The Norwegian Girl Guides Association (NGGA) has donated to the Liberian Girl Guides Association (LGGA) US$10,000 to aid its Liberian counterpart in contributing essential items to their members and others affected by the Ebola epidemic.The money, according to LGGA Commissioner Toniah Wiles, is being used to buy relief items, which are being distributed to its members in Monrovia and around the country.Liberia’s oldest Guide is one of the beneficiaries of the NGGA donation. Speaking to this newspaper, 96-year-old Lucretia Jeneba Thomas, who was honored by the nation during this year’s independence anniversary, said she was glad that the Guides thought about her “during this Ebola time.”Madam Thomas, who served the longest as Commissioner of the LGGA, still has very sharp eyes and was able to walk from her house to a small orchard in front of her home, without assistance.She jokingly told our reporter that she was now out of fashion in this present generation of Liberians and is just waiting on God’s time, which “I want to happen now,” she said laughing and walked past our reporter.She was presented with an Ebola bucket along with other assorted items, including a bag of rice.Other older Guides that the LGGA visited also received similar items, while the younger Guides’ packages included sanitary pads. Commissioner Wiles stated that LGGA intends to donate to at least 3000 of their younger Guides.The LGGA also distributed items in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties, as well as Montserrado County including Monrovia. In Tubmanburg, Bomi County, Commissioner Wiles and other senior Guides donated items to the only Government-run referral hospital in that city. The items included bags of rice, toiletries, sanitary pads, sacs of water thanks to the generosity of the Norwegian Girl Guides Association.She informed Dr. Gorbee Logan, Bomi County Chief Health Officer that the supplies were to be shared with children who have become orphans due to the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD).Dr. Logan, expressing appreciation said the items “came just in time. We are in dire need of all of them at the hospital and the ETU.” He promised that the orphans would receive their share of the donated items.Similar donations were distributed in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County to the St. Timothy Hospital. The LGGA’s next stop will be Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, according to Commissioner Wiles. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Limacol Knockout FootballAs a night of scintillating football came to an end on Sunday evening, the Guyana Police Force FC and Pouderoyen FC have taken up the top two positions in the tournament, and are now waiting on their chance to have their moment of glory.With the aim of getting into Friday’s final, the four remaining teams in the Limacol Knockout Football tournament went into Sunday evening’s quarter final looking to win their most important game of the tournament thus far. The atmosphere at the Ministry of Education ground was electric, with patrons flooding in to encourage and cheer on their community teams and favourite players.The first scheduled encounter saw a repeat of their first group game, as Pouderoyen matched skills with Santos FC. In the aforementioned group game, Santos had claimed the victory, but in the semifinal, Pouderoyen were very determined to have the tables turned.Looking to be the first one with one on the scorecard, both teams hunted the goal desperately, but the hunt went on for the entirety of the first half, and neither side was able to penetrate the opponent’s goal.As such, the first half went quietly, before Pouderoyen’s Amaniki Buntin found the back of the net in the 81st minute. In an instant, Santos knew they had to do whatever it took to capitalise on the nine remaining minutes.Try as they might, it was too late for Santos to make a reply, and they exited the competition with heads bent low.The second semifinal game of the night saw Police and an equally determined Riddim Squad facing off for the last remaining spot. The energetic Riddim squad were in complete control of the game for the first half, but were unable to capitalise on their uncanny possession, squandering every goal opportunity afforded to them. In this situation, credit should be given to the Police defenders, who often assisted the goalkeeper.On the other hand, the Police were having troubles of their own, and were not seeming to find their usual rhythm. However, the law officers bounced back in the second half, and played much better football, as they managed to increase their ball possession.Anthio Wallace became the hero of the night when he eased one into the goal in the 55th minute, allowing his team to rest easy for a while. But Wallace’s goal quickly became the only one in the match, as Riddim Squad continued to miss the target.The final match of the season is expected to be a fiery clash, and will go down on Friday, October 5 at 21 hrs. With both Police and Pouderoyen on a winning streak, their first and last encounter is certain to be a thriller.The third place playoff between Santos and Riddim Squad will be played at the same venue, the Ministry of Education Ground on Carifesta Avenue, starting at 19hrs.
