A rampage and an epidemic

first_imgA deadly attack killed six young students at the University of California, Santa Barbara on May 23 and injured 13 others in Isla Vista, Calif. That was the toll of 22-year-old Elliot Rodger’s angry rampage, which ended when he took his own life.Rodger had published a 141-page “manifesto” detailing his overwhelming rage toward humanity, especially women. He expressed male and class entitlement to women’s attention. In spite of his mother’s Malaysian descent, Rodger’s writings spewed hostility to Asians, Latinos/as and African Americans. Yet he reported years of anti-Asian bigotry and bullying at schools he had attended.Rodgers was obsessed by his grievances against women and blamed them for what he termed his life of pain and rejection. In his misogynistic manifesto and a video he posted on YouTube on May 22, he announced plans for violent “retribution” against women and others who had hurt him. His first fatalities were his three Asian-American male roommates, followed by the deadly shootings of two young women and a Latino youth.Just three weeks earlier, Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies had visited Rodger but had not detained him; they said he did not exhibit dangerous behavior. They did not view his earlier disturbing videos.Rather than police, shouldn’t mental health and medical professionals evaluate people’s mental health, so they can hospitalize and treat those who pose a danger to themselves and society? Instead, the criminal justice system has increasingly taken over for the mental health system, weakened by funding cuts, so the sick are put in jail or shot by police on the streets rather than hospitalized.Since May 23, more than 1 million women have expressed their experiences with verbal and sexual harassment and assaults on social media, especially at the Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen.Sexual harassment is so prevalent now that 83 percent of girls 12 to 16 have experienced some form of it in public schools, reported Charles M. Blow in his June 2 New York Times column.Though Rodger’s behavior was extreme, his ideas of male superiority, entitlement and objectification of women are rife throughout this society. These views are infused in mainstream media and culture –- in video games, on the Internet and television, including right-wing talk shows. Sexual and physical violence against women –- daily occurrences in real life — are major plot lines in profit-making blockbuster movies.Sexism and misogyny permeate U.S. society and culture right up to the very top.  Mistreatment of women in the U.S. military is enabled by Pentagon officials and military commanders who refuse to prosecute sexual crimes. Congress recently agreed with the brass and defeated legislation aimed at holding more military perpetrators accountable for their actions.Sexist attitudes are reinforced by college and university administrations when they ignore or choose not to investigate or penalize male students who have committed sexual assaults. Or when the victims and survivors are punished instead. This is a serious problem: one in five college women is sexually assaulted before graduation.In the workplace, corporate bosses sexually harass and assault women employees, including immigrants, with impunity.What is the message sent throughout society when women are discriminated against in jobs and wages, even super-exploited, and government officials let this happen? Despite women’s gains in many areas — which were achieved after years of struggle — inequality is still maintained by corporations and in bastions of academic and governmental power.The right wing’s aggressive anti-woman agenda, especially aimed at Black, Latina, Asian and Native, low-income and young women, further entrenches male supremacy, women’s inequality and racism.Women’s oppression, like all forms of oppression, discrimination and inequity, is inherent in capitalism. To maintain their rule, the wealthiest 1% foster a reactionary ideology of racism, sexism, anti-immigrant bias and bigotry against lesbians, gay, bi, transgender and queer people.An independent movement of women and other progressive forces, including workers, youth and students, is needed to oppose all forms of sexism and anti-woman violence and the capitalist system from which they spring.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Destination space

