14 Jun

State Chemist Office Restructures Seed Division

first_img SHARE Previous articleActivist Groups Despair Over Possible Loss of Monsanto NameNext articleSenate Report Shows Need for Congressional Action on WOTUS Gary Truitt By Gary Truitt – Sep 25, 2016 SHARE Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter State Chemist Office Restructures Seed Division Home Indiana Agriculture News State Chemist Office Restructures Seed Division Don-RobisonThe Office of Indiana State Chemist at Purdue University has restructured its seed section so it can more effectively determine seed marketers’ compliance with Indiana law through product inspection and testing. Don Robison, who has been hired as the OISC’s new seed administrator, has about 30 years of experience in the seed and fertilizer business in Indiana, Missouri and Colorado. He replaces Larry Nees, who retired after 41 years at the OISC, 39 as seed administrator.Jessica McVay has been promoted to seed laboratory coordinator. She is a Purdue graduate who has been with the OISC since 2012. Prior to her newly appointed role, McVay attained the technical title of registered seed technologist based on her experience and passing two national seed testing examinations. In addition to seed laboratory coordinator, McVay serves as the OISC feed microscopist, also a technical position.Nees had handled both responsibilities, but they were divided to enable the OISC to hire highly competent applicants required separately of each role so the office can best respond to changes in federal regulations, international standards, seed industry practices and technology, said State Chemist and Seed Commissioner Robert Waltz.Jessica McVay has been promoted to seed laboratory coordinator at the Office of Indiana State Chemist. She also serves as the OISC feed microscopist. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)“It’s a new way for us to improve our level of services to our clients and improve our own internal competencies,” Waltz said. “There are many changes in tools and technology within the seed industry that result in new areas of training that our staff need. We must make sure we have the competencies required of us.”As an example, Robison noted that cover crops have been growing in popularity in recent years and that their use will be given greater regulatory scrutiny in the near future because of their role in protecting the environment, including water and soil. His family farm in Greenwood uses them. The OISC can analyze cover crop seed packages to ensure that claims on labels, such as germination rates, are true and to detect the presence of weed seeds.“If you think you’re planting radishes and you have thistle seed or amaranth seed mixed in, that’s not good,” Robison said.Some farmers sell seeds directly to other farmers, forgoing a seed company and knowingly or unwittingly violating Indiana seed law. That, Robison said, presents potential problems involving seed quality.“We’re seeing seed mixes for cover crops in the marketplace that have never been through a seedsman’s hands, that aren’t tested or cleaned and not labeled,” he said. “It is important to know your source of seed and to be assured that as a farmer or consumer you are getting quality seed.”Clients of the OISC’s seed division include seed companies throughout Indiana and national companies that want to sell their seed products in Indiana.“Our ultimate goal is to help our regulated clients deliver good products,” Waltz said.The Office of Indiana State Chemist is charged with administering several agricultural laws involving animal feeds, fertilizers, pesticides and seeds to ensure truth-in-labeling, food safety, user safety and protection of the environment. In addition to a seed administrator, the office includes a pesticide administrator, feed administrator and fertilizer administrator.last_img read more

18 Jan

Noises Off, Starring Andrea Martin, Sets Broadway Dates

first_img Related Shows Star Files Andrea Martin View Comments Noises Off Noises Off is back on! The previously postponed revival, starring Tony and Emmy winner Andrea Martin, will head to Broadway next year. The Michael Frayn comedy, directed by Jeremy Herrin, will begin performances at a theater to be announced on December 17, 2015. Opening night for the limited engagement is set for January 14, 2016. The Roundabout production was put on hold earlier this year to make way for the Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher-led On the Twentieth Century.Martin, who will play Dotty, is currently reprising her Tony-winning performance as Berthe in the Los Angeles engagement of the Pippin national tour. She also won a Tony for My Favorite Year. Other Broadway credits include Act One, Fiddler on the Roof, Young Frankenstein, Exit the King, Oklahoma!, Candide and Godspell. Martin earned two Emmy awards for her writing and creation of sketch comedy characters on SCTV. Her additional screen credits include The Simpsons, Anastasia, Nurse Jackie and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.Noises Off follows a director and his group of actors just hours before the opening night performance of the farce Nothing On. Lines are forgotten, love triangles are unraveling and sardines are flying everywhere. The comedy premiered on Broadway in 1983 and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. Show Closed This production ended its run on March 13, 2016last_img read more

