Mars Is Not a “Life-Friendly” Star Wars Planet

first_img(Visited 415 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The new Mars InSight lander that launched this morning will be digging for geology, not life. Most likely, as before, it will find lifeless dirt and rock.In a pre-launch piece at the Los Angeles Times, Amina Khan speaks of the planet Mars with the suggestive phrase “life-friendly” twice: e.g.,Rovers, landers and orbiting spacecraft have found evidence of lakes, rivers, volcanoes and life-friendly chemical combinations on Mars. Seismology allows scientists to glimpse the internal machinations that led to those features.It takes a vivid imagination, though, to speak of a dry, dusty surface permeated with salts and toxic perchlorates as “life-friendly.” One cannot blame Khan alone for having an overactive imagination. NASA itself, perennially saturated with a hydrobioscopic view of the universe, justifies almost all of its Mars propaganda with the illogical syllogism that water implies life. Mars, however, is not much more habitable than Europa, Titan, Enceladus or its other favorite candidates for watery lagoons replete with evolved organisms.NASA PlanetQuest tweets the day before InSight launch.Another result of NASA’s “life-friendly” astrobiological perspective shows up in its support for the Star Wars cult. The NASA/JPL “PlanetQuest” Twitter account capitalized on “Star Wars Day” and the launch of the latest sequel, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” with a series of tweets comparing the film franchise’s fake planets with real exoplanets found by NASA’s Kepler mission.The Mars InSight mission overview page, however, does not mention life. It doesn’t even mention searching for water. The mission will be looking at raw geology:Previous missions to Mars have investigated the surface history of the Red Planet by examining features like canyons, volcanoes, rocks and soil. However, signatures of the planet’s formation can only be found by sensing and studying its “vital signs” far below the surface.In comparison to the other terrestrial planets, Mars is neither too big nor too small. This means that it preserves the record of its formation and can give us insight into how the terrestrial planets formed. It is the perfect laboratory from which to study the formation and evolution of rocky planets. Scientists know that Mars has low levels of geological activity. But a lander like InSight can also reveal just how active Mars really is.Here, “vital signs” and “evolution” refer to geological processes, not life. The primary instruments on InSight are a seismometer and a heat sensor that will be driven 5 meters down below the surface. It has no instruments to look for life.Do the NASA publicists at JPL feel a need to titillate the public with tweets about life, when the real mission scientists are more interested in geology? None of the spokespersons in Khan’s article talk about life, either. Khan must have just assumed that JPL is digging for “life-friendly” conditions because of the lab’s perennial promotion of astrobiology.The pseudoscience of astrobiology, as we reported (11 Apr 2018), has nothing to show for it since the “science” was invented in 1996. It came about because of another media flap about Mars life when overactive imaginations saw possible organisms in a Martian meteorite that landed in Antarctica. Later falsified, the rock did its damage. Duped by all the fake science of Martian life, the federal government funded NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, which continues promoting hydrobioscopy and SETI to this day in its Astrobiology Magazine., complete with its cartoons like “The Abominable Snow Aliens of Europa.”Some of the narrators and guests in mission control after the launch continued fact-free speculation about the possibility of life on Mars. Fox News said, “Scientists say they hope the experiment will provide them with clues about what Mars was like in the past and if those conditions could have accommodated life.”Update 5/08/18: Another paper on Space.com equated water with life, and yet admitted that perchlorate is hostile to prebiotic chemistry: “A new experiment designed to detect amino acids on Mars, in spite of the reactive perchlorate in the Martian soil that typically breaks organic compounds down, could fly on a future mission to Mars to help in the search for life there.” The word ‘life’ appears two dozen times in this short article.Mars InSight streaks across southern California skies (DFC)CEH supports planetary exploration. The astrobiology part is superfluous, useless and illogical, but the gathering of new data from space has a long track record of supporting creation. How? By showing that the solar system is young, and by showing the uniqueness of the Earth. We expect that trend will continue if InSight succeeds. Place your bets now.last_img read more

