ON THIS WEEKEND

first_imgSaturday9 a.m.: Sunderland vs Chelsea4 p.m.: West Ham vs Swansea6 p.m.: Aston Villa vs Newcastle9 p.m.: Bournemouth vs West Brom11 p.m.: Crystal Palace vs StokeSunday7:30 a.m.: Tottenham vs Southampton10 a.m.: Man City vs Arsenal4 p.m.: Liverpool vs WatfordSPORTSMAX SPORTSMAX2 Sunday11:30 a.m.: Leicester vs Evertonlast_img

Of Molecules and Men

first_img(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Atoms and molecules are tiny but can have a big influence on the habitability of planets and astrobiologists’ theories about them.Hydroxyl ions (one oxygen and one hydrogen) are highly reactive ions formed by the breakdown of ozone by the sun.  Science Daily reported that others are formed at night by a different process.  This process was not observed till scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found a short-lived intermediate.  Hydroxyl ions act as the “atmosphere’s detergent,” the article says, taking the initial steps in the breakdown of hydrocarbons and other pollutants.Water is, of course, the ultimate prerequisite for life in the minds of most astrobiologists – so much so, that they think “life” whenever they find ice (see hydrobioscopy).  The latest story being told about stars and our early solar system is that water is older than the sun.  Scientists at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, reported Live Science, did not actually observe water before the sun.  They just figured with their models that it had to be, or else the ratios of heavy water (containing deuterium instead of hydrogen) wouldn’t work.“The implications of our study are that interstellar water-ice remarkably survived the incredibly violent process of stellar birth to then be incorporated into planetary bodies“study lead author Ilse Cleeves, an astronomy Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan, told Space.com….“A significant fraction of Earth’s water is likely incredibly old, so old that it predates the Earth itself,” Cleeves said. “For me, uncovering these kinds of direct links between our daily experience and the galaxy at large is fascinating and puts a wonderful perspective on our place in the universe.“Polonium-209 is an atomic isotope, not a molecule.  It made news recently by getting a new age.  The old half-life was 102 years.  That has been increased by 25%, PhysOrg says, to 125.6 years.  “The difficulty in measuring the particular Po-209 half-life arises from its scarcity in pure form, the long length of its half-life, and the specific types of radiation involved in its decay.”  Po-209 has long been used as a tracer for geophysical processes.  What effect might this change have?  “Because sediment cores are used for determining human impact on the environment over the past century, the new measurement could impact these studies as well as other environmental measurements and biological assays.”  The article did not discuss whether this revision would impact half-life measurements of longer-lived isotopes used in radiometric dating.Cellulose is a molecule that is stronger, ounce-for-ounce, than steel, Science Daily says.  It is also the most abundant organic compound on earth—a primary component of wood and plant stems that keeps plants upright.  It is also indigestible except by bacteria.  Purdue University scientists recently determined the structure of the enzyme, cellulose synthase, that makes cellulose.  This knowledge might help bioengineers “make new kinds of natural products to replace those we now make from oil.”Isopropyl cyanide has been found in space, Cornell University announced.  What does that imply?  It’s big news for astrobiologists, who feel that it shows that branched molecules can form naturally.  Many amino acids have branching parts.  “The branched carbon structure of isopropyl cyanide is a common feature in molecules that are needed for life — such as amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins,” the press release says.  “This new discovery lends weight to the idea that biologically crucial molecules, like amino acids that are commonly found in meteorites, are produced early in the process of star formation — even before planets such as Earth are formed.”  The BBC News really pushed the life angle in its coverage.Elementary, my star flotsam:  How do stars make the elements?  Arizona State wants to know.  It has its own version of Genesis:In the beginning, all was hydrogen – and helium, plus a bit of lithium. Three elements in all. Today’s universe, however, has nearly a hundred naturally occurring elements, with thousands of variants (isotopes), and more likely to come.ASU will be joining with other universities to figure out how elements are made by supernovae and “chemical evolution” after the big bang (for problems with getting lithium from the big bang, see the 9/15/14 entry) .  According to current theories of nucleosynthesis, stars “crank out carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and all those good things that make you and me.”  This has been common thought for decades.  “While the broad outline is clear, details are a lot murkier,” ASU astrophysicist Frank Timmes admits.  We also don’t know how the first stars made of hydrogen and helium did it, because “all those stars are gone”.  Our sun is made of elements that didn’t exist in the big bang, he explains, so our sun must be the end product of “many, many previous generations of stars”.  How many?Timmes explains, “A typical massive star, in round numbers, lives about a million years. The Big Bang occurred about 7 billion years before the sun formed. I need a thousand generations of massive stars to get us to a billion years, so I need on the order of 10,000 generations of massive stars to get one with the sun’s composition.”The whole theory relies on models of supernovas.  Those are observable, but the underlying mechanisms and the processes of nucleosynthesis are not.  “In a loose, hand-waving sense, we know that stars explode, of course, but exactly how it happens isn’t well-known or understood.”If you can keep your head with observable science when all the experts about you run are losing theirs with hand-waving models based on evolutionary assumptions leading to just-so stories, yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, and—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!last_img read more

