I really can’t imagine why Manchester City are even-money favourites for the title with us at BetVictor.Yes they won the league, but it was courtesy of two goals scored in added time in the last game at home to 10-man Rangers.Di Matteo has a strong squad.I’m beginning to get excited by Chelsea’s chances for the 2012/13 season.The signings of Eden Hazard and Marko Marin will provide flair and pace and there are reports that either Donetsk winger Willian or fellow Brazilian Hulk will be added to their ‘roster’, as the Liverpool owners would say.Chelsea are 9/2 with Manchester United 13/5 and it is surely only a three-horse race, with Spurs likely to flatter to deceive once again and Arsenal and Liverpool not good enough.We at BetVictor bet 13/2 for Manchester United and Chelsea to finish first and second in any order and that looks just too big even if City flex their financial muscle and buy Robin van Persie. Can you imagine trying to keep Tevez, Balotelli, van Persie and Dzeko happy?Fulham will lose Clint Dempsey to Liverpool and that will be a loss.The Cottagers are 1500/1 to win the Premier League, 12/1 to be relegated, 16s to finish in the top six and 7/4 to finish in the top 10.We continue to bet on top London club in 2012/13:Chelsea 8/11Arsenal 9/4Spurs 7/2Fulham 66/1QPR 250/1West Ham 300/1QPR are 2500/1 to win the title, 9/2 to be relegated and 7/2 to finish in the top half.It looks a very poor division and we have fielded a few bets for Rangers to finish in the top 10.If Djibril Cisse, Bobby Zamora and Jay Bothroyd fire then I think they can sneak into that top half.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Government notes with disappointment the decision of ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA) to retrench nearly 1 000 workers across the company and to close the Saldanha Works.This comes despite significant efforts by Government and public agencies to provide additional support to AMSA over the last few months, and to ensure a solution which would result in the elimination of job losses across the company and the continuation of the Saldanha Works.The recent efforts of Government are additional to extensive trade support which has been provided to the steel industry over the last few years to ensure protection from imports, including safeguards on imported hot rolled steel. In addition, Government has designated the steel industry to ensure that steel procured for infrastructure projects is locally produced.The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ebrahim Patel, met with the management of AMSA on several occasions during the last months to explore opportunities to save jobs and keep all of AMSA’s plants in operation. Most recently, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) together with the Department of Public Enterprises, Eskom and Transnet engaged with AMSA management on additional support which could be provided by Eskom and Transnet to reduce energy and logistics costs for the company and at Saldanha, in particular.In early October, the Ministry of Trade and Industry convened a meeting between AMSA and the leadership of both Solidarity and Numsa (together “organised labour) to expedite a dialogue towards reduced job losses. AMSA agreed to suspend the Section 189 consultation process to allow time for a facilitated engagement with Government and Organised Labour. To ensure appropriate engagement, Mr Patel appointed Mr Glen Cormack, an experienced part-time Commissioner with the CCMA, to meet with the engage the parties towards a viable solution.Minister Patel facilitated meetings with the management of Kumba, which supplies iron ore to AMSA, to obtain further concessional pricing for Arcelor Mittal from Kumba, which would provide additional cost relief.All parties met several times over October and early November, during which time commitment was sought so that AMSA could suspend its retrenchment process completely and keep the Saldanha Works in operation.The consequence of the expedited facilitation and dialogue initiated by National Government, secured commitments of half a billion in annualised savings, in addition to once off savings of more than R200 million and additional commitments from organised labour to fast-track discussions on enhanced productivity arrangements.Speaking on the side lines of the Brics Trade Ministers meeting in Brazil, Mr Patel noted:“The closure of Saldanha Works and retrenchment of workers at AMSA is a harsh blow to industrialisation in the country. This is particularly regrettable given the energy and efforts of National Government, SOEs, organised labour and others to provide support and savings to AMSA. These commitments follow significant tariff protection and localisation initiatives provided to protect the steel industry from the threat of imports.“We recognise the challenges presented to the steel industry globally from over-capacity. Our efforts are directed at maintaining a primary steel production capability in South Africa. We urge AMSA to continue to work with National Government and other social partners to reverse this decision and find solutions which can keep the Saldanha Works in operation, and workers in employment. If no solution is found with Arcelor Mittal, they should consider selling the plant to ensure the country does not lose industrial capacity and workers and communities are not displaced.”Enquiries:Sidwell Medupe-Departmental SpokespersonTel: (012) 394 1650Mobile: 079 492 1774E-mail: [email protected] by: The Department of Trade and IndustryFollow us on Twitter: @the_dti
13 December 2013 Residents in Qunu, the tiny village in the Eastern Cape that Nelson Mandela always called home, this week shared their memories of the former president, recalling how humble he was and the excitement they felt when meeting the world’s most admired leader. Mthobeli Jaji met Mandela when the former president visited a local school in Qunu in 1998, and for Jaji it was a moment that he has cherished forever. “He was very humble. I remember he actually shook my hand and asked for my name. I found that to be very humble,” Jaji said. “From that day, Mandela forever represented more than a leader, he was a father figure to me. That is how Mandela will be remembered.” School teacher Mzobanzi Gxobolo said his first “Madiba moment” was when Mandela visited the museum in Qunu several years ago. “That day I was seeing him for the first time, he was wearing one of his trademark shirts,” Gxobolo said. “Even though I never got close to him, the humbleness he displayed when he was interacting with people struck me. I was with my son and I still remember the excitement he felt seeing Madiba. “My second Madiba moment was when I saw him