Hope looms for Region Five RDC

first_img…VC optimistic about ending impasse Vice Chairman of Region Five, Rian Pieters is optimistic that the current impasse which exists between the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition will be resolved very shortly.Chairman Vickchand RamphalThe two sides are in disagreement over whether Ovid Morrison, who is the Clerk of Council and also the Regional Executive Officer (REO), can perform the duties as Clerk outside of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).Additionally, the appointment of three new Councillors has caused the RDC to be at a standstill over the past three sittings.According to Pieters, a mediation mechanism has been put in place which could result in the two sides reaching an agreement.“I have spoken to the Chief Whips of both sides and at this point, at some [point], the issue will be resolved,” Pieters told reporters following Thursday’s RDC meeting which he was forced to adjourn.Vice Chairman of Region Five, Rian PietersWhen the May meeting was called to order, Chairman Vickchand Ramphal said he saw three persons at the horseshoe and was told that they were new Councillors who took the oath of office before Morrison at a private ceremony.Ramphal argued then that Morrison did not have the authority in his capacity as REO to perform the ceremony but Morrison and the coalition Councillors felt otherwise and supported Morrison’s walkout.The three persons are Frank Wilson, Emerson Benjamin and Marian Fordyce who replaced Carol Joseph and Dolston Huston, who resigned, and Renie McCalmont, who never took her seat.Pieters on Thursday acknowledged that independently, the RDC has been unable to resolve several issues.“The one that would have caused today’s meeting to be adjourned, was the one that seems to suggest that the Councillors were not properly sworn in and then they were placed around this horseshoe, occupying positions as if elected members of the Regional Democratic Council. This is a clear contradiction of our legislation,” Pieters said, while adding that he wants the three persons to occupy their seats but it must be done legally.“It is my view and my hope that the Clerk of Council will understand his role as it relates to his legal mandate to the Council.It is the consul that makes the policies channels general direction and it is not the bureaucrats that direct the Council.”He said that as an elected member of the Council, he will not condone any breach of the regulations which govern how individuals become Councillors.He added that as Vice Chairman of the RDC, he remains committed to ensuring that the basic services are provided to all the people of the region.“We are committed to development as residents of this region and as a region, we can only move forward by abiding by the regulations that would direct us along the path that we all want the follow.”last_img read more

Former hot-shot Kempes joins Maradona in offering to coach Argentina

first_img“Of course!” he said when asked by current employers ESPN, for whom he works as a commentator, if he would be interested in the job.“There’s a lot of work to do but there’s enough time to come up with a good project to tackle a very interesting challenge, and I’m sure it would win,” said Kempes, Argentina’s star striker during their 1978 World Cup triumph, scoring two goals in the final.His assertion comes just two days after legend Maradona, who lifted the World Cup in 1986, offered to coach the team for free.Maradona spent two years at the Argentina helm from 2008 to 2010 but saw his side crash out of the South Africa World Cup in a humbling 4-0 quarter-final defeat to Germany.The 63-year-old Kempes, though, has not coached since 2002 and his career was hardly glorious, taking in teams in Indonesia, Albania, Costa Rica and Bolivia, as well as lower league sides in Spain and Italy.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Mario Kempes interested in coaching Argentina © AFP/File / JUAN MABROMATABUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Jul 6 – Hot on the heels of Diego Maradona, another Arentine World Cup winner has thrown his hat into the ring to become the next national team coach.Jorge Sampaoli may still be resisting pressure to resign after Argentina’s World Cup debacle and last 16 elimination against France in Russia, but now Mario Kempes has said he wants to take over.last_img read more

‘Arsenal signed a World Cup winner in the closing stages of deadline day… we can do it again!’

first_imgIt has been a quiet day at the Emirates on transfer deadline day.But many Arsenal fans are not too surprised.Is the lack of news in the red half of north London a sign of a lack of ambition from the club’s board? That was the view of some Gooners, who were hoping to see another striker arrive before the 6pm cut off point.So far, Petr Cech is the only first team player to arrive during the transfer window, so here, talkSPORT looks at a selection of tweets from Arsenal fans. 1 Arsenal fans are a bit annoyed at the lack of action from manager Arsene Wenger last_img


first_imgSETANTA U-21 hurlers are county champions.They defeated St Eunan’s by a single point in the 2013 final which was rescheduled and played in Convoy today.The final score was 1-05 to 0-07, with Setanta a point ahead at half-time 0-04 to 0-03. The sides held a minute’s silence before the game in memory of the Brogan sisters who lost their lives in a house fire in Letterkenny yesterday. HURLING: SETANTA CROWNED 2013 COUNTY U-21 CHAMPS AFTER NARROW WIN OVER ST EUNAN’S was last modified: January 4th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:SETANTASt EunansU-21 hurling finallast_img read more

