first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Other animals (besides humans) such as chimpanzees and dolphins have demonstrated in various ways that they are capable of dreaming up solutions to problems in their head and then carrying them out. Called “aha” moments by researchers, such thinking, a form of insight, is one of the hallmarks of higher intelligence. Most people who have ever worked with elephants will attest to the fact that they are indeed intelligent creatures; though no one (at least in the research community) had ever witnessed an elephant using insight to solve a problem. This has perplexed scientists for several years, and has caused them to study the seeming paradox. It appears now that the team working with Kandula has seen it in action, that previous research had been attacking the problem from the wrong angle.In the new study, the team did what countless others before had done. They set some fruit up out of reach of the test subject elephants then lay some bamboo sticks about hoping one of them would get it in his or her head to use the stick to knock the fruit down so they could eat it. Every attempt at this failed. The next go round fared much better. Explore further Citation: Study shows elephants capable of insight (2011, August 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Elephants in Experimental Conditions. Image: PLoS ONE 6(8): e23251. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023251 More information: Foerder P, Galloway M, Barthel T, Moore DE III, Reiss D (2011) Insightful Problem Solving in an Asian Elephant. PLoS ONE 6(8): e23251. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023251AbstractThe “aha” moment or the sudden arrival of the solution to a problem is a common human experience. Spontaneous problem solving without evident trial and error behavior in humans and other animals has been referred to as insight. Surprisingly, elephants, thought to be highly intelligent, have failed to exhibit insightful problem solving in previous cognitive studies. We tested whether three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) would use sticks or other objects to obtain food items placed out-of-reach and overhead. Without prior trial and error behavior, a 7-year-old male Asian elephant showed spontaneous problem solving by moving a large plastic cube, on which he then stood, to acquire the food. In further testing he showed behavioral flexibility, using this technique to reach other items and retrieving the cube from various locations to use as a tool to acquire food. In the cube’s absence, he generalized this tool utilization technique to other objects and, when given smaller objects, stacked them in an attempt to reach the food. The elephant’s overall behavior was consistent with the definition of insightful problem solving. Previous failures to demonstrate this ability in elephants may have resulted not from a lack of cognitive ability but from the presentation of tasks requiring trunk-held sticks as potential tools, thereby interfering with the trunk’s use as a sensory organ to locate the targeted food. © 2011 Study: Elephants might seek revenge ( — Kandula, a seven year old Asian elephant living in Washington D.C.’s National Zoo, has proven that elephants are as smart as those that spend a lot of time around them have believed. In an experiment carried out by researchers at the zoo, the little elephant figured out all on his own, without resorting to trial and error, how to go get a cube to use as a footstool to help him reach some food that was just out of reach. The research team, led by Preston Foerder of the City University of New York, has published the results of their study on PLoS ONE. Play This video shows the elephant’s first use of the cube as a tool to acquire food. In the second experiment, the team set the fruit up out of reach as before, but this time, tossed a heavy duty cube into the enclosure. At first nothing happened; in fact, it took eight 20 minute sessions before Kandula, suddenly appeared to get an idea after studying the fruit for a few moments. He immediately ambled on over to where the cube lay, then rolled it over to a position just below the fruit, stepped up with his front feet so as to prop himself up, then very easily grabbed the fruit. It may be that Kandual is exceptionally bright however as the neither of the other two elephants came up with the solution to the problem.The authors note in their posting that now that they have seen an elephant using insight, they themselves have had an “aha” moment of their own. Expecting elephants to use a stick to help get food, they say, is akin to asking a person with eyeballs in his hands to look at something after handing them something to hold. Elephants use the tip of their trunk to both touch and smell while searching for food; filling it with a prop would essentially blind them in their search. Duh.last_img read more

