Forces of isolation

first_imgPlants or animals using color to attract a mate is fairly common in nature, but for Phlox drummondii, a wildflower commonly known as Drummond’s phlox, just the opposite is true.The flowers, which are native to eastern and central Texas, come in two colors — purple-blue when grown alone and red when grown with sister species Phlox cuspidata. The reason for the color change, recent studies have shown, is to prevent hybridization between the two groups.Though critically important to the evolutionary development of new species, the process of increasing reproductive isolation — which scientists call reinforcement — has remained frustratingly difficult to measure.That could soon change, however, thanks to research led by Robin Hopkins, an assistant professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard. In a study published Aug. 21 in Current Biology online, the research team demonstrated a method for measuring the strength of selection in favor of reproductive isolation, and showed that selection in P. drummondii is very high.“The process of evolving new reproductive isolating mechanisms to stop hybridization has been seen in all kinds of organisms, from mammals to fish and frogs and many insects, so we believe it’s a common process in the formation of new species,” Hopkins said. “The challenge has been in measuring the strength of selection in favor of those mechanisms.“What we did was create a model that reflected the biology of the phlox. Using that model, we were able to estimate the strength of the selection acting on flower color, and that gave us an estimate on the strength of this reinforcement selection.”The hope, Hopkins said, is that a better understanding of reinforcement will shed more light on how natural selection and other processes drive the creation of new species.“There are two ways that natural selection plays a role in that process,” she said. “One is that as isolated populations adapt to a particular environment, they drift apart from other species, so if they do come back together, there is too much isolation, and they can’t reproduce.”The second role, Hopkins explained, is reinforcement, in which selection itself — rather than supporting a host of traits that lead to reproductive isolation — favors isolation.While researchers can measure the strength of selection for different traits, the same cannot be said for reinforcement.“The strength of selection acting on a trait is controlled by the amount of hybridization that happens, and the cost of that hybridization,” Hopkins said. “In the lab and the greenhouse, we can estimate the cost of hybridization by performing artificial crosses … but to estimate how much hybridization happens in nature, and how much a particular trait interferes with the process, is very difficult.”The solution was to look for answers elsewhere.Using an extensive sampling that covered the flower’s full range — including both color varieties — Hopkins and colleagues conducted a population genetics analysis that showed the strength of the selection for each.“What we did was sample many populations across this color change from blue to dark red, and we were able to get an excellent look at how these phenotypes in flower color change over space,” Hopkins said. “Using that model, we were able to estimate that the strength of selection on these flower colors is very high, which was very exciting in terms of thinking about reinforcement.“It is exciting to realize that there is at least one way that we can now have an estimate of that selection, and that in other species, if you can sample the phenotypic difference across that transition, you can use this method to estimate that selection.”last_img read more

Kristin Scott Thomas to Lead The Audience in the West End

first_imgAnother Queen will reign over the West End! Kristin Scott Thomas will play Elizabeth II in a new version of Peter Morgan’s The Audience in London. Directed by Stephen Daldry, the production will begin previews on April 21, 2015 at the Apollo Theatre. Opening night is set for May 5. Meanwhile, Helen Mirren, who originated the role in the 2013 production in London, will be leading the play on Broadway from February 17, 2015 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (unless It’s Only a Play extends and it has to find another house). For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said, not even to their spouses. The Audience imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister uses these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional—sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive. In turn, the Queen can’t help but reveal her own self as she advises, consoles and, on occasion, teases. These private audiences chart the arc of the second Elizabethan Age, from the beginning of Elizabeth II’s reign to today. The Audience will feature designs by Bob Crowley, with lighting by Rick Fisher, sound by Paul Arditti and music by Paul Englishby. Further casting will be announced later.  Scott Thomas has recently opened to acclaim in the title role in Sophocles’ Electra at London’s Old Vic. Other West End credits include The Seagull, Betrayal, Old Times, As You Desire Me and Three Sisters.  Her film credits include Sous Ton Emprise, Une Femme Parfaite, Nowhere Boy, Only God Forgives, Bel Ami, Salmon Fishing in Yemen, Easy Virtue, The Other Boleyn Girl, Gosford Park, The Horse Whisperer, The English Patient, Mission Impossible, Angels & Insects and Four Weddings and a Funeral. View Commentslast_img read more

