SAN JOSE — Defensemen Radim Simek may not be ready to play in the Sharks’ season opener against the Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 2, coach Pete DeBoer said Friday.Simek suffered torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee in a game against the Winnipeg Jets in March and missed the rest of the regular season and playoffs. He has been skating on a regular basis on his own this month and is nearing a return to practice, DeBoer said, but it is still unknown whether he …
You have to admire animals. They have tricks humans still need to learn, and possess technologies that engineers are striving to imitate.Spiders: Don’t let the black widow scare you; it’s only a picture on Science Daily. Scientists are amazed at how these animals produce one of the best dragline silks in spiderdom. It is the strongest and toughest spider silk found so far. It can absorb enormous amounts of energy. They are just now teasing out the genes that produce the proteins that produce this ideal material. If we can learn to copy the secret formula, you may find it on your skin some day. It could lead to “lightweight super-strong body armor, components of medical devices and high-tech athletic attire.” That sounds both creepy and cool.Geckos: Speaking of spiders, spiderman outfits may soon become a reality. A team has succeeded in manufacturing “gecko tape” better than the gecko foot itself (for the physics of gecko foot adhesion, see 12/06/2006 and 08/27/2002). Reporting in PNAS,1 a team at University of Ohio claims their nanotube-based gecko tape is four times stronger than natural gecko feet (cf. 11/06/2006). It can adhere to almost any surface and just peel off for immediate reuse. The researchers envision applications in microelectronics, robotics and space applications – to which the imaginative reader can envision products for the shelves of Toys R Us. They didn’t mention if their tape is self-cleaning like a real gecko foot (01/04/2005). Now, if they can get the dispenser to eat flies and reproduce itself, they’ll really be onto something.Starfish, Insects, : We mammals pride ourselves on our advanced systems, but the so-called lower forms of life are not so low. A press release from the European Science Foundation remarked that the immune systems of invertebrates are “anything but simple.” The article gushes about how many surprising advanced technologies they have to resist disease. Their immune systems are even fine-tuned enough to prevent autoimmune reactions.Honeybees: Scientists used to think that the queen bee controlled the hive, like an autocrat, but new findings at University of North Carolina challenge that view and make the situation more complicated. Somehow, the experienced worker bees arrive at a consensus and signal one another when it is time to move the hive, says a report on Science Daily. The queen, in fact, is a passive recipient of signals. The workers tell her when to lay eggs, when to stop, and when to fly. Bees are the most-studied insects of all, but these findings are contrary to the received wisdom about beehive social behavior. How does the hive organize itself and make these important decisions without central leadership? Scientists are not sure, but know it involves additional signals apart from the familiar waggle dance they use to point to food sources. These signals include piping (vibrating their wings rapidly in contact) and vibration signals (a kind of grab-and-shake move). However it works, it produces group cooperation with “remarkable efficiency.” Maybe we should try these moves in the next business meeting. If someone isn’t cooperating, grab and shake.Electric fish: Loving couples who feel one another’s electricity should get a charge out of this. Some electric fish in African waters court one another with “electric duets,” reported a press release from Cornell University. The males “sing” to their mates with specialized electric pulses. It must be lovely in a fishy way; even, shall we say, stunning? 1Ge, Sethi, Ci, Ajayan, Dhinojwala, “Carbon nanotube-based synthetic gecko tapes,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0703505104, published online before print June 19, 2007.Mention of evolution is usually rare in such stories. When brought up, it’s usually in the form of bald assertions of dogmatism (b.a.d.), like, “scientists showed that invertebrates have evolved elaborate ways to fight disease.” Such statements neither motivated the research nor explained it after the observations. Just brush off such fluff and get to the amazing facts.