No treasure in this map: Five NFL teams said to be more popular in Vegas than Raiders are

first_imgNow the … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceOnce upon a time, the American League baseball franchise based in the nation’s capital was so bad, so hopeless, so unwaveringly incompetent that in 1904 sportswriter Charley Dryden was moved to compose a searing motto that was decades ahead of its time.“Washington: First in war, first in peace and last in the American League.”They say it was the first incidence of trolling in professional sports.last_img read more

“Convergent Evolution” Widespread at All Scales in Ocean

first_imgA study of marine tetrapods that “evolved” for ocean life shows “convergent evolution” rampant at all scales over “hundreds of millions of years.”What do penguins, mosasaurs, sea lions, sea turtles, and whales have in common? For one, they are tetrapods (4-legged creatures) that live in the ocean. For another (according to evolutionary theory), they began as land animals. A new study published in Science Magazine shows, however, that they (and many others) share such similar features that the only way to explain it is by “convergent evolution.” This is the notion that unrelated creatures evolved the same solutions to environmental problems independently. But is this a scientific explanation, or a phrase looking for meaning?Sascha Vignieti explains in a short review in Science Magazine how the environment becomes the “selector” in convergent natural selection:Over biological history, several different groups of vertebrate tetrapods have reinvaded the marine environment. Although these groups are widely distributed among reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and birds, the shapes they have evolved are remarkably similar. Kelley and Pyenson review the literature on marine vertebrate groups over time and describe the innovations that facilitated the evolution of these marine forms, the environmental conditions that selected for such convergence of form, and the threats they face from future environment change.The “environmental threats” angle (by humans, presumably) is just a footnote in the main point by Neil P. Kelley and Nicholas D. Pyenson’s paper, “Evolutionary innovation and ecology in marine tetrapods from the Triassic to the Anthropocene” (for Anthropocene, see 4/11/15). Noting the similarity of shapes, flippers, and other adaptations to aquatic life, they call on the power of “convergent evolution” repeatedly to explain commonalities found from the molecular level to the whole animal. A few examples:Fig. 2 Convergent morphology in marine tetrapods. Similar anatomy evolved among lineages that independently adopted marine lifestyles.[List of 9 animals] showing anatomical convergence reflecting limb streamlining.[Section heading] Convergent evolution from molecules to morphologyMarine tetrapods provide canonical illustrations of evolutionary convergence (Fig. 2), widely regarded as repeated solutions to problems imposed by physical contrasts between land and water.Functional trade-offs can ultimately drive specialization and steer evolutionary convergence, as with repeated loss of flight among seabirds specialized for aquatic locomotion. In vivo studies of feeding performance provide similar insight into functional trade-offs and specialization, which shaped convergence in marine tetrapod feeding systems.Fossil anatomy reveals the evolution of countercurrent heat exchange in penguins, convergent with similar systems in marine mammals [e.g., whales, walruses].The scope of recent studies of convergent evolution extends beyond morphology to include molecular physiology, metabolism and thermoregulation, and life history.Genomic investigations have revealed convergent genetic origins of important innovations, such as sex determination mechanisms, myoglobin adaptations facilitating deep diving, and echolocation.Stable isotopes from fossils elucidate parallel histories of habitat shift in early cetaceans and sirenians and convergent evolution of endothermy in Mesozoic marine reptiles.Recent breakthroughs in fossil pigment reconstruction have resolved structural and pigment adaptations in fossil seabird feathers and have revealed widespread dark coloration in fossil marine reptiles, possibly for temperature regulation or ultraviolet light protection.Exceptionally preserved fossils document convergent reproductive adaptations in marine reptiles. Recently discovered early ichthyosaur fossils extend the history of viviparity [giving birth to live young] in this group back to the Early Triassic and indicate that viviparity evolved in terrestrial forerunners as an enabling factor for, rather than an adaptive response to, aquatic life.Fossils suggest that some marine reptiles converged upon K-selected life histories [i.e., stable populations] observed among marine mammals.Aquatic birth evolved early in cetacean [whale] and sirenian [seal] evolution, but these transitions are so far only partly constrained by fossils.These episodes of replacement between lineages are mirrored by iterative patterns within lineages. For example, evolution of herbivory and durophagy (feeding on hard-shelled prey) drove repeated convergent feeding morphologies in living and fossil sea turtles.It’s everywhere, in other words: shape, coloration, birth patterns, warm-bloodedness, feeding habits, echolocation, thermal regulation, metabolism, genes—you name it, “convergent evolution” did it. But how does convergent evolution work? In the section “Causes and consequences of convergence, innovation, and radiation,” Kelley and Pyenson offer ideas:In addition to external drivers, convergent evolution is shaped by the underlying genetic and developmental pathways that give rise to convergent structures. Thus, repeated evolution of hydrodynamic limbs and axial modifications likely exploited parallel developmental mechanisms. Such shared pathways may extend to the level of gene regulation linking genomic and phenotypic convergence and innovation. Recent work on marine mammal genomic convergence has questioned the prevalence of such linkages; however, more work is needed to evaluate potential scaling of convergence from gene to phenotype.But saying “convergent evolution is shaped by the underlying genetic and developmental pathways that give rise to convergent structures” is no more informative than saying, “A mystery is shaped by the underlying genetic and developmental pathways that give rise to mysteries.” In their view, complex “innovations” (like echolocation) appear like magic:Innovations facilitate and constrain downstream evolution, as illustrated in the discrete pathways from drag-based to lift-based swimming in limb- and tail-propelled aquatic mammals. Likewise, independent innovation of aquatic birth in multiple marine reptile and marine mammal lineages removed the constraints of terrestrial locomotion, enabling limb and skeletal modification to increase swimming performance, as well as gigantism in some clades. Convergent evolutionary pathways [e.g., the emergence of tail-driven locomotion in ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, and whales (Fig. 2A)] might follow similar tempos across groups, but this hypothesis awaits further testing.The authors do not point to any actual transitions documented in fossils between land animals without the innovations to well-adapted marine creatures with them. Their only reference to “discrete pathways from drag-based to lift-based swimming” is to a 1996 paper by F. E. Fish, who merely assumed that transitions had to occur by evolution. He saw that land animals and semi-aquatic animals experience drag, as opposed to highly-adapted marine mammals like whales and dolphins whose tail flukes with an up-and-down motion are more efficient. That transition alone would have required major anatomical changes to the skeleton, musculature and other systems.  