Itoje takes nothing for granted

first_imgItoje, 22, secured the No 4 jersey ahead of vastly experienced Alun Wyn Jones for the New Zealand Maori match on Saturday, in a side Warren Gatland has always said would resemble what trots out against for the first tests against the All Blacks at Eden Park, on June 24.But Gatland has always allowed himself wriggle room, saying he’s not showing his full hand, though the side is close to his test line-up.So Itoje is not picturing himself as a test No 4.”In my short career, I’ve learned not to try and read the coach’s mind, cause it’s done me a couple of times,” he said.”I’m just focusing on the weekend, I’m going to put my best foot forward, and play well, and hopefully the team goes well as well, it put us in a good position.”Nor did he see that starting against the Maori in what is promising to be a game that bubbles and bolls like a Rotorua hot pool was all that different to coming off the bench.Again, he based that on his experience.”Last season I played a couple of games off the bench and almost every one I came on within five minutes of the game. That’s taught me that when you’re on the bench prepare as though you’re starting, there’s no difference in preparation,” he said.”It takes a 23 to win a test match, to win a game of rugby, it’s very rarely the starting 15 finish the match entirely so subs always come on.”No man’s an island, and a tree doesn’t make a forest. The focus is always on the team, we’re not here just to get individual honours we’re here to achieve something as a collective. To achieve something as a collective you have to be a team man.”Itoje, the youngest player in the 41-man squad, is a relaxed and smiling character, who cracks jokes in his interviews.So it comes as a surprise when he pinpoints learning to control anxiety as a reason for his growing stature at international level. On tour he’s looked anything but anxious, dancing with joy at turnovers and geeing up the Lions forwards.”When I first started playing senior rugby, I was very anxious, very nervous before games. Now I’m much more controlled, much more calm and relaxed. I have it more balanced in terms of that.”He’s got used to big games, to being around big-game players, he said.”Being in those environments, and playing well at times, and getting the results – sometimes not getting the results – it all helps shape your character.”Itoje will lock with England and Saracens second row team-mate George Kruis.- who is also his room-mate.Who would have thought the British and Irish Lions would one day have a No 4 of Nigerian descent and a No 5 with German roots? Both were born in England, Itoje of Nigerian parents, while Kruis has a German grandfather.Itoje came on in Christchurch to help the Lions pack grind down the Crusaders. No doubt the intention is to grind down the Maori and blunt their flair on SaturdayDo that and the Lions who play on Saturday have a much better chance of being the ones who claim a treasured test jersey a week later.Not that Itoje is looking that far ahead. Photo: Getty Images (Maro Itoje isn’t getting his hopes up of a test jersey after being picked to play NZ Maori).last_img read more

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This Monday the approval of the ERTE of Alavés could be official

first_imgEmployment skills in the Basque Country are held by the autonomous government. Delegation of work studied the request of ERTE that Alavés made two Saturdays ago and it is considered that, due to administrative silence, it will go ahead. If five days have passed since that date and you have not expressly backed down, it is a sign that the authorities have accepted it. It is known as administrative silence due to the accumulation of cases that are on the table on these dates. The normal thing is that this resolution officially transcends tomorrow Monday and that a second phase begins in which the workers will have to negotiate with the company the conditions. We are talking about sports and non-sports employees, with very different salaries and realities that have nothing to do with each other. “We try to look after the almost a thousand families that work in this company,” reliable club sources told Diario As.The Baskonia Group brings together the following companies: the basketball club, the Alavés, the 5 + 11 Foundation, the Bakh sports city and ONALAN, which usually employs people to cover the logistics of the previous companies (security, ticket offices, bars and other services during games).From what Edgar Méndez had last week, the positions between the footballers of the first team and the club are quite far apart. According to TUDNMEX told Mexican television, they have been proposed to lose 28% of their annual salary regardless of whether they play again or not. And in case of competition, if it will be with the public or without it.last_img read more

