Asteroid Sticks Together While Theories Disintegrate

first_img[Guest article]  In an story entitled “Rubbly Itokawa revealed as ‘impossible’ asteroid,” New Scientist Space reported on findings gathered from the recent visit of Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa to the asteroid Itokawa (see 11/28/2005 bullet).  There seems to be no end of problems for scientists trying to fit the solar system into billions of years.  Now they must deal with evidence that shows that asteroid Itokawa must be very young.  The article’s frankness about the severity of the problem is astonishing:What they found was completely unexpected.  “Five years ago, we thought that we would see a big chunk of monolithic rock, [we thought] that something so small doesn’t have the ability to hold onto any pieces,” says Erik Asphaug, a planetary scientist at the University of California in Santa Cruz, US, who is not involved with the mission.  “Everything we suspected about it turned out to be wrong.”Astronomers assumed that small asteroids would have to be very solid, like a single giant boulder, or else their weak gravity would have caused them to be quickly disintegrated by collisions with other rocks in space.  It turns out that Itokawa is about as solid as a sponge.  And to make it worse, collisions with small rocks, not big enough to break the asteroid apart, should, after billions of years, have caused it to pack into a more solid mass.  That compaction apparently never occurred:Measurements of the asteroid’s gravity field also suggest it coalesced from the debris of a previous collision.  Hayabusa scientists used the data – combined with measurements of the space rock’s size – to estimate its density.  It appears to be 40% porous, or filled with empty space.  “That is astonishing,” says Asphaug, adding that a handful of sand has a porosity of 20%.  “It’s very hard to get porosities greater than that.  You’ve got to start balancing things delicately, like you were building a house of cards,” he says.  “The only way to do it is to gently pack the stuff together.”  But that raises another mystery, he says, since repeated impacts with other space rocks over millions of years should have made Itokawa denser.  “Every time you have an impact, you’re going to tamp it down,” he says.The article mentions no proposed solution to the mystery.Some day it may begin to dawn on scientists that they are starting with wrong assumptions about time.  A loose collection of dust and rock just a few thousand years old would probably look just like what they found.  That explanation, however, is ruled out from the start because it conflicts with their preconceived ideas of the time required for evolution.  Is this objective science?—DK(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Our fielding is below international standard, says India captain MS Dhoni

