ATHLETICS: Digicel Grand Prix Championships KINGSTON: Student-athletes broke 83 records, earning $1,660,000 in scholarships over the course of the six-meet 2016 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship, which ended with the Grand Prix Finals at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport last Saturday. Any athlete who broke a meet record, Grand Prix record, or national junior record, earned $20,000 in scholarships to offset school expenses, which will be paid directly to the school he or she will attend in September 2016. Kingston College’s Class Two athlete, Zico Campbell, was a big winner, earning $100,000 in scholarships, after breaking five records over the course of the six meets. Excelsior High’s Shanice Love, the girls Under-20 discus Grand Prix champion, earned $60,000 for breaking three records, including a new Grand Prix final record in the Class One discus, in which she threw 50.39 metres to win. Athletes who won $40,000 each for breaking two records were St. Elizabeth Technical High School’s (STETHS) Junelle Bromfield, Jamaica College’s Clayton Brown, Calabar High’s Kevroy Venson, Edwin Allen’s Shannon Kalawan, Fiona Richards (Edwin Allen), St. Jago’s Keenan Lawrence, STETHS’ Sahjay Stevens, Shevan Parks of Bellefield, Sanjae Lawrence of Petersfield, and Sanique Walker of Vere Technical, and Ashley Williams of St. Jago. The Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship began on February 6 with the Youngster Goldsmith National Classic and the Western Championships. The other meets in the series were the Central Athletics Championships, Anthrick Corporate Area Development Meet, Camperdown Classic, and the G.C. Foster Classics. Edwin Allen and St. Jago High Schools emerged champion girl and boy school, respectively. Edwin Allen earned 237.6 points to be the leading girls’ school, finishing ahead of Holmwood Technical with 153, Excelsior High137.3, St. Jago 114, and St. Elizabeth Technical 111, rounding out the top five. St. Jago boys earned 252 points to finish ahead of Calabar 184, St. Elizabeth Technical High 136, Kingston College 131, and Munro College 88, rounding out the top five.
A new paper about the inner ear shows an additional level of organization and architecture that increases sensitivity and frequency discrimination.The “organ of Corti” is not a keyboard instrument in a European cathedral, but it might as well be. It’s a keyboard of sorts, composed of rows of ‘hair cells” inside that tiny snail-like coil in the inner ear, the cochlea. Physiologists have known for a long time that hair cells along its coiled-up track, called the basilar membrane, respond to different frequencies. There are two rows of hair cells, inner and outer. According to Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, “the ‘outer hair cells’ act as micromotors that amplify incoming sound, and the ‘inner hair cells’ act to sense and transmit information about the sound to the brain.” The hair cells, therefore, play the starring roles in hearing. But do they work alone or in concert? (Pun intended.)The field of cochlear mechanics has been undergoing a revolution due to recent findings made possible by advancements in measurement techniques. While it has long been assumed that basilar-membrane (BM) motion is the most important determinant of sound transduction by the inner hair cells (IHCs), it turns out that other parts of the sensory epithelium closer to the IHCs, such as the reticular lamina (RL), move with significantly greater amplitude for weaker sounds. It has not been established how these findings are related to the complex cytoarchitecture of the organ of Corti between the BM and RL, which is composed of a lattice of asymmetric Y-shaped elements, each consisting of a basally slanted outer hair cell (OHC), an apically slanted phalangeal process (PhP), and a supporting Deiters’ cell (DC). Here, a computational model of the mouse cochlea supports the hypothesis that the OHC micromotors require this Y-shaped geometry for their contribution to the exquisite sensitivity and frequency selectivity of the mammalian cochlea.In a piano, it’s not just the keys and hammers that make sound. The whole instrument is involved: the sounding board, the pedals, the dampers, and everything else. The keys and action are tied into this vibrating framework. In a similar way, the hair cell bundles do not act in isolation. A new paper in PNAS (quoted above) explains that “Cochlear amplification and tuning depend on the cellular arrangement within the organ of Corti.” In short, the whole inner architecture is involved in hearing, not just the hair cells.Credit: PNAS, Massachusetts Eye & EarWhile the near-crystalline structure of the organ-of-Corti cytoarchitecture in the mammalian cochlea has been known for some time, its functional consequences on hearing remain to be established. The present computational-modeling studies show that individual outer hair cells (OHCs) can work together to produce high hearing sensitivity and frequency selectivity because of the overlapping asymmetrical Y-shaped structures that they form with the Deiters’ cells (DCs) and phalangeal processes (PhPs). Altering the geometry and material properties of these structures reveals that all three components have