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first_imgTHANK you all for your pictures today featuring Donegal in the autumn sun.We have a prize of lunch for two at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Letterkenny.Here’s just some of your pictures. More are welcome between now and midnight when our winner will be announced.Keep sending them to [email protected] picture: Sydney in the sunshine, from Paddy McFadden in Sydney.Below: Lough Swilly at Dawn by Laurence Blake. Second below: Trusk Lough, Ballybofey by Rory HarveyThird below: Gartan Lake at 9.30am by Joan Gallagher.YOUR INCREDIBLE PICTURES: DONEGAL IN THE AUTUMN SUN (AND ONE FROM SYDNEY!) was last modified: November 22nd, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:competitiondonegaldaily.com picture speciallast_img read more

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesReading boss Jaap Stam says he is “not overly worried” by the possibility of losing both captain Paul McShane and goalscorer Jordan Obita for the second leg of their play-off semi-final with Fulham.McShane is definitely out after he was sent off in the closing stages at Craven Cottage for a knee-high challenge on Kevin McDonald.Obita, meanwhile, left on a stretcher after twisting his ankle after blocking a cross and will be a major doubt with the return leg just 72 hours away.Stam said: “Fredericks came bombing forward and he [Obita] tried to block the cross and you can see when there’s no tension in the ankle, you twist it. So we will have to look and see how he feels.“They are very important for us, Jordan and Macca, but we’ve got a big squad. We’ve got choices and players who can play in those positions, so I’m not overly worried.”Stam also defended his side’s physical approach in the 1-1 draw, after opposite number Slavisa Jokanovic said they had played “on the limit of the laws”.The Dutchman insisted: “I think it’s a normal approach. In this league, there are teams who play more physically than we do.“In these games, you need to be aggressive, you need to win your battles on the pitch – then when you have the ball you need to be a threat going forward.”See also:Fulham draw with Reading in first legReading played ‘on limit of the laws’ – Jokanovic   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch) x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

first_imgLong thought a tree-killing bane, parasitic mistletoe appears to do much more good than harm to a forest ecology.David Watson, a researcher at Charles Sturt University in Albury, New South Wales, has been studying mistletoe for years, according to Stephanie Pain at New Scientist, who wrote “Marvellous mistletoe: Giving forests the kiss of life.” Here’s what Watson has concluded from his research:“Mistletoes are the key to a rich and healthy forest. They are the engine that drives diversity from the forest floor to the canopy.“Mistletoe gets its water from the host tree, but is able to manufacture its own carbohydrates through photosynthesis. For this reason, mistletoe is called “hemiparasitic.”  Watson found that mistletoe rarely kills a tree.  More interesting, though, are the benefits mistletoe brings to the forest:Always assured of water, evergreen mistletoes are a reliable year-round source of food for many forest dwellers, providing nutrient-packed leaves, sugary nectar and juicy, fat-rich berries. The dense clumps offer hideaways and cool places to roost, while the tangle of sturdy stems offers secret nooks for small birds to nest in and a solid platform for larger ones to build on.Watson proved these benefits by removing all the mistletoe from a patch of eucalyptus forest in Australia.  The reduction in diversity was dramatic, not only among birds and tree-climbing animals, but even in the forest floor.  That’s because the fleshy leaves provide a nutritious food source when they drop to the ground.  “Those leaves are packed with goodies,” Watson remarked (though many are poisonous to humans).  Soils without the mistletoe are impoverished in good bacteria, insects and invertebrates.  Trees without it reduce good spots for nesting and hiding.Mistletoe is not a single species but a category: “What links these plants is not shared ancestry, for mistletoes have evolved at least five times in different groups of plants, but their lifestyle.”  There are some 1300 species.  They live on every continent except Antarctica.  Some ecologists consider mistletoe a “keystone species, an organism that has a disproportionately pervasive influence over its community” (Wikipedia).Stephanie Pain listed animals that use mistletoe, including porcupines and squirrels that hibernate in the clumps.  Birds of all sizes, including hummingbirds and hawks benefit from the nutritious leaves and berries.  Even gorillas and rhinos browse on mistletoe.The seeds of some species are spread by birds (see Mistletoes in Australia).  They can survive the bird’s digestive tract, and then stick to twigs with an adhesive coating around the seed.  Other species, particularly in the genus Arceuthobium, can launch their seeds like rockets from branch to branch.  The fruit pods build up hydrostatic pressure as they mature until the pods rupture, sending the sticky seeds on a ballistic path at 55 mph, landing up to 50 feet away (source: waynesword.palomar.edu; see also American Journal of Botany).If an athlete get’s athlete’s foot, what does an astronaut get?*  We hope you enjoyed this ecology story for year end 2012, as a reminder that things in nature are not always what they seem, and more wonderful the closer one looks.  