Campbell recalling Chunky potato soup

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Consumers who purchased Campbell’s Chunky Baked Potato with Cheddar & Bacon Bits with the can code “JUL 08 2009 07097” were advised to return the product to the store where it was purchased for an exchange or refund. CAMDEN, N.J. – Campbell Soup Co. on Thursday announced a voluntary recall of more than 72,000 cans of a variety of its Chunky soup because they may contain pieces of hard plastic that present a choking hazard and could cause injury if swallowed. The recall involves 18.8-ounce cans of Campbell’s Chunky Baked Potato with Cheddar & Bacon Bits. No other products are affected by the recall, the company said. Campbell said three consumers have reported minor injuries in and around their mouths. The recalled soups were shipped to 24 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. last_img read more

Animal Olympians Inspire Engineers

first_imgHere are more stories about animals, plants and cells attracting scientists with their astonishing capabilities, proving that biomimetics is one of the hottest trends in science.Nutcracker sweet:  The mantis shrimp won another gold medal after triumphing in the circularly-polarized eye competition.  PhysOrg, New Scientist and Live Science all gave it thumbs up for its club-like hammer claw, found to be the “strongest club in the world” able to deliver a force 1,000 times its own weight without breaking.  Not only that, the clubs accelerate to 10,000 g’s, have the fastest moving parts in the animal kingdom (23 m/sec), and are so durable they deliver a thousand blows before the next molt replaces them.Unsurprisingly, manufacturers of body armor are raising eyebrows with visions of joining the club.  Mantis shrimp use their weapons to break open molluscs and crabs.  They have been known to break aquarium glass with their little karate choppers.  The clubs survive breakage through construction with hard, then medium, then soft layers that distribute the force and inhibit cracks from forming.  The original paper in Science (8 June 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6086 pp. 1275-1280, DOI: 10.1126/science.1218764 ) calls the claw “A Formidable Damage-Tolerant Biological Hammer.”Al G. Lightner, NRG:  Algae and bacteria accomplish a feat green engineers drool over: the ability to harvest light efficiently for energy.  Artificial fuel cells need their secrets to make green energy competitive with fossil fuels (which, by the way, are by-products of plants that used photosynthesis to make the complex hydrocarbons).  PhysOrg reported on new attempts at Lawrence Livermore Labs to use X-ray diffraction to probe the secrets of Photosystem II, the plant antenna where the magic happens and water is decomposed into hydrogen, oxygen and electrons.  The article paid customary lip service to Mother Nature and long ages without explaining how the complex process arose:For more than two billion years, nature has employed photosynthesis to oxidize water into molecular oxygen. Photosystem II, the only known biological system that can harness visible light for the photooxidation of water, produces most of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere through a five-step catalytic cycle (S0-to-S4 oxidation states). Light-harvesting proteins in the complex capture solar photons that energize the manganese-calcium cluster and drive a series of oxidations and proton transfers that in the final S4 state forms the bond between oxygen atoms that yields molecular oxygen.Overall, though, the article was about how human designers, using cutting-edge tools to probe the “photosystem II complex” for secrets, have been unable to duplicate what single cells accomplish.  “Doing this study was a monumental achievement that required a large team to make it happen,” one noted.  Why so much effort? “We hope to learn from nature’s design principles and apply that knowledge to the design and development of artificial photosynthetic systems.”DNA Disk:  Hey, DNA is already “the molecule that already stores the genetic blueprints of all living things,” PhysOrg says.  Why not use it for a hard drive?  Drew Endy, a pioneer in synthetic biology at Stanford, was interviewed in the article to explain how he intends to “turn the basic building blocks of nature into tools for designing living machines.”  He’s thinking ahead to applications for waste treatment, medicine, manufacturing and others he can’t even imagine.  As for his DNA hard drive, he didn’t say how the USB interface might work, but he did share his feelings a bit: “What we’re likely to end up with will not look like classical electronics. Biology is beginning to teach us how to be a little bit more sophisticated in our engineering designs, which is a lot of fun.”“Biomimetic” is a trendy word more frequently encountered in scientific papers every year, as in this paper’s title, “Biomimetic emulsions reveal the effect of mechanical forces on cell–cell adhesion” (PNAS, June 1, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201499109 PNAS June 1, 2012).  The team in that paper not only studied cells for ideas about adhesion, but used a “biomimetic approach” to doing their science.  The emphasis in these sciences is on (1) understanding and (2) application for the benefit of mankind.Was Darwinism ever “a lot of fun”?  If it was, it was the fun of entertainment: telling tall tales around the cave campfire, not getting at the truth to produce understanding, for the purpose of designing tangible benefits for the world.  All for biomimetics over Darwinism please signify by imitating the mantis-shrimp karate chop on useless speculation. (Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Glimmer of hope in Sudan

