Apathy and cynicism

first_imgSUCH is the pathetic state of democracy in Los Angeles that on Tuesday only 7.7 percent of registered Angelenos bothered to vote. And on the very day that residents of the state’s largest city gave democracy the thumbs down, the state Legislature voted to add a third election to next year’s calendar. Call it ironic – or sad. Either way, in 2008, apathetic voters will have three opportunities to not vote: in November, when we choose the next president; in June, when we hold partisan primaries for all offices except the presidency; and – courtesy of Tuesday’s vote – in February, when we try to get a jump-start on the rest of the country in choosing major party nominees for the nation’s highest office. Now, there’s a strong case to be made for an early presidential primary, which would give Californians – the biggest source of presidential campaign cash – a real say in choosing the parties’ candidates. Still, with voter turnout in a free-fall, is this the time to burden fatigued voters with yet another election? It may not be time for the public, but it sure is for the politicians. The state’s leaders have seen to it that an initiative allowing them to stay in office longer will appear on the next ballot. But for the initiative to do current pols any good, voters must approve it before, and not at the same time as, the June primary. That way otherwise termed-out pols will have time to file for re-election. Thus, for the sake of the incumbents, California “needs” a February election. What, you didn’t think the early primary was all about increasing the state’s influence in presidential politics, did you? If it were, Sacramento could have put it up to a vote at any time over the last four years. So now it’s up to the state’s pols to try to demonstrate that their early-primary gambit isn’t as self-serving as it appears. And there’s one easy way they can do it: Put a redistricting measure on the ballot that would end the current system of gerrymandering that makes a farce of California’s legislative and congressional elections. Offering to sacrifice some of their own power in the name of democracy would be a good way for the state’s leaders to show that when they talk loftily about wanting to give California voters more power, they mean it. And who knows – if Sacramento would make this modest effort to make California more democratic, Californians might just take a renewed interest in voting.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Goalkeeping legend Buffon ready to play again for Italy

first_imgBut Italy interim national coach Luigi Di Biagio said on Monday he was ready to recall Buffon for friendlies against Argentina and England in Manchester and London on March 23 and 27.“I had thought about going on holiday for a few days with my family, but when the national team needs you, you must be present and not desert them,” Buffon told Italian programme Tiki Taka.The 40-year-old Juventus goalkeeper has represented the Azzurri for 20 years, winning the 2006 World Cup title, and earning a record 175 caps in a brilliant career. He had been bidding for a record sixth World Cup appearance.“There’s nothing to add to Di Biagio’s words other than I feel a sense of responsibility and loyalty which I must give to the national team in this transitional moment,” he continued.“I repeat, it’s a way of showing loyalty and a sense of responsibility towards Italy. A new national team is being born and the first games are not comfortable ones because we will face Argentina and England.“I think that any experienced player can be useful at the start, even if it’s just to give advice to the young ones.”Juventus captain Buffon, who has said he intends to retire as a player at the end of the season, said he will announce his final decision in due course.“The only thing I have to do right now is focus on the end of the season,” Buffon continued.“The thing I can tell you is that I’m sure and I’m very happy with what will be my choice, together with the club, but we’ll announce it when the time comes.“Right now it’s a point in the season where we have to be very focused.”Six-time Serie A holders Juventus are second in the league and are also in the running for the Italian Cup, and the Champions League where they play the last 16 second leg against Tottenham in Wembley on March 7.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Juventus’ goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he is ready to play for Italy in two up-coming friendlies © AFP/File / MARCO BERTORELLOMILAN, Italy, Feb 27 – Italy goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon confirmed on Tuesday he is ready to come out of international retirement if he is called up for friendlies against England and Argentina.Buffon called time on his international career after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, losing a two-legged play-off to Sweden to miss the tournament for the first time in 60 years.last_img read more

