Have You Heard ‘Blackstar,’ David Bowie’s New 10-Minute Song? It’s Weird

first_imgWith the recent news that David Bowie would be releasing a new album, Blackstar, in early 2016, the prolific songwriter has released the 10-minute title track from the release.The composition is typically bizarre, featuring some cosmic art-rock with chanting, classical elements, and a healthy mix of Bowie’s iconic vocals. The song fits in with some of Bowie’s space-themed compositions, like “Space Oddity” and “Life On Mars?,” but gears away from the radio-friendliness and into the depths of Bowie’s twisted imagination.Listen to the new release below:last_img read more

Nectar nurtures pitcher plant’s eating habits

first_imgNew research from the Harvard Forest shows that carnivorous pitcher plants use sweet nectar to attract ants and flies to their water-filled traps, not color, as earlier research had indicated.The work, which was among the first to experimentally examine the role of nectar in attraction by pitcher plants in the field, not only served to advance understanding of insect-eating plants, it also helped to improve science education at local schools. It was conducted as part of a National Science Foundation-funded program to enrich science training of local schoolteachers.The research, published Wednesday (May 6) in the journal Biology Letters, was conducted by Katherine Bennett, a fourth- and fifth-grade math and science teacher at J.R. Briggs Elementary School in Ashburnham, Mass., under the guidance of Aaron Ellison, senior ecologist and senior research fellow at Harvard Forest.Ellison, who has worked on carnivorous plants for more than a decade, said the work was spurred in part by Bennett’s interest and in part by a journal article Ellison had seen that concluded that color was the main prey attractant in a group of pitcher plants studied in a greenhouse in Germany. That study, which didn’t control for the presence of sweet nectar in the plants and which found that flies were the major prey, didn’t agree with the observations Ellison had made over his years studying the plants in the field. Ants, not flies, are the plants’ main prey, he said, and ants can’t see color, two facts that made him suspicious of the earlier results.Bennett meanwhile, was working at the Harvard Forest in a National Science Foundation-funded citizen-scientist program. She spent a season working with Ellison on ant inventories, and, in her second season, her initial idea for an independent project fell through, so Ellison set her to work studying pitcher plant prey attraction.Pitcher plants live in boggy areas where their carnivorous habits help compensate for the nutrient-poor soil. They are called “pitcher” plants because they are shaped like a slender pitcher or vase whose base is filled with rainwater spiked with digestive enzymes. The sweet nectar is produced on the pitcher’s outside and on its lip, where it not only attracts insects, but it also serves as a lubricant, helping prey slip inside. The pitcher’s inside surface is slick and waxy, and covered with tiny, downward-facing hairs that serve to keep prey from escaping the water below.Once an ant or fly falls into the trap, it drowns and sinks to the bottom where it decomposes, making its nutrients available to the plant.To find out what was going on with the plants, Bennett and Ellison created 70 artificial pitcher plants using 50 milliliter tubes. They painted them red and green, the colors found on natural plants, but varied the coloration from all red to all green, with different proportions in between. They filled the artificial pitchers with ethanol, a liquid commonly used in insect capture, and spread thickened sweet corn syrup in patterns on some of the fake pitcher plants. They then planted the artificial plants near real pitcher plants in Tom Swamp, a bog that is part of Harvard Forest in Petersham, Mass.They compared the results from the artificial pitchers with 25 natural plants that had had their liquid suctioned out and replaced with distilled water to control for the possibility that prey were attracted by the scent of decaying insects inside.The results, Ellison said, were about as clear as they get. Natural pitcher plants caught 357 insects while the pseudo-pitchers with the sweet syrup caught 344. The pseudo-pitchers without the sweetener, by contrast, caught only 62 insects.“The results showed that plastic pitchers with sugar catch the same amount of ants and flies as natural pitcher plants, and if you take the sugar away, nothing gets captured,” Ellison said.The work, Ellison said, furthers an argument that has continued for 100 years over how pitcher plants attract their prey. Despite those clear-cut results, however, the argument isn’t yet entirely settled. Because the plants’ coloration occurs in elaborate patterns of red veins — patterning that was not explored in the current work — experts in the field have suggested the need for further exploration of the interplay between nectar and color.Thus, Ellison and Bennett will focus this summer on the exact location of the nectar on the plants to see if the red vein pattern serves some yet unseen purpose.In the meantime, Bennett and her students continue to reap the benefits of her involvement. Bennett said she got involved in research at Harvard Forest to improve her science teaching, but said the work was also personally rewarding. Though moving through the bog was challenging, she said the quiet days there were peaceful.“I wanted to get involved because I love teaching science, but I felt I was lacking in science knowledge,” Bennett said.Since she began working at the Harvard Forest four years ago, Bennett has taught units on ants and on forest ecology, aided by advice from Ellison.“Anytime I have a question, we know where the experts are,” Bennett said. “This has made me a much better a science teacher.”last_img read more

