Crabs pour it on Ports in 13-0 rout

first_imgRyan Higgins made his first home run of the summer a memorable one as his fifth inning grand slam put the Humboldt Crabs in the driver’s seat, snapping a two-game losing skid and avoiding a midweek series sweep with a 13-0 win over the visiting San Leandro Ports, Wednesday night at the Arcata Ball Park.Josh Mollerus (3-2) put forth his best start at pitcher of the season on Wednesday, shutting out the Ports through seven innings. Mollerus gave up four hits and half as many walks while striking …last_img read more

Bird Brains: No Evolutionary Pattern in Size

first_imgA scientist went looking for evolutionary patterns in bird brain size, but his chart shows data all over the map.  Fahad Sultan (U of Tuebingen, Germany) measured brains in a wide variety of birds, and published his results in Current Biology.1How does brain size and design influence the survival chances of a species?  A large brain may contribute to an individual’s success irrespective of its detailed composition.  I have studied the size and shape of cerebella in birds and looked for links between the bird’s cerebellar design, brain size and behavior.  My results indicate that the cerebellum in large-brained birds does not scale uniformly, but occurs in two designs.  Crows, parrots and woodpeckers show an enlargement of the cerebellar trigeminal and visual parts, while owls show an enlargement of vestibular and tail somatosensory cerebellar regions, likely related to their specialization as nocturnal raptors.  The enlargement of specific cerebellar regions in crows, parrots and woodpeckers may be related to their repertoire of visually guided goal-directed beak behavior.  This specialization may lead to an increased active exploration and perception of the physical world, much as primates use of their hands to explore their environment.  The parallel specialization seen in some birds and primates may point to the influence of a similar neuronal machine in shaping selection during phylogeny. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)He measured the cerebellum (a “a highly conserved part of the brain present in most vertebrates”) in birds as diverse as turkeys, owls, robins, buzzards, flamingos, crows, woodpeckers, swifts, gulls, and lovebirds, and plotted them against body size to “relate them to functional or phylogenetic differences.”  One look at his chart, though, shows no clear pattern, although similar birds cluster together in different parts of the chart.  But there are some wide differences that seem unexpected: pheasants and turkeys, for instance, fall in different quadrants, as do phalaropes and gulls.  The only statistically significant groupings he could point to were the owls vs. the crows, parrots and woodpeckers, which he attributed to functional differences in their lifestyles.  Did he find any evolutionary mechanism that would have led to these differences?One unexpected observation was that in excellent flyers only the buzzard scores positively, and that several birds with excellent flying capabilities like the swift and falcon score negatively in the principal plane (Figure 1).  This implies that well-developed motor skills per se do not require a large cerebellum, contradicting the common idea that cerebellar size increase in birds is mainly linked to their flying capabilities.    What could be the behavioral denominator common to crows, parrots and woodpeckers that is not developed in owls?  All of these birds also have large brains; however, their cerebellar designs differ arguing against a simple co-enlargement model.  The enlargement of specific visual and beak-related cerebellar parts in crows, parrots and woodpeckers fits well with their marked adeptness in using their beaks and/or tongues to manipulate and explore external objects.  Their skills are even comparable to those of primates in using their hands.  The tight temporal coupling between motor command, expected sensory consequences and resulting afferents during visually guided hand and beak usage may be the reason why these animals need large cerebella.  The comparative analysis of the birds cerebella reveals that some brains may have enlarged to solve similar problems by similar means during phylogeny.  Furthermore it shows that large brains have a specific architecture with dedicated building blocks.1Fahad Sultan, “Why some bird brains are larger than others,” Current Biology, Volume 15, Issue 17, 6 September 2005, pages R649-R650, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2005.08.043.Sultan uses the word phylogeny three times in this short article.  Anyone see any phylogeny here?  His only observational, scientific data are: (1) cerebellum size and structure, (2) body size, (3) functional abilities of birds for flying and beak manipulation.  The data points are all over the map.  While there are clusterings of similar bird types in some quadrants, nothing in the data suggests any kind of evolutionary trend.  Again, evolutionary biology fails at mathematical formalism (see 08/19/2005 entry).  (This exercise in futility harks back to Broca’s detailed measurements of skull size as a way of ranking humans.)  The point is not that Sultan’s measurements are worthless or uninteresting, but only that they are useless for propping up evolutionary theory.    Add this to the growing list of Rudyard Darwin’s Just-So Stories: “Why some bird brains are larger than others.”  The short answer is, they evolved that way because they needed to.  Since a woodpecker has to have quick information (“tight temporal coupling between motor command, expected sensory consequences and resulting afferents during visually guided … beak usage” – how’s that for jargon), well wouldn’t you know it, this may be the reason why they need large cerebella.  Their need is evolution’s command: “some brains may have enlarged to solve similar problems by similar means during phylogeny.”  So off Charlie sends Tinker Bell with her mutation wand and a cheerful response for poor, slow-witted Woody, One big, specialized brain, coming right up!    It must have worked, because Woody didn’t die of starvation during however many millions of years she took to get it right.  Or, maybe Woody found a way to revive vestigial genes (01/16/2003) from some ancient ancestor: Lignosaurus, the woodpecking dinosaur.(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Space boffins meet in Cape Town

