Freezing upon heating: Formation of dynamical glass

Freezing upon heating: Formation of dynamical glass statistics, science, nevin manimala
Freezing upon heating: Formation of dynamical glass statistics, science, nevin manimala

The discovery of superconductivity and its experimental realization have surely been two of the most important advancements in physics and engineering of the past century. Nevertheless, their statistical and dynamical characteristics have yet to be fully revealed and understood. A team of researchers at the Center for Theoretical Physics of Complex Systems, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS, South Korea), have modeled the energy behavior of chaotic networks of superconducting elements (grains), separated by non-superconducting junctions, and found out some unexpected statistical properties at long (but still finite) time-scales. Their findings are published in Physical Review Letters.

A number of pioneer discoveries in statistical mechanics arose from questioning the applicability of core abstract concepts to physical systems and experimental devices. A notable example is the ergodic hypothesis, which assumes that over time a system visits almost every available microstate of the phase space, and that the infinite time average of any measurable quantity of the system matches with its phase space average. In short, this is the reason why ice melts in a pot of water. And it will do so faster, if the water is hotter. Scientists have been figuring ways to verify the validity or the failure of the ergodic hypothesis based on finite-time measurements.

Led by Sergej Flach, IBS researchers have developed an efficient method to extract precise estimates of the time-scales for ergodicity (coined ergodization time). This method has herewith been successfully applied to classical networks of superconducting grains weakly coupled by Josephson junctions.

The team found that in these networks the ergodization time-scale quickly becomes huge — although staying finite — upon increasing the system temperature. Instead, the time-scales necessary for chaoticity to develop remain practically unchanged with respect to the ergodization one. This is highly surprising, as ergodicity is inextricably knotted to chaos, and one may expect that their respective time-scales must be also strictly related. In terms of the ice, it means that the hotter the water gets, the longer it takes for the ice cubes to melt. IBS researchers numerically showed that higher temperature fluctuations strongly hinder their own meandering through the system. Thus, a slower and slower process drastically delays the ergodization of the system. The team has labeled this discovery: dynamical glass.

“Upon increasing the temperature, our studies unravelled the emergence of roaming chaotic spots among frozen and seemingly inert regions. The name dynamical glass follows from this very fragmentation, as the word dynamical hints the quick development of chaos, while the word glass points at phenomena that require an extremely long — but finite — time-scale to occur,” explains Carlo Danieli, a member of the team.

“The understanding of the mechanism and the necessary time scales for ergodicity and chaoticity to develop is at the very core of a huge number of recent advancement in condensed matter physics. We expect this to pave the way to assess several unsolved issues in many body systems, from anomalous heat conductivity to thermalization,” enthuses the team.

IBS researchers expect that the observed dynamical glass is a generic property of networks of superconducting grains via Josephson coupling irrespective of their space dimensionality. Furthermore, it is conjectured that a broad set of weakly non-integrable many-body systems turn into dynamical glasses as they approach specific temperature regimes. An equally charming and challenging task is the team’s aspiration to demonstrate the existence of a dynamical glass in quantum many-body systems, and establish its connection with many-body localization phenomena.

As stated by Flach “We expect these findings open a new venue to assess and understand phenomena related to many-body localization and glassiness in a large number of weakly non-integrable many-body systems.”

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Materials provided by Institute for Basic Science. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

‘Statistics anxiety’ is real, and new research suggests targeted ways to handle it

'Statistics anxiety' is real, and new research suggests targeted ways to handle it statistics, science, nevin manimala
'Statistics anxiety' is real, and new research suggests targeted ways to handle it statistics, science, nevin manimala

Have you ever been stressed out by the idea of doing math or statistics problems? You’re not alone.

Research shows that up to 80 percent of college students experience some form of statistics anxiety — and for students majoring in psychology, this anxiety often puts obstacles in their path to graduation.

