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Little Bugs with Mighty Powers

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first_img(Visited 576 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Bugs so small you could step on them, but if we were their size, we could never do what they do.G-ForceThis Beetle Can Withstand 40 Times More G-Force Than a Fighter Pilot (National Geographic). Ever watched a click beetle? Maybe not since you were a kid. These amazing beetles can leap up into the air and right themselves when they have fallen on their backs. Liz Langley writes, “Click beetles are among nature’s many unsung acrobats with clever strategies for escape.” There are 900 species of click beetles that use this trick. Here’s how it works:When threatened, the insect will contract a hinge that holds together two segments of its body, says Gal Ribak of Tel-Aviv University’s Biomechanics of Animal Locomotion Laboratory.Releasing that elastic energy causes an audible click and accelerates the beetles into the air at 380 times the force of gravity—leaving predators mystified.Langley includes accounts of other animals that are “aerialists that perform amazing airborne feats—sometimes with no feets at all.” A Moroccan spider named flic flac, for instance, can cartwheel away from danger, even going uphill. And a spider in Trinidad can whirl in circles so fast, it looks like a blur to the human eye. The article briefly mentions birds that walk down tree trunks, flying rays, pirouetting sharks, and has a 32-photo gallery of various leaping animals, including birds, fish and mammals.Magnetic NavigationNavigating with the sixth sense: desert ants sense Earth’s magnetic field (University of Würzburg). It’s unbelievable enough that salmon and sea turtles could navigate by the earth’s magnetic field, but ants? Such tiny insects; how do they do it? Researchers at the University of Würzburg, using controlled magnetic conditions, found that they indeed can. The details can be read in an open-access paper in Current Biology. The press release says,Desert ants (Cataglyphis) spend the first weeks of their life exclusively in their dark underground nest. For around four weeks, they nurse the queen and the brood, dig tunnels, build chambers or tidy up. At some point, they leave the nest to start their outdoor career, working as foragers until their death.Before an ant sets out to forage, it has to calibrate its navigational system, however. For this purpose, the insects exhibit a rather peculiar behaviour during two to three days: They perform so-called learning walks to explore the vicinity of the nest entrance and frequently turn about their vertical body axes while doing so. High-speed video recordings show that the ants stop repeatedly during these pirouetting motions. What is special about the longest of these stopping phases is that at this moment the ants always look back precisely to the nest entrance, although they are unable to see the tiny hole in the ground.Researchers from the Biocenter of the University of Würzburg have now made the surprising discovery that the desert ant uses the Earth’s magnetic field as orientation cue during these calibration trips. This ability had been previously unknown for desert ants.Dragonfly (Corel Professional Photos)AerogelWorld’s oldest insect inspires a new generation of aerogels (Newcastle University). When dragonflies complete their metamorphosis, their wings come out out like jelly, but within minutes they expand and become completely dry. Inspired by what they saw, the wizards at Newcastle University designed an aerogel that mimics the dragonfly’s secret. They tell how they did it, but more interesting are the dragonflies themselves. If they evolved, like this article claims, it means that some of the most advanced insect flyers just popped into existence without ancestors.“These ancient insects were around long before the dinosaurs evolved,“ explains Dejan Kulijer, from the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.“They are one of the oldest insect groups to take flight and include the largest insect that ever lived – the Griffenfly – that had a wingspan of more than 70 cm” [28 inches].Their wings are a porous, layered structure similar to an aerogel and are so strong and light they can carry the insect up to 30 miles in an hour.“A dragonfly’s wings are an ultralight aerogel – making up less than 2% of the insect’s total body weight – and yet they are so strong they can carry the insect thousands of miles across oceans and between continents,” says Dr Šiller, who worked on the research together with colleagues from Newcastle University, Durham University and Limerick University, Ireland, as well as experts from the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.Jumps and LeapsWhy a robot can’t yet outjump a flea: How small creatures generate world’s fastest snaps, jumps and punches (Duke University Today). No robot designer has been able to imitate the mighty leap of the tiny flea. These insects jump so fast and far, they seem to vanish from sight. The opening of this fun article shows a flea jumping in slow motion, but mentions that it’s not the only champion in the animal olympics. Here are more challengers for robot designers:Take the smashing mantis shrimp, a small crustacean not much bigger than a thumb. Its hammer-like mouthparts can repeatedly deliver 69-mile-per-hour wallops more than 100 times faster than the blink of an eye to break open hard snail shells.Or the unassuming trap-jaw ant: In a zero-to-60 matchup, even the fastest dragster would have little chance against its snapping mandibles, which reach speeds of more than 140 miles per hour in less than a millisecond to nab their prey.One of the fastest accelerations known on Earth is the hydra’s sting. These soft-bodied aquatic creatures defend themselves with help from capsules along their tentacles that act like pressurized balloons. When triggered, they fire a barrage of microscopic poison spears that briefly accelerate 100 times faster than a bullet.Another video clip in the article shows a trap-jaw ant launching itself into the air with its mandible. It had to be filmed at 3,000 frames per second to see the action. Also praised in the article are the chameleon, the Venus flytrap, and the froghopper:A short-legged insect called the froghopper, for example, has a bow-like structure called the pleural arch that acts like a spring. Latch-like protrusions on their legs control its release, allowing them to leap more than 100 times their body length despite their short legs. A person with that much power could jump nearly two football fields.Each of these feats, the article explains, doesn’t require muscle action. They work with spring-loaded parts that fire like a taut bowstring. The paper in Science Magazine delves into “The principles of cascading power limits in small, fast biological and engineered systems,” describing a new model designed at Duke to explain the power requirements and specifications for such powerful leaps. The press release explains why robot makers can’t yet match these natural achievements:The model has major implications for engineers. It suggests that robots can’t yet outjump a flea in part because such quick, repeatable movements require components to be exquisitely fine-tuned to each other.Don’t tell the Discovery Institute. Incidentally, a new species of fossil dragonfly was named after the Revolutionary, Dr Michael Behe (Evolution News).The wonders of nature inspire kids. The wonders of nature inspire adults. The wonders of nature inspire scientists and engineers. Anyone left out? There is one thing that reduces inspiration, like poking a hole in a hot air balloon. It’s the idea that these wonders just happened by chance. Darwinian hot air is not sufficient to substitute for the fires of inspiration lit by the wonders of nature. Keep those Darwinists with their spears away from the big, beautiful balloon celebration.Credit: J.B. Greenelast_img read more

