A lot of Magma Is Lurking Under Taipei

There’s been plenty of volcanic news recently from places you’dn’t consider as having volcanoes. Like, say, Taiwan.

The Tatun Group group of approximately 20 andesitic volcanoes sits just 20 kilometers (about 13 kilometers) or so from Taipei. Above 6.7 million individuals live within 30 kilometer (18.5 kilometers) of the volcanic group, which final erupted around 650 advertising. Researchers from the Academia Sinica’s Institute of world Sciences found seismic evidence for magma about 20 kilometers under the Tatun Group, giving support to the idea that people should consider it potentially active.

The study in Nature Scientific Reports implies that the magma human body actually solitary lens of magma or perhaps a series of sills that may mean the full magmatic system (fluid magma and mush) could be because big as 350 cubic kilometers, based on just what portion regarding the system is molten. But even though this magma happens to be imaged seismically, it willn’t mean an eruption will happen soon. By some estimates, as low as 14 percent of it may be molten, well underneath the well below the limit of approximately 60 % needed before the viscosity for the magma will allow it to erupt.

Eruptions have actually occurred in Taiwan and regional officials established a monitoring system for the Tatun Group given its proximity to Taipei therefore the fact it is been active recently than previously thought. In what could be the understatement regarding the week, Lin Cheng-horng, a geologist from this research, states, “it might happen in a few years, a decade, or numerous years later, it should take a lot more research become better grasped.” Now, we don’t think Lin means an eruption is most likely within the next decade, but that the possibly exists. Maybe it’s hundreds of years before any such thing takes place within Tatun Group, but this research shows there is magma down there today.

Oh, that drone footage of exactly what some called a “submarine eruption” from the coast of Taiwan in 2015 ended up being much more likely steam or gasoline vents off the shore of Kueishantao Island.

India has only one potentially-active volcanoes, within the Andaman water on Barren Island. This remote area is uninhabited, but around 600 individuals live within 5 kilometers of the volcano that has erupted many times throughout the last few hundred years. That makes headlines about the most up-to-date eruption particularly odd, as individuals have called it something of a shock after several years of peaceful, that will be definitely not true.

The area has seen eight periods of eruption since 1991, the most up-to-date closing only one year ago. The current activity is ash emissions and lava moves from a little cone within the bigger volcanic crater, although past eruptions have produced impressive lava fountains. This eruption had been notable just because a research vessel been in the area. However, Barren Island does not pose a lot of a hazard to people and home if you don’t are a bit too near when it has its next eruption.

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Killing Kim Jong Nam With VX Nerve Agent Crossed a ‘Red Line’

Early last week, in an airport in Kuala Lumpur, two women approached Kim Jong Nam—estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un—from behind. They swiped what the victim described to nearby customer service agents as a “wet cloth” across his face, and fled. Shortly after, he was dead.

Now, Malaysian authorities say they’ve identified the substance that took Jong Nam’s life: VX, a nerve agent that the United Nations classifies as a weapon of mass destruction. And while it’s not an entirely uncommon substance—or particularly difficult to produce—its apparent use marks a troubling break from international norms. And if officials manage to link it back to North Korea, it could have serious consequences.

Special VX

If you’re already familiar with VX agent, it’s likely because of seminal 90s action flick The Rock, in which a disgruntled Ed Harris brings over a dozen VX-laden warheads along with him to seize Alcatraz.

VX doesn’t work quite the way The Rock depicts it. Specifically, contact with it doesn’t cause human skin to bubble and sear. But it plays havoc with the human nervous system. Like other nerve agents, VX interferes with the signals that pass between your brain and your muscles. “If you have a nerve impulse that tells a muscle to contract, you have to turn off the impulse. Otherwise the muscle will stay contracted,” says Matthew Meselson, a geneticist at Harvard and member of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation national advisory board. “The one that primarily kills is a spasm of the diaphragm, so you can’t breathe. You die of asphyxiation.”

