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Brazilian Army Riverine Assault Patrol Boat to the Test

first_img This is an impressive boat. The Center for Vessels of the Amazon Military Command (CMA) is performing operational tests of the Riverine Patrol Boat (RPB). The U.S.-manufactured vessel will be under evaluation for a six month period. The RPB armor is capable of withstanding gunfire from 7.62 mm ammunition and the capacity to transport up to 15 combatants. In addition, it is capable of performing attacks and defense with weaponry placed on the starboard side and port side, and can deploy a ramp from the bow for land assaults, which is a very useful feature in river operations, a typical setting for infantry deployment in the Amazon. The tests aim to promote an adequate analysis of the boat and its use in “Project Vessels,” carried out by the Army’s Department of Engineering and Construction. By Dialogo November 05, 2012last_img read more

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Unai Emery: Arsenal sack boss after 18 months in charge

first_imgUnai Emery has been sacked as Arsenal manager after 18 months in charge.The Spaniard, who previously led Paris St-Germain to the French league title and won three Europa Leagues with Sevilla, was appointed Gunners boss in May 2018, succeeding Arsene Wenger.He is to be replaced on a temporary basis by an assistant and former Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg.Arsenal said the decision had been “taken due to results and performances not being at the level required”.The Gunners have not won in seven games and lost 2-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday.They are without a Premier League victory since 6 October and eight points off the top four. They finished fifth in 48-year-old Emery’s first season in charge at Emirates Stadium after he replaced Wenger.The Gunners started this season with back-to-back victories against Newcastle and Burnley, but that run ended with defeat by Liverpool before draws with north London rivals Tottenham and Watford followed.Their last Premier League victory was 1-0 win over Bournemouth.On Saturday, they battled to a 2-2 draw – their sixth of the season – at home to Southampton, with Alexandre Lacazette scoring an injury-time equaliser.Emery is the third managerial dismissal in the English top-flight this season, after Javi Gracia and Mauricio Pochettino departed Watford and Tottenham respectively. Arsenal’s last victory came against Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League on 24 October, in which they needed two late Nicolas Pepe free-kicks to secure a 3-2 win.More soon…last_img read more

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Cambrian Explosion Louder Still

