Amazon swim ends

first_imgRIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – After 3,272 miles of exhaustion, sunburn, delirium and piranhas, a 52-year-old Slovenian successfully completed a swim down the Amazon River Saturday that could set a world record for distance – something he’s already done three times before. After nine weeks, Martin Strel arrived near the city of Belem, the capital of the jungle state of Para, ending a swim almost as long as the drive from Miami to Seattle. Strel averaged about 50miles a day since beginning his odyssey at the source of the world’s second-longest river in Peru on Feb.1. By Thursday evening, he was struggling with dizziness, vertigo, high blood pressure, diarrhea, nausea and delirium, his Web site said. But despite having difficulty standing and being ordered by the doctor not to swim, Strel was obsessed with finishing the course and insisted on night swimming. Speaking in fluent accented English by satellite phone during a break aboard his support vessel, Strel said the going got tougher the closer he got to Belem. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “The finish has been the toughest moment so far,” he said Thursday. “I’ve been swimming fewer kilometers as I get closer to the end. The ocean tides have a lot of influence on the river’s currents, and sometimes they are so strong that I am pushed backward.” He said he was lucky to have escaped encounters with piranhas, the dreaded toothpick fish, which swims into body orifices to suck blood, and even bull sharks that swim in shallow waters and can live for a while in fresh water. “I think the animals have just accepted me,” he said.last_img read more

Gardai investigate theft of €38,000 digger and trailer from yard overnight

first_imgThieves have stolen a €38,000 mechanical digger and trailer from a yard in St Johnston overnight.The Hitachi 26U digger, which had been hired out from a private company, was being used to carry out work by Donegal County Council.The digger was on a trailer and the thieves had to remove a considerable amount of other equipment to get the digger out of the yard. The digger and trailer had been hired out from Watson Hire.Owner John Watson told Donegal Daily that this was a very organised operation.“From our information we know the trailer was taken around 7.30pm. They had to move a lot of equipment to get the trailer and digger out.“They removed all of our branding stickers which we found on the ground. They knew what they were doing. “We know that it crossed the border and we would appeal to anybody who knows of its whereabouts to contact us,” he said.Gardai investigate theft of €38,000 digger and trailer from yard overnight was last modified: March 18th, 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:DIGGERdonegalGardaiSt Johnstontheftlast_img read more

News in brief: Davey loan deal extended but Chalobah returns

first_imgChalobah is back at ChelseaNathaniel ChalobahThe England Under-21 midfielder has returned to Chelsea after his loan spell at Burnley came to an end. Chalobah made only four appearances for the Clarets, all as a substitute, after moving to Turf Moor at the end of August.Christian AtsuThe Chelsea winger, currently on loan at Everton, has been given a chance by Ghana to prove his fitness ahead of this month’s Africa Cup of Nations.Atsu, last week named in the Black Stars’ provisional squad for the tournament despite a hamstring injury, returned to the Toffees’ squad on New Year’s Day but did not come off the bench and has not played in three weeks.The 22-year-old has not joined the rest of the Ghana squad in Accra, but instead will link up with them at a training camp in Spain to give him extra time to recover.Alex DaveyChelsea’s 20-year-old defender has extended his loan deal at Scunthorpe United for a further month. The Scotland Under-19 centre-back has made four appearances for the League One side since joining in November. A regular for the Blues’ Under-21s, Davey was part of the Chelsea team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2012.BrentfordThe Bees’ development squad’s league match with Charlton on Monday has been postponed. The team’s first game of 2015 will now be away to Bristol City on 12 January.Jack BonhamThe Brentford goalkeeper has agreed a new three-and-a-half year contract at Griffin Park. The 21-year-old, whose previous deal was due to expire in the summer, has featured in every matchday squad since the end of August, as backup to first-choice keeper David Button. He made three senior appearances last season, after joining from Watford.Niamh FaheyChelsea Ladies’ new signing has been named in a Republic of Ireland squad for a training camp in La Manga from 12-16 January. Fahey, 27, who joined the Blues from Arsenal last month, has won 50 caps for her country.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Building Planets: Can’t Make Them, But Hurry

