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Supermen Living in Nepal

first_imgThere is a race of people at the base of Mt. Everest capable of feats that defy scientific explanation: the Sherpas.  They can carry up to twice their body weight under three hostile conditions that would wear out most of us in a minute: (1) high altitude, (2) long distance, and (3) steep inclines.  Somehow, the techniques they use and the adaptations their bodies have made from living in that environment have made them the supreme load carriers of the human world (they even beat out African women who routinely carry heavy loads on top of their head).  This was the subject of a research paper in Science this week.1  Science Now sums it up:When the going gets tough, the tough use their heads.  Porters around the world carry loads that would floor backpackers by balancing baskets atop their noggins or slinging sacks from their craniums.  Now a new study reveals that Nepalese porters do the job better than anyone else, hefting huge bundles while using relatively little energy.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)The study, also reported by National Geographic News, found that Nepalese porters or sherpas routinely carry double what backpackers carry, under more extreme conditions, yet burn less energy:The town of Namche (at an altitude of 3500 m [11,400 ft]) near Mount Everest hosts a weekly bazaar.  Porters (Fig. 1A), predominantly ethnic Rai, Sherpa, or Tamang, typically take 7 to 9 days to travel to Namche from the Kathmandu valley.  The route, no more than a dirt footpath, covers a horizontal distance of 100 km, with total ascents (river crossings to mountain passes) of 8000 m [5 vertical miles] and total descents of 6300 m [4 vertical miles].    One day before the bazaar, we counted 545 male and 97 female porters (and 32 yaks) en route to Namche; others passed by earlier and later in the darkness.  We weighed randomly selected porters and their loads.  The men carried loads of 93 +- 36% of their Mb (mean +- SD, n = 96 male porters), whereas the women carried 66 +- 21% of their Mb (n = 17 female porters).  The youngest porter was 11 years old, and the oldest 68; the greatest load measured was 183% of Mb, and 20% of the men carried > 125% of their Mb.  More than 30 tons of material were ported to Namche that day.The researchers measured their oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output under controlled conditions, and found that their energy utilization was “far more economical than the control subjects at all loads and more economical than the African women at all except the lightest loads.”  They marveled at watching them in their normal business hauling loads around the mountains.  How they do it is a mystery:The load versus speed versus energy-cost trade-off chosen by these porters is to walk slowly for many hours each day, take frequent rests, and carry the greatest loads possible.  We observed, for example, a group of heavily loaded porters making slow headway up a steep ascent out of a river gorge.  Following whistled commands from their leader, they would take up their loads and labor uphill for no more than 15 s at a time, followed by a 45-s period of rest.  Incredibly, this group of barefoot porters was headed for Tibet, across the Nangpa glacier (altitude 5716 m [18,700 ft]), about another week’s travel beyond Namche.    So how do they do it?  They might reduce the muscular work required to carry a load or increase their overall efficiency.  The actual mechanism is unknown at this time.Many world mountain climbers brag if they make it up Everest, but these sherpas consider such feats all in a day’s work.  National Geographic News adds that after unloading and selling their goods, they race home for more, running down the mountain for two days, even poorly equipped and usually with very bad shoes or none at all.  They usually sleep on the trail, with nothing but rocks for pillows, even in below-freezing temperatures.  Some of their women bring their babies with them.    See also the National Geographic story from May 2002 about the legendary Sherpas of Mt. Everest.  Many of the famous climbing expeditions on the world’s highest mountain could not have succeeded without them, it says.1Bastien et al., “Energetics of Load Carrying in Nepalese Porters,” Science, Vol 308, Issue 5729, 1755 , 17 June 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1111513].Every once in awhile we get glimpses into the suggestion that there is far more potential in the human body than most of us realize.  Those of us who have backpacked in the mountains know the strain of carrying even 40 pounds up a steep mountainside for just a couple of hours, and that at much lower elevations.  The worst feeling at a rest stop is to have some 68-year-old frail-looking grandma with a bigger pack prance right on by saying, “Mighty fine day, is it not?” as you sit there gasping for breath.    Here we see, in Nepal, a community of men, women and children that make the impossible look routine.  They don’t shop at REI and use Patagonia gear or high-tech climbing boots; they don’t compete in the Olympics or win medals, but all of us must regard the way of life of these human mountain goats with admiration.  How much stronger and smarter could our ancestors have been?  A little humility is always in order.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Freedom rediscovered