(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Roger Hanlon has studied octopi, squid and cuttlefish for decades. He stands in awe of their ability to camouflage themselves. In a Primer article for Current Biology,1 he detailed some of their sleight-of-skin magic tricks. His article has frames from a movie clip that show an octopus changing its skin from plain to mottled in milliseconds, then to almost pure white in two seconds. It’s not just the color that changes. Cephalopods also have the ability to change the texture of their skin from smooth to dimpled. They can also change the pattern from plain to mottled to what Hanlon calls “disruptive” – bold patterns that would include stripes and “light and dark patches of varying shapes, scales and orientations, and some patches [that] are usually of high contrast.” For such mechanisms to work, the octopus or cuttlefish has to have (1) eyes that can sense what kind of background they’re against, (2) brains that can process the information and send the appropriate signals to the skin, and (3) skin cells tied to neurons that can respond quickly and draw from a large suite of possible patterns. These cells include chromatophores (color cells), iridophores (reflecting cells) and papillae (skin cells that produce bumps). Putting it all together,Rapidity of visual change is accomplished by direct neural control of chromatophore organs, which are cytoelastic sacs of pigment with radial muscles attached around the periphery. Each muscle is innervated by motoneurons that originate in the lower motor centers of the brain, and they travel without any synapse to each chromatophore organ. Third, camouflage benefits from both optical and physical three-dimensional effects, the latter being due chiefly to the changeable skin papillae. Note in Figure 2 how the three-dimensionality of the skin is also under fine motor control. Curiously, although papillae expression is regulated by visual input, neither this nor the biomechanics of how the papillae operate as a muscular hydrostat in the skin has been studied in any detail.So here is a field of study ripe for investigation by biophysicists, neurologists, optical specialists, and specialists in a variety of fields. New techniques with underwater computers and spectrometers have just begun, he said. Hanlon’s team has performed experiments for five years with cuttlefish. They put them against all kinds of background patterns and watched how their camouflage systems responded. Surprisingly, it appears they are color blind! Yet “Their color matches to natural visual backgrounds appear to be excellent,” he said. How do they do it? Stay tuned: “we continue to search for mechanisms that help them achieve color-blind camouflage.” One of the most intriguing effects the octopus can achieve is the ability to send hidden messages. Hanlon explains:Other features of the cephalopod dynamic camouflage system have yet to be studied in detail. The skin, for example, is a marvelous example of rapid, highly coordinated optical malleability: pigmentary and structural coloration are combined in many ways to achieve vastly different appearances, both from close-up and distant viewing. The directional structural reflectors known as iridophores (which in most animals are passive reflectors) are not only under active control by cephalopods, but they produce polarized signals that pass unaffected through the overlying pigmented chromatophores. This raises the possibility that a dynamically camouflaged cephalopod could be simultaneously sending a ‘hidden’ signal to a conspecific, because cephalopods can perceive polarized light while most of their predators cannot, while remaining well camouflaged using pigmented chromatophores.(cf. 12/15/2006). If true, this indicates that cephalopods already mastered another human trick: hiding in plain sight. Cryptologists have considered it a challenging puzzle to communicate a secret message in the presence of an adversary, like two jailmates communicating a secret to one another while an active warden is watching them. Called steganography, the art of concealing a message in plain sight is a lively subject in computer technology. You can find software programs that will hide or detect secret messages embedded in pictures or sound files, for instance. Here, it appears that octopi, squid and cuttlefish have known this trick all along. Lastly, an octopus can alter its whole shape to mimic something else. Camouflage works well when you are hovering still, but what about when you need to move about for foraging or finding a mate? Hanlon shows a picture of an octopus shaping its body like a flounder. It not only imitates the overall shape, but mimics the fins, the behavior and speed of the fish. The “mimic octopus” of Indonesia has even more tricks up its sleeve. It can look like a lionfish or sea snake, among other things (see MarineBio.com and picture of it looking somewhat like a rabbit). Some of these tricks are illustrated in motion in the film series Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution. One episode also shows the cuttlefish with rapid-fire lighting effects that can hypnotize its prey.2 1Roger Hanlon, “Primer: Cephalopod dynamic camouflage,” Current Biology, Volume 17, Issue 11, 5 June 2007, Pages R400-R404, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2007.03.034.2For the record, Roger Hanlon is an evolutionist with no connection to these films.Sadly, we now have to switch from the Amazing Facts thought pattern to the Dumb Ideas thought pattern. Roger’s excellent article was marred by repeated references to evolution having accomplished these things. Nowhere did he explain how a blind process could achieve them, just that they did. Notice how he puts have evolved in past tense as a matter of assumed