Millions of Americans drink potentially unsafe tap water. How does your county stack up?

first_imgBottled water was distributed to residents of Flint, Michigan, after authorities discovered elevated levels of lead in the city’s tap water.  (Graphic) Adapted by J. You/Science; (Data) M. Allaire et al.et al., PNAS 10.1073 (2018) Millions of Americans drink potentially unsafe tap water. How does your county stack up? County-level water quality violations per water system, 1982–2015 Violations of health-related drinking water standards were more common in rural counties. Click or hover over each county for more details; data were not available for counties in white. County-level water quality violations per water system, 1982–2015 By Katie LanginFeb. 12, 2018 , 3:00 PM At the bottom of the pack were Washington, D.C., Oklahoma, Idaho, and Nebraska. In the latter three, more than a third of water systems had violations in multiple years. And when the researchers looked at what counties were most vulnerable, they found that low-income, rural counties were the hardest hit, especially in Oklahoma and in parts of Texas and Idaho. Small water systems can’t afford the latest and best treatment technology, and sometimes they can’t even afford a full-time operator, Allaire says. “So they’re struggling.” But there was a silver lining: Small communities that purchased treated water from larger utilities—especially privately owned ones—had fewer violations. (EPA declined to comment on the new study.)When treating water, some communities are dealt a bad hand to start with because of dirty source water—especially in southern states such as Oklahoma and Texas, where hot summer temperatures create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. That’s why it’s important to prevent contaminants from getting into the source water in the first place, for instance by installing wood chip bioreactors on farms to reduce nitrates in runoff water, says Michelle Soupir, a water quality engineer at Iowa State University in Ames. We’d “have a better, safer drinking water supply and take some of the burden off the water treatment.”Another idea is to merge “teeny water systems” with larger systems, says Erik Olson, a policy expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C. We can’t have these rural providers “continuing to serve bad water,” he says. Tainted tap water isn’t just a problem in Flint, Michigan. In any given year from 1982 to 2015, somewhere between 9 million and 45 million Americans got their drinking water from a source that was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to a new study. Most at risk: people who live in rural, low-income areas.In general, “the U.S. has really safe water,” says Maura Allaire, a water economist at the University of California, Irvine, and lead author of the new study. Still, problems with drinking water crop up every year, and in some municipalities, year after year. The contaminants in the water can cause stomach flu or “more chronic conditions including a variety of cancers and neurological disorders,” she says.Allaire lived near Flint in 2015, when the city’s water crisis captured the nation’s attention. That made her wonder: “How widespread a problem is this across the country?” She couldn’t find a satisfying answer. For more than 3 decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had been compiling information about water quality violations across the country—but no one had published a national assessment looking at long-term trends in those data. So she took it on herself.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(*)Allaire and her colleagues downloaded EPA’s data and looked at the number of health-related water quality violations for 17,900 community water systems in the continental United States over a 34-year period. Some were for elevated lead levels, the problem in Flint, but the data set also included violations for coliform bacteria—a group of microbes that is easy to detect and serves as an indicator of bacterial contamination in general—nitrates, arsenic, and other contaminants. The researchers combined those data with information from the U.S. census such as housing density and average household income, to figure out which communities were most vulnerable. They found that during the Flint water crisis in 2015, nearly 21 million Americans—about 6%—were getting water from systems that violated health standards. And looking back over time, the number of violations generally increased from 1982 to 2015—spiking in the years following the addition of a new regulation, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For instance, after a rule about coliform bacteria was enacted in 1990, the number of violations doubled within 5 years. Such spikes don’t mean that the water suddenly got worse, Allaire says, just that previously accepted levels of a contaminant were now considered too high. REUTERS/Jim Young last_img read more

A homespun Canadian telescope could explain mysterious radio signals from the distant universe

