Deciding What You Want

first_imgNote: This was originally my Sunday newsletter. Occasionally, I post them here when people email me in large numbers. This was one of those newsletters that generated a big response.I want to offer you an exercise. It’s one that I have done a number of times, always right before a breakthrough. It’s one I am keen to repeat with a greater frequency than I have in the past.Most of us don’t spend enough time deciding what we really want. We are too busy living to spend time deciding what living means, or how to do so in way that is in line with our definition of success, happiness, a good life, and a life well lived.You cannot decide what you want by looking at your task list. The things that you have told yourself you must do have very little to do with what you want. In fact, just looking at all things that sit undone can cause you to believe that these are the things that you should be doing. If you can die happily with a task left undone and unaddressed, you can live happily with it undone and unaddressed.You also can’t decide what you want by looking at your projects, your short term goals, or the many roles you play. Unless the project is “my life,” it’s just a collection of tasks. Short term goals are important, but they’re likely just milestones on the way to something bigger. But what is that “something bigger?”To answer the question, “What do I want,” you have to move up to the highest vantage point available to you, a place where you can see further, a view with the greatest perspective. From that higher place, you can answer the question, “What do I want?”To live a life of purpose and meaning, you have to supply that purpose and meaning. You have to decide why you are here and what you are going to do with your time. Your life belongs to you alone. This fact is easy to forget when you don’t spend the necessary time to decide what you want, and when you end up living a life that is at odds with the life you see in your mind—and what you feel in your heart.If the idea of “what you want” seems nebulous to you, that is my intention. I have no idea what you really want. No one else does either. This is something you have to decide for yourself, even if it is one of the most difficult questions you have to answer.If you want to know what you really want, go some place quiet, where you can be alone. Make that quiet place outdoors, if you can. Write down the answer to the question, “What do I want?” Just write without having to be right. Explore what you surface and decide what it means for you. What you come up with probably fall into the categories of being more, doing more, having more, and contributing more.Once you know what you want, you can start to build the plans to achieve it. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

One hundred and one monarch genomes reveal surprising history of this long-distant migrant

first_imgEach fall, when the first migrating monarch butterflies fluttered past his 11th-floor window in Washington, D.C., Science’s recently retired earth science writer, Dick Kerr, would call us other writers and editors in to watch these harbingers of the coming cold wing their way southward. He’ll appreciate this advance. By sequencing 101 monarch genomes, biologists have rewritten the evolutionary history of the species, discovering what makes the monarch’s wings orange and its muscles well suited for the long flight to boot.”It is a wonderfully complete application of genomics to elucidating a well-known puzzle of natural history,” says Lawrence Gilbert, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Texas, Austin. “It explains the pattern of migratory and sedentary populations on the globe and probably refines hypotheses on many aspects of monarch biology.”The fall journey takes the monarch, Danaus plexippus, thousands of kilometers south to the mountains of Mexico for the winter. Come spring, the butterflies begin their trek northward, following the blooming of the caterpillar’s host plant, milkweed. Adults stop and reproduce when they encounter the plant; then the next generation heads north as the season progresses to find more milkweed, so it can take several generations for the insects to make it back to Washington, D.C., and beyond to Canada. Females lay eggs on milkweed and their caterpillars feed on this plant, acquiring compounds that make the butterflies toxic to potential predators, as they warn with the striking orange and black pattern on their wings.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Many of the monarch’s close relatives call the tropics home and don’t migrate, so evolutionary biologists had proposed that the North American migrants descended from nonmigratory South or Central American ancestors, much as temperate songbirds originated in the tropics, spreading northward to find food but forced to return south each winter because of the cold weather. Not so, says Marcus Kronforst, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois. “The data said a totally different thing.”Kronforst and his colleagues had previously studied another butterfly, Heliconius, and found the key gene involved in determining the color patterns of the various species in this group. So when the monarch genome was first sequenced 2 years ago, he wondered whether there might be a single gene largely responsible for migration behavior in the monarchs.Joining forces with monarch experts, Kronforst obtained DNA from 92 monarchs and nine other closely related butterflies. The samples came from different parts of North America, from places in South and Central America where the local monarchs stayed put all year round, and from elsewhere around the world. Shuai Zhan, now at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences in China, sequenced all of these genomes. He and his colleagues grouped the genomes by how similar they were to build a family tree. That tree revealed that, contrary to expectations, all the monarchs arose from a population in the southern United States or northern Mexico. The species expanded in three waves, one south into South and Central America, one east across the Atlantic, and a third west across the Pacific. Butterflies in those waves settled down and ceased migrating. Kronforst, Zhan, and their colleagues matched up the DNA from migratory and nonmigratory populations. About 500 genes were different, many of them subtly so. But one muscle gene, called collagen IV alpha-1, stood out sharply. Many other creatures share the gene. Fruit flies with mutations in it have atrophied muscles, and in people, similar mutations lead to frequent muscle cramps. The researchers expected that to make their long trips North American monarchs would need a lot more collagen than their South American counterparts and that the gene would therefore be more active. Instead, the gene was less active in the migrants, they report online today in Nature. Somehow, less collagen in the migrants’ flight muscles made them more efficient.”It’s the first genetic change that’s been shown to be associated with migration,” says Richard Ffrench-Constant, an entomologist at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, who was not involved with the work. But the study is “just a first step,” he adds. These are the sorts of genes “that equip [the monarchs] to migrate, but not the genes that make them fly.” He hopes that next the researchers will find genes involved in turning on the migration behavior.Kronforst and Zahn’s team also sequenced genomes from Hawaiian monarchs, which come in white and orange forms. From breeding experiments, other researchers learned that a single gene was responsible for the color loss. Zahn and Kronforst expected that this gene would be involved in pigment-generating pathways. But instead, their analysis shows it was a gene that codes for myosin, a protein essential for muscle contraction. The butterfly myosin gene resembles a myosin gene that is mutated in a mouse strain that has light instead of dark fur. In the mouse, this myosin helps transport pigments into the hair, so Kronforst thinks the white morph’s myosin may fail to transport orange pigment into the wing scales.Ffrench-Constant says the data are compelling. But he wonders how well the new evolutionary scenario will hold up once more monarch relatives—many of them tropical and nonmigratory—are sequenced. The addition of those genomes to the monarch extended family tree may lead to another revision of this butterfly’s history. Nevertheless, the genetic analysis should reinforce interest in conserving migrating monarchs, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years. “Based on the paper’s findings,” Gilbert says, “sedentary populations cannot easily restore migrating monarchs once the latter are lost.”last_img read more

