Klay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!OAKLAND – To showcase his deft shooting touch, Stephen Curry often launches the ball from 30 feet and beyond. Curry’s latest trick, however, addressed a weakness instead of highlighting a strength.In hopes that he does not hear a whistle seemingly every time he defends, Curry has tried to play with his hands behind his back.“I liked it. He can’t reach,” Warriors …
Ken Dial is at it again, trying to explain bird flight from the ground up with his own version of a Darwinian story (see 01/16/2003). The title of his paper in BioScience1 harks back to an old criticism of Darwin’s theory: “What use is half a wing?” Well, half a wing could be a half a stabilizer is the new answer. Outstretched proto-wings, according to Dial’s WAIR theory (Wing-Assisted Incline Running) helps chukar partridges keep their balance when running up slopes, presumably escaping predators who might otherwise interrupt their ability to pass on their genes. Maybe this provides insight into the development of full powered flight in the dim past:As a rebuttal to Darwin’s (1859) explanation of the origin and diversification of life, St. George Jackson Mivart (1871) posed a challenge: “What use is half a wing?” With this simple question, Mivart challenged Darwin to explain the adaptive role of intermediate forms within an evolutionary continuum, prompting Darwin to expand on the concept of functional shifts within structural continuity (Gould 1985). This concept of transitional functional and structural stages is the basis for exaptation, an integral component of modern evolutionary theory (Gould and Vrba 1982). A response to Mivart’s question is that if the wing of a flying bird is a product of small, gradual structural changes, these transitional forms must have had some function during the evolution [sic] of powered flight.Discussing the ground-up (cursorial) theory and tree-down (arboreal) theory, Dial finds fault with both. Watching partridge chicks run up ramps, his team measured the advantage of stubby wings in helping them maintain stability:The most significant finding from this body of work is that developing ground birds employ their incipient wings, adorned with symmetrical feathers, to execute brief bouts of aerial flight (dorsoventral flapping) and to enhance hindlimb traction (anteroposterior flapping) as they negotiate threedimensional terrestrial environments….Thus, not only does the ontogeny of WAIR demonstrate functionally adaptive intermediate stages or steps, it demonstrates an adaptive continuum between featherless forelimbs, protowings with symmetrical feathers, and derived wings with asymmetrical feathers and a complex wing stroke.As for the arboreal theory, Dial notes that there are no intermediates between gliders and flappers. But on the other wing, “there are no known contemporary analogs of cursorial bipeds that use their forelimbs to run faster, to run and glide, or to swipe at or capture prey, assumptions proposed among various cursorial hypotheses.” He says that this debate presents a false dichotomy: “both hypotheses fail to provide the functional and incremental adaptive stages of forelimb evolution necessary to achieve the fully developed flapping mechanics observed among extant species…” So he came up with his WAIR hypothesis independently, yet it shares advantages of both positions. “The WAIR hypothesis is a testable and inclusive approach to explain the evolution of avian flight,” he crows, “and it appears to resolve the impasse created from a strict cursorial or arboreal position.” Not only that, his approach provides a model for explaining transitional forms in the fossil record: identifying analogs among extant forms.Ascribing functional explanations to transitional forms without integrating the wealth of corroborating evidence from other subjects (life history, behavior, development, ecology, and the physical sciences) will only lead to endless “just so stories” about the history of life. We suggest that incipiently feathered forelimbs of small, bipedal protobirds may have provided the same locomotor advantages for inclined running as are present in extant birds. Whether sprinting across an obstacle-filled terrain or up inclined or even vertical surfaces, whether being chased or chasing, an animal capable of employing WAIR experiences improved hindlimb traction. What appear to be partially developed wings of recently discovered theropod dinosaurs [sic] (e.g., Caudipteryx, Sinosauropteryx, Protarchaeopteryx, Rahonavis, Unenlagia, and others) have confused scientists: Were these wings used for running faster, for gliding, for protecting eggs and young in the nest, or for catching food, or were they simply vestiges of once functional wings? In a protobird [sic], WAIR-like behavior could have represented an intermediate stage in the development of flight-capable, aerodynamic wings.The transition is thus explained: aerodynamic forces on the outstretched “half wings” increase hindlimb traction; and short vertical movements. Rudimentary aerial ascent and controlled descent, as observed with modern partridge chicks, might have taken off into powered flight in gradual stages. Therefore, “ontogenetic transformation observed in juvenile species exhibiting WAIR is a plausible behavioral and morphological pathway of adaptive incremental stages that might have been exhibited by the lineage of feathered, maniraptoran dinosaurs attaining powered flight,” he claims. But with Dial’s frequent use of words like might, could and may have, how this differs from a just-so story might be a matter of debate itself. See also the Science Daily