Right down the middle, explained

first_img Research shows how processing food was turning point for humans It’s easy to marvel at the athleticism and power behind a 90 mph fastball, but when Neil Roach watches a baseball game, he sees something else at work: evolution.That ability — to throw an object with great speed and accuracy — is a uniquely human adaptation, one that Roach believes was crucial in our evolutionary past. How, when, and why humans evolved the ability to throw so well is the subject of a study published today in the journal Nature.Roach, who received his Ph.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in June, led the study, working with Madhusudhan Venkadesan of the National Centre for Biological Sciences at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Michael Rainbow of the Spaulding National Running Center, and Daniel Lieberman, the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences at Harvard. The group found that changes to shoulders and arms allowed early humans to more efficiently hunt by throwing projectiles, helping our ancestors become part-time carnivores and paving the way for a host of later adaptations, including increases in brain size and migration out of Africa.“When we started this research, there were essentially two questions we asked: One of them was why are humans so uniquely good at throwing, while all other creatures, including our chimpanzee cousins, are not,” said Roach, now a postdoctoral researcher at George Washington University. “The other question was: How do we do it? What is it about our body that enables this behavior, and can we identify those changes in the fossil record?”What they found, Roach said, was a suite of physical changes — such as the lowering and widening of the shoulders, an expansion of the waist, and a twisting of the humerus — that make humans especially good at throwing.While some of those changes occurred earlier during human evolution, Lieberman said it wasn’t until the appearance of Homo erectus, about 2 million years ago, that they all appeared together. The same period is also marked by some of the earliest signs of effective hunting, suggesting that the ability to throw an object very fast and very accurately played a critical role in the human ability to rise to the top of the food chain.“The ability to throw was one of a handful of changes that enabled us to become carnivores, which then triggered a host of changes that occurred later in our evolution,” Lieberman said. “If we were not good at throwing and running and a few other things, we would not have been able to evolve our large brains, and all the cognitive abilities such as language that come with it. If it were not for our ability to throw, we would not be who we are today.”“The ability to throw was one of a handful of changes that enabled us to become carnivores, which then triggered a host of changes that occurred later in our evolution,” said Daniel Lieberman.To unpack the evolutionary origins of throwing, Roach began with the throwing motion of our closest relatives: chimpanzees.Though they’re known to throw objects underhand, chimps, on rare occasions, do throw overhand, but with much less accuracy and power than the average Little League pitcher, Roach said. Also, chimps throw as a part of display behavior, never when hunting.Part of the reason for chimps’ poor throwing, Lieberman said, is tied to their technique, which in turn is limited by their anatomy. “Chimps throw overhand using either a dart throwing motion, where the elbow is extended, or much like a cricket bowler, where their elbow is kept straight and they generate force by swinging their shoulder.” How fast can we run? Related The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Marathon-ready Daniel Lieberman offers evolutionary perspective on Bannister 4-minute mile, human speed limits, and ‘Man Against Horse’ Said Roach: “That led us to studying cricket bowlers and trying to understand what happens when you keep your arm straight, and why that diminishes your throwing ability. Eventually, we began to think that changes in the way the shoulder is oriented with regards to the rest of the body could change the way you generate force when you’re throwing.”To explore those physical changes, Roach and colleagues began by creating a complex model that incorporated current research about the biomechanics of throwing. Using that model, they were able to explore how morphological changes to the body — wider shoulders, arms that are higher or lower on the body, the ability to twist the upper body independently of the hips and legs, and the anatomy of the humerus — affect throwing performance.In addition to the modeling, Roach performed a series of real-world experiments in Lieberman’s Skeletal Biology Lab using members of the Harvard baseball team and a host of braces designed to limit their movements. The idea, Roach explained, was that by restricting certain motions, the players would be forced into a more primitive condition, giving him the opportunity to see how different anatomical shifts contribute to the mechanics of modern throwing.Through a method known as inverse dynamics, Roach and colleagues were able to not only quantify how much restricting certain types of movements affected throwing performance, but were able to trace the effect to specific changes in the mechanics of each player.“We try to push these bits of anatomy back in time, if you will, to see how that affects performance,” Roach said. “The important thing about our experiments is that they went beyond just being able to measure how the restriction affects someone’s ability to throw fast and accurately; they allowed us to figure out the underlying physics. For example, when a thrower’s velocity dropped by 10 percent, we could trace that change back to where it occurred.“In order to test our evolutionary hypotheses, we needed to link the changes we’d seen in the fossil record to performance in terms of throwing,” he continued. “This type of analysis allowed us to do that.”When a pitcher’s arm is cocked, “what they’re doing is stretching the ligaments and tendons that run across their shoulder,” Roach said. “Those tendons and ligaments get loaded up like the elastic bands on a slingshot, and late in the throw they release that energy rapidly and forcefully to rotate the upper arm with extraordinary speed and force.” That rotation is the fastest motion the human body can produce. “The rotation of the humerus can reach up to 9,000 degrees per second, which generates an incredible amount of energy, causing you to rapidly extend your elbow, producing a very fast throw,” Roach said.Among the evolutionary changes that proved key to generating powerful throwing motions, he said, was a twist in the bone of the upper arm and an expanded, mobile waist, which gave early humans the ability to store up and then release more of this elastic energy.“The linchpin is really what’s going on with the shoulder,” Roach said. “When you see the shift from a chimpanzee shoulder to a more relaxed humanlike shoulder, that enables this massive energy storage. Many of the evolutionary changes we studied, whether in the torso or the wrist, may predate Homo erectus, but when we see that final change in the shoulder, that’s what brings it all together.”While the findings help shed light on a critical phase of human evolution, they also offer touch on a hotly debated issue in sports: When it comes to young players, how much throwing is too much?“It’s a tough question to answer,” Roach said. “The real difference, from an evolutionary perspective, is the frequency with which some folks throw now. To successfully learn to throw and use that ability to hunt, our ancestors would need to throw often, but nothing like the 100 or more high-speed throws that some baseball pitchers throw now in the span of a couple of hours.“I think it’s really a case of what we evolved to do being superseded by what we’re now asking athletes to do,” he continued. “Athletes are overusing this capability that gave early humans an evolutionary advantage, and they’re overusing it to the point that injuries are common.”Ultimately, Lieberman said, the evidence points to one clear conclusion: The ability to throw with speed and accuracy is a uniquely human adaptation, one that played an immeasurably important role in human development.“Recent research indicates that stone points — the oldest kind of spear point — are about 500,000 years old,” he said. “But people have been killing animals for at least 2 million years, and eating animals for about 2.6 million years.“That means that for about 1.5 million years, when people hunted, they basically had nothing more lethal to throw than a pointed wooden stick,” he continued. “If you want to kill something with that, you have to be able to throw that pretty hard, and you have to be accurate. Imagine how important it must have been to our ancestors to throw hard and fast.” Big gains in better chewinglast_img read more

