first_imgThe Texas Military Preparedness Commission last week awarded $14.1 million to four Texas communities for projects intended to bolster the standing of local installations in a future round of base closure, covering needs such as security enhancements and a new air traffic control tower.The awards stand out as state lawmakers had not allocated any funding over the past six years for its Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program. Last week’s awards will be followed on March 31 by a new batch of grants totaling almost $16 million, the amount leftover from the Legislature’s $30 million appropriation for the fiscal 2016-2017 biennium.“[This initiative] sends a strong signal to our local military and to the Department of Defense that says Texas is serious about its military installations and increasing the military value of its installations, and this is one action that delineates that,” said Bob Murdock, director of San Antonio’s Office of Military Affairs.San Antonio received the largest award, $5 million for a project that will connect the area’s military installations to an alternative water source.Val Verde County and the city of Del Rio will receive $4.3 million to construct a security control center at Laughlin Air Force Base’s main entrance that will correct numerous security and logistical challenges.“This grant is crucial in order for Laughlin to uphold the highest level of security and protection for the over 4,000 military personnel on the base,” Rep. Will Hurd (R) said in a press release. “This award not only strengthens Laughlin and the community, it ensures that future generations of student pilots and base personnel are provided the security they need to continue training those who serve in the best Air Force anywhere on the globe,” Hurd said.Wichita Falls’ $1.75 million award also will go toward improving security at an installation’s main gate; in this case, by improving the appearance of the streetscape outside the main entrance to Sheppard AFB. Under a project with a total cost of $3.5 million, the city will acquire and demolish abandoned properties near the gate, and also build transit and welcome centers.City manager Darron Leiker credited Wichita Falls’ award to its pledge to provide at least a 50 percent local match to the state grant.The city of Houston was awarded $3.1 million to construct a new air traffic control tower at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, a project intended to bolster the installation’s ability to operate missions that protect the region from aerial attack.“With all the refineries and chemical plants around the Port of Houston, we’ve got major national security assets in the Houston area that really need to be protected,” John Martinec, chairman of the Ellington Field Task Force, told the Texas Tribune in August. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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first_imgSurface fuels burn in the Moose Creek Fire last October near Sutton. (Photo by Sarah Saarloos/Alaska Division of Forestry)With temperatures rising and little rainfall across much of the state: fire season is here.Listen nowBut Alaska’s trees and grasses aren’t quite ready, according to Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service spokesperson Beth Ipsen.“Greening up is, is when leaves, when the trees start to leave, leaf up and we have green grass,” Ipsen said. “So right now the grass is dead, so it’s very susceptible to ignitions.”Ipsen said that the areas of greatest concern are not in the middle of nowhere, but rather the places where people live.“At this time of the year, we have more human starts, we don’t have lightning strikes, that happens later on in the summer,” Ipsen said.In particular, Ipsen said some fires start because Alaskans are getting their yards ready for the summer.“It’s springtime, people are cleaning up, doing a little spring cleaning, and they’re wanting to burn things, like debris piles, and while it’s okay to do that, you need a burn permit to do that,” Ipsen said. “What’s great about these burn permits is they are very descriptive of safety measures to take when you’re doing debris piles. It’s also burn barrels, it’s basically anything that’s larger than ten by ten.”There are a few specific precautions you can take to reduce the fire danger around your home and property when burning dead grass and debris.“Don’t burn during times that there’s high winds, and there, you can go online and check the forestry website, and it will have whether there is a burn suspension in your area,” Ipsen said. “The biggest thing is: don’t leave your fire burning, don’t leave it unattended, make sure it’s out before you leave the area.”For more information on fire safety and burn permits, you can visit the Alaska Division of Forestry website.last_img read more

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first_imgVijay Sethupathi in Super Deluxe.PR HandoutThiagarajan Kumararaja could not have asked for more as his second directorial movie Super Deluxe has earned a lot of positive words even before its theatrical release. The first authentic review about the Tamil film, which has some of the leading names from South India, are out online.Bollywood’s noted author and film critic, Anupama Chopra is raving about Super Deluxe. On her Twitter account, she wrote, “The film to watch this weekend is #Superdeluxe – such a masterful blend of high & low, the sacred & the profane! Thiagarajan Kumararaja (@itisthatis) creates a narrative that encompasses marriage, relationships, religion, politics, porn & life itself! Don’t miss it. [sic]”Her short and crisp review is expected to have a great impact on the movie and lift the spirit of the film team.Writer and filmmaker Sudhish Kamath too has tweeted about Super Deluxe and posted, “My first reaction to #SuperDeluxe was exactly a year ago! The film was still being edited. After this, I have watched the film twice and still plan to catch it in the theatres this week because of how much cinema @itisthatis has packed in three hours. An unpredictable mad ride!: The picture that he shared can be seen below:Indeed, the good words said by the aforementioned people about the Tamil film come as a boost to the makers ahead of the Tamil film’s release on Friday, 29 March. Super Deluxe is a film that you binge watch. So loving shot and the BGM and sound design a glorious reminder of the 80s, Ilayaraja, SPB, Mithun and Bappi Lahiri! And of course love loss betrayal sexuality Universe atoms molecules God Human gender sex and black plastic bags. https://t.co/l2iHmzYoAq— Vasan ??L? (@Vasan_Bala) March 28, 2019Super Deluxe has Vijay Sethupathi, Malayalam actor Fahadh Faasil, Samantha, Ramya Krishnan and Mysskin in the key roles. The film has Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music, PS Vinod and Nirvah Shah’s cinematography and Sathyaraj Natarajan’s editing.The movie is about a couple of characters with different backgrounds, landing in unexpected situations on a fateful day. How their lives are connected will be narrated with lots of twists and turns.My first reaction to #SuperDeluxe was exactly a year ago! The film was still being edited. After this, I have watched the film twice and still plan to catch it in the theatres this week because of how much cinema @itisthatis has packed in three hours. An unpredictable mad ride! pic.twitter.com/iZecJ2Oqoa— Sudhish Kamath (@SudhishKamath) March 28, 2019The major attraction of the movie is Vijay Sethupathi plays the role of a transgender named Priya in Super Deluxe.last_img read more

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first_img“This is not a question of not filling superfluous positions, of which there are many in government,” said Danielle Pletka, senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. “This is a question of filling important positions.”Although other departments have a higher share of vacant positions, the sheer number of top-level positions open at the State Department and the high stakes involved in the work there make it especially notable.On Friday, Trump is expected to announce a decision that could upend the Iran nuclear deal, and again, Pletka said, key appointed personnel are not in place to explain the president’s decision to U.S. allies.In the State Department alone, there is no nominee for ambassador to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey. And there is no assistant secretary for arms control or assistant secretary for international security and nonproliferation.“Who’s going to take that message to our Middle East allies? We don’t have any ambassadors. Who’s going to take that message to our Asian and European allies?” Pletka asked. “We. Don’t. Have. Those. People.”Also not yet nominated in the State Department: the assistant secretary for Near East affairs and the assistant secretary for South and Central Asian affairs. The U.S. is engaged in ongoing military operations in both those regions.At the Department of Homeland Security, where Trump just announced a pick for secretary, there are still no nominees for the critical positions of chief financial officer, assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and deputy administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This comes as Trump is pushing for aggressive immigration enforcement and as numerous states and Puerto Rico are trying to recover from natural disasters.Of approximately 600 key appointed positions throughout the government that require Senate confirmation tracked by the Partnership for Public Service, “President Trump has only about a quarter that are actually in place, and we’re nine months into his administration,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonpartisan group.That “is way behind what any prior administration has been able to accomplish and is a big problem,” Stier added.In addition to Trump’s slow pace for naming appointees, the Senate has also been slow to confirm his nominees.And while Trump says he is creating efficiency by leaving positions without nominees, Stier and others say it’s not that simple. Those open jobs are being filled on an interim basis by career civil servants and foreign service officers.“But they are the proverbial substitute teacher; everyone knows you’re not around for the long term,” Stier said. “Whatever decisions you make aren’t going to necessarily stick. You’re not likely to take the long-term view or handle the most difficult issues.”The people put in acting positions are often senior career civil servants with 20 or 30 years working in those agencies, said Jon Alterman, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.“They’re just at the point where they do have a lot to lose and they become very risk-averse, and I think you want people to be cautious but you don’t want them to be so risk-averse that they are afraid to act,” said Alterman.He says political appointees, confirmed by the Senate, have a bias toward action and bring fresh ideas. That is something you are less likely to get with a civil servant afraid of running afoul of the White House and ending a career.What Pletka really doesn’t understand is why a president who came to Washington promising to shake things up wouldn’t want to install his own people to help him do just that.“I’m actually just gobsmacked,” said Pletka. “One of the most important things about running for president and about being elected president is that you do get to make your mark.”Political appointees are one of the significant ways past presidents have made their mark on federal agencies.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share With President Trump‘s announcement that he plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen as homeland security secretary, he still has one more Cabinet post to fill — health and human services secretary. A president having to find replacements for two Cabinet secretaries this early in an administration is unprecedented. But observers are more alarmed by the less visible vacancies at the sub-Cabinet level: hundreds of positions without a nominee, and a president who says he has no intention of filling many of the jobs.“I’m generally not going to make a lot of the appointments that would normally be — because you don’t need them,” Trump said in an interview with Forbes Magazine last week. “I mean, you look at some of these agencies, how massive they are, and it’s totally unnecessary. They have hundreds of thousands of people.”Asked about the president’s comment, press secretary Sarah Sanders said that some jobs are in the process of being filled, with candidates going through an intensive vetting process, but that “the president came to Washington to drain the swamp and get rid of a lot of duplication, make government more efficient. And so if we can have one person do a job instead of six, then we certainly want to do that.”As North Korea intensifies its effort to become a nuclear-armed nation, threatening the U.S. and its allies, Trump still hasn’t nominated key people to help develop the U.S. strategy and response. More than half of State Department positions requiring Senate confirmation still don’t have a nominee, including the ambassador to South Korea and the assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs.Korea and the assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs.last_img read more

