Eyesight: More Reasons to Be Thankful

first_imgSo much is going on in your body when you look at that sliced turkey and raise it to your salivating mouth, a human mind can only fathom bits and pieces of the story.  Everyone knows the eye is the quintessential example of a complex organ, but Current Biology1 focused on one of the wonders that occurs after the signal leaves the optic nerve.    Alexander Thiele (U of Newcastle upon Tyne) started by saying that we move our eyes more often than our heart beats.  Our eyes constantly jerk from side to side, without our even noticing.  This means the brain has to constantly stabilize a shaky input.  How does our brain cope with the constantly changing scene?When you watch a music video you are inundated with a seemingly incoherent and rapid stream of visual scenes, changing on average every 2.3 seconds.  Such a rate of change may appear fast to an old fashioned television consumer, but it is still about seven times slower than the rate of scene change imposed by rapid eye movements on the visual system.  While the former may be tiring, the latter goes seemingly unnoticed.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Why does the eye make these constant movements, called saccades?  “Saccades ensure that an attended object is foveated for high acuity processing,” Thiele writes.  But how does the visual center in the brain, like a digital screen made of neurons, give us the impression that our field of view is steady?  There are two possibilities.  The conventional view is that the brain has enough processing overhead to constantly interpret the scene.  Another, newer view is that the neurons compensate for the shifts in a pre-processing step.  Neurons may be synchronized to the eye muscles so that they are prepared for the changes, kind of like a screen synchronized to move in step with a vibrating projector.  Here it is in scientific jargon:Of particular importance for such adjustments may be neurons in the lateral intraparietal, frontal, and even early visual areas which shift their receptive fields shortly before the occurrence of a saccadic eye movement, causing an internal re-mapping of visual space.  These neurons signal that a saccade will bring an object into their field of view, even if that object has been removed from sight just before or during the saccade.  Such a re-mapping could result in predictive adjustments in early cortical areas that prepare for scene changes, thereby minimizing their negative impact, and maximizing rapid information processing following a saccade.  This requires a substantial amount of trans-saccadic integration.Experimental tests so far have been unable to determine which method the brain uses.  Either way, it’s amazing; these adjustments are made in fractions of a second.  “Psychophysical studies have shown that human perceptual abilities are exquisite and extraordinarily fast when extracting information during rapid serial visual presentation of natural scenes,” Thiele said.  His only mention of evolution was after noting the “surprising” evidence that our brain can detect and classify images even in the near absence of attention.  “This suggests that the human visual system has evolved to rapidly extract information from highly variable natural scenes….” 1Alexander Thiele, “Vision: A Brake on the Speed of Sight,” Current Biology, Volume 15, Issue 22, 22 November 2005, Pages R917-R919, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2005.10.057Just set aside that little piece of evolutionary fat, so you won’t lose your appetite.  As you visually scan that plate full of colorful, fragrant, tasty food, think about this one of all those senses taking in those cues.  You have a high-tech, integrated, super-fast, high-resolution video recording, processing, and display system, and it even has image stabilization.  “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both” (Proverbs 20:12).  Give thanks, and enjoy.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

