Taking the Sci-Fi Out of SETI

first_imgSETI might well stand for “Sci-Fi of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence” with its ROI (return on investment) of zero in 50 years of searching (12/31/2009).  In his latest piece for Space.com Seth Shostak did the best he could to distinguish SETI as science, not science fiction, though plenty of the latter will be evident at a conference in Santa Clara this weekend called SETIcon (SETI Conference), sponsored by the SETI Institute.  Shostak, erstwhile Director, preferred in this article to call himself by his new scientific title, “Senior Astronomer.”    The conference will feature a who’s who of SETI glitterati, including Frank Drake, Jill Tarter, and Seth Shostak himself, who has tried to make the scientific case for SETI for years (01/05/2005, 04/22/2009).  They will be accompanied by Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweikart, planet hunter Mike Brown, Alex Filippenko and other astronomers.  Mixed in with the “science” category are plenty of “science fiction” people, like Robyn Asimov (the daughter of noted atheist science fiction writer Isaac Asimov), sci-if screenwriters, actors from sci-if movies, and book authors, making this a blend of views “all dealing with the science and science-fiction of extraterrestrial life.”    What did Shostak offer up as the science of SETI?  Without a subject (02/20/2004, 07/25/2006), is it really right to call it science (08/13/2004)?  Without doubt, there has been plenty of progress in astrophysical theories about the lifetimes of various star types, the conditions for habitable environments, and a growing roster of extrasolar planets.  The search tools have become much better, with the Allen Telescope Array coming online (08/17/2007, 10/12/2007).   But much of his material is in future tense – what scientists can expect is possible, given the constraints of physics (12/07/2007).  Scientists help inform overactive screenwriters’ imaginations with a dose of realism.  The dinner in honor of Frank Drake is more a celebrity toast than a science presentation, since Drake never found anything.    Shostak insisted that “there’s never been a time when the search for life beyond Earth – a staple of the [science fiction] genre – was more informed by real science.”  But the only scientific achievements he listed deal with stars, planets, radio waves, and the like – the usual astronomy – not matters of sentient beings.Would it be science if you published many articles on scientific constraints for the survival of gnomes and leprechauns?  Shostak knows a lot of astronomy, but his reason for being in his current post is SETI, for which there is no scientific evidence.  He loves to mingle with the sci-if crowd (05/31/2005), but when the legitimacy of SETI is at stake, he can easily point to Filippenko and Brown and the other legit astronomers, and say, “I’m with them.”  Note: they haven’t found ET, either.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Engineering a greener future

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Ajay Shah and Mary WicksMany people associate bridges or electrical circuits with engineering; however, the field is much broader. According to livescience.com, “engineering is the application of science and math to solve problems” and engineers are “instrument in making those innovations available to the world.” In today’s world, in which companies and consumers want greener, more sustainable processes and products, engineers are developing new ways to process organic wastes and agricultural feedstocks in order to create bio-based products.As our understanding of the molecular structure of organic materials grows, engineers are developing technologies that use the knowledge generated. For example, a biological engineer may work to optimize biological processes to produce ethanol via fermentation or biogas via anaerobic digestion for bioenergy. Chemical engineers may focus on creating more sustainable products, such as bio-plastics from waste materials, rather than petroleum, or bio-materials that decompose after use. Other engineers may use genetic engineering methods to make crops that are more resistant to disease or environmental challenges, such as drought. Learn moreThe “Advanced BioSystems Workshop: Bioprocessing to Commercialization” features a pre-workshop tour, followed the next day by speakers from industry, research, and others to share ideas and experiences in bioprocessing technologies and bio-based products. On Sept. 9, 2019, attendees will tour Cargill’s bioprocessing plant in Sidney and then enjoy a barbeque and chance to network. On Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 the workshop will be held at the Shelby Oaks Golf Course in Sidney and will provide attendees an opportunity to learn more.The workshop will kick off with keynote speaker, Zia Abdullah, who leads the biomass program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). He will provide an overview on current and future opportunities and challenges in bioprocessing. Kenneth Heater with METSS Corporation will share an industry perspective on the challenges faced in developing commercially viable bio-based products and processes.Three speakers from industry will provide insights to product development and commercialization. Kevin Jarrel with Modular Genetics will discuss their process for using fermentation to convert crude glycerin, a byproduct of biodiesel production, to a surfactant. Then, Daniel Derr with NATSURFACT will discuss his company’s process for converting soybean oil to a biosurfactant. To wrap up the day, Patrick Heist, co-owner of Ferm Solutions and the Wilderness Trail Distillery, will share how he grew tiny microbes into two large, successful bioprocessing companies.There will also be time for networking and to hear from Ajay Shah, a researcher at Ohio State University. He will discuss the importance of working with industry to ensure that research addresses real-world needs. Barry McGraw with the Ohio Soybean Council will provide growers’ perspectives on bio-based products.The workshop is open to everyone. Registration, which includes the networking event, is $50 on or before Aug. 27 and $60 after that date. A special student rate of $25 is available, but registrations must be received on or before Aug. 27. For program and registration details, including online registration, see the links at probe.osu.edu or contact Mary Wicks at wicks.14@osu.edu or 330-202-3533.The workshop and networking event are made possible through support of the Ohio Soybean Council, which seeks to expand the development of soy-based products and technologies, improving the profitability of Ohio’s soybean farmers. Dr. Ajay Shah is an Associate Professor and Mary H. Wicks is a Program Coordinator in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering of The Ohio State University. E-mail: shah.971@osu.edu; wicks.14@osu.edu. Phone: (330)202-3533. This column is provided by the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.last_img read more

ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight Releases Playoff Odds After Rivalry Weekend

first_imgESPN's FiveThirtyEight playoff odds for College Football teams after rivalry week.fivethirtyeight playoff oddsThe regular season, at least for most college football teams, has ended. Which means that after next Saturday’s slate of contests (many of which are conference championship games), the playoff selection committee will have all of the info it needs to make its decisions. Will their be chaos on the final Saturday? Or will it all hold?At this point, according to ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight, a few things are clear. Oklahoma, after winning the Big 12, is in the playoff field. Alabama, with a win over Florida in the SEC title game, will also have a spot. Clemson, with a win over UNC, is in. And the winner of the Big Ten title game between Iowa and Michigan State will qualify as well. The question marks? Does UNC, with a win over Clemson, get in? And if Alabama loses to Florida, does Ohio State sneak back in? Here are the odds that FiveThirtyEight has at the moment.Oklahoma is in. The next four are locks if they win. Lurking: UNC, Stanford, Ohio State. https://t.co/ZvsQO702Hb pic.twitter.com/djQVtog8wY— Andrew Flowers (@andrewflowers) November 29, 2015In just a week, we’ll have all of the answers. Until then, expect a great deal of debate.last_img read more

Ohio State womens soccer dominates but cant find the net against Northwestern

OSU senior defender Nicole Miyashiro battles a Northwestern defender for the ball on Oct. 1, 2016 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Aaron Tomich | Lantern reporterThe Ohio State women’s soccer team responded to the offensive challenge the Northwestern Wildcats’ offense presented with a thrilling match, but a disappointing finish Saturday night.The game ended in a 0-0 tie, after an overtime period, making the Buckeyes 7-4-2 (1-2-2 Big Ten); Northwestern 10-1-1 (3-1-1 Big Ten).The Buckeyes’ defense stifled Northwestern potent strikers, but the biggest impact of the game came out of a strong and dominating offensive attack from the Scarlet and Gray.  In an attack that included 28 total shots and 17 corner kicks, the Buckeyes’ offense was relentless towards the strong Northwestern back line of defenders.  With such high offensive statistics, there was a frustration when it came to the lack of scoring.  “I don’t know another sport where you can dominate an opponent as much as we did tonight and not find a way to get the result,” said OSU coach Lori Walker. “Obviously we feel good about our effort. We feel good about how much we dominated against Northwestern but we’re very disappointed that we couldn’t figure out how to put the ball in the rectangle, so that’s a bit frustrating.”At the beginning of the tightly contested overtime period, redshirt senior defender Morgan Wolcott had an opportunity from a cross into the goalkeeper’s box, deflecting off the left post opposite the goal in what could have given the Buckeyes the lead.  “I thought it was going to bounce the other way off the post but it didn’t and then after that I thought we were going to get another opportunity,” Wolcott said.  “But they were quick getting to the ball and getting it out, unfortunately.”The motivation for tonight’s strong play came from last week’s 3-0 victory over Iowa, along with the desire to record another conference win.  “I think this week, after coming off the win on Sunday, we wanted to get this win again here,” Wolcott said. “We definitely dominated the game here. They’re a good team, and we really came out today.”OSU’s defense made a statement, holding Northwestern to a total of 9 shots and three corners.  