first_imgWhen Jessica Meir was in first grade, her teacher asked the students to draw pictures of what they wanted to be when they grew up.Meir drew an astronaut.Three decades later, Meir has stepped into that picture. In June, she was selected from more than 6,100 applicants to be one of eight in NASA’s latest astronaut class, the first selected in four years. This summer, she took a leave from her post as assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to head to Houston for two years of astronaut training.Those who know Meir say the leap into space is not much of a stretch.She’s a scientist who spent 10 years investigating how animals survive in extreme environments, going to extremes herself to find out. She’s an accomplished scuba diver, a pilot, a backcountry skier, and a researcher dedicated enough to spend months with newly hatched goslings to make them willing partners in an investigation of oxygen consumption during flight.“Does she have the right stuff? Of course she does,” said Warren Zapol, the Reginald Jenney Professor of Anaesthesia at HMS and MGH, who recruited her to the hospital.“Does she have the right stuff? Of course she does,” said Warren Zapol, the Reginald Jenney Professor of Anaesthesia at HMS and MGH, who recruited Meir to the hospital. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerHer selection makes Meir just the newest member of the Harvard community to tread the path toward space. Stephanie Wilson, an engineer who graduated from Harvard College in 1988, flew three trips to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle, in 2006, 2007, and 2010, and served as the chief marshal of last spring’s Commencement ceremonies. Other members of the Harvard community have walked on the moon, flown space shuttle missions, and repaired the Hubble Space Telescope (which was launched with a mirror aberration that, uncorrected, would have short-circuited what has since become one of NASA’s most successful orbiting telescopes).Those who know Meir think “of course” when hearing about the NASA selection, but the news was something of a shock to her. It was the jolting, life-altering return of a long-held dream of which she had reluctantly begun to let go.Meir had worked for many years on the goal, from space camp as a high school student to space-focused experiments while an undergraduate at Brown University. There was a master’s degree in space science from the International Space University in France, and three years of working at NASA itself, providing scientific support for astronauts performing experiments in space.But with the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle fleet and NASA’s reduction of its astronaut classes, Meir began to realize that there were so few slots available that even many more years of dedication, focus, and hard work could still leave her earthbound.It was at about this time that Meir was asked to join a NASA program aboard Aquarius, a permanent undersea outpost operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). To NASA managers, Aquarius offered the opportunity to simulate some important aspects of space flight: a small team, close confinement, isolation, and the need for life-support equipment in order to venture outside.The undersea experience got Meir, who had become a certified scuba diver in college, thinking of career paths that might not lead to space. The journey on which she subsequently embarked led her away from NASA in 2003 and back again, through MGH, a wind tunnel at the University of British Columbia, and the frozen, glaring landscape of a Scripps Institution of Oceanography research camp far out on the Antarctic sea ice.The girl from CaribouMeir grew up in Caribou, Maine, a community then numbering roughly 10,000 in a rural corner of the state whose claim to fame, according to the city website, is that it is “the Most Northeastern City in the United States.”Meir’s father was a general surgeon in town, and her mother was a former nurse with plenty to do raising the family’s five children. Meir, the youngest, recalls an active childhood that had her on cross-country skis by the time she was 2.“I think maybe it was because of where I grew up, but I feel really content and relaxed when I’m in the woods,” Meir said.Meir recalls being enamored with space from an early age, though she disputes her brother Jonathan’s joking claims that he was the one who gave her the idea.“He said, ‘It was my space-themed Lego set,’” Meir said, “but I don’t think that that’s true.”After high school, Meir went to Brown, where she earned her undergraduate degree in 1999. By then she had already begun space-related scientific investigations, and was part of a team that won a student competition to fly on NASA’s “vomit comet,” a plane that simulates weightlessness through a series of climbs and dives that, at their peak, suspend passengers in the air. She and her teammates devised an experiment — using pigs’ feet as an analog for human flesh — to test surgical glue against sutures for closing wounds in space.After graduating, Meir spent a year at the International Space University, studying policy, law, orbital mechanics, biomedical physics, and other space-related topics.After earning a master’s degree in 2000, Meir got a job at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. She worked in the human research facility, acting as a liaison between scientists on Earth and the astronauts who would conduct experiments on the shuttle or the International Space Station. During flights, she and colleagues sat in the control room and worked with astronauts to ensure that experiments were conducted properly. She also took advantage of her time in Houston — and the steady paycheck — to earn her pilot’s license.Wrangling at the penguin ranchIn 2003, Meir applied to a doctoral program at Scripps at the University of California, San Diego. She was interested in the research of Paul Ponganis and Gerald Kooyman, who had pioneered techniques to study the physiology of animals that had adapted to a most extreme environment: Antarctica’s emperor penguins.Meir’s project examined physiological adaptations to extreme oxygen deprivation, focusing on both the penguins and elephant seals. The work involved sedating napping elephant seals on California’s beaches so they could be equipped with monitoring instruments, and several long trips to Antarctica to study penguins.The Antarctic research site, dubbed the “penguin ranch,” was miles out on the ice, in an area with no cracks or holes. Researchers set up camp, fenced in an area, and then drilled a hole through the 9-foot-thick ice. The hole would give penguins access to the water and the fish they feed on but would force them to return to the ranch to climb onto the ice. That setup, Ponganis said, would allow researchers to outfit the birds with instruments to monitor their physiology while diving and retrieve the data on the birds’ return.Of course, once the ranch was set up, the researchers still needed penguins.Researchers took helicopters to visit groups of non-breeding penguins on the ice’s edge. The birds’ curiosity worked in the humans’ favor, as the penguins would sometimes approach on their own. When the researchers edged closer, though, the birds turned to walk or toboggan away. That’s when researchers wrapped them in a bear hug from behind, out of reach of their sharp beaks, though not entirely safe from the bruising slaps their wings can deliver.