It’s time for Jimmy Garoppolo to find his mojo — before it’s too late

first_imgOn one hand, he’s a 26-year-old quarterback with only nine NFL starts to his name. He’s unquestionably talented, but he’s learning how to be successful at the highest level.On the other hand, Garoppolo has the third-largest contract in the NFL and was anointed the 49ers’ franchise savior after his transcendent play led the team to a 5-0 end to the 2017 … YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES?Pick against our pros all season long and win!***SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo is in a unique spot.last_img read more

Scientists Are Studying Your Garden for Ideas

first_img51; Your garden plants are visited by a butterfly and various insects as you sip tea in a lawn chair.  Did you have any idea that inventors are watching the same things with an eye to making money?  Or that military officers are getting ideas from the garden to use against the enemy?  Biomimetics – the imitation of nature’s designs – is on a roll, because some of the best design ideas are right in your yard.It’s a bird; it’s a plan:  Watch the video clip of Matt Keennon’s ornithopter at PhysOrg.  It’s a robotic mimic of a real hummingbird – size, shape, wings and all.  Like the real thing, it can hover and move in all directions.  The military wants to use such devices as “spybots” to enter buildings with tiny cameras.    The hummingbird makes it look easy: “Manager of the project, Matt Keennon, said it had been a challenge to design and build the spybot because it ‘pushes the limitations of aerodynamics.’”Moving plants:  Schoolkids are often delighted with touching the leaves of the sensitive plant, Mimosa, and watching how they instantly fold up.  PhysOrg reported that University of Michigan researchers are sensitive, too: they are leading studies of moving plants that are “inspiring a new class of adaptive structures designed to twist, bend, stiffen and even heal themselves.”    Where could these efforts lead?  “When this technology matures, [Kon-Well] Wang said it could enable robots that change shape like elephant trunks or snakes to maneuver under a bridge or through a tunnel, but then turn rigid to grab a hold of something,” the article ended.  “It also could lead to morphing wings that would allow airplanes to behave more like birds, changing their wing shape and stiffness in response to their environment or the task at hand.”Solar plants:  What uses sunlight better than a leaf?  Penn State researchers are trying to copy photosynthesis, reported PhysOrg, in order to make efficient fuels.  “Inexpensive hydrogen for automotive or jet fuel may be possible by mimicking photosynthesis,” the article said, “…but a number of problems need to be solved first.”  Thomas Mallouk at the university has only achieved 2-3% hydrogen so far.  He needs to aim for 100%.  His team is trying to figure out how to handle the “wrecking ball” of oxygen produced by his experimental solar cells, and how to channel electrons so they stop recombining.  Plants make it look so easy.Hear thee:  Chang Liu at Northwestern is fascinated by the hair cells of the inner ear.  Like many researchers with the biomimetics bug, he “is using insights from nature as inspiration for both touch and flow sensors – areas that currently lack good sensors for recording and communicating the senses.”  He’s not all ears; “Hair cells provide a variety of sensing abilities for different animals: they help humans hear, they help insects detect vibration, and they form the lateral line system that allows fish to sense the flow of water around them.”    This multi-application potential of nature’s design particularly impressed him: “The hair cell is interesting because biology uses this same fundamental structure to serve a variety of purposes,” Liu said.  “This differs from how engineers typically design sensors, which are often used for a specific task.”  Synthetic hair cells might be useful for anything from robots to heart catheters. Fly me a computer:  Last week’s Science (Feb 11) had an article by Jeffrey Kephart about “Learning from Nature” to build better computer networks.1  What, in nature, did he have in mind?  Fruit flies.  “Studying the development of a fruit fly’s sensory bristles provided insight into developing a more practical algorithm for organizing networked computers,” the caption said on a photo of the little bug’s bristly head.    Kephart explained that biomimetics has a long history.  “The tradition of biologically inspired computing extends back more than half a century to the original musings of Alan Turing about artificial intelligence and John von Neumann’s early work on self-replicating cellular automata in the 1940s,” he noted.  “Since then, computer scientists have frequently turned to biological processes for inspiration.  