Coronavirus updates: Three new states added to New York’s travel advisory

first_imgMyriam Borzee/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, JON HAWORTH and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 539,000 people worldwide.Over 11.6 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 2.9 million diagnosed cases and at least 130,430 deaths.Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern: 10:50 a.m.: Florida’s positivity rate climbs to 16.1%Florida’s positivity rate has climbed to 16.1%, up 1.3% from Monday, according to data from the state’s Department of Health.Miami-Dade County, which includes Miami, has a positivity rate of 21%. In Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, the positivity rate stands at 24.6%Florida is reporting 7,347 new cases, with the total number of diagnosed cases now at 213,794.The number of people hospitalized rose by 380 in one day and now stands at 16,425.The state’s death toll has reached 3,943.10:23 a.m.: Delaware, Kansas, Oklahoma added to NY’s travel advisory listGov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday added three more states to New York’s travel advisory.Those traveling to New York from Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma now must quarantine for two weeks.Cuomo said the quarantine applies to anyone coming from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 people over a one-week rolling average, or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a one-week rolling average.These are the current states on the travel list: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.“As states around the country experience increasing community spread, New York is taking action to ensure the continued safety of our phased reopening. Our entire response to this pandemic has been by the numbers, and we’ve set metrics for community spread just as we set metrics for everything,” Cuomo said in a statement. “New Yorkers did the impossible — we went from the worst infection rate in the United States to one of the best — and the last thing we need is to see another spike of COVID-19.”9:35 a.m.: India’s death toll tops 20,000 According to India’s Health Ministry, 467 people have died from the coronavirus in the last day, bringing the nation’s death toll to 20,160. The number of diagnosed infections are increasing rapidly. Authorities reported a one-day increase of 22,252, bringing India’s total number of coronavirus cases to 719,665. Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are India’s hardest-hit states with a total of 427,788 diagnosed cases. India is the third-most affected country for diagnosed cases, behind the U.S. and Brazil. India ranks eighth for total number of fatalities.6:26 a.m.: Woman in viral video who deliberately coughed on a baby has been fired from her jobA woman who deliberately coughed on a baby in a stroller at a restaurant following a verbal altercation with the child’s mother has been fired from her job.The incident, which went viral, occurred in the afternoon of June 12 at approximately 5:25 p.m. at a Yogurtland establishment in San Jose, California, when the suspect was standing in line in front of a mother and her 1-year-old child, who was in a stroller, when she allegedly became upset with the mother for not maintaining proper social distancing.“The preliminary investigation revealed the suspect was upset the female was not maintaining proper social distancing, so the suspect removed her face mask, got close to the baby’s face, and coughed 2-3 times,” said Sergeant Enrique Garcia in a press release from the San Jose Police Department.Oak Grove School District recently released a statement confirming that the woman in the video worked for them and that she has been terminated following the incident that was caught on tape.“As many know, there have been allegations that a District employee was involved in a videotaped incident in which the person appeared to have intentionally coughed on a baby at a local Yogurtland,” the Oak Grove School District statement read. “We want to inform our community that the District employee who was alleged to have engaged in this conduct is no longer an employee of our District. The Oak Grove School District’s highest priority is the safety of our students and the well-being of all of the children in the community we serve. We do not tolerate conduct from any employee that compromises any child’s safety. As we welcome our students back for learning this summer and in the fall in these unprecedented times, the District’s commitment to creating and maintaining a safe environment for our students is unwavering.”5:17 a.m.: Georgia public universities to make face coverings mandatoryThe University System of Georgia said Monday it will require everyone to wear face coverings while inside campus facilities and buildings at all 26 of its public institutions where 6 feet of social distancing may not always be possible.The new policy will take effect July 15 and will be in addition to — not a substitute for — social distancing.“Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met,” the University System of Georgia wrote in the updated guidance. “Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students.”The change comes after more than two-thirds of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s academic faculty protested the school’s plans to reopen this fall without making face masks mandatory.An open letter to the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia voiced concerns that the current reopening plans only make masks mandatory for professors, while students are “strongly encouraged” to wear them. The letter, dated July 2, has garnered the signatures of more than 800 professors out of the roughly 1,100 faculty members at the prestigious public university in Atlanta.4:33 a.m.: Florida teen who died from COVID-19 attended large church gatheringA Florida teenager who died from coronavirus complications last month had attended a large church gathering two weeks earlier, according to a medical examiner’s report.Carsyn Davis, 17, did not wear a face mask when she attended a church function with about 100 other children on June 10. Social distancing was also not followed, according to the report by the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department.Three days later, Davis developed symptoms of what her parents thought was a sinus infectionOn June 19, Davis’ mother noted that her daughter looked “gray” and tested her oxygen saturation, which was in the 40s. The mother borrowed a home oxygen machine belonging to Davis’ grandfather, and the teen’s levels rose to the 60s. Her parents also gave her a dose of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that President Donald Trump controversially endorsed to treat COVID-19.Davis’ parents then took her to a local hospital where she tested positive for COVID-19, according to the report.The parents declined intubation but Davis was given convalescent plasma therapy on June 20 and 21.Intubation was required on June 22 after Davis’ condition did not improve. She died on June 23, according to the report.The report notes that Davis had a “complex medical history” and that hypothalamic-pituitary axis dysfunction, morbid obesity and bronchial asthma were all contributory causes to her death. 3:30 a.m.: US reports 45,000 new cases; death toll tops 130,000More than 130,000 people in the United States have now died from the novel coronavirus, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Some 45,000 new cases of COVID-19 were identified across the nation on Monday. The latest daily caseload is lower than the country’s record high of more than 54,000 new cases identified last Thursday.The national total currently stands at 2,938,624 diagnosed cases with at least 130,306 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 50,000 for the first time last week.Many states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some — including Arizona, California and Florida — reporting daily records. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Summer heat and ice balances on Hodges Glacier, South Georgia, Falkland Islands Dependencies

