“Bird Brain” No Longer an Insult

first_img“Birds can perform amazing tasks beyond the reach of cats and dogs,” begins an article in the BBC News.  So pay a little respect.  You can still call your boss a bird brain, but had better quickly explain why that is a compliment.  See also the longer article on MSNBC News.    In a related article, Jessica Ebert wrote in Nature1 that “bird-brain terminology” is undergoing a reformation.  The century-old naming convention of brain parts in birds resulted from a belief that birds were primitive, possessing simple brains capable only of instinct.  The distinction between bird and mammal brain capabilities is artificial, scientists now realize: “Signalling molecules and neurotransmitters operate similarly in the brains of birds and mammals.  And researchers agree that birds can learn: crows can pass on tool-making skills, for example.”  A consortium of neurobiologists has revamped the nomenclature to give bird brains the respect they deserve.1Jessica Ebert, “Reformation of bird-brain terminology takes off,” Nature 433, 449 (03 February 2005); doi:10.1038/433449b.Can your pet cat or dog sing?  Fly?  Talk?  Migrate across the world?  Solve a puzzle as fast as a bird?  Don’t let the small size fool you.  Birds are compressed packages of extreme design that are a wonder to behold.  The diversity of skills found among birds is mind-boggling.  A dinosaur couldn’t figure all this out if it wanted to, even if it knew how to select those rare lucky mutations.(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Considerations for wide-row wheat

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Growers may be interested in wide-row wheat production due to reductions in equipment inventory (lack of grain drill) and to allow intercropping of soybean into wheat. With funding from the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program and the Michigan Wheat Program, we’ve conducted several wide-row wheat trials.How much is wheat yield reduced when planting in wide rows compared to narrow rows? In most instances, wheat yield is greater when grown in narrow row width (7.5-inch) compared to wide row width (15-inch). Yield reductions associated with wide row wheat production ranges from 0% to 15%. In wide-row wheat, we tend to see more head-bearing tillers per foot of row compared to narrow-row wheat. This suggests that under some conditions, increased tillering in wide-row wheat may compensate for lower initial plant population per unit area. The level of yield reduction associated with wide row wheat production varies among wheat varieties. Therefore, variety selection is important when growing wheat in wide rows. Annually, a wide row wheat variety test is performed at two locations in Ohio. Variety information for the Ohio Wheat Performance Test Wide Row Evaluation can be found at:http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/wheattrials/        What is the ideal seeding rate for wide-row wheat?An on-farm trial was conducted at three locations in Fulton County during the 2013-2014 growing season and one location during the 2014-2015 growing season. The “standard practice” of wheat grown in narrow rows at 2.0 million seeds/acre was compared to wheat grown in wide rows at 1.0 and 1.5 million seeds/acre. Averaged across site-years, wheat grain yield was 81.7 bu/acre when grown in the standard practice of 7.5-inch row width at 2.0 million seeds/acre.  Compared to the standard practice, average yield across seeding rates was reduced by 15% when grown in 15-inch row width. When wheat was grown in 15-inch row width, there was no difference in yield between the 1.0 and 1.5 million seeds/acre seeding rates. This indicates that greater than 1.0 million seeds/acre may not be necessary to maximize yield of wheat grown in 15-inch row width.With fewer plants per acre in wide-row wheat production, can nitrogen application rate be reduced? No. Although fewer plants are recommended in wide-row wheat production (approximately 1.0 million seeds/acre) compared to narrow row wheat production, do not change nitrogen application rates.  Agronomic optimum nitrogen rates are the same regardless of row width.Wide Wheat Row Management Tips:Choose a variety that is high-yielding and resistant to major diseases such as powdery mildew, Septoria and Stagonospora blotches, and head scab.  See http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/wheattrials/ for the Ohio Wheat Performance Test Wide Row Evaluation.Plant wheat as soon as possible after the Hessian fly-free date.A seeding rate of approximately 1.0 million seeds/acre is recommended.Do not change nitrogen application rates.Weed control is very important in wide-row wheat production.Changing row spacing will change the microclimate within the wheat canopy, and this could affect disease development. Scout fields for foliar diseases and use the scab forecasting system (http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu) to determine whether disease risk is high enough to warrant a fungicide application.last_img read more

