Venus Flytrap Is Snappy-Fast

first_imgOne tenth of a second is all the time the fly gets.  The traps of the Venus flytrap, an insectivorous plant Charles Darwin called “one of the most wonderful in the world,” somehow responds to stimuli quickly without muscles.  The entire mechanism is still largely unknown.  A team of French, UK and American scientists set out to study how it works so fast.  Their research, published in Nature,1, describes how the leaves are flexed into an outward curvature along two axes.  The trigger hairs inside the leaves propagate a signal that causes a rapid turnover, something like turning a half tennis ball inside out.  The closure has three phases: an initial slow action, a fast close, followed by a slow tightening of its grip around the prey.  See also the write-up by New Scientist, which ends, “Our study still leaves us baffled about one question that motivated him [Darwin] – how did this mechanism evolve?” (emphasis added).1Forterre et al., “How the Venus flytrap snaps,” Nature 433, 421 – 425 (27 January 2005); doi:10.1038/nature03185.Maybe it didn’t evolve; did you ever consider that possibility?    With all our lab technology we still cannot understand how a brainless, eyeless plant managed to invent an exquisite, functioning trap.  Actually, the question these scientists investigated (the fast action) is one of the simplest aspects of this wonderful organism.  How does the plant keep from springing its traps when only one trigger hair is touched?  (This keeps it from responding unnecessarily to wind-blown particles.)  How does the signal get propagated at the cellular level?  How does it maintain the curvature of the leaves?  How did trigger hairs form at just the right positions?  How do the spines along the trap edges grow and overlap, to form a secure prison the fly can’t wiggle out of?  How does the trap close even more tightly after the prey is captured, so as to squeeze the juice out of the bug?  How does a plant digest animal tissue, and why does it need to, when it can apparently survive without it?  How does the trap know to stay closed until digestion is finished, and how does it reopen like new?  Where are the transitional forms for this amazing plant?  How can evolutionists believe it arose by chance?    The Venus flytrap makes a wonderful object lesson for the family.  Pick one up at the nursery and let your kids experiment with it.  It’s a good way to have them learn to ask questions, try to figure out how things work, and develop a sense of wonder about natural phenomena.  Follow it up with a showing of the Moody Institute of Science classic The Prior Claim, a fun film that shows the plant in action.  It also shows a “simpler” plant – a fungus – that has a microscopic trap that is so fast, you can’t see the action even if you avoid blinking.  One moment the bug is outside, and within a split second it’s inside.  Amazing.  There are wonders everywhere that almost seem designed to create headaches for unbelievers.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The 8 Apps Robert Scoble Would Rather Die Than Live Without

