Why You Need Sleep

first_imgA study in the Jan. 22 issue of Nature1 claims that sleep gives you inspiration.  Sleep is not just a waste of a third of your day; it helps consolidate memories, and provides pivotal insights.  “Insight denotes a mental restructuring that leads to a sudden gain of explicit knowledge allowing qualitatively changed behaviour,” the five researchers explain.  Human subjects trained in a new task uncovered a “hidden rule” after sleep, regardless of time of day.  Various aspects of their experiments led the team to conclude that “sleep, by restructuring new memory representations, facilitates extraction of explicit knowledge and insightful behaviour.”1Wagner, Gais, Haider, Verleger and Born, “Sleep inspires insight,” Nature 427, 352 – 355 (22 January 2004); doi:10.1038/nature02223.Don’t feel guilty about sleep.  Everything has its purpose, even letting your mind wander as your body goes limp in horizontal position once a day.  A lot is going on in that brain.  So now you have new justification for that power nap.  But sleep after the boss’s meeting, not during.  (Same rule applies to the Sunday sermon.)(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Fact sheet could help producers keep specialty crops safe from herbicide drift

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio’s corn and soybean growers could soon be spraying a lot more of two powerful herbicides on their fields. That’s why experts from Ohio State University Extension are offering tips on how to keep those herbicides from getting on other crops, especially valuable specialty crops such as grapes.Doug Doohan and Roger Downer, both of the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, are the authors of “Reducing 2,4-D and Dicamba Drift Risk to Fruits, Vegetables and Landscape Plants,” a new fact sheet that explains how herbicide sprays can drift onto nontarget fields, the special concerns about the herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba, and how to prevent unwanted damage to crops.The fact sheet is also intended, Doohan said, to raise awareness of Ohio’s specialty crops, which include not just grapes but apples, berries, peaches, herbs, hops, pumpkins, tomatoes and nursery-grown trees, to name a few. The grape and wine industry alone, according to recent figures, contributes some $786 million to the state’s economy.“Creating and maintaining a heightened awareness of the specialty crop industry is probably the most important way to reduce the risk of future herbicide damage and the lawsuits that sometimes follow,” Doohan said.2,4-D and dicamba are the cornerstones of two new proposed weed control systems: Dow AgroSciences’ 2,4-D-based Enlist Weed Control System for genetically modified corn and soybeans and Monsanto’s dicamba-based Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System for GM soybeans. Both systems were developed because more and more weeds have grown resistant to glyphosate alone. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Roundup, for example, which is sprayed to kill weeds in widely grown Roundup Ready GM crops including corn and soybeans.Both new systems are awaiting regulatory approval. But Doohan said both — and 2,4-D and dicamba as part of them — are “likely to be used much more extensively and intensively throughout the Midwest, starting in the near future.” Included, he said, would be most of Ohio’s 4-plus million acres of soybeans.The fact sheet is free at county offices of OSU Extension and go.osu.edu/ReducingDriftRisk.last_img read more

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Assorted Signals from the Green Building Market

first_imgEven if they are not entirely clear about its potential benefits or what it should cost, more consumers than ever seem to think green building is a good idea. That’s one of the broad conclusions of two National Association of Home Builders Research Center surveys conducted for Habitat for Humanity and Whirlpool Corporation. One survey, conducted in August, queried consumers; the other, conducted in July and August, focused on builders.More specifically, the majority of consumers surveyed agreed that a green home would be affordable to live in and maintain. The respondents supporting that view came from three income categories: high (67%), upper-middle (65%), and middle (59%). Among low-income respondents, 48% agreed with that perspective. One of the key takeaways in the survey, though, is that only the high-income respondents – 71% of those questioned – agreed that a completely green home would be affordable to purchase.So there is a disconnect, as the researchers put it, between what most consumers believe a green home can offer and their perception of whether or not it is affordable. Among the builders surveyed – all of whom are members of the NAHB Research Center’s Online Builder Panel – 87% indicated they believe green homes are affordable for middle-income families to live in, while 30% felt green homes were too expensive for that segment to purchase or build. For low-income families, 70% of homebuilders believe green homes are affordable to live in, while almost 60% thought green homes were too expensive for that segment to purchase or build.In a press release summarizing the survey results, however, Habitat for Humanity emphasizes that it has introduced a relatively high level of energy efficiency performance into many of its projects, all of which must meet relatively stringent standards of affordability. The release also includes a comment from Larry Gluth, senior vice president of U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International, intended to drive home the point. “Under Habitat’s nonprofit construction model,” he notes, “Habitat affiliates across the United States are incorporating sustainable materials and energy-efficient products in Habitat homes, as this is both a responsible building practice and it improves the affordability of homes for Habitat partner homeowners.”Passive House expertise spreadsIf the NAHB surveys highlight challenges in bringing more clarity to perceptions about green building and its costs and potential benefits, a brief posted this week by Architectural Record magazine offered an encouraging perspective on professional interest in the Passive House performance standard.The Record item, pegged to the 5th North American Passive House Conference held earlier this month in Portland, Oregon, includes a short Passive House backgrounder, but also points to increased interest in the standard among builders, architects, designers, and energy efficiency specialists. For example, the conference, which drew only a few people to its inaugural meeting, attracted about 350 to the event in Portland. Just as important, Mike Kernagis, program director for Passive House Institute US, told the magazine that the number of certified Passive House consultants went from 15 in 2008 to 200 in 2010.“This is the first conference,” he said, “where we’ve really reaped the benefits of having the consultants come back and show their first projects.”Also well represented at the conference: Habitat for Humanity, whose representatives highlighted the group’s Passive House projects in Vermont, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C. A Map of Passive House Consultants View Certified Passive House Consultants in a larger maplast_img read more

