Taco Bell customer gets doused with gasoline and lit on fire

first_imgTallahassee Police Department(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — A suspect who poured gasoline on a Taco Bell customer and then set them on fire is being hunted by Florida police for attempted murder after the victim was left with serious injuries.The incident occurred on Wednesday at approximately 6:18 p.m. at a Tallahassee Taco Bell restaurant when the suspect entered the establishment, doused the female victim with gasoline and then lit them on fire.The suspect has been identified as Mia Williams, 32, “who identifies as a black female,” according to a statement released by Officer Rachel Denmark of the Tallahassee Police Department.Williams fled the scene of the crime on foot and police are currently looking for her whereabouts.“Williams was last seen wearing a black shirt with white writing, tan capri styled pants, and a red wrap on her head. Williams also had several necklaces around their neck,” the statement read.The victim, who currently remains unidentified, was taken to hospital by helicopter after suffering serious injuries.Investigators don’t yet know if the suspect knew the female victim involved in the attack or if it was done at random.Tallahassee Police Department spokesman Damon Miller told the Tallahassee Democrat: ”At this time, (investigators) are on scene trying to basically solve this puzzle, to figure out why this heinous crime was committed.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Hockey Canada decides to ban bodychecking in peewee division

first_imgHockey Night in Canada icon Don Cherry is not in favour of Hockey Canada’s recent decision to ban body checking at the peewee level.During his Coaches Corner segment Saturday, Cherry disagreed with Hockey Canada’s decision to ban bodychecking for peewee players saying young players will be ill-prepared and unsafe when physical contact is introduced at higher levels. “You [Hockey Canada] have good intentions, but hey listen, the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” he said on his Hockey Night in Canada segment. “You’re gonna be sorry. You watch and see, you will be sorry.”The decision came during Hockey Canada’s 94th Annual General Meeting in Charlottetown P.E.I.The meeting was attended by more than 250 delegates from across the country.The new body-checking rule change approved at 2013 Hockey Canada Annual General Meeting reads:• A modification to playing rule 6.2b was approved, removing body-checking from Peewee levels and below within leagues governed by Hockey Canada, starting in 2013-14. * In addition to this rule change, a work group has been directed to build a mandatory national checking and instructional resource program to support the progressive implementation of checking skills at the Novice to Peewee levels to better prepare players for body-checking at the Bantam and Midget level.last_img read more


first_imgSISE DREAMING OF DERBY FEVER WITH PROSPECT PARKCliff Sise Jr. couldn’t be blamed for being smitten with Derby Fever after Prospect Park aired to a 5 ¼-length victory in a one-mile overnight race at Santa Anita on Friday.It wasn’t just the margin of victory that impressed not only Sise, but hard-core race trackers. The 3-year-old son of Tapit owned and bred by Marty and Pam Wygod barely took a deep breath as Kent Desormeaux had the Kentucky-bred colt in hand the final sixteenth.It was the second straight win from five starts for Prospect Park, who does his training at San Luis Rey Downs where the 63-year-old Sise has some 30 horses in training, including some promising youngsters.“Marty always wanted me to break his babies,” Sise said. “Marty was nice enough last year to send all the 2-year-olds to me. I didn’t know if I was going to get them ready for other trainers, or what.“But he came out one day and we had a little celebration at the barn and told me he was going to let me run Prospect Park, so as of right now, everything’s good.“I loved the horse on Friday. He changed so much from the race before (a neck victory in a maiden allowance route at Santa Anita on Dec, 27). He ran good that day but he got sick two nights before with a little colic. We don’t know how much that took out of him.“He was OK the morning of the race so we ran him and he won. After that race he came back and trained like a different horse. He was stronger, and everything’s going good at the right time now.”Asked if he had a race in mind, Sise said, “Not really. I’ll leave that up to Marty Wygod. We’ll try to find the easiest spot for him.”Sise, who at 20 was the youngest to get a trainer’s license at that time when he started his career, has never run a horse in the Kentucky Derby, but that doesn’t stop him from dreaming.“I had a couple I hoped would run there,” he said, “but something always happened.”Sise recently returned to training a year after another endeavor.“I stopped as a trainer to run Rancho Paseana for Jenny Craig for two years,” Sise said. “That was enjoyable, but when San Luis Rey reopened, I came back to training in January of last year.” Martin Pedroza781013613%$378,950 Mark Casse3365418%$544,320 Kent Desormeaux791912924%$1,059,592 A. C. Avila1540127%$83,410 Victor Espinoza711213817%$736,710 Doug O’Neill6287813%$407,486 Hector Palma1142036%$79,510 Rafael Bejarano11028181825%$1,274,134 John Sadler49561010%$323,432 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Corey Nakatani5888714%$472,850 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Peter Miller651216618%$723,830 Michael Pender1743024%$121,600 Fernando Perez8388710%$323,804 Drayden Van Dyke9310101611%$594,126 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Bob Baffert45711716%$799,118 Tyler Baze11814111612%$901,344 Gary Stevens4395721%$613,810 FINISH LINES: Trainer Jeff Bonde said Distinctiv Passion came out of his fourth-place finish as the 2-1 favorite in Saturday’s Palos Verdes Stakes in good order after the speedster broke from the No. 1 post position in the six furlong sprint. Asked about a possible run in the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai on March 28, Bonde said, “We’ll regroup. He’s a good horse. We’ll find a race.” . . . With four wins yesterday, Joe Talamo ended a dry spell and jumped into a tie for sixth in Santa Anita’s standings with 10 victories. Tiago