20 Dec
2019

D’Angelo Russell’s 52 points not enough in Warriors overtime loss to Timberwolves

first_imgMINNEAPOLIS — D’Angelo Russell’s first career 50-point game wasn’t enough to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves, but it came close.After missing three games with a right ankle sprain, Russell returned to a starting lineup missing Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and scored 52 points on 19-for-37 shooting, nine rebounds and five assists in the Warriors’ 125-119 overtime loss to the Timberwolves in Minnesota Friday.It was the first 50-point game of Russell’s career and, though he …last_img

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19 Dec
2019

Imagination Cures Falsifications of Darwinism

first_imgHow many show-stoppers does it take to stop a show?  With Darwinism, the show goes on despite multiple falsifications.  The trick is to imagine solutions that don’t require evidence.Top-Down Head InversionNotice this admission in an article on PhysOrg titled, “Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head” —Our understanding of how animals on the planet evolved may be wrong, according to scientists at the University.In a new paper, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, evolutionary biologists from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.The paper, attempting to explain the Cambrian explosion, was analyzed on Evolution News & Views.  Normally, an admission of this magnitude would be sufficient to say, “Game over.  We were wrong about Darwinism.”  Suffice it to say that the Cambrian explosion (which was known to Darwin) has never been answered – yet Darwinism marches on in triumph as if nothing happened.  Later in the PhysOrg article, though, the imaginary scenario appeared to save the day.  A co-author of the paper said,“Our results hint that this may hinge upon the evolution of new ‘key innovations’ that enable groups to exploit new resources or habitats, for example dinosaurs growing feathers and evolving wings or fish evolving legs and moving onto land to claim new territory.”Quick, Make Like a FishIn the evolutionary story, the Devonian period is often called the Age of Fish.  It ended, though (the story goes) by a series of mass extinctions, wiping out all but a couple of genera.  Why do we have so many ray-finned fish today, then, “from tuna to trout, catfish to cod, swordfish to sunfish, perch to piranha, goldfish to goby”?  PhysOrg imagines that evolution was fast to fill in the vacancies:“These early, post-Devonian ray-finned fish provide the first glimpse of what is to come: an evolutionary profusion of body forms, fin shapes, and extraordinary jaws and teeth. The ray-finned fish really do exemplify Darwin’s comment about ‘endless forms most beautiful and wonderful,’” Coates said.Rapid “evolutionary profusion” is called “diversification” or “radiation” in evolutionary terms (the PNAS paper used the word rapid three times).  If there’s a vacancy, customers must want to show up: “in the immediate aftermath of the end-Devonian extinction, ray-finned fish had already acquired a diversity of forms that gave them an evolutionary edge, enabling them to fill the ecological vacuum left by the demise of most major fish groups.”  The evolutionist imagines that if a vacancy “enables” a fish to fill a vacuum, it will – endlessly and most beautifully.  It’s only a matter of evolutionary time to get catfish, lionfish and zebrafish.Meteoritic SelectionIn the evolutionary story, dinosaurs and many other animals went extinct when the asteroid dubbed Chicxulub hit the ocean near Mexico 60 million years ago.  The fiery cataclysm was followed by a kind of “nuclear winter” – a one-two punch. Problem: many species survived just fine.  