Lillard, Blazers extinguish Heat for 10th straight victory

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jusuf Nurkic added 27 points and 16 rebounds for the Blazers, who have the longest current winning streak in the NBA and a two-game lead over Oklahoma City for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.After Lillard put the finishing touches on the win, Spoelstra said Portland’s All-Star deserves a little more recognition league-wide.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“I don’t know if there is any other player in this league right now that is playing at a higher level than Lillard,” Spoelstra said. “You know the names in the MVP conversation. The way he’s playing right now and winning, he deserves to be in that conversation as well.”The Heat used an 18-2 run to start the fourth quarter to trim a 19-point deficit to three, but Lillard took charge for the Blazers, just as he has throughout the winning streak. The All-Star guard broke Portland’s drought of over five minutes with a 3-pointer midway through the period to put Portland back in front by six, and the Blazers stayed safely ahead from there. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard hits a 3-pointer in front of Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Monday, March 12, 2018. The Blazers won 115-99. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)PORTLAND, Ore. — As the Portland Trail Blazers keep winning, Damian Lillard should keep climbing in the MVP conversation, according to Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.Lillard had 32 points and 10 assists, and the Trail Blazers beat the Heat 115-99 on Monday night for their 10th straight victory.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Lillard scored 21 points after halftime. He leads the league in second-half scoring.“It’s not just about him being a great player, it is the timing of his greatness, that is so unique,” Spoelstra added. “Every time there needs to be a big time play, or if momentum started to go our way, he made that play.”But Lillard credited Nurkic, who was two points shy of his season high. Lillard said he’s seen the work the center is putting in behind the scenes.“That’s the Nurk we need, just a beast, taking his time, scoring on the block, making plays off the block, rebounding the ball, blocking shots,” Lillard said. “I think his presence was really felt on both ends of the floor.“You could tell he’s trying to focus on being physical and finishing his shots.”ADVERTISEMENT UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Oh, sister: Venus Williams beats Serena at Indian Wellscenter_img MOST READ GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Goran Dragic scored 23 points for the Heat, who were without two key players in starting center Hassan Whiteside and sixth man Dwyane Wade.The Blazers closed the first quarter on a 14-4 run to take a 34-25 lead, capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from rookie Zach Collins that was accompanied with some guard-like dribbling.“I don’t know if he could do that again, but it was a great shot,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.Another 3-pointer by Collins with 7:03 left in the second quarter put Portland up 45-33, forcing the Heat to call time.TIP-INSHeat: Monday was the deadline for the Heat to use a $5.5 million trade exception they were granted after shooting guard Dion Waiters underwent season-ending surgery on his ankle. The Heat would have had to release a player already on their roster to open up a roster spot to use the sizable exception.Trail Blazers: Lillard came in averaging nearly 33 points during the streak, which includes two victories over the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. “I think this might be the best level that he’s played,” coach Terry Stotts said. “I thought what he did last year after the All-Star break was amazing. He carried us to the playoffs last year, showing great leadership and a high quality of play. It might be better this year, but we still have 16 games to go.”UP NEXTHeat: Continue their three-game road trip in Sacramento on Tuesday.Trail Blazers: Welcome LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday. View commentslast_img read more

England, for a change, comes into World Cup under the radar

first_imgDave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations But there’s a building sense of optimism that this young England team could produce some impressive performances in Russia, starting Monday against Tunisia in their opening Group G encounter in Volgograd.The team has won plaudits for its positive approach in the warmup games and there’s widespread respect for coach Gareth Southgate. That was evident in the low-key way he went about picking his squad. Southgate has made it a priority of winning back the hearts and minds of the country during his time in the job.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding LATEST STORIES China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls MOST READ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Sweden, South Korea need to seize chance with Germany waitingcenter_img Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next England’s Dele Alli controls the ball as he and his teammates take part in a training session for the England team at the 2018 soccer World Cup, in the Spartak Zelenogorsk ground, Zelenogorsk near St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)VOLGOGRAD, Russia — For once, there’s little hype surrounding England at the World Cup.Come to think of it, how could there be given England hasn’t won a World Cup match for nearly eight years?ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Mission Impossible for Female U-20 Lone Star

