Warriors reaffirm Damion Lee could fill team’s 15th roster spot

first_imgKlay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!PHILADELPHIA – The Warriors have insisted on staying patient with what they do with their 15th and final roster spot.That means there is a growing chance that Damion Lee could fill that slot after spending this season on a two-way contract. That entails splitting his time both with the Warriors and their G-League team in Santa Cruz.“He would be someone given he …last_img read more

Cosmic Star Formation: When Elegant Theories Are Wrong

first_imgAn astronomer wrote about “cosmic train wrecks” in Science recently.1  Paolo Coppi (Yale) was speaking about galactic mergers, but he could have just as well been talking about current cosmological models.  Things once thought to be understood are coming in for new scrutiny, now that more powerful telescopes can peer deeper into the veiled hearts of galaxies.  One galaxy in particular, NGC 6240, thought to be the result of a merger, was mapped recently in unprecedented detail.     In the middle of a rather straightforward article describing current thinking about what happens when galaxies collide, how stars form, and how black holes behave, he ended one paragraph with a surprise.  It was kind of like the ending word “not” in the slang of young people – e.g., “Astronomers understand star formation – NOT!”Detailed observations of nearby galaxies, the only kind we could carry out until recently, identified two main modes of star formation: powerful and rapid “starbursts” caused by NGC 6240-like collisions and the much less dramatic but quasi-steady formation seen in the disk of our Galaxy.  Because objects like NGC 6240 are rare today, one might speculate that most stars form “quietly” in disks.  The larger, so-called elliptical galaxies, which do not contain much gas, then come from late-time mergers of smaller disk-dominated galaxies that have turned their gas into stars.  Mergers play a minor role, mainly gravitationally scrambling already-made stars.  While elegant, this story seems wrong.The problem is that now it appears most star formation appeared early in the history of the universe.  NGC 6240, with two black holes apparently orbiting its center, and no star formation going on today, may be a “common oddball,” – something that should have been rare, but appears to be representative of the state of the early universe.  Coppi called this “very surprising” and something that creates an “intriguing new problem for us” –Today’s elliptical galaxies are “red and dead” because they contain predominantly old (red) stars and are not forming new ones.  Very surprisingly, some of the elliptical progenitors also appear to be “red and dead”.  Unless we invoke a new mechanism that rapidly and permanently stops star formation, the most massive objects in simulations turn out to be too massive and never sufficiently red and dead.One solution is to include feedback from the accretion of a supermassive black hole in the models.  There seems to be observational support for actively-accreting black holes in systems like NGC 6240, with regions of active star formation going on.  “This plus the surprising discovery that every nearby elliptical galaxy contains a black hole with a mass proportional to that of the galaxy strongly hints that rapid star formation and rapid black-hole feeding and growth are both inevitable and closely connected consequences of a cosmic train wreck like NGC 6240 where gas is gravitationally squeezed into a very small volume.”  But where does the language of observation get distinguished from theory in such a statement?    From that point on, Coppi focused on prospects for improved observations.  The Laser Interferometry Space Antenna (LISA), expected to be operational in 2015, might be able to detect the signature of black hole mergers through gravitational waves they emit.  But there is “considerable speculation,” he said, about whether black holes accrete slowly by feeding on their own stars, or form catastrophically through mergers of galaxies.  He’s not even sure LISA would be able to tell.    In his discussion, Coppi was assuming black holes are real.  Better not tell him about other astronomers who are denying that black holes even exist.  A recent article in ScienceNOW Daily News began,If new calculations are correct, the universe just got even stranger.  Scientists at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, have constructed mathematical formulas that conclude black holes cannot exist.  The findings–if correct–could revolutionize astrophysics and resolve a paradox that has perplexed physicists for 4 decades.There’s no doubt that very massive, compact objects exist in the centers of many galaxies.  Asked what to do with these observations, which lead most astronomers to believe the universe is full of black holes, “‘[Lawrence] Krauss replies, ‘How do you know they’re black holes?”  No one has actually seen a black hole, he says, and anything with a tremendous amount of gravity–such as the supermassive remnants of stars–could exert effects similar to those researchers have blamed on black holes.”    Krauss and colleagues performed detailed calculations taking into account the relativity of time.  They showed that time stops before a singularity forms, meaning “black holes can’t form at all.”  If so, one consequence is that “In essence, physicists have been arguing over a trick question for 40 years.”  Their claim is controversial at this time.  Critics point to other observations which support the “traditional” black hole explanation.  What all might agree on is that the new observations and theories show that the universe is, indeed, getting stranger.1Paolo Coppi, “Inside a Cosmic Train Wreck,” Science, 29 June 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5833, pp. 1852-1854, DOI: 10.1126/science.1139057.The point of this entry is not to take a position on controversies about star formation, black holes or galactic mergers, but to illustrate the difference between real objects and scientific objects.  A scientific object is something about which we cannot know directly through experience: a black hole, a quark, the core of the earth, the interior of the sun, a universal common ancestor, a prebiotic soup, etc.  Nobody denies that cars exist, and that if you drive one into a telephone pole, bad things will happen.  But scientific objects can only be inferred indirectly.  Scientists conceive of their objects as useful entities in equations, and elements of their models in theories.  How real are they?  That is an entirely different question.    Here we have seen astronomers and cosmologists struggling with and arguing over some scientific objects.  There is no question that they “feel” these things are real, and “believe” they are discussing objective reality, but how can they justify those beliefs?  As with Darwinism, new and better observations frequently raise new puzzles and occasionally threaten to overthrow what was formerly thought to be well understood.  As “elegant” as some ideas may seem, that alone does not prove they represent reality.  The universe has no obligation to submit to human measures of elegance.    It may have been elegant to envision galaxies aging slowly, with star formation occurring at a relaxed rate over billions of years.  It may have been elegant to envision ellipticals as relics of mergers that stripped away their gas and left them as museums of already-formed stars.  Now what?  The new observations led Coppi to admit, “While elegant, this story seems wrong.”  Now he has to tweak his scientific objects.  Now he has to envision a new mechanism that “rapidly and permanently stops star formation,” or has to tweak the models to include feedback from gravitational collapse, or has to keep black holes from colliding.  Then Krauss et al come along and claimed black holes are not real.  At what point can they claim their scientific objects are real objects?    Dr. Steven Goldman (Lehigh U) produced an interesting 12-hour series for the Teaching Company on this problem: “Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Know It.”  We’ve mentioned the applicability of these lectures before to questions we often discuss here.  In excruciating detail, Goldman gives example after example of controversy in all areas of science for over 2,000 years.  Are scientists talking about truth and reality, or are they merely playing games, like members of a fraternity?  Do the scientific objects they talk about represent reality or not?    Goldman leaves the controversy open.  His only suggestion, offered as a personal opinion in the last lecture, was that we don’t talk about scientific objects as realities, but as actualities – useful entities that allow scientists to make headway in their attempts to understand nature.  Yet it should be clear with a little analysis that this is mere quibbling over definitions.  Unless an actuality corresponds to reality, what is it?  If it isn’t real, or cannot be demonstrated to be real, then what kind of work are scientists doing?  That leads to other serious and troubling questions: should the public pay for it?  If all they are doing is speculating about things they cannot know, then what value does it have over other kinds of inquiry, that we should grant it epistemic authority and millions of dollars in funding?    Goldman illustrates the point that almost everything scientists thought they knew at the turn of the 20th century is now considered to be wrong.  There is hardly any scientific object, whether the earth, the atom, the universe, mass, time, space, the mind, consciousness, or just about anything else from physics to economics, that is looked at the same way today.  A logical corollary is that we have no confidence in 2007 that we understand scientific objects so well that our ideas will not be overturned a hundred years hence.    These kinds of questions need to be considered every time scientists talk about the objects of their study as if they are arriving at “the truth” about the universe.  Better data, better equipment, and better observations are essential.  We are not the ones to judge, however, the point at which our data are so good, and our ideas so solid, that no further scrutiny is needed.  The history of scientific revolutions warns us that even Newtonian physics, the epitome of rock-solid science, was vulnerable.  This is not to say that we must doubt everything.  Rocket scientists, after all, do get spaceships to Saturn at the right spot and the right time.  Scientists must be doing something right.  When observations continue to contradict theory for decades, though, and when the scientific objects involved are especially remote and far from experience, there is one law that actually gains credibility:  Murphy’s.(Visited 48 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Humans and Neanderthals Are One

