Gustav Nyquist picked the Sharks, now Erik Karlsson is on the clock

CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceBOSTON — Doug Wilson acquired Gustav Nyquist at a bargain basement price because the Swedish forward wanted to join the Sharks for the stretch and the playoffs. Sharks territory is hoping that his pal, Erik Karlsson, feels the same way about the organization now that he’s eligible to sign an eight-year contract extension with the team.Wilson capped off a remarkable 12-month run on Sunday when he swung a deal with the …

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

An Ugly Head Rises in Lenin’s Land

first_imgAccording to Andy Coghlan, reporter for New Scientist, the spectre of an “ugly head” is rising in Russia.  What is it?  It’s not atheism, because Coghlan admits that Russia once made that the state religion.  It’s not communism, because Coghlan admits “Godless communism” once prevailed in the Soviet Union.  No, it is an ugly head Coghlan believes Russian dissidents, scientists and liberals must band together to fight before it invades the schools of the vast country.    What is it, you ask?  Creationism.  “Yes, creationism has now reared its ugly and evolving head in Russia, the heart of the ‘Godless communism’ that prevailed in the Soviet Union,” Andy Coghlan wrote.  In a strange twist of fate, American creationists have taken on the role of the Comintern and are propagandizing Russian schools with the subversive doctrine that “Darwin’s theory remains a theory… This means it should be taught to children as one of several theories, but children should know of other theories too.”    How could this ever happen in a land that once imprisoned pastors and closed churches, turning them into museums of atheism?  Coghlan referenced “a superb blog by Michael Zimmerman in the Huffington Post” as a source.  (Zimmerman, head of the “Clergy Letter Project,” seeks to get American pastors to sign a statement that Darwinism is not such a bad idea.)  Coghlan also referenced the Dover, Pennsylvania court case as “momentous” in combatting American attempts to allow creationism and intelligent design to get a foothold in schools.    The irony rises to a fever pitch at the end of the article.  Coghlan quotes a Russian dissident who conflates fighting alternatives to Darwinism with fighting communist propaganda: “It’s a dangerous idea and we will do all we can to stop it.  We overcame communism as the state ideology and certain forces want to replace it with Orthodox Christianity.”  It appears nobody – not even the Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church whom Coghlan quoted – was even suggesting making the Russian Orthodox Church a state ideology; even so, it begs the question how teaching creationism in science classes would lead to that, if such a suggestion were even on the table.  But visions of moral equivalency like booting Darwin out of science class, sending biology teachers to Siberia, or turning science centers into museums of Russian Orthodoxy are surely absurd.  Yet Coghlan ended with this shocker: With pressure from evangelicals for the US to abandon the division between church and state insisted upon by Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers, and the growing influence of the Orthodox church within Russia, we could see an unlikely alliance forged between former enemies.  Jefferson and Lenin would be spinning in their tombs.For some clarity on what Jefferson meant by the oft-quoted “wall of separation between church and state” (not a part of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or Bill of Rights, but part of a letter he wrote to Baptists worried about the Federal governments power to infringe on their rights), readers are encouraged to see this explanation on Wallbuilders.org that shows it has been turned to mean the exact opposite of what Jefferson meant and believed.Is there any reader not left breathless with disbelief at such a statement like what Coghlan just said?  Any reporter who can put Lenin and Jefferson in the same sentence as allies against creationists has just reached a new low, both in historical ineptitude and calumny.  This guy needs a serious remedial education.  We suggest some Teaching Company courses in the Rise of Soviet Communism and Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century for starters, and some good books on the horrors perpetrated by the communist dictators.  Remember the unforgettable 11/30/2005 entry?  How on earth can one compare such polar opposites as Jefferson, lover of liberty, with a murderous totalitarian dictator like Lenin, whose first acts were to shut down freedom of the press, freedom of education, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, institute one-party rule, and start murdering everyone who opposed him?  We need a category not just for Dumb Ideas, but for Evil Ideas.    If you are a Darwinist reading this, welcome.  See?  This is part of the open marketplace of ideas.  (Notice: This is part of the open marketplace that American students don’t get.)  One thing you can be assured of is that creationists, as much as you may despise their beliefs, are not bad people.  Take any one of the famous ones: Henry Morris (see Scientist of the Month) or Duane Gish, say; even pro-Darwin historians will be among the first to state openly that they are (or were, in the case of Henry) nice, pleasant people (as well as qualified and informed scientists).  They didn’t go around ordering purges of their enemies (with real guns and real bullets) and sending people to Siberia, OK?  The same is true of all the leaders of the Intelligent Design movement.  You would be hard put to find a more pleasant group of people to share a stage or a lunch with.  Even Michael Ruse knows that.  Take Paul Nelson to lunch sometime as a scientific experiment and you’ll see.  If you had a chance to live in a country ruled by creationists or by communist dictators of the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Il Sung, Castro or the rest of those murderous incarnations of evil, you can be sure that 100 times out of 100, you would flee the Iron Curtain at every chance for the freedom that coincides with those who embrace ID or creation or both.    Please notice also that no mainline creationist or ID organization has ever advocating banning Darwin.  In fact, ICR and some ID organizations have stated clearly that they want to teach “more Darwin” than the Darwinists allow the schools to teach.  One reason is to include both the strengths and weaknesses of the theory, but another is the reality that students cannot understand the 20th century without an understanding of Darwinism.  The only dogmatists who want to teach one side are the DODOs (Darwin-only, Darwin-only).  It’s the Darwin-olators that would have Jefferson spinning in his grave.  As for Lenin, well; most people who know their history would be grinning with satisfaction to see the RPMs turned up on his tomb.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Indigenous Games Festival promotes unity in South Africa

