How Could Polar Dinosaurs Survive Freezing, Darkness?

first_imgNational Geographic News has a report about a new exhibit of dinosaur fossils that have been found in the northern and southern polar regions.  These unusual creatures had to survive not only the cold, but also, due to the effects of orbital mechanics, six months of darkness each year.  Intrepid explorers in south Australia, northern Canada, Patagonia, Alaska and Antarctica have braved the elements since the 1980s to find dinosaur bones in the extreme polar regions.  Their discoveries have changed our conceptions of dinosaur metabolism and the ecosystems in which they lived.  Polar dinosaurs include:Hypsolophodontids: “small, speedy, plant-eating dinosaurs that ran on two feet.”  They had large eyes, apparently adapted to low light levels, and bones that grew throughout the year, suggesting they were warm blooded.  The plants on which they fed apparently did not drop their leaves during the winter.A horned dinosaur named Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei (no kidding) must have looked like something out of a sci-fi movie.  NG claims this is “one of the oldest horned, or frilled, dinosaurs known, which suggests that horned dinosaurs may have originated in the southern polar region.”A sauropod, possibly the largest found in Antarctica, is being analyzed.  It was found at 13,000 feet elevation.An allosaurus-like meat eater named Cryolophosaurus ellioti was 22 feet long.The exhibit at Seattle’s Burke Museum is called “Dinosaur of Darkness.”Throughout the world there are mysteries.  Fossils give silent evidence of a very different world in the past; a world with polar regions that must have supported lush plant life and rich ecologies of diverse plants and animals larger than those living today.  Large redwood stumps have also been found in the Arctic circle (see 03/22/2002 headline), and there are the legendary frozen mammoths of Siberia.    This article suggests that “the climate was warmer then than it is now,” but puzzles over the fact that these dinosaurs must have “endured months of darkness and temperatures that plunged below freezing.”  For plants to have supported herbivores and carnivores of this size near the poles, it would seem there must have been atmospheric conditions that evened out the lighting and temperature.    As for horned dinosaurs originating near the south pole, we laugh, ha ha, at this funny joke.(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Target Date Fund Basics for Financial Counselors

first_imgBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®The May 26, 2015 MFLN Personal Finance webinar is about target date funds (TDFs), including the L fund investment option available in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for federal government employees and service members. Also known as lifecycle funds (that’s what the “L” stands for), target date funds are “all in one” portfolios that typically include three types of investment categories known as asset classes: stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents (e.g., money market funds). Their asset allocation weightings (e.g., 50% stock, 30% bonds, 20% cash) automatically adjust and become more conservative (i.e., lower stock percentage) over time.By viZZZual.comTarget date funds typically have a date in their name such as the “2050 fund” and investors chose a fund with a date that is close to their expected year of retirement. Dates are spaced out at 5- or 10-year intervals (e.g., 2030, 2035, etc.). Most TDFs are “funds of funds” with underlying funds from the same fund family. Examples include Fidelity Freedom Funds, Vanguard Target Retirement Funds, and T.Rowe Price Retirement Funds.TDFs were created in 1994 and have gained popularity in the last decade as a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) for tax-deferred retirement savings plans such as 401(k)s and, starting in October 2015, TSP accounts for new federal employees. Some employees who are enrolled in employer investment plans fail to provide instructions for investing their deposits. In these cases, employers invest their plan contributions in the default investment. Investors also like TDF’s “low maintenance” style for savings outside of workplace plans.Below are key facts about target date (lifecycle) funds that investors and those who counsel them need to know:TDFs generally only make sense if they include the bulk of someone’s retirement savings. Otherwise, their asset allocation is altered by “outside” investments, which contradicts the whole premise of using them.A defining characteristic of TDFs is their glide path, which determines the asset allocation mix over time. Pictured as a descending staircase, the glide path indicates how the stock percentage decreases over time.Glide paths are a critical factor in TDF performance and investment companies use several types of glide path methods. Glide paths are used in both TDFs and age-adjusted portfolios in 529 college savings plans.“To” glide path TDFs assume that retirement age is the target date and, at that point, the portfolio’s stock % weighting and investment mix remains static. “Through” glide path TDFs continue to decrease the stock percentage for a designated number of years after the target date before leveling off.The “landing point” is the point in the glide path where a TDF reaches its lowest stock % allocation. Not surprisingly, TDFs with different glide paths and landing points have very different risk profiles.TDFs are not without controversy. Performance issues during the financial crisis brought to light the fact that many TDFs were not as conservatively positioned as their names implied. This led to new disclosure rules by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2010, including better disclosure of TDF glide paths.To this webinar on May 26  at 11 a.m. ET or to view the recording, visit the event page.This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on May 12, 2015.last_img read more

