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Dozens Dead After Electrical Fire At Warehouse Party In Oakland

first_imgOn Saturday morning, the nation woke up to some truly tragic news out of Oakland, CA. Late Friday night, a fire broke out at a warehouse party. As the fire engulfed more and more of the building, dozens of patrons were trapped inside, perishing in the flames or asphyxiating on the thick black smoke.Emergency workers said they arrived to find the building filled with heavy smoke and flames. According to Chief Teresa Deloach Reed of the Oakland Fire Department on Saturday, bodies were found on the second floor of the building. “In my career of 30 years,” she said, “I haven’t experienced something of this magnitude.” Even without a full accounting, the fire was one of the deadliest in the United States in many years.On Saturday morning, the event’s Facebook page said admission to the show was $10 for those who arrived before 11 p.m. and $15 after that. By the end of the day, the pricing had disappeared and the page had turned into an emergency message board, as dozens of friends and family members posted about missing loved ones. People have distributed a spreadsheet listingidentifying information — age, height, weight, hair color, tattoos — and contact numbers for many of those who are still unaccounted for.The tragedy brings to light an underlying fear for many in the underground music scene, where this sort of warehouse party is commonplace. The building, known as the Ghost Ship, in the Fruitvale neighborhood, was the site of an event featuring a variety of experimental electronic music, performed by a synth musician drawing from the “black, queer diaspora” and others, as well as a visual installation. The makeshift, two-story venue, described by one attendee as “a dim and cluttered area with a maze of furniture, canvas paintings on the walls and papier-mâché hanging from the ceilings”, had only two exits and no ventilation.Diego Aguilar-Canabal, 24, a blogger and freelance writer who lives in Berkeley and plays guitar in a band called the Noriegas, explained to the New York Times that he had been to three dozen house and warehouse parties over the past two years. “The basic idea is people want to do loud things late at night, and industrial space is really good for that because there aren’t many neighbors to complain,” he said. “There’s a lot of anxiety about income inequality and class warfare, and a lot of these artists are trying to do the best they can to have a community.”As of the time of publication, the death toll has been reported at 24, though the search for bodies is ongoing and will likely take several days to complete. If you are from the San Francisco/Oakland area, be sure to contact your loved ones and let them know you’re OK, as we wait with heavy hearts for responders to complete their search. Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy.[Photo via @Oaklandfirelive]last_img read more

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Cosmology Goes Off the Reservation

