Google Doodle has Santa Claus set for holiday deliveries

first_img3:40 Online 0 Our favorite Google Doodles through the years 49 Photos Behold Google 20th anniversary Doodle: Take a look back at popular searches since 1998.Google in 2018: Its workers found voice in protest this year. There will likely be more of that.First published Dec. 23 at 9:29 a.m. PT.Update Dec. 24 at 9:15 a.m. PT.: Adds Christmas Eve doodle and a preview of the Christmas Day doodle. In the hours leading up to Christmas on Sunday, elves loaded Santa’s sleigh with gifts. Google And then on the day of Christmas Eve, Monday, Santa dropped gifts down a chimney.  Google Twas the doodle before Christmas and all through the ‘net, Google’s elves were a-stirring to get us all set.As gift-givers shifted from shopping to wrapping, the holiday turkey began to thaw, and advent calendars got down to their last unopened window, Sunday’s Google Doodle showed us the man of the hour getting ready for his annual mission around the world. The first of several lightly animated holiday doodles showed a trio of elves flinging presents into Santa’s sleigh as the reindeer awaited clearance for takeoff.That image reached many countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Greeting folks in the UK, Italy and sub-Saharan Africa was a static, non-Santa illustration, filled with items including tree branches and flowers, cook pot and teakettle, a lone reindeer and a brace of birds (apparently not turtle doves, though).On Monday, Christmas Eve, Google offered a day-two Santa-themed doodle with an illustration of Santa Claus dropping gifts down a chimney in a snowy suburban landscape. The second-day image for the southern hemisphere shows Santa dropping gifts but not through chimneys. And the image for the UK, Italy and sub-Saharan Africa was a new, non-Santa holiday illustration.Google is also ready with a Christmas Day doodle, for both hemispheres, featuring Santa and his team napping after their big night. Google has been decorating its homepage with near-daily doodles for 20 years, a tradition that started with a simple line drawing to mark an outing to the Burning Man festival by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Since then, the whimsical and sometimes interactive illustrations have celebrated everything from poets to Pac-Man and from Halloween to Bastille Day. Tags Share your voice Google Doodle Google Post a comment How Google made a Doodle game Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

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2019-09-10

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Houston Says Southwest Key Facilities Unsafe School District Letter Grades Roll Out

first_imgJury delivers death sentence in ‘honor killings’ trialA Jordanian immigrant was sentenced to death on Tuesday after being convicted in what prosecutors described as the honor killings of his daughter’s American husband and an Iranian women’s rights activist in Houston.Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan was found guilty of capital murder last month in the 2012 fatal shootings of his son-in-law, Coty Beavers, and his daughter’s best friend, Gelareh Bagherzadeh. Jurors in Houston deliberated for just 35 minutes — after five weeks of testimony — before reaching the verdict, and the sentencing phase of the trial took another two weeks. How Tropical Storm Allison Changed HoustonHouston Public Media’s new podcast “Hurricane Season” explores some of the biggest storms that have impacted the Gulf Coast and its development, policies, and people. On this episode, Tropical Storm Allison.Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or subscribe via RSS. Wednesday, August 15, 2018Top morning stories:City says Southwest Key facilities may be unsafeThe City of Houston says a local Southwest Key facility is not in compliance with occupancy codes.In a letter from the City of Houston to Southwest Key’s chief executive, officials cited concerns about an existing facility located in Southwest Houston. Houston Public Media obtained a copy of that letter.The group is slated to open a center for migrant children in downtown Houston, which Mayor Sylvester Turner has spoken against. Southwest Key said it would review the latest request from the city and decide quickly on their next course of action.  Report details a path forward for flood controlA new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute recommends future developments west of Houston find ways to keep downstream flooding from increasing, increasing bayou capacity in already developed areas, and building more structures to hold back storm surge along the Gulf Coast. Sharecenter_img City of Houston Letter to Southwest Key (PDF) City of Houston Letter to Southwest Key (Text)Texas to announce letter grades for school districtsErika Rich for The Texas TribuneTexas Education Commissioner Mike Morath will roll out the first official grades for school districts Aug. 15.Texas school districts on Wednesday will get letter grades from the state for the first time.In the past, districts and individual schools were rated by the state on a pass/fail basis, deemed either as meeting standards or needing improvement. The Texas legislature created an A-F system during the last session, mandating school districts be graded in 2018. Next year, individual schools will also receive grades.A school is considered passing if it earns an A through D. If it earns an F, the state requires an improvement plan. Five years of an F rating means the state will take over the school. County approves flood project listPhoto: Andrew Schneider | Houston Public MediaThe Harris County Commissioners Court has voted to place a $2.5 billion bond proposal on the August 25 ballot, asking voters to finance a 10- to 15-year program of flood mitigation projects.Harris County commissioners this week formally approved a list of 237 proposed projects they want completed with if voters approve $2.5 billion in bonds on August 25. The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) drew up the list following a series of community meetings in all 22 of the county’s watersheds.More than two-thirds of the money would go to fund what are deemed “local” projects – those Harris County would pay for itself, without any matching federal or state dollars. Second case of West Nile virus found in Montgomery CountyMontgomery County officials have confirmed a second case of West Nile Virus for the present year. The county’s Public Health District said the person who has contracted the virus is a male in his 60s who lives in Montgomery County. He is currently being treated at a hospital.last_img read more

