Bacteria and Plants Know Network Tech

first_imgAn article on Science Daily says, “plants have their own chat systems that they can use to warn each other.” Many herbal plants such as strawberry, clover, reed and ground elder naturally form networks.  Individual plants remain connected with each other for a certain period of time by means of runners.  These connections enable the plants to share information with each other via internal channels.So what do they have to chat about?  Danger.  Their “early warning system” enables them when hazards lurk about: “Once warned, the intact plants strengthen their chemical and mechanical resistance so that they are less attractive for advancing caterpillars,” for instance.    Even smaller critters may have networks: in fact, possibly even a power grid.  Phillip Ball wrote for News@Nature, “Bacteria may be wiring up the soil.”  Yes, believe it or not, “Bacteria can sprout webs of electrical wiring that transform the soil into a geological battery, a team of researchers claims.”  Some bacteria extrude “nanowires” that shunt electrons produced during metabolic reactions.  A geochemist working at the Venter Institute believes “The earth beneath our feet might act as a gigantic circuit built by microbes to power their metabolic systems.”  If so, this “new aspect of microbiology” is a little too fantastic for some to accept, but one admitted, “If this idea is right, it is really quite remarkable.”You don’t need to talk to your plants.  They’re too busy text-messaging each other.  Maybe human network engineers could learn a little technology from our humbler lifeforms.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Matric revision returns to the big screen

first_img18 July 2012 The maths and science revision campaign EduC8 will once again assist Grade 12 learners prepare for their exams through revision sessions broadcast at selected Ster-Kinekor cinemas around South Africa each Sunday from 22 July. Each revision session of EduC8 – an 8ta initiative endorsed by the Basic Education Department and partnered by companies BHP Billiton, Primestars and Samsung – will be filmed at a single venue and broadcast to a network of 15 digitised Ster-Kinekor theatres across the country. The sessions will run every Sunday until 23 September and will be both educational and entertaining, allowing learners to interact with qualified teachers who will be available at each cinema complex. Additional coverage for equal opportunities Launched in July last year, EduC8 is aimed at learners from disadvantaged backgrounds across the country. This year, it will reach three additional areas – Witbank, Richards Bay and Kuruman – as part of the project’s commitment to being as widely accessible as possible, and giving equal opportunities to all disadvantaged learners. Special allowance will also once again be made for learners who will not be able to attend the revision sessions due to their geographical locations. These students will be able to access the material online at http://edusynergy.co.za/. One of the initiative’s successes is last year’s participant Zanele Khumalo (18), who attended the revision sessions at Maponya Mall in Soweto. Khumalo is now on her way to Cuba on a scholarship to study medicine. ‘Maths and science a foundation for growth’ “We all acknowledge that maths and science education is the foundation for many of the jobs needed to develop the country’s infrastructure and therefore our economy’s growth,” senior managing executive of Telkom Mobile, Amith Maharaj, said in a statement. “Increasingly these subjects are a critical component of getting ahead and the company is proud to be part of this student initiative which sees government and the private sector working closely towards a common goal,” Maharaj said. BHP Billiton chairman, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi agreed: “If we are to transform this nation, pushing it to greater heights than ever before, giving all who live here equal opportunities to grow and succeed, we need to start at a grassroots level with skills development and education. “The children empowered by the EduC8 Matric Revision will be those talented, skilled employees, given the opportunity. We need to recognise that the future begins with the children of South Africa and that that future begins now,” he said.Skills development in engineering and science EduC8’s objectives run parallel to sponsor Samsung’s Blue Education programme, which aims to facilitate 10 000 electronic engineers across Africa by 2015, and it is hoped that learners who participate in the revision sessions will be fed through into Samsung’s skills development programme. The Sasol Inzalo Foundation and national bursary organisation Studietrust are also adding their backing to the initiative by reserving at least five full-cost bursaries for qualifying applicants who attended EduC8. The vision of the Sasol foundation is to be a significant contributor to sustainable economic growth in South Africa by focusing on skills development in engineering and science, including a bursary programme that started in 2010. The main criteria for the selection of applicants are academic potential and financial need. Each programme workbook made available to participants contains a bursary application form with information on selection criteria and the application procedure. The closing date for 2013 applications is 30 September. Learners interested in attending the revision sessions, or principals and teachers who would like more information, can call Jacques du Plessis or Mark Wilmot 081 445 9233. Alternatively SMS your name, contact number and school to 081 445 9233 and you will be contacted. You can also register by visiting http://edusynergy.co.za/. Seats are limited. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

