A bald eagle destroyed a drone operated by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy — known as EGLE.The eagle allegedly ripped off a propeller which sent the drone into Lake Michigan.The attack happened July 21, when the drone was mapping shoreline erosion near Escanaba in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to document and help communities cope with high water levels, the department said in a statement.Environmental quality analyst and drone pilot Hunter King said he had completed about seven minutes of the mapping flight when satellite reception became spotty.King pressed a button to return the $950 drone to him and was viewing his video screen when the drone began to twirl.“It was like a really bad roller coaster ride,” said King, who looked up and saw the eagle flying away, apparently unhurt by its confrontation with technology.Two birdwatchers who were nearby saw the bird attack something but told officials they didn’t realize it was a drone.The drone sent 27 warning notifications in the 3.5 seconds that it took to spiral to the water, including one noting that a propeller was missing. A search of the shoreline failed to find the drone. Data later revealed that it landed in 4 feet of water about 150 feet offshore.EGLE’s drone team is considering what it can do to reduce the possibility of a repeat attack, including possibly using “skins” or other designs on the aircraft to make them look less like seagulls, the agency said.
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Thurston CountyIn the photo left to right- Jeff Wilson and Mark Barkley of the State Commerce Department, Xandre Chateaubriand, Commissioners Karen Valenzuela and Cathy Wolfe and Lon WyrickThurston County Commissioners were recently presented with a special award through Governor Jay Inslee’s “Smart Communities” program. The Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) was also recognized for their role in the Sustainable Thurston project.TRPC lead the planning for the Creating Places, Preserving Spaces community visioning process which took three years and involved thousands of county residents. In recognizing the effort, Xandre Chateaubriand of the Governor’s Office pointed out that Thurston County did a terrific job of coming up with a vision that will attract high quality jobs and community improvements that will benefit all residents of the county.“Even more impressive is when multiple communities and public partners join to create a shared vision for the future.” He went on to say the project shows a commitment to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life we appreciate here in Washington State.Thurston County Commission Chair Karen Valenzuela was the county’s representative to the Sustainable Thurston process. She points out that all seven cities and towns joined with TRPC and the County to make the program a success.“It was great to see so many people take part in a very public process over the three years. This vision allows us to make sure that our “ship of state” is headed in the right direction to manage growth while preserving our vanishing natural resources including forests, farmlands and our limited prairie areas.”Lon Wyrick, Director of TRPC, says he is proud of the community-wide effort in the Sustainable Thurston project and the leadership shown by the cities and the County.“It’s important to recognize that the Commissioners were very strong leaders in making the Sustainability Plan happen and along with their support; their ideas and regional direction are key to its ongoing success.”
LONDON (AP):From Serena Williams’ near Grand Slam in tennis to Japan’s shock defeat of South Africa in the Rugby World Cup and Barcelona’s dominance on the football pitch, there was much to admire in international sports this year.But much of it was spent dwelling on scandal – from widespread allegations of bribery and corruption at FIFA to systemic doping and cover-up in athletics.Football officialdom endured a shameful year.Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president since 1998, and Michel Platini, European football’s top official, were banned from all football-related activity for eight years for a FIFA payment of about $2 million to Platini in 2011. The payment was judged by FIFA’s ethics commission to be a conflict of interest and disloyal to the world body. Both deny wrongdoing and will appeal the decision.And in athletics, Russia’s federation was suspended after it was accused of operating a state-sponsored doping program. The suspension could keep Russia out of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.Athletics had its more inspiring moments, Usain Bolt in many of them. A lunge to the line saw him see off Justin Gatlin in the 100 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing – the scene of perhaps his greatest achievements in the 2008 Olympics.Golf got its own new superstar this year, too. Jordan Spieth won the first two majors, and just fell short in the other two.It was also a big year for Australia and New Zealand. The neighbours contested the finals of both the cricket and rugby World Cups. Australia won the former to claim their fifth Cricket World Cup while New Zealand got revenge when they became the first team to successfully defend the Rugby World Cup.Here are some notable moments in sports this year, as captured by photographers from The Associated Press.