first_imgDarwin started a tradition of worrying about the Cambrian Explosion.  Over time the problem has only worsened; now we know that all the animal phyla appeared suddenly in the oldest strata containing metazoan (multi-celled) animals.  In recent decades, evolutionists had hoped that the strange Ediacaran fossils would provide the needed missing links.  In addition, some thought they had found embryos of early metazoans in the exceptionally-preserved Precambrian beds of China.  Those hopes have now been dashed, leading to moans and groans from Darwinians.New techniques have allowed a closer look at the alleged embryos.  Using a non-invasive synchrotron X-ray microscope, an international team has reported their findings in Science.1  Result: not embryos, but cysts of protists.  N. J. Butterfield, writing in the same issue of Science,2 explained the misery of disappointment:Ever since Darwin there has been a disturbing void, both paleontological and psychological, at the base of the Phanerozoic eon. If his theory of gradualistic evolution be true, then surely the pre-Phanerozoic oceans must have swarmed with living animals—despite their conspicuous absence from the early fossil record. Thus, the 1998 report of fossilized animal embryos in the early Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation of South China was met with almost palpable relief. It was indeed the fossil record that had let us down, not the textbooks, and certainly not the exciting new insights from molecular clocks. All was not as it seemed, however, and new data from Huldtgren et al. on page 1696 of this issue,1 look set to revoke the status of these most celebrated Ediacaran fossils.The main point is that these spores are not on the way to becoming animal body plans.  “Although unquestionably eukaryotic, the fossils are not metazoan, or even properly multicellular by all appearances,” Butterfield said.  The researchers tried to put a semi-happy face on their conclusion by claiming it might still represent a transition “that evolved after the last common ancestor of animals and fungi, but before the last common ancestor of living (that is, crown-group) animals”.  Here’s what Butterfield had to say about that: “In terms of progressivist storytelling, this all seems a little too good to be true,” since other microbes have a similar growth habit.  The authors even acknowledge that “the much broader distribution of this habit undermines its utility as a phylogenetic marker,” Butterfield added.Yet Butterfield struggled to maintain his equanimity in spite of the disappointment.  “Interpretation at this level is inevitably impressionistic, but to my eye there is still a case for identifying the Doushantuo fossils as embryos, albeit algal rather than animal.”  Needless to say, an alga is not anything like an animal (think trilobite with articulated limbs and complex eyes; see 12/07/2011).In the expected manner of P.R. departments, the University of Bristol put out a press release spun in progressivist storytelling, with the tried-and-true “shedding light” metaphor: “Chinese fossils shed light on the evolutionary origin of animals from single-cell ancestors.”  PhysOrg inhaled and exhaled it unprocessed, even with the triumphalist but contradictory preface:All life evolved from a single-celled universal common ancestor, and at various times in Earth history, single-celled organisms threw their lot in with each other to become larger and multicellular, resulting, for instance, in the riotous diversity of animals. However, fossil evidence of these major evolutionary transitions is extremely rare.To get to the agony of defeat, one needs to move past the cheerleading headline:Professor Philip Donoghue said: “We were very surprised by our results – we’ve been convinced for so long that these fossils represented the embryos of the earliest animals – much of what has been written about the fossils for the last ten years is flat wrong.  Our colleagues are not going to like the result.”Professor Stefan Bengtson said: “These fossils force us to rethink our ideas of how animals learned to make large bodies out of cells.”One remarkable facet of these fossils was noted in the press release: “The organisms should not have been fossilized – they were just gooey clusters of cells – but they were buried in sediments rich in phosphate that impregnated the cell walls and turned them to stone.”  What this implies that if real metazoans or their embryos were present, they could have been preserved.1. Huldtgren et al., “Fossilized Nuclei and Germination Structures Identify Ediacaran ‘Animal Embryos’ as Encysting Protists,” Science 23 December 2011:Vol. 334 no. 6063 pp. 1696-1699, doi: 10.1126/science.1209537.2. N. J. Butterfield, “Paleontology: Terminal Developments in Ediacaran Embryology,” Science 23 December 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6063 pp. 1655-1656, doi: 10.1126/science.1216125.“Progressivist storytelling.”  Nice.  That was Butterfield’s term.  You don’t have to quote us to prove that Darwinism relies on progressivist storytelling.  They know it.  They just don’t always say it.  If you removed the hopeful hype from evolutionary papers and press releases, you would be left with data that support intelligent design.Those who have watched the documentary Darwin’s Dilemma might recall that it referred to the Doushantuo fossils as embryos.  Even if that interpretation is now shown to be incorrect, it doesn’t change the argument: strata that were able to fossilize “gooey clusters of cells” should have been able to preserve transitional animals if they were present.  The point is actually strengthened by this paper.  They weren’t even embryos; they were clumps of microbes!  So not only does this increase the phylogenetic distance between Precambrian fossils and Cambrian metazoan fossils, it shows that no transitional forms appear in the ideal conditions of the Chinese Doushantuo deposits.  Score another shutout against Darwinian evolution.Butterfield spoke of a “disturbing void” among evolutionists that was in part “psychological”.  Do you have a void in your life?  Are you feeling something big is missing from your world view?  Would you like to fill that void?  Christians teach that we all have a God-shaped vacuum in our soul that only God can fill.  That’s what Christmas is about: the Creator of life on earth has communicated with us in the person of God the Son, giving us hope, meaning and purpose.  Do some research this holiday season.  A good place to explore for answers is AllAboutGod.com.(Visited 43 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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iShack: informal housing ‘gets smart’

