Chile: Attention Shifts to Miners’ Health

first_img By Oct. 14, Camp Hope was deserted. Families, members of the media and rescue workers shifted their attention to the Copiapó hospital, where the 33 miners are being examined. Most of the miners are in better shape than expected, the Chilean government said in a statement. But most have dental problems, and one has pneumonia and silicosis, a respiratory condition caused by prolonged exposure to dust and rubble. “The 33 are good up there,” said Jaime Mañalich, Chile’s health minister, in reference to the upper floors of the hospital, where the miners are being treated. “With humility, I can say that we achieved our goal.” Sebastián Piñera told the miners and their families Chile “will not be the same” after the catastrophe, and those responsible for the collapse “will be punished.” “You owe me 70 days of overtime,” Urzúa told Sebastián Piñera as the teary-eyed men embraced. “We’ll see about that,” Sebastián Piñera answered. COPIAPÓ, Chile – “I pass the watch to you.” That’s what Luis Urzúa said to Chilean President Sebastián Piñera moments after he emerged from the depths of the earth, at 9:55 p.m. on Oct. 13 after a rescue operation that lasted 22 hours and 35 minutes. Urzúa was the last of the 33 miners to be lifted to the surface in an unprecedented rescue effort at the San José gold and copper mine in northern Chile. “I congratulate you because you fulfilled your duty leaving last, as a good captain does,” Sebastián Piñera responded to Urzúa, who was in charge of the shift when the mine collapsed Aug. 5. Urzúa, a husband and father of two, said it was difficult to persevere through 70 days of being trapped underground, the longest stretch ever documented. “There were some tiresome days,” Urzúa said. “Some bled as the result of trying to do things that were not in the best interest [like trying to escape]. But we managed to keep the sanity.” A celebration erupted at Camp Hope as Sebastián Piñera and Urzúa hugged while tears rolled down their cheeks. Champagne was showered over the ecstatic crowd of family members, rescue workers and journalists from all over the world as scenes from the rescue were shown on a giant monitor. “The miners are all right. They are free,” said María Segovia, sister of rescued miner Darío Segovia, as she wept at the sight of the Fénix 2 capsule reaching the surface with Urzúa inside. María Segovia arrived at Camp Hope two days after the collapse and vowed not to leave until the miners were rescued. “I said that I would stay until the last one was out,” María said, as she opened a bottle of champagne. “Now, I bow out and come back to my normal life selling empanadas.” But amidst the celebration, Urzúa highlighted the harsh working conditions miners face. Sebastián Piñera said he will make a formal announcement regarding how he’ll improve working conditions in mines nationwide “in a few days.” center_img By Dialogo October 14, 2010last_img read more

Delivering amazing member service during the coronavirus

first_img 59SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mark Arnold Mark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner helping businesses such as credit unions and banks achieve their goals with strategic marketing insights and energized training. Mark … Web: www.markarnold.com Details The developing coronavirus pandemic situation continues to send ripples of uncertainty throughout the American landscape, certainly including financial institutions. Fortunately for credit unions, however, we have a near century-long history of providing stability, security and safety to our members when it comes to their financial needs. Through depression and war, the credit union movement has served its members with both pride and admiration for working-class families and individuals.Your credit union is doubtless seeing a rise in member fear and trepidation as the coronavirus situation continues to evolve. Given our history, we have a unique opportunity to continue serving as a bulwark against scaremongering and misinformation and as a beacon of hope for people when they need it most. Your members now look to you for reassurance about their finances in the midst of a financial and social scenario seemingly unthinkable a few short weeks ago. How can you best do this? By sticking to the credit union industry’s history of offering the previously mentioned three key communication points for members. The overall member experience during this time of the coronavirus will define how many people regard their financial institutions for years to come. Now is your credit union’s time to shine when it comes to reinforcing these three important member experience elements.StabilityCredit unions have served as a vital part of the American economy for a century and will be here in the centuries to come. Reinforce with your members that regardless of the tidal wave of crises they may feel are bearing down on them now, your credit union has been there to serve them, is there to serve them and will be there to serve them. In a time of crisis, the human psyche is soothed by stability.SecurityMembers want and need to know their funds are both secure and accessible when they need them. Reinforce with your members that NCUA insurance on deposits is still solidly in place and will continue to be so. This is not a bleak time requiring a run on financial institutions and emptied-out vaults. Now is the time for members to know more powerfully than ever that their credit union is a safe place for their hard-earned financial security. In a time of crisis, the human psyche is stabilized by security.SafetySince its founding, the American ideal when faced with adversity has been one of tackling it head-on. When there is an enemy to fight or a fight to be won, Americans have shown time and again their unwavering commitment to charge that hill, take that beach, and fight until the fight is won. However, an unseen enemy like a virus is different. Now instead of charging an enemy head-on as a group of determined united countrymen, citizens are asked to fight in a different way; by self-quarantine, enhanced hygiene and phrases now firmly entrenched in the lexicon like “flattening the curve” and “social distancing.” Your members need your credit union now more than ever. Reinforce with your members the many ways they can interact with your credit union digitally, such as your website or app. Also, let them know – with an omni-channel communications approach – everything you are doing to make the branch environment as healthy as possible, including such efforts as deep-cleaning, hand sanitizer at every workstation and expanded drive-through hours (if this is something your credit union is pursuing). Your members must know their credit union is a safe place for them to visit. In a time of crisis, the human psyche is reassured by a calming message of safety.The coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, often in ways seemingly unpredictable and, at times, frightening. The best way to conquer this enemy is through unity, common sense and courage. For decades, credit unions have provided exactly these attributes in a financial institution, earning the trust of generation after generation of Americans. The way our credit unions respond to the current fight will, in many ways, impact how current and future members regard us for years to come. The member experience must be reinforced, not neglected, during this trial.The current crisis we face now will prove no different. As we emerge from the other side, the American socioeconomic and financial landscape will certainly look different but we will survive. By communicating critical aspects of this, including stability, security and safety, your credit union can firmly entrench itself as the hero in the narrative of its members financial lives. Now is the time not for panic but for positivity, not for defeat but for determination, not for chaos but for community. Working together with your members, your credit union can and will win this fight.last_img read more