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2019-09-02

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DC Farmers Market Will Match Money Spent by Food Assistance Recipients

first_imgBy Tyra Wilkes, Special to the AFRONow eating fresh and healthy foods is even easier for those receiving government assistance. FRESHFARM Markets, the Washington Metropolitan based grocer, will match every dollar spent by recipients of nutrition benefit programs.  SNAP (EBT/Food Stamps), WIC, and Senior Farmers Market benefits are accepted at all FRESHFARM locations, allowing recipients to double their spending power and bring home fresh fruits and vegetables to their families. Last year, they reached nearly $100,000 in matching dollars.Their Farmer’s Market community is a huge one, made up of fifteen locations throughout the Washington Metropolitan area, and provides consumers with locally produced goods. “On a broad scale, FRESHFARM is working to make sure that there’s fresh, local food available to the entire region across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia,” said FRESHFARM Executive Director Julia Feder.The giveback program is ideal for those interested in healthier eating but aren’t sure if they can afford it on their income. As the majority of the markets are located on metro lines, most low-income singles and families, or those living in shelters can easily access this nutritional resource.Along with their expansive community of markets, FRESHFARM gets up close and personal with the D.C. public school students through their FoodPrints program, where they educate children on the benefits of healthy eating, in addition to teaching them harvesting skills and culinary techniques. “The kids get so excited about eating kale and radishes and we’re able to introduce them to foods they otherwise wouldn’t be interested in,” said Feder.last_img read more

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2019-09-01

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Energetics of the adsorption of ethanol on calcite nanoparticles

