Update on the latest sports

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNBA-NEWSWolves send Wiggins to Warriors for RussellUNDATED (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves have traded Andrew Wiggins to the Golden State Warriors for D’Angelo Russell in a swap of high scorers. The trade deadline for all squads ended today. Associated Press February 6, 2020 MLB-NEWSMax Muncy, Dodgers agree to $26 million, 3-year contractLOS ANGELES (AP) — Infielder Max Muncy and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a $26 million, three-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. Muncy gets a $4.5 million signing bonus and a salary of $1 million this year. The Dodgers have a $13 million option for 2023 with a $1.5 million buyout.Muncy hit 35 home runs last season despite missing a lot of time in September because of a broken wrist. The 29-year-old’s offense has made him a mainstay in the lineup, and he can also play a variety of positions.In other baseball news: Female athlete to launch Olympic torch relay for 1st timeATHENS, Greece (AP) — For the first time, a woman has been chosen to launch the torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Games at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics in Greece.Greece’s Olympic committee says it has picked Rio de Janeiro shooting gold medalist Anna Korakaki as the first torchbearer following the flame-lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia on March 12. The torch relay will course through Greece for a week before the flame is handed over to Tokyo organizing officials at a ceremony in Athens.BOSTON MARATHON-START TIMESBoston Marathon tweaks start times to emphasize women’s race BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Marathon is tweaking its start times to send the elite men off before the women for the race’s 124th edition this year, a reversal that organizers hope will give the women’s race more attention.The men will leave at 9:37 a.m. for the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston’s Back Bay, with the elite women leaving eight minutes later. Update on the latest sportscenter_img Weddle made his long-expected retirement announcement on Twitter, although the hard-hitting safety with the big beard didn’t use the specific word.Weddle played nine seasons for the San Diego Chargers and three more for the Baltimore Ravens before spending last season with the Los Angeles Rams. He said in December that he didn’t expect to return for the second season of his contract with the club.The 35-year-old Weddle became one of the NFL’s toughest and most durable safeties after San Diego drafted him out of Utah in the second round in 2007. Weddle was a Pro Bowl selection in 2011, 2013 and 2014 for the Chargers. He joined Baltimore in 2016 and earned three straight Pro Bowl selections.In other NFL news:— Mike Vrabel (VRAY’-bul) has finalized his Titans coaching staff by hiring Jim Haslett as Tennessee’s inside linebackers coach. Haslett was Vrabel’s defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh between 1997 and 1998. He has been a defensive coordinator for 12 seasons. The deal was first reported by ESPN and confirmed to The Associated Press.Russell, a dynamic point guard in his fifth NBA season, has been on Minnesota’s radar for months. He averaged 23.6 points per game for the injury-wrecked Warriors. Wiggins was averaging 22.4 points per game for the Wolves in his sixth season in the league.In other NBA news:— The Atlanta Hawks have requested waivers on center Nenê (neh-NAY’), one day after he was acquired from Houston as part of a four-team trade. The 37-year-old hasn’t played this season due to a left adductor strain. The Hawks have also acquired center Clint Capela from the Rockets in a four-team trade involving 12 players. In the deal. Atlanta sent guard Evan Turner and a conditional 2020 first-round pick to Minnesota and a 2024 second-round pick to Houston.— A person familiar with the trade says the Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to acquire center Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons. Cleveland is sending forward John Henson, guard Brandon Knight and one of its two second-round picks in 2023 to the Pistons. The Cavs are just 13-39 under first-year coach John Beilein (BEE’-lyn). — Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich (ryk) has added three assistant coaches to his staff and reassigned two others. The Colts announced the hiring of Brian Baker as defensive line coach, Mike Groh as receivers coach and Tyler Boyles as assistant to the head coach. Kevin Patullo, the receivers coach the last two seasons, will now become the Colts’ passing game specialist. And Parks Frazier takes over as offensive quality control coach. Indy finished 7-9.NHL-BLACKHAWKS-SEABROOKBlackhawks Seabrook undergoes right hip surgeryCHICAGO (AP) — Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook is expected to be ready for the start of next season after he had right hip surgery. The 34-year-old Seabrook also had right shoulder surgery in December and left hip surgery last month. Team physician Michael Terry said Seabrook will be ready to return in five to six months. Seabrook is under contract through the 2023-24 season at an average annual value of $6,875,000.TOKYO GAMES-TORCH RELAY — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says talks have ended over the proposed sale of a controlling share of the New York Mets from the families of Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to hedge fund manager Steven Cohen. The Mets said in December that the contemplated deal between Sterling Partners and Cohen would allow 83-year-old Fred Wilpon to remain as controlling owner and chief executive officer for five years.— Dozens of students welcomed Hank Aaron to their Atlanta college as the school named a building for the baseball icon on his 86th birthday. Atlanta Technical College christened the Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron Academic Complex for the Atlanta Braves slugger Wednesday. Aaron, who is 86, is a longtime financial supporter of the college.NFL-NEWSSafety Eric Weddle says he’s done after 13-year NFL careerUNDATED (AP) — Six-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle says he is done with his 13-year NFL career. — Dewayne Dedmon is returning to the Atlanta Hawks in a trade that sends center Alex Len and forward Jabari Parker to the Sacramento Kings. The trade satisfies his wish to leave Sacramento. Dedmon was fined $50,000 last month for making a public request to be traded.—The Philadelphia 76ers have acquired Glenn Robinson and Alec Burks from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for draft picks. The Sixers will send Golden State a 2020 second-round pick via Dallas, a 2021 second-round pick via Denver, and a 2022 second-round pick via Toronto. The 76ers made room at the deadline when they traded James Ennis III to the Orlando Magic for a future second-round pick.— Andre Iguodala’s (ihg-ah-DAH’-lahz) is heading to Miami after the Heat and Memphis Grizzlies agreed to terms on a six-player trade. The portion of the trade involving Iguodala was agreed upon Wednesday night.In other NBA news:— A person with knowledge of the details says a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others killed in a helicopter crash is planned for Feb. 24 at Staples Center. The date corresponds with the jersey numbers he and 13-year-old daughter Gianna wore — 24 for him and 2 for her. The Staples Center has played host to other memorials, including for Michael Jackson.last_img read more