Top Five! Sir Ian & Sir Patrick Tell All, Zachary Quinto Plays a Joke & Lesli Margherita Channels Robert Pattinson in Our Hottest Videos

first_img Patrick Stewart Ian McKellen 5. Most-Clicked Stars of 2013: Patina Miller: When you’ve won a Tony and gotten engaged, it’s definitely been a good year! On the road to being named Broadway.com’s Star of the Year, Pippin’s Patina Miller looks back on meeting Barbra and Liza, her “fierce” love of Beyonce, excitement at being cast in The Hunger Games and more. 3. Looks Not Books: Behind the Scenes at Matilda with Lesli Margherita, Episode 10: The holidays are over, and fab vlogger Lesli Margherita shares all the fun she had (minus getting sick!), including seasonal decorations, the Matilda cast bowling party, impressions of the Grinch, an interview conducted by “Robert Pattinson,” Secret Santa gifts and her Britney Twitter war. Lesli Margherita View All (6) Star Files 4. Most-Clicked Stars of 2013: Santino Fontana: Cinderella’s charming Prince, Tony nominee Santino Fontana, marvels at his ability to hoist co-star Laura Osnes, celebrates days off, toasts Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston and looks forward to using his new Canon camera on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. (Can we come, too?)center_img New year, starry videos! Fans spent the holidays savoring our irresistible series on the year’s most-clicked stars (watch them all—you’ll love ’em!), plus exclusive features with Sirs Ian & Patrick, Zachary Quinto and Lesli Margherita. What are you waiting for? Click below and catch up.1. Ask a Star with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart: It’s not often (make that ever) that Broadway.com welcomes a pair of real-life knights to the Ask a Star couch, so it’s no wonder fans flocked to the double treat of hearing Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land stars Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart answer questions about swapping roles and their real-life friendship. Santino Fontana 2. Side by Side by Susan Blackwell with Zachary Quinto: Hop into bed with Susan Blackwell and The Glass Menagerie star Zachary Quinto, as they discuss his romance with Star Trek co-star Chris Pine (kidding!), prank call Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Christian Borle, enjoy multiple pizzas while imitating Benedict Cumberbatch, and play cell phone photo roulette. Zachary Quinto View Comments Patina Millerlast_img read more

