Glowing sand was your cradle, claimed The Telegraph. “The sifting and collection of radioactive material by powerful tides could have generated the complex molecules that led to the evolution of carbon-based life forms –including plants, animals and humans.” The article acknowledged that “radiation may seem an unlikely candidate to kick-start life because it breaks chemical bonds and splits large molecules,” but thought some of the energy could be used productively. Radioactive grains in the sand could provide the chemical energy to build sugars, amino acids and soluble phosphates needed for life as we know it. This scenario is the brainchild of Zachary Adam, an astrobiologist at the University of Washington. His idea can “be added to the existing long and varied list of hypotheses.” Reporter Nick Fleming listed the usual suspects: Oparin, Miller, the clay hypothesis, panspermia, “and the intervention of a divine, intelligent designer.” The article is accompanied by a picture of humans at the beach. No claim was made whether the energy from sunlight was helping them evolve.Somebody else needs a kick-start. At least intelligent design wasn’t excluded from the list of possibilities this time. It’s the only contender that isn’t deaf, dumb, blind and lazy from the starting gate. (Clarification: speaking of the hypotheses, not their proponents).(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Table Mountain towers spectacularly over the city of Cape Town. The mountain is one of three natural South African sites in the running for the seven natural wonders of the world. (Image: Walter Knirr, South African Tourism) New7Wonders founder Bernard Weber with Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo at the ceremony in Lisbon announcing the new seven wonders of the world. (Image: New7Wonders of the World)Janine ErasmusSouth Africans have the chance to vote for one of three of the country’s top natural landmarks in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign, the first phase of which is open until the end of 2008.The Kruger National Park, the Cape of Good Hope, and the iconic Table Mountain are all in the running for nomination as one of the world’s seven outstanding natural sites.The Cape of Good Hope, a rocky headland on South Africa’s Atlantic coast, has been a maritime landmark for centuries and is referred to by sailors as “The Cape”.The Kruger National Park, which celebrated its 110th anniversary in June 2008, is South Africa’s largest game reserve and is now an integral part of the 35 000km² Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park with no internal borders that joins the Kruger to Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.Table Mountain is one of the country’s major tourist attractions. Part of the Table Mountain National Park on the Cape peninsula, the flat-topped mountain towers impressively over the city of Cape Town.Searching for seven natural wondersIn July 2007 the New7Wonders of the World were announced after an extensive global campaign in which more than 100-million people cast their votes. The second campaign, also organised by the non-profit New7Wonders Foundation, turns the focus to the natural world in the search for the seven greatest natural sites on earth.There are three criteria for selection – only a natural site, natural monument or landscape can be nominated. Natural phenomena such as the Northern lights are not eligible.After the first round of voting a panel of architectural experts will short-list 21 options from the 77 top-ranked sites, based on the number of votes received. The short list will be announced in January 2009. The panel is headed by Prof Federico Mayor Zaragoza, scholar, politician, and former director-general of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.South Africa’s Aziz Tayob, the first non-white architect in the country, was a member of the expert panel which selected the New7Wonders. Tayob graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1969.The second round of voting will determine the final seven sites, which will be revealed in the second half of 2010. Nominated places must be backed by an official supporting committee to qualify for the second round. Forms are available on the site for those wishing to establish a committee for their chosen landmark.At the time of writing none of the South African sites were in the top 77, which is updated twice a day. Voters are encouraged to vote for their favourite South African natural site to ensure victory against some stiff competition from elsewhere on the African continent. East Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Zimbabwe’s famous Victoria Falls, and the Serengeti National Park, also in Tanzania, are just a few of the natural African sites vying for a place in the top 21.However, voters may participate only once in each round and must cast their votes for seven sites per round. Only one of the seven sites may be located in the voter’s home country.Safeguarding world heritageEstablished in 2001, the New7Wonders Foundation and its two campaigns are the brainchild of Swiss-born Canadian filmmaker, author, aviator and adventurer Bernard Weber. Weber’s intention in inaugurating the campaign is to help protect the world’s human-made and natural heritage, as well as to unite people by encouraging them to respect earth’s cultural diversity.These philosophies are particularly applicable to South Africa, which possesses an extraordinary wealth of natural and cultural heritage.