Day/Night matches for Regional Four-Day

first_imgHALF-A-DOZEN of the 30 matches in the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board’s Professional Cricket League (PCL) Digicel SportsMax Regional 4-Day Tournament will be day/night contests played with pink cricket balls, it was announced yesterday.In keeping with the trend worldwide and to further pursue the experiment that it started six years ago, the WICB has scheduled the matches throughout the coming season which begins on November 11.“We welcome the return of day/night matches with the pink ball in the Digicel SportsMax R4-Day,” said WICB Manager, Cricket Operations, Roland Holder, as the regional governing body released fixtures for the first half of the season yesterday.“Each team has two matches – one home, one away – as gradually international boards begin to embrace this concept.“The purpose of the re-introduction of day/night matches is two-fold. First, it allows our elite players to familiarise themselves with the pink ball, and secondly, it allows for greater spectator attendance, as patrons can have a relaxing evening watching their favourite team.”Four of the day/night matches, which will begin at 15:00hrs daily, have been scheduled before the Christmas/New Year’s holiday break in the tournament. They include an opening round fixture between Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and Windward Islands Volcanoes at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.Defending champions Guyana Jaguars will be part of the second day/night match, when they travel to St Lucia to face the Volcanoes at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Ground in the third round from November 26 to 29.The Jaguars return home to host long-standing rivals Barbados Pride in the following round from December 9 to 12 at the Guyana National Stadium in a day/night contest, another of which takes place between Leeward Islands Hurricanes and Jamaica Scorpions from December 15 to 18 at Warner Park in St Kitts during the fifth round.The last two day/night matches are currently scheduled to be contested in the new year during the second half of the tournament in April.Recently, West Indies completed their first ever day/night Test, when Pakistan bounced them by 56 runs in a tense finish in Dubai.They are scheduled to play another day/night Test next year at Edgbaston on their tour of England.last_img read more

NHL Draft lottery results 2020: Rangers jump to top of draft order, where Alexis Lafreniere awaits

first_imgThe New York Rangers had the ping-pong ball bounce their way and will select No. 1 overall come October.Alexis Lafreniere is expected to be their choice. He’ll now likely suit up under the bright lights of Broadway with the likes of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and No. 2 pick from the 2019 draft, Kaapo Kakko. MORE: Who is Alexis Lafreniere?NHL Draft lottery results 2020Here is the complete 2020 NHL Draft order after Phase 2 lottery drawing. Positions nine through 15 are determined by point percentage from the regular season.The remaining 16 slots (No. 16-31) will be determined by the results of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs with the champion tentatively scheduled to pick 31st.TEAM1. New York Rangers2. Los Angeles Kings3. Ottawa Senators (via SJS)4. Detroit Red Wings5. Ottawa Senators6. Anaheim Ducks7. New Jersey Devils8. Buffalo Sabres9. Minnesota Wild10. Winnipeg Jets11. Nashville Predators12. Florida Panthers13. Carolina Hurricanes (via TOR)14. Edmonton Oilers15. Pittsburgh Penguins or Minnesota WildNHL Draft lottery oddsEight teams eliminated from the NHL’s qualifying round had an even 12.5 percent chance to get the top pick in the draft.TEAMODDSPTS. PCT.Minnesota Wild12.5 pct..558Winnipeg Jets12.5.563New York Rangers12.5.564Florida Panthers12.5.565Nashville Predators12.5.565Toronto Maple Leafs12.5.579Edmonton Oilers12.5.585Pittsburgh Penguins12.5.623How does Phase 2 work?Let’s be honest for a second: the entire draft lottery this time around is confusing even for the most grizzled draft guru. With that, we’ll try to explain it as best we can. Well, it got kind of funky.Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL draft lottery happened Monday night and while it wasn’t the worst team, the second-worst team or even the third-worst (!) from 2019-20 that received the No. 1 overall selection, it was the third-worst team from the qualification round. First, there was a lottery back in June where the seven teams not participating in the postseason found out where they slotted for the draft. But as we said earlier, none of those teams were selected to pick first overall. That honor went to something called “Team E” — a placeholder for one of the eight teams eliminated from the NHL’s qualifying round.So, that activated Phase 2.On Monday, the NHL held a single draw in which every team has equal 12.5 percent odds to win the No. 1 overall pick and (what is expected to be) Lafreniere. The other seven teams will be assigned positions 9-15, in inverse order of their points percentages at the time the regular season was paused.last_img read more