GAA NEWS: ROCKLAND DEFEAT DONEGAL NEW YORK TO WIN JUNIOR LEAGUE CROWN

first_imgOne goal, dispatched clinically past St. Michael’s product James McFadden, was the decisive score which seen Rockland narrowly defeat Donegal New York to win the Junior League crown. The final looked to be more of a romp for the lads from across the Hudson River as the half-time whistle saw them with a 1-6 to 2 point lead.Helped by several saves from McFadden and multiple points each by Daniel Shovlin, Brian Giveney, and Kevin Lilly, the Donegal squad clawed back to within two points as solid defense held Rockland to only 2 points in the second stanza. A disputed red card reduced Donegal to 14 and untimely wides presaged the final score.With nothing to be ashamed of from the League campaign, Donegal looks to make the Rockland manager’s prediction come true, that the two sides may well face off again in toe NY championship final.GAA NEWS: ROCKLAND DEFEAT DONEGAL NEW YORK TO WIN JUNIOR LEAGUE CROWN was last modified: May 23rd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalGAAJunior Leaguenew yorkNoticesRocklandSportlast_img read more

Why is Zlatan Ibrahimovic not playing for Sweden at the World Cup?

first_img Ibra is Sweden’s all-time leading scorer Also eligible to represent Bosnia and Croatia, Ibrahimovic briefly retired in 2009 after Sweden failed to reach the 2010 World Cup.He came back to the side as joint-captain the following August and went on to bag twice at Euro 2012.His last goal in the yellow of Sweden was against Denmark on 17 November, 2015.When do they face England in World Cup quarter-final?Ibrahimovic may not be there, but Sweden haven’t looked like they’ve missed him in Russia.After qualifying from a tough group, they saw off Switzerland in the last-16 and will now face England.The match will take place on Saturday, July 7 in Samara, with kick-off at 3pm UK time.talkSPORT will bring you live commentary of England’s World Cup quarter-final clash with Sweden Why is Zlatan Ibrahimovic not playing for Sweden?The striker decided to retire from international football following Euro 2016.There were whispers he may decide to come back for this summer’s World Cup, but those were put to bed by the man himself.He is Sweden’s all-time record goalscorer, who during an illustrious international career, notched 62 goals in 116 games, having made his debut back in 2001. The Swede netted an incredible goal against England in 2012 Getty 2 2 Getty Sweden have been superb in what is their first World Cup campaign for 12 years.But Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the team’s greatest ever scorer, has been watching from the sofa as his countrymen set up a quarter-final showdown with England, which is live on talkSPORT here.last_img read more

‘He’s ready now’ – Manchester United youngster set for Premier League bow

first_img LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS SORRY Diogo Dalot will play some part against Southampton RANKED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade ‘I’ll get him’ – Robertson further endears himself to fans with revenge vow to Mane The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion latest gameday cracker ”He had an important injury and then surgery, and then a second injury with the national team (Portugal Under-21s) when he was already playing against Young Boys and Derby County.“When he was almost there, he was injured for the national team but now he’s had two weeks of training and we think he’s ready now.”Mourinho’s men are looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League after a derby-day defeat to Manchester City and last weekend’s goalless draw against Crystal Palace. scrap center_img 1 Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT BEST OF Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho says Diogo Dalot is in line to make his Premier League debut against Southampton on Saturday.Injuries have restricted the 19-year-old, who joined United in a £19million deal from Porto in June, to just two cup appearances this season. revealed PAYBACK Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ REPLY But Mourinho has confirmed the full-back will be included in his matchday squad this weekend.“Players must be ready and in this case some are going away to the medical room and others are coming back,” he said.“For example, this weekend will be the first call for Dalot. He’s ready now. LATEST last_img read more

