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first_imgThe search for extra-terrestrial intelligence is like a detective story without a body.  All those new planets, but no signal—at least not one that most scientists will accept.SETI has fallen on hard times.  News reports seem to waver between optimism and pessimism, with the pessimists gaining ground.  Space.com said no signals have come from the trove of new earthlike exoplanets (cf. 2/08/13).  Another Space.com article suggested that scientists might have to conclude we are alone, or that life is rare in the universe.  “When it comes to life across the cosmos, the universe might just be an ‘awful waste of space’ after all,” Miriam Kramer wrote.But this month, more earthlike planets were found by the Kepler space telescope.  Optimists are optimizing at Astrobiology Magazine, asking “Are the Newly Discovered Planets Ideal SETI Targets?”  All they can do is think about it and speculate, because technology to detect life optically is not far enough along.  Both optimists and pessimists exchanged ideas in a meeting reported by Astrobiology Magazine, part of its “Great Exoplanet Debate” series.  A candidate planet must not only be the right size in the habitable zone; it has to have a breathable atmosphere, the pessimists say.Mike Wall at Space.com takes the new Kepler planet count as justification for revving up SETI.  “Time Right for Next Phase in Search for Alien Life,” he headlined.  Astrobiologists usually are quick to point out that alien life does not necessarily imply intelligent life.  Many would be happy to find bacteria.  Perhaps that’s why PhysOrg reported that some SETI Institute scientists, with NASA dollars, are going to work on the next generation of planet finders: “NASA doubles down on exoplanets and SETI institute will be part of the search.”Live Science put the I back in SETI with a catalog of “13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Aliens.”  In addition to standard radio SETI, there’s optical SETI, looking for artifacts on earth or in the solar system (including alien footprints on the moon), looking for tinkering with our DNA, focused searches on the best candidate stars, hunting for life that consumes its asteroids, shows green lifestyles, or presents non-natural shapes against stars, and more.  Maybe dolphins are aliens.  Maybe we should wait for them to invade us.  Still, the opening line is pessimistic: “Really. Where are all the aliens? We should have been probed, exterminated, assimilated, infected, invaded or abducted by now, shouldn’t we?” That’s the old Fermi paradox.  Some of the speculations get ridiculous.  Maybe aliens have put us on their “Do not call” list.  It’s a hard sell, reporter Ian O’Neill confesses, but SETI “is one of the most profound things we, as a species, can do.”Nigel Henbest at New Scientist calls SETI a detective story without a body.  Reviewing a book by Paul Murdin titled Are We Being Watched?, Henbest thinks the first resort remains the best: good old radio SETI.  Combing the radio sky for signals of intelligent origin would provide “the thrill that would come from answering the provocative question in the title.”Want to find out if you are being watched?  Want to solve the Fermi paradox?  Want to engage in the most profound thing we, as a species can do?  Want a method that is scientifically tractable?  Want to ensure that the universe is not a waste of space?  Want a thrill that would come from answering a profound question?  Want verifiable answers, not idle speculation?  Want a non-question-begging, non-self-refuting approach?  Want assurance that the answer is real?  Then read the artifact left by Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.  Start with the first chapter and verse, Genesis 1:1, and continue on to the grand finale. (Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