Vidalia Onions.

first_imgMost Vidalia onion varieties are coming out of the fields now. And so far, they’re heading to the markets with palate-pleasing quality, say University of Georgia experts.”Overall, the quality is good, and the yields are about average,” said Reid Torrance, a University of Georgia Extension Service agent in Tattnall County. “It’s not a bumper crop. But so far it’s a good crop.”Torrance said problems with bacterial and fungal diseases have been limited to isolated fields.”We’ve just harrowed those fields up,” he said. “So far, we haven’t had any severe outbreaks. The latest-maturing onions should be ready in three weeks. So barring any exceptionally bad weather, we should be able to escape any major disease problems.”Heart of the HarvestGrowers have harvested the earliest varieties and are moving the midseason varietiesthat make up most of the market. “We’re getting into the traditional varieties now, theonions we built this market on,” Torrance said. “We’re really just getting intothe heart of the harvest.”David Curry, a UGA Extension Service agent in Toombs County, said the onions in hisarea are looking good as the harvest hits high gear. Farmers in Tattnall and Toombscounties grow about 80 percent of the sweet Georgia crop.”At this point, we’re looking pretty good, as far as production is concerned,”Curry said. “We’ve probably got a fourth of our onions harvested or clipped andbagged.”Workers typically clip the tops off of the onions, bag them and leave them in the fieldto dry, or cure. The onions then go to packing sheds, where they’re further dried, sorted,packed and shipped.Most Onions Not Yet HarvestedTattnall County growers have harvested only about 15 percent of their onions, Torrancesaid. Officially, the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service reports the harvest at22-percent complete.Three onion varieties won’t be included in this year’s harvest. “Sugar Queen,Spring Express and Sweet Dixie have been eliminated from the crop by the statecommissioner of agriculture,” George Boyhan, a horticulturist with the UGA College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences.All three were early-maturing onions that some considered too hot to be the mild, sweetVidalia onions shoppers are looking for. But the loss of one of the three wasn’t entirelya good thing, Boyhan said. Sugar Queen, a Japanese overwintering type of onion, has strongdisease resistance, too.”There were some complaints about the flavor,” Boyhan said. “Some peoplefelt it had a little too much bite to it. But the disease resistance was an importantadvantage.”Prices Concern GrowersBattling fungal and bacterial diseases seems a never-ending fight for sweet-onion growers. Heading into the harvest, though, they’d had an easier time this year than most. “Our growers are most concerned about what’s going to happen with these prices,” Curry said.Wholesale prices that started around $18 per 50-pound bag dropped to mostly around $12 a bag heading into the last week of April. Wholesale and retail prices may differ greatlyat times. But with the most popular varieties now moving into the market and prices generally headed down, shoppers can look for some bargains on their favorite sweet onions.”As a trend, you can always get the best onions at the best price around the first of May,” Torrance said. “That’s been true for 20 years, and it’s still true.”last_img read more

Lloyd’s of London to stop issuing new insurance for coal projects, oil sands and Arctic energy exploration

