The Porridge Before the Soup: Too Hot?

first_imgIn the evolutionary theory of everything, there is a soup before the primordial soup we normally think of.  It’s the solar nebula, the whirling disk of dust, gas and ice that preceded the planets.  Scientists used to think the nebula was differentiated like chemicals in a giant centrifuge, with the rocks close to the sun and the ices out near the perimeter.  The situation was apparently not so simple; now, it appears someone stirred the porridge.  Cometary material and interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) once thought pristine show signs of mixing and heating.    This revision is discussed by Bernard Marty (geochemist, France) in Science.1  He discusses how fractionation ratios of oxygen and nitrogen “vary dramatically across the solar system.”  The models are having to adjust to the new findings.  No longer a slowly cooling and condensing nebula, the picture needs a solar flare here or there, UV photons of the right energies to dissociate some isotopes but not others, etc.: “On a larger scale, such isotope variations among different solar system objects do not define a single relationship, suggesting that different paths or processes may have occurred.”  Some oxygen isotopic enrichments are 300% and even 6000% above normal.  “We still don’t know much about the infancy of our solar system,” Marty said, pointing to the future: “and there is little doubt that tremendous advances in our understanding of this period will arise from the combination of high-precision microanalysis of extraterrestrial matter and of missions returning samples to Earth.”1Bernard Marty, “Planetary Science: The Primordial Porridge,” Science, 5 May 2006: Vol. 312. no. 5774, pp. 706-707, DOI: 10.1126/science.1125967.OK, so now will they go back and revise all the textbook illustrations, slide sets, posters, planetarium shows, and TV programs to reflect the fact that all the models were wrong, and we really don’t know what happened in some past eons?  No way; it would stir the pot and put the heat on too much for public consumption.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Thabo Mbeki’s African vision

first_imgThe transformation in South Africa’s relationship with the rest of the world since 1990 has been nothing short of remarkable.South Africa’s increasing political and diplomatic engagement with the rest of Africa has been accompanied by growing investment by South African companies. (Image: South African History Online)Brand South Africa ReporterThe transformation in South Africa’s relationship with the rest of the world since 1990 has been nothing short of remarkable.Since the release of Nelson Mandela from prison signalled the beginning of the end of apartheid, South Africa has gone from being an international pariah to being “one of the most engaged, open and connected countries in the world,” The Economist observes in a survey of South Africa contained in its 8 April issue.While much of this re-engagement was inevitable given the country’s position as Africa’s leading economy, South African President Thabo Mbeki “has added his own distinctive twist to this natural resurgence with a foreign policy based on African solutions to African problems.”This, The Economist argues, is likely to be Mbeki’s most important legacy.‘Quintessential African nationalist’Driven by a desire to emancipate South Africa and Africa as a whole from racial oppression and colonialism, Mbeki’s principal aim, according to The Economist, has been “to establish the new South Africa as, first and foremost, a black African country.”His other ambition has been “to persuade Africa to set up its own institutions and mechanisms for solving its problems, thus ending the constant, humiliating requests for aid to the West’s former colonial powers.”The Economist report points to South African interventions led by Mbeki to tackle some of the continent’s most difficult political problems, most notably:Helping to get the warring parties to the negotiating table to end the civil war in Burundi.Helping to facilitate the complex negotiations that produced a successful referendum on a new constitution in the Democratic Republic of Congo, “one of the continent’s most war-ravaged states”.Playing a part in ending conflicts in Sudan and Liberia.South Africa not only played a part in bringing the fighting to an end in these countries; it also has thousands of peacekeeping troops stationed in these countries to maintain peace, oversee the integration of armed forces, and help create the conditions for democracy.Setting up African institutionsHowever, The Economist argues, Mbeki has been at his most creative “in trying to set up permanent institutions to serve Africa” – most notably the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) and the African Union (AU).Launched in 2001 and headquartered in South Africa, Nepad – “very much [Mbeki’s] idea” – is a socio-economic development blueprint for the continent which, crucially, “is designed to make African countries themselves responsible for upholding standards of democracy and good governance through the African Peer Review Mechanism.”While Afro-pessimists are quick to belittle these institutions, The Economist argues that they have had successes as well as failures.