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How The Last Jedi Restored My Faith in Star Wars Tons of

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first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. I love Mark Hamill’s whole career, but I’ve been pretty Luke-warm (Ahh? Ahhhhh?) on Star Wars‘ Disney-run, annual cinematic return. I was soured by the prequels, I didn’t get into the CG shows, and as a long-time Star Wars nerd the Disney obliteration of the EU turned me off from it. I enjoyed The Force Awakens and Rogue One, but they both felt desperately derivative of previous movies, focused on echoing what made the original trilogy work and pouring on the fanservice to get attention. I didn’t think we were going to get anything really worthwhile in this new, more active Star Wars world.Then I saw The Last Jedi and my faith was restored. I understand why the movie is polarizing, and it certainly isn’t perfect, but the nay-sayers demanding it be stricken from Star Wars canon are wrong. It’s the step forward Star Wars has needed for the past few years to prove that there’s more to the franchise than mimicking trench runs.This is going to be completely filled with spoilers. It assumes you know what happened in The Last Jedi as well. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading this and go see it.We Know How Much the Galaxy SucksHey, you know what was really downplayed weirdly in The Force Awakens? Everything about the Republic and how the Starkiller base wiped out an entire system. You know what the opening crawl in The Last Jedi does? Explain exactly how screwed the galaxy is. The Republic has been decimated. The First Order are in control. The Resistance are basically the Rebels now, and the First Order is the Empire. It’s as simple as that.I would have liked to see a post-ROTJ galaxy closer to the EU, with the fledgling New Republic and the remnants of the Empire still causing problems, but we aren’t getting that. But now it’s no longer a question. After the confusing presence of the Resistance while the Republic presumably still existed in The Force Awakens, and the completely undefined relationship of those powers and the size and scope of the First Order, now we know. The First Order has taken control and whatever remains of the Resistance is on the ropes. The Republic is shattered.My biggest complaint about The Force Awakens wasn’t the slavish adherence to A New Hope in structure, but how it completely glossed over what exactly happened to the galaxy in the decades since Return of the Jedi. Why was Leia a general and not a Senator? Why was there a Resistance to begin with? What’s wrong with the Republic? The Last Jedi establishes all of that without prequel levels of exposition.We’re Facing How Much the Jedi SuckedLet’s be real. The Jedi are cool ideas. Space knights with laser swords and magic powers who keep the peace throughout the galaxy. And in the EU they were. But in the movies, the Jedi were garbage. They were complacent, easily manipulated non-enforcers of a corrupt and idiotic Old Republic in the prequels, and all we saw of them in the original trilogy were a few cool guys who died and a dumb farm kid who fought with his own teenage whininess to become the last Jedi master.Again, I would have liked an EU-style galaxy where Master Luke founded a new Jedi praxeum and taught a new generation of Jedi. I would have loved some shout-outs to Kyle Katarn and Kyp Durron. But they’ve been wiped away by Disney, and have been replaced by the harsh realization of just how garbage the Jedi were throughout the movies. They were good guys only by contrast, built on legends and ignoring the dysfunction their traditions demonstrated.The Last Jedi recognized that. Luke tried to train a new generation of Jedi, but he wasn’t equipped to do it and was easily manipulated, himself. His fear of Ben Solo was used to turn him toward the dark side and become Kylo Ren just like the Jedi Council’s fear of Anakin Skywalker was used to turn him toward the dark side and become Darth Vader. The Sith performed evil acts and enabled the new Dark Lords to rise, but it was the Jedi and their rigidity and fear that provided the push the Sith needed for their plans to work.Luke recognized it, which is why he wanted the Jedi to end. And Yoda recognized it, which is why he brought the ghost lightning and called Luke a dumbass. If the new Jedi kept to the teachings and traditions of the old Jedi, they would have repeated the same mistakes just like Luke did. And now Rey, as the true last Jedi, won’t. Because she sees beyond the reflexive fear and worship of dark and light. She’ll make mistakes, as any good character will, but now she won’t make the same mistakes as her predecessors.The Jedi needed to die. Now the Jedi can begin, and be more effective and interesting by shedding meaningless platitudes and habitual condemnation.Snoke Was Imposing, and Now He’s DeadSupreme Leader Snoke was never going to live up to your expectations, and his elimination was a brilliant move. Yes, his existence was weird and mysterious, and his incredible Force powers weren’t explained. Some side material explaining why he’s as strong as Palpatine would be great. But it isn’t necessary, and wiping him off the board makes the future of Star Wars much more interesting.You know how the Jedi suck? The Sith suck too. They’re paper-thin Bad Guys whose entire ethos is that of being an edgelord. Hate, fear, anger, meanness, cruelty, they’re all pretty ridiculous concepts to base your religion off of. And while Snoke had some pretty good moments of yelling at Kylo Ren, that’s all he had to offer. The same platitudes Palpatine had to offer. He was a copy of Palpatine, possibly a straight-up clone of him (also something the EU did). And