The Invasion Of The Cicada Killers

first_imgA breed of wasp that digs long tunnels underground emerges every August to feast on that year’s cicada crop. Ken Rafferty has become an expert on them. Independent/T. E. McMorrowThem. They are cicada killers. Ken Rafferty is an expert on them.Every August, a different crop of cicada emerges in the woods of East Hampton, living in the treetops. Also emerging from underground are Sphecius speciosus, also known as the cicada hawk, a large digger wasp species.Ken Rafferty met up with the cicada killers when he was constructing a new house on Bull Path. Working as a contractor on the project, he had cleared an area around the house to stage its construction. “These cicada killers took up residence,” he said. “Now, they want to live here permanently.”For Rafferty, that was a major problem: He is highly allergic to the wasp’s sting. He learned about their ways “for my own preservation. If I am stung, I have three minutes” to apply an antidote, he noted.“These cicada killers can displace over 100 cubic inches of soil to make their nests underground,” he added. The wasps are attuned to the cicada. When the killer wasps emerge from their tunnels, which can wind for several yards, and they hear a cicada, they zip up to the top of the tree and capture it. At the end of the season, they will bring a dead cicada down into their tunnel, and lay their eggs on it. Another year goes by, and, having fed on the cicada, a new generation is born. The current crop of cicada killers on the Bull Path property is being removed. Not to worry, Rafferty said: cicada killers are plentiful in the woods.t.e@indyeastend.com Sharelast_img read more