first_imgA homespun Canadian telescope could explain mysterious radio signals from the distant universe Deflected windparticles The CHIME telescope was designed to chart the structure of the universe by mapping hydrogen gas. But it may discover dozens of FRBs in its daily scans of the sky. Burst catcher So much is unknown about FRBs, including whether repeaters and single FRBs comefrom the same sources, that many possible explanations are still in play. Engine room A white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole merging with another one of these massive objects could lead to a burst. But it could not repeat. Merger A neutron star collapsing into a black hole or a star made of quarks could emit a single radio pulse. It, too, would not repeat. Collapse Giant black holes at galactic centers emit jets. Bursts could occur when a jet hits a nearby black hole or gas cloud. Galactic jets Cosmic strings, defects in the fabric of spaceleftover from the big bang, could kink and emit a radio blast. Fault in our stars Electrons in intergalactic space delay low frequencies more than high. High-frequency pulse Low-frequency pulse Milliseconds Magnetar FRBs Shots in the dark Fast radio bursts (FRBs) have puzzled theorists since their discovery in 2007. Their short duration and dispersed frequencies imply compact, distant sources. One possibility is a magnetar, a highly magnetized neutron star, the city-size cinder of an exploded star. Young magnetars blast out flares of electrons and ions. When a flare hits slower moving clouds of ions, it creates a shock wave. Electrons in the shock wave gyrate around magnetic field lines and emit alaserlike pulse of radio waves. Flare Earth Antenna array Magneticfield line Gyrating electron Radio signal Slower movingionized gas Incomingburst Mesh surface Radiation-shieldedshipping containershouse computers. 82 m 100 meters (m) C. BICKEL/SCIENCE Edo Berger, Harvard University What they need are numbers: more events and, most important, more repeaters, which can be traced to a particular environment in a home galaxy. CHIME will deliver that by surveying the sky at high sensitivity. Its troughs don’t move, but they observe a swath of sky half a degree wide, stretching from one horizon to the other. As Earth turns, CHIME sweeps across the entire northern sky. Sarah Burke-Spolaor, an astrophysicist at West Virginia University in Morgantown, says its sensitivity and wide field of view will enable it to survey a volume of the universe 500 times bigger than the one surveyed by the Parkes radio telescope in Australia, which discovered the first FRB and 21 others. “CHIME just has access to that all day, every day,” she says.Once CHIME’s commissioning phase is over later this year, scientists think it could find as many as two dozen FRBs per day. “Within a year, it will be the dominant discoverer of FRBs,” says Harvard University astrophysicist Edo Berger.The strange-looking telescope has been a labor of love for the small team behind it—labor being the operative word. A contractor assembled the dishes, lining the troughs with a radio-reflective steel wire mesh. But everything else was painstakingly assembled by researchers from UBC, the University of Toronto, and McGill University in Montreal. That includes 1000 antennas fixed beneath the gantry at each trough’s focus, 100 kilometers of cabling, and more than 1000 computer processors that sit inside radiation-shielded shipping containers next to the dishes.”Everyone has put their hands on the telescope,” says Milutinovic, who puts in shifts monitoring it and its computer systems. It’s not just a desk job. Although he left alone two baby ospreys that nested on a tall pole near the telescope, he has called in conservationists to remove other birds that set up house in the telescope’s structure, along with the occasional rattlesnake. When a humidity sensor in one of the computer containers goes off at night, Milutinovic makes the 25-minute drive to the deserted observatory to check it out. He worries about other nocturnal visitors. “I’ve seen the tracks of coyote, and there’s a bear that hangs around here.”In a field in which front-rank telescopes cost billions, the CA$20 million CHIME looks set to have an impact out of all proportion to its price tag. “CHIME shows you can build a telescope that makes the world news pretty cheaply,” Milutinovic says.Hydrogen huntNone of that was part of CHIME’s original job description. Back in 2007, a group of cosmologists in Canada had the idea of building a cheap telescope to measure the 3D distribution across the universe of hydrogen gas clouds, which glow faintly at radio frequencies. The aim, says Keith Vanderlinde of the University of Toronto, was to map ripples in the density of matter created soon after the big bang and chart their expansion over cosmic history. A change in the expansion rate would tell researchers something about dark energy, the mysterious force thought to be accelerating the universe’s growth. “Any handle we can get on it would be a huge boon to physics,” Vanderlinde says.CHIME would also be an excellent machine for studying pulsars. Pulsars are neutron stars, dense cinders of collapsed giant stars, that shoot electromagnetic beams out of their poles while rotating like a celestial lighthouse, sometimes thousands of times per second. Astronomers on Earth detect the beams as metronomic pulses of radio waves. CHIME will monitor 10 pulsars at a time, 24 hours a day, for hiccups in their perfect timekeeping that could result when passing gravitational waves stretch intervening space.When CHIME was conceived, few people were thinking about FRBs because the first, found in 2007 in archival Parkes telescope data, was such an enigma. It had a high dispersion measure, meaning the pulse was smeared across frequencies because free electrons in intergalactic space had slowed the burst’s low-frequency radio waves disproportionately. The high dispersion measure suggested the burst came from billions of light-years away, far beyond our local group of galaxies.The pulse was still bright, implying the source’s energy was a billion times that of a pulsar pulse. Yet its short duration meant the source could be no bigger than 3000 kilometers across because signals could not cross a larger object fast enough for it to act in unison and produce a single, short pulse. A citysize pulsar could fit in that space. But how could a pulsar detonate so powerfully?Astronomers were tempted to dismiss that first burst as a mirage. But it was no anomaly: Another pulse was uncovered in Parkes archival data in 2012. Then, after an upgrade with new digital instruments, Parkes detected four more in 2013, all with high dispersion measures, suggesting cosmically distant origins. That paper “made me a believer,” says McGill astronomer Victoria Kaspi, who was working to integrate pulsar monitoring into CHIME.The paper also sparked a realization: CHIME could be adapted to look for FRBs, too. “Vicky called me up and said, ‘You know, this would also make a good FRB machine,’” recalls Ingrid Stairs, a collaborator of Kaspi’s at UBC.Unlikely partnersThe upgrade was not easy. Catching FRBs requires finer time and frequency resolution than mapping hydrogen. CHIME’s data would have to be logged every millisecond across 16,000 frequency channels, Kaspi says. To do that meant tinkering with the correlator, the fearsomely parallel computer that chomps through the 13 terabits of data streaming every second from CHIME’s 1024 antennas—comparable to global cellphone traffic.The time-critical astrophysicists needed a different output from the sensitivity-is-everything cosmologists. The cosmologists, eager to map the cosmic clouds, could get by without the extra resolution. At the end of each day, they could download data onto a hard disk and ship it to UBC for leisurely processing. But that wasn’t an option for the FRB hunters, who needed high-resolution data that would quickly overwhelm a hard drive. Kaspi and her colleagues devised algorithms to scan in real time just a few minutes of high-resolution data stored in a buffer. If an event is detected, the key 20 seconds of data around it are saved. If there’s nothing, they’re dumped. Searching for FRBs is “smash and grab science,” says team member Paul Scholz of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Okanagan Falls. Almost every aspect of [fast radio bursts] is in play for theorists. By Daniel CleryMar. 14, 2019 , 9:30 AMcenter_img CHRISTINNE MUSCHI Victoria Kaspi, an astronomer at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, realized CHIME would be an ideal net to catch radio bursts. PENTICTON, CANADA—Reporting from the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory here requires old-school techniques: pad and pen. Upon arrival, I must turn off my digital recorder and cellphone and stash them in a shielded room with a Faraday cage—a metal mesh that prevents stray electromagnetic signals from escaping. The point is to keep any interference away from the observatory’s newest radio telescope, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME).On a clear, cold day in January, Nikola Milutinovic stands on the vertiginous gantry that runs along the focus of one of CHIME’s four 100-meter-long, trough-shaped dishes. Milutinovic, a scientific engineer at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, scans their reflective surfaces for snow, which generally sifts through the metallic mesh but sometimes sticks and freezes. Snow-covered hills surround him, shielding CHIME from the cellphone towers, TV transmitters, and even microwave ovens of nearby towns. “If you switched on a cellphone on Mars, CHIME could detect it,” he says.CHIME’s quarry is neither so faint nor so close. The telescope is smaller and cheaper than other leading radio observatories. But by luck as much as design, its capabilities are just right for probing what may be the most compelling new mystery in astronomy: signals from the distant universe called fast radio bursts (FRBs). Discovered in 2007, FRBs are so bright that they stick out in the data like a peak in the nearby Canadian Rockies—so long as a telescope is watching and its electronics are fast enough to pick out the pulses, which last only a few thousandths of a second.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(*)Just days before I visit, CHIME—still in its shakedown phase—had made global headlines for bagging 13 new FRBs, bringing the total known to more than 60. Nearly that many theories exist for explaining them. One of the few things researchers know for sure, from the nature of the pulses, is that they come from far beyond our Milky Way. But in an instant, each event is over, leaving no afterglow for astronomers to study and frustrating efforts to get a fix on their origin.Whatever generates FRBs must be compact to produce such short pulses, astronomers believe, and extremely powerful to be seen at such great distances. Think neutron stars or black holes or something even more exotic. FRBs can repeat—although strangely, only two of the dozens known appear to do so. The repetition could rule out explosions, mergers, or other one-time cataclysmic events. Or repeating and solitary FRBs could be different animals with different sources—theorists just don’t know. As test observations began in 2017, the team got twitchy about how many FRBs CHIME would see. CHIME was observing at frequencies of 400 to 800 megahertz (MHz), lower than the 1.4-gigahertz frequency used to detect most FRBs. A 300-MHz survey at a different telescope had found nothing, and another survey at 700 to 800 MHz saw just a single burst. “It was worrying, especially in the lower part of the band,” Stairs says.Those worries evaporated in July and August 2018, when the team struck gold with the 13 new FRBs, even though sections of the telescope were sporadically taken offline for adjustments. The haul, published in Nature in January, included one repeater—only the second yet discovered. Kaspi declined to provide an update on the number of FRB discoveries since last summer, citing two unpublished papers in the works. But she says CHIME is “fulfilling expectations.” “It’s a bit like drinking from a firehose, but in a good way,” she says.Theories aboundTheorists want all that CHIME will deliver, and then some. A poverty of information is allowing ideas to run riot. “Almost every aspect of FRBs is in play for theorists,” Berger says. An online catalog of FRB origin theories had 48 entries at the time of writing. Many theorists initially put forward models based on the violent collapse or merger of compact objects, including white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes. But the discovery of repeaters shifted speculation to sources that would not be destroyed in the act of generating a burst.Active galactic nuclei, the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies, spew winds and radiation that might trigger a burst by striking nearby objects—a gas cloud, a small black hole, or a hypothetical quark star. Or the bursts might come from more speculative phenomena, such as lightning strikes in the atmospheres of neutron stars or the interaction of hypothetical dark matter particles called axions with black holes or neutron stars. Amanda Weltman, a theorist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, does not discount even more fanciful ideas such as cosmic strings, hypothetical threadlike defects in the vacuum of space leftover from the moments after the big bang. They “could be releasing fast radio bursts in a number of ways,” she says.But as the number of detected FRBs moved from single digits into dozens, astronomers realized the bursts could be downright common, detectable by the thousands every day if the right telescopes were watching. “That’s a serious problem for a lot of models,” Berger says.FRB 121102, the first repeating event detected, may be the most revealing FRB so far. The Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico saw its first burst in 2012, but since then dozens more have been seen coming from that spot on the sky. In 2017, the 27-dish Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico revealed the FRB resides in the outskirts of a distant dwarf galaxy and that the location coincides with a weak but persistent radio source. That dim radio glow may emanate from a supernova remnant—an expanding ball of gas from a stellar explosion, which could have formed a black hole or neutron star that powers the FRB. In another clue, the polarization of the FRB’s radio waves rotates rapidly, suggesting they emanate from a strong magnetic environment. Brian Metzger, a theorist at Columbia University, believes a young magnetar—a highly magnetized neutron star—resides at the center of the cloud and powers the bursts. In a scenario developed with his colleagues, its magnetic field serves as a fizzy store of energy that occasionally flares, blasting out a shell of electrons and ions at nearly the speed of light—an outburst resembling a coronal mass ejection from our sun, but on steroids. When the flare hits ion clouds leftover from previous flares, the resulting shock wave boosts the strength of the clouds’ magnetic field lines and causes electrons to spiral around them in concert. Just as synchrotrons on Earth whip electrons around racetracks to emit useful x-rays, those gyrations spawn a coherent pulse of radio waves.Magnetars are often invoked to explain such energetic events, Metzger says. “They’re a catch-all for anything we don’t understand. But here it’s kind of warranted.” CHIME team member Shriharsh Tendulkar of McGill wonders whether objects such as magnetars could explain both repeaters and single-burst FRBs. Single-burst FRBs might “start out regular as repeaters, then slow as [the source’s] magnetic field weakens,” he says.But according to Weltman, it’s too early to declare the mystery solved. “There are so many clues here, but they do not yet point to a single conclusive theoretical explanation,” she says.Knowledge in numbersAs observers amass new FRBs, different classes of events may emerge, perhaps offering clues about what triggers them. FRBs may also turn out to come from specific types of galaxies—or regions within galaxies—which could allow theorists to distinguish between active galactic nuclei and other compact objects as the sources. “We need statistics and we need context,” Metzger says.In the coming years, other FRB spotters will come online, including the Hydrogen Intensity and Realtime Analysis eXperiment in South Africa and the Deep Synoptic Array in California. With their widely spaced arrays of dishes, both facilities will precisely locate FRBs on the sky—something CHIME can’t do for now. “They’re all going for localization because they know CHIME will clean up on statistics,” Scholz says.The CHIME team, not to be outdone, is drawing up a proposal to add outriggers, smaller troughs at distances of hundreds of kilometers, which will record the same events from a different angle and so help researchers pinpoint them. “With all these new efforts, there’ll be substantial progress in the next few years,” Metzger says.For now, as CHIME’s commissioning phase winds down, Milutinovic’s job is to ensure that it keeps doing its job. “You want it to be boring,” he says. “It’s the weather that gives us most issues”—snow on the troughs, summer heat waves that tax the cooling system for the electronics. Then there’s the grass, a wildfire risk. Every summer, the observatory invites ranchers to graze their cattle on-site—not only to be neighborly, but also because cows emit less radio frequency interference than a lawn mower. But they can’t graze right around CHIME because they might chew on cables. So Milutinovic relies on diesel-powered mowers, which, lacking spark plugs, pose less of an interference problem.But he longs for an even better high-resolution grass-cutting tool. “We thought of having a CHIME goat.”*Correction, 15 March, 11:15 a.m.: An earlier version of this story misstated Paul Scholz’s affiliation.last_img read more

