Why it’s wise for 49ers to start QB Mullens against Raiders

first_img(CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery or video on your mobile device.)SANTA CLARA — Nick Mullens’ NFL debut might come Thursday night as the 49ers’ starting quarterback against the Raiders, and it would launch a critical evaluation.If C.J. Beathard’s right-wrist injury indeed sidelines him, then Mullens will get his first shot at proving he’s a better option to back up a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo come 2019, when the 49ers can regroup from this season’s calamities. …last_img read more

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South Africa: adventure heaven!

first_imgWildthing Adventures, based in Gauteng, specialises in both soft adventures for all age groups – from eight years and older – and more adrenaline-pumping activities. These include canoeing, rafting, bridge jumping, mountain biking, abseiling and overland rafting expeditions. SA offers world-class climbing, surfing, diving, hiking, horseback safaris, mountain biking, river rafting – and just about any other extreme activity you can name, all supported by dedicated operators. Executive Adventures SA specialises in a wide variety of adventure sports, as well as in other areas, such as Wine and Garden route tours, tours of South Africa’s World Heritage sites, historical battle tours, cruise ship tours and sports tours. They present a tantalising smorgasbord of choices, on land, motorised and non-motorised, in the sea, and in the African skies. The Adrenaline Adventure Activity Guide lists stuff adventurers can do on the KwaZulu- Natal South Coast: abseiling, archery, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, hiking, microlighting, kayaking, whitewater rafting and more. There are over a hundred listed paragliding or hang gliding launch sites – and many more less well known – with schools in every centre. Also up in the air, there are many opportunities for helicopter rides, balloon flights, aerobatics, skydiving and microlight flights. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material The SA Orienteering Federation is the controlling body for the sport of orienteering in South Africa, with a number of affiliated clubs. Ashanti Travel Centre , based in Cape Town, offers a wide range of packages for adventure junkies, including kloofing, scuba diving, bridge and bungi jumping, great white shark diving, kite boarding, paragliding, sandboarding, skydiving and abseils off Table Mountain. Townsend Adventure Lifestyles offer customised tours which can include lloofing/canyoneering, rock climbing, abseiling, hiking, caving, mountain biking, 4×4 trips, team building, corporate team building, and schools tours. They operate mostly in the Magoebaskloof in Limpopo. Extreme Scene operates out of Cape Town and offers a sensational number of options, on land, sea, and air. Unusual options including taking a flip in a jet fighter, or taking it more slowly in a Tiger Moth. Crocodile cage diving, which uses the same principles as shark cage diving (also available), is also on offer, as is whale watching and shark breaching. But there is much more, which a visit to the website will reveal. Active Africa Adventure Tours offers Western Cape-based adventure tours covering the full adrenaline spectrum. Otters Den, a river lodge on an island in the Blyde River at the foot of the Drakensberg near the Kruger Park, offers whitewater rafting, hot air ballooning, kayaking and abseiling. SAinfo reporter and South African Tourism Oribi Gorge Resort near Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal has the Wild Five: abseiling, whitewater rafting, the Wild Slide (a foofy slide 120m along a steel cable 160m above the ground), the Wild Swing 100m into a gorge, and hiking and mountain biking. Adventure Purists offer various adventure package tours which include a variety of activities across South Africa. Adventure tour operators: multi-activity Abseiling, rapp jumpingBungee jumping, bridge swingingCanoeing, rafting, kayakingFishingHikingHorseback safaris and trailsMountain bikingParaglidingRock climbingScuba divingSkydivingSport & recreational flyingSurfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing Eden Adventures, located in the heart of the Wilderness National Park, offers canoe hire, kloofing, abseiling and a combination of both in the beautiful Kaaimans Gorge on the magnificent Garden Route. Another option is abseiling at Robberg in Plettenberg Bay, another spectacular site. Teambuilding and specialised tours can also be arranged. Felix Unite Adventure Travel is a comprehensive adventure tour operator, providing trips throughout Africa. Adventure South Africa Thousands of kilometres of hiking trails wind around the country in desert, forest, mountain or coastal terrain, many with mountain bike trails adjacent. Cape Sports Centre on the Langebaan Lagoon caters for kitesurfers, windsurfers, mountain bikers and kayakers. They sell and rent equipment, offer lessons and tips, and provide various adventure packages. Downhill Adventures offers a wide variety of exciting experiences. Take your pick: sandboarding, mountain biking and cycling, surf school and surfing lessons, tandem skydiving, shark cage diving, quad biking, kite surfing, paragliding, abseiling, sea kayaking, helicopter rides, kloofing, hiking, team building and corporate incentive groups. The Exploration Society of Southern Africa – A non-profit organisation founded in 1988, Essa provides a platform for “the conceptual and physical exploration of the Southern African landscape”. The society organises expeditions, holds discussions and presentations by world-class adventurers – and throws good parties. Travel Unite is a Cape Town-based adventure tour company operating in southern Africa. Kamala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape offers the Sheercliff Adventure Centre, with a wide range of adventure sports: a gorge glide, abseiling, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, paragliding and the 4×4 Samil mountain ascent. Stormsriver Adventures operates a wonderful, somewhat strenuous trip called the Stormsriver Challenge: abseiling, tubing and mountain biking. AR.co.za is the website for South African enthusiasts of adventure racing – a new sport made popular by the Eco Challenge television series. The site offers news, upcoming events, advice, features and more. And if it’s a very quick high you’re after, the 216 metre Bloukrans bridge on the border of the Eastern and Western Cape has the highest commercial bungee jump in the world. Or you can abseil over crashing waves at the western head at Knysna, hang out a kilometre high over Cape Town, do a combination abseiling and canyoning trip on the Storms River Gorge, or rapp jump down buildings in Durban or Johannesburg. Gravity pulls in spectacular fashion in South Africa! River trips range from mostly scenic to grade five whitewater washing machines. The art of canyoning – known as kloofing in South Africa – is another hot favourite, with both self-guided and escorted trips on offer. We’ve got some of the best, and most diverse, rock climbing in the world. The cliffs are big, wild – and still being discovered. Cape Town is particularly well endowed, but the action is far from limited to the Western Cape. South Africa offers 3 000 kilometres of coastline along with breathtaking mountains – often side by side. The country’s diverse terrain, together with an ideal climate for outdoor activities, make it a rich hunting ground for adrenaline seekers. There are wonderful easy horse trails through vineyards, on the beach or in the mountains and – for the more adventurous – horseback safaris in big game country. Mazda Adventure Zone offers information on numerous adventure activities – on land, sea, and in the air – including by region, and also provides accommodation links.last_img read more