Mayawati mum on participating in Opposition’s Patna rally

first_imgScreenshot of the poster tweeted by a BSP supporter.    In a significant gesture, Ms. Mayawati also distanced herself from the political message of Dalit-OBC unity envisaged by the poster. “The BSP’s policies and principles are based on ‘Sarvajan Sukjay aur Sarvajan Hitay’ and our party does its work keeping it as a goal, whereas the Twitter poster portrays ‘Bahujan Hitay, Bahujan Sukhay,’ which is wrong,” Ms. Mayawati said.‘Sarvajan Sukhay aur Sarvajan Hitay’ or for the good of all and happiness for all, refers to the BSP’s project of linking upper castes Brahmin votes to its core Jatav (Dalit) support.On the other hand, ‘Bahujan Hitay Bahujan Sukhay’ or for the good of the majority and happiness of the majority, is illustrative of the founding principles of the BSP built on bringing together the numerically dominant Dalits and Backwards against the concept of Brahmanism. Apart from this, the poster also has other defects, Ms. Mayawati said, without any specific reference. Raising questions if she would attend the Patna Rally, which is expected to pave the path for Opposition unity for 2019 Lok Sabha election, Ms. Mayawati, however, remained silent on her participation.While the BSP does not have a formal social media policy, during the 2017 UP Assembly elections, the party was uncharacteristically active on the platform. Guided by Paresh Mishra, son-in-law of its general secretary Satish Mishra, and other Dalit and Ambedkarite volunteers the party ran various Twitter handles, Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups. None of them were, however, officially declared by the BSP. The handle in question now for tweeting the poster, @BspUp2017, was one of the many accounts that were active during the elections and have been since.Soon after the BSP dismissal dismissed the content of the poster, the Twitter handle, which is a verified one, also updated its bio on the site.“This is not an official BSP account but initiated by BSP ideology supporter,” it read. Casting a doubt on Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s participation in the August 27 rally in Patna called by Opposition parties, she on Monday “condemned” as “mischievous and wrong” an online poster that showed her in the same frame as other top non-BJP leaders.Ms. Mayawati was provoked to issue a clarification after an online poster was shared by a Twitter handle bearing the BSP’s name. The poster themed with a sky blue background showed a standing figure of her along with cut-outs of other Opposition leaders — Akhilesh Yadav, Tejaswi Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Sharad Yadav, Mamata Banerjee and Sonia Gandhi.“Samajik nyay ke samarthan mein vipaksh ek ho (Opposition must unite in support of social justice),” the poster read. After the poster was widely circulated and discussed on social media, Ms. Mayawati issued a clarification condemning the content of the poster as “false propaganda and wrong.”She also stressed that the BSP “does not have any official Twitter account.”The four-time former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that the BSP regularly issued press notes in Hindi to express it’s viewpoints in detail for the benefit of media as well as common people.“Twitter does not allow this facility,” she said. last_img read more

More digital ticketing options for Metro commuters soon

first_imgMumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) will soon roll out all features of its online ticketing system, Skiiip Q, on Paytm and is expecting more and more commuters to use mobile ticketing options in the coming months. “Mumbai Metro One brought the mobile payment system in Metro ticketing for the first time in India. All the products will soon be available on one of the most widely accepted payment wallet companies: Paytm. We are hopeful that our commuters will benefit from this ticketing option,” an MMOPL spokesperson said. Skiiip Q generates a QR code that can be scanned at the automatic fare collection (AFC) gates to gain access to Metro stations. It was launched in November 2017 on two apps, Ridlr and Paytm. While the former had all the features of Skiiip Q, the latter was limited to journey passes and return tickets. The company recently introduced trip-based passes and is currently testing store value passes, which are likely to be launched in the first week of August.Skiiip Q has been gaining popularity, and the company hopes to have more 50,000 users by the end of the year. In June 2018, around 25,000 passengers were using the app, as against 3,500 users after the first month of its launch.According to MMOPL, nearly 70% of commuters were using Skiiip Q on Paytm, while overall use of the app across all ticketing options — cards, tokens and Skiiip Q — is around 6%. The company has set a target of 15% for the end of the year. MMOPL said use of card-based ticketing was the highest among the three, and hopes that by introducing the options on Paytm, more commuters will switch to the mobile app. At present, only 2% of card-based commuters are using Skiiip Q. The company has engaged two sales promoters at Andheri and Ghatkopar Metro stations during peak hours to assist commuters with the new technology. MMOPL also plans to include it in its corporate contact programme.last_img read more

Assam flood: 2 rhinos drown in Kaziranga, human toll 19

first_img “Four people drowned today [Tuesday], taking the human toll to 19. Landslides in two districts killed two of them,” an ASDMA official said.Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal updated Mr. Shekhawat about the steps taken to deal with the crisis. “We have requested the Union Minister to expedite the setting up of the North East Water Management Authority, as recommended by the NITI Aayog. We have also sought inclusion of river erosion in the list of admissible natural calamities under the State Disaster Relief Fund,” he said.KNP underwaterMore than 90% of KNP remained underwater, forcing animals to escape to the hills of Karbi Anglong district across the highway that runs along the southern edge of the park. “Smaller animals such as deer and wild boar usually suffer the most during floods, but two rhinos and an elephant drowned during the last 24 hours. Nine of the 30 animals that have died so far were hit by speeding vehicles while trying to cross the highway,” KNP’s Divisional Forest Officer Rohini B. Saikia said.Three other rhinos and four hog deer rescued from the flooded park are under treatment at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation at Kaziranga. A total of 30 animals were taken to the centre; 23 of them were released after treatment.Encephalitis persistsAssam also continued to suffer from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis. Health officials on Tuesday reported the death of 17 people due to these related diseases, taking the casualty count to 201 since January. Watch: Assam flood takes its toll on people and animals Four people lost their lives and two one-horned rhinos drowned in Kaziranga National Park (KNP) on Tuesday as Assam continued to reel under floods and rain-induced landslides. The day also saw Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat inspecting some of the worst-hit areas and the Centre releasing ₹251.52 crore as part-payment for relief and rescue operations in the State.Nearly all districtsAssam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials said this year’s flood has spared only one of the State’s 33 districts, affecting 44.96 lakh people across 4,620 villages. More than 1.01 lakh people have taken refuge in 226 relief camps while 562 relief distribution centres have been established.center_img Assam faces floods againVolume 90%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9Live00:0001:2401:24  last_img read more