Tag: 上海狼族

Ready, Aim, Flower

first_imgHow does a plant know the time to flower?  A new study describes a process involving genes, sunlight sensors, switches, clocks, feedback loops and messages.The research, published in Science,1  focused on a protein that is sensitive to day length.  The longer the day, the more the protein is produced.  Its activity is controlled by the circadian clock, a set of genes and proteins that keep time in all plants and animals.  In the lab plant Arabidopsis, this protein, named FKF1, is allowed (when the days become long enough) to activate another protein that activates flowering.  This second protein, though, has to travel from the leaves where it is made to the tips of the stem.  There, it turns on the flowering system.The paper described the complexity of the system:The FKF1 photoperiod sensor uses multiple, partially redundant switches to allow strong activation in long days. As the Sun rises higher in the sky each day when spring approaches, plants can sense the increased intensity in the blue-light range of the spectrum each afternoon through multiple photoreceptors, including FKF1. The complexity of this mechanism even in a temperate species such as Arabidopsis suggests that it has the flexibility to regulate successful reproduction in a wide range of environments.In other words, their lab plant has probably one of the simpler systems.  Seasonal response is probably even more complex in some plants and animals, but even bacteria are known to have circadian clocks of Paley-like complexity.  Neither the paper nor the summary on PhysOrg mentioned evolution.1. Song, Smith et al., “FKF1 Conveys Timing Information for CONSTANS Stabilization in Photoperiodic Flowering,” Science 25 May 2012:Vol. 336 no. 6084 pp. 1045-1049, DOI: 10.1126/science.1219644.No comment, except: Darwin lovers, when are you going to face the reality that Paley was right? (10/31/2008). (Visited 45 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Tackling Sun City’s golf courses

