Hummingbird Metabolism a “Marvel of Evolutionary Engineering”

first_imgUnlike humans, hummingbirds are equally good at extracting energy from fructose as from glucose.  They are marvels of evolutionary engineering.  That makes perfect evolutionary sense.It’s uncanny how some reporters credit Darwin with engineering designs so good, we can’t duplicate them, let alone understand them.  Consider a press release from the University of Toronto about hummingbirds.  First, the marvels of engineering:Hummingbird metabolism is a marvel of evolutionary engineering. These tiny birds can power all of their energetic hovering flight by burning the sugar contained in the floral nectar of their diet.…they are equally adept at burning both glucose and fructose, which are the individual components of sugar; a unique trait other vertebrates cannot achieve.“Hummingbirds have an optimal fuel-use strategy that powers their high-energy lifestyle, maximizes fat storage, and minimizes unnecessary weight gain all at the same time.““What’s very surprising is that unlike mammals such as humans, who can’t rely on fructose to power much of their exercise metabolism, hummingbirds use it very well.“Hummingbirds require an incredible amount of energy to flap their wings 50 times or more per second in order to maintain hovering flight. In fact, if a hummingbird were the size of a human, it would consume energy at a rate more than 10 times that of an Olympic marathon runner. They are able to accomplish this by burning only the most recently ingested sugar in their muscles while avoiding the energetic tax of first converting sugar into fat.Hummingbirds are able to move sugar from their blood to their muscles at very fast rates, but we don’t yet fully understand how they are able to do this.…if a hummingbird were the size of an average person they would use sugar fast enough that they would need to drink more than one can of soda every minute eventhough it’s mostly made of high-fructose corn syrup.Now, how the credit is given to evolution:Hummingbird metabolism is a marvel of evolutionary engineering.From an evolutionary perspective the findings make perfect sense, says [Ken] Welch. Whereas humans evolved over time on a complex diet, hummingbirds evolved on a diet rich in sugar.It seems premature to attribute this high-efficiency, optimal design to unguided process of nature when scientists still don’t understand how the hummingbirds do it.  Saying it evolved doesn’t make it so.There it is again: that silly oxymoron, “evolutionary sense.”  If it evolved, it makes no sense, because sense makes no sense in Darwin’s universe.  Making sense requires a moral judgment from outside a system.  A system may work, but it cannot make sense apart from a mind.Then there is a second silly oxymoron, “evolutionary engineering.”  If it’s engineering, it’s not evolutionary, and if it’s evolutionary, it’s not engineering.  Engineering requires a mind, a plan, and the ability to organize parts for a whole.  Could an aimless, designless operation of chance bring together all the marvels in the first (engineering) list?Silly Darwinists treat evolution like a magic wand that can do anything.  More appropriately for this article, evolution is like high fructose corn syrup that, instead of providing energy for scientific progress, turns to fat in the brains of scientists hooked on Darwin-brand Yoda Soda.  Let’s enjoy hummingbirds for the engineering marvels they are without dragging Darwin into it.  To clear your head, go watch Flight: The Genius of Birds. (Visited 197 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Linda’s Lion sleeps – at last

first_imgThis is a story about numbers: 10 shillings, US$15-million, 70 years, over 160 covers and three centuries of continuous radio air play. It’s the story of a song we all know, the impoverished Zulu migrant worker who wrote it, the musicians and record companies who raked in millions for it, and the almost 70 years it has taken for his family to see justice done.full story: southafrica.infolast_img