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Ja heavyweight dies in New York

first_imgJamaican heavyweight boxer Alex Stewart, who made his name as a top rated fighter between 1986 and 1999, died suddenly on November 16 at a hospital in Mount Vernon, New York, from a blood clot in the lung. He was 52 years old and leaves wife, Angelia, and daughter Ajay-Tenille. He will be buried in New York next Tuesday, November 29.Stewart was born to Jamaican parents in London, but came to the island as a young boy. He attended Camperdown High School and was one of Jamaica’s top amateur boxers. His talent was such that he represented Jamaica at the 1983 Pan American Games in Venezuela, where he won a bronze medal and the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California. He reached the round of 16 where he lost on points to Sweden’s Hakan Brock. He became a professional boxer in 1986 and was top rated for some time.He had a sensational start to his career, winning his first 24 fights, either by knockout or technical knockout. His first loss was to Evander Holyfield, who at the time was also unbeaten with a 22-0 record. Holyfield went on to become world champion. He also fought Mike Tyson, who also became a world champion. He scored a first-round knockout against a very nervous Stewart. His most memorable fight was against George Foreman, who was then on his second try for the heavyweight title. He lost by majority decision, a decision that was questioned by many. Stewart was put down twice in round two, but came back to have Foreman, whose eyes were almost closed and face battered, on the brink of a knockout near the end of the fight. One judge scored the fight 94-94, while the other two had Foreman the winner 94-93.Stewart ended his career in 1999 with a record of 43 wins, 40 by knockout and 10 losses.last_img read more

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Persons responsible for burning welder’s body still to be charged

first_imgThe people who reportedly found the decomposed body of Yogindra “Steve” Ramkarran and burnt same one month ago without an investigation being conducted are yet to be charged.Acting Crime Chief Michael KingstonThe body of Ramkarran was found on July 4 and set alight by his co-workers after they were allegedly instructed to do so by their boss.Police had acknowledged that while Ramkarran’s cause of death was unknown due to the fact that his body was burnt before an autopsy could have been performed, the sawmill owner and a few others were hauled in for questioning into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.However, despite repeated claims by the employees involved that they were instructed by their boss to burn Ramkarran’s body, the sawmill owner continues to deny such allegations.Following the revelation, acting Crime Chief Michael Kingston had said that a file had been sent for legal advice on the way forward in relation to the matter.Bur when contacted over the weekend, Kingston related that action is still to be taken pending the necessary advice.“No, I have not seen back that file but I do have a set of files on my desk that I am going through. I don’t know if the file is in this bundle. I do have a set of files on my desk when I check it I will see”.He had explained that upon receiving the report about the discovery of the man’s body, a detective was deployed to the area to investigate.Yogindra “Steve” RamkarranBut, due to the distance, it took some time for the police to arrive at that location.“Indeed, the body had begun to decompose. So, the police left to go and get assistance and when he returned with the assistance, that is what they had done [burn the body]. The police had no involvement in the burning of that body, none at all, the men in work said they were acting on the instruction of their employer [to burn the body] but he denied this.”As a result of this, the workers who burnt the body, along with their employer, were arrested and taken into Police custody for the mandatory 72-hour holding period as investigations were underway.“We are seeking legal advice. It is a matter of, it is one of these strange matters that we never really had to deal with before, so we had to seek legal advice. The file is presently with the legal adviser at the Director of Public Prosecutor’s chambers.”The acting Crime Chief stated that although it has been alleged that the ashes from the decomposed body belonged to Ramkarran, the necessary testing needs to be conducted to confirm same.The body was not completely burnt to ashes and, therefore, samples of the remains will be tested at the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL) to confirm the identity of the dead person.“We had a crime scene team that went up into the area, we took whatever bone sample was there and samples were also taken from the relatives. That is basically for DNA purposes, we will utilise the services of the (GFSL) lab unless they tell us that they are incapable. But for now, we will utilise the services of the lab and a file has already been compiled and sent for legal advice on this matter.”Thirty-four-year-old welder, Ramkarran of Number 72 Village, Berbice, was discovered dead by his colleagues about 100 feet from his camp.it was reported that the now dead man was allegedly consuming alcohol at a shop a short distance away from the camp on July 3 and after the business closed, he left to return to the camp. However, he was not seen again until his co-workers found his body the following morning. A photograph that was taken by a colleague showed what appeared to be a stab wound to his chest.Meanwhile, the now dead man’s sister, Somwattie, and other relatives are holding out that the man was murdered and his body was burnt to cover up evidence.last_img read more

