‘Automower’

first_imgTo some, mowing the lawn is an enjoyable, almost therapeutic, task. To others, it’s a task they dread. For those, a new battery-operated mower, much like the popular Rumba vacuum cleaner, may be the product of your dreams.“The ‘automower’ actually isn’t a new concept. They’ve been used in Europe for a few years, but they haven’t been widely adopted in the U.S. to this point,” said University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Turfgrass Specialist Clint Waltz. Waltz is currently using an “automower” on the lawn just outside the new UGA Turfgrass Research Facility on the UGA Griffin campus. The Husqvarna mower is on loan from Georgia sod producer Super-Sod, so Waltz can observe and evaluate the concept of “continual” mowing, he said.Since putting the futuristic-looking mower to work the third week of August, Waltz thinks the mower has “great potential” for residential and commercial lawncare. The battery-powered device sets out to mow and returns to its charger when it needs “refueling.”When it comes to environmental impact, the “automower” doesn’t use fossil fuels and doesn’t stir up dust like conventional mowers. Maintenance costs do not include oil changes or new spark plugs; it only needs new blades every three to four months at a cost of about $20.With labor being the biggest challenge in the landscape industry today, the “automower” may fill a need, Waltz said.“When labor becomes difficult to find, or too expensive, innovation occurs. The ‘automower’ doesn’t stay home from work because of a case of brown bottle flu or complain to the department of labor about its continuous working schedule,” Waltz said.The small mower uses several tiny razor blades, similar to a double-sided utility knife, to cut grass. This “clean” cut of the leaf blade reduces loss of water and minimizes the opening for disease, he said. There’s no scalping of the turf, therefore, it’s a healthier grass plant“In tight areas of the lawn where a conventional mower may have to make multiple passes, compacting the soil and increasing traffic and wear, the ‘automower’ can mow more efficiently and decrease compaction,” he said.The auto-mower also reduces safety concerns for drivers of conventional mowers when mowing steep slopes or hard-to-mow areas. And, it can mow areas normally cleared with string trimmers.Since the mower removes no more than a third of the leaf at a single mowing, no thatch or surface clumps accumulate on the lawn.“This method of mowing also doesn’t overwhelm the soil microbes, making them more efficient at returning organic matter to plant-available nutrients,” Waltz said. That simply means there could be less need for fertilizer.So far, Waltz thinks the “automower” would be perfect for people who long for that “just mowed look.”“We are in a quality business. Turfgrass has to look good and perform,” he said. “Continual mowing removes seedheads more regularly or prevents them from fully developing. This alone leads to improved appearance because seedheads, or seed stalks, give a ‘stemy’ look that detracts from the lawn’s appearance.”Some “automower” models come with lights that could act as a wildlife deterrent, Waltz said.“The random mowing pattern may act as a deer deterrent within the landscape. It’s not substantiated, but there have been comments that landscapes with the ‘automower’ have fewer moles and voles,” he said.For now, the UGA Extension specialist is observing the device. “Potential research trials could develop such as the automower’s impact on disease, fertility and other management practices,” he said. “For now, it’s doing its job mowing and causing some second glances. It does bring with it a cool factor.”For more information on turfgrass research at UGA, go to www.GeorgiaTurf.com.last_img read more

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Ways to save money on mortgage closing costs

first_imgAnother good reason to buy a home now – in addition to the relatively low interest rate environment – is that mortgage closing costs have declined 7% over the past year and now average $1,847 on a $200,000 loan, according to Bankrate.com.“The reason is there [are] caps in place on a lot of things now,” said Mike Brennan, founder of MJB Mortgage Services in Bohemia, New York, referring to a 3% cap on bank origination fees. “Plus it’s a competitive environment.”A decrease in mortgage volume over the last couple of years could have prompted lenders to become more competitive, according to Crissinda Ponder, mortgage analyst at Bankrate.com.“The most important thing to do is shop around,” Ponder said.Mortgage costs typically include taxes, title insurance, property insurance and the origination fee, which is what a lender charges for processing the loan. The origination fee typically includes the bank’s application fee, a processing fee and underwriting fees, according to Brennan. continue reading » 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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How credit unions can help millennial parents save for college

first_imgAccording to CollegeData, the average cost of an in-state public university for the 2014-2015 school year was $23,410. For a private school, the cost goes up to $46,272. The Institute for College Access & Success reported an average student loan debt of $28,400 for students in the class of 2013.Struggling with student loan debt and figuring out a way to pay for an education has sparked a new way parents think about their children’s future, according to a study by Fidelity Investments. In 2007, 58 percent of parents between ages 30 and 34 had started to save for their children’s education. Only 16 percent planned on paying for all of their children’s college payments.Saving for collegeIn 2015, 74 percent of parents in the same age range have started to save and nearly half plan to pay for all college costs. continue reading » 28SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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N. Korea to cut communication lines to ‘enemy’ South: KCNA

