19 Dec
2019

Whale Evolution: Hurry Up and Wait

first_imgWhales evolved really fast, then just swam around with nothing to do for tens of millions of years.  “Whales Evolved in the Blink of an Eye” wrote Brett Israel for Live Science about a new study that claims “Whales evolved explosively fast into a spectacular array of shapes and sizes” about 35 million years ago, but then pretty much stopped evolving for 25 million years thereafter.    Over a period of 5 million years, “like the blink of an eye” according to Graham Slater of UCLA, something dramatic happened: “whale evolution ignited.  Whales began as basically similar body types and evolved into everything from porpoises to blue whales over the next 5 million years,” Brett Israel wrote.  This is known as the “explosive radiation hypothesis” (kind of like a big bang in whale origins).  With this package came all kinds of goodies like sonar, large brains, baleen filtering systems, and complex sociality.  How?  By evolution, silly; or as teens like to say, whatever.  “Whatever conditions allowed modern whales to persist allowed them to evolve into unique, disparate modes of life, and those niches largely have been maintained throughout most of their history.”  That’s Michael Alfaro talking.  He’s an evolutionist at UCLA, too.  He’s an expert.  He should know.    So let’s get this “explosive radiation hypothesis” straight.  A dog-size mammal walks into the sea some 48 million years ago and starts blubbering, becoming some kind of generic whale by 35 million years ago.  Then, within a blink of an eye (5 million years), we get blue whales, right whales, sperm whales, porpoises, dolphins, baleen whales, “exploding” into the oceans, by, whatever.  Something gave them sonar, large brains, baleen and complex sociality.  What was it?  Evolution.  Wasn’t evolution supposed to consist of the gradual accumulation of numerous, successive, slight modifications?  Whatever.  OK, then what happened?  “Those differences were probably in place by 25 million years ago, at the latest, and for many millions of years, they have not changed very much,” Slater said.  Will that be on the test? Environmentalists should be outraged.  The conditions that allowed for this spectacular evolution of whales “have been maintained” for 25 million years.  By whom?  Who is responsible for this intolerable status quo?  Life is languishing.  Species are going extinct.  Life needs to evolve or perish!  (They can’t blame humans, because Homo had not evolved yet; sorry, ACLU.)  What a fine kettle of fish this is.  Mother Nature has left the whales in a stagnant ocean where they can no longer evolve, and we can’t blame the humans.  Evolution was to be a constant fluid stream of change.  Darwin is all red-faced over there, angry at his UCLA supporters talking about “explosive radiation” instead of gradual change.    Take a moment to savor this wonderfully elegant theory that Charlie Dearest (07/18/2006, 07/03/2007) brought to mankind.  Realize that whale evolution has often been presented by his disciples as one of the best examples.  Yes, it certainly is.(Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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18 Dec
2019

Zuma puts NDP, economic transformation centre-stage

first_img24 May 2014Economic transformation, guided by the National Development Plan, will take centre stage as South Africa enters “the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society”, President Jacob Zuma announced on Saturday.Delivering his first address to the nation after being sworn in as President at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Zuma said his second term in office would be marked by radical socio-economic transformation policies and programmes aimed at putting the economy on an inclusive growth path.“Today marks the beginning of the second phase of our transition from apartheid to a national democratic society,” Zuma told over 4 000 guests gathered in the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre and more than 20 000 people gathered below on the Southern Lawns of the Union Buildings.“This second phase will involve the implementation of radical socio-economic transformation policies and programmes over the next five years,” Zuma said after taking the oath of office and receiving the National Salute, which included a mass flypast of South African Air Force aircraft.“We have already placed before the nation the National Development Plan (NDP), our roadmap which outlines the type of society we envisage by the year 2030. Through this programme, we will move South Africa forward to prosperity and success,” Zuma said.“At a social level, as outlined in the NDP, our vision is to develop communities where households will have access to housing, water, electricity, sanitation, safe and reliable public transport, health, education, security, recreational facilities, a clean environment and adequate nutrition.“As the National Development Plan outlines, the structure of the economy will be transformed through industrialisation, broad-based black economic empowerment and through strengthening and expanding the role of the state in the economy.”The President also reaffirmed government’s commitment to promoting local companies, entrepreneurs and cooperatives through local procurement by the state and its agencies.At the same time, the NDP prioritised the national infrastructure development programme. “We will continue to build schools, railways, ports, universities, clinics, colleges, power stations, broadband, roads and more infrastructures around the country. This programme will continue to be the flagship of government.”The end result of these programmes, Zuma said, would be a growing, inclusive economy which created jobs and provided opportunities for all, especially the youth.But for this vision to succeed, the state will need to improve. Key targets in this regard, Zuma said, would be to eradicate corruption and inefficiency in the public service.“We will promote productivity within the public service and ensure much tighter accountability, with firm consequences where there is a failure to deliver services to our people.“The road ahead is long and demanding,” the President said. “The challenges ahead may seem insurmountable, but we are determined to succeed, as we have always succeeded in our efforts to overcome challenges.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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3 Dec
2019