first_imgYoung and old alike got the opportunity to learn and play historical indigenous games for the national 10th annual Indigenous Games Festival, held this week. This festival promotes social cohesion and preserves heritage. Participants also have fun the old school way.Heritage Day, an annual national public holiday, is observed on 24 September. South Africa expands activities throughout the month of September, which has become known as Heritage Month. (Image: Department of Sports and Recreation)Melissa JavanThe 10th annual Indigenous Games Festival, hosted by the national Department of Sport and Recreation, was held to celebrate Heritage Month. The festival ran from 20 to 24 September, in Polokwane, Limpopo.Heritage Day, an annual national public holiday, is observed on 24 September. South Africa expands activities throughout the month of September, which has become known as Heritage Month.The festival was hosted in partnership with the City of Polokwane and the Limpopo department of sport, arts and culture, as well as the national Department of Traditional Affairs.The theme of the occasion was translated as “Our indigenous sport, our heritage: towards the identification, promotion and preservation of South African’s very own sporting codes and heritage”. The mantra “My games, My roots, My future” became the hashtag on social media for the festival, which featured nine sporting codes.Festival aimsAccording to Sports and Recreation, the initiative was a platform for the country’s diverse citizens to reflect on the games’ rich history and their influence on shaping the daily and future interactions of culture. “This is a rich, measurable offering responsive to driving the National Development Plan’s vision of 2030 of driving social cohesion and nation-building through sporting platforms which drive active citizenry participation in sporting codes whose origins are rooted in South African’s rich history, heritage and culture,” said Minister Fikile Mbalula.Watch Mbalula talk about the importance of indigenous games:A gala dinner was held on 20 September and the games were opened on 21 September.The colourful opening was tweeted:#IndigenousGames2015 RT @MbalulaFikile: The streets of Seshego are colorful today #MyGamesMyRootsMyFuture pic.twitter.com/3d7yUB8I1I— Moreku Aphane IG: (@Iam_matome) September 20, 2015Today, in Limpopo we Open the Indigenous Games – pic.twitter.com/ghAejndM0h— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) September 20, 2015Exec. Mayor of Plk: Indigenous Games should promote our own heritage, culture and history. #MyGamesMyRootsMyfuture pic.twitter.com/MI5mq6Fa2e— Dep. Sport & Rec (@SPORTandREC_RSA) September 19, 2015Exec. Mayor: Freedom was fought, not to destroy us but to bring us together & these games embody that spirit. #MyGamesMyRootsMyfuture— Dep. Sport & Rec (@SPORTandREC_RSA) September 19, 2015The nine sporting codes at the festival were:DikebeDikebe is a kick-and-run ball game pitting two teams of 12 players each against each other. Each team must have an equal representation of male and female players. Also required is a scorekeeper from each team to count team and individual player runs during the game.The teams take turns to attack and defend. A player from the defending team is deployed in a central role as a roller of the ball and players from the attacking team take turns as kickers as and when they are called out by the roller to do so.Kho-KhoTwo teams of nine players each compete in this running game. The two teams take turns to be runners or chasers. When the game starts, a player from the running team is nominated as the runner and one from the chasing team is selected to chase.MorabarabaMorabaraba is a board game played with two players, each with 12 tokens, also known as “cows”. To distinguish between the opposing players, the tokens must be of different shape or colour.Three squares are drawn on the board inside each other, such that there is an outer square, a middle square and an inner, smallest square. The squares are subdivided into 24 equidistant junctions with straight lines.IintongaTwo sticks are used in this stick-fighting game. A longer stick is used for attacking and a short stick is used for defending. Children can start playing this game from the age of five, upwards.NcuvaNcuva is a board game played by teams of one to six players a side per game. Four rows of four holes each are dug on flat ground or sculpted on to the board to make a total of 16 holes. A line divides the board into two rows of eight holes each.To play, each player uses 32 “cows”, or tokens, made of marula fruit kernels or small stones. The stones are placed in sets of four in the holes for the game to start. Ncuva is one of the nine sporting codes played at the 10th annual Indigenous Games Festival, running from 20 to 24 September 2015. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)JukskeiThis is a target game played by two teams of four each; each team has a leader. The players use skeets made of rubber, wood or other material of between 300mm and 460mm in length, weighing no more than 1.8kg for seniors and 1.1kg for juniors.The aim of the game is to score points by using the skeets to hit targets placed on the field.DiketoDiketo tests one’s hand-eye co-ordination. The game is played with 10 small stones or marbles placed in a round hole, about 5cm deep, and one hand-held ghoen or bigger stone. The game can be played by both girls and boys of any age. Only two players can compete at a time.Drie StokkiesA running and jumping game, drie stokkies pits two teams of five players each against each other. Three sticks are placed on the ground approximately 1m apart. Competing players line up to run and jump over the sticks, stepping only once between the sticks. Participants have to test their running pace and long jump abilities when they take part in drie stokkies. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)KgatiKgati is a skipping rope game wherein several girls can skip the rope simultaneously or one at a time. The skipping rope should not be longer than 5m. Two players swing the rope while the other players take turns to skip.Other activities at the festival included kraal school debates, traditional council court, and cultural exhibitions.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

