Scientists have a lot to learn about living animals before presuming to speak of long-lost extinct ones.Tree croc: Scientists have confirmed anecdotal reports that some crocodiles and alligators can climb trees. “When most people envision crocodiles and alligators, they think of them waddling on the ground or wading in water — not climbing trees,” Science Daily reported. “However, a new study has found that the reptiles can climb trees as far as the crowns.” Scientists from U of Tennessee found 4 species on 3 continents (Australia, Africa and North America) engaging in tree climbing. They think the reptiles do it to regulate their body temperature by basking, or to improve their view for surveillance. Small ones could venture farther than big ones, but “the ability to climb vertically is a measure of crocodiles’ spectacular agility on land.”Alpine bumblebee: Science Magazine reported that bumblebees appear capable of flying higher than Mt. Everest. “The last thing you’d expect to see out your airplane window is a bumblebee cruising by,” the article says. “But a new study suggests that the insects might be capable of such high-altitude jaunts.” Chinese researchers studied some bees found at high altitude, and experimented with their limits, finding some capable of thriving 100 meters above the elevation of Everest. The bees appear to compensate for the lower air pressure by flapping at the same speed but with greater amplitude.High wings: Quick: What bird flies the highest altitude? According to the BBC News, its Reppell’s vulture, found at 37,000 feet (presumably with bumblebee companions). The article gives “Seven surprising facts about vultures,” including their big appetites, ability to fly high and for long distances, and their varied diet and strong stomachs for digesting carrion. “Bearded vultures are the only animals known to have a diet of 70-90% bone and their stomach acid allows them to take nutrients from what other species discard,” the article says, noting that the stomach acid can neutralize cholera, anthrax and even botulism toxin – the strongest poison in the world (one gram could kill a billion humans). Thanks in part to vultures, the world is cleansed of decaying dead animals. One vulture carrying two dead rats was blocked at the airport gate recently. The reason? He was only allowed one carrion.Flying snakes: A video clip on the BBC News, and an accompanying article, show that some snakes in Southeast Asia can shape themselves a bit like an S-shaped Frisbee and glide through the air for long distances after flinging itself off tree branches. “Scientists say that the serpents radically alter their body shape to generate the aerodynamic forces needed to perform this feat.” A photo caption reads, “The aerodynamic forces are comparable with those generated by a plane’s wing.”Weightlifter ants: Ants are capable of sustaining “astounding pressures” on their necks, Science Daily said, calling their necks “amazing” and worth studying for improving robot strength. These aren’t specially trained ants, either, but just common American field ants. Measurements with centrifuges show the neck can withstand 5,000 times the ant’s body weight, due to a combination of materials and the structure of the joints. These leave the muscles free to lift and position objects.Sneezing sponges: This headline on Science Daily says it all: “Sneezing sponges suggest existence of sensory organ: Discovery challenges assumptions about ‘primitive’ organism.” How can an animal without a nervous system have a sense organ? That was the question a young biologist, Danielle Ludeman, decided to ask at the University of Alberta. “The sponge is a filter feeder that relies totally on water flow through its body for food, oxygen and waste removal,” the article explained. “Sneezing, a 30- to 45-minute process that sees the entire body of the sponge expand and contract, allows it to respond to physical stimuli such as sediment in the water.” This seems to presuppose sensory ability, but where did it reside? Ludeman and her supervisor, Sallie Leys, found ciliated cells lining the osculum. As evolutionists, they are trying to figure out whether this evolved uniquely in the sponge or is common to all animals. For a sponge, one of the simplest multicellular animals of all, to have a sense organ is “totally new,” not found in textbooks; “this doesn’t appear in someone’s concept of what sponges are permitted to have,” Leys said.Controlled power dive: Peregrine falcons can dive at 200 miles an hour, an article on Science Daily says. Experiments with specially designed wind tunnels shows that their feathers appear to act as “self-adaptive flaps” during dives. The body also changes shape during descent.Monarch crisis: Long live the king! We end with a sad story of the precipitous decline of Monarch butterflies, reported by Live Science and Science Now. These long-distance travelers, highlighted in the Illustra film Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies, are in trouble – this time, it appears truly because of human interference. It’s not just their home in the mountains of Mexico that is threatened by logging. Use of pesticide-resistant crops in the USA has allowed many farmers to spray their fields with Roundup, killing off the milkweed on which the butterflies depend. Drought in Texas may also be