Kevin Pillar’s career year with Giants shows why ‘eye test’ matters in big decision

first_imgST. LOUIS — Kevin Pillar is not an analytics darling.The Giants’ center fielder has homered more than he’s walked, has posted an on-base percentage under .300 and has found a way to play inspiring defense without inspiring love from advanced metrics.In many ways, Pillar is exactly the type of player Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi tries to avoid.Zaidi wants position players who demonstrate an advanced feel for the strike zone, batters who work deep counts and fielders …last_img

Evolutionary Materialism Promotes Deadly Sins

first_imgName a vice, and Darwinians will be there to rationalize it on evolutionary grounds. They claim proud ownership of the Seven Deadly Sins.Timothy D. Clark preached a fiery sermon to the readers of Nature last week, warning about the alarming rise of dishonesty among scientists. “Too many researchers make up or massage their data,” he says. It’s not a small problem, either. You can almost hear the pounding on the pulpit:Scientists like to think that such blatant dishonesty is rare, but I myself have witnessed several serious cases of scientific misconduct, from major data manipulation to outright fabrication. Most have gone unpunished — in fact, it has been disheartening to see the culprits lauded. It makes little sense for fraudsters to fabricate mediocre data. Their falsehoods generate outstanding stories, which result in high-profile publications and a disproportionately large chunk of the funding pie.I have noticed a lesser-known motive for bad science in my field, experimental biology. As environmental change proceeds, there is great demand from the public and policy­makers for simple stories that show the damage being done to wildlife. I occasionally meet scientists who argue that the questions we ask and the stories we tell are more important than the probity of our investigations: the end justifies the means, even if the means lead to data fabrication. That view is alarmingly misguided and has no place in science.But should it be surprising that scientists act this way? Most of them are evolutionists, and evolutionists from Daddy Darwin on have tried to explain every human behavior in terms of a material process called natural selection. In Darwin’s godless world, whoever wins the fitness race is OK. There are no morals. So why be honest? Why not let the ends justify the means? As we shall see, Darwinian theory itself proposes a ‘scientific’ reason why cheating ’emerges’ in social groups, from bacteria to humans, so it’s to be expected that a certain number of scientists will cheat, too. But a funny thing happened on the way to the lab. In an amoral universe, one cannot tell the difference between a cheater and a cooperator, except by which one belongs to the majority at a point in time. Today’s cheater could evolve into tomorrow’s cooperator. Ever hear of ‘honor among thieves’? Ever hear of ‘might makes right’? In short, fitness is Darwin’s standard for morality – and fitness can be anything imaginable, as long as your genes survive.Dishonesty is not the only vice they can justify on Darwinian grounds. Evolutionists seem on a virtual campaign to rationalize the Seven Deadly Sins as normal and natural. Study Darwinian literature on the origins of human behavior, and you can almost hear the hiss of the serpent in the background: You will be like gods, knowing good and evil. Don’t believe it? Read on.Pride — Sin or Incentive? (UC Santa Barbara). You read that right; pride is a good thing that evolution bequeaths to us. Forget the Bible’s hoary value of humility. Darwin is here. Though we satirize their thoughts in italics, we’re not exaggerating. Let the smiling faces of John Tooby and Leda Cosmides tell you in their own words:As human emotions go, pride has earned a bad rap. Christians count it among the seven deadly sins, the ancient Greeks charged it with provoking destruction by the gods, and non-industrial peoples around the world consider it a source of bad luck.Still, some behavioral scientists reject pride as a universal emotion, arguing that individuals in other cultures, such as Japan, lack the pride-achievement motivation so familiar to Westerners.But does pride really deserve its reputation both as a menace and as an emotion limited to only some cultures? Perhaps not, say a group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Evolutionary Psychology (CEP). Pride, they argue, served an important function in social life that led to its evolution among our foraging ancestors.They’re not talking about a pride of lions, mind you. Notice that pride “evolved” in their twisted thinking (actually, perfectly logical thinking, given the premise of Darwinian amorality). No wonder David Berezow listed “The article is about evolutionary psychology” in his list of ‘fake science’ tip-offs (see 2/03/17). It’s easy to see why. All you have to do is turn the story on the authors: You’re just saying this because natural selection turned you into a couple of stuck-up, insufferable, conceited know-it-alls. If they protest, ‘No, we’re honest about this,’ you can arrogantly respond, Aha! I know you. Well, I evolved to tell you off, and inform you that you are complete losers! What can they say? Here’s what they might say with pride: You think you are so clever. Well, WE got published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences! We’re obviously better than you! So there! Ahem; Truth just flew out the window when you weren’t watching.Microbes may encourage altruistic behavior (Phys.org). To the evolutionist, altruism is the flip side of selfishness. Both are integral parts of mindless behaviors that emerge through natural selection. It emerges in bacteria; it emerges in human societies. It’s neither good or bad; just indifferent. Darwinians typically employ ‘game theory’ to model how altruism emerges. This can only mean one thing: the scientists who say this are only playing games to trick you. They are only pretending to be altruistic by sharing scientific truth with you, when really they are being selfish. “I believe the most important aspect of the work is that it changes the way we think about altruism from centering on the animals (or humans) performing the altruistic acts to their microbes,” one of them said. Blame your gut bacteria, in other words. Such teaching is sure to increase charitable giving, is it not?Fish show cheating can be better than playing by the rules in the mating game (Domino Joyce, The Conversation). Two of the traditional deadly sins are lust and greed. You can see where this article is going just from the title. Cheating wins in the evolutionary game. If it works for fish, it can work for thee. Don’t teach this to the teenagers.There’s still a lot we don’t know about these fish. How did so many species evolve in such a short evolutionary time scale? What is the genetic basis for their behaviour? What determines female preference and why? How do changes in the environment affect their ability to attract mates?Studying these questions provides a wider insight into the evolution of complex behaviours and the way that female choice can shape evolution. Males who build impressive sandcastles are favoured by females, and this has driven their evolution. But it’s possible that being sneaky could also be a viable strategy for evolutionary success.Female sociality and sexual conflict shape offspring survival in a Neotropical primate (PNAS). Get a load of this: natural selection can produce infanticide. “These findings indicate that new alpha males are more likely to target the infants of more social, and therefore central, females. Our study provides evidence that female sociality can negatively affect offspring survival by increasing the likelihood of infanticide.” It’s all you women’s fault. You’re standing in the way of the alpha male. He can’t help himself. Is that the lesson of this paper? Since humans are just another species of primate in Darwin’s reductionist world, how can a court convict a child killer?Impact of Social Reward on the Evolution of the Cooperation Behavior in Complex Networks (Nature Scientific Reports). At the risk of overdoing the subject of the “evolution of cooperation” by “evolutionary games” played by natural selection, we’re showing this is a common theme in a variety of major journals. Cooperators, cheaters, games— various ‘strategies’ merely emerge by the mindless actions of individuals driven by their selfish genes. These authors are dead serious: “Our research might provide valuable insights into further exploring the nature of cooperation in the real world.” So let’s ask them: Are you guys cheaters or cooperators? How am I supposed to tell? Are you writing this paper just to take advantage of me? Are you just playing evolutionary games by making this story up? The major media seem incapable of thinking this through. Phys.org reported cheerfully, “A research team led by mathematician Tatsuya Sasaki from the University of Vienna presents a new optimal theory of the evolution of reputation-based cooperation. This team proves that the practice of making moral assessments conditionally is very effective in establishing cooperation in terms of evolutionary game theory. ” If it’s just a game, ‘making moral assessments’ is just part of the strategy.Killing off rivals makes for happy families, bacteria study finds (University of Edinburgh). Here comes a gem from Charles Darwin’s own alma mater that the Family Research Council is sure to love: “A grisly method by which bacteria dispatch their distant