Polling peaceful in six LS, 42 Assembly seats in Odisha

first_imgPolling passed off peacefully in six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies of Odisha in the third phase of simultaneous elections on Tuesday.An average of 61% voting was recorded till 5 p.m., and it was likely to increase since voting was in progress, according to the Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha. The Lok Sabha seats where polling was conducted during the day are Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur and Keonjhar. The 42 Assembly segments came under these six Parliamentary constituencies.EVMs malfunctioningReports of malfunctioning of EVMs were received from some booths in the morning hours, but polling was resumed after replacing those machines. Polling was postponed in a booth under Sambalpur following error and wrong pairing of VVPAT.In another incident, a polling official passed away while on duty in Dhenkanal district. The official, Nabakishore Nayak, who collapsed inside the booth, was declared dead by doctors at Kamakhyanagar hospital.Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik was among the prominent leaders to cast their votes in the morning hours. After casting his vote, Mr. Patnaik exuded confidence that the BJD would perform well in the elections in the State.The prominent candidates who were in the fray for Tuesday’s elections include former IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, former Director General of Police Prakash Mishra and BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra.4th phase on April 29 Polling is already over in nine Lok Sabha and 63 Assembly constituencies in Odisha in the previous two phases – April 11 and 18. The fourth and last phase polling in the remaining six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies, for which campaigning is still going on, is scheduled to be held on April 29.On the other hand, Mr. Patnaik campaigned for party nominees in areas under the Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituencies later in the day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed two public meetings at Balasore and Kendrapara during the day.last_img read more

Moustache makes the man for all Vivek fans

first_imgVivek OberoiIt’s a hirsute affair-between the nose and the upper lip-that’s keeping Vivek Oberoi busy these days? Other than his film Rakht Charitra and his upcoming wedding, he is busy working his moustache! “Yes. The moustache takes a lot of work. It seems easy and you think you can grow it, keep it. But you have to trim it, comb it. It is tough to keep a moustache. But I am glad to have done so as my fans love it. Guys asked me about it when I went to promote Rakht Charitra in various cities big and small metros. Even girls thought I looked more dashing,” he says.Given the adulation from his young fans, Vivek was more than happy to oblige. Of late, he has been quite busy? travelling across the nation promoting his newest film and helping his parents with the wedding shopping.Sources close to the Oberois say the entire family is in a celebratory mood. From shopping to finalising the wedding venue, their calendar is full. The only thing that is under wraps is perhaps Priyanka Alva, his fiance.Poke him and he grins and mutters monosyllables like a coy bride. “Well, that’s personal,” the actor says.The little bee tells us that she isn’t fond of the moustache and there’s a probability that it will be sacrificed at the altar.Until the wedding, Vivek definitely will sport it for promotional purposes.last_img read more

