first_imgMARKHAM (CITYNEWS) – York police say the vehicle believed to have been used in a violent Markham kidnapping has been found, but officers are still searching for the victim.The black wheelchair accessible Dodge Caravan was found empty and without licence plates on Sunday night in Toronto thanks to tips from the public. The license plate that was on the back of the van during the alleged kidnapping was stolen Ontario plate CEAR350.Wanzhen Lu, 22, has not been seen since he was taken from an the underground parking garage of his condominium building at 15 Water Walk Drive, in the area of Highway 7 and Birchmount Road.Lu, who also goes by the name “Peter” and is studying at a school in Toronto, entered the parking garage of his condo building in a Range Rover, Const. Andy Pattenden said.He and his girlfriend were walking towards the building’s elevators when the van came speeding up to them and three masked men, one armed with a Taser-like weapon, forced Lu into the van. The victim was shocked several times with the taser. A fourth suspect stayed in the van.The woman was not harmed and immediately alerted condo security after the incident, who then called police.Pattenden said as the woman wasn’t taken, officers believe Lu was targeted. He noted that police are not sharing some information — such as where in Toronto the van was found and which school Lu attends — to protect the investigation.Neighbours say the student from Hainan, China was regularly seen driving multiple expensive, exotic cars..@YRP tell @CityNews Wanzhen Lu arrived at his condo in a black Range Rover on Saturday evening just before his alleged abduction. A source who shared some pictures with us says Lu also drove this white Lamborghini and Rolls Royce.— Adrian Ghobrial (@CityAdrian) March 25, 2019Police have not been made aware of any ransom demands and say they have yet to determine a motive for the alleged kidnapping.Officers have been in contact with Lu’s family, who are on their way to Canada.The fact Lu has “vanished” is extremely troubling, said Pattenden adding these types of alleged, violent kidnappings do not happen very often, if ever in York region.“The attack was very brazen, violent and hands on. They took him, threw him into the vehicle and then left,” Pattenden said.WATCH: Constable Andy Pattenden provides an update on the case Police are looking for four suspects – a driver and three others who forces Lu into the vehicle.“Now is the time to seek legal counsel and turn yourself in,” Pattenden said urging the suspects to let Lu go. The first suspect is a male who was wearing a mask, blue pants and a black jacket at the time. Another is described as a dark-skinned male, around six-foot-one, wearing a black Canada goose jacket. The third suspect was wearing dark blue jeans with a jacket and is described as a dark-skinned male with a heavier build and around six-foot-two inches tall. The last suspect was wearing a green and yellow jacket with a hood.Police say Lu was wearing a Gucci hoodie, torn black jeans and white sneakers when he was taken, as seen in the photo below. York police believe Wanzhen Lu, 22, was kidnapped from a parking garage at 15 Water Walk Drive in Markham on March 23, 2019. YORK REGIONAL POLICE/Handout Three of four suspects captured on surveilance footage wanted in the armed kidnapping of 22-year-old Wanzhen Lu. HANDOUT/York Regional Police. —With files from The Canadian Presslast_img read more

