Much of northern Africa is dominated by the Sahara desert. (Image: Nasa) The Sahara desert, an ancient ocean, is a treasure trove of fossils. (Image: Museum of Palaeontology)Janine ErasmusGoogle Earth has once again proved to be a boon to academia – the search engine has played an important role in the discovery of a treasure trove of African fossils that could shed light on the movement of mammals from Asia into Africa.Palaeontologist Philip Gingerich of the University of Michigan and his colleagues Greg Gunnell and William Sanders made the discovery by roundabout way of a whale fossil found in a block of limestone cut from a quarry in Egypt. The limestone was in Italy at the time, where masons were slicing it into thinner pieces for use as countertops.Noticing what looked like pieces of fossils in the stone, the masons immediately contacted palaeontologist Giovanni Bianucci from the University of Pisa, who identified the remains as those of a 40-million-year-old whale. The mammal lived in Egypt during the time when the northern part of Africa was a much wetter place than it is today.Gingerich, an expert on early whales, was immediately intrigued and began making plans to visit the quarry. There was one problem, though, and that was the exact location of the site. Before setting out on a mystery trek across the desert, the palaeontologist decided to search for the quarry using Google’s state-of-the-art virtual earth application.Hunt for fossilsHis only clue was a comment made by Bianucci that the quarry was near the Egyptian city of El Sheikh Fadl, situated on the east bank of the Nile river about 160km south of the capital city Cairo. The area is well known for its quality limestone, which is shipped all over the world in the form of countertops and tiles.It didn’t take Gingerich long to locate El Sheikh Fadl. The next step was to locate the source of the limestone. “My idea was that a big rock quarry should show up,” he said in an interview with the Michigan Daily newspaper. “If it’s big enough to be exporting limestone to Europe, it’s going to have trucks coming in and out of it.”Gingerich’s sharp eye soon spotted what looked like a range of limestone cliffs leading eastward across the Sahara desert. Zooming in and following the trail, he first saw the road he was seeking, and then an area of excavations that he knew must be the quarry.Wasting no time, the palaeontologist made his way to Egypt, where he met with colleagues and then set out for the site. Once there, however, the busy quarrying industry and associated blasting seemed to be a hindrance to the easy discovery of whale fossils – until Gingerich spotted a band of red running through the white limestone.Rich cache of fossilsThis turned out to be a line of sediment, laid down in ancient caves by the wind and perfectly preserved. There was a good possibility of discovering fossils in this exact location, because caves often acted as traps.“Red markings usually signify places where ground water has eroded caves,” said Gingerich, “and there should be animals preserved in that sediment.” He was proven correct when the team found a rich cache of little bones and jaws scattered throughout the area.Samples were delivered to researcher Gregg Gunnell and William Sanders of Michigan University’s Museum of Palaeontology. Gunnell identified them as 20-million-year-old bats and rodents from the Miocene period that extended from 23-million to 5.3-million years ago. The little fossils belonged to the early Miocene epoch (23-million to 16-million years ago).Animal migrationIn fact, the researchers concluded that they could be amongst the oldest known mammal fossils from that period and, as such, an important clue to the dispersal of species between Africa and Asia, and between North Africa and the rest of the continent.The early Miocene migration of bovid species from Asia into Africa occurred during cooler periods, when polar ice caps were denser and there was less water in the oceans. A combination of the lowered sea level and tectonic movement caused a land bridge to form between Africa and Asia at the time, giving animals the opportunity to seek new pastures.Gingerich never found the whales he was looking for, but his discovery nonetheless is significant because the small rodents and bats could represent some of the forerunners of the wildlife that Africa is renowned for today.