0

Termites as architects

first_imgWhile some power companies scour the globe for steady winds to drive giant turbines, a biologist is turning to lowly termites and their lofty mounds to understand how to harness far more common intermittent breezes, seeking ideas that could drive nature-inspired building systems whose “sloshing” air movement could provide ventilation and cooling.J. Scott Turner, a biology professor at the State University of New York, brought his termite-mound studies to Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Wednesday (Oct. 20) in a talk sponsored by Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.Turner’s topic, “New Concepts in Termite-Inspired Design,” presented the results of years of research into the structure of termite mounds in Namibia, including an extraordinary effort to fill a mound’s tunnels with plaster and then slice off millimeter-thick layers to create a cross-sectional map of the insides.Turner’s work debunked some 50-year-old assertions that termite mounds’ complex tunnel structure works to circulate air in an orderly manner from a nest chamber low in the mound, up a central chimney away from the nest, and, as the air cools, down small outer tunnels to the bottom of the nest.That understanding of termite mound function has already inspired human architecture —including a building in Zimbabwe designed without air conditioning that instead uses wind energy and heat-storing materials to maintain a moderate temperature. The only problem with these sorts of termite-inspired designs, Turner said, is that his studies show that the mounds actually don’t work that way.Deploying temperature and humidity gauges, and armed with tracer gases, Turner found that a termite mound does not regulate interior temperature. The temperature inside the mound was not appreciably different from that of the surrounding ground, rising during some parts of the year and then falling. In addition, he found that the air in the nest didn’t really circulate. Instead, it was stable, with cooler air in the nest low in the mound and hotter air in the mound’s upper portions and chimney.The same fluctuation wasn’t found with humidity, which was maintained at roughly 80 percent year-round. But it isn’t the mound or its design that does that job, Turner said. Instead, termites actively move water within and out of the mound as they transport water-soaked earth. In addition, the symbiotic fungi that live in the mound with the termites also help to regulate humidity. The fungi, which help the termites digest tough cellulose in the plant material the insects bring into the nest, form complex, folded bodies that absorb excess humidity during wet months and release water during dry months, Turner said. This helps to maintain a stable humidity, dry enough to keep moisture-loving fungal competitors at bay.“They actively regulate nest moisture, but not through design of the mound,” Turner said.So, if the mound itself doesn’t regulate heat or humidity, Turner and his collaborators wondered, what does the elaborate branching system of tunnels do?The answer came on further investigation, when researchers found that the tunnels work as an air exchange system. The smaller tunnels on the mound’s surface, used by workers to move in and out of the mound, also serve to mute the gusty, turbulent air outside the mound. Those high-energy gusty breezes are blocked in the surface tunnels, allowing more gentle air movements to penetrate the mound in a pulsing, in-and-out process akin to a breathing human lung. Through this process, fresh air is exchanged into the deepest part of the mound, “sloshing” in and out in a tidal movement that refreshes the mound’s air.“We think these mounds are quite efficient manipulators of transient energy in turbulent wind,” Turner said. “That’s how the mound breathes.”That in-and-out sloshing, Turner said, provides a model for building design. Though most people would refuse to live in a building resembling a termite mound, the tunnel structure could be replicated in building materials used in exterior surfaces, saving energy through passive air exchange systems in everyday, ordinary buildings.“There might be some really interesting architectural opportunities,” Turner said.last_img read more

