A new species of Diaphana from bathyal depths in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica and first record of Diaphana inflata (Strebel, 1908) in the high Antarctic (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia)

first_imgDiaphana haini n.sp. is described from Antarctica. With a depth range from about 400 to 2100 m, D. haini is the second Antarctic species of this genus to extend into the deep sea, the other being D. inflata (Strebel, 1908). Phylogenetic analysis has allowed D. haini to be incorporated within Schiotte’s (1998) cladogram for this genus and, thereby clarify its historical zoogeography. A record of D. inflata from the Weddell Sea extends its known distribution range. The recorded geographic distribution now ranges from South Georgia to the Antarctic continent, and the depth range is extended considerably, from 252-310 m to 1645 m.last_img

6 ways financial marketers can improve their online reputation

first_img continue reading » The banking industry’s reputation got clobbered during the Great Recession. While financial services’ image rebounded somewhat, surveys now show that it is sliding again.Causes include data breaches, systems failures, and poor customer experiences. Indeed, social media makes it easy for unhappy consumers to share unfortunate in-branch and other experiences through online reviews and attacks that bring out more anger from fellow posters, with potentially massive reach.Star ratings have been dropping significantly among some well-known banking brands, according to industry data. Given such indications as Adweek’s finding that 93% of Millennials say they rely on blogs and customer reviews before making a purchase, low star ratings and poor online reviews about wait times, branch personnel competence, and parking and account-related fees clearly harm reputations of individual brands as well as the industry.How can financial marketers reverse this trend? And potentially get ahead? ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

US joblessness spikes as virus takes toll on businesses

first_imgThe Conference Board on Wednesday said unemployment could rise to as high as 15 percent later this year — far beyond the 10 percent peak hit in October 2009 during the global financial crisis.Fed, Congress to the rescueGregory Daco of Oxford Economics said the outlook is grim: “The US economy will experience the largest economic contraction on record with the most severe surge in unemployment ever.”The US Senate has approved a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package that includes an unprecedented expansion in unemployment benefits to try to cushion the blow until the pandemic is under control — and businesses can reopen.The bill would increase weekly payments by $600 and expand them to more workers who were ineligible before, including those who are self-employed or work in the gig economy, which could amount to more than 15 million.The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the measure on Friday,  and President Donald Trump has pledged to sign it quickly.”It protects all American workers,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday on CNBC, calling on lawmakers to pass the bill quickly — and do so unanimously.”The American workers and American public and American business, they need the money now. So this is not the time to debate a bill that passed with every single vote.”The package also provides cash payments of $1,200 for many Americans, and grants to small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as huge amounts for major industries like airlines that have been hit hard by the crisis.The Federal Reserve also has been rolling out all its firepower, slashing the benchmark interest rate to zero earlier this month and launching a host of initiatives, including unlimited purchases of US Treasury debt and mortgage debt and lending to companies and municipalities, to keep the US financial system from freezing up.In a rare public interview, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday the central bank would continue to lend “aggressively” to support the world’s largest economy.”When it comes to this lending, we’re not going to run out of ammunition. That doesn’t happen,” Powell said on NBC. Worse to come in AprilBut forecasters say these efforts cannot stave off a recession — and are only the first steps in dealing with the crisis.”Fed action and fiscal measures can only ameliorate the pain, and we remain worried that the latter aren’t yet on a sufficient scale,” Shepherdson said, adding that $2 trillion “is a lot, but more will be needed, soon.”While economists unanimously warn about a massive increase in the jobless level, the all-important government employment report for March will not capture the full impact: the data are based on the pay period that includes the 12th of each month, which for this month came before the massive shutdowns. The March jobs report is due out on April 3, but the April report, set for release May 8, is likely to be the one that shows a surge in the unemployment rate from the current 50-year low of 3.5 percent.Topics : With streets in major cities empty, and shops and restaurants forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was a record explosion of Americans filing for unemployment benefits.A staggering 3.3 million workers filed claims in the week ending March 21, the highest ever recorded, the Labor Department said Thursday, in a report that laid bare the devastating impact of the health crisis on the US economy.The data lend credence to warnings that the overall US unemployment rate will likely spike into the double digits, although that may not be immediately apparent in the March figures given the way the rate is calculated. “I’ve been writing about the US economy every day since 1996, and this is the single worst data point I’ve ever seen, by far,” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics, who correctly forecast initial jobless claims would pass the three million mark.The figure far surpasses the previous record of 695,000 set in October 1982.Nearly every state cited COVID-19 for the jump in initial jobless claims, with heavy impacts in food services, accommodation, entertainment and recreation, health care and transportation, the Labor Department report said.Economists are projecting the pandemic-induced shutdowns could lead to a staggering 14 percent contraction of the US economy.last_img read more

