The Belgian government has indicated that it wants to tie second-pillar retirement to the official retirement age for the state pension. It also wants to raise the minimum age for receiving an additional pension from 60 to 63 by 2018, the Belgian business daily De Tijd reported.It said that the plans were part of the budget agreements which were concluded in July.The measure must ensure that a planned increase of the retirement age for the state pension also actually leads to workers retiring later, the paper quoted the government as saying. The cabinet stressed that it didn’t want people to stop working before they had reached the minimum retirement age for the state pension. The state pension is to rise to 67 in 2030.The new proposal would level up the retirement age for the second pillar with the first pillar.The government further made clear that it wanted to outlaw provisions in pension funds regulations that encourage early retirement.That said, the proposed measures still need to be discussed with Belgian social partners.
What is there to do when you are a bored celebrity in the middle of a pandemic? Play golf for a good cause — social distanced, of course.That is the 2020 American Century Championship in a nutshell as a who’s who of current and former athletes, actors and other famous faces head to Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course overlooking Lake Tahoe for the annual celebrity golf tournament. NBC is broadcasting all three rounds of the event live. The 72-player field in 2020 includes everyone from NFL quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers to NBA MVP Stephen Curry and his dad, Dell, plus entertainment personalities Ray Romano, Miles Teller and Larry the Cable Guy, among others.Former NFL quarterback and CBS analyst Tony Romo is also back to defend his titles after winning the tournament in consecutive years. Romo, who dabbles in PGA Tour tournaments on occasion, is a mainstay at the ACC, finishing in the top five in each of his seven appearances.Curry, who finished seventh in 2019, could prove to be Romo’s top challenger making his eighth appearance. Former MLB ace Mark Mulder has won three times (2015-17). Here’s everything to know about the 2020 American Century Championship, including a list of tee times (updated daily), the complete TV schedule, player list, betting odds and more.MORE: Watch the American Century Championship live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)American Century Championship golf scheduleDates: July 10-12TV channels: NBC, NBCSNLive stream: NBCSports.com, fuboTV (7-day free trial)Live TV coverage of the 2020 American Century Championship begins Friday from 5-8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports. Rounds 2-3 on Saturday and Sunday will be broadcast on NBC with coverage scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET each day. All three rounds will re-air on the Golf Channel at 10 p.m. ET following the original broadcasts.The tournament can be live-streamed via NBCSports.com as well as fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial.DateTV timesTV channelFriday, July 105-8 p.m. ETNBCSN, fuboTVSaturday, July 113-6 p.m. ETNBC, fuboTVSunday, July 123-6 p.m. ETNBC, fuboTVAmerican Century Championship 2020 player listThe list of players for the American Century Championship features 72 current or retired athletes, broadcasters and entertainers, including 32 from the NFL, five from the NBA, 12 from MLB, two boxers, two tennis stars and a world long drive competitor. NFLPatrick MahomesAaron RodgersTony RomoJerome BettisDoug FlutieJim McMahonMarcus AllenJerome BettisTim BrownReggie BushTerrell DavisLarry FitzgeraldKyle FullerEddie GeorgeA.J. HawkCase KeenumTravis KelceCooper KuppAnthony LynnBrandon McManusCarson PalmerPatrick PetersonAndre ReedJerry RiceKyle RudolphAdam ThielenMike VrabelDeMarcus WareEric WeddleKyle WilliamsCharles WoodsonSteve YoungNBACharles BarkleyChauncey BillupsStephen CurryDell CurryDeron WilliamsMLBRoger ClemensDerek LoweGreg MadduxMark MulderBrian McCannKevin MillarJimmy RollinsOzzie SmithJohn SmoltzChase UtleyShane VictorinoTim WakefieldOther athletesCanelo AlvarezOscar De La HoyaJames BlakeMardy FishTroy MullinsBroadcastersJay BilasJoe BuckVinny Del NegroKathryn TappenOther celebritiesRay RomanoMiles TellerLarry the Cable GuyBrian BaumgartnerBret BaierChace CrawfordKira DixonJay DeMarcusJoe Don RooneyJohn O’HurleyMichael PenaAlfonso RibeiroRob RiggleJack WagnerAmerican Century Championship tee times & pairingsHere is the complete