A Moment for Africa

first_imgThe Bab Ighli COP22 Village in Marrakech, Morocco, is expected to play host to several heads of state today, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf included, for the commencement of the High-Level Segment of the conference called the African Action Summit.The segment will take place with an opening ceremony in the presence of the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, UN SG Ban Ki-moon, scores of heads of state and government and participating delegations. Most of the African heads of state are expected. The opening day’s segment will include the reading of the “Call of Marrakech,” which is a call to action that is the result of a highly inclusive consultative process among the parties.Today also marks the first session of the Conference of the Parties, serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1).Following the historic announcement on October 5 by the United Nations that the threshold for ratification of the Paris Agreement had been achieved, leaders are now preparing to get down to discuss actions.It is no coincidence that the world has decided to converge in Morocco at this time because Morocco is one of the most progressive African countries on climate policy and action.In 2011, the kingdom revised its constitution to add the right to a healthy environment and sustainable development. Earlier this year, Morocco opened a massive array of solar energy, which is already serving 160-megawatts of solar power that will be increased to a 580-megawatt capacity.The US$9 billion solar power plant should be ready in 2018 to serve one million Moroccans with clean, sustainable electricity. By 2030, 52 percent of the country’s energy ought to come from renewable energy sources, as outlined in the kingdom’s current energy strategy.Morocco’s renewable energy initiatives are being propelled, partly, by the kingdom’s government phasing out subsidies in favour of solar and other renewable energies. Some 40 percent of the 33 million Moroccans living in the kingdom are currently engaged in agriculture, most of it small scale. These farmers can’t explain whether climate change is “man-made or carbon pollution,” but they certainly feel its effects like their African counterpartsacross the continent.There are also several other African countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia, and others in central Africa, as well as in the south-eastern corner and some parts of West Africa, that are suffering similar consequences of climate change such as severe droughts and reduced plant growth.This is why COP22 has been dubbed by many, especially the Moroccan government, as the “African COP.” COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar has stressed that the voices of the African people desperately need to be heard.And moreover, this is why African leaders who are coming need to chart a better way forward to replicate what Morocco is or has been doing. Officially opening the conference last Monday, Mezouar, also Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation sent a strong message to world leaders calling for more action.Mezouar said the rest of Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, must see the conference as critical with high expectations on climate finance, capacity-building, and technology transfer.He added that one of the major initiatives which will be the focus of COP22 is Morocco’s Adaptation of African Agriculture “AAA.” This initiative is designed to drive climate finance and technology solutions to smallholder farmers across Africa.Another major focus will be on building climate change resilience for poor and vulnerable countries. To this end, the Paris Committee on Capacity Building was established during the previous COP. With recent news that developed countries are on track to provide developing nations with US$100 billion a year to tackle climate change by 2020, climate finance will be a crucial component at these discussions. Meanwhile, Mezouar and UNFCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa held a joint press conference to mark the halfway point of COP22—taking stock of progress at the conference prior to the High Level Segment.Mezouar announced that 105 parties have now deposited their instruments of ratification of the Paris Agreement, constituting an important political signal in the fight against climate change.He also called on the remaining parties to follow suit. At the halfway point of COP22, slated to wrap up on November 18, the COP22 President spoke in a positive tone, saying, “Negotiations are exemplified by a highly inclusive and consultative process among all parties.”UNFCCC’s Espinosa disclosed at the conference that “more than 90 countries have moved from Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to formal Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).” Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General will brief the press just prior to the opening of the High Level Segment of COP 22. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Upbeat Theophane eyes Mexican mission

