Study: Herd animals detect Earth’s magnetic field

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Large herd animals may have the ability to detect earth’s magnetic field, concluded scientists in Germany in a report published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences after performing studies of cattle and deer grazing and sleeping patterns. The animals tended to face north-south oriented toward the earth’s magnetic poles. Hynek Burda of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany led the team that announced the unconfirmed study. Burda and his team gathered cattle data via analysis of Google Earth images.

The team originally intended to test for possible human magnetic field detection by studying the orientation of sleeping bags in outdoor campers, but it proved difficult to obtain data because humans usually slept under tents. Cattle were easier to observe, and 8,510 head of cattle at 308 locations demonstrated a strong tendency to align body orientation in accordance with the earth’s magnetic field. Other possible factors such as wind or sunlight direction did not supply a better explanation for the behavior.

I think the really amazing thing is that hunters and herdsmen and farmers didn’t notice it.

To compare against a second large species, Burda and his team analyzed data on 2,974 deer studied through photography, direct observation, and snow imprints. The deer demonstrated a similar pattern. “I think the really amazing thing is that hunters and herdsmen and farmers didn’t notice it,” said Burda according to a National Public Radio report.

Other scientists found the results of the study intriguing. Peter August of the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, commented: “I was really amazed at the consistency with which they found north-facing cows and deer. It was really intriguing.” No independent study has yet confirmed the Duisburg-Essen team’s findings.

This is the first study that indicates magnetic field detection in large mammals. Burda’s previous research involves naked mole rats, a small blind mammal species whose behavior indicates an internal magnetic compass. According to a report by Jeremy Hsu at MSNBC, “Previous research has shown that animals such as birds, turtles and salmon migrate using a sense of magnetic direction, and small mammals such as rodents and one bat species also have a magnetic compass.”

June 22, 2019 in Uncategorized

Mobile Audio: Top Ten Tips For Practicing Drumming Anytime, Anywhere, Without Waking The Neighbors

Mobile Audio: Top Ten Tips For Practicing Drumming Anytime, Anywhere, Without Waking The Neighbors

by

Mark Etinger

Three questions:

1. Are you one of those mobile audio freaks who can’t rock out without drumming the steering wheel, the dashboard and the passenger beside you when you cruise down the road with some phat tunes blasting?

2. Are you a drummer who’s sick of hauling heavy equipment and setting up an elaborate kit every time you want to play your music someplace new? (I mean, transporting a dusty rug? Are you kidding me?)

3. Have your neighbors ever (be honest) complained about the noise you made practicing the drums, rather than just being appropriately grateful that they were exposed to the sickest rhythms they’d hear all day?

If you answered yes to those questions, this article is for you.

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In case you haven’t guessed, I am a person who would answer yes to those questions! I could not even roll forward downhill in my car if I didn’t have mobile audio, and it would be humanly impossibly for me to listen to the sweet sounds being emitted by my car audio speakers without pounding out the beat.

Anyway, I have compiled my own TOP TEN list of tips for practicing the drums anytime, anywhere, and (most of them) without making the people around you crazy.

1. Chopsticks. Ha. Anytime I’m out for Chinese or Thai, I take the opportunity to practice drumming.

2. Pot lids. Heck, yes. Just like in the movies.

3. Garbage cans. A variation on pot lids, I know, but have you seen some of these guys set up on the street or in the subway stations? They’re awesome.

4. Finger strengthening: squeeze a hacky sack ball while you’re on the phone with your mom. It helps.

5. Push-ups, pull-ups or rock climbing. Upper arms and forearms, man. The stronger you are, the longer and harder you can hit the drum skins.

6. Use a soundproof practice room at a school or university. Make nice with a security guard or a band teacher.

7. Get an electronic drum kit. I have one (Electric Thunder PED02M, if you must know all my secrets) that has an MP3 recorder on it. Sweet. It feels like real drums, but all the noise goes into your headphones. Plus, how rad is it that you can record it and play it later in the car? For that matter, how rad is it that it’s like the easiest thing to carry in the car if I do want to go play a gig without carrying my whole freaking kit?