list of tee times and pairings for Sunday’s final round at the American Century Championship. All times are Eastern.Sunday, July 1211:25 a.m. – Jim McMahon, James Blake, Jay Bilas11:30 a.m. – Roger Clemens, Eric Weddle, Chase Utley11:35 a.m. – Kevin Millar, Brian McCann, Joe Don Rooney11:40 a.m. – Greg Maddux, Shane Victorino, Brandon McManus11:45 a.m. – A.J. Hawk, Brian Baumgartner, Aaron Rodgers11:50 a.m. – Joe Buck, Kyle Fuller, Cooper Kupp11:55 a.m. – Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson, Jerry RiceNoon – Tim Brown, Marcus Allen, Steve Young12:05 p.m. – Oscar De La Hoya, Bret Baier, Tim Wakefield12:10 p.m. – Jimmy Rollins, Troy Mullins, Reggie Bush12:15 p.m. – Alfonso Ribeiro, Michael Pena, Ozzie Smith12:20 p.m. – Rob Riggle, Jay DeMarcus, Kira K. Dixon12:25 p.m. – Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes, Mike Vrabel12:30 p.m. – Andre Reed, Terrell Davis, Charles Woodson12:35 p.m. – Deron Williams, Adam Thielen, Stephen Curry12:40 p.m. – Miles Teller, Ray Romano, Chace Crawford12:45 p.m. – Jerome Bettis, Jake Wagner, Case Keenum12:50 p.m. – Doug Flutie, Kyle Rudolph, DeMarcus Ware12:55 p.m. – Vinny Del Negro, Mark Mulder, Carson Palmer1 p.m. – Chauncey Billups, Canelo Alvarez, Anthony Lynn1:05 p.m. – Derek Lowe, Dell Curry, Tony Romo1:10 p.m. – Larry the Cable Guy, John O’Hurley, Kathryn Tappen1:15 p.m. – John Smoltz, Kyle Williams, Mandy Fish1:20 p.m. – Charles Barkley, Eddie GeorgeAmerican Century Championship oddsTony Romo was the betting favorite to win the American Century Championship tournament for a third year in a row, according to odds via Sports Insider.Tony Romo -120Mark Mulder +250Derek Lowe +1200Mardy Fish +1200Stephen Curry +1800Jack Wagner +2000Case Keenum +2200Kyle Williams +2200John Smoltz +3300Joe Buck +4000Adam Thielen +5000Bret Baier +6600Aaron Rodgers +10000Dell Curry +10000Brandon McManus +12500Brian Urlacher +12500Carson Palmer +12500Jerry Rice +12500Cooper Kupp +15000Kevin Millar +15000Tom Glavine +15000Vinny del Negro +15000Brian McCann +20000American Century Championship prize moneyAn estimated $600,000 in prize money will be donated to charities supporting social justice reform and COVID-19 relief efforts, according to tournament organizers. American Century Championship formatThe American Century Championship follows a modified Stableford format, which awards points based on stroke totals for each hole. The player with the highest point total after three rounds (54 holes) is the winner.Here is the scoring breakdown:10 points for a double eagle8 points for a hole-in-one6 points for an eagle3 points for a birdie1 point for par0 points for bogey-2 points for double-bogey or higherAmerican Century Championship winnersHere are the winners of the 10 most recent American Century Championship tournaments between 2010 and 2019.YearWinnerScore2019Tony Romo712018Tony Romo712017Mark Mulder732016Mark Mulder742015Mark Mulder822014Mark Rypien762013Billy Joe Tolliver672012Dan Quinn662011Jack Wagner802010Billy Joe Tolliver84
A “crown-group crustacean” that is “markedly similar to those of living cephalocarids, branchiopods and copepods” has been found exquisitely preserved in early Cambrian fossil beds from China, an international team reported in Nature.1 Though such organisms have been found in middle and later Cambrian rocks, this pushes the origin of eucrustacea (crustaceans of modern aspect) back another 25 million years. The authors of the paper said nothing, however, about the implications of this discovery to the problem of the Cambrian explosion (see 04/23/2006). Not only was the crustacean modern-looking, it was so well preserved that even soft parts and eyes were visible. Even fine parts of setae on the tips of the legs are clearly seen in the organisms representing different developmental stages. Examples of “Orsten-type” Cambrian lagerstatten (exceptionally preserved fossil beds) were known from Sweden, but this one is from China. The species Yicaris dianensis resembles “living minute and blind cephalocarids, both in its head and trunk-limb design.” In other words, modern cephalocarids are blind, but this Cambrian representative had large twin eye lobes. Other resemblances were noted in the “post-mandibular limbs with their elongate, rather fleshy basipods armed with up to seven setiferous, soft endites medially,” and the existence of epipodites:Epipodites and a sophisticated combined locomotory and food-gathering apparatus, as present in Yicaris and, presumably, in the eucrustacean ancestor, may have been a significant