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first_imgDr. Dan Adams Press Release – Wednesday – September 23, 2015This coming Monday, the Evansville City Council will vote on the transfer of ~$ 8 million from the Rainy Day and Riverboat funds. These transferred funds will be used by the Administration to pay the City’s regular/routine bills.Normally, the Rainy Day Funds are used for emergencies; the Riverboat Account is set aside for capital projects. Local Option Income Taxes and Property Taxes are used to fund City Operations. According to the Administration, a cash shortfall has occurred because the funds (LIT & property taxes) allotted for city operations have already been spent.We all have been promised that when the second installment of property tax monies arrives later this Fall, the cash from the loans will be repaid. By State Statute, the loan must be repaid and returned to the Rainy Day and Riverboat funds by 12/31/15.Previous transfers have been hidden from public view. It was never the intent of the City Council to interfere with the normal financial flow of the City’s capacity to conduct business. It was, however, our goal to inject a degree of transparency into the City’s financial management that allows you, the taxpayer, to understand how, when and where your money is being spent. We must make absolutely certain that Rainy Day and Riverboat Funds will not become a permanent source for City operations and that the police and fire pension funds are never invaded.Since said transfers have become an apparent recurring issue as opposed to an emergency, I make the following recommendations going forward. The Administration’s bi-annual fund transfer request should go through the Finance Committee. Additionally, the transfer requests should be given to the City Council at least three weeks prior to the move over date of the monies.This ordinance is the first step in providing you, the taxpayer, with full transparency regarding the Administration’s management of the City’s finances. Let me be clear! I support loaning the Rainy Day and Riverboat funds for operational purposes now. I fully expect the repayment of these loans when the Fall property tax installment is received. However, this transaction must remain transparent.H. Dan Adams, MD MBAPRESIDENT OF EVANSVILLE CITY COUCILFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Is Papadopoulos key to how bad probe will get for Trump?