he simply wasn’t interesting outside of the vague promise that his origin had something more compelling than his character traits as presented.So Kylo Ren cut him in half with a lightsaber when he was in the middle of an evil villain monologue about the power of the dark side. In the original trilogy this type of gesture redeemed Darth Vader, who still died the necessary death of redeemed villains because he had done too many evil things. And in the prequel trilogy this type of gesture condemned Darth Vader, betraying Mace Windu and saving Palpatine. The cycle of betrayal, condemnation, and redemption was finished by Darth Vader, who came back around to Anakin Skywalker. And that cycle would have been boring to see play out again.Kylo Ren killing Snoke and fighting alongside Rey could have easily been his redemption and return to the light side. It was the most obvious path. Ren blindly taking up the mantle of Supreme Leader and declaring himself the new Dark Lord of the Sith would have been the second most obvious path. He did neither, and became Supreme Leader not to carry on the legacy of the Sith, but to destroy it all.Snoke gave us a second Emperor spouting the same tired junk about the power of the dark side. We’ve been there before. Now the First Order is commanded by an angry man disillusioned with the Jedi and the Sith, looking to carve his own bloody place in the galaxy by burning all the old orders down. And Rey understands and recognizes that. She sees where he’s coming from, and just like he is to us, to her he’s a much more complex and tragic figure than a big evil bald guy.Rey’s Parents Were NobodyThe revelation that Rey’s parents were just drunks on Jakku who abandoned her and not some legendary Jedi figures or secretly someone from the original trilogy disappointed a lot of people. It certainly didn’t help tone down the screaming from enraged incel MRAs that she was a Mary Sue. However, it makes her much more interesting as a character.If Rey was secretly Ben Solo’s brother or had some heritage that tied back to the Jedi, she would have been tied down to the paths others had already taken. It would have only fed into the The Force Awakens feeling of new characters doing the same things the old characters had done. A new generation following in the steps of the older generation.Rey isn’t secretly the daughter of Jedi masters. She doesn’t share blood with the Skywalkers. She has no genetic or filial connection to the legends of the past. She’s just the abandoned daughter of drunks left to fend for herself on a desert planet. And at heart, she already knew that, and the revelation to the audience wasn’t a revelation to her but a reminder that what she was seeking from Luke in a father figure wasn’t in the cards and wasn’t necessary to begin with.Rey grew up alone under terrible conditions and became a capable salvager who could fight with her own strength and pilot anything. And she’s a Force user for reasons that aren’t explained, just like Snoke’s powers weren’t explained. Because not everything has to go back to the Skywalkers or previous generations. Rey isn’t a Mary Sue. She’s a survivor who’s carving her own place in the world, and her entire training with Luke was about that.She’s the last Jedi, and she’s the new Jedi. And she isn’t held back by connections to the past that are beyond her control. She had no choice in her upbringing or her Force powers, but everything after that was entirely her decision. Her choices define the Jedi now, and in spite of all she went through she has a strong enough moral compass that her choices will hopefully be mostly the right ones.Yoda himself said it best. Rey had all she needed to carry on the legacy of the Jedi, because making the right choices from your heart is so much more important to being a good Jedi, or a good hero, or a good person, than blindly following someone else’s teachings like Luke did with the Jedi and like Anakin did with the Sith. And like Kylo Ren did, until he came to the same conclusion as Rey, from the opposite angle.Star Wars is Moving Forward, Instead of Running in CirclesThe inevitable confrontation between Rey and Kylo Ren will be a new fight between Jedi that we haven’t seen before. The sides of light and dark, Jedi and Sith, aren’t nearly as important now as simple good and evil. And now the faces of those fights are much more complex and interesting than their predecessors were.Rey isn’t Luke. She wasn’t a bored farmboy who found out his uncle and dad were important people and jumped onto ideology. She was a survivor who struggled to find her place in the galaxy, and who heard the calls of both the Jedi and the Sith and made her own choice instead of blindly following rhetoric.Kylo Ren isn’t Darth Vader or Sheev Palpatine. He isn’t a poor boy rescued by the Jedi and then feared and confounded by them for years, and he isn’t a big bald evil head who wants to be mean and cruel to everyone for no reason. He was tempted, and betrayed, and finally made his own choice on what path to take. He has the power of the Sith without the empty edgelord attitude, and while he’s committing evil, he’s committing it with his own agency as his own attempt to carve out a place for himself in the galaxy.The First Order is basically just the Empire now and the Resistance is basically just the Rebellion now. You have a powerful galactic government menacing everyone and a scrappy band of heroes fighting them. There’s a nice purity in that. But the fact that the head of this new Empire is now conflicted and disillusioned by the Sith, and that the last Jedi fighting for the Resistance has defined her ideals and paths through her own choices and not Jedi rhetoric, means that the coming fight will be much more interesting.last_img read more

