Everton star linked with move

first_imgChelsea are set to table a bid for Everton star Jack Rodwell when the transfer window opens next month, according to the Daily Mirror.The promising midfielder is said to be rated at £20m by Everton, who are determined to keep him at Goodison Park.The Mirror also suggest that Chelsea duo Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou are being offered big-money moves to Russia.Zamora’s future is in doubt.Malouda is said to be wanted by mega-rich club Anzhi Makhachkala while Kalou, whose contract expires at the end of the season, is believed to be a target for both Lokomotiv Moscow and billionaire-backed Anzhi, who would be willing to double his current wages.Metro say Bolton are ready to cash in on England defender Gary Cahill, who has been linked with Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.And Bobby Zamora’s future at Fulham remains under scrutiny, with the Daily Mail reporting that the striker has been told to train with the reserves.This page is updated throughout the day. Monday’s Paper Talk: Local clubs linked with swoopslast_img read more

Strange and Wonderful Animals Explored

first_imgLook at what scientists are learning about some common animals, and others not so common.Bee football. Don’t think of them as bumbling idiots. Bumblebees can learn football by watching, and then improve on it, says Science Magazine. Watch the video on Live Science: call it golf, soccer or whatever, but it’s pretty cool. The bees figure out how to get a treat by rolling a ball into a hole. Their companions can then learn how to do it for themselves, even with balls of different colors. “These findings suggest with convincing evidence that a miniature brain is not necessarily simple, but can solve an impressively complex task,” the lead author said.The color of naked zebras. If you shaved a zebra, would it still have stripes? No, says National Geographic; the skin under that striped fur coat is a uniform black. Surprisingly, so are polar bears; their fur looks white because the hairs are transparent, refracting light. Giraffes have a uniform tan color under their spots. The big cats like lions and leopards, though, do continue to show patterns on their skin when veterinarians need to shave off fur for whatever reason, such as to draw blood samples. This is probably because the pigmentation continues into the hair follicles on those mammals. You can learn about more animal patterns in Liz Langley’s revealing article.How the fish got its spots. Speaking of animal patterns, some Russian scientists believe they have figured out how spots grow on a certain kind of catfish – at least, they have developed a model. The model describes how certain morphogen proteins move during development. It doesn’t however, explain where the proteins came from, or what designed the finished pattern. “The approach creates the preconditions for the development of mathematical models for increasingly diverse morphological forms in embryogenesis,” Phys.org says, making it clear that the work only starts to begin to commence on an explanation. “The researchers are already currently working on its further experimental confirmation.” No mention of evolution in this piece.Catfish world record. A giant Amazon catfish may not only top the heavyweight scales, but sets a distance record, too. This six-foot dorado catfish reported by Live Science can travel over 7,200 miles in Amazonian waterways, the longest migration of any freshwater fish known, including salmon. “The amazing thing, looking at it in terms of evolution, is that these fish evolved with the entire system,” a researcher said. So does natural selection operate on rivers, too?Brown recluse inspiration. A feared poisonous spider has a redeeming virtue: a web that is inspiring new materials. “Brown recluse spiders use a unique micro looping technique to make their threads stronger than that of any other spider,” Phys.org says. Engineers are even thinking of using a similar design to capture space debris. Incidentally, Medical Xpress cautions that some skin conditions are misdiagnosed as bites from brown recluse spiders.Flies on manure. Yuck! How can flies stand it? They buzz around manure as if in a candy store. Phys.org says that, remarkably, “housefly’s love of manure could lead to sustainable feed.” How is that possible? Well, for one thing, the larvae of flies help biodegrade the manure. In the process, those protein-rich larvae could replace fishmeal from aquaculture as the feed of choice for livestock. “I think feed from insects is the future of animal farming,” one Cornell researcher said.Hagfish slime. Those two words sound creepy alone, let alone together. But scientists are interested in the hagfish’s ability to spew out a sticky slime that “unfolds, assembles and expands into the surrounding water in response to a threat,” Phys.org explains. The slime, created by special cells, has unique properties that change over time. That’s giving ideas to inventors.“We now know that this material, 10,000 times softer than Gelatin, isn’t just an ultra-soft elastic solid as earlier believed,” Chaudhary said. “Rather, it has very interesting time-dependent properties. Its concentration-dependent properties are very different compared with many other biopolymer or synthetic systems. Such properties make slime distinctly ideal for assembling under uncontrolled conditions.