first_imgIn the conventional production of lime from limestone, fossil fuels are burned during the decarbonation process, resulting in a carbon dioxide byproduct. In the STEP process, solar thermal energy is used to heat the limestone as well as assist in electrolysis, producing a different chemical reaction with no carbon dioxide byproduct. Image credit: Licht, et al. ©2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry Explore further Researcher develops carbon dioxide-free method of producing iron Jumping on this opportunity for improvement, a team of researchers from George Washington University in Ashburn, Virginia, has developed a method for cement production that releases zero CO2 emissions. In addition, the scientists estimate that the new production process will be cheaper than the existing process used in the cement industry.In their study published in a recent issue of Chemical Communications, the scientists describe the process as the Solar Thermal Electrochemical Production of cement, or STEP cement. (The team previously used a similar STEP process for carbon capture, with the potential for decreasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels.) As the scientists explain, 60-70% of CO2 emissions during cement production occurs during the conversion of limestone into lime. This conversion involves decarbonation, or removing the carbon atom and two oxygen atoms in limestone (CaCO3) to obtain lime (CaO) with CO2 as the byproduct. The remainder of the emissions comes from burning fossil fuels, such as coal, to heat the kiln reactors that produce the heat required for this decarbonation process.The STEP process addresses both issues, starting by replacing the fossil fuel heat source with solar thermal energy. The solar heat is not only applied directly to melt the limestone, it also provides heat to assist in the electrolysis of the limestone. In electrolysis, a current applied to the limestone changes the chemical reaction so that instead of separating into lime and CO2, the limestone separates into lime and some other combination of carbon and oxygen atoms, depending on the temperature of the reaction. When electrolyzed below 800°C, the molten limestone forms lime, C, and O2. When electrolyzed above 800°C, the product is lime, CO, and ½O2. Citation: Solar thermal process produces cement with no carbon dioxide emissions (2012, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from “Electrolysis changes the product of the reaction of the limestone as it is converted to lime,” coauthor Stuart Licht, a chemistry professor at George Washington University, told “Rather than producing carbon dioxide, it reduces the carbon dioxide (adds electrons) and produces only oxygen and graphite (which can be readily stored as solid carbon) or CO for fuels, plastics or pharmaceuticals. This is accomplished at low energy and high throughput.”When separated, the carbon and oxygen atoms no longer pose the threat to the atmosphere that they do as CO2. As Licht explained, the carbon monoxide byproduct in the higher temperature reaction can be used in other industries, such as to produce fuels, purify nickel, and form plastics and other hydrocarbons. Plus, the carbon monoxide is produced significantly below market value by this solar thermal electrolytic process. The main product, lime, doesn’t react with the other byproducts, but instead forms a slurry at the bottom of the vessel where it can easily be removed.“This study presents a low-energy, entirely new synthetic route to form CaO without any carbon dioxide emission, and is based on unexpected solubility behavior in molten salts,” Licht said. “This synthesis can be accomplished without solar energy, and without our new STEP process, but is particularly attractive when combined with this new solar process. Alternatively, the new synthesis could be used by industry to produce cement using any non-solar renewable or nuclear energy without any CO2 release, or greatly decrease CO2 if fossil fuels were used to drive the new cement production (in the latter, worst-case scenario, the products are lime, graphite and oxygen; there is still no CO2 product, but CO2 would be used in the energy to drive the process).”According to the researchers, the STEP process can be performed at a lower projected cost than the existing cement industry process. In fact, when accounting for the value of the carbon monoxide byproduct, the cost of the lime production is actually negative. The researchers’ rough analysis shows that the total cost of the limestone material, solar heat, and electricity is $173 per ton of lime and 0.786 tons of carbon monoxide (0.786 tons of carbon monoxide are produced for every ton of lime). The market value of carbon monoxide is $600 per ton, or $471 per 0.786 tons. So after selling the carbon monoxide, the cost of the lime production is $173 – $471 = -$298 per ton. For comparison, the cost to produce lime in the conventional way is about $70 per ton. The researchers emphasize that this analysis is not comprehensive, but it indicates the cost benefit of STEP cement, not even considering the value of eliminating CO2 emissions.The scientists add that the STEP process could be extended beyond cement production to other applications that convert limestone to lime, such as purifying iron and aluminum; producing glass, paper, sugar, and agriculture; cleaning smoke stacks; softening water; and removing phosphates from sewage.The next challenge for the researchers lies in scaling up the process for commercialization. They note that Gemasolar, a large-scale solar thermal plant, is already in operation. Other solar thermal plants are following, with electricity costs expected to decrease. To maintain constant operation, molten salt storage of the thermal energy can allow production to continue even during fluctuations in sunlight and at night. Another issue may be finding enough lithium carbonate for the electrolyte, although the metal is not consumed in the STEP process and so is not a recurring cost.“We plan to scale up the outdoor STEP cement prototype, and in general want to increase the portfolio of useful chemicals made by our new solar process,” Licht said. “The goals are to replace today’s fossil fuel economy with a renewable chemical economy. Scale-up is the challenge. Although the process is entirely new, the individual components (solar towers, 24/7 operation storing solar energy with molten salts) are already in place. Solar energy can be used to efficiently make products without carbon dioxide, and at solar energy efficiencies higher than in photovoltaics.”center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2012 Phys.Org More information: Stuart Licht, et al. “STEP Cement: Solar Thermal Electrochemical Production of CaO without CO2 emission.” Chem. Commun., DOI: 10.1039/C2CC31341C ( — While the largest contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is the power industry, the second largest is the more often overlooked cement industry, which accounts for 5-6% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions. For every 10 kg of cement produced, the cement industry releases a full 9 kg of CO2. Since the world consumes about 3 trillion kg of cement annually, this sector has one of the highest potentials for CO2 emission reductions. But while processes are being explored to sequester the CO2 from cement production, so far no process can completely eliminate it.last_img read more