first_img25 November 2010The Gary Player and Lost City golf courses at Sun City may offer top-quality challenges for serious golfers, but do they also offer an enjoyable challenge for those with high handicaps? We set off to find out – and to answer a few other nagging questions about a casino resort with apartheid-era origins.Sun City occupies an ambiguous place in the minds of many South Africans.On the one hand, it symbolises glitz, glamour and family fun, while the architectural excesses of the Lost City complex represent hotel magnate Sol Kerzner’s entrepreneurial daring.On the other hand, located in the former black homeland of Bophuthatswana, Sun City has its origins in apartheid’s Bantustan system. In recent years – as other casino complexes have sprung up around the country – it has been unable to escape the tawdriness often associated with gambling venues.The golf courses at Sun City evoke similarly two-sided responses.During South Africa’s sporting isolation, the Million Dollar Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club was one of few events able to lure famous sportsmen to the country. Post-apartheid, the tournament, in its later incarnation as the Nedbank Golf Challenge, flourished, as audiences delighted in watching local heroes Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and company take on the world’s best on home turf.The Lost City course was added in 1993, boasting crocodile-filled water hazards and Africa-shaped greens.Yet nagging questions remain. Should Seve Ballesteros, Bernard Langer, Ian Woosnam and company have come to the country with the apartheid regime still firmly in place? Where do we place South African golfers such as David Frost and Fulton Allem, who won in the late 1980s and early 1990s?Was the Lost City layout conceived as a top quality course or a gimmick to attract tourists daunted by the championship Gary Player Country Club course? Will the Nedbank Golf Challenge struggle, as it has done in recent years, to attract the world’s top professional golfers?With the likes of Robert Allenby, Anders Hansen, Eduardo Molinari, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and local favourites Louis Oosthuizen, Tim Clark, Ernie Els, and Retief Goosen travelling to Sun City in December for the 30th edition of the tournament, the last question doesn’t seem to need an answer.Million-dollar courseFor most amateurs, serious golfers and weekend hackers alike, there is another important question: will I get my money’s worth? After all, the cost of playing at either course is substantial. Both have more or less maintained their places in Golf Digest magazine’s rankings over the years – the Gary Player is a regular second, the Lost City fluctuates between the ‘teens and twenties – and with this status comes high expectations.I was unsure what to expect when I joined a party of 12 guys driving west out of Johannesburg for a golfing weekend (unsure about the golf, that is; I took it for granted that there would be plenty of banter, braaivleis and probably also some bad luck at the blackjack tables). We were a group of 30-somethings, of the generation who grew up listening to the theme song of the Million Dollar Challenge as the soundtrack to a first week of school holidays spent glued to the television:“It’s the million-dollar shotSo give it all you’ve gotAnd you could be the hero of the day!It’s the million-dollar shotAnd if you play it hotYou could have a million dollars coming your way…”As a result, the Gary Player course had become sacred terrain to us – our adolescent golfing heroes walked on its fairways, its bunkers and water hazards and greens were their epic battle grounds. We had spent years imagining what it would be like to play its iconic holes: the par-five ninth with the island green, the equally lengthy 14th with the enormous bunker and its deadly love grass, the 18th with its dog-leg to the left over the lake and fountain.In real life, the course did not disappoint. It was in fine but unforgiving condition; the kikuyu grass rough, which had been kept fairly short for the 2009 Nedbank Golf Challenge, had grown syrupy-thick by the time we visited some months later.Never mind the bushveld – what really makes a round at the Gary Player so tough is the wide fringe of unmowed kikuyu around the regulation terrain. Miss the narrow fairways by more than a couple of metres and your ball can be plugged or even disappear.At under 6 000m off the club tees, it isn’t a long course, although the championship tees add another 500m, and that is doubled off the pro tees. But the Black Knight, as Player is known, has designed a course requiring accuracy.While the ninth, 14th and 18th may lend themselves to impressive television camera angles, amateur golfers find unexpected challenges at the par-three fourth, where their shots fly downhill over water, a limited view of the fairway from the 11th tee, and bunkers in the line of a decent drive on the 17th, as well as the watersports lake skirting the approach to the green.Our caddies, who knew the course backwards, kept us entertained with light-hearted quips when they realised that we weren’t scratch golfers.Tranquil settingThe Lost City golfing experience is markedly different in some respects – carts are compulsory, for instance – but the service is similarly polished. After struggling through the first eight holes under the baking Pilansberg sun, there’s a certain comfort in being asked to place your halfway house order before you walk onto the ninth tee.The view from the Lost City clubhouse, over the lake that divides the ninth and 18th fairways, is picturesque. One can’t necessarily say the same thing of the view towards the clubhouse, which is built of the same artificial orange-brown rocks as the Valley of the Waves and other structures in the vicinity.But if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, the sight of the Palace of the Lost City’s turrets rising above thorn tree scrub is pretty impressive. There are vistas aplenty over the bush, koppies and savannah plains that surround and sometimes form part of the course, especially from the elevated tees of numerous holes on the back nine (11 and 13 to 16).The pleasure of playing the Lost City course is, in fact, partly attributable to distractions from golf: the birdlife is abundant, it isn’t unusual to see some variety of buck or a metre-long monitor lizard crossing the cart path, and even the odd elephant can be spotted brooding behind the out-of-bounds fence. It goes without saying that the inhabitants of the crocodile pit at the signature 13th hole are a drawcard, to overseas golfers in particular.Nonetheless, while it is a less punishing layout than the Gary Player, this is one of those courses about which the most mundane advice remains applicable: take a lot of balls.The description of the Lost City as a desert course – and when you’re standing in the larger bunkers, it can feel like the Kalahari – shouldn’t be taken as an indication of wide open space. There is plenty of thick stuff lining the fairways, and precision driving is a challenge if you’re playing off the back tees, in which case the course measures an intimidating 6 900m in length.So, back to some of those tricky questions. Can the twin Sun City courses be both top-quality challenges for serious golfers and “fun” for those with high handicaps? Undoubtedly. Have they left behind the taint of apartheid in the 1980s? Happily. And will they continue to offer excellent value for the locals and international visitor? If the experience of twelve high-handicapping, admittedly nostalgic, yet not easily impressed golfers on tour is the benchmark, then the answer is a resounding yes.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Cartoon: Hence “Hubbub”

first_img5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Rob Cottingham is cartoon-blogging the Real-Time Web Summit – keep checking back for updates! Tags:#Cartoons#web Related Posts rob cottinghamcenter_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…last_img

