first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A winter storm that rolled into the region Saturday afternoon could dump as much as 5 inches of snow on Long Island, the National Weather Service said in a revised winter weather advisory. The weather service in Upton slightly adjusted its snowfall forecast Saturday afternoon, adding an extra inch to its original forecast. Snow began falling Saturday afternoon. The white stuff could fall at a rate of an inch per hour before changing over to rain in the evening. Rain won’t stop coming down until early Sunday morning, forecasters said. Ice may also mix with snow, forecasters said. “Snow covered roads and a trace of ice will [make] driving and walking hazardous,” the National Weather Service warned in a winter weather advisory issued late Saturday afternoon. The advisory is in effect until 1 a.m. Sunday. The temperature will hover around freezing, forecasters said. The mercury will continue to rise on Sunday, potentially topping off at 39 degrees during the day. But the temperature will plummet Sunday evening, dropping to 14 degrees, forecasters said.last_img read more

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first_imgComputer users familiar with Photoshop and other image processing programs know that an image can be divided into “layers” for making color corrections, evening out contrast and enhancing details.  Your eyes do that, too, says Alan Gilchrist in Current Biology.1  He shows a stunning optical illusion to make the point: transparent chess pieces against differing cloudy backgrounds appear darker in one than the other, even though they are identical (see image and source paper by Anderson and Winawer in Nature.2)  Clearly, the brain is interpreting the pieces in relation to their context.    The rods and cones in your eye are not just light collectors that pass on signals direct to the brain.  Image processing is done before the brain gets the data (see 05/22/2003 entry).  Scientists are narrowing down theories for how this works.  Apparently, the rods and cones are not just sharing data with neighboring receptors, nor are they arranged into frameworks like states on a map.  The leading theory is that the eye decomposes the image into layers, and uses complex mathematical algorithms to “decompose” the combined image into its parts, including contrast, brightness, hue, illumination and saturation:For example, a red book on the dashboard of your car casts a red reflection in the windshield.  Through the reflection you perceive distant objects, including green grass, in their normal colors.  Light from the green grass and the red reflection physically mix to produce yellow.  The yellow is observed when seen through a small hole punched in a piece of cardboard held up so it blocks out the surrounding context.  Without the cardboard, however, no yellow is seen, only the red and green layers.  The brain is thought to split the yellow light into the red and green layers using rules that invert the usual rules of color mixing.  This is called scission.    Or consider the image of a white house reflected in the shiny surface of a black car.  Neither the house nor the car appears gray where their images overlap.  Rather the light at that location is perceptually split into a white and a black layer.    Strictly speaking, the illumination that falls on surfaces is not a separate layer.  But the same scission algorithms that work for transparent layers can be effectively applied to the illumination.  Mathematically a shadow and a sunglass lens have the same effect on the image.    When the processes of image formation are inverted in this way, surface reflectance is not merely computed, it is recovered.Does the fact that optical illusions can fool us (and fool everybody, systematically) mean that the “visual software employed by the brain” has bugs?  Not necessarily; “In principle, the errors could be accounted for by partial failures in the scission process,” Gilchrist says; ”But such efforts to model the errors have not proven very effective.”  Instead, the brain may combine the layer algorithm with a framework algorithm that is even more complicated.  Proponents of both theories are still trying to figure all this out.  “Both sides are open to an integration of the two approaches,” he says.  “Stay tuned.”1Alan L. Gilchrist, “Lightness Perception: Seeing One Color through Another,” Current Biology, Vol 15, R330-R332, 10 May 2005.2Anderson and Winawer, “Image segmentation and lightness perception,” Nature 34, 79-83 (3 March 2005) | doi: 10.1038/nature03271.Stay tuned: that implies we have limited ability to fathom such design.  Speaking of staying tuned, our ears do a similar kind of processing.  Students of advanced mathematics know that through Fourier Analysis and other techniques, one can separate out the individual contributors to a complex waveform.  For instance, your ear hears a hugely complex single waveform when listening to a symphony orchestra, but you are able to discern the individual sounds of the oboe, violin, trumpet, horn, timpani and all the rest.    It should be noted that our confusion with optical illusions should not cause us to infer errors in the code.  For one thing, our eyes were designed to operate in our natural habitat, not in the pages of books of optical illusions.  Second, the ability of humans to trick the software with illusions shows that humans have creative ability to alter a designed system and understand how it was tricked.  The algorithms of our image processing organs work for the environment for which they were designed.  They pull together the best responses to a vast array of possible inputs.  This is constrained optimization, the art of achieving the ideal compromise between competing inputs and priorities.    Gilchrist credits Johannes Kepler, one of the champion creation scientists in our online book, with discovering “that an image of whatever we look at is projected onto the rear inner surface of the eye,” just like in a camera obscura.  Ever since then, he says, “it has been natural to assume that the rods and cones function much as modern day photocells, reporting the point-by-point intensity of light in the image.”  Now we are realizing that the truth is far more amazing.  If Kepler’s discovery was marvelous to him, how much more should these recent discoveries make us stand in awe of the supreme optician of the universe?  (See also 05/09/2002 entry.)(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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December 17, 2019

