The Physics of Gecko Toes

first_imgWhy would anyone want to know the details of physical forces when gecko feet walk on glass?  Here’s why: “The results have obvious implications for the fabrication of dry adhesives and robotic systems inspired by the gecko’s locomotion mechanism.”  A team of scientists from Santa Barbara and China watched gecko toes peel off glass and wrote up their results in PNAS.1  “The extraordinary climbing ability of geckos is considered a remarkable design of nature that is attributed to the fine structure of its toes,” the paper began.  As the abstract describes the physics involved, it’s more complex than one would think:Geckos can run rapidly on walls and ceilings, requiring high friction forces (on walls) and adhesion forces (on ceilings), with typical step intervals of {approx} 20 ms.  The rapid switching between gecko foot attachment and detachment is analyzed theoretically based on a tape model that incorporates the adhesion and friction forces originating from the van der Waals forces between the submicron-sized spatulae and the substrate, which are controlled by the (macroscopic) actions of the gecko toes.  The pulling force of a spatula along its shaft with an angle {theta} between 0 and 90° to the substrate, has a “normal adhesion force” contribution, produced at the spatula-substrate bifurcation zone, and a “lateral friction force” contribution from the part of spatula still in contact with the substrate.  High net friction and adhesion forces on the whole gecko are obtained by rolling down and gripping the toes inward to realize small pulling angles {theta} between the large number of spatulae in contact with the substrate.  To detach, the high adhesion/friction is rapidly reduced to a very low value by rolling the toes upward and backward, which, mediated by the lever function of the setal shaft, peels the spatulae off perpendicularly from the substrates.  By these mechanisms, both the adhesion and friction forces of geckos can be changed over three orders of magnitude, allowing for the swift attachment and detachment during gecko motion.Will this be on the test?1Tian et al, “Adhesion and friction in gecko toe attachment and detachment,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0608841103, published online before print December 5, 2006.You probably didn’t realize that geckos were such good physicists.  What’s really cool is thinking about the day we will have gecko boots and can play like Spiderman.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Incentives for BPO in Western Cape

first_imgCall centres such as this one are springingup in the Western Cape province, whichis fast becoming a BPO hub.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Cheryl Julies  Head of communications, Western Cape  provincial government  +27 21 483 9145 or +27 82 776 9529 RELATED ARTICLES • New incentives for offshoring sector• SA a favourite among expats • Looking south and east for growth • Local service industry in focusMark ReidThe provincial Department of Economic Development in the Western Cape has introduced an incentive scheme that will boost the growing business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in that part of the country.Making the announcement, Western Cape MEC for Economic Development Alan Winde stated: “We are building the province into an attractive place to live and work by increasing our competitive edge in terms of pricing, and by building an appropriately skilled workforce.”International firms such as Bloomberg and Amazon currently base part of their operations in the Western Cape, said Winde, adding that the new incentive was expected to attract more big companies to the province.“It puts us on track to build the Western Cape into a world-class BPO and call centre hub,” he said.A first for South Africa, the incentive takes the form of a partnership with established service provider Internet Solutions, to offer a six-month period of free internet, data and voice services to companies setting up their call centres to service off-shore markets from the Western Cape.The incentive will also help with job creation, because these free telecommunications services will apply for every 200 local agents employed.Foreign interest in SAGareth Pritchard, CEO of the Western Cape chapter of Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPeSA), said that during 2011 several big investors have shown interest in the country in terms of outsourcing.“South Africa has so much to offer countries looking to outsource both their voice and non-voice services,” he said.“Traditionally high telecoms costs have been a limiting factor for new investors; with the new incentive, this limitation has been significantly reduced,” added Pritchard.Established in 2001, BPeSA Western Cape is a section 21 company, funded by member contributions as well as local and provincial government. Its main focus of operation is to promote Cape Town and its surroundings as destinations for national and international investment in call centres and business process outsourcing.Economic growth and job creationTowards the end of 2010 the government announced new incentives for the off-shore call centre sector, providing salary subsidisation for local employees for the first three years of operation, with the subsidy decreasing over the three years.The combined incentives will not only make the Western Cape a more attractive destination for establishing new call centres, but is also expected to reduce operating costs by 50% during the first six months.The local BPO sector received a significant boost when internet retail giant Amazon.com established offices in Cape Town, to provide support for its US and German markets. The move created 1 000 employment opportunities and demonstrated international confidence in the local call centre sector.Currently the Western Cape’s call centre industry employs 30 000 locally recruited people and contributes an estimated R6-billion (US$834-million) to the regional economy.The industry is targeted for development because the entry requirements are not as steep as in other sectors and therefore present an employment opportunity to youngsters who may not have any other qualification besides a matric.Over the next three years the Department of Economic Development and Tourism plans to create 10 000 more call centre jobs in the province.The department has already established a training programme for call centre agents, which has seen 310 unemployed people graduate, with all but one finding employment.more free photos, visit the image library)last_img read more

