Sunday, March 15, 2020
Reasons for Humanity to Go Back to the Moon It has beenÃ decades since the first astronauts walked on the lunar surface. Since then, nobody has set foot on our nearest neighbor in space. Sure, a fleet of probes have headed to the Moon, and they have supplied a lot of information about conditions there.Ã Is it time to send people to the Moon? The answer coming from the space community is a qualified yes. What that means is, there are missions on the planning boards, but also many questions about what people will do to get there and what theyll do once they set foot on the dusty surface. What Are the Obstacles? The last time people landed on the Moon was in 1972. Since then, a variety of political and economic reasons have kept space agencies from continuing those bold steps. However, the big issues are money, safety, and justifications. The most obvious reason that lunar missions arent happening as quickly as people would like is their cost. NASA spent billions of dollars during the 1960s and early 70s developing the Apollo missions. These happened at the height of the Cold War when the U.S. and the former Soviet Union were at odds politically but were not actively fighting each other in land wars. The expenses of trips to the Moon were tolerated by American people and Soviet citizens for the sake of patriotism and staying ahead of each other. Although there are many good reasons to go back to the Moon, its tough to get a political consensus on spending taxpayer money to do it. Safety Is Important The second reason hampering lunar exploration is the sheer danger of such an enterprise. Faced with the immense challenges that plagued NASA during the 1950s and 60s, it is no small wonder that anyone ever made it to the Moon. Several astronauts lost their lives during the Apollo program, and many technological setbacks took place along the way. However, long-term missions aboard the International Space Station show that humans canÃ live and work in space, and new developments in space launch and transport capabilities are promising safer ways to get to the Moon. Why Go? The third reason for a lack of lunar missions is that there needs to be a clear mission and goals.Ã While interesting and scientifically important experiments can always be done, people are also interested in return on investment. Thats particularly true for companies and institutions interested in making money from lunar mining, science research, and tourism. Its easier to send robot probes to do science, although its better to send people. With human missions come higher expenses in terms of life support and safety. With the advances of robotic space probes, a great amount of data can be gathered at a much lower cost and without endangering human life. The big-picture questions, like how did the solar system form, require much longer and more extensive trips than just a couple days on the Moon. Things Are Changing The good news is that attitudes toward lunar trips can and do change, and its likely that a human mission to the Moon will happen within a decade or less. Current NASA mission scenarios include trips to the lunar surface and also to an asteroid, although the asteroid trip may be of more interest to mining companies.Ã Traveling to the Moon will still be expensive. However, NASA mission planners feel that the benefits outweigh the cost. Even more important, the government foresees a good return on investment. Thats actually a very good argument. The Apollo missions required a significant initial investment. However, technology- weather satellite systems, global positioning systems (GPS), and advanced communication devices, among other advancements- created to support the lunar missions and subsequent planetary science missions are now in everyday use on Earth. New technologies aimed specifically at future lunar missions would also find their way into the worlds economies, spurring a good return on investment Expanding Lunar Interest Other countries are looking quite seriously at sending lunar missions, most specifically China and Japan.Ã The Chinese have been very clear about their intentions, and have good capability to carry out a long-term lunar mission. Their activities may well spur American and European agencies into a mini race to also build lunar bases. Lunar orbiting laboratories may make an excellent next step, no matter who builds and sends them.Ã The technology available now, and that to be developed during any concentrated missions to the Moon, would allow scientists to do much more detailed (and longer) studies of the Moons surface and sub-surface systems. Scientists would get the opportunity to answer some of the big questions about how our solar system was formed, or the details about how Moon was created and its geology. Lunar exploration would stimulate new avenues of study. People also expect that lunar tourism would be another way to maximize exploration.Ã Missions to Mars are alsoÃ hot news these days. Some scenarios see humans heading to the Red Planet within a few years, while others foresee Mars missions by the 2030s. Returning to the Moon is an important step in Mars mission planning. The hope is that people could spend time on the Moon to learn how to live in a forbidding environment. If something went wrong, rescue would be only a few days away, rather than months.Ã Finally, there are valuable resources on the Moon that can be used for other space missions. Liquid oxygen is a major component of the propellant needed for current space travel. NASA believes that this resource can be easily extracted from the Moon and stored at deposit sites for use by other missions - particularly by sending astronauts to Mars. Many other minerals exist, and even some water stores,Ã that can be mined as well. The Verdict Humans have always made an effort to understand the universe, and going to the Moon does seem to be the next logical step for many reasons. It will be interesting to see who starts up the next race to the Moon. Edited and revised by Carolyn Collins Petersen