8. On the other hand, I don’t have to carry anything at all in the car if I don’t want to. What’s wrong with good old dashboard pounding while I’ve got the mobile audio turned up? Isn’t that what stoplights are for?

9. Toothbrush. Live with someone? Borrow theirs to make it even. Don’t tell them, though. Especially if you practice tossing them and it lands in the toilet. People are sensitive about that.

10. Visit the music store, man! Practice on the stuff you dream of owning someday! Best thing is, you don’t have to dress up, since all the real rich rockers look just like we do, ripped jeans and T-shirt. All they have to do is check out your arm muscles to know you’re for real.

In conclusion, may I say: party hard but respect your neighbors. And most of all…drum on!

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June 20, 2019 in Music

Explicit Canadian workplace safety ads pulled from TV due to Christmas season

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Controversial and explicit Canadian workplace safety ads have been pulled from television, and paper ads from some bus shelters for the Christmas season. However, the ads will return to air in January.

“It’s totally erroneous to suggest we’re pulling anything,” chairman of the Workplace Safety and Information Board of Ontario, Steve Mahoney said. “Our plan from Day 1 was to stop the ads around the middle of December when most of the advertising that’s in the media is focused on Christmas and purchasing gifts. We just didn’t want to be competing with all that stuff.”

In one of the TV ads a woman accidentally slips on grease on the floor and a large steaming pot falls onto her face, and she starts screaming to death. The ads end with the message “There really are no accidents”.

A paper ads shows a construction worker who is in a pool of blood with a forklift operation manual stuck in his chest. Another with a man who is slit by a “Danger” sign with his leg stuck in a machine. They show the messages: “Lack of training can kill” and the other “Ignoring safety procedures can kill”.

“The critics amount to about 25 per cent rating, and I’m delighted they’re upset about the ads because I wouldn’t want anyone to enjoy watching them.”

The videos have been viewed more than 70,000 times on the Board’s website and are gaining large amounts of views on YouTube.

The transit authorities of Hamilton and Mississauga will show modified advertisements. The transit authority of Guelph will show the ads in bus shelters, but the transit authority of Windsor will not because of the graphic nature.

“We’re not against workplace safety, but this is too graphic,” said Caroline Postma, chair of the Transit Windsor board.

Mississauga city councillour Carolyn Parrish said: “My son-in-law was telling me that they shouldn’t be on in prime time because when [my grandson] watches them he just about bursts into tear. Now he follows his mom around the kitchen to make sure she doesn’t spill grease. And he’s only four. There’s too much of a chance that … people are really badly affected by it, and can’t really do anything about it anyway.” She suggested the ads only be aired to workers with the jobs shown in the commercials.

Mahoney changed the earlier promise to air the ads only after 8:00pm to after 9:00pm at last nights meeting with Mississauga city council.

Mahoney said the commercials and paper ads are not “too graphic at all”. And they are “absolutely appropriate and they’re doing what they’re intended to do, they’re creating what I call a water cooler topic of conversation.”

Ninety-eight Canadian workers so far have been killed on the job this year.

June 19, 2019 in Uncategorized

Clash of cultures: Somali and Latino workers at U.S. meat packing plants

Friday, October 17, 2008

Muslim Somali workers at a meat packing plant in Grand Island, Nebraska wanted to pray. Their colleagues from Latin America wanted to work. A dispute over the company’s break schedule led to formal discrimination claims, mass job walk-offs and public protests by both sides last month, and a reported 200 firings.

