Interview JULIE WILLIAMS

first_imgSimon Nott from Star Sports catches up with bookmaker Julie Williams about her fearless father Freddie and their careers in racing and betting.MEETING JULIE WILLIAMS: PART 1 Simon Nott is author of Skint Mob!: Tales from the Betting RingCLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS MEETING JULIE WILLIAMS: PART 2THE PIECE ARTISTSTHE PIECE ARTISTS: Prior to interviewing Bookmaker Julie Williams about her fearless father Freddie and her careers in racing and betting there was the serious matter of creating the best bookmakers’ ‘sandwich’ or rather when in Glasgow ‘Piece’ to attend to. Simon Nott adjudicated as the battle of the ‘Piece Artists’ commenced.Thanks to PIECE WRS126 West Regent StreetGlasgow, G2 2RQlast_img read more

BENS BLOG My tip for the 2018 Greyhound Derby

first_img6 Rounds. Trouble along the way. At one point, will have to show that he/she can do it ‘both ways’. A fierce competitor necessary. Strength at every bend, to push around.We all loved the likes of Moral Standards and Westhead Hawk, who weaved their way through fields. Entertainment at it’s best. But I think this year, we are going to welcome an old friend to the list of greats. He has Early. But he’s Strong too, and like the best of us, WILL BE STAYING ON UNTIL THE DEATH.So game last year. A lightning quick dog. Has had an injury, but at 33/1, if he overcomes it, will make every heat his own. To win the 2018 Star Sports Greyhound Derby, I’m backing; TYRUR SHAY.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>In other news:Ben’s Food Vlog 64: Av. del Muelle, 1, 35120 Arguineguin, Gran Canaria. Mogan is a beautiful fishing village, and this attractive restaurant, is in a heavenly position, looking over the boats. What a shame then, about the surly maitre ‘d. And his dry and warmed-up food. The prime example of simply milking a good location. POOR. 4<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>Over and out, B xlast_img read more

