Serena Pulls out of Cincinnati Masters

first_imgSerena Williams has withdrawn from the Cincinnati Masters with a recurring back injury, just days after pulling out of the Rogers Cup final.Williams, 37, was to face Zarina Diyas in the first round on Tuesday.“I am so sad to withdraw as it is truly one of the tournaments I most love to play,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion said. The American has had to retire or withdraw from all five of her non-Grand Slam events this year.During last weekend’s Rogers Cup final she was left in tears because of back spasms and retired in the first set to hand the title to Canadian Bianca Andreescu.Rogers Cup: Bianca Andreescu wins title as Serena Williams retires injuredBianca Andreescu wins the Rogers Cup after Serena Williams retires with a back injury while a break down in the …“I came to Mason (Ohio) on Sunday and have tried everything to be ready to play tonight, and was still hopeful after my practice this morning,” Williams said in a statement. “But unfortunately my back is still not right.”Her latest withdrawal comes less than two weeks before the start of the US Open, where she will be chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.Meanwhile, sister Venus Williams beat defending champion and fifth seed Kiki Bertens 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-4) in a second-round battle in Ohio that lasted two hours and 17 minutes.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Serena Williamslast_img read more

William “Bill” Lacey, 67, Arkansas City: Jan. 15, 1947 – July 12, 2014

first_imgHe is preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Lote Lacey. Bill LaceyWilliam “Bill” Lacey, 67, of Arkansas City, KS passed away Saturday, July 12, 2014 at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.Graveside Memorial Services will be held at 10 A.M., Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at the Geuda Springs Cemetery. Following services the family will gather to receive friends at the Geuda Springs Community Building. A memorial has been established with the Geuda Springs Museum and may be left with the Shelley Family Funeral Home of Arkansas City. For further information please visit “Bill” Ray Lacey was born January 15, 1947 the son of Milo “Wayne” and Minnie “Midge” (Brewer) Lacey in Arkansas City. He graduated from Oxford High School in 1965. After High School he served his country in the United States Army. On January 3, 1966 Bill was united in marriage with Pamela Rush and three children were born to this union. On October 25, 2002 Bill was united in marriage to Judy Ann Nixon.  Bill worked for the Railroad and at GE as an engine mechanic retiring in 2008. Bill enjoyed drag racing, coyote hunting, working on anything that he could find a way to coble together and loved telling stories. Nothing made Bill happier than spending time with his family and his many close friends.Surviving to honor his memory is his loving wife Judy of the home, children: Darren Lacey and Theresa of Hoisington, KS, Melynda Hatch and Mike of Overland Park, KS, Eric Lacey and Kelly of Oxford, Tonnie Catron and Lance of Arkansas City, Kim Allen Klotz of Arkansas City, Brian Klotz and Shannan of Arkansas City and Kayla Foust and Marc of Arkansas City; a sister, Sharon Pudden of Geuda Springs; 17 grandchildren: Beth Lacey, Courtney Lacey, Abby Lacey, Mitchel Schiff, Madi Hatch, Mason Hatch, Michael Sandborn, Brittany Lacey, Kiesha DuMontelle, Kelsi Ford, Colby Klotz, Joshua Klotz, Brandon Klotz, Kaghe Klotz, Kagon Klotz, Briley Ware, Dylan Foust, great grandchildren: Spencer DuMontelle, Brianna DuMontelle and Adalyn Floyd, as well as many nieces and nephews.last_img read more