What possible evidence is there for a statement like, “Independent innovation…removed the constraints of terrestrial locomotion, enabling limb and skeletal modification to increase swimming performance….”? How did innovation happen, let alone independent innovation multiple times? They merely assume innovation happened, with no explanation other than using its handwaving synonym, “emergence.”Within their category of “innovations” that “emerged” somehow, there are highly-complex systems of interdependent parts:Diversification can be triggered by innovations that occur well after initial invasions. For example, echolocation and baleen—two key innovations that evolved tens of millions of years after whales first entered the oceans—mark the emergence of crown cetaceans.The devil, though, is in the details. Echolocation requires a number of specialized adaptations, as observed in dolphins: (1) a sound production mechanism (the phonic lips, very different from vocal cords); (2) a means of reflecting the sounds outward (performed by a modified skull); (3) a means for focusing the sound (the melon); (4) an antenna for receiving the echoes (performed by the jaw and teeth); (5) a means for channeling the echos into the inner ear; and perhaps the most challenging feature, (6) a means for interpreting the signals and responding to them. Dolphin echolocation is more advanced than any man-made sonar. Dolphins can locate a BB in a swimming pool blindfolded, can find fish 6″ under the sand, and can tell the difference between a golf ball and a ping-pong ball by density alone.Counter-current heat exchangers (CCHE), referred to in the paper, are another example of complex systems. These would have required multiple “innovations” from land ancestors: (1) dorsal fins and tail flukes instead of legs; (2) absence of blubber is the fin and fluke; (2) vein networks close to the skin of the dorsal fin and tail fluke to shed excess heat; (3) rete mirabile (“miraculous nets”) of arteries and veins where blood moves in opposite directions, so that the cooled veins can absorb heat from the arteries; (4) locating the retes where they are needed. All these elements must exist together, simultaneously, for the heat exchange to work. This is especially notable in the case of the reproductive organs of whales. Unlike land mammals, the male cetacean has testes inside the body, wedged between two huge swimming muscles that get hot during fast swimming. Yet the testes must be cooler than body temperature to produce sperm. It’s like trying to run a refrigerator between two heat engines. The CCHE is so effective in whales and dolphins, it actually cools the testes even more during hard swimming. In the female, the CCHE keeps the developing fetus from overheating.A little reflection shows the “emergence” of the CCHE presenting a severe challenge for Darwinian theory. Evolution relies on reproduction. Without the CCHE already present and functioning, the male can’t produce sperm. The female, likewise, cannot keep the fetus from dying of overheating. This would spell extinction for the proto-whale in one generation, before it even gets into deep water. Ocean water itself (“the environment”) cannot select something that isn’t there. Yet how could blind mutations bring about all the elements of the CCHE together at the same time? And without echolocation, how could the whale or dolphin eat?These challenges are completely ignored by Kelley and Pyenson. To them, “innovation” just occurs. How? By “emergence.” Yet the Smithsonian Newsdesk thinks their ideas are “seriously amazing.”For more than 250 million years, four-limbed land animals known as tetrapods have repeatedly conquered the Earth’s oceans. These creatures—such as plesiosaurs, penguins and sea turtles—descended from separate groups of terrestrial vertebrates that convergently evolved to thrive in aquatic environments.In a new scientific review, a team of Smithsonian scientists synthesized decades of scientific discoveries to illuminate the common and unique patterns driving the extraordinary transitions that whales, dolphins, seals and other species underwent as they moved from land to sea.This article, too, is infatuated with the phrase “convergent evolution,” using it 8 times. Some may question how illuminating it is to chalk the extraordinary transitions to a vacuous idea that assumes what it needs to prove.How can we put a stop to the Darwin Party flimflam show, with its magical mystery tour featuring “convergence” and “emergence” and “innovation” miracles? How can we stop the blind leading the blind by blind processes? Here’s a way you can get involved. Illustra Media’s latest documentary, Living Waters, will make a powerful case against evolution by specifically rebutting “convergent evolution” and by demonstrating the amazing complexity of the systems described above—and more. It’s due out in June or July. Watch the trailer here, and prepare to be amazed! After Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies, and Flight: The Genius of Birds, this third documentary in the Design of Life series, employing spectacular photography, cutting-edge science, dramatic animation, interesting interviews with scientists and great music accompanying a winsome presentation, will be one to share with everyone you know.Expensive high-quality productions like this are made possible by an army of people who support the work by buying the films and donating to Illustra. Join Illustra’s Facebook page, and use your social media network to get the word out. Consider being a regular donor. Buy copies at and give them to influential people and friends. And if you’re a praying person, they could use a lot of prayer right now as all the elements of the film—sound, graphics, animations, narration, music, packaging, and more—are being assembled right now. (Visited 329 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA women win series vs Bangladesh