first_imgThat’s because while Manafort and Gates sure look like they’re going to jail, as of yet they aren’t cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.George Papadopoulos is, which means that he likely has information that will lead Mueller closer to the heart of the case.Papadopoulos was a junior foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.In August we learned that he had tried to set up meetings between Trump officials – and even Trump himself – with representatives of the Russian government.At the time, his suggestion was characterized as having been rejected by other Trump officials as inappropriate while Trump was still a candidate and not yet president.But now that we’ve seen the details of Papadopoulos’ plea, it sure looks like that wasn’t the whole story.Papadopoulos has agreed to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians. Categories: Editorial, OpinionWhile the biggest news of the day is the indictments Robert Mueller has handed down against former President Donald Trump aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, Monday he also released a plea bargain with a heretofore minor figure in the Russia scandal by the name of George.And that could actually be the day’s biggest news. “I think it’s a fair conclusion to think that he has information that is valuable in the prosecution of others,” McQuade says.“You would only offer that cooperation if you’ve sat down with him and learned that he has information that is of value.”And that appears to be what is happening: in return for what will likely be a reduced sentence, Papadopoulos has agreed to sing.As the letter laying out the terms of the plea agreement says, “The Government agrees to bring to the Court’s attention at sentencing the defendant’s efforts to cooperate with the Government, on the condition that your client continues to respond and provide information regarding any and all matters as to which the Government deems relevant.”Who does Papadopoulos have information on? We don’t know.The plea document mentions his discussions (his efforts to set up a meeting with the Russians) with people who are referred to as “Senior Policy Adviser,” “Campaign Supervisor,” and “High-Ranking Campaign Official,” but we don’t know who that is. Then there’s this:“On or about May 4, 2016, the Russian MFA Connection sent an email (the ‘May 4 MFA Email’) to defendant PAPADOPOULOS and the Professor that stated: ‘I have just talked to my colleagues from the MFA. The[y] are open for cooperation. One of the options is to make a meeting for you at the North America Desk, if you are in Moscow.’ Defendant PAPADOPOULOS responded that he was ‘[g]lad the MFA is interested.’ Defendant PAPADOPOULOS forwarded the May 4 MFA Email to the High-Ranking Campaign Official, adding: ‘What do you think? Is this something we want to move forward with?’ The next day, on or about May 5, 2016, defendant PAPADOPOULOS had a phone call with the Campaign Supervisor, and then forwarded the May 4 MFA Email to him, adding to the top of the email: ‘Russia updates.’” This exchange happened not long before Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner had their infamous meeting with representatives of the Russian government who purportedly had damaging information on Clinton to offer.Given that context, it seems rather unlikely that Papadopoulos would not have mentioned the possibility that the Russians had of “dirt” on Clinton contained in “thousands of emails.”But we don’t yet know for sure.What we do know is that the prosecutors believe that Papadopoulos’ information will be valuable to them in building a case against others. Paul Manafort, on the other hand, is not cooperating – at least not yet.“The fact that he was indicted suggests to me that pre-indictment he said ‘No, I don’t want to cooperate.’ I’m sure they presented him with the opportunity,” says McQuade.It’s a common tactic to hand down one set of indictments and then offer a defendant the chance to start cooperating, since if he doesn’t they’ll keep investigating, and who knows what else they’ll find.“I think that’s quite possible, that there are additional potential charges against Manafort, and he could still cooperate,” McQuade said.center_img Specifically, he falsely claimed that they had occurred before he joined the campaign in March 2016.He had communication with a professor who had contacts in the Russian government; this professor told him that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”The professor introduced him to a female Russian national who was supposedly Vladimir Putin’s niece (it turned out she wasn’t), and to someone who supposedly had connections in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).Based on those conversations, Papadopoulos pressed the campaign to set up meetings with the Russians, a suggestion that never came to fruition.So what does this have to do with the larger case? I spoke this morning with Barbara McQuade, a professor at the University of Michigan law school who is a former U.S. Attorney and has worked extensively in criminal and national security cases.I asked: If Papadopoulos was just some low-level nobody tossing around ideas that were rejected by the campaign’s higher-ups, why would Mueller offer him a plea deal that is contingent on his cooperation?Doesn’t that suggest that he has information that can be used to build a case against someone more important than him? If Manfort is going to flip, there are only so many people he could flip on, who are actually closer to the center of whatever happened than he was.That could include Jared Kushner, perhaps Donald Trump Jr., and of course President Trump himself.But right now, Papadopoulos is the one who is providing Mueller an entry into the heart of the Trump campaign and its relationship to Russia.Which is why McQuade says, “That one, because of its relevance to that larger question, strikes me as maybe the more important development today.” And this is just getting started.Paul Waldman is a contributor to The Washington Post Plum Line blog, and a senior writer at The American Prospect.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Alaffia’s Prairie Rose Hyde to Keynote INSPIRE—Women’s Business Conference

first_imgFacebook87Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston EDC Center for Business & InnovationThe Washington Center for Women in Business created the third annual INSPIRE Women’s Business Conference for forward-looking women business owners and business leaders in our community.Photo courtesy: Thurston EDCThe 7-hour, one-day conference has a theme of innovation & inspiration. The conference will kick off with an inspiring breakfast keynote address by Amy Leneker of Compass Consulting, followed by morning breakout sessions.Prairie Rose Hyde, co-founder of Alaffia and vice president of the Alaffia Foundation, will give the lunchtime keynote address. There is one-afternoon breakout session and the day ends with a Happy Hour Networking Mixer.Event coordinators do have a few exhibitor tables left and some sponsorship opportunities available. Last year over 120 women attended the conference and event organizers expect this year to attract even more. If your target market is women business leaders, don’t miss this event!WHO: Washington Center for Women in BusinessWHAT: INSPIRE – Women’s Business ConferenceWHEN: Friday, May 10, 2019, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.WHERE: Thurston EDC Center for Business & Innovation/SPSCC Lacey Campus, 4220 6th Ave SE, Lacey, WA 98503TICKETS: $65 per person which includes breakfast and lunch.FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit http://wcwb.org/inspire/ or call WCWB Program Manager Traci Hansen at (360) 464-6050 or email [email protected] the Washington Center for Women in BusinessThe Washington Center for Women in Business (WCWB) is a program of the Thurston EDC’s Center for Business & Innovation (CB&I), whose mission is to empower entrepreneurs to succeed in business by providing coaching, training, and technical assistance on a wide variety of topics. The WCWB differs from other programs of the CB&I because our Business Coaches are dedicated to helping the whole Womanpreneur see her goals realized. The WCWB is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.last_img read more

