Djokovic gets through on hot day; Federer next at US Open?

first_imgMOST READ Djokovic left the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium for a medical timeout — the second time during the tournament he’s sought help from a doctor because of harsh weather — during what would become an otherwise straightforward 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 victory over 68th-ranked Joao Sousa of Portugal on Monday in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.“I’m not 21 anymore. That was 10 years ago. I still don’t feel old. But at the same time, there is a little biological clock that is not really working in your favor,” the No. 6-seeded Djokovic told the crowd afterward. “Sometimes, you just have to survive.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’He reached the quarterfinals for an 11th consecutive appearance in New York as he bids for a third U.S. Open championship and 14th Grand Slam trophy. To add to his resume, though, he might need to beat Federer, who has won five of his men’s-record 20 major titles at Flushing Meadows.Federer was scheduled to play 55th-ranked John Millman of Australia in the fourth round on Monday night. Like Sousa, Millman had never before made it this far at a Slam. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal The other quarterfinal on the bottom half of the draw will be a rematch of the 2014 U.S. Open final: No. 7 Marin Cilic against No. 21 Kei Nishikori. Cilic, who beat Nishikori four years ago for his only major title, was a 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-4 winner against No. 10 David Goffin, while Nishikori advanced by defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.Both Nishikori and Djokovic missed last year’s U.S. Open with arm injuries.Asked Monday whether he thought during that time away about returning to the height of his powers, Djokovic replied: “I have imagined. I have hoped for. I have prayed for that.”He improved to 28-0 at the U.S. Open against opponents ranked outside the top 50, and here’s another reason it wasn’t all that surprising the way things went against Sousa: Djokovic is now 5-0 in their head-to-head series, taking all 14 sets they’ve played against each other.The heat, though, is much tougher on Djokovic, who showed the same blank expression, rosy cheeks and sweat-soaked shirt as during his first-round match last week. That was the first time in tournament history that the U.S. Open created an extreme heat policy for men’s matches — players can opt for a 10-minute break between the third and fourth sets — similar to what’s standard on the women’s tour, when there can be a delay between the second and third sets.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardcenter_img ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Peza offers relief to ecozone firms “It’s not easy,” Djokovic said, “to play in these kind of conditions.”His match didn’t get to the point of a heat interruption, because he wrapped it up in straight sets, but that did come into play for a couple of women’s matches.It was most striking during Lesia Tsurenko’s 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-2 win against Marketa Vondrousova, in which both players seemed affected by the temperature and mugginess.Tsurenko left the court for a health check after the first set and often leaned on her racket between points, saying later she felt dizzy at the Grandstand court, which doesn’t offer shade the way the tournament’s two bigger arenas do.Vondrousova wasn’t all that sure Tsurenko had issues.“I don’t think she was struggling so much,” Vondrousova said. “She was just acting.”The 19-year-old Vondrousova, who said she dealt with cramping, certainly helped decide the outcome: Of Tsurenko’s 107 points, only 17 came via winners; 73 were her opponent’s unforced errors.Also into the quarterfinals: 2017 runner-up Madison Keys of the U.S. and No. 20 Naomi Osaka of Japan. Osaka beat No. 26 Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to earn her first trip to a Grand Slam quarterfinal. The 20-year-old Osaka was already the first Japanese woman to get to the fourth round in New York since 2004.Keys overwhelmed No. 29 Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 6-3 thanks to a 25-7 edge in winners and now will face No. 30 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain. Suarez Navarro became the first player to beat five-time major champion Maria Sharapova in a U.S. Open night match, eliminating her 6-4, 6-3.Sharapova won the 2006 title in New York, but she’s now lost in the fourth round in her past three appearances. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Real Madrid teen bitten on head in youth game Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, puts an ice towel around his head during a changeover against Joao Sousa, of Portugal, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)NEW YORK — Facing much more resistance from the 90-degree heat and 50-percent humidity than from his outclassed opponent, Novak Djokovic figured he can count on cooler conditions during a night match at the U.S. Open his next time out.The next foe? That could be Roger Federer.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Bali, Copenhagen and Paris. Towards a new Global Climate Change Treaty: Liberia’s contributions and…