summary of this paper, with picture of Dial holding a chukar partridge.1Ken Dial et al., “What Use Is Half a Wing in the Ecology and Evolution of Birds?” BioScience, Volume 56, Number 5, May 2006, pp. 437-445(9).Same dumb ideas, and same criticisms three years ago still apply (see 12/22/2003). All this shows is that evolutionists remain touchy about the criticisms of just-so storytelling leveled at them, and are trying desperately to clear this bad reputation. Don’t be distracted by the charts, graphs, diagrams and drawings in the paper; these all pertain to living, flying birds – not dinosaurs. And don’t be distracted by the highfalutin-sounding term “Wing-assisted inclined running” as if inventing a phrase is going to make a case. This is like the joke about the teenager being told by his doctor his lethargy is simple laziness, to which he responds, “now give me the scientific name so I can tell my parents.” The mark of just-so storytelling is coming up with a hand-waving explanation that cannot be tested. That is still the essence of Dial’s hypothesis despite his protests to the contrary. Sweep away the scientific mumbo-jumbo and visual aids, and the jargon, because it is an irrelevant display of bluffing. Forget the references to so-called feathered dinosaurs, because there were contemporary modern birds of these that already had powered flight, so the maniraptorans could not have been transitional forms. Forget also the references to chicks of modern birds, because they already have the genetic information for powered flight; he cannot work backwards from the evolved to the unevolved. And erase Dial’s own bravado about how much better his hypothesis is than others. Instead, imagine the Geico gecko trying to evolve powered flight by running up inclines with its forearms stretched out. A few moment’s visualization will do wonders to put this matter to rest. There are so many vital, interconnected, required morphological changes that would be required for the Geico gecko to do more than leap a few inches off the ground, it is inconceivable that there would be enough lucky mutations able to converge on turning his descendents into Woody Woodpecker, let alone the Road Runner. Cartoonists might be able to draw the transitional forms, but evolution needs to wait for mutations, almost all of which are harmful or neutral. Feathers, lungs, bone changes, flight software – how many thousands of beneficial mutations do you want to wait for? They all have to arrive simultaneously. And does WAIR explain flight in insects, pterosaurs and bats? Like Wiley Coyote forever behind the Road Runner, Ken Dial remains far behind his prey, an evolutionary explanation for flight. Except for a brief hand-wave to future research needed in homeobox genes and evo-devo, Dial’s explanation is completely lacking in a genetic mechanism for attaining the required information for powered flight. Rather, it has all the characteristics of a Lamarckian story: the giraffe needed a long neck to reach the leaves, and the gecko needed WAIR to escape the predator. Presumably, the gecko already had defenses that worked just fine; “What say, mate, like, we just set and chat about a better way to settle our differences, hey? How would you like to save a lot of money on your car insurance?” Ken Dial’s only achievement was to exhibit Darwinist sensitivity to charges of storytelling, and to point out that all the other evolutionary explanations don’t work. For that, his funny pages will get a good chuckle from creationists.(Visited 211 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
19 December 2007Certain sections of the long-awaited Sexual Offences Act finally came into operation this week. They deal mainly with statutory sexual offences relating to assault, exploitation, trafficking and child pornography.The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development said in a statement that the operationalisation of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 2007, or the Sexual Offences Act, would “help intensify South Africa’s efforts to fight crimes against women, children, the elderly and the vulnerable.”The Act comprehensively reviews and amends all aspects of the laws and the implementation of the laws relating to sexual offences.It deals with all legal aspects relating to sexual offences in a single statute by repealing the common law offence of rape and replacing it with a new expanded statutory offence of rape, applicable to all forms of sexual penetration without consent, irrespective of gender.The Act repeals the common law offence of indecent assault and replaces it with a new statutory offence of sexual assault, applicable to all forms of sexual violation without consent, creating new statutory offences relating to certain compelled acts of penetration or violation.It also looks at creating new statutory offences for adults by criminalising the compelling or causing the witnessing of certain sexual conduct and certain parts of the human anatomy, the exposure or display of child pornography and the engaging of sexual services of an adult.It further repeals the common law offences of incest, bestiality and violation of a corpse, as far as such violation is of a sexual nature, and enacts corresponding new statutory offences and comprehensive provisions dealing with the creation of certain new, expanded or amended sexual offences against children and persons who are mentally disabled.These include offences relating to sexual exploitation or grooming, exposure to or display of child pornography or pornography to children, and the creation of child pornography.This is despite some of the offences