VX can work through skin contact or respiration, and while it’s part of a broader class of nerve agents that all accomplish roughly the same effect, experts consider it to be especially dangerous, even among banned substances. “It’s heavier than other nerve agents, so it settles on an environment and can be persistent on the ground. If it was used in larger quantities, it could make an area non-usable,” says Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security.

As the Kim Jong-nam incident showed, though, smaller quantities are also dangerous. “Even a tiny drop is lethal,” Inglesby says.

And while an antidote exists—atropine, which unlocks the muscles that VX causes to seize up—the nerve agent works so quickly that it’s no use unless there’s a hypodermic needle on scene.

So dangerous is the stuff, in fact, that all but a handful of countries agreed to destroy whatever stockpiles they had of VX as part of the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. One of the handful of holdouts: North Korea.

The Red Line

In 1995, Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo cult turned the nerve agent on a small number of its members, whom leaders believed to be police informants. On a larger scale, VX was one of the chemical weapons deployed in the Iran-Iraq war. The Kim Jong Nam case, though, would be the first VX assassination on record, and the first time chemical weapons were used to that end since a ricin pellet—fired from an umbrella gun—took Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov’s life in 1978.

“That this particular chemical weapon would be used in a political assassination in a third country is very alarming. It’s a red line,” says Ingelsby. “It should be considered a new threshold that’s been crossed in terms of unconventional weapons.”

Those norms matter. After decades without any nation deploying chemical weapons, Syria used sarin and chlorine gas. If a nation-state such as North Korea uses VX once, they or other actors may well do it again.

‘It should be considered a new threshold that’s been crossed in terms of unconventional weapons.’ Dr. Tom Inglesby, Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security

That’s all conditional for a reason. While North Korea maintains a VX stockpile, and Kim Jong Un may well have considered his half-brother a threat to his rule, there’s no direct link between the VX airport incident and the hermit kingdom. And there may well never be, at least from the weapon of choice.

“It’s not very hard to produce, so it’s doubtful that the specific use can be chemical-traced back to North Korea,” says Sigmund Gartner, director of the Penn State School of International Affairs. Any decent organic chemist can make the stuff.

Meselson also says that it may not have been VX at all; if it was, it’s remarkable that the two women survived the attack as well.

All of which underscores how critical the next several days of investigation will be. If it turns out to be a random or untraceable act, it may at least prove to be an isolated incident. Should a direct link to North Korea exist, the world will find itself in potentially dangerous, uncharted waters.

“The political reaction should be very strong internationally, once all the facts are in,” says Ingelsby. “Responsible countries around the world should make it very clear that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.”

Unfortunately, that’s the thing about red lines. Once you cross them, there’s no going back.

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30+ Best Portfolio WordPress Themes for Your Website (2017)

Are you looking for the best WordPress portfolio themes? WordPress is the perfect tool to create beautiful portfolio websites to showcase your work and get new clients. In this article, we will share our expert pick of the best WordPress Portfolio themes, so you can get started the right away.

Best WordPress themes for portfolios

Building a Portfolio Website with WordPress

Choosing the right platform for your portfolio website is crucial for the success. Self hosted WordPres.org website gives you the flexibility and freedom to build a website that not only showcases your talents but helps you get more work.

To get started, first you will need to sign up for a WordPress hosting account. This is where your website will live on the internet.

You will also need a domain name. This will be the address of your website (example: wpbeginner.com or google.com).

We recommend that you use either Bluehost or SiteGround. These are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an official WordPress hosting partner.

Once you have signed up for a hosting account, you will need to install WordPress. Follow the instructions in our step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog and you will be up and running in no time.

After installing WordPress you will be able to select a theme for your website. You can pick any theme from our expert selection below and then head over to our guide on how to install a WordPress theme to set it up.

Having said that, now let’s take a look at the best WordPress portfolio themes currently available in the market. This list contains a selection of both free and premium WordPress themes and all of them are fully mobile-responsive.