first_imgThe threats and impacts of climate change on human existence are dire and have been increasing exponentially. At the United Nations Conference on the Environment convened in 1972 in Stockholm, Sweden, the world first recognized the deleterious effects of changes in our global climate system and more interestingly, the massive changes mother earth would undergo if this menace continues unabated. At the conclusion of the conference on the environment, world leaders made bold, sustainable, and collective decisions to amass and harness resources at their deposal for climate change mitigation and adaptation programs.Two decades later, the world met again in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) or Earth Summit to reinforce some of the agreements and commitments that were made to battle changes in climate systems as well as addressed the anthropogenic (human induced) causes of climate change. As the evidence of climate variation became prevalent, the world could no longer wait and therefore decided to establish the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entrusted with the principal responsibility of working with all countries to address this global threat. Typically, the convention was established to bring together governments and 193 parties have since signed it. It is Interesting to note two other conventions germinated from the Rio Summit, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD). While the UNFCC convention seeks to solicit bold and generic commitments from governments (which is political), it proposes, on the other hand, binding detailed agreements from governments though a protocol. The first Legally Binding Protocol from the convention on climate change (UNFCCC) was the Kyoto Protocol which describes governments contributions in terms of emission reductions to meet the target level of Green House Gases (GHG) in the atmosphere required to stabilize global mean temperature below 2 Degree Celsius. Another way to achieve this was by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents to 350 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere as the most dangerous GHG on our climate defense system.Since its establishment, the UNFCC has been holding annual meetings or Conference of the Parties (COPs) to discuss and share experiences on the progress and challenges facing the world. This year, in Paris, the UNFCCC will host its 21st COP. At COP 3 (1997) in Kyoto, Japan, the world made tremendous progress in developing and agreeing to the first legally binding treaty on climate change to reduce GHG emissions. Enthusiasm flared around the globe especially from climate change proponents that mankind has agreed to take bold and strategic actions to safe the planet from another human “induced” disaster.  As parties offered their reduction commitments, the UNFCCC requested obviously, ratification of the protocol. Over 83 parties have signed the protocols but surprisingly, the US senate refused to budge and sign even though few years later it (US) claims to have contributed significantly in emissions reducing targets far above some of its counterparts that ratified the protocol. Canada later left the protocol in 2012.As Kyoto phases out, the UNFCCC, failing to curb human-induced warming to below 2º Celsius (3.6º Fahrenheit), calls for a more ambitious and legally enforceable global agreement which sets our planet in line with this threshold. Sadly, current trajectory implies warming far beyond this limit, possibly 4-6º Celsius by the end of this century. The year 2014 was the hottest on instrument record, and we in Liberia can attest to the anecdotal evidence of extreme heat even approaching the raining season. Other governments are arguing that the reduction target required to achieve the below 2 degrees C mark is infeasible and economically impossible.New mechanisms such as carbon offsetting and sequestration, including reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation and enhancement of carbon stock (REDD+) has been introduced over the last decade since the coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol. Some of these measures compliment the protocol while others are means to improve on the protocol for a new climate regime.The road to a new legally binding agreement to replace Kyoto has been long, disputable, politically manipulative and scientifically discouraging. Despite all of these, Paris offers a glimpse of faint hope for a new agreement based on the unbiased science of climate change, available finance, and unstinted commitment from industrialized countries.Liberia’s Contributions to the Global Fight Against Climate ChangeTypically, least developed countries (LDCs) offer little in terms of finance and technology to address climate change. As a matter of fact, LDCs suffer the brunt of climate change impacts while their contributions are miniscule. Liberia has made tremendous progress in addressing climate change despite its minimum contribution to the problem. The remaining 43% of the Upper Guinea Forest presents a unique opportunity to sequester trillions of tons of carbon while concomitantly reducing and avoiding emissions from deforestation and degradation. A round up of Liberia’s key contribution includes the establishment of the National Climate Change Steering Committee (NCCSC) and its Secretariat (NCCS), which was originally hosted in the Office of the President of Liberia thus sending a strong message that the government was considering climate change as a critical national development challenge requiring high level support. Before that, the Government of Liberia, through the EPA and its key partners launched the development of the country’s strategy for adapting to climate change. The National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) created in 2008, was in fulfillment of the UNFCCC requirements and articulates the government’s visions and strategy for improving its adaptive capacity to climate change. Initial funding for the NAPA was secured to enhance resilience in Agriculture, strengthen coastal defense in selected coastline cities, etc.As mentioned supra, Liberia’s forest provides a humongous opportunity to be a key global contributor to climate change mitigation program. Taking lead on this, the government, with support from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) developed a 3-year plan to test the country’s readiness for REDD+ an acronym for Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. This program calls for the forest to remain standing while harnessing its ability to sequester carbon. As logging will be minimally conducted on a sustainable scale, the aim here is to increase the country’s capacity to capture trillions of tons of carbon in the atmosphere while receiving incentives for the services including financing, protection of key biodiversity, and promotion of alternative livelihood for fringe forest community dwellers. The Norwegian government has committed US$150 million (One Hundred and Fifty Million United States Dollars for REDD+ related programs in Liberia while the FCPF initial US$3 million (Three Million United States Dollars support to test REDD+ in Liberia has been reinforced with additional funding.In 2012, Liberia was required through a global effort to report on its emission level under a system called “National Communication.” To date the country has submitted its first national communication and is preparing for its 2nd national communication. This document expresses the country’s emission profile from all sectors and helps to better inform global actions about Liberia’s contribution to the total GHG emission. On top of that, the government is also currently developing its climate change strategy and policy and anticipates a draft or finished product before the UNFCCC meeting at the end of the year.As the World braces itself for a global treaty this year in Paris, the UNFCCC has introduced a new concept out of the latest COP20 (in Peru) called the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). This initiative seeks to engender a comprehensive list of emission reduction commitments from all governments and parties to the convention which could form the basis for negotiating a new treaty. Industrialized countries like the US and the European Union have submitted their INDCs along with other LDCs. The Government of Liberia team is currently assessing the different emissions from all sectors and weighing its options on what level of commitment can be offered towards this fight. This INDC should not be mistaken for the amount of carbon that can be captured under the REDD+ program.ChallengesLiberia faces an enormous challenge to build the required institutions and systems for carbon rights, including benefit-sharing mechanism, providing equity distribution to forest communities, access to financing, and availability of cutting-edged technology. Parallel to these are the lack of political support and national buy-in for climate change. Some may argue that political support must be eked out of public officials by technicians and climate change activists. Over the years, honestly, these proponents have tried to creat a humongous awareness on climate change and gradually we may just be getting there. Below this list of constraints/challenges is the fact that Liberia is always outnumbered by its counterparts at the COP negotiations. While countries like Nigeria, for instance, are taking over 25 delegates for negotiation, Liberia is represented by 4-5 persons. It becomes increasingly daunting to manage the simultaneous meetings that occur during the course of the COP. In spite of all these, Liberia is making all strides to contribute and participate in the fight against climate change.Urias S. Goll is a trained environmental economist and a blogger and can be reached for comments via email uriasgoll@gmail.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ellen Holds ‘Necessary Consultations’ with Partners