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Mandela was a ‘giant for justice’: UN chief

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first_img10 December 2013 Nelson Mandela was a “giant for justice”, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during a visit to the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg on Monday. Ban, who was due to join some 70 heads of state at the memorial service for Mandela at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium on Tuesday, said Mandela’s “principled stand in defense of the fundamental equality of all human beings was decisive in dismantling the system of apartheid. “His remarkable compassion upon his release from prison after 27 years set South Africa immediately on a path of dialogue and reconciliation,” Ban said. “He was a giant for justice, equality and human rights.” Mandela died last Thursday after a long battle with a lung infection. The late human rights lawyer, prisoner of conscience, international peacemaker and first democratically elected president of South Africa was 95. Ban said Mandela was more than one of the world’s greatest leaders. “He was a teacher, and he taught and practised by example.” Recalling the first time he met Mandela, during an official visit to South Africa in February 2009, Ban said he had “wanted to say a few words of thanks for what he was doing for humanity. [Mandela’s] response has stayed with me ever since. He said: ‘Well, it’s not only me, there were hundreds and hundreds of known and unknown people who fought for the same cause. “I was so deeply moved and touched. What he said has guided me ever since,” Ban said. “The people of South Africa and the whole world have lost a hero. May Nelson Mandela rest in peace.” The secretary-general also visited Mandela’s residence, where he offered his condolences to the former president’s family. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Abattoir ban stumps cricket units

