Five things we learned from the Champions League quarter finals

first_img Tags: AjaxAlex FergusonBalon d’orbarcelonaCristiano RonaldoErik ten HagHarry KaneJurgen KloppLionel MessiliverpoolMan Cityman UnitedMauricio Pochettinopremier leaguereal madridtopTottenhamuefa champions league Messi has scored 45 goals so far this season (Agency Photos)1. Lionel Messi is the best player in the World.Over the years, the debate of who is the best player in the World is has continued to rage on as both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have performed beyond expectation.Between the two, they have won 10 Balon d’or title, something that could never have been anticipated before the two took center stage, just over 10 years ago.On Tuesday, as Ronaldo and his Juventus were losing 2-1 at home to a youthful Ajax team, Messi was masterminding a 3-0 victory over Manchester United at the Camp Nou, one that saw Barcelona march onto the semi finals 4-0 on aggregate.The performance on Tuesday coupled with his 45 goals in 42 games this season, sums up the debate of who will win the 2019 Balon d’or, which would be Messi’s sixth overall.2. Tottenham are growing by the day.Gone are the days when Tottenham worried about Harry Kane’s absence. Back then, every one of the Spurs faithful would sink their head at news that their best player is out of a crucial game.Spurs reached the semi finals minus star-player Harry Kane who is currently injured.On Wednesday, Spurs came face to face with arguably the best team in the Premier League (Man City) and probably the world but ended up upstaging Pep Guardiola’s side and seal a spot in the semifinals of the Champions League.Yes they may be struggling in the Premier League and not sure of their participation in Europe’s premier competition next season but the signs that Mauricio Pochettino’s side are growing by the day, are at least there to be seen by everyone.3. Ajax are the darling of European football.Whoever thought that money is everything in football, must rethink again. Ajax, a team that has been built on a budget that is below 100 Million pounds is in the last four of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season.Not that they don’t spend, of course they do but not even close to what the rest of the semifinalists do, on an annual basis.Under the management of Erik ten Hag, the Amsterdam club has become the darling of European football of late and after knocking out both Real Madrid and Juventus.Ajax have eliminated both Real Madrid and Juventus from the Champions league this season.The team which has an average age of just over 23 years, is dreaming of shocking the football world by winning a first champions league title since 1995. Next in line for them is Tottenham Hotspurs and who would dare to say Ajax cannot get past the Londoners?4. Jurgen Klopp may end his trophy drought sooner than later.Jurgen Klopp is knowing for helping his sides finish second on more occasions than getting the job done.In his time at Liverpool, the German coach has been second best in the two most prestigious competitions in Europe and has also lost the Carling Cup final. But despite all the beautiful football and a scary team which attacks everyone that stands in their way, Liverpool are yet to win anything in terms of trophies under the German tactician.Klopp has already lost three finals as a Liverpool manager.This season, they are into the Champions League semifinals and must negotiate past the tournament favourites Barcelona to play the final in Madrid. In the League, the Reds are currently neck to neck with defending champions Man City with only four rounds to play.Could this be Klopp’s year? May be, after all he could have earned it big time.5. Man United are a long way off the best in Europe.Looking at Man United lose 3-0 to Barcelona on Tuesday, i could not help but realize how far the Red Devils have fallen behind amongst the elite in Europe.United lost 3-0 to Barcelona on Tuesday to exit the Champions League at the quarter final stage.Despite having a few stars in the team, United could just not come close to Barca on the day and in the tie overall which is something that was unimaginable under Sir. Alex Ferguson.After the departure of the great Scotsman, four permanent coaches down the road, United just can’t put themselves back together and despite spending loads of money on new players, the team looks miles behind the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.I know it will take time but United need to bridge the gap between themselves and the elite of the European game as soon as possible, otherwise, such scenes like those at the Camp Nou, will start feeling as normal.Comments last_img read more

NBA All-Star weekend: Stephen Curry masters the dunk and lob

first_imgCHARLOTTE, N.C. — Before the NBA All-Star game game ended, Stephen Curry needed to give the hometown crowd one last parting gift. He didn’t heave a shot from halfcourt. He didn’t shoot a 3. He didn’t even attempt a floater.Instead, Curry did not something that rarely defines his game. He threw down a dunk. With the clock ticking down to zero, Team LeBron had no inkling to play any defense. And why would they? They were about to cement a 178-164 win over “Team Giannis” in Sunday’s NBA All-Star …last_img

