Chanderpaul quits international cricket

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC):Veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul has called time on his illustrious international career, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced late yesterday.In a release, the WICB said the 41-year-old Guyanese had given notification via email that he was no longer available for selection.Chanderpaul played a record 164 Tests, amassing 11,867 runs at an average of 51. He is second on the all-time West Indies list of run-scorers to Brian Lara who scored 11 953 runs.He also played 268 one-day internationals and 22 Twenty20 internationals.Chanderpaul was axed last May by West Indies selectors following a run of low scores but said at the time he was focused on regaining his place in the side.He represented Guyana Jaguars in the ongoing Regional Super50 in Trinidad and Tobago.last_img read more

Deep Life Is Right at Home in Total Darkness

first_imgIt seems every year scientists find organisms thriving in environments thought too inhospitable for life.  A new word was coined for these organisms: extremophiles – lovers of the extreme.  Two recent discoveries push the envelope of extreme environments almost to the deep limit.Pressurized fish:  The bottoms of the deep ocean trenches of the Pacific have never been photographed – till now.  It took Oceanlab, a robotic submarine, five hours just to reach bottom – 7700 meters down, almost five miles below the surface.  It is completely dark down there.  The pressure is so high – 8000 tonnes per square meter – it would be like 1600 elephants piled on a car.  The temperature is freezing.  Imagine the astonishment of scientists finding schools of snailfish happily feeding in social groups.  The picture is there on Science Daily.    The director of Oceanlab said, “It’s incredible…. We thought the deepest fishes would be motionless, solitary, fragile individuals eking out an existence in a food-sparse environment,” but they were agile, not fragile.  “The images show groups that are sociable and active – possibly even families – feeding on little shrimp, yet living in one of the most extreme environments on Earth.”Gold strike:  Science Daily also reported one-of-a-kind microorganisms living in a gold mine 1.74 miles below ground.  These organisms are not part of a food chain.  The subsist entirely on hydrogen and sulfate produced by radioactive decay of uranium.  They live in total darkness, with no oxygen.  The genome of this microbe shows that it shares many genes with Archaea, many species of which also live in extreme environments like hot springs.  This species appears to live in solitary confinement in the crust of the earth where no nutrients from the biosphere reach it.    The microbe was named Desulforudis audaxviator.  Its genome was found to be a superset of the raw essentials.  It has 2,157 protein-coding genes, more than the 1500-some-odd genes of streamlined bacteria.  This surprised the scientists: “The genome was not as streamlined as might be expected of an organism living in what is presumably a very stable environment.”  It “contained everything needed for the organism to sustain an independent existence and reproduce, including the ability to incorporate the elements necessary for life from inorganic sources, move freely, and protect itself from viruses, harsh conditions, and nutrient-poor periods by becoming a spore.”  Apparently this is the only species living in the habitat of a deep gold mine in South Africa.Scientists immediately latched onto possible astrobiological ramifications of the second story:“One question that has arisen when considering the capacity of other planets to support life is whether organisms can exist independently, without access even to the sun,”says [Dylan] Chivian [Berkeley Labs].  “The answer is yes, and here’s the proof.  It’s sort of philosophically exciting to know that everything necessary for life can be packed into a single genome.”Yet no one was suggesting these microbes originated there on their own.  They likely became adapted to the dark depths from progenitors on the surface having the full complement of genetic information required for life.  “During its long journey to the extreme depths, evolution has equipped the versatile spelunker with genes – many of them shared with archaea, members of a separate domain of life unrelated to bacteria – that allow it to cope with a range of different conditions, including the ability to fix nitrogen directly from elemental nitrogen in the environment.”    Yet if the microbe was like a spelunker, it took the equipment with it from the surface and jettisoned some unnecessary cargo along the way.  That makes this a case of devolution, not evolution.  Natural selection could have intensified existing genes that work in the environment, and removed the useless ones.  If astrobiologists are to use this earthly example as a model for self-sustaining life on other planets, the lesson is that complex life with large genomes is required before streamlined editions adapted to extreme habitats could survive.  That must be the deduction unless they could prove D. audaxviator was the original life form from which all the biosphere evolved – a hypothesis they would probably not support, given the common evolutionary assumption that life originated in earth’s oceans.“Evolution has equipped the versatile spelunker with genes….” Oh, please.  No fairy tales while we are trying to appreciate the wonders of creation.  It’s like stocking fool’s gold in a gold mine, or dousing a deep-battered fish dinner with ipecac.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Minissha Lamba set to rock the ramp in a bikini

