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Half-time: QPR 1 Bolton 0

first_imgCharlie Austin’s 15th goal of the season put QPR ahead against the run of play at Loftus Road.Bolton made most of the running in the first half but were undone when Austin headed home Matt Phillips’ 40th-minute cross from the right.Rangers deployed on-loan Tottenham left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto as a makeshift right-back because of injuries to Danny Simpson and Nedum Onuoha.And Bolton, struggling near the wrong end of the table and beaten 7-1 at Reading in their previous away game, lost Tim Ream after the defender was hurt in an accidental clash of heads with Austin only a few seconds into the match.Nevertheless, the visitors made a strong start and after Mark Davies did well on the right and pulled the ball back for Darren Pratley, Assou-Ekotto had to react quickly to block the midfielder’s shot.Mark Davies and forward Craig Davies both then fired wide, and there was more anxiety among the home fans when Austin went down with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.Rangers, heavily dependent on their top scorer this season, were relieved when Austin was able to continue after lengthy treatment.And QPR survived another scare when Craig Davies’ blistering 25-yard shot crashed against the bar with keeper Rob Green well beaten.They made the most of their good fortune, nicely working an opening for Austin to open the scoring.QPR: Green; Assou-Ekotto, Dunne, Hill, Traore, Kranjcar, Henry, Carroll, Phillips, Johnson, Austin.Subs: Murphy, Hoilett, Diakite, Zamora, Wright-Phillips, Ehmer, O’Neil. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Ancient DNA Recovered from Caves

first_imgNew techniques are allowing scientists to extract ancient DNA from cave soil. But is it really as old as claimed?DNA has a lifetime. It decays. That’s why researchers do not consider it likely that dinosaur DNA will ever be recovered sufficient to make “Jurassic Park” a reality. Now that DNA is being recovered from cave soil where early humans lived—without the need for bones—will the evolutionary dates drive the interpretation, or will known decay rates lead scientists to reconsider their assumptions about how old it is? We examine recent news reports for clues.“This work represents an enormous scientific breakthrough.”DNA of extinct humans found in caves (BBC News). This article describes an “enormous scientific breakthrough”: the recovery of “DNA of extinct humans …. from sediments in caves – even in the absence of skeletal remains.” Researchers from the Max Planck Institute recovered soil from seven sites in Belgium, Croatia, France, Russia and Spain. The article says that components of sediments are known to bind DNA; “Even sediment samples that had been stored at room temperature for years yielded DNA,” they found. Among samples of DNA from “extinct species such as the woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, cave bear and cave hyena,” they found bits of Neanderthal and Denisovan mitochondrial DNA where no skeletal remains were known. They think it will even be possible to recover nuclear DNA (from the nucleus). Nothing is said about the longevity of DNA in these environments.Mud DNA means we can detect ancient humans even without fossils (New Scientist). Michael LePage calls it “an astonishing new way to study our early human ancestors” to find DNA in cave soil. “Just about any sample of soil or water is full of DNA from all kinds of organisms,” he mentions, providing some examples of detection in recent studies. But how long can the DNA last? “In sediments buried in cool caves and in permafrost, this environmental DNA can survive for up to 700,000 years,” LePage