Resiliency is Keeping Housing Outlook Optimistic

first_imgHome / Daily Dose / Resiliency is Keeping Housing Outlook Optimistic Resiliency is Keeping Housing Outlook Optimistic Previous: How Fannie and Freddie Weathered 2017 Next: Market Analysis After 25-Months of Tight Inventory Subscribe Economic Forecast Fannie Mae HOUSING Housing Outlook mortgage 2017-11-16 Nicole Casperson in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, News, Secondary Market Tagged with: Economic Forecast Fannie Mae HOUSING Housing Outlook mortgage Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily About Author: Nicole Casperson Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech’s College of Media and Communications. Her thesis will be published by the International Communication Association this fall. To contact Casperson, e-mail: [email protected] Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group (ESR) released its November 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook, which includes monthly updates on economic development, economic forecast, multifamily market commentary, and housing forecast.This month, economic developments reported the first print of Q3 economic growth showed surprising resiliency—as the expected economic hit from the recent natural disasters either failed to materialize or was drowned out by business optimism.“Recent data showed a stronger pickup in domestic demand than anticipated, leading us to increase our growth forecast for the final quarter of this year and coming quarters,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan.The economic growth forecast report revealed an increase by two-tenths to 2.4 percent following a stronger-than-expected estimate of Q3 real GDP growth and an improvement to the Q4 outlook.“We also revised higher our 2018 growth forecast to 2 percent,” Duncan added. “Tax cuts, if enacted, present upside risk to our growth forecast for next year but could also lead to more aggressive Fed action. Housing still remains a drag on the economy, as shortages of labor and available lots, coupled with rising building material prices, further complicate existing inventory, affordability, and sales challenges.”The group’s housing forecast outlook reveals that housing remains a soft spot, and is expected to “subtract from GDP growth for the third consecutive quarter” as low housing inventory continues to provide challenges to home prices at the expense of affordability.In addition, Fannie Mae announced on Thursday that it will resume low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) activities in an effort to provide a reliable source of capital for affordable rental housing and underserved markets.According to the release, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) approved Fannie Mae’s re-entry into the LIHTC market as an equity investor effective immediately.Jeffery Hayward, EVP, Multifamily at Fannie Mae said this is a significant step forward for the enterprise to better serve the multifamily market and play an integral role in addressing America’s affordable housing crisis.“The LIHTC program has long been the most effective tool at driving housing supply for low- and very low-income families,” Hayward said. “Fannie Mae’s renewed participation in these business activities will support the LIHTC market by providing a reliable source of capital and a stabilizing influence on affordable housing throughout diverse economic markets and cycles.”Since its beginning, the LIHTC program has built nearly 3 million apartment units, housing about 6.7 million low-income families, and currently finances the construction and rehabilitation of almost all subsidized housing in the U.S. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days agocenter_img Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save November 16, 2017 1,628 Views Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago  Print This Post The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days agolast_img read more