factor leading to the successful diversification of eucrustaceans already by the Cambrian. Some authors consider that insect wings may have originated from epipodites; the early Cambrian occurrence of this trait is of potential significance to the debate regarding the emergence of winged (pterygote) forms within euarthropods.That speculation notwithstanding, the crustacean found here apparently had a system for sweeping food toward its mandibles using these epipodites and antennae. Plus, it had eyes, a head shield, a developmental process from larva to adult, and was probably capable of swimming. The authors mentioned nothing about the Cambrian explosion. Their only reference to the evolution of this complex creature shielded the problem of missing evidence by claiming that evolutionists are getting warmer in their search for an ancestor:Discussion. The material of Y. dianensis is important in two respects. First, it displays the post-embryonic ontogeny of an animal as old as the Early Cambrian. Second, Y. dianensis is temporally close to evolutionary events deep in arthropod and, specifically, crustacean phylogeny. Its development should, therefore, be closer to the original developmental pattern of the stem forms and less changed than that of recent in-group taxa, which have accumulated lineage-specific modifications. With such ontogeny data and having the age of the fossil as a time marker, it is possible to more precisely include ontogenetic evolutionary pathways in the reconstruction of relationships and ground patterns of stem species and monophyla. According to our analysis, Y. dianensis represents the first undoubted eucrustacean known from the Lower Cambrian (the single previously described Lower Cambrian putative eucrustacean species lacks eucrustacean characters) and can serve as a substantial tool for testing relevant character acquisition and phylogenetic hypotheses. This is of particular importance because crustacean phylogeny has gained new interest by recent studies using neurobiological, developmental-biological and molecular investigations.Yet the authors did not explain how this organism was any more primitive than modern crustaceans. The claim above, therefore and the following one from the Abstract, seem unsupported by the evidence at hand: “Its stratigraphical position provides substantial support to the proposition that the main cladogenic event that gave rise to the Arthropoda was before the Cambrian.” No evidence for that “cladogenic event” (in plain English, the genesis of a new kind of animal) was provided. The statement basically means only that evolutionists must now search earlier than the Cambrian for clues to where arthropods came from, assuming they evolved from more primitive ancestors. The Editor’s Summary, similarly, avoided mention of the Cambrian explosion. “Newly unearthed Orsten-type fossils from China include the earliest known eucrustacean in exquisite three-dimensional detail, significantly extending the fossil record of this group.” In summary, true crustaceans now are established to exist at the Atdabanian layer of the early Cambrian, just slightly above or in the layers where the first trilobites and echinoderms appear.1. Zhang et al, “An epipodite-bearing crown-group crustacean from the Lower Cambrian,” Nature 449, 595-598 (4 October 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06138.No sooner had we reported the exceptional finds reported in Geology (next entry), when this one showed up. They think they can get away with it, hiding their announcements in expensive journals that the public is unlikely to see, using fancy words like “cladogenic” and “monophyletic” to pull the wool over our eyes. Need plain English? They found another modern-looking animal in the lowest fossil-bearing rocks, without any trace of an evolutionary sequence from simple to complex. Their claims about “cladogenic events” before the Cambrian leading up to this critter, eyes and all, is pure fiction dressed up with euphemism and obfuscation. There is no evidence this animal evolved. There it is, fully formed in this early layer, without any Darwinian tree. Cladogenic is a miracle word inserted to hide a lack of evidence. Tell it like it is. It is shameful that scientists persist in propagating their myth without any evidence to support it, and lots of evidence against it. Sudden appearance is not evolution. Darwin-doubters need to call them on the carpet and demand honesty and accountability. The Darwin Party knows all about the Cambrian explosion. Few