In a paper just published in Nature,1 scientists mapped the DNA of 270 people from four people groups: European, African, Chinese, and Japanese. The scientists were looking for sections of DNA that are either missing or duplicated. Many sections of our DNA appear over and over again. The number of extra copies varies between individuals and between people groups. The number of copies is called the Copy Number Variation (CNV). The major excitement in their study was the finding of a link between locations within chromosomes of DNA that are missing or duplicated and the locations on the chromosomes of many diseases. DNA code that scientists used to call useless junk, left over from the random process of evolution, are now turning out to contain mechanisms that determine many physical characteristics and control much of our body chemistry. A whole new field of research is opening up:Our map of copy number variation in the human genome demonstrates the ubiquity and complexity of this form of genomic variation. The abundance of functional sequences of all types both within and flanking areas of copy number variation suggests that the contribution of CNVs to phenotypic variation is likely to be appreciable. This prediction is underscored by the impact of copy number variation on variation in gene expression.Buried in the report was the observation that although their samples came from four geographical areas, the samples divided themselves neatly into three distinct groups. The Chinese and Japanese fell into the same group, with the Europeans and Africans being the other two:“In contrast to other classes of human genetic variation, the population genetics of copy number variation remains unexplored. The distribution of copy number variation within and among different populations is shaped by mutation, selection and demographic history….To demonstrate the utility of copy number variation genotypes for population genetic inference we performed population clustering on 67 genotyped biallelic CNVs. We obtained the optimal clustering with the assumption of three ancestral populations, with the African, European and Asian populations clearly differentiated.Click here for a striking graph of how sharply the three groups are separated. The legend on the graph denotes people groups: Nigeria (YRI), Europe (CEU), Japan (JPT) and China (CHB).1Redon et al, “Global variation in copy number in the human genome,” Nature 444, 444-454 (23 November 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05329.See also: BBC News, National Geographic and News@Nature.Although this study considered only a limited sample, this is either a remarkable coincidence or confirmation of the biblical account in Genesis 9 to 11 describing all the peoples of the earth coming from the three sons of Noah. Further studies should confirm with larger numbers of samples from more locations that all the world’s population can be separated into three groups. How will this affect the popular “Out of Africa” theory of man’s origin? Further research could create quite a lot of stress among anthropologists whose careers are based on the “Out of Africa” story. What new tale will evolutionists come up with to account for three ancestral populations? Not surprisingly, the major news media, such as the BBC, had practically nothing to say about there being only three ancestral populations, focusing rather on the medical aspects of the paper. A review of the paper by Physorg, however, jumps to the defense:Evolution is another area that will come under new scrutiny. The “Out of Africa” scenario, by which Homo sapiens emerged from east Africa and spread around the globe, will not be challenged, though. Our origins are so recent that the vast majority of CNVs, around 89 percent, was found to be shared among the 269 people who volunteered blood as samples for the study. These individuals included Japanese from Tokyo, Han Chinese from Beijing, Yoruba from Nigeria and Americans of Northern and Western European ancestry. All the same, there are widespread differences in CNVs according to the three geographical origins of the samples. This implies that, over the last 200,000 years or so, subtle variants have arisen in the genome to allow different populations of humans adapt to their different environments, Wellcome Trust Sanger said in a press release.So it sounds like “Out of Africa” is safe. All we are asked to believe is that in the course of 200,000 imaginary years, or perhaps 10,000 generations, there has been so little mixing of the gene pool that we still see three very distinct groups. This could be a problem. We are still left with the requirement that at some point in the past, say about 200,000 imaginary years ago (or perhaps only 3400 years ago) there was a time when the human population, for some unexplained reason, shrank to the point that it was able to form three distinct genetic groups. Sorry, but this is still sounding a lot like the three sons of Noah.—DK(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Forced perspective is an age-old practical effect with some clever applications for your own low-budget movie needs.Top image via Focus FeaturesWhat is Forced Perspective? Forced perspective alters our perception of scale and can change the perceived size of objects within a shot. The effect comes alive by way of strategically staging individuals and objects in the foreground and background of your shot along the z-axis, which runs from the perspective of the camera outward.