Christmas Eve Mass draws hundreds, despite vandalism to Our Lady of Lavang Church

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first_imgPORTLAND — Our Lady of Lavang’s Christmas Eve Mass went on as scheduled with more than 500 families crowding into the large sanctuary, hours after a driver plowed through the entrance, damaging the doors and wooden pews.“We have a very strong community and support here,” said Henry Tran, as more than a dozen young musicians from the Lavang Youth Chamber Orchestra took to the stage, playing a jolly rendition of “Sleigh Ride.”Tran said he was shocked when he heard that a man plowed his Acura MDX through the church doors around 12:15 a.m. Monday.“Stunning for us at this Christmas season,” Tran said.Yet as soon as the pastor alerted parishioners, at least a hundred members showed up to help mop up the mess, bring in folding chairs to replace the pews and place plywood over the entrances.Jessica Nguyen said that by the time she came to help earlier Monday morning there already were many people present working.“One message from our priest,” she said, “and everyone responded.” Monday night, the 23-year-old posed for photos with relatives beside the lit-up Nativity Scene, thankful the service could be held.Some of the congregants said they recognized the man accused of ramming his car through the church, Hieu John Phung, 35.Kiet To, a member who also provides security at the church, said Phung’s children learn Vietnamese at the church school.Phung was booked into the downtown Portland jail at 4:05 a.m., but later released on his own recognizance. He’s due to be arraigned on a first-degree criminal mischief allegation on Wednesday.last_img read more

Undetected water main break floods businesses in Moreno

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first_img Posted: December 7, 2018 December 7, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- The break in the eight inch water main was discovered this morning but it may have happened earlier and gone undetected due to the flooding from rainfall yesterday. Four businesses were flooded along Naples Place. Undetected water main break floods businesses in Moreno KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

Milk in the raw spurs debate

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first_imgDarryl Koistinen, who owns Dobler Hill Dairy in Woodland, milks one of nine goats during the evening milking Wednesday. Koistinen and his wife, Andria, produce and sell raw goat milk at their farm and local produce stands. To some, raw milk has an unwarranted bad rap. Raw milk dairies in Washington are closely regulated and monitored to detect and prevent contamination.To others, the unpasteurized milk isn’t scrutinized enough. Raw milk can contain harmful bacteria — such as E. coli, salmonella and listeria — which are responsible for serious illnesses.Darryl and Andria Koistinen, owners of the Dobler Hill Dairy in Woodland, agree some criticism is warranted. They produce and sell raw goat milk on their 10-acre farm. Their product can be risky, especially for pregnant women, children and people with lower resistance to disease.“We like our customers to know there’s a risk when they buy it,” Andria said.But they also believe raw milk illness outbreaks, like the recent event stemming from a farm near Wilsonville, Ore., cast the whole industry in a bad light.“It’s not something for everybody,” Darryl said. “Pasteurization is good for the general public. … For the people that want to drink (raw milk), they should.”last_img read more