in Mthatha at an event,” Gxobolo said. “That day I managed to take a picture with him, and that picture now hangs on my wall. It’s something I will treasure for the rest of my life.” For a 20-year-old Walter Sisulu University student who did not wish to be named, her moment with Madiba was when he opened a school in Qunu. “I happened to attend [the school] and he came on this day to officially hand over the school,” she said. “I was in the school choir and while we were singing, he joined us and started to dance. All of us were so excited. After that, we took a group picture with him. It was a very exciting moment for all of us.” Asanda Nkwani, who works at a nearby service station, recalls when she and her friends ran after a convoy transporting Mandela to his residence. “He waved at us, but a policemen stopped us from coming closer. But when he smiled and waved at us, it was a moment when I felt I have met him and that he really touched my heart.” Eighty-seven-year-old Mantombi Mbewu said that, although she never met Mandela personally, a framed portrait of him in her living room will always be her Madiba moment. “It’s been hanging there for years and there is not a single day that I don’t look at it. For me, he is part of my family.” Source: SAnews.gov.za
What’s your go-to follow focus option? Let us know in the comments. When looking to keep focus in difficult shots, it’s important to have the right tools for the job. Here are some of the best follow focus options to consider (that won’t break the bank).Top image via Hondo GarageFocus, like many elements of cinematic composition, can be an important element in telling a story. When done well, it can subtly or overtly direct the viewer’s attention to specific information within a shot. However, when done poorly, it can also obscure information and distract a viewer with confusing composition.If you’ve ever been on a shoot where the subject (or your camera) wouldn’t stay still, then you’re well aware of how difficult it can be to keep a set focus. On many big-budget productions, this task usually falls to a focus puller who operates in tandem with the camera operator. However, if you’re shooting solo, you may be left to your own devices and hair-trigger skills.Assuming you’re new to the concept, there are some great resources online — specifically an in-depth post by Wolfcrow — which breaks down the the technology and art of focus pulling. At the very least, here’s a mock-up of the gear you’ll be working with.Image via WolfcrowAt their core, the majority of follow focus rigs will work in the same capacity and look similar. What will differ is the quality, usability, and — sometimes most importantly — the price. If you’re ready to start developing your follow focus skills (without spending too much), here are some of the best of the most affordable follow focus options on the market.The $50 Follow Focus: $50Launched as a Kickstarter three years ago, Hondo Garage’s affordable follow focus is in its third generation of production and a solid option for the price point. The simple setup offers user-adjustable friction and comes with optional lens gears for an extra $14.Edelkrone FocusOne: $199The FocusOne is an innovative follow focus with a few unique characteristics that make it a solid option even in the face of some higher-end competition. The biggest feature is the placement of the marker disc back toward the camera operator, making it easier to see the marks and pull the focus from your normal filming position.Opteka FF220: $79.95For those DSLR-focused filmmakers, the FF220 is a great beginner’s option, as it allows direct attachment to your camera, rather than to a mount, rails, or tripod. With the addition of lens gears, it’s more than adequate for solo shoots before you advance to a bigger, better rig later down the line.Fotga DP500 IIS: $149.00The DP500 IIS is made for Canon cameras, specifically the 5D and 7D Marks II and III and the Nikon D90. The follow focus is pretty standard, but features hard A/B stops for quickly pulling between two set hard stops. In addition to the initial price, you’ll need to make sure you get lens gears and have 15mm rails to mount it on.Neewer CN-90F: $39.99At one of the lowest price points out there, the CN-90F is actually one of the most versatile follow focuses — but likely the least reliable. If you’re just learning how to pull focus and experimenting with different cameras, lenses, and setups, this would be a great starter kit. It even includes its own lens gears to accommodate most starter-pack zooms.If you’re looking for some more focus-specific quick tips and advice, try some of these other resources before making your decision.3 Hacks for Shooting Without a Focus PullerQuick Tip: Focus PullingAdvice for New Cinematographers
Baseball America released its annual list of Top 100 Prospects last month, tabbing Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton as the best emerging talent in baseball. But what can you expect out of the No. 1 prospect — or Nos. 2 through 100, for that matter?I gathered data on Baseball America’s historical Top 100 lists back to 1990 and tracked how many wins above replacement (WAR) each player generated over the seven seasons after each list was released. (A team has control of its players for the first six years of their careers, according to service time, but not every prospect’s clock starts ticking the same year he’s ranked by Baseball America.)For example, Baseball America’s No. 1 slot gets 46 WAR from 1995’s top prospect, Alex Rodriguez. But the top spot loses 1.9 WAR from Todd Van Poppel, one of the game’s all-time biggest busts. Among 18 players from 1990 to 2007, the average for Baseball America’s top spot was nearly 20 WAR.Do this for all 100 slots, and you arrive at an average, early-career WAR total for each ranking. It’s not a perfectly smooth drop-off from each spot to the next — for instance, the average at No. 10 (15.5 WAR) was quite a bit higher than the average at No. 5 (9.3) — but overall, the shape of the list’s average WAR resembles a logarithmic curve. In other words, a disproportionate amount of WAR is generated by the top handful of prospects.The expected future value of a guy like Buxton is about 17 WAR over the next seven seasons (that’s 2.5 WAR per year, which would be solid for a starter but something less than an All-Star on average). If that number seems low, it’s because Baseball America’s top prospects, from A-Rod to Van Poppel, have been all over the place. This underscores the difficulty Baseball America, or any scouting organization, faces when trying to project the future for 20-year-old prospects, as even the most promising talents have a history of flaming out.