0

Despite declining subsidies, analysts expect Asia-Pacific renewable investment to continue climbing

first_imgDespite declining subsidies, analysts expect Asia-Pacific renewable investment to continue climbing FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bangkok Post/The Wall Street Journal:Renewable energy operators are planning for further growth in Asia despite a falloff in subsidies, betting energy demand will keep rising.In China, government support has driven a rapid build-up and turned the country into the world’s largest producer of renewable energy. That stimulus is drying up, putting the industry at risk. Solar-energy subsidies were halved this year, while offshore wind subsidies will end in 2020, to be followed by onshore next year.Nonetheless, French utility Electricité de France SA said it expected growth in the post-subsidy era, predicting that offshore wind capacity in China would rise to more than 50 gigawatts by 2030 from 6.8 gigawatts today.EDF in June closed a more than $1 billion deal with state-controlled China Energy Investment Corp. to add capacity to a wind farm off the coast of Jiangsu province. The two companies will jointly operate that portion of the wind farm, as well as an existing portion of it, making EDF the first foreign entity to take a stake in China’s offshore wind market.Wood Mackenzie expects investment in renewable electric power in the Asia-Pacific region to outpace investment in fossil-fuel power such as coal and natural gas every year for the next five years. With much of the fossil-fuel investment going toward replacing old facilities, that means the lion’s share of added capacity is likely to come from renewables.Today, Asia accounts for nearly half of global renewable-energy capacity, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. That is up from less than one-third a decade ago. Relative to its size, Asia still lags the West with renewables accounting for less than 5% of energy consumption last year. That compares with 10% in Europe, where hundreds of billions of dollars of the European Union’s economic-rescue package are being earmarked for funding projects related to climate change, and 6% in the U.S., according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.[River Davis]More: Renewables are primed for growth in Asialast_img read more

0

Mining holding MIND.ID to acquire Vale Indonesia for $392m by year-end

first_imgTopics : State-owned mining holding company MIND ID plans to buy a 20 percent stake of one of the country’s top nickel miners, PT Vale Indonesia (INCO), by year-end in a move that is expected to further strengthen Indonesia’s grip on domestic mineral resources.MIND ID signed on Thursday a deal to pay Rp 5.52 trillion (US$392 million) INCO’s shareholders, Brazil-based Vale and Japan-based Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd, to acquire the stake. Vale will receive Rp 4.13 trillion and Sumitomo Rp 1.39 trillion. Read also: MIND.ID unlikely to issue new bonds until Freeport pays dividends “This transaction represents an important development in PT Vale’s long presence in Indonesia and reinforces its commitment to keep investing in the region,” Vale added.With the latest deal, INCO will divest a total 41 percent of its shares. The nickel miner previously divested a 21 percent stake through the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX).Vale, meanwhile, will retain a 44 percent share of INCO. The remaining 15 percent will be held by Sumitomo.The Brazil-based company is divesting INCO in exchange for being able to continue its mining operations beyond 2025, which is when INCO’s existing contract will expire. Vale’s Indonesian arm operates one of the world’s largest nickel mining operations in mineral-rich Sulawesi.Such a divestment, mandated by Government Regulation No. 77/2014, is part of Indonesia’s campaign to tighten control over its mineral wealth and thus, boost state revenue.Read also: Mining giant Vale Indonesia divestment pushed again to JuneThe Southeast Asian country is among the world’s top producers of nickel, tin and coal.MIND ID, officially PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum), previously raised $1.5 billion in global bonds to acquire INCO and to pay off its subsidiaries’ debts.Before INCO, the holding company acquired the local arm of United States-based metal miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), which operates the world’s largest gold mine in Indonesia’s most impoverished province, Papua.Stocks of INCO, traded at the IDX, dropped 1.04 percent as of 11:18 a.m. Jakarta time on Monday as the main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), slipped 0.03 percent.center_img The deal brings an end to year-long negotiations between the three companies.The acquisition has been pushed back for the second time this year due to pandemic-related complications. INCO’s shareholders initially scheduled the acquisition for March but postponed it to May amid market uncertainty“This transaction demonstrates the confidence of global mining companies in MIND ID and Indonesia as a whole,” said MIND ID president director Orias Petrus Moedak on Saturday.The deal, which values INCO’s shares at Rp 2,780 each, also grants Vale continued “financial and operational control” of INCO, the Brazil-based company wrote on Friday.last_img read more