first_imgIf science were ever restricted to observation, experimental demonstration, and evidence, some cosmologists left that reservation far behind long ago.  Being smart does not preclude going nutty.Disembodied brains:  If the multiverse exists, there should be more disembodied intelligences than human brains, says creator of PreposterousUniverse.com, Sean Carroll of Caltech.  New Scientist says that in a multiverse, “Boltzmann brains” are just as likely to pop into existence from quantum fluctuations as other entities.  Since most brains look human, maybe the multiverse is wrong.  The multiverse might be rescued, though, by Everett’s old “many-worlds hypothesis” that postulates new universes splitting off endlessly to fulfill every possible outcome of quantum events.  “Maybe Hitler won the second world war in a different universe,” Carroll speculates.  What do other cosmologists think of this reasoning?  Seth Lloyd: “I believe they fail the Monty Python test: Stop that! That’s too silly!”  Scott Aaronson of MIT: “It sounds like something a bunch of college sophomores would discuss while high. It doesn’t sound like a real scientific problem.”Keeping time in the right direction:  The “thermodynamic arrow of time” is a frequent topic in cosmology and philosophy.  Theoretically the laws of physics would allow time to flow backward, but we never observe that.  The same Sean Carroll mentioned above is one of the latest who, since Boltzmann, using his own human brain, tried to preserve the symmetry of time by postulating other parts of reality where time would flow backward.  Presumably, in such locales, persons would proceed from old age to birth.  A new paper on arXiv mentioned by PhysOrg tries to rationalize the one-way arrow of time by the way memories work.  “The reason we can’t remember future events is because we have faulty memories,” the article says.  This seems to be begging the question of why memories need be faulty in only one time direction.  Perhaps insight could be gained with palindrome games.  Even more quizzical is whether meanings would be inverted by going backward.  Consider reverse poetry that conveys opposite meanings depending on whether it is read forward or backward.The dark arts:  A sober-looking group of cosmologists at Max Planck Institute is worrying over the results of their divination: computer models of the early universe.  They are trying to bring their models into conformity with the observations of mature galaxies near the beginning.  Along with the mystical spider eyes and bat wings of computer code, they pitch in dark matter, a “strange substance” required to keep galaxies together.  Next, they “want to expand their computer simulations even further” in order “to get a step closer to the mystery of dark energy.”  But do these strange substances even exist?Phantom quest:  A press release from HZDR says that one dark matter candidate—the U Boson—can be crossed off the list, thanks to negative results by the HADES experiment.  (The U Boson is sometimes paradoxically dubbed the “dark photon“).  But how can cosmologists postulate 95% of reality by observing just 5% of it?  “Although Dark Energy and Dark Matter appear to constitute over 95 percent of the universe, nobody knows of which particles they are made up,” the article begins.  Dark matter is not even needed, physicist Mordehai Milgrom told New Scientist.  Just abandon the notion, and use his Modified Newtonian Mechanics (MOND) instead.If you can’t lick the zanies, join them:  In their headline on The Conversation, Luke Barnes and Geraint Lewis ask the question readers are surely asking at this point: “Have cosmologists lost their minds in the multiverse?”  Hoping for a breath of sanity, the reader waits in vain for a scientific rejection of this trendy speculation that is unobservable even in principle (thus unscientific in principle).  The hope dies right near the beginning in the childish lingo: “The multiverse theory is that our universe is but one of a vast, variegated ensemble of other universes. We don’t know how many pieces there are to the multiverse but estimates suggest there many [sic] be squillions of them.”  Bouncing off the BICEP2 claims (currently under scrutiny), they agree that other universes are unobservable in principle, but then say this: “In some versions of inflation, the process that causes our universe to inflate is expected to produce huge numbers of other universes. Evidence for inflation isn’t exactly direct evidence for the multiverse, but it’s a start.”  But what if the BICEP2 evidence gets debunked this fall?  (5/12/14)  Will that falsify the multiverse idea?  Not likely, given their unfeigned faith in the unobservable.  Then, in a weird leap of logic, they consider our existence in a life-friendly world as evidence for a multiverse.  Why?  Because if it is so unlikely in one universe, maybe it is less unlikely in “squillions” of them:The multiverse can handle this. The probability of observing a particular type of universe depends on that universe first creating observers. We are not just passive observers, setting up our equipment and taking measurements of the universe at our leisure. We are products of this universe.While universes with observers may be highly unusual in the entire multiverse, they will obviously be the norm for observed universes. And so, the life-permitting nature of our universe can be counted as a successful prediction of the multiverse. (Prediction in the logical, rather than chronological sense.)They even use the absence of Boltzmann brains as evidence for the multiverse!  “At the moment, there are too many ifs and maybes in this story,” they admit in the end.  They admit that the BICEP2 results do not necessarily support inflation, and that inflation does not necessarily support a multiverse.  They admit that “theories struggle to predict anything, so clearly there is much much more to be done.”  But they don’t need evidence, predictions, or any other hallmarks of science to keep materialistic hope alive: “But positing the multiverse is not, as claimed by some, the end of science. It may be the start of the biggest scientific adventure of all.”The situation in cosmology is analogous to the reputation of conservatives in the media.  If conservatives were guilty of one tenth the scandals in the current progressive liberal administration in the US, the media would have tarred and feathered them to the point where they could not function and would be driven out of office, with no further hope of employment even as ditch diggers.  Similarly, if advocates of creation or intelligent design committed one hundredth the fallacies of the naturalistic cosmologists, the outcry would be deafening: These anti-science fools would take us back to the Dark Ages!  They know nothing!  They are destroying that noble ideal of science!  We can’t let them influence the children!  Away with them!But no, both groups of perpetrators get a pass, because they’re all united around a common goal: ridding the world of Romans 1. 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Proteas go to the ICC 2015 Semi Finals

first_imgBrand South Africa congratulates the Proteas who have taken a giant step towards holding the 2015 Cricket World Cup trophy.We thank the team for flying the South flag proudly and stand behind you.  Match details Channel: SuperSport 2 / HD (channel 202)Date: Tuesday, March 24, 201501:30 – 11:30CricketICC Cricket World Cup SF 1: Tbc v South AfricaSouth African Squad  CP: AB de VilliersAaron Phangiso Dale SteynDavid MillerFaf du Plessis  Farhaan BehardienHashim AmlaImran TahirJP DuminyKyle Abbott Morne MorkelQuinton de KockRilee RossouwVernon PhilanderWayne Parnellfor more info visit: www.icc-cricket.com Brand South Africa congratulates the Proteas who have taken a giant step towards holding the 2015 Cricket World Cup trophy. We thank the team for flying the South flag proudly and stand behind you.last_img read more

