Average Winter

first_imgDespite some bone-chilling days with single digit lows, Georgia’s winter was about average in both temperature and precipitation. This winter, which climatologists define as Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, was actually the 57th coldest out of the past 119 winter seasons. This means that 56 years were colder than the 2013-2014 winter season and 62 were warmer. This places it just about right in the middle. Georgia’s winter precipitation was ranked 67th out of 119 years, which means that 66 years were drier and 52 were wetter. The near-normal average temperatures this year were the result of a combination of the scattered days with above normal or record-high temperatures that some parts of the state experienced and the periods of frigid weather that brought very cold temperatures to northern parts of the state. This was the first time that such cold temperatures have been observed in Georgia since the winter of 1995-1996. Periods of very cold weather were more frequent in the 20th century than in recent years. The winter conditions provided plentiful chill hours for peaches across Georgia. The fruit should be in great shape as long as a late frost after blooming does not hurt the development of the peaches this spring. Cold conditions have reduced the average size of Vidalia onions this year as well as cut stands by up to 25 percent. Overall, however, supplies are considered to be very good. Lawns in north Georgia with warm-season grasses like centipede may see some damage due to some of the extreme low temperatures. Some insect pests may have been cut back by the cold weather, but many are well adapted to shelter in the coldest conditions and the rapid swings in temperature may not have provided long enough cold conditions to cause a significant dent in their populations. Other impacts from this winter’s weather include the damage to timber in the mid-February ice storm. The ice caused widespread power outages and tree damage to north central and eastern Georgia, particularly in the Augusta area. While the state is starting to shake off the chill of the last few months, Georgians can expect cooler and wetter than normal conditions across Georgia for the next two weeks, based on predictions from the Climate Prediction Center, NOAA. Gardeners should also remember that a late frost is still possible and perhaps more likely than in other years because the state is in a neutral weather pattern — one not affected by La Nina or El Nino.last_img read more

Violent conduct charge for Osvaldo

first_img Press Association The 27-year-old Italian, who had been replaced by Adam Lallana at half-time during the 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw, faces a Football Association charge in connection with an incident which saw the occupants of both benches clash deep into injury time at St James’ Park. Magpies goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman, who was sent to the stands after the melee, has been charged with improper conduct. Both men have until next Monday to respond. An FA statement said: “Newcastle United coach Andy Woodman and Southampton player Dani Osvaldo have both been charged by the FA following an incident in the recent fixture between the two clubs. “Osvaldo has been charged with violent conduct in relation to the incident in the 94th minute of the game at St James’ Park on Saturday, December 14. “Meanwhile, Woodman, who was sent to the stands following the incident, has been charged with improper conduct. Neither club will face charges. “Both parties have until December 23 to respond to the charges.” The two benches clashed after Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara was fouled by Morgan Schneiderlin in a stormy conclusion to a hard-fought game. Referee Mike Jones had earlier been left with a bloody nose after being caught accidentally by Magpies midfielder Moussa Sissoko. Woodman and opposite number Toni Jimenez were sent to the stands after order was restored, and managers Alan Pardew and Mauricio Pochettino later played the incident down, with the former describing it as “panto season” and the latter expressing his regret that it had happened at all. However, Osvaldo’s alleged involvement only became clear later after the FA moved to deal with the unsavoury scenes. The Argentina-born Italy international frontman joined the Saints in a £15million switch from Roma in August and has scored three goals to date for the club, including a stunning equaliser against Manchester City earlier this month. center_img Southampton striker Dani Osvaldo has been charged with violent conduct following a touchline fracas at Newcastle on Saturday.last_img read more