Sharks center fired up for NHL debut: “This has been my dream”

first_imgSAN JOSE — Defenseman Erik Karlsson isn’t the only player who will be making his regular season debut in a Sharks uniform Wednesday night.Center Antti Suomela will also be in the lineup against the Anaheim Ducks in the season-opener at SAP Center,The major difference: Karlsson is starting his 10th NHL season. Suomela is playing in his first NHL regular season game, and has had almost an entire lifetime to think about what this moment might be like.“When I started to play hockey when I was …last_img

Andre Iguodala to receive MRI on left calf on Sunday

first_imgPORTLAND, Ore. – On the surface, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala appeared fine as he walked around the locker room making small talk with teammates and reporters. The Warriors want to be careful, though.So after playing only 18 minutes in the Warriors’ Game 3 win over the Portland Trail Blazers because of left calf tightness, Iguodala plans to receive an MRI sometime on Sunday.“He just had some soreness,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “So we didn’t want to risk anything and put him back …last_img

Homochirality: Computers Are Not the Real World

first_imgIf you solve a vexing problem in a computer model, you have not solved it in the real world.It’s a long-standing problem for origin of life research: how do you get the ingredients to be all of one hand?  The amino acids in proteins and the sugars in DNA are all homochiral, composed of one hand out of two otherwise-identical “isoforms” (chemicals with the same composition that differ only in shape).  Collections made outside of life tend to be random mixtures of left- and right-handed isoforms.  Unless there is a yet-undiscovered natural law that can amplify one hand over the other, a prebiotic protein or genetic molecule would have to form by chance (see online book). An article in PhysOrg explains the problem:“Imagine you’ve got a coin, and it’s perfectly made, so it’s not biased at all, and you start flipping the coin. Each time you flip it, it keeps coming up heads,” he said. “So then you say, something must be operating that’s causing this to happen . . . you get the same puzzle with these biological molecules, and that’s the problem of homochirality.”Yet this same article offers a new explanation. Three researchers at the University of Illinois came up with a new idea.  Will it work?The Illinois team wanted to develop a simpler model, one based on only the most basic properties of life: self-replication and disequilibrium. They showed that with only these minimal requirements, homochirality appears when self-replication is efficient enough.“There are other models, and they may be correct for the origin of homochirality on earth, if you can prove that those prerequisites existed during the emergence of life,” said Jafarpour. “But whether those foundations exist or not, for life that emerged anywhere in the universe, you’d expect that it would have self-replication, and our model says that’s enough to get homochirality.”They knew about the ideas of Sir Charles Frank in 1953. He proposed that one chiral molecule able to replicate itself might repress the formation of the opposite hand.The model relies on mathematical and computational techniques that were not available in Frank’s time. It takes into account the chance events involving individual molecules—which chiral self-replicator happens to find its next substrate first. The detailed statistics built into the model reveal that if self-replication is occurring efficiently enough, this incidental advantage can grow into dominance of one chirality over the other.This article’s optimism exceeds its realism.  Did they try this with actual chemicals in the lab?  Of course not.  They would have to start with what they needed to demonstrate: a chiral molecule able to make accurate copies of itself out of a soup of random ingredients.  Unless the copying process was accurate and efficient enough, errors would accumulate and all gains would be lost (“error catastrophe”).  But how probable is it to get such a replicator by chance?  That’s a high bar to overcome at the beginning.Presumably their replicator would be some RNA ribozyme able to catalyze its own replication.  To demonstrate its ability to follow this scenario, they would have to see it self-organize under plausible prebiotic conditions.  What are plausible prebiotic conditions?  That question is highly theory-laden.  Unless initial ingredients are agreed on, damaging cross-reactions prevented, pH controlled, temperature ranges monitored and oxygen excluded, nothing of interest would emerge.  If something unlikely did emerge, charges of investigator interference would be impossible to dismiss.That’s why their idea only works in the computer (and only on a computer programmed by intelligent human beings already made up of homochiral molecules).  It’s puzzling they compared their scenario with patterns in the foraging activity of ants, which are also living and made up of homochiral molecules. The challenge is to get non-living natural conditions to achieve homochirality.The only graphic in the article is a “computer simulation of the emergence of homochirality” as one hand grows over time in some kind of competition in the spatial domain.  The diagram is highly contrived and unrealistic, but it didn’t stop the author of the press release from making sweeping generalities from it:The work leads to a key conclusion: since homochirality depends only on the basic principles of life, it is expected to appear wherever life emerges, regardless of the surrounding conditions.“For me, the most exciting thing is that this mechanism shows that homochirality is really a biosignature of life, a 100% signature, and should be expected anywhere life emerges,” said Goldenfeld. “So for example, we just learned that there is a global ocean of liquid water under the ice of Enceladus … I think that looking for homochirality in the organic molecules that have been detected there would be a fantastic way to look for life there.”But it’s not a mechanism.  It’s a simulation.  Unless their simulation works in the real world, no such inference can be made, because it begs the question that real molecules can do this outside the computer.  Until it can be demonstrated that blind, unguided molecules can produce homochirality (and anything less than 100% is doomed to failure), the simulation has nothing to say about life on Earth, Enceladus, or exoplanets.There is, however, one cause now in operation that is capable of sorting otherwise identical objects by handedness.  That cause is intelligence.Speaking of Enceladus, Cassini flies by it today (Oct 14) in the first of three final encounters of the geysering moon (see NASA schedule).  On October 28, the spacecraft will make a daring plunge through one of the plumes to collect samples of the dust and vapors from an altitude of 30 miles.  Since another Enceladus mission didn’t make the final cut of NASA’s Discovery program (see Nature), these two encounters and the Dec. 19th flyby are likely to be the last opportunities for decades to gather data from this intriguing, unexpectedly active body.We get excited every time there’s a new proposal to solve the homochirality problem.  Excited, that is, for a few seconds, until we see more false optimism and cheating.  This proposal is all fluff.  Go into the chemistry lab, guys, and demonstrate your process!  You can’t walk onto a football field with an iPad, show a computerized play that wins a touchdown under contrived circumstances, and declare victory.The only value of this article (published uncritically by PhysOrg with no hard pushback questions) is that it makes a clear statement of the problem.  The problem remains as unsolved now as it was in 1953. It remains evidence of life’s uniqueness, as it was to Louis Pasteur.  The conclusion from our online book* remains: “We find that there is no lessening of confusion until one accepts the logic that ‘intelligent’ systems could not arise without an intelligent Designer.”*This book, published first in 1973, was among the first to use the term “intelligent design” explicitly. It was the author’s inference from the extreme improbability of chance to achieve the high degree of complex information seen in even the simplest conceivable living cell.(Visited 100 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The future development of the TseKwa caves in Charlie Lake