SAI ensuring athletes receive equipment to train despite nationwide Covid-19 lockdown

first_imgImage Courtesy: SAI/ShutterstockAdvertisement klqNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vscccxhf7Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ebmoq9k( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) zn35Would you ever consider trying this?😱q053Can your students do this? 🌚79Roller skating! Powered by Firework Even though all sporting activities have faced cancellation or postponement, sportspersons and athletes are never on leave from their training, even in present times when they have to train in their homes. Now, Sports Authority of India (SAI) has taken a new initiative to assist the athletes in their personal drills, and has decided to provide necessary training equipment and dietary supplements right in their home, as going to a training centre right now is out of question.Advertisement Image Courtesy: SAI/ShutterstockWhile a number of athletes are now staying in SAI training centres, such as Mirabai Chanu,  Neeraj Chopra and even the Indian men and women hockey teams, many are isolated in their homes, without being able to continue their training. The initiative will ensure that the athletes remain in their peak performance even when India faces the challenge against the novel Coronavirus pandemic.The initiative was taken as a joint decision by the SAI and Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Secretariat, who have ensured that the athletes can continue training in their homes even after lock down in lifted, as there can still be a high risk of COVID-19 contamination afterwards.Advertisement More than a hundred athletes, including TOPS athletes and those who are probable competitors for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year, and are currently locked in their homes, have been planned to receive the equipment, as confirmed by SAI.“A total of 107 athletes (including para-athletes) were mapped for their requirements towards their training at home. The equipment requirements of all the athletes were collected and mapped according to SAI regional centres,” SAI revealed in a statement to The Times of India.Advertisement “Around 43 requests were received from the athletes, half of which have been fulfilled with the help of SAI regional centres, state governments and NGOs,” the statement added.Till now, the athletes who are confirmed to have received the equipment are-Wrestling: Bajrang Punia (Training mats and dietary supplements), Sunil Kumar (Dietary supplements)Shooting: Saurabh Chaudhary, Manu Bhaker, Divyansh Panwar, Yashaswni Deswal (Air pellets, templates, paper targets), Sanjeev Rajput (Gym bicycle and online consultant nutritionist)Boxing: Lovlina Borgohain, Simranjeet Kaur, Ashish Kumar (Dumbbells, weights, barbell rods)Para-athletics: Jayanti Behra (Exercise bikes)Equipment for more athletes are on their way, as  Indian sport shooter Abhishek Verma said that he is expecting his training kit to be at his doorstep after 3rd May, when the current lock down is scheduled to be lifted.“TOPS called to ask if I need anything related to exercise or shooting. I have given them my requirement of electronic target and SCATT (simulation shooting software). They said they will try to provide that as soon as the lockdown is lifted,” the 2019 ISSF World Cup gold medallist told The Times of India.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comAlso read-Delhi police rushes to aid of Indian Kho Kho captain Nasreen who is financially struggling during Covid-19 lockdownSports India Exclusive: Siddarth Malakar: Physiotherapist to Pro Panja Champion! Advertisementlast_img read more

