Capsized kayak prompts rescue mission off Donegal coast

first_imgRescue volunteers with the Bundoran RNLI were called to action this afternoon after a capsized kayak was spotted off the shore at Nuns Pool.The alarm was raised shortly before 3pm when concerned crew member Fergal Muller saw an empty kayak from the cliffs on Bundoran’s West End.The lifeboat was launched within five minutes, with helm Brian Gillespie and three crew members onboard. Once on scene, the crew recovered the kayak and began a 25-minute search for any occupants.Fortunately, during the search, word came to Bundoran Lifeboat Station that the occupant had been brought to shore by fellow kayakers while the kayak had been carried out to sea in a rip current. The lifeboat was subsequently stood down.Speaking following the call out, Captain Tony McGowan, Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: “We are delighted that no one was in any immediate danger this afternoon and that the group of kayakers had made their way safely to shore. I would like to commend Fergal for his quick thinking in raising the alarm when he observed the capsized kayak and praise the crew for what was a swift response. “We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea regardless of their activity, to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket, always carry a means of communication and should you get into difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. “We would also appeal to everyone to remember that should you for any reason need to leave or abandon your vessel, to please report it as missing to the Coast Guard once you have safely made it to shore.”Capsized kayak prompts rescue mission off Donegal coast was last modified: November 17th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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)last_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

“Fundamental Assumption” in Zircon Dating Called into Question

first_img(Visited 129 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A commonly-used dating method has been threatened by new findings that undermine assumptions.Crystals of zircon often contain uranium and have been used for a long time to date rocks into the millions-of-years range. The assumption has been that the parent (U) and daughter (lead, Pb) remain locked in the tight crystal lattices of zircon, so that mineralogists can accurately measure ratios of the elements resulting from radioactive decay. That assumption has been called into question by a new paper just published in Nature Communications. First, the impact:Our findings have important implications for the use of zircon as a geochronometer, and highlight the importance of deformation on trace element redistribution in minerals and engineering materials.Now, the reasons for the concern:Trace elements diffuse negligible distances through the pristine crystal lattice in minerals: this is a fundamental assumption when using them to decipher geological processes. For example, the reliable use of the mineral zircon (ZrSiO4) as a U-Th-Pb geochronometer and trace element monitor requires minimal radiogenic isotope and trace element mobility. Here, using atom probe tomography, we document the effects of crystal–plastic deformation on atomic-scale elemental distributions in zircon revealing sub-micrometre-scale mechanisms of trace element mobility. Dislocations that move through the lattice accumulate U and other trace elements. Pipe diffusion along dislocation arrays connected to a chemical or structural sink results in continuous removal of selected elements (for example, Pb), even after deformation has ceased. However, in disconnected dislocations, trace elements remain locked.This means that parent and daughter elements in the radioactive decay chain are not locked into the crystal: they can move.Our results demonstrate the importance of deformation processes and microstructures on the localized trace element concentrations and continuous redistribution from the nanometre to micrometre scale in the mineral zircon. Dislocation movement through the zircon lattice can effectively sweep up and concentrate solute atoms at geological strain rates. Dislocation arrays can act as fast pathways for the diffusion of incompatible elements such as Pb across distances of >10 μm if they are connected to a chemical or structural sink. Hence, nominally immobile elements can become locally extremely mobile. Not only does our study confirm recent speculation that an understanding of the deformation microstructures within zircon grains is a necessity for subsequent, robust geochronological analyses but it also sheds light on potential pit-falls when utilizing element concentrations and ratios for geological studies. Our results have far-reaching implications for the interpretation of local elemental variations in not only deformed minerals but also a range of engineering materials.The authors do not provide any specific examples of rock dates being misinterpreted either as older or younger, or by how much the error could be. They only show that a “fundamental assumption” in the dating method is not true; the elements can move quickly and become “extremely mobile.” For this reason, they warn, “when interpreting local elemental and isotopic variations in both deforming and deformed crystalline materials, a thorough characterization of deformation-related dislocation structures is essential.”This is not the first time zircons have been called into question as geochronometers. See “Geological Theories Are Not Set in Stone” (1/07/16), “Major Scientific Revolutions Are Still Possible” (11/24/15), “How Rocks Can Look Older Than They Are” (4/08/15), “The Trouble with Zircons” (3/25/13), “Uranium-Lead Dating Fraught With Discordance” (1/08/13), and “Discovery Upsets Geological Dating” (11/17/11).We do not know the degree of impact this paper will have on interpretations of rock ages other than the authors’ warnings that the implications could be “far-reaching”. Creation geologists may wish to dig into the details of this open-access paper and offer comments below. Perhaps the consequences will be minimal; perhaps not. It depends on how it affects standard methods of measuring elemental ratios.Even if the impact of these findings is low, there will still be problems with other assumptions. Creationists may remember the findings of ICR’s RATE project that showed unexpected helium retention in zircons under high heat in deep wells (see explanation by D. Russell Humphreys at ICR). This new paper appears to present a possible significant challenge to another leading assumption about zircon dating that would reinforce the RATE finding. For if lead can diffuse around in the crystal, how much more the slippery, lightweight noble gas helium?If nothing else, this paper points out that long-age dates are not “set in stone” like some kind of sealed time capsule. You have to make assumptions to interpret a measurement, and assumptions are subject to change. So what other dating methods will have their assumptions questioned in the future? Be careful when scientists offer “proof” of long ages.last_img read more