Towns Grapple With Minimum Wage Hike

first_imgMiddletown, with nearly 70,000 residents spread out over 58.7 square miles, is one of the largest towns in Monmouth County and, like many other municipalities, the township employs maintenance, department of public works operations and recreational workers at minimum wage. “Though an exemption would have helped us financially, it would’ve put us in a tough spot because it wouldn’t have allowed us to compete for quality workers,” Mercantante said. “Many of our minimum wage workers are in our DPW. It’s hard work. If someone can make more by working a less physically strenuous job at Burger King or Kohl’s, that’s where they’re going to go.” In Two River towns like Middletown, Highlands and Fair Haven, township administrators are grappling with the numbers. For example, Gonzalez pointed out that many municipalities employ crossing guards. Cerra said the League of Municipalities hoped the bill would exempt local governments from the minimum wage hikes, but Mercantante did not agree with that view. Fair Haven administrator Theresa S. Casagrande said the wage increase will impact municipalities differently, but it could also serve as a benefit to some. Under the landmark minimum wage bill recently signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, municipalities will now have to pay workers $10 an hour beginning July 1, up from $8.85. That wage will gradually increase to $15 by 2024. Middletown Township administrator Anthony P. Mercantante said he has done a study of the township’s work- force and determined that the minimum wage boost will affect 17 workers in July. But that number will grow as the rate gradually increases and more workers must receive pay increases. By 2024 when the minimum wage reaches $15 an hour, the number of employees af fected by the bill will be 112. Mercantante called the bill “misleading.” Both Perry and Gonzalez said they wish there had been more communication between legislators and municipalities before Murphy signed the bill, a sentiment shared by state Sens. Vin Gopal (D-11) and Declan O’Scanlon (R-13). Both voted against the bill. “It’s a ‘ripple up’ effect that wasn’t considered,” Mercantante said Wednesday. “Some of our contracted workers have mandatory separations between levels of workers. This is seen a lot in the police department. If a minimum wage worker is required to make $15, by contract their super visor is going to have to receive a raise, too, and so on.” Middletown Mayor Tony S. Perry said if all services and programs remain the same, taxpayers can expect that raise to increase its annual township budget by approximately $750,000. Gopal agreed some groups should have been exempt from the bill. “While there may be merit to increasing the minimum wage, legislators did not look at the other cost drivers connected to it,” said Cerra. “Municipalities are not private sector. We operate under a 2 percent cap. Because of these other cost drivers, this bill is like death by a thousand cuts.”center_img The increase will immediately affect municipal budget planning in towns large and small, said Michael F. Cerra, executive director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. In coming days, the League will release a comprehensive guide to help its 565 member municipalities absorb and adjust to the new law. It has expressed its opposition to the wage law, fearing it could force some towns to either increase fees or reduce or eliminate services. “If raising wages can help you attract and retain high quality part-time employees it’s going to be a benefit to your town. And it’s beneficial to hire these types of quality part-time workers, because most do not qualify for benefits and it’s not as expensive for a town.” “A lot of people question that number, that it doesn’t sound right, and think it’s an impossibility. What they’re not considering, and what hasn’t been clearly explained by legislators, is the total compensation and the downhill rolling effect it has on taxpayers,” Perry said. Highlands Borough administrator Kim Gonzalez said, in the case of her town, with a population of about 5,000 on 1.4 square miles, and others like it, smaller size means a smaller budget with maneuvering needed and little wiggle room to spare. “Guards don’t usually start above $10 an hour, let alone $15. It’s something all towns need to watch and it can make a big impact on a community,” she said. Seasonal workers are not included in the bill. “We’re hoping to not have to cut services or programming, but I am reviewing our budget right now and decreases in certain areas are needed,” Gonzalez told The Two River Times Feb. 12. “We do have to see if we need to get rid of some expenses. Whether it be a small service to residents or something else. It’s unavoidable. This (bill) is going to impact us. When you’re a smaller town, working with a smaller budget, the dollars and cents add up.” “Municipalities are calculating their new budgets and preparing for the effects of this bill as we speak,” Cerra told The Two River Times in a Feb. 13 interview. “We all want people to make as much money as they can and there is room for a wage hike, but a lot more work needed to go into this bill.” O’Scanlon said to The Two River Times in a Feb. 11 interview. “No one can predict what will happen five years down the line or one year down the line. And now that it was signed I honestly don’t think we’ll revisit the bill five years from now if the economy is in bad shape,” O’Scanlon added. O’Scanlon believes the bill should have included a “pause button” of sorts, in which small businesses, nonprofit groups and even municipalities could increase wages immediately, but in a year’s time adjust those wages up or down based on the strength of weakness of the economy. “This is a terribly written bill that is going to hurt non-profits, hurt small businesses and hurt municipalities,” Gopal told The Two River Times Monday afternoon. “The ones who will benefit most are the big corporations because they can absorb costs. This is a dangerous piece of legislation.”last_img read more

