Somerset eager for Gayle’s return

first_imgLONDON (CMC):Somerset officials said they were anxiously anticipating Chris Gayle’s appearance in the Twenty20 Blast later this year, after the West Indies batting star signed off on a six-match deal to represent the English county.The 36-year-old Jamaican had a massive impact when he played in last year’s tournament, smashing scores of 92, 151 not out and 85 not out to pile up 328 runs in just three games.Director of Cricket Matthew Maynard said the club was already looking forward to Gayle’s presence.”We are absolutely delighted to have secured the services of Chris Gayle once again. He is a genuinely world-class player and was absolutely phenomenal for us last year,” Maynard said.”He is probably the biggest name in the sport at the moment and his performances in the Big Bash recently have only underlined his status as one of the most explosive players that cricket has ever seen.Club chief executive Guy Lavender said what had been even more impressive about Gayle during his stint with Somerset last year was his community involvement and charity work.This aspect, Lavender pointed out, had been a key factor in extending the relationship with the superstar left-hander.”Everyone sees the runs that he scores, but not everyone will be aware of his willingness to help off the pitch. It is these two elements which have maintained our desire to ensure that he would be back with us in 2016.”Gayle is arguably the most valued T20 batsman in the international game and is coming off a successful outing in the Australia Big Bash for Melbourne Stars.His stint for Somerset will run from June 1-17 following his campaign in the Indian Premier League, and Gayle says he is keen on helping Somerset qualify for the advanced rounds of the competition.”I really enjoyed my time at Somerset last year. It’s a great Club and the supporters were absolutely incredible,” Gayle said.”I’m looking forward to seeing the fans again and to scoring some more runs. Hopefully, I can help the club make it through to the later stages of the NatWest T20 Blast.”last_img read more


first_imgCOUNTDOWN TO CROKER: Jim McGuinness has insisted that his players have got to believe they can defeat Dublin when the two sides clash at Croke Park on August 31st.Donegal have been written off by many pundits and journalists and some bookmakers in Dublin are offering odds of 10-1 for a Donegal win. Many feel Dublin will have too much pace and power for Donegal and expect them to win comfortably.It’s surprising considering Donegal won the All-Ireland in emphatic fashion in 2012.In fact, in his first two years in charge of Donegal, the only match McGuinness lost was against Dublin in 2011, in which inexperience at the time probably cost them the result.2013 was a blip for Donegal, injuries coupled with a lack of intensity and hunger of the previous two campaigns resulted in them surrendering their Ulster and All-Ireland titles. However, this year they’ve stormed back to win their third Ulster title in four years, and are looking formidable in defence and dangerous on the attack.While pundits may be writing off Donegal’s chances, one thing is for sure, that the players and management of Donegal come 3.30pm on August 31st will believe they can beat the Dubs and book their place in a second All-Ireland final in three years.As McGuinness would say, “I believe they will achieve.”Simply click on the video above to play. DDTV – COUNTDOWN TO CROKER: MCGUINNESS “WE’VE GOT TO GO TO DUBLIN BELIEVING WE CAN WIN THE GAME” was last modified: August 20th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:All-Ireland semi-finalCountdown to CrokerDDTVdublinJim McGuinnessnewsSportvideolast_img read more

