It was 49 degrees and windy. The river in front of Griggs Reservoir Boathouse was cold and full of debris.It’s unlikely that it’s the first place many people want to be at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning, but the Ohio State’s women’s rowing team was out on the water.The Buckeyes’ expectations are high this season, as they are ranked No. 1 in the College Rowing Coaches Association/U.S. Rowing preseason top 20, and have two consecutive championships under their belt. OSU backed up those preseason accolades with 18 wins in its first 22 races of the season, spanning across four meets.Annie Jachthuber, a freshman rower, said the team is incredibly dedicated to the sport and the high stakes motivate them to work hard every day.Jachthuber added that she has been rowing since her senior year in high school, where she tried many different sports. But she said rowing was her favorite because of the team dynamic.“I don’t do things for myself; I like to do things for other people,” she said.After Monday’s practice, Jachthuber walked into the boathouse, which opened in 2011, and through a white hallway lined with pictures of the team’s past successes. There are two types of pictures: Those with the smiling faces of champions, and action shots filled with faces of concentration.Jachthuber turned through a doorway and joined the other rowers in the OSU team room, which is full of floor-to-ceiling windows that face the waterfront in the middle of the boathouse.Coach Andy Teitelbaum, who has been with the rowing program since its birth in 1995, stood in the center of the room surrounded by his team, all of it bathed in the morning light reflected off the water. He dished out final words before the team huddled together, putting their hands in for a last hurrah before the rowers headed off to class.When asked how he feels about the team’s current rank and the pressure to perform, he jokingly said he was “outraged.”But then Teitelbaum laughed, saying he is filled with pride and that the team performs in “tremendous fashion.”With a wide smile he added, “This group is outstanding.”Teitelbaum said the road to the two championships and the team’s current standing have been humbling and that he is quite pleased with the status of his team.Jachthuber echoed her coach’s feelings and said one day her grandmother called and asked if there was ever a time when Jachthuber did not feel like pushing herself. She said she had replied, “No.” She said the dedication of the other girls and the solidarity while practicing drives them all, no matter how unfavorable the elements might be.“I love being a part of something bigger than myself,” Jachthuber said. “You do it for each other.”With seven meets standing between the Buckeyes and the Big Ten Championships on May 16, OSU is set to return to the water against Minnesota on Saturday. Fittingly, the races are set to begin at 8:15 a.m. in Columbus.
A 17-year-old college student was killed in a road accident in Bahaddarhat area under Chandgaon thana in the city on Sunday.The deceased is Mohammad Nazimur Rahman, a second year student of Bakalia Shahid NMMJ Degree College.Police said the accident occurred when a minibus collided head-on with a city-bound truck from Cox’s Bazar near Chandgaon police station in the city at 11:00 am, leaving Rahman critically injured.Locals brought the victim to Chittagong Medical College Hospital but the doctors declared him dead on arrival.
Darjeeling: Bengal is all set to be promoted as a tourist destination in Europe. For this, a familiarisation tour will be organised soon, whereby renowned tour operators from Europe will be taken around the state to familiarise them with the tourist destinations.”We have plans to tap the European market. Very soon, we will organise a familiarisation programme for tour operators of Europe. The tour operators will be taken around Bengal to familiarise them with the destinations. North Bengal will form an integral and important part of this programme,” said Thendup Namgyal Sherpa, joint director, Tourism department. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSherpa was delivering an address at the seminar entitled ‘Destination: North Bengal- sustainable, economic and social development’, organised by the Indian Chamber of Com- merce and North Bengal Development department, in Siliguri on Friday. “There is huge potential in Bengal. However, the potential is still untapped in the avenue of adventure tourism and tea tourism,” added the joint director. The impetus at present by the government is on home stays. “Tourists want to taste local cuisines, experience the culture and want to get a feel of Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in statethe place. Home stays provide the perfect opportunity for this. The process of registration of home stays has begun and we are coming out with a clear cut policy on home stays,” stated Sherpa. The focus is on selling Bengal with intense marketing in all travel marts in the country and across the globe. “However, in national platforms we see at times that there is absence of aggressive marketing. We are doing our part. The stakeholders have to come forward as well and be a part of the journey together,” added Sherpa. Majority of the domestic tourists in Bengal hail from the southern part of the country. The state government has come up with travel guide books and will soon come up with destination-specific brochures. “We will also give emphasis to thematic tourism promotion,” said the joint director. The importance of North Bengal as a tourist destination could be gauged to an extent by the increase in the number of passengers at the Bagdogra Airport. “Bagdogra has evolved as a major airport in the country. A major airport handles over 20 lakh passengers annually. There are 22 major airports in the country. Last year, Bagdogra saw a footfall of 29 lakh passengers,” stated Subramani P, director, Bagdogra Airport. Bagdogra was originally designed as a small airport with a passenger handling capacity of 75,000 passengers annually.