By Najoua BijjirRotterdam – “As a young boy I was even looking for Aziz Aflak in his hotel… And now I am his spokesperson. That was unthinkable.”Who doesn’t recognize them from the late 80’s? The music group Aflak. They were young, cool and immensely popular. Besides that, Aflak also created a new musical sound that involved the support of real ‘computers.’ Curious about what happened to Aflak since their big success in the 80’s, Morocco World News met with lead singer Aziz Aflak and his spokesperson Mohamed Moufid Sbaï.Who is Aflak and how did it all begin?“I was 6 years old when I first started playing the piano and the oud, an oriental lute,” says Aziz Aflak. “Later I went to the conservatorium in Meknes, where I learned more about creating music. In the early 80’s we moved back to France. My father was a Frenchman and my mother a native Moroccan. Both cultures have always been very important to me. After moving back to France I started composing music that represented the Moroccan culture as well as the European culture. My parents and my family encouraged me a lot to pursue my musical ambition. That motivated me to complete my first song, Marrakesh, in 1986 and to release my first album, Taala Ngoulik, in 1988.”What was the formula of Aflak’s success?“There wasn’t any specific formula, I was just lucky that the timing was right to introduce something new, namely: music assisted by computers. It sounded Western, but was traditional Moroccan music at the same time. And they loved it! For example, I received great support from Moroccan television. My concerts were even broadcasted during halftime of the soccer championship. Many watchers discovered my music in that way. Later, with the advent of satellite television, I reached a much larger audience.”Aziz, what did you change with your music?“At first I didn’t intend to change Moroccan music. I was young and ambitious, and all I wanted was to compose, produce and sing. When I started making music, I was a big fan of composers such as Jean Michel Jarre and the German music band Depeche Mode. They all created musical sounds supported by computers. And that was exactly what I wanted, only with traditional Moroccan rhythms and lyrics.Nowadays working with computers is unthinkable. It has become so easy to produce music that you can do it at home.”What can you tell us about the Moroccan music industry?“The Moroccan music industry is flourishing, and we owe this to the support of the Royal Family and the effort that music producer RedOne makes to promote and inspire young artists.We have also noticed that the numbers of festivals is increasing each year. For example, Mawazine Festival features the most international line up of artists. Therefore the Moroccan music industry and festivals are nowadays very attractive for popular artists abroad,” says Moufid.Young Aziz Aflak and his spokesperson Mohamed MoufidThe group Aflak has changed a lot since 1980, what can you tell us about the transformation of Aflak? “Yes, a lot has changed!” says Aziz. “In the beginning I started performing with my three brothers. Later in 1991, two other musicians joined us. We also started mixing different music instruments into our music, such as keyboards and electronic oud, guitars and drums with traditional Moroccan instruments.In 2008 my brothers left the band and I continued with producing and performing music together with the symphonic orchestra. In 2014, Aflak produced and toured with a rock formation. For more information, visit our website”What is the future plan for Aflak, any new upcoming music? “At this point I am finalizing my new music album, after the release of the song Leila. I’m also working on a compilation of all my songs over the past 27 years,” says Aziz.“We also want to bring back the music that had a great influence on Moroccan music as we know it today and did merge Western music with traditional Moroccan music. Artists like Aziz were role models and they deserve more recognition. Aflak was so popular at that time. I remember when I was young I searched for Aziz Aflak in his hotel when he stayed there during a concert in Rabat. And now I’m his spokesperson… That is unthinkable,” adds Mohamed Moufid Sbaï.“Mohamed is more then my spokesperson. We share the same passion for music, work loyalty and trust. And over the years we became very close friends. Mohamed is like my brother.”© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more