Ring the alarm: Close calls in the Big Ten

first_imgFor No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan, this weekend was supposed to be little more than a tune-up in preparation for their Nov. 18 showdown in Columbus.Ohio State was facing a two-win Illinois team that is at the bottom of the Big Ten and Michigan had a home game against a sub-.500 team from the Mid-American Conference in Ball State.Both teams were ultimately successful, but they both faced much more difficult games than they had anticipated.Ohio State squeaked past Illinois 17-10. The Illini scored all 10 of their points in the fourth quarter and their lone touchdown with under two minutes to play. On the ensuing possession, Ohio State recovered the onside kick and left Illinois with a win that was significantly more difficult than they had believed it was going to be.”It was a reality call that when you travel to any stadium in the Big Ten conference, you better play for 60 minutes,” Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. “Having a tough schedule really prepares you, and that tough schedule includes being in a dogfight for 60 minutes; that’s healthy as can be.”Tressel spoke to the overall difficulty of the conference and said no team can be overlooked.Ohio State running back Antonio Pittman rushed for less than 60 yards on less than two yards per carry, and OSU QB and Heisman frontrunner Troy Smith threw for just over 100 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.Michigan defeated Ball State 34-26. The Wolverines struggled in the early part of the first half but went into halftime with a 24-12 lead and looked to put the game away getting a touchdown midway through the third quarter making it 31-12.But Ball State refused to give up and got within one possession, 34-26, late in the game. Behind by just eight points, Ball State drove the ball down the field and was on the Michigan 2-yard line with an opportunity to tie. They were ultimately unable to convert and had a turnover on downs, and Michigan was able to escape with the victory.Michigan coach Lloyd Carr saw the game as an opportunity to get his team refocused.”Any time you make critical errors, it forces you to refocus on the things that force you to lose,” Carr said. “I look at every game as an opportunity to learn, and this game provided us with a number of opportunities to learn.”A disappointing seasonDisappointing is probably the best word to describe this year’s Iowa Hawkeyes team. They were ranked 16th in the nation at the start of the season and were supposed to compete with Ohio State and Michigan for the Big Ten title.Things have not quite worked out as planned for the Hawkeyes. The season started out well for them as they won their first four games, including a 27-17 win against cross state rival Iowa State.Since then things haven’t gone their way. The team lost four of its next six games and went from possibly being a Big Ten title contender to possibly not even making a bowl game.The low point of their season was this weekend as they fell to Northwestern, 21-7. The Hawkeyes were soundly defeated at home by a team that, at the time, had yet to win a Big Ten game.”They really outplayed us in all three areas (offense, defense and special teams),” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “It was a tough loss for us, particularly to be at home; it’s tough to lose anywhere, but you especially hate to lose at home.”The indestructible Joe-PaThe Wisconsin Badgers beat Penn State 13-3 last Saturday. But that wasn’t the big story of that game.The big story was a sideline collision where Nittany Lions tight end Andrew Quarless and Wisconsin linebacker DeAndre Levy ran into Penn State coach Joe Paterno. This resulted in a fractured tibia and two torn knee ligaments for Paterno, who had surgery on Monday.After a surgery like that, most coaches would take the next game off, especially when the game is non-conference and against a one-win team like Temple. Add in the fact that Paterno is 79 years old, and it could be understood if he not only took the next game off but possibly the rest of the season. But just five days after surgery, Paterno will try to be on the sideline this Saturday against Temple. “Everybody is worried about him, but if you know Coach, all he’s worried about is the team,” Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said. “He’s chomping at the bit to get back here, and he’ll be back here soon enough.”last_img read more

