Giants play like they did in April and May in rare July loss to Cubs

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Since the calendar turned to July, the Giants have played with such a high level of confidence that they arrive at the park on a daily basis with certainty.The Giants have started to believe it’s no longer a question of if they’ll take over a ballgame and emerge victorious, but rather when they’ll do so.On the rare day when a game-winning rally doesn’t materialize, when they turn in the kind of flat performance that was a staple of the first half of the season, it defies their …last_img read more

It’s Official: Saturn’s Rings Are Young

first_img(Visited 1,547 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 There’s no stretching the truth any more. Cassini data have led all the ringmasters to the conclusion that the rings of Saturn are not billions of years old.Saturn’s rings seen from Voyager 2, 1981For over 15 years, Creation-Evolution Headlines has reported the tug-of-war between planetary scientists on the age of Saturn’s rings (e.g., 2/12/02). Indications that the rings are much younger than Saturn’s assumed age (4.5 billion years) go back to the Voyager missions. Several lines of evidence pointed to youth, but planetary scientists tugged back at the evidence, inventing ways to keep the rings billions of years old. Now, they have given up. Reality won the match: the rings are young!Paul Voosen reports in Science Magazine, “Saturn’s rings are solar system newcomers.”The rings of Saturn seem like permanent fixtures in the solar system, firing the imaginations of poets and scientists alike. But observations made this year by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft in the final months of its existence, and reported here last week at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), show they are surprisingly youthful: Until a few hundred million years ago, they did not exist. Saturn acquired its jewels relatively late in life. If any astronomers had gazed at the sky in the time of the dinosaurs, they might have seen a bare and boring Saturn.Cassini high dives through Saturn rings in 2017 (JPL).Of course, to moyboy scientists, ‘young’ is a relative term. The new estimate of 200 million years max doesn’t sound young to most people. It is, however, only about 5% of the assumed age of the solar system. That conclusion leaves secular planetary scientists in a quandary: it will now require ad hoc special conditions to explain the rings in a separate theory, apart from the general theory of the solar system’s formation. Not only that, it will require a relatively recent event that makes humans look special, because we live in a rare epoch when the rings exist to be observed and enjoyed by sentient beings.The brightness of the rings was a primary evidence for youth, because rings should get dirty over time from meteorite bombardment. Added to that, the B-ring—thickest of all—turns out to be less dense than thought. The clincher came from the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA), which measured far more dust than expected:After 12 years of painstaking measurements and analysis, the Cosmic Dust Analyzer, a Cassini experiment that measures small particles, has found that the micrometeorite flux is large—“inconsistent with an old ring,” says Sascha Kempf, a space physicist at the University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder who led the work. Dust from the outer solar system moves more slowly than expected, which allows Saturn’s gravity to pull more of it in. The flux, about 10 times higher than estimates from before the Cassini mission, suggests a ring age of between 150 million and 300 million years, or even younger. “Our measurement is the most direct way you can measure it,” Kempf adds. “There’s not much you can do about it. It has to be young.”Dr. Larry Esposito enjoying Cassini’s first view of Saturn’s rings, July 1, 2004 (photo by David Coppedge)How are the scientists dealing with this quandary? Basically, Voosen writes, they are appealing to the Stuff Happens Law (i.e., chance). Leading ringmasters Larry Esposito and Jeff Cuzzi have been worrying about this for decades. Eleven years ago, Esposito proposed a thick B-ring to keep at least that part going for a billion years (2/04/16). Now look what they say:In the early 1980s, Esposito says, the two Voyager spacecraft flew past Saturn and returned data that seemed to point toward a low ring mass—and a possible youthful age. But Voyager scientists had a hard time coming up with a compelling scenario to explain it—the notion that a saturnian moon might have shattered at a time when the solar system would have had few potential asteroids or comets to ram into it seemed far-fetched. “The best idea we had then was that we’re just lucky,” Esposito says. “I’m back to square one.”Scientists have only begun to study how the ring-forming collision could have happened. “Part of the reluctance for everyone to leap off this bridge into the unknown is we haven’t had any kind of feasible explanation,” Cuzzi says. It’s time for new ideas, he adds. “The solar system could be full of surprises like this.”Cuzzi’s last statement could be taken as a covering model for future upsets. Or, it could be taken as an indication that planetary scientists don’t understand the solar system as much TV specials make it seem.The situation is analogous to the fossil record for Darwinism. Theory predicts gradual change and clear lines of descent, but the evidence keeps showing abrupt appearance, living fossils and ‘convergent evolution’ (hear Casey Luskin talk about this on ID the Future). As I see it, the evidence is baffling for Darwinians because Darwinism is false. Similarly, the youthful rings of Saturn are baffling to secular planetary scientists because the solar system is young.I had occasion to meet these scientists when I was at JPL, and I spoke with them on rare occasions. I was responsible for their computers at their universities, and saw them often in periodic Project Science Group meetings at the lab. They were each amicable and pleasant in person. I listened to their presentations with great interest, wondering which view would prevail. It was clear to me that nothing would dislodge their belief in billions of years, but there was a subtext that it would be very troubling to them if the rings turned out to be young. These quotes show that to be the case: they are flummoxed and dumbfounded by the evidence. They have no explanation, and they admit it.I’ve been intrigued by this mystery ever since I read about it in Astronomy Magazine and Sky & Telescope back in the 1980’s, so it was good to actually meet the experts in person. In my non-JPL science presentations, I’ve long used Saturn’s rings as one of many examples that the solar system is young. While maintaining my humility as not in their league regarding math and physics, I do find some gratification, at least in this instance, at being found right in the end.last_img read more

