Brathwaite’s 20 not enough for Daredevils

first_imgMOHALI, India, (CMC): West Indies’ Twenty20 World Cup star Carlos Brathwaite sparkled but for a brief moment as his Delhi Daredevils continued their erratic form in the Indian Premier League to plunge to a nine-run defeat to Kings XI Punjab here yesterday. Chasing 182 at the PCA Stadium, Delhi started well but then faltered to finish on 172 for five, missing the chance to join front-runners Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Lions on 12 points. They now lie third on ten points after losing their fourth game of the season. Brathwaite hit three sixes in his 20. South African opener Quinton de Kock lashed a top score of 52 from 30 deliveries in a 70-run first-wicket stand with Sanju Samson, who made 49. Karun Nair stroked 23, while Brathwaite, batting at number five, smashed a four and a six in scoring 12 from six balls before top-edging a pull at seamer Sandeep Sharma to be caught at midwicket in the 18th over. At that stage, Delhi required 28 runs from the last two overs, but a brilliant penultimate over from medium pacer Mohit Sharma, which cost just three runs, turned the game firmly in Kings XI favour. Wriddhiman Saha and Marcus Stoinis had earlier struck the joint top score of 52 as Kings XI mustered 181 for five after being sent in. Opener Murali Vijay chipped in with 25 from 16 balls. Brathwaite proved expensive as his two overs of medium pace leaked 20 runs.last_img read more

