Planet-Making a Lost Art

first_imgExclusive  Solar system theorists are trying to reverse engineer the planets without the recipe.  Planets exist, but they can’t get from a rotating disk of dust and gas to a solar system from their models.  They are at a loss to explain Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and a host of Jupiter-class planets around other stars.     A press release from Astronomy & Astrophysics explains some of the problems.  Two British astronomers found a show-stopper in their models: any hopeful clumps tend to march in lockstep to their deaths in the center, like lumps of oatmeal washing down the drain before they can solidify.  This is called “Type I migration” – the viscosity of the stellar disk carries material inward like a spiral conveyor belt.  The migration is so rapid (a few thousand years), there is simply not time for a gas giant to form by core accretion.  (If the planet is able to open a gap in the disk, a more benign “Type II” migration still keeps it moving inward, but more slowly.)     Dr. Alan Boss (Carnegie Institute of Washington) shared some of his “heretical” views at a presentation March 21 to scientists and engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  He listed many cons outweighing the pros of the core accretion theory.  Core accretion was the leading model dating back to Laplace’s original Nebular Hypothesis, until in the 1990s the problem of migration came to light.  The problem was exacerbated by the discovery of “hot Jupiters” around other stars – gas giants closer to their parent stars than Mercury is to the sun.  Earlier theory prohibited gas giants from forming so close.  Also, many red dwarf stars have been found to have Jupiter-size planets, contrary to predictions.  Gas giants seem to form regardless of the metallicity of the star (i.e., the proportion of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium).  Furthermore, our Saturn appears to have a much larger core than Jupiter, when the reverse should be true.     While core accretion is a bottom-up hypothesis, there is an alternative: a top-down approach.  Dr. Boss presented his newer “disk instability” model (the heretical one), not so much to pit it against core accretion (the conventional one), but to pit both models against the observations.  Both leave many problems unsolved.  For instance, while disk instability overcomes some of core accretion’s defects, it adds new problems.  In the model, eddies in the rotating stellar disk collapse quickly into clumps.  It is not clear, however, that a clump will survive and continue to shrink into a planet.  Also, the gas giants need to form closer in than expected, then get kicked outward, to account for Jupiter and Saturn’s radial distances.  This means larger clumps must form to take the low road into the star while ejecting the others to the high road.  This process, however, would spell death for any incipient rocky planets like Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.     Disk instability was invented primarily to try to save the timescale, he said.  No one realized how quickly migration would carry a planet in: an upper limit is 10,000 years, when core accretion is assumed to require millions of years.  Modeling planet formation under these constraints is tricky.  Models vary in one parameter by five orders of magnitude.  Boss cited a model that simply ignored Type I migration, and another that artificially set the viscosity very high.  That one got a Jupiter, but no Saturn.  Also, most modelers ignore the situation in most gas nebulas like Orion and Eta Carina, where photoevaporation from high-mass stars blows away the gas in stellar disks quickly.  Boss’s model gets a Jupiter in about 245 years, but that’s only in the computer.  Eventually the models need to account for the highly diverse and anomalous extrasolar planets – currently 150 and counting – being found around other stars, to say nothing of those in our own solar neighborhood.  “Eventually, observers will tell us what the answer is,” he ended.     Footnote: Dr. Boss mentioned several times that core accretion is only a problem with gas giants; he claimed it worked well with rocky terrestrial planets like Earth.  In the Q&A session, however, he did admit that there is a gap in our understanding of how the initial particles begin to accrete.  Bodies need to reach at least 10 meters before gravitation can pull in more material.  He referred to studies performed in space demonstrate that dust grains moving with slow relative velocities in a vacuum will clump into filaments and irregular clumps he called “dust bunnies,” but after they get to a certain size, they begin to impact one another too fast for further accretion to occur.  At that stage, more material is lost than accreted.  So he confessed there is a question mark between the dust-bunny stage and the 10-meter stage.  Also, he said there are problems in the outer disk.  While accounting for Kuiper Belt objects was theoretically not too difficult, he asked, “Can you really explain the Oort Cloud?” Alan Boss was fairly frank about the problems and difficulties, but his thinking is enslaved to a larger molecules-to-man world view that assumes everything from the big bang to man can be explained with references to natural causes alone.  The possibility that planets were designed and created is utterly alien to their thinking.  The film and book The Privileged Planet should challenge these modelers with stringent reality checks on the ability of natural processes alone to account for Earth, for the solar system that protects life on our planet, and for the galactic and cosmic systems of which our planet is a part.  Creationists, on the other hand, need to do serious thinking also in the light of the discoveries of extrasolar planets.  Are all planets equally designed, even for stellar systems devoid of life?  If not, did natural processes form them?  If so, how does one differentiate the need for design in our solar system?   Intelligent design theorists argue that it is not necessary to claim everything is designed to make the case against materialism.  To show that some things cannot be explained with reference to natural causes, and that it is possible to discriminate design from chance and natural law, is sufficient to establish ID.  Such questions may forever remain outside the purview of scientific investigation and remain debate topics for philosophers and theologians.  As shown by today’s story, with more anomalies than successes, materialists are in no position to claim the upper hand.  In the meantime, all players can benefit from more observations.(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Microsoft And Google Declare A Truce In Their YouTube Fight