Pereira575479%$159,320center_img Mike Smith521010819%$817,761 Edwin Maldonado544387%$200,136 Elvis Trujillo931213813%$778,836 Joseph Talamo9810121310%$809,914 Brandon Boulanger545249%$119,406 -30- Richard Mandella2553520%$231,900 James Cassidy2945414%$170,210 CHROME SET FOR SAN ANTONIO; HOPPERTUNITY INSISE GETS EARLY DOSE OF KENTUCKY DERBY FEVERSANTA ANITA RIDERS SET FOR BASKETBALL CHARITY Flavien Prat4272517%$276,800 SANTA ANITA JOCKEYS-HOLY ANGELS ON TAP FEB. 12The 48th annual Santa Anita Jockeys vs. Holy Angels School Charity Basketball Game will take place Thursday, Feb. 12, at La Salle High School in Pasadena with proceeds to benefit the Holy Angels athletic program, the Kentucky-based Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) and the Eye on Jacob Foundation.Sponsored by J. Paul Reddam’s CashCall and Santa Anita Park, game time is 7:15 p.m., with admission doors opening at 6:15 p.m.Hall of Fame jockeys Kent Desormeaux, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Mike Smith, Alex Solis and Gary Stevens will be available for an autograph signing session beginning at 6:30 p.m.With Pincay serving as honorary team captain, Desormeaux, Smith and Solis will comprise a team of fellow active riders such as William Antongeorgi, Tyler Baze, Rafael Bejarano, Brice Blanc, Brandon Boulanger, Alex Canchari, Victor Espinoza, Santiago Gonzalez, Mario Gutierrez, Aaron Gryder, Edwin Maldonado, Felipe Martinez, Corey Nakatani, Irving Orozco, Martin Pedroza, Fernando Perez, Tiago Pereira, Flavien Prat, Iggy Puglisi, Kayla Stra, Joe Talamo, Elvis Trujillo, Drayden Van Dyke and perhaps others.“We look forward to this game every year,” said Nakatani, perennially one of the most competitive jockeys on the squad. “The game is fun for everyone, the jocks, the Holy Angels’ kids, all of our families and the fans who come to support us. It’s a great night where we can all get together, have fun and help raise money for some great causes. I’ve really enjoyed it over the years.”The PDJF helps assist permanently disabled jockeys nationwide, while the Eye on Jacob Foundation, named for Jacob Desormeaux, who is the 16-year-old son of Kent, benefits those suffering from Usher’s Syndrome. An extremely rare neurological disorder, Usher’s Syndrome causes progressive loss of hearing, imbalance, and eventual loss of sight in approximately 14,000 children in the United States.HRTV’s Kurt Hoover, a former standout cager at Arcadia High School, will again coach the jockeys’ team. Known for his laid-back approach, Hoover stated his game-day philosophy will be similar to that of past years–“We’ll keep the clock runnin’ and just let ’em run and gun.”Tickets are $5 per person, and for every two tickets purchased, individuals receive one free admission ticket to Santa Anita. Additionally, there will be opportunities to win a trip to Las Vegas and a Paintball Package to Hollywood Sports Paintball and Airsoft Park.La Salle High School is located at the southwest corner of Michillinda Ave. and Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena, approximately four miles northwest of Santa Anita. Admission tickets and promotional tee shirts are on sale now at Champions! Gifts and Apparel in Santa Anita’s East Paddock Gardens, or through Holy Angels School. Mark Glatt3557514%$276,392 BIGGER, BETTER VERSION OF CHROME IN 2015Take it from a man who’s been as close to the horse as anyone: CaliforniaChrome is bigger and better than last year.So says Victor Espinoza, who rode the California-bred son of Lucky Pulpit to victories in four Grade I races last year en route to Eclipse Awards as Horse of the Year and male 3-year-old of the year.“I think he’s stronger this year,” said Espinoza, who worked the immensely popular chestnut five furlongs Sunday morning at his Los Alamitos base in 1:03.60 in his final major breeze for Saturday’s $500,000 San Antonio Invitational at Santa Anita.With blinkers on and over a cleared race track, Chrome’s fractional times were 25 1/5 and 49 4/5, according to Los Alamitos head clocker Russ Hudak.“He went good; we’re happy with him,” said Alan Sherman, son of and assistant to his father, Art, who trains California Chrome. “He’ll ship to Santa Anita on Tuesday and gallop on the track Wednesday.”Added Espinoza: “The way he feels when I work him, he’s bigger and more mature. From last year to this is a big difference. He’s been working really strong. I believe he’ll run as good as a 4-year-old as he did at three.”Said Art Sherman: “I thought he was going to work him faster. Victor told me that he goes so easy he was afraid he would go too fast if he clucked to him. I was looking for a minute and change; that would have helped me a lot more going into this race.“I think it’s a good work but I would have liked a sharper workout for this race. He’s doing so good though, so . . . his gallop out was stronger than it has been. He galloped out (six furlongs) in 1:11.80. He was so strong pulling up. He’ll be fresh and ready, I can tell you that.”Chrome is expected to face once-beaten male 2-year-old champion of 2013 Shared Belief and eye-catching San Pasqual winner Hoppertunity, among others in the eagerly anticipated San Antonio Invitational, which will decided at a mile and an eighth for older horses.“He’s running,” Baffert said unequivocally after Hoppertunity worked six furlongs in company Sunday morning in 1:14.20 under Martin Garcia. Stablemate Doctor Dempsey was clocked in 1:14.60.“That’s good for him,” Baffert said of Hoppertunity’s time.Shared Belief is scheduled to have his final major breeze for the San Antonio at his Golden Gate Fields base on Tuesday, then ship to Santa Anita on Wednesday. “He’ll work a half-mile under Russell Baze,” Jerry Hollendorfer said by phone Sunday morning.Shared Belief, who could very well be unbeaten had his chances of winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic not been compromised by a rough start, will be seeking his ninth win from 10 career starts in the San Antonio.“He’s a very consistent horse,” Hollendorfer said.Probable for the San Antonio, which will be limited to 10 starters: Bronzo, Gary Stevens; California Chrome, Victor Espinoza; Clubhouse Ride, Aaron Gryder; Hoppertunity, Martin Garcia; Shared Belief, Mike Smith; Tonito M., Rafael Bejarano; Alfa Bird, Tyler Baze; and Imperative, Flavien Prat.            