“In my psychology statistics class, I once had a student take and fail the class two or three times,” said Michael Vitevitch, professor and chair of psychology at the University of Kansas. “He’d taken everything in the major, and this was the last class he needed. But he had high statistics anxiety. On one of the exams, he kind of froze and was staring at the paper. I took him into the hallway and said, ‘Relax, go splash some water on your face and come back when you’re OK.’ He did, but at the end of class, he was still staring at the paper. I asked him to come back to my office and finish it. That extra time was enough to get him through the test. Eventually, he passed the class and graduated that semester. It took him seven or eight years to complete his bachelor’s degree, and it was because of his problems in the statistics class. He went on to do occupational therapy and is really doing quite well, but it was a statistics class that was almost the barrier to having that future.”

Now, Vitevitch is the co-author of a new study that uses a questionnaire and an analytical technique called “network science” to determine precisely what factors contribute to this kind of statistics anxiety among psychology majors. The paper appears in the peer-reviewed journal Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology.

“We teach a statistics class in the psychology department and see many students put it off until senior year because they’re scared of this class,” Vitevitch said. “We’re interested in seeing if we could help students out of the statistics anxiety. There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to get them to overcome their fears. You need to find out what their fear is and focus on that. For people who don’t think statistics are useful, you need to convince them it’s not just useful for psychology but for other things as well. For people fearful of math and statistics in general, you need to help lower their anxiety so they can focus on learning. We hope this gives us some understanding of our own students and statistical anxiety in general.”

Vitevitch’s collaborators on the new paper are Cynthia Siew of the University of Warwick and Marsha McCartney of the National University of Singapore. The researchers said a grasp of statistics is vital to academic achievement and a well-rounded understanding of the field of psychology.

“It’s a way of communicating with numbers instead of words,” Vitevitch said. “A picture is worth a thousand words. Numbers can convey a lot of information as well. Being able to compute those numbers and communicate that massive amount of information quickly and concisely is important. It’s also very important knowing what those numbers mean and not skipping over them in a paper in a peer-reviewed journal article.”

The team used a questionnaire called the Statistical Anxiety Rating Scale (STARS) to determine aspects of learning statistics causing the most anxiety and categorize students into groups of high- and low-anxiety students. Questions probed students’ feelings about the value of statistics, self-concepts about math ability, fear of statistics teachers, interpretation anxiety, test and class anxiety, and the fear of asking for help.

“People would answer and rate questions like, ‘Do you think this is a useless topic? Do you think you’ll never use statistics in your life? Do you think statistics professors aren’t human because they’re more like robots?'” Vitevitch said. “Hopefully something like ‘my statistics teacher isn’t human’ is something we can focus on — and I’m saying that as a former statistics teacher who is human.”

With the questionnaire results from 228 students, the KU researcher and his colleagues mapped results visually using an emerging analysis technique called network science, which puts the most important contributors or symptoms of statistical anxiety at the center of a visual diagram of connecting nodes.

“Network science maps a collection of entities that are somehow related to another,” Vitevitch said. “Most people think of a social network where the dots would be you and your friends and lines would be drawn between you and people you know. You might know someone and they might know someone, but you might not know that third person. If you sketch these friends out, you get this spider-web looking thing. People have been doing this with various psychopathologies — looking at symptoms of depression, for example. With statistics anxiety, it’s not just that you have symptoms, it’s how long you have them and which ones are more important? That’s not always captured by a laundry list of symptoms. But it does seem to be captured by a network approach. The most important symptoms are in the middle of that spider web.”

Whereas previous studies on the topic used a scale to measure the levels of students’ statistics anxiety, the application of network science to responses from the STARS questionnaire increased the researchers’ understanding of the nature of the anxiety itself. For instance, network science analysis revealed high- and low-anxiety networks have different network structures.

For students high in statistics anxiety, the chief symptoms included high agreement with the statements “I can’t even understand seventh- and eighth-grade math; how can I possibly do statistics?” and “statistics teachers are so abstract they seem inhuman.” For low-anxiety students, main symptoms included fear of “asking a fellow student for help in understanding a printout” and anxiety “interpreting the meaning of a table in a journal article.”

Vitevitch said he hoped the results would be used by instructors in university psychology departments to develop effective interventions to ease students’ statistics anxiety.

“This paper is targeted at people who teach psychology,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll turn our science on ourselves and find a better way to make sure we’re getting our points across to our students and helping those who need a little help. It might not be a matter of teaching remedial math, but more like helping them overcome fears or discomfort they have with this topic.”

