Please Help Save Zinnah’s Life

first_imgWith fluctuations in commodity prices and the rise in bills, rent, school fees and the standard of living, everything seems uncertain and baffling. There have been many SOS calls by dozens of parents who want to save their sick or ailing children in the past year, and one of them is Philip Zinnah, Jr., a five year old boy whose life is hanging by the thread. He is presently in a very bad state, with his ability to urinate cut off and death lurking if he is not treated further as suggested by the Catholic Hospital, where he sits restrained.“Presently we have a bill of L$107,663 to pay before he can be removed so we can find further funds to get him to Ghana for surgery,” stated his father, Philip Zinnah, Sr.Back in January 2014, Junior was circumcised by an uncertified physician and in the process, the head of his penis was accidently removed. He was diagnosed with urethral stenosis.A urethral dilatation was performed on the child on March 1, 2016 at the JFK Medical Center through the intervention of Health Page Liberia’s CEO, Charlesetta Williams.In May 2016, Junior was again unable to urinate, something that had been happening off and on. He was operated on by a Dr. Sherman at the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita, lower Nimba County, where it was revealed that his case “requires surgery abroad by an urologist as soon as possible.”Since then, Junior and his family have been stuck, unable to take him abroad for the urgently needed surgery. Though they have reached out to people and organizations to raise the money to send the child out of the country, there has been little success.According to the father, those who raised his hopes to get his son out of the country let him down.“They promised us all kinds of things, said they had money but then later just turned their backs on us,” he lamented.Yet still, Junior remains in a critical state, and has not been able to urinate or defecate in weeks. He was recently rushed to the hospital almost unconscious and treatment was administered.Meanwhile, the family has been urged to pursue criminal charges for malpractice against the person (whose name has not been released) who botched the circumcision. Mr. Zinnah has stated that he has no intention of doing such.“Presently, they are hard to find; you can’t just find them like that,” Zinnah Sr stated.Junior’s state is saddening, as he is in a fight that his parents are unable to fight alone.Anyone who can contribute to saving yet another life, a boy that did not ask to be injured or placed on a critical list, should please help the family get their child to a facility that can save his life.Mr. Zinnah can be reached on 0770-690-998.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ramjattan must be held accountable – PPP

first_img… says President’s comments as “irresponsible”The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) forthrightly condemns a statement made by President David Granger in which he noted that Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, should not be blamed for last Sunday’s fire that completely destroyed the Georgetown Prison and a conflagration at the same penitentiary in March 3, 2016.Public Security Minister Khemraj RamjattanThe President’s comments were part of an interview he gave to the State newspaper and published on Friday.In a strongly worded statement, the PPP reminded that 17 prisoners were killed during the 2016 fire and a prison officer lost his life following last Sunday’s uprising, while some of his colleagues were injured. That incident also resulted in a number of inmates escaping and who, at this point in time, remain on the run.The Party in a statement on Friday evening said these horrific incidents occurred under the President’s stewardship, with the latest precipitating the failure to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry which was established to probe the 2016 incident, among other things.According to the PPP, it is against this background that it finds the President’s comments as “irresponsible” and one which lacks any notion of sensitivity to the unspeakable fear that has gripped the country.The PPP said it is not oblivious of “Government’s obsession to shirk from its responsibility.”Additionally the Opposition lashed out, pointing that the excuse of a lack of funds for important national endeavours, including prison reform, is most “laughable when billions were, and are being spent on non-priority areas including, Jubilee Park.”Large-scale manhuntOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Wednesday said the PPP/Civic would encourage the law enforcement agencies to engage in a “large-scale manhunt” for the eight prisoners who escaped from the penitentiary during the fiery unrest.The former President said his party would give its continued support to the Joint Services, unlike what had obtained when the present ruling Administration had served in the Opposition during the 2002 escape of five prisoners from the Georgetown Prison – which led to the creation of violent gangs and serious crime for many years.Jagdeo also reiterated that the PPP/C would continue to fully support the security forces as they move to restore law and order in the country.Saying the issue should be treated with more seriousness, Jagdeo referred to statements made by Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, who claimed that because the Government has had to pump sums of money into the sugar industry, it had to defer implementing various capital projects intended to tighten security at all prisons, as were recommended by the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) which stemmed from the previous incident.“Ramjattan has to take responsibility for what’s going on. He has to take responsibility just like in the past, when they used to call on PPP/C Ministers – when there was a problem in the sector – to resign. Well, I’ve seen lots of public calls for Ramjattan to resign. Maybe he should consider it, or Granger (President) should consider firing him at this point in time,” he added.Jagdeo said unlike his party, which while in Government was accused of lacking security experience, the now coalition Government is “overladen with national security experience,” given the number of former Army officials who serve in senior capacities in Government; but they have failed to respond effectively to the crisis; and days later, they are still struggling to get things in order.The Opposition Leader expressed hope that there will be an emergency session of the National Assembly to have a full debate on the situation, so as to ensure continued public safety.last_img read more