Throw-Away Plastics a Big Problem, Says Baykeeper Study

first_imgAt least 165 million pieces of non-biodegradable plastic float at any given time in the 250-square-mile New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary, which includes Raritan Bay and associated waters, according to a recently released study.The study, done by the Keyport-based New York-New Jersey Baykeeper, says this breaks down to an estimated 256,322 particles per square kilometer – or a square with sides of about 3,280 feet – throughout the estuary.Locally, the study shows 96,402 particles per square kilometer in Raritan Bay off Keyport, 149,016 at Perth Amboy and 380,947 just at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, based on samplings at those sites.“The big takeaway, we have a big issue on our hands,” said report author Sandra Meola, the Baykeeper’s communications and outreach associate. “And we need a big solution. The solution is to stop the use of single-use, throw-away plastic products.”The study indicated plastics found were in these categories: plastic foam such as in take-out coffee cups, 38 percent; fragments of unidentified hard plastic, 31 percent; filmy plastic such as plastic bags or plastic wrap, 18 percent; pellets such as microbeads found in personal care products, 7 percent; and fishing line or clothing fibers, 6 percent.About 85 percent of the materials were microplastics, or particles smaller than 5 millimeters.Basically, the estuary runs from Raritan Bay in the south to the Tappan Zee Bridge in the north, then west to east from Perth Amboy to Sandy Hook. It also includes Sandy Hook Bay, Hudson River, East River and Arthur Kill.Sandra Meola, the report author, demonstrates a “manta trawl net,” its name derived from its metal scoop resembling a manta ray’s fins, used to collect plastics in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary.Sandra MeolaThe study was released Feb. 9, but was based on sampling done from last March to August at 18 sites.The sampling spots were near storm water and sewage pipes, Meola said.“We figured a lot of the plastic is coming from them, especially microbeads,” Meola said.A boat pulled a “manta trawl net,” its name derived from its metal scoop resembling a manta ray’s fins. Items were collected in a net, rinsed off, then analyzed.“The reason we did this, I was appalled there were plastics in toothpaste and facial scrubs,” said Meola, referring to the microbeads used as abrasives in these products.In December, President Barack Obama signed into law the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, co-sponsored by local Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. The law, which bans the manufacturing and sale of microbeads in cosmetics and healthcare products, begins taking effect in July 2017 and reaches its full effect in July 2019.The microbeads law will put only a “small” dent in the problem, Meola said.“Microbeads is only one type of plastic,” Meola said. “I think the next thing to tackle is the foam. We need to move forward and get rid of other nasty things we don’t need.”Prior to this study, there had been no solid data compiled for this region, Meola said.“We are beginning to see evidence of just how prevalent plastic pollution is in our waters,” said Dave Conover, education director at Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and a partner in the Baykeeper study. “Plastic trash and debris, along with microplastics, are contaminating fish, birds, mammals, even plankton.“By gathering more data, we can get a clearer picture of the sources of this pollution and create effective strategies to reduce it. We have a responsibility to get plastics out of our waters.”Beth Ravit, co-director of Rutgers University’s Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability, also is working with the Baykeeper to study the impact of microplastics in the Raritan and Passaic Rivers.Clean Ocean Action, based at Sandy Hook, is working on a microplastics study in Atlantic Ocean water and beach sand along the New Jersey coast.last_img read more

