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assimuma72

WW1-Era Shipwrecks To Receive Protection

Posted

July 28th 1914 was a day that changed the world forever.

A global war was declared that would last for four long, bloody years and would cost Humanity millions of lives. Although the images of the gruelling, inhuman trench warfare that was waged in France are the perhaps most indelible from the conflict, it should also be remembered that an awful amount of lives were also lost at sea.

Britain alone lost over a thousand vessels from 1914 - 1919, together with about 89,300 sailors and merchant navy personnel. Germany lost hundreds of warships, as well as about 35,000 sailors. In addition, civilians were also caught in the ocean-going crossfire, as a German submarine sank the liner Lusitania in 1915, killing almost 2000 people in the process.

As we approach the centenary of the First World War, the seafloors are littered with the stark, skeletal remains of vessels leftover from this conflict. In recent years, however, these ruined ships have come under an increased level of threat from salvage teams, looters and profiteers, many of whom are intent on destroying the wrecks outright.

Shipwrecks such as those left over from the First World War, are a target for two main reasons. Firstly, they can be commercially exploited for scrap metals (and other artefacts) and secondly, fishing trawlers dredging the ocean depths in search of deep-sea fish can impact the ships, destroying them altogether.

In 2011 alone, three British cruisers, the final resting place of about 1,500 sailors altogether, were completely destroyed because copper and bronze had reached sufficiently high prices as to make such destructive salvage exercises profitable.

However, because the 100th anniversary of World War One begins this year, more and more of these ships will be protected by Unesco's 2001 'Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage', an agreement that extends International protection to shipwrecks over 100 years old.

Many people worry that these laws will prove difficult to enforce, however. Others still are worried that this move will increase the destruction of shipwrecks from more recent times, in particular, vessels from World War Two (1939 - 1945), before they come under Unesco's protection.

Today, historians are attempting to use the centenary of the First World War as a way to educate people about the history and legacy of the conflict, as well as to demonstrate the cultural and historical importance of these undersea war graves. Many, including this writer, feel that such sites are deserving of our respect and reverence.

Shipwrecks also provide a very good habitat for local marine life and can even form the basis for coral reefs (if left undisturbed for long enough). These vessels are also studied for scientific interest, with experiments carried out on everything from metal erosion to marine biology.

At the time of writing, the British Government has failed to sign the convention.

SOURCES

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie nce-environment-28056244

Happy New Year|Merry Christmas to everyone

Posted

Happy christmas plus a Wonderful New Year

What's Lateral Communication?

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The term 'lateral communication' can actually mean (at least) two different things.

In the natural world, lateral communication occurs whenever a group of animals appear to exhibit a collective intelligence. For example, when a flock of birds turns at the exact same time, remaining in perfect formation, this is lateral communication. Other examples include shoals of fish acting in perfect synch, or the movements of ant colonies.

In the business world, however, the term 'lateral communication' denotes something else entirely. In modern business, lateral communication is all to do with hierarchy. An example of lateral communication occurs when two workers on the same level discuss ideas (e.g. a manager talking to a manager). Its opposite term, 'diagonal communication', occurs whenhere between different levels of hierarchy (e.g. talking to your boss' boss, or your boss talking to you).

From Wikipedia:

"The term lateral communication can be used interchangeably as horizontal communication. In his text entitled "Organizational Communication," Michael J. Papa defines horizontal communication as "the flow of messages across functional areas at a given level of an organization" (Papa and Daniels 55). With this system people at the same level are permitted "to communicate directly without going through several levels of organization" (Papa and Daniels 55). Given this elasticity, members within an organization have an easier time with "problem solving, information sharing across different work groups, and task coordination between departments or project teams" (Papa and Daniels 56). The use of lateral or horizontal communication in the workplace "can also enhance morale and afford a means for resolving conflicts (Koehler et al., 1981) (Papa and Daniels 56)."



The pawns, on the other hand, can only converse one space at a time and only in one direction. Oh wait; I'm getting confused again!

I hope that helps you, Sarah-Jane. I am unsure as to which definition you were looking for, so I focussed on both. If you have any follow-up questions, drop me a line the usual way and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can.



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Tech We'd like to See: Cities about the Moon

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Placing a city (or several) on the moon has long been a dream of science fiction writers, futurists and ambitious scientists. Recently however, renewed public interest in space exploration, together with a growing realization that the world is becoming dangerously overpopulated, has lead some scientists, artists and zealous would-be lunar colonists to start taking this ages-old dream extremely seriously.

Why we want it:

Because it could potentially be one of the only non-genocidal solutions to the eventual overpopulation of planet earth. Also, who wouldn't want to sit on the moon and watch the Earth rise?



When can we expect it?

A couple of years ago, a group called Moon Capital launched a high profile competition, allowing scientists, architects and aspiring artists the chance to create scientifically plausible scenes of moon colonisation (in the style made famous by super-artist Chesley Bonestell).

The competition had (hypothetical) moon colonisation taking place in the year 2068. This estimate was good enough for the entrants of the competition, so it'll be good enough for us, too. Hopefully, then, you'll get your lunar colony in about 55 years time (just under a hundred years after Neil Armstrong took that one small step....)

