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  • Poe’s Perspective: Athletes deserve better support

    first_imgJulia Poe | Daily TrojanTragedy strikes in a unique way when it hits an athlete.I never saw Tyler Hilinski play a single game for Washington State. He was a bench player when USC traveled to Pullman for its stunning Week 5 loss, and I didn’t watch his valiant effort in the Cougars’ Holiday Bowl defeat to Michigan State.But when I heard the news of his death last week, I was almost moved to tears. The story was shocking — Hilinski, the starting quarterback for an up-and-coming D-I team, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and a suicide note at his side.The news spread quickly with outpourings of support and grief coming from athletes, coaches and fans across the country. Hilinski was a year older than me, described as a supportive and affectionate leader on his team. Maybe it was the shock that struck me and many other football fans so deeply, the concept that an otherwise golden star could be so deeply and secretly troubled.But for me, the loss came with a sense of fear. Hilinski’s suicide was one in a line of similar cases in previous years. It came as a chilling reminder to those who love sports that despite our passion for the players who take the field for our teams, there is little-to-no support for these athletes when they step out of the weight room and lockers and into the rest of their lives.In their years as college athletes, these young men and women give everything to their schools. But often, their colleges are giving little in return in the way of mental health support.In the wake of another death, we must take time to grieve the loss of this young man. But the NCAA must also take this tragedy as a sign that things need to change — fast.The reason that fans fall in love with sports is often that it serves as a release, an escape from real life. For a couple hours, their attention and passion are diverted into something that really, truly doesn’t affect their lives. Win or lose, life will go on, but the game can often feel bigger than a mere game.Their team is the family they never had, a mascot and a uniform that never changes or leaves from year to year. (Unless, I guess, you’re a fan of the Rams, Chargers or Raiders. Sorry, guys.)And even when it might be nonexistent in other aspects of a sports fan’s life, when it comes to the game, there is regularity, rule and order. There is passion, loyalty and respect. Sports make sense when many other things don’t, and even when a referee makes a bad call or a team catches a bad break, there is comfort in the self-righteous grumbling of any fan who has been wronged.Fans and players alike experience this redemptive power of sport. Basketball probably saved my life when I was younger, one of the many reasons that it remains the most sacred sport, even as I attend a football school two time zones away from my beloved hometown team.When I was 16, there were a lot of things falling apart in my life — I was hiding my sexuality, I fought with my parents almost every day and I could barely keep up with school. The year I turned 16 was a year that I almost didn’t survive, and when I look back, I see now that somehow, a sport kept me going.There was a time when I dreamed of playing college ball, but by junior year of high school I was just playing to play. As a post who barely hit 5-foot-10 in my shoes, I wasn’t exactly a star, but I could rebound and defend well enough to play a decent role on my school team.To my team, I probably didn’t seem all that invested — I didn’t hang out with my teammates off the court, and I typically prioritized grades and the school newspaper ahead of practice. But at a time when it was an effort to wake up and go to school every morning, that game gave me something I desperately needed.Every day, basketball practice provided two hours during which I escaped everything else. For those hours, I didn’t have time to think about anything except how to front a girl four inches taller than me, or how to break a full-court press, or how to stop my lungs from aching at the end of sprint drills.Basketball was simple and beautiful to me. And it gave my family — which was struggling with the cliched turmoil of an only child coming of age and coming out — a shared love that overcame any of our other arguments. We talked about my team and our team, the University of Kansas Jayhawks, as much as we talked about anything that winter. It was an easy topic of conversation, something we often lacked at that time. In the process, basketball saved me and my family a little bit.I say this because I want to be clear — I don’t believe that sports, on their own, are to blame for tragedies such as the loss of Hilinski. But somehow, as we’ve built college and professional sports into goliath industries, we’ve come to ask more and more of these young athletes without asking what they need in return.Their workouts are harder, their regiments stricter, and the stakes seem almost unbelievably high for athletes who are bigger, stronger and faster than their predecessors. Yet despite these monumental expectations, very little attention is paid to the mental health of collegiate athletes.It almost seems illogical, especially to those of us who love these games so deeply. How can something that brings so much joy into so many lives also be the thing that ends many others? How can sport, which is supposed to be fun, which is supposed to raise young men and women to be better, stronger people, also be a force that breaks them down?ESPN writer Kate Fagan once wrote that becoming a college athlete is “like walking through an obstacle course wearing a blindfold.” Fagan became famous in the sportswriting world several years ago, when she told the story of Madison Holleran, a star runner and Ivy League student at the University of Pennsylvania who killed herself after years of hiding her battle with mental illness.At the time, Holleran’s death was a shock that sent waves of questions, doubt and concern throughout the country. How could this happen? But that shock soon faded as other issues took hold, and even the 2017 publication of Fagan’s book about Holleran’s life and death failed to revive the same level of discussion surrounding mental illness.But the discussion was revived after the loss of Hilinski, in part because the quarterback’s struggles remain such a mystery to his teammates and coaches. The morning of his death, Hilinski texted his teammates to set up a throwing session later that night. He seemed enthusiastic, said head coach Mike Leach. He was someone who “would lift up others that were down.” From the outside, Leach said, there was no sign that Hilinski was struggling at all.This would come as less of a shock if the NCAA had made a larger effort in supporting the emotional and mental health of athletes. But that’s not the case.In January 2014, less than 25 Division I schools staffed a full-time mental health practitioner in their athletic departments. That number has grown after the NCAA GOALS (Growth, Opportunities, Aspirations and Learning of Students in College) study and program in 2016, as well as a survey in the same year, found that 39 percent of Division I athletic departments now staff mental health clinicians.But that’s still fewer than 50 percent. This means that over 50 percent of student athletes do not have access to even one mental health resource for four of the most tumultuous and challenging years of their lives. And even at those schools where a clinician is staffed, how is one professional meant to provide support to hundreds of young athletes? At Washington State, only one counselor works with the athletes of 15 teams. There are more trainers on the sidelines of a football game than there are mental health professionals for the entire department.There is, of course, no way to completely protect young athletes from mental illness. But there is also no reason that the starting quarterback of a Division I football team should not have the resources or the support to tackle any issue regarding mental health. While the national family of football fans should look at this as a tragic loss, the NCAA should also see it as a catalyst for change.The NCAA must put its students first. This doesn’t mean just tossing money into a few studies, or creating a “task force” to meet at a conference once a year. If the NCAA is serious about supporting its athletes, it must implement policies that require resources to be available and encourages students to utilize them despite any previous stigma.For those of us who support young athletes on weekends, on the field and the track and the court, we must also call for change. These young athletes are students just like any of us. They’re young, overwhelmed and afraid of the future. Over the course of college, they’ll be put through a pressure cooker of emotions with little to no experience in how to handle themselves. It’s up to all of us to give these athletes our full support, on off days and in the offseason, not just from the stands.Julia Poe is a junior majoring in print and digital journalism. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs Tuesdays.last_img read more