Ohio’s quirky Christmas

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseThere is definitely something special about Christmas on a farm, but Ohio’s small towns and cities know how to spread a little holiday cheer as well. Here are some fun (and quirky) Christmas happenings in small towns around Ohio worth celebrating. PortsmouthThis Scioto County seat has had its share of struggles in recent years, but efforts are underway to turn the city around in a positive direction. Those efforts include spreading some Christmas cheer in 2018 with a month-long Winterfest. The Market Square in the city’s Boneyfiddle District has been transformed into a winter wonderland with outdoor ice skating, thousands of lights, and a modern take on an old-fashioned, downtown Christmas. On Dec. 15, Portsmouth is looking to break the world record for the most people simultaneously caroling. The current record is 1,822 held by Waukesha, Wis. The folks in Portsmouth are looking for 2,000 carolers at 7 p.m. on the 15th. All are welcome and it is free to participate.The holiday festivities are part of a broader effort to revitalize Portsmouth, said Matthew Seifert, president of Friends of Portsmouth.“We did a river cleanup after the floodwaters receded in the spring. That led to some momentum to do some other small projects including a movie night for families downtown in Portsmouth and then Plant Portsmouth. We ended up setting a world record for most people simultaneously potting plants. We had 1,405 people come out and we also did a massive cleanup of downtown,” he said. “For Winterfest, we were able to rent an artificial skating rink that simulates the ice skating experience. We built a larger event around that to create a destination for downtown during the Christmas period. Winterfest officially started on Dec. 2. The weather was perfect. It was sunny and 65. We had a couple thousand people come through and the ice rink was never without a line. We have a vendor village, carriage rides, Santa’s workshop where kids can tell Santa what they want for Christmas, and people exit through the Friends of Portsmouth gift shop which has different holiday themed items, many made by local artisans. We have a live nativity scene and multiple events happening through the month.”The efforts have given the city some hope this holiday season.“We have seen so many people excited to participate. One thing that has been necessary to repair in this community, I think, is the morale. For a long time, from economic depression, to the drug epidemics and everything else, the community has really felt beaten down. They are looking for things to feel proud of and we are seeing a lot more of that lately,” Seifert said. “People are excited and talking about Portsmouth and Scioto County in ways they haven’t for a long time.” AnsoniaOn Dec. 1, the Ansonia Community Pride organization hosted its inaugural Lighted Tractor Parade to showcase Darke County’s agriculture.“The community loved it!” said Erin Horst, who helped coordinate the event. “Many farmers are already talking about what they want to do for next year. We really lucked out that the rain cleared and the parade went off without inclement weather. If we can just have a normal fall and get harvest over early next year, that might help with participation.”The parade included 36 tractor, RTV and golf cart entries, with the majority being tractors. The entry fee for the parade was a donation to the Ansonia Food Pantry and it raised over $800, Horst said. Businesses stayed open late for the parade to cap off the day of events that started with a pancake breakfast and included a visit from Santa.Ansonia Community Pride organized the event that builds on other recent community activities including hanging banners honoring local veterans, paintings in town, and numerous community events. Plans are already being made for the 2nd Ansonia Lighted Tractor Parade on Dec. 7, 2019. CliftonWhile the tiny village of Clifton is fairly understated most of the year, it sets the heavens aglow during the holidays thanks to the legendary Christmas light display at Clifton Mill. The Satariano family that owns the mill is once again dazzling thousands of visitors with an incredible 4 million-light display. The display was recently featured on the ABC TV Show The Great Christmas Light Fight “Heavyweights” episode that includes the nation’s top holiday light displays. Clifton Mill won the top prize of $50,000 for the best display. The episode aired in early December.The tradition of the Christmas lights stems from the Satariano family tradition of decorating their family home each year while current owner Anthony Satariano was growing up. After buying the mill, it only seemed natural to continue the tradition on a bigger scale.“We bought 100,000 lights thinking that would be enough. We learned a lot. People would pull in and say, ‘Wow this is really neat.’ We just did more of it after that to share with people,” Satariano said. “We can get several thousand visitors on a good night.”The Clifton Mill is also in the running to win Best Public Holiday Lights Display for USA Today. You can see the contenders and vote for Clifton Mill at 10best.com/awards/travel/best-public-holiday-lights-display/. The national winners will be announced Dec. 21.last_img read more