TALES FROM THE RING Cheltenham Friday

first_img12:40 Markel Insurance Amateur Riders’ Handicap ChaseAs is the tradition at the first day of any big meeting the bookmakers feared the worst. Some didn’t like the card, the crowd looked ‘a bit thin’, and for the first time Lower Tattersalls had been opened at this meeting, though only a trio of intrepid layers bet there. Apart from that, all was well in the betting rings.Worst fears founded, betting in the opener wasn’t very lively. The crowd did look a bit thin, and those that did come to back horses were either keeping their powder dry or betting a little too responsibly. One known ‘shrewdie’ came in for what admittedly was a tiny bet for him on 33/1 chance Bosco Di Alco. Some of the staff hopped off their positions and followed him in. Their money, as his, was left in respective hods, the grey slipping up on the bend. Sadly the race was not without further incident, the ominous sight of the screens still up at the second-last as the presentation to the connections of 9/2 winner The Young Master took place.1:15 Swanee River Supports Countryside Alliance Novices’ Handicap HurdleThey were still up after the running of the second heat too. 33/1 winner Red Hot Chilly was an excellent result for the betting ring, trainer Fergal O’Brien and jockey Paddy Brennan. When I say the betting ring, I meant most of them. Ben nearly spat his Snowy Mini Yule Log Bite (yes I know it’s a bit early) when he looked into the screen expecting to see a nice cop in the book only to see a loss of over a grand. Star Sports had laid a fair bet at 40/1, the hedging policy ensured it was a loser despite its SP.1:50 BetVictor Handicap ChaseSwings and roundabouts they call it. Ben laid a £5000 – £700 Doitforthevillage and took plenty out of Movie Legend at a similar price in the next. When crowd roared home 9/4 jolly Bun Doran to victory the majority of the ring fell silent. Star Sports rarely roar one home (Lofty was on the lower) rail but Ben did allow himself a smile.2:25 Steel Plate And Sections Novices’ ChaseTalking of Lofty, things were ticking along nicely down on the bottom rail where Lofty and the ‘Star Sports Seniors’ were tapping away powered by Werther’s Originals and eons of experience. They were ‘just winning in the day’, as you’d expect.Back up in Tatts with the ‘Youth Team’ things had hotted up. Ben had laid a £4500 – £1000 Count Meribel with the exception of much else. The general consensus after the race was ‘how did that win?’ – for those that didn’t see it, the bogie survived what looked like a race-losing blunder at the second last to not only get back into the race, but up to win by a neck. It will take some heroics to prevent that not being ride of the meeting by Mark Grant. The bottom line was that the firm had done the thick end of £4000 though and whilst the idea is to win it would have been churlish not to admire the performance.3:00 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap ChaseThe feature of the penultimate Cross Country race was the weakness of Tiger Roll in the betting drifting from 9/4 to 3/1 with all the punters wanting to be on Josies Orders the jolly alternative. Those that decided to lay the Tiger got it right. Likewise those that follow the oft-used mantra that these Cross Country races are races where the field goes ‘around and around until the favourite wins’ got it right too, albeit with a smidgen of excitement on the run-in where Fact Of The Matter briefly made a race of it with 2/1 favourite Josies Orders, but ultimately flattered to deceive.The ‘Snowy Mini Yuletide Log Bites’ were proving popular with neighbouring bookmakers licking their wounds as well as their lips.3:35 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)The racecourse announced that today’s crowd had been a record one for the Friday of the November meeting. After early concerns the crowd did indeed look healthy, the bonus was they came out of the woodwork for the lucky last. The bigger bonus was that not many of them wanted to on the 7/2 winner Coolanly with us, that despite being the final leg of Paddy Brennan’s treble, 9/4 Pym in second would have been much worse so blessings were counted on what was still a losing day. Pickwick-Bevan’s board behind us pretty much summed up the day!Under the cosh but still in the game! See you tomorrow.SIMON NOTT Simon Nott is author of:Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting RingCLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS CHELTENHAM FRIDAY: Simon Nott reports from day one of the November Meeting at Cheltenham direct from the Star Sports pitch. Would there be as many twists and turns in the ring as in the Cross Country Chase?last_img read more

STAR PREVIEW West Indies v India

first_imgFor the first time in this tournament, we now have to evaluate a game where one of the sides is basically eliminated, and one of the sides is on the verge of going through. When Carlos Braithwaite holed out to Kane Williamson, the Windies’ chances of making it to the last four essentially evaporated and despite Pakistan’s victory over New Zealand, it looks unlikely that the Windies will make the semi-finals.India, who are now the only unbeaten team in the tournament following yesterday’s defeat for New Zealand, are long odds on against the West Indies to essentially put themselves into the last four with victory.It’s no surprise this is the case. Their top order, made of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar, and MS Dhoni, has four players averaging over 60 for the tournament. At the other end, five of their bowlers have an economy rate of five runs or under with Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah having 15 wickets between them so far.Mid tournament injury to Bhuvneshwar Kumar means that MS Dhoni has had to turn to Mohammed Shami, who duly rewarded him with a hat-trick to close out a thriller against Afghanistan at the weekend, reminding all and sundry that the Indians have strength in depth, especially when it comes to quick bowling.Against Afghanistan, for the first time his tournament they were locked into a tight battle when spinners came out on top, but they – Shami especially – managed to hold their nerve even when defending a low total.West Indies’ have been notable for some big hitting (are they ever not?) and the swashbuckling celebration of one bowler in particular, but their tournament hasn’t lived upto the sheer expectation that their early trashing of Pakistan offered. That might read hardly, but for a handful of runs either way, they could well be looking at a semi-final.The big hitting of Caros Braithwaite saw them come oh so close to upsetting New Zealand and he’ll have his backers in the Top Batsman, market, although the top of the order might make more of an impact today. Chris Gayle was much more like his old self against New Zealand with 87, although he has blown hot and cold during this tournament and f Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran all ought to be there or thereabouts.The Windies bowling has been their main strength and they will take encouragement from their close defeats to New Zealand and Australia (along with seeing Afghanistan push India so closely). Sheldon Cottrell has become famous for his salutes, but he’s bowling well enough to keep doing them and against New Zealand, he was the star, taking four wickets, two catches and a run out. That was his best bowling performance of the tournament so far and he looks sure to get a full rotation from Jason Holder and if he continues in the same vein then he can lead the charge again.For the Indians, Rohit Sharma makes the most appeal to lead their battling effort. He will have to face some fearsome bowling, but Sharma managed to survive early efforts from the Australian and Pakistani bowling attacks and at this tournament he has scored 122, 57, 140 and 1 in his last four starts. The bowling of Mujeeb Ur Rhaman caught him out early at the weekend but otherwise he has knuckled down superbly and if he can get himself set, the scoring averages say that you will get a good run for your money at 9/4.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK Rohit Sharma India Top Run Scorer 1 pt at 9/4 with starsports.betBACK Sheldon Cottrell West Indies Top Wicket Taker 1 pt at 7/2 with starsports.betPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 224.79 points(excluding Cricket World Cup ante-post)last_img read more