Properly seated – Wringing more room out of less space

first_imgAirlines and seat manufacturers are far wiser about their seats these days than they used to be. For the most part gone are the days when – as was the case in some coach seats – a metal plate barely embedded in the back cushion would bother some passengers’ backs. Contrary to conventional wisdom, today’s seats – even some economy seats – are more comfortable than ever. It’s the spacing of those seats that annoys passengers. Seat pitch in the back of airliners the world over seems in perpetual retreat as carriers have seen fuel prices skyrocket in the past few years. One way to ease that problem is to add more seats, to squeeze more revenue out of each flight. The trick is how to do that without cutting into a passenger’’ perceived space.Better Than You Think Economy ClassFirst, some perspective. Economy Class ‘seat sets’ (usually three seats to a set) sell for between US$7,500 and US$15,000 absent the in-flight entertainment, or IFE. Despite all the focus on the front of the aircraft, where business class seats cost carriers from US$100,000 to US$150,000, airlines and seat manufacturers are investing heavily in re-working economy class.Some deal with shrinking seat pitch by adding articulated, moving ‘seat-bottom pans.’ They contend the idea seat comfort is automatically linked to seat recline is wrong. Robert Funk, Zodiac Seat US’s vice president of sales and marketing says data show as your seat reclines, if that bottom pan is fixed and doesn’t move, the angle “between where your waist opens up from your thighs” increases. “As that angle opens more and more, it actually becomes more uncomfortable.” That’s why many seat manufacturers use seat bottom pans “that will move a little bit,” dropping down to render the angle comparatively comfortable.With the goal to “own” the economy class seat segment of the airline industry, TIMCO Aerosystems is focusing on airlines that want to improve the comfort of flyers in the back of the aircraft. “The good news for passengers,” says TIMCO Aviation Services Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Leonard Kazmerski, is “there’s a greater emphasis on [seat] comfort and aesthetics.” Despite all-consuming fuel costs and the mandate to cut aircraft weight, Kazmerski believes the pendulum is swinging from “[airline] financial guys who are much more interested in [cutting back] immediate capital costs” and toward marketers, who want to put more paying passengers in more comfortable seats.Most seat manufacturers spend a lot of time up front on ergonomics, ‘pressure mapping’ precisely where seats and passengers meet. That’s where you determine weight distribution of various types of people – short and tall, slim and not-so-slim. Sensors detect where the “hot spots” are says TIMCO Aerosystems President Rick Salanitri. “It’s an amazing science.”One particularly bothersome hot spot lay at the leading edge of the seat cushion, which can rub up against the back of the knee. On longer flights that can be a problem. It would seem simple enough to shave off a bit of seat cushion foam. The issue is, how to do that without violating regulatory requirements regarding cushion flotation capabilities.Violating a larger passenger’s lap space can be a problem too. TIMCO, like many seat manufacturers, sees it customer base as global. Seats have got to accommodate passengers ranging from tall, lanky Scandinavian males to petite Asian females. In testing earlier seat/tray combinations, “Larger passengers found…seat trays sitting on top of their laps,” says Kazmerski. “That can be very uncomfortable.”In response, the company designed a tray table a little bit more elevated. “At the same time, we addressed the cushion height of the seat…[so] the smaller passenger’s feet are not left dangling.”Tweak, tweak, tweak – and, on occasion – compromise. Kazmerski says, “There are always going to be compromises at some level [in] such a confined space.”What Southwest Airlines manifestly didn’t want to do in designing its new Evolve interior was compromise passengers’ personal space. Yet the airline was able to add another full seat row to its Boeing 737-700s without, it says, cutting into it passengers’ living room. “The objective of Evolve wasn’t to see how many seats we could cram into the cabin,” contends Angela Vargo, the airline’s manager of product innovation. “We just wanted to improve the seat.”Southwest’s old bottom seat cushions were too fat, the victim of weighty flotation diaphragms. The carrier removed the old cushions and put life vests under every seat to meet regulatory requirements. As a result, each of its refitted jets shed 635 pounds of weight, saved fuel and boosted the seat count from 137 to 143. In the process it shaved an inch off overall average seat pitch. What was 32 inches is now 31. Still, Vargo asserts “the cubic space around your body actually increased.”Southwest did that by substituting a slimmer bottom cushion, one that “provides more personal space,” she says. “Because all of a sudden you’re sitting further back in the seat.”A couple of added advantages flow from that. First, you now actually feel the lumbar support. The old cushion masked it, because it was simply too plump. You’re also now far more engaged with the armrests. Before, you had to scrunch down to properly reach them. You also had to crane down your neck to see out of the window. Over