Inter Allies sign Herbert Addo

first_imgVeteran coach Herbert Addo is set rejoin Inter Allies nearly a year after leaving the Tema side for Hearts of Oak.The former Aduana and Kotoko coach is expected to seal the contract in the coming days after Paa Kwesi Fabin parted ways with the club to concentrate on Black Starlets duties.Addo will be returning to familiar surroundings after he guided Inter Allies to sixth place two seasons ago – after taking over the club midway through that season when they were rock bottom.Herbert further guided Inter Allies to the final of the MTN FA Cup where they lost narrowly to Asante Kotoko in extra time.These exploits landed Herbert Addo the head role coach of Hearts of Oak. However, he failed to reciprocate such form which made him lose the Hearts job in the second round of last season.Herbert will have another chance with Inter Allies and the Tema side are expected to be a force to reckon with next season under his guidance. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Secularists Battle Over Which Life Theory Is More Wrong

first_imgOrigin-of-life camps don’t recognize that RNA-World theories and hydrothermal-vent theories suffer from the same basic problem.“We’ve been wrong about the origins of life for 90 years,” says Arunas L Radzvilavicius on The Conversation. But as Tonto responded to the Lone Ranger when, surrounded by screaming Indians, he told his companion that “It looks like we’re in real trouble,” Tonto said, “What do you mean ‘we’, paleface?” Creationists have been on the warpath with materialists for millennia. Their weapons have only gotten stronger. Meanwhile, the plight of origin-of-life research grows more dire.Radzvilavicius, a supporter of the hydrothermal-vent theory for the origin of life, takes on the Souper-men, who picture life emerging from generic-brand Primordial Soup. Why he counts only 90 years is not clear, since the master himself, Charles Darwin, launched speculation about life emerging from a warm little pond in an 1871 letter to Joseph Hooker. That would make it 145 years of wrongness. The Souper-men cannot account for the cartoon character’s souper-powers, even with a magic touch of Miller lightning:Under the conventional theory, life supposedly began when lightning or UV rays caused simple molecules to join together into more complex compounds. This culminated in the creation of information-storing molecules similar to our own DNA, housed within the protective bubbles of primitive cells. Laboratory experiments confirm that trace amounts of molecular building blocks that make up proteins and information-storing molecules can indeed be created under these conditions. For many, the primordial soup has become the most plausible environment for the origin of first living cells.But life isn’t just about replicating information stored within DNA. All living things have to reproduce in order to survive, but replicating the DNA, assembling new proteins and building cells from scratch require tremendous amounts of energy. At the core of life are the mechanisms of obtaining energy from the environment, storing and continuously channelling it into cells’ key metabolic reactions.That’s where Radzvilavicius thinks hydrothermal vents come in. They supply a continuous source of energy. For evidence, he says that life runs on proton gradients that one can find in the acid-alkaline environment at vents.The studies suggest that in the earliest stages of life’s evolution, chemical reactions in primitive cells were likely driven by these non-biological proton gradients. Cells then later learned how to produce their own gradients and escaped the vents to colonise the rest of the ocean and eventually the planet.While proponents of the primordial soup theory argue that electrostatic discharges or the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation drove life’s first chemical reactions, modern life is not powered by any of these volatile energy sources. Instead, at the core of life’s energy production are ion gradients across biological membranes. Nothing even remotely similar could have emerged within the warm ponds of primeval broth on Earth’s surface. In these environments, chemical compounds and charged particles tend to get evenly diluted instead of forming gradients or non-equilibrium states that are so central to life.He rests his case by stating that vents represent the only environment on earth with energetics comparable to those found in living cells. The Souper-men need to get real. “Seeking the origins of life in the primordial soup made sense when little was known about the universal principles of life’s energetics. But as our knowledge expands, it is time to embrace alternative hypotheses that recognise the importance of the energy flux driving the first biochemical reactions.” Vents, he argues, provide a seamless transition from non-life to life.But is that energy targeted toward building cells, or is it more like a bull in a china shop? He never did get back to that question about information storage and retrieval. He never did say how the energetics became isolated within a cell membrane. He never did say how protein machines took on this role.RNA WhirlMeanwhile, in the Scripps kitchen, Gerald Joyce has cooked up a new RNA noodle for his soup. His paper in PNAS recognizes thatDarwinian life requires the ability to replicate genotypes and express phenotypes. Although all extant life relies on protein enzymes to accomplish these tasks, life in the ancestral RNA world would have used only RNA enzymes.So while the Venters focus on energy, the Soupers focus on replication. Gerald Joyce, however, used a lot of intelligently-directed energy to create his new synthetic RNA enzyme (ribozyme). It works better than previous attempts:The new ribozyme can replicate short lengths of RNA efficiently and perform transcription on even longer RNAs to make functional RNA molecules with complex structures—coming close to what scientists imagine in terms of an RNA replicator that could have supported life before modern biology, where protein enzymes now handle gene replication and transcription.Joyce and colleagues, however, bought their RNA from a supply house. RNA is a very delicate molecule, unlikely to form (or survive) in soups or vents. Joyce started with a carefully-crafted ribozyme, then submitted it to rounds of “Darwinian evolution” (actually, artificial selection), randomizing it to look for versions that would work. His colleague David Horning says in PhysOrg, “The selection was based on the ability of these newly synthesized RNAs to actually function by binding to their targets.” But Horning and Joyce were the ones making those selections. Would this have occurred in a mindless primordial soup? No; everyone in the origin-of-life research field agrees that, until accurate replication emerged somehow, natural selection was unavailable. When researchers are escorted out of the lab, dumb molecules will just do what the laws of chemistry make them do.Joyce feels that ribosomes, composed largely of RNA, are a relic of the RNA world. Ribosomes, though, are highly complex, and employ numerous proteins to translate DNA. In “RNA: How cells master the art of reading life’s recipes,” Science Daily reveals some of that complexity. Translating the genetic code into functional machines requires high precision in targeting the initiation sites and reading the genetic information.“The theory was that the smaller half of the ribosome attaches itself to the very beginning of the RNA and then scans along the string until it finds the start signal of the recipe. There, the larger half joins and the whole ribosome begins to manufacture a protein,” Dr Shirokikh said.“Our ribosome snapshot approach has finally provided proof that the scanning model is correct. We also gained new insight into how fast the ribosome can complete the different tasks and how other cellular components come in to help it along.”What both origin-of-life camps fail to address is the natural emergence of functional information. The Venters ignore it. The Soupers assume it. But since proteins and nucleic acids won’t work unless their building blocks are correctly assembled, it reduces to a sequencing problem. How did the building blocks arrange themselves into functional sequences? The probability of that happening naturally is vanishingly small. But without intelligent guidance, molecules have no desire or power to come together in the right order to form a functional living system.A glimpse into the complexity of cellular systems for crafting proton gradients targeted at functional information can be seen in an illustration in Science Daily. Complex I, a sophisticated machine with moving parts (7/06/10, 9/22/10) is just one in chain of machines that produce the proton gradient for ATP synthase. It consists of “45 subunits, comprising 14 core subunits that house the catalytic machinery (and are conserved from bacteria to humans),” the article says. That’s a lot of functional information directing proton flow to a highly specific pathway so that the energy can be captured in ATP for precise functions in the living cell. Another Science Daily article discusses how molecular biologists are getting better ways to watch molecular machines at work. That’s the level of complexity that origin-of-life secular research has to explain.Jeff Errington says in The Conversation, “It’s one of the greatest mysteries of modern science: how did life begin exactly?”Creationists have the evolutionists under siege. Inside the echo chamber where the evolutionists are trapped, isolated from reality by sound-proof walls so that they can’t hear their critics, they are hastening their demise by taking shots at each other. It’s only a matter of time.Rumor: Illustra Media is said to be working on a new film about the origin of life. It will severely challenge the RNA World, primordial soup, hydrothermal vent and all other theories that restrict themselves to material causes.(Visited 110 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA raises stake in natural gas