17 Oct

BLOG: Making the Most of Opportunities in Agriculture

first_imgRead more agency year in review blog posts.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf January 28, 2016 BLOG: Making the Most of Opportunities in Agriculture SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Environment,  The Blog,  Year in Review When I returned to the department following Governor Tom Wolf’s inauguration, I said these are extraordinary times to be in the industry. There are a number of opportunities and challenges, but we are on a path to addressing those challenges and making the most of those opportunities.Over the past year, we have accomplished a great deal in areas central to our core mission of protecting consumers and safeguarding animal health, and of creating new market opportunities for producers. At the same time, we continue looking further down the road to how we can best position the industry for long-term viability and success.With the threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, and the discovery of the spotted lanternfly, the departments’ established relationships with local government and industry proved critical to protecting producers and communities throughout the commonwealth.We also continued to help producers tap new markets, such as organics, and helped bring new people into production agriculture in 2015. This year, the department received $617,000 in federal Organic Cost Share Program funds, which reimburse operations up to 75 percent of their eligible organic certification costs and the department’s Center for Farm Transitions provided technical assistance to nearly 1,200 beginning farmers.Thinking about farm transitions is just one of the ways we focused on the future of agriculture in 2015. There will be nearly 75,000 job vacancies within the next decade in our agriculture and food industries, and we need trained workers to fill those positions. Working with our sister agencies, employers, schools, universities, career and technical education programs, and veterans’ organizations, among others, we have begun a dialogue about creating sustainable pathways, making the linkage from the classrooms to careers in the agriculture and food industries.We realize that while looking at the opportunities, we have to continue to work to aid those who need us most. Governor Wolf signed an Executive Order to coordinate Pennsylvania’s food and nutrition programs. According to Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” data, more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians – one out of seven – are at risk of hunger and may not know where their next meal is coming from. That number includes more than 564,000 children, or one in five. In his 2015-16 budget proposal, the governor made the largest investment in years to the commonwealth’s food security systems, proposing $3 million dollars to fund, for the first time, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS).Finally, what a tremendous way to cap off 2015 and ring in 2016 with the 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show! Exhibitors and visitors from all corners of the Mid-Atlantic arrived to Harrisburg to experience the largest indoor agricultural event in the United States for its centennial year. More than 10,000 competitive exhibits and nearly 300 commercial exhibitors were on display within the 24 acres spread throughout the complex’s 11 halls and three arenas. With the unusual warm January weather, the family-oriented atmosphere and low prices continued to bring in spectators all week, with more than 62,000 vehicles parked from Saturday through Friday.Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on issues that have long-term implications for the future – two of which we have laid the groundwork for this year: improving water quality and developing a strategic plan for Pennsylvania agriculture. Additionally, we have begun facilitating the development of a 10-year strategic plan for Pennsylvania agriculture. By bringing together private sector stakeholders, we have held listening sessions to gather ideas on where we need to go as an industry to capitalize on emerging opportunities and avoid looming threats.Indeed, it is an exciting time to be in agriculture. People are more focused on the quality and origins of their food. Improving technology is creating tremendous prospects. We want to be sure Pennsylvania is at the forefront of this growth potential and that we have the tools, resources and knowledge we need to make the most of it. After 2015, I’m confident we are off to a great start. By: Russell Redding, Secretary of Agriculturelast_img read more

