RELATED: Dale Jr. gift gallery | Full schedule for TexasTexas Motor Speedway provided a Lone Star State-sized gift to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s season-long send-off, giving him part of the track’s scoreboard from his first win.Track president Eddie Gossage supervised the festivities on horseback before opening practice for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 (2 p.m. ET, Sunday, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM).Earnhardt is set to make his likely final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile track, where he scored the first win of his premier series career as a rookie in 2000. Gossage unveiled a large scoreboard segment, with his former No. 8 illuminated in the first position as a parting gift.“That’s it. That’s the one,” Earnhardt said. “Isn’t that something?”The track also made the gift of naming a horse from a nearby therapeutic horse ranch in his honor as part of the Jr. Nation Apprecia88ion Tour. Gossage also provided a baby gift for Earnhardt and his wife, Amy — a kids’ hot-rodded push car stroller. .@DaleJr was gifted the original scoreboard of his first win at Texas and the track will sponsor a therapy horse in his name. #Appreci88ion pic.twitter.com/s2tls26KGf— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) November 3, 2017Earnhardt announced in April that this would be his final full season of competition.
Jimmie Johnson speaks publicly for the first time since revealing that 2020 will be the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion’s final season of racing. Watch it live on NASCAR.com starting at 4 p.m. ET from Hendrick Motorsports.Bookmark this page and check back later to hear from Johnson and stay tuned to NASCAR.com throughout the day for coverage of Johnson and his historic decision.
If performance road is more your thing, the Xdurro Superrace has it in spades. Using the same cutting edge tech in the mountain bikes, the Superrace packages it in a hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame and throws in Reynolds carbon wheels with disc brakes for good measure. Since this is built for the road, the motor will run up to 28mph, at which point you can keep pedaling to go faster but only under your own power. The Superrace runs SRAM X0 10 speed with Magura MT4 hydraulic brakes, and Reynolds Assault SLG disc wheels wrapped in Schwalbe Durano E 28mm rubber. Built into the electric system are front and rear LED lights to keep you visible as well. When you park your bike with the eFlow Nitro or flight, simply remove the head unit which locks the bike and prevents anyone from stealing it. Keen observers will notice that the eFlow Nitro above has a throttle. That’s due to the fact that as Rob Kaplan from Currie Tech mentioned, they’ve found that with the entry level ebikes, a throttle is actually something that the customer is usually looking for. Once they purchase the bike with pedal assist as well, Rob says they usually transition to the pedal assist mode only. Between eFlow and IZIP, eFlow is considered the higher end urban bike with a full integrated platform for the perfect commuter. The E3 Nitro above goes for $4,000 with a lower spec’ed option available in the $3,500 E3 Flight as well as a sleek folding ebike, the $3,500 E3 Fit.The IZIP line offers what Rob sees as the sweet spot in ebike price points with 7 bikes from $1,500 to 3,000. Bikes like the $2,600 E3 Dash offer high performance without the price tag with a 500w gearless high speed rear hub mounted motor. New for 2014 is a seat tube mounted battery for the Zuma, while the $2200 Path Plus gets doubled power and battery life. Sitting at the top of the Currie Tech portfolio, the Haibike Xduro range carries the latest technology from Bosch for impressive e-performance. Since 1995, Haibike has been the performance brand of the Winora group with something like 130 different bikes including the new Xduro ebike range. The Xduros are all equipped with the Gen2 Bosch Centerdrive performance system which uses a 350w motor that puts out 60nm of torque – compared to around 35-45nm for most hub motors. The Bosch system is also more advanced than others in its sensing capabilities monitoring torque, cadence, and rear wheel speed to calculate the added power to the rear wheel. This makes for a seamless transition between you and the motor – it’s you, but faster.The Xduro NDURO Pro 26 uses an aluminum frame with a gravity cast motor mount with the battery mounted on the downtube. The battery itself runs about 7 lbs and can be locked to the bike or removed to ride the bike manually without the extra weight. Charging takes about 4-6 hours for a full charge which should provide anywhere from 30 miles on turbo mode, to nearly 100 