Stricter SA law ‘bringing down gun crime’

first_img19 February 2013The arrest of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius following the shooting of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, at Pistorius’ home in Pretoria last week has focused considerable attention, in the local and international media, on gun laws and gun ownership in South Africa.In 2004, new legislation came into force in South Africa, in the form of the Firearms Control Act of 2000, that brought in significantly tougher controls on the ownership, possession and use of firearms in the country.According to South African Police Service (SAPS) statistics, the level of gun-related crime in the country dropped by 21.2% between 2004/5 and 2011/12.Gun-related homicide, ‘intimate femicide’While this was in line with a general decrease in crime levels reported over the same period, there is evidence to support a statement made by SA’s Ministry of Police in December that the drop in gun-related crime was thanks to the new gun law.Anti-gun organisation Gun Free South Africa, in its February update, cites data gleaned from countrywide mortuary statistics by the National Injury Mortality Surveillance System showing the percentage of firearm homicides in South Africa’s major centres – Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Pretoria – dropping from 29% in 2002 to 10.8% in 2008.Fact-checking website Africa Check found further corroboration of the police ministry’s claim in research by the Medical Research Council’s Gender and Health Research Unit on the murder of women by their “intimate partners”, which found that the use of guns in such cases almost halved between 1999 and 2009.For Gun Free South Africa, there is no doubt that the reason for the decreasing role of firearms in violent crime in the country is because the Firearms Control Act “drastically raised the bar for gun ownership, thereby excluding people who aren’t fit and proper”.Two-stage licence application processWhile gun owners’ associations will continue to dispute this, it is certainly the intention behind the legislation, which stipulates, among other things, that:A would-be gun owner must first apply to be declared fit to obtain a firearm licence, and be issued with a competency certificate. Only then can he or she apply for a firearm licence, which licenses the person while registering the specific firearm applied for. The applicant must supply third-party character references, and pass background checks which take criminal, mental, medical, domestic violence, addiction, employment, and previous licence records into account.  The would-be owner must demonstrate an understanding of firearm safety and the law by passing theoretical tests and undergoing practical training.  Once licensed, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their licence every two to 10 years.  Where past history or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law stipulates that a gun licence be denied or revoked. Firearm handoverThe law gave existing licence holders five years in which to renew their licences or, failing that, to lawfully disposed of them of surrender them to the authorities for destruction.According the SAPS, some 180 000 firearms were voluntarily surrendered to the police between January 2005 and March 2009. Most of these firearms were destroyed.In spite of this, levels of gun ownership remain high in South Africa. Gun Free SA cites the Central Firearms Registry as reporting that there were approximately 2.9-million firearms registered to just over 1.5-million civilians in SA in August 2011 – down from 3.5-million in the hands of 2.4-million individuals in 1994, when the country held its first democratic elections.Other estimates, taking into account illegal firearms, put that number much higher. Sydney, Australia-based GunPolicy.org, citing an international study published in 2007, estimates that there are almost 6-million privately held guns in SA.The Ministry of Police remains undaunted. Spokesman Zweli Mnisi said in December that gun control was “at the heart of the ministry’s strategy to combat violent crime”, adding that systems were also being put in place “to ensure that firearms that are in the hands of the police and security officers are properly monitored to prevent loss and abuse.“This forms part of the ministry’s holistic approach to combating crime, which includes the promotion of responsible ownership of firearms.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