Kevin Spacey to Headline Old Vic Season In-The-Round

first_imgThe Old Vic has announced its Summer/Autumn Season in-the-round. It will feature Tony and Oscar winner Kevin Spacey in the one-man play Clarence Darrow, a production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Kristin Scott Thomas headlining Electra. Yaël Farber will direct Arthur Miller’s modern classic The Crucible. The play tells the story of one man’s fight to save his identity in a repressive Puritan community where intolerance collides with lust and superstition, fueling widespread hysteria with tragic results. The production will run June 24 through September 13. Frank McGuinness’ adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy Electra, will be directed by Ian Rickson and star Kristin Scott Thomas. The classic drama follows Electra and Orestes’ revenge on their father’s murderers. The production will play September 20 through December 20, with opening night set for October 1. Directed by Thea Sharrock, David W Rintels’ Clarence Darrow will run May 28 through June 15. Spacey, the Artistic Director of the Old Vic, said in a statement, “it feels great to be returning to the character of Clarence Darrow, whom I played both onstage in Inherit the Wind and 22 years ago in the PBS film Darrow, directed by one of my House of Cards collaborators, John Coles.” Darrow was a pioneering lawyer of 19th century America and in the play the larger than life Darrow with his legendary wit relives some of his pivotal experiences, including the infamous Scopes ‘Monkey’ and ‘Thrill Killers’ trials which established his reputation as a courtroom giant and civil rights hero. View Commentslast_img read more

Significant potential to expand existing German wind power generation via repowering–study

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Energy Wire:Wind power production in Germany could be doubled by 2030 thanks to technological progress and greater capacity of each turbine at existing locations, wind energy lobby group BWE and regional renewable energy association LEE NRW have said.A study by Deutsche WindGuard commissioned by the two industry groups found that technological progress allows wind turbines to achieve more and more full load hours and greater capacity, meaning more power can be produced more consistently than previously thought.The output by turbines built on areas designated for wind power production so far could be increased by 100 percent by 2030 to reach 200 terawatt hours (TWh) over the next decade and even reach 500 TWh if new areas are opened for turbine construction, the study found. Germany’s current power demand is 530 TWh per year but is set too increase in the future, the industry groups said.LEE NRW head Christian Mildenberger said modern wind turbines already produce ten times more electricity than those built in the year 2000. “The technology has made great strides in the past 20 years,” Mildenberger said.BWE’s Wolfram Axthelm said the study called for a review of so-called repowering measures, where older turbines are replaced by newer models at existing locations. “Today, less than one percent of Germany’s surface is designated for onshore wind power. This already would allow us to cover nearly 40 percent of power demand by 2030. If the share grew to two percent, we could cover almost 100 percent,” Axthelm argued.A large part of Germany’s existing wind power fleet will be replaced over the next years, as the first installations built under the country’s Renewable Energy Act after 2000 will fall out of the 20-year guaranteed remuneration scheme. According to LEE NRW, technology improvements mean that Germany could reach up to 700 TWh wind power output per year by 2040 with the same number of turbines it boasts today, meaning that a combination of renewable power technologies could cover the country’s entire power demand even if e-mobility, heat pumps and green hydrogen production mean that electricity use is going to increase.[Benjamin Wehrmann]More: Germany’s onshore wind power potential greater than previously thought – study Significant potential to expand existing German wind power generation via repowering–studylast_img read more

$30M Long Island Mortgage Fraud Scam Busted, Feds Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Six men have been indicted on federal charges of allegedly conspiring to commit $30 million in bank fraud by inflating the prices of Long Island homes for sale over a six-year span.Aaron Wider, 50, of Copiague, owner of Garden City-based mortgage company HTFC Corp., was described by authorities as the ringleader of the alleged scheme.“Instead of using their skills in banking, the law and investing to assist individuals pursuing the American Dream, the defendants cooked up a sophisticated scheme that defrauded lenders and then fed toxic debt to the investigating public at large in the secondary mortgage market,” Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.Wider’s codefendants include 46-year-old Manjeet Bawa of Dix Hills, 54-year-old Joseph Mirando of Centereach, 68-year-old John Petiton of Garden City and 70-year-old Joseph Ferrara of Long Beach. Eric Finger, 48, of Miami, was also charged. Four were scheduled to appear at Central Islip federal court Tuesday and the other two Wednesday.Prosecutors said that after the group obtained mortgages using artificially inflated prices of the properties in Nassau and Suffolk counties, they resold the loans in the secondary mortgage market, causing millions in losses when the loans went into foreclosure.Lynch described the alleged schemed as “a prime example of the type of corrupt mortgage-lending practices that preceded the bursting of the real estate bubble, the loss of faith in securitized mortgage obligations, and the financial collapse of 2007 and 2008.”Petiton, an attorney, allegedly orchestrated the inflated sales transactions. Mirando, a real estate appraiser, allegedly prepared false reports to justify the prices. And Finger, another attorney, allegedly concealed the true sales prices at closings, then shared the difference in price with the others.Prosecutors are moving to seize 19 properties between the six men or restitution. They face up to 30 years in prison, if convicted.last_img read more