“She never balked,” Ponganis said of Meir’s penguin-catching skills. “She always wanted to do it, whether scuba diving down there or catching birds. Whatever we were doing, she was … very interested in it, and wanted hands-on experience doing it.”Back at the ranch, the penguins were equipped with small backpack monitors to correlate variables like heart rate and blood oxygen levels with time and depth of dive.“How can they dive so deep and for so long?” Meir summed up the research question. “They’re air-breathing, breath-hold divers just like us, but an emperor penguin can dive for almost 30 minutes. An elephant seal can dive for two hours on a single breath.”Researchers have known for some time that diving animals have enhanced oxygen storage in their blood, through both higher blood volume and higher concentration of the oxygen-carrying molecule hemoglobin. They also store more oxygen in their muscles, through high levels of a molecule called myoglobin.Meir’s work showed that the animals’ bodies also use what oxygen they have very efficiently and that the animals can tolerate far lower blood oxygen levels than humans can.“We’d be unconscious, and they’re still down there catching fish. They’re totally fine, and they do it all the time,” Meir said.Meir said she enjoyed working in an environment that tested her physically as well as mentally. A day spent digging out from a storm was repaid times over with the view of a 13,000-foot volcano smoking in the distance, dives under the ice, and time spent in the ranch’s observation tube thrust through the ice, she said.“You could stay down there for hours. The penguins are putting on an underwater ballet,” Meir said. “It’s crazy how graceful and agile they are.”Meir received her Ph.D. in 2009 and signed up for a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, where zoology professor William Milsom was also researching physiological adaptations to low-oxygen environments.Meir focused her postdoctoral work on the world’s highest-flying birds: bar-headed geese. During their twice-a-year migrations, the geese use the costliest form of animal locomotion — flight — to cross the planet’s highest mountains, the Himalayas, where oxygen levels are between a third and half that at sea level.While bar-headed geese had been studied before, they hadn’t been examined while flying in-low oxygen conditions, an omission Meir wanted to remedy by using UBC’s wind tunnel.Imprinting on a flock of geeseSince wild geese wouldn’t cooperate with such an experiment, Meir decided the best course was to imprint a clutch of goslings on herself to create study subjects that would be easier to train.She contacted a breeder in North Carolina and went though the slow process of becoming mother goose. Meir made sure she was the first thing the goslings saw when they hatched and spent hours each day with them as they grew. When she moved, the goslings moved, following her obediently and piling onto her lap when she sat down.“They grow up so fast,” Meir said. “That’s what all mothers say, but in this case it’s true.”When the geese had grown enough for the experiments to begin, she brought them to Vancouver, only to find the wind tunnel broken. So she began their training outside, riding on a bicycle as they flew along behind. They soon outraced her and she had to borrow a scooter to stay ahead.“They’d fly so close that the wingtip is brushing your shoulder, and you’re looking in the eye of a flying bird,” Meir said. “That was really amazing.”As with the penguins, Meir trained them to fly with small backpacks containing instruments to measure physiological variables. She also trained them to fly with facemasks that allowed her to monitor the air breathed in and out and to alter its composition, adding extra nitrogen to simulate the thin air at high altitudes.Though Zapol was thousands of miles away at MGH, Meir’s work caught his attention. Zapol, the hospital’s former anesthetist-in-chief, had long been interested in how animals adapt to low oxygen environments because of potential applications to anesthetized patients. One possible future use, he said, would be to minimize intubation, a risky, invasive procedure used to keep airways open. The need to intubate might be lessened if insights gleaned from diving animals, for example, allowed patients to hold their breath for extended periods.Zapol has conducted research on deep-diving Weddell seals, which live in the Antarctic and can stay under for as long as 90 minutes. He is collaborating with scientists at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT to decode the Weddell seal genome, a development that will help in understanding the animal’s physiological adaptations. He recruited Meir to MGH in the fall of 2012 for a new study on the animals.“When I heard about Jessica, I was thrilled to see someone else interested in deep diving,” Zapol said. “Now would be the time to focus on the adaptations the seals have.”Zapol described Meir as “attractive” in a way that makes people interested in what she’s thinking and that naturally draws people to her. “NASA has made a very good choice,” he said. “She’s going to be a great ambassador for science.”Meir worked on the seal project with Emmanuel Buys, assistant professor of anesthesia at HMS, who was struck not only by Meir’s research skills, but also by her infectious enthusiasm and ability to communicate complex topics.“We recently pitched one of our projects to a potential collaborator who seemed rather unenthusiastic when we walked in,” Buys said. “Jessica’s enthusiasm and knowledge quickly turned the tide, resulting in what is currently developing into a very interesting collaboration.”Meir talked about her acceptance as an astronaut candidate almost nonstop in the weeks after it was announced, and gave numerous interviews to the media. Still, the reality of it was slow to sink in.“It’s just so surreal that this could come true, that this childhood dream could actually happen,” Meir said. “It sounds trite, but hopefully it will inspire people that your dreams actually can come true.”Meir moved to Houston in August and is now amid astronaut training, which includes, among many other things, Russian language lessons, a land survival course, and additional training at the U.S. Navy flight school in Florida.“The vision I’ve always had, the thing I’ve always wanted, was that feeling of looking back at the Earth, with the entirety of everything you ever knew below you,” Meir said. “I can’t imagine how that would feel.”last_img read more

