The airline crowds are getting bigger. Planes are filling up on the back of strong passenger growth but how crowded a flight will be depends on the region in which you’re flying and whether it is a domestic or an international flight.It turns out that Africa is the region where travellers are most likely to find an empty seat beside them and North America the least.The global airline load factor, a reflection of the percentage of seats on a plane filled by paying passengers, hit a record for the second month in a row in March as passenger demand rose by a robust 9.5 per cent compared to March last year.This was the biggest passenger growth in 12 months and significantly ahead of a 6.4 per cent growth in capacity, pushing up the load factor by 2.3 percentage points to set the new March record of 82.4 percent.Traffic demand growth was particularly high in the Asia-Pacific region — 12 percent — with the Middle East (10.6 percent) and Europe (9.5 percent) close behind, according to the figures from the International Air Transport Association.Passenger load factors varied between regions but planes in all of them were flying fuller as growth ranged from 4.4 percentage points in the Middle East to 1.3 points In Latin America.The unsurprising leaders of the overall market load factor list were the regions in which low-cost carriers have made significant inroads.Watch: Scary Take-off?Heading the field was North America with a passenger load factor 85.3 percent, followed by Europe (83.9 percent) and the Asia-Pacific (82.3 percent).At the other end of the spectrum were Africa (71.6 percent) and the Middle East (76.6 percent), although passenger traffic in the latter jumped 10.7 percent after the disruption caused last year by the ban on portable electronic devices and proposed travel restrictions to the US.Latin America sat in the middle with a load factor of 81.3 percent.The pecking order changed when international flights were singled out but again planes were more crowded across the board with the global load factor improving 2.9 points to 81.5 percent as traffic grew by 10.6 percent compared to March last year.READ: Airlines renew protectionism warnings as air freight growth slumps.European carriers proved adept at packing in passengers with an above average load factor of 84.6 percent and were followed by North American airlines at 83.5 percent.Latin America’s international carriers came next at 81.8 percent followed by the Asia-Pacific (80.9 percent), the Middle East (76.7 percent) and Africa (71 per cent).On Domestic routes, India (87.8 percent), the US (86.5 percent) and China (85.2 percent) were clear leaders when it came to crowded planes. All were above the average load factor of 84 percent and significantly ahead of Japan (74.7 percent), the Russian Federation (78.1 percent) and Australia (78.9 percent).IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said that demand for air travel remained strong and was supported by a comparatively healthy economic backdrop and business confidence levels.“But rising cost inputs—particularly fuel prices—suggest that any demand boosts from lower fares will moderate going into the second quarter,” he said.
A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Just yesterday some R/WW readers were bitterly complaining in our comments about Google Reader’s lack of search. “I’m a loyal Google Reader user,” remarked R/WW reader Stephen Glauser, “but if they don’t hurry up and implement a search feature very soon, the first company who does will win my service.”Perhaps the Google Reader team noted those comments, because today they’ve announced that Google Reader has search. What’s more, it allows search for keywords (a very useful feature) and if you subscribe to someone’s shared items, it’ll search across those as well. Note: I had to log out and then in again to see the new Search box in GReader. Related Posts Beta Bloglines also has search, however it is not an integrated search within the beta RSS Reader. Rather, when you search for something using the Beta Bloglines search box, you are taken to a new browser window in the old Bloglines.Now to a feature that I’ve been complaining is missing from Beta Bloglines – a ‘View All’ option. Probably my main use case for an RSS Reader is to view a list of the latest items, just titles and arranged in date order. This is really a “power blogger” feature, so possibly not something a lot of Bloglines users are requesting. However Bloglines told me today that this feature is coming, although not till later in their beta cycle.Probably due to all the work Google Reader has done over 2007, they are in the lead regarding features. Bloglines is playing catch-up, even if they still hold the lead in users. richard macmanus Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#news#RSS Readers#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Safety committees