NFL GM rankings 2020: Best, worst decision-makers in the league

first_img Bill Belichick https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/2c/4d/bill-belichick-getty-ftr-120919_h2srrfmrqlxv1fsqda3iteatw.jpg?t=-526814279&w=500&quality=804. Bill Belichick, PatriotsBelichick is battling his toughest offseason in a long time with Tom Brady not returning, but his shrewd personnel history is on his side to rise from the challenge. Belichick also has needed to rebuild the defense with linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts not returning. But the reason the Patriots have some hope with Jarrett Stidham is a strong offensive line Belichick built, a deep backfield and a revamped approach at tight end. Belichick also has found more of his type of versatile defenders to support his top secondary with rookies Kyle Dugger, Anfernee Jennings and Josh Uche.5. Mickey Loomis, SaintsThe Saints keep marching to first place in the NFC South because Loomis keeps making the right roster tweaks around Sean Payton and Drew Brees. His recent offensive moves of landing Emmanuel Sanders and Cesar Ruiz follow how he is always focused on reloading the receiving corps and maintaining the offensive line pop. Defensively, Loomis turned an awful unit from not too long ago into a solid one with the combination of core stars and system-friendly veterans.MORE RANKINGS: WR | TE | RB6. Jon Robinson, TitansRobinson wouldn’t have seen his team get to the AFC title game without the foresight to stash Ryan Tannehill at QB and stealing wide receiver A.J. Brown in the draft. The former Belichick disciple works well with another one, Mike Vrabel, to get versatile, dynamic pieces for the defensive front seven. At the same time, Robinson keeps making the necessary tweaks for the offensive line and secondary based on free-agent losses. Few teams can boast the same kind of valuable depth.7. Howie Roseman, EaglesRoseman did a great job flipping Philadelphia into a Super Bowl champion during the 2017 season and continues to carry that momentum. The recent drafting of Andre Dillard, Miles Sanders and Jalen Reagor add key pieces around the big new investment in Carson Wentz. Defensively, Roseman got more aggressive on the veteran market this year by bringing in Javon Hargrave up front and Darius Slay for the secondary. Roseman has a good rapport with Doug Pederson and provides steady help to match the Eagles’ identtity.8. Kevin Colbert, SteelersColbert has been in his current role with the Steelers for 10 years, and the decade has been defined by defense. Because of him, they consistently have a strong 3-4 edge pass rush, now featuring T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. He has also made winning secondary moves with Joe Haden, Stephen Nelson and Minkah Fitzpatrick. The offense has had a few personnel bumps in the transition from Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, but the healthy return of Ben Roethlisberger can help smooth those out.9. Brandon Beane, BillsBeane follows Lynch and Veach in being on the job since 2017 and executing a methodical plan. He overhauled the Bills’ entire offense around first-round franchise QB Josh Allen. That included the line, more dynamic running backs (Devin Singletary to Zack Moss) and a legitimate wide receiver corps (John Brown, Cole Beasley and Stefon Diggs). Beane also has given Sean McDermott the right fits for Buffalo’s defensive scheme and impressive depth there, too.10. John Schneider, SeahawksLike Colbert, Schneider has been GM for a consistent winning franchise since 2010, one that’s never had a losing season once it stole Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 draft. Schneider caters well to the run-heavy offensive philosophy and meshing weapons with Wilson’s big arm. He also is in lockstep with Pete Carroll’s long-established defensive identity as Seattle has quietly created a worthy sequel to “The Legion of Boom” behind a productive front seven.11. Chris Ballard, ColtsBallard keeps working well with Frank Reich. He was aggressive to find a good short-term QB solution in Philip Rivers and filled a big defensive void with DeForest Buckner. Ballard’s other 2020 moves of note came in drafting running back Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. Ballard balances an eye for good draft value and timely trading to address weaknesses. He also is a member of the strong class of ’17 with former Chiefs colleague Veach. With free agency and the draft coming with their unique challenges, based on salary-cap room and volume of selections, it takes a good GM to mesh it all together for a successful offseason. The GMs who can do it year after year with consistent winning results are the truly great ones.MORE: Ranking the best and worst starting QBs for 2020While Sporting News has handed out its NFL Executive of the Year award to many recipients over the years, there’s been plenty of evidence that GMs can both rise fast and fall hard. Weighing what they all have done in the recent past while also looking at how they have to build on that in 2020, here’s ranking the NFL’s current GMs, 1-32:NFL general manager rankings 20201. John Lynch, 49ersHis three-year plan with San Francisco worked brillantly to the tune of a quick NFC championship, starting with Jimmy Garoppolo, continuing with Richard Sherman and culminating with Nick Bosa. Lynch was a smart, hard-hitting player, and as a former Super Bowl winner, his experience in knowing the ideal team makeup shows. This year, Lynch was fast to make key replacements in Trent Williams, Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk to keep all the 49ers’ strengths as elite contenders intact.2. Brett Veach, ChiefsVeach was on the victorious side of the Super Bowl at age 41. Everything toward the ring started with his forward-thinking push to draft Patrick Mahomes. Because of Veach, the Chiefs also brought in the right offensive support pieces for Andy Reid. Defensively, Veach made terrific approrpriate moves in a switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 base to give them a better complementary unit, including Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu.3. Eric DeCosta, RavensDeCosta was tasked with replacing the legend of Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore’s front office, and he immediately delivered to get a monster Year 2 out of Lamar Jackson by supporting him with Mark Ingram, Marquise Brown and others. DeCosta also made some splashy moves for the defense in 2019 by bringing Earl Thomas and Marcus Peters into the secondary. In 2020, DeCosta added J.K. Dobbins to the running fun, made the Ravens deeper at wideout and also got three new defensive front seven starters in Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe and Patrick Queen. (Getty Images) The job of an NFL general manager is highly demanding. The league’s 32 lead personnel decision-makers are responsible for taking good care of their respecitve teams’ short- and long-term roster interests — every single year.Not all moves will be winners. Some moves will turn out to be better than expected. Sometimes it’s wise to be aggressive about dealing and acquiring players; sometimes it’s not. