Urchin Genome Hyped by Media as Human Cousin

first_imgThe publication of a new genome for a plant or animal is becoming routine.  For some reason, the news media instantly jumped on claims that the genome of the sea urchin, published in Science, means that evolution is all but figured out, and that we should each feel a special place in our hearts for these our brethren.  Examples of press releases emphasizing our kinship to these spiny ocean-bottom creatures:Baylor College of Medicine:  On EurekAlert, “Decoded sea urchin genome shows surprising relationship to man: Discoveries include novel immune system, unexpected sensory proteins and broad similarity to human genes.”Carnegie Mellon:  EurekAlert says the genome will prove useful for research into “evolutionary relationships with humans and other vertebrates.”Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory:  EurekAlert’s copy of the press release says, “Scientists makes good use of its surprising similarity to humans.”  It also stresses, “sea urchins are remarkably similar to humans in many ways, sharing most of the same gene families, and yet differ in a few critical areas besides the obvious physical ones.”University of South Florida:  the EurekAlert announcement didn’t say as much about urchins and human relationships, but titled the release, “Insight into evolution of adaptive immunity boosted by sea urchin genome sequencing” and talked about the evolutionary split that led to us.Brown University:  The press release from Brown University began, “Scientists have long known that humans and sea urchins are closely related.  In fact, these animals are the only invertebrates on the human branch of the evolutionary tree of life.  Now that the sea urchin genome is sequenced and assembled, that genetic connection is even clearer.”Live Science:  “Surprise!  Your Cousin’s a Sea Urchin” chimed Jeanna Bryner at Live Science.  Her Darwin commercial was aired verbatim on other news sources, like MSNBC and Fox News.National Geographic:  By now the refrain has become a sing-along: “Sea Urchin Genome Reveals Striking Similarities to Humans,” writes Stefan Lovgren and National Geographic News.Mischievous little English boys in Dickens novels have been called urchins, but perhaps never before have so many associations been made in one day between the little purple ocean porcupines and human beings.Have you seen many things in your life more absurd than the Darwin Party mass hypnosis attacks every time somebody hints that Emperor Charlie might have a new fig leaf for his costume?  They can’t validate common ancestry based on such things.  Didn’t we just learn that genes may be minor players in the genetic machinery that make humans and animals different? (11/09/2006).  Have they never considered there are other explanations, for similarities, like modular design?  Don’t they realize that finding an advanced immune system in a lowly sea creature represents a huge evolutionary conundrum?  What on earth are they thinking?  They’re not; for all intents and purposes, they’re divining (09/29/2006).  They are searching for the spirit of Charlie in molecules of DNA.  Supposedly this is an improvement on livers and entrails.To claim an ancestral relationship in this genome, the Darwinists have to purposely ignore a horde of contrary evidence reported frequently in these pages (follow the Genetics and Evolution chain links for plenty of examples, e.g. 09/16/2006, 06/08/2006, 11/20/2005, 11/06/2005, and 08/20/2003).    There are many problems in the sea urchin genome they are not telling you about.  For instance, scientists were startled to find some genes with drastic differences from vertebrates, and others almost perfectly conserved.  And regarding that amazing immune system, they found more immunity genes in the urchin than in the human by an order of magnitude.  Neither of these observations comport with the image of gradual evolution by natural selection.  Then there is the problem that such advanced genes are found in one of most primitive of the deuterostomes.  This pushes the problem of the origin of complexity further back into some mythical ancestor.For now, just focus on the media’s strange behavior.  Reporters go bonkers in their euphoria at the Charlie Parades, because they have sold their souls to the dogma that Charlie must be worshiped no matter what the evidence, and defended against the new God in town at all costs.  This makes them chant all the louder, “Great is Darwina of the Evolutionists!’  It looks so silly.  It is so unbecoming reporters who are supposed to challenge claims and present all sides of a story.  Look at them.  Look how they brag on being related to tiny spiny denizens of tide pools lacking eyes, ears, and thinking brains.  They might as well be urchins.  They have a special place in their hearts for bottom dwellers.  We should shame the dickens out of such mischief.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South African delegation in Qatar to promote tourism, trade and investment

