Mens Basketball Ohio State hopes to keep momentum rolling into tough matchup

Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann coaches Kaleb Wesson (34) on the sideline in the second half of an exhibition win against Wooster on Nov. 5, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing Editor for ContentThe Ohio State men’s basketball team (6-3, 1-0 Big Ten) has wind in its sails as it prepares to square off against its arch-rival Michigan (7-2, 1-0 Big Ten) in the Schottenstein Center Monday at 6:30 p.m.The Buckeyes came away with their first signature win of the season Saturday in an 83-58 blowout of Wisconsin (3-5, 0-1 Big Ten) in Madison, Wisconsin.This game against Michigan will round out what has been a challenging slate of games for the Buckeyes. They will finish a stretch of six games in two weeks, having already played against then-No. 17 Gonzaga, Stanford, Butler, Clemson and Wisconsin.The team lost three of the games over that stretch, including blowing back-to-back double-digit leads to Butler and Clemson, respectively, but head coach Chris Holtmann said he believes the commanding win against Wisconsin was a confidence boost for a team that started to lose momentum.“We’ll see how we finish this stretch, but certainly I’m pleased with how we responded [Saturday] and then we’ll see if we can just continue to build off of it really into the coming weeks,” Holtmann said.Scouting MichiganOhio State will be transitioning from facing a team that possessed more gerth and started two forwards in Wisconsin and three guards to a taller, slightly lankier team that starts just one forward and four guards in Michigan.Though the Wolverines are not as heavy as the starting five for the Badgers, they possess the higher rebound margin with 1.2 compared to Wisconsin’s minus-1 margin. Offensively, every starter on the team has proven capable of knocking down 3-pointers. Though junior guard Duncan Robinson leads the team with 22 successful makes in 61 tries from beyond the arc, all six of the players who have started for Michigan have at least 20 attempts and 10 makes from 3-point range. Michigan has attempted the 15th-most 3-pointers in the nation (246) and drained the 20th-most (87).On the other side of the court, Michigan has proven to be among the most vaunted defenses in the nation. Its 62.4 points per game allowed is 29th-fewest in the nation, and its 66 steals rank 42nd-most.Holtmann views Michigan as a lock for the NCAA Tournament already at this early stage in the season and a team that will provide Ohio State with plenty of challenges in its attempt to end this stretch of games on a high note.“Their ability to spread you out, to make shots, to play downhill in transition, to play inside-out and their length,” Holtmann said. “They’ve got good size, good positional length. They’re just across the board a really complete team that’s no question one of the best teams we’ve played all year.”A key matchup in the game will come down to the battle at center between Michigan forward Moritz Wagner and Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson. Wagner leads Michigan in points per game (15.6) and rebounds per game (8.4) while serving as the team’s lone starting big man. Wesson, on the other hand, has been filling in at center for injured center Micah Potter.Since becoming the starter, Wesson has double-digit points in four of the five games, including a career-high 19 his last time out against Wisconsin.Holtmann said Wesson has done everything asked of him so far and has held his own against some tough matchups. Starting opposite Wagner, a player Holtmann described as a “future NBA player,” he will have to continue to prove he is ready for this next challenge in his true freshman season.“There’s things we feel like he can continue to improve in, but man he’s given a great lift coming in with obviously the injury and the depth issues we have there,” Holtmann said.Micah Potter health update:Wesson will have to continue his strong play at center for the Buckeyes because Potter will be out a little longer. Holtmann said Sunday that Potter’s ankle injury, though not from season-ending, is probably going to force the team to temporarily shut down the sophomore for the foreseeable future until he can fully heal.“He wants to get back. We desperately want him back in the lineup and we need him. He was obviously playing really well before he got hurt,” Holtmann said. “But with ankles, it may be the right thing to just kind of let it heal, limit anything he does until he is completely confident in his strength.”Ohio State has been largely without its starting center for the better part of the past five games. During the team’s fourth game of the season, Potter injured his ankle and was forced to leave the game having played in only 13 minutes. He missed the next game against then-No. 17 Gonzaga. Against Stanford and Butler, he played in just 10 minutes combined and missed all of the game against Clemson. He played just three minutes against Wisconsin. read more

Super Singer Junior 6 winner Hrithik emerges victorious Soorya and Poovaiyar end

first_imgHrithik is the winner of Super Singer Junior 6.PR HandoutHrithik has emerged victorious in the sixth season of Super Singer Juniors. While Soorya is the first runner-up, Poovaiyar has ended up at the third place in Vijay TV’s popular show.The winner has walked away with Rs 50 lakh along with a trophy. Soorya bagged Rs 25 lakh worth gold prize, whereas Poovaiyar bagged Rs 10 lakh prize.”I am extremely happy to have won the trophy. I thank the people who voted for me, my trainers, judges and my school for their encouragement,” Hrithik said in his winning speech.The excited father of the winner thanked the entire Vijay TV for giving a platform for his son to show his singing skills. He had special mention for trainers, judges, his school and everyone who are one or the other way related to his son’s success. The curtains for the sixth season of Super Singer Junior was dropped on Sunday, 21 April. The grand finale of the Vijay TV or Star Vijay’s popular was held at the Nehru Stadium in Chennai.This season, six contestats like Ahana, Hrithik, Sinmaye, Anushya, Poovaiyar and Soorya had  entered the last stage of Super Singer 6. The budding talents consistently performed well for over five months to enter the grand finale of this season.The show was kicked-off in mid October with the channel bringing in the talents not just from Tamil Nadu, but from parts of world. Week after week, there were eliminations and finally it boiled down to the top six contestants of the season. In the end, Hrithik had the last laugh.The grand finale had two rounds and the winner was choosen based on the marks given by the judges like Shankar Mahadevan, Singer Chithra, Singer SPB charan and Singer Kalpana along with the viewers votes. 1/3 A picture from the grand finale of Super Singer Junior 6.PR HandoutA picture from Super Singer Junior 6 grand finale.PR HandoutVijay TV’s Super Singer Junior 6 grand finale.Vijay TVPreviousNextWhere and how to watch the Super Singer season 6 live online? The netizens can watch the entire program by downloading Hotstar app.Mobile users with an internet connection can catch the action live if they have subscriptions to satellite television providers like Tata Sky. Likewise, the audience can watch Sarkar audio launch from their phones by downloading respective apps from their mobile network operators.For example, if you are using Jio service, download Jio TV to watch the event live.last_img read more