miles on economy mode,which if true marks a huge increase in ebike battery life. The XX1 and Crossmax spec’ed Pro retails for $8,600 and with 180mm travel front and rear is practically a downhill bike you can use to skip the chairlift. Haibike is also offering a trekking model complete with fenders, rear rack, lights, and a pump. The Xduro Trekking RX is also the only bike in the line up that offers a 3x drivetrain which is accomplished with a SRAM Dual Drive rear hub thanks to the lack of a front derailleur or gears. Worried about lugging a ton of gear up the hills to your office? The Trekking RX would be a good option, and one of the cheapest Haibike Xduro options at $4,000.In addition to Haibike, Currie Tech are also distributing ebikes from eFlow and IZIP. Both brands use a more traditional rear hub motor for most of the bikes, but use innovative technology like the eFlow seat tube mounted battery pack. Placing the battery in line with the seat tube results in improved bike handling according to Currie Tech. While electric bikes may still be trying to find their place in the American marketplace, with newer technology like the Bosch Centerdrive motor, the bikes themselves are as ready as they’ve ever been. The debate over e-bikes, especially on trails has a lot of valid points on both sides (something we hope to address in a later article), but like most anything that is controversial, first hand experience is important when it comes to E-understanding. When viewed in a negative light, e-bikes are typically viewed as electrified monsters with a throttle that miscreants will use to terrify pedestrians and thrash trails. Actually riding the bikes on hand from Currie Technologies changes that view a bit.Thanks to the pedal assist nature of most of the bikes, you actually have to work to get it to move, and yes it is possible to get a workout on an e-bike even at full boost. Most of the bikes’ motors cut out at 20 mph – which is completely possible on a non-motorized bike. Only the Haibike Superrace has a faster top speed of 28mph, but you won’t be seeing it on any trails. Depending on the mode, the e-bikes provide 50-250% additional power which does make for pretty rapid acceleration. But even with all of that extra power available, out on the trail in the right hands you won’t even notice someone is on the juice as was the case when Mike from Currie Technologies came along with us on a mountain bike ride. Other than not breathing as hard as the rest of us at the top of the climbs, Mike proved that it was completely possible to use an e-bike in a group ride setting.It may be a while before e-bikes are fully understood or even accepted on local trails, but there are also a number of commuter bikes and cruisers to consider after the jump. The Xduro AMT Pro 27.5″ is more of an all mountain bike with 150mm rear travel and 120-160mm front travel out of the Fox 34 Talas CTD Adjust Fit fork. The AMT retails for slightly less at $7,800. Other mountain bikes are offered as well like the Xduro AMT RX 27.5 for $5,500, the FS RX 27.5 for $4,900, and the RX 29er at $4,000, each with the Bosch Centerdrive system. Even down to the lower bikes you’ll find integrated LCD displays with handlebar mounted controls for selecting modes.The future of electric bikes may be unclear, but one thing is for sure – I didn’t see anyone riding one at Press Camp without a big smile on their face.Big thanks to my friend Mike at West Chester Cyclery for helping us recover these posts from internet oblivion! Thanks to a small glitch in the machine, we lost a bunch of posts and all the comments associated with them in the past day and a half. We have worked hard to restore all that we could, but if you comment is not showing, please note that it is likely due to the website error. We apologize for the inconvenience.
The New Yorker:Hector Levesque thinks his computer is stupid—and that yours is, too. Siri and Google’s voice searches may be able to understand canned sentences like “What movies are showing near me at seven o’clock?,” but what about questions—“Can an alligator run the hundred-metre hurdles?”—that nobody has heard before? Any ordinary adult can figure that one out. (No. Alligators can’t hurdle.) But if you type the question into Google, you get information about Florida Gators track and field. Other search engines, like Wolfram Alpha, can’t answer the question, either. Watson, the computer system that won “Jeopardy!,” likely wouldn’t do much better.In a terrific paper just presented at the premier international conference on artificial intelligence, Levesque, a University of Toronto computer scientist who studies these questions, has taken just about everyone in the field of A.I. to task. He argues that his colleagues have forgotten about the “intelligence” part of artificial intelligence.Read the whole story: The New Yorker More of our Members in the Media >