Canadian Men fail in bid to qualify for 2018 World Cup

first_imgDespite scoring a 3-1 victory over El Salvador Tuesday night in Vancouver, Canada finished third in its semifinal qualifying group for the CONCACAF region, behind Mexico and Honduras, and ahead of El Salvador.The top two teams in the group advance to the final round of the qualifiers in CONCACAF.Cyle Larin gave Canada a 1-0 lead, scoring in the 11th minute. Nik Ledgerwood made it 2-0 at the 54th minute before El Salvador’s Nelson Bonilla scored in the 78th minute. David Edgar added a goal for Canada in injury time.Canada, which in its only World Cup — 1986 in Mexico — now looks in from the sidelines as the rest of the world attempts to qualify for Russia.Next up is qualifying for 2022. There’s no joy in Canadaville as the Men’s National Team struck out in their bid to reach the next stage of qualifying for 2018 World Cup in Russia.last_img read more


first_img            RUBEN ALBARADO, ASSISTANT TO PETER MILLER, POSHKY, WINNER: “He was back with Cal-breds and I think that was the key. He likes this track and we knew there was speed in the race, so we just told him (Fernando Perez) to sit back and he’ll run big.“He rode the horse perfect. No questions asked. Poshky has always been a nice horse. He tries. We knew we had a good shot.” TYLER BAZE, ALERT BAY, SECOND: “I was sitting right where I wanted until Bejarano (Rafael on Ashleyluvssugar) moved at the five-eighths pole and when he moved, he made me move. You can’t make a five-eighths mile move and go on to win. I tried to give him a little breather around the turn but . . .“He ran hard, he’s such a nice horse. He always gives it to you and we’re proud of him.” JOCKEY QUOTES Albarado has been with Miller the past six years and before that was with Don Warren for 27 years. TRAINER QUOTES FERNANDO PEREZ, POSHSKY, WINNER: “Peter said there is a couple of speed horses but just try to relax, don’t fight him too much. I knew we would be in trouble if I couldn’t get him to relax. I had a really good trip, we broke well and I was able to have him relax, sit behind the speed, I went to the outside and we made it.”             NOTES: The winning owners are Gary Barber of Los Angeles, Leonard Friedman (Silver Ranch Stable) and Adam Wachtel.last_img read more

NLEX misses out on Super 8 final, falls short against Guangzhou

first_imgPutin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Guangzhou, however, managed to pull away midway through the fourth quarter going on a 15-5 run for 73-59 edge after Ju Mingxin’s layup with 2:04 left in the game.Shirelijian Muxtar then hit a dagger of a fallaway jumper with 1:21 left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Muxtar had a game-high 21 points to lead the Long Lions while Zheng Zhun added 15 points.Ju flirted had 14 points with six rebounds while Guo Kai flirted with a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. Mark Tallo put up 16 points to pace NLEX while Kenneth Ighalo hustled his way to six points and 11 rebounds.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWscenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra averts meltdown, beats Rain or Shine to close in on finals spot In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Photo from Asia League Facebook. PBA IMAGESMACAU—NLEX’s fell short in the most crucial of times as it fizzled out against Guangzhou, 75-63, Saturday and failed to move on to the final of the Asia League Super 8 at Macau East Asian Games Dome here.The Road Warriors were down 46-34 at the half but put on an inspired third quarter run and outscored the Long Lions, 16-8, to close the gap to just four, 54-50, at the start of the fourth.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio nameslast_img read more

Should A’s worry Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray will choose football?

first_imgOklahoma’s star quarterback Kyle Murray reiterated his plan is to leave football behind after this season and focus on playing baseball for the A’s.But should the A’s, who signed Murray for nearly $5 million, be worried he’ll change his mind?Murray, who has become a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy during his spectacular season for Oklahoma, didn’t exactly squash speculation Monday.“I feel like I can play in the NFL,” Murray told reporters in Oklahoma. “But as far as giving …last_img read more

What did 49ers do with those gloriously muddy uniforms?

first_imgSANTA CLARA – Not all of the 49ers’ heroes were in muddy uniforms after beating Washington last SundayEquipment manager Jay Brunetti and his staff were clean, but busy. They packed those wet and soiled uniforms for the flight back home and, upon return to team headquarters, they began washing, drying, sorting, folding and stacking the gear.And that was just the first half of action.The second half for Brunetti and his crew was preparing for this Sunday, when the 49ers will wear the …last_img read more

