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Bank on Bigdaddykool

first_imgBIGDADDYKOOL, a top contender for the June 25 Cal’s Jamaica Derby, looks the one to beat when he takes on six fellow three-year-olds in the opening restricted allowance race (non-winners of two) over 1700 metres at Caymanas Park tomorrow. Trained by Anthony Nunes, BIGDADDYKOOL was a fast-finishing fourth (beaten 4-1/4 lengths) to FUTURE KING in the Post to Post 2000 Guineas over a mile on April 9, this after running miles wide into the straight. He has worked well in preparation for this race, and with the competition less than fierce, should have little difficulty in beating THE PROMISE LAND and company. Top apprentice Linton Steadman has the ride from the convenient mark of 53.0kg. TWILIGHT CITIZEN, a fast-finishing second to stable-companion to TRADITIONAL STORM over 1300 metres on April 23, is tipped to go one better in the second race over a similar trip to be contested by eight starters, including GOLD SCREW, who just failed to stave off TARANTINO over 1820 metres recently, and MINY LEE, who was third in that race. GOLD SCREW will have lots of supporters even with female apprentice Mellisa Ward replacing former champion jockey Wesley Henry, but the Carl Anderson-trained TWILIGHT CITIZEN, with apprentice AndrÈ Powell, only needs to get it right at the start to score an overdue win. The third race should provide the lightly raced RAWALPINDI EXPRESS with his maiden win on his fifth start. True, the five-year-old son of Coded Warning is proving expensive to follow, but with champion jockey Shane Ellis now taking the ride, the hint should be taken. IDON’TKNOW looks the principal danger in a seven-strong field over 1100 metres. Recent winner PRINCE O’SHAUN, now back over an ideal trip after flopping over the straight behind MIRACLE RECOVERY on April 24, looks nicely off at the weights (53.0kg) with 3.0kg claiming apprentice Bebeto Harvey, and should rebound with a win over 1500 metres. (1) BIGDADDYKOOL (2) TWILIGHT CITIZEN/ GOLD SCREW (3) RAWALPINDI EXPRESS/IDON’TKNOW (4) PRINCE O’SHAUN/BURNING MEDIC (5) AQUILO/EL CLIENTE (6) URBAN PRINCIPAL/ DUSSELDORF FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES LIVE CONTENDER BURNING MEDIC, who finished a close second to MIRACLE RECOVERY, looks a live contender in the 10-horse field, along with the bold front runner TROPICALDEPRESSION. The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by AQUILO (Javanne Patterson up) and URBAN PRINCIPAL (Odean Edwards), both of whom finished second last time out. Their respective dangers are EL CLIENTE (Omar Walker) and DUSSELDORF, with Shane Ellis up.last_img read more

Assistance now available to protect privately owned wetlands and grasslands

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages people and groups wanting to protect critical wetlands, agricultural lands and grasslands to consider enrolling their property into conservation easements. This year, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest $250 million nationally in technical and financial assistance to help private landowners, tribes, land trusts, and other groups protect these valuable lands.The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) focuses on restoring and protecting wetlands as well as conserving productive agricultural lands and grasslands. Landowners are compensated for enrolling their land in easements.“Protecting these lands preserves Ohio’s heritage, natural resources and open space,” said Terry Cosby, NRCS State Conservationist in Ohio. “Easements are an important tool for people who are trying to improve the management of their land.”Applications for ACEP are taken on a continuous basis, and they are ranked and considered for funding several times per year. The next Ohio deadline is Jan. 19, 2018.The 2014 Farm Bill created ACEP, merging together several easement programs into one. In the last year, easements have protected 5,132 acres in Ohio and nearly 300,000 acres nationwide. Wetland Reserve EasementsThrough ACEP wetland reserve easements, NRCS helps landowners restore and protect wetland ecosystems. Wetlands are one of nature’s most productive ecosystems providing many ecological, societal and economic benefits.In the 1700s, wetlands covered 5 million acres of Ohio, primarily in the northwestern part of the State, referred to as the “Great Black Swamp.” Competing land uses resulted in a 90 percent loss of wetlands by the late 1900s. Since 2005, NRCS has assisted landowners in restoring more than 25,000 acres of wetlands in Ohio.“Wetlands provide many benefits, including critical habitat for a wide array of wildlife species. They also store floodwaters, clean and recharge groundwater, sequester carbon, trap sediment, and filter pollutants for clean water,” Cosby said. “Seventy-five percent of the nation’s wetlands are situated on private and tribal lands.”Last year, Ohio landowners restored 2,985 acres of wetlands through ACEP. Landowners can choose either a permanent or 30-year wetland conservation easement.Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can successfully be restored, croplands or grasslands subject to flooding, and riparian areas that link protected wetland areas. As part of the easement, NRCS and the landowner work together to develop a plan for the restoration and maintenance of the wetland. Agricultural land easementsThrough ACEP agricultural land easements, NRCS provides funds to conservation partners to purchase conservation easements on private working lands. This program helps keep working lands working, especially in areas experiencing development pressure.Partners include State or local agencies, non-profits and tribes. Landowners continue to own their property, but voluntarily enter into a legal agreement with a cooperating entity to purchase an easement. The cooperating entity applies for matching funds from NRCS for the purchase of an easement from the landowner, permanently protecting its agricultural use and conservation values. Landowners do not apply directly to NRCS for funding under this program. Easements are permanent. Eligible lands include privately owned cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland, and forestlands.last_img read more

