Home' Greymouth Star : May 30th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Saturday, May 30, 2015 - 3
Visitors to the newly opened One World Observatory in New York. Taking up parts of the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors of the One World Trade Centre
building, the One World Obser vator y opened to the public for the first time yesterday.
World Trade Centre obser vatory opens
An investigation of a United
States military facility’s mistaken
shipments of live anthrax bacteria
has turned up another live sample,
this one from a 2008 batch sent to
Australia, a US defence official said
The disclosure, if confirmed,
suggests the possibility of a broader
problem among anthrax samples
meant to have been made inactive
at the US Army ’s D ugway Proving
Ground in Utah.
Suspected live samples sourced to
Dugway have already been traced
going to nine American states and
a US air base in South Korea over
a period from March 2014 to April
this year before being discovered
The US military says there are
no known suspected infections or
risks to the general public. Four
US civilians have begun taking
preventative measures that usually
include the anthrax vaccine,
antibiotics or both.
Twenty-two people at the base
in South Korea were also given
precautionary medical measures
although none of them has shown
signs of exposure.
The US Centre for Disease
Control and Prevention has begun
Little is known about the sample
sent to Australia, including the
type of laboratory that received it.
The US defence official, speaking
on condition of anonymity, said the
sample was tested after the latest
disclosure as part of the ongoing
investigation into the handling of
The Pentagon declined comment,
saying it was trying to gather
It was unclear how many other
samples from Dugway have been
tested or what the results of those
On Thursday, the Army’s
top general said human error
probably was not the cause,
saying preliminary information
suggested US personnel at Dugway
appeared to correctly follow official
The Pentagon was more cautious
“There is an ongoing investigation
and we need to let this develop,”
Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon
Scientists say they have created a
small robot that can recover from
damage, in a step towards machines
that mimic the remarkable adaptive
powers of humans and animals.
The feat could one day lead to
first-responder robots which can
cope with dangers that today would
put them out of operation, they
“The idea is to have robots that
can sur vive in hostile environments
such as a Fukushima-type nuclear
of the Pierre and Marie Curie
University in Paris, said.
“If we send in robots, they have
to be able to pursue their mission
even if they are damaged, and not
just come to a halt in the middle of
a reactor,” he said.
The research, published in the
journal Nature, is inspired by the
learning abilities of the natural
If a dog hurts its paw, for instance,
it will seek to move differently
to avoid putting pressure on the
The adaptive skill comes from
experience — from knowing how
the body moves and exploring the
options that are available.
This is what Mouret ’s team sought
to replicate in a powerful computer
programme to guide a six-legged
50cm walking robot.
The core of the programme is
to build a knowledge base for the
robot of how it moves, and to assign
to each of these movements a ‘value’
as to how useful they could be in a
The ‘values’ are rather like
In the case of the injured dog, the
animal knows that to walk again, it
has to learn how to shift its weight
Behaviours such as sniffing or
wagging its tail are rejected at this
time because they will not help.
The ‘values’ are then used to
guide a learning algorithm, called
Intelligent Trial and Error, that
conducts experiments to see if
compensatory behaviour will help
the robot to continue its mission
even when damaged.
Using it, the prototype robot
found a way to keep walking after
just a couple of minutes, even when
two of its legs had been broken.
The team also used the programme
on a flexible robotic arm, which was
tasked with dropping a ball into a
The limb swiftly learned ways of
carrying on with its mission, even
when several of its ‘ joints’ were
Robot that can heal itself
Vladimir Katriuk, the man who
held the no 2 spot on the Simon
Wiesenthal Centre’s list of most
wanted Nazi war criminals, has
He was 93.
Katriuk passed away in Quebec
last week after a long illness, his
lawyer Orest Rudzik said.
Russia charged Katriuk earlier this
month with genocide in connection
with the 1943 killing of civilians in
Khatyn, now part of Belarus.
According to war reports, Katriuk
was a member of a Ukrainian
battalion of the SS, the elite Nazi
troops, between 1942 and 1944.
He had denied the accusations
He lived in Paris before emigrating
to Canada in 1951, according to
No 2 most wanted Nazi accused dies
The broadest study of its kind has
backed estimates that newer kinds of
contraceptive pills carry a higher risk of
dangerous blood clots.
But it also confirmed past advice
that the risk is very low in real terms
and there was no immediate worry for
women who take these pills.
The probe, published in the BMJ,
compared oral contraceptives containing
a synthetic version of the hormone
progestogen with earlier versions.
The so-called third-generation pill,
introduced in the 1990s, and the fourth
generation, approved in the last decade,
are designed to skirt side-effects of older
types of the contraceptive.
In 2013, Europe’s drugs watchdog
carried out a safety review after France’s
medicines agency found the newer pills
were linked to a small risk of serious
blood clot called venous thrombo-
The new study widens the statistical
net, trawling through two large British
prescription databases to take into
account pill dosage, body fat, smoking
and other factors which affect risk.
Compared with women not using oral
contraceptives, women using older pills
had about two and a half times increased
risk of VTE, it found.
Women using a newer version of the
contraceptive had around a four times
increased risk of VTE compared to
women who did not take the pill.
Risks for women using newer pills
were about 1.5 to 1.8 times higher than
for women using older pills.
But in absolute terms, the risk was very
low. The results concur with a French
investigation in 2013 and a Danish
study in 2011.