Firefighters are currently tackling a large fire in Rugeley – with roads closed as a number of fire crews tackle the blaze. Emergency services were called to Power Station Road at around 11am this morning due to a blaze in a timber yard – with a number of vehicles including a lorry, a car and a caravan also well-alight Five fire engines are on the scene and police say road closures are in place, with Power Station Road now closed in both directions. Possible delays also expected on the nearby railway line. A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: ” The incident now involves, cars, caravan and pallets of timber well alight. There are now four main jets in use. “The incident is expected to affect railway lines and road so please check before you travel.” The spokeswoman added: “We re advising local residents and business, in close proximity to the incident, to keep windows and doors closed as a precaution due to the smoke issuing from the fire.” A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We are currently assisting our colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service with a large fire on Power Station Road, Rugeley. Read MorePolice: The ‘absolutely wonderful’ family of Ryan Evans will get all the support they need in their ‘darkest hour’ “We received reports of the blaze just before 11am today. There are some road closures in place. Please avoid the immediate area until further notice.” We will bring you updates as we get them.15:21Fire now outA Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said:The fire on Power Station Road is now out and crews have used five liters of compressed air foam to damp down the area. A crew from Lichfield will inspect the site again at 5pm to ensure no more hot spots develop. “12:20Fire has spread to other vehiclesA Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said:Power Station Road is now closed in both directions. The incident now involves, cars, caravan and pallets of timber well alight. There are now four main jets in use. Please keep windows and doors shut due to the smoke.” 12:18Rugeley Fire: What we know so farThe fire involves a timber yard and a lorry on Power Station Road in RugeleyFive fire engines are currently at the sceneEmergency services were called just before 11amPolice have closed a number of roads and are asking residents to avoid the areaFirefighters say a nearby raiway line may experience disruption as a result of the fireResidents and businesses in the area are being asked to keep their windows closed12:11Residents should keep windows and doors closedA Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said:We re advising local residents and business, in close proximity to the incident, to keep windows and doors closed as a precaution due to the smoke issuing from the fire.”
Saudi Arabia The United States has the largest refining capacity in the world and is still by far the largest consumer of oil in the world (though China is beginning to catch up), and its refineries require 15 million barrels of oil a day. That means even though, due to the shale revolution, domestic production has dramatically increased to about 8 million barrels, the US still has to import between 7 and 8 million barrels of expensive foreign oil a day. Let’s take a look at who the US buys the imported oil from. (Now that I finally figured out my way around the new Windows 8—which, by the way, really sucks—I can even add some color to my tables.) Canada 2.5–3 Millions of barrels exported to US per day Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Use Compounds Made from Crude Oil Golf balls Toothpaste Soap Aspirin Life jackets Louis Vuitton knock-offs Guitar strings Shoes Soccer balls Pantyhose 0.8 0.8–1.0 Venezuela Mexico But really, I’ve had a pretty good run. Here is my audited return since January 1, 2012 (green column on the left). 1.2–1.5 While the White House spied on Frau Merkel and Obamacare developed into a slow-moving train wreck, while Syria was saved from all-out war by the Russian bell and the Republicrats fought bitterly about the debt ceiling… something monumental happened that went unnoticed by most of the globe. The US quietly surpassed Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer in the world. You read that correctly: “The jump in output from shale plays has led to the second biggest oil boom in history,” stated Reuters on October 15. “U.S. output, which includes natural gas liquids and biofuels, has swelled 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2009, the fastest expansion in production over a four-year period since a surge in Saudi Arabia’s output from 1970-1974.” After the initial moment of awe, pragmatic readers will surely wonder: Then why isn’t gasoline dirt-cheap in the US? There’s indeed a good explanation why most Americans don’t drive up to the gas pump whistling a happy tune (and it has nothing to do with evil speculators). Let’s start with the demand side of this equation. Crude oil consists of very long chains of carbon atoms. The refineries take the crude and essentially “crack” those long chains of carbon atoms into shorter chains of carbon atoms to make various petroleum products. Some of the products that are made from petroleum may surprise you. Good day in the markets Bad day in the markets 0.3–0.5 Country Kuwait Canada is blue because it is not only friendly with the US, but also has the ability to increase oil production. The other countries are red because they either have decreasing oil production, or the country is not on good terms with the US government, or the production may be at risk for various reasons. The “red countries” all sell oil to the US at higher prices than does Canada. As I said, the US imports about 7 million barrels of oil a day, and our top 5 exporters make up between 5.6 and 6.8 million barrels while the rest is split among other countries. This means that even though the US has significantly increased its oil production in the past five years, a good chunk of oil has to be imported at much higher prices. And higher crude oil prices for refineries means higher prices at the gas pump. But that’s not the only issue: The “new oil” produced from the shale oil fields in the Bakken and Eagle Ford formations isn’t cheap. Both the Bakken and Eagle Ford have been hugely successful, and an average well in either region can produce over 400 barrels of oil per day. That may sound like a lot, but drilling thousands of meters into the ground (both vertically and horizontally), then casing and fracking the well, costs millions of dollars. And the trouble doesn’t end once the well has been drilled: oil and gas production can drop as much as 50% in the first year. Think