1 Pascal Gross has signed a contract extension at Brighton until 2022.The German midfielder scored seven goals last season as the Seagulls retained their Premier League status.Gross, who joined Brighton last summer from Ingolstadt, told the club’s official website: “I’m very pleased to get the new deal done.“I think we had a very hard year last season and I’m happy to commit my future to the club – it’s a very special day for me.”The 26-year-old also provided eight assists and was a key player in Chris Hughton’s side, winning the club’s player-of-the-season award.He added: “You never know how it will go when you move to a new country, but I was very happy with how everything went and now I want that to continue next season.“We have a great team spirit here and we were all so determined to stay up – the togetherness is one of our biggest strengths.“Our challenge for next season has to be to maintain those standards we set last year and stick together.”
Liverpool’s attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have scored as many goals as the entire Manchester United squad since the start of last season Wilshere has struggled in West Ham’s dreadful start to the season 4 talkSPORT.com round up all the biggest transfer news and rumours from Sunday’s papers and online… Tottenham are tracking Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong, the midfielder, ahead of a potential January move for the 21-year-old. (Express)Mousa Dembele could leave Spurs in the January transfer window with a mega-money switch to China in the works. (Sun)Former Liverpool star Graeme Souness has blasted Paul Pogba, saying he is only the Manchester United team to ‘maintain his transfer value’. (Sunday Times)Gareth Southgate has admitted Jack Wilshere, the West Ham midfielder, is still not up to the level of securing a return to the England squad. (Telegraph) Neymar is reported to favour a move to Arsenal or Chelsea as he loves London 4 4 Alisson was pushed off the ball as he tried to do a Cruyff turn inside his own area 4 Paul Pogba wants to leave Manchester United when the transfer window reopens in January. He is planning to return to former club Juventus. (Manchester Evening News)Jose Mourinho, the United manager, urged the club NOT to sign Cristiano Ronaldo over the summer due to the money that would be spent on him. (Mirror)If Neymar, the Brazil forward, leaves Paris Saint-Germain for English football, he would prefer to join either Chelsea or Arsenal. (Express) Yerry Mina decided to join Everton over Manchester United because Marco Silva, the Toffees manager, phoned him, whereas Jose Mourinho did not. (Sun)Paul Scholes came out of retirement to play for 11th tier Royton Town on Saturday, though they were defeated 1-0 by Stockport Georgians. (BBC)And here are the top talkSPORT.com stories…EXCLUSIVE: John Motson has backed Liverpool to finally win their first Premier League title this seasonPep Guardiola has told his Manchester City players they need to improve because the reigning Premier League champions are expected to beat teams easilyNeymar scored in Paris Saint-Germain’s 4-2 defeat of Nimes and celebrated in front of a ‘Neymar is a cry baby’ banner by pretending to cryJurgen Klopp has admitted he always knew Alisson would make a blunder after the Liverpool goalkeeper was at fault for Leicester’s goal in their 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Reds
Master brewer Moritz Kallmeyer believes microbrews have more personality.Microbrews produce in a month what industrial brewers can in a day.MEDIA CONTACTS • Moritz KallmeyerMaster brewer and distiller+27 12 804 8800.Sulaiman PhilipDedicated hobbyists and beer-loving entrepreneurs have spurred a growth in the craft beer industry in South Africa that is offering up a varied array of fresh, bold tastes.Moritz Kallmeyer, master brewer and distiller at Drayman’s Brewery and Distillery in Pretoria, is one of the people at the forefront of the South African craft brewing industry. South African palates are evolving and over the past few years brewers in the country have produced craft beers that can hold their own with the best that America and Europe have to offer, he argues. “We don’t have the same drinking habits as Europeans, who can have a glass of beer with lunch. Beer drinkers want to have three or four beers at a go. Fruity and flavourful beers are popular, but they can’t be too satiating.”Invention and originality are the key – taking a base recipe and experimenting until you discover something that appeals to your personal taste – such as the double chocolate stout from Bridge Street Brewery in Port Elizabeth. It is the creation of brew master Lex Mitchell, the godfather of South African microbrewing.Mitchell’s lifelong interest in beer began in high school and his education continued once he started working for South African Breweries (SAB). At the brewery giant he had access to brewing magazines that charted the growth of the microbrewing industry in England in the 1970s. In 1983, his home brewing experiments became a business when he opened Mitchell’s Brewery in Knysna in Eastern Cape, the first microbrewery in South Africa. At one point, Mitchell’s was the largest brewer in the country, after SAB, which controlled more than 99% of the market.