Real Madrid captain Casillas set to snub Arsenal switch

first_img Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas 1 Arsenal will be forced to wait if they want to sign Iker Casillas because the Real Madrid goalkeeper wants to stay where he is.The Spanish giants have targeted Manchester United number one David de Gea as a replacement for their long-serving keeper, with Arsenal and Liverpool monitoring the situation while they consider changes at the back.And the pressure is mounting on the Spanish World Cup winner after his latest poor display in the club’s weekend draw with Valencia.The keeper, 33, appeared to shout back at fans who were abusing him and that has prompted further speculation over his future.But Casillas has told Madrid, Arsenal, Liverpool and anyone else interested in him moving on that he is determined to see out his Bernabeu contract which runs until 2017.last_img read more

Shasta Creations volleyball team takes third in Bayview Classic

first_imgSan Mateo >> The Shasta Creations volleyball team wrapped up a very successful season with a third place finish at the Bayview Classic over the weekend.The team went into tournament ranked 21.Saturday the team had a 3 team pool. They beat Endine, which was ranked 17th, from San Jose 21-25, 25-12 and 25-17 and beat Vertical Extreme, ranked 20th, from Visalia 25-21, 25-23 and 25-23.Going into Sunday, the Shasta Creations were ranked 17th. They beat the No. 9 ranked Titans from San Jose 25-13, …last_img

Platypus Genome Surprises Evolutionists

first_imgThanks to more efficient sequencing techniques, genomes of more and more animals are coming to light.  The latest is from one of the most unusual animals in nature: the duck-billed platypus of Australia.  The long and short of it: if evolutionists were confused about the phenotype (outward appearance) of this creature, they are just as confused by the genotype (the DNA).    Nature,1 which published the genome as its cover story, also printed a news summary with illustrations on its Nature News site.  Other science sites quickly printed articles about it but varied on their spin: New Scientist (“platypus genome is as weird as it looks”); Science Daily (“Platypus Genome Explains Animal’s Peculiar Features; Holds Clues To Evolution Of Mammals”); Live Science (“World’s Strangest Creature?  Part Mammal, Part Reptile”); and National Geographic (“Platypus Genome Reveals Secrets of Mammal Evolution”).  Science Daily began its coverage, “The duck-billed platypus: part bird, part reptile, part mammal – and the genome to prove it.”    Among the oddities in the genes: the platypus has 52 chromosomes, including 10 sex chromosomes (but its X and Y are not sex chromosomes).  The animal has genes for lactation and egg-laying.  Scientists cannot seem to figure out whether it is closer to reptiles or to mammals.  Its webbed feet, duck bill, venomous spurs, electric sensory organ, fur, egg-laying and beaver tail make it an incongruous mosaic of features.  The first scientists to examine one thought it was a hoax, as if some practical-joking taxidermist sewed a duck bill on a beaver.    The Nature article, while claiming that this new genome supports evolution, stated clearly that the confusion of traits in the platypus extends right down to the genetic level:Since its initial description, the platypus has stood out as a species with a blend of reptilian and mammalian features, which is a characteristic that penetrates to the level of the genome sequence.  The density and distribution of repetitive sequence, for example, reflects this fact.  The high frequency of interspersed repeats in the platypus genome, although typical for mammalian genomes, is in contrast with the observed mean microsatellite coverage, which appears more reptilian.  Additionally, the correlation of parent-of-origin-specific expression patterns in regions of reduced interspersed repeats in the platypus suggests that the evolution of imprinting in therians is linked to the accumulation of repetitive elements.They only made suggestions about platypus evolution.  None of the explanation sounds clear and unambiguous.  Calling certain characters “reptilian” in an animal with fur that lactates seems to confuse rather than elucidate the relationship.  They called the male platypus’s ability to produce venom reptilian, for instance.  But snakes strike with their fangs, and the male platypus strikes with its heel.  How many mutations did it take to move the venom apparatus from one end of the ancestor to the other end of the descendent?  Why did it happen?  Where are the missing links?  In fact, they had to admit that there is no relationship: “Convergent evolution has thus clearly occurred during the independent evolution of reptilian and monotreme venom,” they said.  This only doubles the mystery of the origin of venom.  Furthermore, the platypus venom was found to be a cocktail with at least 19 complex compounds, each one requiring specific genes for its manufacture.  They claimed some of these genes had arisen by duplication of genes with other functions.  There are difficulties with this class of explanation, however (see CMI).    A fossil monotreme found last year, said to be 112 million years old, stunned evolutionists ( (11/27/2007, 01/21/2008, bullet 2).  Timothy Rowe commented, “It’s really, really old for a monotreme.”  No clear fossil sequence connects the earliest monotreme with the modern platypus or echidna.    Meanwhile, the platypus seems unconcerned with all this genealogical hubbub.  It swims along with its happy duckbilled grin, its sleek fur and sensory organs perfectly adapted for its unique habitat. 1.  Genome consortium, “Genome analysis of the platypus reveals unique signatures of evolution,” Nature 453, 175-183 (8 May 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06936.It’s kind of funny to see the Darwinists squirm.  Do they really need to conjure up a mythical tree to hang this wonderful animal on?  Maybe that’s a very misguided quest for a scientist.  Why not just study the living animal and understand how it is put together, so we can learn some practical things that might improve our lives?  Did Galileo have to study the ancestry of the rocks he dropped from the tower?  Did Faraday have to ponder the ancestry of magnetism to build a motor and generator?  Did Carver have to ponder the phylogeny of the peanut to make 300 products with it?  What is this obsession with genealogies?  Are Darwinists in the worldview business perhaps?    The Apostle Paul cautioned against “foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless” (Titus 3:9).  This does not say that scientific research into genomes is useless.  Deciphering genomes helps us understand how organisms function in the present.  Comparisons between animals also illuminates the way genomes produce adult animals that are adapted to various ecological niches.  The useless genealogies begin with questions about who begat whom.  Notice that we only observe live platypi (pardon the Greek).  We do not see them 112 million years ago.  (Fossils exist in the present, not in the past.)  Animals are what they are.  They have what they have.  They do what they do.  They do it well.  That’s about all that can be investigated with any confidence using the limited methods of science.  For information about unobservable prehistories, one needs a different source of information.Exercise:  Defend or refute the proposition, “God created the platypus to confound evolutionary theories.”  Provide evidence to support your position.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Research and job creation focus at agro-processing gathering