Price Sankey lead Huskies past Illinois 3424

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first_imgWashington’s Bishop Sankey (25) celebrates his touchdown against Illinois with Dexter Charles during the first half Saturday at Soldier Field in Chicago. Sankey rushed 35 times for 208 yards in the Huskies 34-24 win. CHICAGO — Keith Price threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns, Bishop Sankey ran for a career-high 208 yards and No. 19 Washington got a rare road win, beating Illinois 34-24 at Soldier Field on Saturday.Josh Shirley added four sacks, and the Huskies came out on top after dropping seven of nine away from home. They hadn’t won on the road outside the Pac-12 since beating Syracuse in 2007.Washington (2-0) had a tougher time in this one after keeping high-powered Boise State without a touchdown and racking up 592 yards in a 38-6 win two weeks ago. The Huskies built a 21-point lead in the third quarter and hung on after it dwindled to seven in the fourth, sending Illinois (2-1) to its sixth straight loss against ranked opponents.The Illini cut it to 31-24 on Aaron Bailey’s 10-yard run with 9:10 remaining, but Washington’s Travis Coons kicked a 32-yard field goal to make it a 10-point game with 4:44 left. Gregory Ducre then picked off a deep pass by Nathan Scheelhaase, sealing the win for the Huskies.Price completed 28 of 35 passes. Kevin Smith caught five passes for 104 yards, and Sankey came up big again after running for 161 yards in the opener. He scored a 31-yard touchdown on a screen in the first half and on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter.last_img read more

Reeses puts out machine to trade unwanted candy for peanut butter cups

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first_img(WSVN) – Candy corn, Twizzlers, Tootsie Rolls, no matter what candy you get that you don’t like while trick-or-treating, Reese’s has come up with a clever way to help you exchange it.Starting Wednesday afternoon in New York City, a Reese’s candy converter will be set up on Fifth Avenue.The machine will take your unwanted candy and swap it for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.The company says the machine will exchange up to 10,000 cups for five hours. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. No tricks here. Trade in your Halloween candy for Reese’s candy. What’d you expect from the GOAT of Halloween?! #ReesesCandyConverter #NotSorry pic.twitter.com/bTrjF2IFay— REESE’S (@reeses) October 30, 2018____ last_img read more

Soil tests will pave way for higher yields Official

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first_imgPatancheru: Additional Director of Agriculture Suresh Babu stated here on Monday that higher output could be possible after soil tests.He was speaking after conducting an awareness programme taken up by the department for farmers on steps to check insects (Kathera and Gulabi Purugu) which thrive on maize, cotton and other crops. Babu said every village in a mandal has been treated as a pilot village, with Kyasaram being chosen as a pilot project. He created awareness after conducting soil tests as part of the project and issued health cards to farmers, enlightening them on crops to be taken up. Babu advised ryots to raise crops as per the advice of the department. Among the department officials who took part in the programme were Usha, Geeta, Shaik Ahmed, Sindhuja,village elders and farmers.last_img read more

UPDATE Santa Fe Shooting Suspects Father Thinks He Was Bullied

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first_img Share – / 38 Below is a press conference with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo discussing the Santa Fe shooting.center_img The Latest on the Santa Fe high school shooting in Texas. ___The father of a 17-year-old student accused of fatally shooting 10 people at a Houston-area high school says the teenager doesn’t own any guns and that perhaps his son was being bullied.In a phone interview over the weekend with Greece’s Antenna TV, Antonios Pagourtzis said he wished he could have stopped the killing Friday at Santa Fe High School. His voice cracks as he describes how he told police to let him inside the school so his son could kill him instead.Dimitrios Pagourtzis is being held on capital murder charges.His father says he owns guns but that the boy doesn’t. He says he thinks someone might have hurt his son and that this could have prompted the attack. He says his son didn’t drink and never got into fights.___The latest school shooting is unlikely to lead to significant new gun restrictions in Texas.Gov. Greg Abbott begins hosting school-safety roundtable discussions Tuesday. There have been new calls to arm teachers and “harden” campuses against attacks in the wake of last week’s shooting at Santa Fe High School that left eight students and two teachers dead.But few expect the meetings to result in a major push for gun restrictions in a state that has more than 1.2 million licensed handgun owners who can openly carry their weapons in public.The discussions will start in Austin, and Abbott says they will include lawmakers, educators, students, parents, gun-rights advocates and shooting survivors. The first one features officials from districts that arm some teachers or contract with local police for security.Santa Fe ISD officials say while they are anxious to have students back in their schools, they realize there are students, staff, and families who need time for grieving and mourning.On Monday, officials announced students won’t return to classes until after Memorial Day on Tuesday, May 29th. All teachers and support staff will return tomorrow Wednesday, May 23rd.  Officials say they are tightening security at campuses when students return. They also have mental health support available throughout the district for students, staff, and faculty, for as long as there is a need– including a toll-free crisis hotline. At a Monday press conference, Santa Fe ISD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Patti Hanssard said the community is grateful for the outpouring of support. “Our district leadership, campus, students, staff, parents have been eager to help our families recover, we will be forever indebted to these individuals who have stepped up to help,” Hanssard said. More resources and information can be found on the school’s website including where people can make donations. That’s SFISD.org.last_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Tuesday May 17

