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Get closer to Asheville spring with macro photography

Spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year to photograph, usually because I spend some of my time chasing bees and blooms in an attempt to capture nature’s colors and textures through macro photography.As a photojournalist I carry many different tools with me each day to help make pictures for stories in both still and multimedia formats. One of those tools is a set of extension tubes.Extension tubes are an inexpensive investment in photography equipment that can help a camera and lens combination shoot small objects more easily.Their function is to separate the lens further from the camera sensor. This additional distance allows the lens to focus more closely, which in turn provides greater magnification capability.There are many different sizes of extension tubes that can vary the degree of macro capability a camera and lens can capture.Extension tubes are mounted between the camera and lens. The bigger the extension tube, the closer one can shoot to small subjects. Modern tubes, which can run $70-$300, can allow the lens to focus automatically, and allow the photographer to control camera settings digitally.For these photographs I used a Nikon D800 camera with three tubes: 12mm, 20mm and 36mm, and a 24-70mm F2.8 lens. I recommend using a tripod for still objects like flowers, although you can use extension tubes without a tripod for shooting close-ups of insects.To highlight the colors of some blooms and help with depth of field, I used an off-camera flash to ...  

Iran nuke talks expand as deadline for deal looms

Brendan Smialowski Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, center, takes a walk prior to meetings at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel, in Lausanne, Switzerland, Saturday March 28, 2015. Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program picked up pace on Saturday with the foreign ministers of France and Germany joining U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in talks with Iran's top diplomat ahead of a looming end-of-March deadline for a preliminary deal. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool) Jean-Christophe Bott German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks to journalists as he arrives for a new round of nuclear talks with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland, Saturday, March 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott) Brendan Smialowski French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, right, smiles before the start of a meeting at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel, in Lausanne, Switzerland, Saturday March 28, 2015. Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program picked up pace on Saturday with the foreign ministers of France and Germany joining U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in talks with Iran's top diplomat ahead of a looming end-of-March deadline for a preliminary deal. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool) Brendan Smialowski From left, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Robert Malley of the US National Security Council and European Union Political Director Helga Schmid wait before the start of a meeting at the ...  

Researchers Review Gastrocnemius Muscle Rupture in Foals

Foals with gastrocnemius muscle rupture often exhibit swelling of the affected area and find it difficult or impossible to stand on their own. Photo: iStock When foaling goes wrong, it can have serious consequences for both the mare and the foal. Japanese researchers have determined that a difficult birth—and sometimes even apparently normal births—can rupture a hind leg muscle called the gastrocnemius in foals. And unfortunately, that muscle's rupture can be fatal. “Gastrocnemius destruction can occur during parturition (birth) such as in a hip-locked dystocia (difficult birth),” said Fumio Sato, PhD, of the Hidaka Training and Research Center at the Japan Racing Association in Hokkaido. “But, in some cases, the gastrocnemius muscle might be overextended when the foals fall backwards during their attempts to stand up after parturition.” The gastrocnemius muscle is the strong, rounded muscle that runs along the back of the hind leg, between the stifle joint and the hock. The human equivalent is the calf muscle. When the gastrocnemius muscle is injured during or just after birth, foals tend to not bear weight on that leg or are severely lame, Sato said. The rupture can lead to significant internal bleeding of the muscle, which can cause anemia, and the bruising (hematomas) within the muscle can cause calcification (bone mass formation inside the muscle tissue). “Calcification might sta...  

Indoor entertainment center opening today

A first-of-its-kind entertainment center will open today at noon in Sioux Falls. Video: Raceway Indoor Sports Entertainment Raceway Indoor Sports Entertainment, or RISE, is in a former warehouse at 611 N. West Ave.Electric go-karts are a main attraction, although the center offers a range of other activities."They're high-performance electric karts. They're actually race karts," co-owner Jeff Iverson said. "They have the capability of going very fast. We also have the capability of controlling their speeds."League racing will held most weekdays, and the attraction has drawn interest from drivers and sponsors.RISE also includes glow-in-the-dark miniature golf, a climbing wall, a batting cage, an arcade and soft-play area, and concessions.AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext SlideIverson did research nationally but couldn't find another concept with all the same activities under one roof."It was really meant and designed for families that have multiple children that want to do different things," Iverson said. "There's no admission fee to come to RISE. You can come here, look at everything, scope it out, and it's a pay-as-you-go venue."Day and family passes also are sold. Hours are noon to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday.Hours will be extended in the summer, Iverson said.ONLINEFor a video tour and photo gallery inside RISE, visit www.siouxfallsbusinessjournal.comRead or Share this story: ...  

Susan J. Demas: Surprise! 'Religious freedom' bills are anti-business

Supreme Court Gay Marrage.JPG While the U.S. Supreme Court weighs gay marriage, states like Michigan have been contemplating "religious freedom" bills. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) I'm not sure that anyone who supports so-called "religious freedom" legislation really gets how to run a business. To be sure, those bills, which have been (correctly) criticized as a "license to discriminate," are reactionary and offensive.  Legislation has been conjured up in Indiana, where GOP Gov. Mike Pence recently signed it, and introduced in states like Michigan (where GOP House Speaker Kevin Cotter is a fan) as a last gasp against true equality for the LGBT community. The majority of Americans support gay marriage, and it's the law of the land in 37 states. But that's still deeply troubling to some in the social conservative set. Why, even GOP U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who used to be a libertarian hero (but now wants to be president more), has backtracked on his pallid position that he'd be OK with government getting out of the marriage business.  Now Paul says gay couples "offend" him and he believes same-sex marriage is the result of America's "moral crisis." (His solution to said crisis is "tent revivals.") Paul and other Republicans know that marriage equality is inevitable. So now some have moved on to other ways to punish the LGBT community, which they hold in such contempt. And so we have bills that would make it OK to turn away,...  

