49ers mailbag: What are under-the-radar targets in free agency?

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Overpaying for a free agent or two or three is the price of business in NFL free agency, and business better be picking up this week for the 49ers.With negotiations officially beginning at 9 a.m. Monday (PT) and contracts getting signed as early as 1 p.m. Wednesday, here are some early answers to your questions via our Twitter mailbag:Do you expect the 49ers to shell out top money for Earl Thomas or, now that the market is much more saturated, will SF look for a cheaper option? …last_img read more

Multiple Independent Animal Types Use Structural Color

first_img(Visited 386 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The phenomenon is found in butterflies, fish, birds, and snakes, and scientists are rushing to imitate their secrets.At The Conversation, Colin Hall and Eric Charrault describe the gold rush for structural color. These are colors made not with pigments, but with nanometer-scale structures that play tricks with light, intensifying some wavelengths and diminishing others. Coming up with a way to make Vantablack, a structural color that absorbs 99.6% of the light hitting it, was a feat of engineering:To put this in perspective, if you think of a forest of trees about a metre in diameter, then these trees would scale to be around one kilometre high. Light falling on this very tall forest of tubes bounces around and is almost perfectly absorbed.The article on cutting-edge attempts to create new colors with structure includes photographs and descriptions of very diverse animals that use this technique:Butterflies, that create iridescent colors on their scales. (see 6/15/10)A snake that has some of the blackest scales found in nature.Sardines with silvery sides.Live Science shares another secret: “Butterfly Wing Optics Help to Cheaply Create Bright, Realistic Holograms.” The blurry holograms seen at concerts, in movies and on credit cards could much more colorful and clear, David Roos reports, by mimicking the nanostructures on butterfly wing scales.We know from previous reports on structural colors or “photonic crystals” that birds, spiders, beetles and mammals also use them (6/05/08). These diverse animals could not have gotten their secrets by descent from a common ancestor because many intermediate animals in the evolutionary scheme do not have them. The only other way for evolution to handle this would be for the common ancestor to have the secret, but most animals down the line lost it. That would also create a challenge: how did the common ancestor come up with a trick like that? There’s only one cause that we know of that can share technology across multiple, independent platforms. That cause is – you guessed it – intelligent design.last_img read more

