Dan Cohen AUTHOR The base support group for Grand Forks AFB, N.D., formed in the run-up to the last round of base closures, wants to broaden its outlook, and adopt a greater emphasis on quality-of-life issues for airmen such as school quality and spousal employment opportunities. “We need to be aware of what’s going on in our communities,” Tom Ford, coordinator of the Grand Forks Base Realignment Impact Committee, said during the group’s meeting last week. “We need to be aware of our school systems. We need to be aware of our housing, but not just aware — we need to be there when things need help or support or improvement,” Ford said, reported the Grand Forks Herald.The adjustment comes as Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has underlined the importance of quality-of-life issues for service members in her public appearances. Along with changing its focus, the committee is looking for a new name, or at least replacing the “R” in BRIC. “Instead of saying here’s all the reasons you shouldn’t close our base, it’s saying here’s all the reasons why our base is so important to the national defense strategy,” Ford said.Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Johnny Saldivar
NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens. Whew – winding down after a long day, but I’ve done it: I’ve placed my seismometer on the surface of Mars! With SEIS, I’ll be able to listen in for marsquakes and help reveal the heartbeat of #Mars. https://t.co/GYNO4txPPi pic.twitter.com/18eQHXOfiO— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) December 20, 2018 Now playing: Watch this: “Seismometer deployment is as important as landing InSight on Mars,” said InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt. “The seismometer is the highest-priority instrument on InSight: We need it in order to complete about three-quarters of our science objectives.”Because this isn’t NASA’s first rodeo, a team of scientists has been practising the deployment of instruments with an exact replica of the lander (known as ForeSight) on a fake Mars set back here on Earth. (Fun fact: the fake Martian dust is made from crushed up garnet stones). And the practice has paid off. “InSight’s timetable of activities on Mars has gone better than we hoped,” said InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman. “Getting the seismometer safely on the ground is an awesome Christmas present.” Sci-Tech Share your voice NASA Space NASA’s InSight lander has perfectly deployed its seismometer on the surface of Mars, ready to listen for marsquakes. NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA’s InSight mission is going from strength to strength with news that the Mars lander has successfully positioned its seismometer, ready to listen for marsquakes. NASA announced the news late on Wednesday, tweeting out a GIF of the instrument being placed on the red dust of Mars. According to the space agency, it’s the first time a scientific instrument has ever been placed on the surface of another planet. The InSight lander touched down on Mars in late November, ready for a seven-year mission that will see the spacecraft drill deeper into the planet than ever before. It will measure how the planet wobbles on its axis as it orbits the sun and ultimately study the composition of Mars’ core. Alongside all that science, InSight will also study seismic activity on Mars — just like Earth gets earthquakes, NASA is looking for ground motion, or “marsquakes,” beneath the Martian surface. But to do all that, NASA had to position InSight’s seismometer just right, which is no easy feat when you’re remotely operating a spacecraft on another planet with an eight-minute communications delay. 0 NASA’s InSight landing and the crazy odds behind getting… 5:54 Tags Post a comment
PM Modi has set his eye on water management, agriculture and security issues on the domestic front.IANSIn his first meeting with the new Council of Ministers on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed all the ministers to reach office on time every morning and avoid working from home.He also asked the cabinet ministers to involve their deputy ministers (Ministers of State) in all important decisions of the ministeries. He said the deputy ministers should be given adequate responsibilities.He further added that Members of Parliament and party workers should be given time for meeting, suggesting that their grievances should be heard.Ahead of the Council of Ministers meeting, the Prime Minister met his Cabinet and outlined the road-map and action plan of his government for the next five years. He took several decisions including triple talaq Bill among others.This was the first-ever meeting of the new Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister. Sources said he spelled out his priorities for Mission 2022 and asked them to present a report card every three months.Sources said the Prime Minister told his colleagues that he would review the task done by them and would monitor the ‘high priority’ schemes being implemented by the various ministries.Sources said the Prime Minister was more concerned about the schemes and projects such as ‘housing for all’ related with Mission 2022, the year when the country celebrates its 75th year of Independence.He spelled out his priorities related to ministries dealing with the social sector. For Rural Development and the newly-constituted Jal Shakti Ministry, Modi outlined specific tasks, the sources said.At present water crisis, particularly in rural areas, is posing a grave threat for the agriculture sector in the wake of apprehensions of a drought in the western region.Modi has already asked the ministries to furnish an action plan for their respective departments for the first 100 days.Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told media that the meeting of the Council of Ministers was a regular affair, saying it is a continuation of the practice started by the Prime Minister in 2014.
