Section championship week: Shasta hosts Chico; Anderson is at Sutter Saturday

first_imgRedding >> The Red Bluff High football team knows full well just how good Shasta has been this year. The Wolves demolished the Spartans 42-7 back on Sept. 1 to set the trend for a 10-1 season and No. 1 overall seed in the Northern Section Division II playoffs. After a 49-0 win over Foothill Friday in the D-II semifinals, Shasta will play for its first title since 1988 at home Saturday against second-seeded Chico (8-3) at Thompson Field in Redding.Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and fans attending …last_img read more

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Evolutionary Theory Not Even Skin Deep

first_imgA book on skin just was published – no, not one of those books, but a book on the physiology of human skin.  Nina Jablonski wrote Skin: A Natural History (UC Berkeley, 2006) and Qais Al-Awqati (Columbia U) reviewed it in Science.1  The reviewer noticed that “In its discussion of the human skin, the book’s principal theme is evolution, and almost every page contains that word.”  So, how did Jablonski do?  Did she satisfy the reviewer’s hopes that Darwin can explain the naked ape?Although the author wants to provide an evolutionary perspective on all attributes of skin biology, the accounts she provides seldom rise above the provision of plausible hypotheses.  Is it really true that we were selected to be hairless sweaty creatures?  That sounds possible, but what is the actual evidence for such an assertion?  Is it also true that vitamin D synthesis, a major locus of interaction between sunlight and diet, is the dominant factor in the natural selection of skin color?  This idea is simply presented without any of the documentation that would make a convincing story.  One would like to see the evidence of how rickets (vitamin D deficiency) might act as an agent of evolutionary selection.Even in the areas of sociology, “The thorny issue of the social construction of the roles of skin color is reduced again to a brief survey of skin color biology and its evolutionary implications.”  At the end of the review, Al-Awqati tried to find a few things to praise, but the shallowness of Jablonski’s evolutionary theorizing extended to her own research.  “Although only a few of Jablonski’s research papers address skin evolution,” he said, “the lack of deep expertise need not prevent a nonspecialist from pulling together findings from different fields to generate an exciting, even fresh view of nature.”  Apparently this book “fell short” of this mark also.1Qais Al-Awqati, “Anthropology: Showing Some Skin,” Science, 2 March 2007: Vol. 315. no. 5816, p. 1223, DOI: 10.1126/science.1138921.If even a fellow evolutionist comes looking for evidence for evolutionary myths and can’t find it, why should anyone else pay attention?  It’s not just the sociology of skin that is Darwin’s thorn in the flesh.  Heat regulation in furry apes is much different than the sweating response in human skin.  Sweat glands are complex structures under the control of the nervous system.  The skin is not just a surface; it has multiple layers with veins, arteries, glands, nerves, hair muscles, sebaceous glands, pores and specialized receptors for touch, heat and pain.    Werner Gitt in The Wonder of Man says that one square centimeter of skin contains 6 million cells, 100 sweat glands, 15 sebaceous glands, 5,000 sensory corpuscles, 200 pain points, 25 pressure points, 12 cold-sensitive points and 2 heat-sensitive points.  Skin sloughs off dead cells while regenerating new ones in a precise balance.  It is an important barrier to disease germs, and a protection from injury and dehydration.  It performs a respiratory function, absorbing some of the oxygen we use, while letting some carbon dioxide in and out.    Human skin is an incomparable substance.  Burn victims are not given artificial plastics; they are given skin transplants from live humans.  How does evolution explain the fact that a newborn infant arrives into the world with a vernix coating to protect its skin?  What evolutionary process led to the precise timing of a multitude of changes that occur in the right sequence when a baby is born?  These are all matters of life and death; without them, there would be no human race.    These observational facts demand causes equal to them.  Creationists have no problem with the question.  Jablonski wrote a whole book on the theme of skin evolution, mentioning the E word on practically every page.  The reviewer was itching for evidence, but only received rash excuses.  Scratch that.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Foreign investors eye African consumers