first_imgWe all have our favorite apps. You know, the ones you instinctively tap open first thing in the morning, long before your first sip of coffee. The ones you return to throughout the day, whether to guide you around town, put you in touch with people or mindlessly entertain you. You have yours, and Robert Scoble has his. The Rackspace Startup Liaison, blogger and hyper-geeky tech evangelist talked to ReadWrite about the eight apps he uses every day and can’t live without. If you follow the Scobelizer online, much of his list isn’t terribly shocking, but it’s always interesting to see where well-known figures in tech spend their digital attention and limited time. 8. Quora Quora may have fallen from its buzz peak, but it’s still popular among many of the early adopters that flocked to it in the first place. Scoble is one of them. He still routinely uses the site, often answering questions posed by other users. The Q&A site is still frequented by Silicon Valley figures and others who work in tech, so it’s still loaded with interesting threads that sometimes contain rather candid insights.7. Google+Your normal, non-techie friends may not be hanging out on Google+ much yet, but it’s a fast-rising social platform beloved by many in the media and technology scenes. Robert Scoble, quite naturally, loves it. “My friends aren’t on it either, but the people who are I quite enjoy and the search engine here is better,” says Scoble.6. YouTubeIt’s hardly a cutting edge, under-the-radar app, but the world’s biggest user-generated video site is a staple in Scoble’s digital diet. Just like Google Maps, the newer version of YouTube for iOS is light years better than what used to ship on iPhones and iPads by default. Like the rest of us, Scoble consumes his fair share of YouTube videos via its iOS and Android apps, but he also publishes his own videos to more than 12,000 subscribers, who have clicked the play button a cumulative 5.5 million times. Damn, Scoble!5. WazeThere are a number of traffic apps for the iPhone, but few are as widely beloved as Waze. The crowd-sourced navigation app has been a huge hit among iOS-using drivers like Scoble, who cites it as “the best way to see traffic on the road ahead (and cops too).”4. Flipboard Flipboard hasn’t evolved that radically since its launch in 2010, but it remains a mainstay on the docks of many an iPad user. Thankfully what the team launched almost three years ago was extremely well-designed and plugs in to just about any source of Web content you can think of. Flipboard’s heavy focus on social integrations makes it ideal for Twitter mavens like Scoble. “It takes some setting up for someone like my dad, who doesn’t know what Twitter is for,” he says.As much as he loves Flipboard, Scoble says Prismatic is a close second when it comes to news apps – to which he can’t seem to break his addiction.3. Twitter@Scobleizer has a pretty sizable following on Twitter. On his various devices, he prefers the home-baked official mobile app to third party clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific. He uses it more or less like the rest of us to, to manage lists, read tweets, reply to people and post his own updates. When asked which social platform he would give up if he was forced to lose one, he told us he’d get rid of Twitter before losing Google+ or Facebook. “That said, you’d pretty much have to kill me first.”2. Gmail Google has been busy revamping its apps for iOS, and the work has paid off. Google Maps and YouTube are both way better than the default apps that used to ship on iOS, and Google Drive, Google+ and Gmail follow the same new visual language, each boasting its own list of impressive features. Indeed, if you’re a Gmail user, it’s hard to get too enamored with the iPhone’s default Mail app when Google has its own, far more delightful offering. “This has better notifications and gives me better access to Gmail’s features like labels and spam marking capabilities,” Scoble says. “Plus it’s more secure with Google’s new two-factor authentication which I highly recommend.”1. FacebookMore than any other app on any device, the one Scoble taps the most is Facebook. He cites the service’s massive user base, which encompasses friends, family and just about everyone in the tech industry. “It’s – by far – the best social network for keeping lists of people and watching both their private and professional lives and interacting with them,” Scoble says. If there was one service you’d have to pry from his cold, dead hands, it’s Facebook. Lead photo courtesy of Robert Scoble.  john paul titlow Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologycenter_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#Facebook#gmail#Google#iPhone#mobile#quora#robert scoble#social media#transit#twitter What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

