ESPN Releases New College Football Power Rankings After Week 5


first_imgESPN power rankings for teams ranked 2 through 4 for week 6 of the season.The Coaches Poll received a major shakeup, and the AP promises to do the same after a wild week five, but neither replaced the nation’s top team. ESPN’s College Football Power Rankings, however, did just that. After struggling at Indiana, Ohio State falls a few spots, replaced at the top by Utah, which continues to benefit from its dominant Oregon win. The Big 12 powers Baylor and TCU also look good, after both put up points in bunches on Saturday.Here are the full rankings: Utah New HelmetTwitter/@UtesEquipment1. Utah2. TCU3. Baylor4. Ohio State5. Clemson6. LSU7. Michigan State8. OklahomaT-9. Texas A&MT-9. Florida11. Alabama12. Northwestern13. Florida State14. Notre Dame15. Stanford16. Ole Miss17. MichiganT-18. UCLAT-18. USC20. Georgia21. Oklahoma State22. Iowa23. Cal24. Boise StateT-25. TempleT-25. HoustonHow did ESPN do this week, fans?last_img read more

Closing of Victoria Island in Ottawa catches some off guard


first_imgTodd LamirandeAPTN NewsVictoria Island is a significant cultural and spiritual place for Indigenous people in the Ottawa area.It’s located just outside of the downtown core and close to Parliament Hill and is used by a number of Indigenous peoples as a site for ceremony and protest.Starting at the end of October, it will be off limits for the next seven years.And that caught some off guard.tlamirande@aptn.ca@toddlamirandelast_img

Mens Basketball Ohio State faces toughest challenge to date against No 5


Ohio State senior forward Jae’Sean Tate finishes a dunk in the first half against Appalachian State on Dec. 16, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Station ManagerSince playing Michigan on Dec. 4, Ohio State (10-3, 2-0 Big Ten) has dominated three straight nonconference opponents, scoring at least 80 points and allowing no more than 67 points in any game. The Buckeyes will not find their next matchup quite as easy. They travel to New Orleans to play No. 5 North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Here is a rundown of what to expect out of that game.Projected StartersUNC:G — Joel Berry II — Senior, 6-foot, 195 lbs., 17.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, G — Kenny Williams — Junior, 6-foot-4, 185 lbs., 13.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apgG/F — Theo Pinson — Senior, 6-foot-6, 220 lbs., 8.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.7 apgF — Garrison Brooks — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 215 lbs., 6.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.8 apgF — Luke Maye — Junior, 6-foot-8, 240 lbs., 19.3 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.3 apgOhio State:G — Musa Jallow — Freshman, 6-foot-5, 200 lbs., 4.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.3 apgG — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 13.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.4 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.9 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 18.2 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.5 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 12.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.8 apgScouting UNCOhio State has played a ranked opponent only once this season, and it was an 86-59 loss to now-No. 12 Gonzaga. The team it faces Saturday might be even better than that Bulldog squad. According to Kenpom.com, North Carolina is the No. 11 team in the nation, one spot ahead of Gonzaga. The Tar Heels have handled a few quality teams to this point, beating Stanford 96-72, Michigan 86-71 and No. 21 Tennessee 78-73. Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said in watching the film of those wins, it is clear North Carolina is a team that should be making a return trip to the Final Four in 2018.“There’s a reason they’re the No. 5 team in the country,” Holtmann said Thursday. “We’ve watched them play both home and away, they were up on Michigan by 30 with 10 minutes to go. They just can be really, really explosive. Obviously they have a terrific win at Tennessee. Every time you’re watching them play, you’re trying to evaluate things.”But while North Carolina has several big wins on its resume, it also has several standout losses. In its first real test of the season, it was beat down by now-No. 2 Michigan State 63-45, and lost to Wofford 79-75 Wednesday night. The Tar Heels tend to be one of the more dominant teams in the nation across the board, ranking as both a top-20 team by KenPom in both adjusted offensive efficiency (No. 14) and adjusted defensive efficiency (No. 19). But there is one area that could bode well for the Buckeyes. When Ohio State struggles, it is because it gets into turnover trouble. According to KenPom, Ohio State ranks No. 173 in offensive turnover rate. But the Tar Heels have not been a team to force many turnovers this season, ranking only 267th in defensive turnover rate. In North Carolina’s loss to Wofford, it forced just 10 turnovers and scored eight points off those turnovers. But that is one of the only matchups that looks favorable for the Buckeyes. The Tar Heels typically run a zone defense, a scheme that has caused Ohio State fits offensively all season.The Buckeyes also have not dealt with up-tempo teams well. The three teams that have beaten Ohio State — Gonzaga, Butler and Clemson — average just 16.8 seconds per offensive possession this season. The three Power Five teams Ohio State has beaten — Wisconsin, Michigan and Stanford — average 18.2 seconds per offensive possession. The Tar Heels are the seventh-fastest team in the nation on offense, taking just 14.4 seconds on every offensive possession. Ohio State forward Jae’Sean Tate said the team has spent extensive time at practice this week working on transition defense in anticipation for North Carolina’s faster offense.“The way they get the ball up the court so fast even on made-baskets, going to be key trying to make them play in the half-court is basically what we’re going to have to try to do,” Tate said.How will UNC rebound from its loss to Wofford?Both Ohio State and North Carolina wrapped up relatively easy nonconference stretches of their schedules before the upcoming trip to New Orleans. But unlike Ohio State, North Carolina could not handle its business against Wofford, losing 79-75.Wofford shot 43.8 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc overall, but was exceptional in the second half. The Terriers shot 50 percent (17-for-34) from the field, while also maintaining a 40 percent 3-point success rate with 6-of-15 makes. The Tar Heels, by comparison, shot only 36.4 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range during the game. North Carolina, not known to be a 3-point shooting team, fell behind to Wofford and tried to make it all back up in bulk, but went just 5-for-16 from beyond the arc in the second half.The loss to a 25-point underdog could do one or two things to a team: it could serve as sufficient motivation to play as hard as possible the next time out or it could drag down morale. Holtmann and the Buckeyes are preparing for the former, reflecting on how the Tar Heels responded to its first loss of the season to Michigan State.“After they came back from getting beat by Michigan State, they were phenomenal against Michigan and it was incredible. Like I said, up 30 midway through the second half. I think any time you have a veteran team, that’s typically what happens,” Holtmann said. “You look at it, you say, ‘Absolutely, I’m pretty confident that we’re going to get their very best.’”Prediction:UNC wins 76-68 read more