In other San Antonio news:            Trainer Bob Hess Jr. said Sunday morning he was “50-50” on running San Pasqual third-place finisher Blue Tone in the San Antonio or the Donn at Gulfstream the same day. “If he runs here,” Hess said, “Kent (Desormeaux) will ride him.”Blue Tone worked five furlongs Sunday morning in a bullet 59 flat, fastest of 59 drills at the distance, the average time of which 1:01.31.Trainer Mark Casse said he “wasn’t sure” on Dynamic Sky, who also is nominated to Saturday’s San Marcos Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf, where the son of Sky Mesa owned by John Oxley has run seven times in his 21-race career.“We’ve been preparing him like he’s going to run in the dirt race,” Casse said. “We’re definitely thinking about it and appreciate being invited. We’ll talk to Mr. Oxley and decide.”Trainer Sean McCarthy said Gold Cup at Santa Anita winner Majestic Harbor will go in the San Marcos, not the San Antonio. Majestic Harbor worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 1:00.40.The race will be televised nationally on Fox Sports 1. Eddie Truman840150%$168,030 Peter Eurton3574720%$317,208 Jeff Bonde1840322%$178,930 Jerry Hollendorfer7516111021%$1,507,254 Philip D’Amato3358615%$315,730 Richard Baltas2752319%$155,308 (Current Through Saturday, Jan. 31) Martin Garcia55812615%$817,400last_img read more

VYC, ExxonMobil host STEM Conference

first_imgVolunteer Youth Corps (VYC) Inc, in collaboration with ExxonMobil Guyana, on Saturday hosted the sixth annual STEM Conference at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel, Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD).Executives of ExxonMobil and Volunteer Youth Corps on Saturday at the Princess Ramada HotelThe event saw more than 400 students from various high schools across the country in attendance.Activities included a short robotics programming course, demonstration and competition; interactive science experiment coaching and demonstrations; and career guidance.Presentations were done by ExxonMobil Guyana Geoscience Manager Doug McGehee; Assistant to Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency, Dr Astell Collins; Assistant Chief Education Officer (Technical) Ministry of Education, Patrick Chinedu Onwuzirike; and other professionals within the oil and gas, technology, business and engineering sectors.A group of young people at the Conference on Saturday“It is our hope to have all students across the various high schools understand the importance of Math and Technology in efforts to gear up for future opportunities in Guyana,” said VYC CEO Goldie Scott.“We consider it extremely important to motivate students to follow career paths in Technology, Math and Engineering. Activities like this are impactful in our efforts to promote students’ interest in these fields.”ExxonMobil Guyana Public and Government Affairs Manager Deedra Moe stated: “Education is the fundamental building block of individual opportunity and economic growth, and STEM skills, in particular, are critical to ensuring today’s students are prepared for the jobs of the 21st Century.”“We are proud to support programmes that help educators enhance their teaching skills and motivate students to pursue careers in Math and Science.”Since 2012, the VYC has been partnering with ExxonMobil Guyana to implement STEM education in schools. One of the initiatives implemented engages third and fourth form students in a variety of STEM after-school learning programmes in Georgetown.The programmes include practical lessons in Physics, Chemistry, Integrated Science and Information Technology, as well as a three-day science camp at a local environmental facility.last_img read more

Harry Kane finally scores in August, provokes crazy reaction from fans

first_img REVEALED gameday Kane looked massively relieved to have scored ALTERED Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card HE’S DONE IT! HARRY KANE HAS SCORED IN AUGUST! #COYS— Talking THFC (@TalkingTHFC) August 18, 2018 Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Kane took a total of 15 matches and 49 shots before breaking his duck on Saturday.Lucas Moura initially gave Spurs a first-half lead, but they were pegged back by Aleksandr Mitrovic. smart causal targets possible standings REVEALED Latest Tottenham News Harry Kane has scored in August!! pic.twitter.com/8G1kDMrovu— ManLikeTem! (@TemwaniMumba) August 18, 2018 Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes Harry Kane scoring in August can only mean one thing 🏆 pic.twitter.com/bOJ4UtGhv8— Kane10 (@HarryKaneGoals) August 18, 2018center_img Harry Kane has finally broken his August scoring hoodoo.The 25-year-old had famously never scored a Premier League goal for Tottenham in the month before Saturday’s 3-1 win against Fulham, and had gone a total of 1064 minutes without doing so. gameday cracker 1 – Harry Kane has scored a Premier League goal in August for the first time ever, in his 15th game in the month. Finally.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 18, 2018 How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures A Kieran Trippier free-kick gave the home side back their advantage, before Kane produced a fine late finish to seal the win.He celebrated with a look of relief on his face, and caused a big reaction from onlooking supporters.You can read a round-up of the best from social media below. Tottenham issue immediate ban to supporter who threw cup at Kepa Harry Kane isn’t even giving the other forwards a months head start anymore. It’s over, @premierleague.— Sean Walsh (@SeanDZWalsh) August 18, 2018 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? punished Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener 1 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won So Harry Kane has finally scored a goal in the month of August. That’s another piece of memorabilia that Spurs fans can stick in their trophy cabinet.— Ryan. 🔴 (@Vintage_Utd) August 18, 2018 no dice Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January last_img read more

Darwin As Prognosticator

