Florida State puts a beat down on Syracuse football, 45-14, in SU’s final home game of season

first_imgSyracuse’s bench slowly trudged onto the field, many with their heads down, despite the clock being frozen with seven seconds left in the game. Brisly Estime had tears in his eyes, though he said he wasn’t emotional. None of the players mentioned a bowl game anymore, just playing competitive against Pittsburgh next week — none even mentioned a win.SU head coach Dino Babers declared a week earlier that Syracuse was down to its last strike. “Now we can’t miss a pitch. It’s a full count and if it’s close, we’re going to have to swing at it.”And the Orange (4-7, 2-5 Atlantic Coast) followed it up with a 45-14 blowout loss to No. 17 Florida State (8-3, 5-3) in the Carrier Dome in SU’s final home game of the year. By Babers’ logic, Syracuse struck out. But even he backed away from his statement when asked directly what the count is following the loss, opting not to address it at all.“I think we didn’t play very well against a very, very good football team,” he said in response. “I thought the defense gave us turnovers. I mean those guys are hard to stop. And defense gave us a lot of turnovers. (Estime) did some nice jobs on the special teams trying to give us an opportunity. Sean (Riley) did some nice things in the opportunity. But offensively it was just very difficult to move the ball.”SU no longer controls its own destiny. A win against Pitt in its final game would put the Orange in position for a bowl game, but only if 5-7 teams are needed to fill the allotment and if SU’s academic progress rate is good enough to get a bid.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMORE COVERAGE:Dino Babers: Eric Dungey hasn’t received second opinion on injuryGrade SU’s performance against FSU and vote for player of the gameSee how Syracuse fans reacted to the game on social media Syracuse couldn’t replicate the improbable upset of then-No.17 Virginia Tech from a month earlier that led to students and fans storming the field. Instead, it had fans streaming out of the Dome before the fourth quarter as its bowl hopes were dealt a near-crushing blow.The Seminoles scored on their first two drives of the game, going a total of 131 yards in nine plays and under four minutes. FSU quarterback Deondre Francois found two receivers for scores of 15 and 16 yards, respectively, with the help of blown coverages by the Orange.Even when the defense buckled down, the offense couldn’t capitalize. Zack Mahoney threw two picks and SU totaled minus-seven yards on two drives in the first half that started in FSU territory.The Orange fouled off a few pitches by way of a 46-yard Hail Mary pass to Amba Etta-Tawo as time expired in the second quarter for SU’s only score of the half. And a touchdown pass to Ervin Philips after FSU muffed a punt at its own 22.But none of its positive plays could erase the beat down that was happening throughout the rest of the game or clear the count on the season.Mahoney threw two interceptions and was sacked eight times. FSU’s Dalvin Cook ran for 225 yards and four touchdowns — only eight fewer yards than SU’s entire offense.When Orange cornerback Chris Fredrick recovered a fumble with 13 minutes left in the game there was no reaction from the crowd or the players on the field. Fredrick just jogged to the sideline with the ball and high-fived one assistant coach. Most of the fans had already left the 42-14 game anyway.Leading up to the Florida State game, Babers was still talking about SU’s first bowl game in three years. With two wins, the Orange would have been guaranteed a spot. But with one win, which is still possible, SU had what Babers called “a chance,” that it was fortunate to have.Afterward, his tone changed.“The main thing is we’re trying to send the seniors out on a proper note,” Babers said. “We need to go out there, and we need to play a good football game — a competitive football game down to the fourth quarter when we have a chance to win. And I think that’s the key to bouncing back from all this stuff and trying to send the seniors out on a positive note.” Comments Published on November 19, 2016 at 7:10 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettuscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Rural Alaska communities to get 16 million in federal energy grants