Germany unhappy with Ozil


first_imgGermany boss Joachim Low is understood to be unhappy with Mesut Ozil’s work-rate during their training sessions as they prepare for the defence of their World Cup, reports FazThe playmaker is expected to play a prominent role for Germany in this summer’s World Cup in Russia and will likely play for the national side in Saturday’s friendly against Austria after missing Arsenal’s final Premier League games this season due to a back injury.But reports in Germany have emerged that Low is feeling frustrated with Ozil’s lack of application at the team’s training ground in South Tyrol.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…“We expect him to challenge himself in training to build up his resilience. Mesut is always receiving treatment,” said assistant coach Bernd Schneider.Ozil was heavily criticised for his lacklustre performance in Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid and provoked further frustration among the club supporter’s after missing Arsene Wenger’s final games in charge.The 29-year-old signed a new deal with the Gunners back in January for a reported £350,000 per week salary.last_img read more

Juventus sign new goalkeeper


first_imgJuventus have just topped their list by signing a new goalkeeper Mattia Perin on a four-year deal.Perin has now joined Juventus from Serie A rivals Genoa three weeks after Gianluigi Buffon played his last game for the Italian champions.The 25-year-old was secured through the payment of an initial fee of 12m euros (£10.5m) for a four-year contract with Juve, according to BBC.Perin will now have to replace the 40-year-old World Cup-winning keeper Buffon, who spent 17 years at the Turin club but will now have to play elsewhere next season after changing his mind about retiring.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.Perin spent eight years with Genoa and finished 12th in Serie A last season.A Juventus statement indicated there were 3m euros (£2.6m) in add-ons in the deal “given conditions in the course of the duration of the contract”.Liverpool midfielder Emre Can has also been linked with a move to Juventus, who have also signed Brazil winger Douglas Costa from Bayern Munich, after it was announced he will leave Anfield this summer.last_img read more