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Thousands of PPP supporters protest Govt

first_imgBy Kristen MacklingamThousands of People’s Progressive Party (PPP) supporters in all ten administrative regions of Guyana on Friday morning protested the Government’s action of not naming a date for elections. The protest came hours before the Court of Appeal in a 2:1 judgement held that the no-confidence vote was not validly passed on December 21, 2018, since a requirement of 34 persons was needed to pass the motion in Parliament. However, the Chief Justice, Roxanne George, had previously ruled that 33 was the majority and the vote was valid. Nevertheless, the PPP has since indicated that they will be appealing the Court of Appeal’s decision at the level of the Caribbean Court of Justice.Meanwhile, during the peaceful protest on Friday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said that the party will continue to “mount pressure on this illegal Government until they call elections”. He made the comment while he along with PPP’s Presidential Candidate, Irfaan Ali along with party executives led a large crowd of supporters in front of the Ministry of the Presidency on Friday morning.According to Jagdeo, the protest actions will continue sporadically.“We don’t want to disrupt the lives of ordinary citizens, we don’t want to disturb the business community, the public servants and other workers across the country, our security forces. But we will target those who have been holding our country hostage….as for GECOM, it is complicit with the Government, that is the three Government-appointed Commissioners and the Chairman, and they take instructions from the Government and just repeat what Congress Place wants them to say,” Jagdeo said.Meanwhile, PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali stated that the protest action was countrywide.PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali leading the Region Three delegationHe explained that the actions by APNU/AFC are a testimony to the breakdown of the rule of law as well as the disregard and disrespect for Guyana’s Constitution.“So what you are seeing here is the people power, the people power demonstrating their fundamental human rights. We were debarred, we were barred from going in front of the Office of the President a few minutes earlier so we came on the back, no reason was given, as you can see this is a very peaceful protest and this is the will of the people. And it is all across the country.”He added that similar protests were held in Trinidad, Canada, New York and in the United Kingdom.Also on the protest line was former Education Minister Priya Manickchand, who argued that on December 21, 2018, the majority of the Guyanese populace, through their representatives in the National Assembly, voiced that neither do they have any confidence in the Executive arm of the Government nor do they trust the Executive arm of that Government.Region TwoAt Anna Regina, Region Two, (Pomeroon-Supenaam) over 1000 party supporters and residents across the coast decked out in the party’s colours as they too protested against the APNU/AFC coalition.Some of the placards read – “GECOM is not above the law, time to respect the Constitution, Granger has violated the Constitution, no Parliament without election date.”Regions Five & SixThe demonstrations in Berbice were held outside of the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) Regional office at Fort Wellington in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Princess Elizabeth Road, New Amsterdam where the Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) office is located.Former Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy addressed the scores of protesters, where he stated that Guyana exited the fold of free and democratic nations and is now among a handful of countries without freedom and democracy.Region Five Chairman Vickchand Ramphal called for persons to keep the pressure to ensure that democracy is upheld.In New Amsterdam they chanted, “Granger must go” and “We demand elections now”, among others while holding placards. Some of the slogans displayed read: “Granger is not above the law”, “The Prime Minister is illegal”, “Patterson must not take instructions from Granger”, “Send home the GECOM Chairman now he is not fit and proper for the position – we do not trust him”, “GECOM is playing games”.Meanwhile, Region Six Chairman David Armogan in his address to the gathering said that that the coalition Government has thrown aside everything that is lawful and is now imposing illegal actions.Region NineMeanwhile, residents of Region Nine also joined in protesting for free and fair elections to be held in a timely manner.PPP’s Alister Charlie, who was on the front lines of that protest stated that the residents in his region were protesting for democracy.Region 10In Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), PPP supporters turned out in their numbers at the Five Corner on the Mackenzie shore in support of the country-wide protestThe protesters were led by former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Juan Edghill. Protesters were drawn from areas across the region, including Kwakwani.In an invited comment, Edghill said the protesters were part of the nationwide stand up of peaceful picketing against the “unconstitutional” and “unlawful” Granger-led Administration.Similar sentiments were also uttered by Hinds, who noted that President Granger should have arranged for elections to be held before March 21.Speaking with this publication, a resident of Kwakwani, Sashi Parvaton said she believes that the Government should have resigned based on what the Constitution outlines. (Additional reporting by Andrew Carmichael, Utamu Belle and Mohanlall Seulall)last_img read more

