Pence and Pompeo May Get Cold Shoulder in Turkey

first_imgTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan says he won’t meet with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when they arrive in Turkey later today. Pence and Pompeo are scheduled to leave for Ankara this afternoon to discuss a potential ceasefire in Syria.Erdogan says he will only speak with President Trump about the situation.Turkish forces attacked Kurdish fighters last week after President Trump pulled U.S. troops out of northeastern part Syria. Also, Turkey’s vice president says there will be no ceasefire in his country’s war on Kurds in Syria because Turkey views the Kurds as a terrorist group. Fuat Oktay tells Sky News that there would be no negotiations either because he cannot negotiate with terrorists.The Kurds served as U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS but were attacked by Turkey this month when President Trump withdrew American troops from the region.Trump has since put sanctions on Turkey. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are headed to Turkey today to try and negotiate a break in the fighting. Oktay says he hopes that Turkey will not have to fight the Syrian regime but that Ankara is determined to achieve its military objectives.last_img read more

Calf named “Baby Ben” in honor of Steelers quarterback

first_imgThis photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014 and provided by Vale Wood Farms, shows a calf born on Saturday, Sept 20, on their farm in Loretto, Pa., with a marking of a number 7 on its head.  (AP Photo/Vale Wood Farms, Carissa Itle Westrick)LORETTO, Pa. (AP) – Moooove over, Ben Roethlisberger. There’s a new No. 7 in western Pennsylvania.The folks at Vale Wood Farms in Loretto have named a calf Baby Ben after the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback because the cow has a marking that looks like a No. 7 on its head.The farm has posted the calf’s picture on its Facebook page, and WJAC-TV (http://bit.ly/1ptyWT9 ) visited the farm about 70 miles east of Pittsburgh to see what all the fuss is about.Carissa Itle-Westrick, the director of business development for the family-owned food-and-grocery farm, is hoping Roethlisberger won’t mind.She says, “Baby Ben is awfully cute, so hopefully Big Ben won’t mind sharing his namesake.”The farm plans to display the calf when it opens its pumpkin patch for business next month.___Information from: WJAC-TV, http://www.wjactv.comlast_img read more

Jellyfish for Your Health

first_img(Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Jellyfish have inspired a cancer cell search tool – just one of new products and services inspired by nature.Tentacle probe:  “Inspired by marine creatures that present long tentacles containing multiple adhesive domains to effectively capture flowing food particulates,” medical researchers built a new probe for blood that catches more circulating tumor cells (CTCs) than possible before, a new paper in PNAS reported.  The tentacles allow a 3-D network arrangement of DNA strands that match rare cancer cells in small samples of blood.  Science Daily describes what they did:A new device from researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital overcomes those obstacles. Inspired by the tentacles of a jellyfish, the team coated a microfluidic channel with long strands of DNA that grab specific proteins found on the surfaces of leukemia cells as they flow by. Using this strategy, the researchers achieved flow rates 10 times higher than existing devices — fast enough to make the systems practical for clinical use.Science Daily posted a second article on this new bio-inspired technology that can help “catch and release” marker cells before they metastasize, all by mimicking the tentacle method of jellyfish and sea cucumbers.Mr. Clean butterfly:  Did you ever think about how hard it would be for a butterfly to fly with dirty wings?  Fortunately, they come equipped with self-cleaning surfaces that resist water and dust.  Researchers at Ohio State University have created a surface with similar properties that does a much better job at staying clean, Science Daily reported.  We’ve heard about shark skin and lotus leaves with this property, but now butterflies – already a source of bio-inspiration for their bright colors – join the cleaning crew.  Their research paper is entitled, “Bioinspired rice leaf and butterfly wing surface structures combining shark skin and lotus effects.”  Put that texture inside pipes and you could “enhance fluid flow and prevent surfaces from getting dirty — characteristics that could be mimicked in high-tech surfaces for aircraft and watercraft, pipelines, and medical equipment.”Automatic assembly:  Proteins fold into intricate shapes by nature of their amino acid sequences.  Scientists would like to build nano-machines that do that trick.  In Nature last week (Nov 8), a team came a little closer to that goal by designing sequences that could fold into very simple shapes that constitute building blocks of higher protein structures, namely, alpha coils and beta sheets.  So far the results only demonstrate proof of concept for the idea; natural proteins are much more complex.  According to the Editor’s Summary of a Nature News & Views article on this effort, “The design principles and methodology described here should allow the design of a wide range of robust and stable protein building blocks for the next generation of engineered functional proteins.”  Birte Hocker wrote, “With lengths of 80–100 amino acids, the authors’ protein structures are comparable in size to small protein domains that act as building blocks of larger, more complex proteins. The design of custom protein scaffolds that perform new functions is now conceivable, as is the assembly of bigger designed domains and quaternary complexes.”Nano-machines:  Speaking of proteins, many of them fold into molecular machines that capture random thermal energy and turn it into useful work.  Scientists in Berlin succeeded in making a very simple lever-like device that turns randomly moving hydrogen molecules into specified work, New Scientist said.  “Jose Ignacio Pascual at the Free University of Berlin in Germany and colleagues took inspiration from the natural world, where random motion powers structures such as proteins that move cargo around inside cells.”Weird brain:  In a case of biomimetics in reverse, one organism appears to mimic human intellectual abilities.  That organism is Physarum polycephalum, a slime mold.  Nature News published an article about how this colonial microbe shows an uncanny ability to “solve mazes, mimic the layout of man-made transportation networks and choose the healthiest food from a diverse menu—and all this without a brain or nervous system.”  This organism is raising questions about what constitutes intelligence.  The article includes a video clip of the organism solving a maze and creating a memory of the most direct path.Our Creator must laugh when proud man struggles to catch up with the technologies He built into the simplest living things.  Christian parents should think seriously about a biomimetics career for their science-precocious kids.  It’s 100% Darwin-free and can help mankind.  Start them on a science project to take a bug, spider or leaf from around the house and try to build something that imitates some desirable feature of its life.  If they hesitate, tell them they can be Spiderman.last_img read more