How Not to Prove Positive Selection

first_imgErase all that evidence for positive natural selection in the genes you’ve read about.  It’s all misleading confusion based on “certain poorly conceived statistical methods,” argues Austin L. Hughes, an evolutionary biologist at the University of South Carolina.  Writing a commentary in PNAS,1 he accused, “Thousands of papers are published every year claiming evidence of adaptive evolution on the basis of computational analyses alone, with no evidence whatsoever regarding the phenotypic effects of allegedly adaptive mutations.”    Why would Hughes make such a damning statement among colleagues of the National Academy of Sciences, who are overwhelmingly pro-evolution?  The reason: he wanted to praise a new study that does it right.  In the same issue of PNAS,2 a study by Yokoyama is “solidly grounded in biology,” Hughes said.  Instead of presenting “more of the same” evidence of positive selection without tying it to adaptation at the phenotypical level, this paper related changes in visual pigment genes to actual benefits for the organism.    More on that later.  What’s interesting about evolutionary claims in perspective is that Hughes presented this paper as if it were a rarity, a first step in the right direction after decades of error.  “Sequences of DNA provide documentary evidence of the evolutionary past undreamed of by pioneers such as Darwin and Wallace, but their potential as sources of evolutionary information is still far from being realized,” he began.  “A major hindrance to progress has been confusion regarding the role of positive (Darwinian) selection, i.e., natural selection favoring adaptive mutations.”  That’s when he criticized the methods in “thousands of papers” that rely on “certain poorly conceived statistical methods” that fail to show how the genetic changes relate to adaptive benefits to the organism in its ecological niche.    Hughes described how the typical paper uses an “unwarranted generalization” from one classic case in which relative frequencies of synonymous and nonsynonymous mutations3 seemed to be related to selectional pressure.  Since then, evolutionists have recklessly applied instances of dN > dS as evidence of positive selection.  This assumption is “demonstrably false,” Hughes argued, because due to the stochastic nature of mutations, such inequalities are just as likely to occur by chance, without any adaptive value.  “Yet, despite their shaky foundations, numerous publications have used these methods as the basis for claims of positive selection at the molecular level.”  In fact, using the Yokoyama et al paper to test the codon-based methods and Bayesian methods so often used in the literature, Hughes found them to be “100% off-target.”  The mutations putatively showing positive selection, in other words, bore no relation to the ones Yokoyama et al found to be adaptive.  “These results support the theoretical prediction that, because of the faulty logic in their underlying assumptions, codon-based focus mainly on statistical artifacts rather than true cases of positive selection.”  Has he just falsified “thousands of papers … published each year”?    Hughes is not done with his bombshell barrage yet.  Next, he criticized Neo-Darwinism itself – at least some widely-held assumptions about its record in the genes:Contrary to a widespread impression, natural selection does not leave any unambiguous “signature” on the genome, certainly not one that is still detectable after tens or hundreds of millions of years.  To biologists schooled in Neo-Darwinian thought processes, it is virtually axiomatic that any adaptive change must have been fixed as a result of natural selection.  But it is important to remember that reality can be more complicated than simplistic textbook scenarios.Adaptive change can occur by simple genetic drift, for instance.  Hughes suggests that some of the genomic changes for visual pigments occurred by this method.  But then, how is an evolutionary biologist to find genetic evidence for positive selection at all?  Hughes is merciless in his conclusion:In recent years the literature of evolutionary biology has been glutted with extravagant claims of positive selection on the basis of computational analyses alone, including both codon-based methods and other questionable methods such as the McDonald-Kreitman test.  This vast outpouring of pseudo-Darwinian hype has been genuinely harmful to the credibility of evolutionary biology as a science.  It is to be hoped that the work of Yokoyama et al. will help put an end to these distressing tendencies.  By incorporating experimental evidence regarding the phenotypic effects of reconstructed evolutionary changes, this study sets a new standard for studies of adaptive evolution at the molecular level.  In addition, by providing evidence that non-Darwinian and Darwinian processes are likely to be involved in the evolution of adaptive phenotypes, it points the way toward a new, more realistic appreciation of the evolutionary process.Since Hughes put such a high value on the paper by Yokoyama et al,2 treating it as if it were the guiding light among thousands of papers lacking credibility, it bears taking a closer look.  The authors started immediately with assumptions based on evolution that they admitted are difficult to prove:Vertebrate ancestors appeared in a uniform, shallow water environment, but modern species flourish in highly variable niches.  A striking array of phenotypes exhibited by contemporary animals is assumed to have evolved by accumulating a series of selectively advantageous mutations.  However, the experimental test of such adaptive events at the molecular level is remarkably difficult.The authors referred to the evolution of visual pigments as “the deepest body of knowledge linking differences in specific genes to differences in ecology and to the evolution of species.”  This makes their subject matter the best case available for testing evolution with molecular methods.  They extracted rhodopsins from 5 deep-sea fish and compared them to 35 types of animals.  As Hughes had indicated, they showed that the standard codon-based, statistical inferences to positive selection are misleading.  This was a major emphasis in their paper.  In fact, four of their five major conclusions related to how traditional methods of assessing positive selection can be misleading.    Then, using mutagenesis experiments, they purported to show that adaptive sensitivity to particular wavelengths of light in specific environments “evolved on at least 18 separate occasions.  These highly environment-specific adaptations seem to have occurred largely by amino acid replacements at 12 sites, and most of those at the remaining 191 (~94%) sites have undergone neutral evolution.”  In other words, evidence for genetic drift (neutral changes) swamped evidence for positive selection by 94%.  But even then, they started by assuming that the “ancestral” rhodopsin, which they “engineered” using evolutionary assumptions and mutagenesis, started with a maximal sensitivity to 500 nm light.    Clearly, Cambrian-age ancestral rhodopsin is not available for study.  