first_imgConstructing planets is a delicate business.  Trying to get tiny bits of dust to join up into balls has never been found to work.  It has to work fast, though, because unless the whole planet clears its dust lane, it will be dragged into the star in short order.  It seems you can’t get there from the bottom up, and even if you could, you’d be in trouble.  These and other problems with planet-building were discussed this month in two papers in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences.    One thing we do know: our solar system is nicely decorated with planets, moons, asteroids, comets, meteors and other objects.  And now we realize that planets are also common around other stars.  To most planetary scientists, this lends plausibility to the belief that planets form naturally somehow – whether or not our models can figure them out.  But the very same flood of discoveries about planets from robotic exploration of the solar system and detection of extrasolar planets has brought with it a host of new problems never anticipated by Laplace, Kant and other early theorists about the origin of planets.  Life was so much simpler then.Making PlanetsLet’s start from the dust up.  We know many stars possess spinning disks of dust and gas.  Can we understand how small bodies might form?  There are three problems right off the bat, discussed by Erik Asphaug in “Growth and Evolution of Asteroids” in the Annual Review journal.1  Turbulence, accretion and death spirals render theories of their origins problematic.  More on that shortly.  It must be remembered throughout the discussion that planetologists assume the Earth, and the solar system, is 4.5 billion years old.  That means that any lifetimes numbered in 10s or 100s of millions of years represent tiny fractions of the overall age.    Asphaug [UC Santa Cruz] spent a lot of time discussing asteroid populations and characteristics.  He even tossed in a little Tolstoy and Yeats to liven up the dry math and technical jargon.  But when it came to the subject matter of building asteroids, he was less sanguine.  Asteroids, he said, form from the top down, by destructive processes, in relatively short times:Asteroid origin is ceaseless, as most asteroids are born in the process of catastrophic disruption.  Any main-belt asteroid smaller than a few tens of km is unlikely to have survived intact throughout solar system history.  Asteroid evolution is also ongoing: Most small asteroids have been drastically transformed in shape and structure over a few tens of millions of years by subcatastrophic collisions and cratering.  Small asteroids are also prone to dynamical perturbations of various kinds, so their present orbits may be quite different from where they originated.  Their surface textures and colors are also readily modified on short timescales.Later, he added, “Asteroids represent the halfway point between the solar system’s turbulent beginnings and the quiescent 4 Ga [4 giga-annum or billion years] that have supported life on Earth.”  Don’t look to them as planetary building blocks, in other words.  Meteorites, by contrast, are primordial—they are remnants of the birth of our solar system, he said.  So how did those smaller chunks form?  Watch for any confidence in the following description of the environment of the planetary maternity ward.  It’s like trying to get born in a shooting gallery with the heaters and air conditioners going berserk:The first stage of planetary accretion is among the most complex studies in astrophysics.  As they accumulate, planetesimals are entrained within a disk that undergoes violent shocks and propagates gravitational waves and eddies.  Magneto-rotational instabilities might lead to high turbulent viscosities, which lead to radial transport and vertical mixing and viscous spreading.  Solid particles settle to the mid-plane, increasing the density so that planetesimals might eventually coagulate.  Electric discharge and impact heating take place sporadically.  Outside this mid-plane the young sun blasts the gas and sweeps away small material.  Drag against the gas disk forces meter-sized boulders to spiral in from the planet-forming region.    The chemical environment, too, is grossly out of equilibrium.  The disk experiences a wide range of temperatures and pressures and oxidation states, with sharp gradients in time and space.  Where the disk is optically thick, it can remain hot for thousands of years; where it is thin, it can cool in days or even minutes.  Thermodynamic energy is available from solar heating, shock heating (by impacting globules striking the disk, by disk planetesimals colliding with one another, and by shocks in the gas), compression heating (adiabatic work), and radionuclide decay.  This energy is transported radiatively and convectively.It’s nice that Asphaug acknowledged these environmental hazards, but he so far has not given any reason for hope that bundles of joy will emerge from the wreckage.  In fact, the next thing he talked about was how revolting the results of the Stardust mission were to theorists:One of the most baffling results from any recent space mission is NASA’s Stardust sample return from periodic comet 81P/Wild 2 (Brownlee et al. 2006; see Figure 3), which includes an abundance of refractory silicates, metal sulfides, and refractory oxides.  