19 Dec

SuperSport crowned PSL champs

first_img19 May 2008A drama-filled final day of the season ended with SuperSport United losing to Bloemfontein Celtic, but still claiming South Africa’s Premier Soccer League title ahead of Ajax Cape Town, who failed to get the win they needed over Lamontville Golden Arrows.SuperSport, under coach Gavin Hunt, were odds-on favourites to annex the PSL title for the first time after they beat Golden Arrows 2-0 during the week, while Ajax drew 1-1 with their Cape Town rivals, Santos. Those results left “Matsatsantsa” three points clear of “the Urban Warriors”. It was not cut and dried, however, because Ajax went into their final game with a superior goal difference.In Bloemfontein, Celtic and their supporters were determined to bring down the champions-elect and the fans of the green-and-white gave the match the feel of a knockout cup clash.Setback for SuperSportCeltic quickly put the pressure on SuperSport and their industry was rewarded after 20 minutes, albeit that it was a controversial decision by the referee. Moses Spandeel beat the offside trap and blasted a shot into the upright. The referee ruled it had crossed the goal line and “Phunya Sele Sele” were in the lead. Television replays suggested the decision was incorrect.For SuperSport, going behind in such a controversial manner, in such an important match, must have caused some of the players to question whether fate would play a cruel part in the outcome of the PSL title race.Celtic continued to press and just before the break Spandeel struck for the second time with a neat side-footed finish.At halftime, SuperSport received a tongue-lashing from coach Hunt; he admitted as much after the game. It appeared to work as Matsatsantsa improved their performance after the break.They were rewarded after an hour when Tefera Fikru headed home, but they couldn’t find another goal as Celtic went on to a 2-1 win.Must-win contestMeanwhile, in Durban, Ajax had no more success than SuperSport United at stamping their authority on a must-win contest against Golden Arrows.They fell behind when Richard Henyekane blocked a clearance and then beat goalkeeper Hans Vonk in the Urban Warriors’ goal with only a few minutes left in the opening stanza.After the short rest, Arrows began the second half strongly and grabbed a two-goal advantage when Kagiso Senemela drilled a volley past Vonk.FightbackAjax seemed dead and buried, but they began their fightback when they were awarded a penalty after 73 minutes when Saameegh Doutie was brought down in the box. Bageta Dikilu slotted the opportunity and suddenly it was game on again.With five minutes to go, the Cape Town side’s hopes of a fairytale ending were raised when Russell Mwafulirwa smashed a powerful shot past Brendan Wardle in the Arrows’ goal.In the final minute, the Urban Warriors came agonisingly close to snatching victory when a free kick by Dikulu passed just over the crossbar.The final whistle sounded on a 2-2 draw.Arms raised in triumphBack in Bloemfontein, the result of the Durban duel reached SuperSport’s coach Gavin Hunt before the completion of their game against Bloemfontein Celtic. Arms were raised in triumph on the sidelines as the Bloemfontein result became immaterial, but it had been a heart-stopping, narrow escape for the Pretoria-based club.PSL CEO Kjetil Siem flew into Bloemfontein by helicopter to present SuperSport with the PSL trophy after waiting midway between Durban and the Free State capital to see which team was going to top the league.After twice finishing second in the PSL – in 2001/02 and 2002/03 – SuperSport finally captured the title for the first time. They had, since those successive runner-up finishes, finished consistently high in the league standings, without ever truly challenging for the title.Matsatsantsa’s win proved to be a financial windfall for the team and its players. SuperSport picked up the R10-million prize for topping the PSL; also, before the final match, the club had said it would give the players and technical staff half that amount to share among themselves should they win the title.RelegationAt the opposite end of the table, Jomo Cosmos were relegated while Black Leopards, who finished second from bottom, will contest the playoffs to try to ensure their PSL survival.Mamelodi Sundowns, the defending champions, suffered a 4-0 hiding on Sunday to end the season in fourth place, which was the best finish among “the big three”, all of whom underperformed; Kaizer Chiefs ended the season in sixth place and Orlando Pirates secured eighth place after pasting Amazulu 4-1.With their one-two finish, both SuperSport United and Ajax Cape Town qualified for the 2009 African Champions League.Third placed Santos earned a spot in the African Confederation Cup. Either Mamelodi Sundowns or Mpumalanga Black Aces will join “The People’s Team” in the competition, depending on which club wins the Nedbank Cup on 24 May.PSL Standings(Played, won, lost, drawn, for, against, goal difference, points)SuperSport United 30 16 6 8 40 26 14 54Ajax Cape Town 30 14 10 6 44 27 17 52Santos 30 12 13 5 36 29 7 49Mamelodi Sundowns 30 13 8 9 40 35 5 47Free State Stars 30 12 9 9 43 40 3 45Kaizer Chiefs 30 10 13 7 32 20 12 43Moroka Swallows 30 12 7 11 41 41 0 43Orlando Pirates 30 12 6 12 38 30 8 42Golden Arrows 30 10 11 9 34 32 2 41Platinum Stars 30 10 10 10 28 32 -4 40Bloemfontein Celtic 30 11 6 13 30 35 -5 39BidVest Wits 30 10 8 12 28 35 -7 38AmaZulu 30 9 7 14 27 36 -9 34Thanda Royal Zulu 30 8 7 15 31 44 -13 31Black Leopards 30 8 5 17 27 42 -15 29Jomo Cosmos 30 2 16 12 13 28 -15 22 Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