first_imgHow good was Darwin at making predictions?  A good scientific theory should make predictions, at least according to a common assumption about science.  PBS thinks Darwin hit a home run, according to an interactive feature on the website for Judgment Day, the documentary about evolution vs intelligent design shown on Nova this week (11/14/2007).  The commentary below will analyze these 13 predictions, but some other recent stories from science journals show Darwin scoring a much lower batting average:Island dwarfism:  Evolutionary biologists have long believed that animals trapped on islands would evolve into smaller versions of their mainland counterparts.  Not true, say researchers from Imperial College, London.  A catalog of island species shows no such trend; many factors are involved in the size distribution of island species.  The details can be found at PhysOrg and Science Daily.  (Note: the articles do not attribute the prediction to Darwin himself.)Arms race:  If Darwin intended his theory of natural selection to express a law of nature that applies everywhere, it might be difficult to correlate opposite results.  Many evolutionary biologists speak of predators, prey and parasites leading to an “evolutionary arms race” that drives speciation and adaptive radiation, leading to Darwin’s branching tree of life.  An article in Science Daily, however, says that predators and parasites can drive “evolutionary stability.”Parental guidance suggested:  The environment is supposed to drive evolutionary adaptation.  Offspring, facing the mean old world, should get by with the random genetic mutations that improve their survival – not a parental handout.  Taking loans from mom or dad’s genes would indicate a dependency on pre-adaptive resources, innate in the genetic information of the species.  A study at University of Virginia suggests, however, that maternal influences do help offspring adapt to their environment.Birds don’t talk:  What drives speciation in birds?  It should be Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection – of which the Galapagos finches are the textbook example.  In Science last month,1 however, Loren Rieseberg reviewed a new book by Trevor Price, Speciation in Birds, and found that even the textbook case is not open and shut:Of perhaps greater interest are Price’s conclusions about the roles of ecology and social selection in speciation; these remain relatively unexplored subjects about which birds have much to offer.  Closely related species of birds often differ in ecologically important traits–such as body size, habitat preferences, and feeding and migratory behaviors–that are also likely to contribute to both premating and postmating reproductive isolation.  These observations, combined with classic studies of ecologically driven speciation in Darwin’s finches and crossbills, imply that ecological selection likely contributes to most speciation events in birds.  However, Price cautions that divergence of most co-occurring bird species is too ancient to make inferences about the causes of speciation and that studies of recently diverged species, such as Darwin’s finches, highlight the fragility of ecological reproductive barriers.  He concludes that “it is unclear if ecological causes are sufficient or even important in many speciation events.”  This somewhat negative assessment of the role of ecology in speciation is tempered by speculation in later chapters that rapid ecological speciation may account for short branch lengths detected early in the evolution of many bird genera.That sounds like Price debunked Darwin’s speculation, only to replace it with one of his own.  “Interestingly, social selection appears to be more generally important in speciation in birds than sexual selection, despite the emphasis in the literature on the latter,” Rieseberg continued, only to accuse Price of doublethink: “Price also argues that ecological factors are a major cause of divergence in socially selected traits, an assertion that, while strongly supported, seemingly is at odds with his earlier pessimistic assessment of the importance of ecology in speciation.”    Earlier in the review, Rieseberg also noted that Price did not put much credibility in another evolutionary hypothesis, the so-called “founder effect” (i.e., that new colonizers drift genetically into new species).  Whatever the causes of the origin of species, they appear more complex and inscrutable than Darwin had imagined.Opportunity lost:  The genes of 12 species of Drosophila were compared in a massive test of evolution, published in Nature.2  How much opportunity was there for evolution since the species diverged?  The team wrote, “the evolutionary divergence spanned by the genus Drosophila exceeds that of the entire mammalian radiation when generation time is taken into account,” so for the number of generations during which mammals went from mice to giraffes and whales, these little flies should have had ample opportunity to evolve by Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  (Note: the only kind of natural selection of interest here is positive selection for functional advantage; purifying selection gets rid of harmful mutations, and balancing selection tries to offset them.)    The paper mentions evolution and selection numerous times.  A search for innovation turns up empty, though, and examination of instances of positive selection shows no clear cut example of something new and improved arising.  The geneticists looked for markers of positive selection indirectly – fast-changing base pairs in otherwise unchanging sequences.  It is not as straightforward, however, to correlate these changes with new genetic information that provides a functional advantage for the fly.  The clearest example of positive selection they could find was for “helicase activity,” which seems like merely an adjustment in the rate of operation of existing hardware.  They said, “Despite a number of functional categories with evidence for elevated omega [i.e., an indicator of positive natural selection], ‘helicase activity’ is the only functional category significantly more likely to be positively selected.”  In other words, not only are all the 12 species of Drosophila still fruit flies, none of them seemed to exhibit a single clear-cut example of a new functional innovation – despite as many generations as the mammals had for their assumed evolutionary radiation, with all the new capabilities possessed by bats, skunks, hippos and aardvarks.  What was Darwin doing all that time?  