For instance, half of marine species went extinct, but only about 10% in freshwater ecosystems, including delicate ones like turtles and amphibians.  Doesn’t this cast doubt on the story?Science Now wielded imagination to keep the evolutionary saga going.  In “Why Some Species Thrived While Dinos Died,” the reporter deferred to a University of Colorado expert who imagined that the survivors either learned to scavenge or hibernate, surviving on groundwater or under the ice until conditions got better.  It makes a good story to tell impressionable students:The team’s analysis “basically tells the story I’ve been telling my students for years,” Holtz says: While many species in the marine realm starved when the base of the food chain collapsed, he notes, the bottom-feeders there—as well as many species in freshwater ecosystems—were taking advantage of stored sources of nutrients such as nutrient-rich runoff from the land and previously accumulated organic material. In a sense, he says, they were “eating from the pantry,” so they suffered less severely.Seems strange that not a single dinosaur (and many were small) never thought of those survival tricks.Once Upon a TimeThat’s exactly how a PhysOrg article begins on “the evolution of multicellularity.”  It would seem a major hurdle to get cells to organize into cooperative and differentiated systems (to say nothing of body plans, with tissues and organs).  But with evolutionary imagination, nothing is impossible if you try:Once upon a time all cells were solitary, going about the everyday business of life on their own.Then, perhaps as many as 25 times in the history of life, some cells tried something different: banding together into groups. A few of these attempts gave rise to groups of cells that worked together rather like bees in a beehive, eventually resulting in the trillions-strong communities of cells that make up complex multicellular organisms like us.Roberta Fisher continued to employ her imagination in the interview.  Perhaps microbes tried organizing for defense.  Perhaps they wanted to try new sex positions.  Perhaps they got political.  Perhaps they wanted better ways to disperse.  Perhaps they did it out of unselfish love… on and on she goes, never citing an observational peg to hang these ideas on.  The fact that multicellular organisms enjoy some of the benefits does not imply that microbes wanted to “try” them.  Obviously, one-celled organisms vastly outnumber multicellular organisms even today.Fisher’s paper in Current Biology, “Group Formation, Relatedness, and the Evolution of Multicellularity,” continues much of the same line, only translated into jargonese with more chutzpah.  She and her co-authors did admit up front, though, that “The major challenge raised by each of these transitions is to explain why individuals should join together and become mutually dependent in a way that leads to a more complex individual.”  Why is that a major challenge?  Didn’t Darwin explain that?These papers and articles sample the literature on Darwinism.  No challenge or falsifying evidence is too strong to overpower the imaginations of evolutionists.  This was shown starkly in Ray Comfort’s new film, “Evolution vs. God” (available online).  When he challenged Gail E. Kennedy for evidence for evolution, she responded, “The problem with those who are unable to see evolution is I think they don’t have imaginations.”Our commentary from 1/17/07 will suffice here.  See also Brett Miller’s cartoon for the Bandwagon fallacy set to the song, “Imagine.” (Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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18 Dec
2019