Echo Launches “Real-Time As A Service” [Live Video]

first_imgKhris Loux and his company, Echo, have always had a tentative relationship with the lowly blog comment. Echo launched in 2009, described as a “blog commenting platform” much like Disqus. Right from the beginning, however, Echo went beyond the comment and aggregated all sorts of real-time data from around the Web to pull into the section normally reserved for comments. Now, Echo has gone beyond declaring the death of the comment and re-launched as a “real-time as a service” platform. At its re-launch event today, the company brought out the big guns to show off just how useful it thinks its new incarnation will be. We got a chance to talk with them beforehand to go beneath a bit of the flashiness and we got a glimpse of a service that adds a new building block onto the Web and could bring the real-time Web to previously untouched corners of the Internet.Moving On from the Static PageWhen we spoke to Echo CEO Khris Loux the other day, he laid it out for us quite simply.“In the ways that print gave way to TV, static pages will give way,” said Loux. “The challenge for the rest of the publishers on the Internet is that they’re running static websites. The revenue has moved on from those sites.”He went on to explain that the primary form of real-time interaction on most sites is through Facebook comments or “likes” or Facebook Connect and, while those are good and valid tools that publishers should still use, they are not enough. According to Loux, the main problem there is that “Facebook and Twitter still control the experience and ultimately control the revenue.”The answer to all of this, of course, is the new version of Echo, which acts as a “real-time as a service” platform. It can help aggregate all manner of real-time data – from Facebook posts to Tweets to comments to blog posts on your own site – and help you and your users to interact with the content.“Real-Time As A Service”“We are putting forth the notion of ‘real-time as a service.’ Just like a start-up would no more build their own data center, a publisher or start-up should no longer build real-time. You could build Plancast with this. You could build Yammer,” said Loux. “The Web is becoming designing blocks and Echo, real-time as a service, is the new block in town.”In many ways, Echo has done this all along – it has allowed publishers to pull in and aggregate real-time content to display, in real-time, on their site. The big difference now is that the service is acting more as a real-time platform and less as a simple service to display real-time content. Once it pulls in the data, it stores it and lets you work with it. It “socializes” it. It lets you interact with the data in ways that are based on what users do with it. They can vote content up or down, comment on it, share it socially, and based on these actions the publisher can display it differently. And, of course, it’s all in real time. As Loux put it, Echo “doesn’t care” what type of content you’re dealing with, once it’s in the system it can be treated the same as any other.What Can Echo Do?If you want to see the new Echo in action, you can take a look at the Sports Illustrated World Cup site from last year, which uses the new service. It aggregates on-site content, tweets and photos to create a real-time site about the World Cup. Another site, set up for teen idol Greyson Chance, shows off the ability to pull in content and interact with it in different ways. In this case, the stream of pictures is created from Tweets using the #WOTL hashtag. But, as Loux pointed out, it would only take another step to turn the entire page into a contest, letting users vote on each others’ pictures and displaying them according to votes. That’s the type of interactivity that echo is trying to enable with its new service.Will it work? The company is coming out today with a number of big names, from NBC to Sports Illustrated to Reuters and Newsweek. But these are all companies that could certainly afford to build their own real-time components. The real question is whether or not small companies will use Echo as the real-time building block that Loux envisions. If Echo can bring the real-time Web to publishers big and small alike, in a way that they can interact with and own the content, it could make a big splash. Stay tuned below to watch today’s launch event, live from SF MOMA.Live TV by UstreamVisit the Official e2 Launch Microsite A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#news#Real-Time Web#web Related Posts mike melansoncenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

