Female termites found to clone themselves via asexual reproduction

first_img © 2014 Phys.org (Phys.org) —A pair of researches with Kyoto University has found how the queen of one species of termite, Reticulitermes speratus, ensures her genetic lineage continues by creating duplicate copies of herself. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Toshihisa Yashiro and Kenji Matsuura describe the study they carried out that showed how queens in such colonies reproduce themselves. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Birds do it, bees do it; termites don’t, necessarily Explore further A soldier termite (Macrotermitinae) in the Okavango Delta. Credit: Wikipediacenter_img Scientists have known since 2009 that R. speratus queens created fatherless offspring which became queens themselves, but until now, the mechanism by which that came about has been a mystery. In this new effort, the researchers took a new look at the structure of the eggs laid by the queen to discover the difference between future queens and ordinary termites. Close inspection revealed tiny channels through the outer lining of the eggs called micropyles. The channels serve as an entry point for sperm, which the queen deposits on the eggs (after obtaining it from a male). Interestingly, the research pair found that the number of micropyles for any given egg appeared to be random, from one to more than thirty—the average was nine. Even more interesting was that the team soon learned that sometimes there were no micropyles at all in some eggs, which would of course mean that no sperm could enter to fertilize its contents—and the egg still matured and wound up in the creation of offspring. That offspring, because it had no DNA from a male, grew into a new queen. Such a process means that the females are fully in control of both sexual and asexual reproduction.Further study revealed that the queen only produces eggs with no microplyes when she gets older (females live on average for 11 years) thus, they serve as a means of queen replacement in a colony. This form of asexual reproduction called parthenogenesis is not unheard of in the animal kingdom—several other types of insects, lizards and even sharks use it as a form of reproduction. But this was the first time it’s been seen in termites as a form of self-cloning. The authors note that because the offspring that are born as clones eventually reproduce themselves too, and so on and on, the original queen can be considered genetically immortal. More information: Termite queens close the sperm gates of eggs to switch from sexual to asexual reproductionб Toshihisa Yashiro, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1412481111AbstractMales and females are in conflict over genetic transmission in the evolution of parthenogenesis, because it enhances female reproductive output but deprives the males’ genetic contribution. For males, any trait that coerces females into sexual reproduction should increase their fitness. However, in the termite Reticulitermes speratus, queens produce their replacements (neotenic queens) parthenogenetically while using normal sexual reproduction to produce other colony members. Here, we show that termite queens produce parthenogenetic offspring in the presence of kings by closing the micropyles (sperm gates; i.e., openings for sperm entry) of their eggs. Our field survey showed that termite eggs show large variation in numbers of micropyles, with some having none. Microsatellite analysis showed that embryos of micropyleless eggs develop parthenogenetically, whereas those of eggs with micropyles are fertilized and develop sexually. Surveys of eggs among queens of different age groups showed that queens begin to lay micropyleless eggs when they are older and thus, need to produce their replacements parthenogenetically. In addition, we found clear seasonality in new neotenic queen differentiation and micropyleless egg production. This micropyle-dependent parthenogenesis is the first identification, to our knowledge, of the mechanism through which females control egg fertilization over time in diploid animals, implying a novel route of the evolution of parthenogenesis in favor of female interests without interference from males. Citation: Female termites found to clone themselves via asexual reproduction (2014, November 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-11-female-termites-clone-asexual-reproduction.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceslast_img read more

Carbon doped with nitrogen dramatically improves storage capacity of supercapacitors

first_img More information: T. Lin et al. Nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon of extraordinary capacitance for electrochemical energy storage, Science (2015). DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3798ABSTRACTCarbon-based supercapacitors can provide high electrical power, but they do not have sufficient energy density to directly compete with batteries. We found that a nitrogen-doped ordered mesoporous few-layer carbon has a capacitance of 855 farads per gram in aqueous electrolytes and can be bipolarly charged or discharged at a fast, carbon-like speed. The improvement mostly stems from robust redox reactions at nitrogen-associated defects that transform inert graphene-like layered carbon into an electrochemically active substance without affecting its electric conductivity. These bipolar aqueous-electrolyte electrochemical cells offer power densities and lifetimes similar to those of carbon-based supercapacitors and can store a specific energy of 41 watt-hours per kilogram (19.5 watt-hours per liter). This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working in China has found a way to dramatically improve the energy storage capacity of supercapacitors—by doping carbon tubes with nitrogen. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their process and how well the newly developed supercapacitors worked, and their goal of one day helping supercapacitors compete with batteries. Journal information: Science Like a battery, a capacitor is able to hold a charge, unlike a battery, however, it is able to be charged and discharged very quickly—the down side to capacitors is that they cannot hold nearly as much charge per kilogram as batteries. The work by the team in China is a step towards increasing the amount of charge that can be held by supercapacitors (capacitors that have much higher capacitance than standard capacitors—they generally employ carbon-based electrodes)—in this case, they report a threefold increase using their new method—noting also that that their supercapacitor was capable of storing 41 watt-hours per kilogram and could deliver 26 kilowatts per kilogram to a device.The new supercapacitor was made by first forming a template made of tubes of silica. The team then covered the inside of the tubes with carbon using chemical vapor deposition and then etched away the silica, leaving just the carbon tubes, each approximately 4 to 6 nanometers in length. Then, the carbon tubes were doped with nitrogen atoms. Electrodes were made from the resulting material by pressing it in powder form into a graphene foam. The researchers report that the doping aided in chemical reactions within the supercapacitor without causing any changes to its electrical conductivity, which meant that it was still able to charge and discharge as quickly as conventional supercapcitors. The only difference was the dramatically increased storage capacity.Because of the huge increase in storage capacity, the team believes they are on the path to building a supercapacitor able to compete directly with batteries, perhaps even lithium-ion batteries. They note that would mean being able to charge a phone in mere seconds. But before that can happen, the team is looking to industrialize their current new supercapacitor, to allow for its use in actual devices.center_img Graphene and metal nitrides improve the performance and stability of energy storage devices Explore further Citation: Carbon doped with nitrogen dramatically improves storage capacity of supercapacitors (2015, December 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-carbon-doped-nitrogen-storage-capacity.html Fabrication schematic of ordered mesoporous fewlayer carbon (OMFLC). Credit: Science (2015). DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3798last_img read more