She taught the world to fly!

first_imgShe taught the world to fly but she had an extraordinary, almost uncaring birth. The man who wanted her couldn’t afford her, the man who built her was reluctant to build her and the men who first flew her on December 17th, 1935, didn’t bother to arrange a photographer to capture one of aviation’s greatest moments.See a stunning video of the Breitling DC-3 below.Legendary American Airlines’ President Cyrus Smith who wanted the DC-3 as a sleeper transport was in “a cold sweat, because he just didn’t have the money to pay for them,” according to Donald Douglas Sr., famed founder of Douglas Aircraft Company in a 1965 interview. Mr Smith spent $300 ($5,500 today) on a 2-hour telephone conversation with Mr Douglas trying to convince him to widening his existing – and very successful – 14-passenger DC-2. “I did not like it at all,” Mr Douglas recounted in the interview. “Why should I have liked it? I had plenty of DC-2s on order.” But Mr Smith was persuasive and ordered 20 of the larger DC-3s that would have 50 per cent more capacity than its smaller sibling, so Mr Douglas gave in. As Mr Smith did not have the money, he flew to Washington to successfully beg a colleague who ran President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation for a $4.5 million loan. Eighty years on December 17th, 1935 Douglas Aircraft Company chief pilot and VP of Sales Carl Cover, accompanied by flight engineers Fred Stineman and Frank Collbohm, boarded X14988 at 2:15 pm local time, ran the engines up for about 30 minutes and taxied for take-off at Clover Field in Santa Monica, California. Mr Collbohm, who occupied the right seat, recalled 40 years later that “it was just a routine flight. I can’t separate it in my mind from any other test flights we made in those days.”Chief designer of the DC-3 Arthur Raymond, didn’t remember the event either: “When the plane was ready, I suppose Carl and the others simply got aboard and took off.” And take off the DC-3 did at 3 p.m. for a 1 hr. 40 min. flight, landing just as dusk was approaching. With it came nightfall for every other commercial aircraft flying. The DC-3 instantly redefined travel because it was the first plane that could make money just carrying passengers freeing airlines from government mail contracts and stops at tiny out of the way places. Now airlines could link bigger cities non-stop and slash travelling times.Within three years, 95 per cent of all passengers in the US were flying on DC-2s or DC-3s. Globally that number was 90 per cent.Movie stars, such as Shirley Temple, also played a big role helping sell the DC-2 and larger DC-3 and “flying on a Douglas” quickly became “the thing to do.” And as recently as 2008 the DC-3 was still in the movies helping James Bond out of one of his many tight spots. In the “Quantum of Solace,” Daniel Craig was in the cockpit of a DC-3 with the lines; “Let’s see if this thing will fly.” It did and some!And just as James Bond impresses with technological wizardry the DC-3 was a marvel for its day.Duplicate instrumentation for pilot and co-pilot as an added safety measure, new cockpit lighting for night flying, automatic hydraulically actuated retracting undercarriage, foot brakes and hydraulically operated wing flaps were all introduced on the DC-3.The impact of the DC-3 on the world’s economy was immense. Flying was now safe and economical. In the US, passenger fatality rates plummeted seven fold and in 1939 the “Scheduled Airlines of the United States” were awarded the prestigious Collier Trophy for flying 17 months without a single fatality.Owing to the safety record of the DC-3 insurers began offering flight insurance in 1937 for the first time to passengers and pilots while the practice of temporarily cancelling policies when passengers set foot on an aircraft was discontinued. Time magazine commented: “That insurance companies can now bet US$5,000 to two bits (25 cents) against a passenger being killed on a flight of some 800 miles is one of the best pieces of publicity which US airlines ever had.” And Mr Douglas would appear three times on the cover of Time in recognition of the DC-3 and his leadership and organisation of the US war effort in building 300,000 planes between 1940 and 1945.The amazing performance and economics of the DC-3 saw a 50 per cent decline in airfares by 1940 compared to when it entered service in 1936.During WW11 the DC-3, or Dakota or C-47 became the backbone of the allies transport armada with over 10,000 produced in the US. Most were built by women.During World War II, Douglas employed more women by percentage — 85 per cent — than any other defence company and the company’s peak workforce was 160,000.The women — nicknamed “Rosies” after one of the first women to work in a defence factory — turned out DC-3s, or Dakotas as they were better known in Australia, at the staggering rate of one every 34 minutes. Individually, they took three-and-a-half days to build.Thousands of DC-3s flooded the commercial market after WW11 and they helped restart the world’s economy. Today the DC-3 keeps on flying! Estimates have the global fleet at about 200.While many are only seen at air shows there are well over 100 still hauling freight and passengers. Cost? A good one goes for $500,000.And there is little doubt the DC-3 will keep on going and be still earning money when she reaches 100.last_img read more

