Monster Mash

first_imgJust before Halloween, it’s time for tricks and treats about monsters in the fossil record. Here’s a list of recent stories about scary beasts:Dino Dance: Are these potholes tracks or weathering marks? PhysOrg and Science Daily were among news outlets reporting a new interpretation of formations by a grad student at the University of Utah in Navajo Sandstone near a popular photographer’s locale called The Wave. Winston Seiler claims the round holes represent tracks of three different kinds of dinosaurs, complete with tail drag marks. Other dinosaur tracks are known in the area; this one is unusual for the number and density of tracks, what Seiler calls a “trample surface.” National Geographic also joined the dance party.Update 11/10/2008: The party dispersed when some science cops showed up. PhysOrg reported that “A group of paleontologists visited the northern Arizona wilderness site nicknamed a ‘dinosaur dance floor’ and concluded there were no dinosaur tracks there, only a dense collection of unusual potholes eroded in the sandstone.” One of the co-authors of the dance floor thesis agreed to work with the skeptics: “Science is an evolving process where we seek the truth,” she said. So she turned around and changed the dance to The Shake: “This is how science works, and we’ll have to see how it shakes out in the end.”Hornblower: The unusual head crests on duckbill dinosaurs were used for shouting, claim scientists in a report on Live Science and PhysOrg. The nasal passages on lambeosaurs and corythosaurs connected with passages in the head crest to produce resonant, bellowing calls (see diagrams on Science Daily). The pitch of the calls probably deepened as the dinosaurs aged. Perhaps they had a tonal language for communication, with special calls for Run for your lives! A T. rex is coming! Veteran dinosaur hunter Jack Horner (Montana State) noted that, “It’s difficult to infer the function of structures in an extinct dinosaur when there is so little resemblance to any living animal.”Taking the plunge: How do you interpret dinosaur tracks that gradually fade away? The track-maker must have gone for a swim, reported Science Daily. Debra Mickelson of University of Colorado even thinks she knows what they were doing – going out to sea to feed, 165 million years ago.Migrants: Dinosaurs weren’t the champion migrators of the ancient world, contrary to the usual view, said Phil Bell (U of Alberta) in a report on Science Daily. How could he and colleague Eric Snively figure that out? They calculated the energy requirements for a herd of herbivores like Edmontosaurs, and believe it would have limited their travel to 3000 km round trip – half the previous estimate.Microsaur: We tend to think of dinosaurs as mighty tyrants of the early earth, making the ground shake with every step. Science Daily reported the finding of the smallest dinosaur ever seen. The juvenile Heterodontosaurus (mixed teeth) had a skull less than two inches long and would have weighed less than two sticks of butter. “It’s likely that all dinosaurs evolved from carnivorous ancestors,” said co-author Laura Porro (U of Chicago); “Since heterodontosaurs are among the earliest dinosaurs adapted to eating plants, they may represent a transition phase between meat-eating ancestors and more sophisticated, fully-herbivorous descendents.”Megasaur: A dinosaur graveyard has been found in Utah, reported Live Science. Remains of a large number of herbivores were found, including one well-preserved skeleton and a 5-foot humerus from a brachiosaur, one of the largest dinosaurs known. Tracks have also been found. Another surprise was a Deltapodus stegosaur – previously known only from Europe. How did brachiosaurs get so huge? Another story on Live Science claims they ate high-energy foods whole, without chewing.Sniffer rex: Halloween wouldn’t be quite the same without mention of everyone’s favorite dinosaur nightmare: the Tyrannosaurus rex. A report on Live Science claims the monsters had a good sense of smell – vital for hunting down prey. They believe this based on the size of the opening in the skull where the olfactory bulb – an organ of smell – was located. The article speculated on evolution of birds from dinosaurs: “Most of today’s birds have keen eyesight but lack a good nose, suggesting smell became less important at some point in birds’ ancestral history, the researchers said.”It’s clear that dinosaur hunting is still a popular sport for paleontologists, especially ones with vivid imaginations.Dinosaurs are for kids – including the grown-up kind. Who doesn’t enjoy learning about this large and varied class of extinct animals that roamed the whole earth? Imagining things is fun, too. Just don’t confuse it with science. There are limits to how much can be known about dinosaurs from their tracks and bones. We don’t know, for instance, their favorite dance steps, to say nothing of how they decided to give up meat, reduce their noses and fly like Tweety rex. The beasts are scary enough without the evolutionary monster tales around the campfire.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


first_imgThe suspect accused of robbing a Moville, Iowa bank back in March has pleaded guilty.Court records say 43-year-old Brendon Reed, of Sioux City, entered the plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court.Reed was charged with bank robbery in the theft of nearly $14,000 from the United Bank of Iowa in Moville on March 30th.He was apprehended later that day after crashing a stolen car during a chase by officers.Reed had already pleaded guilty to stealing the car and has been sentenced to 10 years in an Iowa prison on that charge.Under the plea agreement, he would serve 105 months in prison concurrently with his ten year first degree theft sentence.last_img read more

