Win Chelsea v Bolton tickets

first_imgWest London Sport has teamed up with Thomas Cook Sport, official travel partner of Chelsea FC, to offer Blues fans the chance to win a pair of tickets to their next Premier League home game against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 25 February.André Villas-Boas will be hoping for all three points against the Trotters…and you could be at Stamford Bridge to watch all the action LIVE!We have five pairs of tickets to give away and to be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question:Which recent Chelsea signing previously played for Bolton?a. John Terryb. Gary Cahillc. Ashley ColeE-mail the correct answer to win@westlondonsport.comWinners will be randomly selected. The competition closes at 5pm on Monday, 13 February.Thomas Cook Sport is the UK’s leading sports tour operator and official travel partner of Chelsea FC, offering match breaks to Chelsea fans for the 2011/2012 season from £109 per person. This season, choose the winning tactic and book your 2011/12 match break by visiting www.thomascooksport.com or call the sales team on 0844 800 9900.You can also follow us on Twitter @thomascooksport and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/ThomasCookSportUK to keep up-to-date with all the latest competitions, special offers and news.Terms & Conditions1. The prize consists of two tickets (Chelsea end) to the game against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 25 February 2012, for five winners. Kick-off is at 15.00.2. The package does not include travel to or from the ground or any hospitality at the ground.3. Fans are reminded that tickets are in the Chelsea end and seats are amongst home supporters. Please be aware that any vocal or visual support for the opposition will result in ejection from the stadium without compensation.4. Entrants are reminded that tickets are issued subject to Chelsea FC Regulations and the Conditions of Entry relevant to those tickets.5. Competition open to all UK residents with the exception of employees of Thomas Cook Sport Ltd, Chelsea FC or Hatch Communications, their immediate families, agents or anyone else associated with the administration.6. No cash alternative will be offered.7. The competition closes on 13 February.8. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the promoter reserves the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value.9. The promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.10. All entrants must be willing to participate in publicity should they be a winner.11. We reserve the right at any time to cancel, modify or supersede the competition if, in our sole discretion, the competition is not capable of being conducted as specified in the competition rules.12. The promoter of this competition is either Thomas Cook Retail Limited, trading as Thomas Cook Sport or Airtrack (for UK departures), or Capitol Holdings Ltd, trading as Thomas Cook Sport (Ireland), for travel arrangements departing from the Republic of Ireland. Thomas Cook Retail Ltd registered office is The Thomas Cook Business Park, Coningsby Road, Peterborough PE3 8SB, and the company registration number is 00102630 England. Capitol Holdings Ltd registered office is 10B Beckett Way, Parkwest Business Park, Dublin 12, and company registration number is 163008. To discover more about Thomas Cook Sport, log on to www.thomascooksport.comlast_img read more

More Original Dinosaur Protein Found

first_imgThis time Mary Schweitzer’s team found keratin protein on a claw of an ostrich-sized dinosaur from Mongolia.If you put a chicken under a sand dune, will it last for 75 million years? That’s what a report on PhysOrg seems to imply. Like some bird claws, the claws of dinosaurs have a keratinous sheath that covers the digits. Some of the protein from that sheath has now been detected in a fossil of “an emu-sized dinosaur that lived in what is now Mongolia during the Cretaceous period.”Keratin makes up hair and fingernails on us humans. It comes in two forms, alpha-keratin and a more durable beta-keratin. The researchers who dug up the “exceptionally preserved” specimen noticed the similarity of this dinosaur’s claw sheath to that of a living ostrich’s claw sheath, so they ran some tests to see if it could be original protein. Alison Moyer is a PhD candidate from North Carolina State who is now doing a postdoc at Drexel University.IHC [immunohistochemical] testing utilizes antibodies that react against a particular protein. If the protein is present, the antibodies bind to small regions of the protein and indicate where the protein is located in the tissue. Moyer used beta-keratin antibodies derived from modern bird feathers. In initial IHC testing, results were inconclusive, which led Moyer to look more closely at the specimen. She found an unusually high concentration of calcium in the fossil claw – much higher than would be found in claws from the living birds used in comparison