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Lloyd’s of London is scaling back its exposure to coal and oil sands, the commercial insurance market said in its first sustainability report on Wednesday, in a reversal of its traditional hands-off approach to climate change strategy.Lloyd’s acts as regulator for around 100 syndicate members, and leaves decisions on underwriting and investment strategy to them. But other regulatory bodies, such as the Bank of England, have stressed the risks of climate change for financial institutions.Lloyd’s has come under fire from activists because its members have insured controversial projects such as Adani Enterprises’ Carmichael thermal coal mine in Australia and the Canadian government’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline.European insurers like AXA and Zurich have already pulled back from underwriting fossil fuels such as coal and oil sands, though U.S. and Asian insurers have mainly retained their exposure.The Lloyd’s Corporation and its members will end new investment in thermal coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines, oil sands and new Arctic energy exploration activities from Jan. 1, 2022, Lloyd’s said in a statement.It would phase out existing investment in companies which derive 30% or more of their revenues from those sectors by the end of 2025. Lloyd’s also said it was asking members to stop providing new insurance cover for thermal coal, oil sands, or new Arctic energy exploration from Jan. 1, 2022, with a target date of Jan. 1, 2030 to phase out the renewal of existing cover.[Carolyn Cohn]More: Lloyd’s of London steps back from coal in first climate change policy Lloyd’s of London to stop issuing new insurance for coal projects, oil sands and Arctic energy explorationlast_img read more

Interviewing is like dating: What can you do to improve your chances?

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kim Busse Kim Busse is the Key Relationship Manager at The Omnia Group, a behavioral assessment and employee consulting firm. She partners with her clients to select top talent, manage more effectively, … Web: Details First dates can be rough—the nerves, the excitement, the bouts of self-doubt and the what-if questions… What if I get spinach in my teeth? What if I spill red sauce all over my shirt? What if I laugh so hard my drink comes out of my nose? Sadly, first dates and eating do not go well together in my world. And, of course, what if I say the wrong thing or I get tongue tied or I forget what to say entirely? Still, dating is kind of necessary in the process toward finding the perfect match.  The same can also be said for interviewing. It’s a necessary step in the selection process, as any hiring manager who has the unenviable task of interviewing job candidates knows. Interviews and dates are so similar, in fact, that you may even find yourself in a “love at first sight” scenario, but more on that pitfall later.If you are new to hiring people, you may not have had time to recognize the dating parallels. Or perhaps you use your time much more wisely than thinking up useless parallels; luckily you have me for that! But, if you’ve had experience finding new talent, a lot of this may sound eerily familiar. Either way, here are some ways that finding and interviewing job candidates is almost exactly like looking for a soul mate.The of RecruitmentLike most things these days, our comparison starts online. Online dating services are as widespread as online job boards. People start online more often than not when searching for anything from a car to a perfect mate. But the comparison doesn’t stop there. Like dating sites, when signing up on a job board site, like Indeed, there are usually several things you need to do to start searching for the right fit to fill the position in your company. Create a profile.Upload information about your company and the job description.Answer questions about the job/company.Initiate searches using keywords that will direct you toward viable candidates.Sort through possible candidates for skills that match what you are looking for.Make first contact with an initial email/phone interview.Set up a first interview (date) in person.Let’s Not Forget Social MediaThe advent of Social Media channels has made it easier to find out more about a person than what they choose to reveal in their dating profile.  These, plus channels like LinkedIn, have made it possible to uncover more about potential candidates than what’s on their resume.However, if you use social media as part of your selection and hiring process, make sure you understand the legalities. When you review public postings, you are automatically aware of protected attributes, like gender and race, as well as less obvious things like religion and age. You might consider waiting until after you’ve met in person, but whatever path you choose, be consistent. Conduct the same searches at the same time in the process for all candidates. When in doubt, it can’t hurt to get some legal advice from an employment lawyer and then write a social media policy for the selection process.Finally, be sure your company’s social media presence reflects your mission and core values in a way that will attract the right talent. First ImpressionsAs a hiring manager, you’re an important representation of the credit union, and pardon the over-used quote, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When deciding where to have a first date, a lot of thought goes into whether it should be coffee, drinks or a full meal. For interviews, choose an appropriate spot, like a conference room or an office with enough space to converse comfortably with the applicant. If you hold the interview in your office, be sure to turn off any potential distractions, like email notification noises and the phone. Give the applicant your undivided attention. Likewise, candidates should be conducting themselves in a way that reflects well on them and their professionalism. If they are late, respond to texts and/or calls or start swearing in the interview, these are good indicators they are not right for the job.  And Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Body Language Thanks, Ursula… extra points if you knew that was from The Little Mermaid. Yes, I have kids. That said, does any of this sound familiar? “He’s leaning back in his chair; he must be pretty arrogant.”“She’s not making eye contact. She must not be interested/listening.” First dates and job interviews are stressful. This can lead a person to behave in ways that aren’t typical for them, and they may not even be aware of it.If a person looks good on paper, you may want to consider taking a little care to make the interviewee as relaxed and open as possible so you can really get to know them and see if they are going to be a good fit. And that’s not to say you should let them off the hook on answering questions or that you shouldn’t deduct points for body language that is unappealing or inappropriate, especially for the kind of job they are applying for. If a person can’t make eye contact for a sales position, that’s a problem, but it might be understandable for a shy data entry clerk or IT programmer.   Love at First SightWhether in love or in a positive work environment, chemistry is important.Can “love at first sight” happen in a job interview?  Absolutely! Especially if you’ve spoken to so many awful candidates that you might see an okay candidate as a great fit.  You may want to hire on the spot, but wait! Desperation can lead to a huge mistake, as anyone who has picked the wrong person knows. That’s why an objective assessment of a job candidate’s strengths and challenges can help avoid any self-imposed blind spots. Sure, that candidate was a great conversationalist, but will that be an asset in your back-office data entry position where human interaction is almost nonexistent? Perhaps the candidate was super accommodating and thorough, but your forward-facing sales position needs someone far more aggressive and big-picture oriented. Using a behavioral assessment, like The Omnia Profile, can help you steer the interview in the best possible direction and keep you on track to ensuring the candidate really is a good fit. Too bad you can’t make your date take a behavioral assessment! Final ThoughtsIn dating and in job interviews, sometimes there is a connection, and sometimes there isn’t. When there is, it can definitely become the start of a beautiful relationship. If not, both parties should keep looking for the right fit.last_img read more

Soekarno-Hatta Airport to facilitate ‘no-destination’ flights amid economic downturn

first_imgRead also: Asian airlines turn to ‘flights to nowhere’ to get travellers back in the skiesThe aviation industry has taken major financial blows as governments around the globe have imposed travel restrictions and bans to control the spread of COVID-19.In a bid to devise an alternative revenue stream amid the coronavirus-induced economic downturn, a number of airlines in the Asia-Pacific region plan to start flights to nowhere.Singapore Airlines, for instance, is due to offer no-destination flights starting in late October, as reported by The Straits Times. The flights will depart from and land at Changi Airport.A no-destination flight recently offered by Australia’s Qantas Airways sold out within 10 minutes, according to the airline, reflecting a public urge to fly to temporarily escape the pressure of the health crisis. (rfa) Topics : Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is set to accommodate no-destination flights as many airlines seek to recoup some of the major losses suffered as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Soekarno-Hatta executive general manager Agus Haryadi said the airport would be ready to facilitate airlines that planned to offer “flights to nowhere”.“We will certainly support [the initiative]. At the very least, this program can inspire the public to fly again,” Agus said on Monday as quoted by However, as of the time of writing, no airlines operating from the airport were offering no-destination flights, he added.A no-destination flight – the type of flight that departs from and arrives at the point of origin – is not a novel concept in the aviation industry, according to him. The program is typically reserved for non-commercial purposes, such as test flights for new types of aircraft, he said.Agus added that the notion of flying for the sake of it was expected to appeal to those who missed the flying experience following months of stringent travel restrictions.“I think flying with no specific destination during the pandemic is a good idea to warm up the plane engine,” he said.last_img read more