0

Kylian Mbappe admits he hasn’t been able to sleep since Manchester United’s stunning win against PSG

first_img Metro Sport ReporterSunday 10 Mar 2019 12:05 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.2kShares United stunned PSG (Picture: EPA)‘I am stunned – there are no words,’ said Mbappe.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I have not been able to sleep & I think it has been the same for everybody else.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsSolskjaer’s only defeat as United caretaker boss came in the first leg but the Norwegian claims, as that was only the halfway stage of the tie, that he doesn’t count it as a loss.United continue their pursuit of a top four spot today against rivals Arsenal and Solskjaer can welcome back Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Nemanja Matic to the fold from midweek.MORE: Ronnie O’Sullivan explains Australian accent ahead of ‘all Aussie’ Players Championship final Kylian Mbappe admits he hasn’t been able to sleep since Manchester United’s stunning win against PSG Advertisement Comment Kylian Mbappe was heartbroken by PSG’s exit (Picture: Getty)Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has admitted he had trouble sleeping since Manchester United knocked his side out of the Champions League.The Red Devils became the first club in the tournament’s history to overturn a two-goal defeat in the home leg of a knockout round to progress to the quarter-finals.The Ligue 1 champions controlled much of the game in Paris but were stunned in injury time when the Reds were awarded a penalty for handball, which Marcus Rashford smashed in past Gianluigi Buffon.PSG’s owners dream of winning the competition and Mbappe admits the squad have struggled to deal with their exit.ADVERTISEMENT Advertisementlast_img read more

0

ECJ backs Romanian Competition Authority in second-pillar case

first_imgIn September 2010, the Competition Authority fined 14 pension companies a total €1.2m for concluding agreements to share, on a 50-50 basis, clients who had signed more than one affiliation, thus avoiding CNPAS’s allocations.The following month, ING Pensii, which received the biggest fine, sought to annul (or alternatively partially annul) the Competition Authority’s decision before the Court of Appeal, Bucharest.ING argued that the agreements did not breach Romania or the EU’s competition regulations.Specifically, it argued that the sharing of clients registered as duplications fell outside the definition of “agreements, decisions and concerted practices”.It also claimed that, over the initial application period, the funds remained in competition with each other.In 2012, the Court dismissed the appeal, after which, in 2014, ING took the case to Romania’s High Court of Cassation and Justice.ING’s arguments included the issue that the small number of duplications (less than 1.5% of the market) was not the subject of competition; that ING had no practical or economic reasons in the allocations as it already had, as of October 2007, the biggest market share; and that the agreements made the signing procedure more efficient because participants had a greater chance of joining a fund of their choice than would have been the case with a random allocation.The cassation court stayed proceedings and asked the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on whether the number of clients involved was relevant in deciding whether EU competition law – specifically Article 101(1) TFEU – was distorted.The ECJ ruled that the number was irrelevant.It deemed that the client-sharing agreements were collusive, made ahead of the affiliation process in anticipation of some people signing up to more than one company, contrary to the statutory rules applicable and thus detrimental to other companies operating in the market.Distortions of Article 101(1) TFEU require that the agreements in question affect trade among EU member states.The ECJ deemed that, although the pension funds were registered in Romania, members, their employers and the pension funds owners could be registered in another member states.Additionally, the agreements made it more difficult for companies outside Romania to penetrate the Romanian market, essentially restricting EU internal market competition. The European Court of Justice (ECJ), on 16 July, backed Romania’s Competition Authority over its actions against a number of pension funds sharing out clients at the start of the country’s second-pillar system.Initial applications for the second pillar, obligatory for those aged 35 years and under, took place between 17 September 2007 and 17 January 2008.Under Romanian law, workers had to conclude an agreement personally with a single fund or, if they failed to make a choice, be allocated to one on a random basis by the National fund for pensions and other benefits (CNPAS).Duplicate applications were deemed invalid and were likewise allocated by the CNPAS.last_img read more