are a key component of safety in the workplace, offering an effective platform to get employees involved while creating greater interest in health and safety. They establish an opportunity to have safety concerns addressed, empowering employees with responsibilities and authority for safety improvements. Promoting cooperation and the exchange of ideas, they provide a central focus to allow the organization to review safety requirements and foresee potential issues.The primary function of the Safety Committee is to bring to the forefront those issues that may impact the health and well being of our employees and customers, providing a forum for discussion, awareness, education and resolution. Each retail sector has different and complex safety issues that may confront them. Responsibilities may include but are not limited to:The review of recent accidents and injuries, “near misses,” and accident investigations to determine root causesThe evaluation of corrective actions and recommendations for additional preventative measuresThe monitoring of specific safety metrics and targeted actionable items (such as fire extinguishers, ladder inspections, fire door tests, etc.) through audits and safety inspectionsThe evaluation of other potential safety issues, and the development of cost-effective solutions for presentation to Senior ManagementDriving safety meetings, safety awareness and incentive programs.The committee should be comprised of both management and non-management personnel. Schedules, attendance and meeting minutes are typically documented to track and support committee activities.- Sponsor – The presence of an active safety committee is a strong indicator that the company has a culture that promotes safe behavior and safe conditions. Safety Committees give all employees a voice, ensuring that management and non-management associates are looking at safety on a regular basis and bringing our entire work force together in a cooperative effort to promote health and safety in the workplace. This joint approach helps keep everyone on the same page and working together towards improving safety performance.By capitalizing on opportunities to enhance our knowledge and education, we are making an investment in our own future. To learn more about safety in the workplace and other topics designed to help build your career in loss prevention, discover the professional growth opportunities available through the Loss Prevention Foundation.Invest in your future by exploring the benefits that LPQualfied, LPCertified, and the loss prevention certification process provide by visiting losspreventionfoundation.org Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Guest author Chris Haroun is a venture capitalist at ARTIS Ventures, an award-winning business school professor, and the author of 101 Crucial Lessons They Don’t Teach You In Business School. It has been 30 years since the first Back to the Future movie was released. I watched it recently with my kids, and was amazed how little vehicles have changed over the years. In the film, you get a glimpse of what the future will look like in 2015 with a flying car. How is it possible that cars haven’t seen a material life improvement since 1985? I am confident that 30 years from today, all cars will have a self-driving option and that, in 10 years, most will. (Our grandchildren will remark about how unproductive we must have been.) We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a year, and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade. Just think—in 2007, with just one screen in the palm of your hand, Apple reinvented the phone, while Google made sure the operating system was virtually free and accessible to the masses. Those technologies have been pivotal and have changed lives. It’s now time to reinvent the automobile experience. It’s an exciting time for the tech giants, as they duke it out in this new platform holy war, as well as startups and other tech businesses, too. Benefits Of Self-Driving Cars Go Beyond TransportationThere are many potential long-term benefits to self-driving cars—ranging from environmental, safety, health, family-life balance, geopolitical and overall economic benefits. The safety benefits will likely be material, as this will result in fewer accidents. Fewer accidents would result in less traffic and, in turn, less pollution; the environmental benefit then would be significant. The economic benefits may be noteworthy as well—even potentially as deflationary as Amazon Web Services is today, or the fall of the Berlin Wall was in 1989. If we spend less money on fuel and repairs, then we can be less reliant on the oil sector. From a geopolitical perspective, that may mean less funds ultimately going to rogue nations with malicious, militant intentions. Self-driving cars could also be materially beneficial to lowering inflation, since we would probably