How to Make Fake SnowImage: The Wizard of Oz via Warner Bros.There was a time that fake snow was made of asbestos. DON’T DO THAT! That technique was used on major productions like The Wizard of Oz. Over the past few decades, we’ve finally learned the incredibly damaging effects of asbestos.Contemporary productions frequently use a product called Sno-Foam. It’s a non-toxic and biodegradable product that looks great on camera and washes away with water after the shoot. One gallon will create 3,000 gallons of snow. It’s even been approved for use by the U.S. Forest Service, who use Sno-Foam in Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Griffith Park.Another option is to use soap suds, like the Snow Juice used by Jay P. Morgan in this video tutorial from The Slanted Lens. Morgan used an ADJ VF Flurry Machine and a regular box fan. He’ll show you how he built a snow-machine rig using a C-stand and some plywood.Morgan also shows off some lighting diagrams to help you capture the best looking snow flurries on camera. Need blockbuster-looking weather on an indie budget? Use these simple effects to create a perfect storm of movie magic!Top image: The Weather Man via Paramount PicturesWaiting on the weather is a nightmare for productions. Control the weather yourself and make your own rain, storms, snow, and fog with these great tutorials.How to Make Fake Rain and StormsImage via Tom AntosRain is the easiest type of weather to capture on film. With just a water and a hose, you are ready to create a light shower. The real trick to capturing rain is making sure you have the water backlit correctly. This will help capture the individual drops on camera. You’ll also notice that many rain shots are close-ups or medium close-ups — which hides the rain machine in the background.For tight close-ups, you can simply point the end of the hose skyward and hold your thumb over the mouth of the house or use a gardening nozzle. The issue with that setup will be getting consistent rain. We’ve previously covered this great cheap DIY rain machine from Tom Antos. For about $20, you can poke some holes in a hose, attach it to some wood with clamps, and hang it over your subject.If you need to really bring down the rain, this tutorial from Big Puddle Films shows you how to create a substantial storm by using props to add production value.For storms, you’ll need large drops of rain — which they accomplished using a fire house. If you don’t have that in your budget, the real value in this tutorial are the extra added elements. By using a large fan to move the rain, you add realism.The trick is making the wind appear on screen — you need to add dust, particles, and bits. Be sure to keep your actor’s safety in mind. They list a few safe items used on set.LeavesOatmealFullers Earth (Dust/Dirt)Cedar Bedding and Litter How to Make Fake FogImage: The Fog via MGMNeed an eerie fog creeping into frame? Many will say you should use dry ice, but it’s much easier to use a fog machine and fluid. You can purchase a a wide variety of fog fluids from companies like Froggy’s Fog. Depending on the type of fluid you go with, you can have a thin low fog or a fog that fills a whole room.You can make your own fog using distilled water and glycerol. If you want a thicker, heavier fog, try chilling it. Here’s a great chilling tutorial from Andrew Wade. What are your favorite weather techniques to use on set? Let us know in the comments below.
It’s not a question a lot of scientists ponder out loud, but it’s key to much of life on Earth: Exactly how does the penis form? Today, two teams of researchers report having solved one part of this mystery, pinpointing how the organ gets its start in snake, lizard, mouse, and chick embryos. Now that they understand the penis’s origin, researchers can track its development in more detail to understand what drives it to follow a different path in females and become a clitoris. The finding doesn’t just answer a biological conundrum; it could also help millions of people born with genital malformations. In the first study, Harvard University developmental biologists Cliff Tabin, Patrick Tschopp, and colleagues traced penis development in mouse, lizard, chick, and snake embryos. They also analyzed the gene regulatory networks that orchestrate this process. They pinpointed the cells destined to become the penis, but those cells differed depending on the species studied, they report online today in Nature. In snakes and lizards, the penis arises from what will become—or, in snakes, would have been—the beginnings of the back legs, whereas in mice, some of the cells destined to become the tail take on that task. Penis formation in the chicken involved cells from the would-be tail and the would-be hindlimb, the team reports.What was common to all of these animals was the role of the cloaca, a cavity destined to become the lower part of the gut. Signals from the cloaca initiate penis formation in each animal. But as in real estate, location is everything. The rodent cloaca is back by the tail-to-be and taps some nearby cells for the penis, whereas the snake cloaca is close to where two limbs used to sprout. Hence, the snake gets two penises instead of just one, (though it uses just one at a time during mating), Tschopp says. When the researchers attached cloacal tissue to other parts of the chick embryo, they saw the buds indicative of penis growth where they should not have otherwise formed. They did not let the chick develop beyond this point. “Wherever you put the cloaca, that determines what cell types you recruit,” Tschopp explains. The work “highlights the important role of the cloaca in the earliest events involved, which I think has been underappreciated,” adds Marty Cohn, a developmental biologist at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, who performed a separate study.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In that work, he and UF colleague Ana Herrera tagged different cells of a chick embryo with a fluorescent marker and followed those cells as they proliferated. They discovered that the ones that turned into either a penis or a clitoris started out as two groups of cells on opposite edges of the embryo when it was still a flat sheet. As that sheet curls up and joins to close the body wall and make a 3D embryo, the two sets of cells meet in the middle, the duo reports today in Scientific Reports. Each group of cells forms a bud, and these two buds merge in the chick to form a single penis. In snakes, the buds may remain separate to form their dual penises. In people, defects in the genital organs may arise when the body wall doesn’t close properly, Cohn says.The two groups agree that the cells that form the penis start out at the outer edge of the embryo and that they are closer to the tail in the mouse and chicken than in the snake. But they don’t agree on whether those first cells are part of the pool of cells destined to become a limb or tail or whether the cells belong to a separate, nearby pool that is already specialized to become the penis. “I think they are adjacent populations,” Cohn says.Regardless of this difference of opinion, these new insights into how the penis gets started in the embryo are impressive, says Gunter Wagner, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University who was not involved with either study. “It’s seems like a pretty complete story to me.” For him, the work begins to address the question of how novel anatomical structures arise in evolution. And in that respect, he adds, “it’s a big advance.”
Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH And it showed on Wednesday night with TNT wanting to win more.But NLEX rookie Kiefer Ravena stressed that the Road Warriors didn’t give the game away for TNT to stay playoff contention.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“No, no, no. That was one thing that we were really avoiding to hear that we gave the game because Talk ‘N Text badly needs a win,” Ravena stressed after his team’s 101-75 loss. “It was just because we really played a bad game and that was the result of it. We can’t blame anybody for that.”“Coach Yeng (Guiao) even told us that we could have lost this game, but not this way. It was a terrible way to lose especially coming into the playoffs,” he added. “We really didn’t give the game away because they needed the victory. That’s one thing that we want to avoid but it’s inevitable. We move on from this.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “What I was harping about that I was very mad about was we gave up too many offensive rebounds and overall rebounds. We just got beat off the board.” Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSister teams NLEX and TNT were on the opposite ends of the spectrum heading into their duel.Already in the top six, the Road Warriors were technically playing for nothing in terms of their playoff implications while the KaTropa were in dire need of a victory to stay in the hunt for a quarterfinals spot.ADVERTISEMENT Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding NLEX scored the first four points of the game, but it was all TNT from there. The game was practically over by halftime with the KaTropa taking a 58-28 lead.And just when things couldn’t be harder enough for the Road Warriors, it got worse in the second half as they trailed by as much as 38, 59-31, early in the third quarter.NLEX coach Yeng Guiao acknowledged that it was a “no-bearing game” for his team, but he would’ve wanted to get a victory regardless to get momentum heading into the playoffs.“Obviously, we’re not really happy with what happened. The best way to prepare ourselves for the quarterfinals would be to give a good account of ourselves in this game but obviously we failed to do that,” said Guiao, whose team was riding on a four-game winning run coming into the tiff. “So we just have to regroup, gather ourselves and make a commitment, recommit ourselves to our purpose of playing good, hard games whether we win or lose.”Guiao also didn’t like the fact the Road Warriors got dominated in the rebounding department, 38-59.ADVERTISEMENT View comments LATEST STORIES LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico MOST READ Rain or Shine clinches quarterfinals spot, beats top seed SMB AFP official booed out of forum Read Next
Mahindra coach Chris Gavina. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBowing out early again this past 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Mahindra coach Chris Gavina noted that there are still silver linings he can take away going forward.“For me, our last three games, it set us for a great bounce back for the third conference,” he said, as the Floodbuster ended their campaign with a 2-9 record, still at the cellar of the standings.ADVERTISEMENT BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds “I told our guys keep your heads up. The hardest thing for a coach is to establish a winning mentality and nurture a winning culture. These past few weeks, I think adversity draws out a level of strength and qualities of a player that solidifies our grip moving forward as a group.”Gavina also commended the efforts of rookie Reden Celda, who impressed him the most this past conference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“The way he stepped up, I see him not as a rookie anymore. I tell him that every single day, that he’s already turned that corner from a rookie to a sophomore,” he said. “He’s learning that every game, he’s going to be highly scouted now and his evolution is how he’s going to be effective even when he’s scouted like that. To go from the bench to a role player, now to a starter shows how great ceiling that he has.”The 6-foot guard averaged 10.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in this campaign, and more importantly, emerging as a solid contributor for Mahindra to aid lead guard LA Revilla. LATEST STORIES Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. But Gavina’s praises isn’t limited to Celda alone, as he feels that he already has a budding roster which he can build on for the future.“I can definitively say that there’s no more crybabies here,” he said, referring to one of his post-game tirades this past season. “I’m hoping that my personality kind of rubs off to some of these guys. Everybody knows that if I’m kind of hard on you, I’m always trying to make you a better player. You know what they say, if I’m not pushing you to your limits, I’m not doing my job.”Gavina also believes that with enough trust and ample time from the Mahindra management, this core can develop into a solid unit despite the discrepancy of talent compared to the league’s top teams.“Honestly, I’ve been pleading to the management to let these guys grow. That’s the greatest thing a young team can do, go through adversity, let them get some grit, gain some character from being resilient as a group. If were constantly changing guys every conference, we’ll never get that level of continuity,” he said.“We have those guys right now to set the tone and send the message to every one of our guys to put in the work, do your part, and do your job. I’m hoping that we keep these core of guys and they build off these last three games.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games MOST READ Fernandez has high praise for Cignal big man Jose Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’
It seems Virat Kohli and Steve Smith are friends again. The two were all smiles at the toss ahead of the Indian Premier League clash between Rising Pune Supergiant and Royal Challengers Bangalore.The duo faced off for the second time since a spark-filled India vs Australia Test series in February and March where the two were at loggerheads following Smith’s DRS antics in the second Test at Bengaluru.In their previous encounter, Smith’s side conquered the M Chinnaswamy stadium.Former India cricketer and popular commentator Sanjay Manjrekar joked as he saw the two best batsmen in the world in good space at the toss time.”Was tempted to stand in between Virat & Steve Smith at the toss,” Manjrekar tweeted.Was tempted to stand in between Virat & Steve Smith at the toss.???- Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) 29 April 2017RCB, who ended runners-up last season, are battling to find rhythm this year while RPS have done reasonably well this time around.The Kohli-Smith quarrel started in Bengaluru over a DRS incident when the Australian captain was caught seeking help from his team’s dressing room over a review after he was trapped leg before by Umesh Yadav.While Smith called it a “brain fade”, Kohli warned the visitors of “crossing the line”. International Cricket Council put an end to the saga by not pressing charges against Smith or Kohli.The series was full of ups and downs and emotions took the centrestage ahead of cricket in the last two Tests. Australia came into the series as underdogs but Smith’s men fought fire-with-fire to win the first Test in Pune. However, Kohli’s men bounced back smartly to clinch a 75-run win in the second Test in Bengaluru before the third Test ended in draw. India, however, won the final Test to clinch their seventh successive series.advertisementKohli said he would never say Australian cricketers are his friends after India wrapped up a comprehensive victory in Dharamsala to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1.