Most people only think of mistletoe at the holidays as an excuse for stealing a kiss.  As this entry shows, there’s much more to the story.  Thank you for reading Creation-Evolution Headlines this year.  Resolve to tell your friends!*Missile toe, if you never heard that joke in elementary school.(Visited 44 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgIf accountants cooked the books like this, they’d serve jail time.Suppose your financial planner tells you, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is that in five years, you’ll be a billionaire! The bad news is that you need to come up with 750 million dollars that I can invest for you.” That’s what evolutionary origin-of-life theorizing is like. As long as they can cheat, they can accomplish anything.Cheating in the IngredientsMatthew Powner and Jack Szostak are “circus toymakers” in what reporter Susan Mazur calls The Origin of Life Circus (Caswell Books, 2016). Their most recent toys are the four nucleotides that make up RNA: two purines and two pyrimidines. Because getting these to form under simulated early-earth conditions has been a challenge for 50 years, NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine throws a party for them, called “How RNA formed at the origins of life“:In a study, published today [5/24/17] in Nature Communications and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Simons Foundation and the Origins of Life Challenge, researchers from UCL, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital suggest a single chemical mechanism by which both classes of nucleotides – purines and pyrimidines – could have formed together….Purine and pyrimidine nucleotides are used to create the DNA and RNA. The purine and pyrimidine nucleotides bind to one another through specific molecular interactions that provide a mechanism to copy and transfer information at the molecular level, which is essential for genetics, replication and evolution. Therefore understanding the origins of nucleotides is thought to be key to understanding the origins of life itself.Sounds impressive till you uncover the cheating. In their paper in Nature Communications, you have to look deep in the Supplementary Information PDF file. But there it is: they bought their ribose from a supplier! That’s like the 750 million dollars you have to cough up before you get your billion. Ribose, the sugar on which these bases depends, has been devilishly hard for the circus toymakers to make, because it falls apart in water and is extremely delicate to work with (see the Illustra Film Origin). So yeah, if you buy it at the supply house and treat it very carefully under intelligently-designed conditions, you might get something you want. But from what supply house did mindless chance buy its ribose? Did NASA tell you about that?The probability of getting a meaningful sequence is nil.The cheating is actually much, much worse. Cheating often depends on distraction. Powner and NASA lead the audience to think that some great breakthrough has been made in the origin of life, but actually, getting the building blocks is the easy part. Some building blocks, like amino acids, form naturally under various conditions (although they do NOT link up in water). Nucleotides are tougher to make, but they are still nothing more than building blocks. So while the audience is distracted looking at nucleotides, the cheaters fail to mention that the big challenge for the origin of life is sequencing the building blocks into information-rich polymers (proteins, nucleic acids and sugars) that have biological function. That has to come about by chance—totally out of the question (again, see the film Origin). On top of that, the building blocks have to be one-handed, or they won’t work, and that, too, has to happen by chance—again, totally out of the question (read this). The paper says nothing about these little ‘details’. So what does this have to do about the emergence of life on earth? Precious little. This circus act is all clown and no money.Cheating in the RecipeAnother team recognizes the sequencing problem, but cheats to get a workable sequence to ’emerge’ (one of the origin-of-life cheaters’ favorite magic words). How do they accomplish this? Through “chaotic flows,” Phys.org says — “Chaotic flows and the origin of life.” The setup teases the audience with suspense:Scientists have long known that the building blocks of life – amino acids, nucleobases and sugars – were present in the early ocean, but they were very low in concentration. In order for life to emerge, these building blocks needed to be combined and enriched into long-chain macromolecules. Identifying the process and mechanism driving this synthesis has been one of the largest questions concerning the origin of life.Believe it or not, these wizards from Texas A&M address the problem by conjuring up “complex and chaotic” flow patterns in models of hydrothermal vents. And then, they compare this ‘mechanism’ to Lava Lamps and patterns you get when you stir cream into your coffee. Has anyone had a meaningful message appear in a Lava Lamp or coffee cup lately? Any life emerge?The article never resolves the suspense. The authors point to the fact that chaotic flows might cause rocks (like carbonates) to form at the vents. What does that have to do with life? Zero. Zilch. Nada. But they got their ideas published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, claiming that they discovered “a mechanism