Behind scenes of Reiner’s Prop. 82

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The cast of characters at movie director Rob Reiner’s home was like no other. Labor leaders sat across the table from the state’s business elite. Republicans chatted with Democrats, and multimillionaires schemed with early childhood education experts in the screening room of Reiner’s Brentwood home in September 2004. Reiner gave his handpicked cast directions: They were to work out their differences and craft an initiative creating and paying for preschool for all the state’s 4-year-olds. Thus began an innovative, seven-month process that produced Proposition 82, the measure on the June 6 ballot seeking to raise taxes on wealthy Californians to pay for universal preschool. “There were a lot of contentious moments and people struggling with the issues,” Reiner said. “But at the end of the day, people’s better angels came through.” He claims this “painstaking” process produced the “most scrubbed piece of legislation” ever for an initiative. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata disagreed this week, saying he was withdrawing his support from Proposition 82 because of its “fatal” flaws. The Oakland Democrat called the initiative a “boon” to middle- and upper-income families because it would provide free preschool to all 4-year-olds by 2010. He also complained that it would lock up $2.4 billion a year in potential tax revenues that could be used for K-12 education and other public services. Perata knew of Reiner’s drafting team but said they shouldn’t replace lawmakers, who are elected to “make representative decisions.” “A bunch of people who get together and can figure out how to agree with each other, that’s wonderful,” he said. “But play poker, play canasta. Don’t do initiatives.” Joel Fox, co-chairman of the Stop the Reiner Initiative campaign, said Reiner reached out “for political reasons to try to limit the opposition” rather than to develop good public policy. Reiner said enlisting business, labor and others produced “better public policy.” But even those who helped write the measure say it isn’t perfect. “Is it exactly everything the (California Teachers Association) wanted? No,” said CTA President Barbara Kerr. “Is it exactly what everyone else wanted? No. But it really will work.” The Proposition 82 campaign is putting the teachers at the forefront because of their credibility on the education issue. But the opponents want to keep the focus on Reiner, and that’s where it’s been the past two weeks. Reiner came under so much criticism that he took a leave of absence from his chairmanship of the First Five commission. The commission, which oversees programs funded by another Reiner-backed initiative, Proposition 10, spent $23 million from tobacco tax revenues on ads promoting preschool in the months leading up to Proposition 82 qualifying for the ballot. First Five’s executive director has said Reiner wasn’t involved in the ad campaign decisions. But some conservative activists have called on the governor to replace him. Several lawmakers are seeking audits or investigations of the commission’s finances, and one has called for redirecting the panel’s ad dollars and part of its administrative costs into extending a Kern County preschool program statewide. Assemblywoman Cindy Monta!tildelown!ez, D-San Fernando, and other Democratic lawmakers held a press conference Thursday to denounce that proposal as an attempt to circumvent Proposition 10’s education mandates. Reiner required 6 percent of Proposition 10’s revenues go to education when he drafted the initiative. With that measure and a subsequent one in 2004, Reiner consulted a small group of allies. Proposition 10 passed by a scant 1 percent of the vote, and the second initiative generated so