Bumbling Along

first_imgOn the DefensiveComparing military intelligence (MI) to IB and RAW is unfair and unrealistic (“Intelligence Failure”, June 14). While IB and RAW have a clear mandate of procuring internal and external intelligence, MI has neither the mandate nor the resources for procuring intelligence. Also, defence forces depend on RAW for,On the DefensiveComparing military intelligence (MI) to IB and RAW is unfair and unrealistic (“Intelligence Failure”, June 14). While IB and RAW have a clear mandate of procuring internal and external intelligence, MI has neither the mandate nor the resources for procuring intelligence. Also, defence forces depend on RAW for external intelligence and IB for internal security-related information.Additionally, border surveillance is the responsibility of field formations deployed in a particular sector. There is definitely a need to restructure the existing MI setup in order to make it capable of meeting the defence requirements independently. Moreover,this should not be the time to do a performance audit.Brigadier (Retd) S.C. Jolly, NoidaYour article on the failure of our various agencies in detecting the large-scale infiltration at an early stage reflects very poorly on those in charge of national security. It is also an eye opener for us since it shows how the lack of political stability, lack of consensus on national issues and lack of accountability puts the nation in such dangerous situations. We live on hope and believe in fate.R.S. Kannan, SingaporeShooting Off Their MouthsThe congress reaction to kargil has been shocking and shameful (“Sniper Fire”, June 14). After losing to Pakistan strategic territories which the gallant soldiers won with their blood in the 1965 and 1971 wars, through the Tashkent and Simla agreements, the Congress has no moral right to speak on the Kargil tragedy. After all it is the bungling of the Kashmir issue and the policy of appeasement of the so-called minorities by the Congress that has brought things to such a pass.A.K. Sharma, ChandigarhCampus CapersThe college survey and the methodology adopted to analyse them has many shortcomings (“Top 10 Colleges”, June 14). Most of the respondents interviewed were from the metros. Besides, several colleges which merited a place among the best were neglected.advertisementI suggest that instead of selecting 10 colleges based on some group discussion, you should come up with a broader range that would allow a more representative survey of the colleges of the country.Prashant Saraswat, on e-mailCricket: C’mon, it’s just a GameThe cricket fever gripping the nation and the dismal performance of our team in the World Cup only show how pampered and overrated our cricketers are (“Cricket Crazy”, June 14). If practice makes one perfect, our cricketers ought to have been practising the game and honing their skills instead of selling soft drinks, shoes, shirts and sundry. Had this been done we’d have won the World Cup effortlessly and the cricket craze in the nation would have had some justification. I suggest cricketers should be banned from endorsing consumer goods.T.N. Misra, LucknowUndoubtedly an indulgence in sports is a worthwhile way of achieving the oft-repeated maxim – a healthy mind in a healthy body.But don’t we stretch it a bit too far with our lopsided involvement with the game of cricket? Most cricket fans even seemed insensitive to the bereavement of their idol Sachin Tendulkar. Consider the manhours that get wasted during the matches. Complete paralysis grips the nation – offices bear a desolate look with the cricket-crazy staff either glued to transistors or on leave to watch matches at home. Can we afford to waste so much money and time?Anuradha, Chandigarh Your ranking of the colleges, based on interviews, is not very fair. These may be the most popular but not the country’s top colleges. What we expect is a comprehensive ranking based on facts such as student facilities, campus placement, faculty-student ratio, standard of the pass-outs in the industry, research projects, infrastructure, amount spent per student, class strength, curriculum, teaching methods and the experience of the staff. This can be supported by an on-the-spot assessment by a qualified team.Anand Gopalan, MumbaiHome TruthThe issue of Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin seems to be limited only to urban areas (“All Roads Lead to Rome”, June 7).The underprivileged couldn’t care less about her origins. All they see is someone who can improve their quality of life.Whether Sonia, if elected, can deliver is debatable, but the BJP should not raise this issue. If it can improve the standard of rural life, let them make that their manifesto.N. Kumar, CalcuttaPolitics of DramaThe recent emotion-packed melodrama that unfolded in Delhi has severely damaged the already tattered image of the Congress (“Quitting to Conquer”, May 31).This was not the time for Congressmen to bring up the issue of Sonia’s “foreign born” status.Given that the issue had been raised, it was an inappropriate way for a CWC president to react.advertisementInstead of getting emotionally overwhelmed by the situation and submitting a resignation letter, which subsequently led to the expulsion of senior members, a shrewd politician would have tried to resolve the matter behind closed doors and keep the party unified.Swapna B. Batabyal, Logan, UtahThe Better Team Now that we are out of the World Cup, people will concentrate more on the war in Kargil (“Blasting Peace”,June 7). Our soldiers are fighting at 17,000 ft where temperatures range from minus 5 to minus 30 degrees Celsius. The cricketers were routed while playing in better conditions. If killed in action, an IAF pilot gets around Rs 2 lakh in compensation. Our cricketers get an equivalent amount or more as tournament fee, not to speak of the money they get through endorsements and ads. People offered pujas and observed fasts so India could win the Cup. Has anyone cared to do anything for the valiant soldiers? The least the Indian team can do is send all the awards and match fees to the Army Relief Fund. Parvez, on e-mailwrongly Plane FactsYour story wrongly states that the Haryana Government flew BJP leader Sushma Swaraj from Shimla to Delhi at state expense (“Friends in Need”, June 14).Swaraj did use a Haryana state plane on May 20, 1999. But a bill amounting to Rs 17,500 was made in her name and she paid the amount promptly through a cheque in the first week of June itself. In fact state aircraft have been used by VIPs for non-official purposes and they have been billed similarly.It’s a different matter that many of these VIPs, including former chief ministers, have not paid the bills for the past several years.Director, Public Relations, HaryanaClarificationIn our cover story, the map of Kashmir was not to scale (“The Marathon War”, June 21). Therefore, the Line of Control as shown in the map may not conform to the actual LoC.last_img read more

