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Big Bang “Breakthrough” May Be False

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first_img(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Criticisms of the BICEP announcement are coming in, and could overturn the highly-publicized announcement that “inflation” has been discovered.It was supposed to be a shoo-in for a Nobel Prize, but the shoe may not fit.  Science Magazine and other sites have announced a potential fatal flaw in the March announcement that a signal confirming cosmic inflation (3/17/14) was detected from the Antarctic instrument site.  In “Blockbuster Big Bang Result May Fizzle, Rumor Suggests,” Science Now explains that a crucial factor, foreground microwave “noise,” may not have been subtracted out properly.To subtract the galactic foreground, BICEP researchers relied on a particular map of it generated by the European Space Agency’s spacecraft Planck, which mapped the CMB across the entire sky from 2009 until last year. However, the BICEP team apparently interpreted the map as showing only the galactic emissions. In reality, it may also contain the largely unpolarized hazy glow from other galaxies, which has the effect of making the galactic microwaves coming from any particular point of the sky look less thoroughly polarized than they actually are. So using the map to strip out the galactic foreground may actually leave some of that foreground in the data where it could produce a spurious signal, Falkowski explains. “Apparently, there is something that needs to be corrected, so at this point the BICEP result cannot be taken at face value,” he tells Science.BICEP researchers are not ready to concede the point, however. Clement Pryke, a cosmologist at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a co-principal investigator for the BICEP team, acknowledges that the foreground map is an important and thorny issue. Part of the problem is that the Planck team has not made the raw foreground data available, he says. Instead, BICEP researchers had to do the best they could with a PDF file of that map that the Planck team presented at a conference. Moreover, Pryke says, conversations with members of the Planck team leave it uncertain exactly what is in the key plot. “It is unclear what that plot shows,” he says.The upcoming Planck map of foreground “could make the BICEP signal go away,” the article says.  Since the Planck results will not be published till October, nobody will know if the announcement was a blockbuster or a bust.  Meanwhile, the BICEP team stands by their paper.How could a team be so careless as to rely on a PDF file of a map, without knowing what it represents?  Was this a rush to publish for fame?  It happens.  Remember the eagerness in the young cosmologist’s knock on Andrei Linde’s door to see his delight at apparently having his view of inflation confirmed?  Scientists have egos like other people.  The lure of priority or prize money can trump modesty.  Now, all those positivist proclamations could come crashing down.  We’ll have to wait and see.last_img read more

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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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Sibusiso Vilakazi up for three PSL awards

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first_img Kwanda Mngonyama (Bidvest Wits), Thabo Moloi (SuperSport United), Vincent Pule (African Warriors) Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament: R200 000 Lennox Bacela (Orlando Pirates), Mogakolodi Ngele (Platinum Stars), Robert Ng’ambi (Platinum Stars) MTN8 Last Man Standing: R80 000 Lennox Bacela (Orlando Pirates), Vuyo Mere (Platinum Stars), Robert Ng’ambi (Platinum Stars) Sibusiso Vilakazi (Bidvest Wits), Teko Modise (Mamelodi Sundowns), Willard Katsande (Kaizer Chiefs) Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season: R50 000 Anssi Jaakkola (Ajax Cape Town), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Joseph (Bidvest Wits) Absa Premiership Young Player of the Season: R50 000 Abbubaker Mobara (Ajax Cape Town), Gabadini Mhango (Bloemfontein Celtic), Keagen Dolly (Ajax Cape Town) Absa Premiership Coach of the Season: R75 000 Clive Barker (Mpumalanga Black Aces), Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Stuart Baxter (Kaizer Chiefs) Absa Premiership Absa-lutely Awesome Goal of the Season: R50 000 Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Knowledge Musona (Kaizer Chiefs), Puleng Tlolane (Polokwane City) Absa Premiership Top Goalscorer: R25 000 1 – 15: R25 000, 16-20: R50 000, 21 – 25: R75 000, Over 26: R100 000 Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament: R150 000 Jabulani Shongwe (Bidvest Wits), Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Bidvest Wits) Nedbank Cup Most Promising Player of the Tournament: R50 000 9 May 2014 Alje Schut, captain of new PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns, is up against Sibusiso Vilakazi of Bidvest Wits and Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs for the Footballer of the Season Award. The Premier Soccer League (PSL) announced the list of nominees in Johannesburg on Thursday. The three players represent the top three teams in the PSL standings, but only Vilakazi and Katsande are up for the Absa Premiership Players’ Player of the Year Award, with Teko Modise of Mamelodi Sundowns being the other nominee. Vilakazi is also in the running for the Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament, along with his team-mate Jabulani Shongwe and Oupa Manyisa of Orlando Pirates.Coach of the Year Sundowns’ coach Pitso Mosimane faces Stuart Baxter of Kaizer Chiefs and Clive Barker of Mpumalanga Black Aces for the Absa Premiership Coach of the Year Award. All three men are former Bafana Bafana coaches. While Sundowns and Chiefs will finish one and two in the PSL standings, Barker has surprised by taking unfashionable Black Aces to sixth on the table heading into the final weekend of league action. The Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season Award will be decided between Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs’ skipper Itumeleng Khune, Ajax Cape Town’s Anssi Jaakkola, and Moneeb Joseph’s of Bidvest Wits.Young Player of the Year The Premiership Young Player of the Year is between the Ajax Cape Town duo of Abbubaker Mobara and Keagen Dolly and Bloemfontein Celtic’s Gabadini Mhango. Chiefs’ and Bafana Bafana striker Bernard Parker currently tops the goal-scoring charts by two goals over a group of six chasing players, with 10 to his name. If he holds onto his lead, he will earn R25 000. For the league’s top scorer, netting from one to 15 goals is worth R25 000, 16 to 20 goals is worth R50 000, 21 to 25 earns the goal-scorer R75 000, and 26 or more is valued at R100 000. Hlompho Kekena of Sundowns, Chiefs’ Knowledge Musona, and Puleng Tlolane will contest the Absa Premiership Absa-lutely Awesome Goal of the Season.Knockout competition award nominees Platinum Stars, the winners of the Telkom Knockout and MTN 8 competitions, with victories over Orlando Pirates in both, supply to of the three nominees for the players of the tournament for both competitions, while the Buccaneers supply one. Mogakolodi Ngele and Robert Ng’ambi face Pirates’ Lennox Bacela for the Telkom Knockout Award, while Ng’ambi and Bacela are again up against one another for the MTN 8 Award, with the other contender being Vuyo Mere. The PSL awards will take place on Sunday, 18 May, at the Sandton Convention Centre.PSL AWARDS NOMINEES Footballer of the Season: R250 000 Alje Schut (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Bidvest Wits), Willard Katsande (Kaizer Chiefs) Absa Premiership Players’ Player of the Season: R150 000last_img read more

