To Be Habitable, a Planet Needs Inhabitants

first_img(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Galactic Habitable Zone, where a star must be located (09/29/2009);Circumstellar Habitable Zone, the right radius from the star where liquid water can exist (10/08/2010);Continuously Habitable Zone, because too much variety can be lethal (07/21/2007);Temporal Habitable Zone, because habitable zones do not last forever (10/27/2008);Chemical and Thermodynamic Habitable Zone, where water can be liquid (12/30/2003);Ultraviolet Habitable Zone, free from deadly radiation (08/15/2006);Tidal Habitable Zone, which rules out most stars that are small (02/26/2011).Stable Obliquity Habitable Zone (1/12/2012)Stellar Chemistry Habitable Zone (9/08/12)Stellar Wind Habitable Zone (9/19/13, 6/03/14)Inhabitants, creating a biosphere that can regulate the atmosphere (06/06/14) In a chicken-or-egg conundrum, astrobiologists are asking whether inhabitants are needed to make a planet habitable.Which came first, the habitable planet or the inhabitants?  The traditional answer has been that habitability precedes life.  Not so fast, says Jorge Zuluaga, lead author of a new paper submitted to Biogeosciences (see arXiv).  A planet may need inhabitants to be habitable.  PhysOrg explains his thinking:“It is like trying to design the air conditioning system of a vehicle excluding from the heat and mass balance the effect of passengers inside the cabin; what is the purpose of the air conditioning system if, for designing it, we need to assume that the vehicle is empty?” asks Prof. Jorge I. Zuluaga, leading author of the paper. Although the determinant role of life in the present and past state of Earth’s environment has not been definitively probed, there is a growing amount of evidence supporting the idea that our Planet will not be the same if we remove every single form of life from its surface.Co-author Juan Salazar adds that biology interacts in complex ways with the geological and atmospheric systems of the Earth.  These interactions may keep the Earth habitable: “powerful, though sometimes subtle interactions between their components continuously maintains the system in a regulated equilibrium state.”  If alien scientists were to evaluate the habitability of the Earth without considering its inhabitants, they might come to a very different conclusion.  How can we be sure, therefore, whether exoplanets are habitable or not?  Space.com may be rushing to judgment when writer Mike Wall headlines, “Found! Oldest Known Alien Planet that Might Support Life” (cf. 6/03/14).  Ditto for Astrobiology Magazine and New Scientist, touting “Earth’s bigger, older brother,” a planet around Kapteyn’s Star with “the right stuff for life.”The article points out that this idea is not new.  Around 1920, Russian physicist Vladimir Vernadsky introduced the concept of a “biosphere.”  Later, James Lovelock, father of the “Gaia Hypothesis,” developed his thinking around interactions between biology, geology, and atmospherics.  So what’s new?What Zuluaga and his collaborators are attempting to do in their paper is first to demonstrate that excluding life from the “habitability equation” is unnatural and probably misleads the search for actually inhabited planets. In the second place, the authors present a general conceptual basis supporting the development of habitability models that include life.They’re doing this because most models up till now have not considered life in the equations.  Life has a special property – namely, information – that can radically alter the interaction of planet and habitability.  “Contrary to abiotic processes, living systems contain and maintain impressive amounts of information that give them unparalleled regulatory capabilities,” Zuluaga says.  For instance, life helps regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which can dramatically impact the formation of clouds.Zuluaga and Salazar seem friendly to the Gaia hypothesis.  Their ideas, therefore, are controversial and not acceptable to all astrobiologists.  Still, they have questioned an assumption that will surely lead to further debates about the criteria for habitability.  “Ultimately,” the article ends, “the truth is that finding inhabited, rather than merely habitable, worlds is the actual goal of our ultimate scientific search for life beyond our pale blue dot.”The Biblical account pictures a world that started abiotic but became biotic within 3 days, right after the dry land was raised up out of the waters.  This was all God’s creative activity.  There never was a long period of earth history without life.  God designed life and the planet that supports them together.  That’s why we find life here, and so far, nowhere else.  The Biblical worldview does not rule out other inhabited planets, but for theological reasons, it seems unlikely there would be other sentient beings made in the image of God, like humans.While not endorsing the Gaia-like views of Zuluaga and colleagues, we think their paper raises good questions that have been overlooked by the astrobiology community.  Darwinian imagineers too often equate habitability with inhabited.  Finding a sterile planet in a “habitable zone” will not make it habitable.  The growing number of “earth-like” exoplanets found by the Kepler spacecraft could well be lifeless rocks with deadly atmospheres, for all we know.  Never assume.If they are right, then we have another requirement for habitability (9/09/13, 9/08/12) that must be considered when looking for extraterrestrials:last_img read more