of it as running on a treadmill—but the incline gets steeper and steeper the longer you run. That’s the current reality of America’s oil production. Now, these areas also have to deal with declining legacy oil production (“legacy” meaning older oil wells that produced before fracking became popular) due to depletion rates. Freeze-offs, and even hurricane season can affect the legacy oil wells’ production decline. As the old wells begin to deplete, they need to be replaced by unconventional wells with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Even though these new wells provide an initial burst of production, they decline very quickly. That means you need to drill even more wells just to keep up—and the vicious cycle continues. The costs, as you can imagine, are forbiddingly high. Even in known oil-rich regions like the Bakken and Eagle Ford, the all-in cost of extracting a barrel of oil from the ground can cost as much as US$75 per barrel (for comparison, Saudi Arabia can produce oil for as low as US$1 per barrel). To put it in simple terms: cheap oil in North America is a thing of the past. So, the US produces expensive oil and relies on imports of even more expensive oil. And since the refiners need to make money as well, this means higher prices at the pumps. Who loses? The US consumer, of course. What would help lower gas prices? Building more pipelines to deliver cheaper Canadian oil to refineries in the US and decreasing the refineries’ dependence on expensive foreign oil. Until these new and much safer pipelines are built, rail has to pick up the slack. Almost 400,000 railcars full of oil are expected to be shipped in 2013, compared with just 9,500 railcars in 2008, a whopping 41-fold increase. But rail is not the answer. In fact, transporting oil by rail is much more dangerous than transporting it by pipeline. Just last week, we wrote about two recent accidents, one of which claimed 47 lives. Federal and state taxes at every step of the gasoline-making progress make the pain at the pump even worse. The US government already takes more than 60% of the divisible income from every barrel of oil produced… and another 50 cents per gallon at the pump. Then there’s the matter of Obama’s supposed “Green Revolution” and how America would be saved through the use of alternative energies. Obama wrote massive checks to different renewable energy firms that went belly-up, the most famous of them all being solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, whose bankruptcy cost American taxpayers more than $500 million. Obama is also a heavy supporter of ethanol (his home state of Illinois, after all, is the third-largest ethanol-producing state) and has increased the targets for the use of ethanol in transportation. Someone has to pay for all of these subsidies, so why not get the dirty, evil oil companies to pay for them? Keep in mind, though, that the oil companies have enough lobbyists and lawyers to keep the government at bay—so the higher prices will be passed on to the consumers. To sum up why the price of gasoline is so high even though the US is producing so much more oil than before: The high cost of American oil production Even higher costs due to imported (non-Canadian) oil Obama not allowing cheaper Canadian oil to flow to the refineries via pipelines such as the Keystone XL The taxes on crude are used to fund Obama’s green dream—his green-energy “legacy”—and his love for ethanol and the taxes at the pump will not decrease So what does this mean for you, the consumer? You have two options: You can gripe about high gas prices… or you can choose to profit from the situation, no matter how dire. If you’re the former type, so long, and I hope you enjoyed my missive today. If you’re the latter, let’s talk money. Who am I? Well, I kinda look like this guy… I stand by my performance and offer anyone reading this article a guarantee: if you try the Casey Energy Report today and do not think that it’s the absolute best energy newsletter in the business, you get all your money back, no questions asked. I’m not saying I’m perfect (my wife reminds me daily that I’m not ), but I’m willing to put myself out there and offer you a challenge to expand your knowledge and become a better investor. All of my past newsletters, going back to 2006, are up on the Casey website, and I want you to check them out. I have lost money on investments (anyone who says they haven’t is a liar), but I made sure I learned something from every harsh experience. And overall, I’ve made much more than I’ve lost. Our energy portfolio has been delivering +50% gains since January 1, 2012. Right now, I’m the first to publish on what I think is going to send my track record to the moon. I’m on to an investment theme that I believe has the potential to make 10-fold returns for investors who play it right. That theme is the European Energy Renaissance. Doug Casey and I are convinced that new technologies applied in the Old World will bring huge New World profits. But don’t take my word for it—I challenge you to try out my research. Click here to take me up on my 100% money-back guarantee. Additional Links and Reads OPEC Warning of $150 Oil Price If Member Countries Cut Investment (The National) What people often forget about the oil and gas sector is that it is a very capital-intensive business. If companies (or countries) do not consistently re-invest in their production, the amount that comes out of the fields inevitably drops lower and lower. To make matters worse, the demand for oil within petroleum-exporting countries is increasing due to population growth. This means much less will be available for exports, leading to higher oil prices worldwide. Pirates Abduct Two Americans on Oil Ship Off Nigeria Coast (New York Times) Piracy is still a very real concern worldwide when it comes to shipping, adding yet another layer of risk in the global oil and gas trade. Though the phenomenon has died down somewhat in Somalia, we see that piracy is still alive and well in other parts of the world. In the latest event, two American citizens have been abducted in Nigeria. This could be the beginning of a worrying trend of increased piracy around parts of Africa. Final Keystone Review Assesses Potential of Oil-by-Rail Transport (Globe and Mail) US officials are currently considering whether transporting oil by rail is a viable alternative to the pipeline. However, as we have mentioned in previous issues of the CDD, they will soon find that despite the fact that it’s theoretically possible to ship the oil by rail, it will be much more expensive and much less safe. If it comes down to a clash of the lobbyists, however, who knows what could happen?
