Some people think football is a matter of life and death.And surgeons in Chile did little to dampen that theory after halting an operation to celebrate their nation’s Confederations Cup semi-final win over Portugal on penalties.Watching on a big screen, the surgical team found themselves with their eyes fixed on the action rather than their patient on a hospital bed.The team of medics can be seen dancing with glee as their patient appears to be unconscious.Chilean medical services have reacted furiously to the footage and branded the situation as ‘very serious.’
Did an asteroid hit in the Yucatan explain the demise of the dinosaurs? New drilling in the crater has brought some surprises.The Alvarez theory of an asteroid impact causing the extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, embraced reluctantly at first, has taken on the feel of accepted truth, especially after a “smoking gun” crater was found. Chicxulub in the Yucatan is assumed to be ground zero where a San-Francisco-sized object at the right time, leaving a quasi-circular scar part onshore and part offshore. It would have raised tsunamis far and wide, and lofted smoke into the atmosphere, cooling temperatures for decades. Some 76% of organisms are said to have perished immediately after that unlucky day for planet earth. Or so, that’s the typical story.Artwork courtesy of Detlev van Ravenswaay/ScienceSource.Now, published results from new drill cores recovered offshore from part of the crater’s peak ring have scientists wrinkling their brows. Some things are not what they expected. “Life recovered rapidly at impact site of dino-killing asteroid,” NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine says, noting one of the main surprises. Inferring ecological signals from smaller impact craters, geologists thought they had a handle on how long it takes life to recover from a really big impact site. Other impact scars, they say, took ten times as long to recover.Although the asteroid killed off species, new research led by The University of Texas at Austin has found that the crater it left behind was home to sea life less than a decade after impact, and it contained a thriving ecosystem within 30,000 years — a much quicker recovery than other sites around the globe.Microfossils and ichnofossils (such as burrows) show that animals re-inhabited the scar in as little as two to three years after the impact. How could such a catastrophe kill off all dinosaurs around the world, yet allow living things to invade the site so quickly? Is it because tsunamis rebounded, bringing in fresh material from a distance?“We found life in the crater within a few years of impact, which is really fast, surprisingly fast,” said Chris Lowery, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) who led the research. “It shows that there’s not a lot of predictability of recovery in general.”Another piece on Astrobiology Magazine says that forests and tree-dwelling birds were decimated around the planet by the impact, too. Is it plausible that “recovery after a global catastrophe could be a local affair”?The paper in Nature concludes that “proximity to the impact did not delay recovery and that there was therefore no impact-related environmental control on recovery.” This counter-intuitive result flies in the face of common sense that destruction should be worst near the crater.The impact seems to have generated a system of hydrothermal vents in the crater. The authors made a brief suggestion that “Impact-generated hydrothermal systems are hypothesized to be potential habitats for early life on Earth.” That’s all it took for some reporters to speculate that impacts might have caused the origin of life.A news feature in PNAS gives some background on the scientists who adventured to the Yucatan and lived on the drilling rig for weeks getting the drill cores. Most of the story concerns the characters and their adventures, but the article does share additional anomalies about the geology of the site. “To this day we don’t understand what the pattern of fractures was that led to those changes,” one of them says about the pulverized granite seen in the drill cores. After that, the article degenerates into rank speculation about how impacts might be “crucibles of life” on earth and other planets. Close your eyes and let your imagination take over: “You can see impacts as generating a whole set of experiments, producing lots of organic material, and then at some point you can imagine that a self-replicating molecule emerged.” Whoever says this “is not unreasonable” has not done the math like Illustra Media did in Origin (see “The Amoeba’s Journey” video clip).Critique of the Chicxulub SenarioPromoters of the impact story for the extinction of the dinosaurs like to make it sound like the smoking-gun evidence at Chicxulub clinches the case. It takes an outsider like Brian Thomas at ICR to point out problems and ask questions. In ICR’s June edition of Acts & Facts, his timely article points out some facts that should raise serious doubts about the story. He begins by noting