CWG tennis, cycling venues yet to get completion certificate

first_imgWith the Commonwealth Games less than a month away, at least two stadia as well as parts of the main sports venue, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, are yet to get completion certificates from civic authorities.However, eight venues have got occupancy certificates from Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), while the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has given the same to three venues, official sources said.The MCD is yet to grant completion certificate for R K Khanna Tennis Stadium and the cycling velodrome. While the Corporation has given the structural safety clearance for administrative block and hostel block of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, it is yet to give the same to some other parts of the building, they said.Officials, however, maintained that the rest of the venues as well as the remaining portion of JLN Stadium will get the clearance “very soon”.”The MCD has granted completion certificates to Karni Singh Shooting Range, Thyagaraj Stadium, Chhatrasal Stadium, the indoor stadium for wrestling among others while NDMC has given clearance to Dhyan Chand Stadium, Talkatora Indoor Stadium and the Swimming Pool Complex,” a source said.Slow pace of work at various stadia for the Games has been a cause of concern for long, though the organisers have claimed that everything will fall in place in time.Home Minister P Chidambaram had earlier this week admitted that the project works were running behind schedule which led to a delay in security related tasks in the Games venues and the Games village.Security overlays in the games clusters will be completed by September 15 and thereafter the Minister will once again review the arrangements, he had said.advertisementlast_img read more

Vacationers opt for a travel experience rather than a holiday package

first_imgWarrior training, MongoliaWARRIOR TRAINING, MONGOLIA Live the life of a Mongol warrior under Genghis Khan on the Mongolian steppe.You can ride, shoot with a bow and arrow, and learn battle tactics as you stay in a felt ger (tent) and wear full martial costume. Cost Rs 1.85 lakh per person,Warrior training, MongoliaWARRIOR TRAINING, MONGOLIA Live the life of a Mongol warrior under Genghis Khan on the Mongolian steppe.You can ride, shoot with a bow and arrow, and learn battle tactics as you stay in a felt ger (tent) and wear full martial costume. Cost Rs 1.85 lakh per person for 9 days Operators Pioneer Expeditions,UKMahek Shahani’s only constant companion during her six-week solo trip to Buenos Aires last September was a pair of shining black stilettos-her dancing shoes. The 25-year-old Mumbai-based traveller-designer-teacher was on a holiday filled with tango twirls, Spanish sessions and milonga (a social tango dance party) nights. None of those oh-so-touristy museums and churches for her; it was tango hostels, camps at island hamlets, and brushing up on her smattering of Spanish all the way. “It opened up my world and made the experience so much more personal. I learnt tango in its birthplace,” she says. Back home, the dance enthusiast now teaches Spanish at the Instituto Hispania “bringing in references from the trip” to teach Spanish culture.Shahani is among a growing breed of Indians, both, young and old, who are crossing continents and flying to distant lands to experience all that is offbeat and fun. From cooking Cantucci (a type of hard biscuit) in the kitchens of Tuscany, to swimming with the sharks in Cancun or learning the war techniques of Genghis Khan in Mongolia, these new-age travellers are sweating it out in kitchens, sanctuaries, running tracks or village schools. “There is a marked shift towards experiential travel. Those who have seen a place want to go back and explore the real character of that place which lies in its smaller towns,” says Subhash Motwani, director, Compact Travels in Mumbai that specialises in organising offbeat experiences.advertisementFloatplane hiking, CanadaFLOATPLANE HIKING, CANADA Explore some of the most remote and spectacular areas around the Bella Coola Valley deep in the heart of the Coast Mountain Range in Western Canada on a floatplane. Cost Rs 1-2 lakh per person for 9 days Operators Wild Earth Adventures Ltd, Canada Even as families are charting out itineraries for the Big Ben-Eiffel Tower busload tours, a few travellers are whetting their appetite for experiences that are off the beaten track. Trading luxury suites for small-town lodges and hostels, travellers are surfing on the Atlantic Ocean-kissing beaches of Biarritz or exploring Bolivia on foot and by bus. “Backpacking holidays teach you not to plan every minute of your life. You learn to believe in serendipity,” says Shridhar Sethuram, 42, a private equity banker from Mumbai. He’s travelled to 67 countries in the last 15 years-Galapagos (islands known to have inspired Charles Darwin) to study nature, China to understand economic markets, Israel and Ethiopia for a peek into international politics and six visits to South America to learn Spanish. “I travel with only my return air tickets and camera. The rest I explore through locals and other like-minded travellers,” he says.Culinary tours, EuropeCULINARY TOURS, EUROPE Shop, cook and eat at farms and homes of locals, learn with Le Cordon Bleu-trained chefs in Paris, or dine with a family anywhere from Cairo to Florence. Cost Rs 35,000 onwards for 3 days Operators Compact Travels, Mumbai, and Active Gourmet Holidays, ConnecticutAdventure, learning and volunteering-if there’s a need, there’s a tour. Sports or adventure tourism is fast catching on among enthusiasts who go scuba diving to New Zealand and to Kenya to soar in hot air balloons. “It’s about achieving your sports goals along with seeing a new place,” says Mohan Joshi, 67, a Mumbai-based athlete and a regular at the city marathon. With 85 other members of Mumbai’s Striders’ Group of marathoners, he will take off next for the Amsterdam Marathon scheduled on October 21 this year.It may not fit into the idea of a holiday in the hills but volunteering while on vacation, or voluntours, is picking up as a getaway option. “It’s a beautiful learning curve for urban people who live a privileged, sheltered life,” says Komal Lath, 26, a branding professional in Mumbai. Four years ago, she spent a month in Kerala hopping across five villages to play with kids and sing to elderly people.Teaching tour, CambodiaTEACHING TOUR, CAMBODIA Besides exploring Phnom Penh’s tourist attractions and visiting Angkor Wat, you can give in to your philanthropic instinct by volunteering at an orphanage. Cost Rs 59,000 onwards for 2 weeks Operators TUI IndiaTravelling is all about exploring and trips to rural pockets are an eye-opener for the cityfolk, an experience they are beginning to cherish. Bangalore-based The Blue Yonder now has “almost 20 per cent” Indians in their tours to Calicut where the travel company works with the Institute of Palliative Medicine. Travellers can stay from a few days to weeks working with local volunteers in varied ways-teaching PowerPoint presentations to reading out to the ailing. “Travel can go beyond an ordinary holiday and teach you to connect with local entities,” says Gopinath Parayil, 38, founder of The Blue Yonder.advertisementSo, what’s fuelling this type of tourism? A quest for the out-of-the-ordinary, say tour planners. “A lot of Indians travelled to the West in the past five years. They now want to go back but want a value-addition,” explains Motwani. He has organised a meal for a couple with an Egyptian family, planned concert tours to Prague and taken people cycling to Dresden.Arctic Reindeer migrationARCTIC REINDEER MIGRATION Assist the Sami ‘siida'(a family group of herders) of Finnmark, Norway,on their annual reindeer migration. Only 14 people are invited to partake in it each year. Cross the barren Arctic tundra on a snowmobile adventure. Cost Rs 5 lakh, excluding airfare, per person for 10 days Operators Pioneer Expeditions, UK The interest is rising but the numbers are still low. At UK travel company TUI’s Indian arm, only three out of every 100 people enquiring about volunteer-tourism actually sign up. “It’s a business of the future. The connotation of a holiday is still leisure and pleasure. The real interest is from people who have been there, done that,” says Raja Natesan, COO of TUI. In 2011, the company had taken a few people to Japan to help out after the tsunami and to Africa to work in the sanctuaries, cleaning forests and making hedges. The takers for this type of tourism are often the “well-heeled and well-travelled” in the 30 to 50 age group. “A lot of well-off couples with no kids are keen on volunteering travel,” says Natesan.Greater exposure to world travel trends is seeing Indians lapping up new travel ideas like barging (living and cooking on barges) and culinary tours or holidays where you travel with a lensman and see the place through your camera. US-based culinary tour company Active Gourmet Holidays, which has been taking global tourists into kitchens across Europe and America, had two Indians travelling to Tuscany in 2011, spending up to $4500 (Rs 2.25 lakh) for a week in the Italian city. They learnt the basics of the local cuisine right from picking meats and veggies in the markets to cooking them and even went on food trails. “The interest is growing from the number of queries I receive,” says Jo-Ann Gaidosz, the company’s founder.Cycling in Germany, FranceCYCLING IN GERMANY, FRANCE Explore the French wine region on cycle or ride from Dresden to Prague through cobbled streets and lanes. Stop by at local cafes,visit street shops and set your own pace. Cost Rs 52,000 onwards for a week Operators Compact Travels, MumbaiHectic as it may seem, the trips are never a case of all work and no play. A visit to a sanctuary or an orphanage lasts for a few hours every day. The rest of the day is spent on the typical leisurely touristy activities.advertisementThe offbeat experience comes for a few extra dollars. Motwani says that activity-based experiences cost up to 40 per cent more than the regular holiday tours. But that doesn’t deter travellers who seek a unique offering. Language, cuisine, a local skill or playing with village kids-Indian travellers are breaking out of the familiar package tours to learn while having fun.- with Chumki Bharadwajlast_img read more