fact, right alongside incredible wonders of design:Cephalopods have evolved a different life history tactic: with their keen vision and sophisticated skin – with direct neural control for rapid change and fine-tuned optical diversity – they move where they wish and can adapt their body pattern for appropriate camouflage against a staggering array of visual backgrounds….How many camouflage patterns are there, and how many visual tricks have evolved to deceive visual predators?While evolution has produced body colorations and patterns of bewildering diversity, we may be observing a trend in which certain effective pattern types are conserved across phyla and ecological habitat.We do not yet understand the type of mimicry involved (for example, Batesian or Mullerian), the evolution of this form of camouflage, or the visual stimulation that may evoke it.Future studies on fish vision would help us understand not only the anatomical organization of cephalopod pigments and structural reflectors, but the details of the whole-animal patterns that have evolved in response to the wide array of predator visual systems.The worst example is right at the end of the article. Evolutionists are the worst offenders at question-begging among educated people. Read the following paragraph and ask yourself how any intelligent person could say such a thing, linking art, science, high technology and system-wide complexity to Darwin’s theory of blind chance – unless he had been brainwashed aforethought that miracles are possible in Charlie’s web of belief:The subtle ways in which edges, shadows, outlines, patterns, colors, contrast and papillae are used by animals for camouflage or communication also seem to have much in common with art, photography, landscape architecture and related fields, because light and dimensionality are being manipulated in similar fashion. When watching the video from Figure 1, the aphorism “truth is stranger than fiction” comes to mind, especially when compared to the ‘invisibility cloaks’ that have recently received so much attention in the popular media. The speed and fluidity with which cephalopods simultaneously maintain predator awareness, search for prey, and coordinate a camouflage body pattern with each microhabitat offers insight into how a complex biological organism works as an intact system. There are great challenges yet to confront in understanding the sensory and behavioral interactions between visual predators and prey, and it is humbling yet intriguing to think that such an ancient lineage as the mollusks has evolved such a sophisticated system with which to test camouflage.Thus an otherwise stimulating paragraph was deflated by those two little words, “has evolved.” For extreme intellectual schizophrenia and the worst case of begging the question in recent memory, this paragraph easily wins Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week.(Visited 43 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Infrastructure development is key toAfrica’s economic integration. President Jacob Zuma announced thelaunch of the free trade negotiations.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Zanele MngadiSpokespersonThe Presidency+27 12 300 5431 or +27 82 330 1148RELATED ARTICLES• New bridge to boost African trade• World Bank sharpens African focus• China-Africa relations to deepen• SADC free trade area launchedBongani NkosiA free trade area (FTA) among regions in Southern and Eastern Africa will be developed in the next three years to boost economic integration between at least 26 nations on the continent.Negotiations to determine the nature of the free trade agreement were kick-started by South African President Jacob Zuma at a tripartite summit in Johannesburg on 12 June 2011.Heads of states from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), East African Community (EAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) countries also attended the meeting.The start of FTA framework negotiations is an important milestone, said Zuma.Developing the FTA is necessary if the regional blocs are to succeed in improving trade among each other. The trade bloc will help reduce barriers between participating nations, as it cuts out import quotas and trade tariffs. It is seen as a regional economic integration scheme.Negotiations, which include calculating how even gains can be made from trade and investments, usually take a number of years to conclude. Free trade agreement negotiations between the US and Chile began in 1992, but were only formalised in 2003.Intra-African trade is yet to break the 10% threshold. Zuma attributed this to problems of infrastructure unavailability, unequal development between countries and regions, and constraints in supply chain and manufacturing output, among a range of other factors.“All these have severely constrained our efforts at growing intra-Africa and inter-regional trade,” Zuma said.“These challenges will need to be urgently addressed in the framework of the Tripartite FTA if we are to succeed in raising the current levels of intra-Africa trade from the low base of 10%,” he added.Developing infrastructure Nations must take into cognisance the need for improved infrastructure as they gear up for a free trade agreement.