Psychologist Lisa Fazio of Vanderbilt University, in collaboration with David Rand of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina, Canada, set out to determine whether the illusory truth effect occurs across levels of plausibility, or whether it applies only to ambiguous statements. To find out, the researchers used computational simulations combined with a large online study, completed via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk large-scale testing system. Read the whole story: Scientific American More of our Members in the Media >
Pinterest A new study published in Biological Psychology sheds light on the neurobiological processes that link stress to cravings for cocaine. “Despite intensive research efforts, drug addiction persists as one of society’s most significant health-related issues, and treatment options are limited,” explained study author John R. Mantsch, the chair of the Biomedical Sciences Department at Marquette University. “The development of interventions aimed at relapse prevention is particularly important for improved outcomes in patients with substance use disorders. Much evidence suggests that stress is a critical contributor to drug use and relapse. While it is clear that there is a relationship between stress and drug seeking, the exact nature of this relationship and the underlying mechanisms are unclear.” Email Share LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter “The goals of this study were to develop a new model for studying the contribution of stress to drug seeking and to examine the mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex through which stressful stimuli promote drug seeking,” Mantsch said.Previous research has established a link between stress and drug cravings, and some studies indicate that stress can act as trigger for cravings.The findings from new study, which was conducted on rats, suggests that stress can set the stage for — but not necessarily directly trigger — cocaine-seeking behavior. Stress appears to set the stage for cravings through its actions on the medial prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that plays a major role in executive functions such as planning.“Clinical reports suggest that, rather than directly driving cocaine use, stress may create a biological context within which other triggers for drug use become more potent,” Mantsch told PsyPost. “In this paper, we use a preclinical rodent model to demonstrate that, during periods of stress, elevated glucocorticoids mobilize endocannabinoid signaling in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex to attenuate inhibitory transmission and promote cocaine seeking behavior.” “Our findings establish a novel mechanism through which stress can promote susceptibility to relapse in individuals with substance use disorder and therefore may reveal opportunities for new and more effective treatment strategies aimed at relapse prevention,” Mantsch explained.But there is still much that scientists don’t understand about the link between stress and drug abuse.“There are several important questions yet to be addressed,” Mantsch told PsyPost. “First, the time-course of stress effects is suggestive of a glucocorticoid mechanism that this not mediated by the canonical glucocorticoid receptor, which typically functions by regulating gene transcription, resulting in effects that take time to develop.”“Secondly, the output pathway from the prefrontal cortex that is regulated by stress and mediates drug seeking needs to be confirmed. Third, it is unclear if the effects of endocannabinoids on drug seeking can be reproduced by cannabis exposure. Such an observation could suggest that acute cannabis use can promote relapse.” “However, it should be noted that in contrast to cannabis effects which will be exerted throughout the brain, the effects of stress on endocannabinoids are likely not uniform throughout the brain,” Mantsch said. “Moreover, THC (the primarily active cannabinoid constituent in cannabis products) and endocannabinoids have different actions at receptors that may predict distinct effects on cortical signaling and behavior.”“Finally, we are in the process of determining if there are sex differences in the effects of stress and glucocorticoids on relapse susceptibility.”The study, “Stress Promotes Drug Seeking Through Glucocorticoid-Dependent Endocannabinoid Mobilization in the Prelimbic Cortex“, was co-authored by Jayme R. McReynolds, Elizabeth M. Doncheck, Yan Lib, Oliver Vranjkovic, Evan N.Graf, Daisuke Ogasawara, Benjamin F.Cravatt, David A.Baker, Qing-Song Liu, and Cecilia J.Hillard.