0

EIOPA plays down impact of IORP II sustainability rules

first_imgAn amendment to IORP II addressing sustainability matters would not have to mean “a major overhaul”, according to the chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).Speaking to journalists at the supervisory authority’s annual conference in Frankfurt, Gabriel Bernardino said that, if EU legislators voted to empower the European Commission to issue rules on sustainability under the IORP II directive, this would not mean “a huge disruptive change”.It was more a case of “fine-tuning” and including a reference to the need for pension funds – and insurers – to consider environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors in their risk management, he suggested.It was also meant to ensure that “these elements related to the necessary analysis of risk related to ESG factors should be included in the way that both insurers and pension funds work on a daily basis”, he said. Gabriel Bernardino addresses EIOPA’s 2018 conferenceWhether or not the Commission is empowered to make such an amendment depends on the outcome of an EU legislative process related to its sustainable finance action plan. Members of the European Parliament recently narrowly voted against an amendment to remove delegated acts in IORP II from the one of the proposals, retaining the text proposed by the Commission.However, several member states – France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden – have written to the Austrian government, which has the rotating presidency of the EU Council, to ask for the delegated act concept to be deleted.There is concern in some jurisdictions that amendments made via delegated acts will result in prescriptive rules without any room for national implementation, and that the same set of rules will be issued for both insurers and pension funds.IORP II includes several new ESG provisions related to areas such as risk management, but it does not require the integration of ESG criteria in investment decisions. EIOPA has been asked by the Commission to deliver technical advice on potential amendments to EU rules requiring the integration of sustainability risks in investment decision-making. The mandate relates to the Insurance Distribution Directive and Solvency II, but EIOPA has also been asked to bear in mind that a so-called “delegated act” could be adopted under IORP II.last_img read more

0

Marilyn M. Preston, 76

first_imgMarilyn M. Preston, 76 of Greensburg, passed away on August 25, 2019 at her home. Marilyn was born on March 3, 1943 in Greensburg, the daughter of John and Helen Vanderpohl. She was a 1961 graduate of the Immaculate Conception Academy in Oldenburg.She worked at Delta Faucet for 23 years, KB Foods for 11 years and most recently at Crafts and Occasions. She enjoyed wood working and simply helping people in any way she could.Survivors include her two daughters – Bernadette (Dave) Dodson and Angie (Richard) Foster; two sons – John (Claudia) Preston, Jr. and Robert (Beth) Preston; two sisters – Dorothy (Charles) Land and Elizabeth Schroeder; one brother – Vernon Vanderpohl; seven grandchildren – Nathan (Brittany) Foster, Kurtis Zapfe, Nicole (Seth) Enneking, Kara Zapfe, Jacob Preston, Sarah Preston, John Carlos Preston and five great grandchildren – Libby Crawford, Easton Foster, Sofia Zapfe, Everett Foster, and Marli Salinas. She was preceded in death by her parents; three sisters – Evelyn Theising, Florine Owen and Esther Abbott; and five brothers – Irvin, Clifford, John, Gilbert and Donald Vanderpohl.A Rosary will be prayed at the Gilliland Howe Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 3:00 pm. A visitation for family and friends will follow at 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 10:00 am. Burial will follow at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Father John Meyer will be officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Bread of Life. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.gilliland-howe.com.last_img read more