17 Dec

Tips for conserving the soil while boosting profits at CTC

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The currently grim corn and soybean economic situation, paired with increasing environmental scrutiny of farms, is putting many farms in a tight spot for maintaining profitability. The popular Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada kicked off today with the goal of providing tips for farms to bolster profitability while improving the land and water for the future.“There’s a preponderance of evidence that shows we’re in a time of extreme weather and every scientist that looks at this says we’re going to be here awhile,” said Barry Fisher, USDA-NRCS soil scientist, keynote speaker at Wednesday morning’s general session.Barry Fisher, soil scientist for USDA-NRCS, was the keynote speaker at the CTC opening session on Wednesday.Fisher defined soil health as the capacity of a soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans, and noted it as a way to challenge the change in weather situations down the road. Fisher focused on the importance of thinking of soil as a living thing outlining four major principles for soil health:Minimize disturbanceMaximize soil coverMaximize biodiversityProvide continuous living roots“You put all these things together and that’s how you’re going to begin maximizing soil health,” Fisher said. “Soil health is not a thing you order on amazon.com.“It’s a journey and a state of mind where you’re continually adapting your management.”Fisher continued to stress the importance of improving aggregate stability. A major point that affects many other areas, he said. He highlighted several steps in the downward spiral of soil degradation:Intensive tillage, insufficient added residues, low diversity, no surface cover results in soil organic matter decreases, erosion, and compacted subsoilAggregates break downSurface becomes compacted, crust formsInfiltration decreases, erosion increases, yield consistency declinesMore ponding and persistent wetness, but less water storageThe 2016 CTC hosted an impressive crowd.With regard to the eventual downward results, “If we take it far enough, hunger and starving sets in,” Fisher said.“We led farmers to believe that farmers with flat soil didn’t have erosion loss,” he said. “What is your tolerable soil loss? It better be zero.“When in doubt, we tend to plow. I would like to suggest that at some point we change our mindset and change to mimicking what Mother Nature would do. When in doubt, plant. You’re going to fix more of these situations with biological systems than anything you can do management wise.”Fisher identified the key aspects of putting a conservation management package together incorporating multiple areas of soil improvement. They include quality no-till, adapted nutrient management, prescribed cover crops (to best compliment the previous two points), diverse crop rotation, new technology and integrated weed and pest management.“This is not your father’s no-till system that we’re talking about,” he said. “When we put this sort of a system together, the value of the whole should far exceed the sum of its parts.Fisher also said farmers need to think of soil health as economic development. He highlighted the amount of nutrients just 1% of organic matter contains. Each 1% contains 10,000 pounds of C, 1,000 pounds of N, 100 pounds of P, and 100 pounds of S. He noted that as soil health regenerates, farmers will see increases in crop yield and a decrease in risk along the way.Matt VanTillburg of Mercer County was named the Ohio CCA of the Year. Ohio CCA Chair Cecilia Lokai-Minnich presented the award.Also at the opening session, Matt VanTillburg of Mercer County was recognized as the Ohio Certified Crop Advisor of the Year. VanTillburg is heavily involved in community organizations, multiple boards, and continued investment in the industry.As farmers prepare for spring planting, much of their planning will focus on where and how to cut costs for 2016 without cutting net income, said Randall Reeder, a retired Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer and an organizer of the annual Conservation Tillage Conference offered today and tomorrow by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.“Many growers are tightening their belts because of tight budgets, low prices and not much money in the bank,” he said. “For a few years grain farmers were making good money. But in 2015 grain prices fell sharply, with 2016 prices looking to stay low.”CTC offers numerous presentations designed to help growers learn where to tighten and where to cut back while ensuring they have healthy soils, healthy water, and, hopefully, a healthy bank account, Reeder said.The program includes a “Corn University” and “Soybean School” that will be offered during the annual conference, he said.Topics to be discussed during the Corn University today include:Corn Yield Forecasting.New Molecular Methods For Insect Control.Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium Management Highlights for Corn.Taking A Second Look At Hybrid Performance and Technology.Crop-Effective and Environment-Responsible Nutrient Placement in Strip-Till and No-Till Corn.Topics to be discussed during the Soybean School tomorrow include:Ohio Soybean Limitation Survey ResultsManaging Weeds in SoybeansFertility ManagementManaging Soybean InsectsThe Future of Soybean BreedingTop 10 ways to improve yield, without breaking the bank.The Corn University and Soybean School are just two of a total of eight concurrent sessions during the conference. More than 900 participants are expected to attend the event, organized by OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, with assistance from USDA and SWCDs.The conference offers the latest research, insight, tips and techniques on precision fertility, cover crops and manure, water management, technology and equipment, nutrient management, and advanced cover crops. It features some 60 presenters, including 25 CFAES researchers and Extension educators, as well as farmers and industry representatives.Certified Crop Adviser continuing education credits are available, with an emphasis on soil and water and nutrient management hours.Topics presented during the two cover crop sessions include:Understanding the Legal Aspects of Manure Application.On-farm Experiences with Cover Crops and Manure.Enhancing Soil Mycorrhizal Fungus to retain nutrients.Improving Soil Carbon for Healthier Soils.Sustainable Agriculture programs (from Campbell’s Soup Co.).The CTC conference is at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University in Ada. The full schedule and registration information can be found at ctc.osu.edu. Walk-in registration is $80 for one day. Other conference sponsors include: Ohio Corn Marketing Program, Ohio Soybean Council, Farm Science Review, John Deere, Ag Credit, Seed Consultants, and the Ohio No-Till Council.last_img read more