Worrying About Weeds

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Emily UnglesbeeDTN Staff ReporterNEW ORLEANS (DTN) — “We have to do better.”That was the challenge issued from Scott Senseman, a weed scientist and the 2018 president of the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), to the hundreds of weed scientists and members of the ag industry gathered in New Orleans this week for the group’s annual meeting.For the past two days, rain and wind has occasionally battered the windows of the hotel where the scientists are meeting, a fitting backdrop for the stormy issues they are tackling, from an epidemic of herbicide-resistant weeds to the public’s growing concerns about chemical use.But Senseman is optimistic. Out of the 500 people at the meeting, more than 100 are graduate students.“We need you to come up with new technologies,” Senseman told these rising young scientists. “We need your youth and your creativity and your energy to get these things done.”Many are already delivering. Some graduate students at the meeting presented research on using drones to assess weed pressure from the air and spot-treat weeds instead of spraying entire fields. Others showed how some cover crops can suppress the germination of troublesome weed species. Yet another group of students laid the groundwork for the development of an automated roadside spray truck capable of identifying and treating weeds and tracking environmental conditions as it goes.“We’re talking about a challenge of having to triple food supply, not just double it, and can we do it?” Senseman asked. “Of course. We’ve got environmental issues all over the place, we have a lot of trade issues, we have all kinds of challenges facing us, but we will do it, because we have to.”A BRAVE, BUT WEEDY, NEW WORLDThe WSSA had its first formal meeting more than six decades ago in 1956 in New York City, Senseman noted. The chemical 2,4-D had been registered for commercial use just 10 years earlier, and dicamba wouldn’t be registered for another decade. Newspapers, TV and radio brought information to the public, and the world population was hovering around 2.8 billion people.Now, in 2019, crops tolerant to new formulations of those same chemicals, 2,4-D and dicamba, are rapidly expanding. But we’re facing a very different world. The public gets its information from social media and a sprawling digital information landscape. The world population is pushing 8 billion people, and scientists continuously fret over how to feed them in the face of a changing climate.Many of the presentations at WSSA tackle the problems generated by our modern approach to weed control, namely the herbicide-tolerant crop system, and the new difficulties of communicating with the public.In the days to come at the WSSA meeting, some scientists will unveil discoveries of new herbicide-resistant weed populations. Others have detailed the economic costs these troublesome populations bring to producers and the industry. A number of sessions dwell on how and why herbicides like dicamba are moving off target, beyond crop fields where they are applied.Other presentations highlight how scientists, with their rigid scientific method and dry, technical language, are battling rising anti-science movements among the public, in the form of anti-GMO campaigns and calls to ban some agricultural chemicals completely, such as glyphosate.“The decisions to ban or restrict glyphosate are not supported by the evidence,” said Keith Solomon, director of the Centre for Toxicology at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. “Politics and their perception-based agendas appear to be the drivers of the bans and restrictions of glyphosate.”In Europe, where glyphosate use is already heavily restricted, weed scientists worry that additional restrictions or bans will push farmers to older selective herbicides and allow resistant weed populations to spread, said Solvejg Mathiassen, a crop ecologist from Aarhus University in Denmark.“How do we translate weed science for public consumption?” wondered Carol Mallory-Smith, a weed scientist from Oregon State University. “As scientists, we’re talking about apples — we use all our technology and all our jargon — when the public is looking for oranges. How do we bridge that so we’re all using the same language?”“If you just Google a topic like this, what comes up is not going to be something from the Weed Science Society,” she added. “That’s a problem.”LOOKING BEYOND THE OLD SOLUTIONSThe solutions to many modern weed problems might be closer than some realize.Just down the hall from where Solomon, Mathiassen and Mallory-Smith were worrying aloud about glyphosate’s survival, graduate students and scientists were presenting the possible future of agriculture: drones, automation and non-chemical solutions to weeds.Students and scientists from Texas A&M presented their research on using drones, or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), as well as automated vehicles to control weeds. One project examined how well UAVs can identify broadleaf and grass weeds in corn, soybean, cotton and sorghum fields from the air. Another project analyzed how well UAVs can disperse herbicide droplets on key weeds, laying the groundwork for remote, spot-spraying drones of the future.In a third Texas A&M project, students mounted ultrasonic sensors on the side of a truck to identify and treat weeds automatically as it drives along, while also tracking application parameters like wind speed, temperature and humidity.A group of Australian scientists are looking even further into the future and working to develop a robot that stalks crop rows and zaps weeds individually with a laser.More immediately, University of Tennessee students are unlocking the allelopathic power of some cover crops to reduce pigweed’s ability to germinate and grow roots. And at Auburn University, students are helping farmers actually integrate these practices into their farming systems by studying which herbicides peanut and cotton growers can use without harming a following cover crop.In his opening speech, Senseman likened the search for novel weed control approaches like these to past breakthroughs, such as landing a man on the moon or breaking the 4-minute-mile record.“We can and will need to do better,” he said. “After all, these things were the great challenges of their time and their world, but by combining intelligence and committed people, they were able to attain incredible accomplishments.”You can find more information on the presentations at WSSA’s annual meeting here: http://wssa.net/….Emily Unglesbee can be reached at [email protected] her on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee(PS/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo GINEBRA 98 – Slaughter 22, Brownlee 17, Tenorio 16, Devance 15, Aguilar 10, Ferrer 7, Caguioa 6, Thompson 4, Mercado 1.BLACKWATER 81 – Walker 26, Digregorio 12, Sumang 12, Pinto 8, Erram 6, Canaleta 6, Gamalinda 5, Marcelo 4, Sena 2, Belo 0.Quarters: 23-24, 45-48, 69-71, 98-81.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Paul Desiderio embracing role as new UP skipper View comments Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra trailed early and needed one big spurt in the fourth period to put the Elite away and extend the tournament’s longest winning streak to seven after opening up with a loss and remain at No. 1.“You don’t want to play San Miguel coming off a loss, you need to have high energy coming into that game to have a chance,” Cone went on, referring to their 6:45 p.m. clash with the powerhouse Beermen on Sunday which could ultimately mean No. 1 seeding for his Kings.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 openingBlackwater dropped to 4-5, losing for just the second time in six games since Henry Walker arrived. The Elite would need to sweep their remaining two games to advance to the quarterfinals outright.The scores: Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claimcenter_img MOST READ LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWorking extra hard against an enemy that has made turns in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Barangay Ginebra on Friday night got the perfect reward for its effort and got ready for a bigger battle that’s just around the corner.“It was important to get this win because we turn around and play San Miguel Beer,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said, minutes after rallying for a 98-81 decision of Blackwater, which the Gin Kings ground out the entire night at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. “The final score doesn’t give justice to the difficulty of this game.”ADVERTISEMENT Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