says, but is that from DNA decay rates, or from evolutionary assumptions about the sample ages? Eske Willerslev, who found mammoth DNA, has doubts about the dating method:What could be an issue, says Willerslev, is establishing exactly how old ancient hominin DNA is. “Cave sediments are often highly disturbed,” he says, which makes it hard to accurately date them.Ancient-human genomes plucked from cave dirt (Nature News). “For the first time, researchers have identified DNA of human relatives without the need to find their bones, opening new window into the past,” Ewen Callaway writes. “…The DNA is exceedingly rare in the soil compared with that from plants, animals, fungi and microbes,” he notes, and researchers have to be very careful to avoid contamination from their own DNA. While scientists are excited about this new way to probe ancient environments, it’s not clear how old the samples are. Callaway explains,Determining when these individuals lived is tricky. DNA attached to dirt can be picked up by water, then seep through the soil of archaeological sites and end up in a geological layer containing much older material — potentially confounding efforts to date it. So the researchers tried to demonstrate that the DNA they recovered hadn’t been displaced into older layers. In Siberia’s Chagyrskaya Cave, the researchers found abundant animal DNA in geological layers that contained animal bones and stone tools and none in older layers that lacked any sign of human or animal presence. That means it’s likely that hominin DNA didn’t move through layers either, they suggest.But Robin Allaby, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK, isn’t convinced. He thinks that the large amount of DNA recovered from some sites is evidence that lots of different material might have mixed and settled in a particular layer. “You can identify the hominins, but dating them becomes a bit of an issue,” he says.In short, none of the articles mentions the decay rate of DNA. If it was difficult to recover DNA from bones, how much more from soil exposed to water, dessication, oxygen and disruption by micro-organisms over the decades? Complex molecules do not last forever. Even in isolation, they are subject to thermal perturbations that break bonds. That’s why molecular machines in the cell invest a lot of time and energy repairing DNA. In 2012, Nature announced that the half-life of DNA is 521 years. After 1.5 million years, fragments would be so broken up, they would be unreadable.After cell death, enzymes start to break down the bonds between the nucleotides that form the backbone of DNA, and micro-organisms speed the decay. In the long run, however, reactions with water are thought to be responsible for most bond degradation. Groundwater is almost ubiquitous, so DNA in buried bone samples should, in theory, degrade at a set rate.To think that DNA is going to remain intact and discernible for up to half a million years seems contrary to empirical evidence. One can’t just say, “the DNA must be that old, because according to evolution, that’s when these hominins lived.” That would be circular reasoning, using Darwinian assumptions to drive the interpretation. But since reassigning the dates down to reasonable upper limits of a few thousand years would run afoul of evolution, scientists resist that interpretation. They either ignore it or make new assumptions to keep evolutionary dating from being falsified.Now consider that dinosaur DNA has been reported. Bob Enyart provides links to peer-reviewed papers reporting recovery of dinosaur DNA.Cave+Man=Caveman (yours truly, 1989)(Visited 522 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Editing Your Own Films? Here Are 5 Guidelines You Need To Follow

