NASA’s DART spacecraft will blast off to the asteroid 65803 Didymos to crash into its moon. NASA If an asteroid was shooting towards Earth, what would our options be? Sure, we could send up a ragtag team of miners to drill into the asteroid, plant a nuke and blast it to smithereens. But if NASA has its way, we won’t need to train miners to be astronauts — it has other plans to deflect those deadly asteroids. (A lucky thing too, because it makes far more sense to teach already-trained astronauts to use a drill rather than putting miners through astronaut school, but that’s another matter entirely). NASA is prepping for a (potential) doomsday outcome with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — a mission that will test whether we can crash a spacecraft into an asteroid and knock it off course, thus saving humankind and preventing us from ever sending Bruce Willis into space. In this week’s episode of Watch This Space, we take a look at the DART mission to 65803 Didymos — a binary asteroid (complete with its own companion “moonlet”) that’s currently orbiting the sun out past Earth. Now playing: Watch this: NASA wants to save the Earth from asteroids (with a giant… Share your voice According to NASA, the moonlet (or “Didymoon” as it’s been nicknamed) is a perfect example of an asteroid of the size and type that could crash into Earth. So, the space agency wants to send its DART spacecraft up there as early as Dec. 2020 to blast towards the 150-metre-wide moonlet and crash into its surface. Imagine it like a game of pool. If you need to knock the 8 ball in the corner pocket, you knock the cue ball into its side and it’ll shoot off on an angle. By sending its cue ball careening into the moonlet, NASA will measure how the impact changes the moonlet’s momentum and hopefully get a better idea of how asteroids can be redirected in future.To learn more about the DART, the partner mission being run by the European Space Agency and what all this has to do with Elijah Wood and the film “Labyrinth” (there are connections, we promise) then check out this week’s episode of Watch This Space. You can get your space fix every other Friday with new episodes, or catch up with the whole series on CNET or YouTube. Post a comment Sci-Tech NASA Space 4:55 Tags 0
Moudud AhmedBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) does not see any alternative to organising a mass upsurge to compel the government to hold the next general elections under a non-party neutral administration.”This government doesn’t believe in a peaceful negotiation with the opposition. That’s why we don’t have any other option but to wage a movement to force the government to hold the next polls under a neutral administration,” senior leader Moudud Ahmed said on Friday.Speaking at a discussion, he further said, “We’ll have to take preparation both for the movement and the election together. I believe our demand will be met through a mass upsurge.”Zia Sangskritik Sangstha (ZISAS) arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club marking the 82nd birth anniversary of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman.Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said the government is mainly working to annihilate the BNP and suppress its leaders and activists. “They’re also giving Rab and police training as to how to repress their opponents.”He said their party wants to restore democracy, people’s voting and other rights and the rule of law. “We must wage a movement under the leadership of Khaleda Zia to restore people’s rights and impendence of the judiciary,” he said.The BNP leader alleged that the government is unwilling to hold a fair and credible election in fear of facing a debacle.He regretted that the ministers are apparently in a competition to lie as they are doing negative and immoral politics.Moudud also warned that the ministers and the ruling party leaders will have to pay a heavy price someday for spreading lies among the new generation.UNB also reports: Describing Awami League as the beneficiary of the 1/11 political changeover, BNP senior leader Abdullah Al Noman on Friday alleged that the party is now trying to restore one-party rule by establishing its unilateral control on politics.”The country now lacks democracy. Awami League which is the beneficiary of the 1/11 has already snatched people’s all the basic rights. The party is making efforts to establish its unilateral supremacy on politics to restore one-party Baksal rule. But our party wants a democratic government and the good governance,” he said.Speaking at a human chain programme, the BNP leader further said, “We’re ready to engage in talks for the restoration of democracy. We’ll also wage a movement, if necessary, as we won’t make any compromise on the issue of reinstatement of democracy.”Jatiya Ganotantrik Mancha arranged the programme demanding the withdrawal of all the ‘false’ cases filed against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman.Noman, a BNP vice chairman, warned that people will foil the government’s all plots to burry democracy by casting their ballots in favour of BNP in the next general election. “Awami League will be thrown into the dustbin of history if people can exercise their voting rights in the next polls as ballot is stronger than bullet.”He also said the government will neither be able to eliminate BNP nor suppress people with its repressive acts.The BNP leader urged the government to come to the path of understanding shunning repressive acts to hold a fair and meaningful election under a non-party neutral administration.He also urged the people of all walks of life to get united to restore democracy by establishing a pro-people government through the 11th parliamentary polls.