first_imgAshley Theophane features on the undercard of Ricky Hatton’s return to the ring later this month – after which his next port of call could be Mexico.The Kilburn man will face Chris Truman at the Manchester Arena on November 24, when former world champion Hatton, who is coming out of retirement, takes on Vyacheslav Senchenko.Theophane was expected to meet Venezuela’s Johan Perez, ranked number six by the World Boxing Association, but the deal fell through.The clash with Truman, from Birmingham, will be Theophane’s first fight in the UK since a surprise defeat against Darren Hamilton saw him lose the British light-welterweight title in May.He bounced back with a victory in the United States, where he has been based for much of his career.A showdown with Perez could still happen in the future, while there has also been talk of a fight against Senchenko – himself an ex-world champion.And Lenny Daws, the man he beat to win the British title, recently won the European crown, possibly paving the way for a rematch.But Theophane, who has also boxed in Germany and St Lucia, plans to carry on globe-trotting in 2013, with Mexico a possible destination.He told West London Sport: “Daws now has the EBU belt, so maybe that could happen. I’ve fought on shows by Mick Hennessy, his promoter, in the past.“But to be honest, there aren’t too many fighters in Britain I’d be looking at. I’m more interested in fighting on the international stage.“There was Perez, and maybe that fight could be made. Plus I’ve been speaking to a promoter in Mexico and there could be a chance to fight there.“Then you’ve got Senchenko. If Ricky wins that fight, which I expect him to, then a fight could be made there too.“I’ve fought around the world and have shown I’m willing to travel, and that’s still the case.”Theophane must first dispose of Truman, who lost to Daws on points earlier this year but produced a performance which suggested he should not be taken lightly.“I’ve don’t know that much about him but he lost a decision to Daws and many ringside observers felt he won that,” Theophane said.“That tells you he’s a decent fighter and I’m going to have to be 100% on my game to beat him, which I will be.“I’m looking to get the victory and then push on in 2013. If I can get a knockout then great, but the main thing is getting that victory.” 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Leicester v Chelsea: Drogba & Cech play

first_imgDiego Costa is left out of the Chelsea squad because of his ongoing hamstring injury, so Didier Drogba starts up front, while Petr Cech is in goal. Oscar, who took a knock to the head in Sunday’s draw at Arsenal, is on the bench.Relegation-threatened Leicester City start with striker Jamie Vardy, who had to have a pain-killing injection in his foot to face Burnley on Saturday. Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth, Morgan (c), Albrighton, King, Cambiasso, Drinkwater, Konchesky, Vardy, Ulloa. Subs: Schwarzer, De Laet, Hammond, James, Mahrez, Wood, Kramarić. Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Drogba. Subs: Courtois, Filipe Luis, Zouma, Ake, Mikel, Oscar, Cuadrado. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

West Ham v Chelsea line-ups: Hazard and Matic start, Hammers make one change

first_imgChelsea have named an unchanged side for the first time this season for the trip to West Ham.Jose Mourinho has selected the same team that started the 0-0 Champions League draw in Kiev on Tuesday, meaning Kurt Zouma starts again at right-back.With Pedro injured, Eden Hazard plays, having missed the 2-0 win over Aston Villa last weekend and told to up his workrate.Nemanja Matic, another publicly cricised by Mourinho, also starts.West Ham have to make one change from the team that won at Crystal Palace last weekend.Victor Moses is ineligble to play against his parent club, so Manuel Lanzini comes in for him.West Ham: Adrian; Jenkinson, Tomkins, Collins, Cresswell; Kouyate, Noble; Lanzini, Payet, Zarate; Sakho. Subs: Randolph, Ogbonna, Obiang, Antonio, Carroll, Valencia, Jelavic.Chelsea: Begovic; Zouma, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Ramires; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Costa. Subs: Amelia, Baba, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Oscar, Traore, Falcao.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Darwin Myths Debunked – By Darwinist

first_imgAn aura of legend has enveloped the memory of Charles Darwin.  To many, the white-bearded father of evolutionary theory was like a saint on a white horse, rescuing science from an age of superstition.  The true history is much more interesting.    Darwin Day is coming next February 12.  It marks Darwin’s 200th birthday and also the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origin of Species.  The Darwin Exhibition, a multi-million-dollar display produced by the American Museum of Natural History (09/22/2005), is making the rounds of major museums, culminating in the 2009 Darwin Bicentennial year.    Hiram Caton (Griffith University, Australia) felt compelled to pen “Getting Our History Right” when he saw the “Exhibition’s devotion to the legend at the expense of fact.” Here are six mythbusting theses Caton defended in his article:Publication of the Origin was not a sudden (“revolutionary”) interruption of Victorian society’s confident belief in the traditional theological world-view.The Origin did not “revolutionize” the biological sciences by removing the creationist premise or introducing new principles.The Origin did not revolutionize Victorian public opinion.  The public considered Darwin and Spencer to be teaching the same lesson, known today as “Social Darwinism”, which, though fashionable, never achieved dominance.Many biologists expressed significant disagreements with Darwin’s principles.Darwin made little or no contribution to the renovation of theology.  His public statements on Providence were inconsistent and the liberal reform of theology was well advanced by 1850.The so-called “Darwinian revolution” was, at the public opinion level, the fashion of laissez-faire economic beliefs backed by Darwin and Spencer’s inclusion of the living world in the economic paradigm.Where did Hiram Caton print this Darwin-deflating piece?  Not in a creationist magazine, but in Evolutionary Psychology.1  (See 06/06/2008.)  He is no creationist; he just worries that distorting publicity can backfire.  “As a cadre who bear a public trust to get the facts right,” he ended, “we are obliged to correct misrepresentations directed to schools at a time when evolution is under challenge.  Besides, science history that includes the quirks, baseless claims, cheating, and battles is more engaging than the sanitized history meant to instill unquestioning acceptance.”1.  Hiram Caton, “Getting Our History Right: Six Errors about Darwin and His Influence,” Evolutionary Psychology, www.epjournal.net – 2007. 5(1): 52-69.What, exactly, are we supposed to be celebrating next year?  Ineptitude?  The gullibility of the public?  The power of fashionable ideas to distort history?  The inability of reasonable scientists with their significant disagreements to stop bad ideas at their onset?  Darwin Day can still be a worthy holiday if we make these the lessons.  We agree with Caton; first, we have to get the facts right.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Antibiotic Resistance Is Shared, Not Evolved