April 10 2003 BELL SALE The Soleri studios at Co

first_imgApril 10, 2003BELL SALE: The Soleri studios at Cosanti and Arcosanti have produced a beautiful selection of bells that are offered at a Secret Sale at Arcosanti starting Friday, April 10 until Sunday, April 12. 2003. The gallery at Arcosanti will be open from 9am to 5pm. [Photo: Jeffrey Manta & Text: sa]last_img

January 18 2005 To continue the report on sto

first_imgJanuary 18, 2005 To continue the report on storm damage repair: at the southern most part of the dam is a spillway that let’s overflow water run into the field behind the dam. The spillway is clogged by deposits of silt and stone by the tremendous traffic of water. [Photo & text: sa] C.A. McDonald from Camp Verde cleans the chanel with heavy equipment. [Photo & text: sa] Silt deposits reach far into the field. [Photo & text: sa]center_img The power of the rushing water moved big rocks. [Photo & text: sa] last_img

Harrison resident Tom Pirnstill receives Hometown Health Hero Award

first_img21Apr Harrison resident, Tom Pirnstill receives Hometown Health Hero Award Categories: Johnson News,Johnson Photos From left: Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, Tom Pirnstill, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan. On Wednesday, April 15, Tom Pirnstill received a Hometown Health Hero Award from the Michigan Department of Community Health. He received the award for his efforts in the annual Paula Pirnstill Memorial Health Fair which is named for his late wife and currently in its eleventh year. Michigan’s annual Hometown Health Hero Award recognizes the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond their normal duties to make a positive impact on the health of their local communities.last_img