Nicandros Named Rice University Board Trustee

first_imgAddThis Share CONTACT: Michael Cinelli PHONE: (713) 831-4794 NICANDROS NAMED RICE UNIVERSITY BOARD TRUSTEEConstantine “Dino” Nicandros, immediate past chairman,president and chief executive officer of Conoco Inc., has been named a trusteeof the Rice University Board of Governors.Nicandros, 63, is chairman of CSN and Company, a private consulting andinvestment firm. He previously served as a term governor on the Rice board.“I am very pleased that Dino Nicandros accepted this appointment,” said E.William Barnett, chair of the Rice Board of Governors. “His dedication toexcellence in his professional career and private life will continue to serve uswell as we prepare the university for the next millennium.”Rice president Malcolm Gillis said, “From its inception, Rice has beengoverned by men and women of great vision and energy. All have had anuncompromising dedication to the high standards that have made Rice theuniversity it is today. Dino Nicandros is squarely within this tradition. We areextremely fortunate and exceedingly grateful to have the benefit of hisconsiderable experience and ability.”Nicandros began his career in the planning department at Conoco Inc., inHouston in 1957. He moved to New York City in 1961 in the same department. Threeyears later he transferred to the land acquisition internationalexploration-production department.He became director of planning for the eastern hemisphere in 1966, andgeneral manager, then vice president of supply and transportation of the easternhemisphere in 1971. Three years later he was named executive vice president ofConoco’s eastern hemisphere refining, marketing, supply and transportationoperations.In 1975, Nicandros was named executive vice president of worldwide supply andtransportation for Conoco based in Stamford, Conn. He moved to Houston in 1978as group executive vice president of petroleum products for Conoco. He was namedpresident of petroleum operations in 1983 and president and CEO of Conoco in1987.Nicandros and his wife, Tassie, support the Owl Club, the Shepherd Societyand the annual gifts program at Rice. They also provided the funds to establishthe Constantine S. Nicandros Public Policy Internships at the James A. Baker IIIInstitute for Public Policy.Nicandros was chairman of the corporate campaign for the Alice Pratt BrownHall and the George R. Brown Hall (1989-90).His daughter Vicky Elliot is a Rice graduate (political science, 1987).Nicandros has served on numerous corporate and civic boards. He was vicechairman, board of directors of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Wilmington,Del. Also, he is on the boards of Texas Commerce Bank, Cooper Industries, Inc.,Keystone International, Mitchell Energy and Development, Baylor College ofMedicine, and the Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston(1989-91).Additional board memberships include the Houston Symphony (chairman); theGreater Houston Partnership (1989-95); United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast(1986-91, campaign chairman in 1988); Houston Museum of Fine Arts; HoustonBallet Foundation; Houston Grand Opera (senior chairman); and the Texas Chapterof the American Committee on the French Revolution Bicentennial (chairman,1989).### last_img read more

