SAN JOSE — Still feeling the effects of a hit he took two days prior, Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro missed Saturday night’s game with the Nashville Predators at SAP Center.Ferraro was injured in the second period of Thursday’s game against Minnesota after he landed awkwardly against the boards following a hit from Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. He did not play in the third period. Friday, Ferraro said he was still sore, “but recovering.”Tim Heed, a scratch for the last two games before …
National Geographic News wasted no time; a day before a report of another Chinese dinosaur with feathery-like structures was published in Nature,1 they already had color artwork on their news page, trumpeting the title, “T. Rex Cousin Had Feathers.” Yet Nature itself seemed ho-hum about the announcement. It was neither the cover story, nor mentioned in any news briefs in the journal. Though Nature Science Update was proud of the find, it hastened to add that the proto-feathers, as some are calling them, “are not what we would recognise as feathers today, but are their evolutionary precursors. Rather than having a central shaft and barbs, they are single flexible filaments that would have covered the dinosaur’s body like hair.” Next day, Science2 was more interested in its advanced cranium than its fuzz, and mentioned nothing about it being an ancestor of feathers or flight. A look at the illustrations in the scientific paper confirms the impression that calling these “proto-feathers” is a stretch. Any suggestion that these “integumentary structures” even had branches at all is unclear; they look like narrow, overlapping stripes on the rock, and there is no way to tell how they were attached to the skin. The filaments are only about 2 cm long and were found related to the tail and jaw bones. The team that discovered Sinornithosaurus, another “feathered” dinosaur, admitted in 2001 that “Despite these similarities, homology between the integumental filaments of Sinornithosaurus and avian feathers has been questioned.” The team that reported this new find, named Dilong paradoxus, only referred back to that paper with a cautious statement that such “filamentous integumentary structures in Jehol theropods have been interpreted as protofeathers.” They suggest that these structures might have provided thermal insulation. These beasts, about the size of large dogs, may have had trouble storing heat. Big animals, like teenage T. rex monsters (see 08/11/2004 headline), have trouble getting rid of it – that’s why elephants lose their baby hair as they grow. They did not give any indication the filaments were related to the origin of flight in any way. Another problem is that Dilong is classified as “early” in the evolution of dinosaurs, and it already had some “derived” features (i.e., fully evolved, similar to those of later descendants), while other contemporaneous groups lacked them. “The distribution of postcranial pneumatization” [hollowness in skeletal bones], for instance, “is thus very complex among coelurosaurians, rather than displaying a continuous evolutionary trend along the line to birds.” The bottom line: strange filaments apparently associated with a small, new kind of tyrannosaurid dinosaur have been found well preserved in Liaoning province, China, but no one knows quite what to make of them. They appear early on in the tyrannosaurid lineage, but are not yet known among Cretaceous monsters like T. rex. The filaments do not establish any unambiguous phylogenetic link to modern bird feathers except for superficial similarities. They look more like hair than feathers, and probably functioned as insulation.1Xu, Norell et al., “Basal tyrannosauroids from China and evidence for protofeathers in tyrannosauroids,” Nature 431, 680 – 684 (07 October 2004); doi:10.1038/nature02855.2Erik Stokstad, “T. rex Clan Evolved Head First,” Science, Vol 306, Issue 5694, 211, 8 October 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.306.5694.211a].This critter was no more evolving into a bird than a porcupine is, but news outlets like National Geographic are so eager to prove birds evolved from dinosaurs, you can practically sense them chomping at the bit to leap into the air themselves. Mark Norell (on the discovery team) said that Jurassic Park IV will probably portray all the monsters with feathers instead of scales. We’ve learned to be cautious about claims of feathered dinosaurs evolving into birds (see 05/06/2004, 05/19/2003 and 11/21/2002headlines, for instance). It’s going to take a lot more than a few scratch-lines on rock to make this story stick. Since dinosaurs are not all that similar to living reptiles and are all extinct, we should be open to any piece of evidence that helps us understand what they looked like: skin impressions, tracks, and now these filaments. If the filaments helped keep the little doggy dinosaurs warm, like hair does, then they were not evolving into something else; they had a function. Perhaps the young had some kind of downy covering to retain heat and lost it as adults. Avian feathers, on the other hand, are much more complex than these filaments and are designed (for birds of the air) for flight. Each creature was adapted to its environment; that shows design, not evolution. Anyone thinking the dino-bird advocates have scored yardage with this find should read this description of the difference between scales and feathers by Dr. David Menton, and also read our previous reports on problems the Darwin Party wrestles with in their own just-so stories of the evolution of feathers (see 10/30/2003 and 08/21/2001 headlines).(Visited 39 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
