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Atlanta flights cancelled by crosswinds

first_imgNo Fly zone: Airlines avoid Florida and nearby states as Irma moves in. Faced with the arrival of now Tropical Storm Irma, airlines serving the world’s busiest airport canceled  flights at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The issue is crosswinds.Atlanta’s five parallel runways are set to work with the prevailing east-west winds. Irma  packed  strong north-south winds when she hit the Georgia megahub Monday September 11.Aircraft can handle crosswinds—up to a point.In a prepared release Delta, Atlantas’s (ATL) dominant airline, said:  “A slight crosswind is allowable and can be safely managed. But 40 mph (64kmh) or greater crosswinds, as the storm is expected to bring in Atlanta, may exceed allowable limits.”Pilots can land with below-limit crosswinds through a technique known as ”crabbing,” pointing the nose of the aircraft at an angle so it’s partially into the wind.Delta says wind shear could also pose a threat. The airline is acutely aware of what wind shear can do. Delta Flight 191 was a victim of the potentially deadly phenomenon back in 1985 at Dallas/Fort Worth International. One-hundred-and-thirty-seven died.Delta axed some 800 flights Monday.Southwest Airlines, Atlanta’s second largest airline, said it was cutting out all flying into the airport after 1 p.m. Eastern Time U.S. September 11. Carriers expect to resume flights Tuesday September 12.FlightAware reports there were 3,724 cancelled flights within, into or out of the United States September 11—a massive number. The tally should drop dramatically Tuesday,according to FlightAware, when 1,302 flights are canceled.Not only will Atlanta be coming back on line, airlines are set to re-start a slew of Florida operations, at least on a limited basis.The further south on the Florida Peninsula, as a rule, the quicker the flights re-start.Major Tampa player Southwest says you’ll have to wait till at least Wednesday September 13 to catch a Tampa flight.The focus for airlines as this unprecedented storm passes is safety; the watchword for airline passengers is patience.Read: Virgin Group founder Richard Branson calls for “Marshall Plan” to rebuild Caribbean.last_img read more

The evolution of the spine fueled the rise of mammals—and human back problems

first_img By Elizabeth PennisiSep. 20, 2018 , 2:00 PM Run, climb, breathe deep. You might not connect those abilities to your backbone. In fact, mammals owe many of their capabilities to the complex structure of their spine, which has five distinct regions, each free to adopt specialized functions. In this week’s issue of Science, Harvard University vertebrate paleontologist Stephanie Pierce and postdoc Katrina Jones report an investigation of fossils from the dawn of mammals that shows how evolution built our versatile spine.”This is an important analysis,” says Richard Blob, a biomechanist at Clemson University in South Carolina. “It’s tackling a fundamental problem: the origins of animal construction.” And it shows how mammals ended up with a backbone that “can evolve in pieces and respond to different selective pressures at different places along the column,” says Emily Buchholtz, a vertebrate paleontologist at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.Biologists have long recognized distinct regions in the mammalian spine based on their vertebrae. For example, small cervical vertebrae make up the neck, thoracic vertebrae bear the ribs and support the chest, and the ribless, hefty lumbar vertebrae bring up the rear. In contrast, reptiles and amphibians have very uniform backbones. “All their vertebrae are essentially doing the same thing,” Pierce says. She and others assumed a regionalized spine was unique to mammals.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(*)But in 2015, a sophisticated statistical analysis of a snake spine and a look at the genetic programs controlling its development indicated this backbone, too, has very subtly defined regions. “The work showed that regions could be distinct even if they weren’t as different as in mammals,” says Christian Kammerer, a paleontologist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. The finding suggested a regionalized vertebral column evolved early in land animal history, even before the divergence of mammals and reptiles.To probe its origins, Pierce, Jones, and their colleagues scoured museums for fossils with complete backbones. Ultimately, they analyzed spines from 16 synapsids, creatures that lived 200 million to 300 million years ago and include distant and immediate predecessors to mammals. They used computerized tomography scanning to get high-resolution images and worked with paleontologist David Polly from Indiana University in Bloomington to precisely measure the shapes of the vertebrae and assess regionalization within each animal.The analysis uncovered a stepwise addition of regions. More distant ancestors of mammals, such as Dimetrodon, a large reptilelike synapsid with a giant sail on its back, had three regions, designated cervical, anterior dorsal, and posterior dorsal. The therapsids, creatures that just preceded mammals, had a fourth region, the pectoral. A fifth region, the lumbar, appeared after early, egg-laying mammals arose and is found today in placental and marsupial mammals.The work also pointed to factors driving the emergence of these distinct regions. The pectoral region, for example, appeared in the therapsids as they evolved longer forelimbs, positioned under the body rather than splayed to the sides. (Think of a dog’s legs compared with a lizard’s.) The limb changes would have required changes in the shoulder girdle and the vertebrae supporting it, resulting in a distinct region of the spine just behind the neck. The same set of changes also freed some shoulder muscles to evolve into a muscular diaphragm, which improved breathing and enabled mammals to have a higher metabolic rate, Buchholtz says.Over time, further decoupling led to the modular spine seen in mammals today, in which individual vertebrae can change without jeopardizing the function of the whole spine. As a result, different regions can “take on new forms and functions, so they can adapt to different environments,” Pierce says. Perhaps the most variable part of the spine has been the last to emerge: the lumbar region, which interacts with the pelvis and hind limbs.The cat family illustrates the benefits of the region’s evolutionary freedom. All cats look, well, catlike, but lions tend to keep their feet on the ground and hunt large prey, whereas clouded leopards live in trees, leaping on their quarry, and cheetahs chase down antelopes at high speeds. Paleontologists Marcela Randau and Anjali Goswami of the Natural History Museum in London did 3D analyses of 109 cat skeletons representing species with various hunting and living strategies. They compared the vertebrae within each species and between species, as well as the limbs, shoulders, pelvises, and skulls.In all these cats, most of the spine looks similar. Their lumbar regions have diversified, however, suggesting this region evolved independently of the rest of the spine and skeleton, Randau said last month at the second Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Montpellier, France. The size and shape of the lumbar vertebrae vary depending on what the cat does best.”It’s the lumbar region that really allows mammals to do all sorts of different things,” Pierce says. On the downside, the more recently evolved parts of the back—the lumbar region in particular—are also the source of most back pain, Pierce says, so “maybe we also owe our ancestors for having back complications.” The evolution of the spine fueled the rise of mammals—and human back problems Distant mammal ancestors such as Dimetrodon (right) had three spine regions; a mouse (left) has five. K. JONES ET AL., SCIENCE, 361, 6408 (2018) last_img read more