Annual study finds Houstonians more anxious about crime immigration and inequality

first_imgShareCONTACT: Franz BrotzenPHONE: 713-348-6775 E-MAIL: franz.brotzen@rice.edu    Annual study finds Houstonians more anxious about crime, immigration and inequality – but more ready to address themHoustonians express growing anxiety about the future, while saying they are willing to pay to fix many of the problems that worry them, according to the 26th annual Houston-Area Survey.The survey is designed and directed by Rice University sociology professor Stephen Klineberg and his students. The telephone interviews were conducted by the Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston between Feb. 13 and 27. The survey found growing concerns about crime, immigration and inequality, as fears about the economy receded. When asked ”What would you say is the biggest problem facing people in the Houston area today?” 38 percent of the respondents mentioned ”crime,” 25 percent ”traffic” and 10 percent ”the economy.” The proportions naming ”the economy” fell from 25 percent in 2003, to 18 percent in 2004, to 15 percent in 2005 and to 13 percent last year. The figures on Houston residents’ fear of crime are complex. While a plurality see crime as the top problem facing the city, the number who said they were ”very worried” that they or a member of their family would be a crime victim fell from 41 percent in 1995 to 27 percent in 2007 – the same level as last year. The study concluded, ”The current findings seem to reflect not a personal fear but the perception, gleaned from the media, that crime is once again a serious problem for the region.”Meanwhile, Houstonians are less optimistic about ethnic relations, about the impact of the Katrina evacuees and about the new immigration in general. The survey found a decline in the number who had a positive view of ethnic relations, picking up on a trend that first surfaced last year. When asked if they thought that ”the increasing ethnic diversity in Houston brought about by immigration is a good thing or a bad thing,” the proportion saying it was a ”good thing” grew from 54 percent in 1994, to 63 percent in 1999, to 67 percent in 2005 and then dropped to 62 percent in 2007.Similarly, the proportion saying that the new immigration mostly ”strengthens American culture” increased from 39 percent in 1997, to 54 percent in 2001, to 57 percent in 2005, and then dropped to 44 percent in the 2007 survey. The number saying the new immigration ”threatens American culture” grew from 31 percent in 2005 to 43 percent in this year’s survey.Still, Klineberg stressed that the ”growing concern about immigration is tempered by a quite balanced view on immigration policy.” By 68 to 27 percent, for example, the survey respondents were in favor of ”granting illegal immigrants in the U.S. a path to legal citizenship, if they speak English and have no criminal record.”The perception of the impact of the Katrina evacuees has also undergone a shift. When asked in February 2006 for their summary assessments, 47 percent said the influx of so many evacuees had been ”a bad thing for the city” and 36 percent said ”a good thing.” In this year’s survey, fully 65 percent of area residents have concluded that the arrival of the Katrina evacuees has been ”a bad thing for the city,” with only 11 percent continuing to believe that they have had a positive impact.Houstonians say they are willing to spend more money to address the problems of health care, poverty and the environment. Three-fourths support ”federal health insurance to cover the medical expenses of all Americans,” and 54 percent say they would personally be willing to pay higher taxes to improve access to quality healthcare in the Houston area.Similarly, 72 percent of the respondents in this year’s survey say ”too little” is being spent on ”improving the conditions of the poor” – the highest proportion in the survey’s 26 years. And 63 percent describe the gap between rich and poor as a ”very serious problem” for the country.By 66 to 25 percent, the respondents were in favor of ”requiring power plants to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, even if electricity rates will rise.” And 61 percent support ”raising taxes to set aside and protect wetlands, forests and prairies throughout the Houston area.”Houstonians remain quite pessimistic about the American future. Sixty-one percent today believe the country is headed for more difficult times. That is down from 68 percent last year, but well above the 47 percent in 2004 and the 54 percent in 2005.In a development that may mirror their concerns about social issues and their willingness to spend money to address them, Harris County residents have shifted from a consistent plurality that identified themselves as Republicans to a marked preference for the Democratic Party. From 1988 through 2005, Republicans led Democrats by an average of 43 percent to 39 percent. But in 2006, the proportion of Democrats in the county jumped to 48 percent, while support for the Republicans fell to 32 percent. That margin stood at 10 percentage points in this year’s survey: Democratic Party affiliation was at 43 percent and Republican Party affiliation at 33 percent.The 2007 Houston Area Survey also found firm support for initiatives to guide the region’s future growth, and distinctly positive feelings about the Houston area in general as a place to live. For more information, go to houstonareasurvey.org. A full presentation of the latest findings will be posted there shortly. FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