Twenty Eight Local Artisans Under One Roof

first_imgBy Jay Cook|BELFORD – A Belford business is hoping to capture the Jersey Shore spirit by shining sunlight on its creative talent.Junction Boutique, located in the heart of the Belford Junction section of Middletown, is a one-stop shop destination displaying the wares of local artists.“There’s so much local talent and it’s our neighbors – it’s the community,” said owner Chris Slater.Previously located in an 800 square foot building beside Gem’s Bagels and Deli, Junction Boutique celebrated their grand reopening last Saturday at their new, 1500 square foot location at 79 Leonardville Rd.In the two years it’s been open, the roster of talent has grown from eight to 28 career crafters. They specialize in homemade bracelets, paintings, crafts and body care productsIt’s located in a bustling section of Middletown known as Campbell’s Junction – a busy crossroads between Routes 35 and 36 that is home to businesses like the longtime Sabato’s butcher shop, the new Belford Brewery, the Swagger barber shop, acclaimed Belford Bistro, Good Shepherd Book & Gift Shop and Chiafullo’s and Valentino’s.The Junction Boutique’s growing popularity led to the search for a new home base, said Slater.“All the artisans were asking for more space, and we had people asking us to join, and we couldn’t take anybody else on,” she said. “So we came here. It had to be in the Junction.”The crafters pay for booth space in the building, which ranges between $75 and $300 a month. Some take turns shop-keeping by spending one day a week tending the register and helping prospective buyers.Jeanine Riegler was one of the first to have a space in the original Junction Boutique. Her business – That’s How I Knot – specializes in what she describes as “original handmade macramé jewelry.”Riegler started out selling bracelets on the beach during the summertime. Now, she has turned that interest into a business venture, and occupies one of the largest spaces in Junction Boutique.Leonardo resident Kris Whittles is co-owner of the soap shop Wood Box Soap at Belford Junction Boutique.With prices ranging from $10 single-charm bracelets to elaborate $35 pieces with multi-colored stones, That’s How I Knot is also cultivating its brand on social media. She finds there are good benefits to having a fixed business space.“With a brick and mortar place to send people, I think it’s more professional,” Riegler said. “I think people love that they’re able to come in to see it and touch it.”Along the back wall of Junction Boutique, there is a refreshing fragrance in the air. Two Leonardo moms have built their business out of a necessity.Kris Whittles and Camille Miele, who are co-owners of the soap shop Wood Box Soap, both have family who deal with eczema. They often discussed how they could not find a remedy on the market.Using goat milk products, which they buy in bulk from Whole Foods, the company has crafted 22 different soaps named after local landmarks and areas, along with lines of body butters, lotions and bath bombs.Their most popular body soap is a coffee style, which uses coffee provided to them by Jersey Shore Coffee Roasters, a Leonardo-based coffee shop. Currently, that soap is on backorder.“We’re just keeping it local, and the fact that we’re supporting other businesses in Monmouth County is tremendous,” Whittles said. “I’ve lived in Middletown my whole life, and this is the first business of this kind.”Whittles also says the positive effects from goat milk are endless, which she claims has over 50 different vitamins and minerals that have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits. Wood Box Soap also does not use any commercial preservatives, such as formaldehyde or parabens.The soap-making process is time consuming. It takes about six weeks for the necessary oils to solidify into soap. Each batch also yields roughly 36 pieces, which are individually boxed by Whittles and Miele. Each bar costs $7.Although Whittles says Wood Box Soap has had offers to move up the commercial food chain, she wants to keep the company its current size.“I don’t want to be in a big box store,” she said. “We want to be in a local Jersey setting, and that’s good for me.”On that same back wall, on the opposite side of the store, resides a local business that occupies its own niche in the Junction Boutique market.Kathleen Edinger of Belford is jumpstarting her tea blend business with a spot at the Junction Boutique, which showcases 28 artisans.“Chris is so cognizant of the fact that we’re all in it together,” said Kathleen Edinger, founder and owner of TeaScapes, a tea company based out of Belford. “It’s not her place, it’s our place.”Edinger, who has a background in physical therapy, moved into Junction Boutique in August of last year. Working with a wholesale tea distributer in Kentucky, she is watching her business grow each day.Currently, TeaScapes offers eight teas, six of which are signature blends that she, along with her family, have helped create. Each container of tea sells for $15.With awareness gained from space at Junction Boutique, Edinger now has the opportunity to soon move her operation into a full-time space, located just a town over.“I found that Atlantic Highlands will fit the bill for me because it is a ferry town that is right there,” she said. “We have the boating community in the summer, and I’m right on the street of First Avenue.”For shop owner Slater, Junction Boutique stems from a love for personalizing gifts. With that continued theme in mind, she sees no reason why the business won’t flourish in the future.“It can continue to grow with the different mediums,” she said. “You can focus on all the local talent and keep bringing new things in – there’s always a twist to it.”Junction Boutique artisans will participate in the Made in Monmouth exhibition April 8 at OceanFirst Bank Center at Monmouth University. On hand to offer congratulations on the new location was Freeholder Tom Arnone, who is the liaison to the county Division of Economic Development, and Middletown Township Mayor Gerald Scharfenberger, who both came to help cut the ceremonial ribbon.last_img read more

Main Street Diner — The Place in Nelson to watch World Cup action

first_imgThe place to be for World Cup Soccer excitement, for those people in Nelson not able to make it to Brazil, is the Main Street Diner on Baker Street.Nick Diamond of Main Street has two large televisions on the patio for patrons viewing while having a bite to eat.”We are publishing the day’s feature menu and game viewing schedule on our facebook site. “We’ve also built a feature menu for each set of games based on a team that’s playing. ie. France playing – French menu. Brazil playing, Brazilian cuisine etc…”Main Street Diner is open in town for the 9 a.m. games and will show a (condensed) replay of the morning game at 11 a.m. replay every day before the 1 p.m. game.The tournament is in the knockout stages with the final set for Sunday, July 13. Time TBA.last_img read more