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first_imgThe crackdown against ‘illegal’ slaughter houses in Uttar Pradesh has stumped the sports and leather industries.Not only has it hit the meat export industry and the 10 lakh people it employs, but it has also triggered waves of panic among Meerut’s cricket ball manufacturing units, Kanpur’s tanneries, the 11,000-odd shoe manufacturing units in Unnao and Hapur that operate from private residences, and the big leather export units in Agra. In Meerut, which is one of the major manufacturing hubs for sports goods in India, manufacturers say that with buffalo hide not readily available the cost of cricket balls has shot up by ₹30 to ₹40 per ball.Manufacturers worriedAnil Sachdeva, a businessman who deals in all kinds of all sports goods, said he had braced for an impact but did not expect it to be so swift. “Buffalo hide, which goes into making cricket balls, is not available because of the crackdown on slaughterhouses. Whatever little is available is priced at rates higher than usual,” said Mr. Sachdeva.“A cricket ball priced at ₹130 is being sold for ₹160. It will be a difficult time for our business if the ban continues,” he added.Anoop Singh, a contractor who supplies cricket balls to shops in Meerut’s Surajkund sports market, seconded Mr. Sachdeva. “Shortage of buffalo hide has left people like us, who manufacture cricket balls, worried. We are making do with the old stock for now, but the shortage of raw material has led to prices shooting up,” said Mr. Singh.The worst, however, is yet to come, he said. “If the slaughterhouses do not start functioning soon and the atmosphere of fear is not dispelled, then we may not be able to manufacture cricket balls at all,” he said.But all is not rosy for the few slaughterhouses that were not sealed. With cattle dealers fearing attacks from vigilantes, even legal slaughterhouses are not able to function. The non-availability of buffalo hide in the State has left the leather industry, which provides employment to nearly 25 lakh people, worried as well. Upendra Singh, president of the Agra Shoe Manufacturer Association (ASMA), argued that U.P. was the biggest provider of buffalo hide in India, which is the backbone for the leather industry. Continued non-availability of buffalo hide is expected to hit the country’s leather export business, which was valued at ₹38,396 crores in 2015-16.‘Exports to be hit’“Prices of leather goods have gone up by 15% to 50%. Raw material will become more expensive if the slaughterhouse ban continues. This, in turn, will hit the domestic market that provides shoes at reasonable rates and also affect India’s position in the international leather export market that is very competitive,” said Mr. Singh.Bharat Singh, president of the Shoe Karigar Sangh in Agra, told The Hindu over the phone that shoes would become dearer if the ban continued. “As of now, cow and buffalo hide is not easily available. Consequently, shoes are being manufactured at increased input costs,” said Mr. Singh.last_img read more

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#KicksStalker: Irving gifts special Kyrie 3, jersey to military personnel

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first_imgCPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Kia sends disgruntled Revilla to Phoenix for Grimaldo, pick Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s weddingcenter_img The Kyrie 3 Irving gave away was a special colorway dedicated to his mother Elizabeth and features a rose pattern and a “mom” lettering on the tongue.This wasn’t the first time Irving gave away his shoes to the members of the audience.Irving did it in the preseason when he gave his sneakers and jersey to a fan in Charlotte.He again hamnded his game-worn sneakers to a grade-schooler in the Boston’s season-opener in Cleveland.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa On military appreciation night in Brooklyn, @KyrieIrving wanted to thank some soldiers in attendance himself pic.twitter.com/s7Hk6D9Pog— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 15, 2017Kyrie Irving gave away another pair of his Nike Kyrie 3s, and this time both the shoes and the recipients are of utmost importance.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe masked Irving, after leading the Boston Celtics to a 109-102 road victory over the Brooklyn Nets, saw two members of the military in the audience for the home teams’ military appreciation night and proceeded to make their days instantly better.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Irving gave one of the ladies his game-worn jersey while giving the other a special makeup of his Kyrie 3.last_img read more

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Ind vs WI: India’s top performers

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Archer Deepika Kumari defeats South Korean Lee Sung Jin at World Cup Stage-II in Antalya

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first_imgAce archer Deepika Kumari added another feather to her cap when she clinched the gold medal at the World Cup Stage-II in Antalya, Turkey, on Saturday.The teenager from Jharkhand got the better of South Korean Lee Sung Jin 6-4 in the women’s individual recurve final.With less than three months to go for the London Olympics, this title triumph will boost Deepika’s confidence as she goes for ultimate glory in the British capital.She showed composure to recover from 0-2 and 2-4 down to seal the deal.Lee, 27, is an experienced campaigner and had won the team gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, as well as the silver in the individual event. She was crowned individual and team world champion in 2005 and was ranked No. 1 in the world in June 2006.The Korean won the team event at the World Cup Stage I in Shanghai last month.The Korean started well and hit three perfect 10s. Deepika could respond with just one 10 and lost the first set 30-27.But the Indian hit back with two 10s in the second set and won it 29-27 after Lee managed to hit the bull’s eye just once.The title match swung to and fro and Lee surged ahead again winning the third set 29-27 on the back of two 10s to Deepika’s one.But the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist dug deep and shaded the fourth set 27-26 to force a decider.Deepika kept her cool and opened with a perfect 10. It was nail-biting stuff as the two finalists were level with one arrow left for each.advertisementDeepika hit a nine, which meant that Lee needed a nine of her own to ensure a shoot-off or a 10 to win it outright. She could manage only an eight, which meant that Deepika won the final set 28-27 and with it the gold medal.India is in the line for more glory in the men’s team recurve final when they take on Great Britain in the final on Sunday.The trio of Rahul Banerjee, Tarundeep Rai and Jayanta Talukdar – who are yet to qualify for the London Olympics – will face Laurence Godfrey, Simon Terry and Alan Wills in the gold medal clash. The Indians have already beaten the formidable South Koreans in the semi-finals.Wrestlers disappointIndian wrestlers failed to book any Olympic berth on the second day of the qualifying event in Helsinki. Freestyle wrestler Rajeev Tomar lost to Romania’s Chintoan Daniel (0-2, 0-5) in the quarterfinal. In Greco Roman category, five Indians were out and only Anil Kumar (96kg) was left in fray.last_img read more