“South Africa does not have a history like England’s, where you have beers like Old Peculier that have been brewed for hundreds of years, but I believed that there were guys like me who wanted to have variety.”Slow foodAccording to Dylan Roach, one time marketing and sales director of Mitchell’s Brewery Gauteng, the microbrewery industry is doubling year on year but it is still just 1% of the South African beer market. It has grown in tandem with the slow food movement. The slow food movement, which took hold in South Africa in the late 1990s, is about preserving and appreciating local food culture and protecting biodiversity. As more and more people seek out local alternatives to mass produced food, they are also embracing the handmade nature of microbrewing. Like slow food advocates, microbrewers believe in traditional products made using regional produce and small scale artisanal production.Today’s microbrewing industry has grown out of the home brewing subculture, a hobby that has been popular among South African men for decades. Kallmeyer says that every brew master he has spoken to has a story of a dad or an uncle whose garage was taken over by buckets and bubbles. “A lot of that beer ended up being an undrinkable green muck. The shift towards craft beer really began when home brewers exchanged syrup base for dry hops and barley.”For the majority of South Africans, sorghum beer is the mother of craft brewing. First brewed in the Nile Delta, the recipe followed the migration root of tribes moving south in search of cattle grazing and space. Sorghum brew isn’t for everyone: it’s a sour, milky beer that keeps fermenting in the container. Commonly sold in cartons with dried rivulets of beer on the packaging, this “worm” is a sign that the beer is ready to drink. Lucy Corne, co-author of the guidebook African Brew, found sorghum to be sour, slightly off tasting, but refreshing. “Two sips quenched my cultural curiosity and my desire to be polite.”Big growthThe industry has grown from a smattering of local breweries in 2009 to close on 60 craft breweries spread across the country. SABMiller, previously SAB and now the biggest brewer in South Africa and the second largest in the world, has slowly begun embracing the country’s craft beer industry. It sponsors beer festivals, an annual university brewing challenge, and now a contest to crown the country’s best microbrew.Kallmeyer says he is uncomfortable with the influence that SABMiller is beginning to exert in the industry. “If all South African beer drinkers were still content drinking clear, bland, fizzy beer the craft beer industry would not exist nor be growing at such a fast rate. Don’t get me wrong, commercial breweries make impeccable quality beer, but craft beer drinkers are looking for a lot more flavour and character in their beers, even to the point of being rustic. Craft brewers are also attracting female beer drinkers, something SABMiller has not been really successful at doing. We have created a new industry and now there is a feeling that they want to step in and capitalize on it.”Others disagree with his view. Jonathan Nel at Three Skulls Brew Works in Johannesburg, a former brand manager at SAB, it can only help the industry: “Economies of scale aside, if SAB feels the need to be present at craft beer festivals then the same festivals can only benefit from the cheque book and marketing provided by SAB. When all is said and done, the craft beer drinkers will decide who gets their hard-earned cash and respect, and my money’s obviously on the little guy.”Fans of microbrewing tend to be young and computer savvy. The birth and growth of the industry can be tied directly to the growth of the internet. When Kallmeyer first opened Drayman’s in 1997 he struggled to make a living. But the web has made the world smaller and made it easier for like-minded people to find each other. “Guys were asking themselves why they could not have the same beer experience as someone in Seattle. They found one another online and started sharing information about regional brewers.”CreativityFor the growing number of beer entrepreneurs, being able to cater to different tastes allows them a certain amount of creativity. “Beer drinkers want more flavour, different flavours, different beer styles and even different bottle sizes or glasses,” explains Nel. “One of the major positives about being a small microbrewery is that you can be agile. If a product doesn’t work you can change it. That is not to say we are an industry built on excess, but rather one that will break the rules, not for the sake of being a rebel, but because we can and we will.”Microbrewing is also a driver of employment. Its hands on production approach means it is a labour intensive process that can use as much as 100 times more labour as a commercial brewer. For some brewers this is reason enough for the government to relook at the legislation covering their business. “In Europe there is a clear distinction between guys like us and commercial brewers. There is recognition that the industry is a driver of development that needs to be nurtured,” Kallmeyer points out.Beer was first brewed in Babylon more than 8 000 years ago and the process is based on strong scientific principles. They are principles that are tested and judged annually in the SAB Intervarsity Beer Brewing Challenge. First held in 2006, its purpose is to encourage appreciation of craft beer and beer culture among students. The 10 South African universities with breweries on campus compete against each other to produce a variety of different craft beers. This year’s winner, the University of Pretoria, has also been the most successful team; it has won on three other occasions – 2008, 2010 and 2011.English theologian GK Chesterton once said that a man would discover why beer was invented after a 10-mile walk along a dusty road. Most microbrewers would consider 10 miles about as far as they would want to ship their beer; they want them served close to home at peak condition. Regional originality is a part of the charm of craft beer and gives beer lovers a reason for a road trip, order up something new and take a long slow sip.
