Central Vermont Public Service earnings down

first_imgVermont Business Magazine May 7, 2010 _ Central Vermont Public Service today reported consolidated earnings of $4.2 million, or 35 cents per diluted share of common stock, for the first three months of 2010, compared to $6.9 million, or 58 cents per diluted share of common stock, for the same period in 2009.– First-quarter earnings of $4.2 million, or 35 cents per diluted share, 23 cents lower than 2009 — $0.3 million increase in operating revenue — $4.6 million increase in other operating expenses, primarily due to major storm in February 2010 — $1.0 million increase in equity in earnings of affiliates– Earnings for 2010 are forecasted to be in the range of $1.55 to $1.70 per diluted share.”Much of the change was due to a major storm in February,” President Bob Young said. “Despite the storm, we’re making great progress. I was particularly pleased by our recent inclusion in Forbes’ list of the 100 most trustworthy companies in America. This listing highlights the success we have had instilling key, core values within the company, and working to be open, transparent and complete in our financial communications, accounting and corporate governance.”Going forward, we have several investment opportunities that will benefit customers and shareholders alike. We plan to invest more than $43 million in the transmission system and $38 million in our core distribution system over the course of this year,” Young said. “We will also begin significant investments in CVPS SmartPower™, our smart-grid program, which will require more than $60 million over the next few years, about half that money coming from federal stimulus funds.”We will also invest in new service territory and new hydro operations through the purchase of the assets of Vermont Marble Power Division, for approximately $33 million,” Young said.First quarter 2010 results compared to 2009First quarter operating revenues increased $0.3 million, including a $2 million increase in retail revenues, a $0.8 million increase in other operating revenues, partially offset by a $2.6 million decrease in resale revenue. The increase in retail revenues primarily resulted from a 5.58 percent base rate increase, effective January 1, 2010 and $0.9 million from ESAM revenue to recover 2008 major storm costs, partially offset by lower residential and commercial customer usage, due to warmer weather in 2010. The provision for rate refund is related to deferrals and refunds of over-collection of power, production and transmission costs as required by the power cost adjustment clause within our alternative regulation plan. This included a $0.6 million refund of over-collections from the third quarter of 2009, refunded to customers during the first quarter of 2010, partially offset by a $0.5 million over-collection of power costs during the first quarter of 2010 that will be returned to retail customers in the third quarter of 2010. Other operating revenues increased primarily due to higher levels of mutual aid for other utilities in 2010 and the sale of renewable energy credits. Resale revenues decreased due to lower average market prices despite an increase in volumes sold.Purchased power expense increased $0.1 million, due to a $0.4 million increase in purchases from Independent Power Producers, partially offset by a decrease in other power costs of $0.3 million. The decrease in other power costs was due to lower volume and capacity costs from Hydro-Quebec, reduced by higher output at the Vermont Yankee plant in 2010 and higher capacity costs. Other operating expenses increased $4.6 million, due to a $3.2 million increase in service restoration costs from a major storm in February 2010, and a $0.4 million increase in transmission expenses driven by higher rates from ISO-NE, and reduced by lower VTA billings due to higher NOATT reimbursements. We also had higher regulatory amortizations of $0.8 million from the recovery of 2008 major storm costs, and higher property taxes of $0.5 million, partially offset by lower production costs of $0.3 million, due to lower Vermont Yankee outage insurance premiums. Operating income tax expense decreased $1 million as a result of a lower level of earnings and partially offset by an unfavorable charge of $0.7 million required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as modified by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.Equity in earnings of affiliates increased $1 million, principally due to the $20.8 million investment that we made in Transco in December 2009.2010 Financial GuidanceCV anticipates annual 2010 earnings to be in the range of $1.55 to $1.70 per diluted share. As part of the alternative regulation plan base rate filing approved by the Vermont Public Service Board, the company’s allowed rate of return for 2010 will be 9.59 percent, down from 9.77 percent for 2009.WebcastCV will host an earnings teleconference and webcast on May 7, 2010, beginning at 9 a.m. EDT. At that time, CV President and CEO Robert Young and CV Chief Financial Officer Pamela Keefe will discuss the company’s