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ODNR continues plan to monitor deer for Chronic Wasting Disease

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Portions of Holmes and Wayne counties will retain their designation as Disease Surveillance Area (DSA) 2015-01 again this year as part of the state’s ongoing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance efforts, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). This designation requires that additional rules be followed by deer hunters in this area.Since October 2014, 19 captive white-tailed deer have tested positive for CWD at a shooting preserve and a breeding facility in Holmes County. Since that time, ODNR Division of Wildlife staff have tested hundreds of wild deer with the cooperation of hunters and local landowners. CWD has not been detected in the nearly 1,000 wild deer tested from DSA 2015-01.The DSA includes the areas within a 6-mile radius from the CWD positive samples in Holmes County and includes: all of Franklin and Clinton townships in Wayne County, and Ripley, Prairie, Salt Creek, Monroe, Hardy, Berlin, Killbuck and Mechanic townships in Holmes. In addition, the northeast portion of Richland Township (defined by the boundary of Township Road 36 to State Route 520 to Township Road 31 to U.S. Route 62) in Holmes County falls within DSA 2015-01. This DSA designation will remain in effect at least through the 2017 deer season. The area will be mapped and posted on the division’s website at wildohio.gov.The following regulations apply within the DSA:Requires hunters to bring deer harvested within the DSA to an ODNR Division of Wildlife inspection station for CWD testing during the seven-day gun, two-day gun and muzzleloader seasons. Inspection stations will NOT be operated during the two-day youth season;Prohibits the placement of or use of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed to attract or feed deer within the DSA boundaries;Prohibits hunting of deer by the aid of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed within the DSA boundaries; andProhibits the removal of a deer carcass killed by a motor vehicle within the DSA boundaries unless the carcass complies with deer carcass regulations. Additional information on carcass regulations can be found at wildohio.gov.Normal agricultural activities including feeding of domestic animals as well as hunting deer over food plots, naturally occurring or cultivated plants and agriculture crops are not prohibited.Hunters harvesting deer within the DSA are required to bring their deer to a carcass inspection station for disease testing. Two locations have been designated as Carcass Inspection Stations for the seven-day gun, two-day gun and muzzleloader seasons. Both locations will be open and staffed from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The dates for these seasons are: Nov. 28-Dec. 4, Dec. 17-18 and Jan. 7-10.Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) garage, 1800 South Washington Street, Millersburg, 44654Industrial Park, 8254 County Road 245, Holmesville, 44633Hunters, including landowners, will be asked to provide their confirmation number from the game check process as well as the location where the deer was killed (property address or nearest road intersection). Tissue samples and biological data will be collected. The process should take no more than 10 minutes, however, delays are likely at lunch and immediately after dark. Hunters are strongly encouraged to complete the game check process before bringing their deer to the inspection station. However, division staff will be able to assist with checking deer.Hunters who harvest a deer and wish to have it mounted or caped are required to bring their deer to a carcass inspection station. Samples will not be taken, however, arrangements will be made to collect tissue at a later date.last_img read more

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Hard work required for goal of old growth forests in Central Ohio