Video: Here’s Who Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith Are Picking To Win The NCAA Tournament

first_imgSkip Bayless and Steven A. Smith discuss who will win the NCAA tournament.bayless smith ncaa tournament picksSkip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith may be 1-seeds in our 64 Most Annoying People In Sports Media bracket, but it’s also true that they have a very highly-rated morning show on ESPN. Earlier this week, the duo made their NCAA Tournament picks – and neither picked a 1-seed to cut down the nets.That being said, they did pick big programs. Bayless took a shot on 4-seed Kentucky relying on talent to make its way through the tournament. Bayless cited Tom Izzo’s experience, taking Michigan State. You can view the segment below.Do you agree with either? Or will another team be winning it all in early April?last_img read more

GPH Inks 30Year Concession for Antigua Cruise Port

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pxhere under CC0 Creative Commons license Cruise port operator Global Ports Holding (GPH) has signed a 30-year concession agreement with Antigua and Barbuda for cruise port operations in Antigua on an exclusive basis.The company said that the deal was agreed following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on November 9, 2018.Under the terms of the concession deal, Global Ports Holding would use its global expertise and operating model to manage the cruise port operations in Antigua. In addition, GPH would finance the completion of the ongoing construction of a new pier which will allow the port to handle Oasis-class ships.Furthermore, the company said it would invest in improving the current retail facilities and designing and financing the construction of new purpose-built retail and F&B facilities.The commencement of the concession is subject to a number of final conditions being satisfied, including the group securing suitable financing. GPH added that it is in advanced discussions with local and international banks in relation to long-term bank financing for the concession.Full financial closure and commencement of the concession is expected to occur in the first half of 2019.The development marks the group’s second expansion step into the Americas, after the signing of a 15-year management agreement with the Cuban company Aries S.A. for the operation of the cruise port in Havana, Cuba, in May 2018.last_img read more

1 dead as car rams into van

first_imgMuzaffarnagar (UP): A person died and three were injured when a van in which they were travelling was hit by a speeding car in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district, police said on Monday. The incident occurred on the Karnal-Meerut highway near Ahamadgarh village on Sunday evening. The injured were shifted to a hospital in a serious condition. The driver of the car driver was taken into custody, the police said. In another incident, nine factory employees were injured when a van in which they were travelling was hit by a tractor near Katka village in Jansath area of Muzaffarnagar district on Sunday evening. The injured have been shifted to a hospital, the police said.last_img read more

Terminator 2 will be as timely as it ever was says James

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement “I think that it’s we have to be on guard and constantly aware. So whether it’s climate change, or whether it’s the threat of an AI potentially replacing us or rapidly altering our word in a negative outcome for humans or weather it’s nuclear warfare — these are things we need to be constantly vigilant about.” The 1991 release — a sequel to the 1984 original — starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton and Robert Patrick. It followed Sarah Connor and her 10-year-old son John fleeing an advanced shapeshifting Terminator sent back in time to kill them. Schwarzenegger’s less advanced Terminator was also sent back in time to protect the pair. The film featured a scene in which Sarah Connor imagines a nuclear blast consuming Los Angeles. MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — James Cameron has taken time out from crafting the upcoming four “Avatar” sequels to return to one of his old films, one he says is as up-to-the-minute as ever — “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Twittercenter_img “I tend to be kind of an apocalyptic kind of guy. I look at all the worst case outcomes,” said Cameron, who said he started writing the film before the Berlin Wall came down and the collapse of the Soviet Union. “I think the film is as timely as it ever was, probably more so less on the nuclear side and more on the AI side and dealing with our relationship with our own technology,” Cameron said Thursday. “And how we do really stand the possibility of making ourselves obsolete?” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook As for any film reboot of the series, Cameron said the idea was being discussed but he wanted to make sure it had “fresh imagery, fresh characters” and wasn’t “mired in the past.” The director said any reboot must “feel like a new, 21st-century version of a “Terminator” story but still stay true to what that means.”By: Joseph Longo Cameron converted the 26-year-old film — in which one robot with artificial intelligence battles another to stop nuclear annihilation — into a 3D format that hits movie theatresAug. 25. It arrives just as escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are in the headlines.last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgThe Canadian Press Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Down six cents, or 3.11 per cent to $1.87 on 22.5 million shares.Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Up $1.06, or 2.56 per cent, to $42.44 on 19.7 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Up 17 cents, or 8.5 per cent, to $2.17 on 11 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down 30 cents, or 4.03 per cent, to $7.14 on 9.1 million shares.Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K). Gold. Down 28 cents, or 6.76 per cent, to $3.86 on 8.1 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financials. Up one cent, or 0.05 per cent, to $19.52 on 7.8 million shares. Some of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (14,264.06, down 152.83 points).center_img Companies reporting major news:Home Capital Group Inc. (TSX:HCG). Down $2.48 or 15 per cent to $14. Home Capital Group says Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is reducing its stake in the mortgage lender to less than 10 per cent. Buffett’s investment firm helped restore confidence in the lender following accusations that it misled investors by acquiring a nearly 20-per-cent stake in Home Capital in 2017. Buffett says with the full repayment of the $2 billion credit line, Berkshire’s investment in Home Capital is now not of a size to justify the firm’s ongoing involvement.Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY). Down $1.12 or 1.2 per cent to $92.68. Royal Bank is denying a report that it was able to read, write and delete users’ messages on the social networking website Facebook. The New York Times has published a story claiming Facebook gave RBC, along with Spotify and Netflix, the ability to see private messages between its users. RBC says it was given permission to send messages to Facebook users from 2013 to 2015 when it offered a mobile app service that enabled customers to send money to their friends through the social network. It says it did not have the ability to see users’ messages.last_img read more