mean we’d spend less on gas and repairs. It may have an impact on real estate as well. We’d be better able to commute from cheaper neighborhoods to our jobs in the cities, as there would be fewer accidents slowing traffic and less time wasted traveling from work or school. The Ultimate Time CreatorSelf-driving cars may be the ultimate time creator, offering benefits both direct and indirect. They may allow us more time to spend with our families, exercising or sleeping. The result is a more balanced, healthy and happy existence. Anybody who disagrees should spend try driving in Los Angeles during rush hour. In a way, using self-driving cars may be like adding hours to our day, because we’d have the option to work in our cars during the trip. The notion of productivity in commute could touch other areas of life as well. We could use the time to study, which personally resonates for me, because I have always believed education can fix almost all of the world’s problems. We just might see a domino effect of positive after positive. A Software Gold RushWith so many benefits at stake, it seems like a certainty that we’ll see a software startup gold rush before long. Companies are likely to duke it out to develop the hottest auto operating system and apps to run on it. Considering that Microsoft, maker of the dominant Windows desktop platform, missed out on mobile, I believe CEO Satya Nadella will be in hot pursuit of autonomous cars. I expect he’ll use part of the company’s annual $10 billion research and development effort on exploring an auto software platform. Microsoft tried to do this under Bill Gates with the Auto PC product—which, similar to Apple’s Newton, was way too early and couldn’t gain market acceptance. But the future is now. What About The Risks?Yes, there are risks to self-driving cars, but they are no greater than what we face every time we get behind the wheel. In fact, there’s plenty to suggest they will reduce our risk of harm. Today, an estimated 94% of auto accidents are due to human error. While autonomous vehicles may not be perfect yet—in fact, they are obviously still in development and unproven on a mass scale—they hold great potential to save innumerable lives. We’ve already seen improvements: Google, for its part, has been working hard on minimizing accidents with its self-driving car efforts. The margin of error will be even lower still, as auto-based software algorithms and artificial intelligence systems advance. Google and Apple are clearly gunning for the lead in the automobile operating system of the future, competing with Tesla for auto engineering talent. This new platform holy war will lead to significant saber rattling between the companies, but competition breeds innovation. In other words, after so many stops and starts, we might just see the industry finally hitting the acceleration. Tags:#Apple#autonomous cars#Google#Guest Posts#Self-Driving#self-driving cars#Tesla chris haroun Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T… Follow the Puck What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …
If you like classic two-for-one monster movies such as King Kong vs. Godzilla, then a new paper combining two bêtes noires of pseudoscientific scaremongers—mini black holes and the collapse of the vacuum—may appeal to you. Physicists working with the world’s biggest atom-smasher—Europe’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—have had to reassure the public that, even if they can make them, mini black holes, infinitesimal versions of the ones that form when jumbo stars implode, won’t consume the planet. They’ve also had to dispel fears that blasting out a particle called the Higgs boson will cause the vacuum of empty space to collapse. Now, however, three theorists calculate that in a chain reaction, a mini black hole could trigger such collapse after all.Come out from under the bed; there’s a big caveat. If this could have happened, it would have long before humans evolved. “The thing you mustn’t say is, ‘Shock, horror! We’re going to destroy the universe!’” says Ian Moss, a theoretical cosmologist at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom and an author of the paper explaining the result. Rather, he says, the message is that some unknown physics must enter to stabilize the vacuum—encouraging news for physicists searching for something new. Still, Moss acknowledges that the paper could be taken the wrong way: “I’m sort of afraid that I’m going to have [prominent theorist] John Ellis calling me up and accusing me of scaremongering.”Stability of the vacuum is a real issue. Ever since the discovery of the long-predicted Higgs boson in 2012, physicists have known that empty space contains a “Higgs field,” a bit like an electric field, that is made of Higgs bosons lurking “virtually” in the vacuum. Other fundamental particles such as the electron and quarks interact with the field to gain their mass. However, particle physicists have calculated that, given their current standard model of the known particles and the Higgs boson’s measured mass, the Higgs field may not be in its stable, lowest energy state. Rather, it could achieve a much lower energy by taking on much higher strength. That energy-saving transition should inevitably cause the vacuum to collapse and wipe out the universe.