first_imgThe heat and ice balances of a temperate sub-Antarctic cirque glacier were measured through the 1973–74 melt season at an altitude midway between the climatic firn limit and the snout. The melt calculated from mean daily measurements at a single level of net radiation, wind-speed, temperature, and humidity agreed with that observed at nearby budget stakes. In the central ablation zone, radiation provided (54 ± 6)% and sensible fluxes (46 ± 6)% of the heat income through the summer, which was exceptionally warm and sunny. Latent-heat fluxes made no significant contribution to the heat balance. The calculation by Smith (1960) that the radiative, sensible, and latent heat fluxes contribute about equally to ablation in this zone has not been substantiated by measurement. The measured partition of the glacier’s heat balance suggested that maritime influences on its regime are mitigated by its position in the lee of a major mountain range.last_img read more

State of Vermont, UVM collaborate on ‘smart grid’

first_imgGov. Peter Shumlin is an enthusiastic supporter of smart grid technology. He sees deployment of the system as a way to enable Vermonters to curb their energy use. The benefits of a more responsive electric system are twofold, he said: Residents of the state will save money on electric costs and reduce their contribution to the carbon in the atmosphere that is causing global climate change.Shumlin, who also announced his Vermont Climate Cabinet on Tuesday, described his commitment to abating climate change through a familiar story about his family’s farm where buckthorn is thwarting the regeneration of an ancient maple grove and a pond that was once teeming with frogs is now nearly sterile.‘We are leading in the race to get off our addiction to oil, to capture jobs and to keep this planet livable for future generations,’ Shumlin said. ‘The planet is going to be fine. It’s the folks who live in it that are in trouble.’Shumlin told conference attendees that the state has to figure out how to make the power grid work with a more intermittent supply that includes a much larger amount of renewable energy from solar panels, biomass, methane from cows and hydro.‘The challenge of the Sandia partnership is to take the infrastructure of the past and transform it into the power of the future,’ Shumlin said. ‘We will show the rest of the nation how to get it right. We cannot move fast enough.’Key members of his administration ‘ Elizabeth Miller, commissioner of the Department of Public Service, Karen Marshall, director of ConnectVT, the broadband initiative, and Lawrence Miller, the secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development ‘ spoke at the conference about how the state will implement the new system.Commissioner Elizabeth Miller described several key issues around effective deployment of the smart grid, including public opposition to the installation of smart meters.‘We want to avoid that resistance here in Vermont because we truly believe that this new advanced meter is an infrastructure upgrade, really, and it’s an important upgrade for Vermont to compete in the energy future in front of us,’ Miller said.Miller said initially the department had a ‘mandatory mentality.’ In other states, where the smart meters have met with strong public resistance, the meter installations were proposed as required infrastructure upgrades. Miller said Vermont’s consumer behavior working group is considering an alternative approach to smart meter installation.‘We’re looking at whether narrow targeted opt-out programs that specifically both describe benefits to consumers and appropriately describe the costs â ¦ would allow consumers a choice that frankly tamps down concern and increases acceptance statewide,’ Miller said.Vermont is also looking to marry broadband and smart grid technologies, she said.‘In order for the meter system to communications to the utilities, you have to have a communication system,’ Miller said. ‘One way to think of smart grid is just an overlay of the communication system on the electric system we already have.’Utilities lay groundwork for deployment University of Vermont,by Anne Galloway, is external) May 18, 2011 Thanks to technology, consumers are keenly self-aware. The Internet tracks our purchases, our favorite websites and our ‘friends.’ The web gives us constant updates on the weather, sports events and instant access to the intimate musings of complete strangers via Facebook and Twitter.What if you could track your electricity use in real time? Would you be more apt to turn off the lights and power down your computer if you knew it would save you a couple of bucks each day? Would information about just how much juice it takes to run the clothes dryer spur consumers to hang their laundry on a drying rack?Those are the kind of hypothetical questions interdisciplinary energy scientists and utilities are attempting to answer as part of an initiative yet to be implemented known as ‘smart grid’ technology.The ‘smart grid’ is a digital communication system designed to allow utilities to follow consumption patterns and gauge power outages in real time. Data would be collected from consumers ‘ commercial enterprises, manufacturers, farms or residences ‘ through a ‘smart meter,’ a wireless device that tracks electricity consumed by appliances, computers, lightbulbs ‘ anything that needs power to operate.Utilities would ‘read’ this digital information, use it to study energy consumption trends and change the power generation flow into the system as needed. The ‘smart grid’ is designed to save on energy consumption and costs.At a two-day conference in Burlington, ‘Powering the Future: The Vermont Smart Grid and Beyond,’ experts from the U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, the University of Vermont, utilities and state agencies came together to talk shop about research, development and implementation of a ‘smart grid’ project that could revolutionize the way power is consumed and delivered in the state of Vermont. About 100 utility experts attended the invitation-only event on Tuesday; the symposium included a full slate of plenary panels and discussions on Wednesday.The federal government awarded $69 million to the state for the development of a ‘smart grid’ system in Vermont. The state’s 20 utilities are matching those funds and are deploying ‘smart meters’ to 85 percent of electricity customers in the state.Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who spoke at the conference, is the prime mover behind the federal-state partnership. Sanders approached Sandia National Laboratories three years ago and asked them to consider working with Vermont utilities on a ‘smart grid’ system.Vermont is the first state to develop an integrated electricity system for all its utilities, according to Richard Stulen, vice president of energy, climate and infrastructure security for Sandia National Laboratories. (In other areas of the country, a single utility is taking the lead.)The collaboration between the University of Vermont and Sandia will help the federal government leverage its investment in Vermont, Stulen said.Stulen said the level of collaboration between academia, utilities and the state is very rare. In New Mexico, he said, utilities compete with one another for smart grid projects. Stulen, who called Sanders the ‘sparkplug for all of it,’ said the senator is the only member of Congress to lead such an effort.‘I have never seen anything like this in the country,’ Stulen said. ‘I’ve never seen the galvanization of the state, industry and a university ‘ with a senator behind it.’Sanders’ original vision would have led to the foundation of a national energy laboratory in Vermont. Instead, Sandia agreed to create a ‘center for excellence’ at the University of Vermont. The two institutions have created an exchange for experts and academicians. Together, the team of experts will develop plans to help the state deploy the system.‘What is unique here is the state’s fierce independence and desire to do something progressive,’ Stulen said.Vermont’s small size helps, too. Stulen, who called the smart grid project a ‘human experiment,’ commeded the collaborative nature of the state’s project.The state’s role Mary Powell, the CEO of Green Mountain Power, said the smart grid system will increase reliability, shrink the state’s carbon footprint and contain energy costs.‘Vermont was the first state to put together a whole systems approach,’ Powell said. ‘That’s why we got our funding.’The state’s 20 utilities will match the $69 million in federal stimulus finding for the $138 million smart grid project. Eighty-five percent, or 300,000 Vermont households, will receive smart meters (at a cost of $125 apiece).The federal money is being administered by VELCO, Vermont’s statewide transmission utility, and it will be distributed to utilities throughout the state once the installation of smart meters and other upgrades are complete, according to Allen Stamp, program manager for VELCO.The goal is to improve the overall reliability of the electrical distribution system through better two-way communication between utilities and power consumers, Stamp said. The state’s utilities plan to leverage the existing cell and radio tower infrastructure for communication devices, he said.As part of the research and development phase of the smart grid project, Central Vermont Public Service and Vermont Electric Co-operative have received money from the U.S. Department of Energy to study the relationship between consumer behavior and energy efficiency.Powell said the smart grid system will profoundly improve utilities’ customer service. ‘You’ll never have to pick up the phone again (in the event of a blackout),’ she said. ‘We will instantly know you’re out of power.’The smart grid will increase energy conservation and possibly enable utilities to avoid building new power generation plants, Powell said.last_img read more