that even children are taught the story of Chicxulub, which leads children of Christian parents struggling to know how to reconcile the secular story with what the Bible teaches about a worldwide Flood. Here’s a summary of his responses:Frogs and clams are much more vulnerable to the toxic after-effects of an impact-caused extinction, but they survived fine.The Chicxulub crater is not circular. “Plus, an impact with worldwide destructive force would have melted rocks, but the site has very little melted rock.” Upwelling magma could explain the structure seen at Chicxulub.The Flood layers cover hundreds of square miles that could not have been produced by an impact tsunami, which would have created a wedge-shaped trace that decays with distance. Many flood layers stay the same thickness over vast distances and can even be seen across continents.Dinosaurs are found buried in mud sediments on the opposite side of the globe from the Yucatan site.Soft tissue in fossils of dinosaurs and other animals shows the extinction was recent; the tissues could not last 66 million years.In the Genesis Flood scenario, some dinosaurs were taken aboard the Ark, and the rest perished. Those that proliferated for a short time after the Flood were understandably hunted down as pests or as trophies for ‘dragon slayers.’ That’s why none of the post-Flood dinosaurs fossilized, and why none survive today.When consensus science tells a story, best look for independent thinkers. Selective evidence is easy to amass to tell a story, but one stubborn fact can knock it down. Brian Thomas just shared five, and that’s not necessarily a complete list.Exercise: What other ‘scenarios’ or consensus stories are told by evolutionists in spite of contrary evidence? Make a list. They may have some alleged ‘smoking gun’ evidence, but contrary evidence is usually minimized or ignored. The Chicxulub story is one. Snowball Earth is another. What others can you think of? (Visited 704 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Last year’s corporate winner was Dawn Rowland, CEO of marketing services group Aegis Media. The entrepreneurial winner was Margaret Hirsch, COE at home electronic, appliance and retail chain Hirsch’s. President Jacob Zuma was a guest at the 2012 award ceremony.(Images: The Presidency)MEDIA CONTACTS • Busi MkhabeleExecutive co-ordinator, BWASA+27 11 486 3301 Janine ErasmusThe five finalists for the 2013 Businesswoman of the Year awards are all trailblazers in their own right, forging careers in fields traditionally dominated by men.Established back in 1980, the awards are held under the auspices of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa (BWASA), an organisation that promotes and empowers women in all spheres of business. It achieves this through various initiatives and opportunities that allow for personal growth and development, as well as offering a platform to network.There are two categories – corporate and entrepreneurial – and according to BWASA, the programme is the only one that focuses specifically on women in business.The five role models – two from the corporate sector and three entrepreneurs – were celebrated at an event in Johannesburg at the end of July. The two winners will be announced on 22 August – proceeds from this event will help to fund the organisation’s bursary programme.The theme of this year’s programme is Footprints: women leaving a legacy, blazing a trail.“The organisation is not just about recognising women, but about leaving a legacy,” said BWASA board member Mthunzi Mdwaba. “The companies that make up our membership are responsible for hundreds of jobs and billions of rands.”The finalists are Cristina Texeira (CFO at Group Five); Ntombizine Madyibi (CFO of the East London industrial development zone); Thandi Ndlovu (CEO of the Motheo Construction Group); Elma von Plaster (owner of BP Stikland); and Shauneen Proctor (partner at ad agency Idea Engineers).“This indicates the wealth and depth of talented women in this country who contribute to building our economy and strengthening our economic and development priorities.” said BWA president Liepollo Lebohang Pheko.Last year’s winners were Dawn Rowland, CEO of marketing services group Aegis Media, and Margaret Hirsch, COE at home electronic, appliance and retail chain Hirsch’s. They joined an illustrious group of previous honourees that includes the late Maria Maponya, financial whiz Maria Ramos, and Nicky Newton-King, CEO of Johannesburg’s stock exchange.Anyone can succeedThe finalists poured cold water on the myth that only the smartest and the best can succeed in life.“It was hard work that got me to where I am today,” said Texiera, who is the only female CFO among the major construction and engineering companies in South Africa. “That, and taking every opportunity that arose. I wasn’t the brightest pupil, nor did I go to the best school.”She paid homage to her supportive parents, without whom, she said, she wouldn’t have got far. A strong support structure at home was critical, and she was also lucky to have encountered some unofficial mentors along the way.Texeira encountered her biggest challenges later in her career, rather than at the start of it. Even in today’s world the boardroom can be male-dominated, and entering into this environment was daunting at first, she said.