Saina Nehwal becomes first Indian women's singles World No. 1 badminton player

Top Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal took over the World No. 1 rankings in women’s singles post defeat of Spanish player Carolina Marin to Ratchanok Intanon. Saina Nehwal had recently lost to Marin in All England Open finals in Birmingham but at India Open Superseries, the 25-year old Hyderabadi became the World No. 1 in the rankings. She is the first Indian woman badminton player to attain the feat. Prakash Padukone was the sole Indian to be the prestigious World No. 1 men’s badminton player. The Hyderabadi was ranked No.2 in the world and held a very good chance to overtake China’s Li Xuerui and become the highest ranked player in the world. ”I want to be the best. It’s not about the ranking, it’s about being consistent. Li Xuerui is injured. You can’t ignore the fact that she’s the best player in the world,” said the 25-year-old. The race for the the No.1 ranking in women’s singles entered its home stretch on Friday at the $275,000 India Open Superseries with Saina and reigning World Champion Carolina Marin both making the semifinals. Saina was favoured to seize the coveted position. Only a semifinal loss followed by Carolina’s title win could have denied her the historic moment. ”Everybody dreams of winning the Olympics or the World Championships. I’m one of them. But I want to be relaxed, enjoy my game. Becoming No.1 is a good thing. If it’s in my des...  

Forex reserves swell by $4.26 bn, hit all-time high of $340 bn

India’s foreign exchange reserves shot up to an all-time high of $339.99 billion, after a $4.26 billion increase over the week ended 20 March, driven by a rise in core currency assets, as per RBI data released today.Representational image: ReutersTotal reserves had dropped by $2.06 billion to $335.73 billion in the previous week, after touching an all-time high at $338.079 billion a week earlier.The foreign currency assets, the biggest component of the reserves, grew $4.54 billion to $314.88 billion for the week, as per the data.Foreign currency assets, expressed in dollar terms, include the effect of appreciation and depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen, held in the reserves.However, the massive decline in the country’s reserve position with the IMF, which was down $295.8 million to $1.289 billion.The country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $19.837 billion for the reporting week.The special drawing rights increased by $18.2 million to $3.978 billion for the reporting week.PTI ...  

Marchisio 'to be back within days'

ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti discusses this weekend's Serie A results with Juventus well in front of their rivals in the standings. Massimiliano Allegri and Carlos Tevez hailed Juventus' professional approach, after the Argentine striker scored the only goal in their Serie A victory over Genoa. Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri believes his side can win the Champions League. Juventus have confirmed that midfielder Claudio Marchisio, who on Friday was ruled out for between six and eight months after tearing anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) in training with Italy, could instead be back in action within days. Further tests on the the 29-year-old's injured knee revealed that he had not, as initially feared, torn his ACL. Marchisio was sent back to Turin on Friday after national team doctor Enrico Castellacci diagnosed that he had partially torn ligaments when spraining his knee. Juventus ordered further tests to be carried out -- and they found that Marchisio could even be back for the Serie A game against Empoli on April 4. "After returning from international duty on Fr...  

India's forex reserves up by $4.26 bn

With higher interest rates in the US, the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are expected to be led away from the emerging markets such as India. India’s foreign exchange reserves increased by $4.26 billion to $339.99 billion for the week ended March 20, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data showed.According to analysts, the Indian reserves are being build-up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to absorb any future global financial shock that was witnessed in June 2013. “The RBI is building up the reserves to counter any future financial shocks like the one which was witnessed at the time of the tapering announcements were made. Apart from that the reserves will also act as a support to the Indian rupee,” Anindya Banerjee, senior manager, currency derivatives, Kotak Securities told IANS. The RBI is cautious about the US Fed’s stand that the rate hike might take place in the later part of the year. With higher interest rates in the US, the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are expected to be led away from the emerging markets such as India.The US Fed dropped an assurance to be “patient” in raising interest rates and signalled the hike could come by mid to late this year. “Just because we removed the word patient from our statement doesn’t mean we will be impatient,” Janet Yellen, US Federal Reserve Board chairman said at a press conference after a globally—awaited meeting of the policy committee on March 18.For ...  

Iran at the heart of Egypt's Arab Summit

Iran at the heart of Egypt's Arab Summit The headline agenda of the Arab Summit, opening today in Sharm El-Sheikh, is almost entirely focused on Iran's expanding regional influence amid grave developments in Yemen and Saudi fears Dina Ezzat , Saturday 28 Mar 2015 An armed man walks on the rubble of houses destroyed by an air strike near Sanaa Airport March 26, 2015. REUTERS It was supposed to be about the "full return of Egypt to its leading Arab role." But the Arab Summit that will be inaugurated today, Saturday, in Sharm El-Sheikh is more about Iran than anything else. When Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi takes over the rotated presidency of the annual Arab Summit he will find himself face to face with some very disturbing regional developments directly impinging on Egypt’s national security: the expanding challenge of radical militant Islamic groups, including the Islamic State; the increase in disorder and instability in neighbouring Libya; continued havoc in Syria and Iraq; and worst of all the seemingly inevitable fall of Yemen into an open Sunni-Shia proxy war between Saudi Arabia — Egypt’s most important Arab supporter — and Iran, Egypt’s regional adversary for four decades. This is not the scene that the Egyptian president wished to confront. Rather, he was hoping for a ceremonial event where his picture with other Arab leaders would be added to the glow of the Egypt Economic Development Conference, which convened earlie...  


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