first_img5 October 2011Africa’s involvement in space activities would help address the challenges of telecommunications, energy and food insecurity on the continent, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on the opening day of the 62nd International Astronautical Congress in Cape Town on Monday.The International Astronautical Federation’s prestigious annual congress, this year themed “African Astronaissance”, has attracted thousands of space players from around the globe. It runs through to Friday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.This is the first time the congress is being hosted in Africa, and is good timing for South Africa as it bids to host the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.The Congress also coincides with World Space Week, an annual global space celebration taking place in 55 countries around the world from 4 to 10 October.Africa ‘the new pole of growth’Davies said it was no accident that Africa was hosting the event, as the continent was emerging as “the new pole of growth” in a fast-changing global economy.The minister said that South Africa’s space policy was based on promoting peace, adding that the country was on the verge of concluding a deal with India for use of space for “peaceful purposes.”International Astronautical Federation (IAF) president Berndt Feuerbacher said that his organization had 205 members, which was set to swell to 220 by the end of the conference as more African countries signed up and an African regional group was established.Feuerbacher said the IAF believed that space was not a “playground” for rich countries only, as it brought value to all mankind.No newcomer to major league astronomySouth Africa is no newcomer to major league astronomy. The country has been short-listed to host the Square Square Kilometre Array (SKA), an international €1.5-billion project to build the world’s largest radio telescope.The Northern Cape is already home to one of the world’s largest telescopes, the Southern African Large Telescope or SALT.South Africa also works closely with neighbour Nambia on the HESS gamma ray telescope, and is currently building an 80-dish precursor instrument for the SKA, the Karoo Array Telescope (also known as the MeerKAT).Regardless of whether South Africa wins the SKA bid, the MeerKAT will be a powerful scientific instrument in its own right, comprising 80 dishes each 13.5-metres in diameter. It is being built adjacent to the site proposed for the SKA, in a radio astronomy reserve near the small town of Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, where it is due to be commissioned in 2014/15.An engineering test bed of seven dishes, called the KAT-7, is already complete.In the process of building the MeerKAT, South African engineers are already working on some of the SKA’s technological building blocks – such as a prototype dish antenna that combines new materials with innovative design processes to meet the SKA’s exacting precision, durability and cost criteria.Skills development and trainingThe SKA South Africa project, including the MeerKAT telescope, is one of the biggest science and engineering projects in South Africa. It thus represents an unrivalled opportunity for the development of very high-level science and technology expertise – paving the way for Africa to contribute significantly to the global knowledge economy and global technology trade.These technologies include very fast grid computing, very fast data transport, data storage, wireless engineering, digital electronics, image processing and software development.In 2005, the South African SKA project initiated a targeted “Youth into Science and Engineering Programme” to develop highly skilled young scientists and engineers.“The young people supported by this programme will serve South Africa, and our African partner countries, in the future in key areas of economic development in addition to their participation in ‘blue skies’ scientific research,” says SKA South Africa’s Kim de Boer.The programme offers comprehensive bursaries to students in engineering, mathematics, physics and astronomy at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Bursary holders also benefit from regular workshops and conferences where they interact with the world’s leading astronomers. SAinfo reporter and BuaNewslast_img read more