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has held what she termed as necessary meetings with several development partners in New York, the United States that would help establish the foundation for international understanding of the challenges with which Liberia is confronted. It would also inform partners of the Liberian government’s strategies towards the recovery process, and more importantly, to rally meaningful support and assistance for the implementation of the country’s Economic Stabilization and Recovery Plan (ESRP).Some of those the President met included Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kazuyuki Najane, Hedge Fund Manager and Philanthropist James Harris Simon and Under Secretary General and Executive Director of United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS, Mr. Michel Sidibe. The Liberian President also paid a courtesy call on Under Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Herve Ladsou.All of these took place ahead of the High-Level International Conference on Ebola that was held over the weekend at the United Nations in New York, a dispatch from New York said. While meeting with Vice Minister Najane, President Sirleaf thanked the Japanese Government for their contribution to combat the Ebola virus disease in the three worst-affected countries.She praised the cordial relations subsisting between the two countries which dates as far back as 1970, and the ongoing mobilization to begin the repair and expansion of the Somalia Drive as well as concluding works on a ten megawatts generator which is expected to come online in February 2016.President Sirleaf reminded the Japanese Vice Foreign Minister of the need to establish their Embassy in Liberia so as to strengthen direct contacts between the two countries.Mr. Najane, in return, lauded President Sirleaf’s leadership which, he said, was exemplified in overcoming the deadly Ebola outbreak in Liberia. He pledged his Government’s continuous engagements in Liberia’s development drives. He also invited President Sirleaf to the Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICA D), slated for 2016.Meeting with President Sirleaf, Hedge Fund Manager Simon said arrangements have been concluded for the installation of two anesthesia machines in the country.An anesthesia machine is the apparatus used to deliver general anesthesia to patients as they undergo a medical procedure. The most commonly used device is the continuous-flow anesthetic machine, which provides a steady flow of air containing a regulated supply of gas.Mr. Simon said the pending installation is in fulfillment of his promise made to contribute to the ongoing health sector recovery. The team from his foundation is expected to arrive in Liberia next week.President Sirleaf welcome the initiative and said the action will help to boost the health care sector in Liberia and identified the Redemption Hospital as an ideal location for one of the machines. She encouraged private investments in the country’s recovering health sector, emphasizing the need to continue the transition from treatment to prevention.Madam Sirleaf also held a brief meeting with the UN HIV/AIDS’s Sidibe who expressed support for Liberia’s recovery program and commended the Liberian Government and people for their bold and courageous stance against the Ebola.Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has paid a courtesy call on the Under Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Herve Ladsou, who expressed confidence in Liberia’s transition process. He said the ongoing UNMIL drawdown testifies to the progress that Liberia continues to make in its development since the end of the conflict. He reiterated the decision of the Security Council to conduct the drawdown in a prudent manner to avoid undermining the gains made thus far.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Local author calls for History to be taught “seriously”