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Zuma and boy (5) trade chess moves

first_img15 July 2013South African President Jacob Zuma took on five-year-old Keagan Rowe in a friendly game at the 2013 Commonwealth and South African Open Chess Championship in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape on Sunday.Eight hundred players from 29 countries, including eight grandmasters, six women grandmasters and 13 international masters, took part in the 10-day tournament, which ended on Sunday.Former world champion Garry Kasparov also attended the championships. The Russian exile last year launched the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa in collaboration with South African organisation Moves for Life, which uses chess to promote maths and science education among underprivileged children.Zuma, who is a patron of Moves for Life and an advocate of the importance of chess in education, gave an address at the championships on Sunday, saying that chess had given solace to him and to many other former political prisoners on Robben Island, where he first learned to play the game.“It propelled our minds beyond the confines of the prison walls and allowed us to reflect and to position our thoughts strategically to fight the regime,” he said. “Many comrades made chess sets out of soap and driftwood that allowed us to continue to play this noble and great game.”Zuma said that he and the Department of Basic Education were keen to encourage chess as a serious sport in South African schools.“While with young children we are largely concerned about good development of sensory-motor skills … we must stimulate the intellectual faculties as well, while they are still young,” Zuma said, adding that chess inculcated “patience, quick wit, decisiveness and confidence” while serving as a “healthy diversion from often toxic television programmes”.Zuma noted that Chess South Africa was gearing up to host the World Youth championships in Durban in September 2014, adding that Port Elizabeth schoolgirl Charlize van Zyl stood out as an inspiration for the country’s young chess players.Van Zyl, 13, became the youngest South African to win a World Chess Federation title in May when she won the women’s division title of the federation’s 2013 Zone 4.3 Individual Championships in Botswana.Zuma’s one-off game against Keagan Rowe ended in a stalemate.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Will northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot plague 2018 corn?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc. In the past several growing seasons Gray Leaf Spot (GLS) and Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB) developed in many corn fields, affecting both yield and stalk quality. You might ask; “Will these diseases be a problem next year?” The answer to this question depends on several factors. The fungi that cause the development of these diseases overwinter on crop residue. If GLS and/or NCLB developed in 2017, the disease fungi will be present on residue in 2018.The development of these diseases also depends on environmental factors. Warm, humid weather favors growth of GLS and NCLB. Periods of heavy due, fog, or light rain will provide the needed conditions for these leaf diseases to develop. For either GLS or NCLB to become a problem in 2015, the fungi need to be present in the field in addition to favorable weather conditions. Fortunately, producers can make some management decisions to hinder the growth of GLS and NCLB and lessen their impact should they develop: Crop rotation: Research shows crop rotation is one of the most efficient ways to mitigate disease.Plant resistant hybrids: Hybrids with stronger disease resistance will not be affected as much as those susceptible to disease—talk to your seedsman or agronomist about resistant hybrids. 3. Till crop residue: Clean tillage will help break down crop residue, reducing the chance GLS or NCLB will become a problem. 4. Fungicides: Fungicides are recommended for GLS on susceptible hybrids where the disease pressure is high. The best way to determine if disease is developing is to scout fields; recognize the environmental conditions that will contribute to disease growth/spread and know how to identify diseases. NCLB symptoms are brown or tan cigar-shaped lesions, ranging from one to six inches in length. GLS symptoms are tan or gray rectangles with parallel or straight sides, ranging from half and inch to four inches in length. When scouting, make sure to take a pocket field guide along — they are a great resource for identifying problems and determining management options.last_img read more