that may have played a major role in combining these dilute chemical building blocks into the long-chain macromolecules necessary for life.”Making chains does nothing to solve the sequencing problem. If random building blocks are meaningless on the floor, they are going to be equally meaningless arranged by chance into chains. Throwing kids’ alphabet blocks into a tornado would be just as promising.Here’s the mentality that drives these clowns. They say, ‘We’re here, and since creation is illegal, it must have happened somehow. We’ll just work on individual pieces of the big picture.” We have used two analogies to show how asinine this is. In one analogy, we said that scientists have scattered pieces of a puzzle but no box top (5/01/08). They sketch out what they think the picture should be, and start trying to fit pieces into their model. But if their imagined picture is false, what’s going to happen? All their busy work will be in vain. They will never arrive at the true picture.In the second analogy, we pictured a canyon representing the gulf between non-life and life (5/22/02). The origin-of-life clowns believe that material processes built a bridge across the canyon, so they imagine parts of a bridge that might fit. One team hires a helicopter to hold a piece of steel out in mid-air, then publishes a scientific paper claiming that this piece fits their model of a possible bridge. But it hangs on nothing! When the helicopter lets go, the steel falls to the floor of the canyon. Another team imagines a protrusion on the non-life side of the canyon providing a scaffold on which a bridge might ’emerge.’ Each team works on various pieces of an imaginary bridge that chance built, feeling rewarded that they are solving one of the great mysteries of science. But a bridge will never emerge by chance. For one thing, the teams have different models for bridges and how to build them, and each team likes to falsify the other team’s model, saying it won’t work. For another, the pieces of models do not fit each other. A more important objection is that chance does not want to build a bridge, and chance cannot build a bridge. Again, these are all exercises in futility.Don’t we see natural bridges? Yes, occasionally, but they are already present before the stream carves out the channel underneath. The same is true for natural arches. Chance never constructs a bridge of multiple parts for the purpose of allowing entities to get across. And if you have a sufficiently wide canyon, no natural process will ever build a bridge. For the origin of life, it would be like building a bridge across the universe. And that’s being generous to the materialists (again, see the film Origin). One thing we know from uniform experience: complex bridges that permit orderly travel across canyons are built by intelligent design. That’s a positive argument for design, not a god-of-the-gaps argument. Who has a gap argument but the person who has ruled out design from the get-go, and must resort to chaotic flows or magical ’emergence’ to maintain a materialistic worldview? If we’ve learned anything from the last 66 years since the Miller experiment, it’s that the canyon has been growing wider and wider than anyone ever thought. Chance-of-the-gaps was impossible then; it is unthinkable now. Cheaters will not prosper. Let’s shut down the clown act and get back to scientific causes that we know from our uniform experience are necessary and sufficient to explain the phenomenon in question: life. (Visited 670 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgIn 2011, South Africa produced 7 686 tons of fish and fish products through aquaculture; by comparison, Egypt produced 900 000 tonnes and Nigeria produced 200 000 tonnes; more than a quarter of South Africa’s production was of abalone. China is the global leader in the field, producing 70% of the world’s aquaculture.(Images: AASA-Aqua)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sidwell Medupe Dti spokesperson+27 12 394 1650 or +27 79 492 1774RELATED ARTICLES• Boost for food processing sector• Honeybush industry set for growth• Saving South Africa’s abalone• R200m tomato factory opens in PE• Southern Africa’s greenest dairyCadine PillayThe Department of Trade and Industry has launched an R800-million (US $86 500 000) aquaculture grant scheme in an effort to stimulate investment and create more jobs in the sector.At the launch of the Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (Adep), Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the incentive initiative would target fish hatcheries, fish farms and the production, processing and preserving of aquaculture fish.It would function as a reimbursement grant for pre-approved projects once they had been up and running for a year. It was launched in Cape Town on 28 March.The programme would also offer a reimbursable cost-sharing grant of up to R40-million ($4 300 000) for equipment, infrastructure, commercial vehicles and workboats, and for activities that would boost competition in the industry.Head of product development in the department, Tumelo Marivate, said the government would pay the grants as soon as the entities came into production. A total of R800-million had been set aside for the grant, in which four investors had already shown an interest.Untapped opportunitiesDavies said there were enormous untapped opportunities in South Africa’s aquaculture industry. Abalone, mussels, oysters and freshwater fish were being farmed, but the pace of growth in the industry had been slow.