Amid Harvey Floods Chief Acevedo Worries How Many Bodies


first_img@HoustonISDHFD helps with rescues during Harvey flooding.Crews overwhelmed by thousands of rescue calls during one of the heaviest downpours in U.S. history have had little time to search for other potential victims, but officials acknowledge the grim reality that fatalities linked to Harvey could soar once the devastating floodwaters recede from one of America’s most sprawling metropolitan centers.More than three days after the storm ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane, authorities had confirmed only three deaths — including a woman killed Monday when heavy rains dislodged a large oak tree onto her trailer home in the small town of Porter. But unconfirmed reports of others missing or presumed dead were growing.“We know in these kind of events that, sadly, the death toll goes up historically,” Houston police Chief Art Acevedo told The Associated Press. “I’m really worried about how many bodies we’re going to find.”One Houston woman said Monday that she presumes six members of a family, including four of her grandchildren, died after their van sank into Greens Bayou in East Houston, though Houston emergency officials couldn’t confirm the deaths. Virginia Saldivar told The Associated Press her brother-in-law was driving the van Sunday when a strong current took the vehicle over a bridge and into the bayou. The driver was able to get out and urged the children to escape through the back door, Saldivar said, but they could not.“I’m just hoping we find the bodies,” Saldivar said.And a spokeswoman for a Houston hotel says one of its employees disappeared while helping about 100 guests and workers evacuate the building amid rising floodwaters.The disaster is unfolding on an epic scale, with the nation’s fourth-largest city mostly paralyzed by the storm that has parked itself over the Gulf Coast. With nearly 2 more feet (61 centimeters) of rain expected on top of the 30-plus inches (76 centimeters) in some places, authorities worried the worst might be yet to come.The Houston metro area covers about 10,000 square miles (25,900 sq. kilometers). It’s crisscrossed by about 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) of channels, creeks and bayous that drain into the Gulf of Mexico, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the southeast from downtown.The storm is generating an amount of rain that would normally be seen only once in more than 1,000 years, said Edmond Russo, a deputy district engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, which was concerned that floodwater would spill around a pair of 70-year-old reservoir dams that protect downtown Houston.Rescuers meanwhile continued plucking people from inundated neighborhoods. Mayor Sylvester Turner put the number by police at more than 3,000. The Coast Guard said it also had rescued more than 3,000 by boat and air and was taking more than 1,000 calls per hour.Chris Thorn was among the many volunteers still helping with the mass evacuation that began Sunday. He drove with a buddy from the Dallas area with their flat-bottom hunting boat to pull strangers out of the water.“I couldn’t sit at home and watch it on TV and do nothing since I have a boat and all the tools to help,” he said.A mandatory evacuation was ordered for the low-lying Houston suburb of Dickinson, home to 20,000. Police cited the city’s fragile infrastructure in the floods, limited working utilities and concern about the weather forecast.In Houston, questions continued to swirl about why the mayor did not issue a similar evacuation order.Turner has repeatedly defended the decision and did so again Monday, insisting that a mass evacuation of millions of people by car was a greater risk than enduring the storm.“Both the county judge and I sat down together and decided that we were not in direct path of the storm, of the hurricane, and the safest thing to do was for people to stay put, make the necessary preparations. I have no doubt that the decision we made was the right decision.”He added, “Can you imagine if millions of people had left the city of Houston and then tried to come back in right now?”By Monday night, 7,000 people had arrived at the city’s largest shelter set up inside the George R. Brown Convention Center — which originally had an estimated capacity of 5,000.Red Cross spokesman Lloyd Ziel said that volunteers made more space inside the center, which also was used to house Hurricane Katrina refugees from New Orleans in 2005, in part by pushing some cots closer together. A shortage of cots means some people will have to sleep on chairs or the floor.The center settled down at night, after an occasionally chaotic day that saw thousands of evacuees arrive in the pouring rain. Officers and volunteers at times rushed to attend to those with medical needs.At the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, the Army Corps started releasing water Monday because water levels were climbing at a rate of more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) per hour, Corps spokesman Jay Townsend said.The move was supposed to help shield the business district from floodwaters, but it also risked flooding thousands more homes in nearby subdivisions. Built after devastating floods in 1929 and 1935, the reservoirs were designed to hold water until it can be released downstream at a controlled rate.In the Cypress Forest Estates neighborhood in northern Harris County, people called for help from inside homes as water from a nearby creek rose to their eaves. A steady procession of rescue boats floated into the area.Harvey increased slightly in strength Monday as it drifted back over the warm Gulf, according to the National Hurricane Center.Forecasters expect the system to stay over water with 45 mph (72 kph) winds for 36 hours and then head back inland east of Houston sometime Wednesday. The system will then head north and lose its tropical strength.Before then, up to 20 more inches (51 centimeters) of rain could fall, National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini said Monday.That means the flooding will get worse in the days ahead and the floodwaters will be slow to recede once Harvey finally moves on, the weather service said.Sometime Tuesday or early Wednesday, parts of the Houston region will probably break the nearly 40-year-old U.S. record for the biggest rainfall from a tropical system — 48 inches (120 centimeters) — set by Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978 in Texas, meteorologists said.The amount of water in Houston was so unprecedented that the weather service on Wednesday had to update the color charts on its official rainfall maps to indicate the heavier totals.In Louisiana, the images of the devastation in Houston stirred painful memories for many Hurricane Katrina survivors.“It really evoked a lot of emotions and heartbreak for the people who are going through that now in Houston,” Ray Gratia said as he picked up sandbags for his New Orleans home, which flooded during the 2005 hurricane.In Washington, President Donald Trump’s administration assured Congress that the $3 billion balance in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster fund was enough to handle immediate needs, such as debris removal and temporary shelter for displaced residents.The White House said Monday night that the president and first lady will visit Corpus Christi and Austin on Tuesday. They will receive briefings on the relief efforts by local leaders and organizations.Harvey was the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961’s Hurricane Carla, the most powerful Texas hurricane on record. Sharelast_img read more