the course of a long flight that can, quite literally, be pain in the neck.Passenger perceptions of the seat have been “positive” says Vargo, although she concedes, “It’s hard to overcome the [shrunken seat pitch] perceptions people come on board with. It can influence how they feel about the seat.”To see a video of Southwest mechanics fitting a 737 with the new seats click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjMq0zEUABkBack to that pain in the neck for a moment. British Airways is attacking the problem by installing hammock-style neck rests in place of traditional neck rests in its World Traveller economy cabin. “The design decision was a direct result of comfort trials with customers,” says Kathryn Slack, BA’s cabin development manager.Pure Premium EconomyBA’s also battling it out in the next higher tier, increasingly popular premium economy. It’s laying on more seat pitch, seat width and – yes-recline in World Traveller Plus to fashion what Slack says is more “living space in a smaller, more intimate and quiet environment.”Don’t mistake some offerings as “true” international premium economy cautions Zodiac Seats US’s Robert Funk. “There are airlines which offer an expanded coach class product, when they identify as ‘premium.’…But all they’ve done is take a standard coach seat and increase the pitch.”True premium economy usually offers about 38 inches of pitch, gives you in a wider seat, and offers more recline – while easing that annoying angle Funk alluded to by employing a movable seat pan. But seat pans are not necessarily the whole answer. Remember, all passengers are not created equal with it comes to physical stature.Funk says designers need to consider the consequences of that forward-moving seat pan. You don’t want “the front edge of the pan lifting your feet off the floor. Because then it will cut off the blood into your legs by bighting into underside of your legs.” That can help trigger Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), blood clots that can form in your legs. The consequences can be very bad indeed.Premium economy seats are largely mechanical – as opposed to the larger, more luxurious, electronically-actuated seats in business class. Premium economy seats cost carriers anywhere from US$20,000 to US$30,000 per seat set (two seats usually).Direct-Aisle Access Business ClassUp beyond the curtain lies business class, the place where dreams come true. It’s also where carriers make a significant amount of their money. That’s why they’re willing to invest so much in their premium product. Ben Orson sums it up best. Business class seats are “far more than something just to take your weight,” says the managing director of London-based JPA Design, a high-end travel design house. They’ve got to be bedroom, office, theater and restaurant – all “in one carefully managed space.”What’s popular just now is direct-aisle access. Window seat business class flyers hate having to stumble over their seatmate in the middle of the night to get to the lavatory. Zodiac’s Cirrus seat is arrayed so you don’t have to climb over the person next to you. The seat was designed by JPA for Zodiac. Its true genius lies in “how you [arrange] the’‘deck chairs’,” says Funk, “whether you point the feet together, whether you angle the feet out.” The result is a 1x2x1 set-up that makes the most of scarce cabin space. Zodiac Seats US’s marketing vp says direct aisle access now “comes up [in] virtually every conversation we have with customers when talking about business class seats.”Orson says the direct-aisle access concept “has gone on to be one of the giants in terms of seat design.” It’s flying on Cathay Pacific, American, Delta, EVA and Air France and Orson says, “there are multiple other customers coming down the pipeline.”First Class – the Final FrontierFirst class suites, fully enclosed and very private, have come of age. Exploring the pleasures and perks of these most preeminent of airline seats is a story in itself, one better saved for another time. Singapore Airlines helped pioneer the concept back in 1998, fitting its 747s with its then breathtakingly new Singapore Suite.It’s in first class that Orson says passenger comfort and national pride meet. Suites are “overtly luxurious,” reflecting both the airline brand and the country from which the airline comes, all in the same instant.Regular RebirthAirlines, the really competitive upper-tier ones, renew their cabins every five to seven years. The focus is firmly on the seat. Perhaps on the way two to three years from now, says Orson without being terribly specific about it, could be seating arrangements that accommodate groups of passengers. “Middle Eastern carriers will tell you that they have a fairly high percentage of families who travel business class; while Asian airlines will tell you [their passengers] place a high priority on privacy.”Orson says JPA is looking at ways to give the former “a chance to enjoy group experiences” such as “dining or watching a movie together”– while nearby passengers particularly partial to privacy get some work done or sleep.And so it is that seat design is a matter of creative compromise – combining smart space management with subtle sex appeal. “I think,” says Ben Orson, “there’s always an appetite on the part of [passengers] to walk into a cabin and say, “Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this before!”last_img read more