first_imgIf Neanderthals bred with modern humans, they are one and the same species.  That must be the case according to the most widely-accepted definition of a species: those who can breed and produce fertile offspring.  The news media are abuzz with Science magazine’s cover story this week, “The Neanderthal Genome.”1  Most anthropologists are now accepting the genetic evidence for human-Neanderthal mixing of DNA, and that there are remnants of the Neanderthal genome walking the earth in living human beings.    There were some surprises in the findings.  The main finding was that Europeans and Asians share about 1% to 4% of their nuclear DNA with Neanderthals, indicating that there was substantial interbreeding between the two groups in the past (note that your own genome does not have much remaining of your great-great-grandparent’s genes, so there had to be substantial interbreeding for Neandertal markers to become fixed in the human population).  The gene flow appears to be one-way, however, and the researchers did not find those genetic markers among African populations – meaning that there will have to be some revision to the “Out of Africa” theory.    In short, the evidence has brought humans and Neanderthals together as mere varieties of the same species, while simultaneously increasing the genetic distance between humans and the great apes.  The team is confident of the interbreeding because they took great pains to eliminate contamination; they believe any contamination is below 0.7%.  Only about 60% of the Neanderthal genome has been recovered so far.  Here are the prime-source articles from Science:“A Draft Sequence of the Neanderthal Genome” is the primary paper by Green et al.1  Some 55 authors are listed on the paper, including Svante Paabo, who has advanced theories about Neanderthal interbreeding for years.“Targeted Investigation of the Neandertal Genome by Array-Based Sequence Capture” by Burbano et al compared human and Neanderthal genes with the chimpanzee genome.2  They “identified 88 amino acid substitutions that have become fixed in humans since our divergence from the Neandertals.”Ann Gibbons summarized the papers in a news article in the same issue entitled, “Paleogenetics: Close Encounters of the Prehistoric Kind.”3 Elisabeth Pennisi investigated the question of whether it might become possible to clone a Neanderthal, in “Paleogenetics: Cloned Neandertals Still in the Realm of Sci-Fi.”4  She called it a pipe dream due to technical and ethical reasons.Pennisi added a cameo article about Richard “Ed” Green, the postdoctoral fellow in charge of the Neanderthal sequencing project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.”  He developed barcoding methods for streamlining the effort of wading through the DNA evidence.The announcement in Science set off a plethora of headlines in the news:New Scientist said “Neanderthal genome reveals interbreeding with humans.”Science Daily announced, “Neandertals ‘Hardly Differed at All’ from Modern Humans.”  Another Science Daily entry featuring Ed Green said, “Neanderthal Genome Yields Insights Into Human Evolution and Evidence of Interbreeding With Modern Humans.”National Geographic wrote, “Neanderthals, Humans Interbred—First Solid DNA Evidence; Most of us have some Neanderthal genes, study finds.”Clara Moskowitz got clever with her headline for Live Science, saying, “Humans and Neanderthals Mated, Making You Part Caveman.”The BBC News wrote, “Neanderthal genes ‘survive in us’.”  The article is accompanied by a timeline (not to scale), a video clip, and a picture of Svante Paabo.Time Magazine’s coverage emphasized the opinions of Svante Paabo and Erik Trinkaus.  Webb Miller thought this is was a “way cool paper” representing “great science” because “Some [scientists] will love it, and some of them will hate it.”The New York Times highlighted a large picture of the Croatian cave where Neanderthal bones with DNA were found.  Their coverage entertained some competing views, saying, “the new analysis, which is based solely on genetics and statistical calculations, is more difficult to match with the archaeological record.”  The Times quoted Ian Tattersall [America Museum of Natural History] calling it a “fabulous achievement” but “probably not the authors’ last word, and they are obviously groping to explain what they have found.” “Probing Question: What can we learn from Neanderthal DNA?” asked PhysOrg on April 22, before the paper was published, adding, “Contrary to their image as knuckle-dragging brutes, the Neanderthals on television play tennis and attend cocktail parties – and sell auto insurance.”  Maybe some Brutus-types you know come to mind.John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist and blogger, welcomed the news.  “Neandertals Live!” he announced on John Hawks Weblog, where a philosophical-looking Neanderthal graces his banner.  His entry summed up what this means for paleoanthropology from an evolutionary perspective.In his blog, John Hawks asked and answered his own question if it means Neanderthals belong in our species, Homo sapiens.  He gave himself an unequivocal, “Yes.” The New York Times article, however, tried to keep them distinct.  It said Neanderthals were “not fully modern” and did not expand from Africa, because they supposedly split off from the line that led to modern humans 600,000 years ago.  If so, that raises a question of how they could interbreed with modern humans after the passage of such immense periods of time before the two groups met around 100,000 years ago according to the evolutionary timeline.  “So far, the team has identified only about 100 genes – surprisingly few – that have contributed to the evolution of modern humans since the split.” Update 05/15/2010: An editorial in New Scientist said, “Welcome to the family, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.”  The article underscored the commonalities the Neanderthals have with the rest of us; “it is hard to see why Neanderthals should be considered as anything other than Homo sapiens.”  Their range of genetic variation fits within that of living humans, the editors said.  “Moreover, Neanderthals share with us a version of a gene linked to the evolution of speech, and recent archaeological evidence suggests that their minds were capable of the symbolic representations that underlie language and art.  If that’s not human, then what is?”  Ewen Callaway in another article in New Scientist went so far as to predict that Neanderthals were not the only archaic humans our ancestors mated with.  We may find that Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis are part of the family, too.1.  Green, Paabo et al, “A Draft Sequence of the Neanderthal Genome,” Science, 7 May 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5979, pp. 710-722, DOI: 10.1126/science.1188021.2.  Burbano et al, “Targeted Investigation of the Neandertal Genome by Array-Based Sequence Capture,” Science, 7 May 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5979, pp. 723 – 725, DOI: 10.1126/science.1188046.3.  Ann Gibbons, “Paleogenetics: Close Encounters of the Prehistoric Kind,” Science, 7 May 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5979, pp. 680-684, DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5979.680.4.  Elizabeth Pennisi, “Paleogenetics: Cloned Neandertals Still in the Realm of Sci-Fi,” Science, 7 May 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5979, pp. 682-683, DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5979.682.5.  