a profound effect on basilar-membrane and reticular-lamina amplification and tuning. One implication is that the DCs and PhPs are not just supporting structures, but that they must also be properly restored in emerging therapies to regenerate OHCs.An illustration in the press release shows a diagram of the model of this Y-shaped structure, looking like a row of “Y” letters arranged along their sides. Physiologists had hoped that techniques to regenerate just the hair cells might restore hearing. Now, however, this team has demonstrated that the “sounding board” needs to be restored as well. Animations within the PNAS paper show waves traveling along this architecture, looking like waves along a series of closely-spaced power poles. Alterations to this structure compromise the sensitivity of hearing.In addition, there are two domains of fluid inside the organ of Corti that play critical roles in hearing. Their viscous properties and pressures must be finely tuned to the architecture. The organization extends all the way down to individual proteins within the hair cells: “Prestin proteins in the OHC plasma membrane provide a piezoelectric effect, such that depolarization causes axial contraction and hyperpolarization causes axial expansion,” they write. The senior author says, “Our work suggests that, in order for humans to hear well, the outer hair cells in the cochlea not only need to be in good working order, but also need to be connected to other nearby cochlear structures in a very particular way.”The inner ear demonstrates a remarkable example of irreducible complexity. As masterfully organized as the cochlea is, it’s part of another irreducibly complex system in the ear, starting with the outer ear, the ear canal, the eardrum, the bones of the middle ear, the cochlea, and the auditory nerve. Even then, signals to the brain signify nothing unless the brain has the “software” to interpret the sounds.The authors never mentioned “evolution” in the paper or in the press release. The closest word was “revolution,” as in “The field of cochlear mechanics has been undergoing a revolution” in understanding the remarkable architecture by which we hear pressure waves emanating in the world around us. 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Several cyclists took part in a relay race to raise money for children with diabetes and to increase awareness about the illness. (Image: Novo Nordisk South Africa)South Africans must educate themselves about the risks of obesity or being inactive, Nonceba Molwele of the City of Johannesburg recently said at a diabetes awareness month event held in Newtown.According to a press release, Molwele, the Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Councillor, gave a speech at the end of a three-day, 1 600km Novo Nordisk Cycle 4 Diabetes Relay Race at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, on Saturday 7 November 2015 to help raise funds for children with type 1 diabetes in George, Western Cape.At the ceremony, Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company, in partnership with the City of Johannesburg, handed over a cheque of R200 000 to the relay team to pass on to the children. Vehicle manufacturer Chevrolet also donated R50 000 to the fund.Watch and learn how the Novo Nordisk race started in South Africa:WHY THE RACE?Sixteen cyclists – from Team Novo Nordisk, Team C4D, Team Bonitas, Team Bestmed and Team Iron Man – and 10 from the City of Johannesburg took part in the race. It started in Johannesburg on Thursday, 5 November, and proceeded to KwaZulu-Natal via Mpumalanga and finally back to Johannesburg on Saturday morning.The non-stop race was aimed at raising funds for the children ahead of World Diabetes Day on 14 November, create diabetes awareness and encourage communities to screen and test for the disease. This is the fourth year that the race has been held.Watch children under the age of 12 talk about living with diabetes and showing how they test themselves:ABOUT WORLD DIABETES DAYWorld Diabetes Day is commemorated on 14 November each year with its primary goal to bring awareness to the “silent killer” known as diabetes. It was introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to the alarming rise of diabetes around the world. The day itself marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.According to the International Diabetes Federation, the key messages for World Diabetes Day this year is:Act to change your life today: Healthy eating is an important part of managing all types of diabetes.Act to change the world tomorrow: Access to affordable healthy food is essential to reducing the global burden of diabetes and ensuring global sustainable development.SIGNS OF DIABETESAccording to Novo Nordisk, more than 2 million South Africans are diagnosed with the illness, but most of the population do not know they have diabetes.There are three types of diabetes, including gestational diabetes, a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. Both mother and child have an increased risk of developing diabetes in the future.Signs and symptoms of include an unusual thirst, frequent urination, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue or lack of energy. To learn more about diabetes, read more here.
