2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Tesla 0 Tesla’s Model 3 Performance subtly adds the power Review • Tesla Model 3 Review: Performance trim More about 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance The Tesla Model 3 has been on sale in the US for some time now, but it was never intended to be limited to our amber waves of grain. Now, it’s about time for other parts of the world to get in on the action.This week, Tesla announced that it opened the Model 3’s design studio (the fancy name for its car configurator) to the public in China and certain left-hand-drive European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Previously, only those who put down cash money on a deposit were eligible to access to the design studio. Now it’s available to anybody who’s interested in learning more about Model 3 configurations. The Model 3’s rollout in the US was similar — reservation holders got the first crack at configuring cars before the greater public had a chance.Right now, it appears that buyers in these new markets are limited to just two Model 3 variants — the Model 3 Performance and the Model 3 Long-Range (with AWD). It’s unclear when or if Europe and China will receive other variants such as the mid-range Model 3 currently available in the US.According to Electrek, initial Model 3 deliveries for non-US markets are currently scheduled to start in February for reservation holders, with new orders set to reach their owners in March. Bloomberg reports that Tesla has yet to receive the full sign-off from European authorities to sell the Model 3 there, but Bloomberg’s source says the company isn’t worried and that its current schedule should work out just fine. 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Tags Share your voice Tesla Electric Cars Car Industry Post a comment More From Roadshow 49 Photos Preview • 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance: The future, quicker 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better
Comment Facebook 1 Facebook’s layout has shifted from three columns to two and removed a lot of clutter. Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET If you think your Facebook page looks a bit different today, you’re not alone.The social networking giant appears to have rolled out a new page design on Tuesday, eschewing the previous three-column layout for one that incorporates only two. On the right is static information about the page, while the left side contains the feed of recent posts.Facebook tinkers with its design from time to time, but this is a pretty radical departure from the site’s previous appearance. In addition to the column change, the content on pages appears less cluttered, with plenty of eye-appealing white space and an increased emphasis on thumbnail images. It wasn’t immediately clear how widespread this rollout is or how different types of pages will see a face-lift. Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Share your voice Internet Tech Industry Tags
Chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda. File photoChief election commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda ordered returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (ARO’s) to be alert against violence in the upcoming upazilla polls, reports BSS.“You have to be on guard so that no violence takes place before, after and on the polling day. If any one of you thinks that the situation has gone out of hand, he can propose to halt the polling and the election commission will do that. But no compromise can be made with any irregularities,” he said.The CEC said these while addressing the inaugural function of training workshop for RO’s and ARO’s at Electoral Training Institute (ETI) in capital’s Agargaon area.“People will vote and elect their candidates of their choice. It’s not our duty to look for candidate’s party, religion or caste. Voters will elect the candidate, whomever they think qualified,” CEC Huda added.The chief election commissioner further said the polling officials have to inspire the candidates to appoint agents in the polling stations, adding, “we face embarrassing situation for this all the time. You have to make sure that the agents can observe their duty without any fear.”Presided over by EC secretary Helaluddin Ahmed, the programme was also attended by election commissioners Mahbub Talukdar, Md. Rafiqul Islam, Kabita Khanam and retired brigadier general Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury, among others.