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent@StacyBrownMediaRev. Dr. Wendell Anthony isn’t taking the latest efforts by the outgoing Republican administration in Michigan sitting down.Anthony, who’s president of the NAACP in Detroit – the Civil Rights organization’s largest branch – is leading an effort to stop several bills proposed by lame duck Republicans who lost the midterm elections.Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony says the actions taken by the GOP-led legislature are “more crooked than the great train robberies committed by Jesse and Frank James in the Missouri territories.”Anthony said the actions taken by the GOP-led legislature are “more crooked than the great train robberies committed by Jesse and Frank James in the Missouri territories.”“The only thing the legislature in Michigan lacks is a face mask and a six-shooter,” Anthony said. The outspoken Anthony listed seven bills as troublesome:Senate Bills 1238-1240 undercuts the Promote the Vote proposal.Senate Bill 1254 undercuts the anti-gerrymandering proposal.Senate Bill 1252 shifts the oversight of campaign finance law from the incoming Secretary of State.House Bill 6553 would allow the Michigan House of Representatives and the Senate to interfere with legal proceedings involving the state (traditionally the responsibility of the state Attorney General or the Governor’s office).Senate Bill 1175 would change the way employers provide paid sick time and the number of employers exempted by various business entities.Senate Bill 1171 would gut the minimum wage initiative, a measure that would assure the minimum wage would rise according to inflation. “Rogue lawmakers are already trashing the one fair minimum-wage agreement, fought for by workers across the state,” Anthony said.Senate Bill 1182 would change the way law suits and civil actions should be awarded to both the attorneys representing the plaintiffs and the defendants. “It is designed to discourage citizens and organizations filing civil actions against various injustices,” he said.Anthony told NNPA Newswire that the actions are “a treacherous mean-spirited, underhanded and deceptive Republican theft of what should be a democratic process.”“They have not gotten the memo that we won the election and they are mad, and they are upset and trying to offset the result of the election by setting themselves up to maintain power before the Democratic administration can come in,” Anthony said.Together the proposals, which would still require the signature of outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, would essentially take away or greatly diminish the power from Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel.The GOP-sponsored bills came within hours of similar efforts in Wisconsin, where lawmakers voted earlier to shift clout to the Republican-controlled Legislature and weaken the Democrat replacing the GOP governor.In January, Michigan Democrats will jointly hold the governor, attorney general and secretary offices for the first time in 28 years, but the Legislature will continue to be controlled by Republicans.A day after GOP lawmakers finalized an unprecedented maneuver to gut minimum wage and paid sick leave laws, a Senate panel passed legislation that would create the Fair Political Practices Commission to enforce the campaign-finance law rather than Benson, who ran in part on a pledge to advocate for election transparency.Democrats called the bill a blatant power grab that would fly in the face of voters, according to NBC News.“At no point did voters say they wanted the rules manipulated. At no point did they say they wanted bills rushed through a hasty lame-duck session,” Patrick Schuh, state director for the liberal group America Votes, told NBC News.He, like Anthony and others, questioned the timing, saying such a commission was not proposed until a Democrat is on the verge of leading the secretary of state office for the first time in two-dozen years.Chief among the many proposals rankling Democrats and voters alike is a proposal that requires a legislative committee rather than the Attorney General to sign off on withdrawing from federal lawsuits, now sits on the table.In Wisconsin, it would also give the legislature oversight over Governor-Elect Tony Evers, potentially preventing him from seeking waivers for health care.Outgoing governor Scott Walker is even backing away from his promise to ensure coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, made during the height of the recent election.“He is hiding behind a political mask of a lawsuit filed this past February which attempts to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional,” Anthony said.Two years ago, several similar measures were declared unconstitutional in the state of North Carolina. One measure in particular was the 2016 ruling by the federal courts that ended the practice of gerrymandering in the state.Judge James A. Wynn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit Court indicated, “When maps are gerrymandered, the government no longer reflects the will of the people.”The ruling questioned North Carolina’s general assembly’s “Commitment to acting constitutionally compliant, nondiscriminatory election laws.”“One can recall the July 2016 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling indicating that North Carolina legislators, in their efforts to discriminate against black voters, had drafted a law that would target African Americans with almost surgical precision,” Anthony said.Today, in the state of North Carolina, the election in the 9th Congressional District is still not certified. This is due to allegations of voter fraud, and the elimination or destruction of over 1000 absentee ballots, predominantly from African Americans, Anthony said.