Two horses die at Aintree

first_imgLIVERPOOL, England (AP):Two horses died after being pulled up in a sombre start to the Aintree Festival yesterday.Clonbanan Lad and Maras-onnien died after being pulled up by their jockeys in the Fox Hunters’ Chase, and later collapsing, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said. Professor Chris Proudman, veterinary adviser at Aintree, said “neither (of the) incidents was associated with a fall.””You can never remove all risk completely from any sport, including horse racing,” Proudman said in a statement released by the BHA, “but from 90,000 runners each year, British Racing has a fatality rate of less than 0.2 per cent, which research found is far lower than horses simply exercising in a field.”Equine safety is brought into sharp focus at Aintree because of the feared fences used in the Grand National Steeplechase, the world’s most gruelling horse race. Twenty-one horses died over those fences from 2001-14.The deaths overshadowed a strong start to the festival by Willie Mullins, who is bidding to dislodge Paul Nicholls as Britain’s champion horse trainer and had two winners.The Grand National will be run Saturday.last_img read more

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Cosmic Accounting Is Wildly Inaccurate

first_imgCounting faint celestial objects is admittedly hard, but the task should be within the capabilities of expert astronomers.  It is, after all, as simple as counting.  So much theoretical work relies on accurate counts of what’s out there, they need to get at least in the ballpark.  Recent indications hint that their counts have been way off.Galaxies:  Pavel Kroupa (U of Bonn) has told his colleagues that counts of mini-galaxies don’t match expectations.  In New Scientist, he said, “It is the cleanest case in which we can see there is something badly wrong with our standard picture of the origin of galaxies.”  In theory, there should be thousands of mini-galaxies orbiting the Milky Way; in actuality, only 25 have been found.  What’s more, they orbit in unexpected ways, casting doubt on standard theories of gravity.  Kroupa believes that Newtonian gravitational theory has to be modified to account for the observed motions.  The accounting of mini-galaxies, the article said, “has the latest battleground between the proponents of dark matter and theories of modified gravity.”  Can something as basic as gravity be questioned?  Yes.Stars:  400% off?  “Galaxies Demand a Stellar Recount,” announced a Jet Propulsion Lab feature story this month based on a paper in Astrophysical Journal last April 10.1  The upshot is that there appear to be far more small stars than thought – four times as many.  Astronomers have been using a ratio of 500 small stars to every giant, but results from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer indicate the actual count might be more like 2,000 to one.  Gerhardt Meurer used a fruity analogy: “the melons grab your eyes, even though the total weight of the blueberries may be more.”  The recount affects an important parameter called the Initial Mass Function.  The IMF is the basis for a great deal of theoretical work.  Astronomers think they understand galaxies by looking at the light they can see, but “this common assumption has been leading astronomers astray,” Meurer said.  The article said, “This belief, based on years of research, has been tipped on its side with new data from NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer.” Theories, like vending machines, may not work when tipped on their sides.  Many ideas about stellar and galactic evolution have depended on estimates that now appear to be highly oblique.1.  Meurer et al, “Evidence for a Nonuniform Initial Mass Function in the Local Universe,” The Astrophysical Journal 695 (2009) 765, April 10, 2009, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/695/1/765.Here are more reasons to be wary of the confident statements of scientists.  We can police them when their work produces a cell phone or printer that works or doesn’t work, but how is a layperson to judge a cosmologists’ assertion that dark matter constitutes 95% of reality, or galaxies evolved from mergers of mini-galaxies?  Most of us can’t, so we tend to give them the benefit of the doubt and trust their superior knowledge.  The training they’ve gone through and the knowledge they’ve acquired do command respect, but it’s dangerous to trust scientists overmuch.  There are some things they just cannot know very well.  In most respects they are just like normal people: mortal, fallible, and given to overconfidence.    Scientific television shows are among the worst for transforming theoretical work into brazen propaganda.  Visualization techniques like animation can make dubious hypotheses seem certain.  Dust grains can grow into planets right before your eyes (cf 08/21/2009); comets can deliver oceans to the earth, and mineral grains washed into the oceans can morph like magic into living cells (these miracles were all seen on a recent TV show about earth history).  Don’t be fooled.  Those are tricks by graphic artists, not findings by the Knowers of the Deep Knowledge of All.    Here are three warning signs that can help laymen to keep a healthy skepticism when evaluating scientific claims: (1) a new finding undermines long-held assumptions (like those above); (2) a deep, long-lasting controversy is taking place between competing theories; and (3) a scientist says, “We now know….”(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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PetroSA boost for synfuels research