Alcona Superintendent says school year is not over

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisLINCOLN, Mich. — Face to face instruction may have been cancelled, and school buildings may have been closed across Michigan, but that doesn’t mean the school year is over. Students may think that because of the governor’s executive order, that means they won’t have to worry about any more school work.Superintendent of Alcona Schools, Dan O’Connor says that they are working on three main goals – consulting with families and making sure that they have everything they need, providing social and emotional learning resources so that the mental of students is being looked after, and providing academic resources.Alcona schools and others in our area must submit and be approved for their education plans for the rest of this school year to the Alpena, Montmorency, Alcona Educational Service District. “Our staff will be working on that heavily over the next two weeks virtually,” said O’Connor. “As I said we’re targeting to hopefully get resources out to parents for the first time by the 24th, but the state had mandated that at the latest it would be out by the 28th.”O’Connor added that students shouldn’t relax too much, as more coursework will be heading their way soon enough. “The school year is definitely not over and we are still going to be there to serve and support families and students through the end of the scheduled school year with the three goals that I outlined earlier, as well as food service.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Alcona Community SchoolsContinue ReadingPrevious Call center hours extended to better serve Michiganders filing for unemployment benefitsNext Senator Gary Peters proposes ‘hazard pay’ for essential, frontline workers during COVID-19 pandemiclast_img read more