One Young World celebrates Mandela

first_imgKofi Annan, former UN secretary general will be a speaker at the Summit. (Images: One Young World Summit) 1 300 delegates from 190 countries at the One Young World Summit in Johannesburg.MEDIA CONTACTS • Amanda Mahlobi  Communications Officer  Waggener Edstrom  +27 11 550 5400 RELATED ARTICLES • One Young World Summit hits Joburg • SA is getting plenty right • Unpacking the National Development Plan • SA to host One Young World 2013 • Young people: own your destiny!Romaana NaidooSouth African struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada reminisced about his first encounter with former President and international icon Nelson Mandela, affectionately called Tata or Madiba, among 1 300 delegates from 190 countries at the One Young World Summit in Johannesburg.Paying homage to the former statesman during a special session on Knowing Nelson Mandela, Kathrada said, “When I met this man, when I was at school, he asked me questions about myself and what I was going to do with my life. . . He made me feel so comfortable and equal to him that I felt proud I could go back to my school friends and boast that I knew a university student.”Speaking about the trial that led to their conviction, Kathrada revealed how Madiba insisted on using the opportunity to make a political statement: “What he said, what we all followed when we gave evidence, is to go into the box, repeat your political views and do not apologise. Even if it’s a death sentence, we don’t appeal.”A visibly emotional Kathrada spoke of the racial segregation experienced at the hands of their prison guards: “Of the seven of us I was the only Indian. The first thing we had to do was change into prison clothes. I was given long trousers, while Madiba and all my colleagues were given short trousers. The rationale was that all blacks, regardless of their age, were children and children wore short trousers.”Kathrada was joined on stage by a teary-eyed Francois Pienaar and delegate Nobulalu Lali Dangazele to share intimate insights into their relationships with Madiba.Pienaar, who captained the South African rugby team, the Springboks, to victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, revealed the moment he first encountered Mandela saying: “I get a telephone call from Mary, Mr Mandela’s assistant, who says: ‘He would like to have tea with you’ – incredible.“My first thoughts were: ‘Why? What does he want to talk to me about?’ Then I became a chick and started worrying about what clothes I would wear.”He revealed: “I remember his booming voice and the size of the man. He took me into his office, poured me tea and for about an hour we sat and talked about life, politics and sport.”Mandela surprised the rugby team when South Africa reached the final of the world cup, Pienaar said. “We were getting ready for the game and there was a knock at the door… it was Mandela. What was he wearing? A Springboks jersey.“Often you hear great speeches from leaders, but do they follow through? Mandela is someone who did.”Pienaar quoted the former statesman, saying that sports can awaken hope where there was previously despair and has the potential to drive awareness of wider societal issues.Mandela Rhodes scholar, Lali Dangazele, spoke of how, after her first meeting with Madiba, he transformed into a father-like figure. She added that Madiba’s firm belief in the power of education left a significant impact on her: “He firmly believed that education is the silver bullet – the key that unlocks liberation.”Kofi Annan speaks “global issues”Following suit another special session ensued with the Kofi Annan Dialogues: Live. During this session delegates from South Africa, El Salvador, Libya and Nigeria spoke to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate via live-stream on a Google Hangout.Issue tabled ranged from the security in Nigeria and El Salvador to the on-going Syrian crisis.Annan said we are now living in a time of unprecedented change, and that as growth develops, new challenges arise at national, regional and global levels. He spoke about international issues such as youth unemployment, climate change, food and nutrition security, international security, transnational crime, sustainable development, terrorism and religious extremism.He added that people have the power to make a change if they organise and use the strength of a collective voice, and that problems are without visas and passports.He continued, saying that in order to address these problems, it is important to begin with cohesive societies. The three core pillars of a cohesive society, according to Annan, are peace and stability, development, rule of law and respect for human rights.“Change takes time. It is not an event, it is a process,” he said.Gender equalityDuring an on-the-spot survey at the summit, 48% of attendees believed that gender equality is the number one global human rights issue.According to a statement from One Young World, “From career-based discrimination to crushing poverty and violence, women’s rights are routinely violated on a daily basis. Violence causes more death and disability worldwide amongst women aged 15 – 44 than war, cancer, malaria and traffic accidents combined. Of all the illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds are women. Globally, women make up just 17% of parliamentarians, and of the FTSE 100 companies, only three have women CEOs.”Delegate speakers for this session included Mohammad Almunaikh (Kuwait), Amanda Dufresne (United States of America(US)), Ilwad Elman (Somalia), Sally Hasler (Hong Kong), Kaierouann Imarah Radix (Guyana), and Emily Revess (United Kingdom(UK)).Dufresne, a rape survivor, spoke out about sexual violence being a silent epidemic. Holding back her tears, she shared her personal story, saying, “In the US recently, statistics show up to one in five women will be raped in their lifetime.“We need to talk to young boys about respecting girls’ minds, bodies, and souls; to treat them as equals,” she said.According to Elman, one in three women will be beaten and raped in their lifetime. She runs the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre in Mogadishu with her mother, Fartun Adan. Most recently, Elman’s organisation established Sister Somalia, the only safe-house in Somalia. It is dedicated to providing support to survivors of sexual violence.Youth unemploymentAn insightful session on Youth Unemployment, on day three of the summit on 4 October, highlighted that despite the vast majority (80% of attendees) believing the number of unemployed young people in their country will not fall in the next 12 months, even more (91%) believe it is possible to solve the problem.Almost a quarter of the planet’s youth are neither working nor studying.Youth unemployment is a high priority for the One Young World community, which overwhelmingly elected to have the topic on the summit agenda for the first time.The delegation, James Eder (UK), Adelard Kakunze (Burundi), Jeremy Lamri (France), Rukayat Olamide (Nigeria), Efehan Danisman (Turkey) and Yiwen Wu (China), looked at youth creating their own employment opportunities.Danisman said, “73 million young people will be unemployed this year,” while Kakunze added that “Burundi is among 15 countries with the highest unemployment rate in the world.“It is about being proactive and about taking responsibility for your contribution in the world,” said Eder.According to Johannesburg executive mayor, Mpho Parks Tau, “It is important that the youth work together with their leaders to find solutions to the challenges of youth unemployment, and the One Young World Summit 2013 presents an ideal platform for this exchange of ideas to happen.”One Young World was founded in 2009 by David Jones and Kate Robertson. This London-based charity gathers together youth from across the globe in an attempt to establish lasting relationships to drive positive change.The charity stages annual summits where young delegates, backed by One Young World counsellors, debate and formulate solutions for international issues. After the summit, the One Young World ambassadors work on their own initiatives, or lend the power of the summit’s network to those already in place.last_img read more