first_imgA variety of speakers shared their experiences in the sector at a two-day Technology and Human Research for Industry (THRIP) agro-processing symposium. Some highlighted how government funding helped their businesses grow.Speakers at the Technology and Human Research for Industry agro-processing symposium on 24 and 25 October 2017 include Sammy Phalane, Dr Yonela Njisane, Bongani Ndimba, Elisabeth Goyvaerts and Luvuyo Simakuhle. (Image: Melissa Javan)Melissa JavanMore than 450 villages are producing and selling nuts to the company Everpix, an African Oil partner. This company is a beneficiary of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Technology and Human Research for Industry (THRIP) funding programmes.At a THRIP agro-processing symposium, Elisabeth Goyvaerts, founder of Everpix, spoke about how the company had grown with the help of the department.The two-day symposium was held on 24 and 25 October 2017. Its aim was to create a conducive environment in which government-funded research was showcased to the relevant industries for possible exploitation and industrialisation, as well as to discuss critical issues in the agriculture and agro-processing value chain.A highlight was 12-year-old Zaria Rule explaining how she conducted research on her dog by using Rooibos tea to treat his diabetes condition.Another highlight was Luvuyo Simekuhle of Woodlands Dairy, which was supplied by 75 commercial farmers. The company is in Humansdorp and supplies not only milk but milk powder.Creating sustainable jobsSipho Zikode, the deputy director-general responsible for special economic zones and economic transformation in the Department of Trade and Industry, said programmes such as THRIP could be used to strengthen public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives.“As you know, THRIP brings together the government, industries, universities and science councils focusing on innovation, technology and scientific development.“This is what we call a PPP initiative, and with this THRIP symposium we are targeting the agro-processing sector, which is one of our Industrial Policy priority sectors that we have to develop and promote for reasons of beneficiating our produce and ensuring that we create sustainable jobs in South Africa,” said Zikode.“We also need to ensure we bring in and support other science and innovation institutions, universities, technical colleges and students in the rural and poor areas.”EverpixIn 2008, Goyvaerts began researching the resources impoverished communities had, and how to use these to benefit those communities, such as the marula tree.In 2010, she started oil pressing and by November 2011 the company was making two tons of oil in Pietermaritzburg.Applying for funding through the department in 2012 was “the best thing that happened to me”. After getting the money in 2013, she was able to buy an automatic stirring pot.“I did more than a ton of oil after getting the [department’s] pre-payments [funding money].”In 2013, a customer paid 50% upfront so that she could create refined oil. Although it was her first foray into refined oil, she sold 330kg of it.Shortly after receiving the funding, she got an order from the US worth R1-million. “I didn’t have premises, so everybody was helping out. I would store here and there, not paying for storage.”She said that sustaining a business was a path that could not be done alone. “We got help from everyone.” The company also invested heavily in the villages from which it bought the raw resources.Other beneficiariesStudents at the University of Fort Hare also received funding from the department for their research into animal welfare and meat science.Dr Yonela Njisane, one of the students, spoke about the effects stress had on animals. “Stress affects the pH in the animal. That is the darkness in the meat colour.”One of the things that caused stress in animals was travelling long distances.The productivity of an animal could also affect your production, she said. A way to measure whether an animal was stressed or had low production levels was to monitor its behaviour.Source: Department of Trade and IndustryWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Cinque Terre – Monterosso-Vernazza — Geocache of the Week