“The organisation took a chance on me – I was young and inexperienced in terms of the requirement – but I was in the right time at the right place.”She found that often, her male colleagues simply forgot that she was there – “For instance, sometimes an email is addressed to ‘gents’.”She and Madyibi agreed that women can be sometimes overlooked in a predominantly male environment. And their needs are not always addressed – for instance, a lack of toilets for women on-site. These are all issues that need to be looked at as women venture further into unfamiliar territory.It’s not true that the Eastern Cape has little in the way of success stories, said Madyibi. She came from a poor background and got herself out of that situation, she explained. “I was the first chairperson of the Black Management Forum in the Border region, and the first CFO of the East London industrial development zone (IDZ). That meant that I had to develop the strategy for finance, and design policies.”She had to work hard, she said, being the only woman in a boardroom with six men. “I had to convince them that I was there on merit.”Looking forward, Texiera said she wasn’t done yet. “I’m only halfway through my journey – I still aim to support the 18% of women in our organisation, and ensure we develop internal staff as well as the community.”Madyibi agreed, saying that the best way to give back would be to take people, especially young women, along with her. “There are 6 000 people who have jobs because of what we are doing, but I also am very active in the community because I hold myself as a role model for our girls.”Women must team upAsked for the secret of her success, Ndlovu, whose Motheo is one of the largest BEE construction companies in South Africa, said that she decided to recruit young, mainly black female, people and older, mainly white male, people.“This was an effective blend of skills and expertise, and youth and energy. Today that has proven to be a successful model, although the company is 54% black women-owned.She has her doubts about the effectiveness of BEE in today’s world. “I think BEE is beginning to defeat itself. Today, you’ll often find that the BEE people have no direct role in building the business, even if it has a high BEE score. This is counter-productive.”Von Plaster, who took over the BP Stikland service station in 2007 and saved it and 15 jobs from a sad end, said that in her industry the oil companies are pro-women. “They don’t discriminate in the working environment. Our challenge, rather, is access to finance – especially black women.”She said that her turnaround strategy came about when a woman at the bank believed in her and gave her a loan. “We women must team up.”Honouring South Africa’s womenThe BWA in its current form is a result of the merging in 2000 of the Executive Women’s Club, the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Professional Women’s Leadership Development Organisation.The head office is in Johannesburg and there are branches around the country, located in Soweto, Durban, Empangeni, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, East London, Port Elizabeth, and Queenstown.Now in its 34th year, BWASA’s Businesswoman of the Year award is considered the premier event of its kind in South Africa. Its main objectives are:To create a mechanism for celebrating women’s contributions to the economy;To recognise the success of women leaders in business, and create a network of female role models whose achievements will inspire other women to aim high;To raise funds for BWA bursaries offered to women pursuing business studies.Since 1988, all revenue from the award programme has gone to the BWA’s bursary programme. Funds raised through the gala dinner on August 22 will also go into the fund, which has distributed more than R500 000 to women postgraduate students in recent years. Individuals or organisations wanting to contribute bursary fund can make a donation.Candidates for the title are nominated by third parties, and must give their consent for the judging process, which includes an audit of financial statements. Nominees must be South African citizens or residents, and must have been with their present companies for no less than three years. They must control an annual budget of at least R75-million (corporate) and R35-million (entrepreneurial). In addition, nominees in the latter section must own at least 35% of the business.Judging panels, says the BWA, are selected to ensure no potential business competitor has access to sensitive information.The BWA is also active in promoting gender equality in the business world, and is at the forefront of an economic gender advocacy programme, which will contribute towards developing the content of the new Women Empowerment and Gender Equity Bill, as well as a charter for the empowerment of women.