Prospects for “muddied corn”

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University ExtensionRecent heavy rains have caused widespread flooding and ponding, especially in river bottoms and along streams. In some localized areas, this may have resulted in partial and complete immersion of corn in nearby fields, especially in low spots. When water drains off these fields, plants may be covered to varying degrees with a layer of mud. Will corn plants covered by a layer of mud survive and can it perform normally? The layers of silty mud covering plants will limit or prevent leaf photosynthesis. Bacteria deposited in leaf whorls by flooding can result in disease and kill plants.On the positive side, most corn in Ohio was at a stage of growth less vulnerable to flood damage when it occurred. Most corn is well beyond V6 (the six leaf collar stage) when the growing point is at or above the soil surface and less sensitive to flooding and associated anaerobic soil conditions. If the duration of flooding was brief, limited to several hours, and temperatures are moderate (which they are supposed to be the remainder of the week), flooding injury damage should be minimal. If corn was subjected to flooding at mid-vegetative stages of development, most leaves on affected plants should not be severely impacted by the mud coatings (assuming that mud in the whorl does not inhibit normal emergence of subsequent leaves). Corn plants produce up to 21 leaves, so at V10, about half the corn leaves have yet to emerge from the whorl. The leaves that have yet to emerge are the most important for the corn plant because the upper canopy produces most of the corn plant’s yield potential.According to the National Crop Insurance Service’s defoliation charts, complete leaf loss at about V10 results in 28% yield loss. However, it’s unlikely that the photosynthetic capacity of leaves has been completely destroyed in plants covered with mud. What’s needed now? More rain (without flooding) to wash silt off leaves allowing for resumption of photosynthesis. It will also help wash mud out of leaf whorls allowing new leaves to emerge.last_img read more

[Infographic] Welcome To The, Um, Second Social Media Election

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts The 2012 U.S. presidential election isn’t the nation’s first social media election. This time around, though, the contest is shaping up to be a newsfeeding frenzy.There are lots of ways to participate in the upcoming election online, but social media provides more opportunities than ever. Four years ago, slightly more than 20 percent of U.S. citizens used social networks. That number has snowballed to 50. Since 2008, Facebook membership has increased nearly 10 times, Twitter membership by a factor of five. Barak Obama’s list of friends and followers has ballooned by an order of magnitude. Similarly, Mitt Romney has more than 10 times as many as John McCain did last time around (though still only about a pitiable quarter of the incumbent’s social-network following).How are the candidates taking advantage of all their newfound connections? Not so well.See also: How To Watch The U.S. Presidential Debates OnlineAt first glance, the president appears to be on the ball: He tweets 29 times a day to his challenger’s one. That said, Barry’s tweets are boilerplate newsbites reported in the third person, clearly written by a harried flack. Mittens’, on the other hand, are somewhat personal statements in his own somewhat combative voice. (I know which candidate I’d subscribe to, if I were in a subscribing mood – never mind which one I support.)For more perspective on how social media is shaping Election 2012, check out this fascinating infographic from marketing firm Vertical Measures. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationcenter_img A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit ted greenwald Tags:#Social Web#web last_img read more