5 Services That Leverage Google Wave

first_imgGoogle Wave went public yesterday and became a part of the Google Apps ecosystem. With the news comes a number of companies that are using the API to develop integrations that bring new scope and capabilities for enterprise grade collaboration.Salesforce.com and SAP are the latest companies to integrate Google Wave. But there are many more organizations using Google Wave as a platform shows that the real-time co-editing service has a recognized value to the enterprise world. Real-time is the name of the game these days. Google Wave provides a new window for companies looking to capitalize on the Google Apps platform.Here are five services that we think are of interest.UnawaveUnawave builds task management and project management into Google Wave, providing a level of functionality to manage work and project teams. It has crowdsourcing elements that allows people to add videos or images, for instance, to give projects and tasks more context. A real-time dashboards gives insights into how work is progressing. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Process WaveProcess Wave comes out of the research done at the Hasso Plattner Institute. Plattner is the chairman of SAP and so it’s of interest to see the institute develop a business process service that leverages Google Wave’s co-editing capabilities. Process Wave is a collaborative diagram editor for Google Wave. It is designed to make the creation of diagrams a collaborative process. Process OneProcess One has developed a server called WaveOne. The server sits on top of the Process One instant messaging service. It is designed as a service that allows people to collaborate in real-time on email or documents. It is an extension to the Process One XMPP server.TwilioTwilio uses the Google Wave API to build a robot extension called twiliobot that enables users to make and receive phone calls from inside Google Wave. Calls are recorded, transcribed, and posted back to the wave. Twilio is one of the veterans of the Google Wave platform, launching the service last year. CaseishCaseish is a Wave organizer, the premise being that with multiple Waves, people need a gadget to keep track of managing multiple business processes. This one also has ties to SAP. The developer created the service in light of the complexities in integrating SAP applications to monitor business processes. The result is a tool that uses a form to assign business value and other criteria. The gadget tracks the Waves so bug reports, for instance, can be monitored. alex williams Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Tags:#enterprise#news#Products Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

Hakim new Kolkata Mayor

first_imgWest Bengal Urban Development Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim was elected Mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation on Monday. Mr. Hakim, the first Muslim Mayor of the city’s civic body since Independence, was nominated for the contest by TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee after Sovan Chatterjee resigned from the post.Mr. Hakim secured votes of 121 councillors in the 144-member KMC to win the election. BJP candidate Meena Devi Purohit could manage the support of only five councillors from her own party. The councillors of the Left parties and the Congress did not participate. Mr. Hakim said that his primary objective will be to serve the people of the city.last_img read more