Baby dinosaur fossils found in Mongolia: Facts about fossils you must know

first_imgScientists have discovered a group of baby dinosaur fossils at the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. These fossils are said to be the youngest specimen of a dinosaur that walked on Earth 70 million years ago. Saurolophus angustirostris or the Lizard Crest dinosaur is the name of the species.The baby dinosaurs were discovered with fragments of eggshells, which means that they had been buried very young when they were still not strong enough to leave the nest. The discovery has put the study of the origins of dinosaur under a fresh light.The site where the fossils were found is called the Dragon’s Tomb. Interestingly, all the Saurolophus fossils had belonged to the same nest, indicating that they were all siblings in terms of heredity. Here are five key points about the Saurolophus family of dinosaurs:They were about 30 feet high in average. However, the biggest Saurolophus fossil was found to be 39 feet tallThe Saurolophus dinosaurs were herbivores which means that they only ate plantsThey had a crest at the back of the head that gave them the name ‘crested lizards’The crest on its head was hollow and connected to the nasal passage. This implies that the Saurolophus dinosaurs would use the crest to create sound and communicate with each otherThe Saurolophus dinosaurs have only been found in North America and Asia.Let us take a look at five interesting facts about fossils:1. Fossils are a proof of the existence of certain species that once lived on Earth. Fossils are of two types – Type 1 that includes bones, teeth, skin impressions, hair, and hardened shell of animals like a trilobite or an ammonite, or the impression of an animal or plant and Type 2 that comprises footprints, burrows, coprolite or animal excreta.advertisement2. Fossils can be formed under the influence of freezing, drying and carbonisation.3. The largest fossil found is that of the Sauroposeidon. It is a giant waterborne dinosaur that is 60 feet long and weighs over 60 tonnes. 4. The oldest fossil bed in the world is in China. The Chengjiang Deposits are said to be 15 million years older than the previous oldest fossil bed, the Burgess Shale formation, Canada. 5. The oldest fossil ever found is the impression of cyanobacteria 3.5 billion years old from the Isua greenstone in Greenland.last_img read more

Brett Lee will soon be seen on Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hai

first_imgFormer Australian fast bowler Brett Lee will soon be seen promoting his forthcoming romantic comedy film UnIndian on popular Indian comedy TV show, Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hain!Actress Saumya Tandon who portrays the role of Anita on the show, said, “Lee is one of the most admired cricketers in the world. Glad to hear he is coming on the sets of our show. I have heard that he plays the guitar beautifully, so I am hoping to hear him strum for me.”Also Read: Remember when Brett Lee’s singing stumped the life out of us? According to IANS, the sets of the show will play host to Brett Lee on Wednesday, which is when the special episode will be shot.Also Read: Shubhangi Atre shines as the new Angoori Bhabhi With Tannishtha Chatterjee and Nicholas Brown as his co-stars, Brett Lee’s UnIndian is all set for an August 19 release in India.Aired on &TV, the immensly popular Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hai also has Aashif Sheikh, Shubhangi Atre and Rohitash Gaud in the lead.(With inputs from IANS)last_img read more

Ryan Lochte, 3 other US swimmers robbed by armed men in Rio

first_imgRyan Lochte and three other American swimmers were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday by thieves posing as police officers who stopped their taxi and took their money and belongings, the US Olympic Committee said. (Rio Olympics 2016 live coverage) In the latest security incident to hit the Rio de Janeiro Games, Lochte told NBC that one of the robbers put a gun to his forehead before taking his wallet. No one was injured.Lochte and his team-mates were returning to the athletes village by taxi after a night out at the French Olympic team’s hospitality house in the Rodrigo de Freitas area in the upscale south zone of the city. The outing was several hours after Olympic swimming ended Saturday night at the Rio Games.”Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings,” USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement. “All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities.”Sandusky told The Associated Press the robbers took cash and credit cards only, and that no Olympic medals were lost.Travelling with Lochte were Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen. Lochte swam in two events at the Rio Games, winning gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. He is a 12-time Olympic medalist.Bentz and Conger were also part of that relay, their only event in Rio. Feigen was on the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, another gold winner for the U.S. in Rio.”We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochtetold NBC’s “Today” show. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground – they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so – I’m not getting down on the ground.advertisement”And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet he left my cellphone, he left my credentials.”USA Today and Fox Sports Australia first reported the news, citing Lochte’s mother, Ileana Lochte. Ileana Lochte and Lochte’s agent did not immediately return phone calls and text messages from The Associated Press.”We are all safe,” Bentz tweeted. “Thank you for your love and support. P.S. the gold medal is safe.”Word of the robbery touched off a chain of confusion between Olympic and U.S. officials. An International Olympic Committee spokesman said reports of the robbery were “absolutely not true,” then reversed himself, apologized and said he was relying on initial information from the USOC that was wrong.Street crime was a major concern of Olympic organizers going into the games. Brazil deployed 85,000 soldiers and police to secure the games, twice as many as Britain used during the 2012 London Olympics.Last week, a Brazilian security officer was fatally shot after taking a wrong turn into a dangerous favela, or slum. Two Australian rowing coaches were attacked and robbed by two assailants in Ipanema, and Portugal’s education minister was held up at knifepoint on a busy street.In addition, stray bullets have twice landed in the equestrian venue, and two windows were shattered on a bus carrying journalists in an attack that Rio organizers blamed on rocks and others claimed was gunfire.American swimmer Nathan Adrian said he’s not concerned about his safety.”Rio is an amazing city,” he said. “There’s going to be problems anywhere you go. We have been briefed on how to mitigate those risks as well as possible.”Now that swimming is over, Adrian added, the athletes want to see the sights and sounds of Rio.”We just came off an amazing performance,” he said. “All of us are ready to enjoy that a little bit after a long time working really hard.”last_img read more