12 Dec

More questions and answers on Nutrition and Cancer

first_imgMalnutrition still a problem, slide from oncology webinarMore answers to your questions:Questions not answered in the Nutritional Management of Adult Oncology Patients:Does the Academy recommend refined fish oils to avoid the potential exposure to heavy metals?Answer: To my knowledge, there is no recommendation regarding refined vs other fish oils to avoid potential exposure to heavy metals. Evidence-based public health recommendations generally suggest that the benefits derived from consuming fish, seafood and fish oils outweigh the potential harms of exposure to environmental toxicants/contaminants, so long as the EPA-FDA advisories and safe eating guidelines are followed.Would you recommend foods high in certain antioxidants although antioxidant supplements are not recommended?Nutrient-rich whole foods high in antioxidants should be encouraged due to their various purported roles in protecting from cancer. The high doses of supplemental antioxidants shown to have potential dangerous effects in cancer are unlikely to be reached through diet alone.What about the use of herbal supplements for specific types of cancer, palmetto for prostate cancer?Answer: The evidence suggesting a potential benefit of taking saw palmetto to prevent or treat prostate cancer is primarily based on laboratory and animal studies. The scientific evidence remains insufficient at this time to recommend its use in prostate cancer.For more information, you can listen to the recording on the event page.References:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hed.23599/abstracthttps://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/staying-active/nutrition/nutrition-during-treatment.htmlhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hed.20447/fullhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21142/fullThis blog was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.last_img read more

12 Dec

Back-to-Business Giveaway: Win A Sony A7III Bundle!