relatives also creates conditions in which the attackers can thrive.” Hey, if it’s for the common good, great. Who’s to complain? It increases their fitness. Since fitness is the only value in Darwinism, let’s all learn a lesson from bacteria that kill off their rivals. The rivals don’t have to be bad or evil; they’re just anyone that stands in their way of sex (don’t teach this to teenagers). Now for the fine print: “The study, supported by The Wellcome Trust, The Human Frontier Science Program, The National Science Foundation, NASA and The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, was published in Nature Communications.” Knowing that, run for your life! The people who believe this have money and power. They’re after you. You are the rival if you don’t cooperate! Don’t run to the editors of New Scientist, though; they’re infected with the Darwin mind virus, too. “Vicious microbial warfare helps bacteria evolve cooperation,” they celebrate.Had enough? One more:Evolved instincts shaped democracy to resist bullies like Trump (Christopher Boehm for New Scientist). We keep thinking we can’t top the inanity (or insanity) of the last Darwinese mythoid, only to be disappointed. Boehm not only begs the question that Trump is a bully—he not only misrepresents Trumps words and actions—he actually rationalizes murdering the President on Darwinian grounds! – or close to it. Listen:But resisting bullies has been part of our nature for a long time. As an anthropologist, I study human hunter-gatherers. For tens of thousands of years, these egalitarian people would band together to kill tyrants. Some 90 per cent of human history was spent in such groups. Those instincts are with us still, albeit sanitised for contemporary society.Now we can understand all the anti-Trump rallies being promoted by scientists:“Act for Science” (Rush Holt in Science Magazine)“From a tweet, a March for Science is born” (Lindzi Wessel in Science Magazine)“Science stood apart from politics for a long time, not any more” (Michael Brooks in New Scientist)“Should Scientists Engage in Activism?” (Oransky and Marcus at The Conversation)“Science entering a new frontier: Politics” (Phys.org)We know from Darwinian assumptions what’s going on. These self-righteous protestors don’t mean a word of it. They, too, are pawns in evolutionary games being played by the invisible hand of natural selection.Update 2/13/17: Frequency-dependent female genital cutting behaviour confers evolutionary fitness benefits (Nature Ecology & Evolution). That this paper would even be published shows the extremes to which evolutionary biologists will justify evil. Female genital mutilation is a human rights violation! It is practiced by adherents of violent, male-dominated religions like Islam. To even suggest that it has “evolutionary fitness benefits” gives aid and comfort to the perpetrators of evil. Allison Macfarlane (a professor of perinatal health in London) gave this idea only a mild rebuke, calling it “unproven and potentially damaging” in The Conversation. Meanwhile, Medical Xpress only writes about the best treatments for female genital mutilation, ignoring the obvious one: stop the bad guys who do it. This common-sense outlook is foreign to evolutionists, because they don’t believe true evil exists. In their view, every human behavior—no matter how bad—must have come about because it “confers evolutionary fitness benefits” somehow.The deadliest sin of all is self-deception. You see it right here, in what the Darwinian mindset has done to truth, rationality, and morals.  Don’t worry about what they say, because it cannot possibly be true — it is self-refuting! If Darwinian evolution produced their righteous indignation, it’s just a game. It has no meaning.Evolutionary scientists are wonderfully designed human beings, but like all people, are fallen into sin. The sin nature that afflicts all humans gives rise to lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, wrath, envy and pride – the “seven deadly sins” to which we are all prone. Darwin’s doctrine is the latest manifestation of man’s prideful inclination to justify sin rather than confront it.So how should rational people like Christians respond to all this? Well, we don’t act like them with lies, anger and trickery. We don’t play games. We use Christ’s formula that never fails: speak the truth with love. Paul said, “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:14-15). Continuing, Paul describes our age pretty accurately, then prescribes what to do about it. “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:17-24). Christ is the Door to the light of life, where truth is true and morality is genuinely moral. Reject the Darwinian game world. Escape to reality.(Visited 155 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