first_imgMahendra Singh DhoniMore than 50 cameramen chase Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he travels in a convoy to offer prayers at the Deori temple, 65 km from Ranchi. With the World Cup within sniffing distance, the 29-year-old Indian captain is taking no chances. He is seeking divine blessings in every corner of the country, from Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu to Tirupati down south. In Ranchi, his fans have planned a three-hour-long puja at Lalkut Chowk Hanuman Mandir where Dhoni’s picture will be kept next to the deity. There are others who have left for Varanasi to do puja at the 300-year-old Sankat Mochan temple. Dhoni’s family has, however, appealed to fans not to offer animals as sacrifice at the Deori temple. In an exclusive 30-minute conversation at his home, Dhoni tells India Today’s Goutam Das that leading India in the World Cup is his life’s biggest dream. Also, it’s the greatest challenge. Q. So what did you ask the gods?A. I am in the hands of Deori Maa. Every time I come to Ranchi, I visit her temple. I still remember my first visit. I came here with my friends on a motorcycle before attending my first Ranji Trophy camp at Tatanagar. Whatever I am today is because of Deori Maa.Q. There are many in Ranchi who aspire to become like you.A. I am always there for them. I have formed the Mahendra Singh Dhoni Charitable Trust which organises cricket tournaments in Jharkhand to identify promising cricketers so that we can help groom them, either in India or abroad.advertisementQ. World Cups have been won by captains in the past: Clive Lloyd in 1975, Kapil Dev in 1983, Allan Border in 1987, Imran Khan in 1992, Arjuna Ranatunga in 1996, Ricky Ponting in 2003. The teams looked up to their captains, and they delivered. Is there pressure on you?A. I never allow myself to be pressured. If you notice carefully, captains have not exactly won the World Cups single-handedly. India’s victory in 1983 was a great team effort; Kapil Dev has said it time and again. I have always believed in teamwork. Leading the Indian team in the 2011 World Cup itself is a huge opportunity for me. I am only focused on winning the Cup. If that happens, we will be over the moon.Q. Critics say you need to be a little more adventurous than you have been in recent months.A. Really? Who’s saying that? And since when have I not been adventurous? Let them say whatever they like because they have a job to do. I will play according to the situation. How you play is important, so are the decisions you take on and off the field. But what is of supreme importance is that you need to win the match. Winning a match is the main thing because it eases pressure and prepares me for the next game. I will continue to play according to the situation. How can you enter the field with pre-set notions?Keeper of FaithDeori Maa is a form of Goddess Durga. Located nearly 65 km from Ranchi on National Highway 33, this is an 800-year-old temple where the 16-armed deity is worshipped. The temple also has a statue of Lord Shiva.”According to legend, this temple was built in the 13th century by a tribal king of Singhbhum who had taken shelter here following his defeat in war. He was blessed by the benevolent goddess, who helped him retain his lost kingdom,” says Dhirendranath Ojha of Ranchi University.During the Kol uprising of 1831, when tribals rebelled against non-tribal contractors and British loyalists in Singhbhum, a few rebels took shelter close to the temple. They were fired upon by the British Army. The temple’s outer walls still bear the marks. The Deori temple is built with stones hewn out of sandstone.There is a belief that the temple’s internal structure is not to be disturbed. Though the shrine is being renovated, no change has been made where the goddess is seated.- Vijay Deo JhaQ. Fielding is a major area of concern for the Indian team. Do you agree?A. I agree, especially when I look at international standards. We are lacking in this area. But we are trying to improve. I constantly keep pushing my teammates to scale greater heights on the field. I keep telling them that it is not enough to stop a run or take a catch. You need to be hyperactive on the field. You really do not know what happens next when you are under pressure and drop a catch and mess with run-out chances. It can actually take the match away from you. World Cups have been won and lost because of dropped catches and missed run-outs. We are working hard in this area.advertisementQ. It’s a great privilege to be playing in front of the home crowd. Does it put additional pressure on you?A. I know Indian fans. I am not denying that Indians are sentimental about cricket and a loss can make people go wild across the country. I know there is immense pressure on my team. But we will perform well. Everyone is geared up to the challenge. We have remained cool in some really tight situations recently.Q. So the team is charged up for the World Cup, right?A. The entire team is working hard. We have just returned from South Africa and it was an interesting series. It was great exposure for the side right before the World Cup.Q. Isn’t the Indian team plagued by several injuries?A. I don’t think so. There will be injuries and it’s for the coaches to reduce those. I do not blame IPL for a player’s poor show. The team is fighting fit.Q. Who will open the Indian innings in the World Cup?A. I cannot tell you this right now. It will depend on the day, the pitch and the situation.Q. This could be Sachin Tendulkar’s last World Cup.A. I want my Paaji to play the next World Cup too. I know what I feel every time he goes out to bat. While the world expects him to score a 50 or a 100 whenever he bats-some of my team members do the same-I just want him to enjoy his game. I don’t want to put any pressure on him. With Paaji around, we have turned around even the most impossible situations. I want him to play his natural game and other team members to give their hundred per cent. This is the World Cup. It’s not a joke.Q. How did Piyush Chawla make it to the side…A. Hold it. I will not answer this one.Q. Which team, according to you, will be the toughest opponent?A. All matches are important, all teams are serious opponents.Q. What happens if you don’t win the World Cup?A. I believe in positive thinking. Let our supporters pray for the team and let’s play some great cricket. The World Cup will be ours.Q. Will you miss playing at Eden Gardens?A. Oh yes, we will miss the majestic ground and those one lakh-plus sports lovers of Kolkata. It is not ready now, but I do hope it will soon be ready and host other matches.MAHI’S MARSHALLSThe nation vests its hope on Dhoni’s 14 to bring home the World Cup:Gautam GambhirWould love to open the innings. He almost quit the game when selectors preferred Robin Uthappa to him for the 2007 World Cup. Yoga and music are keeping him busy.Virender SehwagWill open the show with Tendulkar. Has the power to swing a match in just five overs. He wants Indians not to think they are a champion side.Sachin TendulkarWants to win the Cup in what could be his last chance. On a self-imposed silence to charge his batteries.Harbhajan SinghIndia’s leading wicket-taker now wants to be taken seriously as a batsman.Zaheer KhanIndia’s thinking speedster gave the 2003 final away but is now confident with a shorter run-up.Virat KohliLed India to the U19 World Cup win in 2007. No. 2 ODI batsman. Hits big, dreams bigger.Yusuf PathanHis coach wants the hard-hitter to occasionally show restraint. He is unlikely to listen.Piyush ChawlaAware of the controversy around his inclusion, he is consulting astrologers to ensure success.R. AshwinThe brilliant Tamil Nadu off-spinner wants a repeat of his very economical bowling in IPL 3.Ashish Nehra IPL brought him back from a four-year-long wilderness. He is consulting Andrew Leipus on his fitness and diet.Munaf PatelFirst spotted by Kiran More, the fast bowler now has cut down his speed and relies on line and length.Suresh RainaGuru Greg called him the Indian Brian Lara. He is confident of handlingthe short deliveries.S. SreesanthWept when the selectors ignored him for the World Cup. Now recalled, he promises to deliver without drama.Yuvraj SinghConsidered one of the world’s most explosive batsmen, his six sixes in an over won India the Twenty20 World Cup in 2007.advertisementlast_img read more