Actually I did see it coming…and said so yesterda

first_imgActually, I did see it coming…and said so yesterday…but wasn’t expecting it the very same day!In Far East and early London trading yesterday, both attempts by gold to break above the $1,790 spot price…and head for $1,800…got sold off immediately.  By the time that the Comex opened in New York on Wednesday morning, the gold price was basically unchanged from Tuesday’s close…and this state of affairs lasted until the London p.m. gold fix at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time…3:00 p.m. in London.Then the hammer fell, as the engineered price smash began.  Sell stops were hit at various strike prices…and ‘da boyz’ pulled their bids along the way.  This happened at five separate times.  The last of those engineered price declines came at 3:30 p.m. Eastern in the very thinly traded New York Access Market, which took out the leveraged longs at the $1,700 strike price.The gold price pretty much traded sideways from there.  Gold closed at $1,696.70 spot…down a whopping $87.20 on the day.  Net volume was off the charts at 320,000 contracts.  Gold’s intraday price swing in New York was an eye-watering $101.60.But, as always, silver was the metal ‘da boyz’ were really after…and they got it good.  The silver spent most of the Far East and London trading day a respectable amount above the $37.00 spot mark.  Then, around 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, silver rallied about 50 cents right up until the London p.m. gold fix thirty minutes later…and the rest, as they say, is history.Silver’s intraday price move was $3.94…which works out to a decline of 10.7% from it’s high of the day, which was $37.62 spot.  In a 15-minute interval between about 11:16 a.m. and 11:31 a.m. in New York..the silver price ‘fell’ about $2.25 cents…as the sell stops got hit…and the Commercial traders collusively pulled their bids.Silver closed at $34.60 spot…down $2.29 from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was a hair over 100,000 contracts…about the biggest one day volume number that I can remember.Of course both platinum and palladium got it in the neck as well, but they were spared the big losses.  Platinum was down 2.33%…and palladium was down 2.50%.  As a comparison, Kitco showed gold down 4.89%…and silver down 6.20%.  Copper traded over a wide range…but finished the day only down 3 cents a pound.  Crude oil finished a up a hair.You pretty much have to be brain dead not to see that this engineered price decline was precious metals specific…and deliberate.The dollar index continued its decline up until 1:00 p.m. Hong Kong time in their afternoon yesterday, but by around 11:40 a.m. in London, the index rallied a bit, only to roll over and retest the Hong Kong low at 9:45 a.m. in New York…which was about 15 minutes before JPMorgan et al pulled the plug on the precious metals.From that New York low, the dollar index went on a 75 basis point rally that ended at precisely 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.  From that high, the index sold off a hair and basically traded sideways into the close…gaining about 55 basis points on the day.That 3:30 p.m. high tick proved to the beginning of the last take-down in the gold and silver prices during the New York Access Market…and it nearly goes without saying that such a minor rise in the dollar index certainly didn’t account for much of the intraday move in the precious metals in New York yesterday.Of course the gold stocks got hit…with virtually all the day’s losses coming by 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.  Then, from that point on, no matter how poorly the gold price itself performed, the stocks basically moved sideways from there.  One has to wonder who was scooping up those shares during the rest of the trading day.  The HUI finished about a percent off its low…down 3.41% on the day.  It could have been worse.The silver shares got hit pretty hard as well but, like the gold stocks, it could have been worse.  Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed down 4.34%…erasing all of Tuesday’s gains…and that was all.  As I said, it could have been worse…much worse.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report for the second day of the March delivery month showed that 81 gold and 247 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Friday.  In silver, the big short/issuer was Barclays with 235 contracts issued.  The biggest long/stopper was Goldman Sachs with 110 contracts.  The rest of the ‘usual suspects’ were present, but not in a big way.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.Despite the blood in the streets in gold and silver yesterday, both ETFs had metal added to their respective stockpiles.  In GLD it was a very chunky 291,500 ounce of gold…and in SLV it was 777,235 troy ounces.  I’ll be watching with great interest to see how much metal is removed from both these ETFs after yesterday’s price shenanigans.There was a tiny sales report from the U.S. Mint to end the month of February. They sold 1,000 ounces of gold eagles…and 30,000 silver eagles.  For the month of February, the mint reported selling 21,000 ounces of gold eagles…7,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 1,490,000 silver eagles.  All in all, not a very impressive performance when measured against January.It was a pretty quiet day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday, as they received 375,616 troy ounces of silver…and shipped a very tiny 9,978 ounce out the door.  The link to that action is here.Silver analyst Ted Butler had his mid-week commentary to his paying subscribers yesterday…and here are two free paragraphs containing his thoughts on Wednesday’s price action.“Exactly when the crooks will strike is always an open question. Sometimes, it’s on a Sunday evening when no one is around, other times it’s in broad daylight with an attempted cover story of comments from a Fed chairman. It doesn’t matter, as it’s always the same at the core – an artificial market move caused by a concentrated short position and a collusive group of speculators (called commercials) waiting like jackals to pounce by surprise.”“Also as always, the COT structure analysis explains in advance these big price drops. I am not suggesting, for an instant, that the COT structure predicted today’s smash, but it certainly explained it. The few comments I have received so far on this drop suggest to me that more see the reason for this smash than ever before. And while I don’t intend to get into the short term price prediction business, I find the very heavy volume in gold and silver today as healthy and suggestive that many recent participants to the long side were quick to sell and run. The fear of getting caught in a ten dollar price smash [in silver] is still vivid in many minds, as the memories of 2011 still loom large. Of course, if many sell quickly, then subsequent selling pressure will abate.”Washington state reader S.A. sent me the graph below, which he obviously lifted from an article at have the usual number of stories, so I hope you have time to plough through them.The pessimist sees the glass as half empty; the optimist sees the glass as half full; the outsourcing consultant will tell you that you have 50% too much glass. – Author UnknownWell, yesterday was the 2012 version of the 2011 drive-by shootings that we’ve already lived through.  I must admit that I was taken aback by the severity of it…and in broad daylight as well…none of this sneaking around in the thinly-traded Far East markets on a Sunday night this time around.It also happened on the last day of the month…and the day after the cut-off for Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report…AND Ben Bernanke was speaking.  Without doubt, this was the perfect set up to do the dirty…and I should have seen it coming.  Actually, I did see it coming…and said so yesterday…but wasn’t expecting it the very same day.In one fell swoop the bullion banks and their buddies in the Commercial category took away all of February’s gains in both gold and silver…plus more.  It was the perfect crime, as the CFTC and CME will do nothing about it…and neither will the management and board of directors of any of the precious metal mining companies which we supposedly own.  It’s worse than a bad dream…it’s a nightmare.  The very organizations that are supposed to be looking out for the public and shareholders’ best interests will pretend like nothing has happened…including everyone’s good friend, Bart Chilton.The big question is, will there be more to come?  As you can see from the gold and silver charts posted below, JPMorgan et al came close to taking out all the significant moving averages in one go yesterday.  Here’s gold’s 6-month chart.(Click on image to enlarge)For ‘da boyz’ to engineer a further price decline of $50 or so…and take out both the 50 and 200-day moving averages with some authority…is child’s play after what they did yesterday.Here’s the silver chart.(Click on image to enlarge)As you can see, JPMorgan et al would have a bit of work to do to drop the price below its 50-day moving average…but if you look at the price action of those three days late in September on the left of this chart, you can see what they can do when they put their minds to it…and have no one standing in their way.There’s also a reasonable chance that the huge sell off that they engineered yesterday may have been all they needed to clean out the weak longs that had entered the market since the late-December low.  In my daily chat with Ted Butler, he wasn’t sure how much of the trading volume in both metals was of the HFT variety…and how much was real tech fund long liquidation.We won’t have a clue about that until next Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, because as I said earlier, they pulled this off the day after the cut-off for tomorrow’s report.  These crooks are smart…and as I’ve pointed out ad nauseam, they’ve used this trick to their advantage many times over the last ten years or so.  We’ll just have to wait it out.In Far East trading on Thursday, both gold and silver rallied until 1:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…midnight in New York…and then both got sold off going into the London open. As of 5:18 a.m. Eastern time, gold is up about twenty-one bucks…and silver about 20 cents.  Volume is absolutely monstrous in gold…north of 60,000 contract [net] already…and silver’s net volume is already over 9,000 contracts.  The dollar is down a hair from yesterday’s close in New York.That’s all I have for today.  It will be interesting to see what JPMorgan et al have in store for us during the New York trading session today.Enjoy your Thursday…Friday west of the International Date Line…and I’ll see you tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisement North American Nickel’s latest news from our 100% owned Post Creek property in the Sudbury mining camp is what geologists always hope for….a large, clearly defined, un-tested target close to surface in a known camp with excellent infrastructure advantages for mining. Drilling is scheduled to begin in September. In this case it’s an EM anomaly 200 m long, that has been interpreted as the electromagnetic signature of ‘near-massive to massive sulphide.’ It’s located approximately 55 m below surface and the trend of the anomaly corresponds, in part, to both the CJ#1 dyke and the Whistle Offset Structure to the south. Please visit our website to read the full news release and learn more about North American Nickel.last_img read more