Sept 12 is 50th anniversary of JFKs iconic speech We choose to

first_imgShare2David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJade Boyd713-348-6778jadeboyd@rice.edu Sept. 12 is 50th anniversary of JFK’s iconic speech, ‘We choose to go to the moon,’ at Rice UniversityRice University’s weekly centennial videos run through Oct. 12  HOUSTON – (Aug. 30, 2012) – Few moments in Rice University’s history are as well known or oft remarked upon as the Sept. 12, 1962, speech at Rice Stadium in which President John F. Kennedy boldly declared, “We choose to go to the moon …”That best-known line from the speech earned a thunderous ovation, in part because of Kennedy’s clever oratory. He played to the hometown crowd by preceding that statement with “Why does Rice play Texas?” – a line he had written by hand between the lines of the typed copy prepared by White House aide Ted Sorensen. Then he continued, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard …”Working with Centennial Historian Melissa Kean and Douglas Brinkley, fellow in history at Rice University’s Baker Institute, video producer Brandon Martin takes a look at Kennedy’s iconic speech. To read a complete account of JFK’s speech at Rice, go to Jade Boyd’s Rice News story following this news release. It is also available online at http://news.rice.edu/?p=33450.To help celebrate the university’s centennial Oct. 12, Rice University is producing weekly videos exploring the school’s unique history.The video, available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/oo5DL1J2I8Y, is also available to media in high quality and without music for editing purposes.Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7. To schedule an interview with Brinkley, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.To see other stories in the centennial video series, go to www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL60D6D71E71B66B3D&feature=plcp. -30-Rice News storyJade BoydJFK’s 1962 moon speech still appeals 50 years laterKennedy speech marked turning point for Rice, HoustonFew moments in Rice’s history are as well known or oft remarked upon as the 1962 speech in which President John F. Kennedy boldly declared, “We choose to go to the moon!”The speech marked a turning point for Rice, the city of Houston, the nation and the world. Globally, the space race played out against the backdrop of the Cold War, and in the U.S. the space program shared headlines with the Vietnam War and the struggle for civil rights. In Houston, NASA would pump more than $1 billion into the local economy in the 1960s and help the city blossom into the nation’s fourth-largest metropolis.In a tribute to Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong this week, Rice alum Paul Burka ’63, executive editor of Texas Monthly magazine, published the verbatim text of Kennedy’s speech in his blog. Burka, who was at Rice Stadium that day, said the speech “speaks to the way Americans viewed the future in those days. It is a great speech, one that encapsulates all of recorded history and seeks to set it in the history of our own time. Unlike today’s politicians, Kennedy spoke to our best impulses as a nation, not our worst.”Kennedy spoke at the stadium at 10 a.m. Sept. 12. It was a warm, sunny day, and fall classes were not yet under way. Rice’s incoming freshmen were on campus for orientation, but many of the estimated 40,000 spectators were Houston school children, said Rice Centennial Historian Melissa Kean.Kennedy told the audience that the United States intended to take the lead in spaceflight, both to ensure that the Soviet Union did not base strategic weapons in space and because space exploration “is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.”The best-known line from the speech — “We choose to go to the moon!” — earned a thunderous ovation, in part because of Kennedy’s clever oratory. He played to the hometown crowd with the preceding line, “Why does Rice play Texas?” — a line that Kennedy jotted between the lines of the typed copy prepared by White House aide Ted Sorensen.In its front-page coverage of the speech, the Rice Thresher made note of this line and others. The paper reported that the speech capped a two-day visit to Houston in which Kennedy toured facilities at the Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center), and the Thresher referred to the costly nature of the space program by citing the $5.4 billion annual NASA budget, a figure Kennedy also used in the speech.The number impressed chemist Robert Curl ’54, one of many faculty members at the stadium.“I came away in wonder that he was seriously proposing this,” said Curl, Rice’s Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor Emeritus of Natural Sciences and professor emeritus of chemistry. “It seemed like an enormous amount of money to spend on an exploration program. It was an impressive amount of money back then, and if you adjust for inflation, the Apollo program cost more than the LHC today.”Curl said Kennedy’s vision paid off for NASA and Houston when Apollo 11 landed on the moon less than eight years later.Another Rice faculty member in attendance was Ron Sass, fellow in global climate change at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor Emeritus of Natural Sciences.Sass and Curl each said Kennedy’s speech seemed no more remarkable at the time than the 1960 speech by President Eisenhower at Autry Court. Today, Eisenhower’s speech is largely forgotten, and Kennedy’s is still frequently cited in the news.Sass said part of the enduring appeal of Kennedy’s speech is the magnitude of what he proposed, something Sass said he has come to appreciate more with age.“It didn’t seem outlandish to me at the time,” Sass said. “I was young, and I thought you could do just about anything.”###Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to www.rice.edu/nationalmedia/Rice.pdf.If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line.  Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005 FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

