first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreIf you’ve run out of drinking water during a lakeside camping trip, there’s a simple solution: Break off a branch from the nearest pine tree, peel away the bark, and slowly pour lake water through the stick. The improvised filter should trap any bacteria, producing fresh, uncontaminated water.In fact, an MIT team has discovered that this low-tech filtration system can produce up to four liters of drinking water a day — enough to quench the thirst of a typical person. In a paper published this week in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers demonstrate that a small piece of sapwood (the youngest wood of a tree which serves to move water up from the roots) can filter out more than 99 percent of the bacteria E. coli from water. They say the size of the pores in sapwood — which contains xylem tissue evolved to transport sap up the length of a tree — also allows water through while blocking most types of bacteria.Co-author Rohit Karnik, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, says sapwood is a promising, low-cost, and efficient material for water filtration, particularly for rural communities where more advanced filtration systems are not readily accessible. “Today’s filtration membranes have nanoscale pores that are not something you can manufacture in a garage very easily,” Karnik says. “The idea here is that we don’t need to fabricate a membrane, because it’s easily available. You can just take a piece of wood and make a filter out of it.”Tapping the flow of sapThere are a number of water-purification technologies on the market today, although many come with drawbacks: Systems that rely on chlorine treatment work well at large scales, but are expensive. Boiling water to remove contaminants requires a great deal of fuel to heat the water. Membrane-based filters, while able to remove microbes, are expensive, require a pump, and can become easily clogged.Sapwood may offer a low-cost, small-scale alternative. The wood is comprised of xylem, the porous tissue that conducts sap from a tree’s roots to its crown through a system of vessels and pores. Each vessel wall is pockmarked with tiny pores called pit membranes, through which sap can essentially hopscotch, flowing from one vessel to another as it feeds structures along a tree’s length. The pores also limit cavitation, a process by which air bubbles can grow and spread in xylem, eventually killing a tree. The xylem’s tiny pores can trap bubbles, preventing them from spreading in the wood.“Plants have had to figure out how to filter out bubbles but allow easy flow of sap,” Karnik observes. “It’s the same problem with water filtration where we want to filter out microbes but maintain a high flow rate. So it’s a nice coincidence that the problems are similar.”Seeing redTo study sapwood’s water-filtering potential, the researchers collected branches of white pine and stripped off the outer bark. They cut small sections of sapwood measuring about an inch long and half an inch wide, and mounted each in plastic tubing, sealed with epoxy and secured with clamps.Before experimenting with contaminated water, the group used water mixed with red ink particles ranging from 70 to 500 nanometers in size. After all the liquid passed through, the researchers sliced the sapwood in half lengthwise, and observed that much of the red dye was contained within the very top layers of the wood, while the filtrate, or filtered water, was clear. This experiment showed that sapwood is naturally able to filter out particles bigger than about 70 nanometers.However, in another experiment, the team found that sapwood was unable to separate out 20-nanometer particles from water, suggesting that there is a limit to the size of particles coniferous sapwood can filter.Picking the right plantFinally, the team flowed inactivated, E. coli-contaminated water through the wood filter. When they examined the xylem under a fluorescent microscope, they saw that bacteria had accumulated around pit membranes in the first few millimeters of the wood. Counting the bacterial cells in the filtered water, the researchers found that the sapwood was able to filter out more than 99 percent of E. coli from water.Karnik says sapwood likely can filter most types of bacteria, the smallest of which measure about 200 nanometers. However, the filter probably cannot trap most viruses, which are much smaller in size.Karnik says his group now plans to evaluate the filtering potential of other types of sapwood. In general, flowering trees have smaller pores than coniferous trees, suggesting that they may be able to filter out even smaller particles. However, vessels in flowering trees tend to be much longer, which may be less practical for designing a compact water filter. Designers interested in using sapwood as a filtering material will also have to find ways to keep the wood damp, or to dry it while retaining the xylem function. In other experiments with dried sapwood, Karnik found that water either did not flow through well, or flowed through cracks, but did not filter out contaminants.“There’s huge variation between plants,” Karnik says. “There could be much better plants out there that are suitable for this process. Ideally, a filter would be a thin slice of wood you could use for a few days, then throw it away and replace at almost no cost. It’s orders of magnitude cheaper than the high-end membranes on the market today.”