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18 Dec
2019

Final TPP signed, but still a long road ahead

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Trade ministers signed the final Trans-Pacific Partnership yesterday, but the deal is far from complete.The TPP includes 12 Pacific Rim and trade representatives gathered in Auckland, New Zealand in early February to sign the final text of the TPP. Now the member countries have to each approve the trade agreement, which will likely not happen until well after this fall’s presidential election for the United StatesMany agricultural groups celebrated the progress with TPP but recognized there is still a long way to go.“After five years of negotiations, we are pleased to see the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement take another step forward today. The National Corn Growers Association supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership because it would give America’s farmers and ranchers greater access to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. This agreement is good for both corn farmers and our friends and partners in the livestock industry. We all want to see more American grains, meat and dairy on dinner tables around the world,” said Chip Bowling, NCGA president. “This agreement will strengthen America’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region and set the tone for future international trade agreements, such as with the European Union. By supporting TPP, Congress can send a powerful message: the United States will lead on trade. That’s why NCGA members will be going to Capitol Hill in the coming months, asking Congress to vote in favor of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in 2016.”In addition to the NCGA, the American Farm Bureau, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Pork Producers Council, among others, firmly support the TPP and will be pushing for its completion. There will likely be a tough fight for TPP supporters ahead, though, as Congress considers the deal while presidential politics dominates the nation’s political landscape in the coming months.Even within agriculture there are significant concerns about the U.S. trade balance with the deal.“TPP is modeled after the failed deals of the past, and it is destined to fail,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. “Those past deals worsened America’s trade deficit, did nothing to stop our foreign competitors from cheating the system, and failed to live up to a long list of promises.”Once signed by the Administration, TPP will eventually be delivered to Congress for a debate and an up-or-down vote without amendments. Johnson and NFU members in all 50 states are urging Congress to take its time during the examination process and to ultimately reject the deal.“The more people learn about TPP, the more they dislike it,” Johnson said.  “It’s soft on enforcement, it fails to reign in predatory trade practices abroad, and it does nothing to improve America’s trade balance.”last_img read more

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3 Dec
2019

Nitish blames banks for woes of demonetisation

first_imgBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said the November 2016 decision to demonetise high value currency notes had failed to deliver its desired objectives.Addressing the 64th State-level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meeting in Patna, Mr Kumar, who had broken ranks with the opposition to support demonetisation, blamed banks for failing to curb the flow of banned high denomination notes back into the system.Mr. Kumar said large defaulters were able to obtain huge loans and escape from the country, while the poor had to face stringent recovery action over loans.“The biggest responsibility for the success of demonetisation drive rested with the bankers but everyone knows how a portion of unaccounted cash got accommodated in the banks…while the small borrowers face difficulty in getting loans, big people manage to get away with huge loans what we hear as banking scams,” the Chief Minister said.Despite the dramatic change in his position on the controversial monetary reform, Mr. Kumar a short while later posted a tweet congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi on completion of four years of his government.“Congratulations to honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi on completion of four years of the government…I believe the government will rise to the expectations of the people,” he said.Funds crunchMr Kumar’s apparent u-turn provoked swift reactions across the political spectrum. Sources in the JD(U) told The Hindu that Mr. Kumar has been upset with the Centre for releasing only ₹1,711 crore for relief and rehabilitation after last year’s flood in north Bihar districts. The Bihar government had asked for ₹7,636 crore. Over 500 people died and more than a crore were affected in 19 districts of northeast Bihar.Leader of Opposition Tejaswi Yadav of the RJD said, “He (Nitish Kumar) had supported demonetisation but is now questioning it. He is always years behind in understanding the issues, difficulties and demands of common people.”“Don’t be surprised if he calls demonetisation the biggest scam of India,” Mr. Yadav said. Nitish Kumar would “betray” BJP also, he added.last_img read more

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23 Oct
2019

K Line to Merge Two Ship Management Firms

first_imgzoom Japan’s shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has decided to merge two of its ship management subsidiaries, Taiyo Nippon Kisen and Escobal Japan, on July 1, 2017.The company informed that the businesses are tentatively scheduled to be renamed K Line RORO and Bulk Ship Management on April 1, 2018.K Line has opted for the move in an effort “to insure a success of the reorganization of the structure of the group’s ship management system to a further and higher level by consolidation of the extensive experience and valuable know-how” accumulated within the two respective companies.The new ship management system will “realize more secure and environmental-friendly services that will meet the day-by-day increasing demand for reduction of environmental load toward a sustainable and livable world,” K Line said.Following the merger, K Line will hold three ship management companies, namely, K Line Ship Management Company dedicated to containerships, tankers and gas carriers, K Line LNG Shipping (UK) Limited, dealing with LNG carriers, and Taiyo Nippon Kisen which would be focused on car carriers and dry bulk carriers.The company believes that the new management system “will further improve and upgrade future services with higher quality and greater security.”last_img read more

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