Lizards that Leap Over Evolution

first_imgThey may appear less evolved to Darwinians, but some lizards are world champions.World’s Fastest Tongue: According to National Geographic, the chameleon sports the world’s fastest tongue. The “remarkable performance” of these “motor mouths” astonished the researchers who watched a chameleon nab an insect, using a high-speed camera shooting 3,000 frames per second. This sluggish-looking lizard has the highest acceleration and power of all the amniotes, a group that includes reptiles, birds and mammals.The results showed that not only did the smaller chameleons perform just as well as their larger counterparts, but in many cases their tongues were actually faster and stronger.For instance, the tongue of Rhampholeon spinosus, an endangered chameleon from Tanzania and the smallest in the experiment, produced a peak acceleration 264 times greater than the acceleration due to gravity. If it were a car, the chameleon’s tongue could accelerate from 0 to 60 miles (97 kilometers) per hour in 1/100th of a second.Science Magazine shows a video of chameleons extending their tongues up to twice their body length. Scientists calculate the power output of the tongue at 14,000 watts per kilogram—the highest power output for any terrestrial vertebrate, including cheetahs and pronghorns. But does anyone really need the evolutionary gloss? Is the smaller guy more fit “because small chameleons have evolved larger tongues relative to their body size, handy since they also need to consume proportionally more food to survive”? Live Science quotes an evolutionist opining, “It’s an example of morphological evolution being driven by metabolic constraints.” Then why didn’t horned lizards and snakes get this ability? The evolutionist offered a just-so story without any evidence.Learning Lizards: Monitor lizards called goannas in Australia have been trained not to eat poisonous cane toads, an invasive species that threatens their numbers. The BBC News reports, “the study suggests goannas have the ability to learn from experience and retain that knowledge over a long period of time.” They’re not as dumb as they look for primitive tetrapods newly evolved from the sea, as evolutionists would have it.Gecko Tires: The gecko is well known as a biomimetic icon. What’s new in an article on Science Daily is a creative application of the amazing adhesive power of gecko toes: tires with an adjustable grip. “Imagine a new type of tyres whose structure has been designed to have greater adhesion on the road,” this article based on the European Physical Journal begins. Applying the “fakir” principle that allows a man to lie comfortably on a bed of nails, researchers relied on “a model specifically developed to study the contact between a smooth silicon sphere and textured silicon surfaces featuring a pattern of pillars–both in the micrometric range in terms of diameter and height.” This is similar to the effect of the hairs on the gecko’s feet that can either sit lightly on a surface or press down and create adherence using van der Waals forces. “Nature is full of examples of amazing adjustable adhesion power, like the feet of geckos, covered in multiple hairs of decreasing size.”Intelligent design provided all the impetus to this story: the motivation to study these animals, the astonishment at what was found, and the application to human designs. Darwin, be gone.(Visited 59 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Where You Build May Matter More Than What You Build