Carla Jean Lambert Nero

first_img Next Up Carla Jean Lambert Nero passed away on November 14, 2019, in her sleep, in her bed, in her home, the exact way she wanted. You are invited to join family and friends for a Celebration of Life on November 23, 2019 at Le Cottage Event Hall, 1227 Dallas St in Port Neches (The old Post Office) from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.last_img

Breathing In vs. Spacing Out

first_imgThe New York Times:Two and a half millenniums ago, a prince named Siddhartha Gautama traveled to Bodh Gaya, India, and began to meditate beneath a tree. Forty-nine days of continuous meditation later, tradition tells us, he became the Buddha — the enlightened one.More recently, a psychologist named Amishi Jha traveled to Hawaii to train United States Marines to use the same technique for shorter sessions to achieve a much different purpose: mental resilience in a war zone.“We found that getting as little as 12 minutes of meditation practice a day helped the Marines to keep their attention and working memory — that is, the added ability to pay attention over time — stable,” said Jha, director of the University of Miami’s Contemplative Neuroscience, Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative. “If they practiced less than 12 minutes or not at all, they degraded in their functioning.”Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

LAPD Offers Reward On Los Alamos Business Break-In Spree

first_imgScene of the break-in overnight at Viola’s Restaurant at 1360 Trinity Dr. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Scene of the break-in overnight at Top Nails & Spa in Mari Mac Village Shopping Center. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comBy CAROL A. CLARKLos Alamos Daily [email protected] Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone and Cmdr. Oliver Morris spoke with the Los Alamos Daily Post this morning and shared details on the break-ins overnight at multiple businesses around the community.Cmdr. Morris confirmed that the thief or thieves broke into Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu Gym at 1183 Diamond Dr., stole keys to a van and took it on a break-in spree of businesses around town. The van also was used to ram into the front glass window at Subway on Central Avenue to gain access to petty cash and other items.Other known businesses broken into overnight are Viola’s Restaurant at 1360 Trinity Dr., three businesses in Mari Mac Village Shopping Center including Daniel’s Cafe, China Palace and Top Nails as well as Petree Garden Center & Florist at 2470 East Road.“Officers responded to the initial alarm within five minutes of the call at 1:35 this morning, arriving at 1:40 a.m.,” Cmdr. Morris said. “We had two detectives respond and have stepped up all of our business checks. We are committed to our small businesses … we will make these cases a top priority.”Chief Sgambellone explained that many businesses are closed down due to the pandemic. People are out of work and some of those people are getting desperate.“We want to encourage businesses to be extra vigilant and not leave any valuables inside their businesses,” Chief Sgambellone said. “We are asking anyone with information about these break-ins to contact us.”Cmdr. Morris expressed his anger that these crimes occurred in this community.“This infuriates me … our small businesses are complying by being closed during the COVID-19 public health emergency and we are not going to let Los Alamos be a place where criminals come to burglarize our businesses,” Cmdr. Morris said, adding that police have now acquired video footage of the suspects and will be sharing that with the community shortly … check back at ladailypost.com.The police department is offering a $250 reward to anyone with information that leads to the identification or arrest of the culprit or culprits involved in these break ins, Cmdr. Morris said. Anyone with information is urged to call the Los Alamos Police Department at 505.662.8222 or crime stoppers at 505.662.8282. Reporting individuals can remain anonymous. Scene of the break-in overnight at Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu Gym at 1183 Diamond Dr. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Scene of the break-in overnight at China Palace in Mari Mac Village Shopping Center. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.comcenter_img Scene of the break-in overnight at Daniel’s Cafe in Mari Mac Village Shopping Center. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com Scene of the break in at Petree Garden Center & Florist at 2470 East Road. Courtesy/Petree Gardens FBlast_img read more