Apple launches iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT) RED Editions in India

first_imgApples (PRODUCT) RED Editions of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are finally available for sale in India. The special edition iPhones are up for pre-orders on Flipkart, however, interested customers can also head to their nearest authorised Apple reseller to buy the RED Edition iPhones starting today. In terms of the pricing, Apple hasnt changed the price of its special edition iPhones.While the 64GB variant of iPhone 8 Product RED will cost around Rs 67,940, the 256GB variant of the device will be available for Rs 81,500 in India. On the other hand, while the 64GB variant of iPhone 8 Plus Product RED is priced at Rs 81,500, the 256GB variant will be available for Rs 91,110 in India.To give you a quick glimpse of the specifications, both iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are powered by Apple’s native A11 Bionic chipset and run on iOS 11. While iPhone 8 features an 4.7-inch Retina HD display, iPhone 8 Plus comes with a 5.5-inch Retina HD display. In terms of the camera, iPhone 8 sports an 8MP rear camera with 5x digital zoom while iPhone 8 plus comes with 12MP telephoto and wide-angle lenses. Both the phones feature Quad-LED True Tone flash in the rear and a 7MP camera with HD video recording capacity in the front. Both the phones feature support for fast charging technology and are available in two memory variants– 64GB and 256GB.Earlier this month, Apple introduced the (PRODUCT) RED Editions of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus as a part of its global partnership with (PRODUCT) RED, a global advocacy group dedicated to combating HIV/AIDS in Africa. First to receive the smartphones on April 13 were the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore. India is the a part of the second wave of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus (PROUDCT) RED launches which includes countries like Denmark, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Colombia, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Russia South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Mexico, Switzerland, Malaysia, Turkey, Taiwan, UAE and Thailand.advertisementALSO READ: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition phone announced, India launch in MayThis special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone features a stunning red and black colour combination and also offers customers the opportunity to make an impact in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS, Apples vice president of Product Marketing Greg Joswiak had said in a blog post.last_img read more

David Warner, banned from captaining Australia, named skipper in Canada

first_imgDavid Warner’s return to cricket is going on the right track following his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in March.He made a comeback on the field in club cricket before travelling to Canada for a T20 league.Warner is serving a one-year ban from international and domestic cricket handed by Cricket Australia following the shocking incident in South Africa earlier this year.He, along with skipper Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, was slapped with a substantial ban by the home cricket board.Warner was signed up by Winnipeg Hawks for the Global T20 Canada and he has now been elevated to lead the side after captain Dwayne Bravo was sidelined for the rest of the tournament due to an injury. Smith is also playing in the same tournament for Toronto Nationals.”I’m sure he’s going to be a good leader when it comes to captaincy,” Winnipeg Hawks coach Waqar Younis told News Corp.”(Warner) is a leader. He’s a team man. I’ve seen him in IPL and I’ve seen him as a leader. He’s up there, he’s upfront and he likes to give whatever his knowledge is, he’s always there,” he added.Warner led Sunrisers Hyderabad to Indian Premier League glory in 2016 and also has an overwhelming win-loss record as Australia skipper in the limited-overs formats. He has lost just one out 12 games (3 ODIs and 9 T20Is) as Australia captain.He was made Australia’s T20I captain earlier this year but following his involvement in the ball-tampering saga, “Warner will not be considered for team leadership positions in the future,” according to Cricket Australia.advertisementWarner had emerged as the chief conspirator in hatching a plan to artificially alter the condition of the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March.Warner and Smith were handed one-year bans while Bancroft was suspended for 9 months.The two Aussie stars were also barred from playing in the IPL 2018. Smith was named captain of Rajasthan Royals while Warner was to lead SRH but were eventually barred from the 2018 season.While Smith has managed to score a fifty in three matches for Toronto Nationals so far, Warner is yet to make a mark as he has struggled with scores of 1,4,1 from his three outings for the Hawks.last_img read more

Chile a team ‘to be feared’ – Vidal

first_imgArturo Vidal believes Chile are a team to be feared at the Copa America as his country look to rebound from not qualifying for last summer’s World Cup.Chile have won the last two Copa Americas, in 2015 and 2016 beating Argentina on penalties each time, but the country’s ‘golden generation’ fell from grace when they failed to reach the sports marquee international tournament in 2018.The squad has seen some serious overhaul since then with the 32-year-old Vidal now one of the oldest players in the 23 selected for the tournament, taking place in Brazil. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Despite that setback Vidal thinks Chile have what it takes to make an impression in this summer’s competition ahead of their first game with invitees Japan on June 17.“This squad should be feared, from the beginning to the final,” the Barcelona midfielder told press from the team hotel in Sao Paolo.“We hope it’s going to be something amazing, but we’re going to take it game by game.“Everything is starting from new: a new process, new players, new coaches.“It took us many days to talk about and clear up things.”Japan have brought an inexperienced squad to South America, with 17 members yet to make their international debuts.One player who has appeared for Japan is new Real Madrid signing Takefusa Kubo, dubbed ‘The Japanese Messi.’Vidal asserted that his team were prepared for the challenges Kubo and his team would offer.“[Kubo] is a player with real quality, there’s a reason he’s at Real Madrid,” the ex-Juventus and Bayern Munich man continued.“We’ve seen him, analyzed him really well and we know how to stop this player.”“Japan are an organized team, they’re quick and we have to be careful, concentrate and when they come out to play we have to attack them really quickly because afterward they go into a 4-5-1 and it’s really hard to score a goal.”After the game with Japan, Chile go on to play Ecuador on June 21.Vidal’s nation conclude their Group C schedule with a game against Uruguay on June 24.Chile have only won one of their three games in 2019, a 2-1 win over Haiti on June 6. They lost 3-1 to Mexico and drew 1-1 with the USA in March.last_img read more

ESPN: How Each Top College Football Contender Can Win A National Title

first_imgClemson and Alabama lines face off during national championship.SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Patrick Phibbs #58 of the Clemson Tigers snaps the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)17 college football teams have odds of +10000 or better to win a national championship at Caesars Sportsbook as of today. Realistically, not all of them will be true contenders, but the title-winner will almost definitely come from that group.For programs like Alabama and Clemson, there are few questions to be answered. The Tide and Tigers are +240 and +250 to win the championship, respectively, and sit in a tier of their own in the sport.New ESPN college football writer Bill Connelly recently broke down the things that need to happen for Alabama, Clemson, and these 15 other contenders to take home a championship. The list of factors is obviously much shorter for Saban and Swinney’s teams than, say, Nebraska, which is a trendy pick from the Big Ten but still coming off of a 4-8 season.For Alabama, the biggest question on defense is centered on big plays allowed by the secondary, while the primary offensive questions naturally come from new coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Bama’s latest offensive coordinator, Sarkisian, comes from Atlanta, where his Falcons struggled mightily in the red zone in 2017 and did just fine in 2018. Maybe he can find a couple of extra-magical playcalls to help out a Tide offense that was ultra-efficient over most of the field (first in overall offensive success rate) but labored near the goal line (68th in success rate inside the opponent’s 10). That, too, was awfully costly in the national title game.For Clemson, the national championship hangover factor comes in. No team has repeated since 2011-12 Alabama, including some expected powerhouses. The more tangible factor, however, is the loss of last year’s historically strong defensive line group:No one is going to doubt either the defensive line talent Dabo Swinney is able to attract or his staff’s ability to get the most out of their guys. But anytime you lose this much talent in a single unit (No. 4 NFL draft pick Clelin Ferrell, No. 13 pick Christian Wilkins, No. 17 pick Dexter Lawrence and No. 117 pick Austin Bryant, plus another rotation piece in Albert Huggins), that means a ton of new roles for new players.Here are some of the other questions that Connelly outlines for the other top college football national championship contenders.Key coaching changes and questions about quarterbacks headline many of these teams.Georgia (+650): New OC James Coley helping fix red zone issues.Ohio State (+900): Justin Fields fulfilling his potential.Oklahoma (+1200): Improved secondary playmaking.Michigan (+1500): New OC Josh Gattis building a more unpredictable Michigan offense.Texas (+2000): Improvements in the running game outside of Sam Ehlinger.Florida (+3000): Feleipe Franks plays like he did late last season.LSU (+3000): Joe Burrow continuing to improve.Oregon (+3000): More consistent excellence from Justin Herbert.Washington (+3000): Jacob Eason’s development.Notre Dame (+3500): Dramatic improvement in rushing attack.Nebraska (+4000): Year two jump under Scott Frost.Auburn (+5000): One of the two Tigers’ freshmen QBs emerge.Texas A&M (+5000): Jimbo Fisher’s recruits starting to step up.Wisconsin (+5000): Quarterback play exceeds what Alex Hornibrook gave last season.Miami (+6000): Offensive line improvement despite heavy turnover.For the full lists and write-ups for each team, head to ESPN.last_img read more

