Nagano Shinkansen opens

first_imgEAST JAPAN Railway formally inaugurates the first stage of its Nagano Shinkansen between Takasaki and Nagano on October 1, with the launch of Asama super-express services from Tokyo. The 126 km branch diverges from the existing Joetsu Shinkansen, and is designed for operation at up to 260 km/h.The line was originally to be known as the Hokuriku Shinkansen, as it is intended to serve the Hokuriku region along the Sea of Japan coast, including the towns of Toyoma and Kanazawa. As this area is currently served by JR West and no timetable has been set for completion of the shinkansen extension beyond Nagano, JR East has dropped the Hokuriku name as potentially confusing.Services to Nagano will be worked by Series E2 trainsets (right). The line is expected to carry heavy traffic in the early part of next year, when Nagano hosts the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. An additional island platform has been built at Tokyo Central to accommodate the increased JR East shinkansen activity; there are now four platform tracks for Tohoku, Joetsu, Yamagata, Akita and Nagano services, and six tracks for JR Central and JR West trains on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen. olast_img read more

Duterte orders LGUs to check all buildings in quake-hit Mindanao

first_img “Well, it is time for the LGUs (local government units) to inspect all — all buildings. Umpisahan na nila ngayon. The earthquake season has come. I don’t know if it will occur again between now and tomorrow,” Duterte said in statement. The damages to infrastructure following the series of quakes have convinced the Palace that it was “high time” to amend Republic Act 6541, or the National Building Code of the Philippines. “We are also calling on the legislature to amend the National Building Code to avoid further structural danger during natural disasters,” said Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar in a statement. According to Andanar, it’s high time to revamp and tighten this outdated law as its current framework is very lax. center_img MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered for the immediate inspection of all buildings in Mindanao following series of earthquakes that has now claimed 22 lives. “Letus not wait for a disaster to happen before we become strict in grantingbuilding permits,” he stressed./PNlast_img read more

No. 19 LSU tops No. 5 Kentucky on controversial game-winning tip-in

first_imgLSU DOWNS KENTUCKY AT THE BUZZER IN RUPP 🚨pic.twitter.com/oLgbwk031G— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 13, 2019The officials reviewed the play and determined Bigby-Williams’ released the ball before time expired, giving LSU a 73-71 victory.Bigby-Williams, however, appeared to touch the ball while it was still in the cylinder. But, basket interference is not a call that can be reviewed via replay.The ball is clearly within the cylinder when it is touched. Should have been goaltending. But ⁦@SethOnHoops⁩ says they can’t review that… so it was missed by officials in real time. Great win for LSU, but game should be in OT. pic.twitter.com/foW5HFzWCL— Dari Nowkhah (@ESPNDari) February 13, 2019Kentucky forward EJ Montgomery also may have put his hand through the net on Mays’ initial shot. No. 19 LSU picked up a road win over No. 5 Kentucky on a controversial tip-in at the buzzer Tuesday.The teams were tied with less than two seconds to play when Tigers guard Skylar Mays attacked the paint and attempted a layup. The shot bounced off the rim, but forward Kavell Bigby-Williams tapped the ball through the basket as time expired. Everyone is talking about the tip-in, but this was a pretty clear goaltend by E.J. Montgomery on the initial shot. The refs missed the call against Kavell Bigby-Williams, but that tip-in shouldn’t have mattered if they had seen Montgomery’s hand go through the rim. pic.twitter.com/AJwTWrs2s2— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 13, 2019Kentucky forward PJ Washington tallied a game-high 20 points, along with nine rebounds, in the losing effort. LSU star Tremont Waters had 15 points but shot just three of 13 from the field.The loss snapped Kentucky’s 10-game winning streak and dropped it to 20-4 (9-2 SEC) this season. LSU improved to 20-4 (10-1 SEC).last_img read more

UEFA Champions League referee behind bars after drugs and prostitution bust

first_imgImage Courtesy: GettyAdvertisement 5jkvNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsuwwWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eyk46z( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) w6wzrWould you ever consider trying this?😱2kh3wCan your students do this? 🌚z8jcRoller skating! Powered by Firework Over the years, a number of footballers have got themselves into many controversies, and some of them even faced jail time. However, its now a Slovenian referee named Slavko Vinčić, who has been arrested for being involved in prostitution and drugs ring in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Advertisement Image Courtesy: GettyFollowing a police probe in the country’s underworld, the UEFA Champions League referee has been found to be guilty of being linked to drugs and illegal firearms, and is also charged for his involvement in a prostitution ring.Vinčić was arrested with the possession of drugs and illegal firearms, along with Tijana Maksimovic, a Serbian model who is believed to be the head of the prostitution ring.Advertisement The ref was caught red handed by the police at the city of Bijeljina. According to official statement from the police, cocaine, illegal weapons and cash were also seized. Maksimovic was trying to cross the border into Croatia with three women. A total of 26 men and 9 women were arrested in the probe.Tijana Maksimovic (Image Courtesy: Instagram)“During the search of the house and vehicles used by the suspects, 14 packages of cocaine, ten pistols, three suits of body armour, over 10,000 euros in various currencies, phones and laptops were found and seized,” the statement from Bijeljina police read.Advertisement However, the referee himself has negated his involvement in the ring.“After a meeting with some business partners, there was an invitation to a party at a ranch to which we responded. After the police raid we were invited to an informative interview, where I explained that I did not know these people at all,” Vinčić spoke to the national media.Vinčić has been an international referee for FIFA since 2010, and was a team member for the legendary Damir Skomina at the UEFA Euro 2012.The 40 year old has also been the referee of a number of UEFA Champions League matches, most notably the Reds’ 4-1 group stage away victory over Genk back in October 2019, and City’s 1-1 home draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in November.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comAlso read-‘Stone Cold Singh’ – John Cena’s nickname for Ranveer SinghFind out the only Indian who makes it into Forbes top 100 highest paid athletes! Advertisementlast_img read more

