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Human engineers may join forces with cellular architects to produce the next generation of paints, cosmetics and holograms, reported Science Daily. Scientists are finding ways to harness the rapid growth of diatoms. Manufacturing consumer products with these properties currently requires energy-intensive, high-temperature, high-pressure industrial processes that create tiny artificial reflectors. But farming diatom shells, which essentially harnesses a natural growth process, could provide an alternative that takes place at normal room temperature and pressure, dramatically reducing energy needs and so cutting carbon dioxide emissions. The process is also extremely rapid — in the right conditions, one diatom can give rise to 100 million descendants in a month.The products are also biodegradable and have a low carbon footprint. Someday the holograms on your credit card, the shimmering fabric in your clothes, and the sparkle in your face may owe their dazzle to miniature glass-makers of the sea, diatoms.The picture of the five-pointed star diatom in the Science Daily article is worth a thousand words. How did a little one-celled organism figure that out? And why? Surely a plain pill box would have sufficed for survival, but God gave living things beauty as well as function. Search on Diatoms in the search box above for more fascinating facts about these creatures and how they grow their exquisite glass houses.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
It’s no wonder Congress is having trouble reducing the nation’s carbon emissions. One of its most intractable holdouts is the Capitol Power Plant, just two miles from the White House and now the single largest source of carbon emissions in the District of Columbia.According to an account in The New York Times, the plant provides heating and cooling to 23 buildings in the Capitol complex, including the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and the Capitol itself.But despite efforts that date back more than a dozen years, the plant’s fuel mix still includes some coal, as well as diesel fuel, and efforts to convert the plant to burn only natural gas appear to be going nowhere. No one wants to talk about the plantNeither the District of Columbia’s Department of the Environment nor the Environmental Protection Agency has forced the plant to meet air emissions laws, The Times said. Congress itself is responsible for the plant, but ranking members of House and Senate committees that oversee wouldn’t talk to the newspaper. Nor would the office of the architect of the Capitol, which oversees the plant’s operation.The Democrats who first launched efforts to end the use of coal at the plant in 2000 blame Republicans for stalling the efforts. Drew Hammill, a spokesman for former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told The Times, “We worked to figure out a way to get around the issue of coal. But it is a futile effort until you get rid of the Republican majority. They do not believe in the word ‘green.’”According to an article posted at Climate Progress, the 1910 plant has seven boilers that can burn three types of fuel: coal, natural gas and oil.The proportion of coal has declined from 56% of the plant’s fuel mix in 2007 to just 5% in 2011, Climate Progress reported, and it’s used mostly as an emergency backup fuel source. But as the amount of coal declined, the difference was made up mostly by diesel fuel oil, also a dirty fuel.The Architect’s office has permits that would allow the plant to operate exclusively on natural gas, and to begin providing electricity to the Capitol complex as well. But Congress has allocated no money for the project, estimated in 2008 to cost between $6 million and $7 million.
dan rowinski Tags:#Samsung Samsung can teach us a lot of lessons. Sometimes, you just need to change everything you are doing. In 1995, Samsung chairman Lee Kun Hee piled 2,000 inoperable cellphones on the pavement at the company’s manufacturing plant in Gumi, South Korea. He then burnt them all to the ground. What was left was ground to dust by bulldozers.According to an in-depth report on the internal processes of Samsung by Sam Grobart at Bloomberg Businessweek, Chairman Lee had given the cellphones to employees as Christmas gifts. They turned out not to work and the bonfire that ensued has been a defining moment in the way Samsung approaches its business ever since.Chairman Lee, as he affectionately known, took over Samsung in the late 1980’s after the death of the company’s founder, his father. He then set out to build his own global empire. That included completely rethinking everything that the company had ever done. Lee assembled his executives in Frankfurt, Germany in the early 1990s and delivered a three-day speech, known now as the Frankfurt Declaration.