The ancestral rhodopsin on which their conclusions depend, therefore, was manufactured by them in the lab, based on their assumptions of evolutionary ancestry, millions of years, and the positions of animals in a phylogenetic tree, assuming the rhodopsins had diversified by natural selection.  The reasoning seems circular.  Even so, genetic drift was far more evident than positive selection.  And, to fit the data, they had to conclude that genotypes appeared and reappeared multiple times without any particular trend.  They said, “To complicate the matter further, evolutionary changes are not always unidirectional and ancestral phenotypes may reappear during evolution.”    Since no clear evolutionary pattern became evident without evolutionary assumptions,4 therefore, it is difficult to see how this paper could be judged any more objective than the thousands of papers Hughes criticized.1.  Austin L. Hughes, “The origin of adaptive phenotypes,” (Commentary, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published September 3, 2008, doi:10.1073/pnas.0807440105.2.  Yokoyama, Tada, Zhang and Britt, “Elucidation of phenotypic adaptations: Molecular analyses of dim-light vision proteins in vertebrates,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published September 3, 2008, doi:10.1073/pnas.0802426105.3.  Nonsynonymous mutations in a gene change the amino acid in the resulting protein.  Synonymous mutations do not, because some some of the 64 possible DNA codons have “synonyms” that code for the same amino acid (there are only 20 amino acids in most proteins).4.  E.g, notice the evolutionary assumptions in this excerpt from the paper: “The ancestors of bony fish most likely used rhodopsins with [lambdamax-s (maximum sensitivity wavelength)] of ~500 nm (Fig. 1).  What types of light environment did these ancestors have?  The origin of many early vertebrate ancestors is controversial [i.e., the Cambrian explosion], but that of bony fish ancestors is clear [referring to a 1988 text on Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution].  The fossil records from late Cambrian and early Ordovician, ~500 Mya, show that the ancestors of bony fish lived in shallow, near-shore marine environments (30�32).  Therefore, pigment a must have functioned as a surface rhodopsin and its lambda-max would be consistent with that role.  Interpolating from the ancestral and contemporary rhodopsins, it is most likely that pigments b�d and f�h (lambdamax ~ 501�502 nm) were also surface rhodopsins, pigment i (496 nm) was an intermediate rhodopsin, and pigments e, j, and k (480�485 nm) were deep-sea rhodopsins (Fig. 1).  From their predicted lambdamax-s, it is also likely that pigments q, r, s, and v were intermediate rhodospins [sic] and pigment u was a deep-sea rhodopsin (Fig. 1)…. Based on the four types of dim-light vision, vertebrates show six different evolutionary paths (Fig. 1)….”  Later, they gave a Lamarckian description: “When moving into new dim-light environments, vertebrate ancestors adjusted their dim-light vision by modifying their rhodopsins.”Wow.  The damage to evolutionist credibility from these two papers can hardly be overstated.  Hughes just wiped away stacks and stacks of papers that Ken Miller and Eugenie Scott might have piled up in a courtroom to demonstrate the overwhelming evidence for evolution, then he held up a very weak paper as the best example yet.  We looked into that paper and found nothing but evolutionary assumptions buttressing evolutionary assumptions.    Consider how weak their best evidence is.  They were talking about animals that already had eyes, retinas, optic nerves, brains and all the other organs and functions that support vision.  The only parameter that they studied was the wavelengths of light to which particular rhodopsin molecules are maximally sensitive, between 482 and 505 billionths of a meter.  But as we know from many phenomena in biology, compensating mechanisms are often at work.  It would be impossible to prove that a fish with a rhodopsin most sensitive to 489 nm would be any better evolved than one with a rhodopsin most sensitive to 502 nm, because the ganglion cells or optic nerve might compensate for the slight shift in sensitivity.  All we observe is that living fishes today are marvelously adapted to their particular ecological niches.    We’re only talking about virtually indistinguishable shades of green light, folks!  Are you impressed with the creative power of natural selection?  Are you impressed with scientists’ ability to demonstrate evolution at the molecular level?  During the hundreds of millions of years in which animals supposedly evolved from trilobites to philosophers, the best evolutionists can show are slight changes to sensitivity to green light in just 12 positions in one protein molecule out of the thousands of exquisitely-adapted enzymes essential for vision.  Even then, the “evolution” demonstrated is predominantly from mutational drift, with no particular functional trend, and the changes (we are told) appeared, disappeared, and reappeared 18 times.  At the most optimistic, the changes they’re talking about are microevolutionary.  Even staunch young-earth creationists would have no difficulty believing that changes this small might occur in a few thousand years.    Nothing the evolutionists have produced as evidence for natural selection (after the purge of papers by Hughes) is sufficient to distinguish between creation vs evolution models.  Should evolution be the only view sanctified in the schools?  Hughes was right on when he said that the “vast outpouring of pseudo-Darwinian hype has been genuinely harmful to the credibility of evolutionary biology as a science.”  He did nothing to repair the damage, and by pointing to an insipid paper as the best example yet after decades of hype, he actually made it worse.    This effectively undermines everything the evolutionists have told us about divining evolutionary history in the genes (e.g., 06/13/2003, 04/30/2005).  Where else could we see it?  In the fossil record?  Ha! (07/21/2003), 05/21/2004, 05/10/2008).    Undoubtedly the Darwin Party will spin this situation in their favor, by making it an illustration of the progress of triumphalist materialist secularist science.  For 8 years now, CEH has been exposing the charades behind the curtain where Charles the Extravagant, the Wizard of Flaws, and his loyal munchkins dupe people into thinking that evidence for evolution is overwhelming.  This is a prime example.  Now you know.  Get the word out!  Expose the charlatan!  We need to get out of this mythical fantasyland (09/04/2008) and back to the real world!  The Kansas School Board is counting on you!You’re off to shame the Wizard, the Blunderful Wizard of FlawsYou’ll find he is a Wimp of a Wiz if ever a Wiz there wasIf ever, oh ever, a Wimp there was the Wizard of Flaws is one becauseBecause, because, because, because, becauseBecause of the blunderful spins he doesYou’re off to shame the wizard, the Blunderful Wizard of Flaws.Use your brain.  Take courage.  Have a heart.  And bark, Toto, bark!(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