‘Buy local, support job creation’

first_img20 November 2013Buying goods and products made in South Africa will go a long way towards creating jobs and growing the economy, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at the launch of the Buyback SA Campaign in Johannesburg on Tuesday.South African manufacturers were known for manufacturing qaulity, affordable goods and products, Davies said, adding: “We want to encourage people to buy these products because this has significance in terms of job creation, revenue generation and service delivery improvement.”An initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry, the Manufacturing Circle and Proudly South African, the campaign includes an advertisement featuring veteran actor John Kani which will be flighted on national television.The fact that the cost of the advert had been shared by the private sector was “a clear sign of the close working relationship that is in the process of being built between government and industry, and one that we think can be strengthened and deepened in a number of ways,” Davies said.He appealed to more companies to add their weight to the campaign, adding that buying local was not just about consumers buying locally manufactured goods. “It is also crucially about companies – especially large retailers with large procurement budgets and supply chains – supporting local manufacturers.”Besides this being in the national interest, Davies said there were very often sound commercial reasons for buying local, relating to after-sales service, response times, security of supply, niche product requirements and quality assurance.Davies said the government had taken numerous steps to support localisation, including the designation of a range of sectors – including clothing and textiles, buses, rolling stock and power pylons – for local procurement by the state under the Preferential Public Procurement Finance Act.“We have also reviewed and put in place a new policy framework for the National Industrial Participation Programme to oblige overseas companies that have benefited from state contracts above US$10-million to invest a percentage of the contract directly into the productive sectors of the economy, wherever possible, in the sector in which they are involved,” Davies said.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Algeria, Nigeria carry Africa’s hopes in Brazil

first_img27 June 2014Four years on from the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the first ever held in Africa, the continent’s representatives have so far put in a strong showing at Brazil 2014, with two out of five teams progressing to the round of 16 after the conclusion of the group stage of the 2014 Fifa World Cup on Thursday.In South Africa in 2010, Ghana were the only African team to move on to the round of 16, where it took a hand-ball by Uruguay’s Luis Suarez to prevent them from becoming the first African team to qualify for the semi-finals of a football World Cup.Nigeria: second in Group FNigeria, who claimed the Africa Cup of Nations title in South Africa in February, improved from finishing bottom of their group in 2010 to taking second place in Group F in 2014, and moving on to a round of 16 showdown with Group E winners France in Brasilia on Monday.The Super Eagles finished behind Argentina, but above Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran. Their results included a crucial 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, a goalless draw with Iran and a thrilling 2-3 defeat to Argentina.It was in their loss to the Argentinians that Nigeria made the biggest impact. After Lionel Messi had given the South Americans the lead in the third minute, the Super Eagles struck back a minute later through Ahmed Musa.Then, after Messi had put his side back in front just before the break, Nigeria struck back with two minutes of the restart, again through Musa, who finished with aplomb for the second time.Marcos Rojo scored what proved to be the winning goal not long after that, but the Nigerians had made a strong statement, even in defeat. It came in their attitude as much as it came in the closeness of the result. When Argentina scored, there was no slumping of the shoulders or even the slightest indication of the inevitability of the outcome of the contest. Instead, Stephen Keshi’s charges roared back into the game twice with excellent goals.In some people’s minds, African football is regarded as being inferior. However, in the minds of the Nigerian players, it is clearly not inferior and they are not intimidated by any teams, even those loaded with star players.Algeria: second in Group HThe biggest and best surprise so far among Africa’s contenders in Brazil has been provided by Algeria, whose group stage performances exhibited discipline, flair and pace. In their first match they pushed highly-rated Belgium all the way before a late goal earned the European side a 2-1 win.Responding superbly to that setback, they became the first African team to score four goals in a World Cup finals match when they outplayed South Korea, a round of 16 team four years earlier, by four goals to two. The Atlas Lions led 3-0 at half-time.A pulsating 1-1 draw with Russia in their final group game was enough for the Desert Foxes to get second place in Group H, securing their place in the round of 16. They will meet Group G winners Germany in Porto Alegre on Monday.Ivory Coast: third in Group CIn 2010, Ivory Coast was drawn in a very tough pool, which included Brazil, Portugal and North Korea. They finished third and failed to advance to the round of 16.This time around, although there were suspicions before the finals that the Elephants might be a bit long in the tooth, another third-place finish was a bit of a disappointment.Contesting Group C, they finished behind Colombia and Greece and above Japan. A controversial 1-2 loss to the Greeks proved to be the critical result. In their other outings they beat Japan 2-1 and lost 1-2 to Colombia, who progressed with a perfect three wins in three starts.Ghana: fourth in Group GGhana, the darlings of Africa four years ago, when they narrowly missed out on the semi-finals – thanks to a cynical hand-ball on the goal line by Uruguay’s Luis Suarez – were drawn in a tough group with Germany, Portugal and the United States.In their first game, against an under-rated USA (even though the Americans are ranked 13th in the world), the Black Stars went down 1-2 to a late goal by Anthony Brooks.They showed their mettle second time out when, after falling a goal behind Germany, they took a 2-1 lead before having to settle for a 2-2 draw after Miroslav Klose netted his World Cup finals record-equalling 15th goal.Like Nigeria and Algeria, Ghana showed in that match that they feared no team and that they could match any side blow for blow.However, in the end they undermined themselves with in-fighting and payment disputes ahead of their final game against Portugal, losing 2-1 to end fourth a disappointing 4th in Group G.Cameroon: fourth in Group ABut it was Cameroon that was the biggest let-down for African fans – and arguably the most disappointing side of the 2014 Fifa World Cup. Their preparation for the tournament had been overshadowed by a row over bonuses, and their performances on the field clearly showed a divided team.This divide was made clear for all to see when Benoit Assou-Ekotto aimed a headbutt at team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo in the side’s disappointing 0-4 loss to Croatia in their second outing.They also went down 0-1 to Mexico and 1-4 to Brazil to finish with three losses in three matches for the second World Cup finals in succession.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Filmmaking Tips: How to Develop an Anti-Hero in Your Next Project