Study Photosynthesis has unique isotopic signature

first_imgShare1David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJade Boyd713-348-6778jadeboyd@rice.eduStudy: Photosynthesis has unique isotopic signatureResearchers use ‘clumped’ isotopes to trace biogeochemical processes HOUSTON — (April 23, 2015) — Photosynthesis leaves behind a unique calling card, a chemical signature that is spelled out with stable oxygen isotopes, according to a new study in Science. The findings suggest that similar isotopic signatures could exist for many biological processes, including some that are difficult to observe with current tools.Laurence Yeung“We’ve found a new type of biosignature,” said co-lead author Laurence Yeung, an assistant professor of Earth science at Rice University. “We show that plants and plankton impart this type of biosignature on the oxygen they produce during photosynthesis.”Yeung, who joined Rice in January, conducted the study with colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles.Isotopes are versions of an element that differ in their atomic weights. For example, most oxygen atoms contain eight protons and eight neutrons and are represented by the symbol O-16. More than 99.9 percent of Earth’s oxygen is O-16, but two heavier oxygen isotopes exist in trace amounts: O-17, which contains one extra neutron, and O-18, which has two extra.Scientists know that plants and animals sometimes process heavy isotopes like O-17 and O-18 at a different pace than O-16. For instance, when sea temperatures decrease, corals and mollusks produce calcium carbonate — the raw material of ocean reefs and clam shells — that contains greater amounts of heavy oxygen isotopes. As a result, scientists have used isotopic ratios from carbonate fossils to estimate global temperatures in the distant past.Most atmospheric oxygen exists as O2, stable molecules that each contain two oxygen atoms. Because O-16 is so common, the vast majority of O2 molecules have an atomic weight of 32. Even in cases where a heavy isotope is paired with O-16, the atomic weight of O2 is never greater than 34.Using stable isotopic analysis, Laurence Yeung, Jeanine Ash and Edward Young discovered that plants and plankton impart a unique biosignature on the oxygen they produce during photosynthesis. Credit: Doug RumbleIn the new study, Yeung and his UCLA colleagues examined “clumped” oxygen isotopes, O2 molecules that contain two heavy isotopes. Such molecules, which have masses of 35 and 36, are exceptionally rare; less than a handful exist in every trillion O2 molecules. But today’s mass spectrometers are sophisticated enough to tally them and allow scientists the opportunity to compare their relative abundance in various circumstances.“By measuring the proportion of O2 molecules with masses of 36 and 35, and comparing those with the proportions that should exist simply by chance, we can determine isotopic signatures of specific chemical reactions,” Yeung said.He said his research involves equal parts oceanography, atmospheric chemistry and quantum dynamics. But it is the study of the quantum behavior of atoms that is key to understanding how heavy isotopic oxygen molecules can be used as a proxy for processes like photosynthesis.“One of the things plants do during photosynthesis is form O2,” he said. “They do this at the end of a five-step process that breaks apart water molecules and ends with the formation of an O2 molecule. We found that this process produced fewer clumped pairs than would be predicted by random chance. We argue that this reflects the isotopic preferences of plants during one of the earlier steps in the process.”Yeung said one example of how the isotopic signature could be used is to assess the health of  oceans. Photosynthesis by microscopic plants forms the base of the oceanic food chain, but it is difficult to measure how productive these plants are in natural settings. Yeung said he and his collaborators are examining whether it is possible to measure productivity in the open ocean based upon an isotopic analysis of O2 dissolved in surface seawater.“Looking at oxygen through the lens of clumped isotopes will give us a lot of new information about how oxygen is made and consumed by plants,” said study co-lead author Jeanine Ash, a graduate student at UCLA. “I’m very excited about what this approach holds for the future. There are so many other gases that the biosphere utilizes. This is only the beginning.”Edward Young of UCLA was also a co-author. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA and the Deep Carbon Observatory.-30-High-resolution IMAGES are available for download at:http://news.rice.edu/files/2015/04/0330_ISOTOPE-trio-lg.jpgCAPTION: Using stable isotopic analysis, Laurence Yeung, Jeanine Ash, and Edward Young discovered that plants and plankton impart a unique biosignature on the oxygen they produce during photosynthesis.CREDIT: Doug Rumblehttp://news.rice.edu/files/2015/04/0423_ISOTOPE-ly136-lg.jpgCAPTION: Laurence YeungCREDIT: Jeff Fitlow/Rice UniversityLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,888 undergraduates and 2,610 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is highly ranked for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here. AddThislast_img read more