Safe Online Banking for Military Families

first_imgOnline banking may be recently growing in popularity among civilians, but it is a process many service members have been using for years.Reconciliation of shared checking accounts can be near impossible when a family member is away; online banking helps by making transaction history available from anywhere in the world.Many online banking programs are now designed to offer online bill pay, a service that allows customers to set up regularly occurring debits from their account to pay cell phone, car payments and other monthly bills. A tutorial of this process is at www.bankofamerica.com/onlinebanking/learning-center.goAs a PFM, you are probably used to encouraging service members to do their research before opening an account. Bankrate.com is a good resource that lets users comparison shop for bank services, interest rates and check locations before opening an account.Military-affiliated credit unions or banks are financial institutions that understand the military lifestyle. Military credit unions also offer a bevy of services, and are always located on or near military bases. Member-owned credit unions also usually offer higher interest rates on savings accounts and lower rates on loans than shareholder-owned banks. And the Navy Federal Credit Union serves all four branches of the military and offers specialized accounts. Large national bank with locations around the country can also a good strategy, as military families relocate frequently.Online banking does require vigilance to protect user’s account numbers and personal information. Here are 7 steps you can suggest to military families so they may conduct online banking, safely:Make sure computers used for online banking have updated operating systems, web browsers and security features like anti-spyware, anti-malware and firewalls that update automatically.Try not to do online banking in open access wifi spots where Internet access is shared among users. Ask if the network is secure and what security measures are in place.Look at the URL and note the ‘s’. Banking sites should begin with “https” as the “s” stands for “secure.”Use strong, unique passwords with a combination of lower case and upper case letters,  numbers and special characters and keep passwords hidden.  Do not use any part or combination of your name, birth date, or, common words. Change passwords often and use different passwords for different accounts.Log out after completing online banking and clear the Internet history.Keep account numbers and banking information in a safe, secure location, in the event that passwords are forgotten or online access is otherwise denied.If you get an email from your bank – or from any other company- requesting account numbers or passwords., do not reply. Call the bank for confirmation. A reputable bank will never ask for this information through an email.Get more tips at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/online-securitylast_img read more

Petrol bomb thrown in U.P. theatre screening ‘Padmaavat’

first_imgTwo unidentified youths threw petrol bombs inside a cinema hall screening Padmaavat in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday night, the police said. However, no major damage was reported by the theatre’s owners, they added.“Last night Padmaavat was being screened in Chandra Talkies when two people came on a motorbike and tried to set the building on fire by throwing petrol bombs. The cinema hall security personnel tried to chase the culprits but they escaped,” circle officer Hareesh Bhadauria said. He added that the police have enhanced security around the three halls playing the movie in the town.last_img read more

Anti-violence Bills still await presidential nod

first_imgCivil rights groups in Rajasthan have expressed concern over delay in the presidential assent to Bills against mob lynching and honour killing, which were passed by the State Assembly on August 5, holding up the process for their enforcement.Since some punishments laid down in the two Bills were higher than those in the Central statutes, the assent of the President, rather than the Governor, is essential. The State government sent the Bills to the Ministry of Home Affairs earlier this month to be forwarded for the President’s consent.People’s Union for Civil Liberties-Rajasthan president Kavita Srivastava said here on Saturday that since the MHA was sitting on the anti-mob violence Bill sent by the Manipur government since January this year, the fate of the two Bills of Rajasthan was likely to be the same. “The MHA seems to be have put these Bills in cold storage,” she said.“Our concern regarding the fate of the two Bills also stems from the fact that the Ministry of Home Affairs has not been interested in the enactment of legislation on lynching and honour killing crimes,” Ms. Srivastava said, while pointing out that the Group of Ministers to tackle lynchings, headed earlier by Rajnath Singh and now by Amit Shah, had not met.“The Centre’s view submitted to the Supreme Court in the Tehseen S. Poonawalla case was that the Indian Penal Code and other existing laws were enough to handle the lynching-related violence,” Ms. Srivastava said.As regards the honour crimes law, the rights groups felt that the political parties, particularly the BJP, did not wish to interfere with the violence of the families, ‘Khaps’ and caste panchayats. The PUCL called upon the State government to put pressure on the MHA to the get the Presidential assent and said it would launch a campaign to get the President to sign the two laws.Both the Bills have made stringent provisions of punishment and penalties for the offences of mob lynching and honour killing, making them cognisable and non-bailable offences. Those convicted of the crimes will be punished with life imprisonment and a fine up to ₹5 lakh.last_img read more