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South Africa turns to cinema to build young entrepreneurs

first_imgIt seems impossible until it’s done – this was one of the key messages remembered by schoolchildren who were part of Step Up 2 a Start Up II event.The learners were given a toolkit and were encouraged to combine their theatre learning with their classroom learning. (Image: Primestars Marketing Facebook)Brand South Africa ReporterIt seems impossible until it’s done – this was one of the key messages remembered by schoolchildren who were part of Step Up 2 a Start Up II event, held countrywide on 12 September.Step Up 2 a Start Up II ran over five weeks on Saturdays, from 15 August to 12 September. About 300 learners gathered at specific cinemas each Saturday, where they learned how to start their own businesses. About 15 000 learners across the country were reached.All five sessions ran simultaneously in 15 Ster-Kinekor cinemas across the country, including The Boardwalk in Richards Bay, Gateway Commercial in Umhlanga, North Cape Mall in Kimberly, and Sandton City in Johannesburg. All of the events began at the same time, at 9am.Facilitated by PrimeStars Marketing and endorsed by Proudly South African, the initiative celebrates youth entrepreneurship on the big screen. Step Up 2 a Start Up II is mainly sponsored by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Absa, MTN, Sasol and Putco.Brand South Africa contributed as well under its Play Your Part initiative. Play Your Part is a national campaign that encourages all South Africans to contribute to positive change. Step Up 2 a Start Up II is a perfect example of that because it encourages young people to identify and solve problems in their communities through entrepreneurship.The learners were given a toolkit and were encouraged to combine their theatre learning with their classroom learning. Step Up 2 a Start Up II, said the organisers, also showcased role models and prepared learners for entry into the Maker-preneur of the Year Competition.InspiredSpeaking on Saturday, Contrak Molewa of Bokgoni Technical School in Atteridgeville, Tshwane said that before watching the movie his ideas to start a business were scattered. “I have so many ideas. And I now know which direction I want to go to.”The 17-year-old said the film taught him that it was okay to fail in order to succeed. “The film was inspiring. I found out that Steve Jobs also failed a few times. Another thing I learned was that networking was important.”Moses Mhlwana, a 16-year-old learned from Bokgoni Technical School, said he realised that entrepreneurs must have ideas that would help Africans. People must benefit from your idea. “As an entrepreneur you should think about how you can improve life [of those around you].”Vanessa Sibanda said she did not know that starting a business would be so easy. “I learned [from the film] that we can get ideas from adults around us,” said the 13-year-old, who attends Sunrise Secondary School in Diepsloot, Johannesburg.The competitionIn addition, the Maker-preneur of the Year Competition is open to learners in grades 9 to 12 who have participated in the Step Up 2 a Start Up II cinema programme. Schools attending were chosen by the Department of Basic Education. Other schools wanting to join the programme should contact the NYDA.In the competition, the students need to adhere to the credo: “Design it, make it, sell it.” Competition prizes include bursaries and electronic goods. The competition closes on 30 October. The finalists will be notified between 16 and 20 November.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Farm groups announce new nutrient management assistance

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin will soon have significant new resources to further their efforts to protect water quality.Ohio farm organizations and their partners, taking an important, proactive step, will work with farmers to expand the number of individuals who have Nutrient Management Plans. In addition, the project will increase the use of soil testing to achieve improved nutrient management.New research conducted by government, academia and the private sector indicates that nutrient runoff can be meaningfully reduced when farmers have accurate data on crop nutrient needs and then follow a detailed plan that simultaneously maximizes efficient production and minimizes nutrient loss.A series of workshops will provide farmers with individualized Nutrient Management Plans. Ahead of the workshops, farmers will be advised on obtaining soil tests from which the Nutrient Management Plan will be written. The plans will be completed using a program developed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.The partnering groups are Ohio AgriBusiness Association, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio’s Certified Crop Advisors, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Dairy Producers Association, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Poultry Association, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio Soybean Association and Ohio State University Extension.This project is an outcome of farmers and their organizations investing millions of dollars in research that identifies farming practices that can contribute to improved water quality. This is one of many payoffs from that research.Experts concur that no single change to farming practices can eliminate nutrient runoff, nor are there any quick fixes. It is anticipated the workshops will begin this summer. Details will soon be finalized on all funding sources and the process to measure results.last_img read more

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Bajaj Auto to launch new 100cc bike

first_imgBajaj Auto is all set to launch another 100cc bike to secure its number two position in the 2-wheeler market. The new bike would be the third 100cc offering from the automaker.  According to the report published in a newspaper, the company is working on a 100cc version of the Boxer motorcycle , codenamed D-104, which is set to debut in November.Currently, Bajaj sells 100cc versions of the Platina and Discover motorcycles, but the new 100cc Boxer is likley to offer much more than other existing 100cc offerings. The report said the automaker plans to take the fight directly to Heros Passion and Splendor and Hondas Dream Yuga, with the new motorcycle. The company plans to price it at around Rs 40,000/-, which would also give its rivals a tough competition. The bike in its segment would reportedly be the most advanced with electric start, front disc brake, digital instrumentation and LED brake lights. In order to reduce weight, the new 100cc bike is likely to be made of fibre and plastic instead of steel to further enhance its performance and make it fuel efficient.last_img read more

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