first_img Citation: Energetics of the adsorption of ethanol on calcite nanoparticles (2015, April 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-energetics-adsorption-ethanol-calcite-nanoparticles.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Credit: Ben Mills via Wikimedia Commons Nanoparticles have a high surface energy in which organic molecules readily self-assemble on their surface. When organic or biological molecules self-assemble on a nanoparticle, they will often form a type of shell that has its own unique shape and properties. This shell can mask the nanoparticle, changing an inorganic compound, like calcite, into a hydrophobic particle. It also protects the nanoparticle from its environmental surroundings. This is known as organic ligand capping.Prior research has shown that ethanol adsorbs onto calcite by first forming a self-assembled monolayer on the surface in which the hydroxyl group is anchored to the calcite and the hydrophobic tail is oriented outward, forming an organic ligand cap. There is evidence that a second ethanol layer forms, interacting with the hydrophobic tails of the first layer, but there is little quantitative evidence for this two-layer process. This study is the first to report the thermodynamic energetics of these interactions.Wu and Navrotsky accomplish these measurements using direct gas adsorption calorimetry, a technique that was first developed in Navrotsky’s lab. For this study, they used ethanol vapor and four nanocalcite samples of varying particle size.Graphical display of the number of molecules adsorbed as pressure increases shows that the ethanol-calcite system for each type of calcite are type I isotherms. This means that there is an initial adsorption process (chemisorption) that is energetically favored. The differential enthalpy of adsorption per number of ethanol molecules per surface area of calcite (nm2) indicates that the initial interaction of ethanol with the clean surface is the most exothermic (-121.2 +/- 2.4 kJ/mol ethanol) followed by a significantly less exothermic process for the second layer of ethanol molecules. The shape of this enthalpy curve has two distinct plateaus. The first is the initial adsorption of ethanol onto a clean calcite surface, which terminates at about 3.5 ethanol molecules at an enthalpy of 98.3 +/- 4.8 kJ/mol ethanol, in close agreement with theoretical models. Then there is evidence of weak intermediate chemisorption followed by another, less exothermic interaction at the second plateau, at a value less than the condensation of ethanol, which is −42.3 kJ/mol, at 25 °C. The second plateau is likely due to a second, less ordered layer interacting with the hydrophobic ends of the ordered monolayer. Explore further (Phys.org)—Biomineralization, oil recovery, textiles, and catalysis all rely on organic-inorganic interactions with calcite, the most common polymorph of CaCO3. Over the last five years, there has been substantial research discussing qualitative properties of organics adsorbed onto calcite, but little by way of quantitatively determining the thermodynamic interaction between an organic adsorbate and calcite. Di Wu and Alexandra Navrotsky of the University of California, Davis investigated the thermodynamics of ethanol adsorption onto various calcite nanoparticles in an effort to elucidate the organic-inorganic interface and find general properties that could apply to more complex systems. Their work appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Microbe produces ethanol from switchgrass without pretreatment Prior research suggests that there is a spatially thin gap with low ethanol density between the first adsorbed monolayer and the bulk alcohol. Wu and Navrotsky’s thermodynamic data support this model, and suggests that the newly formed hydrophobic nanoparticle may induce short-range order in the bulk solution up to 2 nm beyond the surface of the nanoparticle.In experiments comparing adsorption of ethanol on calcite versus water on calcite, both ethanol and water show an initial, highly exothermic interaction. Both have hydroxyl groups available to adsorb onto calcite, making it reasonable to assume that the initial adsorption onto clean calcite would be similar for both. After this first phase, both become less exothermic; however, ethanol will display a second plateau, providing a step-wise curve, while the curve for water shows only one gradual inflection. Additionally, entropy and free energy calculations for both water and ethanol showed a similarly shaped curve as the enthalpy graphs, and both became less negative as more molecules were adsorbed. However, ethanol preferentially binds to the calcite at low partial pressures, which is likely due to entropy effects.These experiments reveal uniformity among the different types of calcite. Despite differences in size and surface area, they apparently have energetically similar binding sites. All showed a strong initial adsorption followed by evidence of a thin gap and a less ordered layer, and suggests that this type of interaction could be generalized for more complex organic molecules, such as proteins, on a calcite nanoparticle surface. Furthermore, the tight capping of organic ligands may serve as a protective barrier to the nanoparticle core. Aside from providing insight into biological systems, researchers may be able to exploit these properties to make nanoscale devices. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2015 Phys.org More information: “Probing the energetics of organic-nanoparticle interactions of ethanol on calcite” Di Wu and Alexandra Navrotsky, PNAS, www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/04/08/1505874112AbstractKnowing the nature of interactions between small organic molecules and surfaces of nanoparticles (NP) is crucial for fundamental understanding of natural phenomena and engineering processes. Herein, we report direct adsorption enthalpy measurement of ethanol on a series of calcite nanocrystals, with the aim of mimicking organic–NP interactions in various environments. The energetics suggests a spectrum of adsorption events as a function of coverage: strongest initial chemisorption on active sites on fresh calcite surfaces, followed by major chemical binding to form an ethanol monolayer and, subsequently, very weak, near-zero energy, physisorption. These thermochemical observations directly support a structure where the ethanol monolayer is bonded to the calcite surface through its polar hydroxyl group, leaving the hydrophobic ends of the ethanol molecules to interact only weakly with the next layer of adsorbing ethanol and resulting in a spatial gap with low ethanol density between the monolayer and subsequent added ethanol molecules, as predicted by molecular dynamics and density functional calculations. Such an ordered assembly of ethanol on calcite NP is analogous to, although less strongly bonded than, a capping layer of organics intentionally introduced during NP synthesis, and suggests a continuous variation of surface structure depending on molecular chemistry, ranging from largely disordered surface layers to ordered layers that nevertheless are mobile and can rearrange or be displaced by other molecules to strongly bonded immobile organic capping layers. These differences in surface structure will affect chemical reactions, including the further nucleation and growth of nanocrystals on organic ligand-capped surfaces.last_img read more