Adobe After Effects Tutorial: Using the New Keying Effects

first_imgLearn how to use the new Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor features in After Effects.If you haven’t already heard, last week Adobe updated every program in the Creative Cloud. Notable features like Live Text Templates and 6K native playback in Adobe Premiere look very promising, but one of the less talked about updates comes in the form of a few keying effects added into After Effects.The effects, Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor, are designed to help VFX artists get a better key than what can be achieved in Keylight alone. In the following tutorial created by Adobe we will learn how to use the Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor in After Effects. The video covers:The Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor PresetsSelecting a green backgroundToggling each effectIf you do a lot of green screen work we highly recommend checking out our Essential Tips for Green Screen post. It’s far better to shoot green screen footage correctly during production than to be forced to fix it in post.These latest effects are just a couple of the many new features in the Creative Cloud. For a full list of updates check out our “biggest update in years” post. This video was first shared on Adobe’s website, where you can also download a trial of the Creative Cloud for free. Thanks for sharing guys!Have any tips for using these new effects?Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Panchayat polls: A setback likely for BJD

first_imgAt the end of the fifth and last phase of panchayat polls on Tuesday, it became clear that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal has lost its supremacy in rural Odisha, suffering a severe jolt in the western region.In its fourth consecutive term in power, the BJD has for the first time faced serious challenge not from the Congress but from its one-time ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party. The shock to the ruling party has come while it was trying to strengthen its position by celebrating the birth centenary of late Biju Patnaik after whom the party has been named.Before enforcement of the model code of conduct, Mr. Patnaik had visited almost all the districts, announcing new schemes and laying foundation stones for new projects in an attempt to beat anti-incumbency. A number people from rival parties as well as popular actors were inducted into the BJD to exhibit the party’s growing popularity in the run-up to the polls.The ruling BJD had also tried to whip up popular sentiments by raising the Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh by organising protests and Jal Satyagraha.Although the results of the rural polls have not been formally announced, going by reports reaching the Capital city, it appears that the BJD had lost ground in over 100 Zilla Parishad constituencies. Top BJD leaders too have failed to prevent the BJP from winning in their strongholds. It seems that Mr. Patnaik’s pre-poll announcements and public mobilisation on the Mahanadi issue had had little impact on voters. The BJP, on the other hand, achieved spectacular success by intensifying its campaign when the BJD was bugged by anti-incumbency, and the Congress, the main opposition in State Assembly, remained a divided house.The saffron party is likely to cross the 300 mark by increasing its strength from a measly 36 of the total 851 Zilla Parishad seats in the last panchayat polls in 2012.The BJP has not only achieved substantial electoral gains in the western region of the State by defeating both the BJD and the Congress nominees, it has also been able to make inroads into the coastal region where the BJD was strong all these years.The BJD, which won 651 seats in 2012, is set to get restricted to 400-odd seats with the Congress suffering a major setback. The party, which has been pushed to the third position by the BJP, is set to win 50-odd seats this time as against 128 five years ago. Though the trend was not clear in all 30 districts, the BJD is likely to form Zilla Parishad in at least 14 districts, the BJP in eight and the Congress in two districts as happened in 2012. The BJP had not been able to form council in any district last time.The interior districts where the BJP performed unexpectedly well this time include Kalahandi, Balangir, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Malkangiri and Mayurbhanj. The party had strong presence in these areas during its nine-year-long partnership in the State government from 2000 to 2009.Voter turnout The final results will be declared by the State Election Commission on February 25. The initial outcome, however, have left the BJD shocked, the BJP euphoric and the Congress depressed. All these parties have already started contemplating about adopting new strategy to regain lost ground and consolidate their position in future polls. The highest voter turnout of 77% was recorded in the last phase of the polls on Tuesday, surpassing the turnout in the previous four phases. Giving details of the fifth phase polling held in 150 Zilla Parishad seats spread over 26 of the total 30 districts, the Election Commission said Subarnapur district recorded the highest turnout at 88% and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s home district Ganjam saw the lowest at 67%.The results of the elections for the posts of sarpanches and ward members, and results for panchayat samity members and Zilla Parishad members will be announced on February 23 and 25 respectively by the Block Development Officers-cum-Election Officers.last_img read more

