Finishline Racing Products rewards top five at all Speed Shift TV Dirt Knights Tour events

first_imgFinishline gift certificates will be mailed from the IMCA home office after results from Dirt Knights Tour events are received, and in September following Super Nationals.  “We are excited to get the Dirt Knights Tour started and equally as excited to have Finishline Racing products back on board as a supporting sponsor in 2020,” IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder commented. “Their market is the tracks and areas this tour visits and we’re proud to help connect them to our racers.” A vendor for Speedway Motors, Performance Bodies, Aero, Allstar Performance, Wilwood, QA1 and Eibach, among other manufacturers, Finishline provides the parts trailer that also supplies Hoosier tires, AERO wheels and Sunoco fuel on Fridays at Crawford County Speedway in Denison and Saturdays at Shelby County Speedway in Harlan. More information about products available from Finishline is available by calling 712 267-1150, on Facebook and at the website. The Denison, Iowa, high performance parts supplier is owned by Ryan and Theresa Anderson and begins its third year of IMCA sponsorship. Finishline also gives $50 gift cards to qualifiers for the Modified race of champions during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.  Opening night for the 11th annual Dirt Knights Tour is July 20 at Park Jefferson Speedway. Eight dates at tracks in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota are on the 2020 tour schedule.  DENISON, Iowa (July 16) – IMCA Modified drivers finishing in the top five at Speed Shift TV Dirt Knights Tour events receive $50 gift certificates from Finishline Racing Products again this season.last_img read more

5 Rules For Working with Rented Gear on Your Next Shoot

first_imgAll filmmakers make mistakes, but it’s crucial not to make them with gear that isn’t yours. Here are some must-follow rules for rented gear.Top image via Shutterstock.When you’re starting out in the film industry, more often than not, you’re overworked, underpaid, and stretched way too thin. As a result, you’re going to make a few mistakes. In my opinion, it’s crucial as a community that we discuss and own up to our mistakes so that others can learn from them and move forward accordingly.This is especially true as it relates to rented filmmaking equipment — since these are the tools that we all share and use to tell our stories. Misuse of rented gear affects all of us, but it’s something that will happen on one of your productions at some point — whether it’s a big mistake or an incredibly small one.So, as someone who has rented gear quite often throughout the course of my career, I’ve made a mistake or two with equipment that I didn’t own. Some mistakes were worse than others, but the small ones feel just as bad as the bigger ones when you’re turning the gear back in to the rental house. So, here are some rules for weeding out and properly dealing with common on-set mistakes with rented gear.Save All Blown Or Broken BulbsImage via Shutterstock.If you think about it even slightly, this one seems very obvious (though all mistakes seem avoidable in hindsight), but I’ve heard from many rental houses that this rule gets forgotten quite often.Bulbs will blow out. It’s just a part of the show — and it will happen to you. In some (hopefully very rare and very avoidable) cases, a light may fall due to improper rigging — or get accidentally dropped by your cousin’s nephew’s first-time gaffer. If that happens, the bulb might shatter, or the filament will fail.Image via Shutterstock.In any of these cases, it is crucial that you save the broken or blown-out bulb — and you also want to have a very well-prepared explanation for why it happened. Bulbs are expensive, and the extra bulb you get with the light rental isn’t just a freebie. A bulb for an 800 watt HMI can cost around $500, and if you don’t save the physical proof of the failed bulb, then the rental house has every right to assume that you’re stealing it.When you’re standing there at the rental house telling them the story about how it was 4:00 in the morning and you were shooting in an old cemetery and the bulb on their Joker 800 blew out and you can’t remember where you put it because you were in a big rush, it won’t matter. You will buy them a new bulb.Double Check All Power Sources at The LocationImage via Shutterstock.Properly checking your power sources for your production (preferably during pre-production) with the location owner or location manager will be useful to you and your production. In an admittedly more basic way, you’ll know which light fixtures or support gear will even be valid for the power setup in your location (available amperage dictates the size of lights you can use for various needs). Alternatively, in a more budget-friendly regard, it can save you from needing to completely replace a light fixture or ballast.This is very rare. By all accounts you will more than likely be able to use any household outlet