“I feel very strongly that world heritage, as the name says, belongs to the people of the world,” says Weber. “Over 100-million votes from every corner of the world very clearly legitimises the New7Wonders of the World. And we are estimating over one-billion votes for the New7Wonders of Nature. These are choices made by the people of the world.”The New7Wonders of the World, as voted by 100-million people, are the Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan, Chichén Itzá in Mexico, the Statue of Christ Redeemer in Brazil, the Colosseum in Italy, Machu Picchu in Peru, and the Taj Mahal in India.The New7Wonders of Nature campaign aims to increase awareness of and respect for the natural beauty of the world and the need to take care of it. Increased awareness, says Weber, will boost the tourism industry and contribute to the care and preservation of important natural sites.Half of all revenue raised by the project is allocated towards monument conservation and documentation. One of the project’s success stories is the high-definition 3D model of the 4th-century Bamiyan Buddha, a cultural treasure that was destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. The 3D model will enable the people of Afghanistan to rebuild the giant statue.“The more we know about each other, spread across continents and time zones, and the more we share, the more we actively create a peaceful and prosperous future for us all,” says Weber, adding that the sites chosen as the New7Wonders have experienced a boost in tourism of up to 40%.Once the New7Wonders of Nature is complete Weber plans to find the New7Wonders of Technology.Useful linksNew7Wonders of NatureCity of Cape TownKruger National ParkTable MountainCape of Good HopeUnited Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural OrganisationDepartment of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Embattled Commonwealth Games OC chief Suresh Kalmadi is likely to appear before CBI on Wednesday for questioning in connection with the agency’s probe into alleged financial irregularities in the conduct of the mega sporting event.Official sources said that Kalmadi has been asked to come to the CBI office for questioning and he has informed the investigating agency he would make his appearance on Wednesday.The chief of the Games’ Organising Committee is likely to be quizzed on a number of issues regarding the Games including alleged bungling in Queen’s Baton Relay.CBI officials had yesterday visited the Games OC office here and questioned some officials. Besides they had seized certain documents related to QBR and other contracts with various firms.The sources said Kalmadi will also be asked questioned about certain contracts given to foreign firms for carrying out overlays work for the games in October last.The CBI had late last month contacted Kalmadi over phone asking him to appear before it for questioning but the OC chief had said he will be available only after January three.Kalmadi had earlier in the day said he has not yet heard from the CBI about possible date of his questioning.”I am yet to hear from the CBI. As and when I am informed, I will be available. I am extending full cooperation to all investigating agencies,” Kalmadi told PTI.The sleuths have grilled Kalmadi’s three key aides in connection with the scam. Sources said Manoj Bhori, political advisor to OC head, P K Srivastava and A K Sinha, both assistants to Kalmadi, were also called in for interrogation.advertisementThe CBI had earlier conducted raids at the residences of Kalmadi, OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot, R K Sacheti, who is Joint Director General of the OC, and Sangeeta Welingkar, member of the Games Image and Look Group.The agency has so far filed three FIRs in connection with the alleged financial irregularities.While one case is related to a Rs 107-crore deal struck with a Swiss score keeping firm, the CBI had registered two other FIRs in connection with the contract given to AM Films for the Baton Relay ceremonies by the OC in London.The CBI has decided to approach the Sports Ministry to seek removal of Kalmadi and Bhanot from their posts citing failure of certain junior OC officials to cooperate with it which, it claimed, was hampering the probe.With PTI inputs
Southampton midfielder Lemina fed-up at Galatasarayby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton midfielder Mario Lemina is fed-up at Galatasaray.Lemina is on a season-long loan in Turkey, though is frustrated with his situation.The midfielder is unhappy with the lack of action he’s seen, says Fotospor, and is considering his options.Lemina is now weighing up ending his loan in January.At St Mary’s, there’s little chance of a place being created for the player’s return. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Weinstein Co., mired in a sex scandal, may be putting itself up for sale.The company said Monday that it is getting an immediate cash infusion from Colony Capital and is in negotiations for the potential sale of all or a significant portion of the movie studio responsible for films like “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Gangs of New York.”Co-founder Harvey Weinstein was fired by the company last week following allegations of sexual harassment and assault. The allegations span decades.The fallout has been swift, with Weinstein issuing a lengthy and seemingly tone-deaf apology while losing various honours. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revoked his membership.
LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s government has unveiled a 1.1-billion euro ($1.26 billion) plan to expand Lisbon’s current airport and build a second one, even though an environmental impact study that could thwart its ambitions isn’t finished.National airports operator ANA is footing the bill to adapt a military airfield in Montijo, 30 kilometres (18 miles) by road from Lisbon. It aims to handle around 50 million passengers a year from 2022.Authorities say an environmental study will be ready by April. Critics accuse the government of rushing into the project because a general election is due in October.Officials said Tuesday the airports company will also pay for the expansion of the Humberto Delgado Airport in the capital. With around 29 million passengers a year, it is at full capacity.The Associated Press
Approximately 4.2 kilograms of CocaineApproximately 250 grams of Fentanyl PowderApproximately 270 Fentanyl tabletsApproximately 1950 Oxycodone tabletsApproximately 22.5 litres of GHB/RohypnolApproximately $4000 in Canadian Currency4 firearmsGeorge Osbaldo Goday-Guerra, 24 of Surrey, British Columbia is facing the following charges;Possession for the purpose of trafficking x 4Trafficking a controlled substancePossession of property obtained by crime under $5000Possession of a prohibited weapon/deviceUnauthorized possession of a prohibited/restricted firearmObstruction of a Peace OfficerMr. Godoy-Guerra remains in custody and scheduled to appear at Grande Prairie Provincial Court on March 20, 2019.Grande Prairie RCMP is committed to increasing community safety by using a crime reduction strategy that focuses on identifying repeat offenders, gathering intelligence, and conducting enforcement initiatives. GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – The Grande Prairie RCMP executed two warrants and seized over $615,000 worth of illegal drugs.On March 17, 2019, Grande Prairie RCMP Municipal Drug Section along with the assistance of RCMP Police Dog Services, ALERT and Grande Prairie General Duty members, executed 2 Search warrants in the City of Grande Prairie and the Town of Wembley following a drug investigation.RCMP searched both residences and located approximately $615,000 worth of illegal drugs. Canadian currency and firearms were also located during the search. The following items were seized as a result of the investigation;
If you are a bullying boss, your employees are more likely to be less committed to their work, take longer breaks or come in late without notice, finds a study. The study led by researchers from the Portland State University in Oregon, US, showed that a bullying boss can decrease “organisational citizenship behaviour”, or the voluntary extras one does that are not part of the job responsibilities. On the other hand, the study also reveled that he/she increases “counterproductive work behaviour”, such as sabotage at work, coming into work late, taking longer-than-allowed breaks, doing tasks incorrectly or withholding effort, all of which can affect the team and co-workers. Also Read – An income drop can harm brain”The findings highlight the consequences of abusive supervision, which is becoming increasingly common in workplaces,” said Liu-Qin Yang, Associate Professor at the University. The study, published in the Journal of Management, attributes negative work behaviour to either perceptions of injustice or work stress. In response to perceptions of injustice, the employees are more likely to purposely withhold from the unpaid extras that help the organisation, like helping co-workers with problems or attending meetings that are not mandatory. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardHaving an abusive boss can also lead to work stress, which reduces an employee’s ability to control negative behaviour or contribute to the organisation in a positive way. “Stress is sometimes uncontrollable. You don’t sleep well, so you come in late or take a longer break, lash out at your co-workers or disobey instructions,” Yang further added. “But justice is more rational. Something isn’t fair, so you’re purposely not going to help other people or when the boss asks if anyone can come in on a Saturday to work, you don’t volunteer.” The researchers of the study have highly recommended that organisations should take measures to reduce or curb abusive supervision. Regular training programmes to help supervisors learn and adopt more effective interpersonal and management skills, implementing fair policies as well as conducting stress management training can help employees, they suggested.