Contribution to the 2013/2014 Sectoral Debate by State Minister, the Hon. Julian Robinson

first_imgThe Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan sees the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) sector as playing a central role in the transformation of Jamaica over the next two decades on the path toward making the transition to becoming a developed country.[Watch the presentation LIVE]ICTs have become engines for social and economic growth globally. Their appropriate utilization can improve the lives of all Jamaicans and the vision is for Jamaica to utilize ICTs to attain developed country status by 2030. This will involve growth of the ICT sector and the application of ICT in all sectors and at all levels to achieve rapid and sustained development.1) Facilitating ICT Investment in the Economy:This is a critical component of the ICT value-creation strategy, which specifically concerns the reversal of our high ICT consumption-to-production ratio and accelerate our positioning as net producers of ICT innovations, with the capacity to satisfy local demand, and supply the regional and, ultimately, global markets.Download State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, the Hon. Julian Robinson’s Sectoral Debate presentation2) Improving the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Government through ICT:Targets the overall productivity, cost, and operational effectiveness of the Public sector with particular reference to the sectors responsiveness to the needs of citizens through the purposeful application of appropriate ICT solutions that are geared towards reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and increasing transparency.3) Stimulating Enhanced / New business opportunities in the local ICT sector: Ultimately, if the GOJ assisted in creating and exploiting opportunities for the ICT sector to participate in the aforementioned areas, the commercial incentive can lead to much needed capacity building, the development of the ICT skills of local developers and designers, and the emergence of new business models and entrepreneurial opportunities. We believe that the development of local ICT capacity and competencies must also seek to exploit the significant ICT business opportunities in off/near-shoring and business process outsourcing and seek to serve local and regional public and private sector ICT needs. Indeed, a focus on developing local ICT capacity will enhance the attractiveness of Jamaica as a near-shore ICT destination, given our other competitive geographical attributes…READ MOREDownload State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, the Hon. Julian Robinson’s Sectoral Debate presentationlast_img read more

Rep Howells jobs training data bill approved by House committee

first_img10May Rep. Howell’s jobs training data bill approved by House committee Legislation by state Rep. Gary Howell, which called for data sharing by the state government to colleges, job training agencies and intermediate school districts was approved by the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee Tuesday.Legislation introduced by Howell is part of a bi-partisan bill package to improve career training by requiring the state government to share employment information to evaluate programs and improve curriculums to better prepare Michigan residents for the job market. Current state law does not allow community colleges or job training agencies to access the information.“Job information is a valuable tool we have to combat our state’s unemployment and we should use it,” Howell said. “As Michigan continues to diversify its workforce, we will have more job options for our residents. However, we need to have the most up-to-date jobs training programs possible.”The legislative package includes a provision that requires community colleges and workforce development agencies not breach an individual’s confidentiality in using the information. Any violation is punishable as a misdemeanor.“These bills are an opportunity for us to make Michigan stronger and make better employment opportunities available to our residents,” Howell said.House Bill 4545, submitted by state Rep. Jim Ellison, and HB 4546, sponsored by Howell, advance to the House. Categories: Howell News,Newslast_img read more

Rep Glenn votes to protect underage sex crime victims

first_img House approves legislation to safeguard students on school property Categories: Glenn News,News 08Mar Rep. Glenn votes to protect underage sex crime victimscenter_img State Rep. Gary Glenn today voted in support of legislation to help local school districts better protect students who are underage victims of sex crimes.The three-bill package requires schools to permanently expel students who are convicted of criminal sexual conduct against another pupil enrolled in the same school district; prohibit an expelled student from attending another public school in Michigan unless they go through a reinstatement process; and, if a personal protection order is ordered for the victim of sexual assaults, the offender would be prohibited from entering the victim’s school.“This is purely common sense legislation because it is unfathomable that sexual predators can be riding the bus or be in the same classroom with their victims, just because both are legally minors,” said Glenn, of Williams Township. “If the perpetrator and their victims were adults, the law allows judges and police to severely limit contact and protect the victims, if not putting that offender in jail. Unfortunately, that is not the case for underage victims and we must address it.”Currently, a school is only required to expel a student who commits a sex crime on school grounds. The legislation was prompted by a recent Livingston County case where a 16-year-old was convicted of criminal sexual conduct against multiple victims as young as 12.“School campuses and communities must be kept as safe as possible – these bills are another easy step toward that goal” Glenn said. “We have to work together to ensure we are safeguarding all our students.”House Bills 5530, 5531 and 5532 advance to the Senate for its consideration.#####last_img read more