or from the sediment surrounding the fossil. Theorizing that the calcium might be affecting results, Moyer removed the calcium and did further IHC testing on the claw sheath material.After the calcium was removed, the antibodies reacted much more strongly, indicating the presence of beta-keratin and preservation of original molecules.NC State is the home institution of Mary Schweitzer, who caught international attention in 2005 with discovery of soft tissue in a T. rex femur (see 3/24/05 and CBS 60 Minutes interview). Since then, many examples of original biological material have been found in creatures thought to have died tens or hundreds of millions of years ago. Most scientists had thought that biological tissues could not last a hundred thousand years, let alone millions. The authors say as much in an indirect way:Although conventional wisdom challenges the preservation of endogenous molecular remains, our combined data support the presence of original, proteinaceous material associated with this specimen, and add to the literature supporting molecular preservation in fossil materials across geological time.Those with access to the Royal Society journals can look up the paper for details. Schweitzer is listed as a co-author. The abstract says, “The fossil sheath was compared with that of extant birds, revealing similar morphology and microstructural organization.” It suggests that calcium acted as a preservative. The presence of hydrophobic amino acid residues cross-linked by disulfide bonds may have helped, they say. Unfortunately, the methods used precluded sequencing the protein to compare it with modern keratin.There are some who are not surprised to find soft tissue in fossils. Outspoken creationist Mark Armitage, who recently won a settlement against California State University for having fired him when he published a peer-reviewed paper on soft tissue in a Triceratops fossil he himself dug up and analyzed (10/04/16), believes the evidence not only refutes millions of years but supports the Biblical account of dinosaurs and all life.Breaking News 11/10/16: Another feathered dinosaur fossil has been reported from China. An exceptionally-preserved “mud dragon” (see Fox News) has its head arched back in the common “dinosaur death pose” indicative of suffocation. The open-access paper in Scientific Reports does not mention any soft-tissue preservation in this specimen of an oviraptorosaur, nor any impressions of feathers. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte thinks it was a winged, flightless creature that got stuck in mud, but he was not present when the fossil was uncovered by workmen using dynamite in a building project. “Many of these discoveries are not found by professors or academic scientists with PhDs, but by farmers and workmen. This new discovery is a prime example of that.”We’re still waiting for the moyboys to tell the world how so much soft tissue can last for millions of years. This was not their prediction. It was a complete surprise. Now they are in rescue mode, trying to salvage their precious millions of years against the evidence of science and reason. Too much is at stake for them to admit defeat, so they have to ignore the implications of this powerful evidence. We’ll just keep putting it out there and letting common-sense people figure out what it means.Think about this, too: If the millions of years collapses for dinosaurs, it collapses for the story that birds evolved from dinosaurs. So what if this Mongolian dinosaur had similar proteins in its claws to extant birds? Big deal. Birds and dinosaurs were contemporaries, not ancestors or descendants by a Darwinian just-so story. Humans have keratin on their fingernails, too. Keratin is found in all kinds of reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. All it proves is that animals have a common designer.(Visited 69 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Kingdom of David and Solomon Supported by Growing Evidence

first_imgThe evidence is coming together to support the Biblical record of David and Solomon. An Israeli publication updates the latest finds.In Haaretz, an Israeli news site, you can watch Bible stories rise from the dust. For decades, liberals critics have said that Biblical kings David and Solomon were mythical heroes invented by later Bible writers. It’s hard to say that any more. Philippe Bohstrom has done a service to those who prefer to trust the Bible over man’s changing opinions, pulling together in one place the latest findings that support the great kings of the united monarchy.The headline is: “Did David and Solomon’s United Monarchy Exist? Vast Ancient Mining Operation May Hold Answers.” Bohstrom opens his survey of Davidic archaeology by sharing the latest findings from Timna, a copper mining site dating from Solomon’s time (1/12/17). “Archaeology has provided precious little evidence for the biblical account of a powerful Judaic kingdom 3,000 years ago, but