In This Issue. * Markets think the elections are good for the U.S. * Gold loses $28 and probably more as the day goes on! * Canada gets a renminbi hub! * U.S. Trade Deficit soars to $43 Billion! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Currencies & Metals Get Ambushed! Good Day!… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Right from the top this morning (and before I have a senior moment) I want to say a GREAT BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the lovely Rachel Butler. Oldest son, Andrew’s lovely bride, Rachel. I always think of the first time I met Rachel, it was at the Annual Butler Christmas Party, and I thought, she’s perfect for Andrew! And so it was, a few years later, they were married! Now, she’s a Butler, and a big part of our family. Happy Birthday, sunshine. Well, there’s no sunshine for the currencies and metals this morning, and guess what’s getting blamed for this ambush this morning. The results of the mid-term elections in the U.S. last night, which saw the Republicans gain the Senate for the first time in long time, and the markets are all giddy about this prospect. It seems they think that this will grease the tracks for clearer decision-making to take place. Hey! I didn’t say that, the pundits out there in writer-land did! I’m just reporting what they are associating the ambush on the currencies and metals this morning with. Of course, I could very easily say to them, if they would hear me now and listen to me later, that this is no panacea for debt cutting, and budget balancing. For, when this dollar weak trend began we had the same scenario, expect the President was from the other party. Remember that? So, I guess what I’m saying is that there’s no guarantee that business will recover because of the party in charge. And that’s all I’m saying about this political stuff, because it gets me nowhere, I’ll tick off half the readers, and make the other half not so happy because I didn’t jump up and down in an euphoric dance! But, the damage to the currencies and metals this morning is UGLY. They aren’t just getting hit with the UGLY stick, they are having the whole forest hit them! Gold is down $26 this morning, and looking like it could go even lower. Last night I was reading a report from Casey Research, and the headline of the story read: Sellers Waterboard Gold – Is The Price Torture Over? Well, the markets are answering them this morning, and saying not no, but Hell No! I saw another conspiracy thought yesterday regarding who’s behind this latest drive to get Gold cheaper. The thought centered around the Swiss Gold Referendum. Saying that the Swiss are behind this move to get Gold cheaper, for they believe they will lose the resistance to the Referendum, thus requiring them to buy 1,700 tonnes of Gold, as I explained last week. Well, if they have to start buying, wouldn’t it be better to start at a cheaper price? Of course it would be. But let me ask this question, and don’t get me wrong, the idea is solid, just not the player. Do they really think the Swiss National Bank (SNB) have enough intestinal fortitude to do this? I don’t. But then they did pull of that devaluation of the franc two years ago, and the markets barely batted an eye. Well, this is no fun. watching Gold get ambushed day after day by the paper trades. As I told you yesterday, Koos Jansen reported that China has an insatiable demand for physical Gold, and Russia, and Turkey, and Brazil, I could go on, but just about every county in the East and Middle East are adding to their Gold reserves. Are they doing this for the hell-of-it? Or, are they doing so, because they see something coming down the pike that’s going to be UGLY. Even uglier than this ambush of the currencies and metals this morning by the dollar bugs. But you know. I told you months ago that I thought the dollar was ready to have a short period of strength, and could drive the euro down to below 1.20. I just didn’t think it would come this quickly, which leads me to believe that we could very well see a bounce that’s based on the drop in the currencies was too far, too fast. We usually see that. I’m just saying. OK. on Monday I told you the Big News regarding the direct convertibility of the Chinese renminbi, with Singapore dollars. Well, it was Big News as far as I’m concerned, and let me remind you that in 2008, I began writing about the currency swap agreements that China was signing with one country at a time, and thought that too was Big News, even if most news outlets didn’t see it that way. And then yesterday, in the Canadian National Post, was more Big News. Apparently, this coming weekend, when Canadian PM Stephen Harper visits China, both he and the Chinese will use the visit as an opportunity to announce that Canada (Toronto) will become a trading hub for the renminbi, thus allowing Canadian firms to trade directly in the local Chinese currency, rather than converting loonies in U.S. dollars to do business in China. This is the culmination of the currency swap agreement that was signed last year between the two countries, where they agreed to swap each country’s currency, thus leaving out the U.S. dollar, in the terms of trade between the two countries. Now there is a Hub in Canada, for depositing renminbi, by Canadian firms doing business in China. It just keeps growing bigger and bigger all the time folks. The Chinese drive to gain a wider distribution of the renminbi, which is the number one requirement of a reserve currency! I don’t know of any other way I can emphasize the importance of the news regarding the renminbi this week. I can no longer do handstands or cartwheels (I was a on the “tumbling team” as a young man in elementary school, yes, I know, look at me now, go ahead and laugh, that’s OK, I know that somewhere in this extra-large body is the Chuck that was quite, what my dad used to call, a country athlete) But I digress. What I’m saying is this is absolutely crazy that no news outlets are of the same mind as me and believe this news is important. UGH! I told you yesterday that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left rates unchanged, and didn’t take their meeting as an opportunity to deep six the Aussie $ (A$). But today, the A$ has lost over 1-full cent. Why? Wasn’t the fall from $1.04 to the low 90-cent range, tied to the weak prices in commodities, namely iron ore? And then the fall from the low 90-cent range to 88-cents due to RBA jawboning the currency lower? And then what’s to blame for this next downward move? I really think the interest rate differential narrowing talk in favor of the U.S. dollar is getting overblown. But it is what it is, right? We have to deal with it. until someone has a V-8 head slap moment, and realize they have been premature with their thoughts about rates in the U.S.. That could take some time, folks, for these knuckleheads have very thick skulls! Or, it could last until the next round of QE is announced. Yes, I know that’s not carved in stone, and it might never happen, but as