KEEP Dedicates Reading Room, Computer Lab on Du Port Road

first_imgThe Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) on Saturday May 14, 2016 dedicated and turned over both a reading room & computer resource center to the New Life Christian Academy after a year of working on the facility for the community school. The computer lab has been equipped with 10 desktop computers which will provide free computer literacy trainings to both the students of the school and other students in the community. “As a human resource professional, I have observed that many of the Liberian students graduate from high school without knowing how to operate a computer, research online and utilize the internet to help educate themselves and broaden their knowledge,” said KEEP founder Brenda Brewer Moore. KEEP is the brainchild of Brenda Brewer Moore and her husband Ransford. “One of our goals at KEEP is to promote reading, particularly at the Early Childhood Development (ECD) level and the reading room will provide an opportunity to encourage developing the habit of reading among young learners,” she told the audience that comprised officials from the Ministry of Education, the private sector, foreign guests and members of the community. Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Romelle Horton, Deputy Minister for Instruction, pledged an entire collection of books, based on the Liberian curriculum, for the reading room, “so that the students can keep up with their studies while they are out of school.” Visibly impressed by what she saw, Dr. Horton observed that the reading room and computer center “are situated right within the community, which means, I’m hoping, that it will have an impact on the community, that you have children living in the community making use of this facility — reading and getting into a culture of reading — to love to read and want to learn. So I’m really hoping that they are going to see this as an anchor to bring the community together and train them not only how to ready but how to use the computer.” At one point, the Assistant Minister for Eearly Childhood Education (MOE), Yukikho Amnon, called out to all the community dwellers in a very loud voice: “My people, this is for your children. This place is for free so your children can learn and be better for you for tomorrow. Please make use of it and don’t let this facility go to waste. This is for you.” The New Life Christian Academy (NLCA) was founded in a mat shack in 2008 by Rev. and Mrs. William Barjebo, who observed when they returned home from exile in Ghana in 2005 that, “children were loitering around the community during school hours. We asked them and they said their parents did not have the money to send them to school. So I spoke with some of the parents and found that most of them were not able to afford the L$15,000 or L$20,000 tuition that most schools required. And most of these kids, these are not their biological parents. The kids are just staying with them and some are street sellers. “So I said to them, ‘If I open the school and invite the kids to come to school, would you allow them to come?’ They said, ‘Why not’. So that brought the passion and burden on me to open the school,” Rev. Barjebo said. “See, we preach the Gospel and so we also have to practicalize what we preach.” Rev. Barjebo, who is also the principal of the school, got in touch with KEEP during the Ebola epidemic when NLCA hosted Youth Connect, an organization called that came to their community to do Ebola sensitization. Voicing his desire for home schooling for the kids, since the Government of Liberia had declared all schools closed during the epidemic, the Youth Connect official told him about KEEP and immediately connected them. “Immediately when we connected with Brenda, she brought us 250 parcels of learning materials for the kids and we started to distribute them,” he said. The New Life Christian Academy currently schools 789 kids in morning and afternoon sessions, and hosts adult literacy nights. “New Life has given relief to many kids coming to school, who would have not otherwise had the opportunity; and KEEP coming in to buttress, that is, to brighten the minds of the children, creating a reading room and a computer lab to make available more resources for them, has really strengthened our impact,” Rev. Barjebo said. The facility has been named the Michelle Tooley Resource Center in honor of an educator who donated the initial cash to start the construction of the center and later died from cancer. KEEP’s work piqued Michelle Tooley’s interest when she initially learned about their acitivies, Brenda says, and left in her will the initial US$2,000, with which the reading room and computer lab were established. Tooley also played host to Public Works Minister Guyde Moore and two other foreign students while they attend college in the United States. Brenda Moore says her new-found talent for “begging” helped KEEP gather all the materials needed for the facility — from desks, chairs and books for the kids to the computers, paint and tiles, even a generator. The program sheet was inundated with donors and sponsors — institutions and individuals who contributed to the successful make-ready of the facility. Among them present were Price Waterhouse Coopers, APM Terminals, The Liberia Telecommunications Authority and ActionAid Liberia. The set of refurbished computers were donated by the Christian Association for Regional Development (CARD) Europe. StarZ Institute of Technology has pledged to send interns to train teachers at the facility how to use the computers; while Cammepa Productions (Liberia Fashion Week) donated books and games. Commerce Minister and Mrs. Axel Addy donated US$250 worth of books and Public Works Minister and Mrs. Guyde Moore pledged “an mount equivalent to what Ms. Tooley donated” toward an identical facility to be established in Duazohn. “One Down, two more to 2016,” Brenda exclaimed in a facebook post. The other two are planned to be established in Duazohn, along the Robertsfield Highway and in Gbarpolu County. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Assessing Evolutionary Explanations