first_img21 July 2004South Africa moved another step closer to diversifying its energy sources recently when Sasol opened an 865 kilometre natural gas pipeline from Mozambique. At the same time it seems likely that natural gas – rather than coal – will be the energy source for a new multi-billion rand power station.The gas pipeline from Mozambique to the Mpumalanga plant of synthetic fuels producer Sasol, raises the country’s use of natural gas as a primary energy source from 1.5% to 4.3% of total demand.The gas, to be imported from the Pande and Temane gas fields in Mozambique through the pipeline, will be used by Sasol to substitute some of the coal used at its two plants – at Sasolburg in the Free State and Secunda in Mpumalanga – to make chemicals and diesel and to supply industrial customers in Gauteng.The pipeline immediately raises SA’s use of natural gas as a primary energy supply source from 1.5% to 4.3% of total demand, with the existing supply coming through a state-owned natural gas-to-fuel refinery in Mossel Bay.At the same time, the department of minerals and enegy will later this year invite private companies to tender for the construction and operation of a new power station that is geared to supplement the power supply for electricity parastatal Eskom.Although the government is still considering its options, it says it is “likely” that natural gas will be the plant’s primary energy source.The R14-billion project to pipe natural gas from Mozambique to Sasol’s Secunda plant was officially launched in July 2002, and is expected to be completed at the end of 2004.In 2001, state oil and gas company PetroSA completed a project to bring on stream the EM gas fields offshore of Mossel Bay, giving its Mossel Bay plant an additional eight years of gas life.South Africa’s prospects for natural gas production were also boosted in 2000 with the discovery of offshore reserves close to the Namibian border. The reserve, named the Ibhubezi Prospect, contains proven reserves of 0.27 to 0.3 trillion cubic feet of hydrocarbons.US-based companies Forest Oil Corporation and Anschutz, along with local empowerment firm Mvelaphanda, are exploring the Ibhubezi field. PetroSA bought a 30% share in the Ibhubezi project in 2003, with an eye to using Ibhubezi gas, along with gas from Namibia and Mozambique, at its Mossel Bay plant.Exploratory drilling at Ibhubezi was due to be completed in late 2004, with the consortium hoping to begin production in 2006.Sasol and PetroSA are the two major players in the synthetic fuel market. Sasol is the world’s largest manufacturer of oil from coal, gasifying the coal and then converting it into a range of liquid fuels and petrochemical feed stocks. PetroSA converts natural gas into a variety of liquid fuels like petrol, distillates, kerosene and petroleum gas.Speaking at the switching-on ceremony in Secunda, Mpumalanga Premier Ndaweni Mahlangu said the project would benefit communities from the Pande and Temane gas fields in Mozambique, as well as those who live along the valleys and hills through which the pipeline runs.It is envisaged that communities who live along the pipeline will benefit from the project through the development of infrastructure such as schools, creches and hospitals.Mahlangu said the project would also benefit those who wanted to switch over to clean illumination and cooking, whether they were in Mpumalanga, Mozambique or Gauteng.“We are committed to creating an enabling environment which not only encourages business to do what is their core function, but also offer opportunities for the small businessperson to crawl, walk, run through this corporate environment”, he said.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Arenal Report