Flying Physics

first_img(Visited 47 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 In the world of flying animals, stories of remarkable physical engineering come to light.Flight mass: The bigger the animal, the harder the liftoff. That’s what Elizabeth Martin-Silverstone says in The Conversation: the biggest pterosaurs—the largest flying animals in history—pulled a feat that baffles engineers. “We’d expect an animal the size of a large pterosaur to be too big to fly.” Look at the graphic of an Arambourgiania pterosaur standing as tall as a giraffe to see why; nobody would expect a giraffe to launch itself into the air. How did the big pterosaurs do it? Their whole bodies were designed for flight: thin membranes, hollow bones, and “a highly specialised respiratory system, similar to that of birds, with air sacs in addition to their lungs,” even though they are not related to birds by any evolutionary scheme. They even had air sacs in their necks, trunk and wings.Scientists used to believe the large pterosaurs leaped off cliffs to get airborne, but now they think they were able to launch themselves from a standing position, even though new estimates show them heavier than previously thought. This only adds to the puzzle. Martin-Silverstone, who makes CT scans of pterosaur bones to create 3-D models, ends her article:Palaeontologists still have many questions about giant pterosaur flight. We don’t fully understand how they took off or what kind of flyers they were once in the air. Did they flap or soar? How long could they fly for? How did they land? In fact, some people still believe these giraffe-sized animals were too heavy to fly at all. But then what did they do with their wings? These are all questions that new techniques and fossil finds are starting to answer.Flight light: National Geographic posted an article about fireflies, including two video clips. Reporter Liz Langley focuses on the sexual attraction of the lights rather than their design, which she attributes to blind evolution: “The firefly gene that codes for luciferase is very similar to a common fatty acid-making gene,” she relates from her expert Sara Lewis, author of a book on fireflies. “It’s likely a duplicate of that gene acquired a mutation that caused it to produce a tiny bit of light in a distant firefly ancestor.” Similarity, however, does not prove ancestry, as the pterosaur entry above shows. What Lewis and Langley omit to describe is the highly-organized structure of the light organs in fireflies, which are arranged in magnificent ranks (see Oxford Journal illustrations) that generate light while protecting the insect from damaging oxygen radicals. Langley does point out, however, that the luciferase gene has opened up new light in medical research, allowing scientists to monitor cellular processes by making them light up.Flight wings: Does migration make butterfly wings larger? Science Daily reports a new study on Monarch butterflies that asked whether migrating Monarchs have larger wings than sedentary Monarchs. The answer appears to be yes. Earlier work didn’t correct for Bergmann’s Rule, a biological principle that says equatorial animals tend to be smaller than those at higher latitudes. Correcting for Bergmann’s Rule still showed the migrators to be larger. Why? “It seems that the long-distance journey acts to weed out smaller monarchs each year, leaving only the biggest ones, which then go on to reproduce,” the article says. “In monarch populations that are sedentary, this selection does not happen.” The selection answer doesn’t explain how Monarchs got their wings in the first place. If it did, why does wing size stop where it does? Why doesn’t selection create wings as large as pterosaur wings? It also doesn’t explain the smaller Bogong moth that also undertakes long-distance migration (Evolution News & Views). Besides, there’s more than size involved in wing dynamics. Consider the shapes of jet wings compared to stunt biplane wings. Monarch wings are not much different in shape than those of other species, yet they succeed in flying much longer distances.Rumble bees: We end with a quote from PhysOrg: “Look up the word ‘bumble,’ and the definition may read something like ‘To move or act in a confused, awkward or clumsy manner.’ But the bumble bee, a member of the genus Bombus, is anything but clumsy. In fact, the insects are expert aviators, alighting with precision inside flowers and vigorously shaking pollen loose from their stamens.”“Expert aviators.” Whether as small as a fruit fly or as large as a giraffe-height pterosaur, flying animals show mastery of physics. Is it credible to think evolution hit on powered flight four times? (insects, bats, birds and pterosaurs). Watch Flight: The Genius of Birds, the beautiful documentary on flight from Illustra Media. It explains why powered flight requires seeing a distant goal, and arranging multiple independent systems for the purpose of overcoming gravity. Specialized lungs, muscles, bones, digestive systems, excretory systems, circulatory systems, reproductive systems, nervous systems, instincts and everything else have to contribute to the goal, simultaneously and effectively. To think that could happen even once by blind processes is folly. Four times? Folly to the 4th power! Aviation expertise showcases intelligent design, in the smallest firefly to the largest pterosaur, and in everything between. Give honor to whom honor is due.last_img read more

