Photo library: Tourism and leisure 1

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Tourism & Leisure contact sheet (1.1MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Sunrise on the beachfront. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Beachfront hotels. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Fishermen on a pier. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Beachfront hotels. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Sand sculptures on the beach. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Sand sculptures on the beach. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Walking to the end of the North Beach pier. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Early morning exercise on the beach. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province: Lifeguard setting up the bathing area on the beach. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res imageTOURISM AND LEISURE 1:{loadposition tourism}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at read more

Commercial storage considerations

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCOn Monday the USDA will release the stocks report and tell us how much grain is still in the bins. In 7 of the last 14 years the stocks for corn were higher than estimates. The good news is that it has only happened 1 out of the last 4 years. The problem is that when the stocks are higher for corn than the estimates they tend to be pretty far off. When the stocks report is smaller than estimates the difference is usually quite small.The bean stocks report has been erratic and hard to predict. However, with the already large carryout any change up or down is probably not as important as what the yields start to look like as harvest begins this upcoming week.There is snow in Montana and it could work its way east. There are forecasts for cool weather working into the Dakota’s and western Minnesota over the next several days. Farmers in these areas were hoping that it would not freeze until nearly Oct. 1. So, it seems as though most of the corn and beans in these areas will make it to maturity. Should I pay commercial storage?Last week I discussed which crop farmers should store at home, if they don’t have 100% on-farm storage. The next storage questions I’m frequently asked are…. What do I do with my grain in a commercial facility? Do I sell across the scale or pay storage?There are three factors to consider:How much does the commercial facility charge to store grain at harvest?What is the current basis level and how much higher could it go at that facility?How much is the interest on the grain stored at the facility? Why aren’t futures prices on the list?Many farmers choose to store unpriced grain commercially because they think prices will go higher later and they want to sell at higher values. However, in reality futures values don’t matter when deciding if someone should pay for commercial storage. If the farmer doesn’t like the current futures prices, they can buy the futures back in a hedge/brokerage account when they sell the cash grain in the commercial storage facility. Their risk exposure is basically the same as having unpriced grain in storage.(Note, there are many different ways to re-own grain. The purpose of this newsletter is not to discuss those strategies but instead look at the decision of paying commercial storage or not.) How much does the facility charge?Storage costs are probably the most important part of the decision to store commercially. As harvest beings some end users have minimum charges while others have dumping charges included with storage fees for a specific amount of time. While costs vary, I’ve found typically storage fees average 5 cents per bushel per month for corn and beans. Why basis mattersThe difference between basis levels at harvest and where they will likely go is the second most important part of the storage decision. Historically basis values increase 30 to 40 cents on average from harvest to the following spring or summer for both corn and beans. The following shows basis levels near my farm for both crops.  Generally speaking, what I have found is that corn basis values increase 4 to 5 cents per month from harvest to late spring or summer, which is slightly less than paying the average monthly storage cost at a commercial facility. Bean basis values increase slower with the higher basis value being seen in late summer. This means that usually beans will only increase 3 to 4 cents per month on average. Loan interest also needs to be consideredLeaving grain in storage means farmers won’t get paid for the grain while waiting for higher prices and their operating note will continue to collect interest. This monthly cost is figured by multiplying the grain’s cash value and operating note interest rate and dividing by 12 months. If cash corn is $3.50 and my operating note is 5.5% interest, it costs 1.6 cents per month to store the corn. If cash beans are $8.25 and my operating note is 5.5% interest, it costs 3.75 cents per month to store the beans. Why I don’t think storing grain commercially is a wise decisionOn average storing unpriced corn costs about 6.6 cents per month. While storing beans commercially is likely to be closer to 8.75 cents per month.  If we assume average monthly basis value increase of 4 to 5 cents for corn and 3 to 4 cents for beans, paying to store grain at a commercial facility doesn’t make financial sense.If farmers have unpriced grain at harvest and can’t store it on the farm, the better solution would seem to be sell the grain at harvest and consider some type of a re-ownership plan to participate in a futures rally. Please email with any questions or to learn more. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results.last_img read more