Michigan Gets Its First Passivhaus

first_imgExterior walls are 20 inches thickTo meet the Passivhaus standard for extremely low heat energy consumption, the house is designed with above-grade exterior walls nearly 20 inches thick. From the inside, they consist of a 2×6 stud wall, taped Zip System sheathing that serves as an air barrier, vertical 11 7/8-inch I-joist cavities filled with dense-packed cellulose, 5/8-in. fiberboard, housewrap and fiber-cement lap siding over a rain screen. The total R-value is listed by the architects at R-63.The wall assembly is similar to one developed by Katrin Klingenberg, the founder of Passive House Institute US, and discussed in detail in a blog written by GBA senior editor Martin Holladay.The air barrier is buried inside the wall where it can’t be compromised easily, and the vapor-permeable fiberboard sheathing allows drying toward the exterior.The architects chose to inset the windows part way into the wall, rather than place them in the same plane as the cladding. The choice seems to be aesthetic rather than performance-driven. O’Malia writes in Fine Homebuilding that placing windows this way gives exterior walls “visual depth and mass,” and that shadow lines from the windows “create punches of contrast and keep the unadorned elevations from looking bleak.”Above-grade foundation walls are made with insulated concrete forms further insulated with dense-packed cellulose in a 2×4 stud wall on the inside and 6 inches of expanded polystyrene (EPS) rigid insulation on the outside (R-60). Below-grade foundation walls are insulated to R-37, and the slab is insulated with 8 inches of EPS (R-35).The truss roof is insulated with 27 inches of loose-fill cellulose (R-100) in the hipped roof and 18 inches of blown-in cellulose (R-67) at the shed roofs. The air barrier is 1/2-inch Zip System sheathing fastened to the underside of the trusses.Air tightness was tested at 0.4 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals, well under the Passivhaus limit of 0.6 ach50. A 2,440-square foot home in Holly, Michigan, is the first in the state to be certified under the German Passivhaus standard and has been named the best energy-smart home of 2014 by Fine Homebuilding magazine.The house was designed by Matt O’Malia and Riley Pratt of GO Logic, a Belfast, Maine, architectural and construction firm, and built by Michael Klinger of Energy Wise Homes. The two-story, three-bedroom was completed in 2012 at a cost of $205 per square foot.O’Malia describes the project in an article in Fine Homebuilding’s annual HOUSES issue, while its owners, Maura and Kurt Jung, offer a wealth of detail about the project at their blog.As described by the Jungs, the house was built in Oakland County, northwest of Detroit, in “lovely moraine uplands,” an area of oak savannas and prairie fens and marshes. “These fragile habitats have not fared well with post-settlement farming practices,” they write, “widespread development, introduction of aggressive invasive plants and animals, and explosion of deer populations.”The Jungs set out to bring their land back to full health as well as build a high-performance house that would require only a fraction of the energy to heat as a conventionally built home. The house is designed as a contemporary interpretation of a traditional farm house. Windows and mechanical systemsThe triple-glazed windows are the aluminum-wood AHF 115P manufactured by the German company Kneer-Sud. They are turn-tilt design, which can either swing in like a casement window or tilt in. Windows have a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient of 0.5 and an average U-factor of 0.146.Other energy-related features:Whole-house ventilation: A Zehnder Comfoair 350 energy recovery ventilatorHeating and cooling: Two separate 12,000 Btu/h Mitsubishi minisplit heat pumps with wall-mounted cassettes, one on the first floor and one on the second floor.Domestic hot water: Stiebel Eltron Accelera 300 heat pump water heater.John Semmelhack did the energy modeling.last_img read more