Nelson Mandela. Photo: WikipediaA black and white photo of Nelson Mandela in boxing attire greets visitors to the gym where the liberation hero trained in the 1950s before delivering the knock-out blow to apartheid decades later.“He used to train here, I feel strong… Physically and mentally I get some strength,” said gym-goer Kgotso Phali, 18.The red and white walls of the gym, located in South Africa’s Soweto township, smell of fresh paint.The Donaldson Orlando Community Centre (DOCC) has been restored to its former glory to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth.Mandela, South Africa’s first black president known locally by his clan name “Madiba”, died in 2013.“People had to carry passes-all these things are gone now. We are free,” thanks to him, said Andy Zameko, who said he was proud to work out in the same gym as Mandela.Mandela would visit the gym several times a week to train and forget the ordeal that was the fight against the white supremacist regime.“The walls of… the DOCC are drenched with sweet memories that will delight me for years,” Mandela wrote to his daughter Zindzi from his cell on Robben Island where he was imprisoned for 18 years.A copy of the letter, dated 9 December, 1979, is displayed on a wall in the gym.Nearby, young musicians seek to catch the attention of passing tourists in front of Mandela’s former home which has been transformed into a museum.“(He) makes us united. Now we are all united. (Blacks) can perform in theatres like the Joburg Theatre now-it was not the case before,” said guitarist Vincent Ncabashe, 49.‘Not living his dream’Others recognise the achievement but are disappointed in the post-apartheid reality.“Madiba is so inspiring for me,” said hip-hop singer Thobane Mkhize who sported a striking bouffant haircut.“But we are not living his dream,” said the 24-year-old musician.“The parliament is like a (sitcom), it is no longer a parliament because politicians are busy with corruption. Instead of being united, we are busy looking at the colours of the skin,” he added.“There was need for a figure to reconcile black and whites,” said Genevieve Assamoi, a 45-year-old from Ivory Coast.“He was crucial in ensuring that blacks did not take revenge on whites and to allow the whites to feel safe.”“Without him, we would still be stuck in the same place,” said policeman and father-of-three Mpho Ngobeni.‘He did his best’At a nearby petrol station in Soweto, two white men in khaki outfits completed the purchase of a car from two young black men-an unusual scene in the sprawling black-majority township.“The white people also got a chance (to stay in South Africa),” said Kaelen Viljoen as he struggled to hide the handgun clipped to his belt.The 22-year-old had also brought along a baseball bat, perched on the front seat of his 4X4.“I always have a weapon with me and I would not have left it at home when I came here,” said Viljoen, visiting Soweto for the first time in his life.“We called a lot of guys and we were very worried to come here, because he said there are a lot of black people here, and white people driving around here, is going to be a big problem.“(But) after we met the guys we bought the car from, we actually love it, they are very friendly.”Maxwell Huis, 44, a homeless father-of-two said the reality delivered by Mandela was starkly different to that which he had promised.“He sold the black people to the whites. There should have been a civil war-it would have changed things,” he added as he foraged for wood to burn.Mtate Phakela, 19, sees Mandela’s legacy very differently.“He gave us a revolution without a war. He gave us the idea of freedom through peace,” said the teenager.“But we are not economically free.”Economic divisions still plague the country with the median monthly salary for whites at around 10,000 rands ($753, 638 euros) but just 2,800 for the black community.“He did his best,” continued Mtate. “The people who came after could have done better to free us economically.”
By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, firstname.lastname@example.orgOne of the District of Columbia’s most active political and cultural wards has a Black population over one-third and yet there are no Black candidates for that council seat this year.Ward 6 encompasses the U.S. Capitol, the popular Eastern Market, gentrifying Shaw and the booming Southwest Waterfront that includes the Nationals Major League Baseball Stadium. It is 51 percent White, 35 percent Black and the rest Latino and others. The ward is represented by Charles Allen (D), who is White, and he believes his jurisdiction has matured beyond voting for candidates based solely on race.Charles Allen represents Ward 6 on the D.C. Council. (Courtesy Photo)“I appreciate the strong African-American leadership that is in my ward,” Allen told the AFRO. “As a council member, I am supposed to represent all of my constituents regardless of their race and deal with issues that matter to all residents.”Allen has supported strong criminal justice reform on the council, making the system more humane for juvenile offenders, and wants more affordable housing in the District and modernizing school buildings. “These are issues that resonate for all Ward 6 residents and for working families and that includes African-American families,” he said.Allen is seeking re-election to a second term on the D.C. Council and faces one opponent, Lisa Hunter in the June 19 Democratic primary. Allen will face a Republican, Mike Bekesha, in the Nov. 6 general election.Hunter, who is part Jewish and part Latina, told the AFRO she will focus on affordable housing, job training and attainment and improving access to the District’s maternal and prenatal care system for African Americans in Ward 6.African-American Nadine Winter (D) was elected as the first Ward 6 council member in 1974 and she served until 1991 when she was defeated by another African American, Harold Brazil (D). Brazil ran for an at-large position on the council in 1996 and served in that capacity until 2005.When Brazil was elected at-large, his Ward 6 position was won by Sharon Ambrose, the first White woman to hold the position. Ambrose was followed by Tommy Wells (D) and Allen, who was elected in 2014.In 2014, Allen defeated African-American Darrel Thompson in the Democratic Primary. Thompson chose not to seek a rematch this year but said the lack of a Black candidate is less a matter of race than an issue of getting involved in the political process.“If people want to run for political office, they should run regardless of race,” Thompson told the AFRO. “It is good when people of different backgrounds become candidates. It makes the political process competitive and the voting public is exposed to a full range of ideas.”Francis Campbell, a former advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 6, told the AFRO he hasn’t decided who he will support for the Ward 6 position. “Many of the newer residents of the ward, who tend to be White, aren’t cognizant of the contributions of the long-term residents,” he said. In District lingo, older residents tend to mean Blacks and newer mean White and younger.Campbell said when his Black neighbors go to meetings in the ward they become frustrated when there is talk about dog parks and not about economic development and public safety issues that should be addressed. In some ways, Campbell doesn’t blame the new residents entirely. “The new residents do have more resources and the African Americans in the ward aren’t as cohesive as they should be,” he said.