These small grains, captured in aerogel during a flyby through the coma, can have formed only in the terrestrial (inner) part of the disk; how did they make it to the ice-rich region where comets form?  It is a revolutionary mission result, telling us that the solar system was exchanging matter across tens of AU during the early stages of primary accretion.Take a moment from this Revolutionary Etude to focus on that phrase primary accretion: that’s the heart of the matter.  In the primary stage of planet building, the tiny dust grains need to accrete, or stick to one another.  Only when a planetesimal gets up to kilometer size or more in diameter will its self-gravity pull more material in.  Little particles lack the gravitational potential to grow on their own.  They’ve got to link up by other mechanisms while in the shooting gallery, with all that turbulence, wind, heating, cooling, colliding and electrical activity tending to disrupt them.  Can this work?  Let’s jump ahead to Asphaug’s section 3.2.2, “Primary Accretion.”  Here’s where the pebble meets the spiral:Direct knowledge of the earliest stage now exists from astronomical observations (e.g., Meyer et al. 2008).  As the hot orbiting mixture of dust and gas cools, larger particles condense, leading to lowered opacity and further cooling and coagulation.  The review by Podosek & Cassen (1994) remains highly relevant.  Particles orbiting with any inclination or eccentricity must plow through the disk; the resultant damping settles them to the midplane on a timescale of 100 years at 1 AU (Cuzzi & Weidenschilling 2006).  What happens next in this central sheet is a great unknown, and depends on the effect of turbulence.    Dust grains coagulate via Brownian motion and chemical or electrical sticking mechanisms (Dominik et al. 2007).  This can lead to sand- to boulder-sized agglomerates.  Brownian motion is an expression of modest turbulence, possibly set up by magneto-rotational instabilities in the plasma and the dusty gas.  However, too great a turbulence disrupts agglomerates faster than they form.  Benz (2000) and Leinhardt et al. (2000) studied collisions involving meter- to kilometer-scale aggregates at 1�10 m/s random velocities, and determined their disruption to be a bottleneck to further growth.  A possible solution is that compactible aggregates damp the energy of collisions and resist subsequent disruption.    Not only must turbulence be low, but the gas must go away before the growing planetesimals spiral in…. Decoupled solids spiral towards the Sun at an estimated 1 AU [astronomical unit, 93 million miles] per 10�1000 years, so there is not much time!It’s rare to find exclamation points in scientific journals, so let’s unpack this remarkable description.  He doesn’t say how big these early-stage packages are, but they must be very small, because soon he will say, “The problem of accreting meter-scale planetesimals is far from solved.”  Whatever they are, these hopeful bundles of dust have very little time to escape the giant sucking sound at the center, where the gravity of the star is pulling in every small pebble very rapidly (1000 years is about 20 millionths the assumed age of the solar system).    His evidence for the alleged “earliest stage” is observational: i.e., the presence of boulder-sized objects inferred (indirectly) from the properties of disks around other stars.  We can only have confidence that material represents planet-assembling stages, however, if we can rule out the possibility the material is not, instead, leftover debris from the disruption of existing planets.  It could be top-down material, in other words, not bottom-up material growing into planets.    Asphaug failed to describe how dust particles could stick together.  The problem of getting meter-size boulders to accrete, let alone kilometer size, is “far from solved,” he said.  He assumes it did happen on the basis of melt evidence in meteorites: “But we know it occurred rapidly because of the widespread melting of planetesimals caused by the decay of 26Al.”  (Aluminum-26 has a half-life of 740,000 years.)2  Perhaps material puddled up in eddies.  Perhaps it coagulated in local swarms.  Or, maybe it was due to “random effects” (which, in science, amounts to hand-waving).  Whatever happened, “Timing is everything,” he said.  “So is location.”  Nebular hypothesis or not, planets do not just emerge out of the disk without some very special conditions.  From there, Asphaug left primary accretion to wrestle with problems regarding iron-silicate ratios and their relative breakdown rates.  It appears now that meteorites, once thought to be pristine objects from the birth of the solar system, actually formed later.  These and other problems had to be relegated to some maybes and perhapses.  