Banks get in on SA’s power boom

first_img29 August 2013Investec Plc announced on Wednesday that it was leading the financing of two South African gas power plants being developed by French company GDF Suez, marking the first major non-renewable independent power projects to be financed by South African institutions.Construction of the two two greenfield open-cycle turbine power plants, the 670-megawatt (MW) Avon plant in KwaZulu-Natal, and the 335 MW Dedisa plant in the Eastern Cape, has commenced.The plants are expected to start providing electricity to state company Eskom – with whom power purchase agreements were signed in June – in 2015 at the Dedisa plant and 2016 at the Avon plant.The plants are 38% owned by GDF Suez, 27% by South African company Legend Power Solutions, 25% by Japanese company Mitsui & Co, and 10% by The Peaker Trust representing broad-based black organisations and communities. GDF Suez will establish the company that operates and maintains the two plants.Investec said on Wednesday that it was the lead finance arranger in a syndicate of six financial institutions for the two projects, together amounting to a R9.7-billion investment in the country.“The peaking power projects are the first major non-renewable independent power projects being financed in the South African market,” Robert Gecelter of Investec project and infrastructure finance said in a statement. “The participation of some of South Africa’s leading financial institutions illustrates the market’s appetite to support this vital expansion of the national grid.”South Africa’s renewable energy driveDespite being Africa’s largest power market with over 45 GW of installed generation, South Africa’s fast-growing economy and fast-urbanizing population has created huge demand for energy, opening up solid opportunities for investors, particularly in the development of renewable energy.The government is supporting the creation of new capacity with a number of initiatives, including a plan to bring 17 800 MW from renewable sources online by 2030.Last year, the government signed contracts with a number of independent power producers to procure 3 625 MW of renewable energy by the end of 2016 in order to to curb South Africa’s reliance on coal and help reduce it carbon emissions.GDF Suez, one of the successful bidders, is a 43% equity stakeholder in the joint venture project Aurora Wind Power, which started construction of the 94 MW West Coast One wind farm near Vredenburg in the Western Cape.Investec holds 34.5%, Kagiso Tiso Holdings holds 20%, and a community trust holds the remaining 2.5% in the project, which is expected to start delivering power in mid-2015.New coal-fired power plantGDF Suez is also involved in a fourth South African power venture, having signed an agreement with South African mining group Exxaro Resources to develop a 600 MW, expandable to 1 800 MW, coal-fired power plant outside Lephalale in Limpopo province.“GDF Suez’s partnership with South Africa is gaining momentum, with several agreements successfully concluded during the second quarter of 2013,” GDF Suez Energy CEO for South Asia, Middle East and Africa Shankar Krishnamoorthy said after the signing of the agreement in July.“Successful public-private partnerships in the power sector will contribute to the adequacy and efficiency of South Africa’s electricity industry, which is key to the country’s economic development.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Why Is the HERS Reference Home Based on an Outdated Energy Code?

