Science: Knowing vs. Crowing

first_imgPlant genes:  PhysOrg proudly announced an “evolution coup” describing a study that “reveals how plants protect their genes.”Chimp tools:  Anthropologists watched chimpanzees hunt army ants in Africa, and saw the light.  “Chimps pack specialized tools,” reported Live Science.  The researchers explained that this “could shed light on the evolution of humans,” according to reporter Charles Q. Choi.Human tools:  Speaking of tools shedding light on evolution, Science Daily said that a survey of stone tools in Botswana “sheds new light on how humans in Africa adapted to several substantial climate change events during the period that coincided with the last Ice Age in Europe.”  One anthropologist gave an eyewitness account of a history he never witnessed: “As water levels in the lake went down, or during times when they fluctuated seasonally, wild animals would have congregated round the resulting watering holes on the lake bed,” he said.  “It’s likely that early human populations would have seen this area as a prolific hunting ground when food resources in the region were more concentrated than at times when the regional climate was wetter and food was more plentiful and the lake was full of water.”  His subjects were unavailable for comment.Seed light:  Light was also shed on evolution in a report on PhysOrg.  A new paper in American Journal of Botany is helping solve Darwin’s “abominable mystery” about the evolution of flowering plants (angiosperms).  Researchers peering into seeds are finding “clues into the evolution of the first flowers,” the article claimed.  The findings “shed some light on the possible role of the endosperm in early angiosperms,” but not whether angiosperms evolved in the first place.Evolve or perish:  “A dinosaur-killing asteroid may have wiped out much of life on Earth 65 million years ago,” stated as if this is obviously true by Live Science.  Jeremy Hsu of Astrobiology Magazine talks like he knows just how life survived.  The story revolves around microbes named mixotrophs.  Presumably this sheds light on how larger organisms also survived, because some of them (like birds and mammals) obviously did.Science last week printed two warm, complimentary stories about Hopi Hoekstra (Harvard), the peppered-mice lady (see 08/28/2009) and how her research is shedding light on evolution.  “We’re trying to reconstruct the evolutionary path, genetic step by genetic step,” she said, with kudos from her colleagues.  No one questioned whether fur color changes in mice has anything to do with molecules-to-man evolution.1.  Eliot Marshall, “VA Pulls the Plug on Disputed Study of Gulf War Illness,” Science, 11 September 2009: Vol. 325. no. 5946, pp. 1324-1325, DOI: 10.1126/science.325_1324.2.  Feazel et al, “Opportunistic pathogens enriched in showerhead biofilms,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, September 14, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0908446106.3.  To avoid panic, we should realize that bacteria are with us constantly.  “In our daily lives, we humans move through a sea of microbial life that is seldom perceived except in the context of potential disease and decay,” the authors said, pointing out that there may be a million bacteria per square meter in the air in your house, and ten million in a liter of tap water.  The ones who should be concerned are “persons with compromised immune or pulmonary system.”  Still, you might want to avoid breathing in the aerosol directly from the showerhead, as this could invite mycobacteria into the lungs in higher quantities than normal.These articles speak for themselves.  The Darwinists pontificate on things they cannot possibly know.  Scientific verification should be directly proportional to the detail available for study, but with evolution, the detail available is inversely proportional to the chutzpah in the press releases.  Wandering in the dark of their naturalistic world view, evolutionists are blind guides thinking each new tall tale is going to shed light on evolution.  Don’t follow them into the ditch.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Every week, it seems, some new discovery casts doubt on common scientific knowledge.  News reports about embarrassing finds contrast sharply with confident claims about less observable things – like evolution.Mystery illness:  Science reported last week that the Veterans Administration has pulled the plug on research about “Gulf War Syndrome.”1  Why?  The suite of ailments from the first gulf war did not re-materialize in the second gulf war, and no one is sure there even is a biological cause.  Yet the “syndrome” was widely reported in the news at the time and led to lawsuits and investigations.  There may have been other causes, like exposure to sarin toxin, but nobody is sure what it was, or if it was psychological.  Was it much ado about nothing?  Science has not been able to say one way or the other for 18 years.Squid mixup:  A common belief about neurons has been turned on its head.  NPR and New Scientist reported that modeling human neuron energetics based on squid neurons is misleading.  Mammalian brain cells are apparently much more efficient than the easily-studied neurons in squid, which had been used to model neuron efficiency.  One researcher noted from this discovery how much we have to learn: “There is always this tendency that if you’re working in an area and your experiments are working well and you’re getting good data, to not think of the larger context in which this is occurring.”Rethinking hate crime:  Who hasn’t heard about the menace of hate crimes?  There ought to be a law.  That’s the common reaction to well-publicized crimes motivated by hate against particular groups, but Science Daily reported that criminologists at the University of Leicestor are rethinking the concept.  The article said, “many hate crimes are in fact lower-level forms of harassment committed by so-called ‘normal’ people who may not necessarily ‘hate’ their victim.”  Although the researchers supported hate crime legislation, their findings seem to undermine the reason for the legislation in the first place.Rain gauge:  Scientists at the University of Mexico in Mexico City announced a surprise: measurements of rain by meteorologists may be way off the true amount.  Live Science reported this “audacious” proposal “the scientists, and not the instruments, have been wrong.”  At issue is whether raindrops are able to break a “speed limit” used in scientific models.  The result: “meteorologists relying on specialized rain gauges or Doppler radar over the years might have been overestimating the amount of rainfall by as much as 20 percent.”Shower risk:  Here’s another thing to worry about.  Your showerhead may be teeming with disease bacteria.  A paper in PNAS2 said that biofilms inside your showerhead may harbor many more opportunistic disease bacteria than previously thought.  They’re kidding, right?  Surely health scientists have been on top of this.  “Despite implication as a potential source of disease, the microbial composition of the showerhead environment is poorly known,” they said.  “Characterization of natural microbial communities by use of culture techniques may drastically under-sample the actual numbers and diversity, because most microbes are not readily cultured with standard methods.”  If you are running to soak your showerhead in bleach, they said that some of the worst types are resistant to chlorine.  Maybe it’s time to use the bathtub.3 These articles were about subjects right under the scientists’ noses, so to speak.  They raise serious questions about what other scientific claims hold up to scrutiny and what other commonly-accepted notions will be undermined tomorrow.  When it comes to Darwinism, though, science reporters seem to cast all caution to the wind and make wildly confident pronouncements:last_img read more