It would seem if clear indications of innovation that would vindicate Darwin had been found, it would be the news of the decade.    In the same issue of Nature,3 Ewan Birney commented on the Clark et al study.  “The analysis of positive selection by Clark and colleagues is undoubtedly the broadest and most detailed investigation performed in any clade of multicellular organisms.”  Two species of Drosophila in the study are as different genetically as humans are from other primates, he said.  Though he claimed that the team identified a third of fruit fly genes apparently undergoing positive selection (mostly for the existing immune system and olfactory functions), he did not identify any example of an “upward” change that gave any species a new organ, system, or innovation that would indicate Drosophila was evolving into something better than a plain old fruit fly.  Instead, he indicated that future studies on primates would be required to understand positive evolution: “Clark and colleagues’ findings suggest that, to understand the fascinating adaptive changes among primates, including those unique to humans, we probably need to sequence the genome of every extant primate (and, where possible, any extinct primates with recoverable DNA), using optimal sequencing strategies to obtain both population-level data and accurate genome sequences.”Fossils to the rescue?  Is Darwin’s tree rooted in the rocks?  Gene Hunt undertook a study of “The relative importance of directional change, random walks, and stasis in the evolution of fossil lineages,” and found a lot of stasis.  After his “large-scale, statistical survey of evolutionary mode in fossil lineages,” involving some 250 sequences of evolving traits, he wrote in PNAS,4 “The rarity with which directional evolution was observed in this study corroborates a key claim of punctuated equilibria and suggests that truly directional evolution is infrequent or, perhaps more importantly, of short enough duration so as to rarely register in paleontological sampling.”  Darwin did not predict punctuated equilibria.  The core of his theory was that changes occurred imperceptibly, gradually and cumulatively.  In addition, he knew that the fossil record was characterized by large gaps, but predicted that the new fossil discoveries would fill in those gaps, revealing his hoped-for branching evolutionary tree.  Hunt found only 5% of fossil lineages could be attributed to directional evolution.  Of the rest that showed change over time, it was mostly for body size, not body shape.  This does not seem to be a vindication for Darwin’s prognosticative powers.  In the evolutionary rat race, if a bigger or smaller rat wins, it is still just a rat.Scientific literature does present occasional successes for Darwin, such as this claimed vindication at Queens University for Darwin’s controversial hypothesis of sympatric speciation.  But the score is mixed.  One study never undertaken is how Darwin’s predictions would rank against those of astrology.1.  Loren H. Rieseberg, “…And a Partridge in Allopatry,” Science, 12 October 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5848, p. 198, DOI: 10.1126/science.1147892.2.  Clark et al, “Evolution of genes and genomes in the Drosophila phylogeny,” Nature 450, 203-218 (8 November 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06341.See also an article in Science Daily that lamented the difficulty this study uncovered about identifying what is a gene.3.  Ewan Birney, “Evolutionary genomics: Come fly with us,” Nature 450, 184-185 (8 November 2007) | doi:10.1038/450184a.4.  Gene Hunt, “The relative importance of directional change, random walks, and stasis in the evolution of fossil lineages,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print November 14, 2007, 10.1073/pnas.0704088104.We have reported numerous times when Darwin predicted something and the opposite was found (e.g., 11/13/2007, 11/09/2007, 10/17/2007).  Charlie has struck out again and again, yet his fans never give up.    The PBS Judgment Day program (11/14/2007) made a big deal about how “scientific” Darwin’s theory was.  For support, the PBS website offered an interactive feature listing 13 of “Darwin’s Predictions” that supposedly came true.  This was presented to trick students and visitors into thinking Darwin has an impressive batting average.  Let’s look at them and see if Charlie can make it to first base at least.  The PBS feature begins with a dramatic star spangled banner, asking Jose if he can see the Darwin’s early light:Ahead of his time is putting it moderately for Charles Darwin.  The father of evolution had conjectures that were only proved, or greatly substantiated, decades after his death in 1882, in some cases not until recently.  Today, evidence that unequivocally supports his theory of evolution by natural selection, as well as other surmises he had, comes from an array of scientific disciplines, including paleontology, geology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and, most recently, evolutionary developmental biology, or “evo devo.”  “The notion that all these lines of evidence could converge and give a common answer to the question of where we came from is truly powerful,” says Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller.  “This is the reason why scientific support for the theory of evolution is so overwhelming.”A pretty dramatic overture indeed, provided there is power behind the sound system.  Here are the 13 pitches for Darwin to swing at.  Keep in mind these are all supposed to be predictions by Darwin that were confirmed by science.  Unfortunately, since the Darwin Party owns the stadium and both teams, which are sworn to make Charlie look good, all we can do is umpire from the sidelines when they break the rules.Evo-devo:  “Evolution happens,” the first entry announces triumphantly.  Something else on bumper stickers also happens, but we won’t press the point.    Right off the bat, we notice them including evo-devo in the victory circle with little more than an unsupported assertion followed by the favorite Darwin Party quote that nothing in biology makes sense except in the darkness of evolution.  Last month, however, Ron Amundson, in a Science Magazine book review (318:5850, pp. 571-572, 10/26/2007) portrayed evolutionary genetics and evolutionary embryology (of which evo-devo is the latest incarnation) as antagonists in a long tug-of-war between biologists about where the seat of evolution lies.  