Why Google Glass Is Far More Important Than Any Smartwatch

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… sarah rotman epps Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditcenter_img Tags:#app developers#app development#App Economy#Google#Google Glass This week has been full of news on wearable devices: First the report from The Wall Street Journal that Microsoft is fabricating a smart watch (whether it’s just a prototype or an actual product is not confirmed); then Google’s release of guidelines for developers building apps (known as “Glassware”) for Glass; followed by the news on Wednesday that Google will start shipping Glass units to participants in its Explorers program.(See also Google Glassware: How Developers Can Build Apps For Google Glass.)To put these stories in perspective, Glass is a much, much more important story than any smart watch story — whether that watch is made by Microsoft, Samsung or even Apple. Smart watches could enable new “glanceable” experiences that we haven’t had on other devices, enhanced by body-generated data, like the Basis smartwatch does today. But they won’t fundamentally disrupt social norms in the way that Glass will. At best, they’ll reinforce existing ecosystems for smartphones — i.e., iPhone buyers might buy an iWatch; an iWatch might displace some phone usage, but wouldn’t replace a phone altogether.Google Glass Could Be The Next Big App PlatformSmart watches are incremental steps forward toward the smart body future, but Glass is a giant leap forward in shoes propelled by rocket fuel. There is a very real chance that consumers will reject Glass, consigning it to the geeky niche of Bluetooth earpiece headsets. But if Glass succeeds, it could be the next iPhone: the next great platform for app development — not just for professional software developers but for non-tech companies like media, banks, retailers, hospitals and every other entity that wants to engage its customers or employees digitally.Three initiatives in particular stack the deck in favor of the Glass success scenario.First,Google’s transparent approach to product development gives Google insight into how consumers envision using Glass, identify concerns early and adapt its product and marketing accordingly, all while building buzz among socially connected early adopters. (Key fact: 68% of Glass Explorers have 1,000 or more followers on Twitter.)Second, the new Glass Collective seed fund from Google Ventures, Andreeson Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins ensures that Glass-related apps, accessories and other products get the investmeent they need to feed the Glass ecosystem — just as iPhone app startups got in 2008.The third initiative — Google placing restrictions on app developers in support of the user experience — takes on the biggest barrier to Glass adoption.Wearing Glass creates a new experience not just for the person wearing the device, but also for everyone near someone wearing the device. Initial curiosity could quickly fade to annoyance when talking to someone seemingly distracted by a display you can’t see.(See also 5 Socially Unacceptable Things You’re Going To Do With Google Glass.)And then, of course, there’s the anger and frustration you feel when your likeness is photographed or videoed, autotagged and shared without your consent or control.(See also Google Glass: Our Lives Are Not Reality TV.)We already live this every day on Facebook; Glass just accelerates the phenomenon. The hardest challenge for Glass to overcome is not making the technology work or attracting developers, but establishing social norms around the device that draw people in rather than making them want to run for un-surveillanced cover.Google Can Influence How People Use GlassGoogle can’t control consumers’ manners — if you’re rude enough to text on your phone at the dinner table, you’ll be rude enough to read texts on Glass in front of other people. Your rudeness is not Google’s fault any more than it is the phone manufacturer’s fault. Still, Google, Glass Collective investors and app developers can influence the degree to which Glass supports, rather than distracts from, human goals (see Adam Gazzaley’s research at UCSF to understand what I mean).Google is moving Glass in a positive direction, forbidding apps with advertising on Glass, forbidding apps to access sensors on the device and forbidding apps to track and share user data for advertising purposes – at least to start. The New York Times Bits Blog quotes Google advising app developers to “make sure apps do not send updates too frequently and to be sure to avoid doing anything consumers do not expect,” and get users’ explicit permission to do things on the user’s behalf.This is a smart move on Google’s part. It not only supports consumers’ interests but also makes it more likely that using Glass — and being around someone using Glass — will be a positive experience: The less intrusive and distracting the experience of using Glass is, the more Glass wearers can focus attention on the people they’re with or the task they’re trying to accomplish.(See also Is There Any Way To Jam Google Glass?)We will all play a role in shaping how Glass fits into our lives and our culture. Consumers must take ultimate responsibility for how they use the device, but it’s encouraging to see Google playing its part. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