Born a boy, feeling like a girl: the journey of a transgender child

first_imgStuff 23 May 2015“Whatever you write about me, please, don’t say, Marco was born a boy and now he’s a girl. I was always a girl, it just took some time to share it with the world”.We’re sitting around the kitchen table of a family’s home, mum and dad and two daughters, a shaggy dog in the background. The rest of the family is listening quietly as Marco, now 21, explains how, even though she had been raised a boy, she had always identified as a girl, and how she slowly shared it with the rest of the world.“When I was little, maybe five or six, something felt off, different. I couldn’t find the words to describe it. I didn’t really understand it. It didn’t really bother me but I really enjoyed doing things that boys typically weren’t meant to do. I wanted to look the way some of the girls did.”Marco first heard the word transgender at the age of about nine, but it wasn’t anything to feel good about. The transgender people she first saw were bizarre fiends on TV crime shows or distressed people yelling at their relatives on tabloid-style day time TV.“I was really seeing a very warped, exaggerated, kind of horrible version of what it means to be transgender. I went into this massive identity crisis and denial. For the next few years it was a cycle of denial, then eventually I’d acknowledge it and take a step slightly out of the closet, but that would be too much, just horrible, and I’d go running back. I felt very alone.”Despite a close, loving family, life was bleak and confusing for Marco for some time, until a lesbian friend at high school suggested coming along to a support group for same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people. read more

NegOcc guv wants travelers from Manila to self-quarantine

first_imgBACOLOD City – The Negros Occidental provincial government is requiringall travelers arriving from Metro Manila to undergo a 14-day home quarantineupon their arrival in the province. These passengers will be considered aspersons under monitoring (PUMs) as stated in Executive Order No. 20-13 issuedby Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, adopting unified protocols on the border andintra-province control for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The PHO will also identify a holdingquarantine area for patients of COVID-19, in conjunction with the ProvincialHospital Operations Department. (WithPNA/PN) Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson In EO No. 20-13, Lacson added that allprotocols for patient management will be disseminated by PHO, which will alsoestablish a COVID-19 hotline manned by competent medical personnel. Lacson issued the order establishingthe unified protocols after a discussion with the PHO personnel and provincialofficials during the Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases meeting atthe Capitol Social Hall.center_img “We have to be responsible Negrenses.If we are not, it may be that your relative will get sick of Covid-19. That isprecisely what we’re trying to avoid, that COVID-19 will come in here,”the governor said in an earlier interview. As of Friday, Negros Occidental has 64PUMs from the initial 133, after 69 of them already completed the 14-dayself-quarantine and cleared of possible infection. “While this is voluntary, I hope(we will) all be responsible and make this small sacrifice. The net effect ofthis, if COVID-19 will come in, then we will have a bigger problem,” thegovernor added. In the order, Lacson said the homequarantine will be supervised by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) incoordination with the component city or municipal health office where the PUMresides.last_img read more

Raymond R. “Dutch” Baer

first_imgRaymond Richard Baer, 86, of Aurora, Indiana, passed away Wednesday, October 25, 2017 in Aurora, Indiana.He was born May 5, 1931 in Aurora, IN, son of the late Raymond and Minnie Baer.He served his country during the Korean Conflict as a member of the United States Navy. Dutch was very proud of his military service. He was a member of the Aurora VFW and Legion.Dutch was a 1949 graduate of Aurora High School and was an owner, operator and meat cutter for Aurora Parkview Grocery, formely Lachenmann Grocery. He and his wife Jackie went to Florida for the winters for 20 years. In the early years he enjoyed boating and camping. Dutch collected hats, enjoyed his MG car and liked to grill out. He helped with any task for friends and neighbors.Surviving are children, Linda (James) Lawburgh of Lake Charles, LA, Doug (Ellen) Baer of Aurora, IN, Lisa (Richard Waller) Baer of Aurora, IN; siblings, Rosemary Kurita of Oakland, CA, James (Janet) Baer of Guilford, IN, Victor (Aileen) Baer of Aurora, IN; grandchildrens, Rick & Rob Jackson, Kristen & Derek Baer; great-grandchildren, Kyle, Kanen & Morgan Jackson.He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife, Jacquelyn Baer, and brothers, Robert & Allen “Ted” Baer.Friends will be received Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm at the Rullman Hunger Funeral Home, 219 Mechanic Street, Aurora, Indiana.Services will be held at the Funeral Home, at 5:30 pm with Bill Waller officiating.Contributions may be made to the Aurora Life Squad. If unable to attend services, please call the funeral home office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Visit: www.rullmans.comlast_img read more