The residential real estate market is confusing

first_imgThe residential real estate market is confusing. On the ground, the stats remain ugly. Twenty percent of American homeowners are underwater, meaning they owe more on their homes than they’re worth. For these people, their home is a ball and chain limiting their mobility and opportunities. And a constant reminder of a bad financial decision. But in the media, it’s a different story. And on reality TV and rich neighborhoods in New York or San Francisco, it’s as if 2008 never happened. A San Francisco realtor wrote in a letter to SFGate: “Television shows brought real estate into our living rooms and made the buying, selling, flipping and preparing of properties a national pastime. As a Realtor, I feel like a celebrity at times when I go to parties with people asking questions and fascinated by aspects of my work. This certainly was not what I expected when I started in this career.” Realtors feeling like celebrities? That’s heady stuff. And now a celebrated Wall Street housing analyst is calling the new home market by the n-word. “Nirvana is not far around the corner,” Ivy Zelman, Institutional Investor Analyst Hall of Fame Member, told CNBC this week. Zelman grinds the numbers everyone looks to in the homebuilding space. With her bullish outlook and face for TV, we’ll be seeing plenty more of her. The comely brunette doesn’t hedge her opinions. “I think we’re going to see things rip when we see the weather thaw and customers coming out.” Shortage of Homes? Ms. Zelman insists there is a shortage of available product for buyers to choose from. She’s probably getting her intel from the likes of Pulte Homes CEO Richard Dugas, who says business will be good because of “low interest rates, a limited supply of new and existing homes, and an ongoing, albeit modest, recovery in the broader economy.” However, they’re both missing a crucial point. Supply only seems restricted because of a kink in the foreclosure fire hose, which prevents houses from gushing onto the market. Mortgages were furiously bought and sold during the boom to satisfy Wall Street’s hunger for mortgage-backed securities. These mortgages were transferred electronically through MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems). All was well and good with this until borrowers stopped paying and lenders wanted to foreclose. That’s when innovative finance banged up against a legal system that in most jurisdictions was accustomed to paper-and-ink assignments. Judges wanted proof that mortgage assignees had the standing to foreclose, and in many places, the lack of old-school written assignments impeded that process. So we’re left with an unknown number of foreclosures languishing in the pipeline, just waiting to hit the market. Also, states like Nevada and California have passed “homeowners bill of rights” legislation, forcing lenders to jump through numerous hoops before they can start foreclosure proceedings. And of course in states with judicial foreclosures (where the court dictates the foreclosure timeline, not statute), the process can take years. In other words, the notion of “limited supply” is merely an illusion. Real estate attorney Shari Olefson, the author of Foreclosure Nation, says banks are pocketing a “slew of shadow inventory.” She gives the example of a bank foreclosing on a $200,000 mortgage, knowing the home is only worth half of that. The bank will then hold the home—at that inflated value—on its books. Why? First, because it hopes the market will come back. But more importantly, the bank needn’t recognize the loss until it sells the unit. Once upon a time, bank accounting wouldn’t have allowed such nonsense. But in the wake of the financial crisis, the American Bankers Association lobbied the Financial Accounting Standards Board to change accounting rules FASB 157, 115, and 124. These changes allowed banks greater discretion in determining prices for certain types of illiquid securities on their balance sheets. That’s how a bank can say a $100,000 house is worth $200,000 and get away with it. Drowning A whopping 9.3 million Americans are still underwater 25% or more. And as interest rates rise, these people aren’t going to stick around to pay even more into their equity-draining homes. They’re likely to walk away. Seven states have underwater percentages well above the national average. It’s no surprise that over 30% of homes are underwater in sand states like Nevada, Florida, and Arizona. But the Midwest is struggling too, with Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio all having about the same percentage of mortgages underwater. Certain cities have it even worse. Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa, and Chicago each have negative equity percentages between 33% and 41%. Despite this financial devastation, the 20-city Case-Shiller Housing Index for December is up 13.4% from a year ago. Since March 2012, the Index has risen 24%. That’s one of the scariest parts: though prices have improved considerably, homeowners are still way underwater. For example, homes in Las Vegas now fetch 43% more than in March 2012. But 41% of mortgages there still remain deeply underwater (defined as 25% or more). It’s a similar story in Orlando, where prices have jumped 20% last year, but 36% of the area’s homes remain underwater—and Tampa, with 35% of underwater mortgages, despite home prices rising 25% since March 2012. Yet even with this massive shadow inventory hanging over the market, builders are bullish on providing new housing. “What we hear from builders right now, they did not have enough communities to meet demand in 2013,” Zelman said. “They were caught by surprise by the surge in demand, so they didn’t have enough developed lots to open up new communities. This year they caught up, they’re very prepared, we’re going to have double-digit increases in new communities.” Builders are never shy about providing supply. Nirvana? Historically, Americans, no matter their income bracket, spend half their incomes on housing and transportation, Derek Thompson notes in his piece titled America’s Weird, Enduring Love Affair with Cars and Houses. Interestingly, that high percentage is unique to the US. Thompson wonders about the ramifications if Americans began to spend more like the Japanese, Canadians, or Brits, who spend much more than Americans on culture, food at home, and alcohol, instead of houses and cars. “It would be rocky for the real estate and auto industries who have come to rely on a steady stream of spending,” Thompson writes. Well, guess what? “This isn’t a vision of the future. It’s a description of the way a lot of young people live today,” he explains. Maybe that will pass when the recession does. Except while everyone knows we’ve been in a recession since December of 2007, the government says the downturn ended in June of 2009. On average, “official” recessions have hit the US every six or seven years in the US since 1947. The clock’s ticking, as 2009 is already five years in our rearview mirror. Predicting when the next “official” recession will hit is impossible. The point is that sooner rather than later, the economy is actually going to get worse than it is now. That won’t be great for selling homes. When realtors are rock stars and analysts call a market “nirvana,” we’re near a top. The top of a market built on the flimsiest foundation of false scarcity. New supply, a worsening economy, and higher interest rates will bring about a fall. Thankfully, it won’t be from the heights of 2006. But it will be anything but nirvana.last_img read more