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It has been said many times that prior to European settlement the trees were so thick and plentiful in the dense forests that a squirrel could cross what would become the State of Ohio without ever touching the ground. Anyone who has spent time in the woods can only dream of such a forest today with massive trees, plentiful wetlands and a vast array of flora and fauna.David Hague, with a childhood spent travelling some of the nation’s beautiful national parks, dreamed of what it would be like to stand amid that endless forest. His dreams of days spent among trees, however, were put on hold for many years as he thrived as a businessman in the water softener business in central Ohio where he enjoyed a successful career. Though his busy years of his career mostly kept him away from the natural Ohio he dreamed of, his success put him in a financial position to fulfill his unique vision: at least 500 years of old growth virgin forest in central Ohio.“We have decided to take marginal agricultural land and return it to as much of a pre-European state as we can. There are lots of bad invasive plants out there for us to kill but there are lots of interesting things to discover too. That’s what we are doing,” Hague said. “There are over 44,000 square miles in Ohio and 42,000 of that was virgin forest. Now there are just a few square miles of old growth forest left in the state. This land has been so abused and I want to return at least a small portion of it it to its native state. Every farm has areas that do not produce well or are too expensive to cultivate and these are the areas that we focus on.”In this effort, Hague has purchased about 850 acres of woodlots and farmland on the south side of rapidly sprawling Pickerington in Fairfield County. Of that, he plans to have 300 acres in a perpetual forest plan and leave the rest in farmland. The plan is to plant a total of 4,000 native tree species (heavy on oaks, maples, sycamore, and hackberry) that are four to six feet tall, an effort that is about half done. He has also moved roughly 5,000 cubic yards of soil to create around 20 wetlands and vernal pools on the property. He has done numerous prairie plantings and extensive removal of invasive species as well, all according to what the land was in its pre-settlement state.“I’ve got the land intact now to make it look and feel like it did 250 years ago — to get it back to what we lost,” Hague said. “I bought the land and it is here and that allows other people to contribute to this effort too. I could sell this and develop it and move to Wyoming, but there is too much work to do here. Ohio is so rich in diversity.”Hague has invested a large amount of his own money but also worked with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project. EPRI conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. The project in the Ohio River Basin got its start after EPRI began investigating the potential of water quality trading as an alternate means for power facilities to meet compliance goals with nutrient discharge limits, particularly for nitrogen. Today the program combines public and private funding sources to help implement various conservation practices in the Ohio River Basin, including the use of cover crops, nutrient management techniques and, in the case of Hague’s efforts, reforestation.As the trees grow and the wetlands fill up with water, Hague is already noticing changes in the environment. “The sounds are different now. You hear more variety. Even if you don’t know what that bird is or that insect is, you just notice a change in the sound. And once you hear and see some results and the changes of things around you, it all becomes worth it,” he said. “It makes me concerned about every bit of life out here. There is life everywhere that we just don’t know about. There are things out here I don’t know about and I just need to stop and listen and look.”While Hague has noticed the changes in the fields and forests, when that much land changes ownership, the local human population takes notice as well.“The farming community, since we are targeting the areas that aren’t particularly productive, they have been supportive and have been happy to assist. Politically, the mayor and trustees from Pickerington favor having open green space,” Hague said. The farmers who were farming the ground continue to rent the land from Hague and longtime hunters continue to hunt on the property because of the significant damage the high deer population can do to the tree plantings and native plant species.“When I bought the property there were hunters paying to hunt here. The first thing I did was to ask them here and tell that that they did not have to pay to hunt here any more but that I did want their help watching the property and removing invasive species. I insist on no shooting of does that have fawns,” Hague said. “I was prejudiced about hunters at first but every one I’ve worked with has been reliable and helpful. It has been a great relationship. They help remove invasive species and the hunters wereSpotted salamanders fill up the top container and the Jefferson and Small-mouth salamanders are on the bottom at Hague’s farm.even the first ones to find hard-to-find tiger salamanders on the property.”While the work on the land is endless, keeping the forestland protected for 500 years may prove even more daunting. Hague has worked closely with local government officials, Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, among others to lay the groundwork for the plan. Tax wise, preservation of the productive farm ground is an essential component.“The goal is that 500 years from now this is all intact, but it has required a great deal of legal work because it is not a terribly common event for someone to plan out for that long,” Hague said. “What will the political entities be? What will the country, or countries, be in 500 years? We’ve had to think about all of those kinds of things to come up with a legal structure for this to continue on.”In the meantime, Hague is truly enjoying the process of reverting the land back to its native state and the results, as they appear.“Just to see a critter out doing its natural thing unobstructed and in its natural environment is very fulfilling. I think now that we have this property, we might as well make the effort to restore what we can,” Hague said. “We may be the top species but that doesn’t give us license to take away others’ existence. Ohio is a great place to live for people but it is also a great place to live for critters too, and many of these need old growth forest to survive so we thought maybe we could do something to help make that happen.”last_img read more