first_imgGrowing evidence undermines commonly-cited examples of evolution happening right before our eyes.It’s becoming increasingly clear that organisms are in the business of preserving their information, not monkeying with it. Phys.org presented new work on “A catalog of DNA replication proteins,” describing a whopping 593 proteins that are involved in replicating DNA to make sure the copies are accurate.Maintenance of genome integrity—and prevention of diseases such as cancer—requires complete and faithful replication of the genome every cell division cycle.Published March 1, 2019Evolutionists glibly present genes as playthings of some mystical Tinkerer that cobbles things together to see what comes up. One example they have often cited is the “evolution of antibiotic resistance.” In creation-evolution debates, some evolutionists have used the “evolution of antibiotic resistance” as prime evidence for evolution happening right before our eyes. The argument usually goes that Darwinism has no problem inventing new functions from scratch. Actually, as Michael Behe showed in Darwin Devolves, such “evolution” involves breaking or blunting genes, like desperate sailors tossing things overboard to keep from sinking in a storm.Integrity with GenerosityNow, we are finding more and more that cells not only preserve their own information, but share information that can help other members of the species – or even members of other species – survive a crisis. That’s not evolution the way Darwin described it. It’s like sharing books with friends instead of writing new books.This microbe is spreading antibiotic resistance to other bacteria  (The Conversation). Most people have heard that antibiotic resistance is a growing threat, compromising our most valuable medicines for preventing infection. Sali Morris and James Horton recall the rise of a superbug called MRSA, a bacterium resistant to all our best antibiotics. Doctors have run out of options to defeat this threat, and are working feverishly to keep it from showing up in hospitals. Where did it come from?Scientists would later uncover that rather than acquiring resistance through a simple mutation, the MRSA had instead been gifted a huge chunk of new DNA. Within this string of donated genetic code were the instructions for proteins that would keep the bacteria safe from the destructive work of the antibiotic. MRSA had been dealt a winning hand, but where had this DNA come from?Morris and Horton say that a member of our own gut microbiota, Enterococcus faecalis, already has genes for antibiotic resistance. It only becomes a problem when all the other gut bacteria are swept away by antibiotics. Then, E. faecalis proliferates, because it is “intrinsically equipped with an arsenal of natural resistance mechanisms within its DNA, often allowing it to survive.” Not only that, it shares its knowledge!When humans come together we often exchange ideas through language. But when bacteria come together they can exchange information through DNA-encoded instructions. This is known as horizontal gene transfer, where copies of DNA move from one cell to another. Unfortunately, E. faecalis and its superbug compatriots have all the best information to share, information that allows them to survive antibiotics.Listeria bacteria under the microscope.These “nightmare bacteria” that resist all the antibiotics we have, an article on Science Daily says, are costing a fortune in efforts to fight. Doctors see a “chilling commentary” on the future of antibiotics. Perhaps the problem was that nobody understood the genetics of assumed evolutionary processes at the time penicillin was discovered in 1928. Antibiotics were viewed as “magic bullets” that fungi had evolved that would always neutralize infection. Now, seeing the bigger ecological picture, we’re watching sophisticated DNA-controlled machinery that can move between organisms, maintaining homeostasis in natural conditions. Hospitals are very un-natural environments where that DNA can get out of control, multiply, and cause harm.Secretion Systems: Weapons, or Sharing Tools?The cholera bacterium can steal up to 150 genes in one go (Science Daily). Some germs don’t only share information; they take it! The cholera bacterium, Vibrio cholerae, uses its Type VI Secretion System (T6SS) – a molecular machine a bit like a spear – to nab DNA from its host. Scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO) observed it hauling in 150,000 base pairs of information.V. cholerae uses its T6SS to compete with other bacteria in its aquatic environment and acquire new genetic material, which the pathogen absorbs and exchanges against some parts of its own genome. This mode of “horizontal gene transfer” leads to rapid evolution and pathogen emergence.They call this “evolution” but it’s more like theft of existing knowledge, like a person stealing books from a