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind via Focus FeaturesAn optical illusion called the Ames room is a great way to understand how forced perspective works. By using a distorted, trapezoidal room, the people within the room seem to be of varying sizes. Ames Room via WikipediaThough it can get quite elaborate, forced perspective in film and video work does not require the construction of an Ames room, though sometimes it does require the construction of oversized props.How Is Forced Perspective Used?Forced perspective is perhaps best known as a standard photography trick that involves tourists interacting with famous monuments.While it may not be a convincing use of the effect (and it’s not supposed to be), a humorous use of forced perspective can be found on The Kids in the Hall with the “Crushing Your Head” skit:The Kids in the Hall “Crushing Your Head” via CBCFor the budget conscious moviemaker, forced perspective allows the integration of miniatures into a shot in a way that visually transforms them into life-sized objects. Vashi Nedomansky offers a good example of how to make a toy Hummer seem real.Low-Budget Visual Effects via Vashi NedomanskyIf you prefer helicopters, then check out this blog post by James DeRuvo.Photographer Michael Paul Smith has been photographically recreating the town in which he grew up, Elgin Park, by way of models and forced perspective. With miniature cars and other foreground models, Smith crafts very convincing images that look straight out of the mid-20th century.The Giant Hand via Michael Paul Smith People Large and SmallForced perspective has been very useful in the movies when characters need to be of varying sizes. The trick is in positioning the characters within the frame at staggered points along the z-axis. The person intended to be larger will be closer to the camera while the person meant to be small should be farther from the camera. Darby O’Gill and the Little People via DisneyElf via New Line CinemaOne of the main tricks is maintaining the apparent eyelines between the characters. In other words, the characters cannot actually look at one another because it would ruin the forced perspective effect. Instead, the eyeline must be simulated to accommodate the apparent positions of each character. This means that your characters won’t actually be able to look at one another, but it will still seem natural on screen.Movie Magic Episode 5 – Forced Perspective via Tyler Haslett, Discovery Channel, and GRBHow to Do ItIn addition to being aware of convincing eyelines, you’ll need to pick the right lens. Wide-angle lenses are preferred. Wide-angle lenses will help you maintain a large depth of field while also allowing you to exaggerate the size of people and objects closer and farther from the lens. In terms of lighting, you should shoot under well-lit conditions so that you can use a smaller aperture and increase your depth of field. This way, everyone in the shot will remain in focus as much as possible. However, a little soft focus on one of the subjects can still work:The Lord of the Rings via New Line Cinema Creating forced perspective is a lot of fun and if you are working with a static camera, it can be achieved pretty simply. But sometimes, filmmakers get ambitious and want to move the camera during their forced perspective effect. The Lord of the Rings famously used forced perspective with a moving camera, which meant that the characters had to be moved along with the camera in order for the effect for the effect to work.A Cautionary NoteWhether you intend to use forced perspective as an in-camera effect or not, it’s very important to understand that the perception of scale is a constant concern in the composition of any shot. An object placed close to the camera will increase in size and, dependent on your lens choice, may look huge and unintentionally distracting, particularly if you are using a wide angle lens.The Untouchables via ParamountIn the above shot, Kevin Costner’s hands are as big as his head. Director Brian De Palma, and his cinematographer, Stephen H. Burum, knew what they were doing, but it’s important to be aware of the ways forced perspective may disrupt your own cinematic vision. Purposeful composition is always important. Tromp l’oeilSingin’ in the Rain via MGMTromp l’oeil, which translates to “deceives the eye,” works by the same principle as forced perspective, except in this case, a painting, often a matte painting, is placed close to the camera (In the olden days, matte paintings were also combined optically during post-production). Tromp l’oeil has been used by the likes of Chaplin and many others over the course of cinematic history. Modern Times via United ArtistsFor more about the above sequence, check out this Reddit post. Though tromp l’oeil has gone out of style in modern moviemaking due to computer generated technology, Roy Andersson still uses these practical cinematic techniques in his films. Songs from the Second Floor via New Yorker FilmsConclusionWhether you are integrating models or characters of varying sizes into your movie, understanding forced perspective can help you achieve some fantastic in-camera effects. Forced perspective can also save you from creating unintentionally distracting visuals by placing objects too close to the lens. What are your experiences with forced perspective? Please share below.