Lady Maroons turn back Red Spikers

first_imgLOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary View comments Read Next BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight UP Rising PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:29Attacks vs UP Visayas students a ‘natural reaction’ from Duterte supporters – Palace02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’01:37Protesters 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 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City UP thus notched its third straight win after dropping a five-setter to unbeaten group leader Adamson Lady Falcons (3-0).The victory tied UP with idle Arellano U at 3-1 as the Lady Maroons stayed in the hunt for one of the semifinal berths in the two-division tournament serving as the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.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 shutoutBoth teams will dispute that semifinal slot on Sept. 30.The Lady Maroons also virtually knocked the Red Spikers (2-2) off the race going into the last four playdates of the elimination round. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Alisa Buitre (left) and Isa Molde underscore the UP Lady Maroons solid blocking against the San Beda Red Spikers on their way to a three-set romp.University of the Philippines steadied a shaky start in the third set and frustrated San Beda, 25-16, 25-19, 25-20, to boost its Final Four bid in Group B of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre yesterday.The Lady Maroons fashioned out the victory in a little over an hour, with most of that time spent fighting off a letdown in the third set before completing the shutout.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  MOST READ The Red Spikers dropped UP in a 3-8 hole in the third set, but Diana Carlos, Isa Molde and Justine Dorog provided the strong finish the Lady Maroons needed to seal the victory.last_img read more

4-Star Point Guard Cassius Winston Commits To Michigan State

first_imgCassius Winston committing to Michigan State at a press conference.Cassius Winston Michigan State CommitMichigan State head coach Tom Izzo has done it again. Friday, the Spartans officially landed the services of four-star point guard Cassius Winston. Winston chose MSU over Stanford and Pittsburgh during a ceremony at his high school – Detroit Jesuit. Cassius Winston selects @msubasketball today! pic.twitter.com/yOKAYj5q8C— Athletics (@udjesuitsports) September 18, 2015Detroit Jesuit guard Cassius Winston just committed to Michigan State. Tom Izzo may be on the verge of his best recruiting class ever.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) September 18, 2015Winston, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 194 pounds on 247Sports, joins five-star guard Joshua Langford and four-star power forward Nick Ward in Michigan State’s 2016 class. If the Spartans are also able to land five-star small forward Miles Bridges, they may have the top recruiting class in the entire country.last_img read more

Quebecs Beauce region hardest hit by springtime flooding province on alert

first_imgBEAUCEVILLE, Que. — Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault says Quebec’s Beauce region has so far been the hardest hit by the spring flooding affecting many parts of the province.Guilbault told reporters today about 230 buildings are flooded in the town of Beauceville, located 90 kilometres south of Quebec City. Thirty-six people have had to leave their homes and six roads have been affected by the rising waters of the Chaudiere River.Thomas Blanchet, a spokesman for the Public Security Department, said the water rose quickly today around downtown Beauceville after an ice jam broke free early this morning.Andre Cantin with Environment Canada says up to 80 millimetres of rain are expected to fall in the Quebec City region between Thursday and Saturday, which could aggravate flooding in towns across the area.Cantin adds temperatures are expected to remain above freezing across much of southern Quebec over the next few days, causing snow to melt and increasing the risk of flooding.He says authorities should also be monitoring the water levels of the Ottawa River close to the Montreal area, as up to 50 millimetres of rain are expected to fall in that region by the weekend.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Tricia Helfer Honored At CATbaret Event