Rising to the Surface

first_imgRed Bank restaurant begins rebuilding By Michele J. Kuhn RED BANK – After a bit of hell and a lot of high water, Kelly Ryan expects Boon­docks to be back in operation in May.Ryan is determined to reopen her popular seasonal riverside restaurant on May 14 and she – and others – are working to ensure that happens.A fundraiser is in the works for Thursday, April 11, at the Oyster Point Hotel, the only other Red Bank business to have to close for a period of time from damage inflicted by Super Storm Sandy’s devastating tidal surge. The event will celebrate the hotel’s recent reopening and raise the funds – $30,000 – Ryan needs to renovate, refurbish and totally re-equip her business.Her rebuilding process is just beginning.Kelly Ryan, the owner of Boondocks Fishery, is looking to reopen her storm-ravaged restaurant in May,“They finally got into my building [on Monday, Feb. 18] and they ripped down all the walls and floors. Now the whole building is gutted. We are getting heaters in there to dry out and in a couple of weeks, we’ll go back in there and put the walls up, the tile up, put everything back up, get new equipment. I’m shooting for May 14 to reopen, no matter what,” she said.Boondocks was already closed for the season when Sandy smashed into New Jersey on Oct. 29 and sent a 5-foot wall of water into the dockside restaurant, rendering all its contents unsalvageable.Prior to the storm, Ryan moved refrigeration equipment to the top of the hill behind the restaurant and stored the rest – fryers, stove, grill and the like – in a garage at Irwin Marine, which is her landlord. She felt she was safe storing the equipment there because during the 1992 storm “they only got an inch of water in the garage.” The walk-in storage box was left at the restaurant “because who would have ever expected 5 feet of water there? It was just crazy,” she said.The day after the storm, Ryan, a Highlands resident, first walked to Sea Bright to check on Donavan’s Reef because she knew that borough had taken a severe hit from the storm. Donavan’s was destroyed.“When I saw the devastation there, I knew we had to get to Boondocks,” she said. Ryan then went to Red Bank to check on her waterfront restaurant.“When I got to the top of the hill, I was, like, the building’s there! Everything is fine,” she said. “Then I couldn’t get into the building because it had separated from the dock and I couldn’t get in the doors.“Then I realized there was all this water shooting out of one of the windows. The hot water heater and all the piping under the building had broken and all this water was just everywhere,” she said.Ryan’s boyfriend was able to climb into a window and shut off the water.“Then we saw what happened. We went into the garages and everything there was tossed around like little buoys. Things were everywhere. There was gasoline, oil, grease and mud … There were boats in there too,” she said. “It was disgusting.“At the time, you just go into overdrive. You don’t know what to do,” she said with emotion.The next day the people at Irwin Marine had a Dumpster available. Helpful friends and staff members threw everything that had been part of the Boondocks operation into the trash.Ryan then turned her attention to the devastation at Sea Bright where she pitched in with the Sea Bright Rising effort.After helping others in Sea Bright for a while, Ilene Winters of Sea Bright Rising told Ryan she needed to begin thinking about herself. Winters helped her get an effort to restore Boondocks off the ground on a website called Indiegogo. Her fund­raising webpage can be found at www.indiegogo.com/boondocks. So far, the page has generated about $6,800 in donations, she said.When members of the Navesink Business Group learned of her plight and fundraising efforts, they decided they could assist and the April 11 event, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Oyster Point Hotel, was created.Tickets for the event will be $50 and organizers are hoping to get 350 to 400 people to attend. There will be a cash bar and food supplied by members of Red Bank Flavour, an alliance of Red Bank restaurants. Donations will be accepted at the event, said Robert Lowe, founder of Navesink Business Group.Ryan “has always donated her services to others and she has done a lot for Sea Bright Rising,” Lowe said. “We felt we needed to help her.”Though she is grateful for the help, Ryan said she was having a little trouble getting used to accepting an assist from others.“It’s overwhelming,” she said. “I guess because I’m the one always trying to do everything for everybody, now I’m awkward because people are trying to do things for me and I don’t know how to react to it.”Ryan expects Boondocks to remain much the same for its upcoming fifth season as it was pre-storm except she hopes to be able to put more of an emphasis on her lunch business and maybe offer delivery to area offices and homes.Meanwhile, Ryan appear­ed Monday, Feb. 18, on WCBS TV. She made lobster mac and cheese during a 4 ½-minute segment on CBS 2 This Morning’s “2 In The Kitchen” featured at 6:45 a.m. and had a “really fun time.”last_img read more