first_imgOne of the things I like most about my seven-mile bicycle commute into work is the chance it affords me to just think about stuff in an unfocused way. When I drive to work (more often than I’d like) I usually have the radio on, letting the “Morning Edition” reporters direct my thoughts.Sometimes, on these half-hour meditations along Route 30, I actually come up with interesting ideas. A few years ago, one of those was a realization that I needed to dig into—and publicize—the significance of “where we build” as a new measure of the energy intensity of buildings. I had been writing about and consulting on energy consumption of buildings for nearly 30 years, but had said very little about the significance of energy use getting to and from those buildings.My interest in this issue had been piqued a few years earlier when a New York City colleague, Dan Nall, who is both a registered architect and engineer, mentioned in a lecture that he had done some back-of-the-envelope calculations showing that a typical office building required as much energy getting workers to and from the building as the building itself used. Could that really be the case? I resolved, on that bike ride, to figure that out.I spent several weeks digging into this question, then published my findings in the September, 2007 issue of Environmental Buildings News (EBN), the national newsletter our company puts out from its Brattleboro, Vermont office. That article, I think, is one of the two or three most significant that we’ve ever published.I started by collecting a bunch of data from government sources: the average commuting distance by U.S. workers; the breakdown of commuting by modes of transportation (76% is in single-occupancy vehicles); the average fuel economy of our vehicles (21 mpg); and building occupancy in square feet per office worker. Given this information, I was able to calculate the average energy use for transportation for an office building per square foot of space.I wanted to come up with a metric for the transportation energy use associated with buildings that was parallel to the metric used to measure the energy intensity of a building—for heating, cooling, lighting, computers and other uses. This is commonly reported in thousands of British Thermal Units, or Btus, of energy per square foot per year (kBtu/sf-yr). The U.S. Department of Energy reports that the average energy intensity of office buildings in the U.S. is 93 kBtu/sf-yr. If I could calculate the average energy consumption for commuting using this same metric, I’d be able to show how the commuting energy use compared with the direct building energy use. I called this value “transportation energy intensity.”The results were really interesting. Using these admittedly crude assumptions, I found that office building energy use for commuting averages 121 kBtu/sf-yr. That’s 30% more energy than an average office building uses itself. So it takes more energy to get to and from our office buildings than those buildings use directly!Even more significantly, if we make the same comparison using a new office building that is built according to modern energy codes (ASHRAE 90.1–2004), we find that the transportation energy use is nearly 2.4 times as great as the direct energy use of the building!This is really significant, because in the past few decades tremendous effort has gone into making buildings more energy efficient, but very little attention has been paid to where we put those buildings. Building location, it turns out, has a huge impact on the total energy use of those buildings.This understanding argues strongly for considering in our planning: access to public transit; the walkability of our communities; access to safe pathways for walking and biking; and zoning regulations that permit mixed-use development (combining residential and commercial development in an area). While I used office buildings to make this argument, it would also hold true, to varying degrees, for other building types, such as schools, retail stores, and houses. The most energy-efficient, “greenest” house won’t be all that green if its owners have to drive twenty miles to work or to pick up a quart of milk.The EBN article came out at an opportune time. The LEED Rating System (a way to measure the “greenness” of buildings developed by the U.S. Green Building Council) was undergoing significant change in late 2007, and based in part on my findings, the relative weighting of points relating to location and alternative means of transportation was significantly boosted. The Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago is currently working to advance this idea of “transportation energy intensity,” and I recently had a conversation with someone from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) about how to address this concept in siting new federal buildings.For me, even though I live in a rural area, seven miles from my office, this understanding of transportation energy intensity inspires me to get on my bike and enjoy that invigorating (and sometimes mentally productive) ride to work.last_img read more

Creamline grounds Air Force for 3-0 start

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Tiamzon relishes return to form in win over Adamson Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Creamline assistant coach Oliver Almadro said his team didn’t play at its fullest in the third set and the coaching staff had to remind the players to pick up the intensity in the fourth.“Well I saw that they started off properly in the fourth set and they upped the intensity right away,” said Almadro.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“We started right in the third set but we didn’t have that much intensity so we told them to pick it up, start it properly and end it properly.”Alyssa Valdez led the Cool Smashers with 23 points while Rosemarie Vargas and Pau Soriano combined for 21 points. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netCreamline continued its impressive start in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference after stopping Philippine Air Force, 25-19, 25-22, 22-25, 25-12, Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Cool Smashers joined Pocari atop the ladder with identical 3-0 cards while the Lady Jet Spikers are in .500 territory with a 1-1 record.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR MOST READ View comments Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Jia Morado, who had 71 excellent sets in her previous performance, had 36 assists this time.Iari Yongco led the Lady Jet Spikers with 18 points.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more