first_imgHere are seven tips for making your film’s protagonist a dark and morally questionable anti-hero to add depth to your story.Image from There Will Be Blood (via Paramount Pictures)While anti-heroes are nothing new in comics, literature, and film, there has been a recent uptick in their appearance in television and films developing anti-hero-driven narratives. If you take a minute to reflect, you can probably find several examples among your favorite characters. From Don Draper (Mad Men) and Walter White (Breaking Bad) on television to Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood) and Charlize Theron’s Lorraine Broughton (Atomic Blonde), anti-heroes currently hold a very favorable spot in audiences’ hearts.The question is, as a filmmaker, how do you take advantage of this anti-hero craze and lend morally ambiguous depth to your leading character? Here are seven tips for creating a brooding anti-hero.Put Them Behind BarsImage via The Criterion Collection.For those who remember your French New Wave films from film school (or those who enjoyed them on your own), Francois Truffaut’s 400 Blows was an influential classic in the realm of troubled protagonists. No shot stands out more than the young Antoine behind bars — locked away, dangerous, and alone.These shots have also appeared in many homages throughout the years and are still a fixture for developing troubled and dangerous youth.Make Them FightImage via Focus Features.What characterizes internal struggle better than physical pain? Anti-heroes in television and film have a penchant for taking a few beatings throughout their journey.If you want to give an anti-hero their due glory, try to find ways to make them fight through their story. Here are some great resources for working with makeup, prosthetics, and fight scenes.Learn a Gruesome Lesson in Horror Makeup From Rick BakerInnovative Production Tips from the Filmmakers of SXSWThe 10 Best Makeup Effects in Film Put Them in the ShadowsImage via Warner Bros.Lighting is another key factor in developing your anti-hero. Depending on your film’s style, using harsh lights and heavy shadows can be a great way to shroud your protagonist’s face in mystery and moral ambiguity. Here are some good tutorials on how to create harsh shadow effects with your lighting and in post.Lighting 101: A Quick Guide for Lighting FilmLighting Tips for Film NoirAdd Drama to Your Lighting Setup with Negative Fill Develop Questionable MoralsImage via Paramount Pictures.It’s important to remember that these tricks are meant to reveal your anti-hero’s moral compass as questionable and muddy. The more bankrupt and convoluted your anti-hero’s morals, the more fascinating audiences will find him or her. If your story gives good cues, asks enough questions, and has the right look, your anti-hero can help your film compete in the morally-dubious filmmaking market.center_img Unreliable NarrationImage via 20th Century Fox.Another common trick to lure audiences into the world of your anti-hero is unreliable narration. A few famous examples include Kevin Spacey’s role in The Usual Suspects or Christopher Nolan’s dual protagonists in The Prestige, offering narration that proves, by the film’s conclusion, to be much less than suspect.Make Them Subtly LikableImage via AMC.While anti-heroes are unlikable and troubled, it’s important to give them at least one aspect of morality or goodness that the audience can latch onto. Whether it’s an affection for animals (as in the recent film Good Time) or a faded photograph they periodically check, try and find one redeeming quality to give your character.Gritty Color PalettesImage via AMC.As any editor or colorist can tell you, color grading can be a great tool for adding depth to your characters and films — especially when developing anti-heroes. If you’re shooting neutral or S-Log footage, you should have options to grade your footage to create looks that can give your film and characters extra grit, grime, and emotion.Here are some great resources (and even some free LUTs) to try out on your project.Understanding LUTS in Color GradingHow to Add LUTs in Premiere Pro (And 35 Free LUTs)Hollywood Color: 14 Free Premiere Pro Lumetri Lookslast_img read more