3 March 2010More than a decade after world leaders agreed to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, their empowerment remains a necessary element in attaining development targets, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today. “Until women and girls are liberated from poverty and injustice, all our goals – peace, security, sustainable development – stand in jeopardy,” Mr. Ban said to the Commission on the Status of Women today, as the United Nations marked International Women’s Day, which is observed annually on 8 March.This year is the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 – which remains the most comprehensive global policy framework to achieve the goals of gender equality, development and peace.World leaders attending the summit in the Chinese capital declared that the full participation by women in all spheres of society, including the decision-making and access to power, are fundamental for development and peace.Since the landmark gathering, there are signs of progress, the Secretary-General said today. Most girls now receive education, especially at the primary level, while a growing number of countries have policies and legislation supporting gender equality and reproductive health in place.Women, including Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, former Tanzanian foreign minister, are more likely to participate in government, and are also mobilizing across the globe for equality and improvement, he said.“So, as we look back on Beijing, we have much reason to be proud. Proud but not complacent,” said Mr. Ban, who said that, as a son, husband, father and grandfather to girls, he has made women’s empowerment a priority.He pointed out that injustice and discrimination against women persist around the world, manifesting in violence in some cases. Over two thirds of women experience violence in their lifetime, most commonly at the hands of an intimate partner.“We sometimes hear it said that such practices are a matter of culture,” the Secretary-General said, strongly emphasizing that “they are not.”Last September, it was announced that four UN agencies and offices – including the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) – will be amalgamated to create a new single entity within the world body to promote the rights and well-being of women worldwide and to work towards gender equality.Mr. Ban today urged the General Assembly to adopt a resolution “without delay” to set up this new entity.He also expressed his wish to lead by example, citing the numerous achievements made by the UN to give women a stronger voice.There are currently more women in senior posts at the Organization than at any other time in UN history, rising 40 per cent in the last three years.“But this is not enough,” the Secretary-General acknowledged, noting that women continue to be under-represented in areas such as peacekeeping.He paid tribute to the UN’s work on the ground, such as a new scheme using old technology to bring electricity to hundreds of villages in Burkina Faso to save hours of labour, thereby allowing women time to attend school and visit clinics.“With initiatives such as these, we can improve the lives of hundreds of millions of women and girls,” as well as achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight globally-agreed targets to halve poverty, hunger, illiteracy and other problems, all by 2015, Mr. Ban said.According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), women comprise only 18.8 per cent of parliament members worldwide, shy of the 20 per cent target set by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Beijing Declaration.In 44 chambers in nearly 40 nations, the 20 per cent goal has been met, but progress is lagging in regions such as the Middle East.“Women’s representation in parliaments is an accountability issue,” said Rachel Mayanja, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, at a press conference today in New York.Parliaments, she emphasized, must be accountable to the entire population, including women.The representation of women in governments reflects how democratic they are, Ms. Mayanja said, noting that countries where women are not greatly represented tend to be “less inclusive, less egalitarian and less democratic.”There also needs to be enhanced commitment at the highest levels – not just politics, but also other realms – to support women’s participation in the political process, she said.For its part, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), together with international and regional media organizations, launched its annual “Women Make the News” (WMN) initiative, which seeks to increase adherence to the Beijing Declaration and promote gender equality in the media.This year’s campaign seeks to initiate a global exchange on the importance and the need for gender-sensitive indicators for media organizations.Organizations which have endorsed the initiative include the International Federation of Journalists, the European Broadcasting Union and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. read more

A spokesman for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) voiced particular concern about the upcoming high tide in the Bay of Bengal, which would considerably limit the outflow of flood water into the sea.With that expected in early August, a serious humanitarian crisis could break out in a matter of weeks in the area, Simon Pluess told a press briefing in Geneva. The agency was also concerned about the current food shortages in Bangladesh and their implications for the future.Unexpected flash floods in April destroyed substantial parts of the rice crop, while flooding in July wiped out the food stocks of many households. The next rice harvest in Bangladesh is expected in 10 months.WFP has just finished distributing a week’s supply of high-energy biscuits to 14,800 persons in three northern districts. The agency is also preparing to hand out some 3,000 tons of rice through several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in north and central Bangladesh. read more

Acting on the recommendations of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s latest report, in which he called the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) vital to preventing a flare-up in a conflict that uprooted nearly 300,000 refugees, the Council stressed the need to define the status of Abkhazia within the state of Georgia.The Council said it deeply regretted the refusal of the Abkhaz side to discuss the distribution of “competences” between the two parties on grounds of its 1999 unilateral “declaration of independence,” and reaffirmed its commitment to “the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.”UNOMIG, which consists of 130 uniformed personnel, including 119 military observers and 11 civilian police supported by 103 international civilian personnel and 184 local civilian staff, was established in 1994 after an accord reached in Moscow ended the fighting in Georgia’s northwestern corner.In its resolution, the Council welcomed the commitment of the Georgian side to a peaceful solution and called on both parties to pay urgent attention to the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, recalling that “the Abkhaz side bears a particular responsibility to protect the returnees and to facilitate the return of the remaining displaced population.”It called on the Abkhaz side to improve law enforcement involving the local population and to address the lack of instruction in their mother tongue for the ethnic Georgian population.As in past resolutions, the Council underlined the primary responsibility of both sides to provide appropriate security for UNOMIG and ensure freedom of movement for the Mission as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping force and other international staff, and it strongly condemned the repeated abduction of personnel of those missions.It also again called on the parties to bring to justice those responsible for shooting down a UNOMIG helicopter in 2001, killing nine people. read more