Honduran Armed Forces Cooperate with Police to Reduce Violence

first_img FUSINA’s role in improving public safety For example, since January 1, FUSINA forces and other law enforcement officers have arrested more than 800 people suspected of participating in extortion schemes. Overall, since the beginning of the year, the Military and police have executed 1,634 arrest warrants for various crimes and broken up 55 criminal gangs. “This success is due to all the organizations that are fighting to reduce the violent death rate,” said Artillery Colonel José Antonio Sánchez Aguilar, Armed Forces Public Relations Director. “This decrease is the result of the security policies of President Juan Orlando Hernández to organize task forces throughout the country.” “If we continue our teamwork, we envision great change through a reduction in all crimes and violent death rates, since, as a society and as a system, we realize we must work as a team and transparently.” Homicides have been steadily decreasing in Honduras as a result of increased cooperation among the Armed Forces, the National Police, and other criminal justice officials. The country registered a 17 percent drop in violent deaths during the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2014 — from 2,642 last year down to 2,203 in 2015. That change continues an ongoing decline in homicides that began in 2011, when Honduras register 7,104 killings for the year. By the end of last year, that number had dropped to 5,891 for 2014. “We are thrilled that the 2015 Global Peace Index removed Honduras from the list of the five most violent countries in Latin America,” said Sauceda, referring to the study published yearly since 2007 by the Institute for Economics and Peace measuring the level of peace and the absence of violence in a country or region. Cooperation yields positive results Improving the country’s ranking in the Global Peace Index and overall public safety has been a collaborative effort between the Armed Forces and civilian law enforcement officials. For example, the Interagency National Security Force (FUSINA), created in February 2014, has had a direct impact on the decrease in violence. FUSINA brings together the efforts of the Armed Forces and National Police together with judges, investigation agents, and prosecutors against organized crime, drug trafficking, and common offenses. Under their leadership, Armed Forces Troops and police officers conduct security patrols and man checkpoints throughout the country. FUSINA forces are confronting violent gangs, like Barrio 18 (M-18) and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and transnational criminal organizations which engage in international drug trafficking. As of early June, the nation’s homicide rate was 27.29 per 100,000 residents, a dramatic improvement from the 33.23 killings per 100,000 residents the country recorded during the same time in 2014. The Department of Security’s goal is to lower the rate of killings to about 23 per 100,000 residents by the end of 2015, said Deputy Police Commissioner Leonel Sauceda, spokesman for the Department of Security. Targeting gangs is important because these violent groups are responsible for much of the violence in the country. “Many of the violent deaths are caused by conflicts between drug trafficking groups, territorial rivalries or disputes between gangs and other criminal groups, as well as the sale and distribution of drugs, extortion collections [war tax], hitmen, and common offenses,” Sauceda said. The Military and police have also improved public safety by launching security initiatives in penitentiaries, such as transferring gang leaders to maximum security prisons where they have less access to smuggling. Some incarcerated gang leaders have been known to use cellphones that were illegally smuggled into prison. “When the country faced powerful threats, all possible agencies got involved in the fight to confront domestic and international crime, which has enormous resources,” Colonel Sánchez said. Anti-crime operations conducted all over the country are directly related to the reduction in the number of violent deaths. By Dialogo July 08, 2015 I like what you are doing Security will continue to improve with continued cooperation between the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies. “The Armed Forces have a very significant presence in communities,” Deputy Commissioner Sauceda said, “because they conduct important operations, dismantling groups and capturing drug trafficking or organized crime kingpins.” Partnerships and support from friendly nations such as the United States and Colombia are fundamental for combating the crisis of crime and violence that Honduras is experiencing, he added. “These partnerships can yield great results in the fight on crime,” said Allan Fajardo, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH). “The decrease in the murder rate in Honduras is a positive step in the right direction.” The coordination between the Armed Forces, civilian law enforcement officers on the streets of Honduras, and prison authorities responsible for the decrease in violence serves as a deterrent to organized crime operatives as well as common criminals. last_img read more