Elizabeth Pennisi, “Paleogenetics: Computer Kid Makes Good,” Science, 7 May 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5979, p. 683, DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5979.683.Now that we know they are us, and we are them, and that so-called Neanderthals are walking among us playing tennis and selling us insurance, it’s time to assess the damage the Neanderthal myth has done to humanity.  This was never about a pure, unbiased search for the truth of human history.  It was all about looking for props to support a story – a story of Europeans emerging from lower animals over millions of years in a way that guaranteed they would be on top.  It’s a kind of historical racism, only the victims have been unable to sue in court because they were assumed extinct.  Well, maybe 1-4% of the 6 billion people can find a lawyer now.  Got big brows?  Are you big-boned?  Maybe you stand to make a lot of money.    The first Neanderthal bones were found a few years before Darwin published his Origin.  The Neander valley in Germany, by the way, was named after Joachim Neander, author of “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation.”  Although the skeletons looked a little strange, it would take a few years for evolutionary demagogues to find a way to use them as props for the story.  Evolution was already on the rise in Victorian Britain.  Darwin’s grandfather Erasmus, and Lamarck, and Robert Chambers had written scandalous but delicious tales of humankind arising from the lower animals.  The geologists had already ditched Mosaic chronology for Hutton’s deep time by the 1830s, with Lyell as their champion, so the timescale was set.  The British Empire with its Victorian theme of progress was already displaying European “superiority” over the other races of mankind, and racism was hot.  So when Darwin made his strategic coup by publishing an apparently plausible mechanism for evolutionary common ancestry, evolutionism exploded on the scene.  Acceptance of the controversial theory was tentative at first (many leading scientists were outraged), but within ten years Darwin, his Four Musketeers (Lyell, Gray, Huxley, Hooker) and the X-club bad boys had stolen the high ground.  By the time Darwin wrote The Descent of Man in 1871, hardly anyone had the energy to protest – not even the clergy.  This was not a matter of science; it was a sociological phenomenon of late 19th century Victorian racist culture.    Now all that was necessary to keep the momentum going was to fill in the blanks of the Darwin Saga with the appearance of scientific progress.  Bones that looked any way different were hot items.  They were immediately placed into the march of progress from monkey to man.  Look at the first artist reconstruction of Neanderthal Man (Wikimedia) made in 1888 when the Darwin hysteria was in full swing.  Clearly the artist was attempting to make it look as brutish, ape-like, and “other” as possible.  That’s the key: these ancient bones had to be other than people.  The Darwinists manipulated the perception of human history by giving them other-sounding names: Neanderthal Man, Java Man, Heidelberg Man, Peking Man, Rhodesia Man, Nebraska Man, Piltdown Man.  They manipulated taxonomy to support their Darwinian, deep-time story: Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis.  The storytelling continued into the 20th century, with more artist reconstructions, an elaborate tale of when and where different groups emerged on the scene, and where they migrated.  Fictional stories were concocted about how different species of human ancestors might have met one another and fought to the death.  Other fictional stories were made up out of whole cloth about the invention of language, culture, and religion.  The Neanderthals, we were told, separated from a common ancestor of modern humans 650,000 years ago.  They were portrayed as brutish, stooped-over, heavy-browed, muscular mammoth-hunting cavemen who knew little more than how to build fire, have sex and eat meat.  But when the intelligent, slender Cro-Magnon arrived (you know, the Europeans), these brutes were no match, and over years were beaten back to extinction.    Does any of this have any connection to true history?  Of course not.  Yes, there are bones, and flutes, and burial sites, and caves, but the “scenario” is a big, bad myth.  It is 150 years overdue to put this one out of our misery.  Consider how absurd it is.  Evolutionists are asking us to think that Neanderthals went on their own evolutionary journey 650,000 years ago, only to encounter “modern” humans 100,000 to 80,000 years ago, and find they could have fertile offspring!  If Darwin’s theory means anything at all, in that long a time the Neanderthals and other human species should have drifted so far apart that interbreeding would have become impossible..  That’s what most evolutionists believed until very recently.  The evidence for interbreeding in the Neanderthal genome is not just an adjustment to the Darwinian paleoanthropology scenario; it undermines it.  Even more nonsensical is the idea that modern humans, virtually identical in every way to us, walked through Europe for over 100,000 years without ever inventing a wheel, building a city, riding a horse, or planting a farm.  That’s 10 to 12 times the length of all recorded human history.  Anyone who does not see the patent absurdity of the evolutionary claim needs a serious deprogramming session.  Not only that, evolutionists are telling us that human ancestors were capable of fire and cooking and hunting and upright walking, and maybe verbal and symbolic communication, for half a million to a million years.  As Duane Gish rightly asked in 1993, “what in the world were our advanced hominid ancestors doing for almost a million years?  Why was evolution, both physical and cultural, so quiescent for such a vast stretch of time?  If Homo sapiens had evolved perhaps as much as 150,000 years ago or even longer, why was it that he invented agriculture and domestication so recently and so abruptly?” (Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics, p. 354).    Creationists – you know, those know-nothings who are the brunt of the Darwin Empire’s most vicious ridicule and disgust – have been saying for a long time that the average brain capacity of “Neanderthal Man” exceeded our own.  They are not the only ones who have said that if you gave a Neanderthal a shave and a haircut, dressed him in a business suit, and marched him down Wall Street, nobody would pay any attention.  Now we know they are among us playing tennis and selling insurance.  On top of that, the history of evolutionary hoaxes with early-man fossils (Nebraska Man, Piltdown Man) and the ongoing wars between today’s ape-man hunters vying for the stage with the hottest missing link is a history of shameful intrigue, extrapolation of evidence, mythmaking and reversals.  They cannot understand how civilization emerged from nothing.  They cannot understand why the first cave paintings were already the best.  And they present themselves as making progress toward “understanding our origins”.    Readers, people, please: does it begin to dawn on you that we have been snookered by the Darwin Party con men?  Why do we listen to these so-called experts?  Why do we think their story is getting better with time?  Is this new paper a sign of progress?  No; it spotlights a 150-year detour away from the truth.  They have vaunted their ignorance, yet vented their arrogance by expecting us to believe that the other parts of their myth are still intact.  I’m sure you will be thrilled to find out in another few decades that everything they are telling you in 2010 was wrong, too.  Chances are good that will happen, because not much remains of what they were telling us a few decades ago, and decades before that, ad nauseum.  