1. Modern Portfolio Pro

Modern Portfolio

Modern Portfolio Pro is an elegant WordPress portfolio theme from StudioPress. It is built on top of the rock solid core of Genesis theme framework.

Modern Portfolio features a minimalist layout with focus on beautiful display of your images and photos.
It has with multiple page layouts for blog, homepage, landing pages, etc. It is easy to setup using the live theme customizer. The homepage is made of widget ready areas allowing you to drag and drop items on your homepage.

2. Ambiance Pro

Ambiance Pro

Ambiance Pro is a WordPress portfolio theme built on Genesis framework. Designed specifically to beautifully showcase your photos and images, Ambiance Pro comes with beautiful layout choices and elegant typography.

It comes with multiple page templates for your blog, archives, and landing pages. It is quick and easy to setup using the live theme customizer. It has two navigation menus one at the top and the other one at the bottom. The homepage is fully widgetized so you can easily set it up in minutes.

3. Expose Pro

Expose Pro

Expose Pro is another elegant and stylish WordPress portfolio theme by StudioPress. It comes with a widgetized homepage with four widget areas and has multiple templates for your blog, homepage, archive, and landing pages.

Expose Pro is designed to beautifully showcase your photography. It uses large image display and has a custom gallery post format with lightbox display of your photos. It is quick and easy to set up and is highly optimized for speed and performance.

4. Candid


Candid is a stunningly beautiful WordPress multi-purpose theme with a minimalist style portfolio section baked in. If you want to showcase different kind of multi-media in a storytelling format, then you’d like Candid.

It comes in a beautiful grid based two column layout for the homepage. It beautifully displays featured images, videos, and uses crisp typography that looks great on all devices.

5. Camera


As the name suggests, Camera is a gorgeous WordPress portfolio theme for photographers, illustrators, and visual artists. It focuses on a stunningly beautiful display of large images with elegant typography that allows you to add rich storytelling element to your images.

It features a distraction free layout with collapsible menu and sidebar. It is easy to setup and avoids confusing users with complicated options. It comes with a built-in getting started dashboard that will help you set up the theme in minutes.

6. Designer


Designer is a beautiful WordPress portfolio theme for designers, artists, photographers, and storytellers. It uses a beautiful grid-based two column layout on the homepage and comes with a beautiful portfolio display.

It focuses on making sure that your images pop out and no other design elements distracts users away. It has collapsible menu and sidebar and comes with getting started dashboard to help you get started.

7. Pocket


Pocket is a minimalist photography and portfolio WordPress theme. It features gorgeous typography and large display of features images and headers. There are no sidebars except for the one widget ready area at the bottom.

It comes with one navigation menu at the top and a social media links menu at the bottom. Due to its super-minimalist approach to design, Pocket is very easy to set up and is highly optimized for speed and performance.

8. North


North is another awesome WordPress portfolio theme with a grid based layout. It comes with beautiful portfolio templates to beautifully display images, photos, videos, and audio files.

It comes with multiple color choices, supports posts formats, and can be used with third party gallery plugins to create beautiful photo galleries.

9. Verb


Verb is a WordPress portfolio theme for designers, artists, photographers, etc. It features a gorgeous design with a grid layout on the homepage and full-width pages for portfolio items and pages.

Verb allows you to customize colors and upload custom logo from the live theme customizer.

10. Peak


Peak is a modern WordPress portfolio theme featuring a tile based display of images in a responsive grid layout.

It comes with multiple layouts for pages as well as posts. It features a mega menu on top, social media menu, and slide-in sidebar widgets.

11. Aesthetic


Aesthetic is a stylish WordPress portfolio theme suitable for photographers, stylists, designers, etc. It comes with a built-in portfolio section, multiple layout choices, and unlimited colors.

It also comes with multiple sidebars and a drag and drop page builder. It also fully supports WooCommerce and can be used to run your own online store.

12. Resume


Resume is a bold WordPress portfolio theme. It comes with a built-in portfolio management area, custom widgets, and a drag and drop homepage builder.

It can also be used as a single page theme where all your website sections are displayed on the homepage.