In This Issue Greece completes homework assig

first_imgIn This Issue. * Greece completes homework assignment. * N.Z. inflation expectations slip below 2%. * China to accumulate more Gold than world produces! * Gold and Oil both slip below psychological figures! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. It’s The Janet Yellen Show, Today. Good Day!… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! The Eagles song: Wasted Time greets me this morning. I hope that’s not an omen for today’s letter. HA!  I’ve been up a few times during the night, so right after I finish this, I’m going back to bed. The trials and tribulations of your Pfennig scribe is not what you signed up for, so I’ll cut to the chase and get with the task at hand! Speaking of hands, mine are better this morning. I apologize for scaring anyone yesterday, I should have been more upfront with what I was dealing with. I do believe my hands had an allergic reaction to special cream that Kathy gave me to put on them because they were all dry and cracked. A couple of days, and they should be back to their normal fat fingers and hands! Well, it appears that Greece passed their homework assignment, and has gone home now with an extension of 4 months to their current loan agreement, with their tails between their legs. All that talk about, “no more austerity” got shoved down their throats, and they had to accept it, or go home broke with the only prospect to leave the euro. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Greece, along with Spain, Italy and Portugal (Club Med) probably get down on their knees at night and thank their lucky stars they are a part of the euro. To leave the euro would be a mess of biblical proportions, and I’m sure the Greeks now know that because if it were going to be an easy process, they would have opted for the easy process long ago! The currencies pretty much all fought back VS the dollar as yesterday went along, but have given up the fight overnight, and gone right back to doing the rope a dope in the ring with the dollar. It’s all about Janet Yellen’s testimony on the economy today, folks. And right now, those that are making the calls on how the currencies trade, are of the belief that Yellen will snuff out those dovish thoughts from last week’s Meeting Minutes, and sound very hawkish today. That will be, as far as I’m concerned, a good trick, given how dovish those comments were last week. But, she’ll paint a pretty picture for labor, the cheap price of Oil fueling the economy, and sprinkle some magic dust on the lawmakers and they’ll all leave with smiles on their collective faces. When I just typed those words, magic dust, my mind did a flashback to the old Cheech and Chong skit about Santa Claus, and how he sprinkled magic dust on the reindeer to make them fly, and he would sprinkle some on the reindeer, and some for himself, and some more for the reindeer and a little more for himself. Funny stuff! So, in case you were wondering. that was my changeup this morning, for I was beginning to get all heated over the Yellen testimony today. But I’m calmed back down now, so we carry on, my wayward son. A couple of weeks ago, when I wrote the Sunday Pfennig, and we brought back the Currency of the Month, I received quite a few email responses and blog site responses with requests for the next Currency of the Month. I was surprised by one person’s request to highlight the Malaysian ringgit.  I don’t believe I’ve talked about that currency, since the early 2000’s when the Malaysian Gov’t put currency controls on the ringgit. Same scenario for the Indonesian rupiah.  And since these currencies are not liquid, and have controls placed on them, we don’t deal in them, and if we don’t deal in them, I don’t talk about them.  You see, over the years, I’ve found it very frustrating when a pundit would write about an investment, but when you called your investment house, they wouldn’t do that asset, or trade, or strategy, etc.  So, what good was it to write about it?   I wouldn’t want anyone to be confused. One of our old colleagues, Ann Hopkins, used to love to hear me do my Steve Mizerany voice. Steve was an old appliance store owner that did TV and radio commercials and had this very distinctive voice, and he would say, “don’t be confused!”  And that’s why I talked about this, tying back to not wanting anyone to be confused!  If you’re from St. Louis, you are probably laughing right now, hearing Steve say, “if you ain’t sleeping on water, you oughta” A few months ago, I read a short book on Myanmar, which used to be Burma, and how the country was opening up. I thought to myself, “self, this looks like an opportunity to get in on the ground floor”..  So I sent out feelers for trading opportunities in the currency, the kyat. But I was told by the currency dealers I dealt with that I was too early to the party, that there was no official liquid market there. Darn the luck!  Just another example of an illiquid market that would round out our Asian offerings just fine! Well, China is still on Holiday for their Chinese New Year celebrations. They end today, but for us, there’s still no movement in the renminbi / yuan with the country closed for the celebrations. It seems quite strange not having news stories and economic data, and updated numbers on Chinese physical Gold accumulation every day. I did see an article that was written about how China is now accumulating on an annual basis, more physical Gold than what the world produces. You may recall me talking about this possibility last week, and then this story came to me from dear reader Bob, and I thought. Hmmm, somewhere out there, is someone that read the Pfennig, and decided to do some investigative homework. Good for you, whomever you are! So, if that thought is true, and I have no reason to believe it isn’t, how is China doing that? Well, they simply are buying supply from other holders that has been held for years, to add to the amount of physical Gold they import and produce themselves. One of these days, Alice, it’s going to come to light what their intentions were, accumulating all this Gold. And they have to be smiling like the Cheshire Cat these days, with Gold cheaper again. Yes, Gold remains below $1,200 this morning, and the price of Oil has slipped below $50 again, thus highlighting the fact that traders are all on board with thinking Yellen will be able to reverse the damage of the dovish minutes last week. So. all the risk today is on her testimony and the idea that she might now swing so hawkish. What happens if she reinforces the dovish thoughts from last week’s minutes?  That’s when reporters and writers and TV guys all start calling Chuck and asking for an interview, because I was one of the few that said there would be no rate hike in June. As If!  Reporters don’t call me any longer, they have fresh minds to pick these days. I don’t mean to sound bitter there.. no wait, maybe I  am!  Oh well, move along Chuck, you don’t want to get caught up in the quagmire that this could create.  