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)So why hasn’t that collapse happened? It turns out that to get to the lower energy “true vacuum” state, the Higgs field would have to get through an enormous energy barrier through a process known as quantum tunneling. That barrier is so big that it would likely take many, many times the age of the universe for the transition to occur. So, theorists generally agreed that the Higgs field is “metastable,” temporarily stuck in a “false vacuum” state, and that although the collapse is a problem in principle, practically it’s nothing to worry about.But now, Moss and theoretical physicists Philipp Burda and Ruth Gregory of Durham University in the United Kingdom contend that argument falls apart when you mix in mini black holes—microscopic regions of space where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. That’s because a mini black hole acts like a “seed” that can trigger formation of a bubble of true vacuum in a sea of false vacuum, just as a bit of grit can trigger the formation of a bubble of steam in boiling water, as they explain in a paper in press at Physical Review Letters.Without such a seed, a bubble of true vacuum would inevitably shrink. That’s because, even though the vacuum within the bubble has lower energy than the vacuum outside the bubble, the bubble wall at which the two meet has very high energy. So the bubble can lower its total energy by growing smaller and disappearing. For a bubble with a tiny black hole inside, however, it’s a different story. The black hole’s gravity can shift the energy balance, Moss explains, so that any bubble beyond a certain very small size could instead lower its energy by growing. Within a fraction of a second, the bubble would then expand to consume the entire visible universe, Moss says.Those black holes have to be small, Moss and colleagues argue, and they could conceivably come from two sources. They could be “primordial” black holes lingering since the birth of the universe. Or they could be microscopic black holes created within particle collisions such as those at the LHC.So should we worry? No, Moss says. The fact that the universe has been around 13.8 billion years shows that primordial black holes will not trigger such a collapse, he says. As for black holes at the LHC, even if they can be created they also won’t create havoc, he says. The proof of that comes from cosmic rays, which crash into the atmosphere and create even higher energy particle collisions than the LHC can. So even if such collisions spawn black holes, the black holes don’t trigger vacuum collapse, Moss says, or the cosmos would have vanished long ago.The real point, Moss says, is that theorists can no longer shrug off the problem by assuming that the collapse of the vacuum would take a hugely long time. By showing that—according to the standard model—the collapse should happen quickly, the paper suggests that some new physics must kick in to stabilize the vacuum.Others aren’t so sure the argument is persuasive. The theorists make a number of questionable assumptions in their mathematics, says Vincenzo Branchina, a theorist with Italy’s National Institute for Nuclear Physics at the University of Catania. John Ellis, a theorist at King’s College London, questions the consistency of the calculation. For example, he says, it assumes that the standard model holds true to very high energy scales. However, he notes, the only way the LHC can make a mini black hole is if the standard model conks out and space opens up new dimensions at much lower energy, he says. Still, both Branchina and Ellis say that based on other arguments, they suspect that something does make the vacuum stable.As for the presentation of the argument in the new paper, Ellis says he has some misgivings that it will whip up unfounded fears about the safety of the LHC once again. For example, the preprint of the paper doesn’t mention that cosmic-ray data essentially prove that the LHC cannot trigger the collapse of the vacuum—”because we [physicists] all knew that,” Moss says. The final version mentions it on the fourth of five pages. Still, Ellis, who served on a panel to examine the LHC’s safety, says he doesn’t think it’s possible to stop theorists from presenting such arguments in tendentious ways. “I’m not going to lose sleep over it,” Ellis says. “If someone asks me, I’m going to say it’s so much theoretical noise.” Which may not be the most reassuring answer, either.