financial results, as well as progress made toward achieving the company’s long-term strategy.Interested parties may listen to the conference call live on the Internet by selecting the “CVPS Qtr 1 2010 Earnings Call” link on the “Investor Relations” section of the company’s website atwww.cvps.com(link is external). An audio archive of the call will be available later that day at the same location or by dialing 1-877-660-6853 within the U.S. or internationally by dialing 1-201-612-7415 and entering Account 286 and Conference ID 347698.About CVCV is Vermont’s largest electric utility, serving approximately 159,000 customers statewide. CV’s non-regulated subsidiary, Catamount Resources Corporation, sells and rents electric water heaters through a subsidiary, SmartEnergy Water Heating Services.Form 10-QOn Thursday, May 6, 2010, the company filed its quarterly 2010 Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A copy of that report is available on our web site, www.cvps.com(link is external), under the “Investor Relations” section. Please refer to it for additional information regarding our condensed consolidated financial statements, results of operations, capital resources and liquidity.Reconciliation of Earnings Per Diluted Share 2010 vs. 2009 ————-2009 Earnings per diluted share $ 0.58Year-over-Year Effects on Earnings: Higher equity in earnings of affiliates 0.05 Higher operating revenues 0.01 Higher maintenance expense (major storm in February 2010) (0.16) Higher other operating expenses (0.06) Health Care Reform/Medicare Part D – Income tax impact (0.06) Higher transmission expense (0.02) Higher purchased power expense (0.01) Other 0.02 ————-2010 Earnings per diluted share $ 0.35 =============Forward-Looking StatementsStatements contained in this press release that are not historical fact are forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe-harbors from the liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements made that are not historical facts are forward-looking and, accordingly, involve estimates, assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Actual results will depend, among other things, upon the actions of regulators, performance of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, effects of and changes in weather and economic conditions, volatility in wholesale electric markets, volatility in the financial markets, and our ability to maintain our current credit ratings. These and other risk factors are detailed in CV’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. CV cannot predict the outcome of any of these matters; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such indicated results will be realized. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date of this press release. CV does not undertake any obligation to publicly release any revision to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release. Central Vermont Public Service Corporation – Consolidated Earnings Release (dollars in thousands, except per share amounts) Three Months Ended March 31Condensed income statement 2010 2009 ———– ———–Operating revenues: Retail sales $ 76,062 $ 74,083 Resale sales 11,339 13,933 Provision for rate refund 125 0 Other 3,481 2,711 ———– ———–Total operating revenues 91,007 90,727 ———– ———–Operating expenses: Purchased power – affiliates and other 41,718 41,610 Other operating expenses 44,196 39,618 Income tax expense 1,838 2,876 ———– ———–Total operating expense 87,752 84,104 ———– ———–Utility operating income 3,255 6,623 ———– ———–Other income: Equity in earnings of affiliates 5,395 4,445 Other, net 36 113 Income tax expense (1,589) (1,433) ———– ———– Total other income 3,842 3,125 ———– ———–Interest expense 2,895 2,876 ———– ———–Net income 4,202 6,872Dividends declared on preferred stock 92 92 ———– ———–Earnings available for common stock $ 4,110 $ 6,780 =========== ===========Per common share dataEarnings per share of common stock – basic $ 0.35 $ 0.58Earnings per share of common stock – diluted $ 0.35 $ 0.58Average shares of common stock outstanding – basic 11,725,484 11,602,354Average shares of common stock outstanding – diluted 11,756,303 11,655,175Dividends declared per share of common stock $ 0.46 $ 0.46Dividends paid per share of common stock $ 0.23 $ 0.23Supplemental financial statement dataBalance sheet Investments in affiliates $ 132,439 $ 104,158 Total assets $ 627,692 $ 627,496 Notes Payable (reclassified to long-term debt) $ 0 $ 10,827 Common stock equity $ 230,513 $ 221,647 Long-term debt (excluding current portions) $ 188,233 $ 167,500Cash Flows Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period $ 2,069 $ 6,722 Cash provided by operating activities 24,942 15,128 Cash used for investing activities (6,007) (5,937) Cash provided by financing activities (15,866) (2,369) ———– ———– Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 5,138 $ 13,544 =========== =========== Refer to our first-quarter 2010 Form 10-Q for additional informationSource: RUTLAND, VT — (Marketwire) — 05/07/10 — Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE: CV)last_img read more

