While not giving the exact figure of the amount of money that has been released for the dredging of the Coomacka River at Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), Regional Chairman Renis Morian has said that “millions” was given for the project.In 2017, the community’s river suffered severe and intense erosion and at least half of it was rendered impassable. This was added to an already existing situation of intense flooding across the small remote farming community due to heavy rains. The situation had prompted response from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and regional officials who conducted numerous examinations to the affected areas. The Regional Chairman had pointed out that the situation wasA section of Coomacka under water in 2017partly due to the aftereffects of bauxite mining activities conducted in the community years ago.“Some millions have been released this year to start with the dredging of the river. Some of us will remember that the initial cost of the programme was in excess of six hundred million dollars, plus they wanted technical overview on how to deal with it. It’s like a hundred years bauxite mining, to clean up all them trucks from up there, chemicals left; you got to find the kind of trees to grow within the chemicals and a whole lot of studies high over my head. But I know for sure that monies have been allocated this year for that,” Morian said on Thursday.The Regional Chairman had asserted that the community has always suffered from erosion, an issue triggered by intense rainfall. At the time, the Regional Chairman had indicated that the area lacked maintenance which was not done in over 15 years. He said this eventually led to the situation worsening. An official had also noted that based on assessment, the situation had gotten so out of hand that one could walk across the river.
An impressive summer continued for the Humboldt Eagles American Legion 17-under team this week, with a pair of victories on Wednesday and Thursday.The Eagles defeated the Northern Humboldt Giants 7-3 in Arcata on Wednesday, and followed that a day later with a 10-0 win over the Northern Humboldt Knights in five innings at the Southern Humboldt 76ers tournament in Fortuna.With the two victories, the Eagles improved to 18-1 on the season (5-0 in league play) and remain undefeated against …
by Dr Henry RichterMy past few articles on “Facing Reality About Life on Other Planets” have dealt with the necessary conditions for the existence of life on a planet—any planet. With the almost fanatical drive of the scientific community to find and prove the existence of life elsewhere in the universe, it is important to ponder the requirements for habitability. We’ve looked at the location in a galaxy, the location in a stellar system, the type of star required, and the physical characteristics of an exoplanet such as mass, rotation rate, atmosphere, magnetic field, water, a partial rocky surface and so on. This final article will consider the composition of planet: what materials and chemical building blocks must be present to sustain life.CarbonWe talked about life being based on carbon chemistry. A readily accessible and usable supply of carbon must be available in the planet’s chemical composition. Carbon itself, with its four bonds, is a remarkable element having a flexible bonding capability, giving it hundreds of thousands of possible molecular structures. The only other close element is silicon which can form a few somewhat complex molecules, but only a few compounds—nowhere near as many as carbon. Star Trek fantasies aside, astrobiologists generally admit that silicon-based life is just not possible. Carbon is known to be the basis of the acids, bases, enzymes, proteins, alcohols, esters, ethers, amino acids, and much more. A large number and variety of these are involved in building and maintaining living cells. So a ready supply of carbon is necessary. Where can it come from?The earth has usable carbon available in the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide gas, in carbonate rocks, as carbon dioxide dissolved in the oceans and lakes, and secondarily in plant tissues and juices (converted from atmospheric carbon dioxide). Both plants and animals are involved in the earth’s carbon cycle. Plants convert carbon dioxide gas into a wide variety of carbon compounds. These plants are consumed by animals, used as fuel, and the metabolic product being carbon dioxide. It’s a remarkable process!Other ElementsMany other elements are required for life in addition to carbon. These probably can’t be ranked in order of importance since all are essential. The next that comes to mind is calcium. This is used in bones and structural frameworks, and is an important signaling molecule. Calcium is also important in eggshells and seashells. Nitrogen is another essential element. Nitrogen compounds are needed for plant growth, and are in proteins. Phosphorus plays an important role in cell