The Himalayas’ amazing biodiversity

first_imgKamal Bawa’s journey to understand and protect the biodiversity of the towering Himalayas began half a century ago, when he was young and traveling into the fabled mountain range’s eastern foothills.Though desolate snow and ice lay above, his train climbed through lush valleys, rich with tree species and a dazzling array of orchids, and past high meadows marked by pale, 6-foot-tall formations that only on closer inspection turned out to be plants. They were Rheum nobile, a type of rhubarb whose translucent leaves create greenhouse-like warm pockets that attract insects for pollination.Bawa’s journey continues today. A distinguished professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Bawa has teamed up with photographer Sandesh Kadur to create an account of biodiversity in the Himalayas, including the region through which Bawa traveled so long ago. The result is a book, “Himalayas: Mountains of Life,” released in April.Bawa and Kadur, who is a National Geographic emerging explorer, talked about the journey that led to the book on Tuesday during a lecture at Harvard’s Sackler Museum. The event was introduced by Heather Henriksen, director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability, and hosted by William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development, and director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Sustainability Science Program.The years since his first visit have proven Bawa’s instincts about the region’s richness to be true. It is now known as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, which are areas of extreme species diversity endangered by pressures from humanity. The region holds, for example, 500 species of orchids, more than 100 species of primulas and rhododendrons, as well as rhinos, elephants, tigers, and red pandas. Between 1998 and 2008 alone, 350 new species were described there.Bawa and Kadur spent a great deal of time in the 1,000-mile-long region, interacting with the rich diversity of its human residents as well its plant and animal species. Kadur recounted the long journeys to reach some locations, as well as the patience needed to snap the wildlife images to illustrate the project. In one instance he spent seven days in a blind waiting for tigers to appear at a rhino carcass. He was rewarded for his patience on the seventh day when not one but three tigers appeared and began eating, demonstrating scavenging behavior never before documented.“Getting to many of these places was a task in itself,” Kadur said.Bawa and Kadur hope to draw broader attention to the region, as they did with a prior book on another Indian mountain range, the Sahyadris, also known as the Western Ghats, along the Arabian Sea. That book, Bawa said, attracted attention from political leaders and policymakers and allowed the authors to describe the conservation challenges there.The Himalayan region is under pressure from the millions of indigenous people who live there, whose agricultural practices are fragmenting forests and who sometimes hunt rare animals (30 rhinos were killed in a single day in September). The area is also under pressure from modern development.India alone is planning 400 dams on its side of the Himalayas, Bawa said, while China is planning 400 on the other side. Though hydropower provides clean energy, it also prompts road building into wild areas, changes the nature of rivers, and affects both the region’s hydrology and the species dependent on their free flow.Climate change appears to be another threat. Between 1982 and 2006, average temperatures in the region have increased twice as fast as global temperatures, while rainfall has increased by an average of 163 millimeters (nearly 6½ inches) and become more variable. The growing season, meanwhile, has advanced by about five days, Bawa said.“The richness of life in the Himalayas, as in many other places, is under assault,” Bawa said.The event was co-sponsored by several Harvard organizations, including the Office for Sustainability, the Sustainability Science Program, the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the Asia Center, the South Asia Institute, and the Office for the Arts.last_img read more