Political Roundup French Presidents Visit And Trump Nominees Face Scrutiny


first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /15:33 Listen X It’s time again for the Houston Matters weekly political roundup when we discuss national, state, and local political stories with an eye for how they might affect Houston and Texas.Today, our experts discuss Pres. Trump’s travel ban going before the Supreme Court. They update us on the progress of several presidential nominees, including Ronny Jackson, Mike Pompeo, and Gina Haspel. They discuss the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte. And we check in on recent poll numbers in the Senate race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke.Our panel of experts this week includes Jon Taylor, political science professor at the University of St. Thomas, and Nancy Sims from Pierpont Communications and a lecturer at the University of Houston. Sharelast_img read more

Researchers find blocking Internet pirating sites is not effective


first_img Citation: Researchers find blocking Internet pirating sites is not effective (2013, January 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-blocking-internet-pirating-sites-effective.html Credit: Tobias Lauinger et al. Researchers find most BitTorrent users being monitored Explore further 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. There has been a lot of press coverage of pirating on the Internet and corporate efforts to stop it, yet to date, the researchers note, very little if any research has been conducted to determine if the methods used are effective. To find out for themselves, the team began monitoring the availably of thousands of files spread across the Internet via popular file-hosting sites. They noted that as sites were blocked, availability of certain files dropped, but only for a short time – soon other sites picked up the slack and the files formerly found on the blocked site soon became available on other hosting sites, making the blocking action moot.As part of their research, the team also noted that the shutdown of the wildly popular Megaupload site did little to curb the spread of content that users had previously found there. They suggest that if anything, shutting down arguably the most popular file sharing site on the Internet led to a more fractured landscape, with many more small sites sharing files, making stopping piracy even more difficult. The researchers also counted the number of file-sharing sites that are believed to currently host pirated content and found over 10,000 domain names covering more than 5,000 IP addresses.After analyzing their data, the research team concluded that blocking file-hosting sites is ineffective and the practice has done little to lessen the number of illegally shared files available for download from such sites. They suggest that taking away the ability to process payments from such services would likely be much more effective, though they also note the difficulty content providers might find in separating legitimate file-hosting sites from those that share pirated material. Another approach they suggest is that a more reasonable alternative be created that reduces demand, similar to the model that has been created for downloadable music. © 2013 Phys.org More information: Clickonomics: Determining the Effect of Anti-Piracy Measures for One-Click Hosting (paper PDF) (Phys.org)—Researchers at Boston’s Northeastern University have conducted a study on the effectiveness of anti-piracy measures taken by content providers to deter the illegal sharing of files on the Internet. Their research shows that tactics such as blocking sites by seizing domains names does little to curb the sharing of protected files. They suggest that providers instead focus on blocking the income stream such sites generate.last_img read more