Novak Djokovic Unfazed by Foot Blisters Ahead of US Open

first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. New York: Novak Djokovic interrupted his U.S. Open practice twice on Saturday to have a trainer look at his right foot but the defending champion said the discomfort was due to blisters and is not a concern.So uncomfortable was Djokovic that he removed his shoe and sock to have his right foot inspected. Later in the practice, he stopped mid-sprint, lifted his right leg off the ground and hopped around on his left foot. “It’s just a minor thing with the foot. You know, blisters like anybody has those,” top seed Djokovic told reporters. “But it’s nothing major that is posing a concern for the event.”Djokovic, who saved two match points last month to beat Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, will hope the blisters do not worsen especially since solid movement on the court is key to his playing style.”It allows me to actually swing through my shots to get some balls that maybe most of the other players cannot get to,” said Djokovic, who will begin his quest for a 17th career Grand Slam on Monday against Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena.”I slide a lot, whether it’s clay, hard court, or grass. I think the flexibility of my ankles has helped with that pretty, so to say, aggressive style of movement.”Since Wimbledon, Djokovic has played one hardcourt event and made a run to the Cincinnati semi-finals where he lost to Russian Daniil Medvedev, who is the Serb’s projected quarter-final opponent in New York.Djokovic, 32, has won four of the last five Grand Slams and is two shy of Rafa Nadal on the all-time list and four away from matching Federer’s record tally of 20.The Serbian has a tough draw in New York but is favourite to inch closer to his rivals over the coming fortnight.”I still am very motivated to keep going and especially at this stage,” said Djokovic.”It always has been the case but, especially now, more or less everything is about Grand Slams in terms of how I see tennis and how I approach them because they matter the most.” BlistersfootinjuryNovak Djokovic First Published: August 25, 2019, 3:20 PM ISTlast_img read more

IPL vs Maharashtra drought: Criticising T20 tournament for water crisis mere symbolism?

first_imgThe Bombay High Court today allowed the first of the 20 IPL matches scheduled to be held in Maharashtra to go on as planned but the fate of rest of the games hangs in balance.Several districts of Maharashtra are facing acute water shortage and objections have been raised over the “wastage” of water to maintain cricket grounds across the state.Petitions have been filed against hosting the Indian Premier League in Maharashtra at a time when people are finding it tough to arrange water even for their daily needs. But the big question is whether the opposition to the glitzy cricket tournament is mere symbolism or it means more than that?Big QuestionsWill 70 lakh litres of water really make a difference?Criticising IPL for water crisis mere symbolism?Should cricket alone be targeted?Should BCCI avoid hosting matches in Maharashtra?Morally right to host 20 matches in Maharashtra?IPL to be affected in drought-hit Telangana too?Why blame IPL only for the water crisis?Unnecessary controversy over non-potable water?Avoiding IPL games a solution to solve crisis?Water use during IPL really a criminal offence? Speaking to Karan Thapar on his show To The Point,  Rakesh Singh, advocate who has filed a petition in the high court against hosting IPL in the state, said that concerns over the issue were genuine. “Maharashtra at this juncture can not afford to host IPL. This is a moral as well as a legal issue,” Singh said.Dipankar Gupta, one of country’s top sociologist, also pointed out that the controversy has certain moral connotations to it.advertisement”I do believe that one has to take a serious view of this. Look at the golf courses… the amount of water they waste. I think it’s not just a moral issue but an ethical issue too. Why should we waste so much water on these (cricket) pitches to favour certain kind of sport which is not indigenous to our country,” he said.Presenting his views during the discussion, Brand Guru, Dilip Cherian, said,” I would have supported IPL if it would have been real cricket. It is actually an advanced form of entertainment. As far as cricket is concerned, IPL is a tournament essentially based on clubs.””IPL is not even real sport, its actually a game people play to amuse vast number of people,” Cherian added.P Chengal Reddy, President, Federation of Farmers’ Association, observed that it was probably for the first time that such an issue has been raised in the country.”We are raising an issue which also concerns the sensitivity of cricket lovers and Mumbaikars. This is not a question about morality but sensitivity,” Reddy said.Former Indian cricketer Saad Bin Jung was of the view that if IPL matches are banned in Maharashtra then it should be banned in other places too.”Will banning the IPL get you 70 lakh litres of water? Do we have a method in place to provide that water to the families who actually need it. No we don’t,” Jung said, adding,” the petitioner has come as a blessing in disguise for the officials and politicians who for so many years have not delivered basic water facilities. What will happen now is everyone will go hammer and tongs against the IPL and forget the main culprits.”last_img read more