first_img“If we knew that the result would be 3-0 at the start of the series, we would have taken it,” Momentum Proteas Women’s coach Hilton Moreeng said after his side had secured victory. 17 September 2013 Bangladesh were well set to reach the target at 79 without loss in the 14th over, but two run outs and a stumping in the space of three overs brought the home team back into contention. The teams move on to a three-match ODI series, which starts at Sahara Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday. SAinfo reporter Bangladesh put in their most consistent performance with the ball to date, and had South Africa under pressure in the opening overs. The Proteas posted 109 for four in their 20 overs, which owed much to a half- century by player of the match and captain, Mignon du Preez. Du Preez (52) and Kapp (24 not out) shared an important 55-run stand for the third wicket, after the loss of openers Trisha Chetty (0) and Lizelle Lee (11) early on. ProudMoreeng said he was proud of the way his players withstood the pressure, and said it had given him an understanding of the character and temperament at his disposal in his squad. South Africa’s national women’s cricket team held their nerve to edge out Bangladesh by three runs in the third and final T20 international at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Sunday to complete a 3-0 series victory. Bangladesh needed 12 runs off the final over, with seven wickets in hand, but fell short due to a composed and effective final over from the Proteas’ Marizanne Kapp. ‘They put us under pressure’“I must give credit to Bangladesh,” Moreeng said. “They put us under pressure very early. The first two overs were maidens and we were a wicket down. “The partnership between Kapp and the captain put us back where we wanted to be and we had to settle for 109, which required us to go out there and bowl well.” ‘Building a team’“We are building as a team and it was important for us to start this home series well, especially by playing good cricket and learning from every game that we play.”last_img read more