first_img…as A Survey of Guyanese History is launchedLocal author, Dr Winston Mc Gowan during his book launch on Thursday evening at State House called for History to be taught more “seriously” in learning institutions.An excited fan meets with the author of the new book“We don’t teach History seriously anywhere in our education system. They do something at the so-called Common Entrance,” Dr Mc Gowan complained.He attacked the University of Guyana’s History Faculty, as he said the institution has not been teaching the topic in a “serious” manner.The author added that he hoped his book, A Survey of Guyanese History could influence History being taught in a more holistic manner and that the University of Guyana could train persons through a better approach.Commenting on the issue, President David Granger noted that he was proud of the literary piece which was composed by his friend and anticipated that the book would facilitate social cohesion.He, however, said, “It’s really very moving for me and to hear his words of regret that what used to be one of the most powerful and one of the most dynamic departments in the entire University has been literally downgraded … we need people like Winston, we need books like A Survey of Guyanese History and we need to bring pressure to ensure that History is once again taught as a separate subject for the children of this country…”The new book is a collection of historical essays and articles, all written by Dr Mc Gowan himself. He told Guyana Times that his pieces were written several years ago and he finally decided to compile his writings to be of benefit to all Guyanese.The exciting new book, which is now available in book stores, provides an overview of religion, education, nationalism and cricket among other topics. The book comprises 11 sections of original pieces which have never been published.The author noted that his book would not have been completed without the aid of the President and GuyEnterprise, his publisher.Dr Mc Gowan is a graduate of the University of London, England, who secured a doctorate degree in West African History.  He was born during the early years of World War II and drew from some of his life experiences.The launch saw the attendance of several other esteemed persons, who seized the opportunity to purchase a copy of the new book, which was signed by the author himself.last_img read more