CALGARY – TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) has reached a deal to buy a gas-burning power plant in Pennsylvania for US$654 million from Talen Energy Corp., which is divesting some of its holdings to comply with regulatory requirements.Calgary-based TransCanada says the 778-megawatt Ironwood power plant in Lebanon, Penn., is a natural extension of its power business in the U.S. Northeast region, where the company now has over 4,500 megawatts of generating capacity.The plant is near the Marcellus shale formation, a source of competitively priced natural gas.In a separate transaction, Talen Energy is selling two of its hydroelectric plants in Pennsylvania to Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, which will pay US$860 million.Brookfield Renewable (TSX:BEP.UN) will gain additional generating capacity totalling 292 megawatts. The 252-MW Holtwood station, on the Susquehanna River, is 13 kilometres downstream from Brookfield’s 417-MW Safe Harbor facility.All of Brookfield’s output from the Pennsylvania plants is sold to the PJM regional power grid that serves 61 million customers across 13 states and the District of Columbia.Talen is selling the power plants as part of a larger divestment required after the company was spun off in June from PPL Corp., an energy and utility company with holdings in the United Kingdom and several regions of the United States.TransCanada — better known for its pipeline business — says the Ironwood acquisition will immediately add to earnings and cash flow and generate about US$90 to $110 million in earnings a year before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.It will fund the acquisition with a combination of cash on hand and available credit. That deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.Brookfield Renewable, part of one of Canada’s largest asset management groups, said it would fund a portion of the transation from an investment-grade debt offering that will close with the transaction.The transactions are subject to various approvals and are expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. by The Canadian Press Posted Oct 8, 2015 9:58 am MDT Last Updated Oct 8, 2015 at 10:43 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TransCanada to buy Pennsylvania natural gas power plant from Talen Energy read more

The initiative, called the Stabilization Facility for Libya, is an undertaking of the Libyan Government of National Accord, supported by UNDP and the international community, UNSMIL said in a statement. “The Stabilization Facility for Libya aims to support the Libyan Government of National Accord providing very visible and tangible quick-wins to the population at the local level,” UNSMIL said. The rehabilitation of critical infrastructure destroyed by conflict will directly improve basic service delivery, the Mission noted. The Stabilization Facility will be Libyan-led, with the Prime Minister or his representative chairing the board jointly with the UN. Specifically, UNSMIL said the initiative will help to finance rehabilitation and repairs of key public infrastructure, including clinics, hospitals, police stations, water facilities, waste water treatment facilities, power grids and stations, among other improvements. “The Stabilization Facility can also support businesses that were destroyed by the conflict or degraded and are vital to whole communities, such as bakeries in places where they were destroyed and people are forced to bring bread from elsewhere,” UNSMIL said. The interventions of the Stabilization Facility will be implemented by UNDP and will be selected based on needs assessment on the ground. The priorities will be jointly agreed among the Libyan Government of National Accord, local authorities, civil society and affected populations. The initiative will be initially limited to specific selected localities covering the east, west and south of Libya. If funding allows, it can expand its scope to all areas of the country, UNSMIL said. Officials at the meeting in Tunis included Taher Al-Jehaimi, Minister of Planning in the Libyan Government of National Accord; Rüdiger König, Director General of Crisis Prevention, Stabilization and Peace Building in the Federal Foreign Office of the Government of Germany; Ali Al-Za’tari, UNSMIL Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General; and Noura Hamladji, UNDP Libya Country Director. read more