Two Ways to Look at a Fin

first_imgTwo science articles this month showed very different ways to look at a fish fin.  One looked for evolution; the other looked for design.  One tried to trace an evolutionary story with no practical application; the other tried to find ways to improve our lives.    The evolutionary story involved a fossil coelacanth.  Science Daily reported that a fossil coelacanth fin found by researchers from University of Chicago “fills a shrinking evolutionary gap between fins and limbs.”  Yet it was unclear how it did so, since the article went on to say that both the fins of coelacanths and lungfish, once thought to be ancestral to tetrapods, are in fact actually specialized.  Matt Friedman, the team leader, denied even that coelacanth was a living fossil.  It was also unclear how this fossil helped the evolutionary story.  “With things like this [fossil],” he said, “we’re beginning to hone in on the primitive conditions of fins that gave rise to limbs later on.”  This indicates that they do not have evidence of primitive fins – only of advanced fins that could not have been part of an assumed evolutionary sequence leading to limbs.    The other story, a press release from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, described how a team is trying to imitate the swimming action of fish fins.  “Inspired by the efficient swimming motion of the bluegill sunfish, MIT researchers are building a mechanical fin that could one day propel robotic submarines.”  The sunfish can hover, turn, and store energy.  This particular species is able to propel itself forward with no backward drag.  As part of their research, the team “broke down the fin movement of the sunfish into 19 components and analyzed which ones are critical to achieving the fish’s powerful forward thrust.”  Then they built an artificial fin using advanced polymers to mimic the motion.  Some day, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) may use these principles to achieve greater maneuverability at less energy cost.  This effort “gives us the potential to build machines or robots in a manner closer to how nature creates things,” said one, and “will help engineers figure out how to best adapt nature’s principles to designing robotic vehicles.”Compare the benefit of biomimetic research with the utter uselessness of Darwinian speculation.  The nonsense going on at U of Chicago, the Center of Tetrapod Evolution Fability (01/16/2007 commentary), is wasting our time.  They cannot connect the fossil dots in any believable sequence between fish and amphibians, but have the gall to lie to us: first, about the “shrinking evolutionary gap between fins and limbs,” and secondly by denying coelacanth is a living fossil.  Do they even know what a living fossil is?  Here was a creature known only from the fossil record, thought to be extinct from the age of dinosaurs, that was found alive and well in 1938.  It doesn’t matter whether it is considered a transitional form now, because it was thought to be so by all evolutionists then.  When they found that it does not use its fins for supporting its body on land, they had to quickly change their fable in light of the facts in front of them.  They’ve learned nothing in the intervening 70 years and have done no one any good.  Evolution is useless, vapid, evanescent speculation about things they cannot know and cannot prove, holding us hostage to promissory notes about insight that turns out to be positively anti-knowledge (see Luther Sunderland comments).    The other story, by contrast, has real value.  The researchers saw an efficient design in nature.  They were inspired to create a similar mechanism that could improve our lives.  Which kind of science do you prefer gets the government funding?  If the rascally Darwinist usurpers ever get ejected from the lab for the crime of impersonating a scientist, civilization won’t miss them.  Real scientists will suddenly see a surge in funding and resources that had been wasted on fruitless storytelling.  Help mankind: fire a Darwinist.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Evolutionary Fish Story