Indeed, the names of major subfields of computer science—such as artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, and evolutionary computation—attest to the influence of biological analogies.” (Note: evolutionary computation is a form of intelligent design, in which a scientist or computer selects outcomes from randomly varying inputs according to purpose-driven goals.)Crawl me a network:  Speaking of IT, ants are inspiring new ideas for computer networks.  According to PhysOrg, “Ants are able to connect multiple sites in the shortest possible way, and in doing so, create efficient transport networks,” scientists at the University of Sydney are finding.  Even without leaders, they solve this complex problem by making many trails and pruning them back to the best ones.    Ants are not the only inspiration for the next generation of networks: “The findings sheds light on how other ‘simple’ natural systems without leaders or even brains – such as fungi, slime molds and mammalian vascular systems – are able to form efficient networks, and can help humans design artificial networks in situations lacking central control,” Dr. Tanya Latty said.Firefly probe:  Science Daily told how scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs have made a probe of hydrogen peroxide levels in mice based on the chemical that makes fireflies glow: luciferin.  Their device seems reminiscent of Doc Bone’s hovering probe that could detect problems non-invasively: the new probe “enables researchers to monitor hydrogen peroxide levels in mice and thereby track the progression of infectious diseases or cancerous tumors without harming the animals or even having to shave their fur.”    How did Christopher Chang come up with this neat idea?  “The fact that in nature fireflies use the luciferin enzyme to communicate by light inspired us to adapt this same strategy for pre-clinical diagnostics,” he said.  Their PCL-1 probe has already passed a milestone and has found that hydrogen peroxide, “nature’s disinfectant,” is continuously made even in a healthy body.  Now they are working to improve the sensitivity of the probe.Roach model:  Hopefully your garden experience was not interrupted by seeing a cockroach in the kitchen when getting your tea out of the refrigerator.  Even so, Israeli scientists at Tel Aviv University are finding things to admire in the beasts: PhysOrg said, “Ask anyone who has ever tried to squash a skittering cockroach – they’re masters of quick and precise movement.”  That’s why “Tel Aviv University is using their maddening locomotive skills to improve robotic technology too.”  While we’s getting grossed out with bugs, the article added, “Cockroaches are not the only insects that have captured the scientific imagination.  Projects that highlight both the flight of the locust and the crawling of the soft-bodied caterpillar are also underway.”  Good.  Get them out of the house and yard and give them to the scientists.Chang Liu had one of the best recent summations of why biomimetics is such a hot trend: “Using a bio-inspired approach is really important,” he said.  “Nature has a lot of wonderful examples that can challenge us.  No matter how good some of our technology is, we still can’t do some of the basic things that nature can.  Nature holds the secret for the next technology breakthrough and disruptive innovation.  We are on a mission to find it.”1.  Jeffrey O. Kephart, “Computer science: Learning from Nature,” Science, 11 February 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6018 pp. 682-683, DOI: 10.1126/science.1201003.As stated before, biomimetics provides a breakthrough that can bring scientists together.  Evolutionists do not have to worry about how these things evolved, nor waste time and energy making up stories or building their shrines to the Bearded Buddha.  Creationists do not have to mention God and risk alienating their colleagues who don’t want to hear the design argument for God’s existence.  Everyone can agree that the designs in nature, however they arose, are fascinating, important, and worth imitating.  The public will benefit from the inventions that result.    Follow the biomimetic research lead, and pretty soon Eugenie Scott will be out of a job, because all scientists will be marching together away from Darwinland and into the promised land of nature-inspired technology, talking design without any need for help from those who already knew intelligent design is the inference to the best explanation.  The ranks of the Darwinists will shrink by attrition.  Why?  Nobody will be looking to them for answers (re: stories), when practical science based on design is winning the hearts and minds of everyone.  Books and lectures on garden-variety intelligent design will, by then, seem perfectly natural.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA to build more science centres