Homebuyers have higher expectations now than they did just a few years ago, and builders are responding with more houses that meet green building standards, a new study from Dodge Data & Analytics says.More than half of the builders surveyed expect more than 60% of the houses they build will be green by 2020, with 36% of remodelers expecting to meet the same standards in their projects by then.Although three-quarters of the builders say that meeting green standards costs at least 5% more than conventional construction, most of them think that consumers are willing to pay more for a house that uses less energy, is more durable, and has better indoor air quality.Exactly what constitutes a “green” home? As defined by the study, green building refers “specifically to homebuilding, home remodeling/renovating and land development that incorporates environmentally sensitive site planning, resource efficiency, energy and water efficiency, improved indoor environmental quality, and homeowner education, or projects the would comply with the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard or other credible rating systems.”In other words, there’s still a lot of room for interpretation.Findings are based on an online survey of builders and remodelers as represented in the membership data base of the National Association of Home Builders. A total of 249 responses are included, from 177 single-family builders and developers, 55 single-family remodelers, and 17 multifamily firms. More reliance on renewable energyAll types of renewable energy have grown more common. In the two-year period between 2013 and 2015, the percentage of projects with photovoltaics (PV) jumped from 12% to 19%, but the real growth appears still to be in the future. Houses equipped with PV will grow to 48% of the market by 2018, builders and remodelers said, while solar hot water heating would increase to 41%, and ground-source heating equipment would rise to 52% of their projects.More than 20% of the builders surveyed said they had built a net-zero or net-zero ready home, and 58% of the builders who report 90% or more of their projects are green are doing net-zero or net-zero ready construction.The interest in renewables seems driven by practicality: while 81% of buyers 55 and older were judged to be influenced by energy efficiency, only 8% of those in that age bracket gave much weight to a reduced carbon footprint. By contrast, 12% of those aged 18-35 considered a reduced carbon footprint influential, builders said. Banking on baby boomers“Mature” homebuyers, those 55 and older, pay closer attention to energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and durability in housing than younger home buyers, the report says. But the millennial generation may eventually catch up.“The baby boomer generation is large and relatively affluent, which supports a strongergreen market currently, but there are also indications that demand may grow among millennials,” the report says.For for now, the baby boomers are in the driver’s seat. For example, 81% of buyers over the age of 36 consider energy efficiency an influential factor, compared with 70% of buyers between the ages of 18 and 35. Sixty-seven percent of those 55 or older think that a healthier indoor living environment is important, compared with 55% of those aged 36-54 and only 49% of those in the 18-to-35 age bracket. Durability? Seventy-two percent of those 55 and up think its important; 47% of the 18-to-35 year olds would agree.The relative wealth of older home buyers may help explain why builders plan more green projects in the years ahead even as more of them believe that green building costs more. In 2011, a Dodge report found that 58% of builders responding to a survey thought that green building cost at least 5% more than conventional construction. That grew to 60% in a 2014 survey, and to 77% in the most recent report.But the disparity in income between different age groups was only part of it. The study also found that older buyers had more experience with houses, and the more they knew about high-performance features the more likely they were to consider those features when making buying decisions.Builders and remodelers said that 83% of home buyers would be willing to spend more for a healthier home, and the number of buyers willing to spend 5% to 10% more for a green home rose from 26% in 2011 to 33% this year. Still, costs remain a concern.“The issue of cost must be addressed by the industry in order to see the full potential of the green market achieved,” the authors said, “especially as consumers have the expectation that a new home is green and therefore may not be willing to pay a premium for that level of performance.”
Watford boss Gracia: Big Ben key to Bournemouth pointby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford boss Javi Gracia praised goalkeeper Ben Foster after their 3-3 draw with Bournemouth.Gracia believes his side should have won the game at the Vitality Stadium, but that ultimately their defending of set pieces cost them dearly.He said: “After scoring two goals I knew we needed to defend well because I was sure Bournemouth would create chances because they always do.“In that moment we conceded two goals from 2 free kicks and it was difficult to accept.“In the second half we tried to have more control, but first of all we have to defend the free kicks better because we conceded two goals from it.“We had the chance to kill the game with more control. We didn’t do it.”Watford came under heavy pressure in the second half and were saved a number of times by Foster, who received great praise from his head coach.Gracia said: “I think Ben Foster was very important in the second half for us.“I call him Big Ben. When I arrived in England, I thought it was in London but now I know it’s in Watford. He’s playing very well and is very important.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say RFEF president Rubiales delighted over Enrique impact with Spainby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveRFEF president Luis Rubiales is delighted with the early impact of Luis Enrique.The former Barcelona coach has quickly turned Spain’s fortunes around as national team coach.It was Rubiales who sacked Julian Lopetegui as Spain coach ahead of the World Cup after the trainer agreed to be Real Madrid’s next manager.He said that “we have a new coach who we believe in a lot, Luis Enrique”. Lucho is “in a phase of reconstruction in which I believe he will put a country like Spain where they belong.”