first_imgNelson Mandela casting his vote in 1994. June 26, 2013 will mark 58 years since the Freedom Charter was adopted in Kliptown way back in 1955.(Images: Wikimedia)MEDIA CONTACTS • Mack LeweleDirector, communicationsDepartment of Arts and Culture+27 12 441 3083 or +27 82 450 5076Cadine PillayThis year, South Africa celebrates 19 years of freedom, with this freedom marked in April. It is vital that every South African – the apartheid survivors and the born-frees – know the history of the freedom struggle.Freedom Day is observed on 27 April, a national public holiday. On this day in 1994, the country held its first non-racial democratic elections that ended 300 years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule, and established a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC).It is recorded in South African history as a day that paved the way towards a new democratic dispensation and a new constitution.The Freedom CharterAnother, earlier, milestone on the march to freedom in apartheid South Africa came in the form of the Freedom Charter, a unique document that allowed the people of South Africa to be actively involved in formulating their own vision of a different society. In it, the existing order of oppression and exploitation that dominated the 1950s was entirely rejected.The Freedom Charter was significant because it embodied the hopes and aspirations of black people in South Africa at that time. Its opening words became widely known and still hold a powerful position in South Africa’s political discourse: “We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people.”It was first proposed at the annual assembly of the ANC in August 1953. Professor ZK Mathews formally suggested convening a Congress of the People to draw up a Freedom Charter.The idea was then adopted by the ANC’s allies, the South African Indian Congress, the South African Coloured People’s Organisation and the South African Congress of Democrats.In 1955, these allies sent out 50 000 volunteers into townships and the countryside to collect what they called “freedom demands” from the people of South Africa – this system was designed to give all South Africans equal rights.Demands such as sharing the wealth of the country and adequate housing, education, and health care for all were then synthesised into the final document by Congress of the People leaders including Mathews, Lionel Bernstein and Alan Lipman.‘The people shall govern’The Freedom Charter was officially ratified on 26 June 1955 at a Congress of the People meeting in Kliptown near Johannesburg. The meeting was attended by about 3 000 delegates but was broken up by police on the second day, although by then the charter had been read in full.The crowd had shouted its approval of each section with cries of “Africa!” and “Mayibuye!”, a Zulu word meaning “bringing back what was lost”. Over the next four decades, the charter came to represent ANC policies formulating basic demands for human and political rights that had been included in previous petitions.“South Africa belongs to all who live in it” and “All shall be equal before the law” are other well-known and oft-repeated declarations in the charter. It pledged to continue the struggle until a new democratic order was put in place, and called for democracy and human rights, land reform, labour rights, and nationalisation.After the congress was denounced as treason, the apartheid government banned the ANC and other parties, and arrested 156 activists, including Mandela. However, the charter continued to circulate in the revolutionary underground and inspired a new generation of young militants in the 1980s to join Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).Translated as “spear of the nation”, Umkhonto we Sizwe was the armed wing of the ANC and was co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the early 1960s. MK soldiers took up arms against the apartheid government, both at home and in exile.On 11 February 1990, Mandela was finally freed and the ANC came to power in May 1994 after the elections that April. The new Constitution of South Africa, drawn up through multi-party talks between anti-apartheid groups and the government of the time, that began with Codesa (Convention for a Democratic South Africa) in December 1991, included in its text many of the demands called for in the Freedom Charter. Nearly all the concerns regarding equality of race and language were directly addressed in the Constitution.Non-racial, democratic electionsThe first non-racial election marked the end of years of struggle. It came after a tumultuous few years in the beginning of the 1990s. Liberation organisations were unbanned; political prisoners were released; exiles returned; negotiations and talks were held between previous foes, ending in the formal all-party negotiations in which an interim constitution was drafted.Though there were threats of political violence, the elections took place in a peaceful and festive atmosphere. They were contested by 19 political parties – a huge jump from the three main parties of apartheid South Africa, namely the ruling National Party, the official opposition Conservative Party (CP), and the Democratic Party (DP).The main parties in the election were products of political formations that were significant in the years leading to 1994. They include the ANC, Inkatha Freedom Party, the NP, the DP, the Pan Africanist Congress and the Azanian People’s Organisation.Know your rightsToday, the Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa as it protects the rights of all people in the country and upholds the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. The country’s first bill of rights was restricted in chapter three of the transitional constitution of 1993, which was drawn up as part of the negotiations to end