MADRID — Real Madrid signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea on Friday for its second major offseason addition, and reportedly its most expensive ever.The 28-year-old forward joined Madrid on a five-year contract and a transfer fee reported to be around 100 million euros ($113 million) plus variables, which would make him the club’s biggest signing.Madrid is rebuilding after one of the worst seasons in club history and had added forward Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt earlier this week.The Spanish club hadn’t made any blockbuster signings in years and was yet to bring in a top player to try to replace Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal forward left to join Juventus last season.Real Madrid called Hazard “one of the best players in the world,” known for his “attacking flair, assists and goals.”“Hazard has world class technique, vision, dribbling, pace and finishing,” Real Madrid said. “These qualities saw him stand out in his seven years in England.”Hazard had already indicated his final game for Chelsea was last week’s Europa League final victory over Arsenal. With two goals in his 352nd appearance for the club, he finished with a total of 110.“Although it is with sadness we say goodbye to Eden and we made it absolutely clear to him the club wished him to stay,” Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said, “we respect the decision he has made to take on a new challenge in a different country and follow his childhood dream of playing for Real Madrid.” Since joining Chelsea from French club Lille in 2012, Hazard has won both the Premier League and Europa League twice, the FA Cup and the League Cup. The Belgium international, who still had a year left in his contract with Chelsea, had already tried to leave the English club a year ago.“The memories he leaves us with will not fade,” Granovskaia said. “He provided all who watched Chelsea play with great entertainment and many match-winning contributions, and for that we thank Eden enormously.“He has been a model professional throughout his time at the club, a wonderful individual to have around and a joy to work with.”Hazard was a standout player with Belgium at the World Cup in Russia last year, helping his team earn a historic third-place finish. He scored three goals in six games and won the man of the match award three times. He was named the tournament’s second-best player, behind Croatia’s Luka Modric, his new Real Madrid teammate.Hazard is expected to be officially introduced to Madrid fans next week after undergoing a medical.Real Madrid finished third in the Spanish league and was eliminated early in the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. It went through two coaching changes this season, its first without Ronaldo. Zinedine Zidane returned to the helm a few months ago to try to get the team back on track after winning three straight Champions League titles.Madrid earlier this year had signed Brazilian defender Eder Militao, who will join from Porto next season. Teenage forward Rodrygo, bought from Brazilian club Santos for nearly 45 million euros ($50.6 million) last year, also will be added to the squad for next season.TweetPinShare0 Shares
trtewell says: trtewell says: “Rick, that was fan to read, thanks! nAbout the matter, I believe you lost this battle. The MiB is silly, I agree, I kinda fill embarrassed when I use it, but there’s no way we can rollback people’s head, such as we’d do with a git repository. There was a December 28, 2016 at 4:10 pm Log in to Reply Log in to Reply “Thomasnn”Marketing: “Let’s have the food news first…” (They are ever the optimists).”nnAnd hungry as well!” December 20, 2016 at 7:47 pm trtewell says: “Thanks for the welcome. I have another blog entry planned for submission soon! Soon, however, is a seriously relative word. Hopefully, I don’t mean “soon” in geologic scale…but rather engineering scale – which is different from marketing and / or exe Log in to Reply Some time ago, I was in an engineering meeting and we were discussing bandwidth and data rates. I was waxing eloquent about how various IP blocks could deliver data at a rate of such-and-such megabytes per second. I had just started my discourse and was building up to a full head of steam to deliver my prima facie case when one of the engineers in the room interrupted me and said: “Do you mean mebibytes per second?” I stopped for a moment squinted and wrinkled up my face and said to him whilst giving my very best ‘snooty waiter’ impression, “Excuse me?” He then demurely repeated himself because I was giving him ‘that look’ that bespoke me thinking quite loudly “Seriously?!? You just interrupted me when I was about to deliver a masterful and insightful comment?” Those of you who know me know ‘the look’ I am referring to that precedes me sucking all the air out of the room, but I digress…He said again: “Do you mean mebibytes per second… you know… power of two and all that?” Everyone in the meeting then turned to look at me and — not unlike watching a tennis tournament — waited to see how I was going to return the rather clumsily-served ball. So I did what every well-heeled, hot-blooded engineer would do in that case and simply volleyed with a “Yeah…” and continued on my merry way with my brilliant, although now somewhat tarnished, point.Now, two things were running through my head during this rather odd exchange. Either this engineer had just said the word ‘megabytes’ twice the way Elmer Fudd would say it, and therefore he had a speech impediment I had never noticed before. In this case it would be prudent of me to not mock him and say very slowly and distinctly “Yes… M-E-G -A-B-Y-T-E-S” with the emphasis on the ‘G’. Alternatively, it might be that I had no idea what the heck he was talking about, in which case it would be best to just nod and move on; after all, whilst unlikely, it was possible that… well, you know.When I returned to my office, I decided to “research” this complete mispronunciation of the word ‘megabytes.’ Most of you probably thought I ran to Google as fast as a frat boy to a keg; admit it… there’s no shame in that… but I say ‘nay nay’ (RIP John Pinette). Instead, I went to the place I always go when I want ‘real’ answers — not answers that are paid for by the highest bidder (ouch… too soon?). Yes, folks… I went to the ‘Dark Web,’ which filled the void when the Silk Road was shut down.The answer to the query “Are mebibytes a real thing?” came back very slowly with a “deet deet deet” sound — you know the way computers work in the movies (because of The Matrix , Hollywood directors still think real computers connect to each other through telephone hard lines and run at 1200 baud (n,8,1)).Surprisingly, my answer from the Dark Web did come back at like two characters per second and in green text — I guess it took that long because the folks running the dark web can’t see what the heck they are doing and are always running around looking for a flashlight. Here is the answer — are you ready? NO — it was not 42 — stop that! It was “B-L-A-M-E-T-H-E-I-E-C.” Ooh… now I was getting somewhere!So, just what is this IEC… this oozing behemoth, this fibrous tumor, this monster of power and expense hatched from the simple human desire for engineering order? How did allegedly smart people spawn a vast, rampant cuttlefish of dominion with its tentacles in every orifice of the body of engineering policy? (My apologies to P.J. O’Rourke.)OK… so the International Electrotechnical (not a real word, I fear) Commission, or IEC as they like to be called (possibly because they are tired of people telling them that Electrotechnical is not a real word) has been around for 108 years (by way of contrast, my Uncle Milton was around for 100 years and he always left “well enough alone” — which is probably why he was around for 100 years). The IEC is comprised of 10,000+ engineers from 82 countries, and they historically gave us the SI units from which such illustrious units as meter, kilogram, second, Kelvin, and candela were derived. OK… so they also gave us radian, hertz, newton, pascal, joule, watt, volt, farad, Celsius, lumen, and… (I get it… they are smart people… but this time they have gone too far I tell you!!! The megabyte is sacrosanct. How in the world did this come to be? What in the name of all things binary happened?Blame the hard drive There is a famous saying that I applied liberally to this tragedy: “Follow the money!” Yep; in this case, it absolutely turns out to be true: “Money Mangled the Megabyte.” (Source: Rick Tewell) Let’s hop into our “way back” machine and take a trip back through time to the heady days of PCs when people bought hard drives to upgrade their computers — a time of flux capacitors, proton packs (don’t cross the proton streams), Donkey Kong, and Teddy Ruxpin (don’t judge).It is the good old 1980s when hard drive sizes were measured in mere megabytes. As amazing as it might seem today, there was at one time a 32MB hard drive size limit ‘barrier’ in MS-DOS 3.x. I won’t go into a long-winded discussion about this barrier here because someone else has already done so (click here for more info on this mind-numbingly fascinating subject).Not surprisingly, users had a huge hunger for bigger hard drives. They could buy them from peddlers advertising in Byte or PC Magazine , but when their hard drives arrived they often found that they had to concern themselves with a dizzying array of complications, such as the fact that their new drives were physically organized into things like cylinders, heads, and sectors.Now, I know that this is a bit difficult, but try to imagine such a thing as a 40MB hard drive (which cost ~$1000 at the time). Our example 40MB hard drive could have a ‘physical’ layout of 640 cylinders, 8 heads, and 17 sectors per track, with 512 bytes per sector. This means that our drive had 4 ‘platters’ with eight ‘heads’ that would rotate themselves into and out of the gap between the cylinders and ‘fly’ just above the magnetic field stored on the platters (top and bottom) — kind of like an old phonograph but without physically touching the media.The data was stored in concentric circles and each of these concentric circles was called a ‘track.’ So if you had 640 ‘cylinders,’ then the heads could seek discretely to one of the 640 concentric tracks on the platter. Each ‘track’ was further subdivided into 17 sectors, with each sector storing 512 bytes.So, let’s do the math: 640 cylinders x 8 heads x 17 sectors x 512 bytes per sector = 44,564,480 bytes. Now, stay with me here, because this is the important bit. The hard drive manufacturers would divide 44,564,480 by 1,048,576 (which in my book is a MB) because it is a power of two (2^20), which is what we computer folks like to think in when we think of computery types of numbers, and this results in a product of ~42MB, which is what the hard drive manufacturers would then claim was the capacity of the drive. (I am now climbing up onto my soapbox, so beware.)In the world that I come from, things are quite simple:1KB = 1,024 bytes or 2^10 bytes1MB = 1,048,576 bytes or 2^20 bytes1GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes or 2^30 bytes1TB = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes or 2^40 bytes I don’t want to argue about this, because this is the way it was from the beginning, is now, and should be until the end of time or until we no longer need these units — whichever comes first. (I am now climbing down off of my soapbox.)OK, back to our regularly scheduled programming. The only rub was that, in the good old days, hard drives were fairly non-intelligent and they had to be ‘physically’ formatted by the hard disk controller. This little gem of technology was typically sold separately, or already pre-installed in the computer (in the case of an upgrade). Again, we won’t go into the lengthy discussion surrounding this here, but you can find out more by clicking here should you so desire.Once the physical format was completed, it was up to the user to then apply the operating system’s file system to the hard drive in a process called ‘logical’ formatting. Those readers who are over forty and used to use DOS surely remember the venerable fdisk and format utilities, right?During this logical formatting process, bad sectors might be found on the hard drive. This was because hard drives are notorious for having some contaminants or imperfections on the platters that prevent data from being read or written to a particular physical location. In this case, these bad spots were simply marked ‘bad’ by the logical formatting utility and the file system just worked around them. Yes, this process resulted in ‘diminished’ storage capacity, but the amount of space reduction was minuscule because it represented the actual physical bad spots on the disk at the time, which were typically negligible in a brand new hard drive. OK… got all that?Now, another key point to note here is that DOS and Windows reports (and likely always will?) storage device capacities as a “power of two,” which means 1MB = 1,048,576 bytes and so on (see my ‘soapbox’ list above). This is a very important piece of information to remember.Time