EHF Nine countries want to host Womens EURO 2012

Women’s EHF EURO 2012 Following the withdrawal on 4 June 2012 of the Netherlands from the organisation of the Women’s EHF European Championship, the EHF can confirm that nine nations have so far expressed an interest in organising the federation’s flagship national team event.The EHF has actively approached a number of nations with previous experience of organising EHF EURO events and several other nations have also contacted the EHF.The nine nations include: Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Sweden.The EHF is also aware, through media reports, of other national federations that are considering the viability of the organisation of this major international event.Commenting on the response so far, Michael Wiederer, EHF Secretary General, said: “This is a unique situation for the EHF, and whilst we are of course hugely disappointed that the event will no longer be organised by the Netherlands, the response from such a large number of potential host countries underlines the important of this event to our member nations.“We will now begin the process of selecting a new host or hosts and hope to be able to make an announcement within the next two weeks as to where the event will be played in December 2012.”The Women’s EHF EURO will see 16 nations competing from 4 to 16 December 2012 for the European title.Qualified nations include the reigning champions, Norway, as well as Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Russia, France, FYR Macedonia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Ukraine and Spain.The final remaining sixteenth place, reserved for the host nation, will be announced together with the new host nation of the 10th Women’s EHF European Championship. ← Previous Story Jonathan Stenbäcken joins MT Melsungen! Next Story → Inna Suslina presented in Skoplje: “I am here to win trophies” read more

Alerte Météo France rouge des crues et submersions observées dans les PyrénéesOrientales

first_imgAlerte Météo France rouge : des crues et submersions observées dans les Pyrénées-Orientales et l’AudeMercredi à 14H, Météo France a placé en alerte rouge aux crues le département des Pyrénées-Orientales. Une femme s’est noyée en voiture en voulant franchir un passage à gué près de Perpignan et des dizaines de personnes ont dû évacuer plusieurs lotissements. L’alerte était au orange ce matin, elle est désormais passée au rouge. Mercredi après-midi, Météo France a renforcé l’alerte qu’elle avait émise sur l’Aude et les Pyrénées-Orientales, en raison d’un risque important de submersions et de crues. Si l’Aude est toujours en vigilance orange, les Pyrénées-Orientales eux sont au rouge après que plusieurs routes ont été inondées dans le département.Ce matin, à 7H15, une femme d’une quarantaine d’années a trouvé la mort dans sa voiture en essayant de franchir un passage à gué interdit depuis mardi soir sur le Réart, à Pollestres, à une dizaine de kilomètres au sud de Perpignan. La voiture, une Peugeot foncée de gamme moyenne, a été emportée par les flots tumultueux chargés d’alluvions marron, avant de s’immobiliser un peu plus loin, à demi-immergée. Selon des témoignages rapportés aux secours, l’automobiliste s’est extraite du véhicule mais elle a ensuite été emportée par les flots.Les pompiers et les gendarmes l’ont cherché avec des plongeurs et le concours d’un hélicoptère pendant quatre heures avant de découvrir son corps à environ 2 kilomètres en aval, au lieu-dit Cap de La Fouste, sur le territoire de Villeneuve-de-la-Raho, rapporte l’AFP. Mercredi, une dizaine de routes se sont retrouvées coupées par les crues et des éboulements et plusieurs lotissements ont été évacués. 150 à 180 mm de pluie déjà tombésÀ lire aussi(VIDÉO) Un radar détecte un nuage de coccinelles de 80 kilomètres de largeEn effet, les pompiers ont dû venir en aide aux habitants d’un lotissement situé en bord de mer au Barcarès (Pyrénées-Orientales). Dix kilomètres plus au nord, à Leucate-plage dans l’Aude, une cinquantaine de personnes ont dû évacuer un lotissement et un camping : la mer avait fini par faire un brèche dans un muret protégeant la zone, désormais plongée dans 50 centimètres d’eau.Face à cela, les préfectures des Pyrénées-Orientales et de l’Aude ont appelé à la plus grande vigilance de tous. Celle des Pyrénées-Orientales a souligné que 150 à 180 mm de pluie étaient déjà tombés sur le département et que des précipitations fortes étaient encore à prévoir en plaine et sur le littoral jusqu’à 17H00. En bord de mer, c’est surtout le risque de submersion par les vagues qui est à craindre dans les deux départements. De son côté, Météo France a recommandé de ne pas circuler sur les routes de bord de mer et de surtout respecter les interdictions et déviations. L’alerte est maintenue jusqu’à jeudi 6H.  Le 6 mars 2013 à 15:38 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

SD County officials considers way to expand program for Alzheimers patients

first_img April 9, 2019 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego County officials will consider ways to expand a response program for Alzheimer’s patients, after supervisors today heard an annual report on overall efforts to deal with the disease and the growing number of people it affects.As of now, the Alzheimer’s Response Team operates in East County. Under the program launched in June 2018, a trained social worker — after being informed by either law enforcement or paramedics — makes an initial visit within three business days to a person with dementia and helps stabilize their situation.Kimberly Gallo, director of county aging and adult services, said the response team has handled 70 calls and made 60 visits, and its support teams have open 25 cases to provide families with additional support.Along with accepting the report, the supervisors’ unanimous vote included directing Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer to find ways for more response programs in the county.The response team is part of the county’s Alzheimer’s Project, which began in 2014 in collaboration with nonprofits such as Alzheimer’s San Diego, as well as San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and research organizations.Board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said when the county launched the initiative five years ago, some thought it was impossible.Alzheimer’s disease is the third-leading cause of death in San Diego County, and cases are only growing, Jacob said.“We’ve come a long way, but have a long way to go,”  she said. “We are facing an epidemic, one that’s taking a devastating toll on families.”Within a decade, the lifetime cost of caring for loved ones in the county will be $52 billion, Jacob said.She credited Gov. Gavin Newsom with making Alzheimer’s and dementia-related diseases a statewide priority, starting with a task force chaired by former California first lady Maria Shriver.Nick Macchione, director of the county Health & Human Services Agency, said that in 2015, more than 84,000 adults 55 and older in the county were living with a form of the disease, adding that “projected numbers in the future are alarming.” He said the city of El Cajon had the highest number of dementia-related illnesses in 2015.According to the report, more than 115,000 county residents 55 and older are projected to be living with some form of dementia by 2030, a 36 percent increase from 2015.Other Alzheimer’s Project report highlights include promising research, other county programs to help patients, hospitalization and funding options. The entire report can be viewed at https://bosagenda.sdcounty.ca.gov/agendadocs/doc?id=0901127e80a0726c. KUSI Newsroom, Posted: April 9, 2019 Categories: Health, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter SD County officials considers way to expand program for Alzheimer’s patients KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

Officials Unveil Geothermal Energy System at MLCB Albany

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., for a cold borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) system that will heat and cool the headquarters for the Corps’ Logistics Command.The BTES system, the first such system to be installed in the United States, will generate about a 30 percent savings from the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, according to computer modeling. The $4.9 million geothermal project currently is running 52 percent below the energy consumption from last year, reported the Albany Herald.The system has 300 boreholes drilled more than 200 feet into the ground that are connected to the HVAC system in the headquarters building allowing cold water to be stored underground during the milder fall, winter and spring months. The stored cold water can be harvested each summer to reduce the cost of air conditioning to the three-story building by as much as 50 percent. Warmer water is pulled through to heat the building in the winter.The base is planning to install a similar system at its Marine Corps Exchange. Officials expect the installation will achieve net zero energy status by 2017.last_img read more