Here’s what is going on. The 1991 verdict was based on much less data than are available today. Since then, hundreds of new studies on the effects of coffee have been published, says Rudolf Kaaks, an epidemiologist at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. Many of these were cohort studies, in which healthy people are followed over years until some of them develop a disease. Such studies are generally considered to provide better evidence than case-control studies, which formed the basis for the 1991 classification.The review panel also took great care this time to exclude any results that might be explained by confounding factors, says Kaaks, for example, the fact that people who drink a lot of coffee are also more likely to smoke. Overall, the studies showed that drinking coffee does not increase the risk for pancreatic, prostate, or female breast cancer, explained the panel’s leader, Dana Loomis, at a press conference today in Lyon. It may even reduce the risk for liver cancer, Loomis said, adding that the evidence for most other cancer types is inconclusive. “In other words, we should not be worried about drinking coffee because of any possible risk of cancer,” says Paul Pharoah, a cancer epidemiologist at Cambridge.Much less is known about the effects of drinks consumed at temperatures above 65°C. But what data there are suggests they can cause cancer of the esophagus. The link is plausible, says Kaaks, who has worked at IARC in the past, because scalding hot water can cause inflammation, which is known to increase cancer risk. These hot drinks now join red meat, shift work, and dozens of chemicals in category 2A (probably carcinogenic) of the IARC classification system.But there are important caveats. “This finding is of limited relevance to people in the U.K. or USA, as it is very uncommon for people here to drink tea [or coffee] at temperatures defined by IARC as very hot,” Pharoah says. Even for those living in China, Iran, and parts of South America, where tea is traditionally drunk very hot, it is unclear how big a risk hot drinks pose. Asked to quantify the risk, Loomis said, “we cannot put a number on this at the moment.”Despite sending those mixed messages, scientists still have something of value to share, Kaaks says. “I think it’s okay to tell the public: Don’t drink your tea too hot,” he counsels. He figures that advice could benefit some people, and it’s unlikely to cause any harm. First, the good news: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), headquartered in Lyon, France, is letting coffee off the hook after having classified it as “possibly carcinogenic” in 1991. It is now officially in the category “not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity.”But here’s the bad news: IARC experts have also concluded that consuming very hot beverages can probably cause cancer of the esophagus. How big a risk that poses, however, is unclear.Confused? Join the crowd. The two verdicts, announced today by an expert panel at an agency that is part of the World Health Organization, show the limits of such blanket yes-or-no decisions on whether something causes cancer. Such an announcement is “interesting for science but does not provide the information for making decisions, either policy or individuals,” says David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)
This week we hear stories on animal hoarding, how different languages have different numbers of colors, and how to tell a wakeful jellyfish from a sleeping one with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic, Brice Russ, and Sarah Crespi. Andrew Wagner talks to Karl-Heinz Kampert about a long-term study of the cosmic rays blasting our planet. After analyzing 30,000 high-energy rays, it turns out some are coming from outside the Milky Way. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Doug Letterman/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Doug Letterman/Flickr CC by 2.0
Call it fate or bad omen, but Tillakaratne Dilshan would be hoping that he never ever gets 160 runs on board.For today Sri Lanka lost the Hobart ODI even though the opener and former Sri Lankan captain scored put on an impressive 160 not out on board.Call is bizarre, but the last time he scored the same figure – 160 (scorecard), Sri Lanka ended up losing the match. And the opponents were the same – India.He did that at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground in Rajkot on December 15, 2009, when Sri Lanka were touring India.India scored a massive 414 in the first ODI of the series, thanks to an impressive 146 by Virender Sehwag.In reply Sri Lanka got off to a rollicking start with opener Dilshan scoring a 186-ball 160. But, the end result proved to be a forgettable one for the islanders as they fell short by just three runs in their chase.Eventually, India ended up winning the five-match series 3-1, with the Ferozeshah Kotla match being abandoned on account of unfit pitch.Today history repeated itself at a different venue (Hobart), different continent and at a different time zone. India were playing Sri Lanka. This time the Lankans put on a stiff target of 321 with Dilshan scoring an identical 160 – the end result, whoever, was – India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets.Here’s what the tarot card says about the Number 16:The Tower tarot card sits at number 16.Throughout our lives we all strive to obtain and retain a sense of self and individual identity. This starts at The Emperor and our feeling of I Am. We draw people, places and things to us that help us to maintain what we believe to be our identity. Piece by piece, brick by brick, we build this ego personality, which here in the Tower is represented by the Tower itself.advertisementThen something happens that shatters our illusions and the Tower crumbles – That’s what happened to Dilshan today.