Plant Intranet Seen in Action

first_imgHow do roots respond to what the top of the plant experiences?  With an elaborate communication system resembling email.The authors of a paper in Science Magazine don’t use the words email or intranet, but the signaling system they describe fits that description:Nitrogen (N) is a critical nutrient for plants but is often distributed unevenly in the soil. Plants therefore have evolved a systemic mechanism by which N starvation on one side of the root system leads to a compensatory and increased nitrate uptake on the other side. Here, we study the molecular systems that support perception of N and the long-distance signaling needed to alter root development. Rootlets starved of N secrete small peptides that are translocated to the shoot and received by two leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (LRR-RKs). Arabidopsis plants deficient in this pathway show growth retardation accompanied with N-deficiency symptoms. Thus, signaling from the root to the shoot helps the plant adapt to fluctuations in local N availability.These small peptides, in other words, provide information sent from the roots to the growing shoots at the top of the plant.  But that’s not all; the shoot responds to its email with a message back down to the roots.  Bisseling and Scheres describe this communication network in a Perspective article in Science:Therefore, plants integrate local and global nutrient cues to spend resources efficiently. On page 343 in this issue, Tabata et al. (1) identify a peptide signaling mechanism by which the root locally senses N limitation in the soil, and communicates with the shoot, which then signals back to the root to stimulate lateral root growth in regions with a high nitrate content to facilitate nitrate uptake.The system presupposes that cells in the shoot can “read” the peptide, understand it, and respond appropriately. Ditto for the reader down underground.Scientists cannot yet “read” the email messages.  “The nature of the signal from the shoot that triggers lateral root foraging behavior in the +N compartment remains to be resolved,” Bisseling and Scheres state.  But like watching two parties communicate in a foreign language and then respond with actions, the scientists can tell that communication is occurring.   It’s not sentient communication, as with human verbal communication.  It’s more like computer language: preprogrammed, digital, and responsive.  A designer would look at this and say, “Aha!”From an engineering perspective, it makes perfect sense to decide centrally (in the shoot) whether the overall nutrient status is adequate, and then send systemic signals to stimulate growth everywhere except where the local inhibition system is active.The Japanese team provides more evidence of an intranet.  The system looks like one office communicating both with itself and with distant departments of the company:Nitrate uptake systems are under control by both cell-autonomous local signaling triggered by nitrate itself and systemic long-distance signaling that transduces external and internal N status across spatially distant root compartments.By blocking the return email, the researchers figured they could learn whether the signals are necessary.  Indeed, they were.  By mutating the CEP gene that codes the emails, the plants became nitrogen starved. “These phenotypic and transcriptional analyses suggest that CEP signaling is likely to underlie N starvation responses and, accordingly, its overactivation or blockage leads to pleiotropic developmental effects in both roots and shoots.”This is another example of intra-plant communication that has been coming to light over the last few decades.  “Small molecules such as secreted peptides can mediate long-distance signaling,” the authors say.  The peptide messages, moreover, are preprogrammed in DNA: “The genes that encode small peptide signals are often parts of large families of genes with overlapping and redundant functions.”Although they tested their hypothesis with a lab plant, the system they described is operative throughout the plant world.  This means that a needle on a giant redwood hundreds of feet in the sky is capable to communicating, in principle with its roots underground.  A plant may not be able to walk around, but its intranet and email system gives it a sophisticated way to respond to changing conditions in a holistic way:Plants, as sessile organisms, continuously face a complex array of environmental fluctuations and have evolved sophisticated responses to cope with them. Given that CEP family peptides are conserved throughout vascular plants except for ferns, peptide-mediated root-to-shoot-to-root long-distance signaling is likely to be a general strategy employed by all higher plants for environmental adaptation.It seems odd to claim that plants “have evolved sophisticated responses‘, given that the peptides they studied “are conserved” (i.e., unevolved) throughout the plant kingdom.  The researchers never got around to explaining how this evolution happened.  Would a blind, unguided process produce a “sophisticated” anything, especially one that is functionally effective and information-rich?We’ve been reporting on this phenomenon since 2001 (see links in 4/26/07 entry).  Isn’t this great?  It’s exciting to think that your potted plant has its own intranet and email system!  Tell your office friends about it at the water cooler if there is a potted plant nearby.  Tell your kids about it on the nature trail.The evolution-talk is so useless (see 10/19/14).  Secular scientists have a bad habit of claiming that things “have evolved,” no matter how complex the system under consideration. It’s even worse when they say that plants “have evolved… to” do something.  That’s nonsense in Darwinian theory; nothing “evolves to” reach a goal.  Darwinism is a restatement of the Stuff Happens Law.  Nothing happens “for the purpose of” anything else.  Darwin was supposed to rid biology of teleology, remember?Look: the system is composed of multiple interacting parts (irreducibly complex), and it involves signaling for a function (complex specified information).  These are the hallmarks of intelligent design.  Both parties, root and shoot, have to know the language and the protocol; they use a language convention.  What if the root sent a message to the shoot, and the shoot responded with gobbledygook?  The entire system has to work, or else nothing works.  Every case of a language convention used for signal and response in which we know the origin of the system is the result of intelligent causes.Having dismissed the illogic of evolutionary theory, can we now step back and enjoy the wonder of what science has discovered about plants?  They have an intranet!  They use email!  The proper response should be joy, wisdom, and worship for the Creator who told us that He made these marvels on the third day of creation (Genesis 1:11-13).  Doesn’t it make sense that the God who communicates within Himself in the persons of the Trinity and with His creation would design beings capable of communication?  It makes perfect sense.  Science should have been looking for this.  The Bible presaged it by stating, “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1).  The Word is a Person who communicates, giving light to every man.Incidentally, William Dembski has a new book out this month, Being as Communion, in which he makes a rigorous case for including “information” as the fundamental entity in the universe (see his video clips on the website).  It should be an interesting read.  After The Design Inference and No Free Lunch, it’s his third major treatise making the philosophical case for intelligent design (see Evolution News & Views).  As a mathematician and philosopher, Dembski brings exceptional scholarship to the design debate.  His strength is in making the case for ID robust against all possible criticisms from evolutionists and secular materialists.  As important as the bare-bones case for ID is philosophically and academically, it cannot heal the soul.  The late creation scientist A. E. Wilder-Smith (also a scholar with three earned PhD’s) also taught that information is a fundamental entity in the universe, but as a joyful, devout Christian, he used his scholarly logic to preach the gospel.  If ID doesn’t get you to the God who made you, it leaves you incomplete, unfulfilled, and lost in a silent universe.  Communicate with your Creator today.  He sent you the message; now it’s your turn to respond. (Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Former child soldier turns his story into a graphic novel