Genetic Convergent Evolution Strains Credibility

first_img“Convergent evolution” is the term given to similar designs that shouldn’t be related.  Recent widespread examples threaten to make the term lose any coherence it might have had.Bats and dolphins:  It’s been long known that bats and dolphins, thought to have diverged in the mammalian family tree xx million years ago, both use echolocation.  What was not known till now was that the similarities proceed all the way to the genetic level.  In Nature, Erika Check Hayden said, “A new analysis suggests that many genes evolved in parallel in bats and dolphins as each developed the remarkable ability to echolocate.”  By many, they’re talking three orders of magnitude. The title is “Convergent evolution seen in hundreds of genes.”Each of these genes, presumably, mutated independently in the two groups, since their presumed common ancestor would not have had the well-developed sensory apparatus for this “complex physical trait.”  Charles Q. Choi on Live Science tried to preserve the credibility of the “convergent evolution” explanation.  It’s not clear how helpful it is, though, to pile on examples:Bats and dolphins may live in radically different worlds, but the fact they both evolved a type of sonar means they resemble each other genetically, researchers now find.When different species live similar lives, they can evolve similar traits, a phenomenon known as convergent evolution. For instance, dolphins, sharks and the extinct marine giants known as ichthyosaurs all differ from each other greatly in origin — dolphins are mammals, sharks are fish and ichthyosaurs were reptiles. However, they evolved very similar body shapes that help them live fast lives in the water — streamlined forms, stabilizing dorsal fins and crescent-shaped tails for traveling great speeds over long distances.Recently, scientists found hints that convergent evolution caused species to resemble each other not just at the physical level, but also the genetic one.Expecting maybe 10-30 genetic similarities, researchers found 200, in genes related to hearing and sight.  “These similarities were not seen with non-echolocating animals,” Choi said.  Joe Parker (Queen Mary College, U of London) explained this “surprising result” by attributing greater power to blind, undirected processes: “Natural selection can be a very powerful force for shaping genetic sequences, and the outcomes of that process can be very similar, even in unrelated organisms.”  Hayden made evolution out to be some kind of detective:Different organisms often independently evolve similar observable traits such as anatomical or functional features, but the genetic changes underpinning such ‘convergent evolution’ are usually different. The new study, published today in Nature, hints that evolution may be finding the same genetic solutions to a problem more often than previously thought.Science Now expressed no doubt at all in the explanatory power of convergent evolution, even if it must rely on blind, aimless mutations.  The article “Bats and Dolphins Evolved Echolocation in the Same Way” says –Dolphins and bats don’t have much in common, but they share a superpower: Both hunt their prey by emitting high-pitched sounds and listening for the echoes. Now, a study shows that this ability arose independently in each group of mammals from the same genetic mutations. The work suggests that evolution sometimes arrives at new traits through the same sequence of steps, even in very different animals.The article continues, “Nature is full of examples of convergent evolution,” listing wings as an example that evolved 4 times in birds, bats, insects and flying reptiles.  “Biologists have assumed that these novelties were devised, on a genetic level, in fundamentally different ways” – an assumption that might have fit with the randomness of mutations.  The new study undermines that assumption.  One scientist not involved with the study remarked, “The biggest surprise is probably the extent to which convergent molecular evolution seems to be widespread in the genome.”This finding could have devastating effects on the ability of evolutionists to separate homology and analogy.  It basically scrambles the signal of natural selection.  Science Now ends,The discovery that molecular convergence can be widespread in a genome is “bittersweet,” [Todd] Castoe [U of Texas] adds. Biologists building family trees are likely being misled into suggesting that some organisms are closely related because genes and proteins are similar due to convergence, and not because the organisms had a recent common ancestor. No family trees are entirely safe from these misleading effects, Castoe says. “And we currently have no way to deal with this.”That’s on top of the difficulty of building Darwinian trees in the first place (see 6/05/13).Birds, too:  A paper in Nature on “Evolutionary origins of the avian brain” claims that encephalization (brain enlargment) evolved independently multiple times in birds, mammals, and dinosaurs: “The hyperinflated forebrains of birds and mammals evolved independently, possibly in response to different sensory cues; derived olfactory capabilities versus enhanced visual acuity.”This is not an article about convergent evolution.  It is an article about dogmatic faith.  Evolutionists cannot, and will not, face up to facts that contradict their theory.  They always manage to fold the unexpected into their tale.  God could not have made it clearer that animals have common design rather than common descent by exhibiting hundreds of cases that could not have diverged by an evolutionary process.Attributing convergent evolution to the environment is a dodge that merely displaces the “creative power” of un-creation to another mindless entity subject to chance.  And calling natural selection “a very powerful force” is, once again, a fallacy.  Natural selection is not a force.  It is a mindless, careless bump in the road, like one of those hubs in a pinball machine.  It is not going to force the animal to score a point without an intelligent agent controlling the action.To have flight evolve, or sonar, or legs, or eyes – by an undirected process – just a single time would defy credibility.  Yet evolutionists readily speak of multiple instances of independent evolution of these things without a hint of embarrassment.  “Convergent evolution” is not an explanation for what is observed.  It is silly dogma pretending to be scientific explanation.  Don’t fall for its jargon name “homoplasy” which means, etymologically, “same form,” or for the false dichotomy “homology” (i.e., via common ancestry) vs “analogy” (i.e., not via common ancestry) – a distinction that embeds Darwinian assumptions in the terms. (Visited 113 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Cassini Plunges Through Enceladus Geyser, and Other Saturn News