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10 months agoFC Sion attacker Fortune: Tough to turn down Mertesacker and Arsenal

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first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say FC Sion attacker Fortune: Tough to turn down Mertesacker and Arsenalby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFC Sion attacker Yassin Fortune has explained leaving Arsenal this summer.The 19 year-old rejected a new contract offer from the Gunners to sign permanently with the Swiss outfit.He told Foot Mercato: “Arsenal had offered to extend four years. But I started to join the pros. Arsenal is a great club, but I needed playing time. I had to play, and I preferred to leave. “It was difficult to stay at Arsenal in the sense that there were big names and a new coach (Unai Emery). I spoke with Per Mertesacker who made me a little hesitant.”He really wanted me to stay. But I felt that the best solution was to leave. At that time I did not yet have contact with Sion, but with other clubs. I was contacted by Sion fifteen days after my decision to leave. I had a preference to return to France but despite some contacts it is Sion who had my preference.” last_img read more

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a month agoOxford destroy West Ham with four-goal thrashing

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first_imgOxford destroy West Ham with four-goal thrashingby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham United have been knocked out of the Carabao Cup after suffering a shock 4-0 defeat to League One side Oxford United.The Hammers were dire as Oxford run riot at Kassam Stadium.Manuel Pellegrini made eight changes to the team that beat Manchester United last Sunday and was punished accordingly.Second-half goals from Elliott Moore, Matty Taylor, Tariqe Fosu and Shandon Baptiste gave the U’s a deserved victory.Speaking after the game, Pellegrini said: “We played against a team who played very well.”It’s easy to say that we played very badly, but I think Oxford did everything they needed to win this game here at home for them.”They played with a lot of motivation, with desire and we didn’t play well.”If you give them time and space all of them are good players. They scored four goals, they had other chances and I think we only created one in the first ten minutes of the game and one in the last minute.”In the second half we lost all the moments [which decided the match].”If you want to continue playing in all competitions you have to use your whole squad, and we played with [experienced] players. I repeat, Oxford made it tough and after that [we perhaps showed a] lack of belief that these games are always very difficult for the teams who are in the better league.”Of course for the fans who came to Wimbledon, and to Oxford today, it’s not the best way to answer them. Football is like this, unfortunately it was a very bad night for some players and we’ll try to recover in our next game in the Premier League.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Video: Maryland Beat Wisconsin On Melo Trimble’s 3-Pointer With 1.2 Seconds Remaining

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first_imgMelo Trimble hits game-winning three-pointer as time expires.Melo TrimbleWe just had a Big Ten thriller in Madison. No. 3 Maryland defeated Wisconsin 63-60 on a long three-pointer by point guard Melo Trimble with 1.2 seconds remaining.Trimble’s triple came after Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig buried a three of a his own to knot the score at 60. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon elected not to signal for a timeout, instead trusting his All-American point guard to win the game.Good decision.  That shot is the definition of long range. Note ESPN color commentator Dan Dakich saying “Too late” in the background. Dakich thought Trimble took too long before trying to attack.Looks like he knew what he was doing.last_img

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NDIT appointed by BC Hydro to administer Site C agricultural compensation fund

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first_imgNDIT is an independent corporation that was established in 2005 that has managed more than $80 million in funding for partner organizations, including administration of BC Hydro’s $800,000 Generate Opportunities, or GO Fund.Hydro said that NDIT will manage the fund and act as a secretariat to the regional decision-making board, which is responsible for overseeing the management and disbursement of the fund.Northern Development Initiative Trust and the board will work together to develop a strategic five-year plan, fund application packages and evaluation criteria, as well as a financial management plan.For more information about the Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund, visit www.sitecproject.com/AgFund. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro announced today that it has appointed the Northern Development Initiative Trust as the financial administrator of its Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund.The $20-million fund, which was launched earlier this year, supports agricultural priorities in the Peace Region.Hydro said it set up the fund to recognize the role that agriculture plays in the local economy and the potential effects of the Site C project on agriculture.last_img read more

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