passes and hard drive technology advances at an almost breakneck pace. Now we are in the 1990s. A time of Furbys, Beanie Babies, Pokémon, the rise of the hipster, and the swelling of the dot com bubble. Hard drives have become more and more intelligent until, eventually, they start handling their own bad sectors instead of having to rely on the operating system to do this for them. The end result, in short, is that the hard drive simply reports back to the operating system as to how much storage is available on the hard drive, and there is no longer any tedious mucking about in hyperspace with cylinders, heads, and sectors.How was all this accomplished? Well, in several ways, actually, but the practical upshot was that the hard drive simply ‘reserves’ sectors that are good — taking them away from the true physical storage capacity of the device — and makes them available for bad sector ‘remapping,’ meaning that a few sectors of each track are reserved for the remapping of bad blocks.Now, another interesting thing about hard drives is that bad spots on a hard drive can begin to ‘grow’ and start showing up in places where they weren’t detected before. That means that you can’t just reserve a fixed number of good sectors ahead of time to replace the actual number of bad sectors on the hard drive. Instead, you must come up with a very good estimate as to how many sectors are likely to go bad over the life of the drive and reserve enough good sectors for those “sure to appear” bad spots as well. Ah… did the light bulb just come on? Now we start to get a glimpse of the crux of the problem — right?This reservation of sectors on every track to handle bad block remapping obviously results in a reduction of the actual usable space on the hard drive. These new, more-intelligent hard drives report how much ‘real’ storage space is on the hard drive, taking into account the reserved blocks for error handling. So, once you connect the hard drive to your computer, the 100MB drive that you paid so much money for now actually shows up to the operating system as ~93MB because ~7MB was reserved for bad block handling. Your 100GB hard drive transmogrifies itself into a 93GB drive, while your 1TB hard drive becomes a 931GB hard drive. Are you mad yet? Well you might not have been, but a whole lot of people were hopping mad — mad enough to actually file a lawsuit against Western Digital (a leading hard drive manufacturer) over this very issue (click here to add a little additional color to this matter).So, the hard drive engineers went to talk to the marketing folks, and the whole thing kind of went down like this:Engineers: “We have good news and we have bad news…” Marketing: “Let’s have the good news first…” (They are ever the optimists).Engineers: “Our customers will never see bad blocks ever again on our hard drives… we’ve fixed all that.” Marketing: “That’s great! So what’s the bad news?” Engineers: “The hard drives are going to show up to the operating system smaller then you want them to be.” Marketing (now furrowing their brows): “Wait, how much smaller?” Engineers: “Small enough that you’d better not go out there saying that they are 512MB hard drives any more. They will be more like 498MB hard drives.” Marketing: “Seriously?! We can’t do that. We can’t say 498. We have to at least say 510. We always round up. It’s the way of our people.” Engineers: “Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you…” Marketing: “Fine, we’ll figure it out” (which is code for “we are going to round up anyway,” but they still round the price down from $800 to $799.99, which makes the consumer think it’s really only $700 — right?)However, somewhere on this long dusty road of storage technology, a very smart marketing person figured out that a megabyte doesn’t really have to be 1,048,576 bytes. What if it was… say… only 1,000,000 bytes? Now the logic behind this goes as follows: “If we say 100MB, then since the hard drive thinks in powers of two, which means 104,857,600 bytes, this should give us enough room factoring in bad block handling to say: ‘Well Mr. or Ms. Customer, you DO actually have an effective 100,000,000 bytes of storage, which in our book is 100MB!’” Based on this reasoning, they went ahead and stuck “100MB” in the ads and on the box. In effect, the marketing folks simply changed the definition of a megabyte from 1,048,576 bytes to 1,000,000 bytes. Voila! Problem solved and off to lunch.Now those of you who are ‘engineering minded’ will do the math and say: “Wait a minute, 104,857,600 bytes is still less than the 7MB delta in your previous paragraph, so you still would have less than 100,000,000 actual usable bytes.” That’s a clever catch. I kinda hoped you wouldn’t notice that, but since you did… I would like to point out that the actual physical storage is still based on cylinders, heads, and sectors, even though these are no longer exposed to the user.Based on this method of storage organization, a 100MB hard drive would usually have more storage capacity then a perfect 100MB, and oftentimes would hold 107MB or more once the numbers were run. Thus, so redefining 100MB to mean 100,000,000 bytes held sway (this is particularly true as you get to bigger drive sizes).Now, when we move to the really big hard drives, the problem compounds. As I mentioned earlier, in the case of 1TB hard drive, when you factor in error handling and improper definitions, you might actually end up with a 1,000,000,000 byte drive, instead of the 1,099,511,627,776 byte drive you might have been expecting. Worse still, Windows is going to tell you that the drive you just hooked up to your PC is actually a 953MB hard drive… well, ain’t that special? That’s a delta of almost 100 billion bytes that you thought you bought no matter how you slice it (assuming you think 1TB is a power of two… which it is). This is a pretty big flippin’ deal, which explains why the proverbial fur started to fly.Enter the IEC In 1998, this issue was somehow brought to the attention of the girls and boys at the IEC. Perhaps they could smell it coming from 5,823 miles away. At any rate, I suspect that some rather high paid lawyer was looking for some legal justification to use at trial to defend the hard drive marketing folks’ declaration that they unilaterally changed the term MB from what we all know to be 1,048,576 bytes to 1,000,000 bytes.After searching high and low, they came across the folks at the IEC and dared to ask their opinion (this, of course, after asking everyone from the plumber’s union to their favorite chefs in San Francisco what they thought). After some highfalutin