Paley’s Watch Found

first_img(Visited 679 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 There actually is a clock in the heath, and it’s in our bodies, too.What is a watch? It’s an instance of a clock. William Paley famously presented his famous “watchmaker argument” in Natural Theology in 1802, a book that influenced Darwin. Paley asked what one could deduce if he ran across a watch lying upon the ground in a heath. With cogent analysis, he anticipated the arguments of Michael Behe (Darwin’s Black Box) about irreducible complexity and arguments about functional wholes of Douglas Axe (Undeniable). Whether or not Paley took his argument too far, his “watchmaker argument” can stand on its own as a logical argument for intelligent design.Since a watch is a clock, but not all clocks are watches, we need to be sure that other instances of clocks support Paley’s argument. One might dispute Paley by saying the daily rotation of the earth is a ‘clock’ of sorts that is not irreducibly complex. The point of the argument is that a designed clock has a point. It’s organized in a way to tell time for a purpose. The earth’s diurnal cycle is oblivious to beings that might use it to tell time, but a watch was made for the purpose of monitoring the passage of time for human use. The Greeks had a water clock. Early medieval people had the hourglass. Christian Huygens invented the pendulum clock. As science progressed, clocks utilizing springs and gears, then quartz vibrations, and then atomic frequencies refined timekeeping to astonishing levels of accuracy. Timekeeping devices are so accurate now that scientists routinely have to consider adding a “leap second” every few years to keep instruments in sync with astronomical phenomena, and GPS satellites have to take very tiny relativistic effects into account.Critics of Paley might say that the early timekeeping devices, like the hourglass, are not irreducibly complex (IC), because any similar repetitive process in nature could be used by a person to infer time, even if it doesn’t happen for the purpose of providing timekeeping information to humans. Examples might be tides, the rising and falling of the Nile, or a regular geyser’s eruption. At some point, human clock devices certainly became IC, because nobody would assume nature could produce a modern atomic clock.One telltale sign of an IC clock mechanism would be if it contained switches that perform a function. Most of us have seen the mechanical trippers on certain clocks that flip lights on and off. Alarm clocks that turn on a buzzer or radio station are more examples. These days, the clocks in our smartphones can switch on all kinds of applications, and the “internet of things” is beginning to link whatever function one might desire to the passage of time, so that you can even reset your home lights in New York remotely from a Paris cafe. Hourglasses lacked these additional functions. Whenever we see a clock that can switch on another function that is independently useful, we’re getting close to IC. If it can switch on numerous functions, and simultaneously respond to external inputs to keep those functions regulated within tight constraints, then the case for IC becomes very convincing. If Paley’s 1805-era watch was IC, how much more would such a time-based, adapting, switching master regulator be?The Circadian ClockNow we are ready to announce the existence of such a clock: the circadian clock in all living things. Science Magazine published a collection of papers on biological clocks recently. In a leading Perspective article, Millius and Ueda discussed why organisms need circadian mechanisms, and how new knowledge is being gained about them:An internal biological rhythm, the circadian clock—which can be measured by changes in rhythmic gene expression, cellular activity, or physiological behavior—enables an organism to anticipate daily cyclic changes in the environment.Credit: Illustra MediaWe see in this quote that the clock mechanism comes from genes, which are sequences of information – not mere rhythms of natural objects subject to laws of nature (like the tides). We see also that these genes switch on functions such as cellular activity or behavior that are important for the organism. The genes can adjust to external inputs, such as sunlight, as when we adjust to jet lag. The functions that the circadian clock switch on are numerous, the article goes on to say. Effects occur at all scales, too, from the individual protein and organ to the whole organism. Even more interesting is the finding that timekeeping functions differ between tissues. This suggests that the regulation of circadian rhythms are customized for each tissue, for each organ, and for the whole organism (e.g., for diurnal and nocturnal animals). Here’s a sample of the complexity researchers found when they measured gene expression in the tissues of one species of primate, the olive wild baboon:Approximately 11,000 transcripts were expressed in all 64 sampled tissues, which the researchers called ubiquitously expressed genes, including many involved in basic cellular functions such as DNA repair, transcription, and protein homeostasis. Most of these ubiquitously expressed genes were rhythmic in at least one tissue, but there was little overlap in rhythmic genes between tissues, which suggests that tissue-specific mechanisms control oscillatory expression. For example, a gene that had rhythmic expression in the liver was constitutively expressed in the heart. Because ubiquitously expressed genes control fundamental biological processes, timing their expression can affect the overall function of a tissue. For example, diurnal regulation of exocytosis in the thyroid or adrenal glands may enable rhythmic release of endocrine factors, compared with other organs in which the timing of exocytosis is less important for function.The Whole-Genome ClockCredit: Illustra MediaIn another Perspective article by Carolina Diettrich Mallet de Lima and Anita Göndör in Science, we learn that the whole genome itself is organized to facilitate circadian homeostasis, that is, the maintenance of accurate timekeeping in spite of external perturbations.Maps of physical contact probabilities between distant regions have earlier revealed that the genome is organized into topologically associating domains (TADs) displaying high local, intradomain chromatin-fiber contact frequencies. Given that TADs constrain and thereby increase the specificity of enhancer-promoter (E-P) contacts, the mechanisms and dynamics of TAD formation are intensely investigated.This organization that regulates gene expression is highly specific, as would be expected for homeostasis. But it also exhibits flexibility. The Perspective article references a paper in Science by Kim et al. that shows that the circadian clock is not only reliable, it is able to adapt to changing conditions.Phenotypic plasticity, the potential for phenotypic change in response to external signals, drives adaptation to environmental fluctuations and requires flexible gene regulation. A seminal example of adaptive plasticity is represented by the circadian clock, which establishes 24-hour rhythmicity in physiology, metabolic activities, and behavior. As external time cues, such as light and food intake, can reset the phase of oscillations, circadian homeostasis enables light-sensitive organisms to both anticipate and adapt to daily environmental cycles. On page 1274 of this issue, Kim et al. provide a glimpse into the genome-wide complexity of transcriptional plasticity during the physiological circadian cycle in mice, with implications for our understanding of diseases linked with deregulation of the circadian clock.The Cell Cycle ClockAnother type of clock does not need to know the time of day so much as it needs to ensure processes occur in the proper sequence. Business project managers are familiar with Gantt charts or Pert charts that lay out the sequence of steps in a project, such as what steps need to complete before other steps can begin. A foreman on the project might establish checkpoints for go or no-go decisions based on upstream events. That’s what the cell does when its project is duplicating itself. Phys.org tells how proteins regulate the cell cycle:Credit: Illustra MediaCell division is the basis of all life. Even the smallest errors in this complex process can lead to grave diseases like cancer. Certain proteins have to be switched on or off at specific times for proper cell division. Biophysicists and medical biochemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have described the underlying mechanism of this process. They report how different signaling pathways in the cell change the structures of proteins, thereby driving the cell division cycle in the right direction at the right time. The researchers present their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Lest anyone doubt that the cell cycle is irreducibly complex, read on:The cell cycle is an extremely complex and precisely defined process. “The parent cell has to double its existing components and then divide into daughter cells. In order to do this, numerous genes have to be switched on and off at very specific times,” says biophysicist Professor Jochen Balbach from MLU. The cell cycle is sub-divided into phases. These are controlled by what are known as inhibitor proteins, also called CDK inhibitors. Like a red traffic light, these proteins block transition to the next phase until the cell gives the relevant start signal. ConclusionPaley’s watch has been found. It was inside him all the time, as well as inside the heather on the heath. The exciting thing is, it is far more complex than Paley could have imagined. If a relatively simple watch on the ground was sufficient to infer intelligent design, how much more the regulated, flexible, switching circadian clocks described above?Exercise: Darwinians will undoubtedly rush to argue that there is an evolutionary path to the human circadian clock with all its complexity. Some early microbe found it beneficial to regulate its activity by the diurnal cycle. Later organisms got better at it, and over millions of years, here we are. How would you respond to this claim? (comments are invited). We have more to say about natural selection in a future post, but start with our March 13 entry, ‘Natural Selection? No – Sheer Dumb Luck.” The evolutionary comeback hinges on what ‘fitness’ means, and whether natural selection is a creative process with functional innovation as an expected outcome. It’s not enough to imagine a path and tell just-so stories about it. The actual random mutations that were selected need to be specified.Extra Credit: Many skeptics feel that David Hume answered Paley’s argument from design and basically overturned the case of the natural theologians. Hume, however, wrote his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion in 1779, a full 23 years before Paley’s book came out. Imagine a debate between Hume and Paley. Who do you think would have succeeded in 1802? Who do you think would win in 2018, now that we know much more about life, genetics and the living cell?last_img read more