13. Exposure


Exposure is a stylish multi-purpose WordPress theme with portfolio management system built-in. It is ideal for photography, fashion, lifestyle, arts and crafts websites.

It comes with a drag and drop page builder which allows you to design your pages the way you want. It has lots of customization options built-in and it is fully mobile responsive.

14. Corner


Corner is a minimalist style WordPress portfolio theme for artists, designers and photographers. It comes with a built-in portfolio management area and custom widgets for Twitter and Flickr.

It has multiple page layouts and you can choose your own colors. It supports WooCommerce and is tested with popular WordPress page builder plugins.

15. Elegant


Elegant is a powerful WordPress theme for portfolios. It comes with a built-in portfolio management area and comes with multiple grid and column based layouts. It also comes with image filters that you can apply to your photos after uploading them.

The theme comes with its own drag and drop page builder with several built-in templates to quickly create different kind of landing pages. It features gorgeous typography and comes with several custom widgets.

16. Angle


Angle is a flexible WordPress multi-purpose theme with portfolio section. It comes with a drag and drop page builder, multiple layout options, and several custom widgets.

It is designed to be suitable for portfolio, blogging, photography, and even as a business website. It is easy to set up and optimized for speed and SEO.

17. Coastline


Coastline is a uniquely beautiful WordPress portfolio theme. It comes with portfolio content type, powerful custom widgets, and multiple layout choices.

It features a fixed left sidebar with custom background support and comes with different page templates for blog, portfolio, archives, and galleries.

18. True North

True North

True North is a flexible WordPress portfolio theme with a beautiful design. It comes with multiple layout choices and built-in portfolio section. It features grid based layout on the home page with beautiful display of images.

True North supports custom background, custom header, and comes with several custom widgets for social media.

19. Memories


Memories is a beautiful WordPress photography theme with elegant display of your portfolio items. It does not have a portfolio content type, instead it comes with a gallery display that showcases your photographs, designs, and other visual artworks beautifully.

The theme comes with multiple color schemes and has multiple layout choices. It comes with custom background and header support as well as custom widgets for your social media profiles.

20. Nico


Nico is another elegantly designed WordPress portfolio theme for photographers, artists, designers, etc. It comes with a beautiful filterable portfolio section and flexible layout options for different pages on your site.

Nico comes with multiple color schemes and has support for custom backgrounds, headers, widgets, etc.

21. Vignette


Vignette is a powerful WordPress multi-purpose theme designed specifically for photographers. The homepage features a full screen header where you can use an image or a video with your call to action.

Vignette does not come with a portfolio filter type. Instead it comes with image galleries to showcase your work. It has flexible customization options with support for custom headers, background, multiple page layouts and color schemes.

22. Mozzy


Mozzy is a bright WordPress portfolio theme for illustrators, graphic designers, photographers, etc. It features a customizable homepage with slider and featured content areas.

It comes with built-in sections for portfolio, services, and clients. It comes with support for custom post formats, backgrounds, headers, and social widgets.

23. Mustache


Mustache is a single page WordPress portfolio theme for designers, artists, photographers, etc. It is flexible to be used as a onepage theme or a multi-page theme. It comes with built-in portfolio, clients, services, and team members content types.

Mustache features a gorgeous and truly unique design with custom logo support. It comes with Google Maps and contact form support as well.

24. Draft


Draft is a minimalist style free WordPress portfolio theme. It uses featured images to display a grid based layout on the homepage. Ideal for photographers to showcase their work. It supports theme customization using live customizer and comes with a single navigation menu on top.

25. Shapely


Shapely is a highly customizable free WordPress portfolio theme. It is designed to be flexible enough for single page websites as well as multi-page sites. It features a beautiful display of featured images and comes with large custom header support.

It has a fully widgetized homepage where you can just drag and drop widgets to add portfolio, testimonials, and parallax sections.