Rattray signs on for MX World Champs

first_img9 September 2013 At the time, the teenage Rattray was relatively unknown in international motocross circles. He joined fellow South Africa Gareth Swanepoel on the international circuit, and the two of them made waves until Rattray finally picked up a ride with the KTM factory team. He went on to be crowned world champion in 2008. Now 28, he first relocated from South Africa to Germany in 2000 to compete internationally and qualified for his first GP races in 2001 at the age of just 15. Waters, who team up with Rattray in the MX1 line-up for Husqvarna, is currently racing for the Motorex KTM Racing Team in Australia. He has overcome injury in the current season to be in second position in the 2013 National Championship after nine of 10 rounds. Langston got his break in 1998 when he moved to the Netherlands, followed two years later by his victory in the 125cc World Championships. South Africa’s Tyla Rattray has been signed by the Husqvarna Factory Racing team for the 2014 FIM Motorcross World Championships. Rattray is a former world champion, having won the MX2 (250cc) title in 2008. ManagerFinnish Motocross legend Antti Pyrhonen, presently of F1 star Kimi Raikkonen’s Ice One Racing, will manage the Red Bull Ice One Husqvarna Factory Racing MX1 team and brings with him a wealth of first-hand experience in motocross and personal association with the Husqvarna brand. “The new Red Bull Ice One Husqvarna factory team is aiming for the top. We believe it can be reached by our dedication to the sport, and by the commitment of our riders and their determined will to win.” Husqvarna, which is based in Austria after a 2013 takeover by Pierer Industrie AG, recently made clear its intention to be a major player in next year’s Championship series by entering a full factory team for both MX1 and MX2 classes. AMA competitionRattray, who won the MX2 World Championship with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team in 2008, has spent recent seasons competing in the AMA Supercross (SX) and Motocross (MX) competitions in the USA, and ended the 2011 season as runner-up in the AMA 250 MX class. SA’s first world championTwo decades ago Albertyn became South Africa’s first MX world champion when he won the 125cc (two-stroke) Championship in 1992. He later won two 250cc World Championships – in 1993 and 1994 – before relocating to the USA. In the MX1 (450cc) class it will be Rattray and Australian Todd Waters wearing the Husqvarna colours, while in the MX2 (250cc) class Romain Febvre of France and Alexandr Tonkov of Russia will represent the new team. “Ice One Racing is pleased to welcome Tyla Rattray and Todd Waters, both from outside Europe, to the World Championship series,’ said Raikkonen. SAinfo reporter Five years ago, Rattray became only the third South African to win a FIM Motocross World Championship, following in the footsteps of Grant Langston and Greg Albertyn, when he became the MX2 world champion after the Italian Grand Prix in September 2008. last_img read more