Canucks Playoff Preview – Round One Vs. Kings

first_imgLeigh Ramsden lives in Vancouver and is an avid Canucks fan, having been a partial season ticket holder for over 10 years. He’s old enough to have witnessed all three Stanley Cup losses, as such, his prime goal is to remove those scars by seeing a Cup brought to Vancouver. Leigh is Fighting For Stanley’s (www.fightingforstanley.ca/vancouver) west coast correspondent, and will also blog after all Canuck games for The Nelson Daily. After the events of last Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks found out they drew the plucky Los Angeles Kings in the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup tournament.  Vancouver won 8 of its last 9 games to finish first in the tight Western Conference. On the other hand, the Kings limped into the postseason, losing three of their last four in either overtime or a shootout, including two in a row to end the season against the San Jose Sharks.  Those losses relegated the Kings to eighth spot and their solidified their date with the Presidents’ Trophy winners.We know the Canucks have been a high-scoring, high-flying team in recent years, but took a bit of a right turn in 2012 and started to play much more sound defensive hockey, at the expense of some of their offense. The Kings, on the other hand, have played most of the year in a defensive shell, netminder Jonathan Quick recording an impressive 10 shutouts.  L.A. has had trouble scoring all year as well, and made a coaching change back in December when they fired Terry Murray and brought Calgary Flames destructor Daryl Sutter (and his horrible, 70’s-inspired suits) aboard.  The Kings continued on the same trajectory after Sutter was hired, however, after the trade-deadline acquisition of sniper Jeff Carter, the Kings have been scoring at higher rate.How do these teams stack up against each other? Let’s take a deeper look. SEASON RECORD AND SEASON SERIESThe Canucks secured the league-wide title with a record 51-22-9, while the Kings finished 16 points in arrears with a record of 40-27-15.  When looking into the quality of each team’s record, the Canucks record was 36-22 (.621 winning percentage) in regulation time, 7-2 (.778) in games decided in overtime, and 8-7 (.533) in the less relevant games decided in a shootout. On the other hand, the Kings were 31-27 (.534) in regulation, 3-6 in overtime (.333), and 6-9 (.400) in the shootout. If you ignore the games decided in the skills competition, the Canucks were 19 games above .500 at 43-24 (.642), while the Kings were much more pedestrian, finishing only one game above .500 at 34-33 (.507).  Give the Canucks the edge in this area.Part of the difference here will be the fact that the Kings play in much tougher division than do the Canucks – none of the other Northwest Division teams finished above the playoff bar, whereas the Pacific Division delivered not only the Kings, but also the Coyotes and Sharks. The Canucks beat up on their divisional foes finishing with a record of 18-5-1, whereas the Kings were a much more pedestrian 8-8-4 against their Pacific Division rivals. It was this difference that separated the two teams in the standings.  Consider this:  the Canucks record outside the Northwest and Pacific divisions was 22-12-4, and the Kings were 19-15-4.  From looking at the non-divisional records, it appears the two teams are relatively equal, but give the Canucks a slight edge due to their marginally better record.The Canucks won the season series 2-1-1, with one of the wins coming by way of a shootout.  Overall, the four games were played relatively evenly and the Kings looked the better team through large stretches of all of them. That said, the Canucks were good enough to win two games in regulation (each one a one-goal game) and lose another in shootout. The only game that they lost in regulation was 4-1 Kings, in a game where the Canucks didn’t put their best effort on the ice.  These games were a microcosm of each team’s season – the Kings played things close to the vest and couldn’t outscore their opponents while not allowing much, while on the other hand, the Canucks struggled to score, but did “just” enough to win, nothing more, and nothing less. Based on the team’s head to head record, you’d have to again give the edge to Vancouver. GOALTENDINGLos Angeles boasts one of the league’s best netminders in Quick, who is sure to receive a Vezina trophy nomination for his stellar body of work this year.  Quick is the biggest reason the Kings were able to scrape into the playoffs. Quick played in 69 games for the Kings, fourth in the NHL behind Pekka Rinne, Jonas Hiller, and Miikka Kiprusoff.  He finished second in the NHL with a 1.95 GAA, and was fifth in the NHL with a save percentage of .929.  His 10 shutouts led the NHL.  Clearly, Quick was L.A.’s most valuable player.The Canucks on the other hand boast not one, but two of the league’s best goaltenders.  Number one goalie Roberto Luongo played in 55 games, recording a GAA of 2.41 (15th in the league) and a save percentage of .919, good for 12th in the league. Backup Cory Schneider played 33 games, and had an excellent GAA of 1.96 with a save percentage of .937, third and second in the league respectively. This season wasn’t Luongo’s best statistically, but he has played a number of tremendous games for the Canucks this season.  Together, the two goalies combined for 8 shutouts this year.Quick is inexperienced, having only 12 career playoff games, compared to Luongo who has 59 career contests.  Of course, Luongo has run into problems in each of the Canucks’ last three playoff years, struggling at times against Chicago and in last year’s finals against Boston.  However, in Schneider, the Canucks have a legitimate go-to number 1(b), as he’s shown his ability to step in and play in big games, all season long. Quick’s had an incredible season, there’s no doubt, and although fatigue may be a factor given his workload this year, if he was pitted against only Luongo you’d have to give the Kings the edge. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, the Canucks have a fail safe in Schneider, and for that reason give the nod to the Canucks between the pipes. DEFENSEThe Kings finished with 170 goals against, good for second in the NHL.  The Canucks were fourth at 191 goals allowed.The Kings’ defensive corps boasts one of the league’s best young defensemen, Drew Doughty.  He is typically paired with Cup-winning veteran, Rob Scuderi. The Kings’ other two pairings are typically ex-Canuck Willie Mitchell alongside young Russian Slava Voynov, and Matt Green playing with Rafael Diaz.  With the exception of Doughty, none of these blueliners are spectacular, however, together they form a very solid and efficient six-man unit.  Scuderi and Greene provide the most physicality.The Canucks look to start the series with the pairings of Bieksa-Edler, Hamhuis-Tanev, and Salo-Rome.  The defense has been playing very well of late and while none of these guys boast the kind of offensive flair of a Doughty, four of the six are legitimate threats offensively.  In addition, this group does a tremendous job of moving the puck out of the zone with efficiency, getting the puck to the forwards.Generally, I get nervous come playoff time when the Canucks have to face a Norris-calibre defenseman.  