ESPN Body Issue a Quick Subscription Boost

first_imgI don’t think anyone doubted that the throng of semi-nude athletes appearing in (and on the cover of) ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue,” which hit newsstands October 9, would raise some eyebrows, and maybe help turn a few pages among the title’s readership. The better question was how ESPN would capitalize on all the attention. At the Magazine Publishers of America’s Innovation Summit Thursday, ESPN Publishing’s general manager and editorial director Gary Hoenig shed a little light on the results. While newsstand numbers haven’t been counted, he said ESPN’s Insider—the paid content arm of the ESPN the Magazine Web site—saw 400 new subscribers within hours of the Body Issue content being posted online.Since ESPN Insider subs cost $39.95 a pop, after some quick, unofficial math one could assume the publisher hauled in close to $16,000 in just one day. That’s not too shabby. So, was there any blowback? Did any angry parents or religious types call up to cancel their subscriptions? An ESPN spokesperson said she didn’t immediately have those numbers handy.last_img read more

Interests of Tata and Qatar Airways may cloud Etihad and Hinduja bids

first_imgApart from Etihad Airways and the Hinduja group, Tata Group and Qatar Airways may bid for the grounded Jet Airways, reports say.ReutersEtihad Airways’ bid to buy grounded private carrier Jet Airways in partnership with the Hindujas off the bankruptcy court may have hit a hurdle as more airlines may join the fray. The UAE national carrier, a strategic partner holding about 14 per cent stake in the defunct private airline, has reportedly contacted the bankruptcy resolution professional. But, media reports say the Tata group, which has a majority stake in the full-service airline Vistara and budget airline Air Asia India, is also interested in making an offer in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) where the lenders have taken the Jet Airways to for proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).Qatar Airways, the full-service national carrier of Qatar, another Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nation, is also interested in Jet Airways, according to industry observers. The much-awarded Middle East airline, however, will need a domestic partner to mount a credible challenge to the Etihad-Hinduja bid.Meanwhile, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) may soon take a decision on the operating licence of Jet Airways which could affect the resolution process of NCLT, a media report said. The airline’s suitors, therefore, are awaiting the DGCA’s final word that is likely only after July 16. Aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation is expected to take a decision on the flying licence of Jet Airways this month. SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty ImagesAfter failing to find a buyer for the debt-laden Jet Airways that stopped flying from April 17, the State Bank of India (SBI)-led lenders’ consortium instituted the insolvency proceedings on June 20, the report in FirstPost says. On June 25, the resolution professional invited claims from all creditors to the grounded airline.Estimates say the airline owes more than Rs 8,500 crore to a consortium of 26 banks led by SBI, and over Rs 13,000 crore to the tens of hundreds of vendors, suppliers, and around 23,000 employees. Ashish Chhawchharia of Grant Thornton India is the resolution professional for the airline’s bankruptcy proceedings.Reports say that the Hinduja Group stopped negotiations for buying a stake because of the uncertainty after the case moved to the bankruptcy court. The airline’s founder Naresh Goyal and his family still hold about 24 per cent stake in India’s first private airline that began flying in mid-1993. Goyal, who stepped down in March as executive chairman of the company under pressure from the creditors, faces an exit ban along with his spouse as a probe is on under the Company Law into any suspected diversion of funds leading to the company’s bankruptcy. Some other former top officials of the airline are also under the exit ban. Some of the creditors to the airline have also moved the NCLT and the petitions are being heard together. A Dutch court declared Jet Airways bankrupt in May and seized a Boeing 777 aircraft on a petition by a creditor.last_img read more