Armyworms and cover crops

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest True armyworm (Pseudaletia unipuncta) overwinters in the southern U.S. and adult moths migrate northward in April and May.  Females lay eggs in grassy fields including rye cover crops, and the young caterpillars feed there, typically attacking corn from early may through June.  Corn planted into rye cover is at greater risk for early season armyworm feeding because the caterpillars may already be in the field and move to the corn after the rye is killed.  Armyworm can also move into corn from other fields such as wheat, in which case infestation usually occurs along field edges. Though some growers include an insecticide in their rye burndown herbicide, this prophylactic application is not recommended because in many years the armyworm populations will not be sufficient to warrant it or its cost.  Foliar insecticides work well as a rescue treatment and can be applied in years when scouting indicates it will help.  Corn fields planted into rye cover or into other no-till grassy habitats should be scouted beginning in early to mid May in southern Ohio and mid to late May moving further north.Armyworms take shelter during the day in corn whorls or under debris so it can be difficult to find them.  Their feeding damage is more obvious, with ragged edges that progress towards the midrib.  When 15 to 20% of the stand has feeding damage the field should be re-checked within a few days to determine if defoliation is increasing.  Rescue treatments in corn may be needed if stand infestation is greater than 50% and larvae are not yet mature. If defoliation remains less than 50% and the new growth shows minimal feeding injury, the stand will likely recover with minimal impact on yield.  Early scouting is important because the caterpillars are easier to kill when small, and also because larvae nearing maturity have already done most of their feeding.A number of labeled insecticides are available for armyworm (http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/ag/images/Corn_2013_ArW.pdf), and certain Bt trait packages are also labeled for true armyworm control (http://www.msuent.com/assets/pdf/28BtTraitTable2016.pdf).last_img read more

NCGA emphasizes RFS importance to the Trump Administration

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National Corn Growers Association, along with other agricultural organizations, sent a letter to President Trump on Monday, calling on the President to maintain the integrity of the RFS.“We appreciate the President’s support of the RFS since the early days of his campaign,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “Rural America supported President Trump last year, now we need the President to support rural America.  Supporting policy changes that undermine the RFS will hurt farmers, renewable fuel plant workers, and rural America.”The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects 2018 net farm income will decline an additional $4.3 billion this year, a 6.7 percent reduction from 2017 levels. This represents the lowest net farm income, in nominal dollars, since 2006 and is a 50-percent decline in net farm income since 2013.The letter to the President disputes the recent claims made by an East Coast refinery that the RFS is to blame for their recent bankruptcy.  “Mismanagement of a single refinery should not be used as an excuse for undoing ten-years of sound policy,” Skunes added.  “Last November, the EPA concluded RIN values are not causing economic harm to refiners. The failings of one company should not be used to destroy a successful energy policy that serves not only millions of farmers who rely on strong market demand created by the RFS, but the hundreds of ethanol and biodiesel plants and tens of thousands of plant workers. The reality is, most refiners are reporting double-digit profit increases.”“Mr. President, now is not the time to turn your back on rural America. Do not undermine the RFS and risk putting farmers in an even harder economic situation than they are already in,” Skunes added. “There is a win-win here, but it means following the intent of the RFS and increasing the supply of RINs through regulatory parity for E15 and higher blends of ethanol to lower values, as well as bringing more transparency to the trading system.”To view a copy of the letter sent to President Trump, click here.last_img read more