“While significant progress has been made to respect the stages of the calendar process, the electoral process continues to suffer from suspicion and mistrust between the majority and the opposition, and, between the opposition and the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI),” Leila Zerrougui, the UN Special Representative for the country and head of the Stabilization Mission, MONUSCO, told the Security Council on Thursday.She noted that preparations have reached an important turning point with the opening, on Wednesday, of candidate reception offices for presidential and legislative elections, due to take place on December 23.However, the opposition has expressed multiple grievances, she added, including over voting machinery and electoral records.“I am however encouraged to note that, in the face of disagreements highlighted above, and against the backdrop of immense logistical and financial challenges, all major political parties were able to successfully enrol candidates for provincial legislative elections,” she said.After a slow start, more than 18,000 candidates for office registered, in order to contest 715 seats. Conditions for a level playing field are not yet in place, and without progress on these fronts, the credibility and inclusivity of upcoming elections may be at risk – Leila Zerrougui, head of MONUSCO Although the final tally is yet to be published, initial indications suggest that women make up less than 12 per cent of all registered candidates, she said, urging political parties to ensure greater female representation and participation in forthcoming elections.Ms. Zerrougui said she remains concerned by violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms that continue to impact negatively on democratic space as some peaceful demonstrations are suppressed.She also said that civil society actors and political opponents continue to be arbitrarily arrested and media workers threatened.“Thus, conditions for a level playing field are not yet in place, and without progress on these fronts, the credibility and inclusivity of upcoming elections may be at risk,” she warned.“The Democratic Republic of Congo is at the crossroads. That’s the reason for which I appeal to all stakeholders to seize this opportunity to allow for inclusive, transparent and credible elections on 23 December to provide a more stable future for the DRC, Congolese women and Congolese,” she concluded. read more

first_imgTo fill the hours, he has signed up for a photography course with fellow retiree Judge Michael Roach, and plans to ski, fish and travel in his free time.He described his successor, Judge Peter Blair QC, as suave, talented and athletic, and handed him the “Bursell Box” which each new Recorder inherits.Judge Ford said: “He is to Bristol what Donald Trump is to Washington. He can’t wait to don the bright red gown.” Finally, at the end of the speech, he used a swearing fist to signify his last “out of office” reply. The ceremony on Friday also celebrated the judge’s skill as a “formidable advocate”.Barrister Richard Smith QC told the assembly: “We will miss you, Neil Ford. You have been an influential part of Bristol and the Western circuit for more than 40 years.” In his speech, Judge Ford spoke about a number of occasions when he had tried to prank colleagues, including a time when he filled an associate’s bag with small bottles of gin on the train back from a trial in Reading. Judge Ford also reflected on his career, recalling an occasion when he had a 32-year sentence upgraded to 40 years as it was “too lenient” and one time where he gave a “ghastly man” a 13-year sentence, only to have his sentence downgraded to 12 years.He also revealed that he had a countdown clock on his phone tracking the days left until his retirement, and he has seen a psychologist to help deal with the “sense of loss”. We will miss you, Neil Ford. You have been an influential part of Bristol and the Western circuit for more than 40 yearsBarrister Richard Smith QC A judge used his retirement speech to confess that he drew rude graffiti on an official court computer, leading to all staff having their pens confiscated.Neil Ford QC, who has worked at Bristol Crown Court for eight years, revealed he once doodled a “very large phallus” on an old computer messaging system, which used pens instead of a mouse to draw on the screen. The 63-year-old admitted that the doodle was sent to all staff members, who later had their pens confiscated.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPolice arrested 2 for possession of illegal gun, ammoJuly 30, 2019In “Crime”Men found with 14 shotgun cartridges & hundreds of ammoSeptember 18, 2015In “Crime”1 in custody over discovery of firearm, ammo at ItaballiMarch 21, 2016In “Crime” Police in “F” Division are presently interrogating two men who were found in possession of an unlicenced shotgun and two live ammunition.Based on reports received, police were patrolling the Kupakuri, Region 8 when they received information that two men were seen acting suspicious in a boat on the river.Upon conducting a search, the weapon and ammunition were found and the men were apprehended.Investigations are ongoing. read more

hombradosromanspanish federationSpanish handball As reports, Jose Jaiver Hombrados (40), the currently injured goalkeeper of Atletico Madrid, will be running for President of the Spanish Handball Federation in the elections that are to be held sometime after spring. He will be promoted as candidate during the next month. The current president Juan de Dios Roman will not be seeking re-election. The injury that he has suffered will keep him away from the field for some more time, and he believes it might be time to try himself as President of the SHF.Hombrados won bronze twice in Atlanta 1996 and Beijing 2008.source: ← Previous Story Aleksandar Stojanovic extends Kadetten Schaffhausen deal until 2016 Next Story → Boris Denic decides the 16 for Spain, no Kavticnik, Prost, Mackovsek… read more

