Winter nap

first_imgBy Terry KelleyUniversity of GeorgiaYou’ve harvested the last of the summer veggies, and you’re ready to hang up your hoe and spade until spring.But don’t abandon the garden spot before the job is finished. Gardens need to be put to bed for the winter. Some fall maintenance will help you avoid several problems next growing season.The end of the season is the best time to make note of the varieties that performed particularly well or not so well. Make a map of garden areas that had problem weeds or that stayed wet or didn’t produce well. Identify the weeds if you can.This is an ideal time to take a sample for nematodes, too. The highest populations are while the weather is still hot and plants are still growing. Mark your calendar to take a soil test within the next couple of months so you’ll have time to apply any needed lime well before spring planting.Remove any trellises you’ve put up. Store them in a dry place. This will help to preserve the life of the trellis materials. Remove any string or plant debris and knock off any excess soil.If you have an irrigation system in the garden, get it ready for winter, too. Remove hoses, sprinklers, drip tape, etc. Store these out of the elements for the winter, too, after removing any excess soil or plant debris. Be sure to repair, sharpen and lightly oil garden implements before storage as well.Once all the obstacles are out of the garden, run a rotary mower across the garden to chop up any plant debris that remains. This allows this debris to dry down faster and keeps weeds from going to seed before frost. Applying a burn-down herbicide after mowing is even better.During the fall, add organic matter such as composted grass clippings, manure and leaves to the garden. Bury the organic matter and debris by turning the land. Then plant a cover crop for the winter. This will help to prevent any soil erosion and can build up the soil when you turn the cover crop under in the spring. A grain such as rye or wheat works well for this.Finally, don’t forget to order your seed catalogs by the end of the year and begin planning next year’s garden. Getting your seed ordered early in the year will better your chances of getting the varieties you want.Do these things and your garden will have a cozy winter nap. And don’t fret. Spring will be here before you know it. And your garden will awake refreshed and ready for those summer veggies once again.last_img read more

Mel stands by football philosophy

first_img Press Association Albion announced on Monday they had parted company with Mel, who only took over as their head coach in January, by mutual consent. The Spaniard kept the Baggies up – they finished 17th in the Barclays Premier League, three points above the relegation zone – but he endured a troubled reign. His first victory in the job did not come until his eighth match, the team won just three games in total out of the 17 he was in charge for, and only one of those triumphs was at home. Among the difficulties he faced was striker Shane Long being sold to Hull around the time Mel arrived at The Hawthorns, and he also subsequently lost the services of Nicolas Anelka as a consequence of the ‘quenelle’ saga. In an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena SER, the 51-year-old former Real Betis boss nonetheless spoke of a “wonderful experience” managing in the English top-flight. But he also made it clear there had been issues with regard to the style he wanted West Brom to play in. Mel said: “I had talks and West Brom and I decided that the best thing was to part company. “It’s a wonderful experience (to coach in the Premier League). Anyone in their jobs should experience this, you learn lots of things. “Football is experienced differently here – it’s neither better nor worse than Spain, just different. “But I cannot betray the essence of what I consider football to be. I think it is best to end it here. “They invented football and have a certain style and culture of football that is not necessarily the idea that we have right now in Spain.” He added: “The situation at the club at the beginning of January was not stable. They had sold some players. We lost Anelka. “In a week I had lost my best two strikers. It was difficult, we had a very complicated calendar and that is why I’m very happy and proud that we had saved ourselves when everything looked ugly. “We are all happy. But I cannot continue in the same way because I cannot betray myself. They (the players) are more comfortable doing what they know, to play the way they play. “We, the coaches, depend on the players – they are the ones that give to you or take things away from you. If the players are comfortable on the pitch that is crucial. “I go back home calm, knowing that I’ve done what I was hired to do. I leave with all the affection of the people and the club. “The best for me and my future is to find another place.” Mel has been strongly linked with a return to the Primera Division with Malaga. Along with Chris Hughton and Malky Mackay, other names in the frame to succeed him include Celtic boss Neil Lennon, Tim Sherwood – relived of his duties as Tottenham boss on Tuesday – and former Baggies midfielder Derek McInnes, who is currently in charge of Aberdeen. West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster has suggested Mel’s level of English meant “it was always difficult” but has wished him well and stressed the need for the club’s players to reflect upon their own part in Albion’s poor campaign. Foster, quoted by the Express & Star, said: “As players we also need to have a long, hard, look at ourselves because we haven’t performed this year. “I think everyone would agree it’s been quite a lucky one and we’re all quite relieved that we’ve retained our status. “It’s always a bit of a shock when a manager leaves and I’d like to pass on my regards and best wishes. “It was a tough ask for him in the first place but, whoever we’d got in, everybody would have been really happy if they’d guaranteed us Premier League safety. “It was always difficult because of the language barrier.” Pepe Mel has indicated his unwillingness to “betray” his football philosophy was key to him leaving West Brom.last_img read more

Using 32-Bit Color in After Effects for Creative Effect

first_imgPretty cool, right? And orange is obviously not the only color you can create with bright-than-white effects. Try out a bunch and see how they can add some cool, unexpected color interactions to your work! Switching to 32-bit mode in After Effects is great for color grading and smoothing out color banding, but it also allows for some cool color effects with “brighter than white” images.I’ve written before about the difference between 8 bit and 32 bit color in After Effects, specifically in color grading. But 32 bit color is great for more than just utilitarian uses like bringing back color information or smoothing out color banding. In 32-bit mode you can actually set colors “brighter than white”, allowing for awesome creative effects.One of my favorite ways to use this is to emulate cool super-white orange colors. First, you set After Effects to use 32-bit mode by option-clicking where it says “8 bit” at the bottom of the project panel. Then add some text. Open up the color picker for the text and set the RGB values to 5, 3, 2:The color will show up as white in the swatch, but as orange on the HSL picker. The way this works is that a value of “1” in every channel makes a solid white. By setting the channels to numbers greater than white, you’re telling After Effects to use a color, but one thats so bright it shows up a white.In the comp window you won’t see much, just some white text. But try this: keyframe a move on the text, and set motion blur to on. You can see the results pretty immediately and it looks pretty cool (note, the “.gif”-ification dulls the colors a little, so definitely try this out on our own to see the full vibrancy):Here’s that same move, but stepping through one frame at a time so you can see what the brighter-than-white color is doing:Now compare this to the exact same move with a glow effect, but in 8-bit mode. There’s really not a good way to balance it. Either the glow is too soft on the motion blur or too heavy on the static text: Here’s the same thing with 8 bit color. Not so good:For one more advanced example of using these settings for cool fire effects, here’s a quick Trapcode Particular particle system I set up to emulate rising embers. This technique utilizes awesome brighter-than-white color and a custom shutter angle on the particles for extra long motion blur:center_img Now let’s compare the 32-bit mode again to 8-bit mode, but with a  a glow. Try adding a blur to the text and bringing it into focus. I used the Camera Lens Blur, but they’ll all do pretty much the same thing to the colors. The result is really cool:Here’s the 8-bit mode with a glow. You just don’t get that complex blend at the bright white center:That uses a lot of blur, but what about just a little? Let’s make this text smolder.I’ve added a Rough Edges effect, set the Evolution to move with an expression (time150) and keyframed the Offset (Turbulence) to move upward. Now, the Roughen Edges effect isn’t a 32 bit effect, so it makes the color 1, 1, 1 (plain white). To fix this, you can add a fill effect to the text and reapply the 5, 3, 2 color values after the Roughen Edges effect. Add a light blur (maybe a radius of 6 or so) and you get a pretty cool smoldering text effect:last_img read more