State of entrepreneurship in South Africa

first_imgThe number of youth entrepreneurs in South Africa may have dropped, but it is notable that more than 50% of entrepreneurs are youth. Also notable is the rise in the number of female entrepreneurs.The gap between male and female entrepreneurs is closing, the Seed Academy’s Real State of Entrepreneurship Survey 2017 has found. Female representation in the survey shifted from 35% to 31% to 47% in the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterMore than half of the South Africans who run their own businesses are youth, according to the Real State of Entrepreneurship Survey 2017, undertaken by the Seed Academy. More than 1,200 entrepreneurs took part in the research project.Its findings also showed that the gap between male and female entrepreneurs was closing, with the latter now making up 47% of entrepreneurs.The backgroundThis was the third consecutive year that the survey was undertaken. Donna Rachelson, chief executive officer of Seed Engine, which incorporates the Seed Academy and the WDB Seed Fund, said: “[The survey is undertaken] in an effort to stimulate real conversations in the ecosystem about how we can better support entrepreneurs to build successful, sustainable businesses and, most importantly, to hear from entrepreneurs directly about what support they need.”Rachelson said an area for concern was the decrease in the number of youth entrepreneurs, a statistic that is supported by the GEM 2016/17 report. “Entrepreneurship is often seen as a solution for youth unemployment.“We have seen a decline in youth entrepreneurs from 63% to 57% (from 2015 to 2016) and the GEM reports a 40% decrease in youth entrepreneurship.”A total of 57% of the respondents were between the ages of 16 and 34. (Infographic by Seed Academy)Among other things, the survey found:42% of respondents started businesses because they identified an opportunity;87% of respondents lived in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape;5% of respondents lived in rural areas;The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) reported that 24% of formal businesses in the country operated outside those three provinces;98% of respondents owned for-profit businesses and 18% of these were social enterprises; 2% owned non-profit businesses – for profit businesses are motivated by creating value for the business owner while nonprofit organisations are motivated to bring social change to communities;37% of businesses had no employees, while 51% of businesses that had staff employed between one and four people; andType of customer: 38% business to business; 47% business to consumers; 12% business to government; 36% all of the above.The majority of the respondents said they started their business because they saw seen an opportunity. (Infographic by Seed Academy)Investment aspectEntrepreneurs were asked how much money it took to fund their businesses. A large majority (78%) needed less than R100,000 to start their businesses; only 5% required more than R1-million to start operating.A total of 95% of businesses were funded by owners and their friends and family. Only 5% acquired funds from more formal sources of funding such as angel funding, bank loans and development finance institutions such as the Industrial Development Corporation.More positive findingsA total of 78% of entrepreneurs indicated that they had engaged in entrepreneur training programmes or were part of an incubator at some point. Corporate enterprise and supplier development programmes featured too, with 14% of respondents having been part of these.Almost half – 45% – reported that they had previously failed in business, which showed their commitment to the entrepreneurial journey.ChallengesOf the 52% of businesses that indicated they were pre-revenue, just more than 60% were older than six months, highlighting the challenge that these businesses faced with gaining traction.The top five challenges entrepreneurs faced were:Finding clients or customers (47%);Inability to raise funds (43%);Lack of guidance (31%);Wearing too many hats (30%); andSlow or lost sales (21%).Options availableMeanwhile, Tafadzwa Madavo, the chief operating officer of Riversands Incubation Hub, said too often entrepreneurs told him that a lack of funding was holding them back. “Yes, funding is critically important, but it’s not the silver bullet many believe it to be.“Apart from financial support, there are so many initiatives, including many free ones, to support entrepreneurs start and grow a business through mentorship, training and access to market opportunities,” he said. “If you can’t secure funding, consider what other support will make a difference.”Madavo was speaking in light of the FundEx conference held on 17 August 2017, hosted by his incubation hub. This one-day event aims to highlight funding opportunities available from banks, government funders and alternative funding platforms.“Access to finance remains a major frustration and growth inhibitor for small business. Yet there is funding available,” said Jenny Retief, Riversands CEO. “While Riversands does not provide funding whatsoever, we believe that we can play a role in bringing together many players in the funding space.”At the conference, for example, there was a funders’ lounge where entrepreneurs can book one-on-one consultations with a funding expert.Tafadzwa Madavo is the chief operating officer of Riversands Incubation Hub. (Image supplied)The truth about fundingMadavo addressed several fundamental truths for entrepreneurs who were seeking funding.Besides the funding matchmaker Finfind, which had more than 200 funders in South Africa, there was a concerted drive to fund small business in the private and public sectors.“Even if you are not a match for more traditional vehicles such as commercial finance, there are other funding opportunities thanks to fintech innovations, such as Rainfin or Lulalend, and new types of funding models,” said Madavo.“This doesn’t mean that your business will automatically secure funding; there is still quite a bit of work involved in preparing a business to become funding-ready. For example, making sure that you separate your business from your personal bank account or finding the right accountant to produce regular books. Getting funding ready is a process; entrepreneurs do need guidance to go through the steps.”There were many examples of companies that did not have money in the bank when they started, he said. “If you want to be an entrepreneur, the right time to start is now. This can mean gaining work experience in an industry that interests you, putting aside hours at night to work on an idea or stashing some start-up capital.”He quoted a finding by management researchers Joseph Raffiee and Jie Feng: “Entrepreneurs who keep their day jobs when starting a business have 33% lower odds of failure than those who quit to start.” The study tracked more than 5,000 American entrepreneurs.Sources: Seed Engine, Riversands Incubation Hub and FundEx.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Set of 3 and Tort Narrow Alice Hair Bands Headbands – Useful everyday hairbands.

