Sharks defenseman expected to miss two weeks after setback with right knee

first_imgSUNRISE, Fla. — Sharks defenseman Radim Simek will undergo a procedure to treat a meniscus issue in his surgically repaired right knee and is expected to be out of the lineup for two weeks, general manager Doug Wilson said Sunday.Simek will return to the Bay Area to have what Wilson terms a minor “clean up” procedure on his knee this week.Wilson said Simek’s injury wasn’t the cause of any one event.“It’s been a little irritation that he’s had,” Wilson said. “It’s one of those things that …last_img read more

Was Charlemagne Protected from a Cosmic Disaster? A Carbon-14 Mystery

first_imgTree ring data from the 8th century hint that a cosmic catastrophe was averted on the “privileged planet.”As if you didn’t have enough to worry about, there are things out there that could kill us.  Asteroids or comets, solar flares, and exploding stars are just some of the planet-killing dangers that have not (yet) destroyed civilization as we know it.  Some faint smoking-gun evidence suggests that while  Charlemagne was marching through Westphalia in 775 AD conquering the Saxons, his army was completely unaware of a cosmic battle of epic proportions taking place overhead.According to Astrobiology Magaazine, one of the universe’s most energetic events may have occurred that year, sending a torrent of deadly gamma rays at Earth.  Completely invisible, these rays could have sterilized the planet in seconds had the source been close enough.  From at least 3,000 light-years away, though, Earth’s atmosphere was capable of shielding the biosphere.  The energy was safely absorbed by gases in the atmosphere.  Nobody felt a thing.In 2012 scientist Fusa Miyake announced the detection of high levels of the isotope carbon-14 and beryllium-10 in tree rings formed in 775 CE, suggesting that a burst of radiation struck the Earth in the year 774 or 775. Carbon-14 and beryllium-10 form when radiation from space collides with nitrogen atoms, which then decay to these heavier forms of carbon and beryllium. The earlier research ruled out the nearby explosion of a massive star (a supernova) as nothing was recorded in observations at the time and no remnant has been found.Prof. Miyake also considered whether a solar flare could have been responsible, but these are not powerful enough to cause the observed excess of carbon-14. Large flares are likely to be accompanied by ejections of material from the Sun’s corona, leading to vivid displays of the northern and southern lights (aurorae), but again no historical records suggest these took place.The leading explanation remaining, then, was a GRB between 3,000 and 12,000 light-years away sent an intense storm of particles that was undetectable to kings and peasants of 8th-century Europe.  Being sufficiently distant, it was harmless.Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) can take less than two seconds to blast high-energy radiation in all directions.  Only discovered in 1967, they are believed to occur when compact objects like white dwarfs, neutron stars or black holes collide and merge.  Most of the observed GRB’s have been billions of light-years away.  A GRB can release as much energy in a few seconds as the sun could emit in 10 billion years.Tree-ring dating only extends back about 3,000 years (most of recorded human history); this is the only such anomaly found in the data.  According to Wikipedia‘s entry, though, there must have been a thousand GRBs close enough to Earth to affect life since life began.The evidence is circumstantial that a GRB caused the tree-ring anomaly, but this points out a couple of interesting things.  One is that in all recorded human history, there has not yet been a cosmic extinction event—no superflare from the sun, no massive impact, no GRB.  The Tunguska Event (probably a comet) was a close call, but bad as that was, it was isolated.  Most people have no concept of the energy out there that could wipe us out as they live out their lives under the warm sun.The other point to ponder is how Earth could have survived a thousand wallops powerful enough to affect life on Earth, if the evolutionary age of 4.5 billion years is granted.  Is that reasonable?  Even the period of a few million years for human evolution raises the stakes.  Some evolutionists try to link a couple of presumed evolutionary extinctions to cosmic events, but it seems a supreme case of special pleading to expect a thousand GRBs to cause some extinctions but never a planetary extinction—and that’s not counting the chances for superflares or impacts.Our “luck” so far doesn’t mean the day won’t come.  Some believe some big wallops have been predicted.  If you haven’t seen The Privileged Planet, this might be a good time to watch it and consider many other reasons to believe that a Designer had some purposes for our tiny little patch of the universe. (Visited 139 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