MMJ’s Jim James Announces New Solo Album And Fall Tour With 20+ Performances

first_imgWith not many dates on the schedule for My Morning Jacket, fans have been curious as to the band’s plans for the remainder of 2016. It seems that it won’t be the band at all, as frontman Jim James as just announced his own solo album and supporting fall tour.The new album will be titled Eternally Even, marking James’s second-ever solo effort, and it will be released on November 4th via ATO/Capitol Records. The album was co-produced by Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes) and Jim James, and the album takes on an activist tone in the heart of election season.“I wanted to make an album that hopefully speaks to the issues of the day, many of which, sadly, are issues we have been dealing with since the beginning of time.” says James in a statement. “Most of what I think about right now is how so many things in the world are SO fucked up- our political system is broken and corrupt…our earth is being destroyed by climate change…people are not treating each other with equality and respect… and I think- are we going to make it?  Are we going to figure it out and fix it before it’s too late? Can we ever truly open our hearts and embrace love in all its beautiful forms? I think it’s still possible. I still have hope in humanity. I’m just trying to be a part of the discussion and encourage people to speak out for equality, to not be afraid to speak out for peace and love. All of us feel afraid at times in these absolutely insane times, but its important we speak our minds, cast our votes, and do not give in to fear and hatred.”Jim James will support the new release with an extensive tour, including four previously-announced dates from September 28 through October 1st. The full fall tour kicks off on November 15th with two nights at Royale in Boston, MA, before heading out on a full 23 date tour of the country.Check out the full fall tour schedule below, and head here for more information about tickets.Jim James Fall Tour Dates9/28: Pappy and Harriet’s, Pioneertown, CA9/29: Ventura Theatre, Ventura, CA9/30: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, San Francisco, CA10/1: The Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA11/15 & 11/16: Boston, MA @ Royale11/18: Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore Philly11/19: Washington, DC @ Warner Theatre11/20: New York, NY @ Terminal 511/22: Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle11/23: Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium11/25: Louisville, KY @ Palace Theater11/26: Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre11/27: Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater11/29: Saint Louis, MO @ The Pageant11/30: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown12/01: Minneapolis, MN @ State Theater12/03: Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre12/05: Missoula, MT @ The Wilma Theatre12/06: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo12/07: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre12/10: Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl12/11: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee12/13: Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Live12/14: Dallas, TX @ House of Blues12/16: Houston, TX @ House of Blues12/17: New Orleans, LA @ The Civic Theatre*support by Twin Limb on all dates (except Fillmore SF)last_img read more

CDC expands bug repellent roster to fight West Nile

first_img While they still affirm the safety of DEET, officials acknowledged that some people just don’t like the product. Alternatives have existed—picaridin was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for US use years ago, a CDC official said—but there was little commercial interest. With the advent of WNV, mosquito repellents are getting more attention. In two recent studies, oil of lemon eucalyptus provided about the same protection as low concentrations of DEET against mosquitoes found in the United States, according to the CDC. The substance, also known as PMD, is available in several products in the United States. The product has not been tested against mosquitoes that spread malaria and some other diseases that occur internationally, the agency says. CDC WNV pages “These additional repellents will help prepare people to prevent mosquito bites this summer,” Petersen said. Apr 28 CDC news release CDC’s “Updated information regarding insect repellents” Most people who contract WNV experience no symptoms, but about 20 percent can have symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting. About 1 in 150 people can suffer a severe illness, which may involve high fever, stupor, coma, tremors, convulsions, vision loss, and paralysis, the CDC said. In 2004, 2,470 Americans fell ill with WNV and 88 of them died. However, milder cases are believed to be underreported, Petersen said. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials held a teleconference to announce they have endorsed the repellents picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus as effective tools for fending off mosquitoes that can carry WNV and other pathogens. “There are a great many people who are unprotected against mosquito bites,” she said. “West Nile Virus can be a terrible disease. It’s worthwhile to take those few seconds to reduce your risk of becoming infected.” Dec 29, 2004, CIDRAP News report on WNV activity in 2004 Zielinski-Gutierrez said only about 40% of people reported using mosquito repellent when surveyed late last year. Use in the Pacific Northwest and among Latinos is particularly low, she added. Both picaridin and the plant-based oil of lemon eucalyptus are EPA-approved for use as directed, said Dr. Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez, a behavioral scientist with the CDC’s VID division. Picaridin, also known as KBR 3023, will be sold as “Cutter Advanced.” The substance provides protection that is “often comparable with DEET products of similar concentration,” a CDC news release says. See also: Both chemicals have been used successfully in other countries, said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of CDC’s division of Vectorborne Infectious Diseases (VID). They are comparable to varying levels of DEET, the chief repellent that has been used in the United States. And both have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. A CDC fact sheet on insect repellents says DEET and picaridin have shown a higher level of efficacy in peer-reviewed studies than other repellents the EPA has approved for safety and efficacy. CDC’s new advice reflects a concern that more people need to take precautions against WNV, a mosquito-borne disease that has spread to 47 of the 48 contiguous states since first appearing on US soil in New York City in 1999. Washington state is the holdout, but Petersen said he wouldn’t be surprised to see WNV appear there this year. April 28, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Just in time for mosquito season, federal health officials today heralded the addition of new defensive weapons against West Nile Virus (WNV): two non-DEET mosquito repellents. Today’s recommendation marks a policy shift for CDC, which has long recommended DEET-containing products to repel mosquitoes. In fact, the CDC’s WNV page still contained a graphic of DEET this afternoon with the words, “Remember to use repellent with DEET when spending time outdoors.” Petersen said localized outbreaks of WNV are hard to predict and may depend on weather and other factors. That’s one reason personal vigilance is the key to good protection. The CDC recommends that people use insect repellent anytime they go outside during mosquito season, especially at night, when mosquitoes are most active.last_img read more