first_imgChildren’s rights activist Michel Chikwanine was kidnapped as a five-year-old and used as a child soldier in Democratic Republic of Congo. Now he has turned his story into a graphic novel. It is aimed at children from 10 years old and up. He wants to educate that age group about the issue. At the age of five, Michel Chikwanine was kidnapped and forced to become a child soldier. He has turned his story into a graphic novel. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube) Priya PitamberWhen Michel Chikwanine was just five years old his life changed irrevocably during a soccer game near his school in Democratic Republic of Congo. Rebel militiamen kidnapped him and the other children and forced them to become child soldiers.In a drug-infused daze, he was blindfolded and told to shoot. His victim was his best friend. “I was forced literally to kill my best friend as an initiation process into the army,” Chikwanine told US news website The World Post. “That’s something I will never forget, and I still fight with every single day.”He was one of the lucky ones who managed to escape after a few weeks and find his family again. They eventually fled to Uganda, and in 2004 made it to Canada as refugees. His father, a human rights activist, was killed in the conflict at home.But his experiences have led him to raise awareness about the issue of child soldiers, and he has become a children’s rights activist.Chikwanine wrote a graphic novel, Child Soldiers: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War, with co-author Jessica Dee Humphreys and illustrator Claudia Davila. It’s aimed at children aged 10 to 14.“It chronicles my experience in escaping this deal and ending up in a refugee camp with my family and escaping a war that affected so many people in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.More than just a graphic novelChikwanine said illustrator Davila did a great job of depicting the story “in a very real way but also not making it too violent for young people”. Michel Chikwanine commended the illustrations by Claudia Davila in his book, Child Soldiers: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)There was an educational resource at the end of the book to help young people figure out how they could get back to their communities, should they find themselves being used as child soldiers, Chikwanine said. “It’s one of the most important parts of the book because as much as my story is so important, taking action and ending the problem is just as important.”Another educational aspect of the book is that it provides a wider view of the conditions that led to the conflict in his country.“When we talk about Africa, or any other part of the world, it’s always talked about in headlines,” he told The World Post. “Africa has a very stereotypical mention of being very violent and poor, but we forget to mention the context of the conflict and the poverty. It leads people to conclude the very stereotypical idea of what Africa is, and that’s not what it is.”Worldwide problemUsing children as soldiers in conflict is not isolated to Africa. According to Canada’s Toronto Public Library, “an estimated 250 000 children in Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, 40% of which include girls, have been kidnapped, stolen, forced and brainwashed to do the dirty deeds of violent captors in countries where political, economic, and humanitarian disputes have turned into lengthy and bloody wars”. Children are used as soldiers across the world, according to the United Nations. (Image: Human Rights)“Young people have to understand the complexities of what’s happening in the world,” Chikwanine told Toronto’s CBC Radio. “We can’t hide it from them — because whether we like it or not, it’s happening to five-year-olds in the Congo, in South America, in the Middle East and there are gangs here [in Canada] as well.”last_img read more