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2019-08-31

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When India Africa jazz up the Swiss with music

first_imgNuanced rhythms of India and Africa power the sounds of Swiss jazz giant Malcolm Braff’s contemporary compositions that address the musical concerns of the world rather than the niche musical stage of traditional jazz that grew out of America.Braff, described as one of Switzerland’s best contemporary jazz pianist, was in India with his band, the Malcolm Braff Trio, at the International Jazz Festival in the capital presented by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR). Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’He played a fusion recital with bassist Reggie Washington and percussionist Stephane Galland from a repertoire of new European arrangements with global sounds.‘I came to India for the first time in 2005 with French-Swiss contemporary jazz maestro Erik Truffaz as a trumpet player. He was touring India. In every city that we visited, we invited local classical musicians to join us,’ Braff said. The local collaborations led to fusion performances, most of which were impromtu. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIt was the beginning of the 42-year-old musician’s engagement with Indian music. ‘While we were playing in Kolkata, we met an upcoming musician duo – Indrani and Apurva Mukherjee – and played their songs with them,’ Braff recalled.The concert later matured into a project when the band returned to Kolkata after two years in 2007 and spent a month rehearsing with them. ‘We created an album of western jazz improvisations with Indian classical music,’ he said. It was not really fusion as the way people understood fusion here, Braff said.‘We were trying to merge two traditions so that they could retain their identities,’ the musician said. The album was special to Braff because ‘there was no bass’.Indian tabla and African rhythms – especially the influences of Abdullah Ibrahim’s Africa and Zulu gospel – creep into Braff’s compositions in subtle ways.‘I am inspired by what I perceived as a child travelling around the world. I was born in Brazil and moved to Africa at the age of two. I spent my childhood in Cape Verde and Senegal,’ he said. Braff says he cannot pretend to be bringing ‘African rhythm directly in my music, but it comes in unconsciously’.Jazz has, over the years, evolved into distinct genres to become ‘Indian, American and European. I don’t really know Indian jazz really well, but I think about musicians applying jazz attitude to their music to express differently and improvise’.last_img read more

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2019-08-31

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Historic spots to visit on Independence Day

first_imgWhy not spend the Independence Day weekend at destinations with a historic importance? Visit places like Amritsar, Andaman and Nicobar Islands or Kottayam, which have a connect with India’s freedom struggle.Hotels.com, an online accommodation booking website, suggests travel enthusiasts to take a walk down memory lane by visiting historic destinations across India to experience the richness of culture, heritage and history: Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Amritsar: Famous for its Golden Temple, Amritsar has some of the most prominent places that reflect the historic post-Independence era of India. Some of the tourist attractions include Attari border and Wagah border, which are the international borders that divide India from Pakistan. The Gobindgarh Fort, which is the only surviving fort from the times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh which has had a continuous historical narrative, including events from the struggle for independence, and lastly Jallianwala Bagh, the place where thousands lost their lives during a peace meet. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAndaman and Nicobar Islands in India are famous not only for the beaches but also the number of historic monuments and museums it houses. The cellular jail is the most important tourist spot there. The British constructed the cellular jail to imprison Indian freedom fighters during India’s struggle for independence. Post-Independence, it was declared a national memorial, and it is now a museum and houses an art gallery. The saga of the freedom struggle is brought alive in a sound and light show, showcased daily inside the jail premises. Delhi: The county’s capital has some tourist attractions like Azad Hind Gram, built in order to honour Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, India Gate and Parliament House. Kottayam, which is known for its panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands and extensive rubber plantations, attracts a number of tourists. The majestic Vembanad Lake and the stunning backwaters of Kumarakom are its prime attractions. Kerala’s Varma Pazhassi Raja was one of the earliest freedom fighters in India.Lucknow is a beautiful city that still retains its old world charm. The ‘Kakori’ train incident during the independence movement took place in the same district. Some of the places to see here include the British Residency, Bara Imambara, Chattar Manzil, Jama Masjid, Rumi Darwaza, Moti Mahal, Lakshmana and Hussainabad Imambara.Goa, a place whose history with reference to the Indian freedom struggle goes back to the era 1812-1815, when the city was occupied by the British army. Goa is one of the top destinations associated with tourism in India with panoramic views of water, sand and clear blue skies. Portuguese style churches, old forts, historical buildings and flea markets are the main attractions in Goa. For people interested in relishing a bygone era, their itinerary should include Chapora Fort, Fort Aguada, Secretariat, Basilica de Bom Jesus, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and Royal Chapel of St. Anthony and the Ancestral Goa museum.last_img read more

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2019-08-31

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At IO Android Takes Backseat to Machine Learning