debate by the appropriately ordained IEC committee, I am quite sure that some engineer (not a computer programmer, mind you) said something like: “Well y’all… like we have defined kilo to mean 10^3 and mega to mean 10^6 and giga to mean 10^9 for like something like 100 years give or take… like, you know… the kilometer, kilogram, and so on… you feel me here?” I imagine the debate went something exactly like that… led by a quite brilliant California valley girl who went to a very nice engineering college in Alabama and has hip hop leanings (the girl… not the college).At this point, I am sure the illustrious committee handling this weighty matter agreed and said unanimously: “Yep… you are exactly right our brilliant fearless leader; your logic is flawless. A megabyte is now, hereby, and forever 1,000,000 bytes… (at this point somebody banged a gavel to add weightiness to the proceedings), …so now that’s settled, what’s for lunch?” It was at this point that someone else must have spoken up and said: “Wait! We have to come up with a unit that the computer-minded people can use to mean 1,048,576 bytes… after all, we just took away their precious megabyte.” Anxious to get to their sumptuous buffet, they must have not spent too much discussing this particular point, because what they came up with was — and it is hard to type this with a straight face, much less say it with a straight face — the mebibyte, which they also cleverly abbreviated as ‘MiB’ (silly me; I always thought this was an abbreviation for “Men in Black”).So what was the rationale for the made up word mebibyte? The IEC folks just took the starting letter of the word ‘binary’ and jammed it into the word megabyte replacing the ‘g’ with the ‘b’ and inexplicably replacing the ‘a’ with an ‘i’, possibly attempting some feeble attempt at engineering humor. I mean… perhaps ‘mebabyte’ would have been better than ‘mebibyte’. It’s arguable, but any improvement on the term mebibyte would have been… well… an improvement.As an aside… I am using Microsoft Word to write this column, and it keeps on telling me that ‘mebibyte’ isn’t actually a word. The fact that Word’s the spell checker is having fits sort of tells you just how well accepted this silly unit is. But, the IEC didn’t stop there; Oh no, they went “all in” and messed up the rest of our venerable units as shown in the following table.(Source: Rick Tewell) Do you want to know my take on all this nonsense? Well, ‘Kibibyte’ sounds like a treat for dogs; ‘Yobibyte’ sounds like a cartoon character; ‘Mebibyte’ and ‘Tebibyte’ sounds like a cartoon character trying to say megabyte and terabyte; ‘Gibibyte’ and ‘Zebibyte’ sound like folks who used to mess with the twelve tribes of Israel from the Bible; and don’t get me started on what ‘pebibyte’ sounds like…So, there we have it, this is the story of how “Money Mangled the Megabyte”(I was going to title this column “How I Met Your Mebibyte,” but for some reason an alliterative title appealed to me more).Now we have this “official” silly sounding set of units that more and more computery people are thinking we have to use. Worse still, there is an increasing number of people who think a megabyte is 1,000,000 bytes. This maketh me sad. “Viva La Megabyte!!!!” I say; that is, the power of two megabyte… you know, 1,048,576 bytes… Oh, never mind! “Indeed – over time, many tricks were employed to help mitigate / solve the issue. A good friend of mine was responsible for the firmware development team at Maxtor and the techniques / algorithms they came up with to boost storage capacities and handle Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. “A funny thing happened from submission – edit – post 🙂 – I think the editor was late for lunch…” antedeluvian says: December 28, 2016 at 5:49 am December 23, 2016 at 12:41 pm Log in to Reply December 20, 2016 at 8:05 pm December 23, 2016 at 9:41 pm “You suggest that reserved sectors complicated the counting of actual storage space. About that same time, the “sector” changed from 17/cylinder to a variable number per cylinder. Each sector was now the same physical length, so the outer cylinders ha Continue Reading Previous I met my new MOM at ESC Silicon ValleyNext Best practices for building scalable cloud applications antedeluvian says: Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Communications, Industry Log in to Reply trtewell says: Log in to Reply antiquus says: Log in to Reply “Alas…I fear you are correct. Battle lost. Makes for a good story though. Apparently, even the venerable Dr. Donald Knuth made an alternative suggestion which was rebuffed. If they didn’t listen to him…Then! But hey guess what? A megabyte is 1,048,576 Log in to Reply December 20, 2016 at 8:02 pm “ThomasnnThanks for the enlightenment.nnWelcome as a blogger. Will we see more of your very amusing writing style?” 8 thoughts on “Money mangled the megabyte” felipe-lavratti says: December 20, 2016 at 7:59 pm
Real Madrid v Barcelona Figo: I always hope Real Madrid win Julie Yalap 10:44 12/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno Real Madrid v Barcelona Real Madrid Barcelona Primera División The 45-year-old, who played for both Clasico sides, says he always pulls for Los Blancos to come away victorious Luis Figo has never forgotten his Madrid years. Although the former Ballon d’Or winner wore Barcelona’s jersey during his illustrious playing career, his heart leans towards Los Blancos on the eve of the most-watched match in the world.Despite the former Portugal international making more league appearances for the Catalan club than he did for their great rivals, he says he is a fan of Madrid and always pulls for them to win. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I’m a Real Madrid fan and I hope they win all the time,” he told Goal. “Not only this game, but all competitions in Spain.”The 45-year-old was part of the famed Galactico teams of the early 2000s at Madrid, playing alongside current Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane. Figo didn’t seem to foresee his midfield partner as a manager, but does believe his former team-mate has done well since taking over one of the biggest jobs in the world. “It’s always difficult to predict what will happen but many people did not expect to see him coach, but it’s a personal decision and since he made this choice he had a fantastic way.”I think he has everything he needs to stay for many years at the head of Real Madrid, and I hope he’ll stay there for a long time”Madrid and Barcelona face off Saturday with the Catalans 11 points clear of their rivals at the top of La Liga.