Slow wickets to test batsmen: Experts

first_imgSub-continent pitches have been known for favouring the batsmen and giving bowlers nightmares, but if the warm-up matches are any indication, the Test nations – barring India’s score of 360 for five against New Zealand on Wednesday – have found it tough to post big totals except when they have played against the minnows.Former and current Indian players believe that it will be the bowlers who will hold the key to this edition of the World Cup and selecting the right bowling combination will definitely give the captains a headache.Former left-arm spinner Maninder Singh, India’s highest wickettaker in the 1987 edition of the World Cup, feels it will not just be about the spinners.”Frankly, one can’t expect the ball to swing in the sub-continent as much as they do in Australia, England or South Africa. But the new Kookaburra ball will definitely swing in the first six or seven overs and the pacers have to ensure that they go all-out to impose pressure on the batsmen,” Maninder said.Their next role will be to get the ball to reverse-swing. In the modern era, all the top pacers have mastered the art of reverse swinging the ball. As a result, the spell from the 28th over to the 34th over will be crucial as the ball will definitely be reversing. This is where the Pakistan bowlers will turn up the heat. Umar Gul and Shoaib Akhtar can never be discounted when it comes to reversing the ball. Even Zaheer Khan has become more of a thinking bowler and he will definitely save up some energy to hurl the reverse-swinging yorkers in the death overs.advertisement”Although the Kookaburra ball doesn’t have a pronounced seam, the spinners will still come in handy as sub-continent wickets grip and turn even in ODIs. So, for me, bowlers will hold the advantage this time round and the batsmen will not have an easy ride – as expected by many.”Maninder also stressed on the importance of part-time bowlers. “The part-time bowlers will need to be used well. While all teams have gone in with specialist pacers and spinners, the part-timers will come into play in a big way as often we will see them being used to check the flow of runs in the middle-overs,” he said.Batting legend Rahul Dravid echoed Maninder’s sentiments saying it was India’s strong list of part-time bowlers that gave them the edge.”India have a well-balanced outfit with a number of spinning allrounders or part-timers. This gives us a big advantage,” he said.Although he was a top-class offspinner himself, Erapalli Prasanna feels the contribution of the pacers can’t be discounted especially on Indian pitches where reverseswing will come in to play.”The nature of the sub-continent pitches will be perennially slow, helping the spinners. But a lot will depend on the pacers as well in the first 10 overs. Also, getting the ball to reverse in the latter stages will be crucial. As far as India is concerned, the crucial factor for me is how Zaheer leads the pace attack in the powerplay and how the spinners and part-time bowlers bowl in the span between the 25th and 40th overs,” he said.Former Test opener Aakash Chopra feels contrary to popular belief, it is going to be the bowlers who will run the show.”The quality of bowling attack will be crucial. Since most teams will be looking to score heavily, it will be the teams that can restrict the opposition who will win the matches. Restriction will be the key,” he said.Former pacer Madan Lal too feels bowlers will hold the key on the slow and low sub-continent wickets. “If the bowlers use their brains and stick to a wicket-to-wicket line, it will be very difficult for the batsmen to score as the ball won’t be coming on to the bat easily. A restricting line can force the batsmen to hit out or get out. Scoring high in the powerplays will also be playing heavily on the batsmen’s mind,” he said.”I feel even the part-timers will be crucial to the success of the teams. Someone like a Chris Gayle will also be useful just like a Yuvraj or a Yusuf.”With Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Smith already criticising the slow nature of the wickets – making batting difficult – it isn’t a surprise that the bowlers will be instrumental to teams’ success in the Cup.last_img read more

Rotator cuff repair- series

first_imgNormal anatomyThe rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that form a cuff over the shoulder. These muscles and tendons hold the arm in its “ball and socket” joint and are involved in essentially all shoulder motions.IndicationsThe role of the tendons is to hold the powerful shoulder muscles to the shoulder and arm bones. The tendons can be torn from overuse or injury.ProcedureEither through an open incision or using small instruments through tiny incisions (arthroscopy), the tendon is repaired with sutures. If the tendon is separated from the bone, small rivets called suture anchors are used to attach the tendon back to the bone.AftercareSurgery to repair a torn rotator cuff is usually very successful at relieving pain in the shoulder. The procedure is less predictable at returning strength to the shoulder. Recovery time often depends on the extent of the tear.Review Date:6/30/2011Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.last_img read more