EPL: Dele Alli scores brace in Spurs win

first_imgRelatedPosts EPL: Son fires four past Southampton Tottenham sign £25m Sergio Reguilon Tottenham re-signs Bale on loan Dele Alli continued his impressive revitalisation under Jose Mourinho as he scored twice in Tottenham’s 3-2 win over Bournemouth.Alli, whose poor form and injuries over the last few months had seen him dropped from the England squad, has rediscovered his star quality since Mourinho arrived at the club and bagged a goal in each half.His brace made it three in three games, as well as two assists, and he has been the figurehead of a Spurs resurgence under Mourinho.Moussa Sissoko also scored his first goal in over two years as Tottenham won their third successive game under the Portuguese, who has brought the feelgood factor back.Harry Wilson’s late double skewed the scoreline and gave Bournemouth hope of an unlikely comeback, but Spurs were not to be denied back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since April.They are now just six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who they still have to play twice, and there is a real belief that the Champions League places are not so far away.Bournemouth’s slide down the table continues, however, and they have just one win from their last eight games.Having found his side 2-0 down after 20 minutes against Olympiacos on Tuesday night, Mourinho will have been hoping for a more stress-free start but had it not been for goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga they would have been behind inside the opening 10 minutes.First the Argentinian scooped away Arnaut Danjuma’s shot before parrying Diego Rico’s long-range effort.Spurs eventually woke up and a lightning quick break saw Son Heung-min close in on goal, but he dragged his shot wide.The hosts were in front by the 20th minute, though, as Alli continued his fine start under Mourinho.He was the beneficiary of some fine work from Toby Alderweireld and Son, whose perfect touch from the defender’s long ball allowed Alli to roll the ball into an empty net.Spurs thought it was 2-0 five minutes later when Davinson Sanchez fired home a loose ball from a corner, but the ball accidentally hit his hand in the build-up and it was chalked off.There was another handball in the box shortly before half-time, this time from Cherries skipper Steve Cook as he handled Alli’s cross, but VAR somehow decided not to review it and the visitors escaped.Howe’s side could not handle Alli’s movement and they fell 2-0 behind five minutes after the restart.It was another brilliant ping by Alderweireld, whose pinpoint ball was controlled by Alli, who held off the opposition defence to clip home.Alli had the chance to complete a hat-trick when a surging breakaway, led by Sissoko, saw the ball fall to him at the far post, but he curled over.Spurs were not to be denied a third, though, and in the 69th minute the crowd were treated to a real collector’s item.Son was played in down the left and he picked out Sissoko, who acrobatically hooked the ball in from close range for his first goal since October 2017.Mourinho has found he has no problems at the top of the pitch, but at the other end they have still looked suspect and they were denied a clean sheet by a fine goal.Wilson curled in a beautiful free-kick off the underside of the crossbar in the 79th minute to give the visitors hope.They got a second deep into stoppage time when Wilson swept home a second, and only a brilliant tackle by Jan Vertonghen to deny Callum Wilson stopped them from taking a point.The two late goals, which also happened at West Ham last week, will be a concern in what has otherwise been a perfect week for Mourinho. Tags: Jose Mourinholast_img read more