12 12 19

first_imgBlackmagic’s URSA Mini offers a lot of camera in a very affordable package. However, it’s important to take into account the limitations of the URSA Mini when comparing it to its big sister.Top image from BlackmagicUpon its initial release, the original Blackmagic URSA had a lot of people quite perplexed. For many, the original URSA’s weight was a real issue. It was big and bulky, yet some of its incredible features were (and still are) hard to ignore. All things considered, what else was there really to complain about? For $6K the camera offered functionality that rivaled cameras many times its price, and the image quality was great – at least when shooting at the native ISO of 400.But again, the weight was certainly an issue for many shooters. Many potential URSA customers were filmmakers on a budget, who likely had come up through DSLRs or other small camcorders. Meaning, to make the jump from a 1 – 3 pound camera to a 17 lbs camera was a big deal! Especially when you consider other professional cinema cameras, which only weigh in at 10 lbs or so.When the URSA Mini was announced many potential buyers came out of the woodwork. The camera seemed to offer some of the same incredible features as the original URSA, but in a much smaller package. Although, when taking a closer look at the URSA Mini, it seems not every last feature was included, which results in pros and cons for both cameras. Below is a list of the 5 most important considerations to take into account if you’re debating purchasing or using the Blackmagic URSA vs. the URSA Mini.1. WeightWe’ve already touched on this briefly, but if weight is a big consideration for you, then the URSA Mini may be preferable. Unlike the 17 lb URSA, the Mini version only weights in at 5 lbs, which is a huge difference. For long handheld shots, rigging, gimbals or other stabilizers, the Mini is definitely preferable over the URSA. That said, the weight of the original URSA may not be a problem for you at all, depending on how you like to shoot. For instance, on most of my shoots 90% of the material is shot on a tripod, so a 17 lb camera doesn’t pose a problem. When you pair it with an Easy Rig, the weight becomes even more manageable.2. Sensor UpgradesThe URSA Mini doesn’t have the ability to upgrade it’s sensor the same way the URSA does. Since the URSA’s release last year, there’ s already been a new sensor announced (the 4.6K version) that’ll be user upgradeable on the original URSA model. This is great news for people like myself that own the URSA, and are looking for more dynamic range and higher sensitivity, but don’t want to have to invest in an entirely new camera. Unfortunately, the URSA Mini does not have the ability to upgrade, so whatever you purchase is what you’re going to be working with until you sell it or get a new camera.3. MonitoringThe original URSA has 3 monitors – all of which are really useful. It has a 10” fold out monitor on the operator side of the camera, as well as a 5” monitor on the body itself, and on the AC side of the camera there is another 5” monitor. This makes shooting with a camera crew simple and efficient since all of your monitoring is built right in. On the other had, the URSA Mini has a single 5” monitor on the operator side of the camera, which truthfully is more than sufficient for what the camera is designed for. That said, if you’re the type of shooter who is always hooking up 2 or 3 monitors for your crew to use, the URSA has everything you need built right in.4. Side HandleMuch like the Canon C300, the URSA Mini has a really great side handle that can be useful for handheld shooting, or even removed and relocated to use with a shoulder mount kit. Naturally, the full sized URSA doesn’t have any side handle since the camera is far too large to make use of one, but it’s undeniably a nice touch that makes the URSA Mini really enjoyable to shoot with as a single operator. The handle has a record button, and focus/iris buttons built right in which make it really useful.5. Frame RatesBoth the URSA and the URSA Mini have the ability to toggle between a global and rolling shutter, which effectively unlock higher frame rate options. Although, the Mini is more limited than the URSA in some regards. For instance, the URSA can shoot at up to 120fps in 4K RAW, while the Mini will max out at 60fps in 4K RAW. In global shutter mode, the URSA maxes out at 60fps while the Mini can do only 30fps. In my opinion, this isn’t a deal breaker for the URSA Mini, as 60fps in 4K RAW is more than enough for most slow-motion work. Though, it’s still nice to have the ability to go up to 120fps on the URSA if you’re in a pinch.Here’s an interview from NAB 2015 in which No Film School’s Joe Marine speaks with Blackmagic’s Grant Petty about some of the differences between the URSA and URSA Mini.Final ThoughtsI’m a big fan of both of cameras, and it’s clear that neither one is better than the other. They are simply intended for different types of shooters. The URSA is ideal for larger sets with more substantial crews, heavier duty support gear, and more set-up time. On the other hand, the URSA Mini is perfect for single operator shoots that require a quicker turnaround, without sacrificing quality. Deciding between these two cameras should ultimately come down to what kind of shooter you are and what type of set you like to run. At the end of the day, both options are extremely capable of delivering fantastic images.Here are a few more PremiumBeat articles that deal with the Ursa Mini and similar cameras:NAB 2015 Announcement: The Blackmagic URSA MiniYour Best Options for High Frame Rate FilmmakingWhen will NAB 2015 Gear Hit the Market?Have you shot on either of the above Blackmagic cameras? Share your experiences in the comments below!last_img read more

23 10 19

first_imgHamburg-based shipping firm Norddeutsche Reederei H. Schuldt has appointed the classification society DNV GL to carry out Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) certifications for its managed fleet of more than 50 vessels. The 3,700 TEU containership Northern Dexterity, the first vessel to undergo sampling and testing, is scheduled to receive the IHM certificate in February 2017.The sampling and analyses on board Northern Dexterity is being carried out by hazmat specialists from the two independent laboratories exag GmbH Marine Consulting and QSU GmbH, under the supervision of DNV GL.Expected to be completed by early 2018, the certification project will provide independent verification of the vessels’ IHM, as required by the European Ship Recycling Regulation.The IHM is one of the cornerstones of the European Ship Recycling Regulation, according to which every EU-flagged newbuild has to carry an inventory of all hazardous materials contained in its structure or equipment with a statement of compliance by December 31, 2018. The IHM is also an important feature of the Hong Kong Convention, which is expected to enter into force in 2020.“The IHM is an important step on the way to ensuring environmentally responsible ship recycling and therefore also important to us at Norddeutsche Reederei,” Dennys Wulf, Quality Management Director at Norddeutsche Reederei H. Schuldt, said.The European Ship Recycling Regulation, in force since December 30, 2013, addresses the environmental and health issues associated with ship recycling while avoiding unnecessary economic burdens.last_img read more