New mathematical model can help save endangered species

New mathematical model can help save endangered species statistics, science, nevin manimala
New mathematical model can help save endangered species statistics, science, nevin manimala

What does the blue whale have in common with the Bengal tiger and the green turtle? They share the risk of extinction and are classified as endangered species. There are multiple reasons for species to die out, and climate changes is among the main reasons.

The risk of extinction varies from species to species depending on how individuals in its populations reproduce and how long each animal survives. Understanding the dynamics of survival and reproduction can support management actions to improve a specie’s chances of surviving.

Mathematical and statistical models have become powerful tools to help explain these dynamics. However, the quality of the information we use to construct such models is crucial to improve our chances of accurately predicting the fate of populations in nature.

“A model that over-simplifies survival and reproduction can give the illusion that a population is thriving when in reality it will go extinct.,” says associate professor Fernando Colchero, author of new paper published in Ecology Letters.

Colchero’s research focuses on mathematically recreating the population dynamics by better understanding the species’s demography. He works on constructing and exploring stochastic population models that predict how a certain population (for example an endangered species) will change over time.

These models include mathematical factors to describe how the species’ environment, survival rates and reproduction determine to the population’s size and growth. For practical reasons some assumptions are necessary.

Two commonly accepted assumptions are that survival and reproduction are constant with age, and that high survival in the species goes hand in hand with reproduction across all age groups within a species. Colchero challenged these assumptions by accounting for age-specific survival and reproduction, and for trade-offs between survival and reproduction. This is, that sometimes conditions that favor survival will be unfavorable for reproduction, and vice versa.

For his work Colchero used statistics, mathematical derivations, and computer simulations with data from wild populations of 24 species of vertebrates. The outcome was a significantly improved model that had more accurate predictions for a species’ population growth.

Despite the technical nature of Fernando’s work, this type of model can have very practical implications as they provide qualified explanations for the underlying reasons for the extinction. This can be used to take management actions and may help prevent extinction of endangered species.

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Materials provided by University of Southern Denmark. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

New building block in quantum computing demonstrated

New building block in quantum computing demonstrated statistics, science, nevin manimala
New building block in quantum computing demonstrated statistics, science, nevin manimala

Researchers with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated a new level of control over photons encoded with quantum information. Their research was published in Optica.

Joseph Lukens, Brian Williams, Nicholas Peters, and Pavel Lougovski, research scientists with ORNL’s Quantum Information Science Group, performed distinct, independent operations simultaneously on two qubits encoded on photons of different frequencies, a key capability in linear optical quantum computing. Qubits are the smallest unit of quantum information.

Quantum scientists working with frequency-encoded qubits have been able to perform a single operation on two qubits in parallel, but that falls short for quantum computing.

“To realize universal quantum computing, you need to be able to do different operations on different qubits at the same time, and that’s what we’ve done here,” Lougovski said.

According to Lougovski, the team’s experimental system — two entangled photons contained in a single strand of fiber-optic cable — is the “smallest quantum computer you can imagine. This paper marks the first demonstration of our frequency-based approach to universal quantum computing.”

“A lot of researchers are talking about quantum information processing with photons, and even using frequency,” said Lukens. “But no one had thought about sending multiple photons through the same fiber-optic strand, in the same space, and operating on them differently.”

The team’s quantum frequency processor allowed them to manipulate the frequency of photons to bring about superposition, a state that enables quantum operations and computing.

Unlike data bits encoded for classical computing, superposed qubits encoded in a photon’s frequency have a value of 0 and 1, rather than 0 or 1. This capability allows quantum computers to concurrently perform operations on larger datasets than today’s supercomputers.

Using their processor, the researchers demonstrated 97 percent interference visibility — a measure of how alike two photons are — compared with the 70 percent visibility rate returned in similar research. Their result indicated that the photons’ quantum states were virtually identical.

The researchers also applied a statistical method associated with machine learning to prove that the operations were done with very high fidelity and in a completely controlled fashion.

“We were able to extract more information about the quantum state of our experimental system using Bayesian inference than if we had used more common statistical methods,” Williams said.

“This work represents the first time our team’s process has returned an actual quantum outcome.”