being similar to offences created in respect of adults, as the creation of these offences aims to address the particular vulnerability of children and persons who are mentally disabled to sexual abuse or exploitation.Protecting victimsChapter 5 of the Act takes effect on 21 March 2008, or an earlier date fixed by the President by proclamation in the Gazette. This chapter deals with services for victims of sexual offences and compulsory HIV testing of alleged sex offenders.Chapter 6 of the Act takes effect on 16 June 2008, or an earlier date fixed by the President by proclamation in the Gazette. This chapter deals with the National Register for Sex Offenders.The Department said it trusted “that communities and all stakeholders involved will use the Act to fight the scourge of sexual offences head on, and that its implementation will go a long way in placing victims at the centre of the criminal justice system.”Some of the dramatic changes contained in the bill are that according to the definition of the law, the definition of rape will include a man being raped by another man, for a woman to be raped by another woman and for a man to be raped by a woman.Source: BuaNews
Xavier van Stappen is inside his car. Van Stappen and Vincent Pierart. The car’s solar panel. Van Stappen at the media briefing in Pretoria. (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Xavier van Stappen I-care [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES • Going green for 2010• World’s first hybrid sports car in SA • Mercedes-Benz SA tops for quality • Beetle mania grips World CupBongani NkosiXavier van Stappen’s rather unconventional model electrical car, which he designed and drove from Europe to Africa before the 2010 Fifa World Cup, is helping raise awareness about alternative forms of energy and environmentally harmful carbon emissions.The French Belgian, who designed the three-wheel prototype in his home country, crossed 25 countries in Europe and Africa to get to the host nation, South Africa, in time for kick-off on 11 June.He set off in Copenhagen, in Denmark, and drove for four months to reach Ghana, just days before the tournament began. He then promptly disassembled the vehicle and flew with it to South Africa.“We flew from Ghana to South Africa just to be on time for the World Cup,” Van Stappen said at a press briefing in Pretoria on 7 July.During his overland trip he crossed Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Morocco, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, among others.Travel by road began again in Johannesburg when Van Stappen started his next leg of the journey – this time to Cape Town. The inventor has been travelling with Vincent Pierart, who’s been filming the expedition for a website.The two-seater vehicle, which Van Stappen always describes as a prototype, is essentially a modified tricycle that’s shaped like a bullet. It relies solely on solar energy to move and can reach speeds of 110km/hour. “But I never drive so fast,” he quipped.It has a 10-year lifespan and is recyclable, according to Van Stappen.Van Stappen’s 12 000km journey to South Africa, which he planned to coincide with the World Cup, is promoting the use of “green” technology to create energy and contributing to the global campaign against biodegradation.“Nowadays we have a problem with petrol. It’s expensive and it produces pollution,” he said.Using only the sun’s rays to power the vehicle means that it makes no carbon emissions at all. “We have to adopt new ways of producing energy,” Van Stappen said.He believes that all electrical cars should be three-wheelers, because this keeps them light. Today’s conventional cars “are over-equipped” and consume a lot of energy, he said. Making electrical cars with four wheels defeats the objective of lightness, he adds.Although the first electrical car was manufactured in 1899, the market remains small. Van Stappen believes mass production will boost the industry and create more options for buyers. “[Consumers] are ready to buy it in many countries … [they] have the power to buy whatever they want.“During my trip I’ve met many people who are interested in the project.”Promoting the technology in AfricaVan Stappen’s prototype has been exhibited in all 25 countries it passed through, and is currently on show at the Allandale Business Park in Midrand, Johannesburg.One of the vehicle’s overriding characteristics is its very basic chassis, which Van Stappen disjointed with students at a technical college in Dakar, Senegal, to demonstrate its simplicity. Because the design is so uncomplicated, the students were later able to rejoin the chassis themselves.“The aim [of the trip] is also to transfer the technology” to the Southern Hemisphere, Van Stappen said.His prototype has even made it onto a football pitch at one of the World Cup stadiums.‘Green’ car for SA soonDuring his stay here Van Stappen visited a private company in Cape Town, Optimal Energy, which is producing South Africa’s first electrical car, the Joule. He said he was impressed by what he saw.Production will begin in 2012, either at a plant in Coega or East London – both industrial areas in the Eastern Cape province . The company hopes to have the vehicle ready for sale by 2013.