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first_imgIn Vancouver, Hastings Street was closed so veterans and other dignitaries could march to the cenotaph. Traditional drummers greeted them as wreaths were laid to honour the war dead.“Our true respect for those who sacrificed before us,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, was there, too.“It’s just a reflection of what an amazing people Indigenous peoples are, and how selfless we are in terms of always rising to the occasion of being on the right side of history,” he said, “and fighting for the common good, so to speak.”Viviane Sandy brought her granddaughter to honour her late, great-uncle George Gilbert, who fought in the Second World War.  She says he suffered post-traumatic stress and had a hard time adjusting after he came home.“I remember as a child watching him cry, and my mother telling stories about how she would just wrestle and wrestle him when he would go through those triggers. My mother said she wouldn’t give up on him.”It has been documented that Aboriginal veterans were treated poorly upon their return to Canada. With the government stripping them of their Indian status and often barring them from entering their reserves to visit family and friends.Sandy says that happened to her great-uncle.“He didn’t get any medical help; he had to take care of himself. I remember he had a limp but he would still got to the woods and work.”Winnipeg is the site of the first Aboriginal Veterans Day – some 23 years ago.Here’s a look at the ceremonies held in Winnipeg. More than 12,000 Aboriginal men and women served the country through the First, Second and Korean wars.“I’m a proud Metis who has served in the military for 35 years,” said Beaudry. “Gave my time and service to protect our peoples in Canada.”Bill Greenwalt said the day is also for educating the youth of tomorrow.“It’s all part of that history that we have to make sure that we transfer down to our young people,” said the former member of the United States Marine Corps.Greenwalt, who served four years before moving to Canada, said he’s noticed a severe lack of mental health services for veterans – himself included.“Right now, whether it’s either Canada or the United States, there are 22 veterans a day committing suicide because of post-traumatic stress disorder,” Greenwalt said.“Do i want to get bitter about it? Yeah, I do want to get bitter about it. I don’t see Canada doing anything for our Afghanistan veterans.” Photo by Brittany HobsonBrittany Hobson Tina House APTN News A ceremony Wednesday marked the sacrifice of hundreds of Indigenous veterans from Manitoba – as well as thousands across Canada.It was National Aboriginal Veterans Day.“A lot of our Metis people and our First Nations people, when they came back from the wars, they got nothing,” said Sgt. Devin Beaudry of the Royal Canadian Air Force.“To be able to celebrate it on its separate day from everything else in Canada is an honour.”Beaudry was one of more than a hundred people who gathered in Winnipeg to pay their respects.Various ceremonies took place across the nation.Here’s a look at the ceremonies held in Vancouver.last_img read more