RICS slams Treasury over ‘selective’ Stamp Duty data

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Guyana approves amendments to Broadcast Bill

first_imgLast week, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) said the amendments “essentially” introduces “an unwarranted program manager” position by the State in the daily schedules of radio and television stations. The GPA said requesting an “allocation of 60 minutes for public service programs will disrupt and violate contractual obligations stations have with advertisers and program sponsors.” Government dismisses opposition argument He said the amendments covers terrorist and racial language ensuring the public is more informed on national issues. The government dismissed arguments from the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) that it had provided broadcast licenses to all those who had applied while the party formed the government. The amendments compel private radio and television stations to dedicate 60 minutes of airtime between 6 AM and 10 PM to government for public service content. Nagomootoo named the Stabroek and Kaieteur Newspapers as two media entities which were refused broadcast licenses under the last administration. He said the Guyana Times, which is considered linked to the PPP was given preference and granted a radio license.center_img Guyana Press Association also opposes The Guyana parliament has approved amendments to the Broadcast Bill. The government used its one-seat majority to ensure its passage despite concerns and criticisms from several stakeholders. Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who wrapped up the debate after two days, told Parliamentarians the objective of the amendments is to bring better guidelines to broadcasting. The 60 minutes is to be allocated for national address by the President, emergency notice or disaster warning issued by the Civil Defense Commission, Guyana Police Force, Guyana Fire Service, Minister of Public Health, and duly authorized government agencies.last_img read more

Watch: PSG send out innovative time-stop tweet to announce signing of Mauro Icardi

