Navy turns to ERAPSCO for sonobuoy support

Jan. 25 (UPI) — ERAPSCO has been awarded a contract for engineering support for the Navy’s underwater active sonobuoys.

The deal, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $9.6 million under the terms of a cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery and is a modification on a previously awarded contract.

The contract taps ERAPSCO for the procurement of engineering support services, along with other design and development efforts for multiple ping sonobuoy qualification and testing.

The U.S. Navy has long maintained an anti-submarine warfare capability that is used to detect, identify and track hostile submarines. The Navy uses three different types of sonobuoys to find and track submarines that may be lurking beneath the water.

Passive sonobuoys listen for the energy or sound produced by a submarine, active sonobuoys send a “ping” into the water in the hope of generating an echo from a potential hostile submarine and special purpose buoys provide amplifying information to radar technicians and intelligence analysts by collecting data on water temperature and ambient noise, according to the Navy.

Work on the contract will occur in DeLeon Springs, Fla., and Columbia City, Ind., and is expected to be completed in January 2021.

More than $1.7 million will be obligated to ERAPSCO at the time of award from the Navy’s fiscal year 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds, and the funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

منبع مطلب :

NFL to salute Medal of Honor recipients at Super Bowl

The NFL will salute 15 recipients of the Medal of Honor, the United States’ most prestigious military decoration, during the official coin toss ceremony prior to Super Bowl LII, the league announced Thursday.

World War II veteran Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams will flip the coin prior to the game pitting the Philadelphia Eagles versus the New England Patriots on Feb. 4 (6:30 p.m. ET) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Williams received the Medal of Honor during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.

“The NFL is proud to honor our nation’s heroes at Super Bowl LII,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “These courageous individuals deserve to be recognized on America’s biggest stage. We are grateful for their service to our country and we are pleased to continue the NFL’s longstanding tradition of hosting special tributes to service members at the Super Bowl.”

The other Medal of Honor recipients participating are: Bennie Adkins, Army, Vietnam; Don Ballard, Navy, Vietnam; Sammy Davis, Army, Vietnam; Roger Donlon, Army, Vietnam; Sal Giunta, Army, Afghanistan; Flo Groberg, Army, Afghanistan; Tom Kelley, Navy, Vietnam; Allan Kellogg, Marines, Vietnam; Gary Littrell, Army, Vietnam;Walter Marm, Army, Vietnam; Robert Patterson, Army, Vietnam; Leroy Petry, Army, Afghanistan; Clint Romesha, Army, Afghanistan; James Taylor, Army, Vietnam.

منبع مطلب :

Louvre closes gallery as rising Seine floods Paris

Jan. 25 (UPI) — An above-average wet season pushed France’s Seine River beyond its banks this week, paralyzing some areas of Paris, including the Louvre, which closed off its basement gallery.

Meteo France, the national weather service, said December and January, together, are the third wettest on record since 1900. Paris has had more than double its normal rainfall since Dec. 1 — 7.2 inches.

As of 5 a.m. Thursday, the Seine was at 18 feet. Forecasters expect it to reach 20 feet by Saturday, 16 feet above normal. The river reached a record height in 1910 at 28 feet.

Officials stopped boat traffic on the river because boats were unable to pass under bridges. Roads and walking paths along the Seine, and seven metro stations also were closed.

It’s not just Paris bearing the brunt of the flooding. Residents in the southern suburb of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges were using boats to navigate flooded streets as parked cars were nearly submerged.

“It’s likely that the Seine will stay high for several days next week,” said Marc Mortureaux, risk prevention director at France’s environment ministry.

The famed Louvre museum announced it closed its basement gallery, the Department of Islamic Arts, until Jan. 28 because of high water.

Other museums, including the Musée d’Orsay and the Orangerie, said they were making preparations in the event of more significant flooding.

In 2016, the Louvre completely closed as flash floods throughout the region bore down on the region, killing several people.

And in July 2017, multiple paintings in the museum sustained damage in a downpour that infiltrated the building.

Water marks drips were found on two panels of Nicolas Poussin’s Four Seasons as well as The Triumph of Mordecai by Jean-Francois de Troy — all of which were removed for repairs, the Louvre said. Museum officials removed paintings by Georges de la Tour and Eustache Le Sueur where they found water marks on the walls.

منبع مطلب :

Energy firm Whitefish spent $150K to lobby after Maria deal in Puerto Rico

Jan. 25 (UPI) — Whitefish Energy spent $150,000 lobbying Congress after the small company in Montana secured a massive contract to repair Puerto Rico’s power grid because of Hurricane Maria.

In a lobbying report, the company listed the amount if paid five lobbyists to represent its interests, including two former members of House, Dennis Cardoza and Scott Klug.