Mauritania stages vote boycotted by most of opposition

first_imgNouakchott – Mauritania holds nationwide elections next month overshadowed by a boycott of the entire “democratic” opposition — apart from an Islamist party calling its participation a struggle against “dictatorship”.The mainly-Muslim republic, a former French colony on the west coast of the Sahara desert, is seen by Western leaders as strategically important in the fight against Al-Qaeda-linked groups within its own borders, in neighbouring Mali and across Africa’s Sahel region.Around a third of its 3.4 million predominantly Arab-Berber and black African people are eligible to vote in the first parliamentary and local polls since 2006, five years after the coup of junta chiefMohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who was eventually elected in widely-contested polls. At the close of election lists on Friday, around 1,100 candidates were registered to vie for the leadership of 218 local councils dotted across the shifting sands of the vast nation and only 440 for 146 seats up for grabs in parliament.The ruling Union for the Republic is the only party fielding candidates in every constituency, while the next highest representation will be from Islamist group Tewassoul, and then the People’s Progressive Alliance of parliament leader Messaoud Ould Boulkheir.Tewassoul is the only member of the 11-party Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD) coalition, referred to as the “democratic” opposition, contesting the polls, describing its participation as a form of struggle against the “dictatorship” of Abdel Aziz.The rest of the coalition said it would “boycott this electoral masquerade” after talks on how the vote should be run broke down in early October and it dismissed as insufficient a two-week postponement offered by the government.Ahmed Ould Daddah, the president of the COD and leader of the Rally of Democratic Forces, said on Sunday the coalition was considering an “active boycott” to derail the “illegal and unilateral” elections.He announced a march to the capital Nouakchott on November 6, the eve of the launch of the two-week campaign.Following independence from France and the ensuing one-party government of Moktar Ould Daddah, deposed in 1978, Mauritania had a series of military rulers until its first multi-party election in 1992.Abdel Aziz seized power in a 2008 coup and was elected a year later, but the COD has never accepted his rule as legitimate and demanded he make way for a neutral leader to administer the vote.Another section of the opposition known as the “moderates” has decided not to follow the COD, announcing it would participate in the November 23 polls.Its members include the three-party Coordination for a Peaceful Alternative, a key player in Mauritania’s nascent democratic process responsible for negotiating the establishment of an independent electoral commission.It was also behind a move to increase the number of seats in the National Assembly from 95 to 146 and a change in the law which outlawed coups and punished slavery, which is nevertheless still practised in Mauritania.In the run-up to the opening of the campaign, rumours have circulated in Nouakchott that the elections will be postponed in accordance with the request of the opposition.Local media reported that the election commission would not be able to prepare voter cards in time.“This is untrue. All logistical conditions have been met for the vote on November 23,” said Communication Minister Mohamed Yahya Ould Hormah, confirming that vote would go ahead as planned.last_img read more

US halts nonlethal aid to northern Syria

first_imgWASHINGTON- Decision follows an attack last week by the Islamic Front, a radical Islamist group, on the headquarters and warehouses belonging to the Free Syrian Army.White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest Wednesday confirmed reports that the US has suspended nonlethal assistance to the Syrian opposition in northern Syria.Washington’s decision follows an attack last week by the Islamic Front, a radical Islamist group, on the headquarters and warehouses belonging to the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The facilities in question are now reportedly in the hands of the Islamic Front. “As a result of this situation, as you pointed out, the United States has suspended all further deliveries of nonlethal assistance into northern Syria,” said Earnest.He added that the US is investigating the current whereabouts of its nonlethal aid.“We’re still gathering facts and consulting with General Idris and the Supreme Military Council staff to inventory the status of U.S. equipment and supplies that have been provided to the SMC,” he said.Still, he emphasized that the US would continue to provide the Syrian people with humanitarian aid.The United Kingdom has also halted its deliveries of nonlethal aid following the raid.last_img read more