  • Goal increases investment in esports with FIFA player signing

    first_imgGoal has furthered its interest in esports with the signing of its first esports player, Graham “GrayzaGoal” McIntyre to represent them in FIFA.McIntyre is signed from Scottish Premier League side Hibernian and will represent Goal at FIFA 18 tournaments on Xbox One as well as creating content for Goal.com and the relevant social media channels. The first tournament in which McIntyre will play in is the Sportego eLeague, a FIFA 18 tournament which features players from clubs including Ajax, Manchester City and West Ham United amongst some more traditional names such as Fnatic (and AS Roma), Epsilon and Stark. The league in which he is playing is managed by Sportego but broadcast on Goal through social media and the finals will be played at a football stadium, which is yet to be revealed) in April. Paul Rayment, Goal’s Marketing Manager said: “We recognise that for the modern fan FIFA plays an integral role in how they enjoy football, for some it’s their primary connection to the sport. On Goal, we’ve seen this evidenced in the numbers we see for our own live streams and traffic that comes to articles on the game.He added: “By welcoming Graham to the Goal roster we’re looking forward to adding an extra dimension to how we cover FIFA, working with him to advance his career and introduce Goal to an exciting and growing market. Graham’s talent was evident from his performances at the early Gfinity tournaments a few years ago. More recently, his top 100 finishes in the FIFA 18 Weekend League and ending the Celtic eSport League unbeaten shows he has both skill and promise and we’re aiming for him to represent Goal at major tournaments in 2018.”Esports Insider says: Congratulations to both parties on what we’re sure will be a fruitful relationship moving forward. It’s good to see more and more folk getting involved in esports – and given the content that Goal produce, we’re excited to see what htey muster up here.last_img read more