a month agoReal Sociedad striker Isak: I turned down Real Madrid

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Sociedad striker Isak: I turned down Real Madridby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Sociedad striker Alexander Isak has revealed he could’ve joined Real Madrid earlier in his career.The Swede moved to La Real this summer from Borussia Dortmund.He recalled to Marca: “When I played in Stockholm, I had several options and Real Madrid was one of them.”I spoke to several clubs to understand what they proposed and I chose Dortmund and this is the most important thing. “But it is true that since I was a child, I considered the LaLiga the best in the world and I dreamed of playing here one day. I am therefore happy to participate.” last_img read more

a day agoBarcelona star Lionel Messi breaks another record in Slavia Prague win

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona star Lionel Messi breaks another record in Slavia Prague winby Carlos Volcanoa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona star Lionel Messi has become the first player to score in 15 consecutive Champions League seasons in a narrow win at Slavia Prague.Captain Messi gave Barca an early lead with a first-time finish after an exchange of passes with Arthur.The Czech champions were deservedly level when Jan Boril poked home Lukas Masopust’s pass from 16 yards.But Messi’s free-kick found Luis Suarez at the back post – and his cross-shot hit went in off Peter Olayinka.Barcelona, who are top of La Liga, have now won six consecutive games in all competitions.The result keeps Ernesto Valverde’s side top of Group F on seven points from three games, three points above Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund. last_img read more

Setting The Over/Under For Every College Football Team’s Win Total In 2016

first_imgLogos of major college football programs.CFB Over UndersSportsbooks have yet to release their over/under win totals for college football teams in 2016 – they should be released at the beginning of the summer – so we thought we’d set them ourselves.  2017 CFB PlayoffWho will win enough games to compete for this?Of course, it’s a bit early. Spring football has yet to take place, recruiting classes have yet to arrive on campus, transfers have yet to decide, etc. A lot is going to change between now and the start of the season in early September. Still, there’s a decent amount to go on. We know the schedules. We know which players are returning and which players are headed to the NFL. Recruiting classes have been signed. There are plenty of preseason top 25s out there. So, based on what we know right now, here are our over/unders for college football teams’ win totals for the 2016 regular season. These are not projections. They’re meant to be difficult and somewhat of a toss-up. Start With The ACC >>>Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6last_img read more

Spotted AIDAprima Celebrates 1st Birthday

first_imgImage Courtesy: AIDA CruisesGerman cruise line AIDA Cruises organized a big firework display and a light show on May 6, celebrating AIDAprima’s first birthday at the same time as the 828. anniversary of the Port of Hamburg. The maritime celebration attracted more than one million observers in Hamburg from May 5 to 7, according to the cruise company.In addition to AIDAprima, three other AIDA ships including AIDAvita, AIDAluna, and AIDAsol, were also visiting Hamburg Port for the port anniversary celebrations.AIDA Cruises has had a strong presence in the Port of Hamburg this year with 82 visits from a total of six ships, the company said.AIDAprima, the first ship in the company’s new generation of cruise vessels, was delivered from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki in March last year.The ship is able to accommodate 3,300 guests and over 900 crew members.Image Courtesy: AIDA Cruiseslast_img read more

