Loggers roll, move into championship game

first_imgAfter a 10-day layoff, the Loggers bats showed no signs of rustiness at the Arcata Ball Park on Thursday, as Eureka comfortably defeated Ferndale 10-2 to advance to the Charlie Lakin Memorial Tournament championship game.Five different Loggers had two base hits or more, as Eureka out-hit the Wildcats 13-6 and scored in four of the six innings they came to bat.“We came out swinging the bat really well, and we put some runs up on the board,” Eureka head coach Jeff Giacomini said. “I was very …last_img read more

Life Is Earth’s Waste Dump

first_imgExclusive  Most evolutionists and philosophers recognize the origin of life as one of the most difficult questions to broach from a materialist standpoint.  Dr. Michael Russell, however, made it sound very easy to a large audience gathered in JPL’s auditorium on February 4.  In a talk titled confidently, “How Life Began on our Water World Over 4 Billion Years Ago,” he argued that the emergence of life is a geological issue.  In a classic statement of reductionism, he began, “Metabolism or life is chemistry’s answer to the physics of convection.”  He repeated this theme later in the lecture: To my mind, metabolism is chemistry’s answer to the physics of convection.  It’s a way of distributing energy back into and lowering the energy levels, generating waste products – generating a little chaos if you like – because the universe is running down, and life just obeys the Second Law of Thermodynamics and is just helping the planet to run down chemically.For illustration, he had a lava lamp on stage.  The thing never did start convecting despite his prediction.  Presumably, he meant to imply that the people in the auditorium were glorified lava lamps, helping the planet generate waste products and run down chemically.    Dr. Russell spoke on this topic at JPL three years ago (see 12/03/2004) but now has funding to build a hydrothermal reactor at the lab to test his ideas.  Russell advocates the “metabolism-first” view of life’s origin, as expounded by Robert Shapiro (02/15/2007), a view roundly criticized by Leslie Orgel (01/26/2008) and others who advocate the “genetics-first” view.  Russell believes in the RNA world scenario, but only after a metabolic form of life emerged.  He did not explain where the RNA came from.    He also swept through the topic of how ATP synthesis emerged.  He agreed ATP is vital, but made it seem as if all earth needed was a proton motive force to get it started – a gloss that startled David Nicholls two years ago (03/31/2006).  Russell also portrayed homochirality as unnecessary at the beginning; one hand just won out after multiple experiments going on at deep-sea vents all over the planet.  He explained this is like having automobiles, some of which are driving on the right side of the road, and some on the left; eventually, to keep order, one side would prevail.  One could imagine human beings coming to such an agreement, but it is unclear how or why mindless molecules would do it.    Russell confused natural causes with intelligent causes again by personifying geology as an experimenter.  When asked how long he thought it would take for cycles to emerge, he said,Something like 100 years.  I’m being a bit glib, but think about what 35,000 postdocs could do, 365, 24×7, for 35,000 years.  It’s not going to take long.  It’s got to be quick, because otherwise you’re going to run out of steam, so to speak; you’re going to run out of fuel.Necessity is the mother of invention, however, for intelligent inventors.  Russell did not explain why a chemical reaction, if depleted of fuel, would find it necessary to solve the problem and keep going – or even recognize a problem existed.  Most chemical reactions when depleted of reagents simply reach equilibrium and stop, shedding no tears about it.    Whether Russell’s clouding of the distinction between minds and mindlessness was merely pedagogical or fallacious was not clear; he resorted to personification several times.  At another point, he said, “That’s what a planet needs – to make acetate and methane, and eventually oxygen.”  Life, to him, was almost a geological necessity.  He embraced this kind of geological/biological determinism.  He called the metabolic stage of chemical evolution a Lamarckian stage, before the Darwinian stage could ensue with RNA and DNA.    This lecture was advertised as part of a “Science 101” series for the non-scientist.  Russell used pithy analogies to keep the audience on track.  Prius owners could relate:The earliest metabolic vehicle is a hybrid.  And now comes the vehicle’s regulator or computer.  Eventually we need the RNA to help guide these reactions so that they don’t just happen chaotically.  So we get to the RNA World.That’s one giant leap for atomkind, though (see 07/11/2002).  Russell portrayed metabolism as a kind of life that forms first, then gets fancier with computer controls and regulators later.    Russell preached that we should be concerned less with what life is, but rather by what it does.  When asked for a definition of life, he deflected the question by saying,The philosopher never asks that question… the philosopher asks of a puzzle, what does it do?  What does life do?  Life takes carbon dioxide and hydrogen, sinks the oxygen into it (it found a way of using the oxygen in photosynthesis) and makes organic molecules.  That’s what life does.  It’s a process…. It’s understanding what it does that matters.No one asked the follow-up question about what life does: “Does life understand reality in ways that are true, universal, necessary and certain?”  To be consistent, Russell would have to say that scientific explanations also are mere processes that emerged from planetary physics and chemistry.  If so, then maybe scientific explanations are some of the waste products of convection.It was sad to see an audience of fairly well-educated engineers and scientists take this all in with smiling faces and expressions of rapture.  They laughed at his jokes and gave him hearty applause.  Most of them didn’t seem to notice they were being had by a fast-talking charlatan.  Read our earlier commentary on his previous JPL talk (12/03/2004).    This lecture was followed a couple of days later by a presentation on a more technical level by a colleague of Russell, Dr. Dieter Braun.  Braun’s goal was to explain how the concentration problem in origin-of-life studies could be solved in geothermal vents.  The concentration problem is how to get enough prebiotic molecules close enough together to interact.  Both Russell and Braun recognized this as a serious problem.  In fact, Russell was emphatic in his talk that the old Miller spark-chamber scenario was unworkable.  The early earth would have had no land, and the ocean surface would have been too turbulent for a thin film of molecules to aggregate, whether delivered by comets or by lightning.  This again illustrates how the genetics-first and metabolism-first parties falsify each other.    Braun focused only on how thin tubes in hydrothermal vents convect and concentrate molecules – any molecules (in his experiments, he used polystyrene beads).  Like Russell, he glossed over numerous problems along the way.  When faced one-on-one with questions afterward about chirality, harmful cross-reactions, the difficulty of getting essential molecules and keeping unwanted ones out, the origin of ribose for RNA and DNA, the nature of information and information transfer, functional information, probability and other serious matters, all he could do was say he was only trying to show how molecules can be concentrated in a realistic prebiotic environment.  He was lectured that shoving off the miracles for someone else to solve (playing intellectual hot potato) does not necessarily constitute scientific progress.(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Israel’s Venture Funding Falls Off A Cliff In 2009