zoom The Coast Guard, EPA and local emergency crews are responding to a vessel sinking and oil discharge into the Mississippi River near LeClaire, Iowa, Monday.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report at approximately 4:30 p.m., that the 144-foot towboat Stephen L. Colby struck a submerged object near LeClaire causing it to sink. At the time of the sinking, nine crewmembers were aboard and all were able to make it to safety.The Captain of the Port closed the Mississippi River from mile marker 493 to mile maker 501 on the upper Mississippi River to allow for safe, effective cleanup and salvage operations. Coast Guard personnel, along with Illinois EPA and local emergency response crews, are taking action to evaluate and respond to environmental damage.Approximately 100,000 gallons of petroleum products are reported to be on board the sunken vessel.“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies are rapidly assessing and responding to the evolving situation” said Capt. Byron Black, commander, Sector Upper Mississippi River, “Our primary concern is to ensure the safety of people, the environment and the waterway. We have personnel on scene actively responding to the incident.”The cause of the incident is under investigation. 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站？确定 My location US Coast Guard, November 26, 2013 Print Close
zoom Supporting the work of British Antarctic Survey scientists, and conducting scientific studies, the Portsmouth-based icebreaker reached Marguerite Bay, roughly half-way down the western shores of the Antarctic Peninsula.The furthest point south recorded on her charts was 68° 12’S – 8,900 miles from her home port, 1,500 miles from the southernmost point on the planet, and 850 miles from Cape Horn, the most southerly tip of South America.As part of a demanding work period in Antarctica as the Austral summer draws to a close, Protector has been working alongside the British Antarctic Survey scientists to help them in their studies of the far South.She first arrived at Rothera Research Station, the BAS’ most important base in the region, to deliver aviation fuel for its aircraft to use over the Austral summer and stockpile for the winter, before then sailing across Marguerite Bay.“This voyage marked an important milestone for both the deployment and the history of the ship,” said HMS Protector’s First Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander Jason Varty. “At 68° 12’S Protector has never been as close to the South Pole.”After Marguerite Bay, the ship then sailed north to Detaille Island to complete another part of her tasking – hydrographic surveying, to update Admiralty charts used by many of the world’s mariners.With a small part of a previous survey to complete, the brightly-painted icebreaker arrived in the area only to find herself in extremely challenging conditions.Tonnes of densely-packed ice – with icebergs of all shapes and sizes surrounded the ship – made surveying extremely difficult as they rely on exact measurements of tide and depth.Petty Officer (Survey Recorder) Kerry Collins, who is on her ninth season in Antarctica, bravely led Protector’s survey motorboat team out to collect the required data, returning successfully with the measurements. HMS Protector is now continuing further north to mark the end of her fourth ice patrol.The ship left Portsmouth in October 2013 and is to stay in the Antarctic region until 2015 conducting surveys and patrols on behalf of the UK Hydrographic Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office providing logistical support to the British Antarctic Survey organisation.She also provides a sovereign presence in the British Antarctic Territory and delivers the UK’s commitments under the Antarctic Treaty, supporting science programmes and ensuring that expeditions and vessels are meeting their international environmental obligations.UK Royal Navy, March 31, 2014
With the holiday season in full swing, families, friends and crowds will gather for celebrations, shopping and other holiday activities. While the season is a great time to catch up with loved ones, catching or spreading the flu won’t bring that warm, fuzzy feeling. To all Nova Scotians who’ve already gotten their vaccine – thank you. To those of you who haven’t – it’s not too late. The influenza vaccine is safe, simple and effective. It’s the best defence against the virus. Nova Scotians can still get their flu vaccine free of charge from most pharmacists, family doctors, family practice nurses, nurse practitioners and public health offices. The flu vaccine is especially important for those in high-risk groups, including seniors, children between six months and five years old, Indigenous people, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes, and people who live with or care for those in high-risk groups. There are other steps you can take to ensure you’re protected: wash your hands often and well, cough and sneeze into your sleeve, and stay home and away from other people if you have flu symptoms. Going out will only prolong your illness and increase the chance of passing the virus to others. Flu symptoms often include sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat. In some cases, the flu can lead to more severe illness such as pneumonia or even death. Nova Scotians can call 811 to speak with a registered nurse who can help with management of your symptoms and provide advice about whether you need additional care. For more information about flu season, visit http://novascotia.ca/flu . -30-
Brittany HobsonAPTN National NewsA new report released Tuesday outlines the life and tragic death of Tina Fontaine, and subsequently the many systems that failed the young First Nations girl.The Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth released her 115-page report, “A Place Where it Feels Like Home: The Story of Tina Fontaine,” during a special ceremony in the teen’s home community of Sagkeeng First Nation, located 120 km north of Winnipeg.Daphne Penrose, the province’s children’s advocate, said the report focuses on Fontaine but could represent many of the children her office deals with.“Not enough has changed since Tina died in 2014…this report mirrors the story of many, many other kids,” she said.On Aug. 17, 2014, Fontaine’s 72-pound body, wrapped in a duvet and weighted down with rocks, was pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River. This came days after she was reported missing.Fontaine, who grew up in Sagkeeng, was in the city to spend time with her birth mother when she became a victim of exploitation.“People come to understand the indicators of exploitation,” said Penrose. “When on the streets, nothing comes free.”Penrose made five recommendations in her report, including the need for better access to mental health and addiction services and a new protocol to address missing youth and sexually exploited youth.Fontaine was in the care of child and family services (CFS) at the time of her death.During her murder trial the jury heard CFS consistently didn’t know where she was, or if she was in danger.In February 2018, the jury found Raymond Cormier not-guilty in Fontaine’s death.In the 10 months prior to the teen’s death, seven missing persons’ reports were filed with police, including one the day after she was last seen.This is too common for kids in care, Penrose explained.