If your driver chose the wrong road, don’t be surprised when things don’t look right after hours of driving, even when your confident-sounding cabbie has a good story and keeps telling you he’s getting closer to the destination.  When is it going to dawn on you that that’s his angle – keeping a good story going, not looking for the destination?  The Darwinists stay in power by perpetuating an illusion of legitimacy, as if they are getting warmer.  Each new bone, each new genome, is “shedding light” on our evolution.  Stop believing the lies.  The props have nothing to do with it; the story is the centerpiece, and that is not up for debate.    The Biblical timeline, by contrast, fits known human history well.  One must understand that dating of artifacts beyond 10,000 years ago is infected with the deep-time mythology, producing a circular system of reinforcement.  Evolutionists need that deep time.  To make it look legitimate, they fill it in with stages in their fictional play, and then they date those stages with infected dating methods to give them an air of scientific objectivity.  Don’t follow the script.  Look at the hard evidence itself.  The best evidence is inscriptions – clay tablets, writing, cities, architecture, pottery.  The birth of civilization in the Fertile Crescent fits what the Bible says about the spread of humanity after the Flood and Babel.  Verifiable records show all artifacts were made by intelligent, skilled, sentient Homo sapiens – every one of them.  And just as people today are quick to migrate to every corner of the globe, migration by true humans was very rapid after the Flood.  Columbus did not discover a New World; people were already there, having migrated from Asia over land bridges centuries before – maybe millennia before.  People were in the South Pacific, on Easter Island, in South America, all over the place when the latecomer Europeans showed up.  Who is really superior, the latecomers?  Jon Saboe’s novel The Days of Peleg (Resource of the Week for 11/07/2009) provides a plausible account of how all this could have happened in a short time.  Another important point is that human population statistics match the Biblical timeframe like a comfortable shoe.  But if upright, intelligent humans inhabited this planet for nearly a million years, we should be climbing over their bones, not finding them here and there in isolated caves.    So who were the Neanderthals?  For one thing, it’s time to ditch that name with its evolutionary baggage.  They were Homo sapiens with some accentuated features.  No, they didn’t live 650,000 years ago; they lived a few thousand years ago.  They migrated after the Flood, like everyone else.  After Babel, close-knit family groups went their separate ways.  Inbreeding of tribes led to accentuated features.  Some traits could have been aggravated by diet, harsh environment, age, or disease.  But for all we can tell, they were strong, astute, fit, creative, intelligent, capable people.  Today’s pot-bellied scientists with high cholesterol who couldn’t find a steak in a meat market or carve a turkey should aspire to their stature.  Maybe they were the frontiersmen of their day, living out in the harsh extremes of the world, like the Inuit and certain tribal peoples who know a lot more about living off the land than many scientists ever will.  Maybe they preferred the simple life of the hunter-gatherer, as do some people groups in 2010.  Maybe they were the environmentalists; who knows?  They weren’t around for 650,000 years; just a few thousand, like all the other people we KNOW about, where know is the operative word.    A creationist taxonomical initiative called baraminology accepts the Genesis record that God made things to reproduce after their “kinds” (baramin).  The created kinds were most likely groups larger than a species (although a baramin may represent a species in some cases, such as with Homo sapiens; for introduction see ChristianAnswers.net and CreationWiki).  Baraminology entails significant amounts of genetic variability inherent in the genomes of the original kinds.  The picture of a gradually progressing tree of life Darwin used to propagate his anti-Genesis mythology of human history is rejected in favor of the original Genesis picture: a world of distinct reproductive groups varying within their kinds.  Each baramin is related by common descent, so there is room for some of the same comparative genomics studies within kinds as Darwinists try to make across kinds, but baraminologists deny that all organisms are related by common descent.  They say, instead, that similarities are marks of the single Creator of all things (see Walter ReMine’s thesis in The Biotic Message, Resource of the Week for 10/10/2009).  The built-in variability in each genome would lead to branching of similar species within kinds up to the genus and family level, and perhaps beyond (after all, taxons are man-made groupings), as the original kinds invaded new ecological niches on a dynamic planet.  These branchings would not incorporate new genetic information, but rather express built-in capabilities in new ways and combinations, in some cases with extreme accentuation of existing genetic tools.  In this view, all the human racial groups stem from the original human pair and retain their full humanness.  The slight differences in skin color and other traits are explained as environmentally-enhanced variations or genetic bottlenecks occurring since the migrations after Babel.  Dr. Robert Carter has an interesting DVD on the genetic evidence for human migration in and out of Africa that arguably does a better job of explaining the evidence from a Biblical creationist standpoint than the evolutionist “out of Africa” story; see CMI for video teaser and info on how to order; see also his article on CMI about “Adam, Eve, and Noah vs Modern Genetics.”    You can reject this view if you want to.  It’s a free country.  You can let the cultural knee-jerk reflex take over: laugh, mock, scorn, ridicule, and write scathing attacks on your blog about how stupid the know-nothing flat-earth Neanderthal-faced less-evolved creationists are.  Go right ahead; Darwin’s bulldogs have been doing that since the X-Club, and creationists are pretty used to it.  (Duane Gish has been vindicated, you realize.)  Such tactics only show one’s lack of ability to discuss evidence rationally with civility.  Among the worst of the mockers are some theistic evolutionists and some progressive creationists who choose to be so entranced by the siren song of the deceivers, they have been willing to twist Biblical history to ridiculous extremes – so far as to make Neanderthals and the other Darwinist early-man cartoon characters out to be unsouled, upright-walking animals, equivalent to us in almost every respect, except lacking the image of God.  We hope this revelation is a lesson to them.  The next time the Darwinists have to backtrack and admit in print that you’ve been snookered, and everything they taught you for 150 years was wrong about Neanderthal Man, or Darwin’s finches, or the human genome, or fill-in-the-blank, don’t say we didn’t warn you.  Don’t say St. Peter didn’t warn you, either (read II Peter 3).  From now on, the only Neanderthal Man you should pay attention to is the original one, Joachim Neander.  He wrote:Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have beenGranted in what He ordaineth?Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,If with His love He befriend thee.(See Romans 5 and Hebrews 2 for more on that.  Express your humanness as it was intended to be.  Get back into a relationship with your Maker.)(Visited 79 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