Tensions at the plant began after a Federal government raid in December 2006 removed 200 undocumented workers. An equal number of employees quit shortly afterward. Altogether, six government immigration raids at meat packing plants of Brazilian-owned JBS Swift & Co. had removed 1,200 employees from the company’s work force, which caused substantial production problems. Management at the Nebraska plant responded by hiring approximately 400 Somali immigrants who resided in the United States legally as political refugees. Stricter Federal enforcement of immigration laws has had a significant impact on the meat packing industry because few native-born Americans are willing to work in its low-wage factories. Employers advertise to immigrant communities and after the immigration crackdowns the company turned to the Somali community, which was unlikely to be targeted for deportation.

They shouldn’t be forced to choose between their job and their religion.

Many of the new Somali workers were observant Muslims who wanted to practice the traditional religious prayer schedule, and few spoke English. The existing union contract had been negotiated before Muslims became a significant part of the factory work force, when religious needs had not been an issue, and break times were assigned according to a rigid schedule to ensure continuous production and prevent workers from working too long without a break. The sharp knives the meat packers wield for their job pose a substantial risk of accidental injury.

At first the Somali workers prayed during scheduled breaks and visits to the rest room. A few Somalis were fired for “illegal breaks” they had spent praying. Rima Kapitan, a lawyer who represents the Muslim meat packers of Grand Island, told USA Today, “they shouldn’t be forced to choose between their job and their religion.” The Somalis offered to let their employer deduct pay for time at prayer, but supervisors considered it unworkable to lose the labor of hundreds of people simultaneously, even if the interruptions lasted less than five minutes.

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Plant worker Fidencio Sandoval, a naturalized United States citizen who was born in Mexico, had polite reservations. “I kind of admire all the effort they make to follow that religion, but sometimes you have to adapt to the workplace.” An immigrant from El Salvador was less sympathetic. “They used to go to the bathroom,” said José Amaya, “but actually they’re praying and the rest of us have to do their work.” Raul A. García, a 73-year-old Mexican meat packer, told The New York Times, “The Latino is very humble, but they [the Somalis] are arrogant… They act like the United States owes them.”

Differences of opinion arose over whether the prayers, which are a religious obligation five times a day for practicing Muslims and vary in exact time according the position of the sun, constitute a reasonable accommodation or an undue burden upon non-Muslim coworkers. Abdifatah Warsame, a Somali meat packer, told The New York Times that “Latinos were sometimes saying, ‘Don’t pray, don’t pray’”.

I kind of admire all the effort they make to follow that religion, but sometimes you have to adapt to the workplace.

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approached during 2007 the Somalis requested time off for religious reasons. Observant Muslims fast throughout daylight hours during Ramadan. Management refused, believing it would affect the production line. Dozens of Somali workers quit their jobs temporarily in protest. Negotiations between the Somali workers and management broke down in October 2007. Some of the fired Somalis filed religious discrimination complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Problems resurfaced after September 10, 2008 when Somali workers approached plant general manager Dennis Sydow with a request to start their dinner half an hour before the usual schedule in order to break their Ramadan fast closer to sundown. Sydow refused due to concern the request would slow production and burden non-Muslim workers. During the same month a Somali woman complained that a plant supervisor had kicked her while she was praying. The union investigated the charge and the supervisor responded that he had not seen her while she bent in prayer and had only kicked the cardboard that was underneath her.

Somali workers walked out on strike September 15 and protested at Grand Island City Hall, asking for prayer time. The following day the union brokered a compromise with plant management to move the dinner break by 15 minutes. Plant scheduling rules would have reduced the work day by 15 minutes with resulting loss in pay for the hourly workers.

A Somali worker, Abdalla Omar, told the press “We had complaints from the whites, Hispanics and [Christian] Sudanese“. False rumors spread about further cuts to the work day and preferential concessions to the Somalis. Over 1,000 non-Somalis staged a counterprotest on September 17. Union and management returned to the original dinner schedule. Substantial numbers of Somali workers left the plant afterward and either quit or were fired as a result. Sources differ as to the number of Somalis who still work at the plant: The New York Times reports union leadership as saying 300 remain, while Somali community leaders assert the number is closer to 100.