or generator for your lighting fixtures, and you’ll be fine. Having said that, all it takes is one bad outlet to completely blow up a ballast and cost you or your production a lot of money.Image via k5600.What does this mean? Well, in one particular case, I once plugged a ballast for a relatively low-powered HMI into an outdoor outlet to punch some light through a window for a daytime scene. I struck the light, and for a few short seconds everything seemed to be going fine, until the owner of the house briskly walked outside and said “Oh, wait — by the way, don’t use that outlet!” (pointing at the outlet that I had just used to spark the HMI). About that time, a few decent-sized sparks flew out of the ballast, and the light failed. Turns out the outlet was wired improperly, which ruined the ballast, and I had to replace it entirely. Not cheap.This entire situation could have been avoided if I would have just asked the homeowner ahead of time if there were any power quirks that I should know about. That’s all it takes.Image via ScreenLight & Grip.Another thing to consider is that some portable power generators run at frequencies that some film equipment really doesn’t like. So if you plan on using a genny, make sure it’s a “film friendly” generator. A good example of a low-cost generator known for being friendly with filmmaking lights is a Honda EU2000i (it’s also known for being super quiet). Using the wrong generator could also cause a ballast to fail.The Renter Is Always Responsible And Must Be PresentImage via Shutterstock.It’s common that the person who is actually responsible for the rented gear may not be the one actually physically doing the work. Whether it’s a producer, an agency account, or just a contractor tasked with overseeing the rental, the person who is in contact with the rental house and pays the bill is always the one responsible for the gear.This means that if you’re using rented gear on a production, you are a representative of the responsible person, and their fate is in your hands. Their reputation, the associated bank account, their career, and their faith in you as part of their team are all on the line. This is clearly not something you should take for granted.Image via Shutterstock.However, this is a lot of responsibility for the crew — especially when they are not associated with the rental. The person who is associated with the rental should be on set at all times to ensure proper use of the gear. At the end of the day, the actual renter is the one who has to answer for any mistakes, and if they’re not on set, they won’t be able to explain what happened. If this happens, the rental company will lose faith in your entire group.Take it from me: if you’re returning gear that got mishandled on a production that you weren’t in charge of, and the person who was in charge wasn’t there when the mishandling happened, it’s very awkward. This is true even if you had nothing to do with it and you were just trying to do someone else a favor by returning the gear in the first place.If Something Happens, Attempt To Contact the Rental HouseImage via Shutterstock.If you’re on a set and a piece of rental gear gets broken or damaged, the first thing you should do in all cases is attempt to contact the rental house. Whether you’re calling about a broken extension cable or a $50,000 lens, they need to know immediately. If you can’t get in touch with them because it’s after hours, try an e-mail. Make sure that it’s clear that you tried to contact them.In some cases, the rental company may be able to send you a replacement. At the very least, they will know that you made an effort to contact them right away, which builds credibility as a client.The absolute biggest reason that this is important is because that piece of gear that you broke may be necessary for a different production the next day — or even later that day. Some rental houses only carry one or two instances of a particular piece of gear, and they may be scheduled for another project. If you’ve broken it, they need to know so they can inform the next renter and help them come up with a new plan.We all share this stuff, and following these practices only makes it better for all of us.Dont Take Shortcuts During Load-Out/Load-InImage via Sunwolf Lighting and Grip.Packing up gear is never fun. Whether you’re done shooting for the day and just trying to get home, or loading up so that you can head to the next location and get back to work, it’s easily one of the biggest drags of being a filmmaker.It happens quickly, it’s exhausting, and more often than not, the temptation to phone it in can be quite strong. When you’re done shooting for the day and you went three to four hours longer than you were supposed to and it’s time to load-out from the location — this is when the good crews separate from the bad ones.It’s absolutely imperative in these moments to slow down, take your time, and make sure that every member of the crew gets the gear that they’re supposed to get. Each person responsible for each piece of