Model Code of Conduct in full swing in Nagaland

first_imgNagaland Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha has asked banks to report daily to the district election officer on suspicious withdrawal of cash from the bank account of any individual. If cash exceeding ₹50,000 was found in a vehicle carrying a candidate, his agent or party worker, it would be seized, Mr. Sinha said in a statement. The directives were issued as part of the Model Code of Conduct which is in force in Nagaland in view of the elections to the 60-member Assembly on February 27. Posters, election materials or drugs, liquor, arms or gifts items valued at more than ₹10,000, likely to be used for inducement of electors, or any other illicit articles also found in a vehicle, shall also be seized, the statement said. Mr. Sinha also asked citizens carrying cash more than ₹50,000 to carry relevant documents to substantiate the source and purpose of the money. The Model Code of Conduct, came into force in the state from January 18. In the statement issued on Wednesday, the CEO reiterated the directives issued by the Election Commission on the Model Code of Conduct, electoral offences and election expenditure monitoring. No new government scheme or project should be announced and those already approved, should not be started, if work on it has not yet begun, the statement said. Rest houses, dak bungalows or other guest houses of the government should not be used for carrying out any political activity, the statement said. The CEO said that there should not be any defacement of government property, offices and premises and all wall writings, posters, papers or defacement in any form, hoardings, banners, flags on government property should be immediately removed. Unauthorised political advertisement in the form of wall writings, flag at public spaces like railway station, bus stand, airport, roadways, government buses, electric poles, and municipal or local bodies building, and in private properties should be removed. There is a total ban on the use of official vehicles by any political party, candidate or agent for campaigning, electioneering or election-related travel during elections. The statement said that offering and accepting or receiving of bribe and gratification by any person was both an electoral offence and corrupt practice. Any promotion or attempt to promote feelings of enmity or hatred on the ground of religion, race, caste, community, or language by any candidate or his election agent is an electoral offence and corrupt practice under the law, the statement said. The CEO said any advertisement on political nature has to obtain pre-certification from concerned authorities. He also apprised that Media Certification and Monitoring Committees (MCMC) have been set up at district levels and also at state level.last_img read more

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11 Sep
2019

Wilmington Town Easter Egg Hunt Set For April 20

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Recreation Department’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt (“Easter Egg Scramble”) for Wilmington children ages 6 and under will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 2pm sharp on the Wilmington Town Common.  If you are late, you will miss all the fun!Candy filled eggs will be placed for children to collect.  Don’t forget to bring a basket or bag to hold your eggs.In case of rain or poor ground conditions, the event will be held at Wilmington High School.(NOTE: The above  information is from the Wilmington Recreation Department.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWILMINGTON REC REMINDERS: Town Easter Egg Hunt Set For April 15In “Community”Wilmington Town Easter Egg Hunt Set For March 31In “Community”WILMINGTON REC REMINDERS: Wilmington Egg Hunt Set For March 26In “Community”last_img read more