Wall carvings in Saudi Arabia appear to offer earliest depiction of dogs

first_imgRock art at Shuwaymis appears to show two dogs leashed to a hunter. Credit: M. Guagnin et al., Journal Of Anthropological Archaeology, 5, 2017 (Phys.org)—A combined team of researchers from Max Planck University and the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage has documented what might be the oldest depictions of dogs by human beings. In their paper published in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology , the team describes the wall engravings and the means by which they attempted to date them. The researchers note that the dogs depicted in the rock bear a striking resemblance to modern Canaan dogs, which still live a feral existence in the area. They also acknowledge that a lot more research is required before a consensus can be reached regarding the age of the engravings. Prior research has suggested that humans first arrived in what is now Saudi Arabia approximately 10,000 years ago. Those first visitors were believed to be hunter-gatherers—researchers have found images of them carved into stone walls in the area. Prior research has also found evidence that people in the area domesticated animals and became herders approximately 7000 to 8000 years ago. They, too, have been depicted in stone etchings, and researchers have also found the bones of some of their livestock. Now, it appears that during the time between these two periods, people may have domesticated dogs and used them to hunt other animals for food. This new evidence is part of a collection of stone carvings the team has been studying at two sites in Saudi Arabia: Jubbah and Shuwaymis.The stone carvings depict hunters, armed with bows, surrounded by dogs, some of which appear to be tethered to the waists of their human masters. It is not currently possible to directly date stone carvings, of course, so the researchers had to use other types of evidence. They noted the weathering of the rock, for example, which can be used as an approximate aging test. But more importantly, they noted the location of the engravings and the sequence of engravings in the area. Those depicting tamed, leashed dogs appear to occur in a general timeline from approximately 8000 years ago. If the age of the engravings can be confirmed, it would push back the earliest depiction of leashed dogs by approximately 3000 years. © 2017 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Science Like humans, dogs found to have fitful sleep after negative experiences Citation: Wall carvings in Saudi Arabia appear to offer earliest depiction of dogs (2017, November 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-11-wall-saudi-arabia-earliest-depiction.html More information: David Grimm. Oldest images of dogs show hunting, leashes, Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6365.854 Maria Guagnin et al. Pre-Neolithic evidence for dog-assisted hunting strategies in Arabia, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.jaa.2017.10.003 , www.sciencedirect.com/science/ … ii/S0278416517301174 Explore furtherlast_img read more

Why You Should Try to Be a Little More Scarce

first_imgLuckily for us, according to experts, it’s possible to harness this concept and increase our appeal in things like negotiations and career advancement. So if you find yourself becoming overzealous over every little opportunity that comes your way, here are a few ways to keep things in balance: Read the whole story: The New York Times And while conventional wisdom tells us we should eagerly embrace every opportunity that comes our way, playing a little hard to get has its advantages. “What the scarcity principle says is that people are more attracted to those options or opportunities that are rare, unique or dwindling in availability,” Dr. Cialdini said. The reason behind this idea has to do with the psychology of “reactance”: Essentially, when we think something is limited to us, we tend to want it more. Back in college, I was always the first to raise my hand in class (a behavior that didn’t win me many friends, let me tell you). Now as a freelance writer, I’m no stranger to that same overeagerness when it comes to work — translated in prompt replies and more than the occasional emoji. Emails, tweets, Slack messages — you name it — being affable and amenable is kind of my thing. Study after study has shown that opportunities are seen to be more valuable as they become less available, meaning that people want more of what they can’t have, according to Robert Cialdini, a leading expert on influence and the author of “Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.”last_img read more

Beer buddies ahoy

first_imgCome summer, and the papers are abuzz with how beer consumption in increasing in Delhi and surroundings. Indeed, beer is Delhi’s favourite drink. Which is why it is baffling to see that most people are content with prepackaged stuff that is available over the counter and not bother to check out the fresh beer that some city bars are pouring out. For the Capital, a microbrewery is nothing new. They have been around for some time. But strangely, they have failed to kick up the storm that they are supposed to. Instead of playing on their USP — selling fresh beer that is made right there is their premises — microbreweries are now attempting to be more inclusive in the effort to attract a larger clientele. Of course, survival is essential, but at the cost of their USP? My vote will go against that. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ This thought revisited me when I visited the microbrewery Lemp Brewpub and Kitchen in Gurgaon. More so because Gurgaon is ‘supposedly’ a more cosmopolitan place with mostly a young crowd. Spread over a fairly large area, Lemp gives off a good vibe. When I entered, there was pulsating music but the bar had only a handful of people nursing their drinks. The seating is comfy and there is even space to create a dance floor on special nights. The menu is (like almost every place these days) a mish mash of Mediterranean, Chinese, Italian and Punjabi. And their food is quite good. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix But what you should focus on are the beers they make right there after an elaborate process that takes months. Pair them with the delicious wood-fired pizzas they have and you have a winning combo there.  But just in case you aren’t a beer lover who found yourself there thanks to friends, I’d say fret not. Just switch on the swish tablet and choose yourself some of the very nice cocktails that they make. I for one, was very happy with them. DETAILAt: Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen, 2nd Floor, Star Mall, Sector 30, South City 1, Gurgaon Timings: Noon to midnight Phone:  30146022 Meal for two: Rs 1,400 approxlast_img read more