first_imgThe HERS Index is a number that gives you a measure of how energy-efficient a home is. We can debate how relevant that number is or how accurate is the energy model it’s based on, but the fact is that it’s being used.The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) includes a compliance path based on the HERS Index, which they call the Energy Rating Index (ERI). Here in my state, Georgia Power has been educating home buyers on the HERS Index since they created their EarthCents program a couple of years ago. But the HERS Index is based on the 2006 IECC. Is that a problem?The HERS Index calculationA while back I wrote an article on the calculations behind the HERS Index, and I showed the equation that appears at the end of this paragraph. The important concept contained in that equation is the HERS reference home. What the calculation is doing is comparing the energy use of the home being rated to the energy use of the HERS reference home. The rated home has whatever insulation levels, airtightness, and other efficiency parameters the HERS rater enters (which, unfortunately, aren’t always what’s in the home). The reference home is set up to meet the energy efficiency requirements of the 2006 IECC.The equation for calculating the HERS Index shows that it’s a ratio of the energy used by the rated home to the energy used by the reference home, which is based on the 2006 IECC. RELATED ARTICLESHow Is a Home’s HERS Index Calculated?More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About the HERS Index Study Finds Huge Variation in California HERS Rating ResultsThe 2015 IECC Recognizes Home Energy RatingsEnergy Modeling Isn’t Very Accurate The result is that if the number comes out to be exactly 100 (for a home with no onsite power production and a PEfrac of 1), that means, roughly, that it would meet the 2006 energy code.Shouldn’t we update the HERS Reference Home?But wait! The energy code is updated every three years. Since 2006, we’ve had the 2009 IECC, the 2012 IECC, and now the 2015 IECC. Shouldn’t we update the reference home to use the most recent version of the energy code?No. If we did update the reference home every time the code changed, we wouldn’t be able to compare the HERS Index of one home to that of a home using a different energy code. And the whole purpose of the HERS Index is to allow us to compare one home to another.Let me give you an example. We measure weight with respect to the Earth’s gravitational pull, but let’s say Congress passed a bill requiring that everyone born on or after 1 January 2015 had to be weighed according to a pound based on the Moon’s gravity. And those born in 2018 or later would have weights based on the gravity of Venus. In 2021, we’d switch again to pounds based on Jupiter’s gravity.I weigh 190 pounds. Someone born between 2015 and 2018 who weighed the same (that would be one huge baby!) would be 31.5 pounds. My weight twin born between 2018 and 2021 would weigh 172 pounds, and after 2021 they would 481 pounds.As you can see, it would be a complete mess and no one would be able to compare weights easily because of all the different references for the pound.One thing does changeBy keeping the reference home’s energy code set to the 2006 IECC, we can keep comparing the HERS Indices of different homes, but one thing does change: the HERS Index of a home that meets the current code.A new home meeting the 2006 energy code would have a HERS Index of 100. That’s shown in the scale above where it marks 100 as the Index of a “Standard New Home.” A new home meeting more recent codes would be lower. In Georgia, we’re on the 2009 IECC, and a typical new home just meeting the code would have a HERS Index of about 92. The 2012 and 2015 codes bring it down into the 80s.So there you have it. Despite the fact that energy codes have improved since 2006, we don’t want to mess with the HERS Reference Home. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

NRC: Anxious Assam readies for headcount results

first_imgFive years, four deferred deadlines and ₹1,220 crore later, the outcome of one of India’s largest headcount exercises – the Supreme Court-monitored National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam – is scheduled to be published on Saturday.The State has been anxiously awaiting the final NRC that is envisaged to quantify the number of illegal immigrants, a decades-old political issue, and filter them out from the genuine Indian citizens.Also Read On eve of NRC release, people throng Bengal Archives How many likely to be out of NRC? Assam NRC: guide to check names in final list published  But the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has panned the NRC for being faulty. “We think it has included the names of many foreigners. This was why we had wanted a large-scale re-verification,” State party president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said.A senior government official in Delhi said the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has recorded the biometric details of all the persons who had filed claims under the NRC exercise and Aadhar cards will be issued to them if their names are included in the final register.(With inputs from Vijaita Singh)  The unease is more among people of Bengal origin, both Hindus and Muslims. While international organisations and rights groups have panned the State machinery of targeting migrant Muslims, State Home Department officials said the exclusion list could have more Hindus.Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said certain forces have been carrying out propaganda against the NRC. “The NRC exercise under the supervision of the apex court will soon reach a conclusion, and I am sure everything will be peaceful. I want to assure those who will be left out that they should not worry. The government will provide help [in filing appeals], and if there is any issue, they can get in touch through the district administration,” he said in a statement.“There is a degree of panic, but people know there are options to challenge exclusions. The fear of the Assamese people from being overrun by outsiders had triggered this exercise, which we feel was necessary to stop viewing the minority people as Bangladeshi,” said Moniruz Zaman, leader of the All Assam Minority Students’ Union.Also Read  The anxiety surrounds the number of people likely to be excluded from the 3.29 crore applicants. More than 41 lakh people were excluded from the draft NRC in two phases, of whom 3.61 lakh did not re-apply for inclusion.Also Readlast_img read more