first_imgWith such easy access to video editing apps, many indie film directors are doubling as editors on their own productions as a means to streamline their creative process, but ultimately are coming up short when it comes time to deliver a final cut.In many ways, it would seem that as a director it would be ideal to edit your own material. After all you want to have as much creative control as possible during the filmmaking process, so why should that stop in the editing room? This may seem like a good idea, but the truth is that many directors that edit their own work (even those that have a fantastic editing background) run into lots of issues along the way. More often than not, these problems aren’t a result of the director not being a “good” editor, but rather being too close to the film. The 5 tips that I’ve outlined below will help you immensely if you’re a film director (or producer for that matter) that is planning on editing your own material.Wait Before You EditOnce you’ve got your film in the can, it’s tempting to just dive right in and start cutting it right away. There are probably certain scenes that you really want to sink your teeth into, or sequences that you’re eager to start rough cutting to make sure that they work together. As much as you may want to go ahead and do this, it’s actually one of the worst things that you can do for your creative process.As the director you have just spent weeks or months shooting a film very intensely, and likely spent even longer prepping and writing (or working the writer) before hand. By the time you’re ready to actually edit your film you are going to running on fumes, and you definitely don’t want to make creative decisions when you’re not in the right head space. If you’re able to take a little bit of time away from the material (even a week or two), when you come back to it, you are going to be in a much better headspace to actually do great work. You won’t see all of the little problem areas that you would have been looking for if you just came off of set, and you will have had enough time to let the story and idea percolate a bit and unfold more organically.Don’t Ask For Opinions (Too Early On)As you edit your film you’re going to experience emotional highs and lows, and when you hit those low points you may start to question the choices you’re making creatively. When this starts to happen, it’s enticing to start asking others to take a look at early assembly cuts and seek out notes and guidance from them in hopes that it will help to get you through some of the rough patches. I highly advise against this.You need to remember that a rough cut is just your starting point and in all likelihood it will look absolutely nothing like the finished product, so it’s completely okay if there are problem areas with it. Your goal with the first assembly/rough cut should just be to lay down the foundation, and not to start finessing every last detail yet. You don’t need to freak out if certain elements just aren’t gelling right away. At this early stage, if you do ask for insight from close friends or colleagues, chances are that you will not receive honest feedback. Someone might give you a standing ovation on a rough cut (not being entirely honest of course), which misleading to you as it may give you a false sense of satisfaction, and won’t push your limits as a filmmaker.On the flip side, getting negative feedback too early on (by showing an unfinished cut to someone that doesn’t understand the editorial process) can cloud your vision before you’ve even figured out the exact direction your film is going in. Just remember that there is a time and a place for notes, but you need to wait until your film is in decent shape before asking for realistic and honest criticism.Use Software You’re Comfortable WithEveryone has an opinion in the world of video production and filmmaking, and this sentiment is certainly true when it comes time to pick your NLE (editing system). At the end of the day, you need to work with the software that you are most comfortable with, so you can spend more time focusing on the creative process and less time troubleshooting issues with the software. Any major editing program can work beautifully for an offline edit, so don’t buy into the hype that you need the latest version of Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X in order to cut your film well. A great editor could use iMovie to cut their film, and you would never know the difference – so use whatever tool is going to give you the best creative result.Work BackwardsThis is a strategy I have found extremely effective when I edit my own films. When I go through shots, I tend to work backwards and review the last takes, first. Instead of sorting through the takes in the order they we’re shot, I understand that the last takes are usually the best ones in terms of performance. By sorting through takes this way, you will save yourself a ton of time and frustration that normally comes along with weeding out all of the bad takes first. With that said, you still want to do some digging of course to make sure that you aren’t missing some gold in there – but from my experience 9 times out of 10, the best take is the last or second to last that was shot on set, so keep that in mind as you go along.Exercise Your Creative LibertiesThere are three versions of the story with any film – the one that is written, the one that is shot and the one that is edited. Just like how you can rewrite your script, or make changes on set that will affect the overall tone and texture of your film, the same amount of reworking can be done in the editing room. Many directors feel that they need to work alongside their script and simply cut their film almost robotically to the screenplay. I would always advise against sticking too closely to the script, and instead allowing yourself to take some creative liberties throughout the editing phase. For instance, two scenes may feel redundant next to each other once you watch them back in the context of the film, and you may be better served by cutting one completely. Or in another situation you may find that certain lines that worked on the page and on set don’t seem to translate that well to the context of the edit. In a more dramatic scenario, you may even consider changing the order of certain scenes to help build tension.Whatever the specific change may be, stay open to any and all possibilities when editing so you maintain a creative process as opposed to a strictly technical one.last_img read more