We’d like weeds if we knew them better, says John Roach for National Geographic News, especially if we realized they may contain wonder drugs. “It’s often said that plants hidden in the tangle of the Amazonian rain forest may harbor an undiscovered cancer cure,” he writes; “John Richard Stepp thinks the same can be said for the world’s weeds.” Stepp, an ethnobiologist from U. of Florida, is combing the world’s small herbaceous plants for healthy ingredients. He also goes “bio-prospecting” among native peoples to see what plants they use for salves, ointments, and medicines. Usually far from doctors, many rely on natural remedies.Weeds are full of bioactive compounds. These are chemicals that weeds have evolved over thousands of years to compete against other plants and to prevent predators, such as insects, from munching their leaves. These compounds “are toxic to predators. But [when] used in the right dose, they have therapeutic benefits for humans,” Stepp said. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)There are about 8,000 plants worldwide classified as weeds – small non-woody plants that thrive in disturbed areas. Stepp says it makes more economic sense to look for health-promoting chemicals at our feet than trying to make them from scratch.This is an update on a story reported on 06/04/2004. We hope Stepp is making progress finding that cure for cancer in your lawn. John Roach is fogging up the discussion to say that plants “evolved” complex bioactive compounds. He makes it sound as if weeds had the ability to plan and invent things. Plants have no brains; they just sit there and run the program. They only look smart because they have a good Programmer.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
5 June 2014The City of Johannesburg is moving to overcome one of the legacies of apartheid spatial planning in an innovative way, with plans to build a cycling and pedestrian walkway – including a bridge over Africa’s busiest highway – connecting Alexandra township with the business hub of Sandton.The walkway will provide safe passage between the township and the Sandton CBD, reducing travel times and traffic accidents for approximately 10 000 Alexandra residents who, it is estimated, currently walk over five kilometres to and from work each day.Construction on the walkway, which will join No 3 Square in Alexandra with Sandton near the Grayston Avenue Bridge along Katherine Street and include a pedestrian and cycling bridge across the M1 highway, could begin as early as September.Announcing the plan at the end of last month, Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) CEO Thanduxolo Mendrew said the bridge would be an “iconic” addition to Johannesburg’s skyline, similar to that of the Nelson Mandela Bridge.“The city’s Nelson Mandela Bridge has become one of the iconic structures of the southern gateway, and this bridge will equally change the city skyline as an important northern gateway,” Mendrew said in a statement. “At the same time it will serve as an important link between Sandton and Alexandra, to show that the futures of these areas are inherently connected.”Mendrew said that careful thought had gone into designing the bridge, as the JDA needed to come up with something that “spoke to the concept of the Corridors of Freedom.“In 2013 the executive mayor introduced the Corridors of Freedom as areas where there can be walking, cycling and public transport which is safe, reliable and affordable. This bridge satisfies that basic need that talks to citizens’ rights to a spatially integrated city.”Mendrew said the Alexandra-Sandton walkway would form part of phase 1c of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit system, which will connect Alexandra both to Johannesburg central as well as to Sandton.Construction on this phase is under way and is expected to be implemented from 2015, along with other infrastructure updgrades along the route.“In Alexandra, 30.2-kilometres of pavements for walking and cycling will be upgraded and improved,” the JDA said. “Traffic calming measures and street furniture along roads adjacent to the BRT and along feeder routes will also be introduced, and a new bus depot will be constructed along Vincent Tshabalala Road in Alexandra.”SAinfo reporter
How fickle are kids these days? Just when all the grown ups started figuring out Facebook, college and high school users have declined in absolute number by 20% and 15% respectively in a mere six months, according to estimates Facebook provides to advertisers that were archived for tracking by an outside firm. Facebook users aged 55 and over have skyrocketed from under 1 million to nearly six million in the same time period. There are more Facebook users over 55 years old today than there are high school students using the site.Grandma and Grandpa showed up to have a conversation, but Billy and Sally were gone. Facebook cannot be excited about this.The dramatic change in user demographics was picked up by iStrategyLabs today. Anyone can go through Facebook’s self-serve advertising program and see the user demographics numbers the company estimates now; iStrategyLabs captured that data six months ago and saved it for comparison. The changes have been dramatic. According to this data, from Facebook’s own ad platform, there are actually fewer high school and college users on Facebook today than there were six months ago. As you can see in the chart above, young people by age are up a small amount, but young people by school level are down. Users with undeclared education levels are way up, implying that many high school and college students may simply no longer be listing their schools at all on the site. That’s a dramatic change too for a site that began as a network for college students. We wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook stopped showing advertisers the number of high school and college students soon and relied only on the age distribution.Who is the company that is presenting these historical numbers? A quick check around the web shows that iStrategyLabs