first_imgRezoning Report; CLICK HERETreaty 8; CLICK HERESimon Fraser University Research; CLICK HERENorthwest Coast Archeology; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A rezoning application has been submitted to the Peace River Regional District to restore and protect the previously known Charlie Lake Caves, now Tse’K’wa land, by establishing an Indigenous cultural museum.Gary Oker, President of Tse’K’wa Heritage Society, shares the Tse’K’wa holds deep historical and cultural importance. The goal is to recreate the space to what it would have looked like in the stone age, to include an amphitheatre space as well as buildings to display the vast collection in 1000 piece range of found artifacts from the site.Oker says it would become a space for ceremonies, drumming and different things could be shared such as food, traditional song and stories for people to come and enjoy the history. It is important to Oker to increase the visibility of the indigenous people in the area. March 18th, 2019 there will be an open house at the Charlie Lake Community Hall. As the proper steps are being taken to rezone the land, Oker wants an opportunity to share with the Community what the vision for the land will be.The Simon Fraser University recognized Tse’K’wa as a significant space because of the historical content that was found and unearthed as it was being studied by the University.Oker said this will be a place that provides an opportunity for school children to come and learn as well as being a point of interest for tourism and visitors to the area and passing along the Alaska Hwy.To date, the biggest challenge Oker says they face is the defacing of the caves and he hopes that with the development of the site the cultural importance will be recognized so everyone can enjoy the land.Also represented is Diane Bigfoot, Director from Prophet River and Laura Webb, Director from West Moberly.For more information on the caves and report follow the links below.last_img read more