first_img“We also value the role that science centres play in teacher empowerment and in training mathematics, science and technology teachers on the best ways to bring their subjects to life in the classroom. South Africa plans to increase the number of science centres in the country in order to help young people realise their full potential, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor told the 6th Science Centre World Congress in Cape Town this week. “We are convinced that science centres are one of the most effective means available to help our youth reach their full potential in an informal learning environment,” she told delegates at the start of the 6th Science Centre World Congress at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Key areas of public investment Source: BuaNews The well-attended conference is being held under the theme “Science Across Cultures”. Set to run for the next four days, the summit will have many exhibitions and is bound to be propelled by robust debate and discussions. The Department of Science and Technology had created the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) to implement the policies of the department, and to carry out science awareness programmes of their own. She said the centres would be capable of developing “effective” outreach programmes, aimed at peri-urban and rural areas where they could offer “valuable services”. At the moment, South Africa has 26 science centres in eight provinces. Pandor said that there were five key areas of public investment in sciences in South Africa, including investments in space science and technology, biotechnology, building indigenous knowledge, and technology associated with climate change. 6 September 2011 “There is no doubt that a network of science centres would unleash the potential of millions of young African people, and promote science awareness on a continent that is rapidly embracing the digital age. She highlighted that South Africa was ready to share with other African governments and non-profit organisations “the experience that we have gained in putting together and implementing policies that promote science centre development in our region.” “Science centres can also play a major role in encouraging the youth to follow careers in science and technology, and to know which career path would suit them best,” she said.last_img read more

Cameron visits Team SA’s Ekhaya centre

first_img31 July 2012The golden boy of South African swimming, 100 metres breaststroke Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh, paid a visit to the Ekhaya Hospitality Centre at London’s Southbank Centre on Monday afternoon to show off his gold medal.Van der Burgh, accompanied by Team SA’s Chef de Mission, Patience Shikwambana, was welcomed by Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, Deputy Health Minister Gwen Ramokgopa and High Commissioner Zola Skweyiya.The Queen Elizabeth Hall was full of ululations and blazing sounds of vuvuzelas from South Africans living in abroad and those who are there for Olympics.‘It’s a great feeling’Addressing his fellow countrymen and women, Van der Burgh said: “It’s a great feeling winning the medal for my country. When I grew up, I used to paste posters of swimmers like Penny Heyns on my wall, and always believed one day I will be like them. Today I am living that dream.”He added that he encouraged the new generation to do more and better than him.Mbalula told Cameron that South Africa was proud of him.“You made every South African proud,” Mbalula said. “You profiled the country among the nations of the world and motivated your fellow athletes to do us proud by also representing on the podium.”Among those who came to congratulate Van der Burgh were SA Football Association president Kirsten Nematendani, musicians Thandiswa Mazwai and DJ Mahoota, Supersport’s Happy Ntshingila, businessman Sello Rasethaba, comedian Joey Rasdien, Team SA ambassadors Lucas Radebe and Cynthia Tshaka, and hundreds of South Africans.South African ‘home away from home’Located at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London’s South Bank Centre, the Ekhaya Hospitality Centre serves as a home away from home for South African athletes, fans and friends for the duration of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.The centre will be operational from 8am daily, with facilities including wi-fi and internet connectivity, meeting rooms, a media and business centre, a business lounge, function facilities, full coverage of all sports events, and a South Africa bar.Among other activities, the Ekhaya programme features a daily cultural exhibition; Olympic and Paralympic events broadcast on big screens; meetings for London-based local businesses to network; and celebratory events for Team SA.The centre is being run by a host of national government departments – Sport and Recreation, Arts and Culture, Trade and Industry, International Relations and Co-operation, and Tourism – in partnership with South African Tourism and Brand South Africa.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Pass “Go” in Monopoly Cape Town; go to Robben Island

first_img16 November 2015As part of its 80th anniversary celebrations, Monopoly launched its Cape Town version of the popular board game at the V&A Waterfront in the Mother City on Friday, 13 November.Monopoly Cape Town is the first in an expected long line of regional South African boards. Notable attractions made it into the game, including the Taj Hotel in Cape Town, Boulders, Muizenberg and Camps Bay beaches, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and Robben Island, among others.In May, fans were able to vote for locations to be featured. Winning Moves, licence holders for Monopoly regional editions from Hasbro, translated the Mother City into its 2D board game. Monopoly Cape Town features well-known attractions. (Image: Supplied)“We have been looking forward to bringing a Monopoly Cape Town edition to South Africa for a long time, and we knew that there was a big board-gaming community and many loyal Monopoly fans, but we have been overwhelmed by the passionate and enthusiastic responses we’ve received,” said Dan Taylor of Winning Moves. Players can reach Robben Island while playing Monopoly Cape Town. (Image: Supplied)“We’re extremely excited to see how it’s received and have high hopes that Cape Town will be the first of many South African Monopoly games to be launched in the next three years,” Taylor said.Monopoly made its debut in 1935 – and since then has been played by more than 500 million people. Today it is played in 111 countries and is available in 43 different languages.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