Shhh….don’t ask about chondrules:The origin of chondrules adds another layer to the mystery, in that these are melt droplets of some kind, quite possibly themselves antecedent to global melting of planetesimals.  Chondrules are melted silicate spherules a few mm in size that are abundant in chondritic meteorites (reviewed by Scott 2007).  Over half the bulk mass of chondritic meteorites consists of chondrules, so they represent a widespread epoch in planet formation that has been attributed to processes as diverse as lightning, impacts, nebular shocks, compaction heating, and volcanic eruptions.  Chondrules cooled through their solidus at rates ranging from 10 to 1000 K/h—much slower than radiative cooling of a mm-sized droplet, which is tens of seconds.  Chondrule cooling appears to require a hot background that disappears over a timescale of hours.What might have happened in the solar system, when planetesimals were presumably progressing from primary to secondary accretion, to form the mysterious chondrules?  When in doubt, call Lucky Strike: “Although impact origin of chondrules is not currently in favor, we have a lot to learn, and large, late collisions deserve a closer look.”  In logic this is known as special pleading.    One would hope that by late-stage planet formation, when the planetesimals are big enough to pull in their own material, the rest of the story would proceed smoothly.  Sorry to pile on the difficulties:In almost all simulations of late-stage planet formation, giant impacts are treated as “sticky ping pong balls” undergoing perfectly inelastic collisions when they hit, forming a larger equal-mass sphere that conserves linear momentum.  This was proven untenable by Agnor et al. (1999), who tracked angular momentum during such a calculation and showed that perfectly inelastic collisions lead to planets with impossibly fast rotation.Well, that was ten years ago.  Surely they have solved it by now?  Better simulations by Agnor and others have indeed been performed.  But still, half the collisions end up as hit-and-run events that don’t grow planets.  Only low-velocity, head-on collisions have any hope of causing more growth than damage.  Most of the time, collisions break things down: “The prevalence of hit-and-run collisions makes it a late-stage pathway for the origin of exotic igneous asteroids, for volatile flux and iron-silicate intermingling, and for the bulk removal of planetary mantles and the stripping of iron cores.”  The lucky leftovers might have been the planets as we know them.  That, at least, is the hope.  Maybe a little sweet odor will ease the pain:The overall trend in a collisional accretionary environment is the loss of atmosphere, ocean, crust, and mantle, the preferential accretion of dense materials into growing planets, the shedding off of mantles, and the occasional disruption of single planets into multiples.  This leads to a primary physical and chemical bias, a dichotomy among the accreted and the unaccreted.  If finished planets are the loaves of bread, asteroids are the scraps on the floor of the bakery.Catastrophic disruption continues to be the trend in the solar system today.  “The prevalence of young dynamical families confirms that today’s NEOs [near-earth objects] are, by and large, discrete samplings of catastrophic disruption events in the main belt that happened thousands to millions of years ago,” he said, winding down his article.  It is “incontrovertible” that the meteors hitting our atmosphere today are “punctuated by recent disruptions.  The sampling of meteorites on Earth, and of small asteroids near Earth, reflects that bias.”  Most of what we see falling from the sky, in other words, is recent material, not pristine remnants from the solar system’s origins.    We may not understand how planets formed, but we should be glad they did, he said in his conclusion.  “Whether Earths are common depends in no small part upon the behavior of accreting planetesimals,” he said, waxing philosophical.  In his view, we stand on lucky dust.  “Nearly all of the original mass of our main belt was swept up in the chaos of planet formation, so we may be fortunate not to have lost everything from our habitable zone.”  Add water (which had to be added later by another lucky strike) and the lucky dust became lucky mud, from which you and I sprang.  That’s the tale.Saving PlanetsNow, let’s turn to the other paper and see what happens after you have a planet.  A whole new class of problems for planet formation theories has come to light in the last decade.  John Chambers [Carnegie Institute of Science] discussed those in another article in Annual Review.3  In short, planets don’t stay where they were made, assuming they were made by processes Asphaug just described.  Get ready for migration – the conveyor belt that sends planets toward the oven or the freezer:Gravitational interactions between a planet and its protoplanetary disk change the planet’s orbit, causing the planet to migrate toward or away from its star.  Migration rates are poorly constrained for low-mass bodies but reasonably well understood for giant planets.  