Of course, the problems posed by such a feat of engineering are many-fold. For starters, the moon is some 380,000 km away from us at any given time, (which is quite a trip for a moving van, even taking speed cameras out of the equation), then there's the difficulty of actually building a working city in such a hostile environment...

We've built space stations, of course, so we know we can construct things in space, but they aren't exactly desirable places to live. Also, we can get people to the moon and back (we've been at it since the 60's, no matter what the conspiracy nuts tell you), but the trip is still intensely dangerous and requires a great deal of training and preparation.

Finally, we come to the complete lack of breathable atmosphere on the moon; this would require scientists to create some sort of artificial environment (or else speed up development of terraforming methods, but that's a story for another time).



Oh yeah, there's no food either, not unless you like your Selenite steaks rare.

Yes, the idea of colonising the moon poses a number of mind-boggling obstacles, but if there's one thing that we as a species excel at, its overcoming obstacles.

So, while it may seem far-fetched to imagine something like this actually happening, consider this; the first powered flight took place in 1903 and just 66 years later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were hanging out on the moon. Think on that for a second.

Cool Factor: 5/5

Cities on the moon? Now that's cool.

you can obtain the original piece here

On the Air, Inside The Air Radio along with Air Travel, an inseparable Mix

Posted

Radios are a Vital Tool for Air Travel. At London Heathrow airport, for example, three hundred companies employ some 80,000 people every day, whilst 65 million people leave from, arrive at, or pass through the airport. In the face of such staggering humanity, fast, efficient communication becomes paramount.

Medical personnel need to be notified quickly in case of an accident. Security guards must be able to respond and react to any potential threat as swiftly as possible. Other, daily issues such as reuniting lost children with their parents, locating missing luggage and the inspection of imported goods, must also be dealt with in a clear and professional manner.

Without a reliable network of two-way radios, the entire daily operation of any airport would be next to impossible.

Today, most modern airports have switched from having individual radio networks specific to each company, to the employment of more integrated solutions. In 2000, the engineering firm Arup was employed by BAA to make these changes possible at Heathrow, specifically in Terminal 5. According to the firm's official website,

"Previously at Heathrow, individual mobile operators had installed their own infrastructure, resulting in duplication and proliferation of infrastructure across the airport, standards of installation that varied, unreliable records, and unsightly clutter to the terminal landscape".

Eventually, the site continues,

"It was jointly agreed by BAA and Arup that the most appropriate solution for the new terminal was common infrastructure that could be shared by multiple parties".

The changes at Terminal 5 proved to be a success. These days, most airports follow this model of radio communication. The benefits are enormous. Airports are running smoother than ever thanks to improved cross communication between individuals and departments (everything from catering, flight and cabin crew to cleaning staff, border controls and freight handling).

Two-way radios are superior to mobile phones for these tasks because they are instant. Also, there are very few lapses in signal and they are sturdy enough for use in almost any environment.

Think of your mobile: if you came upon an accident right now and you wanted to call somebody and report it, you would be dependent on a multitude of factors, wouldn't you? Do you have signal? Do you have credit? Will they even pick up the phone at their end? However, a two-way radio eliminates most of these problems. The operator simply presses the button to talk and awaits the reply. Easy.

Two-way radios cover a large area, can be used on secure channels and arecost effective solutions to communications challenges presented by organizations such as Heathrow.

The benefits of a two-way radio system have been well known for a long time, it is a system used by police, the armed forces, building contractors, security firms and, of course, cab drivers, the world over. Plus, the technology isn't upgraded too often, so there's not much risk of your purchase becoming obsolete by the time you put down your deposit.

In a very real sense, airports would struggle to complete one outgoing flight a day without two-way radio technology.

you can find more info from this site here

The Definition of High Quality Television: It's Not TV, Its HD TV

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It seems that everybody is using high definition television these days. It's rare you see a house without one. So, if you're still unsure about if HD TV is right for you, here are a few of the advantages of a Sony TV. I say Sony TV because Sony are currently among the world leaders in HD TV design and their models are usually cutting edge to the point of drawing blood.

Hi-Def television (HD TV to its friends) is preferable for its superior sound and picture quality, when combined with a Blu Ray player and surround sound; you can create a spectacular cinema-lite experience, with screens that seem to get nearly as big, too! Now, whilst I am personally an ardent fan of the cinema experience, there's a lot to be said for inviting your friends over for a movie marathon complete with microwave popcorn, beer and as-and-when-needed bathroom breaks.

Another cool feature is the ease with which you can hook your Sony TV up to a laptop computer (the cable costs about 7), meaning you can watch DV, MP4 and Avi files at your leisure. HD TV is a great development in television and home technology in general. The option to attach a Sony TV directly to the wall is also a plus; it's a real space-saver as well as looking very cool indeed.

With HD TV, every movie is a great big adventure. Big budget, special effects-laden movies fare particularly well in HD. My brother recently bought the remastered, all-singing, all dancing Star Trek boxset and they look great on our HD TV. Especially in the case of the newer ones with the CGI Enterprise, the meticulous design and attention-to-detail really shines through. Set design, mise en scene and subtlety are really rewarded with an HD TV.

Television is the focal point of the modern living room. In fact, television seems to be of increasing importance to the social fabric itself. Is ownership of an HD TV the latest status symbol? Probably not, but it can't hurt to upgrade just in case.



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