Vancouver group tackles loneliness language barriers through conversation

first_imgVANCOUVER – Amie Peacock describes her mother as “a social butterfly,” but when she came to visit her in Vancouver from the Philippines a lack of friends and a language barrier left her miserable and lonely.“I couldn’t imagine there are more people like her in our city and, sure enough, when I started looking at the cause and effects of social isolation, I realized that the problem is so much greater than what I had imagined,” Peacock said.Although her mother ended up leaving six months after arriving in 2001, Peacock resolved to tackle the issue.“To me, social isolation can affect rich, poor, young or old,” she said.The problem of social isolation, which can have serious consequences on a person’s mental health and mortality, gained international awareness when the United Kingdom appointing a minister of loneliness in January. Vancouver’s Seniors Advisory Committee has developed a report on the issue and delivered its recommendations to city council last month.In 2016, with help from Little Mountain Neighbourhood House, Peacock launched Beyond the Conversation, a volunteer organization that helps people practice their English skills and foster relationships.Groups meet on a weekly basis in community centres, churches and coffee shops to discuss anything that’s pertinent to them at the time, from Christmas traditions to current events. The subject matter is determined by the group and even touches on basic social interactions, like how to create small talk with neighbours.At Victoria Drive Community Hall, up to 30 seniors whose first language is predominately Mandarin or Cantonese, meet every Wednesday morning.Theresa Gee, a retired elementary school teacher, writes English phrases on a board related to celebrating Chinese New Year, the main focus of a recent discussion.The English skill level varies among the members. Some can carry on a conversation while others, particularly those in their 70s and 80s, speak only a few words, Gee said. People with stronger language skills help translate for others who might get stuck throughout the discussions.Silinia Law, 69, grew up in Hong Kong and is among those who already spoke some English. She joined the group when it was first designed exclusively as a social gathering, but said she suggested to Gee that she teach English as well.“A lot of people, they want to communicate with the other people but then they don’t know how to speak some simple words. We are living in an English-speaking society, we need to communicate with local people,” she said.While Gee sees people making significant gains, it’s not just better language skills that mark the success of the meetings.“Really in the guise of learning more English, they are actually benefiting socially and connecting with each other and making new friends,” Gee said.Law, who comes to the group with her husband, agrees that it’s made a huge difference in her social life after feeling she had no friends or relatives to connect with.“When I (was) first coming here, I feel very lonely and my husband asked me, ‘What is wrong with you,’ ” she said. “Then (we) come here and we meet some friends and we’re talking together and then we feel happy.”There are 11 similar groups that meet across the city and its membership is not exclusively seniors, Peacock said. A number of younger immigrants and refugees have joined the groups.“We really need to foster their sense of belonging,” Peacock said of the younger members.While language classes and seniors programming exist throughout the city, cost barriers keep people on limited incomes away, said Don Morrow, president of Victoria Drive Community Hall.“These are senior people who basically brought up their kid’s kids, so … this is the first chance they’ve had to actually learn English,” he said.“Most of these people don’t have much disposable income, so for them to come here for basically nothing is a big thing for them.”Peacock said she’s exploring the idea of setting up groups in highrise apartment buildings. She also plans to set up 10 more groups throughout Metro Vancouver this year.last_img read more