Senior defender Nicole Miyashiro emphasized the team’s domination while looking ahead to next week’s matchup, using the strong defensive play as motivation. “We’re frustrated but we’re going to take this momentum into Maryland,” Miyashiro said.  “I think it’s a really good build up for us into that game and also just for the defense to get a shutout, that really helps us a lot.”Miyashiro’s personal connection with Northwestern midfielder Kassidy Gorman created a fun and competitive twist to tonight’s game. “That 10 minutes we had against each other, it was so fun,” Miyashiro said.  “There was (a moment) over here (left side of field by the goal) where we were going against each other and she was dribbling, and I slid and kicked it out and there’s really no better feeling than that.”OSU hopes to learn from tonight’s offensive domination, using the scoreless draw as motivation for their road trip to Maryland.  “Some of it’s just repetition.  We have players that are capable of finishing a game at any time,” Walker said. “For whatever reason it just didn’t happen tonight.” read more

Womens Basketball Ohio State ends season with 7161 loss to Morehead State

Ohio State freshman guard Janai Crooms (3) dribbles the ball up court in the first half of the game against Rutgers on March 3. Ohio State lost 66-56. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State women’s basketball team (14-14, 10-8 Big Ten) lost in the first round of the WNIT tournament 71-61 to  Morehead State (23-10, 13-5 Ohio Valley) 71-61. In their second appearance in the WNIT in program history, the Buckeyes struggled to keep up with the Eagles, who outscored Ohio State 46-30 in the second half.Freshman forward Dorka Juhasz led the team with 15 points and 10 rebounds, notching her 12th double double of the season right before rolling her ankle and leaving the court late in the fourth quarter.Redshirt senior forward Makayla Waterman, usually averaging 7.8 points per game, only added two points in 19 minutes of playing time, making 1-of-4 from the field. “It was definitely a tough game to go out to, I think that was a pretty bad game for us,” Waterman said. The Buckeyes tried to play catch up in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles 3-point shooting seemed to be unstoppable, making 7-of-14 in the second half. Morehead State started the game hot, coming out to a quick 10-4 lead. However, after a timeout, the Buckeyes answered with an 11-0 run.“I thought in the first half we had a chance to stretch out the lead and really impose our will on the game,”Ohio State  head coach Kevin McGuff said. The first half was the story of turnovers for both the Buckeyes and the Eagles. Both teams had nine turnovers by the end of the half. The Buckeyes made the most out of those turnovers, making 11 points off of turnovers while the Eagles only had five. After a 3-point make by freshman guard Janai Crooms, the Buckeyes took the lead and held it out until the end of the first half, leaving with a 31-25 lead. But Morehead State answered with three 3-point shots late in the third quarter by redshirt junior guard Aliyah Jeune that left the Eagles bench electrified with excitement and gave them back in the lead 48-45. Crooms finished the game with 13 points, making 5-of-10 from the field, but recorded eight of Ohio State’s 17  turnovers in the 10-point loss. Holding a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, Morehead State outscored Ohio State 23-14 in the fourth quarter, leading to a 10-point victory for the Eagles. In the second half, Ohio State shot 40 percent from the field, but made 2-of-10 from deep. In what ended Ohio State’s season, McGuff said his team did not play consistently enough to sustain the first-half lead or even stretch it out. “We weren’t the more physical team and we were going to need to be that to win tonight and we weren’t,” McGuff said. read more