‘Nicer’ Ryanair propelled to the top

first_imgSix Boeing 737s will transfer to Malta Air. Photo: Ryanair. Nobody in Europe could miss the news release sent out by Ryanair last week. “Ryanair, Europe’s favorite airline, today (August 25) welcomed confirmation from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that it remains the world’s favorite airline after IATA’s latest World Airline Transport Statistics showed Ryanair once again carried more international customers than any other airline,” it said.The low-fare carrier last year became the first airline in the world to carry more than 100 million international customers in one year. This is significantly more than longer established airlines such as Air France, British Airways and SAS, which just celebrated its 70th anniversary, or Qantas in Australia.Ryanair was set up the Ryan family in 1985. Its first route was a daily service on a 15-seater Embraer Bandeirante turboprop aircraft, operating from Waterford in the southeast of Ireland to London Gatwick. Ryanair’s first cabin crew recruits had to be less than 5ft 2ins tall in order to be able to operate in the tiny cabin of the aircraft.  It carried just 5,000 passengers that year.In 1986,  Ryanair obtained permission from the regulatory authorities in Ireland to challenge the British Airways and Aer Lingus’ high fare duopoly on the Dublin to London Luton airport. Services were launched with two 46-seater turboprop BAE748 aircraft.With two routes in operation, Ryanair carried 82,000 passengers in its first full year in operation. It acquired its first jet aircraft by leasing three BAC1-11 aircraft from the Romanian state airline, Tarom. The aircraft arrived on a full wet lease, with Tarom providing all the pilots and engineers to enable Ryanair to operate the aircraft.With the arrival of these jet aircraft, Ryanair increased its network with 15 scheduled routes from Dublin to Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, and opens up new routes from Luton to Cork, Shannon, Galway, Waterford and Knock in the West of Ireland.By 1990, Ryanair carried 745,000 passengers but financially the airline did not perform well.  After three years of rapid growth in aircraft, routes and intense price competition with Aer Lingus and British Airways, Ryanair had accumulated large losses and was forced to go through a substantial restructuring.The Ryan family recapitalized the airline, appointed new management including current chief executive Michael O’Leary and decided to copy the Southwest Airlines low fares model, while at the same time take advantage of the liberalization of intra-European Union (EU) aviation.The DNA of the re-launched Ryanair was low fares, a single aircraft type, quick aircraft turnaround times at airports and a rigorous de-bundling approach to ancillary services – in other words, all extras had to be paid for, including checked-in luggage, printing of boarding passes at the airport, drinks and meals.In the past few years, Ryanair has softened its hard-line, often consumer unfriendly behavior and embarked on what it calls “Always Getting Better” (AGB) customer improvement program.Under this AGB initiative, Ryanair now has a generous – often more generous than so called full service carriers cabin bag allowance – offering  two free carry-on bags of which one up to 10kg and reduced penalties for failing to print out boarding passes.It introduced allocated seating and started flying into primary hubs such as Rome Fiumicino and Brussels, moving away from “secondary” airports. It also introduced new uniforms and is rolling out new aircraft interiors featuring slimline seats, more leg room, coat hooks, LED lighting and less of the bright yellow branding.The strategy of being “nice” is paying off, big time. Dublin-based Ryanair is now Europe’s largest airline in passenger numbers operating more than 350 Boeing 737-800s on more than 1,800 daily flights from 84 bases, connecting over 200 destinations in 33 countries. It has a further 315 Boeing 737s on order.The Irish low-fare carrier also leads IATA’s top five of airlines carrying the most passengers on international routes. Four of the five airlines in this league table are European, while three of the five airlines in the IATA top five of system-wide passengers (domestic and international) are from the U.S. IATA each year compiles the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), the yearbook of the airline industry’s performance.The 60th edition was released recently. It reveals that world’s airlines carried 3.6 billion passengers on scheduled services in 2015 —the equivalent of 48% of the Earth’s population.Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region once again carried the largest number of passengers.  The regional ranking (based on total passengers carried on scheduled services by airlines registered in that region) is:1. Asia-Pacific 34% market share (1.2 billion passengers, an increase of 10% compared to the region’s passengers in 2014)2. Europe 26.2% market share (935.5 million passengers, up 6.7% over 2014)3. North America 24.8% market share (883.2 million, up 5.2% over 2014)4. Latin America 7.5% market share (267.6 million, up 4.7%)5. Middle East 5.3% market share (188.2 million, an increase of 8.1%)6. Africa 2.2% market share (79.5 million, up 1.8% over 2014).The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passengers carried (domestic and international) were:1. American Airlines including operations of US Airways: 146.5 million2. Southwest Airlines: 144.6 million3. Delta Air Lines: 138.8 million4. China Southern Airline: 109.3 million5. Ryanair: 101.4 millionThe top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passengers carried on international routes were:1: Ryanair: 101.4 million2. EasyJet: 62.6 million3. Emirates: 51.03 million4. Lufthansa: 46.9 million5. British Airways: 36.9 millionlast_img read more