NAB 2017: The Future of iPhone Gimbals with FeiyuTech

first_imgiPhone gimbals are a hot commodity at NAB 2017. Check out some of the latest and forthcoming offerings from FeiyuTech.All images via FeiyuTech.We are living in a brave new world of video streaming apps and smartphone filmmaking. At NAB 2017, innovators are showcasing advances in technology that turn your iPhone into a versatile piece of video equipment.According to a recent interview with Apple Insider, the technonauts at FeiyuTech have unveiled a new line of iPhone and smartphone gimbals to complement their current products. Forward-looking cinematographers need to seriously consider this equipment.SPG Stabilized Handheld Gimbal for iPhoneAs FeiyuTech’s basic model (for lack of a better term), the SPG Stabilized Handheld Gimbal incorporates all the functionality its name implies. In addition to handheld stabilization, this gimbal includes many built-in perks that filmmakers will appreciate.“Smart portrait mode” for live streaming on Facebook, Periscope, etc.Adaptable slide bar balance system for different phones or GoProsFace targeting and tracking technologyUp to 8 hours’ runtime from a single 22650 li-ion batteryPrice: $279.00SPG PLUS 3-Axis Gimbal Rig for iPhoneAs you can see in FeiyuTech’s demo with Apple Insider, the SPG PLUS gimbal rig is much more filmmaker-oriented with its traditional 3-axis approach. The two-hand operation is surprisingly intuitive for those looking to film all types of movement. Plus, the ability to pan 360-degrees with finger-tip control is quite impressive.5 built-in 1/4 inch screw points for mounting lights, mics, etc.Adaptable slide bar balance system for different phones or GoProsFace targeting and tracking technologyUp to 8 hours’ runtime from a single 22650 li-ion batteryPrice: $299.00Forthcoming: VimbleFeiyuTech will also soon offer a consumer-friendly smartphone gimbal called the “Vimble.” This model offers onboard zoom control, the same 3-axis gimbal technology, and a shorter 4-5 hour battery life — while coming in at a more consumer-minded price point.Reported Price: $139Forthcoming: S1000FeiyuTech also unveiled a prototype of their S1000 gimbal, designed not only for smartphones but also small cameras and GoPros up to 1.4 pounds. The handle, which is slightly larger, should enable longer battery life (upwards of 8-10 hours) per charge, along with the same joystick and start/stop functionality.Reported Price: TBAIf you’re interested in iPhone filmmaking, you can check out some of the additional resources below. And, as always, stay tuned for more announcements and updates from NAB 2017.How the iPhone is Changing Modern VideographyThe 11 Best Filmmaking Apps for iPhoneHow to Capture Exceptional Video Footage with Just an iPhonelast_img read more

‘Death warrant’ against teacher for rape

first_imgA trial court in Madhya Pradesh has issued a ‘death warrant’ against a school teacher who has been convicted of raping a four-year-old girl. The trial court in Satna district has sent the death warrant of Mahendra Singh Gond (28) to the Central Jail in Jabalpur, a prison official said on Monday. The rape convict’s death warrant has been received from the trial court and he (Gond) is in the process of challenging his death penalty in the Supreme Court, Jabalpur Central Jail’s law officer Ashok Singh said. The trial court sent the death warrant through an e-mail to the Central Jail and Gond’s execution date has been fixed for March 2, 2019, he said. The convict has other remedies also as he can file a mercy petition before the President of India, he said. “The death warrant will be executed only after all the available legal remedies are exhausted,” Mr. Singh said.HC confirmation The High Court had on January 25 confirmed the death sentence awarded by the trial court to Gond. According to the prosecution, Gond was convicted for raping a four-year-old girl in Satna district of the State.last_img read more

BCCI faces heat over FEMA violation in IPL

first_imgThe BCCI is under scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) over alleged violation of FEMA during the IPL auctions.  The contentious issue is the base fee agreed upon between the BCCI and 72 foreign players. The forex payment guarantees are in clear violation of FEMA or the Foreign Exchange Management Act. Documents obtained by Headlines Today show that the total base fee guarantee extended by the BCCI was worth 13.4 million dollars or Rs 62 crore. The foreign exchange guarantee was given by the board without permission from the RBI. Foreign exchange transactions made during IPL 2 in South Africa too are under the scanner. These transactions were made with entities like Cricket South Africa and the sponsors. The BCCI had advanced 2.5 million dollars to enable budgeted costs of Cricket South Africa.  Several transactions made to persons residing outside India and the sources of these funds too are being investigated. Juhi Chawla under scannerMeanwhile, Juhi Chawla, a co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, has come under the scanner for alleged FEMA violation.  An ED note accessed by Headlines Today reveals that 40 lakh shares of Chawla were transferred to a Mauritius-based company. The shares were transferred at par in violation of FEMA.  The norms stipulate that since the shares were that of an unlisted company, they should have been valued by a chartered accountant.  The ED report also cites similar irregularities in Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals.last_img read more