  • Visit Florida Approves Budget, Eyes More Money for Tourism Recovery

    first_imgLast week, the governor said he plans to cut enough spending from the state’s proposed $93.2 billion budget to keep lawmakers from having to address a coronavirus-fueled loss in tax revenues before the election in November.Visit Florida is set to receive $50 million in the budget that will take effect July 1. That is the same amount as it received for the current year, when its state funding was cut from $76 million to $50 million.Also included in the spending is $8.5 million for 85 positions at Visit Florida, the same amount as in the current year.Critics have questioned the need for the agency’s existence, since Florida’s weather, beaches and major theme parks typically draw tourists on their own.Part of the upcoming marketing effort will be $13 million to be directly focused on a rebound in tourism. The initial effort will be on getting Floridians to explore other parts of the state.According to Visit Florida, hotels in the state lost nearly $3.5 billion in revenue between March 1 and May 30.In addition, about 40 percent of people who filed unemployment claims in the state between March 15 and April 21 came from the tourism sector. The Board of Directors of Visit Florida on Wednesday approved more than $42 million for tourism marketing as, part of the state agency’s $108 million operating budget for next fiscal year.Still, board member Carol Dover says more money may be needed in order to offset the economic damage the pandemic has caused to Florida’s tourism and hospitality industries.Dover, who serves as president and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, said she has already mentioned to Gov. Ron DeSantis the need for Visit Florida to get additional funds if lawmakers are called into a special session to address budget impacts from COVID-19.“I mentioned directly to him the importance of putting more money in Visit Florida’s coffers,” Dover said during the board’s conference call Wednesday. “And I said $50 million isn’t even enough when it’s under normal circumstances, but now that we have COVID to deal with, we need probably twice that much to just try to get the state back up on our feet.”She added, “But I do think, if and when we go back into special session, even if it’s after the November election, my thought was that we should try to see if we can get additional funding for marketing.”Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young, who is a former lawmaker, said the tourism-marketing agency will “be very engaged in that and we’ll be working closely with the governor’s office” if a special session were held.last_img read more

  • England take four point lead over Spain

    first_img Tags: elite golf, England teams, England v Spain England won four of this morning’s five foursomes to lead Spain 7-3, with just the singles left to play in the weekend international at Formby Golf Club.The high winds of yesterday abated to let the players show their style, with Tom Sloman and Tom Plumb leading the way with their 5/4 win.They didn’t lose a hole in their game and were comfortably below par after three birdies and an eagle on the long eighth hole.Jake Burnage and Ben Hutchinson were well beaten yesterday by Victor Pastor and Eduard Rousaud, but they turned the tables today, defeating the Spanish pair 4/2.It was a top quality game, with neither side scoring worse than par on any hole and the English pair were five under when they took their point.Ben Jones and Bailey Gill traded birdies with their opponents, Asier Aguirre and Adrian Mata, for much of the round, amassing 12 between them.The English pair were put on the back foot on the front nine when they lost three holes in a row, two of them to birdies. But, they turned it round on the back nine and led by one hole over the closing holes. It was enough for their point when the Spanish birdie attempt slipped past on the 18th.England’s fourth point was provided by Bel Wardle and Emily Toy, who finished strongly to win two up after a tight game. They were pulled back to all square after 16, but won the two closing holes.Georgina Blackman and Lily May Humphreys lost 2/1 after their opponents, Carla Tajedo and Nieve Martin, forged ahead with birdies on 14 and 16.Click here for full scoresCaption: Tom Plumb (left) and Tom Sloman (image copyright Leaderboard Photography). 28 Apr 2019 England take four point lead over Spain   last_img read more