German bathroom brand enters SA

first_img29 January 2009Hansgrohe, a leading international producer of kitchen and bathroom fixtures and showers, has announced its entry into the South African market through the acquisition of privately held local firm Personalised Bathrooms.Personalised Bathrooms was previously an independent market partner to Hansgrohe, and will now be managed as an independent distribution company trading as Hansgrohe South Africa, with its headquarters in Johannesburg.“In taking this step, we’re going to boost our market presence substantially in South Africa,” Hansgrohe CEO Siegfried Ganßlen said in a statement this week.Innovation and design leadersHansgrohe has selected Anthony Mederer, a former director at Personalised Bathrooms and son of company founder Heinz Mederer, to take over as the general manager of what will become Hansgrohe’s 29th subsidiary.“Hansgrohe is known throughout the industry across the globe as one of the innovation and design leaders, and is perceived in South Africa as the premium brand for top-quality fixtures and showers,” Ganßlen said.“We will invest in the South African market with the clear objective of recording disproportionately strong growth, to develop the number one import brand and to become the market leader.”Continuing partnershipHe said the long-term basis for this objective was to continue the partnership with the experienced Personalised Bathrooms team, with which the company’s market share in the country had grown considerably over the last 14 years.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Blue Heron EcoHaus: Adding it All Up