first_imgItem arrived promptly and was as explained in advert.Just as pictured and best for when you are rising your fringe out.While perhaps a little on the tiny side, they had been significant adequate for me. Really quick delivery and the price was so affordable furthermore cost-free postage, i am extremely happy with the purchase.Here are the specifications for the Set of 3 and Tort Narrow Alice Hair Bands Headbands:Set of 3 Hair BandsBlack Tort and SilverBands Measure 6mmI feel these are a very little above priced for the excellent of what they are. Simple small head bands, what you’d count on from the pictures. But a minor disappointing they’re small, flimsy, and the enamel grips have no impact keeping on to your hair and retaining the band in position.Reviews from purchasers :What you’d expectI am very pleased with theUseful everyday hairbands.Thank you. All of these bands are being used Little bit restricted on my substantial head lol.They function and do not snap also simply like some other people.Practical daily hairbands. . Very handy set of hairbands. I am absolutely sure i will get lots of don out of them.All of these bands are currently being utilised. All of these bands are getting used.Shared with daughter we each love them.As explained and arrived immediately.Arrived rapidly & are really fantastic worth, extremely delighted.Good headbands i really like the silver 1. Built from a flexible plastic they never damage my head and they have also little enamel beneath which actually maintain your hair up.last_img read more

Autodesk Smoke: Preset Menus, Full Screen UI & Group Nodes

first_imgIf you double click the Group Node you will enter it and see the nodes normally.  You can make adjustments as needed.I hope these tips are useful and that you can find a way to use them in your next project on Smoke.Have Autodesk Smoke questions? Share in the comments below! 3. Create Custom Power Nodes in ConnectFXBy using the Group option with multiple nodes in ConnectFX you can consolidate a large group of nodes into one. This is different than creating a CFX Clip, which also consolidates multiple nodes down to a single element.  The Group function allows you to maintain input and output points. You can also select which inputs and nodes you would like to display.One custom node I have created is a Dual-Mux node that I use to easily create a 1 frame range for any input fed into it.  This node has 2 Mux nodes tied together for Front & Matte inputs.  I’ll use this as an example to explain Grouping, and you can use the concepts on for many other custom nodes you make.I use this Dual-Mux node to speed up renders in CFX when using the Text Node. The Text Node isn’t optimized as well as it could be, so it has to re-render the text for every frame of the effect, even if the text is static with no animation. The Dual-Mux node will limit the range of the Text Node to 1 frame and thereby, speeding up the render overall as now the Text only needs to be rendered once.1. Enter ConnectFX and drag up a Text Node.2. Drag up 2 Mux Nodes and use the Mimic Link [Shift+W] to bind the 2 Nodes together so that a change in one generates the same change in the other.3. Enter 1 of the MUX Nodes and activate the FX Range and set the From & To numeric fields to 1. This will essentially create a freeze frame at frame 1.4. Change the BEFORE & AFTER settings to Repeat First & Repeat Last. This will keep the freeze frame visible across the entire length of the effect.5. Attach the TEXT Node Result Ouput to the input of one MUX and the Matte Output to the other MUX Input.6. Rename 1 MUX as Front and the other MUX as Matte.7. Box Select the 2 MUX Nodes with CMD+Drag.8. Once selected, right-click and choose GROUP from the menu.9. Now the 2 MUX Nodes are now grouped into 1 node. Rename the Group Node to “DualMux”.10. If you click the group node now you will see the group menu where you can customize the inputs and outputs for your group. You can also turn off the Node Proxy to make the node a bit smaller to work with.11. Drag the DualMux Group Node to the User/Project Node Bin to save for later.This is a simple example and not much needs to be customized with the inputs/outputs (as we need all the inputs/outputs used).  But here is a more complex grouping that you can create with some customizations:I often get print logos over white that I need to use.  These take a few nodes to Key & Invert and I also want a Bump Displace to emboss the logo. A Pixel Spread Node is added at the end and set to Interpolate to help create a cleaner key.If you take this setup and group it, you get a grouping showing the 4 Nodes with the 2 unused inputs from Pixel Spread and all 5 Outputs. I don’t really need all of this visible for this effect.  I just need the Bump Displace and LumaKey Inputs and the Pixel Spread Result/Matte Outputs. 