26. Nikkon


Nikkon is a free WordPress photography and portfolio theme. It is designed to beautifully showcase images in a grid based layout on the homepage. It offers multiple header layouts, footer layouts and multiple page templates. It supports WooCommerce out of the box and comes with easy customization options.

27. Pixgraphy


Pixgraphy is an elegant and free WordPress portfolio theme. The homepage features a large header image or custom slider with a grid based layout using featured images. It supports many popular free plugins out of the box and is fully compatible with Polylang plugin to build multilingual websites.

28. Gridsby


Gridsby is a free Pinterest style WordPress portfolio theme designed specifically for photographers, curators, artists, etc. The homepage is built using featured images from blog posts in a beautiful grid based layout. It also uses homepage gallery as a feature to showcase your photos on the homepage.

29. Bailey


Bailey is a flexible WordPress portfolio theme for interior designers, photographers, and other creative types. It comes with a built-in section for projects allowing you to easily add portfolio items with full details and images.

The theme supports multiple page layouts with multiple sidebar options. It also comes with several ready to use custom widgets for social media, simple slider, and featured content slider.

30. Videographer


As the name suggests, Videographer is a WordPress portfolio theme for video producers, filmmakers, and photographers. It features a large fullscreen header video section on the homepage. It comes with a drag and drop page editor, tons of shortcodes, and several ready-to-use custom widgets.

Videographer also offers page templates, with multiple sidebar options. It comes with different color schemes and it is very easy to setup.

31. Remi


Remi is another beautiful WordPress portfolio and photography theme. It comes with built in content type to add and manage your projects and portfolio items. It comes with multiple layout options and several custom widgets. It comes with Google Maps and Google fonts support and can be easily customized using live customizer.

That’s all for now.

We hope this article helped you find the perfect WordPress theme for portfolio websites. You may also want to see our complete step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Do You Really Need a VPS? Best WordPress VPS Hosting Compared – 2017

Are you looking to compare the best VPS hosting services for WordPress?

Finding the best VPS hosting for WordPress can be overwhelming with so many different options in the market. Sometimes VPS isn’t even the best option for your needs. Just because your website has outgrown shared hosting doesn’t mean that you need a VPS.

Maybe you need managed WordPress hosting or even a dedicated server.

It’s extremely important to understand the Pros and Cons of VPS hosting, so you can make the right decision for your needs.

WPBeginner is the largest independent WordPress resource site that receives millions of pageviews per month. Having helped 100,000+ users and years of experience with WordPress hosting companies, we have created the most comprehensive guide that will help you understand everything you need to know about VPS hosting as well as compare the top VPS hosting companies, so you can choose the best VPS hosting service for WordPress.

Read the full comparison here.

Congress Could Make Self-Driving Cars Happen or Ruin Everything

Congress just stepped into the robocar game. Previously two times, a couple of senators started drafting legislation to advance autonomous automobiles, and the House Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and customer Protection held a two-hour hearing exploring how regarding the tech may be implemented. For the elected officials, it’s a large, if tentative, step into the future of transportation.

Obviously, they’re just a little late. Little numbers of robocars currently wander the San Francisco Bay Area as well as other towns, and you’ll probably begin riding included in just a couple of years as Uber among others commercialize the technology. Everything is rushing before a regulatory structure ill-equipped to usher inside modification.

The nation’s patchwork of laws and regulations regulating this technology state nothing about how precisely it’s tested (and on occasion even defined), exactly how cars using it will run, as well as who should settle these questions. Congress can address these all of those questions and guarantee this technology succeeds.

Or they are able to screw all of it up.

“I’d keep clear of dramatic proposals that could produce more dilemmas than they solve,” says Bryant Walker Smith, a professional on autonomous automobiles at University of sc class of Law. Most likely, this evolving technology permeates many parts of society: public security, privacy, the surroundings, obligation and insurance coverage legislation, employment, urban preparation, and more. A legislation aimed at cutting congestion could tangle with tort law; a clause ensuring passenger privacy could eliminate financial benefits for automakers.