Flawed Survey Tries To Diss Open Source, Fails

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… So open source goes from quality nightmare for 75% of enterprisesr in Univa’s survey to quality king in Black Duck’s survey. What gives?Reading Between The LinesWell, vendor motivations may help to sway the kinds of questions asked, and the recipients of the survey itself. I’m not suggesting that either company set out to skew results, but neither data sample is likely purely random.Still, I’m more inclined to give credence to Black Duck’s results, despite it being an open-source management and consulting firm. After all, open source is driving the top-three trends in enterprise computing: Big Data, cloud, and mobile. If enterprises were struggling to make open source work, they wouldn’t be using so much of it, and in such business-critical areas.Which is not to suggest that open source has “won” and all proprietary software is doomed. Indeed, according to a recent Barclays survey of IT executives, a mix of proprietary and open-source software will likely persist for some time: IT + Project Management: A Love Affair But let’s not kid ourselves: the days of open source failing because of a lack of enterprise support or insufficient quality are well behind us. There is no shortage of quality companies providing support for leading edge open-source software. And there is no shortage of exceptional enterprise-grade open-source software.The proof? Open source is being adopted in droves. That’s really the only number that matters in figuring out whether open source provides high-quality software.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Related Posts Matt Asaycenter_img Tags:#developers#enterprise IT#Open Source Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Two surveys surfaced last week that paint widely divergent pictures of enterprise adoption of open source. But based on the continued rise of open source in the enterprise, only one is likely correct.The first comes from Univa, a data center automation company that also offers an open-source version of its Grid Engine product. Univa found that while 76% of enterprises surveyed are using open source, a full 75% experience problems running it in mission-critical workloads.Given that so many enterprises apparently struggle to use open source successfully, one might wonder why so many persist in doing so. Back in 2008, Gartner found that 85% of enterprises were using open source, but even that high number is surely underreporting actual adoption of open source because, according to Forrester, “developers adopt open source products tactically without the explicit approval of their managers.”Conflicted Much?Fortunately, Univa doesn’t leave us to guess how to resolve this seeming conflict between mass adoption and poor quality. While open source is rarely mentioned on its website, the one page that gets a lot of open source mentions presents a highly conflicted view on open source, like the following customer testimonials:“…we were finally able to switch our focus away from a malfunctioning [open source] Grid Engine.”“If I went to another company that was using purely an open-source Grid Engine, I would take Univa with me to assure this kind of flexibility and security. I know Univa has my back.“And this product pitch:“Univa Grid Engine is the next generation product that open source Grid Engine users have been waiting for.” These sorts of statements would be a great way to bash one’s competition, but in this case Univa’s marketing is designed to bash itself. Or rather, the open-source project upon which it is based. This message carries through in its survey, which found that 64% of enterprises will pay for better quality, which translates to stability (25%) and enterprise-grade support (22%).“That open-source product we give away? It’s not very good! You should pay us instead of using our open-source software” seems to be the message.Different Survey, Very Different ResultsIt’s a very different message conveyed by the results of Black Duck Software and North Bridge Venture Partners 2013 Future of Open Source survey.  While vendor support was a top-three consideration in 2012 for adopting open source, in 2013 it falls to number 11, well behind competitive functionality, solid security, and better TCO as reasons to use open source.In fact, this survey finds that “Better Quality Software,” which was the fifth-placed reason for using open source in 2011, is now the top reason: 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

Scorpions want to sting again

first_imgBy BEN HARRISIt seemed New South Wales Scorpions came from the clouds last year to win the women’s Elite Eight division at National Touch League.This year they won’t be so incognito.With the targets on their back, every team will be gunning for the Scorpions.They had an unblemished record in 2014, which gives them the confidence heading into this year’s campaign.Adding to that confidence is majority of last year’s side remain, which makes them definite short-priced favourites.New South Wales Mets will be nipping around once again.The perennial finalists love the Elite Eight, having played in every final since the first competition at the 2011 NTL. This year should be no different.Louise Winchester is the major drawcard for this side; she’ll work in tandem with Ash Quinlan.Mets also picked up Shellie Davis and Tayla Clifford to add to their arsenal.Queensland Chiefs have a lot of Australian representatives – 10 in all – playing and will be a team to keep an eye on.Emily Hennessey returns and she adds that much-needed spark the Chiefs were lacking last year where they were knocked out in the semi-finals.Their matches against Mets and Scorpions will be incredible showdowns.The Stingrays could be the dark horses of the competition having made the semi-finals last year.They have some talented players but it will come down to consistency.Stability was something lacking the New South Wales Country Mavericks in 2014.The Mavericks failed to win a match last year despite making the final four in 2013.A new coach and a new-looking side means the Mavericks should go better this year.New South Wales Rebels, Queensland Country Outlaws and The Alliance are not to be discounted from the field.The Outlaws made massive improvements in 2014 and with a lot of youth-based players in their side, they could pull off a few upsets.The Rebels didn’t have the best of it last year but they only missed the finals by a win.Not having Maddie Studdon (injury) is a lost but there are other Australian representatives who are able to step up.The Alliance is building every year and will be hard opposition for teams.Leah Percy captains the side, which has brought on the best talent from around the country.You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2015 National Touch League in the following ways: Websites www.ntl.mytouchfooty.com www.touchfootball.com.au Social Media Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia Twitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #NTL2015) Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus (live streaming of select games will occur, stay tuned to www.touchfootball.com.au for all of the links)Related LinksWomen’s Elite Eight previewlast_img read more