first_imgThe partnership will allow for research to be carried out with a focus on increasing the efficiency of the conversion of olefins to diesel fuel and improving the quality of diesel. The company said on Wednesday that the funding would provide for the construction of a laboratory to house a pilot plant-size reactor for the study of the conversion of olefins to distillate (COD), which it said has proven to be an essential part of the intricate gas-to-liquids process. South African state oil and gas company PetroSA has announced a R36-million sponsorship to establish a synthetic fuels research facility at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town. PetroSA’s Jorn Falbe said the sponsorship would enable the company to produce unique specialty products while maintaining its leadership in COD technology. “COD technology is recognized throughout the world for producing some of the cleanest fuels, through an environmentally friendly process,” the company said. 29 January 2010 South Africa and PetroSA are pioneers and world leaders in the development of gas-to-liquids technologies. PetroSA owns and operates one of the world’s largest gas-to-liquids plants in Mossel Bay, and the largest COD plant in the world. “Olefins represent a vital energy resource for South Africa and for the African continent as a whole, thus the identification and monetization of suitable alternative olefinic COD feedstock by PetroSA is a major national interest,” Falbe said. Increasing efficiencies PetroSA will relocate a significant part of its COD research activities from the present site at its Mossel Bay refinery to the university for the duration of the five-year research programme. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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South Africa develops rooibos flavour wheel

first_imgRooibos is native to South Africa andis only grown in a small area in the Western Cape province. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) The rooibos flavour wheel is divided intopositive and negative tastes, and contains27 descriptive attributes. See a biggerversion. (Image: SA Rooibos Council) MEDIA CONTACTS • Professor Elizabeth JoubertAgricultural Research Council27 21 809 3444 RELATED ARTICLES • Rooibos yoghurt fights cancer • Rooibos gets a makeover • An infusion of innovation• Cadbury now Fairtrade certifiedWilma den HartighFor those of us who enjoy our daily rooibos cuppa, a good flavour is all-important. However, for the uninitiated it is only possible to distinguish basic flavour characteristics.Now, with the help of a newly developed rooibos flavour wheel, anyone can identify a full spectrum of tastes and aromas of this uniquely South African – and internationally popular – tea.The rooibos flavour wheel was developed by a group of South African researchers headed by Stellenbosch University (SU) Masters student Ilona Koch, who worked with Professor Elizabeth Joubert of the Agricultural Research Council and SU lecturer Nina Muller.“We thought it was time that someone develops a rooibos flavour wheel. We want producers, processors, grading experts, marketers, flavour houses, importers and consumers to all speak the same tea language,” Joubert says.Koch, who completed a BSc in Food Science at SU, was approached by a lecturer to get involved in the project. “I thought rooibos would be an interesting product to work with,” she says.The three-year project is jointly funded by the South African Rooibos Council and the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme.The rooibos wheel isn’t the first of its kind in the food and beverage industry. Products such as brandy, honey, wine and whisky already use flavour wheels, and the research team now hopes that the rooibos version will be a useful tool to help the industry assess rooibos flavour and aroma using a selection of specific descriptors.Koch says that the flavour wheel is also important for the industry as many people drink rooibos because of its taste. “I like the taste and I think that this is what draws people to it. It is also not as strong and astringent as black tea,” she says.The wheel offers 27 descriptive attributes, of which 20 describe the flavour and seven the taste and mouth-feel. Joubert says that just as the wine industry talks about an area’s viticulture terroir, or the sensory attributes of wine in relation to the environmental conditions where grapes grow, so too the growing area affects rooibos flavour nuances.Diversity of rooibos flavoursAccording to Koch, the research team carried out numerous experiments on rooibos tea to find out which sensory characteristics are typically associated with its flavour.The researchers, along with a panel of nine judges, spent a lot of time tasting rooibos tea. Koch says that most of the judges had prior experience with descriptive analysis of numerous products, but analysing the sensory qualities of rooibos tea was a first for them all.The team studied 69 distinct rooibos samples from 64 plantations in a number of production areas. Selecting samples from different production areas was important as rooibos flavour is influenced by where the crop grows, the soil type, rainfall and weather. Processing also plays a role, as the time taken to process tea leaves can cause the flavour to become watery or sour. “All these factors affect the taste, quality and composition of the tea,” Joubert says.The selected samples were graded from A to D, representing the highest to the lowest tea quality. “The tasters compiled a long list of the flavours they picked up,” Joubert says. The list was then reduced to the final selection. “We chose those descriptors that were found to be most useful to assess a tea.”Both negative and positive descriptors were recorded on the wheel. One half contains categories of positive sensory qualities such as sweet, fruity, floral, woody and spicy. Each category lists a few sub-descriptors such as honey, citrus or cinnamon. The negative descriptors are grouped in the same way and contain qualities such as dusty, sour, sweaty and rubbery.The tea tasting processIt was important that the tasting and tea-brewing process remained scientific and consistent at all times, to ensure that only the most accurate flavour descriptors made it onto the short list. The tea was brewed in 300g of boiling, deionised water, which was poured onto 5.8g of dry tea leaves and infused for five minutes.Each sample was strained and stored in a stainless steel flask to keep the temperature constant. At each tasting, members of the judging panel sipped 100ml of tea. The tea sample was served in a white porcelain cup and covered with a plastic lid to prevent evaporation and loss of volatiles, also known as aroma compounds. The cups were also preheated to 70º C, and stored in 65º C water baths during the analysis.The project, which is expected to run until March 2012, will keep the wheel updated with rooibos samples from later seasons. This is important, as even tea produced on the same land can vary in taste from season to season.“With the flavour wheel, you can pick up the most subtle differences in tea flavour and taste,” says Joubert.Proven health benefitsThe proven health benefits of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) are encouraging more people to drink the tea. “Consumers are becoming much more aware of healthy lifestyles and rooibos tea is known for its many health benefits,” Koch says.The tea contains high levels of antioxidants, which help to eliminate damaging free radicals. Recently collaborating scientists from four international research facilities established clinical evidence that drinking rooibos regularly helps the body’s natural defences by enhancing its antioxidant capacity. Both traditional and green rooibos produced this effect.According to the Rooibos Council, South Africa produces approximately 12 000 tons of rooibos per year. South Africans consume 4 500 to 5 000 tons and the rest is exported.The growing global demand for rooibos has boosted exports to more than 6 000 tons per annum, and to more than 30 countries worldwide. This includes Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, the UK, and the US, which is the biggest importer of rooibos.last_img read more