FROM THE MAGAZINE: Project sector eyes blockchain trials in container shipping

first_img“Within container shipping, blockchain technology is extensively used,” said Robert Jan Timmers, business manager for breakbulk at the Port of Rotterdam. “In other segments, such as steel and non-ferrous metals, it is also used. There might be a place for blockchain in project cargo, and I believe that will grow. We just have not seen much of it yet.”Unlike many ports in North America and Asia, the Port of Rotterdam is strictly a landlord. It leases land to refineries, chemical plants, warehouses, terminal operators and service providers. It also co-invests with some developers, but does not operate any facilities. As such, the port only participates directly in blockchain transactions that involve port fees and other charges.”Northwest Europe is a mature industrial market, so there are not so many infrastructure projects,” he stated. “One exception is wind parks. There are a lot of tenders going out now and we have a keen interest in those.”Timmers explained that the advent of blockchain in project cargo seems to be coming from the largest projects with numerous shipments, and also from the smaller, more frequent projects. Those lend themselves to the distributed ledger approach more than the one-off medium-sized shipments.”There is a new monopile terminal within our port,” said Timmers. “We also see smaller project shipments consolidated here for the North Sea, as well as extreme heavy lift projects. We have floating cranes from 300 or 400 tonnes up to 1,800 tonnes capacity. So far, blockchain has been taken up faster in the container sector than for project cargoes. That may be because container is more transactional, but also may be because shippers prefer to keep control of their information. The blockchain is secure, but it is also transparent.”There might be a place for blockchain in project cargo, and I believe that will grow. We just have not seen much of it yet.- Robert Jan Timmers, Port of Rotterdam As various sectors of the supply chain study the viability of digitising the complex communications trail and improving efficiency and visibility, the distributed ledger technology known as blockchain is being trialled in a series of individual pilot projects. Some expect there to be benefits for project cargo once some standardisation is settled. Gregory DL Morris investigates.Early in 2018 an alliance of companies in marine cargo and insurance will go commercial with a blockchain system that is intended to increase transparency, security and efficiency in both the physical movement of goods by sea and its insurance. As the blockchain distributed ledger model lends itself to commerce with a high volume of transactions, it has been of greater interest in container shipping than in project cargo.There are potential benefits in blockchain for the project cargo segment, but applying what has been a virtual finance system to the world of logistics will take some trial and error. In this case, it may be just as well that operators in project cargo are not first adopters. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”About USD30 billion in premiums are collected each year in marine cargo insurance,” said Shaun Crawford, global insurance leader at consultancy Ernst & Young (EY). “An enormous amount of data is collected, but not much of it is used for risk management. If it were, risks would be better known and priced. Premiums could be lower, and there would have to be less capital tied up on balance sheets.”To that end, an alliance of companies has been testing blockchain systems through this year. The partners include EY, AP Moller-Maersk, Microsoft, underwriters XL Catlin and MS Amlin, insurance broker WillisTowersWatson (WTW), and data security firm Guardtime. “We started proof of concept tests in April 2017 with about a dozen user cases,” said Crawford, “and those have been successful. We go live in the first quarter of 2018. The first focus has been on hull, the second on containers; once those are up and running, other types of marine cargo will be included.”  “There is a lot of buzz in the container market about blockchain,” said Chip Reed, account manager for marine at WTW. “Project cargo has less frequency of transactions, so it is being applied first to the generalised segments. That could be good for the more specialised segments such as project cargo. After all, pioneers have it tough. Settlers reap the benefits. And I do see some definite benefits for project cargo.”One such benefit is security. From their cryptocurrency origins, blockchain distributed ledgers have an advantage when counterparties are little known or trusted. Project shipments are often done between parties on the other side of the planet that may not have worked together before.Management toolAnother is in the management of large capital projects such as a new refinery or power station. The heavy lift and over- dimensional components are just a few out of perhaps thousands of shipments from hundreds of suppliers. “Some project managers are already using blockchains,” said Reed. “In those cases, the project manager would purchase the ledger technology and make it available to the participating companies.” In that case, a freight forwarder or ship operator would have to be involved in blockchain, but not have to own or operate its own system.The Port of Rotterdam started a blockchain “technology field lab” in September 2017, about the same time as the insurance alliance made its announcements. Rotterdam is the largest container port in Europe and is also the continent’s largest refining and petrochemical cluster, so it is a major hub for bulk liquid terminals and tankers. Those tend to overshadow the project cargo volume in the port by relative number of shipments and tonnage.However, three factors make Rotterdam an important project cargo port: the inherent demands of a large refining and petrochemical sector for pressure vessels and other large components; the position at the nexus of rail, road, and river/canal systems from the industrial heartland of Europe; and direct access to the sea without locks.    An enormous amount of data is collected, but not much of it is used for risk management.  – Shaun Crawford, EY Project cargo has less frequency of transactions, so it is being applied first to the generalised segments.- Chip Reed, WTW This article is taken from HLPFI’s November/December 2017 edition. To you ensure you don’t miss any of these articles, click here to find out more about subscribing. PotentialPeter Bouwhuis, president and chief executive of project logistics management firm Xellz, is sanguine about the potential for distributed ledger technology in project cargo. “At this moment there are not really any blockchains being used as far as I know, but all parties I know are investigating. It is best for documentation and authorisation, but will be useful for freight forwarders, ocean carriers, handlers and terminal operations.”Xellz has had an implementation testbed running for several months and “it has worked flawlessly”, he stated. “Even in areas that do not do a lot of transactional business, blockchain can be applied for security and stability.” last_img read more

