With young nucleus intact, Humboldt State men’s basketball team out to do big things this season

first_imgARCATA >> During Tom Wood’s legendary tenure on the Humboldt State sidelines, the only thing that was as frequent as 20-plus-win seasons were the West Regional appearances.For the first time in three seasons, the Jacks were able to get back to those same regionals, a place that saw them frequent for 11 straight years during HSU’s “Era of Excellence” under Wood and now sixth-year head coach Steve Kinder’s guidance.Now, Kinder, Wood’s former protege, enters the 2016-17 season looking to answer …last_img

Nature Recommends Trimming the Bible

first_imgPeople act violently when they think God sanctions violence, thinks Brad Bushman, a social psychologist from U. of Michigan. Heidi Ledford wrote in Nature1 that he and others like Hector Avalos (Iowa State) propose editing Scripture. “Avalos has proposed a radical solution to theologically inspired violence � cut the violent passages out of the scripture.” He says this is not a “wildly controversial idea” because churches are already selective about what they preach.1Heidi Ledford, “Scriptural violence can foster aggression,” Nature 446, 114-115 (8 March 2007) | doi:10.1038/446114b.What business is this of Nature? Clean your own house, Darwinians. Thou shalt not alter a word of Scripture till thou purge Darwin’s writings of the racism that led to the largest and most pernicious genocides of all time.* Purge, also, the writings of his cousin Galton on eugenics, and the writings of all the other Darwin disciples who saw violence as a good thing – the agent of evolutionary progress. 148 million people perished in the last 100 years due to Darwin-inspired regimes. Multiple millions more who survived suffered other forms of violence, torture and deprivation. When you are done with that little exercise, then purge the Quran of its violent passages. How convenient to attack the Scriptures of Christians who believe in praying for one’s enemies, while ignoring the 1.5 billion people subscribing to a “religion of peace” that believes in blowing up buses and shopping malls in the name of the moon god so that brainwashed young men can fulfill their fantasies of eternal sex. Then, Darwin Party, write a term paper on the hospitals and charities and improvements to education and government founded by Christians. These are prerequisites before starting any conversation about the interpretation of the violent passages in Scripture, which have been duly discussed in context by Jewish and Christian theologians for millennia. OK, atheists, got any virtues you would like to brag about? Besides hypocrisy, that is. How about a little altruism? (01/21/2006, 03/16/2005).(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Nature Can’t Wait for Darwin Day