Saudi Arabia Embraces Solar Energy

first_imgThe production of solar electricity is about to get a big boost in a country sitting on some of the richest oil reserves on the planet. According to an article in The Atlantic, the Saudi Arabian government is set to get into the photovoltaics (PV) business in a big way by beginning construction of solar projects around the country and by opening a commercial-scale PV module factory of its own. Although it has since pushed back the target date, the government announced three years ago that it would have 41 gigawatts of solar capacity online by 2032, besting the output of the current No. 1 solar country in the world, Germany. It also sees an international market for the solar panels it produces as the global market for PV continues to expand.The root of the Saudi push for solar energy has nothing to do with concerns about lowering the country’s carbon footprint, the article says, and everything to do with self-preservation.With a population of just 30 million people, Saudi Arabia is the sixth largest consumer of oil in the world. The country burns about one-quarter of the oil it produces, and consumption has been rising by 7% per year, three times the rate of population growth. If the trend continues, a 2011 report predicted, domestic consumption would eat into exports in another six years, and turn the kingdom into a net importer of oil by 2038.Unless its use of oil can be trimmed, the country faces an alarming future. Great potential for solar growthOn the production side, the Saudis are planning to open a big solar panel factory near Riyadh. On the coast of the Persian Gulf, another factory will soon begin producing large quantities of polysilicon, a key raw material for PV cells, Ball reports.Saudi Arabia not only has huge oil reserves, but also some of the best solar potential on earth. Next year, two state-owned companies plan to break ground on 10 PV projects around the country.There are still many difficulties ahead, Ball says, including bureaucratic infighting that pits entrenched oil interests against the nascent renewables industry, dust and sandstorms that can blot out the sun and cut the production of electricity quickly, and a lack of public interest in conserving oil.The threat posed by unchecked consumption at home is a powerful incentive. Aramco sells oil to the Saudi Electric Company for about $4 a barrel, and with global prices now about $60 a barrel it means that the kingdom forfeits some $56 for every barrel of oil it uses at home and doesn’t send to market.More domestic oil consumption also lowers the country’s ability to keep competitors like the U.S. shale oil industry from gaining too much power.But moving to a solar future will be difficult. Skeptics think even the revised 2040 target date for the 41 GW of solar capacity is impossible.“Proving them wrong would require reshuffling an economic deck that the kingdom’s leaders have stacked for decades to favor petroleum,” Ball writes. “In that sense, Saudi Arabia’s energy challenge is a more extreme version of the one that faces the rest of the world. But if the kingdom’s leaders can find the political courage to act decisively, Saudi Arabia, of all nations, could become a model for other countries trying to shift away from oil.” Great reserves means great wasteIts huge reserves of oil make it easy for Saudi Arabia to put energy conservation on a back burner.“The government sells gasoline to consumers for about 50 cents a gallon and electricity for as little as 1 cent a kilowatt-hour, a fraction of the lowest prices in the United States,” Jeffrey Ball writes in The Atlantic. “As a result, the highways buzz with Cadillacs, Lincolns, and monster SUVs; few buildings have insulation; and people keep their home air conditioners running — often at temperatures that require sweaters — even when they go on vacation.”Air conditioning consumes about 70% of all electricity in the kingdom, much of which is produced by burning oil. Power plants are inefficient.If this trend continues, the outcome would be “cataclysmic” for the kingdom, Ball says. Oil exports underwrite the generous benefits available to Saudi citizens — not only cheap energy at home, but extensive social services (all in a country without income taxes). If oil exports decline, so does the income that pays for all of that.last_img read more