“The AU acted quickly in Togo last year to reverse a coup; and in January this year South Africa led successful diplomatic efforts to stop Sudan getting the chairmanship of the AU, in protest against the Sudanese government’s policies in Darfur.”The new African Commission on Human and People’s Rights – another institution that Mbeki is involved in – has also “issued a report saying that the Zimbabwean government should be investigated for gross human-rights abuses.”In South Africa’s own interestSouth Africa’s involvement in the rest of Africa goes beyond altruism, The Economist observes, quoting Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad as saying: “We cannot sustain our economic growth if Africa continues in poverty … You can’t have development without conflict resolution.”And South Africa’s increasing political and diplomatic engagement with the rest of Africa has been accompanied by growing investment by South African companies.Since 1994, South Africa has become one of the biggest and boldest investors in Africa.According to The Economist, local mobile phone operators MTN and Vodacom, hotel chain Protea and banks Standard and Absa have all recently successfully expanded into African countries.A 2003 report by online business information firm LiquidAfrica Research found that SA was the largest investor in the rest of Africa between 1990 and 2000, with investment averaging around US$1.4-billion annually, totalling around $12.5-billion for the decade – followed by the US with less than $10-billion, and substantially ahead of France, the UK, Germany and other foreign investors.Mbeki’s ‘one big failure’Mbeki’s one big foreign policy failure so far, The Economist argues, has been Zimbabwe, where Mbeki’s “Africanist credentials trump his Nepad ambitions that African countries should help each other uphold standards of good governance, human rights and democracy, none of which Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president, seems to care much about.“For blacks throughout Africa Mr Mugabe remains a revered icon of the liberation struggle, the man who helped to fund the ANC in exile, and South Africa will not break with the general African consensus on this.” Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Cab Cam – John Wilson, Franklin County

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A stones-throw from a Best Buy and a Wal-Mart is where Ty Higgins found John Wilson working Franklin County ground to prep the field for soybeans in Dublin. Wilson was running a Horsch Joker with a J & M soil conditioner on the land that has been taken care of by the Wilson family for four generations now. Wilson talks with Ty about the implements he is putting to use and his philosophy on field prep with the stronger stalks being planted nowadays in this Cab Cam video.last_img

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast September 25, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Not much happening today. We may see a slight increase in cloud cover as a minor trough works into Ohio, but those clouds will not yield any significant moisture. Temps stay near normal, thanks to cloud interference. We can see some scattered showers develop along the frontal boundary well past midnight tonight and then through the day tomorrow. This will bring rains from a few hundredths to .4″ to about 70% of the state from I-70 south. But, we see just a mix of clouds and sun from I 70 north in Ohio tomorrow. Dry Friday with full sunshine.On Saturday, we still are watching a bit of moisture in  far NW Ohio and far SE. There may be a little bit of “fill in” over the northern third of the state later Saturday afternoon, but generally, we still look for a large part of the state to be precipitation free. Rains in the NW and SE will be up to .3″ with coverage limited to 30%. There clearly will be better rain off to the north and west of Ohio.We are partly to mostly sunny and dry from this Sunday on through next Thursday. Temps will be normal to a bit above, as south-southwest flow continues to warm us. A cold front finally arrives next Friday, bringing some rain potential, and cooler temps. Rains Friday will be from a few hundredths to .25″, mostly from US 30 northward. Then we see temps fall off into the start of the extended period, where temps go below normal.10 day rain potentialDry for the start of the 11-16 day extended period on Saturday and Sunday (5th and 6th). Clouds increase Monday the 7th with a chance of late showers there. We expect only a few hundredths to a tenth or so, with 60% coverage. Then dry for Tuesday and Wednesday (8th-9th), before we see good rains Thursday the 10th, up to half an inch and 80% coverage.last_img read more

27 Years Of Microsoft Windows Launches