a factor. Once a billion butterflies met in Mexico; now, 33.5 million were estimated during a 9-year decline. Unless quick measures are taken to restore the milkweed, this long-distance migration, a wonder of nature, is at risk of being lost.No matter where you look, the living world is filled with astonishing design. How can anyone attribute these feats to blind, aimless forces? Evolution amounts to a cop-out explanation, like saying, “Well, if they weren’t that way, they would have gone extinct” or “Stuff happens.” Come now, and let us reason together. Mistakes, in our day-to-day experience, do not generally cause exquisite design. Good design is a product of engineering. Why not make the logical inference? These animals don’t just show passable design. They show elegant, exquisite, astonishing design, as if Someone with omniscience, omnipotence, and wisdom had a plan. Follow the evidence. (Visited 71 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Rural business development in Ohio and West Virginia is getting a boost thanks to a $200,000 grant presented to the Ohio Cooperative Development Center, housed at The Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon.The funding is one of 29 grants awarded Oct. 3 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Rural Cooperative Development Grant program. The federal agency awards a total of $5.8 million to help rural cooperatives create jobs and support business expansion, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a written statement.“America’s rural communities have incredible potential to create jobs and expand economic opportunities,” Vilsack said in the statement. “Many rural businesses and organizations are succeeding under the cooperative business model, and with access to additional resources, they can boost job creation and create an environment where more products are made in rural America.”The grant will be used to help businesses and individuals in rural Ohio and West Virginia explore cooperative opportunities in several industries, including energy and wood products, according to Sam Rikkers, administrator of USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service, who announced the grant awardees during a visit to the centers in Piketon.The grant will provide the opportunity for groups exploring cooperatives and for emerging cooperatives to access one-on-one technical assistance throughout their development process, said Hannah Scott, program manager of the Ohio Cooperative Development Center.The center is part of Ohio State University Extension’s work to increase economic productivity and job and business development in the region. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.“The center’s mission revolves around rural economic development,” Scott said. “We provide assistance to businesses in order for them to become drivers of economic growth in their communities.“We’re appreciative of USDA’s support of this work this year and throughout our history. OCDC has been working in Ohio since 2000 and has recently expanded to offer services in West Virginia.”As a result of the funding, the development center will provide a seed grant program to develop and expand cooperatives, she said, with a goal to assist 20 businesses and eight startups.The grant will provide a beneficial boost to the region, Scott said.According to the Appalachian Regional Commission, residents in Appalachian Ohio and West Virginia experienced 8.9 and 7.2% unemployment, respectively, from 2011 through 2013, with a per-capita income in 2013 of $24,855 and $26,020 and a three-year poverty rate of 17.6 and 17.9%, respectively.During the past five years, the center has provided more than 2,900 hours of technical assistance and has assisted with the formation of 35 cooperatives and other business entities in a variety of industries, Scott said.That has resulted in an estimated 194 new jobs and 229 retained jobs. It has also resulted in the investment of $72,000 in seed grants, she said.Examples of work that the USDA grant can fund include conducting feasibility studies, developing business plans, providing leadership and operational improvement training, and facilitating strategic planning for individuals and businesses in rural areas, Scott said.For more information on the Ohio Cooperative Development Center and its programs, contact Scott at 740-289-2071, ext. 227, or email@example.com.
The Congress party will launch an “affirmative and positive” campaign in Rajasthan to counter the “acrimonious” charge of the BJP and advocate a new model of governance while highlighting the failures of the Vasundhara Raje-led government, Member of Parliament Sachin Pilot has said.Buoyed by the results of recent byelections to local bodies, where the Congress fared well, the party has decided to strengthen its base at the booth level. It would reach out to every voter through an aggressive mass contact programme to be launched soon, the Rajasthan Congress chief said. He said the Congress would not merely highlight the BJP’s failures, but would offer them a better alternative.“We will present the people with the blueprint of a model of alternative governance which will be holistic and inclusive, will care for the young and old, create jobs and have a vision to take the State forward,” Mr. Pilot said. Rajasthan goes to the polls in 2018.
