March Moon Madness

first_imgMoons of our planetary system are supposed to behave themselves.  They were expected to just quietly orbit their host planets like nice, cold, frozen, inactive chunks of rock and ice.  It seems like whenever we get a close look at them, they are madly at work destroying theories – just like their planets have been wont to do.Io, Io, It’s Off to Work I Go:  “The results are surprising because no theory predicted upstream spots.”  Belgian researcher Bertrand Bonford was commenting on a press release from American Geophysical Union (AGU) about the volcanic moon Io, and how its eruptions create auroral spots on Jupiter.  “The finding of the leading spot puts all the previous models of the Io footprint into question,” the article said.Tethys Ocean:  The “surprisingly ordinary” moon Tethys at Saturn may have, or may have had, an underground ocean, according to National Geographic News.  The energy required to create the monstrous rift called Ithaca Chasma must have melted the ice below.  Where did the heat come from?  Since Tethys is largely ice, there would not have been radioactive elements sufficient to produce internal heat.  This leaves tidal flexing to create the rift – but only if there was liquid underneath.    The thought of water quickly led to thoughts of life.  A Cassini scientist told NGN, “This makes the exploration of icy satellites and their interiors even more important to understanding possible habitats for life in our solar system” and for how common life is in the universe.Do you want your Mars with salt?  Sodium chloride – good old table salt – may be common on Mars, said the BBC News and EurekAlert.  Because the salt may have become deposited in channels and lakes, some scientists immediately visualized the salt as a preservative for life.  Salt is a double-edged sword, however: “Water is the first sign that an environment might have been habitable, but waters that precipitate table salt on Mars would have been much saltier than any waters known to support microbial populations on Earth,” said Andrew Knoll of Harvard.  Salt is also a poison to organic soup (09/17/2002).Titan clash:  Titan isn’t rotating like scientists expected.  When they went to focus on a spot identified from a previous orbit, it was 19 miles off.  The only way they can explain it is by modeling an ocean under the ice, according to a paper in Science.1  If the crust is decoupled from the interior by floating on an ocean, it also means that Titan’s zonal winds can alter the rotation of the whole moon.  See explanation by The Planetary Society and press release from JPL.    The ocean-and-wind hypothesis is only a partial answer.  Christophe Sotin and Gabriel Tobie, writing in the same issue of Science,2 said, “However, the observations and model predictions do not correlate very well.”  Some are proposing a periodic wobble in the spin, or a large impact that might have sped up the rotation.  No impact basin large enough to record such an event has been found.  “There’s a fundamental difficulty with Titan global circulation models right now — all of them,” said lead author Ralph Lorenz, “–which is that they predict that the predominant winds at low latitudes near the surface would be easterly, from east to west.  Yet all the sand dunes point in exactly the opposite direction.  There’s something we do not understand about Titan’s circulation.”Back on earth, scientists are also scrambling to explain the origin of the home planet.  Science Daily, PhysOrg and National Geographic News all reported that a “new study is challenging the long-standing notion that the whole solar system formed from the same raw materials.”  Isotopes in meteorites don’t match those on earth.  To get around this problem, scientists are having to imagine that materials in the solar disk that supposedly gave birth to the planets got sorted somehow.    In addition, a news item in Nature News about the Genesis solar-wind collection experiment “raises more questions.”  