Sharks’ NYC visits stir emotional 9/11 experiences

first_imgNEW YORK — Seventeen years later, it still hits hard whenever the Sharks come to New York City.Jamie Baker lost two of his college teammates here on Sept. 11, 2001. Dan Rusanowsky, the Sharks radio voice, lost a childhood friend and a college classmate. Kevin Labanc lost a next-door neighbor. Joakim Ryan lost a close family friend.“It’s impossible to not think about 9-11 when you’re in New York City,” Rusanowsky said Tuesday. “It’s something I’ll never forget, a sober reminder that makes you …last_img read more

Using Aliens to Titillate the Public

first_imgGeologists cannot even figure out our own planet (next headline), but some of them claim to know a lot about other planets – their geological history, and even their prospects for life.  Is it fair to tease the public with the L-word life when so much remains to be understood on the ground under our feet?Mars life:  A new study reported by PhysOrg from a JPL press release claims that Mars had a nearly global wet era 4 billion years ago.  Talk about water on Mars has gone back and forth for decades; was it really necessary to evolve life there by just adding water?  “The new findings suggest that the formation of water-related minerals, and thus at least part of the wet period that may have been most favorable to life, occurred between that early giant impact and the later time when younger sediments formed an overlying mantle.”  (Nobody saw that impact, by the way.)Mars hands:  “If there’s life on Mars, it could be right-handed,” teased a headline on New Scientist.  The article was about chiral molecules, but it made Mars a lively place.  Some astrobiologists have never been able to forgive the 1976 Viking landers for not finding life.  One experiment gave ambiguous results that are the basis for ongoing hopes.  They keep trying to find other explanations for the gas that Viking measured coming out of a prepared broth when Martian soil was added.  Jeffrey Bada, astrobiologist at Scripps, still thinks non-biological explanations can explain this.  “No matter how you construct an experiment, Mars is likely to throw you a curve ball,” he said.Europa bones:  An Arizona planetologist has an easier way to look for life on Europa.  PhysOrg reported how he feels one could find evidence of it on the surface without having to drill through the ice.  It might not even be microbes, Richard Greenberg (U of Arizona) said: “there’s always the possibility that we could find structures – something analogous to skeletal remains.”Starry avatars:  A JPL press release seemed to play on the public’s fascination with the recent 3-D alien movie by starting, “Many scientists speculate that our galaxy could be full of places like Pandora from the movie ‘Avatar’ — Earth-like worlds in solar systems besides our own.”  So have they found any?  Nope; just looking.  “Once considered the stuff of science fiction, it may not be long before Earth-like planets, or, in the case of Pandora, Earth-like moons of giant planets, are found to exist other places besides the silver screen.”  That was in a paragraph captioned, “Pandora, up close and personal.”  Incidentally, the real Pandora is a small moon of Saturn.  Here it is, up close and personal from Cassini.  Not quite like the movies.For SETI fans, Space.com announced that Frank Drake is retiring as director of the SETI Institute, and is turning the job of “Chief Alien Life Hunter” to long-time astrobiologist David Morrison.  Even though NASA doesn’t do SETI work, Morrison revealed an inside secret: “The SETI Institute has partnered with scientists at NASA Ames in a teaming arrangement that has greatly benefited both organizations.  The Institute played an especially important role in the development of the new multidisciplinary field of astrobiology.”  The two fields are closely allied, if for no other reason than the fact that neither has any evidence to support its reason for being.This has all the appearance of a cult (see CMI essay).  Only in this case, we have a cult funded by taxpayer dollars and preached by the mainstream media.  It’s not science if you have no evidence.  Whatever happened to separation of search and state?(Visited 36 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Darwin Still Rules from the Grave