first_img25 May 2011When the world’s biggest retail company, the US-based Walmart, announced in September 2010 a plan to buy South African retailer Massmart for a staggering US$4.2-billion, eyebrows were raised. Foreign investors in Africa have tended to put their money in the riches that lie beneath its soil, where the profits are higher.In fact, the steady growth of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to the continent during most of the past decade has mostly been concentrated in extractive sectors, especially oil (see Africa Renewal, January 2005).Yet, much like Walmart, a growing number of major investors are now betting on the continent’s ultimate wealth, Africans themselves, according to the World Investment Report 2010 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).And for all the shock that Walmart’s foray into Africa initially prompted, when it announced in December that it was seeking to acquire only 51 percent of Massmart’s shares for $2.5-billion, the transaction was still second to the continent’s biggest business deal unrelated to natural resources. Late in March 2010, a record $10.7-billion transaction took place as Kuwait’s telecommunication company Zain sold its African assets to Bharti, an Indian competitor.Investors eye new sectorsOverall, the Unctad report notes, amidst a recent slump in FDI flows to Africa (see graph): “The services sector, led by the telecommunications industry, became the dominant FDI recipient.”Across the continent, new deals involving major foreign corporations are becoming a common occurrence in sectors previously considered unattractive to investment heavyweights. Nestle, a Swiss food company, announced plans to spend $1-billion by 2013 for acquisitions in various African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Angola. Less than two years ago, Nestle’s main competitor, France’s Danone, bought the yoghurt and desserts division of Clover, South Africa’s leader in fresh cultured dairy products.Such developments call “for reassessment of FDI in Africa, as a different picture emerges,” the Unctad report argues. Potentially, development experts note, an increase in FDI flows to infrastructure, services and retail sales could have a far more positive impact on African economies. Unlike investments in the extractive industries, investments in consumer-oriented sectors often lead to the creation of many more jobs and stimulate consumer spending.Rise of the African middle classAfrica’s booming middle class, with its recently acquired purchasing power, is the main reason behind the new FDI trend on the continent. Various researches suggest that the number of Africans who can afford to buy more than the necessities of daily life is rising rapidly.A much-talked-about report by McKinsey, a US-headquartered multinational consulting firm, estimates that the continent is home to around 50-million middle-class households (defined as those with incomes of at least $20 000), as many as in India. (The report, entitled “Lions on the Move: The Progress and Potential of African Economies”, was published in June 2010.)One in every 10 Africans, says a different study by a French aid agency, is already a “solvent consumer” – one who can afford the latest smartphones, the newest computers and dinners at trendy restaurants.The rise of this middle class is linked to the strong economic performances recorded in many African countries since the end of the 1990s. Average economic growth has been around 5 percent a year, while the average inflation rate fell to 8 percent from an earlier high of 22 percent.From 2000 to 2010, six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan Africa, reports The Economist, an authoritative London weekly. In fact, the publication argues that Africa is the site of “the surprising success story of the past decade,” high praise from a magazine that is generally not very enthusiastic about the continent.Strong and sustained growth rates – and not only in the oil-rich countries that benefited from booming demand from emerging economies – provided a platform from which numerous households moved upwards in income.And while growth in oil-producing countries usually did not result in massive job creation, growth in other countries did create some employment, in turn boosting domestic consumption. In South Africa, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, Africa’s four most advanced and diversified economies, domestic consumption became the largest contributor to growth in recent years, says the McKinsey report.Policies, peace and governanceAfrica’s improved economic performances are also a result of good economic policies and improved political contexts, maintained the World Bank in its report Africa Development Indicators 2007. In Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania, for example, business-friendly policies opened new markets to investors. Angola and Rwanda became fast-growing economies after long civil wars.Some also argue that a continental development plan has helped as well. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), adopted by African leaders in 2001, “did help shape a new, more positive perception of Africa,” argues Patrick Osakwe, an economist with the UN Economic Commission for Africa and co-author of a study on FDI to Africa.By emphasising the importance of good governance, Osakwe told Africa Renewal, the plan illustrated a momentous shift in the way Africans seek to interact with the rest of the world.Expanding prosperityFor a continent so long regarded by outside observers as “hopeless,” the coming years will bring more good news, various analysts say. Africa weathered the global recession better than most regions of the world, and its recent economic performance is second only to that of Asia, according to several international institutions. Over the next five years, The Economist recently projected, “The average African economy will outpace its Asian counterpart.”Such promising prospects are central to Walmart’s expansion plans in Africa. Other major Western investors are likely to follow the US giant, analysts say. One reason is that the continent’s combined consumer spending is forecast to reach $1.4-trillion by 2020, up from $860-billion in 2008. Companies from emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil are already strengthening their positions in the region.As foreign investors rush to benefit from the rise of the new categories of African consumers, prosperity still remains elusive for too many other Africans. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, 250-million people in Africa are undernourished.“To expand prosperity, African leaders need to invest in infrastructure and education, to diversify their economies, so that many more people can benefit from growth,” argues Osakwe.Others note that improving the standard of living of the poor not only makes business sense, but is also a political necessity, as suggested by the recent waves of protests across North Africa. Not addressing people’s economic rights, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay pointedly remarked this January, causes grievances “to fester and eventually erupt on a large scale.”This article was first published in Africa Renewal – produced by the Africa Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information, Africa Renewal provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today.last_img read more