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Maddie Madayag looks at back her journey to being one of Ateneo’s leaders

first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PBA: Ginebra ends two-game skid, clobbers Columbian MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war LATEST STORIES Maddie Madayag. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—It’s been quite a journey for Maddie Madayag in the five years she’s been with Ateneo.From being one of the quiet supporters in the bench area during her first two years, she’s slowly risen the ranks and is now one of the Lady Eagles’ most prominent leaders to earn the co-captain spot with Bea De Leon.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woescenter_img Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games07:50BYS Academy: Create a Fall Glam Makeup Look02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Everything started from Valdez and youngsters like Madayag had to follow the leader.If Valdez’ had nearly individual share of the leadership during her time, the case couldn’t be said for Madayag, De Leon and the other seniors in the team.READ: Madayag wants to set example for young stars“There are a lot of us leading the team,” said Madayag who’s finishing her Interdisciplinary Studies course in Ateneo. “I have Kat [Tolentino], there’s Bea, Kim [Gequillana], and Ponggay [Gaston].”“There’s constant communication between us on how we can all help the team become better.”ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting And now that she’s entering the final UAAP season of her career, Madayag can’t help but acknowledge the change she herself underwent.READ: Madayag to Ateneo doubters: ‘Watch this season and see us play’FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“Before we just followed and did what Ate Ly said or did,” said Madayag in Filipino Friday at Blue Eagle Gym. “We just did what we were told to.”Maddie Madayag says leadership in Ateneo is not just placed on her shoulders with teammates Kat Tolentino and Bea De Leon there to guide the team with her. pic.twitter.com/C6BVygSDm0— Bong Lozada (@BLozadaINQ) February 1, 2019Madayag was talking about Alyssa Valdez, Ateneo’s most successful women’s volleyball player with three MVPs and two championships in the UAAP, who led the team during the middle part of the decade.ADVERTISEMENT US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town View commentslast_img read more

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Governor and Chancellor of Chaudhary Charan Singh

first_imgGovernor and Chancellor of Chaudhary Charan Singh University Anandiben Patel received Guard of Honour by NCC Cadets on the occasion of 31st Convocation of the University, in Meerut. The event, which was held on September 30, also saw Anandiben Patel and Vice Chancellor Professor NK Taneja presenting medals and degrees to the college students, as well as, gifts to the girls of Kasturba Gandhi school. Medal/degree holders, and University executive council members clicked photos with Governor and Vice Chancellor.last_img read more

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