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Pan Ocean Delivers Nearly Double Net Profit

first_imgzoomFor illustration only. Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license South Korean shipping company Pan Ocean witnessed almost a double net profit in the second quarter of 2018, compared to the same period a year earlier, driven by a recovery in freight rates.The company’s net profit jumped to KRW 37.3 billion (USD 33 million) from KRW 20 billion reported in the same quarter a year earlier.The result marked a 86.5 percent change, as Pan Ocean delivered its 18th consecutive quarter of profitable sustainability, maintaining the growth trend.Second quarter revenue was up by 7.3 percent to KRW 678.8 billion, compared to KRW 632.5 billion seen in the same period in 2017.In addition, quarter-on-quarter earnings were 20 percent up for sales, while operating and net profit increased by 13.9 and 2.5 percent, respectively. Revenues rose 17.9 percent in the main bulk cargo division and 17.3 percent in the container division, which ran through the rationalization of routes. In particular, sales in the newly launched grain division jumped by 66.7 percent.Pan Ocean explained that the BDI market was in the upward trend and it was based on efforts to strengthen market responsiveness such as risk management and construction of an advanced portfolio.“We will continue to pursue stable growth through preemptive measures such as market forecasts and risk management, while continuing our efforts to secure international competitiveness and expand our business base in new grain business,” a Pan Ocean official said.last_img read more

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Pitchers Wont Throw Strikes So Batters Are Getting Better At Hitting Bad