“There has been an illegal solicitation of absentee ballots by paid individuals of a Republican operative McCrae Dowless. Why has there been no outcry of voter fraud from President Donald J. Trump? Where is the former chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, Kris Kobach, when you really need him? Do you hear the crickets chirping?”The resolution to these issues in Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina is very simple, Anthony continued. “Respect the will of the people. Get better policies and you will win more voters. Don’t try to steal it, after you have lost it,” he said.There’s little question the actions are a prelude to the general election of 2020, according to Anthony. Some lawmakers are running scared, he said while urging voters in Michigan not to be discouraged.“Now is the time to be encouraged. We must not step back. We must all step up. Governor Rick Snyder, please don’t go off into the pages of history having turned back the page on Michigan democracy,” Anthony said.“When these bills arrive on your desk, remember the words of the former First Lady Nancy Reagan, and ‘Just say No.’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. The time is always right to do what is right.’ We shall not be silent because the time is always right, to do what is right, to preserve and protect our democracy,” he said.
More information: www.appliedanimalbehaviour.com … (15)00060-X/abstract Citation: Purring tempo, sliding notes grab cats’ attention (2015, February 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-purring-tempo-cats-attention.html Is there such a thing as cat-centric music, which is pleasing music to cats’ ears? Explore further Credit: Wikipedia Cat shelter findings: Less stress with box access The journal Applied Animal Behavioral Science has published online a study by a team from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and University of Maryland. They worked to produce cat-centric music and tried it out on domestic cats.”We looked at the natural vocalizations of cats and matched our music to the same frequency range, which is about an octave or more higher than human voices,” lead author Charles Snowdon said in Discovery News. “We incorporated tempos that we thought cats would find interesting—the tempo of purring in one piece and the tempo of suckling in another—and since cats use lots of sliding frequencies in their calls, the cat music had many more sliding notes than the human music.” The journal carrying their study is the official journal of the International Society for Applied Ethology. Their research approach involved observations of 47 domestic cats hearing two types of music—one type relaxing classical music pleasing to humans (Gabriel Fauré’s Elegie and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Air on a G String) and the other type, specially created cat music. What were the results? “While the relaxing classical music did not freak out the felines, they basically ignored it, showing no interest whatsoever,” said Discovery News. The cat music grabbed their attention. “Cats possess scent glands along their tails, on each side of their head, between their front paws and on other parts of their body. When a cat rubs something or someone, prior research concludes this means the cat is claiming that thing or individual. In this case, the cats appeared to be trying to claim the music, represented by the speaker playing it,” said Discovery News. “They did not rub against the speakers when the Bach and Fauré pieces were played.”Most of the cats in the study were mixed breeds; it was not possible to examine if certain breeds liked music more than others. Also, the researchers discovered that younger and older cats responded more to the feline-specific music than middle-aged cats. Could the findings support useful applications? Cats experience stress in cat shelters. Their work may have relevance for shelter cats, especially those accustomed to human companionship. Snowden said in Discovery News that there was “some research showing that cats experience separation anxiety, which is greater in human-raised cats than in feral cats.” The authors in their study wrote that “The results suggest novel and more appropriate ways for using music as auditory enrichment for nonhuman animals.” Beyond cats, other animals have been explored for musical response, as researchers seek to learn more about responses to music by species other than human. Co-author of this cat study, David Teie, who is a musician and composer, has explored cognitive processes involved in music appreciation. Working with Snowdon at the University of Wisconsin, they have studied “species-specific music” and looked at its effect on tamarin monkeys. The website “Music for Cats” describes their work. They performed tests at the University of Wisconsin using response to human music as their experimental control. Included in observed behaviors were locomotion, vocalization, scent marking, female solicitation, foraging and speaker orientation. As for the tamarins, they showed a lack of interest in the human music. By contrast, the effect on them of the species-specific music composed by David Teie was reported as clear and convincing. “They displayed a marked increase of activity in response to the music that was designed to excite them, while the ‘tamarin ballad’ music induced a significant calming. This calming effect was measured against the baseline of silence; they moved and vocalized less and orientated more toward the audio speakers during and immediately following the playing of the tamarin ballad.” © 2015 Phys.org 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.