Friday, February 28, 2020
Issues in corporate finance - Assignment Example Most important, companies have to understand the value of trading-off aspects of capital because such practise results to better performance. The trade-off theory of capital structure maintains the positive relationship between earnings and leverage. Empirical evidences, however, argue that such observation is fallible (Sarkar and Zapatero, 2003). Despite the contradicting outcomes, trade-off has considered as valuable mechanism in gauging corporate revenues. In most instances, the trade-off theory has consistently predicted information related to debt structure. The theory suggests that weak firms are more inclined to finance exclusively with bank debts. Apparently, weak firms tend to ignore other debt sources in particular public debts. Another important idea posited by the theory is that the optimal debt structure seen among strong firms pertains to combinations of bank and market debt. Basically, strong firms have become adept in successfully managing both bank and market debts. It has to be noted that the nature of both debts are differently perceived. Strong firms have the capacity to acquire different forms of debt instruments because of their financial scope. In uncertain markets, the strategy of using varied debt mechanisms allow strong firms to be more flexible in handling risks. According to Brealey and Meyers (2000), the trade-off theory pu... Furthermore, critics claim that the theory is ill-equipped to justify relevant practises. The concept developed by Modigliani and Miller (1958) revolves on the market imperfections that eventually affect capital structures. Indeed, market imperfections occur in several forms. The most prominent observed among firms include taxes, market distresses, and agency costs. For most firms, the challenge is to create an optimal capital structure when these market imperfections emerge. The theory assumes that after a certain firm establishes the optimal combination of financial resources all succeeding financing is raised in the same proportion of debt and equity financing. This, however, is expected to vary in the method of reporting and practising. Among publicly trading companies, Houston and James (1996) observed that there is an insignificant use of market debt. The percentage of non-market debt among listed companies is greater in value as evident in the majority of firms preferring non-market debt. In addition, the listed firms that use market debts show that non-market debts still occupy the most shares on the overall debt. Johnson (1997) pointed out that the long-term debt structure suggests better use of market debts. Among the users of market debt, more than half of the total long-term debt is considered as market issued. Trade-off has usually been used to determine financing decisions. Traditionally, firms either maintain a target capital structure or follow the hierarchy of financing. Pinegar and Wilbritch (1989) conducted a survey on firms belonging to the Fortune 500 on their financing preference. Based on the results, majority of the firms listed in Fortune 500 have been using target capital structure to
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Business Report - Essay Example The organization, through the new initiative, has a lot of potential and could very well be on its way to cashing in on the demand of the market and could ideally lead its industry in no time. Unfortunately, Tedallal is still experiencing difficulty primarily because its strategy is not aligned with the organizational objectives. This issue has been identified using different assessment models such as Hayes & Weelright's four-stage model, service positioning matrix (SPM), as well as concepts such as ServQual, the service profit chain, service blueprinting and the lean service concept. These frameworks revealed that there are several mismatches and incoherent elements in TedallalÃ¢â¬â¢s overall business approach that compromise several features of its new operational model. This came about through several factors, including a comprehensive offering of customer values that taxed the organizational capability and resources; half-baked strategy that failed to address the achievement an d maintenance of quality in products and services; and, the failure to meet market demands. These variables, collectively, put the company in a more dangerous ground, that when left unaddressed could ultimately lead the organization to its eventual demise. The key issues identified in this report that are needed to be addressed are as follows: 1. Although the organization adopts the four essential competitive priorities in its strategy as a service company, it fails to implement them each in their own respective areas as well as in a collective model that could coherently achieve the organizational objectives; 2. Tedallal lacks the organizational culture that could enable the company to attain its objective of putting emphasis on people and service. This aspect is particularly important, since TedallalÃ¢â¬â¢s new strategy requires a high degree of organizational change that can only be achieved by changing people, perspectives and attitudes. 