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/5f/23/jerry-jones-cowboys-041819-getty-images-ftr_183vgrtotj2851f9o9t3siiura.jpg?t=839713082&w=500&quality=8012. Jerry Jones, CowboysAs the only owner who doubles as GM — the league’s oldest at 77 — Jones and son Stephen continue to ace the business of the game. There’s an impressive amassing of talent around Dak Prescott, who will get his desired deal in the end. Jones is always looking to go after splashy offensive skill players and pay them, too. At the same time, he’s shuffled up the defensive front seven nicely. Jones is coming off an extremely strong 2020 draft overall (see CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs). Now he’s turning to Mike McCarthy to finally maximiize his team’s Super Bowl potential.13. Rick Spielman, VikingsFile Spielman as another long-time GM (since 2012) who is steady in knowing exactly what his team needs. The splurge on Kirk Cousins started to pay off in 2019 because the Vikings gave him major help with offensive line upgrades and a run-heavy approach with Davlin Cook and Alexander Mattison. The defense also gets reloaded constantly to Mike Zimmer’s scheme specifications, with the big change at cornerback being the latest.14 Thomas Dimitroff, FalconsDimitroff also has long tenure, going back to 2008. Still only 53, he has a keen eye of always knowing what the Falcons need replaced or strengthened. Offensively, Dimitroff operates with the high offensive baseline of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, his trade-up coup from the 2011 draft, and finds the right receiving, blocking and running compelements for support. Defense has been more of a roller coaster with hits and misses, but Dante Fowler Jr. and A.J. Terrell made for a good 2020 offseason there.MORE: Why NFL preseason games are being canceled in 202015. Brian Gutekunst, PackersGutekunst is in his third year after taking over from his mentor, Ted Thompson. Gutekunst had a great 2019, making a slew of defensive moves that included signing both Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith that powered the team back toward an NFC North title. This year has been a little different, with a shaky future-minded draft for a team ready to win now with Aaron Rodgers. Guteknust still lands in the top half of the league because he’s kept up a long-time personnel mentality that works, now adjusted to the philosophies of Matt LaFleur.16. Jason Licht, BuccaneersLicht has shown a little promise in the past, but he had been near the bottom because of shaky results for his team. He deserves this big rise, however, with a dream 2020 offseason that brought Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to Tampa Bay. Licht also nailed the draft with Tristan Wirfs, Antoine Winfield and Ke’Shawn Vaughn. That gives his best recent moves — drafting Chris Godwin, signing Shaquil Barrett — a lot more heft. Licht is a strong early candidate to be the next new SN executive of the year. 17. Les Snead, RamsSnead made his mark in helping Sean McVay get the Rams to the Super Bowl after the 2018 season. Los Angeles went hard after an all-star roster with some big names and contracts to match. There’s some of that good personnel residue left, led by cornerback Jalen Ramsey, but because of salary-cap issues, the Rams have quickly trended downward, having to move on from Brandin Cooks, Todd Gurley and Cory Littleton, among others. They have been forced to reshuffle to try to return to contention in the NFC West.18. John Elway, BroncosElway is a hard executive to rank, now five seasons removed from helping his team rediscover the Super Bowl glory he once enjoyed as a Hall of Fame QB. The Broncos haven’t been to the playoffs since, with a mess at quarterback, a rebuild of the defense and multiple coaching staffs. The trajectory is going up after hiring Vic Fangio and drafting Drew Lock. Lock is being given a chance to be a long-term franchise QB, now with plenty of help, including Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon, Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler.19. Mike Mayock, RaidersMayock has had a nice two-year run with Jon Gruden so far, with drafting being a little more fruitful than free agency because of the Antonio Brown trade fiasco. The results are slowly starting to come on the field. First-rounders Josh Jacobs and Henry Ruggs III highlight the big offensive changes. Defensively, the haul has gone from ends Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby to linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkowski in short order. A year or two and a playoff team to show for it, and Mayock can make a considerable jump.20. Tom Telesco, ChargersHe completes the run of three consecutive AFC West GMs trying to catch up with Veach. Telesco has been on the job since 2013 and has stockpiled some good talent over the years. The big offensive hit started with Keenan Allen and has gone through Justin Herbert, whom the Chargers hope will be a worthy franchise QB to replace Philip Rivers. Telesco is also trying to keep up the defensive momentum from Joey Bosa and Derwin James with Kenneth Murray. Telesco can climb back up after Los Angeles’ results slipped badly in 2020.21. Bill O’Brien, TexansO’Brien has had a rough offseason with the departure of DeAndre Hopkins in a questionable deal for David Johnson, on the heels of moving Jadevon Clowney. The Texans also had limited draft capital with which to either improve or maintain their standing as AFC South champions. He’s not the best in his GM role in finding value, but he does deserve credit for managing to still coach somewhat well in complete control. Without that second hat and worthy results