Williams pointed out that their experimental setup provides stability and control. “When the photons are taking different paths in the equipment, they experience different phase changes, and that leads to instability,” he said. “When they are traveling through the same device, in this case, the fiber-optic strand, you have better control.”

Stability and control enable quantum operations that preserve information, reduce information processing time, and improve energy efficiency. The researchers compared their ongoing projects, begun in 2016, to building blocks that will link together to make large-scale quantum computing possible.

“There are steps you have to take before you take the next, more complicated step,” Peters said. “Our previous projects focused on developing fundamental capabilities and enable us to now work in the fully quantum domain with fully quantum input states.”

Lukens said the team’s results show that “we can control qubits’ quantum states, change their correlations, and modify them using standard telecommunications technology in ways that are applicable to advancing quantum computing.”

Once the building blocks of quantum computers are all in place, he added, “we can start connecting quantum devices to build the quantum internet, which is the next, exciting step.”

Much the way that information is processed differently from supercomputer to supercomputer, reflecting different developers and workflow priorities, quantum devices will function using different frequencies. This will make it challenging to connect them so they can work together the way today’s computers interact on the internet.

This work is an extension of the team’s previous demonstrations of quantum information processing capabilities on standard telecommunications technology. Furthermore, they said, leveraging existing fiber-optic network infrastructure for quantum computing is practical: billions of dollars have been invested, and quantum information processing represents a novel use.

The researchers said this “full circle” aspect of their work is highly satisfying. “We started our research together wanting to explore the use of standard telecommunications technology for quantum information processing, and we have found out that we can go back to the classical domain and improve it,” Lukens said.

Lukens, Williams, Peters, and Lougovski collaborated with Purdue University graduate student Hsuan-Hao Lu and his advisor Andrew Weiner. The research is supported by ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.

Artificial intelligence for studying the ancient human populations of Patagonia

Artificial intelligence for studying the ancient human populations of Patagonia statistics, science, nevin manimala
Artificial intelligence for studying the ancient human populations of Patagonia statistics, science, nevin manimala

Argentine and Spanish researchers have used statistical techniques of automatic learning to analyze mobility patterns and technology of the hunter-gatherer groups that inhabited the Southern Cone of America, from the time they arrived about 12,000 years ago until the end of the 19th century. Big data from archaeological sites located in the extreme south of Patagonia have been used for this study.

The presence of humans on the American continent dates back to at least 14,500 years ago, according to datings made at archaeological sites such as Monte Verde, in Chile’s Los Lagos Region. But the first settlers continued moving towards the southernmost confines of America.

Now, researchers from Argentina’s National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) and two Spanish institutions (the Spanish National Research Council and the University of Burgos) have analyzed the relationships between mobility and technology developed by those societies that originated in the far south of Patagonia.

The study, published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, is based on an extensive database of all available archaeological evidence of human presence in this region, from the time the first groups arrived in the early Holocene (12,000 years ago) until the end of the 19th century.

This was followed by the application of machine learning techniques, a statistical system that allows the computer to learn from many data (in this case, big data from characteristic technological elements of the sites) in order to carry out classifications and predictions.

“It is by means of automatic classification algorithms that we have identified two technological packages or ‘landscapes’: one that characterizes pedestrian hunter-gatherer groups (with their own stone and bone tools) and the other characterizing those that had nautical technology, such as canoes, harpoons and mollusc shells used to make beads,” explains Ivan Briz i Godino, an archaeologist of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) of Argentina and co-author of the work.

“In future excavations, when sets of technological elements such as those we have detected appear, we’ll be able to directly deduce the type of mobility of the group or the connections with other communities,” adds Briz.

The results of the study have also made it possible to obtain maps with the settlements of the two communities, and this, in turn, has made it possible to locate large regions in which they interacted and shared their technological knowledge. In the case of groups with nautical technology, it has been confirmed that they arrived at around the beginning of the Mid-Holocene (some 6,000 years ago) from the channels and islands of the South Pacific, moving along the coast of what is now Chile.

“Traditional archaeology identifies sites, societies and their possible contacts on the basis of specific elements selected by specialists (such as designs of weapon tips or decorative elements), but here we show that it is more interesting to analyse sets of technological elements as a whole, using artificial intelligence techniques that allow us to work with large data volumes and without subjective prejudices,” concludes Briz.