the sheer extent of copper mining in Timna, when Egypt was in a state of collapse, is otherwise hard to explain.”The opening paragraphs read as if written by a skeptic, complaining about the lack of evidence for “the grandeur described in the biblical accounts of David and Solomon.” But then Bohstrom starts putting the pieces together. (Visited 2,891 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Egyptian carving at Timna. David Coppedge, 2006.The Timna copper mining site was much larger than previously known. Located in the Arabah just north of the Gulf of Aqaba, archaeologists have recently found indications of a major operation going on when David and Solomon lived, including textiles, living quarters and even donkey dung that shows the animals lived well.Radiocarbon dates of some of the organic remains at Timna date from the 10th and 9th centuries BC, the time of Solomon.The Egyptians had been at Timna earlier, as seen from hieroglyphs found, but Egypt was too weak to manage the site when the Bible has Solomon running his empire.Additional copper mines in Edom and two other sites were also major operations. “More than 100,000 tons of slag from the Iron Age have been discovered in the area,” Bohstrom says. Think of the water, food, and equipment needed to run such an enterprise. “The sheer scale of copper production at Timna and Faynan would have required the support of a major polity, scholars studying the Aravah agree.” Moreover, a substantial bureaucracy would have been required in Jerusalem to manage the faraway operation.Edomites were involved in the mining operations, but the question is who was in control. All the other empires near the Levant in that period—Egypt, Edom, Greece, Anatolia and Babylonia, were in a downward spiral when the mines were active.A large stone building in the City of David (south of Jerusalem’s current walls) is being interpreted as King David’s palace by lead archaeologist Eilat Mazar.Stepped Stone Structure, City of David, Jerusalem. David Coppedge, 2006.The “Stepped Stone Structure” below David’s palace appears to be the “Millo” supporting the palace, as described in the Bible. It could have been started by King Saul, the article says.The Tell Dan inscription, found in at Biblical Dan in the north of Israel, marked with the words “house of David,” was the first extra-Biblical reference to David found. Incidentally, a new paper in Science Advances discusses the city of Dan and how its inhabitants handled water and climate.Solomon made extensive use of copper when building the Temple. Detailed descriptions in the Bible have the verisimilitude of truth. They would be unimportant if the narrative only had theological purposes. Archaeologist Gabriel Barkay notes, “There is no reason to specify these technical details that basically are instructions to the contractor.”Khirbet Qeiyafa, a spectacular find south of Jerusalem near where David killed Goliath, with its Judahic style buildings and Hebrew inscriptions, shows that the site was a significant fortress outpost of a powerful king, not a tribal chieftain as minimalists complain.Pottery found at Hazor, far north of Jerusalem, dates from Solomon’s golden age. The “Solomonic gates” found there, according to archaeologist Amnon ben-Tor, who has spent his career excavating the site, fit with the Bible: “Hazor is well-planned, with fortifications, gates and well-built domestic buildings that could not have been built by semi-nomads,” he says.An Egyptian inscription confirms that Shishak, described in the Bible, invaded Judah around the time of Rehoboam, the successor to Solomon.Bohstrom is careful not to overstate the case. Some of the findings can be interpreted different ways. In fact, he appears willing to believe that the Biblical record was embellished by later writers. “Apparently sometimes the Bible is right, other bits have been distorted, and often we simply cannot know,” he says. By this and other statements, we know he is not writing from a conservative view of the inspiration of the Scriptures. But one take-home lesson from his pictorial review of the archaeological evidence is that the minimalists seem to be on the run. Bohstrom gives ample time to minimalist Israel Finkelstein, for instance, to give his views. At one point he lets Finkelstein speculate about Jerusalem’s origins, then responds, “It is a convenient theory, but there is not one shred of evidence to support it.”One other argument he makes deserves attention. Why do historians have no problem with other historical figures, when the archaeological evidence is even weaker? “Today, Homeric kings such as Agamemnon, Nestor, Diomedes and Odysseus are widely accepted as historical figures,” he notes. The implication is that we should not be surprised that much of the evidence for the United Kingdom of David and Solomon has been lost, given that Israel has been repeatedly invaded and destroyed by numerous empires since those famous kings lived.Bohstrom