first_imgDubbed NEXT STOP SOUTH AFRICA campaign, the delegation will consist of senior officials from the departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Trade and Industry and will be collaborating with the South African Foreign Mission in Saudi Arabia, while South African Airways would sponsor certain aspects of travel and promotions. They will be accompanied by members of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), a private sector organization responsible for the territory’s country branding initiative.The visit confirms the growing importance of the Gulf Region for South African business and investment and the strength of bilateral relations with key countries in the region.Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1994 both President Thabo Mbeki and former President Nelson Mandela have made official visits to Doha. The Emir of Qatar paid a state visit to South Africa in May 2002, which led to the opening of embassies in the respective countries.The South African delegation will be in the Gulf Region from 13 to 23 February during which time the delegation will also visit Saudi Arabia, Oman and both Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.On the agenda are meetings and discussions with local business communities as well as workshops on tourism, trade and investment opportunities in South Africa.These events would also be utilized to allay fears about the state of crime in the country and elaborate on strategies championed by government’s security establishments that are successfully combating crime.“The Middle East is becoming an important trade zone for South Africa. It holds great potential for South Africa as an export market, and serves as a potential strategic source of foreign direct investment. Bilateral trade with the Middle East has grown significantly since 1994. Because of South Africa’s energy imports, it has a large trade deficit with the region” says Ms Bulelwa Seti, Chief Director for Tourism Support at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, who will be leading the delegation.The region also has profound cultural and religious resonance with millions of South Africans who adhere to Islam. The cultural, religious, historical and strategic affinity between this region and northern part of Africa itself makes it important in the context of Africa’s renewal and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).South African exports to Qatar had a total value of (South African Rand) 124 million in 2006 and consisted mainly of base metals, chemicals and machinery. Over the same period imports from Qatar totaled just over R1 billion – dominated by the chemical sector and plastics.South Africa and Qatar are also involved in a joint US $ 1 billion fuel grade methanol project. The plant will begin production in 2008 of 12,000 to 15,000 metric tons per day of fuel grade methanol for power generation.“There has been significant tourism investments flowing into South Africa from Middle East investors on the acquisition of hospitality properties while there are significant new opportunities opening up in the leisure and hospitality industries as well as in the construction and engineering sectors” says Patience Molokoza, Director, International Tourism Relations at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup will focus global attention on South Africa as a preferred destination for tourism, trade and investment. Thus the delegation will inform the Saudi business community and government about new opportunities opening up in South Africa and reaffirm the fact that the country is an entry point into a large regional market of more than 180 million people in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.The ASGISA initiative (Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative) focuses on South Africa’s competitive edge in a number of key industries such as tourism, business process outsourcing, international call-centres, information and communication technology, agribusiness and synthetic fuels.South Africa is currently in the early stage of a period significant economic growth and expansion. Thus this mission would seek to encourage investors from Saudi Arabia to grasp the investment opportunities that are currently available to them that will enable them to reap the benefits in the years to come.This visit to the Gulf will be the third trade mission organised and supported by the IMC. This follows very successful missions to North America in 2004 and to Europe and the United Kingdom in 2005.Issued by Meropa Communications for the Brand South Africa Mission in the Gulf Region, 13-23 February 2007.last_img read more