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The Power of Props and How to Make Your Own

first_imgMovie props are an often overlooked item, but they are essential to your film’s storytelling. Check out some great movie props, and learn to make your own with these resources.Top Image via TestedTo get an idea on the importance of movie props, check out this great video from Rishi Kaneria. Take a look at the hidden power of props and how filmmakers use everyday objects to keep the audience invested in the story.Movie props don’t have to be expensive. You can use everyday objects. Even major motion pictures use objects that are just lying around.You can even use some of the camera gear you have lying around. It looked great in Aliens, when the crew used steadicam arms for smart guns. It can also look not so great, like turning an old camera into a heatseeking missile launcher in xXx. Check out this video from Watch Mojo which features some great simple props.If you are interested in making your own props, there are some amazing resources out there.The Replica Prop ForumThe Replica Prop Forum, commonly called the RPF, is an absolutely fantastic resource. Members share their building techniques on how they made some of their favorite movie props. The benefit on learning how to make famous props is the experience of crafting intricate items out of everyday objects.Not only do members talk about the props they made, but also costumes, makeup, and some special effects.  An active member of the RPF is Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame, which leads us to our next site.TestedTested is a great site for all sorts of awesome news. The site was founded by the Mythbusters crew, who show you all sorts of things. They talk about making props, new exciting camera gear and drones, and all sorts of awesome geek and nerd news.One of their most popular tutorials of all time will help you get ready for Star Wars: Episode VII. Check out this tutorial on casting your own lightsaber. AWE Me DIY Prop ShopThe AWE Me DIY Prop Shop YouTube channel is a great simple low budget DIY resource. These DIY props aren’t supposed to be movie accurate, rather just great looking tributes. They’ve already made tons of iconic pieces from all sorts of movies. Be sure to check out their great videos.last_img read more

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Hugo Lloris Out for the Year After Freak Elbow Injury in Tottenham’s Loss to Brighton

first_imgLondon: Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will be sidelined for the rest of the year after suffering a dislocated elbow in a dismal defeat at Brighton on Saturday.Lloris was stretchered from the field screaming in pain after dropping a cross before falling backwards and landing badly as he conceded Brighton’s opening goal at the Amex. “Hugo Lloris has undergone further assessment this morning after sustaining a dislocated elbow in our match against Brighton on Saturday,” Tottenham said in a statement on Monday.”The findings have shown that although surgery will not be required, our club captain has suffered ligament damage and is not expected to return to training before the end of 2019.”Hugo is currently in a brace and will now undergo a period of rest and rehabilitation under the supervision of our medical staff at Hotspur Way.”The news is another hammer blow to Tottenham’s hopes of turning around a poor start to the season.Mauricio Pochettino’s men have won just three of their opening 11 games in all competitions and were thrashed 7-2 at home by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week.Argentine stopper Paulo Gazzaniga will now assume the role of Pochettino’s first-choice goalkeeper for the forseeable future.Lloris will also miss Euro 2020 qualifiers for France against Iceland, Turkey, Albania and Moldova.”It is difficult to say exactly how long he will not be available,” said France boss Didier Deschamps on Monday.”What matters to us right now is that he will not be with us for this round of games or for the next.” Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. footballFrancehugo llorisTottenham Hotspur First Published: October 7, 2019, 9:29 PM ISTlast_img read more