  • Power play comes alive as Leafs win two straight

    first_imgNelson entered the weekend a dismal 1-for-31 with the man advantage in October.However, the Leafs scored three times against Grand Forks before adding a man-advantage marker Sunday. Dallon Stoddart and Colton Malmsten also scored in the first period before Rance Hughes cut the margin to 3-2 with a goal in the last minute of the period.Schell regained the two-goal advantage early in the second. Jesse Collins once again cut into the Nelson lead before Connor McLaughlin, back in the lineup missing a handful of games due to injury, scored his second goal in as many games.Spokane out shot the Leafs 39-29 in the contest.Saturday, team captain Taylor O’Neil, McLaughlin and Schell to jumpstart the Leafs. Rookie Adam Wheeldon and Patrick Martens also scored for the home side, which held period leads of 2-1 and 3-2.Kevin Wong and Yan Kalashnikov replied with power play goals for Grand Forks. Beesley went the distance in goal for Nelson as the Leafs out shot the Bruins 24-8.ICE CHIPS: Marcus Dahl and Gavin Currie each had two points against Spokane. . . . Currie now leads Nelson in scoring with 15 points, two ahead of Colton Schell. Dahl is third with 11. . . .Braeden Hikichi (two assists), Patrick Martens and Schell all finished Saturday’s contest with two points. . . . Veteran forward Cody Abbey, who has been on the injured list since September 17 with an upper body injury, continues to be sidelined. . . .Defencemen Raymond Reimer (injured) and Kyle Alexander also did not play this weekend.
[email protected] By The Nelson Daily SportsColton Schell had three points and Marcus Beesley stopped 36 shots to pace the Nelson Leafs to a 5-3 victory over the Spokane Braves in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Sunday afternoon in the Lilac City.The victory is the second in as many days for the Leafs and allows Nelson to gain a little revenge after the Braves post a 2-0 shutout the last time the teams met. Saturday, Nelson bounced Grand Forks 5-2.
After Brycen Fisher opened the scoring for Spokane, Nelson exploded for three goals in a five-minute span to take a 3-1 lead.Gavin Currie got the ball rolling scoring on a revitalized power play.last_img read more

  • Missing man needing medication believed to be in Donegal

    first_imgPolice have issued an appeal for information about a man from Co Tyrone who may be in Donegal.William McConnell caught a bus to Omagh but ended up in Enniskillen, before making his way to Donegal.The missing man does not have his medication with him and his family are “extremely worried”, police say. A PSNI spokesperson said: “We are appealing for any information on William McConnell from the Fivemiletown area.“Last seen at around 2pm on Saturday 5th May.His plan that day was to get a bus to Omagh but then ended up in Enniskillen.Mr McConnell then made his way to the Donegal area. If you see Mr McConnell or know of his whereabouts or have been in contact with him, call us on 101 quoting reference number 1086 6/5/19.Mr McConnell does not have his medication with him and his family are extremely worried.Missing man needing medication believed to be in Donegal was last modified: May 8th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalmedicationstrabaneWilliam McConnelllast_img read more

