OAKLAND – Unlike what he experienced for most of his first two NBA seasons, Jordan Bell currently does not have to wonder about his role.The Warriors might still have uncertainty on whether Kevin Durant (right calf) or DeMarcus Cousins (left quadricep muscle) will play against the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. The Warriors do not have uncertainty, though, on whether the 24-year-old Bell … Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.
Examples continue to accumulate that some of the most interesting and fruitful science projects involve copying design principles found in nature. This “biomimetics” approach not only pleases the consumers who can look forward to greener, cheaper, better products, but leads to deeper understandings of nature’s workings.Gecko adhesives: PhysOrg published a story on the ongoing efforts to imitate the superb adhesive properties of gecko toes. “The gecko footpad’s unique structure and function make it one of the most efficient adhesion systems found in nature,” said a scientist from Northeastern University.Genetic computers: Scientists at the University of Reading got “genetic inspiration” for the storage and processing of digital information, according to another press release on PhysOrg. By imitating genetics, the researchers think they can “revolutionize” information technology.Windpipe microbots: Your windpipe is lined with cilia that keep the lining clean. A new microbot designed at Stanford and University of Washington has artificial cilia – but that’s only one biomimetic part of the design, according to Science Daily. By imitating a centipede, the UW microbot can carry seven times its own weight and move in any direction. The team struggled to get the actuators and power supply small enough to compete with the living thing.A related approach to biomimetics is to harness the actual biological material. Science Daily announced that “Biologically Inspired Technology Produces Sugar from Photosynthetic Bacteria.” Harvard has a “Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.” The institute succeeded in producing simple sugars and lactic acid by engineering bacteria to produce what they desired.These stories are each worth reading in more detail. For a little fun, see if you can find any mention of evolution in them, or any indication that evolutionary theory was useful in any way in these science projects. Then look for how design concepts played a role in guiding the teams toward understanding and productivity. If you have kids needing to do a science project, why not turn them on to biomimetics? Send them into the backyard or woods and have them try to copy a natural technology and make something useful from it. The effort might just give them a head start toward a productive career – in addition to helping them learn not to take biological design for granted.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
20 April 2007South African umpire Rudi Koertzen equalled the world record held by the retired David Shepherd when he officiated in the Cricket World Cup match between the West Indies and Bangladesh in Barbados on Thursday. It was his 172nd one-day international.Koertzen made his ODI debut on his home ground of Saint George’s Park in Port Elizabeth in December 1992.Almost 10 years later, he reached the century mark in the 2003 Cricket World Cup, hosted by South Africa, when he stood in the Australia versus Sri Lanka semi-final, also in Port Elizabeth.150-match milestoneIn April 2006, Koertzen reached the 150-match milestone when he and fellow South African Brian Jerling took charge of an encounter between traditional rivals Pakistan and India.Not surprisingly, given his experience, Koertzen is respected as one of the world’s leading umpires. He is known for slowly and very deliberately raising his finger to send a batsman on his way, which is why he has earned the nickname “Slow Death”.Speaking at the World Cup this week, Koertzen said: “I am delighted to be in the same company as the legendary David Shepherd, and I am proud to be a South African.”‘An extraordinary umpire’Gerald Majola, CEO of Cricket South Africa, paid tribute to Koertzen, saying: “This is an extraordinary milestone for an extraordinary umpire. Rudi Koertzen has been a fine ambassador for South Africa throughout the cricketing world.“Rudi is respected by the world’s top players and is an excellent role model for all aspiring umpires,” Majola added. “We are very proud of him.”Easily recognisableKoertzen is easily recognisable with his trademark floppy hat and wrap-around sunglasses, which seldom leave his face. He seems mostly implacable, but watch closely and one can see he has a good relationship with the players, with short interchanges sometimes resulting in a smile crossing his otherwise stern features.Koertzen began umpiring in 1981 and just over 10 years later, at the age of 43, stood in his first test. In 1997 he was appointed a full-time ICC umpire.In 2002, he became a member of the ICC’s elite panel. Only Koertzen, along with Steve Bucknor and Daryl Harper, remain from that original panel.Umpire of the YearIn 2002, he was voted top umpire of the year. He has been nominated for the award for the past two years, finishing third on both occasions.Koertzen’s stated goal is to umpire 100 tests and 200 ODIs before he retires.It takes a lot to do what he does, and it’s a tough job that keeps him away from his wife and four childen for about two-thirds of every year.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material