Bailey sees positives at Tennis Jamaica

first_imgTennis Jamaica’s president John Bailey has urged members of his association to move forward in a positive way after he was re-elected unopposed at a rescheduled annual general meeting on Thursday evening at Campion College. “We really want to focus on moving forward and not looking back,” Bailey told The Gleaner yesterday. “We can spend a lot of time talking about what went on in the past, but it is not going to help us. It’s just time to move on.” At last November’s AGM, where Bailey was challenged by John Azar, a disparity in numbers between ballots and eligible voters forced the association to declare the elections null and void. Aswad Morgan was returned as first vice-president, Llockett McGregor; second vice-president and Marcus James, the third vice-president. The treasurer is Charles Pennicook, while Leroy Brown remains the secretary of the association. The regional directors are Pierre Battaglia and James Samson, while the directors are Micola Bicknell, Paula Harris, Charmaine Chin-Loy, Nigel Casserly, Yussuf Migoko, and Steven Shirley. Bailey also revealed that plans to develop the sport include a new playing facility in St Ann, which he hopes will get off the ground in a few months. “The exciting thing is that we are looking to open a new facility in St Ann, Drax Hall in particular, and hopefully, in the next few months, that will start,” he stated. Bailey, who is in his second term as president,, reiterated that the main players in the tennis fraternity are turning their attention to the development of the sport. “The mood in the fraternity is very positive. We will press on and continue to develop the sport and look to Jamaica being on top in the region again in the next few years. So we are back on track, absolutely,” he insisted.last_img read more