first_imgHave you been lamenting the demise of Delicious? Dedicated fans of the social bookmarking service are scrambling for alternatives before the service sunsets or, at the very least, gets translated into some sort of social-networky mashup of failed Yahoo properties.Before the site closes you’ll want to grab your bookmark data and figure out some place to put them. If you opt to go with something local then LifeHacker has a post that explains how to export your data and then import it to your browser. It’ll be quick and painless, unless if you have thousands of bookmarks and are afraid of things getting too crowded. You could even install another browser just to hold the bookmarks, but that doesn’t seem very efficient, does it? Also you’ll lose your precious tags if you go with this method.AdChoices广告If you want to go the open source route then you can check out Scuttle or Semantic Scuttle. These are a bit of a pain to get to work and you’ll need a web server, but once they are going you’ll have your own service up and running. Check this guide out if you are looking for an installation walkthrough.Other bookmark destinations include Spabba, Pinboard, and Evernote. TheNextWeb has a full list if you want more alternatives. Keep in mind that Delicious exports an HTML file so it’s really easy to work with.Scuttle links via our corporate sibling: @sourceforgelast_img read more

MDFR wrapping up relief efforts in Panhandle

first_img(WSVN) – South Florida is continually stepping up to help the victims of Hurricane Michael.The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue task force sent 7News a video of their relief efforts in the Panhandle, Thursday.It’s members have spent the last week helping with search and rescue efforts and providing assistance to the residents who are returning home.“Some of these folks in the community have lost everything – their homes, their belongings and even their way of transportation,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Spokesperson, Erika Benitez, “so they can’t even go out and get these basic supplies.”The task force is wrapping up efforts after bringing storm victims vital essentials like food, water and ice.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Two Transported To Hospital After Collision On KBeach Road

first_imgBoth drivers were injured and transported to Central Peninsula Hospital.  Barnes was charged with Negligent Driving.  Alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the crash however the operation of a cell phone is believed to be. Central Emergency Services and the Alaska State Troopers arrived on scene and contacted the drivers of both vehicles, one of which was entrapped. According to Troopers, Julianne Barnes, 34 of Soldotna, was driving a Chevy Suburban when she crashed into the back of a Ford F150 driven by Thomas McCray, 64 of Soldotna. The investigation is ongoing. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Two individuals were transported to Central Peninsula Hospital following a motor vehicle collision on Kalifornsky Beach Road near Judy Lynn Lane, around 10:05am, Wednesday.last_img read more

first_imgThis is the first I’ve seen of this, though it might be part of a larger movement (fingers-crossed). If not, hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. A sample, It’s from a rather dismal take on the casual game called “For Hate’s Sake” (“It strikes me as the Moby Dick of the modern generation; a tale of an obsession with vengeance so deep that it no longer considers the cost,” says the author). For all of the prospective Angry Birds fan fiction writers out there, might I recommend starting with Angry Birds Seasons, for ample fodder. (Seriously, how did all of those bats get in that pumpkin in the first place?) Red Breast and I watched as Yellow Wing was flung toward the fortifications; the horror that we had once felt now replaced by a dull, shell-shocked emotional aching.last_img read more

