11 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 20 June 2013 | News The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) is to begin publishing an annual benchmark of penalty points incurred by its member organisation in their street face-to-face fundraising.The first full annual Street F2F Compliance Benchmark will be published in May 2014, and will show the average number of penalty points issued per compliance visit for the previous financial year across all its members who carry out street face-to-face fundraising. Only agencies and charities running in-house teams accrue penalty points.The Benchmark will also give the average number of points issued for breaches of the three types of rules: Advertisement Administrative rules – e.g. failing to submit diary requests on time.Charities who are PFRA members will receive details of points issued on campaigns conducted for them by agencies.Individual PFRA provider members, namely fundraising agencies and charities running in-house teams. will be informed of their own individual average compliance scores, plus their average scores for operational, conduct and administrative rules.The Street F2F Compliance Benchmark will be accompanied by a graph showing average points awarded during each month of the financial year. This will indicate whether the average is increasing, decreasing or is stable. What is a compliance visit?A compliance visit is a mystery shopping exercise by one of PFRA’s official contractors or a site check by a member of the PFRA’s compliance team. Activities are analysed against a checklist of potential rule breaches.Interim report in NovemberBefore the first annual report next year, PFRA will publish an interim report in November 2013. This will provide results from the first full year of operation since the penalties and standards regime was introduced in September 2012.Nick Henry, the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association’s head of standards and allocations, said that their standards procedures now provided “the most rigorous system of enforcement and compliance for any type of fundraising”.He added: “Our annual benchmark will give an overall indication of how well or badly our members perform and gives our members the opportunity to publicise how well they are performing against the benchmark. After a few years, we will have enough information to start identifying long-term trends in compliance.”Image: tick and crosses by alexndr on Shutterstock.com PFRA to publish annual benchmarks for breaches of face-to-face fundraising rules Operational rules – relating to stipulations contained in PFRA site agreements and the operation of fundraising, such as standing too close to a shop, leaving bags unattended, or working off-delineation. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Conduct rules – e.g. relating to the behaviour of fundraisers, such as following people for more than three steps or failing immediately to terminate an engagement. About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.
faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Religious Music Jazzman Kamasi Washington to Play Jazz Vespers at All Saints Church From STAFF REPORTS Published on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 | 2:07 pm More Cool Stuff Community News Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Make a comment Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website 7 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Business News Top of the News EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena HerbeautyEase Up! Snake Massages Are Real And Do Wonders!HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyIs It Bad To Give Your Boyfriend An Ultimatum?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyStop Eating Read Meat (Before It’s Too Late)HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty8 Yoga Poses To Overcome Stress And AnxietyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeauty Subscribe Community News First Heatwave Expected Next Week Saxophonist Kamasi Washington will offer jazz at All Saints Church on Sunday, February 16, at 5:00 p.m. Christina Honchell offers a meditation.Kamasi Washington is a Californian jazz saxophonist. composer, production editor and band leader. Kamasi is mainly known for his tenor playing., following in the traditions of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler. A graduate of the Hamilton High Music Academy in Beverlywood, California, Washington enrolled in UCLA’s Department of Ethnomusicology. There, he began playing with numerous faculty members such as Kenny Burrell, Billy Higgins and pianist Gerald Wilson. He has since played along with a musically diverse group of musicians including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Horace Tapsock, Gerald Wilson, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Snoop Dogg, George Duke, Chaka Khan, Francisco Aguabella, the Pan Afrikaan Peoples Orchestra and Raphael Saadiq.For those who would like to use the elevator for accessibility, please arrive five minutes early. Child care provided. For more information visit www.kamasiwashington.com or Melissa Hayes, (626) 583-2725 or [email protected] All Saints Church is at 132 N. Euclid Avenue, Pasadena (directly across Euclid from Pasadena City Hall).For more information about All Saints Church, visit www.allsaints-pas.org. Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy
top box 6 What To Do This Weekend in Pasadena Published on Thursday, August 11, 2016 | 3:03 pm HerbeautyStop Eating Read Meat (Before It’s Too Late)HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Secrets That Eastern Women Swear By To Stay Young LongerHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyA Dark Side Of Beauty Salons Not Many People Know AboutHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyAncient Beauty Remedies From India To Swear By For Healthy SkinHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeauty More Cool Stuff First Heatwave Expected Next Week Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Here is our carefully culled top picks from dozens of Pasadena events – the very best things to taste, watch, listen to, and experience, all presented weekly in our e!Pasadena email newsletter: EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website Business News Make a comment Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News Community News 0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Top of the News Subscribe Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.