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10 months agoLiverpool midfielder Wijnaldum: Klopp can be hard on you

first_imgLiverpool midfielder Wijnaldum: Klopp can be hard on youby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum insists manager Jurgen Klopp is no soft touch.The Dutchman says Klopp can be a hard taskmaster.He told the Liverpool Echo: “I can’t speak for every player but I have a good relationship with him. He has helped me a lot. He can be hard because he’s always on your case and saying what he thinks. But he’s honest and I like that. It’s always in the right way, always for the right reason. It’s not to make you feel bad or anything like that.”He’s really hard but on the other side he keeps your confidence high. He says that mistakes are just part of football. I remember against Leicester City I made a mistake and it led to a goal. He wasn’t angry about the mistake, he was more angry about my reaction afterwards. He thought I was too busy thinking it, rather than just putting it behind me.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Savanna-La-Mar Hospital Gets New Machine to Reduce Amputations

first_img The Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital has been outfitted with a new C-arm machine, which will help to reduce the number of amputations, by enabling the hospital to undertake more surgeries and reduce patient waiting time.Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who spoke at the official handover of the machine on March 23, described it as another big addition to the infrastructure at the hospital.He attributed the successful acquisition to the relentless efforts of the Hospital Management Committee, chaired by businessman Eric “Busha” Clarke and the medical team at the hospital.“It is the first piece of equipment of its kind that has been installed here at the Savanna-la-Mar hospital. The implication of that, in terms of the pace of doing procedures, the efficiency of the administration of procedures, the waiting time, the bed space that it will free up, is that you can now more precisely attack and deal with the problem that is at hand,” Dr. Tufton said.“This institution is so much better off today, because of the leadership at the local level, not in Kingston, led by “Busha” Clarke and his team. I have witnessed a number of initiatives that signal the start of a process that represents transformation here at Savanna-la-Mar,” the Minister added.The C-arm machine is used to provide high-resolution X-ray images in real time, allowing doctors to monitor progress and immediately make any corrections during surgical, orthopaedic and emergency care procedures.The machine, donated to the Savanna-la Mar Public General Hospital, is valued at $16 million. It was acquired through funding efforts led by Food for the Poor and supported by other organisations, including the National Commercial Bank Foundation, Jamaica National Foundation, American Friends for Justice, Tank-Weld, Couples Resorts and the Issa Trust Foundation.Dr. Tufton said the benefits the new technology brings to Westmoreland “are tremendous,” as it is a response to an important need of the parish, which is disproportionately impacted by “significant trauma-related to motor vehicle accidents and in particular, biking accidents.”The Minister emphasised that the acquisition symbolises the important partnership that is required in public health…“the support through partnerships to build out the public health infrastructure is absolutely critical and we will be placing a lot more emphasis on it this year and in years to come, because we believe there is a lot of value and a lot of goodwill that we can tap into.” Story Highlights Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who spoke at the official handover of the machine on March 23, described it as another big addition to the infrastructure at the hospital. The Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital has been outfitted with a new C-arm machine, which will help to reduce the number of amputations, by enabling the hospital to undertake more surgeries and reduce patient waiting time. “It is the first piece of equipment of its kind that has been installed here at the Savanna-la-Mar hospital. The implication of that, in terms of the pace of doing procedures, the efficiency of the administration of procedures, the waiting time, the bed space that it will free up, is that you can now more precisely attack and deal with the problem that is at hand,” Dr. Tufton said. last_img read more