Live from the capital

first_imgSpectators cheer for India at the World Cup opening match between India and BangladeshWhen you can hear the neighbour’s cheers and fireworks on the streets, you know that the cricket fever is on. The ICC World Cup has taken the ‘eat, drink, breathe’ cricket mantra to just another level. “And why not?” says Pratik Luthra, a Delhi University post graduate student. “With India co-hosting the World Cup (with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), the big tournament is even bigger. I want to cheer loud and cheer along with others for our team. The ultimate high would be if India could win the World Cup.”Delhi’s restaurants and hotels are also game. Plenty of offers and entertainment being thrown in to ensure that you have a ball while you watch the pitch. Giant LCD screens, cricket-themed interiors and menus being some of the highlights.” It seems that everyone wants to ride the ongoing cricket frenzy. One is spoilt for choices of venues of hotels and bars to watch the cup action and party with a group of friends and family,” says cricket enthusiast and entrepreneur Bharat Sahni.Shangri-La’s Island Bar has been converted into a mini stadium. “The decor of the bar resembles a stadium with huge screens, historic World Cup images on the wall, miniature stadium lights lighting up the place and small flags of the participating nations on the tables,” says assistant manager Arpana Pradhan of Shangri-La, Eros Hotel.To please your palate while you watch the live action on big screens, the menu has been customised to make for a delicious World Cup experience. India Grill at Hilton Garden has a special menu worked up which includes cricketer’s favourites.”We have interesting names for the dishes too,” points out executive chef Avinash Handoo, India Grill. “Mahi’s Helicopter (fried prawns served with cocktail dip) priced at Rs 380 and Master Strokes named after Sachin’s favourite salt and pepper fish priced at Rs 325 are some of the star dishes.” Howzzat, a cricketthemed bar has special pricing going on its beer buckets and cocktails to draw the crowd.It’s not just the restaurant scene which is geared up for the big battle but fashion is playing its part too. Though that doesn’t mean you can wear the team India jersey to work. Fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore suggests the right elements of blue. “Denim jeans paired with a well-fitted blue lenin shirt for men and stylish blue kaftan tops for women,” he says.No doubt, ICC championship is going to be a big party. So join in the fun and let the game begin. Delhi’s fantastic fourVirendar Sehwag: Our natural boundary-hitter has done his homework and is prepared for the big battle. -Former cricketer Atul WassanGautam Gambhir: He’s a quality player, and captain material for the team. Gambhir and Sehwag bridges the gap between the senior players and India’s next generation of cricketers. -Sports commentator and presenter Gautam BhimaniAshish Nehra: He’s a wonderful person and a good team player. He’s not blessed with a great body but he doubles his efforts to make up for it. -Delhi cricketer Akash ChopraVirat Kohli: He represents the new age cricketer and is someone who has shown great potential even as a captain of the under-19 team. -Gautam BhimaniHot on the world cup menuIsland Bar: Shangri-La,Eros Hotel, 19 Ashoka Road, Connaught PlaceIndia Grill: Hilton Garden Inn, SaketKeya: 122-124 DLF Promenade,Vasant KunjHowzaat: Galaxy Hotel, GurgaonBlues Cafe and Bar: N-12,Connaught PlaceBar Zen: Courtyard by Marriott, Plot No.27 B,Sector Road, GurgaonUrban Pind: N Block,GK-1, Kailash ColonyF bar and Lounge: Ashok Hotel, ChanakyapuriThe Metropolitan Hotel: Bangla Sahib Road, Connaught PlacePepper: Forte Grand,Akbar Bhawan, ChanakyapuriT.G.I. Friday’s: DLFPromenade,2nd floor,Vasant KunjCheer in styleICC World Cup tees, caps, and much more. From: Big Bazaar Price: Rs 199 onwards.Watch the game in style. From: Fossil Price: Rs 5,495-7,995.Headwraps for a chic cricket fan. From: Noise Price: Rs 299.Get your personalised team India t-shirt. From: Myntra.com Price: Rs 895.Spring summer collection inspired by cricket. From: Nike Price: 795 onwards.Accessorise you World Cup look. From: Satya Paul Price: Rs 1,495 onwards.advertisementlast_img read more