Wimbledon: Andy Murray downs mercurial Nick Kyrgios to reach quarter-finals

first_imgWorld number two Andy Murray withstood the challenge of Nick Kyrgios on Monday, sweeping aside the mercurial Australian 7-5 6-1 6-4 on Centre Court to reach his ninth straight Wimbledon quarter-final.For much of a pulsating first set 15th seed Kyrgios had the edge, however, thudding down serves at close to 140 mph that the second-seeded Scot struggled to reach let alone control.  (Also read: Serena Williams powers into Wimbledon quarter-finals)Murray’s serve, meanwhile, was misfiring and, under darkening skies and roared on by a partisan crowd, he had to dig deep to stay on terms with the Australian. (Also read: Federer storms into Wimbledon quarters, equals Navratilova’s win record)The set and the match turned in the 12th game, when a combination of Kyrgios errors and two inspired Murray backhands presented the Scot with three break points. Kyrgios saved the first two with booming serves but Murray converted the third when the Australian netted a forehand volley.Thereafter Kyrgios’s focus and intensity wavered, the Briton breaking him twice in a second set that flew by in 26 minutes. He broke once more in the third, closing out the contest with an ace on his third match point. (Also read: Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic slayer Sam Querrey moves into the quarter-finals)Murray will face swashbuckling Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 12th seed, in the quarter-finals.last_img read more

Usain Bolt reveals injury details and rounds on doubters

first_imgUsain Bolt delivered a rebuke those who questioned whether he really suffered an injury in his farewell race at the World Athletics Championships by revealing details of his hamstring tear on Thursday.The Jamaican, stung by speculation that he had pulled up in the anchor leg of the 4×100 metres relay final in London on Saturday because he was too far behind to win the race, said the injury would need three months of rehabilitation.Accompanied by an x-ray of the injury to his left hamstring, the eight-times Olympics gold medallist was also adamant in social media posts that he never cheated his fans.The 30-year-old explained on Twitter: “Sadly I have tear of the proximal myotendineous junction of biceps femoris in my left hamstring with partial retraction. 3 months rehab.”I don’t usually release my medical report to the public but sadly I have sat and listened to people questioning if I was really injured.”I have never been one to cheat my fans in any way & my entire desire at the championship was run one last time for my fans. Thanks for the continued support my fans and I rest, heal and move onto the next chapter of my life #Love&LoveAlone.”The posts on Twitter were removed shortly after they had been posted.Bolt had been three metres down on the two leaders as he took on the last leg of the relay, which was won by Britain, only to pull up sharply and fall to the ground, coming to a halt after a forward roll on the track.advertisementHe speculated on Sunday that the injury, which ended a wretched final championships for him after he only managed to win bronze in the individual 100 metres the previous weekend, might have been caused by having a long wait before the race.Bolt, who won 19 global championship golds, is widely considered the finest sprinter in athletics annals.last_img read more

Michigan Great Ty Law Will Serve As Honorary Captain For Homecoming

first_imgView of a Michigan Wolverines football helmet before their game against the Utah Utes.SALT LAKE CITY, UT – SEPTEMBER 3: View of a Michigan Wolverines football helmet before their game against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)2019 has been a pretty good year for Michigan alumni. Former Wolverines quarterback Tom Brady won yet another Super Bowl, and another famous alum is getting inducted into the Hall of Fame. That soon-to-be Hall of Famer is getting honored next season.Via WolverinesWire, Michigan is planning to honor Hall of Fame cornerback Ty Law at the October 5 Homecoming Game against Iowa. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh extended Law the offer to serve as honorary captain of the game on the most recent episode of the coach’s “Attack Each Day” podcast.Law accepted the invitation on the spot. From the site’s write-up:“Absolutely man, I would be honored and I will be there!” Law said. “We’re gonna make this a homecoming—we’re gonna go out there and whoop some Iowa ass. That we’re gonna do. “I would be honored, Coach, thank you so much and I will be there!”As a member of the Wolverines, Law was a two-time unanimous All-Big Ten Conference selection. After his junior year, he was drafted No. 23 overall by the New England Patriots in the 1995 NFL Draft.Law was a major defensive player in the Patriots’ first three Super Bowl titles, earning four of his five Pro Bowl selections and two All-Pro selections in his ten-year stint in New England.He went on to have brief stints with the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, and Denver Broncos from 2005 to 2009 before retiring.Law was named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2009.Earlier this year, Law was announced as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019.last_img read more

Funding Announced for IWK Capital Equipment

first_imgThe province is investing $3.5 million in new hospital equipment for the women and children served by the IWK, Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson announced today, July 12. “New technology and equipment are important in continuing to provide safe, quality health care services,” said Mr. Wilson. “This investment will improve care and enhance safety for patients throughout the province.” The funding includes about $3 million to replace 19 anesthesia machines and monitors at the IWK Health Centre hospital, as well as and $500,000 for new and upgraded pharmacy and laboratory equipment. The hospital will also receive funding towards a $102,000 laparoscopic system for minimally invasive surgery. “This new equipment will directly benefit the care of the women, children, youth and families served by the IWK each day,” said Anne McGuire, president and CEO of the IWK Health Centre. “The province’s investment in medical technology allows our staff and physicians to provide the best possible care today, which will in turn lead to healthier generations of Maritimers.” Under the cost-share formula for capital equipment, the Department of Health and Wellness will pay 75 per cent of the cost for the equipment and the district health authority IWK will pay 25 per cent, which was raised by the IWK Health Care Foundation through donations. The province’s investment is part of $15 million announced in December from its Jobs and Building 2012/13 Capital Plan. The money is earmarked for district health authorities and the IWK Health centre to purchase or replace necessary equipment.last_img read more