In both cases, significant migration will affect the details and efficiency of planet formation.  If the disk is turbulent, density fluctuations will excite orbital eccentricities and cause orbits to undergo a random walk.  Both processes are probably detrimental to planet formation.  Planets that form early in the lifetime of a disk are likely to be lost, whereas late-forming planets will survive and may undergo little migration.  Migration can explain the observed orbits and masses of extrasolar planets if giants form at different times and over a range of distances.  Migration can also explain the existence of planets orbiting close to their star and of resonant pairs of planets.These explanations that models “can” explain are clearly explanations after the fact, not predictions from previous theories.  So here you have it: today’s models have to reflect the high likelihood that primary accretion, when the dust is plentiful and conditions are optimum, won’t help anyway, because the early world gets the doom.  Migration adds a whole new class of problems that is “probably detrimental to planet formation.”  Theorists were not expecting this grief.  Chambers said that “for a long time migration received little attention from the planetary science community.”  Scientists were “intent on understanding the formation of the Solar System, for which there seems little need to invoke migration…. The discovery of extrasolar planets has changed all this.”  Hot Jupiter, there are giant planets spinning around their stars closer in than Mercury to the sun.  Such things had never been dreamt of.  With only one planetary system to look at (ours), planetologists had convinced themselves that rocky planets form close in, gas giants form far out, and they stay put.  No model can account for Jupiter-size gas giants coagulating so close to the star.  The only explanation available is that they formed far out, then migrated in.  The disk material acts like a spiral conveyor belt – bringing even large planets toward the stellar furnace quickly.  Migration is so rapid and efficient, in fact, it’s a wonder any planets escape the fate of falling into the star.  Planets are now seen as lucky leftovers from this previously-ignored class of dangers.  But then, woe be to any Earth-like planets in a habitable zone with a hot Jupiter nearby.  The gravity of the gas giant would be sure to fling the rocky planet out of bounds – if not swallow it whole.    Those interested can obtain John Chambers’ paper for the full depressing story.  “In this article, I describe how the standard model of planet formation is being modified to include planetary migration—a transformation that is by no means complete at present….”  Later, he said, “the rapid pace of recent developments has left models of planet formation struggling to keep up.”  Suffice it to say he was not able to rescue primary accretion from the death clutch of the previous article.  Instead, he had to jettison the long-standing core accretion model and consider a radical alternative – disk instability – to get giant planets to form at all, and to form fast enough to get out of the death spiral.  Advice to the revolutionaries: what thou doest, do quickly.1.  Erik Asphaug, “Growth and Evolution of Asteroids,” Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol. 37: 413-448 (Volume publication date May 2009), doi:10.1146/annurev.earth.36.031207.124214.2.  The short lifetime of aluminum-26 and other short-lived radionuclides causes other problems for solar system theories, and leads to radical speculations: see, for instance, early speculations in Science Frontiers and the Smithsonian.3.  John E. Chambers, “Planetary Migration: What Does It Mean for Planet Formation?”, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol. 37: 321-344 (Volume publication date May 2009), doi:10.1146/annurev.earth.031208.100122.Whether planet-building is depressing or fun might depend on your temperament, but it should be obvious that any theory that depends for its acceptance on a long string of lucky accidents falls short of the scientific ideal.  Science is supposed to explain things with reference to natural law.  It’s supposed to make predictions.  It’s supposed to be falsifiable.  It’s supposed to have observational support, not reinvent a theory every time new information throws a monkey wrench into the old theory.  And when getting to the goal line requires a series of miracles or credibility gaps, it’s hard to judge whether this type of mythmaking improves on Aristotelianism (or Babylonianism, for that matter).    Much of this type of writing appears to be sophisticated storytelling masquerading as scientific explanation.  Some of the constraints are well characterized – viscosity, half-lives, the physics of inelastic collisions and incidence angles.  But these are like the boundaries and obstacles in a pinball game.  Would you be impressed if we proposed a weirdly improbable path the ball took, circling one obstacle, jumping over others, and getting struck by lightning at some point?  