Tiger Woods will miss next week’s US Masters due to his troublesome back and has no timetable for his return to competitive golf, the former world number one said on Friday.It will be only the third time Woods has missed the year’s first major since he first competed at Augusta National in 1995. The four-time champion did not play at the Masters in 2014 or 2016 and tied for 17th in 2015.”I did about everything I could to play, but my back rehabilitation didn’t allow me the time to get tournament ready,” Woods said in a statement on his website.”I have no timetable for my return, but I will continue my diligent effort to recover, and want to get back out there as soon as possible.”WATCH SPORTS WRAPThe 14-time major winner said he would still be at Augusta National’s clubhouse on Tuesday for the annual Champions Dinner ahead of the April 6-9 Masters.Woods returned to the PGA Tour in January after a 17-month absence following back surgery but has not played a tournament since he pulled out of a European Tour event in Dubai because of a back spasm in early February.He missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open after shooting rounds of 76 and 72 and shot an opening-round 77 a week later in Dubai.Now 41, Woods has not won a major title since he clinched the 14th of his career at the 2008 U.S. Open and his form has slumped dramatically as he has battled injury in recent years.advertisementThis year’s Masters marks the 20th anniversary of Woods winning the first of his four Green Jackets at Augusta National. He also won the title in 2001, 2002 and 2005.
Elise Mertens produced another huge upset in a tournament littered with them when she thrashed fourth seed Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open at the first attempt on Tuesday.Ukrainian Svitolina came into the match riding high on a nine-match winning streak from the start of the season but, hampered by a hip injury, was completely outplayed by the aggressive Belgian on Rod Laver Arena.WATCHBarely putting a foot wrong over the entire contest, the world number 37 sealed the victory and her first grand slam semi-final when she ripped a 26th winner, this time off her backhand, after 73 minutes.The 22-year-old emitted a huge shriek of delight and danced around the court in triumph before blowing a kiss to the skies and beaming at her coach and boyfriend Robbe Ceyssens in the stands.”I’m without words, I don’t know what to say. I have mixed emotions, all good emotions,” Mertens said on court, the smile still fixed on her face.”I gave it all today, it was a little stressy at the end. I played my game and it went well.”The first Belgian to make the semi-finals in Melbourne since her mentor Kim Clijsters won the title in 2012, Mertens will next meet Caroline Wozniacki or Carla Suarez Navarro. Elina Svitolina waves as she leaves after losing against Elise Mertens. (Photo: Reuters)For Svitolina, who said she had been struggling with the hip injury since winning the Brisbane International warm-up, it was a third grand slam quarter-final defeat in three attempts after her two previous disappointments at the French Open.advertisementGiven the Ukrainian’s renowned mobility, Mertens was well aware that she would have to go for her shots if she was to win and she did just that to break for 2-1 at the start of the opening set with a thumping backhand return.A second break for 5-2 put Svitolina firmly on the back foot but the world number four finally exerted some pressure and got one of the breaks back when Mertens double faulted while serving for the set.That could have been a turning point but Mertens regathered herself and served out at the second attempt when Svitolina miscued a forehand after 41 minutes.”I knew it was going to be tough, I tried to be aggressive, make her move, come to the net a bit more, just try to play aggressive in the court,” Mertens added.Mertens was now oozing with confidence and an overhead volley at the net saw her break in the first game of the second set before she romped away for a handsome victory.”She’s a great player (and) I couldn’t match it, because physically it was very tough for me,” Svitolina said.”Going into the tournament, I had a few issues with my health. She didn’t give me opportunities. All the credit to her, because she played really good tennis and was only today, so I couldn’t really match it.”(Courtesy: Reuters)