Here There Be Dragons!

first_imgMost sales processes and sales methodologies could be improved by adding big, bold text around the edges saying, “Here there be dragons!” Maybe even add a little graphic of a dragon bleeding through the paper.In times long past, mapmakers would put the words “Here there be dragons” at the edges of the map where the known world ended and the unknown began. The known world was dangerous enough, but the unknown world was horrifyingly dangerous. The unknown world was for the bravest, most resourceful, and craziest of all people.Your sales process and your sales methodologies are maps. They lay out the territory, as it is known anyway. But your sales process or methodology doesn’t include what you don’t know. And what you don’t know can be dangerous, unexpected, and deal breaking.When You Pass Through the UnexploredYour sales process doesn’t say anything about how to get your deal back on track after the stakeholder with whom you have cultivated a relationship—and built a solution over two year—leaves the company two days before you present your solution.Your sales methodology doesn’t prescribe a course of action when you share your new insight with your dream client only to have their subject matter expert shred your analysis in front of the buying committee.There isn’t a good map for where you go when you have received the green light and a purchase order from your dream client only to have them table your solution due to budget cuts.Here there be dragons!Following your maps can be difficult. But the uncharted territories can be even more challenging. This doesn’t mean that the maps aren’t useful. Your sales process and your sales methodologies are extremely valuable. But they aren’t enough by themselves.What is enough when dealing with dragons?You need to remember that you are the captain of the ship. You are the explorer. It’s your job to deal with the unexpected and find a way when there is no map, no guidance. You have to bring your best self to the endeavor, especially the part of you that is your initiative, your resourcefulness, and your courage to act in the face of the unknown.Here there be dragons! Don’t try to sail around them. Sail straight into them, and find a way.QuestionsWhy isn’t the map the terrain?What isn’t on your sales process map? What isn’t included in your sales methodology?How do you deal with the unknown and unexpected you encounter when pursuing deals?How do you deal with the dangers that lurk in the unknown?last_img read more

Be Someone Worth Buying From

first_imgThere is no reason to try to trick your prospect into buying from you. That isn’t what professional people do. By trying to trick someone into engaging with you or buying from you, you destroy trust, thereby making the goal of trusted advisor an impossibility.Built on a LieIf you type “Re:” in the subject line of an email in an attempt to have your prospective client believe that your email is a follow up to an earlier email in which they had already engaged with you, you are lying. How many positive, meaningful relationships do you have that began with—or were built on—a lie?Your prospective client can easily search their email to discover whether they have engaged with you in the past, exposing you as a someone who would deceive others to get what they want.Deceptive PracticesIf you advertise that you provide a service for a lower than expected fee as a trojan horse to trick your prospect into engaging with you about the more expensive service you really sell, then you are being deceitful. (There is an ad running on my Facebook where the “sales guru” suggests this tactic. He warns readers not to use this magical approach to do something untoward, suggesting that there is some purity to the method as he describes it.)Your motives matter. Most people are sophisticated enough to see through a ruse like this, and once they know you for what you are, you have eliminated the possibility that all but a few rubes will buy from you.You can forget about all the things you have read or heard about what it takes to sell effectively. You can forget about the sales process, closing, objection handling, and presentation skills. You can forget all about consensus, leadership, and insight.Until you are a person of character, you will never be a great salesperson.  There are no tips, tricks, or secrets that can help you sell more effectively, least of all any built on lies or deception.If you want to succeed in sales, start by being someone worth buying from. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Johnson dazzled by Ball magic for Lakers