The NFLs New Defensive Rules Probably Arent Going To Make A Difference

Every offseason, NFL officials make an instructional video that highlights new rules and gives players a warning about which existing ones will be called more tightly in the upcoming season. This year, officials say they’re going to key in on defensive holding and illegal contact, ensuring they’re called correctly.According to reporting by ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha, officials became concerned that those particular penalties were not being called as often as they were a decade ago. (Conspiracy theorists, on the other hand, blamed the Seattle Seahawks’ dominant defensive performance against Peyton Manning’s record-setting Denver Broncos offense in the Super Bowl.) With an assist from the data of Pro-Football-Reference.com, we wondered if the official rationale holds up: Have illegal contact and defensive holding really been called less (on a per-pass basis) in recent seasons?In the case of illegal contact, yes. In 2004, Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian spent the offseason lobbying the NFL Competition Committee to more strictly enforce the illegal contact rule in the wake of his team’s 24-14 playoff defeat against the New England Patriots (a game in which Manning — then playing for Indianapolis — tossed four interceptions).As the chart below shows, referees began calling the penalty much more often the very next season, a 15-year high point. Since then, the penalty’s frequency has steadily receded.However, the pattern is less obvious with defensive holding, which also peaked around the middle of the decade but reversed its decline by 2010, and was near its 15-year high just last season. It doesn’t seem to be a penalty in need of greater emphasis.Then again, concerns about the wisdom of placing more restrictions on defenders in an already pass-happy league may be largely academic. At least in terms of illegal contact and defensive holding, there doesn’t seem to be any relationship between the frequency of either penalty being called and the NFL’s overall level of passing efficiency (as measured by Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt).The last time the NFL cracked down on holding and contact by defenders, it didn’t make any noticeable dent in the rising trend of passing efficiency. Pass offenses have steadily become more and more efficient over the last decade and a half — but that’s part of a longterm trend of increased passing efficacy, not because of the rule changes inspired by Polian a decade ago. The same will likely be true for the changes made this offseason as well. read more

Opinion Three position groups to keep an eye on during the Ohio

OSU then-redshirt senior Corey Smith (84) and then-sophomore Cam Burrows (16) face off during the 2015 Spring Game on April 18 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe 2015 Ohio State football team came into the year with very few questions, riding a wave of consistency and experience. The same cannot be said for coach Urban Meyer’s 2016 squad heading into its annual spring game on Saturday.Most of the headlines surrounding the program this offseason centered around the nine players leaving early for the NFL draft, including defensive stalwart Joey Bosa and offensive playmakers Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Thomas. Returning just six starters — three on offense, three on defense — from last year’s team that went 12-1, there are a lot of new faces at the top of the depth chart for the Buckeyes.Although most of these competitions won’t likely be settled until the final days of fall camp, here are a few position battles to watch for in the Scarlet and Gray scrimmage.Offensive lineBehind what might be considered the most intimidating front line in school history, “The Slobs” have a remodeled look in 2016. Redshirt senior Pat Elflein and redshirt junior Billy Price return up front for OSU. They’ll be looking to lead a group of unheralded, or perhaps even unheard of, Buckeyes who will try to fill sizable holes. Elflein is moving over to center from his previous stake at right guard, while Price is set to slide over from left guard to right.Junior Jamarco Jones is thought to be the replacement at left tackle for possible first-round pick Taylor Decker, who manned the position for the past three years. At 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, the former U.S. Army All-American has not yet had a chance in the spotlight despite being ranked as the No. 4 offensive tackle by 247Sports in his class.For the last two spots on the line, true sophomore Isaiah Prince, true freshman Michael Jordan, redshirt sophomore Demetrius Knox and redshirt junior Evan Lisle are all aiming to start on first-year offensive line coach Greg Studrawa’s front line.Prince was the first member of the 2015 recruiting class to lose his black stripe, granting him rights to practice with the team. Prince, Jordan, Knox and Lisle all were consensus top 100 players in their respective recruiting classes.Although it’s not a real game, the live action that the young offensive linemen will see should be valuable for Meyer to assess what the best five-man unit will be in the regular season. LinebackerOnly one member of Luke Fickell’s starting linebacker corps returns for the 2016 season. With two-year starters Darron Lee and Joshua Perry both gone, junior Raekwon McMillan — already named a team captain — mans the middle for the Buckeyes this season, while young, unproven talent is competing for the two outside linebacker positions.Two former Ohio Mr. Football candidates — Dante Booker, who won it in 2014, and Justin Hilliard, a finalist the year after — were highly touted recruits who haven’t had a chance yet to shine. Expect the two to consistently earn playing time all year, as Meyer has shown he likes to rotate a lot of bodies into the mix at linebacker. Booker, who had 22 tackles last season as a two-deep linebacker, is an early favorite over Hilliard to earn a starting job.The other linebacker who is expected to receive plenty of first-team reps is redshirt junior Chris Worley. Along with Booker in 2015, Worley played on the second group and recorded 17 tackles last season.Wide receiverLast season, Thomas was without a doubt the most talented pass catcher on the field. Now with Thomas, Jalin Marshall and Braxton Miller leaving empty spots, Meyer’s offense is desperately looking for someone from the inexperienced group of receivers to emerge.Returning from a broken leg last season against Indiana is redshirt senior wide receiver Corey Smith. However, as he only collected 25 receptions and 317 receiving yards in a year and a half with OSU, it’s worrisome for Meyer to count on Smith for big numbers this season.Also recovering from a season-ending leg injury, this one suffered in fall camp, Noah Brown has a much-anticipated 2016 campaign ahead considering all reports out of the 2015 camp were positive from Meyer and his team. At 6-foot-2, the 222-pound wideout has great size and control in the air. The redshirt sophomore is known as a physical receiver, which has been a staple in Meyer’s spread offense. If healthy enough to go, Brown will be a heavy favorite for a starting receiver position.Dontre Wilson is another member of the unit who could be looked to for big production in 2016. Yeah, remember this guy? Playing a lot his freshman campaign in 2013, the 5-foot-10 speedster from Texas enters his senior season with his career thus far been marred by injuries. Only at 180 pounds when he arrived on campus and now listed at 195 pounds, Wilson has one season to live up to the hype OSU fans had for him when he first entered the OSU facilities.Finally, if you’re going to watch one skill position player in Saturday’s game, look out for Austin Mack. The early-enrollee freshman has very impressive athleticism and knowledge of the position for a player who is just 18 years old. Mack is a U.S. Army All-American who showcased his skills impressively against future OSU talent in July at OSU’s Friday Night Lights high school showcase event. Don’t be surprised if Mack emerges as the standout in this year’s spring game. read more