Rohingya refugee returns must meet international standards UNHCR

first_imgAdrian was speaking at a press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, said a press release. “UNHCR takes note of reports that the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar have reached agreement on the return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. Some 622,000 people have fled Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State since 25 August, triggered by a wave of violence underpinned by denial of citizenship and decades of deep discrimination,” said the UNHCR spokesperson. Rohingya refugees sit as they wait to enter the Kutupalang Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, November 21, 2016. ReutersUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson Adrian Edwards on Friday said the UNHCR ‘stands ready to help both governments work towards a solution for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh that meets international refugee and human rights standards’, but it ‘is critical that returns do not take place precipitously or prematurely, without the informed consent of refugees or the basic elements of lasting solutions in place’. “People must have the option of returning home, and not be confined to specific areas. Progress towards addressing the root causes of flight, including their lack of citizenship, as recommended by the Rakhine Advisory Commission, will also be crucial,” he added.center_img “UNHCR has not yet seen the details of the agreement. Refugees have the right to return. And a framework that enables them to exercise this right in line with international standards, will be welcome. First and foremost, this means that return must be voluntary, and take place in safe and dignified conditions that pave the way for lasting solutions,” he added. “At present, conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State are not in place to enable safe and sustainable returns. Refugees are still fleeing, and many have suffered violence, rape, and deep psychological harm.  Some have witnessed the deaths of family members and friends. Most have little or nothing to go back to, their homes and villages destroyed. Deep divisions between communities remain unaddressed. And humanitarian access in northern Rakhine State remains negligible,” Adrian further said.last_img read more

Student of USTC sent to jail for assaulting teacher

first_imgjailA court in Chattogram on Wednesday sent a student of University of Science and Technology Chittagong (USTC) to jail for allegedly assaulting a teacher by pouring kerosene on him, reports UNB.The court passed the order after police produced Mahmudul Hasan, a Master’s student of English department of the university, before it, said officer-in-charge of Khulshi police station Pranab Chowdhury.A group of USTC students dragged professor Masud Mahmud out of his office on Tuesday and Mahmudul poured kerosene on his body.Acting registrar of the university Dilip Kumar Barua filed a case in this regard while a probe committee was formed to look into the incident.last_img read more

Ohio Pastor Encouraged Other Ministers to Have Sex with Groomed Teen Prosecutors

first_imgTOLEDO, Ohio — A minister who promised a woman he’d take care of her daughter began having sex with the teenager daily and later encouraged two other pastors to have sex with her as well, federal prosecutors said Monday.Anthony Haynes could face up to life in prison if he’s convicted of child sex trafficking and other charges. The two other Toledo-area pastors charged in the investigation have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.Prosecutors said during the opening of Haynes’ trial that he first had sex with the girl when she was 14. They said the evidence against him includes text messages, photos, voice mails and DNA evidence from his church where the girl said they often had sex. By The Associated Press Pastor Anthony Haynes. (Lucas County Sheriff’s Office / The Blade via AP)center_img Haynes’ attorney told jurors that the allegations are shocking, but there’s not enough evidence to prove the trafficking and conspiracy charges he faces.Attorney Pete Wagner also said Haynes may have had a questionable relationship with the girl, but he didn’t coordinate or take part in trafficking her to the other ministers. He also said there was no paying for sex.Prosecutors say the girl had a difficult childhood and was sexually abused by a relative.Haynes pledged in front of his congregation to protect her and serve as a father figure, but he began grooming her for sex when she turned 14 and first forced her to perform sex acts in front of him, said Michael Freeman, an assistant U.S. attorney.They had sex day after day, often at a motel or his church, the Greater Life Christian Center in Toledo, and Haynes would give her cash, Freeman said.After about a year, Haynes introduced her to Kenneth Butler, another pastor, and he also began having sex with her, Freeman said.Sometimes, the two men joked about the arrangement, prosecutors said. One text shown in court that prosecutors say was sent by Butler to the girl said: “You better be nice and naked when I get there.”Prosecutors said the girl next met Cordell Jenkins, a minister who founded his own church in Toledo and built a large following until it closed after his arrest.The FBI has said in court documents that Jenkins had sex with two girls at his home, church office and a motel and often recorded the acts with his phone.Haynes, prosecutors said, encouraged the relationship with Jenkins.In addition to the charges against the men, Haynes’ wife and stepdaughter are accused of abducting the girl at gunpoint in January and warning her not to testify at his trial.Court documents say the pair forced the teenager from her apartment, choked her with a cord and told her to take back statements she made to investigators. Attorneys for Haynes’ wife and stepdaughter have declined to comment.Just before her husband went on trial, his wife appeared Monday in the same courtroom where the judge overseeing the case turned down her request to be released.last_img read more