Texans vs. Titans: Preview, prediction, statistics to know for ‘Monday Night Football’

Texans vs. Titans: Preview, prediction, statistics to know for 'Monday Night Football' statistics, nevin manimala
Texans vs. Titans: Preview, prediction, statistics to know for 'Monday Night Football' statistics, nevin manimala

This week’s edition of ‘Monday Night Football’ features two of the stranger and more inconsistent teams in the league. 

The 7-3 Texans have a record that does not match their point differential, which is perhaps unsurprising for a team that started 0-3 before reeling off seven-straight wins, with only two of them coming by more than one score. Houston was practically gifted victories by the Colts and Cowboys to get the streak started, then looked somewhat better against the Bills, Jaguars, and Dolphins before barely squeaking past the Broncos and Washington with two-point victories. 

The Texans’ opponents on Monday, the Titans, have been the most inconsistent team in football, and it is fitting that their record stands at 5-5. Tennessee lost a fairly terrible season-opening game to the Dolphins, then won three-straight games (including a then-very-impressive win over the defending champion Eagles), lost three straight (including one to the Bills), decisively beat both the Cowboys and Patriots, and then lost to the Colts in a fashion that was, frankly, kind of embarrassing. Like I said: inconsistent. 

Which version of each of these teams will show up on Monday night (8:15 p.m., ESPN)? The answer to that question could eventually play a major role in deciding who wins the AFC South. Read on to find out what you should be looking out for.

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When the Texans have the ball

After losing Will Fuller for the season to a torn ACL, the Texans made a bold move to bring in former Broncos wideout Demaryius Thomas. Thomas hadn’t been quite as good this season in Denver as he had been in the past, but Houston badly needed another outside wideout to pair with DeAndre Hopkins, and the cost was not prohibitive, so the move was made. 

But after getting Thomas involved early and often in his first game with the team, the Texans have seemingly forgotten he exists. Thomas was the intended target on Deshaun Watson’s first two passes of his first game with Houston, catching them both for 49 yards. He caught another pass for 12 yards later in the first quarter … and he has not been targeted since. Watson threw almost exclusively to Hopkins for the remainder of the game against Denver (12 of his 24 pass attempts were directed at Hopkins) and largely stuck to targeting Hopkins and slot man Keke Coutee (15 of 24 passes) in the next game against Washington. 

It’s perhaps not surprising that Thomas hasn’t yet been fully integrated into the offense, as it typically takes receivers a while to adjust to new surroundings. But considering the outside is where you want to attack this Titans defense, Monday might be a good time to get him more involved. Malcolm Butler, in particular, is who you want to go after, as the high-priced corner has allowed a 131.6 passer rating on throws in his direction this season, which ranks 177th out of 185 defenders who have been targeted in coverage 20-plus times, according to Sports Info Solutions. Second-year man Adoree’ Jackson has been a bit tougher to throw on, while slot corner Logan Ryan has done well on the inside as well. The Texans will surely want to get Hopkins the ball whenever he’s matched up with Butler, but Watson should not hesitate to try some things with Thomas down the field if he gets that matchup, either. 

The key, as always for the Texans, will be keeping Watson well protected. He’s been sacked on 9.6 percent of his drop backs this season, one of the highest rates in the league. He’s also been under pressure on a ridiculous 40.8 percent of his pass attempts, again one of the NFL‘s highest marks. His performance on those throws unsurprisingly pales in comparison to those when he’s been unharassed in the pocket. 

Pressure? No Yes
Comp 130 71
Att 183 126
Comp % 71.0% 56.3%
Yds 1511 1086
YPA 8.26 8.62
TD 12 6
TD % 6.56% 4.76%
INT 4 5
INT % 2.19% 3.97%
QB Rating 108.4 84.3

Tennessee ranks toward the bottom portion of the league in sacks, adjusted sack rate, and total pressures, but the Titans did get Watson to the ground four times during the teams’ first meeting back in Week 2. And there are individual rushers like Jurrell Casey, Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, and Harold Landry that you definitely have to worry about when facing this team — especially when your offensive line is as penetrable as that of the Texans. (Morgan has an illness and it’s unknown whether or not he will play on Monday.)