10 Things You Need To Know About Google’s New Chromecast

first_imgTags:#connected TV#streaming#web Google’s push for the living room got a fuel injection yesterday when the company revealed its Chromecast streaming stick. See also: 5 Ways Chromecast Grew Up This YearThe compact dongle can push Web video, music and pics from the cloud to your television. But the really big deal is that you can control it all from a range of devices for a dirt-cheap price—a $35 price tag that could tip the scale for fence-sitters. Here’s what you most need to know about the little streaming stick that looks poised to make big waves. See also: 5 Cool Chromecast Hacks And Workarounds(1) Chromecast really is tiny: The stick is just three inches long, with a micro USB port on one end and a HDMI plug on the other. So it won’t take up precious space in an entertainment center. (2) It has a power cord: That micro USB port is for power; you’ll need to run a USB cable from the Chromecast to the included power adapter or a USB port on your TV. So the unit isn’t a fully self-contained gadget that will hide neatly and completely behind a TV. It’s worth noting for anyone who plans to carry it around to friends’ houses, meetings or other places where connected TVs aren’t available. (3) There’s no learning curve: Google repeatedly emphasized that there’s nothing new to learn and no configuration to fuss with in Chromecast. It’s fully controllable from iPhones, Android phones and laptops—in other words, a variety of gadgets that lots of people already own. Those can manage playback, pause, skip and even volume without any real setup or need to learn new sets of controls.(4) Chromecast is largely platform agnostic: You can control Chromecast from Android phones or tablets (version 2.3 or above), iOS devices (6.0 or higher), and computers with Chrome for Mac (Mac OS 10.7+) or Chrome for Windows (Windows 7+), as well as the Chromebook Pixel. Support for other Chromebooks is in the works. That agnosticism extends beyond simple control of the Chromecast. You can also resume watching, say, a Netflix movie on your mobile—whatever it is—from the precise moment where you left off on the TV, and vice versa. See also: Have Chromecast, Will Travel … Er, Maybe Not(5) It’s cloud-only: Unlike Apple’s AirPlay, Chromecast does not involve flinging saved files from a phone, tablet or laptop to the television. Just tap a button inside a compatible site or mobile app, like YouTube, and the device grabs the same clips, songs and pics from the cloud. The upside is that this won’t kill your mobile’s battery, and you can keep using your device without causing the stream to stutter or crash.The downside is that if you have a big media library saved on, say, your PC, you’d presumably first have to upload it YouTube or another compatible site before you can play it through your TV—at least for now. Google’s new Googlecast Software Developer Kit could change all that, though. Now that developers can make existing and future apps work with Chromecast, it’s not hard to imagine some crafty app maker figuring out how to pull in local files too. (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Plex.) [UPDATE: A workaround has been found. If a user opens a local video and plays it in Chrome, in most cases, it should cast to the Chromecast. This doesn’t appear to be intended functionality, but people have been reporting some success.] (6) Compatible streaming sources are limited now, but sure to grow: The list of current and future offerings cover only a few major sites, including YouTube, Netflix, Google Music, Pandora and Google Play TV & Movies. In time, though, there are sure to be others, thanks to the Googlecast SDK. (For a list of resources, click here.) [UPDATE: Google finally opened its developoment tools, letting hundreds of apps support Chromecast now. Click the link above to explore them.](7) If your media plays in a Chrome browser, it will play via Chromecast (for the most part): You don’t have to wait for specific apps to support it. The Chrome browser powers the device, and it’s capable of tossing practically anything from your laptop to Chromecast on your TV (though Silverlight and Quicktime videos need not apply, notes Wired). Hulu, Rdio, and HBO Go reportedly work this way; so do Flickr photos and browser-based online presentations. (8) If you’re hoping Chromecast will play nice with DRM-protected iTunes files, well, stop: This is not likely. At all. iTunes DRM (digital rights