People’s United donates $33,900 to weatherization programs

first_imgPeople’s United Bank,During the 2nd quarter of 2011, People’s United Bank announced that they would donate $100, to the Weatherization Assistance Programs (WAPs) offered through the State of Vermont Community Action Agencies (CAAs), for every personal checking account opened from June 7th through August 2nd.  People’s United Bank announced today that $33,900 would be spread among the CAAs for use in weatherizing homes throughout Vermont, with $14,600 going to Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Inc.The Community Action Agencies which are independent non-profit organizations, were established through the State of Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America’s War on Poverty.  They help people to help themselves in achieving self-sufficiency.  The 5 Community Action Agencies in Vermont (4 of which have an affiliated WAP) include:  BROC – Community Action in Southwestern Vermont, CVCAC- Central Vermont Community Action Council, Inc., CVOEO – Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity Inc., SEVCA – Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Inc. and NEKCA ‘ North East Kingdom Community Action.  The lone WAP not affiliated with a CAA is NETO ‘ North East Training Opportunities which provides weatherization Services in the North eastern portion of the state.‘The weatherization programs offered through the State of Vermont Community Action Agencies are a great example of ‘helping people help themselves,’‘ state Michael Seaver, Vermont President People’s United Bank.  ‘Over the last several years, so many Vermonters have relied on emergency funding for fuel.  The weatherization programs offered statewide will reduce our dependency on these funds and provide warmer homes for our neighbors in need,’ continued Seaver.The following is a breakdown of the dollars that the weatherization programs will receive:BROC ‘ Community Action in Southwestern Vermont                 $3,200CVCAC ‘ Central Vermont Community Action Council, Inc.          $4,400CVOEO – Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Inc.           $14,600NEKCA ‘ North East Kingdom Community Action, Inc.                       $1,500SEVCA ‘ Southeastern Vermont Community Action, Inc.                     $10,200‘An innovative and creative idea became generous funding provided by People’s United Bank.   It is one more way we are able to keep families safe, warm and in their own homes,’ said Jan Demers, Executive Director Champlain Valley Office of Economic Development.   ‘We have over 100 families on our wait list for weatherization services, so the timing for this donation from the People’s United Bank could not be better,’ continued Demers.Photo cutline: Left to right: Jan Demers, CVOEO Executive Director, Debra Geraw, Weatherization Crew Member, Christal Bradstreet, People’s United Bank.For more information on the programs offered through the State of Vermont office of Economic Opportunity and Community Action Agencies in Vermont, please contact Shaun Donahue at [email protected](link sends e-mail) or call 802-241-2454.About People’s United BankPeople’s United Bank is a subsidiary of People’s United Financial, Inc., a diversified financial services company with approximately $25 billion in assets. Peoples United Bank, founded in 1842, provides consumer, commercial and wealth management services through nearly 340 branches in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and in Westchester County and Long Island, New York. Through additional subsidiaries, People’s United provides equipment financing, asset management, brokerage and financial advisory services, and insurance services. People’s United. 12.8.2011###last_img read more

Winn-Dixie to say open an extra hour for medical staff and first responders

first_imgStarting this Monday, the stores, including it’s  Fresco y Mas locations, will stay open until 9pm. The 8pm to 9pm hours specifically, will be dedicated to healthcare providers, firefighters, law enforcement, and fire rescue workers.In order to gain access to the store during the last hour, you will be asked to provide your work ID. Winn-Dixie has announced that it will stay open for an extra hour on Mondays and Tuesdays which it plans to designate to first responders and medical staff.The grocery store chain announced it’s decision on Twitter over the weekend.last_img

At The Finish Line…Where nothing matters but the truth!

first_imgby Bill NealThe Pirates are starting to show a little wear and tear, especially the pitchers, but they will limp into the playoffs. Once there, anything can happen. Even the World Series . . . that’s right, I said it, you were thinking it!Continuing Steeler legends until the regular season kick-off. At 6’6″ and 240 pounds, L.C. Greenwood, aka “Hollywood Bags” was a 10th round selection out of little known Arkansas Pine Bluff and went onto become a member of the greatest defensive line in NFL history. Having played in 170 games when men were men, Greenwood was a six time Pro-Bowl selection and was voted first team All-Pro three times. A Hall of Fame finalist in 91-95-96-02-05 and 06 and of course, the four . . . count ’em . . . four Super Bowl rings. I just can’t figure out what the Hall of Fame Committee is looking for. Pittsburgh, call the NFL office. Let’s get L.C. where he deserves to be.Our condolences and deepest sympathies go out to the families and dear friends of the Gibsons of Gibsons Soul Food Restaurant for the loss of their mother/grandmother this past week and to the Graves family for the loss of a truly great friend, Houston Graves. God Bless you all.By now you’ve already heard the news. Of course you already knew what the outcome would be. “The Champions All-Stars,” led by former NBA star Myron Brown, defeated “The Savoy All-Stars,” led by former Indiana University and European star, Tracy Foster, 75-72. A great game to be sure and a great time had by all, including the middle school and high school boys teams. And special thanks to a great exhibition game presented by the Pittsburgh Bullets Pro-Team and the Pittsburgh based National Old Timers League. Thanks to the Thelma Lovette Centre Avenue YMCA management and staff and Mr. Aaron Gibson for a tremendous service.You, me . . . we keep talking about the Pirates and Steelers, but be reminded that the Pitt Panthers kick off their season opening up against Florida State, September 2nd. Go Pitt!“You Have Just Crossed The Finish Line”last_img read more