Seven Life Lessons Learned as Dell Interns

first_imgThe following is a guest post from Amulya V. Dhupad and Ashwini Madivalara.It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the creditEvery year Dell opens its doors to interns around the world. In 2017, they had just shy of 2,000 interns join their offices and our 2018 class of interns is still growing. As interns, we come to Dell EMC from campus eager to learn and willing to grow in our field of choice. It is Dell’s responsibility to live up to these expectations while also conveying the culture of the company in an engaging, fun way.Recently our class of interns in India gathered from Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad for an event dubbed “Intern Mélange,” a FUN off-site for us to enjoy our peers while experiencing the five culture code pillars of Dell: Customers, Winning Together, Innovation, Results and Integrity.The day began with the value of ‘Customer’ and proceeded to work its way through all five culture code pillars. For ‘Customer,’ we were made to innovate ideas that helped reduce risk while delivering a product. The end of the activity put a light on the ‘Innovation’ culture of Dell. The second activity revolved around our culture code, ‘Winning Together.’ During the activity, teams of three had to help each other reach the desired goal. The journey towards the goal taught us how to help, when to help and the positive results in helping each other.The day flew by as we collaborated, laughed and continued to play games such as pace the parcel which brought some of us back to a feeling of childhood. Dell EMC has a way of teaching things via day to day experiences and now that our internship is coming to an end, we realize Dell’s culture is embedded in us. We headed home that day with a bag full of memories to cherish and learnings to build ourselves as better people than we are today. Drizzling rain added colors to our thoughts on our way back home as well as selfies, songs and some napping.As we drove back, many of the interns summed up their key learnings and realized how they could impact not only their careers, but also their approach to their everyday life. These learnings included:Learn to appreciate, help, support and encourage team membersPlan before you actExtend your helping hand; you lose nothingDon’t be a victim, or be responsible for others to be the victimBe a good observer; eyes can be a good listenerThere is no harm in helping others at same level, but it is always easier when you are a level upShowing gratitude costs nothingAt the end of the event, the following quote echoed in our minds: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”Today, life in IT sector means ‘continuous learning.’ It is a key to survive. The more you are up-to-date the better you perform, many companies invest in the growth of their employees to ensure that they constantly deliver valuable products and services. This investment is noticeable, appreciable and applicable. As a Dell EMC employee, I feel lucky to work in a company that invests in its employees and ensures that we stand by the company culture.Thank you Dell for investing in our growth.Amulya V. Dhupad is an intern at Dell EMC Bengaluru, India, in the quality engineer team at RSA – a security division of Dell EMC. She feels fortunate to begin her career working at Dell EMC and is looking forward for more opportunities to learn and grow along with Dell EMC.Ashwini Ashok Madivalara (left) is a programming enthusiast currently interning with RSA – a security division of Dell EMC in Bengaluru, India. When not programming she loves trekking and biking.last_img read more

Donald Sterling, former L.A. Clippers owner, files for divorce from wife

first_imgDonald Sterling is suing his wife and the NBA in federal court over the $2 billion sale of the team. She negotiated the deal with Ballmer after doctors found Donald Sterling incompetent to handle his business affairs.The two filings come two weeks before the couple’s 60th anniversary and about four months after a judge ordered V. Stiviano — a woman who Shelly Sterling alleged was her husband’s mistress — to turn over the keys to a $1.8 million house that Donald Sterling bought her and to pay Shelly Sterling about $800,000 that her husband showered on the younger woman in cash, a Ferrari and other luxury vehicles.The ruling came nearly a year after a recording of Donald Sterling telling Stiviano not to associate with black people led the NBA to ban him for life and fine him $2.5 million. The recording was leaked weeks after Shelly Sterling sued Stiviano, alleging she was her husband’s mistress.While Shelly Sterling acknowledged marital problems, she said the couple never separated even though she had divorce papers drawn up.The couple testified at trial in March in Los Angeles Superior Court about their enduring love for each other, displaying cards they gave each other for anniversaries and birthdays. ___AP Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report. LOS ANGELES >> Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 60 years on Wednesday as he continues to battle her over ownership of the team.Sterling, 81, cited irreconcilable differences in paperwork submitted to the Los Angeles Superior Court, attorney Bobby Samini said. That paperwork was initially rejected by the court as incomplete, but it was corrected and resubmitted afterward. It lists their date of separation as Aug. 1, 2012.Donald Sterling also filed a petition in probate court Wednesday for an accounting and distribution of assets related to the $2-billion sale of the Clippers to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and claiming he had a right to half of the community property, according to the court documents.Attorney Pierce O’Donnell said Shelly Sterling has no comment and had not seen either court filing.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