Here’s how you can effectively mount a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K to the Ronin-M with the CineMilled Dovetail Plate.We’re approaching the anniversary of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s initial release. Thankfully, the market has developed several accessories and tools specially for this camera. However, we still lack compatible gimbals and stabilizers that work out of the box. Due to the camera’s wide design, which makes it more cumbersome on the side with the battery and side grip, most gimbals need additional counterweights to make the setup usable.However, it looks like the MOZA Air 2 may be a good contender for the Pocket Cinema Camera. Let’s take a look.The Ronin-M has become a fan favorite over the last few years due to its rugged nature, favorable load capacity, customization, external operating controls, and reasonable price. However, mounting the Pocket Cinema Camera onto the gimbal isn’t as easy as it is with other cameras — let alone balancing it.The ProblemTypically, you’d attach the DJI plate and mount the camera from the front. This is where we encounter our first problem. The camera is too wide. The DJI Ronin-M supports cameras up to 160mm, and the Pocket Cinema Camera is 177.8mm.As we noted in our review, the ergonomics of the Pocket Cinema Camera accommodate handheld shooting. You have a sizable, five-inch screen and a large handgrip. This makes it excellent for comfortable handheld shooting. But when it comes to the Ronin-M, the camera doesn’t fit correctly.We can simply reverse the DJI plate and slide the camera into position. However, this prevents you from using the lens support attachment. If you have a heavy cine lens, along with a remote follow focus attachment, you may be able to balance the camera from the offset. If you’re using a lighter stills lens, you’ll run into your first brick wall.You can try to balance the tilt-axis adjustment all day long, but ultimately, the camera will be too back-heavy, and you’ll need to bring it forward, along the fore and aft adjustment. However, again, the camera is too wide to come frontward. Therefore, you’ll need to modify the roll adjustment parameter to slide the camera free of the carriage support and bring it forward until you can balance it. The camera will still hit the side of the carriage, which may scuff the grip.However, this is somewhat fruitless because the camera will be too heavy on the left side of the balance, and you’re not going to be able to shift it back across because the camera is sitting flush against the support arm. Enter CineMilledYou bring the camera back, and you can’t balance it for the tilt axis. You bring it forward, and you can’t balance it on the roll axis. This is a significant problem. Thankfully, in 2019, if there’s a need for a tool, somebody will fill that void. CineMilled is that somebody.CineMilled has created a variety of high-end rigging fixtures for almost any gimbal and stabilizer, including a professional-grade Dovetail Plate for the Ronin-M.Unlike the standard plate, the CineMilled plate is longer and has threads to mount counterweights. As you can see in the video above, the plate generally accommodates larger cameras that are too front-heavy and need counter-weighting from the rear. As such, the threads for mounting the weights are at the back of the plate. However, like before, the Pocket Cinema Camera won’t fit when you place the camera on the carriage through the front.The FixSo, you’ll need to reverse the plate and slide the camera onto the DJI carriage backward — this also positions the mounting threads at the front. But, this is what we Pocket Cinema Camera users need. It means that we can position the camera far back in the carriage, allowing us to move the camera along the roll axis without obstruction. The counterweights — which are available at weights of 96g, 159g, 326g, and 989g — will balance the roll axis.Given the precision required to balance the camera, I don’t know if my balancing technique would be much help here, but I was able to adjust the camera best when I had two 159g weights in holes three and six.After a few tedious hours of minute adjustments, I was able to get the camera correctly balanced and entirely functional — with no motor errors — with the DJI Ronin-M turned on. As you can see from my test footage above, it yields favorable results.Unfortunately, we encounter another problem when connecting an HDMI cable. The cable brushes up against the side, which restricts proper balancing and tilting. The DJI manual suggests using soft HDMI cables to prevent this issue, but I’ve yet to find a suitable soft full-HDMI-to-micro-HDMI that clears the brace.Again, you’d need to shift the roll axis to make sufficient space, and that’s going to throw off all of the previous balancings and likely require more weight on the CineMilled Dovetail Plate.Looking for more on film and video gear? Check out these articles.How to Take Photos with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4KBuilding A Low Budget Handheld Rig For The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4KViltrox vs. Metabones: Speed Booster for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema CameraNew Filmmaker Tips For Using The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4kHands-On Review: The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken LATEST STORIES Teng said that he’s hopeful to get an affirmative response from Reyes if he can join the training on Tuesday.