NGO points out ‘exclusion errors’ in PDS

first_imgAs Odisha is set to roll out its own food security scheme from October 2, Rupayaan, a non-government organisation working on food and nutrition issues, has written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the exclusion and inclusion errors in the public distribution system and suggested measures to strengthen the programme in the State.Congratulating Mr. Patnaik for the decision to start the scheme for an additional 34.44 lakh people, Rajkishor Mishra, director of Rupayaan and former State advisor to the Commissioners of Supreme Court on Right to Food case, said he hoped that it will pave the way for universalising PDS in the State.On the process of identification and selection of beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act, Mr. Mishra said that fixing the number of beneficiaries on the basis of 2011 census has been a major reason for large-scale exclusion error in the underdeveloped districts of Odisha.Ignored factorsThe other major reasons for exclusion of beneficiaries have been the intra-State allotment made following the simple rule of aggregate ST and SC population and ignoring multiple deprivation factors such as migration at the district level. This has created a paradox where districts like Balasore, Boudh, Jajpur, Kalahandi and Nuapada come in the same bracket of 100% (i.e. 77% of total population), Mr. Mishra said.Nuapada district has more OBC population compared to ST and SC combined, and they are equally poor and have been migrating seasonally. However, while allocating the quota, these districts are being kept on par with Jajpur and Balasore. This has created problems at both the districts – exclusion error in Nuapada and probably inclusion error in Balasore and Jajpur, he pointed out.Mr. Mishra further said that there was no clear-cut guideline for intra-district allotment. In Kalahandi, tribal-dominated blocks of Thuamul Rampur and Lanjigarh were treated on par with irrigated blocks of Junagarh and Jaipatna, which put tribal regions in a disadvantaged position.District Collectors should be given a free hand for reallocating the quota based on development criteria set by the State government to further minimise exclusion and inclusion error at district and sub-district level, he added.Stating that food availability has decreased at the household level with transition from family entitlement to individual entitlement under the NFSA, Mr. Mishra suggested that the government should follow positive discrimination at the State, district and sub-district-level while making allotment, and underdeveloped areas be given utmost priority.Mr. Mishra said the government should also consider diversification of PDS and include dal, salt, edible oil and millet for ensuring nutrition security.last_img read more

Three New Members Join SEALNG Coalition

first_imgzoom Three new members have joined the multi-sector industry coalition SEA\LNG which aims to accelerate the widespread adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.Representing key aspects of the LNG value chain, international classification society Bureau Veritas, LNG solutions provider Clean Marine Energy, and Spanish natural gas utilities company Gas Natural Fenosa have joined SEA\LNG to break down the barriers to LNG uptake and assure its vital role as a clean and economically viable alternative to traditional bunker fuels.“We firmly believe that collaboration, demonstration and communication on key areas such as safety, regulation, emissions and the economic case are essential to providing the confidence and demand required for an effective and efficient global LNG value chain by 2020,” Peter Keller, SEA\LNG Chairman and Executive Vice President, Tote said.Keller added that with the addition of these members, the coalition is expanding its “knowledge and experience base, bringing us one step closer to achieving our vision.”Bureau Veritas’ involvement across the entire LNG fuel chain includes the classification of LNG-fuelled vessels, including tankers, ferries and cruise ships, as well as LNG bunker vessels, and LNG plant and terminal certification. At the end of 2016, Bureau Veritas had 22 LNG-fuelled ships in class with a further 39 under construction.“Bureau Veritas is committed to helping make LNG one of the preferred, and safe solutions for a clean shipping future, which is why it makes sense to work collectively with SEA\LNG members to achieve this,” Philippe Donche Gay, President, Marine and Offshore, said.The three new SEA\LNG members join a growing band of organisations including ABS, Carnival Corporation & plc, DNV GL, Eagle LNG Partners, ENGIE, ENN Group, GE, GTT, JAX LNG, Keppel Gas Technology, Lloyd’s Register, Mitsubishi Corporation, NYK Line, Port of Rotterdam, Qatargas, Shell, Total, TOTE Inc., Toyota Tsusho Corporation, and Wärtsilä.In late January, the coalition called for a collaborative approach to understanding the opportunities and tackling the associated commercial barriers to liquefied natural gas (LNG) in an effort to encourage its use as an alternative to traditional bunker fuels ahead of the global sulphur cap of 0.5% from January 2020.last_img read more