first_imgTags:#Computer Shopper#Windows 10#Windows 3.0#Windows 8 Related Posts In the spring of 1990, many of the original editorial crew from Computer Shopper magazine found themselves suspended by the magazine’s new owner, Ziff-Davis. As with all of Shopper’s contributing editors, I worked under contract; but nearly all of us, myself included, refused to sign an agreement with Ziff-Davis that would have severely restricted the integrity and independence of what we said in print, as well as limited us to writing exclusively for Ziff-Davis.So a Montgomery, Alabama, entrepreneur named Doug Moore, who imagined himself the next Ted Turner, bankrolled a publication where all of us could continue to publish the same magazine as before, funded in large part by all of Shopper’s former advertisers who failed to “make the cut.”  We were Computer Monthly, but Microsoft, Lotus, Ashton-Tate, Borland, and all the serious software publishers who knew us all by our first names (and me by my pseudonym) thought of us as the Shopper in exile.Computer Shopper hired us originally because we had a knack for filling space, and it had more space to fill than any periodical ever printed: as many as 500 pages per month.  My main Windows 3.0 preview story for Computer Monthly was 7,500 words, plus I added two 2,000-word sidebars. In this series, I interviewed every major executive with a major Windows 3 product to be released in tandem with the new environment. (It was not yet an operating system.) My editor, also a Shopper veteran, told me, “Mr. Scott, you’re a whole goddamn magazine!”Microsoft had given me pre-release samples of Windows 3.0, and interviews with its key engineers.  So I knew some things about where Windows was going that I couldn’t say even then.  Instead, I could allude to them in the intro of my main article:The weeklies and fortnightlies have already extolled the merits of Win3’s “three-dimensional” buttons, proportional text, and now-boundlessly managed memory. Their gold-star awards have no doubt been bestowed upon the product for being the best in its class, albeit the only product in its class.  The “pundits” have already laid blame upon someone for Win3’s alleged tardiness to market. The entire story is so well-patterned that it may be read without ever having laid eyes to the printed page.Yet if we follow the pattern, we miss the real story.  There is a real development taking place between the authors of and for Windows 3, which concerns the remodeling of the computer application. We are familiar with the application as a program and its associated data, which is entered and exited like a jewelry store or a bank. We sometimes see ourselves “in” an application, just as we often see ourselves “in” the subdirectory pointed to by the DOS prompt. The data we need while we’re “in” the program is much like the diamond necklace behind the display case; we’re allowed to look at it and touch it, but unless we’re very crafty, we’re not allowed to take it outside. It doesn’t belong to us — even if the data’s very existence is due to our having typed it in.The entire contraption of the DOS environment — along with the guilt feelings it so subtly leaves us with — are being shattered by Windows 3.  There is a movement under way by Microsoft and its supportive independent software vendors (ISVs) to abolish the structure which grants exclusive ownership rights of a set of data to an application.  Having done that, the movement will also seek to dissolve the programmatic barricade which surrounds the once-exclusive application, and allow for the equal distribution of correlated tasks within an arbitrarily-defined computing job, to other programs non-specifically.…The meta-application is not an inevitable fact of computing; the marketing debacles of cross-vendor cooperation it imposes may render it as ineffective as OS/2 in changing our computing habits. Still, it is something to be wished for; and it is a far more important facet of the Windows 3 story than faceted buttons and little pictures. The way in which world industry and commerce works is not affected in the least by faceted buttons and little pictures.HenceforthThere is good reason to believe that Windows 8 will be the last classic, all-at-once revision of the product line from Microsoft.  From here on out, Windows users will be subscribers, and improvements (assuming that’s what they are) to the system will be made automatically — for most people, silently.One of the metrics we in the technology business have used to make milestones in our lives, will cease to exist.There was a time in the last century when refrigerators were the very symbols of the technologically advanced household, and when Jell-O symbolized the wonders of a new world — one where an everyday family could enjoy a chilled dessert without considering the expense.  There were magazines devoted to the class of consumer who could afford refrigerators, and who wore their status proudly by displaying such magazines on their coffee tables.  Today, refrigerators are not even particularly interesting to professional chefs whose brilliance depends on them.  A fridge is a fridge. You don’t publish blogs about fridges.So we knew it would happen sometime. A day is coming soon when folks will laugh in amazement as they recall standing in line for days waiting to buy a telephone. A PC, if it is still called that, will be a virtual appliance people use to process information and watch their media. What they watch will probably not be about the act of watching media, and whether that makes an impact on their lives, because it won’t. The degree of interest people will invest in whether their computing device comes from Microsoft or Apple will be as low as whether their dishwasher is a GE, an LG or a Whirlpool. They might not even be able to tell you if you asked.  And you won’t ask, because you won’t be interested.And yet life will go on. Kids will still learn new things about great inventions in a brighter world.  Young people will be inspired to chronicle the history of their times.  