is one of the top sponsors of the Apps for Democracy contest with the D.C. government and company CEO, Peter Corbett, as a judge for the Apps for America project with the Sunlight Foundation – those are some pretty good credentials when it comes to saving a set of numbers accurately for six months. The company’s spreadsheet of Facebook data it’s captured since October, 2007 is here.Facebook’s communication team told us in response to this comparison that those numbers are “rough, not actual” – but they are going to check on the historical numbers internally and get back to us. Given that the number of male users plus the number of female users adds up to a lower number than the number of users shown when no gender is selected in the advertising platform – we suspect that the numbers Facebook is showing its advertisers are very rough. Users cannot create an account without specifying one gender or another.We can’t help but wonder whether the kinds of privacy measures that Facebook is sticking its toe in the water with right now could have helped six months ago: letting messages be made visible only to limited groups of people instead of all messages going to all your Facebook connections no matter the context. Instead, Facebook seems determined to push everyone into making their content on the site more public, not less. That may not matter if the kids aren’t around to be upset. Then the advertisers will be left pitching their products to senior citizen late adopters – and 35 to 54 year old users, now the biggest group on the site.It’s not a pretty picture, but we await further response from Facebook. Tags:#news#social networks#web Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification marshall kirkpatrick Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…
The Lady Bulldogs streaked to their third straight win while the Lady Warriors are at the bottom with a 0-3 card.After going back and forth against the Lady Warriors and trailing, 10-11, midway through the fourth set, the Lady Bulldogs went on a 13-2 run to take a 23-13 lead, with Aiko Urdas finishing it off with a through-the-block kill.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNU head coach Babes Castillo said they had a good win, but after seeing his team falter in the second set he knew his players could do better.“The win earlier was a good win, but it was not a good performance,” said Castillo in Filipino. “I told them to forget about the second set and let’s move on, it’s already marked on the card.” Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting National University recovered from a dismal second set to beat University of the East, 25-15, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19, and stay undefeated in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Lady Eagles tied the Tigresses at 1-2.UST suffered a double whammy when it lost libero Rica Rivera to a right knee injury in the first set. Assistant coach Mark Alfafara said the initial assessment was a torn meniscus. —BONG LOZADA, INQUIRER.NET “My players’ captain responded on the dot on what the situation needed and the team will go with the captain,” Castillo said, referring to Jaja Santiago.When NU committed four straight errors that allowed UE to trim the deficit to six in the fourth set, 23-17, it was Santiago who stopped the Lady Warriors’ fun with a well-placed kill that put the Lady Bulldogs on match point, 24-17.Santiago led the Lady Bulldogs’ charge with 23 points while Roselyn Doria added 12 points.Shaya Adorador and May Ann Mendrez led UE with 11 points apiece.In the other match, Ateneo notched its first win after taking down University of Santo Tomas, 16-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-23.ADVERTISEMENT View comments NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Read Next Last-ditch stand by PBA underdogs Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City AFP official booed out of forum
Junior engineer Pabitra Majhi after his release The hostage crisis in Orissa ended on Thursday evening with the Maoists freeing Malkangiri collector R.V. Krishna, one of the mediators, Dandapani Mohanty, has said. Krishna, who had been abducted on February 16 along with junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, was released after nine days of captivity. Majhi, 22, was freed on Wednesday.Chitrakonda Tahsildar D. Gopalakrishna said Krishna was released by Maoists on Thursday evening and was on his way to his home in Malkangiri, which is about 90 km from the spot where the official was freed.The 30-year-old IIT graduate-turned IAS officer was released before a “people’s court” by his abductors in a forested area in Jantapai close to the area where he was abducted along with Majhi, eyewitnesses said.TV footage showed Krishna in a check shirt and a blue pant sitting on a boulder with folded hands appearing to be in good health listening as an unidentified man spoke about the problems faced by villagers. Malkangiri is about 650 km from the state capital. Krishna, who sported an occasional smile, was also seen eating out with his hand from a plate. Inspector in-charge of Chitrakonda Rajesh Chhatria said Krishna was released at Jantapai area.Meanwhile, social activist Swami Agnivesh, whose participation in the process was sought by the Maoists, said the collector had been handed over to the media before 6 PM. Meanwhile, Krishna’s father Rambabu said, “We have seen Krishna’s visuals.”Though Majhi was set free on Wednesday, the abductors had put forward new demands for the release of the 2005 batch IAS officer. They had demanded immediate release of five senior Maoist leaders apart from Ganti Prasadam, who has been granted bail by Orissa High Court.advertisementPrasadam was taken to Koraput on Thursday morning for his release on bail by the sub-divisional judicial magistrate there, but the process is likely to take more time.