is clearly not a Biblical conservative or apologist. He thinks much of the story of David and Solomon could be mythological. In a way, that makes his article more valuable for Bible believers, because he cannot be said to have an “agenda” to defend the Scriptures. Bible believers need to be aware of how strong or weak the evidence is at this current time, realizing that much of what we would like to see has been lost over the past 3,000 years of this war-ravaged land. Nevertheless, what we do see is consistent with the Biblical record, and nothing repudiates it as false. Be wary of skeptics who have an agenda to disprove the Bible. Arguments from silence are risky.Realize, too, that very little in the land of Israel has been excavated. Think of the revolutionary discoveries in recent years, at Khirbet Qeiyafa, in Jerusalem, at Timna, and at Tell Dan. And it’s only the earliest of the kings that are in dispute; no one doubts the historicity of Omri, Ahab, Jehu, Joash, Hezekiah and later kings. Those later kings, corroborated by extra-biblical evidence, did not pop into existence out of nowhere. They were already established in kingdoms that had founders: David and Solomon. Those kings of the United Monarchy are also book-ended by earlier archaeological evidence of the conquest by Joshua, and of the Exodus (see Illustra film at TheJohn1010Project.com). You can’t read the Old Testament without being impressed by the tremendous amount of detail about David (his movements, numerous officials named, the Psalms, etc) and of Solomon (ditto on historical details, plus Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon). You come away feeling that these writings have the ring of truth. There is no guile in the accounts, no gratuitous embellishment. No writer trying to glorify these great kings would include their dark sides, describing shocking details of their sins and personal flaws. Inscriptions by the Assyrians and Babylonians never do that, because their purpose was to exalt the glory of their rulers. The Bible is unique in the world: historically accurate, yet morally compelling, always requiring truth. We should use the Bible to validate archaeology, not the other way around.Bible believers do not put their trust in archaeology, since the word of God speaks for itself. It’s exciting, though, to watch the pieces falling into place.last_img read more

Composting: It’s a microbial thing

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We cannot see them, but they are everywhere and that is good. Microbes, not worms, are critical to the composting process. Although microscopic, they are responsible for decomposing vast quantities of organic materials. Without them, our world would be buried in leaves, food waste, manure, and more.While microbial degradation is a natural process, composting involves the mixing of materials and management of the process in such a way that decomposition is accelerated, the waste is treated, and a product is created that can be used to enhance soil health. On farms, composting of manure can reduce pathogens, odors, and the mass of the material by more than 75%, allowing manure nutrients to be cost effectively transported further off the farm.Composting basicsComposting is a relatively simple process but it requires nutrients and moisture to be balanced and the creation of a porous pile structure that can maintain aerobic conditions. The primary nutrients required by compost microbes are carbon (C) for energy and nitrogen (N) for cell function and growth. Ideally, the ratio of C:N should be from 30 to 40. Like all living organisms, microbes also require water. At the beginning of the process, composts should have a moisture content of 65%, which feels like a damp sponge. Moisture will vary between feedstocks and weather conditions, and water or drier materials can be added as necessary. Finished compost should be 35 to 45% water. For homeowners adding one or two handfuls of dry “browns” (leaves or sawdust) for every handful of “greens” (fruit or vegetable wastes) results in a moisture content and C:N ratio that are close to these values, while large scale facilities usually test their materials to calculate optimal mixing ratios.Maintaining aerobic conditions requires creating porosity that allows air to flow through the pile or windrow. If the feedstock particles are small, compacted or wet, this air flow is inhibited and oxygen levels may fall below zero in much of the pile. Anaerobic microbes will take over, slowing the process and generating foul odors. Anaerobic conditions can be easily remedied by assuring that the pile is properly constructed to allow air movement and aerobic conditions. Adding wood chips, or other “bulking agents” can be used to improve porosity and air flow. A persistent myth about composting is that turning is the primary mechanism of supplying air. In fact a typical compost windrow would require nearly 1,000 turns to provide all of the air