Mata lauds Uniteds complete performance

first_imgJuan Mata has described Manchester United’s emphatic 4-1 win against Fulham as the “complete performance”, and has called for more of the same.Mata scored the second goal as United thrashed a hapless Fulham side 4-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.It was an impressive first half from Jose Mourinho’s side as they were three goals up at halftime, and Mata was delighted with their display and urged his teammates to replicate yesterday’s performance in every game.“It’s not easy,” Mata told Sky Sports.“Obviously it’s a very good position to be, but it’s not easy to keep that level of intensity. Subconsciously you relax a little bit when you’re three goals ahead.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“They score so we needed to keep ourselves going and try to score again, which we did. It’s always important to be focused 90 minutes because by doing that we will be a better team.“I will say that today was a very complete performance. It was a shame that we couldn’t keep the clean sheet, but it was a very good performance.“A performance that the fans I think they have been waiting for and we know that we have to do this more often.”last_img read more

Prince Harry Meghan Markle win crown for fastest to 1M Instagram followers

first_img 0 On Wednesday, the couple also shared a post of Prince Harry meeting with people as part of his work in mental health.  Post a comment About an hour after the couple’s account launched, Instagram “partially crashed, preventing most users from being able to follow the account on first clicking the follow button,” according to journalist Benjamin Wareing.K-Pop star Kang Daniel previously held the Guinness record after joining Instagram earlier this year. He reached 1 million followers in 11 hours 36 minutes. Pope Francis, who got 1 million followers in 12 hours, held the record in 2016. The Royal Family is quite familiar with the social network. Its Instagram account has more than 5 million followers and over 2,400 posts. Even Queen Elizabeth herself has posted content to the account. Last month, the Royal Family shared a set of social media guidelines asking people to show “courtesy, kindness and respect” on its accounts. This came after Duchesses Kate Middleton and Markle became the target of hateful comments online. In January, Kensington Palace reportedly asked Instagram and Twitter to help curb abusive comments. Before her wedding to Prince Harry, Markle had deleted her social media accounts. It’s safe to say many people are happy to have her back. Instagram It may not be a crowning achievement, but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle broke an Instagram world record for reaching 1 million Instagram followers in under 6 hours. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images Prince Harry and Meghan Markle broke the Guinness World Record for being the fastest to get 1 million Instagram followers. The couple launched their account sussexroyal on Tuesday, reaching 1 million followers in 5 hours and 45 minutes, according to Guinness. At the time of publication, the account had 3 million followers. “Welcome to our official Instagram; we look forward to sharing the work that drives us, the causes we support, important announcements, and the opportunity to shine a light on key issues,” reads the account’s first post, which has more than 1 million likes.  Tags Online Share your voicelast_img read more

Cricket World Cup final ICC brazenly refuses to comment on umpires big

first_imgThe overthrows of Ben Stokes’ bat proved decisiveTwitter/Cricket World CupThe cricket world has been buzzing ever since retired Australian umpire Simon Taufel revealed that Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus – the two on-field officials during the World Cup final – had made a huge mistake that, probably, cost the Black Caps the World Cup.In the final over, Martin Guptill tried to run out Ben Stokes at the striker’s end by throwing the ball from deep midwicket to wicketkeeper Tom Latham as Stokes was hurrying back for the second run. The ball hit the bat of the diving English batsman and got deflected to the boundary.Taufel, on the very next day, said, in an interview, that, as per the rules, in the situation of a throw getting deflected off the bat and bringing runs to the batting team, that run, which the batsmen were looking to complete will only be counted if the two batsmen have crossed before the throw commenced. As Stokes and Adil Rashid, his batting partner, had not crossed when Guptill threw the ball, the second run should not have been given to England and Ben Stokes not kept on strike. The officials in the World Cup final are receiving huge criticismTwitterThis comment spread like wildfire on social media and led to even more criticism of ICC and the match officials. International cricket’s chief governing body had been quiet on this matter till now but has finally broken its silence.However, its response, far from providing closure, is bound to make the debate even more intense. The council has put out an evasive statement saying that, as per their policy, they do not comment on the decisions umpire make in the middle.”It was against the policy to comment on any decisions (made by the umpires). The umpires take decisions on the field with their interpretation of the rules and we don’t comment on any decisions as a matter of policy,” a spokesperson of ICC told strange reply suggests that the governing body wants to keep its hands off this debate. However, four years ago, when there was a controversy in the second match of the 2015 World Cup between hosts Australia and England regarding a decision that cost James Taylor of England his hundred, the council had accepted that a wrong decision was made.That decision, though, had no bigger effect than denying the batsman a personal milestone and didn’t have much bearing on the match, and certainly not the tournament. But this time, the stakes were as high as they could be. As a result, ICC has decided to stay mum. It would further damage their already-scarred reputation.last_img read more