“I have no idea how they are working now, but maybe, now that I’ve reached out, I’ll drop by. I didn’t know that you only have to reach out and tell your intention to join the team, so I hope I get the call. Everyone wants to play for the national team,” he said. What ‘missteps’? Jeron Teng. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ Joaqui FloresFresh from his stint with Chooks-Pilipinas 3×3 in the 2017 Fiba 3×3 World Cup, Jeron Teng has signified his intention to be a part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool.“Even in France, I was telling Kief (Ravena) and Kobe (Paras) that I also want to be a part of the training,” he said Saturday in the Chooks-Pilipinas 3×3 homecoming press conference.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Teng shared that he already reached out to national team coach Chot Reyes on Saturday after the 3×3 squad arrived from Nantes, France.“I already reached out to coach Chot if I can practice and try out. There’s no player who doesn’t want to represent the country. There’s no greater glory than being a part of the team representing the country,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutTeammate Kiefer Ravena and Kobe Paras were earlier called up to join the Gilas pool, together with new additions Raymar Jose and Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger and veterans Kevin Alas and Baser Amer.Reyes has also included Bobby Ray Parks to the pool last week as the national team resumed its trainings at Meralco Gym on Tuesday. World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Red Sox retire No.34 for Ortiz: ‘This is his (pause) city’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
An injury-ravaged Team India is gearing up for the third ODI against England at The Oval on Friday, still looking for that elusive win which would lift the sagging morale of the battle-weary side.Trailing 0-1 in the five-match series after being whitewashed 0-4 in the Tests, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men have reasons to feel fatalistic ahead of the day-night encounter.The visitors are worried on the count of lack of bowling firepower in their ranks and are resigned to the fact England would chase down any total they can rustle up in remaining one-dayers.Dhoni laid himself bare to media after losing the second one-dayer at Rose Bowl on Tuesday, fretting about the sameness of his fast bowlers and their general lack of pace.”If it doesn’t swing, we struggle. Most of our bowlers are in the 120-130 kmph range and it becomes very difficult,” or words to similar effect was Dhoni’s lament and Friday could just make his worst fears come true.The pitch at The Oval offers bounce but no sideways movement and the gentle pace of Indian seamers could turn out to be fodder for England batsmen.Dhoni concedes Praveen Kumar is not his best option in death overs and he is forced to keep Munaf Patel a lot towards the end than in the initial overs.If India can’t strike early, it is a given that the rest of the overs would be savaged by the in-form England batsmen.A similar thing occurred in the second one-dayer where India ran up a decent total but were powerless to stop England from romping home with seven wickets to spare.advertisementThe crushing dominance was evident when England were 100 up on the board with 10 full overs yet to be completed.As if this was not enough, India is also worried on the count of fifth bowler’s quota — a job Yuvraj Singh used to do with such aplomb in the past.In the rain-hit second match, it fell on Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina to do the job but it would be beyond them to remain useful over a stretch of 10 overs.That makes the inclusion of Ravindra Jadeja a strong possibility. The Gujarat all-rounder is a useful left-arm spinner and can add up a decent package with his notable fielding and batting.His inclusion would almost surely bring the aspirations of Manoj Tiwary for the rest of the series to a premature end.Ironically, India’s batting showed little effect of downturn despite losing so many stalwarts up the order.Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane have been startlingly good up the order. Virat Kohli has shown good intent and Suresh Raina is laying about the bowling with a streak of vengeance.Thus England could sense a killing in the rest of the matches. The pitches at the remaining three venues are unlikely to help seam and swing.Indians might be a depleted lot but England would take immense delight in prevailing over the visitors and ending the summer in style.England wouldn’t take their foot off the pedal for it’s a good practice opportunity for them to iron out their one-day follies. For one, they are not seen as particularly adventurous in initial overs. The issue was met squarely by England openers in the second one-dayer.Another issue is their rather timid approach in death overs. The hosts would be keen to sort this out too.England have largely been an orthodox unit in one-day cricket. They are now bringing in a new set of players who can resort to unorthodox tactics.Men like Craig Kieswetter and Ben Stokes are being primed for such roles. Their bowling in death overs has received a boost with the arrival of Jade Dernbach.It being a day-night fixture, both sides would be keen to win the toss and bat first. Luck has been seen as an important ingredient in Dhoni’s extraordinary record as a Test captain.It hasn’t shown up by his side on this tour so far. For a starter, it could help him by flipping the coin in his favour on Friday.Squads:England: Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter, Samit Patel, Ben Stokes, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott.India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Manoj Tiwary, Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, RP Singh, Vinay Kumar, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Parthiv Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Varun Aaron.The match will start at 5.30 p.m (IST)advertisement
