Importance of crabs should be considered when looking at increasing human pressure on Barr Al Hikman nature reserve — ScienceDaily

0 Comments

The intertidal mudflats of Barr Al Hikman, a nature reserve at the south-east coast of the Sultanate Oman, are crucial nursery grounds for numerous crab species. In return, these crabs are a vital element of the ecology, as well as the regional economy, a new publication in the scientific journal Hydrobiologia shows. ‘These important functions of the crabs should be considered when looking at the increasing human pressure on this nature reserve’, first author and NIOZ-researcher Roeland Bom says.

Blue swimming crab

The mudflats of Barr Al Hikman are home to almost thirty crab species. For his research, Bom, together with colleagues in The Netherlands and at the Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, looked at the ecology of the two most abundant species. Bom: ‘Barr Al Hikman is also home to the blue swimming crab Portunus segnis. That is the species caught by local fishermen. This crab uses the mudflats of Barr Al Hikman as nursery grounds.’

The counts of Bom and his colleagues show, that there are millions and millions of these crabs in Barr Al Hikman. They are food to hundreds of thousands of birds, both migrating species, as well as birds breeding in the area, such as crab plovers. The crabs live in holes in the ground. They forage on the seagrass beds that are still abundant in Barr Al Hikman. ‘Apart from the high primary production (algae) in Barr al Hikman, this reserve is also well suited for crabs because of the vastness of the area’, Bom assumes. ‘The slopes of the mudflats are very gentle, so at low tide, the crabs have an immense area at their disposition.’

Eco value

The value of the crabs is not just ecological, Bom stresses. “Local fishermen that catch the blue swimming crabs, distribute them not only through Oman,

Expert discusses the importance of getting wise to misinformation, conspiracy theories

0 Comments

conspiracy
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has opened gateways—allowing for people to continue learning and remain connected. But it’s also allowed for the steady flow of disinformation, misinformation and conspiracy theories.


From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat—social media is always at our fingertips. Slanted views can spread like wildfire on those platforms, despite efforts to stop it.

Jenny Rice, an associate professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, is an expert on conspiracy theories. In her book, “Awful Archives: Conspiracy Theory, Rhetoric, and Acts of Evidence,” she looks to examples that lie at the fringes of public discourse—pseudoscience, the paranormal, conspiracy theories about 9/11, the moon landing, UFO sightings and Obama’s birth record. Such examples, she argues, bring to light other questions about evidence that force us to reassess and move beyond traditional forms of debate and ethics.

During a public health crisis and a pivotal presidential election, how can we separate fact from fiction? In the Q&A session below, Rice explains the importance of recognizing and questioning misinformation.

UKNOW: First, tell us a little bit about yourself. Why are you passionate about studying topics such as misinformation and conspiracy theories?

Rice: As someone who studies contemporary public rhetoric, I’m very interested in learning how arguments become “sticky.” What makes certain claims persuasive, even when those claims have questionable evidence or even no evidence at all? While we like to think we are rational beings who base our beliefs on sound logic, that is not the case at all. So, I find myself asking questions about how it is, exactly, that we come to believe, doubt and debate about important issues in public.

UKNow: Before we jump into the conversation, can you define

Importance of moving activities outdoors and ensuring proper ventilation indoors stressed, as experts urge science community to clarify definitions — ScienceDaily

0 Comments

Scientists affiliated with leading research institutions across the U.S. state in a letter published Monday in the journal Science that researchers across disciplines must converge to deliver clear public health guidance about how SARS-CoV-2 is spread in the air.

The researchers write in the open letter that the scientific community must clarify the terminology used related to aerosols and droplets, and employ a more modern size threshold, rather than the existing one based on 1930s-era work. Authors include experts from the University of California San Diego, University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, and others.

Public health officials should make a clear distinction between droplets ejected by coughing or sneezing — which have inspired the social distancing mantra of six feet of separation between people — and aerosols that can carry the virus for much greater distances. Viruses in aerosols smaller than 100 microns can remain airborne in a confined space for prolonged periods of time, and accumulate in poorly ventilated air, leading to transmission.