And all that Jazz

first_imgThe 3rd Delhi International Jazz Festival, organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) features 10 bands from 10 countries and 4 bands from India this year and kicked off Friday, 15 March. The festival will be held at Nehru Park, New Delhi from 15-18 March, 2013 and is the largest ever jazz festival, with performances across four days.The first 3 Day International Jazz Festival was conceived by ICCR as a gift to Delhi on its Centenary. The Festival is  a ‘tool of cultural contact’ spanning Asia, Africa, North America and Europe, the festival weaves together the message of music and culture. The festival is held within the lush green environs of Nehru Park with mesmerizing music playing under the stars, to delighted audiences. As part of the inclusive nature of the festival, entry is free. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ ‘Every major city such as Montreal, London, Stockholm and Edinburgh has a world class Jazz Festival that is not just named after the city but almost defines its cultural ethos. With a truly International Jazz Festival Delhi has been included in this list to make it a truly world class city,’ said Dr. Suresh K Goel, Director General ICCR.‘The Delhi International Jazz Festival has put Delhi on the Jazz map of the World and made it a veritable International cultural destination. It has become an annual feature and has now been firmly established as an iconic event in Delhi’s cultural calendar. The festival at Nehru Park would have well-known names such as New Bone Quintet Band from Poland, Sindi & Mimi from South Africa, Ararat from Israel, Sachal Vasandani from the USA, Imany from France, Malcom Braff Trio from Switzerland etc,’ added Goel. The festival always had support from France and has participation from USA for the first time will also include well-known Indian bands such as Louiz Banks, Dhruv Ghanekar, Toshanbar and Radha Thomas ensemble.last_img read more

Freak show comes to town

first_imgKryder, mysterious and anonymous, with his dwarf sidekick – the classically-trained Dokta Kaotika – and a circus freak show entourage is all set to hit the city on Saturday at Kitty Su. Kyoas Entertainment brings this out-of-the-box producer to the Capital to give the party people a taste of the epic Miami monster anthem. Tiesto signed Kryder’s track (K2) to his Musical Freedom label and played it consistently in his sets during his North American tour. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’K2 was successfully promoted during the Miami Winter Music Conference, receiving massive support from the likes of Swedish House Mafia, as one of the key WMC tracks. Kryder has a deep, underground edge; progressive house overlaid with trance chords. Millennium Post caught up with the man himself before he gets busy. Here are excerpts from the conversation…When did you start with this career? Tell us about yourself!It started a long time ago as a hobby and with a genuine passion for dance music, I then took to DJing when I was 12 , landing my first residency when I was 15 ! At 17 I took a diploma in music tech in London, At 20 years old I moved to Ibiza for a season. I’ve been involved in dance music most of my life. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHow has the journey been? Tell us about the best and the worst times so far.Best times are obviously getting to travel around the world and do something I love, meeting new people , playing to amazing crowds , worst times are not  experiencing it without the people you love.How do you like the music scene in India?This will be my first time in India so its hard for me to comment on that but I’ve heard great things !What songs top your own playlist right now? Define your music philosophy for us. I really like high energy house music I’m currently hammering my new track Aphrodite which is coming out soon on Axwells Axtone Records, plus a remix on a track called H8rs made with Tom Staar which will be out soon on size records, It always goes down well.How has the party music scene changed from the time you started?It’s got a lot bigger maybe that’s because I’m seeing it in different countries now but it’s also gone full circle it started off very underground in warehouses , then moved into big clubs and festivals and now people are throwing warehouse parties again !Do you see a change in the music trend across the world? After EDM what do you think is going to be the next big thing in music?Let me look into my crystal balls….. haa hopefully the whole EDM explosion will open up the doors for people to explore more underground and up coming artists and support smaller independent record labels.Is this the first time you are performing here in India? What are you expecting from the crowds?Yes this is my first time and I’m really looking forward to it, a few of my friends have played in India and have only said great things about the scene over there, so I’m very excited.last_img read more

Why we avoid taking stairs

first_imgClose proximity of a staircase to an escalator that seems so much faster and more convenient, discourages people from making the healthy decision of taking the stairs, says a study.To make sure that people take the stairs while shopping in a mall or in the metro station, you just have to make sure that the stairs are far, far away from the escalator, said the study published in the journal Environment and Behaviour.The study by researchers from Concordia University in Canada and Peking University in China looked at how location, height and traffic volume dictate pedestrian choices. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Environmental factors have been explicitly identified as having an impact on stair-climbing, including the visibility of the stairway and its width,” said study senior author John Zacharias from the University of Peking.“This study shows that staircase location is just as important, and should be factored in when planning new buildings.” The researchers monitored 13 stairways and 12 pairs of escalators in seven connected shopping centres in Montreal, Canada. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixA total of 33,793 pedestrians were counted ascending or descending over 35 days.When the researchers examined the data, they found that increasing the distance between a stairway and an escalator by 100 per cent, accounted for 71 per cent of variance when shoppers were going up, and 21 per cent of variance when they were going down. Overall, that is a 95 per cent increase in stair use, the study said.last_img read more