A Day in the Life of an Evolutionary Biologist

first_imgMeet Dr. Judith X. Becerra.  She is an expert on plants of Mexico.  Her latest research strove to determine the rate of evolutionary diversification of a genus of trees with a name similar to her own surname: Bursera.  These trees inhabit a range of biomes in the tropical dry forests of Mexico and are well adapted to the local conditions.    Dr. Becerra divided the groupings of Bursera into 10 geographical regions then performed molecular comparisons to produce a phylogenetic tree of the genus.  She concluded that the crown group began to diversify about 60 million years ago, slowly at first, then radiated more rapidly into additional species as the mountains were forming, but before the Baja Peninsula broke off, floated away, and reattached to the mainland.  She deduced that the most rapid diversification occurred between 30 and 7.5 million years ago, with a peak at 13.5 mya – mostly in 5 of the 10 geographical areas.  Since then, the rate of diversification has slowed to a crawl, in her opinion because “the opportunity for diversification of Bursera has declined as the possibilities for further geographical expansion of the tropical dry forest have declined.”    Her results were written up and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.11Judith X. Becerra, “Evolution: Timing the origin and expansion of the Mexican tropical dry forest,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0409127102, published online before print July 20, 2005.What follows is not to be taken in any way as a disparagement of Dr. Becerra and her efforts.  Unless proven otherwise (which seems highly unlikely), we should assume her a bright, active, diligent scientist, respected among peers, fulfilling her career as an evolutionary biologist with exemplary field work and analysis.  Her paper looks like standard research fare, complete with dozens of references, graphs, diagrams, equations, and all that would be expected in a scientific paper.  She made observations, proposed a hypothesis, tested it, and made conclusions.  Who could possibly criticize such a constructive enterprise, undertaken simply with the desire to shed light on the history of a particular group of plants?    We want to explore this otherwise ho-hum paper that, for the majority of the population, will pass unnoticed into the growing corpus of scientific literature, where it will rest in peace except to a few specialists.  We want to use it as a case study in how the theory of evolution has become a self-perpetuating job security program with no necessary connection to the truth.    Read this paper carefully, and you will find many useful facts about Bursera, but none that substantiate the two requirements to convince someone of evolution: proof of (1) long ages and (2) the creative powers of natural selection to produce novel structures.  On the contrary, every support for these claims comes from evolutionary assumptions, so it is inbred reasoning, like asking a Wahabi if the Koran is the word of Allah.  Would her support convince a creationist, or a neutral juror with mind uncluttered by evolutionary assumptions?    The phylogenetic tree-making depends on assumptions of evolution.  The calibration of millions of years depends on evolutionary geological assumptions.  The story of diversification depends on the belief that niches create innovation: the “if you build it, they will come” theory of evolution.  This paper is shot through with evolutionary assumptions from beginning to end; evolution calibrates itself by evolution.    Whenever there is an anomaly in the data, she patches up the evolutionary story with additional ad hoc assumptions: the diversification rate changed here or there, in this region but not that one because maybe the mountains were building faster there, etc.  She picks and chooses data based on evolutionary assumptions so as not to clutter the picture she is trying to present: for instance, ignoring certain species to avoid contamination of the story.  She used two separate equations to cross-check each other, ignoring the fact that both depend on evolutionary assumptions; whenever their results don’t agree, there is enough tweak space to get them to line up.  Fossils?  “Due to a scant fossil record,” she admits, “the history of the Mexican dry forest is still sketchy.  Although the floral affinities with other parts of the world, as well as the importance of the endemic elements, have been well established, little is yet known about the timing of the origin of this vegetation and the directions of its historical expansion or contraction.”  No matter – the story is the thing.    Again, this is not to pick on Dr. Becerra; this paper can be considered a rather ordinary sample of evolutionary research.  Being largely a story of microevolution between members of a single genus, it isn’t even all that controversial.  The point is, it underscores the contention (see 12/22/2003 commentary) that Darwinian evolution has become job security for storytellers.  When you see an evolutionary story, no matter how professionally typed, no matter how many references, now matter how many nice graphs and charts and equations, you need to ask yourself how on earth the researcher knows what happened millions of years ago when he or she was not even there to observe it.  To an evolutionist, it doesn’t really matter.  It gives academics and naturalists something to do.  It supports the publishing industry.  It gives Darwinism an air of scientific respectability.  Why, every evolutionist agrees this is the way science is to be done (don’t ask non-evolutionists for their opinion—they are disqualified by definition).  This policy protects Darwinism from cross-pollination of ideas, so that the inbreeding can continue.    Thus, evolutionary biology marches on.  The idea that 30 million years ago, this particular genus of plants began to diversify as mountains were rising, till around 7.5 million years ago it had filled all the available niches, makes a nice, plausible-sounding, self-consistent, albeit malleable, story.  Some of us have the gall to ask, Is it true?(Visited 127 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Facelift for Company’s Garden

first_img27 August 2007Cape Town has set aside over R1-million to upgrade South Africa’s oldest public garden, the Company’s Garden, which was laid out by Jan van Riebeeck on behalf of the Dutch East India Company in the 1650s.The Garden, which is both a public park and a botanical garden, was originally laid out to provide a fresh supply of vegetables to sea-faring colonists.Situated in the central business district, the city’s “green heart” is frequented by an estimated 700 000 visitors a year.Mayoral committee member in charge of amenities and sport, Grant Haskin, said the revamp would include the restoration of “the Bothy” – the old farm labourers’ quarters, used in the 1850s by the Botanical Gardens Committee as a meeting venue – into a cafe, coffee shop or take-ways kiosk.Besides the abundant vegetation, the garden offers features such as ponds, an aviary, a sundial, and the historic Victorian restrooms. The park is also popular for educational, cultural, entertainment and recreational events, as well as for wedding photographs.Sections within the Paddock area, where the majority of events take place, will be enhanced with the introduction of paved surfaces, street furniture and litter bins. The old Director’s House will be developed into a mixed-use facility or possibly a restaurant.Security enhancements over the past year included the installation of bollard lighting throughout the gardens, new security cameras, increased guards, as well as the appointment of a social worker to deal with homeless people in the vicinity.“To complement these investments, the Central City Improvement District has helped with graffiti removal and the cleansing of the area, especially at events, together with the non-profit NGO Straatwerk,” Haskin said.A BBC film crew will be filming the garden as part of a series on historical gardens of the world.“This will place The Company’s Garden on the international stage and raise its profile as one of the most extraordinary gardens in the world,” he said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Supreme Court clears Srinivasan’s path to become BCCI head

