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Amateur Naturalist: A Study In Lichen

first_imgThe vertical canyon walls and a stream in Hidden Valley in the Valles Caldera together provide and hold water vapor, which can then support plants that are different than in more open areas. Photo by Robert DryjaBy ROBERT DRYJALos AlamosThink about a pot of boiling water on a stove. Bubbles of water vapor can be easily seen rising in the pot to surface. Vapor then cools just enough to appear as steam saturating the adjacent clear air. Temperatures are in the range of 200 degrees at this point. Now observe a cup of warm coffee or tea. The cup may feel warm when held and steam may not be visible. However, the air just above the surface of the coffee or tea also may feel warm it you hold your finger close to it. Temperatures now are in the range of 100 degrees with water now in a form of invisible vapor.Now consider plants. Plants need water to live. Do you suppose plants can benefit when water vapor is cool enough? Can a plant somehow drink water vapor? How could we observe such a thing?” There are places where it is possible to see this. This involves going to a canyon with a particular shape. The canyon may be shaped somewhat like an elongated pot. It should have openings at two ends and a small stream flowing through it. The walls of the canyon on each side of the stream ideally will be from fifty to one hundred feet apart. The walls also should rise vertically for sixty or more feet while the stream bubbles along in between.A canyon like this exists in the Valles Caldera. In effect it is like a huge pot that is stretched out for half a mile. The stream flowing through it provides cool vapor but the vapor only can escape at the ends of the canyon. The air in the canyon is cool for most of day and so does not raise up over the tops of the canyon walls.The plants in the canyon are different from elsewhere and the change is immediately apparent when entering the canyon. Whereas ponderosa pine trees are the more common tree outside of the entrance of the canyon, other kinds of conifer trees become common inside. The conifer trees can live comfortably where there is more shade and cooler compared to the ponderosa. This difference also can be seen when going up the side of a mountain. Ponderosa are the dominant tree at lower, warmer elevations while conifer replace them at cooler, higher elevations.Something startling happens with other plants in the canyon. What looks like Spanish moss appears everywhere, hanging from the trees. But where does Spanish moss normally grow? It is found in the southern states closer to the ocean. But this canyon is high the mountains and far from the ocean. Are we really looking at Spanish moss or at something else? (Spanish moss is not from Spain and is not a moss by the way.)It is easy to look closely at these mystery plants. It is hanging everywhere from the conifer tree branches. The plants are like batches of string hanging down and the strings have small threads growing out of their sides. These whitish, stringy plants may remind a person of an old man’s beard. They are not at all like a plant with leaves.The shape provides a clue. There is a type of lichen called old man’s beard. The trees are covered with lichens, not a regular type of plant. A lichen is composed of a fungus and algae living together. The  fungus provides the structure to hold the algae and the algae grows food for the fungus. These lichens do not have any roots growing into the branches of the trees. The trees only provide support for the lichens to hang on.All of the lichen is growing on trees close to the stream. They stop growing on the trees that are toward the top of the canyon walls. The lichens at the stream side are receiving needed moisture from the water evaporating from the stream. This moisture becomes disbursed at the top of the canyon walls and no longer available.The canyon therefore is like a very large pot that provides air moisture from the stream flowing through. The more commonly seen lichen grows like a small piece of flat paper on a boulder or other large rocks. Even when shaded there is not as much water vapor present. The stringy type of lichen in in the canyon in contrast lives successfully by hanging from trees where it is moister, shadier and cooler. ‘Old Man’s Beard’ is a type of lichen hanging from tree branches in a Valles Caldera canyon. Photo by Robert Dryja Flat, paper-like, colorful lichen on a boulder away from stream water in the Valles Caldera. Photo by Robert Dryjalast_img read more

Shedding light on why Toronto and Aberdeen are recession-proof

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Auto Care Association Announces Key Staff Changes