first_img More information: Role of the Bering Strait on the hysteresis of the ocean conveyor belt circulation and glacial climate stability, PNAS, Published online before print April 9, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1116014109AbstractAbrupt climate transitions, known as Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich events, occurred frequently during the last glacial period, specifically from 80–11 thousand years before present, but were nearly absent during interglacial periods and the early stages of glacial periods, when major ice-sheets were still forming. Here we show, with a fully coupled state-of-the-art climate model, that closing the Bering Strait and preventing its throughflow between the Pacific and Arctic Oceans during the glacial period can lead to the emergence of stronger hysteresis behavior of the ocean conveyor belt circulation to create conditions that are conducive to triggering abrupt climate transitions. Hence, it is argued that even for greenhouse warming, abrupt climate transitions similar to those in the last glacial time are unlikely to occur as the Bering Strait remains open. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The team began with evidence of wildly fluctuating temperature extremes in the northern hemisphere that occurred during a portion of the last big Ice Age. During that time, temperatures rose and fell in Greenland as much as 10°C over just a period of a few years. This, the team theorized, happened because glaciers in the northern hemisphere grew to such a size that ocean levels dropped sufficiently to cause a land bridge to appear between Siberia and Alaska, cutting off flow between the Arctic and Pacific oceans.To find out if their theory was correct, they turned to a heavy-duty global computer simulation where they first ran data to show conditions with a land bridge in place cutting off the Pacific Ocean from the Arctic, and then with the Strait open as it is today. Their simulation backed up their theory which goes like this: When a land bridge appears, cold fresh water from melting glaciers is unable to flow into the Pacific, so instead, it overflows into the Atlantic Ocean. And that creates a problem because normally the AMOC causes cycling of warm water from the south to flow north, and cold water from the north to flow south. The engine for this system is cold salt laden water in the north sinking beneath incoming warm water. If the cold water in the north is fresh, as it would be if it were coming from the melted glaciers, then it wouldn’t sink and the whole AMOC system would stop. And if it stopped, air temperatures could change quickly. The computer simulation actually showed the same temperature fluctuations over Greenland as researchers have found, via core ice samples, occurred the last time the Strait closed during the last Ice Age.In contrast, the computer simulation showed much more stable temperatures in the absence of a land bridge allowing glacial melt to flow into the Pacific Ocean. This the team concludes, means we don’t have to worry about wildly fluctuating temperatures any time soon, so long as the Strait remains open, which virtually everyone agrees will be the case for the foreseeable future as global warming is expected to lead to warmer water and rising ocean levels. ( — A diverse group of climate researchers has found after running computer simulations that the strait that separates North America and Russia might be serving as a global temperature stabilizer. This, they write in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is because when the strait is blocked, melting glacial freshwater in the Arctic Ocean can’t make its way to the Pacific, causing it to back up and eventually flow into the Atlantic, disturbing the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and eventually air temperatures. Bering Strait influenced ice age climate patterns worldwide Satellite photo of the Bering Strait. Image: NASA.center_img Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2012 Phys.Org Citation: Bering Strait may be global temperature stabilizer (2012, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

first_img More information: Extended disease resistance emerging from the fecal nest of a subterranean termite, To be published here: rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or … .1098/rspb.2013.1885 Citation: Study shows use of feces as building material by termites serves as antibiotic (2013, September 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —A team of researchers at the University of Florida has found that some termites use their own feces as an ingredient in building materials. Doing so, the group reports in their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, offers the insects a natural antibacterial agent that helps them fend off infections that could harm them. Termites, as most are aware, cause damage to buildings that have a wood component—the insects eat the wood ruining its ability to maintain its stability. The tiny insects are also notoriously difficult to eradicate once they build a nest in an area and begin munching on building parts. Prior research has found that termites have two natural ways to fend off antibiotic agents. The first is that they have an immune system that is particularly good at fighting off fungal and bacterial infections. They second is they have evolved skills that help them keep bacteria at bay, such as nest cleaning, grooming nest mates, getting rid of those that die and at times eating their remains. In this new effort, the researchers have found that termites have a third type of defense against bacteria—they use their own feces as an ingredient when making a material they use to line the walls of their nests, resulting in nest foundations that are able to ward off bacteria.The researchers discovered the antibacterial properties of the building material in termite nests by digging up five Formosan subterranean termite colonies near the university. In studying the material the termites used to create the walls, the researchers discovered they had been made using feces and chewed wood. In exposing a large variety of bacteria to the material, the researchers found it capable of warding off a host of fungus and other bacteria. Next, the researchers put a colony of the termites into an artificial nest which had been exposed to a type of fungus that can kill termites. Adding bacteria from their natural building material, they found, helped the insects ward off fungal infections.The researchers say microbes in the feces are responsible for the antibacterial nature of the building material, which suggests that further study may yield a new source of antibacterial agent that humans might use to do the same. Stick insect found to harbor antibacterial microbes in its gut © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img Formosan subterranean termite queen. Credit: Wikipedia. Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

first_imgMitra was arrested in a case relating to Saradha Realty on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, misappropriation of funds as well as deriving undue financial benefits from the Saradha Group, a CBI spokesman here said.”Mitra was arrested on prima facie evidence of criminal conspiracy, cheating and misappropriation as well as deriving undue financial benefits from the Saradha group,” CBI official said.He was taken into custody after five hours of intense questioning at the Salt Lake CGO complex housing the CBI office.Balodia had drafted the letter which Sudipto Sen had sent to the CBI, he said.The CBI had earlier arrested two TMC MPs Kunal Ghosh and Srinjay Bose in connection with the Saradha scam.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Four persons were killed and seven others have been injured in three separate road accidents in the district on Sunday.The first incident took place at Andal in West Burdwan at around 6.30 am when a youth was returning home on his motorcycle after doing a night shift. The victim, a private employee, was hit by a speeding truck.He sustained critical injuries in the accident. Some of the locals rushed the victim to a nearby hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. The truck driver fled the spot immediately. According to the local sources, the truck was at a high speed as a result of which the driver could not control the vehicle when the youth came in front of the truck. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe driver applied a sudden brake but failed to avoid the accident. The incident triggered tension in the area and it caused traffic congestion in Jadudanga area of Jamuria.Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver.Another accident took place on National Highway 34 near Udaypur area of Shantipur when a truck collided head on with a bus.One passenger and the helper of the bus succumbed to their injuries in a hospital.According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the bus driver might have fallen asleep while driving on Sunday morning. Seven other passengers were also injured in the accident. Three of them are stated to be serious. They were taken to a hospital for treatment. The third incident occurred in Mejia area of Bankura when a speeding truck knocked down a cyclist from behind. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver who has been at large.last_img read more

