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

Video: Surfing the skies in Soweto

first_imgSoweto is well known to Johannesburg visitors seeking a taste of the city’s African culture and history of resistance against apartheid. Now, adrenaline junkies can also board the bus to Soweto, as a project to develop a “vertical adventure centre” with a distinctive township feel starts coming to fruition. Zoopy TV takes a flying leap from Soweto’s Orlando Towers. Click arrow to play video.Posted on SouthAfrica.info on 23 February 2009.last_img

State corn grower leaders to Trump: Uphold commitment to farmers and RFS

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest State leaders of corn grower organizations in 23 states sent a letter to President Trump, calling on him to follow the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole. The letter to the President comes on the heels of the Trump Administration’s most recent approval of 31 new RFS waivers to big oil companies. The 85 total waivers approved under the Trump Administration amount to 4.04 billion gallons, resulting in reduced corn demand due to lower ethanol blending and consumption and a rising number of ethanol producers slowing or idling production.The state corn grower leaders urge the President to stop the harm caused by waivers and restore integrity to the RFS by directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule.The full text of the letter is below.Dear President Trump,We are writing on behalf of the more than 300,000 corn farmers across the country who are being negatively impacted by a perfect storm of challenges in rural America. The 31 new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to big oil companies, recently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and bringing total waivers issued under your Administration to 85, could not have come at a worse time for agriculture.Ethanol plants in several states, including Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota and Mississippi have closed or idled. These closures have cost 2,700 rural jobs and impacted demand for more than 300 million bushels of corn. Corn farmers are beginning harvest and continuing to lose markets to deliver their corn. Frustration in the countryside is growing.Corn farmers are not asking for a special deal. We are simply asking, as we have been for the past two years, that your EPA uphold the law.To effectively stop the harm caused by RFS waivers, EPA needs to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule. Accounting for waivers in the annual RFS volume process restores integrity to the RFS. It also allows your Administration to continue granting waivers, as allowed by the law, while keeping the RFS whole.While adding gallons and improving market access for higher blends of ethanol are all policies farmers appreciate and support, future waivers will continue to minimize the RFS, unless your Administration acts to account for waivers beginning this coming year first.We were pleased to see press reports indicating that, following a meeting with farm-state lawmakers, an agreement had been reached to address the harm caused by waivers. With more than 4 billion gallons waived out of the RFS, we appreciate you listening to our elected representatives about what is needed to restore meaning to the RFS. Farmers across the country are anxiously awaiting the release of more details about this agreement. Ethanol plants will continue to close if you don’t act soon, creating a rippling effect throughout the rural economy.Corn farmers are appreciative of your past support for agriculture and ethanol. We especially appreciate your efforts to remove the barrier to year-round sales of E15, but EPA’s current use of waivers undermines growth potential for higher blends of ethanol, reduces demand, lowers the value of our crop, and puts the outlook for the rural economy in jeopardy.Mr. President, we firmly ask that you uphold your commitment to America’s farmers and the RFS.last_img read more

Veterans Will Get Training as Solar Installers

first_imgBeginning this fall, some veterans who are leaving active military duty will be able to get training at one or more military bases to become solar installers, the White House said.The effort is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Instruction Training Network, which hopes to train 50,000 installers of photovoltaic (PV) systems by 2020.SunShot already supports training centers around the country. The White House announcement wasn’t specific about where the veteran training would take place, but said SunShot would partner with as many as three military bases to create a pilot program for veterans this fall.“The new training project will connect up to 30 motivated, tech-savvy military personnel at each base with SunShot-supported accredited solar training institutions,” the announcement said. “Ultimately, lessons learned from this first successful pilot will enable the Energy Department and military branches to expand solar training access to interested veterans, tapping into the Department’s nearly 400 solar training partner institutions nationwide.”The announcement came in advance of the United Nations summit on climate change last month. Other initiatives in the absence of congressional action on climate change include a $70 million program by the Department of Agriculture to pay for 540 renewable energy projects in rural areas, and stricter efficiency standards for air conditioners, the Associated Press reports. Will there be a surplus of installers?Training will cover panel installation, connecting PV systems to the grid, and how to comply with local building codes. Solar installers Vivint Solar, SolarCity, and SunPower all have pledged to interview graduating military trainees for jobs, the White House said.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a solar installer was $18.22 per hour, or $37,900 a year, in 2012.In 2012, there were jobs for 4,800 PV installers in the U.S. The field was expected to grow by 24 percent by 2022, more than twice as fast as the average for all occupations. But because the field is still relatively small, that would result in only 1,200 new jobs for installers over the 10-year period, the bureau said.It looks as if there would be many more trained installers than jobs. But one government official said the discrepancy might be explained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ narrow definition of the position. Other solar jobs would be available in related areas, such as electricians or construction workers.The bureau also said the long-term outlook for job growth depends on government incentives and PV costs, among other things. A key incentive, the 30 percent federal income tax credit on solar and other renewable systems, is now scheduled to expire at the end of 2016.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

