Beyonce Joins Diddy, Mark Wahlberg and Big Sean to Aid Relief Efforts for Flint Water Crisis
On the heels of her spectacular and politically charged performance during last night's Super Bowl half-time show, Beyoncé announced her brand new world tour as well as plans to aid relief efforts of the toxic water crisis in Flint.
The superstar singer, who will kick off her Formation World Tour in late April in Miami, will partner with the United Way of Genesee County, which has helped in the distribution of thousands of filtration pitchers, faucet mount filters, replacement cartridges and truckloads of water to Flint, tour promoter Live Nation announced.
Beyoncé will also work with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint "to create a fund that will address long-term developmental, education, nutrition and health needs of the children affected by the Flint water crisis," the announcement said.
Beyoncé is asking fans to follow @BeyGood on Twitter for details on helping Flint residents in need.
Thank you @beyonce @beygood for your support of @uwgeneseeco’s work in #Flint. https://t.co/aBK059zN0y #Formation https://t.co/GJajujqL53— United Way (@United Way)1454899995.0
Flint's water disaster started back in April 2014, when an unelected state official switched the city’s main water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money. This ill-fated move corroded Flint’s aging pipelines and exposed the city’s 102,000 residents—especially children—to the potentially crippling effects of lead poisoning.
"True to her life's work of always giving back, fans will be given the opportunity to participate in Beyoncé's #BeyGOOD initiative supporting local United Way programs and the continued work surrounding the water crisis in Flint, Michigan," Live Nation said.
According to MLive.com, rock group Pearl Jam has pledged $100,000 to the efforts. Late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon, singer Madonna, entertainer Rosie O'Donnell, actor Jon Cryer and Saturday Night Live alum Seth Myers have given $10,000 each.
Rapper and Detroit native Big Sean has donated $10,000 along with an online fundraising effort in connection with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint which has raised more than $58,000.
Actor Mark Wahlberg and hip-hop entertainer Sean "Diddy" Combs have donated 1 million bottles of AQUAhydrate water. Singer Cher also donated more than 180,000 bottles of water to the city.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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