All You Have Is Time

first_img“I don’t have time.”You’ve said those words. So have I. You think that you don’t have enough time quite often too, don’t you? But the one thing you do have is time. And you have enough time, too. You may be missing something else.What you may be lacking is enough time to do all the things to which you have committed yourself and your time. You may have said “yes” to too many small things that are now crowding out what’s really important. We always find time for what believe is most important—even when most of the time what we perceive to be important now isn’t important long-term. Enough time is a question of your values and your priorities.You may also not enough courage to say “no” when people make requests of you. It’s tough to tell people “no,” especially when you have the ability to help them. It takes a certain level of confidence and comfort in one’s own skin to say “no.” Lacking this courage is one reason you may feel you don’t have enough time.A lack of energy can make you feel as if you have a lack of time. You might feel that you can’t get up and exercise or write or read or pray because you don’t have the energy. You might feel as if you need the sleep. But getting up and doing any of these things can change your life and positive ways that are hard to imagine. And more than a few of them will multiply your energy.You have enough time now to do all kinds of things. Looking at a short time, you can feel the stress of not having enough of it. To straighten out your perception of not having enough time, you have to look at longer periods. You aren’t going to have enough time to do all of the things you want to do, contribute all you want to contribute, and spend time with the ones you love. At some point in the future, you are going to wish you had more time.To avoid wishing for more time later, you need to make better decisions about what you do with your time now. All you have is time. What will you do with it? Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Nowlast_img read more

Can I Have a Copy of Your Slide Deck?

first_imgAt one point in my career as a sales leader, I commissioned a designer to create a slide deck about my company. Naturally, the slide deck started with my company’s history, the many awards we’d won, the logos of the well-recognized companies we served, and a very complete rundown of our processes and methodologies, including what we did differently from our competitors. It was a beautiful slide deck with a killer design, and a lot of prospective clients appreciated knowing who we were and how we generated results.But the challenge I had with prospects and clients wasn’t that they didn’t know enough about my company. The problem was that they didn’t know enough about how they should be operating in the changing environment. I didn’t need to teach them about my company; I needed to teach them about their company. I needed them to discover something about themselves, so they would start making changes inside their company—in addition to bringing my company on as a partner. To do this, I began to capture the data, keeping it all in what I called an “insights deck.”Instead of sharing anything about my company at the beginning of a discovery meeting, I started sharing the insights deck. The information caused my prospective clients to ask me questions, and then to ask questions to the other people on their team. The questions were about the implications of the data, which I presented with minimal commentary, other than my views and values. The conversations invariably ended up leading to a second meeting, without me mentioning anything about my company. Once the client knew how we thought about the issues and challenges they were facing, they knew what they needed to know.The deck I had designed was much prettier than my insight deck. In all the years that I used that deck, no one ever asked me for a copy, even though we may have forced it on some people to prove we were worth hiring.The insights deck, however, never failed to cause a prospective client to ask for a copy. When I asked why they needed a copy, the answer was always the same: “I need to present this information to the rest of the people on our leadership team. They need to see this.”I wrote out this process in Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition. Every few days, I get an email or a LinkedIn message from a salesperson who has read the book and adopted the strategy to great effect. They are not only getting more meetings, but they are also creating more new opportunities.Win customers away from your competition. Check out Eat Their LunchWhen you pick up Eat Their Lunch, send me your receipt to eattheirlunch@iannarino.com, and I will send you the workbook and an invite to the Facebook Group. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Stosur shocks Williams to win 6-2, 6-3 in US Open final