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Friday cleared decks for the Indian cricket board secretary N Srinivasan taking over as its president on September 19 and 20 during the AGM. A bench comprising Justice Aftab Alam and Justice RM Lodha turned down a plea by AC Muthiah, former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), seeking to restrain Srinivasan from taking over the top post till it was decided whether an Indian Premier League (IPL) team owner could be allowed to become an office bearer of the Board.Though the court did not grant any interim relief to Muthiah, it made it clear that the appointment of Srinivasan would be subject to the final decision on the petition moved by the former BCCI president.Muthiah, who had challenged a BCCI rule permitting an IPL team owner to become an office bearer of the Board before the Madras High Court, had approached the Supreme Court after the high court refused to stay the operation of the rule till a final decision on his petition.With his appeal yet to be decided, Muthiah had filed an application before the apex court seeking a restraint order against Srinivasan taking over as president. He pointed out that a two-judge bench of the apex court had on April 28 delivered a split verdict in the matter.Muthiah argued that it would not be appropriate to allow current Board secretary Srinivasan, who owns the Chennai Super Kings IPL team, to hold on to BCCI posts till his appeal was decided.advertisementCiting a conflict of interest, Muthiah has been contending that BCCI office bearers could not be allowed to have commercial interests in the IPL. A bench comprising Justice JM Panchal and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra that heard the matter earlier gave a split verdict, prolonging a decision on Muthiah’s appeal. The matter, therefore, had to be referred to another bench.While Justice Panchal refused to stay the BCCI rule allowing its office bearers to own IPL teams, Justice Misra was of the view that a person owning and operating an IPL team could not be allowed to hold any position in the BCCI. Muthiah had challenged an amendment in the BCCI rules permitting an administrator to have direct or indirect commercial interests in matches or events like the IPL or Champions League T20.The amendment was made after Muthiah questioned acquisition of stakes in Chennai Super Kings team by BCCI secretary Srinivasan citing conflict of interest. Srinivasan was the managing director of India Cements Ltd which had bid successfully for the team.Refusing interim relief to Muthiah, the high court had held that BCCI was like a private club and no outsider could question the regulations of the society.last_img read more

Mercedes A-Class production begins in Germany

first_imgThe production of new Mercedes A-Class , which garnered more than 40,000 orders ever since bookings were announced in mid-June, has started at the Rastatt plant of Mercedes in Germany, said a report. The new B-Class and the upcoming compact SUV will also roll from the same line, as the B-Class has found more than 70,000 new homes since its launch in November 2011, said the report.”This start of production marks a further milestone in our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy. The A-Class represents our offensive in the compact segment,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. He further said, “And there is more to come: The compact SUV will be the third model we will build here in Rastatt.”A report on motoring.asiaone.com has described the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class as “a sporty and radical design based on an all-new front-wheel-drive architecture, one which the five-door hatchback will eventually share with other body styles such as a coupe and a crossover.” “The new A-Class has a lower centre of gravity, thanks to Merc’s decision to ditch the previous sandwich floor construction. The car is also bigger at 4,355 mm in overall length with a wheelbase of 2,699 mm but with a height of just 1,433 mm,” the report further adds in its review.This new generation of four-cylinder engines already meets the stricter Euro 6 emission standard before it comes into force. The A-Class can be ordered in a variety of trim levels, with the highest being AMG Sport. AMG is the tuning division of Mercedes-Benz and the A250 AMG Sport comes with several high-performance modifications.The report, meanwhile, concludes that with the A250 AMG Sport, Mercedes-Benz has managed to overhaul its image in one fell swoop. And as if that’s not enough, look out for the A45 AMG with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine driving all four wheels in the first quarter of 2013.advertisementlast_img read more