first_imgThe links being cut also include “the East and West Seas communication lines” between militaries of the two sides, an inter-Korean “trial communication line” and a hotline between the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and South Korea’s presidential Blue House, KCNA said.Last week, the North threatened to close the liaison office with the South and threatened further steps to make Seoul “suffer.”Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, also threatened to scrap a military agreement signed with Seoul unless the South stopped activists from sending the leaflets.KCNA said Tuesday that Kim Yo Jong, and another top official, Kim Yong Chol, have “stressed that the work towards the South should thoroughly turn into the one against enemy.”Pyongyang largely cut off contact with Seoul following the collapse of a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi last year that left nuclear talks at a standstill. North Korea will cut military and political communication links to “enemy” South Korea on Tuesday, state media said, after threats over activists sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border.The threats come with inter-Korean ties at a standstill, despite three summits between the North’s Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in in 2018.Pyongyang “will completely cut off and shut down the liaison line between the authorities of the North and the South, which has been maintained through the North-South joint liaison office,” as well as other communication links “from 12:00 on June 9, 2020,” the Korean Central News Agency said. Topics :last_img read more

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang talks up golden boot chances after scoring winner for Arsenal against Watford

first_imgMohamed Salah is looking to win back-to-back golden boots (Getty Images)Salah moved level with Aguero in the golden boot race by scoring a wonder-goal from distance against Chelsea during Liverpool’s 2-0 win at Anfield on Sunday.Aubameyang acknowledged that Salah’s strike was ‘unbelievable’ but he insisted he was happy with his own effort, stating that he had wanted to score a goal like that for some time.‘For a long time, I’ve wanted to score a goal like this and tonight, it went through,’ he said. ‘Normally ‘keepers don’t really know if you are coming back to them and tonight it was a good goal, for me I like it.’He added: ‘It was a great goal from Mo Salah, an unbelievable goal, but I like sometimes… ok it is not an easy goal, but easier than Mo’s.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Metro Sport ReporterMonday 15 Apr 2019 10:27 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link480Shares Advertisement Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang talks up golden boot chances after scoring winner for Arsenal against Watford Comment Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winning goal after 11 minutes (Getty Images)Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is confident that he can win the Premier League golden boot this season after he scored the winning goal in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Watford.The 29-year-old closed down Ben Foster in the Watford goal and managed to block the goalkeeper’s clearance with the ball ricocheting off his leg into the back of the net after 11 minutes.That strike means that Aubameyang has moved onto 18 for the season, just one shy of the joint-top scorers in the Premier League, Mohamed Salah and Sergio Aguero.Arsenal haven’t had a golden boot winner since Robin Van Persie struck 30 goals in the 2011-12 season but Aubameyang sees no reason why he can’t finish as the top scorer this term.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTWhen asked by Gary Neville whether he could overtake Salah and Aguero, Aubameyang replied: ‘Yeah, why not? I feel confident and the race is going on. I know it’s a tough battle but I’m confident and will carry on.’ Advertisementlast_img read more

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Amazing Hamptons design proves a perfect fit for this beachside Gold Coast suburb

first_imgVilla One, 7 Adams Ave, Miami.The newly built property in Miami oozes crisp beachside decor with hardwood floors. Stylish lighting and a sleek stone island kitchen combine with a wine storage for the ultimate luxury living. With four bedrooms and a childrens retreat the property is perfect for families who want to live by the sea. The property is a stroll from the beach, surf club, local shops, cafes and scenic parkland, while also close to The Paddock Bakery, quality schools, Burleigh Heads Beach and Gold Coast Highway. Villa One, 7 Adams Ave, Miami.IF you’re looking for a home by the sea with a Hamptons design then this is the one for you.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North4 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoDesigned to feel like a spacious home, open the door to this Villa to a contemporary Cape Cod aesthetic across an open plan design with seamless flow to a private outdoor entertaining sanctuary. Villa One, 7 Adams Ave, Miami.last_img read more

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How DC growth is reshaping asset management

first_imgSource: The Investment Association The IA said: “One significant barrier to innovation at the moment is that DC decumulation is still in the very early stages. Although around half a million people reach retirement age each year, the median size of a DC pot at retirement is currently around £26,000 [€29,200], so asset managers developing specialist products for this market will need to take a long-term view and accept that it will be some years before this market is of substantial size and for many years the flows into these products may be minimal.”Despite the influence of DC, DB funds remained the most significant institutional segment. The IA reported £1.8trn in workplace DB assets, compared to £410bn in DC. Ruth Meade, senior research analyst, said mixed-asset default funds in DC schemes were a likely cause of the recent increase in flows into multi-asset strategies: 21% of all mandates awarded in 2016 were multi-asset, the IA’s data showed.There was scope for more DC-driven innovation in the post-retirement space, the IA said in its report. With individuals in the UK no longer required to buy an annuity in retirement, the association said there was “a gap in the market for products that were income-focused but offered some way of managing downside capital risk”. The rise of defined contribution (DC) and auto-enrolment is blurring the lines between institutional and retail investors, according to the Investment Association (IA).Presenting its 2016 annual survey of its members, the UK’s asset management trade body said new and growing DC schemes were classified as institutional investors for the IA’s purposes but often behaved more like retail investors because individual members bore the investment risk.Although the IA did not have specific concerns about these difficulties, Anastasia Petraki, head of research and statistics, said it was important to ensure equivalent governance standards for defined benefit (DB) and DC schemes. “We are seeing that with independent DC governance committees,” she said.In addition, the IA’s survey showed a growing trend towards multi-asset strategies, which the association also attributed in part to DC schemes. Elsewhere in the survey, the IA reported that assets in specialist environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds grew but remained steady as an overall proportion of industry assets (1.2%). However, Petraki explained that the IA’s methodology did not take into account asset managers’ membership of the UK’s Stewardship Code or other ESG-related bodies.last_img read more