first_imgGender stereotyping in baby boys and girls may start as young as three months and men recognise gender of the new-born babies based on the pitch of their cries, researchers reveal. Adults often wrongly assume babies with higher-pitched cries as females and lower-pitched cries as males.The findings revealed that inspite of no actual difference in pitch between the voices of girls and boys before puberty, the study found that adults make assumptions about the gender of babies based on their cries. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“It is intriguing that gender stereotyping can start as young as three months, with adults attributing degrees of femininity and masculinity to babies solely based on the pitch of their cries,” said David Reby from the University of Sussex in Britain. The team recorded the spontaneous cries of 15 boys and 13 girls who were on average four months old and the participating adults were a mixture of parents and non-parents.They synthetically altered the pitch of the cries while leaving all other features of the cries unchanged to ensure they could isolate the impact of the pitch alone.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe results also indicate that men assume that boy babies are in more discomfort than girl babies with the same pitched cry which may indicate that this sort of gender stereotyping is more ingrained in men. “The research shows that we tend to wrongly attribute what we know about adults —that men have lower pitched voices than women — to babies, when, in fact, the pitch of children’s voices does not differ between sexes until puberty,” added Nicolas Mathevon from Hunter College in the US in the paper published in the journal BMC Psychology.last_img read more

first_imgOlder employees tend to feel more stressed than younger employees when their employers don’t provide them with the support and resources they need to do their jobs well, according to a new study. The study, published in the “Journal of Vocational Behavior”, found that both younger and older workers had lower levels of overall stress when they were given more autonomy on the job, had good relationships with their bosses and felt they were respected and treated fairly at work. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBut when such resources were lacking, older workers reported significantly higher stress levels a year later than their younger colleagues, the researcher said.”With the workforce becoming more age-diverse and older at the same time, it is important to understand the differences between younger and older workers to help them cope with the demands of their work lives more effectively,” said co-author Lale Yaldiz from the Portland State University in the US. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFor the study, the researchers surveyed 243 municipal public works employees between the ages of 24 and 64 over the course of a year.The findings suggest that older workers place a greater value on having autonomy and a supportive work environment because those resources allow them to adapt to the psychological and physical changes that come with aging. For example, older workers tend to prioritise emotional needs and care more about having socially meaningful interactions and mentoring their colleagues than younger workers whose focus tends to be on gaining the skills they need to advance in their careers, the researcher said.Since older workers appear to be more susceptible to stress, organisations can help workers by being transparent about how decisions are made and implemented, not discriminating, valuing employee input when making key decisions and providing channels for employees to voice concerns, the researchers added.last_img read more

first_imgUS researchers have discovered a mechanism for how androgens – male sex steroids – sculpt brain development, which could ultimately help understand development of social behavioural differences between males and females. The team, from the University of Maryland in the US, discovered a mechanism for how androgens sculpt the brains of male rats to produce behavioural differences, such as more aggression and rougher play behaviour. “We already knew that the brains of males and females are different and that testosterone produced during the second trimester in humans and late gestation in rodents contributes to the differences but we did not know how testosterone has these effects,” said Margaret M McCarthy from the varsity. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfStudy revealed that number of newborn cells in the part of brain called the amygdala, which controls emotions and social behaviours acts as a key contributor to the differences in behaviour. Males have fewer of these newborn cells. Female rats were, however, found to be unaffected. “These discoveries into brain development are critical as we work to tackle brain disorders as early in life as possible,” said E Albert Reece, Professor at the varsity’s School of Medicine.last_img read more

first_imgJhargram (WB): A person was critically injured after he was shot at from point blank range in West Bengal’s Jhargram district, police said on Sunday. The BJP blamed the TMC for the incident, a charge denied by the ruling party. The police has initiated an investigation and detained a villager in connection with the incident. The incident happened at Bagua village under the jurisdiction of Jamboni police station on Saturday night, the police said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Two persons approached Khagapati Mahato, while he was attending a Kirtan (devotional song) programme, and one of them shot at him from point blank range, a police officer said. The miscreants fled the scene immediately, he said, adding, the injured person and the miscreants are residents of Bagua village. Khagapati Mahato was rushed to Jhargram hospital and from there he was taken to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, the police officer said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state Later, he was referred to a hospital in Kolkata, he added. BJP’s Jhargram district president Sukhomoy Satpati alleged that the TMC supporters were involved in the incident. “We have informed the district administration. The miscreants should be arrested immediately,” he said. Denying the allegation, TMC’s district core committee member Prasun Sarangi claimed that the incident happened as a result of personal problems.last_img read more