first_imgDarwin died in 1882, but more than any other scientist, seems to live on in the science news.  Here are some recent examples.  The question is: do any of these articles really have anything to do with the theory that made him famous?  Or is some other dynamic at work that keeps him in the forefront? Darwinian funding:  Science magazine (11 November 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6057 pp. 753-754, doi: 10.1126/science.334.6057.753) lamented how the bad economy is affecting funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  In “Darwinism vs. Social Engineering at NIH,” Jocelyn Kaiser wrote about the competition between labs.  “As National Cancer Institute Director Harold Varmus recently put it, NIH is weighing some type of ‘social engineering’ rather than simply letting ‘Darwinian forces’ cull weaker labs and shrink the number of mouths NIH feeds.”  It sounds like a metaphor of the battle between Intelligent Design and Survival of the Fittest, but surely she did not mean that medical labs are products of random, undirected mechanisms.  [News Flash: Darwinism is not a force.] Darwinian robots:  New Scientist committed a colossal non-sequitur in its short article, “Darwin trumps self-obsession in robotics.”  The point is that creating robots in our own image is doomed to fail.  A new generation of rebel roboticists, the editorial claims, is thinking that robots should be soft and squishy, “inspired by the theory that intelligence emerges from the body.”  Here was the ending non-sequitur: “Crucially, the next generation of robots will not be designed as if by gods – in our image – but by using the principles revealed by Darwin. Once again, evolution has dealt a blow to the idea that humans were created special.” Darwinian emotions:  The only one of these three articles that related specifically to Darwin’s theory was an update on his theory of emotions posted by the BBC News.  The Darwin Correspondence Project is trying to recreate his experiment nearly 150 years later, reporter Stephanie Hegarty wrote, “to test his results, and draw attention to his contribution to psychology.”  Hegarty gave him a pass: “It was somewhat unscientific by modern standards, with no control group and a very small sample, but it was revolutionary for its time.”  Darwin wanted to prove that facial expressions in response to emotion were innate and universal, and that “expression was a trait that humans shared with beasts.”  His results were published in his 1872 book, The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals.  The BBC News article, however, drew no connection to his hunch and his theory of natural selection; nor did it seek to explain how facial expressions lead to fitness and survival.  Anyway, has the Darwin Correspondence Project replicated the results?  No; it’s a work in progress.  That didn’t stop Hegarty from heaping praise on Darwin with quotes from others who called him “an immense intellect” and “truly a genius” who “formed the basis for an entire canon of psychological study.” Darwinian weapons:  On the premise that “evolution is a simple fact” and “the fact of evolution itself is not disputed by any reputable scientist” (appealing to Coyne and Dawkins as authorities), Paula Kirby at The Washington Post took glee in skewering Christian conservatives as guilty of willful ignorance, because “Evolution Threatens Christianity.”  Without mentioning Darwin directly, she referred to two of his greatest defenders today.  This has long been a legacy of Darwinism: a tool to attack religion – and not just any religion, but Christianity.  Paula Kirby’s screed and New Scientist’s loony non-sequitur are so typical of the Darwin demagogues.  Their notion of scientific “truth” could not withstand a freshman course in philosophy of science.  The modus operandi of their ilk is: (1) hate Christians and conservatives first, then (2) appeal to the authority of Darwin and his disciples to call anyone who disagrees an ignoramus. Charles Darwin is the god of atheists and naturalists, the Bearded Buddha at whose shrine they offer their sacrifices.  For a balance to the worship and adoration given to the B.B. you need to read Jerry Bergman’s eye-opening book, The Dark Side of Charles Darwin (available at Amazon.com).  It’s amazing this troubled con-man ever became famous at all.  For instance, Bergman reveals that his photographs used for The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals were faked (just one of many scientific sins he committed).  The guy was as bad as Haeckel, but got away with it, because of his gift of gab and manner of carefully cataloguing things to present a façade of scientific rigor, then telling stories that had little or nothing to do with the data or his theory (if it can even be called a theory), winning acceptance through association. Getting Moses out of science was really the goal.  It so appealed to other anti-religious disciples that, with the aid of his X-men like Huxley, they redefined science altogether as naturalism; something like Darwinism, therefore, had to be true – by definition!  Natural history became confabulation, scientific rigor, mortis.  The articles above show that his disciples completely misrepresent his ideas and portray “natural selection” as if it performs intelligent design miracles!  This is insane.  It’s time we expose the fraud of this flawed, disturbed man who has been morphed into a caricature of Moses leading science into a promised land.  They’re not in the promised land; they’re wandering aimlessly in Fantasyland.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Gallery: Brand South Africa in Davos – part 3