first_imgImage Courtesy: Getty/Twitter(@PSG_inside)Advertisement swq2bNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsbqWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E4m2( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 3vsWould you ever consider trying this?😱81Can your students do this? 🌚14hsliRoller skating! Powered by Firework Paris Saint Germain has successfully brought in Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi to the French capital on a season long loan deal, and have garnished the player’s arrival through an ingenious post on Twitter.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Getty/Twitter(@PSG_inside)The tweet, posted on the club’s official Twitter handle @PSG_inside yesterday, plays a video of Icardi’s face and existing PSG player’s faces, including the likes of Julian Draxler, Ángel Di María, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar, swiping left and right, but divided into three rows. Fans have to pause the video at exactly 0:04 second when parts of the Argentine striker’s face perfectly match up.Check out the post below and see if you can match up Icardi’s face-Advertisement The 26 year old center forward has been a constant subject of controversy in the Italian football media, and following the arrival of Antonio Conte at San Siro, in addition to the Belgian attacker Romelu Lukaku, it became pretty evident that the player’s time with the Nerazzuris is about to end.Icardi has arrived at Parc des Princes on loan for the 2019-20 season, with an option to o make the transfer permanent for €70 million.PSG are taking on fellow Ligue 1 side RC Strasbourg on 14th September, following the 2-0 victory over FC Metz last Saturday. They are currently at the top of the league table with 9 points to their name. Advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (March 4, 2015)–America’s top rated older horse, once-beaten Shared Belief, towers over a field of 13 older horses set to compete in the 78th running of the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino at a mile and quarter this Saturday.With his only defeat coming as the result of a controversial start in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 1, Shared Belief comes off a facile win over reigning Horse of the Year California Chrome in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles San Antonio Invitational on Feb. 7, his ninth win from 10 career starts.A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Candy Ride, Shared Belief has tactical speed, tremendous heart and has proven himself at 1 ¼ miles, as he was an impressive 2 ¾ length winner of the Grade I Pacific Classic, run over synthetic polytrack, on Aug. 24 at Del Mar.A 1 ½ length victor over California Chrome in the San Antonio, he hit the wire with his ears pricked and it appeared regular rider Mike Smith had plenty in reserve. Owned in-part and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Shared Belief is based at Golden Gate Fields on the East San Francisco Bay, with Hollendorfer’s wife, Janet. As is his custom, Shared Belief worked Tuesday morning with Russell Baze up, covering a half mile in 50.80, and vanned to Santa Anita Wednesday morning.Hollendorfer, who won the 2008 Big ‘Cap with Heatseeker, will be bidding for his second win in America’s longest continually run “Hundred Grander,” while Smith, who won the race in 2013 & ’14 with Game On Dude, will be seeking an unprecedented third consecutive Big ‘Cap win.In addition to Hollendorfer, Shared Belief is owned by Jim and Janet Rome’s Jungle Racing, LLC, KMN Racing, LLC, Alex Solis II, Jason Litt and George Todaro. Shared Belief, who ended up running a very respectable fourth, beaten 3 ¾ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, has earnings of $2,332,200.Trainer John Sadler seeks his first-ever Santa Anita Handicap win with Louisiana invader Hard Aces, who comes off a rousing four length minor stakes win going 1 1/16 miles at Fair Grounds in New Orleans on Jan. 17. The 5-year-old horse by Hard Spun earned a career-best 104 Beyer Speed figure and was sold privately to Sadler’s main client, Hronis Racing, LLC. A winner of five races from 19 starts, Hard Aces has a stalking style and will be trying 1 ¼ miles for the first time. He’ll be ridden by Victor Espinoza and he has earnings of $215,145.The formidable trainer/rider combination of Richard Mandella and Gary Stevens will combine forces with Argentine-bred Catch a Flight, who comes off a neck victory in a 1 1/8 miles allowance test at Santa Anita on Feb. 13. A 5-year-old horse by Giant’s Causeway, Catch a Flight, who was a 7 ½ length allowance winner going 1 3/16 miles in Brazil a year ago, will make his third stateside start in the Big ‘Cap and he appears on the improve for Mandella, who has thought highly of him since his arrival last fall.A physically imposing bay, Catch a Flight has seven wins from 12 starts. Should he win on Saturday, Catch a Flight would provide Mandella with his fourth Big ‘Cap win, while Stevens would get his fifth.Trainer Neil Drysdale’s Chilean-bred Bronzo, who was ridden by Stevens in his last two starts on Jan. 10 and Feb. 7, will be handled for the first time by Tyler Baze on Saturday. A Group I winner in Chile 10 months ago, this 6-year-old gelding made his U.S. debut three starts back in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Oct. 31, rallying from off the pace to finish fourth, beaten seven lengths by eventual Eclipse Champion miler Goldencents.   