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first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream:  http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3u We’ll get a report on the trial of Edward Nero, one of the officers connected to the death of Freddie Gray, with legal expert Sheryl Wood of The Wood Law Firm. Plus, the Baltimore City Council failed to override Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s veto of a bill that would have diminished the power of the mayor’s office. We’ll talk city politics with Dayvon Love of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, low income housing organizer Perry Hopkins and long-time community activist and recent candidate for Baltimore City Council President, Kim Truehart. These stories and much more, coming up this evening on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes.last_img read more

Spotify Returns to Roku Streamers TVs

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first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Spotify is officially making its way back onto Roku streaming devices and Roku TVs: An app for the music streaming service became available on Roku’s channel store Wednesday, where it had been MIA since late last year.Spotify’s new Roku app is available both to free and paying users of the music service, and promises access to Spotify’s entire catalog as well as users’ Spotify library. The app also works with Spotify Connect, which means that users can initiate playback from a mobile device.Spotify’s new app works with Roku’s latest operating system version 8.2, which is rolling out on Roku TVs effective immediately and becoming available to Roku streaming players in the coming weeks. The music service will work with Roku player models 3600 and above, according to Roku’s website. Popular on Variety last_img read more

Aging worker termites explode themselves in suicide missions

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first_img Termites travel with fungi as take-away food This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Blue and white workers of Neocapritermes taracua. The picture shows a soldier, two white workers (ww) and two blue workers (bw) with two blue spots between their thorax and abdomen. Image courtesy of R. Hanus © 2012 Phys.org Play This movie shows one worker of Neocapritermes taracua rupturing its body after being attacked by workers of Embiratermes neotenicus. The worker emit a ball-like droplet of haemolymph (marked with the red arrow), together with a part of its internal organs, such as the intestine (visible as the dark spot). Before body rupture, a pair of blue crystals is easily distinguishable in the N. taracua worker, but these crystals rapidly dissolve in the droplet of haemolymph and disappear. Video courtesy of R. Hanus The team reported that the blue crystalline material is probably a hemocyanin protein (which has a similar function to hemoglobin in mammals, carrying oxygen around the bloodstream). The protein is rich in copper, which makes the crystal blue. Team member, PhD student Thomas Bourguignon of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, said that the blue crystals mix with the products of the salivary gland and make them toxic. The researchers found that when a worker with blue spots was attacked by invading termites, it ruptured its body wall, releasing the contents of the blue pouches, which mixed with salivary fluid to form a drop of chemical so toxic that it paralyzed or killed most of the invading termites that touched it. The blue-spotted worker termites died in the process. Workers with no spots also burst when threatened, but less readily and less effectively since the toxins released were much less potent than that from the blue spots. Journal information: Science More information: Explosive Backpacks in Old Termite Workers, Science 27 July 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6093 p. 436 DOI: 10.1126/science.1219129ABSTRACTBy nature, defensive behavior is risky. In social insects, such behavior is more likely to occur in individuals whose potential for other tasks is diminished. We show that workers of the termite Neocapritermes taracua develop an exceptional two-component suicidal apparatus consisting of copper-containing protein crystals, stored in external pouches, and internal salivary glands. During aggressive encounters, their bodies rupture, and the crystals react with the salivary gland secretion to produce a toxic droplet. Both the amount of defensive substances and the readiness to explode increase with workers’ age, as their food-collecting ability declines.center_img Explore further An international team of researchers, led by Robert Hanus and Jan Šobotník of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague, looked at Neocapritermes taracua termites, native to French Guiana, and discovered that many of the workers had varying sizes of blue spots on their backs. The blue spots are external pouches containing copper-containing proteins secreted by specialized glands located on top of the salivary glands. When the researchers picked up the termites using forceps, they were surprised to find they burst, releasing a toxic sticky droplet along with fragments of intestines and internal organs. Blue and white workers of Neocapritermes taracua. The picture shows two soldiers, two white workers (ww) and three blue workers (bw) with two blue spots between their thorax and abdomen. Image courtesy of R. Hanus The team tested the effectiveness of the toxins by dabbing a drop of fluid on the bodies of enemy termite species. They compared the blue liquid of the older workers (containing the crystals and products of the salivary gland), the liquid with the blue crystals removed, salivary fluid from younger workers, and the same fluid with blue crystals added. They found the most toxic was the blue liquid from the older workers, and next in line was young workers’ salivary fluid mixed with blue crystals.The study also demonstrated that the number and size of the blue pouches increased with the workers’ age. The workers’ capacity to do other work such as gathering food diminishes with age, and as they become less useful to the colony in other ways, and less able to defend the colony using their jaws, their capacity to act as suicidal defenders of the colony increases along with their willingness to sacrifice themselves.Suicidal explosive behavior has been seen before in termites, but the contents of the intestine are usually expelled rather than toxins as found in the N. taracua termites, and the enemy termites are usually inconvenienced and slowed down rather than killed. Citation: Aging worker termites explode themselves in suicide missions (2012, July 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-aging-worker-termites-suicide-missions.html (Phys.org) — A new study of termites has revealed that older workers are equipped with suicide packs of chemicals on their backs to fight off intruders.last_img read more