Closer look reveals mechanism behind curling of ancient scrolls


first_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters Citation: Closer look reveals mechanism behind curling of ancient scrolls (2014, January 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-01-closer-reveals-mechanism-ancient-scrolls.html People whose job it is to protect ancient art face a variety of destructive elements, from moisture and chemicals in the air to microbes that eat away at fabrics and paints. With scrolls, there is another problem—curling that results when fabric or paper is rolled up for storage. In addition to being unsightly, curling tends to damage the art that is being stored. For that reason, conservationists have been searching for thousands of years for ways to prevent it from happening. In this new effort, the researchers appear to have made progress in that direction by revealing what happens when material is rolled up and why it curls as a result.To find out what really happens when flat material is rolled up, the researchers subjected a variety of materials (plastics and paper) to rolling, watching very closely to see what changes came about. They also created computer models meant to replicate what occurred as rolling was applied. The one element they found that was common to all the test subjects was that the backing material underwent more stress than other parts and as a result was pulled slightly apart. When the material was unrolled (for viewing, for example) the material “tried” to shrink back to its original shape causing an expansion along its width—the end result being the familiar and undesired curling.The findings by the team suggests that a way to reduce curling is to add a backing to the underside of scrolls with material that has fibers that align with the long edges. Another approach would be to create tiny perforations in the backing to reduce stress and thus stretching—a technique that has been used on Japanese artwork for generations—they use a stiff brush.Interestingly, the work by the team in China may have a modern application—reducing curling on flexible electronic displays—a problem that consumers have recently been noting in newly developed bendable phone screens. © 2014 Phys.org Explore further More information: Curling Edges: A Problem that Has Plagued Scrolls for Millennia, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 034302 (2014) prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v112/i3/e034302AbstractQi-Wa refers to the up curl on the lengths of hand scrolls and hanging scrolls, which has troubled Chinese artisans and emperors for as long as the art of painting and calligraphy has existed. This warp is unwelcome not only for aesthetic reasons, but its potential damage to the fiber and ink. Although it is generally treated as a part of the cockling and curling due to moisture, consistency of paste, and defects from the mounting procedures, we demonstrate that the spontaneous extrinsic curvature incurred from the storage is in fact more essential to understanding and curing Qi-Wa. In contrast to the former factors whose effects are less predictable, the plastic deformation and strain distribution on a membrane are a well-defined mechanical problem. We study this phenomenon by experiments, theoretical models, and molecular dynamics simulation, and obtain consistent scaling relations for the Qi-Wa height. This knowledge enables us to propose modifications on the traditional mounting techniques that are tested on real mounted paper to be effective at mitigating Qi-Wa. By experimenting on polymer-based films, we demonstrate the possible relevance of our study to the modern development of flexible electronic paper.center_img Credit: Sun-Hsin Hung/National Palace Museum, Taipei Horsetail spores found able to ‘walk’ and ‘jump’ (w/ Video) (Phys.org) —A team of researchers in China has uncovered the reason for long side curling of scrolled artwork. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe how experiments they conducted with various materials showed that curling results from stretching of backing material. 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.last_img read more