State legislators have already stepped in it. The folks behind California’s autonomous automobiles legislation couldn’t also define “autonomous car” without giving Uber a plausible argument for ignoring the rules. Michigan’s law favors founded automakers over newcomers like Bing and Uber. Nevada was able to write a law requiring anyone running an autonomous vehicles to improve its permit dish upon going into the state.

New Law for a Brand new Period

Automakers and technology organizations developing autonomous technology inhabit fear of states drafting their very own rules, making a patchwork of laws. That’s precisely what’s taking place, because although federal regulators dictate almost anything in regards to a car you are able to think about (brake lights should be red, turn alert icons are green, passenger vehicles have airbags), states regulators stipulate their procedure by establishing speed limits, traffic guidelines, an such like.

That’s why the GMs and Googles worldwide see federal intervention being a potential savior. Federal oversight provides a broad, constant framework for evaluation and deploying their robots. During Tuesday’s home subcommittee hearing, representatives of General Motors, Toyota, Volvo, and Lyft said they’re okay because of the voluntary 15-point list the federal Department of Transportation released last fall. (Among other items, the principles favor greater flexibility by federal regulators and present automakers wide latitude in the way they prove the security of the technology.) The guidelines alert states against creating extra laws, and don’t plunge too profoundly into stipulating what kind of technology every person uses—Tesla’s opposition to LIDAR is OK, as is Ford’s lack of curiosity about vehicle-to-infrastructure technology and GM’s commitment to deploying ride-sharing robocars with Lyft.

The absolutely wishes the feds to step it. “Do you agree that Federal automobile protection criteria have to be updated to be able to support the deployment of automated automobiles?” Representative Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, expected industry witnesses. 1 by 1, they took place the line: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Of course, they aren’t the only real stakeholders. Any major legislation should think about the issues of independent researchers, privacy and consumer advocates, transport specialists, driver unions, as well as others. Further complicating things, the technology can be so brand new that nobody agrees how a finished product works, as well as how exactly to figure out whenever a robocar is ready for primetime.

“We neither know what test autonomous cars must have to just take nor exactly what should constitute a moving grade,” testified Nidhi Kalra, co-director and senior information scientist within RAND Center for choice generating Under Uncertainty.

Nips & Tucks

If Congress does not have the need to study the matter very carefully and tackle it by having a comprehensive law, it could go at things piecemeal and still nudge automation along. It might begin by revising the Federal automobile protection Standards to reflect autonomous technology. Including, the rules require things like foot-activated brake system. The National Highway Transportation protection management can amend the regulations, but it calls for a few rounds of draft guidelines and public comments. That takes years. Congress will make the same change quickly with a law, or even a clause tucked into, state, an infrastructure omnibus.

It could also tweak Title 49 associated with US legal rule, allowing the assistant of transport to exempt automobiles from federal standards—to a point. What the law states (especially area 30113(d) and 30113(e)) limits those cars to 2,500 per maker in a 12-month duration, and exemption can’t last a lot more than 3 years. Federal regulators are very happy to let Bing produce a car with no controls or brakes, but without congressional assistance, that goodwill can simply go up to now.

Congress additionally could provide regulators the best to accept these automobiles before they go on sale. The nationwide Highway Traffic Safety Administration springs into action whenever cars already traveling prove on their own unsafe. If the DOT published its AV instructions this past year, it suggested Congress treat self-driving vehicles like aircraft, drugs, and medical devices—unsafe and un-OK until evidence states otherwise. You could argue that’ll slow things down, but ensuring these vehicles are safe before they hit the street could avoid crashes that might set the entire industry right back.

That one’s an extended shot, because a hates the concept (you’ll stifle innovation!) and today’s Republican-dominated federal government barely lusts after more regulation. “It does not look like there’s lots of passion for that,” states Smith, the legal expert. “And the agency would require more resources.” Don’t expect Congress to unlock more money, either.

Whatever Congress decides, it must chart a careful course. The age of the robocar is nigh, plus the change will stir up some scary seas.

Aarian Marshall contributed reporting.

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