3 medical colleges get MCI nod for 350 UG seats

first_imgKolkata: The Medical Council of India (MCI) had granted 350 seats at the undergraduate level at three medical colleges in the state, including a government-run institution.The newly constructed Diamond Harbour Govt Medical College and Hospital has obtained 100 seats for the academic year 2019-20 while two private medical colleges — ICARE Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Haldia, and Shri Ramkrishna Institute of Medical Sciences and Sanaka Hospitals, Durgapur, have received 100 and 150 MBBS seats each, respectively. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaThe ICARE Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Haldia, have been granted the seats for five years. After five years, the institute may have to seek an approval to function with the increased number of seat. The other two medical colleges will have to seek permission from the MCI every year before admitting candidates in the added number of seats. The Mamata Banerjee government has set up five new medical colleges in the state to mitigate the crisis of doctors in the state and create new opportunities for medical aspirants. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersApart from Diamond Harbour Government Medical College and Hospital, four other state-run medical colleges are waiting for the MCI’s nod to get undergraduate seats for the current academic year. A senior official of the state Health department said a total of 400 undergraduate medical seats will be created in the four newly constructed medical colleges at Purulia, Rampurhat, Raigunj and Cooch Behar. In 2016, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the project to set up five new medical colleges in the state. The Medical Council of India will approve the seats in these in colleges once it gets convinced about the availability of adequate infrastructure. The MCI has increased medical seats in all the other government-run medical colleges in the state having less than 250 sanctioned seats by 10 per cent on the overall number of seats in MBBS except the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital and NRS Medical Colleges and Hospital. No seats were increased in these two medical colleges in the city as they already have around 250 seats. After coming to power, Banerjee felt the need to create more opportunities for aspiring medical students. To address the crises in this sector, she announced to come up with more medical colleges in various districts. According to sources in the state Health department, the combined number of MBBS and BDS seats has increased from 2,205 to 3,750 while the number of post-graduate medical seats has increased from 880 to 1,297. The number of post-doctoral seats has also increased from 107 to 147.last_img read more

Eid alAdha prayers peaceful in Kashmir Police

first_imgSrinagar: Eid al-Adha prayers on Monday morning at various mosques in the Kashmir Valley concluded without any violence, police said. The authorities had on Sunday said people will be allowed to visit neighbourhood mosques to offer prayers. Large gatherings, however, were not allowed in any part of the Valley, an official said on Monday. “#Eid #prayers concluded #peacefully in various parts of the #valley. No untoward incident reported so far,” the Jammu and Kashmir Police said in a tweet. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Reports suggested authorities distributed sweets at various mosques. On the eve of Eid al-Adha, restrictions were eased in the Valley to allow people to shop for the festival. However, the usual hustle and bustle of the Eid al-Adha festival was missing in the Valley where normal life has been paralysed following heavy security deployment, restrictions on movement and curtailing of communication links after the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The district administrations are constantly reviewing the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and doing their best to minimise the inconvenience caused to people during the restrictions imposed on movement, the official said. The government has also made arrangements for availability of adequate food and other essential items across the Kashmir Valley and steps are being taken to even deliver certain goods at people’s doorsteps, another official said. The government’s top priority is to maintain peace and prevent any casualty and mischief in Jammu and Kashmir, he said. President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday declared the abrogation of special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 following a Parliamentary approval in the Modi government’s proposal. On Saturday, he gave assent to a bill passed by the Parliament for bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — which will come into existence on October 31.last_img read more

Canadas hope to get climate change into NAFTA could prove difficult

first_imgOTTAWA – U.S. President Donald Trump’s stance on climate change may end up being the biggest stumbling block in NAFTA talks when it comes to the environment.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated Friday during a tour of eastern Ontario that he wants climate change, reducing emissions and moving to a low-carbon economy to be written into the new NAFTA when Canada, the U.S. and Mexico begin renegotiating the deal later this month.“We are certainly looking for a better level playing field across North America on environmental protections,”Trudeau said.However with Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement, referring to climate change as a “hoax” and pledging to return the U.S. coal industry to its glory days, the White House and the Canadian government are pretty far apart on many environmental issues.Even getting the words “climate change” into the agreement could be a struggle.A government official speaking on background told The Canadian Press last week, that on the environment side, Canada will be looking to the free trade agreement recently signed with Europe, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, as a template.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has referred to CETA as the gold standard of trade agreements when it comes to the environment and said she wants to push CETA’s environment chapter with the U.S. and Mexico on NAFTA.However, several trade experts say the United States is going to be pushing for the environment chapter in NAFTA to be more closely aligned with the now-defunct Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP.One key difference?CETA mentions climate change. TPP does not.“CETA is more relevant to Canada and the TPP is more relevant to the United States,” said Peter Clark, an international trade expert and president of the Ottawa firm Grey, Clark, Shih and Associates.Several American states are stepping up to maintain their climate change commitments despite the federal government’s pullback, however NAFTA isn’t being negotiated at the state level.Tim Gray, executive director of Environmental Defence, said whether Canada can push the U.S. into adding climate change protections and mitigation to NAFTA may depend on how influential state governments can be in the talks.“Major economies like California and northeastern states that already have various forms of carbon pricing may have a real interest in this,” he said.Canada’s coming national price on carbon adds further fuel to the debate, as some will be looking for Canadian industries affected by the carbon price to get protections, maybe even in the form of a carbon tax applied at the border on goods coming from places in the U.S. where there is no such policy.Clark said mischievously he recommends Canada seek a border adjustment carbon tax at best, but at a bare minimum he believes Canada should require the Paris Agreement be added to a list of multilateral environment agreements to which NAFTA countries must belong.In its list of objectives for NAFTA released last month, the Office of the United States Trade Representative said it wants NAFTA to require signatories to adopt and uphold their obligations under several such pacts, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.“I think Canada should immediately add the Paris accord to that list,” said Clark.CETA also has what it is known as the “precautionary principle,” which means a party proposing a development or an action has to prove it won’t harm the environment, even if only some, not all, scientists agree it could be harmful.In CETA there is also a provision which says that the costs of pollution are borne by the polluter and requires Canada and Europe to prioritize trade in environmental goods and services related to renewable energy and co-operate on climate change adaptation and mitigation. It also makes clear that foreign companies cannot claim compensation when they believe a government’s environmental regulations or policies harm their business.Canada has been subject to several such challenges under NAFTA and lost many of them, paying millions in compensation.TPP, on the other hand, includes a provision to allow countries to suspend trade benefits with a country that doesn’t respect its environmental responsibilities.One area where both Canada and the United States agree is in bringing the environment chapter into the main NAFTA papers. In 1994 it was included as a separate annex.Including it as its own chapter in NAFTA would make whatever environmental obligations it puts forward subject to the agreement’s dispute resolution provisions.However, Clark said Canada cannot really insist that environmental provisions are make-or-break requirements.“I can’t see us walking away over it,” he said. “It’s important, but what kind of leverage do they have?”If Canada says it will leave the table unless Trump agrees to put climate change into the agreement, he’s likely to say ‘fine, go ahead’, said Clark.“This is not really a typical trade negotiation,” he added.-follow @mrabson on Twitter.last_img read more