needed by the microorganisms. Since most windrows are turned less than 10 times, natural passive convection must be relied upon for aeration. Turning is only a means of mixing.Composting starts naturally when a pile of organic materials with the right C:N ratio, moisture content, and porosity is created. Microbes are everywhere and do not need to be added, although some composters jumpstart the process by adding a small amount of finished compost to the recipe. As with most things, learning more about the composting process and experimenting are the keys to success.To learn moreFor home composters, there is plenty of information available online from building a compost bin to what should or should not be composted. A quick Internet search provides most everything one needs to know.For those interested in operating a composting facility at a commercial scale, there’s more to learn. Understanding site design, feedstock mixing, odor management, regulations, marketing, and other aspects of running a large facility are critical. It is extensive information that can be hard to find. A two-day course offered by OSU Extension called the Ohio Compost Operator Training Course is designed to meet the needs of these large-scale composters. This year the course will be offered March 8 and 9 in Wooster. Participants will be taught the fundamentals of composting, including the biology, types of systems, and methods, as well as how to manage the operation, trouble shoot problems, meet regulatory requirements, and ensure a quality product. Instructors include both academics and industry professionals with extensive research and practical experience in composting.For program and registration details, visit our website: http://www.oardc.osu.edu/ocamm.last_img read more

Choosing an Air Barrier and a Housewrap

first_imgIn the midst of framing his new house, Joe Norm has switched gears and opted out of Zip System sheathing in favor of CDX plywood. The question he faces now is how he should air seal the exterior side of the walls—tape the seams between sheets of plywood, or tape the seams of the water-resistive barrier (WRB) he installs over the sheathing? More to the point, will a common WRB like DuPont’s Tyvek be good enough, or should he be prepared to spend more on an “exotic” product? “I priced out VaproShield IT and it looks to be 3x the cost of Tyvek,” Joe writes in a Q&A post. “Solitex Mento looks to be about 2x the cost. Why are these products so much more and how are they justified over Tyvek?” That’s where we start this Q&A Spotlight.RELATED ARTICLESA New Encyclopedia Article on Water-Resistive BarriersThe Complicated Role of a Water-Resistive BarrierKeeping Water Out of Walls: Housewrap and BeyondA Canadian Couple Needs Help Choosing a Heating SystemCombining Sheathing With a WRB and Air Barrier Staple-up WRBs are not the best air barriers GBA Editor Brian Pontolilo has just finished a series of blogs on WRBs and has come to at least one conclusion: “There is no easy answer when it comes to the performance of individual products.” In order to win code approval, a WRB must pass certain criteria of the International Code Council’s Evaluation Service. Reports on test results offer only limited information, but Pontolilo adds that there are better choices for an air barrier than a staple-up housewrap. “It is well known that staple-up housewraps like Tyvek don’t make the best air barriers,” he says. “At least they are challenging, at best, to detail as an air barrier. If you choose this type of product, taping the plywood seams is a more straightforward approach to air sealing.” If Norm wants his WRB to double duty as an air barrier, Pontolilo would recommend the Zip System sheathing, peel-and-stick membranes, or liquid-applied products instead. Beyond the question of which WRB to use, Pontolilo adds, is the importance of including a ventilated rainscreen in the design. Tighter houses need better WRBs Houses with drafty exteriors can tolerate water more readily than tight houses, AlexPoi writes. If Norm is building a tight house, he’ll be better off with a high-quality WRB. “A little bit of water in a leaky house is not a problem because air movement will dry the sheathing pretty quickly if it gets wet,” AlexPoi says. But when the house is tight, and air movement through the walls is limited, is takes longer for moisture to dissipate. “So, if you are building a tight house with OSB sheathing in a wet climate, I would personally not take the risk to cheap out on the WRB just for the peace of mind,” AlexPoi continues. “After all, a good WRB will cost you just a couple of thousand more but could save you big time.” AlexPoi suggests Norm pay particular attention to flashing details to keep bulk water out. Sheathing makes a robust air barrier Andrew C believes that taping the seams of the plywood sheathing is Norm’s best bet for a durable air barrier. “Properly detailed, the WRB can be a belt-and-suspenders backup air