A large protest rally is expected in Buncrana this Sunday against the proposed water charges.A large protest is expected in Inishowen this weekend against water charges.The protest has been organised by Sinn Fein and members of the public have been invited to voice their protests.Local SF Chairman, Ciaran McLaughlin said local party members will hold a number of protests against the imposition of water charges this Sunday 28th September at the Eddie Fullerton Dam, Illies at 2pm and later at the Market Square, Buncrana at 3pm. Mr McLaughlin said “Sinn Féin will continue to campaign against water charges and stand with those who oppose this unfair tax.“We opposed the establishment of Irish Water/ Uisce Eireann. We believe the money currently being spent on installing water meters should be re-directed into improving the antiquated water infrastructure, which is losing up to 40% of water in Donegal as a result of leaks”.“Water is a basic human right. Charging twice for water is wrong and Sinn Féin will resist it in Donegal and the rest of the 26 Counties as we did in the north. This is an issue which we will continue to be vocal on in local councils and in the Dáil.He added that sadly, this Government have thrown huge amounts of public money at Irish Water. They have received: · €450 million from the National Pension Reserve Fund to install meters· €600 million from the motor tax fund· €240 million from the last budget· €400 million from the Local Property Tax· Tens of millions of euro of public money spent on private consultants He continued “Fine Gael and Labour don’t have a clue. They have no idea what it is like for the vast majority of families out there who are struggling to survive. Many are living on less than €10 a week after bills are paid, they cannot afford to pay hundreds of euro a year for water.“Sinn Féin has made our position clear. We are opposed to water charges and we will reverse them in government. We have a strong track record on this issue. It was Sinn Féin Minister Conor Murphy who blocked domestic water charges in the North.“There is no acceptable reason for water charges. The government has a choice. They can either continue to help those at the top or they can ease the burden on struggling families. Sinn Féin has produced detailed costed proposals to prove there is an alternative to water charges.”Meanwhile Donegal Sinn Féin TDs Pearse Doherty and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn have stated that Sinn Féin in government will scrap water charges. They added that the public already pay for water through general taxation and that it is deeply unfair to heap the charge onto the shoulders of ordinary people who have borne the cost of austerity.They were speaking after the launch of Sinn Fein’s vision for water services today.The two local Deputies said “Sinn Féin in government will reverse water charges. These charges will only cause further hardship for families already struggling to make ends meet.“Bills for domestic water use will be issued from January in respect of the last quarter of this year. Effectively, the government will start double-charging households for water from the start of next month.“The average charge will be around €280. It beggars belief that this Government thinks that people can absorb yet another stealth tax for what is an essential service.“Water should be paid for through exchequer funding, non-domestic water charges, and the Local Government Fund. Sinn Fein would stop the roll-out of metering and invest in our water infrastructure by redirecting €539m from the national pension reserve fund towards a capital investment programme. This would include fixing the massive leakage problem and interruption to supply across the state”.BUNCRANA TO HOST PUBLIC PROTEST AGAINST WATER CHARGES was last modified: September 26th, 2014 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:InishowenSinn Feinwater charges
Many have dreamed of dating a star, but the way astronomers do it is less glamorous. For one thing, they need to know how old she is first, and how good a model she makes. In a Perspectives piece for Science,1 David R. Soderblom of the Space Telescope Science Institute explained the requirements for stellar dating in an article entitled, “How Old Is That Star?” It’s not that simple lining up a date. Many agents tend to get in the way:Determining how long it has been since a star formed is a lot harder than it seems like it ought to be, and many very basic questions hinge on stellar ages. For instance, we’d like to know the ages of stars that have planets. We hope to detect signs of life on planets around other stars, but if we do, knowing the star’s age is central to interpreting what is observed. Among the youngest stars, we’d like to know how long it takes for planetary systems to form and evolve. On a grander scale, the ages of stars and clusters of stars are needed to infer the history of our Milky Way galaxy and the pieces from which it was built. Did the halo of our galaxy form on its own or from fragments of captured satellite galaxies? Did the thick disk form after the halo or contemporaneously? Has the thin disk (of which the Sun is a member) formed stars continuously, or in episodes? Many very basic questions can only be addressed if we can establish reliable ages.The parameters we measure are in the present (with regard to the time of light travel from source to observer): mass, chemical composition, magnetic field, and other characteristics teased from the spectrum. Soderblom claims “we can measure a precise and exact age for just one star–the Sun–and that’s because we can analyze solar system material in the laboratory, something we can do for no other star.” Even that age, however, is highly model dependent. That makes estimates of other stars’ ages derived from it even further model dependent:By calibrating models against the Sun, we can comprehend stars that are both more and less massive. Our understanding of the evolution of stars is closely tied to studying star clusters, groups of hundreds to thousands of stars that were formed together and so share the same composition and age. Or do they? Some of the most exciting astrophysics from the Hubble Space Telescope has been the discovery of multiple populations within single globular clusters, which are some of the oldest components of the Milky Way. Given what we now know about stellar physics, the available explanations include multiple ages (i.e., several epochs of star formation spread well apart in time), very different compositions of the cluster’s members, or both. Neither alternative satisfactorily explains the observations, and a very basic conundrum has been exposed.The model