much opposition that Reiner abandoned it before it hit the ballot. “The lesson learned from the last initiative was we have got to be inclusive,” Reiner said. “We have got to bring all parties together to work together to find common ground.” He tried to do just that, starting with the 2004 meeting at his home. Representatives of the teachers association and the Service Employees International Union sat across the table from former junk bond king turned educational entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Milken. Republican multimillionaire Richard Riordan, a former Los Angeles mayor and state secretary of education, and his Democratic wife and education advocate, Nancy Daly Riordan, were there alongside early childhood education experts. Each agreed to the governing principles Reiner outlined that day: the initiative had to provide high-quality preschool to all 4-year-olds; it had to give parents a choice between public and private preschools, and the program had to be fully funded, so a tax increase was essential. Over the next seven months, over sandwiches and soft drinks in conference rooms around the state, business representatives butted heads with labor leaders over unionizing the preschool work force. The teachers fought with Milken and others who wanted a voucher system to pay for preschool, and business leaders negotiated the tax increase terms. At times, some threatened to walk away from the negotiations. None did, but Milken lost the fight on vouchers and hasn’t endorsed Proposition 82. He said through a spokesman he doesn’t take positions on initiatives. “There were a lot of hard feelings around the table and a lot of people had sacred cows they had to give up on,” said Phil Halperin, Silver Giving Foundation president and one of the Proposition 82 negotiators. “The more people talked, the more they understood the other side’s point of view.” Labor preferred public preschools with a unionized work force to private ones. But business wanted to inject “competition” into education. Kerr, the teachers association’s president, said labor ultimately realized public schools didn’t have the capacity to provide preschool to all, so they agreed to include private providers in the program. But labor retained the right to organize the private preschool work force. For business, the biggest hurdle was the tax increase. Rusty Hammer, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce executive director, worked over the phone and e-mail to shape the tax provisions to restore a tax rate former Republican Govs. Pete Wilson and Ronald Reagan had imposed to balance their budgets. It would be a 1.7 percent increase in the tax rate for the state’s top earners. “This is the least objectionable and onerous of tax increases because it’s not a tax on business,” Hammer said. From the winter and into the spring of 2005, the negotiations continued among the cast of characters that gathered at Reiner’s home, their representatives and others who joined later. Reiner stepped in to break up the logjams and urge compromise. By spring 2005, the negotiators had agreed on a final draft. Reiner’s staff then sent the draft to the Legislative Analyst’s Office and 100 groups for further comments. About 50 of the groups offered further refinements and some were adopted. On April 19, along with some of those who had helped write the initiative, Reiner held a teleconference announcing his new “Preschool for All” initiative. “In the end, people realized there was this bigger goal,” said Catherine Atkin, Preschool California president. “The fact that everybody who was at the table at the beginning was there when the initiative was finalized is a testament to them and their commitment to kids.”last_img read more

Las Vegas set to ‘pop-up’ in Donegal for festive season!