Kidambi Srikanth follows Saina Nehwal out of PBL to prepare for international events

first_imgAdvertisement c65zNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vss4Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E1qnuk( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) eepWould you ever consider trying this?😱b89urmCan your students do this? 🌚Roller skating! Powered by Firework The Indian shuttler, Kidambi Srikanth, has been on a downward spiral ever since the finals at the Indian Open that was held last year. The shuttler has not been able to win any tournaments after he swiped 4 medals in the year 2017.  After his disappointing run at the Hong Kong Open and Korea Open, the badminton player has withdrawn himself from the fifth edition of the Premier Badminton League ( BPL).Advertisement After Saina Nehwal’s exit from PBL, Shuttler Kidambi Srikanth will also not be seen at the PBL this year, which is to be held from January 20 to February 9.  He took a leave from the competition on Monday, to prepare for International tournaments before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The player has been struggling to keep up with younger opponents, and hence have slipped down in ranks as wellAdvertisement Currently, he is holding the 11th position in the World champion ranks. Both the badminton players are preparing for international events, to collect points to qualify for the Olympics.Apart from him, last year’s champion, 26-year-old Guntur, will not be participating in this season as well. Kidambi notified his fans about his withdrawal on Twitter and also wished the best to the team of Bangalore Raptors. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

New heights reached at end of the ASCENT journey

first_img“More and more people are seeking out wild and beautiful yet fragile landscapes and the challenge of protecting these landscapes from visitor pressures is global” delegates at the ‘ASCENT to Summit’ European Conference in Dungloe were told on Wednesday.This conference which was hosted in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe marks the end of the ASCENT project which was set up to find ways to allow visitors to enjoy those landscapes, while still protecting them.Donegal County Council along with a number of regions from across Europe first embarked on this journey back in 2016 to look at sustainable management at seven unique upland sites including Errigal Mountain in Donegal. The Summit of Errigal Mountain which is one of seven unique upland sites considered as part of the EU ASCENT project looking at new ways to conserve, protect and sustain these natural sites without taking from the experience they offerLiam Ward, Director of Service Donegal County Council and Chairperson of the ASCENT Steering Committee, explained that the conference was a culmination of research and exchange of international best practice across the Northern Periphery Area of Europe.He said “Donegal County Council managed the three year project and worked with multi-region European partners whose collective experience created new ways to conserve, protect and sustain these natural sites without taking from the experience they offer”.He also acknowledged the support of the INTERREG VB Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (2014 – 2020), which allowed for the implementation of innovative measures to better manage and conserve the seven sites of natural beauty for future generations.25 delegates from across the Northern Periphery and Arctic Area of Europe travelled to Dungloe to attend the project’s closing conference on Wednesday last (26th June). European delegates attending the ASCENT to Summit Conference hosted by Donegal County Council in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe on Wednesday with Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Nicholas Crossan and Donegal County Council Chief Executive Seamus Neely.Speaking at the conference An Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Nicholas Crossan explained that “while this marks the end of the ASCENT journey; like all journeys its legacy will continue on the path to sustainable management”.Speaking about the work in Donegal he added “through the commitment of local, regional and national stakeholders, and the community of Dunlewey, in working with Donegal County Council, only then was it possible to find and formulate a solution for one of Ireland’s most important upland sites.”Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Nicholas Crossan launching the ASCENT Conference Report at the ASCENT to Summit European Conference in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe on Wednesday.Mr Trygve Sunde Kolderup from Norwegian Scenic Hikes speaking at the ASCENT to Summit European Conference in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe on Wednesday.A planning application for Habitat Restoration and Sustainable Access was approved by Donegal County Council on April 24th 2019, which allowed for trialling works to commence across two sites in most need of repair on Donegal’s highest peak.Seven people from Dunlewey and the Sliabh Liag area took part in an upskilling programme on Errigal last week learning more about the highly skilled hand built techniques required for path work ensuring that the necessary skills for upland path repair and maintenance are retained within the local community.Rosita Mahony from Donegal County Council explained that “the ASCENT project demonstrated the value of international partnerships in meeting environmental challenges, finding solutions, encouraging responsible recreation and importantly, empowering local communities to respond to future challenges.” In recognition of its contribution to managing uplands sustainably, the ASCENT project recently received an award for innovation in the Environment sector from the Association of Geographic Information (AGI) in Belfast, Northern Ireland.The conference concluded with Cathaoirleach Cllr Nicholas Crossan and the Deputy Chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Cllr Terry Andrews officially launching the ASCENT Conference Report, which provides a key resource to better inform the sustainable management in European Uplands and Natural Environments.  The achievements of those who completed the upskilling programme were also formally acknowledged.Brendan O’Donnell from Dunlewey receiving training certificate from Cathaoirleach Cllr. Nicholas Crossan and Andres Arnalds at the ASCENT to Summit European Conference in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe on Wednesday.New heights reached at end of the ASCENT journey was last modified: June 29th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ASCENTErrigallast_img read more

