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

Contrasting Two Washington Projects

first_imgThe difference between creationist and evolutionist projects on the National Mall could hardly be more stark.Christians, who affirm God as Creator and Jesus as Lord, will be gathering this week in Washington DC for 24-hour prayer for the nation: bowing humbly in prayer to God for healing of our divisions, for repentance and for revival in the spirit of II Chronicles 14:7. Called ‘Awaken the Dawn’ 2017 from Psalm 57:8-9 and Psalm 108:2-3, the event will feature a tent for every state in the union where people can gather for prayer, worship, and national confession at all hours of the day and night. Organizers at the EventBrite page hope that this gathering will be the start of a new Jesus movement and national revival. We are calling the nation to the National Mall in Washington DC on October 6-9, 2017. We will gather from all backgrounds, not around speakers, but around the presence of God and the worth of Jesus. We will gather around the invisible God knowing that he will respond.In addition to the tents on the Mall and outreaches across the city, the event concludes with A massive gathering on the final day of worship and prayer, preaching the gospel with healing, and a commissioning to send thousands of youth to carry the gospel and complete the Great Commission!Our Evolution?A very different event is planned on the Mall afterward. This one features the installation of a 45-foot statue of a nude woman (see United Press International). The organizers are raising $90,000 to transport and erect the statue, where it will stand near the Washington Monument, lit up at night in lavender lights for four months. Ostensibly, the sculptor wanted to make a statement about the abused status of women, showing how a woman feeling completely safe would look. Its placement facing the White House, though, gives it a not-so-subtle political message.The statue was first installed at the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert, an annual orgy of radical self-expression where people wear outlandish costumes (or nothing at all), in unrestrained activities often with pagan overtones. What’s most telling about the occasion, though, is not just the nudity of the art (since nude statues are not that uncommon in city parks and art galleries, even around Washington). Some who honor the Bible might, after all, celebrate the intelligent design of God’s creation of the human form in a manner reminiscent of Eden. The statue shows the woman just standing – nothing more. In those respects they might tolerate the event in spite of its in-your-face, larger-than-life dominance of this national public space.No, what is most telling about the project is the name the artist gave to it: R-EVOLUTION. This can be read as either ‘Revolution’ or ‘Our Evolution’ in contrast to the “re-” words in the Christian event (repentance, revival, renewal).  The Catharsis on the Mall project page makes it very clear that the organizers are cultural radicals who want a revolution for evolution:In bringing R-Evolution to the National Mall, Catharsis organizers hope to inspire dialogue among women, and people, of all bodies, ages, races, religions, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations about the role of art and community in nurturing the heart and healing, and in turn creating lasting social change. It’s difficult to see, though, how this artistic statement will help women by saying that they don’t exist. For explanation, see essay by Dr Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.As it was in the days of Elijah, so it is now. We have God-fearing people on one side, and Baal worshipers on the other. God-fearing people humble themselves in obedience to their Creator, but Baal-worshipers follow after their own lusts. Today, Baal is known by the name Darwin. How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him. If Darwin is god, follow him (I Kings 18). Just don’t be lukewarm about your commitment (Revelation 3:14-20).center_img (Visited 433 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Damian Lillard’s 3-pointer in OT lifts Blazers over Warriors

first_imgHotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Lillard shot 7 for 20 with friends and family cheering him in the Blazers’ final scheduled trip to Oracle Arena before the Warriors move to San Francisco next season.“That’s a hell of a way to go out,” Lillard said. “We needed this win. It was a big game for us, especially having to play them two times in a row, having to play such a solid game.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefKevin Durant missed a 13-footer off the front rim as the final buzzer sounded but finished with his second triple-double of the season: 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.“I’ve got to make that shot, plain and simple,” Durant said. MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Lillard clearly had mixed emotions about the Warriors’ upcoming move, saying: “You wish it wasn’t happening. You know how much it means to the city of Oakland to have something positive happening, especially with the team having so much success right now. … So it’s sad to see them moving on.”SELLOUT STREAKGolden State’s 311th straight sellout Thursday became a new franchise best, topping a run of 310 consecutive sellouts from March 9, 1989, to April 19, 1996.TIP-INSTrail Blazers: Portland pushed Golden State into nine first-half turnovers while committing just two. … The Blazers were 21 of 23 on free throws.Warriors: Durant has scored 20 or more points in his last nine games 23 of 24. … Golden State lost by 20-plus points at home twice in the previous six seasons but has done it four times already.UP NEXTTrail Blazers host Warriors on Saturday. The Warriors last played an opponent in two straight regular-season games against the Lakers on Nov. 23-25, 2016. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Jon Jones defiant after failed drug test forces UFC 232 move PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 05: Damian Lillard #0 (R) of the Portland Trail Blazers talks with CJ McCollum #3 and Jusuf Nurkic #27 during the first half of the NBA preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 5, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFPOAKLAND, Calif. — Damian Lillard certainly left his mark over the years at Oracle Arena, and again in perhaps his final visit to a building he frequented as an NBA-crazed boy.Lillard hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds left in overtime and scored 21 points back home in Oakland, sending the Portland Trail Blazers past the Golden State Warriors 110-109 in a wild one Thursday night.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img LATEST STORIES Curry’s 33-footer with 8:42 left in the third on a pass from Draymond Green got Golden State within two, then Curry found Green for a tying layup the next time down to make it 55-all.A series of silly mistakes followed: Thompson made a steal and threw it toward midcourt and Green couldn’t keep the ball from going over the line for a backcourt violation, as Portland regained possession. Then, Green clanked a one-handed dunk try off the back of the rim. This after he had earlier thrown a pass off Thompson’s head.The Warriors missed nine of their initial 11 free throws and finished an uncharacteristic 6 for 15 at the line.“Unacceptable to miss that many free throws,” Durant said.In the opener of a home-and-home series, both teams were trying to rebound from embarrassing Christmas losses in which the 3-point shooting was dismal: Golden State following that flop to the Lakers at home and the Blazers a 117-96 defeat at Utah.In his last five games against the Warriors, Lillard has averaged 31 points, shooting 42.4 percent and 38.8 percent on 3s.“I represent this city, so when I come here I want to represent myself well. I have a lot of family and friends coming to see me play, so you’re excited about that. You’ve got energy, that’s what it is,” Lillard said.LILLARD’S ORACLE MEMORIESWhen Lillard was 9 or 10, he came to a Rockets-Warriors game with his brother and lucked into getting to take a shot on the court.“My brother and I were up at our seats and Steve Francis was doing his pregame workout and the ball bounced up and into the stands and I ran down the stairs and got it and I was going to throw it back and he was like, ‘No, come shoot it.’ And I went on the court and shot a 3 and airballed. That’s the story.” LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Jusuf Nurkic had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who helped coach Terry Stotts pass Rick Adelman for second place on the Blazers’ career wins list with 292 behind Jack Ramsay’s 453. Stotts sipped some celebratory bubbly afterward.The Warriors couldn’t overcome a comedy of errors in losing a second straight at home. They took a 127-101 beating from the Lakers on Christmas night.Seth Curry largely outplayed big brother and Golden State star Stephen — whose poor pass with the Warriors leading by two was stolen on the sequence that led to Lillard’s shot.Stephen Curry made a 3-pointer with 10:46 to play in regulation, then his little brother rattled off 11 in a row with three consecutive 3s.Klay Thompson’s shooting struggles continued. He went 6 for 19 and was just 2 of 9 on 3-point tries on the way to 15 points.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? View commentslast_img read more