first_imgIn describing themselves, the Ladies of the Lake say: “We are women of varying backgrounds and nationalities in the Lake Arenal Community who meet regularly to support one another, and who work together to have a positive impact in the extended community.”On Sunday, Dec. 9, the Ladies of the Lake will hold their 3rd Annual Art Show and Christmas Bazaar Fundraiser. They are asking you to help them help others. All proceeds go toward local community outreach programs including supporting families in crisis, spay and neutering dogs and cats, feeding street animals etc.Donations of the following items are needed: new or used clothing, shoes, books and magazines, CDs and DVDs, household items, knick knacks, kitchen utensils, furniture, bedding, appliances/electronics (if not in working order, please let us know), in other words, anything saleable!Drop off locations for donations: for the Tilaran/Tronadora area, Rene Aoki of Re/Max Rico Realty is accepting donations at the office on Tronadora Road, 200 meters from the turn-off of the Lake Road (follow the signs). For the Nuevo Arenal area, Marisol at the Iguana Tropical Bar and Grill (formerly Rumours) will take your donations and hold them. The Iguana is located next to Banco de Costa Rica across from the service station.If you have items to donate that you would like picked up from your home, call Ruth Fountaine at 8371-3015 or email [email protected] Spaces are available for artists/artisans, specialty take-away foods, services and local activities. You may also hold your own garage sale. Space rental is $10 per table. All proceeds from space rentals go to support local community outreach by Ladies of the Lake. The Bazaar will be located indoors at the huge salon area of Plaza del Café on the Lake Road opposite the turnoff to Sabalito/Tierras Morenas starting at 10 a.m. Thanks to Ruth Fountaine for her assistance with this report.–Lynn Farris, William & Jean [email protected], [email protected] Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more