This is essentially the battle between saltationism and gradualism in embryo.  So for PBS to claim evo-devo is a friend of Darwin is a little like Coriolanus embracing Aufidius.  They are reluctant allies who would as soon stab one another except for the common enemy, the creationists.Verdict: this is not even a pitch; it’s just Darwin fans rooting in the stands.Natural selection:  “Evolution happens through natural selection,” the next entry states.  We thought that was the question at issue.  Ever hear of begging the question?  This is no prediction; it assumes what needs to be proved.  There it is, right before your eyes, a totally begged question, complete with another favorite D.P. quote that natural selection is “the greatest idea anyone ever had,” followed by a Big Lie by Niles Eldredge that nothing in 175 years has contravened it (even his own competing theory of punctuated equilibria?).Verdict: this is a little dance on the pitcher’s mound getting applause from the Darwin fans again.  No ball has been pitched yet.  We’re getting impatient.For rebuttals that show natural selection does not work as advertised, and has been essentially falsified, see 11/29/2004 and, more recently, 11/13/2007 and 10/17/2007. Galapagos finches:  This was no prediction.  Darwin found the finches while a creationist, then much later worked them into his evolutionary theory.  But even if you allow a postdiction to count as a prediction, it is irrelevant, because even young-earth creationists allow for the microevolution seen in finch beaks.Verdict: When are you going to pitch a ball, PBS?  We want a pitcher, not a Lucy itcher.  We’re starting to boo from the sidelines while the hysterical fans go ape.Genetics:  Finally, a pitch.  Darwin swings and misses.  His theory of pangenesis was discredited almost as soon as it hit the shelves.  He knew nothing of DNA, and did not predict anything like a code in the cell which, to him, was a simple blob of protoplasm.Verdict: Strike one.  For the Darwin party to give Charlie credit for DNA and molecular biology as a prediction of his theory is like giving Walt Whitman credit for the internet.Antisupernaturalism:  What?  That is the very question under consideration.Verdict: Foul!  Illegal procedure!  This is no pitch; it is another egregious case of begging the question.Embryology:  This is indistinguishable from #1.  It’s evo-devo again.  PBS failed to point out the Haeckel’s embryo hoax that sprang right out of Darwin’s own speculations.  The shared genetic toolkit is no prediction of Darwin’s theory; it is an evidence that complex design was there from the beginning.Verdict: No pitch.  Sending the evo-devo clown out on the field for another cheer from the fans is a distraction.Sexual selection:  OK, here’s a real pitch.  Darwin did predict sexual selection would drive sexual dimorphism.  (Actually, this is just another postdiction, because peacocks were already well known in his time.)  The theory is controversial (02/26/2003), but at best, a peacock with radical tail feathers is still a peacock, not a new animal.  Sexual selection does not explain the origin of new species.Verdict: Ball One.Common ancestry:  Ken Miller states, “Despite the extraordinary diversity of life, all living organisms share a nearly identical set of essential genes, reflecting their evolutionary development from a common ancestor.”  Yet Darwin’s view was one not of “immortal” traits, nor of anything that has “survived essentially unchanged for over two billion years.”  Darwin’s world is a fluid picture of gradual, incessant change, not stasis.Verdict: More evo-devo.  More begging the question.  Common ancestry is the question under debate, not a prediction!  They are not learning their lesson.  This elicits a cheer from the fans in the stands, but no ball was pitched.Human evolution:  “Humans evolved from an ape-like ancestor,”  the next slide announces triumphantly, again begging the question.  As support, the slide borrows an ancient 1863 Huxley drawing, and then repeats the discredited whopper that human and chimpanzee genes are 99% similar (see 06/29/2007).  No fossil evidence is presented.  They repeat Darwin’s speculation that “the difference between the mind of man and that of a chimpanzee or gorilla is a matter of degree, not of kind.”  What did they do to interpolate this, interview Lucy or something?  It’s not like creationists have failed to notice similarities and differences between humans and apes for thousands of years; so what has Charlie done to prove his condition that we evolved from them?Verdict: Begged question, no evidence.  Ball Two.Modern humans arose in Africa:  Evidence is presented from phylogenetic trees and alleged hominid bones, most of which were found in Africa.  This argument fails to recognize the selective effect of doing most of the digging in Africa, and the circular nature of finding Darwin trees in the genes, when unbiased analysis finds no tree (10/08/2007) and declares phylogenetic tree-building a function of assumptions (01/18/2006).Verdict: the ball curves chaotically through the batter’s box, making any contact with the bat a matter of luck, not skill.  Ball Three.Old earth:  This was not a prediction of Darwin.  Hutton, Lyell and other geologists had already decided long before The Origin to believe in an old earth, and they began interpreting the strata through that lens.  Regardless of debates on the age of the earth, Darwin gets no credit for predicting it.Verdict: Strike Two.Fossils:  Precambrian fossils?  Missing links?  Gaps filled in with transitional forms? (see 10/15/2007 commentary on the PBS offerings, under numbered bullets #1).  The gall of these people to use the most damaging evidence against Darwin’s theory as support for it!Verdict: Strike Three.Moth tongue:  OK, Charlie struck out, but we’ll entertain his final little just-so story, his lucky #13, as he walks to the dugout.  He predicted a pollinator with a foot-long tongue would be found to pollinate a peculiar orchid, and by golly, one was found 40 years later.  Awesome, dude.  Cowabunga.  Way to go.  Ahem.  The moth was still a moth, not some other animal, and the orchid was still an orchid.  