first_imgBrand South Africa had a strong and vibrant presence at the 40th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in late January 2010, with a particular focus on the 2010 Fifa World Cup. In this gallery we bring you the highlights.Click on a thumbnail for a larger image.For high-resolution images, visit the World Economic Forum online. The panel of the session Rebuilding Education forthe 21st Century in the Congress Centre at theAnnual Meeting 2010 of the World EconomicForum in Davos, Switzerland, on Saturday 30January 30: from left, Queen Rania Al Abdullahof Jordan, a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and the Global Agenda Council on Education Systems; John T Chambers, CEO of Cisco, US, Irina Bokova, director-general of Unesco; Trevor Manuel, minister in the presidency for South Africa’s National Planning Commission; and Harold McGraw III, CEO of the McGraw-Hill Companies, US.Photo: Michael Wuertenberg, World Economic ForumManuel speaking during the session Rebuilding Education for the 21st Century on Saturday 30 January 30Photo: Michael Wuertenberg, World Economic Forum Manuel speaking during the session Rebuilding Education for the 21st Century on Saturday 30 January 30Photo: Michael Wuertenberg, World EconomicForumManuel and McGraw in discussion after the session Rebuilding Education for the 21st Century on Saturday 30 January 30Photo: Michael Wuertenberg, World Economic Forum Gene Falk, South African social entrepreneur and co-founder and executive director of mothers2mothers, at work in the CongressCentre in Davos on Saturday 30 January.Photo: Michael Wuertenberg, World EconomicForumSouth African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica speaking during the session Rebuilding Water Management on Saturday 30 January.Photo: Remy Steinegger, World Economic Forum Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chair of Swiss company Nestle and member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and Global Agenda Council on Water Security, seated next to Sonjica duringthe session Rebuilding Water Management on Saturday 30 January.Photo: Remy Steinegger, World Economic ForumStanley Fischer, governor of the Central Bank of Israel (left) and South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan at the session Redesigning Financial Regulation on Saturday 30 January.Photo: Sebastian Derungs, World Economic Forum South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan speaking at the session Redesigning Financial Regulation on Saturday 30 January.Photo: Sebastian Derungs, World Economic ForumBRAND SOUTH AFRICA IN DAVOSPART 1PART 2 PART 3THE CAMPAIGN More galleries: For more great South African photography, including the Proteas jetting off to the ICC World Cup, grassroots football, Nelson Mandela meeting Bafana Bafana, high-rise office buildings in Sandton, and South Africa’s new ape-man fossil – visit the Media Club South Africa gallery page.last_img read more