Exploits of Satyajit Rays Prof Shonku now in English

first_imgStories of scientific exploits of the indomitable Professor Trilokeshwar Shonku, which have held readers spellbound for over five decades are now available in English. Prof Shonku, a character created by Satyajit Ray, is a globetrotting scientist and an eccentric genius and his stories open a completely new world of imagination.In The Mystery of Munroe Island and Other Stories, translated from Bengali by Indrani Majumdar and published by Puffin Classics, Prof Shonku is on an incredible world tour. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’During his course of travel, he confronts a daring doppelganger, undertakes an experiment to create pure gold, unravels the mystery of a scientist’s loss of memory and visits an unknown island to look for an amazing fruit, among other escapades.The Shonku stories first appeared in 1961 in Sandesh, a magazine for children that had been started by Ray’s grandfather Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury, in 1913. In 1916, it was taken over by Ray’s father Sukumar and in 1961 revived by Ray himself. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn all, Ray wrote and published 40 adventures —the last two appearing only as incomplete drafts. Out of these, 18 were written for the annual editions of “Anandamela”, another popular children’s magazine. Ray continued to write and captivate readers with the Shonku escapades for the next 30-odd years. So Shonku with a bunch of madcap characters try to find out what is the message in the mysterious papyrus found in Cairo and why did scientists go missing in the deep jungle of Congo. Or is there any truth about the sightings of the UFO and what happens when he takes an extraordinary animal to Koblenz in Germany. Prof Shonku is often accompanied on his sojourns by old friends. Saunders, Crole and Summerville, Nakur Chandra Biswas, his trusted servant Prahlad and his feline friend Newton.According to Majumdar, the Shonku stories offer a reader not just the suspense, thrill and excitement of the mysteries, but also present a wonderful travelogue across the world and the opportunity to study the scheming and devious mind of people in the garb of scientists, businessmen and ordinary citizens.“They take the reader to faraway yet imaginary lands while reiterating the eternal human values and emphasising right from wrong,” she says. Majumdar also wonders how Ray was able to give such accurate and graphic description of the countries and their cities as well as their life and culture at a time when there were no Google, Wikipedia or Google Maps.“Ray’s work is indeed a culmination of both hard work and research. He took the trouble to write to all the friends who lived in these distant cities he was planning to make Prof Shonku visit and talked to the local consulates and embassy officials for authentic information. He also procured maps, postcards and brochures of all these cities,” she writes. For veteran actor Victor Banerjee, Shonku’s worlds are an enthralling escape, a consummation, in a sea of troubles, devoutly to be wished. In the introduction to The Mystery of Munroe Island and Other Stories, he writes, “Worlds in which sailing ships sailed through Southern seas, in waters traumatised by Black Hole, Brandon the Pirate with a gouged-out hole for an eye, suddenly disappearing in the mysterious Bermuda waters with all hands on board, or flying to Tibet to hover over unicorns in Utopia, or where under the curse of an enraged fakir, Professor Shonku brings a dinosaur to life from its skeletal remains.” He says Ray “mesmerises you with extraterrestrial beings and potions and magic and inventions that are creations of a mind which dwelt in fantasies and romance that would one day produce Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, arguably the most successful film in Bengal?s fantastical box office history.”last_img read more

Apple at the Core of AdMobs Success

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. This story appears in the April 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » March 12, 2010 Mobile advertising network operator AdMob, the focus of Entrepreneur’s Innovators department last month (“The New Advertising Age,” March 2010), credits much of its growth to the release of new devices by Apple (notably the iPhone and the iPod touch) that create more demand for and consumption of mobile advertising. This annotated chart tracks how traffic on AdMob’s mobile ad network has expanded in step with Apple’s milestones. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 1 min read Register Now »last_img read more