first_imgSam Stosur pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the history of women’s Grand Slam tennis finals by comprehensively outplaying a frustrated Serena Williams and claiming the U.S. Open title with a 6-2, 6-3 win on Sunday.Stosur claimed her first Grand Slam singles title and became only the second Australian to win the U.S. Open crown by dominating a match which she was widely expected to lose to the home favorite.Williams lost her composure, arguing with the chair umpire after being docked a point for shouting out in the midst of a rally. It was reminiscent of the ugly tirade against a line judge two years ago.The overwhelming favorite for the match, Williams suffered only her second ever loss in a Grand Slam final to someone other than sister Venus; she was beaten by Maria Sharapova in the 2004 Wimbledon decider.”I had one of my best days,” Stosur said. “I’m very fortunate to do it on this stage.””To go out there and play the way I did is just an unbelievable feeling, and you always hope and you want to be able to do that, but to actually do it, is unbelievable.”Hitting powerful strokes from the baseline, and looking fitter than her opponent despite a series of gruelling matches over the tournament, the ninth-seeded Stosur became the first Australian woman to win a major championship since Evonne Goolagong-Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980.Five-time champion Margaret Court is the only other Australian to win the U.S. Open.advertisementOnly 2-9 in tournament finals before beating Williams, Stosur made the U.S. Open the third consecutive Grand Slam tournament with a first-time women’s major champion, after Li Na at the French Open, and Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon.”She played really, really well. She’s a great player, and it’s good to see,” Williams said. “I tried my hardest and she kept hitting winners and I was, ‘Oh my God, what am I doing?'”This was only the 27-year-old Stosur’s third title at any tour-level event, and what a way to do it. She took advantage of Williams’ so-so serving and stayed steady throughout – finishing with 12 unforced errors to Williams’ 25 – despite the bizarre events that unfolded in the second set.Down a set and facing a break point in the first game of the second, the 13-time major champion hit a forehand and shouted, “Come on!” as Stosur reached down for a backhand. Chair umpire Eva Asderaki ruled that Williams hindered Stosur’s ability to complete the point and awarded it to Stosur – putting her ahead 1-0 in that set.Williams went over to talk to Asderaki, saying, “I’m not giving her that game.”Williams also said: “I promise you, that’s not cool. That’s totally not cool.”Some fans began booing, delaying the start of the next game as both players waited for the commotion to subside.Tournament director Brian Earley said Asderaki’s ruling was proper.But Williams had trouble putting the whole episode behind her.During the changeover two games later, Williams continued to talk to Asderaki, saying, “You’re out of control. … You’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside. … And I never complain. Wow.”Williams also told the official: “Really, don’t even look at me.”When Stosur wrapped up the match with a forehand winner, Williams refused the customary post-match handshake with the chair umpire.”I hit a winner, but I guess it didn’t count,” Williams said during the trophy presentation. “It wouldn’t have mattered in the end. Sam played really well.”Asderaki issued a code violation warning for verbal abuse, and U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said Earley would speak to the chair umpire and review tape to determine whether Williams would be fined. That decision will be announced Monday.At her news conference, Williams rolled her eyes while deflecting a question about whether she regretted what she said to Asderaki.”I don’t even remember what I said. It was just so intense out there. … I guess I’ll see it on YouTube,” Williams said.Asked about being given the point, Stosur said: “It had never happened (to me) before. I was trying to see what was happening. I’m aware of the rule. It was something I’d never had to deal with before.”This sort of thing has happened before at the U.S. Open to Williams, who won the tournament in 1999, 2002 and 2008.last_img read more