first_imgThere have been events in the past were sensationalized and/or dismissed as false conspiracies that still seem as if there may well be more behind them than meets the eye. One of these is the fact that between 1982 and 1988, well over 20 scientists who worked for the British company GEC-Marconi all died after having worked on Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative program.The SDI program, also known as “Star Wars,” was first proposed in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan. It was meant to develop a space-based anti-missile system. The U.S. and the Soviets were deep in the Cold War, and Reagan felt that the SDI would provide protection against a Soviet missile attack by intercepting missiles while they were still in the air, according to Atomic Archive.Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan aboard an American boat in California, 1964.In order to be successful, though, the program needed a number of advanced technologies that had yet to be researched or developed. Work on the program went on for several years, but was ultimately terminated by later administrations when the necessary technology proved to be too complicated to develop.GEC-Marconi was a British defense company that was involved in the SDI project. Altered Dimensions chronicles the deaths of 20 scientists employed by Marconi for the SDI, all of whom died either shortly after making important discoveries or were about to leave the company for other jobs.Strategic Defense Initiative logo (MDA is the Successor of SDI).A few of the deaths occurred between 1982 and 1985, but the vast majority occurred in a clump between August of 1986 and October 1988.Of those deaths detailed, only one was of apparently natural causes. Frank Jennings, a 60-year-old engineer for electronic weapons, was said to have died of a heart attack in June, 1987. Victor Moore died of a drug overdose, and his death was ruled a suicide.The Extended Range Nike Zeus/Spartan missile of the late-1960s was designed to provide full-country defense as part of the Sentinel-Safeguard programs. Projected to cost $40 billion ($302 billion in 2018) it would have offered minimal protection and damage prevention in an all-out attackOf the other many deaths that transpired during that two-year window, if a cause of death was determined, the determination was either suicide or accident. Weirdly, there is also a great deal of similarity between the ways in which a number of the deaths occurred.One drove his car off a bridge, another fell from his hotel window. Five of the scientists died of carbon monoxide poisoning in their cars or their garages. On two occasions, deaths were ruled to be accidental suffocation during “sex experiments.”The bright spikes extending below the initial fireball of one of 1952’s Operation Tumbler–Snapper test shots, known as the “rope trick effect.” They are caused by the intense flash of thermal/soft X-rays released by the explosion heating the steel tower guy-wires white hot. The development of the W71 and the Project Excalibur x-ray laser were based on enhancing the destructive effects of these x-rays.Two of the deaths were just inexplicably bizarre. In October, 1986, Ashad Sharif allegedly drove to a public park, tied a nylon rope around both his neck and a large tree, and then drove away quickly, decapitating himself.In April of the following year, Shani Warren was found drowned in 18 inches of water. She was gagged, hands bound behind her back and her feet tied, with a noose around her neck.It was suggested that she had somehow done all of that herself, then hobbled in her four-inch stiletto heels to the lake to drown herself, causing the coroner to declare the death not a homicide but instead leave the verdict open.Marconi S511 radar located at Norwich International Airport.As a twist on this last event, the lake where Warren was found was only a short distance from where another of the scientists had fallen off a railway bridge and subsequently died, on the same day.Was it all part of some governmental plot? It’s impossible for us to know, but it’s very difficult to believe it’s a coincidence that so many deaths occurred, so close together, of people who were all on the same project.ABM test vehicle (Homing Overlay Experiment). Photo by Cliff CC BY 2.0Furthermore, many of these incidents happened under odd or mysterious circumstances, sometimes very closely related in geographical location or in time.  With so many “suicides,” you might expect to see more that were done in more commonplace ways.It’s not too hard to believe that there may have been a couple of such incidents, but taken as a whole, it’s much more difficult to think they are all unrelated.Read another story from us: Incredible Historical Coincidences – Too Strange to be True?Whether these scientists were murdered by actors for the defense industry or a government, or whether perhaps they knew things they felt they just couldn’t live with, remains a mystery.last_img read more