first_imgNo matter the biological discovery, evolutionists are ready with their explanations.  The explanations, however, are often riddled with puzzles, surprises, and seemingly arbitrary appeals to chance.  Do such explanations really provide more understanding than those of creationists, who explain that living things were designed for a purpose?Shrimp deal:  “Many deep-sea species have close relatives living in shallow, relatively warm water, but how shallow-water species were initially able to cope with the huge hydrostatic pressures of the deep ocean is poorly understood,” said a researcher at the University of Southampton.  According to PhysOrg, the team studied closely-related shrimp that live in shallow waters and near deep-sea vents – environments with astonishing differences in pressure and temperature.    The observations merely demonstrated that these shrimp can live in either environment.  Their evolutionary explanation had to invoke an unobserved ancestor: “These physiological capabilities were probably inherited from an ancestral species shared by both shallow-water and related vent species.”    The explanation, however, begs the question of how the putative ancestor gained the ability to survive both environments in the first place.  And if the living species have that ability, what has been explained?  Evolutionary theory appears to be a superfluous appendage to an observation that the shrimp are designed to survive in a wide variety of conditions.Hunt for and gather a story:  We have a mystery.  “One of the most complex human mysteries involves how and why we became an outlier species in terms of biological success” – particularly, why are human hunter-gatherer cultures so different from those of other primates?  PhysOrg again came to the rescue to explain the mystery and deliver understanding, this time from scientists at the University of Arizona “who study hunter-gatherer societies”.  The article promised their work is “informing the issue by suggesting that human ancestral social structure may be the root of cumulative culture and cooperation and, ultimately, human uniqueness.”    Clearly humans had ancestors, and some of them hunted and gathered – as some cultures do today.  At first glance this explanation (actually just a suggestion) seems like a tautology; early humans had a unique ancestral social structure that gave birth to a modern unique social structure.  The ASU team, intent on deriving human uniqueness from other primates, studied 32 modern foraging tribes, and found the obvious: they identified “human hunter-gatherer group structure as unique among primates.”    But how did they get that way?  That’s the evolutionary question.  “The increase in human network size over other primates may explain why humans evolved an emphasis on social learning that results in cultural transmission,” Professor Kim Hill offered.  “Likewise, the unique composition of human ancestral groups promotes cooperation among large groups of non-kin, something extremely rare in nature.”  Humans are unique because they evolved to be unique.  Is that what he just said?The hand is quicker than the stone:  “Stone Tools Influenced Hand Evolution in Human Ancestors, Anthropologists Say.”  That’s a headline on Science Daily that claims research at University of Kent “confirmed Charles Darwin’s speculation that the evolution of unique features in the human hand was influenced by increased tool use in our ancestors.”  But did the tools shape the hand, or did the hand shape the tools?    Here’s the data: “Research over the last century has certainly confirmed the existence of a suite of features in the bones and musculature of the human hand and wrist associated with specific gripping and manipulatory capabilities that are different from those of other extant great apes.”  Then, the explanation: “These features have fuelled suggestions that, at some point since humans split from the last common ancestor of living apes, the human hand evolved away from features adapted for locomotion toward alternative functions.”    A creationist reading this is going to reject the assumption that humans split from a common ancestor.  What can evolutionists argue as evidence for their view?  One of the them at U of Kent put forward the possibility that the human hand “may have been subject to natural selection as a result of using simple cutting tools.”  But why would a primate use tools without the equipment to do it?  And what about a stone causes a hand to evolve?  New Caledonian crows have probably been using tools longer than evolutionists think humans have, but their beaks do not appear to be changing much from those of other birds (see 05/26/2009 and links).    Somehow, their “may have” suggestion evolved into a triumph for Darwin:Dr [Stephen] Lycett, Senior Lecturer in Human Evolution at the University’s School of Anthropology and Conservation, explained: ‘140 years ago, writing from his home at Down House in Kent, Darwin proposed that the use of stone tools may have influenced the evolution of human hands.    ‘Our research suggests that he was correct.  From a very early stage in our evolution, the cultural behaviour of our ancestors was influencing biological evolution in specific ways.’Did the cultural behavior influence the evolution of the hand, or did the hand influence the cultural behavior?  Or did both evolve together?  In any of these cases, it is not clear that the observations about the uniqueness of the human hand have been explained at all.Progress in size:  Researchers at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center have convinced themselves that “Evolution Drives Many Plants and Animals to Be Bigger, Faster,” reported Science Daily.  The challenge, though, is whether they could convince a nonbeliever in evolution with their explanation.    “Organisms with bigger bodies or faster growth rates tend to live longer, mate more and produce more offspring, whether they are deer or damselflies, the authors report.”  So far, a correlation between size and fecundity is all they’ve served up.  Whether lizards, snakes, insects and plants, the organisms in their sample of 100 species (as found in the literature on natural selection) displayed a “very widespread pattern” appearing to support the claim that “larger body size and earlier seasonal timing – such as earlier breeding, blooming or hatching – confer significant survival advantages.”    Questions arise immediately from this explanation, though: why doesn’t every animal and plant evolve to get bigger and faster over time?  And why were so many extinct species much larger than their modern counterparts?  If a prey animal gets bigger, but its predator simultaneously grows bigger and faster, has the prey animal won any survival advantage? (see “Slippage on the treadmill,” 03/17/2003).  Another question: why don’t animals converge on a Goldilocks model – a medium size?  The authors themselves were puzzled by that.  “If organisms are supposedly well-adapted to their particular circumstances, then why is it so seldom the case that the individuals that survive and reproduce the best are the ones that are not too small, nor too big, but just right?”    Their initial explanation, therefore, required several auxiliary explanations.  “The authors explored three possible explanations,” they said: (1) size is costly, (2) environments fluctuate (think Darwin’s finches), and (3) “A third possibility is that natural selection drives one trait in one direction, while simultaneously driving another, genetically correlated trait in the opposite direction.”  Perhaps this could be dubbed the “House divided against itself cannot evolve” theory.    The problem with composite explanations, though, is figuring which one is the right one.  If your doctor tells you your weight gain is caused by (1) lack of self-control, (2) genes, or (3) cancer, you would demand to know which one matters most.  Composite explanations, further, violate Ockham’s Razor (see Ockham, Jan 2010 Scientist of the Month).  Unless evolutionists come forward with a primary cause for the effect that can also explain the exceptions, it seems doubtful they’ve explained anything.Your inner tumor:  Surely one of the most bizarre explanations offered by evolutionists recently is in the title of a story on New Scientist: “Tumours could be the ancestors of animals.”  According to writer Colin Barras, this is “the idea that cancer is our most distant animal ancestor, a ‘living fossil’ from over 600 million years ago.”  According Barras, Charles Lineweaver and Paul Davies have put forward the notion that “cancer is not simply linked to the evolution of animals – it was the earliest animals.”    As justification, the evolutionists showcased a tumor’s ability to evade the immune system and to generate blood vessels (angiogenesis).  Understandably, though, “Reactions to Lineweaver and Davies’s idea vary from cautious enthusiasm to outright scepticism,” one calling it an “imaginative metaphor,” another, “a step too far.”  “There is no evidence to believe that the ability to develop blood vessels is an ancient feature of animals,” a critic said.    In response, Lineweaver used evolution to justify evolution: “Fully developed angiogenesis had to have evolved from proto-angiogenesis,” he said.  “I think it’s clear that some form of proto-angiogenesis was very important for the earliest animals.”    How or why “proto-angiogenesis” (whatever that is) would have evolved in some unobserved ancestor incapable of understanding why it would be “very important” some day is left as an exercise in imaginative metaphor.In the heady days of logical positivism (around the 1930s), Carl Hempel attempted to eliminate anecdotal explanations in science and replace them with deductive logic.  To him, it was essential for an explanation to refer to natural laws and initial conditions such that the result had to happen.  Subsequent philosophers have undermined that vision.  Hempel’s “covering law model” leaves out too many favored explanations, and simultaneously legitimizes some quack explanations.  His model left biologists with “physics envy,” because clear laws of nature are hard to come by in biology.  There are too many variables and complexities to be able to predict or retrodict events in natural history with deductive logic appealing to laws of nature.    Nevertheless, it would appear desirable that scientific explanations aspire to more than ad hoc stories, complex explanations requiring multiple auxiliary hypotheses, composite explanations, mere suggestions, or tautologies (such as “things are as they are because they were as they were” – an explanation that works in reverse just as well).  If the evolutionary explanation reduces to “stuff happens,” or things evolve because they evolve, then alternatives like intelligent design would seem to have grounds for competing in the marketplace of explanation.The Darwin Storytelling Empire is a corrupt racket.  It’s long overdue to expose their pretensions to providing superior scientific explanations.  That’s why you read Creation-Evolution Headlines.  All the other clueless news media just parrot the myths emanating from the clueless Darwinists, with no critical analysis whatsoever, thinking they have done their job.  Their product is as empty as a balloon held aloft by hot fogma.  (For definition of fogma, see the 05/14/2007 commentary).    What about science in general?  In the late 20th century after logical positivism collapsed, philosophers of science were left wondering if scientific explanation was even possible.  Some, like van Fraassen, concluded that explanation was not even the business of science.  Describing useful patterns in experience in more and more detail was sufficient, he said; leave explanation to others, because it gets into metaphysics.  But where does that leave the presumed epistemic superiority of science over the humanities, philosophy, or even theology?  Why should science get an elevated status in the academy and popular culture if it cannot explain why the world is the way it is?    The key insight that undermines the Darwin explanatory program is that explanation requires presuppositions in the conceptual realm: the need for knowledge, truth, ethics, honesty, logic, universality and consistency.  None of those things can be derived from evolutionary naturalism.  When you hear an evolutionist assuming any of these things, you know he or she is cheating.  Theology provides the only grounds for reasoning toward true truth about a real reality.  When enough people employ the two-pronged attack on Darwinism (exposing their vacuous explanations and their pilfering of theological presuppositions), there may be hope of toppling the corrupt Darwin Storytelling regime (12/22/2003 commentary).(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Microsoft’s Africa innovation centres