Matric revision returns to the big screen

first_img18 July 2012 The maths and science revision campaign EduC8 will once again assist Grade 12 learners prepare for their exams through revision sessions broadcast at selected Ster-Kinekor cinemas around South Africa each Sunday from 22 July. Each revision session of EduC8 – an 8ta initiative endorsed by the Basic Education Department and partnered by companies BHP Billiton, Primestars and Samsung – will be filmed at a single venue and broadcast to a network of 15 digitised Ster-Kinekor theatres across the country. The sessions will run every Sunday until 23 September and will be both educational and entertaining, allowing learners to interact with qualified teachers who will be available at each cinema complex. Additional coverage for equal opportunities Launched in July last year, EduC8 is aimed at learners from disadvantaged backgrounds across the country. This year, it will reach three additional areas – Witbank, Richards Bay and Kuruman – as part of the project’s commitment to being as widely accessible as possible, and giving equal opportunities to all disadvantaged learners. Special allowance will also once again be made for learners who will not be able to attend the revision sessions due to their geographical locations. These students will be able to access the material online at http://edusynergy.co.za/. One of the initiative’s successes is last year’s participant Zanele Khumalo (18), who attended the revision sessions at Maponya Mall in Soweto. Khumalo is now on her way to Cuba on a scholarship to study medicine. ‘Maths and science a foundation for growth’ “We all acknowledge that maths and science education is the foundation for many of the jobs needed to develop the country’s infrastructure and therefore our economy’s growth,” senior managing executive of Telkom Mobile, Amith Maharaj, said in a statement. “Increasingly these subjects are a critical component of getting ahead and the company is proud to be part of this student initiative which sees government and the private sector working closely towards a common goal,” Maharaj said. BHP Billiton chairman, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi agreed: “If we are to transform this nation, pushing it to greater heights than ever before, giving all who live here equal opportunities to grow and succeed, we need to start at a grassroots level with skills development and education. “The children empowered by the EduC8 Matric Revision will be those talented, skilled employees, given the opportunity. We need to recognise that the future begins with the children of South Africa and that that future begins now,” he said.Skills development in engineering and science EduC8’s objectives run parallel to sponsor Samsung’s Blue Education programme, which aims to facilitate 10 000 electronic engineers across Africa by 2015, and it is hoped that learners who participate in the revision sessions will be fed through into Samsung’s skills development programme. The Sasol Inzalo Foundation and national bursary organisation Studietrust are also adding their backing to the initiative by reserving at least five full-cost bursaries for qualifying applicants who attended EduC8. The vision of the Sasol foundation is to be a significant contributor to sustainable economic growth in South Africa by focusing on skills development in engineering and science, including a bursary programme that started in 2010. The main criteria for the selection of applicants are academic potential and financial need. Each programme workbook made available to participants contains a bursary application form with information on selection criteria and the application procedure. The closing date for 2013 applications is 30 September. Learners interested in attending the revision sessions, or principals and teachers who would like more information, can call Jacques du Plessis or Mark Wilmot 081 445 9233. Alternatively SMS your name, contact number and school to 081 445 9233 and you will be contacted. You can also register by visiting http://edusynergy.co.za/. Seats are limited. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Maharashtra Budget session curtailed to ease pressure on police

first_imgTo ensure tight security in the city and adequate police deployment across the city in wake of the current tension on the India-Pakistan border, the Budget session of the Maharashtra legislature was curtailed on Thursday. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in the Assembly that at least 6,000 police personnel are deployed in the Vidhan Sabha presmises during the session. “There is tension at the border and at this time it is important to maintain internal security. Mumbai being the financial capital of the country, the vigil needs to be tighter. There is no need to panic, but we must take extra precaution,” said Mr. Fadnavis. He informed the Assembly, that in a meeting [all party? or CM only?] held with security establishments [when?], it was observed that police required extra force to ensure adequate deployment. “This was conveyed to leaders of all political parties and it was unanimously decided to curtail the session. This decision has been taken to ensure the release of extra police force and make them available to provide security cover at other areas,” he said, reiterating that there is no need to panic. Mumbai police intelligence sources had told The Hindu on Wednesday that the city was put on high alert since the air strikes. Vote on accountThe Assembly approved the vote-on-account which has budgetary provisions for four months of the next financial year (April to July this year), without any debate.Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil said they were tabling their respective speeches on the interim budgetary provisions on the floor of the House. The appropriation Bill and vote-on-account were subsequently passed by a voice vote. The House was then adjourned for an hour and a meeting of the State cabinet was also held.Earlier, at the start of the day, NCP legislator Jitendra Awhad urged Mr. Fadnavis to move a motion that the State along with rest of the country stood firmly behind the armed forces and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan after an air combat on Wednesday. Accordingly, a one-line resolution was unanimously passed with the Assembly expressing solidarity with armed forces and demanding release of Wg. Cdr. Varthaman.last_img read more