Tag: 上海狼族

A plan for water

A plan for water

first_imgIf there’s one thing that was most pivotal to the development and growth of modern-day Los Angeles, it was water. Water is the lifeblood of this arid basin. That’s why the city’s move to put together a massive plan for new sewer lines, water plants and other water facilities to serve the continued growth of the city is absolutely essential. But whatever great ideas are encompassed in this document, we ask one thing: Don’t bring back the hare-brained proposal for a toilet-to-tap system to serve the San Fernando Valley. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Is everybody ‘all over America’ ready to see 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo?

Is everybody ‘all over America’ ready to see 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo?

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo obviously is excited for his comeback’s launch party this Sunday in the 49ers season opener at Tampa. He’s not the only one.“Everybody is,” right tackle Mike McGlinchey said Wednesday. “Not just here, but everybody all over America is ready to see what Jimmy can do.“We expect nothing but great things from him this week.” (Randy Vazquez/ Bay Area News Group)Such are the …last_img

Growing the organic business

Growing the organic business

first_imgThe demand for organic fresh produce has increased across the world.Khanyi MagubaneEmerging farmers in Kwa-Zulu-Natal will soon be reaping the rewards of the growing worldwide demand for organic products. The South African government has signed an agreement with the Swiss company BioSwiss for the export of high-quality organic vegetables to the US, France and Britain.The eight-year memorandum of agreement with the Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs involves three land reform projects in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal. BioSwiss has invested R100-million (US$ 13.2-million) to develop a factory in the area.“We would like to expand this project to other regions of the province, once we see it successful in Vryheid,” says Gwelyn Owen, CEO of BioSwiss.BioSwiss will provide the communities involved in the project with financial backing and the technical skills for growing organic produce. They will also receive mentoring/training and business management, as they will have to deal with international clientele during the exporting process.The three land reform projects form part of the Department of Agriculture and Land Affair’s Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD) project. This is a sub-programme of the land redistribution programme.LRAD has two distinct parts. Firstly, agricultural land is transferred to specific individuals or groups. Secondly, the programme deals with commonage projects, which aim to improve people’s access to municipal and tribal land primarily for agricultural purposes.The term municipal commonage is traditionally given to land owned by a municipality or local authority that was usually acquired through state grants or from the church. It differs from other municipally-owned land in that residents have acquired grazing rights on the land, or the land was granted expressly to benefit needy local inhabitants.What is organic farming?Organic farming avoids the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives and any other form of chemicals in the production process. Organic farmers rely on developing a healthy, fertile soil, and growing a mixture of crops. With respect to livestock, animals are reared without the routine of drugs and antibioticsAccording to the Soil Association, which promotes health and organic farming in England, more people are choosing to buy organic food because it tastes better, is safer from a health perspective and is environmentally friendly. Organic farming also requires that animals be kept in more natural, free-range conditions with a more natural diet.Organic AfricaIn South Africa, the organic farming industry is growing. From an estimated R5-million before 2003, sales of organic food grown in South Africa – domestic sales and exports combined – jumped to R155-million in 2005. This figure was expected to increase significantly in the 2006/2007 financial year.Organics South Africa, a non-profit organisation formed in 1994, engages with farmers, retailers and government. Its main aim is to “increase the awareness of sustainable farming methods and to assist in the recognition of the natural relationship between soil, plant, animal and mankind”.With its vast natural resources, Africa is quickly becoming the preferred supplier of organic foods. Three years ago, a report released by the Advocates’ Coalition for Development and Environment, an independent public policy, research and advocacy think tank, indicated that Uganda was the biggest exporter of organic products in Africa.According to the report, the number of organic farmers increased by 38%, from 28 000 in 2002 to 39 600 by the end of 2004. The report also indicates that Uganda has the largest area dedicated to organic farming (22 000 ha), making it the organic farming leader in Africa and the fourth largest in the world. Uganda’s climate and the fact that much of the land has been not been used for agriculture before makes Uganda ideal for organic farming.Useful LinksOrganic South AfricaSoil AssociationOrganic NewsAdvocates coalition for development and environmentDepartment of AgricultureDepartment of Land AffairsDo you have any queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at [email protected]last_img read more