“This place where we’re working on in Egypt is kind of right on those crossroads of coming into Africa from Asia, and in some cases going out of Africa as well,” he said.Scientific discoveryThis is not the first time Google Earth has aided in a scientific discovery. The application was crucial in the discovery in 2008 of the previously unknown Mount Mabu in Mozambique, an important biodiversity area that is virtually untouched.In 2008 a meteor crater in Australia, dated between 10 000 and 100 000 years ago, was discovered in the western part of the country. Just two years before a 30km-wide crater, the biggest one ever found in the region, was identified in the Sahara desert. These are just two of 170-plus meteor craters around the world that may now be viewed in Google Earth.Google Earth has also facilitated the discovery of the remains of a Roman villa built just before the birth of Christ, as well as ancient ruins in Burgundy, France.And recently Google Earth has helped to raise awareness of a historical British site located about 1.5km east of Stonehenge. This is the spot where a clump of trees was planted as a tribute to Admiral Lord Nelson’s hard-fought Battle of the Nile. Each tree marks the position of a British or French ship in the battle. The site has been marked in Google Earth.The application is also proving to be valuable for future events as well as those that happened many years ago.In 2008 South African Tourism, with the help of Quirk e-Marketing, created an entire South African layer for Google Earth. The country was only the third to earn Google approval for its own official tourism layer, which features popular attractions ranging from scenic drives and safari destinations to locations of the stadiums for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at email@example.com.Related articlesMount Mabu yields hidden bountyGoogle Earth zooms in on SASA Google Earth layer is topsGoogle to put Africa onlineUseful linksMuseum of Palaeontology, University of MichiganBernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, Wits UniversityUniversity of Michigan
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From setting up your camera to picking the right music, this roundup shows you everything you need to know to produce your cooking videos.Top image via Cinecom.net.Top-down cooking videos are one of the most popular genres of content for YouTube and Vimeo. Whether you’re making the content for YouTube, Instagram, or your own personal website, you can put together and shoot each kind of video in different ways. There’s no formula. This roundup will show you a few different techniques to put it all together with the right equipment. Here are few ways you can approach a cooking video.Creating a Cooking Video From the Ground UpAll you need for this type of shot is a C-stand for your camera. Now, this isn’t the only way you can pull off this shot. If you’re using a bigger bodied camera, you can use two C-stands and have them meet in the center for your camera. Or, you could build one of these…Building a Cheap Overhead RigSo as you can see, all you need are a couple pieces of wood, some screws, and a drill. The dimensions for this specific type of rig will vary based on your studio or garage setup. Unlike the C-stand (which is meant for moving around from shoot to shoot), this rig is stationary. This way you can come back and have your setup always ready to go.Also, the sides of this build can also hold poster board or any type of backdrop, making it easy for food or product photography. This is perfect for after you’ve made your meal on camera. You can get some nice slo-mo steaming shots of the final product without transporting the food or prepping a new lighting setup.How to Make Stop-Motion Food VideosSo this style is a little old-school and non-traditional for the cooking genre. But, this type of video is entertaining and a good way to attract views to your channel. The setup is simple. Just make sure you have an evenly lit, solid-colored backdrop and a camera that you can operate remotely. Remote operation will save you from accidentally changing the camera’s position, and you can freely begin to animate your food.As you can see in the video, this style of fun, light-hearted content pairs well with Rocketstock’s new video pack, “Yum.”The pack features over 120 food animations, logo reveals, lower thirds, and icons for anybody just starting their own company or YouTube channel. The assets are simple to use and don’t require a hefty knowledge of After Effects. You can download the new pack here.So what else do you need for your next cooking series?Music. Music can be one of the most crucial parts to making a good video for YouTube. We’ve curated a playlist for cooking videos to match the calm, breezy feeling that these videos bring to the table. Check out the playlist here.What other type of playlists and instructional videos would you like to see in the future? Share the wealth in the comments.
A portion of the three-storey Saberi women’s hostel on Berhampur University campus collapsed on Thursday afternoon. All 104 boarders had a lucky escape as they were attending classes when the mishap occurred around 12.30 p.m. The part of the building that collapsed mainly comprised of toilets and balconies.University registrar Ranjan Biswal said the building was declared unsafe after the incident. The boarders are being shifted to Chilika hostel. Students said that many could have been “injured in the mishap had it happened a few hours earlier”.Dilapidated conditionThe Saberi hostel was inaugurated in 1989. Its boarders had been complaining about its dilapidated condition for the past many months. Concrete pieces were falling from the roofs of several rooms and water was seeping from the toilets on each of the three floors. On July 15, the boarders had demanded that the university repair the hostel as early as possible.