first_imgFor anything I don’t enjoy the challenges that Coach Christopher Wreh and his deputy Oliver Makor are grappling with right now. The two men are expected to lead the female national U-20 side to complete their second-leg match against their Nigerian counterparts on Sunday in Nigeria.And I don’t even envy the two coaches because their side lost heavily (7-1) to the Nigerians in the first leg right here in Monrovia.What should Liberians expect at the end of the 90 minutes in Nigeria? It would have been easy to say ‘victory’ but trailing 7-1 is not something for any diehard fan to dream could be erased, particularly in the opponents’ backyard.Remember the recent drubbing of a similar margin by the Black Stars of Ghana against ‘The Pharaohs’ of Egypt? Well, back in Cairo the Egyptians could not call on all their magic to erase the score-line but they were able to win narrowly (2-1) to give home fans some confidence.Though the current case is the reverse because the girls lost 7-1 at home and they are traveling to Nigeria to play.So the greater good they can do themselves and the nation is for them to play to demand their respect.It means the coaches by now have made it certain that the players know the game-plan.They are now aware of the mistakes or weaknesses that spelled their doom in the first leg and therefore they must learn to control the flow of the game in Nigeria.Yes, I know, it is easier said than done and it needs players with exceptional talent to overcome such a test. But, please tell me, is it not true that he who is down fears no fall?Whoever came up with that clever idea may have had the kind of situation our girls face in mind. Ok, so now that we know we have a herculean task to perform, all our girls have to do is to play well and try not to concede more goals like what happened at home.You see, I said they must try because the Nigerian forwards are aware of our girls’ weaknesses in the first leg and may go all out to exploit to their own advantage. Or since they are comfortably ahead with 7-1, they may relax their game, a kind of play to entertain their crowd to give them a good run for their money.If Coach Wreh and his deputy Makor could evolve a strategy to weather the storm and come out unscathed, despite the first leg results, they would be described as heroes and the girls would be known as heroines of our time.The team leaves on Thursday, and though the mission seems impossible, they must play together to change for the better the difficult role that inadequate preparation has thrust into their hands.Good Luck girls.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ECD traffic diversion turned chaotic

first_img…as road closes to facilitate expansion projectA large buildup of traffic on the East Coast Demerara (ECD) turned chaotic after hundreds of passengers heading to the capital city were stranded for over three hours.Vehicles at a standstill as the traffic build up on the East Coast Railway Embankment RoadThe woefully inconvenienced snail-paced traffic was due to the ongoing road expansion project, which caused a section of the public road to be temporarily closed. The closure to vehicular traffic began on Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 08:00h, and is expected to end on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 22:00h.One commuter expressed frustration during the heavy traffic build-up, which he said worsens extensively during peak hours.The ECD resident further noted that taxi services along Agriculture Road, Mon Repos to Estate Road and LBI have closed, while minibuses have also stopped working along that particular route. This, he noted, will only add to the traffic woes already being experienced.It was noted that even though the Public Infrastructure Ministry’s actions are well intended and are welcome, failure to adequately and timely inform of closures and alternative routes would always lead to chaos in an already-heavily congested area.“The traffic situation on the East Coast is a total mess, and the traffic Police are not making it any easier. I’ve been sitting in traffic for the past two hours, and I have not moved,” another commuter noted.Another commuter said a woman who was in labour had to endure the traffic with no assistance from the traffic Police to rush her to the hospital. The commuter claimed that the woman gave birth in the midst of the confusion. However, Guyana Times has been unable to locate the family of the pregnant woman.Earlier this week, the Public Infrastructure Ministry, in a statement to the general public, stated that the road stretching from Vryheid’s Lust to Chimney Road, Chateau Margot will be closed to facilitate bridge/culvert works under the East Coast Demerara Public Road Widening and Improvement Project.It noted that as a result, traffic detours would occur in this proximity.It was advised that persons residing in the vicinity of Vryheid’s Lust Road to the Montrose Bridge and Montrose Bridge to Chimney Road would be permitted to use the road to access their properties.Motorists and pedestrians were asked to exercise caution and observe all safety and directional signs, particularly in the vicinity of the road works.In an initial report, it was noted that the contractor and the Police are to meet soon to discuss possible remedies to the congestion on the East Coast with the hope of bringing much-needed relief to commuters.last_img read more