first_imgAs reflected in the report, Israeli venture firms tend to favor mid-stage funding over seed funding by a great margin. In the fourth quarter of 2009, mid-stage companies accounted for over half of the funding, while seed companies gained just 4% of the total.We recently reported that the fourth quarter showed hope for American startups, both in mergers and acquisitions and venture funding. For comparison, the United States saw over $20 billion in venture funding for 2461 deals in 2009, an average of nearly $8.5 million per deal. With venture funding seemingly drying up in Israel, the United States could see an influx of foreign entrepreneurs coming to American for venture funds. Of course, this could be expedited by the creation of a startup visa program, a topic we wrote about earlier this month.Photo by Flickr user hoyasmeg. chris cameron Related Posts By sector, life sciences saw the most growth took the lion’s share of the money up from 15% in 2008 to 24% in 2009. Semiconductors in Israel continued a downward trend, falling from 15% of the funding in 2008 to just 8% in 2009, its lowest share since 2001. The internet and communications sectors held steady at 13% and 20% respectively, but they are nowhere near their numbers from 2000 when they combined for almost 70% of the total funding. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#start#startups center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… American startups are not alone when it comes to the well of venture funding drying up. A recent report by the Israel Venture Capital Research Center has found that funding in Israel fell drastically to $1.12 billion in 2009, nearly half the amount from the previous year. The 46% decrease marks the lowest funding numbers since 2003 and ends Israel’s streak of three consecutive years with increasing number of companies and funding dollars.The numbers are a sign of the worldwide economic stress that is affecting countries large and small across the globe. While funding plummeted between 2008 and 2009, the number of companies funded only fell roughly 7% from 483 to 447, which means less money is being given to each company. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the average financing round was just $2.2 million, down from $3.61 million during the same period in 2008. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Deoband bans use of smartphones by students