Alexis & Lukaku fire Man Utd to easy win

first_imgManchester United 2 Swansea City 0: Lukaku joins Premier League 100 club Joe Wright Last updated 1 year ago 23:53 3/31/18 RomeluLukaku - cropped Getty Images Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez gave Manchester United a 2-0 Premier League win over Swansea City. Romelu Lukaku’s 100th Premier League goal helped Manchester United to a 2-0 win over Swansea City on Saturday.The Belgium international’s milestone effort, followed by an Alexis Sanchez strike, were enough to seal all three points at Old Trafford and move United back above Liverpool into second place in the table.Swansea had only lost on two of their previous five visits to United in all competitions, but they never recovered from Lukaku’s fifth-minute opener, as Jose Mourinho’s side, for whom Paul Pogba was restored to the starting line-up, produced a largely commanding performance to claim their fourth league victory in a row. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Sanchez, whose last goal came in the 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town in February, deservedly doubled the lead after 20 minutes of arguably his best performance in a United shirt.Carlos Carvalhal’s visitors improved after the break, with David de Gea making fine saves to keep out Tammy Abraham efforts, but they rarely looked likely to snatch a draw that would have lifted them four points clear of the relegation zone.United’s win takes them two points above Liverpool, having played a game less, and back to within 13 of league leaders Manchester City ahead of their trip to Everton.5 – Romelu Lukaku is the fifth youngest player to score 100 Premier League goals.Michael Owen (23y 134d)Robbie Fowler (23y 283d)Wayne Rooney (24y 100d)Harry Kane (24y 191d)Romelu Lukaku (24y 322d)Flourish. https://t.co/s47U4jwMl5 — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 31, 2018 United were rewarded for a bold start with just five minutes played. Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Sanchez combined to tee up Lukaku 12 yards out, whose shot deflected off Alfie Mawson and flew high into the net.The home side looked in authoritative mood, with Lukasz Fabianski denying Lukaku a second, but they had only to wait until the 20th minute to double their lead, with Sanchez rifling into the bottom-left corner after Lingard’s pass split Swansea’s haphazard defence.Passion   pic.twitter.com/XegneBDNGX — Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 31, 2018 Sanchez celebrated with gusto and, like his team-mates, looked to be enjoying himself against a Swansea side who failed even to muster a shot in a dismal first half, with only the offside flag denying United a third through Lingard before the interval.United missed two clear opportunities early in the second half for a third goal, with Sanchez nodding onto the roof of the net and Juan Mata volleying Pogba’s fine pass, but De Gea was called into action twice in quick succession to deny substitute Abraham.Lukaku spurned a great chance for his second, chesting down in the box before shooting straight at Fabianski, but Mourinho will have been pleased enough with his side’s performance ahead of next weekend’s showdown with City at the Etihad Stadium, where they will look to postpone Pep Guardiola’s title celebrations. Key Opta stats: – Romelu Lukaku became the 28th different player, first Belgian and fifth youngest player to score 100 Premier League goals.- Manchester United have won all three meetings with Swansea in all competitions this season, scoring eight goals and conceding none.- Jose Mourinho is unbeaten in all 10 of his previous meetings with Swansea in all competitions, beating five different managers in that time (W8 D2).- The Swans had as many shots on target in this game (2) as they’d managed in their three previous Premier League away games combined.  read morelast_img read more