BJP leader’s MLA son arrested after assaulting official, denied bail

first_imgBJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya’s son — and the party’s MLA in Madhya Pradesh — was on June 26 arrested for attacking a civic body official with a cricket bat, after a heated argument over a demolition drive.A local court rejected Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya’s bail plea and he was sent to jail in the evening, an official said.A video of the assault went viral on social media, after which police filed an FIR against Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya and 10 others in connection with the assault, an official said.Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya went about beating up the officer even as media persons surrounded him with cameras and recorded the entire incident.Justifying his action, Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya said, “In the BJP, we have been taught, pehle aavedan, phir nivedan aur phir danadan. (first request and then attack).”Eyewitnesses said the locals were protesting against razing of a house when Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya, who was a part of the protest, warned the civic body staff of consequences if they do not leave the spot.His supporters even removed the keys of the earth moving machine brought in to carry out the demolition, they said.Amid a heated exchange, Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya brought out a cricket bat and started hitting an officer who was talking on his mobile phone. The MLA’s supporters also attacked the officer and abused him while police personnel tried to bring the situation under control.Municipal employees stop workSoon after the incident, Indore Municipal Corporation employees held a demonstration by stopping their work.Mr. Akash Vijayvargiya said some civic officials were razing even those houses which are in good condition, by declaring them as dilapidated.“This is a conspiracy between owners of the houses and officials. They want to raze the houses so that leaders of the ruling Congress can take possession of the land,” he said.Condemning the assault, State Congress spokesperson Neelabh Shukla said, “The lawmaker himself has broken the law.The incident has exposed the real face of the BJP.”last_img read more

Priyanka Chopra steals the show in Mary Kom

first_imgThere sure is something about Mary Kom. What a pity you can’t say the same thing about Mary Kom. The biopic, starring Priyanka Chopra as the five-time world champion and Olympic medallist Indian boxer, is among the opening night offerings at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, with the Bollywood star in attendance for the screening, which is also the film’s world premiere.Mary Kom, directed by Omung Kumar and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, traces the story of the Indian boxing heroine from childhood to herfourth world championship title in Ningbo, China. It’s a remarkablestory, almost tailor-made for the big screen, complete with courage,persistence, determination, adversity and a stunning comeback followingmotherhood. Throw in moments of tenderness and frenetic boxing action,and the script should have virtually written itself.Priyanka is left to carry the film almost entirely on her super-fit frame and she obliges with a knockout performance. Instead, Chopra is left to carry the film almost entirely on her super-fit frame, and she obliges with a knockout performance. The lack of physical resemblance between the real Mary Kom and the actress is inconsequential as Chopra gets completely into her role. She transitions effortlessly and convincingly from a schoolgirl in pigtails to a battle-hardened mother of twins, hungry to get back into the ring. And in the ring and in training, she looks like the real thing.Chopra is ably supported by Darshan Kumaar, who plays her footballer husband and supportive anchor Onler. But many others are weighed down by awkwardly scripted situations and weak lines, some of them so corny and old-fashioned that the 1980s are calling to ask for their cliches back. The director seems more capable than a Mary Kom left hook at battering any trace of understatement, subtlety or nuance into submission.advertisementA scene where the boxer narrates to a journalist the challenges she and her fellow athletes face and the lack of support from sports officials, stands out – not in a good way, looking forced.Ditto for an episode where some of Kom’s teammates accuse a boxing federation official of sexual harassment – this is too serious to be just a dramatic device, yet he apparently redeems himself simply by cheering Kom in the final bout of the film.If the film touches your heart despite all its flaws, it’s thanks to Chopra’s acting chops and stunning stunts, and of course, the inspiring real-life triumph of a girl from rural Manipur. The music is catchy and the locations showing Manipur, and later, Manali, where Kom goes for her grueling post-pregnancy training, are eye candy. It’s ironic that the film opens with what seem like dozens of “brand partners” flashing across the screen, and yet apparently few were interested in supporting the real Mary Kom, who is shown struggling to earn money even after winning three world titles.Mary Kom ends with a slide referring to the boxer’s dream of winning gold for India at the 2016 Olympics – more proof that this remarkable woman refuses to settle even for perfection.Nor, going by her winning performance in this film, does Chopra, for much less. Why, then, should the audience?last_img read more