(Originally Published by MIT – Top photo by Sun Star; other photos courtesy of researchers)Thanks to Harley Hahn for submitting the link!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA lot of youngsters have woken up on Christmas morning with the hopes of finding a puppy waiting under the tree – but Cash isn’t that young at all.In fact, the 12-year-old Golden Retriever lost a lot of his vitality after his sister Rosie suddenly passed away in 2014.Cash’s owner, Marie Ahonen, says that she was heartbroken to see Cash feeling so lonely – which is why she decided to give him a special surprise for being on Santa’s nice list this year.LOOK: Stray Dog Crashes A Wedding And Finds His Own Happily Ever AfterEarlier this month, the Ahonen family presented Cash with a big neatly-wrapped Christmas gift.The senior dog is visibly excited by the package – and he only becomes more exuberant when Jennings the Golden Retriever puppy pops his head out of the box.According to multiple UK newspapers, Ahonen said: “I knew he would be good [with another dog], but I never expected the reaction of pure joy – I had tears watching him. There’s now so much joy and sparkle in Cash’s eyes, he’s got a new lease of life.”“They’ve been best buds ever since,” she added.(WATCH the video below)Click To Share This Pawesome Story With Your Friends – Photo by Caters NewsAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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first_imgSaint Mary’s Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO), is calling on college students to become advocates for the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph’s County and S-O-S, the county’s Rape Crisis Center. Both are non-profit organizations, committed to offering services to victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking and domestic violence. Classes to become an advocate for the Family Justice Center and S-O-S began Jan. 27. The classes are held 6-9 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for six weeks.Sexual assault and harassment has been brought into a greater concern and topic of issue in the recent years through new initiatives and forms of modern publicity. It is a topic of controversy and a very difficult topic to discuss for some.“One in four women and one in ten men experiences relationship violence in their lifetime,” BAVO director Connie Adams said. “One in six women and one in 19 men experience stalking in her lifetime. One in six women and one in 33 men have experienced a sexual assault in their lifetime.“These issues significantly impact our communities in America. Due to the impact, response services are critical to the overall health and well-being of communities.”According to Adams, volunteers are crucial to the success of these organizations. Whether they are answering the 24/7 helpline or advocating and supporting victims seeking medical care and forensic examinations at a local hospital, their families and friends. Adams said volunteers also answer phones and complete intakes for clients at the office. They manage social media accounts and help plan, organize and advertise awareness at fundraising events.According to the Family Justice Center website, the organization was established under the administration of George W. Bush as a part of the Family Justice Center Initiative. There are fifteen different centers nationwide including the one in St. Joseph’s County which opened its doors in 2007 to help eradicate all forms of domestic violence. The goal of this initiative is to improve victims access to services.The number of instances of domestic violence and sexual assaults in St. Joseph’s County is significant, Adams said. Local police respond to approximately 8,000 domestic violence calls a year, according to the Family Justice Center website. The Department of Justice speculates that over half of partner violence is not reported to authorities. Overall the Department estimates that there are a total of 16,000 unreported and reported incidents within the county lines each year. According to the Center’s website, victims come from all different social statuses, races and religions. Even so, statistics reveal that most victims are women and most have children.Adams said students will find there are many benefits to volunteering to become an advocate.“It can be a powerful experience contributing to Michiana beyond our campus walls,” Adams said. “For those interested in helping professions, it’s also great exposure to support services.”Tags: BAVO, domestic violence, Family Justice Center, National Stalking Awareness Month, rape, rape crisis center, S-O-S, sexual assault, St. Joseph’s County, Stalkinglast_img read more