first_imgDarul-uloom-Deoband, the largest and one of the most influential Islamic seminaries in the Indian subcontinent, has banned the use of smartphones by its students. However, students are allowed to keep a simple phone to make and receive calls, and message. The seminary administration, however, clarified that the rule was restricted to “just the classrooms and the hostel” and the move was aimed at “removing distractions so that students can focus and concentrate on studies”. Students who are found to have a smartphone are likely to be suspended and have their phones destroyed. “The rule is made by the education department of the seminary in keeping with the interests of the students and to ensure larger discipline among students. The smartphone is a major source of distraction for students. It does not allow them to concentrate on their studies. This is not a new rule. It has been effective on the campus for the last few years,” said the Vice Chancellor of the seminary, Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani. ‘Not against technology’He, however, emphasised that the students are allowed to keep a simple phone. Asked if the move of the seminary could be misconstrued as a stand against technology, the spokesperson of the seminary Ashraf Usmani said, “Darul Uloom Deoband is not against technology. In fact, we have a dedicated department where students are taught how to handle computers and the Internet. They can make use of the services there. All the Faculty members also have access to computers and the Internet.” Mr. Usmani said prohibiting the usage of smartphones is not a new rule for educational institutions. “We are a pro-technology institution where it is used to facilitate our work. But technology should not affect the studies. It is just that we want to ensure that the limited time these students have here should be dedicated to studies. Many other renowned institutions across the world have restricted usage of smart phones.”last_img read more

Powercast wants to solve one of Nintendo Switchs most frustrating problems

first_img CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice Culture Gaming Accessories 2:38 Amazon All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 CES 2019: Every story so far: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES 2019 schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. See It News • Are you a Nintendo Switch docker or hander? 85 Photos Walmart See It Review • Nintendo Switch review: Pure fun on a big-screen TV or on the go There’s also a charger that works with individual Joy-Cons instead of two. CNET/Mark Serrels Powercast wants to solve one of the biggest problems with the Nintendo Switch, and that makes me very happy.I consider the Nintendo Switch one of the most convenient game consoles I’ve ever owned. You can play games on the go, before falling asleep in bed, on public transport. It’s a console designed to filter into the gaps of a busy life, with one exception: the damned Joy-Con controllers. I have this issue weekly. I want to play, say Mario Kart 8 or Smash Bros. Ultimate, with my family. I need three or four Joy-Cons (aka Nintendo Switch controllers). The ones already attached to the Nintendo Switch are good to go because, unless you own an accessory, that’s the only way Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons charge. My spare Joy-Cons, however, have no battery. That means you’re pretty much screwed — unless you have Powercast’s Wireless Charging Grips.These things are awesome. I tried them out at CES 2019, and I love them. $289 Charge your Nintendo Switch over-the-air $299 See It Nintendo See it $309 They work using Powercast’s over-the-air energy tech. A rectangular cube literally sends energy through the air using RF energy, which is converted to DC power using a receiver chip inside the Nintendo Switch grip. The energy stored is used to charge the controllers themselves. What that means, essentially, is you can play Nintendo Switch while your controller charges, potentially until the heat death of the universe. It’s a great solution. There are a few issues here. The range is short-ish. In a press release, Powercast says it’s two feet. In the video above, you can see I got a little bit farther, but it was hard to confirm whether the controller was actually still charging at that distance. There are other charging grips on the market — Nintendo has an official one but it requires cables. Powercast’s solution seems better to me, particularly since I enjoy attaching the Joy-Cons to some sort of grip while playing the Nintendo Switch docked on TV. I’d rather do that without a cable.Powercast is saying the Wireless Charging Grips will be available in the third quarter in the US and Canada, with other territories coming shortly after. No word on price yet. Preview • Nintendo Switch: All the latest details Comments $299 Tags 2 How To • How to transfer your Nintendo Switch account to a new Switch V2 Nintendo Switch Mentioned Above Nintendo Switch (Gray) Best Buy CES 2019last_img read more