Patrick Gutierrez is one of the 13 announced candidates for Mayor of Baltimore City. (Courtesy photo)In November, when former bank executive and sports writer Patrick Gutierrez filed the paperwork necessary to enter the Baltimore City mayor’s race, he became the 13th candidate to do so.He’s still a relative unknown, especially compared to more established names like former Mayor Sheila Dixon, State Senator Catherine E. Pugh and City Councilmen Nick Mosby and Carl Stokes, but the former Bank of America operations manager said he has what it takes to get the city on the right track.“I’d been thinking about it for a long time,” he said about his run. “Seeing the dysfunction in city government and knowing my background as an operations manager was specifically to go in and address the same problems that city government has. You know, there’s no accountability anywhere, there’s no transparency, the communication is poor and when you have those things you get the results that we’re getting.”“In my career, my job was to go in and fix those things. I went all around the country and everywhere I went it was the same situations: poor leadership at the top and that just kind of filters down into every area. When I saw that I had these tools that could help address many of these problems, I really started considering actually running and doing something about it.”Gutierrez is from southern California. He said that his position with Bank of America took him all over the country, fixing problems and helping business run more smoothly. But when the company sent him to Baltimore, he decided to stay.“I fell in love with the city. I mean, people here just welcomed me,” he said. “And being a big sports fan, I felt right at home here.”When the company wanted him to leave the city to work for them elsewhere, he opted instead to leave the company. He enrolled at the University of Maryland to study journalism and later worked as a sportswriter for “The Baltimore Sun.”His most recent position was with local nonprofit group The Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance. The group works to keep families in the city, instead of making a retreat for the neighboring suburbs“A lot of times families, especially around here, as soon as they have kids they feel like they have to move away from the city for safer neighborhoods and better schools and that’s a problem because we lose a lot of good families that can really help the city grow,” Gutierrez said.On his website, Gutierrez outlines some of his ideas for what he’d accomplish once in office. One of those is his E3 formula – to educate, employ and engage all city residents. He also outlines his five steps to a better Baltimore police department – which includes what he calls a more streamlined way for citizens to lodge complaints and track their progress and an improved civilian review board.He said he’d also like to start educating children in the city from birth – well before they step foot in a kindergarten classroom.“Why wait until they’re five years old when 75 percent of their brain has already been formed before you start trying to tackle these issues?”“It’s not like I have a patent on this kind of leadership. It goes on all over the place successfully. It just doesn’t go on in Baltimore City government,” he said.In addition to running his campaign, Gutierrez is primary caretaker for his daughters Alivia and Estelle. He and his wife live in Taylor Heights.He said he’s undaunted by the large field of potential mayoral candidates.“I don’t worry about any other candidates or any other platforms, I just put my best foot forward in the best way I know how.”