Cannabis marketing rules still hazy postlegalization

first_imgTORONTO — Despite strict rules limiting the promotion of now legal recreational pot now in effect, cannabis promotions continue to pop up amid loopholes and a lack of clarity on how the legislation’s grey areas should be applied.Nearly one month on since legalization, there is disagreement in the sector on murky portions of the Cannabis Act governing marketing, with some licensed producers taking a more aggressive approach and others holding back.“The fact that you aren’t seeing that an overwhelming wave yet of those kinds of tactics, to me, demonstrates that there is still uncertainty,” said Rebecca Brown, founder of Crowns Agency, a Toronto-based marketing consultancy focused on the marijuana industry.Canada legalized pot for recreational use on Oct. 17, when strict guidelines governing the plant’s promotion came into force.The blitz of cannabis industry billboards, sponsored concerts and pop-up information kiosks seen ahead of legalization have abated, but marijuana brands can be seen on taxi cabs or on social media — which may or may not run afoul of the law depending on interpretation.The Cannabis Act prohibits promotion of cannabis to young people and ads in places where it can be seen by those under the age of 18.Also barred is the use of endorsements or a depiction of a person, character or animal or marketing which presents “a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”Some companies have run afoul of this particular clause in the Act, Health Canada says.Since legalization, the health agency has reached out to seven regulated parties “to promote an understanding of the new prohibitions relating to the promotion of cannabis… and to bring specific concerns to their attention,” said agency spokesman Eric Morissette.All regulated parties contacted have addressed, or are in the process of, addressing the issues raised, Health Canada added.The government agency would not detail what portions of the Act were violated, but did say “for example” it raised concerns about “promotion using the depiction of persons and promotions that present a product or brand that associates it with a particular way of life, such as a glamorous or recreational lifestyle.”Health Canada said it would not identify the parties involved “provided that they have acted in good faith and taken the necessary corrective measures.” Still, government guidelines on pot promotion also has several exceptions and clauses which, some say, are open to interpretation.One exception allows for promotion using a “brand element” on a “thing that is not cannabis or a cannabis accessory,” if that thing isn’t associated with young persons or “vitality.”To some, this means ads with just a brand name or logo and a website may be allowable on things such as billboards, said Brown.“If you are reading the act plainly or literally, that should be allowed… There are certainly LPs that do feel uncomfortable with that.”Earlier this month, a cannabis ad was seen on a taxicab in Toronto with its brand name and the tagline: “Buds don’t travel high. Drive safely.”The Canadian Marketing Association’s cannabis marketing activities guide says advertising solely with a brand element, without appealing to young people or suggesting a glamorous lifestyle may be allowed, but “proceed with caution and consult legal counsel.”Canada’s largest newspaper publisher Postmedia Network Inc. intends to run ads that fit into the loopholes in the act, said spokeswoman Phyllise Gelfand.Postmedia announced earlier this month that it would stop delivering print editions to schools for fear that sending the papers containing ads directly to students would violate the law. The last newspaper delivery to schools was on Oct. 31, but papers can still be delivered to homes if directly to people over the age of 18, Gelfand said in an email.When asked whether ads with simply a brand element and a website in a newspaper would be considered compliant, Health Canada said it could not comment on a specific situation.“Newspapers available to the public should not generally contain any promotional material, including advertising, related to cannabis,” said Health Canada spokeswoman Maryse Durette, noting that any promotion related to pot can only be in a publication that is addressed and sent to someone 18 years of age or older.The exemption was likely designed for things such as T-shirts and hats but more clarity from Health Canada is needed, said Trina Fraser, an Ottawa-based lawyer who advises the cannabis industry.“Certainly, I don’t think it was intended to provide essentially for mass brand promotion through conventional advertising means, even though, again, I think it at most it would be limited to the actual logo or brand name,” said Fraser.Nick Dean, chief executive of Emblem Cannabis, said the pot producer won’t be running ads on billboards on highways or in newspapers but will look to leverage social media influencers, he said.“There’s lots of opportunities for us to still be creative in how we market these brands, post-legalization,” Dean said.Other exceptions include ads in age-gated areas where young people are not permitted.Canopy Growth Corp.’s marketing campaign utilized billboards, concerts and informational kiosks but promotions stopped on the night of Oct. 16, said its co-chief executive Bruce Linton on a recent analyst call. Now, the licensed producer is using ads in age-gated areas, such as posters in bar bathrooms, he said.“We did not receive a letter from Health Canada to say that we were not in compliance,” Linton said.Another exception is in the digital realm where “reasonable steps” must be taken to ensure it cannot be accessed by non-adults. However, it is unclear whether a social media page with a description asking that its followers be adults is a “reasonable step,” the CMA said in its guide.Yet, many cannabis companies continue to post on Instagram, with the phrase “By following, you confirm that you are 19+” on their accounts.The industry desires more guidance from Health Canada on cannabis promotional activities, and more transparency about the warning letters issued thus far, said Fraser.“We don’t know what they were about, who they were sent to or what the basis for the objection that Health Canada took in the letter was… That is limiting us all as an industry from learning and growing.” — with files from Nicole ThompsonArmina Ligaya, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