“We need to be able to pull that apart and understand when a child is missing with risk those kids need responses…so that work can be prioritized and joint child welfare and police systems can work together to find kids and bring them back to safety,” she said.Lack of services was also a major theme throughout the report.Fontaine began to struggle with mental health issues and self-harm after the death of her father, Eugene, in 2011.The report said support from victim services was not offered, nor was any counselling.She was being raised in what was, by all accounts, a loving home by her great-aunt Thelma Favel.When Favel reached out to CFS for help addressing Fontaine’s behaviour she was referred to several different agencies.It was a common theme throughout Fontaine’s life.The teen never received any counseling and eventually became an exploited runaway bounced through the system.Penrose urged the government to take immediate action.“What’s at stake is the lives of children,” said Penrose. “Children are going to die if we don’t make changes.”Sagkeeng Chief Derrick Henderson was on hand for the release and called the report a start.“Do what you have to do. Protect those children,” he said. “Jurisdiction should have no issue. It shouldn’t be provincial, federal. We’re talking about kids here.”“If we can get to that where the communities are being listened to, I’m sure the numbers would go down.”Fontaine’s death was a catalyst for change.It renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, saw the re-emergence of the Bear Clan Patrol and saw the formation of Drag the Red, a Winnipeg group who patrols the Red River in the summer.Penrose applauded these grassroots organizations and called for the rest of Canada ensure the protection of youth in care.“It is not this report that changes it…we all have a responsibility,” she said.The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) released a statement calling for an independent inquiry into Fontaine’s death.“The recommendations, and the public tracking and monitoring of the compliance of them by the MACY, are a start to finally deal with the death of Tina Fontaine,” AMC acting Grand Chief Betsy Kennedy wrote.“However, it does not respond to all the questions and concerns. Manitoba not only must have the political will to only implement these recommendations, but also implement what Manitoba First Nations have identified in ‘Families First’, as well as fully respond to the report of the National Inquiry into MMIWG.”Favel, Fontaine’s great-aunt and primary caregiver, did not attend Tuesday’s event. The family has asked for privacy during this time.On Monday Favel told APTN News by phone that she wants Tina to rest now and hopes the release of this report will help with email@example.com@bhobbs22
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: India’s money-losing sugar mills have run up a record $4.38 billion in arrears to 50 million cane farmers, who have gone unpaid for their produce for more than a year, industry and government sources said on Thursday. Years of bumper cane harvests and record sugar production have hammered domestic prices, hitting mills’ financial health to such an extent that monies owed to farmers, who form an influential voting bloc, have ballooned to an all-time high. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalFarm leaders say Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has not done enough to help them get the cash owed them. Modi’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment. “The prime minister publicly promised farmers – in 2014 and 2017 – to help them get their payments within 15 days of selling their produce to sugar mills,” said M.V. Singh, convener of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sang, or National Forum of Farmers and Labourers. Despite the promise, Modi’s government has done little to ensure timely payments, Singh said. The unpaid dues affect growers in the key cane-producing states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Karnataka. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostOf the $4.38 billion in unpaid dues, mills in Uttar Pradesh, India’s top cane-producing state, owe 108 billion rupees ($1.56 billion), the industry and government sources said, citing their calculations based on cane prices and the volumes bought by sugar mills. In Uttar Pradesh, top producers such as Mawana Sugars Ltd, Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Ltd and Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd, as well as unlisted Modi Sugar Mills, Wave Industries and Yadu Sugar Ltd, owe the bulk of arrears to farmers, according to the industry and government sources. “Along with the fact that sugar prices are much below the cost of production, huge inventories worth 800 billion rupees are adversely affecting mills’ paying capacity,” said Abinash Verma, chief of the Indian Sugar Mills, the producers’ body. The high inventories are keeping domestic sugar prices depressed and increased storage costs. Mills have started losing money and are finding it difficult to pay the farmers. As cane harvests jumped, domestic sugar prices fell 20 percent over the past two years, with mills often complaining about prices falling below their production costs. “Most cane growers are barely able to scrape through and it’s sad that neither the state governments nor the Modi administration have done anything,” said Pushpendra Singh, president of the Kisan Shakti Sangh, a farmers’ association. Falling farmer incomes and job scarcity have made Modi’s re-election bid more complicated than anticipated. Out of 545 seats in India’s lower house of parliament, cane farmers are key voters in 164 of the constituencies. The government took a clutch of measures, including incentives for exports and creation of buffer stocks to help trim inventories and prop up prices so that mills can pay farmers, said a federal food ministry official who did not wish to be identified in line with government policy. The measures have yielded few results so far, giving little relief to either farmers or mills, said the sources.
By Kristina FriedRabat – Craig Stephens Hicks, 46, was charged with the first-degree murders of three young Muslim students in North Carolina on Wednesday. He is currently being held in Durham County Jail, according to Newsobserver.The victims were Deah Shaddy Barakat, a 23 year old doctoral student of dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his 21 year old wife Yusor Abu-Salha, a student at North Carolina State University who was due to graduate this year with a degree in biological sciences, and her sister Razan Abu-Salha, 19, also a student of NCSU in the faculty of architecture and environmental design. All three victims were found dead due to gunshot wounds in the apartment of the recently married couple, which is located in a neighborhood that sees little violent crime. According to local WRAL news, the victims had all been shot in the head. The bodies have been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Raleigh, the capital, for an autopsy, according to Newsobserver.Although a motive has not yet been established, social media is linking the murders to Islamophobia, with people taking to Twitter to condemn the crime. Newsobserver reported that one Twitter user tweeted, “three Muslims murdered tonight in Chapel Hill, NC by a man because they were Muslim. What a sad night in America.” Others compared the shooting to the recent attacks on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Europe, with The Independent quoting Twitter user Zain Khan as saying, “RIP to the three #Muslims murdered. I’d like to see the same public uproar as the “CharlieHebdo aftermath.”The link to Islamophobia is supported by the texts and images condemning all religions that have been linked to Hicks’ Facebook profile, in which he describes himself as an atheist, according to The Independent.The victims are being remembered through a Facebook group called “Our Three Winners” as well as the continuation of a project spearheaded by Barakat, called “Project: Refugee Smiles”, which aims to provide Syrian refugees with dental attention as well as support local dental clinics in Turkey. Barakat had been planning on going to Turkey himself to participate in the project.