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-2012-1109.ch017http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/food-trends-hibiscushttp://www.doctorshealthpress.com/food-and-nutrition-articles/hibiscus-tea-benefitsThis blog was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.last_img read more

Improve Your Editing – Understanding Scriptwriting

first_imgScreenwriting: Simplify to ClarifyMany stories actually contain way too much information or take too long to make their point. When was the last time you heard anyone complaining that a film was too short?  Being able to ‘murder your darlings’ and cut out your favourite scenes, moments or shots is crucial to being able to tell a story well.As editors we’ve got to find ways to convey the same story beats but in as concise a way as possible. Can you eliminate one half of the dialogue and still have a great scene? Can you take a whole scene out because its not clear that scenes purpose.  Could another scene already have made that point?Ira Glass has a great 4 part video series on storytelling that is well worth checking out. This nicely put together typography piece will give you a decent flavour of what’s in store:Step Back: Big Picture ScriptwritingFilm editor Walter Murch uses a system of cards mapping out the story structure, based on the screenplay (very much like screenwriters do when writing the script in the first place) to help him visualize what’s going on in the film.The above cards cards are from Cold Mountain, for which Walter was nominated for an Oscar:“Blue with a yellow background means Inman (Jude Law) is in a scene; plain blue means Inman is not in that scene. A lot of blue cards in a row means not much Inman – which makes me wonder ‘is that a good idea?’ A triangle indicates I feel it is a pivot scene. The size of card equals the approximate length of a scene.”Being able to step back and see the story as a whole is crucial to seeing what’s working well and what’s not adding to the overall experience. Sometimes a great scene is hurting the rest of film.Screening your film with people who don’t know anything about it is also a good way to a) see it with fresh eyes and b) discover if it actually makes sense. A huge part of successful storytelling and screenwriting is mapping out the emotional arc and narrative, while weaving those together.  Sometimes withholding information from the audience or a character can dramatically alter those dynamics.Have screenwriting and scriptwriting tips to share?Let us know in the comments below! As an editor, the key to shaping the story hidden amid the footage is to understand the fundamentals of scriptwriting.The two tweets below got me inspired to put together a post on scriptwriting and storytelling for editors and creatives alike.  If you’re like me and keen to beef up your story structure skills, these scriptwriting tips and videos should help you improve your craft. Jeff Ford, editor on The Avengers, mentions several things that he feels editors should learn – sound, acting and scriptwriting – in the course of this interview for Avid.  It’s well worth watching.Follow Basic Scriptwriting FormulasThe basics sound pretty basic, but if you don’t follow these simple things your story will be all over the place and impossible for the audience to follow.You’ve got to have a beginning, a middle and an end.  Set up, develop and pay off. If you’ve got problems with your pay off at the end of your story, go back and check that everything that precedes it is lining up to make that point. If you’re arranging an interview as the basis for your story structure and you’ve got a clip that conveys the information of a beginning piece but tonally feels like an ending, its definitely best to go with how it will feel…or leave it out all together.This talk on the Power of Storytelling given by professional storyteller Jay O’Callahan is one of my absolute favorites from any 99percent conference because for 17 and a half minutes you get to see a master craftsman at work:last_img read more

4K vs. HD: Can Audiences Really Tell the Difference?

first_img4K is better than HD, but can audiences even tell them apart?Eventually 4K TVs will be cheap enough for the average consumer to buy, while at the same time more productions will deliver a finished product in native 4K…but we aren’t there yet. As it stands right now, TV manufacturers are shoving 4K down the throats of consumers, but unlike the switch from SD to HD, the jump from HD to 4K isn’t as appealing to the everyday consumer. With many consumers having  made the jump to a flat screen plasma or LED in recent years, it’s likely tough for them to justify the cost of a 4K set, especially because TV longevity is much longer than it used to be. Additionally, the 4K broadcasts tests that have been done to date show there are still many kinks to work out (including the problem of increased steady bit rate delivery by providers).Some video pros are shooting in 4K, taking advantage of the high-fidelity in post, but ulimately scaling down before delivery.And ultimately, the question looms…can audiences really tell the difference between HD and 4K?When can you tell the difference between 4K and HD?For the sake of this comparison, let’s assume that most audiences have 20/20 vision. If a person is sitting in their living room watching ‘House of Cards’ on their 65 inch 4K TV they would only be able to see the full benefits of using a 4K TV if they were 4.2 feet away from the TV screen (Carlton Bale). Now compare that with the average household viewing distance of 9-10 feet (CNET). Are we starting to see a problem here? So for the average consumer sitting an average of 9-10 feet away you would need to have a whopping 140-inch TV in order to get the full benefits of using a 4K monitor. Let’s put that in perspective: To see the full benefits of 4K at an average viewing distance you would need a 140-inch TV.As you can see in the example above, such a TV would be taller than the average male in the United States. So needless to say we won’t be seeing any 140 inch TVs above any fireplace mantels in the near future. Now this screen size does outline the “optimal” distance for 4K viewing, but even to see any noticeable distance at 9 feet you would need to have at least a 75inch TV.Chart Courtesy of Carlton BaleSo practically speaking, the average person at a normal viewing distance on a reasonably sized TV (under 75in) would not be able to see a noticeable difference between HD and 4K. However, the average person working on a computer has a viewing distance of only 30 inches. At this distance you would be able to see the full benefit of 4K on a 25 inch screen. As the industry stands right now this is the only foreseeable reason why the average consumer should posses 4K technology.Are you shooting 4K? Share your experiences in the comments below.Resources: Does 4K Resolution Matter? – Carlton Bale Why Ultra HD 4K TVs are Still Stupid – CNETlast_img read more

Chennai take on Rajasthan in crucial IPL tie

first_imgRajasthan Royals would bank on their formidable winning record at home and look to exact revenge of their first leg loss when they take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings in a crucial Indian Premier League match in Jaipur on Monday. Both the sides are coming into the match after losing their previous matches and any slip up could prove costly for either team for a place in the play- offs.Chennai are on 12 points from 10 matches, third in the IPL table and they come into Monday’s match after their four- game winning streak was snapped by Kolkata Knight Riders in their last match.Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, are on 11 points from 10 matches and a win will take them closer to a play- off berth. Besides, the Shane Warne- led side has a formidable record at home, having won 12 games out of 15 in the IPL. They have won four out of five games in Jaipur this year.Chennai, on the other hand, have been poor travellers having won only one out of their five away games this season and they would look to breach the Rajasthan Royals stranglehold at Sawai Man Singh Stadium.The match will be played on a new strip after the pitch controversy generated by the remarks from Sachin Tendulkar, the skipper of Mumbai Indians who were restricted to 94 for eight on April 29.Chennai beat Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets in their last meeting on May 4 in Chennai.The Royals must be ruing the manner in which they squandered the advantage after being 92 for one in 13th over to post just 147 in 20 overs after batting first and subsequently lost the match.advertisementRajasthan Royals would, however, take positives from that match with Rahul Dravid cracking 66 of 51 balls and sharing a 92- run opening wicket partnership with Shane Watson.They will look up to Warne usual in the bowling department and to extract the best out of his players at the home conditions with his tactical moves. Shane Watson, Ross Taylor, Rahul Dravid, Johan Botha and Ashok Menaria will have to fire in tandem while batting.Chennai, on the other hand, look formidable with likes Michael Hussey, Murli Vijay, Suresh Raina, S Badrinath and skipper MS Dhoni capable posting big scores and chasing down stiff targets.last_img read more