High octane

High octane

first_imgAjeet Bajaj, Managing Director, Snow Leopard AdventuresIt was the summer of 1986 and a moment of truth for me. I had just completed my graduation from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and was at the most significant crossroads of my life. The perplexing question before me was whether I should follow the prime passion of my life and opt for a career in adventure sports or go the more conservative way and get a ‘real’ job.In the 80s, adventure sports in India were still at a nascent stage. Most people here considered adventure sports as nothing more than ‘daredevilry’. There was no well-defined government policy or guidelines for adventure tourism and, in the pre-liberalisation era, adventure sports equipment was extremely hard to come by. Many regions of the Himalayas were not only unsafe for adventure activities but also almost impossible to get to. There was also a lot of red-tape involved for overseas mountaineering expeditions to India, even by the ’80s standards. Even getting contour maps was tough.The scenario has changed drastically since then and Indian adventure tourism is on an upswing. According to industry estimates, domestic adventure tourism is seeing an annual growth of about 30 per cent while inbound adventure tourism to India is increasing by up to eight to 10 per cent annually. Unofficial figures say that we have over one million adventure tourists in India every year.Though adventure tourism has come a long way in the last decade or so, a lot of ground still needs to be covered. Matters like the use of satellite phones by adventure tour operators in the course of their work need to be resolved. Tourism being a state subject, there is need for a national adventure tourism policy that is endorsed by all the states. Some operators in the far-flung regions of the country still have to adhere to national and international benchmarks in safety and adopt the good field practices that are advocated by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.India’s topography holds out great prospects for adventure tourismThe Indian adventure travel fraternity, which is a 200-member community, represented by the Adventure Tour Operators’ Association of India, strongly feels that India has the potential of becoming a global hotspot for adventure and ecotourism. The industry is working in close cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism to harness this potential in a sensitive manner and to take Indian adventure tourism quite literally to the summit.At present, there are no tailormade courses for adventure tourism in India. The best course of action for those keen on a career in adventure tourism, in my opinion, would be to finish their graduation and follow it up with an MBA in Tourism Administration from the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, apart from which there are numerous universities-like the Himachal University, the Kurukshetra University-that offer a Master’s programme in Tourism Administration. While in college it would be equally important to immerse fully into adventure sports. There are a number of clubs, institutions (like the Youth Hostels’ Association of India) and commercial outfitters offering trekking, wildlife activities and river rafting trips and it would be ideal to gain as much experience as possible as well as test your resolve and commitment about getting into adventure tourism. It is also worth looking at the adventure and mountaineering courses offered by Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi; Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling; and Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali. These courses are subsidised for Indian nationals and the level of instruction and the overall experience is rated high. The Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering in Gulmarg also comes highly recommended for skiing and adventure training. I would like to emphasise the importance of physical fitness here. If you are not physically fit, you could still consider an office job in adventure tourism but definitely not field work. Some North American and New Zealand universities offer allied courses such as Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation and Diploma in Adventure Tourism Management.The ideal way to get going would be with a professional, Government of India, Ministry of Tourism-recognised adventure tour operator. There is need for a rather lengthy apprenticeship in adventure tourism due to concerns of safety and professional guest handling. In terms of emolument, the industry is more passion-driven than moneydriven; although in the present scenario, it is possible to make a decent living in the field.I was extremely fortunate in that I got tremendous support from my parents and family and took a decision to follow my heart. I am passionate about my profession and completely believe in the saying-‘if your hobby and profession are the same, you do not work for a single day. There is no better office than ‘the great outdoors’. I am fortunate to have taken the right decision.Snow Leopard Adventures Pvt Ltd, is India’s first certified adventure travel outfit that organises adventure tours in the Indian Subcontinent. (www.snowleopardadventures. com)advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Golden silver nanoparticle looks and behaves like gold