of late, he would be much lower.22. Dave Gettleman, GiantsGettleman was SN executive of the year with the Panthers five years ago. In two years back with the Giants, the results haven’t been there yet, but he was charged with a big rebuild and made Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones the key building blocks. The key will be their support coming through under the combination of Joe Judge and Jason Garrett. Defensively, there has been a slower work in progress, hopefully accelerated by the signings of Blake Martinez and James Bradberry.MORE: Key dates for training camp and COVID-19 protocols23. Steve Keim, CardinalsAfter a forgettable 2018 with the drafting of Josh Rose and trouble away from the game, Keim, who won SN executive of the year in 2014, appears to back on track professionally and personally. Kyler Murray is headed to living up to his No. 1 overall status, and Keim has supported him better with keen trades for Kenyan Drake and DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals also were able to lock left tackle D.J. Humphries and draft his bookend, Josh Jones. It’s been a little tougher to get it rolling defensively, but getting Isaiah Simmons and Jordan Phillips points the arrow back up there.24. Andrew Berry, BrownsAt 33, the Harvard-educated Berry, given some good previous work with the Colts, Browns and Eagles, has provided an early indication that he’s a keeper for Cleveland. Berry is bound to shoot up on this list when the results of quick work are seen soon. The offense has a sudden feel of stablity with tight end Austin Hooper and tackles Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin to upgrade the versatility, efficiency and production. Defensively, the overhaul at safety witih Grant Delpit and Karl Joseph can have a big impact, too.25. Ryan Pace, BearsPace, who won SN executive of the year just last year for the Bears’ big turnarond, is now being hurt by the QB mess with Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles, with the former heading to bust status and the latter being a desperate replacement investement. The deal for JImmy Graham is also a big head-scratcher. The big Khalil Mack trade set in motion the defense that pushed the Bears to a division title in 2018, but the key complementary pieces in the back seven have taken a big hit. Pace is a good representation of general managing’s fickle nature.26. Mike Brown, BengalsCincinnati’s roller-coaster in the front office with Brown and Duke Tobin is headed back up after a run of mediocre drafting and free-agent reluctance. Getting Joe Burrow as a new franchise QB certainly helps. Pairing him with Tee Higgins throws it a little back to 2011, when the A.J. Green-Andy Dalton combinaton ushered in consistent regular-season success. Watch out for 2019 first-round tackle Jonah Williams to pan out, too. Defensively, it was good to see Cincy spend for a change and do so wisely, upgrading with D.J. Reader, Vonn Bell and Trae Waynes.27. Marty Hurney, PanthersHurney’s second stint on the job has circled him back to rebuilding, but at least he can do so with Christian McCaffrey, who was a Gettleman draft pick. With Teddy Bridgewater, Robby Anderson and Russell Okung headlining the changes around McCaffrey, there’s promise in the post Ron Rivera and Cam Newton reboot. As for a post Luke Kuechly defense, Derrick Brown and Brian Burns are the new foundations. The results may be elusive for a while in a tougher NFC South.28. Bob Quinn, LionsQuinn and coach Matt Patricia know the pressure is on to produce results in 2020. Quinn has worked hard at trying to remold the Lions’ identity as one based more on the running game and defense. But the returns are questionable as the team still works on bettering its backfield and offensive line while passing remains the strength. Last year, the Lions splurged on Trey Flowers and Justin Coleman for limited returns, and Jamie Collins looks like this year’s version of that move for the former Patriots personnel evaulator. The draft has brought some hits, but Quinn needs things to come together better in a hurry now.29. Chris Grier, DolphinsHere’s yet another GM from the Belichick tree. Grier has been charged with a massive rebuild task with Brian Flores. Lot of Grier’s potenital to rise will be based on how well the drafting of Tua Tagovailoa works out. The Dolphins did try to go wholesale with changes on the offensive line and skill positions, but it feels like they didn’t get enough splash for their splurge. The Dolphins may have overspent defensively, too, especially in big money at cornerback (Xavien Howard, Byron Jones) for a team not ready to win now.30. David Caldwell, JaguarsThe Jaguars enjoyed that 10-6 spike in 2017 when Caldwell assembled a loaded defense that got them all the way to the AFC championship game. But since his hiring in 2013, that is Jacksonville’s lone winning season, and now it’s right back in rebuild mode with the core of that ’17 team — Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye — all gone. Yannick Ngakuoe and Leonard Fournette will be out the door next. Gardner Minshew might end up being a QB coup, but for now there remain a lot more roster questions than answers.31. Ron Rivera, Redskins Rivera gets an incomplete for this list because of his acting de facto extra role of GM. So far he’s had the chance to make only one big move, getting elite edge rusher Chase Young at No. 2 overall for Washington’s defensive rebuild. Keeping Brandon Scherff and shipping Trent Williams were more no-brainers for the offensive line. The only veteran newcomer of note was returning cornerback Kendall Fuller. As for the offensive skill players, there are a lot of new bodies at running back and wide receiver who need to pan out to help the QB situation.32. Joe Douglas, JetsDouglas has been on the job only since last summer, when he was hired after the Adam Gase-Mike Maccagnan rift ended up in the latter’s firing. So far, the drafting, with Mekhi Becton for left tackle and Denzel Mims at wide receiver, has been OK, but the free agency has been questionable with more filling holes than actually upgrading them. The defense still looks messy with the edge rush and cornerback, and now foundation safety Jamal Adams is unhappy. Douglas, straight from his success with Roseman’s Eagles, has promise, but is likely handcuffed by Gase’s personnel whims — see adding Frank Gore behind Le’Veon Bell. (Getty Images)last_img read more