structure, cell activity, and the genetic code molecules, DNA and RNA. A variety of other elements, even some rare earths, are involved in life’s structures and processes. All you have to do is look at the label of a bottle of mineral supplements in a health food store to find selenium, magnesium, copper, and several others. We even see non-minerals such as iodine and bromine. Could we exist if any of these were absent from the earth, or weren’t readily accessible? I don’t know, but it raises the question whether complex life could exist elsewhere if any of these—or some combination of these elements—were missing. That brings us to the consideration of probability: what is the chance that all the required factors would exist simultaneously on an alien world?Probability: Running the NumbersLet’s look at the big picture now – the really big picture: the universe. It is estimated that there 100 billion galaxies (1011), each with 100 billion stars. That results in 1022 stars. Say that only one in 10,000 is a dwarf main sequence G2 star which, as we saw, is the most stable star for a habitable zone. That leaves 1018 possible host stars. That’s a quintillion—still a lot of stars! Let’s say that only one of 10,000 of these stars has a planet in the habitable zone; that now gives us 1014 candidate planets (a hundred trillion). Let’s further grant a generous 10% chance that any of the required features would “happen” to be present in any one planet (I think a 1% chance would even be high). All of these features have to be present simultaneously for there to be any chance of complex life existing. The factors below are listed in the documentary The Privileged Planet, mentioned earlier.Located within the galaxy habitable zone 10%A stable star with constant energy output 10%A planet formed within the habitable zone around the star 10%A planet in a stable orbit maintaining a steady distance from the star 10%Protected by gas giant planets in the solar system 10%A rotation speed of about 24 hours 10%A planet with a suitable atmosphere: oxygen-rich, depth, circulation 10%A planet with the appropriate mass 10%A planet with abundant water 10%A reasonable ratio of water to land mass 10%A crust capable of plate tectonics 10%A magnetic field within the proper strength range 10%A moon of the proper size, distance, and orbit around the planet 10%A readily available source of abundant carbon compounds 10%Trace elements of the right type and quantity 10%One could go on and on, adding more factors, but these are a few of the most essential features to consider. So let’s multiply that out: 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 × 0.1 = 10-15. This probability times 1014 candidate planets leaves 10-1 planets, less than one! If I had used a 1% probability instead of 10% (more reasonable), that would have reduced the overall probability to 10-30, yielding 10-16 habitable planets out of the hundred trillion candidate planets. This implies that even one habitable planet in the whole universe has less than one quadrillionth a chance of being found! With a probability this small, changing the order of magnitude of our estimates for the number of stars is not going to make much difference.Beyond just the requirements for habitability, could we expect undirected evolution to bring about a second form of complex life anything like the beauty and complexity of life we find here on Spacecraft Earth? Could life even start by chance, before evolution’s natural selection comes into play? I maintain that it could not have happened once by accidental means here, much less than a second time elsewhere!So, to wrap up, the outlook is bad for avid hunters of populated planets. There aren’t likely to be any other habitable planets in the universe. The only reasonable conclusion, given the evidence we have considered, is that our earth was specially and wonderfully made to be inhabited.Dr Henry Richter, a contributing science writer to Creation-Evolution Headlines, was a key player at NASA/JPL in the early days of the American space program. With a PhD in Chemistry, Physics and Electrical Engineering from Caltech), Dr Richter brings a perspective about science with the wisdom of years of personal involvement. His book America’s Leap Into Space: My Time at JPL and the First Explorer Satellites (2015), chronicles the beginnings of the space program based on his own records and careful research into rare NASA documents, providing unequaled glimpses into events and personnel in the early days of rocketry that only an insider can give. His next book, Spacecraft Earth: A Guide for Passengers, is due out later in 2017. For more about Dr Richter, see his Author Profile.(Visited 448 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