Albertas proposed cannabis legislation includes mix of private and public sales

first_imgEDMONTON – The Alberta government plans to control the online sale of legalized marijuana but will leave over-the-counter sales to private operators.Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley introduced the rules in proposed legislation Thursday, but details on how sales would work have yet to be determined.“This is a major shift for our province and one that has to be made very quickly with a lot of complex questions,” said Ganley.“We believe this plan represents what the majority of Albertans want to see.”There are still questions about how online weed would be delivered.Private cannabis stores would have to be physically separate from stores that sell alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals — but how that would be legally defined hasn’t been determined.“They do have to be in a completely separate premises,” said Ganley, but added that this could include businesses that are separate but part of the same structure, such as in a strip mall.Ganley said the government will finalize those decisions by early next year.The stores would not be allowed to sell anything but cannabis and cannabis-related products.Marijuana distribution would be run by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission and there would be ways to ensure that minors couldn’t buy weed off the internet.How many cannabis stores would be allowed would be up to the commission, but retailers would have to undergo background checks. All staff would have to be 18 or older.Jeff Mooij, who works for a medical marijuana clinic and wants to become a bricks and mortar retailer, said he expects demand will quickly outstrip supply.“(The lineups) will be huge, there’s no doubt about it,” he said, saying other jurisdictions in the United States, such as Colorado, have had marijuana shortages. “The feds need to step up this (growing) process.”Mooij suggested Alberta will need well over 200 licensed producers. He said there are 73 right now that are licensed and only half of them are producing product.Ken Kobly of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce said the proposed model is the best way to balance private enterprise with public safety.“The primary concern is obviously ensuring only those (legally) permitted to purchase cannabis are able to do so,” said Kobly.The bill also proposes legislation for initiatives announced last month by Ganley in a draft cannabis framework:— Minimum age to buy and use cannabis is to be 18, the same as alcohol.— Maximum public possession limit is to be 30 grams.— Zero tolerance for youth possessing pot.— Maximum of four pot plants per household.— Smoking and vaping cannabis banned wherever tobacco use is banned.— No cannabis allowed on hospital grounds, schools and anywhere kids gather such as playgrounds, splash parks and sports fields.Provinces and territories have been working on rules for cannabis since the federal government announced last spring that it will legalize recreational use of marijuana by July 1.Quebec is taking a different approach with legislation that proposes that all cannabis cultivated in the province must be sold by the government, through a subsidiary of the provincially run liquor board. It would also be illegal to cultivate cannabis for personal or commercial use, unless authorized by the government.Ottawa will be in charge of overall health issues and regulations, while provinces will distribute and sell cannabis while keeping roads, schools and workplaces safe.The provinces and Ottawa are still working on who should get what percentage of taxes.The federal government is revising and toughening up Criminal Code charges for anyone caught driving impaired while under the influence of cannabis or a mix of cannabis and alcohol.Earlier this week, Alberta announced it will add its own administrative penalties, including zero tolerance on cannabis for new drivers.The province is still working on updating workplace rules to address the risk of cannabis impairment on the job.last_img read more

Nova Scotia education reform eliminating school boards passes final reading

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s sweeping education reform bill has passed final reading in the legislature, only one week after it was introduced by Education Minister Zach Churchill.The governing Liberals used their majority to pass Bill 72 by a vote of 25-21.The legislation dissolves the province’s seven regional school boards as of March 31 and replaces them with a 15-member provincial advisory council, while keeping local school advisory councils in place along with board administrations.In another contentious move it takes principals, vice-principals and senior supervisory staff from the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and rolls them into a new association affiliated with the union.Premier Stephen McNeil says he believes the changes will give communities a stronger voice because they will get direct access to the minister.NDP education critic Claudia Chender calls the notion “absurd” and says the concerns of parents will end up falling to members of the legislature.The legislation is largely based on recommendations contained in a report by consultant Avis Glaze.last_img read more