Air sealing and pressure differencesReaders who live in Southern states will particularly appreciate Bailes’ Georgia perspective. A few samples of Bailes’ writing give a flavor of the range of his blog topics.On thermal bypasses: “In such houses, the problem results from the top of the walls being open to the attic. You can go into the attic and look down into the interior walls and see the drywall. That means that cold attic air gets down into those cavities.”On sealing air leaks: “So, before you go around caulking your windows and weatherstripping your doors, get up in your attic and seal the real leaks!”On aligning air barriers with insulation: “We’ve got 2×8 floor joists, with a depth of 7.25 in. The R-7 fiberglass batts are only about 2 in. thick. (R-7? Really?! Why bother!) You can see in the photo below that these batts don’t come anywhere close to touching the subfloor, and that’s how they’re installed in just about every cavity in this floor.”On the quality of spray foam jobs: “I’ve seen a number of houses with problems even though they’re insulated with spray foam. In order of prevalence, here are the problems I’ve seen, with explanations following the list:Spray foam isn’t thick enough.Spray foam installers missed some of the air leakage sites.Spray foam installers didn’t understand the building envelope and sprayed either too little or too much.Spray foam contracts and pulls away from framing.”On the value of measuring air changes per hour: “Infiltration occurs at the surface, not in the volume. … We need to stop talking about infiltration rates in terms of air changes per hour because there are too many problems with it. … Normalizing to volume also builds in a bias toward larger homes. Since surface area is proportional to the square of the radius and volume is proportional to the cube of the radius, the volume increases faster than the surface area as a house grows in size. So, large houses benefit when dividing by volume instead of surface area. …. It’s time to quit using ACH to talk about infiltration.”On the difficulties of measuring “natural” air changes per hour: “Pressure differences created by mechanical systems can eclipse those created by wind and the stack effect. The disconnected supply duct, the panned return, the 1,200-cfm commercial range hood with no makeup air — all these things can dwarf the effects we’re trying to capture in ACHnat.”On carpet stains: “Do you have light colored carpet in your home that has dark edges where it meets the baseboard? If so, don’t beat yourself up so much for not being a good enough house cleaner. The problem is probably in your building envelope, not your vacuum cleaner. The reason the dirt is accumulating there in the first place, you see, is that a lot of air is moving through the carpet at that point. For air to move from one place to another, two conditions must be met:A pressure difference drives air from the high pressure side to the low pressure side.A pathway allows the air to move.”On the fact that particulates piggybacking on air leaks often stain fiberglass batts: “It was really nice of the insulation manufacturers to make their products in colors that show dirt really well — white, yellow, and pink. If they made grey insulation, finding air leaks would be more difficult.”On dehumidifiers in vented crawl spaces: “No dehumidifier can dehumidify all the air in Atlanta, which is what they’re asking this little one to do because the crawl space is vented to the outside.” by Martin HolladayGBA is launching a new feature: periodic reviews of interesting blogs. To get the ball rolling, I’m recommending the Energy Vanguard blog.The author of the Energy Vanguard blog, Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a RESNET-accredited energy consultant and trainer. He performs heat loss calculations, provides HERS rating services, and provides rater training and Energy Star training, among other services.Allison has a PhD in physics, a fact that is reflected in his approach to building science. He’s worked at a variety of jobs; at one point he worked as a contractor offering air sealing, duct sealing, insulation installation, and crawl space encapsulation services. For a few years, Bailes worked at the Southface Energy Institute as the regional manager for the EarthCraft House program. Photos illustrating leaks and problemsLike many home performance contractors, Bailes always keeps a camera handy. He has an excellent collection of photos illustrating a variety of home-performance problems, and he effectively uses those photos to clarify points made in his blogs.A tiny quibble: Bailes’ blog (like portions of the GBA Web site, it must be admitted) is a little confusing to navigate. That said, it’s well worth clicking a few links until you figure out how to find all of Bailes’ blogs.GBA highly recommends Bailes’ blog. So go visit the Energy Vanguard.To read a sample of Bailes’ writing, check out his guest blog here at GBA: Is There a Downside to Lumpy Attic Insulation?.