I said the other day, if it doesn’t ever happen, then I’ll believe that pigs can fly. So, I guess it would be good to talk about when I suspect the next round will come. They were discussing the timing of the next round of QE (QE4) in the 5 Minute Forecast / The “5” last Thursday, and they said that James Rickards pointed out that” the time between the end of QE1 and the start of QE2 was 17 months. The time between the end of QE2 and the start of QE3 was 15 months. So, expect QE4 in late 2015″. And I thought, no, no, no, that can’t be, I see the lack of liquidity and the drop in inflation happening far before that. And then The “5” went on to say that they have this “Oh Sh*t” Graph, that tracks inflation. And funny thing, every time, since 2009, that inflation dropped below 2.2%, the Fed has embarked on another round of QE, and guess what the graph is telling us now? “Uh-Oh, the line has been breached! Inflation has dropped below 2.2% again. Come again, I hear you saying. Are you telling me that we could expect QE4 at any time now? Ahhh, grasshopper, not quite yet. the Fed will have to see that all their hard word of the past 6 years is being undone for sure first. Because consumer inflation can be volatile, but we should continue to look for this to happen. And when it does, all this talk of dollar strength will be reversed, or at least that’s how I see it, it’s my opinion and I could be wrong! Well, the U.S. Trade Deficit widened by an amount that was not seen or forecast by the experts in September, and guess what the culprit was? Well, first let’s talk about the size of the Trade Deficit, which printed at $43 Billion in September, up from $40 Billion in August. The deterioration came from exports falling 1.5% and imports remaining unchanged. So, guess what the culprit was? The relatively stronger dollar. Just another unintended consequence of a strengthening currency on a country that depends so much on exports to offset the imports that are usually quite high. Of course, exports could have been held down too, by the slowing economies of the world. But, these countries still need capital goods, no matter how slow their economies are, just like here in the U.S. we import things like Oil no matter how slow the economy is. The U.S. Data Cupboard was busy yesterday with the Trade Deficit print, and the ugly -.6% negative print of Factory Orders, which wasn’t as bad as August’s -10% print, but ugly nonetheless. The NY regional ISM (manufacturing index) fell from 63.7 to 54.8. That’s a HUGE drop, but these regional reports can be volatile, and I grew tired of reporting on them because they never seemed to have any bearing whatsoever on the National ISM, but this one stuck out like a man with a hatchet in his forehead! Today’s Data Cupboard will begin to get us ready for the Jobs Jamboree on Friday, when the ADP Employment Change report for Rocktober. This report is expected to show that 220,000 jobs were added in Rocktober. The song: The Walker, by Fitz and the Tantrums is playing, and I have the speakers turned up so loud, it’s a good thing I’m here by myself! This is a real wiggle and bounce in your chair song! I had a laugh the other day, when the National ISM report and the Markit version of ISM printed for Rocktober. One showed a HUGE gain in the index up to 59, and the other showed a lower number of 55. Now remember this printed on Monday before the elections yesterday, so guess which one the Gov’t is responsible for printing and which one is a public company. Are you laughing out loud with me on this? That gain to 59 was so trumped up that it made it look ridiculous! The size of the, no wait I can’t say that. I’ll just say that the boys and girls printing that number were brave, eh? I read a story on the Bloomberg this morning that pretty much sums up the data prints in the U.S.. Let’s see what the Bloomie has to say.. “Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. said optimism on U.S. growth is misguided as economic data understate inflation and overstate growth, and central bank policies of the past six years aren’t sustainable. Nobody can predict how long governments can get away with fake growth, fake money, fake jobs, fake financial stability, fake inflation numbers and fake income growth,” New York-based Elliott wrote. “When confidence is lost, that loss can be severe, sudden and simultaneous across a number of markets and sectors.” Amen brother! I think this is bang on, folks. and I’m glad I happened to see it, as I was looking through stuff on the Bloomie this morning. My email box was loaded with emails from the WSJ and Washington Post this morning, giving me the results of the all the races, as if I really wanted to see all those! UGH!, so I spent part of the morning, deleting over 100 emails! Gold isn’t the only metal getting ambushed this morning by the dollar. Silver has a $15 handle, Platinum has lost $25, and Palladium has lost $42 since yesterday morning. OMG! (oh my goodness!) This is crazy folks, just downright crazy! For What It’s Worth. There’s something happening here, what it is, ain’t exactly clear. Yes, I’ve waited a long time to use that line after the FWIW beginning. and today’s piece works out perfectly, for we have some numbers, but it’s just not clear what to make of them yet. I saw the headline on Ed Steer’s letter, and so I went to the site at Newsmax.com to find the story. Are you ready? Yes, I’m ready. “The portion of home purchasers who are first time buyers dropped to 33 percent for the 12 months through June, the lowest since 1987, and down from 38 percent a year earlier, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors. The average since 1981 is 40 percent. “Rising rents and repaying student loan debt makes saving for a down payment more difficult, especially for young adults who’ve experienced limited job prospects and flat wage growth since entering the workforce,” Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement. Average hourly wages for all workers rose only 2 percent in the 12 months through September. “Adding more bumps in the road is that those finally in a position to buy have had to overcome low inventory levels in their price range, competition from investors, tight credit conditions and high mortgage insurance premiums,” Yun said.” Chuck again. Chris and I were talking about housing and housing loans yesterday, and in the previous day, we discussed with one of our mortgage guys in Jacksonville, who told us that there is more pressure on banks to give loans to low credit rating borrowers. Chris and I said, isn’t that what got us in this crazy financial meltdown to begin with? And then Mike Meyer chimed in and said, ” Yes, and when it all crashes like it did before, who are they going to blame? The Banks for giving the low credit borrowers loans!” I shake my head in disgust that this is happening again. To recap. The currencies and metals are getting ambushed by the dollar this morning, and it’s all due, according to the stories on the wires, to the Republicans winning