In October, Whitefish Energy announced it hired lobbying firm Foley & Lardner after Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority gave the company a $300 million contract to rebuild transmission lines even though the company had little experience doing such work.

The two-person utility company got the contract almost without a competitive bidding process and with significant price markups of certain services.

The electric authority canceled the contract after the Department of Homeland Security, multiple House committees and the Puerto Rican government announced they were investigating.

On its website, Whitefish said it worked with PREPA to rebuild 100 miles of down transmission lines with 200 power line workers.

“Whitefish Energy has a reputation to uphold and we felt that Foley would help us in being able to have those conversations in a productive manner,” Ken Luce, a former spokesman for the company said to, which first reported the lobby reported.

The company was established in 2015 in Whitefish, the small hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

“I had absolutely nothing to do with Whitefish Energy receiving a contract in Puerto Rico,” Zinke said in a statement. “Any attempts by the dishonest media or political operatives to tie me to awarding or influencing any contract involving Whitefish are completely baseless. Only in elitist Washington, D.C., would being from a small town be considered a crime.”

On Monday, Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rossello announced plans to privatize the state-owned power authority.

“The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority does not work and cannot continue to operate like this,” Rossello said. “With that PREPA, we cannot face the risks of living in an area of high vulnerability to catastrophic events.”

Four months after the storm, 68 percent of clients have power.

منبع مطلب :

Ravens CB Humphrey arrested on suspicion of stealing charger

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey was arrested on a third-degree robbery charge, according to the Tuscaloosa County (Ala.) Jail database.

Humphrey, who was booked in Tuscaloosa County Jail on $2,500 bond, allegedly stole a telephone charger valued at $15, per the police report. The incident occurred on Jan. 13 at the Hotel Capstone on Alabama’s campus.

“Marlon told us that it was a misunderstanding regarding a $15 telephone charger, which he thought was his. Our understanding is that he has been interviewed by University of Alabama Police and is cooperating. We are monitoring the situation,” the Ravens said in a statement.

Humphrey posted a tweet at 7:42 a.m. Thursday that read: “Life is good.”

Humphrey stepped into the starting lineup in place of Jimmy Smith, who sustained a season-ending Achilles injury. He recorded 34 tackles and two interceptions in 16 games after being selected with the 16th overall pick of the 2017 draft out of Alabama.

The 21-year-old is the son of former Denver Broncos running back Bobby Humphrey.

منبع مطلب :

First came Homo sapiens, then came the modern brain

Jan. 25 (UPI) — New analysis suggests the development of the modern human brain was a late chapter in the evolutionary history of the Homo sapien.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, first analyzed the skull shapes of the earliest Homo sapien specimens in 2017. Their researcher revealed an elongated braincase resembling the skull of the Neanderthals. Modern humans, on the other hand, feature a rounder braincase.

In a followup study, published this week in the journal Science Advances, scientists used advanced imaging technology, including micro computed tomography, to more accurately render the inner structure of the braincase, what’s known as the endocast. The endocast offers scientists a better idea of what the brain itself was like.

Researchers measured the endocasts of a variety of Homo sapien specimens, from ancient to modern. The measurements reveal a gradual transition from an elongated endocranial shape to a more globular brain.

Only fossils younger than 35,000 years feature a globular braincase shape similar to those found among of modern humans.

The transformation was associated with two cerebral processes, parietal and cerebellar bulging. Parietal systems are essential orientation, attention, perception, motor control, self-awareness, memory and more. The cerebellum assists with motor-related functions, in addition to powering spatial processing, decision making, language and social cognition.

These unique parts of the brain evolved independently of brain size, researchers confirmed.

“The brain is arguably the most important organ for the abilities that make us human,” paleoanthropologist Simon Neubauer said in a news release. “But modern human brain shape was not established at the origin of our species together with other key features of craniodental morphology.”

Scientists were surprised to find the modern brain made such a significant transformation so recently in human history.

Scientists suggest the changes were triggered by shifts in the early development of the human brain. In modern humans, the young brain takes on its recognizable globular shape within a few months of birth.

“The gradual evolution of modern human brain shape seems to parallel the gradual emergence of behavioral modernity as seen from the archeological record,” said researcher Jean-Jacques Hublin.

منبع مطلب :

Pederson to Eagles: Focus on today, not Pats’ mystique

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson cautioned his players to focus on the team in front of them, and not the one that is a part of history.

The Eagles will attempt to do precisely that when they face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 (6:30 p.m. ET) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

“That’s obviously a real question. That’s a real issue that you have,” Pederson said Thursday of facing the five-time Super Bowl champion Patriots.

“These guys have been there. They’ve done it. They’ve proven it time and time again. My biggest focus with the team is let’s just focus on today. Let’s just win today. Let’s get better today, and we’ll worry about that when we get to the game.