Would you like it if we assumed the boundaries were flexible and the obstacles movable?  Would you be impressed if we said we don’t understand how the ball got from A to B, so we will just pick it up and move it to B for now and leave that problem to someone else in the future?  Would you accept our explanation that the ball scored by taking a lucky random walk?  How about if we said the game made itself and plays itself?  Should such ideas be graced with the word science?    The only observational fact is that Earth hits the jackpot against an improbable odds that only increase with new discoveries.  That lends credibility to the belief that a Master Designer not only built the game, but operated the controls.(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mobile labs to light up young minds

first_img26 June 2014 The City of Tshwane and the Innovation Hub have partnered to provide disadvantaged young people with entry points into the worlds of entrepreneurship, science and technology via specially designed and equipped mobile laboratories. The laboratories – the FabLab, eKasi Labs and Kusile Mobile Science Labs – will start operating from this week, serving school learners and unemployed youngsters in a bid to address the shortage of science and technology skills in the city. Entrepreneurial mentorships and workshops will also be offered. The Fab Lab (short for Fabrication Laboratory), a mini-factory for the digital fabrication of prototypes, including 3D printing and computerised laser cutting, will be located at the Innovation Hub. eKasi Labs, which will be launched on Friday at the GaRankuwa Arts & Crafts Centre, will serve as places where young people can learn to create tangible solutions to their community’s problems And 14 Kusile Mobile Science Labs, designed and manufactured by local entrepreneurs from Kusile Labs & Technology at a cost of R56 000 per unit, will be stationed at schools with inadequate science laboratories. Speaking at the launch of the initiative on Tuesday, Innovation Hub CEO McLean Sibanda said the partnership followed “from a strategic decision to take innovation to the people, by establishing co-creation spaces that will foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial activities that better the lives of the community and create wealth.” Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said: “We owe it to the youth of 1976 to initiate programmes that will liberate today’s youth from socio-economic segregation.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Beck and Fisher recognized for generosity and service

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Congratulations to Sonny Beck and Jack Fisher, who recently received awards at the 2016 National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association’s (NAADA) Annual Conference.At an awards banquet held in Asheville, N. C., approximately 250 people saw both donors recognized for their continual support of The Ohio State University and of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.Fisher is the first of our college’s alumni to receive NAADA’s Volunteer Service Award and Sonny received the Ruby C. McSwain Outstanding Philanthropist award.The Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals who have given their time to further the goals of their institutions, and have demonstrated leadership and organizational skills to inspire and encourage others to further the success of their alma mater’s agriculture and alumni programs.For nearly 50 years, Fisher has served Ohio State in almost every manner possible. Fisher has dedicated his time, energy and talents to advocate for Ohio State students and programs. Fisher is a former member of Ohio State’s Board of Trustees, where he engaged in critical dialogue about the future of the college. In his current role as co-chair for the “But for Ohio State” campaign, he is leading the college in $150 million fundraising efforts. He was instrumental in advocating for construction of the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, and his commitment to engage the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation membership in raising funds and awareness for the importance of the facility played a significant role in the project’s overall success.Fisher has been recognized for his loyal support through membership of Ohio State’s President’s Club and Department of Animal Science Hall of Fame. He was awarded the college’s Distinguished Service Award and the Dan L. Heinlen Award in 2015. He holds the Ohio FFA Honorary State Farmer Degree and was named to the National FFA Honorary American Farmer Degree in 2005.Along with his wife, Judy, Fisher has given not only of his talent and time, but has also established an endowment in the college to support a minimum of three students annually who are studying agriculture at Ohio State.Sonny Beck, benefactor of two land-grant institutions — Ohio State and Purdue University — was recognized with the Ruby C. McSwain Outstanding Philanthropist award. The award recognizes those with a record of sustained giving to support agriculture, agricultural higher education, Cooperative Extension, or land grant universities. This award also recognizes individuals for their role as an advocate for agriculture and natural resources and for their philanthropy in community organizations, religious institutions, art, environment and social services.Throughout his life, Sonny Beck has embodied service, integrity, and philanthropy.  