Size Doesn’t Matter

first_imgBy Kim CalominoNot to state the obvious, but the housing market is just that – a market. Homes come in countless varieties designed to meet the needs and wants of the countless types of buyers. If builders hope to sell houses, they must meet buyers’ demands.Which buyer a builder is targeting, however, doesn’t (or shouldn’t) define how a home is constructed. And at its most basic, it is how a home is constructed that determines if it is green — that’s how, not how big.A Continuum, Not an AbsoluteWhen the term “green” is used to describe a building, it shouldn’t be construed as an absolute. While some of us who have been working in the green building arena for a long time fret over the loose use of “green” — commonly termed greenwashing — I think we might also want to keep an eye on ourselves as well, lest our “green high horse” attitude leads us to shun all but the most pure.It is generally agreed that green building should address energy efficiency, resource conservation, durability, health, and comfort. Trying to address any or all of these attributes is typically an exercise in relativity: more energy efficient, durable and comfortable than what? Which resources and how much to conserve? What’s “healthy”?The practice of green building progresses along a continuum, so it makes sense for the builder to identify a baseline and move beyond that in a process of continuous improvement.Your Baseline Is Wherever You’re Starting FromWhat baseline? Code is one obvious, if not lofty, initial benchmark. Often the most challenging baseline to move beyond is the builder’s mind-set. But in practical terms, each builder has a natural baseline, regardless of product type: the builder’s current practice. For some builders, that baseline may already be well above code. In fact, some local regulators, wisely or unwisely, have already set about to define a local version of the green baseline.Because of the increasing visibility of various voluntary green rating systems, the market may actually be homing in on an agreed green baseline. The market (and hence the baseline) is also beginning to reflect a growing conviction by many Americans that we really do need to do something about our impact on the environment. Politicians, most notably President Obama, have finally provided some leadership, which will also tinker with baseline. But the continuum will remain.Okay, So What About Size?To argue that a large home cannot be green is to say that the baseline/continuum argument applies to some but not others. Most would agree that nearly anything that gets built could have been built greener, at least in some aspect. And certainly this applies to large homes as well.Of course there’s the resource argument: simply put, bigger buildings typically use more resources. But that tendency can and should be mitigated, even in large homes. If big was really the issue, there wouldn’t be green rating systems for schools, hospitals, or large office buildings. We’d only allow home-schools — small ones, of course — and small local retail shops. We’d limit office size and frown on large regional hospitals in favor of small local clinics. That would be silly.When I hear the question, “Can large homes be green?,” I think the questioner is really asking, “Is it right for some people use more resources — live in big homes — when they could live in smaller homes like the rest of us?” That question is not really about green building; it’s more about moral or social equity, and I don’t think the green building movement should dilute its focus by debating the issue. We need to get ALL buildings as far down the continuum as possible, as quickly as possible, rather than dither over the tiny minority of homes that are large.Unless the market for large homes just up and disappears, they’re going to get built and bought. There might be fewer of them, and they might be smaller, especially in these economic times. And heck, who knows, there might even be a permanent shift occurring right before our eyes. But let’s focus on getting those builders and buyers to move along the continuum, not argue about where the line gets drawn on size.Read an opposing viewlast_img read more

On a Positive Negative

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now It’s difficult to overthrow the status quo. People don’t change without good reason. The kind of gaps that give rise to change can be negative or positive.The survival of the company is the greatest possible dissatisfaction and threat a business will ever face. That’s framing the problem or challenge in the negative. And it’s dissatisfaction, plain and simple.Another form of dissatisfaction is a company not reaching it’s full potential because it isn’t capitalizing on the opportunities available to it. Even if you frame the capturing of those opportunities as a positive vision of the future instead of negative one.Missing your revenue goals is dissatisfaction stated in the negative (how else could it be stated, you might ask). The opportunity to capture revenue you might otherwise miss is the same form of dissatisfaction stated as a positive.Diminishing margins is identifying a gap in a way that is negative, and perhaps one that is easily indicated by concrete evidence. Increasing your margins is the identification of that same gap in a positive way.Dealing with the rising cost of doing business is framing a form of dissatisfaction in the negative. Identifying ways and opportunities to better contain costs, manage the supply chain, and produce greater efficiencies, is framing that same gap in a more positive way.Positive or NegativeShould you always speak about gaps in the negative? Should you always frame them in a way that rubs salt into the wound?Or should you always frame gaps in the positive? Are people more can compelled by a positive vision than they are by the negative consequences of not doing something about the gap?It’s easy to answer questions like these as if there are universals. But it’s more complicated than that. There isn’t one right answer. There is only effective and ineffective.Sometimes things that have worked for you in the past and suggest that they would work for you now fail to produce the results you want. Other times things that have failed for you in the past end up being just the ticket for achieving the result that you want.Being effective means being aware and making good judgments about what might work in the particular circumstance you’re dealing with right now. So do something about making better choices or lose more opportunities. Or, maybe, take advantage of this opportunity to produce even better results.QuestionsAre all of the gaps you find in your prospective clients negative?Do you always frame them in the negative?Are you proactive enough to find the positive gaps after you’ve helped your clients with the negative gaps that won you the business?Which language is more powerful in motivating you personally? Are you more prone to take action through your fear or your aspirations? Is this always true?last_img read more