“Slime has a myriad of potential applications. For example, it could plug or slow leaks from oil drilling equipment, or provide cell cultures with a sparse network of fibrous elements that may offer unique tissue scaffolds architectures and even support 3-D cell cultures.Flashlight fish. There’s actually a fish with eyes that light up. PLoS One tells about Anomalops katoptron, the “Flashlight Fish” that uses bioluminescent light to detect prey in the dark. And get this: they blink their lights nine times a minute, but increase the rate to 90 times a minute or more when honing in on their food. They hide out in reef caves and crevices during the day, then come out at night to hunt with lights a-blazing. The actual light is produced by symbiotic bacteria that live in their eye sockets.Zebrafish eyes. Those who think eyes were easy to evolve should read an article in Phys.org about eye development in simple zebrafish. Studying how eyes grow in fish embryos can help us understand our own eyes. “There are many different structures in our eyes that work in conjunction to allow us to see,” Sarah Wong writes. “These structures are strikingly similar between different species, from zebrafish to humans. The growth of ocular tissues must be tightly controlled in order to maintain the correct eye size and shape that allow us to see.” Cells proliferate in distinct regions, for instance, and migrate into position. Even smaller, specific proteins interact in complex ways, creating physical forces that push and pull structures as needed; other proteins “glue” parts together to form tissues such as the lens and retina. All these parts, carrying out their roles independently, have a common goal: helping the animal to “see the world with fresh eyes.”Primate eyes. The high-resolution spot at the center of our vision, called the fovea, is unique to humans and other primates, Science Daily says. What shapes the fovea’s unusual perceptual qualities? It’s not just that the rods and cones are packed more tightly at that spot; there are also specializations in the ganglion cells and image processing of the underlying neurons. “The latest study provides one of the first glimpses into how the fovea works at a cellular and circuit level,” the article points out. “It turns out to be very different from how other regions of the retina operate.” The researchers appear interested in the structure and function of vision down to the cellular level; there was no mention of evolution.Underwater dawn chorus. Farm hands know about chickens and birds squawking and singing up a storm at daybreak. It turns out that coral reef fish have a similar tradition. New Scientist tells about recordings of a fishy “dawn chorus” just like birds. You can hear a sample recording embedded in the article.Echolocating mouse. The first known case of echolocation in a tree-dwelling mammal is reported by New Scientist. The Vietnamese pygmy dormouse seems to use ultrasonic calls to guide its motion. Could this be a transitional form for the well-known ability in bats? Mice and bats seem to have some looks in common, don’t they? The scientists seem interested in drawing that connection, but two facts fly in the face of it: (1) The earliest bats seem to have already had echolocation well developed, and (2) Bats are not related to rodents, “so the dormice would have gained their ability to echolocate independently rather than from an ancestor common to them and bats.”Fallen log cities. Insects love it when forest trees fall in a windstorm. According to Phys.org, Swiss researchers found that “storm-ravaged woodland is approximately twice as rich in insect species as undamaged forest. This is because many endangered forest insects benefit from the open forest areas left behind by storms.” About a quarter of all forest-dwelling organisms depend on dead wood. It’s probably not a good idea, then, to remove fallen logs; they form an essential part of the forest ecology.The monster in the rocks. What is the “Tully monster?” This bizarre marine animal, the state fossil of Illinois, has defied classification for decades. Science Daily says that recent claims it’s a kind of vertebrate fish have been overturned. That means the mystery of this weird animal is far from solved. Its eyes are on long stalks, and it has a long pincer-like organ in front. Now, researchers think it had no backbone, Live Science adds. About 1,200 fossil specimens have been recovered. They’re not arthropods; they’re not vertebrates; what are they? The monster mystery continues.Mammoth meltdown. We end with a favorite extinct creature, the wooly mammoth. The population living on Wrangel Island apparently died out due to “mutational meltdown,” Science Daily says – i.e., too much inbreeding. This sad case of genetic entropy, as Dr. John Sanford has called it, “also offers a warning to conservationists: preserving a small group of isolated animals is not sufficient to stop negative effects of inbreeding and genomic meltdown.”We hope you enjoyed this tour of amazing creatures that live, or have lived, on this privileged planet. Our Creator gave us plenty of scientific work to do to figure out how they live, and move, and have their being. (Visited 77 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

A reviews of jetBlue’s Even More Space(EMS) seats.