3. The strategy to utilize low-cost res ources and failure to invest on its people took its toll on the organization's ability to meet the demands and expectations of the customers, respond to the changes and requirements of the complex products and values it started to offer after the strategy overhaul. As this report would establish, there is a need for restraint and sober strategy building in regards to how competitive advantage is to be approached and achieved. What this means is that decision-makers within the company should decide which aspect they want to focus on, then perfect it, excel on it, and gradually build a lasting and memorable relationship with its customers. This should lead Tedellal to modify its current strategy from the existing knee-jerk or reactive approach into a long-term, coherent and unique model tailored according to its core objectives, organizational strengths and capabilities. This report has outlined several models that could guide Tedallal in effectively aligning strategy and objectives, in every step and in every aspect Ã¢â¬â from the evaluation up to the measurement of strategy according to the corporate objectives. These information are contained in a logically structured discourse of three important aspects of the organization and its strategy: Operations strategy, activity and performance; Service delivery
Friday, January 31, 2020
Curriculum Assessments Ã¢â¬â Paper Two Essay Curriculum assessments have a variety of purposes depending upon the aim. Overall they have been positive experiences for me throughout my education in their attempt to construct an anonymous forum for feedback in the name of improving the curriculum. They can also prove to be troublesome for particular types of professors and for students who believe they are simply a formality and that they are not actually taken into consideration. In my opinion, this can be a troublesome obstacle in the path of achieving greater transparency between professor performance ratings and the faculty boards that are responsible for the career paths of these professors. An example of a positive experience using curriculum assessments was my freshman year of college. I had an astronomy professor that was very aloof and seemingly arrogant in his lectures, but in his office hours was personable and humorous. He handed out the assessment after our midterm in the hope of improving the course for the second half. He received overwhelming feedback in the same spirit as mine and he made a conscious effort to become more compassionate during his lectures. Needless to say the second half of the semester was much more enjoyable, hopefully for him as well. On the other hand, I had a negative experience with a tenured sociology professor. She had been at the university for over 35 years and she believed since she had been there for so long she would not benefit from student assessments. We took the assessment after midterms and when she reported the results back to the students, she was visibly upset. She took the feedback as a personal attack instead of constructive criticism. The rest of the semester seemed forced and unnatural as she grudgingly held to her tactics. I believe the main purpose of the assessment is to provide students with an anonymous forum to voice their opinion about the professor and the course without fear of repercussion. In addition, assessments can be used by the faculty board to determine which professors deserve a raise, or consideration for tenure. That being said, they have to be taken seriously, by the students, the professors, and the faculty boards. If they are discarded as simple formalities instead of given thoughtful interpretation and implementation, then they become a wasteful bureaucratic process. In this regard, assessments can have a great value as long as they are completed in good faith and are not personal attacks against a professor or a course. They can provide specific examples and criteria on which to judge the success of not only a professor, but the course in general. Furthermore, assessments can be used across the board to map overall trends of the courses and the professors that teach them. Some institutions favor great professors while others are more focused on high profile research projects or on having their professors be powerful publishing presences. If the goal of the institution is on the students themselves, then student assessments are vital parts of determining which professors best suit this aim. I think assessments are an overall positive approach to improving curriculum. They have to remain anonymous in order to maintain their integrity and honesty. Professors need to learn from them in the manner they are intended, that is that they are implemented with the greater good in mind; for the students, for the professors, and for the institutions of guiding principle.