A contract worker was killed in a blaze while handling explosive material at the High Energy Material Research Laboratory (HEMRL) in the city’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Pashan. Police sources said that another worker suffered grievous injuries in the fire, which erupted on Tuesday.The deceased has been identified as Laxmikant Sonawane (26), a resident of Pune’s Warje area and the injured as Yogesh Kirtikar.According to officials at the Hinjewadi police station, the workers were taking samples of some explosive material when one such substance blew up, causing a blaze. Further investigations were on, said a senior police official.HEMRL Director K.P.S. Murthy said that all safety measures were adhered to at the time the accident occurred.“The deceased was a contract worker… A high-level DRDO committee will investigate the causes of the accident and come up with a report,” said Mr. Murthy.The HEMRL, one of the premier research laboratories in the Pune DRDO establishment, sprawls across 800 acres in the city’s Pashan and Sutarwadi area and has played a vital role in the development of India’s missile systems.Past incidentsIn December 2015, three contractual workers were severely burnt in an explosion which led to a fire in the HEMRL’s Igniter Complex. An explosion in 2009 took away the ceiling of one of the labs. No loss of life was reported at the time.In a major mishap in 2002, six persons, including two lab technicians and four contract workers, lost their lives in an explosion in the facility’s Solid Rocket Propellant section.
Tastes are a privilege. The oral sensations not only satisfy foodies, but also on a primal level, protect animals from toxic substances. Yet cetaceans—whales and dolphins—may lack this crucial ability, according to a new study. Mutations in a cetacean ancestor obliterated their basic machinery for four of the five primary tastes, making them the first group of mammals to have lost the majority of this sensory system.The five primary tastes are sweet, bitter, umami (savory), sour, and salty. These flavors are recognized by taste receptors—proteins that coat neurons embedded in the tongue. For the most part, taste receptor genes present across all vertebrates.Except, it seems, cetaceans. Researchers uncovered a massive loss of taste receptors in these animals by screening the genomes of 15 species. The investigation spanned the two major lineages of cetaceans: Krill-loving baleen whales—such as bowheads and minkes—were surveyed along with those with teeth, like bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The taste genes weren’t gone per se, but were irreparably damaged by mutations, the team reports online this month in Genome Biology and Evolution. Genes encode proteins, which in turn execute certain functions in cells. Certain errors in the code can derail protein production—at which point the gene becomes a “pseudogene” or a lingering shell of a trait forgotten. Identical pseudogene corpses were discovered across the different cetacean species for sweet, bitter, umami, and sour taste receptors. Salty tastes were the only exception.“The loss of bitter taste is a complete surprise, because natural toxins typically taste bitter,” says zoologist Huabin Zhao of Wuhan University in China who led the study. All whales likely descend from raccoon-esque raoellids, a group of herbivorous land mammals that transitioned to the sea where they became fish eaters. Plants range in flavors—from sugary apples to tart, poisonous rhubarb leaves—and to survive, primitive animals learned the taste cues that signal whether food is delicious or dangerous. Based on the findings, taste dissipated after this common ancestor became fully aquatic—53 million years ago—but before the group split 36 million years ago into toothed and baleen whales.“Pseudogenes arise when a trait is no longer needed,” says evolutionary biologist Jianzhi Zhang of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who was not involved in the study. “So it still raises the question as to why whales could afford to lose four of the five primary tastes.” The retention of salty taste receptors suggests that they have other vital roles, such as maintaining sodium levels and blood pressure.But dulled taste perception might be dangerous if noxious substances spill into the water. Orcas have unwittingly migrated into oil spills, while algal toxins created by fertilizer runoff consistently seep into the fish prey of dolphins living off the Florida coast.“When you have a sense of taste, it dictates whether you swallow or not,” says Danielle Reed, a geneticist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was not involved with the current work, but co-authored a 2012 paper that found the first genetic inklings that umami and sweet taste receptors were missing in cetaceans, albeit in only one species—bottlenose dolphins.Flavors are typically released by chewing, but cetaceans tend to swallow their food whole. “The message seems clear. If you don’t chew your food and prefer swallowing food whole, then taste really becomes irrelevant,” Reed says.