World Cup show of force in Sandton

first_img18 May 2010The centre of Sandton, Johannesburg’s financial district, came to a brief standstill on Monday as thousands of police officers, soldiers and emergency personnel paraded on the streets in an impressive show of readiness ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™.Office workers clustered at windows and building rooftops to catch a glimpse of the action as hundreds of police vehicles, assisted by helicopters, “invaded” the central business district.More than 3 000 police officers and an estimated 200 vehicles were used for the exercise.While it was only a security simulation, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the exercise sent a clear message that the police would leave no stone unturned to ensure the safety of every South African and visitor during the World Cup.The exercise was one of many planned throughout the country in the period leading to the World Cup to test the ability of the country’s security forces to respond to emergencies and potential acts of terrorism.Various units, including a Special Task Force team, a Technical Unit, and Flying and Mountain Squad units participated in the exercises in order to ensure that every security detail was covered.Mthethwa said that while the country’s law enforcement were under no illusion as to the magnitude of the World Cup, South Africa was not under pressure to prove anything to the world.“We have nothing to prove, we have hosted many big sporting events in this country. But what we are doing here today is to say that we shall spare neither strength nor efforts to ensure the safety of our visitors and all South Africans and everyone else who will be in our country,” Mthethwa said.At the same time, Mthethwa urged all those who would be visiting the country to be vigilant and exercise caution as the police could not be at every place all the time. “We are urging you to use all the available resources to blow the whistle on crime and help the police to ensure that everyone is safe,” Mthethwa said.Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele, who earlier received a detailed security plan for the event, gave an assurance that police would use the best intelligence gathering methods available to prevent any act of terrorism during the tournament.“We are aware that terrorists like to use international events to register their selfish messages, and we would like to assure you that we are ready to squeeze them,” Cele said.Mthethwa said the security plan had received approval from the government and Fifa and would be implemented in full throughout the 30-day tournament.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