If you want your child to become chowkidar vote for Modi Kejriwal

first_imgNew Delhi: Taking a dig at BJP’s ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said Wednesday that if people want their children to become watchmen, they should vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And if they want good education, they should vote for Aam Aadmi Party, he said. Kejriwal, in a tweet in Hindi, said Modi wants the whole country try to become ‘chowkidar’ (watchman). “If people want their children to become chowkidar, they should vote for Modi but if they want their child to get good education and become doctor, engineer or lawyer, they should vote for AAP,” he said in his tweet in Hindi. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder On Saturday, Modi had urged his supporters to take the ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ (I too am watchman) pledge, saying he is not alone in the fight against graft and social evils. Since then, the BJP has stepped up its ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign with the prime minister and other party leaders, including its president Amit Shah, prefixing the word ‘chowkidar’ to their names in their Twitter profiles as they sought people’s support in the Lok Sabha elections.last_img read more

Will support grand alliance at Centre if full statehood demand accepted says

first_imgNew Delhi: After the election, if the grand alliance of the opposition parties form government and the alliance accepts the demand of the full statehood then the AAP will support the Centre, said Delhi AAP convenor Gopal Rai on Thursday. “With time, the opposition is becoming stronger, hence the grand alliance will form the Union Government. The AAP is a part of this alliance and will support the government only if they agree to the demand of granting full statehood to Delhi,” said Rai.On a social media interaction with the citizens, Rai described the full statehood demand as the prime focus of the AAP. Rai also explained the need of the full statehood setting the examples of others states and also by describing the obstruction politics done by the Centre through the LG.”Earlier BJP and Congress also demanded the full statehood but just after the AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal took over the government the Cenre did not do anything about the issue of full statehood. But the AAP will fight till the end to get the full statehood,” he said.The leaders explained that if Delhi becomes a full statehood the state government would be able to provide woman security because the police will come directly under the state government which is now under the Centre. The letter also explained that if Delhi becomes a full state then the government would be able to give jobs to the people and he also said that nearly 2 lakh vacancy is there in the Delhi government. Rai also talked about is how the full statehood would help the people with higher education becomes a full statehood the state government would be able to provide woman security because the police will come directly under the state government which is now under the Centre.The leader also explained that if Delhi becomes a full state then the government would be able to give jobs to the people and he also said that nearly 2 lakh vacancy is there in the Delhi government.last_img read more

CSC to train one lakh youth in core technologies for one year

first_imgNew Delhi: In a major move, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on Friday signed an agreement with Common Services Centers (CSC) to help upskill one lakh young professionals in core technologies over the next year.Under the pact, IEEE will work through CSCs across the country to train the young professionals in skills that align with the government’s Digital India initiative, which in turn will spur jobs in the emerging fields of building or managing data networks and Internet of Things (IoT), the CSC said in its statement. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”The aim of this agreement is to jointly create jobs and bridge the digital divide. IEEE Blended Learning Program (BLP) aims to upskill 1 lakh young professionals across the country in the emerging areas of technology such as the Internet of Things and building Wi-Fi community networks,” said Harish Mysore, senior director IEEE India Operations. On the occasion, CEO of CSC Dinesh Tyagi said, “The BLP certificate programmes are developed in conjunction with industry leaders and vetted by experts to ensure their effectiveness in content and learning experience.” “It is backed by micro-learning modules, application modules and data analytics, ultimately leading to an IEEE certificate, which aims at bridging the skills gap between academic learning and industry needs,” he said.last_img read more

New signing Lenglet very happy and proud to be Barcelona

New signing Lenglet very happy and proud to be Barcelona

first_imgBarcelona’s new signing Clement Lenglet has revealed he is happy and proud to have joined Barcelona on Thursday as the club activated the £31.7m release clause to complete a deal with him.The contract with Barcelona is a five-year contract. He scored four times in 54 appearances during his first season in Spain.“I now have the honour of living with the Barca shirt and playing in a team of stars. I’m very happy and proud. I’m ambitious but respectful of everyone. I’m going to learn a lot from them,” Lenglet told reporters via Sports Mole.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“I want to play as much as possible. I’ll work every day to grow. I know there’s a lot of competition in my position, but I’m here to win trophies. I’m here to learn from everyone. I’m here to learn from Umtiti. It’s good for me that Barca have such good players.Lenglet’s five-year contract at Camp Nou also comes with a release clause of £265m.last_img read more

Ramsey intends to remain at Emirates Stadium until the end of

Ramsey intends to remain at Emirates Stadium until the end of

first_imgArsenal playmaker Aaron Ramsey has admitted he won’t leave the Emirates Stadium this January although he is yet to resolve his contract issues with the management.The 27-year-old Wales international has failed to find a mutual agreement with the Gunners over a potential contract extension, as his current deal at the London outfit runs down at the end of the season.Knowing Ramsey’s quality and experience, a host of Europe top clubs already showed their interest, including the Premier League rivals, Manchester United and Liverpool, as well as, Serie A giants AC Milan.However, it seems the Welshman would like to honor his contract with Arsenal and help the team at least until the end of the ongoing campaign, that’s according to the ESPN.“Of course [I will see out the season], yeah,” Ramsey said after Wales’ 4-1 loss to Spain on Thursday. “I am contracted to Arsenal and I am going to do my best now this season to try and achieve something special.”Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.Aaron confirms #AFC withdrew contract offer despite it’s being virtually agreed. He is not leaving in January. Full quotes.— Arsènic™ (@MrArsenicTM) October 12, 2018“Everything has been going great with the club,” he said. “We thought we were in a position where we had agreed a deal but that’s no longer the case.“So I just have to carry on playing my football and do my best for Arsenal this season and I’ll leave the rest with the club now. That’s a decision that they have made. I just have to get on with it and carry on playing the best I can.”last_img read more