Fossils from ancient extinct giant flightless goose suggests it was a fighter


first_img 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. Reconstruction of Garganornis ballmanni Meijer, 2014 based on the newly described fossil remains. This reconstruction is based on a generic Western Palaearctic Goose with short and robust tarsometatarsus, short toes and very short wings according to the known elements of Garganornis ballmanni. Illustration made by Stefano Maugeri. Credit: Royal Society Open Science (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160722 (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from Italy, Norway and Austria has found evidence of an ancient extinct goose relative that once lived in what is now central Italy. In their paper published in Royal Society Open Science, the team describes the fossils they found, what they suggest the bird once looked like and possibly how it behaved. Giant prehistoric bird fossils found in Antarctica Explore further Citation: Fossils from ancient extinct giant flightless goose suggests it was a fighter (2017, January 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-fossils-ancient-extinct-giant-flightless.htmlcenter_img Journal information: Royal Society Open Science The fossils were found in the Gargano region near the town of Scontrone in central Italy, a place that prior research has shown was an island in the Mediterranean during the time that the bird was alive—approximately 6 to 9 million years ago. Its bones suggest it weighed approximately 22 kilograms and stood approximately one and a half meters tall. But its wings were perhaps too small to allow the bird to fly. The researchers suggest this is common in evolution, especially on islands where birds no longer rely on flight to escape predators. The large size, the researchers note, also suggests it was not an aquatic bird and perhaps lived in a forested area where it clearly had no problems finding enough food for itself and its offspring. Its wings also had carpal knobs (hard and rounded skin) on the carpometacarpus bone (the one on the end akin to the hand in humans)—they are used by modern birds to fight with one another. For that reason, the researchers suggest the ancient bird was likely a fighter, as well. They have dubbed it Garganornis ballmanni.Modern birds with carpal knobs also include some ducks and geese that commonly fight one another over territorial rights. There was also another bird, the Rodrigues solitaire, now extinct, which was known to fight so ferociously that pairs of them would break each other’s bones. The researchers suggest that G. ballmanni likely fended off any attackers by virtue of its large size, but it would likely also have had to fight with others for another precious resource: fresh water. That would mean that it was likely aggressive as well, a trait not uncommon in modern geese.The fossils also represent the first bird remains to be found at the dig site at Scontrone. More information: Marco Pavia et al. The extreme insular adaptation ofMeijer, 2014: a giant Anseriformes of the Neogene of the Mediterranean Basin, Royal Society Open Science (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160722AbstractNew skeletal elements of the recently described endemic giant anseriform Garganornis ballmanni Meijer, 2014 are presented, coming from the type-area of the Gargano and from Scontrone, southern and central Italy, respectively. The new remains represent the first bird remains found at Scontrone so far, and another shared element between these two localities, both part of the Apulia-Abruzzi Palaeobioprovince. The presence of a very reduced carpometacarpus confirms its flightlessness, only previously supposed on the basis of the very large size, while the morphologies of tarsometatarsus and posterior phalanges clearly indicate the adaptation of G. ballmanni to a terrestrial, non-aquatic, lifestyle. Its very large body size is similar to that observed in different, heavily modified, insular waterfowl and has been normally interpreted as the response to the absence of terrestrial predators and a protection from the aerial ones. The presence of a carpal knob in the proximal carpometacarpus also indicates a fighting behaviour for this large terrestrial bird species. © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

Arctic snowfall found to carry tiny fragments of plastic


first_img Snow samples collected for study of plastic contaminationAlfred Wegener Institute Snow samples taken from the Arctic were found to contain up to 14,400 pieces of microplastic per liter (0.26 gal)Alfred Wegener Institute This method of atmospheric travel hasn’t been studied in depth, but the revelation that it can transport huge amounts of microplastic sheds new light on what we know about plastic contamination of the environment. For one, the scientists posit that it may be a significant factor in the discovery of microplastics in the Arctic sea ice last year. It also begs the question, if microplastics can be so easily swept up and blown across the Earth, how much might we be breathing in? These are the kinds of questions the scientists will seek to answer with further research.”To date there are virtually no studies investigating the extent to which human beings are subject to microplastic contamination,” says Melanie Bergmann, leader of the research team. “But once we’ve determined that large quantities of microplastic can also be transported by the air, it naturally raises the question as to whether and how much plastic we’re inhaling. Older findings from medical research offer promising points of departure for work in this direction.”The new research was published in the journal Science Advances.Source: Alfred Wegener Institute Now the institute’s latest research has revealed they can take an aerial route, too. These findings stem from another round of analysis, this time on snow samples collected from remote reaches of the Arctic, along with other locations including the Swiss alps and remote parts of Germany. The snow taken from the Arctic contained up to 14,400 pieces of microplastic per liter (0.26 gal), while samples collected in rural parts of Bavaria, Germany contained as much as 154,000 pieces. The scientists say the plastic particles originally came from a diverse range of sources including paints, car tires and nitrile rubber often used in gaskets and hoses. So how does plastic become one with snow, of all things? The findings tie into research published earlier in the year in Nature Geoscience, in which scientists found that microsplastics fine enough to become airborne had been transported via the atmosphere and blown into pristine, untouched corners of the French Pyrenees mountains. Another exit strategy, it appears, is to be washed out of the atmosphere by precipitation such as snow. One particularly disconcerting consequence of our huge plastic pollution problem is that we really have no idea where the stuff can end up. The latest locale to surprise scientists looking into such matters is the Arctic Circle, who say that snow falling on this frigid, remote part of the world is bringing tiny fragments of plastic along for the ride.Sea water, drinking water, human stool and the bellies of sea turtles are just a few of the places we know microplastics can now be found. These minuscule shreds of plastic are the result of larger pieces washing into the sea and being broken down by the forces of the ocean, creating an almost immeasurable mass of microscopic waste that is proving incredibly hard to track. Last year, scientists at Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) published research describing unexpected quantities of microplastics lodged in Arctic sea ice. The findings, based on ice samples retrieved during Arctic expeditions between 2014 and 2015, shed new light on the way microplastics move through the marine environment. last_img read more