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GasLog posts record profit on high spot earnings

first_imgMonaco-based LNG shipper GasLog reported record annual profit with spot earnings in a tight LNG shipping market boosting the figures. The company reported a profit for the year 2018 of $47.7 million, which compares to $15.5 million recorded in 2017.Speaking of the results, GasLog’s CEO Paul Wogan said that the earnings were driven in large part by “very strong earnings from our spot vessels against a backdrop of extreme tightness in the LNG shipping market.”These spot earnings, combined with GasLog’s fleet growth during the year, and the company’s strong operational performance and strict cost control, delivered record annual result, Wogan said.“While spot rates have recently moderated from fourth quarter peaks, in line with historical seasonal trends, we expect tightness in LNG shipping markets to return given forecast LNG supply growth through 2020 and relatively few uncommitted newbuild vessels delivering in that period,” he said.Looking beyond 2020, GasLog expects additional shipping capacity will be required if consensus LNG demand and supply forecasts are realized.However, whilst the company does now believe that the LNG shipping market is heading towards a balanced state early next decade, the long-term secular growth of LNG supply and demand mean that, over the medium and long-term it will be a dynamic and growing industry.The shipper did note that newbuilding order activity in 2019 needs to slow relative to 2018 levels in order to reduce the risk of vessel oversupply.last_img read more

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Family First fights to remain tax-free charity

first_img3News 8 December 2014Family First NZ says it’s continuing to fight to remain a tax-free charity.The group was advised in 2013 the Charities Commission intended to deregister the charity, citing Family First’s traditional view of marriage being one man and one woman as one of the reasons.Family First is appealing the decision and it will be heard in the High Court at Wellington early next year.The group had hoped the issue would be resolved after a Supreme Court ruling in favour of Greenpeace in August.The court ruled that Charities Act didn’t limit advocacy from a charity unless it was no more than ancillary to its charitable purpose, and also found that a political purpose could also be a charitable one.The commission is arguing the issue is about public benefit, Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First NZ, says.“When a group who promotes the natural family as a fundamental social unit is deemed of ‘no public benefit’, you know a country is in deep trouble,” Mr McCoskrie says.The group is disappointed it’s received a final notification of the intention to deregister.The commission is ignoring the precedent set in the Supreme Court with the Greenpeace case and is spending taxpayers’ money on continued legal action, says Mr McCoskrie.“It is now evident that any charity that speaks up on issues which are deemed incorrect by the political elite are in danger of being penalised.“An easy way for opponents of a point of view is for them to use the Charities Commission to muzzle that opinion. That should concern everyone.”Family First is a non-profit organisation which receives no Government funding. It has been registered as a charity for eight years.http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/family-first-fights-to-remain-tax-free-charity-2014120805Family First could be knocked off Charities RegisterNewstalk ZB 8 December 2014A controversial lobby group is hitting back at plans to remove its status as a charity.Charities Services has notified Family First it intends to de-register it, due to its political views not being in the public interest.National director Bob McCoskrie believes it’s due to their opinions on marriage – which he defines as one man and one woman.He says when a group is deemed to be of no public benefit because they hold that view, then the country is in deep trouble.Bob McCoskrie says while many people don’t agree with Family First, they should have a right to exist as a charity.http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/family-first-could-be-knocked-off-charities-register/last_img read more

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Kenya names the mastermind of Garissa attack

first_imgHe joined militants in Somalia at the time of the Islamic Courts Union, which later metamorphosed into Al-Shabaab. The government of Kenya has named Mohamed Kuno as the mastermind of the terrorist attack at Garissa University College.A Sh5 million USD59,000 bounty has been placed on the fugitive, who has been on the run since December last year. The interior ministry tweeted this pictures appealing to the public to give any information of Kuno.  InteriorCNG MinistryVerified account ‏@InteriorKE  According the Daily Nation website Kuno is a Kenyan and a former teacher in Garissa.Kuno was then identified as the Al-Shabaab commander who oversaw the killings of 58 Kenyans in Mandera. Juba region shares a vast border with Kenya, and touches Mandera, Garissa, Wajir and Lamu counties. A security brief seen by the Nation says Kuno is a former teacher and Principal at Madarasa Najah in Garissa and has three aliases; Sheikh Mahamad, Dulyadin and Gamadheere. He uses his family members in carrying out terrorist activities in northern Kenya. The death toll in the latest attack is 15. Kuno, the brief added, is Al-Shabaab’s leader for Juba region in Somalia, and currently in charge of external operations against Kenya. The Mastermind of the Garissa Attacks Mohamed Kunolast_img read more

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