Since the day Urban Meyer arrived in Columbus to coach the Ohio State football team, fans have been preparing for this season as they would any other, despite the team’s bowl ban. I’m warning you now, Buckeye Nation is going to regret that in the end. OSU finished 2011 with seven losses, but the Meyer-led Buckeyes still earned placement in the Associated Press’ preseason top 25 poll. The No. 18 Buckeyes then made short work of Miami (Ohio) to begin the bowl-less, postseason-less campaign. The opening win against the RedHawks was throttling – Meyer showed no mercy and sent the Scarlet and Gray marching up and down the field on touchdown drives up until the final minute of the 56-10 pounding. Fans cheered louder still, increasingly hopeful that OSU can upset the rest of the Big Ten Conference and throw a scarlet-colored wrench into the postseason picture for the rest of college football. The ranking increased too – OSU jumped to No. 14 when the AP released its second poll of the young college football season Tuesday. Now, the Buckeyes are heavy favorites against Central Florida, a team most figure will put up far more fight than the RedHawks did before limping out of Ohio Stadium. Meyer’s squad could very well make good on the 17 1/2 pointline put to OSU, according to vegas.com. Should OSU beat a formidable UCF team, the cheers of the fans will grow louder. The hands bearing wrenches will cock back even farther in anticipation of the Buckeyes upsetting the rest of the Bowl Championship Series-eligible teams. How high can the Buckeyes climb in the rankings? Will they win the Leaders Division and therefore assign an asterisk to the team that advances to the championship game in their place? And, as I suspect many OSU fans would like, will Buckeye Nation forever be able to stamp a permanent “What if?” on this college football season? As in, “Sure, Team X won the national title, but what if the Buckeyes had been eligible?” The rhetorical debate about whether OSU would have beaten the eventual national champion would serve as the ultimate taunt to the NCAA and opposing fans that relished in this university’s bowl ban. The Buckeyes may well mount a case as the best team in the Big Ten by season’s end. Sure, OSU could also run the table. And with Meyer at the helm, the team is that much less likely to falter during one of those tricky night games on the road later this season, such as the contests in East Lansing, Mich., and Madison, Wis., this fall. Then Buckeyes fans can go to the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis and have their fun – taunt both the winner and the loser of the game because, hey, what if the Buckeyes had been around for it? No one can say OSU wouldn’t have won. Yes, I can hear it now: “What if we were eligible?” My caution to each Buckeyes fan is that this very mindset is the real taunt. It’s the Scarlet and Gray-clad fans of Columbus that will suffer, not the fans in Ann Arbor, Mich., or Baton Rouge, La., or Tuscaloosa, Ala., or even Los Angeles for that matter. If OSU has the best record in its division or goes undefeated or loses only a single game as so many Buckeyes fans hope and then ascends to the top of the AP poll, well, there will be misery in the end. Everyone will walk out of Ohio Stadium on Nov. 24 after the Buckeyes beat Michigan, high-fiving and “what if-ing” the whole damn nation. But after the Buckeyes fans go their separate ways after that game, they won’t be reconvening in a tropical location where the team will play for a new addition to the trophy case. That’s it. All that’s left, really, will be speculation. All the “what if’s” will be rebuked by the college football fans of the world, and rightfully so. After all, you won’t even be sitting on the sidelines during bowl season – you and I will be sitting at home in frigid Ohio on our couches. “What if?,” an Alabama fan might say to a Buckeyes fan prior to the national title game. “What if Jim Tressel ran a clean program? Then you could join me in the stadium and we could find out what OSU’s really made of.” Then, the Alabama fan, ticket in hand, would smirk and turn to begin the final walk into the stadium in the tropical locale where he or she will meet his postseason destiny. Not Buckeye Nation, though. Not this year. You can “what if” and taunt all you like – the fact is that the rest of the country will proceed to the bowl games with all the pageantry and sparkly souvenirs. By no means does the postseason ban mean we should root against the Buckeyes or pray for a loss or two just so we aren’t tortured by the thoughts – the what if’s – of how we might have fared in the national title game, or some other BCS game. I don’t know what the alternative is. For my friends and readers numbered among those that are hoping OSU upsets the national postseason picture, maybe I’m hoping there’s an opponent lurking on OSU’s schedule that undoes all the potential “what-if’s” and puts to bed the notion that this team has national title potential. At least this would help prevent the inevitable heartache that will accompany theorizing about what OSU could have done. Can’t say I’m not looking out for you. All I’m saying is that Columbus is going to be pretty quiet and pretty unhappy as bowl bids are handed out in late November. ESPN won’t be talking about the Buckeyes anymore; the focus will inevitably shift to those teams left standing. No all-access TV specials. No flights to Miami or Pasadena. You couldn’t even go back to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl if you wanted to, not that many of you went back in January when you had the chance. No new T-shirts. No pep rallies. It will all be over. But doesn’t this sound like an empty fate to be actively rooting for? Think hard – is a would-have-been-BCS-bowl-eligible OSU team really what you want from the 2012 season? If so, you could be regretting that while you’re sitting on your coach watching the bowls in December and January.