Even kids in rural South Carolina now spend more time in front of screens than outdoors in nature, according to a new study that appears in Environment and Behavior. The research found that this trend was more pronounced for girls, African American students, and older youth.“Over the past 20 years, society has become increasingly concerned by a dramatic rise in children’s ‘screen time’ (for example, see this report on media in the lives of youth) and an associated decline in time spent outdoors in nature (for example, see the book Last Child in the Woods),” explained study author Lincoln R. Larson of North Carolina State University.“The implications of this shift could have profound negative implications for youth development. However, much of this evidence is anecdotal and few studies have directly compared the screen time and outdoor time of youth — especially youth living in rural areas. We wanted to explore relationships between these two potentially competing activities and determine if participation rates differed among different groups of youth.” Share on Facebook The researchers surveyed 543 sixth- to eighth-grade students across rural South Carolina. Overall, about 70% of the students reported spending at least 30 minutes outdoors in nature each day, while 40% reported spending more than 2 hours outdoors. Students who spent more time outdoors were more likely to agree with statements like “I feel very connected to all living things and the Earth,” “I notice plants and animals wherever I am,” and “I think about how what I do affects the Earth.”But screen time was higher than outdoor time for almost every demographic group that the researchers examined. Students who reported increased screen time tended to also report lower levels of connectedness to nature.“In our study of middle school-aged youth we found that although most youth spent time outdoors, they spent more time with electronic media. The outdoor vs. screen time discrepancy was particularly pronounced for girls, African Americans, and 8th graders (compared to 6th and 7th graders),” Larson told PsyPost.“These groups were also less connected to nature than their peers. The alarming patterns we observed could have significant implications for children’s physical, mental, and social health and well-being — especially among those groups at higher risk (e.g., girls and youth of color). We need to think about ways to moderate screen time and integrate more outdoor time into children’s lives to ensure that all youth are able to enjoy benefits associated with both activities.”Some studies have indicated that too much screen time is linked to heightened levels of anxiety or depression, and reduced curiosity, self-control, and emotional stability. But more research is needed to better understand consequences of declining outdoor time and escalating screen time.“This study provided some unique insight into the screen time vs. outdoor time conflict for youth, but many questions remain unanswered. How much outdoor time is needed to for children to experience developmental benefits, and what types of ‘natural’ settings are preferable?” Larson explained.“Are trends and patterns in urban areas more pronounced than those observed in our rural sample? How do we create programs and opportunities that foster more time outdoors across diverse populations of youth? Are there ways to blend electronic media and nature to facilitate positive, technology-mediated outdoor engagement?”“While the movement to connect children and nature is growing (for more on that, see the Children & Nature Network), some disciplines have been slow to embrace it,” Larson added.“For example, in psychology and public health, the powerful influence of nature on health and well-being is slowly being recognized and integrated into intervention design and decision making processes. If we can enhance awareness by clearly communicating the evidence-based developmental benefits that nature provides (and the consequences associated with diminishing time outdoors), we can expedite this process and help to create a healthier and more sustainable future.”The study, “Outdoor Time, Screen Time, and Connection to Nature: Troubling Trends Among Rural Youth?“, was authored by Lincoln R. Larson, Rachel Szczytko, Edmond P. Bowers, Lauren E. Stephens, Kathryn T. Stevenson, and Myron F. Floyd. Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Twitter Email Share
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Author: Associated Press Duke seeks return to political relevance on Trump coattails SHARE NEW ORLEANS (AP) – It would be hard to overstate how much former KKK leader David Duke has attempted to link his 2016 surprise Senate bid to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.He mentioned Trump during a YouTube announcement of his candidacy and spoke repeatedly during an hour-long news conference about how Trump and the Republicans had embraced his vision of America. References to Trump now compete for attention on Duke’s website with anti-Zionist posts, including the theory that Jewish conspirators somehow worked passages from a Michelle Obama speech into Melania Trump’s convention address last week.Duke, 66, has never matched the political stardom of his credible run for Louisiana governor in 1991. And many analysts and observers say his time is past. With many candidates espousing “law and order” politics, Duke, a convicted felon better known for seeking office than winning races, may simply have too much baggage.But in an election where the rise of showboat businessman and reality TV personality Trump has taken the establishment by surprise, Duke obviously feels conditions are ripe for him to make another run.While Trump eventually disavowed Duke’s support after facing repeated questions about it, analysts and observers say Duke can play on similar themes as Trump, such as fears of unchecked immigration, attacks against police, the loss of jobs to free trade and an outsider status. With the rise of social media, Duke feels he has other avenues to reach voters other than mainstream advertising or traditional media.