Bulls win Cape Epic for second time

first_img30 March 2009Despite its fearsome reputation, this year’s Absa Cape Epic, which ended in Lourensford on Saturday, saw only 118 riders of the 1 196 cyclists that had entered the eight-day event fail to finish. It was the highest percentage of finishers in the history of the race, even though many participants felt it was the toughest edition of the Cape Epic yet.Known as “the Magical and Untamed African MTB race”, this year’s event, brought together many of the world’s leading mountain biking competitors, for seven gruelling stages, covering 685 kilometres.The early pace in the race was set by the powerful combination of Switzerland’s Christoph Sauser, the cross-country mountain bike world champion and South Africa’s Burry Stander, the world under-23 cross-country champion.Altered the outcomeRiding as Songo.info, the pair dominated proceedings, building up a six-minute lead, until the kind of mishap that can happen at any time in a tough event like the Cape Epic occurred and incontrovertibly altered the outcome of the race.Heading down a downhill track near Greyton, during stage four, Stander had an accident and destroyed the front wheel of his bicycle. Max Knox, one of South Africa’s top MTB competitors, in a magnanimous gesture gave his bike to Stander so that Songo.info could carry on.They eventually finished 20 minutes behind the stage winners in ninth place, but worse was yet to come for the former race leaders. The race referees, after a number of teams had objected to the help received by Stander, penalised Songo.info a further 15 minutes. Later, this was extended to an hour when Sauser admitted that Stander’s broken bike had been carried by a third party.Bulls in the leadFrom being comfortably in charge of the race, the Swiss/South African combination tumbled down the standings and out of serious contention, leaving the way clear for Team Bulls, consisting of the German duo of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm, to take the stage victory and move into the overall lead.It would prove hard to dislodge them from first place. After all, Platt and Sahm had finished runners-up in 2008 and had won the race in 2007.The stage win by Team Bulls came at a price, however, and it required a tremendous amount of courage from Karl Platt to ensure they took the line honours. He had dislocated a shoulder in the race’s prologue and dislocated it once more on the fourth stage.Songo.info stage winsSauser and Stander fought back on the next stage, pushing hard to stand atop the podium for the stage. In fact, the Songo.info riders captured five of the seven stages, as well as the prologue, but they couldn’t overcome the time they lost on stage five.Victory on the last day went to Spain’s Lukas and Mathias Fluckiger, with the South African combination of Brandon Stewart and Max Knox, Team DCM Chrome, finishing second.They were followed across the line by the Multivgan Merida team of Germany’s Hannes Genze and Jochen Kaess. Fourth place was shared by Platt and Sahm of Team Bulls, who finished arm-in-arm with Songo.info’s Sauser and Stander.Overall winAlthough Team Bulls took the overall win, it was only on stage four that they finished ahead of Songo.info. They claimed the overall title with a time of 28 hours, 10 minutes, 13.8 seconds.It was a third victory in the event for Platt who, besides his win with Sahm in 2007, also took the honours in 2004 with Namibia’s Mannie Heymans.Second place went to the Trek-Brentjens team of Bart Brentjens, from the Netherlands, and Chris Jongewaard, from Australia, in 28 hours, 15 minutes, 07.9 seconds.Sweden’s Emil Lindgren and Switzerland’s Andreas Klugler, racing as Felt Factory 2, finished in third place.The top South African team was the MTN Energade combination of Kevin Evans and David George, who picked up the Best African Team award. Songo.info, the dominant team in the race, had to settle for sixth position.Women’s winThe Absa Ladies team of England’s Sharon Laws and South Africa’s Hanlie Booyens dominated the ladies’ race. They won every stage, which gave them a convincing overall victory.Laws and Booyens finished in 37 hours, 18 minutes and 20 seconds, over five hours ahead of second placed Robyn Adendorff and Sarah van Heerden of WSP – Jeep Girls, an all-South African team. Another South African pair, Nolene Saunders and Sarah Wielopolska, racing as Tread Magazine, took third place.MixedMountain Bike Hall of Fame member Alison Syder captured the mixed title with South Africa’s Nico Pfitzenmaier in 32 hours, 13 minutes, 09.5 seconds. Racing as the Adidas Tree team, they ended nearly 40 minutes ahead of Epic rookies, Esther Suss and Marcel Bartholet of Switzerland, competing as Team Wheeler iXS Pro.IMC/Momentum GT/Activeworx – an all South African duo, made up of Yolanda Speedy and Paul Cordes – completed the podium positions.MastersThere was a fantastic dice for honours in the Masters category. Victory went to Doug Brown of South Africa and Barti Bucher of Switzerland, the Absa Masters, who finished just over three minutes ahead of Cycle Lab Toyota’s Shan Wilson and Andrew Mclean.Over three-and-a-half hours further back, Doug Andrews and Rich Bartlett of the USA secured third place.The Absa Cape Epic is the most widely televised mountain bike race in the world. The 2008 race was broadcast in more than 175 countries in 17 languages.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Apple Quietly Updates Mac Anti-Malware Feature in New OS Release