gear should get every single thing that they left the rental house with to begin with. The rental house will index everything you return, and if something is missing or different or broken, they will notice. No exceptions.Image via Shutterstock.More than anything, you have to pretend that all gear is yours. Treat every piece of gear the same way that you would want someone to treat something that you worked hard to buy. Gear isn’t cheap, and the fact that almost every decent-sized market in the world has gear rental options available is something that no filmmaker should take for granted.These are the tools that we use to tell stories, advance our careers, and push the craft forward. We all make mistakes, but try your very hardest not to make them with things that aren’t yours.last_img read more

It Looks Like The Baseball Is Behind MLBs Power Surge

The great home run mystery of 2015-17 has been solved. Maybe.Yesterday, former FiveThirtyEight writer Ben Lindbergh and prominent sabermetrician Mitchel Lichtman published a piece at the Ringer with evidence showing that alterations to the ball might partially explain the spike in home runs over the past two seasons. By physically testing the balls, they found that in addition to changes that make the ball come off the bat faster, the seams were made flatter in a way that could affect the ball’s aerodynamics. With their findings in mind, I examined the rate of home runs per fly ball and found further evidence suggesting that the ball itself may be the culprit.Just after the All-Star Break in 2015, MLB’s home run rate increased without warning or explanation. Since then, it has continued rising, and it now threatens the all-time record set in the heart of the steroid era. In a series of articles at FiveThirtyEight, Lindbergh and I ruled out various explanations for the home run surge, including weather, a wave of young talent, and steroids, leaving alterations to the ball as the most likely answer. It’s either that, or 750 MLB players woke up one morning in 2015 with more pop in their bats. Despite MLB’s repeated denials, Lindbergh and Lichtman reveal that the 2016-17 baseballs have different physical properties — and those changes could explain the record-breaking home run rates. The primary alteration to the ball affected its bounciness, making it come off the bat faster. But Lindbergh and Lichtman also uncovered evidence that the ball’s seams are lower and that its circumference has decreased. Those changes should decrease the ball’s air resistance, so that a new ball should go farther than an old ball that leaves the bat at the same speed.And it turns out the new balls do tend to travel farther. I built a model to predict whether a given fly ball would go over the fence in 2015, based on the launch angle, exit velocity and stadium.1I defined a fly ball as one hit with launch angle greater than 20 degrees. Then I used that model to predict how many home runs there were in 2016.2I used a random forest to produce the results discussed in this article. I also ran a logistic regression, which produced similar findings.If the ball stayed the same, the model should be able to forecast the right number of homers. Instead, the league hit about four percent (201 total) more home runs hit than expected in 2016, even accounting for the higher exit velocities and better launch angles. That’s significantly more than you’d see by chance.3The p value was less than 0.01. The changes can also be seen in the trends of the last few years: If you focus on balls hit with launch angles of between 20 and 40 degrees and exit velocities higher than 100 miles per hour (roughly corresponding to the league’s definition of “barreled balls”), 72.9 percent of those flies ended up over the fence in 2015, compared to 74.7 percent in 2016 and 76.4 percent so far this year. Of course, another possibility is that MLB recalibrated Statcast, the radar tracking system that maps the trajectory of every batted ball, which could cause the same ball to be listed with different exit velocities in 2016 to and 2015. But even if that did happen, it would not resolve the mystery, it would only shift responsibility for the home run spike to inexplicably harder hitting, instead of more favorable ball aerodynamics.It’s possible that weather (temperature, wind or humidity) could be affecting home run rates, but when I examined only domed stadiums, I found the same increase in dingers. I asked baseball physicist Alan Nathan to calculate what effect the new balls could have, and he found that the changes in the seam height and circumference would increase average batted-ball distance something like 1 or 2 feet, raising home run rates by approximately 4 percent — identical to what I observed.Reached for comment, Major League Baseball noted that the league regularly tests baseballs to ensure that they meet established standards, and that recent tests have found that the balls are within those standards. MLB also said that an outside consultant has examined their results and found no reason to suspect that the baseballs in use today would cause an increase in offense.To be sure, the league-wide impact of tweaking the ball’s aerodynamics is small. According to Lindbergh and Lichtman, who note that their experiments are not definitive, the seam height and circumference changes only appeared in 2016, well after the midyear adjustment in 2015 that kicked off the home run surge (that part of the increase is likely attributable to increases in the balls’ bounciness). It’s likely that many factors are contributing to the ongoing spike in home run rates, including hitters adjusting their approaches and favorable weather conditions, but we now have a compelling explanation for the bulk of the spike. read more