10 months agoKante: What Chelsea players think of Pulisic

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Kante: What Chelsea players think of Pulisicby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has welcomed their swoop for Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic.On Wednesday morning it was announced that the 20-year-old will be moving to west London this summer in a £58million move from Borussia Dortmund.Having watched Pulisic’s impact from afar, Kante can’t wait to see it close up next season.”We know he’s a good player,” he told the Daily Mail following Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Southampton in the Premier League on Wednesday night.”He’s doing well for Dortmund and we are glad to welcome him to Chelsea.” last_img

Quebec floods water levels down but heavy rain expected on the weekend

first_imgMONTREAL – While water levels continued their slow decline in some parts of Quebec on Wednesday, the province’s environment minister warned the situation could deteriorate in others this weekend because of heavy rain.David Heurtel said the central Quebec region of Mauricie is expected to bear the brunt of the precipitation.“We’re looking at considerable rainfall on the weekend,” he told a news conference.“Depending on the region, we’re talking about 20 to 40 millimetres but in Mauricie the impact will be even greater, so we should expect another tough weekend there.”Heurtel said the combination of rain, melting snow in the St-Maurice River basin and rising tides could prove to be damaging in the region.Trois-Rivieres resident Patrice Bourassa, who has been co-ordinating volunteer efforts in Mauricie, said citizens in some of the worst-hit regions are losing energy and patience.“It’s reached the point they have to leave their homes in the morning and take a canoe to their vehicle 500 metres away because it’s too flooded,” he said in a telephone interview.Bourassa said the Facebook page he created has already drawn 1,200 members, with many spending the last few days building dikes, packing sandbags and helping citizens.He says that while city officials have offered all the help they can, some of the smaller towns in the region have fewer resources to deal with flooding.The mayor of Nicolet, Que. said the small town at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Nicolet rivers had put out a voluntary evacuation order in advance of the rising waters.Genevieve Dubois fears the water levels could rise by 25 centimetres putting up to 300 homes at risk and cutting off road access to the town.But she said most people were staying put and planned to simply monitor the water level after a major sandbagging effort she hopes will keep most houses dry.“People are starting to get tired but the morale is still there,” she said.Levels are expected to remain stable in flooded areas in the Greater Montreal area, where Heurtel credited the management of water flow from the Ottawa River and Great Lakes basins with preventing the situation from getting worse.Weekend rain isn’t expected to cause a spike in Montreal-area water levels, Heurtel said.“The flow will continue decreasing and ultimately the rains that are going to come are going to slow down the decrease,” Heurtel said.“We’re not looking at the rainfall rising the levels. It’s going to slow down the decrease or it’s going to be maintained at the same levels.”Meanwhile, Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux told the same news conference that 3,882 residences in the province have now been affected by the floods.Coiteux also said 2,721 people have had to leave their homes and that there have been 126 landslides.One of the hardest-hit areas is the Gatineau region of western Quebec. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard were scheduled to tour the area by helicopter on Thursday morning to get a close look at the damage.In Ottawa, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the military is deploying several hundred more Canadian soldiers to help with flood relief efforts in Quebec, bringing the total to 2,200 by the end of the day.Sajjan said about 470 army reservists from Ontario had started arriving in Quebec to fill sandbags, evacuate people and provide other assistance.In Montreal, fire Chief Bruno Lachance said the focus is on consolidating dams and that he doesn’t expect the number of evacuees to rise.A state of emergency remains in effect in Montreal until Sunday, with Lachance saying 243 people have been evacuated and about 400 homes flooded in the city.“We know it will take days before it recedes totally — maybe weeks,” he said. “We ask people to be patient, we’re going to help them when the time comes, (but) for the moment, we’re still in an emergency situation.”At least one person has died in the province because of the floods — a man whose car ended up in a surging river in the eastern Gaspe region on Sunday.Authorities resumed their search Wednesday for a two-year-old girl who disappeared in the same incident but put it on hold later in the day. It will pick up again Thursday with additional provincial police officers who are specialized in searches in water and on riverbanks.The Canadian Red Cross has set up a relief fund, with the federal government contributing $1 million and the Quebec government $500,000.Other Quebec municipalities have also contributed, notably Montreal, which has pledged $250,000.— with files from Morgan Lowrie in Montreal.last_img read more