The Beck family founded Beck’s Hybrids in Hamilton County, Ind. in 1937.  Over the next 79 years they transformed the company into the largest family-owned seed company in the United States. Beck’s Hybrids Inc. now has 13 locations and its products can be found in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Tennessee.  An alumnus of Purdue University, Sonny joined Beck’s in 1964. In keeping with the spirit of the Land Grant philosophy, he started the Beck’s Practical Farm Research Program.  The mission of this program is to add profitability to the farming industry through sharing the results of agronomic research conducted at Beck’s locations.  The PFR program is unique in the industry and is a testament to Beck’s commitment to serve the farming community through the sharing of knowledge.At Ohio State, Sonny and the Beck family made a major gift to the college’s Field to Faucet water quality initiative in 2015. This gift made possible a large-scale research project that seeks solutions to the pressing water quality problems that the agricultural community currently faces. This gift also makes Beck’s one of the first presenting sponsors of the university’s Farm Science Review event.Sonny is not only an astute businessman and generous philanthropist, but also an advocate for agriculture and agricultural higher education.NAADA is an organization with more than 350 professionals from around the country committed to the advancement of agricultural and related sciences at more than 40 higher education institutionsNAADA provides education, support and recognition for individuals dedicated to expanding resources for land-grant and other colleges of agricultural sciences and related programs.last_img read more

Maharashtra PG medical, dental admissions: SC extends deadline to June 14

first_imgThe Supreme Court on June 4 directed the Maharashtra government to hold the last round of counselling for postgraduate medical and dental seats by June 14. It ordered the State to give wide publicity to the extension of the admissions deadline from June 4 to 14. It said no other court would entertain petitions filed on this matter.The order by a Vacation Bench led by Justice Indu Malhotra follows an interim direction last month to the State to not implement the 10% economic quota for the admissions for the 2019-20 academic year. The Maharashtra government issued notifications dated February 12 and March 7 last to implement the 10% reservation for the economically deprived classes. They were stayed by the apex court in a recent order.On June 4, the court slammed the government for “creating a mess” and troubling candidates who aspire to get their postgraduation. It clarified that candidates would not be allowed to change preferences made at the time of filling up the admission forms.May 31 directiveOn May 31, the court directed the government to complete the counselling process and come up with revised merit list for admissions after removing seats allotted under the 10% Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota to 25 students. The then Vacation Bench headed by Justice M.R. Shah asked the State to complete the counselling process by June 4. It pulled up the government for overreaching its May 30 order against the implementation of 10% EWS quota.On May 30, the court passed an interim direction that the 10% quota introduced through the two notifications will not apply for this academic year, the process for which had began in November 2018.By the 103rd constitutional amendment, Article 16 (6) was inserted allowing the States to make “any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any economically weaker sections of citizens other than the classes mentioned in clause (4), in addition to the existing reservation and subject to a maximum of ten per cent of the posts in each category.”The May 30 interim direction came on a plea filed by a student, Rajat Rajendra Agrawal, from the general category questioning whether the constitutional amendment would apply to an ongoing admission process that had started well before the coming into force of the amendment (January, 2019) and the two notifications.last_img read more

Figure skating debate rages between artistry, amplitude