Owned by Don Alberto Stable, Bronzo has two wins from three starts at a mile and a quarter and is 22-11-1-4 overall with earnings of $303,002. It’s expected Bronzo will lag early in the Big ‘Cap and hope to come running late.THE REMAINDER OF THE BIG ‘CAP FIELD: DYNAMIC SKY–Although this 5-year-old Canadian-bred has raced on turf in his last eight starts, he’s in good form and his connections, trainer Mark Casse and jockey Corey Nakatani, must be respected. Nakatani, who won back to back Big ‘Caps with Lava Man in 2006-07, has become a solid fit with Casse, who came to California on a full-time basis this past summer. A graded stakes winner on turf, distance is no question for this long-fused son of Sky Mesa, and one of his five career wins came on dirt.PATRIOTICANDPROUD–Also trained by Casse, he was a sharp second in a pair of Grade II turf stakes, the Hollywood Turf Cup and the San Gabriel Stakes on Nov. 27 and Jan. 3. However, he flattened out through the stetch in the Grade II San Marcos Stakes at 1 ¼ miles on turf Feb. 7. Although winless from four tries on dirt, the 6-year-old Proud Citizen gelding has proven effective at 1 ¼ miles and beyond on both turf and synthetic.COOL SAMURAI–This lightly raced 4-year-old gelding comes off a good second place finish in a one mile allowance behind stakes winner Midnight Hawk on Feb. 6 and has done little wrong for the “Zenyatta connections” of owner/breeders Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs. Although he’s been a attentive to the pace in his last three starts, Cool Samurai rallied from far off the pace to break his maiden going a flat mile in his second start on Dec. 27, 2013, and new pilot Aaron Gryder may opt to employ similar tactics when trying a mile and a quarter for the first time on Saturday. He’s 6-2-2-1 overall with earnings of $112,750.SR. QUISQUEYANO–A winner of the 1 1/8 miles Sunshine Millions Classic versus Florida-breds on Jan. 17 at Gulfstream Park, this 5-year-old horse by Exclusive Quality earned a career best 102 Beyer Speed figure and will thus make his Southern California debut in the Big ‘Cap. Trained by Florida-based Peter Walder, Sr. Quisqueyano has an impressive overall resume of 29-8-6-3, with earnings of $713,560. Owned by Loooch Racing Stables, Inc., he’ll be ridden for the first time by Joe Talamo.MORENO–Dedicated front-runner has been idle since well beaten in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 1, a race in which he was slammed hard at the break and taken out of his preferred, pacesetting game. A Grade I winning 5-year-old gelding by Ghostzapper, he’s a fresh and potentially dangerous horse who could try to steal away on a lonely lead. An upset winner of the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles Whitney Stakes at Saratoga four starts back on Aug. 2, he has an overall mark of 23-3-7-3. Owned by Southern Equine Stables, LLC and trained by Eric Guillot, Moreno has earnings of $1,834,940.CRIMSON GIANT–By any accounting, he’s a giant enigma, as his lone win came 57 starts back on Nov. 6, 2011. A 6-year-old California-bred gelding by Formal Gold, Crimson Giant comes off the best race of his career, a nose defeat in a third condition one mile allowance on Feb. 20. Trained by Charlie Stutts and owned by his breeder, Bryan Carney, Crimson Giant earned a career-best 88 Beyer Speed figure when ridden for the first time by apprentice Brandon Boulanger. A maiden $40,000 claiming winner on Nov. 6, 2011, the ever-busy Crimson Giant, who will be making his seventh start of the current Winter Meet, is 66-1-5-15 overall with earnings of $172,642.IMPERATIVE–Although he earned more than $1.2 million last year following a $50,000 claim on Dec. 21, 2013, this 5-year-old gelding by Bernardini has tailed off badly of late, as he’s lost his last three races, the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 1, the Group I Champions Cup in Japan on Dec. 7, and the Grade II San Antonio Invitational on Feb. 7, by a combined 33 ¼ lengths. Trained by George Papaprodromou and owned by KM Racing Enterprise, Inc., he has two third place finishes from four tries at 1 ¼ miles and would seem best suited if he can get a stalking trip. Imperative is 22-3-4-3 overall with earnings of $1,340,870.YOU KNOW I KNOW–Trainer John Sadler’s “Avis” choice, he basically split the field in the nine-horse San Antonio on Feb. 7, finishing 8 ½ lengths behind Shared Belief. He gets in light with 115 pounds and will be ridden back by newly turned journeyman Drayden Van Dyke. Well beaten by Shared Belief two starts back in the Grade I, 1 ¼ miles Pacific Classic on Aug. 24, he was third, beaten 8 ½ lengths, in the 2013 Pacific Classic. A deep closer, he’ll hope for a fast early pace. Owned by Chacon and Mangini, Jr., the 6-year-old gelding by Simon Pure is 25-5-1-6 overall with earnings of $398,355.DIAMOND BACHELOR–An impeccably bred 4-year-old colt by War Front, he has yet to meet expectations. A good second two starts back on turf in the Grade II, 1 ¼ miles San Marcos Stakes Feb. 7, he exits a disappointing seventh place run in a 1 ¼ miles turf allowance Feb. 27. Although he has yet to validate his $570,000 2-year-old in training sale purchase price, he has plenty of natural speed and will be ridden by Martin Pedroza, who pulled off a 50-1 shocker in the 1989 ‘Big Cap with Martial Law. Trained by Patrick Biancone, Diamond Bachelor has two wins from 17 starts and earnings of $189,270.The complete field for the Santa Anita Handicap, to be run as the 11th and final race Saturday, with jockeys, weights and morning line odds in post position order: Cool Samurai, Aaron Gryder, 114, 30-1; Diamond Bachelor, Martin Pedroza, 114, 50-1; Sr. Quisqueyano, Joe Talamo, 115, 10-1; Dynamic Sky, Corey Nakatani, 117, 15-1; Shared Belief, Mike Smith, 125, 3-5; Moreno, Santiago Gonzalez, 121, 6-1; Patrioticandproud, Elvis Trujillo, 116, 20-1; You Know I Know, Drayden Van Dyke, 115, 30-1; Crimson Giant, Brandon Boulanger, 114, 50-1; Imperative, Kent Desormeaux, 117, 30-1; Bronzo, Tyler Baze, 117, 10-1; Catch a Flight, Gary Stevens, 114, 12-1, and Hard Aces, Victor Espinoza, 115, 12-1.last_img read more