first_imgThe samurai lost the legal right to wear their swords in public as a result of the Meiji restoration in the late 1800s, and many of them rose in rebellion against the government at that loss. Even so, many samurai families kept their ancestral blades as family treasures up until the end of WWII, when occupying American forces required families to give up all their weapons, including the family swords.The policy was revised later, to offer an exemption for family swords, but by then many of the weapons had been either given as trophies to American officers or melted down and destroyed.Photo of a samurai with katana, c. 1860.One of those lost blades was the Honjo Masamune, which is considered to be one of the best swords of its kind that was ever created.The sword was named for the man who made it, and the general who won the right to carry it. The general who won the sword was Honjo Shigenaga.Shigenaga won the sword from an enemy general during the Battle of Kawanakajima in 1561.Honjō Shigenaga parrying an exploding shell, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.An opposing general challenged Shigenaga to a duel and managed to cleave his helmet in half while they were fighting, but Shigenaga still prevailed, and he claimed his enemy’s sword as spoils.Near the end of the 16th century, he finally sold the sword to the Toyotomi clan, who ruled Japan at that point in time.When that clan fell, the sword was acquired by the next shogun and was passed down through the generations as a revered family and national heirloom.Masamune sword in the Museum der Stadt Steyr. Photo by Eigenes Werk CC BY-SA 3.0 ATGoro Nyudo Masamune, the sword’s maker, is one of the most famous swordsmiths in Japanese history.According to information on the website Shibui Swords, Masamune was at the peak of his craft in the early 14th century and was renowned for having pioneered a double-quenching process and other methods to create stronger swords.An old portrait of the sword smith Masamune.Now, there are very few remaining blades in existence that bear his name, and even fewer of them are katanas.When the Allies began confiscating Japan’s weapons after the war, the sword’s current owner handed it over, along with the rest of his family’s swords. The name of the man who took the collection was supposedly “Coldy Bimore,” although there have never been any records found verifying his existence.After that, what happened to the famous blade is a complete mystery; no one knows if it was one of those that were melted down, or if it was carried away. There are historians who hope that the Honjo Masamune might someday be found again.Three sizes of swords a samurai could use. The katana is the longest one.Masamune made his blades using the Soshu tradition. According to the sword and blade workshop that still carries his name, the methods that define the tradition involve heating the metal to very high heat, which creates a characteristic wavy pattern in the blade.Unfortunately, the high heat also causes the metal to become brittle. To preserve the strength of the finished blade and keep it from breaking, he used a mix of softer and harder steel.An expansion of this explanation is found at Quora, adding that in addition the mix of softer and harder steels, Masamune also added pearlite to his blades.Read another story from us: The Ghastly Samurai Practice of Sword TestingThe end result created a blade that had the look of a starry sky, creating a finished product that was not only functional but a work of art.One can only hope that this symbol of a lost time will someday be found.last_img read more

first_imgEarly this morning in Arizona, a meteor lit up the night sky and woke residents with a loud bang.  Call it a dress rehearsal for the end of days.The meteor light show happened around 4:00 AM. The exact nature of the meteor is unknown, but the videos are amazing.last_img

first_imgPhoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has guided a one-time proud franchise into the deepest depths of the abyss, but even as his team looks to tank for the fifth year in a row he’s battling with the Phoenix City Council over $150 million in funding to renovate the 30-year old Talking Stick Resort Arena.If the city and Sarver can’t reach an agreement by 2022, the Suns could relocate and – according to reporting this week – Sarver has told several members of the city council that he would move his team to either Las Vegas or Seattle.Sarver received predictable blowback from his relocation comments, but it was nothing compared to the evisceration he received from an elderly woman named Greta Rodgers, who ripped Sarver on everything from his inability to build a winner, to just flat out calling him cheap. Not surprisingly, Rodgers doesn’t want to give one penny to help Sarver in his quest for a hundred million in taxpayer funds to help prop up his franchise.There’s lighting someone up, then there’s this bodybagging, courtesy of Greta Rodgers. Get some Sarver.My new hero Greta Rogers dunked all over Robert Sarver 😳— Andrew Joseph (@AndyJ0seph) December 13, 2018last_img read more

first_img If there’s one unifying theme at CES 2010, it’s as follows: Innovation is everywhere. From 3-D high-definition televisions to slick e-readers, powerful smartphones and a bevy of streaming media devices, the big watchwords this year are versatility, interconnectivity and value. Just a few items that already seem to be emerging as running themes this year based on early preview events, press conferences and, of course, buzz among critics and everyday gadget enthusiasts alike:1. 3-D, LED and Connected TelevisionLG, Samsung, Panasonic: You can barely turn around without bumping into a manufacturer pushing an LED (or, even scarier, 3-D) HDTV line as the next big thing. Thankfully, support for wireless internet is also creeping into more sets, letting you access widgets (bite-sized programs that run right on your TV) straight from your living room or stream over content from your PC. While the jury’s still out on 3-D, and the need to wear goofy glasses to enjoy it, newswires are abuzz with stories of broadcasters like ESPN and Discovery launching compatible networks. Truthfully, we’re more excited about Skype making its debut on sets, possibly bringing casual videoconferencing to mainstream prominence, and turning your couch into a communications hub after years of unfulfilled promise. Companies like Toshiba, with its Cell TV sets, are also planning to offer models with 1080p broadcast and Internet content upscaling, plus built-in hard drives and wireless 802.11n support, as well as the ability to convert 2D content from movies to video games into full 3-D.2. Tablet PCs and NetbooksFrom Asus to Lenovo, everyone’s pushing the low-cost, portable systems in slicker, even more transportable formats, albeit many now with touchscreens and beefier processors and graphics cards. More PC for less money, plus you can easily take notes on it and whiz through airport security? That’s one trend we can get behind.3. Portable ProjectorsAimed at business users with presentations to give, a number of companies are pushing portable projector models for BlackBerry and iPhone handsets. Surprisingly capable, these gizmos should be suitable for everyday use, if not pitching million-dollar ad buys, given their decent, if not overwhelming, brightness levels and picture quality. Still, what do you expect from a device that fits in your pocket?4. E-Readers and E-Book PlayersWhile still expensive and hard to justify as a purchase in the face of software platforms like Blio, which bring rich media content (books, magazines, comics, newspapers, etc.) to all platforms, not just dedicated single-function devices, there’s no getting around it: e-readers are everywhere at CES this year in color, touchscreen and other exciting new forms, and genuinely threating to upend the publishing industry within three years, if not completely reduce the newsstand to irrelevance in the next 12-18 months.5. Streaming Media ExtendersWe’ve still yet to see a single killer app in this category capable of supporting most major multimedia formats and convincing even the staunchest technophobe from buying in with its idiot-proof setup and interface. But it’s inevitable that one will arrive at some point, and make streaming audio and video more common than not in the near future, given the preponderance of companies looking to connect your TV, Blu-ray player, receiver, etc. to your home network or the internet. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 3 min read January 8, 2010last_img read more