The Perfect Potager

first_imgWhen people say that it costs more to build green, they are only half right. To build another generic house full of features that everyone is supposed to want but nobody really needs, using designer “green” products purchased at retail prices, would indeed cost more than building the same thing with conventional products. One of the keys to building green, though, is to think critically about every aspect of your home and to determine what is and is not necessary.My wife and I are doing that with our house. We are also doing it with our landscaping. Our lot is 68’x110’ and was surrounded on three sides by large trees. Both the front and back yards were full of weeds and not much else. For a couple of years, we mowed the weeds, bagged leaves for municipal pick-up, and talked about what we should do about landscaping.At the same time we were getting more into local food (slow food) and agriculture (permaculture). We started shopping more at farmers’ markets and Whole Foods, but we were careful about which items had “organically grown” labels because we were trying to stretch our food budget. We talked about growing a few things ourselves—vegetables that were expensive to buy and that tasted best right off the vine. Last summer we built three raised beds and enjoyed the bounty. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we began planning out our landscaping to see just how much food we could grow ourselves. Our neighbors’ manicured lawns held little appeal, and we realized that small, well-planned gardens can be an attractive way to enjoy the outdoors.The first thing we decided to plant were things that would take a few years to mature. We chose a variety of fruiting trees, vines and shrubs that are disease resistant, hardy for our location, and have a variety of uses. In our front and side yards, we planted plum and cherry trees, which can stand up to our northwest winter winds, as well as a variety of shrubs and a birch tree that will attract wildlife. We planted hops vines and rhubarb for perennial food and flavoring. We didn’t want the chemicals our neighbor uses to be near anything we’ll eat, so we created an allée (a stand of lilacs in traditional French gardening; we’ve also planted dogwoods in ours) between our houses.In the backyard, we cut down some big trees on the southeast border and replaced them with a row of peach and cherry trees; the sensitive peach trees are in the most protected location we have. Several grapevines and highbush blueberries wrap around our deck, and two Precocious Hazelberts (a nut-producing shrub) are tucked under a tall oak tree. Native choke berries and winter berries will grow into a hedge along our shaded northwest boundary and provide winter food for birds.For the main vegetable garden, we wanted to expand on the success we had with our first three raised beds. The French have a tradition of laying out their potagers, or kitchen gardens, in attractive yet practical patterns. Following the advice of generations of organic farmers, including Eliot Coleman, we will rotate plant families through the beds to maintain soil fertility and foil disease organisms. At 3’x 8’, the beds are easy to reach across; 12-in.-deep soil drains well and warms up quickly in spring. The beds are arranged along a center aisle that’s wide enough to accommodate a garden cart, and there’s room enough between beds for a lawnmower.Trellises for tomatoes and cucumbers are easy to attach and reuse each year; growing vertically maximizes the sunlight and airflow these vigorous crops receive. Two “trench beds” complete the main garden; one for perennial flowers, which will attract beneficial insects; and one for potatoes this year, to be converted to more flowers next year. Instead of rototilling the beds each year, bringing weed seeds to the surface and destroying the soil’s texture, only the surface of the beds will be cultivated, followed with a topping of compost. The worms, fungi, and other organisms that live in the soil will toil for us relatively undisturbed, ferrying nutrients around and creating water-storing tunnels in the process.Behind the raised beds are perennial raspberry beds, and along the back and side fences are linear beds for peas, beans, and summer and winter squash vines. A planter next to our garden shed contains various mint plants, which would take over the yard if planted directly in the ground.We remind ourselves not to take all this too seriously, though. It is relaxing to wander among the plants in the evening to see what has changed and to ponder what we might do differently next year. Over time, our fruit trees will grow in, our gardening skills will improve, and our priorities will change. So far, it has been easy and fun to turn our backs on the conventional food system and do the most we can with what we have.last_img read more

