Tucson closer to having network of electric-car chargers Is Chicago leading the way for solar-powered EV charging stations? When you think of advances in making electric vehicles easier to use, you do not normally think of Chicago. San Francisco or Portland often come to mine. Both cities are working to install EV charging stations throughout the city in order to make “filling up” with electricity almost as convenient as filling up with gasoline. But Chicago has gone one better. Not only will Chicago provide EV charging stations, but the city will do so using renewable energy. Solar power will be used to provide electricity, negating the need for fossil fuels altogether if you drive an electric vehicle in the Windy City.There is a tree-like canopy that holds the solar panels. These panels collect the sun’s light and facilitates the transformation into electric energy. Storage of the electricity is underground. The station was built by Carbon Day Automotive. The company hopes that other cities will follow suit, allowing them to build solar-powered EV charging stations for other American cities.For now, the City of Chicago is likely to be the biggest user of the EV station. The city has a fleet of electric cars, and the charging station will be used daily to make sure that the cars have the electricity that they need. It’s a great idea, and proof that innovation and technology can move us into a more sustainable future — one that doesn’t require fossil fuels to keep us going.© 2009 PhysOrg.com 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. (PhysOrg.com) — One of the biggest arguments that some have made against plug-in electric vehicles is that they still promote the use of fossil fuels. When you have to plug in a car for a charge, the electricity used to charge the battery often comes from a power plant that gets its energy from oil. Chicago is hoping to change that as it becomes the first city to install an electric vehicle (EV) charging station powered with solar energy. Citation: Chicago Installs Solar Powered Charging Station for Electric Vehicles (2009, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-04-chicago-solar-powered-station-electric.html Explore further
Generally Speaking: A Primer on General Relativity This artist’s drawing shows Gravity Probe B orbiting the Earth to measure spacetime. A new study proposes that spacetime could be both discrete and continuous simultaneously. Credit: NASA. Citation: Proposed Spacetime Structure Could Provide Hints for Quantum Gravity Theory (2009, December 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-12-spacetime-hints-quantum-gravity-theory.html 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. (PhysOrg.com) — Spacetime, which consists of three dimensions of space and one time dimension, is such a large, abstract concept that scientists have a very difficult time understanding and defining it. Moreover, different theories offer different, contradictory insights on spacetime’s structure. While general relativity describes spacetime as a continuous manifold, quantum field theories require spacetime to be made of discrete points. Unifying these two theories into one theory of quantum gravity is currently one of the biggest unsolved problems in physics. More information: Achim Kempf. “Information-Theoretic Natural Ultraviolet Cutoff for Spacetime.” Physical Review Letters 103, 231301 (2009). Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. In an attempt to better understand spacetime, mathematical physicist Achim Kempf of the University of Waterloo has proposed a new possible structure of spacetime on the Planck scale. He suggests that spacetime could be both discrete and continuous at the same time, conceivably satisfying general relativity and quantum field theories simultaneously. Kempf’s proposal is inspired by information theory, since information can also be simultaneously discrete and continuous. His study is published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.“There are fiercely competing schools of thought, each with good arguments, about whether spacetime is fundamentally discrete (as, for example, in spin foam models) or continuous (as, for example, in string theory),” Kempf told PhysOrg.com. “The new information-theoretic approach could enable one to build conceptual as well as mathematical bridges between these two schools of thought.”As Kempf explains, the underlying mathematical structure of information theory in this framework is sampling theory – that is, samples taken at a generic discrete set of points can be used to reconstruct the shape of the information (or spacetime) everywhere down to a specific cutoff point. In the case of spacetime, that cutoff would be the natural ultraviolet lower bound, if it exists. This lower bound can also be thought of as a minimum length uncertainty principle, beyond which structural properties cannot be precisely known.In his study, Kempf develops a sampling theory that can be generalized to apply to spacetime. He shows that a finite density of sample points obtained throughout spacetime’s structure can provide scientists with the shape of spacetime from large length scales all the way down to the natural ultraviolet cutoff. Further, he shows that this expression establishes an equivalence between discrete and continuous representations of spacetimes. As such, the new framework for the sampling and reconstruction of spacetime could be used in various approaches to quantum gravity by giving discrete structures a continuous representation.“It is exceedingly hard to obtain experimental data that could guide the search for the theory that unifies quantum theory and general relativity,” Kempf said. “The proposal that spacetime is simultaneously continuous and discrete in the same way that information is may be able to serve as a theoretical guiding principle. It points towards a theory in which all natural processes are seen as possessing what is in effect a universal finite bandwidth.”Kempf added that, at the very least, the new approach provides some practical technical tools for studies in quantum gravity, such as solving discrete problems and using continuum methods. In the future, Kempf plans to apply the new methods to a variety of problems.“I am planning to use the new information-theoretic methods to tackle afresh certain long-standing information-theoretic questions in quantum gravity, such as the black hole information loss paradox and the question of the role of the holographic principle in quantum field theory,” Kempf said.
PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Common chimpanzee in the Leipzig Zoo. Image credit: Thomas Lersch, via Wikipedia. The idea was to see if chimps associate high noises with light colored objects, as people tend to do, and low noises with dark colored objects. To find out, they trained six chimps to sit in front of a computer monitor and to play a matching game. In the game, three squares are displayed, a single small one in the center of the screen and two larger ones above it. The larger squares are identical except that they are either black or white. To get a treat, the chimp must correctly identify, by touch, which of the two larger squares matches the color of the smaller one. Then to test for synaesthesia they randomly played either a high noise or a low one while the chimp was trying to choose. The test was run over and over with the small square being shown for a very short period of time. Play A human participant and chimpanzee Ai performing the task. After tallying up the results, the researchers found that the chimps did slightly better (93% versus 90%) at choosing the right colored square when matching white squares with high notes and black ones with low. This, the researchers say, shows that chimps do have some innate sense of synaesthesia.These results by themselves may not by themselves truly answer the question of whether chimps really do have some degree of synaesthesia, but they do add to the body of research on the topic, all of which suggests that such abilities are innate, rather than learned, which means that such abilities may hold the key to explaining why humans developed complex speech and chimps and other animals have not.At any rate, after finishing up with the chimps, the team did the same study with humans, but because the volunteers were so accurate at choosing the right square, they weren’t able to draw any real conclusions regarding synaesthesia, but they did find that people seem to choose more speedily when the tones “matched” the colors displayed. Citation: Chimp study shows evidence of synaesthesia (2011, December 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-chimp-evidence-synaesthesia.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com Researches find poop-throwing by chimps is a sign of intelligence
More information: Niche construction and Dreaming logic: aboriginal patch mosaic burning and varanid lizards (Varanus gouldii) in Australia, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 23 October 2013 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2297AbstractAnthropogenic fire is a form of ecosystem engineering that creates greater landscape patchiness at small spatial scales: such rescaling of patch diversity through mosaic burning has been argued to be a form of niche construction, the loss of which may have precipitated the decline and extinction of many endemic species in the Western Desert of Australia. We find evidence to support this hypothesis relative to one keystone species, the sand monitor lizard (Varanus gouldii). Paradoxically, V. gouldii populations are higher where Aboriginal hunting is most intense. This effect is driven by an increase in V. gouldii densities near successional edges, which is higher in landscapes that experience extensive human burning. Over time, the positive effects of patch mosaic burning while hunting overwhelm the negative effects of predation in recently burned areas to produce overall positive impacts on lizard populations. These results offer critical insights into the maintenance of animal communities in the desert, supporting the hypothesis that the current high rate of endemic species decline among small animals may be linked to the interaction between invasive species and mid-century removal of Aboriginal niche construction through hunting and patch mosaic burning. Goanna (Varanus varius). Credit: Wikipedia Citation: Study finds aboriginal hunting technique causes increase in number of prey (2013, October 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-aboriginal-technique-prey.html (Phys.org) —A team of American researchers led by anthropologist Rebecca Bliege Bird of Stanford University has found that a bush burning hunting technique used by aboriginal hunters in western parts of Australia leads to an increase in the number of sand goannas—their main prey. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the team describes a decade long study of the Martu Aboriginal people, their hunting techniques and the impact the people have on their environment. 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. Hunting with fire appears to benefit Australia’s small-mammal populations, researchers say The common assumption in field studies is that when humans hunt, the number of prey falls—it just seems to be common sense. In this new effort, Bliege Bird and her colleagues have found that may not always be the case. In studying how the Martu people hunt, the researchers learned they use controlled small fires to burn away brush that allows them to find the dens of sand goannas—a type of monitor lizard. Their controlled small burns are in stark contrast to the wildfires that race across the bush due to lightening strikes in areas where the Martu don’t live and hunt. Once the dens have been located, the hunters (all women) use sticks to prod the lizards into revealing themselves. Once killed, the lizards are cooked and eaten—they make up a substantial portion of the Martu diet.Aboriginal people have been living in the Australian Outback for thousands of years, and until recently, were allowed to continue their hunting practices without interference by modern people that have migrated to the country. Believing that the people living in the outback were depleting the numbers of animals that lived in the bush, the government began attempting to move them towards a more modern way of living. Unfortunately, that move appears to have backfired as the numbers of indigenous animals has been declining with several groups going extinct altogether. This new research suggests that because the Aboriginal people have been living in the environment for such a long time, they have