first_imgAdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementThe Auto Care Association has announced key professional staff leadership changes as part of an overall restructuring plan to strategically align association resources with changing member and industry needs.Rich White, senior vice president, will retire effective June 30, after serving in a variety of positions over the past 18 years. White oversaw marketing and communications, market research, member services, trade shows and education, and served as executive director of the Car Care Council.“Rich has played a critical role in the success of the association during his tenure,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “He is probably best known for being the architect of the highly successful association rebranding initiative and spearheading the creation of the ‘Be Car Care Aware’ consumer education campaign. Rich’s experience and institutional knowledge will help facilitate a smooth transition over the next few months to our new organizational realignment. He will continue directing the Car Care Council as a consultant.”Key to the restructuring plan is the promotion of Behzad Rassuli to senior vice president, strategic development. Rassuli will oversee the market intelligence, member services, business development, marketing, communications and community engagement functional groups of the association.Advertisement“This restructuring strategy will enable much greater efficiency across our key member-facing channels by integrating related functional areas, and will strengthen our ability to meet and exceed the association’s goals,” said Hanvey. “Behzad’s unique strategic and analytical skills and experience are critical to leading the robust realignment, and to executing the association’s long-term vision.”A new community engagement department will be headed by Larry Northup as senior director. The purpose of the new department is to evolve the volunteer communities (formerly called segments) to increase volunteer engagement, add value for volunteer leaders and increase community effectiveness to best support the association’s long-term vision. Northup also will continue to serve as executive director of the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA).last_img read more

Singapore: Jaya Reports Quarterly Profit of $7.2 M

first_imgThe Group’s revenue for the quarter under review was US$33.0 million. Excluding vessel sales, the quarter’s revenue was 31% higher than the previous corresponding quarter. This was due to improved charter utilisation of 83% compared to 80% charter utilisation in the previous corresponding quarter.As the Group’s vessels engage in more complex operations, they also command higher charter day rates. During the quarter, one of the Group’s Platform Supply Vessels (“PSVs”) began deep-water survey operations offshore Mozambique whilst the other PSV began mobilisation to Tanzania for another customer. The Group’s fleet size was at 28 vessels as at 31 December 2013 as compared to 27 vessels a year ago.For the 1H FY2014, the Group’s revenue was US$62.6 million. Excluding vessel sales, the Group’s revenue for 1H FY2014 was 21% higher than the previous corresponding period. The Group’s net profit for 2Q FY2014 was US$7.2 million, 11% higher than the previous corresponding quarter. Excluding the one-time charges and gains from vessel sales, the Group’s net profit for 2Q FY2014 was 16% higher than 2Q FY2013.The Offshore Support Services Division recorded a net profit of US$10.2 million in the quarter under review compared to US$8.3 million in the previous corresponding quarter. The increase in net profit was attributable to improved charter utilisation of 83% vs. 80% and improved charter day rates on higher fleet value.The Offshore Engineering Services Division recorded a net loss of US$2.7m during the quarter as there were only five vessels under construction compared to eight vessels under construction during the previous corresponding quarter.For the 1H FY2014, the Group recorded a net profit of US$14.9 million against US$16.6 million in 1H FY2013. Excluding the one-time charges and gains from vessel sales, the Net Profit was 16% higher than that of the previous corresponding period.Commenting on the results, CEO Venkatraman Sheshashayee said, “Our shift in focus to long-term charters of our fleet, delivering high quality, customised services to our clients haspaid off and we are pleased to report another quarter of healthy charter utilisation. Jaya has also successfully expanded its footprint to new markets to East Africa, with the first full quarter of operations for Jaya Vigilant in Mozambique,”   Sheshashayee added, “The offshore oilfield services market continues to be robust in many of the target markets in which we are operating. While seasonal factors in South EastAsia have had their usual impact, Jaya has successfully signed long-term contracts for three of our vessels to work in Saudi Arabia, increasing our presence in the Middle East. Charter utilisation for 3Q FY2014 is expected to be healthy. Our chartering order book has grown to US$327 million, including options to extend, from US$180 million a year ago and is expected to provide a strong recurring and sustaining stream of revenue for the Group.”[mappress]Press Release, January 21, 2014 A Singapore-based offshore energy services provider, Jaya Holdings Limited has reported consolidated revenue of US$33.0 million and net profit of US$7.2 million for the second financial quarter ended 31 December 2013.last_img read more


first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

The answer to cleaner air in our city centres is all wrapped up in the construction supply chain

first_imgGet access to premium content subscribe today LOGIN or REGISTER for free access on selected stories and sign up for email alerts.Take out a print and online or online only subscription and you will get immediate access to:Breaking industry news as it happensExpert analysis and comment from industry leadersUnlimited access to all stories, including premium contentFull access to all our online archive LOGIN or REGISTER to access this storylast_img