My Donegal – with photographer and businessman Adam Rory Porter

first_imgAdam Rory Porter is well-known across Inishowen and Donegal for a variety of reasons. He is probably best-known as a local landscape photographer (check out his pictures of the Northern Lights) and businessman. This is Adam’s My Donegal.Where is your favourite place in Donegal and why?That is an impossible question to answer as we have so many amazing places in Donegal.But some of my favourites include Fort Dunree, Grianan of Aileach, Stragill,, Aranmore, Tory, Urris, Glencolmcille, the Isle of Doagh, Glenveagh, the Wee House of Malin, Swan Park, the amazing galleries, studios and museums we have and so many more. The list really could go on and on! Where in Donegal do you call home?The beautiful town of Buncrana in Inishowen.Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why?I have to say again there are so many. But my wife Angela MacLochlainn is a constant source of inspiration, guidance and support. She’s the Queen of our household and keeps our three princesses and I motivated and cared for. Also, my dad, brother, sister, cousins and our extended families are always there for each other and to help one another. I’m so lucky to be part of such a close family. What do you think is Donegal’s best tourist attraction?Another impossible question but my favourite must be Grianan of Aileach.Do you prefer Donegal summers or Donegal winters?I love them both, and springs, but Donegal autumns are my absolute favourites.What would you do on your ideal day out in Donegal? Set off early with a big picnic packed, a leisurely drive to that days’ destination of choice. Often we have Granny and Granda MacLochlainn in the back of the 7-Seater and we’re seeking a site of historical or archaeological significance to visit as we love our Donegal heritage. After our day spent exploring we’ll often stop for fish and chips in a town on the way back. When we get home, we often review our photos and videos of the day all gathered around the big TV.What is your favourite Donegal-made product?Football Special is a classic obviously but in every café and restaurant and shop, you find beautifully created locally sourced Donegal-made dishes. The Artists and Crafters of Donegal create the most stunning products also.Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why? Again we have so many! But a few of note would be historically Saint Colmcille and recently Brian McDermott for his winning the world’s best cookery book.Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?Again with so many great business people in mind, I’d have to give Donagh Kelly of KN Networks and Pat Doherty of Harcourt, Artist Sharon McDaid from the Silver Birch Gallery in Carndonagh and Una Tynan of Blank Canvas Cosmetics. Proud Donegal people striving in business locally and internationally.Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?So many again! Honourable mentions will have to be Packie Bonner, Ray Houghton (we’re claiming him!) Nora Stapleton, Irish Rugby legend and of course Michael Murphy who is and will be one of Donegal’s greatest sportspersons.What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?Yous really aren’t making this easy 😉 My home town of Buncrana has so many fabulous restaurants from The Red Door, the Firebox Grill, The Harbour Inn, The Inishowen Gateway, Drift Inn, The Lake of Shadows, Sherpa, Primavera, and the Ubiquitous restaurant. Always fabulous food in them all. Further afield we’ve had fabulous meals in The Seaview Tavern in Malin, the Butterbean in Carndonagh, The Boathouse in Redcastle, the Redcastle Hotel, all the hotels in Ballyliffin and Nancy’s Barn, The Point Inn, the Town Clock in Moville and The Cosy Cottage.Away from Inishowen The olde Glen bar in Glen, in Downings, The Singing Pub and The Beach Hotel. The Kitchen in Letterkenny, The Lobsterpot in Burtonport, Kitty Kellys in Kill, An Club on Tory Island and many more!If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?The return of the railways.What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?Dún na nGall Abú!What is the biggest challenge facing the people of Donegal today?Keeping our environment as beautiful and clean as it deserves to be.What is your favourite Donegal food?Angela my wife grows the most beautiful spuds in the back garden 😊Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?We’re often a self-deprecating bunch of people and we shouldn’t be because we have so much to be proud of.Do you have a favourite local band?Too many to choose from again! Don’t Fear the Natives, 2 shíte dj’s, the Pox men, Rory Gallagher to name a few.If you had a million euro to improve something in Donegal what would it be?I would put the money towards the preservation of our archaeological sites as the amount of devastation in the last 100 years is eroding many of these away.Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner?Couldn’t choose between the two legends.Is there anything about Donegal that you are very proud of?Its people are the most friendly and welcoming in the world and our love of the Irish language here.My Donegal – with photographer and businessman Adam Rory Porter was last modified: August 1st, 2019 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:adam rory porterbuncranaMY DONEGALlast_img read more