Closing Bell TSX closes lower Friday

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed lower Friday as traders looked ahead to next week’s U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and hope that the central bank will provide clues as to whether it plans to ease off on some of its economic stimulus.The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 89.76 points to 12,187.36 amid a string of disappointing economic data.The Canadian dollar was off 0.03 of a cent to 98.34 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that manufacturing sales fell 2.4% in April to $48.2 billion.It’s the fourth decline in five months and the largest monthly percentage drop since August 2009.The agency says lower sales in the petroleum and coal product and primary metal industries were largely responsible for the decline.U.S. indexes were also in the red amid signs of a weakening American manufacturing sector and consumer sentiment.The Dow Jones industrials dropped 105.9 points to 15,070.18 as May industrial production was flat. Economists had expected a 0.3% increase after production fell by 0.5% in April.And the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index came in at 82.7, well below expectations that it would remain at a five year high of 84.5.The Nasdaq was down 21.81 points to 3,423.56 and the S&P 500 index gave back 9.63 points to 1,626.73.Concerns about Fed intentions have weighed on markets since late last month. That’s when Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said that the Fed might pull back on its US$85 billion-a-month bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing, if economic data improves, especially hiring.The QE program has underpinned a strong rally on U.S. markets.The Fed holds its next regularly scheduled meeting on interest rates next Tuesday and Wednesday and wraps up with a news conference by Bernanke.Hopes for more details were fuelled Thursday by a Wall Street Journal story that suggested Bernanke will likely use next week’s meeting to try to calm market worries that the central bank is in a hurry to moderate its bond purchases.“I think (the nervousness) is a reflection of the amount of leverage that is in the market that there’s a lot of speculators,” said Norman Raschkowan, North American strategist with Mackenzie Financial Corp.“It’s no longer the big New York banks that are leveraged up and speculating, it’s foreign investors, it’s hedge funds, it’s whoever. And that’s why any time one of the Fed governors sneezes, there’s someone who is panicking because they’ve got this leveraged position that’s in danger of going under water.”Nervousness about Fed intentions helped push TSX down 186 points or 1.5% last week while the Dow industrials fell 178 points or 1.17%.The base metals sector led decliners, down 2.33% as July copper was up two cents to US$3.20 a pound. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) gave back 56 cents to C$16.91 while Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) shed 82 cents to $23.93.Techs were also weak, down 1.25% with CGI Group (TSX:GIB.A) down 71 cents to $30.05.The gold sector was off about 1.5% as August bullion rose $9.80 to US$1,387.60 an ounce. Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) faded 71 cents to $28.21.The telecom sector added to a string of losses, down 0.85%.Speculation about cutting back on the QE program has had the effect of pushing U.S. Treasury yields sharply higher, which in turn has had a negative effect on TSX interest-rate sensitive sectors such as real estate, utilities, telecom and pipelines.But Canada’s telecom sector has also been pressured after Ottawa quashed the idea that big telecoms could take over the spectrum of smaller players. Federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis said current rules would stand, leading to Telus to abandon its plan to buy Mobilicity.BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) gave back 47 cents to $44.16 while Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B) dropped 54 cents to $45.35.Financials shed 0.74% with TD Bank (TSX:TD) down 92 cents to $81.32.The July crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange ahead $1.16 to US$97.85 a barrel. The energy sector was off 0.53%. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) was down 36 cents to C$30.96.Utilities were ahead 0.63% following a string of losses. Speculation about cutting back on the QE program has had the effect of pushing U.S. Treasury yields sharply higher, which in turn has had a negative effect on TSX defensive/interest-rate sensitive sectors such as REITS, utilities, telecom and pipeline stocks.Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) gained 70 cents to $33. On Thursday, New York regulators cleared the way for Fortis Inc. to buy CH Energy Group, the parent of Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp. in a deal valued at US$1.5 billion.The Canadian Press read more

Airline customerservice agents report abusive customers

DALLAS — Airline customer-service agents say they often get verbal threats from passengers, and sometimes they turn into physical confrontations.The agents say alcohol, airline fees and long lines can anger passengers.The Government Accountability Office reported Tuesday that more than half the 104 agents it surveyed reported threats or other harmful action by customers in the past year. About 10% say they were physically assaulted.The congressional investigative agency says comprehensive figures on passenger assaults are hard to find.Airlines, airports and law enforcement say current laws are adequate to deter confrontations, and most say they have resources to deal with the problem.A 2018 law required airlines to train agents in de-escalating conflicts. Airlines missed a deadline for submitting plans for handling passenger assaults.Congress ordered the GAO to investigate violence against customer-service agents after media coverage of passenger misbehaviour. In 2017, several hundred customers nearly rioted at a Spirit Airlines ticket counter at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after Spirit cancelled several flights.The GAO said it interviewed employees of six airlines — Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit and United — at five large airports where assaults had been reported. Five of the airlines refused to share information about incidents with GAO. The sixth, which was not identified, said its records for the second half of 2018 showed 1.2 assaults for every 1,000 passengers.Airlines for America, a trade group representing the airlines in the survey, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Of agents who reported an incident with a customer, more than half said they believed that somebody from their airline, airport or law enforcement took action ranging from talking to the passenger to arresting them.Agents whose reports were not acted upon said they felt a lack of support from airline management. Some agents believe airlines condone bad behaviour by giving passengers seat upgrades or loyalty miles to defuse the situation.Alcohol is the most commonly cited factor behind assaults, the GAO found. Some industry officials told GAO that passengers have more opportunity now to drink while waiting for a flight. Officials at one airport noted that passengers in the gate areas can use tablet computers to order drinks.Interfering with an airline crew on board a flight is a federal crime, but incidents at airports are usually covered by state or local laws. The FBI can step in if it suspects a violation of federal law.GAO said the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration said their roles in handling passenger assaults at airports were limited mostly to in-flight incidents or airport security, respectively.David Koenig, The Associated Press read more