West Indies beat Australia by 74 runs, reach final

first_imgChris Gayle smashed a blistering unbeaten 75 as West Indies stormed into their maiden ICC World T20 final with a crushing 74-run victory over a listless Australia at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday. Score Opting to bat, Gayle literally butchered the Australian bowlers with a 41-ball 75-run innings as West Indies notched up 205 for four, which incidentally is the highest total of this edition.The Caribbean team then returned to skittle out Australia for a paltry 131 with 3.2 overs to spare to set up a summit clash with Sri Lanka on Sunday.Australian skipper George Bailey did put up a fight with a 29-ball 63, which was laced with six fours and four sixes but he was let down by the other batsmen, who returned to the pavilion without much to show.Leg-break bowler Samuel Badree (2/27) removed openers David Warner (1) and Shane Watson (7) in his first three overs, while Marlon Samuels got rid of Mike Hussey (18) as Australia were tottering at 42 for three after the six overs of Powerplay ended.Ravi Rampaul then removed Cameron White (5) and David Hussey (0) within a space of three deliveries to make it 42 for five.On a strip where Gayle and Co made batting look easy, the Australians were all at sea. Both Watson and Warner tried to play shots which can’t be played when the ball keeps low while Mike Hussey was consumed by the slowness of the track.David Hussey was rusty and others simply didn’t have it in them to put up a fight.Earlier, Gayle hit five fours and half a dozen of towering sixes as West Indies made a mockery of Aussie attack.Marlon Samuels with 26, Dwayne Bravo with a 31-ball-37 and last but not the least Kieron Pollard (38, 15 balls, 3×4, 3×6) also matched Gayle stroke for stroke to help West Indies cross the 200-mark. Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty, who had looked unplayable on the same track during Super Eights, was hammered for 48 runs in his three overs including 25 from the final one which had four sixes. Half of the 14 sixes in West Indies innings were hit off Doherty’s bowling.Teams have often complained about the Premadasa track and difficulty in stroke-making but Gayle showed that if you have brute power, then nature of pitches become irrelevant.The decision to promote Marlon Samuels up the order also partially paid off as he didn’t take much time to settle down before he started tonking the bowlers.Samuels during his brief stay smashed 26 off 20 balls including a six each off left-arm spin duo of Doherty and Brad Hogg. He was deceived by a slower delivery from Pat Cummins, which send him back to the dug-out.Gayle-Samuels had put on 41 runs in only 4.3 overs in which Samuels was the dominant partner.Gayle, on the otherhand, hit his first six off Shane Watson over long-off and the second one came off Doherty’s bowling as it went sailing into the deep mid-wicket stand.The third six off Doherty was another straight one but the standout one certainly was the fourth six hit of David Hussey’s bowling. The ball just soared into the upper tier in the deep mid-wicket region.Bravo, on the otherhand, had settled down nicely as he first chanced his arms against Watson hitting over long on boundary and then pulled a short one from Hogg over mid-wicket region for another six. The 100 came up in the 12.5 overs and the 50 partnership off 35 balls.The big-bodied Jamaican completed his third half century of the tournament of 29 deliveries when he hit a boundary off David Hussey.Bravo lifted Cummins for his third six but perished immediately when he failed to get elevation of a fuller delivery from the bowler and was caught at the edge of the 30-yard circle.Gayle-Bravo conjured 83 runs in less than nine overs but more importantly nullified the two left-arm spinners attacking them with great gutso. When Bravo was out, West Indies had reached 140 and a commendable total was just there in sight.advertisementlast_img read more