You see the stories everywhere. “Baseball teams are striking out more than ever,” blared an NBC Sports headline back in April. In 2015, The Hardball Times wrote a story entitled “The Strikeout Ascendant.” And the year before that, friend of the program Ben Lindbergh hosted a “rising strikeout rate symposium” on his popular podcast, Effectively Wild. Clearly, the baseball world is well aware that strikeout rates are up — way up.What’s less well-known, but equally true, is this: Baseball’s recent rise in strikeout rates has little to do with how good batters are at making contact. That’s a bit counterintuitive, I know, because strikeout rates have increased (up nearly 26 percent since 20021That’s the first year for which we have plate-discipline statistics, so that’s as far back as we can look using the data mentioned throughout this article.), and when you think of a strikeout, you usually imagine a batter taking a mighty hack and missing. And indeed, swinging strikes are up as a percentage of all pitches.But keep in mind that this isn’t only about the batters — pitchers also have a big say in the matter.And in 2009, pretty much all of a sudden, they started throwing way fewer pitches in the strike zone, as measured by Fangraphs’ zone percentage statistic.2It’s worth noting that Pitchf/x’s version of the same statistic, which uses a slightly different methodology, shows roughly the same trend, but with a different start date and a shallower slope. From 2002 (the earliest year for which we have data) through 2008, pitchers put the ball through the zone about 52 percent of the time, year in and year out. In fact, over the seven seasons from 2002 to 2008, the league-wide rate of pitches in the zone never dropped below 50.5 percent or rose above 54.2 percent. When it came to tossing strikes, MLB hurlers were a model of consistency.But during the 2009 season, pitchers threw balls in the zone just 48.3 percent of the time. In 2010, that number kept falling — to 45.4 percent! — and by 2011, the league-wide rate of pitches in the zone was just 44.6 percent. In just three years, about one out of every nine pitches that had previously been thrown in the zone started missing its mark. (Since then, MLB’s zone rate has basically leveled off: Last year, it was exactly the same — 44.6 percent — as it was in 2011.)But despite that drastic change, batters haven’t really changed how they react to pitches inside the zone. Batters still swing at basically the same proportion of pitches in the zone as they did in 2002, and they still make contact with those pitches at essentially the same rate.Instead, the big changes have come outside the zone. The trend here is striking. As pitchers started throwing outside the zone more and more — again, the really big decline in strike-throwing started around 2009 — hitters not only started swinging at more pitches outside the zone, they also started getting much better at making contact on those wayward pitches. Add it all up, and you see that instead of making contact on just 10 percent of all balls thrown outside the strike zone, as they did back in 2002, hitters made contact on nearly 20 percent of such pitches in 2016.3Note that this isn’t the same as the “contact rate” listed at FanGraphs, which only looks at balls that the batter took a swing at. This figure looks at all pitches outside the zone, which will include, for example, some pitches that were essentially unhittable or thrown as part of an intentional walk. That’s double the rate! That’s unbelievable!Let’s step back for a second, because this is a pretty counterintuitive finding. Batters are striking out more often, but they haven’t gotten any worse at their core task: hitting the ball. They’re also not getting as many good pitches to hit as they used to, but they’re about as good as they ever were at making contact on balls inside the strike zone, and far better than they used to be at making contact on balls outside the zone. Normally that should add up to swinging and missing less often, not more often. But because more of the balls they’re swinging at are outside the zone, and those balls are fundamentally harder to hit, the effect on overall contact is just about level. It’s a classic Simpson’s Paradox.So if MLB hitters suddenly started channeling their inner Vladimir Guerrero, making better contact on bad pitches, why are they still suffering so many strikeouts? We don’t really know for sure, and there’s a lot more digging to be done before anything can be said conclusively. For one thing, it’s not entirely clear which came first: pitchers throwing more outside the zone or hitters swinging at those pitches. I tested whether one month’s zone rate predicted the next month’s swing rate and vice versa, but I found almost no case for either.4The r-squared was less than 0.03 in both directions. This suggests that the complex interactions between batters and pitchers are happening on a much smaller scale than a month, and that they deserve more granular research.But here’s one possible (as-yet-untested) hypothesis for the big-picture story: Sometime in the late 2000s, pitchers began throwing more breaking pitches outside of the zone — hence the decline in zone percentage.5We know that fastball usage has dropped over the period in consideration, and given the trend in zone rate noted above, it’s not ridiculous to guess that some portion of that drop came from pitches outside the zone. At the same time — possibly out of necessity — hitters became increasingly willing to swing at pitches outside the zone, even finding some reasonable success doing it. But pitchers had another weapon: The fastball on the corner of the strike zone. Perhaps the adjustment that hitters made in order to hit breaking stuff outside the zone also made them vulnerable to hard stuff inside it — for which they were not mechanically prepared — and they started getting called out on strikes by the boatload.Again, that’s only a theory. But the fact is that batters are striking out more on called strikes in the zone even as they’re getting better at hitting pitches outside of it. So the next time you see a hitter preparing for a breaking ball out of the zone, remember: It’s not the pitches you swing at that get you. It’s the ones you don’t. read more

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Something big will happen at Bayern tomorrow

first_imgThe German Bundesliga club’s president, its chairman and the sporting director will host a press conference at middaySomething big is happening tomorrow in the world of football and nobody knows exactly what.According to Bavarian Football Works, the three most important persons in the German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich will host a press conference.The “biggest guns” in Bavaria will be present: president Uli Hoeness, chairman Karl Heinz Rumenigge, and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.The strange part is that the press conference has been planned one hour after coach Niko Kovac speaks to the press about the next match for Bayern.The Bavarians will visit Wolfsburg as part of Matchday 8 in the Bundesliga.There is much speculation, but only time will tell.last_img read more

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Pentagon Defends Projected Space Force Costs

first_imgThe Pentagon disputes Congressional Budget Office estimates of the long-term costs of the Trump Administration’s proposed space organizations, a DOD spokesman told Space News.“The CBO estimates are based on different assumptions than the DOD’s legislative proposal,” spokesman Tom Crosson said in a statement.“The CBO did not consult with DOD or evaluate the DOD space force proposal,” he said. “The department proposed a lean organizational structure for the space force that avoids significant bureaucratic growth by leveraging existing Air Force capabilities.”A CBO report issued last week estimated DOD creation of a space force under the Air Force, a U.S. space command and the Space Development Agency would incur annual costs from $1.1 billion to $1.9 billion, plus another $1.8 billion to $4.7 billion in one-time costs.“The establishment of the United States space force is a small investment to ensure American leadership in space, protect our $19 trillion economy that runs on space, and ensure space capabilities for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines,” Crosson added.Space and Missile Systems Center photo by Van Ha ADC AUTHORlast_img read more

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