“The balance of attention must be shifted to protecting against airborne transmission,” said the group, led by Kimberly Prather, Director of the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

“Viruses in aerosols can remain suspended in air for many seconds to hours, like smoke, and be inhaled,” according to the letter. “They are highly concentrated near an infected person, so they can infect people most easily in close proximity. But aerosols containing infectious virus can also travel more than [two meters] and accumulate in poorly ventilated indoor air, leading to superspreading events.”

In addition to mask wearing, social distancing and hygiene efforts, the researchers urge for public health officials to articulate the importance of moving activities outdoors, improving indoor air using ventilation

The Importance of Teaching Cybersecurity to a 5-Year-Old

0 Comments

IT leaders can take a twofold approach to help K–12 students meet the new security challenges of remote learning.

They can proactively support students and parents in their efforts to stay safe in the remote learning environment, teaching the importance of cybersecurity. They can also shore up internal systems, processes and infrastructure to back up that learning.

Whatever they do, the reality of schools operating almost entirely online has only heightened concerns about cybersecurity — and with good reason. Some of the nation’s largest school districts have recently dealt with cyberattacks that halted remote learning, spurred leaders to postpone the first day of classes or involved the release of sensitive information.

“Instead of having everyone on one network, you have people on multiple networks, and each of those has its own vulnerabilities,” says Amy McLaughlin, CoSN’s project director for cybersecurity initiatives. “You may have an increase in fraud attacks because people aren’t there to double-check.”

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, cybersecurity was a top-of-mind concern for K–12 technology leaders. Sixty-nine percent of those who responded to CoSN’s annual leadership survey ranked cybersecurity as a No. 1 priority.

To better address cybersecurity, while also accommodating greater networking demands, districts need to be proactive about training users — even the youngest ones.

Address Cybersecurity at a More Accessible Level

You likely can’t teach a 5-year-old all the nuances of cyber hygiene, but there’s much IT staff can do to steer kids down the safest pathways.

As the core tool of remote learning, video itself introduces a range of new security and privacy concerns. Consider the possibility that students can see and potentially record one another, or that adults in the room can see or be seen.

“You are potentially exposing their siblings or other family members,” says Christine Fox, interim executive director

New Science Fiction Fantasy Book Demonstrates the Importance of Achieving a Higher Vibration and Connecting with Spiritual Guides

0 Comments

Hillary Ries Shekinah Ma makes her authorial debut with ‘Frequency,’ a cosmic fairytale that doubles as a call to action

NELSON, British Columbia, Sept. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the new decade unfolds and brings with it a plethora of unexpected challenges, many people are desperate to make sense out of what is happening and why.

In “Frequency: The Hour of Power Has Come,” author and spiritual visionary Hillary Ries Shekinah Ma provides answers to those on their quest toward enlightenment. A science fiction fantasy set in the year 2030 when all of humanity has been chipped and inserted into the Matrix and remains under constant surveillance, the book serves as a mirror of the current world and offers much-needed context to events that have recently occurred.

“Frequency” follows Sophia Star Water and her band of soul rebels, The Apocalypsos, who use their extraordinary music and spoken word talents to show others how to escape their current reality and ascend into the fifth dimension. As they create an ascension pod and work with their guides and guardians, The Wise Ones, to complete their journey, Sophia and The Apocalypsos escape the chaos of the third dimension and find peace in the Golden New Age.

Shekinah Ma draws from Hopi prophecy as well as Gnostic, Buddhist, Atlantean and Egyptian beliefs and channeled messages to reassure readers that there is a plan in place for humanity and a path out of the current negativity. By writing “Frequency,” she hopes to demonstrate the importance of raising one’s energy and vibration to move toward a collective conscious awakening.

“We are here for a reason,” said Shekinah Ma. “Nothing is random. Through alignment, we can ascend into higher states of consciousness, which in fact is what we are destined to do as we morph into