library. One of the researchers concludes that this method of sharing information might be very common in bacteria: “It suggests that environmental bacteria might share a common gene pool, which could render their genomes highly flexible and the microbes prone to quick adaption.” Nothing evolved that was not already present.Architecture of the mycobacterial type VII secretion system (Nature). The secretion systems bacteria use to share information can be very sophisticated. One of them, the Type III, has famously been compared to the bacterial flagellum, but is different – and it appeared after the flagellum, evolutionists confess, instead of as a transitional form. In this preprint, scientists share new findings about the Type VII secretion system, which “differs markedly from other known secretion machines.” Its coupling protein “comprises a flexible array of four ATPase domains [i.e., domains that use ATP for energy], which are linked to the membrane through a stalk domain.” Perhaps it’s time to see the broader ecological purpose of these sophisticated mechanisms of information transfer rather than view them only as human pathogens, which they become when out of place in the environment.Conservation: Where’s the Evolution?Bacterial twist to an antiviral defence (Nature News and Views, 8 October 2019). Karen Maxwell, determined to preserve evolution in her story, says “The discovery of an antiviral defence system in bacteria that shares some components with a key antiviral defence pathway in animals provides insight into how this important response might have evolved.” Might have? Maybe it didn’t evolve. Maybe scientists have found another mechanism for information sharing.Humans face a daily threat of infection by harmful viruses. To repel them, our immune system mounts an immediate response following invasion that depends on its ability to recognize general characteristics indicating that viruses are foreign entities. This type of reaction, generated by an ancient branch of the immune system known as innate immunity, occurs in all plants and animals. Many genes involved in innate immune responses are evolutionarily conserved and encode proteins that are used for defence purposes in different species. Writing in Nature, Cohen et al. report that some bacterial species fight viral infections by using an innate immune mechanism that is related to one of the central components of innate immunity in animals called the cGAS–STING pathway. Their findings reveal that this crucial antiviral defence system in animals might have its evolutionary roots in bacteria.Notice that no evolution really occurred, because the system is “evolutionarily conserved” [see Sophoxymoronia] between very different organisms. Her story, built on the Stuff Happens Law, implies that things evolve except when they don’t. Winston Ewert’s Dependency Graph Model, based on intelligent design concepts (see ENV), explains why a designed system would re-use software modules in different organisms.It’s a Gas! Communication NetworksPlants alert neighbors to threats using common ‘language’ (Science Daily). Here’s another amazing method of information sharing, this time between plants in the forest. Rather than sharing DNA via horizontal gene transfer, plants share information through chemical messages called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Cornell scientists studied this method of information transfer in goldenrods in a northeastern ecosystem.The big finding is what Kessler calls “open-channel communication.” When plants are under attack, their smells — carried by VOCs — become more similar.“So, they kind of converge on the same language, or the same warning signs, to share the information freely,” Kessler said. “The exchange of information becomes independent of how closely related the plant is to its neighbor.”It’s as if the whole community works together for mutual benefit. This picture is very different from Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” mentality. Plants in a forest of different species would not be able to use this information unless they had (1) the genetic systems to create the VOC molecules on one end, and (3) the genetic systems to understand their meaning on the other end. Such a system of communication makes sense if designed with foresight, as Dr Marcos Eberlin has argued in his book, Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose.Dr Eberlin, a world-class Brazilian scientist, can be heard explaining his premise with examples on several episodes of the ID the Future podcast. He has hit on a good way to explain ID concepts in ways people can “get” easily, and has many examples in the podcasts and in the book. Remember that Darwinism has NO foresight at all. (Visited 477 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Interview: Building Healthy Military Communities Coordinators from Florida