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Bravo for Valencia teacher who is art smart

first_img“You can do an art activity, like when I do geometry,” said Candib, who has a minor in art history and a master’s in dramatic art. “They can do a picture by making geometric shapes.” She’ll take the works of artists such as Russia’s Wassily Kandinsky and Holland’s Piet Mondrian, painters whose work fits well in a geometry lesson. “Kandinsky uses lot of shapes” Candib said. “Mondrian uses a lot of grid work, so it’s great when you’re doing coordinate geometry.” Candib said using art as a learning tool allows the children to comprehend and retain information in a way that has meaning to them personally. “It engages them in a way that talking and reading and taking notes doesn’t,” she said. “They’re involved. It’s very hands on, so it’s kinesthetic.” At Tuesday’s ceremony, hosted by producer-director Garry Marshall, Candib won in the general education category. Linda Candib, a fourth-grade teacher from Valencia, was named Tuesday as a Bravo Award winner for her ability to inspire students by weaving the arts into general education lessons. A teacher at Charles Helmers Elementary, Candib was recognized during a gala at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel marking the 25th anniversary of the arts education awards. “(Art) is so much a part of life that it shouldn’t be left out,” Candib said before the ceremony. Candib has taught at Helmers for nine years, and in her class, every subject has the potential for an art component, including math. Brent Beerman of Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta, Julianne De Sal of Viewpoint School in Calabasas and Marjorie Gaines of Newcastle Elementary School in Reseda were finalists in the arts specialists category. Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Burbank was a finalist in the school category. In winning, Candib will receive $4,000 to be used for arts education in the classroom and an additional $1,000 for art field trips. rick.coca@dailynews.com (818) 713-3329160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Crow numbers rise

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! For years, bird enthusiast Mickey Long and his friends rarely bothered to count the abundant crows they spotted during frequent walks through the Whittier Narrows Recreation Center.“We used to almost ignore them there were so many,” said Long, superintendent of the Eaton Canyon Nature Center in Pasadena and considered by many to be the area’s preeminent bird expert. “The one time a year we paid attention, during the annual \ Christmas Bird Count, we would easily count 40 or 60,” Long said.Then in 2003, the West Nile Virus struck, all but wiping out the area’s crow population.By 2004, Long was lucky to spot one or two crows on his walks, he said.The future for the birds looked as dark as their plumage.But this year, the crow population seems to be making a steady, although modest, comeback, experts say.“I think there has been a slow increase since the West Nile hit so hard,” Long said. “Others agree. We are seeing more crows.”On walks this year, Long has typically counted seven or eight crows.And there have been reports of murders of crows eating pecans from trees in Whittier and flying around Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary.Most likely, the surviving birds have been lucky enough to avoid the virus, said biologist Kevin McGowan of the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology in New York.West Nile virus is lethal to many birds, but most species have at least small survival rates. But members of the corvid family, which includes crows, ravens, jays and magpies, always die from the disease, as far as scientists can tell.The virus has been in New York since 1999, and McGowan has reviewed blood tests from hundreds of crows to see if they had developed antibodies to the virus.Of crows tested this year, none were immune, McGowan said.“I think those \ who survived out where you are in California most likely dodged a bullet and have not caught the virus,” he said.If the black birds do not eventually develop immunity, the virus could theoretically make them extinct, he said.“I would have said there was no chance of that happening when I first heard of the disease,” he said. “The odds of it happening are still minuscule, but they really are not able to fight the disease. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility.”If indeed more crows are flying around compared to last year, this is the time to look for them, McGowan said. Crows tend to congregate during the fall and winter.Locally, the crows nightly form a huge roost in the Whittier Narrows area near Beverly Boulevard.Scientists have difficulty saying what roles crows play in the ecosystem. They eat bug larvae and help spread plant seeds, McGowan said. But they also love eating french fries and hamburgers. Because they thrive in urban areas, crows’ relationships with other animals may not be as direct as species that depend on a specialized niche for survival.It will take a few years before scientists know how the die-off affected other life, McGowan said.“It’s like the children’s game pick-up sticks – you know if you move a stick, something is going to happen, but you don’t really know what until the stick is removed,” he said.For Long, he has mixed feelings about any buildup of the crow population.He was hoping the reduction in the crows would lead to a rise in the number of smaller bird species, whose eggs and young are frequently eaten by crows.“I think a lot of us hoped we would see more song birds,” he said. “But we haven’t seen a real increase so far.”Long did not seem to feel too bad for the area’s crows. “They are very tough, opportunistic,” he said. “I don’t think anybody was too worried about them.” ben.baeder@sgvn.com(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2703last_img read more