A restaurant manager at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station was allegedly thrashed by a Delhi policeman over delay in delivery of ordered food items on Thursday night.The accused policeman, Assistant Sub-Inspector Mukesh Kumar, has been suspended with immediate effect, said DCP (Railways) Harinder Singh.In a video released by the victim, Shivam Thukral, who works as a senior manager with a restaurant at the railway station, alleged that at 8.25 p.m. he received a call from the SHO of Government Railway Police, Parveen Yadav, ordering food for free. He said he recorded the conversation.“At 8.45 p.m., I handed over all the ordered food items to a constable sent by the SHO. However, ASI Mukesh Kumar [posted at the GRP station] kept calling me repeatedly and I failed to answer his calls as I was busy attending to other customers,” said Mr. Thukral.A little later, another policeman arrived at the restaurant and asked Mr. Thukral to go to the police station immediately. “When I went to the GRP station, Mukesh Kumar slapped me and beat me with a stick. He handcuffed me and threatened that if I refuse to take his calls next time, he will again thrash me. He kept me at the station for an hour before letting me go with a warning,” said the victim.Mr. Thukral claimed he had to run from pillar to post to get his complaint registered. “After a day-long struggle, I managed to meet an Assistant Commissioner of Police and filed a complaint, but the police have not given me a copy of it,” he said.“I will again try to meet the DCP as he was busy in a meeting today [Friday]. I am determined to register an FIR in the case because I have never felt so humiliated in my whole life,” said Mr. Thukral.A senior police officer said a departmental inquiry has been ordered into the complaint. The allegations will be verified by examining call recordings, CCTV footage of the restaurant and the police station.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects the Guard of Honour at Red Fort on the occasion of 68th Independence Day in Delhi on August 15.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, already seen as one of India’s most well-dressed leaders, went a step ahead on the Independence Day on Friday, sporting a blazing saffron and green headgear and his trademark cream-coloured short-sleeved khadi kurta and white pajamas as he addressed the nation for the first time from the windy ramparts of the Red Fort, like all his predecessors since 1947.The saffron pagdi with white dots, sitting snugly on Modi’s head, stood out on TV screens that telecast his animated hour-long speech he delivered without any bulletproof glass cover from the 16th century fort, unlike his recent predecessors.The light and summer-friendly khadi kurta added a soothing contrast to the headgear, all three colours reflecting the Tricolour he had just unfurled to mark Indias 68th Independence Day.The pagdi was red last yearFile photo of Narendra Modi, then the Gujarat chief minister, giving his Independence Day speech in Bhuj in Gujarat on August 15, 2013.Modi’s dress code on Friday was, however, not much different from what he wore in his Independence Day speech as Gujarat Chief Minister in Bhuj on August 15, 2013. Only the colours had changed.Last year, it was a red headgear with white dots, a full-sleeved kurta and an embroidered scarf.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Lewis says the clock would be “not a rule change, just a visible device on the court to manage the rule.”Players have 25 seconds to prepare after a point for the next first serve. They are first warned, then assessed a fault for the second violation.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, logisticsWimbledon will have a 38 million pounds ($49.5 million) prize fund this year and give the men’s and women’s singles champions a 4.4% raise to 2.35 million pounds ($3.06 million).First-round losers get a 15% raise to 45,000 pounds ($58,600). FILE – A detailed shot of a serve clock is seen in Louis Armstrong Stadium prior to the start of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 24, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA/AFPLONDON — Wimbledon is “highly likely” at the 2020 tournament to introduce a serve clock for players that debuted in Grand Slams at last year’s US Open.Tournament CEO Richard Lewis detailed the timetable at a news conference on Tuesday which announced a near-12% raise in prize money for the July 1-14 edition.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:15DOH wants a drug rehab center in every region00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte View comments Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated MOST READ PBA D-League: Metropac-San Beda clobbers Trinity, rises to 1st place tie with CEU Wimbledon’s No. 1 court will have a new retractable roof and increased capacity of 12,345.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid
Karachi/ Peshawar: At least 10 persons, including four children and a woman, were killed in separate incidents after incessant rain lashed parts of Pakistan, authorities said. In Sindh province, at least three persons were killed due to electrocution in different parts of Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi, which also witnessed severe power outages, police said on Monday. In Pakistan’s northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, five persons, including two children and a woman were killed on Sunday. Two were killed in Shangrila and one each in Buner, Mansehra and Abbottabad, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority. Over 18 people sustained injuries, including six women. Heavy rainfall in the province also damaged five houses, two huts and three school buildings. Different areas of Chitral, including Tirich Mir and Kosht were closed off for traffic due to flooding.