Use care with silage to maintain quality and safety

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Livestock producers need to take extra care when creating and maintaining stored silage piles to not only ensure they produce quality animal feed but also to lessen the risk of injury or even death from suffocation caused by an accidental silage avalanche.Creating safe and nutritional silage piles starts with making sure the height is never higher than what your loading or unloading equipment can safely reach, which is typically 12 to14 feet above the silage floor, said Rory Lewandowski, an Ohio State University Extension agriculture and natural resources educator.While that may sound intuitive, Lewandowski said, numerous silage avalanches have occurred nationwide in recent years that have resulted in several deaths, according to data compiled by Ruthie and Keith Bolsen, nationally known silage safety experts.“The biggest concern is that we can have these silage avalanches where silage will break off the face of the pile that you are drawing feed from, burying anyone beneath it,” he said. “These avalanches or pileups can occur in a second, creating a silent burial for anything that happens to be near, resulting in injury or death.”Maintaining silage piles is also key to preventing feed spoilage or silage quality degradation, Lewandowski said. Once silage is exposed to air, its quality begins to decline, he said.“Yeast begins to grow in the presence of oxygen and those yeast metabolize the lactic acid that was formed during silage fermentation,” he said. “As yeast metabolizes the lactic acid, silage pH begins to increase and this allows fungi and bacteria to grow, which results in silage quality degradation.”To better ensure nutritional silage, the goal should be to create sound silage piles and remove an adequate amount of silage each day from the bunker so that the face of the silage remains fresh and silage quality is maintained, Lewandowski said.“Producers should use equipment that allows for the silage pile to maintain a smooth face to try to minimize the penetration of air into the new silo face as silage is removed,” he said. “Silage face shavers, defacers and silage rakes are good tools to use for this purpose.”Other safety and management tips to follow when creating or maintaining silage piles include:• Never work in or near a bunker or pile alone. Suffocation is a major concern in the event of a silage avalanche and the minutes saved in a rescue attempt when not working alone could mean the difference between life and death.• Use proper removal and unloading techniques. Never dig the bucket of a loader into the bottom of the silage. Do not undercut the silage face. Shave the silage from the top down on the silage face and maintain a smooth silage face.• When collecting a silage sample for quality analysis, do not sample from the silage face. Collect silage in a loader bucket and sample from that loader bucket after it has been moved a safe distance from the silage face.• Post signs indicating pileup or suffocation warnings around the perimeter of bunkers and piles.“And remember, never stand closer to the silage face than three times its height,” Lewandowski said. “When a silage avalanche occurs, the silage falls down and runs out away from the silage face, potentially leaving you buried alive in seconds.“Silage safety is important in all seasons but needs to be stressed during winter months when cold working conditions may lessen awareness of potential hazards or lead to the temptation to take shortcuts that are not safe.”last_img read more

Mizoram govt. taken to court over liquor losses

first_imgLiquor dealers in Mizoram have taken the Zoramthanga government to court for losses caused by extension of dry days initially meant for the Christmas season.In keeping with its election promise, the Mizo National Front government had banned the sale of liquor from December 21, 2018, to January 14, 2019. The ban was later extended till March 10.On Thursday, the Mizoram Liquor Vendors’ Association and each owner of the State’s three bonded warehouses filed separate lawsuits in the Aizawl Bench of the Gauhati High Court seeking to know how their losses would be recovered and whether the government has any prohibition policy in place.The court has set January 22 as the date of hearing and has asked the State government to produce the proceedings of the Cabinet meetings leading to the imposition of dry days.After the first Cabinet meeting on December 18, 2018, the government closed down nine State-run liquor outlets and declared dry days from December 21, 2018, to January 14, 2019, in view of Christmas and New Year celebrations. Republic Day and the local Chapchar Kut festival were the reasons cited for extending the dry day to March 10 after the second Cabinet meeting on January 10.Mounting expenses“The government has kept us in a limbo by not saying clearly whether we have to wind up. Extension of dry days has hit our business hard. We are maintaining our outlets, paying employees and taking care of other mounting expenses,” said Francis Sailo, an Aizawl-based liquor vendor. The liquor dealers said the State government should have come out with an exit policy with a time-frame to phase out the business. They said the uncertainty has led to piling up of liquor stock since the dealers have to honour their permits for purchase till March this year.Under pressure from the influential church, total prohibition was first imposed via the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act in 1997 when Lal Thanhawla was the Chief Minister. The move, however, did not help his Congress party win the Assembly election the following year.The Congress replaced total prohibition by controlled prohibition 18 years later through the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act of 2014. A few wine shops were accordingly opened in 2015 and the State government recorded around ₹70 crore in annual revenue through the sale of alcohol.Push from church An unhappy church commissioned a study on the effects of alcohol on individuals and the Mizo society. A team of academics concluded in 2018 that the social cost of liquor was higher than the revenue earned.Liquor dealers said the liquor stock unsold since the imposition of the Zoramthanga government’s dry day order was worth more than ₹40 crore. “The government should either buy this stock or compensate us,” a dealer said.last_img read more

Man Utd target Umtiti pens new Barcelona deal

first_imgTransfers Umtiti dispels Man United rumours with new Barcelona contract Goal Last updated 1 year ago 00:12 6/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Samuel Umtiti Barcelona Getty Transfers Barcelona Primera División The France international defender has committed his future to the Catalan side by extending his link with the club up to 2023 Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has banished reports of a move to Manchester United by signing a five-year contract extension at Camp Nou.Umtiti joined Barcelona from Lyon in 2016, and quickly established himself as a cornerstone of the Catalans’ backline. His talents have not gone unnoticed, with United boss Jose Mourinho an apparent admirer as he looks to rebuild the Red Devils defence this summer.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now But in the face of transfer speculation the France international has opted to commit himself to the Blaugrana until 2023. “Barcelona and the player Samuel Umtiti have reached an agreement for the renewal of a contract that will bind both parties for the next five seasons,” Barca signalled in a statement released on Sunday. “The act of signing will take place Monday, at 10 a.m. in the Camp Nou, and later the player will speak to the media. “A great piece of news for the Barcelona fans, Samuel Umtiti will continue to wear the Cule shirt until 2023.”Umtiti has racked up 83 appearances for Barca in all competitions to date, scoring two goals. In his debut season he lifted the Copa del Rey, a feat he repeated in 2017-18 along with La Liga as Barcelona completed a domestic double in Spain.last_img read more