Synthetic Fossils Show Organic Films Can Preserve Quickly

first_img2. Statements regarding controversies about preservation potential that the scientists wished to test:The discovery that melanosomes preserve commonly inexceptional fossils (Vinther et al. 2008; Colleary et al.2015) has opened new avenues of palaeontologicalresearch, but their study has not been without controversy.These structures have alternatively been identifiedas fossil bacteria (Wuttke 1983; Davis & Briggs 1995), aposition still maintained by some (Moyer et al. 2014;Lindgren et al. 2015; Schweitzer et al. 2015). However,this stance has been countered by the fact that microbodiescommonly found in fossil skin, hair and feathersconform to melanosomes in distribution, size and organization(Vinther et al. 2008; Vinther 2015, 2016). Furthermore,chemical analyses show that these structurescontain melanin (Glass et al. 2012, 2013; Lindgren et al.2012, 2014; Colleary et al. 2015; Clements et al. 2016;Gabbott et al. 2016; Brown et al. 2017).In addition, it has been suggested that keratin proteincan preserve organically in fossils (Schweitzer et al. 1999,2015; Edwards et al. 2011; Moyer et al. 2016a, b) and,thus, melanosomes might be obscured by a keratin proteinmatrix (Zhang et al. 2010; Moyer et al. 2014; Panet al. 2016). However, studies have described melanosomesas being exposed on the sediment while nonpigmentedregions yield only rock matrix (Vinther et al.2008; Colleary et al. 2015; Vinther 2015). More recently,studies have argued that the only constituents of keratinoustissues preserved deep in the geological record arecalcium phosphate and pigments (Mayr et al. 2016;Vinther et al. 2016; Saitta et al. 2017a).Experimental taphonomy supports the poor preservationpotential of keratin protein. Previous, non-sedimentencasedmaturation experiments turned keratin into avolatile-rich, water-soluble fluid (Saitta et al. 2017a) whileextracted melanosomes survived largely intact (Collearyet al. 2015). This contrasting behaviour between keratinprotein and melanin during maturation suggests that diageneticdegradation and loss of keratin protein is to beexpected in fossils, leaving behind melanosomes. However,this keratin–melanin dynamic has yet to be experimentallyobserved simultaneously.Similarly, decay-resistant collagenous tissue (Sansomet al. 2010a, b, 2013) is expected to be diageneticallyunstable (Parry et al. 2018), like other proteinaceousorganics (Bada et al. 1999). However, epidermal collagenprotein has been proposed in Mesozoic fossils (Lingham-Soliar et al. 2007), although such claims are debated(Smith et al. 2015; Smithwick et al. 2017).Regarding the specific experiments described here, wehypothesize that tissues containing diagenetically-unstableorganics such as proteins and labile lipids (e.g. keratinous,collagenous, muscle and adipose tissues) will largelybecome degraded and lost into the sediment, while diagenetically-stable organics such as melanin (i.e. melanosomes)will tend to remain with the specimen. If thehypothesized filtering effect of porous sediment on diagenetically-altered organic materials is correct, then experimentalresults from sediment-encased maturation shouldbe expected to resemble fossils such that preserved organicstains consist largely of exposed melanosomes resting onthe sediment with a loss of surrounding tissues. In an attempt to learn about the fossilization process, scientists have found that exceptional fossils don’t require millions of years.Scientists at the University of Bristol are old-earth evolutionists, but what they found by experiment mimicked what can be seen in fossils. How long did it take? One day.Exceptionally-preserved fossils, like those of dinosaur bones and birds with soft-tissue remains in the form of carbon films, have been in the news for the last 20 to 30 years. Mary Schweitzer, in particular, created a stir with her fossils of what looked like intact blood vessels in a T. rex bone. The evidence of elastic tissue under a microscope elicited gasps by host Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes in 2010 (YouTube). Numerous reports have come in since, showing intact collagen and melanosomes in bird feathers and carbon films thought to be residues of organs and tissues (see footnote 2). Despite their astonishment at these finds, no one in the secular journals or mainstream media ever questions that these fossils really did form many tens of millions of years ago. Creationist radio host Bob Enyart keeps a running list of fossils with soft-tissue remains as evidence against the assumed long ages.Can the conditions that created these exceptional fossils be reproduced in the lab? Researchers have created “synthetic fossils” (artificial taphonomy) in order to test what conditions can reproduce the observed remains. They