Golden silver nanoparticle looks and behaves like gold

first_img More information: Chakra P. Joshi, et al. “[Ag25(SR)18]-: The ‘Golden’ Silver Nanoparticle.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b07088 Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society The ‘golden’ silver nanocluster with 25 silver atoms and 18 ligand molecules, (left) without a counterion and (right) with a counterion. The structures show silver atoms on the vertices of the icosahedron (green), silver atoms on the icosahedron faces (purple), sulfur atoms (yellow), carbon atoms (gray), and phosphorus atoms (red). Credit: Osman Bakr, KAUST Separate teams develop similar method for creating non-oxidizing silver nanoparticles The scientists investigated the silver nanocluster’s crystal structure using X-ray diffraction, in which an X-ray beam strikes the crystallized structure and is reflected at various angles to create a diffraction pattern on a detector. This technique revealed that the silver nanocluster has one silver atom at the center of a 12-pointed-star-like shape called an icosahedron. While 12 of the other silver atoms form the 12 points, the remaining 12 silver atoms occupy some of the faces. This arrangement is almost exactly like that of the gold nanocluster, except that three of the atoms on the faces of the silver nanocluster are turned in a different direction. As far as the scientists can tell, the orientation of these three atoms is the only notable structural difference between the silver and gold nanoclusters, and it causes a slight distortion in the silver nanoclusters. (Phys.org)—In an act of “nano-alchemy,” scientists have synthesized a silver (Ag) nanocluster that is virtually identical to a gold (Au) nanocluster. On the outside, the silver nanocluster has a golden yellow color, and on the inside, its chemical structure and properties also closely mimic those of its gold counterpart. The work shows that it may be possible to create silver nanoparticles that look and behave like gold despite underlying differences between the two elements, and could lead to creating similar analogues between other pairs of elements. Citation: ‘Golden’ silver nanoparticle looks and behaves like gold (2015, September 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-golden-silver-nanoparticle-gold.html The researchers, led by Osman Bakr, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, have published the paper in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.”In some aspects, this is very similar to alchemy, but we call it ‘nano-alchemy,'” Bakr told Phys.org. “When we first encountered the optical spectrum of the silver nanocluster, we thought that we may have inadvertently switched the chemical reagents for silver with gold, and ended up with gold nanoparticles instead. But repeated synthesis and measurements proved that the clusters were indeed silver and yet show properties akin to gold. It was really surprising to us as scientists to find not only similarities in the color and optical properties, but also the X-ray structure.”Like all chemical elements, silver and gold are defined by their number of protons: silver has 47, and gold has 79. The work here doesn’t change the number of protons in an atom of silver; otherwise it would no longer be considered silver. Instead, the researchers synthesized a nanocluster of 25 silver atoms, along with 18 other molecules called “ligands” that surround the silver atoms. The entire negatively charged, silver-based complex ion has the chemical formula [Ag25(SPhMe2)18]-.Although a few other silver nanoclusters have been synthesized in recent years, this is the first silver nanocluster that has a matching analogue in gold: [Au25(SPhMe2)18]- has previously been reported. Besides both nanoclusters having 25 metal atoms and 18 ligands, they also both have all of their atoms and electrons arranged in almost exactly the same way. In their study, the researchers performed tests demonstrating that the silver and gold nanoclusters have very similar optical properties. Typically, silver nanoclusters are brown or red in color, but this one looks just like gold because it emits light at almost the same wavelength (around 675 nm) as gold. The golden color can be explained by the fact that both nanoclusters have virtually identical crystal structures. The question naturally arises: why are these silver and gold nanoclusters so similar, when individual atoms of silver and gold are very different, in terms of their optical and structural properties? As Bakr explained, the answer may have to do with the fact that, although larger in size, the nanoclusters behave like “superatoms” in the sense that their electrons orbit the entire nanocluster as if it were a single giant atom. These superatomic orbitals in the silver and gold nanoclusters are very similar, and, in general, an atom’s electron configuration contributes significantly to its properties.”The size scale of nanoparticles lies in between atoms/molecules and bulk material, where the absolute rule of neither quantum nor classical physics is observed,” Bakr explained. “However, the Ag nanoparticle we synthesized was so small in size that it actually behaves a lot like an atom, i.e., a superatom. Since the structural framework of Ag25 is nearly identical to Au25, which makes similar atomic arrangements in 3D space, this special atomic arrangement allows for the hybridization of Ag atomic orbitals and ligand orbitals (the organic molecules surrounding the metal) in Ag25 to produce superatomic orbitals that are very similar to the well-known Au25 system. This could be the main reason for the similarities observed between the Ag and Au clusters, which may not be possible to achieve with individual atoms or bulk materials.”While the results here show that silver can acquire the properties of gold, the reverse may also be possible, with gold being synthesized to look and behave like silver. “If silver can acquire properties of gold, there is no obvious reason why the reverse shouldn’t be possible,” Bakr said.This duality, in which one type of atom acquires the properties of another, has the potential to offer unprecedented abilities in nanoscience research, and is one area that the scientists plan to investigate more in the future.The researchers also hope that the results will lead to a better understanding of the fundamental differences between gold and silver. For instance, although both materials are lustrous metals, gold is relatively biocompatible and being researched for biomedicine, whereas silver is cytotoxic and used in antibacterial surface coatings. Questions like these may be answered by blurring the lines between the elements as we know them.”Our future plan is to synthesize other sizes of gold clusters and other metal analogues of gold nanoparticles to explore whether these clusters would still show the behavior of gold or not,” Bakr said. “Our goal is to find cheaper substitutes for gold in applications where gold nanoparticles are required.” (Left) Optical properties of the silver and gold nanoclusters, with the inset showing photographs of the actual color of the synthesized nanoclusters. The graph shows the absorption (solid lines) and normalized emission (dotted lines) spectra. (Right) Various representations of the X-ray structure of the silver nanocluster. Credit: Joshi, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Society © 2015 Phys.org Explore further 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.last_img read more