Dust a Major Problem on Non-Earth Worlds

first_imgYou can’t just beam down to a planet and start walking around. That dust under your feet can cause major problems.As the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 approaches next year, the moon landings sound like ancient history to many people alive today. Fewer still remember the fear of lunar dust that occupied planners of the moon missions. “It was a real concern,” remembers JPL scientist Dr Henry Richter, whose team prepared for the Surveyor missions—the first soft landings by robotic spacecraft. A minority of scientists, including Dr Thomas Gold, warned that the craft might slowly sink out of sight in the deep dust. That was not the case when Surveyor 1 landed in 1966, reassuring Apollo astronauts in training. We remember the old videos of the astronauts hopping around on a solid surface, kicking up a little dust with their feet. No problem, right? Wrong.David Stacey of the University of Western Australia, reports Phys.org, worries about a “dust dilemma” facing future lunar astronauts.The world’s foremost authority on lunar dust is suggesting the powder-like substance, which is finer than talcum powder and more abrasive than sandpaper, remains a major risk-management problem hampering upcoming space expeditions.Lunar dust is considered the number one environmental problem on the moon and can cause unpredictable hazards for both robots and humans operating on the dust-covered surface.In 2014, China’s little Yutu rover became incapacitated soon after landing, most likely due to the dust. It was a “wakeup call needed to change half-a-century of complacency towards the problem.” The Apollo moonwalks were relatively short (the longest being 7.25 hours by Apollo 17 astronauts), but even with that short an exposure, the astronauts fussed about the dust. It got into everything, covering the spacesuits and jamming equipment. The moon buggies kicked up dust onto them, and once the astronauts got back inside the Lunar Module, the dust irritated the astronauts’ eyes and skin.“Past expeditions have been plagued by dust with issues arising from clogged equipment and zippers, wrist locks, faceplates and a leaking spacesuit. The most alarming characteristic was how quickly and irreversibly problems could strike,” he said.Ceremony on the Plain at Hadley, by Alan BeanLunar dust forms from breakup of rocks by high-speed particles impacting the surface. With no atmosphere or wind, the grains follow ballistic trajectories, but can soar around the surface from distant impacts. The dust grains tend to be sharp and jagged under a microscope. Because there is no surface water, the dust collects static electricity, too, making it cling to objects.Astrobiologists recently got all excited about widespread “water” on the moon (Space.com), but what they mean by water is not wet stuff you can use to wipe off the dust. It’s mainly attached to minerals in the form of hydroxyl ions (OH–), concentrated in ices at the poles in perennially shadowed craters. Scientists believe that it is produced by the solar wind impacting oxygen atoms in the dusty regolith. With sufficient technology, space colonizers might be able to collect enough of the stuff to make water and fuel that could sustain an outpost, but they will still have to deal with the inescapable dust.Some cosmogonists, according to another Phys.org article, wonder how the discovery of widespread ‘water’ will affect lunar origin stories. Did the moon start out wet? Some of them have figured out ways to tweak their impact models for the moon’s origin to allow for more hydrogen and oxygen. But according to the Murphyism “Every solution breeds new problems,” they now have to figure out “why the Moon is depleted of potassium, sodium, and other volatile elements.” Maybe the Earth took it all, some of them surmise; “Or potentially they were part of the Moon when it first accreted from the post-collision disk but were later lost.”Mars, TooRemember NASA’s Phoenix Lander on Mars? It landed near the north pole in 2008 and outlasted its 90-day mission, continuing to work for five months. Orbiting spacecraft can still see it down there, says Space.com, with its parachute and heat shield off to one side. Comparison photos taken years apart show something interesting: Phoenix is being covered with dust. “Dust May Be Burying NASA’s Phoenix Lander on Mars,” reports Mike Wall. The photo caption says, “In the latter photo, dust obscures much of what was visible two months after the landing.”The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), still in orbit, took a photo on December 21, 2017 of the little dead craft. Scientists, by using “an animated-blink comparison with an image from about two months after the May 25, 2008, landing shows that patches of ground that had been darkened by removal of dust during landing events have become coated with dust again.” That was just in nine