Everything You Know About Natural Selection Is Wrong

first_imgIt’s called “a fresh theoretical framework” but it undermines the popular conception of natural selection.  It’s called a “dense and deep work on the foundations of evolutionary biology” but it criticizes as simplistic and false the ideas of Richard Dawkins, one of the most outspoken proponents of natural selection as “the greatest show on earth.”  It produces a new scheme for how natural selection works, but raises more questions than it answers.  What is it?  It’s a new book by Harvard philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith, Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection (Oxford, 2009), reviewed mostly positively by Jay Odenbaugh in Science.1    Odenbaugh is in the philosophy department of Lewis and Clark College, Oregon.  Get ready to jettison your “classical” concepts of fitness, selection and reproductive success.  Unload your simplistic ideas of gene selection, individual selection and group selection.  Prepare to see Richard Dawkins demoted from his status as a leading spokesman for modern Darwinism.  In his first paragraph, Odenbaugh clears the deck to get ready for the “fresh” ideas of Godfrey-Smith:Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection is a dense and deep work on the foundations of evolutionary biology.  Evolutionary biologists tell us that evolution by natural selection occurs when a few ingredients are present—specifically, when there is variation with respect to a trait, those variants differ in the numbers of offspring produced, and this variation is heritable to some degree.  Unfortunately, as Godfrey-Smith argues, this recipe is far too simple, and even more complicated versions such as the replicator approach offered by Richard Dawkins suffer serious flaws.  This “classical recipe,” for example, ignores the fact that for some organisms numbers of offspring don’t necessarily determine reproductive success (“fitness”) whereas rates of population growth, age structure, or variation in expected numbers of offspring do.  Likewise, natural selection and patterns of heredity can “cancel” each other out, leaving no evolutionary change.  The concept of Dawkins’s replicators—those entities that interact with like entities and of which copies are made—presupposes that there can be no reproduction without replication, which is false when we have continuously varying traits evolving by natural selection.  Thus, our standard models for understanding what evolution by natural selection is are just too simple.Wow.  If you have survived that devastating paragraph, you realize that Godfrey-Smith had better replace all the simplistic notions with some profound and testable alternatives quickly before the creationists latch onto what Odenbaugh just admitted.  Unfortunately, Godfrey-Smith replaces it with a scheme that is more ethereal than empirical.  He envisions three parameters, H (reliability of inheritance), C (relation of traits to fitness), and S (dependence of reproductive differences on intrinsic traits).  Then he graphs them in “population space.”  Odenbaugh tries to give this scheme respect: “Godfrey-Smith then uses this spatial framework (along with others concerning reproduction) to understand controversies concerning the nature of random genetic drift, levels of selection, major transitions in evolution (such as the appearance of multicellular organisms), and cultural evolution.”  Then he starts the clock: “Let’s consider what light Godfrey-Smith’s framework shines on some of these topics.”  OK; we have just been promised light on the Cambrian explosion, the units of selection (genes, individuals, or groups), and whether natural selection produced the university itself (cultural evolution).    Odenbaugh delves into some examples to illustrate the new framework (e.g., a twin struck by lightning can’t reproduce, whether or not the other twin is less fit).  He explains Godfrey-Smith’s view that neutral drift is not a “force” or label for ignorance; “rather it concerns where one is in the space of Darwinian populations” (got that?).  Regarding units of selection, we hear more that Godfrey-Smith rejects group selection than offers a plausible replacement: “For example, in cases where selection occurs in neighborhoods, there are no causally cohesive groups for selection to operate on.”  Well, then, what does natural selection operate on?  If Godfrey-Smith has an answer, Odenbaugh did not reveal it.    Let’s see if the book has an answer for the controversy of where great transformations and innovations come from (the classic case being the Cambrian explosion).  “With regard to evolutionary transitions, he notes that often the formation of new biological individuals involves marginal Darwinian populations moving to paradigmatic ones and the parts of such populations (that is, the lower-level entities) moving from paradigmatic ones to marginal ones—a process he terms ‘de-Darwinizing.’”  The casual reader might have to re-read that sentence a few times.  Did he just say that members of a population move, by some unexplained force, into a new paradigm?  Like from a sponge into a trilobite or something?  