first_imgWhen jetBlue first arrived on the scene in 1999, it billed itself as a low cost carrier offering better than low cost service. Their fleet of all new Airbus A320s was equipped with dark blue leather seats plus free satellite TV, and the airline certainly delivered on their promise. Today, Premium Economy service generally offers passengers more leg room plus additional amenities such as early boarding, or perhaps free food and inflight entertainment for a reasonable price. On jetBlue’s ‘Even More Space’ (EMS), some of those niceties are offered, and some are not. The key here is the type of aircraft, as the EMS experience was noticeably different aboard the airline’s older Airbus A320s or new A321s. This review is of EMS service on jetBlue’s A321 with Mint-class forward cabin. Seat and AmenitiesEMS seats are offered in select rows on all jetBlue aircraft, but the A321 comes in two different configurations. The “Core’ aircraft has 190 seats, 40 of which are reserved as EMS rows. These jetliners have seat backs measuring 18-inches wide, while A321s configured up-front for Mint flights have 159 seats, 40 for EMS passengers. These seat backs are narrower, however. (jetBlue’s A320s have 150 seats, 42 for EMS.)While EMS afforded early boarding and early overhead bin access, two surprises awaited this traveler upon entering the A321 (named ‘It’s Mint To Be’). For one thing, both large overhead bins at my row were already closed with no one yet onboard. Then the big surprise: my EMS window seat, 18F, wasn’t next to an emergency overwing exit, but rather the R3 emergency exit door. This meant no window, no outboard armrest, and a Flight Attendant jump seat on the aisle. When I inquired about this being an actual EMS seat, the senior Flight Attendant apologized, inferring this was a common complaint, and offered me a complimentary cocktail once airborne, as well as an offer to change to an available Economy seat.There were no amenity kits on the seats themselves, as I learned that anything you might want – earphones, blankets, pillows, and of course food, had to be purchased. I was also surprised to see stains on the seats of an airplane in service less than three months. Ambient cabin lighting was pleasant and more than adequate during the boarding process.The seats themselves are quite handsome, covered in supple two-tone charcoal and light gray leather with tan stitching and free-standing headrests embossed with the EMS logo. Seat backs were 16 inches wide while the seat cushion measured 19 inches wide. Seat backs reclined 6 inches, but the biggest feature was seat pitch – a whopping 41 inches, compared to 33 inches in regular Economy. During the flight, the lack of a window was only a minor annoyance until we encountered moderate turbulence. During those active moments, the lack of visual cues made my enclosed space feel somewhat claustrophobic. If you are prone to motion sickness, I would highly recommend avoiding Row 18.Food and BeveragesOnce airborne, I discovered the reason why those overhead compartments were closed. They were used for stowing packages of bottled water, all of which had to be retrieved by a flight attendant at the beginning of beverage service 30 minutes after takeoff. Meals were offered for purchase one hour after takeoff as flight attendants came down the aisle with portable devices to charge your credit card and print a receipt. Two menus were available. The first, named ‘EAT UP,’ contained various health and nutrition-oriented snacks priced at $6.00US, while the second, named ‘EAT UP CAFE,’ offered supposedly more substantial meals for up to twice the snack prices, but serving sizes were modest and the quality of food was average at best. Those meal selections consisted of raw veggie platters and sandwiches, with a top of the line Top Sirloin Steak sandwich costing $12.00US. I ordered the Grilled Chicken and Brie sandwich with a quinoa and raisin salad. The sandwich consisted mostly of bread, with a thin layer of brie and small chunks of chicken. Meals are pictured on sleek white china on the menu, but are actually served in clear plastic containers. Complimentary juices, sodas, and bottled water were then served along with light snacks such as pretzels, popcorn, animal crackers, and chocolate chip cookies. The free drink and snack service was offered again about an hour before landing.In-flight EntertainmentThis feature, a highlight on all jetBlue flights, helped establish the airline’s early favorable reputation, and IFE on the new A321 raises the bar yet again. Easy viewing 10-inch high definition screens are at Economy and EMS seats, with a selection of movies, TV shows, special features, and music that is second to none. Headphones (ear buds, actually) are available for purchase at $3.00US.Let’s start with 80 – yes, 80 channels of DirecTV programming. Then there’s a choice of six major feature films and jetBlueTV programs. Add 100-plus channels of Sirius XM radio and the inflight Map Channel, and you have plenty to keep you occupied on any transcontinental flight. The image quality is simply outstanding, and doesn’t seem as affected by outside sunlight as earlier technology inflight screens. One minor inconvenience is the remote control panel on the armrest located just forward of your elbow. Lean on it a bit too hard, and you inadvertently change channels or revert to the home page main menu.The needs of the digital age are met handily with jetBlue’s new ‘Fly Fi’ feature that comes in two modes: ‘Simply Surf’ for standard browsing and ‘Fly Fi Plus’ (available for purchase) which gives you wider broadband capability for streaming movies. Simply power up your digital device, open the wireless network connection, launch or refresh your browser window, sign-in and agree to terms, and you’re off and running.Customer ServiceFrom the very beginning, cabin crewmembers were pleasant and courteous, but seemed a bit stressed. While they all performed their duties with pride and passion, the A321s high passenger-to-flight attendant ratio seemed to leave them frustrated. A fifth FA is definitely needed on the A321, and upon talking to the crew at the end of the flight, they too mentioned how they would appreciate having just one more FA in Economy, allowing them to give the high level of dedicated service they pride themselves on delivering.That said, having the flight attendant jump seat on the aisle of Row 18 meant that passengers had to watch the FA make cabin announcements while reading from a cue card, and because of the proximity of seats to the emergency exit doors, the FA had to awkwardly reach across the passengers (apologizing once again) to arm and de-arm the door at takeoff and landing and stow the ”REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT” banner. Other amenities available for purchase included a dark blue Arm & Hammer blanket for $5.00US, and a dark blue Claritin neck pillow for $6.00US. On a positive note, small rolled hot towels were distributed to EMS passengers free of charge approximately 30 minutes before landing – a welcome touch at the end of a five hour plus transcontinental flight. Hot towels were not offered on the A320 EMS return flight, however.Final Word‘Even More Space’ service (including ‘Even More Speed’ for priority TSA screening) is available on all jetBlue flights starting at $10 one way. Pricing varies by route and length of flight, and EMS seat rows differ with each aircraft type.While my overall jetBlue EMS experience met with mixed reviews, it still offers passengers a distinct advantage over standard Economy which itself is fairly comfortable. Increased legroom, early boarding, and first choice at an overhead compartment are nice, but having to purchase earphones, pillows, blankets, and food onboard after paying the additional fare for EMS service tends to minimize the true cost advantage for the traveler.Would I pay for ‘Even More Space’ service on my next jetBlue flight to New York? Yes, I would, primarily for the benefits of priority TSA screening, early boarding, and that very generous extra legroom. However, the crown jewel of the jetBlue transcon experience is your departure or arrival at the airline’s stunning new Terminal 5 at JFK. This terminal will be the subject of a separate AirlineRatings review, but I can assure you, that experience alone is worth the price of the ticket.Mike flew as a guest of jetBlue on August 18 and 19, 2014.last_img read more