Block O tattoo signified early commitment from Buckeyes new quarterback Braxton Miller

Discussing when in the recruiting process he gets a sense a recruit will be joining Ohio State, co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said he’s not usually comfortable until he sees that player’s signed letter of intent. That wasn’t the case with Braxton Miller. When Miller, who is ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in his class according to multiple recruiting services, announced in June that he’d be joining OSU’s 2011 recruiting class, he left little doubt in his future coaches’ minds about his level of commitment, as he showcased an OSU Block “O” tattooed on his left shoulder. Though he announced his intentions months ago and has been taking classes for weeks as an early enrollee at OSU, Miller was officially introduced as a Buckeye on Wednesday at a ceremony introducing OSU’s 23-member recruiting class. Wearing his new No. 5 OSU jersey, along with a retro-style Buckeye hat, Miller said he’s still getting the hang of college life. “The first week was hard to adjust to,” he said, “but I’m cool now.” With OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor suspended for the first five games of the upcoming season, OSU coaches say they are hopeful that Miller’s ability to adjust carries over to the football field. With the 15 extra practice sessions Miller has received from enrolling during Winter Quarter, he likely will compete with Joe Bauserman, Ken Guiton and Taylor Graham to fill the temporary void Pryor will leave. Miller said he’s excited for the opportunity to compete right away but that it’s too early to get caught up in the competition. “It’s just an opportunity,” he said. “Just got to get the job done, do the work and see who wins it out.” OSU quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano agreed that it’s too early to see when, or if, Miller will contribute in the upcoming season, but he acknowledged that Miller’s decision to enroll early only improved his chances. “That’s all going be determined to how fast he adapts to what we do on an offensive standpoint — our play-calling, our formation setups and all those things,” Siciliano said. “Any time you’re here from any position, it gives you an advantage to play football a little bit more. I think that really is an advantage for a quarterback, to be able to get 15 extra days of snaps.” Like Pryor, Miller has displayed an ability both to throw and run the ball. In his senior season at Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio, Miller passed for 2,167 yards and 17 touchdowns and ran for 658 yards and 17 touchdowns. Miller led his team to the Division I state title game. As a three-year starter at Wayne, Miller compiled a 31-7 record. Enrolling early gave Miller the opportunity not only to practice early with his new team but also to bond with Pryor, whom he’ll attempt to replace either this season or the next. “He’s a cool dude to hang out with,” Miller said of Pryor. “I figured I’d learn from the best.” read more