A pretty good way to keep the rushers off balance would be to run the ball and use Watson’s ability to take off himself to keep the edge defenders at bay, but the Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue-led Texans running game has been fairly muted for much of the season. The Texans rank 26th in yards per rush, 24th in adjusted line yards, 26th in conversion rate on third or fourth down with two or fewer yards to go, and 21st in the percentage of runs stopped in the backfield. Their running game is just not very good, even though they run a lot. (Third-most attempts in the league.) Their overall rush offense DVOA of 30th is, well, accurate. They did rack up 148 yards on the ground against Tennessee back in Week 2, but the Titans have been far better against the run in recent weeks: their last four opponents totaled just 261 yards on the ground combined. 

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When the Titans have the ball

The Titans’ offense has likely been the most inconsistent in the entire NFL. Tennessee has been held to fewer than 20 points five times, but has managed to finish 2-3 in those games. They’ve exceeded 20 points five times, but finished just 3-2 in those contests. They’ve been shut out by the Ravens and hung 34 points on the Patriots. There is seemingly no correlated between how their offense looks one week and how it looks the next, as they followed up a 26-point outing against the Eagles by scoring 31 combined over the next three games and responded to scoring 62 combined against the Cowboys and Patriots by hanging just 10 on the Colts. 

Some of that inconsistency is due to the injuries Marcus Mariota has suffered at inopportune times. He left the Week 1 game with an injury, sat out Week 2, and was knocked out of the loss to the Colts early as well. Blaine Gabbert has been extremely Gabbert-ish when called upon, but it’s not as though Mariota has been all that much better when he’s been out there. The fourth-year pro has a 67.6 percent completion rate, but he’s averaging 7.3 yards per attempt in a league where the average is now 7.6, he’s thrown only seven touchdowns and six interceptions in nine appearances, and his 88.2 passer rating is considerably below average as well. Tennessee’s QB has been cleared for the game, but he’s also been dealing with a stinger throughout the week and it’s entirely possible he doesn’t totally look like his best self out there on Monday. 

Like Watson, Mariota has also been sacked a ton, getting taken to the ground on 11.8 percent of his drop backs. Even excluding the 11-sack game against the Ravens, he’s been dropped 8.2 percent of the time he’s taken a drop back. That’s not great. Considering the Texans employ J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus, he may have some trouble remaining upright in the pocket on Monday evening. Watt ranks third in the NFL in pressures behind only Aaron Donald and Dee Ford, per Sports Info Solutions, while Clowney is just outside the top 25 despite missing a game and Mercilus is in the top 60. The Titans have a strong offensive line but it is weakest, pass-protection-wise, on the interior, and the Texans love to move their guys around and get them better matchups. If they can unleash Watt or Clowney between the guards and center, they’ll do so, and that could spell trouble for Mariota. 

As inconsistent as Houston’s running game has been, the Titans’ has been perhaps even more so. Derrick Henry was expected to be the lead rusher coming into the season but he has struggled badly with a 3.7 yards per carry average and has shown little ability to even be the kind of short-yardage bruiser his size suggests he easily could be. He’s been overtaken in the rotation by Dion Lewis almost entirely, but Lewis is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry himself, and has largely shown himself to be the better back because he’s more capable as a receiver and, despite his diminutive stature (Lewis is 5-8, 195 pounds, while Henry is 6-3, 247 pounds), a far more dependable pass-protector. 

It is somewhat difficult to see this Tennessee offense getting fully untracked against the Texans, especially with Mariota playing injured, tight end Delanie Walker out for the season, and slot receiver Taywan Taylor still out with a foot injury. Mariota has been subpar even when healthy this season, and he’s basically limited to Corey Davis and a bunch of That Guys in the passing game right now.  Houston’s run defense is even better than its pass unit, and the Titans can’t run anyway. This seems like it could be a long night for them. 

Prediction: Texans 20, Titans 13

Importance of a Sustainable Blue Economy: Statistics and facts

Importance of a Sustainable Blue Economy: Statistics and facts statistics, nevin manimala
Importance of a Sustainable Blue Economy: Statistics and facts statistics, nevin manimala

The Blue Economy is an economic arena that depends on the benefits and values realized from the coastal and marine environment.