  • Looking for Laws to Make Darwinism Scientific

    first_imgImpressed? Darwin’s laws of nature are about as helpful to the understanding of nature as the Stuff Happens Law. Your science might be healthier with a bit of Cole’s Law (i.e., thinly sliced cabbage).(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Science needs natural laws.  Darwinian laws that have been put forward by evolutionists contain so many exceptions and complexities, they seem to have a bad case of physics envy.Coping with Cope’s Rule:  Evolution tends to make animals larger over time – except when it makes them smaller. In Science,1 Kaustuv Roy lamented the perils of this principle that animals evolve toward largeness, known as Cope’s rule. It has some examples but plenty of exceptions. If Cope’s rule were a law of nature, wouldn’t we find lots of giants? “Instead, most species tend to be small to intermediate in size, with few in the smallest and largest size classes.”Bergmann’s suggestion:  Maybe Cope’s rule is offset by a competing principle. This happens sometimes in physics when two forces compete with each other. Bergmann’s rule says that animals grow larger in colder climates. Polar bears grow larger than black bears, for instance. Again, this is too simplistic, Roy argues:Translating these “rules” into predictions about trajectories of size evolution is not straightforward. If bigger really is better, then we should have a world full of giants, yet most species are small. Clearly there are costs to getting bigger, which prevent a runaway Cope’s rule. Such costs involve complex interactions among a multitude of factors including development time, population size, and patterns of resource use. In addition, the temperature-size rule [Bergmann’s rule] suggests that the external environment, which changes in a complex and nonlinear manner over geologic time, is also important in driving size evolution. So, not surprisingly, simple process-based models of size evolution (such as one based on energetics) have not been widely accepted.As if that weren’t complex enough, “There is also the problem of scaling up from observations at the population level to macroevolutionary trends in size,” he said. It is unclear whether models built on samples from a few generations (living or extinct) will hold up “across geographically separated populations and macroevolutionary time.” The uncertainty about these “rules” of body size evolution make it difficult to quantify the apparent influence humans are having on large animals today.Extinction rules or rules going extinct?  Three Turkish scientists brought up problems with measuring extinctions. There are no agreed-on measures of how “great” an extinction event was. Writing in PNAS,2 they said that even since Cuvier proposed multiple catastrophes, and on through the time of Lyell to the present, “it has remained controversial as to how completely and how fast those disappearances occurred,” they said. “Interpretations about the nature and origin of these fluctuations in the progression of life have long been bedeviled by uncertainties as to what constitutes a mass extinction and which mass extinction is ‘greater’ or ‘lesser’ than any other.” The fact that these authors proposed a quantitative scale highlights the fact that no one had done it successfully before. Here’s how they ended their discussion:Great extinctions are generally less catastrophic than widely thought: they are generally Lyellian, only exceptionally Cuvierian. When they are Cuvierian, as the end-Cretaceous extinction so obviously was, and as the present one so alarmingly is, they stand out among the other, more mundane, Lyellian ones. It is not profitable to study extinctions in isolation, among few taxa, in few sections and in limited time frames. They are simply parts of one continuous evolution of the entire earth system and must be studied as such.And yet, aside from the admitted uncertainties and complexities of defining an extinction event and measuring its magnitude, can there really be natural laws governing events as random and unpredictable as catastrophes?Know your limits:  Evolutionists from UK and UC (University of California at Santa Cruz) pulled some reins on how much can be generalized from in vitro evolution models. Some scientists, for instance, study populations of E. coli in a Petri dish and watch what happens when bacteriophages invade. Can the results be generalized into laws of co-evolution? Writing in Nature,3 the team began by asking, “Given the difficulty of testing evolutionary and ecological theory in situ, in vitro model systems are attractive alternatives; however, can we appraise whether an experimental result is particular to the in vitro model, and, if so, characterize the systems likely to behave differently and understand why?”They optimistically proposed a mathematical model that was concordant with one experimental result. So far, so good, but can that be extended to other experiments? They provided several cases where outcomes could be very different depending on the host, the parasite, the resources, and the genetics of the system. Their explanation for different results in different conditions seemed convincing, but their ending paragraph seemed to suggest that a model for one experiment cannot easily be extrapolated to others without auxiliary hypotheses. These seems to make it difficult to establish any laws of co-evolution:Given the above explanation, it is perhaps not surprising in retrospect that what is found for T7 E. coli interactions need not be true for other biologically viable modes of host-parasite co-evolution. These results show how appropriately framed mathematical models aligned with experimental analysis can obviate the need to presume typicality of one model within a class.Contingency vs Law:  It would seem that contingency is the opposite of natural law. Attributing events to chance is about as explanatorily useful as saying “Stuff happens.” That’s about all that a team from the American Museum of Natural History was able to say, though, about the evolution of dinosaurs. Writing in Science, they found that the famous “evolutionary radiation” of the dinosaurs did not follow any rule of size trends, superiority, character evolution or morphological disparity. “The results strongly suggest that historical contingency, rather than prolonged competition or general ‘superiority,’ was the primary factor in the rise of dinosaurs.” Stuff just happened. Such a premise flies in the face of many a textbook and TV documentary.The paper was summarized by PhysOrg, which titled its article, “Luck gave dinosaurs their edge.” Team member Steve Brusatte was quoted saying, “For a long time it was thought that there was something special about dinosaurs that helped them become more successful during the Triassic, the first 30 million years of their history, but this isn’t true.” In the AMNH press release, team member Michael Benton said, “Many people like to think that evolution is progressive: mammals are better than