Jet Blue set to commence operations at CJIA

first_imgThe New York-based carrier, Jet Blue, which currently operates in over 100 countries is expected to begin operating soon in Guyana.Guyana Times understands that the airline will facilitate direct flights from Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) to the United States’ John F Kennedy (JFK) Airport in a few months.Jet Blue is said to have a fleet of about 253 aircraft and has been dubbed one of the most affordable carriers.The airline signalled its intention to begin operations here last year. Jet Blue is not the only carrier which has been drawn to the shores of Guyana in recent times as a number of other airlines have already begun operating.The window for such activity was opened as the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority has been signing a number of open skies agreements in a bid to promote tourism in the country, among others.Director of the GCAA, Egbert Field during an interview said that Guyana is preparing itself for a massive tourism influx with the signing of such agreements.He had noted that already, the Agency has signed open skies agreement with other South American countries which will allow for more airlines to fly here as well.On that note, it was pointed out the GCAA has already inked an agreement with Brazil and Ghana which will allow for direct flights to those countries as well as give a go-ahead for any airline which wishes to fly here from those countries.In addition, he disclosed that the Civil Aviation Authority is seeking to sign more of such agreements with Columbia and other African states such as Tanzania and Nigeria among others, with the aim of having as many airlines as possible enter the country.He was keen to note that the agreements being inked were in keeping with 2018’s theme of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) with regards to connectivity.In December, an Interline Agreement was inked between a German airline, Condor, (Thomas Cook Group) and LIAT’s flights from Germany to Guyana which makes flights easier and more convenient for passengers using this route.The Interline Agreement is one between individual airlines which is drafted to handle passengers travelling on itineraries that require multiple flights on multiple airlines.It allows passengers to use coordinated flight connections and checked-through luggage and affords cheaper tickets year-round.last_img read more

Customers will be protected – Finance Minister

first_imgRepublic Bank Visa scam…awaits report from Central Bank GovernorIn light of the recent Republic Bank Visa scam, Finance Minister Winston Jordan has assured customers of that financial institution that they would be protected as he awaits a detailed report from Bank of Guyana on the issue, which has left several account holders with missing funds.“All customers are protected under the banking laws…we have to do an investigation, and it has to be proven that their monies have been taken out of the account other than by them, and then the bank will have to make the necessary adjustments to their accounts,” Minister Jordan recently told Guyana Times.Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited has confirmed that some customers were affected by fraudulent activity via their international Visa-One ATM cards. The Trinidad-owned financial institution has also noted that additional security measures will be put in place to protect its clients. This publication understands that affected customers are, however, facing many challenges to recoup their lost funds.The bank is said to be carrying out stringent investigations to verify whether the missing money was spent by the account holder or by unauthorised individual(s).“I don’t know whether it is a problem with their computer or something else. I can’t speculate, but I am going to wait on a report from the Governor (Dr Gobind Ganga),” the Finance Minister has said.Dr Ganga was quoted in other sections of the media as saying that Republic Bank would have to refund its customers if the investigations reveal that the customers were not at fault.The financial institution had explained that it is taking the necessary steps to regularise all affected accounts using a well-defined, standard process that focuses on reducing customer inconvenience.According to the RBL, it has been able to quickly identify cases where customers’ cards were compromised, and was able to effectively minimise the risk to other customers.Republic Bank also reminded customers of the need to be vigilant when using their debit cards, and to monitor their account’s activities.One affected customer related to this newspaper that he had visited the Republic Bank Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara to do a transaction, but received a notice saying there were insufficient funds to honour the requested amount. He said this prompted him to conduct a balance inquiry, and to his astonishment, his account had only $9000. The customer said he was left speechless, since he was aware that his account had over $140,000.He then went to the Bank and made a report, and was given a dispute form to fill out. He said he was advised by the teller that the investigation process for such a claim takes between 60 and 90 days.The customer expressed dissatisfaction with the response by the Bank, adding that when he enquired about reimbursement, he was not given positive feedback.Meanwhile, another customer said he also was left shocked when he realised that $2 million was missing from his account. He said an inquiry revealed that that money was deducted from his account to pay for several online purchases.Another customer said she went to the ATM and found that $60,000 was missing from her account. She said she also was given a dispute form to fill out when she visited the Bank. The young lady slammed the financial institution for not being honest with its customers about the hacking incident.Republic Bank currently holds 35.4 per cent of the banking systems’ assets, and 36.8 per cent of deposits in Guyana.It is poised to own more than 50 per cent of the market share if it takes over the operations of the Canada-based Scotiabank, which has already announced its intention to pull out from Guyana.Governor, Bank of Guyana Gobin GangaFinance Minister, Winston Jordonlast_img read more