first_img17 July 2008Software giant Microsoft has announced that it is to build four innovation centres in Africa – including two in South Africa – over the next two years.Speaking at the 7th Southern African Development Community information communication technology in government summit, held in Mauritius in May, Microsoft South Africa head David Ives said the centres would act as economic “spark plugs” for local innovators and the local software industry.Once functional, the centres will provide an estimated 6 000 businesspeople per year with the technology they need to start up their businesses or further their careers.“The two new local centres will supplement South Africa’s existing centres, at SmartXchange in Durban and the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering in Braamfontein,” he said.“These new centres will provide a huge boost for skills development in the local technology industry by providing world-class facilities and support programs in innovation, intellectual capital, technology and business skills for start-ups, software developers, IT professionals, government and universities.”Skills developmentIves added that Microsoft would ramp up operations in South Africa, especially through the Students to Business (S2B) programme that helps local companies find and hire technology students, while also providing the necessary qualification to qualified candidates.“Microsoft is further stepping up its skills development efforts by expanding its S2B job enablement programme, which helped more than 1 000 graduates find jobs in its first year in South Africa,” Ives said.According to the company, the aim of its S2B programme in the country is to ensure that its South African workforce evolves to reflect the country’s diversity, while also providing students with the key competencies they need to excel in their future jobs in the industry.As the South African workforce evolves to reflect the growing diversity of our community and the global marketplace, Microsoft and its partners’ efforts to empower and grow available IT skills within South Africa is critically important, the Microsoft S2B website says.“Strong local skills enhance economic growth and employment, promote innovation, and further encourage technological and cultural advances in South Africa.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