Doughty was nominated for the award in his breakout 2009-2010 campaign, but has failed to live up to the hype since then, reporting late to camp last fall after a contract dispute. In addition, in the games against the Canucks this season, they have been able to get Doughty off his game mentally, causing him to take a number of unnecessary penalties.The Canucks also boast much better depth.  I’m not sure who the Kings have in reserve, but trading Jack Johnson away at the deadline hurt their depth badly.  The Canucks have at least three NHL-calibre defensemen in reserve (Keith Ballard, Andrew Alberts, Marc-Andre Gragnani), each of whom can slot into the sixth spot and give the team a much different look.For defense – give the edge to the Canucks, as their offensive abilities and depth should be enough to overcome Doughty’s top-end talent. FORWARDSThe Kings’ top-six is extremely good on paper, boasting Anze Koptiar, Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Dustin Brown.  The team has been scoring well of late, averaging three goals per game over their last 18 games, which roughly coincides with the acquisition of Carter at the trade deadline. Kopitar can be one of the league’s most dynamic players, however, in my mind he continues to fail to take that “next step” to elite superstar status.  Justin Williams has had a bit of a down year, but he was the Kings’ best forward in their 4-1 victory over the Canucks back in December. Mike Richards has had a garish campaign (I should know as I have him in my fantasy league), and after returning from a concussion in late December, he hasn’t appeared to be the same player he was before.  Carter is returning from a recent bone bruise injury and may not be as effective as he normally would be.The Kings’ bottom-six begins to thin out, and includes players such as Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner, Brad Richardson (out after an emergency appendectomy), Kyle Clifford, Matt Lewis, ex-Blackhawk Colin Fraser, and a collection of 12th/13th forwards to round out the lineup.While the Kings’ top end talent can compare to Vancouver’s, their depth up front is suspect and coach Alain Vigneault should be able to exploit favourable matchups. Given his line’s great two-way performance, Sammy Pahlsson will likely see a lot of ice against Kopitar, and if his line can neutralize the Kings’ first unit (possibly chipping in with the odd goal), things should look good for the Canucks.  The addition of Pahlsson has been huge for this team, and has impacted it much more greatly than I expected when it was consummated at the deadline.  It’s the single biggest reason the Canucks have been able to clamp down effectively on their opposition. When the Pahlsson line takes these tough minutes, it will enable AV to get the Kesler line out against the Kings’ third or fourth lines and that should result in some goals for the team in blue and green.The big question mark for the Canucks remains over Daniel Sedin’s status.  If he is able to play it opens up a lot of possibilities for Vigneault as he can move Max Lapierre and Mason Raymond around the lineup as required. Although there was some drama around this situation today, expect the Canucks to have Sedin in the lineup as quickly as possible, currently looking like game 2 or 3 of the series assuming there are no setbacks.In another close competition, give the Canucks the edge here with two caveats:  the Kings have enough talent to put the puck in the net and if their forwards raise their game they can compete; and if Daniel Sedin doesn’t play in the series, the scale may tip to the Kings in this area. COACHING/INTANGIBLESAll Canucks fans have seen Sutter’s act before and we should all know what to expect.  Sutter will employ a physical, borderline dirty approach with his troops in order to try to get the Canucks off their game. The Kings have the horses to play this way, with Fraser, Clifford, Richardson (when healthy) and Greene all able to mix it up and agitate.  This approach is one that’s used consistently against Vancouver and it has had success in the past. For this reason, the Canucks’ power play will have to produce to discourage the Kings from taking too many liberties, and if it doesn’t, expect a dirty series with many scrums, yapping, and confrontations.The Canucks’ team toughness has been questioned throughout the year but I believe they’ve answered the bell when required.  They have some big, tough players at their disposal (Byron Bitz, Zack Kassian, Dale Weise, Alberts) and I believe at least one of these guys will be in the lineup at all times to keep the Kings honest. There are a number of other players on the team that won’t back down from anything as well, including Bieksa, Lapierre, and Ballard if he’s in the lineup.Vigneault is one of the league’s best coaches and his ability to tinker with his lineup to find combinations that are effective is constantly impressive.  He’s also handled the goaltending situation extremely well throughout the year and has set himself up to have both netminders at his disposal without the team missing a beat. Sutter is an old-school coach with limited understanding of the intricacies of the current-day game, but, his best success in the NHL was as coach of the Calgary Flames, leading them to an improbable Stanley Cup appearance, so he knows what it takes from that perspective.The Canucks are fresh off their Stanley Cup appearance last season and return virtually the same group, so one would think they hold a distinct advantage here.  Bear in mind that two of the Kings’ leaders, Richards and Carter, both went to the Cup final two seasons ago when they were with Philadelphia. Mostly because of Vigneault’s ability to adapt, give the edge again to the Canucks. SUMMARY AND PREDICTIONIn my opinion, the Canucks hold a slight edge in all the categories mentioned above.  That said, the difference between the two clubs is very small and Vancouver will not be able to roll over the Kings.  The Kings’ top-notch goaltending can win them a series on its own and given the fact they have been scoring more of late, they will present a formidable opponent.The key to the series may boil down to special teams.  I expect the Kings to employ the typical Canuck-killer strategy, which is after-whistle shenanigans, dirty hits, running the goaltender, and other marginal plays. I expect they will cross the line and the Canucks will be given their chances on the PP.  If it can convert, expect a similar series to last year’s Sharks series with the Canucks winning in 5.If the Canucks can’t convert on the PP, it will bolster the Kings’ approach and this is where it can get dicey for Vancouver.  They will have to control their emotions and stay out of the penalty box, and if they have to withdraw into lock-down mode, they will do so.Luckily, the Canucks have shown that they can employ this style of game effectively, perhaps the most relevant example being their 1-0 shutout of this Kings team 7 games before the end of the regular season on March 26.  If this route is taken, the series will stretch longer.At the end of the day, the Canucks are marginally better than the Kings all over the ice, and this will result in a number of close games, but games where they should be able to get over the top.Canucks in seven.last_img read more