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Apple#security#web In the Mac OS X (10.6.4) update which arrived earlier this week, Apple has made a change to its anti-malware feature to include an additional set of definitions, bringing the total number of built- in protections to three. The latest update now protects Mac users against a backdoor trojan that would allow hackers to take control of infected computers in order to send spam email. Apple Anti-Malware Protections Updated to ThreeThe change is notable for the simple reason that Apple, unlike its highly-targeted competitor Windows, has typically sold itself as a safe, secure OS where anti-malware protection is not really needed. This mindset apparently enrages security researchers, who aren’t as interested in the number of Mac malware programs (OS X certainly has few of those), but are worried about how Apple is training its users to be unconcerned with security. Writes security expert Graham Cluley on his blog at Sophos, “Mac users seem oblivious to security threats which can run on their computers. And that isn’t helped when Apple issues an anti-malware security update like this by stealth, rather than informing the public what it has done.” He even goes so far as to suggest that the reason Apple keeps updates like these hush-hush is because the company doesn’t want to taint its “secure OS” image. “Shh! Don’t tell folks that we have to protect against malware on Mac OS X!,” Cluley writes tongue-in-cheek about his discovery of the new anti-malware protections, describing what he believes to be the Apple marketing mindset.  Although Cluley still admits that there’s a lot less malicious software for Mac out there than there is for Windows, the lack of concern regarding security issues among Mac users makes them a potential “soft target for hackers in the future,” he warns. Security by StealthThe other reason why this news is worth mentioning is not just due to the security angle itself, but also the way Apple handles these sorts of issues. And that is very, very quietly. Most mainstream Mac users are probably wholly unaware that their operating system includes, by default, simple anti-malware protection by way of a file called “XProtect.plist,” the same file that has now been updated to block against the newly detected threat, a trojan called HellRTS. Arguably, Mac users have far less reason to worry about viruses, trojans and malware than their Windows counterparts, as any Apple user will quickly tell you. But despite this fact, the question remains: should consumers call for the company to be more forthcoming about its security protections, instead of leaving them to be unearthed by researchers hacking through Mac files? Or is the stealth status-quo OK, so long as the threats are minimal?  Image credit: Sophos; Disclosure: Sarah Perez freelances for Microsoft’s Channel 10, but it is not a Microsoft employee. She owns four (soon to be five!) Apple products including the iPad, but runs Windows on her primarily blogging machine. She’s also very forthcoming about her affiliations here. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… sarah perezlast_img read more

3 Free Resources for Film Marketing

first_imgGet your film noticed! Pick up some film marketing tips from these informative free resources.There’s nothing more frustrating than dedicating an INSANE amount of time and energy on a film project that never gets seen. What’s the point of that!?With a solid film marketing plan you can ensure that audiences know about – and are watching – your latest creation. The following free resources will help you get there. 1. IndieReign IndieReign features an awesome blog solely dedicated to film marketing. From video tutorials to written articles, IndieReign has tons of resources to help you learn how to get your film watched.More than that, IndieReign also serves as a distributor between filmmakers and audiences online. By creating an account, filmmakers can upload and distribute their film from IndieReign’s website.Must Read: How to Market Your Film on Twitter Series 2. Sheri CandlerSheri Candler is a digital marketing strategist primarily working within the independent film industry. She just so happens to have a really useful blog too.With her years of experience Sheri shares her insights into what type of marketing works, and doesn’t work, in the film industry.Must Read: Film Marketing and Distribution Checklist Are there any other free online resources that you use to learn about film marketing? If so please let us know in the comments below. 3. Filmmaking StuffFilmmaking Stuff is a website managed by Jason Brubaker, an independent film producer based out of Hollywood. The website is a really awesome resource for independent filmmakers and includes tons of helpful articles and resources for independently marketing your film project.Must Read: Distribution (tons of links!)last_img read more

Your Lack of Engagement Kills Deals

first_imgThere is something you may not be aware of that is damaging your ability to sell. You may not know that you are doing this, but it can cause people to decide not to work with you or your company. Without meaning to, you can make it difficult for someone to work with you.A lack of real engagement in your work can be seen and felt, and it can cause people to decide to work with someone else.My first draft of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need had four chapters that were either removed or consolidated into other chapters to meet the constraint of 60,000 words. One of the chapters that was removed was called Passionate Engagement. More and more, I believe that chapter should have been included.When you look like you don’t want to be doing what you are doing, you make others believe that you don’t want to be doing what you are doing. You look like a “dread Monday” and “live for Friday” kind of person, the kind of person that is not all in on producing the outcomes they sell, and the kind of person who may not want to deal with the difficult issues that are certain to come with any real change initiative.You make it difficult for your dream client to add you to their team when you lack energy, when you are simply going through the motions, when you respond slowly, when you are dispassionate and disengaged, and when it is clear you aren’t in love with what you are doing.You may want to believe that someone else is supposed to inspire and motivate you in order for you to be passionately engaged with your work, but you would be wrong. The decision to passionately engage with your work is a decision that is yours alone. You decide whether to bring your best self to your work. You decide to give yourself over to your work.If you are not passionate about what you do now because things aren’t perfect, you aren’t going to find your next role in another company any more perfect. In the meantime, your projecting a lack of passionate engagement will make it difficult for your dream client to imagine having you as part of their team. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Congress yet to decide on poll pact in Punjab