Middlesbrough give James Husband green light to extend Fulham loan deal

first_img1 James Husband [right] Fulham are set to extend the loan deal of Middlesbrough defender James Husband.Husband has made four appearances for the club since joining on a month-long deal and Craven Cottage boss Kit Symons is keen to extend his stay.And Boro manager Aitor Karanka doesn’t foresee any problems doing so.“I think so because we don’t have problems (in that position) at the moment,” said Karanka when asked if he would allow Husbands to remain with their Championship rivals.last_img


first_imgJames O’Malley stole two box-sets of Breaking Bad.A man facing a string of offences went out during a court lunch-break and stole two box-sets of hit television series Breaking Bad – to help pay off a drug debt.James O’Malley appeared at Letterkenny District Court on a list of charges but had his case adjourned until the afternoon court sitting. However when the 21 year old returned before Judge Paul Kelly, he had been rearrested.The court heard how O’Malley had visited the local Xtravision Store and stole two box-sets of the hit Netflix show.James O’MalleyThe absent-minded thief was caught by Gardai a few minutes later after he tried to get cash for the boxset at a local exchange shop – after he had forgotten to take the original store’s tags off.His solicitor Patsy Gallagher revealed “When Gardai got the call of the theft at Xtravision, they knew exactly where to go and found him trying to sell the box-set at this store.”Mr Gallagher said his client, of 51 Westside Apartments, Letterkenny, had a difficult background and had a drug problem but was trying to get clean.He said he was stealing on occasions as he had a drug debt and he was trying to pay it off.O’Malley, faced a number of charges including criminal damage, engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour, public order and theft.Judge Paul Kelly sentenced O’Malley to a total of eight months in prison for all the offences.MAN’S ‘BAD-BREAK’ AFTER STEALING TV BOX-SETS TO PAY OFF DRUG DEBT was last modified: November 24th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Breaking BadcourtdonegalJames O’MalleyPatsy GallaghertheftTV showXtravisionlast_img read more


first_imgOtway Golf NewsAs the club matchplay really hots up, participants still in the mix are reminded that with the end of May rapidly approaching, all 2nd round matches should be completed before the end of the month. So contact your opponent now and get it on. One match already played saw the ‘lucky’ Patsy Gallagher on the wrong end of a bit of luck when his opposition Noel Fisher nailed his tee shot at the tricky 4th hole and score a rare ace……well somebody said it was lucky !!!This Saturday at Otway is the annual Otway 100 classic, with teams of 4 of any combination.Tee times are still available in this very popular annual event, so book yours now by phoning Patricia on 0872314332.GOLF NEWS: OTWAY 100 CLASSIC COMPETITION THIS WEEKEND was last modified: May 20th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:golfNoticesOtwaySportlast_img read more

Women’s Basketball Erases 15-Point Deficit in 69-59 Win over Rutgers

first_img Next Game: PDF Box Score HTML Box Score Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats 1350 ESPN Des Moines VANCOUVER, Canada – The Drake University women’s basketball team erased a 15-point deficit against Rutgers in a 69-59 victory Thursday, Nov. 22 night in the team’s first game of the Vancouver Showcase. Drake struggled shooting the basketball in the first quarter, making just 2-of-18 shots from the floor, with just 1-of-11 from behind the 3-point line. Full Schedule Roster However, Bachrodt and Hittner each knocked down a 3-pointer at the start of the second quarter as the Scarlet Knights called timeout leading 22-12 at the 8:30 mark. Out of the timeout, Hittner just missed another 3-pointer but Bachrodt nailed another one on the team’s next possession. Later, Drake would pull back to within five points 29-24 after Rhine’s three-point play, but Rutgers went on an 8-2 run to push its lead back to double figures and closed the half on a 15-5 run to lead 44-29. At the halftime break, the Bulldogs finished at 30.6 percent (11-of-36) from the floor and 4-of-19 from three. Rhine, Hittner and Bachrodt scored 10, eight and six, points, respectively, in the first two quarters. The comeback win advanced Drake (5-0) to the tournament semifinals, where it will face No. 1 ranked and the defending national champions, Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0), Friday evening at 8 p.m. CST. It will be the first-ever meeting between the teams. Watch Live vs. Notre Dame 11/23/2018 – 8 p.m. Drake shot the basketball better after halftime, especially in the fourth quarter, hitting 50.0 percent (6-of-12) from the floor and 3-of-6 from the 3-point line. The Bulldogs also made 6-of-8 free throws in the final quarter. Drake, one of the top assists team in the nation, recorded an impressive 20 on 23 made field goals. Nicole Miller (Walker, Iowa) handed out a game-high five. Print Friendly Version The Bulldogs slowly chipped away at the Scarlet Knights’ advantage in the third quarter, starting the period a 9-0 scoring run and trailed going into the fourth by just three points 51-48 after a 3-pointer by Hittner with 18 seconds remaining. Midway through fourth, the Bulldogs grabbed their first lead of the game 55-54 on a Maddy Dean (Jordan, Minn.) 3-pointer. Hittner then hit a corner three-pointer to extend the lead to 58-54 and the Bulldogs never trailed again as they beat Rutgers for the first time in the second-ever meeting the teams. Drake, which trailed Rutgers (4-1) 20-6 after one quarter and 44-29 at halftime, was led in scoring by Becca Hittner (Urbandale, Iowa) who poured in a game-high 23 points, with 15 coming after halftime, and added a team-high seven rebounds. Sara Rhine (Eldon, Mo.) scored 18 points while Sammie Bachrodt (Wichita, Kan.) had 14 points. Bachrodt and Hittner each made four 3-pointers as the team made 11 in the game and seven came in the final two quarters. Drake held Rutgers (4-1) to just 15 points, seven in the third and eight in the final quarter, after halftime. Story Linkslast_img read more