Facebook hasnt done enough in Myanmar UN investigator says

first_img Comment Politics Tech Industry 1 The UN said last year that Facebook’s tools helped to fuel a genocide. Getty Images The United Nations wants Facebook to do better.Last year, UN investigators issued a report on the hate speech that helped to fuel a genocide in Myanmar. In it, the international body said Facebook played a “determining role” in the crisis, highlighting how much propaganda had spread on the service and how little the social network had done to stop it.Facebook responded, banning Myanmar military officials who spread hateful propaganda, admitting it should have done more, and cracking down on bad behavior on its platform.Still, the UN says, that is not enough.”I think there has been meaningful and significant change from Facebook, but it’s not nearly sufficient,” Christopher Sidoti, the UN investigator, said in an interview with Gizmodo published Wednesday.Sidoti’s criticism is the latest in a string of complaints from international leaders have had about Facebook’s handling of harmful content on its service. Most recently, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern criticized social media companies for not doing enough to halt the spread of hateful ideologies and propaganda, some of which were referenced in a manifesto published by a gunman before he massacred 50 people in two mosques in the country last month — which he livestreamed, on Facebook.”We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published,” Ardern said shortly after the shooting. “They are the publisher, not just the postman. It cannot be a case of all profit, no responsibility.”In the US, Facebook and Google will be testifying before the Hose Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill next week as part of a hearing titled, “Hate Crimes and the Rise of White Nationalism.”In UN investigator Sidoti’s Gizmodo interview, he expressed concerns Facebook wasn’t being transparent enough about its efforts, and that, for example, Facebook hasn’t provided country-specific data about the spread of hate speech on its service. Ultimately, he added, Facebook “still has a very long way to go.””Even the report commissioned by Facebook itself indicated that only around half of the posts removed by Facebook were identified by Facebook,” Sidoti said. “They’re still reliant on being informed by outsiders, and they’re not yet anywhere near satisfactory in their performance in removing material — and certainly nowhere near satisfactory in preventing posting of this material in the first place.” Facebook Share your voice Tagslast_img read more

Priyanka Chopra shows off her belly ring in a crop top and

first_imgPriyanka ChopraInstagramTrust Priyanka Chopra to make heads turn whenever she steps out of her home and she will never disappoint you. The Quantico star was recently papped while taking a stroll on the streets of the New York City and needless to say that she was succcessful in pulling all the necessary attention towards her.Of late, the 36-year-old has been sporting some expensive outfits and making everyone falling in love with her style statements. And this time too, it was no different. The actress was seen flashing her flat midsection and a belly ring while sporting a crop top with denim bottoms and plaid coat during a day out. And there are no second thoughts that her millions of fans just couldn’t take their eyes off her belly ring. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the body accessory kind of boosted her sex appeal.She carried a quilted black handbag featuring gold hardware, and wore gold and black round framed sunglasses with her hair let loose around her in waves. She opted for deeply parted locks, finishing off her look with mauve lipstick.Take a look.  A few weeks ago, Priyanka Chopra’s significant stomach bulge in a grey and black skirt suit during the New York Fashion Week had sparked speculations of her being pregnant with Nick Jonas’ child. It was also reported that Priyanka was trying to hide her baby bump and many wondered if she was already in her first trimester. But the newly wedded couple are not in a hurry to start their family.Nick Jonas recently said in an interview with Extra that they definitely want kids but they are in their honeymoon period right now further adding that it will happen when the time is right.”No, we’re taking our time. We both know that that’s something that needs to happen, but it’s not something I think about very much. We’re both very driven, we love our work, we’re married to our work, and we’re both very supportive of each other’s work. So I’m sure it will happen in an organic way,” Nick Jonas said when he was asked who amongst the Jonas brothers will be the first one to have babies.On Koffee With Karan, Priyanka spoke about embracing motherhood and said that when she’ll get pregnant, she would like to follow the footsteps of Kareena Kapoor Khan for the way she carried during her pregnancy days before giving birth to her son Taimur.last_img read more

Alkem lists at 31 premium to issue price Dr Lal PathLabs gains

first_imgAlkem Laboratories, which came out with an initial public offering (IPO) recently, listed at Rs 1,380, a premium of 31.4% to the issue price of Rs 1,050 per share on the stock exchanges on Wednesday, 23 December.The fifth largest Indian pharma company had come out with an IPO of 12,853,442 equity shares of face value of Rs 2 per share which was oversubscribed 44 times.The company priced its IPO at Rs 1,050 per share at the top end of the price band of Rs 1,020-1050, raising Rs 1,350 crore. The offer opened on 8 December and closed on 10 December.At 11.45 am, the Alkem stock was trading at Rs 1,382, off from its intra-day high of Rs 1,399 on the NSE. Over 66 lakh shares were traded in a span of about three hours.The 42-year-old company’s 2014-15 turnover was Rs 3,783 crore, with 25% revenues derived from exports. The company grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 22.3% between 2010-11 and 2014-15, according to the offer document.Dr Lal PathLabs, the diagnostic chain, which also got listed on Wednesday, saw its shares listing at 31% premium to its issue price of Rs 550 per share, on the NSE.The share was trading at Rs 772.70, after touching an intra-day high of Rs 783.45 and low of Rs 711 on the NSE. The volume was even higher at 1.01 crore shares on the counter till 11.45 am.Dr Lal PathLabs had raised Rs 638 crore from the public and the issue was oversubscribed 33 times.Earlier, two high-profile IPOs had seen contrasting debut on the bourses; while Interglobe Aviation, the parent company of air carrier IndiGo listed at Rs 856, a premium of about 12% to its issue price of Rs 765 per share, Coffee Day Enterprises was a disaster, with the shares listing at Rs 313, discount of about 4.5% to the issue price of Rs 328 per share.But the shares plunged intra-day and closed at Rs 270, a discount of about 17% to the issue price. The holding company of Coffee Day outlets had raised Rs 1,150 crore from the public.The Sensex was trading at 25,846, a gain of 256 points, or 1% at 12.15 pm. The gainers were GAIL (India), BHEL, Sun Pharma and Tata Steel.last_img read more