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first_imgChitra Shah, the founder and director of Indian non-profit Satya Special School, spoke at the Saint Mary’s Carroll Auditorium on Monday. Satya Special School is the largest rehabilitation program for children with special needs in Pondicherry, India, servicing over 900 children.“I come from a privileged background,” Shah said. “When I say privileged background, I did what I wanted, I wore the clothes that I wanted, I studied the subject that I wanted and finally married the man that I wanted — something that a number of girls in India do not have the privilege of. Finally, when I married into a very wealthy family, I decided that I should give back something.”Shah said her mission to help her community started with a visit to a disabled girl’s home in which she witnessed abuse.“I saw this child tied up to a plastic chair with nylon ropes,” Shah said. “The mom very casually told me, ‘I leave her locked up like this eight hours a day.’ The first thought that crossed my mind was: ‘We keep dogs in a better condition.’”It wasn’t long until Shah realized this wasn’t uncommon in the area.“One of the things that this mom told me was that ‘I’m not the only one who ties up the children; I know so many other mothers who do this,’” Shah said. “So I gathered all these moms up and I asked them, ‘Would you send your children to a center if I started one?’”From there she started the school in 2003 with 20 children. Today the program has over 900 kids across nine centers in India.“There is a huge mythos attached to disabilities [in India],” Shah said. “… The belief is that they committed such a huge sin in the past that the gods have punished them with a special needs child. A child with autism is considered to be possessed by an evil spirit, so these kids are made to walk on fire and sometimes tied up to a tree and whiplashed. So whenever the family understands that they have a special needs child, the mothers are given two options: One is to walk out of the family with the child, or abandon the child.”The centers not only aid in the care and education of children with special needs, but helps build a community for the single mothers left to raise the children alone.“They started understanding that it was more scientific,” Shah said. “It was something else, it was not them. They all sat together and shared for the first time. Women in India would never go to a counselor. You would never go to somebody and share your problem.”Satya Special School has expanded since its start to include hydro, occupational, special education, group and speech therapy. They also include a school readiness program, activity-based learning, learning through visual media, learning practicality, drama as a learning tool, learning through movement and learning through play. Skill and vocational training is taught as well to the older residents. This includes teaching them paper quilting, baking, wood working, cup making and mat weaving.“We are sending out this strong message that there is so much hope,” Shah said. “Yes, you have a child who’s difficult to handle, but yet you can live your life and live it well.”Tags: disabilities, disability, India, Satya Special Schoollast_img read more

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first_imgSanta will get some help from SM East head football coach Dustin Delaney at this year’s holiday tree lighting.Delaney to assist Santa at annual Mayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting in Prairie Village. Santa Claus will have a helper this Thursday at the annual Mayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting at Corinth Square. SM East head football coach Dustin Delaney will be on hand to help kick off the Christmas season at the event, along with Mayor Ron Shaffer, the Corinth Elementary choir, and dancers from Dancerz Unlimited. The event runs from 6 to 7 p.m. As part of the festivities, a number of restaurants will be donating a portion of their proceeds from the night to the Mayor’s Tree Fund. Participating restaurants are: Salty Iguana, SPIN, Johnny’s, BRGR, Urban Table, Tavern in the Village.Roeland Park police issued 40 traffic citations over holiday weekend. Roeland Park police report that they issued 40 citations between Nov. 24-29 as part of their participation in the STEP program, where state funds help pay for additional officers to monitor the road for possible DUI and restraint violations. Officers also made arrests on motorists who had outstanding warrants and were suspected of driving under the influence.Leawood Chamber to honor Shawnee Mission School District. The Leawood Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that it would be inducting both the Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley School Districts into the group’s Hall of Fame at its annual awards luncheon Tuesday, Dec. 9.SMEF encouraging area residents to participate in Giving Tuesday. The Shawnee Mission Education Foundation is using the occasion of “Giving Tuesday” to encourage area residents to support Shawnee Mission schools. “The Foundation works in support of Shawnee Mission teachers and students and connects community charitable contributions to our schools,” reads a release from the group. “In its 25-year history, the Foundation has distributed $3.8 million benefiting every school in the district.” A number of area classes have made videos supporting the effort. Here’s a message from Mr. Ferrell’s Briarwood class:last_img read more