From goatherd to stadium technician

first_img19 June 2009Growing up in rural South Africa, where electricity at the time was a rarity, 32-year-old Aubrey Ramokoto can hardly believe that he is now working as a cabling technician for a global tournament such as the Fifa Confederations Cup.“When our company won the tender to be part of both the 2010 World Cup and the Confederations Cup, I never thought I would also be appointed to be one of the technicians at the stadium,” Ramokoto says while connecting cables to the media centre at Ellis Park Stadium, the Johannesburg venue for the tournament.“Even now as you are talking to me, I still don’t believe that I am part of the team that is here to ensure that international journalists are able to file their stories and pictures. Looking back at where I come from, it’s just amazing for me.“Even my family and some friends have expressed admiration for me for being part of a team posted here at this venue,” Ramokoto adds. “It would appear my bosses appreciate my work, and I am thankful for that.”The admiration from relatives is understandable, considering that Ramokoto is started out herding goats while completing his schooling in the village of Bodubedu in South Africa’s northern province of Limpopo.“One now has a chance to see some of the big world football stars with our own eyes,” he says, advising today’s schoolchildren “to take their studies seriously, as they may land themselves in a rewarding situation, small as they might be.”Ramokoto will be on stand-by at Ellis Park Stadium on match days – including the day of the final and closing ceremony on 28 June. “[H]ow I wish that I will be there when Bafana Bafana are playing – and winning, for that matter,” he says.Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