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Assuming Reality: Can Crater Dating Be Tested?

first_imgIt is difficult to quantify how each of these differences affect the final crater size-frequency distribution on a planetary object, and hence the derived ages of a surface.  Nonetheless, we note that the different bolide size-frequency distributions and the different crater scaling laws could be significant.Öpik probabilities assume that the argument of pericenter [omega] takes any value between 0 and 2 [pi] with an equal probability.Equations (A.27) and (A.29) come from the assumption that the projectile and Moon follow straight lines trajectories in the vicinity of the node, and are demonstrated in Öpik.Other assumed functional dependencies on the incidence angle can easily be used in place of equation (A.62).Le Feuvre and Wieczorek admitted in the abstract that “Our model may be inaccurate for periods prior to 3.5 Ga because of a different impactor population, or for craters smaller than a few kilometers on Mars and Mercury, due to the presence of subsurface ice and to the abundance of large secondaries, respectively.”  Nevertheless, they felt that their new revised chronology is better than earlier ones.  “Standard parameter values allow for the first time to naturally reproduce both the size distribution and absolute number of lunar craters up to 3.5 Ga ago, and give self-consistent estimates of the planetary cratering rates relative to the Moon.”    While simplifying assumptions are commonly employed in lab work, they can usually be tested by experiment.  These assumptions involve an unobserved history of the solar system that cannot be observed, repeated, or tested.  The authors also did not state to what degree their parameters might have been chosen to reproduce a crater history that was also assumed.1.  Mathieu Le Feuvre and Mark A. Wieczorek, “Nonuniform cratering of the Moon and a revised crater chronology of the inner solar system,” Icarus (article in press, accepted manuscript), March 31, 2011, DOI:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.03.010.2.  Ga = giga-annum, billions of years.We do not expect readers to wade through all the quotes above (feel free if that is your favorite form of self-flagellation).  It is the visual impact of the sheer number of assumptions that go into crater count dating that makes a powerful point: does their model have anything to do with reality?    This is not to deprive Mssrs. Le Feuvre and Wieczorek of the convenience of some of their beloved assumptions.  Perhaps it really is only the vertical component of velocity that matters for an impact, and if it makes the math easier, fine.  But many of their assumptions seem naïve if not audacious.  How could they possibly know that the incoming impact rate has been in steady state for three billion years?  The impact rate could be episodic.  A few heavy episodes in short order could completely invalidate their model.  Further, they appeared to gloss over the big issue of secondary craters (03/22/2005, 10/20/2005, 06/08/2006, 09/25/2007, 01/17/2008, 03/25/2008), leaving that little difficulty to “further investigation.”  Well, guess what.  As the links above show (q.v.), that one difficulty alone could completely confound their imaginary chronology.    Notice, too, that these authors invalidated other crater chronologies that were state-of-the-art for previous generations of scientists.  One could hardly get better than Gene Shoemaker in the 1990s, whose views they “revised” (overturned).  At least he got out there and did experiments firing rifles at rocks to see what happened.  They also showed how their assumptions differed from the assumptions of Marchi et al.  Well, whose assumptions are better, when nobody was there to watch?  Take your pick.    The distinct possibility arises from these considerations that Le Feuvre and Wieczorek, bless their hearts, have done nothing but manipulate numbers to create an imaginary history that doesn’t match reality.  If so, why should anybody believe a word they said?  It reduces to an exercise in impressing their colleagues with mathematics and prose in a closed mutual admiration society that has nothing to say to people who want science to talk about reality that is really real.    If they want to claim that their exercise was worthwhile because it is the best that can be done under the circumstances, they commit the best-in-field fallacy.  How do they know that ten years from now, some young upstarts from another university won’t refer to this paper as a misguided piece of balderdash?    Popper explained that it is easier to falsify a hypothesis than to confirm it, but that was for observable, testable things, like the effect of Einstein’s relativity on starlight during a solar eclipse.  Observations will never be able to confirm this paper’s model about an unobservable history.  It may, however, be possible to falsify their model by arguing that their assumptions are unrealistic.  It is more likely, therefore, that this model will be falsified in the future than supported.    You may or may not agree that scientific papers about unknowables, like this one, are worthwhile exercises.  After all, we can observe craters in the present, and they got there somehow at some time.  Let us all, however, take their caution seriously: “It is difficult to quantify how each of these differences affect the final crater size-frequency distribution on a planetary object, and hence the derived ages of a surface.”  Difficult, yes, in the sense of impossible.  There are some things that science can never know.  For some of those, other sources of information are required.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 For simplicity and without altering the results, it is assumed that the lunar orbit is circular about the Earth and possess a zero inclination with respect to the ecliptic.A major difference between our approach and previous investigations (Shoemaker and Wolfe, 1982; Zahnle et al., 1998, 2001) is that the argument of pericenter of the hyperbolic orbits is not assumed to precess uniformly within the Earth-Moon system, but is explicitly given by the encounter geometry.It is assumed that only the vertical component of the impact velocity, whose value is obtained from the impact angle, contributes to the crater size (Pierazzo et al., 1997), though other relations could be easily incorporated into this analysis.An increase of the transient crater diameter by wall slumping and rim formation is under the assumption of a constant impact flux over the last ~3 Ga.