Garnar gives final daily virus briefing

first_imgBroome County June 26 coronavirus update The county has been in an state of emergency for 104 days. In that time, 14 emergency orders were announced. In the meantime, Garnar says he will continue to advocate for the reopening of businesses that were not allowed to open in any of the four phases of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reopening plan. (WBNG) — Broome County Executive Jason Garnar held his last daily coronavirus update Friday after 80 of them. The final daily update and reflection Though, he says, he believes community will come together and get through the budget situation eventually. Garnar says, should it be necessary, the county will invite media to news conferences if one is needed. For a map detailing where cases are located in the county, click here. 51 people died from the virus 553 people recovered. There is no word when these facilities will open. Garnar says the county has a “terrible” budget situation due to the amount of businesses that were forced to close down. However, the county will continue to host updates on its Facebook and social media pages. On Tuesday, the county reported gyms, malls and theaters were not allowed to open, which drew a response from State Senator Fred Akshar and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. Coronavirus numbers There are 57 active cases of the coronavirus in the county. Phase four began Friday. He announced earlier this week that there is not enough news to warrant a daily news conference.last_img read more

The campaign of the Croatian Advent offer in nine European markets has started

first_imgThe Croatian National Tourist Board has started the Advent promotional campaign as one of the key motives for coming to Croatia in the winter.  Also, in December, organized by the CNTB, over 50 foreign established journalists, bloggers and influencers from 11 European countries will visit Croatia, who will have the opportunity to get to know and experience the Croatian Advent offer first hand. For example, Croatia will be visited by the Russian MUZ TV, which creates the show “Independent Traveler”, which is watched by more than 25 million viewers across Russia.   The Advent campaign is carried out through a new promotional video “Croatia, full of magic“And communicates the Advent offer of Croatian destinations.  Croatia, full of magic As they point out from the CNTB, the content of the end user’s campaign leads to the page “Croatia.hr” where, in addition to Advent in Zagreb, which has won the title of the best Christmas fair in Europe for three years in a row, the Advent events of the SalajLand estate, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Kvarner, Istria and the continental part of Croatia are also promoted. Also, the team of the Swedish RES TV and RES magazine will record three special episodes dedicated to Zagreb’s Advent, which are estimated to be watched by a total of 1,5 million viewers in Sweden. Croatian traditional holiday customs will be transmitted to its viewers by TVN Discovery, the oldest and largest private TV station in Poland, which follows over 8,38 percent of the entire Polish market.  The campaign is conducted in the markets Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Austria, France, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary and Slovenia to the end December this year. The communication channels through which the campaign is advertised are YouTube and the social networks Facebook and Instagram. “In the last few years, our country has become an increasingly sought-after and attractive tourist destination in the winter, when various Advent programs come to the fore. I believe that the rich Advent facilities in many Croatian destinations such as Zagreb, Split, Osijek, Zadar, Rijeka, Poreč, Dubrovnik, but also on the islands will attract many domestic and foreign guests and contribute to the conclusion of a very successful tourist year, ” said the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic. According to the eVisitor system, Croatia was visited by more than 410 tourists during last year’s Advent, who spent over a million nights.last_img read more