Barcelonas red alert they dont have a Luis Suarez sub

first_imgNow that Munir El Haddadi has left FC Barcelona, the Catalan club is working extra hours in order to find a suitable Luis Suarez replacement.Things are getting very complicated for FC Barcelona now that Munir El Haddadi has left the Catalan club to play for Sevilla, as they have yet to find a centre-forward who can replace Luis Suarez in case the Uruguay international suffers an injury.The whole drama started last summer after an unhappy Paco Alcacer left the club to play for Borussia Dortmund, he never felt appreciated by manager Ernesto Valverde and demanded more minutes in order to grow as a professional.These two recent exits have placed both Eric Abidal and Ramon Planes on emergency mode according to Diario AS, they are not even that sure if things are going to work out for them during the winter market in order to find a proper striker who can replace Suarez with a reassured guarantee.The Uruguay international seems to be in a great form this season, but not having his replacement ready to get on the pitch if an emergency happens is something that a club as massive as Barcelona simply cannot afford.The experiment to try and use Ousmane Dembele as a striker didn’t work, the French youngster proved that he plays at his best when he is free to roam around the wings and playing secluded limits his talents immensely.[ÚLTIMA HORA] Acuerdo con el Sevilla por el traspaso de Munir El HaddadiTodos los detalles 👉— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) January 11, 2019The possibility of using Lionel Messi is also something that Ernesto Valverde would have to do if things don’t work out their way, but the manager doesn’t want to take the Argentine star back to the position Pep Guardiola first envisioned because pretty much every squad already knows how to stop him from doing any damage.The options if the Catalan club decides to not go after a new player seem limited, they won’t compromise the team’s dynamic this season because they already feel like the squad is performing above average and they would very much prefer looking at the options they have on the market.But the transfer window is less than 20 days away from closing, which leaves the Barcelona board of directors with very few options in a very short span of time to reach a decision.Manager Ernesto Valverde is going to have to take extra special care of Luis Suarez during the second half of the season, even if the club does end up signing a striker who can replace him because there are no options at the same level the Uruguay international has delivered on a consistent basis during the last five seasons.David Villa, FC BarcelonaTop 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.⚽🔥😱😍🤠💥🔝🔫¿Con qué emoji definirías el golazo de @LuisSuarez9? 👇— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) January 6, 2019With 12 goals in the current La Liga season, it doesn’t look like Suarez will stop delivering good performances any time soon.But just in case anything weird happens, the options for FC Barcelona vary from Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata to Leipzig’s Timo Werner and just a couple of other players who are not very familiar to anybody in the market.The options for the Catalan club are very limited, the time is running and they are starting to get a little desperate after the announcement of Munir’s exit was announced earlier on Friday.The situation that has everybody at the club the most nervous, is that they know getting a top-level striker is a priority because their objective this season cannot be other than to win the Champions League after they got eliminated early in the competition for three consecutive seasons.If the Cule squad doesn’t get to at least reach the final this season, the manager can start packing his bags because nobody will tolerate anything less impressive than that.The clock to find a striker is ticking for FC Barcelona, time is running out and there is not a lot of wiggle room for them.🔥 @LuisSuarez9 🔥Un experto en voleas— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) January 7, 2019Which striker would you like Barcelona to sign during the winter transfer window? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Researchers develop a worldwide tourism network