None of this is germane to the question of the origin of species.  Since even young-earth creationists allow for dramatic variations of traits within kinds (look at dogs), this pitch is too little, too late.Verdict: Don’t quit your day job, prognosticator.  Go breed some pigeons.  Be sure to use intelligent design.So Charlie is out.  He has failed to hit a single pitch from the list of predictions.  He couldn’t even walk to first base, because the pitcher kept dancing on the mound.    We hate to hurt a guy’s feelings when he’s down, but must point out that even if he had struck a homer, it wouldn’t have mattered.  You see, scientists and philosophers have known for a long time that predictability is no assurance of validity.  There is an inherent logical fallacy in making and fulfilling predictions, called the fallacy of Affirming the Consequent (see Wikipedia for a convenient summary): “If P then Q; Q is true, therefore P is true.”  This is a non-sequitur; there are other things than P that could have been the cause of Q.  Example: Columbus told the natives that their gods were angry because of their treatment of his sailors, and were going to punish them by turning the moon blood-red.  It happened!  Columbus was good at predicting a lunar eclipse, but the natives believed the gods were angry, and treated him with much more respect.  If you take a placebo because the experimenter tells you it will make you feel better, and you feel better, it doesn’t mean the placebo cured you.  Astrologers and pseudoscientists for centuries have used this fallacy to their advantage.    The problem is even more serious at a deeper level.  Philosophers of science since Pierre Duhem (late 19th century) have pointed out that theories are underdetermined by facts.  No matter how many facts your theory can incorporate, or how many successful predictions it can make, there are always a nearly infinite number of other theories that could account for the phenomena.  That’s why Popper proposed falsifiability as a criterion for good science.  Many would argue that Darwinism has already been falsified, but then Popper is not the last word, either.  Philosophy of science, the attempt to give a rational justification for scientific claims and discriminate good science from pseudoscience, has undergone multiple revolutions in the 20th century alone.  There remains no consensus even today.  All agree now, however, that the ability to make predictions is neither necessary nor sufficient to claim a theory is scientific.  So even if Charlie had hit the ball, the game wasn’t valid in the first place.  There is no joy in Dudville.  Mighty Charlie has struck out.  The officials, meanwhile, had already abrogated the game and declared it nugatory.(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Checking your fields after the rains

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Much of Ohio has seen wave after wave of rain storms in June of 2015, leaving overly saturated fields of recently planted corn and soybeans under water. Bill Mullen of Seed Consultants has some useful advice as to what to watch for once the rain subsides.last_img

How to Create an Animated Envelope in After Effects

first_imgLearn to create line art animation for your videos in this step-by-step After Effects tutorial.Line art refers to a style that uses generally one color and one stroke weight. In this tutorial, we will create a line art envelope icon that animates on and off for use in looping gifs. Here’s the finished product:You can watch the tutorial below.Download Free Animated Envelope TemplateWant to follow along with the tutorial? Simply download the free project file by hitting the button below.DOWNLOAD FREE ANIMATED ENVELOPE PROJECT FILE FOR AFTER EFFECTS Step 0Create a new composition. Since we’re working with a .gif output, we don’t need to adhere to any broadcast standards. For this piece, we’re working with a 640 by 640 pixel composition size, 5 seconds long, at 29.97 frames per second.Step 1Make a new white solid to serve as your background.Step 2The next step is to get the circle in place. Double click on the Ellipse Tool and change the fill to none and the stroke to 10px, then pick a dark color for the line. This will draw a circle the same size as your composition, which in this case is 640 by 640. Twirl into the shape layer to access the contents and change the size of the ellipse to 450 by 450. A circle is a nice, clean way to frame our icon, and it sets up an easy exit at the end of the animation when it swallows the icon.To animate on the circle, we use the trim paths. Add a trim path to the ellipse group and keyframe both the end and offset property. The end should start at 0% and animate on to 100% in 1 second. At the same time, the offset should animate from 30 degrees to 90 degrees.Finally you will want to use round caps and round joins on the stroke of your circle. Throughout this tutorial, all strokes should be 10 pixels thick with round caps and joins.Step 3Now we need an envelope. This begins with a rectangle. You can double click on the rectangle tool with nothing selected to produce a rectangle the same size as your composition and then edit the details by twirling down into the contents of the new layer. This rectangle should have a white fill, the same color as your background, and a black stroke, the same color as your circle. This project will use only these two colors. You should also match the stroke of the circle in thickness and roundness. Change the size of the envelope to 300 by 175 pixels.We animate this layer on by adding trim paths, and instead of animating the end of the path from 0 to 100, we animate both the start and end from 50 to 0 for the start and 100 for the end. This trims the path to write on from the middle outward. This should produce a line that writes on from corner to corner.You will want to easy ease the first keyframes, but leave the last one linear so the animation starts slowly and accelerates to a constant speed by the time the animation has completed.Step 4That leads us to the next section, where we animate on the flap of the envelope. We create the flap by duplicating the “envelope back” layer and converting the rectangle path to points. It is also best to parent the flap to the back and position the envelope lower so that when the flap