A Look at The Unmatched Versatility of the Canon C700FF

first_imgThe Options The C700 FF Gives YouOne of the most attractive aspects of the C700 FF is the ability to change between sensor sizes in camera. Specifically, you can change between full-frame and super 35, and impressively, you can even change to super 16.Why is this helpful? Well, there are many reasons, but it gives you a ton of different options. Not all lenses are capable of covering a full-frame sensor image circle. Many modern lenses are meant for a super 35 sensor, as that has become the most common with digital cinema cameras. However, many vintage lenses and some of the newest ones are capable of using with a full-frame sensor. Being able to change between them gives you the option to basically use any lens you can think of.Adding the ability to shoot with Super 16 opens up a ton of possibilities with lenses as well (especially some really interesting vintage lenses).How It Affects The Way You ShootIf you’re not familiar, sensor size affects a lot of aspects of shooting. A larger sensor will yield a much shallower depth-of-field, it will have better low-light capabilities, and (among many other image characteristics) on a more practical level it will change the field of view for specific focal lengths vs. a different sensor size — i.e. crop factor.So, for instance, being able to switch between sensor sizes makes it much easier to quickly swap between different crop factors, yielding tighter/wider images based on your lens. If you’ve ever shot with the Sony a-series cameras, most of which have the ability to switch between full-frame or APS-C mode, you know how beneficial that can be when shooting. Your 50mm lens can quickly punch into a tight shot with the touch of a few buttons.In the ShareGrid video, the filmmakers switched between full-frame vintage canon K35 lenses to more modern zoom lenses by switching the sensor size.Sometimes, you want the most dreamy, shallow depth of field, and sometimes you want to sharpen things up a bit. The full-frame sensor will yield that shallow depth of field, but of course, switching over to S35 will change that up a bit if you want.I love this new trend of full-frame cinema cameras, and I also love when the camera manufacturer gives us all the options we might want.Looking for more industry information? Check out these articles.A Look at The Masterclass Sound Editing of “A Quiet Place”Breaking: Aputure Releases Their New Line of Light-Shaping AccessoriesNikon Releases Their First Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera to Take on SonyFour Reasons You Should Be Renting Your Gear Out on ShareGridLens Review: How To Shoot Anamorphic with The Atlas Orion Lenses Everybody wants full-frame, but maybe not all the time. The Canon C700 FF’s versatility in sensor size options gives you everything you’d want and more.These days, the sensor size of each camera system seems to be one of the more hotly debated aspects of each new spec sheet. The ability to shoot on a full-frame sensor is almost an instant sell for many shooters, due to the beautiful depth of field, low-light capabilities, and other desirable image characteristics.The full-frame sensor size hasn’t been available in digital cinema cameras for a while (outside of the DSLR world),but full frame is finally making its way into digital filmmaking in a big way. Canon recently announced its entry into the full-frame cinema camera game with the C700 FF. Likely an answer to the Sony Venice (not to mention more recent releases from RED, and the ARRI LF), the C700 FF can switch between sensor sizes in-camera.In this video from ShareGrid, Brent Barbano shows us how the versatility of this camera changes the game.As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to the Canon C700 FF. (Beyond the fact that it looks fantastic.) If you’re not initiated, here is the spec list for the camera:5.9K Full-Frame CMOS Sensor with DAF.EF-Cinema Lock Type Mount.Dual Pixel AF, Triple DIGIC DV 5.XF-AVC and ProRes Recording to CFast 2.0.Internal Full-Frame up to 60 fps.Internal 4K/Super35 Crop up to 72 fps.Internal 2K/Super16 Crop up to 168 fps.Selectable Gamma and Log Curves.ACES Support.External Raw Recording Option.last_img read more

How Earth Became a Jigsaw Puzzle

first_imgPlate tectonics—the worldwide face-lift that continually, but slowly, reshapes the surface of Earth—is apparently unique to our planet; at the very least, it occurs nowhere else in the solar system. This process is responsible for volcanoes, earthquakes, and mountain building, and possibly for helping harbor early life on Earth.  Yet there is much we still don’t know about what drives it and when it began. Now, a new study may help resolve one question: when and how Earth’s rigid outer shell, or lithosphere, first divided into plates and their global dance began.Evidence of Earth’s earliest geologic history is scant, thanks to the constant recycling of our planet’s surface. But geologists do have a few clues. One line of evidence comes from hardy crystals called zircons, found primarily in granite—the formation of granite requires subduction, the sinking of a lithospheric slab into the mantle where it partially melts to produce so-called granitic magma. Based on the very existence of ancient zircons, some geologists surmise that subduction occurred, at least intermittently, sometime around 4 billion years ago. Other evidence to bolster this claim includes rock sequences from the deepest point on Earth, the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. The trench, formed where the Pacific Plate is sinking into the mantle, contains 4.4-billion-year-old lavas that may have resulted from the earliest subduction zone on Earth. But a wealth of other geochemical and geologic data—from rock assemblages within ancient continental crust to studies of varying chemical contents of granitic rocks—suggest that plate tectonics really went global about 2.7 billion to 3 billion years ago. By then, the lithosphere, rather than forming a solid shell around the planet, had divided into dozens of thick plates. Driven by circulation in the underlying mantle, the plates slid past each other, pulled apart, or collided. The jigsaw didn’t fit quite the way it does now, but the pieces were already moving around.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)This discrepancy has produced some heated debate, but there’s a way to reconcile the two dates, says David Bercovici, a geophysicist at Yale University. The billion-year time lag between the earliest, “proto-subduction” and the full onset of plate tectonics can be explained by the slow, painstaking development of weak zones within the plates, he proposes. The deformation produced by the rocks bending and shearing as the slab sinks into the mantle “leaves behind a scar, a weak spot.” Over time, the zones weakened again and again, until, like a runner’s overstressed ankle, they broke.To better understand the development of these weak zones and how they lead to plate boundaries, Bercovici and geophysicist Yanick Ricard of the University of Lyon in France investigated what kind of damage happens to lithospheric rocks under intense deformation. Earth’s upper mantle, which makes up much of the lithosphere, is a relatively simple mix, consisting primarily of two rock types, olivine and pyroxene. Smaller crystals of rock are more vulnerable to deformation, and the shear stress placed on the rocks during the bending and twisting of subduction tends to metamorphose the rocks and reduce the crystal sizes, increasing their vulnerability. Although the heat of the upper mantle might help the olivine or pyroxene crystals within the rocks grow larger again, or “heal,” the two rock types are competing for space: Each is actually inhibited in its growth by the other’s presence. And once the crystals are damaged enough and small enough, Bercovici and Ricard reported online yesterday in Nature, that ancient inheritance of weakness becomes a plate boundary.This process not only explains how Earth’s plate boundaries could lie apparently dormant for a while but still evolve, but it also highlights why plate tectonics wouldn’t occur even on Earth’s so-called twin planet, Venus, which is of similar size and mass. The surface of Venus is more than 400°C hotter than the surface of Earth—and at those extreme temperatures, the rock crystals can grow more quickly, healing themselves so that the boundaries never form.Lithospheric weak zones with tiny grains have long been suspected to be important to facilitating plate tectonics—but this study explains for the first time how they form, and how “the lithosphere can ‘remember’ these zones of weakness for a geologically long time,” says geophysicist Paul Tackley of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Regardless of when plate tectonics began, he adds, this grain-size-reduction mechanism could have been very important for causing weak zones in the lithosphere at all times in Earth’s history.But whether this really reconciles the different proposed dates for the onset of plate tectonics is less clear, Tackley says. The researchers’ model of early Earth is extremely simplified, he adds: Temperatures in Earth’s interior were much hotter billions of years ago and the planet was geologically more “active,” with more volcanism at the surface and more churning in the mantle. So, rather than a uniform layer that grew weak zones over time, the lithosphere “was always heterogeneous, with weaker and stronger parts.”last_img read more