first_img(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Similar-looking blind fish couldn’t have swum across the world, so did they evolve separately?Where would a fish want to go be?  A goby fish wants to go be in dark caves.  The BBC News announced that “Goby fish 6,000km apart share eyeless common ancestor.”  Herein lies a puzzle: blind gobies in Madagascar and Australia are very similar.  How will evolutionary theory explain this?  Reporter Jonathan Ball said, “A study in PLoS One showed Madagascan and Australian cave fish inherited their blindness from a common ancestor”  (Source: Chakrabarty P, Davis MP, Sparks JS (2012) The First Record of a Trans-Oceanic Sister-Group Relationship between Obligate Vertebrate Troglobites. PLoS ONE 7(8): e44083. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044083).Though living in different parts of the world the cave fish shared important features: they were small – under 10cm in length – eyeless, colourless and lived in freshwater, limestone caves.  How such similar fishes came to be living on different sides of the world was the question the researchers wanted to answer.They considered convergent evolution: “When separate species are exposed to the same selective pressures they often come up with the same solutions – a process known as convergent evolution.”   An alternate possibility is that these species inherited their particular characteristics from a common ancestor: “In the case of the cave fish, an alternative possibility was that their odd features – or traits – were adaptations inherited from an ancestor common to both.”A genetic comparison suggested the latter:Though separated by thousands of kilometres of ocean, the cave-dwelling fish of Madagascar and north-western Australia were genetically more similar to each other than to any other goby: they inherited their unusual suite of characteristics from a common ancestor.“That they’re 6,000 km apart in Madagascar and Australia is pretty remarkable,” observed Dr Chakrabarty.The researchers believe that the ancestor lived on Gondwanaland, which joined Madagascar and Australia in the past.  Their hypothesis is that those two lands split 60 million years ago, leaving the two species of cave-dwellers 4,000 miles apart, no longer able to share a common gene pool.Nice hypothesis, Ball suggested, “But the study threw up some anomalies.”  Why didn’t the blind gobies go be in India, which was also part of Gondwanaland?  Maybe they went extinct there.  Or, perhaps evolutionary ideas of Gondwanaland “might need updating.”A researcher found it “intriguing” that some of the blind gobies in Madagascar had pigment; “they show that caves are not evolutionary dead-ends,” he said.The observation of similar blind cave fish separated by 4,000 miles is a worthy puzzle for scientific investigation by both creationists and evolutionists.  How did they get there?  Evolutionists typically take the microphone and start waving their hands.  They reach into their story toolkit and pull out “convergent evolution”.  They grab the magic wand of “millions of years.”  They play their puzzle of slowly wandering continents, as they look into their genetic crystal balls for visions of long-lost common ancestors.Unfortunately for them, these tactics flop. First of all, blindness is degeneration, not evolution.  Even creationists allow for that kind of change from an initial created kind of goby that diversified without adding new genetic information.  Second, “convergent evolution” is a distraction.  It is not a “process”; it is merely a story used whenever needed to show similar things that should not have been related.  And, the evolutionists admitted that their popular story of Gondwanaland’s separation “might need updating.”The authors admitted in their paper that evolutionary theory is not sitting confidently in the seat of scientific explanation here: “A major issue plaguing our understanding regarding the evolution of cave animals has been a lack of basic information regarding the assembly of these biotas, including mechanisms of speciation and phylogenetic origin.”  Ahem; why, then, are you holding the microphone?The most useless part of their hypothesis is time.  It doesn’t take 60 million years for eyes to degenerate; that can happen in one or two generations.  Sixty million years is far more time than all the alleged major transitions in mammals are said to have occurred.  Why would these fish just sit there in caves on opposite sides of the ocean, not changing at all, looking closer to one another genetically than to other gobies?  Does that make sense?It is far more reasonable to believe they have not been separated anywhere near that long.  Biblical creationists believe the continents broke up and spread apart rapidly during the Flood.  Only pockets of fish populations would have survived, explaining why they are found where they are but not in India.  The genes for pigment were present but recessive, switchable back on by genetic or epigenetic mechanisms.    No tens of millions of years are needed to explain these observations; in fact, the explanation is better without them.last_img read more

Auckland – Perth, first 787-9 service

first_imgAir New Zealand has announced Auckland-Perth will be the first scheduled route ever operated by the revolutionary new Boeing 787-9 when the airline takes delivery of the launch aircraft next year.The 787-9 is larger and flies further than the standard 787.Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said that the “787-9 is going to be a game changer for Air New Zealand and sets a new benchmark for passenger comfort.”The Air New Zealand 787s will offer passengers 18 seat lie-flat Business Premier beds and a separate 21 seat Premium Economy cabin in a 2-3-2 configuration, each with its own dedicated bathroom facilities. The planes two economy cabins will accommodate 263 passengers, including 14 Skycouch rows which are a set of three seats that covert to a bed. Virgin Australia will code-share on the service and passengers can book the new flight from 15 October 2014.Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Boeing 787-9 which carries around 40 more passengers than the standard model.Mr Luxon made the announcement at the official opening of the airline’s Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre in Auckland A feature of the centre is the only Boeing 787-9 full cabin interior outside the factory in Seattle.“Our new Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre will give us a venue to showcase the on board experience before the world’s first 787-9 to enter commercial service joins our fleet in the middle of next year.  We’ll have a busy programme of hosting customers, trade partners and stakeholders at the centre over the coming months.  We are confident they will be as excited as we are about the future of air travel.”Mr Luxon says the Customer Innovation and Collaboration Centre will also be the hub for further innovation from Air New Zealand.“We are determined to deliver step changes in customer experience and to work with our trade partners to crack business issues and seize opportunities together. This centre provides a focal point to bring to life the best of Kiwi ingenuity and we are going to make it available as a venue for other like-minded Kiwi businesses to use.”To see more click: Air New Zealand 787-9last_img read more