Two militants killed in Kashmir’s Kulgam

first_imgSecurity forces killed two Hizbul Mujahideen militants in a pre-dawn operation in Kulgam on Wednesday. The police said Irfan Manzoor Bhat from Poniwah in Kulgam and Zahid Ahmad Mantoo from Ferripora in Shopian were surrounded by a joint team of the Army, the police and the CRPF in the Gopalpora area of Kulgam. “The operation was launched on credible inputs. Both the militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site,” the police said.Mantoo, they said, was involved in planning and executing a series of attacks in the area. “He was involved in a case pertaining to the killing of three policemen at Batgund Shopian last year,” the police said.Bhat, who joined militancy recently, was “part of a militant group behind the killing of Abdul Majeed Dar from Shalipora in Kulgam”.In Poonch district in the Pir Panjal Valley, one solider was killed died and two others were injured in an “accidental” blast.An Army spokesman said the blast took place around 9.15 a.m. “during a training activity on a military post in the Mendhar sector”.“One soldier was critically injured in the incident and later succumbed to his injuries,” the Jammu-based Army spokesman said.last_img read more

Global Industry Alliance Welcomes Maersk

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Danish shipping group A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S has become the latest member to join the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) aiming to support low carbon shipping, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said.Following the addition of Maersk and the Panama Canal this March, the GIA now comprises eighteen members.Maersk signed up to the GIA during the fifth meeting of the GIA Taskforce at IMO Headquarters in London on March 15, 2019.The GIA Taskforce meeting progressed work on several ongoing projects, including on the validation of performance of energy efficiency technologies, the assessment of barriers to the uptake of just-in-time operation of ships and resulting emission saving opportunities from its effective implementation, as well as work on the current status and application of alternative fuels in the maritime sector and barriers to their uptake.The Taskforce was also shown a preview of an open-access e-learning course on the energy efficient operation of ships, which is expected to be completed and launched later this year.Additionally, the Taskforce formalized the extension of the GIA until December 31, 2019, and agreed to develop a White Paper outlining a vision and potential priority areas for the GIA.Launched in June 2017, the GIA is an innovative public-private partnership initiative of the IMO, under the framework of the GEF-UNDP-IMO Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) Project that aims to bring together maritime industry leaders to support an energy efficient and low carbon maritime transport system.Current members of the alliance are shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, oil companies and ports.last_img read more

NEW STUDY FINDS FEMALELED MOVIES MAKE MORE MONEY

first_imgAdvertisement If you clicked on that headline, chances are you have a few questions. When I saw this mythical “new study” trending on the Internet last week, I had more than just a few. So I wrote all my queries down, then I combed through the footnotes and took to my handy Google search bar to find the answers. When you sit down for a family meal during the holidays, feel free to toss around some of these facts — and then make sure to recommend a handful of your favourite female-led films from this past year.First off, where is this study coming from?The study comes from the talent agency Creative Artists Agency—who earlier this year, published a similar study that proved diverse casting leads to box office success—and the tech company Shift7. Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Are we talking films from 2018, or every film ever made?Neither. The study looks at global box office revenue for films release between 2014 and 2017.How do you define a female-led film?The data used in this study—including film budgets and box office numbers—comes from Studio System by Gracenote, a service  recognized as the Hollywood’s most trusted source for entertainment data, research and industry contacts. Studio System defines a “female lead” as a woman who is listed first in official press materials.But what about ensemble casts? There isn’t always a lead character, right?This is true. Many films—especially those big budget superhero ones—feature co-leads or ensemble casts. Here’s how the study addresses the grey zone: “For consistency, and because this designation is generally reflected in the marketing of the film, this analysis uses the first actor listed by Studio System as the lead actor. Login/Register With:last_img read more

MONTGOMERY Ala AP – Democratic gubernatorial c

first_imgMONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Democratic gubernatorial challenger Walt Maddox has launched a series of videos about Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s refusal to debate.The campaign posted the first video on social media Thursday. It shows an empty debate podium with “Kay Ivey” written on it. A caption lists the “debate topic” as abortion, guns and the U.S. Supreme Court.An announcer asks without getting a response: “Governor Ivey, governor?”Ivey’s campaign didn’t have any immediate response to an email message seeking comment on the spot.Ivey has refused to debate both her GOP primary challengers and Maddox. She says Maddox should debate himself because of his inconsistent positions on issues.Maddox answers that claim in the video, saying he’s been consistent with his stances.(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more