To Advance Technology, Make Like Nature

first_imgScientists and engineers continue to find the most elegant solutions to practical problems by looking at plants and animals.  Here are a few of the recent examples.Wet computing:  Cells and brains do a superior job of complex processing, so why are our current computers singing how dry I am?  Not for much longer.  Science Daily reported that “A new kind of information processing technology inspired by chemical processes in living systems is being developed by researchers at the University of Southampton.”  What they have so far is “very crude” but they are working toward developing a “liquid brain” just like our brains.  Dr. Klaus-Peter Zauner at the University’s School of Electronics and Computer Science said, “People realise now that the best information processes we have are in our heads and as we are increasingly finding that silicon has its limitations in terms of information processing, we need to explore other approaches, which is exactly what we are doing here.”  Makes you wonder why IBM didn’t follow that inspiration early on.  Think of the other benefits: “Our system will copy some key features of neuronal pathways in the brain and will be capable of excitation, self-repair and self-assembly,” said fellow researcher Dr. Maurits de Planque.    The BBC News also reported on this story.  Dr. Zauner told them, “Every neuron is like a molecular computer; ours is a very crude abstraction of what neurons do.”  The planned chemical computers will also have another characteristically human trait: lipids, or fat.Slime mold highways:  What would a slimy mold have to teach humans?  New Scientist reported two specialists in “unconventional computing” believe they can provide alternative methods for road planning.  After watching a slime mold in a petri dish find the best path to nutrients on a map of England, Jeff Jones of the University of the West of England in Bristol said, “This shows how a single-celled creature without any nervous system – and thus intelligence in the classical sense – can provide an efficient solution to a routing problem.”Make like a leaf:  Leaves are like incredibly-efficient solar panels, so why not imitate them?  New Scientist reported that a team in China is building artificial leaves that can imitate photosynthesis.  “By mimicking the machinery plants use to do this, it is possible to create a miniature hydrogen factory,” one of the researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University said.  “Using sunlight to split water molecules and form hydrogen fuel is one of the most promising tactics for kicking our carbon habit.”    Their new approach is closer to the plants’ technique.  They are trying to “mimic photosynthesis by copying the elaborate architectures of green leaves” themselves.  To do this, they are actually building on dried leaves and using them as templates.  “The leaf retained features such as the lens-like cells at its surface, which catch light coming from any angle, and veins that help guide light deeper into the leaf.”  This strategy is making the artificial structures more efficient: twice as good at absorption and three times better at hydrogen production,” the team claimed.    They realize this is just a “good beginning,” the article ended.  “Complex structures found in leaves should be utilised further for enhancement in light harvesting.” The article about artificial leaves was the only one making mention of evolution.  “Plant leaves have evolved over millions of years to catch the energy in the sun’s rays very efficiently,” the article said.  “They use the energy to produce food, and the central step in the process involves splitting water molecules and creating hydrogen ions.”  Apparently it is Mason Inman, author of the report, who gets the credit for Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week.This is where the action is in science and technology: finding exquisite designs in nature and trying to imitate them.  You have to feel sad for the Darwinists.  Every time they insert the E-word into the story, they only show themselves superfluous.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Forty Senators call for higher biodiesel targets in RFS

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Forty U.S. senators from across the country called on the EPA to strengthen biodiesel volumes in the pending Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) proposal.The senators emphasized that biodiesel and renewable diesel are leading the way in delivering Advanced Biofuels under the RFS and said the EPA should do more to encourage their growth.“The biodiesel industry has met RFS criteria for growth, exceeding the goals that Congress envisioned when it created the RFS with bipartisan support in 2005 and supporting over 47,000 jobs,” the letter states. “To date, biodiesel and renewable diesel have delivered the majority of the advanced biofuels under the RFS. We believe it is clear that these fuels offer the best opportunity for growth in the near future.”The letter, which can be found here, was led by Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. It was signed by a bipartisan group of additional senators from California to Minnesota to Maine.Biodiesel — made from a diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats — is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide. It has made up the vast majority of Advanced Biofuel production under the RFS to date.According to the EPA, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57% to 86% compared with petroleum diesel.“I think this letter reflects a growing consensus on Capitol Hill that biodiesel and renewable diesel are successfully delivering the economic and environmental benefits that Congress had in mind when it created the RFS,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). “This is a success story, and hopefully this letter helps show the Obama administration and the EPA that we need to do more. We need to embrace growth in our cleanest fuels, and the EPA proposal as it stands falls short of that.”“On behalf of biodiesel producers around the country we want to thank all the senators who signed this letter, particularly Sens. Blunt, Murray, Grassley and Heitkamp for their leadership in organizing the effort,” Steckel said.The RFS —  a bipartisan policy passed in 2005 and signed into law by President George W. Bush — requires increasing volumes of renewable fuels in the U.S. fuel stream, and specifically calls for increasing volumes of Advanced Biofuels in the coming years.Biodiesel and renewable diesel — a similar diesel alternative — fall under the Biomass-based Diesel category of the RFS, which is an Advanced Biofuel category intended to ensure that the policy also addresses the diesel fuel market, not just gasoline. Under the law, Advanced Biofuels must reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% compared to petroleum fuels.The EPA proposal would establish a 2.1-billion-gallon Biomass-based Diesel requirement in 2018, up only slightly from the already established 2-billion-gallon requirement for 2017. Citing unused industry capacity and data showing that Biomass-based Diesel consumption is already exceeding 2.1 billion gallons annually, the senators called for at least 2.5 billion gallons for 2018.The additional senators signing the letter were Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Angus King (D-Maine), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).last_img read more