SABMiller turns to biogas

first_imgSABMiller is cleaning up its act by installing an anaerobic digestion treatment plant for its waste water. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free images, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Briony ClarkeMedia relations, SABMiller+44 20 7659 0115 or +44 7776 132336RELATED ARTICLES • SABMiller invests more in Angola • Brewery spreads African reach • SABMiller, global breweing giant • Heineken’s R7-billion SA plantJanine ErasmusThe world’s second largest brewer SABMiller has introduced a cost-saving and environment-friendly treatment for the waste water flowing out of its Alrode plant, south of Johannesburg.In doing so the brewing giant is reducing its carbon footprint by using the resultant biogas as fuel instead of coal.UK-based SABMiller, which started as the South African Breweries and evolved to become a multinational powerhouse, has installed an anaerobic digestion plant to break down the waste water that accumulates during every production run.The methane gas produced from this is used to power massive boilers that are essential to the brewing process, thereby reducing the company’s reliance on fossil fuels.Until recently the effluent would have ended up in a normal municipal treatment plant, where it would be purified through various physical and chemical means. The cost of treatment is dependent on the volume of effluent and the concentration of organic waste carried in it.At the Alrode plant, the 5-million litres of water, and the accompanying 25 tons of organic matter, which is discarded every day is expensive in more ways than one.Instead, the new two-stage anaerobic digestion process converts 90% of those 25 tons of organic solids into biogas with a methane content of 85%. The other traces in natural gas are carbon dioxide and small amounts of hydrogen sulphide.This is the first stage, which produces about 9 200 normal cubic metres of biogas every day.Cost-saving initiativeThe cost-saving implications are huge – for every biogas-powered boiler, the fuelling of which constitutes stage two of the process, SABMiller is burning 10.4 fewer tons of coal and saving US$925 (R7 000) every day.And the municipality saves big on electrical and chemical costs of treating the waste it used to receive from SABMiller, as all treatment is now done on-site.With more electricity tariff hikes looming large, it makes sense to implement savings wherever possible. Furthermore, excess power produced may be sold back to Eskom, the national electricity utility, under the new feed-in tariff scheme.Since the Alrode pilot has lived up to expectations, there is a good chance of other breweries in the group adopting this environment-friendly waste treatment process.Greener operationsEnvironmental engineering company Talbot & Talbot, based in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, supplied the biogas reclamation equipment. The company specialises in waste water treatment and has said that SABMiller’s biogas project has effectively set them on the path towards greener operations.SABMiller is one of the case studies featured in the Ethical Corporation Institute’s guide to effective water management and stewardship, published in November 2008.Natural energy sourceIn the beer brewing process carbohydrates found in grain are processed during the production cycle, converted first to a sugary liquid known as wort, and then fermented by yeast to produce ethanol and carbon dioxide.The brewing process results in large volumes of waste water. According to the 2008 publication The Beer Brewer’s Handbook, it is estimated that for every litre of beer, between three and 10 litres of waste water are produced – even with the advances of modern technology.Brewery waste water contains traces of all ingredients used during brewing. It has a high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), which is the amount of oxygen taken up by microorganisms that decompose organic material in water. A high BOD reading is a sign of a high level of water pollution.It is therefore very suitable for further anaerobic treatment, which generates an efficient alternate fuel source known as biogas, as well as biofertiliser, which is kinder to the soil than chemical fertiliser.Like natural gas, biogas can be used to generate electrical or thermal energy. It is commonly used to power vehicles or boilers.The anaerobic digestion technique has tremendous economic and environmental implications. Since the process occurs naturally in landfills, subjecting organic waste to digestion before it is discarded will reduce methane and carbon dioxide emissions from rubbish dumps. It will also cut down on emissions from trucks taking garbage to landfills.The production of renewable energy through waste recycling also has the potential to create new jobs, and the sale of surplus energy can increase profitability.last_img read more

South Africa is prioritising infrastructure investment to ensure our competitiveness

first_img• As part of government’s Nine-Point Plan, South Africa remains committed to resolving energy challenges to enable, amongst others, industrialisation.• Public sector infrastructure investment is projected to exceed R800 billion over the medium termTransport• South Africa is committed to investing in more integrated and efficient public transport. Government is also investing in infrastructure to enhance efficiency in the transport of goods to improve overall competitiveness.ICT• South Africa’s ranking in the WEF Global Competitiveness Index improved seven places to 49 out of 140 countries, thanks largely to increased bandwidth. South African telecommunication companies spend about R20 billion a year on infrastructure.• Government is in the process of rolling out its digital migration programme.last_img read more