become an integral part of its existence. Play A burning approach mixing practical philosophy and knowledge leads to a near doubling of lizards and improves habitat, according to a study by Rebecca and Doug Bird, researchers affiliated with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. The fire makes it easier to spot burrows from longer distance, and, by removing grass, improves the ability to locate the animal in its burrow. Credit: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Over the years, the research team has conducted extensive surveys of sand goannas both near where the Martu live, and in distant places. In so doing, they have found that there are on average twice as many of the lizards in the areas where the Martu hunt, than in those areas where they don’t. They attribute this to the localized burning that is used to hunt them. They believe it leads to a more varied environment that allows for more diversity, which in turn means more food for to the lizards, causing growth in population. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B © 2013 Phys.org Explore further PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen
More information: Retrading, production, and asset market performance. PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print November 9, 2015, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1517038112AbstractPrior studies have shown that traders quickly converge to the price–quantity equilibrium in markets for goods that are immediately consumed, but they produce speculative price bubbles in resalable asset markets. We present a stock-flow model of durable assets in which the existing stock of assets is subject to depreciation and producers may produce additional units of the asset. In our laboratory experiments inexperienced consumers who can resell their units disregard the consumption value of the assets and compete vigorously with producers, depressing prices and production. Consumers who have first participated in experiments without resale learn to heed their consumption values and, when they are given the option to resell, trade at equilibrium prices. Reproducibility is therefore the most natural and most effective treatment for suppression of bubbles in asset market experiments. © 2015 Phys.org Commodity market volatility more perception than reality Other examples include the so-called dot-com bubble of 1995-2000, the stock market bubble of 1922-1929, and there was even a bubble in the uranium market in 2007. Often, speculative bubbles occur in the markets for durable goods, defined as an asset that does not quickly wear out. By contrast, studies have demonstrated that price-quantity equilibrium prevails in markets for goods that are immediately consumed, like milk shakes and haircuts; this is because the buyer and the seller never trade places, and the consumption value of the good is very high.A group of economics researchers at Chapman University in California, curious about production and trade in a stock-flow market for durable assets, treated the issue as a pure abstraction in a study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They developed a model of a reproducible durable asset with several conceptual elements: First, the asset provides use value to its owner (dividends) through use.The asset depreciates over time. And suppliers can profitably sell newly manufactured units if the price is below the market price.They tested this model in two conditions: In the baseline treatment (BL), they suppressed the asset units’ option risk by requiring units to be held until they depreciated. The second condition was the resale treatment (RS), in which consumers were allowed to freely sell their units to each other, thereby competing with the manufacturer. The researchers found that the RS condition hindered prices from converging to equilibrium and degraded market efficiency. Additional sessions under the RS condition used participants who had prior experience in the BL. These sessions with experienced participants were referred to as RSX.The researchers found that there was much less resale in RSX than RS, and that resale in the RSX increased market efficiency more frequently. Consumers in the RS condition failed to optimally specialize as buyers, competing with the manufacturers by reselling their units. Resale was much more efficient when the consumers were experienced. The reason? Experienced buyers understood the consumption value of the asset. “Our statistical analysis gives us strong confidence that consumers were more focused on the consumption value of their units in the RSX than in the RS and consequently captured more gains from exchange,” the authors write. “This affected price and production convergence, as well as efficiency…”Other results: Prices converged to the short-run equilibrium in the BL and RSX, but diverged from it in RS. Production converged to the steady state in BL and RSX, but diverged in the RS. And the efficiency was the lowest in the RS, according to a measure of global efficiency for each period. The researchers conclude, “Resale alone—although destabilizing—does not generate price bubbles. Over the past quarter century, numerous real estate bubbles have occurred around the world, with serious economic consequences. Our design with reproducible assets suggests that these markets should be stable unless other factors such as credit, cash infusions, and limitations on production disrupt market equilibrium.” Citation: How experienced buyers can mitigate economic bubbles (2015, November 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-11-experienced-buyers-mitigate-economic.html 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. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further (Phys.org)—Over the last decade, many people got a tough primer on the effects of economic bubbles, as the bursting of the 2007-2008 housing bubble sent shockwaves through most of the major world economies. But property isn’t the only asset class that experiences economic bubbles; any asset valued at a price or a range that deviates sharply from its intrinsic value is said to be experiencing a bubble.