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David Suzuki Petitions Government To Ban Neonics

first_imgAfter the Task force on Systemic Pesticides (TFSP) published their definitive analysis that neonics cause serious risks to bees and other beneficial species – such as butterflies, earthworms and birds – activist David Suzuki is calling on government to ban neonics in Canada.The TFSP, made up of international scientists concerned about the impact of pesticides on biodiversity and ecosystems, concluded a four-year analysis of 800 peer reviewed studies on neonics.“Unlike other pesticides, which remain on the surface of treated foliage, systemic pesticides are taken up by the plant and transported to all the tissues (leaves, flowers, roots and stems, as well as pollen and nectar),” says TFSP.Designed to kill aphids and grubs, neonics are ‘systemic’ pesticides that disrupt the central nervous systems of insects. But according to TFSP, they are still toxic even at very low doses and remain in place for months on average, resulting in exposure to non-target organisms, and because they are water-soluble, they run off into aquatic habitats easily.They affect the species that “chew the plant, sip its sap, drink its nectar, eat its pollen or fruit, [… causing] impaired sense of smell or memory; reduced fecundity; altered feeding behaviour and reduced food intake including reduced foraging in bees; altered tunneling behaviour in earthworms; difficulty in flight and increased susceptibility to disease.”The EU has already placed restrictions on their use. Suzuki wants to see an outright ban on neonics in Canada.“Bees may be small,” says Suzuki, “but they play a big role in human health and survival. Some experts say one of every three bites of food we eat depends on them. The insects pollinate everything from apples and zucchini to blueberries and almonds. If bees and other pollinators are at risk, entire terrestrial ecosystems are at risk, and so are we.”You can join the David Suzuki Foundation’s petition to the Canadian government to ban bee-killing pesticides here.Copyright ©2014Look to the Starslast_img read more

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National Bank of Canada says data exposed includes name birthdate and phone

first_imgNational Bank of Canada says a website error may have exposed the personal information of nearly 400 of its customers, including their names, birthdates, phone number and email address.The Canadian lender says in a statement the problem related to an electronic form on its website and did not expose clients’ banking information, social insurance numbers or addresses.The bank says a customer filling out an online form to make a branch appointment may have been able to see the data entered by a previous user.National Bank says it was notified earlier this week about the problem, which lasted a few days.The lender adds the incident was the result of human error while setting up the online form, and was resolved immediately.The bank is contacting the nearly 400 potentially-affected customers to offer free credit monitoring.last_img read more

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Standing Committee on Access to Information Privacy and Ethics releases agenda for

first_imgOTTAWA, O.N. – The Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics has released the agenda for the upcoming second meeting on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy.From May 27 to the 29, expert witnesses will be in Ottawa to appear before representatives from at least 11 countries to give testimony on how governments can protect democracy and citizen rights in the age of big data.Witnesses appearing at the testimony include: Roger McNamee, Author of Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook CatastropheShoshana Zuboff, Author of The Age of Surveillance CapitalismMaria Ressa, Journalist, Author of From Bin Laden to Facebook:10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of TerrorismJim Balsillie, Chair, Centre for International Governance Innovation; Retired Chairman and co-CEO of BlackBerryEllen Weintraub, Chair of the United States Federal Election CommissionDaniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of CanadaJoseph Cannataci, Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, United NationsProfessor Heidi Tworek, University of British ColumbiaJason Kint, CEO Digital Content NextTaylor Owen, McGill UniversityIt is said that representatives from Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and the Mozilla Foundation will also be in attendance to provide testimony. The only company not to have confirmed its attendance is Apple.M.P. and Committee Chair, Bob Zimmer, says he is looking forward to hearing from the testimonies of global tech experts about how to protect the privacy of citizens in the digital age. Zimmer also expects Facebook executives, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, to comply with the Committee’s recent subpoena.“I look forward to hearing from this list of global experts as they identify not only the issues surrounding big data and democracy, but also how we, as lawmakers, can work to find solutions to protect the rights of our citizens. Further, I expect Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to comply with our subpoena, respect the will of lawmakers representing over 373 million citizens, and show up.”A link to the agenda can be found here.The International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy takes place May 27 to the 29, 2019 in Ottawa.last_img read more

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