Manju Verma withdraws bail petition

first_imgFormer Bihar Minister Manju Verma, who had stepped down in the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home scandal, on Thursday withdrew her bail plea from the Supreme Court saying she has already surrendered before a court. A Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Kurian Joseph and S.K. Kaul allowed Ms.Verma’s counsel to withdraw the petition after he submitted that the former Minister had already surrendered before a court in Begusarai and the pre-arrest bail plea has become infructous. On November 22, Ms.Verma was remanded to one-day police custody by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Majhaul Sub-Division, Prabhat Trivedi. She was evading arrest in an Arms Act case.last_img

Barcelona FC Offers Free Football Training to Child Refugees at Lesbos Hotspots

first_imgLESBOS, Greece – Barcelona FC has been sponsoring a football camp for hundreds of refugee children on the island of Lesbos, involving adult refugees as coaches.Hundreds of children have become members of the Barca Soccer FutbolNet programme since the programme’s implementation in July 2017, with the support of Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the NGO Movement on the Ground.“We know we can influence them and help them dream, to show them the future,” Jordi Cardoner, vice president of Barcelona and Barca Foundation said.The children attending the football academy on the island come from the two hotspots on Lesbos. The training lasts two hours, and held three times a week. Coaches are refugees who have been granted asylum.“These children are unaccompanied minors. They are here without their parents, and do not have someone to tell them the what is right and what is wrong, “said Aesa Osso, who is a coach from Syria. “Through this programme they learn many values, like respect and team work,” he added.A 15-year-old girl added, “They said football is only for boys not for girls – but now there is no difference: We are equal.”TweetPinShare128128 Shareslast_img read more