I Just Want to Plant (A #Plant18 Parody Song)

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest When #Plant18 becomes #Blizzard18 and #Flood18 a song like this one is born. Enjoy as much as you can while you are stewing in the shop with your shiny tractors and calibrated planters. I just hope it gives you a little reason to smile. –Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Netlast_img

Vigilance raids J&K Bank, hours after chairman was replaced

first_imgA team of the Jammu and Kashmir Vigilance Commission on Saturday raided the headquarters of the J&K Bank in Srinagar, hours after an official communique announced the removal of Parvez Ahmad as the bank chairman.A bank employee told The Hindu that the entry and exit points of the bank headquarters in Srinagar were sealed by the security forces in the afternoon. “Employees were barred from leaving the premises,” said the employee.The vigilance team accessed the Human Resource department and the main office of the former chairman for investigation. There has been no official communique from the vigilance department on the reasons behind the raids.The move came just hours after Vishal Sharma, additional secretary of the State Finance Department, issued an order announcing “cessation of Mr. Ahmad on the Board of Directors (BoD) of the J&K Bank. Mr. Ahmad cease to be director on the BoD and no longer be chairman cum managing director of the board,” reads the order.R.K. Chibber has been nominated as director on the board and “an interim chairman” of the bank. The bank was mired in a controversy over its recent recruitment in the State. Established in 1938, the State Government holds 59.3% share in the bank. Governor Satya Pal Malik-headed State Administrative Council (SAC) on November 22 last year approved a proposal to treat the bank as Public Sector Undertaking and evoked criticism from regional political parties. National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had then termed it “a conspiracy to rob the bank, the sole lender to the J&K State, of its autonomy”. However, the Governor’s order then claimed that the board of the bank was competent to take decisions regarding employees’ salary and other decisions. “The bank will be regulated by the RBI as an old generation private sector bank, by the Registrar of Companies as it is a Government Company under Companies Act and by the SEBI as it is a listed company,” Mr. Malik’s order said.The Governor had also accused the bank of recruiting people in 2018 “under the influence of the politicians from the regional parties like PDP and NC”. However, the recent recruitment saw the Raj Bhawan also at the Centre of controversy.last_img read more

Life of Desires

first_imgWhen it was first published 20 years ago, many parents, schools and even some religious communities had advised youngsters in India against reading this book. One bookstore in Bangalore even stuffed it at the back of the shop mistaking it for a sex manual rather than what it is–‘a rather comic story of a middle class boy who grows up in conservative India’. But when Richard Crasta’s first novel was republished recently for a new generation of readers, the author said he is glad that India is becoming more tolerant and people can now walk into a store and buy his novel today.It is easy to relate to the story of Vijay Prabhu, born into an orthodox Catholic family and brought up in Mangalore in Karnataka, in the Sixties and early Seventies. As the title The Revised Kama Sutra suggests, central to the theme is how a young boy copes with yearnings and dreams in a conservative society which forbade mention of subjects related to sex, puberty, adolescence and manhood.It is about his dreams and determination of getting away from the small town he lives in, and of the big American Dream he lovingly nurtures as the only way to break free of these shackles. America for him is the new land of the Kama Sutra, free sex, free speech and Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup.The story traces Vijay’s life from the strict Catholic boarding schools where he studied, to the many cities and small districts all over India where he worked–first in a bank and then as an IAS officer–and finally to the United States of America, where he goes after giving up his plush bureaucratic job.Vijay’s images of America are borrowed from Readers Digests, from Time magazines, from John F Kennedy and Jackie Onassis, from the popular music of that time and steamy American paperbacks. advertisementHowever, during his first foray into the country, where he enrols as a student at a university, the reality does not quite match up to his perceptions. Vijay finds America an antiseptic land of loveless cities, and, on an impulse, launches an anti sex campaign, which forces him to return to India. He concludes that India is probably the more civilised of the two countries because here “they did not judge you by the name of the crook etched on your polo shirt”.However, Vijay returns to New York to fulfil his dreams of becoming an author, because, as he says, with all its faults, America is the country that will give him the chance to tell his story.The narrative is full of light and humorous moments. Such as Vijay’s musings on how the strict boarding schools of that time were ruled by five pillars of oppression–canes, bells, penis shame, girl shame and sport. Though the book makes you break into a smile more often than not, there are sombre undercurrents as the author takes a passing look at various subjects ranging from colonialism, shoplifting or the corruption which has seeped into the Indian bureaucracy.This is a good read, both for the great writing style, and as the author says, it captures a time, a culture and an innocence that is quickly losing out to modernity.HarperCollins, Rs. 3993 On the shelvesThe F-Word: This book is really about the big F-wordin all our lives–Food! It is a hilarious account of a working woman who spends her time juggling family, friends, long-distance phone calls and food. It is packed with good recipes to suit every taste.HarperCollins, Rs. 599City Improbable: Edited by the grand old man of Delhi–Khushwant Singh–it brings together writings byimmigrants, residents, refugees, travellers and invaders who haveengaged with India’s capital over different epochs–from the era of theMughals, the Emergency to this day. A good gift for anyone who isinterested in the national capital.Penguin, Rs. 399The Delhi Walla series: Monuments. Food + Drink. Hangouts. Amaverick author. That pretty much sums up the essence of the three slimguidebooks on Delhi by Mayank Austen Soofi. Moments, colours, flavoursand months spent combing Delhi’s streets in search of its soul makethese books a delight to read.Collins, Rs. 199 eachlast_img read more