first_imgRefugees flee fighting in Sudan in May 2008. (Image: Irin Photo)The Sudanese government’s announcement of a ceasefire in Darfur would not alone solve a crisis that has lasted nearly six years and left hundreds of thousands of people dead – but offers a glimmer of hope, analysts say.On Wednesday 12 November Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir announced an “immediate, unconditional ceasefire” in Darfur. He called for an immediate campaign to disarm militias accused of committing some of the worst atrocities during the conflict.The pronouncements were among the recommendations of the Sudan People’s Initiative, bringing together government, political opposition parties and civil society to brainstorm solutions to the crisis in the North African country.Darfur rebels boycotted the forum and one of the most powerful groups, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), said it would not accept a ceasefire without a framework of agreement, declaration of principles and a timeframe for ceasefire.“Without that, we are not interested in any talk that is not going to be substantiated by improvement on the ground,” El-Tahir El-Fak, speaker of JEM’s Legislative Assembly, said.Observers said the success of the latest ceasefire depended not only on its implementation, but other political steps.Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the Southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), a partner in a government of national unity following the 2005 peace deal, said the ceasefire was a good start.“[But] declarations are not enough. Implementation is what is needed.”Amum said this ceasefire alone would not be enough to convince the international community to suspend Bashir’s likely indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, but rather, “a peace process, giving results and serious commitment”.While many are sceptical of just how genuine this latest commitment is, others doubt the promises made now will be kept if and when the ICC decides to issue an arrest warrant.PreconditionsA Western diplomat said the government had to meet a set of criteria in order to seek a deferral of the indictment: faster deployment of the UN-African Union force, Unamid, cessation of hostilities, a better environment for displaced people and humanitarian aid workers, and uninterrupted implementation of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement.This ceasefire, if it held, would satisfy only one of those criteria. What is more, the president announced the ceasefire with a caveat – “provided that an effective monitoring mechanism be put into action and be observed by all involved parties”.“There are no forces that can monitor the ceasefire,” said Foreign Minister Deng Alor of the SPLM, adding that he doubted Unamid had the capacity yet. “The decision to call for a ceasefire is a positive thing, but then it has to be made to work.”Other Sudan People’s Initiative’s recommendations – all endorsed by the president, who said he would create a special committee to monitor their implementation – included the release of Darfurian political prisoners, individual and collective compensation, and increased police presence in the camps for displaced people.Darfur rebels said they were disappointed that some key issues were not nailed down, including the release of JEM fighters sentenced to death, making the three states of Darfur a semi-autonomous region, and giving the region a vice-presidential post.These issues, according to analyst Alex de Waal, were critical for Darfurians, “because they provide those cast-iron guarantees that Darfur’s wishes cannot be overridden by a national political system in which they are a numerical minority”.Bashir called on the rebels to come to the negotiating table and said he would create a committee charged with wooing them, but De Waal said: “Bashir needs to build a lot of confidence before he can expect the movements to respond positively.”Still, the analyst remained cautiously optimistic.“The most important reality today is that the denial and self-imposed political paralysis that have marked the Sudanese political establishment’s approach to Darfur have been decisively overcome … There’s a glimmer of hope.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]: Irin NewsRelated articlesAfrica: fast factsBetter government across AfricaUN, AU strive for peace in Africalast_img read more