When David Attenborough met Chelsea FC

first_imgChelsea are a source of endless fascination.This Premier League behemoth bestrides English and European football, feeding on trophies and crushing its rivals with ruthless ambition.Now, for the first time, David Attenborough narrates a look at life within Chelsea Football Club.Check out the video above, and to see what happened WHEN DAVID ATTENBOROUGH MET ARSENAL FC, click here. Like entertaining sports videos? Go to youtube.com/talksportlast_img

EXCLUSIVE: VICTORY CLOSE IN BID TO SCRAP VRT

first_imgDONEGALDAILY.COM EXCLUSIVE: A human rights campaigner is just a few days away from winning a case in Europe that could see eventually see Vehicle Registration Tax on vehicles scrapped.Ryan Stewart, from Inishowen, will fly to Brussels on November 21st to fight for the rights of motorists who have had cars seized by the Revenue.Another huge step forward was taken this week when the European Commission (statement in full at the end of this article) warned Ireland that it cannot slap VRT at the full rate on leased, hired or Higher Purchase vehicles used by cross-Border workers. It means anyone who is apprehended by Revenue and Gardai on this rule from now on would win any appeal in the court as European law overrides Irish laws. Europe has told the Government to change its rules immediately.The ruling means drivers would pay a proportion of the tax based on how often it was used in the Republic – that could be as little as 10% of the current rateMr Stewart told donegaldaily.com the latest ruling was another step forward – and more will follow.He told us: “I’m in Brussels on the 21st November to argue another few cases, but the Commission is listening so far, and the plan is working.“This is the first major step towards getting rid of this grossly unfair tax, and my intention is to dismantle this tax piece-by -piece, so that ultimately the tax is unworkable, and will have to be abolished.“There are more cases in the pipeline. It’s disappointing however, that we have to lead the government to the European Commission to make them listen to important issues, not just for Donegal, but people around the country as a whole.“The arguments I have put forward are fair and reasonable, and this latest finding will show that the Commission does agree that the VRT regime operated in the state is not only flawed, but despite what successive governments have said, is actually in breach of treaties of the European Union.”If Mr Stewart succeeds in his new cases, it will see VRT scrapped on all vehicles – giving a welcome boost to the motor trade.BELOW IS THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION STATEMENT IN FULL:The European Commission has formally requested Ireland and Spain to change the way in which they tax leased or rented vehicles from another Member State, as well as company cars in the case of Spain, so as to ensure their rules comply with EU legislation.According to EU rules, a Member State can only levy a registration tax on a leased or rented vehicle from another Member State in proportion to the use in its own territory. This means that a Member State may only levy a full registration tax on a leased or rented vehicle from another Member State if it is used or intended to be used on a permanent basis.Similarly, a vehicle that is registered by a company in one Member State and used by ąn employee resident in another Member State cannot be taxed unless the vehicle is used on a permanent basis in the resident’s country. A Member State can only require registration of the vehicle and levy a registration tax if it is proportionate to the duration of the vehicle’s use on its territory.Under Irish law, an Irish resident who rents or leases a vehicle in another Member State is obliged to pay the full amount of the registration tax. An exemption or refund is therefore not possible if a car is used in Ireland only for a short period. This discriminatory tax treatment is contrary to EU rules. Leasing or rental companies in other Member States may face additional taxation when offering their services to Irish residents.Spain also levies the full amount of registration tax on a leased or rented vehicle by a Spanish resident in another Member State (unless the leasing period is shorter than three months in any twelve months). This is in breach of EU rules which provide that the registration tax can only be levied in proportion to the duration of the use of the leased car.Finally, under Spanish law, the registration tax on a car can be levied in full if an employee who works for a company established in another Member State uses a car in Spain and is resident in Spain.These provisions are contrary to EU rules on free movement of workers and on freedom of establishment, fundamental principles of the EU’s Single Market.In the absence of compliance with EU law within two months, the Commission may refer Ireland and/or Spain to the EU’s Court of Justice.BackgroundA Member State may levy a registration tax on a leased or rented vehicle from another Member State when it is used or intended to be used on a permanent basis.The Court of Justice has however concluded that such a tax is contrary to EU law if it is not proportionate to the duration of the registration of the means of transport in the State where it is used. Consequently, the Court has ruled that to oblige a natural person to pay the full amount of tax for a vehicle rented or leased in another Member State is contrary to EU rules (Articles 56 to 62 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union) when the duration of the use in that territory is not taken into account.Moreover, the Court has ruled that it is contrary to EU law to deprive the person in question of a right to an exemption or a refund, in case the vehicle is not intended to be used on a permanent basis.The Court of Justices has also adopted a number of rulings establishing that registration tax should be proportionate the duration of use on a given territory for company cars.EXCLUSIVE: VICTORY CLOSE IN BID TO SCRAP VRT was last modified: November 10th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:anti-vrt campaignerRyan StewartVEHICLE REGISTRATION TAXVICTORY IN EUROPEAN COMMISSIONlast_img read more