A2SEA hits 1,000

first_imgTurbine 1,000 was installed by vessel Sea Jack at the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea. “It is a huge achievement for our company and we are very proud of having been able to effect the industry,” said Jens Frederik Hansen, ceo A2SEA.”From the very first turbine with Sea Energy in June 2002 on Horns Rev I many things have happened in the industry. With purpose built vessels and challenges with deeper waters and bigger components, the industry has surely grown and are facing different challenges also in relation to reduction of the cost of energy,” he added.A2SEA is currently installing foundations and turbines at the West of Duddon Sands, and turbines at Gwynt y Môr. At the start of 2014, heavy installation vessel Sea Challenger will join the A2SEA fleet. Built by China’s COSCO the new vessel will be enter service at Westermost Rough during summer 2014.www.a2sea.dklast_img read more

SDV establishes Spanish subsidiary

first_imgThe new structure, with 110 staff headquartered in Valencia, will incorporate the Bolloré Group teams already present in Spain, as well as shipping specialist Isamar.18 members of staff dedicated to industrial projects – most of them coming from Tiba Projects – will strengthen this structure, said SDV.www.sdv.comwww.bollore.comwww.isamar.infowww.tibagroup.comlast_img

World rail freight news round-up

first_imgCRRC Dalian has manufactured the first two of four Type CDN10A diesel locomotives ordered by Alborzniroo for use on open access services in Iran. They are customised to withstand high temperatures and sandstorms. Kiruna Wagon has completed initial static testing of a side dump wagon and unloading station being developed for agriculture, food and engineered materials company ICL under the EU-backed Hermes project. ‘The mechanical principles operated entirely as expected and we will now be looking at details, such as adjusting the hydraulic flow to calibrate the tipping speed’, said supervising engineer Martin Malmelöv. The wagon is a further development of a design used in Sweden since 2009, but with the hinge mechanism relocated from the wagon to the unloading station to save weight. TransContainer has awarded Transmashholding a 1·68bn rouble contract to supply 800 Type 13-9744-02 flat wagons between April and November 2017. The wagons are designed to carry 20 ft and 40 ft containers, timber between 3 m and 13·2 m in length, sheet metal and steel pipes betwee 350 and 1 200 mm in diameter, with the range of freight expected to reduce empty trips.Altaivagon subsidiary Kemerovohimmash has begun series production of Type 15-2148 ammonia tank wagons with an internal diameter of 3 200 mm and 86 m3 capacity. The design was developed in co-operation with chemical company Azot, which has ordered 400 to replace its life-expired fleet in 2017-20. Davies Turner and Air Sea Transport now offer a weekly less-than-container-load rail service from China to Warszawa with onward road transport to the UK under bond provided by Polish partner Raben. Transit times to the UK are 23 days from Hefei and 21 days from Wuhan. ‘We had been investigating the practicalities of a rail freight service from China to the UK and Ireland for some time and conducted a number of trials in 2016, before officially launching the service in January’, said Davies Turner Chairman Philip Stephenson. ‘We also offer a 25 day service to Ireland in conjunction with our own office in Dublin.’ Uruguayan company SELF has operated a 27-wagon test train carrying 810 tonnes of pine logs over the 477 km between Tranqueras and the Port of Montevideo.Vostokcement has decided to establish its own wagon fleet, in response to rising lease fees and a shortage of wagons resulting from Russia’s ban on wagon life-extension projects. It has bought 84 second hand wagons, and ordered 20 new open wagons from Promtraktorvagon. On April 5 Green Cargo switched the terminal in Malmö used by the three times per week Belgium Direct freight service launched in October 2016.last_img read more

The future of flying is pilotless planes

Pilotless Planes carrying people and cargo might make a debut in the next seven years according to a report by the investment bank UBS.The technology required to operate remote-controlled planes could appear by 2025 according to a new report by UBS. Further advances beyond 2030 might result in automated business jets and helicopters, and finally commercial aircraft without pilots, reports CNN.Pilotless planes will held reducing the cost of flying as airlines will reduce the cost of employing pilots. The aviation industry could save $35 billion a year by moving to pilotless planes. The report further says that planes will be safer since issues such as pilot error and illness will no longer be an issue.A research conducted in the United Kingdom found that more than half of people (53 percent) are unlikely to use pilotless planes.Currently, commercial flights land with the assistance of on-board computers, and pilots manually fly the aircraft for only a few minutes on average.Airlines do not fly on autopilot currently, they are constantly monitored and their navigation, systems and communication are constantly adjusted by pilots.Cargo planes would likely be first to incorporate the new technology, with commercial flights being the last to go pilotless. The number of pilots needed for each flight could be reduced along the way. read more