Believe it Washing dishes reduces stress

first_imgIf a look at the piling dishes in the kitchen sink after a long day gives you a headache, just take a deep breath and plunge into action. New research has found that washing dishes with full concentration may calm the mind and reduce your stress.The study looked at whether washing dishes could be used as an informal contemplative practice that promotes a positive state of mindfulness —a meditative method of focusing attention on the emotions and thoughts of the present moment. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“I was particularly interested in how the mundane activities in life could be used to promote a mindful state and, thus, increase overall sense of well-being,” said one of the study’s authors Adam Hanley from Florida State University in the US.“We hypothesised that, relative to a control condition, participants receiving mindful dishwashing instruction would evidence greater state mindfulness, attentional awareness, and positive affect, as well as reduce negative affect and lead to overestimations of time spent dishwashing,” the researchers said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAfter conducting a study with 51 students, the researchers found that mindful dishwashers — those who focused on the smell of the soap, the warmth of the water, the feel of the dishes — reported a decrease in nervousness by 27 percent and an increase in mental inspiration by 25 percent. The control group, on the other hand, did not experience any benefits. Implications for these findings are diverse and suggest that mindfulness as well as positive affect could be cultivated through intentionally engaging in a broad range of activities, said the study was published in the journal Mindfulness.last_img read more

Morocco inaugurates tourist office in New Delhi

first_imgMohammed Sajid, Minister of Tourism and Air Transport of the Kingdom of Morocco, announced the opening of first tourism office in New Delhi, India, recently. Morocco in an endeavour to double its tourist footfall from India by 2019, has set up a full-fledged Moroccan National Tourism office in New Delhi as the first step towards promotion of Morocco as a desirable destination for Indians.”This office will help us in planning various strategic promotional and awareness programs to tap the robust tourism sector in India”, the minister said. He further stressed that Morocco is keen to enhance its cooperation with India in the tourism sector, in harmony with its new orientation towards emerging as a preferred destination outside the traditional asian tourist market.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelfMoroccan-Indian relations are getting stronger, as Morocco prepares to implement several measures to welcome more Indian tourists in 2019. Tourism remains a vital pillar of the Moroccan economy and the country’s second biggest employer after agriculture, while India is the fastest growing outbound market after China with UNTWO predicting 50 million travelers by 2020. With 7% GDP global growth rate, rising personal income levels and changing lifestyles and a huge middle class with the availability of low-cost airfares and diverse travel packages, India is rapidly Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsivebecoming one of the fastest growing outbound travel markets in the world. Indian tourists are among the world’s highest-spending globetrotters. Their spending power has been estimated to be four times that of the Chinese and Japanese. Mohammed Sajid, Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy of the Kingdom of Morocco, is on an official visit to India, along with an important delegation including Adel El Fakir, Director General of the Moroccan National Tourism Office, Imad Barakka, Director General of Moroccan Society of Tourism Engineering, Zakaria Belghazi, Director General of Civil Aviation and Fatima Zahra Jabri, Head of the Department of Partnership in Royal Air Maroc.last_img read more

Few drinks may change how memories are formed

first_imgJust a few drinks in an evening may change how memories are formed at the fundamental, molecular level, a study suggests. One of the many challenges with battling alcohol addiction and other substance abuse disorders is the risk of relapse, even after progress towards recovery, said researchers from Brown University in the US. Even pesky fruit flies have a hankering for alcohol, and because the molecular signals involved in forming flies’ reward and avoidance memories are much the same as those in humans, they are a good model for study. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe study, published in the journal Neuron, in flies found that alcohol hijacks this memory formation pathway and changes the proteins expressed in the neurons, forming cravings. Researchers uncovered the molecular signalling pathways and changes in gene expression involved in making and maintaining reward memories. “One of the things I want to understand is why drugs of abuse can produce really rewarding memories when they’re actually neurotoxins,” said Karla Kaun, an assistant professor at Brown University. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveLed by Emily Petruccelli, who is now an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University in the US, the team used genetic tools to selectively turn off key genes while training the flies where to find alcohol. This enabled them to see what proteins were required for this reward behaviour. One of the proteins responsible for the flies’ preference for alcohol is Notch, the researchers found. Notch is the first “domino” in a signalling pathway involved in embryo development, brain development and adult brain function in humans and all other animals. Molecular signalling pathways are not unlike a cascade of dominos – when the first domino falls (in this case, the biological molecule activates), it triggers more that trigger more and so on. One of the downstream dominos in the signalling pathway affected by alcohol is a gene called dopamine-2-like receptor, which makes a protein on neurons that recognises dopamine, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter. “The dopamine-2-like receptor is known to be involved in encoding whether a memory is pleasing or aversive,” Petruccelli said. Alcohol hijacks this conserved memory pathway to form cravings. In the case of the alcohol reward pathway studied, the signalling cascade didn’t turn the dopamine receptor gene on or off, or increase or decrease the amount of protein made, Kaun said. Instead, it had a subtler effect – it changed the version of the protein made by a single amino acid “letter” in an important area. “We don’t know what the biological consequences of that small change are, but one of the important findings from this study is that scientists need to look not only at which genes are being turned on and off, but which forms of each gene are getting turned on and off,” Kaun said. “We think these results are highly likely to translate to other forms of addiction, but nobody has investigated that,” she said. Kaun is working with John McGeary, assistant professor at Brown, to look at DNA samples from patients with alcohol abuse disorders to see if they have genetic polymorphisms in any of the craving-related genes discovered in flies. “If this works the same way in humans, one glass of wine is enough to activate the pathway, but it returns to normal within an hour,” Kaun said. “After three glasses, with an hour break in between, the pathway doesn’t return to normal after 24 hours. We think this persistence is likely what is changing the gene expression in memory circuits,” said Kaun. “Just something to keep in mind the next time you split a bottle of wine with a friend or spouse,” she said.last_img read more

Man wanted for TMC workers murder held in Chhattisgarh

first_imgBilaspur: A man was arrested from Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur city in connection with the killing of a Trinamool Congress worker in West Bengal on June 4, police said Sunday. TMC worker Nirmal Kundu was shot dead by unidentified bike-borne persons in Nimta area of north Dum Dum municipality, part of North 24 Paraganas district and the area under the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. The accused, Sudip Das, was nabbed by a team of the West Bengal Police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID) on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday from the house of a relative of his friend in Chilhati village here, SHO of Sarkanda Police Station Santosh Jain said. “The Kolkata Police got a tip-off about Das’ presence in Sarkanda, following which they alerted us. A raid was carried out and he was nabbed,” Jain added. The Kolkata Police got Das’ transit remand from a local court on Saturday and took him to West Bengal on Sunday for further investigation, he added.last_img read more