Rep Griffin Legislation an important step in licensing reform

first_img03Oct Rep. Griffin: Legislation an important step in licensing reform The Michigan House today overwhelmingly approved a plan sponsored by state Rep. Beth Griffin making it easier for an individual applying for a state occupational license to have his or her application accepted based on a determination of his or her moral character.Griffin’s legislation, House Bill 6111, is part of a bipartisan, five-bill plan to reform the state’s review of occupational licensing.State regulations often refer broadly to “good moral character” as a requirement for holding a license. In practice, this has often led to those on the licensing board to interpret anyone with a criminal record to be ineligible for an occupational license.“Through data, we are seeing many people – despite spending valuable time and money on obtaining an occupational license – be denied a license after review because of a minor criminal conviction on their record,” said Griffin, of Mattawan, who is a member of the House Regulatory Reform committee. “I understand people convicted of major crimes should be barred from a job for the safety of the community, but in regard to more minor crimes, there are people trying to get their lives back on track and are facing obstacles to obtaining steady employment.”A total of 77 million Americans, or one out of every three adults, have a criminal record according to the National Council of State Legislatures – making it difficult, or even impossible to find work that requires an occupational license. In 2014, employment barriers faced by people with felony convictions – including occupational licensing – were associated with a reduction in the overall employment rate amounting to a loss of at least 1.7 million workers from the workforce and a cost of at least $78 billion to the economy nationwide.“Some Michiganders are missing out on the opportunity to work and provide for their families because of past mistakes they have already paid for,” Griffin said. “This legislative package aids workers in search of employment, helps job providers fill open positions and will work to stop the revolving door some people are experiencing when being released from prison.”House Bills 6110-13, along with 6381, now move to the Senate for further consideration. Categories: Griffin Newslast_img read more

Richard Chambers Amsterdambased multichannel netw

first_imgRichard ChambersAmsterdam-based multichannel network Zoomin.TV has created a studios arm to re–version its digital programmes into broadcaster-friendly long-form formats, hiring a British TV veteran to lead the initiative.Zoomin Studios will also draw on its parent’s network of post-millennial, Gen Z creative talent to develop and coproduce formats and factual programming for TV channels, and mobile and digital platforms.It has brought in former BBC and indie producer Richard Chambers to lead its production efforts. He was worked at prodcos such as IWC Media, Tigress Productios, Icon Films and Touch Productions, and has produced and directed factual shows for Discovery, National Geographic, BBC One, BBC Two and Channel 5.“We know ‘traditional’ TV is by no means dead and just how attractive it remains to YouTube stars and their fans,” said Chambers, who is head of Zoomin Studios.“Our extensive knowledge of the content Gen Z both makes and consumes online, alongside the creative storytelling and high production values needed for long-form TV shows, gives Zoomin Studios a unique ability to source new talent, build an online fan base for them and now, working with coproduction partners, develop formats to bring that ready-made talent and audience to linear TV audiences globally.”Zoomin Studios is already in “advanced” discussions with producers and distributors about coproductions, with Chambers in town in Miami this week for the NATPE market to meet with potential partners about new projects.European broadcaster MTG owns Zoomin.TV, whose Gen Z talent channels amassed around 1.8 billion YouTube views a month, after paying €45 million (US$48.2 million) in July.Overall, Zoomin.TV channels secure around 3.3 billion views across platforms, has 18 offices on four continents, and is now pushing into TV formats.“Traditional broadcasters and advertisers are struggling to provide the right type of content to connect with a Generation Z audience, which has been turning off linear TV channels,” said Zoomin.TV CEO Jan Riemens. “Our talent already has vast audience recognition and loyalty across the 25,000 YouTube channels we manage and Zoomin Studioswill deliver this audience to TV platforms and brands.“Creating Zoomin Studios makes the Company ideally positioned to create a feedback loop between the broadcast and digital worlds and we are uniquely placed to monetise both.”last_img read more