So, speaking of the price of Oil slipping again. I read an article in the local paper here on Sunday, and of course forgot to talk about it yesterday, so here I am today with it. the article talked about the Oil Refinery strike at the largest refinery in the U.S., located in Port Arthur, TX, that started last Friday, was going to lead to other refinery strikes. So, that could be a real road block to cheap gas prices folks. not as if the cheap gas prices were the manna from heaven to the economy that everyone thought they would be. But, eventually they would be, I think. just maybe too little too late.. The New Zealand dollar / kiwi is getting whacked this morning, as overnight the latest survey of businesses put the inflation expectations at its lowest reading (1.8%) since 1999. In the second QTR of 2014, N.Z. inflation reached a cyclical high of 2.36%, but it’s been a downward slope since. But isn’t that why the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) hiked interest rates in 2013 and 2014? 2% IS the target for the RBNZ.  and apparently, those rate hikes worked! But now, with inflation below the target, the rate cut campers are crawling out of the floorboards  and spreading all over, and that has spooked kiwi holders and traders.  This is crazy folks! The RBNZ works to get inflation below the 2% target, and achieves that goal, only to have rate cut campers explode on them. UGH!  If it’s not one thing it’s another thing with the poor beleaguered kiwi.. Well, did you hear the news? There’s good rockin’ at midnight!  No wait!  The news I’m talking about came courtesy of the WSJ last night and talks about how JP Morgan Chas is preparing to charge institutional customers for some deposits. The bank talks about how new rules make holding money for the clients as too costly.  Uh-Oh. first it starts with “some deposits” for “institutional clients” and eventually it trickles down to “all deposits” and then “all customers”. I sure hope this kind of thing doesn’t catch on with other banking institutions. Another WSJ story overnight was about how U.S. officials are investigating at least 10 major banks of possible rigging of precious metals markets. You may recall that the European officials began a project like this only to scrap it after finding no wrongdoing.. So, I’m sure this will be much like that outcome. no harm, no foul. but then the officials in Europe were the 3 blind mice! HA! In another follow up from my Sunday Pfennig of two weeks ago on the pound. One of the Bank of England’s (BOE) members and their most hawkish member, Weale, was talking about interest rates and all that, when he calmly mentioned how” the risk of a fall in the pound because of the concern for the balance of payments remained substantial” That’s one of things I focused on in my Sunday piece. the Debt problems in the U.K. weighing on the economy and their ability to administer normal monetary policy.   The pound has perked up a bit in recent days, but its ability to move higher now might have had a roadblock placed in front of it, by Mr. Weale’s comments.Gold is still trading below $1,200, and doesn’t look like it has the Oomph to mustard a rally. But, if Yellen goes dovish on us today, Gold could rally again. Otherwise, it’s another Turn down day. Do you remember that song by the Cyrkle?  It’s a turn down day, and I dig it.   Here’s some cocktail party trivia for you. The Cyrkle was the opening band for the Beatles! The U.S. Data Cupboard is chock-full-o-data today. It all gets started with the S&P/ CaseShiller Home Price Index. That is followed by the Markit Composite PMI (services and manufacturing), and then the relatively stupid Consumer Confidence Index. and a regional manufacturing index from Richmond.   And that’s all followed by the Yellen Testimony. Yesterday’s Data Cupboard, had some very weak Housing Data. Existing Home Sales fell 4.9% to a nine-month low of 4.82 million units in January from a revised 5.07 million units in December.. The markets had expected 4.95 million units in January, so not only did the January number of units sold disappoint VS December, but also disappoint VS expectations. And the Feds are thinking of hiking rates? Seriously, right? For What It’s Worth.  This past Sunday, we posted titled: What’s Going On With Oil? And in it we made an error, so here’s our mea culpa. In this past Sunday’s edition of the Daily Pfennig® newsletter, “What’s Going On With Oil?”, we erroneously reported that most shale producers needed oil to be above $140 a barrel to make shale drilling worthwhile, and our loyal readers let us know about our mistake. We apologize for the inaccuracy and did additional research. Citing information obtained from the industry source (, we are correcting that information to be $42-$80 a barrel, which depends on the geographical location of the shale. Again, we sincerely apologize for the error and thank all of our loyal readers for their input. Chuck again. I was one of the first to read the article Sunday morning, and gasped when I read that part that was in error, for I knew it wasn’t right, and immediately fired off a note to the publisher.  Strange things happen from time to time. So please accept our apologies for this error and we move on. To recap.  It’s all about Janet Yellen’s testimony today, with most traders of the belief that she’ll attempt to turn the tables on the dovish talk in the Fed Meeting Minutes that printed last week. Chuck thinks there’s risk in the market today since everyone is of that belief, and he asks the question, what if she doesn’t turn the tables on the dovish comments?   Gold is still below $1,200, and Oil has slipped back below $50 this morning. Greece completed their homework assignment and will return home with a 4 month extension to their current loan agreement, but with austerity measures still in hand. They failed miserably at “ending austerity” like they claimed they would when they came to Europe a couple of weeks ago.. Currencies today 2/24/15. American Style: A$ .7760, kiwi .7445, C$ .7915, euro 1.1325, sterling 1.5435,  Swiss $1.0535, . European Style: rand 11.5820, krone 7.6125, SEK 8.3955, forint 270.05, zloty 3.6795, koruna 24.2150, RUB 63.13, yen 119.50, sing 1.3615, HKD 7.7565, INR 62.20, China 6.1330, pesos 15.09, BRL 2.8605, Dollar Index 94.67, Oil $49.15, 10-year 2.08%, Silver $16.33, Platinum $1,162.63, Palladium $786.50, and Gold. $1,199.59That’s it for today. Darling daughter, Dawn, sent a video to us of Delaney Grace reading a book about a kid retiring from his hard job of being a kid. So cute! I’ve made a new friend down here, but he goes home tomorrow. UGH!  Gus is his name and for his last night he’s going to take me to his favorite place for a martini. I’ve never had a martini, so this ought to be an adventure! I did say A martini. Tony Joe White is singing his song: Polk Salad Annie on the iPod right now. I bet I surprised you with that one! Never heard it?  YOUTUBE it I’m sure it’s there!  I drove over to the Roger Dean complex yesterday, it was a great day, the sun was warm, the pitchers and catchers were going through drills, and not very many fans were there, which is just peachy with me! A lot of PFP (pitchers fielding practice) going on. the position players will arrive on Wednesday, and then the activity on the fields gets really going!  And soon it will be March, and with that a flood of Cardinals fans from up North, and the town turns red. And with that it’s that time of morning! I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler Managing Director EverBank Global Marketslast_img read more