tried to speed up the fossilization process by applying heat and pressure. These “maturation” experiments have been a staple for organic geochemists, says a press release from the University of Bristol, to help geochemists understand the formation of fossil fuels, or to produce synthetic diamonds.More recently, maturation has been used to study the formation of exceptional fossils that preserve soft tissues as dark, organic films in addition to mineralised tissues like bone, including fossil dinosaurs from China with organically preserved feathers.New work at the University of Bristol by grad student Evan Saitta has mimicked these types of fossils. His team gathered chicken feathers and living birds and lizards, then performed “humane euthanasia” on them by gassing them with CO2 (see footnote 1). When he used the standard maturation processes on his specimens, however, all he got was a “foul-smelling fluid.” He altered the technique by placing the specimens in compressible bentonite clay. This provided an outlet for fluids during the compaction step:Saitta explained: “The sediment acts as a filter allowing unstable molecules to escape from the sample, revealing browned, flattened bones surrounded by dark, organic films where soft tissues once were.“These results closely resemble exceptional fossils, not just visually, but also microscopically as revealed using a scanning electron microscope.”Microscopic, pigment-bearing structures called melanosomes reside within the organic films in feathers and lizards treated with the new method while unstable protein and fatty tissues degrade and are lost, just as in exceptional fossils which have been used by scientists such as Vinther to reconstruct the original colours of dinosaurs.The methods described in the paper in Palaeontology say that the experiment ran for 12 to 23 hours – less than one day (see footnote 1).The researchers say the new method of sediment filtration represents an improvement upon earlier maturation experiments and will allow for the testing of many hypotheses regarding organic preservation in fossils and sediments.The findings did not change the team’s views about long ages. They still believe fossils like Schweitzer’s fossils formed 60 to 80 million years ago (see footnote 2). But on what basis?One commonly employed experimental approach is known as ‘artificial maturation’, where high heat and pressure accelerate the chemical degradation reactions that normally occur over millions of years when a fossil is buried deep underground and exposed to geothermal heat and pressure from overlying sediment.And yet scientifically speaking, no scientist ever observed the presumed millions of years. What they observed, tested and found only took 23 hours.To back up their claim, the team should repeat the setup without applying heat and pressure, and then wait 68 million years. Then their conclusions might be scientifically supportable.Source paperSediment‐encased maturation: a novel method for simulating diagenesis in organic fossil preservationEvan T. Saitta, Thomas G. Kaye, and Jakob VintherFirst published: 25 July 2018 in Palaeontologyhttps://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12386Data archiving statement: Data for this study are available in the Dryad Digital Repository: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.0t67nFootnotes1. from the Method section of the paper:Fresh feathers (Gallus gallus and Meleagris gallopavo fromUK farms) and lizards (Anolis captured from the wild inArizona, USA) were matured shortly after acquisition/humaneeuthanasia via CO2 asphyxiation with their fullrange of tissue composition present (see Saitta et al.(2018) for additional, preliminary results on non-vertebrates).Specimens were buried in easily-compacted bentoniticclay (purchased from Clay Terra; https://clayterra.com/) inside a metal piston and compacted using a hydraulicpress (9–18 tonnes over 126.7 mm2), producing a consolidatedtablet (Fig. 1A). Previous attempts with loosesediment did not produce results macrostructurally comparableto fossils, or amenable to easy structural analysis,indicating that compaction is important in establishingthe desired pore space filtration. Tablets were loaded intoa welded metal tube (19 mm inner diameter), forming anairtight chamber tapped for a high-pressure airline, withthe goal of providing space for the escape of maturationproducts from the sediment (Fig. 1B). The chamberresided inside a ceramic-lined laboratory oven. The airlineexited a hole in the oven and connected a pressure-regulatedair compressor. Experiments ran at 210–250°C/225–300 bars/12–23 h (Saitta et al. 2018) consistent with othermaturation studies of fossilization. (Visited 653 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Naas Botha: field general supreme