LIVE Draft Horse Shows – Tuesday, July 31st

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Working long hours on that office desk? Here’s how you can keep obesity at bay

first_imgSo, you work long hours in the office, and are happy with your career-oriented life. Of course you are, especially if you’re good at your job and love your profession with a deep passion. But how is that affecting your health?It’s quite a matter of concern that working long hours and a sedentary lifestyle–while contributing to our work productivity–are actually making us obese. We are so focused on our work that we stay glued to our desks at work, sustaining on coffee, tea, and very little physical activity.This, however, needs to change. A report by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), based on a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of obese people in the country have doubled in the last decade. And we are contributing to this negative progress by not taking the situation seriously, and making the few changes that we can.Also Read: #WorldObesityDay: Here’s why Indians are at a higher risk of obesity Picture courtesy: Pinterest/ROSI Office Systems Inc. If you’re wondering what to do to keep obesity at bay while at work, we have the perfect answer for you, especially to celebrate World Obesity Day. Geetanjali Bhide, a Mumbai-based sports and fitness nutritionist, has some recommendations that will help you stay active, despite being at work for long hours.1. Use stairs: Yes, taking the lift is faster. But try taking the stairs whenever you can. You can burn calories by using the stairs while both going up and down them, so make this a habit as soon as you can.advertisement2. Park cars away from place of work: Do this even if you have a basement parking at your office. It doesn’t matter if your walk from the car to your desk is long or short, but walking even a little bit will help.Picture courtesy: Pinterest/thewealthhealth.blogspot.com 3. Walk while talking on the phone: If you’re on the phone while at work, make sure you walk while talking. This way, you’ll get a little exercise without taking an actual break from work.Also Read: Working night shifts? You are at a higher risk of obesity 4. Take exercise breaks at work place: It might not seem viable, but you could actually take 10-minute breaks at work to stretch a little. There are a number of exercises you can do while at your desk, and you should try them as well.5. Offices should stock healthy foods cafeteria: Make sure that your office cafeteria serves at least some foods that aren’t oily or spicy, so that you can eat healthy while at work. Fresh-pressed juices, healthy snacks and bars should also be stocked.Picture courtesy: Pinterest/Walkingspree 6. Walk to a near by shop to buy groceries instead of ordering online: No matter when you get to or get off work, make sure that you don’t depend on online shopping for your everyday needs. Walk to the sabji mandi or your local grocer, and burn some more calories.Also Read: How Pilates can work wonders as an office regime  Apart from adopting these steps, you should try taking up a sport to indulge in during your free time. If you play a bit of cricket or badminton on your off days, you’ll be fit and fine. And if you want more detailed guidance, a plan that is tailor-made for you, consult a nutritionist.This will help you make changes in your eating habits as well as your lifestyle. Make a commitment to fitness, and you won’t be just a success at your workplace but also where your health is concerned.last_img read more

Photo: USC Interim Coach Clay Helton Wrote A Letter To “Trojan Family”

first_imgInterim USC Coach Clay Helton's letter to the Trojan family.Helton LetterClay Helton has taken over as interim coach at USC for the second time in his tenure, and he should provide the program with some much-needed stability. After assuming the head coaching duties, Helton produced a letter for the entire USC family, which USC shared on its official athletics Twitter account last night. Upon taking over as interim head coach, Clay Helton wrote a letter to YOU, the #TrojanFamily. #FightOn pic.twitter.com/dA6M7xCev8— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) October 14, 2015Classy move. Helton and his players will get their first chance to “Fight On” this Saturday when they take on their nationally ranked arch-rival Notre Dame at 7:30 PM EST in South Bend. The game will be televised on NBC.last_img read more