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ LATEST STORIES Magic Johnson, president of basketball operations, Lonzo Ball and general manager Rob Pelinka of the Los Angeles Lakers arrive for a press conference on June 23, 2017 at the team training faculity in Los Angeles, California. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images/AFPMagic Johnson believes Lonzo Ball’s dazzling performances in the Las Vegas Summer League are a shape of things to come as the Los Angeles Lakers attempt to regain former glories.Ball, chosen by the Lakers with the second overall pick in the draft, was named MVP of the summer league after posting two triple doubles and recording four games with 10 assists or more.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Johnson, who was speaking at the unveiling of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at their El Segundo training base, said he had seen similarities between Ball and himself in his performances to date.“Lonzo is special, no question about it, because he makes everyone better,” Johnson said. “He does something you can’t teach. He gives you a scoring pass. Very few point guards in this league can do that. I am talking about giving you a pass that leads to the score, not just passing it to you. … I like him because he also is now a great teammate. He has a special effect on people.”The Lakers, who completed the worst season in the franchise’s history in 2016 with a 17-65 record, and were second bottom in the Western Conference last season, were already a better team, Johnson said.“The roster is more balanced. We saw the ball movement in summer league. … We want to go up and down. … Also, our practices are going to be amazing, and that will lead to us getting better in games,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claimcenter_img Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Asean Schools Games: PH undefeated en route to girls’ basketball title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The 19-year-old’s performances rewrote the record books in the summer league. Until this year, no rookie had posted more than one with 10 assists and no rookie had completed more than one triple double.According to Johnson, that bodes well for the Lakers’ future.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“If he’s getting triple-doubles in the summer league, he is going to get triple-doubles in the regular season,” Johnson, the Lakers president of basketball operations, told reporters Tuesday.“Just like me, when I got here, there was pressure. I was the No. 1 pick. I didn’t care about that. I am going to play my game. Lonzo is going to play his game. The great ones do,” he was quoted by ESPN as saying.last_img read more

SC clears Chardham highway project

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court has cleared the decks for the ambitious Chardham highway project for all-weather connectivity to four holy towns of Uttarakhand and constituted a fresh high-powered committee to address environmental concerns.A bench comprising Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and Surya Kant modified the National Green Tribunal’s September 26, 2018 order by constituting the high-powered committee. “However, the Committee is to be headed by Prof. Ravi Chopra, who will replace Justice U C Dhyani, and will be the Chairman of the Committee. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”In addition to this, we add a representative of the Physical Research Laboratory, Department of Space, Government of India, Ahmedabad; a representative of the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, a representative of MoEF, Regional Office Dehradun and a representative of the Ministry of Defence dealing with Border roads, not below the rank of Director. We direct MoEF to constitute the High Powered Committee within two weeks,” the bench said. See P6last_img read more

Young people get a shot to work with Canadas top business people

first_imgJohn MurrayAPTN National NewsA pilot project has been launched in Manitoba that will offer 18 young people the chance to be mentored by some of the top businesses in Canada.They’re part of a project called Youth CEO – Creative Employment Opportunities.It’s a partnership between several business and sport organizations in Mantioba.“We want these young people to come back and work right here in Winnipeg’s North End,” said Kevin Chief, vice-president of the Business Council of Manitoba. “To be good role models and ambassadors  and share some of the things they’ve learned directly from CEOs.”jmurray@aptn.calast_img read more