Legal Wales: New Supreme Court judge calls for institute of Welsh law

first_imgThe first Welsh Supreme Court judge has called for the creation of a new institute of Welsh Law.Sir David Lloyd Jones says the body is needed to help coordinate and consolidate the work of various academic and other institutions which are helping map an emergent body of Wales law. Pooling expertise would help avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ every time new law develops, he said. Citing areas where Wales is already going its own way – such as in planning, social services and residential tenancies – Sir David said he expects the process of divergence from English law to accelerate under the 2017 Wales Act. That legislation devolves more responsibilities from Westminster to Cardiff.Lord Justice Lloyd Jones has been a judge on the Wales circuit and was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2012. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in July, but has yet to take up the post.Speaking to the 2017 Legal Wales conference in Swansea this morning, the former Law Commission chair said the growing body of Wales law must be made readily available to the people of Wales. This is ‘essential’ to enable access to justice, and secure commercial certainty and economic prosperity, he added.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# David Lloyd JonesSource: Photoshot‘This will not be an easy undertaking,’ he conceded, while noting the ‘very satisfactory’ response to a Law Commission report which recommended that the Welsh government implement a programme of consolidation and codification. Last December counsel general for Wales Mick Antoniw announced a major programme to codify and publish a distinct body of Welsh law.’There is no shortage of initiatives or activities in relation to the study, teaching and propagation of the new Welsh law,’ Lloyd Jones said. ’It does seem to me that since so many different organisations and bodies are following very similar paths, what is needed now is a measure of coordination, in order to avoid duplication of effort, frustration, inefficiency and a waste of resources.’There are precedents for such coordination, said Lloyd Jones. He cited the Justice Wales Network, set up to enable justice agencies to share good practice in relation to language training and bilingual service provision.He added: ’Today I would like to propose a further initiative – the creation of an institute of Welsh law which could coordinate the efforts of so many different bodies in promoting the study and propagation of Welsh law. I realise different bodies have slightly different objectives –  the academic study of law obviously differs from the training of judges. ’But the initiatives these bodies are undertaking have far more in common with each other than divides them. It ought to be possible, for example, to share efforts in producing a manual for practitioners or judges in relation to residential tenancies, or the law relating to social care or planning law in Wales. ’It ought to be possible to disseminate a knowledge of Welsh law without reinventing the wheel on each occasion. Moreover, and this is vital, it should be possible to coordinate efforts without impinging on the independent functioning of these various bodies.’Lloyd Jones suggested the Welsh government could help efforts to set up such a body. Professional bodies, law schools and the Judicial College would be ‘ideal collaborators’, he added.last_img read more

Ficas bodyshells lift metro capacity

first_imgON MAY 5 Bombardier Transportation unveiled a car body assembly technique which uses thinner and smoother vehicle sidewalls to increase passenger capacity by up to 10%, reports Geoff Hadwick. Speaking at the UITP World Congress in Madrid, Bombardier Transportation President & Chief Operating Officer Pierre Lortie announced that a three-car trainset built using the Fully Integrated Carbody Assembly System (Ficas) developed at Kalmar will start trial running in Stockholm on June 30 under an agreement with AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik.A Ficas sidewall is formed of two smooth steel outer panels bonded to a rigid foam core. Unlike traditional car bodies which use a steel shell supported by steel cross-members, or welded aluminium extrusions, this approach is more akin to the lightweight monocoque bodies of modern aircraft and sports cars. A typical Ficas sidewall is up to 120mm thinner than a traditional bodyshell. Use of Ficas on the modified Stockholm C20 trainset has resulted in a 210mm increase in interior width, allowing a wider gangway whilst retaining an identical seating arrangement. The 33% increase in aisle width translates into 10% more floor area for standing passengers throughout the 46·5m long three-section articulated unit, without any change in the external dimensions. SL hopes to carry an extra 35 passengers per unit, or 105 in a nine-car train – a 6·5% increase in capacity. The tare weight of the three-car set has also been reduced by 2·6 tonnes, improving energy consumption.Noting that Ficas uses bonding and mechanical fastening as opposed to conventional welding, Bombardier emphasised that ‘minimal investment in new production facilities is required.’ This would also encourage more local assembly. Bomabrdier’s Vice-President, Sales, for metro cars Rauno Boga said he was keen to see Ficas technology applied to the Movia modular product platform currently being used to build new cars for Guangzhou and Bucuresti.last_img read more