first_img — Bidding War Set to Launch Tiny $2 Stock? At this moment, rumors indicate Johnson & Johnson and Google are plotting takeover bids for a tiny $2 microcap. Although this company is small, it holds critical patents that could impact 27 million Americans and unlock an expected $18 billion market. In addition, this company is part of a market sector responsible for rare and exceptional trades big enough to turn $1,000 into $1.6 million. Institutions and insiders closest to the action have already grabbed up 96% of shares in advance of a takeover battle. Trading volume just surged a staggering 2,500% on the news. This is just getting started… It says, “CASH transactions are limited to $6,000 within a 48 hour period.” $6,000 seems like an arbitrary number. And 48 hours seems even more contrived. This is a sign of the times. Governments are cracking down on cash. They want to know every detail of your financial life. They want to know what you buy and what you sell. Paper cash is hard to track. So, little by little, governments are getting rid of it. Notice the $500 bill featuring President McKinley to the left of the sign. Years ago, $500 bought you a brand new car. Today, it barely buys a steak dinner for a family of five. Cash is on its way out of existence. The government stopped issuing $500 bills in 1969. Last week, Harvard professor Larry Summers wrote an article titled “It’s time to kill the $100 bill.” The New York Times published an article arguing the same thing. Their reasoning is, big bills make it easier for criminals to commit crimes. If you’re not a criminal, you shouldn’t have a problem with the government knowing everything you buy and sell. The $6,000 limit will soon be $1,000. The local jewelry shop is the last place you can buy gold without the government tracking you. Take advantage of it while you can. Editor’s Note: As E.B. said, the government wants to know every detail of your financial life. That’s why it’s declared a “War on Cash.” And if you don’t take action right now, you could lose control of your life savings. We recently put together a report that shows you how to protect yourself. You can learn more about this report right here. CASEY: “Tom is an Original Thinker” On Tuesday night one of America’s top income experts… the man Doug Casey calls “an original thinker” revealed LIVE—in front of thousands of people—his #1 “express” technique. In fact, this technique works so well… that 553 separate people he showed this to a couple years ago report collecting an average of $20,434 in income! A special replay of this event is now available, but only for a few days. Click here to watch this replay now. Recommended Linkscenter_img Editor’s Note: Today’s issue is a little different than usual… In place of our regular daily market commentary, we’re going to warn you about an extremely dangerous trend in government surveillance. E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, has found a unique way to protect yourself…but the window of opportunity is closing fast. Casey Daily Dispatch will return to its regular format tomorrow. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida February 25, 2016 If you’re buying gold right now…the government could be tracking you. If you’re buying gold, you’re likely not doing it to make money. You’re buying it to make sure you don’t wake up poor one day. Gold has been used as money for thousands of years because it is easily divisible, easily transportable, has intrinsic value, is durable, and has consistent form around the world. And, as Doug Casey reminds us, it’s a good form of money because governments can’t print it on a whim. You can’t “Bernanke your way” to wealth with gold. When today’s dramatic central banking experiment blows up, gold will hold its value…unlike paper currencies such as the dollar. That’s exactly why the government will try to take it from you. The last time the government confiscated gold was during the Great Depression. In 1933, President Roosevelt outlawed owning most forms of gold. He claimed that people “hoarding” gold were making the Great Depression worse. The penalty for not turning your gold in to the government was a $10,000 fine and 10 years in jail. Of course, Roosevelt gave his closest supporters notice before issuing the ban. They had time to move their gold to another country. Most folks weren’t that lucky. This time around, the confiscation will be digital. Most people own gold through a fund like Sprott Physical Gold Trust (PHYS) or Central Fund of Canada (CEF). The former will give you physical gold in exchange for your shares, once a month, if you own enough shares. The latter won’t give you the physical gold. Because this gold is owned through a brokerage account, it will be easy for the government to confiscate. – What about physical gold? If you bought it from a dealer and paid with a wire transfer, the banking regulators have plenty of documentation. They’ll likely let you keep the gold. But it will be illegal to trade. If you don’t obey, you’ll be subject to a 99% tax on its value. But there’s one way to buy gold so the government can’t track you. I’ve been doing it for years. You can do it, too. It’s buying at a locally owned jewelry store. These stores get a few common gold coins in every week. If you know what you’re looking for, it’s a great way to buy gold with cash. However, the window of opportunity is closing quickly. In fact, I went to buy gold today…and saw this new sign.last_img read more