first_imgIf you are looking for style, value & a fun night to remember, then here’s something to ‘pop’ into your diary!Pop Up Pubs is bringing the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas to your event this festive season!We Pop Up, You Party! It’s that simple, this has been the motto for local woman Catriona Mulhern’s business from day one. Pop Up Pub from KDM Ireland on Vimeo.Now in her second year in business, supplying “Pop up Pubs” to Private Parties, Corporate Events, Private Businesses and Large Corporates throughout Ireland, and she has proved this to certainly be a venue with a difference! This year Catriona has created a stylish “Pop Up Fun Casino Night” for any business or corporates, private clients or a fundraising event, wanting to host a party with a difference & a fun night!“If you are looking for an intimate & interactive entertaining evening, we provide fully working casino with full size Roulette, Blackjack and Poker Tables. The tables are staffed with our professional croupiers who will not only deal the games, but have a laugh with your guests making your night one to remember. Our Pop Up Fun Casino can cater for small home parties of 20 guests right through to large corporate and charity fundraising events up 55 Guests,” says Catriona.December and January dates are selling fast, so secure your festive party date now!Let’s get your party started, just call Catriona on +353 (0)86 2737180 to book your “Pop Up Fun Casino” today!You can find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/popuppub/ & online www.popuppub.comLas Vegas set to ‘pop-up’ in Donegal for festive season! was last modified: November 23rd, 2016 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:EntertainmenteventsLas VegasPop-Up-Publast_img read more

THE HOOPS REPORT: DE ROSARIO ON TRIAL WITH CELTIC, LJUNGERG IMPRESSIVE

first_imgCanadian midfielder Dwayne De Rosario has joined former Arsenal winger Freddie Ljungberg on trial with Celtic.The 32-year-old Toronto player joined the Swede in training at Celtic’s Lennoxtown training complex yesterday.Celtic manager Neil Lennon said: “He’s a similar player to Shaun Maloney. He likes to play off the left and come inside. He is a skilful, sharp and intelligent player. Again, it’s an opportunity for us to have a look.” Injury has denied Celtic the services of Maloney, while right-back Cha Du-Ri and midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung will be absent for much of January while playing for South Korea at the Asian Cup.And 33-year-old Ljungberg has already impressed in training as he nears the end of his contract with Major League Soccer outfit Chicago Fire.Celtic defender Jos Hooiveld had also been impressed with what he saw of the Swede, whose agent is claiming interest from 12 European clubs.Jos told a European website: “He was in very good form. We want players who can provide something extra and Freddie looks like he can do that. “I know nothing about whether he will sign, but he showed in training that he can be something special for us.”Celtic have also been linked with another Swedish winger, 22-year-old Malmo player Guillermo Molins.Celtic play Motherwell tonight (wednesday). The game is live on BBC Radio Scotland – 810 Medium Wave.THE HOOPS REPORT: DE ROSARIO ON TRIAL WITH CELTIC, LJUNGERG IMPRESSIVE was last modified: December 28th, 2010 by gregShare 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)last_img read more

GAA – ALL YOUR WEEKEND RESULTS

first_imgDONEGAL NORTHMinor League Division 2 Section 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment 24-Mar-2013 Carndonagh 5 – 12 0 – 1 Naomh Padraig Lifford Carndonagh Minor League Division 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment 24-Mar-2013 Letterkenny Gaels 1 – 8 0 – 6 Sean MacCumhaills Pairc Na nGael-Letterkenny24-Mar-2013 Gaoth Dobhair 3 – 8 1 – 7 Buncrana Machaire Gathlan Minor League Division 2 Section 2Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment24-Mar-2013 St Michaels 6 – 3 2 – 7 Downings Dunfanaghy Minor League Division 2 Section 1 Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment24-Mar-2013 Malin 1 – 5 0 Robert Emmets Malin Minor League Division 2 Section 2Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment 24-Mar-2013 Milford 2 – 6 3 – 11 Termon Moyle Park Milford22-Mar-2013 Convoy 1 – 5 0 – 5 Glenswilly ConvoyDONEGAL SOUTHUnder 14 League Division 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment24-Mar-2013 Ardara 7 – 12 4 – 3 Aodh Ruadh Ardara Under 14 League Division 2Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment24-Mar-2013 Naomh Columba 4 – 5 3 – 2 Naomh Ultan Naomh Ultan Fixture reverse Under 14 League Division 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment24-Mar-2013 Naomh Mhuire 1 – 9 1 – 5 Kilcar Naomh Mhuire24-Mar-2013 Naomh Conaill 6 – 12 5 – 5 Bundoran Naomh Connaill24-Mar-2013 Naomh Naille 3 – 8 4 – 13 Four Masters Naomh Naille Minor League Section 2Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment22-Mar-2013 Ardara 3 – 8 2 – 4 Naomh Naille Ardara Under 14 League Division 2Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment20-Mar-2013 Naomh Ultan 1 – 3 3 – 13 Killybegs Naomh UltanUnder 14 League Division 1Date Team 1 Score Score Team 2 Venue Comment18-Mar-2013 Four Masters 2 – 8 3 – 9 Bundoran Four MastersGAA – ALL YOUR WEEKEND RESULTS was last modified: March 24th, 2013 by StephenShare 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:Donegal GAA resultslast_img read more