“There’s been a major change globally in the production and consumption of aquatic products. Nearly half of the total fish products produced in the world now comes from aquaculture. It’s driven by the reality that world fish stocks are being grossly depleted,” he stressed.Moreover, South Africa produced less than 1% of Africa’s output. The industry in South Africa was in its infancy, and production volumes were very low, even compared to its continental peers. Egypt and Nigeria lead the Africa pack in the sector.In 2011, South Africa produced 7 686 tons of fish and fish products through aquaculture; by comparison, Egypt produced 900 000 tons and Nigeria produced 200 000 tons. More than a quarter of South Africa’s production was of abalone.Job creationAdep is aimed at creating and sustaining jobs, increasing production, expanding participation by broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) companies, and encouraging companies to set up farms in different areas of the country.Davies challenged the sector to push its production rate up to 50 000 tons a year, as the shift from ocean fishing to aquaculture had been significant. “We are right at the bottom of the curve and we need to move rapidly in the next few years. The growth could be dramatic,” he emphasized.The government, he added, would incentivise and support companies and investors in taking the risks. He also called on people to grasp the opportunity and said additional advantages would be offered to companies investing in industrial development zones (IDZs).Identifying the hotspotsDavies pointed out that an “interesting” project had been launched at the East London IDZ, where kabeljou (or silver cob) was being cultivated. Similar projects could be launched at the Saldanha Bay IDZ. “The East London IDZ has over the years played a significant role in the aquaculture sector. Given enough resources and investments, we can multiply the work in other parts of the country.“Clearly there are enormous opportunities in terms of the production of protein, the development for export activities, the creation of employment and the development of skills in aquaculture,” Davies added.According to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, aquaculture has long been identified as a critical industry, given the popularity of its produce and the declining fish harvests worldwide. In South Africa, aquaculture has been identified as a key industry for promotion, consisting mainly of freshwater species such as crocodile, trout, catfish, tilapia and ornamental fish as well as marine species such as abalone, prawn, oyster and mussel.Most of South Africa’s aquaculture farms are in Western Cape Province. In 2010, there were 20 farms in Western Cape, nine in Eastern Cape, three in Northern Cape and one KwaZulu-Natal. Trout is the most cultured freshwater species in South Africa, with rainbow trout producing nearly 1 000 tons. But the Department of Trade and Industry says trout faces stiff competition from salmon imported from Scotland and Norway, much of which is subsidised.China is the global leader in the field, producing 70% of the world’s aquaculture.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National Pork Producers Council asked the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for more details on its decision to remove pork from the menu at its 122 facilities.BOP pulled the pork beginning Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year. The move supposedly was made based on a survey of federal inmates and on costs, according to a BOP spokesman. In a letter sent in mid-October to BOP Director Charles Samuels Jr., NPPC expressed its dismay at the decision and requested a copy of the survey instrument and the results. It also questioned the cost factor, pointing out that pork prices are less than beef and nearly equal to chicken.“Pork is a very economical, nutrient-dense protein that ought to be a food option for federal prisoners, and the U.S. pork industry has a variety of products that could meet BOP’s needs,” NPPC said in its letter.Then after a week of controversy surrounding the abrupt removal of pork dishes from the national menu for federal inmates, the government put pork roast back on the prison menu.last_img read more

first_imgA TV antenna in Mizoram and (inset) W.A. Sangma: Broken promisesThe World Cup football frenzy last month had more than a billion people glued to their television sets. Some of them were in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, where the chief minister and a few of his cabinet members clustered,A TV antenna in Mizoram and (inset) W.A. Sangma: Broken promisesThe World Cup football frenzy last month had more than a billion people glued to their television sets. Some of them were in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, where the chief minister and a few of his cabinet members clustered round a set in the Government Circuit House in monsoon-drenched Cherrapunji to watch the proceedings in faraway Spain, courtesy Bangladesh television. And thereby hangs a tale.Doordarshan has not reached out to the north-east despite all the promises, hence proving once again that the noblest of government schemes for that region have a habit of running into the most elementary problems.While the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry engineers cool their heels and the deadlines draw closer, they have not been allotted the land at Gauhati for building the television studio and transmission facilities that were supposed