Labrador boys burned in known gassniffing house Innu deputy grand chief says

first_imgNATUASHISH, N.L. – The deputy grand chief of the Innu Nation is pleading for help after two boys were burned in a known hangout for gas sniffing in Labrador.Simeon Tshakapesh says the two suffered burns when the house burned to the ground in Natuashish.RCMP say the two boys — aged 11 and 17 — were seriously injured and are being treated in hospital.It’s the third such fire in the community in less than a month.Tshakapesh says solvent abuse among children and young people in the community has become “an epidemic,” and there is nothing in place to address it.Natuashish was established in 2002 as a new community for the Innu of Davis Inlet, which had been beset by a lack of running water and social problems.last_img read more

New driving impairment laws are in effect

first_imgOTTAWA, ONT – Stricter Laws are now in effect for alcohol-impaired driving offences in Canada.With Bill C-46 being passed in June and taking effect on December 19th, 2018, these new changes include stricter penalties for impaired drivers and police officers now have the authority to demand breathalyzer tests from any driver they pull over. ‘A reasonable suspicion of impaired’ is no longer required for officers to ask for a breath sample. Drivers that refuse to take a breathalyzer test can be charged.Maximum penalties for many alcohol-impaired driving offences have increased in their monetary penalties and required prison terms. Mandatory minimum fines used to be;$1,000 for the first offence30 days imprisonment for the second offence120 days in jail for a third offence.Penalties now are;First offence, with a blood alcohol content of 80-119 mg – mandatory min. $1,000 fineFirst offence, with a blood alcohol content of 120-159 mg – mandatory min. $1,500 fineFirst offence, with a blood alcohol content of 160 mg or more – mandatory min. $2,500 fineFirst offence, but refuse to be tested – mandatory min. $2,000 fineSecond offence – mandatory min. 30 days imprisonmentThird or more offence – mandatory min. 120 days imprisonmentMaximum penalties for impaired driving causing no bodily harm or death – summary conviction carries two years less a-day imprisonment, indictment carries 10 years imprisonmentMaximum penalties for impaired driving causing bodily harm – Summary conviction for less severe injuries carries two years less a-day imprisonment, indictment carries 14 years imprisonmentMaximum penalty impaired driving causing death – life imprisonmentMothers Against Drunk Driving has welcomed the change and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has expressed concern that racial minorities will be disproportionately affected.last_img read more

After Amitabh Bachchan Ranbir Kapoor Kartik Aaryan shoots for Pulwama tribute video

first_imgNew Delhi: Kartik Aaryan is currently busy as a beaver shooting for Imtiaz Ali’s film. However, when the young lad was approached to be a part of a tribute song dedicated to the 40 slain CRPF jawans, who died in a terror attack in Pulwama in February, Kartik set aside everything and took time out from his busy schedule to shoot for this special video. As per sources, few days back Kartik shot for his part in the four-minute long video titled — Tu Desh Mera at a studio in Filmcity, which also includes other actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and others. The song is composed in the memory of the soldiers who were killed in the attack and is sung by Sonu Nigam and Sukhwinder. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold Schwarzenegger The video, which shows the lives of jawans and has been shot at multiple locations across the country, is a collaboration between the Central Reserve Police (CRPF) and Happy Productions India. Abhishek Mishra, MD, Happy Productions India, said, “We are happy to receive support from several Bollywood stars for the Pulwama martyrs and our jawans. We have worked with Kartik multiple times, and it has been a wonderful experience working with him for this video.”last_img read more