Empa researchers investigate the safety of graphene for humans

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 8 2019Graphene, a single layer of hexagonally arranged carbon atoms, is regarded as the miracle material of the future: it is flexible, transparent, strong, can assume different electrical properties and has the highest thermal conductivity of all known materials. This makes it extremely interesting for countless possible applications. Europe has recognized this as well: The large-scale research program “Graphene Flagship” has been running for five years and is dedicated to this material. It is the largest research initiative that Europe has launched to date – this shows the enormous importance of graphene.Biological effects under the microscopeBut despite all the euphoria: As with any new technology, the potential downsides have to be taken into account early on. In the past, these were often investigated too late. For example, asbestos, once appreciated for its fire retardant properties, was used in the early 20th century to manufacture numerous products – but health hazards were only gradually discovered. In 1970, asbestos fibres were officially classified as carcinogenic.An important part of the graphene flagship is therefore dedicated to the question: Are graphene-based materials safe for humans and the environment? To this day, numerous studies have been carried out within the framework of the flagship. Empa researchers from the Particles-Biology Interactions Lab investigated for example how graphene oxide affects the human lung, gastrointestinal tract or placental barrier.A comprehensive review article has now been published in the halfway stage of the graphene flagship project, which links the data produced within the framework of the major international research project with other published studies and thus shows the current state of knowledge on the subject of the safety of graphene-based materials. Partners from 15 European universities and research institutes participated in the review, including Empa researchers Peter Wick and Tina Bürki.The article provides an overview of when parts of graphene-based materials can even enter the environment or the human body during their life cycle: during production, use, aging or in the disposal or recycling process. The majority of the studies evaluated were devoted to the question of how graphene-based materials interact with the human body. These include the different ways in which materials can enter the body, for example by inhalation, ingestion or skin contact, as well as the distribution and interaction with important organs such as the central nervous system, lungs, skin, immune system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive system.Structure determines activityRelated StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysLoose double-stranded RNA molecules spur skin rejuvenationOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchIt’s noticeable: Not all studies come to the same result. However, this is not necessarily due to the fact that the quality of individual studies is poor: “The challenge is that not all graphene is the same,” explains Peter Wick, head of the Particles-Biology Interactions Lab at Empa. Graphene-based materials can consist of one or more layers, the width and length of the layer can vary, and the ratio of carbon to oxygen atoms can also differ.Depending on the combination of these three parameters, not only do completely different material properties result – the effects on humans and the environment also vary greatly. This makes simple, generally valid statements almost impossible. “Our goal is therefore to create a detailed model for a relationship between structure and certain properties,” said Wick. Careful characterization of the materials studied is therefore central. In the future, self-learning algorithms could help to generate a model from the data in order to predict the biological effects of a certain graphene structure.However, such a comprehensive model is still a dream of the future. “We see ourselves here as a kind of launch helper for determining the safety of graphene-based materials and products,” explains Wick. “Although there are more and more studies and thus indications of how graphene-based materials affect living systems, there are still gaps in our knowledge. These gaps need to be filled before we can make a clear prediction about how a graphene-based material with certain properties will affect biological systems.” The aim is to create a new standard for authorities, research and industry so that the miracle material graphene can also be used safely.Graphene Flagship The Graphene Flagship is the EU’s biggest research initiative to date, and, according to the European Commission, ‘history’s greatest distinction for excellent research’. With a budget of EUR one billion, the Graphene Flagship is tasked with taking graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society in ten years – thus generating economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities for Europeans as both investors and employees. With the Graphene Flagship, Europe has launched a new form of joint, coordinated research initiative of unprecedented scale. Graphene Flagship brings together an academic-industrial consortium aiming at a breakthrough for technological innovation. The research effort will cover the entire value chain from materials production to components and system integration, and targets a number of specific goals that exploit the unique properties of graphene. Source: read more