UN loan to help Zambian smallholders grow more crops combat cattle disease

The total project cost of $15 million will be partly financed by a $10.1 million loan from IFAD under an agreement signed today at the Fund’s headquarters in Rome by its President Lennart Båge and Zambia’s Ambassador to Italy, Lucy Mungoma Mungoma.“Most of Zambia’s smallholders depend on animal power for ploughing their land. Repeated outbreaks of Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia and East Coast Fever have killed a large proportion of smallholders’ cattle and forced many people to resort to the hand hoe,” says Ides de Willebois, IFAD’s regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa.“The project will drive the two main cattle-killing diseases back to manageable levels. In areas where disease prevalence rates have been reduced to manageable levels, communities who have lost most of their cattle will receive cattle for onward distribution of offspring, enabling a major expansion of the area under plough, and improved food security and income.”As well as receiving livestock if they have lost cattle to disease, poor farming families will also receive training on combating such diseases and a specialized unit will be set up within the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to implement control measures, IFAD said.Since it started operations in 1978, IFAD – a specialized UN agency dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries – has provided loans totalling $135 million to help finance 10 programmes and projects in Zambia.In a separate development, IFAD also signed a loan agreement with Albania today to provide $8 million toward a $24 million five-year programme aimed at fighting poverty in the country’s mountain areas by setting up a private commercial bank.It is expected that by 2010 the bank will provide computerized services through 40 branches in rural areas, catering for around 20,000 clients with savings accounts, the agency said. About 10,000 borrowers will be able to expand their rural businesses through bank loans. This is the fourth initiative IFAD has supported in Albania with loans totalling $42.3 million. read more

Derrick Rose Blames Himself For Teams 107104 Loss to

Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose, right, defends as Philadelphia 76ers’ Michael Carter-Williams drives onto the lane in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/H. Rumph JrPegged the worst team in the league, the Philadelphia 76ers are continuing to defy the odds by taking down the Chicago Bulls 107-104, at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.Rookie Michael Carter-Williams led 76ers with 26 points and 10 assists. Evan Turner, who has netted 20 or more points in all three tilts this season, posted 20 for Philadelphia, which is 3-0 for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign.Spencer Hawes tallied 18 points and 11 rebounds in the triumph. Philadelphia has already defeated the Washington Wizards and two-time defending champion Miami Heat to rise to first place in the Atlantic Division.“We understand what everybody has said and written about us,” first-year coach Brett Brown said. “Our guys have put in the day-to-day stuff, which has always been our message. I’m lucky I’ve found a group that enjoys each other’s company and they enjoy playing together.”Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 10 boards for Chicago, which dropped to 1-2 in the young season, while Luol Deng added 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Derrick Rose registered 13 points and six assists, but was just 4-of-14 from the field against the team he tore his ACL against in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs.“I would blame tonight on me,” said Rose, who wore tape around his neck for the second straight game. “Turnovers, missed shots, miscommunication – I just couldn’t get in my groove.”After trailing by as many as 18 points in the second half, the Sixers took a 100-99 lead with 3:29 left when Carter-Williams, a former Syracuse star, picked up a loose ball and calmly laid it in. It was the Sixers’ first lead since 11-10.With 5.9 seconds left, Hawes made a jumper to put the Sixers ahead 107-104, and Deng missed a potentially game-tying 3-pointer on the other end.The 76ers will take on Stephon Curry and the Golden State Worriors Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m.CT in the Oracle Arena. read more

Iron ore dominates project news the ferrous field is alight

first_imgLatest issue (44 pages) of International Mining Project News available (April 9): Much of the mining talk over the past fortnight has focused on iron ore. Questions over Rio and BHP’s Pilbara operations joint venture have continued to be raised, however the more imminent issue is that of a fundamental change of pricing. The reported settlement of quarterly prices from BHP and Vale with steel mills in Asia has raised more questions than it has answered, however many miners are using this news to benchmark prices and re-evaluate their project’s worth. One such company is IronClad Mining and its Wilcherry Hill project in South Australia (SA). There are also updates from Iron Road’s Central Eyre project and Lincoln Minerals’ Gum Flat project – both in SA, Gindalbie Metals’ Karara project, Atlas Iron’s Wodgina project and Grange Resources’ Southdown project, all in Western Australia. In addition there is production news at Diavik Diamond Mines’ operation in Canada, development news at Coeur d’Alene Mines’ Kensington gold mine in Alaska and expansion news at Xstrata Zinc’s Black Star mine in Australia.Just today Rio Tinto reports it “is currently negotiating contracts with its customers to supply iron ore priced on a quarterly basis.” Sam Walsh, Chief Executive Iron Ore and Australia, said “Rio Tinto’s position reflects the recent structural shift in the iron ore market away from benchmark pricing. It is in line with our recent comments that benchmark pricing only works if it reflects market fundamentals, otherwise the system would need to change.”At Diavik Diamond Mines’ Diavik diamond mine in Canada’s remote Northwest Territories production has commenced from its new underground mine. The mine, a joint venture between Rio Tinto (60%) and Harry Winston Diamond Corp (40%), has been operating as an open-pit since 2003. The transition to underground has always been part of its 16-22 year mine plan. It currently comprises three diamond bearing kimberlite pipes that will be mined using open pit and underground mining methods. Underground operations will steadily increase as the open pits are depleted and by 2012, Diavik is expected to be a 100% underground mine. A fourth pipe, the A21 pipe, is being reviewed to determine the viability of mining. The underground operation will extend the life of the Diavik mine past 2020. A few days earlier, the company reported its 2010 winter road resupply was completed safely and successfully on March 21.IronClad Mining and Trafford Resources, the joint venture partners in the Wilcherry Hill iron ore project, say that the increase in iron ore prices agreed between BHP and major Chinese steel mills last week could increase its prefeasibility study estimated margin of around A$30/t to a margin in the order of A$50/t, significantly adding to the overall value of the project. Wilcherry Hill is expected to begin production of its high quality, low contaminant DSO magnetite late this year.In rare earth developments, Avalon Rare Metals is making good progress on metallurgical process development for the Nechalacho rare earth element (REE) deposit in Thor Lake, Canada. Following the successful development of a flotation process for producing an REE mineral concentrate in 2009, recent work has focused on a hydrometallurgical process to further upgrade the REE into a chemical concentrate. Avalon has now successfully established a hydrometallurgical process, proven numerous times in the laboratory, for extracting the REE from the mineral concentrates, bringing them into solution so that they can be upgraded by SX and precipitated as a chemical (carbonate) concentrate.Xstrata Zinc’s proposed expansion of its Black Star Open Cut (BSOC) mine in Mount Isa will be a A$133 million project which could extend the life of the mine at current production rates by four years to 2016. Xstrata Zinc Australia COO, Brian Hearne, said, if approved, the BSOC ‘Deeps’ project would ensure the mine’s sustainability and maintain current employment levels. A feasibility study into the expansion commenced in 2009 and technical studies are continuing. The BSOC Deeps project would deepen the existing pit and target ore at a depth of 400 m below ground surface level, 100 m below the current design. This is expected to add around 14 Mt of ore to the production profile at a rate of up to 4.6 Mt/y.Coeur d’Alene Mines plans to commence mining operations in July at its Kensington gold mine, resulting in partial first year production of around 50,000 oz of gold. Mild winter weather has allowed construction activities to remain on-schedule and on-budget, with 85% of the tailings line from the mill to the tailings facility now installed. Blasting activities will take place along the Kensington vein this month and a 120 bed man camp is now complete and fully occupied. As of the end of 2008, Kensington had Proven reserves of 180,493 t at 11.87 g/t Au and Probable reserves of 4.8 Mt at 8.1 g/t Au.To receive the full 40+ page report, subscriptions to this service can be registered and paid for on-line (SUBSCRIBE TO IM PROJECT NEWS BUTTON), or contact emma@im-mining.com for a free trial copy.last_img read more