first_imgMinissha Lamba will be seen sporting a bikini in her upcoming flick, Hum Tum Shabana, as part of a crucial beauty pageant sequence. The actress will play one of the participants in the contest.The said scene requires Minissha to walk the ramp, for which sources say, she has been working very hard, observing lingerie models, and learning their strut. She even took an advice or two from her fellow actresses.Besides Minissha, model turned actor Pia Trivedi too will be seen in the scene as a co- contestant and friend of Minissha’s character. Sources say Minissha’s cat walk left everyone on the sets quite impressed.last_img read more

CBC series snubbed us says Nova Scotia mayor

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With:center_img HALIFAX — A new docu-drama series about the history of Canada has touched a raw nerve in a rural corner of Nova Scotia.Bill MacDonald, the mayor of Annapolis Royal, is leading a campaign to denounce the first episode as a disrespectful and erroneous version of what really happened when Europeans first settled in this land.He said he was shocked this week when the CBC show Canada: The Story of Us asserted that the first permanent European settlement was established near what is now Quebec City. “Here in Annapolis Royal, we believe that we truly are the cradle of our nation,” MacDonald said in an interview Wednesday, two days after he posted a rebuke of the show on his mayoral Facebook page, saying “CBC has misrepresented Canadian history.”MacDonald said he plans to write a letter of complaint to the CBC. He suggested a prequel may be in order, given the fact that Port Royal wasn’t even mentioned during the two-hour program broadcast Sunday night.His online post has sparked more criticism, though not all of the comments on the mayor’s page endorsed his view.Some commenters suggested the first settlements were in other places altogether, including Red Bay, N.L., and LaHave, N.S.Others piled on the CBC.“I, like a lot of the people of Nova Scotia, was very surprised and disturbed about the missing history of the first settlements at Port Royal,” said one person. “As a person who grew up in this area, I have always promoted Annapolis Royal . . . I was very disappointed.”Others were more blunt: “Sad when we can’t get our own history straight,” wrote one.CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said the show’s producers chose to focus on Quebec City after reaching out to historians.“We fully acknowledge (Port Royal) is a special and important part of Canadian history,” Thompson said in an email. “Port Royal came up many times in the producers’ research and in numerous conversations with noted historians.”He said the first episode focused on Quebec City because, unlike Port Royal, it maintained a permanent population without interruption from 1608 onward.“It’s also important to note that this series features key moments in Canadian history,” Thompson said. “It is not meant to be a comprehensive and linear account of our nation’s history.”According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Port Royal was established near the mouth of the Annapolis River by Champlain and Pierre du Gua de Monts in the summer of 1605, but the site was abandoned in the summer of 1607. The colony was re-established by an original colonist in 1610 and changed hands several times after that.“Although the buildings were rudimentary, Port Royal remained the earliest European settlement of any permanence in North America north of St. Augustine, Florida,” the encyclopedia’s website site says.However, the Parks Canada website describes the reconstructed national historic site as “one of the earliest European attempts at settlement in North America.”While it’s true Port Royal was briefly unoccupied during its early history, it was always meant to be a permanent settlement, MacDonald said.“To suggest that this wasn’t the beginning of Canada — the cradle of Canada — simply because the doors may have been closed for a couple of years while people went back to France to get provisions . . . really doesn’t appreciate the context in which history unfolded,” MacDonald said.The settlement would later become the capital of Acadia and the early capital of Nova Scotia.Retired history professor Doug Owram said the debate centres on what constitutes permanence, because there were many temporary settlements in Canada long before Champlain arrived. The oldest among them is the short-lived Viking encampment at the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, built more than 1,000 years ago.Owram, a professor emeritus who taught at the University of British Columbia, said Port Royal did precede Quebec as a settlement, but it later failed and was abandoned, only to be refounded and later destroyed.“Quebec is the first continuous European settlement,” Owram said in an email. “(However), it might have been nice to mention the failure at Port Royal.” MacDonald said the CBC got it wrong, although the public broadcaster denies that.It’s well known that French explorer Samuel de Champlain established a permanent settlement at Port Royal, N.S., in 1605 — three years before he founded another one along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, the mayor said. Twitterlast_img read more