More workers now paid by mobile: FNB

first_imgReducing time and costs Since its launch in July 2010, First National Bank’s corporate clients have used Pay Wallet to send over R42-million directly to the mobile phones of more than 19 000 South Africans, with the service now growing at an average monthly rate of 35%. Pay Wallet reduces the time and costs associated with handling cash, or issuing cheques to pay employee wages. It can also be used as a replacement for petty cash, by simply paying funds into a card linked to the company, instead of an individual. Pay Wallet is an extension of FNB’s eWallet, which allows FNB customers to send money in real time to anyone with a cellphone. It enables FNB Corporate, Commercial and Public Sector clients to electronically pay their employees directly to their mobiles or into a debit card. Innovative and simple banking Bridging the banking gap “FNB will continue to work towards developing and introducing further access to banking which are both innovative and simple,” said Van Wyk. “We hope that this will see the needs of the unbanked being met together with a heightened awareness of what is available to them.” “Mobile money transfer is currently the flavour of the moment and mobile wallets meet a desperate need to keep one’s money safe,” says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of internet research firm World Wide Worx. “It is likely that mobile wallet-type applications will serve as a way of ensuring your cash is secure as it is a natural partner service to cellphone banking.” In its research, Finscope shows that of South African adults that have never been formally banked, 89% are black, 7% coloured, 3% white, and 1% Indian. Research done by Finscope in 2010 states that 12.4-million adults in South Africa still remain unbanked, and that of these, 11.1-million adults have never been exposed to any type of formalised banking practices. FNB has also recently enabled companies to integrate their line-of-business systems with Pay Wallet, to pay employees via cards. This allows any company, regardless of who they bank with, to use Pay Wallet. Payments can be done on FNB Online Banking, individually or via an easy-to-use file upload system. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material “Pay Wallet has simplified the way payments are made to those without access to financial services and has been critical in introducing the unbanked to formalised ways of handling their funds.” 18 August 2011 “Products such as FNB Pay Wallet are allowing us to bridge the gap between the banked and the unbanked and address the real need for access to financial services,” FNB eWallet Solutions CEO Yolande van Wyk said in a statement last week. “This also allows for the transfer of cash to be done safely and easily.” Twenty-two percent of adults in KwaZulu-Natal have never been banked, giving the province the highest number of unbanked adults in the country. Gauteng and Eastern Cape both sit at 15%, followed by Limpopo at 14%, Mpumalanga with 11%, the Free State, Northwest and Western Cape with 7%, and the Northern Cape with 3%. The objective was to make it easier for employers from all industries to make payments to their staff, said Van Wyk. “This solution is ideal for seasonal or contract employees, once-off employees, temporary labour to small businesses and other informal establishments such as spaza shops,” she said. The recipients are then able to access their money immediately at any full-service FNB ATM, with or without a bank card.last_img read more