Does ISIS Evolve?

first_img(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 This may be the winning candidate for worst Darwinian just-so story of the decade.You have to hand it to evolutionists; at least they are consistent. If everything evolves, then everything evolves. Makes perfect sense. But a corollary is that there is no such thing as an ideology. Human beings are mere pawns of evolutionary forces that use them to play “games” (according to the game-theoretic version of Darwinian evolution).One of the most extreme examples of applying Darwinian theory to everything can be seen in a new paper by 10 academics from the University of Florida and Harvard University about “online ecology” including “ISIS and beyond”. To them, the Islamic State evolves like any other biological ecosystem. Published in Science, this paper utilizes the terminology one would expect in a paper about the Darwinian evolution of a forest community or a population of predators and prey in the soil.Support for an extremist entity such as Islamic State (ISIS) somehow manages to survive globally online despite considerable external pressure and may ultimately inspire acts by individuals having no history of extremism, membership in a terrorist faction, or direct links to leadership. Examining longitudinal records of online activity, we uncovered an ecology evolving on a daily time scale that drives online support, and we provide a mathematical theory that describes it. The ecology features self-organized aggregates (ad hoc groups formed via linkage to a Facebook page or analog) that proliferate preceding the onset of recent real-world campaigns and adopt novel adaptive mechanisms to enhance their survival. One of the predictions is that development of large, potentially potent pro-ISIS aggregates can be thwarted by targeting smaller ones.As justification for this Darwinian view of a radical religious movement, the authors believe they can identify ways to thwart its spread. But their analysis completely depersonalizes the movement, ridding it of any ideological, theological, or moral underpinnings. The terrorists become nothing but pawns of impersonal forces adapting to the environment.The authors do not use “natural selection” or “phylogeny” language, but do rely heavily on “evolutionary adaptations” and “survival” concepts, e.g.:These observations open up the possibility to add evolutionary game theoretic features into our systems-level theory to explain the multiple use of particular adaptations by particular aggregates and their decision of when to adapt. A future generalized theory could prove possible, employing game theoretic ideas from (26), for example.Ref. 26 is to Martin Nowak’s 2006 book, Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life. The description on Amazon.com does refer to natural selection:At a time of unprecedented expansion in the life sciences, evolution is the one theory that transcends all of biology. Any observation of a living system must ultimately be interpreted in the context of its evolution. Evolutionary change is the consequence of mutation and natural selection, which are two concepts that can be described by mathematical equations. Evolutionary Dynamics is concerned with these equations of life.Clearly, these scientists treat ISIS as a mere “aggregate” that “adapts” by variation and selection according to a model. Is that the best way to understand a terror movement? The editors of Science give it their blessing, not only by publishing it, but by adopting their terminology about the “evolution of such aggregates“. What none of the scientists or editors seem to realize is that the same thinking could be applied to scientists themselves. What happens if scientific research is viewed in Darwinian terms? Are members of the scientific community in an aggregate that adapts to the environment by impersonal processes describable by equations? If so, then the “scientific aggregate” has no claims to truth—including this paper and the journal that published it.Media Buy-InAt Live Science, Kacey Deamer bought into this notion in her article, “ISIS Plays ‘Evolutionary Game’ to Avoid Online Shutdown.” Is that it? Is it just a game? Deamer goes one step further in self-refuting nonsense, when she lets lead author Neil Johnson turn the Americans into the predators:“It’s a little bit like fish when they form shoals and the shoals merge and break up, and when a predator comes in they scatter and then they reform,” Johnson said. “But they tend not to reform around where the predator was. They’ll go off into different corners and gradually build up again.“It’s not too dissimilar,” he added, “But, of course, now it’s on the internet.”Are readers supposed to view ISIS terrorists who chop off heads and drop their enemies into vats of acid as nothing more than little fish who scatter when a predator approaches? Who are the good guys here? This portrayal almost makes one sympathetic to the terrorists, as if everything was peaceful and pastoral till the American drones appeared overhead.Return to Reason?John Bohannon usually has a wiser outlook among Science commentators, so let’s see what he says about this in his piece, “How to attack the Islamic State online.” He begins by sharing the data-gathering work by Yulia Vorobyeva (University of Florida), a co-author of the paper. She spent a lot of time combing through the chilling, bloody messages from ISIS on social media, where many of the