apartheid. The interim bill of rights, which came into force on 27 April 1994, was limited to civil and political rights.The current Bill of Rights, which replaced the interim one on 4 February 1997, retained all of these rights and added a number of new positive economic, social and cultural rights. The Bill of Rights is briefly summarised in the following statements:Equality: you cannot be discriminated against. But affirmative action and fair discrimination are allowed.Human dignity: your dignity must be respected and protected.Life: you have the right to life.Freedom and security of the person: you cannot be detained without trial, tortured or punished cruelly. Domestic violence is not allowed.Freedom from slavery, servitude and forced labour: slavery and forced labour are not allowed.Privacy: you cannot be searched nor have your homes or possessions searched.Freedom of religion, belief and opinion: you can believe and think whatever you want and can follow the religion of your choice.Freedom of expression: all people (including the press) can say whatever they want, subject to certain limitations including hate speech, incitement to violence, and propaganda that may lead to war.Freedom of assembly, demonstration, picket and petition: you can hold a demonstration, picket and present a petition, but you must do this peacefully.Freedom of association: you can associate with whomever you want.Freedom of political rights: you can support the political party of your choice, and if you are a citizen, and at least 18 years old, you can vote.Citizenship: your citizenship cannot be taken away from you.Freedom of movement and residence: you can travel in and live anywhere in South Africa.Freedom of trade, occupation and profession: you can do whatever work you choose.Labour relations: you may join trade unions and go on strike.Environment: you have the right to a healthy environment.Property: your property can only be taken away from you if the proper rules are followed.Housing: the government must make sure people get access to proper housing.Health care, food, water and social security: the government must make sure you have access to food and water, health care, and social security.Education: you have the right to basic education, including adult basic education, in your own language (if this is possible).Language and culture: you can use the language you want to and follow the culture that you choose.Cultural, religious and linguistic communities: communities can enjoy their own culture, practice their own religion, and use their own language.Access to information: you have the right to any information held by the government or another person, especially if the information is needed to protect rights.Just administrative action: actions by the government must be fair, and people who have been affected by unfair administrative action are entitled to a written explanation.Access to courts: you can have a legal problem decided by a court, or a similar structure.To protection: when arrested, detained or accused, and to a fair hearing.Children under the age of 18 have special rights, like the right not to be abused.A more detailed explanation of the Bill of Rights is available online.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, June 28, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Our weather forecast is a little simpler this morning, as we seem to want to make swings back and forth in the pattern. We are starting off drier in our thoughts, as we are taking out significant moisture from our forecast this morning through the weekend and early next week in most areas. That’s not to say there won’t be any threat of action; with the warm air that is surging in, we won’t rule out some heat based instability at times, which would trigger a shower or two. Also, we see scattered showers holding over the eastern third of Ohio tomorrow, and they will be difficult to get out of here until mid to later afternoon. But, outside of that, we really are not looking for anything well organized through the next 4 days, and outside of NE Ohio, we should see partly to mostly sunny skies with warmer afternoons.  From today through next Monday we should average about 3-6 degrees above normal. The pattern swings back wetter on Tuesday of next week, and we have rain chances in the forecast for the following 5 days from there. We can see up to .4″ Tuesday and up to .25″ Wednesday before we get rains of at least a half an inch or more each day Thursday through Saturday. Initial coverage will be around 60% Tuesday and Wednesday before jumping to 80-90% for Thursday through Saturday statewide. Saturday will be the wettest, and may have the best chance of thunderstorms. That means we can see some significant moisture stack up next week. We do get a mix of clouds and sun in for the afternoon of Sunday the 7th , but only after showers leave early Sunday morning. The map at right shows rain through the 10 day period, most of which comes next Tuesday through Saturday. For the extended period, we continue with a relatively active pattern, as rains are expected at least 3 out of 6 days. A few showers come up across southern and western parts of the state Monday the 8th, perhaps up to .3”. However, the rest of the state stays dry and sunny. Tuesday and the first part of Wednesday also will turn out partly to mostly sunny. Clouds increase next Wednesday afternoon, and then we see showers return overnight Wednesday night in the south and west. From there action expands and thunderstorms develop for Thursday the 11th. We can see a tenth to half an inch with 80% coverage. After about a 12 hour pause in action through the first part of Friday, shower and storms are back overnight Friday night and Saturday the 12th and 13th. Rains there can be from .2”-.8” with coverage at 80%.last_img read more