Africa: going for higher growth

first_img5 June 2006The 16th World Economic Forum on Africa closed in Cape Town at the weekend with hundreds of political and business leaders outlining commitments and ideas to scale up successes already achieved on the continent.“The critical challenge is to do things we know work and build the capacity to carry them out,” said South African President Thabo Mbeki.With an economic growth rate of 4.5% across Africa in 2005, Mbeki challenged participants to ensure that such figures were more than just statistics. “Does the growth create jobs?” Mbeki asked.The three-day meeting was held under the theme “going for growth”, and Maria Ramos, group chief executive of Transnet, noted that “as Africans we’re committed to growth because it is necessary to eradicate poverty and unemployment on our continent.”Ramos said mindsets still needed to change among all role players in order to achieve sustained growth. She called on the private sector to show “courage” when taking advantage of opportunities in Africa and to foster an understanding that “for everyone to benefit [from economic growth], you need to work together.”Ramos said positive economic and political changes were taking place in Africa and that it was imperative for all to “make sure that the things we commit to, we actually do.”Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said agricultural development was critical to delivering growth-led employment, and called on private business to engage with governments in developing and modernising the sector. “We look at partnerships as the key to generate further growth,” Kikwete said.Syamal Gupta, chairman of Tata International, India, encouraged Africa to seek innovative solutions to its challenges and to promote small and medium enterprise development as a means of creating employment.“Big companies cannot create jobs, it is the small and medium ones that do,” Gupta said.He also cautioned participants against neglecting rural populations in their commercial endeavours. Referring to them as “the bottom of the pyramid,” Gupta said the constituency represented a large and significant economic sector that was willing to pay for services it received.Achievements, commitmentsAchievements of this year’s World Economic Forum on Africa included:The signing of the Investment Climate Facility (ICF) to facilitate investment throughout the continent. The ICF, endorsed by the Africa Economic Summit and the G8 in 2005, was launched last week with US$100-million in funding. The Nepad e-Schools Initiative, whose demonstration project will fund e-access in 120 schools across 16 African countries by mid-2007. The initiative aims to reach all 600 000 African schools within 10 years. The Forum’s Global Health Initiative, which launched guidelines for large companies to support HIV/Aids programmes within their supply chain, as well as employer-based malaria control programmes. The Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative, with 103 signatories representing US$500-billion in turnover, which is now engaging the African business community in its efforts.Future commitments made during the meeting included:The World Economic Forum’s public-private partnership to strengthen healthcare systems in Africa by addressing epidemic and pandemic diseases in particular. The partnership will be implemented at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2007 in Davos. The Forum of Young Global Leaders’ commitment to:Sponsoring a film series on African success stories.Launching a financial literacy programme in Rwanda.Establishing leadership development institutes throughout Africa.Managing director of the World Economic Forum, Peter Torreele, concluded the final session of the meeting on Friday by praising the economic and social progress in Africa over the past 10 years, an achievement he described as “absolutely outstanding.”“Throughout all of this, our belief has been that by bringing business together with governments and civil society, those partnerships could unlock Africa’s great potential, and would allow the continent to assume its proper role in the global economy.”SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Play Your Part episode looks at Mandela’s legacy