victims are children. She found, to her surprise, that nearly 40% of pro-IS participants were women. “Given the often harsh treatment of women endorsed by the terrorist organization,” that was startling, he says. “Vorobyeva’s harrowing exercise in data-gathering has helped her understand how IS wages an online war of propaganda.” So far so good: it’s about ideology; it’s about propaganda; it’s about intentional action. No evolution here. Ideas matter. Bohannon proceeds to investigate how the data she gathered in her “gruesome” task might help allies stop the spread of ISIS terror through their “ideas and information” shared online.Unlike the evolutionists, Bohannon writes like a reporter watching an intelligence agency evaluate a threat based on real-time data and intelligence gathering, using analytical tools. He only uses the e-word evolution once in passing—”the growth and evolution of the online networks that supply the terrorist group with converts and support”—a reference that might be forgiven if he defines evolution here as mere “unfolding change over time” presumably by freely-acting individuals. So yes, in a sense, warfare is a game, and enemies’ strategies evolve. That’s why countries practice war games. But if “Evolution” is the gamer, and human beings are mere pawns in a mindless game, then the bottom drops out of all efforts at explaining an evil like ISIS.None of the three articles mentioned evil, morality, or design. The Science articles only mentioned Islam within the phrase “Islamic State”; Live Science didn’t mention Islam at all.Free Your WillIf humans are pawns of evolutionary games, they have no free will. The late Cornell evolutionist Dr. William Provine used to emphasize that. Whatever the “Association for Psychological Science” thinks about the question, they have the sense to realize that things go better with free will. Science Daily writes, “When it comes to knowing your true self, believe in free will.” The irony of that headline appears lost on its author.“Whether you agree that we have free will or that we are overpowered by social influence or other forms of determinism, the belief in free will has truly important consequences,” says lead author Elizabeth Seto, a Graduate Student at the Department of Psychology at Texas A&M University.Previous studies have shown that minimizing belief in free will can increase cheating, aggression, and conformity and decrease feelings of gratitude.Other research indicates that feeling alienated from one’s true self is associated with increased anxiety, depression and decision dissatisfaction. On the other hand, knowing one’s true self positively influences self-esteem and one’s sense of meaning in life.Another psychological survey was done (you know, the kind that is usually hard to replicate). Dr. Elizabeth Seto (Texas A&M) could only offer pragmatic reasons for choosing to believe in free will (if you can pardon the irony again):“When we experience or have low belief in free will and feel ‘out of touch’ with who we are, we may behave without a sense of morality,” says Seto. “This is particularly important if we have a goal to improve the quality of life for individuals and the society at large.”So is this a call to faith? It seems intuitive that one cannot have a goal to improve without presupposing the belief in free will. Else, how can an individual do otherwise, and why would Seto encourage people to believe in free will?Update 6/21/16: Sheryl Prentice (U of Lancaster) on The Conversation offers a design-based approach for using technology to predict terrorist attacks. There is no mention of evolution in her article, which relies on finding patterns and using human “experience, values and judgement” to predict which individuals are “intending to carry out an attack.” Her approach stands in stark contrast to the evolutionary model.The absurd lengths to which secular evolutionists apply their theory make us wag our heads in disbelief. This takes the cake: ISIS evolves by mutation and natural selection! Well, then, we might as well throw down our arms and watch in helpless horror as this cancer spreads. If they win, they prove themselves the fittest. Their first act as the fittest in the evolutionary game is to declare Darwinism illegal and punishable by death. Short circuit!Is there nobody in secular media and Big Science who sees the inherent contradictions? This is so easy; we do it all the time. Just apply their assumptions back on themselves, and watch their ideas implode. It’s a law of nature that no idea that implodes is sustainable. Simple logic. Why is this so hard?We have no quarrel with intelligence gathering on network activity that helps morally righteous people fight ISIS with wisdom and strategy. ISIS is committing genocide. They crucify Christians, a horror unheard of since the Roman Empire. They drop other Muslims into vats of acid. They take little girls as sex slaves. They bomb marathons. They shoot up nightclubs. They use chemical weapons. If ever there was a righteous cause for just war, this is it! Those who care about righteousness must use intelligent design to stop a great evil. Intelligent design can (and should) include sophisticated technology and mathematical models.What we don’t need is evolutionary theory! ISIS has nothing to do with mutation, selection, or game-theoretic ecology. For love of God and country, get the Darwiniacs out of the State Department before we all die.last_img read more