German government urges automakers to pay diesel upgrades

first_imgBERLIN – The German government is calling on automakers to pay for upgrades to diesel vehicles with excessively high emissions, as part of a deal to avert driving bans next year.A spokesman for the environment ministry said Friday that the government “can’t tolerate this refusal” by German automakers to shoulder the cost of fixing diesel cars.The head of Germany’s powerful auto lobby group VDI, Bernhard Mattes, had told Deutschlandfunk radio that manufacturers favour giving car owners rebates to buy new vehicles over hardware upgrades to millions of diesel vehicles.The ministry spokesman, Nikolai Fichtner, told reporters in Berlin that the upgrades have to start “very, very quickly” otherwise car owners may find themselves banned from driving in certain cities from October 2019.last_img read more

CIBC among top brands used in North American phishing attacks security firm

first_imgTORONTO – The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is one of the most commonly targeted brands used by cyberthieves in phishing attacks across North America, with a more than 600 per cent surge in fake email attempts in the third quarter, according to analysis by an email security firm.Vade Secure’s research shows that during that period CIBC was the lone Canadian company among the top 25 brands used by cybercriminals trying to trick people into handing over their credentials and confidential data, according to the France-based company’s engine.The Toronto-based bank was ranked 25th and used in an average of 5.3 new phishing links per day during the third quarter, an increase of more than 622 per cent from the previous quarter, the analysis showed.The email security firm’s chief executive Adrien Gendre said each of these links, which typically mimic official webpages, can be sent to thousands of users.It’s unclear what is behind the surge in phishing activity, but one factor could be CIBC’s launch of its Simplii Financial direct banking brand last year, Gendre said. When users are less familiar with what interactions to expect, they are easier to deceive with a fake email, he said.“Every new service, it’s a good target for phishing… People will click more on it,” Gendre said.Vade Secure, based in Lille, France, protects more than 500 million inboxes and its conclusions were based on the phishing attacks detected by its artificial-intelligence powered platform.CIBC said “cyber security is an evolving space that we monitor closely.“We have multiple layers of security in place and continuously invest to safeguard our clients,” spokesman Tom Wallis wrote in an emailed statement.The email security firm’s analysis comes as Canadian banks continue ramp up their spending on technology, including cybersecurity defences, and months after BMO and Simplii said that thousands of customers may have had personal and financial data compromised.In May, BMO said hackers contacted the bank claiming to be in possession of the personal data of fewer than 50,000 customers, and that the attack originated outside of Canada. At the same time, Simplii also warned that “fraudsters” may have accessed certain personal and account information for about 40,000 clients.A leak of user data is often followed by a wave of phishing attacks or a malware attack months later, Gendre said.A few years ago, grammatical errors or language mistakes would easily signal that it was fraudulent, but now these fake webpages are often indistinguishable from the real thing, Gendre added.The three top targets in North American phishing attacks during the third quarter were Microsoft, PayPal and Netflix, but other large Canadian banks were also among the 86 brands tracked by Vade Secure.Bank of Montreal was in 33rd place with phishing activity up 317.5 per cent from the previous quarter, followed by Scotiabank in 47th place with activity up 53.1 per cent. Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank saw a drop in phishing activity, down 91 per cent and 57.6 per cent from the previous quarter, respectively, to put them in the 49h and 62nd spots.However, during the second quarter, RBC was in the 21st spot with an 767.3 per cent increase in phishing links, according to Vade Secure.Gendre said cyberthieves typically cycle through different targets, switching to a new one as users become aware of the fake links and their attacks become less efficient.RBC’s vice-president of cyber operations and chief information officer Adam Evans said that as the bank increases its global footprint it becomes a bigger target for phishing attacks, but it has layers of security to protect against these kinds threats. The bank has also been increasing its cyber security budget and investing in technologies to mitigate this threat, he added.“Organizations that have a global footprint are going to be targeted more often and probably more frequently over time,” he said.BMO, Scotiabank and TD Bank did not respond to requests for comment.Companies in this story: (TSX:CM, TSX:BMO, TSX:BNS, TSX:TD, TSX:RY)last_img read more