The Legend of Sybil Ludington Teenage Revolutionary War Rider

first_imgIn the beginnings of the Revolutionary War, messengers on horseback were extremely important. Famous riders like Paul Revere were tasked with traveling across the colonies, giving warning that the British troops were on the move. Indeed, the famous poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, by Longfellow, gave credence to the daring exploits of a man willing to risk life and limb, traveling long and far to alarm the country about incoming danger.Paul RevereYet, Paul Revere was not the only messenger who alarmed colonists of the movement of the British soldiers. While he is certainly the most famous, due to the poem that was written about him, his work was not unique. There were others who served their country by riding horseback to give a warning about approaching soldiers. One such story was about the young Sybil Ludington.As the tale goes, Sybil, born in Fredericksburg, New York, in 1761, was only 16-years-old when word reached her that British soldiers were on the march. Their aim was to attack a supply depot in Danbury, Connecticut. Her father, the leader of a nearby militia, would need to be alarmed of such an attack. And so, the lone teenage girl climbed atop her horse and rode to warn the city of Danbury.Sybil Ludington commemorative stampOne story about her exploits was that when on her journey, she was accosted by several highwaymen who intended to rob her. Taking a large stick in her hand, she waylaid the bandits and continued on her journey, holding the stick in case she ran into trouble again.20th century depiction of Paul Revere’s Midnight RideThis story, while a bit fantastical, rooted itself into the legend of Sybil to the point where many depictions of her, such as in statues, show her riding her horse, wielding the wooden stick above her head.Sybil Ludington statue at the Offner Museum, Brookgreen Gardens, Myrtle Beach, SC. Photo by Doug Coldwell CC BY-SA 3.0Her journey was a long one, in fact, she traveled twice as far as Paul Revere, riding her horse a total of 40 miles through the night. On the horse named Star, Sybil rode through Putnam County and warned her father and his 400 men about the attack.Tyneham Village By DroneThe soldiers took heed of her warning and immediately began to mobilize, making their way to Danbury. While they were unable to reach the city in time to prevent the British attack, they were able to provide aid to those embroiled in the fight. In the end, the battle would be a success for the British, but such an attack would end up stirring up the Americans in Connecticut to fight back.Close-up of smaller version of statue by Anna Hyatt Huntington. Offner Museum, Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina.As for Sybil, her life became enshrouded in a combination of myth and reality. While her story, riding 40 miles in the black of night to warn about an attack, is quite incredible, there are those who argue that it never happened at all.Even though she played an important role in warning the soldiers, she wasn’t mentioned in any historical records until 1880. A book, written by Martha Lamb, drew upon many records in order to provide an account of Sybil’s life and her famous ride. Yet Martha did not provide any sources for her documentation, making the information impossible to verify.Grave of Sybil Ludington, bearing a spelling variation of her first name. Photo by Anthony22 CC BY SA 3.0So, the question remains, did a woman like Sybil Ludington really exist? Did she make a midnight ride that was twice the distance as Paul Revere at the age of 16? Or is this simply a piece of folklore, a story meant to inspire people to greatness, yet with no basis in reality? It is unclear.Read another story from us: Myths of History: Was Napoleon Bonaparte Short?The only historical evidence of this tale that we have was written by a woman who provided no sources for her conclusions. Without accurate historical records and with a startling lack of any mention in other historical sources, it’s hard to conclude that Sybil really went upon such a legendary journey.But this doesn’t stop people from taking inspiration from such a story, a tale about a young woman who knew her duty and rose up to protect her country, despite the obstacles facing her.Andrew Pourciaux is a novelist hailing from sunny Sarasota, Florida, where he spends the majority of his time writing and podcasting.last_img read more