The fifth edition of the Delhi Classical Music Festival came to an end today with a performance by the iconic Pandit Jasraj and a soulful rendition of the traditional Sarod baaj by Pt. Narender Nath Dhar.The performances by Padma Vibhushan Pt Jasraj, and by Pt. Narender Nath Dhar of the Etawah Gharana brought down curtains over the event after five mesmerizing days of classical music display.Showcasing the best of India’s music traditions, the five-day festival of classical music saw several leading names in the field come together with some promising young exponent of classical music. From eminent Dhrupad singers Gundecha brothers; to the doyen of music Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, to Sitar maestro Ustad Shahid Parvez, the festival witnessed some memorable performances. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Presented by the Department of Art, Culture & Languages, and organized by the Punjabi Academy, the Delhi Classical Music Festival offered an enriching experience to the connoisseurs of art in Delhi in furtherance of the efforts of the Government of Delhi to present and nurture our rich cultural heritage by presenting the finest and best that India has to offer to Delhi’s national and international audience.’We are very happy by the response the people have showed to the festival. At a time, when some people are concerned about modern pop culture overshadowing the Indian classical, we have numerous examples of young Indians who have taken to different genres of Indian classical music and enriched it with their contributions. It is important for us to celebrate India’s classical musical forms and take them to the younger generations. This will not only keep our art forms alive but also encourage the younger generation to absorb and adopt these traditions, said SS Yadav, Secretary, Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Delhi Government.Over five days other vocalists and instrumentalists who performed at Kamani auditorium include Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar; Pt. Ajay Pohankar; Ustad Rashid Khan; Shri Bhuvanesh Komkali; Annupriya Deotale on the Violin; and Prem Kumar and P Vetri Boopathy on the Mridangam.
January 13, 2009 Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. When a consumer checks out a construction website, he is looking for information on what services a company provides–and proof the company does what it does well. He’s not going to be impressed with flashy graphics and music. Give him the information he wants, and maybe provide a testimonial or two.The EssentialsA construction company’s website should provide client testimonials, calling special attention to these on the homepage. Ways to do this include featuring a quote from a satisfied customer or noting a major contract your business has won prominently on your homepage.As Delta Creations’ owner and head web developer Joel Hill says, “In Louisiana post-Katrina, anyone with a hammer was calling themselves a contractor.” But among the masses of construction companies on the internet, it’s surprising how few offer testimonials to differentiate themselves. Past clients’ feedback offers prospective customers validation that your business has credibility, and distinguishes you from less experienced firms.To further put customers’ minds at ease, use official graphics that represent the various professional construction industry organizations (local and national) that your business belongs to.Use your website to distinguish your firm from other construction companies. Don’t simply roll out your company history–be specific by telling prospective clients the benefits of doing business with your firm as opposed to another.Good construction isn’t cheap, and cheap construction isn’t good. The same can be said for some web design companies, so forego design firms that specialize in “cookie cutter” websites based on templates. Most of the time, inexpensive sites like these are simply not optimized for search engines, and even an attractive construction website can still cost you six- and seven-figure contracts if it isn’t optimized well–that’s not money well spent. Make sure you have a web professional who’ll improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). If you already have a construction website and are considering a firm to optimize it for you, ask for concrete examples of how they were able to get other construction companies to rank well on Yahoo!, MSN and Google. (Be sure to ask for their target keywords, not just for stats on searches of the company’s name.)Keep the number of site navigation (menu) choices limited. People should be able to find what they’re looking for in the shortest time possible and reach their destination page with as few clicks as possible.Provide photographs and descriptions of past projects, including the time it took to complete the project.Also, use alternate image tags for photographs and menu buttons on your site. This will not only provide some search engine benefits, but also make the site fully accessible to visually impaired web users who use a screen reader.Be sure to keep the purpose of the site crystal clear at the top of every page. When someone gets referred from Google, she needs to determine that she’s in the right place within a matter of seconds.Mistakes to AvoidFirst and foremost, you want to get potential customers on the phone as quickly as possible. You can’t always trust prospective clients to send you an e-mail, and playing e-mail tag is not the best way to sell them on your services. Not having a toll-free number displayed in a prominent place on every single page of the site is a