And that others move out of the paradigm into the margins?  It is difficult to see how any of this wording explains the origin of complex biological information such as eyes, wings, and new body plans.  And how appropriate is it to introduce a new concept like “de-Darwinizing” right now, right at the pending 150th anniversary of Darwin’s book on natural selection, what E. O. Wilson calls “the greatest idea anyone ever had”?    The next paragraph involves debating distinctions about reproducers – whether they can be described as collective, simple, or “scaffolded” (i.e., parts of reproducing entities that get reproduced, such as a gene in a mammal giving birth).  Here’s where Dawkins gets another sucker punch:These distinctions are skillfully employed.  For example, contrary to Richard Dawkins, many instances of genic selection are instances of scaffolded reproduction of genes by cells, and evolutionary models are ultimately representing selection of organisms via their genetic properties.  Often (though not always), when we treat genes as evolutionary units we imbue evolutionary biology with an “agential” framework involving agents, goals, strategies, and purposes that can corrupt the foundations of evolutionary biology.So we certainly must have none of that.  No teleology allowed.  Dawkins’s “selfish genes” have just been criticized as imbued with the concept of agency or strategy or purpose.  Dawkins is corrupting the foundations of evolutionary biology, Odenbaugh and Godfrey-Smith said.  One can only imagine his reaction at such a charge from fellow evolutionists.    The last paragraph of the book review arrives.  The Cat in the Hat had better show up in the nick of time to clean up this mess.  No; now, philosopher Odenbaugh turns on philosopher Godfrey-Smith and accuses him of hypocrisy and obfuscation:Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection raises difficult questions as well.  Godfrey-Smith and others have argued that there is a role in evolutionary biology for “functional” notions.  For example, they hold that it makes sense to claim that the heart in humans has the function of circulating blood.  However, given the author’s criticism of the “agential” framework and the teleology behind it, is this new work compatible with the old?  In addition, although spatial frameworks or state spaces can be exceedingly useful for understanding evolutionary processes, one can ask if they also conceal much of importance.  Their use is critically dependent on which dimensions are included (and which omitted) and on whether one can “score” those dimensions in plausible ways.  Sometimes one wonders whether too much is being omitted and worries that variables like S cannot be scored in any object sense.Not to leave any bad feelings, he finds something to praise: “Nevertheless, Godfrey-Smith’s book fruitfully forces us to think in new ways about evolution and natural selection.”1.  Jay Odenbaugh,“Evolution: A Fresh Theoretical Framework,” Science, 16 October 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5951, pp. 368 – 369, DOI: 10.1126/science.1176940.Folks, you have just watched the undoing of Darwinism and natural selection.  Pray tell, what remains after this gentle demolition derby?  Everything you have been taught about natural selection is wrong.  Is there any concept left on which you can hang your hat and say, “this is natural selection in action”?  No; now you have to worry whether the reproducer was simple, collective, or scaffolded.  Now you have to worry whether selection acts on the gene, the individual, the group, or the population.  Now you need to draw meaningless graphs of arbitrary parameters that might omit key concepts, without knowing how to score them objectively.  You need to be able to talk out both sides of your mouth: demonizing teleology on one side, using “functional notions” on the other.  All the while, you need to keep the Great Cover-Up covered up.  You need to hide the elephant in the room, the “emergence” of specified complexity (such as entirely new body plans in the Cambrian explosion) in rhetorical blankets like “marginal Darwinian populations moving to paradigmatic ones.”    This brief book review has all but destroyed the basis for the big Darwin party next month: the 150th anniversary of the Origin.  Oh, the party will go on.  Speeches will extol The Great Man and his Greatest Show on Earth (watch Colbert tweak Dawkins over that line on Uncommon Descent).  Bells will ring and partygoers will get lubricated with copious quantities of free Dar-wine.  The pagan festival (see 10/10/2009) will be loud and long and full of hoopla.  Party goers will be like drunken celebrants in the gondola of a hot-air balloon, unaware it has lost its flame and is on its way down.  They will revel in their luxury Pullman cars, oblivious to the fact the engine has died and the train is rolling down the wrong track into a desert in the dark of night.  Let the fireworks play, leaving burnt pieces of debris; let the brambles crackle in the fire, leaving ashes.  In the morning will come time to face reality – with a major hangover and a lot to regret.(Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Zuma: South Africa’s farmers make things happen