Saudi imposes 24-hour virus curfew in five cities

first_imgSaudi Arabia extended the duration of daily curfews Monday in four governorates and five cities, including the capital, to 24 hours to combat coronavirus as confirmed deaths from the disease hit 38.The kingdom imposed round-the-clock lockdowns on the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran and Hofuf, the interior ministry said on Twitter.The same measures were also imposed on the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar, the ministry added. Authorities had already sealed off the holy cities of Mecca and Medina along with Riyadh and Jeddah, barring people from entering and exiting as well as prohibiting movement between all provinces.Saudi Arabia, which has reported the highest number of infections in the Gulf, is scrambling to limit the spread of the disease at home. On Monday the health ministry said deaths from the respiratory illness had risen to 38, while confirmed current infections rose to 2,523 and 551 people had recovered from the illness. Last month, Saudi Arabia suspended the year-round umrah pilgrimage over fears of the coronavirus pandemic spreading to Islam’s holiest cities. Authorities are yet to announce whether they will proceed with this year’s hajj, scheduled for the end of July. Authorities last week urged Muslims to temporarily defer preparations for the annual pilgrimage.Last year, some 2.5 million faithful travelled to Saudi Arabia from across the world to take part in the hajj, which all Muslims must perform at least once in their lives if able.The Arab world’s biggest economy has also closed down cinemas, malls and restaurants and halted flights as it steps up efforts to contain the virus.King Salman has warned of a “more difficult” fight ahead against the virus, as the kingdom faces the economic double blow of virus-led shutdowns and crashing oil prices.Topics :last_img read more

Not enough for Jakarta alone to reimpose COVID-19 restrictions: Epidemiologists

first_imgDicky Budiman, an Indonesian epidemiologist at Australia’s Griffith University, said Anies’ decision was bold and based on data, and he called on other administrations across Java to all impose the PSBB in order to see effective results.“Other areas in Java must do what is being done in Jakarta, especially those with an immense burden on healthcare [systems] and a high number of deaths,” Dicky told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.Read also: Jakarta reimposes PSBB, orders people to stay homeHowever, Dicky said, reimposing the PSBB did not mean that Jakarta should be more relaxed about contact tracing and testing, despite more people, especially nonessential workers, staying at home. Topics : “With the PSBB, we must set a target to achieve a positivity rate of 5 percent or below, meaning that contact tracing and testing must be increased continuously in order to prevent more transmissions,” Dicky said.Masdalina Pane of the Indonesian Epidemiologists Association (PAEI) also said that the PSBB should be carried out throughout Java, which accounted for 60 to 65 percent of the total confirmed cases in Indonesia.She also acknowledged that people’s mobility on the island was “not constrained”, meaning that, if the PSBB was only enforced in Jakarta, the spread of the coronavirus would continue like in a “ping-pong” game.“People are now preparing to return to their home areas across Java, which, based on past experience, would increase infections in those areas. Then, once Jakarta reopens, they come back and cases in Jakarta increase. The transmission will not be stopped,” she said.Djoko Setijowarno of the Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI) said Greater Jakarta-based intercity and interprovincial (AKAP) buses, provincial shuttle (AJAP) buses as well as travel buses must follow the health protocol applied for planes and trains.Read also: News on Jakarta’s retightening PSBB triggers IDX circuit breaker“The terminals are the control center for buses and passengers. The government should help disinfect buses and conduct free rapid tests at the terminals,” Djoko said.Djoko argued that supervision of the implementation of health protocol in public transportation, especially online motorcycle taxis, online taxis and angkot (public minivans), must be tightened.center_img Health and transportation experts have said that reimposing large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Jakarta will be pointless if such restrictions are not well implemented in other areas, given that mobility across regions remains high.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has pulled “the emergency brake” by reinstating the PSBB starting Monday, thereby putting an end to what was to be a transition period leading the country to a “new normal”. The transition period entailed a gradual easing of the coronavirus restrictions.The decision was made after considering several factors, including the growing number of active cases in Jakarta, high demand of hospital beds and the increasing number of deaths among patients confirmed to or suspected to have contracted the coronavirus.last_img read more

JetBlue launches Caribbean service from Chicago

first_img 57 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Share Sharecenter_img CHICAGO, Illinois, Monday November 25, 2013, CMC – US airline JetBlue has launched its first Caribbean service from Chicago, Illinois.According to JetBlue, while the airline has a “strong Caribbean network from New York, this is its first foray into the Caribbean market” from the “Windy City.”“Our new service will connect Chicagoans to sunny San Juan,” said JetBlue’s president and chief executive officer Dave Barger in a statement issued here at the weekend.“This new route will provide convenient service and a less expensive option for those seeking to visit friends and family on the island or travelling for business or pleasure,” he added.From Puerto Rico, Barger said JetBlue offers direct service to 17 destinations, with connections to Punta Cana, Santiago and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, and St Croix, St Maarten and St Thomas.Caribbean Media Corporation Tweet LifestyleTravel JetBlue launches Caribbean service from Chicago by: – November 25, 2013last_img read more