first_imgNaterkaq Light Plant:  $2,937,833 to install three 95 KW wind turbines, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)equipment, a 300 KW load-balancing boiler, 20 electric thermal storage devices and .75 miles of fiber optic upgrades. These systems will be installed in community buildings and residences and connected to the wind turbines via the electric distribution system. City of Pilot Point:  $842,900 to pay for shipping, installing and integrating a 100 kilowatt (KW) wind turbine and 16 electric thermal stoves into the powersystem in the City of Pilot Point. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium:  $690,388 to install solar photovoltaic arrays to reduce the operating costs of community water treatment facilities in Allakaket, Beaver, Holy Cross, New Stuyahok, Newhalen, Pitkas Point, Russian Mission and Sleetmute. City of Grayling:  $449,808 to build a heat recovery system that will capture waste heat from diesel power plant generators and transfer it through a glycol loop to the hydronic system in the City of Grayling’s water treatment plant. The recovery system is expected to reduce the costs ofoperating the water treatment plant. Alaska Village Electric Co-Op:  $3 million to build a 16.1-mile, three-phase overhead power line and upgrade four miles of single-phase distribution line. The overhead power line will connect a yet-to-be-constructed wind farm at Pitka’s Point that will run from Pitka’s Point to St. Mary’s and Mountain Village. NANA Regional Corporation:  $1,601,943 to install a battery and grid-forming converter in Buckland and Deering. This project will incorporate wind and solar photovoltaics and will build capacity for future additional photovoltaics to both systems. Jim Nordlund, state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency, speaks at a press conference announcing $16 million in energy grants for rural Alaska communities. (Photo by Graelyn Brashear, KSKA-Anchorage)The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency today announced more than $16 million in federal grants for energy projects in communities across Alaska. The federal High Energy Cost Grants fund projects in areas where households are paying at least 275 percent of the national average for their energy.Download AudioNine of this year’s federal grants went to towns, tribal organizations and utilities in rural Alaska. The awards range from $450,000 for the city of Grayling to build a system that will capture and convert heat from its diesel plant to $3 million dollars for Alaska Village Electric Co-op, or AVEC, to develop a grid that will connect towns to a planned wind farm in the Yukon delta.All the projects focus on the use of alternative energy sources or increasing efficiency—an effort to reduce dependence on diesel.At a press conference at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in Anchorage today, AVEC president Meera Koehler said the federal dollars make the difference in a state where the economies of scale for utility projects are so small.“It’s not as if it’s a gimme or a handout,” she said. “It really is critical to make these projects actually viable.”Patrick Boonstra works for Intelligent Energy Systems, which is working with the city of Pilot Point on the Alaska Peninsula to install a wind turbine and electric stoves with grant funding. He said funding renewable projects in rural areas is about more than just making energy cheaper.“It’s not just the new technology that’s very exciting, it’s involvement of the community, building the project, maintaining the project and all the training that goes into the people development and getting to a point where maybe Alaska exports its talent in microgrids, instead of just oil,” Boonstra said.Grant recipients still have work to do: In order to get their funding, applicants will still need to complete environmental reviews for their projects.Here’s the full list of grant recipients with details on their projects, as described by the USDA in its press release today:Alaska Power & Telephone Company:  $3 million to build a 1.8 megawatt twin-turbine wind project, and a 10-mile transmission line to connect the villages of Tok, Tetlin, Dot Lake and Tanacross. Currently, these communities are 100 percent diesel dependent. Asa’carsarmiut Tribe:  $1,308,104 to rehabilitate and weatherize the Asa’carsarmiut Tribe’s office and connect it to a biomass fuel boiler. New Koliganek Village Council:  $2,208,903 to replace the antiquated and undersized diesel electric generation power plant in the village of Koliganek with three John Deere engines, add modest wind generation and fund heat recovery improvements to enhance heating for the community center and school.last_img read more

The secret lives of leafcutting ants