first_img31 January 2013 A team of researchers from Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Sustainability Institute have developed an innovative approach to upgrade housing and improve living conditions in informal settlements. The iShack, or improved shack concept, offers a potential solution to South Africa’s housing delivery backlog, increasing urbanisation and the growing number of informal settlements in the country. According to the UN Habitat State of the World’s Cities 2012/2013 report, 62% of the urban population in sub-Saharan Africa lives in slums. Such dwellings are characterised by poor living conditions and inadequate access to infrastructure such as basic energy, sanitation and water services. “Shacks are becoming the new norm – so what can we do today to improve the living conditions of people through energy intervention, lighting, cell phones, communication, upping security?” says Andreas Keller, one of the designers of the iShack. The sustainable housing concept allows people who don’t have brick and mortar houses to upgrade their existing shacks, or install new shacks, by incorporating solar power panels to meet basic energy needs and ecological design principles to make daily living a little bit more comfortable.Solutions for South Africa’s housing challenges In 2011, the National Research Foundation awarded a grant to SU to find ways to upgrade informal settlements, focussing on priority areas such as water, sanitation, food security, waste management, energy and general structural upgrades to shelters. The first iShack was built in October 2011. It drew the attention of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was so impressed with the idea that it provided grant funding for a pilot project to determine if the improved shack system can be applied at a large scale. Up to 100 shacks will either be newly built or refurbished, and two lucky families are already testing the first prototypes – one new, one refurbished – in the Enkanini Township just outside Stellenbosch. For one of these residents, Nosanjo Plaatjie, a single mother who works as a domestic worker once a week, and her three young children, the brand new iShack has changed their lives. Keller explains that it is important to test how well the iShack design works in new structures, as well as those that are already standing. If you take a quick look at the newly built eco-friendly shelter it doesn’t look that much different from any of the other makeshift wooden or corrugated houses in the area. But on closer inspection, the improvements are significant. Keller says the structural modifications using ecological design principles make the dwelling much more comfortable to live in. The large windows are positioned in such a way to achieve better air circulation and sunlight heating during the day. The sloped roof and overhang shades the structure on hot days, but in the winter months residents can also harness this handy feature to harvest rainwater. Access to power through solar panels Keller says that for communities living without electricity, access to power through the solar panels is one of the biggest benefits. Having electricity means that residents have more disposable income, as they don’t have to spend money on candles and paraffin for lighting and cooking. The iShack prototype is equipped with a photovoltaic solar panel capable of producing enough electricity to power three lights, a mobile phone charger and an outdoor motion detector spotlight, which reduces the risk of crime and helps people feel safer in their homes. Households can access these services on a pay-as-you-go basis, and upgrade the solar infrastructure to run more appliances such as a radio, television or fridge. With electricity residents can also charge their mobile phones at home, a luxury for many people who have to walk long distances to charge their phones elsewhere. Keller explains that a working mobile phone is a lifeline for many South Africans as it enables people to find jobs and earn a better income – as the resident of the second retrofitted iShack prototype discovered. “The man, who relies on casual painting jobs for his weekly income, was able to keep his phone charged and switched on to find more work,” he says. “Mobile phone connectivity is perhaps the greatest example of how the iShack is helping people. We take for granted the ability to be connected all the time.”Using recycled materials “One of the objectives of the project is to use existing materials,” Keller says. This also reduces the overall cost of the iShack. In the pilot houses, the developers have made use of recycled cardboard boxes and old Tetra Pak containers, such as long life milk boxes, for insulation between the exterior zinc surface and the interior. Flame-retardant paint reduces the risk of fires, and inside there are rows of recycled bricks to create a durable floor that can also protect against temperature changes. Keller says one of the most important aspects of the project is training, education and maintenance of solar power systems. Without this, technological interventions in community upgrades often fail. To ensure the iShack concept is successful, local entrepreneurs will receive accredited training in business and engineering principles to help community members maintain the technology in their houses. Technicians will be paid from user fees. “It is important to inform residents about the type of appliances they can use,” he says. “Direct current appliances are more energy efficient and designed to run on solar energy.” “We also have to tell residents about the maintenance of solar panels, because if you don’t clean them often it will reduce their efficiency and the number of solar units you can get out of them.” Keller and his team are also looking to set up energy hubs in the communities where iShacks are built. These facilities will be the base from where trained technicians assist communities and where residents can buy suitable appliances and top up their energy accounts. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

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19 days agoAtletico Madrid boss Simeone supports VAR after Real Valladolid stalemate

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Atletico Madrid boss Simeone supports VAR after Real Valladolid stalemateby Carlos Volcano19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAtletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone says he supports VAR after their 0-0 draw with Real Valladolid.The Argentine claimed that some teams used to never have penalties called against them at home and that VAR has made things fairer.”Thomas wanted to touch it and the player put a leg in front, but the truth is I didn’t really see it,” he said after the draw of the Sandro penalty incident.”I have no doubt that VAR is a help.”Obviously there are times when it favours you or when it doesn’t, but there used to be stadiums where you wouldn’t get a penalty.”Now, with VAR, we have the possibility to understand all instances that were penalties.” last_img read more