8. When you like what you have, press Node Prefs and Save Node.9. You should still be in the same /usr/discreet/smoke_2013.2.2/blur/presets directory that you just left.  Give your custom effect a name, hit Save, and then exit Save Node.10. Now you may not see the Presets Pop-Up button appear right away. Delete the node from CFX and then re-drag the node back into the schematic. This will refresh the node and the Presets Button will now be available. If you hold down the arrow, you should see your custom named preset in the list.11. You can now create more presets for this node or repeat the steps for other nodes that you would like custom presets for.Power User Tip: You can create sub folders within the presets to better organize your looks. When you had sub folders you will get a divider line in the list.When you upgrade your Smoke software to future versions you will have to manually move these custom preset folders to the directories in your new version. EX: /usr/discreet/smoke_2013.2.3/blur/presets2. Remove the OSX Menu Bar for SmokeDon’t tell Apple, but you can remove the OSX menu bar at the top of the screen and run Smoke in a full screen mode. When you do this, a new Smoke-style menu gets added to the lower right of the UI which includes Undo and Redo buttons which remain active through the entire UI.1. Shut down Smoke.2. Open up the Smoke Setup App located in your Utilities folder in the Autodesk Folder in Applications.3. In the General panel, change the Menu Bar setting from YES to NO. This will deactivate the OSX menu bar.4. Press Apply to save your change and Exit the app.5. When you launch Smoke now,  you will have the “much cooler” Smoke Menu button in the lower right with all of the OSX menu bar options easily accessible from any Smoke Tab you are in. We’ve got 3 more smokin’ hot tips for Autodesk Smoke.  Find out how to make Custom Presets Menus, Full Screen UI, and create your own power Group nodes in ConnectFX.1. Add a Smoke Presets Menu to Other NodesEver wanted to have the presets menu that you have in Smoke nodes like Damage, Glow, and Stylize for your own custom effects? Having the presets menu like this in other nodes would make it a lot easier to organize your own effects.  Well, this is quite easy to achieve in Autodesk Smoke. Click image to the right for larger view.Flame Artist Andy Dill pointed this out to me, so credit goes to him.1. Enter ConnectFX and drag up a node that you would like to add presets to:center_img You can rename the nodes with the Group Menu interface as well. You can give the nodes friendly nodes to make it easier to see how the node should be used regarding the ins & outs. You can also resize the node as desired by dragging the lower right corner.You can deselect the little boxes in the Group Menu to hide the elements you want. You can hide the Neg node completely, and hide the inputs to the Pixel Spread. You can then hide the outputs from the Bump Displace and the Keyer. You can also choose what is displayed in the Proxy Icon. For this I choose the Pixel Spread Result. Rename the Group and save it to the User/Project Bin for later use. 2. Double-click the node to bring up it’s controls.3. Activate Node-Prefs & then Load Node:4. You are now in the Projects node folder for that node. Navigate to the same node folder but inside the version of Smoke that you are using.  Currently that version is smoke_2013.2.2.5. Press the New Directory button on the left of the file browser. This will open up a text input box. Type the word presets.NOTE: You may get a permissions error if you don’t have read & write permissions. If this happens you can give your OSX user read & write file permissions.  Once you have your permissions set, for smoke_2013.2.2 folder and it’s subfolders you will be able to add folders via the Smoke file browser. Or you can manually add the folder in the appropriate directory.WARNING: In changing permissions on smoke_2013.2.2 I freaked out Smoke to the point that it wouldn’t launch. It gave me an error of  “Effective User ID not 0 (root!)” This caused me to have to reinstall Smoke. I’m not OSX savvy, so it may have been user error.6. Exit the Load Node file browser.7. Now, create an effect that you like and would want to save. In this example I have created a Spin Blur effect with RGB offsets.last_img read more

Glasgow CWG: Indian weightlifter Vikas wins silver

first_imgIndian weightlifter Vikas Thakur won the silver medal in the men’s 85kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games here Monday.The gold was clinched by Richard Patterson of New Zealand with a lift of 335kg — 151kg in snatch and 184 in clean and jerk.The 21-year-old Vikas lifted a total of 333kg – 150kg in snatch and 183 in clean and jerk. Both Vikas and Canada’s Pascal Plamondon were tied on 333kg but Vikas won the silver on the account of lesser body weight. Plamondon also lifted 150kg in snatch and 183kg in clean and jerk.last_img