…we assume in calculating dp that the density of the porous material is 2500 kg m-3…We note that given the simplicity of our crater-scaling procedure in the transition zone, the correspondance [sic] between T and the actual megaregolith thickness should not be expected to be exact.By the use of a porous regime dictated by the properties of a megaregolith, our model production function reproduces the measured crater distributions in shape and in the absolute number of craters formed over the past 3 Ga, under the assumption of a constant impact flux.  We caution that our simple formulation of the porous / non-porous transition does not account for the temporal evolution of the megaregolith and that the inferred megaregolith thicknesses are only qualitative estimates.For illustrative purpose, Rc is shown for the inner planets in figure 3 by assuming that craters with diameters less than 10 km form in a porous soil on both the planet and Moon, while craters with greater sizes form in solid rocks (except for the Earth and Venus where only the non-porous regime is used).These calculations assume that the lunar obliquity stayed equal to its present value in the past.…we leave the implications for the contribution of secondary craters to further investigations.These authors used Öpik equations (Shoemaker and Wolfe, 1982) for hyperbolic orbits that were assumed to precess uniformly inside the planet-moon system.  We nevertheless point out that Zahnle et al. (2001) applied equation (20) to the moons of Jupiter, where this approximation might be valid.We further assume that the lunar obliquity was equal to its present value (nearly zero) for the entire time between 3.9 Ga and the present.The “vertical component” scaling appears to be the safest assumption for a single target body, though the impact angle dependence of the average crater efficiency may vary from planet to planet….Recently, Marchi et al. (2009) proposed a revised crater chronology.  The main differences with our approach (excluding the assumption of spatially uniform cratering rates in the latter) are the following:We use the orbital distribution of near-Earth objects of Bottke et al. (2002), modified for Mars, which is assumed to be in steady state and independent of bolide size….We assume that the size frequency distribution of objects impacting the planets is the same for all planets and that the probability of an object impacting a planet is independent of size….When converting transient crater diameters to final crater diameters, we use a multiplicative factor of 1.56 as suggested by Melosh (1989, 253 pp.) and Melosh (1998), whereas Marchi et al. (2009) assume that the transient crater diameter is equivalent to the final simple crater diameter for their preferred impact scaling law that is based on the equations in Holsapple and Housen (2007).Both studies treat the case of impact crater scaling in the porous megaregolith differently…. Two astronomers in Paris have come up with a new crater chronology for the moon and offered it as a way to date other objects in the inner solar system.  Their paper in Icarus,1 however, assumes so many unobservable things, the reader may wonder if it talks about the true history of the moon or some alternate reality in the imagination.  Here are some instances of assume in their paper (readers may wish to just scan the blue text to get a feel for the assumptions):The measured size-frequency distributions of lunar craters are reconciled with the observed population of near-Earth objects under the assumption that craters smaller than a few kilometers in diameter form in a porous megaregolith.The total predicted size-frequency distribution for any given time is obtained by multiplying the production function, assumed independent of age, by a time-variable constant.…the crater chronology method assumes that craters accumulate uniformly on the surface of the planetary body…Under the assumption of a steady state distribution of impactors, the distribution of craters on ~ 3 Ga old surfaces2 should be consistent with the present astronomically inferred cratering rates.Wiesel (1971) used a simplified asteroid population, and Bandermann and Singer (1973) used analytical formulations based on strongly simplifying assumptions in order to calculate impact locations on a planet.This formulation assumes that no correlations exist between the size of the object and its orbit, which is consistent 15 with the observations of Stuart and Binzel (2004) for diameters ranging from 16 ~10 m to ~10 km.This model assumes that the NEO population is in steady-state, continuously replenished by the influx coming from source regions associated with the main asteroid belt or the transneptunian disk.Various assumptions have led to all these estimates.  Among them, the assumed impact velocity and bolide density are only of moderate influence.Consequently, we simply fit a 10th-order polynomial to the entire dataset, assuming each data is error free, and that the average combination of all estimates gives a good picture of the impactor population.The size-frequency distribution of impactors is here assumed to be the same for all bodies in the inner solar system.….the assumptions under which an encounter is considered to occur can be summarized as follows:An encounter between the target (Moon or planet) and impactor occurs at the geometrical point of crossing of the two orbits (the mutual node)….The relative encounter velocity does not account for the acceleration generated by the mass of the target….The impactor, as seen by the target, is treated as if it were approaching from an infinite distance, under only the gravitational influence of the target….last_img read more