first_imgStay on target Beer really is amazing stuff. How amazing? It’s so amazing that even the waste produced by the brewing process can be used to do pretty incredible things.Take the work that’s being done by a team of researchers in Colorado, for example. They’ve partnered up with Avery Brewing in Boulder to produce a critical battery component using the wastewater that is producing their two dozen-plus craft beers creates.They’ve developed a very clever method of making carbon-based electrodes for lithium-ion batteries, and they have a very cool partner that helps them do it. That partner is Neurospora crassa, a rapidly-growing filamentous fungus.N. crassa (the handsome little devil above) has a sweet tooth, and it just so happens that Avery Brewing’s wastewater makes a rather tasty snack for it. Once the fungus has grown to an appropriate size, it’s pyrolyzed to form the electrode material. It’s a highly sustainable process, and they believe it’s one that can easily handle industrial-scale production.It’s also a much more eco-friendly way to deal with a brewery’s wastewater. This isn’t stuff that can be pumped out into municipal sewer systems — it has to be thoroughly filtered before that’s even allowed to happen. Even if that wasn’t a resource-intensive process, it’s definitely not a more appealing option than feeding the liquid to a fungus to produce a material that can be sold to battery makers for profit.Technically this now means that your urine can be used to produce new batches of beer… and the was from that beer can be used to make the battery for the smartphone that you tap to an NFC mug to earn free beers… which eventually make you pee, and the process starts all over again. It’s the circle of liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife! Fiber-Based Six-Pack Can Rings Offer Eco-Friendly Alternative to PlasticEven More Kellogg’s Cereal Gets Re-Born as Craft Beer last_img read more

Scientists uncover clues to ATP mystery and how cells work

first_img Researchers uncover secrets of internal cell fine-tuning Although many parts of the cellular movement process are well-understood, there is still some mystery in the details. One mystery in particular is that long polymer chains of actin (called F-actin) have been observed to use ATP at a rate that is more than 40,000 times faster than that of individual monomers of actin (called G-actin). This gigantic rate difference has been experimentally investigated for more than 25 years without a solution.Now in a new paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, researchers Martin McCullagh, Marissa G. Saunders, and Gregory A. Voth at The University of Chicago have used quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) simulations of G- and F-actin, guided by coarse-grained modeling, to investigate how the structural differences of the two types of actin may contribute to the rate difference at which they use ATP, a process called ATP hydrolysis.”I think this work provides a fundamental molecular understanding of how actin filaments catalyze ATP hydrolysis, which in turn is critical to their behavior,” Voth told “ATP hydrolysis modulates many actin properties, which in turn is very important to the behavior of the cellular cytoskeleton. Some of these properties are relevant to, e.g., the binding of anti-cancer drugs in targeting cancer cells.”In ATP hydrolysis, actin filaments use ATP by breaking off one of its three phosphate atoms. The chemical energy stored in the phosphate bond is released and can be used for many purposes. Here, the energy is used to change the properties of the actin filaments, after which the polymer can be disassembled. This continuous growth and disassembly is what causes cells to move. Basically, what the rate difference mystery means is that somehow actin polymerization accelerates ATP hydrolysis. In other words, as the actin forms a filament, the faster it can use ATP. The effect is cyclical, so that the higher the rate of ATP hydrolysis, the higher the rate at which actin can be depolymerized. This activity leads to a remarkable phenomenon called actin “treadmilling,” which is essential to cellular movement. Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society Water molecules can rotate more freely in G-actin than in F-actin. The F-actin snapshot (a) has a three-water wire, and the G-actin snapshot (b) has a six-water wire. Credit: McCullagh, et al. ©2014 American Chemical Society Citation: Scientists uncover clues to ATP mystery and how cells work (2014, September 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Martin McCullagh, et al. “Unraveling the Mystery of ATP Hydrolysis in Actin Filaments.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/ja507169f Artistic rendering of the actin structures and free energy surfaces calculated for ATP hydrolysis in G-actin and F-actin, computed using QM/MM simulations. Credit: McCullagh, et al. ©2014 American Chemical Society The new QM/MM simulations help explain the dramatic rate increase of ATP hydrolysis that occurs in F-actin compared to G-actin. The simulations show that certain key amino acids change position during polymerization, which promotes the rearrangement of nearby water molecules. The water molecules can rotate more freely, allowing them to easily align into shorter “water wires” that transport protons through the water very quickly—almost instantaneously, in fact. The resulting ease with which the protons can move corresponds to a lowering of the free energy barrier of that process. Since proton transport is a key step in ATP hydrolysis, overall less energy is required for F-actin to hydrolyze the ATP molecules.The simulations reveal a barrier height reduction that agrees well with the experimentally measured value, supporting the explanation that the favorable proton transport environment in F-actin plays an important role in the increased ATP hydrolysis rate. “There are many, many proteins that utilize ATP (or GTP) hydrolysis for modulate their behavior,” Voth said. “I think this work opens up the possibility to include that process more routinely in the computational study of proteins.” ( —Strong, thin fibers called microfilaments, or actin filaments, are present in the cytoplasm of almost every cell in the body. By growing and shrinking, actin filaments play a major role in cellular movement. Since these processes require large amounts of energy, actin filaments use a lot of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a molecule that is often called the energy currency of the cell. © 2014 Phys.orglast_img read more