Crop insurance tools

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The University of Illinois offers online tools to help with making decisions with regard to crop insurance. They are available at iFarm Premium CalculatorThis 2016 iFarm Crop insurance Premium Calculator allows users to develop highly customized estimates of their crop insurance premiums, and compare revenue and yield guarantees across all available crop insurance products and elections for their actual farm case. This on-line calculator allows a quick but detailed comparison between farm-level and area-level insurance products in terms of cost and guarantee values. Specific case details are accommodated along with a tool to calculate your TA-Adjusted APH. This tool also uses current price and volatility conditions and will track current market conditions through the final release by RMA of 2016 Projected Prices and Volatilities. This tool targets users interested in a quick means to compare insurance premiums for all possible products and election levels in a simple to interpret format. iFarm Payment EvaluatorThis web-based tool has been completely updated for 2016. The Insurance Payment Evaluator develops a case farm for most counties in the major corn and soybean production regions, and then provides estimates of premiums for all available crop insurance products for basic and enterprise units by coverage level, along with the expected frequency of payments, average payment per acre, net cost per acre, and risk reductions associated with alternative crop insurance products and election levels in an easily understood format. A summary graph shows the impact on likelihood of low revenues across alternative crop insurance decisions and compares these to a “no-insurance” case. The tool uses current price and volatility estimates and will be updated periodically until the final values are established. The tool provides helpful information to producers comparing costs and risk reductions across their available crop insurance alternatives in 2016.  FAST Crop Insurance Decision ToolMicrosoft Excel software is required for use of this tool.This Microsoft Excel (software required) spreadsheet tool contains four components. The first computes farmer-paid premiums for different user entered parameters; A “What-if” tool calculates insurance payments for user-supplied prices and yields. A history of insurance payments and premiums can be found in the “Historical Analysis” section. The tool also allows comparison of farm yields to county yields.last_img read more

Federer vows to defend Wimbledon title in 2018

first_imgFILE – Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after beating Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych at the end of their Men’s Singles semifinal match on day eleven at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 14, 2017. APRoger Federer insisted he fully intends to defend his Wimbledon title in 2018 despite delivering what many fans fear sounded like a farewell speech to Centre Court.Federer, who will be 36 in three weeks’ time, became the oldest Wimbledon champion of the modern era on Sunday when he defeated injury-hit Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 for a record eighth All England Club title.ADVERTISEMENT National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress READ: Federer wins record 8th Wimbledon as Cilic bid ends in tearsIt was also his 19th Grand Slam triumph and second of the year after marking his return from a six-month absence with a fifth Australian Open title in January.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“We never know what happens,” said the Swiss star, who had told the Centre Court crowd in his victory speech: “I hope to be back, I hope this wasn’t my last match”.Federer first played Wimbledon in 1999 and won the first of his eight titles in 2003. View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img He admitted the lessons of 2016, when he failed to win a single trophy and skipped the second half of the season to rest a knee injury, have taught him not to plan too far ahead.“Honestly, ever since I had the year I had last year, I think like a year ahead of time, you know, with my schedule, fitness schedule, tournaments I would like to play,” he told reporters.“So I totally see myself playing here this time next year. “But because it’s far away, because of what happened last year, I just like to take the opportunity to thank the people in the very moment, and make them understand, yes, I hope that I’m back. “There’s never a guarantee, especially not at 35, 36. But the goal is definitely to be here again next year to try and defend.”/rgaADVERTISEMENT FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Devastated Cilic reveals blister sparked Wimbledon tears Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claimlast_img read more