Rafael Nadal tumbles out of Mexican Open, falling to Nick Kyrgios

first_imgIn women’s play, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka routed Tatjana Maria 6-2, 6-1 to set up a quarterfinal against fifth-seeded Sofia Kenin. Kenin led 6-4, 4-1 when Katie Boulter retired.Third-seeded Donna Vekic advanced with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Christina McHale; Bianca Andreescu topped fourth-seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2, 7-5; seventh-seeded Saisai Zheng edged Timea Babos 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; and eighth-seeded Johanna Konta beat Varvara Flink 6-4, 6-1.In the quarterfinals, Vekic will play Konta, and Zheng will meet Andreescu.Lesia Tsurenko, the women’s winner the last two years, is skipping the event.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war MOST READ Haddad Maia will face Wang Yafan in the quarterfinals. Wang led Monica Puig 4-1 when Puig retired because of an injury.In men’s play, second-seeded Alexander Zverev beat David Ferrer 7-6 (0), 6-1 in the late match. He will play fifth-seeded Alex de Minaur, a winner over Feliciano Lopez in a walkover.Third-seeded John Isner beat fellow American Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal match against eighth-seeded John Millman. Millman beat Peter Gojowczyk 6-0, 6-2.Cameron Norrie beat fourth-seeded Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3. Norrie will face Mackenzie McDonald, a 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-3 winner over sixth-seeded Frances Tiafoe.Defending champion Juan Martin del Potro is sidelined by a knee injury.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woescenter_img View comments Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Don’t expect to puff away at Tokyo Olympics 2020 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Spain’s Rafael Nadal plays the ball during his Mexican Tennis Open round 2 match against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, in Acapulco, Mexico, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)ACAPULCO, Mexico — Rafael Nadal tumbled out of the Mexican Open on Wednesday night, squandering three match points in a 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (6) loss to Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.Playing his first event since losing to Novak Djokovic in late January in the Australian Open final, the top-seeded Nadal dropped the first two match points on Kyrgios’ serve and the last one on his own first serve.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Nadal won in Acapulco in 2005 and 2013. On Tuesday night, the second-ranked Spanish star opened play with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Mischa Zverev.Kyrgios set up a quarterfinal match against Stan Wawrinka, a 7-6 (5), 6-4 winner over seventh-seeded Steve Johnson in the hardcourt event at The Princess Mundo Imperial.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe top seed also fell in the women’s event, with Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia beating Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-3 for her first victory in seven career matches against players ranked in the top 10. The fourth-ranked Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open, was making her first appearance in the event since winning the 2016 title.“It was just a tough match, obviously she played well,” Stephens said. “A tough day. But I’m not too sad about it. I’m just going to go back and work some more, practice some more and get ready for Indian Wells.”last_img read more

Leicester City to honour deceased Thai owner with statue outside King Power stadium

first_imgLeicester City will honour their late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha with a statue outside the Premier League club’s King Power Stadium following his death in a helicopter crash last month.The 60-year-old Thai billionaire died on October 27 with four others when his helicopter crashed next to the stadium after a match.His son and vice-chairman Aiyawatt confirmed the commissioning of a statue in a personal tribute in a souvenir programme to be given to all fans at Saturday’s home Premier League game against Burnley.”We will never be able to repay what he did for us – for me as his son, us as his family, everyone connected to Leicester City and beyond – but we are committed to honouring his memory and upholding his legacy,” he wrote.”Our continued growth as a Club, our state-of-the-art new training ground and our planned stadium expansion will help realise his vision for Leicester City.”I plan to commission a statue of my father, for outside King Power Stadium, as a permanent and fitting tribute to the man that made it all possible. He will forever be in our hearts. He will never be forgotten.”In the eight years of Vichai’s ownership, Leicester caused one of soccer’s biggest shocks by winning the Premier League title in 2016.The club plan to hand out commemorative scarves, pin badges, banners and souvenir programmes at Saturday’s game, which has also been designated the club’s annual Remembrance Fixture.A tribute video will be shown on big screens before the match and a two-minute silence will be held to honour the armed services as well as the five victims of last month’s accident.advertisementlast_img read more