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first_img Related Items:ground breaking, st. elizabeth, wind farm munro Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Long Bay High School construction starts RED STRIPE TO INVEST US$10 MILLION OVER FIVE YEARScenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppMONTEGO BAY, Feb. 26 (JIS): Ground was broken for the construction of a US$89 million 36.3-megawatt wind farm at Munro, St. Elizabeth, on February 25, by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell.He was joined by representatives of BMR Jamaica Wind Limited, the United States Embassy and the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPSCo). The project will generate electricity using 11 Vesta Model V-112 wind turbines, and power will be transmitted to the national grid via a 69kV transmission line running 18 kilometres from the wind farm to the JPSCo’s 138/69kV Spur Tree substation in Manchester.Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, Mr. Paulwell said the project forms part of the Government’s push to lower the cost of electricity for Jamaicans. “The price of electricity must come down. I have a view as to where it must get for Jamaica to become first world, and for us to be highly competitive. It won’t happen in three years, it probably won’t happen in five years, but my view is that we have to have a minimum of about US18 cents per kilowatt-hour for us to achieve that target,” he emphasised.The Minister added that Jamaica’s oil import bill remains too high and investments in renewable energy are always welcome.Highlighting the value of the BMR Wind project, Mr. Paulwell pointed out that there are several new projects on the horizon from which the country will benefit significantly.“We have some baseload projects that are going to happen…a 190-megawatt LNG project which involves JPSCo, and I hear that the price should not exceed US12.89 cents per kilowatt-hour. I am very pleased, and as Minister, I am going to sign that licence the day it comes on my desk,” the Minister said. Mr. Paulwell noted that the new venture at Munro and two others will bring total investments in the energy sector to more than $20 billion.“Last week, I was nearby breaking ground for WIGTON-3 (in Manchester) and that will be an investment of $5 billion. In other couple of weeks, I go to Clarendon where another American company will be breaking ground for a 20 MW solar facility costing $7 billion. Today’s investment by BMR tops them all, totalling just over $10 billion. So, over the next couple of months, we will be investing over $20 billion in energy projects,” the Minister said.“This will record growth in our economy and very importantly for us, the creation of just under 200 jobs,” Mr. Paulwell added.Praising BMR for its decision to invest in Jamaica, Mr. Paulwell said it represents a display of tremendous partnership, especially in the present economic climate.BMR has also signed a 20-year agreement to sell power generated at theSt. Elizabeth wind farm to the JPSCo.The wind turbines are being installed on 75 acres of land which have been leased from the National Land Agency (NLA) in the communities of Hermitage, Torrington Castle and Chelsea. Recommended for youlast_img read more

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first_imgHave you ever visited YouTube for watching some breaking news videos expecting to get all the info in one go but did not get what you expected? Videos use luring thumbnails and clickbait titles to attract more views and traffic. Most breaking news videos that follow such patterns are either fake, have a high level of misinformation or don’t clarify what the news really is. The news that continuously keeps popping up is most of the time, catchy. Google engineer, Guillaume Chaslot, who worked on the recommendation algorithm for YouTube, stated that this was purely designed to boost user engagement. To tackle this fake thread going around the popular video-sharing website, YouTube has initiated a $25 million plan to counter fake news and misinformation. In a Wired interview held in March, YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki announced new features which include updates to breaking news and conspiracy theories by adding information cues to every video. Information cues are short blocks of text based on moon landing and chemtrails, for example. Susan further added, “When there are videos that are focused around something that’s a conspiracy — and we’re using a list of well-known internet conspiracies from Wikipedia — then we will show a companion unit of information from Wikipedia showing that here is information about the event.” Now, YouTube also features ‘authoritative’ content in their breaking news shelf. This means, news in this ‘authoritative’ section comes only from authoritative sources such as Google News and other providers who have applied to be part of Google News program. YouTube then uses a different set of algorithms to determine who within that group is authoritative. Later, based on this YouTube uses those news providers in their breaking news shelf, and their home feed. YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan said, “Rather than recommending a video first, the algorithm will point to a text-based story surfaced by Google News. Results will be accompanied by a label reminding users that the story is still developing, and the info is “subject to change.” These updated features for anti-fake news plan are currently active in 17 countries, including the US and YouTube is planning to double the reach in coming months. Read Next Python founder resigns. Guido van Rossum, goes ‘on a permanent vacation from being BDFL’ Facebook to launch AR ads on its news feed to let you try on products virtually Microsoft launches a free version of its Teams app to take Slack head onlast_img read more

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