barrier to the taped sheathing, but the sheathing remains primary,” Andrew C writes. “As others have pointed out, flashing design details and attention to these details, along with avoiding dumb designs like dead-ending a roof valley into a wall, are critical to durability.” To Andrew C, a wall design with taped plywood and Tyvek CommercialWrap (a suggestion from Malcolm Taylor as a more durable alternative than Tyvek) makes the most sense. Why opt out of Zip System sheathing? Norm opened his original question by noting that he had decided against using Zip System sheathing, an OSB product with an integral WRB from Huber Engineered Woods that has become increasingly common on both walls and roofs. How come? Patrick O’Sullivan wants to know. “No good reason really,” Norm replies. “I’m not fond of OSB in general and I couldn’t totally get past the idea of hundreds of feet of reverse laps for water to get caught up in. I”m sure Zip is great and in the end I may regret not trying it out.” Even though Taylor thinks taped plywood sheathing and a WRB in sheet form would be a good route, he also thinks Zip Sheathing is worth considering. “Zip-R [a version of the sheathing bonded to a layer of foam insulation] makes some sense to me, and I’m pretty sure Zip will turn out to be a good long-term sheathing/WRB,” he says. But when it comes to choosing a particular WRB, Taylor says that as long as it is installed “diligently,” he hasn’t seen anything suggesting one WRB is significantly better than another. As to the long-term durability of plywood vs. OSB, a question that Zerphyr7 raises, Alex P refers him to an Instagram photo posted by architect Steve Baczek showing two small pieces of Zip sheathing taped together with Zip tape that have been left outside for a decade. “He says the tape is perfectly fine and the edges have swollen a little with full exposure to rain, ice and snow,” Alex P says. Our expert’s opinion GBA Technical Director Peter Yost adds this: I like to keep the air barrier and the water-resistive barrier together so that at penetrations I can seal both in the same plane or location. On the topic of ventilated rainscreens, for all but the driest of climates, I strongly prefer a free-draining and airflow-promoting gap (open top and bottom) between the cladding and the WRB. The one situation that no code-approved test for WRBs requires is water held in tension between the claddings and the WRBs (no gap between them). I have seen this water held in tension result in wet sheathing with a variety of different WRBs. Quite some time ago now, Paul Fisette—now retired, but then head of the Wood Technology and Construction program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst—worked up a test for water held in tension. You can read that report here. Paul was a “wingnut” long before I codified that term on BuildingGreen and then with Martin’s help here on GBA . On a side note, does WRB stand for “water-resistive barrier,” “water-resistant barrier,” “weather-resistant barrier,” or “weather-resistive barrier?” In the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), these terms are used interchangeably: water-resistive barrier 30 times, water-resistant barrier six times, weather-resistant barrier three times, and weather-resistive barrier twice. That is just odd. Even more odd is to use the terms “resistive” and “resistant”—both meaning some level of opposition—with the term “barrier,” which means an absolute stop or block. In our industry, we certainly struggle with water and weather, even in our terminology.last_img read more

9 injured in Vadodara riot

first_imgFour police personnel and five civilians were injured, and vehicles and one shop were torched in communal riots that erupted following an incident where stones were thrown at a Ganesh idol procession in the communally-sensitive Mandavi area of Vadodara on Thursday at around midnight.During the procession in the area, suddenly a few stones were pelted, and simultaneously electricity went off in the locality. This led to a commotion, with mobs belonging to different communities hurling stones, and starting fires. “Around eight or nine vehicles were torched and one shop was burnt down,” a Vadodara police official said. “Police and fire brigade teams were rushed to the spot to control the situation that lasted more than 90 minutes.” The police lobbed more than 25 rounds of tear gas shells to disperse rioting mobs from both sides.Following the incident, there was heavy police deployment to restore normalcy and ensure that the situation did not escalate.“We have lodged an FIR in which 25 people have been named, including tow or three habitual offenders,” the police official said. “Arrests will be made very soon.” The police are also investigating the possibility of a conspiracy by some antisocial elements to provoke riots ahead of major religious festivals and holidays like Janmashthami, Independence Day, Navratra and Diwali.last_img read more