17 10 19

first_imgWINNIPEG – A woman in Winnipeg tightly embraced her 12-year-old son for the first time in three years early Thursday morning when the child was reunited with his family after his liberation from Iraqi militants.Cheers went up from a large crowd on hand when Emad Mishko Tamo arrived at James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, just weeks after he was freed from captivity.He was separated from his mother after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant displaced thousands of members of the Kurdish-minority Yazidis in 2014, but he was freed earlier this summer in the city of Mosul.His mother, Nofa Mihlo Zaghla, has been living in Winnipeg as a refugee but it wasn’t until a relative recognized his photo on social media that she knew her son was still alive.“Thank you Canada,” said Emad while surrounded by a throng of relatives and supporters at the airport.Speaking through an interpreter, Emad said there are a thousand other children like him who are still being held captive and he wants to share his story so that they can be helped.A refugee co-ordinator said the boy, who is still recovering from gunshot wounds, will be closely monitored by doctors while he settles into his new life in Winnipeg.Emad was brought to Winnipeg through the efforts of the Yazidi Association of Manitoba.Hadji Hesso, the association’s president, said Emad was accompanied by UNHCR representatives on his flight to Canada, and that they brought him to a private room at the airport to reconnect with his family prior to walking out to the waiting crowd in the arrivals area.Hesso said Emad’s siblings, uncle, cousins and grandmother were also in the room.“As soon as he opened the door, he kind of (said) ‘Wow!’ and he ran to his mother, with hugging and kissing and his mother started crying,” said Hesso, who was present for the reunion.“It was emotional for everybody whether you know Emad (and) the mother or not,” Hesso said.The Yazidi Association of Manitoba, the Kurdish Initiative for Refugees and Winnipeg Friends of Israel went public with Emad’s story last month to try to get Canadian officials to act quickly to bring the boy to Canada.According to a letter written by the association to members of Parliament, Zaghla lived peacefully with her husband and six children in Iraq until the summer of 2014 when her village was attacked.They held captive for two years, during which time the association said Zaghla was forced to serve as a sex slave to the militants.As they were moved from place to place, she became separated from her husband and her two oldest sons, and when she managed to escape with four of her children during an attack on their compound, she made her way to Canada with no expectation she would see them again.Her husband — Emad’s father — as well as one of Emad’s brothers remain unaccounted for, Hesso said.Hesso said Zaghla expressed how she wished they could have been on the flight to Canada with Emad.“But at the same time she’s happy at least she has one of them back. So you can’t put it in words how happy she is,” Hesso said.Federal Immigration spokeswoman Lisa Filipps said last month that the department was acting to expedite all Yazidi cases and that the government was working with partners in the region to identify vulnerable Yazidi women and children.— With files from CTV Winnipeglast_img read more

11 09 19

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Tuesday, June 5, 2018:Sheri M. Fisher (42, Haverhill) was arrested for OUI Liquor. The arrest took place in the St. Thomas’s parking lot. (3:30am)A gray 2000 BWM drove into the woods on Ballardvale Street and Balland Road. Fence and shrubs damaged. No injuries noted. Vehicle towed. Driver cited for marked lanes violation and speeding. (9:00am)Mark Paul Khlafie (21, Tewksbury) was arrested for OUI Liquor and Speeding. Khlafie crashed his car on Aldrich Road. (1:52pm)A 17-year-old was issued a summons for Operating A Motor Vehicle with a Suspended or Revoked License and Speeding. Car was towed from Forest Street and Clinton Street. (5:26pm)A 3-vehicle crash took place on Main Street. Airbag deployed. Fire Department conducted evaluations. No details on injuries. Two vehicles towed. (10:05pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip?Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for June 28: OUI Arrest; Trash Truck Fire; Car vs. MotorcycleIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for July 27: OUI Arrest; Woman Brings Caged Bird To Town BeachIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for July 25: Wilmington Man Arrested For OUI; Men Carrying Sledgehammers Down Street; Turkeys Causing TrafficIn “Police Log”last_img read more

11 09 19

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is a message from the Wilmington Senior Center:The Senior Center is looking for home delivered meal drivers for mother’s hours. Call the Senior Center at 978-657-7595 for more information.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSENIOR CENTER SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington Senior Center Wants To Thank Residents Who Help Out Their Senior NeighborsIn “Community”SENIOR CENTER SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington Senior Center Looking For Help With Home Delivered Meals ProgramIn “Community”SENIOR CENTER SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington Senior Center Issues Scam AlertsIn “Community”last_img read more