Rory confident of Shanghai surprise

first_imgRory McIlroy has not won all season, has gone from world number one to sixth in the rankings and is 62nd on a European Tour money list which he won last year to go with the US equivalent and five victories, including a second major title. “If I don’t play good enough here, then there’s a good chance I won’t play in Dubai. I think there’s a bigger chance of me winning this tournament than not playing in Dubai, I feel.” With next week’s Turkish Airlines Open currently not on his schedule, McIlroy needs to climb into the top 60 on the Race to Dubai this week to have a chance of qualifying for the DP World Tour Championship in November. The 24-year-old is less than 4,000 euros (£3,400) behind Garth Mulroy in 60th place, but by not playing in Turkey will need to win much more than that to feel safe. The first prize of just over 1million euros (£856,000) would of course take care of everything and the two-time major winner can take confidence from his one-shot victory over Tiger Woods in their 18-hole exhibition match at Mission Hills on Monday. “I’m looking forward to going out there and playing well,” added McIlroy, who has been backed by Woods to get back to winning ways before the end of the season. “I feel like I’m capable of winning this golf tournament and I feel like my game’s coming together nicely. “I did a little short game work over the last couple days and I feel like if I can get that part of my game where it needs to be, then I’ve got a good chance. “I’m really glad that this tournament is back here at Sheshan,” he added. “It’s a golf course that I’ve done well on, as you’ve said, and it’s a golf course that I really like. It’s one of my favourite venues of the year quite honestly. “Of course I expect myself to be a lot higher than that (62nd). I won the Race to Dubai last year and I was second in 2011 and I was second in 2009. So I’ve been a factor in it for the last few years and to be down where I am obviously doesn’t feel too good and is a reflection of how my year has gone. “It’s just the reality and the reality is I haven’t played well enough to be a factor.” Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson could only finish 34th in last week’s BMW Masters across the city in Lake Malaren, despite a closing 65, but the Swede slightly extended his lead over Graeme McDowell to 443,725 euros (£378,666) after McDowell finished in a tie for 53rd. “With the preparations leading into last week I wasn’t in the shape I wanted to be, but I finished with a good score on Sunday so I feel pretty good about my game,” said FedEx Cup winner Stenson, who has been plagued by a wrist injury. “I would be hoping to be in contention one of these last three weeks. I can’t walk around waiting for the right things to play out. I need to have some good results if I am going to finish on top and win The Race to Dubai.” US Open champion Justin Rose is just behind McDowell in the standings as he looks to finish the year as European number one for the second time, having achieved the feat in 2007. “To continue to win big events is obviously a huge goal and it would be nice to cap off a great year with a strong finish,” Rose said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to win my second Race to Dubai. It wasn’t the Race to Dubai in my era, it was obviously the Order of Merit, but to get my name on that trophy again would be a huge honour with so many great names who have done that. “Henrik is chasing down history this year in terms of winning both the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai. He’s a good friend of mine and I’ll certainly be pleased for him if he’s the guy to do it, but obviously I want to make it as tough as I can for him. “I think it’s going to take some great golf from me. This week is a huge opportunity to make big inroads as there is big prize money on offer. “I know I’m not necessarily defending champion, but we went to Turkey last year and I managed to win the match-play style event so hopefully it will be a nice place for me to revisit. “I’ve also got strong memories of Dubai where I finished really strong last year as Rory birdied the last five to beat me. So I feel like I’ve got good vibes going into the final three events.” Defending champion Ian Poulter is also looking to create a little piece of history this week. If the Ryder Cup star, who also won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2010, can claim his third WGC title he would become only the second player after Woods to defend a WGC title. But the bookmakers surprisingly agree with a buoyant McIlroy’s assertion that he is more likely to win the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai this week than miss out on the season finale in Dubai. “It’s a big week obviously, it’s sort of make or break,” said McIlroy, who faces a field featuring 40 of the world’s top 50 at Sheshan International Golf Club. Press Associationlast_img read more