Men’s Basketball Opens Paradise Jam Against Wake Forest

first_imgWake Forest makes the short trip to Virginia in search of its first win of the season after dropping contests to Georgia Southern and Liberty to open its season. Last season, the Demon Deacons made their first NCAA appearance in seven years after and recorded a 19-14 record. The team returns two starters from that team. The Bulldogs open play at the tournament Friday evening against Wake Forest at 7:30 p.m. CST from Liberty’s Vines Center. The Demon Deacons will be Drake’s first opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference since facing Virginia in the 2011 edition of the Paradise Jam. The game will be streamed online via FloHoops.tv’s subscription service and over the airwaves in Des Moines on ESPN Des Moines 1350-AM. Live Audio Live Stats Drake Game Notes Story Links The Bulldogs enter the tournament after opening their season with a 101-54 victory over Coe College in which the team sank 16 three-pointers, one shy of a school record. Graham Woodward (Edina, Minn.) led the way with 20 points on a perfect 5-of-5 performance from the three-point arc. Freshman Noah Thomas (Sydney, Australia) recovered from a tough first half to score 13 second-half points while recording six steals. After one game, he currently leads the nation in steals per game.center_img LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Drake University men’s basketball team treks to the historic central Virginia hamlet of Lynchburg this week to play three games in three days as part of the Paradise Jam. The tournament, originally slated to be hosted in the U.S. Virgin Islands, was relocated to Lynchburg and Liberty University following this fall’s destructive hurricanes in the Caribbean. Following Friday’s game, Drake will face either Colorado or Quinnipiac Saturday followed by a Sunday contest against either Liberty, Houston, Drexel or Mercer. FloHoops.tv Wake Forest Game Notes Friday’s meeting will be the first in the series between the Bulldogs and Demon Deacons.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Evolution for the Birds: Must Adaptation Be Evolutionary?