“Change everything but your wife and children,” was the main message, according to Grobart. In a way, this was the real bonfire that spurred Samsung to the heights of global manufacturing and the leader in the smartphone wars years later.This is a lesson that Samsung’s competitors can learn from.Burn Your Crappy Smartphones To The GroundThe competitive landscape in the smartphone business is … well, it’s not good. There is Samsung. There is Apple. Then there are a bunch of has-beens and wannabes. That list includes former powerhouses of the gadget world, companies that nobody ever thought would be in decline. Nokia, BlackBerry, Motorola, HTC and Sony are the headliner has-beens, while Huawei, LG and ZTE are among the wannabes. Media gets its hands on the Samsung Galaxy S4What is the lesson that each can learn from Samsung? Each should take its mediocre and middling smartphones and burn them to the ground. Then get that bulldozer and grind them to dust. Anybody who has ever lived with an HTC Thunderbolt would probably be extremely happy to see a pile of them in flames. Or maybe a group of Motorola Razrs or Atrix smartphones. Or anything running BlackBerry OS 7. These companies got complacent and made mediocre products aimed at the top of the market. Samsung ate their lunch. And now they need to completely rethink their products to compete. In the end, that should lead consumers to better choices of smartphones and, hopefully, cheaper prices. Already BurningSome burning has already begun, of course. Google is clearing the Motorola pipeline and working on a so-called “X” smartphone that has had some wild rumors attached to it, such as personally customizable hardware and a 4000 mAh battery. (For comparison, Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 will sport a 2600 mAh battery.)Similarly, after the debacle that was 2011 — see: Thunderbolt and its ilk — HTC redesigned its products and came out with the critically acclaimed HTC One X in 2012 and now the HTC One 2013. Great phones in hand, HTC just now needs to burn everything else down about its approach, from its marketing to distribution. The company has started this approach with aggressive marketing efforts aimed against Samsung’s newest Galaxy S4 smartphones. BlackBerry basically set fire to its entire smartphone lineup and is coming fresh with BlackBerry 10, which has shown early signs of success. Samsung Electronics president and head of mobile JK Shin introduces Galaxy S4Nokia may be in a tough spot. Its “burning” metaphor has already come and passed when CEO Stephen Elop wrote the infamous “burning platform” memo, ditched the company’s MeeGo and Symbian operating systems and went all-in with Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system. As yet that bet has not really paid off for Nokia and it’s hard to envision a future where it will.The smartphone industry is a fickle beast. Nokia’s example shows that, even when you do pile up your old strategy into a rhetorical pile and set it on fire, that does not guarantee you will succeed on the other end.There is more to Samsung’s ascendancy than Chairman Lee’s pile of burning plastic and metal, of course. Samsung succeeds because it is hyper-focused, controls most of its own component processing and spends a ton of money on marketing. It can iterate on ideas faster than its rivals and spread its distribution further. Its rivals, HTC in particular, just don’t have the bandwidth to match it. Top image courtesy Shutterstock Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology
Watford chasing Lyon winger Maxwel Cornetby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLyon winger Maxwel Cornet is attracting Premier League interest.The Mirror says Watford are keen on Cornet – but it will cost them.French sources claim the Hornets are ‘in discussions’ over a £20 million deal.The 20-year-old Ivory Coast international is also a target for AC Milan.Watford are looking to add players this window with Javi Gracia reported to be wanting no fewer than three new arrivals. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
RB Salzburg sensation Haaland warns Liverpool & Van Dijk: We’re fearlessby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveRB Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland says he’ll be ready for his Champions League showdown with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.The 19-year-old striker bagged an impressive hat-trick in Salzburg’s Champions League opener against Genk – his fourth of the season.Next up for the Austrian side is a trip to Anfield to face the European Champions who are determined to bounce back from their Napoli defeat.”We’re fearless,” Haaland told Salzburg’s official website. “We’re not afraid of anything, and we always want to attack and score.”Haaland has the uneviable task of going up against UEFA Defender and Player of the Year van Dijk, but outlined his tactics for the challenge ahead.He added: “I don’t think you can train to play against him, but you can train on things that can maybe trick him or maybe set him out of position.”We all have to be at our best, every player, to have a chance against this team.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Video: Virginia’s Darius Thompson Banks In Buzzer Beater To Complete Amazing Comeback vs. Wake Forest
With 1:20 left in the game, Wake Forest led No. 11 Virginia 64-54 at home. Over those final 80 seconds, the Cavaliers scored 18 points, capped off by a wild buzzer-beating bank shot by Darius Thompson, to beat the Demon Deacons 72-71. Virginia wins!! https://t.co/9SYoM5JmBv— Will Ojanen (@WillsWorldMN) January 27, 2016FOR THE WIN! @dthomp15 finishes off an incredible comeback in Winston-Salem for @UVAMensHoops ! #WAHOOWA # pic.twitter.com/Pe2ZXsAxRW— VirginiaSportsTV (@VaSportsTV) January 27, 2016The game log is crazy.College basketball has been impossible to predict this season, and the ACC is no different. Current ACC standings: UNC D$:[email protected]/&,!3 BC— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) January 27, 2016March will be here very soon. We can’t wait.