Registration Open for Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2013

first_imgYou are invited to join us in Amsterdam for Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2013 at Amsterdam RAI on October 15 & 16.Meet new customers and partners, as well as strengthen your relations with existing clients. Explore best practices and new developments. Whether you are interested in doing business in Europe, looking for European partners or promoting your global presence. Let Offshore Energy be your platform for the future!Registration is FREE for attendeesREGISTER NOW! See you in Amsterdam!Date: 15-16 October 2013Venue: Amsterdam RAI, the NetherlandsOrganizer: Navingo BVSupported by: IRO, NOGEPA, Holland Shipbuilding AssociationIn association with: Development Company Holland North (NHN)Website: www.offshore-energy.biz Add Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2013 dates to your Outlook calendar (select Open when prompted).center_img Visit Offshore Energy and meet:> 8,500 visitors> 500 exhibitors> 900 conference delegateslast_img read more

Ready for his closeup now…

first_imgIt’s no secret that not all members of the Lords were desperately keen on upping sticks and moving to some new fangled Supreme Court. But former lord chief justice, Lord Phillips (pictured), was always in favour. He was conscious of the importance of a visible separation between the parliamentary chamber and the judicial court, of course. But in a speech at Gresham College last week, Phillips shed some light on a few of the other perks that have been garnered from the move. ‘Working conditions were not ideal in the law lords’ corridor, even if they were the envy of other members of the House, and our judicial assistants had to be housed in the attic, their numbers restricted by constraint of space,’ he said. But in the new court, ‘the justices are well accommodated in spacious rooms, albeit that most of these are in the attic. There is an excellent open plan office for our secretaries and judicial assistants. We have a handsome library, a well-proportioned dining room and a sitting room’. It is always good to know that the senior judiciary has been provisioned with suitable creature comforts. But was there perhaps just the slightest hint of envy in Phillips’ observation that: ‘The grandest accommodation has been allocated to the lawyers, consisting of a suite of panelled rooms.’ More pleasant amenities are not the only improvement on the old gaff, however. Phillips also approves of the new, more media-friendly setup of the court. And it turns out he has quite a flare for playing to the gallery. He explained: ‘Where a judgment is delivered… the judge delivering [it] will prepare a short oral statement of its effect. Where the case is one of general public interest this is likely to be broadcast as part of the news.’ With uncharacteristic immodesty, he added: ‘I have become quite good at this and am at risk of turning into a TV personality.’ Quite so. Obiter looks forward to Phillips’ forthcoming jungle appearance in the next series of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.last_img read more

Lifting the lid on ‘hackgate’