first_img(Visited 284 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Darwinians use adaptation and evolution almost interchangeably. Is that justified?Adaptation, strictly defined, refers to the matching of an organism to its environment. Think of a woodpecker. Its claws enable it to cling to tree trunks, and its tongue can reach into deep holes in the wood. The tongue, moreover, has a sticky tip able to glue onto bugs inside the hole. Its head is protected from the hammer-like blows of its beak, which is pointed for penetrating wood. The woodpecker, all would acknowledge, is well adapted to its lifestyle. A hummingbird, by contrast, has specific adaptations for hovering in the air while sipping nectar in flowers, including its nectar-trapping tongue.Such amazing matches of organisms to their environment have been observed for thousands of years. Only since Darwin, however, has the word included linkages to evolution by natural selection. At Dictionary.com, two of the biological definitions embed natural selection in the definition of adaptation:any alteration in the structure or function of an organism or any of its parts that results from natural selection and by which the organism becomes better fitted to survive and multiply in its environment.a form or structure modified to fit a changed environment.the ability of a species to survive in a particular ecological niche, especially because of alterations of form or behavior brought about through natural selection.This gives Darwinism an unfair advantage. It would be like defining oxygen as ‘anything that was produced by phlogiston.’ Embedding a theory into the definition of an effect thought to be produced by the theory is an example of circular reasoning, because other explanations are possible. Engineers, for instance, adapt parts to the needs of particular car models. An SUV needs a transfer gear box that a sedan does not. The parts of a Ferrari engine are adapted for speed; the parts of a truck for weight bearing. When evaluating claims in science articles about adaptation, perceptive readers should watch out for the assumption that adaptations were brought about by natural selection (the Stuff Happens Law). Here are some examples from the world of birds.Inexperienced preys know when to flee or to freeze in front of a threat (PNAS). Observation: chicks do not need to learn about threats, because they instinctively know to flee or freeze when a threat appears. That’s the adaptation. It’s obviously important for survival. How do these three biologists explain it? “…it is expected that evolutionary pressures have equipped preys with mechanisms to counteract predators in different situations.” Why must the pressures be evolutionary? A pressure and a mechanism are very different things. It’s absurd to imagine that applying pressure to a chick will cause brain software to appear by chance. “Solving the long-standing issue of the evolutionary origins of antipredatory behaviors, these findings suggest that the adaptive needs of young preys are matched by spontaneous threat recognition and use of appropriate defensive mechanisms that do not require learning.” Why must the adaptive needs have evolutionary origins? The authors don’t mention any mutation for this trait that was “selected” by a Darwinian process. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but inventors have minds.Why are bald eagles such great gliders? It’s all in the wrist (Phys.org). Wings show remarkable matches to the habitats and lifestyles of different birds. That part is uncontroversial. What does this have to do with evolution? The explanation in this article makes it sound like birds are choosing the mutations that the mystical Stuff Happens force will select to let them explore new niches. But what if they always were well matched to their habitats and lifestyles?An enduring mystery is why bird species with similar flight styles or body sizes don’t have consistent wing shapes. All hummingbirds, and some species of falcons, hawks, kingfishers and passerines can hover, but the birds have strikingly different morphologies and are only distantly related. Ravens soar like eagles while their look-alike cousins, crows, stick more closely to the ground.New research in Science Advances helps explain why. Bird species tend to reshape the range of motion of their wings—rather than wing shape or size itself—as they evolve new ways of flying.The picture of Evolution as an engineer gets even more ridiculous further down: “Evolution has tested a range of wing designs and motions for specific circumstances.”Why Do Pigeons Bob Their Heads? (Live Science). Parents will enjoy telling their kids in the park why pigeons bob their heads as they walk. There’s actually a reason for it. The bobbing gives pigeons the best possible amount of time with a stable gaze between bobs. Nice adaptation! What’s evolution got to do with it?Pigeon’s eyes can move around like ours, but the birds also have more-mobile heads than humans do, so it makes sense that they’ve evolved head-thrusting as a more effective vision-stabilizing tool.Reporter Emma Bryce lacks the sense to know that evolution has no sense. It’s mindless, remember? And birds could not evolve a trait by force of will any more than a human can grow wings and fly just by wishing for them.Evolution is resetting the annual clock in migratory birds (Phys.org). German ornithologists have found that certain migrating