One of the most thrilling climaxes to an English County Championship saw Middlesex prevail in a three-way fight for the title on the final day of the season, denying Australian Jason Gillespie a third straight crown to end his spell as Yorkshire coach.Toby Roland-Jones completed a hat-trick to clinch Middlesex a 61-run victory over Yorkshire in a winner-takes-all match at Lord’s on Friday. Set 240 to win off 40 overs following a Middlesex declaration, Yorkshire was dismissed for 178 off 35.2 overs as late-afternoon shadows fell at the Home of Cricket.Middlesex finished the 16-game season unbeaten and became English champions for the first time since 1993. Somerset would have won a first title in its history had the Middlesex-Yorkshire game finished as a draw, and all three possible results were realistically on with half an hour left at Lord’s.Having seen their team clinch victory in its final game on Thursday, Somerset’s supporters watched from the County Ground in Taunton as their title rivals conspired to ensure the championship would likely be decided at Lord’s.”We bounced some ideas around about what’s a reasonable chase,” Gillespie said, about the negotiations between Middlesex and Yorkshire regarding the size of Yorkshire’s final-day target. “There was toing and froing, all sorts of numbers being thrown around there … It was a fantastic afternoon of cricket.”Gillespie is returning Down Under to be with his family and continue his coaching role at Adelaide Strikers in Australia’s Big Bash.The former Australia paceman took over as Yorkshire coach in 2011, leading the team out of the second division and to back-to-back English titles to extend its national-record haul to 33.advertisementHe came within a whisker of a third, only for Roland-Jones to finish Yorkshire with three wickets from his final three balls, completing his 10-wicket haul in the process.”I think I’ve lost about three years of my life,” said Middlesex director of cricket Angus Fraser, a former England bowler who was in the last Middlesex team to win the county championship title.
The UK’s top football players today take on their most challenging opponent yet as the England Footballer’s Foundation (EFF) team up with UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, in a new four year partnership that will help tackle malaria; a disease that still claims the life of a child every thirty seconds.Wayne Rooney, along with Joe Hart, Gary Cahill and Jack WilshereWhilst the players are more used to finding the back of the net on the pitch, the EFF and Unicef partnership will see them use their global status and appeal to raise funds and awareness, both at home and around the world, about the danger of Malaria and the benefits of sleeping under a mosquito net.In Africa malaria is the biggest killer of children under five and globally it is the third single biggest killer of children. The poorest most vulnerable children are in the greatest danger, but sleeping under a mosquito net can offer them life-saving protection.To launch the partnership England captain Wayne Rooney, along with goalkeeper Joe Hart, defender Gary Cahill and midfielder Jack Wilshere feature in a striking image alongside children from William Shrewsbury Primary School, Burton upon Trent.England captain, Wayne Rooney said: “It’s unbelievable that every ninety minutes – the time it takes to play a football match – 180 children will lose their lives to malaria. As captain of the England football team I am hugely proud that we are able to help Unicef in its goal of protecting every child in danger from this disease.”England and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart said: “I am used to defending my goal net against some of the best players in the world, but for some children, being able to sleep under a life-saving mosquito net can mean the last line of defence from this deadly disease. I have always been a huge fan of Unicef’s work so it’s really amazing that through our Foundation we can help make a difference to the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.”Unicef UK Executive Director David Bull said: “The simplest way to keep children safe from malaria is to ensure that they sleep under a mosquito net, but many are still living without this basic life-saving need. The faces of the England football team are some of the most recognisable in the country so it is great to have them on board to help us raise awareness to tackle malaria and protect all those children in danger.”Last year the EFF also supported Unicef’s Typhoon Haiyan children’s emergency appeal following the catastrophic tropical storm in the Philippines. The England Footballers Foundation are joining Team Unicef, a community of fans, players and organisations who love sport and want to make a lasting difference to the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.Source:UNICEF UK
Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Gordon Shadrach is a Grade 2 teacher and painter, whose work is now featured at the ROM and explores issues of identity within Canada’s black community. The museum advertises the show as a way to “challenge” the stereotypes plaguing Canada’s black community.“Knowing now that there’s going to be little black boys and little black girls looking at my work and giving them something to aspire to, that they can see something I didn’t have the privilege of seeing when I was a kid … it’s amazing to be part of that process,” Shadrach said.“Distilled,” acrylic on wood, 2017. (Courtesy Gordon Shadrach)Shadrach teaches his students and black youth the same theme he explores in his works, which is the under-representation of African-Canadians in our culture. By day, Gordon Shadrach is a Grade 2 teacher at Kew Beach Junior Public School in Toronto’s east-end, but by night, he’s a painter whose work is now being featured in the Royal Ontario Museum’s newest exhibition — something he says is “beyond my wildest dreams.”Shadrach has been featured at venues such as the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and the Queen West Art Crawl. He can now add the ROM’s newest exhibition to that list, which opened last Saturday and will remain open until mid-April.Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art features the work of nine Canadian contemporary artists, who use objects, images and multimedia to challenge preconceived notions of black culture. Advertisement Facebook Twitter
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 49.3313 rupees and the euro 64.8391 rupees.The corresponding rates of dollar and euro for the previous day (February 13, 2012) were 49.3180 rupees and 65.3520 rupees respectively.Based on the reference rate for the US dollar and middle rates of the cross-currency quotes, the exchange rates of British pound as against the rupee is 77.4107 as against 77.8435 on the previous day (February 13, 2012) and that of Japanese yen is 63.25 as against 63.56 the previous day.
Ask D.C. OR NOTHING AAU basketball coach Aaron Jones what coaching means to him and he responds with a single word: “Everything.” His team competed in the Charm City Classic in Baltimore, Md. April 26-27, emerging with a 2-1 record but the performance of the seventh- through ninth-grade players of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in a tournament that featured 75 teams from around the country filled his heart with pride, he told the AFRO recently. “We were missing three of our key players, so I was really proud of how they stuck together, didn’t use that as an excuse and still managed to win some games,” said Jones. “It was a really good experience.” This tournament marked his first appearance as a head basketball coach. The Southeast D.C. native and former AAU player has followed a bumpy road to get to this point. A high school dropout, he returned to school to get his GED, then entered—and graduated– from Virginia State University in 2007. Armed with a bachelor’s degree and a heart full of gratitude for what AAU ball meant for him, he decided it was time to give back to his tough Southeast D.C. community where he was raised and played AAU ball. He said he felt compelled to provide young Black men the same thing that AAU gave him: an alternative to the hard-scrabble–and often violent—choices that are common in a poor underclass neighborhood. For three years, he was an assistant coach in D.C. summer leagues and coached Hayfield High School’s junior varsity. Then, three years ago, he became an assistant coach at the AAU and this year got the opportunity to be a head coach For Jones, however, coaching is more than just spelling out, through Xs and Os, how to play. He embraces the role of mentor and substitute father for the boys, he said. “With AAU being so big with college coaches’ involvement with recruiting, a lot of coaches were using the kids for their own agendas, to further their own careers… ‘I’ll help you recruit this kid if there’s a job on your staff for me.’ I didn’t like that,” said Jones. “I wanted to focus more on the kids and give them all the glory, and I think they can see that with me. They know that I’m there for them.” A majority of the kids on D.C. OR NOTHING are from Southeast D.C., many of them from single-parent households. He immediately recognized the impact he could have on a team of young boys, not just as coach, but ultimately, as a teacher. Jones decided to incorporate bonding sessions in the practice schedule. The bonding sessions, from fast-food meals to just sitting around talking, provide an opportunity for coach and kids to just hang out, get comfortable with each other and talk about whatever topic is important to them, from school and family life to current events. “They know that I come from the area that they come from. They can talk to me about anything, regarding basketball or not. I think that’s part of it when you come from the same community they come from and you’ve been through a lot of the same things they’ve been through,” said Jones. AAU basketball isn’t just a sport, he said. It’s a way to be a positive influence. “I look forward to the practices probably more than the kids do.”