Daring plan to recover gold could see results in a few weeks

first_imgA daring operation to recover millions of euro of gold bullion from a shipwreck off the Donegal coast could see results shortly.Will Carrier, Operations Manager with Atlantic Subsea Ventures, the company behind the salvage operation, told RTÉ news that they hope to see results in four to six weeks.Mr Carrier was speaking on board the North Sea Giant, the huge vessel involved in the salvage operation, which docked in Killybegs this morning for a crew change. ASV has researched many WW1 and WW2 ships which were believed to be carrying gold to finance the war effort when they sank.This operation is focused on the Empress of Britain, once a luxurious ocean liner, it was requisitioned for the war in 1939.The ship sank after being attacked in 1940, first by a German bomber and then by a U Boat, over 100km off the coast of Donegal. Its location was found in 1995 but given the depth of the water there, a salvage operation was not feasible.Now, however, ASV is using high tech equipment developed for the oil and gas industry to try to find and recover the gold believed to be on the sunken vessel.It is using remotely operated vehicles and specialised cutting equipment to cut into the thick hull of the ship which was designed to withstand the ice fields around Newfoundland.Mr Carrier estimates there could be half a billion euro worth of gold with the vessel at the bottom of the sea. He says the company would like to land the gold in Ireland.Daring plan to recover gold could see results in a few weeks was last modified: June 1st, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bulliondonegalGoldNorth Sea Giantlast_img read more