KMC starts doortodoor antidengue drive

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) started its door-to-door dengue drive in the city on Thursday.The officials visited particularly those households where dengue cases were reported last year. The drive took place on Muraripukur Road in North Kolkata and officials covered 30 houses in the area led by Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh who also heads the Health department of the civic body. “We will slap a notice under 496A of the KMC ACT on a person who lives on 35 D Muraripukur Road for being negligent in cleaning of garbage on the premises of his house,” Ghosh said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe team involved in the drive comprised of officers from Health, Solid Waste Management, Drainage and Building department of the civic body. Local borough chairman Anindya Raut was also present during the drive. The team spoke to the residents and advised them on how to keep their own respective compounds free from garbage and warned them against accumulation of stagnant water. Ghosh also told them about the precautionary measures which they should take to prevent the disease. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”Our continued awareness drives have resulted in better civic awareness pertaining to cleanliness. But they should be more alert and vigilant,” Ghosh said. The team stumbled upon a vacant land during their drive where heaps of garbage was found. “We will soon send notice to the owner of the land. The drive will continue till June and during this period we will cover every house in the city from where dengue cases were reported last year,” a senior KMC official said. Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh will be present in the anti-dengue drives twice in a week. The KMC has already prepared a map of the residences in all the 144 wards in the city where people were affected last year.last_img read more

Aakritis Affordable Art Mela

first_imgVikram Bachawat has been doing exciting affordable art exhibitions for the past many years. As a collector and gallery persona, he does not need an introduction. Earlier, he ran one of the finest places in Delhi, however now – he can be seen working in a sophisticated space in Kolkata – the Aakriti gallery – which is hosting the 6th edition of ‘Affordable September Art Mela’ in the city.The mela runs until September 29.”After completing five successful editions of the fair at the gallery, we look forward to offering this special opportunity to our patrons,” says Bachawat. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”We at Aakriti Art Gallery, constantly strive to make art more accessible to all. ‘Affordable Art Mela’ hopes to bring art into the lives of people who harbour a passion and love for it,” he added.The gallery will be showcasing the works of over a hundred artists with more than a thousand artworks within the range of 1000 to 1,00,000 INR. This is a one-of-a-kind occasion for art enthusiasts to collect original pieces of art at the best prices. The pursuit of owning great works of art should not be limited to a few. The pleasure of living with and savouring great works of art is incomparable to merely looking at them in galleries. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhile the best names are there in the circuit, there are line drawings by Jogen Chowdhury – a rare Ram Kumar and a couple of other amazing works that come for a song. Of particular delight is Sudip Roy’s impressionist rendition of the rickshaw. Colours and strokes of surreal scattering are his leitmotifs and this composition celebrates the finest of watercolour studies.On one side, the generally somber palette of Roy is read symbolically through the lens of street scene traditions, often underscoring life’s transience. Alternatively, we can assess the artist’s skill in employing an array of visual effects in this scene. Among sculptures in the small format is a delightful set of goats in bronze by Asim Basu. Filled with the richness of the narrative, certain deeper meanings come into focus once you look beyond the metaphors and artistic insights of sculptors and painters. Equally enticing is Lalu Prasad Shaw’s portrait on the paper.The affordable art show has something for everyone. It also offers an uncanny perspective on our own times, in which globalism and consumer culture seem to be reaching a peak, once again in tandem with one another. What are the true social costs of today’s most sought-after items, and why do people love to show them off? These works tell us that collectors can begin young and at humble prices.last_img read more