Sun as a Star: How Does It Compare?

first_imgNot too many years ago, our sun was described as a common, ordinary star.  More recently, the Type G2 Dwarf Main-Sequence class, of which Ol Sol is a member, is believed to comprise only 5% of all stars.  An important paper in Astrophysical Journal is now revealing that the sun is special within its class: it is unusually quiet and steady.    O. R. White, L. Wallace, and W. Livingston have just published results of a 32-year study of sunlight at the McMath Solar Observatory at Kitt Peak, Arizona.1  Even thought 32 years represents a third of a century, and half a percent of recorded history, it is rare to have a continuous data set for such a long period.  Now ready to retire from this long experiment, they discussed what they found.  Most of the paper describes details of particular spectral lines and how they vary with the 11-year solar cycle: doubly-ionized calcium lines, for instance, show clear oscillations.  Some spectral lines, from deeper within the sun’s photosphere (visible “surface”), show almost no variation.  They conclude that the deeper regions of the sun are immune from being heated by the cyclic rise and fall of magnetic disturbances.  This means the sun’s energy output is remarkably stable.    How our sun compares with other stars was discussed briefly.  “Some of our results,” they said, “… will be of interest to stellar astronomers.” It is again of interest in a stellar context to compare our mean H + K index values for the center disk with that of solar-type stars, particularly stars that may be considered Maunder-minimum candidates.2  Our mean center disk value could be indicative of the values to expect in especially quiescent stars, or even in the Sun during prolonged episodes of relatively reduced activity, as appears to have occurred during the Maunder minimum period.Astrophysicist M. S. Giampapa compared the integrated results with comparable stars.  The amount of variation in solar output was “about 10% less than the seasonal mean values, as measured over several seasons of observation, for even the most quiet solar-type stars,” he wrote.  “In any event, our mean center disk value in comparison with stellar observations appears to be representative of ‘immaculate photospheres,’ with little in the way of magnetic-field-related nonradiative heating.”3    In plain English, this means our sun is quiet and well behaved.  The cycles of magnetic energy that cause sunspots and flares somehow escape through the photosphere without heating the surface, resulting in a “solar constant” of energy output – constant, that is, compared with other G2 stars.  The discussion summarizes the finding: “Converted to stellar S [a normalized spectral measurement for all stars], the center disk Sun resides at a position of minimum activity, as found for the most quiescent solar-type stars.”    This has been a career-long project for the researchers.  “In summary, what have 30 years of spectral observations told us about the physical Sun?”  The solar constant varies only 0.06% both on short and long terms.  “That behavior has basically continued over the entire observational period, with no indication of cycle modulation or secular change.  We conclude that the basal quiet photosphere is constant in temperature within our observational error,” they said.1O. R. White, L. Wallace, W. Livingston, and M. S. Giampapa, “Sun-as-a-Star Spectrum Variations 1974-2006,” Astrophysical Journal, 657:1137-1149, 2007 March 10, 2007.2The Maunder Minimum was an unusual period of almost no sunspots from 1645-1715.  Maunder-minimum candidate stars would be those in a similar quiescent state.  Since telescopes were first trained on the sun, sunspot number has risen and fallen in a familiar 11-year cycle except for that 70-year period.  (There is a 22-year period superimposed on the 11-year cycle in which the polarity of the magnetic field reverses.)3Most of the sun’s heat comes from radiation.  An example of non-radiative heating would be the excitation of the sun’s photosphere from magnetic energy.  This apparently is not happening on the sun; the magnetic energy escapes between the granules.Congratulations to this team for their perseverance and steadfastness in achieving one of the longest data-gathering experiments in astrophysics.  In science, there is no substitute for data.  Speculation is cheap.  Carl Sagan used to yarn on about how ordinary is our neighborhood in the universe: “We live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star, lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe,” la-de-da-de-da-zzz.  Sounds so scientific till you look at the details.  Yes, there are other solar-type stars, but one in this class that is this quiet and constant now appears to be a rarity.  Combine that with all the other factors that make our world habitable, and it really does look more and more like we live on a Privileged Planet.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The Parts List for Hearing