Canada Launches Net-Zero Project

first_imgIn Canada, private and public interests are working on a common problem: How to build net-zero energy housing that average homebuyers can afford.Asked by officials in the government’s ecoEnergy Innovation Initiative for some new ideas on how to encourage energy efficient building, a company called buildABILITY Corp. put together a program in which five separate builders were invited to tackle the net-zero problem in whatever way they chose. As a result, single-family homes and condominiums are going up in five cities in four provinces as builders work with their own consultants to produce affordable net-zero energy houses in their respective markets.Natural Resources Canada chipped in $2 million from the national $278 million ecoEnergy program. (All costs in this article are in Canadian dollars.)Owens Corning Canada provided insulation products for free, and builders themselves came up with in-kind contributions that equaled the government’s ante, says buildABILITY president Michael Lio. The net-zero houses, all of which must be completed by next March, will be sold privately after the government double-checks to make sure they really will produce as much energy as they use.The larger goal of the Owens Corning Net Zero Housing Community Project is to help production builders figure out how net-zero building practices can become part of their regular repertoires.“We’ve been talking about it for a long time,” Lio said recently. “There have been lots of net-zero buildings that have been constructed both in the U.S. and in Canada, but there haven’t been many activities that focused on production builders, and even fewer on affordability. So at the heart of this project is to work with large production tract builders to bring them to net-zero and have them change net-zero so it’s more affordable for their customers, to simplify it and drop it into their assembly-line processes.” Builders find common groundBuilders are working independently. There’s no central agency directing their work, and there’s no common script they have to follow. Even so, Lio says, builders have settled on very similar approaches. “The technologies are off the shelf,” he says, “very accessible.”Some of the common building characteristics:Grid-tied photovoltaic systems for on-site renewable energy, with arrays averaging about 10 kilowatts.Exterior walls with R-values between 38 and 44. Wood-framed walls have cavity insulation of fiberglass batts and an exterior wrap of extruded polystyrene rigid insulation between 2 and 3 inches thick.Airtightness, measured with a blower door, of 1.5 air changes per hour, or lower, at a pressure difference of 50 pascals.Triple-pane windows.Although some builders have chosen small-output furnaces, many others are using cold-climate air-source heat pumps.Heat pump water heaters.Interior polyethylene vapor barriers.Attics insulated with batts or blown in fiberglass to a range of R-50 to R-70. Roof framing consists of raised-heel trusses that allow extra insulation above perimeter walls.Lio says the units have fairly small heating loads (most of the projects are located in Climate Zone 6). Half the 10 kW output of the PV arrays are on average used for base electric loads, Lio says, with one quarter devoted to space heating and the balance to domestic hot water.Builders will sell the houses at market rates, Lio says, but because of program restraints they won’t be allowed to make a profit on building components that contribute to net-zero operation. Construction costs are similarA total of 26 housing units are underway, ranging from one-bedroom condos to single-family houses. Floor areas run from 750 to 3,000 square feet. They’re being constructed in Laval, Quebec; the Ottawa suburb of Kanata; Calgary, Alberta; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Guelph, Ontario, just to the west of Toronto. Lio says land prices vary widely, but construction costs are similar across the country. Single-family houses will probably be listed in the $500,000 range.The incremental cost of getting to net-zero on a single-family is looking like $60,000 to $80,000, Lio says, a 12% to 16% premium over the cost of a conventional house. Lio says it’s too soon to know whether Canadian homebuyers will be willing to pay it.“I think that as a full-on market initiative, we’re really early,” Lio says. “I suspect there will be some homebuyers who have an eye on innovation, who want to be the very first to adopt a particular technology and will certainly buy these houses.“We’ve seen dramatic shifts in the pricing on some of these systems, particularly on-site generation, and as some of these systems become even more affordable and builders start to adopt the technology in volume, then it would be appropriate to have a conversation about what the market would bear. Right now, it’s conjecture. Prices are high, numbers are low, and it’s really unfair to talk about would someone be willing to dish out $80,000.”center_img Building on a Canadian traditionCanada has a long history of high-performance building and introduced its R-2000 program in the early 1980s. As Lio points out, standards typically become more demanding as time passes.“The R-2000 is in many regards the springboard for these net-zero houses,” he says. “R-2000 is an energy standard but it doesn’t include on-site generation. These net-zero houses not only demonstrate the new type of energy efficiency that’s embedded in the R-2000 standard but it takes that next leap and embeds on no-site renewables.“That’s the real difference,” he adds. “It’s a continuum. We’ve been at it for a long time and we’ve made lot of mistakes along the way, but it’s pretty obvious that there’s this continuum and these programs that are voluntary eventually become the stuff of code minimums.”last_img read more

Brian Davis Announcer Who Said Russell Westbrook Was Out

YouTubeBrian Davis, a play-by-play announcer for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, has been suspended for saying Russell Westbrook was “out of his cotton pickin’ mind” during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies this week. He’ll be forced to miss the first game of the Thunder playoff series against the Utah Jazz, which starts on Sunday, April 15.Shortly after the remark was made, Twitter exploded and a Thunder spokesperson called the words “offensive and inappropriate.”Davis released a statement as well and said he understands the punishment but meant no harm.“It is with great remorse and humility that I accept this suspension for the insensitive words I used during Wednesday’s broadcast,” he wrote. “While unintentional, I understand and acknowledge the gravity of the situation. I offer my sincere apology and realize that, while I committed a lapse in judgement, such mistakes come with consequences. This is an appropriate consequence for my actions.”The announcer made the comment during the second quarter of the game, right before Westbrook became the first player to average a triple-double in multiple seasons. When all was said and done, he ended up with six points, 19 assists and 20 rebounds.Besides the statement, Davis also apologized on Twitter and most said they accepted his apology.During Wednesday’s Thunder broadcast, I used a phrase on the air that was ill-considered, insensitive and hurtful. I’m beyond sorry about it and apologize, without reservation, from the bottom of my heart.— Brian Davis (@TrueBDokc) April 13, 2018 read more