Experts define the ‘Sustainable Blue Economy’ as a marine-based economy that provides social and economic benefits for current and future generations, restores, protects and maintains the diversity, productivity and resilience of marine ecosystems, and is based on clean technologies, renewable energy, and circular material flows.

The Blue Economy is at the heart of a historic conference taking place in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi between November 26 – 28, 2018.

The ocean is fundamental to life on earth covering nearly three quarters of our planet. It produces more than half the oxygen that we breathe. Yet our oceans are moving deeper into ecological crisis just at the moment when we need them more than ever.

So what are the figures and direct benefits around this economy, World Wildlife Fund, WWF, helps us with some answers.

Globally, the Blue Economy has an asset base of over $24 trillion. It is said to generate at least $2.5 trillion each year from the combination of fishing and aquaculture, shipping, tourism, and other activities.

Coastal tourism alone is one of the fastest-growing marine based economic activity worldwide, estimated at £6bn to coral reef nations alone.

Water bodies such as the oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, marshes, and bays collectively hosts about 2.2 million plants species, diverse wildlife and other life-forms that represents over 50% of life on earth!

These are the resources from where we derive food, medicines and livelihoods that drive socio-economic development globally.

The total “ocean asset base” of the Western Indian Ocean region including Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and Tanzania) is at least USD333.8 billion.

The annual “Gross Marine Product – GMP” of the Western Indian Ocean region ( – equivalent to a country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) – is at least USD20.8 billion.

In his Special Call to Participate, Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta said: “It is my conviction that the Blue Economy presents alternatives that can augment the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“In this regard, the conference is expected to devote considerable attention to how oceans, seas, lakes and even rivers, can accelerate our collective quest for sustainable economic growth.”

Kenya has a share of about 2.4 Billion USD of this Western Indian Ocean economy. With Coastal Tourism taking the largest share of about $1.5 billion annually. Compared to the annual GDP of about $60 billion for the country, this is only a contribution of four percent to the GDP.

Kenya lies in the lucrative tuna belt. It is estimated that Kenya has 150,000 – 300, 000 Metric tonnes of fish in her expansive 200, 000 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

More efforts should be directed in investing in sustainable management and development of offshore tuna resources as part of the Kenya Governments’ blue economy agenda.

“The ocean is fundamental to life on earth covering nearly three quarters of our planet. It produces more than half the oxygen that we breathe.

“Yet our oceans are moving deeper into ecological crisis just at the moment when we need them more than ever,” Frederick Kwame, Regional Director WWF Africa.

Final statistics from Kentucky’s 56-10 Governor’s Cup win over Louisville

Final statistics from Kentucky's 56-10 Governor's Cup win over Louisville statistics, nevin manimala
Final statistics from Kentucky's 56-10 Governor's Cup win over Louisville statistics, nevin manimala

No. 15 Kentucky defeated Louisville 56-10 in a non-conference college football game at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville on Saturday night.

The Wildcats finished the regular season 9-3 overall and 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference and now await their bowl assignment.

Louisville finished its season 2-10 overall and 0-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Click here to view a complete statistics report from Saturday’s game vs. Louisville.

Click here to view the SEC standings.

Click here to view Kentucky’s 2018 results.


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Small Business Saturday tips and statistics

Small Business Saturday tips and statistics statistics, nevin manimala
Small Business Saturday tips and statistics statistics, nevin manimala

Small Business Saturday tips and statistics

Small Business Saturday began on November 27, 2010 and was launched by American Express, a BBB Accredited Business.

It’s purpose, to encourage consumers to prioritize small and local businesses during the holiday shopping season.

#SmallBusinessSaturday is used to highlight local small businesses and many local businesses join in the shopping spirit too by using the hashtag.