Rice experts available to discuss 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

first_imgPhoto credit: Rice UniversityPhoto link: http://news.rice.edu/files/2011/11/katrinalarge1.jpgLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,888 undergraduates and 2,610 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here. ShareRice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsEXPERT ALERTDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy McCaig217-417-2901amym@rice.eduRice experts available to discuss 10th anniversary of Hurricane KatrinaHOUSTON – (Aug. 28, 2015) – Rice University experts are available to comment on a variety of topics as the U.S. marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in the country’s history.Retired Brig. Gen. Tom Kolditz, executive director of Rice’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders, can discuss leadership in times of crisis.Stephen Klineberg, professor of sociology and founding director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, can discuss the impact of the Katrina experience on the psyches of Houstonians and data about the hurricane’s impact collected through the Kinder Houston Area Survey.Rick Wilson, a professor of political science, of statistics and of psychology, can discuss New Orleans evacuees in Houston.Bob Stein, a professor of political science and a fellow in urban politics at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, can discuss hurricane evacuation and the benefits of preparing for natural disasters.Phil Bedient, a professor of engineering and director of Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center, can discuss the effect of flooding during Katrina. He is the creator of the Web-based Flood Alert System, which uses a free mapping service provided by Google to enable users to see how much flooding will occur in the next 60-90 minutes.Mark Jones, professor of political science, can discuss the political impact of Hurricane Katrina on Louisiana and Texas (especially in Houston).Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.For more information or to schedule an interview an expert, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 217-417-2901 or amym@rice.edu.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews. AddThislast_img read more