SA rape statistics ‘unacceptably high’

first_img8 September 2011 South Africa’s war on rape is far from being won and more attention needs to be given to beat the scourge, says Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. Speaking at the release of the country’s annual crime statistics in Pretoria on Thursday, Mthethwa said the number of reported rapes in 2010/11 was unacceptably high. Even though sexual offences overall had decreased by 3.1%, and had been on a general decline for the past two years, the minister said he was concerned about rape. “Rape increased from 55 097 to 56 272 cases and we cannot seriously say we are winning the war against rape,” Mthethwa said. Police were taking various steps to address these figures. “The re-introduction of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units through the country over the past financial year provides us with the platform on which to ensure crimes against women and children are adequately addressed by police,” he said. The minister noted that rapes were often under-reported, adding that continued efforts to improve the country’s criminal justice system could result in more rapes being reported by victims. He stressed that the eradication of violence that targets women and children was one of his ministry’s key priorities. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Female and rural farmers focus of agro-processing conference

first_imgInsight into the training offered to emerging farmers at Buhle Farmers’ Academy, as well as the potential of indigenous crops to bring food security to African farmers were hot topics at the Agro-Processing Africa Conference.Zamo Shongwe of the non-governmental organisation Buhle Farmers’ Academy is a speaker at the Agro-Processing Africa Conference on 29 and 30 November 2016 in Centurion. (Image: Melissa Javan)Melissa JavanThe story of the success of the Buhle Farmers’ Academy was told on the first day of the Agro-Processing Africa Conference held at Irene Farm in Centurion, Gauteng.Delegates heard how the academy grew from training 50 students in 2000 to 500 a year by 2016. These students were trained to manage their own farming businesses.Discussions at the conference, which took place on 29 and 30 November, explored various initiatives relating to agro-processing on the continent. It also examined the challenges in the sector. One of the topics was “The benefits of capacity building in African agriculture”. It was said that more women should be business owners or in managerial positions, because women paid great attention to detail.Business strategist Maureen Bandama says women should not only be labourers in the agro-processing sector, but business owners and in managerial positions. (Image: Melissa Javan)Maureen Bandama, a business strategist, was the first speaker. She spoke about agro-processing, saying it was not only about processed foods, but about everything you saw around you.For example, a shop owner decides on the number of T-shirts he wants to order for the year. He then has to talk to the seamstress and clothing designer about his T-shirts. The person who creates the materials for the seamstress to use is also involved in this process.In addition, Bandama spoke about the importance of empowering women in farming.Maureen Bandama says 60-80% women globally are landholders, only 15% women in Sub-Saharan Africa #APAC16 @Brand_SA— Melissa Javan (@melissa_nel) November 29, 2016Agricultural Project Consultant, @MaureenBandama: It’s an injustice that women are unable to participate in agro-processing #womeninag— Farmer’s Weekly SA (@FarmersWeeklySA) November 29, 2016.@MaureenBandama: women should work towards management & entrepreneurial positions in agro-processing instead of general labour.— Farmer’s Weekly SA (@FarmersWeeklySA) November 29, 2016Buhle Farmers’ AcademySince 2000, the Buhle Farmers’ Academy has trained more than 4 000 emerging farmers. The academy’s Zamo Shongwe said that the board agreed to take in 50 people in 2000. “We didn’t have a Farmers’ Support Office then. This meant that after the courses were done, the graduates could not have the support of farmers in the field nor adjust their business plans.“A lot of them also didn’t understand why certain things were done,” she explained.“Nine years ago we implemented the Farmers’ Support Office. Now if the graduates go home and their community gives reasons to change things, they come back to us to talk about that and there is provision for them to adjust their business plan.”The office lends support to graduates following their courses, and they can return there to ask for help.The Buhle Farmers’ Academy takes in 500 emerging farmers a year to learn about farming of crops and livestock such as vegetables, maize and poultry. (Image to illustrate: Brand South Africa)Buhle had built partnerships with a number of farmers in the vicinity of its campuses, said Shongwe. Through these, students were able to practise their theory by training on these farms.Those who planned to go into poultry farming, for example, had to check up on baby chickens. “You have to check up on baby chickens every two hours, because they are very fragile. They can die of things like suffocation if some of them get on top of each other. There must always be light where they are, so the student learns about making use of solar energy.”Only 500 students are selected for the academy each year. Each student must at least have a Grade 9 school qualification. Each student must also have access to land, even if they don’t own the land.Studies are done on scholarship. Many corporates and individuals pay for a student to take up a course at Buhle. “We then ask the donor if they can sponsor more than one student,” said Shongwe. Buhle also gets funding.Of the academy’s female graduates she said: “Women go back to their communities and share the information they have learned. Many of the men tend to keep the information for themselves.”Using indigenous crops for food securityAdeoluwa Adetunjo, of the agricultural services and food processing company AFGRI, spoke about indigenous crops used by Africans. Food insecurity could be solved if we made use of this produce, he said.Adetunji: Crops that are an answer to food security issues in Africa include Marula, Teff etc @FarmersWeeklySA @AFGRI1 pic.twitter.com/2gOgHvOwzm— Siyanda Sishuba (@ZaSiyanda) November 29, 2016The topic of Adetunjo’s talk was “Unlocking potentials of Africa’s indigenous food crops”. He focused on cassava, a crop grown in his home country of Nigeria. It is produced in 24 of the country’s 36 states.Besides processing cassava to create food products, the crop’s peel could be used for feeding animals.Adetunjo explained that the peels were grated three times before being processed. They were turned into a flour-like mixture for certain farm animals.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