birds, particularly flycatchers, seem able to adjust their biological clocks to changing climate. That’s the adaptation. The article claims that the Germans have”shown there is an evolutionary response of this clock to climate.” Why must it be an “evolutionary” response? What if that adaptive response is built-in to the birds’ software? Dr Barbara Helm responded, “The good news is that there is more adaptive potential than we previously thought.” Adaptive potential is not evidence for evolution, nor does it contradict intelligent design. Good programmers can write software that can handle multiple unforeseen circumstances. That’s how the Mars rovers know not to drive off cliffs, and know how to reduce power during the night.Male mating displays can evolve from exploitative origins to cooperative endings (PNAS). Assuming adaptation is produced by selection can lead to humorous theory rescue attempts. In this commentary, Richard Gomulkiewicz does his best to rescue evolution from observations about ring dove mating displays that do not fit Darwinian natural or sexual selection. His attempt relies heavily on a high perhapsimaybecouldness index:Species like the ring doves, however, are pair bonded and effectively offer no variation in the number of mates a male can have each season. This excludes sexual selection as an explanation for their exaggerated mating displays. Instead, male displays appear to stimulate female investment in reproduction. From an adaptive evolutionary standpoint, this is unexpected since a male’s efforts would be better spent contributing resources directly to his offspring and the female would be better off ignoring such displays if her investment in the brood is already optimal. When a male displays to a receptive female, the stimulation may cause her to overinvest in the offspring, imposing an immediate benefit to the male and future cost to the female. This is a form of sexual conflict, in which traits favored in one sex harm the other. In PNAS, Servedio et al.  show that evolution can result in male displays that stimulate receptive females to invest optimally in their offspring; that is, evolution can convert sexual conflict into cooperation. Some have speculated that this reversal is logically impossible, but Servedio et al. prove otherwise.DODOs in the TreeBirds are not the only kinds of organisms that have Darwin-Only Darwin-Only (DODO) explanations thrust on them. Humans and their presumed bacterial ancestors all get the circular massage.Accounting for diverse evolutionary forces reveals the mosaic nature of selection on genomic regions associated with human preterm birth (bioRxiv). This preprint by a team that includes Antonis Rokas, who tweaks evolutionary rates to keep Darwin from hurting (15 May 2013), starts off with circular reasoning in the very first sentence: “Human pregnancy requires the coordinated function of multiple tissues in both mother and fetus and has evolved in concert with major human adaptations.”The treacheries of adaptation (Science). This is a surprising article. Craig R. Miller discusses a new idea by Johnson et al., who say that adaptation reduces the fitness of offspring! The steepness of a fitness landscape, usually concave in shape, expresses the cost of adaptation. An organism stuck on a fitness peak may have only one way out: down. Miller also explains the problems of epistasis: the reality that mutations interact in unpredictable ways. One beneficial mutation may be accompanied by one or more deleterious mutations. These ideas are problematic for Darwinism; Miller offers an escape hatch, saying that “The authors speculate that increasing costs, paired with the reality of diminishing gains, may arrest adaptation before a fitness optimum is reached.” Stuff Happens to the rescue! For our present purposes, suffice it to say that Miller assumes that adaptation is produced by natural selection. What if it isn’t? What if the adaptation was already there?You’ve witnessed a major reason why evolution wins by default: scientists just assume it. The late Phillip Johnson saw through this gimmick in the late 1980s and 1990s. It was a major reason for the rise of Darwin skepticism, and on the other side of that coin, the rise of intelligent design as an alternative. In 2011, in a tribute to Johnson by Michael Behe on the 20th anniversary of his consensus-shaking book Darwin on Trial, Behe wrote,Twenty years ago Darwin’s theory seemed a truism, simply because rival explanations had been ruled out of bounds from the start. Then Phillip Johnson’s epic Darwin on Trial cut to the heart of the debate. It wasn’t about evidence; it was about assumptions. And like the proverbial drunk looking for his car keys, no one searched beyond Darwin’s lamppost. Two decades later, even as scientific advances accumulate, Johnson’s insight remains key. We must cast off arbitrary assumptions. If we are ever to arrive at the solution[,] the search for answers to the question of how life arose and developed has to be free to follow the evidence wherever it leads. (Evolution News & Science Today). Recommended Resource: Casting off arbitrary assumptions, Randy Guliuzza has offered a creation-supportive explanation for adaptation from an engineering perspective. His series on ICR about “engineered adaptability” and “continuous environmental tracking” is well worth pondering, because it’s based on a cause we know a lot about: intelligence.last_img read more