first_imgEditor’s note: Kent Earle and his wife, Darcie, write a blog called Blue Heron EcoHaus, documenting their journey “from urbanites to ruralites” and the construction of a superinsulated house on the Canadian prairies. The blog below was originally published in February. A complete list of Kent Earle’s GBA blogs can be found below. A friend of mine sent me an article from Tree Hugger about an Irish county that made the Passive House standard mandatory for all new home construction.This is a pretty big deal. The question then came up: Why doesn’t Canada (or the U.S.) adopt such strict and stringent standards? Certainly, the Paris Climate Conference of 2015 has finally made official what everyone and their dog already knew: the world is overheating and we need to do something about it before we all die. Building better homes could make a massive difference in our world’s energy use. It is well-known that a certified Passive House uses 80%-90% less space heating energy than a standard house. [Editor’s note: In the previous sentence, the phrase “standard house” refers to an older house. If a Passive House is compared to a new code-compliant home, the savings would be less.]As usual, the roadblocks to making such rigorous standards mandatory are a combination of bureaucracy, status quo, and resistance to change. In this post and the next, I will make the argument that I believe there is a skewed perspective on both sides of this battle in Canada. Existing standards are shamefulDid you know that the minimum standard for wall construction in Saskatchewan (a province that has frigid winters of -40° temperatures for long stretches and more than 10,000 heating degree days per year) is a 2×6 wall with batt insulation? The effective R-value of this wall is only R-17.5 due to thermal bridging (as the wood studs form a bridge between the inside and outside of the wall). How come more people don’t build this way?Say… that’s pretty much the same as what we said a typical new house would cost, right?So why the heck isn’t everyone doing this?Well, it goes back to the fact that there is an unfounded assumption that building an energy-efficient house costs a lot more. (I think we’ve shown that it simply does not have to.) It also does not help that energy costs from non-renewables such as coal-fired electricity and natural gas are very cheap still. (Even so, those extra 8% in building costs for us should be paid back in less than 12 years in monthly energy bill savings.)And the public outcry for action is not yet greater than the apathy of maintaining the status quo on the part of our government, the building industry, and those contractors who have been making a tidy profit on their suburban sprawl spec houses. This standard must be out of date, you say? In fact, this was recently upgraded to this absurdly pathetic level in 2012. (It was only a 2×4 wall before that.) Shameful.As if this weren’t bad enough, most homes in Saskatchewan feature R-12 in basement walls and only R-40 in the attic. There is no requirement for insulation under the slab of the house. Also, the building code requires only double-pane windows; such insufficient windows account for a massive amount of heat loss, up to 50% of the heat loss of a home. (These are usually vinyl-framed windows, though some have frames of wood or aluminum.) And placement of these crappy windows can lead to further issues with heat loss due to inadequate southern exposure and the placement of large windows on the north side of house.Furthermore, the air leakage rate in most new Saskatchewan homes is about 2.0 air changes per hour at 50 pascals (ach50), which is actually one of the lowest averages in Canada. (Source: Energy Standards by Ken Cooper.)I assume that you get the picture: our homes are generally very inefficient. (Don’t think that this problem is restricted to Saskatchewan – this problem is relatively consistent across North America). High performance doesn’t mean high costAlthough we did not build a Passive House, we followed Passive House principles as closely as we could financially justify (which is the rub; more on this in my next post). For a quick comparison, our house has R-56 walls, an R-80 attic, R-32 basement walls and under-slab. Our latest airtightness test was 0.72 ach50 (and with some extra tightening we’re hoping to get this to 0.65 or less at the next test).We used triple-pane fiberglass windows. The design of the house maximized heat gain through the south windows and minimized heat loss through the windows on the east, west, and north sides. Shading from our roof overhangs prevents overheating in the summer. The positioning of the house is directly south (a luxury made possible by the fact that we live on generous acreage). We also installed photovoltaic panels to offset our meager energy use.Now, a lot of people wonder and ask — I know I did prior to building — whether it costs substantially more money to build a house to this level of efficiency.The simple truth is that it does not have to.The general consensus is that a new custom home in Canada, excluding the cost of purchasing land, is between $200 and $300 per square foot. (A contractor-built spec “cookie cutter” home, built to the minimum standard with minimal features and cheap finishes, can cost $175/square foot or less.) Indeed, this is a wide range: a 1,500-square-foot home could cost between $300,000 and $450,000. But for argument’s sake, let’s say $250/square foot is a realistic cost of a new custom home.OK, so where are the extra costs?I would say the design, planning, and orientation of the house are the biggest factors in determining your initial and long-term costs for a high-performance, energy-efficient house. It does not cost any more to build a house with the windows facing south instead of north. Positioning the long axis of the house east-west does not cost any more than facing it north-south. Designing correct overhangs for shading does not cost any more than designing insufficient overhangs. Placing operable windows appropriately for cross-ventilation does not cost anything extra, either.But all of these decisions and factors can have huge ramifications on the cost of construction and/or long-term costs of operation. We had several team meetings during our design process (including with a certified Passive House designer, with a contractor, and with LEED engineers) to decide on which systems would be best suited to be optimally energy-efficient and be comfortable to live in. We also made sure that everyone, including the subcontractors, were on the same page. This extra consulting time accounted for 2.5% of our overall cost.Our construction costs were only slightly higherWe built double 2×4 stud walls that are 16 inches thick. The cost of materials for this wall system, versus the cost of 2x6s and 2 inches of EPS foam, is almost negligible. Framing labor costs were slightly more, though, as each exterior wall was built twice (accounting for an additional 2% of the overall budget).The author settled on a double-stud assembly 16 inches thick. Extra costs over a 2×6 wall with 2 inches of foam were “negligible.”Remember, our design is simple: a rectangle, meaning four walls with no bays or outcroppings. We also invested 20% more in purchasing fiberglass-framed triple-pane windows versus the usual vinyl or wood double-pane windows (accounting for an additional 1.75% of the overall budget). Insulation cost slightly more but will pay for itself in short order due to reductions in long-term operation costs. (The upfront cost was an additional 2% of the overall budget.)Airtightness of the house did not cost us anymore than the standard vapor barrier (although it does require some attention to detail by the tradespeople) with the exception that we needed to install a heat-recovery ventilator which cost $1,200 (0.3% of the budget).But there are also some possible cost savings to consider. One can get away with a smaller heating system due to the lower heating load in a superinsulated and airtight house. For us, the mechanical system cost about the same as one for a standard house because we elected to install in-floor heating and a wood-burning stove.You certainly could get away with baseboard heaters or a very small forced-air furnace combined with a heat coil on the heat-recovery ventilator if you so chose. Most new houses also have air conditioners. We do not. Cross-ventilation, insulation, and proper shading is all we needed.The bottom line is that it cost us about 8% more to build a house that’s in the range of 75%-80% more efficient then a standard custom home.After these extra costs are accounted for, the rest of the construction costs were basically the same as they would be for any other house. How much you want to spend to finish the house is based on your tastes and how much you want to invest in your bathroom fixtures, lighting, hardwood flooring, custom cabinets (vs. Ikea), appliances, and so on.Also, how much sweat equity are you willing to invest? All of this will have a big impact on your end costs. Consider: painting our house took five full days, but saved us about $6,000. Installing the tile in the bathrooms and kitchen ourselves took 10 or more full days, but saved us another $8,000.OK — so you’re probably thinking, how much did this damn house actually cost? Tell me already!Although I haven’t done our final-final tally yet, it is in the range of $280/square foot. (This estimate is based on 1,440 square feet, which is the above-grade size to the exterior walls. So, 1,440 square feet times $280 = $403,200 total construction cost.) But this total includes the cost of our 6.2-kW PV system, our septic system, and the travel cost for the tradespeople who drove 30 minutes to our house each day. Removing these factors, if you built the same house in an urban area, you could easily do it for $250/square foot. [Editor’s note: Keep in mind that the author’s costs are given in Canadian dollars.] BLOGS BY KENT EARLE Blower-Door TestingInsulation, Air-Sealing, and a Solar ArraySoffits and Siding at the Blue Heron EcoHausPlacing the Concrete FloorsAdding Walls and RoofDealing With Really Bad WaterMaking an ICF FoundationLet Construction BeginPicking High-Performance WindowsHow Small Can We Go?Choosing a Superinsulated Wall SystemHeating a Superinsulated House in a Cold ClimateIs Passivhaus Right for a Cold Canadian Climate? last_img read more

Pradera continues to dominate PAL field

first_imgBSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  CEBU – Talk about going for the kill.Pradera Verde, even with its biggest gun resting, cracked par for the second straight day on Wednesday and is now on the verge of slaughtering the PAL Ladies Interclub Championship division field over a Cebu Country Club layout here that has been at the mercy of Lubao-based squad’s young roster.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC NU fights off UST, improves to 2-1 Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:10PNP-HPG to field 695 personnel to secure ‘Undas’05:18After the Typhoon Part 201:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Saso, the 16-year-old former Philippine Team mainstay, birdied all the four par-5s in the opening round as she maximized her length off the tees to conquer the 5,100-yard layout.The Filipino-Japanese will also be looking to put the individual championship in the bag, and she would most likely have to do it at the expense of teammate Effendi and Constantino.Constantino came out for the second straight day and has a total of 109 points, one-under for two days.Meanwhile, Rita Horan fired 49, Christine Popp shot 42 and Jocelyn Garcia 39 as Alabang wrested the Founder’s Division lead with a second day 129 for 255, two points ahead of Manila Southwoods-Legends. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Indonesian Michela Effendi fired a three-under-par 69 worth 57 points, Harmie Constantino chipped in with 56 and Kristine Torralba accounted for 53 as Pradera pooled a second round 166 for 331, the highest ever two-round score recorded in the event’s 12-year history.READ: Newcomer Pradera leaves PAL field gaspingFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBreaking par for the second straight day has also never happened before, and taking the brunt of that was reigning six-time champion Manila Southwoods-Masters, which could only come up with 153 to be 34 points behind.And unless Pradera fails to come to the venue to play the third and fourth rounds, it’s all over but the shouting as the rookie squad announced its coming in style and will dethrone SW-Masters in the most convincing way in the next two days. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary View comments Cebu CC fired 133 points for 273, 24 points behind SW-Masters.Bernice Ilas shot 53 points, Mika Fortuna contributed 52 and Sofia Chabon never got going and accounted for just 48 as SW-Masters sputtered for the second straight round.Coach Norman Sto. Domingo, despite the big lead, is not about to take it easy as he bared that he will have the talented Yuka Saso leading his third round crew to do the mop-up job this early.Saso played in the first round on Tuesday and fired 59 points. She will lead a team that will debut 13-year-old Annika Pineda-Cayabyab.“We will go all out and try and extend our lead,” Domingo said after watching his last player hole out on the difficult 18th hole of the age-old layout. “We would want to get this done early so that the players can relax on Friday (in the final round).”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Astros start fast, top Dodgers for 2-1 World Series lead