are the ones that want to talk about it, because it embarrasses them, just like it did Charles Darwin, who called it one of the strongest arguments against his theory. Charlie hoped that continued searches for more fossils would eventually find the missing links. Wrong! Increasing evidence has made his problem worse. The Cambrian explosion is louder than ever, booming out the message: life appeared abruptly, fully formed, as if it had been created. To see the Darwin Party squirm, go to the Wikipedia page on the Cambrian explosion and click on the discussion tab. Now search on the word creationist:How much to say about how Creationists, supporters of Intelligent Design and some Islamists quote the CE as a refutation of Darwinian evolution? Pro: it’s a hot topic and some readers will be disappointed if they don’t see coverage. Cons: hard to do briefly in what is a long article anyway; hard to avoid charges of partisanship (either way) unless the discussion is long.Come on, cowards: the Internet has plenty of space. Go ahead and take all the time you need to explain how modern, complex life “emerged” without ancestors by an evolutionary process. We have the time. Make our day. Give us the whole tale. See if you can do better than the Master of Disaster, Charlie Marshall, did (04/23/2006). One of the tricks they try to play is to say that the Cambrian explosion was not that sudden a bang; it extended over 40-80 million years or more, if certain trace fossils from the Precambrian are tossed into the story. They compare the Cambrian explosion with the rise of mammals which, according to their mythology, diversified into all our modern forms in just 40 million years. First of all, it is really dumb to use one myth as evidence for another. It’s like saying that life must have evolved on Europa because it must have evolved on Mars. Foul: double drivel. Evolution is the issue, and claiming it happened fast twice at two different times just begs the question. More important, the appearance of each type is virtually instantaneous. Trying to stretch the Cambrian explosion out, or link it earlier with the Ediacaran fauna presumably earlier (see 12/02/2002 and 08/19/2004) is not going to help. The fact remains that each complex creature, whether trilobite, crustacean, echinoderm, worm, or vertebrate fish (08/21/2002), shows up suddenly, fully formed, at first appearance in the record. They don’t see incipient trilobites becoming half-trilobites then full trilobites over a period of ten million years, such that they could make a claim that Darwinian evolution was working on steroids for awhile. No; the first trilobites and crustaceans just show up – no ancestors at all. Whatever the Ediacaran organisms were, they were not on the way to becoming trilobites; they were a distinct kind of organism that also appeared abruptly and went extinct. (Speaking of trilobites, remember that the record is the reverse of evolutionary expectations: see 07/28/2007). However they may wish to draw out the process, the Cambrian explosion was really a set of multiple independent explosions at roughly the same time. The ones they think showed up millions of years later, like this eucrustacean, keep turning up earlier and earlier. All the basic animal types (phyla) and body plans show up on the lowest layers. Evolution is falsified by the only tangible record of the past. Because of the awareness of the Cambrian Explosion most readers have, we would expect to see some acknowledgement of it by the paleontologists who report their Cambrian discoveries. Instead, we still get worthless evolutionary promissory notes, like “this new fossil will shed light on the origin and ancestry of arthropods” when there is no collateral. Stop accepting trust deeds from the Darwinian loan sharks. Their deeds are not worthy of anyone’s trust. For more entries on the Cambrian explosion, see 09/04/2007 on genetic mechanisms, 04/03/2007 on comb jellies, 01/16/2007 on alleged Precambrian embryos, 08/10/2006 on Cambrian embryos, 07/13/2006 on mollusks, 06/18/2006 on alleged Cambrian explosion precursors, and 04/23/2006 on Cambrian Explosion Damage Control, 02/14/2006 on hand-waving solutions offered by the Darwinians. The last entry contains links to earlier entries about Cambrian vertebrates, long thought to be not represented that early; see especially 01/30/2003 about 500 fossil fish found in the early Cambrian. You might recall from 07/25/2003 that many high school biology textbooks gloss over this little problem for Darwin, if they mention it at all.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