Share LocalNews PM Skerrit clears the air about new insurance act by: – March 9, 2012 Tweet Sharing is caring! Share Share 10 Views no discussions Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has responded to claims by the United Workers Party that there was not enough public consultation on the recently passed insurance bill in parliament as inaccurate. Leader of the United Workers Party Edison James issued a statement last week, asking government to delay the submission of the new insurance bill to the president for assent.Photo credit: mcwaldenbailey.comHowever the prime minister in a statement this week said consultation on the bill commenced since 2005. He explained that the CLICO and BICO debacle brought into sharp focus, the urgent need for the enactment of more up to date legislation to strengthen the regulation and supervision of the insurance industry in the entire ECCU.According to the prime minister, the additional provisions are meant to protect the public against financial loss arising out of malpractice, incompetence or dishonesty of persons engaged in carrying on insurance business in Dominica.“The value of an asset in an insurance company must exceed its liabilities by at least two million dollars for local company, five million for a foreign company or 10% of its policy long term insurance liabilities or 20% of its premium income in its last preceding financial year for general insurance business, whichever is the greater,” he added.The requirements for insurance companies to significantly increase their minimum insured share capital and statutory deposits and for the establishment of insurance trust funds to cover policy holder liabilities are all aimed at having sound insurance companies operating in Dominica.Additionally, the prime minister indicated that clear perimeters have been laid out for establishing insurance funds to cover policy holder liabilities.He said an insurance fund shall only be invested in prescribed assets and they are to be placed in a trust created by trust deed and administered by a trust company or license financial institution, approved by the registrar.“With these provisions, resources will be more readily available to meet the need of a policy holder, should an insurance company experience financial difficulties. The Act gives the registrar the power to intervene at anytime, in the affairs of the registered insurance company to protect policy holders against the risk of inability to meet obligations to policy holders,” he explained.The Act, he continued, also empowers the registrar to apply to the court for an insurance company to be placed under the judicial management where the registrar is of the opinion that it is necessary or proper to do so.Dominica Vibes News
Jose Mourinho believes his Chelsea team are capable of winning the Barclays Premier League title and that Manchester United and Manchester City – the champions in the past two seasons – profited from their rivals’ mistakes, rather than blowing the opposition away. The return of the self-proclaimed Special One, whose second spell as a Premier League boss begins against Hull on Sunday, means the Blues are many people’s favourites to lift a first title since 2009/10. The Portuguese led Chelsea to a first championship in 50 years in 2005, his first season in charge, after proclaiming the Blues would win the title, but nine years on he would say only that his current squad could triumph. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes six teams – United, City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool – are in title contention and Mourinho agrees. “We don’t see that somebody this season can destroy the competition by winning 95, 100 points,” Mourinho said. “By one side it’s good, competition is very, very high. But we have all the managers, to try to keep that competitiveness, but by all of us being really good. That would be fantastic for the competition.” Chelsea have an experienced core group – Petr Cech, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien among them – as well as young players full of potential, such as Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne. Mourinho believes his side will evolve and grow as the season progresses, rather than previously when he had established global stars, bought with Roman Abramovich’s millions, ready to deliver. He said: “This team step by step will be better, and step by step will make less mistakes and step by step will be more solid. This competition lasts 10 months and 38 matches. Let’s go step by step.” Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge on Sunday still to taste Premier League defeat at home as Chelsea boss. He enjoyed a long period of home success with Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, but says the 60-game unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge is certain to end. “I have to lose some time,” he said. “Two seasons in Porto, no defeats at home, three and a half at Chelsea, no defeats at home, two at Inter, no defeats at home. That’s not normal. My team is going to be strong at home? Yes, for sure. “We are going to win lots of matches at home, for sure. We are not going to lose many points at home, for sure. But if we lose a match I think it’s not a drama, it’s normal. We are ready.” “We can this season, of course we can, we want to think we can, but it’s a different process,” Mourinho said. “They don’t need that added pressure. I don’t think they need outside pressure to say that they have the conditions to do it.” United won last season’s title at a canter and although he believes the competition is collectively stronger, Mourinho does not think individual teams are as good as in the past. He said: “Sometimes you win because you are tremendous and other times you win because you are the best. But you can be the best without being tremendous. “Do you think Man United last year won the Premier League because they were an unbelievable team? I don’t think so. The other contenders, they didn’t have a very good season. “The same thing the season before, when Man City won the title in the last second of the competition. Were they an extraordinary team? I don’t think they were. “I think other teams made so many mistakes that Man City finally won the competition. “You had in past years a fantastic Arsenal that won almost every game and was champion without a single defeat, you had Chelsea which has the record of points in the Premier League. You have the Man United that won the title after our double that had an unbelievable season too. “The champions, in other seasons, were magnificent. Especially in the last two seasons, I felt not. I felt the champions were the champions as a consequence of many things, not just because they were phenomenal, because in my opinion they weren’t phenomenal.” Press Association
Klay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!OAKLAND – It did not exactly require a comprehensive film session or an in-depth conversation to reach this conclusion.The subject involved Kevin Durant and how well he might play when the Warriors play against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 3 of their first-round series on Thursday. After all, Durant has fielded criticism about his play in Game 2 for recording …
Is economics a science? It’s on that borderland that has many things in common with the sciences; it is highly law-governed (law of supply and demand, for instance); it uses mathematical models; it uses experimental methods; it develops theories. Granted for the time being that it is a kind of science (albeit a “soft science” or “social science”), some economists are recognizing that they have been failing to include an important factor in their models – morality. PhysOrg mentioned that factor in a surprising headline today: “Researcher considers the role of morality in modern economic theory.” The first paragraph elaborated with an even stronger word –The worldwide financial crisis in 2008, which led to what many in the United States now call the “Great Recession,” has caused researchers to rethink traditional economic theories of financial markets and the corporate world. Even renowned financial theorist Michael Jensen, whose widely cited work has laid the foundation for the broad use of stock options as an executive compensation tool, has called on his fellow researchers to incorporate “integrity” into their economic models.The economists are not just taking a moralizing stance here, as if they need to preach to stockholders and traders, telling them they had better play fair. No – they are realizing that partakers of contracts and financial arrangements really do have moral sensibilities that affect their behaviors. The article highlights the theories of Douglas Stevens, an associate professor of accounting at Florida State University, who has for years incorporated morality into his models. Now, inspired by Jensen’s call, he has co-authored a peer-reviewed paper in Accounting, Organizations and Society called “A Moral Solution to the Moral Hazard Problem.” When did you ever hear the phrase “Moral Solution” in a peer-reviewed paper? Stevens has incorporated a radical new idea in his thesis. It’s not enough, he says, to attract a principal (like an employee or contract partner) with financial incentives. Previous models have neglected moral content. They focused on more and riskier incentives – some of which led to the financial collapse of 2008. Instead, Stevens broke with the traditional “principal-agent” model of incentives, which assumed a moral sensitivity of zero, and factored in the moral sensitivities of the agents. “Thus, their model answers Jensen’s call to incorporate integrity into economic theory,” the article said; “This is significant because principal-agent theory, the most mathematically formal economic theory of the firm, has previously been closed to moral content.” The new model explains things that the old model found baffling – like why people often do more than incentives provide:“We know from simple observation that the traditional principal-agent model is not fully descriptive of real-world behavior,” Stevens said. “A majority of people are paid a fixed salary in their jobs and yet