Bats found to produce longer and more intense calls when crowded by

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first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Study in bats and rodents offers insights on how viruses spread across species Explore further Big eared townsend bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) Credit: Public Domain This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Eran Amichai et al. Calling louder and longer: how bats use biosonar under severe acoustic interference from other bats, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2015). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2064AbstractActive-sensing systems such as echolocation provide animals with distinct advantages in dark environments. For social animals, however, like many bat species, active sensing can present problems as well: when many individuals emit bio-sonar calls simultaneously, detecting and recognizing the faint echoes generated by one’s own calls amid the general cacophony of the group becomes challenging. This problem is often termed ‘jamming’ and bats have been hypothesized to solve it by shifting the spectral content of their calls to decrease the overlap with the jamming signals. We tested bats’ response in situations of extreme interference, mimicking a high density of bats. We played-back bat echolocation calls from multiple speakers, to jam flying Pipistrellus kuhlii bats, simulating a naturally occurring situation of many bats flying in proximity. We examined behavioural and echolocation parameters during search phase and target approach. Under severe interference, bats emitted calls of higher intensity and longer duration, and called more often. Slight spectral shifts were observed but they did not decrease the spectral overlap with jamming signals. We also found that pre-existing inter-individual spectral differences could allow self-call recognition. Results suggest that the bats’ response aimed to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and not to avoid spectral overlap.center_img (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers with Tel-Aviv University has found that bats produce calls that are longer and more intense when among a crowd of others of their own kind as a means to hear themselves among the din. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Eran Amichai, Gaddi Blumrosen and Yossi Yovel describe lab experiments they conducted with trained bats to learn more about how bats contend with noise from surrounding bats. © 2015 Phys.org Citation: Bats found to produce longer and more intense calls when crowded by other bats (2015, December 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-longer-intense-crowded.html Bats famously use echo-location to avoid colliding with objects while flying and to zero in on moving prey such as insects, but how do they recognize their own echoed pings when traveling or hunting with a large group of other bats, all of whom are sending out pings of their own, creating a lot of competing noise? That is what the researchers with this new effort sought to learn. Some have suggested that the bats simply change the frequency of their tone, so that it can be differentiated from other bats, but no one had ever tested this theory.To learn more, the researchers trained several bats to land on a roost on command, and then set up speakers connected to a bat-sound emitting source next to the roost to mimic different numbers of bats in the area. They then listened in as the test bats changed their tones in response to the noise levels they encountered. The researchers found that the bats tended to increase the duration of the calls they made and to make them more intense when there were many competing tones from other bats, which the team termed severe interference. And contrary to conventional theory, they found little evidence of spectral shifts—when they did occur they did not decrease overlap with competing tones. The researchers refer to the noise made by several bats emitting noise at the same time as jamming, because, quite naturally it could lead to problems with individual bats hearing their own tones, which could be problematic during such events as landing—the researchers found that when the bats attempted a landing on a quiet roost, they generally produced short calls to ensure a soft landing. When approaching a noisy roost, on the other hand, they shifted to producing near continuous high intensity calls.last_img read more