“Regional and continental infrastructure development is of fundamental importance to the realisation of Africa’s economic growth and development imperatives,” Zuma said, “and to ensure greater trade integration and global market space”.“As regional leaders, we carry a particular responsibility to serve as champions in driving industrial and infrastructure development both at the regional and continental levels.”Until robust road and rail infrastructure from Cape Town to Cairo is introduced, nations such as China, which trade with the continent via sea, will continue to dominate its markets.Zuma commended the “positive progress” made on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s (Nepad) North-South Corridor infrastructure project. The project includes the development of road and rail networks that connect South Africa to North African nations, as well as the laying of extensive broadband fibre-optic cables.“We urge the three regions (SADC, EAC and Comesa) to work together better to make the infrastructure project succeed,” he said.Zuma serves as a member of the Nepad High Level Sub-Committee on Infrastructure alongside heads of governments of Algeria, Benin, Egypt, Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda and Senegal.South Africa’s Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel was announced as Zuma’s right-hand man in October 2010 to assist him in his committee duties. “Minister Manuel and I will work closely together to ensure that South Africa fulfils its continental responsibilities on infrastructure,” Zuma said at the time.Priority infrastructure projects as identified by the Nepad committee include the Kinshasa-Brazzaville road rail ridge project; water management, river and rail transport infrastructure projects in Egypt and the Dakar-Ndjamena-Djibouti rail and road project; among others.Work is has also begun on the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline. The 4 128km natural gas conduit, part of the Nepad North-South Corridor Infrastructure Project, will run from Nigeria to Algeria.Private sector cooperationAt the summit it was agreed that governments must mobilise the private sector to take part in FTA discussions and infrastructure development. Zuma noted that the sector and civil society were already participating in the negotiation process.“They will constitute the key drivers, in partnership with governments, in robustly growing inter-regional and intra-regional trade to the greater benefit of our continent,” Zuma said.
27 November 2013 A series of short radio dramas focused on increasing awareness of the difficulties faced by refugees and migrants in South Africa are to be broadcast on community stations throughout the country during the national 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign, which started on Monday. The radio series are an attempt to highlight why these communities are particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence. These communities also face challenges when accessing care and treatment services, says Deborah Walter of CMFD Productions, a Johannesburg-based media consultancy that helped produce the series. While all women and girls face challenges reporting any kind of violence, refugees and migrants face added barriers of language, lack of knowledge of local systems and rights, not knowing where to go, few support systems, and at times xenophobic responses, Walter said in a statement on Tuesday.Care centres Change the Story: Refugees and Migrants Speak Against Gender-Based Violence was produced by CMFD on behalf of Sonke Gender Justice Network, a non-governmental organisation working to “achieve gender equality, prevent gender-based violence and reduce the spread of HIV and the impact of Aids”. Sonke has been working with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to promote awareness of the Thuthuzela Care Centres, which have been established by the government as innovative one-stop facilities offering comprehensive services to victims. Migrants and refugees are often reluctant to take things further as they are aware of stigma as well as afraid of getting into more trouble, Walter says. “The care centres offer them safe alternatives, and Sonke Gender Justice is trying to encourage refugees and migrants to seek out help if they need it.” A group of 20 refugees, migrants and South Africans collaborated to develop, write, and voice the three mini-dramas. Working together “We created the storylines based on the real-life experiences told during the workshop – about what has happened to themselves, their friends, their family,” Walter said. “The mixed group of South Africans and non-South Africans stood together to stay no to gender violence, no to sexual violence and domestic abuse. Working together, we can change the stories, to create a norm where violence is no longer tolerated, regardless of where anyone is from.” The dramas are accompanied by a series of discussion guides for radio presenters to help them create stories and host discussions. Sonke Gender Justice will distribute packages that include CDs as well as the guides to community radio stations. The three dramas are available as MP3s that may be downloaded free from www.cmfd.org SAinfo reporter and CMFD