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Commonwealth nod to SA writer

first_imgMandla Langa reading his award-winningbook, The Lost Colours of the Chameleon.(Image: Mandlalanga.book.co.za)Khanyi Magubane Renowned South African writer Mandla Langa has been awarded the sought-after Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book Award for the Africa Region 2009.He won the award for his latest novel The Lost Colours of the Chameleon.Langa’s victory was announced at the 2009 Time of the Writer Festival in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.On winning the award Langa said, “I’m dumbfounded and thrilled at the news, which I’m savouring slowly. The regional award gives impetus to my writing and enables me to have even bigger dreams.”New kid on the writers’ block, Nigerian Uwen Akpan, took the Best First Book Award, also for the Africa region, for his piece, Say You’re One of Them.Both authors will now compete for the overall prizes with other regional winners.A further six finalists from Canada and the Caribbean, Europe and South Asia and South East Asia and the Pacific are in the running for the overall Best Book and Best First Book awards.The regional winners are due to gather in New Zealand, where the winners will be announced on 16 May at the Auckland Writers’ and Readers Festival (AWRF).South African minister of Arts and Culture, Pallo Jordan, congratulated Langa saying he is impressed with the milestone that Langa has achieved, “Given the awards already won this year, it was our expectation that the regional winner would also come from here,” he said in a statement.Jordan said Langa’s award comes as a confirmation of South Africa’s high quality arts fraternity, “South Africa’s creative talents are presently sweeping the board in African film, literature and music. I offer [Langa] my heartiest personal congratulations.”Analysing post-colonial democracyBased on the fictitious island of Bangula in the Indian Ocean, The Lost Colours of the Chameleon uses satire to discuss and dissect the initial struggles of most post-colonial democracies.The novel deals with heavyweight issues such as corruption, nepotism and bureaucratic incompetence.Bangula is populated by an indigenous community that coexists uneasily with Creoles, mainly descendants of ancient Portuguese colonisers.The novel follows the story of Colonel Gondo, a patriarch who is the father of the newly reformed nation of Bangula.When Gondo dies, his three sons become embroiled in a succession struggle, each one wanting to fill his father’s shoes.Each son’s motives for claiming power reveals divisions tearing apart the newly reformed Bangula.Commenting on the novel Elinor Sisulu, head judge for the Africa region, says Langa’s book stood head and shoulders above the others, “Mandla Langa’s Lost Colours of the Chameleon emerged as the strongest contender in a field of works of the highest technical proficiency.“Langa deconstructs the inner workings of a mythical African state, laying bare the frailties of leaders too blinded by power to effectively confront the major challenges of their times.”Sisulu says Langa was flawless in his construction of the story.“[Langa] threads the characters and their stories into the weave of his overall agenda – to provide every citizen reader/thinker/talker the vocabulary with which to confront the origins of the paralysis at the heart of the failure of the African state. In a South Africa, and in an Africa, where merely cataloguing the ills of the state has been the norm.”Sisulu was joined by judges Kole Omotoso (Nigeria) and Billy Kahora (Kenya).A passion for writingLost colours of the Chameleon is Mandla Langa’s fifth book.His published works include Tenderness of Blood (1987), A Rainbow on a Paper Sky (1989), The Naked Song and Other Stories (1997) and The Memory of Stones (2000).Langa’s early literary influences included the Bible, James Baldwin, John Creecy, and various