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10 Sep
2019

Mazda and Subaru hop on Toyotas selfdriving joint venture with SoftBank

first_img Post a comment 3:28 2019 Subaru Ascent review Enlarge ImageMonet Technologies’ first autonomous mobility contraption will likely be based on Toyota wild e-Palette concept.  Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow Last October, Toyota and SoftBank announced the creation of a joint venture called Monet Technologies, which seeks to mix big data and self-driving cars in an effort to create a whole little mobility ecosystem. Now Monet’s ranks are expanding in a big way.Five other Japanese automakers are hopping into Monet Technologies with Toyota and SoftBank, Reuters reports. The group comprises Daihatsu, Isuzu, Mazda, Subaru and Suzuki. Each company will invest approximately 57 million yen (about $530,000) into the company, and in return, each automaker will receive a 2% stake in the company. SoftBank and Toyota both have 35% stakes, according to Reuters.If you’re wondering where the other 20% stake is, it’s split between two other Japanese OEMs. Honda and Hino, a Toyota subsidiary for trucks, both announced the purchase of 10% stakes back in March. The two companies paid about $2.27 million each for those slices of Monet Technologies.The goal of Monet is to build a self-driving car for use in various mobility enterprises, but the focus is on providing a vehicle for a ride-hailing venture that could go up against industry stalwarts like Didi Chuxing, Lyft and Uber. It’s believed that Monet will use a vehicle similar to the e-Palette concept Toyota showed off at CES 2018.The company will start its efforts in Japan, but it hopes to expand to other countries in the mid-2020s. Some of the companies involved have a past history already, especially when it comes to Toyota — Mazda, Subaru and Suzuki all have research and development agreements with the automaker. Subaru, for example, will co-develop a new EV platform with Toyota, while Mazda and Toyota are teaming up to built a joint-venture plant in the US. More From Roadshow Mazda Subaru Toyota 2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel review: Was it really worth the wait? Autonomous Vehicles Car Industry Mazda SoftBank Subaru Toyota 22 Photos Toyota e-Palette is its vision for a multifunctional… Toyota e-Palette concept debuts at CES 2018 Tags 2019 Mazda CX-9 review: Losing its edge? Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice 0last_img read more

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3 Sep
2019

HC orders to destroy expired medicines in 30 days

first_imgHigh CourtThe High Court on Tuesday asked the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to remove expired medicines from pharmacy shelves across the country and destroy those within 30 days.The HC bench of justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and justice KM Kamrul Kader passed the order following a writ petition, reports UNB.The court also asked the relevant authorities to take action against those involved in preserving and selling expired medicines and submit a progress report in this regard.On 10 June, Manjur Mohammad Shahrier, director general of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection’s (DNCRP), said 93 per cent pharmacies in the capital kept date-expired drugs. The report was published in different newspapers the following day.Supreme Court lawyer Mahfuzur Rahman Milon, on behalf of Justice Watch Foundation, filed a writ petition with the High Court after attaching the reports published in national dailies on 17 June.Lawyer ABM Altaf Hossain stood for the writ petitioner while deputy attorney general ABM Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar represented the state.The HC also issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why the ineffectiveness of the defendant should not be declared illegal.Secretaries to the home ministry, health and family welfare ministry, law ministry, commerce ministry, industries ministry, director general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), director general of Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) and director general of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection’s (DNCRP), its deputy director, IGP, president of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) and its general secretary have been made respondents to the rule.Milon, the SC lawyer, said the HC also asked the health secretary, Director General of DGHS, director general of DGDA, director general of DNCRP, to form separate probe bodies for identifying those involved in selling, preserving and supplying expired medicines and submit a progressive report to the court.Besides, the court asked the DNCRP director general and its deputy general to submit a report about the comment of its deputy director Manjur Mohammad Shahrier, said Milon.According to the report published in daily newspapers on 10 June, Manjur Mohammad Shahrier, director general of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection’s (DNCRP), said 93 per cent pharmacies in Dhaka keep date-expired medicines.He made the remarks while speaking at a programme at Khamarbari arranged by Bangladesh Supermarket Owners Association marking ‘World Food Safety Day’.last_img read more

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