Bats Are Home-Run Flyers

first_imgYou don’t just put wings on a naked mole rat and make it fly. Bats are designed to be aero-bat-ic champions.A primer on bat flight in Current Biology by Anders Hedenström and L. Christoffer Johansson begins with list of amazing facts that defy evolution:Bats are unique among extant flying animals, as they have compliant wings and an echolocation sensory system that distinguish them from birds and insects. Flying in the dark, guided by echolocation, has influenced the aerodynamics of bat flight perhaps more than previously realized and resulted in a characteristic flight that is now being revealed.Yet these authors proceed to espouse evolution in spite of fossil evidence against it:Bats evolved muscle-powered flight about 65 million years ago, alongside birds, pterosaurs (probably extinct when bats evolved) and insects. The oldest fossil bat dates 55 million years back and, hence, there is a 10 million year gap in the early evolution of bats where information about the initial adaptive radiation is still missing. The oldest well preserved bat fossils, Onychronycteris finneyi and Icanonycteris index, exhibit all of the features of modern bats, including elongated fingers to span out the wing surface and ear morphology suggesting that at least Icanonycteris was using echolocation.This supports exactly what creationist Dr. Duane Gish used to emphasize in debates with evolutionists: “The first bat is 100% bat!” To believe bats evolved from non-flyers, Darwinians must imagine the emergence of elongated fingers, wing membranes, and the brain software to use them in complex flights at night, with another key innovation—echolocation—all within 10 million years. That’s a blink of an eye in assumed evolutionary time. On top of that, they have the same gaps in the fossil record for the emergence of flight in birds, insects and pterosaurs. Science is supposed to be about evidence.Living WingsThe case against evolution becomes stronger when the superior flight characteristics of bats are examined in detail. Unlike birds and insects, possessing wings with dead surfaces (membranes and feathers), bats have living wings that inspire human designs:Bats, on the other hand, have a wing constructed from live skin stretched by the elongated arm and fingers. The skin is 4–10 times thinner than expected, and the bones have a reduced mineralization, compared to other similar sized mammals, reducing the weight of the wing considerably. Skin is living tissue, packed with sensors, elastic fibers and in the case of bat wings also with specialized muscles (Figure 2A). The skin is anisotropic, with higher compliance (i.e. being permissive to load) parallel to the trailing edge, affecting how the skin deforms when subjected to aerodynamic forces, as reflected in strain measurements during flight. Intrinsic muscles in the wing membrane (Figure 2A), not connected to any bones, are thought to control the stiffness of the membrane and thereby the wing’s camber, the curvature of the wing profile. Recent studies have shown that these muscles are indeed active during specific phases of the wingbeat. Studies of artificial membranes with electrically controlled compliance have shown to be able to improve aerodynamic performance.These living, adaptive wings give bats the ability to reshape their wings in specific ways during flight. They can dynamically control wing shape and the resultant lift achieved. Bats can lock the knuckles on the first finger bones, giving them a stiff leading edge. “The leading edge flap affects the curvature of the leading edge, which may be a way to control the leading edge vortices … that bats use to increase the force production of the wing at low speeds.”Bats also have a tail membrane that is thicker than the wings. “When punctures do occur in the tail or wing membranes they have a tendency to heal rapidly,” the authors say.When any animal flies, it needs to be able to lift the entire body weight. It needs thrust to counter drag, and it needs camber on the wings to provide an airfoil. In addition, it needs to control the vortices that tend to form and reduce lift. “As noted above, bats are able to control all of these factors by adjusting the shape and movement of the wings.” Not only that, they can fly slow as well as fast, and even hover. The authors provide some details of aeronautical problems that bats solve to enable their exceptional flights.Sensory ControlIt’s not just having the right kind of wings: they also need sensory controls to operate them. The dynamic sense of touch provided by tiny hairs in the wing membranes allows “exquisite control of angle of attack, camber and wing twist.” Experiments show that “Removal of wing hairs cause bats to increase flight speed and it decreases their ability to execute turning maneuvers, suggesting the hairs are involved in the control of slow flight.”Science Magazine agrees that the “sense of touch turns bats into acrobats.” The hairs grow on both sides of the two wings, giving bats four arrays of sensory data for precision control. Emily Conover writes,Bats’ thin, flexible wings—a thumb and four fingers connected by webbing—stretch and reshape during flight, unlike those of birds and insects. Their agility in the air demands quick, precise wing movements and a constant adjustment of tiny muscles in the wing membrane. They also use their wings for other delicate tasks, like holding food and cradling young. To adjust their complex wings for the job at hand, they must integrate a variety of sensory feedback.If anyone doubts the effectiveness of bat flight systems and sensory mechanisms, they should try to build a robot that can land on a cave ceiling in the dark.EcholocationEven though blind people can echolocate to a degree (Science Daily), bats take the skill to a whole new level (7/30/11). Flying rapidly, bats can navigate through closely-spaced prison bars blindfolded. With sound, they can avoid collisions in tight swarms and identify their prey by shape and texture, homing in on it while the insect is darting about. “To be able to echolocate efficiently you need ears. Bat ears are essentially parabolic shaped structures facing the air flowing over the bat as it is flying.” Large ears add drag, but the bats seem OK with that; if they didn’t work so well, robotics experts at Virginia Tech wouldn’t try so hard to imitate them. Science Daily reports,The team’s sonar system incorporates two receiving channels and one emitting channel that are able to replicate some of the key motions in the bat’s ears and nose. For comparison, modern naval sonar arrays can have receivers that measure several meters across and many hundreds of separate receiving elements for detecting incoming signals.EvolutionDarwinians believe that bat flight emerged from some unknown land-dwelling ancestor. Take a look at the naked mole rat as a candidate.  What follows is not to disparage this little rodent; Science Daily points out that they never seem to get cancer. Whatever gene they have that provides anti-cancer protection is of great interest to medical researchers right now. Nevertheless, what would it take to get a naked mole rat off the ground?“You don’t partly fly,” Paul Nelson quips in Flight: The Genius of Birds. “Because flight requires not just having a pair of wings, but having your entire biology coordinated towards that function.” This is certainly true of bats and the other groups of powered flyers: pterosaurs, insects and birds.In the Current Biology primer, Hedenström and Johansson dismiss the problem by saying, “the adaptive diversity among birds and bats bears witness of the strength contained in the process of adaptive tinkering.” But recall that in Darwinian theory, every mutation, every “tinkering” event by the Blind Watchmaker (a.k.a. chance), must have survival value. If a naked mole rat started on the path to batdom, would long fingers help? Not without membranes. Would membranes between the fingers help? Not while it’s trying to live underground. Give it instant wings in a huge leap of imagination; would that help? Not without muscles, nerves, bones and flight software to operate them. In fact, no matter which tinkering step might be imagined to contribute to powered flight down the road, each mutation has to increase fitness immediately or natural selection will eliminate it. Evolution has no foresight; it can’t see 10 million years, 10 years, or 10 microseconds into the future. The naked mole rat without the full complement of flight hardware and software will go extinct long before the parts arrive, even if beneficial mutations were not as rare as they actually are, and even if it had hundreds of millions of years to wait.Creationists allow for diversification within an original bat “kind” whatever it was, or however many kinds there were initially. But blind, unguided processes of chance will never help a naked mole rat (or any other presumed ancestor) take off into the air. When it comes to creation evidences, bats score a home run.Got evidence? There you have it. Look at the fossil record. Look at the aerodynamic requirements. Look at the coordinated systems. Look at the envious engineers trying to imitate them. Finally, look at the completed bat flying in the dark, negotiating obstacles, catching insects on the wing, and landing safely on a crowded cave roof, where it gives birth to babies who grow up instinctively knowing how to operate all that equipment. Evolutionary theory has nothing to offer theoretically, empirically, or logically to explain the origin of bats. In fact, they believe not only that four different kinds of animals “innovated” powered flight and echolocation by “convergent evolution” (1/26/10, 9/06/13, 11/04/13), but that different groups of bats “innovated” echolocation independently by convergent evolution. That’s just playing Jargonwocky. Creation by an intelligent designer explains everything in all categories of evidence. Why would anyone who cares about truth and logic possibly believe anything else?Next time you see a bat flitting about outdoors, don’t be afraid of it. Stand in awe of it. Stand in awe of its Creator.(Visited 45 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Pay more attention this year to reduce spray drift