years; how much dust accumulation would occur in billions of years?Mars weather sometimes entrains dust in global dust storms that make the entire Mars surface appear indistinct from Earth. Another article on Space.com considers that the planet’s dust could have contributed to the loss of its atmosphere. The dust storms tend to throw hydrogen off into space, leading to more dryness over time. Previous research on Martian dust devils suggests that static electricity is a severe problem there, too, as it is on the moon (30 October 2006, 2 August 2006).Dust and HabitabilityAstrobiologists continue speculating about life on other planets beyond what the data will bear. Certainly dust, static electricity and dry conditions must be considered in any model of habitability. For instance, Saturn’s moon Titan suffers from a similar static cling problem (31 March 2017) that should dampen hopes for life there. It should, but it doesn’t. The storytellers continue to tease the public with suggestive headlines like “Does Titan’s Hydrocarbon Soup Hold A Recipe for Life?” by Lisa Kaspen-Powell of Astrobiology Magazine. After a large telescope located in Chile’s Atacama Desert discovered spectral lines for vinyl cyanide in the Titanian gooey lakes, astrobiologists went nuts with speculations that it could form a basis for a hydrocarbon-based life – a kind of life completely unknown by scientific observation, but only knowable through the eyes of imagination.Speaking of the Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth, astrobiologists are using it again for astrobiology propaganda. Recent measurements reported in PNAS show that indigenous bacteria can live in this hostile place, even though it only gets rain every decade or more. Headline writers who don’t know any better, like someone at Fox News, and Jonathan Amos at the BBC News, chirp out fake optimism, saying things like “Bugs found in the driest spot on Earth could indicate life on Mars.” and “Atacama’s lessons about life on Mars.” The blame goes to lead author (and lead propagandist) Dirk Schulze-Makuch, who titillates reporters with phony comparisons, like the following:These hardy organisms are of interest because they may serve as a template for how life could survive on Mars.“All the stresses you have in the Atacama, you have on Mars, too – just a little tick more,” TU Berlin’s Dr Dirk Schulze-Makuch told BBC News.No evidence, in other words, for the claim about life on Mars: just a high perhapsimaybecouldness index. But even that speculation is built on a flawed syllogism, i.e., Major premise: Earth life can thrive in hostile environments. Minor premise: Mars has hostile environments. Conclusion: Mars has life. Astrobiology fails here on two counts: empiricism and logic. Schulze-Makuch and the lemming reporters who follow him off the logical cliff are not even thinking about the other problems, like deadly dust and static electricity.Encela-dustThe lemming reporters are also following secular astrobiologists off a cliff at Saturn’s little moon Enceladus. First, the headlines:Could methane on Saturn’s moon Enceladus be a sign of life? (Fox News)Alien life in our Solar System? Study hints at Saturn’s moon (Phys.org)Could Methane on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Be a Sign of Life? (Mike Wall, Space.com)We may have already found signs of alien microbes on Enceladus (Andy Coghlan, New Scientist)Good grief; now what? Here’s the empirical data: scientists detected some methane in the geyser plumes of this little moon. What this shows is that reporters can get drunk on methane as well as on Darwine. At first, the excitement was all about water coming out (even though it consists of salty ice crystals and dust). Now, it’s a gas:To be clear, study team members aren’t claiming that Enceladus’ methane is biological; after all, the substance can be produced geologically as well (by reactions between rock and hot water, in fact). But the new results could help inform the search for life on ocean moons in the solar system, Rittmann said.This reasoning, too, is based on a flawed syllogism: Major premise: Some “methanogen” life forms on Earth can metabolize hydrocarbons and give off methane. Minor premise: Enceladus has methane. Conclusion: Enceladus has life.“From an astronomical perspective, future missions to Enceladus or other icy moons should be equipped to be able to detect methanogenic biosignatures related to methanogens, like certain lipids or ratios of certain carbon isotopes,” he said.Isn’t that what the hype is all about? Equipment needs manufacturing. Missions with equipment need a space program. Astrobiologists need a reason to have a job. The public needs hype to influence the government. NASA: Send more money!From dust the astrobiologists came; to dust they will return. Their bad ideas will follow them. Truth abides forever.(Visited 604 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