Why Emerging Technologies May Hold the Future of Fashion

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first_img Listen Now 4 min read February 18, 2013 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer The glamour of New York Fashion Week may have moved on to London, but excitement still lingers in New York over the industry’s future. That excitement is owed in no small part to Decoded Fashion, a company dedicated to bringing emerging technologies into the fashion world.Decoded Fashion recently held a four-hour event during New York Fashion Week to show that the future of fashion lies in a marriage with technology. The February 14 event served as the finale to the 550-person fashion hackathon Decoded Fashion initiated earlier this month.The cross-pollination of fashion and tech extended to the keynote speakers last Thursday, with new Wired editor-in-chief Scott Dadich interviewing fashion phenom Zac Posen and Vogue senior market editor Meredith Melling Burke chatting with Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley. With topics ranging from new retail technology to 3D printing, attendees from both sides of the aisle were in agreement that emerging tech provides can’t-miss opportunities for fashion.One major theme was the importance of content marketing. Many in the fashion industry are still loath to engage on social media. But Posen, once gun-shy himself, said he now embraces Instagram to “fill the craving” of fans looking for insight into his creative process. “We live in a very voyeuristic culture, and if you’re able to curate that voyeurism” you can be very successful, said the designer, now a judge on Project Runway, whose gowns are red-carpet favorites for many star actresses.On a panel about customer outreach, Valentine Uhovski, Tumblr’s fashion evangelist, later touched on the same theme. “We no longer have to seek out Fashion Week coverage. It comes to us. It’s inescapable,” he said, referring to the way in which live streams of runway shows have made formerly exclusive events more accessible. This additional exposure, he implied, has been a boon for fashion brands.Related: Innovative Event Aims to Merge the Worlds of Fashion and TechnologyUhovski’s panel also included supermodel Coco Rocha, known for her dedicated use of social media. (She has nearly two million followers on Google+ and half a million followers on Twitter.) Rocha said she owes her popularity in part to tailoring her posts to appeal to the unique nature of each social network. In China, Rocha said, “models are bigger than celebrities,” so it made sense to sign up for Chinese social network Sina Weibo. With more than 2 million followers on Sina Weibo and 340,000 on Instagram, she doesn’t just post pretty photos. She said fans look for the stories behind the photos — and she curates them carefully. “I may take 15. I may filter five. I post one.”Meanwhile, Glossi — one of 10 companies showcased as “startups to watch” — also underscored the importance of placing content marketing high on the priority list. “Brands are becoming journalists. Marketers are becoming editors,” said Matt Edelman, founder of Glossi, a platform that brands can use to create, publish and share their own digital magazines.Diane von Furstenberg and DKNY are already using Glossi, as is Lucky magazine. Glossi launched in public beta two months ago. “We’re seeing an exciting, diverse community of creators on the platform, ranging from teenage girls to major brands and media companies,” said Edelman, whose company is backed by two Santa Monica, Calif.-based venture-capital firms, Clearstone and Anthem.”There is so much out there that we can change this industry with,” Rocha said, referring to 3D printing, laser etching and other technologies now available to designers. Fashion, of course, is the domain of physical products, but digital looks set to play a major role in its future.Three such promising concepts were presented during the event’s centerpiece, where the hackathon finalists pitched their apps to a panel of fashion judges.The winning concept, SWATCHit, is a platform to connect designers with skilled artisans. The judges — who included Posen, Style.com editor-in-chief Dirk Standen and Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s chief executive — chose SWATCHit over Coveted, one-click purchasing through Tumblr, and 42, an analytics suite for retail stores. The winning team walked away with $10,000 cash and a launch supported by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.Liz Bacelar, co-founder of Decoded Fashion, said she is already in talks with the British Fashion Council to bring the hackathon to London in the fall. She is confident the fashion establishment is coming around to the benefits of technology, and she tries to reassure designers that she isn’t out to wreck their craft. “It’s disruption but it’s controlled disruption,” she said. “It’s safe disruption.”Related: Social Engagement Boosts Quirky Clothing Line Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger.last_img read more