Sir Jeffrey Hudson – Swashbuckling Court Dwarf Served in a Pie to

first_imgThe real life story of Sir Jeffrey Hudson, the court dwarf of Queen Henrietta Maria, can perhaps be compared to that of Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones. He was called a “rarity of nature,” and became a court entertainer. Later, he would be a voyager, a warrior and a slave. He was captured by pirates; he fought in the English Civil War; and he won in a duel with a full-size man.But perhaps the most remarkable detail of Jeffrey Hudson’s life is how he grew 22 inches while living as a slave in North Africa.Portrait of Jeffrey Hudson by an unknown artist.The details of his story can be found in the book Lord Minimus: The Extraordinary Life of Britain’s Smallest Man, where author Nick Page starts with the tale of Hudson’s birth on June 14, 1619, in Oakham in Rutland, England.Hudson was one of five children — his siblings all grew at average height, but Jeffrey showed signs of a growth hormone deficiency from a young age.Jeffrey Hudson.In 1626, on his seventh birthday, standing only 18 inches tall, he was presented as a “curiosity” to the Duchess of Buckingham who took him into her household.It was a custom of European courts of the time to keep little people for amusement, and the oddity of their childlike appearance and a grown man’s wit attracted kings and aristocrats alike.Queen Henrietta Maria with Sir Jeffrey Hudson by Van Dyck.Later the same year, he was presented to King Charles I and his consort, Henrietta Maria, in London. While enjoying the lavish company of the royal couple, the Duchess of Buckingham planned an entertaining surprise. Jeffery was hidden inside of a large pie which was to be served at the time the party reached its peak.Once the pie was placed in front of the king and queen, Jeffrey broke through the crust, dressed in a knight’s armor made especially for him.The queen was apparently so amused and impressed by this that she invited Hudson to London as a part of her eclectic entourage. That’s how Hudson became a resident of Denmark House in London (modern day Somerset House.)Somerset House in London on a sunny spring day.Life within the walls of Denmark House wasn’t as glamorous for Hudson as one might think. Back then, little people were treated no better than pets, as their size was interpreted as a subhuman characteristic.He was in the company of two other curiosities, a monkey named Pug, and a Welsh porter named William Evans, who was reportedly a man of such excessive growth that he was labeled a giant.Hudson and Evans developed an act in which the Hudson would emerge from the giants pocket along with a loaf of bread, which he would later use to make a sandwich.The Dwarf Geoffrey Hudson (1619-1682)During this time, people began to write poems and narratives about him. According to author Nick Page, many of these poems explicitly stated that he was only famous because of his size and remarkable proportions.But three years later, the ten-year-old became part of a much bigger world. In 1630, he was sent to France on a mission to bring the queen a midwife to aid in the delivery of her firstborn.Henrietta Maria and King Charles I with Charles, Prince of Wales, and Princess Mary, painted by Anthony van Dyck, 1633.But the return journey was a treacherous one. Dunkirk pirates captured and plundered the ship before finally releasing the crew. This was the first of many times that Hudson would be taken captive on the open sea.Seven years later, Hudson took his second trip across the English Channel. This time, he traveled with his fellow courtiers to the Netherlands to witness the Dutch in their attempt to drive out the Spanish.Jeffrey Hudson and an unidentified giant. Photo by Wellcome Collection CC-BY-4.0In 1640, as the English Civil War was brewing, Hudson traveled again to the Netherlands with Queen Henrietta Maria. Their mission was to raise money to support King Charles and the royal army. While the queen did manage to sell some belongings, she failed to gain the support of the Protestant Dutch government.When Hudson and the royal consort returned to England, they found themselves in the middle of a Civil War. As they joined the Royalist forces at Oxford, Hudson was appointed a “Captain of Horse” by Henrietta Maria.Jeffrey Hudson, aged thirty. Stipple engraving by R. Page, 1821. Photo by Wellcome collection CC-BY-4.0No record exists of whether Hudson fought or commanded his own fleet. But historians have uncovered evidence, in letters written by Henrietta Maria that Hudson was a skilled horseman and a crack shot with a firearm. In 1634, as the war worsened, the queen returned to her home in France with Hudson and the members of her house. This would mark a grim turning point in Jeffrey Hudson’s life.Related Video:Having grown weary of being known only for his novel size and proportions, Hudson started to look for other ways to prove himself worthy of fame. In October 1644, Hudson challenged one of William Croft’s brothers to a duel. A quote from The Letters of Henrietta Maria recounts this event in detail:“The giving cavalier [Croft] took no firearms, but merely a huge squirt, with which he meant at once to extinguish his small adversary and the power of his weapon. The vengeful dwarf, however, managed his good steed with sufficient address to avoid the shower aimed at himself and his loaded pistols, and, withal, to shoot his laughing adversary dead.”Jeffrey Hudson. Photo by Wellcome Images CC BY 4.0Since dueling was illegal in France, Hudson was sentenced to death for challenging and killing Croft. But the queen intervened on his behalf, and he was exiled to England instead. Months later, he was captured by Barbary pirates off the coast of France, who then sold him into slavery in North Africa.Little information exists about this time in his life, but it must have been a grave contrast from the life he was used to living in the service of the Queen.Hudson spent 25 years in slavery, and according to the 1885 Dictionary of Natural Biography, claimed to have grown 22 inches as a result of the “buggery” he was subjected to. Sir Jeffrey Hudson was eventually rescued by the English and brought home, only to be thrown into Gatehouse Prison in 1676.Relief of Jeffery Hudson, a dwarf, and Walter Parsons, a giant. Etching. Photo by Wellcome Images CC BY 4.0Little information exists about the charges that landed him in jail, other than it was due to his Catholic religion at the height of the anti-Catholic sentiment in England.Hudson’s life story would be most definitely lost if he hadn’t been interviewed by an antiquarian named James Wright who decided to make a little chronicle about this interesting little man.Read another story from us: Against All Odds: The Female Renaissance Painter who Withstood Torture to put her Abuser in JailHe spent 14 years in jail before being freed in 1679. In 1680, Sir Jeffrey Hudson died of unknown causes and was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave.last_img read more