uncertainties are on the order of 10-20%, he claimed, but one should also keep in mind that these uncertainties have “poorly understood systematic effects.” Relative ages are more believable, he said. Even when using radiometric ages, the derived dates must be interpreted from when the isotopes formed without knowing the initial abundances. These do not necessarily reflect the age of the star. Soderblom examines some of the “empirical” measurements for dating stars: loss of angular momentum over time, and asteroseismology (oscillations). Both these methods are also model dependent: “We can see a consistent relation between a physical quantity and age, but we do not understand the underlying physical relation, even though we may have at least a reasonable scenario.” What is considered reasonable becomes subjective. Some techniques seem more “promising” – language indicative that the key component of the spectrum may be the human element. “Overall, the situation for determining stellar ages is still sobering, and progress has been slow,” he ended. It has reached the point where cosmologists claim better precision for their measurements than we can for the ages of the nearest and brightest stars.” He did not distinguish between claims and realities, however, since cosmological claims are also highly model dependent. Within his own subject matter, “The challenge of determining an accurate age for a star therefore remains outstanding.”1. David R. Soderblom, “Astronomy: How Old Is That Star?”, Science, 2 January 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5910, pp. 45-46, DOI: 10.1126/science.1168230.People need to know the hand-waving and speculation that belies the confidence expressed on TV science specials. One can detect enough wiggle room to permit major paradigm shifts. Notice that model dependence is not observation dependence. We can observe emanations from objects that hit our eyeballs in the present; what does that mean about their origins and histories? One cannot know that without making assumptions. The reasonableness of assumptions is a matter of opinion. It may seem reasonable to you, but if a member of the Space Telescope Science Institute says that “The challenge of determining an accurate age for a star therefore remains outstanding,” that should at least be noted in the minutes.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
3 November 2008The Department of Agriculture has entered into a partnership with Khula Enterprise Finance to extend financial services to South Africa’s emerging farmers and agri-businesses.The follows the signing of an agreement in Pretoria this week by Department of Agriculture director-general Njabulo Nduli and Kuhla Enterprise Finance MD Xola Sithole, which will see the establishment of the Khula-Mafisa Fund.The fund will provide portfolio indemnity to financial institutions that provide production loans to emerging black farmers within the Khula-Mafisa target market.Nduli said the arrangement would enable the leveraging of additional financial resources from commercial financial institutions, explaining that the maximum loan ceiling was also higher under the agreement, and that the banks would provide packaged support to their clients.“It is expected that this partnership will be successful and pave the way for other partnerships with Khula and other institutions,” she said.Credit recordThe arrangement improves access to credit by mainly black and emerging farmers, who have insufficient collateral, but are bankable, thus giving them an opportunity to build up a credit record.This, she said, would improve their productivity, thereby increasing the sector’s contribution to job creation and the country’s economy, and further ensuring food production and food security.For their part, Sithole also lauded the partnership, stating that Khula could help in the achievement of common national developmental goals.Source: BuaNews
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Some reports of what seems like fairly high incidence of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) are coming in from fields in some parts of the state. Some of these fields reportedly have as much as 20% of the plants showing symptoms typical of BYDV — leaves with yellowish to reddish-purple tips. These symptoms may sometimes be confused with nutrient deficiency. In addition, damaged leaf tips resulting from the freezing temperatures we had this spring may also be misdiagnosed as a virus disease.On the other hand, plants without visual symptoms may be virus infected. For instance, although characteristics of BYDV leaf discoloration may be absent in some cases, with infected plants showing reduced growth and normal looking leaves. Severe stunting of plants is more common when infections occur early in the fall during the seedling stage, whereas discolored leaf tips are more typical of late infections.This disease is caused by several closely related viruses, which are transmitted by more than 20 different species of aphids. BYDV tends to be most severe in fields planted before the Hessian fly-free date when the aphid population is high. Once infections occur, there is very little that can be done. No fungicide will control BYDV, and insecticides applied after infection will reduce the aphid population but will not prevent the disease from developing. The residual effect of the insecticide may not last long enough to protect against subsequent buildup in the aphid population. During active feeding, a few aphids will be enough to transmit the virus from one plant to another.Yield reduction due to BYDV is generally greater when infections occur in the fall than in the spring. However, late infections may still lead to yield reduction, since severely infected plants may produce smaller heads and kernels and fewer spikelets per head. It is difficult to estimate the level of damage caused by BYDV at this time. Since grain fill is still weeks away, there is no way of knowing whether kernels on sick plants will be smaller and how much smaller. However, you can use the number of healthy-looking tillers per foot of row as a guide.The same way that yield potential is reduced if tiller numbers fall below 25 per square foot, yield potential may also go down if the number of healthy plants per square foot falls below 25. Sick plants will yield less than healthy plants. Pick about 10 to 15 spots in the field and count the number of healthy-looking tillers per foot of row. A stand with an average of about 15 tillers per square foot is considered minimum for an economic crop.For more on BYDV, visit the field crops disease website at http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/ohiofieldcropdisease/.