first_imgMake Like a BatIf you have good high-frequency hearing, you can use echoes to “see” your way around with sound, like a bat does. Researchers at the University of Southampton found that the high-frequency response gives the best results. This is a way blind people can compensate for loss of sight by leveraging the precision audio response of the ears.Bats, like dolphins, use biosonar for locating food. A paper in PNAS describes how they adjust the gape of their mouth to act as a zoom lens when they emit clicks. The prey have their ways for fighting back. Another paper in PNAS says that hawkmoths emit ultrasound to “jam” the bats’ sonar. The article claims that this jamming ability evolved separately two times in the moths.Update 5/13/15: Science Daily says that eardrums evolved independently in mammals and reptiles/birds; “convergent evolution can often result in structures that resemble each other so much that they appear to be homologous,” the evolutionist says.Ignore the evolutionary stories (good grief, convergent evolution again). Focus on the main thing: Ears are amazingly intricate organs. Talk about irreducible complexity! Imagine Darwinian luck getting even two proteins to work together, let alone 300 to a thousand. Look at the illustration. As elegant and lovely as it is, it would be useless without an even more complex brain able to receive the electrical impulses and interpret them.Things this complex, with such high performance specifications, do NOT just happen. The design is so over-the-top beautiful and functional, why do we even pay attention to mere humans who make up stories, saying it evolved? Get real; get intelligent design science. Image: Courtesy of Nelson Kiang, MEE(Visited 178 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Want to hear what goes on when you hear sounds? Hair cells wave in the fluid, responding to specific frequencies, and hundreds of proteins go into action.Talk about splitting hairs. Harvard Medical School begins a press release with some gee-whiz facts about the hair cells involved in hearing:For balance, five separate patches of hair cells sense movement and tell the brain where the head is in space while translating the pull of gravity.For hearing, a five cell-wide ribbon of 16,000 hair cells spirals inside the cochlea, the snail-shaped structure where hair cells vibrate in response to sound waves. Every cycle of sound waves sends microscopic cilia on the tips of these cells back and forth, riding a trampoline of cells suspended between two fluid-filled spaces.The movement opens pores in the cells, allowing electrical current to flow inside.  This conversion of mechanical to electrical signals sends nerve impulses to the brain, which then “hears” the sound.In their efforts to understand the causes of hereditary deafness, researchers at HMS have tried to first identify a “parts list” of players. Working with mice, they have identified about 300 genes involved in hearing so far, but they think only one-third of proteins are known.The cutaway diagram of a cochlea in the article looks like a highly structured, well-organized array of cells. (Image: Courtesy of Nelson Kiang, MEE). The hair cells are colored green. This array, resembling the keyboard of a pipe organ, tapers in the coils of the cochlea, with each rank of hair cells responding to specific frequencies.last_img read more