first_img(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Yesterday’s daring plunge through a plume of an Enceladus geyser is the highlight of recent Saturn news.Enceladus NewsDeepest-Ever Dive Through Enceladus Plume Completed (JPL): Two-way communication with Cassini after the geyser plunge shows that the spacecraft survived, JPL reported. Come back to this spot for latest news and links to photos after the data are downloaded.  PhysOrg posted a list of preview facts before the event.Update 10/30/15: Spectacular close-ups as well as wide-angle shots have been posted by the Cassini Imaging Team website. Photos are not the only purpose of the event. Data on the composition of plume particles will provide important clues about what lies below. Principle investigators for Cassini’s other instruments such as the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) will have a lot to say when the data are presented at a future date. Science Magazine says that could take months.Closest Northern Views of Saturn’s Moon Enceladus (NASA-JPL): After the October 10 flyby that skimmed over the north pole, NASA released images showing that the mysterious lines cutting across craters at the equator continue over the north pole.Aggregate particles in the plumes of Enceladus (Icarus): Atmospheric scientists tried modeling the particles in the Enceladus geyser plumes, but did not come to definitive conclusions about the size of the aggregates or where they form in the vapor column.  “Estimates of the total particulate mass of the plumes of Enceladus are important to constrain theories of particle formation and transport at the surface and interior of the satellite.” This is an updated paper from the 2011 model. Yesterday’s flyby will undoubtedly provide more constraints for the models.The chemistry that could feed life within Saturn’s moon Enceladus: study gives clue ahead of flyby (The Conversation): David Rothery, planetary scientist at The Open University, rang the hydrobioscopy bell before the flyby, equating water with life. Without explaining how, he claims that “The power to drive the plumes must come from heat generated by the varying tidal stresses experienced by Enceladus as it orbits Saturn.” Then he rang the hydrobioscopy bell longer and louder.High-temperature water–rock interactions and hydrothermal environments in the chondrite-like core of Enceladus (Nature Communications): This paper by primarily Japanese researchers tries to constrain the conditions for a global ocean at Enceladus. To account for silica nanoparticles, they say, the crustal composition must resemble that of carbonaceous chondrites, a type of melted meteor. The silica would have dissolved over geological timescales, they say; “Accordingly, the formation of silica nanoparticles is most likely sustained by geologically recent or ongoing hydrothermal activity.” What happened to cause that? The combination of factors required to keep Enceladus warm for 4.5 billion years seem improbable (radiogenic heat followed by episodic tidal flexing and serpentinization, etc.), so they entertain a more recent chain of events. Unfortunately, it also has a high perhapsimaybecouldness index:However, given that a porous rocky core tends to lose remnant heat rapidly, especially if it is percolated by the oceanic water, it may be more likely that hydrothermal activity on Enceladus was triggered by a recent incidental heating event (for example, a catastrophic crustal overturn, an orbital evolution or an impact). The thickness of plume particles deposits on the small Saturnian satellites also implies that the duration of cryovolcanic activities on Enceladus would be as short as 10 Myrs (ref. 44). These incidental heating event [sic] could have increased the temperature near the ocean–rock interface (Fig. 4b). It is highly uncertain whether this event alone could have produced a sufficient amount of heat to cause hydrothermal activity, because such an event provides heat mainly in the icy shell rather than in the rocks of the seafloor. However, if Enceladus’ rocky core is fragmented, the incidental events would have triggered effective tidal dissipation within the core, especially near the ocean–rock interface. In addition, if the ocean–rock interface had contained pristine minerals, such an event might have initiated ice melting