Brazilian youngster Adryan admits he may quit Leeds

first_img Adryan in action for Leeds Brazilian playmaker Adryan has revealed he may return to Flamengo when his loan deal with Leeds expires.The 20-year-old moved to Elland Road last summer, with the Championship club having the right to sign the attacking midfielder permanently for £3m at the end of the current campaign.However, with his loan deal now coming to a close, the Brazil Under-20 international has admitted he may not stay at the English club.“I’ve learned a lot here [at Leeds] and at Cagliari,” Adryan told Globoesporte.“Now I do not know what will happen. In case I go back to Flamengo, I am more mature, better prepared. I’ve changed for the better.“I never said I would rule out a return to Flamengo. However, I can’t rule out continuing here for longer.“I will not discuss it because the decision involves others. I do not know my future. It depends on who appears, but I am a Flamengo player. I’ll never rule out a return to Flamengo.“I have one more year, a year and a half contract with them. I don’t rule it out. We’ll see.” 1last_img read more

Romanian Neanderthal May Have Interbred With Modern Humans

first_imgA report in National Geographic says that a skull found in a Romanian cave is shaking up ideas about Neanderthal Man and its relationship to modern humans.  The mostly modern skull shows a feature that was characteristic of Neanderthals: “The otherwise human skull has a groove at the base of the back of the skull, just above the neck muscle, that is ubiquitous in Neandertal specimens but has never been seen in the remains of a modern human,” the article states.  Discoverer Erik Trinkaus (Washington U in St. Louis) was surprised: “My first reaction was, that shouldn’t be there,” he said.If they interbred with us, they were us.  Are there any doubters left?  Thus ends a century-and-a-half myth that Neanderthal Man was less than human.  The range of variations in fully human specimens probably encompasses other skeletons that paleoanthropologists mistakenly classify as outgroups.  Look at this picture from the Daily Mail: would you have classified these guys as separate species only from their skeletons?  Works for other species, too (see another Daily Mail picture).(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Insights from a career in the seed industry