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Brought to you by Business on Main Yes, viruses, worms, phishing and other horrible-sounding threats make for a dangerous world out there for your computer network. But there’s comfort in the fact that 84 percent of network attacks are considered preventable with simple security measures.Yet to be convinced that you need to take protective measures? Then consider the following:It takes 20 minutes for an unprotected computer to get infected after it’s been hooked up to the internet.Forty percent of passwords can be cracked within one hour.In 2007, 127 million personal records were either lost or stolen.Now that I’ve made you aware that something must be done, it’s good to know that protecting your computers doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. In fact, just like in the physical world, it mostly requires some basic common sense. Below are the four critical tools for locking your computer network up tight.Antivirus software. In my opinion, antivirus software should be mandatory, like car insurance–you can’t get a computer without it. Yes, antivirus software has historically been a royal pain in the processor. It was costly, it updated itself all the time and it would slow your computer to a crawl. But I see antivirus protection as being like flossing: It sucks, but think what you may lose without it. Besides, there are some free (yes, free) antivirus programs that are top-notch, such as AVG (which also has a pay version). And the performance drags have drastically improved in the last year or two, especially with products like Symantec’s Norton Internet Security . Get something on every system in your company and keep it up to date. It’s basic hygiene.Firewall. For both individual PCs and networks, firewalls are must-haves. These are simple programs that, based on a certain set of rules, examine the traffic coming in and out of your computer or network and block any unauthorized access. It’s like having a lock and peephole on your front door. Many internet security software packages, such as Symantec’s, have firewalls built in. Check Point Software Technologies , probably the most recognized brand in the firewall business, also markets a free version of its basic firewall software called ZoneAlarm .Get a VPN. If you or your employees ever access the company servers remotely, you need a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN simply creates an encrypted tunnel between your PC and the network, so that anything you send between the two is protected. It sounds more complicated than it is. And there are free versions of this as well, including Alonweb and PacketiX VPN . Some of these free versions hit you with advertising, but that’s nothing you can’t handle.Passwords, passwords, passwords. I’m not just talking about passwords to log on to the network or a website. Those are obvious. But did you know that your hard drive can (and should) be password-protected? Did you know that you can require your employees to enter a password before they download anything onto their system? And did you know that those passwords must all be different; change regularly; include letters, numbers and symbols; and in general be really difficult to guess? It’s called password strength, and for more on how to make a weak password stronger, see this handy reference guide .How well you protect your network will depend on how well your employees adhere to the guidelines. And sometimes just educating them on good, safe computing habits (like not clicking on links in e-mails from unknown sources or downloading anything from an untrusted site) is not enough. So a little security technology can go a long way toward helping you sleep at night. And most of it won’t cost you a thing, which will also help you sleep. 4 min read July 16, 2010 Register Now »last_img read more