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Nevada’s utility regulators have taken another swing at net-metering rules for residential solar customers, reversing an earlier decision and restoring more attractive rates to those in the northern part of the state.In a draft order approved late last month, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada voted unanimously to restore retail net-metering reimbursements for new solar customers in NV Energy’s Sierra Pacific Power Company service area, up to a cap of 6 megawatts.It’s the latest move in what has become a year-long tussle between regulators, NV Energy and solar advocates over the monthly rates that solar customer pay, and the amount of money they earn for supplying the grid with electricity from their home photovoltaic systems.The latest ruling is likely to get the solar industry moving again in northern Nevada, even if it leaves long-term policy undecided. The December 22 rule says that opening up as much as 6 megawatts of rooftop solar capacity for new and existing customers in the Sierra Pacific service area under old net-metering rules is “just, reasonable, and consistent with the public interest.” Ruling seems to point to a change of heartThe significance of the most recent PUC ruling probably lies with the change of heart it signals, not with the number of customers it directly affects now.In looking back at the aftermath of earlier rulings, the PUC acknowledges that its order of February 2016 “all but crushed the rooftop solar industry in Northern Nevada, reducing the booming industry from 983 applications by residential homeowners and small commercial businesses in Sierra Pacific Power service territory in 2015 to 41 applications in 2016.”“The landscape on these issues continues to grow,” the draft order continues. “Abraham Lincoln once said that ‘[b]ad promises are better broken than kept.’ The PUCN’s prior decisions on NEM, in several respects, may be best viewed as a promise better left unkept. The PUCN is free to apply a new approach.”Nevada Power will be subject to new rate hearings this year, with a decision expected by the end of December. Customers in that service area can hope that the PUC extends its thinking on net-metering to them. “The PUC seems open to fixing this in the future,” a person familiar with the proceedings said. “This is a symbolic victory for solar.”Still up in the air is what happens to new solar customers in the Sierra Pacific service area once the region hits the just approved cap: 6 MW of installed capacity should be enough to take care of 1,000 to 1,500 customers. After that, who knows? Nevada Solar Customers Win a RoundRetail Net Metering Will End in NevadaResidential Solar in Nevada Benefits All, Study SaysLearn How Solar Friendly Your State IsAn Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems Regulators said that allowing more solar customers on the grid would decrease rates for the average residential customers in northern Nevada by a penny a month, and reduce the average bill for a small commercial customers by 43 cents.“It is not much,” the draft order concedes. But the slightly lower rates are evidence there will be no “unreasonable” cost shift between customer classes. “[Net-energy metering] may grow,” the order says, “while average bills should not.”New solar customers covered by Nevada Power, the much larger NV Energy service area in the south, however, are still stuck with service charges and net-energy metering (NEM) rates that won’t make solar very attractive.“Resolution of valuation of NEM issues in Nevada requires more study and collaboration,” the order says. “But the policy of the State of Nevada clearly supports the development and growth of diverse forms of solar and renewable energy as a priority, including NEM.” RELATED ARTICLES Disruption started a year agoAt the end of 2015, regulators approved a plan from NV Energy to triple the monthly service charges for solar customers — to $38.51 per month — while reducing the amount paid for excess solar electricity from 9.1 cents to 2.6 cents per kilowatt hour. The new plan was to be phased in over a period of years.The new rate structure did not grandfather existing solar customers, and that made a lot of people unhappy. It was apparently the first time that a utility had succeeded in imposing new rules on existing solar customers, who had invested in systems under much more favorable terms. With lower reimbursements, solar customers faced longer paybacks for their investments. Installers worried that customers would default on their power purchase agreements.Nevada became one of the most closely watched solar battlegrounds in the country. SolarCity and Vivint, the two biggest solar installers, said they’d halt sales there and SolarCity went as far as to shutter a just-opened training center for solar workers in Las Vegas.The phase-in for new rates was extended in another ruling by the Public Utilities Commission in February, and then in September of last year, retail net-metering was restored for all of the state’s existing 32,000 solar customers. Anyone who had applied to install a solar system by the end of the year would be grandfathered for the next 20 years.But those applying to become solar customers after January 1, 2016 in the southern part of the state — the Nevada Power area — are still subject to climbing monthly charges and sinking reimbursements. Not much appears to have changed for the largest group of Nevada rate payers.