management) is fierce, and it has foiled countless other developers who’d like nothing better than to let their users enjoy iTunes videos.Things get even more complicated when you consider Chromecast’s cloud-only modus operandi, since shows you buy or rent from iTunes usually come via download. Although Apple does allow some streaming, it’s mostly aimed at other iOS or OS X devices. It’s not like you can stream all of your iTunes media to any device with a browser. These details are daunting enough, but with the bad blood between Google and Apple, Chromecast has next to no chance of overcoming any of these issues. (9) Consumers are already swarming in: The Google Play store has sold out of Chromecasts, with the earliest ship date showing August 7 (as of this writing). Amazon briefly had it, but then also sold out. At this time, Best Buy online is the only Internet retailer I found that has inventory, and here too, it’s very likely to sell out quickly. [UPDATE July 25, 2013: BestBuy.com has sold out. UPDATE 2: BestBuy.com showed more stock, but seems to be out again. Clearly inventory levels are fluctuating, so if you’re interested, you may want to check the page periodically.] At $35, it’s likely that many customers aren’t just buying one—they’re probably picking up piles of them, as Google recommended, for use on every TV in their house. The takeaway: If you want Chromecast and you spot it online, grab it. Grab it now. (10) The free Netflix promotion applies to everyone [see update below]: Every product purchase comes with three months of Netflix for free. This is not some restricted offer for new customers only, but a valid promotion for both new and existing subscribers. (I confirmed this directly with Netflix.) If you factor that in, the already meager price of the Chromecast drops even lower still—to the tune of $11. [UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times reports that, due to overwhelming demand, the Netflix deal has been terminated. Presumably, orders that came in prior to the decision will still be eligible, but if we get confirmation to the contrary, we will update this post.]The Bottom LineUsers looking for TV streaming devices don’t lack choices. But so far, no single company has been able to deliver quite this combination of promised ease-of-use and cross-platform compatibility at a rock-bottom price. Roku comes close, but it doesn’t integrate with mobile platforms very well—apart from having a remote control app—and its least expensive unit, the Roku LT, is more expensive ($50) and can’t handle HD. The Roku 2 XD can, but it costs $80. Interestingly, the company launched its own streaming stick last year, which plays 1080p HD, but at a high cost of $100. And it’s not easy to view a simple YouTube video on a Roku.That’s not to say that Chromecast can satisfy every one of your streaming needs. As mentioned, Chromecast can’t play locally stored media files (at least not out of the box, though there are workarounds), and it will likely never play iTunes movies. But at this price, it’s tough to criticize it. This isn’t the first time Google has dabbled with connecting TVs. Remember Google TV and the Nexus Q? Maybe third time’s the charm, because by the looks of it, the Chromecast seems like the company’s best chance for a hit. To see the device in action, check out Google’s promotional video below.http://www.youtube.com/watch/cKG5HDyTW8oImage by Madeleine Weiss for ReadWrite 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…center_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App adriana lee 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutlast_img read more

Cong.’s last call to CPI(M) on seat sharing

first_imgMiffed with the CPI(M), the West Bengal Congress on Wednesday said there will be no seat sharing with the CPI(M) by compromising party’s dignity and gave an ultimatum to the Left Front to take a call on the tie-up by this Sunday. The Congress convened a meeting of its State election committee, which was chaired by Congress in-charge of Bengal Gaurav Gogoi, to decide on election strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. State Congress sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it has been decided that chairman of the State co-ordination committee Pradip Bhattacharya and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Abdul Mannan will speak to CPI(M) on the issue of the seat sharing and the matter should be sorted out by March 3.last_img read more