provide sufficient effort for their pay. This is particularly true in professions and nonprofit firms where the financial incentives required by the traditional model are difficult if not impossible to arrange. The traditional principal-agent model can’t explain this behavior. Our model, however, demonstrates that a principal can pay a morally sensitive agent a fixed salary that is increasing in the productivity of the agent’s effort.” Their model also demonstrates the value of moral sensitivity to the firm and society. “Our model suggests that moral sensitivity increases the efficiency of principal-agent relationships within the firm – which makes more of these relationships possible – and allows the agent to receive a fixed salary that is increasing in his or her productivity or skill,” Stevens said. “Thus, moral sensitivity increases the general welfare of society by decreasing unemployment and increasing the productivity and pay of those who are employed. This explains the emphasis placed on moral training within the firm and society at large. This also provides a warning against letting moral sensitivity diminish.”Who would have thought that morality is a factor in reducing unemployment, as well as increasing productivity – regardless of incentives? That is actually a principle taught in the Bible – that work should be done “as unto the Lord,” not with “eye-service” just to please men (Colossians 3:23, Ephesians 6:5-6). The renowned “Protestant work ethic” taught individuals to believe that a job well done has intrinsic value, regardless of incentives or compensation. In closing, the article (actually a press release from Florida State University), emphasized the importance of professional ethics training as, if you will, a “moral” of the story. “Every financial crisis and scandal is a wake-up call – for both practitioners and academics,” Stevens said. “Hopefully, we won’t waste yet another financial crisis.”Where does ethics come from? To find the source, don’t walk across campus to the science lab, where the Dawk is telling impressionable frosh that they are evolved slimeballs. Don’t go to the auditorium where Shermer is telling them intelligent design is a myth and a pseudoscience, and we must use Reason, but he can’t for the life of him tell us a reason why. Don’t walk over to the Humanities, where the profs want to divide everybody into groups of the aggrieved who want to hold placards with upraised fists dripping in blood and chant, with foaming mouths, “End the Hate!” Don’t go to the Astronomy department, where they say universes just happen from time to time, and ours is just one of an infinity that popped into existence out of a quantum fluctuation, and is on the way to a heat death. Don’t go to the music department where they tell you hip-hop is the equivalent of Bach. Don’t go to the History department, where the profs have no idea why functionally modern humans spent 800,000 years grunting in caves, then decided in the blink of an eye to build cities, ships, trade, agriculture, writing, economics, warfare, manufacturing, mathematics, law, religion, morality and philosophy. No, to find morality, use your head. You have a conscience. Where did that come from? It didn’t evolve. You know innately that certain things are good and certain things are evil. Good and evil refer to eternal standards. Conscience, in a sense, is a law of nature. Paul, a “scientist” of that inner law, explained, “For when the Gentiles [i.e., non-Jews] who do not have the law [the Jewish Scriptures], by nature do what the law requires [i.e., knowing that murder, theft and adultery are wrong], they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them….” (Romans 2:14-15). We all know that is true by experience. Steal something, and even if you get away with it and nobody knows about it but you, the proverbial devil and angel on your shoulders start having their argument in your ears. People have moral sensibilities, and economic theorists have been amiss to ignore those factors in their models. By treating people as mere Pavlovian dogs responding only to incentives, they have been missing out on how the real world operates. Could that have led to bad forecasts that blindsided the world to one of the worst financial collapses in modern times? Well, it’s about time to add the words morality and integrity back into economics theory – for practical reasons if for nothing else. To find integrity, leave the campus, cross the street, and go into that building with the steeple. There you will get to the source. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1). You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. ((Matthew 22:34-40). It’s nice to see that some economists are finding out that integrity matters. The other sciences could use some integrity training. There was a short-lived call for integrity in Science and Nature after the Hwang scandal in 2006 (02/05/2006). Not much happened. It was followed by shameless arrogance in Darwinist response to the movie Expelled in 2008, and then a half-hearted admission of fallibility after Climategate in late 2009. This month there was a rare mention of the I-word in Science Daily that showed that the IQ (Integrity Quotient) in science needs improvement: “Ethics Experts Call for Refocus of Scientific Review to Ensure Integrity of Research Process.” The article began, “In a paper published this week in the journal Science, experts caution that important ethical issues in the testing of new therapies like stem cells may not be receiving the attention they deserve.” So here we are, four years after the Hwang scandal; has no improvement been made? McGill University ethicist Jonathan Kimmerman, co-author of a study on how clinical trials are designed, said, “What is often overlooked is that allowing studies of poor scientific quality to proceed potentially undermines the entire scientific enterprise, because they undermine trust, consume scarce research resources, and weaken incentives for medical scientists to perform the best research they can.” Scientists apparently don’t have the innate incentives to make progress on their own, so we may have to provide incentives for them. Do your duty; take a scientist to church. Tell him it’s an experience that’s out of this world, or it will bring true riches, or tell them it’s a science project – whatever incentive appeals to his or her maturity level. Take someone who needs it, like the Dawk. He’s already admitted that he prefers living in a Christian society instead of one that acts out Darwinian principles, so he is already inconsistent and needs to learn integrity. If he kicks and screams, give him a pacifier so he doesn’t disrupt the hymn. You may have to use childish incentives on him until he gains the maturity to exercise his conscience, but real progress will only be possible when he can explain and defend the source and ultimate reference of integrity. That, of course, will only be the beginning of knowledge, but getting on the right path is a victory.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Camera PositionOne of the key aspects of making a stop-motion animation work is keeping the camera still. As you can see in the example, all of the action moves in and out of frame while the camera remains stationary. For this reason, it’s important to have a solid rig. I’m using a tripod pointing straight at my paper, which is on the ground. Not all tripods do this, so you may need to use clamps, C-stands, or a GorillaPod depending on the size of your camera. If you plan on shooting a lot of stop-motion animations, you can always build an overhead rig relatively cheaply.Next up, let’s look at lighting.LightingThe quality of natural light can change quickly, both in intensity and color. If you shoot stop-motion using natural light, these subtle changes can give your animation a jittery look. If you want something a bit more uniform, then you’ll want to use lights in a controlled environment. Whether you’re using natural light or multiple lights in a studio environment, it’s important to be aware of the positioning. You can easily cast a shadow on your scene, which can mess up a single frame in a complex animation.Now that we have our camera and lighting setup, it’s time to shoot!ShootingAs you may already know, filmmakers capture stop-motion frame by meticulous frame. While the tripod will keep the camera steady, simply pressing the shutter button can shift the frame. To avoid this I’ve tethered my camera to my laptop via a USB cable. This allows me to not only remotely trigger the shutter but also review my images (via Adobe Lightroom). It’s much easier to review images on a large screen. If you can’t tether your camera, play around with your camera’s interval recording settings, or buy a remote.To create a blocky-style animation I’ll be shooting at 10 frames per second. If I want to get a 5-second animation at 10fps, I’ll need to shoot somewhere around 50 images. To perfectly time this animation, I’ll break the shot into five different sections. Each of these sections will occur over the course of 10 photographs.Moves into frame.Uncrumples.Holds.Crumples.Moves out of frame.Once shot, it’s time to put everything together.EditingThere are a number of ways you can bring these images together in the edit room, but I’m going to using Adobe Premiere Pro. In Premiere Pro select File > Import, grab the first image, and then choose “Image Sequence” under Options. This will bring in the images as a video clip that’s set to 30fps. Now I can grab the clip and select Modify > Interpret Footage and manually input my desired frame rate: 10fps. This method is very versatile, as it allows me to quickly change frame rates and test out various speeds and looks for the animation.Voilà! my animation is ready to go. In this video tutorial, we’re going to step into the wonderful world of stop-motion animation with a simple paper crumple.The paper crumple is perfect for your first stop-motion project — we all have access to paper, and we can all crumple it up. A quick disclaimer: while I’ll be using some semi-expensive gear for this project, you can actually create stop-motion videos with nothing more than a phone and a free app. The point is to focus on the methods, not the gear.So let’s take a closer look at those methods. Looking for more video tutorials? Check these out.Video Tutorial: Create an Action Promo With After EffectsHow to Create a Scribble Animation in After EffectsWhat Else Can You Do with Your 360° and VR Video Footage?Everything to Know About Layer Styles in After EffectsChoreographing A Fight Scene With A Hollywood Stunt Man