The life cycle of a cannabis plant from seed to store

first_imgArmina Ligaya, The Canadian Press TORONTO — Licensed cannabis producers are ramping up production to address shortages that have plagued the pot market since legalization in October, but the time required to grow the average marijuana plant means consumers likely have a few more weeks to wait. Cannabis lives up to its nickname and grows like a weed, but the plant needs as many as 18 weeks to progress from seed to harvest before it even moves on to processing and packaging.Licensed producer CannTrust walked The Canadian Press through their cultivation and processing facilities to get a close look at the process. Here are the various life stages of the cannabis plant: from seed to plant to processing and packaging.1) Seed/CuttingMost commercial cannabis growers skip the seed stage and grow new plants from cuttings of established ones, as seeds take longer and are prone to genetic variation, which can affect product quality. Cuttings are taken from so-called “mother plants” grown for the purpose of genetic cloning. The moniker stems from the fact that they must be female — male plants produce pollen and seeds but female plants produce the coveted cannabinoid-filled flower. “Every plant in the greenhouse is a female plant,” said Michael Camplin, general manager of CannTrust’s Niagara-area cultivation facility. “There are no males allowed in this facility.”Growing a new plant from cuttings produces genetically identical plants, allowing producers to generate cannabis from a certain strain with particular characteristics, he said.“It’s called a mother plant because it’s producing basically children,” Camplin said. “It’s producing young plants that will have the same characteristics as the mother.”2) SeedlingSmall cuttings are taken from the mother plants and planted into a moist starter cube in a low light and high humidity environment.“They’re literally babied along,” Camplin said.After two weeks, the roots start to sprout through the starter cube and the seedling is transplanted to a larger cube. After an additional two weeks of growth, the young cannabis plant is moved to a slightly larger base.3) Vegetative stateOnce beyond the seedling stage, the plant enters the vegetative state and is encouraged to grow up and out. This is done by controlling the amount of light the plant receives.If the plant receives 18 hours of daylight or more in a given day, it will continue to grow without producing any flower, Camplin said.4) FloweringGetting the plant to produce flowers involves convincing it that autumn is approaching, which means cutting back on the light cycle.“Marijuana plants are very light sensitive, and they are triggered to go into flower when the day length shortens in nature, as the summer starts to turn into fall,” he said. “The days get shorter, and the plant knows that it’s time to reproduce.”Mimicking the change in seasons by shortening the daylight period to 12 hours will prompt the plant to flower and produced the desired bud.The time needed for a plant to flower depends on the strain, but it can range from as little as seven weeks to as much as 10 weeks, Camplin said.5) HarvestingOnce the flowering plant has reached the desired stage, it is time to harvest. The plant’s flower or bud is coated in tiny, glistening hair-like glands called trichomes that contain the active ingredients in the plant called cannabinoids. The best-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, known as THC and CBD. Trichomes also contain terpenes, the fragrant oils which produce a unique taste and smell.The plants are cut and cannabis buds are mechanically separated from the stems and leaves, before being inspected and then trimmed by hand, Camplin said.6) DryingThe fresh cannabis flower is then dried on racks for up to two weeks. The buds are then stored in loosely closed plastic bags in large bins, which help to control the humidity, for two weeks.“That equalizes the moisture level, and every day they’re opened and stirred — or burped as they say in the drying room — and closed back up,” Camplin said.Keeping them in the closed bins also help the buds retain the terpenes, he said.Once the drying is complete, the bud is graded by size. Larger buds are usually preferred for dried flower sales while smaller buds are often earmarked for oil, he said.7) Testing and processing At this stage, the cannabis is tested for quality before it is cleared for the manufacturing process, said Chris Lucky, CannTrust’s vice-president of supply chain and manufacturing. On average, it takes 10 to 11 days to get the lab results back.Once the buds pass the appropriate tests, the pot is then either packaged for sale or put through an extraction process to produce cannabis oil.8) ExtractionThe buds chosen to produce oils are put through an industrial-sized grinder and then baked. Similar to when cannabis is smoked, the heating process activates the ingredients within the bud that provide the medicinal effects, Anna Jakobsmeier, CannTrust’s director of extraction and refinement, said.“We’re manipulating it to now provide the medicine,” she said.The baked cannabis is then placed into an extraction machine that uses heated and pressurized carbon dioxide to separate the cannabinoids from the plant.“You’re removing the cannabinoids, as well as some other components of the plant, but you’re leaving behind the actual dried product,” she said.The resulting liquid containing the cannabinoids is mixed with a carrier oil, such as a type of coconut oil known as Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCT oil. The oil is then bottled or put into capsules and packaged for sale.9) Packaging and LabellingThe finished products are packaged and labelled as per Health Canada’s guidelines, which include strict limits on the use of colours, graphics and logos.Products destined for Canada’s adult use market receive an excise stamp, which indicate that the product was produced legally and that applicable duties were paid. Each product must have a stamp corresponding to the province or territory where it will be sold.Complications with the stamp were blamed by many pot producers for causing a bottleneck in the supply chain, contributing to the shortage. Problems cited by producers included a delay in receiving the stamps, as well as the need for glue to affix the stamps, which slowed down the process. Cannabis is a brand new industry, and companies are learning and refining the processes as they go, and incorporating automation to speed up the process where possible, Lucky said.“Everybody is learning the processes… There’s a lot of things we have done as an organization, and industry across the board, in terms of how we can automate.”last_img read more

Fish Creek Community Forest receives new decor

first_imgIn speaking with Ryan Harvey, Communications Director for the City of Fort St. John, says crews will be dispatched to collect the signs and City staff will attempt to contact the owners from the information on the signs.To read more about the 2016 signs; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – This past weekend the Fish Creek Community Forest received some unexpected decor with the addition of real estate signs at the entry to the trails.The titled image posted to a FB group shows approximately 8 signs scattered about the entrance.This is not the first time real estate signs have been posted at the entrance of Fish Creek as reported by Energeticcity in June 2016.last_img read more