Trayon White and LaRuby May are running for the Ward 8 seat. (Courtesy Photos)Former Ward 8 D.C. State Board of Education member Trayon White overwhelmingly won the endorsement of the Ward 8 Democrats, recently. White got 135 votes for the Ward 8 Democrats’ nod while D.C. Council member LaRuby May (D-Ward 8) received 50 and the lesser known opponents, Aaron Holmes, Maurice Dickens, and Bonita Goode had eight, two and zero votes, respectively.White was elated at receiving the political club’s stamp of approval. The Ward 8 Democrats are known for having a large influence on political elections in the city. “I feel great, it is a blessing to get the support of the Ward 8 Democrats,” White told the AFRO. “We just have to continue to work to get every vote we can before Election Day.”The endorsement was the product of a straw poll on May 14 at Anacostia High School. Any registered Democrat living in Ward 8 had the right to vote in the poll and the results were tallied by members of the D.C. Democratic State Committee. Ward 8 Democrats President Charles Wilson told the AFRO that in order for a candidate to get the organization’s endorsement, they would need 60 percent of the votes cast. On a percentage basis, White got 68 percent while May got 25 percent.Earl Weaver, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens, is a firm White supporter. “He understands the needs of returning citizens and he is also able to bring the youth out. No other candidate in the race can reach the youth the way Trayon can,” Weaver told the AFRO.The Democratic Party primary for the Ward 8 D.C. Council seat will be held on June 14. The winner of that primary will have no problem winning the position in the November 8 general election because the Democrats have a 10-1 voter registration advantage over the Republicans.The race is essentially a rematch between White and May. May barely won the April 23, 2015 special election to replace the late Marion S. Barry Jr., as the Ward 8 council member, defeating White by 78 votes in a field with numerous candidates.In this race, White is running with the support of the unofficial political operation of D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and some backers of former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. May is one of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s strongest allies on the council and is a beneficiary of Bowser’s informal political and financial organization.While May has received the endorsements of such organizations as National Nurses United, AFSCME, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and Democrats for Education Reform, White has been tapped by Jews United for Justice, the D.C. Latino Caucus, and Marion C. Barry, the son of the late council member and four-term mayor.In addition to the straw poll, there was an approximately 90-minute candidates’ forum held in the Anacostia High School auditorium before 200 people that was moderated by 8A04 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Troy Donte Prestwood. White, Holmes, Dickens, and Goode focused on such issues as affordable housing, crime, and economic development. May did not attend the event.May was the keynote speaker at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development commencement that morning but some of her competitors took her to task for missing the forum. May received her master’s degree in community counseling and psychotherapy from the university.“The fact that she is not here shows what she thinks of you,” Holmes said to some scattered boos in the audience. “You cannot just buy this seat.”Dickens also commented, saying, “she’s been MIA [missing in action] like she has been the last 20 months.”However, May told the AFRO May 16, “I have a lot more to do as the Ward 8 council member. I want to focus more on economic development, education, employment and all of the issues that affect the people of Ward 8.”May supporter Absalom Jordan, the advisory neighborhood commissioner for 8D03, said it was his candidates’ critics and the Ward 8 Democrats leaders who are out of order. “LaRuby made the commitment to speak at George Washington University long before this event was scheduled,” Jordan told the AFRO. “We were notified about this event a few weeks ago. They should have re-scheduled this meeting because she was speaking at George Washington. A Black woman out of Ward 8 [speaking] at George Washington University is a real honor.”
Explore further Scientists looking to understand how humans evolved have studied a lot of fossils, but such samples are of bones, which means there is little to no evidence of what organs, muscle or fat looked like in our ancestors which means there are still questions regarding things such as what percentage or proportion of fat or muscle was there, where were they located on the body, and what the organs were like. In this new study, the research pair sought to uncover clues by studying bonobos, apes that look a lot like chimpanzees and are considered to be our closest relative.To learn more about bonobo anatomy, the researchers performed autopsies on thirteen of the apes that had died naturally over the course of three decades, carefully jotting down seldom noted information such as fat and muscle percentages. In so doing, they came to see that bonobos have considerably less fat on their bodies than do humans, even those that lived a similar sedentary life due to living in captivity. They also found that the apes had more upper body mass than humans as a rule and less leg muscle—bonobos also have a lot more skin.In analyzing their results, the researchers suggest that the differences likely came about as early human ancestors began walking around upright, causing the need for more leg muscle and more fat—because a nomadic lifestyle would necessitate a fat store to prevent starvation during lean times, especially for females if they were to successfully bear offspring. They also believe that we humans have less skin because as we moved around and moved faster on two legs—our skin developed an ability to sweat as a means to keep cool and that led to thinner skin. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Scientists complete Bonobo genome Citation: Comparison of bonobo anatomy to humans offers evolutionary clues (2015, June 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-comparison-bonobo-anatomy-humans-evolutionary.html Percentage of muscle distribution to upper and lower limbs in Pongo pygmaeus, Gorilla gorilla, P. paniscus, and H. sapiens. Credit: (c) Adrienne L. Zihlman,PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1505071112 More information: Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution, Adrienne L. Zihlman,PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1505071112AbstractThe human body has been shaped by natural selection during the past 4–5 million years. Fossils preserve bones and teeth but lack muscle, skin, fat, and organs. To understand the evolution of the human form, information about both soft and hard tissues of our ancestors is needed. Our closest living relatives of the genus Pan provide the best comparative model to those ancestors. Here, we present data on the body composition of 13 bonobos (Pan paniscus) measured during anatomical dissections and compare the data with Homo sapiens. These comparative data suggest that both females and males (i) increased body fat, (ii) decreased relative muscle mass, (iii) redistributed muscle mass to lower limbs, and (iv) decreased relative mass of skin during human evolution. Comparison of soft tissues between Pan and Homo provides new insights into the function and evolution of body composition. © 2015 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org)—A pair of anthropology researchers, one with the University of California, the other Modesto College has found what they believe are clues to human evolutionary development by conducting a long term study of bonobo anatomy. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Adrienne Zihlman and Debra Bolter, describe their anatomy studies and their ideas on why what they found offers new clues on why humans developed in the ways we did.
5 June is celebrated as World Environment Day. The date marks the day on which the United Nations Conference on Human Environment (the Stockholm Conference) began in 1972 when countries of the world came together to discuss global environmental issues for the first time.Respect for the environment has been an integral part of India’s glorious culture. The relationship between the earth and human beings has been likened to that between a mother and her child. From the Rig Veda to the Yagyavalkya Smriti, the ‘Panch Tatvas’ or the five elements are mentioned. These are prithvi (earth), pavan (wind), jal (water), tej (solar energy) and nabh (sky). We are taught to live in harmony with the environment. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Environmental sustainability is also a moral issue. In this context, ‘I have been deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and his concept of ‘trusteeship’. This may be interpreted as the present generation acting as trustee for the future by enjoying the wealth of nature in a way that it benefits the next generation,’ says Jitendra Padam Jain- Curator of the show. The choice in front of us is clear. Either we allow environmental degradation to continue unchecked or we take remedial steps to ensure happiness of the future generations. Government action alone is not the key to the environment changes that are required. No strength is mightier than people’s participation. It is the small steps we take in our daily lives that will make a big difference in the quest for an environment friendly planet. Through art, our show would highlight environmental awareness, and bring together all fraternities in working towards this cause. We should adopt a plant and nurture it to become a tree, as we do with our children.
Celebrating the launch of ‘Ramayana In Rhyme’ by two 18-year-old students Kairavi Bharat Ram and Ananya Mittal was a newer way of reviving Ramayana. A launch event was organised at the Ravi Shankar Institute of Music and Performing Arts (RIMPA) in the national Capital recently. ‘Ramayana In Rhyme’ is a contemporary interpretation of the age-old Indian epic Ramayana.Mythology has been an unapproachable subject for children. It is something that they grow up listening to but refrain from reading. ‘Ramayana In Rhyme’ is a fresh version with the current time and makes for an effortless and interesting 30-minute read. The colorful and detailed illustrations in the book successfully make the narrative even more interesting and mysterious. It is a must read for all children aged between 5–16 years. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe programme featured discourses by Tina Narang, the Publisher of Scholastic India and illustrators Vandana Bist and Suvidha Mistry. Apart from being a writer, Ananya is an avid reader whereas Kairavi Bharat Ram loves her puppies, sappy romantic movies, and Japanese food. Suvidha Mistry is a freelance illustrator with a passion for all forms of art who loves to tell stories with her illustrations, sketches and photography. Since 1986, Vandana Bist’s writings and drawings have been published in various children’s magazines and books.