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first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Physicists scale up invisibility cloaks using natural crystals © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Physicists demonstrate a time cloaking device (2011, July 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-physicists-cloaking-device.html Unlike other proven cloaking devices that work by bending light around objects, this cloaking device works by compressing the light passing through the optical cable by means of a special silicon lens that causes some of the light passing through it to speed up and some to slow down, which causes the waves to divide. Another lens, a little farther up the cable then causes the light to be put back together. The result is light emerging from the end of the cable that appears to be unaltered, which means, for the little bit of space between the lenses, things have or could have gone on, with no record of it occurring.While it appears the new technology might be used for signal processing application, it appears equally likely it might be used for both good and bad purpose as well. For example, if coded messages could be hidden in a series of these cloaks, it would be mighty difficult to intercept them, making for very secure communications. On the other hand, it also seems logical to conclude that such a hidden time lag, if it could be made to pulse on and off, over and over as a data is passing through, could be used to intercept data without there being a record of it.In the demonstration, the reason that creating a temporary gap in the light in a fiber optic cable is considered to be cloaking time is because of the type of duality that exists between space and time in electromagnetic theory, which says in short, that diffraction and dispersion are symmetric in spacetime.If only the technology could be expanded to real world size, you could step between two lenses, and do anything you wish, and it would never be recorded in time; for the rest of the world, it would never have happened. Alas, it’s not to be however, the researchers point out that they don’t expect the technique could ever produce a gap that lasts any longer than 120 microseconds, not nearly enough time to do anything worth hiding.center_img Physicists Moti Fridman and colleagues at Cornell University have successfully demonstrated a so-called time cloaking device that is able to “hide” time for 15 trillionths of a second. In a paper published on arXiv, the researchers describe how they were able to cause light passing through a fiber optic cable to compress, than decompress, causing a hole or void to exist, long enough for there to be a lag between the two. More information: Demonstration of temporal cloaking, arXiv:1107.2062v1AbstractRecent research has uncovered a remarkable ability to manipulate and control electromagnetic fields to produce effects such as perfect imaging and spatial cloaking. To achieve spatial cloaking, the index of refraction is manipulated to flow light from a probe around an object in such a way that a “hole” in space is created, and it remains hidden. Alternatively, it may be desirable to cloak the occurrence of an event over a finite time period, and the idea of temporal cloaking was proposed in which the dispersion of the material is manipulated in time to produce a “time hole” in the probe beam to hide the occurrence of the event from the observer. This approach is based on accelerating and slowing down the front and rear parts, respectively, of the probe beam to create a well controlled temporal gap in which the event occurs so the probe beam is not modified in any way by the event. The probe beam is then restored to its original form by the reverse manipulation of the dispersion. Here we present an experimental demonstration of temporal cloaking by applying concepts from the time-space duality between diffraction and dispersive broadening. We characterize the performance of our temporal cloak by detecting the spectral modification of a probe beam due to an optical interaction while the cloak is turned off and on and show that the event is observed when the cloak is turned off but becomes undetectable when the cloak is turned on. These results are a significant step toward the development of full spatio-temporal cloaking. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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first_imgIn a case that could give a thriller a run for its money, the city police investigating the death of a septuagenarian in a fire in his home on Thursday stumbled on a man living with the skeletons of his elder sister and two dogs for the past six months.The police investigating a fire on the second floor of 3, Robinson Street in the heart of the city found the charred body of 77-year-old Arabindo De, owner of the house, from a bathroom on Wednesday night. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI”Following last night’s incident, we had posted two constables outside De’s flat. Seeing them, De’s son Partho (45) reacted abnormally,”  said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, special additional commissioner of police (crime).The police had initially thought his behaviour was due to the grief of losing his father. But when they questioned Partho, he narrated a bizarre story of his father storing his sister’s skeleton and those of two pet dogs inside the house, Ghosh said. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindThe police conducted a search and found three skeletons allegedly belonging to his elder sister Debjani (50) and two dogs from one room and a suicide note purportedly written by the father from another room.The note dated June 8 this year said none was responsible for his death. Ghosh said that during interrogation Partho told the police that Debjani was depressed after the death of two dogs last year and had stopped eating. She died six months ago.”We found ample dry food near the skeletons, which Partho said he was feeding his sister and the dogs,” the ACP said.”We believe Partho could not accept his sister’s death and did not cremate her body. We have sent him to a mental hospital. We are taking medical help to ascertain whether he is mentally stable or not,” Ghosh said. No case has been registered in this connection.last_img read more

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