Hidden Manuscript Shows Medieval Ireland Knew About Middle Eastern Medicine

first_imgA late medieval manuscript containing an Irish translation of Ibn Sina’s Canon of Medicine has been found hidden in the binding of a 16th century book, according to The Guardian. This remarkable discovery casts new light on the degree of connectivity between medieval Irish scholarship and scientific developments across the rest of Europe and the Middle East.The manuscript was found inside the binding of a Latin administrative manual, published in Cornwall in the 1530s. In this period, bookbinders often used old pieces of parchment or vellum as scrap material when creating the bindings for new books.A Latin copy of the Canon of Medicine, dated 1484, located at the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioIt seems that this important medieval manuscript was cut down to size, folded and stitched into the spine of the 16th century book, acting as a support for the binding.The book has been in the possession of the same family in Cornwall for almost 500 years, but it was not until they noticed the unusual binding that the Irish manuscript was discovered.Ibn Sīnā. Photo by Adam Jones CC BY-SA 2.0They photographed the vellum fragments and sent them to Professor Pádraig Ó Macháin, an expert on Irish manuscript tradition at the University of Cork.He immediately realized that the manuscript was particularly significant, describing the discovery as a hugely exciting moment, writes The Guardian.Professor Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha, of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, analyzed the text and confirmed that the document was a partial fragment of an Irish translation of Ibn Sina’s seminal work on medieval Islamic medicine.A drawing of AvicennaAlthough there are references to Ibn Sina in some medieval Irish texts, no other surviving translations of his works into Irish have survived, and until now, it was not known for certain how far his ideas had penetrated into medieval Irish science and medicine.Ibn Sina, otherwise known as Avicenna, was one of the most famous scholars of the medieval Islamic world. Born in c.980 in Bukhara, in modern-day Uzbekistan, he emerged as an incredibly influential philosopher, astronomer and physician of the Islamic Golden Age, and is widely regarded as one of the founders of modern medicine.The first page of a manuscript of Avicenna’s Canon, dated 1596/7 (Yale, Medical Historical Library, Cushing Arabic ms. 5)His monumental encyclopedia, the Canon of Medicine, was a highly popular text and was translated into multiple languages and disseminated across Europe in the medieval period. It represented a synthesis of medical knowledge from Greco-Roman, Persian and Indian sources, and remained the most popular medical textbook in Europe until the 18th century.Related Video: 24 Ultimate Shakespeare Insults and PutdownsThe Irish manuscript contains just a few tantalizing fragments of the five-volume encyclopedia, including the preface, table of contents, and an early section on the physiology of the nose, jaw and throat. However, this was sufficient for Professor Dhonnchadha to identify the source, and according to The Guardian, indicates that it seems to have come from a full translation of this colossal work into Gaelic, written down at some point in the 15th century.12th century manuscript of the Canon, kept at the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.Scholars have long believed that late medieval Ireland had a vibrant intellectual and scientific culture, and according to Professor Ó Macháin, around one quarter of the surviving manuscripts from this period contain medical content.However, much of the evidence of this important Gaelic tradition was lost in the 16th century conquest of Ireland by the English, when many important Gaelic manuscripts were destroyed.Avicenna statue in Milad Tower, Tehran, Iran. Photo by Rasulnrasul CC BY-SA 4.0This discovery sheds light on Irish science and learning, and demonstrates the far-reaching connections between medieval Ireland and the Islamic world. Medieval Irish scholars operated in an intellectual sphere that extended from the Middle East to the furthest extremities of Western Europe.This contradicts the pervasive myth that later medieval Ireland was remote and isolated. Rather, Irish scholars were connected to intellectual and scientific developments beyond their borders and successfully integrated new knowledge into their own existing traditions.Read another story from us: Hair-Raising Medieval Curses that Protected Books from PlunderThe binding has been removed and fully digitized, and can now be seen on the Irish Script on Screen website. It is hoped that further analysis of the text will reveal even more details about this exciting period in the history of medieval Irish science and learning.last_img read more

The Knicks have more past their prime talent than Caesars Palace

first_img Advertisement All of a sudden the Knicks fans have their most interesting team since they played in the Finals during the O.J. Bronco Chase. News broke today that the Knicks are expected to sign oft injured free agent forward Joakim Noah for around $18 million per year.Report: Knicks Expected to Sign Joakim Noah https://t.co/ZYeYCzBxZ1— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 30, 2016Noah has always been productive when he’s on the floor, but he’s only played in 29 games last season.  If recently acquired Derrick Rose and Noah don’t break in half, the Knicks could make the Playoffs in the feeble Eastern Conference, where there’s no clear cut second best team to eventually lose the Cavs. If the Knicks sign Noah, their lineup, including Rose, Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony would at least be interesting and have the potential to compete. It looks good on paper, where they can’t get hurt. The Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant Lakers also looked good on paper.Today in The Herd, Colin said that the Knicks are a lot like Caesar’s Palace, where you can see all the top acts five years out of their prime.“They’re not beating Cleveland, they’re not gonna beat Indiana. It’s a really fun team with a bunch of big names. I made the example earlier this week, it’s kind of what Vegas does. They bring in Elton John, and Celine Dion, and Brittany Spears. They’re past their prime, but they sell tickets. Caesar’s Palace isn’t bringing in like Kanye, maybe for a shoe line, but they’re not bringing in the top people who are red hot. Right now the Knicks are doing Caesar’s Palace.”Phil Jackson may be putting together the New York version of the 2010 NBA All Star team, but if Rose and Noah stay healthy at least the Knicks will have a pulse. It would be an improvement over the 20 car pile up that’s been on the floor at the Garden since Patrick Ewing walked out the door.“New York’s not a Destination Spot, it’s in a Desperation Spot” @ColinCowherd on @WhitlockJason‘s Kobe/Knicks theoryhttps://t.co/wEx1QDNDjm— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) June 30, 2016last_img read more