All the members of the Indian team are fit for tomorrow’s World Cup semi-final clash against Pakistan, according to captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who today strongly urged his teammates not to get distracted by the hype surrounding the high-voltage clash and just focus on the game.Dhoni said Indo-Pak cricket matches tend to generate such media hype and it was important for the players not to get sucked into the frenzy and lose focus of the task at hand.”Well, we know the kind of hype media India-Pakistan matches generate. We are not getting involved in all this. We need to know what we are expected to do and focus on that,” Dhoni said at the pre-match media conference in Mohali.”All this is part of cricket and we have to accept it.But the key is not to get involved. We will have the biggest distinguished guests (referring to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan PM Yousuf Raza Gilani) to see the match, we have to be at our best,” Dhoni said.Asked whether the excessive hype would affect the Indians who are playing at home, the Indian skipper said, “It is not really affecting us. We all know it is a big tournament and we have prepared a lot. Our preparations have been the same like what we have done in the past few days.”Dhoni was not unduly worried about his batting form and reckoned that he had just not got opportunities to score big though he has been striking the ball well.advertisementAsked specifically if pressure of captaincy was taking a toll on his batting, Dhoni responded: “It is only a cricketing aspect, nothing to do with form. I have been batting quite well. Sometimes the situations are not great to play flamboyant cricket. In the Bangladesh match, such a situation was there but I didn’t get to bat.””If you are batting at No 5, 6, or 7, you don’t get to bat much if the top order scores. I think the last game (against Australia) was ideal but it went straight to a fielder. It does not go your way always. Form has not been a worry,” he added.– With PTI inputs
Britain’s Andy Murray will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final at Queen’s after an imperious 6-3, 6-1 victory over fourtime champion Andy Roddick in the semi-finals on Saturday.Murray, seeded second, was in sublime form as he demolished one of the top grass-court players of the last decade and French fifth seed Tsonga joined him in the final with a 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) win against British wildcard James Ward.This was arguably the most complete performance of Murray’s career and the victory was especially sweet for the world number four as it went some way to avenging his 2009 Wimbledon semifinal defeat against Roddick.Murray, who last won the Queen’s title in 2009, slammed down two aces in his first service game and then snatched the early momentum by breaking Roddick in the next game.As ever, Murray was looking to use the drop-shot at every opportunity and he caught Roddick with two exquisite efforts to move 4-1 ahead.Murray’s serve was in good working order and, with his sliced backhand causing the American no end of problems, Roddick began to wear an increasingly exasperated expression as the first set ended with another Murray ace.The American was going for a record fifth Queen’s title, but there was no let-up from Murray at the start of the second set and he broke again in the first game.A Roddick double-fault gifted the break point and Murray was quick to seize the opportunity with a superb return that his opponent could only volley into the net.advertisementMurray was toying with Roddick now, drawing him in with low slices and then passing at will, and his place in the final was secured when he broke for a 4- 1 lead and then converted his third match point.Tsonga had enjoyed his own shock win on Friday when he beat world number one Rafael Nadal in three sets and the world number 19 looked full of confidence against Ward as he broke for a 2-0 lead.After Ward failed to convert a couple of break points of his own, Tsonga was able to serve out the set. Even when Ward had a chance to level the match after breaking for a 4-2 lead in the second set, Tsonga broke back to force a tie-break.Both players had chances in the breaker, but it was Tsonga who came through as Ward missed a passing shot on the Frenchman’s second match point.Paes-Bhupathi in Semis Third seeds Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi advanced to the doubles semi-finals of the AEGON Tennis Championships after a hard fought 6-4, 6-4 win over Filip Polasek and Igor Zelenay of Slovakia.The Indian Express saved seven breakpoints in the second set and converted one, which proved decisive in their victory.