first_imgGoogle and Microsoft are finally shaking hands and agreeing to work together over Microsoft’s controversial YouTube app for Windows Phone devices.“Microsoft and YouTube are working together to update the new YouTube for Windows Phone app to enable compliance with YouTube’s API terms of service, including enabling ads, in the coming weeks. Microsoft will replace the existing YouTube app in Windows Phone Store with the previous version during this time,” Microsoft and YouTube said in a joint statement sent to ReadWrite. Microsoft will take down the current YouTube app from the Windows Phone Marketplace and replace it with the version that Google and Microsoft will build together, based on YouTube’s application programming interfaces, the established way third-party apps access YouTube content.Microsoft had originally built its own YouTube app for Windows Phone that had violated YouTube’s terms of service by stripping pre-rolled adds from the video content and allowing users to download videos. Last week, YouTube sent Microsoft a cease-and-desist letter warning that the Windows Phone app was a violation of the video website’s terms of service.  What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … dan rowinski Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologycenter_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Google#Microsoft#Windows Phone#YouTube last_img read more

Holden Home Ground Advantage

first_imgCould your club do with a financial boost?There’s only one month to go until the summer round of Holden’s Home Ground Advantage program closes!In 2014 Holden announced a $5 million commitment to support local sporting clubs across Australia over the next 10 years. Each year, a summer and winter round will award $250,000 worth of grants.The program is open to all community sporting clubs including, of course, Touch Football! Projects can be small or big, with one club being awarded $100,000 and additional funds provided for smaller worthy projects each round.So what could your club do with? Grants are awarded for uniforms, equipment and ground and facility upgrades.Applications for the current summer round close Monday, 29 February 2016 so jump online to www.holden.com.au/homegroundadvantage to apply.Related LinksHolden Home Groundlast_img read more

24 days agoMan Utd midfielder Matic remains a target for Inter Milan

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd midfielder Matic remains a target for Inter Milanby Paul Vegas24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic remains a target for Inter Milan.Calciomercato says with Matic’s deal at Old Trafford due for expiry in the summer, that Conte would be interested in a move for the Serbian if he was available on a free transfer. United do have the option to extend his current deal by another year but it remains unclear if the club intend to exercise their option. Matic is free to speak to clubs outside of England as early as January and while Inter are looking to end Juventus’ run of eight straight Serie A titles, they could reach a pre-contract agreement with Matic with a look ahead to 2020-21. last_img read more