NASAs Orion Crew Capsule For Artemis 1 Moon Mission Now Complete

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first_img AllVideo On Demand: Rent or BuyClothing & AccessoriesMajor AppliancesArts, Crafts & SewingAutomotiveBaby & NurseryBeauty & GroomingBooks & TextbooksCollectible CoinsCamera & PhotoCell Phones & AccessoriesClassical MusicComputers, Tablets & ComponentsBlu-Ray & DVDElectronic Components & Home AudioEntertainment CollectiblesVideo GamesOther Gift Card BrandsGrocery & Gourmet FoodPatio, Lawn & GardenHealth & HouseholdBusiness & Industrial SuppliesJewelryKindle StoreKitchen & DiningMagazinesMiscellaneousDigital MusicCDs & VinylMusical InstrumentsOffice & School SuppliesPet Food & SuppliesPatio, Lawn & GardenShoes, Handbags, Wallets, SunglassesSoftwareSports CollectiblesSports & FitnessHome ImprovementToys & GamesVHSVideo GamesWatches All ⓒ 2018 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. Bestseller Ads by Amazon The Orion crew module that is built by contractor Lockheed Martin is integrated with the European-built service module. It can transport a crew of four astronauts to journey at or beyond the low Earth orbit.The integrated spacecraft will undergo testing at the KSC and then, it will be followed by thermal vacuum tests at NASA’s Plum Brook Facility in Ohio in September. It is scheduled to return to KSC by the end of the year to prepare for its launch in space.Artemis 1 Moon MissionOrion’s first Moon mission is named Artemis 1, and it will not be carrying anyone. The new Space Launch System will propel the uncrewed Orion to orbit the Moon in six days and then return to back to earth after a total of three weeks in space.Artemis 1 is set to test all the hardware and operations of Orion spacecraft. When it comes back to Earth from space, it will splash down off Baja, California.If the plan goes well, two astronauts will land on the Moon’s South Pole. They will be the first humans to touch down the Moon in the 21st century. This will also put the first woman on the moon. Both of them will make history once they set foot on this side of the Moon where no human has ever been before.NASA’s Orion crew capsule, which will bring astronauts back to the Moon since the culmination of the Apollo space program, is slated for its first trip to the lunar orbit sometime after June 2020. TAG NASA, Orion Crew Module, Mike Pence DEAL OF THE DAY Ads by Amazon ENDS IN Close U.S. Vice President Mike Pence confirmed that NASA’s Orion crew capsule for the Artemis Mission 1 is officially complete. He announced this big news during his speech at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission on Saturday, July 20.  ( NASA/JSC ) NASA’s Orion crew capsule is now complete and ready for the next stage of the project.U.S. Vice President Mike Pence confirmed the big news during his speech at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission held at Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, July 20.”Thanks to the hard work of the men and women of NASA, and of American industry, the Orion crew vehicle for the Artemis 1 mission is complete and ready to begin preparations for its historic first flight,” Pence said. Searchlast_img read more

Russia says Latvian weaponssmuggling ring broken up

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first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Comments   Share   The arrests come amid heightened tension between Latvia and Russia. Latvia and its former Soviet Baltic neighbors are unsettled by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and alleged supply of arms and troops to separatist rebels in Ukraine’s east. Russia in turn criticizes Latviafor language laws it claims effectively ban the use of Russian.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Federal Security Service says it has broken up a ring that was smuggling firearms into the country from Latvia.The service, known by its initials FSB, said in a statement Thursday that more than 30 weapons were seized in a raid in the Pskov region, which borders Latvia and Estonia. The weapons included submachine guns and carbines, the statement said.The FSB says one Latvian citizen and eight Russians were arrested in the case. Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more