Culture

Sir Roger Penrose, prominent lecturer and author, as well as highly distinguished mathematician and theoretical physicist, will give Perimeter Institute's next public lecture on Wednesday, October 1.

There is now a great deal of evidence confirming the existence of a very hot and dense early stage of the universe. Much of this data comes from a detailed study of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) - radiation from the early universe that was most recently measured by NASA's WMAP satellite.

Economic globalization and liberalization have been blamed for numerous social ills over the last two decades, including a sharp rise in interethnic violence in countries all over the world. Not so, say the results of a study conducted by researchers from McGill University and published in the current issue of the journal International Studies Quarterly.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The 2008 presidential campaign has been running for a very long time, but we have now entered another phase with the commencement of the debates. Friday night saw the first presidential debate of 2008, between John McCain and Barack Obama. Content analysis, by a University of Missouri expert in campaigns, reveals that most of the statements in this debate were positive (53 percent), followed by attacks (39 percent) and defenses (9 percent).

Although the industrial compounds known as polychlorinated biphenols or PCBs have been found in previous air samples collected in the city of Chicago, a University of Iowa researcher says that a new study of Chicago air sampled between November 2006 and November 2007 found PCB11, a byproduct of the manufacture of paint pigments and a potentially toxic substance, present throughout the city.

Base running and base stealing would seem to be arts driven solely by a runner's speed, but there's more than mere gristle, bone and lung power to this facet of baseball ¬– there are lots of mathematics and physics at play.

With baseball playoffs heating up and the World Series right around the corner, it's guaranteed that fans will see daring slides, both feet-first and head -first, and even slides on bang-bang plays at first.

Who gets there faster, the head-first slider or the feet-first?

Boulder, CO, USA – Counting on wetlands restoration projects to protect storm buffeted infrastructure along the Louisiana Coast is likely to be a "losing battle" that provides "false hope" and prevents endangered communities from clearly planning for their future, says a researcher from Western Carolina University (WCU).

Efforts to retain the landscape were recorded from the Bloemendaler polder, the Hoekse Waard, the Mastenbroek polder, Moerdijk and Vleuten-De Meern in order to determine the systemic obstacles encountered. Van Dijk found that it was not the formal system of regional planning (the laws and regulations) that determined whether concerned citizens were successful in their opposition to urbanisation. Instead, the political system is the filter that determines whether concerns about the landscape can lead to the abandonment of proposed urbanisation projects.

In this project, Charl Stemmet investigated a new, structured support for catalysts for use in gas-liquid reactors. He used a highly porous solid foam as the support material, having up to 97% open space available and a very large surface area per reactor volume. This large surface area is important for mass-transfer-limited, gas-liquid reactions; the larger the surface area, the greater the production per unit reactor volume.

Reactor design

In the design phase of an intervention study, the first issue to be decided is how to assign people to different experimental groups. There are two groups in studies such as the model example above: the intervention group and the control group. One option is to assign whole schools to a particular group, so that all pupils from the same school experience the same conditions. Another option is to assign the pupils from each school to different groups so that each group is represented at each school.

Cities are being unfairly blamed for most of humanity's greenhouse gas emissions and this threatens efforts to tackle climate change, warns a study in the October 2008 issue of the journal Environment and Urbanization.

The paper says cities are often blamed for 75 to 80 percent of emissions, but that the true value is closer to 40 percent. It adds that the potential for cities to help address climate change is being overlooked because of this error.