Midseason Position Grades: Linebackers

first_imgOklahoma State’s collection of linebackers this year is a good microcosm for its linebackers historically. Guys who give great effort but are probably a little undersized and lack the speed to be elite. A solid group with no huge names (although Jordan Burton’s star status has grown) or egos that works hard and more or less gets the job done.OSU’s main trio of Burton, Devante Averette and Chad Whitener has combined for 113 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, three interceptions and maybe most importantly has stayed mostly healthy for the entirety of the season.One of the main issues I have noticed with this linebacking crew is its propensity to drop too deep to help in coverage while teams rack up first-down conversions on long third downs. Opponents are completing third downs at a 36 percent clip which is barely top 50 in the country (although it is better than last year).Maybe they feel the need to help out with a secondary that has been pretty poor so far or maybe it’s jut the opponents they have faced so far, but Spencer’s dudes have been out of position a lot throughout the first six games which has led to a so-so performance in points per drive allowed so far.They have also made some great plays. Jordan Burton had an interception against Baylor and then another wilder one against Iowa State last week when Averette tipped the ball to him. “We have had some good quarters this year,” said Spencer on Wednesday. “Not just that [final one against Iowa State]. We have yet to put together a whole game, which is what we need to do. To answer the bell, we had to do some things to win that game. We had to produce, we had to get the ball back. That was a lot of possessions for us – 17 possessions. So they answered the bell a lot of those possessions, in a critical time.”OSU has faced a lot of possessions without a ton of help (only 24 teams have faced more plays). The next-leading tackler behind those three main LBs though is Justin Phillips with 13 tackles which is I believe the same number he had in a single game against OU in Bedlam 2014 as a freshman. After that nobody else has double digit tackles.Calvin Bundage has been a fun addition at times, but it’s clear the staff doesn’t trust him as much as it trusts its veterans. Kevin Henry and Gyasi Akem have combined for 15 tackles over the first half of the season.So from a statistical standpoint, OSU has been pretty decent. And I’m certainly glad for its ability to stay healthy at a seemingly thin position thus far. But it has also whiffed in big spots (the Central Michigan game comes to mind — 8/15 on third down conversions).As a group, we gave the linebackers a B which coincides with what my grade for them was as well. A solid group with one star (no pun intended) in Burton and a lot of room for improvement. Heck, that kind of sounds like the OSU team as a whole.2016gradesGrade: B While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Mike Gundy Announces Marcell Ateman Will Redshirt In 2016

first_imgThis is probably the smart move as 2017 was always the more likely Big 12 title year for OSU (presuming Mason Rudolph and James Washington return to Stillwater). Oklahoma State’s group of receivers could look like this in 2017:Marcell Ateman (Sr.)James Washington (Sr.)Chris Lacy (Sr.)Jalen McCleskey (Jr.)Tyron Johnson (So.) — this is the five-star LSU transferDillon Stoner (RFr.)That’s a crew. One that could be the Big 12 title favorite depending on how the end of this season goes. This is a bummer for Ateman, of course, but at least he will now get the senior season he deserves instead of an injury-shortened three-game stretch. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Mike Gundy announced on Monday that Marcell Ateman will redshirt. Ateman will not need to take a medical redshirt as he played his freshman year in Stillwater. He has been out all season following foot surgery, and Gundy and Co. determined it wasn’t worth it to bring him back for the final three regular season games as well as the bowl game.Gundy: There would be a chance Ateman could have been back by TCU. But that wasn’t a sure thing, either. #okstate— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) November 7, 2016last_img read more

Poll: Which Player Do You Most Enjoy Watching?

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. With basketball and football colliding this time of year, I thought it would be fun to get a poll question in about which player you enjoy most.I tried to include players who have the spotlight similarly. That is, it would be unfair to include Mason Rudolph or Jeffrey Carroll or Victor Salako because they get a wide variety of attention whereas I think these four get about the same amount across the boards.Today’s poll: Which player do you most enjoy watching?— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 22, 2016Commentary and my opinion coming tomorrow.last_img read more