London: Former South Africa off-spinner Simon Harmer has signed a one-year contract extension with Essex. The deal will see him with the club until the 2022 season. The 30-year-old had arguably his most impressive season to date, taking 83 Championship wickets as Essex claimed a second Championship title in three years, as well as captaining the Essex Eagles to a maiden T20 title.”I’m really excited to sign an extension and commit my future to this great club,” Harmer said in an official statement.”From the moment I arrived three years ago, I was made to feel part of the group and at ease in Chelmsford, and it is now a place I consider my home, so it was an easy decision for me to make.”Harmer, an Essex’s fan favourite, won numerous accolades along the year including the PCA Overall MVP, the Cricket Writers’ Club County Championship Player of the Year, the PCA Specsavers County Championship Player of the Year as well as the Essex Player of the Year, Essex Players’ Player of the Year and Essex Bowler of the Year. IANSAlso Read: All-Rounder Ben Stokes Bags PCA Player of the Year AwardAlso Watch: KMSS staged a protest near Deputy Commissioner’s office in Golaghat
The latest gadget on robots or Mars rovers could be whiskers. These tactile sensors provide ways to see in 3D, says a report on National Geographic News. Information about latitude, longitude and elevation can be gleaned from whiskers. Rodents continually rotate their whiskers to gather information, but seals and sea lions let the ocean currents flow around them. Joseph H. Solomon and Mitra J. Hartmann, engineers at Northwestern University, devised robotic whiskers and tested their sensitivity. Writing in the Oct. 5 issue of Nature, they said,Several species of terrestrial and marine mammals with whiskers (vibrissae) use them to sense and navigate in their environment – for example, rats use their whiskers to discern the features of objects, and seals rely on theirs to track the hydrodynamic trails of their prey. Here we show that the bending moment – sometimes referred to as torque – at the whisker base can be used to generate three-dimensional spatial representations of the environment, and we use this principle to construct robotic whisker arrays that extract precise information about object shape and fluid flow.They believe this knowledge could help improve robotic engineering. “Our results on biomimetically engineered whiskers may find application in land-based robots and autonomous underwater vehicles, in which a capability for tactile perception could broaden and enhance performance.” Sean Markey began his National Geographic article with a speculation about a future generation of Mars explorers: “Armed with high-resolution cameras and infrared sensors, the Mars rovers have been collecting data from the red planet in unprecedented detail…. But, some researchers say, the robotic space explorers could boost their performance if they added another powerful tool to their arsenal: whiskers.” See also the writeup on LiveScience.1Joseph H. Solomon and Mitra J. Hartmann, “Biomechanics: Robotic whiskers used to sense features,” Nature 443, 525(5 October 2006), doi:10.1038/443525a.It’s clear that the interpretation of whisker movements must come from the base, since the protein fiber that makes up a whisker contains no nerve endings. This means an elaborate sensory apparatus must inhabit the tiny follicle of each whisker. Car drivers used to install curb whiskers to sense the car position during parallel parking, but the transduced information was useful not to the car, but to the driver, who through auditory input could respond accordingly. Imagine what it would take to engineer a car to parallel park itself based on one curb whisker’s tactile response. Sensors would have to be mounted orthogonally at the base, and computer software would have to be written, complete with feedback to the steering and brakes. In the mammal body, whether of a rat, cat, seal or otter, sensing the conical movements of a whisker must require multiple nerve endings in each hair follicle. The timing and strength of each nerve response must be coordinated with brain software to draw the 3D image, and the reaction time must be nearly instantaneous to do the animal any good. This is all complicated by the large number of individual whiskers (nearly 20 per side on the face of this Weddell seal). All this technology can fit on the tiny head of a mouse or weasel, allowing the animal to gain a continuous image of its dark surroundings. Based on the observed performance, design-theoretic researchers could probably expect to find even more engineering behind this one tactile sense. Undoubtedly similar responses occur in hair follicles since we are aware of temperature and touch with those smaller antennae also – another reason not to shave, men, especially if you like cave exploring or crawling under the house.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Uranus has an axial tilt of 98 degrees, giving it the appearance of a bulls-eye as it revolves around the sun. Its moons revolve comfortably around the planet’s equator. This unusual arrangement, unique in the solar system, has challenged planetary scientists since its discovery. A new model accounts for it through a series of gentle bumps from impacts as the planet was forming from dust and gas, but how would one ever test such an idea? Simplistic models of planet formation from an evolving dust disk around a star should end up with all the planets revolving in near-circular ellipses in the equatorial plane, and rotating with axes perpendicular to the plane. That contradicts a great deal of observational evidence; the planets have varying degrees of orbital eccentricity, orbital inclination, and axial tilt. Some of these can be explained by subsequent gravitational interactions. In the last decade or so, based on observations of “hot Jupiters” around other stars, radial migration has been invoked to get gas giants to form in the distant recesses of the dust disk, then move them closer to the star just in time (8/21/2009). Uranus, in particular, remains a challenge – both getting it to form, and getting it to tip over. Previous theories used a single giant impact to explain the tilt. Uranus, though, has lower orbital eccentricity than the other gas giants save Neptune, and lower orbital inclination than the other gas giants. It would