Prime Minister Encourages Stronger Citizen-Police Relations to Curb Crime

first_img Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging citizens to work more closely with the security forces to safeguard their communities against criminals.The Prime Minister said a “strong message” must be sent by citizens that they will not provide safe havens in their communities for persons intent on breaking the law.He was delivering the keynote address at the National Housing Trust’s (NHT) ground-breaking ceremony for the 63-unit Industry Cove Manor housing development in Green Island, Hanover, on Thursday (August 16).Mr. Holness noted that there is credible data showing numerous cases of direct links between the perpetrators of crime, particularly murders, and their victims, adding that “it is not strangers killing strangers.”“Oftentimes it is close friends and family members. We cannot give succour and protection to the criminals who are in our midst. It is only going to destroy your communities,” he emphasised.Mr. Holness voiced concern that the parish of Hanover, which he noted has long been one of the north coast’s shining beacons, is now beset by increased criminal activity.Consequently, he said he has been having “very serious dialogue” with the Minister of National Security and Commissioner of Police regarding strategies being formulated to urgently address the situation.“I have visited several families here who have been the victims. This beautiful parish should not be contributing to the murder rate and it is the duty of the citizens to put a stop to it,” Mr. Holness underscored.Industry Cove Manor, which will comprise 23 detached two-bedroom and 40 two- bedroom townhouse units, is being developed on 4.94 hectares (12.31 acres) of land. The Prime Minister said a “strong message” must be sent by citizens that they will not provide safe havens in their communities for persons intent on breaking the law. He was delivering the keynote address at the National Housing Trust’s (NHT) ground-breaking ceremony for the 63-unit Industry Cove Manor housing development in Green Island, Hanover, on Thursday (August 16). Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging citizens to work more closely with the security forces to safeguard their communities against criminals. Story Highlightslast_img read more

HHLA Sees Steady Throughput amid Weak Global Trade

first_imgzoom German terminal operator Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has seen its container throughput decrease by 2.1 percent in the period from January to September 2016, compared to the same period of 2015.The operator handled a total of 4.9 million TEUs in the nine-month period, down from the 5 million TEUs reported a year earlier.HHLA said that group revenue and operating result (EBIT) remained within the previous year’s range, as its revenue stood at EUR 871 million (USD 952.6 million), compared to EUR 868.9 million (USD 950.3 million) reported a year earlier, while its operating result increased to EUR 126.9 million from EUR 123.9 million.Additionally, container transport by the terminal operator’s Intermodal companies increased by 5.9 percent to 1.05 million TEUs.“HHLA turned in a satisfactory performance given the still subdued global economic growth, weak global trade, a further slowdown in global container throughput and continued infrastructure deficits,” Klaus-Dieter Peters, Chairman of HHLA’s Executive Board, said.He added that HHLA sees “a positive trend in the Container segment over the year,” as the Intermodal segment “once again recorded encouraging volume growth.”“We are confident that we can reach our targets by the end of the financial year,” Peters noted.Developments over the course of the year indicated that the container segment had bottomed out. After the negative volume trend seen in the first half of 2016, volumes recovered in the third quarter, growing by 5.6 percent compared with the same period of 2015. This growth was largely driven by an increase in feeder traffic, particularly between Hamburg and Russia.Although the container throughput and revenue is still expected to remain on a par with the previous year’s figures, HHLA said that it now predicts a moderate increase in container transport.last_img read more