the Senate which gives them the ability to set the course for the President’s last two years, and the markets believe this will be clear decision-making. Of course Chuck pointed out that we’ve seen this before, about 12 years ago at the beginning of the weak dollar trend. so, he’s questioning their thought process. (but isn’t Chuck always questioning the markets’ thought processes? HA!) Gold is down $28 as I write, and looks like it could be one of those really ugly days for the shiny metal. Canada will have a hub for renminbi to facilitate trade and allow the direct exchange of loonies and renminbi in the terms of trade. This is HUGE news folks, but don’t tell the news agencies, or the markets, they can’t seem to find their rear end with both hands. Currencies today 11/5/14. American Style: A$.8620, kiwi .7735, C$ .8740, euro 1.2480, sterling 1.5905, Swiss $1.0365, . European Style: rand 11.1495, krone 6.8845, SEK 7.3840, forint 247.45, zloty 3.3940, koruna 22.2830, RUB 44.18, yen 114.70, sing 1.2955, HKD 7.7525, INR 61.41, China 6.1503, pesos 13.63, BRL 2.5200, Dollar Index 87.53, Oil $76.96, 10-year 2.35%, Silver $15.24, Platinum $1,200, Palladium $757.80, and Gold. $1,141.35 That’s it for today. Well, did you get out and vote? It was an ugly rainy day here, so getting out to vote took effort, but I did my part despite the weather. It’s difficult for me on days like this when everything that I believe about economics, markets, and trading is shattered, shaken, and left for dead. But about 7 years ago, after being told I had Stage 4 cancer, I began to have a different outlook about those things I couldn’t control. I have no control over the markets, or the people that make up numbers for economic reports, or created Trillions of dollars with one stroke on a keyboard, so I work diligently to not let these things get to me. Instead I attempt to focus on what’s important. like Rachel Butler’s birthday today! I understand that we’re going to dinner tonight to celebrate Rachel’s birthday, so that should be fun! Shooting Star is playing their hit song: Last Chance, on the IPod, man that was a big song in the 80’s. They were a Kansas City, Mo band, so they got a lot of air time here in St. Louis. See, there, a little rock history on top of all the other things we talked about today, where else can you get such a wide array of information in one place. Like the Wide World of Sports. Spanning the Globe. And then the sky jumper falls off the ramp. Good and bad. just like the everything else. But the good today is that it is Rachel’s Birthday! YAHOO! And. our catcher, Yadier Molina won his seventh consecutive Gold Glove! WOW! Ok. time to get out of your hair today. that is if you have any left after seeing the ambush. I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
Engraving depicting one of Robertson’s phantasmagorical shows and the effects they had on audiences. Credit: Memories by Etienne Gaspard Robertson Immersive experiences are fashionable at the moment, as virtual reality finally emerges into the mainstream with headsets now commercially available. But immersion is a technique much older than technology. It is the key to storytelling, in literature, film, videogames, even in the spoken stories told by our ancestors around the campfire. We are taken in by the experience: we become so involved with a character that we share their emotions, or build expectations about their progress in the story – and react when these expectations are either fulfilled or thwarted. Provided by The Conversation Credit: milliganpuss, CC BY You can imagine the multi-sensory aspects of this experience: the design and shape of the space would have been critical to its impact on the audience, with light flooding in from the east. With dust and smoke in the interior, and the sound of a priest’s sermon and choir reverberating around the vaulted ceilings, even by today’s standards it would be pretty immersive.Smoke and mirrorsIn the late 18th century, the quirkily named phantasmagoria used – quite literally – smoke and mirrors along with magic lanterns, a form of early image projector, invisible screens and sound effects to create a theatrical performance. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Citation: A brief history of immersion, centuries before VR (2018, May 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-history-immersion-centuries-vr.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Recovered written accounts of the phantasmagoria are very interesting, as they link the rise in the use of magic lantern projections with the history of cinema. Via these immersive experiences, we get to the development of contemporary virtual reality devices.The origins of phantasmagoria are associated with the work of German Johann Georg Schropfer who used magic lantern projections as part of monastic rituals – another form of immersive religious experience.Participants would often fast for 24 hours prior to a performance and were greeted ceremoniously with drugged punch or salad. Skulls, candles and other monastic paraphernalia were used to set the scene. Accounts indicate that in these original performances three ghosts would be summoned, serving the monastic search for a deeper truth through contact with the spirit world. To be fully immersive, sources of haptic stimulation in VR apps need to be shown, researchers find Look at immersion from a historical perspective and we see the rituals and social practices that gave rise to immersive experiences, and the relevance of the past to the hyped products of today.In the middle ages, the use of stained glass in churches was designed to create an immersive sense of otherworldliness by bathing the church’s interior with coloured light. It was designed to provide churchgoers with a sense of direct contact with the divine, through visual stories aimed at a largely illiterate population.Stained glass was an important form of visual storytelling. It was one of the ways that religious institutions could exert their hold on believers through the sanctity of messages delivered through colour and light, for which believers had to crane their necks up towards the sky to face the high windows.A great example of this is the recently restored Great East Window at York Minster, a very large expanse of painted glass created in the early 1400s. The sheer scale of this window is extraordinary. It is the largest expanse of glass in the minster and one of the biggest in Europe. All designed and created by one artist, John Thornton. Its subject is no less than the beginning and the end of the world representing in its huge number of panes scenes from Genesis and from the Day of Judgement. As such, it can be easily interpreted as a form of immersive storytelling for audiences of the late middle ages. Inflicting terrorThis soon became popular entertainment, and the showman Paul Philidor produced elaborate shows for audiences in Vienna. Another was the Belgian Etienne-Gaspard Robertson in the first few years of the 19th century