0

Gerrard: The buzz has changed

first_imgDeparting Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admits the “buzz” of playing changed when he learned he was to have a restricted role and that was when he decided to sever ties with his boyhood club. Press Association “You step out of the city, you breathe for a bit, you enjoy your kids and you go to a place where you are going to enjoy it. “I think the league’s going to be good, I can still start games and I can still enjoy it.” Gerrard, who will be honoured in his final match at Anfield against Crystal Palace on Saturday, will not be the only one to leave this summer. Full-back Glen Johnson has not been offered a new deal while fellow defender Kolo Toure and goalkeeper Brad Jones also have contracts which expire this summer. Toure has been offered new terms but it seems increasingly unlikely the 34-year-old will stay on but full-back Jon Flanagan, also in the last few weeks of his contract, is expected to be offered a new deal despite knee surgery ruling him out until well into next season. Gerrard urged Fenway Sports Group, who sanctioned nearly £120million of spending last summer, to invest again to fill the void left by his departure. “Hopefully the owners will dig deep so the squad can be strengthened with the quality needed to bring more good times in the future,” he said. Press Association Sport understands 19-year-old winger Jordon Ibe is close to signing a new agreement which will reflect his emergence into the first team this season but the future of Raheem Sterling, a year older, remains unclear. The England international still has more than two years to run on his existing deal but turned down Liverpool’s £100,000-a-week offer earlier in the year and will not reopen talks until the end of the season. Former Reds captain Phil Thompson believes the writing is on the wall for the youngster, who has been pressed into an unfamiliar central striker role this season because of injuries to Daniel Sturridge. “I think it will be very difficult for him to stay at Liverpool now. He’s shown all the signs that he’s ready and prepared to leave the club,” Thompson told Sky Sports. “But if he was to stay I would like to think his role will be on the flanks – I don’t think Liverpool can even contemplate him being their main striker next season, because he’s not a natural goalscorer. “Liverpool need somebody who’s going to get you at least 15 league goals and maybe 25 overall – Raheem Sterling is not going to get you that. “He’s done well for the team – he’s helped them out up front this season, but I think everyone can see that he’s not quite strong enough for it. “So, no matter where he is next season, I think his best role is out wide rather than through the middle.” “I think the signs this year were that I’m going to become a squad player, play less,” said Gerrard, speaking at the 5Times Liverpool Former Player Association Gala Dinner. “I’m going to come on as a sub and the buzz changes. “For me, I go to work on a Monday morning and I look forward to Saturday, to prepare to go to battle with some wonderful people – with good mates – and that’s my buzz. “When a manager gets you into the office and says that’s going to change and it’s going to become more limited – that’s when you make your decision. “It’s not a selfish thing; coming on as a sub’s just not the same buzz so things have changed this year.” Gerrard, who has carried the burden of leading Liverpool over the last decade, recently spoke of how he is looking forward to not having as much pressure on his shoulders in Major League Soccer. Despite his vast achievements for the club he has been associated with since joining their academy at the age of nine he will find a life of relative anonymity on the west coast of the United States. “It lets you give a little back to your family,” he added. The midfielder, who turns 35 later this month, retired from England duty last July in order to extend his lifespan at club level but early in the season he discovered he would no longer be a regular starter under manager Brendan Rodgers. That proved to be a major factor in him not signing a contract extension and opting to move to California for a new challenge with the Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the campaign. last_img read more

0

Cricket News Ashok Dinda suffers horrific head injury in Syed Mushtaq Ali practice game

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Ashok Dinda last played for India in 2013.Dinda took 28 wickets in the 2018/19 Ranji Trophy.Dinda was hit during a Syed Mushtaq Ali practice game. New Delhi: Ashok Dinda suffered a horrific head injury during the Syed Mushtaq Ali warm-up game for Bengal at the Eden Gardens on Monday. The incident happened when batsman Birender Vivek Singh hit straight and Dinda attempted the catch on his follow through but it slipped from his hand and hit his forehead. According to a Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) official, Dinda returned to the dressing room and looked fine but as a precautionary measure, he was taken to hospital and has been advised two-days rest.  The 2011 Mushtaq Ali champions Bengal open their domestic T20 campaign against Mizoram in their group D fixture at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on February 21. Bengal failed to make the final at home last season after finishing third in the Super League Group B.Dinda made his Twenty20 International debut against Sri Lanka in Nagpur in 2009 but had a poor start to his career as he was smashed for 34 runs in three overs but he took the wicket of Sanath Jayasuriya for 26. The right-arm pacer was selected in the ODI team and he made his debut against Zimbabwe in Bulwayo in 2010 but he did not pick up a wicket and conceded 49 runs in 7.2 overs. In 2012, Dinda’s crowning glory took place in the Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in Kandy. He picked up 4/19 in three overs as India secured a 39-run win in the only game which was played in the shortest format. However, his expensive economy rate and the inability to control the flow of runs in the death overs worked against Dinda and he played his last game in 2013 against England in Rajkot.Dinda has been part of four IPL franchises and his first stint was with the Kolkata Knight Riders. He moved to Sahara Pune Warriors and has also been part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise and Rising Pune Supergiant. In the 2018/19 Ranji Trophy, Dinda took 28 wickets in eight games with one five-wicket haul but Bengal still could not reach the finals. highlightslast_img read more