comic strips. He originally planned on becoming a cartoonist, but that dream collided with the art of writing.In his formative years, running concurrent with his love for writing was Langa’s involvement in the political struggle.After being arrested in 1976 Langa skipped bail and went into exile.He has lived in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Angola, where he underwent Mkhonto we Sizwe military training in Zambia, Budapest and London.Later, in 1991, he became the first South African to be awarded the Arts Council of Great Britain Bursary for creative writing. In 1991 he was the first South African to be granted the Arts Council of Great Britain Bursary for creative writing.Langa has held various ANC posts abroad, including cultural attaché in the UK and Western Europe.Recognising writing across the globeThe Commonwealth Writers’ Prize is organised and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, along with the generous support of the Macquarie Group Foundation.Now in its 23rd year, the writer’s competition celebrates fiction writing across the regions of the Commonwealth: Africa; Canada and the Caribbean; Europe and South Asia and South East Asia and the South Pacific.From these regions, the overall winners for the Best Book, worth £10 000 (R140 000), and Best First Book, worth £5 000 (R70 000), are chosen.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: Khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.com Useful linksCommonwealth foundationTime of the writerDepartment of Arts and Culturelast_img read more

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Edge of field monitoring enables farmers to measure conservation practice benefits

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making $2 million available to farmers interested in voluntarily installing edge-of-field monitoring stations on their agricultural lands in eight states, including Ohio.“Edge-of-field water quality monitoring helps us evaluate the benefits of conservation at the field level,” said Terry Cosby, NRCS State Conservationist for Ohio. “This voluntary effort will increase economic efficiency for the producer and maximize yields while also conserving natural resources.”Through edge-of-field monitoring, NRCS works with farmers and conservation partners, such as universities and non-governmental organizations, to monitor the amount of nutrients and sediment in water runoff from a field and compares the improvements under different conservation systems. Conservation practices typically evaluated include planting cover crops and using no till, nutrient management, and practices to reduce and trap nutrients and sediment.Monitoring stations enable NRCS to measure at the edge-of-farm fields rather than try to estimate conservation effects from in-stream measurements that are subject to influences outside of the farmer’s control. Edge-of-field monitoring, combined with instream monitoring, can provide a more thorough picture of improvements within a watershed.The funding is available to farmers in 327 watersheds across Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin.  Ohio has 16 of those watersheds (see map).The financial assistance, available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), helps farmers install and maintain the monitoring systems for up to 9 years.NRCS first introduced edge-of-field monitoring as an opportunity through Farm Bill conservation programs in 2013 and has already funded the installation of 25 monitoring projects.The results of data collected will be maintained confidentially for farmers’ use and for use by the conservation partners responsible for monitoring.Interested farmers should contact their local USDA service center for more information.  The application period closes July 24, 2015, for funding this year.  NRCS accepts EQIP applications on a continual basis.last_img read more

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