first_imgThe Naas Botha of today is a well-known rugby commentator on the South African Supersport Channel, but in his day as a player he was one of the most feared match-winners in the game. Botha was best known for his deadly boot – whether he was punting the ball, place-kicking or drop-kicking, he stood in a class of his own.Such was his brilliance that it didn’t take the British press long to dub him “Nasty Booter” when the Lions toured South Africa in 1980. They found out just how nasty he could be in the third test in Port Elizabeth when Botha, under immense pressure, put a touchline conversion between the uprights in wet conditions to give the Springboks a 12-10 victory and an unbeatable three-nil series lead.More than just a points machineBotha was more than just a points machine, however. His tactical understanding of the game was outstanding and his ability to dominate a match with the boot beyond compare.Reading the game like a chess master, he would keep the opposition continually on the back foot, and was always a step ahead of the rest because he could put what was in his mind into practice.Kicking with equal ease with the left or right foot, he could put the ball into touch, or between the uprights, or into the hands of a breakaway wing, seemingly at will.To categorise Botha as a kicking flyhalf alone would do the man a great injustice. Blessed with superb hands, he got a backline moving very quickly, and the fact of the matter is that backlines playing with him scored a good many tries.Although he seldom took the ball up in the manner of the modern-day flyhalf, he had an eye for a gap and was a deceptively fast runner, resulting in a good number of tries for the blond-haired flyhalf or those in support of him.Uncanny ability as a drop-kickerProbably, though, Botha will best be remembered for his uncanny ability as a drop-kicker. In the wink of an eye he could change the course of a game with a beautifully struck drop goal, and trying to defend against it was impossible given his ability to make the snap drop-kick without warning and with either foot.In one match against Natal in 1992, he dropped five goals. He was an extremely elusive player, with an excellent jink. Every opponent he faced knew he was the kingpin they needed to unsettle, but seldom did they manage to lay a hand on him.Botha was hated by fans of teams that his Northern Transvaal side faced in provincial competition – and adored by those same supporters when he turned out for the Springboks. There was a similarity between Botha and the legendary New Zealand captain Sean Fitzpatrick in that opposition fans hated him, but all would have loved to have him in their side.Springbok recordToday the former Bok captain is the third highest scorer in Springbok history, and had he been playing in recent years, with far more matches, there is no doubt that he would have far exceeded his points total of 312. As it was, he was in his prime and played for many years when South Africa was isolated from the rest of the world, denying him the chance of achieving even greater success on the world stage.He played for Northern Transvaal from the late 1970s into the early 1990s, and during that time the Blue Bulls won the Currie Cup six times, in large part due to his contributions. He captained the province a record 128 times and scored a record 2 511 points, including 1 699 points in the Currie Cup.Botha also has the distinction, uncommon among rugby players, of having a rose named after him. Long may “Rosa Naas Botha” bloom, to remind us of one the greatest Springboks and flyhalves the world of rugby has ever seen.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Brand South Africa confident of the country’s transition

first_imgBrand South Africa confident of the country’s transitionJohannesburg, Thursday 15th February 2018 – Brand South Africa welcomes the political certainty following the resignation of President Jacob Zuma yesterday, 14th February 2018. This once again shows the strength of our democracy. Brand South Africa has confidence in our constitutional democracy and institutions to manage the transition to a new administration.Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela says; “we acknowledge that the country has seen a lot of speculation in the last few weeks, regarding the office of the President, however, we have full confidence in the new leadership of the ruling party as well as our institutions to take the country forward”.For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Ntombi NtanziTel: +27 11 712 5071Mobile: +27 (0) 81 704 1488Email: [email protected] www.brandsouthafrica.comTsabeng NthiteTel: +27 11 712 5000Mobile: +27 (0) 76 371 6810Email: [email protected] www.brandsouthafrica.comNotes to the EditorAbout Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.About Play Your PartPlay Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.last_img read more

Weekly Poll: Will Private Clouds Prevail Or Do Platforms Represent the Future?