first_imgThis Mandela Day, the first since the beloved statesman’s passing, is a poignant reminder of his legacy and his belief in the power of the individual to persevere for positive changeThe fifth episode of the Play Your Part TV series, which airs on SABC 2 on Sunday, 13 July at 9pm will focus on what South Africans are doing to carry forward Nelson Mandela’s legacy.Nelson Mandela lived by three simple rules: free yourself; free others; serve every day.Madiba’s passion for service is legendary; he gave 67 years of his life to fight for equality and freedom for all, and on International Nelson Mandela Day, to pay tribute to his enormous sacrifice, people across the globe come together in the spirit of service, contributing 67 minutes of their time to help make the world a better place.This Mandela Day, the first since the beloved statesman’s passing, is a poignant reminder of his legacy and his belief in the power of the individual to persevere for positive change, and a clear call to work towards a better South Africa for all.We hear from the likes of FW de Klerk, George Bizos, Mac Maharaj, Kweku Mandela and others about the role that tata Madiba played in South Africa’s transition to a democracy in 1994.Also featuring in the fifth episode are Sello Hatang, Yase Godlo and Danielle Melville from the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the work that the do in continuing Mandela’s legacy. As Mandela’s post-presidential office, the foundation provided the base for his charitable work, covering a wide range of endeavour, from building schools to HIV/AIDS work, to research into education in rural areas to peace and reconciliation interventions.A comprehensive refurbishment of the Foundation’s building provided it with an appropriate physical home, the Centre of Memory. The Centre was opened on 18 November 2013, three years to the day after Mandela last used the building as his office. The Centre focuses on three areas of work: the Life and Times of Nelson Mandela, Dialogue for Social Justice and Nelson Mandela International Day.The episode also looks at producer Philip Dexter, the Mandela Day Marathon, the Bikers for Mandela Day initiative and Gardeners for Madiba.Don’t forget to watch the episode on Sunday at 9pm on SABC 2, and share your views with us on social media: use the #PYPTV, tag us on @PlayYourPartSA or engage with us on Facebook!Read more: http://playyourpart.co.za/tv-series-news/978-play-your-part-episode-looks-at-mandela-s-legacy#ixzz4PQA6bk4Ilast_img read more

Netherlands aim to recreate ‘total cricket’

first_imgAs the Netherlands gear up for their World Cup opener against England, the mostly amateur team is drawing inspiration from the day it played “total cricket” at the tradition-steeped headquarters of the sport.The February 22 match in Nagpur gives the Dutch a chance to repeat one of the most celebrated moments in the country’s relatively short cricket history – beating England by four wickets at Lord’s in a thrilling start to the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup.”We know what the feeling is like winning a massive game,” said left arm spinner Pieter Seelaar, who took the crucial wicket of England captain Paul Collingwood in the Twenty20 World Cup opener. “No one will underestimate us this time around … hopefully we can do something to make the world go crazy.”Writing in London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, former England allrounder Derek Pringle described the Dutch performance as “total cricket,” a flattering reference to the dominating “total football” played by the Netherlands’ football teams of the 1970s.The match was a rare highlight for the Netherlands, which has managed just two wins – against Namibia and Scotland – in three ODI World Cups but wants to improve its record this time around by pulling off a shock win against one of cricket’s established powers.The likes of Seelaar know that a repeat of the stunning Twenty20 victory over England is unlikely in the longer form of the game – especially as a few England players will likely be out for revenge.”I think there are still some guys who’ve got some feelings there,” Seelaar said. “Stuart Broad obviously.”advertisementIt was Broad who bowled the last over and missed a run out on the final ball of the match, allowing Ryan Ten Doeschate and Edgar Schiferli to scamper through for an overthrow to seal the unlikely Dutch victory.”They’ll be fired up to show how good they really are,” said Seelaar, whose spin helped restrict England to 162-5 after a century opening stand by Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright appeared to have put the hosts on track for a huge total.The Netherlands captain Peter BorrenThe Netherlands’ New Zealand-born captain, Peter Borren, acknowledged that beating England again would be a very tall order for a team with only a handful of full-time professional players.”I guess it’s a completely different ball game, being 50-over cricket, but it gives you confidence,” he said. “We’ve competed with them before, albeit at a different format. Each ball’s a new event and we can compete with them again.”Ten Doeschate, the Essex all-rounder who played for Tasmania in Australia’s Twenty20 competition this season, is likely to again be the Netherlands’ biggest star at the World Cup.The 30-year-old from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, played a pivotal role with bat and ball in the victory over England.Bowling his right arm medium pace, he snared the wickets of both England openers and then smashed an unbeaten 22 off 17 balls to secure victory.While Ten Doeschate makes a living playing cricket, the Netherlands has not been able to cash in on the brief global exposure generated by the England win.The team has struggled to find sponsors even for the World Cup in cricket-crazy Indian, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and most of the players still have to combine training with work or study.”There are not enough sponsors here,” Seelaar said. “I would like to play as a professional, but unfortunately it’s not there.”Seelaar, who is studying sports marketing, said some English county sides “showed an interest” in him after the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup, but not enough to sign him.Now he’s hoping he can make his mark at the 50-over World Cup.”Hopefully I can show what I can do and there’ll be someone who believes in me and says ‘yes we’ll give him a shot,'” he said.last_img read more

10 months agoBayern Munich frontrunners for Arsenal, Chelsea target Under

first_imgBayern Munich frontrunners for Arsenal, Chelsea target Underby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal and Chelsea have a new challenger in their pursuit of Roma winger Cengiz Under. According to ESPN, Bayern Munich have moved ahead of the Premier League duo as they look to replace Arjen Robben.The 21-year-old is currently valued at 50m by the Serie A giants, which Bayern have no problem paying. Fortunately for Arsenal and Chelsea, Under is reportedly keen on a move to the Premier League.Manchester City and Manchester United have also scouted Under, who has scored two goals and provided four assists in 14 Serie A appearances this season. TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img