to bring the north-east on the country’s TV map.The chances of completing this scheme within the Sixth Plan period are remote. However, for some time hopes were raised by a promise of giving the region at least an INSAT-linked network for the time being. But, as is wont, the scheme has remained only on paper, with little indication of implementation.Even if these are taken up, there is little chance of the north-easterners watching the Asiad on Doordarshan. Said Meghalaya’s Congress(I) Chief Minister W.A. Sangma, at a recent high-level conference in Delhi: “We want the television before the Asiad. Our people do not want to see the Games on the Bangladesh TV.”advertisementSanction: The INSAT link plan has also suffered due to the official apathy in Delhi. The North-Eastern Council (NEC) sanctioned Rs 25 crore for the scheme, for setting up studios at the seven state and Union territory capitals in the north-east and 13 transmitters: three in Assam, four in Arunachal Pradesh, two in Meghalaya and one each in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.Meanwhile the I&B Ministry presented a working paper proposing to channelise programmes produced at these studios through a grid at Shillong, besides relaying national network programmes for an hour a day. Although the Planning Commission has given a go-ahead on the plan, there seems to be no sign of action. Sources in the I&B Ministry and the NEC seem certain that the Asiad viewing is out of the reckoning.In spite of this, in border towns like Agartala, Aizawl, Tura (Garo Hills) and even to an extent Shillong, TV showrooms are reporting brisk business. Skylines in Agartala, Aizawl and Tura are already dotted with TV antennae and comprehensive sales and maintenance establishments have come up with no prospect of Doordarshan reaching the region for yearsEncouraging Experience: The Bangladesh viewers have had encouraging experience during the World Cup football on TV – for them it was one way of living through the curfew and violence. It nearly threw the Government out of gear in Meghalaya, where, apart from privately owned TV sets in border villages a set has been installed in the Government Circuit House at Cherrapunji.For days together a majority of Cabinet ministers including the chief minister drove in a procession, braving the typical Cherrapunji monsoon and holding cabinet sittings of a sporting kind. They were joined on the day of the finals by almost 1,000 – leading very nearly to a fracas of the kind common on Indian playing fields.A young entrepreneur who had installed a receiver at Mawphland, about 20 km from Shillong, preferred to dismantle it and bring it back before the finals began rather than accommodate a crowd of drunken supporters of the Assembly speaker. The latter was a special invitee but since Mawphland is his constituency he could not say no to his soccer-crazy supporters.It was good fun till it lasted and now people are making sure they do not have to be in the queues during the Asiad. But this will help only in the border belt. Most of the Assamese cannot catch Bangladesh TV. Experts say the best course is to arrange for community viewing on the site (satellite instructional television experiment) pattern, using mesh-type antennae (each costing Rs 8,000) receiving signals from INSAT-IA.last_img read more

first_imgMarathi blockbuster Sairat famed actress Rinku Rajguru (Prerana M. Rajguru), who became an instant sensation after the hit movie, passed the  SSC class 10 exam will 66.40 per cent.The actor won the 2015 National Film Award – Special Mention for her role in Sairat. The 17-year-old Rinku, as she is famously known across the state and in film circles, scored highest in Hindi (87), followed by her mother tongue Marathi (83) and English (59).  Burdened with superstardom at a very tender age, Rinku couldn’tattend Jijamata Kanya Prashala School, in Akluj, Solapur, andreportedly appeared for SSCE as a private candidate.The Maharashtra Class 10 examination result was announced today, on June 13, by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) at 1 pm.Working from a young age Rinku scored the lowest in Science and Technology (42), preceded by Maths (48) and Social Sciences (50), making it 66.40 per cent out of a total 500 marks, from the Pune division of MSBSHSE. In 2014, when she was a barely 14-year-old school girl, Rinku Rajguru was auditioned and selected for the plum role in Sairat by director Nagraj Manjule.(Read: Maharashtra MSBSHSE SSC Class 10 Result 2017: Declared at mahresult.nic.in)About Sairat The film tells the riveting story of a rich, strong-willed but spoilt girl Archie (Rinku) who falls in love with a low-caste academic and sports star Akash Thosar (Parshya). Both elope to get married and have a child, but ultimately they fall victim to honour killing. The film created history as the biggest blockbuster in Marathi, crossing the Rs 100-crore collections-mark, urging the makers to reward both Rinku and Thosar with a Rs 5 crore bonus.advertisementSairat is now being remade in several Indian languages including Hindi (by Karan Johar), Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. Rinku is expected to portray the role in some of these remakes, of which the Kannada version, Manasu Malligey, released in February 2017.Read: Maharashtra Board Class 10th Result 2017: Pass percentage dips by 0.8 per centRead: AIIMS MBBS Entrance Results 2017: To be declared on June 14 at aiimsexams.orglast_img read more

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