A $654 million plan to build more than 25,000 charging stations for electric vehicles in California has been turned down by state regulators who expressed concerns about the potential for unfair competition.Pacific Gas & Electric filed the proposal in February, proposing to fund the network with money collected from ratepayers. The company said its plan would have helped further Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of getting 1.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2025, according to a report at Greentech Media.While the utility described the plan as “essential to California’s success in achieving a reduction in greenhouse gases,” the California Public Utilities Commission said a “more measured approach” was needed.A typical residential customer would have paid an extra 70 cents a month under the proposal, but consumer groups said it was unfair to increase costs for people who didn’t own EVs and wouldn’t directly benefit from the charging stations.The San Jose Mercury News reported the stations would have been built in PG&E’s service area, which covers northern and central California.Private companies worried that PG&E would stifle competition and innovation because the utility would have broad control over the design of the charging stations and the support services for the network, the newspaper said.Pasquale Romano, chief executive officer of Campbell-based ChargePoint, which sells charging stations to businesses that set up the facilities in public locations, told the Mercury News, PG&E’s original plan was “anti-competitive,” and that the network should be allowed “to evolve in an innovative and competitive way.”“The last time we let a monopoly control the end of the network, for decades all we got was those black rotary phones that sat on your table,” Romano told the newspaper. “When we allowed competition for that, we got cordless phones, answering machines, modems, and eventually Internet access. We created an awesome business.” Largest EV market in the U.S.Electric vehicles make up a small slice of the overall automotive market, but PG&E has a lot of them in its service area–roughly 65,000 vehicles, or 20 percent of all the EVs in the country, Greentech Media says.The website Inside EVs, which keeps a running tally of sales, says 72,270 EVs had been sold in the U.S. this year through the end of August. The Tesla Model S is the most popular, with 14,500 units reported sold so far in 2015. The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are the next two best sellers.One of the problems with electric vehicles is their limited driving range (the 30 kWh Leaf, for example, has an estimated range of 107 miles). An expanding network of charging stations will certainly help make the vehicles more appealing.The U.S. Department of Energy maintains a searchable database of stations offering alternate fuels, including electricity. ChargePoint, whose network of EV charging stations includes nearly 24,000 locations, also allows users to search for local stations on its website. Drivers may also have other options, depending on where they live. Some charging points are free, others charge a fee.Two other large California electric utilities also have come up with plans to support the spread of EVs. Southern California Edison last year submitted a plan to develop the infrastructure for as many as 30,000 charging stations over the next few years, an earlier report at Greentech Media said, while San Diego Gas & Electric submitted a plan to install as many as 5,500 EV chargers in its service area.
brian proffitt Solutions Already PresentedIn some circles on the Internet, there have already been some suggestions about how to block these devices, all primarily based around actively jamming Google Glass. But, alas, there are problems with the existing technology behind every one of these solutions.Blinded By The Light: One rather drastic jamming method involves actively aiming a laser at the camera lens of a Glass device to effectively blind it. This would probably work, but involves some serious risks – that camera lens will be very close to someone’s eye. A miss, therefore, could cause serious injury. Plus, given that both the laser and the Google Glass wearer could be moving, the odds of actually hitting the Google Glass camera lens would be very low, even for an automated targeting system. So lasers are out. (See Rule #1.)Visible light shone in the general direction of a Google Glass wearer might