The researchers note that understanding the full impact of an invasive species on an environment is difficult, involving many factors, one of which is generally a long timescale. In this new effort, the researchers found an environment with few interacting variables and a natural historical record—DNA found in a lake bottom.The environment was the Kerguelen Islands, situated in a remote southern part of the Indian Ocean. The invasive species was a type of rabbit introduced to the islands as a food source in 1874 by a group of scientists—they were there to study the transit of Venus, but they left behind several rabbits that quickly multiplied because there were no predators. Since that time, the rabbits have spread across much of the main island of Grande Terre, wreaking havoc on the delicate ecosystem.To learn more about the impact the rabbits have on the island, the researchers collected samples from the bottom of a lake which contained samples of plant DNA. They found samples dating back several hundred years, and were able to follow the events that had transpired.They deduced that the region had been relatively stable for hundreds of years prior to the arrival of the rabbits. Then, in the early 1940s, when the rabbits made their way to that part of the island, things changed. Prior to their arrival, the dominant plant was Azorella selago—after their arrival, plant diversity plummeted. They also noted that erosion dramatically increased, as well.The team notes that erosion did eventually level off, but the ecosystem was unstable, and remains that way today in spite of efforts to eradicate the rabbits by the French Government. Instead, due to more human traffic in the area, other invasive species have made their way to the islands. Still, the island offers a unique opportunity to study the impact of an invasive species in a near-pristine environment. Citation: DNA found in lake bottom offers historical clues regarding impact of an invasive species (2018, May 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-dna-lake-bottom-historical-clues.html Invasive Burmese pythons shown to be reducing marsh rabbit population in Everglades Journal information: Science Advances A team of researchers from France, Italy and Norway has found a natural historical record of the impact of an invasive species of rabbit on a remote Indian Ocean island. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the researchers describe their efforts to learn more about the environmental impact of an invasive species. Credit: CC0 Public Domain
With the minimum temperature fluctuating between 10 and 11 degrees, we can safely say now that winter has arrived in the Capital. And that is one more reason why you should pay India International Trade Fair another visit. While last time we went, we focussed on ‘foreign’ stalls, this time we decided to check out our desi men and women. Various states like Nagaland, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, West Bengal, Karnataka and Haryana have given their stalls. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Nagaland has a good collection of winterwear like woollen knitted pullovers, baby shoes, Naga shawls, beaded traditional accessories, traditional decorative pieces like spears, headgear, wooden masks and bamboo baskets. Here one can pick up home-utility products like wooden spatula, bamboo chopssticks, wooden hair accessories, straw hats, bamboo wall hangings, wooden pestle etc. Also on sale are local food items from the state like preserved wild apples, bamboo and Naga chilli pickles and squash. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe West Bengal pavillion reflects the culture of the people. On display are jute products like bags, tablemats, doormats, weaves from different parts of the state, sculptures of godesses, bangles made from shells, leather goods like wallets, bags, jewellery boxes, dolls in traditional dress, metal carvings of gods and other items. The Karnataka pavillion stocks rich Tanjore paintings, miniature art, colourful stationery, wooden windchimes and keychains, silk salwars and saris, bags and traditional embroideried attires from the tribal belt. There are also items made from lead with silver linings in the shape of elephants, boxes, knives, decorative items and accessories like rings, the price of which starts at Rs 100. These are from the Bidar region. We saw scrubbers and chappals made from roots of a tree which has medicinal value — for a few hundred rupees. You can also pick up colourful masks and figures of gods, butterfly and fans made out of the root. Another crowdpuller at this state pavillion are pickles made of jackfruit, mango, lemon and many other fruits.The Gujarat stall has wooden camels and horses, heavily-decorated metal prayer houses for idols, glass paintings, colourful bedspreads, salwars, lehenga cholis, shell decorative pieces, metal pottery, bangles, Krishna and Radha dolls.For more wooden home decor pieces like boats, trays and bowls, head to the Jammu & Kashmir stall. Also pick up shawls, pashminas, carpets, phirans and heavily embroidered wall hangings. At the Haryana stall has metal lanterns apart from soft toys and a variety of plants saplings. So if you want a glimpse of India all under one roof, load your wallet with cash, pick up the large shopping bag, and just head to Pragati Maidan. Happy shopping!