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Tags:#Architecture#cloud#cloud computing alex williams Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… The concept of the private cloud is perceived as real, no surprise, by the players represented in the vast ecosystem that is the enterprise. You can hear their big sticks rattling as they push for private clouds.Virtualization is important for data center efficiency. it helps customers make a transition to the public cloud.But it is not the Internet. Private clouds still mean that the enterprise is hosting its own applications. And for a new generation, that can make it feel a bit like a college graduate of 30 years ago walking into an enterprise dominated by mainframes and green screens.That’s not necessarily a bad thing. A private cloud is just not a modern oriented vision. To call it cloud computing is just wrong. It’s like saying I am gong to have my own, private Internet.Still, we expect the term to be here for the long run, especially as the marketing amps up and “cloud in a box” services start popping up across the landscape.The only thing we can hope is that these private clouds allow for data to flow into public clouds.It is starting to feel like the concept of the cloud is at the point where the tide can go either way. Will we turn the cloud into an isolated environment or will the concepts of the Internet prevail? Those are big questions that will have defining consequences. The news from Microsoft this week about its private cloud initiative points to an undeniable trend. The concept of the private cloud is here to stay. This sticks in the craw of many a cloud computing veteran who makes the clear distinction between what is an Internet environment as opposed to an optimized data center.Amazon CTO Werner Vogels calls the private variety “false clouds.” Vogels maintains that you can’t add cloud elements to a data center and suddenly have a cloud of your own. In systems architecture diagrams, servers are represented by boxes and storage by containers. Above it all, the Internet is represented by a cloud. That’s how the cloud got its name. Trying to fit the Internet in a data center would be like trying to fit the universe in a small, little house. It’s a quantum impossibility.Our view is more in line with Vogels. In our report on the future of the cloud, Mike Kirkwood wrote that it is the rich platforms that will come to define the cloud. That makes more sense for us as platforms are part of an Internet environment, connected in many ways by open APIs.But what do you think? Here’s our question: Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Related Posts last_img read more

Foton rips SLR, soars to share of lead

first_imgView comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ The Tornadoes overwhelmed the Lady Realtors in terms of attacks, 42-24, and committed fewer errors 17-21.But the telling discrepancy was in the frontline, which Foton declared a no-fly zone with a 3-1 edge in blocks. Foton also had more aces, 8-1. LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Jaja Santiago of Foton over Pam Lastimosa and Mar-Jana Phillips of SLR. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOFoton displayed all the qualities that made it a back-to-back champion, exposing Sta. Lucia Realty for the struggling team that it really is Saturday night.The result was a lopsided 25-16, 25-10, 25-16 triumph for the Tornadoes, who spun back into title orbit with their fifth victory in six matches.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Torre logs back-to-back wins, grabs share of lead in World Seniors tournament Read Next Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion After losing to Petron recently, the Tornadoes have now caught up with the Blaze Spikers at the top spot with similar 5-1 records.It was a big morale bounce back for the Tornadoes, who fashioned out the win in an hour and seven minutes before a capacity crowd at La Salle Lipa Sentrum in Batangas.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutTowering star Jaja Santiago scored 14 points, including two aces and a block.Foton led in all departments as it showed determination to pile up enough wins in the eliminations and secure a lofty spot in the knockout rounds.last_img read more

10 months agoSolskjaer: What I’d do with Pogba as Man Utd manager

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer: What I’d do with Pogba as Man Utd managerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMolde coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he can get the best from Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.Solskjaer is expected to be named United caretaker boss after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho on Tuesday.Before the start of the season, the United legend, who worked in the club’s academy, was asked about Pogba: “I would [build the team around him], absolutely no doubt. I had him with David [Gray] and Etzaz [Hussain] who is playing for me tomorrow.”That just shows how far the kid has come. Paul is a fantastic kid so hopefully we can build the team around him and keep him.”On his own managerial skills, Solskjaer added: “Sir Alex [Ferguson] taught me how not to become complacent and always keep the standards up.”Everything I know about managing top footballers I learned from him.” last_img read more

Travel Alert MOPT suspends daily closures on Route 32

first_imgRelated posts:Travel Alert: Temporary road closures on Route 32 start Wednesday Ferry service between Puntarenas and Playa Naranjo to restart on Sunday Bad People Alert: Vandals destroy and steal new lane dividers on Costa Rica’s Route 32 Intense rains in Costa Rica’s Caribbean, northern regions prompt evacuations The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) on Friday suspended temporary closures on Route 32, which connects San José and the Caribbean province of Limón, as they are close to finishing the demarcation of 37.5 kilometers of highway that began earlier this month.Starting Saturday police officers will be regulating traffic on a stretch of highway from Santa Elena de San Isidro to the intersection at Río Frío, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Alejandra Acosta, an engineer from MOPT’s Traffic Engineering Department said “motorists will only have to wait a few minutes but traffic will not be closed.”Traffic regulation will be enforced to allow demarcation of the highway and to place traffic signs.Next week, MOPT staff will start placing yield, intersection, and speed limit signs, among others.The final stage of the ₡223 million ($433,000) project is the placement of 2,000, 1-meter high flexible lane dividers.The plastic dividers are painted with reflective yellow paint to guide motorists, as fog and rain in the area usually reduce visibility, particularly during the rainy season that runs from May to November in Costa Rica.The devices will be fixed to the ground at 15-meter intervals, which is “a recommended distance to discourage illegal passing,” Acosta said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more