SA motorists urged to Think Pedestrian

first_img16 April 2012 A new campaign, driven by the United Nations and backed by local companies, has been launched to improve safety on South Africa’s roads by changing the behaviour of both motorists and pedestrians. The “Think Pedestrian” campaign is expected to run for a decade, and hopes are high that it will curb the high number of road deaths in South Africa. In South Africa, Think Pedestrian is endorsed by logistics company Eqstra and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, in support of Nelson Mandela Day. It will be piloted in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga province.40% of road deaths pedestrians Speaking at the launch in Johannesburg last week, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said pedestrians accounted for more than 40% of deaths on South Africa’s roads. It is estimated that there are around 40 vehicle accidents a day and 14 000 a year countrywide. Ndebele said South Africa was seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. The number of road crashes over the Easter weekend, traditionally a dangerous time to be out and about, dropped to 181 from last year’s 215, according to preliminary statistics released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation.Community road safety councils However, he warned that there was still a long way to go, and urged South Africans to help the government achieve its 2020 goal of cutting road fatalities by half. Ndebele called on community members to join the road safety councils set up by the Department of Transport in their area. “They aim to work with communities in inculcating a culture of responsibility with regard to the use of the road.” The community councils were also tasked with identifying local road safety hazards, and getting people interested in helping to resolve them. Eqstra MD Murray Price said the Think Pedestrian campaign would consist of a range of campaigns designed to change road user behaviour.‘Attitude is the problem’ “The problem is not about how good or bad drivers and pedestrians are,” Price said “Attitude is the problem. We have to educate our people about the importance of observing the rules of the road. We can save lives by doing so.” Price said a task team would identify accident hotspots across the country’s roads as the campaign spread to other provinces. “We will be guided by the Department of Transport in identifying these places. From there we can evaluate the root cause of the problem.” The campaign would also include installing road signs and speed bumps and patching potholes in line with each area’s needs. A golf tournament would soon be launched to raise funds for the campaign. “It will be played annually until the 10-year period lapses,” Price said. Collins Letsoalo, acting manager of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, said road safety awareness campaigns run on an annual basis were already under way to support the Think Pedestrian campaign. One of the was Think Bike, an NGO run entirely by volunteers, that encouraged motorists to be considerate and tolerant of two-wheeled road users. Dr Francis Kasolo, representing the UN, said South Africa was setting the pace by launching the campaign a year earlier than many other countries. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Quads star Sithole on a roll in Korea

first_imgIn the men’s division, Evans Maripa, currently ranked 31st in the world, defeated world number 32 Lahcen Majdi of France 7-6, 6-2 in his first match. ‘We are so proud of Lucas’Wheelchair Tennis South Africa’s director and coach Holger Losch commented in a statement: “We are so proud of Lucas and his achievements, and look forward to watching this inspirational athlete at the Paralympics.” FinalThat victory booked him a place against the top seed, Sweden’s Anders Hard, in the final. The two had previously met in the final of the Korea Open, with Sithole claiming a 6-4, 6-3 win. After recording an emotional victory in the Korea Open at the beginning of June, South African quads wheelchair tennis star Lucas Sithole continued his good form with a runner-up finish at the Daegu Open this past weekend. This time around, however, Hard exacted a measure of revenge by outlasting the South African star 6-4, 6-7, 6-1. In the semi-finals, he faced Frenchman Stephane Erismann and came close to repeating his whitewash victory of the previous round, running out a 6-1, 6-0 winner. It was the same result he had achieved against Erismann in the Korea Open. Sithole, who is preparing for the Paralympics for the first time, cruised through his quarter-finals clash against Korean Young-Mok Yu, winning 6-0, 6-0. It was, nonetheless, another successful tournament for Sithole, who has risen to seventh in the world rankings.center_img He next faced world number 11 Takashi Sanada, whose experience proved the difference, as the Japanese player recorded a 6-2, 6-2 win. SAinfo reporter World number 40 Sydwell Mathonsi scored a 6-4, 6-4 win over Israel’s Gamini Dissanayake in his opening match. 15 June 2012 He was beaten 7-6, 6-4 by David Dalmasso of France, ranked 14 places above him, in his second match. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more