The Lakers finally have a direction now that Kobes gone

first_imgColin was shocked when he tuned in to watch the Lakers beat the Rockets in their first post-Kobe game under new head coach Luke Walton. It’s not a coincidence that all the young stars had smiles on their faces now that a diminished Kobe isn’t dominating the ball and looming over them. The Lakers appear they might finally have a direction and identity going forward now that Kobe is out of the picture. It’s about ball movement and spacing, not Kobe. Don’t get confused, the Lakers will probably win 30 games, but at least it’s entertaining.“When I watch the Lakers last night. Ball movement. Spacing. It’s not anti-Kobe, it’s a referendum against his style.”Colin is sick of people romanticizing the past in sports. Sports today has never been better. People complain just to complain. The NBA is more exciting because teams score more than 80 points. The NFL is more competitive than ever. Even the bottom feeders are relatively competitive. And sports coverage isn’t limited to just highlights, there’s more variety than ever. Opinions, debate, more networks and coverage. Stop whining.“Remember that Spike Lee, Pacers/Knicks series. ‘Oh, that was unbelievable!’ That was pro wrestling with free throws.”Colin doesn’t like the World Series format of 2-3-2, he thinks it’s a disadvantage for the team that has to play 3 home games in a row and play Game 1 of a series on the road . During this election season, Colin is proposing Prop1-2-2-2 to resolve the problem. It’s a fair deal for all Americans and needs to be passed into law by the MLB.He also thinks the World Series is going to be incredible starting in Game 3 on Friday, because of the added atmosphere that come with Wrigley Field. There are very few stadiums that really pop on television, and Wrigley is one of them.Colin thinks the idiot fan in Philly that harassed Russell Westbrook last night is an embarrassment, and a product of a social media society that is full of people who have “Loving father of three” in their Twitter profiles, but don’t hesitate to spew a constant river of toxic hate at athletes because they think it’s their right as fans.Colin has been critical of Aaron Rodgers this year, but the more he watches Green Bay, it’s clear Rodgers isn’t the problem. He doesn’t have the talent around him. The Packers have had two generationally transcendent quarterbacks with Favre and Rodgers and only have 2 Super Bowls to show for it in more than 20 years.“The question is, ‘What’s happened to Aaron Rodgers?’ Let me defend him . I don’t think Green Bay’s got the players anymore.”Surprise! Colin is releasing his NFL Week 8 Blazin’ 5 on a Thursday. He had to kick off the party a day early after going 4-1 last week.Guests:Chris Broussard – FS1 NBA Insider is in-studio talking about the different feel around the Lakers under Luke Walton, his take on the Russell Westbrook fan confrontation, why he thinks Joel Embiid could revolutionize the Center position, why Simmons and Embiid could be a dynamic combo, the word out of Golden State that the biggest concern with this team is effort, and why getting drilled by the Spurs is a good thing.Greg Cosell – Senior Producer for NFL Films and NFL Matchup stops by for his weekly visit to break down the game film from NFL Week 7, including what the film says about the Cardinals/Seahawks 6-6 tie, Andrew Luck’s recent play, Derek Carr’s areas for improvement, and what the Cowboys and Eagles need to do to get their young quarterbacks rolling on Sunday night.Nick Wright – FS1 host is in-studio to discuss the Philly fan who went over the line with Russell Westbrook, the limits on fan behavior, and why he’s officially turned against a Warriors team that he once loved.last_img read more

VIDEO Serena Williams ended up playing tennis against a random fan while

first_imgSerena Williams will take on anyone, anywhere, any time. She proved that earlier this week when she posted a video to her Snapchat of her encounter with two fans while out on a late night stroll with her finacee.She spotted the two playing under the lights on a local court and introduced herself to the stunned pair. She agreed to take on the winner while decked up in some non-tennis high fashion footwear.It was a beat-down that guy will never forget. Serena seems like good people.Watch how it all went down:This is why @serenawilliams is the GOAT! pic.twitter.com/s9heDRuOtS— TheField (@thefield_in) March 2, 2017last_img

Boost App Sales by Making the Most of the Holidays

first_img Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. December 16, 2013 4 min read Everyone in general is looking forward to the holidays, but you, the mobile app entrepreneur in particular, should be more than excited.The holiday season is a season of giving, gifting, buying and indulging. The proof is in the pudding, as Flurry estimates suggest that 17.4 million iOS and Android devices were activated on Dec. 25, 2012.And what’s a new phone without apps? On Christmas Day alone last year, new records were set when 328 million apps were downloaded worldwide for iOS and Android devices.It’s anybody’s guess what’s going to happen this year with the recent launches of iOS and Android devices creating quite a stir in the market.So you, the developer, have much to look forward to. But don’t sit back and expect people to flock to your app. Make changes and promote it to capitalize on this once-in-a-year opportunity. Here’s how.Go crazy with promotions or marketing. Whatever you’ve been doing to market your app, do it 10 times over. This is the season to make the most of, so get your A-game out.Related: 25 Creative Ways to Promote Your App For FreeCustomize your app, description and screenshots. If it ties in well with your app, go ahead and create a special holiday version or simply update it with holiday season backgrounds (think snow falling over a beautiful landscape marked with Christmas trees). If not, simply update the description to talk to holiday season shoppers and update the screenshots of your app that showcase the glee of the holidays.People naturally turn to all things associated with the holidays and this will make them more likely to download your app.Limited-time discount or free offer. If you’ve got a paid app, consider discounting the price during a certain period of the holidays, and certainly during Christmas week. You could also go all out and offer it completely free to the users. In return, you’ll have high potential for word-of-mouth publicity and an opportunity for press and blog mentions on your promotion. WhatsApp messenger was offered for free for a limited time during the holidays in 2011 and 2012.Related: How to Make Your Mobile App Stand Out in the Ever-Expanding App Market12 days of Christmas. Run a promotion on your social media channels such as Facebook or in the offline world where you give certain people your paid app as a gift every day. If your app is free, then you can gift them an amount they can redeem on the app store for movies, songs or apps. In the iTunes store, go to the bottom of the page and tap ‘Send Gift.’ Select the amount and type the email addresses of the people you wish to send the gift to. This will draw a lot of attention and publicity to your app. Google Play gift cards are available at retailers such as Walmart, Target and Sam’s Club at their outlets or through their websites.Gift virtual goodies. If your app falls in the freemium category, you can offer users a free pack of coins or some relevant virtual goodie that otherwise they would have to pay for. The idea is to generate word of mouth, which is the best way for your app to get accelerated downloads.Customize advertising. If you’re advertising your app on social channels or on other apps, customize it to suit the holiday season, not just in terms of the design, but also in terms of the messaging. For instance, pitch your app as the perfect gift to give to their friends and family.And remember to make changes before Dec. 21, when Apple shuts down iTunes Connect through Dec. 28. There are no approvals on updates, price changes or new releases during that time.Happy holidays! Related: The Psychology of Discounts and Deals (Motiongraphic) Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more