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July and weed problems

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s July and we are all done with herbicide applications. Right?Weeds? I got’em too. So my wife asked me, “If the marestail didn’t die when I sprayed Roundup, can I just up the rate and get them?” No I tell her, even a huge increase in the rate probably won’t kill them. That’s because most of the populations of Marestail in Ohio are now resistant to glyphosate.This picture shows one I sprayed April 24 with glyphosate and 2,4-D. I used 22 ounces of “Max” and 20 ounces of 2,4-D. Most died, but maybe 20% are still out there idling along not dead but not growing all that much. Yesterday morning I hit them with dicamba, as I finally got my corn planted (late) and it’s at about V5. I hope the dicamba will finish them off. If not it’s hoe time. Some ancient historyA 2006 end-of-season soybean weed survey by OSU Extension set the baseline for weed escapes in glyphosate tolerant soybeans in Ohio. This fall evaluation recorded weed appearance shortly before soybean harvest by recording weed presence above the canopy. Approximately 100 fields were observed in each of nine counties at one-mile intervals. Ratings were given for each field, on a one to three scale with a one indicating an occasional weed to a three indicating widespread presence of the weed. In this survey, approximately 10 years into the glyphosate-tolerant soybean era, Giant ragweed was the weed most likely to appear in 42% of fields, then Horseweed (a.k.a. marestail) at 19% and then lambsquarters with 15%.Ohio Extension educators continued fall road surveys in 2008 and after, using the same one to three scale to evaluate weed presence above the soybean canopy at harvest. For simplicity I am reporting the results for the years 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, representing 14 to 18 counties each year with approximately 80 fields observed per county. This provides 4,669 observations per weed over the four years shown.Marestail achieved the top spot as most likely reported weed across all four years (Table 1); in the 2006 report Giant ragweed held that position.Table 1. Top 10 most numerous weeds identified by year in the Extension fall soybean weed survey.Rank20082010201220141MarestailMarestailMarestailMarestail2Giant RagweedGiant RagweedLambsquartersGiant Ragweed3LambsquartersVolunteer cornGiant RagweedVolunteer corn4Common RagweedCommon RagweedCommon RagweedCommon Ragweed5Giant foxtail /grassy weedsLambsquartersVolunteer cornPigweed species6Volunteer cornGiant foxtail /grassy weedsVelvetleafLambsquarters7VelvetleafPigweed speciesGiant foxtail/grassy weedsGiant foxtail/grassy weeds8Pigweed speciesVelvetleafPigweed speciesVelvetleaf9PokeweedShattercaneWild carrotPokeweed10Hemp dogbaneMorning gloryCockleburShattercane Bottom line, get them before they get you. And for those who plan to rely on the new technology whenever that comes — better get a hoe if you still plan to make poor decisions on managing weeds. Giant ragweedThe other big problem in soybeans and occasionally in corn is giant ragweed. This quick growing weed has developed tolerance and resistance to many of our herbicide programs. It does still respond somewhat to pre-emergent herbicides so hopefully you started there and then for your post application, you will probably need to apply twice.What usually happens is the pre-emergent application slows the growth and reduces the population. The first post takes out many of the lingerers and slows others. The second post application finishes off the bigger plants and escapes from the first post application. This second post application usually involves glyphosate in combination with other products. Please see the Ohio, Indiana and Illinois Weed Control Guide and read pages 183 and 184. Got no Guide? Download the pdf on Mark Loux’s website: https://u.osu.edu/osuweeds/, see under resources on the right.Also there are lots of videos related to marestail and giant ragweed control, along with the pigweed series on Mark’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/OSUWEEDS.  I especially like the time-lapse videos of giant ragweed going down after the herbicide application.last_img read more