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Apology Accepted, Apple. Now Get To Work, Google.

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting john paul titlow 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts When Apple showed off iOS 6 Maps in June, few could have imagined the fiasco that would ensue three months later. Indeed, the last person expecting such major fallout was CEO Tim Cook, who today issued a rare public apology. While it could have gone further, the statement was a bold move by a company not accustomed to admitting its faults.This is a big deal for Apple. Perfection – or at least the appearance of it – is a central component of the company’s brand. Its last public black eye, a psuedo-social network called Ping, was being laid to rest just as critics and customers were winding up this new punch. Apple never explicitly admitted failure with Ping. Instead, it quietly put its social scheme to rest in favor of integrating with established social networks. Steve Jobs didn’t apologize to consumers even after the massive PR headache of Antennagate in 2010, when the company offered free bumper cases to help alleviate the issue.But Apple had no choice but to address the Maps issue. It quickly overshadowed the iPhone 5 itself, the latest entry in a product line from which Apple draws an enormous percentage of its revenue. Cook went so far as to suggest competing products as alternatives while Apple irons out the kinks. And yes, that list included the Google Maps web app. Cook’s apology could have gone further. Why not offer an iOS 6-compatible version of the old Maps app in the App Store? Or, if users want to, let them easily downgrade to iOS 5? Of course, if he did that, Cook might not have been able to tout 100 million people using the new operating system.Absent a drastic move like that, the apology will do. Apple has admitted fault, offered alternatives and assured the masses that it’s working on the problem. Apple’s Maps is a nice-looking product with a few very useful new features. We’re confident it will mature into something awesome. In the meantime, Google, hurry up and ship Maps for iOS. Apple got its bad press. Now give the rest of us a hand.center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Apple#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

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‘God-man’ held, six girls rescued

first_imgA self-styled ‘god-man’ was arrested and six minor girls rescued from his ashram built allegedly on an encroached land of the gram sabha in Bhadohi district of Uttar Pradesh, the police said on Tuesday.The police pulled down the ashram on Monday and got freed the land encroached by ‘god-man’ Rajendra Prasad for nearly four months in Natwa village, District Magistrate Vishakh G. said. Five people, including Prasad, have been arrested from the ashram from where six minor girls have been freed and sent to Bal Kalyan Samiti for counselling, the DM said.He added that like Ram Vriksha of Jawaharbagh in Mathura, Prasad also had prepared a team of lathi-wielding youths, scripted his own ‘constitution’ and had collected nearly ₹20 lakh in donation. He was also running his writ among the land grabbers. A case has been registered against nine named and 50 unnamed people, the DM added. SP Shachindra Patel said Prasad is a resident of Dattipurva village in Vindhyachal area of Mirzapur district and had earlier been arrested for immoral acts. He had been residing in Natwa village since his release on bail, the SP said, adding that preliminary inquiry suggests that the girls were being used for immoral activities. Prasad’s involvement in criminal activities as well as his links with the Maoists will also be probed, the SP said. According to Mr. Patel, several of his supporters fled when the police team reached the ashram.last_img read more