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Chris Jeffries, the founder of Seed Consultants, Inc., was recognized at a field day today for his 25 years of service and vision for the seed company. Here are some insights into the seed industry from Jeffries as he reflects on his career selling seed. A conversation with…Chris Jeffries, founder of Seed Consultants, Inc. OCJ: What was your background in the seed industry prior to starting Seed Consultants, Inc. and how did it prepare you?Chris: I was a 1973 Purdue graduate with a B.S. in Animal Science. In ‘78 I got my M.S. in Agriculture Education. After graduation I worked in Extension, milked cows, and taught vocational agriculture.I moved to Ohio in 1979 as a DSM with O’s Gold. In 1980 felt I had a better opportunity so I became a DSM with Pfizer Genetics. DeKalb and Pfizer Genetics merged in 1982 and I remained with DeKalb-Pfizer Genetics until 1987, at which time I became a DSM and then RSM with Super Crost Seeds.I always loved the testing and test plot portion of my job and I was always interested in the background and pedigrees of different lines and their related performance. I always prided myself on knowing my hybrids within my sales area better than anyone else in the company, which I believe greatly aided me in having successful sales districts.OCJ: Why did you decide to start SCI?Chris: I reached a point that I felt I understood the seed business better than the people I took orders from. I have tremendous empathy and commitment to my customers then and now and I didn’t think that my employers had that commitment. I was aware that there were better regionally adapted genetics available, but I couldn’t sell them. I saw the mentality — if it works in Iowa and Illinois, it will work in Ohio — but surprise, the Eastern Corn Belt is a different world. OCJ: What were the biggest challenges you had in starting a new seed company?Chris: I don’t think your publication is large enough for all of them, but to start, wearing multiple hats (which I love) but sometimes there are not enough hours in the day. Another challenge was the struggle to get to a critical volume, so people would take us more seriously. It was hard to break the mom and pop seed company label that competitors wanted to give us. At the same time, we were working to establish our own brand as the testing leader in the Eastern Corn Belt with quality seed, and reasonable pricing. OCJ: What advice would you give to another entrepreneur looking to start a business?Chris: Don’t ever compromise your integrity. Dan and I started Seed Consultants with a strong work ethic, unquestioned empathy for our customers, strong integrity, and a really small line of credit. Success is a long race; love running that race. OCJ: After you got started, was there any point it did not look like you were going to make it?Chris: No, we have always had the best friends and customers. I don’t think they would let us fail or quit. OCJ: When were you able to finally focus on building the company rather than just paying the bills?Chris: Dan and I aren’t silver spooners. We both lived simple lives. We did not take money from the company to support extravagant lifestyles. From the start we plowed money back into the company, supporting research, adding sales, agronomy, and support staff, at every opportunity. OCJ: Over your career, what has been the most dramatic change you have seen in the seed business?Chris: 1. GMO seed,2. Corporate agribusiness more engaged in the seed industry, and3. Reduction/elimination of many seed companies. OCJ: Are these good things or bad things for farmers? Why?Chris: GMO seed can be good and bad depending on you perspective. Yes, they protect yield, reduce application of chemicals and they are necessary if we are to feed the world. They have made farming simpler, but they have also driven up seed costs 500% to 700% since my starting point in the seed industry.Corporate agribusiness more engaged in the seed industry — we need their investment, but corporate ag answers to their board of directors, rather than their customers.When I started in 1979 there were probably over 400 seed companies. I hate to see it, but when I started my average customer was probably 600 acres, half corn and half beans, hogs, and they had a hired hand. Today, our average customer is probably 1,500 acres, half corn and half beans, no hogs, and maybe a part time hired hand. Things change, my grandfathers planted open pollinated corn. OCJ: The decision to step down as the general manager was probably not easy. What went into that decision and what will your role with SCI be moving forward?Chris: I work because I want to work, but when you are used to making the decisions, corporate America is very painful to work with. I began to feel like a turtle on my top in the middle of I-80. I stayed 4.5 years after the acquisition to help protect our customers, our employees, and our brand.I plan to remain with SCI as a non-employee commissioned sales agent calling on my accounts and building our brand. I plan to continue to help evaluate our genetics for the Eastern Corn Belt, walking plots and taking notes. I love this business and I want to be involved, but without the corporate headaches. OCJ: What do you plan to do with your new free time?Chris: I don’t fish, I don’t play golf, so I plan to continue working. I may even start a little breeding nursery. OCJ: How do you feel SCI is positioned for serving its customers moving forward?Chris: SCI’s direct model works. We started from $0 sales in 1990 to over $66 million in sales in 2015. The model works and there are tremendous resources behind the model. Seed Consultants, Inc. is, “Simply, the Best Value in the Seed Industry.”Chris Jeffries was recognized for his 25 years of service and vision to Seed Consultants, Inc. at an August field day.last_img read more