and subsequent exothermic serpentinization. This in turn could have triggered a positive feedback between serpentinization, temperature increase and large tidal dissipation, possibly leading to hydrothermal reactions.Saturn NewsSomething Strange Is Happening Inside Saturn ( “Unusual ripples in Saturn’s rings are revealing the mysterious inner workings of the great gas giant,” this article on ‘kronoseismology’—the study of oscillations within Saturn— begins. “Planetary scientists and modelers are slowly picking apart that mystery.” Here’s a caution for people who think gas giants are simple objects that form easily:“There’s a paradigm of giant planets being pretty simple objects, where they have a core of ice and rock, and this tremendous envelope of hydrogen/helium on top of that,” Fortney told “That’s how people have mostly modeled giant planets for 50 years. But what the kronoseismology tells us is, there’s some region that is strange, there’s some part of the bottom of the envelope that’s not simple, that’s not convective. It tells us that Saturn is not a simple object; there’s something more going on there.“At Saturn, One of These Rings is not like the Others (Astrobiology Magazine): Cassini’s Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) shows anomalously high temperatures in part of the A ring. Scientists infer from it something about the composition of the orbiting particles that raises an age issue:“A high concentration of dense, solid ice chunks in this one region of Saturn’s rings is unexpected,” said Morishima. “Ring particles usually spread out and become evenly distributed on a timescale of about 100 million years.”….“This particular result is fascinating because it suggests that the middle of Saturn’s A ring may be much younger than the rest of the rings,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at JPL and a co-author of the study. “Other parts of the rings may be as old as Saturn itself.”The 2013 Saturn auroral campaign (Icarus): The planetary science journal Icarus published a suite of papers about Saturn’s aurora observations from two years ago, for those interested in planetary physics and magnetospheres.Inside Cassini’s Multi-Year Saturn Mission ( This article by graphic artist Karl Tate includes a colorful infographic showing highlights of the Cassini mission and its major findings, such as the Enceladus geysers, Titan and the Huygens landing, the solution to the Iapetus dark-light dichotomy, Saturn’s rings and the polar hexagon (see Evolution News & Views, “Are Hexagons Natural?”).Titan NewsSaturn’s moon Titan (Universe Today via PhysOrg): Matt Williams shares the current knowledge of Titan. He doesn’t shy away from age problems:The surface of Titan is relatively young – between 100 million and 1 billion years old – despite having been formed during the early solar system. In addition, it appears to be relatively smooth, with impact craters having been filled in. Height variation is also low, ranging by little more than 150 meters, but with the occasional mountain reaching between 500 meters and 1 km in height….Energy from the sun should have converted all traces of methane in Titan’s atmosphere into more complex hydrocarbons within 50 million years—a short time compared to the age of the solar system. This suggests that methane must be replenished by a reservoir on or within Titan itself.Saturn’s largest moon Titan could have sun-warmed swirling seas (New Scientist): Solar heating may stir up currents in the oily lakes of Titan, this article says. “What we found is that it can cause currents that are comparable with tidal and wind-driven currents.” Future landings in the lakes will need to take this into account. “Extraterrestrial oceanography is still in its early days,” remarks Ralph Lorenz (Johns Hopkins APL).Congratulations to the engineers whose intelligent design built and guided this amazing spacecraft and aimed it into a narrow plume of gas around a tiny moon. That’s impressive.We are now 11 years into Cassini’s mission to Saturn, and scientists still are puzzled about the youth of Titan and Enceladus. Obtaining data is a wonderful achievement for all who contributed, but understanding what they are seeing is a completely different matter. Much of their puzzlement would vanish if they kicked some A.S.S. out there.last_img read more