The Key Ingredient for Transformation

first_imgTraining won’t give you transformation. Neither will consulting. Meetings won’t be enough. All of these things and more may be necessary, but they are not sufficient.There is one thing that you need if you are going to transform your sales organization (or your business), and that one thing is the leader’s will.Meet the ResistanceThe status quo has more defenders than you have proponents. The support that the advocates of the status quo have for “the way things are” runs deeper than the support you have for your transformation.The Active Opposition: Some of those who oppose your transformation will actively work against you. They will do things to ensure that the status quo remains. The active opponents will seek to sow the seeds of discontent among their peers, and they will build a coalition of the unwilling to thwart your efforts.Without the will to demand that the active opponents cease their opposition, your transformation will fail.The Patient Opposition: Richard Nixon used to complain that he couldn’t get his State Department to do what he wanted them to do. Nixon measured his timeline in election cycles. The people employed at the State Department measured their timeline in terms of their career. They would be there after Nixon. Some people will simply try to wait out your transformation. They’ve seen your kind come, and they’ve seen you go.If you don’t enforce your will, your transformation will fail, in part, because too many people will wait for its failure.The Producers: Everyone wants to protect the people who produce results, and this is nowhere more true than in sales. Many a transformation has failed because the top producers whine and complain that they have to change. Sometimes they gripe about change even when it is in their best interest, and even when it helps them financially. Everyone fears that the producers won’t go along, but this is rarely true. They want to be heard and persuaded.If you don’t spend time building consensus with the top producers, you won’t gain their support.The hard truth about transformations is that they succeed or fail based on the leader’s will. The leader has to insist that the changes be made. She has to burn the boats at the shoreline, come what may.If you want transformation, steel your spine. It’s your will that determines your outcome. 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

Indian women athletes create history

first_imgTactical acumen helped India edge past Nigeria by 0.95sec in the women’s 4x400m relay final and win their second gold of the track and field events of the XIX Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday.The gold-winning women’s teamThe crowd went berserk as Mandeep Kaur set out for the final lap of the relay. Ajoke Odumosu (Nigeria) had given her a tough fight in the initial stages, but with 55,000-odd people rooting for Mandeep in unison, it was too much for the Nigerian to take.In the end she had to be a mere spectator as Mandeep leapt forward with Vande Mataram being played in the background.The euphoria in the crowd is something that those present at the stadium on the fateful Tuesday will remember for the rest of their lives as the Indians clocked a timing of 3:27.77sec.India haven’t and might never again, in the near future, be witness to such a roaring reception to sportspersons other than cricketers. The jam-packed stadium joined in as Jai Ho by musical maestro AR Rahman was played to commemorate the athletes’ feat.Even the tired quartet of Mandeep, Manjeet, Sini Jose and Ashwini Akkunji couldn’t help but join in with the crowd. It was a moment worth savouring.While most people would have considered the women’s 4x400m relay to be a cakewalk for the Indian women, considering they have continuously done well at the world stage, coach Ramesh begged to differ.”The girls had already participated in other disciplines, making them tired. So we decided to rest two of our best runners, Manjeet Kaur and Mandeep Kaur, in the heats on Monday. Their places were taken by Chitra K Soman and Jauna Murmu on Monday so that the two could be fresh.advertisement”Two years of intense training at the national camp in Patiala has finally paid off. We expect to take the Asian Games by storm and if all goes well, a medal in the 2012 Olympics would be a dream come true,” he told MAIL TODAY.”The Nigerians were good and had we not kept fresh legs, we would have struggled to get through. The tactical switch proved to be spot on and the girls deserve all the accolades.” It was a bronze-day for the Indian athletes till the 4x400m relay girls changed it all.Competing in as many as six events on the final day of the track and field events, Indians won bronze in four of them – men’s javelin throw (Kashinath Naik), men’s triple jump (Renjith Maheshwary), women’s 4x100m relay and men’s 4x100m relay.At the end of the events at this year’s Games, India have a medals tally of two gold, three silver and seven bronze – the highest in the history of Indian athletics. Although the bronze in the men’s and women’s 4x100m relays were unexpected, they turned on the heat when it mattered most. While the women’s team beat the likes of Jamaica, Abdul Najeeb Qureshi’s (4x100m) run in the last quarter was exhilarating.The way he took on England’s Mark Lewis-Francis and Jamaica’s Remaldo Rose after Shameer Naseema had faltered just a tad bit in the third lap was brilliant.last_img read more