Nikon Releases Their First Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

first_imgSo naturally, like any camera or lens release, be on the lookout for review videos and roundups to see if this looks like something you’d be interested in. Nikon has just unveiled its long-rumored first foray into the mirrorless camera game with the brand-new Z7 and Z6 models.All images via Nikon.Built the same way as Sony’s A-series mirrorless cameras, Nikon’s answer is a similar offering in the field of mirrorless cameras with minimal feature changes — but including a massive sensor with a few added benefits sure to make waves in the filmmaking community. For the upcoming Z7 ($3,399.95) — September 24th, 2018 release — we’ll see a 45.7 megapixel sensor, 493 focus points, and max 25600 ISO. The second model, Z6 ($1,999.95), will release sometime in November with a 24.5 mega-pixel sensor, 273 focus points, and a 51200 max ISO. Let’s take a look at some of the other features of these new cameras.Not only did Nikon announce the two new cameras, they also announced the new Z-mount lens system. The camera will feature a 24-70mm f/4 kit lens that by itself will cost about $999. A 35mm f/1.8 will also be available on its own for around $845.95, as well as a much cheaper 50mm f/1.8, which will release in the fall. So, if you’re wondering what to do with all of your F-mount lenses, Nikon will release a FTZ adapter for $250 that will support autofocus and auto exposure. This is a huge plus for anybody who doesn’t want to fork over cash for the new native lens lineup.Z7 SpecsThe autofocus system with the Z7 is improved due to the stepping motor in the new lenses that allows smoother and quieter autofocus while you record. Shooting 4K will be similar to the Sony A7R III, with the image cropped to an APS-C size. The Z7 can now record uncompressed video to an external recorder at a 10-bit 422 file unlike the previous 8-bit (though it records 8 bit internally). On top of that, you can now use the log profile, N-log. There’s also a view assist to let you see the correction while you shoot. Also, apparently the camera is much lighter than it looks. Here are the rest of the specs:ISO – 64 – 25,600Total Pixels: 46.89  millionXQD memory cards4K video up to 30p1080p video recording up to 120p5 axis in-camera stabilization493 (single-point AF)30 min max recording timeWeight: 20.7oz. (585g)last_img read more

Don’t force Christmas festivities on students, Hindu Jagran Manch tells Agra schools

first_imgAfter Aligarh, the Hindu Jagran Manch in Agra has issued warnings to Christian schools against making Hindu students celebrate Christmas. The outfit said it planned to oppose Christmas celebrations throughout the country. The Agra unit chief of the Hindu Jagran Manch, Amit Chaudhary, told the media on Thursday that no Christian school should force Hindu students to celebrate Christmas. “We want to warn all Christian schools in the city that they should not even think of forcing a Christian festival on a student who is Hindu. If they do it and if we get any complaint, we will organise protests against that school,” he said just days before the celebrations. “Festival of a religion”“It is simple logic. Christian schools survive due to Hindu children. It would be unfair on their part to culturally convert them to Christianity by making them celebrate Christmas, which is a festival of a religion which is completely alien to Bharat,” he said.Mr. Chaudhary added that the HJM has chalked out a plan to monitor activities in all the schools in the city. He also said the HJM would hold protests across the city opposing celebration of Christmas by the people. “Hindus celebrating Christmas is like being converted to Christanity. We will raise awareness among Hindus against celebrating a festival which belongs to an alien culture,” he added. The threat from the HJM unit in Agra comes days after its Aligarh unit issued a similar warning to schools in Aligarh.last_img read more

Takahashi gives PH its 2nd gold in judo, shocks Thai champ

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Morrison delivers promise to win gold for his grandmother PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters LATEST STORIES Takashi was very pleased over her feat but she could not express her emotions because she can’t speak English or Filipino.“I’m happy,” said Takahashi through her coach, Rio Olympian Kodo Nakano.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingTakahashi competed for the Philippines in the Jigoro Kano Cup held early this year here.She is a high school senior at Shukugawa Gakuin High School and only child of a Davaoena mother and Japanese father. Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasioncenter_img Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Mariya Takahashi of the Philippines competes against Surattana Thongsri of Thailand in the finals of the women’s -70kg class of the 29th Southeast Asian Games judo competition at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center Hall 5. Takahashi prevailed via ippon in 48 seconds to win the gold medal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES MEDIA POOLKUALA LUMPUR — Mariya Takahashi rocked the judo competition after a shocking ippon victory over a four-time champion Sunday in the Southeast Asian Games at KLCC Hall 3.The 16-year-old Kobe, Japan-native pinned down Surattana Thongsri of Thailand in less than one minute of the -70 kilogram final to secure the country’s second gold of the competition.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Thongsri was holding on to a 1-0 lead before Takahashi scored ippon.On the way to the finals, Takahashi beat Vietnam’s Thi Diue Tieng Ngyuen in the semis.Sydney Sy took the bronze in the women’s -78kg via a 1-0 win over another Thai, Chattayaporn Prawiset. She came from the repechage bracket after losing her first bout.Kiyomi Watanabe had earlier gifted the country with a gold in women’s -63kg last Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaullast_img read more