first_imgRelated posts:Looking back: A microscopic wasp and other amazing Costa Rica wildlife stories Grab your binoculars: It’s Christmas Bird Count season in Costa Rica! PHOTOS: Every Costa Rica sloth image you will ever need to see Urban flocks (Part 1): 5 common birds of San José When looking for wildlife in Costa Rica, it’s easy to become fixated on the unusual mammals and vibrant birds, but one of the country’s most complex creatures lies underfoot.Living in massive colonies of up to 5 million members, leaf-cutter ants (Atta cephalotes*) have walked the Earth for millions of years. The resilient ants can even be found streaming through the street gutters of San José in their characteristic sea of green leaves. Moving along their forged path, each ant will carry a piece of leaf up to three times its own weight.Common sense would indicate that the ants feed on the tiny leaf pieces, but leaf-cutters actually use the clippings to cultivate their own fungal garden. To sustain this production, the ants have evolved intricate societies that are now among the oldest and most elaborate on earth.Three-way symbiosisLeaf-cutter ants’ millennia-long existence can be attributed to their relationships with other organisms. Using leaves cut from trees, the ants cultivate a fungus from which they feed. Studies show that leaf-cutting ants have been cultivating the same strain of fungus for at least 23 million years. Neither the ants nor the fungus can survive without the other, and this link is perhaps the best recognized example of mutual symbiosis, the dependance of two species on each another.The two species are so inter-connected that each new colony begins with both an ant and a fungal growth. A new queen will take a small bit of fungus from the colony where she is born before flying off. The queen will then mate before taking the fungus underground to form the new colony.The first days for a newly anointed colony queen are busy. Along with nursing her young, the queen has to begin growing a new fungal garden by feeding it with her feces. Soon, the queen’s first set of young are large enough to leave the nest to cut leaves to continue to feed the fungus. As the fungus expands, so does the colony.But the ants’ monoculture fungal garden is extremely susceptible to another type of parasitic fungus that the ants cannot ingest. Left uncontrolled, the fungus will form a white growth over the ants’ garden, rendering it inedible and leaving the colony to starve. To combat this threat, the ants — already the world’s first farmers — became the world’s first pharmacists.Female leaf-cutters carry a small patch on their cuticle that grows the bacteria Streptomyces. The ants spread this bacteria over leaves and fungi in the garden to kill other types of fungi. Not only does this particular bacteria ward off parasitic fungi for the leaf-cutters, but it also is found in more than half of the antibiotics in modern medicine today. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)The caste systemTo manage the enormous tasks required for a farming ant colony, leaf-cutters have divided roles, or castes. Leaf-cutters, like many insects, are polymorphic, meaning that within each species there are a number of different body types, each suited to a specific task.Queens, the colonies’ founders, have wings to fly off to start another colony, and are the only fertile female ants in any given colony. Their sole job is reproduction, which is aided by drones, or small, winged males that fly from colony to colony to help queens reproduce.The rest of the ants in the colony are infertile females tasked with protecting the nest and caring for the fungal garden. Soldier ants are the largest in the colony and, as the name implies, are responsible for guarding the other ants from predators. Next down the line are the workers, which forage and cut leaves and carry them back to the colony. There, they pass the leaves on to the smallest ants, the minima, which use their small size to work inside the colony tunnels. These ants are responsible for gardening, feeding other ants, caring for young ants and cleaning other ants and leaves.Leaf-cutters also divide themselves by age and ability. The colonies put their older, weaker ants to work in the colony’s garbage dump. These ants are quickly infected with parasitic fungus and usually do not live long. Their bodies then die in the waste dump away from the healthy ants.Biologists estimate that the ants manage to clear as much as 15 percent of the leaves in Neotropical forests for their fungal gardens indicating massive populations. Today the ants are among the most evolutionary successful creatures on the planet, having survived for tens of millions of years.So the next time you walk through the forest, turn your head from the trees and skies and direct your gaze down for a glimpse at the oldest society on the planet.*Note: There are seven species of leaf-cutting ants found in Costa Rica. Atta cephalotes are the most common.Also Recommended: 6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seenRead more “Into the Wild” columns here Facebook Commentslast_img read more