You happily share your Netflix password but there are risks

first_img Sharing safely Amazon Hacking Privacy Netflix Keep your data secure with a password manager Share your voice Tags 35 Sharing the password for other personal accounts isn’t appealing to everyone, but 31 percent of respondents said they would share social media passwords and 29 percent said they would share personal email passwords. People under the age of 35 were the worst offenders on the social media front, with 39 percent saying they would share those passwords. Clearly, this is something you want to do, and telling you it’s not safe isn’t stopping you. Take care when sharing Companies know sharing is a problem, which is why it makes sense for them to encourage safer sharing. For example, Amazon allows you to share your Prime benefits with another adult, and add children, through Amazon Household. You get to keep your own password. Banks and credit card companies enable this option for shared accounts, too. Finally, password sharing would be safer if users were more careful about not reusing passwords. The solution to this one involves more work for you: use a password manager. That’s an app that helps you create and store unique passwords for all your accounts. This isn’t a popular option at the moment, with 21 percent of people saying they use one. But if you want to share safely, it’s your best bet. Security:  Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night.  Rebooting the Reef: CNET dives deep into how tech can help save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Commentscenter_img Security Internet Sharing your password also makes it harder for online services to protect you with special software that tracks your typing and mouse movement, which alerts them when a stranger enters your password. The practice is particularly unsafe because so many — just over half, according to SurveyMonkey — reuse passwords. You might think you’re just sharing your Amazon password, but you’ve forgotten it’s also your work email password. “Today, we use passwords for both business and personal use, and because so many people share or reuse the same passwords, it puts both personal and business data at risk,” said Brent Williams, chief information security officer at SurveyMonkey. To share is human Sharing your password is also human, and sometimes it’s the only logical thing to do. You can decide for yourself what you would and wouldn’t share. When your finances are combined, it might make sense to share bank, Netflix and Prime accounts. 1:13 Now playing: Watch this: How to share Amazon Prime with your family Most of you probably won’t admit to this unsafe behavior, but plenty of you say you would do it. This high-risk activity so many of you are eager to try: sharing your password. Seventy-one percent of people said they would consider sharing a password with a spouse or partner, according to a SurveyMonkey Audience poll shared exclusively with CNET and to be published later this week. More than a third of respondents were willing to quit a streaming service, such as Netflix or HBO, if the company used artificial intelligence to stop password sharing. “It was almost like they felt entitled to share,” said Jillesa Gebhardt, the research scientist at SurveyMonkey who conducted the survey. Other data in the survey bears that out. People who knew they had previously been caught up in a data breach were even more likely to be willing to share their bank passwords — at 46 percent — than people who said they hadn’t had data breached. Only 41 percent of people who didn’t think they’d lost data in a breach said they would share bank passwords. We’ve just found too many good reasons to share our passwords. Why pay for Netflix and Hulu when you can just pay for one service while a friend or family member pays for the other one? Swap those passwords and you’re good to go. And other behaviors are just convenient, like letting everyone in the family use the same Target or Amazon account.   Our unstoppable desire to share serves as a great example of the ways cybersecurity tips often don’t make sense in the everyday lives of internet users. Those tips can be onerous, like typing in an extra code from an authenticator app or using physical tokens to log in. Who’s got time for that when you want to binge watch The Magicians? What’s more, big data breaches like the ones that hit Equifax in 2017 and the US Office of Personnel Management in 2015 don’t happen because we share our email passwords with our spouses. That makes it hard to see why we should bother. That’s why it needs to get easier for users to share accounts safely. Reasons you should keep it to yourself Only 16 percent of people polled by SurveyMonkey said they actually share their passwords. It might be a lot more than that, which makes a lot of sense. It’s convenient, even it if isn’t safe. And, of course, it can raise the sometimes fraught question of whether you trust your spouse or partner. Even if you have no reason to worry about your significant other’s trustworthiness, it’s still a bad practice. Here’s why: It doubles the number of people who could expose your password to hackers. last_img read more

Logitech wants to make it easier to draw in VR

first_img See It HTC Vive Post a comment 5:18 Review • HTC Vive review: Yes, this is the best VR experience, if you’ve got the space Share your voice CNET may get a commission from retail offers. VR gets arty at Tribeca Film Festival 2019 $499 We took Oculus Quest on vacation Walmart Tags See it 28 Photos Mobile Virtual Reality Apps While there are still a lot of unknowns about Logitech’s device — the company declined to give a price or a firm launch date other than to promise more information later this year — its entry into the VR world is another indication of continued interest in VR beyond the tech set. That’s good news, considering sales of VR headsets have fallen short of some people’s expectations, and VR app and game makers themselves have expressed concern about how long it’s taken for everyday people like you and me to buy in. But that hasn’t stopped companies from pumping out new ideas. Facebook this month released its $399 Oculus Quest headset, a device designed for the mass market by promising to run high-quality games without the need for a bunch of wires or a powerful computer to power it. Game maker Valve, meanwhile, has also jumped in, offering a new headset called the Valve Index that promises new more intuitive hand controllers and higher-quality screens. Meanwhile, companies like HP have pushed to get their headsets in front of potential business customers. Still, Logitech is treading carefully with its pen. The device I used, which was developed over the past year and a half, was still a 3D-printed prototype. Logitech said it’s close to a final design. The company also wouldn’t tell me how much the VR Ink Pilot Edition would weigh, which seemed important for something designed to be used as a drawing tool in the air. Again, Logitech said, more information would be announced later.Logitech’s device works with Valve’s “lighthouse” sensors, meaning it was mostly aimed at HTC’s Vive and the Valve Index, at least to start. Kogan said part of the reason for using the lighthouse sensors is their precision, though he said more announcements were to come. “It’s our first step,” Kogan said, emphasizing the device is being called a “Pilot Edition.” “We know this is not perfect.” Preview • Here’s what it’s like to use the HTC Vive, the $799 VR headset that you can preorder today Mentioned Above HTC Vive Now playing: Watch this: When people talk about the promise of virtual reality, they talk about how this technology will one day upend the way we use computers. So far, the promise is still just that for most people, but Logitech may have created a new tool that makes it far more appealing for artists. The device is called the Logitech VR Ink Pilot Edition, a seemingly oversize novelty stylus that’s actually designed to help you create drawings and designs in VR. With its VR Ink Pilot Edition, Logitech wants to get you drawing in virtual reality. Logitech You hold it like a normal pen, gripping the two buttons on its sides with your thumb and middle fingers, and your pointing finger on a button on top. Slap a headset on your head, pick up the pen, push down with your pointing finger and just start drawing. You can trace things in 3D space, like drawing literally in air, or you can sit at a table and draw on its surface, Logitech said. And the harder you press, either on the button or on the tip of the stylus, the thicker the line.”It’s natural — and if you’re a creator or designer, you want a natural and familiar input device,” said Vadim Kogan, head of business development and partnerships for augmented and virtual reality for Logitech. Until now, if people wanted to draw or draft something in VR, they’d have to use a game controller, which Kogan said doesn’t offer the precision Logitech’s VR Ink device can. “Ultimately, it’s about intuition,” he said. “It’s about the fact that a lot of designers and creators have developed muscle memory” for a pen. $689 0 Valve Virtual Reality HP HTC Logitechlast_img read more

UAF looks to contractor for cleaner water supply

first_imgAn ongoing water quality issue at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has prompted the university to commit to an outside water source.Download AudioThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is contracting with College Utilities Corporation to provide potable water on campus. UAF Facilities Services Associate Vice Chancellor Scott Bell says the utility supply will replace water from campus wells that began showing elevated levels of disinfectant by products earlier this year.The heightened levels of chlorination by-products in UAF water prompted notification of the campus community, because of potential threat to those with a severely compromised immune system, infants, pregnant women, or the elderly, who are cautioned to seek advice from a health care provider about drinking the water. The UAF water treatment plant has employed carbon filters to try to meet a federal water standard, but Bell says they’re not working as well as hoped.Bell adds that connecting to the College Utility water system is a half million dollar project, but the switch won’t ultimately cost the university much more than operating its own water treatment facility.Bell says UAF is working with College Utilities to try to make the connection this fall. He says UAF uses about 7 million gallons of potable water per month.last_img read more