Suicide prevention seminar ‘Connecting for Life’ held in Donegal

first_imgBreaking the silence around the relationship between alcohol, self-harm and suicide was the focus of this year’s ‘Connecting for Life’ suicide prevention seminar which was held on Friday last in the Central Hotel, Donegal Town as part of Social Inclusion Week.The seminar which aims to build connections and share good practice in suicide prevention heard from Professor Siobhan O’Neill as she presented findings from research on suicidal behaviour and alcohol across the island of Ireland and explained the connections between suicide and alcohol use and transgenerational trauma.She focused on how alcohol is used to help people cope with trauma, and how it results in additional trauma and adversities, particularly in children, which then increases their risk of mental illness and suicide. Professor O’Neill believes that it is essential to have this conversation saying, “we need to have a conversation, as a society, about our use of alcohol and how it contributes to the problem of suicide and self-harm, particularly in young people.”Psychotherapist and Traveller activist, Thomas McCann explained how, as manager of the Traveller Counselling Service with members of the Traveller community for over 10 years, he has become acutely aware of the links between the historical trauma, poverty and exclusion experienced by the Traveller community.“For some, this has resulted in self-medicating with alcohol or other drugs” explained Thomas, “creating the space to have a wider conversation and a seminar on the topic of alcohol, self-harm and suicide is really useful in raising awareness of the issues and how these might be addressed. This is a really important discussion.”Kieran Doherty, CEO of the Alcohol Forum said: “This is a difficult topic. Alcohol is normalised in Irish society and for many, it is key to how we think about socialising and relaxing; so we are reluctant to look at the downsides; the fact that alcohol is chemically a depressant and that it is often used as a crutch, a coping mechanism or to self-medicate.” Research indicates that over half of all suicides and one in three incidents of self-harm in Ireland are alcohol-related.In her opening address Leas Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Niamh Kennedy acknowledged that suicide is a deeply sensitive issue and but that there is an onus on all of us to have the conversation.“We all have a role to play in this, as politicians, as agencies, as communities and as individuals.  For instance, our own services as local authorities must be geared to support people with mental health issues and support people who are in a crisis whether it be through our housing services, by promoting social inclusion or through economic development and job creation.”The seminar also heard of the work being done in this area by Donegal Youth Council from Mayor Grainne Mc Glynn while Cora McAleer Mental Health Nursing outlined the services and supports available.Teresa McBrearty provided a valuable insight of her own personal journey and how through the Mpact programme she has been helped to overcome barriers in her life. Liam Ward, Donegal County Council performed master of ceremonies at the seminar and Anne Sheridan, HSE Mental Health Services concluded the seminar by confirming that feedback and information from the seminar will be considered by the Community and Services Implementation Group.Suicide prevention seminar ‘Connecting for Life’ held in Donegal was last modified: October 10th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal County Councilsuicide awarenesslast_img read more