Man dies after toilet wall collapses at Patna station

first_imgA 70-year-old man died on Tuesday after a wall of a washroom collapsed in the second-class passengers’ waiting room at platform number 1 at Patna railway station.The man, Veer Bahadur Singh, was a resident of Vishunpur area of Mahnar in neighbouring Vaishali district. He was to catch a train from Patna to Kolkata. A ticket of the Howrah-Patna Jan Shatabdi Express was found in his pocket.Eyewitnesses said he was sitting inside the waiting room before going to the washroom. Suddenly, a wall of the toilet fell on him and he succumbed to his injuries. Some other passengers too are believed to have been injured in the incident. The rail authorities have not confirmed any injuries yet.According to railway officials, renovation work going on inside the toilet and a display board reading “under repair” was put up outside.“The toilet at the second-class waiting hall had been closed for use owing to the repair work that began on Sunday. The doors of the washroom were removed to prevent people from using it. It is shocking that the victim tried to use the washroom despite the warnings displayed outside,” said Sanjay Prasad, Public Relations officer, Danapur railway division.JE suspendedHe later told journalists that the railway department has put junior engineer Ashok Kumar under suspension following the wall collapse incident. “A probe has been initiated into the incident and the railway department has decided to provide an ex gratia of ₹15,000 to the deceased’s family,” he added.last_img read more

USF Christmas Photo Competition Opens

first_img The Universal Service Fund (USF) is inviting Jamaicans and persons residing in the country to enter their ‘Postcards of Christmas Past’ competition.“We want persons to share ‘Kodak’ moments of an authentic Jamaican Christmas for chances to win big,” Marketing and Public Relations Manager at the USF, Delene Powell, told JIS News.She explained that persons just need to “take a photograph that shows an element of a truly Jamaican Christmas, caption it starting with the phrase ‘you know it’s Christmas when…’, adding whatever unique aspect of the photo you want to be highlighted.”“An example of a caption is ‘you know it’s Christmas when your neighbour starts putting up Christmas lights’,” she further indicated.She said that the USF team is looking for entries that are “funny, warm, creative’ and that have “a nostalgic vibe”.Prizes to be won include a 60” Samsung Smart TV; a laptop and a 10” Samsung tablet.Miss Powell said the USF embarked on this competition, “because we wanted to remind persons of what a traditional Jamaican Christmas looks like, to celebrate our culture, and to also give back to persons in the best way we know how, which is by providing them with the technology that will help them to participate in the knowledge-based society that we are hoping to create”.She pointed out that Christmas is a very special time of year, when persons will be seeking to connect with their loved ones, which they can do through the technological prizes available.Entries, which should be at least two megabytes in size, should be sent to the USF at by December 15.Additionally, entrants need to follow the USF social media pages Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as this is where the best photos will be posted, persons can vote for their favourite, and where the winners will be announced on December 18. The Universal Service Fund (USF) is inviting Jamaicans and persons residing in the country to enter their ‘Postcards of Christmas Past’ competition. “We want persons to share ‘Kodak’ moments of an authentic Jamaican Christmas for chances to win big,” Marketing and Public Relations Manager at the USF, Delene Powell, told JIS News. Miss Powell said the USF embarked on this competition, “because we wanted to remind persons of what a traditional Jamaican Christmas looks like, to celebrate our culture, and to also give back to persons in the best way we know how, which is by providing them with the technology that will help them to participate in the knowledge-based society that we are hoping to create”. Story Highlightslast_img read more