dinosaurs because they came later…. So it may be hard for us to accept that dinosaurs achieved their dominant position on earth largely by chance, just as mammals did when the dinosaurs were later wiped out by a meteorite strike.” Maybe the new phrase for Darwin should be “Survival of the luckiest.” But, then, if fitness cannot be correlated with evolutionary success, what becomes of any Darwinian claim to having established a new law of nature? What is natural selection selecting? What is survival of the fittest judging as fit?Lucky information:  This list concludes with a reminder that David Deamer said this about the origin of the DNA code: “I think genetic information more or less came out of nowhere by chance assemblages of short polymers.” (See the 09/10/2008 entry.)Geology Stuff Happens, TooIf evolutionary biology struggles with discovering natural laws, surely something as physical as geology should do better, right? Not so fast; in Science last week,4 Susan L. Brantley (Penn State) struggled with the complexities of determining the lifetime of something right under our feet: the soil. Soil is obviously important to humans for economic reasons. It also is easily available for study. But you would be surprised how many complicating factors there are when trying to calculate how fast it forms, how long it lasts, and how fast it erodes. Her opening paragraph only suggested the complexity of it all:Soils constitute the topmost layer of the regolith, the blanket of loose rock material that covers Earth’s surface. An open system such as soil or regolith is sustainable, or in steady state, only when components such as rock particles are removed at the same rate they are replenished. However, soils are defined not only by rock particles but also by minerals, nutrients, organic matter, biota, and water. These entities–each characterized by lifetimes in regolith that vary from hundreds of millions of years to minutes–are often studied by scientists from different disciplines. If soils are to be maintained in a sustainable manner, scientists must develop models that cross these time scales to predict the effects of human impact.Sure enough, each one of these ingredients of soil can increase or decrease at vastly different rates. Attempts to date a sample soil in Puerto Rico by cosmogenic nuclides has underscored the problem: how typical is it? A scientist needs to know the input rate, the erosion rate, the penetration depth and many other things which turn out to vary by several orders of magnitude in different soils. In Africa, for instance, the technique doesn’t work. And that is only one factor. If you study a soil based on its nitrogen input-output rate, or its water retention, or its minerals you can get vastly different results. “When scientists within a discipline study soils, they generally focus on one of these time scales while ignoring faster and slower processes,” she said.Can a scientist assume a sample is in a steady state? Whether any ecosystem reaches steady state, she said, is controversial: “If it is possible, steady state is a complex function of the extent and frequency of disturbances such as fires and insect infestations.” What other factors enter the equation? It appears that defining natural laws of soil evolution that will fit any meaningful set of diverse soils is unattainable. “For example, present-day and long-term denudation rates for catchments or soils have been shown to be equal across time scales in some cases, as required for sustainable soils,” she said, but added, “In other cases, the long-term and present-day denudation rates do not agree, perhaps because of variations in ecosystems, climate, glacial effects, extreme events, or human impact.”How, then, can humans predict what will happen? It’s kind of like debates about global warming: “Just as we use global climate models today to project future climate change, we will eventually be able to use global soil models to project future soil change,” she ended optimistically.1.  Kaustuv Roy, “Dynamics of Body Size Evolution,” Science, 12 September 2008: Vol. 321. no. 5895, pp. 1451-1452, DOI: 10.1126/science.1163097.2.  Sengor et al, “A scale of greatness and causal classification of mass extinctions: Implications for mechanisms,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print September 8, 2008, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0805482105.3.  Forde et al, “Understanding the limits to generalizability of experimental evolutionary models,” Nature 455, 220-223 (11 September 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature07152.4.  Susan L. Brantley, “Geology: Understanding Soil Time,” Science, 12 September 2008: Vol. 321. no. 5895, pp. 1454-1455, DOI: 10.1126/science.1161132.In science it is fairly rare to reduce a phenomenon to simple, neat laws. Physics has arguably been the best example – you can write the physical laws of the universe in equations on a sheet of paper – but even there, complications and difficulties arise (see 06/30/2008, for instance). Maybe you’ve seen one of those science toys that pits gravity against magnetism: a pendulum wobbles chaotically as it tries to fall but hits magnetic repulsive forces. The laws of gravity and electromagnetism are easily expressed mathematically, but it would be a huge challenge to predict the path of the pendulum. How much more so when dealing with all the complex factors involved in ecology and evolution? Don’t use the comeback, Darwinists, of the “Law of Natural Selection.” Go re-read the entry on “Fitness for Dummies” from 10/29/2002.One feels a bit of pity for the evolutionary biologist doing his or her best to capture nature’s exigencies in models, equations and natural laws. It seems a hopeless task. Valiantly they continue on, but the above examples highlight the quandary. One may never know all the factors that come to bear on a problem, or their relative influences, or their rates of action, or their interactions and feedbacks. Yet the NCSE and other pro-Darwin groups constantly parade the supposed priority of evolutionary theory over design or creation on the basis of its explanatory power with reference to natural laws. OK: show us the laws. Can they name any one evolutionary law or rule that is not plagued by exceptions, controversy and counter-claims? And when they have to admit that most evolution occurs without any apparent reason – the Stuff Happens Law – does that qualify as science?  Honk if you find this defense convincing:Why the Stuff Happens Law is ScientificIt is reductive: all events can be reduced to this law.It makes predictions: Stuff will happen.It is universal: Stuff always happens.It is normative, not just descriptive: Given matter in motion, stuff must happen.It is falsifiable: If nothing happens, the law has been disproved.It is practical: If something happens, you know you will find stuff around.Corollaries can be derived from it: e.g., Stuff happens at the worst possible timeBad stuff happens to good peopleMurphy’s Law, etc.last_img read more