first_img Citation: Researchers develop a worldwide tourism network (2008, June 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further It wasn’t too long ago in human history that people rarely, if ever, traveled beyond the village they were born in. We’ve come a long way since then: according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), international traveler arrivals peaked at 763 million in 209 countries and territories in 2004. The WTO expects that number to reach 1.6 billion by 2020, making international travel one of the fastest growing economic sectors. Map of the world tourism network, with link color corresponding to the intensity of the connection. Top countries receiving tourists: US, Canada, China, Russian Federation. Top countries sending tourists: US, UK, Germany, France. Top countries receiving and sending: US, Canada, Australia, China, Russian Federation. Countries receiving and sending the fewest tourists were the South Pacific islands. Credit: Miguéns and Mendes. But where do all these people go? And where do they come from? Further, what is the relationship among countries that are popular or unpopular tourist destinations? Mathematician Joana Miguéns and physicist José Mendes, both from Aveiro University in Portugal, have developed a worldwide tourism network to help investigate some of these questions. Besides revealing information on human traveling patterns, the network will also likely help researchers understand information transfer and global wealth flows, since tourism accounts for more than 10% of the world’s gross domestic product.Miguéns and Mendes used 2004 data from the WTO, which defines tourism as “the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other purposes.” In the researchers’ model, links between countries represent tourist arrivals from one country to another. The network is both directed and weighted – directed in that the links are one-way, and weighted in that links become stronger as the number of traveler arrivals increases. In their analysis, the researchers found that the network is very strongly directed. Specifically, if one country has tourists visiting from another country, there is only a 25% probability that the second country will have tourists visiting from the first country. And, despite the large numbers of travelers, the overall connectivity of the network is lower than might be expected. A full 60% of all pairs of countries are not connected to each other, meaning they don’t exchange tourists at all.Another interesting feature of the world tourism network is that, in at least one way, it behaves more like an economic network rather than a social network. In the tourist network, countries with a high degree (those that are popular tourist destinations) are more likely to be neighbors with countries with a low degree (less popular tourist destinations). This behavior is similar to economic and transportation networks, which have patterns where popular central hubs have many inbound connections from peripheral nodes. As the researchers note, this finding could question the common notion of culture as the driving force of tourism.center_img How climate change impacts the economy “In general, social networks are of an assortative type, where hubs connect to hubs,” Miguéns told “Here we observe a different structural topology, with disassortative behaviour, more characteristic of technologic and economic networks, where hubs connect with small-degree nodes. More recent results also show that, on the level of clustering coefficients, the same characteristic behaviors of nonsocial patterns are observed.”The researchers also found that, overall, the world tourism network is scale-free over four orders of magnitude. The network changes in scale, but not in relation, even as the number of travelers dramatically increases or decreases. So as travelers increase, as expected, it’s the countries that are already the popular tourist destinations that are more likely to add new connections. This scale-free nature, which contrasts with the random topology expected of heterogeneous networks, opens up an entirely new class of networks. “Contrarily to the results obtained recently for the worldwide air network (where a scale-free network was observed), the results for the tourism network are – from the point of view of degree of different countries – similar to a random network,” Miguéns said. “A scale-free network is obtained when we have in consideration the traffic weight between countries. The way to understand the concept of preferential attachment seems from our point of view related with a kind of ‘social phenomenon’: marketing, travel promotion, word-by-mouth, etc.”More information: Miguéns, J. I. L. and Mendes, J. F. F. “Travel and Tourism: into a Complex Network.” Physica A, Volume 387, Issue 12, 1 May 2008, Pages 2963-2971. Also available at: arXiv:0805.4490v1. 29 May 2008.Copyright 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of 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.last_img read more