YouTube to Help Monetize One-Hit Wonders

first_imgDo you remember YouTube sensations like Otters Holding Hands, David After Dentist or Dramatic Hamster? Of course you do. You probably Dugg, Tweeted and ClikBalled them until the mash-ups came out. From there, you probably repeated the process until a full-fledged meme was afoot. In the same way that it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a mob to raise a meme. In the past, YouTube’s Partner Program has worked with prolific community stars to help them monetize. As of this morning, Google announced it is extending its program to incorporate its one-hit wonders. Some people know when to quit. Not every YouTube channel can keep more than a million subscribers satisfied and returning for more. Channels like Fred and Val’s Art Diary keep viewers continuously entertained. Most of us simply don’t have the time or eye to create quality video content over and over again. Great video producers, including ReadWriteWeb’s own Jolie O’Dell, are a rare breed. But every now and then, even mediocre videographers harness an unexpected streak of brilliance. YouTube wants to monetize those moments. According to the announcement, YouTube will determine video eligibility after looking at factors like traffic, virality and compliance with the community’s Terms of Service. If your clip is determined to be the next big meme, Google will contact you to enable revenue sharing and offer you AdSense options on your video page. If you plan on following up your hit video with a meme-worthy sequel, the company encourages you to sign up for the YouTube Partners Program and take advantage of enhanced channel features. Related Posts Tags:#Google#NYT#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dana oshiro Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Before you run off to make your video, remember a few rules of thumb:1. Own the Rights: Make sure you are well within your rights to use the music, media, etc. that you plan to incorporate in your video. YouTube won’t offer you revenue share if you appear to be walking a legal gray line. 2. Keep it Clean: Avoid using offensive or obscene language and images. Few advertisers want their messaging coupled with something they see as inappropriate or likely to alienate their customers. 3. Entertain and Elevate: The YouTube community may not be the most high-brow bunch, but it certainly knows the hottest memes. Research your subject matter before putting yourself out there. What may be funny or interesting to you could be last month’s news to the community (and in Web years, last month actually equals 5 years ago). 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Colin Kaepernick Reportedly Lands Workout with Seattle Seahawks

Colin Kaepernick is speculated to have been blackballed because of his national anthem protest. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images Sport)Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick is reportedly set to work out with the Seattle Seahawks a week after Pete Carroll revealed he’s considering him for a back-up role.Kaepernick has remained unsigned since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March and NFL Network reported the Seahawks will have him and other reserve quarterbacks work out Wednesday, May 24, a change of plans notwithstanding. Former Denver Broncos quarterback Austin Davis also is set to visit.Kaepernick’s rumored meeting adds fuel to speculation that he could be joining the Seahawks after Carroll was asked if the team is considering putting him and fellow free agent Robert Griffin III behind QB Russell Wilson.“We’re looking at everybody. We really are,” Carroll told “Brock and Salk.” “We’ve been tracking everything that’s going on, and we’ve got cap and roster issues and stuff like that that we’re still trying to manage properly. But, quite frankly, yes, we are looking at all those guys.”Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett believes Kaepernick, who stirred controversy after his season-long protest of the national anthem, would make a great addition.“I think a person that’s dedicating their life to creating change, why wouldn’t you want that type of leadership in your locker room?” Bennett told 710 ESPN Seattle. “Why wouldn’t you want a young person that’s dealt with people wanting to kill him because of his choices in life?“So, I don’t know why people feel like that is a problem.” read more