  • A Day In The Life Of YouTube’s Fancy-Pants New L.A. Studio

    first_imgAbove the check-in desk hang 48 video screens stacked on top of each other to form a jumbotron, playing a continuous feed of video. There are arcade games in one corner of the cavernous atrium, piles of food sitting in an adjoining open kitchen. The oldest visible person can’t have been born before 1980. Most look like they were hatched in the ’90s.  Everyone wears name tags, even staffers, who seem just as awed by the fancy digs as the stream of young creators who check-in and get their name badges like worker bees or students on the first day of school. Because that’s what today is: Day one of the space’s first incubator class.Some 25 teams of YouTube “partners” are the first test batch of what can be legitimately dubbed the newest accelerator in town. Except this one doesn’t give you any money, or claim ownership of your final product. Instead, it offers the tools to make more professional productions, and strategy to build and grow audiences– while linking with creators on a profit share. When it comes to money, it’s becomes hard to pin down just how much they share as YouTube is reticent to make numbers public.  According to online searches, partners make in the neighborhood of $2 to $5 per thousand views on their videos and about $0.01 per thousand channel views. But when asked to confirm these numbers, Google spokespeople responded that they don’t make public financial details with partners. “The ad rates (are) different for many reasons, so that’s not accurate. YouTube doesn’t share those various rates (again that depend on many factors) publicly. The rev share is always ‘majority goes to the partner’ and that much is consistent and public.”Most people won’t make enough to quit their day job, and critics have said that this model is exploitive. For most people, that’s probably true. But not this group. These are very much the outliers, handpicked by YouTube based on audience size and diversity. The space’s first resident, Freddie Wong, boasts more than 4.3 million subscribers and 785 million video views on his channel. There’s big money on the table for Wong. And he’s taking it.YouTube is letting Freddie build a new soundstage for season two of his scripted series, Video Game High School. And it didn’t even have to spend a penny. Neither did Wong. He raised the money through a Kickstarter project and private investments. Freddie Wong slides down the fireman’s pole and walks over. He sits at a long table opposite from me, adjusts his glasses, musses his long hair and apologizes for intermittent coughs. He’s getting over a cold.  Wong says online video is at a turning point. He says it’s moving from short and viral to more long form, higher-production-value content. At the same time, keeping creative control and direct access to fans is pushing the medium farther and farther away from the traditional video distribution system.The involvement of Wong with YouTube, and his distaste for the studio system, is evidence of that. “As a creator, to be able to take [content] direct to our audience is something you’ve never had before,” Wong says.How to bring media direct to the consumer with a fiscal model that works for both sides, is the big unanswered question. Wong admits the money side is still a work in progress, but when asked if he would take a rich deal with a big-name production company or television studio, he shakes his head emphatically. “What’s actually being offered?” he questioned.Wong says it’s not all about the money, and creative control is a major factor. That’s why he wants to stay in this space, with YouTube. He’s predicting major gains for his upcoming new season, and his partnership with the online video giant. “We’re kind of like the guinea pigs,” he says smiling, about his four-man team. “If you can handle us, you can handle anyone.”Photos By Adam Popescu. SpecsThere’s a a 1,500 square foot sound stage geared towards live music, a 47-seat screening room, three freshly painted green-screen rooms, an editing bay, live feed control rooms, a Next Lab to help audience development, and a “back lot” filled with rentable cameras and equipment. And there’s a palpable do-it-yourself, entrepreneurial feel that pervades the entire building. 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Related Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Tags:#small business#social#video#YouTube center_img adam popescu “My mom should be able to walk in here and make a YouTube video,” explained Kathleen Grace, the space’s manager of production and programming. The hours are 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week (on Sunday, they rest). Partner Talk With Freddie Wong 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout It’s got a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory feel that you can’t shake. The 41,000-square-foot facility smells, looks and feels like money – it’s backed by Google, after all, and subtle reminders and signage are everywhere. There’s a 6,000-foot catwalk circling the building, a fireman’s pole for quick access to the ground floor, and 2 million feet of fibre-optic cable running under the floor.  Far from the Walk of Fame or the fabled sign, this is not Hollywood. Too far southeast from the beaches filled with silicon tech and silicone bodies, we’re miles away from the beaten path. In a converted helicopter hangar once owned by Howard Hughes, step into the home of YouTube’s new creative space. Could this be the new home of L.A. tech, nestled in sleepy Playa Vista? If you’re into online video, and lucky enough to get access to the Google-owned facility, the answer may surprise you. With fresh, wide-eyed faces, collaborative accommodations, and name tags galore, the YouTube space feels more like a college campus than a production facility. But that’s the point. Welcome to Day One of the inaugural incubator class. Welcome YouTubers. (Up till now, the space was used only for occasionally workshops, with the likes of Rainn Wilson and Amy Poehler.)Through The Looking Glass 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…last_img read more