“It’s great that [South Africa] is a country that’s producing an electrical car for its local market,” Van Stappen said.The Joule will be a standard four-wheel, five-seater vehicle with a top speed of 135km/h. It will use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are also recyclable.The South African model will be able to run on solar power as well, so one of the optional extras is to have solar panels installed on its rooftop.The first of its kind in the country, the Joule was designed by South African-born Keith Helfet, who’s had a successful career as chief stylist at Jaguar.When not driving or promoting his first three-wheel prototype, Van Stappen works on a second three-wheel car project, the I-CARE 333, which is also biodegradable. He’s hoping that, in time, it will be available on markets across the world.During his stay in South Africa the Belgian designer visited Volkswagen’s plant in the Eastern Cape, and is now is looking for deals to manufacture I-CARE 333 here.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Jon Miller, Fairfield CountyWe are about half done harvesting the wheat. The first 80 acres of wheat we did was extremely wet but we ran it anyway. It seems like that freeze in May maybe affected how it matured but didn’t really affect the yield. We had some a little above 30% moisture. Most of it ran between 25% and 30% in that field. Then we had that rain last week and got anywhere from two to three inches on about all of our fields. We started with wheat again then on Saturday and the moisture was still in the upper 20s. The lowest was about 18% yesterday.We got between a quarter- and a half-inch overnight. We may start mowing straw this afternoon and running wheat again later today. The second half should go faster and it looks like we have a good forecast this week.The first couple of wheat loads had decent test weight and quality. The yield was better than expected after that cold snap we had this spring and the bale count on the first 80 acres has been extremely high. It seems like the variety we are in now is about 10 bushels below the earlier wheat we harvested. I think overall the yield ought to be above average and if the quality stays it should be a decent year for wheat.We were losing yield on the corn before we got that rain. Even though we had two or three inches, it came so fast that a lot of it ran off. We’ll take anything we can get as dry as we were. On some of the lighter banks the corn was turning a whitish purple. It was curled tight before that rain came through.We were able to plant our first double-crop beans last week and the first 25 acres are already out of the ground. The calendar is still on our side, but if it hadn’t rained, planting double-crops would be questionable for some of our fields.So far weed control has been OK but we are finding a lot of little marestail coming up in the wheat. We are planting some Liberty beans for double-crops to help control the marestail after the wheat.For the rest of this week’s reports, click here.
VideoCopilot’s Andrew Kramer recently took to the stage at the After Effects World Conference to share his advice for building a creative career.The rise of Andrew Kramer of VideoCopilot.net is an inspiring tale – from helpful internet tutorial creator, to After Effects trainer and bespoke plugins producer, to feature film visual effects specialist. Andrew was invited to present this year’s keynote address at the After Effects World Conference and he delivered a hilarious and informative talk breaking down his insights on how to build a career as a creative artist. The keynote was focused on motion graphic and visual effects creative work, but the lessons apply to many other creative spheres.1. Define prioritiesAndrew made a really great point at the start of his talk, which was that we need to be aware of, and focus on the things that we want to prioritize in life. In the busyness of life our real priorities can slip away and the hindsight revelation for Andrew was that he was focusing on his work more than his family. Many of us we want to be successful at any cost, but if we don’t take the time to figure out what really matters in life we could lose it along the way.2. Cut out the junkA lot of Andrew’s talk has the same point being reinforced in several ways. If you want to get anything good done you’re going to have to cut out the distractions, games and time wasting.3. Learn by doingWith so much knowledge freely available online we can often mistake watching a tutorial for acquiring new experience. Only through trying, making mistakes and solving problems for yourself will you truly acquire experience, knowledge and new abilities. As Andrew kept saying – just get out there and make something.4. Take risks to stand outAndrew’s suggestion would be to spend the time and creative energy to make 25 seconds of really good original content, than to try to recreate a generic showreel demonstrating your core abilities of all the usual things. He pointed to Peter Quinn’s spoof motion graphics showreel as a good example of something clever and a little risky that get’s people’s attention.5. Who knows where you could end up!Be passionate and committed to what you love and you could end up working for JJ Abrams, running a thriving business and growing a family too.
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Rookie aspirants got a chance to showcase their talents in front of coaches during the two-day rookie combine at Gatorade Gym.The 2018 PBA Rookie Draft is on Sunday at Robinsons Ermita.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chief Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Geje Eustaquio considering career in mountain biking after mixed martial arts LATEST STORIES Ejercito casts ballot in San Juan PLAY LIST 00:55Ejercito casts ballot in San Juan03:4520% of NBP inmates die every year01:53Bilibid hospital chief: No hard evidence of ‘overstaying’ for sale02:42PH 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 Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments