DETROIT — The Warriors’ 131-128 overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors on Thursday did not serve as an NBA Finals preview. Instead, it highlighted a few realities.The Warriors (15-8) will become significantly better once Stephen Curry returns for Saturday’s game against the Detroit Pistons (11-7) after missing the past 11 games with a strained left groin. Ditto for whenever Draymond Green (right toe), DeMarcus Cousins (left Achilles) and Alfonzo McKinnie (left ankle) return. Kevin Durant is an …
“Want to petrify wood without waiting a few million years? Try this,” EurekAlert teases. The recipe: pick up some pine or poplar wood chips from your local lumber store, soak them in an acid bath for two days, then soak them in silica solution for two more. Air dry, then put into argon-filled furnace at 1,400°C for two hours. Let cool in argon to room temperature. “Presto. Instant petrified wood.” The press release from the DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory states, “The acid-leaching method yields an identical, positive reproduction of the wood.” One of the researchers concurs; it “replicates exactly the wood architecture.” Nature, however, works much more slowly, according to the report:Yongsoon Shin and colleagues at the Department of Energy lab have converted wood to mineral, achieving in days what it takes nature millions of years to do in such places as the Gingko Petrified Forest, an hour up the Columbia River. There, trees likely felled in a cataclysmic eruption and, buried without oxygen beneath lava, leached out their woody compounds and sponged up the soil’s minerals over the eons. (Emphasis added.)The article adds an interesting factoid about wood tissue. “The intricate network of microchannels and pores in plant matter provide enormous surfaces—in wood, 1 gram of material flattened out would cover a football field,” it says. Scientists are interested in creating ceramics that mimic these properties. With instant petrified wood, they might be able to separate chemicals in the lab, or filter pollutants from escaping gas.A million years is an awful, awful, awful long time. Think about everything that has transpired since the first record of human civilization: all the wars, natural disasters, climate changes, environmental and population shifts. Now multiply that thought by a hundred – that is less than one million years, let alone 10 million or a hundred million. Don’t you think in all that time, with all the volcanoes going off and continents drifting around, all the weathering and erosion, all the pressure and temperature changes, nature couldn’t figure out how to petrify wood a little faster, if we can do it in less than a week? Why do you think this article claims it took millions of years? Evidence? … or maybe another reason?(Visited 4,498 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Johannesburg, Monday 8 August 2016 – South Africans will tomorrow Tuesday 9 August 2016 commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March.History records this as one of the defining moments in South Africa’s struggle for liberation since women who had historically been the victims of their gender, their race and their class stood up to protest against the dehumanising pass laws.On this occasion, which will forever be etched in the history of South Africa’s journey towards democracy, 20 000 women from across the country defied the triple oppression they endured to march to the Union Buildings, to call for an equitable society characterised by, amongst others, freedom of movement.Since South Africa attained its freedom and democracy in 1994, women have made strides in taking their rightful places in society. The democratic government has from 1994, put the agenda of women and children, at the centre of its developmental programmes.Most importantly, South Africa’s commitment to building a non-sexist society in which women have the right to be treated equally and access opportunities, is enshrined in South Africa’s highest law – the Constitution. Indeed, the Constitution commits all sectors of society to work towards achieving equality between women and men by eliminating racial, gender and all other forms of discrimination.The Constitution also emphasises that measures must be taken to promote the achievement of equality in all spheres of society. The right to fair employment, basic education, and civic participation are now constitutional rights while further opportunities for employment, education, and training must be made available to women and girl children.Brand South Africa’s CEO, Mr Kingsley Makhubela said: “As we commemorate National Women’s Month in August and Women’s Day on 9 August 2016, let us remember the brave women who strengthened South Africa’s fight for liberation and a society based on equality, non-sexism and non-racism. Their strength and perseverance has been pivotal to the mainstreaming of gender issues in contemporary South Africa.”“Today our guiding framework to build an equitable country, the National Development Plan makes firm recommendations that the transformation of the economy should involve active participation and empowerment of women, and that the role of women as leaders in all sectors of society should be actively supported.”“It is time that all South Africans and all sectors of society come together to bring this vision of an equitable society to life. It is time that women are empowered to transcend the barriers imposed by their gender, race and class. South Africa’s growth and development depends on each of us and we will never achieve the fullest extent of our national potential if more than 50% of our population remains marginalised. We must all play our part,” concluded Mr Makhubela.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Klopp prepared to be dumped from Carabao Cupby Paul Vegas24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool are still waiting to learn of their Carabao Cup status.The Daily Mail says Liverpool have yet to receive any indication from the EFL when they will discover their fate after fielding an ineligible player in the Carabao Cup win over MK Dons. The strongest sanction is expulsion from the competition – manager Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool must accept whatever punishment is given.”If it was our fault,” said Klopp, “we need to get punished.”
Today is a great day. It’s Friday, but, more importantly, Season 3 of House of Cards has been released. Millions of people across the country will be visiting Netflix to watch Frank Underwood wreak havoc in Washington, D.C. Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback Stephen Collier wants to be one of those people watching the show. But he can’t – the spotty wireless on OSU’s Columbus campus isn’t letting him access the online media platform. We feel for you, Stephen. Finally get a break to go watch House of Cards in between class in then Osuwireless does Osuwireless things pic.twitter.com/u479rsHAsJ— Stephen Collier (@S13Collier) February 27, 2015Ohio State wireless: step your game up. There’s TV shows to be binging.
NFL Hall of Famer and Florida State legend Deion Sanders was back at his alma mater today. While Sanders was there, he gave a speech to the current crop of Seminoles. The central message of Sanders’ talk was the expectations players should have for themselves. There’s also some footage of Sanders’ NFL Network interview with FSU defensive back Jalen Ramsey, a projected top-10 pick in next month’s draft. “What do you expect from yourself?”@DeionSanders spoke to the team before practice.https://t.co/tyPuqF4vsT— FSU Football (@FSU_Football) March 30, 2016The ‘Noles would be wise to listen to Sanders and heed his advice.
Amaravati (AP): Having longed for over five decades to become a mother, a 74-year-old woman finally realised her dream by giving birth to twins in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.This, doctors feel, could be a new world record. The previous record was said to be held by a 66-year-old Spanish woman in 2006, according to the Guinness World Records. E Mangayamma of Draksharamam in East Godavari district of AP delivered twin baby girls through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in a private hospital in Guntur. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Both the mother and the newborn twins are safe and stable, Gynecologist Sanakkayala Aruna, under whose care the Caesarean section was performed, said. Married to E Raja Rao in 1962, Mangayamma remained issueless all these years. When one of their neighbours recently conceived and delivered a baby through artificial insemination, at the age of 55 years, hopes sprouted in Mangayamma too and she wanted to try IVF. She approached Dr Aruna – who previously served as Health Minister in Chandrababu Naidu cabinet between 1999 and 2004 – in Guntur in November last year. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KMangayamma went through the IVF procedure and conceived in January this year. Given her age, the woman was kept in the hospital under the constant care of specialist doctors all these months. “She remained healthy as she did not have diabetes or blood pressure. Since she is 74-year-old, we had to perform Caesarean section to deliver the babies,” Dr Aruna said. The happiness of the new parents and their relatives knew no bounds as there were celebrations in the hospital.
SAINT JOHN, N.B. – At what would have been the eastern end of the Energy East Pipeline, rookie Mayor Don Darling is in mourning.The veteran businessman, elected mayor just last year, presides over a declining city in a declining province, and had been counting on Energy East to help turn the corner.“This is a disappointment. It’s an economic blow. I’m frustrated,” Darling said Thursday.The $15.7 billion pipeline project would have carried western crude to the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John and an export terminal for destinations abroad. TransCanada cancelled it Thursday, citing “changed circumstances.”While Quebec politicians like Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and environmental activists celebrated the demise of the project, Darling lamented the loss of jobs and revenue.“This a huge economic blow to Saint John, to New Brunswick and to the country,” Darling said.The Energy East Saint John Partners Forum had estimated the project would increase the provincial GDP by $6.5 billion, and create thousands of jobs over several decades.Ian Whitcomb, president of the Saint John-based Irving Oil, called it the loss of a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”Darling said his once-affluent city — the oldest incorporated city in Canada — was looking to Energy East as a source of momentum to get the economy moving.He said in the short term, the city of 67,000 people is facing a $4.5 million shortfall this year and needs to make tough decisions if it is to avoid raising the city’s tax rate — already the highest in the region.The 2016 census showed the population of Saint John fell by 3.6 per cent over the previous five years — falling from 70,063 to 67,575 — and losing its status as the largest city in the province.A New Brunswick sociologist, Hassan Arif, likened the city to Detroit in a 2012 column for HuffPost, saying Saint John’s decline isn’t as severe but it faced similar challenges: They were both declining cities with growing suburbs, with concentrated urban poverty and a shrinking tax base. Both have multiple vacant and abandoned buildings.Even before the Energy East announcement, Darling was openly expressing his concerns about his city’s financial woes.In a Facebook post Wednesday, Darling said “I’m tired, beat up, frustrated and sad. I’m all those things because we need to change,” he wrote. “We are in a mess, this didn’t happen overnight, it’s been years in the making.”On Thursday, Darling said the Energy East project was “truly a test of our country and our ability to come together and we failed.”He blames the regulatory process and opponents of the project in Quebec.“The fact that one of the provinces in our country appeared to do everything it could to block this project in any fashion — I think that was obviously a factor,” he said.Darling said his city needs help from the province and Ottawa — either a large project or a number of smaller ones to stimulate the economy.“We need help. We need to work with the provincial government and Premier (Brian) Gallant is signalling that he is accepting my challenge that Saint John needs a new deal,” he said. “We have to match actions with the reality and urgency we’re facing as a community.”Gallant said Thursday energy is still a huge opportunity for Saint John, noting that the province is looking at various forms of renewable energy such as tidal power.“There will be a new deal for Saint John,” Gallant said. “As the industrial base of our economy, we need Saint John to be firing on all cylinders.”Darling said the city would take the next 30 days to more clearly define what help it needs from the other levels of government.“All we want is a fighting chance to put Saint John on a more sustainable path,” he said.
