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Panama opens science week with bees, beers and chocolate

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Panama opens science week with bees, beers and chocolate

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 15:41

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The production of honey in Panama, the different types of cocoa and he process of fermentation and stages to brew beer, were the main topics discussed by Panamanian scientists, on the occasion of science week that begins on October 18, its promoters reported today.

The National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (Senacyt) reported that to bring science to the public in a simple way, it made several activities and experiments on how certain food products are produced this weekend.

In the exhibition "Sorpréndete con la ciencia", the cultivation of cocoa, varieties of the grain, the production of chocolate and the current situation of the cacao plantations in the province of Bocas del Toro (West), was talked about.

As for the production of artisanal chocolate, the producer of cocoa, Orlando Lozada, explained that after collecting the ripe cocoa fruit, they open to extract the grains, and these are taken to the fermentation process, which takes from 5 to 6 days. They are then dried in the sun and then toasted, which can take 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the intensity of the fire. Afterwards, the husks are removed from the grains and taken to the mill.

Then the cocoa is presented as a dough, which is placed in molds, to take it to the presentation of a chocolate bar for consumption, this is processed in a refining machine, where the grains and masses are crushed, until the lumps are removed so it becomes viscous and pleasant to the palate of the consumer, indicated Lozada.

Specialist Hermógenes Fernández, of the Institute of Scientific Research and High Technology Services (Indicasat), spoke about bees, their problems, and how to improve honey production and encourage greater consumption in the population.

He explained that the consumption of this product among Panamanians is two ounces per year and that more must be encouraged to benefit from their properties.

Fernandez also pointed out that African bees are much more resistant than European bees to diseases caused by mites of the genus Varroa, but they are also more aggressive, which is why beekeepers must wear protective equipment to work with them.

To culminate, the II edition of "Hasta la cerveza tiene su ciencia", members of the Home Brewers Association of Panama and the Technological University of Panama (UTP), explained the fermentation process and its stages, what the flavor of the beer and its colors are attributed to and presentations, among other curiosities of this popular drink.

Senacyt reported that from October 19 to 21 the Latin American Youth Science and Technology Fair will be open to the public at a local hotel and that the next "Sorpréndete con la ciencia" will be held on October 20, 21, 27 and 28 of 2018 at the Albrook Mall in Panama City.



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Moderator comment: From a posting on Twitter, and an automated translation (without editing). For more information, see https://eventos.cableonda.com/olimpiadarobotica/


In October the Robotics Olympics arrive! Educational robotics awakens in our children and young people Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation.





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Mathematics and sports, a "perfect" combination, said expert in Panama

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 16:38


American Tim Chartier said today at a lecture held in Panama, within the framework of the first Science Week of Panama organized by the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT) ), that mathematics and sports are a "perfect" combination.

"With math, sports become easier to understand and help learn things that were previously impossible to see, which makes it more interesting than it was known," said the professor in mathematics at the University of Davidson in North Carolina, United States. 

Chartier revealed that there are teams that hire an analyst to carry their numbers and know, in detail, the performance of their players, teams and even make projections of how many games they will win.

"Bill James, a man who works in security, created the sabermetrics and the Pythagorean expectation, which gives you the ability to calculate the approximate number of games your team will win next season," he said.

He added that the owner of the Boston Red Sox hired him in 2003. He is the Chief Operating Officer of the Red Sox and who maintains a software system called "Carmine" that he helped develop and that is used to evaluate players and swaps.

According to Chartier the mathematical calculations also help the team managers to know when the player is at the highest peak of his career and near the downward curve, that is "the precise moment to exchange the player and earn more money through him".

The mathematician also revealed that part of the success of the Golden State Warriors of the NBA is thanks to analytics.

"In the Golden State Warriors they can know -by calculations- that the third period is the best focus and they score more points; also, analytics leads Stephen Curry to rest in the fourth period, after making a projection at the end of the season and based on the playoffs," he said.

Even the salary of the players carries some science.

"Analytics leads the general managers of teams to reach a better contract and the agents of the players to get more money to their players," he said.

But not only does analytics help in basketball and baseball, but also in less conventional sports such as swimming.

"In swimming analytics helps to know how straight the swimmer should go to make better time, that is to say that the more inclined the athlete swims will not improve his time, all that is analytics", he said.

In soccer, Chartier noted that Germany in 2014 hired an expert in analytics to know what they should do to win the Cup.

"In the 2014 World Cup, the whole world predicted Brazil as the winner, but it was not like so, the Germans knew - through analytics - the way to the championship," he said.

The expert said that mathematics is also used in martial arts or combat sports.

"In mixed martial arts, analytics help fighters know which fighter is better with their fighting style, by the number of fighters their opponent has faced with their own style," he said.

Chartier praised that through studies they could verify that athletes with good study habits are good at their sport.

He said that "in American Football, at least, there was a player who was proficient in studies, but he was not very fast in the field, but he said that his ability in studies led him to predict the movements of opponents, to look faster than he was".

Chartier has worked with the NBA, ESPN, NASCAR teams, and fantasy sports portals. The expert in sports analysis has written more than 50 publications, is the author of multiple books and has made more than 250 lectures as a guest.



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