Mapping Our Friendships Over Time and Space: The Future of Social Network Analysis

first_imgTags:#Analysis#web What new things could we discover if social network analysis took time and space into account, in addition to the raw connections between people? In most cases, social network analysis today is limited to discovering friend connections, community leaders and outlines, influential people and personal friend recommendations – in a static or snap-shot kind of way. If new factors could be taken into consideration, specifically changes over time and space, then social network analysis could discover things like emergence or decay of leadership, changes in trust over time, migration and mobility within particular communities online. That’s very valuable information that the social web has barely begun to tackle capturing.That’s the topic of discussion in a new paper by Shashi Shekhar and research assistant Dev Oliver, spatial data scientists at the University of Minnesota, titled Computational Modeling of Spatio-temporal Social Networks: A Time-Aggregated Graph Approach (PDF). The paper was highlighted on the blog GIS and Science today. We’ve excerpted and put in context key points below.The Impact of Space and Time on NetworkingSpace and time are big factors in determining the diverse friend connections that different people form. Or, as Shekhar and Oliver put it, “Spatio-temporal constraints (e.g., geographic space, travel, schedules and diurnal [daily] cycles) play a major role in determining baseline homophily due to reasons like opportunity and minimization of cost and effort.”In other words, if we don’t pay attention to the way space and time factor into our lives, if we just see who knows whom and who chatters about what, then we’ll have a very blunt understanding of the world. Diurnal cycle in, and diurnal cycle out (!) businesses and software users seem likely to call for more clarity than that in the future.Consider the diagram below, for example, from Shekhar and Oliver’s paper. It might look a little intimidating, but if you follow it step by step from left to right, it’s not. Today we might look at a group of four participants in some network and just see the final timeframe of connections (t10). You can see who knows who and who doesn’t know who. But imagine if time were taken into consideration as it is here. You can see how this particular mini-network unfolded from the first connections, through the end-point. That’s a much richer understanding of this group.Look at poor little Node 3, for example, in the bottom of the square. It took them longer to go from Visitor to Friend than it took anyone else, in each of the relationships Node 3 formed. Node 2 at the top, on the other hand, looks friendly and effective at building strong relationships quickly.Social network analysis services see these differences in the way people interact already and they see the way changes in spacial relations impact them, but it’s a very nascent field.“We see the spatio-temporal effect manifest in Twitalyzer data during conferences, tradeshows, and live events (e.g., SXSW),” says Eric Peterson, creator of professional Twitter analysis service Twitalyzer. “The results are pretty obvious in our data: individuals who exhibit an otherwise ‘normal’ level of Impact, Influence, and Engagement in our data go ‘off the charts.’ “The simplest explanation is that there is a compressing effect on an individual’s network when they are more spatially proximate (e.g., can grab a drink and interact face to face.) When this happens, especially when it happens over a short period of time, people’s scores change, their networks expand (typically, although we have seen contraction), and their ‘chatter’ (in your words) becomes more focused.”As Yet Unanswered Time-based Questions of Value for Any CommunityHow is trust or leadership changing over time?Who are the emerging leaders in a group? What are the recurring changes in a group? How long is the tenure of a leader in a group? How long does it take to elevate the level of trust such as a relationship changing from visitor to friend?Now imagine that kind of temporal and spacial analysis being performed on much larger networks, over greater periods of time. “This added dimension or set of data points is out there and generally widely available as ‘exhaust data’, so to harness it and factor it in with the rest of the social graph would be truly valuable,” says Eileen Burbidge, a London angel investor at White Bear Yard and a former product manager at Skype, among other positions.“From an investment (i.e. value creation) point of view, spatio-temporal data has the potential to add an element of value, context and relevance to otherwise ‘flat’ data points.“Take LinkedIn for example. I use it to see who in my network knows (and might endorse) whom, but I’m often cross-referencing/checking a person’s contacts by their work history to discern if a specific contact was established at one spatio-temporal point vs another (ie relevancy)… The ability to build this into social network analysis would be extremely valuable as space and time offer tremendous context and relevance to social connections and relationships. “ Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The Hard PartsThat could very well be the kind of sophisticated social network analysis that service providers aspire to in the future and that their customers seek. Identifying some basic opportunities doesn’t mean it will be easy to get there, however. Shekhar and Oliver say this points to the need for “a central role for computation and computational models, not only to scale up to the large and growing data volumes, but also to address new spatiotemporal social questions related to change, trends, duration, mobility, and travel.“The need for computational efficiency conflicts with the requirement for expressive power of the model and balancing these two conflicting goals is challenging.”If each historical moment of our relative connective history becomes no longer exhaust data, but points on a chart, that sure is going to be a challenge in the computational efficiency department! Presumably, it will just be timestamped changes of state that will be preserved.Scaling that analysis is one challenge, finding new ways to recognize, tell and leverage the stories unearthed by analysis of that data is a whole other challenge.Shekhar and Oliver cast themselves into the abyss of that data-centric future with their conclusion: “We welcome collaboration towards identifying datasets and use-cases to evaluate the potential of TAG [the time aggregated graph model] to address spatio-temporal questions about social networks.”Good luck guys, may you help open up this whole new frontier to us all. You’ve certainly articulated something that a whole lot of people are going to be very interested in in the future.Right: A slice of Veronica Belmont’s closest Twitter buds, per Mailana, a system without reference to time. From The Inner Circles of 10 Geek Heroes.Title photo: Blinded by the Light, by Flickr user Jule_Berlin 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more