Thursday, January 23, 2020
When Luke Skywalker's hand was sliced off by Darth Vader in the trilogy Star Wars, he received a new prosthetic hand which was fully functional in use and appearance.Today, this science fiction is becoming reality as an exciting new technology called Biomechatronics is promising revolutionary advances in the field of prosthetics. As the name implies, biomechatronics merges man with machine. It is an interdisciplinary field including biology, neuroscience and physics. Biomechatronic scientists create devices that interact with human muscle, bone and the nervous systems with the goal of "assisting or enhancing human motor control that can be lost or impaired by trauma, disease, or birth defects." Today there is a great need in advances in the field of prosthetics. This demand is being generated in large measure by wounded veterans needing prosthetics. While new advances in body armor is saving lives, it is also leading to many limb injuries in soldiers who would not have usually survived. In the first two years of the Iraq war, over 200 soldiers lost limbs. While health care is still servicing wooden hands designed in the World War I era, many patients are unsatisfied with the unnatural movements, aesthetics, weight and lack of motion in these outdated prosthetics. Colonel Geoffrey Ling, a program manager for the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) who is overseeing a project to improve prosthetics says, "The best hand prosthetic one can get is a hook, right out of Peter Pan. It's heavy, it's clumsy and cosmetically, it's just horrid." That is why DARPA along with 70 million dollars to John Hopkin's Applied Physics Laboratory are spearheading the work. The projects goals are lofty: APL hopes to design an arm ... ...zine. (2007) On-line. http://www.baltimoremag.com Freudenrich, Craig Ph.D.. How Biomechatronics works. (2007) On-line. http://www.howstuffworks.com/biomechatronics.htm Su, Y. Fisher, M.H. Wolczowski, A. Bell, G.D. Burn, D. Gao, R. Basics of MRI-I. 19 May 2005 'Towards an EMG Controlled Prosthetic Hand Using a 3D Electromagnetic Positioning System' Instrument and Measurement vol. 1, p. 261-266. Guinnessy, Paul. Sept 2006. 'DARPA joins industry, academia to build better prosthetic arms' Physics Today p. 24-25. Unknown author. (2007) On-line. Nerve cells. http://www.cidpusa.org/physiology.htm Herr, Hugh Ph. D. White House/VA Conference / Emerging Technologies in Support of the New Freedom Initiative: Promoting Opportunities for People with Disabilities October 13-14, 2004. (2007) On-line. http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/whc2004/day1/pan-herr.html
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Sources: Capell, Kerry. Ã¢â¬Å"IKEA: How The Swedish Retailer Became A Global Cult BrandÃ¢â¬ . BusinessWeek. 14 Nov. 2005: 96-106. Ikea. com CASE 2 CHINA AND INDIA: THE CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY OVERVIEW China and India are the two nations that will transform the global economy as we now know it. China has state-of-the-art manufacturing and India is boosting its competitive edge through innovation hubs. While the United States is deciding if Ã¢â¬Å"ChindiaÃ¢â¬ is a threat or an opportunity the massive low wage, highly educated, and forward thinking work force is transforming these two poor nations into global powerhouses.Yet, all is not perfect. While governments and business pour mass amounts of investments into the countries there are huge obstacles to continued growth. There are social, political, and environmental challenges. Important is keeping growth at a steady pace that will eliminate the unemployment lines. Pollution and environmental challenges, political backlash, de bt and currency crises, inadequate medical care, threats of epidemics, and war are continuing challenges. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1.Discuss the innovation implications for the leading developed nations concerning ChinaÃ¢â¬â¢s and IndiaÃ¢â¬â¢s rapidly escalating capabilities. 2. Examine the collaboration potential and hurdles of greater collaboration between China and India regarding innovation and other commercial ventures. 3. What are the potential market opportunities for developed nations in China and India? 4. Evaluate the evolving balance of economic power shift from the west to the east. 5. Discuss the future competitive threats of China and India for industries in developed countries.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
The use of physics is incredibly important in design and engineering, I will be explaining how our knowledge of physics has helped us create machines suited to a purpose. For this example of the use of physics in design I am explaining the use of physics for the design of a rifle as it incorporates many important aspects of physics. I find this combination of intelligent design fascinating. It shows how our use of a complex and interesting subject as well as a certain degree of common sense has made it possible to create whatever we may need for any purpose. The oxford dictionary defines a rifle as a gun, especially one fired from shoulder level, having a long spirally grooved barrel intended to make a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance. I will explain how physics makes these devices be made the way they are. An effective rifle needs to be efficient, efficiency is defined as [useful energy given off]/ [total energy in]. An efficient rifle converts as much of the chemical potential energy stored in the propellant into kinetic (movement) energy. For example for a .300 Hawk ammunition the energy use in percentage is: Barrel friction 2% Projectile Motion 32% Hot gases 34% Barrel heat 30% Unburned propellant 1%. Therefore the efficiency for this bullet in the gun it was fired is 32%. Using physics we can improve the efficiency by increasing barrel length this is because more propellant can be burned and as the bullet is in the barrel