ISR launches ’Akko – Karmi’el passenger services

first_imgISRAEL: Regular passenger trains began running to the Galilean city of Karmi’el on September 20, with the start of revenue operation on ISR’s 23 km ’Akko – Karmi’el branch. The double-track branch diverges from the Haifa – Nahariyya line between ’Akko and Kiryat Motzkin.Built by Israel Roads Ltd at a cost of US$785m, the line had been officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Transport Minister Israel Katz and ISR General Manager Shahar Ayalon on September 5.Described by IRL General Manager Nissim Peretz as a complex engineering project, the branch required the boring of a 4·7 km twin-bore tunnel under Mount Gilon. This is designed to accommodate 25 kV 50 Hz overhead wires in future as part of the national electrification programme. There is one intermediate station at Ahihud, which has parking for 230 cars; a further 700 spaces are provided at Karmi’el.ISR’s initial timetable provides 26 trains in each direction per day on the branch, running from 05.30 to 00.00. Of these, 18 trains each way run to or from Haifa Hof-ha-Carmel offering a journey time of 34 min for the 46 km between Karmi’el and Haifa Central at an average speed of 81 km/h. Additional trains operate at peak times to give 2 trains/h on the branch. These run through to or from Tel Aviv and Be’er-Sheva, covering the 137 km from Karmi’el to Tel Aviv Savidor in 90 min. There are seven through trains in the morning and eight in the afternoon.In conjunction with the start of regular operations on the new line, ISR introduced a revised national timetable on September 20, ahead of the Jewish New Year celebrations. This provides additional services on several routes, including the lines to Be’er-Sheva and Ashquelon. The Herzliyya – Tel Aviv – Jerusalem Malkha service has been split at Beit Shemesh, allowing the Flexliner IC3 DMUs to be replaced by double-deck push-pull sets providing additional capacity on the busier northern section. Services on the 60 km Valley line will begin calling at the new Haifa Hamifratz Central station when it opens in 2018.Announcing its results for the first half of 2017, ISR reported total ridership of 31·5 million passengers, a 7% increase on the same period in 2016. Freight traffic also increased slightly to 4·5 million tonnes.last_img read more

One Dead after Ship Capsizes Near Zhoushan

first_imgOn April 6, the 97 meter long cargo vessel Da Pu Jiang sank off Zhejiang Province, China. The cargo vessel was headed for Wufu from Caofeidian when it sank in northern Zhoushan waters, south of Shanghai. The ship capsized, 13 crew managed to get into life rafts, 12 were rescued, 1 died.Authorities launched a search and rescue operation. Three rescue vessels reached the scene. 10 of the 13 crew on board abandoned ship and got into the vessel’s life raft. A helicopter located two more crew men in the water and hoisted them to safety. Rescuers later discovered the body of the remaining crewman in the water.The cause of the sinking has not been disclosed and the investigation is ongoing.Sea News, April 9 Author: Priyanka Ann Sainilast_img read more

Clear Harbor launches Disaster Relief Fund with EC$50,000

first_imgBusinessLocalNews Clear Harbor launches Disaster Relief Fund with EC$50,000 by: – September 5, 2015 286 Views   no discussions Share Share Tweetcenter_img Roseau, Dominica 2015—Clear Harbor is following the lead of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and putting its operations back in full capacity starting Monday September 7, 2015.Following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika on August 26, the company shut down for three days—the first time in a decade—and since then gradually scaled up its workload thanks, in part, to the resilience of its staff.The resumption of full operations is our company’s way of ensuring firstly, that all our 780 employees keep their jobs and contribute to Dominica’s effort in keeping the wheels of the economy churning in the wake of the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika.As we get back to full capacity, our hearts are touched by the dedication of our staff particularly those directly affected by Tropical Storm Erika and we have sought ways to help them. Consequently, through the local ‘Clear Harbor Cares’ program, we have started a Disaster Relief Fund with EC$50,000. All of the proceeds will go directly towards assisting our staff and their families impacted by the storm. Thirty-eight (38) staff members have been identified as unable to return to work given their current location. We will be providing each of these impacted employees a grant on Monday to assist with buying food and necessities. In addition, we will provide additional grants to identified employees assisting them with relocation expenses into areas where they will have access to work. Lastly, we are establishing a Clear Harbor Cares committee to review individual circumstances associated with employees who have suffered the greatest loss and provide them with grants based on the severity of those losses.President of Clear Harbor C. Tut Smith has communicated to staff in Dominica that “our commitment is to make every effort throughout the rebuilding process to access all of the available resources to assist each of you that have been affected by the Storm.” Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