first_imgThe prize Bonsmara heifer that waspresented to President Jacob Zuma. The precious cargo of cattle was taken toa local community outreach project,where it will be kept on Zuma’sbehalf. Although dry and dusty this time of year,the greater Bultfontein district is amaize-producing powerhouse.(Images: Nicky Rehbock) MEDIA CONTACTS • Volla du PlessisBoertjie Kontreifees coordinator+27 83 6361555RELATED ARTICLES• SA store shows new way to farm• Farming in the heart of Joburg• Food security starts at home• Growing the organic business Nicky RehbockBultfontein, a tiny farming town in the Free State province, was put on the map recently when President Jacob Zuma stopped by.The occasion was the annual Boertjie Kontreifees (Afrikaans, meaning Young Farmer Community Festival) and the president was there at the invitation of the local agricultural union.Speaking at the town showgrounds, the festival’s venue, Zuma praised the hard work and initiative shown by commercial farmers in that region, and suggested a partnership be set up for them to mentor young, small-scale producers.“I have come to see what is being done here, to learn and be part of the group of people who are prepared to work with others … to produce food and cattle,” said the president, adding that farmers are not the kind of people who just talk the talk, but are individuals who make things happen.Although the actual town of Bultfontein is small, with only about 1 000 residents and 40 000 in surrounding settlements, it’s by no means insignificant. Nestled in one of the maize heartlands of the country, it also produces top-quality stock cattle and sheep, wheat, sunflowers, peanuts, potatoes and tomatoes – and its grain silos are the biggest in Southern Africa.Visitors from neighbouring towns and farming communities flock to the four-day Boertjiefees each year. The 2010 event, no doubt scheduled to celebrate the beginning of spring in September, attracted about 30 000 fans and raised more than R100 000 (US$14 050) for schools, churches and charities in the area.Food and craft stalls, evening entertainment with top local musicians, farming equipment demonstrations and Saddle Horse shows were among this year’s highlights.Doing it for themselvesZuma said the community outreach programmes run by the Bultfontein farming union were an example to the country.“Let us start to encourage people to work together as communities to till the land. No government is going to walk into a village and say: ‘Here, we will help you’. The residents must show they can start doing things themselves, then assistance from government will come.”The president said he was speaking in the context of being a “villager” himself, having been raised in the rural district of Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province.“If possible, the subsistence and commercial farmers of this land should join hands. People are keen to produce more food – because if everyone can eat first, crime will be reduced – and the surplus can be sold on behalf of the community,” he said.Zuma added that Bultfontein seemed the right place for children from subsistence-farming communities to learn about commercial agriculture, and that he was willing to send people from his own village to the Free State town for this purpose.Referring to the producers in the Bultfontein district, Zuma said: “One thing I love about farmers is that they don’t sleep – they work, and that’s why they’re so successful. That must be passed on to every citizen of this country.”Gift of cattleTo show their appreciation for the presidential visit, the local farming community presented Zuma with a Bonsmara stud bull and a heifer.Bonsmaras, a hardy South African breed of beef cattle, are ideally suited to the often dry, harsh Free State plains.Zuma named the bull “Nsuze” after the river that runs through his home village of Nkandla.It’s unlikely, though, the cattle will ever see his village – soon after they were handed over to the president, they were transported to a nearby rural development project where they will be kept on his behalf.Before being whisked off by helicopter, Zuma apologised for his brief visit, and promised that he would spend more time there in the future.“Next time I’ll clear my diary, so I can come here in the morning and observe the whole day, so we can create more relationships and find a common vision of producing extra food to make South Africa more self-sufficient,” he said.last_img read more