Glaciers may have helped warm Earth

first_img Weathering of Earth by glaciers may have warmed Earth over eons by aiding the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A new study shows the cumulative effect may have created negative feedback that prevented runaway glaciation. Return to article. Long Description http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0731_TORRES-2-WEB-xtyn6g.jpgCAPTION: Mark Torres. Mark Torres, an assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, looked into the mechanics of weathering by glaciation over millions of years to see how glacial cycles affected the oceans and atmosphere. Return to article. Long DescriptionMark Torres, an assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, looked into the mechanics of weathering by glaciation over millions of years to see how glacial cycles affected the oceans and atmosphere.The researchers acknowledged that glaciers are equal-opportunity weathering agents, as they also break down silicates in rocks. Silicates release alkalinity that removes carbon from the atmosphere. Still, they believe the net effect of glaciation could be to supply carbon dioxide to the atmosphere rather than to remove it.The results support a couple of interesting additional theories. One is that billions of years ago in the Archean eon and Paleoproterozoic era, when the atmosphere contained little oxygen, Earth may indeed have been a “snowball” as oxidative weathering in glaciated regions and the subsequent release of carbon would have been less active.Another is that the growth of a sulfide reservoir in Earth’s crust over time may have helped to stabilize the climate, which is important for maintaining Earth’s habitability over geologic timescales.The paper’s authors include Nils Moosdorf of the Center for Tropical Marine Ecology in Bremen, Germany, Jens Hartmann of the University of Hamburg, Jess Adkins of the California Institute of Technology and A. Joshua West of the University of Southern California.-30-Read the abstract at www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1702953114Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated materials:Mark Torres: https://earthscience.rice.edu/directory/user/172/Rice Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences: https://earthscience.rice.eduImages for download: http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0731_TORRES-3a-WEB-218pset.jpgCAPTION: Mark Torres.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,879 undergraduates and 2,861 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview. Return to article. Long Description Mark Torres ShareEditor’s note: Links to high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduGlaciers may have helped warm EarthRice University professor’s study details effect of glacial versus nonglacial weathering on carbon cycle HOUSTON – (July 31, 2017) – It seems counterintuitive, but over the eons, glaciers may have made Earth warmer, according to a Rice University professor.Mark Torres, an assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, took a data-driven dive into the mechanics of weathering by glaciation over millions of years to see how glacial cycles affected the oceans and atmosphere and continue to do so. Weathering of Earth by glaciers may have warmed Earth over eons by aiding the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A new study shows the cumulative effect may have created negative feedback that prevented runaway glaciation. Photo by Paul Quackenbush Mark Torres, an assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, looked into the mechanics of weathering by glaciation over millions of years to see how glacial cycles affected the oceans and atmosphere. http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0731_TORRES-1-WEB-1qvjatp.jpgWeathering of Earth by glaciers may have warmed Earth over eons by aiding the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A new study shows the cumulative effect may have created negative feedback that prevented runaway glaciation. (Credit: Paul Quackenbush) AddThis Return to article. Long DescriptionWeathering of Earth by glaciers may have warmed Earth over eons by aiding the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A new study shows the cumulative effect may have created negative feedback that prevented runaway glaciation. Photo by Paul QuackenbushTorres, who joined the Rice faculty in July, is lead author of a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He wanted to know how and when chemicals released by weathering of the land reached the atmosphere and ocean, and what effect they have had.The study shows that glaciation, through enhanced erosion, probably increased the rate of carbon dioxide released to the environment.The researchers determined enhanced oxidation of pyrite, an iron sulfide also known as fool’s gold, most likely generated acidity that fed carbon dioxide into the oceans and altered the carbon cycle. The oscillation of glaciers over 10,000 years could have changed atmospheric carbon dioxide by 25 parts per million or more. While this is a significant percentage of the 400 parts per million measured in recent months, present anthropogenic carbon dioxide release is occurring at a much faster rate than it is naturally released by glaciation.Long DescriptionMark TorresOver long timescales, they found, glaciers’ contribution to the release of carbon dioxide could have acted as a negative feedback loop that may have inhibited runaway glaciation.“The ocean stores a lot of carbon,” Torres said. “If you change the chemistry of the ocean, you can release some of that stored carbon into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. This release of carbon dioxide affects Earth’s climate, due to the greenhouse effect.”Glacial runoff appeared to have an outsize effect on carbon dioxide levels compared with that of rivers in warmer climes. Torres, until recently a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology, studied glacier-fed rivers and used existing databases to compare their chemical contents with that of thousands of rivers around the world. The goal was to evaluate the dominant chemical reactions associated with glacial weathering and explore the long-term implications.“Mainly, we’re thinking about the effect of glaciers and glaciation on the way our planet works,” he said. “In particular, we’re looking at rivers that drain areas of land surface that are covered by glaciers, and whether or not there are any differences in the chemical composition of those rivers.” Return to article. Long Descriptionlast_img read more