LeBron James Declares Social Media Silence: ‘Zero Dark Thirty-23’ Activated

first_imgWhat exactly does ‘Zero Dark Thirty-23′ mean? Well, it goes back to James, after losing to Dallas in the 2011 NBA Finals, deciding the following season that he would have no contact during the postseason with Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media apps.In 2012 when James first declared ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ he was able to rebound and lead the Miami Heat to the first of their two titles when he was down in South Beach.Now, he’s hoping to capture that same magic again for the Cavs, who will enter the playoffs with all sorts of questions as they have not done much to assure fans they are on the verge of another title.We shall see if James’ absence from social media is enough to help lift the Cavs back into the title picture, or if it’s just too little, too late for the team that won the hearts of Cleveland a year ago after overcoming the odds to win the NBA Finals in seven games. The Cleveland Cavaliers have had all kinds of distractions this season from the outside as they get set to try and defend their NBA Title starting later today against the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena.The teams leader, LeBron James, has decided enough is enough, putting out a declaration earlier Friday stating that he’s done for the time being with social media.Yes – it’s official – ‘Zero Dark Thirty-23‘ in now in effect. Related TopicsCavsLebron JamesNBA Playoffs Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. Matt Loedelast_img read more

KPB Marijuana Task Force Will Submit Final Regulation Comment

first_imgPhelps: “The requirement that the marijuana excises tax be paid prior to the sale. The proposed regulation wants it paid prior to sale and an existing statute on the books says that it will be paid monthly for the previous month, so that’s a big conflict that needs attention.” The task force also discussed how the borough’s conditional land use permitting process will address marijuana cultivation, including the amount of public notice needed. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Marijuana Task Force created their final comments on the state’s draft set of commercial cannabis regulations last night. Task force member Amy Fenske volunteered to draft an example of what she would like to see included in public notice regulations that will likely be discussed at the next meeting on December 10. This was the task force’s last meeting before the MCB finalizes the statewide regulations.center_img Public comment on the three proposed sets which will manage commercial marijuana statewide will close on November 11. Task force member Dolly Phelps detailed their final recommendation for the Marijuana Control Board’s proposed regulations. That suggestion for commercial marijuana sales will mimic the tax requirement on alcohol sales as outlined in Alaskan Statutes.last_img read more

LSU aims for 6th straight win

first_imgBATON ROUGE Coming off its second road win of the season, LSU looks to go into a short Christmas break with another victory at home as the Tigers host the College of Charleston on Monday at 8 p.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network (Tom Werme and Barry Booker) and the radio broadcast will be available on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and host Kevin Ford).LSU is 8-2 and winners of five straight since returning from the Virgin Islands with two of those wins on the road. LSU will be going for the not only its sixth straight win at home this year, but its sixth straight overall which would equal the longest win streak in Coach Johnny Jones’ three years at LSU.The College of Charleston Cougars are 5-6 on the year, having lost two straight, one on the road in overtime at Charlotte, and a Saturday 80-68 decision versus 9-1 Davidson. Canyon Barry made 7 of 14 field goals including three 3-pointers in scoring 20 points, while Joe Chealey had 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting for the Cougars.“Charleston has played a very tough non-conference schedule,” Jones said. “They have been very competitive in all of their games. It will be another great challenge for us. They are a really good 3-point shooting team; shooting about 37 percent from the 3-point line. We will be challenged defensively to contain their shooters. We will have to execute at a high level against them to be successful.”Charleston is 78-of-206 for 37 percent from the arc.Jones said point guard Josh Gray, who sprained his right ankle on Dec. 13 in the win over Sam Houston State, will be a game-time decision regarding his playing status for Monday night’s game.If Gray does not go, LSU will probably keep the same lineup as the UAB contest with Tim Quarterman and Keith Hornsby at guards and Jordan Mickey, Jarell Martin and John Odo at forwards. Hornsby had a college career high of 24 points, while Martin led the Tigers with 25 points. Mickey had seven blocks and Quarterman eight assists in the UAB.The Tigers came from 39-33 down at the half to win. LSU is now this year after trailing at the intermission. LSU shot better than 56 percent from the field in the second half of the game as LSU scored 46 points in the 79-70 win at Bartow Arena against the Blazers.Freshman Jalyn Patterson also had his best game of the year as he played 33 minutes off the bench, hitting 4 of 8 field goals including three 3-pointers to score 11 points with three assists and no turnovers.After Monday’s game, the Tigers will be off until the team has to return to campus on Friday evening. LSU will play again on Dec. 29 at 6 p.m. against Southern Mississippi and at 6 p.m. on Jan. 3 against Savannah State before beginning SEC play on Jan. 8 at Missouri.last_img read more