cardinal sin of marketing for a construction website.Flash-animated websites for construction are overrated. Most search engines have trouble reading Flash movie files, which means you’re given limited opportunities to optimize a Flash website for your target keywords. A totally Flash-driven website is typically one page that changes, as opposed to a non-Flash construction website that may consist of as many as 15 pages, each page optimized for a different set of target keywords and performing independently of the others on Google. Each page will also be filled with keyword-rich text, so that’s 15 different lightning rods for search engine traffic, instead of just the one with a Flash website. Deciding to forego an all-Flash site could mean picking up five times as much traffic through Google, and subsequently scoring many times more leads.Flash-based site navigation is a no-no. Search engines such as Yahoo! and Google send “bots” to a website (sometimes called “spiders” by web designers). If Google’s spiders don’t have a clear path to a site’s page (either via an internal link on your site or a link from another website), that page simply doesn’t exist to Google. Since most search engine spiders usually can’t read or follow Flash-based menu links, they have no means of proceeding to your site’s other pages (and consequently those pages will not be indexed in Google). Avoid Flash-based site menus, or at least include a link to a sitemap on your homepage, or a set of text links in the site’s footer , which provides a path to every other page on the site.Avoid using a domain name (.com) that contains digits or hyphens–try to keep the number of syllables in your domain name to a minimum.Make sure you have sufficient content on each page. While some business owners prefer having very little text on a page, to keep things less cluttered, web designers worth their salt in the SEO game will always say “content is king” when it comes to getting love from Google; and the more keyword-rich unique content on a given page, the better. Keep information that will be most relevant to a prospective client up at the top of the page.Avoid music on a construction site. This isn’t a festive restaurant website–music is one more distraction that isn’t necessary.Avoid inconsistency with font sizes and colors. You want to be sure an older audience doesn’t have trouble reading text. Larger-sized text and a white or light-colored background are the easiest to read.Don’t forget to update the look and feel of your site every one to two years to keep it fresh. Don’t get bogged down by a content management system with limited capabilities. Make sure your web developer can easily add to your site and streamline it. When hiring a web developer, ask about their willingness to consider other options besides a content management system.Some companies don’t check their website for cross-browser compatibility. Make sure your site displays well in Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox and Mac browsers.Never use a free e-mail address host (Hotmail, Yahoo!, Gmail, Comcast, etc.) on a construction website soliciting contracts ranging from five to eight figures. Your credibility will take a back-click, along with your site visitor.Avoiding an all-Flash-based site is also good from a loading perspective. The heavier the Flash files, the longer it takes for pages to load (even in an age where dial-up is something of a distant memory). Every second the page takes to load, you’re getting back-clicks from a site visitor.Places to BeWhile sending out newsletters and participating in Twitter, Facebook, blogs are fine for sites selling products or that deal with repeat customers, it’s not necessary for construction companies.”With construction, we’re not really looking for volume,” says Hill of Delta Creations. “A carpet cleaning company gives you a monogrammed desk clock or a calendar because they want to remind you about them on a daily basis; this approach really doesn’t work for a construction company that you hire only on rare occasions. Also, there’s nothing ‘hip’ about construction, so we can’t market it the same way that you do a retail product. Who wants to add a construction company as their MySpace friend?”Message boards can be relatively helpful at pulling more traffic to your site. But be aware there’s a fine line between what’s perceived as contributing to a board and what’s perceived as spamming it. Contribute to a message board that’s related to construction, and only add your link to your signature after the first few posts. Google places more weight on a link that relates to the discussion content.A better avenue to take: Promote your business by supporting a good cause. With the popularity of ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, now’s a great time to get involved in charity construction projects by donating materials or labor to a nonprofit’s building project in your area. Your business will be credited for its donation by the nonprofit’s PR, and you can note it on your website. A construction company can also affordably go to PRweb and, for less than $100, send out a mass, self-written news piece. Of course, the story is more likely to be run on small news websites and blogs that use RSS news feeds related to that industry, but sometimes a bigger publication or website will decide to run it. Also, notify your local press about your contribution and provide your website address.Researched and written by Liz Wilson. Additional information providedby: Delta Creations, a web development and internet marketing services firm. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 8 min read