The equation for India is simple: a victory margin of four goals against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a World Cup football qualifying here on Thursday will keep them in the fray, otherwise, the dream for a place in the 2014 finals will stretch by another four years.The task, nonetheless, is as tough as it gets, especially after the 0-3 defeat to the UAE in the away tie last week. As the Indian team gears up for the door-die second leg of the qualifiers at the Ambedkar Stadium, forward Sunil Chhetri believes all is not yet lost, though the goal is tough.”What happened in the UAE was unfortunate. We lost two players (to the red card) within the first 25 minutes and we also conceded two penalties. We played well with nine men and the fact that we conceded only one goal from field-play gives us confidence,” Chhetri said on Tuesday. “We have shrugged off the shock of the defeat and the team is ready for the next match.” Chhetri acknowledged the superiority of their Gulf opponents. “We have to play our best game physically, tactically, technically, as the UAE are far better than us,” he said.India’s shock 2-1 win over Qatar in a friendly prior to the UAE match gives Chhetri inspiration. “Many people said it was a bad decision to play Qatar before the qualifiers as a big loss would deal a blow to our confidence. But we shocked everyone,” he said.Sunil Chhetri is confident that India can come back”It was an inspiring win, one which we cherish. So keeping that in mind, we need to start fresh in the second leg.” The team’s No. 1 goalkeeper Subrata Paul and defender Debabrata Roy were shown red cards in the first leg and will miss Thursday’s match.”Both players were an important part of our team, but their absence also opens the opportunity for two other players to prove their mettle,” Chhetri said.advertisement”Karanjit Singh who came in place for Subrata played a good game. And this is a chance for him. For the last five years, Subrata has been the first choice goalkeeper for India, thanks to his form and fitness. Now, Karanjit has a chance to show his talent.” Though Karanjit is most likely to fill in the shoes of Subrata, Roy’s substitute has yet not been decided.Chhetri is also happy that the match is being played at the Ambedkar Stadium, which has been a lucky venue for India in the last few years. “We won two Nehru Cup tournaments at the Ambedkar Stadium. This has been a lucky ground for us. Hope it remains so this time too,” he said.Chhetri Has a NiggleThe Indian team practiced at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday, but Chhetri did not practice with the main team.Though the rest of the players practiced set- piece movements and also a small game among themselves, Chhetri did only physical training and running under physical trainer Suresh Babu.”I have a minor injury in the ankle which I got during the UAE match. It’s nothing major though I did not practice with the team as I didn’t want to take chances,” he said.
Australia vice-captain Pat Cummins said teammate Glen Maxwell will a vital cog in the team as the all-rounder’s performance with the bat and ball would hold the key to their aspirations of winning the sixth World Cup.Australia have won two back-to-back ODI series — in India and against Pakistan — in the run up to World Cup and Maxwell has played an important role, hitting three half-centuries in their 5-0 series win in the UAE.A spell at Lancashire has also helped him adapt to the English conditions before the mega event.”I think the way he has turned games around for us in the last couple of months has been impressive with the bat and then he is also an option to bowl ten overs,” Cummins was quoted as saying by ICC media.”He is also able to get run-outs and take catches. You get all three facets out of him and he is always there in tough situations. He is probably our sixth bowler but on a good day he can get through all ten. He’s in good form,” the fast bowler added.The defending champions won both their warm-up matches ahead of the World Cup — against England and Sri Lanka — and are now back as one of the favourites to lift the Cup.”Fans always expect us to do well and we are the same. Luckily, we have had a lot of success in the last 30 or 40 years so we are confident,” said Cummins.advertisementThe 25-year-old said they have built a special team in the last six months.”We have played consistent cricket for the last few months. It can be hard to go from Test cricket to ODI cricket and adjust and build a settle team. But in the last six months, we have built a special team and everyone has found their roles.”Australia will begin their title defence against Afghanistan on June 1 at Bristol.”If you asked us six or 12 months ago who would be in the side, there would have been far more question marks.”Everyone feels like we are all in a good place, we have played a lot of games now. We are ready to play. We will just go through the usual routines now, nothing specific, just some low-key bits to make sure we are ready,” said Cummins.Also Read | Great position to be in as compared to 10 months ago: Aaron FinchAlso Read | Surprised by Jayawardene’s comments: Angelo Mathews responds to captaincy criticismAlso See