first_imgLast Sunday, LA’s Belasco Theatre hosted A CATbaret! – A Musical Celebration of the Alluring Feline produced by and benefitting Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, Los Angeles’ premiere non-profit doing street cat rescue.The musical revue of cat-themed songs regaled the audience with feline-fueled classics from bluesy “Black Cat Bone” to hoppin’ “Stray Cat Strut.”Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer received the CATS IN WHITE SPATS Award for animal activism, presented by Battlestar co-stars Edward James Olmos and James Callis. Host Fred Willard (Modern Family) brought the house down. A CATbaret also included Lori Allen (Spongebob Squarepants); Keith David (Cloud Atlas); Kelley Jakle (Pitch Perfect); Shelley Regner (Pitch Perfect); Olesya Rulin (High School Musical); Drew Seeley (Love Struck); and Nicole Sullivan (Mad TV); celebrity choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon and the So You Think You Can Dance dancers Witney Carson, Jordan Cassanova, Janelle Issis, Tiffany Maher, Jasmine Mason, Ryan Ramirez and Will Thomas. Celebrity guests included Nikki Deloach (Awkward), Maitland Ward (Boy Meets World), and magician Paul “Fig” Fegen.At the after party, cast, sponsors and guests enjoyed desserts and kitty-themed cocktails including: “Milk Saucer” (Cruzan Rum, Coconut Milk, and pineapple juice); “Ginger Cat” (Jim Beam Bourbon, ginger ale); “Laser Pointer” (Ciroc Berry vodka, soda, grenadine); “Catalina” (xB Sex on the Beach, orange juice), the “Catatonic” (Russian Standard vodka, tonic); and “Belly Rub” (Ciroc Peach vodka, cranberry). DJ Torch spun classic American bebop, roots and r&b standards.Kitty Bungalow Headmistress Shawn Simons said, “All production costs were underwritten by generous sponsors World’s Best Cat Litter, By Nature, Nature’s Variety, Found Animals, Yohawk Energy and NKLA, so every dollar raised from ticket sales, merchandise and the Prize Puss Raffle goes directly to Kitty Bungalow’s important rescue efforts. Kitty Bungalow raised over $20,000 for this coming year’s rescue work, including expanding their humane education programming.” In-kind sponsors included Ciroc, Jim Beam Brands, Acey Decey Lighting, ATK Audiotek, Bexel, Dazian, EVS, BP Porter; Universal Props; Popchips, Sabra Hummus, Russian Standard Vodka, xB, City Kitchen, Along Came Mary, Frosted, Semi Sweet, Jackson Catering, Stella, Icelandic and Baked It Myself.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Brown tap water has members of Potlotek boiling over – but really

first_imgTrina Roache APTN National NewsFor decades, the Mi’kmaq who live in Potlotek First Nation in Nova Scotia have struggled with poor water – from boil water advisories to muddy water coming out of the taps.Indigenous Affairs is working on a fix but not fast enough for the community.And now frustration is boiling over.Find more here: Watertroache@aptn.calast_img

Neil Warnock rues denied penalties in Huddersfield draw

first_imgCardiff City manager Neil Warnock says they were unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty in their goalless draw with Huddersfield Town on Saturday.Despite Warnock’s claims, Cardiff City should count them lucky after referee Lee Mason overturned a penalty he awarded to Huddersfield Town in the 76th minute.Cardiff felt they were denied clear penalty calls when Philip Billing’s header hit Erik Durm’s arm and when Hoilett was brought down by Hadergjonaj.“We knew we’d be struggling a little bit today,” Warnock told Sky Sports.“We had one or two players who shouldn’t have been playing. Callum Paterson and Victor Camarasa weren’t really fit but I wanted to play them.Danny CowleyCowley 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.“I thought we had the opportunities but we didn’t get the rub of the green although thankfully the linesman was alert to overturn the penalty. We thought ours was a certain penalty for a foul on [Junior] Hoilett.“The lad doesn’t see him coming, he gets to the ball first, and he takes the man.“I don’t understand why they can’t be given but I suppose next season with VAR, we’ve got a chance.”last_img read more