The finding that “the Sun is relatively richer than Earth in oxygen-16, the most common oxygen isotope, contradicts the conventional wisdom that Earth has the same oxygen isotope composition as the Sun” the article said. “Everybody would have bet that the Sun had the same composition as Earth and the meteorites,” a French cosmochemist remarked.  “In fact, Earth is not like the Sun.”  Scientists are scrambling to model what process might have “sucked out oxygen-16 while the gas of the proto-Solar System condensed into solid grains that coalesced into the planets.”  If so, the article said, it would have had to happen early on.Footnote:  We’re still waiting for word about the Enceladus flyby results from March 12.  Expect more surprises.  Whatever is found will have to comport with findings of Roberts and Nimmo in the April Icarus.3  Their calculations show that neither radioactive decay or tidal forcing are adequate to maintain a liquid ocean under the crust for more than 30 million years (6% of the assumed age).  Heat is removed from the surface faster than it can be generated in the core, and tidal heating is far too low at the present orbit.  The only way they could rescue a long-lived ocean was to propose an ad-hoc scenario: perhaps the obliquity of Enceladus is pumped up from time to time.  “A transient ocean could exist beneath the ice shell today as a remnant of an earlier epoch of higher heating,” they said.  Such a phenomenon is beyond observation.1.  Lorenz et al, “Titan’s Rotation Reveals an Internal Ocean and Changing Zonal Winds,” Science, 21 March 2008: Vol. 319. no. 5870, pp. 1649-1651, DOI: 10.1126/science.1151639.2.  Sotin and Tobie, “Titan’s Hidden Ocean,” Science, 21 March 2008: Vol. 319. no. 5870, pp. 1629-1630, DOI: 10.1126/science.1155964.3.  James H. Roberts and Francis Nimmo, “Tidal heating and the long-term stability of a subsurface ocean on Enceladus,” Icarus, Volume 194, Issue 2, April 2008, Pages 675-689, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2007.11.010.Science marches on – sometimes in disciplined ranks, sometimes in scatter formation.  The latter occurs when observation bombs drop in on theory playgrounds.    Remember, the consensus theories that have been blown away by new discoveries were textbook orthodoxy a few years ago.  Only a devout logical positivist would think this could not happen to today’s accepted ideas.  Just wait.    Evidence does not exist in isolation.  To make sense, it must be incorporated into one’s web of belief by a number of auxiliary hypotheses and assumptions.  Planetary scientists interpret what Ithaca Chasma, Titan’s rotation and Earth’s oxygen-16 ratios mean through the filter of assumptions and auxiliary hypotheses that are rarely considered or questioned independently.    One of their most sacred assumptions is the A.S.S. (age of the solar system).  The accepted value of 4.5 billion years is written in their genes.  All evidence is viewed within this major structural component of their web of belief.  The web itself stretches and distorts as new evidence bombards it, but it would take a mighty big impact to break it.    Too much is at stake for secular planetologists, bent on finding life and evolution at every water hole, to allow that to happen.  Like predatory spiders, they snag the evidence, wrap it in theories spun out of their own selves, and suck the juice out of it to feed themselves and their young.  The dried up hulk that once contained structure, organs and connective tissue is discarded to blow away in the wind.    If you love and respect science, make like a bee instead.  Get busy and gather nature’s nectar far and wide.  Digest it carefully.  Transform it into something sweet to benefit others – something that will nourish the heart and bring delight to the eyes.  (Thanks to Francis Bacon for the metaphor.)(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