Asa Miller ranks 81st after Run 1

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES He is 19.25 seconds behind leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who had a time of 1:08.27.Only 85 of the 105 competitors were able to finish the course in their first run.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMiller can improve his total time in Run 2, scheduled at 12:45 p.m. Book it: Devin Booker hits 28 to win 3-point contest Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:30PNP officials inspect Cubao bus terminals ahead of Undas01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Philippines’ Asa Miller competes in the Men’s Giant Slalom at the Jeongseon Alpine Center during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Dimitar DILKOFFAsa Miller finished 81st in his first run in the men’s giant slalom event in alpine skiing Sunday in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter OIympics at Yongpyong Alpine Centre.Entering the course 104th, the Fil-Am alpine skier had a slight slip early in his run in the course but was still able to gather himself and finish the track with a time of 1:27.52.ADVERTISEMENT Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Read Next NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises AFP official booed out of forum John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

American Lakota woman accuses border guards of racial profiling after they probe

first_imgBy Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsAn American Indian woman is accusing border guards in Saskatoon of racial profiling after she was stopped while entering Canada and asked her heritage and if she was part of the Idle No More movement.Patricia Stein told APTN National News her flight arrived in Saskatoon at about 3:20 p.m. Friday and was questioned by a Canadian Border Services Agency officer about where she was going and who she was going to see.The officer ordered her to a “secondary” meeting and Stein was ushered to a waiting area before being interrogated by a different officer.“The first question the officer asked me was my heritage,” said Stein who told him she’s Lakota and German. “He literally had a pad of paper in front of him and wrote ‘Native American’ down and circled it.”The officer wanted to know who she was going to see. Stein said a friend. In fact Stein was using frequent flyer miles to fly to Saskatoon and had to use them up by a certain time or they’d expire.“Then he came back to the Native questions and asked “have you participated in Idle No More?’” said Stein.She said the officer then asked if she’d ever been paid for her “activism.”“No one gets paid for that. Who in the world is going to pay us for that?” said Stein, who during the throes of the Idle No More movement in December and January was in Egypt and held her own rally in front of the Canadian Embassy.She is also outspoken about Indigenous rights, especially missing and murdered women.“The questions were all very, very weird,” said Stein who after an hour and half was allowed into Canada. “It was the most blatant racism I have ever seen.”When she asked why they were asking her all the questions she claims the officer said it’s “routine.”A call to the CBSA was not immediately returned. A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews needed more information and didn’t immediately provide comment.But it didn’t end there according to Stein who claims she had to show the officer how much money she had in her bank account.She pulled it up on her phone.“According to him (they ask for bank records) to make sure people don’t come in and stay here but that’s weird as I have my return flight in six days,” she said. “They wanted bank statements from me but everything kept coming back to how active are you with Native activism.”She described the office she was in as typical with a desk with a computer. She didn’t get the name of the officer but said he was a middle-aged man with red hair and a thick build.Stein said border guards asked her over and over again if it was her first time in Canada. She told them it [email protected]: @afixedaddresslast_img read more