ALPART Gives $2.6 Million to Assist Students

first_img They had to have an average of 90 per cent and more This year they sought to give two high school students five-year scholarships Story Highlights Alpart has provided educational assistance to 625 students in South Manchester and St. Elizabeth As part of its quest to support the development of children, Alumina Partners of Jamaica (Alpart), through its Community Council, has provided educational assistance to 625 students in South Manchester, and St. Elizabeth, valued at $2.6 million.Speaking at a back-to-school ceremony, held at the Alpart Sports Club, in Nain, St. Elizabeth, on August 15, Administrator of the Council, Camilla Blake, explained that the educational programme, now in its third year, has reached more students than in previous times.“The programme assists needy students at all levels of the educational spectrum -early childhood level, primary level, secondary level and tertiary level – and they are all drawn from the communities neighbouring Alpart,” he noted.While the initiative has catered to all categories of students, this year they sought to give two high school students five-year scholarships that would take them through their secondary education.“They had to have an average of 90 per cent and more. Applicants had to demonstrate financial need, and they had to have a good record of discipline and potential at their school; and took part in extra curricula activities, because we are looking for rounded individuals,” Miss Blake said.“We had 17 applicants who fit the criteria outlined. After an interview process and deliberations, the two successful students were selected, and a decision was made by management that hard work should be rewarded, so each of the other 15 applicants will receive a grant valued at $15,000 for their first year at high school,” she said.Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for South Manchester, Hon. Michael Peart, provided educational support for some 150 students residing in the Alligator Pond Division, at a cost of over $500,000 from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).“Next year we will be taking this programme to another level where your academic achievement and your attendance record will be investigated before a disbursement is made, to make sure that students who benefit from the programme are deserving of it, not only on need, but on performance,” Mr. Peart said.Both the Member of Parliament for South East St. Elizabeth, Mr. Richard Parchment, and Managing Director for Alpart, Mr. Timothy O’Driscoll, encouraged the students to do their best at school and reap the rewards in later years.For his part, Chairman of the Council, Lenworth Blake, reported that the group has spent some $12 million over the past year to develop communities, and for educational development.“There is no community around the plant where we have not done a project. We have helped the farmers, police station, fire station, and community centres. We also see the worth of education and we are prepared to invest in education,” Mr. Blake told the audience.last_img read more

Regina parents fear policy change could harm foster son with special needs

first_imgKathleen Martens APTN NewsA Saskatchewan couple is fighting a policy change they say will “damage” their Indigenous foster son, Matthew Brandon.Shannon and Chris Gardiner posted a letter to “Matty Nation” on Facebook seeking supporters’ help in reversing the decision of Ranch Ehrlo Society.The Ranch is where Matty attends a day program for people with special needs in Regina. It also employs Sami Melles and Nick Davis who provide private respite care for Matty on weekends.The Gardiners say the weekend arrangement has been working “beautifully” for about five years but the Ranch is now forcing the men to give up the extra respite work.“What’s going to happen come Fridays when he’s supposed to go with the guys and he can’t do that anymore?” Shannon Gardiner said Monday.Gardiner says Melles and Davis don’t want to choose or give up either job. She says they know the change will have a detrimental effect on Matty, who has bonded with them and requires strict routine to function well.“They know how Matty is,” she said. “One slight change can completely set off an avalanche.”Respite workers Sami Melles (left) and Nick Davis. (right) surround Matthew Brandon (centre).However, Ranch CEO Andrea Brittin says the policy is about correcting a conflict-of-interest.“What we’re really trying to make sure of is that the people who work for us have a healthy work-life balance,” she said in a telephone interview.Brittin says an existing policy was recently “refreshed and renewed” and is now being implemented. She says it has been approved by a labour lawyer.“When staff work for our agency – some of them full-time – and provide services to other agencies, this has potential to impact the level and the quality of service staff can provide.”Brittin promised to email a copy of the policy to APTN last week but didn’t. A voicemail was left for her Monday asking her to try again.Meanwhile, Tim Korol, who runs the board that oversees Matty’s care, says Brittin won’t explain why the policy is being enforced now.Or acknowledge the harm it will do to such a vulnerable person.“We are all community,” he wrote in a letter shared with APTN.“People and non-profits just don’t operate in silos from one another. What one member of the community does can unnecessarily cause damage to someone else.”Matty, 26, is non-verbal and suffers from brain trauma, autism, cerebral palsy and fetal alcohol syndrome. He functions at the level of a toddler and has lived with the Gardiners since 1997 – even after aging out of provincial foster care.The Gardiners say they share details of his life on Facebook to educate the public and reduce the stigma around people with physical and mental disabilities.“This is tremendously upsetting to us. We have a three-prong approach – home, day and weekend,” said Shannon Gardiner.It’s not the first time the Gardiners have fought a policy they say wasn’t in Matty’s best interest.Their battle to keep him out of a government group home in favour of family-based care was featured by APTN Investigates in 2015.This fight is also on that page – For the Love of Matthew – under photos of the respite care workers and Matty.Shannon Gardiner says reaction has been swift: “People are outraged…they can’t understand why program should have any say on what they do on their own time,” she said.“Why would they do that? He’s one of their clients, too.”Brittin acknowledged the change would impact some but said the decision wasn’t taken easily or hastily.“It is something we believe is important because we believe it protects all of the young people and adults in our care, as well as our staff,” she said.“What our policy basically says is that if you’re working for Ranch Ehrlo Society that you can’t work for other like organizations.”Korol says the board tried to resolve the issue privately with the Ranch before going public last weekend.“At no time has Sami’s or Nick’s care during the last six years ever caused any conflict, scheduling issue or challenge for Ranch Ehrlo,” Korol said on Facebook. “In fact, one could argue that Sami and Nick’s off-time work has developed a relationship with Matthew that is beneficial for Ranch Erhlo’s day program.“We have asked repeatedly that Ranch Ehrlo explain how their organization could possibly be harmed. No one from the Ranch has given us any example whatsoever.”Messages left for some Ranch board members were not returned before this story was published.Shannon Gardiner says it shouldn’t be this hard to get a helping organization to do the right thing by Matty.“It makes me want to protect him and fight this harder and harder and harder,” she said.“It shouldn’t be that way though, because his care is already tremendously difficult.”last_img read more