opens, the image is balanced.This will allow us to remove one of the points and move another to form a triangle. I recommend using the grid to line up the middle point exactly in a predictable position. We can remove the keyframes for the start of the trim paths and only use the end property to animate on the flap from 0 to 100. This should begin one frame before the “envelope back” completes and end around 20 seconds in. You will want to change the first keyframe to linear and the last to eased. This will create a smooth transition and the illusion that the envelope and the flap share the same back line.Now you’ll likely notice the fill of the flap is making an ugly little overhang. You can keyframe the opacity of the file so that it is not visible before the animation completes. Once the trim paths is finished writing on the flap, you can set the opacity to 100. Set these keyframes to be hold keyframes if you like or just situate them right against each other.Finally, we need this flap to open. To do this, we will simple keyframe the path. Twirl into the contents of the shape and keyframe the path. The start state should be flap-down. The end state should be the open envelope. Just move the middle point up to the new position. You’ll want both of those keyframes eased, and you’ll want to pull the handles of the last keyframe to have 100% influence. This makes a nice acceleration curve for the movement.Step 5If we’re going to put a letter in the envelope, we need to form the front of the envelope. We will again duplicate the “envelope back” layer, convert the rectangle to points, and instead of deleting points, add one in the middle of the top line. Bring that point to match the location of the tip of the flap. This layer will remain mostly unchanged. You should also parent it to the envelope back. This layer doesn’t need to animate on, and you should trim it in time to exist only after the trim paths have resolved for the layers that make up the envelope. You can just delete the trim paths from this layer entirely. This layer should also live above the envelope back but below the flap.Step 6So we have an envelope that animates on and then opens up. Now we need a letter to come out of the envelope. We can again duplicate the envelope back so we don’t have to tweak any fills or strokes. And we may want to solo this layer as we’re working on it and rename it “letter” or something useful.This layer is going to be the page that exits the envelope and flops over. However, this will only be one half of the flop. The bend that happens in the paper is made of two layers, and together they form the illusion that one piece of paper is flopping out of an envelope.To make the first part of the flow we will first enlarge the rectangle path in the letter layer. Then we will add another rectangle path and convert that to a bezier path. We then make it taller and add points to the top to make the curve.Then we will add a merge paths to these and set the merge method to “intersect,” so we will only see where the two paths overlap each other. After that, we can move the rectangle path up and down to reveal more or less of the curved path. We then set keyframes to make the rectangle change position and move all the way up the layer until only one line is visible at the top of the shape.This layer should be between the envelope’s back and front. However, it also needs to be above the flap after the flap opens up. So you should split the flap layer (command+shift+d) and position the second flap behind the letter. You will need to time the letter’s emergence and animation to not intersect strangely with the flap.Step 7You can create the second half of the flopping letter by duplicating and flipping the first letter and then time reversing its keyframes so the rectangle moves from revealing only a line at the top of the “paper” to the straight rectangle section. I recommend parenting the second paper to the first so when you keyframe the paper’s position, the two move together. Then, it’s a matter of lining up the timing so that as the paper appears to come out and flop over, it continues that motion in the second layer. You will need to alter the graph editor by easing their keyframes to give it a pleasing motion. But, once they’re lined up right, the trick is complete!You will want the paper to change position to rise up a little as it flops. You can set keyframes for the position to make that happen. Just remember to ease your keyframes so it doesn’t look jerky.Step 8The last thing to do is add some embellishments. Now that the whole piece is moving around and animating on as you would expect, I recommend putting a burst of some kind at the start when the write on of the circle and envelope end. You can make a burst using shape layers by animating a rectangle from size and position 0,0 out to size 0,55 and position 0,-375 over about 10 frames and ease the keyframes. In the middle of those keyframes, however, you’ll want the size to be 0,155 and position to be 0,170 — and set the middle keyframes to “auto bezier,” which you can do by holding alt and clicking the keyframe until it becomes a circle. Then go into the graph editor and change the influence handles of the first keyframes to 0%. This causes a nice burst on.Then you just need to use the repeater to make an array of 6 of these changing their rotation to 60 degrees. I then duplicate a group containing all those rotating at 30 degrees and scaling it up. But then you have two different strokes from the scale. So you should remove the stroke from one of the groups and drag the other stroke below the two groups. This applies the stroke to the contents of the groups after transformation so it won’t deform the stroke at all. Next, you can set it to round, 10 pixels thick, and give it a dash of 20, a gap of 30, and a dash of 60 to complete the look. Line up this layer with the envelope’s completion, and it really calls attention to the frame. You may want to trim the layer down so you don’t need to see the first few frames and only get the exciting bits of the animation.I highly recommend watching the video tutorial to get all the step-by-step nuances. And if you had trouble with the tutorial, download the project file and really dive in.Do you have tips about line art animation? Share in the comments.last_img read more