Buying Tips: Tripods for Video

first_imgDon’t cheap out on your camera support! Investing in a quality tripod and fluid head is a smart decision for the future expansion, performance and safety of your gear. Build quality in a tripod has a huge impact on the final image, for both filmmakers and still photographers.Inexpensive tripods are often shoddily constructed, made from aluminum or a similar, thin metal. This flimsy construction makes the tripod prone to breaking and doesn’t provide strong stabilization. Conversely, investing in a more expensive, but higher quality tripod, will provide a more stable image, a longer product lifespan and additional peace of mind when you go to shoot. Are you in the market for a new tripod? Make the following considerations…Avoid Center ColumnsTripods with height adjustable center columns introduce a lot of vibration and instability to your camera rig. There’s a reason professional quality tripods don’t have center columns: the engineering will not provide enough stability. If you’re looking for adding height, go with a tripod that has longer legs.Avoid Aluminum, Stick With Carbon FiberAluminum tripods are usually much more prone to vibrations than tripods constructed of carbon fiber. Aluminum has a longer dampening time, meaning vibrations are much more prevalent – traveling easily throughout the tripod.Carbon fiber has a much shorter dampening time, containing and minimizing vibrations with every camera movement or bump of the tripod. Although lightweight tripods tend to cost more, they do not necessarily perform better. That being said, many professional tripods are made from carbon fiber, which is considerably lightweight. A tripod with better dampening times will produce a professional looking result with minimal hassle.This video from Gordon Liang illustrates the dampening time of an assortment of tripods.Load CapacityEvery tripod will have a maximum load capacity, ranging from 7-10 lbs for cheaper models and upwards of 50 lbs for higher-end types. This is where a little planning can go along way. Selecting the right tripod for your needs (and future needs) is key to your tripod investment. Factor in the weight of your camera combined with weight from any other equipment that will be rigged onto your tripod. As previously stated, it is best to account for the future when that time comes to add more equipment (and weight) to the tripod. A teleprompter, monitors, lights, field recorders and microphones all add weight. Never plan to be at or near your tripod’s load capacity. If you have a 20 lb rig, a tripod rated at 30 lbs will obviously perform better (and safer) than one loaded to capacity.Head & Bowl MountNot all tripods come with a fluid head. It’s important to use a quality head with the appropriate counter-balance and weight load. Tripods that use bowl systems are the most widely used by professionals because it’s easy to level and balance a fluid head in a pinch to get that perfect shot.What is your go-to pair of sticks? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

U.P. bypoll results show people’s promise of better future: Omar Abdullah

first_imgThe National Conference working president Omar Abdullah described the bypoll results as “people’s promise of a better future after 2019.” “Congratulations to Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati for the stupendous performance in Gorakhpur and Phulpur. Thank you for giving people the promise of a better future,” said Mr. Abdullah. In a tweet packed with sarcasm for the BJP, Mr. Abdullah wrote: “Dear friends in the BJP, thank you for your hard work and continuing efforts to prove me wrong. I’m truly grateful. Sincerely, your friendly opposition guy.”last_img read more

Arunachal FM warns of Kargil-like situation in North-East

first_imgArunachal Pradesh Finance Minister Kalikho Pul has raised an alarm and warned of a “Kargil-like situation” brewing in the North-East.Pul told Headlines Today that Chinese personnel are constantly intruding into Indian territory. He said that the Chinese are easily able to come into many of the north eastern regions, especially Tawang and Anjaw districts.”The situation is alarming for the last seven-eight years. Chinese personnel are constantly intruding into our territory. Names of our villages are written in their area. China has better infrastructure on their side…while our connectivity to the border areas is very poor,” Pul said.Pul has asked the Indian government to take steps to better the infrastructure in the border areas which are lying vacant, otherwise, he has warned, a “Kargil-like situation” may develop in the state.For more news on India, click here. For more news on Business, click here. For more news on Movies, click here. For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more