“I’m extremely disappointed” – GTU President

first_imgGovt’s rejection of salary increases…as teachers go on strike from August 27The Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) has confirmed that, following failed talks between the union and a Government team on Thursday, teachers will go on strike for two weeks’ duration, beginning from August 27. This strike that might even be accompanied by protests.Making this pronouncement was GTU President Mark Lyte, who had led negotiations on the teachers’ behalf. Out of eight proposals made by GTU on salaries’ issues, no agreement could be reached on a single one. With the collapse of these talks, Lyte confirmed on Friday during an interview, strike action is imminent.“Definitely! Strike action is on the cards. Me, vice-presidents and the executives were yesterday (Thursday) given a directive by the membership that we needed to take strike action. So we are in the process of preparing the letters to indicate to the minister and the ministries, especially the Ministry of Labour, that we will take strike action from August 27.”Lyte expressed disappointment that matters have had to reach this stage. HeGTU President Mark Lyterecalled that the union had threatened strike action before, and was dissuaded from this course of action out of a willingness to work out a solution.“I’m extremely disappointed. Having threatened before that we would take strike action, the President intervened and set up a task force. We expected they had a good intention, but looking at the counter-proposals, there was no intention; I think the whole thing was to delay the process. There’s nothing there for our teachers to really say that they have waited for. So I think it’s a very disrespectful approach,” Lyte declared.“And we were taken aback by the fact that these are the people who say they love our teachers, and our teachers are special. And this is what you do? I think our teachers have reached a stage where they don’t want to hear any further discussion, they want people to bring figures they can accept.”According to Lyte, channels of communication would be opened between the GTU and Government, and it is now up to the coalition Government to decide what they will do.Lyte made it clear that the GTU would not defer its strike unless a tangible offer is made. He added there is a possibility GTU two weeks’ strike can be further extended, depending on the Government’s next move… And nor is he ruling out protest action.The meetingA number of requests from the GTU, including a long awaited retroactive increase in salaries across the board and increases in keeping with improved qualifications, were rejected by the Government at the meeting.The meeting featured Education and Social Protection Ministers Nicolette Henry and Amna Ally, as well as Junior Minister Keith Scott and GTU President Mark Lyte. Their discussions related to the proposals from a joint task force that President David Granger had himself ordered into the teachers’ plight last year.Even though that task force had the input of Government, it was indicated to teachers on Thursday, a specialist would have to be contracted to determine the increases.In addition, the teachers were bluntly told that instead of the specific increases ranging from 40 per cent in 2016 to 50 per cent in 2020, a ball figure would be used based on the current salary scale.When it comes to debunching payments, which is payment based on years of service, the GTU requested payments on the scales of, and retroactive from, the 2011 agreement. Instead, the Government proposed another ball park figure for the new school year of 2018 to 2019.“The Guyana Teachers’ Union disagreed on this counter-proposal, stating the amount allocated did not cater for the years signed and agreed to previously by the Government,” a release from the ministry said. “They noted that previous Permanent Secretary signed an agreement to honour the de- bunching payment from 2011.”A request for a $5,000 monthly emotional, stress and risk allowance was met by the Government urging a “holistic approach”. As such, the Government team stated that it cannot be considered at this time, taking into account the wider public service. A similar response met requests for mileage and maintenance allowances for top school officials. A request for all teachers to receive double pay in December had to be withdrawn.last_img read more

You Must Get the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection to Stand a

first_imgStay on target For a minute there it looked like Capcom might be the next Sega (or worse, Konami), a once-venerable Japanese game publisher seemingly on the downswing despite its immense legacy. And to be fair they don’t seem quite out of the woods yet. We’re looking at you, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. But recent comebacks for Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, and even Mega Man have given us hope.And now its Street Fighter’s turn for some much needed extra love. At this year’s Capcom Cup tournament Capcom revealed the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, celebrating three decades of the landmark fighting game series. Check it out!There are a whopping twelve classic games in this collection: Street Fighter, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II: Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter III, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, and Street Fighter III: Third Strike. Granted, some of those games are just mild updates of others games. And no one should replay the original Street Fighter. But that’s still a lot of value, especially from a historical standpoint. And since this ends before Street Fighter IV, this is nothing but exquisite 2D sprite work, not a polygon to be foundFour games also include online play: Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II: Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter III: Third Strike. While we would have liked to see every game include online, these are good picks. And hopefully the netcode is as good, or even improves upon, previous GGPO online re-releases.Since it wasn’t co-funded by Sony like Street Fighter V, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is coming to all consoles and PC. That includes Nintendo Switch. In hindsight, this deal makes Ultra Street Fighter II on Switch, with its minimal updates like HD art and Violent Ken and first-person fireballs, seem like a bit of a rip-off. But the success of that game is probably what convinced Capcom to support the console further. Still, it’d be nice for USFII owners to get some kind of discount, or maybe a free 8bitdo arcade stick.Along with honoring Street Fighter’s past, Capcom is also preparing for its future. Although the initial launch was pretty bungled, Street Fighter V is in a healthier spot than it has ever been. We got a nifty new trailer for the upcoming Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition as well as new info on the upcoming third season of characters. Soon we’ll be able to throw down with Sakura, Sagat, Blanka, free Cody, and new characters Falke and G. The hunt for E. Honda continues.Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection launches next May while Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition arrives January 16. So start training.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘Street Fighter V’ and ‘Mortal Kombat 11’ Get Ne…‘Teppen’ Is Capcom vs. Card Games last_img read more