be less dangerous, but in order to work – especially in broad daylight – they’d have to be bright enough to dazzle or distract the Glass wearers… and anyone standing (or driving) nearby. Focusing the beams to minimize light leakage could lead to the same issues faced by laser blinding.Infrared Jamming: For quite some time now, people have been kicking around the idea of using infrared LED lights to block security cameras from seeing someone’s face. It might seem logical to apply that idea to jamming Google Glass, since infrared (IR) light is invisible to the human eye.But such IR jammers, when they work at all – and there’s some evidence they don’t – would be effective only for cameras that use IR to monitor scenes in low-light situations. As far as we know, though, Google Glass’ camera won’t use IR sensors. So an array of IR LED lights worn on a hat or in a hood would be completely invisible to a Glass camera. And even if Glass does use IR sensing, there’s no way any IR LED light could outshine ambient sunlight in daytime situations. Not without a huge power supply and creating enough heat to melt your face off. (See Rule #2.)Radio Frequency Jamming: The Internet is full of sites selling these bad boys: frequency jammers that can work on cell, WiFi and even Bluetooth frequencies. This would probably cover all the signals that Glass would use, and render these devices offline in your immediate vicinity. Of course, they would also disable any Internet-connected or cellular devices in range. That kind of overkill might or might not bother you, but it definitely bothers the FCC. In the U.S., at least, there’s a much bigger problem: any active jamming of public radio frequencies is against the law. (See Rule #1.)Things That Might Actually WorkIs there, then, no hope? Will we have to just endure the onslaught of Glass-like devices? Perhaps not. There are a few things that might provide a measure of privacy.Get Me Wardrobe: While tin-foil hats and the like would bust the “dork” rule, there should be some fashion choices that would help hide your identity. Big sunglasses, head scarves, large-brimmed hats… all kinds of accessories could mask your face in the presence of a Glass device. It’s far from 100% protection, of course, but it’s better than nothing. Tags:#Google Glass What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Glass-Free Zones: You may not have to worry about Glass use everywhere you go. Many locations are already leery of camera use, and are likely to enact rules again wearing Google Glass or similar devices. Just try to take a picture in a grocery store or a bank, for instance, and you will be firmly told to stop. Movie theaters, department stores, hospitals… there are many places where privacy and security concerns mean no photography is allowed.It is unlikely that such restrictions will relax for Glass. In fact, we are seeing early evidence that some businesses are already imposing Glass-specific restrictions – including this Seattle bar. Groups are forming to encourage creation of Glass-free havens.Opt-Out Signals: Finally, here’s an idea that might solve the problem once and for all. Building on the LED-light idea, what if there was a tiny light on your person displaying a certain color that, when detected by Glass, would immediately blur your appearance on any recording? Or a special signal broadcast on Bluetooth from your phone that would do the same thing?Obviously, this would require cooperation from Google’s engineers to make sure the devices recognize and act upon the agreed-upon signals. And such a scheme probably could – and would – be hacked. But supporting an opt-out approach might be the easiest, best way to accomodate the rise of these devices without compromising the privacy of everyone in sight.These are just a few ideas that could help prevent detection/recording by Google Glass. There have got to be more and better ways, so please share your ideas in the comments below.All images except the Google Glass photo are licensed by StopTheCyborgs.org under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Forget the technology issues. The social acceptance of Google Glass and other wearable computing devices is a much bigger and more complex question. Is society ready to deal with yet another unstoppable influx of cameras and recording devices documenting our every move?But is that intrusion really inescapable? Are there any methods that people who want a measure of privacy can use to block Google Glass and similar devices?