first_imgDarwin Day (Feb. 12, 2009) is months away, but Nature devoted a special issue to it this week. The cover story, Darwin 200, includes 15 articles and features, some of which are available to the public. Features include a list of celebrations and exhibitions around the world, including a re-enactment of Darwin’s voyage on a “modernized replica” of the HMS Beagle. The voyage will be a floating field trip beamed to classrooms worldwide. The lead Editorial, “Beyond the Origin,” contained the expected creation-bashing and touting of Darwin’s theory as the greatest idea in history, but it ended with a curious theme: synthetic biology will allow the origin of life by intelligent design, though Darwin’s law of natural selection will continue to rule biology. By the time the 200th birthday of On the Origin of Species is celebrated, the life under study by science may well no longer be united by common ancestry in the way that all life is today. In that sense, Darwin’s view of the world will have been superseded. But whether that life exists around another star or in a bioreactor, it will still evolve, if given leave to, according to the simple and awe-inspiring algorithms of natural selection. The essay of Dobzhansky’s quoted earlier bears the now-famous title “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”. That is so close to being an analytical truth – a necessary implication of what life itself is – that we can be certain it will continue to be true into the future. But that certainty in no way limits the diversity and sheer wonder of what we will find on the voyage that Darwin began.The celebratory euphoria in this editorial was quenched somewhat by another article in the special issue by Janet Browne, historian at Harvard and authority on Darwin. Although calling Darwin’s theory a “magnificent achievement” offering “remarkable explanatory power for 150 years,” she found some dirty laundry in the political history of Darwinism.1 Noting that “it is worth remembering that scientific anniversaries also provide an opportunity to push an agenda, and even to adapt the past, so telling us what we like best to hear,” Browne revisited prior Darwin celebrations in 1882, 1909 and 1959 to see what happened then. She found an interesting phenomenon: Darwin celebrations tended to be agenda-driven attempts to shore up a theory in crisis:1882: When Darwin died, his supporters used his “funeral as propaganda.” Concerned at the time over criticisms that Darwin’s views were hostile to religion, Thomas Huxley and crew hastened to get him buried in Westminster Abbey. Why?The funeral service and many obituaries stressed that Darwin was not an atheist. He was instead described as a good man, committed to truth and honesty. This was true, but it was also valuable propaganda at a time when relations between science and religion were intensely fraught. The men of the Royal Society used Darwin’s funeral as a way to reassure their contemporaries that science was not a threat to moral values, but rather was becoming increasingly important in the modern world.1909: The 50th anniversary of the Origin found Darwin’s theory in decline. New views on genetics, fossils and orthogenesis were undermining his views on gradual change, implying instead a goal-directed path of descent and even teleology. “The 1909 commemorations, organized by a small group of naturalists and Darwin family members from the University of Cambridge, provided a way to reassert the primacy of natural selection against other evolutionary rivals,” Browne said.1959: The bombastic Darwin Centennial hosted by the University of Chicago in 1959 was another attempt to whitewash Darwin, Browne argued. This Darwin anniversary was held at the University of Chicago in Illinois, in a symposium that pointedly celebrated the integration of genetics and population statistics with selection theory. Ten years earlier, this integration had almost taken the form of a political treaty. Putting it bluntly, field naturalists were eager to re-establish their value in an increasingly laboratory-based world. Prominent naturalists such as Ernst Mayr managed to get geneticists and statisticians to agree that evolution could take place on three levels: in molecules; in the flow of genes through populations; and in the environmental world of organisms undergoing competition and natural selection. In 1942, Julian Huxley invented the phrase ‘modern synthesis’ to combine genetics with natural selection, and Mayr’s key work within this synthesis, Systematics and the Origin of Species from the Viewpoint of a Zoologist (Columbia Univ. Press), was published.In addition, the Darwinites “in effect created modern Darwinism by emphatically rejecting any form of Lamarckism” in the context of the cold war:In 1959, socialist Russia had only recently withdrawn from Lamarckism in genetics, and the idea was strongly associated in US minds with the cold-war struggle. The delegates also rejected the idea that the fossil record shows signs of directed evolution, and expanded Darwinian thought to cover the evolution of mind and behaviour. During the conference, Julian Huxley, the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, gave a secular sermon in the style of his grandfather, and provocatively declared that religious belief was merely a biological feature of evolving mankind.This was about the same time, contrary to many people’s impressions, that the Darwin Finch story became a prop for evolutionary theory. Mayr and Huxley had encouraged David Lack to spend time in the Galapagos observing the finches. “It was only after this … that the finches sketched by Darwin became collectively known as Darwin’s finches, and were held up as the first and most remarkable evidence of evolution in real organisms in a natural setting.”So instead of being spontaneous occasions to appreciate a universally-accepted hero of science, previous Darwin celebrations, Browne argued, were political ploys by advocates with an agenda. The question becomes, will history repeat itself in 2009?But biologists will also surely use the occasion, once again, to affirm the truth and elegance of Darwinism in the face of criticism, this time from those who prefer a creationist view of the world. Evolution by natural selection has suddenly become a highly contentious idea, especially in the United States. Creationist proponents abound in the US school-board system, opinion polls highlight the public’s belief in a divine origin for humankind, and ideas about intelligent design are widely circulated. Against this, Darwin has become the figurehead for rational, secular science, and Darwinism the main target of the fundamentalist movement spreading across the globe. Attacks extend beyond arguments over the Bible. To criticize Darwinism is a forceful way to express anxieties about the growing power of modern science and the perceived decline of moral values in society. To try to poke holes in Darwin’s argument is to express dislike not just for evolutionary theory but also for science itself. There is some irony in this situation. Looking back to Darwin’s funeral in 1882, Darwin’s Christian qualities, his stature as a man of truth and honesty, were brought to the fore. He was celebrated as a man whose religious doubts were an integral part of his wisdom and insight; few critics made personal attacks on his social virtues. Now, his heroism in modern science is seen by many as an offence to religious values. It goes to show just how diversely Darwin and his theory have been perceived and used over the years. Browne, author also of the award-winning biography Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (Princeton, 2002),2 quipped in conclusion, “Darwin himself would surely be amazed by how differently we have chosen to celebrate his anniversaries.”1. Janet Browne, “Birthdays to remember,” Nature 456, 324-325 (20 November 2008) | doi:10.1038/456324a. This article requires a subscription.2. Search on the keywords “Janet Browne” for quotations from this outstanding book in previous entries.shed the light all around.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