first_imgTraditionalGCQNYZby CaniSciolti Location:Liguria, ItalyN 44° 08.443′ E 009° 40.568′ SharePrint RelatedUnderground — Geocache of the WeekFebruary 7, 2018In “Community”Masca – Los Gigantes – Masca – a real adventure — Geocache of the WeekSeptember 20, 2017In “Community”Der Turm – La Torre — Geocache of the WeekJune 26, 2019In “Community” Difficulty:1.5Terrain:3 On the west coast of Italy, stretched along the glistening Ligurian Sea lie the Cinque Terre, or Five Lands. Dating back to the 11th century, these picturesque towns have, by virtue of their isolated locations, remained protected from the outside world. To this day they remain accessible only by train, boat, or a rugged winding path that weaves up though the mountains and dips down to meet the clear blue water between the villages. Though cars are vietate (forbidden) in these colorful towns, geocaches are welcome. Among the twelve caches scattered along the winding trail connecting each town to the next is Cinque Terre – Monterosso-Vernazza, our Geocache of the Week. Image by team knautschPlaced in 2006, this cache is one of the oldest in Liguria, the Italian Riviera. Since the trail through the villages is a Parco Nazionale (National Park), there is a small fee to hike the trails during the busy summer months; however, cache owner CaniSciolti keeps the container in tip top condition for cachers to find year round.Ground Zero! Image by MappimanAlthough relatively straightforward, for this Traditional Cache it’s really the journey that counts. Each village has its own separate culture, traditions, and even dialect. So, while you could take the train to either Vernazza or Monterosso, the best way to earn this smiley is to brave the trail and embark on the scenic six hour hike to the cache.Though Venice boasts some famous bridges, we think the ones in Liguria are pretty great too. Images by geojammers and SlightlySarahYour strumenti del mestiere (tools of the trade) might need to expand for this unique cache. You’ll want to make sure you also pack a swimsuit for the crystalline waters in Vernazza. You’ll definitely need to save your appetite for the famous honey gelato in Corniglia or pizza in Monterosso. Finally, you’ll have to lace up your hiking boots to get you up the ancient stairs and down the winding trails. And of course, the most important of all —don’t forget to bring a pen to sign the logbook!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:Morelast_img read more

Gov’t Focused on Re-Establishing Essential Services in ZOSOs

first_imgStory Highlights “One of our main strategies and pillars is to re-establish services such as solid waste management; citizen security and safety, that is, more community policing, neighbourhood watches; community groups; recreational activities as well as education and training programmes, to ensure that the people in these areas are fully engaged,” he pointed out. Deputy Chairman, Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) Social Intervention Committee, Omar Sweeney, says the various initiatives being undertaken in Mount Salem and Denham Town, where a ZOSO is currently in effect, are aimed at re-establishing essential services to these communities.Mr. Sweeney, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday (February 27), pointed out that even before the ZOSO, the communities were benefiting from engagements being undertaken by various entities as a means of effecting positive changes.He said that through the work of the Committee, the agencies that have been operating in these areas every day will now have a coordinated approach in providing the intervention that is needed, whether through work on the physical environment, skills and educational development or social services.“One of our main strategies and pillars is to re-establish services such as solid waste management; citizen security and safety, that is, more community policing, neighbourhood watches; community groups; recreational activities as well as education and training programmes, to ensure that the people in these areas are fully engaged,” he pointed out.Mr. Sweeney said that as the interventions are carried out, it is of utmost importance to ensure sustainability of the measures in order to ensure that the communities never retreat to where they were before.“So, as we build out the social fabric, what we want to ensure is that there are proper governance structures, community engagement, and the involvement of the requisite government agencies, non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations to form a nucleus and a core of practitioners that can help to re-establish services to the communities,” he pointed out.Mr. Sweeney said a key area of focus of the Committee is formalising services such as water and electricity.“A lot of this has to come through dialogue and engagement, and that is what many of the agencies are doing… . It is about utility regularisation, that is water and electricity supply, and already, some 160 persons in Mount Salem have now put their account in good standing and are in a formal relationship with the National Water Commission (NWC),” he noted.He said that initiatives to foster job creation, skills training and business development are also being undertaken.“We have a focus… on microenterprise development, so one of the programmes is targeted at this group as these communities have a lot of small shops and small businesses and need help in areas such as accounting, marketing and training persons to work with them.“It is about creating opportunities for persons to earn… have a livelihood, and so we want to use the programmes to create avenues and improve conditions in these communities,” Mr. Sweeney said.He noted that the objective of the interventions is to effect change and provide relief to residents. He said the services being delivered will empower people to solve their own problems and, ultimately, uplift their community.The Social Intervention Committee is charged with developing a sustainable development plan, which will include addressing issues related to health, the environment, social improvement, infrastructural development, education and economic development. He said that through the work of the Committee, the agencies that have been operating in these areas every day will now have a coordinated approach in providing the intervention that is needed, whether through work on the physical environment, skills and educational development or social services. Deputy Chairman, Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) Social Intervention Committee, Omar Sweeney, says the various initiatives being undertaken in Mount Salem and Denham Town, where a ZOSO is currently in effect, are aimed at re-establishing essential services to these communities.last_img read more