  • Why You Have Not

    first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now You have not developed the necessary mindset. You do not have an optimistic and empowered belief structure. Until you get your mind right, you will not have.You have not done the work. You have not taken the deliberate action, or you have not taken the disciplined action long enough to have. People who have, do.You have not developed the necessary skills. You have not worked on gaining the competencies necessary to have what you want. Level up your skills.You have not taken enough action. You have put your toe in the water and dabbled instead. You have not done enough to reach the tipping point. To have, you must act.You have not gone all in. You have not burned your boats at the shoreline. You have not given up your Plan B.You have not invested in yourself. You have not invested the time, the money, or the energy in the areas that would help you grow and produce the results you seek.You have not read the books. You have not taken the classes. You have not found a mentor. You have not done the work.You have not asked for help. You have not gained the assistance of people who could shorten your learning curve, make introductions, or in some way assist you in reaching your goal.You have not given up waiting to “be discovered,” waiting to be rescued, or waiting to be given something that you want. You have not given up the belief that you can’t have what you want because someone else has more.You have not had the courage to ask.You have not given yourself over to what you want.If you have not, then you have not embraced your real power.last_img read more

  • Shiv Sena seeks more aid for rain-hit farmers in Maharashtra

    first_imgThe Shiv Sena on Monday said the intricacies of government formation in Maharashtra should not push rain-hit farmers towards existential crisis and demanded that they be provided relief package of about ₹30,000 crore.Farmers in the State need to be saved at any cost, it said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, while terming as inadequate the ₹10,000 crore aid announced by the State government for crop damage due to unseasonal rains.The country is already facing economic slowdown resulting into lakhs of people losing jobs, and at such a time those dependent on agriculture are also suffering due to the untimely rains, it pointed out.The Sena’s comments have come at a time when it is locked in a bitter tussle with senior ally BJP over government formation in the state.“Farmers should not be pushed to face the existential crisis due to the untimely showers in Maharashtra, which is also going through political intricacy,” it said.The Government’s priority should be to extend assistance to cultivators, the editorial said, adding that “farmers should be saved, whatever may be the cost for it.”“The already announced amount of ₹10,000 crore is inadequate. Farmers should have been provided an assistance of of ₹25,000 crore to ₹30,000 crore,” it opined.As per an initial evaluation, crops on 54.22 lakh hectares across 325 talukas in the State have been damaged.“The woes of cultivators should be addressed. Whatever may be the form of the current government in the state, it should offer ₹25,000 per hectare to the affected farmers,” the Marathi publication said.Farmers have nowhere to go, as their major crops like soybean, grapes, cotton and sugarcane have been severely affected, it noted, adding that horticulture and floriculture have suffered a setback due to untimely showers last month.The Sena cited the case of 50-year-old farmer Dharma Jadhav who recently committed suicide after being depressed as unseasonal rains flooded his paddy field in Palghar district.“He was not debt-ridden, but his crop was damaged due to heavy rains following which he ended his life,” it said.“The government’s priority should be to extend the assistance to farmers. It should not waste time in technicalities of damage assessment, but ensure that farmers are the direct beneficiaries of its assistance, it said.The Sena said around 50 lakh farmers have taken crop insurance, and asked the insurers to not create any hurdles in clearance of the claims of cultivators.“If the crop insurance companies create trouble for farmers, they should understand that they will have to face the Sena,” the Uddhav Thackeray-led party warned.last_img read more