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After good show in China, Sania moves up 15 places to 129

first_imgSania Mirza today gained 15 places in the WTA singles rankings to be 129th and jumped 20 positions in the doubles to 67th after a good show at the Guangzhou International Open in China.Sania reached the quarter-finals of the singles event and won the doubles title along with Romania’s Edina Gallovits in China, last week.However, India’s men’s singles star Somdev Devvarman slid to 117, a loss of four places.Rohan Bopanna though marginally improved his singles ranking by reaching 473rd, a gain of six slots. He was static on 19th in the doubles list.Leander Paes (9) and Mahesh Bhupathi (13) also had their doubles rankings unchanged.India’s Davis Cup team yesterday pulled off a dramatic 3-2 win over Brazil in the play-off to retain its place on the elite World Group.last_img read more

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1979: Double delight for West Indies at Cup

first_imgThe second edition of the World Cup has a distinctly different feel as compared to the previous one. And it was due to a development that would, in due course, change the way cricket is played, perceived and financed.West Indies continued their dominance but world cricket was still recovering from the churning that had preceded the tournament due to one man – Australian tycoon Kerry Packer.West Indies captain Clive Lloyd holds up the trophy at Lord’sAfter Packer failed to bag the exclusive rights for cricket in Australia, he set up the World Series Cricket in protest for his network, Channel Nine, in 1977.He signed top Australian, English, Pakistani and West Indian players, including England skipper Tony Greig, West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, Greg and Ian Chappell and fast bowlers like Dennis Lillee, Michael Holding and Imran Khan.Meagre salaries of international players forced them to take the Packer offer. But in the aftermath of the apparent revolt, those Australian players who were part of the series were not considered for the 1979 World Cup in England and thus the Aussies fielded a much weaker side, led by Kim Hughes.West Indies retained all their players and gave the reins of the side to 1975 winning captain Clive Lloyd.Eight teams participated, with Sri Lanka and Canada as the two non-Test playing nations.Still sporting whites in the 60-over format, the teams were divided in two groups. The West Indies, Pakistan, England and New Zealand qualified for the semi- finals. Australia were duly thrashed in the group stages, losing three out of the four matches in the group stage, winning only against Canada.advertisementIn the semis, England and New Zealand played out a humdinger of a match. The Kiwis won the toss and reduced the hosts to 98 for four. But Graham Gooch and Mike Brearley hit half- centuries to take the score to a competitive 221 for eight. John Wright tried to keep his team in the hunt with 69 but fell short by nine runs.In the second semi-final, the batsmen called the shots. Though West Indies won by 43 runs Pakistan gave them a run for their money. The defending champions racked up 293, thanks to an opening partnership of 132 by Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge. In reply, the prolific Zaheer Abbas (93) and Majid Khan (81) added 166 runs for the second wicket but the West Indians kept pegging away, led by Colin Croft who picked three for 29. In the end, Pakistan fell short by 43 runs.Thus the best two teams of the tournament faced off in the final. Clive Lloyd’s team was asked to bat first and was in a spot of bother at 99 for four. But that was all that went the Englishmen’s way. It was the time for some Viv Richards magic as he smashed 138 off 157 balls and remained not out as the defending champions scored 286. The hosts were never in the chase despite a century opening stand as Joel Garner completed the formalities with five for 38 to seal a 92- run win. Lloyd said the win even sweeter than the previous edition, as it had come after the tumultuous Packer series and the ensuing confrontations.Indian angleIt was a disastrous tournament for India. Losing all three group matches, including a humiliating 47-run loss to Sri Lanka. It was preceded by comprehensive losses against West Indies – nine wickets – and New Zealand – eight wickets. India failed to breach the 200- run mark with Gundappa Vishwanath’s 75 against the eventual winners being the best Indian effort. The last defeat against Sri Lanka was played over three days as the first day had a late start. It rained heavily the next day and India began the chase on the third day, falling to the leg- spin of Somachandra de Silva.Highlights of 1979 The fifth game of the 1979 World Cup between West Indies and Sri Lanka at The Oval was abandoned due to rain without a ball being bowled.It was moved to the reserve day, but it rained again. The match was rescheduled for the next day and had to be abandoned too. This was first match which was abandoned for three consecutive days due to rain and is the only such instance in World Cup matches and One- Day Internationals.Sri Lanka beat India in the group stage by 47 runs which helped them gain Test status in a few years.last_img read more

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