UN urged to punish Myanmar army over Rohingya atrocities

first_imgRohingya Muslim refugees arrive from Myanmar after crossing the Naf river in the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf. AFP file photoPressure tightened on Myanmar Monday as a rights group urged world leaders to impose sanctions on the country’s military, which is accused of driving out more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims in an orchestrated “ethnic cleansing” campaign.The call from Human Rights Watch came as the UN General Assembly prepared to convene in New York, with the ongoing crisis in Myanmar billed as one of most pressing topics.The mass exodus of Rohingya refugees to neighbouring Bangladesh has billowed into an humanitarian emergency as aid groups struggle to provide relief to a daily stream of new arrivals, more than half of whom are children.There are acute shortages of nearly all forms of aid, with many Rohingya huddling under tarps as their only protection from monsoon rains.Myanmar’s government hinted Sunday that would not take back all who fled across the border, accusing those refugees of having links to militants whose raids on police posts in August set off the army backlash.Any moves to block the refugees’ return will likely inflame Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina, who will press the UN General Assembly for more global pressure on Myanmar to repatriate all of the Rohingya massing in shantytowns along her border.Human Rights Watch also called for the “safe and voluntary return” of the displaced as it urged governments around the globe to punish Myanmar’s army with sanctions for the “ongoing atrocities” against the Rohingya.Call for arms embargo“The United Nations Security Council and concerned countries should impose targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on the Burmese military to end its ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya Muslims,” the group said in a statement.It called on the UN General Assembly to make the crisis a priority, urging countries to issue travel bans and asset freezes on Myanmar officers implicated in the abuses, as well as expand arms emargoes.“Burma’s senior military commanders are more likely to heed the calls of the international community if they are suffering real economic consequences,” said John Sifton, HRW’s Asia advocacy director.Myanmar’s government has defended the military campaign as a legitimate crackdown on the Rohingya militants, who first emerged as a fighting force last October.On Sunday Myanmar’s Information Committee accused those who fled to Bangladesh-more than a third of the Rohingya population-of working in cahoots with the Rohingya militia, a rag-tag group of fighters armed with mostly rudimentary weapons.“Those who fled the villages made their way to the other country for fear of being arrested as they got involved in the violent attacks,” the statement said.“Legal protection will be given to the villages whose residents did not flee,” it added.The violence has gutted large swaths of northern Rahkine in just over three weeks, with fires visible almost daily across the border from the Bangladesh camps.Some 30,000 ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Hindus have also been displaced by the unrest.While the world has watched the refugee crisis unfold with horror, there is little sympathy for the Rohingya inside mainly Buddhist Myanmar.Many Buddhists revile the group and have long denied the existence of a Rohingya ethnicity, insisting they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.last_img read more

Housewife found slaughtered

first_imgProthom Alo IllustrationA housewife was reportedly slaughtered allegedly by her husband in Dakpara Pukur Par in Keraniganj in Dhaka on Tuesday.The deceased was Shahnaj Begum, 40, wife of Md Jahangir.Victim’s son Md Hridoy said his parents used to quarrel often over their debt and subsequently also had a brawl in the night.Later, he spotted his mother’s body in the morning and found his father missing.On information, police recovered the body and sent it to Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital morgue for an autopsy, said sub-inspector Obaidur Rahman of Keraniganj model police station.Police also seized a locally made sharp weapon from the spot.last_img read more