Robin Uthappa, who hit a 39-ball 68 to help Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 17 runs on Saturday, said the team now wants him to bat at No.3. (Scorecard)After a shaky start being put in to bat by visiting captain David Warner, Uthappa stemmed the rot with a brilliant 68 to help KKR post 172/6. Sunrisers Hyderabad could reach 155/6 in their allotted 20 overs with Kolkata bowlers putting on a commendable performance.”The team requires me to bat at No 3. I have taken that challenge on. It’s a very important position as well. It’s an important wicket and we need someone who is experienced and can handle that pressure to make sure that you don’t lose another wicket immediately,” Uthappa, who usually opens the batting for the men in purple, told reporters at the end of the match. Uthappa was adjudged the man-of-the-match. (KKR vs SRH: Highlights)”I wouldn’t say that the experiment is not working, because it’s just one game,” the Karnataka batsman said of opener Sunil Narine who failed on Saturday managing just six.”He is hitting the ball really well. I think it’s important for us to back him. If we don’t back players in this tournament, they trend to breed insecurity and we will back Sunil all the way. He is going to repay that faith.” (Robin Uthappa, spinners star as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad to go on top)KKR were always in control of the game, Uthappa said.”At no point, we were out of the game. They never had the upper hand. We kept the momentum really well and after not getting wickets in the first six overs I thought we did really well to keep the momentum,” he pointed out. (Kolkata Knight Riders can take a lot of confidence especially after this win: Gautam Gambhir)advertisementAsked if KKR were a few runs short, Uthappa said: “We did end up with a little less than we intended to. But credit should be given to the bowlers for the way they bowled. Bhuvi bowled really well at the death and he is an extremely good death bowler. We did out best and had faith in our bowlers.”
African All Stars Dede speaks on Swansea return, ambitions and memories Prince Narkortu Teye Last updated 1 year ago 00:04 2/2/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Tony Marshall/Getty Images African All Stars Swansea City Premier League The attacker sheds light on rejoining the Jack Army after a spell at West Ham New Swansea City acquisition Andre Ayew has set his sights on helping the club win their relegation fight after completing a move to Liberty Stadium on Wednesday.The Ghana international signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Jack Army in a club record deal reportedly worth £18 million.He returns to the club, who are currently caught up in a relegation fight, two years after leaving for West Ham in 2016. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I am very happy to be back,” Ayew told Swans TV.“Things have changed at the club, but the faces are still the same and I am happy to see everyone. Now I need to do the job.“What’s important is that we keep the club up.“The club have shown a lot of trust in me and a lot of determination to bring me in.“Now I need to give back to them on the field. My goal and my challenge is to do everything possible to help the club stay up – the same as it is for all the players and the staff.“That’s what I am here for and I will do everything I can to make sure it happens.”Swansea dangerously sit second from bottom on the league table ahead of matchday 26.“The season is going to be long and there will be a lot of tough games,” Ayew added.“It’s not going to be easy – everyone wants to stay up and when you look at the table, 20th place to ninth or 10th is very, very tight.“But when you know the players who are here you know the quality they have.“Sometimes in football you can have some bad results, but I think we have the quality of players to play in the Premier League.“We want to stay at this level and we need to do everything possible to make sure we don’t let the city down and we don’t let the fans down.”Ayew’s first spell was largely successful as he netted 12 goals in 34 league outings, finishing the season as the Jack’s top scorer“I had a great moment at the club last time,” the 28-year-old said.“I had a great feeling with my team-mates and a great relationship with the fans.“I had a few others to look at, but when the opportunity to come back to Swansea came up, I wanted to take it.“I felt the fans wanted me back, the chairman wanted me back and the gaffer wanted me, so I am really pleased.”