(See also Google Glass: Our Lives Are Not Reality TV and 5 Socially Unacceptable Things You’re Going To Do With Google Glass.)First, The RulesThere are potentially lots of ways someone could prevent themselves from being recorded, but in the interests of public safety and dignity, let’s establish some ground rules right up front.Rule #1. Break No Laws: Clearly, one effective method of blocking Google Glass would be to just walk up and slap the things off someone’s face and step on the devices when they fall to the ground.I think we can all agree: that’s not a good solution.As tempting as it might be, causing personal injury and property damage is wrong and, frankly, stupid. So for the purposes of this exploration, any technique that breaks existing laws or causes lasting harm will be immediately disqualified.Rule #2. Don’t Look Like A Dork: Wearing a knight’s helm or a cardboard box on your head would certainly prevent the recording of your face while walking down the street, but it might also look a bit strange.Let’s assume that any acceptable blocking technique will not involve wearing something that falls way outside the norm for a given culture.
Two more species of balsam, Impatiens rugosipetala from the State’s Lower Dibang valley, and Impatiens tatoensis from the West Siang district, were also discovered and described earlier this year.“Three new species of balsam were discovered from Arunachal Pradesh in 2016, and five [were discovered] in 2015. Since 2013, at least 16 new species of plants under the genus Impatiens, commonly referred to as balsam, have been discovered from Arunachal Pradesh,” said Rajib Gogoi, a scientist with the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), who has been working on balsams in Arunachal Pradesh since 2012, told The Hindu.He said that botanists have found 55 species of balsam from the northeastern State, 16 of which are new discoveries to science. In 2017 alone, scientists discovered and published their findings on five other new species of balsam, taking the total number of balsam species discovered this year to six.Impatiens arunachalensis, which bears purple flowers and a pink throat, was discovered from the Upper Siang district. Since only 50 plants of the species were found at a particular location, scientists described the conservation status of the plant as critically endangered.Another species, Impatiens zironiana, with lanceolate pale yellow floral buds flowering and fruiting in the rainy season from July to September, was discovered from the Lower Subansiri district. Impatiens lohitensis In August 2017, a research paper describing Impatiens walongensis, a new species of balsam, was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Phytotaxa.The species was discovered from Arunachal Pradesh’s Anjaw district, one of India’s easternmost. About a meter tall with ovate elliptical leaves and light pink flowers, the plant was named after Walong, the locality where it was found. Impatiens walongensis is the latest but not the only new discovery of balsam in Arunachal Pradesh. Soil requirementKnown for their starkly differing flower shapes, which are produced along the stem with vivid colours like pink, red, white, purple and yellow, balsams grow in rich moist soil. Across the world, about 1,000 species of these angiosperms or closed seeded plants are known to occur.In India, about 210 balsam species were known till these new discoveries from Arunachal Pradesh emerged. Now, the number of balsam species has increased to 230.“What makes the Impatiens interesting is the high endemism among these plants. In most cases, while collecting the specimens, only a handful of plants are spotted. Since these plants have a very small habitat, they face a threat from the fast-changing landscape of the region,” said Souravjyoti Borah, another botanist associated with these discoveries. Mr. Borah, who has been working with Mr. Gogoi on genus Impatiens, pointed out that inaccessibility and the difficult terrain of the region were among the reasons why it took so long for the new species to be discovered.The researchers also had to dissect and study their morphology in the field itself.Study on hybridsBoth botanists emphasise that balsams have immense horticultural importance. Studies on hybrids of the plants have been undertaken in parts of the country to produce flowers that can sustain in different environmental conditions. Different hybrids can be created from wild balsam species, so it is important to know the actual number of balsam species in the wild, Mr. Borah said.