Review: The Illuminati — A Hands-Free Light Meter

first_imgThere are many benefits to having a light meter. There are even more benefits to a light meter that is also a color meter you can read on your phone.This year at NAB, I came across a booth for a company called Illuminati. They were not a secret underground organization trying to impose a new world order — as their name might suggest — but rather a nice group of folks who have created what just might be my favorite new light/color meter.After a very successful kickstarter campaign, the Illuminati light meter has been out for a bit now, and it works great. I hadn’t heard of it myself until I found them at NAB, and let me be clear, this is not a sponsored post. I bought one for myself about 30 seconds in as they were explaining its functionality to me.At a price point well below most of the competition (usually in the $500 range — or much higher), with both a color meter and an incident-style light meter, this was too good to pass up.This particular meter has a very interesting form factor. I’m not sure how intentional the triangle shape was in relation to the company’s name, but the humor is not lost on me. However, the shape is actually quite functional.The meter itself is made of plastic and features a few little LEDs that flash to signify a successful bluetooth pairing (and other various bits of information). However, you can turn this light off if you don’t want it affecting your shot.A nice little magnetic kickstand comes with the meter — as well as a magnetic back that you can use to attach the device to your shirt or a lanyard. Both are very strong and work great.My favorite aspect of this little light meter is that you can leave it in the scene as you light. I tend to work as a one- or two-man band most of the time, and this device allows me to alter my light intensities and contrast ratios while looking at my phone and dialing in the exact look that I want. Of course, being able to do this without walking back and forth and taking readings is a great thing.The AppThe app has a great dashboard-type screen where you can add or remove meters based on the information that you’d like to see. All at once, you can keep tabs on a video light exposure meter, stills-style light exposure meter, color temperature, and chromaticity. You can even set an alarm in this screen.Each of these will update simultaneously based on the light hitting the meter.You can easily switch between a stills exposure meter or a video exposure meter with the touch of a button. This will switch between a shutter speed readout or a shutter angle readout.In the video meter, you can also change the frame-rate, as well as add ND filter amounts. All of this is super helpful.Perhaps my favorite part of the app is the remarkable color temperature meter. This addition to an already-affordable meter was the main selling point for me.The meter gives you a graph of the current color temperature of your light. However, it also contains presets of nearly every major lighting gel company that will provide new nodes on the graph, showing you what change in color temperature would result from using that particular gel.  For instance, you’ll know how far a full CTB (color temperature blue) will push your light before you ever put it on the light itself.The app also includes chromaticity, which is a great tool for measuring the quality of the light hitting the meter.Now you no longer need to rely on camera tests and manufacturer information to tell you the lux and footcandles of the lights that you’re using. You can also keep track of the magenta and green shift.No more fretting over CRI. You’ll know exactly how to correct your lights for magenta or green shift.If you’re in the market for a light meter, I strongly suggest this one — especially if you’re just learning how and why to use them and you want something good to start with. However, this meter is a great option for beginners and experts alike.So far, it seems to do everything I need a light meter to do — with the added benefits bluetooth-capability and a robust color meter.Looking for more industry news? Check out these articles.NAB 2018: Panasonic Shows Off The EVA1’s Low-Light PerformanceNAB 2018 Announcement: Manfrotto Gear Sets Filmmakers FreeNAB 2018: The New Zeiss CP.3 Lens Line Is HereNAB 2018 Announcement: Meet Sigma’s 14-24mm f/2.8 Art LensNAB 2018: Aputure Upgrades Their Beloved 120d LEDlast_img read more

22 years after Uncle John, nephew Doug Bracewell dismisses Sachin Tendulkar

first_imgThe Bracewells of New Zealand can boast of an unique achievement as two cricketers from the family have now dismissed Sachin Tendulkar in Test cricket over a span of 22 years.On Saturday, New Zealand seamer Doug Bracewell bowled Tendulkar through the gate for 17 with India tottering at 80 for four during India’s first innings on the second day of the second Test match being played here.Interestingly, it was Bracewell’s uncle and former off-spinner John, who also had the distinction of dismissing Tendulkar in a Test match almost 22 and half years back.John, who played 41 Tests for New Zealand during the mid 80’s to early 90’s, dismissed Tendulkar for 24, caught by wicketkeeper Ian Smith.The match was played between February 2-5, 1990 at the Lancaster Park in Christchurch, and India lost the Test by 10 wickets.The piece of statistic merely shows the longevity of Tendulkar, who has completed 23 years in international cricket, having made his Test debut in 1989.last_img read more