A level playing field

first_imgThis fusion has allowed Amandla EduFootball to develop a healthy attitude towards education in the children taking part in its programmes, using their love of sport as incentive. (Image: Amandla EduFootball, via Facebook)As the name suggests, Amandla EduFootball capitalises on the widespread love of the beautiful game to get children to engage with education by fusing the two, creating a single vehicle to uplift and empower the country’s youth.This fusion has allowed Amandla EduFootball to develop a healthy attitude towards education in the children taking part in its programmes, using their love of sport as incentive.Florian Zech and Leonora Reid, who were working at a children’s home in Cape Town before founding Amandla, came to realise the need to give children in residential care the opportunity to take part in sports and life skills building activities during their down time.The idea of creating an “education through sport” programme seemed to be an ideal way of engaging and stimulating pupils after school while also drawing their attention away from negative influences such as substance abuse and violence.Today more than 3 000 children take part in the organisation’s activities every week – and this number is growing steadily. This continued growth shows the relevance and impact of sports in education and the development of young minds.Amandla’s focus on fair play aims to encourage children to develop their team work skills, their attitude towards other children as well as their ability to deal with conflict. (Image:Amandla EduFootbal, via Facebook)TUTORING PROGRAMME AND FAIRPLAYBy combining daily homework sessions with football, Amandla EduFootball’s tutoring programme helps learners to improve their academic performance. It also gives them ongoing support.These sessions help to get the children past areas where they may be struggling at school and help them to improve their performances all round, giving them a strong foundation to build on later on in their school careers.EduFootball also runs football leagues among the children taking part in its programmes. The points tallies in the league combine the scores of each of the matches with fair play points given to team members.These fair play points serve as indicators to track the improvement in behaviour among team members and the opposition and encourage them to develop their team work skills, their attitude towards other children as well as their ability to deal with conflict.GET INVOLVED IN EDUFOOTBALL“Our experience and research tells us that we cannot achieve a sustainable impact in marginalised communities without in-depth collaboration,” Zech explains, touching on the importance of getting support from the public and corporations for non-profit organisations such as Amandla EduFootball to succeed.“The ability to bring together partners from all sectors allows us to create lasting change among our youth and communities.”If you want to help improve the lives of the many children benefiting from the efforts of Amandla EduFootball, visit its website for details about how to get involved.The organisation welcomes volunteers who want to work directly with the children during the day to day activities at their facilities. If you would prefer to donate to the cause, visit the donate page for information on how to do so.For more information, contact Amandla EduFootball on 021 447 8261 or via email at [email protected] YOUR PARTPlay Your Part urges you to share your story. If you or anyone you know has gone out of their way to brighten up the day for someone else, we want to know.If you have a story to tell, be it your own or that of an organisation or initiative dear to you, submit your story or video to our website and tell us how South Africa is playing a part to build a better life for all.last_img read more

Ohio’s Crop Progress – September 21st, 2015

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Continued dry weather this week allowed producers to harvest soybeans and corn in Ohio, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office. There were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending September 20th. Soybean and grain corn harvest was largely limited to early planted varieties, while corn silage harvest progressed very quickly. Crop maturity was aided significantly by the warm dry weather. Hay cutting continued as well. Producers also spent the week installing tile.See how far along progress is in Ohio with the full report herelast_img

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — June 26, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  We squeeze out another mostly dry day across Ohio today, with sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Moisture is moving east, though ,coming out of Illinois this morning and it will take all day to spread across Indiana. This will put scattered rain showers into western and NW Ohio overnight tonight. The moisture then spreads across the rest of the state through tomorrow and into the early part of Thursday.  Rain and thunderstorm action should trigger .25”-1.5” of rain over 100% of the state. There are very good chances of strong thunderstorms and a threat of severe weather. We will need those to see precipitation totals get up toward the higher end of the range.We dry down Thursday midday and will stay dry for the following 4 days in a row. That means we have sunny and dry weather in the forecast for Friday through Sunday. Temps will build to slightly above normal levels but will not be overly hot.Scattered showers and thunderstorms develop overnight Sunday night into Monday, starting in NW Ohio and then spreading east and sagging south. This will bring rains to the entire state for the period from Sunday overnight through Tuesday midday. Rain totals will be from a quarter to three quarters of an inch with coverage at 80% of the state. Clouds break later Tuesday, but only for a short time.For the Independence Day holiday on the 4th, we are going to have to increase our rain chances this morning. It looks like the minor front we had been looking for on the 5th has decided to speed up slightly and arrive for the 4th. Moisture totals are not impressive, perhaps a few hundredths to a tenth or two, but we can’t say we stay completely dry either. So, just be away of the minor action.We are then dry for the 5th through the 8th.Changes in the extended 11-16 day window means we are looking at our front there to shift back to the 9th, allowing for .1”-.5” to develop over the eastern corn belt, and coverage will be around 70%. A strong high still will try to develop by the end of the 16-day window, and that would promote a dry stretch into mid-month.Temperatures today will stay below normal, but tomorrow through the rest of the 10-day period, we will be a bit above normal. There is not significant heat, as we mentioned above, but we think that highs will average about 2-4 degrees above normal for this time of year as we flip the calendar into July and go through the holiday weekend.Our general sentiment is unchanged this morning. We still think this pattern still brings timely moisture, but just not as much of it the farther out we go. At right is an updated map of cumulative 10-day rains for the region.last_img read more