At a time when BJP humbly accepted defeat and described it as a ‘collective loss’, its Chief Ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi blamed party leadership for her rout.While giving ‘full marks’ to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Chief Arvind Kejriwal for his historic victory, Kiran quickly changed her stand and claimed that she had given her best. “It was the BJP that lost and needs to introspect. They should find the reasons for the defeat,” Bedi, who lost from Krishna Nagar seat, a BJP stronghold for years, said. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIRaking up the issue, she claimed that BJP made her a member without taking any money and said, “I am part of the BJP. I don’t regret my decision. Who is saying I am not taking responsibility for the BJP defeat? I am.. I also said BJP leadership will take stock of what went wrong!” she said.Shocked over the debacle, a reluctant and cornered BJP initially refused to come out with an official statement but senior party leader and union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accompanied by state BJP chief Satish Upadhyay accepted the defeat ‘officially’. “BJP respects the verdict of Delhi voters. We humbly accept our defeat in Delhi. People chose to go with PM Modi and BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, but chose AAP over us in Assembly elections. We will play the role of a responsible opposition,” he added. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindUpadhyay, who was accompanied by party MP Prabhat Jha and national general secretary Ram Lal, looked devastated. “People have dissected us and we have to accept it,” Jha said. On the context of whether the result would weaken BJP’s standing in Bihar, West Bengal and in Punjab in coming years, a party leader said: “ We will take stock after our party chief Amit Shah returns from Ahmedabad after his son’s wedding. Then there will be major changes in the party structure.”
Kolkata: A 30-year-old Kolkata businessman was killed while his companion, a 21-year-old woman critically injured after a Ferrari sports car they were travelling in toppled on National Highway 6 at least 6-7 times before hitting a divider. The intensity of the accident was so high that the frontal portion of the high-end Ferrari California T was reduced to a lump of mangled metal. The railing of the divider pierced into the vehicle resulting in the bursting of the airbag on the driver’s side. The deceased, Shibaji Roy (30), was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident while his friend Ashna Surana (21) was sitting next to him. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe accident took place at Pakuria area of Domjur at around 9.30 am on Sunday. According to the police, the victims went to Dankuni to have food along with a few of their friends as they used to on a regular basis on Sunday morning. It was learnt that Roy’s friends who accompanied him were in other cars on their way back home.The Ferrari California T is a two-door, hardtop convertible sports car that makes over 552 horse power.The exact cause of the accident is yet to be confirmed by the Howrah rural police after a forensic test. Sources said the two-seater Ferrari crashed after the driver lost control over the vehicle. The nature of the accident suggests that it was running at a minimum speed of 150-170 km per hour at the time of the accident. Police are investigating every possible angle that might have led to the fatal accident. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt was learnt that Roy, a resident of a Triangular Park area, and a high-profile businessman had at least 8 high-end cars in his possession. He belonged to a group that used to go out frequently, particularly on Sundays. According to local sources, people often indulge in car racing along the National Highway 6.The way the car was damaged indicates a terrible crash as it hit the side of the road, smashing the driver’s door and the entire front was completely crushed. A metal pipe, about 6 inches thick, was seen to have pierced the bonnet of the vehicle. According to a senior police officer of Howrah rural police, the sports car was coming at a high speed from Dankuni and hit the divider while approaching a bridge at Pakuria on National Highway 6 at Domjur. Soon after the accident, the car landed upside down on the ground with a thud, the officer said.The locals rushed to the spot immediately. Senior police officers reached the spot and began with the rescue operation. The victims were removed from the mangled portion of the car with the help of the gas cutter.They were rushed to a private hospital where Roy was declared brought dead while Surana is undergoing treatment and is under ventilation support. Her condition is stated to be critical. According to hospital sources, she has multiple injuries in her body. Police are expected to conduct a forensic test on the mangled parts of the Ferrari. The accident caused a major disruption to traffic movement along the arterial road for around 30 minutes, a senior police officer of the district added.