TurboTax is making you hunt for its free tax filing service says

first_imgKimberly White/Getty Images Anyone making less than $66,000 a year can file their taxes for free. Oftentimes, that’s easier said than done.Intuit, which makes TurboTax, makes it difficult for people to find the free option, according to ProPublica. Instead, searches on terms such as “irs free file taxes” steer potential tax filers to for-pay versions of its service, according to the publication. Intuit, along with H&R Block, has lobbied for years to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from building its own free online tax filing system because it would compete with their products, according to ProPublica. Members of Congress pushed to prevent the IRS from offering free online filing as recently as this month, the publication reported.The IRS has agreed not to make online tax filing free as long as tax-preparation companies, who have formed an industry group called the Free File Alliance, provide free services to taxpayers making less than $66,000. Locating Intuit’s free service, however, requires a lot of work, according to ProPublica.  ProPublica went to Intuit’s TurboTax website and clicked on the “FREE Guaranteed” option but was tagged as a potential paying customer. The reason: Intuit doesn’t offer its free version from its website, ProPublica said.ProPublica discovered the free version for filers with less than $66,000 in income is called the Freedom Edition. Once the publication had that information, a Google search brought up the right result. But the Intuit site still tried to channel ProPublica back to a for-pay version, it said. Clicking on a link titled “Start for Free” on the page led to a for-pay version of TurboTax, while clicking on “See If You Qualify” led to the actual free filing option.TurboTax also offers a product called Free Edition, a no-cost version for users with simple filings. Eligibility for Free Edition isn’t based on income, but rather on filing circumstance, such as W2, standard deduction and child tax credits.TurboTax spokesman Rick Heineman said pricing for TurboTax products is listed on the company’s Products & Pricing page. “This information is made clear to customers before they begin to file,” he wrote.  TurboTax Free File Program, which is on a page whose URL reads https://turbotax.intuit.com/taxfreedom/, is the Intuit product used as part of the income-based IRS Free File. Heineman said the TurboTax Free File Program “contains no cross-marketing or selling of ancillary products or services.” Comments Tags 4center_img Share your voice Softwarelast_img read more

Sedition pleas against Priya Saha dismissed

first_imgPriya Saha raises allegations of minority repression in Bangladesh during a meeting with US president Donald Trump. Photo: Collected.Two sedition pleas filed here against Priya Saha, who raised allegations of minority repression in Bangladesh during a meeting with US president Donald Trump, were dismissed hours after filing of those on Sunday, reports UNB.Lawyer Syed Sayedul Haque Suman and Ibrahim Khalil filed the pleas with separate magistrate courts on Sunday morning which were dismissed in the afternoon as it requires permission from the ministry of home affairs.Meanwhile, Khulna district Awami League general secretary Md Kamruzzaman Jamal and Modon Kumar Saha moved the court seeking permission to file sedition cases against her.Khulna metropolitan magistrate Md Amirul Islam listened to them and said the sedition complaints have been kept for hearing as it needs permission from the home ministry.Priya Saha complained to Trump that 37 million Hindus, Buddhists and Christians had disappeared from Bangladesh and that her home was torched and her land grabbed by Muslim fundamentalists.Bangladesh strongly condemned the allegations. The government on Saturday said there appears to be an ulterior motive behind Priya Saha’s false and concocted stories aimed at maligning Bangladesh.last_img read more