Surf and turf teenager

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As a 15-year-old Blake Hanko enjoys the best of both worlds growing up here in Ohio — at least for an outdoors-minded teenager. The Erie County 4-H member spends his summers hanging around his family’s Cranberry Creek Marina, located on the shore of Lake Erie just west of Huron, in the heart of some of the best fishing the Great Lakes has to offer. I have boated and fished out of the marina several times in the past couple of seasons and have enjoyed getting to know the folks who operate the popular “mom & pop” boat business — Bob and Susan Hanko — and have come to envy Blake’s lifestyle and demeanor.At Cranberry Creek, when he’s not helping out his mom or sisters in the bait shop or his dad on the boat docks, he’s netting water snakes or casting for smallmouth bass and perch from the beach and breakwalls of the marina — or any manner of adventures a kid can find in such a setting. Hanko even has his own 16-foot outboard-powered boat, which he’s been puttering around in since he was 12 after taking his watercraft operator’s class, and is an accomplished boat handler and angler.When the teenager isn’t “messing about” with the boats and the marina, the balance of Blake’s free time is spent on the family farm, some eight miles inland. In the fall and winter, when he’s not tending to his 10 head of market steers or his hay business, he’s hunting deer or taking target practice to hone his shooting skills. This spring Blake planted a garden, which will keep the lad busy and the family in fresh vegetables this summer, and perhaps offer something additional for him to show at the Erie County Fair.As a kid growing up in suburbia where I had to beg a car ride to the nearest fishable water and discharging a BB gun in my own yard put me on the wrong side of the law, I can only imagine what life would have been like growing with one foot in the country and the other in a boat.As for Blake, he doesn’t appear to take any of it for granted. He has a great work ethic, appreciates what he’s got, and has his head on straight. At least from this parent’s perspective.  Mom and Dad may beg to differ…last_img read more

WATCH: DQ Osborne Makes Crazy Pick Against Kansas

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. DeQuinton Osborne — who shall heretofore be referred to as “The Blizzard” — had an outrageous pick against Montrell Cozart in the second half of OSU’s game on Saturday in Lawrence. He almost scored himself a Fat Guy TD but came up just short (even though he obliterated some poor Kansas offensive player). There’s a human being under there. (via @sarahcphipps) #okstate pic.twitter.com/DF230O8tEC— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) October 22, 2016Two questions here. First, does Osborne have better hands than all of the secondary or just most of it? Two, why was a 310-pound DT 10 yards off the line? Either way, enjoy the show.last_img read more