first_imgFor this Friday Field Notes, we interviewed Lynn Brannon, Florida State Coordinator for Building Healthy Military Communities, Captain Amy Green, Florida State Family Program Director. Check out the audio file below to hear the interview!last_img

Houdini 14: Visual Effects and Animation on Steroids

first_imgAhead of the product release in January 2015, a new demo shows off the insane capabilities of Houdini 14.If you’re not already familiar, Houdini is a professional VFX/modeling/animation application designed to give users the ability to create amazingly realistic effects in less render time that it would take in similar 3D programs. With multiple options in the compositing, animation and modeling space, Houdini 14 is one contender worth checking out.The video outlines a few of the new features that will be included in the next update, Houdini 14:As you can see from the video there are a lot of great features to get excited about including:Position Based DynamicsSand SimulatorsWire SimulationEfficient StackingSoft Body DynamicsBead StackingCloth DynamicsUpdated UINew AnimatorCustom Python PanelsPre-selection HighlightingGroup SelectionMantra RenderArtist Controlled Grooming toolsCrowd DynamicsPricing and AvailabilityHoudini 14 will be released in January of 2015. In the meantime you can download either a free trial of Houdini FX or a free non-commercial version called Houdini Apprentice.Are you excited about Houdini 14? Share in the comments below.Resources:New Features in Houdini 14 – SideFXSneak Peak at Houdini 14 – Lester Bankslast_img read more

Young people should come into sports administration: Maken

first_imgSports Federations should not be headed by politicians but by those having sports background, the new Sports Minister Ajay Maken said on Wednesday, vowing to work in this direction on a priority basis.He said he will try to “firmly convince” the sports bodies to ensure that younger people take control of the federations for the upliftment of sports in the country.”We need to ensure that sportpersons get more responsibility in sports bodies. I will see to it that it happens”, Maken said after he was given independent charge of the Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry.Maken, who will take over on Thursday, said that he was of the view that politicians should not head the sports bodies unless they are young and have the background in that particular discipline.”If age is on their side and they have played the game, then only politicians should head the federations of any sports”, said the young Minister, adding that he would carry forward his predecessor M S Gill’s ideas in this context.When referred to some federations where old people were still refusing to go, he said he will try to firmly convince them rather than fight about the need to give chance to youngsters.About the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the Commonwealth Games, Maken said that he would like the investigations to get over as soon as possible. “If anybody is found guilty, he should be punished severely. We want to move ahead”.Maken said he will work for promotion of sports in the country and lay special emphasis on scouting talent in the rural areas as his aim would be to ensure that India gets more medals in the 2012 London Olympics.advertisement- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Business Blog: What Is The Best Time Of Day To Post?

first_imgI posted some thoughts of mine previously that were triggered by some statistics from Technorati, a leader in tracking, rating, and searching for the blogosphere.  I relooked at their statistics with the goal of sharing some additional thoughts around . Originally published Nov 10, 2006 12:19:00 PM, updated October 18 2015 starting a business blog I’m curious to hear if anyone else out there has seen similarly good results around blogs posted around 11am… Further evidence that 11am is the best time to post comes from HubSpot’s  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack we use to find all kinds of  interesting correlations between activities and results. For example, in the attached view, our best 5 posts (most visitors) were A (10:32am), G (11:39am), I (10:58am), N (11:32am), and Q (11:00am). Our worst 5 posts were C (6:11pm), D (1:38pm), H (1:46pm), O (12:30pm), and P (3:56pm). The five best were all within 39 minutes of 11am while the five worst were all in the afternoon. This feels like an arbitrage opportunity to me. the right time of day analytics tool — Brian Halligan. I often have wondered and have tried to test a bit when the best time to post a blog article was to increase your likelihood of getting into the social bookmarking sites and hitting some kind of tipping point.  Our readership is all over the world, but the most readers are on the east and west coast of the United States.  Based on what I see in the Technorati graph (horizontal axis is PST), I think 8am PST (11am EST) is the best time to post.  It is at a daily posting low for English language sites, so it will not get as much competition, but it also overlaps with the morning of both east and west coasters who I suspect are in the habit of reading their blog entries in the morning. to post a blog article with my cofounder, but I figured they were relevant to anyone out therelast_img read more