first_imgStart taking care of business by entering for a chance to win a brand new Sony A7III camera with a Sony 24-70mm f/4 Vario-Tessar Lens!The Full-Frame Sony A7III is one of the hottest mirrorless cameras on the market, and we’re giving one away! One lucky winner will receive a prize pack including a Sony A7III body and a Sony 24-70mm f/4 Vario Tessar Lens with Zeiss glass.This camera can do everything you need it to — with incredible auto-focus technology, the Sony A7III is a perfect companion for a run-and-gun set-up that still yields quality shots. Its low-light capability is also some of the best in the industry. The ISO range of ISO 50–204800 will give you wonderfully exposed images, no matter what kind of lighting you’re shooting in. For a chance to win, click the Enter to Win button below, and enter your email address. That’s all you have to do! The contest runs from August 15th to September 12th, so sign up now!Enter Contest HereWhat you will be receiving:Sony A7III Camera: approx. value $2,000A full-frame sensor693 point phase detect autofocus pointsISO range: 50–20480015 stops of dynamic rangeNP-FZ100 battery (which lasts more than twice as long as the old Sony batteries)Sony 24-70mm f/4 Vario-Tessar Lens: approx. value $800Angle of view (35mm): 84°-34°Minimum aperture (F): F22Minimum Focus Distance : 1.32 ft (0.4 m)Maximum Magnification ratio : 0.20×7 aperture bladesFocal Length: 24mm – 70mm ; Focal Length (35mm) (APS-C) : 36-105mmMaximum aperture (F): f/4last_img read more

9 Dec

What I Learned Writing 2,000 Blog Posts

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now The blog metrics plugin in my WordPress install reports that this is my 2,000th blog post. It tells me that the words that I have written total 1,472,090 (but that plugin doesn’t count the 100 or so newsletters that I have written over the last 2 years). Here is what I’ve learned.I have been learning. There is no better way to discover what you know and what you believe that tops writing. The act of writing forces you to think things through. It forces you to make decisions. You are what you write, and you become what you write at the same time. I am still learning.I have been practicing. I am still not a great writer. But I am better than I was when I started writing daily, five years ago. It is nearly impossible not to gain some greater competency when you do something deliberately every day for years. I have been practicing writing, and I have been practicing what I write. All the great masters were practicing. You can practice too.I have been growing. I am a different person than I was five years ago. I have grown both personally and professionally, and a good part of that growth has come through writing and posting here, as well as the work that has come to me through this vehicle. Growing is something you do forever.I have been serving. I still hear from some people who reject the idea that you should share your ideas freely. They believe everything is a secret unless and until someone pays you. I disagree. Every week I receive emails from people who have been helped by something that I have shared here. Sharing is one way you make a contribution.I have been practicing awareness. You don’t know how many great ideas pass through you until you start writing every day. Once you start to need ideas, you start to become aware of just how many good (and bad, and fair, and exceptional) ideas pass through you. The demand for ideas creates a vigilance, and constant awareness (and a notebook). There is power in noticing what has your attention.I have been improvising. I am still improvising. My plan was to write every day, and other than a list of big ideas, I’ve had nothing else to guide me, except for a few role models. You don’t have to wait until you have the perfect plan to start. You just have to start.I have been making a ruckus. With a hat tip to Seth Godin. I have shared my ideas and my art. I have created work and put it out into the world. Seth always talks about the fear of being judged, and you will be criticized. But the people you want to reach will find you, and you them.I have created a body of work. What I have written is my work. The first book to come from the ideas here will be printed in 2015. But there are a half a dozen more books that will follow, all of which have come from work that started here. There are also the roots of some of the frameworks and methodologies I have created here. Your work is trapped inside you until you free it.I have been building relationships. I have made new friends. I have reconnected with old friends. I have developed new business relationships, many that have helped me create new relationships with people from around the world. There is nothing more important than relationships, and the people who you need to know and who need to know you can be anywhere on Earth.last_img read more