Do you have experience with animation presets in After Effects? Let us know in the comments. Step 3 — Apply Animation PresetTo apply the animation, I simply need to double-click the preset in Adobe Bridge. Once I double-click the preset, After Effects will become active again, and the animation will apply to the layer I had selected. I’ll press the U key to quickly bring up all of the keyframes in my sequence. Furthermore, I can get a closer look at the preset options in the Effect Controls panel. For the last step let’s do some fine tuning. Step 2 — Browse Animation PresetTo browse through a few animation presets, choose Animation > Browse Presets. This command will launch the Adobe Bridge program. Once inside Bridge, I’ll see a library of animation presets from which to select. Click on a preset to watch a preview of the animation. There are many animation options, including transitions, text effects, transform options and behaviors. I can even create synthetic shapes and backgrounds. To find a suitable animation for my slideshow, I’ll navigate to one of the Transitions subfolders. Next, I’ll apply one of the presets to our selected layer. Browse and apply animation presets in Adobe After Effects with these simple steps.Cover image via Shutterstock.Animation presets can come in handy in a variety of different scenarios. Newbies can use them to learn their way around Adobe After Effects and introduce themselves to the wonderful world of animation. Seasoned motion graphics artists can use presets to brainstorm ideas and kickstart an animation project. Whatever the situation, let’s check out what Adobe After Effects has to offer. Step 1 — Select the LayerTo apply a preset, I first need to select a layer on which to add my animation. I can use animation presets on a variety of assets, including text, video, images, and solid layers. For this example, I am creating a quick photo slideshow. I want to find a quick way to transition between a few image layers. In order to do this, let’s have a look at the presets we can use. Step 4 — Fine TuningTo apply the animation preset to all of my image layers, I will select all of the layers and click Animation > Recent Animation Presets > Slide-drop. With all of the layers still selected in the sequence, I’ll press the U key again to bring up all of my keyframes. Finally, I can complete my slideshow by timing my keyframes.
zoom Japan’s Mitsui & Co. has formed joint venture with gas shipping company BW Group Limited to own the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) BW Integrity.Mitsui & Co. has purchased a 49% share in BW Integrity, while BW continues to own a 51% share in the vessel. In line with the deal, BW will continue to provide commercial and technical management services for the vessel.The deal is expected to close as soon as the payment for the acquisition is completed, Mitsui said.This is the first FSRU project for Mitsui, and the first project for a Japanese company to participate in the LNG receiving infrastructure business in Pakistan.BW Integrity is currently in Port Qasim on a 15-year charter to PGP Consortium Limited (PGPC), to provide LNG regasification services at Pakistan’s second LNG import terminal. The demand for imported LNG in Pakistan is expected to grow steadily and reach 20 million tons per annum by 2022.“BW and Mitsui have a long history of close cooperation in many business areas and having Mitsui as a JV partner is a special relationship on which we hope to build for many years to come,” BW Group’s CEO Carsten Mortensen said.“The opportunity for us to enter the FSRU business is a very big step forward for our future business strategy. As an LNG receiving/regasification base project is an extension of the LNG shipping business area, it is important to acquire know-how of the FSRU business and to maintain effective relationships with partners like BW. I am convinced that this partnership will also greatly contribute to Mitsui &Co.’s gas sales strategy. I would like to continue to expand this business area firmly in the future,” Mitsui & Co.’s Chief Operating Officer of the Integrated Transportation Systems Business Unit II, Takeshi Setozaki said.BW’s first FSRU, the BW Singapore, is currently involved in a five-year contract providing LNG regasification and storage services in Sumed, Egypt.BW has a fleet of over 150 vessels, including 21 LNG carriers and FSRUs including newbuildings.Just two weeks ago, BW LNG welcomed two new MEGI LNG carriers into the fleet, BW Tulip and BW Lilac.The identical sisters were named at Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) two weeks ago and are the first two-stroke propulsion vessels in the fleet.
Wilhelmsen Ship Management, a Wilhelmsen group company, said it will be providing ship management services for the new Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) named Turquoise, owned by Ireland-based Pardus Energy.Pardus Energy is a new entrant into the FSRU market, which aims to further expand its market presence.The FSRU is a 170,000 CBM gas processing vessel, built at Hyundai Heavy Industry, South Korea. The FSRU will be managed by Wilhelmsen Ship Management Malaysia.“This win further solidifies our position in the gas market and we expect further growth driven by the positive sentiment in this segment,” says Carl Schou, CEO and President of Wilhelmsen Ship Management.WSM’s portfolio of managed vessels includes more than 450 vessels, including LNG/LPG, Ro-Ro and PCC/PCTC, container, cruise, bulk, and offshore.Image Courtesy: Wilhelmsen Ship Management