in Paris. He would use three moving magic lanterns behind a transparent screen, accompanied by elaborate costumes and decorations and augmented with horrifying sounds, to inflict terror upon his audience. With the growing Victorian interest in all things gothic, phantasmagoria performances spread to England where they were delivered alongside seances to deceive, terrify and manipulate their audiences. Some of the mechanics of today’s immersive experiences can be found in these early examples. The use of a projection system is common to phantasmagoria and to contemporary cinema. Head-mounted displays seen in modern VR systems can be first seen in the stereoscopic imagery of the View Master, which dates back to the 1930s and is still available in children’s toy shops today. From the 1950s, different cinematic techniques were introduced, including 3-D cinema using stereoscopic glasses, an approach that still captivates audiences to this day – the 3-D film Avatar is among the most financially successful movies of all time. I remember one of my first immersive experiences was watching How the West Was Won in the 1960s on a Cinerama screen – where a film is projected onto a giant, curved screen that provides an immersive experience via the wrap-around effect of the huge screen on the viewers’ field of view.So the current obsession with immersive virtual and augmented reality experiences will continue – we love our illusions and the stories that go with them. But we should not forget that to be swept away and out of the present by an immersive story is a timeless human desire, that’s origins go back as far as we do. Great East Window, York Minster, which depicts scenes from the beginning and the end of the world. Credit: University of York Explore further
Investors respond better to the profit potential of green innovations such as solar-powered planes rather than their eco-credentials, according to Dr Bertrand Piccard, founder of Solar Impulse. Credit: Milko Vuille, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 New energy innovation report highlights central role of emerging economies Provided by Horizon: The EU Research & Innovation Magazine It was one of a number of initiatives launched at the Mission Innovation clean energy conference in Malmö, Sweden, on 23 May.Clean energy innovations are often high risk, yield low returns and take a long time to reach maturity. The idea of the label is that showing the financial impact of environmental solutions will help sell the concept of clean and renewable energy to governments and potential financial backers. It’s led by Dr Bertrand Piccard, the first person to fly around the world in a solar-powered aircraft.’When we consider climate change and consumption, it’s not only our comfort, our growth, our lifestyle that is the reason for that,’ said Dr Piccard. ‘It’s the fact that the technologies that we use are wasting half of the energy that is produced. Half of the pollution is only due to the losses, to the waste and the inefficiencies of the systems that are in use today.’He told the conference that he had already used arguments around profitability and job creation to convince right-wing politicians in Switzerland, who are generally against environmental initiatives.By the end of 2018, Dr Piccard aims to have selected 1,000 recipients of the label, and the EU is helping to reach the target by identifying the most promising EU-funded projects.Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, who launched the label with Dr Piccard, said that it would change the conversation around clean energy by focusing on solutions.’The efficient solutions label clearly demonstrates the economic opportunities that innovative clean technologies bring,’ he said. ‘Its rigorous and strict criteria will help raise the profile of new breakthrough solutions and make them attractive for investors.’In 2019, Dr Piccard will travel around the world to promote the solutions to governments and businesses, and they will also be presented at the UN’s 24th climate change conference COP24 in December 2018. The aim is to encourage the adoption of more ambitious environmental targets and energy policies by highlighting the financial advantages of doing so.Two-thirdsEnergy consumption and production account for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, so sustainable energy innovation is vital if the world is to achieve its climate goals. Explore further The pioneering solar flight foundation Solar Impulse has launched an ‘Efficient Solution’ label for clean energy start-ups and innovations that can demonstrate their profitability, in a bid to boost investment in the sector. That’s one of the reasons that the Mission Innovation project was launched in 2015 at the Paris climate change conference, where countries agreed to limit global warming to two degrees above pre-industrial levels. It aims to double public investment for early-stage clean energy entrepreneurs by 2021 in a bid to dramatically speed up innovation in this sector, and is supported by 24 members, including the EU.’Citizens and innovators can help us to accelerate the clean energy revolution,’ said Commissioner Moedas.Ahead of the Malmö conference, the World Economic Forum (WEF) launched a white paperthat identified the main problems faced by clean energy entrepreneurs, including a so-called financial valley of death – meaning that there is little long-term risk capital available in the sustainable energy sector.According to the WEF, governments currently supply more than two-thirds of global investment into research development and demonstration (RD&D) for clean energy projects, while most private RD&D is focused on oil and gas rather than renewable technology.The paper set out six bold ideas for improvement – including creating institutions for energy innovation, establishing an independent international fund to finance energy projects that combines public and private donations, and developing instruments for public-private co-investment. It highlighted the need for alliances between organisations and companies that promote innovation, and praised the Mission Innovation programme as a best-practice example.Through the Mission Innovation initiative, India has also proposed an international incubator to test clean energy technologies in local markets, and Sweden has launched a competition to promote disruptive innovations funded by public-private partnerships.However, part of the problem is a lack of visibility, as clean energy entrepreneurs don’t always have access to the platforms where potential investors are active.ChampionsIn an effort to address this, Mission Innovation is setting up a Mission Champions scheme to promote excellent clean-energy researchers and innovators and raise their profile on a global scale.The champions will be flown to the next Mission Innovation conference where they have the opportunity to network with ministers and business leaders, and they will be encouraged to engage in cross-border idea exchanges with other champions. The idea is that through the scheme, the champions’ visibility will be enhanced, which could lead to potential investment opportunities.To date, the Mission Innovation initiative has set out seven so-called Innovation Challenges that push member countries towards ambitious goals in a variety of clean energy sectors. The EU is co-leading challenges on converting sunlight into storable solar fuels and affordable heating and cooling of buildings. A new eighth challenge on hydrogen energy was launched this week and will also be led by the EU.So far, research in this area has boosted the production of aviation biojet fuels under the ITAKA project and have led to the development of new approaches to make building heating and cooling systems more sustainable and efficient under the Celsius City project. ITAKA in particular achieved greenhouse gas savings of more than 70%, and improved local air quality by 30%. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Solar Impulse ‘Efficient Solution’ label for profitable start-ups to boost clean energy investment (2018, May 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-solar-impulse-efficient-solution-profitable.html
© 2018 AFP Summer is the ideal time for breaking out a bottle of rose, but fans of French wine might think twice after millions of bottles were found to contain less costly Spanish tipple instead. Explore further ‘Question of price’Tensions have long simmered between winegrowers on either side of the Pyrenees, with French producers often accusing their Spanish rivals of unfair competition.In recent years French protests have blocked Spanish trucks from bringing their wine into the country, with demonstrators emptying their loads onto highways.Production surpluses in Spain have pushed down prices there, making the country’s wines a better deal for consumers—and a tempting substitute for some French distributors.”It’s a question of price,” Jerome Despey, a winegrower in the southern Herault region and member of the FNSEA agricultural union, told AFP.The two countries’ agriculture ministers met in Paris last summer to try to end the conflict, leading to a series of measures aimed at limiting price volatility, Despey said.Price increases across Europe following weather-related grape harvest shortfalls last year have also helped ease tensions.”We need to keep up the pressure with these inspections so this kind of thing can’t happen again,” Despey said, urging the government to impose stricter labelling rules.Delphine Geny-Stephann, France’s junior economy minister, said she had asked the fraud agency “to continue carrying out regular inspections in the sector.” French winemakers emptying wine from a Spanish truck during a protest Le Boulon, ten kilometres forms the French-Spanish border, in April 2016 French farmers block refineries over palm oil imports This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: France sees red after Spanish rose wine found in domestic bottles (2018, July 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-france-red-spanish-rose-wine.html French investigators found that millions of bottles of rose actually contained Spanish wine France’s consumer fraud agency confirmed Monday that 70,000 hectolitres—the equivalent of 10 million bottles—of Spanish rose were falsely labelled as French vintages by hundreds of producers in 2016 and 2017.According to French daily Le Parisien, which first reported the findings, Spanish rose sold in bulk at the time for just 34 euro cents ($0.40) a litre compared with 75 to 90 cents for French rose.”We were alerted to the ‘Frenchification’ of Spanish wine at the end of 2015,” the consumer agency’s Alexandre Chevallier told the paper.”So we launched an inquiry at all levels, from producers to importers to restaurants and distributors,” he said.Twenty-two percent of the businesses subjected to controls in 2016 and 15 percent in 2017—a total of 743 establishments—were cited for trying to present the foreign wine as French, he explained. Some blatantly passed it off as French, as was the case for bottles showing drawings of French-sounding but fictitious castles, or wines sold by the glass in some restaurants.Others were more subtle, putting “Produced in France” on the front label but “European Community wine” on the back, or embellishing bottles with national symbols like the heraldic lily or a ribbon in the blue, white and red of the French flag.Misleading wine drinkers is no small matter in France: producers could face fraud lawsuits that carry penalties of up to two years in prison and 300,000 euros in fines.
Tamil Nadu policy COMMENT December 27, 2018 Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu, followed by Nuapada in Odisha and Siddharthnagar in Uttar Pradesh, have emerged as best performers among 112 backward districts in the country, in a household survey carried out for government policy think tank, Niti Aayog.At the bottom of the table are Pakur (Jharkhand), Hailakandi (Assam) and Chatra (Jharkhand).The rankings has reflected improvements that these districts achieved on 49 parameters relating to education, health, agriculture, basic infrastructure, financial inclusion and skill development in two surveys involving 1,00,000 households conducted in June and October this year.In January this year, Niti Aayog has declared these districts, which are backward in many aspects, as ‘aspirational districts’ to enable focussed development. Besides, ranking them on the basis of their subsequent performance also helps them to compete with one another, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant told reporters on Thursday. —————————————————- Most improved districtsLeast improved districts1.Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu)111. Pakur (Jharkahnd)2. Nuapada (Odisha)110. Hailakandi (Assam)3. Siddharthnagar (UP)109. Chatra (Jharkhand)4. Aurangabad (Bihar)108. Giridh (Jharkhand)5. Koraput (Odisha)107. Kiphire (Nagaland) ——————————————————————————————————- Progress“All of them have been moving up on various parameters, but some faster than others,” Kant said.Among those districts that have significantly increase the pace of their improvement are Kupwara (Jammu & Kashmir), which moved up to 7 in raking in October from 108 in June, Ranchi in Jharkhand which moved up to 10 from 106, Siddharthnagar whose ranking shot up to 3 from 101 in June and Jamui in Bihar which surged to the ninth position from its ninety-ninth position in the previous round.While Virudhunagar continues to have the poll position in education and basic infrastructure, UP’s Chitrakoot district top the table in health and nutrition and Kupwara tops in financial inclusion . Sitamarhi district in Bihar leads among these aspirational districts in agriculture, while, Raichur in Karnataka is the first in skill development. RELATED Dahod tops NITI Aayog’s aspirational districts list Telangana to conduct census of backward classes Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, Focus on backward districts: PM SHARE COMMENTS