first_imgGlobe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Yes, the points accumulated for jumps are substantial. But there remains a component score in which judges grade skating skills, transitions, performance, composition and interpretation.Those are the scores that give skaters such as Rippon a chance to compete at the highest level.The critics of figure skating’s current age, including two-time Olympic champion Dick Button, are just as quick to bemoan the way jumping ability has superseded everything else.“I don’t think the rules are 50-50, technical ability and creative ability,” said Button, also a longtime TV analyst. “I don’t even enjoy watching skating today, because it’s all about quadruple jumps, and the winner of the Olympic Games in men’s figure skating will be the skater that performs the best and most quadruple jumps. Period. End of subject.”It’s not just quads on the men’s side, either. The amplitude/artistry debate rages on the women’s side, where triple-triple combinations have become essential for landing on the podium.“I think the cream rises to the top,” 1998 Olympic champion Tara Lipinski said. “Not every skater can do triple-triples in the second half of a program, and put out an artistic, emotional performance. But there are skaters who do, and those are the ones that are winning.”Six-time European champion Javier Fernandez of Spain believes there is already a pushback against the quad craziness. But the changes certainly won’t take hold until well after Pyeongchang.“I think at some point the ISU will maybe put a limit on the number of quads you can do in a competition or in a free program,” Fernandez said. “Let’s say three persons can do four quads, or three quads, whatever, and all of them land the quads they have planned. Then the skating’s going to tell who is the best skater, who’s going to win.“Skating is about who is the most complete, not who is the best jumper, right?” Fernandez added. “So that’s the point I think everybody is having in mind right now. “ “I’m the only skater that can offer that. I may be the last,” said Chan, the reigning Olympic silver medalist. “On the other hand, it’s very exciting to see some of these other skaters defy physics and expectations and break records.”The controversy in Vancouver in many ways led to the current controversy between artistry and amplitude. As a result of Lysacek’s gold, the International Skating Union revised the scoring for quads, pushing the value of it over 10 points and essentially making it a program requirement.It’s been a boon for someone like Chen, whose ability to jump higher and spin faster than his rivals gives him a major advantage. But it’s been a major obstacle for veterans such as Chan and American skater Adam Rippon, who have quads in their arsenal but lean on artistry and elegance.“I spoke to Nathan Chen last year and asked what got him motivated to go after six quads, five quads, and he said it all started at the junior level, looking up at the seniors doing three quads,” Chan said. “The only way to compete with us was to up the game technically.”Even those who’ve embraced figure skating’s high-flying age argue there is still room for artistry in programs, pointing straight to the ISU’s current scoring system for evidence.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Love back at power forward as chaotic Cavs tweak lineup John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES FILE – In this Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, file photo, Nathan Chen performs in the men’s free skate program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif. Chen is planning an audacious five quads in his free skate at next month’s Pyeongchang Olympics, and it could take at least three or four to have any shot at landing on the podium (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)Patrick Chan remembers just about everything from his Olympic debut eight years ago in Vancouver, including the controversy that erupted when Evan Lysacek won the gold medal.Evgeni Plushenko of Russia landed quadruple jumps, the toughest in figure skating, in combination with a triple toe loop in both his short and long programs. But despite leading after the short program, Plushenko was beaten out by his American rival despite Lysacek never attempting a single quad.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Read Next Lysacek was rewarded for artistry over amplitude.Fast-forward to next month’s Pyeongchang Olympics, and Chan is amazed at the transformation that has taken place in the sport. Nathan Chen of the United States is planning an audacious five quads in his free skate, and it could take at least three or four to have any shot at landing on the podium.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt begs the question: Is artistry dead in this brave new era?“I’ve kind of come to the point where I don’t really want to put any energy toward what others are doing,” the Canadian champ said with sort of an audible shrug. “I’ve been through it all. I’ve kind of lived the bridge between these two generations. I hope I can be one of those skaters that’s a little bit like Switzerland, right in the middle. A technically sound skater and an artistically sound skater. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers MOST READ View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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