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Erdal OzkanSpray drift not only result in wasting expensive pesticides and pollution of the environment, it may damage non-target crops nearby, and poses a serious health risk to people living in areas where drift is occurring. Drift happens! It accounts for about half of all non-compliance cases investigated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. As you know, we are experiencing an unusual weather situation in Ohio and several other Corn Belt states this year. Wet fields have made planting of corn and soybeans delayed or in many cases forced farmers to abandon it altogether looking for alternatives such as planting cover crops. Either situation presents added caution when applying herbicides in terms of spray drift which is defined as movement of pesticides by wind from the application site to an off-target site during or soon after application is done. When exactly the same types of crops, such as genetically modified beans, or non-GMO beans are planted in neighboring fields, herbicide drifting from one field to another may not show injury symptoms. However, drift must be one of your most serious concerns when spraying herbicides in fields where the adjoining fields have been planted with some other crops and cover crops. Even a small amount of drift may create significant damage on such crops under these conditions.Although complete elimination of spray drift is impossible, problems can be reduced significantly if you are aware of major factors which influence drift, and take precautions to minimize their influence on off-target movement of spray droplets. The factors that play a role in either the creation, or reduction of spray drift are: a) Spray characteristics, such as volatility and viscosity of pesticide formulation; b) Equipment and application techniques used for spraying pesticides; c) Weather conditions at the time of application (wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity and stability of air around the application site); and most importantly, d) Operator care, attitude, and skill. Here are five cost-effective things you can do to minimize spray drift.Pay attention to wind speed more than anything else. The risk of spray drift will increase with increases in wind speed. There is no magic wind speed number below which drift will be minimum. There are many other factors mentioned below that influence the wind speed you should stay under. Generally, wind speeds below 5 miles per hour, coupled with other good management practices, will significantly reduce the injury caused by drift. The best investment you can make is to buy a wind meter that tells you how high the wind velocity is at any given time. Having a wind meter handy will help you avoid a costly problem associated with spray drift.Pay attention to wind direction. If the wind is blowing in the direction of some sensitive crops downwind, stop spraying. Don’t take the risk. Come back later in the day or the next day when the direction of the wind has shifted away from the sensitive crops.If you can, keep your nozzles as close to the target as possible while still producing a uniform distribution of spray on the target. This doesn’t cost any money as long as it is practical to make it happen.When you’re ready to change nozzles, consider selecting nozzles that produce much fewer of the extremely small droplets that are most likely to drift away. Low-drift nozzles are in the market and do a tremendous job of eliminating extremely small, drift-prone droplets from the droplet spectrum. This is especially important when spraying systemic chemicals like Glyphosate. Since the active ingredients in these types of chemicals are translocated, not requiring a thorough coverage on the target weeds, there is no need to use small droplets that increases the risk of drift.There are chemicals that are designed to increase the droplet size, and reduce the number of very small droplets when added into the spray mixture. Most of them are some sort of polymer that tends to increase the viscosity and density of the spray mixture, which leads to larger droplets. This, however, should be the last defense against drift. First consider the other options such as better targeting of the spray and switching to low-drift nozzles.If you are using nozzles that produce relatively smaller droplets, avoid spraying under extremely hot and dry weather conditions. Under these conditions, evaporation of liquid from a droplet decreases its mass rapidly, increasing the drift distance of droplets.Pay attention to conditions that may be conducive to formation of a phenomenon called thermal inversion. Normally, warm air rises up. So, during late morning to early evening, the surface temperature is usually warmer than the air temperature near the ground. So, the small droplets discharged from a nozzle may follow this normal air movement from ground up, and eventually evaporate during this process. However, during very early morning (before sunrise) or sometime after the sunset, the air temperature at some distance above the ground may be warmer than the ground temperature. Under these conditions, the warm air above the ground is trapped between the ground and the inversion layer. Under these conditions, as shown in the picture below, the small droplets suspended in the air simply follow the horizontal air movement miles away from the application site. So, avoid spraying during very early in the morning or very late in the evening, if the weather is extremely calm.Practicing the recommendations I mentioned in this article will help you reduce the risk of spray drift significantly. At the end, you will be the one making spraying decisions. If there are any doubts about a spraying job that might result in drift, wait until there is no longer that element of doubt.More detailed discussion on these tips and other drift reduction strategies are outlined in following OSUE Extension Fact Sheets available online:FABE-525 (http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-525),FABE- 523 (http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-523), andFABE 524 (http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-524) Erdal Ozkan, Professor and Extension agricultural engineer, can be reached at 614-292-3006, or ozkan.2@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.last_img read more