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first_imgBusiness Insider:A recent Pew study reveals what many of us have already observed: re-employed workers — those who lose their jobs and are then hired elsewhere — are more likely to consider themselves overqualified for what becomes their current position and are less likely to get a sense of identify from their work. In other words, they end up at jobs they don’t really want.Whether you’ve lost your job and are looking to be the exception to this rule, or you’d like to trade your current position for one that better matches your qualifications, here are three strategies to help you receive an offer for the job that you actually wantRead the whole story: Business Insiderlast_img read more

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first_imgThe GCAA made the decision to ban the heavy lift workhorse after setting up a special technical committee to determine airworthiness of foreign aircraft flying to UAE airports.The technical committee conducted a technical audit on the Antonov Design Bureau, the Ukrainian design bureau, to determine the airworthiness of the aircraft. The audit team also assessed the civil aviation administration system in Ukraine. The audit showed that the aircraft did not meet all the international safety standards, said the GCAA.Ismail Mohammed Al Balooshi, director of safety at GCAA said: “There were numerous incidents that involved Antonov aircraft in 2008, including three minor incidents at Sharjah International Airport and one crash in Iraq. That is why GCAA made an initial decision to temporarily ban this aircraft, pending the results of the assessment by the technical committee regarding the airworthiness of Antonov AN-12. The assessment showed that this aircraft cannot be operated safely.”last_img read more

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first_imgAunt Jemima frozen pancakes, waffles, French toast recalled Published: May 6, 2017 11:11 AM EDT Updated: May 6, 2017 11:16 AM EDT SHARE Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.center_img Author: Associated Press PARSIPPANY, N.J. (AP) A New Jersey-based food company is recalling Aunt Jemima frozen pancakes, waffles and French toast because they might be contaminated with Listeria.Pinnacle Foods Inc. said Friday the safety of its customers is its top priority and no illnesses have been reported. It says it initiated the recall when testing indicated the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the plant environment.Listeria monocytogenes can cause fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and people with weakened immune systems. Healthy people can suffer fevers and diarrhea. Pregnant women can suffer miscarriages and stillbirths.Pinnacle Foods says it’s working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the recall, which applies only to frozen products with “Best By” dates, not dry mixes or syrups.Distributors and retailers are being notified so they can remove products from U.S. and Mexican store shelves.last_img read more

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first_img Published: May 9, 2017 8:17 PM EDT Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Soccer coach comes out to team as transgender, video goes viral Lightner can often be seen driving players to and from practice or games, and is active on the club’s social media accounts. He also happens to be a transgender man, a fact about himself he hadn’t shared with many of the kids at the club — that is, until now. After one recent practice, he called his team into a huddle and came out to them in an inspiring speech that has since gone viral. “Some of you may or may not know this, but I am transgender,” Lightner says in a 7-minute video posted to YouTube on May 3. Throughout the video, which has over 52,000 views, the players on screen listen respectfully, and one can be seen walking up to Lightner to give him a hug. He explains to them in kid-friendly terms what that means and why he has chosen to tell them. “I’m a boy. I just look a little different on the insides than some other boys do. I think of myself as a boy,” he says, adding, “I was born a girl.”“I grew up playing soccer as a girl,” Lightner says. “And that’s not something I share with players or people in the sports world very often, because it’s not an easy thing. We have a lot of rules in sports about how boys play and how girls play and that’s not really fair,” he says. “I got told a lot of things about being a soccer player as a girl — that I couldn’t do this, I couldn’t do that,” Lightner continues. “I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t strong enough, or I was too strong, I acted too much like a boy.”He wanted the kids to know the struggles that he has overcome, and the importance of living as your authentic self.“I may have this white skin and I may look like I just cruised through life with a lot of privilege — which I have had — but I have one thing that a lot of people don’t know about me … we should all be who we are, exactly who we want to be, and not hide who we are.”Putting it all in perspective, he added, “I’m still the same person, but now you just know a little something else about me.”Lightner admitted that he was nervous to confide in his team, but when he opened up the floor for questions, he got a surprising response. Instead of asking about his gender, the first question was a typical kid’s inquiry: “How old are you?”“That’s the important thing? That’s what you guys want to know?” he laughed. For the record: “I’m almost 37.”center_img (CBS) Kaig Lightner is the founder and director of coaching at the Portland Community Football Club in Portland, Oregon. Over the past five years, he and the club have been committed to making low-cost, high-quality athletics available to the area’s underprivileged youth. They provide equipment and coaching to give every kid in the community a chance to be active. SHARElast_img read more