Great new concepts will transform the way we live, work and think. Technology will mean something else than it means today.  And folks not so young any more will realize when an era has ended, by how little its passage into history makes that much of a difference. Screenshots of Windows 1.0 and Windows 3.0 courtesy Microsoft. scott fulton Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… John, the computer store manager, handed me a pair of five-and-a-quarter-inch floppy disks, and with his characteristic abandonment of everything resembling candor, told me in a voice loud enough for customers in the burger joint across the street to hear: “I’m not really supposed to have these.  And I’m not supposed to be giving them to you.  But I guess it’s too late, because I just did.  So you didn’t see me.”  A self-adhesive label on the top left corner of the first disk was marked in ball-point pen, “MS-DOS Executive.”  That wasn’t its correct name.He had just returned from the National Computer Conference in Chicago, which in July 1985 was the largest convention of its kind.  I wished I had gone that year, but as is often still the case, publishers couldn’t afford to send me.  Like many more computer store managers than he preferred to admit, he’d been given an “advance copy” of the next version of Microsoft’s task switching program, for the express purpose of spreading the word.  Task switchers were very hot sellers; stores like his couldn’t keep Norton Commander or DESQview on the shelves.  Earlier, Microsoft had added an “MS-DOS Executive” to a special release of its operating system for what the world called “IBM-compatible PCs,” or just “clones.”Version 0.x, 1985Microsoft would rarely afford me the opportunity to use the phrase, “It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before.”  In the software market, there had already been a few decent efforts at graphical task switchers with “high-resolution” VGA graphics (the highest mode supported by IBM PC ATs and 80386-based machines at the time).  By far the best of these had been Digital Research’s (DRI) GEM, the graphical environment Gary Kildall had originally intended to accompany CP/M (the OS that IBM passed up for MS-DOS). But DRI had been tied up in court with Apple, and thus we expected Microsoft’s next-generation “Executive” to look substantially non-Macintosh-ish.  So we were not surprised.A crowd gathered as John fired up the Columbia 386 PC, one of the first clones of the post-AT era (Compaq had already beaten IBM to market with a 386). The blue title screen came up, with an interesting special effect where blocky, white characters converged in the middle to form the “O” in the Microsoft logo.  We saw the name “Microsoft Windows” for the first time. In my fake-poetic voice, I improvised Rod McKuen-like verse around the word “Windows,” before declaring it “a really stupid name.”The problem with task switchers was that they had to remain in memory while the task was launched, so that they could resume when the task was suspended.  Since most systems only had 640K of total memory, the best task switchers left only 512K free.  Windows zero-point-something left about 400, which meant you couldn’t use it in an average PC AT to launch Lotus 1-2-3.But this Columbia 386 had an expansion memory board that kicked its capacity up to a full, screaming megabyte, which was more memory, my first colleagues claimed, that should rightly ever be used in one machine.  The problem with this early release of Windows was that it did not recognize every one-meg memory board available.  So when we first put inserted the labeled disk in the A: drive and typed WIN at the DOS prompt, after the little “O” animation, the system froze.It was after replacing the memory board twice, I think, and commenting out the third-party memory managers from the CONFIG.SYS file, that the graphical screen finally came up.  We had a Microsoft mouse attached to this PC, which looked like a Lifebuoy soap bar with two strips of green pepper glued to it.  Inside it was a steel ball like a shot put, so if you rolled the mouse and let go, it would travel on its own until falling off the desk and onto your toe.I would write up a brief, 2,000-word Windows preview for a company that syndicated my articles in the little handout flyers that computer stores all over the country gave away.  It would be reprinted in PC users’ group newsletters, and on a few hundred BBSes all over North America, by virtue of a network called FidoNet (it still exists today) where host computers literally called one another up by telephone.  Despite being distributed by what today looks like the Pony Express, the article would be published prior to the product’s official release later that year, which meant I had a scoop.  In it, I declared “Windows” (hopefully they’d decide upon a better name) pointless.  If you had the memory expansion card you needed, then you already had the right driver; and if you had the right driver, chances are that it already shipped with a graphical executive. It was a cheap task switcher, I said, which only served to emphasize how far behind the technology curve Intel-based PCs were compared to Motorola-based devices from real companies like Atari.While other companies were smart enough to quit after the first try, I said, Microsoft will probably keep plugging away at this for years to come.Version 3.0, 1990 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more