Saturn’s Titan Is Changing

first_imgThe giant smog-shrouded moon of Saturn, Titan, is changing – both in situ and in the minds of planetary scientists.  Several news stories show not only dynamic processes in play, but revolutions in what scientists think about the moon and its history.  Readers will need to determine which ideas are solidly based on observational evidence.Punching bag:  Where did Titan get its thick nitrogen atmosphere, unique to the bodies of the outer solar system?  Yasuhito Sekine, a planetary scientist at the University of Tokyo, believes the nitrogen came special delivery, in the form of comets, during a theoretical period called the Late Heavy Bombardment.    Space.com and New Scientist parroted Sekine’s ideas without stopping to ask why the comets left their gas at Titan and not the other moons.  Space.com did ask, however, where the impact craters went.  Perhaps they were covered up somehow.  The article quoted one other planetary scientist who called Sekine’s idea “an interesting hypothesis.”Falling sky:  A Cassini press release from Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that Titan’s atmospheric haze is dropping as the sun moves northward, changing Titan’s seasons from equinox to solstice.  In just a few months, the news feature said, the upper haze layer dipped from 310 miles to 240 miles.  Chicken Little was not interviewed for reaction, although the caption said he was “notified”.Unobservable ocean:  Space.com says that “all signs point to hidden ocean” under Titan’s surface.  “Certain details of Titan’s orbit and rotation aren’t compatible with the behavior of a celestial body that is completely solid all the way through,” the short article stated.  “But these details make a lot of sense if the huge moon is assumed to have a subsurface ocean, likely of liquid water, researchers said.”    If true, the ocean (estimated 100 miles or more beneath the icy crust) is composed mainly of water – not of hydrocarbons necessary to replenish Titan’s atmospheric methane.  The article did not address the problem of keeping volatile, short-lived methane around for billions of years.    The article threw in the L-word, saying that Titan “is considered one of the leading candidates to host life beyond Earth.”  Rose-Marie Balland [Royal University of Belgium], whose team is proposing the ocean model, was not shy about leaping beyond scientific knowledge: “Astrobiologists do not not really know yet what are the necessary conditions for life to emerge,” she said, “but it seems that the presence of water is a requirement.”Familiar shores:  Space.com posted a video animation, based on actual radar data, of a flyover of Titan’s large southern lake, Ontario Lacus (warning: loud Kinect ad precedes and follows the video).  Steve Wall explains the bays, beaches and bathtub rings of the lake, thought to be filled with liquid ethane and methane, surrounded by water ice mountains.Separated at birth:  Live Science floated the idea that Titan has look-alikes.  “Some Alien Planets May Be Like Saturn’s Moon Titan,” Charles Q. Choi speculated after hearing astrobiologist Chris McKay speculate about planets around red dwarfs, and even “rogue planets” careening through space in the dark without a star to warm them.  Maybe they should understand a Titan they can see before speculating about unseen brethren.Last month the BBC News recounted the success of the Huygens Probe, the first spacecraft to land on Titan.  Now, it’s about TiME to return to Titan to explore its lakes: the Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) is one of several proposed missions after Cassini to return to Titan’s maria and investigate them at sea level.    PhysOrg and New Scientist reported on the proposal from Johns Hopkins to land a floating craft in one of the lakes.  As it drifts with the breeze, it could “measure the lake’s depth with sonar and taste the brew of chemicals it contains” looking for signs of life.  A decision about which proposed planetary missions gets funding should be made in 2012.    Live Science posted a video tour of Cassini highlights at Saturn, its rings and moons – but did not discuss Titan (warning: loud Kinect ad again).Titan is surely one of the most intriguing bodies in the solar system.  It’s even more intriguing because of the intrigue among scientists it generates, who need a league to avoid fatigue from trying to keep this young moon going for billions of years (04/09/2011, 02/19/2011, 10/07/2010).(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more