Spain vs Netherlands: La Roja seek win in World Cup deja-vu

first_imgNetherlands will be eager to avenge their World Cup finals defeat as they take on Spain in Group B tie on Saturday.There will be no love lost between Spain and Netherlands, two of the biggest names in football, as they lock horns for their Group B clash in the FIFA World Cup on Saturday.Netherlands will be looking to avenge their 2010 World Cup finals defeat while Spain will be eyeing a deja-vu of the match result, last time these two met in the tournament.But, a lot has changed since Netherlands 0-1 loss to Spain in the final four years ago. La Roja, attempting to become the first team to retain the World Cup since Brazil 52 years ago (1962), are not the same side anymore.Last year Spain were beaten 0-3 by Brazil in the Confederations Cup final, which could be a sign the reign of Spain is over.Spain coach Vincente del Bosque selected a total of 16 players from the 2010 squad. With an average age of 28 years and 91 days, the Spanish squad is one of the oldest at the World Cup.On the other hand, Netherlands’ squad is one of the youngest of the tournament, with an average age of 26 years and 170 days. Only seven players were already present four years ago: Nigel de Jong, Wesley Sneijder, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Dirk Kuyt, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and reserve keeper Michel Vorm.After the early exit at Euro 2012, Netherlands new coach Louis van Gaal decided to inject young blood in their old and tiring squad by selecting many players of the Dutch Eredivisie. But, his biggest – yet to be proven greatest – contribution to the national team came with the implementation of a new tactical formation of 3-5-2 which suits their star players Robben, van Persie and Sneijder best.advertisementThe new formation will provide Netherlands more defensive security and the front three more or less will have a free role.Though Vincente Del Bosque chose against disclosing his team’s formation for the grueling tie, he has no reason to deviate from the 4-3-3 formation that has won Spain three consecutive major tournaments. He will probably start with Diego Costa as central forward.Despite all the previous facts and shrewd locker room discussions, if these two footballing giants intend to win this tie, it’ll ultimately have to be on the pitch where the ‘nerves of steel’ will be put to test. So, will the Dutchmen succeed in burying the ghosts of their past and embark on an ideal start against their old foe, or La Roja will come out shining once again to prove their critics wrong?Probable Line-up(from):Netherlands(5-3-2): Jasper Cillessen; Daryl Janmaat, Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Daley Blind, Jonathan de Guzman, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel de Jong; Robin van Persie, Arjen RobbenSpain(4-3-3): Iker Casillas; Cesar Azpilicueta, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Xavi; David Silva, Diego Costa, Andres Iniestalast_img read more