Spl Police Observer holds meet with CEO

first_imgKolkata: Special Police Observer for Bengal Vivek Dube on Sunday held a meeting with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Aariz Aftab and other election officials in the state, to take stock of the poll-preparedness and deployment of the security personnel.Earlier in the day, Dube landed in the city and went to the guest house of Kolkata Port Trust. It has been learnt that Dube will hold a meeting with all the senior election officials in the state to assess the law and order situation across Bengal. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaOn Sunday, he wanted to know from the CEO about the deployment of the Central forces in the state. A special chamber has been set up at the office of the CEO for Dube, where he will be stationed until the completion of the Lok Sabha elections in the state. He is expected to hold a meeting with the various political leaders on Monday and listen to their concerns. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has recently appointed Dube as the Special Police Observer, replacing K K Sharma. The announcement came less than a day after Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee sought Sharma’s removal. Banerjee had produced a photograph showing Sharma attending a programme organised by the RSS, in uniform. The commission has not, however, given any reasons for replacing Sharma. Dube will look after the deployment of Central and state forces. He will also look after other matters as per the instructions of the Election Commission.last_img read more

West Indies set record ODI opening stand against Ireland

first_imgDublin: West Indies openers John Campbell and Shai Hope shattered the record for the highest first-wicket partnership in a one-day international with a stand of 365 against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday. The duo comfortably exceeded the previous opening best at this level of 304 set by Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in July last year. Campbell made 179 and Hope 170 in an eventual total of 381 for three after the visitors were sent in to bat by Ireland captain William Porterfield at Clontarf. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuHope was first to his century while Campbell quickly followed to him to a hundred — his first in international cricket. They were both dismissed in the 48th over, Campbell top-edging Barry McCarthy to mid-off with Hope falling three balls later when he holed out to deep square-leg. Campbell faced 137 balls, including 15 fours and six sixes, with Hope’s 152-ball knock featuring 22 fours and two sixes. The only higher partnership in the 4,128-match history of men’s ODI cricket also belongs to the West Indies, with Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels sharing a second-wicket stand of 372 against Zimbabwe in Canberra during the 2015 World Cup. Ireland’s attack had sparked an England top-order collapse at nearby Malahide on Friday but had no answer as the West Indies ran riot in the opening match of a triangular series also featuring Bangladesh.last_img read more