Black sheep The mastermind behind Sri Lankas Easter Sunday bombings

first_img Sri Lanka Attacks: What We Know So Far Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:02/3:08Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-3:06?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …center_img Islamic State has released a video of the terror squad responsible for the Easter Sunday massacre.Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Zahran was 12 years old when he began his studies at the Jamiathul Falah Arabic College. He was a nobody, with no claim to scholarship other than ambition.Zahran and his four brothers and sisters squeezed into a two-room house with their parents in a small seaside town in eastern Sri Lanka; their father was a poor man who sold packets of food on the street and had a reputation for being a petty thief.”His father didn’t do much,” recalled the school’s vice principal, SM Aliyar, laughing out loud.The boy surprised the school with his sharp mind. For three years, Zahran practised memorizing the Koran. Next came his studies in Islamic law. But the more he learned, the more Zahran argued that his teachers were too liberal in their reading of the holy book.”He was against our teaching and the way we interpreted the Koran – he wanted his radical Islam,” said Aliyar. “So we kicked him out.”Aliyar, now 73 with a long white beard, remembers the day Zahran left in 2005. “His father came and asked, ‘Where can he go?’.”The school would hear again of Mohamed Zahran. And the world now knows his name. Sri Lankan officials have identified him as the suspected ringleader of a group that carried out a series of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in the country on April 21.The blasts killed more than 250 people in churches and luxury hotels, one of the deadliest-ever such attacks in South Asia. There were nine suicide bombers who blew apart men, women and children as they sat to pray or ate breakfast.Most of the attackers were well-educated and from wealthy families, with some having been abroad to study, according to Sri Lankan officials.That description does not, however, fit their alleged leader, a man said to be in his early 30s, who authorities say died in the slaughter. Zahran was different.INTELLIGENCE FAILINGSSri Lanka’s national leadership has come under heavy criticism for failing to heed warnings from Indian intelligence services – at least three in April alone – that an attack was pending. But Zahran’s path from provincial troublemaker to alleged jihadist mastermind was marked by years of missed or ignored signals that the man with a thick beard and paunch was dangerous.His increasingly militant brand of Islam was allowed to grow inside a marginalized minority community – barely 10 percent of the country’s roughly 20 million people are Muslim – against a backdrop of a dysfunctional developing nation.The top official at the nation’s defence ministry resigned on Thursday, saying that some institutions under his charge had failed.For much of his adult life, Zahran courted controversy inside the Muslim community itself.In the internet age, that problem did not stay local. Zahran released online videos calling for jihad and threatening bloodshed.After the blasts, Islamic State claimed credit and posted a video of Zahran, clutching an assault rifle, standing before the group’s black flag and pledging allegiance to its leader.The precise relationship between Zahran and Islamic State is not yet known. An official with India’s security services, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that during a raid on a suspected Islamic State cell by the National Investigation Agency earlier this year officers found copies of Zahran’s videos. The operation was in the state of Tamil Nadu, just across a thin strait of the ocean from Sri Lanka.”LIKE A SPOILED CHILD”Back in 2005, Zahran was looking to make his way in the world. His hometown of Kattankudy is some seven hours’ drive from Colombo on the other side of the island nation, past the countless palm trees, roadside Buddha statues, cashew hawkers and an occasional lumbering elephant in the bush. It is a town of about 40,000 people, a dot on the eastern coast with no clear future for an impoverished young man who’d just been expelled.Zahran joined a mosque in 2006, the Dharul Athar, and gained a place on its management committee. But within three years they’d had a falling out.”He wanted to speak more independently, without taking advice from elders,” said the mosque’s imam, or spiritual leader, MTM Fawaz.Also, the young man was more conservative, Fawaz said, objecting, for instance, to women wearing bangles or earrings.”The rest of us come together as community leaders but Zahran wanted to speak for himself,” said Fawaz, a man with broad shoulders lounging with a group of friends in a back office of the mosque after evening prayers. “He was a black sheep who broke free.”Mohamed Yusuf Mohamed Thaufeek, a friend who met Zahran at school and later became an adherent of his, said the problems revolved around Zahran’s habit of misquoting Islamic scriptures.The mosque’s committee banned him from preaching for three months in 2009. Zahran stormed off.”We treated him like a spoiled child, a very narrow-minded person who was always causing some trouble,” said the head of the committee, Mohamed Ismail Mohamed Naushad, a timber supplier who shook his head at the memory.Now on his own, Zahran began to collect a group of followers who met in what Fawaz described as “a hut”.At about that time, Zahran, then 23, married a young girl from a small town outside the capital of Colombo and brought his bride back to Kattankudy, according to his sister, Mathaniya.”I didn’t have much of a connection with her – she was 14,” she said.Despite being “a bit rough-edged”, Zahran was a skilled speaker and others his age were drawn to his speeches and Koranic lessons, said Thaufeek. He travelled the countryside at times, giving his version of religious instruction as he went.Also, Zahran had found a popular target: the town’s Sufi population, who practice a form of Islam often described a mystical, but which to conservatives is heresy.Tensions in the area went back for some years. In 2004, there was a grenade attack on a Sufi mosque and in 2006 several homes of Sufis were set afire. Announcements boomed from surrounding mosques at the time calling for a Sufi spiritual leader to be killed, said Sahlan Khalil Rahman, secretary of a trust that oversees a group of Sufi mosques.He blamed followers of the fundamentalist Wahhabi strain of Islam that some locals say became more popular after funding from Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Wahhabism, flowed to mosques in Kattankudy.It was, Rahman said, an effort “to convert Sufis into Wahhabis through this terrorism”. Rahman handed over a photograph album showing charred homes, bullet holes sprayed across an office wall and a shrine’s casket upended.ONLINE RADICALIt was an ideal backdrop for Zahran’s bellicose delivery and apparent sense of religious destiny.He began holding rallies, bellowing insults through loudspeakers that reverberated inside the Sufis’ house of worship as they tried to pray.In 2012, Zahran started a mosque of his own. The Sufis were alarmed and, Rahman said, passed on complaints to both local law enforcement and eventually national government offices. No action was taken.The then-officer in charge of Kattankudy police, Ariyabandhu Wedagedara, said in a telephone interview that he couldn’t arrest people simply because of theological differences.”The problem at the time was between followers of different Islamic sects – Zahran was not a major troublemaker, but he and followers of other sects, including the Sufis, were at loggerheads,” Wedagedara said.Zahran found another megaphone: the internet. His Facebook page was taken down after the bombings, but Muslims in the area said his video clips had previously achieved notoriety.His speeches went from denouncing Sufis to “kafirs”, or non-believers, in general. Zahran’s sister, Mathaniya, said in an interview that she thought “his ideas became more radical from listening to Islamic State views on the Internet”.In one undated video, Zahran, in a white tunic and standing in front of an image of flames, boomed in a loud voice: “You will not have time to pick up the remains of blown-up bodies. We’ll keep sending those insulting Allah to hell.””HARD TO TAKE”Zahran spoke in Tamil, making his words available to young Muslims clicking on their cellphones in Kattankudy and other towns like it during a period when, in both 2014 and 2018, reports and images spread of Sinhalese Buddhist’s rioting against Muslims in Sri Lanka.In 2017, Zahran’s confrontations boiled over. At a rally near a Sufi community, his followers came wielding swords. At least one man was hacked and hospitalized. The police arrested several people connected to Zahran, including his father and one of his brothers. Zahran slipped away from public view.That December, the mosque Zahran founded released a public notice disowning him. Thaufeek, his friend from school, is now the head. He counted the places that Zahran had been driven away from – his school, the Dharul Athar mosque and then, “we ourselves kicked him out, which would have been hard for him to take”.The next year, a group of Buddha statues was vandalised in the town of Mawanella, about five hours drive from Kattankudy. There, in the lush mountains of Sri Lanka’s interior, Zahran had taken up temporary residence.”He was preaching to kill people,” said AGM Anees, who has served as an imam at a small mosque in the area for a decade. “This is not Islam, this is violence.”Zahran went into hiding once more.On the Thursday morning before the Easter Sunday bombings, Zahran’s sister-in-law knocked on the door of a neighbour who did seamstress work near Kattankudy. She handed over a parcel of fabric and asked for it to be sewn into a tunic by the end of the day.”She said she was going on a family trip,” said the neighbour, MH Sithi Nazlya.Zahran’s sister says that her parents turned off their cellphones on the Friday. On Sunday, when she visited their home, they were gone.She does not know if Zahran arranged for them to be taken somewhere safe. Or why he would have carried out the bombing.But now in Kattankudy, and in many other places, people are talking about Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Zahran.last_img read more

Star Wars Outer Rim Is a Bounty Hunter Board Game

first_imgStay on target Mattel Unveils Fashionable ‘Star Wars’ x Barbie Dolls‘Star Wars: Resistance’ Finale Sets Up ‘The Rise of Sk… Whether or not Disney wants to admit it, Star Wars video games are a huge trash fire right now. You wouldn’t think it would be this hard to translate one of the most iconic #brands of all-time, currently at one of its creative heights, into a medium as varied as video games. But here we are.Fortunately, video games aren’t the only kinds of games. So if you’re looking for an interactive experience in the galaxy far, far away, take a look at Star Wars: Outer Rim, a new board game from Fantasy Flight Games.AdChoices广告As the name suggests Star Wars: Outer Rim takes players to that furthermost edge of the galaxy where all the crime happens. The nifty layout of the board itself even evokes this sense of place. And speaking of Star Wars video games, the premise reminds us of the infamous Star Wars 1313, the game whose cancellation in retrospect was an early premonition for Star Wars video game troubles.In Star Wars: Outer Rim players are seedy lowlifes, mercenaries and bounty hunters, skeptical criminals who haunt Mos Eisley Cantina and scoff at the very idea of the Jedi. The goal is to go from rags to riches taking on jobs like smuggling illegal cargo and messing with mob bosses. Your gear and your ship play a big role as you navigate the dangerous space of the Outer Rim itself.While your dream might be to earn fame, the scoundrels you recruit for your crew need no introductions. Characters include outlaw Star Wars icons like Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Boba Fett, and Jyn Erso each bringing their unique set of skills to the job. The Fantasy Flight Games website has way more details.Star Wars: Outer Rim releases in Q2 2019. Here’s hoping it’s a better trek through the Star Wars underworld than Solo. For more on board games check out the upcoming Metal Gear Solid tabletop game and read our lists for best board games and best two-player board games.last_img read more