27 Nov

Shashi Tharoor reviews Wounded Tiger: A history of cricket in Pakistan by Peter Oborne

first_imgWounded Tiger: A history of cricket in PakistanFor the unbiased cricket fan, the Pakistani cricketteam has always represented maddening extremes:players of exhilarating talent who could and often didoutclass the world’s best, but who were equally capable of losing to anybody in shambolic performances that embarrassed their most die hard supporters.,Wounded Tiger: A history of cricket in PakistanFor the unbiased cricket fan, the Pakistani cricketteam has always represented maddening extremes:players of exhilarating talent who could and often didoutclass the world’s best, but who were equally capable of losing to anybody in shambolic performances that embarrassed their most die hard supporters. Peter Oborne’s magisterial history of Pakistani cricket is full of these heroes who sometimes scored zeroes. The best thing about Wounded Tiger is its delightful pen portraits of the principal Pakistani players, none better than that of Fazal Mahmood, with whom the book begins, and who led the newcomers to their historic Test victory at the Oval in 1954, and the greatest of them all, Hanif Mohammad, who scored a century against India with bandaged and bleeding toes and made 337 in 16 hours to save a Test in the West Indies.Oborne’s book otherwise ploughs somewhat familiar ground for those who have enjoyed Omar Noman’s 1998 history, Pride and Passion: An Exhilarating Half Century of Cricket in Pakistan. Noman’s was written with the enthusiasm of an amateur (its author, like me, was a United Nations official when he wrote it); Oborne’s is that of a professional, meticulously researched and extensively footnoted, and it is more comprehensive, taking in everything from match-fixing to women’s cricket, a neglected corner of the Pakistani game.Every incident and anecdote ever recounted about Pakistani cricket can be found in Oborne’s book, which succeeds in being encyclopaedic without being tedious. Still, there’s more we might have enjoyed.He spends a page and a half on “the most famous shot in cricket history”, when in the final of the 1986 ustral-Asia Cup in Sharjah, Pakistan, chasing an Indian total of 245 for 7, were poised at 242 for 9 with just one ball to go and centurion Javed Miandad at the crease. India needed just one wicket (or a ball that conceded no more than two runs) to win the match; Pakistan, who apart from Miandad had been outclassed throughout the game, needed a boundary to pull off an unlikely victory. The inexperienced Indian paceman entrusted with the last over, Chetan Sharma, delivered a full toss, which Miandad pulled into the stands for a last-ball six. The stadium erupted, as did television audiences throughout the subcontinent; scenes of delirium shook the packed stands. Miandad finished on 116 not out; the next highest scorer in his side had made 36.advertisementIn a footnote, Oborne estimates that this extraordinary moment has been viewed perhaps 10 billion times since, on YouTube. But he omits much else: 36 different songs were composed and released in Pakistan to celebrate Miandad’s six, and the batsman was awarded a million dollars for his genius. Pakistan had never before won a one-day tournament, whereas India were holders of the two most prestigious ODI trophies in the world. Miandad’s stroke transformed Pakistan’s self-belief as a oneday side, energised a nation and entered the folklore of the sport. Oborne doesn’t tell us this.He is also far too brief in describing Pakistan’s loss of the 1996 World Cup quarter-finals to India in Bangalore. The reaction in Pakistan was calamitous. A college student emptied his Kalashnikov into his TV set and himself; another fan succumbed to a heart attack. The players’ aircraft had to be diverted to Karachi to shield the players from the fury of the crowd that assembled to greet them at their scheduled destination, Lahore. The losing captain, Wasim Akram, received death threats, with some reading dark motives into his failure to play in the crucial encounter (had he played and been too unfit to make an impact, he would have been pilloried as well). A judge admitted a legal suit against the team, hinting darkly at corruption. A senior Islamic cleric, Maulana Naqshabandi, declared that Pakistan’s defeat was its penalty for having elected a woman, Benazir Bhutto, to rule; such “obscene” imitations of Indian culture were bound, he argued, to bring about such tragic results. It took weeks for the sense of betrayal and grief to die down.Oborne mentions none of this (only the rumours and charges against Wasim). Playing for a country beset by poverty, feudalism, religious fanaticism, terrorism, civil strife and frequent bouts of military rule, Pakistan’s cricketers had to embody and sustain national pride. Carrying Pakistan’s national pride on one’s shoulders at a time of stress is never easy; doing it while losing to India at cricket is impossible. Oborne, regrettably, does not make enough of this, perhaps because he takes it for granted. His is a deeply affectionate book for a non-Pakistani; too often, it borders on the uncritical.advertisementHowever, he digs up much new material, and the book offers many interesting insights, such as his depiction of the national team as “not a collection of deracinated individuals” but rather “a network of assorted family connections and friendships… Families and clans were one of the main seminaries of cricket in Pakistan.” Overall, his pro-Pak sympathies-he sees “Western involvement with Muslim sport” as an example of Edward Said’s “Orientalism” on the playing field-mean that he tends to gloss over the less palatable aspects of Pakistani cricketing chauvinism.Oborne does not seriously discuss two vital featuresthat are fundamentally important to an appreciation of Pakistan cricket-the increasing militarisation of Pakistani society, including its sport; and the growing identification of Pakistani cricket with Pakistani nationalism. Pakistan, a state created for Muslims with a cricket team consisting almost entirely of Muslims, had to carve out its own distinctive “non-Indian” identity predicated entirely upon Islam. This was part of the unspoken agenda of the very first Pakistani touring team to India, and it would remain an undercurrent of cricket’s role in nation-building. Finding a space for the new nation on the world’s sports pages was to become a vital way of giving Pakistan its own role on the world stage.It was no accident, therefore, that when Pakistan suffered the convulsions of a military coup in 1958, its new president, the rather grandly titled Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan, simultaneously served as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan. The instrumentalisation of cricket in the service of a militarised nationalism is a leitmotiv that Pakistani cricket has yet to outgrow. Oborne is unkind to me in his Preface, accusing me of “carelessness” and worse in my own account of Indo-Pak cricket, Shadows Across the Playing Field (2009), so his own minor lapses are surprising, such as his frequent misspelling of the name of that wonderful commentator and diplomat, my good friend Jamsheed Marker, as “Markear”.Pakistani cricket is in a sad state today. Deprived of international matches after a terrorist strike on a Sri Lankan team prompted foreigners to refuse to tour the country, with an ageing team whose newer entrants seem to lack the spark of their mercurial and brilliant forebears, encumbered by a politics-ridden Board and chaotic selection policies, and amid declining popular support from a public deprived of cheering its heroes on their own soil, Pakistani cricket faces an uncertain future. Decline seems inevitable, but there is scarcely a whisper of it in Oborne’s worshipful account. Perhaps one day Wounded Tiger will stand as a monument to the greatest years of a cricketing culture at the point that it began a long slow descent into mediocrity.To read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more