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa and George Springer celebrate Game 3 of baseball’s World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Houston. The Astros won 5-3 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)HOUSTON — A perfect fit in their own place, the Houston Astros are halfway home.George Springer and the Astros broke out the bats early this time and kept up their big run at Minute Maid Park in October, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Friday night for a 2-1 lead in the World Series.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort McCullers left in the sixth as Los Angeles scored twice to cut into a 5-1 deficit. Peacock followed, and shouldered the load for a shaky bullpen by posting his first save in 11 years of pro ball. The right-hander was nearly perfect, walking one and striking out four.“It was awesome,” said Peacock, who made 21 starts and 13 relief appearances during the regular season. “I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life.”Coupled with four shutout innings from McCullers to finish off the Yankees in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series, the unconventional Astros became the first team to have two saves of three-plus innings in one postseason.On a night when a lot went right for Houston, also credit third base coach Gary Pettis, who’s been having quite a postseason. He boldly sent Josh Reddick careening home on a wild throw by reliever Tony Watson for a two-out run in the fifth.The Astros rode the momentum of a thrilling victory Wednesday night in Los Angeles, where Marwin Gonzalez hit a tying homer in the ninth on an 0-2 pitch from star closer Kenley Jansen, and Houston went deep three times in extra innings before hanging on to win 7-6 in 11.Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger almost won that game with a drive that was caught on the warning track in the ninth. He fanned all four times up in Game 3, leaving him 0 for 11 with seven strikeouts in the Series.“I think he’s just in that funk right now where he’s chasing balls out of the strike zone,” Roberts said.This game wasn’t nearly as dramatic, not that the home crowd minded.Fans were revved up from the start when injured Houston Texas defensive end J.J. Watt — who has raised more than $37 million for relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey — wobbled out to the mound on crutches to throw the first ball.Soon, it was time for the Houston hitters to take over. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next LATEST STORIES Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC PLAY LIST 01:04Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Coming off a dramatic rally to win Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, the Astros improved to 7-0 at home this postseason. Jose Altuve & Co. have dominated, too, outscoring the Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers 36-10 in that span.“We’re very comfortable here,” Hinch said.Springer lined a leadoff double in the first and the Astros went on to win a home game for the first time in the World Series. They were swept by the White Sox in 2005, and this win left them two victories from a most elusive championship.Game 4 will be Saturday night when Charlie Morton starts for Houston. Left-hander Alex Wood pitches for the Dodgers, facing a lineup that has put at least one runner on in 14 straight innings.“Obviously, this crowd is into it. Very educated, very enthusiastic,” Dodgers manager Dave Robert said. “They’ve got some confidence over there, that team.”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Green, Beal ejected after fight during Wizards-Warriors game View comments Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Gurriel homered into the Crawford Boxes in left to begin the second — he became the 13th hitter already to homer in this Series. Reddick followed with a double and Evan Gattis, the designated hitter with the game in an American League park, drew a walk.Gonzalez launched a drive off the wall in left and wound up with an RBI single when Gattis held at second, seeing if the ball would be caught. Brian McCann singled home another run with one of his three hits, and Alex Bregman’s sacrifice fly made it 4-0.When Altuve doubled, Darvish was done after 1 2/3 innings. He threw 49 pitches and the Astros swung and missed only once.Darvish had done well at Minute Maid, going 4-1. That included a 2013 start when he was one out from a perfect game for the Rangers before Gonzalez singled.“The fastball command wasn’t there, and the slider was backing up. So he just really didn’t have the feel and couldn’t get any type of rhythm going,” Roberts said.Last month, Darvish and several Dodgers players wore Houston Strong T-shirts to raise money for hurricane relief. The four-time All-Star who previously played in Texas also contributed to the relief efforts.On Thursday, Darvish kidded that maybe his goodwill would lead to good luck.“Since I made that donation, maybe I can use a ball that doesn’t have much pop in it,” he said through a translator.Nope, didn’t quite work out that way. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding The ballpark was booming from the start, with cheers, chants and a train whistle echoing beneath the closed roof. Deep in the heart of football country, a sellout crowd stood much of the evening. And with every Houston batter getting a hit or walk, fans enjoyed the Friday Night Sights.“The energy in the building is second to none,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “It’s loud. They’re loud from the very beginning.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutYuli Gurriel homered to begin a four-run burst in the second inning that sent Yu Darvish to the shortest start of his career. Astros curveballer Lance McCullers Jr. wobbled, but protected the lead into the sixth.Brad Peacock rose to the occasion with 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief to put the Astros two wins from their first championship.last_img read more