Build an Insanely Great Web Service

first_imgbernard lunn Tags:#Gritty Entrepreneurs#NYT#start#StartUp 101 Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.First, the good news: building a website today is ten times cheaper and faster than it was 10 years ago. Now, the bad news: building a website today is ten times cheaper and faster than it was 10 years ago.You are entering an incredibly crowded marketplace. You have to get and keep people’s attention extremely fast, because hundreds of other services are just a click away. The bar is set very high, and knowing exactly how high does help. If you reach too low, you will only catch air and crash to the ground.Six Milestones from 30 Seconds to 3 YearsHere is what an insanely great Web product looks like to the average user right now and through the next 3 years:30 seconds: “I get it.”3 minutes: “I’ve used it and still get it, and it has not annoyed me yet.”3 days: “I find this really useful or fun.”3 weeks: “I am raving about this to other people.”3 months: “I couldn’t imagine not having this, and I’m boring my friends telling them about it.”3 years: “How weird to see this on Oprah.”The 30-Second MilestoneYou can moan all you like about what attention deficit disorder has done for user engagement, but it won’t help you one bit. Get over it. People don’t automatically care about your product and won’t invest any time to find out if they should care. This rule is as old as consumer markets. This is what those guys on Madison Avenue with their jingles and insipid ad slogans have always known. Political sound bites live in this same reality.Does this feel fake and insubstantial to you, the engineer, schooled in solving big, hard, complex problems?So, study this like you would any other big, hard, complex problem. Making a product or service look totally simple and obvious is a big, hard, complex problem.In 30 seconds, a user who comes to your website should be able to say:“I get what they are offering.”“This might help or amuse me.”“I know what I have to do next.”There is a science to achieving this; it has been documented. You need to look at great examples and understand how they did it. Then you need to test and change, test and change, test and change, test and change, and then test and then change, until you go crazy!The 3-Minute MilestoneAfter using your website for 3 minutes, the user should be able to say:“I still understand what they are offering, and it does help or amuse me.”“This has not annoyed me yet.”“This could be even more fun or useful than I thought.”“I know what to do next to find out if this could be even more fun or useful.”The 3-Day MilestoneNow is the time to worry about stuff like performance and reliability. If you get to the 3-week milestone and bomb, your fanatical users will cut you some slack. But at this stage? Zero slack.Have you been planning for this milestone since the design stage? Are you running on a cloud service with auto-scaling and recovery? No. Whoops! You had better hope your product is not insanely great, but rather just reasonably good and will grow steadily. Hint: build on a cloud service (like Amazon AWS) from the start.The Three Remaining Milestones3-week milestoneYou’ll know you have hit this when VCs return your calls and VCs you have never heard of call you out of the blue. Close fast to leverage your hotness. Don’t get all arrogant and believe you can do it alone. With this kind of traction, you can raise capital cheaply (and thus have less dilution), so do it.3-month milestoneIf you reach this stage, you can skip ahead to the chapter on “How to Scale Without Losing Your Shirt.”3-year milestoneIf you reach this stage, skip ahead to the chapter on “Planning Your Exit.”Concept vs. ExecutionWe have reached the point that almost any website can be built quickly and cheaply. Money to scale awaits only for sites that actually gain traction. Management teams take care of the basics when you have traction and money. So, in the age-old debate about which is more important, concept or execution, concept is currently winning. You have to have something that meets a real need or is addictively fun.The area where concept and execution intersect is usability. A concept that does not grab users within 30 seconds and move them through those other milestones is totally useless. Basecamp is all about usability. Twitter is about usability. Gmail is about usability. The concept in each case is simple.New Concept vs. Doesn’t Suck vs. Fast Follower vs. NicheYour website falls into one of four categories:New conceptIf you fall into this category, your product or service type does not have a name yet. It has no market space, category, or even articulated need yet. In a decade, the number of these concepts that actually gain traction is tiny. The number of them that get through the early-adopter phase to the mainstream (i.e. reach the 3-year milestone) is even smaller. In other words, good luck!Doesn’t SuckThis one is easier. This is a service you can describe as “[something] that doesn’t suck.” Google first offered “search that doesn’t suck,” and then followed it up with Gmail, which is “email that doesn’t suck.” In other words, don’t be afraid to go after mature markets in which the current services are not that good. Spend a couple of days browsing online and you will see plenty of such opportunities.Fast FollowerThis applies to a new concept that makes your jaw drop and you think “OMG, this is so cool.” And then you realize that doing something similar would actually be pretty simple. The first one to market with a new concept is not always the winner. It just looks that way because the originator gets lost in the dustbin of history when the better venture out-executes it. You need access to capital to do this right, because you have to move fast, which means hiring an A-Team. And A-Teams like to be paid a lot.NicheThere are thousands of these. Your niche might be geographic or a user type. Most niches are limited in scale and so do not require much capital. These are ripe for bootstrapping. But don’t think niches are easy. Users will still be very demanding. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more