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Google I/O is ostensibly about the future of Android, but that changed in 2016 when CEO Sundar Pichai put the AI-powered Google Assistant and machine learning at the forefront, a trend that continued at this year’s show.At I/O 2017, the phrase “going from mobile first to AI first,” was repeated throughout the opening sessions and definitely set the tone.In addition to adding to its collection of open-source neural net technology, Google also introduced a more advanced Tensor Flow Unit (TCU), a piece of hardware designed specifically for running and training neural nets. This technology has been made available to developers and researchers on the cloud, and Google doubled down with 1,000 units available for research organizations.The average consumer, however, will likely experience Google’s machine-learning efforts via the Google Assistant. Developers can now build special Actions for this super-powered chatbot, which expands what the Assistant can do. Google unveiled new tools to make interactions like purchases seamless, opening the door for the Assistant to become a money-making platform for developers.In addition to the ascendance of the Assistant, it was interesting to see all the places where mobile phones were absent. A new Android-based, in-car control system highlighted the Assistant, but doesn’t require a phone. Google Home is getting a slew of updates, but voice calls don’t require a phone; Home will now simply call numbers, for free. It’s a startling move, partly because of its convenience but especially because this is exactly the context where we would expect to see crossover with Android devices.Popular Google platform iPhoneOne noticable point was the number of times the iPhone was mentioned during the series of keynotes at Google I/O. These weren’t offered as points of comparison to show Android’s superiority. Instead, Google treated the iPhone almost as if it were another platform for its developers.It started when the Google Assistant debuted in the less-than-popular chat app Allo, which launched simultaneously on iPhone and Android. The Assistant next appeared exclusive in the Pixel and Pixel XL phones, but now the Assistant will be everywhere: in cars, in TVs and, yes, in the iPhone. Now that developers can write Actions for the Assistant, it effectively turns the iPhone into an extension of Google’s existing platforms.The pieces of AndroidAndroid isn’t going away, clearly. Sessions focusing on the changes coming in Android O highlighted new tools and efforts to make developing for Android easier. But there was also a sense of tension as Google starts to take back more and more control of the Android platform. If developers want to target their apps for the new Android O, they have to use the OS’s new notification channels. If not, developers were told in a session, notifications will be dropped.Android is also popping up in more places beyond the phone. A stripped-down, hardened version of Android will power Google’s IoT platform called Android Things. Several of the changes coming to O regarding power and processor use are also coming to Android Wear, with additional restrictions.The real question is not what the future of Android will be. With 2 billion active monthly users on Android, it’s clearly a major player in the Googleverse. Rather, Google is pushing hard to turn Android developers into Google Assistant developers, Google Home Actions developers and web developers using the latest tools available in Chrome. That transition is going to be key toward Google becoming an AI first company. May 19, 2017 This story originally appeared on PCMag 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now »last_img read more

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2019-08-30

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Cancun is well on its way to another recordbreaking year

first_img Thursday, September 29, 2016 CANCUN – Mexico’s #1 destination shows no signs of slowing down, says the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau, which recently announced a 2% increase in visitors between January and May 2016 when compared to the same period last year.Arrival data shows that U.S. visitors set a record with 1,057,999 visitors, up 5% when compared to the same time frame in 2015. Other countries included in the top visitors list were Great Britain (49,918 visitors), Argentina (29,575), Brazil (28,054) and Colombia (21,540).“The destination continues to evolve year-after-year, always offering visitors fresh reasons to come back again and again,” said Jesus Almaguer, CEO of the Cancun CVB. “Cancun’s constant commitment to the expansion and diversification of its tourism offerings will lead the city into yet another record-breaking year in arrivals.”Some of the most recent updates in terms of renovations, openings and new builds for Cancun include the adults-only Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, which opened in May in Puerto Morelos, and Turquoize at Hyatt Ziva Cancun, an adults-only haven situated in the heart of the resort that opened in July 2016. Also, Temptation Resort & Spa Cancun has closed for a multi-million-dollar renovation project and will reopen in fall 2017.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaAs Cancun continues to expand its offerings, the lift on flight restrictions established by the U.S. and Mexican government in August will ease travel for visitors by providing them with more travel options and possibly more affordable airfare. Following the announcement, several airlines have jumped at the opportunity to expand into previously unserved cities.Some of these new routes include flights from Kelowna, BC on Sundays with Sunwing Vacations (running from Nov. 6, 2016-April 9, 2017), and daily non-stop flights from JFK New York with Delta Airlines (beginning Dec. 17, 2016).For more information on travel to Cancun, go to www.cancun.travel. Cancun is well on its way to another record-breaking year Share Travelweek Group Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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2019-08-20

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