first_imgWhen a seemingly innocuous image of a woodpecker stashing away its acorn supply made the internet rounds, Twitter-users expressed revulsion. They weren’t reacting to the bird or the actual acorns, but to the set of holes in which the bird was storing its treasure. Clustered in an irregular pattern, the holes were triggering a condition called trypophobia. So why is this phobia so common? Scientists are still trying to answer this question, but many believe the aversion is evolutionarily adaptive. “We know that this condition pre-existed the internet — although the internet may have exacerbated it,” Arnold Wilkins, a psychologist at the University of Essex, told Live Science.  “You avoid things that are likely to harm you,” Wilkins explained. To someone with this phobia, an otherwise benign – and even downright gorgeous – image can spark fear and disgust. These individuals aren’t just afraid of any hole they see. Trypophobia is characterized by an aversion to clustered patterns of irregular holes or bumps. The term seems to have been coined by someone in an online forum in 2005, though scientists say the condition has likely been around for much longer. The phobia isn’t an official disorder, meaning it’s not listed in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” but up to 10% of people report experiencing symptoms, which include anxiety, nausea and a “skin-crawling” sensation, Wilkins said, after viewing certain images. “It can be quite debilitating,” he added. In the first ever scientific documentation of trypophobia published in Psychological Science, Wilkins compared trypophobia-triggering images with pictures of poisonous animals, like the blue-ringed octopus. He and his co-authors found a similar distribution of spots, bumps or holes, as well as a similar level of contrast in the images. The researchers concluded that the phobia could stem from an evolutionarily adaptive aversion to poisonous creatures. Read the whole story: Live Sciencelast_img read more

Gottlieb Ben Simmons has a long way to go

first_imgBen Simmons has a long way to goColin has proclaimed Ben Simmons as the future face of the NBA, but he only managed one single point in the Sixers Game 2 loss to the Celtics. Simmons potential is unquestioned, but Doug thinks before he can become a true superstar he’ll have to prove he can shoot it consistently. He also needs to improve his free throw shooting, which makes him a late game liability.Simmons’ overall potential is tantalizing, but he has a long way to go before he can be discussed on the same level as the true superstars in the game. He can start by making a jumper. Also:– The Falcons over paid for Matt Ryan, but it’s better than the alternativeGuests:Kenny Roda – Cleveland radio host is talking LeBron’s continued dominance over Toronto, and if the Cavs match up better with the Sixers or the Celtics.Ryen Russillo – Host of The Hoop Streams Podcast host joins the show talking NBA Playoffs; if Toronto is done; how the Celtics are getting it done; and if the Jazz have legitimate chance to beat the Rockets.Brian Sclabrine –  NBA Champion with the Celtics joins the show to talk Philly/Boston, and why this Boston playoff run is so improbDavid Vassegh – Host of Dodger Talk on L.A. AM 570 joins the show to discuss the Dodgers early season struggles and if they can turn it around. LeBron continues to own the RaptorsLeBron went off in the second half to beat the Raptors and take a commanding 2-0 second round series lead. At this point, it’s clear that LeBron owns Toronto, but Doug thinks LeBron is showing flashes of the killer mentality that so many have criticized him for lacking in his career. With this Cavs roster, he doesn’t have a choice.Some teams just have a team’s number, and it’s clear that Toronto has zero belief they can beat a LeBron led Cavs team.last_img read more