Around 300 Calgary cab drivers have signed a letter to the city, asking for ride sharing companies to be subject to the same rules and regulations as taxis.The petition says more and more cab drivers are being forced to give up on mortgage payments and file for bankruptcy as they struggle to make ends meet.Taxi driver Syed Hussain said one example is vehicle inspections: taxis must go in every six months, but for Uber drivers, it’s once every year.“When we renew our taxi badge, we pay $175, the Uber guys they pay $15,” he said.Hussain said added costs mean taxi drivers often work 12 hours a day, seven days a week.“We have over 2,000 drivers and they are suffering unbelievably,” he said.“There are double standards. Two laws: one for the tax industry and one for the sharing companies like Uber or Lyft or whatever, and that is not fair.”Meanwhile Clement Gulston, who drives for both ride-sharing companies Uber and Cowboy Taxi, argues he pays just as much as a taxi driver, maybe even more, as 25 per cent of fares go to the company to cover costs.“Their (taxi) system is outdated. Checker has apps, do you know that? Associated has (an) app, do you know that? Calgary City Cab has app? Have you ever tried to use their app, have you ever talked to anybody who tried to use their app? If you use any one of these apps, you’re not connected instantly with the driver,” he said.Gulston says he works for two companies driving four cars, not because he needs the money, but because he’s taking advantage of good opportunities. Should rideshare drivers (Uber, Lyft) face the same regulations as cab drivers?YesNoVoteView Results Take Our Poll
A flood of buyers and sellers looking to close deals late last year ahead of looming tighter mortgage rules resulted in a 14.5 per cent “payback” drop in home sales between December and January, market watchers said Thursday.Economists expected the drastic decline, which marked the lowest sales level in three years, and anticipate the market will continue to be dampened in the near future as Canadians negotiate the new rules and a January interest rates hike, the third in the past year.“It’s the biggest monthly percentage drop in sales activity since October 2008,” said Gregory Klump, the Canadian Real Estate Association’s chief economist, referencing when the country was in the midst of the so-called Great Recession.January activity was down in three-quarters of all local markets and virtually all major urban areas, especially in Ontario’s hot spot in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, according to data released by CREA Thursday. The decline was less significant on an annual basis, with sales falling 2.4 per cent.The monthly decline “is largely payback” for buyers rushing to sign deals in the last three months of the year, ahead of the new rules, said Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, in a note.CREA’s figures showed sales climbed to a record monthly high in December — just before the federal banking regulator’s tougher rules for uninsured mortgages took effect. Starting Jan. 1, borrowers with a more than 20 per cent down payment must pass a stress test proving that they can service mortgage at a qualifying rate of the greater of the contractual mortgage rate plus two percentage point or the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada.The January market also dampened due to the Bank of Canada’s decision to raise interest rates to 1.25 per cent, up from one per cent. The central bank’s interest rate increase impacts variable rate mortgage holders, but those who opt for fixed mortgages also saw a rise in the five-year fixed rate amid rising bond yields and a stronger economy.CREA noted that January home sales are on par with the 10-year monthly average and that a large decline in new listings of 21.6 per cent prevented the market balance from shifting in favour of homebuyers. The average price of a home rose by 2.3 per cent when compared with last year at just over $481,500.The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 63.6 per cent in January. A ratio reading above 60 per cent generally indicates a sellers’ market.The number of newly-listed homes was at the lowest level since spring 2009. About 85 per cent of all markets had fewer listings. The Greater Toronto Area led the decline, with large percentage drops also in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan region, as well as parts of Ontario.Supply restraint may have played a big part in the month’s slowdown, Robert Hogue, senior economist with RBC Economics, wrote in a note. The drop in new listings hints at two psychological effects at play, he said. Many sellers rushed to list their properties in the months before Jan. 1 and, once the new rules came in, potential sellers may have feared a significant buyer pullback and waited to list.He expects more listings to surface once those fears subside.The market likely over-reacted to the new mortgage rules, Hogue wrote, and while homebuyer demand will remained dampened, it won’t be to the extent implied by January’s figures.Volatility is expected to continue in the near-term, wrote Michael Dolega, a senior economist with TD Economics, in a note.But, Dolega said “some stabilization” should occur by the middle of the year.“Thereafter we expect activity to remain weighed down by rising interest rates, but with markets largely in balanced territory prices should remain well supported,” he said.The government action successfully slowed housing markets, particularly in and around Toronto, said Sherry Cooper, chief economist at Dominion Lending Centres.“But it hasn’t really made housing affordable,” she said. “And there’s no way to make housing affordable until we see an increase in housing supply — and not just new listings, but actually new construction.”The pace of housing starts in January held steady compared with December at about 216,200, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported earlier this month. But the pace is expected to moderate this year.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.