Pacquiao wants Horn rematch in the Philippines

first_imgManny Pacquiao, right, of the Philippines watches Jeff Horn of Australia falls on the mat during their WBO World welterweight title bout in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight world title to Horn in a stunning, unanimous points decision in the Sunday afternoon bout billed as the Battle of Brisbane in front of more than 50,000 people. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)Manny Pacquiao said on Sunday he was still wanted a rematch with Jeff Horn after the Filipino boxing hero  pulled out of their scheduled bout in Australia later his year.Queensland’s premier, whose state government was the financial backer of a November 12 fight, announced on Friday that Pacquiao “cannot return to the ring” due to other commitments. ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Djokovic becomes father of baby girl WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses “It will not push through there in Australia. But we are bringing the fight here in the Philippines,” Pacquiao said on radio station DZBB, adding negotiations were ongoing. “This will be good for our country’s tourism.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPacquiao, 38, had initially called for a rematch after losing his World Boxing Organization welterweight title to the 29-year-old on points Horn in a major upset in Brisbane on July 2.Pacquiao, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, had demanded a review of the bout but the WBO declared Horn the clear winner after a panel of judges re-scored the fight. center_img Read Next Now in the twilight of a 22-year professional career, Pacquiao has not stopped an opponent in eight years and briefly quit boxing last year to pursue his long-held political ambitions and was elected senator.But he quickly made a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in November, saying he still felt like a youngster.Pacquiao has defied calls to retire for good, including from his family and celebrated American trainer Freddie Roach.  Pacquiao dismissed funding concerns about hosting the multi-million dollar fight in the Philippines. “We have lots of friends who are supporting us including our tourism (department). The president is giving his all-out support,” Pacquiao said referring to his political ally Rodrigo Duterte.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony01:49Pacquiao to Mayweather: Want fans to stop asking for rematch? Then fight me again00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View commentslast_img read more

Bataan, Manila seal semis clash with sweeps

first_imgGoogle Philippines names new country director Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES “We’re different teams now so I welcome the challenge and see what my guys are made of,” said Lastimosa, who is also relishing his coaching duel with with fellow PBA all-time great Philip Cezar.Far Eastern U star Richard Escoto led a balanced charge from the Risers, finishing with 17 points and nine assists, while Gab Dagangon continued his solid play with 15 points and five boards.The Risers hardly gave the Supremos a chance, controlling the game with a tough defensive stand that saw Caloocan commit seven more turnovers with 16.Bitoon tossed 20 points and dished out six assists for Manila.ADVERTISEMENT POC president assures smooth sailing in preparations for Sea Games hosting Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Later, the fourth-seeded Stars eliminated the Bulacan Kuyas with an emphatic 92-83 victory behind strong perfor mances from Chris Bitoon and Aris Dionisio also for a 2-0 win.Game 1 of the best-of-three series is tentatively set on Monday at Bataan People’s Center in Balanga. The other North division semifinal pits Quezon City and San Juan.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“The real playoffs start for us,” said Bataan coach Jojo Lastimosa. “Manila is tough, they’re complete and they’re just like us with their mix of veterans and young players. It’s going to be a good series.”The one and only time the two teams faced off was way back in June with the Stars prevailing 89-82 at home.center_img Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving MOST READ PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Top seed Bataan and Manila forged a blockbuster semifinal duel after sweeping different first round foes in the North division playoffs of the MPBL Datu Cup on Wednesday night at San Andres Sports Complex in Manila.The Risers opened the game with a 20-6 blitz before coasting to an 83-71 triumph over No. 8 Caloocan to blank the Supremos in their best-of-three quarterfinal series.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

US government broadcaster to punish workers for Soros report

first_imgWASHINGTON – The U.S. government’s international broadcasting agency says it will discipline employees responsible for a television report on philanthropist George Soros that violated its professional ethics and standards.The U.S. Agency for Global Media says that those who produced the report would be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into “apparent misconduct” and may face disciplinary measures, including firing depending on the results of the probe.The report on Soros aired in May on Spanish-language Radio Television Marti network, which broadcasts to Cuba.It described him as a “Jewish multi-millionaire” influencing nations through nongovernment groups. It referenced the conservative organization Judicial Watch as believing he was undermining democracies.Recently, Soros has been accused without evidence by right-wing commentators and politicians of funding migrants heading to the U.S. from Central America.___This story has been corrected to say the TV Marti report referenced Judicial Watch, not quoted the organization.last_img read more