Women taking the later-generation
contraceptives “should not stop using
them, but should consult their doctor
and review their current type of pill
at their next appointment if there are
any concerns”, the researchers, led by
Yana Vinogradova at the University of
Higher risk of blood clots from new contraceptive pills
More heavy rain caused Texas rivers to
overflow their banks and prompted widespread
evacuations yesterday after a week of historic
storms flooded Houston, killed at least
21 people and damaged more than 4000
Thousands of cars were trapped for about
six hours on a suburban freeway blocked by
floodwaters near Dallas, where rainfall reached
about 18cm between Thursday night and
yesterday. The Red Cross distributed Girl Scout
biscuits and water to stranded motorists.
“The back roads are all blocked by high water
crossing barricades, so we’re just kinda stuck,”
Vanessa Paterson, who was trapped on the
highway with her six-month-old son, told tv
The National Weather Ser vice issued a flash
flood watch from central Texas into Missouri,
with the additional rain swelling Texas rivers
already at dangerously high levels.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared 70
counties disaster areas.
The mayor of Wharton, about 100km south-
west of Houston, issued a mandatory evacuation
order for about 900 people.
A group of friends on their way
to the funeral of a young woman
killed in a car crash in rural New
South Wales have themselves
become victims, with two killed
and another two seriously injured.
Jake Chaffey, 21, and Claudia
Chown, 18, were passengers in a
car that veered off the road and
smashed into a tree near Bathurst
on Tuesday night.
Chown was killed instantly and
Chaffey was pulled out of the
Ford Fiesta alive at the Great
Western Highway at Yetholme,
about 20km from Bathurst, but
died in Liverpool Hospital the
The male driver, 24, was seriously
injured and a 31-year-old woman
sitting in the back seat suffered
multiple fractures — they were
both taken to hospital.
The friends had been grieving
over the death of Rickie-lee
Floods trap thousands on freeway Friends die on way to funeral
by Dave Green 0713 Difficulty Level
QUICK QUIZ 414
1. Which surname is that of a character in the Hairy Maclary stories and in Cluedo?
2. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen: this is the
opening sentence of which novel?
3. Which capital city is furthest away from any other?
4. What name can be a salmon, a helicopter or a native American people?
5. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman called which part of Australia Van Diemen’s Land?
6. Who declared himself to be no longer divine at the end of World War Two?
7. What word can be used to describe all hoofed mammals?
8. Which 1962 song begins: I was working in the lab late one night, when my eyes
beheld an eerie sight.
9. Boris Becker made history in four different ways when he won Wimbledon in
1985. Give any two.
10. A New Zealand town and the home of the Dukes of Marlborough were both
named after which 1704 battle in Germany?
ANSWERS: 1. Plum, 2. 1984, 3. Wellington, 4. Chinook, 5. Tasmania, 6. Emperor
Hirohito, 7. Ungulates, 8. The Monster Mash, 9. First German champion, first
qualifier to win, first unseeded player, youngest male champion, 10. Blenheim.
1 Flatten (5)
2 Vision (8)
3 Elevated (6)
4 Heading (5)
6 Reap (7)
7 Lump of gold (6)
8 Racing foresail (5)
10 Throbbing pain (4)
11 Citrus fruit (7)
12 Sewing implement (6)
17 Rich saints (anag)(10)
18 Oak nut (5)
22 Make-it -yourself beer (4-4)
23 Beef cut (5)
24 Disfigured (7)
26 Colloquially, cigarettes (4)
28 Vertical (7)
29 Rogue, untrustworthy
30 Concentrated (6)
31 Beach outfit (6)
33 Decorative design (5)
35 Major artery (5)
36 Regulation (4)
37 Threadbare (4)
43 Ran off to wed (6)
44 Bus yard (5)
46 Long ago (4)
47 Make go (7)
48 Serviette (6)
49 Insinuate (5)
50 Cattle breed (8)
51 Move with a circular
52 Particular skill such as
weaving, pottery (10)
53 One-sidedness (4)
54 Undeveloped frog (7)
59 Intensive bombing (5)
60 Chinese vessel (4)
64 Be anxious (5)
65 Known (8)
67 Infinite (7)
68 Tanning device (7)
70 Sick (6)
71 Split up (6)
72 Remove bones from (6)
75 Dog breed (5)
77 Pip fruit (5)
78 Snarl (5)
79 Sagacious (4)
80 As well (4)
1 Spreading plant (7)
4 Of an outcome that is
possible, but highly
9 Sampling by mouth (7)
13 Not new (4)
14 Small restaurant (6)
15 Boiling mad (6)
16 Diluted (7)
19 Enhanced (10)
20 Dignified grace in
appearance, behaviour (8)
21 Stringed instrument (5)
24 Summer flower (6)
25 Exertion (6)
27 Nourishment (9)
32 Throttle (8)
33 Fully grown (6)
34 Tropical disease (7)
38 Holy war warrior (8)
39 Cave (6)
40 Well-behaved (4)
41 Circular course (5)
42 Actions (5)
45 Struggle to the very end
52 Established custom (5)
55 Opium flower (5)
56 Unit of area (4)
57 Documents (6)
58 Sot (8)
61 Fabric (7)
62 Hole (6)
63 Garden water feature
66 Demolished (9)
68 Caress (6)
69 Lubricate (6)
73 Slyly derogatory (5)
74 Incomplete number
76 Fulfilling (10)
81 Advantage (7)
82 Russian horse-drawn
83 Coat part (6)
84 Floor covering (4)
85 Held tightly (7)
86 Despair (4,2,4)
87 Climbing plant part (7)
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