Kansas State Is a Three-Point Favorite Over OSU, And Here Is Why

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. There was a ripple of surprise on Sunday as Kansas State opened up as a three-point (or 2.5-point) favorite over Oklahoma State depending on where you get your gambling information. KSU was coming off a narrow 31-26 win over Iowa State (!) and OSU had just trounced West Virginia.But Vegas is smart, and Vegas knows that this OSU team wins games by creating turnovers. Vegas also knows that Kansas State is easily the best team in the Big 12 at protecting the football and currently No. 8 in the country at 0.9 turnovers per game. That doesn’t bode well for the Cowboys.There are other reasons Kansas State is favored, too. Most notably that the game is in Manhattan and the home team is 10-2 in this series since 1998 including the last five contests. OSU has only won one time in Manhattan since 1988 (that was in 2014). It is 1-8 in that span. Yikes!There’s more though. Advanced stats show that Kansas State, despite its 5-3 record, is actually better than Oklahoma State on defense.Big 12 defenses (S&P+)19) BU35) WVU47) TCU53) KSU61) OU66) OSU82) UT97) KU107) ISU118) TT— Oklahoma State Stats (@OSUStats) October 30, 2016So don’t just look at the most recent game when evaluating this line. Just because OSU is ranked and KSU is not does not mean it will be an upset if the Wildcats win on Saturday. Just like it should not have been considered an upset for OSU to beat West Virginia last Saturday.This is going to be a massively difficult game for OSU on Saturday in Manhattan. Vegas knows it. We know it. Mike Gundy knows it. Everybody knows it. Win this one, though, and you shorten that path to Norman for a de facto Big 12 title game.Whooo boy, I love November.last_img read more

Dunn, Wozniak Getting Tricky With Drills in Spring Camp

first_imgAs the running backs were on their knees, driving their hands into a practice pad before falling to the turf, their new position coach John Wozniak was behind them talking about losing a bet and doing a belly flop.The drill represented the running backs picking up a defense’s blitz package, but Wozniak was using a little more imagery to get the point across.“You lost the bet,” he said. “You gotta do it.”Later in practice, the backs were flooding out of the backfield, past a would-be linebacker (who Wozniak was simulating) and streaking downfield for a fade pass from the quarterbacks.Wozniak yelled all kinds of things and chased as they ran by. Meanwhile, receivers coach Kasey Dunn was pulling out all the stops.So far this spring, he has shown the wonder of his receivers’ hands:Video Playerhttp://www.pistolsfiringblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/tyrell.mp400:0000:0000:09Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttp://www.pistolsfiringblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Stoner.m4v00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.But Wednesday, he had the Cowboys doing things that, if done on Saturdays in a couple of months, would have landed them on SportsCenter.Dunn lined the group up alongside a tackling dummy. As the first came up, he stood behind the dummy, opposite Dunn at the Jugs Machine. The receiver wrapped his hands around the dummy, and Dunn fired.I didn’t see one dropped ball.Later on, Wozniak was working with the punt returners. He wrapped a towel around their backs and told them to squeeze it between their arms and their torso, so the towel wouldn’t fall. As the punts came in, Wozniak walked near them, threw his hat at them and flinched toward them to give a representation of traffic during the catch.Bravo, sirs. What a couple of awesome drills. We’ll see if it makes a difference in the performance, too. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

10 months agoFriend admits Morata WANTS to leave Chelsea

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Friend admits Morata WANTS to leave Chelseaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAlvaro Morata WANTS to leave Chelsea this month.Speaking on Cadena Cope, a member of the striker’s camp revealed the Spaniard has decided to leave Stamford Bridge in January.PSG, Bayern Munich and Atlético Madrid are all being linked with Morata.However, Sevilla are regarded as favourites to land the centre-forward – with a loan arrangement already being discussed.Both Sevilla coach and sports chief Joaquin Caparros have confirmed their interest. last_img