The Big Ideas From This Years Sloan Conference

The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference stages a research paper competition each year, and those papers usually contain results and ideas that are far more interesting than anything uttered on stage during the conference’s panels. Here are five trends that emerged in this year’s eight finalists:It’s all about big data sets: Camera-tracked data isn’t new to the pro sports scene; PITCHf/x data has been around for a decade. But only recently have we started to see it, along with other relatively large data sets, take over the research competition at Sloan. Four of the eight paper finalists used camera-tracked data, two more used sizable play-by-play databases, and another used a massive collection of geotagged in-game mobile-device requests from MLB stadiums. Simply put, research that doesn’t have to grapple with the demands of bigger data sets is becoming less common among Sloan paper finalists.The rise of machine learning: With the increased prominence of such large data sets, it was inevitable that state-of-the-art machine-learning techniques would begin to make their mark at Sloan. For instance, one of this year’s most interesting finalists used a “random forest” framework to predict the outcome of a tennis point after any shot based on the speed, trajectory and location of the ball, the context of the shot and priors for a player’s style derived from cluster analysis. (What this means to you is that if it works, the algorithm will be able to ferret out not only the most crucial points in a match, but also the most crucial shots.) Another paper used supervised learning to develop custom player-by-player strategies for pick-and-roll defense in the NBA — a clever way to translate statistical knowledge about a player into actionable tactics. In many ways, an amount of data so staggering can only be coherently processed using these kinds of advanced statistical techniques, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them used more in future research.A focus on classifying player types: As part of its model, that tennis paper developed what it called “style priors” for each player based on the types of shots he tends to play. Another paper, about complementary players in basketball, estimated the effect of an individual player’s skill set on the behavior of his teammates. The emphasis on underlying tendencies and similar player types to provide context and inform prediction isn’t unprecedented — PECOTA was doing a version of that 13 years ago — but it is now being used with far more granular data, to improve prediction in a wider variety of sports (particularly dynamic ones such as tennis and basketball).The Hot Hand, Part 1,000,000: Few topics have generated more research in psychology and statistics than the hot-hand fallacy. It has surfaced again with a Sloan paper finalist. The seminal work on the subject declared the hot hand nothing more than a trick of the mind, but there’s been a recent trend toward debunking the hot-hand debunkers. Here, that trend continues — using baseball data, the authors find that recent changes in player performance can be predictive and that opposing teams mostly react to them in an appropriate manner. But I’m guessing this won’t be the final word in the hot-hand wars.Fewer finalists from the “Big Four” and more from the business of sport: Compared to Sloan conferences past, this year’s crop of finalists featured easily the fewest papers focused on the North American “Big Four” sports of baseball, basketball, football and hockey. NO. OF FINALIST PAPERS Baseball1312 Gambling0010 Tennis0001 Football1010 Hockey1010 Soccer1111 Basketball4422 Business0012 TOPIC2013201420152016 Using the Internet Archive, I tracked the breakdown of finalists by sport going back to 2013; that year, seven of the eight finalists researched a Big Four sport. This year, the number is down to four. Also of note is the emergence of finalists concerned with the business of running a sports franchise. Zero finalists focused on the subject in 2013 and 2014, but that changed last year with the inclusion of a paper about dynamic ticket pricing. Now we’re up to two finalists focused on topics like brand engagement and sponsorship revenue. read more

Watch Atletico Madrids Lucas runs 34kmh

first_imgAtletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez ran an incredible 34km/h during their victory against Deportivo de la Coruna on SundayThe French international stole the ball from Borja Valle with an impressive run from the center of the field, where he was measured against the winger and ended up snatching the ball.What a tackle by Lucas Hernandez! Reached a top speed of 34kmh! ? #AtletiDépor pic.twitter.com/3sxXWnIS9l— Rambo (@WelshRamsey) April 1, 2018Fati and Suarez shine against Valencia at Camp Nou Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 15, 2019 With a mesmerizing first half from Ansu Fati and a brace from Luis Suarez in the second half, Barcelona demolished Valencia at Camp Nou.Valencia…Atletico would win the match 1-0 through a Kevin Gameiro penalty in the 34th minute of the encounter with Diego Simeone’s men decreasing the gap between themselves and La Liga leaders Barcelona to nine points, after the Catalan giants drew 2-2 at Sevilla.The supporters at the Wanda Metropolitano will be hoping for more of the same from Lucas on Thursday night, where Atletico will host Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon for the first leg of the quarter-final clash in the Europa League. Simeone’s side are the expected favorites to win the competitions this season.last_img read more