The EEOC has sent staff to determine whether treatment of Somali workers has been in compliance with the The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under the law, employers must make reasonable accommodation for religious practices, but the law grants exceptions if religious practice places substantial hardship on an employer’s business.

Doug Schult, the JBS Swift manager in charge of labor relations, expressed frustration at the inability to resolve the problem, which had surfaced in a Colorado plant as well as the Nebraska plant. He told The Wall Street Journal that his office had spent months trying to understand and comply with new EEOC guidelines in light of conflicting pressures. Local union chapter president Daniel O. Hoppes of United Food and Commercial Workers worries that similar problems could continue to arise at the plant. “Right now, this is a real kindling box”.

June 17, 2019 in Uncategorized

Canada’s St. Paul’s West (Ward 21) city council candidates speak

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is St. Paul’s West (Ward 21). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include John Adams, Tony Corpuz, Joe Mihevc (incumbent), and John Sewell.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

June 14, 2019 in Uncategorized

Make Sure To Take Advantage Of All That Gaithersburg Has To Offer

byAlma Abell

If you are choosing Gaithersburg, Maryland as your next destination point, you have made a great choice indeed. Situated in the heart of an area that is known for its charm, this is a city that has plenty for you to do and see. Gaithersburg is known as one of the four largest cities in the state of Maryland and is close enough to Washington D.C. to be considered part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metropolitan area. With great historical structures to see and tour, a large city district, and hundreds of things to do and see, there is no doubt you will leave well satisfied with your visit. Here are a few things that you want to make sure you do not miss while you are in the area.

Take Advantage of Fantastic Lodging Opportunities

When it comes to places to rest your head after a long day of sightseeing in the Gaithersburg area, you will have no shortage of choices. Whether you are looking for something that offers the country charm of a bed and breakfast or a more modernistic hotel, you can find just what you like here. From upscale five star hotels to small and quint cabins, there is no shortage of lodging choices when you arrive. The best part is, many offer highly competitive pricing for guests in comparison to some of the surrounding areas. Therefore, your stay in the area may not cost as much as you would expect.

Satisfy Your Cravings At Seafood Restaurants In Gaithersburg

With Gaithersburg located so conveniently near the bays that were made popular for fresh seafood, there is no doubt you will get the chance to enjoy a wide array of seafood restaurants in Gaithersburg. It will not matter of you crave fresh crab legs at a nice pub or a higher class dining experience, you will find just what you want in the area. In fact, the city is well known for its wide array of seafood eateries.

With great touring opportunities, fantastic lodging, and incredible seafood, there is little to not like about the Gaithersburg area. If you enjoy all of this, you are sure to enjoy your trip to the area. You may even find that you have discovered a new favorite vacation spot for you and your family.

June 12, 2019 in Food

New policy at Madani High School requires non-Muslim girls to wear hijabs

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The hijab, or “Muslim headscarf”, is an item of clothing which is regarded by some Muslims as “compulsory” for women to wear. But for the first time in Britain, a Muslim school has declared that all girl students, including non-Muslims, will be required to wear the hijab.

Ten-percent of places at the Madani High School, a new school, will be allocated to students who are not of the Islamic faith, meaning that there will be 60 places for non-Muslim girls, who will all be expected to wear the headscarf.

The school asserts that it may require the headscarf as part of the uniform. The Commission for Racial Equality responded that the school should consider all pupils when putting together a uniform policy.

Shadow education secretary David Willetts said the move would “harm hopes of integrating communities and drive non-Muslims away”.

Earlier this month Jack Straw called upon Muslim women not to wear the veil (know as a Burqa or Niqab) when meeting with MPs, saying its makes relations between different communities more difficult.

June 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/AL-KY

See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list and for an alphabetically arranged listing of schools.