How Massachusetts Tried To Fleece Its Technology Sector With “Tech Tax”

first_imgRelated Posts “Make money,” the governor said to me as he shook my hand. In March of 2012, I was at a startup event in Boston at a club downtown. The party was a feel-good “pay it forward” type of thing where the Boston startup ecosystem gets together and congratulates itself on how awesome it thinks it is. In attendance was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, espousing how Boston and the Commonwealth government were welcoming of tech startups. After a short speech on stage, Patrick exited the event with his usual coterie of lackeys where I was standing outside chatting with a friend. “Governor,” I said, “a quick question?”That is when he shook my hand and said, “make money.” And then walked away.Patrick thought I was some startup employee or founder, his target audience for the night. Patrick’s administration has been very proactive in creating a comforting environment for startups in Boston. The Commonwealth helped build a new “innovation district” down by the Seaport and everything Patrick has said publicly has been supportive of emerging businesses.His actions, however, have been another thing entirely. To Patrick and Massachusetts government officials, the state’s startups are not about creating better products or a better world. They are about one thing:“Make money.”Tech Tax Hurt Massachusetts InnovationHubSpot’s Laura Fitton at MassTLC “Unconference” 2012Massachusetts had a good reason for wanting to funnel some money from the burgeoning technology economy in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts’ transportation infrastructure could use a serious cash influx to repair roads and bridge, update the “T” subway system and keep Boston moving efficiently. Earlier this summer, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved a new set of tax hikes to finance its transportation initiatives. Cigarettes and gasoline were among the products getting more taxes, among several other dozen sundry items. Included in this tax hike was a “software tax” that was extremely confusing and opaque. Nobody really knew what to make of it other than that it would make it much more difficult for technology companies operating in Massachusetts to avoid the Commonwealth’s revenue barons. The gist of the Tech Tax was that the Commonwealth would extend its 6.25% sales tax on custom software and network design services. Essentially, if a development or technology consultant firm farmed work out of state or had out-of-state customers, the additional 6.25% sales tax would apply (the law is more opaque and confusing than that, creating much handwringing among the state’s technology firms, startups and developer centers over if and how to comply).The Tech Tax was estimated to bring in up to $160 million annually into the Commonwealth’s coffers. Yet, because of the vague wording of the bill, some estimated that the burden to Massachusetts companies could be up to $500 million. Opponents said that it was “the most far-reaching tax on software services in the country.”In a press release announcing a petition to repeal the bill, Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said that the tech tax was “the most anti-competitive piece of legislation in my 21 years as head of the Foundation and will cause incalculable damage to job creation and the Massachusetts economy.”So much for Patrick’s call to “make money.”Boston Tech Fought BackThe Tech Tax was the brainchild of the Massachusetts legislature and Governor Patrick’s office. During the drafting and implementation of the transportation bill, hardly any of the prominent Massachusetts technology players were consulted. Localytics CEO Raj Aggrawal at MassTLC “Unconference” 2012And then it was too late. The new taxes went into effect in the Commonwealth the first week of August. Consternation and confusion was immediately expressed by Boston’s large technology sector. Out-of-state tech companies that do a lot of business in Massachusetts looked even more warily on a state that has long had the reputation as “Taxachusetts.” When the repercussions of the Tech Tax became known, Boston tech companies kicked into gear. The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) led the fight, organizing local technology companies both large and small to fight the tax. A group of 20 businesses signed the petition to repeal the Tech Tax and threatened to bring it up for a vote as a statewide ballot in November (state politicians generally dislike these types of votes where the public overturns their policies and are seen as bad press for their eventual reelection bids). MassTLC has created tools to petition local lawmakers and organized informational meetings and summits on how Massachusetts companies can handle the Tech Tax and its repeal. The efforts have gained momentum. Governor Patrick has reversed his position on the Tech Tax and is now calling for its repeal. Commonwealth lawmakers on Boston’s Beacon Hill are expected to vote next week to repeal the tax. Massachusetts Tech Companies Need ProtectionIf a software tax like the one in Massachusetts were introduced to the denizens of San Francisco and the extended Silicon Valley area, it would be national news. The big tech companies in California would have their top-dog lawyers and lobbyists on it the moment it was announced and browbeat the California state government into dropping its plans. Deval Patrick signs repeal of tech tax (via @MassGovernor on Twitter)Massachusetts does not have that same type of organization in its technology sector. Many people looked towards MassTLC. Yet, the organization said time and again that it was not a lobbying organization and did not have the resources to continually monitor what is happening on Beacon Hill. One of the problems is the nature of how bills are passed. The “Tech Tax” was essentially a line item in a much, much larger transportation bill. Organizations like MassTLC don’t have the money and resources to monitor every bill that passes through the Massachusetts legislature and how it might effect the local startup ecosystem.The startups and technology sector of Boston and Massachusetts do not have a single group looking out for it. At the same time, it showed that it can come together to defend itself when it believes the Commonwealth is not looking out for its interests. Images: Massachusetts State House courtesy Wikipedia Commons. Governor Deval Patrick via Massachusetts.gov. Unconference via MassTLC. What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… dan rowinski Massachusetts needs money. These days, every state is looking for ways to scrape out more revenue for failing budgets and costly infrastructure projects.But Massachusetts looked at its burgeoning technology sector and thought that it could squeeze at least $160 million a year out the Commonwealth’s startups and established technology firms for funding of a transportation bill.So, the Massachusetts “Tech Tax” was born. It was a vaguely written and a potentially harmful burden to startups in and around Boston. When technology firms in Boston figured out exactly what the Tech Tax was, they fought back. And, for once, the Massachusetts legislature listened. This week, the Tech Tax was repealed by a 38-0 vote in the Commonwealth senate a day after it was also rejected by the House of Representatives 156-1.Today, Patrick made it official and signed the repeal of the tech tax. He likely did so with a sigh as the tax essentially started in his office because he, like many other state executives across the country, looked at the startups in his state and saw nothing but dollar signs. Deval Patrick To Startups: “Make Money” Tags:#Boston#Massachusetts#startups How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … How to Get Started in China and Have Successlast_img read more