William Shatner, one of America’s most versatile stars and philanthropists formally announced today that he and John Sotoodeh , Wells Fargo LA Metro/Orange County Regional Bank President, will host a gifting ceremony and media breakfast to distribute grants to the charities supported by the annual Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show, sponsored by Wells Fargo.The Hollywood Charity Horse Show is in its 23rd year.The event will begin at 8:00 A.M. on Wednesday, January 16th at Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani’s Firenze Osteria, 4212 Lankershim Blvd in Toluca Lake, CA.Proceeds from the Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show, Sponsored by Wells Fargo benefit special-needs children across the City of Los Angeles through local charities including AHEAD With Horses, Camp Max Straus, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Hollenbeck Police Activities League (PAL), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The Painted Turtle and others.“Over the last 22 years, we have helped thousands of young Angelinos thanks to the support we receive from our generous sponsors and attendees,” commented William Shatner. “We are so happy to award the funds raised at the 2012 event to these special-needs organizations.”Source:PR Newswire
OTTAWA – More than 40 million fire extinguishers — including some 2.7 million sold in Canada — are being recalled because they may not work in an emergency.Some of the recalled models have been on the market for more than four decades. One death has been linked to problems with the extinguishers made by Kidde, according to a notice Thursday from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.In 2014, extinguishers failed to function as they should for emergency personnel responding to a fiery car wreck.The recall covers 134 models of push-button and plastic-handle extinguishers in the U.S. and Canada made from 1973 through Aug. 15 of this year. It includes models that were previously recalled in March of 2009 and February of 2015, Health Canada said Thursday.The government says the extinguishers can become clogged and fail to spray when needed. Also, the nozzle can come off with enough force to pose an injury hazard. Including the death, the CPSC says there have been 391 reports of extinguishers failing to work properly or of nozzles coming off, resulting in 16 injuries that included smoke inhalation and minor burns. Also, there were about 91 reports of property damage linked to the problem.Owners should contact Kidde to ask for a free replacement and for instructions on how to return recalled models. Kidde can be reached at (855) 271-0773 or at www.kidde.com .Kidde, based in Mebane, N.C., near Raleigh, says it has worked closely with the government to start the recall and make sure the extinguishers are replaced with different models as quickly as possible. The company also makes smoke detectors and other fire safety products.The recalled extinguishers are red, white and silver and are either ABC or BC rated. They were sold at Menards, Montgomery Ward, Sears, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and other home and hardware stores, as well as on Amazon.com, ShopKidde.com and other online retailers. They also were sold for use in commercial trucks, recreational vehicles and boats.
SYDNEY, N.S. — An Iowa-based businessman has confirmed he’s purchased a Cape Breton call centre that laid off hundreds of workers just weeks before Christmas.Anthony Marlowe of Marlowe Companies Inc. says in a text message to The Canadian Press that the lawyer for the debtors of ServiCom Canada has confirmed the deal is complete.He says to tell the hundreds of Cape Breton call centre workers who were laid off that the “place is theirs again.”On Dec. 6, ServiCom Canada told its 600 employees in Sydney, N.S., it was closing, leaving employees without their last paycheques.Marlowe offered $1.5-million for the idled call centre this week, outbidding two other interested buyers in an auction that was part of bankruptcy proceedings in the United States.He travelled to the region and met with workers on Thursday.“Congratulations to all of the renewed and refreshed workers at The Sydney Call Centre, Inc.,” the new owner wrote in a text, confirming the new name of the revived business.“We’re proud to be part of your family and thank you very much for the classiest of warm welcomes.”The sale comes as a relief to many in the community, as the island has suffered from chronic levels of high unemployment, and the laid-off workers had few options after losing their positions at the call centre.Since the layoffs, the community has banded together to raise money for the workers, with donations flooding in and the Salvation Army providing food and payments for home heating oil and electricity bills.Most of the workers were owed about four weeks in back pay when the call centre abruptly shuttered, a liability that Marlowe’s company said rests with ServiCom.Workers have told The Canadian Press that while the sale is welcome news for the community and the regional economy, the failure to pay workers their last weeks of salary has meant many are owed thousands of dollars. Some laid-off workers who have qualified for employment insurance have said they may go back to school or pursue training rather than return to the call centre.Others have said they’re struggling to pay their regular bills.MCI Canada has already said the call centre expects to reopen as early as Jan. 2, 2019 under its new name. The company had said earlier that MCI will enter a nine-year lease for the shuttered facility.Marlowe said it was clear that the bankruptcy proceedings in the United States were unlikely to produce any money for the workers. He said his company would offer sign-on and retention bonuses, but no figures were mentioned.Marlowe also suggested in his text that one of the managers buy every employee a beer and send Marlowe the bill.The Canadian Press
MOOSOMIN, S.K. – Federal Tory leader Andrew Scheer and the conservative premiers of Saskatchewan and New Brunswick are to speak today at a pro-pipeline rally near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boundary.The event at a pumpjack facility is to draw attention to concerns about Bill C-69 _ federal legislation that proposes major changes to how energy projects are reviewed.Rally organizer Sinclair Harrison says if the bill passes it would be detrimental to future pipeline development. He also wants to encourage TransCanada Corp. to reapply to build Energy East, a pipeline that would have transported oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to New Brunswick and Quebec.The company scrapped the $15.7 billion project in 2017.Energy East would have featured a tank terminal in Moosomin, Sask., near where the rally is taking place.“We’re here to speak for the silent majority that are in favour of pipelines,” said Harrison.There were also plans for additional pipelines to be built further south.He said the area already sees tax revenue coming in from the existing TransCanada mainline and is reaping the benefits from construction taking place on another nearby pipeline. “The more pipelines, the better off we are,” he said.“If everyone could see the economic benefit that these construction companies have on the area, it’s phenomenal.”Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is attending the rally out of concern for the “harmful” policies coming from Ottawa that affect the energy sector, a spokesman said.Scheer is taking part to share his Conservative vision for Saskatchewan and to “send a clear message in the buildup to the October election,” said press secretary Daniel Schow in a statement. New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said he continues to fight for Energy East and will bring that message to the protest.The rally comes as a truck convoy that started in Red Deer, Alta., is making its way to Ottawa as part of a protest in support of the energy sector.