Due to the damage by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding, a number of colleges and universities in the New Orleans metropolitan area will not be able to hold classes for the fall 2005 semester. It is estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 students have been displaced. [1]. In response, institutions across the United States and Canada are offering late registration for displaced students so that their academic progress is not unduly delayed. Some are offering free or reduced admission to displaced students. At some universities, especially state universities, this offer is limited to residents of the area.

Contents

  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Alabama
  • 3 Alaska
  • 4 Arizona
  • 5 Arkansas
  • 6 California
  • 7 Colorado
  • 8 Connecticut
  • 9 Delaware
  • 10 District of Columbia
  • 11 Florida
  • 12 Georgia
  • 13 Hawaii
  • 14 Idaho
  • 15 Illinois
  • 16 Indiana
  • 17 Iowa
  • 18 Kansas
  • 19 Kentucky
June 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

Wikinews Shorts: June 4, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, June 4, 2007.

MediaCorp Radio in Singapore has been fined 15,000 Singaporean dollars (US$9,800) over an on-air stunt in March in which female guests on a radio show were asked to remove their brassieres, and pose for video that was to be posted on the station’s website and on YouTube.

The Media Development Authority said the radio show’s hosts made improper and sexually suggestive remarks about “how fast the bras were removed, as well as the color, design and cup size of the bras, and the size of the girls’ breasts.”

Sources


Researchers at University of Malaya say they have developed an erectile dysfunction cure from walnut extract.

“It takes about an hour for the effects to set in and it will last for about four hours,” said Professor Dr. Kim Kah Hwi of the Faculty of Medicine Physiology.

So far, 40 volunteers have tried the Viagra alternative, called “N-Hanz”, with positive results, Kim said. To make one pill, it takes about 3.3 kilograms (about 7 pounds) of walnuts.

Sources


An 8-year-old Indonesian boy died after being attacked on Saturday by a Komodo Dragon at Komodo National Park on Komodo.

The boy was attacked while making a toilet stop in a bush, a park official said. “The dragon bit his waist, tossed him and dragged him. His right leg was badly scratched,” park spokesman Heru Rudiharto said. The boy then bled to death.

Attacks by Dragons on humans are rare, though the reptiles, which can grow to a length of 3 meters (9 feet), regularly kill such prey as pigs and small deer. Komodo Dragons are an endangered and protected species, and about 2,000 of them live in the wild, mainly on Komodo and nearby Rinca island.

Sources


June 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

Ford’s US auto sales spike, surpassing GM

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ford Motor Company said on Tuesday that its sales in the United States rose 43% in February compared to the same period last year, as the automaker outsold rivals Toyota and General Motors.

The strength of our new products … are resonating with customers

Ford said that total sales improved to 142,285 units, compared to 141,951 units sold by GM. Additionally, Ford said that its share of the total US car market rose to 17%, up from 14% a year ago. The increase was better than analysts had predicted, and Ford’s stock rose to a five-year high in morning trading, before declining later in the day. Ford’s sales were significantly influenced by a 74% increase in fleet sales to businesses. Rental car agencies alone accounted for around 30,000 units sold. Sales to retail consumers increased only 28%.

The increases were led by sales of two sedans, the Fusion and Taurus, which rose 166.5 and 93.3% respectively, although sales of other models such as SUVs and pickup trucks also increased. Both models were significantly redesigned last year, and analysts said that improved quality from such cars were driving the increases.

Other companies also reported February sales today, nearly all reporting sales gains as well, although none as large as those of Ford. Toyota was the sole exception to the sales gains, as their sales declined 8.7%, as the company was faced with a global recall during the month that led to a temporary stoppage of production for some models.

“The strength of our new products … are resonating with customers,” said Ken Czubay, Ford’s vice president of sales and marketing. However, he believed that traditional Toyota customers were not buying rival autos, but rather awaiting the results from the recalls.

June 7, 2019 in Uncategorized