5 09 19

first_imgIt’s not just Bollywood movies where we get to see the dreamiest of proposals, in real life too, celebrities have often surprised their loved ones with their unique proposals. The way business magnate, Mukesh Ambani proposed to the love-of-his-life Nita Ambani, will remain one of the sweetest celebrity proposals ever.Even back then, Nita Ambani was a renowned Bharatnatyam dancer. Her beauty coupled with her immaculate grace and poise had impressed Dhirubhai Ambani and Kokilaben. Even before meeting her in person, they both had made up their mind to bring her home as their daughter-in-law. In a rendezvous with Simi Garewal, Mukesh Ambani had revealed that it was Dhirubhai Ambani who made the first call to Nita’s home and when he introduced himself, she found it hard to believe. Later, Dhirubhai spoke to Nita’s father, the families met and both the families agreed to the holy matrimony.A confident and highly passionate Nita Ambani, wanted to continue her passion of teaching kids and dancing, post marriage. And the Ambanis were more than happy to oblige. Even till date, Nita Ambani is an active member of the Ambani school apart from being a philanthropist. Nita and Mukesh met a couple of times before their wedding date. Both, Nita and Mukesh had a hectic life hence, finding some quality time to spend with each other was not that easy for the two.Nita was never smitten by the amount of wealth or property the Ambanis had. All she wanted was a husband who could share her thoughts with her and support her in moving ahead in life and doing something for the society. Once, Mukesh Ambani even travelled with Nita in a local bus on her demand. This was the moment that touched Nita’s heart. It was Mukesh Ambani’s simplicity and love for her that moved her completely and she fell in love with him too.In a true-blue filmy style, Mukesh Ambani was once driving Nita around town in his car when he stopped the car and popped the question. Nita, taken aback by the suddenness of the situation, took a few seconds to reply but in the meantime Ambani said, “Tell me now or I won’t start the car.” This gesture not only made Nita say yes but also left a hearty smile on her face.So many decades later, the couple is still head-over-heels in love with each other and their chemistry can still give many other celebrity couples a run for their money.last_img read more

3 09 19

first_imgRohingya refugee camp Photo : ReutersBangladesh has begun relocating 100,000 Rohingya refugees to safer ground before the monsoon season for fear of deadly landslides and floods in the congested camps, an official said Sunday.The UN says about 150,000 refugees in Bangladesh’s southeast — where nearly one million Rohingya in total live in shanties on hillsides — are extremely vulnerable to disease and disaster this rainy season.Humanitarian groups have been racing to reinforce the basic shelters erected hastily by the Rohingya as they fled across the border after a fierce army crackdown on the community in western Myanmar.Nearly 700,000 refugees have crossed the border since August into the Cox’s Bazar region, clearing trees and packing whole hillsides with unstable shanties.Bangladesh’s refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said 100,000 refugees living in “priority” areas most at risk from floods and landslides would be relocated before June.”We have already shifted some 10,000 refugees from different locations to safer settlements,” he told AFP.Bangladesh had allocated roughly 3,500 acres (14 square kilometres) of forested land in Cox’s Bazar to the newly-arrived Rohingya to build simple shelters.But the forest is being felled at a rate of four football fields a day, Kalam said.The refugees, who use the firewood for cooking, have already cleared 5,000 acres of forest, Cox’s Bazar deputy district administrator Mahidur Rahman told AFP.The once lush hillsides have turned barren, exposing the topsoil and leaving them highly vulnerable to landslides during heavy rain, he said.”Some 200,000 people are vulnerable to landslides,” he said.Monsoon rains wreak havoc every year in Cox’s Bazar and the adjacent Chittagong Hill Tracts, a tropical forest zone home to wild elephants.Last season heavy rain triggered landslides in the tract region, killing 170 people. Experts blamed deforestation for worsening the impact of the mud avalanches.More than 100 people were killed in landslides in the region in 2012, and two years earlier heavy rain killed around 50.In the past week UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed fears the Rohingya were “extremely vulnerable” to the annual storms.He told reporters he had stressed to Bangladesh that “higher ground is the best place for this kind of relocation”.Dhaka had earlier said about 100,000 refugees from the persecuted Muslim minority would be shifted to an island in the Bay of Bengal where the Bangladesh navy is building accommodation for the refugees.But Abdul Mannan, the Chittagong regional commissioner, told AFP the Rohingya would not be relocated to the island before the end of the year.last_img read more