Airlines consumer groups ready for fight over proposed bill

first_imgAs summer vacationers start to pack up and head home, Congress is considering a sweeping tally of proposals that could affect travellers, from dictating seat size and legroom to rolling back rules that require airlines to advertise the full price of a ticket.The current law authorizing operations of the Federal Aviation Administration expires on Sept. 30. Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, is working to bring his panel’s bill for a five-year reauthorization to the Senate floor after a series of delays.The House passed its version of the same bill in April.Consumer advocates see victories and setbacks among the provisions in the two bills.— Airline seats: The House bill would give the FAA a year to set minimums for seat width and length and the distance between rows, although it didn’t set specific measurements. The version approved by a Senate committee would only direct FAA to study whether there should be minimum requirements for the distance between rows.The room between rows — measured from a point on one seat to the same point on the seat in the next row — has been shrinking for many years as airlines squeeze more seats onto their planes. It was once commonly 34 or 35 inches, and is now under 30 inches on some planes.Some safety advocates say the tighter fit makes it harder for passengers to evacuate in an emergency. The FAA has declined a consumer group’s request to impose regulations, putting the issue in Congress’s hands.— Advertised prices: Consumer groups scored a hard-fought victory in 2012, when the Obama administration required airlines to include government taxes and fees in the advertised price of a ticket. Airlines opposed the rule then, and they lobbied the House to include a provision in its FAA bill that would roll back the requirement.“Consumers need to know the full cost of travel,” said Charles Leocha, president of Travelers United. “Taking a step back to allowing the airlines to advertise airfares without mandatory taxes and fees will be a major step toward allowing deceptive and misleading airfares.”— Extra fees: The Senate bill would prohibit airlines from charging “unreasonable” ticket-change or cancellation fees. The Transportation Department also would set standards for other fees to make sure they reflect the airline’s actual cost for providing extra service. Airlines raised more than $7.4 billion last year from fees on checked baggage and cancellations.The restriction was proposed by a pair of Senate Democrats over strong objections by the airline lobby. Sharon Pinkerton, a senior vice-president at the trade group Airlines for America, called it a first step toward returning to the pre-1978 era when the federal government set airline prices.— Overbooked flights. The House would ban airlines from bumping passengers from overbooked flights once they have boarded the plane. The provision was inspired by the 2017 incident in which a passenger was dragged off a United Express plane to make room for a late-arriving airline employee. In response to the criticism, airlines have cut overbooking to their lowest level in at least two decades.— Online travel agencies. Both the House bill and the Senate’s committee-approved version would require online travel agencies like Expedia and Orbitz to tell consumers about things like extra fees and changes in airline schedules. Vaughn Jennings, a spokesman for the airline trade group Airlines for America, said the online agencies “shouldn’t be exempt from consumer-protection standards that customers experience on airline websites.”Steve Shur, president of a trade group that includes the online ticket sellers, said airlines don’t always give his companies that kind of information. He called the proposals a veiled effort to drive them out of the air-travel business and reduce competition for the airlines.— Disruptive passengers. The House bill would let airline employees block passengers from going through security screening or getting on a plane if the employee accuses them of verbal or physical assault. Passengers would be held up until police could sort things out. A union that represents airline employees lobbied for the provision.There are many other provisions in the bills, including some that are opposed by safety experts. Pilot unions are fighting against a trial to test the idea of letting cargo airlines use one pilot instead of two. The unions say that in an emergency, one pilot could be more easily overwhelmed.An even more controversial idea would reduce the number of hours that someone must fly to become an airline co-pilot. It’s in the bill approved by Thune’s committee but not in the House version.Congress raised the minimum from 250 hours to 1,500 hours after 50 people died in a 2009 accident near Buffalo, New York. The Regional Airline Association, whose members operate smaller planes flying under the banners of American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express, say the requirement has created a pilot shortage.The RAA supports Thune’s proposal to let pilots count time on certain types of training in a classroom or a flight simulator toward the 1,500 hours.Families of those who died in the 2009 Colgan Air crash have fought against the RAA. They note that after Colgan, there were no fatal accidents involving U.S. airliners until a woman was killed on a Southwest flight in April.“The RAA and others will continue to try any manoeuvr to water this down. It’s sad,” said Scott Maurer, whose daughter Lorin was on the Colgan plane. “In their eyes it’s not about safety, it’s about their business profits.”If the Senate acts on the FAA bill, any differences from the House version would need to be settled before a final measure goes to President Donald Trump. If Congress can’t agree, lawmakers could pass a scaled-back, short-term extension to keep FAA functioning.___David Koenig can be reached at http://twitter.com/airlinewriterlast_img read more