New country souvenir, Costa Rica, with Geocache of the Week: Rainbow Valley Cache

first_img SharePrint RelatedNew country souvenir, Cuba, with Geocache of the Week: Virtual Reward – FusterlandiaAugust 21, 2019In “community”It’s time to get stealthy. – Atomium – stealth challenge (Expo58) (GC1EG4C) – Geocache of the WeekDecember 11, 2014In “Geocache of the Week”New country souvenir, United Arab Emirates, with Geocache of the Week: Burj Khalifa a Virtual RewardNovember 20, 2019In “Community” TraditionalGC221QZby Wolf64 + Mikkky Difficulty:1.5Terrain:1.5 Today we release a new country/regional souvenir for Costa Rica! If you have found a geocache in Costa Rica, you automatically receive the souvenir on your profile.Costa Rica is often said to be one of the happiest countries in the world. Known for their outstanding democracy and quality of life, Costa Ricans are often said to live the Pura Vida, literally “pure life.” Though it might be a tiny country, it has a mighty amount of flora and fauna. It represents about 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity. The Monteverde cloud forest alone hosts over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 2,500 species of plants—and of course, one Geocache of the Week!It’s easy to see how our Geocache of the Week earned its name! Image by goldeneagles.Rainbow Valley Cache is an unassuming hide, located at the edge of the Cloud Forest. IT’s a classic container with room for plenty of swag that will leave both you and any young geocacher you bring with smiles upon your logs and your faces. The logs don’t lie! It certainly is a beautiful view. Image by 2010august.Take a hike over a vibrant blue suspension bridge or celebrate your find with a cool drink in a treehouse bar as you explore the astounding surroundings.Adventure is out there! Image by 2010August.And of course, check out the wildlife teeming in the area. A monkey and a coati—a small sampling of the animals you’ll discover en route to this cache. Images by CanadianRockies.Speaking of wildlife, when you find the cache, don’t forget to camouflage it appropriately or, as the cache page warns, the “monkeys will steal it!”Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:More Location:Costa RicaN 10° 18.566′ W 084° 49.728′last_img read more

Reviving Assam’s ancient ink

first_imgBy unravelling the science behind Assam’s ancient herbal ink ‘mahi’, researchers are planning to recreate the lost techniques of manuscript writing. They say their efforts could boost heritage tourism.The technique involves extracting ‘mahi’ using cow urine from a cocktail of fruit pulp and tree bark such as haritaki, amla, bibhitakhi or bhomora, mango and jamun — often infused with the blood of eels or catfish. Rust from iron tools or nails was added for an intense black hue.‘Mahi’ was used in early and medieval Assam for writing on ‘sancipat’ (folios made of the bark of the sanci tree) manuscripts. Some folios were gifted by Kumar Bhaskar Barman, the then King of Pragjyotishpura (ancient Assam) to Harshavardhana, an emperor who ruled north India from 606 to 647 C.E., a testimony to the period of use.The endurance of the ink is proven by the stability of sancipat manuscripts. The key factor for this long-lasting marriage between ‘mahi’ and ‘sancipat’ is the herbal concoction’s resistance to aerial oxidation and fungal attacks.“One of the reasons for the manuscripts’ stability is the anti-fungal activity of the ink. This is due to its raw materials, including astringent fruits and cow urine, which seems to have a protective effect on cellulosic sancipat against fungal attack in the hot and humid climate of Assam,” said Robin Kumar Dutta, Professor, Department of Chemical Sciences, Tezpur University.No loss of textIn contrast, some formulations of acidic iron gall ink — which was in use at the same time in Europe — can render documents illegible by causing loss of text, bleeding and fading due to ink corrosion.Professor Dutta believes the study of ancient ink and paint may help retrieve useful information regarding traditional practices. “Efforts are on to recreate these heritage tokens (sancipat and mahi) in lab conditions and upscale them. They can be used as tourism marketing tools. For tourists who visit Egypt or Europe, papyrus scrolls are popular. Similarly, we are working towards the idea that mahi and sancipat can become popular tokens. In addition, for locals, there is an emotional attachment to a piece of heritage,” Professor Dutta explained.Professor Dutta and his colleagues Barsha R. Goswami, Monoj K. Das, Pranjal P. Das, Tapas Medhi, Anand Ramteke and Simanta Hazarika (Gauhati University) published a report on scientific assays of ‘mahi’ in Current Science last month.The major phytochemical constituents in ‘mahi’ have been identified as phenolic acids, flavonoids and tannins and their complexes with iron. Though there are several recorded recipes for ‘mahi’ formulation, one commonality exists for all: the season during which it is concocted.“It is only prepared (in natural settings) in the winter season. The low temperature and dry conditions in winter ensure minimum exposure of the mixture to microbes and heat, which may decompose the dyes during the long time needed for extraction,” Professor Dutta noted.“In mahi, no external stabiliser is used whereas gum Arabic is used for the purpose in iron gall ink. Another interesting feature is that the pH of mahi remains neutral because of cow urine and the absence of acidic ingredients like vinegar. Iron gall ink has an acidic character that leads to destruction of the manuscripts,” he said.The study was carried out using a sample of ‘mahi’ obtained from M.M. Bora of Dhing in Assam. Mr. Bora is a practitioner of the manuscript-writing tradition on sancipat and fresh samples of mahi were prepared under his supervision.last_img read more

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