The Badminton World Federation has indefinitely suspended a controversial regulation that would have required women to wear skirts or dresses in competitive matches, a move that many female athletes considered sexist.Japan’s Reika Kakiiwa (left) and partner Mizuki Fujii wear skirts during play at the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham in March. APThe BWF said in a statement posted on its website Monday that it accepted a recommendation from the Women In Badminton Committee to further study the general clothing regulations. The mandatory ruling was initially set to be implemented on May 1, but had been deferred until June 1 after criticism of the plan.The Women In Badminton Committee, headed by former world champion Nora Perry of England, said the recommendation was also based on feedback from the sport’s Athletes Commission.Some players had accused the game’s administrators of sexism, but badminton officials said they were trying to improve the profile of the women’s game and help attract more sponsorship. In the past, women had been allowed to wear either skirts or shorts, with players opinions’ differing on which were more comfortable.”There (has) been various feedback from many quarters and after taking into account all these comments, especially those from the Athletes Commission, it is our recommendation to council to do further study before implementing new clothing regulations,” Perry said in a statement after the group met at Qingdao during the Sudirman Cup competition.”It is still our intention to focus on a better presentation of the game, but we will like to broaden the scope to include both men and women, and the feedback will also include views from various stakeholders such as the clothing manufacturers.”advertisementThe BWF statement said the clothing regulation was one of the steps being taken to raise the profile of women in badminton.The statement said other initiatives already in place are offering equal prize money for men and women, standardized 21-point rally system for men and women and equal male and female participation across the events offered in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
Some of the ACT’s top sportspeople came out in force to help open the facility, as well as ACT Minister for Education and Training and Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Andrew Barr, and Member for Fraser, Dr Andrew Leigh.Jemma Johnston and Megan Clowry from the Canberra Darters, Iain Davidson from the Canberra Lakers, Jeremy Bray from the ACT Comets, Marianna Tolo from the Canberra Capitals and Meredith Bone from the Canberra Strikers were on hand to play a celebrity Touch Football match against a group of children from the schools. Building on an existing highly successful model partnership between government and non-government schools, this project involved the installation of a synthetic sports ground and associated components including fencing, lighting, a soccer pitch, a multi-use field with sprint lanes, a running track and cricket practice wickets.This project is designed to enhance school programs impacting on childhood obesity, while innovative construction methods will minimise water usage.The project, totaling $3 million dollars, was funded through $2.5 million provided by the Australian Government under its ‘Local Schools Working Together’ pilot program and $0.5 million provided by the ACT Government.Meredith Bone from the Canberra Strikers team that plays in the Australian Hockey League was full of praise for the facility. Bone plays Touch Football in the local ACT competition and was happy to see the school children make the most of their new fields. “I think it was really good. I haven’t met a lot of these other ACT representative sportspeople before so it’s been good getting together. The younger kids had a really good team,” Bone said. “The opening of this new ground, everyone here is enjoying this new facility. There’s not anyone anywhere else in the school at the moment so I think that they are really embracing the facility as a whole,” she said. Marianna Tolo from the Canberra Capitals team that plays in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) was pleased to see so many children using the facility.“Just to see the kids running around and having fun, especially the girls who are running around, it is great,” Tolo said.