A Fan Made Bobs BurgersArcher Crossover Got its Creator a Job

first_img What Kind of Sorcery is This? Expert Archer Shoots ‘Turning Arrows’Netflix’s ‘Pacific Heat’ is an Aussie ‘Archer’ with Less Subversion Stay on target Woah, wait, what, really? Bob’s is my favourite animated show, that’s quite literally a dream of mine!— Simon Chong (@chongster62) July 21, 2017Nothing’s been made official yet, but that looks pretty promising. The project Chong had been working on for fun, for seven months, got him an offer for his dream job. So , you know that thing you keep saying you’ll make one day? Maybe it’s time to actually make the thing.center_img If you need a little encouragement to finish that side project you’ve been working on forever, here’s a story that should do the trick. Welsh animator Simon Chong shared a project he’d been working on for months on Friday morning. It was a fan-made short featuring character from Archer and Bob’s Burgers. Inspired by the brief crossover in Archer’s season four premiere, Chong took things a step further. He brought (almost) the entire main cast of Archer into Bob’s restaurant.Watching it knowing it’s the work of just one guy, it’s an amazing accomplishment. Chong drew and animated the entire thing himself, including illustrating the Archer characters in the Bob’s Burgers style. He even edited together voice samples from both shows into a coherent (well, as coherent as either series gets) story. Knowing that, the dialog flows much smoother than you’d ever expect it to. Just looking at this animation, you’d never know it was fan-made. The Bob’s Burgers characters are perfectly on-model, and the Archer ones fit in so well, you’d swear this crossover was actually Fox-produced.We’re not the only ones who were impressed. Chong shared the video on Twitter on Monday. By Saturday night, he had a job offer from Bob’s Burgers. According to io9, the video first caught the cast’s attention, and they passed it along to the show’s creator, Loren Bouchard. Before long, Bouchard offered him a job over Twitter.last_img read more

NASA Names WV Facility After Hidden Figure Katherine Johnson

first_img NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendScientists Discover Possible Interstellar Visitor Stay on target NASA has renamed its Independent Verification and Validation Facility in Fairmont, W.V., the Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility, in honor of the West Virginia native and one of the space agency’s “hidden figures.”One-hundred years young, Johnson is an African-American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first (and subsequent) U.S. manned space flight.During her 35-year career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations, and helped pioneer the use of computers to perform tasks.Johnson helped to calculate trajectories, launch windows, and emergency return paths for Project Mercury missions—including those of astronauts Alan Shepard and John Glenn.She also assisted with rendezvous paths for the Apollo lunar lander and command module on flights to the Moon, as well as plans for a mission to Mars.In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom. You may know her as Taraji P. Henson’s character in the 2016 film Hidden Figures.Katherine Johnson (via NASA)“I am thrilled we are honoring Katherine Johnson in this way as she is a true American icon who overcame incredible obstacles and inspired so many,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. “It’s a fitting tribute to name the facility that carries on her legacy of mission-critical computations in her honor.”President Donald Trump in December signed into law an act of Congress calling for the redesignation. IV&V is in the process of planning a dedication ceremony, details TBD.Two years ago, NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., unveiled the new Katherine Johnson Computational Research Facility.“I think they’re crazy,” the engineer said at the time.“I like the stars, and the stories we were telling, and it was a joy to contribute to the literature that was going to come out,” she added. “But little did I think it would go this far.”At a time of racial segregation in the south, Johnson, along with fellow black mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, broke barriers and helped pave the way for diversity in the agency.“It’s an honor the NASA IV&V Program’s primary facility now carries Katherine Johnson’s name,” IV&V director Gregory Blaney said. “It’s a way for us to recognize Katherine’s career and contributions not just during Black History Month, but every day, every year.”More on Geek.com:This LEGO Women of NASA Set Will Sell Out in a HurryNew Horizons Snaps Sharp Images of Ultima Thule’s SurfaceNASA Volunteer Finds Coldest and Oldest Known White Dwarf Starlast_img read more