On June 1, the Internal Revenue Service clarified the terms under which consumers can qualify for a federal tax credit of as much as 30%, up to $1,500, on the purchase of a biomass stove that has an efficiency rating of 75% or higher.That clarification was cited immediately by trade groups such as the Pellet Fuels Institute, consumer-interest nonprofits such as the Tax Incentives Assistance Project, and manufacturers such as Hearth & Home Technologies, which noted in a press release that its product line includes 30 items that qualify for the credit.The TIAP is careful to point out that the scope of the original tax-credit incentives expanded on February 17 to include purchases of biomass stoves, ground-source heat pumps, and geothermal heat pumps. Also, the financial cap on the credit for heating equipment purchases increased to $1,500 from $500.The biomass stoves offered by Hearth & Home, which are manufactured under the Quadra Fire and Harman Home Heating brands, are designed to burn wood or corn pellets (some can alternate between both). Both brands provide their customers with a document certifying that the product qualifies for the tax credit.The credits, TIAP adds, are available for stoves placed in service between January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2010.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now It can feel like a complete waste of time and energy to pursue one of your dream clients when they are locked down in a contract with one of your competitors. When years and years pass, with no change, it doesn’t seem to make sense to continue to call and ask for a meeting with someone who has never shown the slightest inclination towards changing. Here are five reasons why you should never give up pursuing your dream client.Current Partner Fails: Your competitor may have won the business a long time ago and may have done a tremendous job solving the problem they were hired to solve. They may be doing an outstanding job right now. However, commercial relationships have ups and downs, and if you are not communicating through the ups and downs, you’ll miss the opportunity to have a conversation when they are struggling or failing to produce results.Current Partner Apathy: Over time, it’s possible for your competitor to become apathetic about serving their existing client, your dream client. They were “gung ho” at the beginning, but now they worked with your dream client long enough that they are apathetic about making changes, solving systemic problems, or going the extra mile. You will not know when this happens, in your dream client will not know you’re there to solve their problem if you do not continue to pursue them.Decision-makers Change: At any company, people change jobs and move on. This is true for your dream client as well. Even though the decision-makers that you’ve called on for years have expressed to you they have no intention of changing partners, at some point, some of them will leave their company to pursue a new opportunity or retire. You can monitor these things on the social channels, but to make sure that you know when changes occur, you must continue to pursue the clients you want most of all.Client Needs Change: Your competitor may have been doing an excellent job for the last 6.5 years. But those 6.5 years are now over, and your dream client may, in fact, have new challenges, new opportunities, and the new needs that accompany them. Your competitor may or may not be able to help them with those new needs. You want to be known before this happens. You make that unlikely or impossible if you give up on your dream client.Persistence Pays: Persistence pays off over time. It’s an installment plan. When your competitor has your dream client locked down, persistence matters most of all. You don’t expect to win this week. You don’t even expect to win this quarter. But you are future-oriented, and you are playing the longest of long games with the most important prospects in your territory. When there is a change in circumstances or events that trigger some new need, you want to be known, and you want to be someone who has persisted long enough to have earned the right to be considered as a potential replacement for your dream clients existing partner. You are already going to spend part of your week nurturing your dream clients. You are also going to be prospecting, doing the work to create new opportunities. Even though your attempts to communicate with your dream client may be less frequent, they should be no less persistent than your efforts to create opportunities in what you might consider being warmer leads and easier clients in which to create opportunities.Note: If you are new here you may not know what a dream client is. It’s a client who will perceive what you do as massive value and will allow you to capture some of the value that you create. They are unlike regular prospects, and the fact that winning one makes a significant difference to you and your company, and it makes a considerable difference to your dream client.