Here are some tips and statistic from the Better Business Bureau about the holiday:


  • Stay local. Check the Small Business Saturday website for a list of shops in your area that are participating.
  • Do your research. Check out businesses ahead of time and find out what past customers have to say at Find out what stores and businesses in your area are participating in Small Business Saturday by going to
  • Friends and family. Supporting local businesses can be turned in to a great event by sharing the experience with friends and family. Many communities will hold events on Saturday, November 24 in honor of Small Business Saturday. To see a list of 2018’s Neighborhood Champions, visit
  • Sign-up for email alerts. Many stores have Small Business Saturday specials just for people who have signed up to receive their emails.
  • Check social media. Many small businesses will advertise their SBS sales via social media, so be sure to check your favorite small businesses on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Use #ShopSmall to search for information or to share plans with your friends.
  • Ask for gift receipts and save warranty information. A gift receipt can be tucked into a gift item or card so that the recipient can return or exchange a gift if it’s not just right. Be sure to pass along any information about returns, exchanges, repairs, and warranties to the person who will use the item.


  • In 2010, in an effort to support local businesses and communities, American Express launched Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage more customers to shop at small businesses during the holiday season.
  • In 2011, businesses across the nation began promoting Small Business Saturday and the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to support Small Business Saturday.
  • In 2012, local and national officials began promoting Small Business Saturday in their local communities.
  • In 2013, over 1,400 people and organizations show their support for Small Business Saturday by signing up to be Neighborhood Champions. In 2017, there were 7,200 Neighborhood Champions supporting Small Business Saturday across all 50 states.
  • In 2017, 108 million consumers reported shopping or dining at a locally-owned business on Small Business Saturday.
  • According to American Express, in 2017, 90% of consumers surveyed about Small Business Saturday said the event had a positive impact on their local community.

If your small business would like more information about Small Business Saturday click here.

Government accused of massaging immigration statistics in run up to Brexit vote

Government accused of massaging immigration statistics in run up to Brexit vote statistics, nevin manimala

The Government has been accused of a cynical attempt to massage immigration statistics after it emerged Theresa May will announce a curb on low-skilled foreign working arriving in Britain.

Leaked Cabinet papers revealed how the Home Office has drawn up plan to issue low-skilled migrants with 11-month visas “with restricted entitlements and rights” while they live in the UK.

The move was seen as an attempt by the Prime Minister to win support among Eurosceptic Tory MPs in the run up to the Brexit vote.

But, immigration experts and campaigners yesterday warned that the proposals would mean that those arriving under the 11-month visa would not be counted as immigrants.

Government accused of massaging immigration statistics in run up to Brexit vote statistics, nevin manimala

Leaked Cabinet papers reveal Home Office plans for a new 11-month low-skilled migrant visa Credit: Kirsty O’Connor /PA

Jonathan Portes, professor of economics and economics and public policy at King’s College, London, said: “In theory these people coming into the UK under this visa would not be immigrants and would not be counted as immigrants.

“I would call it a pretty transparent attempt to massage the immigration figures.”

Immigration statistics are based on the International Passenger Survey in which up to 800,000 people arriving and leaving the UK each year are asked a series of questions, including how long they intend to stay or have stayed in the country. The results are used by a number of Government departments and contribute to the official statistics on the number of immigrants coming to the UK.

While anyone remaining longer than 12 months is deemed an immigrant, someone staying 11-months or fewer would be classes as staying a “short term” and so not ratchet up the official immigration figures.

“If you’re coming to the country for more than one year then you count as a migrant,” Professor Portes continued. “But, if you say you’re on an 11-month visa then you are not recorded as an immigrant.”

Sunder Katwala, the director of British Future, a think-tank specialising in integration and migration issues, said the Government’s decision to cap migration for low-skilled workers at 11-months raised questions about the motives, particularly because trust surrounding immigration is currently so “low”.

In a tweet he asked: “Was the main reason that you chose 11 months visas, not 12, because 12 months counts in immigration stats, while 11 months is immigration that you don’t count?

“The real answer is yes!”

It is understood the proposals will be part of the Government’s long awaited migration White Paper due to be unveiled in the week beginning December 3.

It is anticipated that Mrs May will then try to frame the Brexit debate around migration, claiming her EU deal fulfils the referendum pledge of taking back control of UK borders.

It is thought that the proposed 11-month visa for low-skilled workers would help to ensure that a post-Brexit Britain would be able to maintain and control a workforce in a variety of sectors that rely on short-term contract employees.