“Obviously, it’s a credit to what the Patriots have done, and their careers, and their history, and everybody is trying to win championships like that, but we’ve just got to focus on today.”

The Eagles have played the underdog role since quarterback Carson Wentz was lost for the season with a torn ACL. The NFC’s top seed, however, edged the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round before breezing to a 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game.

The Patriots and Eagles have met once before in the big game, in Super Bowl XXXIX on Feb. 6, 2005. The Patriots won 24-21 with Tom Brady throwing for 236 yards and two touchdowns.

Philadelphia also lost its other appearance in the big game, dropping a 27-10 decision to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XV.

New England will play in its ninth Super Bowl on Sunday after rallying from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to post a 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game.

“You know what? If I make this all about them, we’re in trouble,” Pederson said. “Honestly, we’re in trouble. Everything’s going to be written about it — everything has been written about it — talked about it, debated, and it’s about us. I’ll keep saying that. It’s about what we do and how well we execute, and I can’t worry about that.”

منبع مطلب :

Blake Griffin throws ball at ref, blames him for not catching it

Jan. 25 (UPI) — Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin earned a technical foul for throwing the ball at a referee.

And he says he will be fined because the referee can’t catch.

That’s precisely what Griffin yelled during the Clippers 113-102 loss Wednesday to the Boston Celtics at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The sequence occurred with about 2:45 remaining in the game. The Clippers faced a 110-97 deficit at the time. The Clippers were getting back on defense after a made basket. The ball landed by Griffin. He picked it up and tossed it toward the referee. The fastball blazed by the official, who immediately gave him a technical foul. Griffin was heard on the microphone saying that the referee should have caught the ball.

“Now I gotta pay money because you can’t [expletive] catch,” Griffin said.

Griffin scored a game-high 23 points and had five rebounds and three assists in the loss.

“No, I mean, I took him out,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after the game, referring to Griffin. “I called a timeout to do that. But he was frustrated. He’s competitive. You know, he wanted to win the game. He probably wanted to play better. He wanted the team to play better. But that didn’t happen, and Blake’s very competitive.”

Griffin now has six technical fouls on the season.

منبع مطلب :

Florida St. QB Francois cleared in domestic violence probe

Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois was cleared by police in an alleged domestic violence incident, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

Francois was involved in a domestic dispute with his pregnant girlfriend late Tuesday afternoon. But Francois and the woman gave very different accounts of what took place in their statements to the Tallahassee Police Department following the incident at Francois’ apartment.

Another Florida State football player, Zaquandre White, also was present and spoke to police.

Police were called to the scene but an investigation Wednesday evening resulted in no arrests and no charges being filed, because of “conflicting statements and lack of independent witnesses,” according to the police.

State Attorney Jack Campbell told the Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday that Francois will not be charged based on the Tallahassee Police Department’s investigation.

“Based on the evidence as we understand it and with the conclusions made by the Tallahassee Police Department, I’m in agreement with TPD with insufficient evidence to charge Deondre Francois,” Campbell told the Orlando Sentinel.

Francois, who called the police, said the woman began to break items in the house and attempted to rip a television off the wall, according to the police report.

She told authorities that he broke down a bedroom door, threw her to the ground and tried to get her to leave the apartment.

Francois said he grabbed the women in a hug to prevent her from breaking things, and that a cut she sustained on her arm was the result of a broken vase.

The woman told police she is nine weeks pregnant and said she did not want Francois to get in “trouble, trouble.”

But she did want the police to speak with Francois to “scare him a little,” according to the report.

The woman asked police if Francois would get in trouble for smoking marijuana at the apartment before the incident.

The woman did not want to press charges against Francois, according to the report.

Neither the school nor new coach Willie Taggart has commented on the incident.

Francois started every game in 2016 as a redshirt freshman, throwing for 3,350 yards and leading the Seminoles to a 10-3 record. With even higher expectations for him and the team going in 2017, he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener against Alabama as FSU struggled to a 7-6 mark.

Francois is expected to compete with sophomore James Blackman for the starting quarterback spot for the 2018 season.

منبع مطلب :

Fisherman rescues trout that jumped out onto the ice

Jan. 25 (UPI) — An ice fisherman in Wisconsin briefly switched sides during a recent outing to rescue a massive trout that jumped out onto the ice.

Eric Haataja, who owns his own fishing guide business, said he was ice fishing in Milwaukee about two weeks ago when a large brown trout jumped out of the water and ended up on the thin ice.

Haataja’s video shows him carefully approach the fish and slide it across the ice and back into the water.

“I, as well as many other people, in the fishing community, know that the stocking of this species (brown trout) is no longer happening because of political reasons. Therefore when I saw this, I needed to act and save the species,” Haataja said.

منبع مطلب :