0

Women of Troy prepare for Pac-12 tournament

first_imgFresh off of a weekend sweep of the Arizona schools in the final series of the regular season, however, the Women of Troy      (10-19, 7-11 Pac-12) will attempt to continue their newfound momentum as they travel to Seattle, Wash., where they hope to achieve the improbable and secure an NCAA tournament berth with four straight wins.“This is one and done,” USC head coach Michael Cooper said. “You have to do everything to perfection or the best that you can. You hope your defense will help your offense, but if your offense is executing on the right notes you can win some basketball games.”USC snapped an eight-game losing streak last weekend by winning both their games in Arizona, beating Arizona (12-17, 4-13 Pac-12) 74-62 on Friday, then beating Arizona State (13-17, 5-13 Pac-12) 67-60 on Sunday.Junior forward Cassie Harberts, who was selected for the 2012 All-Pac-12 team this week, tallied double-doubles in both games, finishing with 23 points and 11 rebounds against Arizona and 12 points and 10 rebounds against ASU.Senior forward Christina Marinacci also earned a double-double against the Wildcats, finishing with 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. She scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds against the Sun Devils.“We’re the underdog in this situation. A lot of teams have already beaten us, and they’re not expecting us to go out and perform well,” junior forward Desiree Bradley said. “We have to come out with confidence, even though we’ve been through a difficult season, and just know we’re a great team no matter what our record says and come out and compete.”The two victories over the weekend came after an 0-8 February, with five losses by single digits and four by five or fewer points. The wins enabled USC to earn the No. 7 seed, pitting them against No. 10 seed Oregon State (10-20, 4-14 Pac-12) in today’s opening round game at noon. In the two teams’ only matchup of the year, the Women of Troy knocked off the Beavers 56-55 in Corvallis, Ore. If USC wins, it will then face No. 2 seed California (27-2, 17-1 Pac-12) on Friday, March 8 at noon. The Women of Troy lost both games against Cal during the regular season, losing 71-63 in overtime at Berkeley on Jan. 17 and 72-64 at the Galen Center on Feb. 17.“The good thing about this is we already saw Oregon State, so we kind of know how they are,” Cooper said. “We’ve been watching a lot of film of them in their last games against Colorado and Utah. We just have to execute what we’re going to do with their pick-and-rolls.”Last season, the Women of Troy rode a six-game winning streak into the Pac-12 tournament, earning a bye in the quarterfinal as the No. 3 seed. They would then face No. 11 seed Washington State, which had just upset No. 6 seed Oregon State in the first round. The Cougars were ready for USC too, hitting over 50 percent of their 3-pointers en route to a 69-55 win. The Women of Troy, despite the 11th toughest schedule, an RPI of 30 and an 18-12 record, missed the NCAA tournament, which they last made in 2006.After striking out in the month of February, USC will hope to parlay its perfect start to March into a magical run and end their six-year NCAA tournament drought. For much of 2013, the USC women’s basketball team has been mired in an ugly losing streak and, collectively, the team has looked toward the Pac-12 tournament as relief to end a disappointing regular season.Crunch time · USC sophomore guard Ariya Crook has averaged 11.5 points per game in the team’s two victories this past weekend. – Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojanlast_img read more

12320