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Fix A Blown-Out Sky In Under 60 Seconds In After Effects

first_imgBefore we start, you need a photograph of the sky that is the same size (or larger) than your composition.Create a New CompositionImport your video file and the sky photo. Bring both files into your timeline, and place the sky beneath the video file.Luma Key EffectAdd the Luma Key effect to the video file, and change the key type to Key Out Brighter. Then increase the threshold until your image returns with the sky image below now filling the sky in the video file. This is something that will be different with every clip. For my shot, 200 is perfect.Unfortunately, we are now left with a thin white line around some edges in our image.Refine Soft MatteTo fix this, add a Refine Soft Matte to the video file. This may be enough for some people. However, in shots like mine that include foliage, you will need to play around with the settings to refine the effect. The settings you will need to adjust depending on your footage are contrast, shift edge, and decontamination amount. If necessary, you can also change the Edge Feather setting on the Luma Key effect in the video file.Final AdjustmentsFinally, before the video clip is ready for export or grading, adjust the brightness, saturation, or lightness of the sky to match the video file. Do you have other tips for correcting a blown-out sky? Share in the comments. This is a great way to quickly replace a blown-out sky, and removing any highlight issues with foliage or small objects that bleed into the blown-out highlights.Bonus Tips:If you have a moving shot, simply track the movement and apply it to the cloud layer.If you have sourced your sky image from a stock image website, you may want to add a Gaussian Blur (5-10) to the sky to take the crispness away from the picture.When filming, if you know that this shot will ultimately be a “fix it in post” job, make sure you grab a variety of well-exposed sky photographs to use later.center_img Capturing your foreground under bright conditions can easily blow out the sky in your shot. Learn how to fix the problem with this step-by-step tutorial.Top image via Shutterstock.Sky replacement tutorials are a dime a dozen on YouTube, and each educator will often have their own method, using a variety of different effects and techniques. The following method won’t explain how to replace a perfectly captured sky with something a little different. It will, however, show you how to replace a blown-out sky with something more pleasing to the eye.It’s very easy and very fast. It took me only 54.3 seconds, to be exact, to implement the effect ready for grading and export.The technique requires a sky that has entirely clipped with no visible blue or clouds. This is usually the result of shooting into the direction of the sun and exposing for the foreground. Of course, this is one shooting practice that you want to avoid. You can correct this by filming with the sun to your back, using a graduated neutral density filter, or using a surplus of lighting to expose for the sky and light the foreground. Alternatively, if you’re unable to film in the opposite direction, you can wait for a later time in the day.Nonetheless, there may be a reason why these alternative approaches are not possible and you have to shoot facing the sun and work with a blown-out sky. Fear not. Here is how you can fix your footage under sixty seconds.last_img read more

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India fined for slow over-rate in Cape Town Test

first_imgThe India have been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the second innings against South Africa in the ongoing third and last Test in Cape Town, an ICC release said on Thursday.ICC Match Referee Andy Pycroft imposed the fine after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side was ruled to be three overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration. In accordance with the ICC code of conduct regulations governing minor over-rate offences, players are fined 10 per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount. As such, Dhoni was fined 60 per cent of his match fee while his players received 30-per-cent fines.If Dhoni is found guilty of two further minor over-rate offences in Tests over the next 12 months, he will receive a one-match suspension as per the provisions of the ICC code of conduct.last_img read more

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IPL 2011: Governing council meet on ‘podium-linked’ fee issue

first_imgThe governing council of the Indian Premier League met in Mumbai on Friday to discuss the ‘podium-linked fee’ structure that the capped Indian players had protested against on Tuesday.Gautam Gambhir was bought by Kolkata IPL team for Rs 11.04 cr. APThe cricketers had objected to a clause in their contract with the respective franchises that denies them 20 per cent of their fees in case their team fails to finish among the top three.The clause has been introduced for season IV. As per the rule, if the teams fail to qualify for the Champions League (top three IPL teams make it to the international league), the players would get only 80 per cent of their fees.The players had termed the clause “unfair” and had approached Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar for their redressal.However, the team owners insisted there was nothing unfair in the clause as the players’ payment was meant to be for both the IPL and the Champions League.The clause was part of the contract of only those players whose names figured during the IPL auction in Bangalore.last_img read more

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