first_img Gill Phillips is director of editorial legal services at Guardian News & Media Ltd As we all now know, News International last month settled 37 of the civil claims brought against News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publisher of the now defunct News of the World (NoW). The total declared damages (not including costs) was £645,000, although the actual figure is certain to be higher as a number of people have not revealed the details of their settlements. These follow a number of earlier high-profile settlements with celebrities such as Sienna Miller, Andy Gray and Kelly Hoppen. In October, Milly Dowler’s family accepted £2m in compensation over revelations that their daughter’s phone was hacked by the NoW. What is stunning about last month’s High Court proceedings is the sheer breadth and impact of hacking on its victims. It seems, by all accounts, to have been a systemic approach to doing journalism at the newspaper over a long period. In June 2008, after the convictions of Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman in 2007, NGN settled, on confidential terms, a number of civil claims for breach of privacy, with large sums being paid to Gordon Taylor and Max Clifford. The NoW said at the time: ‘From our own investigation, but more importantly that of the police, we can state with confidence that, apart from the matters referred to above, there is not and never has been evidence to support allegations that News of the World journalists have accessed the voicemails of any individual.’ The Press Complaints Commission also investigated and concluded that phone hacking was a minority activity, confined to one rogue reporter, and that the practice had been thoroughly investigated and stamped out. Continuing the legal paper trail, in 2009 a group of claimants issued proceedings against NGN. In early 2010, applications for disclosure were made in the case of Sienna Miller, forcing NGN to reveal evidence, which referred to another senior journalist on the NoW. The cat was out of the bag. In April 2011, Mr Justice Vos – who presided at last month­’s hearing – decided that all the claims should be heard together with certain lead claims being treated as test cases. NGN continued to defend almost all the claims. By October 2011, more than 60 claims had been issued and 12 firms of solicitors were working together as a coordinated group. This group obtained a number of crucial disclosure orders from the court. As a result, documents relating to the nature and scale of the alleged conspiracy, cover-up and destruction of evidence (including email archives) by NGN came to light. Last month’s announcements have been carefully worded. NGN agreed to compensation being assessed ‘as if’ senior employees and directors of NGN knew about the wrongdoing and sought to conceal it by deliberately deceiving investigators and destroying evidence. NGN made no formal admissions of guilt. The sums paid are higher than the usual range of compensation payments for misuse of private information, reflecting the aggravating features in these cases and the strong public revulsion they engendered. The statements were made by NGN, as the first defendant, and not by Mulcaire, who has said that he was not involved in agreeing to these statements. While this might be the end for a considerable number of the victims, it is in reality only the tip of the iceberg. While the High Court was told that a number of other victims are also close to settling, some, including singer Charlotte Church, Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes and sports agent Sky Andrew are still intending to pursue their actions to trial, due to start on 13 February. The trial is expected to give guidance on damages for current and future lawsuits and out-of-court settlements. The ongoing police investigations will continue. The Leveson Inquiry, currently engaged in an analysis of the culture, practices and ethics of the media, still has to look at the relationship between the press and the police, and the press and politicians. What Leveson has heard to date has turned the heat up on demands for reform of the PCC, not least when it comes to policing the conduct of journalists. There is an emerging consensus for reform, with a reshaped PCC, independent of the press and government, and recognised by statute. The idea of the reformed body acting as a tribunal to adjudicate in the first instance on defamation and privacy claims is also gaining ground, and has been floated by the commission’s new chairman, Lord Hunt of Wirral. There is, indeed, much more of this story to come.last_img read more

Operail seeks to enter Finland’s rail freight market

first_imgFINLAND: Estonian freight operator Operail has established Operail Finland Oy with the aim of entering the country’s rail market.It plans to invest €50m to develop the business and acquire rolling stock, as part of its strategy of diversifying its activities with new services, products and markets.Management board member Paul Lukka said Operail would be able to provide added value through the provision of high quality and reliable services. ‘We have received a very positive response from Finnish customers and various stakeholders’, he said. ‘Further competition in the market is welcome and will contribute to the competitiveness of the whole sector.’Operail Finland is headed by Ilkka Seppänen, who formally worked for Finnish national railway group VR’s freight business. ‘Seppänen knows all the important stakeholders and customers, and his knowledge and experience in the railway sector is undoubtedly extraordinary and invaluable’, said Lukka.last_img read more

Military airstrike kills armed bandits in northwest Nigeria

first_imgArmed gang kills at least 20 in northwest Nigeria Nigeria’s military commanders shift command base Nigerian troops are already fighting the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency in the northeastern part of the country and were deployed last year to the southern Niger Delta region, and the southeast, to ward off oil vandalism and decrease the influence of secessionists. Image courtesy: Nigerian Army Nigerian troops conducted an airstrike killing several bandits in Northwest Nigeria. Image courtesy: Nigerian ArmyAn airstrike by Nigerian troops has destroyed a camp of an armed group inside Kagara Forest in the northwest state of Zamfara and killed several bandits, a military spokesman said Wednesday.The mission was conducted on Monday after intelligence reports indicated heavy presence of the armed bandits, along with a large number of rustled livestock, in a portion of the forest, said John Enenche, a military spokesperson in a statement reaching Xinhua.He said the intelligence was later confirmed by series of aerial surveillance missions, leading to the air bombardment on the location.According to the spokesman, the command in charge of that part of the country dispatched air force fighter jets to engage the location, with their ammunitions hitting the targets leading to the killing of some of the armed bandits.He said some of them who were seen attempting to escape camouflaged in between the livestock were taken out in follow-on attacks.Relatedcenter_img Armed bandits kill at least 18 in Nigeria’s Katsina statelast_img read more