Citation: Researchers discover ultrathin lipid coating covering snakeskin (2015, December 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-ultrathin-lipid-coating-snakeskin.html More information: Evidence of a molecular boundary lubricant at snakeskin surfaces, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Published 9 December 2015.DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2015.0817 , http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/12/113/20150817AbstractDuring slithering locomotion the ventral scales at a snake’s belly are in direct mechanical interaction with the environment, while the dorsal scales provide optical camouflage and thermoregulation. Recent work has demonstrated that compared to dorsal scales, ventral scales provide improved lubrication and wear protection. While biomechanic adaption of snake motion is of growing interest in the fields of material science and robotics, the mechanism for how ventral scales influence the friction between the snake and substrate, at the molecular level, is unknown. In this study, we characterize the outermost surface of snake scales using sum frequency generation (SFG) spectra and near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) images collected from recently shed California kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) epidermis. SFG’s nonlinear optical selection rules provide information about the outermost surface of materials; NEXAFS takes advantage of the shallow escape depth of the electrons to probe the molecular structure of surfaces. Our analysis of the data revealed the existence of a previously unknown lipid coating on both the ventral and dorsal scales. Additionally, the molecular structure of this lipid coating closely aligns to the biological function: lipids on ventral scales form a highly ordered layer which provides both lubrication and wear protection at the snake’s ventral surface. Journal information: Journal of the Royal Society Interface This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Snakes move around by slithering—as their bodies undulate against a surface below their bellies, friction is applied that pushes the snake forward, but the molecular mechanism by which this occurs has never been fully understood. To learn more, the researchers obtained samples of the shedded skins of several California kingsnakes and studied them using sum frequency generation spectra and near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure imagery, which essentially involved firing lasers at the skin and then measuring how the light was reflected and scattered.The scanning revealed an extremely thin lipid layer, just nanometers thick, coating the scales that covered both the top and bottom parts of the snake, though there were differences between the lipid layer on the two body parts. The lipids on the belly were made of ordered pairs that provide a very slick surface, one that also offered, the researchers believe, some degree of protection to the scales—sliding across surfaces would otherwise cause the scales to wear away. A lipid outer layer would help explain why snakes are able to slither so effortlessly across a multitude of surfaces, the team notes.The reason that the lipid coating has not been noticed before by people handling the non-venomous snake, is because the lipid does not come off, it adheres to the snake body, providing a constant slick surface. The researchers suggest that because the kind of snake they studied was common, they believe the lipid coating likely exists on the scales of other snakes as well, though it likely comes in different forms suited to the environment in which the snake lives. They also believe their findings might help researchers working to make robots that simulate snakes, or those looking to create next generation paints or lubricants. New snake species with pitch black eyes from the Andes highlights hidden diversity Credit: Western Pacific Tropical Research Center Explore further © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A combined team of researchers from the U.S. and Germany has discovered a very thin layer of fat covering the scales of a single species of snake. In their paper published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the team describes how they studied the snakeskin and their views on what benefits the snake gets from the fatty outer scale layer.