The 2015 ACC-Big Ten Challenge Matchups, Ranked

first_imgacc big ten challenge logo.Twitter/@TheBuckeyeNut Twitter/@TheBuckeyeNutTwitter/@TheBuckeyeNutThe 14 matchups of this year’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge were released today, and as expected, there are plenty of good, and a number of ugly games ahead of us this winter. We get an old conference rivalry revival between perhaps the two preseason favorites in the two leagues, UNC and Maryland, an Elite Eight rematch between Louisville and Michigan State, and a blue blood showdown between Duke and Indiana. There’s also Virginia Tech vs. Northwestern, which probably won’t have neutral fans quite as excited. In all, every team from the two leagues, save for Georgia Tech, is involved, and these games always bring a lot of intrigue. Here is our ranking of the entire challenge:14. Boston College vs. Penn State: Twitter/@PennStateMBBTwitter/@PennStateMBBJim Christian’s first year at Boston College (13-19, 4-14) wasn’t great by any standard, and things may not get any better in 2015-16. Olivier Hanlan, one of the team’s lone bright spots, is off to the NBA Draft. It seems unlikely that the Eagles make any significant noise in the coming year. They will host Penn State in this year’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge, making for a pretty uninspiring matchup. Like BC, Penn State loses its one bonafide star—D.J. Newbill—from last year’s team. Perhaps these two young teams can find more balance offensively and improve without their prodigious scorers, but we wouldn’t bet on it right now. This will be BC and Penn State’s third ACC-Big Ten Challenge showdown since 2011. The two programs split the first two of those matchups. If this game is as good as the 2014 Pinstripe Bowl between the two schools’ football programs, we’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.13. Rutgers vs. Wake Forest: Twitter/@TieDyeNationTwitter/@TieDyeNationRebuilding jobs in young coaching tenures is a common theme in the low-ranked games on our list, and that is definitely the case for Rutgers vs. Wake Forest. The Scarlet Knights knocked off national semifinalist Wisconsin on January 11, and proceeded to lose out the rest of the season, to finish a lowly 2-16 in conference and 10-22 overall. To compound matters, two of the team’s best players, Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack, are gone, leaving Eddie Jordan with a very lean roster in year three of his Rutgers tenure. Wake Forest is not an overly-talented team, but they were much more competitive in the ACC than Rutgers was in the Big Ten. They might not be a tournament team yet, but they will probably handle Rutgers in an uninspiring game at The RAC.12. Virginia Tech vs. Northwestern: Twitter/@PeteMorisTwitter/@PeteMorisThere’s a chance that this game is more fun than we’re giving it credit for by the time these two meet on the court, but for now, we have to keep the Hokies and Wildcats fairly low. Virginia Tech has been totally rebuilt under Buzz Williams, with a number of freshman receiving a lot of playing time in 2014-15, and a Top 30 recruiting class coming in, there is some hope for the hoops team in Blacksburg. Unfortunately for the Hokies, like BC and PSU, Tech is losing its top player Adam Smith to transfer, which won’t help matters in the near future. Northwestern is also playing better basketball under Chris Collins than it has in the past. Seven footer Alex Olah had a solid 2014-15, and should continue to improve, and Northwestern will be pairing him with four-star recruit Aaron Falzon in the frontcourt. We have to see more before we move a Hokies-Wildcats game up, but there is potential here.11. Minnesota vs. Clemson: Twitter/@ClemsonMBBTwitter/@ClemsonMBBThe Gophers and Tigers are far from the worst that their respective conferences have to offer, but this is a pretty boring match-up to be honest. Minnesota looked ready to turn a corner after winning the 2014 NIT, but instead slipped to a 6-12 Big Ten finish and 18-15 overall record. Clemson was a very solid defensive squad, but after losing K.J. McDaniels from the year before, the Tigers’ offense went in the tank. Jaron Blossomgame is an intriguing player, and Clemson had a few young guys like Donte Grantham step up last season, but we don’t envision them being an overly interesting team in 2015-16 as currently constructed.10. Nebraska vs. Miami: Twitter/@CanesWarningFSTwitter/@CanesWarningFSWe’re big fans of the jobs that both Jim Larranaga and Tim Miles have done at two schools that are traditionally football-focused, but we’re not sure that this game will be as good as it would have been a few seasons ago. Nebraska followed up a very promising NCAA Tournament season in 2013-14 with a disappointing one this past year, and now the Huskers lose top player Terran Petteway to the NBA. Miami, on the other hand, brings back a number of its best players, including guards Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan, and rim protector Tonye Jekiri. Miami should be a factor in the ACC this year, but it is yet to be seen if Nebraska will bounce back to where it was two years ago.9. Pittsburgh vs. Purdue: Twitter/@HailToPittHoopsTwitter/@HailToPittHoopsAfter losing early season games to teams like North Florida and Gardner Webb, all Purdue did was go 12-6 in a tough Big Ten to land itself in the NCAA Tournament. After a few down seasons following the very good Robbie Hummell, E’Twaun Moore teams, Matt Painter’s Boilermakers seem like they’ve shaken off the rust, and could be very good in 2014-15. A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas give Purdue a very strong frontcourt, which could still be further bolstered with a commitment from blue chip forward Caleb Swanigan, who recently decommitted from Michigan State. Pitt, which has one of the nation’s top programs in the 2000s, has been a fairly average club so far in the ACC. James Artis, James Robinson, and Michael Young are nice players, but this Purdue game could be a good indicator for whether or not Pitt will establish itself in the top half of the ACC in 2015-16.8. Iowa vs. Florida State: Twitter/@Seminoles_comTwitter/@Seminoles_comThis is the first match-up that should feature two NCAA Tournament contenders. Florida State has one of the biggest frontcourts you’ll see, with juniors Boris Bojanovsky and Michael Ojo returning, along with the arrival of Jean Marc Christ Koumadjie, the Monteverde Academy center who is listed by some at 7-foot-5. FSU also brings back star guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who made headlines last season when he dropped an unthinkable 30 points in the final 4:38 against Miami. Iowa is a pretty solid team as well, returning four starters from an NCAA Tournament team that blew out a solid Davidson squad in the 7 vs. 10 game before losing to Gonzaga. This may not be the sexiest matchup, at least by name, but these are two solid teams that should make for a good game.Next: The Top 7 ACC-Big Ten Matchups >>>Pages: Page 1 Page 2last_img read more

Mounties looking to return long gun found on road to rightful owner

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Police are looking for the owner of a long gun that was found by the side of a road just before Christmas last year.Cst. Chad Neustaeter with the Fort St. John RCMP said that a long gun was discovered on the West Bypass Road and reported to police at around noon on December 23rd, 2017. Cst. Neustaeter said that the RCMP are looking to return the firearm to its rightful owner.Anyone who recently lost a long gun, and is able to provide specific details in an effort to possibly reclaim it, is asked to call the Fort St John RCMP at (250)787-8100 or attend the detachment at 10648 100th St during regular office hours.last_img read more

Federal Court of Appeal to release decision on Trans Mountain next week

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – The Federal Court of Appeal is scheduled to release its decision next week in a case that combined nearly two dozen lawsuits calling for the National Energy Board’s review of the Trans Mountain pipeline to be overturned.The board, Trans Mountain and the federal government defended the project as viable during two weeks of hearings in Vancouver last fall.First Nations, including the Tsleil-Waututh, argued the federal government did not adequately consult them, although federal lawyers told the hearings extensive consultations were conducted. Environmental groups and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby also challenged the project and were supported by the province of British Columbia, which was an intervener in the case.Alberta was also an intervener and a lawyer for the province said Ottawa’s decision to approve the expansion of the pipeline between Edmonton and Metro Vancouver was based on a broad base of evidence that considered environmental, economic and Indigenous interests.The federal government announced in May that it was buying the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion to ensure what it calls a vital piece of infrastructure is built.The Federal Court of Appeal tweeted Friday that the decision would be released next Thursday on its website.(The Canadian Press)last_img read more