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said a decision on any electoral alliance in Punjab for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections would be taken by the Congress high command at the appropriate time.He was replying to a media query about the possibility of a poll alliance on the lines of the one forged by Samajwadi Party with Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress in Uttar Pradesh.Talking to journalists on the sidelines of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation convention in Patiala, Capt. Amarinder Singh said any decision in this regard would be taken by the party’s central leadership.In response to another question, he hinted at a new Sports Minister being appointed in the State’s Cabinet expansion, which is expected to take place soon. “The new Sports Policy would be finalised thereafter,” he said.On the issue of alleged illegal mining in Patiala, he promised a thorough probe and action. “I won’t allow illegal mining to continue,” he said, pointing out that he had already issued stringent directives to the police and the concerned administrative departments to crack down against such activities taking place in any part of the State.On the report submitted by the Special Task Force (STF) in the drugs case, Capt. Singh said the matter was sub judice and he could, therefore, not comment on the same.last_img read more

Congress Working Committee meet in Gujarat to firm up alliances

first_imgThe Congress Working Committee (CWC) is set to meet on February 26 in Ahmedabad and possible alliances across the States will be top on the agenda for the meeting. The meeting comes less than 100 days before the general elections, where the Congress is fighting an all-out battle. The Congress is working towards an alliance in Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Jharkhand. “It is easier to declare alliances in Delhi and difficult to work it out at the ground level. For example, in West Bengal Raiganj is CPI (M) leader Mohd. Salim’s constituency and he will be contesting from there. It is also the constituency of our prime candidate Deepa Das Munshi,” a senior party leader said.  The alliance with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and other parties in Maharashtra has been almost sealed barring a few details that need to be ironed out. The Congress president Rahul Gandhi had a meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday once again to clear the issues. In Bihar, where Congress is part of the ‘Mahagatbandhan’, the six constituents – RJD, Sharad Yadav’s Jan Loktantrik Party, Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awam Party and the Left parties have not been able to reach an amicable seat arrangement. The Congress has been demanding that they should have equal share of seats with the RJD. The RJD however have overtly and covertly sending out messages that the Congress should be generous towards its regional parties. It will be the first CWC meeting after Priyanka Gandhi was formally inducted in the Congress’s highest decision-making body after she was appointed general secretary in-charge of Eastern Uttar Pradesh.According to sources, Gujarat has been chosen as the venue for the meeting to kickstart Congress’s campaign for Lok Sabha polls. This will be the second meeting of the CWC outside New Delhi. The last meeting was in Wardha, Maharashtra, at Sevagram Ashram to mark the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.last_img read more

Odisha villagers face a jumbo problem

first_imgVillagers along borders of Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha have lost sleep for fear of 35 wild elephants that have been criss-crossing their localities. Though a dedicated trackers’ team is following the herd that strayed from the Dalma forest in neighbouring Jharkhand, villagers are apprehensive that the jumbos could veer towards their habitation.No casualityElephants in herds usually enter Odisha from Jharkhand and West Bengal during paddy harvesting season. Although no human injury has been reported from Balasore district, elephants have devoured paddy stored in backyards, trampled vegetable crops and fruits. Some thatched houses have also been damaged. As elephants move during evening hours, the district administration resorted to power cuts in order to prevent jumbos from coming in contact with live wire. It has added to the woes of people residing in the area. In some bordering villages, people are on vigil to ward off elephants.“We have been keeping tab on the herd. We have received information that the jumbos have entered the Kuldiha Sanctuary on Sunday. Now chances of elephants straying into human habitations have come down,” said Nilagiri forest ranger Sukumar Das.Elephants that migrate from Jharkhand annually use the forest patches of Nilagiri in Balasore district to enter the Similipal National Park. Sometime, they traverse through thickly populated areas keeping people on their toes.last_img read more