How Best Buy is Using The Semantic Web

first_imgrichard macmanus It’s All Semantics: Open Data, Linked Data & The Semantic WebThe State of Linked Data in 2010Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2009ReadWriteWeb Interview With Tim Berners-LeeSemantic Web Patterns: A Guide to Semantic Technologies Yesterday we wrote about the increasing usage of Semantic Web technologies by large commercial companies like Facebook, Google and Best Buy. The Semantic Web is a Web of added meaning, which ultimately enables smarter and more personalized web apps to be built. In this post we explore how a leading U.S. retailer, Best Buy, is using a Semantic Web markup language called RDFa to add semantics to its webpages. This is not just an academic exercise for Best Buy. As we will see, semantic technology has already led to increased traffic and better service to its customers. We spoke to Jay Myers, Lead Web Development Engineer at BestBuy.com, to find out how. ReadWriteWeb’s Guide to The Semantic Web: Tags:#conferences#e-commerce#NYT#Semantic Web#SemTech 2010#Structured Data#web Myers remarked that “there isn’t a noticeable difference” to the users of Best Buy’s website, however all of the RDFa data is very visible to humans via search engine results and its store locator tool. The RDFa data is “also great for machines,” said Myers, which has resulted in “a definite up tick in the amount of search traffic to these pages.” At last week’s SemTech conference, Myers said that it had resulted in a 30% increase in search traffic. He noted that Best Buy hadn’t expected to see an SEO benefit, but it’s been a boon to them since the company is “very reliant on search engines” for product discovery and store locations. With Jay Myers at the development wheel, Best Buy’s web presence will continue to be enhanced by the Semantic Web. RDFa can ultimately create rich relationships between products, which will in turn “create a deeper visibility to additional products” when a customer is shopping.That seems like a distinct competitive advantage for Best Buy. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Myers told us that the primary goal of using semantic technologies was to increase the visibility of its products and services. And with data such as store name,address,store hours andGEO data being marked up using RDFa, search engines are now able to identify each of those data components more easily and put them into context.A quick refresher on the terminology: just as the lingua franca of the Web is HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), RDF (Resource Description Framework) is commonly thought of as the primary language of the Semantic Web. RDFa is a kind of ‘lite’ version of RDF, which adds metadata to HTML (or XHTML) webpages.The process of adding RDFa to Best Buy’s webpages began two years ago, when the company began to look for ways to get more visibility to its stores on the Web. “At that time,” said Myers, “it was difficult for users to find basic store information like store location and hours.” To solve this dilemma, Best Buy gave each store its own blog. Best Buy employees entered information into the blogs every day, using online forms that output RDFa. Myers told us that the use of RDFa makes “human input from our store employees more visible on the Web.” Best Buy is using Good Relations, a Semantic Web vocabulary for e-commerce that describes product, price, and company data. Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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