“What’s interesting to me is that he feels emboldened enough to step into the arena one more time,” said Michael Flamm, history professor at Ohio Wesleyan University and author of “In the Heat of the Summer: The New York Riots of 1964 and the War on Crime.”“I do think the Trump campaign has brought a racial backlash element back into the mainstream,” said Flamm.Duke, who donned Nazi regalia in college, led a Ku Klux Klan faction until 1980 before moving on to found white-rights organizations. He’s only held one elective government office, narrowly winning a suburban New Orleans state House seat in 1989.He shocked political observers in 1991 by getting into a runoff for the governor’s race with Democratic former Gov. Edwin Edwards, whose three previous terms had been marked by scandal. The prospect of a white supremacist as governor so startled many in Louisiana that many Republicans joined Democrats to vote against him. His opponents printed bumper stickers imploring: “Vote for the crook. It’s important.”Duke got 39 percent of the vote and would never do as well again.At work at the time, says longtime pollster Michael McKeon, were factors beyond any anti-black vote at the core of Duke’s appeal: economic doldrums following a 1980s crash in the oil economy, broad disaffection with the federal government and a fear of “a loss of control.”Louisiana is again suffering with a weak oil economy. And, McKeon, who predicted Duke’s 1991 success, says anti-government fervor is even higher now.Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-free trade stance appears to dovetail with Duke’s long-held insistence that white descendants of Europeans in America are the victims of discrimination. Many white supremacists – they prefer the terms “Europeanists,” ”alt-right,” or even “white nationalists” – rallied behind Trump at the Republican National Convention last week.Pearson Cross, a political scientist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, says Trump has adopted or co-opted many of Duke’s longtime issues, such as the dangers of unfettered immigration or unfair trade deals.Speaking of Duke, Cross said: “He sees that his issues have come back to be center at least in the Republican party.”Trump faced criticism from some GOP leaders for failing during the primary season to immediately denounce the tacit endorsement from Duke, who once said on his radio show that a vote for any other candidate “is really treason to your heritage.” Trump eventually did disavow Duke and after Duke declared his candidacy on a Friday, Trump swiftly said the following Sunday on “Meet the Press” that he “rebuked” Duke’s support.Cross said the Democratic party would likely attempt to link Trump and Duke, pointing out that a former KKK member admires Trump and the way he’s operating.Whether any of this will give Duke an election boost remains to be seen.“I assume if there are two candidates espousing law and order, the one who will win will be the one carrying less baggage,” Flamm said.McKeon believes Duke’s time is likely past. In the age of social media, McKeon said, Duke’s ability to command attention has been greatly diminished.“He was radical enough that he would say stuff that people would pay attention to him,” McKeon said. “Now, it’s virtually impossible to shock anybody.”Others note that he has other baggage, including a guilty plea to bilking supporters and cheating on taxes in a 2002 federal case that led to a stretch in prison and further political obscurity.Twenty-four candidates signed up for the non-partisan election to choose retiring Republican Sen. David Vitter’s successor. Among them are well-financed Republicans and two well-known Democrats.Cross said he doesn’t give Duke much of a chance. In 1991, lots of voters were dissatisfied with the Democratic party’s championing of civil rights. But back then, Republicans hadn’t really courted them the way they have in recent years, playing up concerns over immigration for example.He anticipated the most likely runoff would be between one Republican and one Democrat, and the Republican probably wouldn’t be Duke. Instead, he sees Duke’s Senate run as more of a way for him to show that he was talking about some of these issues like immigration or trade decades ago and to sell more books. Published: July 30, 2016 12:21 PM EDT Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.
Australia’s GrainCorp has awarded Watco a contract to provide haulage services on the 1 067 mm gauge network in Queensland, where two harvests per year produce 2·8 millions of tonnes of grain. Watco has ordered eight locomotives from US supplier National Rail Equipment, as well as wagons from China, and plans to start operations in Q4 2019.Approval has been granted for the transport of dangerous goods on the standard gauge railway between Mombasa and Nairobi.3Squared has won a contract to provide four of its RailSmart suite of 13 business applications to Hector Rail. The contract initially covers the RailSmart CL collaborative control log, RailSmart FD defect reporting app, RailSmart MCA digital train consist and the RailSmart Employee Development System, with the roll-out of the full RailSmart system planned.United Wagon Co’s TikhvinSpetsMash factory has supplied 162 Type 13-6852-02 timber wagons to Estonian freight operator Operail’s wagon leasing subsidiary WagonPro. The 25 tonne axleload wagons offer a capacity of 74 tonnes or 122 m3, with overhaul intervals of 800 000 km or eight years comparing favourably to the 210 000 km or three years of older designs.GEFCO and Bergé have formed an alliance to provide finished vehicle logistics services for the automotive sector in Spain. The equally-owned company will have the capacity to handle 1·4 million cars annually, with more than 100 railway wagons and 700 lorries as well as 10 logistic centres.The City of Oshkosh, Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp and Watco’s Wisconsin & Southern Railroad have opened a terminal in the Wisconsin city which has two 400 m sidings serving local industrial customers.JSW Steel has extended until the end of August 2022 a contract under which India’s South Western Railway gives a tariff rebate in return for assured tonnages of freight from plants at Tornagallu to Dolvi (Mumbai) and Salem.