Win over Cincinnati a game for the record books

OSU sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa (left) forces a fumble from Cincinnati redshirt-sophomore quarterback Gunner Kiel during a Sept. 27 game at Ohio Stadium. The fumble resulted in an OSU safety.Credit: Chelsea Spears / Multimedia editorLed by a redshirt-freshman quarterback and a largely inexperienced offensive line, Ohio State put on one of the best offensive performances in school history Saturday, as it rolled to a 50-28 victory against Cincinnati.The Buckeye offense totaled 710 total yards against the Bearcats, just eight yards shy of the school record.In addition to yardage, the Buckeyes broke the school record and tied an FBS record for first downs with 45 and tied a school record for most plays run with 101.OSU coach Urban Meyer said after the game that the offensive diversity — along with improved line play — is what contributed to the record-setting night.“We’re an offensive line-driven team. And they won the game for us. And they controlled that line of scrimmage,” Meyer said. “They protected our (redshirt-freshman) quarterback. J.T. (Barrett) played well. Other than a dropped third down and a fumble, I was very pleased for the night, offensively.”The explosive and balanced attack could have easily broken the school record, had it not been for a fumble by freshman running back Curtis Samuel and a dropped third-down pass by senior wide receiver Devin Smith, both in the second quarter. Despite the drop, though, Smith scored twice on the night.Smith’s fellow senior, tight end Jeff Heuerman, who recorded three catches for 38 yards Saturday after sitting out the Kent State game because of a foot injury, said the Buckeyes could have played even better.“We did a whole lot as an offense tonight. The crazy part is we didn’t play our best,” Heuerman said after the game. “We left points and yards out there, too. We punted once, but we fumbled and kicked two field goals. Overall, it was a pretty impressive performance.”Perhaps the most impressive performer was Barrett, who totaled 409 yards of offense. His performance left him just three yards shy of the all-time school record for most individual yards in a game, a mark held by Art Schlichter, a quarterback who accumulated 412 yards against Florida State in 1981.Barrett completed 26 of his 36 pass attempts for 330 yards Saturday, and six of those completions were to sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson, whom Barrett found wide open for a 24-yard score late in the third quarter.Wilson said Barrett’s hard work in practice is starting to show during games.“He is playing very well. I always knew he had it in him because he is such a great leader,” Wilson said. “He works really hard and now, he is just perfecting his craft.”Barrett said he attributes his big night to the big guys up front.“All the credit goes to the offensive line,” he said following the game. “They got it started for us and that’s what coach Meyer always talks about is relying on them to keep the offense going.”The Buckeyes seemed to do just that as Barrett was sacked only once, and OSU rushed for 380 yards.Of the 380 yards on the ground, 182 belonged to sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott in a new career high. But Elliott also said afterward that the offensive line deserves the credit, despite his big stat line.“It all goes to the line. The line made those big holes. It is not that hard to run when you got those gaping holes,” he said.Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said following the game that it did not dawn on him how impressive Elliot was until after the clock hit zero.“I honestly didn’t realize we had run the ball so well until the end of the game,” Herman said. “The guys up front deserve a lot of that credit too. (Elliot) certainly got his pads north and south and was running through arm tackles, and it was fun to watch him run tonight.”Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said he thought his team played hard, but it couldn’t find a way to stop the Buckeye rushing game.“I’m proud of my team for fighting,” he said. “Effort was good on both sides and we played hard. We just got knocked off the ball on zone plays.”The win over the Bearcats marked Meyer’s first-ever win over Tuberville in three tries. Meyer lost twice to Tuberville when both coached in the Southeastern Conference at Florida and Auburn, respectively.The Buckeyes are set to travel to College Park, Md., to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for noon. read more

Jim Tressel 3 former Ohio State players on College Football Hall of

Then-coach Jim Tressel holds the championship trophy after a game against Oregon Jan. 1, 2010, at the Rose Bowl. OSU won, 26-17.Credit: Courtesy of TNSFormer Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel and three former OSU players are listed on the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame ballot, according to an OSU release.Alongside Tressel — who is the current president of Youngstown State University — on the ballot are former Buckeye running back Keith Byars, linebacker Tom Cousineau and fullback Jim Otis. The former coach and three players are among 193 names on the ballot.The 2015 class is set to be announced on Jan. 9 in Arlington, Texas, three days before the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship Game, according to the release.Tressel coached at Youngstown State from 1986-2000 before joining the Buckeyes from 2001-10. He won the Football Championship Subdivision national title four times with the Penguins before winning the 2002 BCS National Championship with OSU.Byars was the 1984 Heisman Trophy runner-up, the same season he was named the Big Ten MVP and a first team All-American and All-Big Ten. He’s fifth in OSU history for all-purpose yards and rushing yards. Byars also played 13 seasons in the NFL as a running back and tight end.Cousineau’s 572 career tackles while at OSU are the second best in school history and he was named first team All-American twice to go with three All-Big Ten seasons. He was drafted first overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 1979 NFL Draft.Otis won the 1968 national championship with the Buckeyes and was named a first team All-American the following year.Currently in the College Football Hall of Fame are 24 former Buckeye players and 10 former coaches. Former offensive lineman Orlando Pace was inducted last year. The last OSU coach to be inducted was John Cooper in 2008. read more