Shoulder joint dislocation

first_imgA shoulder dislocation usually occurs as a result of force to a joint. The bone is pushed out of the socket, which may cause damage to the surrounding ligaments, tendons, and nerves.Review Date:8/14/2011Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.last_img

Round Three and Four Action in the VT League

first_imgRounds three and four of the VT League were held at Albert Park.In the men’s division, rounds three and four saw the University Blues and Western Districts Dodgers remain undefeated, with the Blues defeating the Cougars in a tight one, eventually winning 8-7. In round four they disposed of their opponents the Vipers pretty easily, winning 7-2. The Dodgers beat fellow newcomers the Falcons 10-2 in round three, whilst in round for they defeated the Lions 6-4. Despite their loss to the Blues, the Vipers won their other match, beating the Lions 8-7. Reigning champs the Cougars defeated the Falcons 6-1 in their second win of the season, while the Lions and Falcons are yet to clock up their first win.In the women’s division, things are a lot closer with no team undefeated in the competition.  The Vipers and the Cougars, previously undefeated, were beaten by the Lions and the Uni Blues respectively in round three. In round four, the Vipers defeated the Blues, with the Cougars beating the Falcons comprehensively 17-0. The Dodgers also defeated the Falcons heavily, winning 11-0 in round four. That was their first win of the season, and leaves the Falcons the only team yet to taste victory. The Lions are also going strong, beating the Dodgers in round four, to go with their defeat of the Vipers in round three. Round ThreeMenVipers – 8 def. Lions – 7Uni Blues – 8 def. Cougars – 7Western Districts – 10 def. Falcons – 2WomenLions – 7 def. Vipers – 6Uni Blues – 5 def. Cougars – 4 Western Districts – 10 def. Falcons – 0Round FourMenWestern Districts – 6 def. Lions – 4Cougars – 6 def. Falcons – 1Uni Blues – 7 def. Vipers – 2WomenLions – 6 def. Western Districts – 2Cougars – 17 def. Falcons – 0Vipers – 7 def. Uni Blues – 4For further information, visit www.victouch.com.au or www.vtleague.com.aulast_img read more

Sexual assault reports against Wynn filed with Vegas police

first_imgLAS VEGAS, Nev. – Two more sexual misconduct allegations were levelled against embattled casino mogul Steve Wynn on Tuesday, when police in Las Vegas revealed they recently received two reports from women saying the billionaire sexually assaulted them in the 1970s.This was the first admission from police in Las Vegas about reports filed against Wynn since sexual misconduct allegations against him were revealed last month.One woman reported Wynn assaulted her in Las Vegas and the other said she was assaulted in Chicago, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement. The Las Vegas case will not be investigated because the statute of limitations in Nevada is 20 years.The victim of that alleged assault contacted the department from St. Louis on Jan. 29, three days after the Wall Street Journal reported that a number of women said Wynn harassed or assaulted them and that one case led to a $7.5 million settlement.The other, filed in Las Vegas on Feb. 5, is being forwarded to the Chicago Police Department.Details of exactly what transpired during the alleged assaults was not disclosed.The billionaire has vehemently denied the allegations, which he attributes to a campaign led by his ex-wife.“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” Wynn said in the written statement that announced his resignation last week as chairman and CEO at Wynn Resorts. “As I have reflected upon the environment this has created — one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts — I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles.”Wynn Resorts spokesman Michael Weaver on Tuesday said the company does not have a comment on the reports filed by the women “because this involved a company before the establishment of Wynn Resorts.”Wynn is facing scrutiny by gambling regulators in Nevada and Massachusetts, where the company is building a roughly $2.4 billion casino just outside Boston. Regulators in Macau, the Chinese enclave where the company operates two casinos, are also inquiring about the allegations.The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Monday set up an online form that allows people to report information on any of its active investigations. The reporting system was set up after the agency received numerous calls regarding the investigation against Wynn.Wynn Resorts has also created a committee to investigate the allegations. On Monday, the group announced it was expanded its scope to review the company’s internal policies and procedures to ensure a “safe and respectful workplace for all employees.”last_img read more