Dhar MP Savitri Thakur of BJP

first_imgSavitri Thakur,  Dhar (ST Reserved), BJPWinning margin – 104,328 votes.2. She defeated her nearest Congress rival Umang Singhar. 3. Educational qualification – Higher Secondary, Marital Status – Married, Children – 2 sons.4.  Asset declared – Rs 9,206,464, criminal cases – noneSavitri was a social worker before joining politics. She was co-ordinator of the NGO Vashp for 9 years. Her husband is a farmer and her father, a retired employee of the state forest department.She didn’t have anyone in her family who was active in politics. However, her family has been associated with the RSS for a long time.The 16th Lok Sabha elections was the first big elections she fought. Earlier, she successfully won  Dhar Zila Panchayat president elections in 2006.She took a plunge in politics to empower poor, especially tribals. Her three priorities for constituency are Dhar-Jhabua rail line construction to join the two tribal-dominated districts, industrialisation and setting up of sugar mills.Savitri is expecting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will provide strong leadership to the country and turn the country into a developed nation. She says that Modi’s wave, Chouhan’s beneficial schemes and hard labour put in by BJP and RSS cadres helped her to win elections.She says that the primary responsibility of Parliament was to make effective laws and make the country strong. She says that social media was an effective tool for communication but it has not yet penetrated in tribal-dominated areas – like her constituency. Savitri says she does doesn’t find time for books, films, music and sports. She says that she draws pleasure in meeting people and mitigating their problems.She says that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was ideal politician for her. He was a great leader, who linked rural India with roads.She adds that politics can be done without money power but political patronage does help sometimes. Savitri says you money can’t buy votes. “It is the people connect that help a politician to get votes and win elections,” she adds.  She says that there was no threat to the country as long as Modi is the Prime Minister.Her solution to1.    Curb inflation – Strong government check.2.    Tackle communal violence – Tough action against rioters and appeasement of none.  3.    Stop terror attacks – Stringent laws against terrorists.4.    Stop corruption – A powerful campaign against graft and strict punishment.  5.    Normalise relations to Pakistan and China – Effective foreign policy.6.    Stabilise rupee – Increase export, reduce import.7.    Raise employment – Industrialisation.8.    Reduce poverty – More poor friendly schemes.last_img read more

Patellar dislocation

first_imgDislocation usually occurs as a result of sudden direction changes while running and the knee is under stress or it may occur as a direct result of injury.Review Date:6/13/2010Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.last_img read more