Southampton manager Hasenhuttl plans Cedric talks after late withdrawalby Freddie Taylor25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl admits that he is not sure why Cedric Soares pulled out of their game against Tottenham at the last minute.The right back is a key member of the Saints lineup.Jannik Vestergaard came into the team near kick off, with Cedric reportedly suffering an injury.However, Hasenhuttl has called into question that version of events with his post-match comments.He said to reporters: “It wasn’t the perfect start to the game. “You prepare for the game and then half an hour before he says he can’t train. “I don’t know what happened. It wasn’t the best preparation for the game. I haven’t spoken to him now but I will.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
The NCAA might have hit the Ohio State football program with a one-year bowl ban and cut nine scholarships over three years, but it hasn’t affected the school’s recruiting. According to recruiting experts, no OSU football recruits have indicated they are thinking about switching their commitment. In fact, the opposite is true. “In actuality, we surveyed most of the commitments that they have and basically it was almost unanimous that they’re going to stick with their commitments to Ohio State,” said Steve Helwagen, managing editor of Bucknuts.com. “I don’t think anybody is planning to back out.” Kevin Noon, managing editor for BuckeyeGrove.com, said he has also spoken to many of OSU’s recruits and doesn’t foresee any problems. “We’ve spoken to a lot of the big names of the class and they’ve all said that they want to sign with the Buckeyes,” Noon said. “They’re still excited about their opportunity to be part of the Buckeyes.” The bowl ban will affect OSU after the 2012 regular season, which would be the freshman year for the incoming recruits. Typically, most freshman at OSU don’t play a large role on the field. “They’re probably going to be backups if they don’t redshirt,” Helwagen said. “For those guys, to miss a bowl game, they don’t figure to be frontline players. It’s probably not that big of an issue.” But the bowl ban is something that many didn’t expect. OSU athletic director Gene Smith repeatedly said he didn’t think a bowl ban was likely and said he was “surprised” when the NCAA Committee of Infractions announced their decision Tuesday. When new head coach Urban Meyer first took the job at OSU, he indicated that he didn’t expect a bowl ban either. Helwagen and Noon said recruits were probably being told not to expect a harsh decision. “When they hired Urban Meyer, he said that Gene Smith and Gordon Gee told him that they didn’t think a bowl ban was in the cards,” Helwagen said. “I think Urban Meyer was telling recruits what he was being told … (the ban) couldn’t have been unforeseen because it was a possibility. I think it did catch a lot of people off guard though.” In addition to the bowl ban, the NCAA slashed nine scholarships over three years and put the football program on three years probation. Noon agreed the bowl ban may have come as a surprise, but said the other sanctions shouldn’t worry the recruits in the slightest. “I think the one-year bowl ban comes as a little bit of a surprise,” Noon said. “But when you look at the rest of the penalties, none of those directly have bearing on kids whether they commit to a program because scholarship reductions don’t mean anything to you if you already have a scholarship.” Before the NCAA levied its punishments, Meyer had been on quite a roll on the Buckeye recruiting trail. Noah Spence, Se’von Pittman and Tommy Schutt, three highly rated defensive line recruits gave their pledge to the Scarlet and Gray within the past two weeks. Two of those players, Pittman and Schutt, were previously committed to other Big Ten schools, but Meyer was able to flip Pittman from Michigan State to OSU and Schutt uncommitted from Penn State. With OSU now facing a bowl ban, some fear opposing coaches might use that fact to negatively recruit against players already committed to the Buckeyes. But Noon said finally knowing the penalties might actually be a good thing. “I think Ohio State was already being negatively recruited when the whole NCAA cloud was hanging over its head,” Noon said. “I’m sure that schools will try and potentially use this to see if they can shake somebody loose, but I don’t expect it to be anywhere to the point of where it was beforehand where schools were saying allegedly that Ohio State was going to get USC-type penalties.” The USC football program just finished the second season of its two-year bowl ban this year and had 30 scholarships cut by the NCAA as part of violations involving former Trojan running back Reggie Bush. Recruits now know what they’re facing if they choose to enroll at OSU, but that doesn’t mean opposing coaches won’t try their best to convince the recruits to change their minds. “If they really want those guys, they’re going to go after them,” Helwagen said.
01Feb Griffin applauds bipartisan transparency legislation Representative: Taxpayers deserve access to information Categories: Griffin News,News State Rep. Beth Griffin today joined colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation that ensures taxpayers more access to public records in the Legislature and governor’s office.Griffin, of Mattawan, said she supports the 11-bill package unveiled during a news conference in the Capitol. She said the bills will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and create the Legislative Open Records Act to provide transparency to the Legislature.“Simply put, taxpayers should have unfettered access to public records, and that has not been the case when it comes to the legislative and executive branches of state government,” Griffin said. “This continues our commitment to make state government more accountable to the people. This is another common-sense approach to shining light on public servants and public records.”The bills are similar to a legislative effort that was put forth by the House last session, but did not reach the governor’s desk for approval.The LORA bill exempts some records, among them letters to and from people in the district, human resources files, and ongoing legislative investigations or lawsuits. Only one other state exempts its legislature and governor from FOIA-like scrutiny.#####