27 Nov

NBTC: RJ Abarrientos shines as FEU stuns Canada Durham to enter semis

first_imgTrump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Abarrientos, who had 12 points in the first three quarters of the game, exploded in the fourth quarter and dropped 20 to push the Baby Tamaraws to the Division 1 semifinals against La Salle-Green Hills.The Baby Tamaraws trailed 56-67 at the end of the third but charged to a 19-7 run that Abarrientos capped off with a three-pointer for the 75-74 lead with 3:08 left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“That’s RJ for you, he will always deliver,” said FEU head coach Allan Albano. “In every tournament we played at, we’ve been consistently having slow starts, but it’s a good thing we’re able to wake up in the end.”The Canadians not only got flustered against Abbarientos’ onslaught, their 17 points in the fourth quarter were three less than what the star Baby Tamaraw scored on his own. Abarrientos finished with a near triple-double with 32 points eight rebounds, and seven assists while Kyle Bautista added 19 points and seven boards.In the three games he’s played so far, Abbarientos tallied a total of 63 points and 41 of those all came in the fourth quarter.Brendon Ocampo put up 18 points for the Canadians.Joshua David led the Greenies in their 99-69 conquest of Vancouver’s Top Flight Hoops in the first game of the Division 1 Fantastic Eight earlier in the day.ADVERTISEMENT Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants LATEST STORIES For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other Enhanced positions Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ View comments MANILA, Philippines—FEU Diliman once again banked on the fourth quarter expertise of RJ Abarrientos as it stunned Canada Durham, 87-84, in the Fantastic Eight of the 2019 NBTC National Finals Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Google Philippines names new country director Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snaglast_img read more