seem strange such a collision would not have greater effect on the planet’s orbit or moons, which have relatively circular orbits in the orbital plane of Uranus. Science Daily noted that problem for the single-impact theory, saying, “the moons of Uranus should have been left orbiting in their original angles, but they too lie at almost exactly 98 degrees.” What to do? This long-standing mystery has been solved by an international team of scientists led by Alessandro Morbidelli (Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur in Nice, France), who is presenting his group’s research at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting in Nantes, France. Morbidelli and his team used simulations to reproduce various impact scenarios in order to ascertain the most likely cause of Uranus’ tilt. They discovered that if Uranus had been hit when still surrounded by a protoplanetary disk – the material from which the moons would form – then the disk would have reformed into a fat doughnut shape around the new, highly-tilted equatorial plane. Collisions within the disk would have flattened the doughnut, which would then go onto [sic] form the moons in the positions we see today. Problem: the model makes the moons end up in retrograde orbits, requiring additional tweaks to the model. Adding two more impacts yielded a “higher probability of seeing the moons orbit in the direction we observe.” Problem 2: “This research is at odds with current theories of how planets form, which may now need adjusting.” If planets formed by accreting small material, the way textbooks have claimed for decades, then “They should have suffered no giant collisions,” Morbidelli said like a worried umpire. Calling three strikes on Uranus will end the game: “So, the standard theory has to be revised,” he said – as if the planet-maker team was on base already (see 08/06/2004). In National Geographic’s coverage, Morbidelli said that “So far, this is the only model that explains the equatorial orbits of Uranus’s satellites.” It comes at a cost of reconsidering the frequency of giant impacts: “But now we show that Uranus has to have been tilted at least twice, so these giant impacts were not exceptional events—they were the norm” – the norm only within the model, that is. To accept the new model, other modelers will have to worry about creating more giant impactors and getting them to target one another. Live Science indicated this does violence to the solar system base-running game: Morbidelli’s “monstrous collision” followed by two smaller collisions will have an impact on how planetary scientists must view the sun’s early innings: “The early solar system thus may have been a more volatile and violent place than previously thought, they added.” That being the case, roller derby may be a more appropriate metaphor than baseball. If you can tweak a contrived, oversimplified model and reproduce the real world, have you proven that’s what happened? Has the real world been “solved,” as Science Daily claimed? This is an important problem in philosophy of science – the use of models in theory construction. Modeling has a long and often successful history in science. The Periodic Table was a model before it acquired enough empirical data to clinch it. But that kind of modeling can be tested against real-time observation; modeling planets cannot. The origin of Uranus, whatever happened, was a one-time, unique event. For unique events, a model can only show what might have happened; it cannot show what did happen. The plausibility of a model becomes suspect with (1) implausible initial conditions, (2) an increasing number of ad hoc parameters, (3) simplifying assumptions, and (4) bad consequences for other theories. Think baseball. Suppose you can model striking out a batter by imagining air guns along the way to push the pall into position. That not only calls for contrived conditions; it changes the rules of the game. Morbidelli (the guy who used a miracle to explain planetesimals; see 8/21/2009) wants us to believe his team has solved Uranus, but his model appears to suffer from all four weaknesses. If Science Daily’s coverage is accurate, he even claimed his model is a fact: “The fact that Uranus was hit at least twice suggests that significant impacts were typical in the formation of giant planets,” he said. Then he went on to require all the other planetary scientists to change their models because his model needs collisions: he needs three strikes, but their pitchers don’t have the balls, “So, the standard theory has to be revised.” How’s that for chutzpah. But the multiple collisions necessary to create the Uranus we see appear so finely-tuned in his model, they appear almost miraculous (again). If so, it’s doubtful that anything has been gained scientifically by the exercise except that Morbidelli can add another published paper, miracles and all, to his curriculum vitae.(Visited 40 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
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Bayern Munich maintaining contact with Man City attacker Leroy Saneby Paul Vegas16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich are maintaining contact with Manchester City attacker Leroy Sane.Bayern were eager to sign Sane over the summer – before he suffered a knee injury in the Community Shield. The German giants, at that point, pulled back.However, contact has been maintained between the two parties.BILD says Sane’s representative David Gardner has just met with agent Giovanni Branchini, who also acts as an advisor to Bayern.The summit was held to assure Sane that Bayern remain keen – with Gardner also delivering an update on the player’s rehab. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
APTN National NewsWinnipeg police investigators are searching for Braedon Lee Gordon, 11.Gordon was last seen on April 30 in Winnipeg’s west-end.Gordon is described as 4’9 and weighing about 80 lbs. He has brown eyes, sports a brush cut with lines shaved into the sides.Anyone with information on Gordon’s whereabouts is asked to contact Winnipeg police.
APTN National NewsAlthea Wilson, like countless others, feel the need to be at Standing Rock to show solidarity and oppose the Dakota Access pipeline project.She decided to travel from Vancouver, British Columbia to North Dakota.Cheryl McKenzie spoke to her about the importance of coming together.