Chaos in garden of Eden due to officials’ sin

first_imgThe India-England WC match has been shifted as Eden Gardens couldn’t meet the ICC deadline.It was January 5, 1934, when Eden Gardens in Kolkata (then Calcutta) hosted its first test match which was between India and England. The then England team led by the legendary Douglas Jardine had put the people of Calcutta in embarrassment as India was out for 247 in the first innings, and was asked to follow-on.Fortunately, India could save its first game in Eden Gardens because of a brave halfcentury by Dilawar Hussain and 43 by opening batsman Naoomal Jaoomal in the second innings. It was the beginning of a new era of cricket in Kolkata, and Eden Gardens, the second-largest cricket stadium in the world, had become a place of pilgrimage for most cricketers as well as cricket-lovers.The picturesque ground is believed to have the most passionate and vocal cricket spectators. It is said that a cricketer’s cricketing education is not complete till he has played a game in front of a packed Eden Gardens.But, exactly 77 years after the historic test match, people of Kolkata have now again been subjected to humiliation in the Eden Gardens. The International Cricket Council ( ICC) has dropped the crucial India- England match, scheduled to be held on February 27 in Eden Gardens. Both India and England are favourites to win the ICC World Cup.The ICC officials found that the infrastructure in the Mecca of cricket in Asia is still not ready to host the crucial match on February 27. Repeated requests by the officials of Cricket Association of Bengal ( CAB) to the Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI) and the ICC did not yield any consideration.The entire state of West Bengal has been embarrassed because of ICC’s decision. All the Kolkata- based newspapers carried headline stories on the issue, describing that the World Cup fever is totally lost in Bengal even before a single ball is bowled.All the satellite television channels too have been airing headlines and debates on the ICC’s decision to shift the India- England match. Some even alleged that ICC president Sharad Pawar, who is a minister in the United Progressive Alliance government, is desperate to project Eden Gardens in poor light because West Bengal is ruled by the Left Front.As West Bengal is poll- bound, common people are worried that the crucial India- England match in Kolkata should not be a victim of political one- upmanship.Fortunately, railway minister Mamata Banerjee, so far, has not made any attempt to politicise the Eden Gardens issue.Humiliated with the ICC decision, West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee promised all possible help to the CAB to retain the crucial India- England match in Eden Gardens.He said it is a ” major setback” for the cricket- loving people of the state.Even sports minister Kanti Ganguly held meetings with CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya to find out ways to retain the crucial tie in Kolkata, and put an end to the embarrassment to the state.Chuni Goswami, a great footballer, and former captain of the Bengal Ranji Trophy team said that the crisis over Eden Gardens was result of ” sheer lack of judgement”. He said the CAB should not have undertaken massive renovation works at the stadium.In recent times, Eden Gardens has not been getting international matches primarily because of CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya’s hostility with BCCI honchos, including its president Shashank Manohar and ICC chief Sharad Pawar. The last oneday international here was played on December 24, 2009.Meanwhile, there has been strong demand by a section of the people to immediately remove CAB secretary Biswaroop Dey, and entrust former Team India captain Saurav Ganguly to handle the World Cup matches in Eden Gardens.In response to this demand, the chief minister has appointed the former India captain to liaison with Sharad Pawar for the World Cup preparations. Roads in several places in Kolkata were blocked by people in protest against the ICC decision.If ICC cancels the three other World Cup matches in Eden Garden, it would be the last nail in the coffin. In addition to the February 27 one- dayer, Eden Gardens is scheduled to host Ireland- Holland, South Africa- Ireland and Zimbabwe- Kenya matches.If the crucial India- England match is not held, will Kolkata be happy with the other matches? Can Eden Garden bail itself out of the crisis again?advertisementlast_img read more