Video: ESPN Aired An Incredibly Emotional Tribute To Chris Fowler

first_imgThe College GameDay crew in Columbus Ohio.ESPN College GameDayAfter serving as the host of ESPN’s College GameDay for 25 years, Chris Fowler has moved on to focus on his duties as play-by-play announcer for ABC/ESPN’s prime time Saturday night games. While Rece Davis should fill in admirably, GameDay definitely won’t be the same. To pay tribute to Fowler, GameDay put together an amazing feature piece, narrated by Tom Rinaldi. After the piece, Fowler joined his old GameDay crew, and Davis, on stage. Things got pretty emotional when Fowler discussed his relationship with Lee Corso, who he spent all 25 years with on the show. He even gave Corso a kiss on the cheek.It is getting a bit dusty in here this morning. We’ll miss you, Chris.last_img read more

Surprise Donation Of Over 131000 From Staples Funds Local Classroom Projects

first_imgStaples, Inc announced that all music and arts projects, all college and career prep projects and all middle school and high school literacy projects posted on DonorsChoose.org in Los Angeles received full funding as part of Staples’ $1 million donation to DonorsChoose.org, a charity that has funded more than 700,000 classroom projects for teachers and has positively affected more than 18 million U.S. students.As part of the Staples for Students program, Staples and Katy Perry continue to help teachers across the country this back-to-school season. Staples funded the balance of every music and arts project, college and career prep project and middle school and high school literacy projects listed on DonorsChoose.org in Los Angeles. With a donation of $131,447, Staples helped 121 teachers make more happen in local classrooms, impacting more than 15,500 students across 97 schools in the community.For example, Mrs. Letford at New Academy Elementary School will receive new xylophones, ribbon bands and a new flute so her students can continue to express themselves through music and dance.Katy Perry said, “When I teamed up with Staples in 2014, I learned firsthand how desperately teachers need our support, with many of them having to dig into their own pockets to provide simple tools that we would expect to already be available in our classrooms. So when Staples approached me again this year, I jumped at the opportunity because I saw the lasting effect our collaboration had on DonorsChoose.org and thousands of teachers and students. I believe in education as the foundation for a great life, so I want to make sure that students across the country are inspired by their teachers and are afforded opportunity to realize their dreams.”Driven by insight from the Education Market Association that an estimated 99.5 percent of all public school teachers’ use their own money to equip their classrooms, Staples takes great pride in helping to alleviate some of the pressure placed upon teachers.“We’re overjoyed to partner with Katy Perry again to highlight the impact teachers have on our children’s lives and the need to support classrooms,” said Frank P. Bifulco, Jr., executive vice president global marketing, Staples. “Knowing that teachers spend an average of more than $400 per year from their own pockets to better prepare their classrooms, Staples is committed to supporting DonorsChoose.org in order to help teachers and contribute to a fulfilling learning experience.”Katy Perry and Staples have also collaborated to create a public service announcement that is currently airing nationwide, further increasing visibility around the need to celebrate and support teachers.“We’re so thankful for the continued support from Staples and its loyal customers, as well as Katy Perry, which has helped bring classroom dreams to life for countless teachers and students nationwide,” said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org. “Staples’ million dollar donation to DonorsChoose.org will go a long way to helping educators across the country, like those supported today in Los Angeles.”Donate in Stores or Snap to Help Local Teachers
Katy Perry has been helping Staples raise awareness of how easy it is to support teachers by making a $1 donation either in stores or online at www.StaplesForStudents.com, with proceeds funding DonorsChoose.org projects. Beginning in early August, every customer who donates in-store will receive a free, exclusive Katy Perry pencil, while supplies last.Los Angeles residents can secure more donations for their local classrooms by using the Staples for Students Snapchat Geofilter. Beginning August 4th and running through August 6th, every use of the Staples for Students Snapchat Geofilter will trigger a $1 donation (up to $5,000) from Staples to be used towards Los Angeles classroom projects on DonorsChoose.org. The Geofilter will be available for use in the Staples store in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw shopping plaza (located at 3701 W. Santa Rosalia Driver) and in the surrounding area.Sponsored Geofilters allow brands to take part in Snaps sent between friends on Snapchat – a platform used by over 100 million people each day. When Snapchatters take a Snap in a certain area, they’ll be able to see a Geofilter and use it to explain where, when and why they took the Snap.Win a $50,000 Scholarship and Chance to Meet Katy Perry
Now through September 10, 2016, fans who spend $25 or more in any Staples store will receive a unique entry code on their receipt to enter the sweepstakes online at www.StaplesForStudents.com.One grand prize winner will win a $50,000 scholarship plus a trip for two to Los Angeles to meet global pop music star, Katy Perry. Four first prize winners and one guest each will also win air travel to Los Angeles and accommodations for two nights to meet Katy Perry at the VIP Winners Celebration.Entries must be submitted before September 10, 2016 at 11:59 PM ET. Entrants must be 13 years or older.last_img read more