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 6 min read Traditionally, preparing for the holiday rush has meant sprucing up your store’s front window, stocking up on inventory and bringing on seasonal staff to handle the throng of customers that begins in mid-November and doesn’t let up until after Christmas.Related:  Apps to Supercharge Your Ecommerce Site for the Holiday SeasonBut because today’s retail industry is a patchwork of ecommerce storefronts, brick-and-mortar stores and massive online retailers like Amazon and Walmart, preparing for the current era’s holiday rush looks radically different. And it should. Total holiday online sales, according to Shopify, jumped from $94.4 billion in 2016 to $101.8 billion last year, and this year’s numbers are expected to be the highest we’ve ever seen.Modern consumers expect a shopping experience that’s easy, fast and convenient. So businesses need to go far beyond hanging decorations and bringing on temp workers. They need to make sure their ecommerce system is up to the task of processing and fulfilling orders without a hitch during a major spike in business.Perhaps now, the week before Christmas, when you’re in the thick of things, is a good time for you to assess how well you’ve prepared your ecommerce system for this 2018 holiday shopping season. Have you done all you could?How has your ecommerce fared?Online commerce looks easy on the surface. After finding a product from a web search, a shopper buys with just a few clicks, right? You know that this is a simplistic view; it’s a different story behind the scenes.Retailers generally use multiple applications for customer communications, fulfillment, inventory management, product updates and other key processes. They may have separate applications to manage multiple sales channels, from physical stores to digital storefronts and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. They likely have an ERP system to manage inventory, fulfillment and finances, as well as customer relationship management technology to interact with current and potential customers.However, these systems are often siloed, meaning they are separate systems that lack the ability to share order information.Related: Small-Business Owners Will Trust These Brands Most to Get Business Done During the Holiday SeasonThis siloed approach might work fine on a typical day, but does it hold up when orders triple overnight? Is it holding up for you now during the current last-minute pre-Christmas rush? As you assess your business during this peak buying season, here are the five questions to ask yourself. The answers can help you decide whether you did all you could to ensure a healthy, robust ecommerce system:Have you been spending 10-plus hours a week manually moving data between systems? Hopefully you haven’t: It’s easy for us to disregard manually entering data for 30 minutes here and there, but it adds up. Then all of a sudden you realize you’re spending 10 times that amount of time per week entering data when that time should have been spent improving the product and conversing with customers.Have you been manually processing information from your trading partners? Many big-box retailers require that you send and receive EDI documents. Having to manually process these documents may be putting you at a distinct disadvantage. Likewise, if you work with a 3PL, you may have to transmit orders immediately after a shopper checks out. The result of delays in relaying information due to manual processes could have been a snowballing of those delays as order volumes increased.Have all your sales channels been displaying accurate product availability? Relying on manual or batch processes to keep sales and inventory in sync between channels could cause inconsistencies and delays at the very time when customers are most eager to buy. Hopefully, you’ve been keeping product availability information accurate across your sales channels.Has your product and price information been reliably up to date, everywhere? Changes to your product catalog should have been shared immediately across all of your selling channels. Customers, especially those in holiday rush mode, demand up-to-the-minute price and product information.Have you been able to meet customer expectations after orders were placed?Relying on manual processes or sub-par integrations when orders spike can make it impossible to meet fulfillment targets. Customers expect to receive shipping information immediately upon checkout, and they expect your support team to have real-time visibility into their order should they call about its status. Asking yourself these five questions can help you figure out what happened if your ecommerce system has (unfortunately) buckled under the pressure of a holiday rush. To be competitive in today’s retail environment, your strategic plan must ensure that every application in your ecommerce supply chain can share data seamlessly, accurately and automatically.Companies use a variety of technologies and techniques to accomplish this. The three most popular options include:Custom IT integrations: For maximum control, some companies build custom integrations using either internal IT resources or external consultants. Integrations can be completely customized to meet the company’s needs, but ongoing maintenance and changes may become costly and slow due to code changes that can only be only done by IT or consultants.Point-to-point connectors: Pre-built integrations among shopping carts, online marketplaces, ERP, WMS, 3PL and other key systems offer cost-effective integrations for businesses that don’t require customizations. However, reliability and quality of service vary across vendors, so selecting solutions that can scale to meet a company’s future needs is important. iPaaS: Integration platform-as-a-service (or “iPaaS”) can be used to integrate all types of data — including cloud applications, on-premise servers, CSV files, EDI documents and more. Tools and dashboards make it easy to build and manage integrations. A key differentiator among iPaaS is the target user technical IT staff or business users.Related: Don’t Let Product Returns Eat Into Your Online Profits This Holiday SeasonAll of these integration options have their place in the ecommerce world. As the head of a company, you should put in the time to find the approach that suits your current and expected future needs. Clearly, in the digitally connected holiday times we live in, the technology back-end has become rather more important than sprucing up your storefront window. December 17, 2018 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowlast_img read more

first_imgImprove Cookie Whitelisting in Firefox by Martin Brinkmann on April 05, 2016 in Firefox – Last Update: June 25, 2017 – 10 commentsKeep Until Closed is a brand new browser add-on for the Firefox web browser that improves the whitelisting of cookies in the web browser.Mozilla removed one cookie related option with Firefox 44. Previously, Firefox users were able to select ask me every time in regards to cookie handling in the browser.What that meant, basically, was that Firefox displayed prompts for cookies that sites tried to access giving users options to allow a cookie for the session, or to allow or block it permanently by adding it to Firefox’s exceptions list.With the option removed from the web browser, Firefox users can only select to keep cookies until they expire (they have an expiration date that the site sets), or until the browser is closed.Whitelisted cookies are protected from that setting so that they remain set. This is useful for sites that you sign in as you won’t be asked to log in again the next time you open the site.Keep Until ClosedKeep Until Closed has been designed to make the whitelisting of sites in regards to cookies easier.  The add-on adds an icon to Firefox’s toolbar that you can click on to add the current site to the cookie whitelist.Once you have done so, cookies that it sets are protected from removal as defined by the “keep until” setting in the Firefox options.The add-on tries to improve the handling if Firefox is configured to delete all cookies on close or set to disallow cookies.Basically, it lets you add sites that require cookies for functionality or convenience to the whitelist so that they are accepted and not deleted by Firefox. You can remove sites from the whitelist again with another click on the icon.The icon indicates whether cookies are whitelisted currently. If it is colorful, cookies are whitelisted while a grayish color indicates that they are not.While that does not come close to “ask me every time”, it may be the next best thing when it comes to cookie handling as you don’t need to juggle between the cookie exceptions listing and active sites all the time anymore.One more thing, Firefox is configured by default to remember the browsing history (which includes cookies). You need to do the following to get better options in regards to the browsing history:Load about:preferences#privacy in the browser’s address bar and hit enter.Locate the History section on the page, and switch from “Remember History” to “Use custom settings for history” instead.This displays, among other things, cookie handling options. You can block all cookies, block third-party cookies, change cookie retention preferences, and add cookies to the whitelist or blacklist.Now You: How do you handle cookies in your browser of choice?Summary12345 Author Rating2.5 based on 4 votes Software Name Keep Until ClosedSoftware Category BrowserLanding Page Advertisementlast_img read more