Home Capital secures cheaper credit line from two Canadian banks

first_imgTORONTO – Home Capital Group Inc. has secured a $500-million standby credit line from two unnamed Canadian banks to replace its more costly emergency funding facility from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.The Toronto-based alternative mortgage lender says its subsidiary Home Trust Company has inked a letter of commitment from two Canadian Schedule 1 banks for the two-year secured line of credit facility.Home Capital’s chief financial officer Brad Kotush says this new credit line has a lower aggregate cost than its current $2-billion funding facility, which matures at the end of June.Last June, Buffett’s investment firm bought a stake in Home Capital Group and provided its subsidiary with a $2-billion line of credit.The credit line gave the Toronto-based lender some much needed liquidity after it faced a run on deposits, amid allegations of misleading disclosure to investors.Kotush says Home Capital has sufficient liquidity and has significantly reduced its reliance on demand deposits, and does not intend to draw on the new, cheaper credit facility.last_img read more

Correction Women in WorkplaceCatalyst CEO story

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – In a story Aug. 20 about the appointment of Lorraine Hariton as Catalyst’s new CEO, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Hariton received her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1977. She received her MBA in 1982.A corrected version of the story is below:Silicon Valley vet to head women’s advocacy group CatalystCatalyst taps Silicon Valley veteran as new CEO in the #MeToo eraBy ALEXANDRA OLSONAssociated PressA former Silicon Valley CEO is taking the helm of a prominent organization dedicated to the promotion of women in the workplace, saying the #MeToo era is a “fantastic time” to champion gender equality.Lorraine Hariton becomes CEO of the group Catalyst at time when sexual misconduct scandals are ensnaring corporate executives, and the departure of PepsiCo’s CEO highlighted the tiny number of women leading Fortune 500 companies.But Hariton, whose appointment was announced Monday, said the #MeToo movement has pushed the spotlight on gender equality like nothing she has seen since she began her career in the late 1970s.“I felt the timing was really fantastic,” Hariton said. “Not only are women in the work place on the front page, there is a major shift in attitude that allows us chart the future of the next generation.”Hariton previously served as the CEO of two tech startups, Beatnik and Apptera. She served in the State Department under President Barack Obama, and most recently as a senior vice-president at the New York Academy of Sciences.Catalyst, a research and advocacy institution based in New York City, was founded in 1962 by the late Felice Schwartz, who became known for a controversial 1989 Harvard Business Review article that proposed flexible career paths for working mothers. Other feminists criticized the piece, which gave rise to the term “Mommy Track,” although Schwartz herself did not use those words.Since then, support has risen for policies designed to encourage both parents to remain in the workforce through policies that allow flexible hours and extended family leave.Hariton, a mother of two, said she encountered a culture of encouraging reasonable working hours when she joined IBM in 1977. That was a big factor in her decision to return to the company after earning her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1982. She noted that IBM and other companies have instituted more formal policies and programs designed to attract female talent.Finding policies that work has been touch-and-go, however. IBM, for example, scaled back its popular remote-work program last year.And only a sliver of leadership posts at Fortune 500 companies, about 5 per cent, are held by women, according to Catalyst.Women are also being left behind in the proliferation of tech startups. Catalyst points to a 2017 study by Babson and Wellsley College that found that 97 per cent of venture capitalist funding goes to companies led by male CEOs.That issue is of special interest to Hariton, who said she raised $50 million in venture capital during her time at Silicon Valley. She said promoting diversity in male-dominated venture capitalist firms needs to be a priority.“The culture in technology is moving so fast that you end up with a young culture that is more like a frat environment, which makes it more difficult for women,” she said.last_img read more