It has been said a zillion times, and yet, warrants repetition, that the world loves a lover! More so when hot reel life spills over to real life — or is it the other way around? Who cares! Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and husband Abhishek Bachchan on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. God knows, over the decades B-Town has thrown up dozens of coochie-cooing couples (real or manufactured) with a ravenous, voyeuristic, sensation-driven media swooping in to blitz every move across TV, radio, press, Internet. Has it helped? We check it out.Let’s start with Abhishek-Ashwariya. Everyone knows that today’s golden couple did quite a few films together (before they got romantically involved and married) and each of them had to be peeled off the ceiling! It was Mani Ratnam’s Guru which broke the jinx, with Abhishek delivering a truly brilliant performance, ably supported by a de-glam Ashwariya. Sarkar Raj was also there, but their connect was lost in the intensity of the storyline and general focus.Ajay-Kajol have been hitting dud-street with depressing regularity. Dil Kya Karen, Raju Chacha and U, Me Aur Hum … here today; gone today! Shahid-Kareena were hot, hot, hot remember? Their films, however, were real thanda (cold)! Ironically, the last film they did before they parted ways, Jab We Met (shouldn’t it have been Jab We Split?) really caught fire, but their personal relationship burnt out.Saifeena really captured popular imagination with Chhote Nawab, flamboyantly, passionately (and publicly) wooing Kareena, with her name, dramatically, inscribed on his arm. These red-hot vibes, however, translated to zilch when their much hyped Tashan went p-h-o-o-s-s! The John Abraham-Bipasha Basu jodi sizzled big-time in their earliest film together, Jism. As the liaison translated to a garma-garam relationship, all eyes were fixed on their starrer Goal. No prizes for guessing what happened.The Priyanka-Harman pairing too was hot n’ heavy with the “We’re good friends” number hitting impossible heights. However, their Love Story 2050 fizzled. The newest hot, IT couple on the block is Ranbir-Deepika. Bachna’s success truly powered their market value while lending a new resonance to their personal vibes. More wind beneath their wings! Priyanka Chopra with Harman Baweja at the press conference for Love Story 2050 in London. So what’s the overall conclusion and score? Simple. While the voyeuristic public (aided and abetted by an ever-hungry ratings driven media) devours, explores, exploits (even manufactures) scandals, controversies, break-ups, gossip and new pairings, it refuses to automatically carry this enthusiasm into film success. Why? Because that’s a different space altogether and must be evaluated and judged through a set of criteria totally unrelated to hype, gossip or scandal. It has to do with the film per se — story, casting, brand-fit, passion, believability, looks, acting, components that influence the overall viewing experience.Interestingly, in some earlier pairings in the golden age of Bollywood there was considerable crossover success in onscreen and off-screen romances. Recall sepia-tinted times couples like Raj-Nargis, Dilip-Madhubala, Dilip-Vyjantimala, Guru Dutt-Waheeda Rehman, Dev-Suraiya, Amitabh-Rekha, Amitabh-Jaya?At the end of the day, off-screen chemistry cannot guarantee on-screen success. What it definitely does is generate huge curiosity, great expectations, evoke interest … in general, work up solid lather among the gasp-pant janta … but that’s it. Thereafter, it rests entirely on the merits of the movie and whether the red-hot off-screen vibes translate to on-screen dhamaka. And hey, get one thing straight: no amount of media-spin can salvage a dead pair. The Priyanka-Harman disaster is the most lethal example!BIG BUCK AD ENDORSEMENTSCashing in on luv has grabbed the younger Power-Couples in B-town, big time. It does not always translate into movie hits as we have seen, but what about ad endorsements? How do they fare in that area? Are on-screen successes the critical criteria … or do their exciting personas and off-screen dramabaazi ignite popular imagination and convince big brand advertisers to slot them in product categories that exploit this attractive part of their pairing-image and chemistry? Let’s take a look …. Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor with former flame Shahid Kapur. If proven and movie–hit success was the criteria, then Brand Saifeena would be nowhere (even remotely) near the radar! But guess what? They emerge as B-Town’s hottest couple in the endorsement scene with an estimated $20 million riding on them! Their endorsement rate is between $1.2 to $1.4 million.Explains Anita Nayyar, CEO of Havas Media: “Apart from being big stars in their own right, they are young, attractive and seductive newsmakers, adored by their zillions of fans across the globe. Their (public) real-life chemistry too is warm and wonderful and sends out extraordinarily positive signals which is a huge turn-on for the admirers.” Interestingly, all this, despite their mega thud, Tashan.Brand Ajay-Kajol — despite flops galore — have attracted $10 million in endorsement fees. Reason? Their image as “a solid, cute, stable, together married couple” is perfect for family-products. Brand Abhi-Ash have around $6 to $8 million riding on them, and Brand John-Bipasha take home a cool $800,000 per endorsement (despite doing no film together) … such is the jodi’s combined brand-equity.The latest lovebirds rocking the bandwagon is the exciting, young, now twosome, Ranbir-Deepika! Hot n’ heavy after their Bachna success and cute Youngistan ads, industry insiders believe that they are worth a up to a deadly $1 million per ad. “They have no competition in the Baba-log market and swing hot n’ high in the youth segment,” confesses Media analyst Nayyar.Romance is great and big buck endorsements are cool … but bottom line, do these jodi-endorsements work in the market place? More importantly, what drives advertisers to pay such obscene amounts to stars to push their brands? Let’s tackle the second question first. Insatiable curiosity by the 24×7 fans (voyeurs?) constantly hankering for every sight, sound and gossip-byte they can get of their favorite stars. What better platform and vehicle to turn fans into potential customers than get these stars to endorse their products, together?Remember, cleverly leveraging the stars’ popularity by cashing in on anything topical —scandal, event, idiosyncrasy, release, affair, controversy — and working it into a believable storyline powering the ad, can be a huge talking point and publicity boost for the star, the product and the company! Besides, power-couples, on-view, always ensure mesmeric viewing, right? John AbrahamHowever, a word of caution for advertisers. These “relationship-endorsements,” tempting and attractive as they are for stars and their fans, can take on a dangerous life of their own unless they are cleverly and subtly weaved into the basic fabric of the ads, so that the stars are characters and the products — not they — are the real heroes! The other point is: do these big buck power-couples deliver the goods, or is their on-screen record in endorsements as dismal as the movies in which they starred?Trade analysts believe that endorsements work better for them because the entire premise is less complicated and different. The heavy-duty demands (story, casting, performance, looks, screenplay, total impact amidst a galaxy of stars, etc.) don’t figure and is not scrutinized in excruciating detail by critics, industry, colleagues, etc. It’s more about the direct chemistry between the star-couple and how they translate that into the product experience they project. It’s basically about looking hot — or appropriate not — in the ad. It’s about interestingly, attractively and memorably (John-Bips in All Clear; Saif-Bebo in Airtel; Ranbir-Deepika in Pepsi) reaffirming their image as an endearing power-couple.It not about great acting, but smart posturing. That’s something the coochie–coo star-jodis know how to play well. 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Ranjan Sharma: I remember INDIA TODAY’s reporting of some matches in Sharjah a couple of years ago and how much praise was sung for Sachin. What happened after that?Rohit Brijnath: Sachin is still the best batsman in the world. It is absurd that people should ask him to give up,Ranjan Sharma: I remember INDIA TODAY’s reporting of some matches in Sharjah a couple of years ago and how much praise was sung for Sachin. What happened after that?Rohit Brijnath: Sachin is still the best batsman in the world. It is absurd that people should ask him to give up the captaincy because the rest of the team doesn’t bat well enough. It’s too early to decide whether he’s capable or not and switching captains just now would not help.The problem lies not in the head of Sachin Tendulkar but in the amateur style of the BCCI. A flawed system will produce a flawed team.Ashok Dutta: In view of the rout in Australia, is it not time to ban all commercial ads by the cricketers so that they concentrate more on the game and less on earning a quick buck? RB: I can understand your anger, and there are times all of us feel the cricketers get paid too much. But I think they are entitled to make the best living they can. After all, unlike almost any other profession they have a very short career span. In most sports, by the time you’re in your mid-30s your career is over.So banning them from commercial ads would not be just. However, if the players are getting Rs 90,000 per one-day match, that sum should be reduced to say Rs 60,000. But there should be a bonus clause – if they win they get an extra Rs 30,000.Dilip: Don’t you think Azhar would have been a better bet than the middle order in the team to Australia? advertisementRB: There is no doubt Azhar would have done better than some of our batsmen. The reason he was excluded has nothing to do with cricketing ability. Quite simply, many players don’t want to play with him.