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Apps.gov Gives Cloud Computing a Slice of the $75 Billion IT Pie

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first_imgThe government cloud computing service rumored since late July is here, and companies are jumping at the chance to join Apps.gov, an “online storefront” for cloud services and applications pre-approved for use by federal agencies. According to the post by U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra, Apps.gov will move at the same cautious pace Data.gov has, and currently the site is pretty bare bones. Certain areas are without any vendors and all but those related to social media are dominated by Salesforce.com and Google. Other big players, such as Amazon Web Services, are also looking to cash in by becoming a part of the site.In the post on the White House blog, Kundra said that the federal government currently spends more than $75 billion on IT. In a time when the government is one of the only reliable sources of IT spending, enterprise vendors of all kinds are looking to enter that market. That includes cloud computing companies, from platforms like Amazon Web Services to software suites like Google Apps. So why is the federal government providing a free shopping cart for these vendors? By giving the software and services in Apps.gov its official blessing, the feds are making it easier for sluggish agency IT departments to save money and update aging systems by embracing the cloud. The first incarnation of Apps.gov is divided up into four sections: Business Apps, which is everything from analytics to ERP. This is currently one of the areas where Salesforce.com and Google are predominate.Cloud IT Services, which is currently labeled as “coming soon” and is devoid of apps.Productivity Apps, another area Salesforce.com and Google appear almost exclusively.Social Media Apps, which is the most diverse area of the site thus far.The government is playing it safe in all of the areas right now. Salesforce.com and Google Apps crop up in all categories, even in those where there are far better options. The comparatively low risk area of social media is the most diversified right now, featuring around 20 popular apps like FriendFeed, YouTube, MySpace and Flickr. The government has spent most of its energy on bringing cloud computing leaders on board with Apps.gov. Clearly federal agencies will benefit from the official endorsement of vendors they’re likely to be familiar with already. But before Apps.gov becomes a truly useful resource, the site will have to diversify its marketplace. hat tip to chris messina steven walling IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts center_img Tags:#enterprise#news#saas Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

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Sidney Stuart beloved balladeer gone family and friend

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first_img Related Items:died, kew town, sidney stuart Recommended for you Nancy Reagan gone but touched the Caribbean Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 14 Jul 2015 – Another beloved Turks and Caicos Islander thrusts residents into a state of new mourning when this afternoon news spread on the death of Sidney Stuart, a taxi driver and who became well known for as a riveting balladeer who could cause tears to flow no matter the occasion. To many, he was simply ‘Heads,’ a bubbly, jovial taxi driver and former driver for the former Premier Michael Misick.Scores gathered at the morgue in Provo upon hearing of Sidney’s passing; proof that he had become as beloved in Provo as he was in his other home, The Bahamas. Already his Facebook page is filling up with tributes. Stuart was a member of the Abundant Life Ministries International.When Magnetic Media reached out to his family in Grand Bahama moments ago, we learned they are in a terrible state of shock as relatives not only have to come to grips with such the sudden and tremendous loss but to do so on the exact day his father, the late Edwin Stuart died, 12 years ago.Sidney Stuart’s death is believed to be of natural causes. Reports are he was complaining of chest pains. That he missed a pick-up this morning of some guests. That he missed a lot of calls today. All uncharacteristic and it led to friends going in search of him… they found him, reportedly at his home in Kew Town, Providenciales unresponsive; he was pronounced dead on the scene by the emergency team which was called.Sidney Kevin Stuart hails originally from Holmes Rock, Grand Bahama and is the sixth of eight siblings. Three young children he has; two daughters and a son.While Sidney’s father is from The Bahamas; his mother is from the Turks and Caicos Islands. Stuart, who had been living in the Turks and Caicos for some 12 to 13 years now, was just 45 years old. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Murdered father of two, shot in the head Woman shot, vehicle shot up in Kew Town ambush this morninglast_img read more

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In Our Communities

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first_img ADC AUTHOR Maine established a task force earlier this month to study PFAS contamination in drinking water, according to the Press Herald. “The EPA is dragging its feet on the issue, leaving states to take the lead,” Gov. Janet Mills (D) said in a statement….Tensions have eased between Robins Air Force Base, Ga., and the local American Federal Government Employees union after a long period of turmoil, federal lawmakers said at a recent 21st Century Partnership event, the Telegraph reported. “It portends good things for our future if you don’t lose sight of what got you here in the first place, which is good people doing good things for our future,” Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said.Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson at Robins Air Force Base in January. Air Force photo by Tommie Hortonlast_img read more

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