Last boys standing assure PH of bronze medals in boxing tourney

first_imgASBC Asian Confederation Junior Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa – Day3 Session6 – Philippines’ John Vincent Pangga defeated United Arab Emirates’ Saif Al-Kharoosi at the flyweight (50kg). PHOTO FROM ASBC FACEBOOKPuerto Princesa—John Vincent Pangga and Kenneth dela Pena hurdled their respective opponents on Friday, assuring the Philippines of at least two bronze medals in the ASBC Asian Junior Boxing Championships here.Pangga beat Saif Alkharoosi of the United Arab Emirates by RSC (Referee Stops Contest) in the first round of their flyweight duel to barge into Sunday’s semifinals against Kazakhstan’s Talgat Syrymbetov.ADVERTISEMENT After drawing a bye in the first round, De La Pena, dominated India’s Selay So, 5-0, in the pinweight class to advance against Chinese Taipei’s Yu Chen-Ching.Syrymbetov beat Bhutan’s Tanding Wangchuk by RSC in the third round and, with his solid credential as Kazakhstan national junior champion, should give Pangga a tough fight.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsAnother Filipino, Norlan Petecio, bowed to Uzbekistan’s Sherzod Kodirboev, 5-0, in the lightweight division, leaving Pangga and Dela Pena to carry the fight for the host country in the event confined to 15 and 16 year olds.Criz Russu Laurente lost to Kazakhstan’s Makhmud Sabyrkhan by the same score in the light flyweight category on Thursday. NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Though they will be pitted against internationally seasoned opponents, Pangga and Dela Pena promised to give it their best shot in the five-day competition organized by the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines headed by Ricky Vargas.The tournament took a break Saturday and will conclude on Monday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Silver lining Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games View commentslast_img read more

Maria Sharapova storms into 3rd consecutive French Open final

first_imgMaria Sharapova defeated Eugenie Bouchard 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the semis on ThursdayMaria Sharapova made it back into the French Open final for the third straight year, beating Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 Thursday.The seventh-seeded Russian lost the first set for the third straight match, but again managed to turn things around. Sharapova won eight of the last 10 games, and has now won 19 straight three-set matches on clay.Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam by winning the title at Roland Garros in 2012, but lost to Serena Williams in last year’s final.Bouchard, a 20-year-old Canadian seeded 18th at Roland Garros, was playing at the French Open for the only second time. Last year, she lost to Sharapova in the second round.In the other semifinal match, fourth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania will face 28th-seeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany.The final is on Saturday.Sharapova struggled a bit with her serve, double-faulting nine times and getting broken four times. But she made up for her shaky serving with solid groundstrokes, either going for winners or waiting out errors from Bouchard.Bouchard took the early lead with her first break in the third game of the match, smacking a forehand winner to give herself a 2-1 edge. She quickly made it 3-1 by completing a run of winning 12 of 17 points.The pair traded breaks early in the second set, and then again later. But Sharapova managed to stay ahead and broke Bouchard for the third time in the set to even the match at one set apiece.advertisementSharapova served first in the third set, and made her move in the fourth game, converting her third break point to take a 3-1 lead that she held onto until the end.Bouchard, who reached the Australian Open semifinals in January, saved four match points before Sharapova won it with a forehand that Bouchard missed on the other end.Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title 10 years ago at Wimbledon. She followed that with major titles at the U.S. Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. But since she recovered from having right shoulder surgery in 2008, she has vastly improved her clay-court game and has won six of her last eight titles on the red surface.This year, Sharapova has already won clay-court titles in Stuttgart and Rome, and her six wins so far at Roland Garros give her an 18-1 record on the dirt this season.And like against Bouchard, it’s been tough to beat her in three sets on the surface. The last time Sharapova lost a three-set match on clay was at Roland Garros in 2010, when Justine Henin beat her in the third round.last_img read more