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first_imgINTRO: Alstom LHB GmbH is supplying 24 lightweight coaches to Indian Railways. They will act as prototypes for local production under a technology transfer deal that includes staff training and technical assistance BYLINE: Dr-Ing Alfred Henning Director, Passenger Coach Group, Alstom LHB GmbHAT THE END of this year Alstom LHB GmbH of Germany will deliver the first of 24 prototype 1676mm gauge coaches to Indian Railways. IR will immediately begin running trials with the vehicles.IR had been looking to develop a new standard design for some time for manufacture at its Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala, and later at other plants including the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai. At the end of 1995, IR selected Alstom LHB as its development partner for the next generation of passenger rolling stock.IR subsequently awarded two contracts: one for supply of prototype vehicles and the other for technology transfer. As they are closely linked, the two contracts have been treated as a single project. The contract for supply of the all-steel lightweight vehicles for IR’s 1676mm network covers 19 air-conditioned second class coaches, two air-conditioned executive class cars and three generator/brake vans.Designed to meet specifications for operation on IR’s track in a hot climate at up to 160 km/h, the coaches ride on bogies supplied by Fiat-SIG based on the Eurofima design.Alstom is building the 24 prototype vehicles to test the design and manufacturing techniques it has developed to meet IR’s requirements. Currently producing some 1000 vehicles a year to an earlier standard design, IR’s Rail Coach Factory was set up in the early 1990s and has ISO9001 certification.The technology transfer agreement grants IR the non-exclusive right to manufacture in its factories the coaches designed by Alstom, and their Fiat-SIG bogies. The contract includes training of IR personnel at Alstom and Fiat in design and manufacture, as well as technical assistance to RCF at the start of manufacture. This will entail updating current manufacturing technology and equipment to suit the new design.Design for local manufactureBoth the design and manufacturing process have been developed with local conditions and requirements firmly in mind. Technology transfer agreements of this type are only guaranteed long-term success if materials and components for series production do not have to be imported by the country receiving the technology. Similarly, it must be possible for the manufacturing process to be easily assimilated and implemented by the local workforce.The agreement covers systems and components bought in from other suppliers including air-conditioning, brakes and seats. For series production, these components must also be sourced locally. This has required co-operation from the European companies that have supplied components for the Salzgitter-built prototypes, and Alstom will assist IR in developing the capability of domestic suppliers for series production.The bodyshell design has been developed to avoid corrosion in the finished vehicles, with three types of steel currently produced in India. For the trough floor and roof, most prone to corrosion, X5CrNi1810 austenitic stainless steel will be used. Side walls, end walls and the body frame will be made of X2Cr11 ferritic stainless steel, with low-alloy high-tensile steel meeting Indian Railway Standard IRSM-R41 used for other structural members such as the underframe.A new manufacturing technique has been adopted for the side walls. The frame consists of folded steel profiles that are partly cut so that two profiles can be put together and interlocked using mechanical fixtures. Before side panels are attached by spot welding, the profiles are fixed locally by tack welding to keep them in the correct position.Steel is bought mainly in sheets which are joined by laser cutting and welding. To avoid corrosion, all steel parts are shotblast before welding, as is the finished bodyshell before painting with polyurethane-based paint.For interior ceiling and side wall panels, as well as the toilet compartments, glass-reinforced plastic will be used. All the cars will have roof-mounted air-conditioning packs able to maintain a temperature of between 17í and 26°C inside the cars.TABLE: Principal suppliers Reader Enquiry Numbers:Main contractor: Alstom LHB 111Bogies: Fiat-SIG 112Air-conditioning: Hagenuk-Faiveley 113Electrical equipment: Schaltbau 114Brakes: Knorr Bremse 115Seats: Franz Kiel 116Doors: TechnoDevice 117CAPTION: First of the 24 bodyshells has been completed in Alstom LHB’s Salzgitter factoryCAPTION: Fig 1. Most of the 2+3 seating in the second class air-conditioned cars is arranged in a face-to-back layoutlast_img read more

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