The greatest athletes of the era are ready for the quadrennial mega event as London Olympics begins on Friday. What would add spice to the 2012 Games is the intense rivalry between some of the top stars.From Usain Bolt going up against close friend and compatriot to the Brazilian football team trying to prove their supremacy over the Spaniards, Headlines Today takes a look at the top five rivalries of London 2012.Ryan Lochte and Michael PhelpsAfter creating a splash in Beijing Olympics, American swimmer Michael Phelps would look to repeat his heroics at the London Games. However, standing in his way would be his team-mate Ryan Lochte.After Beijing Games, Lochte came into his own and got the better of Phelps on a number of big ticket events. Nevertheless, Phelps would look to stamp his authority in the pool once and for all in London.Lin Dan and Lee Chong WeiThe men’s badminton event at London Games would see one of the fiercest rivalries in the history of the sport. World number 1 Lin Dan of China would go up against his nemesis Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.Lee has been struggling with an injury, but is expected to go all out for revenge against Lin. Lin had beaten Lee to win gold at the Beijing Games. The Malaysian would look to set the record straight this time round.Spain and BrazilThe Spaniards are the reigning Gods of the football world. The only title that the Golden Generation has not managed to win is the coveted Olympic gold. With a star studded team, La Roja would look to conquer London.However, standing in their path are the superstars from Brazil. With a team brimming with talent, the Samba Boys would aim for their maiden Olympic gold.Roger Federer and Novak DjokovicAfter having proved his supremacy at the Wimbledon, Roger Federer would look to do the same against Novak Djokovic at the same venue.The Swiss ace has been in sublime form this year as he beat the Serbian in the semis at Wimbledon. In what is certain to be his last Olympic Games, Federer would be desperate to add the Olympic gold to his rich haul of trophies, while Djokovic would be desperate for revenge.Usain Bolt and Yohan BlakePossibly the biggest rivalry at the London Games would be between Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.Bolt is the reigning Olympic champion in the 100 metre, but the Beast would look to tame the Lightning at London. Blake had stunned the world by defeating Bolt at the Jamaican trials. This is one rivalry that has sure got the world super excited!advertisement
Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Ministry of Education introduces pilot program Education Minister touts new ICT platform for Public Schools Education Minister tours schools this week Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 18 Sept 2015 – The Minister of Sports, Hon Akierra Missick at the House of Assembly meeting congratulated two outstanding athletes who represented the TCI abroad in track and field.Ifeanyi Otuonye, broke his own TCI national record again in long jump and set a new record in the indoor triple jump breaking his last record. Otuonye was recently honored by the US Track and Field Cross-Country Coaches Association as the ‘Midwest Field Male Athlete of the Year. The Minister encouraged him to go for gold. Akia Guerrier was also hailed as an outstanding athlete and competed on behalf of TCI in Samoa where Akia smashed an over 20-year national record in the 200-meters with a time of 25.14 seconds; this record was held since 1993 by Rosalie Hall. Related Items:akia guerrier, akierra missick, Ifeanyi Otuonye, national record, Samoa, shattered
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has praised sacked Huddersfield David Wagner for helping the club gain promotion to the Premier League.Wagner left Huddersfield by mutual consent on Monday after guiding them to the Premier League in 2017.He spent three years at the club and helped them avoid relegation last season, but they have failed to recover after a poor start this season.The Terriers are stuck at the bottom of the league table with just eleven points after 22 matches and have failed to win a single game since the end of November last year.“I just think it’s sad the way it has ended – I actually believe it was by mutual consent for once,” Carragher told Sky Sports, paying tribute to Wagner.“I think in most people’s eyes, they’re almost down, although we have seen teams in this position before proving us totally wrong.Cowley explains why he changed his mind about Huddersfield Manuel R. Medina – September 9, 2019 Last week Danny Cowley rejected the chance to coach Huddersfield Town in the English Championship, but today he accepted saying it was a good opportunity.“What a story and what a job that man has done, getting Huddersfield into the Premier League and keeping them up.“It was always going to be difficult and eventually, they were going to go down at some stage.“It looks like it will be this season, but he will be remembered very fondly at Huddersfield.“Who knows if they go down this season, how long it will take them to get back in the Premier League? But what happened there certainly in the couple of years he has been there is an absolute fairy tale.”